Archive for the Environment Category

The Viretta Park Repair Shut Down by City of Seattle

Posted in Blogging, Check It Out, Crime, Environment with tags , , on March 13, 2011 by taraden

Press Release: The Viretta Park Repair Project shut down by The City of Seattle, The Seattle Parks Department, The Green Seattle Partnership (GSP), and the neighbors of Viretta Park
 
The Viretta Park Repair Project (VPR) looks to restore and ecologically repair Seattle’s Viretta Park.  The project also looks at collecting ideas to create a small memorial for Nirvana singer/songwriter, Kurt Cobain.
 
Initially the project was given a green light by the city of Seattle, Seattle Parks Department and the Green Seattle Partnership to remove the invasive species that were taking over areas of the park and to gather ideas on what volunteer’s and neighbors would like to see happen at Viretta Park.
 
We held our first work party on February 20th, 2011 and had various local media outlets attend to cover the event.  Fifteen volunteers, including families and children were present that day and all together the volunteers logged a total of 41.5 unpaid hours.  We got an amazing amount of work done that day.  We stuck exactly to the guidelines that the city and GSP had laid out and the only work done that day was the removal of approved invasive species such as clematis, blackberry and ivy.  The Parks Department and GSP were willing volunteers of the work party as they provided all of the tools and provided clean up for the project.
 
Currently the Seattle Parks Department is experiencing massive budget cuts and conducting massive employee layoffs.  So why has a volunteer project such as this one been shut down? In the 4 hours that volunteers were present at Viretta Park on February 20, 2011 we logged in as many hours as one park employee would work in a full week!  Why is the Seattle Parks Department turning away volunteer work at a time when they are faced with such significant cutbacks?
 
Although neighbours who live in the area of Viretta park seem to be quite protective of this park, not one neighbor came to help with the invasive species clean up effort on February 20th, although signs were posted in the park 5 days prior to the event.  The VPR has always stated that we encourage neighborhood involvement and we looked forward to collaborating with neighbors on what type of ecological restoration they would like to see done.  We never even had the opportunity to meet with the parks department and neighbors to share ideas and discuss what everyone would like to see happen at Viretta Park before this project was shut down.
 
One or more neighbors has strongly voiced that they are opposed to the project and went as far as to send the VPR a threatening email.  We feel the only reason why this project has become such an issue is because the project and park are associated with Kurt Cobain.  The neighbors have been actively voicing their opinions on how they “disliked” Kurt and on the “type” of people who visit the park to honor him.  Stereotyping all fans who visit the park as “riff raff” or “druggies” is simply not morally or ethically correct.  I have visited Viretta Park many times.  I do not use illegal drugs nor do i think that I should be classed as “riff raff”.
 
This project has never been solely about Kurt Cobain.  It is about coming together as equal human beings to make a park a better place for ALL who use it.  Yes, fans of Kurt Cobain visit the park.  They will continue to do so regardless if this project is shut down or not.  The neighbors are not going to make them “go away” and stop them from coming to the park.  Viretta Park is a PUBLIC park.  Not PRIVATE property.
 
We have also heard a rumor that a neighbor in the Viretta Park neighborhood has contacted the city of Seattle claiming that a statue was erected in the park and that illegal work parties were being held.  Neither is true.  If you go to Viretta Park, there is no statue.  In fact, a statue wasn’t even something that the VPR would have even considered as a memorial as we do not feel that would be a good “fit” for the park.  We also have only performed one work party, which we had city and parks approval.  We do not know exactly what was said to the city regarding the “ghost statue” and “illegal work” but we will file a motion with the city through the public disclosure process.
 
A “city employee” was involved in the initial organization of the project.  He has interests in permaculture and was involved mainly because of the repair and restoration component of the project.  This employee was told by the parks department that he should take the necessary training and after he did so, was told by the parks department that he could start volunteering his personal time in the park, removing invasives.  Now he has been asked to resign from the project and has been told not to volunteer his time cleaning up at Viretta Park. Are city employee’s not allowed to volunteer during their own personal time?  This “city employee’s” job is now in danger due to the fact that he was interested in making Viretta Park a better place for everyone and collect ideas from ALL involved.  This includes the City of Seattle, The Seattle Parks Department, The Green Seattle Partnership, neighbors of Viretta Park AND the Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fans who frequent the park.  And HERE is where we find the problem and the controversy lies.
 
Is it the fact that this employee was not only trying to work with the City of Seattle, parks, GSP, neighbors  but ALSO with Nirvana/Kurt Cobain supporters that we are having the shut down issue?  The same people who the neighbors have stereotyped as “riff raff” in their exclusive Seattle neighborhood?  The fact that this project is at all associated with Kurt Cobain IS the reason why neighbors and the parks department have had this project shut down. 
 
The park is ALREADY associated with Kurt Cobain and has been since April 8th, 1994 and it will continue to be associated with him for years to come.  Kurt Cobain had a massive impact on the local Seattle music scene as well as the worldwide music scene and was a talented musician.  He is still greatly loved and respected all around the world.
 
We are not going to give up and just walk away from this project.  The VPR is considering holding a “group event” touring local Kurt Cobain sites on April 5th, 2011 in lieu of the now cancelled work party that we were to hold on that date.  We are wanting to connect with other supporters of this project.  People interested should visit our wiki page or our facebook page for updates on this group event.

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A Dumpsterless Vancouver?

Posted in Crime, Environment, Health, Home, Life, Observations, Politics, Ramblings, Random Thoughts, Rants, World on November 30, 2007 by taraden

There has been talk in Vancouver lately about removing the dumpsters that line the city’s alleyway’s in an attempt to beautify and clean up the city. Local businesses are on board with the idea claiming it would create a crime free environment. The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association found that the majority of dumpsters in Vancouver were vandalized, filthy and filled with needles.

Hmmm… lets think about that for a moment. Don’t you think the City of Vancouver has far more pressing issues to be dealing with right now than the removal of dumpsters from the alleyway’s? How about the situation of the Downtown Eastside and the people who inhabit that area on a daily basis? What will happen to them? Where does the DVBIA think all these needles will end up? Will they just disappear? I think not. Take a browse at Matthew Good’s view of the area… a area in which he lives. People suffering from mental illnesses, unable to “legally” treat their illness and forced out on the street to fend for themselves. What will happen to the people who rely on these dumpsters to earn a living and find a meal. As “gross” as that may sound to some… that is reality. I am sure that Mr Sam Sullivan has more important things to be thinking about… and if you ask him…. he would probably end up saying…. ummm “The Olympics”?

The Loop & Swap

Posted in Bugs, Environment, Home, Life, Me, My Travels, Nature, Observations, Personal, Ramblings, Random Thoughts, World, Youth on May 23, 2007 by taraden

This past weekend was a long weekend in Canada…. it was Victoria Day. We drove to Kamloops and spent the weekend there. Neil, my bf, has a couple of friends who live there so we were able to stay with them. They have two kids…. Kayla and Austin, who seemed to be fascinated with Lukas… our little son.

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We also went to Shuswap Lake. Neil’s friends parents have a house there, so we spent Saturday night on the Shuswap. It’s so nice there! The houses are cheap. A lot cheaper than here in the lower mainland.

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The only bad part of the whole trip was seeing the devastation that Mountain Pine Beetle has created. There are so many dead trees…. it’s really a serious problem. When we were first driving into town we could see all the trees that had turned a red/orange colour… my first thought was that they must be affected by the beetle…. and sure enough. It’s quite sad.

We are thinking of possibly moving to Kamloops in the future. The real estate prices are far cheaper than anything you could find here in Vancouver. Maybe one day I will actually have the pleasure of owning my own home!

Recycle Me This…

Posted in Environment, Glitches, Home, Life, Nature, Observations, Politics, Ramblings, Random Thoughts, Rants, World on May 14, 2007 by taraden

In this day and age with “global warming” and the state of the environment…. you would think that our community would support recycling. Well not the City of Port Coquitlam.

We live in a townhouse complex that has absolutely no recycling program. I called City Hall’s Engineering and Operations Department to find out about getting a recycling container for our unit. The lady that lives next door to us has one that she leaves outside her unit, so I figured that it wouldn’t be a problem. Occasionally I put some newspapers in her container… but I don’t want to keep using hers as once they are full thats it… the city will not take any extra… so I don’t want to fill her container up.. that just wouldn’t be fair to her. City Hall informed me that they do not supply containers and pick up from most townhouses. I told them that one of the tenants in another unit has a bin and gets hers picked up every week… so they told me to talk to the landlord. But they also informed me that I would most likely not be able to get one. When I called the landlord he told me that he does not know how she got her container but would call to see if he could get a container for us. I have not heard back from him… so I am assuming it didn’t go over to well.

I don’t understand. Wouldn’t the City of Port Coquitlam want the residents to recycle? Do they not give a shit about the environment? Would they rather I throw all of my garbage into our dumpster? I can’t believe that I am having such a problem trying to get a recycling container and pick up service where the service already exists…. I have even offered to pay for one and still no luck. This goes to show that much more awareness is needed when it comes to protecting our planet.

The World Islands…

Posted in Environment, Home, Life, Me, Nature, Observations, World on January 28, 2007 by taraden

All I can say is….. WOW. Now all I need is $7 million U.S. and you can bet your bottom dollar I would snaffoo me one of these…

These are The World Islands, located off the coast of Dubai. They will consist of 300 private artificial islands that are divided into four categories….

  • private homes
  • estate homes
  • dream resorts
  • and community islands

After dealing with the Costco parking lot this afternoon, all I can say is Yes, Please!!! 😀

Mayhem..

Posted in Environment, Home, Life, Nature, Observations, Ramblings, Random Thoughts, Rants, Weather on January 10, 2007 by taraden

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The westcoast of Canada certainly has seen some interesting weather in the last couple of months, and today being no exeption.  We awoke to over 5 inches of snow this morning.  Making the morning commute for many drivers complete chaos.  If it’s not snow then its wind.  Yesterday and last night there were more high winds that hit Stanley Park, causing more damage and fallen trees.  There were even reports of a jogger being grazed by a falling tree while jogging along the seawall.  All I have to say to that is “good… serves you right.”  I am sick and tired of hearing of these people who can’t seem to follow the rules, or listen to warnings and then find themselves in situations such as this.  It is simply their own damn fault.  As for the snow…. I think it is beautiful, and hope that it stays around for awhile.  If everyone just slows down a bit on the roads and actually pays attention to their driving everything will be okay.

Stay Out Of The Park…

Posted in Environment, Nature, Observations, Ramblings, Random Thoughts, Rants, World on December 22, 2006 by taraden

This is an aerial view of Stanley Park, located very close to the downtown core of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The park which measures 400 hectares, was named after Lord Stanley, the Governor of Canada and officially opened in 1888.  It is the main tourist attraction of the city.

A major windstorm last Thursday & Friday ripped through the city and destroyed much of the park.  The storm has left behind many fallen trees, some almost 200 years old, and park crew are working hard to clear the debris.

Fallen trees litter the side of the road in Stanley Park blocking the entrance to one of many the many trails in the park, Tuesday December 17, 2006. (CP / Chuck Stoody)

There have been many warnings put out to the public to stay out of the park while crews attempt to restore some order, but there are reports that many people are not obeying the warnings.  With in the last few days police received 911 calls from a man who had been trapped underneath fallen trees since last Friday… the day after the storm occured.  What the hell is wrong with people?  Why anyone would venture off into a park that contains an immense amount of forest area during a major windstorm or even just after a major windstorm is beyond me.  Warnings, such as the ones telling people to stay out of the park, are put up for a reason… and if people are not going to obey them… then personally I think that they have then chosen to enter at their own risk.  Why should search and rescue crews have to go in to save these people who clearly have no common sense at all.