Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

My T Shirt Collection

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Inspired by a Tweet from the New Yorker

“Haruki Murakami bought a Ramones shirt from a secondhand store in Kyoto, but he can’t bring himself to wear it outside. “There are some limits when you’re over 70,” he writes.”

He also owns a T shirt from Heinz that says “I put ketchup on my ketchup”

I don’t recognise more limits on what I wear now that I’m over 70

Most of these have a story behind them, but one I did not photograph – because it is plain white – isn’t mine. It was one my son left behind after a visit when Air Canada lost his bag and gave him a tee shirt and other overnight essentials. Then they found the bag, and none of essentials were used or returned.

Mona Beana

Souvenir from our 2015 transpacific cruise

There are lots of pictures of the cruise on Flickr

A movie I helped crowdfund

https://www.bewareofimages.com/

Back when I started blogging – this was conference swag

The back of the shirt above lists the sponsors, most of whom are still in business.

Fused Network

May 15, 2018  Vancouver-based technology accelerator Wavefront has ceased operations”

BCTIA now known as BC Tech

Agentic Humans Online seems to be defunct

2Paths Absolute Software Work[at]Play all extant

Sept 5, 2020 — The BC-based mobile commerce platform, Mobify, announced on Friday that it would be acquired by Salesforce

I can’t find kontent creative group, but Incentive Access Group still appears to be active in Surrey, as does TopProducer (real estate software)

But on Sept 4, 2019  FCV Technologies, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based information and technology company, filed for bankruptcy 

Appnovation technologies is still active Backbone Systems now seems to be http://www.cyclonesystems.ca/

https://www.discoveryparks.com/

An unsuccessful environmentalist campaign
A gift from my sister
The front is very plain but the back is what I like
The beer was pretty good too

Aug 14, 2018 Durango Brewing Co. abruptly closed its taproom in Durango

An Ontario craft brewery that did not survive. I think this shirt came free with a twofour
I would like to think that I bought this there but I suspect it was a later purchase

I don’t have one for the University of Nottingham (HINT!)

I have yet to do this
Nicely understated – no prizes for guessing right

Though I think it is worth noting here that while I admire the long and gloried history of the Irish brewer’s advertising campaigns, there are a lot more and better stouts these days.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 7, 2022 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: “Everything for Everyone”

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An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052–2072 by M. E. O’Brien and Eman Abdelhadi

Published by Common Notions 2022

ISBN: 978-1-94217-358-8

There are times now when I feel that humanity – indeed all life on this planet – does not have much of a future. We have been lurching into a climate crisis, preferring the lies of the fossil fuel industry and their tame politicians over what scientists have been trying to tell us. At the same time our political systems seem to be visibly collapsing, with voters preferring to elect posturing fools and other populists over people who are at least in some contact with reality. We may not even live long enough to witness the end of the climate crisis as nuclear war – which once seemed to have been contained as an unthinkable option – now seems to be distinctly possible.

This book sets out an alternative possibility and is written in the past tense about what could happen in the near future. I was born in 1949 and I have already outlived my parents and my older brother, and do not expect to be around for any of these events, if I am lucky. And I cannot say that the possible future described here will be free of pain, and distress and quite a lot of death and destruction before things start getting sorted out. The future envisaged here does not include money. It also gets rid, mostly, of fascists and demagogues – and the exceedingly wealthy. Space travel is recovered from the billionaires and will become just another available service to the people once they have finished building the space elevator. Lots of species – and entire ecosystems – have been destroyed but efforts are underway if not at restoration at least in re-creation of new ones. Most people will live in communes, sharing everything including childcare and working only a few hours here and there on housekeeping and counselling and other essentials. Food is mostly eaten communally too, though a few eccentrics are able to live alone. There are lots of meetings and discussions. There are also many more genders than two. Or if you prefer, none at all. Religion, it seems, continues. People remain attached if they want to but it does not seem that religionists are allowed to make decisions for everyone any more.

There are descriptions over how these changes came about which seem to point to the inevitability of wars and other conflicts but not, apparently the mutually assured destruction that nuclear deterrence has been based on. And, this being America there are an awful lot of guns out there now which we can’t just magic away.

The fact that I won’t be here for most of this actually isn’t much of a comfort, because I have children and an extended family. Of course I am concerned about them – and their offspring. I have done my planning and made my preferences clear – but once I am gone even that is now beyond my control. There is a lot here, in this book, that makes me very uncomfortable and nervous, since in my experience sensible collective decision making seems to be one of the most difficult things we have to do – and there are many decisions which I have seen made which were, to say the least, suboptimal. So while I hope they are right and the will of the people turns out to be a better path, I still fear that the rich and powerful are not going to give up easily. Any more than the people who harbour dangerous delusions and misapprehensions will relinquish them readily.

So while the overall tone of the book is positive I have to say that it is also made very clear that this is not a foregone conclusion and the predicted outcome depends on a large number of unpredictable factors. On the other hand it is very readable and it did not take a great deal of effort to get through. There are other books that I have requested to review where I didn’t get beyond the first chapter, so I think it is fair to say that I do recommend that if you share anxieties about pandemics, and climate change, and international tensions, this will provide food for thought. A better future is possible, just – I am afraid – not very likely if present trends continue. And living through upheavals isn’t going to be all fun and frolics either.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 5, 2022 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pizza for Ukraine

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A guest post

Thanks again for your support for https://pizzaForUkraine.com/.   Someday, they’re going to tell stories about all this.  

Feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested; it helps enormously.  Feel free to share with your local pizza proprietors, too; perhaps we can strike up a partnership! 

We’ve passed 2150 pizzas.

In Kharkiv, pizza delivery has become even more worrisome and nerve-wracking than ever, as Russian missiles continue to arrive. They appear at unpredictable places and intervals, although the 4AM wake-up call from Belgorod is a persistent — and deeply disturbing — feature of daily life in Kharkiv.  The pizza crew wears body armor all the time and takes every precaution, and the kitchen folk are spending more time than they’d like in the basement when shells fall nearby.

The  streets and roads are a mess, and the Apocalypse Van is frequently needed for urgent, long-distance transport. But the pizza crew has managed to stage some really big deliveries using regular cars.  Here’s a weekend event staged in cooperation with the Kharkiv Judo Club.

Driving  around Kharkiv has some special challenges!

Here’s a really big delivery to a town at the edge of the Kharkiv region that’s hosting some 5000 people whose homes have been destroyed. Quite a big effort for a town of 500!  The local school, used as a shelter, is full, so now villagers are taking families into their homes.

We’ve also been sending some pizzas to Kharkiv hospitals (where everyone is too busy), emergency crews, and checkpoints.  Right now, the pizza crew is planning a big trip to one of the burned out housing blocks in Kharkiv where people still live, despite all the damage and debris.

Individually, we perhaps cannot bring peace or victory, or even warm and dry homes for half a million people. But we can send pizza. It’s not nothing.  Thanks.

Mark Bernstein 

Eastgate Systems, Inc

Written by Stephen Rees

July 28, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Ukraine

Book Review: “Elizabeth Finch” by Julian Barnes

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To be published by Random House on August 16

I was lucky enough to see the email from NetGalley when it came in and immediately requested the book since there were only to be 200 readers.

Julian Barnes has written twenty four previous books and I have read most of them, so as soon as I could open it I started reading it – and read it straight through in a couple of hours. It is written as a memoir by a man at the end of his life recalling being enraptured by a woman at an adult education course, whose method of teaching both challenges and fascinates him. He goes to all her lectures, fails to deliver the one required essay at the end, but then he is the king of unfinished projects – but they continue to meet, for lunch on a regular basis. Later he tries to memorialize her, and thus himself, but to do that he has to deal with the history she was teaching. I must admit that I had never heard of Julian the Apostate – but I suppose for Julian Barnes he must have had good reason to learn all about him. So in reading this book there is quite a lot of both real and imagined history. It turns out that there really was a Venetian painter called Carpaccio – so that wasn’t what I initially thought. It makes me wonder if there really was an Elizabeth Finch. No, but there are already many reviews on line.

I have to admit that I do have quite a few books that I have started but failed to get involved enough to care about. It is not often when I start and finish a book at one sitting. It is 192 pages. It is also quite difficult to not reveal too much by writing about it. What I do think is that this will be another winner for Barnes. And since it is now probably too late for you to get in on the “first 200” list you will have to wait for August. But it will be worth it.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 15, 2022 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Fiction

Computer Recycling for a Good Cause

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The following press release arrived this morning from CNW.
I have not heard of this organisation before and have not used their services. In Vancouver you can take your unwanted computers to the Free Geek Community Technology Centre at 1820 Pandora Street

The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is calling out to all businesses and individuals to donate their unwanted computers and laptops to help them fill requests from charitable organizations and individuals in need. Recycling computers? Recycling laptops? Most recycling companies and associations simply want to destroy and melt down your old technology. www.era.ca actually fixes, reuses and helps the communities Canada wide access low cost technology.

CALGARY, AB, July 2, 2022 /CNW/ – The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to address the growing problem of e-waste and the increasing ‘digital divide’. ERA has offers simple solutions to help individuals and organizations prevent operational equipment from premature destruction. With a focus on recovery, refurbishment and reuse, ERA continuously supplies charitable groups with donated IT equipment while securely managing the retiring IT assets of organizations and individuals across Canada.

“We are proud to provide charities, non-profits, schools and care facilities all across Canada with the computers they require for their programs. This gives them access to reliable technology while allowing them to apply their resources to what they’re good at, developing programs to help Canadians struggling with poverty, health concerns or are otherwise experiencing misfortune,” said Bojan Paduh Founder and CEO of ERA.

AB: Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters needs 100 laptops & 40 desktop computers
BC: More Than A Roof Housing Society needs 30 laptops & 15 printers
ON: Goodwill Industries needs 95 laptops
QC: Sarker Hope Foundation needs 50 laptops & 10 desktop computers
SK: Blaine Lake Composite School needs 50 laptops
MB: Altered Minds Inc needs 50 laptops & 65 desktop computers

Help ERA by booking a pickup of your unwanted devices through our online form on https://www.era.ca

Have only a few items and want us to get them next day? ERA offers shipping labels for free pickup from anywhere in Canada. Goto https://www.era.ca to donate now

SOURCE Electronic Recycling Association

Written by Stephen Rees

July 2, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Transportation

Annals of Aeronautics

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This is a blog. That is a contraction of Web Log – a record of the sites on the internet that I have been visiting. Today there are three stories all about ways we may fly in the future. They share some common features – regenerating old technologies, and using electricity to power aircraft. But they are all quite different. Except that in my life time each one of these ideas – in different forms – has popped up more than once. For example, when I went to and from Nottingham during my university days, the train took me past the hangars at Cardington. I would like to be able to say I saw airships flying but that wouldn’t be true. Though I have seen the Goodyear “blimps” now and again. That name is a travesty. It was originally applied to the tethered balloons used in London during WWII to try to force luftwaffe bombers to fly higher (and thus be more inaccurate). The Goodyear airships are true dirigibles (balloons you can steer) just like zeppelins.

The only real question I think is about the probability that these things will actually fly commercially.

The most likely, I think is the Hawaiian version of the flying boat. Unlike the effort here to refit existing floatplanes with electric motors, these aircraft are based on the aeronautics of the cormorant – to be seen every day across the Burrard inlet. By flying low and close to the water – but not actually touching it – a great deal of energy is saved. Quite how this can be turned into a commercial service around the Hawaiian islands remains to be seen. Presumably, this new type of aircraft will be able to rise quickly to get over the top of those who stick to their own preferred seaways.

I think that Sergey Brin may be the more likely to get approvals since the changes he proposes to make Zeppelins are designed to take advantage of our much better understanding of the physics of lighter than air flight, strength of materials science, and what the challenges were that lead to the rapid demise of airships both military and commercial.

I like the idea of cruising in an airship (see the works of Cory Doctorow for what he thinks might happen). The appeal of the giant flying cruise ship – not so much.

For one thing it relies on nuclear energy – always a bit of a problem in my mind – but more especially in this case since it has to be both “small” and fusion powered. As far as I know, there is not yet anything like a feasible fusion power plant.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 27, 2022 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Air Travel

Consumer EV Charging Experience in Canada

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The Press Release below arrived at lunchtime today, just when we were talking about cars, again. Now that Modo has a car close to us, I have started to use it for pre-booked trips. The car is a Toyota Prius, and the traffic was so congested this morning, coming back from Oakridge along 49th that I was easily able to keep the car in EV mode all the time. We live in a condo with underground parking, and people using EVs have become something of an issue. Initially because they weren’t paying for those charges. That has been changed to a flat fee for people with EVs. I have an older, conventional IC car but I have been seriously considering replacing it, in part because there seems to be very little opportunity to find investments in renewables – although I have found at least one. There is also some doubt in our building if our old infrastructure can actually cope with EV charging as nothing much has changed here since the building went up in 1974. There are three transformers in the basement, which turn out to be the property of BC Hydro, which have literally not even seen any maintenance let alone upgrading in that time.

There is also of course a current disruption in new vehicle deliveries, due to the pandemic, and a six month wait for a new car. While I have a Prius Prime on order, I still don’t know if I will be able to charge it overnight here – which would meet most of my needs. In the meantime I am using both Modo and Evo more often to see if there is any real need for car ownership at all.

The report cited below found

 Over 40% of respondents in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) stated that more than half of all their charging needs are met using public infrastructure. The needs of MURB residents are critical to address as they represent 33% of Canada’s population and are often constrained in terms of their ability to charge at home.

which pretty much backs up my experience. We are supposed to be examining the need for more in house charging but we do not have a good track record in terms of getting agreements with enough residents to change anything at all.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_rees/52078080619/

My nearest public charging station West Boulevard @ 40th Ave

EV Fast Chargers



Pollution Probe Releases Groundbreaking Report on the Consumer EV Charging Experience in Canada

TORONTO – June 23, 2022 – Pollution Probe is pleased to release the results from a first-of-its-kind national survey of electric vehicle (EV) owners. The survey captured the real-world charging experiences of Canadian EV owners from coast-to-coast to identify gaps and weaknesses in existing charging networks, as well as strengths that can be used to maximize the benefits of future charging station deployments. This work was made possible through the generous support of the Office of Consumer Affairs at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

The comprehensive survey received responses from more than 1,600 EV owners drawn from every province. Results were categorized into four key areas: charging behaviour, network coverage satisfaction, network service satisfaction, and network payment systems.

An adequate public charging network is frequently cited as one of the most important factors in accelerating EV adoption. Not only does public charging make long-distance travel in EVs more convenient, but it makes the prospect of EV ownership more feasible for Canadians who live in high-rise buildings or homes that lack a dedicated parking space that can accommodate a charging station. Not surprisingly, one of the key findings of the study is that EV owners residing in high-rises rely much more on public charging than those in single family homes. Over 40% of respondents in high-rise buildings indicated that more than half of their charging needs are addressed using public charging stations.

While the installation of public EV chargers continues to accelerate thanks to the efforts of both government and industry, right now most Canadian EV owners think that the existing number of public chargers is insufficient. While Canadian EV owners’ location preference for the slower level 2 charging stations is varied, preference for DC fast chargers is more concentrated at highway rest stops and urban retail centres. Another key finding is that EV owners are very interested in demand management methods, such as smart charging and vehicle-to-grid charging, that could reduce their charging costs. These methods can be leveraged by utilities to avoid stressing local grids as more EVs come online.

As of 2021 EVs comprised almost 6% of new passenger car sales in Canada – but the EV market is just getting warmed up. Canada has set mandatory ZEV sales targets of at least 20% of new passenger vehicle sales by 2026, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035. Regular assessments similar to this onewill need to be led in the coming years so government policy and industry practice can efficiently address the needs and expectations of the next generation of Canadian drivers.

“Findings highlight mixed attitudes and behaviours from Canadian EV owners depending on the type and age of EV owned, their location in Canada, household type, travel patterns, and charging networks used. This pioneering work is an important start in terms of aligning consumer expectations around the convenience of EV use with public charging infrastructure availability across Canada.”

–  Christopher Hilkene, CEO, Pollution Probe

Read the report at the links below to see the full results as well as a summary of key findings and recommendations for next steps. Our transportation team is available to respond to questions and comments.

ENGLISH & FRENCH REPORT CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE

— 30 –

About Pollution Probe
Pollution Probe is a national, not-for-profit, charitable organization that pursues environmental gains by productively working with governments, industry and the public. With a steadfast commitment to clean air, clean water and a healthy planet, Pollution Probe has been at the forefront of environmental issues and action since its inception in 1969. www.pollutionprobe.org

Written by Stephen Rees

June 23, 2022 at 1:37 pm

Updates

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Quite a lot happening recently, some of which relates to issues that have been dealt with in blog posts on here. So I thought that I should do a single post to bring you up to date. I will also add the links to the previous posts on the topic just in case there are some readers who missed them first time around.

Arbutus Mall Redevelopment

The second stage of the project is now getting started in earnest. This week the excavators arrived and started tearing down the remains of the Mall Building. This used to accommodate the Safeway Pharmacy, BC Liquor Store, Bank of Montreal and Dance Company. They all have now moved across the Yew Street extension. I have tried to update Google maps with the new locations as the old ones keep appearing elsewhere. That has certainly added a lot more views to the photos I attached to those posts.

Pedalheads, who used to run swimming lessons in the old community centre pool (located in the basement) are now in the Jericho Hill Centre.

Arbutus Mall Redevelopment
Yew Street at Lahb Avenue

Modo Car Share

I was doing a Leo survey into travel in the region, and one of the questions was why I was not using Modo car share. The answer was going to be that they did not have a car based nearby – but I checked the map to see how far it was. And discovered a new Modo parking spot is on Yew at Eddington. So I have revived my membership. My suspicion is that it is the new development of rental apartments that has spurred Modo’s interest in this location.

Welcome to the neighbourhood
Toyota Prius Hybrid

This car is brand new! If you were in the market to buy one of these there is currently a six month wait! I know that because that is what I did this week when I decided to end the experiments I had made investing through WealthSimple and VanCity. The downturn in the stock market means that they are now both worth less than I started with, so I thought that it would be a good idea to get into an electric car and trade-in my 2007 Yaris. I also have over $500 in Open Road points by having my car serviced every six months but much to my surprise even though these points can only be used to help pay for servicing or buying a new car, apparently that did not include the $500 that I was asked to put down as a deposit for a new Prius Prime – which is a plug-in hybrid rather than a pure EV. My concern has been that the Strata Council was not being very proactive in installing charge points in the garage, but apparently that may be changing too. Given that I have at least a six months wait, I will be using the Modo when I can to see if I even need to own a car at all. Especially after reading this article today which states that tire wear particulates are much worse than tailpipe emissions – and this is directly tied to vehicle weight. Batteries are much heavier than fuel tanks – and in North America the car makers are promoting ever larger, heavier vehicles. Not only do EVs not help at all with traffic congestion, they may make local air quality worse than ICE vehicles.

Broadway Subway Construction

Broadway Subway Construction
Arbutus Station: looking west from Maple St

Traffic deck installation begins today
www.broadwaysubway.ca/app/uploads/sites/626/2022/05/2022_…

Broadway Subway Project traffic deck installation
Traffic deck installation at the future Arbutus Station site BCTran photo

and the boring machines have arrived and are being installed at the eastern end of the new tunnel. That link gives you a PDF file of what is happening here at the other end of the new line but that website, run by the province, is by far the best source for detailed information on the project as a whole. In due course I hope to be able to make a video of the pictures that are collected now as a Flickr album to show the transformation.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 3, 2022 at 4:57 pm

Book Review “Blowout” by Rachel Maddow

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Published by Crown 2019

ISBN 978-0-525-57547-4

Ebook ISBN 978-0-525-57549-8

I am very fortunate to have a neighbour who likes to buy hardback books and then rather than keep them looks for someone who might like to read them. Even though $40 Canadian is, I suppose, not out of reach, it is still a delight to get my hands on an almost new book, for free. In this case, covering the history of the oil and gas industry is mostly familiar territory, although there is quite a lot here that I seem to have managed to miss at the time, or had perhaps just forgotten. And just because it is three years old does not mean it is out of date since nothing much has changed since it was published.

For any kind of life to continue on earth, the oil and gas industry must, as a matter of urgency, be brought under control. Its trajectory is still to expand the production of the fossil fuels that have now produced the unprecedented threat of the climate crisis.

“The oil and gas industry, as ever, is wholly incapable of any real self-examination, or of policing or reforming itself. Might as well ask the lions to take up a plant based diet. If we want the most powerful and consequential industry on our planet to operate safely, and rationally, and with actual accountability, well make it. It’s not mission-to-Mars complicated either, but it works”.

Maddow’s book is mainly concerned with the United States, of course. Not that matters in Canada are any different. We too pour subsidies at both federal and provincial level into oil companies whose profits have been growing exponentially. We used to get considerable revenues from the royalties levied on these companies. Now that is next to nothing and, at the same time, the favorable tax treatments and supports are in the billions on dollars. Yes billions with a B. Maddow does not mention how Norway has been treating the oil and gas industry – it is not even listed in the index – but that might have been a welcome sign that reform is possible. But probably not very likely as long as Republicans still dominate Congress. Though there was one shining moment that she does mention when both parties and both houses got together to ensure that Trump could not unilaterally cancel sanctions on Russia. Which was a very definite objective of Putin’s campaign to get him elected.

There is much detail of the recent activities of the industry, including of course the Deepwater Horizon – which got so much coverage at the time – as well as a second Gulf drilling rig leak which went on for much longer and was even worse but got hardly any attention. The Taylor oil spill started in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan struck. It remained a secret until 2010, and by 2018 was still leaking seven hundred barrels of oil into the Gulf every single day. The industry still has little more than paper towels and dish liquid to clean up spills and very little oversight to ensure that spills don’t happen. “For every 1,000 wells in state and federal waters, there’s an average of 20 uncontrolled releases – or blowouts – every year.” (US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Then there is the tale of fracking and the damage to water resources, homes, farms and businesses from a vast earthquake “swarm”. Again Maddow has plenty on this but misses the way that the industry has been very much aware that it loses vast amounts of methane (a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2) but simply regards that as a cost of doing business – and not something that it highlights as in many cases the methane gas they do manage to capture is simply flared, as liquid fuel for motor vehicles is by far the greatest source of demand for the industry’s output. Outright lying, and obfuscation, is naturally the industry’s preferred method of dealing with this issue. Though they do have a commitment to increase the use of methane – “natural gas” – which is claimed to be the cleanest fuel when in reality it is anything but. It is only recently that I have seen mainstream media picking up the story that gas appliances in the home – mostly stoves – are responsible for indoor air quality to be worse than anything that would be permitted industrially. And in this region Terasen (which used to be BC Gas) is proposing a large LNG export terminal in the Fraser estuary at Tilbury. There is already a smaller terminal there and it is also the case that in the US, where ports get more oversight from local authorities than in Canada, would be very unlikely to be permitted due to the proximity of many other businesses and even residential development. LNG production and transportation in general is also bedevilled by methane leaks that are underreported and difficult to control.

Maddow has a very engaging style and the book reads very easily. There is a substantial (nearly 20 pages) of Notes on Sources. With, of course, copious links to information available online. And there is also a very careful analysis of the mind set and ambitions of Russian dictator Putin, including exactly why he has such a vast and successful social media presence and which has done so much damage to democracy and public discourse. It well worth the read. Both the book and the audiobook are currently available at the Vancouver Public Library but there is a short wait list for the ebook.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 2, 2022 at 12:20 pm

End of the Line

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(Coming to digital and cable on demand platforms in the United States June 14)

Feature Documentary/ Not Yet Rated / Running Time: 65 Minutes

“Award-winning filmmaker Emmett Adler’s feature documentary END OF THE LINE is a character-driven political drama about the New York City subway crisis and a long overdue reckoning on infrastructure. 

Establishing the vital economic importance and grandeur of New York City’s historic subway system, the film dives into its dire modern-day troubles picking up in the late 2010s when flooding, overcrowding, power failures, and derailments have become commonplace. After a particularly bad spate of disasters in the summer of 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaims a state of emergency and hires a new international wunderkind executive named Andy Byford to save the subways. Byford, an earnest Briton with an impressive resume, enters as a charismatic would-be hero.

As the political turmoil behind the subway’s decline comes into sharp focus, scenes in barbershops, bodegas, and bakeries show the frustration and devastation among business owners and residents who are caught in the middle. 

Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic furthers this, and brings to light America’s need to shore up its infrastructure in cities across the country and the inequality struggles that are central to this debate. A heartfelt and scrupulous exploration, this film poses the question: what happens when the lifeline of a city goes flat?

This film is dedicated to the heroic New York City transit workers who lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his tenure as President of MTA NYC Transit, Andy Byford presents his
Fast Forward Plan to fix New York City’s transit system.
PHOTO 1
(Photo Credit: Gravitas Ventures)
(L-R) Andy Byford and Joe Lhota in Emmett Adler’s END OF THE LINE
Description:
During his tenure as President of MTA NYC Transit, Andy Byford presents his
Fast Forward Plan to fix New York City’s transit system. MTA Chairman Joe Lhota stands to Byford’s right. (2018)

Written by Stephen Rees

April 20, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Railway, transit, Transportation

Tagged with