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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plzen Brewery Czech (Picture)

The Gates of the Pilsner Urquel Brewery

Czech Please

The Gates of the Pilsner Urquel BreweryBy Elvis Glazier - After my brewery adventure in Plzen, Czech Republic I decided I should get on the road and get into Prague. The delay in Frankfurt cost me a day and I was starting to feel rushed. Not to mention the fact that after a hard days ride I could barely walk until I had at least 3 liters of beer. The only problem with that pain prescription is that one of the side effects of drinking that much beer is that it reduces your ability to walk. It's a bit of a catch-22 situation but the alternative is worse. I would rather stumble around in a drunken stupor than feel the pain induced by 600 kilometers in the 'Pike' position while enduring road induced vibration at 180km/h.

PhotobucketIt was the afternoon and the weather was beautiful. After spending most of yesterday on the Autobahn I decided to veer off the beaten path and take the back roads for the short ride to Prague. Staying off the highway was a great idea! The road was very scenic and there were enough places to stop and have a drink along the way. This beautiful church doubled well as a road side oasis to stop and re-hydrate.

I arrived in Prague around 15:00 and experienced my first motorcycle ride through a larger European city. What a shock! Nothing you learn riding in North America actually helps you stay alive on these streets... or what passes for streets in this part of the world. I made it down to the old city center and stopped to call my friend Anna, a regular contributor of sarcasm and wit to this blog. As it turns out, she's gainfully employed and couldn't come meet me right away. As a matter of fact she seemed a little annoyed at the fact that I thought she should drop everything and come have beers with me.

I killed some time riding around in circles looking for a good place to park the bike where I could just leave the bag on without fear of it being stolen. I found out that Czech Republic was completely crime free until the Russians were allowed in. As a matter of fact the lady at the hotel where I stayed in Plzen told me that Czech people aren't even capable of committing a crime but I would have to lock my motorbike up in the gated compound in case the Russians or the Ukrainians took a liking to my bike. So armed with that useful piece of knowledge I figured I could park my bike anywhere there was a large gathering of Czech people around. As it turned out this wasn't as easy to do as one would think being in the capital city of the Czech Republic. As well, without an understanding of the local roads I found myself returning to the same place over and over again. After an hour and a half of getting nowhere (at least nowhere new) I took action and made a turn down a one way street followed by another turn on a street I hadn't been on before. I made a statement earlier about North American driving skills not preparing you for riding here, it was this moment more than any that illustrates that fact. As I made the turn down this new street I realized there were train tracks below me. How odd?

I mention again that driving in North America doesn't prepare you for driving here. Fortunately, I have other skills that do. For instance, 20+ years of playing video games have helped me develop fast enough reflexes to dodge the train that is coming straight for me. That was a very useful skill indeed. That coupled with an intense fear of death and pain allowed me to survive the train that was coming from behind me. As it turns out video games are good for you. After avoiding certain death, well maybe not certain death, certain pain at the minimum I find myself in the custody of a van full of local police officers. Between the four of them they come up with enough English to ask me for 4000 Crowns. I have no idea how much that is, but I do know a beer costs about 10 Crowns. So my math kicks in to tell me these guys really want 100 beers each. Not a bad goal, but what they don't realize is that when it comes to a Canadian and beer you would have more luck trying to wrestle a freshly caught salmon from a grizzly bear. Again, I draw upon my video gaming experience to help me in this situation. Many hours playing Grand Theft Auto has taught me not to give cops money. The verbal melee goes back and forth and I start to realize that they are confusing the fact that when I tell them I don't have any cash that I'm really just negotiating. The original 4000 crown fine has been reduced to 1000 crowns. I convert this amount again... 25 beers each. I wonder if they will share some with me? Maybe they need them for the policeman's ball? I agree to the amount of 1000 crowns and they seem happy and quite a bit less tense. The guy scribbles something down on a piece of paper and shows it to me. I don't recognize much but I do see the number 1000. I reach into my wallet and I see the guys eyes widen like a kid getting candy from a stranger (bad metaphor I know, as a kid I was never picky about where my candy came from). I start fingering through my wallet and when I handed the officer my Visa card I thought he was going to cry.

"We don't take credit cards", he says in his thick accent.

"I don't have any money", I reply.

The negotiations begin again. He points at all the banks I could go to to get money. I respond with, "They're not my banks." Fortunately for me I have time to kill before Anna gets off work otherwise my impatience would have cost me some money. I'm thinking about two things while this is happening. First, this is going to make a great story and second... "Is that Pilsner Urquell on tap at that cafe?" It would seem that video games have also taken away my ability to focus for any period of time.

Playing dumb has never been that easy for me but the language barrier and my twisted sense of humor has turned me into an Oscar award winner. A saying keeps going through my mind that would help out this policeman tremendously. "Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."

The cops have an epiphany when they realize that they are not going to get any money out of me and like a newly baptized sinner they all climb into their van and speed off to spread the word. I'm sure that the description of my bike was given out on the radio because when I got into my bike I completely disregarded all traffic signs and rules and no one bothered me again. I went down a one way street on the sidewalk passed a policeman with my helmet tied to the back of my bike and he didn't even look at me. I feel like I'm above the law. I drive wherever I want and do whatever I want and no one cares. My new found feelings of rebellion only lasts until it then dawns on me that this is the way everyone drives here. It's with my own epiphany that I receive complete enlightenment and my fear of driving goes away. It's also at this moment that I see a nice cafe serving cold beer with a good parking spot in front of it. There's also lots of landmarks around to make it easy for me to describe where I am to Anna.

Astrological Clock in Prague Praha Czech RepublicI sit down and order and sure enough Anna calls me to ask where I am. I explain and she makes her way over. She gets to the cafe quickly and I see her grumpiness disappear as quickly as the beer in front of her. I explain that I won't be spending the night here so she insists on giving me a tour of Prague. We start walking. Anna is quite tall so the pace is quick. The 25 crown tour took me past quite a few notable landmarks. like the Astrological Clock and the buildings where graffiti originated.

We didn't walk very long but Anna Longstrider and myself covered a lot of territory.Karlův most or Charles Bridge in Prague Our route took us over the Karlův most or Charles Bridge and into a Serbian owned dungeon of a bar named the St. Nicholas Cafe. I mention to Anna that I should probably get on the road but she won't let me leave without a meal so we hightail it to a restaurant against my will.
The beer is great but the service is terrible. I don't think customer service actually translates well into the Czech language. Fortunately the lack of enthusiasm by the waiting staff is completely forgiven with the quality of the meal. My God! This is by far the greatest meal I have had in years.Pork Hock If I were sentenced to death row this would be what I would request as my last meal. Not only, because of how it tastes but there is a good chance that this meal could save you from the gas chamber by giving you a heart attack. It's called a roasted Pork Hock and they serve it with horse radish, Dijon mustard, and green onions.

After the paramedics revived me from my pork induced coma we grabbed the bill. My change consisted of two brass coins and a copper piece. It didn't seem like much but it was enough to buy three beers most places in Czech.

Elvis Glazier in front of the Prague Opera HouseWe decided to take a street car back to the bike to save time and to keep my meal in my stomach. I left my bike parked outside of the Opera House for about four or five hours with all my bags and gear, including my helmet, attached to it with a couple of bungee cords. Unlike Anna, I wasn't at all shocked when I returned and nothing had been stolen. I always have faith in people to do the right thing. Anna gave me the name of a village on the Austrian border where her cousin had a cafe. Then she tried, with no luck, to find me a place to stay when I got there. A hug and a kiss later and a warning to look out for some old fat DJ in Bratislava and I was back on the road. The sun was setting and I was eager to put Prague in my mirrors.

Elvis Glazier has been slowly traveling around the world on his old Yamaha Cafe Racer and is the author of the notable blog Elvis on the Move.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anti HST Petition Picking Up Steam

No HSTDelta – Another 105,000 British Columbians signed the Fight HST petition to repeal the HST last week, bringing the total signatures reported as of Sunday, April 25, 2010 to 145,549 province-wide, says Chris Delaney, Lead Organizer for the Bill Vander Zalm Initiative petition.

“This is a significant increase over our Week 2 report, and shows the momentum continuing to build across the province. Twenty Ridings have met or exceeded the Elections BC threshold of 10% of registered voters signatures already, with seven of those reaching 15% or better. This is a phenomenal achievement in only two weeks of steady campaigning for signatures,” Delaney explained.

Delaney says the big ridings so far are Cariboo-Chilcotin, Cariboo North, Parksville-Qualicum, Peace River North, Shuswap, Skeena, Fort Langley-Aldergrove, Langley, Abbotsford South, and Chilliwack-Hope, with Kamloops North, Nanaimo, Columbia River-Revelstoke, Boundary-Similkameen, Delta North, Saanich North and Victoria Beacon Hill all posting 3,000 signatures or more in each riding as well.

“The good news is we are getting strong numbers everywhere in the province. There is no single region or riding we are canvassing that is not getting strong results. We have now achieved over 48% of the total signatures required for a successful petition in just under 3 weeks. With 9 weeks left to go, we are on track to meet our internal threshold of 15% of registered voters’ signatures in all 85 Electoral Districts in BC,” said Delaney.

Bill Vander Zalm, the leader of the grassroots organization conducting the petition, says the only thing slowing his team down is the time it takes to gather the signatures, “Quite frankly, if most of our volunteers didn’t have to work for a living, we would be done by now. These numbers are even more astounding when you consider the bulk of them were collected only on weekends.”

“We will keep going until we reach the 15% threshold we have set for ourselves in every riding, or until Premier Campbell cries ‘uncle’ and agrees to withdraw the HST, whichever comes first,” said the smiling former premier.

“The idea that the HST is a done deal that cannot be reversed is rapidly collapsing under the reality of a citizen revolt that has spread right across the province, and is now threatening to bring down the government with ‘Recalls’ if they don’t listen to the people,” said Vander Zalm.

Page 11, Section 42 of the CITCA Agreement signed between BC and Ottawa says: “The terms and conditions of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this Part, until the date that is specified by a Party in written notice that is delivered to the other Party setting out the Party’s desire to terminate this Agreement.”

“We thought it was important to reference the ‘Termination Clause’ of the HST Agreement for the premier, since he may want to avail himself of it very soon,” Vander Zalm concluded.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fire Blazes in Tilbury Industrial Park

A Fire broke out in the 7900 block of Huston Road in the Tilbury Industrial Park damaging several businesses. The blaze started after midnight last night

Delta Deputy Fire Chief Ken Sim said an alarm triggered in a complex housing a sporting goods apparel business. Six firetrucks and close to thirty firefighters were dispatched to contain the fire which had spread through the complex.

One firefighter suffered an injury to his arm and was sent to Delta Hospital.

Tsawwassen Area Plan Survey Not Relevant

Tsawwassen Area PlanIn response to reports that inaccurate information was collected in the most recent survey involving the future of the Southlands, Staff Planner Barry Konkin responded in an email to a local citizen that it was “not even a statistically accurate or relevant survey”. This came after numerous emails from the public concerning the validity of the data collected in one of the most important decisions for the future of Tsawwassen.

It was revealed Friday afternoon that electronic submissions of the survey were changing responses from “no uses other than agricultural” to “allowing a limited amount of urban development”. After repeated attempts by citizens to get the correct response recorded, Mr. Konkin admitted there was a problem with the website recording information from the electronic submissions. The explanation offered was an “in-house” problem stemming from a “learning curve” with the technology associated with on-line submission.

Many residents expressed their displeasure with the current process and their loss of confidence in Staff and Council’s ability accurately gather public information on this issue. “The amount of time and cost to the taxpayers to collect information that is deemed inaccurate and irrelevant is inconceivable” said Dana Maslovat, one of the organizers of Southlands the Facts, “I don’t see how Staff and Council can expect the community to trust in a process that is so deeply and obviously flawed.”

Business Takes Back Seat to the Environment

Environment versus BuinessBy William J. Martino - April 27, 2010 - Today, after months of deliberation, the Delta Free Press has decided to alter the way news is reported in Delta. Business will no longer have a dedicated section. In its place we are very excited to announce that we are starting a new section titled 'Environment'. (Look for the heading in the top navigation bar)

In the past, environmental stories were categorized under news, politics, opinion, travel, sports, entertainment, and business but after tracking the page views of the online newspaper we have determined that the majority of our readership spends most of their time reading articles with environmental themes.

The Delta Free Press is proud to say we will be the first local media outlet to give the environment a dedicated section next to ‘Local News’, ‘Politics’, ‘Entertainment’, and ‘Sports’ while downgrading the ‘Business’ section. Elvis Glazier, Editor in Chief of the Delta Free Press issued this statement:

There are many environmental issues facing the people of Delta these days. You have the South Fraser Perimeter Road mega project destroying farmland and threatening the well being of the environmentally sensitive Burns Bog in North Delta. Then in the south, in Tsawwassen, you have the Spetifore farmlands under pressure by Sean Hodgins’ Century Group to develop over 1900 homes on agricultural land on the Great Pacific Flyway.

Nowadays, it seems no matter where you look in Delta there’s a controversy and for some reason at the middle of every controversy the environment is being attacked. It wasn’t hard for me to decide to relegate business and commerce articles to other sections. There are countless media outlets for businesses to have their messages heard. As a matter of fact I think for the most part the people of Delta are over saturated with business news. What has been lacking in the local media is an outlet that doesn’t mind taking sides when it comes to the environment. I truly hope that by giving the environment (and environmentalists) a prominent spot on the front the exposure will contribute in a some kind of meaningful way.

As for business? Well, the environment is everyone’s business.

The new heading takes effect on the morning of April 27, 2010. Past articles will be updated with the new category to make it easier to search the archives. Just click on 'Environment' and you will be directed to all the articles on this important subject.

Monday, April 26, 2010

DVD Releases Tuesday April 26, 2010

This week's New DVD Releases

For the week of April 26, 2010:

The Barbara Stanwyck Collection (Universal Backlot Series) Three-disc set with six rare Stanwyck films. $49.98. (Universal).

  •  "Can't Take Money" (1937) Bullets fly and tensions rise when a desperate woman (Barbara Stanwyck) must turn to Dr. Kildare (Joel McCrea) for help getting her child back from gangsters.
  • "The Great Man's Lady" (1942) A reflective 100-year-old woman (Barbara Stanwyck) looks back on her life and how her extraordinary sacrifice helped her husband (Joel McCrea) become one of the nation's greatest men.
  • "The Bride Wore Boots" (1946) Comedy of errors about a bookish husband (Robert Cummings) who tries to win back the affections of his horse-breeding wife (Barbara Stanwyck).
  • "The Lady Gambles" (1949) When novice gambler Joan Booth (Barbara Stanwyck) bets it all -- and loses -- she is thrust into a downward spiral from which only her devoted husband (Robert Preston) can save her. "All I Desire" (1953) New scandals erupt and old ones resurface when an aging stage actress (Barbara Stanwyck) returns to her small hometown and the family she abandoned 10 years earlier.
  • "There's Always Tomorrow" (1956) In this romantic tale of passion, an unlucky-in-love fashion designer (Barbara Stanwyck) must decide if she should succumb to her feelings for a married man (Fred MacMurray).

Battle Planet(2008) Zack Ward, Monica May, Brea Grant, Kevin Thompson. Sci-fi actioner about a Special Ops Officer sent to a desolate planet to arrest possible traitors to the Alliance, where he learns of a plot to destroy the human race. (Echo Bridge Home Entertainment).

Disgrace (2008) John Malkovich, Natalie Becker. Malkovich stars as University of Cape Town Professor David Lurie, whose world is shattered when he is fired for seducing a college student. He finds peace at his estranged daughter's modest farm until a horrific incident of terror and violence forces Lurie to confront his beliefs and the disturbing racial complexities of the new South Africa. Extras: "Disgrace: Behind the Scenes," cast and crew interviews. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Image Entertainment).

District 13: Ultimatum (2009) Sequel to the cult hit "District 13," set in the ghettos of Paris in 2010 in which an undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a neutron bomb. This time around corrupt officials cash in on the district's redevelopment, causing civil unrest and the threat of a nuclear strike. More Parkour, the explosive art of movement. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

The End of Poverty?(2010) Documentary that moves from the slums of Africa to the barrios of Latin America to explores how the true causes of poverty stem from actions taken during (and since) colonial times to perpetuate exploitation: first by forcing people from their land and their access to natural resources, then through unfair trade, debt repayment and unjust taxes on labor and consumption. Narrated by Martin Sheen. (Cinema Libre Studio).

The Fear Chamber(2009) Richard Tyson, Rhett Giles, Steven Williams, Miranda Kwok. A detective must track down a serial killer prowling the streets of Los Angeles, murdering young, healthy women for their organs. (Echo Bridge Home Entertainment).

Five Minutes of Heaven(2009) Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca.Thriller about the long-lasting pain caused by the Troubles in Northern Ireland. A man and the killer of his brother meet on a TV talk show 30 years after the murder. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (IFC Films).

The Fugitive Kind (1959) Dir.: Sidney Lumet; Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Maureen Stapleton. Four Academy Award-winning actors -- Brando,Magnani,Woodward and Stapleton -- sink their teeth into this enthralling drama, which brings together the legendary talents of director Sidney Lumet and writer Tennessee Williams. A smoldering, snakeskin-jacketed Brando is Val Xavier, a guitar-strumming drifter trying to go straight. He finds work and solace in a southern small-town variety store run by Lady Torrance (Magnani), who's lonely, sexually frustrated, and abused by her vile, deathly ill husband, and who proves as much a temptation for Val as local wild-child Carol (Woodward). Lumet captures the intense, fearless performances and Williams's hot-blooded storytelling and social critique with his customary restraint, resulting in a drama of uncommon sophistication and craft. Two-disc set; restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by Lumet. Extras: New video interview with Lumet; new documentary featuring Tennessee Williams scholar Robert Bray and film historian R. Barton Palmer discussing Williams's work in Hollywood and "The Fugitive Kind"; "Three Plays by Tennessee Williams," an hour-long television presentation of three one-act plays by Williams, directed by Lumet in 1958; booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Thomson. The Criterion Collection).

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Season 2.0 (1983) Four-disc boxed set with 30 episodes, $29.93. Includes the five-part mini-series "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!" Extras: "Greenshirts: The Legacy of G.I. Joe," "Knowing Is Half the Battle" PSAs, archival Hasbro toy Commercials. (Shout! Factory).

Georgia O'Keeffe(2009) Joan Allen, Jeremy Irons, Ed Begley Jr., Linda Emond, Henry Simmons, Tyne Daly. Lifetime's critically acclaimed original movie about America' most influential female artist and her turbulent 20-year relationship with renowned photographer Alfred Steiglitz. Extras: "Portrait of an Artist: The Making of Georgia O'Keeffe." (Sony).

Girl, Positive (2007) Andrea Bowen, Jennie Garth). A popular high school girl finds out that a boy she slept with was HIV positive. Lifetime telefilm. (A&E Home Entertainment).

The Hills: Season Five -- Part Two (2009) Two-disc set with 10 episodes, $26.00. Extras: "The Bitch Is Back Special," deleted scenes, after show remixes. (Paramount).

I Love Lucy: The Movie(1953) In 1953, three classic first season "I Love Lucy" episodes ("The Benefit," "Breaking the Lease" and "The Ballet") were edited together with newly-filmed connecting scenes to create this never-before-released feature-length film. Extras: "Lucy Goes to Scotland," TV Academy PSA, Emmy Awards, "The Ed Wynn Show," series premiere opening, "Rear Window," animated commercial, "Here's Johnny!" "The Ballet" -- TV Version, "Handcuffs/Movie," "Wilbur's Hands." (Paramount).

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus(2009) Dir.: Terry Gilliam; Stars: Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Lily Cole, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law. Extras: Deleted scene, Heath Ledger wardrobe test, introduction and commentary by director Terry Gilliam, interview with Heath Ledger, "Behind the Mirror," "Building the Monastery," "The Artwork of Doctor Parnassus," "Doctor Parnassus Around the World." Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds "The Imaginarium of Terry Gilliam," "Heath Ledger and Friends" in which cast and crew remember their friend, "The Drunk" Multi-angle progression sequence, movieIQ+sync and BD-Live. (Sony).

In Search of Beethoven(2009) Comprehensive documentary about the life and works of the great composer. Over 65 performances by the world's finest musicians were recorded and 100 interviews conducted in the making of this beautifully crafted film. that delves beneath the mythical image of the tortured, cantankerous genius to search for the real Ludwig van Beethoven. Extras: "In the Edit Room," complete movements, deleted scenes, interview with the director. (Microcinema International).

It's Complicated (2009) Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, Zoe Kazan, Lake Bell, Hunter Parrish, Pat Finn, Rita Wilson. Extras: "The Making of It's Complicated" featurette; commentary by producer-writer-director Nancy Meyers, executive producer Suzanne Farwell, director of photography John Toll, and editor Joe Hutshing. Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds My Scenes and pocket BLU App. (Universal).

The Jackal (1997) Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Diane Venora, Mathilda May, J.K. Simmons. Blu-ray + DVD Combo Disc. Extras: "The Making of The Jackal," commentary by director Michael Caton-Jones. (Universal).

Looney Tunes Super Stars: Bugs Bunny Collection of 15 cartoons never-before-released to DVD, $19.98. (Warner).

Looney Tunes Super Stars: Daffy Duck Collection of 15 cartoons never-before-released to DVD, $19.98. (Warner).

Marked (2007) Tara Carroll, Samuel Child, Tony Suraci, Mark Colson. A group of ghost hunters discover a powerful force that points to the killer of one of the researcher's father. (Echo Bridge Home Entertainment).

More of Me(2007) Molly Shannon, Steven Weber. An overworked and overextended wife, mother and career woman discovers a unique way of coping with the stress and demands of her chaotic life: she splits into three separate versions of herself, each with a distinct personality to take over a different aspect of her life. Lifetime telefilm. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Out of Africa 25th Anniversary Edition (1985) Dir.: Sydney Pollack; Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer. Blu-ray + DVD Combo Disc. Extras: "A Song of Africa," commentary by director Sydney Pollack. (Universal).

Passed the Door of Darkness(2008) Matthew John Prater, Mark Colson, Kathryn Hansen, James Micheal Connor. Two L.A. detectives in search of "The Shadow of God," the most sadistic serial killer the city has ever seen, slowly realize "The Shadow" is stalking them. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment).

Pride and Prejudice(1995) Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle. Two-disc set of the BBC production, color enhanced and completely digitally restored from hi-def source materials, $39.95. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette, in-depth look at the digital restoration process. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Racing for Time (2008) Charles S. Dutton. True story of prison guard, Noel Chestnut, who, after witnessing the cycle of destructive choices and racial tensions among female teen offenders at the Texas Correctional Youth Authority, creates an unconventional track program for some of the toughest and most violent offenders to put them on a path to turn their lives around. Lifetime telefilm. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Ride With the Devil(1999) Dir.: Ang Lee; Tobey Maguire, Jeffrey Wright, Skeet Ulrich. With this new director's cut, Ang Lee reconstructs his original vision for his Civil War epic, "Ride With the Devil," an intimate, harrowing look at a country torn in half, told from a daringly unorthodox perspective. Set in 1862, during the Kansas-Missouri border war, the film stars Tobey Maguire as Jake and Skeet Ulrich as his friend Jack Bull; they join the Confederate-sympathizing Bushwhackers after Jack's father is killed by marauding members of the abolitionist Jayhawkers. But "Ride with the Devil" is also the story of their unusual ally Holt (an astonishing Jeffrey Wright), who's fighting for the South despite being a former slave. A rumination on identity and loyalty, both political and personal, the film is a provocative challenge to preconceptions about America's bloodiest conflict. New director's cut featuring 13 minutes of added footage; new, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Ang Lee and director of photography Frederick Elmes. Extras: Two audio commentaries, one featuring Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus and one featuring Elmes, sound designer Drew Kunin, and production designer Mark Friedberg; new video interview with star Jeffrey Wright; booklet featuring an essay by critic Godfrey Cheshire. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).

Rita Rocks: The Complete Season One (2008-09) Three-disc set with 20 episodes, $24.95. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Runaway Ralph (1988) Voices of Fred Savage, Summer Phoenix, Sara Gilbert, Kellie Martin, Mark Hamill, Nichelle Nichols. Beverly Cleary's classic tales about Ralph and his motorcycle have entertained kids for decades. Ralph, a young mouse, decides that he's going to run away from the hotel his family lives in, so he sets out on his toy motorcycle and ends out in a camp where he meets Garf. Things aren't so great when a mean cat appears in the picture. As Garf and Ralph bond and try to deal with the cat they learn lessons about teamwork, friendship and also come to realize that home might not be such a bad place after all. $14.95. (Scholastic Storybook Treasures).

Sherri: The Complete Season One (2009) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.95. (A&E Home Entertainment).

The Spectacular Spider-Man: Volume 8 (2009) Final three episodes from the second season of the Disney XD series, $19.94. (Sony).

Surviving Desire(1991) Dir.: Hal Hartley; Martin Donovan, Matt Malloy, Merritt Nelson, Julie Kessler, Mary B. Ward. Comedy about obsessive love in which a handsome young college professor is smitten with a beautiful young female student who's more interested in empiricism than experience. It's a swift dissection of male infatuation that is as fierce as it is compassionate. Extras: Three Hal Hartley short films. (Microcinema International).

Survivors (2008) Five-disc set with Seasons One and Two of the BBC series, $59.98. Extras: Making-of featurette, character profiles, effects reel. (BBC/Warner).

Survivors (1975-77) Six-disc set with 38 episodes from the three seasons of the cult BBC series, $79.98. (BBC/Warner).

Tales From The Darkside: The Third Season (1986-87) Three-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.99. (Paramount).

To Be Fat Like Me (2007) Kaley Cuoco, Caroline Rhea. A physically fit teenager dons a fat suit as part of a film project to experience the hardships facing overweight high school students. Lifetime telefilm. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Traffic (2000) Dir.: Steven Soderbergh; Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Luis Guzman, Don Cheadle, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Albert Finney. Blu-ray + DVD Combo Disc. Extras: "Inside Traffic" featurette. (Universal).

Transylmania (2009) Oren Skoog, Worm Miller, Patrick Casey, Jennifer Lyons, Tony Denman, Patrick Cavanaugh. A dimwitted college student and his friends -- looking for beer, babes and bongs at what they think is a prestigious Transylvanian university -- instead discover a creepy castle populated by a torture-loving mad scientist, an over-cybersexed humpback, the nubile spirit of a decomposed sorceress and a bevy of vampire chicks that have finally found a student body they can really sink their fangs into. Extras: Commentary, alternate opening and ending, deleted and extended scenes, behind-the-scenes featurette, "Stoner" trailer. (Sony).

The Two Mr. Kissels (2008) John Stamos, Anson Mount, Robin Tunney, Gretchen Egolf. Based on the shocking true story of multi-millionaire brothers who marry the women of their dreams and then wind up dead. Lifetime telefilm. (A&E Home Entertainment).

Delta’s Online Survey Hacked?

News Desk - April 26, 2010 - More problems with the collection of public information on the future of the Southlands were revealed Friday afternoon when it was found that electronic submissions of the most recent survey were changing responses from “no uses other than agricultural” to “allowing a limited amount of urban development”. After repeated attempts by citizens to get the correct response recorded, City Planner Barry Konkin admitted there was a problem with the website recording information from the electronic submissions. No explanation was given for this failure and there have been questions raised about the possibility of Delta’s computer system being hacked into.

This raises serious concerns about the accuracy of the data collected in one of the most important decisions for the future of Tsawwassen.

This comes after local residents forced Staff to redesign the original survey due to the confusing and ambiguous questions. During a public meeting on March 31st where people were organized into small groups to discuss the original survey, participants were told the questions were open to interpretation and could be rewritten by the respondent. After much backlash by the attendees, Councillor Bruce McDonald admitted that the survey and meeting format were flawed.

However, at that time Staff indicated they would keep the results of the original survey in addition to the new ones. This, when combined with the inaccuracy of the online submission process provides little confidence that a true gauge of public opinion will be found. This situation is leaving many wondering what exactly is going on, while further eroding public confidence in our elected officials.

“This is just another problem in a long series of flawed collection of public opinion” said Dana Maslovat, one of the organizers of Southlands the Facts, “Again it highlights the need for a public opinion poll at the upcoming by-election to try and get non-biased data. This would be the proper thing to do in order to gauge overall opinion”. Corporation of Delta Chief Administrative Officer, George Harvie, has recommended against having a referendum/public opinion poll regarding the future of the Southlands on the upcoming by-election ballot.

The potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a housing development is by far the most contentious component of the process undertaken to revise the existing Tsawwassen Area Plan. Any re-designation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings. This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Massive “Climate Action Now” Banner Unfurled

Pilgrimage to Burns BogNews Desk - April 25, 2010 - and the Council of Canadians (Delta/Richmond chapter) unfurled a massive banner today that reads "CLIMATE ACTION NOW" on land slated for freeway construction.

Historic homes are being demolished, and ancient indigenous sites are under threat from the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) project here on the Fraser River bank. The est. $2 billion SFPR is part of the controversial Gateway program, which would greatly increase greenhouse gas emissions in BC.

The action took place at River Road and Centre Street in Delta. It coincides with the multi-faith Pilgrimage to Burns Bog, and is visible from the pilgrimage route across the Alex Fraser Bridge. Pilgrims and activists aim to raise awareness about Burns Bog, a large, carbon-sequestering peat bog also under threat from the SFPR freeway.

“Our neighbours are being forced out of their homes, and ecosystems are being bulldozed,” says Delta resident Ernie Baatz. “Schools and programs are being cut across the province to pay for this climate changing freeway. We have to stand up to this appalling waste.”

Baatz and fellow activists also planted trees at the site today, to highlight the area's potential as a riverfront park, not a riverfront freeway. Although preparatory work has begun on some sections of the SFPR, no build contract is in place. A request for proposals was issued by the Ministry of Transportation in April 2009.

Today's action is part of a week of events dubbed “Earth Action Week” by and the Council of Canadians (Delta/Richmond chapter).

“Climate Action Now” Banner (Picture)

Climate Action Now Banner

Pilgrims Unite for Burns Bog

Burns BogToday at 1:30pm the walkways of the Alex Fraser bridge will be amass with people protesting the imminent construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) through the ecologically sensitive Burns Bog. The Bog has been described by many as the "Lungs of the Lower Mainland". the bog, not only sequesters carbon emissions that cause climate destabilization but the bog cleans our air and water, provides habitat for many species, and plays an integral role in our local ecosystem.

The SFPR is being routed through valuable farmland and that has many in an uproar as well. The losses to agricultural land coupled with the undeniable negative ecological effects the road will have on Burns Bog has unified various groups and solidified their resolve to stop this contentious mega-project.

Recently the threat of construction through the bog was aided by two new bylaws passed by Mayor Lois E. Jackson and the Delta City Council. Bylaws 6827 and 6828 will remove environmental protection from two parcels of land, necessary for the construction of the SFPR by reclassifying them from Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) to industrial areas. This move has sparked contention because the land in question is important to the preservation of Burns Bog and is habitat for a subspecies of red-backed vole, that is unique to Burns Bog, as well as the endangered Pacific Water Shrew.

The pilgrimage follows a route from the Quizno's on Annacis Island, over the Alex Fraser Bridge, and through the Delta Nature Reserve. Rex Weyler, co-founder of Greenpeace is confirmed to speak alongside Alexandria Mitchell, the Copenhagen youth delegate, and Acharya Shrinath P. Dwivedi, president of Global Hindu Foundation. The afternoon won't all be walking and speeches though. The Singers of the Sacred Web and First Nations musicians Daughters of the Drum will be on hand to entertain the pilgrims.

for more information visit the website at

Pilgrims Unite (Picture)

Burns Bog

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vander Zalm Anti HST (Picture)

Bill Vander Zalm Anti HST

Bill Vander Zalm Wages Anti HST War

Bill Vander Zalm Anti HST(Letter from Bill Vander Zalm)
What began as a simple tax protest has turned into an outright demand for democracy from an increasingly out of touch and dictatorial government in Victoria.

Our petition has exploded onto the scene in BC, with tens of thousands of signatures in just the first two weeks. We have already met or exceeded our targets in a number of ridings around BC, but people continue to sign in an effort to send a bigger and bigger message to government:

“We want democracy! We want to be heard! We want the politicians we elect to serve us, not the other way around!”

Much of this movement is a reaction to the unbelievably arrogant and intractable statements by the premier and many of his MLAs. News 1130 Radio on April 15 reported the following statement by the premier: Premier Gordon Campbell says it doesn’t matter how many signatures the “No” forces gather. “The HST has been done. We are moving forward with it…”

It doesn’t matter how many citizens sign the petition? It doesn’t matter how many people oppose his policy? It doesn’t matter how many voters reject the direction of his government? They are going to do it anyway?

Does that sound like the Canada we all once knew? Does that sound like the freedom and democracy our ancestors fought and died for in two successive world wars? What is the point of electing MLAs to represent our wishes in Victoria if all they do is represent Victoria’s wishes to us instead?

I want to encourage everyone who cares about democracy in BC to sign our petition. We had originally hoped to get 15% of registered voters’ signatures (more than the 10% required) in every riding to ensure victory. But now, many are saying they want to go even higher to send the government a message.

From Nanaimo to Kelowna, to Kitimat and Courtenay, to Williams Lake and White Rock, to Salmon Arm and Cranbrook, and all points inbetween, people are signing in droves. In the North Peace, they have already signed 30% of the registered voters there. That is more people than actually voted for the government in the last election!

The Citizen Initiative petition is the greatest tool we have ever had to hold the government’s feet to the fire. It is the greatest chance we have ever had to tell the politicians that BC and Canada is a government of and for the people, not people of and for the government.

Keep signing the petition. Let’s get as many signatures as we can.

Let’s send the government a message they will never forget!

Bill Vander Zalm
Leader, Fight HST

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Next Stop Auschwitz (Picture)

Concentration Camp Gate in Auschwitz

Next Stop Auschwitz

Concentration Camp Gate in AuschwitzIt was gray and rainy when I entered the lobby of the Hotel Lord in Dębica, Poland. I had parked my bike under an awning to keep it as dry as possible but I knew from experience that I was going to have a fight on my hands getting her started. I didn't even bother putting my gear on.

I was soaked by the time I pushed life back into my motorcycle. Not to mention I was a good half kilometer away from the hotel. Wet, freezing, and out of breath I puttered back to the hotel to prepare for today's journey. I had a lot of kilometers ahead of me and the weather wasn't going to make it easier. I choked down three Turkish coffees while I dried off using hotel towels. I wasn't worried about my bike overheating as it idled in the parking lot. The weather was damp and crisp. Good for an air-cooled engine, bad for the pilot. I put on my limited rain gear. I didn't have any boots so I tucked my feet into plastic bags and put my shoes on over them. Today wasn't a fashion show to say the least.

I had looked at the road ahead on the hotel internet. I had about twelve hundred kilometers ahead of me and I was running out of time. My trip was coming to an end.

I went to turn out of the parking lot and my back end swung wildly out nearly flinging me off my bike. I decided to take a look at my back tire. I knew it was losing tread but I didn't want to see how bad it was because it might shake my confidence. Changing rear tires at the point in the trip wasn't even an option. I examined my tire, there was still some tread on most of it but I could see the steel showing through on patches of it. A smart man wouldn't have taken a chance of riding on this but I never professed to be all that smart so I continued forth.

I was nearing Krakow and I decided that I couldn't come this far and not stop at Auschwitz. I was making good time and I did need to stop for gas anyways. Besides, riding in the rain was making me cold and miserable. I really needed to stop and warm up.

I left the highway and followed the signs. It was pretty easy to find my way to this terrible place. I just followed the people. When I arrived at the gates I got a chill down my spine. I was actually glad that I didn't have time to tour about the compound because that gave me a good excuse to get out of here. I drove around the outside stopping here and there and that was enough for me. People who know me can understand this. Being near the place that dispatched so many human lives was overwhelming to my psyche. I had to go and I had to go now! I got on my bike and put this place behind me.

My mood was gloomy to say the least. The images of what had taken place at the concentration camps filled my mind and darkened my soul. I am by no means a 'new age' kind of guy but I can honestly say I have never been so filled with negative energy. As I headed up to the highway I had a sense of foreboding weighing me down. I couldn't shake the feeling and I knew if I wasn't so angry I would probably be crying right now. I was having troubles focusing on the road and the traffic around me. I should never have stopped there.

By: Elvis Glazier
(This story appears originally on the motorcycle adventure site: Elvis on the move)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Open Space Yoga 5 Year Anniversary Celebration

We invite the Community of Delta to come and celebrate our 5 Year Anniversary.

Saturday May 1st, 2010 from 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Open Space Yoga Studio

4880 Delta Street, Ladner Village

Full details will be posted on our website at

We thank the community for supporting our business for the past 5 years.

Flooding and Food Security Delegation Refused by Delta Council

News Room - April 21, 2010 - Two requests for a delegation to the Tsawwassen Area Plan Committee were denied on April 19th by Delta Council. These included a presentation on the flooding risk on the Southlands by Professional Engineer, Gary Bouwman, and on the issues of loss of farmland and food security by Professional Agrologist and Coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society, Arzeena Hamir.

Both delegations were proposed to provide information for the process of determining a potential re-designation on the Southlands agricultural land. Although other delegations suggested by Council have been allowed to present, the Committee felt issues of flooding and agricultural land “have received considerable input from others”, according to Barry Konkin, City Planner. Mr. Konkin had originally confirmed on April 13th that a flooding presentation would be allowed at an upcoming workshop, however this confirmation was later rescinded.

“This appears as yet another example of refusing to listen to the facts they don’t want to hear” said Dana Maslovat, one of the organizers of Southlands the Facts, “These requests are for qualified professionals to provide valuable information on issues that are critical to making an informed decision about the future of Tsawwassen”.

The potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a housing development is by far the most contentious component of the process undertaken to revise the existing Tsawwassen Area Plan. Any re-designation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings. This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

Ladner Market (Picture)

Selling Carrots in the Ladner Village Market

Ladner Village Market Set to Open

Selling Carrots in the Ladner Village MarketNews Room - April 21, 2010 - Summer is upon us early and nothing says it's summer in Ladner like the opening of the Ladner Village Market. In its 14th year of operation the open air market spans three blocks in the historic Ladner village. Its never the same market twice as the over 140 vendors vary from week to week. Always a great stop for local produce, the Ladner Village Market boasts a wide variety of handcrafted and 'homecrafted' items.

The market is open every second Sunday starting on June 13th and only skips the labour Day weekend closing the following weekend on September 12th. The following is a complete list of dates the market is open, mark them down in your calendar and support your local merchants:

June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8 , August 22, and September 12

For more information and photos of past markets you can visit the Ladner Village Market website:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Delta Councillor says Public Opinion Poll Not Necessary

By Dana Maslovat - Friday April 16, 2010 - As a follow up to the open letter to Delta Mayor and CAO requesting a public opinion poll, Councilor Bruce McDonald has stated that a public opinion poll is unnecessary because of the lack of a specific proposal from Century Group and the time frame associated with the Metro Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).

He reaffirmed this statement again at Thursday night's Tsawwassen Area Planning Committee, in answer to committee member's questions about the possibility of a referendum question being placed on the ballot during the upcoming by-election to fill the seat left vacant by the late George Hawksworth.

As far a specific proposal is concerned, the referendum question would involve the designation of land, not any specific development plan. Clearly whatever policies Delta recommends to the Metro Regional Growth Strategy will determine the ease with which any development plan can be accepted. As far as time lines, a fair and transparent democratic process can take time, however rushing this decision is not in the best interests of the constituents Councilor McDonald represents.


Dear Mr Harvie & Mayor Jackson:

I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position on not recommending a public opinion poll/referendum question regarding the Southlands at the upcoming municipal by-election. Tsawwassen is facing one of the most important issues in years and the gathering of public opinion is crucial in determining the future of this community. A simple yes/no question added to the ballot; “Do you support maintaining the agricultural designation of the Southlands?” would ensure all citizens have an opportunity to be heard. While I understand the results of such a question would not be binding to Council, it would provide invaluable information to gauge public sentiment on this issue.

Being a coordinator of a citizen-organized, grass-roots organization created to ensure the development of the new Tsawwassen Area Plan (TAP) is performed in a fair and transparent manner, I have personally received hundreds of communications supporting this request. I want to make you aware that a public opinion poll WILL be held on this issue – the only question is whether it is endorsed and run by Council, or is a citizen-based plebiscite.

Your choice is to either perform your civic duty by adding this question to the by-election, or allow the financial burden of a plebiscite to fall upon the constituents you represent. I implore you to make the correct decision so that history does not repeat itself with respect to the Southlands.

I have yet to hear a valid reason for your reluctance to ensure this initiative. While I realize timelines are always a concern, the decision facing the TAP Committee and Council will affect, either positively or negatively, all future generations to come. Certainly a few months of delay is worth assisting this difficult process and is a small price to pay for democracy.

The public WILL be heard; your decision is only whether you wish to listen.

Respectfully submitted,

Dana Maslovat

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Delta CAO George Harvie Recommends Against Referendum for Southlands

By Dana Maslovat - Wednesday April 14, 2010 - At the April 12th Council meeting, Corporation of Delta Chief Administrative Officer, George Harvie, recommended against having a referendum/public opinion poll regarding the future of the Southlands on the upcoming by-election ballot. At a number of open-mic meetings many residents have asked for a more definitive gauge of public sentiment regarding the designation of this controversial piece of land.

At a March 26th meeting requested by the grassroots, citizen-based organization Southlands the Facts held with Delta Staff and Councillors, a request was made to include a referendum-type question on the upcoming by-election ballot. However no mention of this request has appeared in Council minutes prior to April 12. “A simple, clear, yes or no question regarding the Southlands designation would be the most appropriate way to determine where public opinion is on this issue” said one of the organizers of Southlands the Facts, “Given there is likely an upcoming by-election and this process can be run without cost to the taxpayers, I cannot understand why Council would not support this request”.

The potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a housing development is by far the most contentious component of the process undertaken to revise the existing Tsawwassen Area Plan. Any redesignation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings.

This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Don’t Repeat Richmond’s Mistakes”, States Food Security Expert

By Dana Maslovat - Friday April 9, 2010 - Once again, hundreds of Tsawwassen residents turned out to a Tsawwassen Area Plan public information meeting on Thursday night to voice their concerns regarding a potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a contentious housing development.

After being forced to admit significant flaws in their survey questions and their meeting format, Delta municipal officials bent to the will of the people and arranged open-mic meetings on April 6 & 8, something residents have been demanding since the start of the discussions dealing with the Southlands redesignation from agricultural to urban land.

Both meeting saw residents lining up before the doors were open so they could speak to the issue that has become the major focal point being examined by the Tsawwassen Area Plan Committee. Residents were given 3 minutes to speak and an overwhelming majority of residents spoke against any redesignation and development of the Southlands. By the end of the combined 5 hours of meetings, 83 residents had spoken – 55 spoke against development, 25 for and 3 undecided.

Arzeena Hamir, Professional Agrologist and Co-ordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society, cautioned Delta not to follow Richmond’s example of development of farmland, noting Richmond’s decrease in local food production from 83% of their required vegetables to currently only 7%. Her comment that we are looking to Delta to feed the Lower Mainland, and her plea that we learn from Richmond’s mistakes, were greeted with enthusiastic and sustained applause.

Any redesignation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings. This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


By Dana Maslovat - April 8, 2010 - Hundreds of Tsawwassen residents turned out again to a Tsawwassen Area Plan public information meeting on Tuesday night to voice their concerns regarding a potential re-designation of the Southlands agricultural land to accommodate a contentious housing development. This meeting followed a controversial 3 hour meeting on March 31, which forced Delta municipal officials to acknowledge the significant flaws in their survey questions and their meeting format.

Delta bent to the will of the people and arranged for 2 open-mic meetings on April 6 & 8, something residents have been demanding since the start of the discussions dealing with the Southlands redesignation from agricultural to urban land.

The April 6th open-mic meeting saw residents lining up before the doors were open so they could speak to the issue that has become the major focal point being examined by the Tsawwassen Area Plan Committee.

Residents were given 3 minutes to speak and an overwhelming majority of residents spoke against any redesignation and development of the Southlands. One resident, who asked Delta staff why they had to keep coming back to meeting after meeting to say no to development on farmland, was greeted by sustained and enthusiastic applause. By the end of the 2 hour meeting 33 residents had spoken, with more left on the list to speak - 26 residents spoke against development, 6 for and 1 undetermined.

Any redesignation will change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings. This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

Another open-mic meetings will be held in Tsawwassen on Thursday, April 8 at the South Delta Recreation Center at 6:30 PM.

Southland's Designer Gives Himself a Gold Star!

By Elvis Glazier - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - In a recent article published by the Delta Optimist titled 'Southland Plan wins Award', it would seem the Congress of New Urbanism has recognized the Tsawwassen Southlands design with an award. The article is mostly filler from the CNU website.

A little digging into the Congress of New Urbanism reveals a different story. The Congress of New Urbanism was established by co-founders Andres Duany, Peter Calthorpe, Elizabeth Moule, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Stefanos Polyzoides and Dan Solomon. Two of the founders, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are the co-owners of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company the design team contracted by the Century Group for the Southlands design and charrette.

In essence, it would appear the design award is an exercise in self adoration and not newsworthy were it not reported on the eve of the final forum to discuss the Tsawwassen Area Plan. Duany's design has been criticized by many people as an attempt to re-brand cluster developments under the title of 'new urbanism'.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Delta City Council Announces Additional Public Forum

By Elvis Glazier - Wednesday April 7, 2010 - In a short blurb on the Corporation of Delta Website, Delta City Council has scheduled an additional meeting on April 8, 2010 to discuss the Tsawwassen Area Plan. Public sentiment over the lack of input into the TAP and its effect on the hotly debated development proposal for the farmland known as the Southlands has pressured council to provide another 'open mic' session. Tomorrow's meeting will take place at the South Delta Secondary School.

The website describes the meeting as follows:

In response to feedback from residents, the Tsawwassen Area Plan's (TAP) April 6 and April 8 public forums will be an open microphone format.

Residents who wish to speak on the Tsawwassen Area Plan will be afforded an opportunity to be heard at the public forums. A Speakers List will be available for the public to sign at the entrance to the forum venue approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of each public forum. Speakers will be asked to come forward in the order they are listed on the sign-up sheet to address the TAP Committee and staff.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Delta Municipal Hall Forced to Bend to the Will of the People

By Dana Maslovat April 1, 2010 - Over 450 Tsawwassen residents turned out to a meeting on Wednesday night in the local High School to discuss a contentious housing development and potential land use change designation on the Southlands agricultural land. Residents, after being herded by Delta staff into “small groups” in separate classrooms, let it be known in no uncertain terms that they were unhappy with not just the hurry up and get it done approach by Delta, but also with the questions they were being given to answer for Delta’s survey. By the end of the 3 hour meeting, Councillor Bruce McDonald was forced to acknowledge that not only were the questions people were being asked flawed but so were the meeting formats held since last September.

He then announced that Delta would now bend to the will of the people and have two open mike meetings, something residents have been demanding since the start of the discussions dealing with the proposed Southland redesignation from agricultural to urban.

Any redesignation would change the Official Community Plan and open up the Southlands for a 1900 unit housing development by Century Holdings. This piece of farmland was the cause of the longest public hearing in Commonwealth history and a resident run plebiscite in 1989, which prevented a 2000 unit development that was proposed for the same property.

The meetings will be held in Tsawwassen on Tuesday, April 6th at South Delta Senior Secondary at 7:00 PM and on Thursday April 8th at the South Delta Recreation Center at 6:30 PM.