Monday, February 28, 2011

More on Toronto Social Housing Scandal !

Let's have a full audit and a public discussion of the Tofino Housing Corporation's expenses before another penny is spent !

Social Housing problems in Toronto
Mayor calls for an end to the "GRAVY TRAIN"....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BC's New Premier !

Westcoaster article on Tofino Council Feb.26,2011

While the district roads and infrastructure descend into a level only seen in the third world council concerns itself with issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial and federal government. While it is admirable that the issues are important to councilors I would encourage them to resign from municipal politics and run for office as an MLA or MP.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Postings Feb. 25,2011

Once again I have had a lot of comments that I can't publish...No Nazi analogies will be published ! Criticism of myself or others can only be published if it is criticism and not using foul language.Comments referencing religion, race etc are not going to get published.I understand that people are frustrated with the municipal government and that others are frustrated with this blog.Guest editorials are always welcome.

Esowista Update ! Feb.25,2011

From the Tla-O-Qui-Aht First Nations website:
"Ty-Histanis is comprised of 58 lots for Phase I. Lots are now ready for construction. There will be 7 houses ready before March 31st, 2011. In addition to a 9 unit complex."

This would seem to indicate that the District of Tofino should have the sewer connection and new lift station pumps ready in 34 days....shouldn't be a problem. Please write in if you have any updates.Council and Village staff are also invited to post updates and reports.As always guest editorials are welcome but you have to provide your real name and contact information.Thanks to all for your support of free speech and a free press.

Firehall Feb 25 2011

If this is how the firehall gets maintained,what will the Subsidized Social Housing look like after a few years ? this is shameful

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feb 24,2011 crosswalk at Lynn rd.

On a positive note I am glad to see the District announce a pedestrian controlled crosswalk where Lynn Rd. meets the highway.Well done !!

Westerly reports no money for infrastructure !
The Westerly News reports that there isn't enough money to replace the water mains in town by 2014 !! Money for office renos,parking lots,subsidized social housing, Olympic parties,UBCM conventions at Whistler,campsites at Tonquin and consultants by the busload but not enough left over for some water pipes....sorry if I'm sounding like a broken record but this administration still amazes me with it's priorities....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mayor Fraser on CBC Feb 23,2011

In a recent interview on CBC radio Mayor Fraser spoke at length about the Subsidized Social Housing...he seemed unsure of exactly what was going on......he spoke of another survey to "see where the need actually is "
In response to how many units would be built : " 8 or 10 to start with and see where the demand is "
In response to a question about green aspects of the project : "heat off of future sewer treatment plant that would heat these houses "
I have the interview taped if anyone wants to listen to it......
I have to suggest that after 7 years and nearly half a million dollars spent that if we don't know "where the need actually is " that the project should be scrapped....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb.21,2011 guest editorial on Tsunami Siren

To Council and Mayor of Tofino:
I would like to address council about the location of the Chesterman Beach area Tsunami siren. I have attached a few pictures and would request a response and reason from every council member and mayor on this location.
When I first saw the stake notice for the location of the siren at North Chesterman I was very upset. I immediately wrote to Aaron Rodgers who referred me to Braden Smith and his reply was that quote "he did not like it either, but it is what was inherited by the previous administration". That being said, when something is not right and has not been completed yet, is it not the time to correct it; or do we have to wait until it is built and then re do it?
My issues with this location seem obvious, but maybe they are not. I will list them for you:
1. The land in question is composed of logs, sand and beach grass. It is likely very unstable ground, and would be considered the natural buffer protecting the trees from marine weather and erosion. I thought we were educating ourselves on this issue. I know I recently attended an open house on buffer areas and coastal erosion solutions at the field station and so did some councillors and administration.
2. The unsightly tower, with a base that will be built at the entrance to the beach, is in the high tide surge line. I know I do not look forward to a concrete base and 40’ siren as the first thing I see when going to the beach ( I do not have the plans for the siren, but I am guessing it has to be mounted in something). This in the direct view of nature; at this rate, we might as well add a cell phone tower with it. People think rock walls are bad, well they have not seen anything yet.
3. Has a feasibility study been conducted to ensure this siren will effectively service the whole area? It seems difficult to imagine that it will be heard through the tree stand at the far north corner all the way to South Chesterman, Jensen's Bay and beyond. Off the top of my head, I can think of 2 better locations with unobstructed sound lines to the beach: at the 30km sign on the road by the new generator (the house there has no trees on the lot and would provide a excellent area to broadcast the siren)(1253 Lynn Road area), or at middle chesterman parking lot . I would think a pole on the road would be heard as well or if not better in that location than the proposed one. A pole can be built tall enough to broadcast north, south and east. I go back to the feasibility study. I have never heard sound tests done in the area; if tests have been conducted, where is the report published? This is a taxpayer funded project, as a taxpayer, I would like to see the report outlining the best location to serve the community.(Federal funds are tax dollars)

The Lenard Islands fog horn could be heard everywhere when it operated and as this is a federal project maybe the siren should be erected there, I understand the need for such a device, but for the amount of time it will be in use could we not put a little more effort into the location and make it not an eyesore. The old war sirens seemed to work at their locations?
4. Power to the location for the siren will have to be dug in on the path disturbing vegetation that does not need to be disturbed, when power exists at the road, for a much cleaner and less expensive build. (for something that will only run in an emergency)
5. Although Chesterman Beach provides a large percentage of the residential tax base in the community, it seems the concerns of the residents in this area are largely ignored. Decisions are continually being made that directly impact the direct enjoyment of our neighborhood, yet the council or administration continually fail to inform or discuss any of these issues with the residents before the projects are approved. How is anyone supposed to trust the administration and council when decisions seem to change daily and with no input from the community until its a done deal. I can use the parking lot as an example ( no need to explain).
I could continue on, but I think the pictures say it all. I look forward to your reply's.
I find it interesting that we have bylaws that prevent signage on the beach to protect the natural feel, yet this structure is considered.

Thank you, Tammy Shymko

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Subsidized Social Housing Spending continues Feb. 20, 2011

A public hearing is scheduled for 9 am on Feb. 22,2011 to address concerns regarding the rezoning of DL 114 for subsidized social housing. The District of Tofino has already squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars on this fiasco but they won't lay it to rest.Consultant after consultant has ridden the affordable housing gravy train and they aren't done yet....while vacancy rates rise and real estate values drop council blindly stumbles along the path of subsidized housing.....
In larger cities with huge tax bases this is a practical solution to housing needs but here it doesn't make sense,especially a mega-project in an unserviced district lot.....When the "Special Projects Coordinator" Roberta Martell looked at alternatives to developing DL 114 she soon found herself on the outs with the District administration.....The District has "target fixation" on DL 114 much like Glen Clark did with the "Fast Ferries" and the Federal Liberals with their multi-billion dollar gun registry.
The question is what other benefits will arise from the servicing of DL114 ?? If you have an adjoining property the benefits of servicing and access would be immense.....
Let's hope this council doesn't bankrupt the town before the election in November.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb.14,2011 Potholes

I'm getting lots of emails about potholes.....potholes in the park are really bad....this is the responsibility of the Highways Dept.....not the District of Tofino !! Potholes are a cliche complaint but I agree they are worse than ever this year....

Feb. 14, 2011 District Sawmill

In response to a few telephone and email questions :I don't know if the sawmill at the District works yard is electric. I don't know if it falls under the union agreement. I don't know about Worksafe BC sawmill rules. I'm working on a few other stories but if anyone wants to write an editorial about it you just have to use your real name. If anyone knows what the story is please contact or post .....thanks,Ralph

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feb. 12 2011 Highway 4

Driving back from Port Alberni last night I couldn't help but notice that nothing has been done with the guard rail where the ambulance went over.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ambassador Program Feb.10,2011

Full marks to Mayor Fraser and Braden Smith for questioning the Tofino Chamber of Commerce request for $25,000.00 for an ambassador can get details in the Westerly News....

Feb.10,2011 Westcoaster article on mobile food units

I'm not quite sure why the district is referring to these as "mobile" when they never move off of private property.......

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb.7,2011 Daycare Update !!!!

Dear Ralph,

In response to your direct question did Mayor contact the Community School about taking over the daycare?

In November, the Wickaninnish Community School Society agreed to the Mayor's request to meet to discuss collaboration in providing expanded opportunities and services to community members. The conversation included the day care.

After that discussion the board sent a note to the Mayor indicating that we looked forward to collaborating with all community partners and community members in an open, honest and transparent way. We have had no further communications with the Mayor.

Best regards,

Sheenagh Walker


Wickaninnish Community School Society

Feb.7,2011 Guest editorial by Luke Mussato

First, I would like to thank Ralph for spending the time to host this blog. He’s helping fill an information vacuum. I encourage our District webmaster to set up something similar.

You all know me from the Sugar Shack ice cream shop and hot dog stand. I have probably served you a cone or a dog.

There is a hullabaloo regarding the Sugar Shack’s hot dog stand. Ever since my partners and I expanded our business with a hot dog stand in 2007, it has been a perpetual struggle. So it goes.

I am writing to refute the most popular claims and rumors about our beloved hot dog stand. There are a lot of uninformed people in places high and low who have a lot to say about this. It’s a topic many know about but few actually know.

Some people think we “skim the summer gravy”, and vanish during winter.
Wrong. We live here all year. Our shop is closed during winter for obvious reasons, weather and traffic related. Many other local businesses do the same.

Other common misconceptions include:
1. The hot dog stand pays almost no rent. Otherwise smart people have brought this up with me. Our monthly commercial rent is as high as anyone else’s. We rent a valuable location. The taxes on it are high. Thousands of dollars in tax revenue flow to the District annually.
2. Mobile food violates the district bylaws. The hot dog stand is not very different from a hotel or restaurant setting up a salmon barbeque. Every Canada Day there is a mobile cook-out at the Village Green. I’ve seen a mobile food cart there that cooks outside at the summer Public Market. How is all that OK and what I’m doing not?
3. The hot dog stand is cutting into other restaurants’ bottom lines. The reality is hot dog stands are only profitable if you can go where the crowds are and avoid paying big rent. The profit on this hot dog stand is unlikely to cover a year’s utilities for a serious Tofino restaurant. The hot dog stand is extremely weather dependent, unlike an indoor restaurant.

So why don’t we follow SOBO’s lead and set up indoors and avoid the hullabaloo? We would love to; however, the “For Sale” sign on the side of our building stops any long term planning and major investment.

Here is a fact: our hot dog stand isn’t mobile. It never moves. It is serviced from a health-board-approved commercial kitchen inside the Sugar Shack building. Food is packed outside for the day’s service and put away inside at night. The hot dog stand is much more a take-out restaurant and much less a mobile food unit.
In addition to an indoor kitchen, our hot dog stand has lots of off-street parking, indoor and outdoor seating, and a customer washroom. There are a few “real” restaurants in town that are missing one of these criteria.

It would be great to see Council proactively address the mobile food unit issue through the public process recommended by the District Planner’s report of October 25, 2010. This would help everyone involved get some much needed clarity. Regrettably, the report was tabled without action during the meeting of November 9, 2010.
I have still not received any responses to my hand delivered letter of November 22, 2010 to each Council member regarding this issue.

I hope this clarifies the current mobile food hullabaloo. I encourage anyone interested further to track me down at the Sugar Shack, or post a reply with contact info. I would be more than happy to discuss this issue further with you.

I hope to scoop you a great cone and cook you a tasty sausage this summer.

Thanks for your time.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daycare Update Feb. 5.2011

I checked in with the Tofino Community School Society regarding the daycare issue.Their coordinator would not confirm or deny that the society had been approached by the District of Tofino regarding the operation of the daycare.I asked that the question be forwarded to the directors but so far no reply. If anyone has more info please post or call me....thanks,Ralph

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lighthouse trail Feb.1 2011

Checked out the new trail yesterday.Pretty cool.saw lots of locals out walking....let's hope it can connect all the way through to McKenzie Beach rd.I think this will be a big hit with tourists and residents.Not so good for squatters !