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Feb 1, 2014

Contents

Isn't it wonderful!
  Isn't it wonderful! The few people presenting them-selves as Board members of the Downtown Neigh-bourhood Council have aggressively acknowledged their own wisdom, character and territorial rights. The photo above is of one of dozens of such posters taped to trees, poles, doors and so on. With Roland Clarke, erstwhile “in-charge”of the Sunday market at Pigeon Park acting as judge, jury & axe-man, a man has been labelled as a monstrous criminal guilty of being a racist, violently disturbing/destroying months of Clarke's hard work. The police were never called, no evidence was ever heard, and the man was given no opportunity to defend himself. Hate seems too tame a word to describe Clarke's motivation and/or obsession    in pursuing this man, harassing him and stooping to libellous and even criminal activities.
1.Taking the right to refuse a stall at the market to anyone, to declaring such a rejection as justification for judge Clarke making it a punishable insult for the man just being on the street in that area. The man was standing in line for an event or meal at the Carrall Street church and was confronted by Clarke and his crew. He was told that he couldn't be there! Clarke had judged him and wasn't going to tolerate his presence. The pastor, Barry Babcock, came down and put himself between this man & the gang threatening him. The pastor told Clarke that the man had every right to be in line on a public sidewalk and Clarke was violating his rights. Clarke and crew were given a simple lesson in civics but weren't hearing any of it. One person said, quite matter-of-fact, “Then we'll burn your church down.” Despite that crime and the pastor's intervention, Clarke's gang drove the man away from the line and down the alley.
2.The man has talked to law students at a local clinic and is waiting for feedback from their supervising lawyer. He's also gone to the police to ask about the legality of this kind of character assassination, libel and his banning by 'some guy on the street'(Clarke).
3.There is a letter in this issue from Ian MacRae. He is asking about the thousands of dollars given by the City of Vancouver to the DNC (Clarke) and the lack of any hint as to who or how it was distributed. An audit is just the ticket to get the machinations and behind-the-closed-door manipulations being carried out by people who many in this community are sick and tired of.  
                                            By PAULR  TAYLOR

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Roland’s letter to the Registrar:

Roland’s letter to the Registrar:
Attn:  Registrar of Societies      Fax:  250-356-8923
Subject:  Request for extension to deadline for 2013 AGM
Dear Registrar,
The Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC) would like to request an extension to the standard 12 month calendar deadline of December 2013 for our Annual General Meeting.  We feel confident that we can hold an AGM before March 31st, 2014.
The reason for the request of this extension is that the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council has a board that is composed entirely of low income residents of the Downtown Eastside.  With extremely limited funding, we have had trouble retaining board members, and with maintaining board cohesion.  We had added a number of board members throughout this year and we are in the process of rebuilding our capacity after several previous board members chose not to run again for our board at the December 2012 AGM.
In addition, and in an unfortunate turn of events, these same previous board members who chose not to run for the board and are now actively attacking the present board by putting up antagonizing websites, buying anti-DNC Tshirts, and publishing anti-DNC rhetoric in local newsletters.  This situation has made the conduct of an AGM
extremely risky and problematic for the new board that has very little organizational experience.

Thank you for your consideration,
Roland Clarke
Secretary of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council

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Open letter to the BC Society Act registrar and the Downtown Eastside community:

Dear LAPP Committee, City Staff & Council, FYI:                     January 23, 2014
Open letter to the BC Society Act registrar and the Downtown Eastside community at-large:

Repeal the DTES Neighbourhood Council’s society act for breaching its members’ constitution & bylaws
    We 43 General Members of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC) are writing to oppose the extension requested by the current Directors of the DNC for the Annual General Meeting, requested by Roland Clarke in the letter below.  We are requesting intervention by the BC Societies Registrar to correct the current Board’s undemocratic hijacking of our organization.
   Since these current Directors came to power in December 2012, the DNC has ceased to function according to its constitution and bylaws. Under this current board, DNC General Members have lost our sovereign direction over our organization. We are asking that the registrar rule that the society is defunct until it can either elect a board that can follow DNC’s established constitution, bylaws, and policies, or reapply for status under a different constitution and a different set of bylaws that it, as a new group, can follow. A list summarizing the most significant of the current Board’s constitutional and bylaw violations is appended below. 
    DNC’s current Secretary-Treasurer Roland Clarke is primarily responsible for the division in the organization and for its paralysis regarding engaging its membership. Since driving his opposition off the board thirteen months ago, Mr. Clarke has pursued his own agenda and not the agenda voted on by the General Membership.
Faced with a split and a widening political division within the DNC, largely over the question of whether to fight against or collaborate with business forces of gentrification, the General Membership voted, near unanimously, three times for DNC Directors to implement a neutral, third-party Mediation Process. All three times the current   Directors failed to implement the process as directed. Instead, Mr. Clarke and a handful of his supporters created a hostile environment where many board members felt unsafe, discriminated against, ridiculed and, as a result, stopped going to board meetings.  Since purging the Directors who disagree with him, Mr. Clarke has stacked the board with unelected replacement Directors through processes never ratified by the DNC’s General membership.
    We General Members of the DNC have been blocked from all democratic avenues within our organization to speak out against, or even discuss and vote on these sea-change turns orchestrated by the current DNC board. We feel that the current Board has hijacked the DNC and betrayed its constitution and bylaws, making it into an unaccountable and unrepresentative organization. The DNC is now a DTES resident’s organization in name only.
We call on the Registrar of BC Societies to withdraw DNC’s society status until the DNC can be shown to be acting within the rules of its bylaws, constitution, and policies. We also call on the DTES community, and communities, individuals and groups citywide, to support resident democracy in the DTES & withdraw support & recognition from the hijacked DTES Neighbourhood Council.

Sincerely,
Alan O'Day, Ali Lohan, Beth Malena,  Britta Fluvog, Brody Williams, Bruce Clarkson, Cassandra Tina Eastman, Charles Sanford, Colleen Boudreau, Dalannah Gail Bowen, Dave Diewert, Dave Hamm, Diane Wood, Dianne Tob-in, Egor Marov,  Fraser Stuart, Gena Thompson, Gordon Roe, Gwen Lagimodiere, Harold Lavender, Herb Varley, Ian MacRae, Ivan Drury, Jennifer Allen, Karen Ward, Kelvin Bee, Lambert August, Lani Russwurm, Leith Harris, Maria Wallstam, Maxine Gadd, Patrick Foley, Page Turner, Paul Martin, Rolf Auer, Sid Tan, Stacey Bonenfant, Stephen Blumstein, Tami Starlight, Therese Lulf, Tom Delvecchio, Tracey Morrison, Victoria Bull, Wendy Pedersen.
For more information contact:  Tami Starlight, Founding Director, 604-790-9943

DNC board’s major constitution & bylaw violations
1. Undermining DNC general member sovereignty: Bylaw #2, introduction:  “Membership is the sovereign body of the DNC and elects the board of directors at the AGM. The members at the AGM or other specified meetings can make decisions on policy and actions. These decisions must be consistent with and in the best interests of the DNC mandate as outlined in the constitution.” Very few of the current board’s actions are consistent with actions of past boards or in the best interest of DNC as outlined in the organization’s constitution.
2. Stopping general meetings and member decision making: Bylaw #16: The Bylaws do state that General Meetings are to be held according to the Society Act, which only requires one meeting a year, but they also state that the members may set a General Meeting schedule. DNC members long ago set a schedule of monthly rather than yearly meetings and this practiced schedule, having been followed for three years without deviation (except for a break once a year), has established a rule of expectation. Additional to monthly General Meetings DNC members have also come to expect broader, town hall meetings on specific topics that concern the broad community. These meetings have become a critical part of DNC’s decision-making processes over the years. The current Board broke with both of these General Member-decided practices, effectively hijacking the organization. DNC’s monthly meetings are how our organization functioned as a society for our members. Stopping these meetings is akin to denying the members any role or voice in our organization. Bylaw part 3, section 16 says that meetings can be held “in accordance with regular schedule set by the membership.”
3. Breach of Board of Director appointing and electing process: Bylaws #62 and #51 and #4:  The Current Directors has not had quorum of 7 duly Elected Directors (Bylaw #62) present at Board Meetings for most of 2013.  Only 5 duly Elected Directors remain on the Board today (Roland Clarke, Jacek Lorek, James Oickle, Richard Cunningham and DJ Joe). Directors Roland Clarke, Jacek Lorek and James Oickle created a climate of hostility and, after attempts to address and correct these issues, seven directors stopped going to Board meetings early on in 2013 (Tami Starlight, Herb Varley, Kelvin Bee, Shannon Bundock, Victoria Bull, Patrick Flegel, Tracey Morrison). Behind closed doors, this Board appointed seven new Directors in the months since (see chart), and have been making decisions about the direction of DNC. These new directors have never been ratified by General Members as called for in Bylaw #51:  “the Directors shall appoint a Director to fill the vacancy from those applicants and then get their decision ratified at the next General meeting.” And some of these appointees are not residents of the DTES and have not been accepted as “natural community members,” nor have their appointments been approved by the membership as required by Bylaw 4: “a natural community member who has applied for membership & has been admitted by a vote at a regular General meeting (...) may not run in Board elections, but may be appointed to the board of directors as ‘at-large’ directors by the elected board & ratified by the General membership.”
4. Not all new board members are even members of DNC: Bylaw #4: Debbie Krull, a newly appointed Director, does not live in the Downtown Eastside and has not been ratified by the General Membership as called for in bylaw #4:  “Natural Community members may not run in Board elections, but may be appointed to the board of directors as ‘at-large’ directors by the elected board and ratified by the General Membership.”  There may be other newly appointed Directors who do not live in the Downtown Eastside, as well.
5. Incorrect procedures to remove directors: Bylaw #55: The seven purged Directors were not given notice that they would be removed, nor opportunity to defend themselves as Directors, as called for in bylaw #55:  “A Director subject to a vote for removal by a vote of the members or Directors shall a. be given at least 7 days notice of the meeting where the vote will take place and be given a brief description of the reason and b. be given an opportunity to provide a defence prior to the vote being taken.” 
6. Stopping members from voting on a new board of directors: Bylaw #17: If their request for an extension for their AGM is granted then it will be another violation atop all the others that disenfranchise DNC General Members. The last AGM was held in December 2012.  Bylaw #17 states: “Annual General Meeting shall be held at least once every calendar year and not more than 15 months after holding the last preceding AGM.” 
The current Board has violated the following points in the DNC constitution and DNC policies:
1. Collaborating with businesses and property owners and speaking out against anti-gentrification activists: Constitution point #5 and DNC policy against market development in the DTES: The current Board is violating DNC Constitution point #5, which does not just compel the DNC to oppose gentrification in words, but through actions: “We strive to stop gentrification and the involuntary displacement of DTES residents.” The current Board has aligned with business and property-owner interests against the low-income community by issuing public statements and taking part in a news conference denouncing a low-income community-led picket of a gentrifying business, “Pidgin Restaurant”. In response to the expansion of that picket campaign to another gentrifying restaurant, “Cuchillo,” the current Board invited the manager of the hotel rooms upstairs to a board meeting to strategize the future of the neighbourhood together. This manager was accused by residents and advocates of actively harassing and pushing-out low-income tenants. These actions also violate DNC’s January 8, 2011 resolution against market development in the DTES: “The Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC) resolves to oppose any new market housing developments in the DTES until nobody is homeless or at risk of homelessness. We oppose any non-profit agency collaboration with real estate developers for any market housing development including so-called "social mix" developments and including the negotiation of "Community Benefits Agreements" for market housing developments in the DTES.”
2. Hostility, disrespect, and abuse towards DNC members: Constitution point #13: “We aim to honor, respect and celebrate the members of our community, including the racially oppressed founding communities of the DTES – Coast Salish, Black, Chinese, and Japanese – and our community’s history of working for social and economic justice by continuing this work with care, love and camaraderie as our guiding principle.”
*     First, the current board refused to set up a conflict resolution process, as thrice decided by DNC members, and instead harassed individual board members and used invective and insult instead of the kind and careful leadership needed to heal widening division in the group.
*     Second, the current Board has attacked DNC founder Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) by denouncing them to their funders and joining with a public slander campaign – carried out by “Gastown Gazette” – calling for CCAP’s funding (and even all of Carnegie Centre’s funding) to be cancelled. 
*     Third, they undemocratically purged DNC’s delegate to the City’s Local Area Planning Process (LAPP) co-chair seat. Herb Varley, a Nisga’a / Nuu’Chah’Nulth youth with life-long DTES involvement, was elected by DNC members in the fall of 2012 to represent their interests at the Planning table, and Herb worked constantly and closely with all low-income delegates to this table in a low-income caucus, while the Board remained indifferent to the goings on at LAPP. Suddenly, the current Board’s interest in the process was piqued and they held a closed meeting with exclusively City and non-low-income community LAPP co-chairs, and purged Herb without a consultation or word of thanks for all his countless hours of work in the process and without ever consulting DNC members.
3. Funding and fundraising policy: In the spring of 2013, the DNC board received $5,000 in funding support from VanCity Credit Union. $5,000 is a significant sum for DNC, which had never received such a large amount of money before and operated on a shoestring through all three previous years. The current Board never held a General Meeting, or any consultation with members to decide how this money should be spent, which projects or campaigns it should be dedicated to, or even if it should be spent on board maintenance. However, the current Board did spend this money. Members do not know what it was spent on, who received it, nor how much was spent on the Board itself. Board minutes posted in the Fall of 2013 indicate that the money is nearly all depleted, and that at least some of it was shared amongst board members as honorariums. Although the funding has since been renewed with an additional $10,000 from VanCity, DNC members have still not been engaged about how to dedicate these resources. This secretive Board fund spending violates the DNC Funding policy point 2 under “transparency,” adopted March 5, 2011 by the DNC membership: “All funding received by the DNC must be announced and funding decisions must be discussed and ratified by the DNC membership at a General Meeting.”






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Welcome mat is out in the USA

Last Week a Carnegie member attempted to take a trim of her life time she bought her ticket, went to the airport, was to change planes in the USA and fly on to another country.   The US Customs denied her entry.   I wrote a poem about this.  Hope it can be published in order to put in perspective how things are being run and how the poor are being ruined.

Welcome mat is out in the USA
Operation Paper Clip, The USA invites all top Nazi criminals to come. 
YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA.
Iran Contra,   Claus Barbie
YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA.
Fast and Furious, why we even pay your legal fees and offer protection.   Give you guns to kill Americans and Mexicans with. 
YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA.
Steal the homes of the American People,?   Of course all bankers welcome! You are too big to prosecute.   You may travel in and out every day in any way.   YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA
Steal billions of dollars with a Wall Street scam.   YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA.
Steal the food from the poorest in St. Petersburg, causing tens of thousands to die of hunger and our red carpet appears.  
YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA.
Steal the resources from South Africa and we roll out another red carpet.  Give you a medal when you come for a visit. 
YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA
Kill over 3,000 Americans on 9-11, tell lies that get over a million killed, no problem you are free to travel the world.  
YOU ARE WELCOME TO THE USA.
 Get caught over 40 years ago,   stealing food to feed your hungry child, or with a joint.  
 
“Sorry you can’t even pass through our country.   We want to keep all people with a criminal record out.  YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN TO THE USA. “
 You are not the kind of criminal we welcome to even touch down in our country.  You MUST have a LOT of blood on your hands before we whip out the welcome mat.  
We are US Customs & we like to keep your kind out   WELCOMING THE BIG CRIMINALS IS WHAT
WE ARE ALL ABOUT.
                                                    -Colleen Carroll

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Wakey Wakey

Wakey Wakey

Time was, seems like long ago
wake up happy wondering
what’s in store, what good shit

come my way today
but like the song sez
life goes on long after
the thrill of living is gone
with those words in that song
now I wonder
where d’it all go wrong?

These days wake up worried
what kinda shit they throwin’ today?
what bug-out-greaseball hafta fight off
what menacing psycho gonna
lay their never-ending shit on me?

Today hadda comfort ol’ Elizabeth
crazies in the shelter makin it harder
than it needs to be, turns to me
cryin’ and needing a great big hug
Tears me up holding an old lady in tears
chased out by the bus, no shelter
in the shelter, oh no, it’s reserved
for all the assholes making it impossible
for a poor half crazy ol’ lady
to rest her head in a shelter bed

See the govt too busy
take care of people the way they should
cry if you have to
won’t do you no damn good

Here in world’s largest outdoor looney-bin
way people get treated is a sin
Cost too much to harbour the poor
they’d like to see us all dead
that’s for sure

It’s a sick sick world
and there ain’t no cure
don’t help to scream stop
they don’t care
just treat us all like we ain’t even here..

                                                Al

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[An Ode to Life…]
[An Ode to Life…]

I'm gunna start off by asking u a question. Have u ever had that feeling when you wake up and u just wish u were still dreaming, just have one more moment in peace. When you wake up and u think of everything terrible thats happening and nothing good, guilt and fear builds up inside of you that you don't even know what to do with yourself so u just go back to sleep. "Fuck it" is what u say it's just one day I can sacrifice. Then that "one day" turns into every day, and everyday turns the same to you. Nothing exciting nothing changes, but u hope for change and for the better but do nothing about it. You do nothing for yourself but hope u can get better one day and feel happy without the pain to get there. I hate that feeling. It's like you're stuck in the same pattern everyday you're trapped in this delusion that you think you're going to get better, that maybe today will be different, maybe something will happen today that will excite me, make me feel worth something. Everyday repeatedly getting turned down, shamed on. Everyone wants the change. But it's up to u in the end, being too much of a coward to face it but you know in your heart only you can make u happy and only u can change your ways. All the help in the world can't make u do anything unless u want to.
AI! the inspiration is gone now. Doing things you love isn't the same. Forcing yourself to love the things you used to, it doesn't work no matter how much you try. u sit there wondering where your spirit went, where your soul went, it's like you're an empty shell. Conversations aren't interesting. u can't stay concentrated anyways to talk to someone either, or even look them in the eye. So, U try to talk to yourself, telling yourself everything's going to be oKay as you swallow the lump in your throat. So sensitive that even when someone asks you "how was your day" u just cry, and u can't even help it, it's all that’s left. It takes away the better of you, making u feel empty and cold. It changed your ways, your life, your style; your family and friends they can't trust you. You start to make decisions and choices you never even thought you'd make ever or even thought of before.
You steal from your mother and fathers, sister and brothers, just to feel it one more time. No limits, even when you know it's wrong, you start to not Care. Your conscience is gone and your spirit is nothing; you're empty. One thing on your mind constantly, like a headache that doesn't go away no matter how many Advils you take. It's like a stab in your back what u did to yourself. U can't forgive yourself and think how stupid I, that I ever had done this. U think of all the things you did at once like a current of dirty water rushing through your head all at once. Nothing makes u happy. U try to turn to people to talk to but they don't understand what it's like, some call u selfish some call u stupid. U don't understand what u have done so u ignore your thoughts and u block it out and convince yourself u haven't done anything wrong, that people are over dramatic.
Everyday u slowly start to die, and this time u know it. It doesn't bother you though. U start to accept what it does to you, u almost start to enjoy the pain, the guilt, the troubles you go through.
It only takes one decision to change it all. U feel a spark of hope opening up. But it seems like 1 in a million that this will go through. That U can get better and that u can heal and dare to erase the damage you've done. I think about this very often. Almost all day. U start to encourage yourself to change and be a better person. The world needs change and dammit if that change doesn't happen sometimes ..
Runawaying from the thoughts once again u make the wrong choice, it becomes a habit, something so hard to break it becomes a part of your lifestyle. What would u do without it u don't know. Nothing is like it.
Step by step Little by little u make the change. U start to become desperate for it. Almost as desperate as u were for the drug. Wishing u could do it all in one day. But one day is no time at all for a change like that. U hope the pain is quick and easy. But it's not. Remorse, guilt, humility and negativity come back when u try for the first time. All the time you've wasted, it comes back to you. U feel what u have done to yourself.
So u sit and u ask yourself, why?
                                                                  By Samantha K



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Older Women Living in Poverty: Part 2

Older Women Living in Poverty: Part 2

     Anna Maria Tremonti  is one of the CBC's  most well-known journalists. She was their main reporter in the Middle East. Now she heads up the corporation's weekday morning program called 'The Current'. A few weeks ago I was listening to her interview with Professor Stephen Lewis, who is or was a professor of social policy at Simon Fraser University. Tremonti asked him what was a social program that Canada needed. He said that there should be an early education program for young Canadians.
      I agree but as he talked I thought of the older women I know who are struggling financially. I wrote about two of them in the last issue of this newsletter. Now it's time to talk about a woman I'll call Leanna though this is not her real name.
      Leanna is disabled and lives in housing co-op in Metro Vancouver. She has a son and a daughter who she rarely sees. Her former husband is rich but doesn't give her any money. Her two children, now both adults. have sided with their father after their parents were divorced and rarely see Leanna.
     "My son is wealthy," she says. "But he doesn't give me any money either."
      Leanna will soon get a pension at age 65. Her present $905 a month disabled pension will be replaced by a payment from the federal government of over $1300 a month. Yet the co-op will take nearly 40 per cent of that. Rising medical costs will eat up even more of that cheque.
      Also Leanna has recently lost two of her closest friends to death. "Loneliness, isolation and sickness are the affliction of the aged in every economic class," wrote the American progressive Michael Harrington over 50 years ago. "But for those who are poor, they are more lonely, more isolated and sicker."
      This is still true. Some of Leanna's problems as well as those of the two women I wrote about in the newsletter's last issue, could be solved. In her book 'Small Expectations', published nearly 30 years ago, Leah Cohen called for the federal government to double the Old Age Security payment. The federal government should do this now. Also the provincial government should stop clawing back Canada Pension Plan payments made to older citizens, especially older women living on welfare or disability. This has happened to Leanna.
     Also C.P.P. payments should be raised by quite a bit. And welfare payments should be raised to older and younger Canadians. These payments are way below the poverty level.
      Yet will any of this happen? Not yet, that's for sure. So I'm not against having an early education course for very young children as Professor Stephen Lewis wanted on Anna Maria Tremonti's show. But I hope that one day Canadian governments won't forget the many Canadian women at the other end of the age ladder. They need help too.

                                                  By DAVE JAFFE

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Become the Change

Become the Change

I have lied…
Become the change
I have cheated…
Become the change
I have stolen…
Become the change
I have misled…
Become the change
I have envied…
Become the change
I have put down…
Become the change
I have loved…
Become the change
I have realized…
Become the change

I have…
Become the change
That I hoped for

                                                      MKGreen

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EDEN Medicinal Society - Medical Marijuana

EDEN Medicinal Society
161 E Pender
Vancouver  V6A 1T5                   (604-568-9337)
   Richard Loewen has been a client with us for some time now and he is one of the people who have benefited greatly from the use of cannabis capsules. Richard approached me yesterday and said that he wanted to get the word out via your small local publication, as he has experience in media and he is passionate about the issue. I fully support Richard to communicate with other community members in any media format he sees fit in regards to the services we provide here at Eden.

-Adolfo Gonzalez C. EMS Director              adolfo@myeden.ca       www.myeden.ca

  The current controversy over medical marijuana has my hackles up. With our current government getting involved I feel afraid that what is now workable and adequate will be altered to something that will be harder and more burdensome for the clients using any of the establishments now serving medical marijuana to grateful patients. Seems to me that when the feds get involved things get more convulated rather than easy or manageable. You’ll have to forgive my cynicism. It probably arises from watching government after government bungle the issues most Canadians care about. The new set of rules (called the MMPR) is a source of consternation for me and most of my fellow medical cannabis users.
  I throw a big shout to Eden Medicinal Society. They offer a unique program to allow opiate users to receive a reduced rate on what are referred to as “kush caps”; capsulised 100% organic plant matter containing specific amounts of THC, CBD and CBN. While THC has a beneficial cerebral effect that helps to manage pain, CBD also acts as a natural anti-inflam-matory that actually reduces swelling at the source. From my experience cannabis used in this form has far out-performed a vast array of pharmaceuticals and it does so without any damaging side effects. In addition it improves my mood &, unlike Prozac, Benzo’s or most of the other pills I have been prescribed over the years, cannabis capsules come with no withdrawal consequences. Recently I’ve been walking around with a walnut-sized cavity in my mouth so you can imagine this causes me a great deal of pain, on top of the long-term chronic pain issues that I struggle with. The 25ml CBD capsules I have been using kill that pain as well as, say, Percocet but without the chance of dependency.
  So, from both a psychological and a physical standpoint, the use of medical marijuana has had nothing but positive effects for me. Thousands more like me could be helped. This program is a great help to those struggling with opiate addiction in the DTES & is the kind of initiative that this community sorely needs.
                                 Richard A Loewen

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Being Old

Being Old

being old means that
one is forever burdened
by the bullshit of the young
the punks who at their zenith
end up pickin scraps
from the buffet of life
being old means
you know better
but still want
to murder
punks
all I see
when I look at them
struggle thru life on the streets
end up having to defend yourself
against those who probably won’t ever get to
being old
                                    Ralph Dolittle

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A Proposal for the Post-50’s Set

A Proposal for the Post-50’s Set

  Way Back Yonder it was all peace signs and Tie-Dye, acid and free love but with Watergate the dream died. Now, 40 years later, us old hipsters are getting beaten, robbed and abused by our offspring. However I can proudly say my kids show R-E-S-P-E-C-T and expect (and get) their own.
  What we need is a Seniors Self-Defense League. Surely among us someone could come up with a Zip Gun in a cane. Myself, I’d go for a single 410 shell at the ready in my steel pipe cane. It has come to this my friends. Personally I don’t have the slightest intention of becoming anyone’s victim.
  Time to become the antithesis of what we started out as. If and when your ass is in court, just chalk it up to ‘Ol’Timers Disease.’

                                                Grizzly

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PREDICAMENTS
PREDICAMENTS
Push, pull, shove; no give, all take; that’s the deal what’s the pitch? Just stay away from don’t bug me don’t crowd me do not block me back off get away GO now leave me be…respect my minimal fragile space. I have been here way longer than you, I was here first, don’t rush me..i’m gonna keep moving at my own special pace, like I don’t have a care in the world..(to be) no longer stressed out, disregarding past dark nightmares, a childhood stunted/lost/never to be repeated –sadly stolen
Who cares about that situation but me but that’s why it’s especially important: case closed as far as I'm concerned.
Our world seems to be shrinking. There’s a lot of space worldwide, much of it uninhabited: too hot, too cold, too much water or too little, infertile. What’s to be done about all of this turmoil confusion unsustainability… beats me..   i’m just gonna keep doing my own thing -   to fix this massive predicament I sure as heck don’t know so you tell me! Otherwise I'll just leave it up to the so-called “experts”…
                                                        ROBYN LIVINGSTONE.

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THE REACTIONARIES
The future is taking hostages applications can be filled out while waiting please read the ransom notes neatly piled on the desk by the door, as you check off life instead of death and emptiness overclutter and mess you seem confused. Don’t worry I have seen every scene just do your best I implore,
Democracy made entire generations stick up for only oneself others well I guess they must suffer life is a spectators’ sport, sponsored by the ones who choose for themselves a race of people running against time once more this means punishment down the road there simply are no rules past, present and further that I can willingly support, the people who labeled you expendable offer a nourishing cup of starbuck’s ditch water-flavoured coffee and you say “Thanks I needed that” no you didn’t but it is free sort of like a bullet in the head, Expo 1867 made reactionaries of us all taking things not ours to touch then later distanced themselves from the likes of us –the selfishist trigger fingered ones concluded we would be more useful dead, like all us oranges being anarckisted by the sun fresh fruit replaces rotting vegetables anarchy is energy when used correctly all must remember that one secondhand opinion can destroy an entire race, like a world without war or a body without cancer when Santa Claus is shot down and your screaming kids are begging for answers will you lie to ease their pain or just let the deafening silence do the talking Reactions will vary but let them know this is not a world full of evil tranquility exists even in this lonely place,
No more feeding the poor with shredded 100$ bills or building driveways for the homeless and free straightjackets for the mentally ill as for the depressed a :) Happy Face t-shirt once trust is gained it’s time for us all to be destroyed…
Now stand up opn your own two feet and act like a man who is owed his share of life and all transactions begin by demanding compensation for being dragged into this world you never asked nor cared for yet hold on to your reactions & I’ll tell you why the reactionaries are comin g and they are very annoyed,
Now throw away the part of you that dies every day and fill up the empty parts that create chaos with the real you even just a little each day –that is very good- you are learning soon you will be the kind of person you’ve wanted it’s not like you are asking for it all, and in times of stress, anxiety and grief think of what you’ve done to get this far get up and out moving those invisible chains nothing I repeat nothing further than the closest star but just in case you have their number give the reactionaries a call. That’s all.
                                    By ROBERT McGILLIVRAY

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”
                                                            -Jane Austen

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Gallery Gachet presents – Evan Sabourin’s '365 Days’

In January Gallery Gachet presents –
Evan Sabourin’s '365 Days

Exhibition runs: January 31st – March 2nd, 2014
Opening reception: Fri, Jan 31st,  7 – 10 pm

Evan Sabourin’s '365 Days’ has been a long time in the making. The exhibit, which includes his spray painted narration of the 12 steps and a new series of paintings, documents Sabourin's recovery from addiction, and his associated struggles, successes, and failures. With dark wit, Sabourin's text-heavy works describe his navigation of the twelve steps, ethos of the AA/Narcotics Anonymous program, a narrative that is all at once funny and sad and politically illuminating. The journey is at times uncomfortable & shameless, & is relevant to most anyone with a desire for self improvement or an inkling of the lugubrious.

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DNC: Past and Pleasant
 DNC: Past and Pleasant
 
My experiences at past DNC meetings were topical, relevant and energetic when it came to discussing issues of interest to Downtown Eastside residents. I looked forward to each one knowing that people who normally don't have a voice and whose opinions are not sought get the opportunity to speak out and join other like-minded individuals in developing strategies to improve the outcomes for poor people in this community.  (I remember a meeting at Carnegie some years back when a member raged against Ivan for   cancelling just one membership meeting in August because of the heat without approval of the membership).
At that time, meetings were held monthly and a cohesive bond was struck between the leadership and the members at large.
   I am such a member; I carry a card in my pocket but can no longer believe I'm quite sure why.
   In the Jan. 24 Vancouver Sun, an article appeared describing the value shift between some dedicated activists and the current Board --a board which never calls meetings and , for all intents and purposes has  shrunk the membership down to a handful of  self-promoting functionaries who meet with Clty of Vancouver  officials; collaborate with resident associations in False Creek and Strathcona that don't speak positively to issues that matter to poor people, take policy decisions like endorsing the proposal to remove the viaducts which will gentrify the  area like an avalance,  all in the name of the DNC, whose membership was never consulted on any of these matters.
In the article Roland Clarke mentions in one sentence that certain "extremists" were ousted from their positions yet later on suggests they stepped down from their positions in 2012. Which is it? I suggest the latter as the membership at large was never asked to  "oust" anybody.
   Roland Clarke claims that his board is striving to be a moderate lot with a business friendly agenda. Welcome to Pleasantville. I was at the AGM when this current crop of appeasers was elected and I don't recall any of them  promoting these kinds of measures. Had they done so--it's called being above board and is considered an honourable approach to democratic politics at any level-- I doubt the membership would have seen the wisdom of selling the low-income community down the river by electing any of them in the first place.
  When any organization disrespects its own membership by refusing to hear from them, that is the time for ousting to begin in earnest.
                                                            Ian MacRae.

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From the Library

From the Library

  Hello!  I have two quick library updates, then a personal message to share.  
Blu-rays are now here!  At the moment, we only have a small number of them, but the collection of Blu-rays will grow. You can always ask a staff member to place a request on a Blu-ray title – the Library system owns several hundred titles in blu-ray so far.  
 Come see our new display:  Staff Picks.  In addition to our weekly display in the glass cabinet, we have just started a display of “staff picks.”  Sometimes we pick ‘em because we love ‘em, and sometimes we pick ‘em because – well, we think someone else will.  Guaranteed, there is an ongoing variety for you!!
  Instead of book reviews for this issue, I’d like to share a personal message.  I want to extend a really big, really heartfelt THANK YOU to all the staff, volunteers and patrons who make the Carnegie Centre such an amazing place to work.  (Yes, dear Library staff, this message includes you, too).  As quite a few of you already know, my mother passed away in early January; and when I returned to work I felt such incredible support and acceptance for whatever I might be experiencing.  This made my return to work so much easier than I ever expected.  So again, thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts or listened to mine.  It helped remind me how much kindness is constantly, actively floating around this building.

See you in the library,
                       Stephanie (Carnegie Librarian)  

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February 1, 2014