Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Evolution Continues

Those of you concerned about polar charismatic megafauna are right to be worried. But it looks like this group of penguins has got it sorted.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 1, 2008 at 8:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

b. February 27th, 1949

with 2 comments

A day to celebrate. And perhaps take a break from blogging. Here, courtesy of an email from the Very Short List is an entirely appropriate video about banging the drum about how old you are.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 26, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Mentally ill overwhelming police: report

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Pete McMartin

This is not normally I subject I would go for here. But given my reaction to the latest sophistry from Kevin Falcon, we need to understand why people on SkyTrain get bugged by an “aggressive panhandler or nut”

Come to think of it, isn’t it time that someone told Mr Falcon that people with a mental illness should not be referred to as “nuts”. I applaud Rafe Mair for being open about his mental illness. I find it hard to do that myself, but I will stand alongside him and Corey O’Brien. And before you sneer, think on this: it can and probably will happen to you. It is a lot more likely than winning the lottery.

UPDATE This is now (Monday February 4) getting more attention on CBC News. Today the province is now talking about a 150 bed facility in the DTES before the Olympics – but as the former advocate for mentally ill (fired by the Liberals when they came to power) there are 2,000 people on the streets and another 1000 in shelters, all in need of care and not getting it.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 2, 2008 at 7:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

“Budd Campbell”

with 11 comments

Many more people read this blog than comment on it. Recently the person who calls himself “Budd Campbell” has, once again, started to dominate the discussion.

I am of two minds. On the one hand, he is a useful avatar for the forces of darkness (even if he does claim to dislike the SFPR) and Kevin Falcon and the real Campbell have never, and will never, post here. On the other hand he uses up a lot of time I could spend doing other things.

I have set up a survey. Your answers will be confidential and you may only answer once .  After I get a significant number of responses I will publish the total numbers and abide by the will of the majority

Because this is my blog, I get to decide to decide what “a significant number” is and how long this survey runs.

And of course I do realise that Budd can simply log on from multiple computers and vote for himself, but as he has not got the time to write his own blog, I somehow doubt he will bother.

You can also email me (see the “about” page) if you think this process is unacceptable – but I will ignore posts from email addresses I am unable to verify

Written by Stephen Rees

January 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Shorter items

with 4 comments

I was going to write something else but butterfly brain here was distracted by the WordPress opening page “hawt post”. It is relevant though. Ebenezer Howard was late Victorian town planner who invented the concept of “Garden Cities”, and this is one of the iconic maps that must have been in nearly every “introduction to town planning” book. It was ideas like this that lead to the still current practice of separating out land uses. Even though most non-residential activities have been smokeless for quite a while now. And it wasn’t until the 1950s that residential uses became smokeless too. In fact I doubt Howard realized that in his day open hearth burning of coal in homes was probably a bigger source of air pollution than factories.

What I was going to mention was the series of articles by Jeff Nagel on transit issues that are in the weekend Black local press. He hits out at SoCoBritCA’s new boss for moving Board meetings out of the limelight.

That’s plain wrong.

That’s a neat punchy sentence.

I agree.

Frank Bucholz on the same web site but a different paper thinks the transit “plan” will be good for Surrey. I think journalists owe their readers a bit more than simply acting as a shill for the government.

Burnaby was unimpressed.

I also do not understand why a local MLA would buy an ad on a Black Press web site. If you want to find your MLA you use the leg web page don’t you? Buying ads seems like a waste to me.

And the editor of the Nanaimo News Bulletin talks about opinions

It seems some people also can’t grasp the notion that presented with the exact same set of facts and information, two people can form opposing opinions. Those same folks are the ones least willing, in my experience, to have an open mind to listen and consider opposing or differing points of view.

Well now, if one of the facts is that the cost of gating SkyTrain is now estimated to be $100m – and another is that loss of revenue fare evasion is nowhere near that, it is not possible to form the opinion that it will pay for itself. That may be why the spin being now put on it is that it will make the transit system safer – even though there are absolutely no facts to back up that assertion. Because “facts are sacred”you need to be very careful about what you accept as a “fact”. Because as Dr Goebbels observed if you make the lie big enough and repeat it often enough it gets accepted uncritically.

In motorised urban areas, traffic expands to fill the space available. In modern city regions, the type of transportation system you build determines the land use that develops. So what do you make of the people who hold that building a freeway will cure congestion but have no impact on land use or increase the total amount of traffic (in terms of both trips and trip miles)? It is an opinion certainly, but seems to me to be on a par with the opinion that the war on Iraq was justified, or that giving rich people tax breaks will somehow trickle down to the poor.

“If you keep a sufficiently open mind, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it.” John Osbourne

Written by Stephen Rees

January 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New Look

with 5 comments

Canada Line Bridge

For some time I have been thinking the blog needed a new look. For one thing I did not like the small size of the photos. I do recognize that a narrower column may be easier to read, but I prefer the new layout and I hope that I will be able to post more pictures and conversations.

For what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations, thought Alice

Feedback welcomed of course – and let me know if a page is not loading properly since the images in the old layout got resized automatically – these have to be done manually, which does take a bit longer


I have worked back to the beginning of October – my word I am prolific – and I stopped there. But I did discover that the new format can handle one task – and I have to do is reset the width of the picture, and it now resizes and preserves the proportions. The old one used to screw up photos royally if you did not give it width and height. I have also deleted some notices of events that have now happened and cleaned up some poor quality imported html. I really would like a button that just cleaned out all the html tags automatically.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 29, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Blog Stats

with 2 comments


At the end of the month, I thought it would be a good idea to check out how we are doing. And I suppose that this demonstrates that whatever it is, I appear to be doing something right.

I am going to be busy this weekend – it looks like it may be an exciting time in Vancouver this Saturday! So before I forget, I want to thank you for reading my blog, and a very big thank you to those who post comments and provide feedback. This blog has definitely improved because of your contributions, and I am very grateful for your support. I hope that I will be able to meet some of you in person at the Unitarian Church (3:30 to 5:00 pm 949 West 49th Avenue at Oak Street, Vancouver) after the meeting.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 29, 2007 at 10:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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