Walking White Rock streets now a danger, senior says

I spoke to many seniors today who have complained about how they have found it so difficult to walk along Johnston through all the construction. Three seniors have described how they have fallen and hurt themselves on the gravel.

Meanwhile, there are those who support Mayor Baldwin and his Condo-Coalition’s destruction of our city who claim that all this development is about making our sidewalks safer and that I am over-reacting.

Johnston Road Dangerous

It is laughable to say that this construction was about fixing the unsafe sidewalks. This is about greed, and having White Rock residents pay for that greed. The sidewalks were safer before the construction and there was only a small stretch that needed repair. Two seniors have already reported being injured in falls here during the construction.

If this was about safety, why did they rip up both sides of Johnston at once instead of leaving one side usable by seniors at all times? This is about rushing to get the development done before this council is voted out on Oct 20th. To get it done, they are doing it all at once so developers get what they need for their towers before we can prevent it.

If this was about sidewalk safety, there was only about 30 feet of unsafe sidewalk on the East side by the old Penguin Meats location. That could have been fixed at a fraction of the cost while also keeping seniors safe. This is about building water and sewer capacity for the new towers that the majority of White Rock residents opposed.

This project is costing tax payers $9M but the developers are only paying half the cost. Tax payers are paying the other half. We get only $500k per tower in development fees. In order to pay for it, we would need 18 towers along this three block stretch of Johnston. The first block is costing tax payers $3M and with three towers being planned here, developers are only paying half: $1.5M. That’s not right.

Mayor Baldwin’s response to Ms.Egger after walking the street himself?
” I will send a message to staff about dealing with it ASAP”.
Who then goes on to blame other councils, even through Baldwin was CAO at the time and was credited for getting Bosa pushed through council in 2005.

That’s not good enough Mayor Baldwin!
Good management accepts responsibility and would have planned for safe development from the start, not think about it as an after thought after people get hurt and go to the media.

A good Mayor would never have allowed both sides of the street to be torn up at the same time, and a good Mayor would have honored their fiduciary responsibility to White Rock residents, and not approved these towers that the majority of residents oppose now, and opposed in 2005.

This Council is to blame, and this Mayor and his Council must take responsibility for it.

Click on the picture above to read this Peace Arch News article and it is clear that safety for seniors is not a priority. Shame on Council! #VoteSmart on Oct 20th.

Johnston Road Destruction - June 14th 2018

City Council approves adding Chloramine to your drinking water, ignoring health and environmental impacts

The City’s presentation on Chloramine isn’t science, its Fake News and political spin at its worst, because it adversely impacts our health and the health of our beach’s marine life while trying to falsely paint this toxic plan as a positive step.

The way to get rid of the brown muddy water is not to hide it with Chloramine, that is known to cause toxic health problems with humans (due to leaching lead from older pipes), and known to be deadly to marine life since Chloramine does not dissipate like chlorine does (Surrey tried Chloramine several years ago, and stopped once it killed all the salmon fry in the nearby creeks).

Don’t be fooled by someone telling you that it is safe to add more Chloramine to your drinking water because trace amounts of chloramine already exist in your water. That’s not science, that’s Fake News!

Blood Components - Science. It reduces the stupid

The adverse effects of chloramine that the city failed to mention in its presentation:
a) leaches lead from city and domestic plumbing;
b) destroys rubber and plastic plumbing elements (gaskets,
toilet flappers, etc.);
c) corrodes copper pipes, joints and tanks, causing leaks within
walls and floors;
d) showers burns the skin of those with sensitivities;
e) causes respiratory problems;
f) shower vapor causes anemia and other blood disorders;
g) adversely affects the immune systems of the sick and elderly;
h) has been found to cause leukemia;
i) is harmful to babies of pregnant women;
j) cannot be used mixing infant formula;
k) has affected thousand of children’s brains across the world;
l) effects on human health have not been adequately researched;
m) effects on city and household distribution systems have not
been adequately researched
n) kills plants and insects and degrades soil;
o) kills fish and other marine life;
p) is identified by Health Canada and World Health Organization
as a significant risk compared to chlorine;
q) cannot be removed by retail filter products;
r) removal requires an special and expensive special whole-house
filtration system; costing thousands of dollars
s) is neither required nor preferred by Fraser Health.

You can read more at the White Rock Safe Water Alliance’s website here

Chloramine in our Drinking Water?

White Rock’s Mayor and Council have heard that people are upset because of all the brown water coming out of our taps since last December.


So rather than fixing the root causes, City Hall wants to add Chloramine into your drinking water to eliminate the brown color. Chloramine is deadly to marine life and is known to leach lead out of pipes in older homes. Your drinking water will be clear, but possibly with increased lead levels. Nice plan Council!

This is a poorly thought out and potentially harmful plan!
The City Council tried to approve adding Chloramine last year, but later promised that they wouldn’t, thanks to the White Rock Safe Water Alliance and other concerned citizens who raised the red flags in the media!

Come to Monday’s Council meeting at 7 pm at the City Hall 15322 Buena Vista Ave, and let the Council know you think this plan stinks!

In January of 2016 because of huge protests and concerns of the citizens, the Mayor and Council voted unanimously to not use chloramine in the water system. Now with no notice and no consulting of the public they are already doing it and plan to increase the amounts. Read tomorrow’s Council agenda: it says that they are doing this for aesthetics purposes! What about the impact to your health? Many believe that Council is only doing this only because the muddy water might harm their election chances in 2018. Long term health impacts won’t show up until after the election, much like the details regarding the EPCOR purchase deal itself! That’s not right!

The muddy brown water problem seems to be related to the city adding Chlorine without proper preparation. But then, they have only been told by Fraser Health to do this since 2011. Unless we are talking about building another Tower, this council does not move very fast!

Adding Chlorine causes the manganese to precipitate out of solution, thus the brown color. This is an excellent way to eliminate much of the manganese, and it used by many cities. After treating with Chlorine (which is safe for humans and marine life), most cities who use it, filter out the manganese precipitate at the source before pumping it to homes. In White Rock, they have not bothered with the filtration step. Now to avoid complaints, they are planning to switch to Chloramine, which is not proven safe, can cause lead to leach out of older pipes into drinking water, and is known to kill marine life. Not a great plan!

If Council really cared about your health, White Rock would have been connected to clean and safe Vancouver City water years ago. Instead we continue to spend millions on wells laced with arsenic and manganese. I think that stinks. What do you think?

Email your comments to:
wbaldwin@whiterockcity.ca ;
hfathers@whiterockcity.ca, dchesney@whiterockcity.ca, mknight@whiterockcity.ca, blawrence@whiterockcity.ca; gmeyer@whiterockcity.ca; lsinclair@whiterockcity.ca; dbottrill@whiterockcity.ca, GStLouis@whiterockcity.ca; NoMoreHighRisesInWhiteRock@gmail.com

So why does White Rock City Council keep Approving Mega-Condos when Occupancy Rates are so high?

Wonder why Mayor Baldwin and the Condo-Coalition are approving so many White Rock Mega-Condos even though vacancy rates have doubled since Mayor Baldwin took office in 2011? These projects are approved by Council with little public debate, and ignore strong opposition from the majority of residents. Why?

It is clearly NOT about saving trees as Mayor Baldwin claimed last December when Council approved the Elegant Twin 21 and 24 floor Mega-Condos on Oxford street. After last year’s Hump Clear-Cut for votes and the planned destruction of trees on Johnston Street, it is easy to see that trees are not this Council’s priority.

Approving Condos is all about making huge money for developers and speculators and their friends. Many offshore investors are flipping the same property several times before the building is even complete, creating huge profit for themselves and their friends, with no intention of ever living in the Condos themselves, all of which is pushing up prices beyond the reach for locals.

In White Rock, the Newport development on Marine and Oxford was apparently “sold out” a few months ago, but the on-site realtors are still showing display suites and now there are several MLS listings for suites in the development. However, the building is not even finished yet.
New Port at Oxford and Marine

Read the full article in the Vancouver Sun here, then decide for yourself why Mayor Baldwin and the Condo-Coalition have just approved 5 new Mega-Condos in White Rock in the last two weeks alone. It’s not about building a better community, it is a Ponzi scheme that’s destroying our community.

Here are some highlights from the article…

The presale market is the “wild west” of the industry, says realtor Steve Saretsky, who posted a blog post recently, titled “Vancouver Pre Sale Condo Ponzi Scheme.” Mr. Saretsky says it’s common that offshore investors get first dibs on presale purchases. Those purchases are assigned, or flipped, to local buyers at a premium. He says in recent months, as the condo market has hit a fever pitch, so too has the flipping.

Speculative buying is driving prices up, shutting out owner-occupiers and adding to an already unaffordable market. He sees buildings that completed long ago remain half empty. Many of the units appear on Craigslist or the Multiple Listing Service once the building is complete, a sign that buyers have already maximized the gains to be had.

“Obviously they presold them offshore,” says Mr. Saretsky. “They bought them three years ago, made a lot of money, and they don’t have any intention of living in them.

“If you call one of the developers, they say, ‘we are only selling to friends and family and we are open to the public next week.’ But what is friends and family? What is the definition? It’s basically offshore. And everybody in the industry knows it, and nobody likes to talk about it.”

Read Kerry Gold’s Globe and Mail article “Vancouver’s presale condo market reaches fever pitch” for more details.

bc-presales0421re01

 

 

Campaign Contributions in White Rock

Ever wonder where the Mayor and Councillors get their Campaign Contributions from?

The information is available from the BC Elections website: http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/local-elections-campaign-financing/

In the 2014 White Rock Election Campaign, the Mayor and all White Rock Coalition Candidates received significant campaign contributions from Developers, whose developments were later approved by Council. Many people in White Rock have commented that this gives the appearance of Conflict of Interest.

can-we-get-them-any-closer-to-single-family-homes

Want to find out who donated to each winning candidate? Click here.

The Lack of Vision in City Hall

White Rock’s City Council’s lack of vision is truly disappointing. The City has purchased a house on Vidal Street with your tax dollars in order to create a few more parking spots near the beach at the cost $1.4 million  of your tax dollars.

13529whiterock1156VidalStreet

Is this really the best idea that our Mayor and City Council can come up with? Do they have Real-Estate on the brain? There are better alternatives if only they would divert their attention away from Real-Estate and start listening to new ideas from White Rock Citizens.

We need leaders who see beyond Real-Estate and short term solutions.

I think a far better idea would be to partner with White Rock Elementary and the Surrey School district to create a parkade on their school grounds. This would inject needed cash into the school, level out their playing fields, and provide hundreds of new parking spaces near five-corners while also providing a needed revenue stream for both the school and White Rock, and also supporting local businesses.

We could tap into Federal Development Funds and get much of this paid for by the government in support of local economic growth.

Imagine several levels of underground parking under the school grounds, with their existing soccer fields placed on top of the parkade, making the soccer fields level with the rest of the school grounds. Our kids get better facilities, the school has a revenue stream, White Rock City Hall makes money, and local businesses pull in more customers.

Everybody wins.

To connect with the waterfront and those local businesses as well, a vernicular could be built from five-corners down to the promenade for about the same cost as this house on Vidal that City Hall just purchased.

Let’s elect leaders with long term vision that improves our community, not leaders who choose to clearcut our forests, berate citizens who offer alternatives, and who pave over our city with High Rise towers in the name of Densification and Greed.

Eight Months after the May 2015 Hump Clear Cut and Nothing has Changed but the Excuses

After over 8 months since the Hump Clear Cut for Votes began, and still nothing has been done to restore the hump. The promised beautification project has left an ugly neglected sterile open wound in its wake, with fresh new mini-landslides frequently noted after each large rainfall. With no vegetation, this slope will be unstable and is a blight on a once beautiful sea-side promenade.

The Hump Continues to be undevelopedEight Months after the Hump Clear Cut and nothing has changed but the excuses.

The reasons that the city gave for the hump clear-cut are laughable fiction. They claimed it was to stabilize the hump, but Transport Canada told White Rock’s Mayor in 2007 that trees are NEEDED for slope stability (I have a copy of the report). So that excuse is a lie and contradicts what the expert at Transport Canada said.

Then we are told that the trees had to be removed to inspect the retaining walls. Since when do we need to clear-cut trees located 1/4 mile away from retaining walls to inspect them? As can be clearly seen in this picture, the retaining walls are solid and did not need this clear-cut to inspect them. Another failed attempt by City Council to justify their actions.

So then, we are told that the trees were rotten and too small to help stabilize the slope. Another lie. I took pictures of these stumps, and the trees were very healthy, many were 50-70 years old, and most were over a foot in diameter (many were three feet in diameter). The City’s own bylaws state that trees over one foot in diameter are protected, and another bylaw specifically states that the trees on the hump are to be PRESERVED.

Marine Drive Clearcut

It appears that the Mayor Baldwin and the Condo-Coalition made elections promises to those living on the hump that the hump would be clear-cut. That is according to those on Facebook who thanked City Council for being politicians who actually delivered on what they “promised” during the election. Strange how this never appeared as a promise on their election brochures, which instead said that they would preserve White Rock’s unique charm and character. I never thought of White Rock’s “charm” being a cleared cut hump devoid of trees or more High-rise Towers in single family neighbourhoods. More spin and lies.

Experts agree that a healthy city requires a tree canopy of 40%. By one estimate, White Rock’s tree Canopy is now only 2% and falling. Two Mature trees create enough Oxygen for a family of four, 2 square meters of pavement create none.
Our City of Clearcut Trees

Moral of the story: Don’t listen to political spin by politicians who are motivated by greedy developers and who will say anything to get your vote and their campaign contributions, look instead to a candidate’s track record.

Sadly, while Mayor Baldwin used to talk about moving the tracks, all his actions do is move his own track record deeper into the mud, along with much of the soil washed down from the now barren hump.

When it comes to the Hump Clear Cut, Mayor Baldwin’s and Councillor’s Meyer’s track record appears to be one of lies and spin and false promises, at least that’s my opinion. What’s yours?