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Oct 1, 2014

Contents

11th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

HERE COMES THE
11th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

Wed October 29 to Sun November 9, 2014

  What an amazing decade it has been since the founding of the festival in 2014. With our 11th annual festival we are excited to begin our second decade working with and for the Downtown Eastside.
  This year's theme is 'Keeping the home fires burning.' As we meet the challenges and opportunities of the coming decade, we are inspired by the residents and artists of the Downtown Eastside who carry the flame of our community: they warm our hearts, shed light on pressing concerns, illuminate stories old and new, fire our imaginations, and keep the torch burning for the future.
  The Festival takes inspiration from the words of the late much beloved Downtown Eastside poet and activist Bud Osborn:
... sometimes in life, what seems to be final, is a new beginning - unexpected - propelled by a heart,
pumping the blood, of an indomitable community, like the downtown eastside - the heart of the city.

  An abundance of events include the premiere of the full length musical The Raymur Mothers, original music from DTES musicians, a daylong celebration of poetry, spirit lifting dance, taiko drumming and First Nations song, videos, talks, walks, fabric, art, stories, theatre, posters and more!
  Watch the next Carnegie newsletter for program highlights!
For more infor/nation contact 604-628-5672 or www.heartofthecityfestival.com

The Downtown Eastside Heart of the Festival is produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre with the Carnegie Community Centre & Association of United Ukrainian Canadians working with a host of community partners.

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A MYSTERY PLAY: "WHO STOLE THE SPIRIT OF THE CARNEGIE"
COME OUT AND BE A PART OF AN EXCITING FEATURE THIS YEAR IN THE HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL 2014
A MYSTERY PLAY:
"WHO STOLE THE SPIRIT OF THE CARNEGIE"
AN ORIGINAL PRODUCTION BY "NO MERCY PRODUCTIONS"
WE'RE LOOKING FOR ASPIRING PLAYWRIGHTS, ACTORS AND MUSICIANS WHO WANT TO EXPLORE THEIR THEATRICAL TALENTS. ALL WORKSHOPS HELD ON FRIDAY AFTERNOONS
PLAY WRITING WORKSHOPS:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, CLASSROOM 2 (3rd FLOOR) 2-4 PM FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, SEMINAR ROOM (3rd FLOOR) 2-4 PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, CLASSROOM 2 (3rd FLOOR) 2-4 PM
REHEARSELS:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, CARNEGIE THEATRE 4-6 PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, CARNEGIE THEATRE 2-4 PM DRESS REHEARSEL:
• FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, CLASSROOM 2 (3rd FLOOR) 2-4 PM
PERFORMANCE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2-4 PM IN THE THEATRE FOR MORE INFO, CALL ADRIENNE: 604·569·4310 OR EMAIL  adriennegmac@hotmail.com

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SLAM POETRY • Workshop with Sho Wiley

SLAM POETRY • Workshop with Sho Wiley
* Saturday November 1, 10am – 12pm
* Carnegie 3rd floor Classroom, 401 Main

  In anticipation of Carnegie’s 2nd Poetry Slam! Sho Wiley, creative writing instructor and long-time slam poet, leads a workshop where she’ll share advice and techniques. Poetry is best when read aloud, even performed. Microphone technique, body language, gestures and more. Bring two of your favourite poems or write one in the workshop; you’ll get an opportunity to try out your slam poetry ideas and with one-on-one mentoring you’ll be ready to step up and go for it! “Poetry is meant to be heard, poetry for the people!” says Sho and who knows that better than the poets of Carnegie! Free
:   “Drop-in is fine; Pre-registration is better!
               (Don’t let your own greatness daunt you!!)

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CARNEGIE’S 2nd POETRY SLAM!

CARNEGIE’S 2nd POETRY SLAM!
* Saturday November 1, 1pm – 2:30pm
* Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main

  In celebration of the Carnegie Newsletter and its long history of encouraging writers and poets in the Downtown Eastside, and in honour of the late, much loved friend and extraordinary talent Zaccheus Jackson (he hosted & performed at the first Slam! in 2013), we present Carnegie’s 2nd Poetry Slam!
  Have you slammed a poem before? You’ll have three minutes to say your poem. Memorize it, improvise it, rant or sing it out. Then five random audience members chosen to judge will give you a score. The rules have still to be decided, so be prepared for surprises. Featured host and MC is Jillian Christmas. Be part of the audience – laugh, cheer, cry, clap – or step up and slam it, you know you want to! Free

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Hope in shadows

Hope in shadows
thats all we have left when
our life has been shattered
and all the bright times
are eclipsed by the dark

hiding from your pain in the shadows
hiding from your shadows in pain
you said you would never go down
but you've been down
again and again

when home is a memory
and love is a stranger
when trust has failed you
and you live in danger
of despising your innocence
and losing your faith
hardening your heart to healing
hurt is all you are feeling

hiding from pain…refrain

So reach for your hope in shadows
take the comfort you find with respect
you are precious, claim your power
when you least know what to expect
take the chance of making a change
grab the rope, don't hang yourself
pull yourself up out of the shadows
see the light, get some help, realize
life may be a game of chance
but you are the prize

no more hiding from pain in the shadows
no more hiding from your shadows in pain
when your truth becomes clear
the shadows of themselves disappear

                               megdelanye

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Hope in Shadows Award Ceremony & Calendar Launch
Hope in Shadows Award Ceremony
& Calendar Launch
Wednesdy, October 8th, 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Carnegie Community Centre in the theatre
This is a special event to recognize the winners
of Pivot's annual Hope in Shadows photo contest
and to launch the
2015 Hope in Shadows calendar

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Who will they come for next? Charities and the federal budget

Who will they come for next? Charities and the federal budget

  The federal government has been attempting to silence NGOs [Non-Government Organisations] with charitable status from speaking out on issues that matter to all Canadians. This initiative to intimidate and otherwise silence voices that challenge its policies—goes to the heart of Canadian democracy.
  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Conservative government is attempting to rewrite or reinterpret the rules on what constitutes “political activity” to prevent organizations from saying things it does not want to hear.
  The CRA [Canada Revenue Agency] Minister claims these audits are random, but this claim lacks credibility. The claim that they are arms-length and not subject to government interference—is highly questionable. There are 88,000 charities in Canada. CRA has audited less than 1% of all charities. And yet major environmental organizations, think tanks, human rights and international development organizations that do policy work that is often critical of government policies, are being audited.
  It follows on from other government measures such as eliminating funding to those NGOs dependent on government funding; to weaken public sector unions and obstruct their ability to advocate for measures that benefit their members and the broader Canadian society. They have gutted in-house government policy capacity, undermined Statistics Canada’s ability to provide information vital for policy-making, gutted scientific research and muzzled scientists.
  While this government is focused on reducing so called red-tape for for-profit businesses, it has imposed onerous & seemingly interminable administrative burdens on the charitable organizations it chooses to audit. These audits are highly intrusive—requesting information that has no discernible relevance to an organization’s charitable activities. They demand the most miniscule of financial details. They force charities to devote considerable resources to compiling successive rounds of information, diverting from their policy and other charitable work, and incur substantial, sometimes prohibitive, legal costs.
In some cases they have demanded charities turn over all e-mail correspondence, a measure which has major privacy implications. This is intimidation and harassment pure and simple, designed to have a chill effect on organizations’ activities.
  A Toronto Star editorial stated that, “One way a charity can protect itself is to mute its criticism of government policy. If it isn’t spending anything like 10% of its resources on political advocacy/activity, it isn’t likely to attract complaints, or attention.” Unfortunately this is no protection. The CRA, through these audits, is reinterpreting and redefining what it considers to be “political activity.” Thus, organizations that currently report miniscule political activity, could as a result find themselves well above the limit and thus vulnerable to having their charitable status revoked.
  This exercise, allegedly to assure Canadians of the responsible use of their tax dollars, comes at a time when CRA is planning to cut the number of international tax auditors even as the Auditor General has warned that the Agency is unable to adequately investigate Canadians with offshore accounts and international tax evasion.
  While the targeting of environmental NGOs has received prominent media attention, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), whose work covers a broad range of public policy issues, is also being audited. Our work extends to environmental issues. For example, the Climate Justice Project, run out of CCPA-BC, examines the nexus between climate change and inequality. It develops policy proposals to reduce carbon emissions, which do not disproportionately affect low-income citizens. Its work—highly critical of federal inaction on carbon reduction measures, and of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal— could be redefined as political. Ironically, this project is publicly funded through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council; and as such, its research has to meet the most rigorous academic standards.
Budget 2014: Charities and Other Non-Profit Organizations
  There is nothing on the surface in the Budget 2014 regarding further restrictions on what the government considers allowable political activity. Any specifics will likely be in the budget implementation bill expected later this month.There is a vague statement that CRA will be given more authority to prevent potential abuse of charities by state supporters of terrorism. (A solution to what problem?) The only additional direct spending will be to facilitate electronic filing of charities returns ($ 23 million over 5 years) and enhanced web presence on charitable giving trends ($1.5 million over two years.).
  However, for non-profit organizations (NPOs) that don’t have charitable status, those that thought the government wouldn’t come after them—think again. Your turn is next. The budget articulates the need for CRA to impose increased reporting requirements on NPOs to enable it to evaluate their entitlement for tax-exempt status.
  The government will launch a “public consultation” to review in order to determine whether NPOs have sufficient transparency and accountability, and to ensure that tax-exemption for NPOs is not subject to abuse. We’ve heard this before!
                  Bruce Campbell is Executive Director of the CCPA. He attended the 2014 federal budget lock-up.

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I still dance when the spirit moves me

I still dance when the spirit moves me
The music readily available
The Empress has it all.
Louis Armstrong and Leonard Cohen
‘Hello, Dolly’ and ‘Closin’ Time’
Loretta Lynn singing Coal Miner’s Daughter
Johnny Cash gets us with ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’
The hours fly by and I am gone
    -before the action gets weird..
Morning is the Best Time
Workin’ on those edgy days
Smoothing off the sharps; flattening the fifths.

Everyone has a request and I try to please them all
A few contribute some coins
The old guys who don’t know the drill
And the girls who put in money & let me choose
Mainly Country & Western
But Michael Bublé too and Il Divo
‘Unbreak my Heart,’ Quando, Quando, Quando.

For a while we can go back
Back to th good ole days when the world’s our oyster
Every boy coveted a red ’58 Mustang or a
   ‘vette, or maybe even a Porsche
        Firebirds and T-Birds etcetera
So paint your wagons; and your faces
Get out the Glad Rags
     Flash that bling
          We here for the beer
                  But only for a Short Tyme.

                                                           Wilhelmina

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City Life of Aboriginal Peoples

City Life of Aboriginal Peoples

The city life really stresses me out,
People around here make me pout.
Why did I move here in the first place?
I'm being stared at from my own race.
Others too, it's not really that easy,
Makes my head feel kind of queasy.
Whenever they look at me or you,
They cannot help the things they do.
Our goals in life must not be defeated,
Like the ways that we're being treated.
I might just move back home to be,
Closer to where my family needs me.
This is such a confusing place,
Anyone can easily lose their race.
I can hear them preaching of our culture,
And it's making me feel like I'm a vulture.
Is it because our language was lost?
And was stolen away at such a cost?
No wonder why so many can sing,
About the sadness life can bring.
We also sing about love and pain,
Sorrow can drip like falling rain.
Why be ashamed of who we are?
We're not that different from afar.
Negative feelings can go a long way,
So we must think positive every day.

                                                           © DJ Bruce

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Letter to Christy Clark

The Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia
Box 9041, Station PROV GOVT Victoria, BC V8W 9E1

  I am distressed by the levels of poverty and homelessness in a society as wealthy as ours. At 11 percent, BC has the highest poverty rate in Canada. Yet BC is one of only two provinces left without a comprehensive poverty reduction plan. Where is BC's poverty reduction plan?
  We know that all of us pay for poverty. We pay in increased health care costs. We pay in higher crime. And we pay in lack of school readiness, reduced school success and in lower economic productivity. In fact, the total cost of poverty in BC is $8-9 billion per year, while a comprehensive, preventative poverty reduction plan would cost just half that at $3-4 billion per year. There is a false economy in failing to act boldly.
  Health impacts of poverty directly affect 15% of the BC population. The poorest 20% -when compared to the richest 20%- have a 60% greater rate of two or more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, respiratory diseases and mental illness. Poor health and poverty go hand-in-hand. But high levels of inequality negatively affect the health of all of us through the breakdown of social cohesion. You have an opportunity before you to take strong and meaningful action on this issue and I urge you to support Bill M212: The Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act. In particular, I call upon the province to commit to targets and timelines to end poverty, and specific policy measures and concrete actions in each of the following areas:
* Raise welfare aqd disability rates, which have been frozen at $610 and $906 per month respectively since 2007, and index them to inflation.
* Increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation, and improve the working conditions of those earning low income.
* Re-commit to building thousands of new social housing units per year.
* Adopt the $l0/day child care plan.
* Provide essential health care services, like dental and optical.
* Adequately fund schools and make post-secondary education and training more accessible.
* Address the structural barriers faced by marginalized groups.
  These issues are a matter of life and death for thousands of people around the province. We need to tackle them immediately in order to protect the most vulnerable people from the devastating impacts of poverty and the long term effects as they are passed on to the next generation.
 I know that you share this sense of urgency with us and I look forward to the government committing to a poverty reduction strategy in the near future.
                                        Thank you,
                                                    ________________________
                                                         Name & Signature
                                                 

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Metro Vancouver Alliance has moved from listening to action.
Metro Vancouver Alliance has moved
from listening to action.
  On September 17th, almost 100 delegates from MVA’s 50 member institutions came together to hear about the work of our four Research/Action Teams and vote on proposals to bring forward at our Municipal Accountability Assembly on October 9th.
 Over the past year MVA engaged in a listening campaign involving conversations with hundreds of people in our member organizations and subsequent discernment process. Four issues - on Poverty, Housing, Transit and Social Isolation - were identified as the things MVA member institutions felt they had in common and could work on together.
  The issues were announced at the MVA Founding Assembly in March, and the four R/A Teams began their work. The teams met regularly over the summer – digging into their issue, consulting with people in the community, talking to experts – and identified problems facing people in the LoweMainland. Several Carnegie Board members were on these teams and the Carnegie Action Project provides valuable information. They then explored solutions to those problems.
Our member institutions have approved in principle the proposals brought forward by the R/A Teams, who have gathered feedback and are fine-tuning their proposals.
  One thing that makes MVA different from other organizations – the thing that keeps such a diverse organization together – is that we only go forward on issues where we have broad agreement. To make an impact, we must speak with one voice.
  We are now ready to speak with that one, powerful, voice and to ask politicians to commit to work with us on proposals that will make a real difference in people’s lives.
  At the Municipal Accountability Assembly we will ask Vancouver’s municipal politicians to explore new options around affordable housing in the city and re-examine the enforcement of current housing by-laws; commit to a proven anti-poverty strategy at the municipal level; actively engage in the upcoming transit referendum and support our campaign for affordable, accessible transit; and explore options and work with us to reduce social isolation and help neighbourhoods flourish by working with our member organizations.
We’ve invited politicians from all levels of government in the Lower Mainland to our Assembly, including representatives of the four major civic parties in Vancouver.
  We’re still waiting to hear back from the NPA, but we’re happy to report that Adrienne Carr (Green Party), Gregor Robertson (Vision Vancouver) and Meena Wong (COPE) have confirmed they will be joining us on October 9th. We will ask them to commit to specific, achievable, proposals that will make Vancouver a better place to live and work.
  It’s going to be a great night and we hope to see you there: Thursday, October 9th from 7-9 pm at the Italian Cultural Centre 3075 Slocan Street Vancouver (Slocan at Grandview near the Renfrew Skytrain Station). Sign up in the Carnegie Program Office. Snacks provided.

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Having a Bling Fling.

Having a Bling Fling.  

Many years ago I bought a ring, the height of Bling Was this ring.  
It was a huge purple stone dripping with fake diamonds so bright.  
Thought I would wear it to some function, to blaze all the night.  
It cost me ten bucks I remember that well,
and every time I looked at it made me feel so swell
But I dared not wear it out and about.  
It was kept safely put away.
For some stately occasion.
I would be attending someday.
The years they came and they went as the tides do.  
Many years passed on but of invitations there has been few.  
In a draw in the dresser the ring rested atop, some beautiful things
I had been saving to wear, before the great last stop.  
But much as I'd like and much as I wish,
an invitation never was presented to me on a silvery dish.  
No gala events no special occasions, No reason to dress in my special digs.  
So the special undies, and the fancy slips,
the long white gloves and the sparkly tiara, that special night gown.    
Too light for one sleeping under six inches of down.
With wool sox on their feet.  
Wondering when someone special they would finally meet.
All of it just sat there.  
When will I be wearing them?
I don't know.
But life passes one by quickly, so it's time to get on with the show.
So to the dentist I sauntered today all purple and bright.
With so much bling on me it was one godly sight!
But today I had somewhere to go,
                     and I was determined to put on one hell of a show!
I'm inviting my friends for tea at our local tea shop.  
Saying don all your bling, and until you've got on that tiara.
Don't stop!
All on pensions and long of tooth,
Only a shadow of our selves in our youth.
But dreams we had and aspire we did.
For some of those glam impressions we wanted to give.  
So get on with the show, it’s about time we kicked up our heals
                    and started to live.  
Every day’s is a bonus, a reason to celebrate its true.
Thinking of the alternative could make one quite blue.
So drag out those fancy things you've been storing.
Get them out and get yourself out and start soaring.
And Shout!  
Fling a little bling!  
Making every day a very special occasion
And wear those Rings and other special things!
Wear them all out!
Before you're no longer running about!
                                                               Colleen Carroll





Your Way:  
 Upon your path you may go today,
Don't let negative thoughts get in your way.
The seed you plant will tomorrow grow.
Only it's contents do you know and sew.  
Your journey may be long and full of strife,
However it in turns builds for you a stronger and more fulfilling life.  
Pushed in directions others may never know.
One's life is determined by deeds others bestow.
The lessons in life are how we move forward and grow.  
Never begrudge a path full of strife,
In the end it will build a most interesting new life.
A bubbling brook or calm waters?
Which would it be.  
Take my chances on the brook any day.   Yes, sire.
When we have bad things happen we need to know,
Its in order to push us in a new direction we need go.  
Sitting in comfort upon our duff,
The status quo maintained full of the wrong stuff.
For a life well lived needs a little suffering and pain.
Before we are moved to appreciate some wonderful gain.
It is the brave man who faces leaving his comfort zone and heading away.
But in his heart of hearts he knows life was meant to be lived happy and gay.
So to the unknown he ventures each day.
In his heart is a living song.
He knows to himself he has done no wrong.
No stagnant life of humdrum and boredom and rot,
A life filled with adventures, dreams and scope,
A life of possibilities and hope is what he's got.  
Not an easy trail to be sure,
But from boredom a sure cure.
Life is meant to be fully lived.
Taking your own path is the way.
To ensure it is lived t the fullest each and every day.
Let your dreams and should guide you on your way.
Hardships are there to push us into some serious fun
and fruitful ways of livin’.
That much of life is truly a given.  
So pick up the pieces and reassemble them fast.
For what is happening today will certainly not last.
A new day dawns and brings forth a path not taken,
New possibilities and knowledge will thus in us awaken.  
                                                      Colleen Carroll

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Hello My Name Is God; Classicide

Hello My Name Is God
God is a child
who believes what is told.
We are the temptation
High-definition mirrors welcomed.

                    Stephen Belkin
Classicide
It takes a lifetime
for the free market
to kill the poor.
It is a species of murder, nonetheless.
Are you earning a good living?
Do you know who you killed today?

                      Stephen Belkin

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THE UNDERCARD OF FREE SPEECH
THE UNDERCARD OF FREE SPEECH
…like wondering how many tonnes of birthday cards a year are added to already full landfills, or scoring that midnight shift at 7-11 wondering ‘Is tonight the night we only get robbed or will someone enter wanting a Slushee & some made-to-order people to kill. We actually have it better than some other places in this world ..like when did creation start was it from Darwin the Apostle’s idea & pen or is there really a God&Jesus&the Devil all planning their kingdoms their nows & thens big choices for the new ones Welcome to reality little boys & girls, selling is believing said Satan to the businessmen Steal Rob Cheat & Destroy as many lives as you can ..like truce talks being used solely for the purpose of wiping away all the destruction and of course3 the dead so more can die just wipeaway the dead, like a two-million-dollar baseball player hitting his first home run in 3 years or keeping an eye on your very own world through a keyhole this is what you have accomplished that & the oceanful of tears there are some people so helpless they can’t even cry & wish themselves an out of the way place to lay their very much alive heads, some of these people cannot even afford any form of freedom of speech like a hyperactive kid’s dentist they just love that tender drilling touch they’d rather be treated with needles & leaches yet under their breath their hatred for the Tooth Fairy profession consumes their thoughts a bit but freedom of speech shall become their goal, the hollow threads that keep the remembering things thing alive cannot & will not ever end with pure evil like beheading American journalist James Foley so many of us here who write or talk even think our minds would never be able to go there expect to survive being within screaming distance is of no help as the grieving family won’t even have an open casket afterglow, like a D.T.E.S. all expenses paid trip to the Cayman Islands & beautiful sights sounds & Banks that’s where all our tar money seems to go now I may be crazy but if there is a Hell you’ll be the one shovelling the snow like the devil emptying the collection plates what a selfishist with his ‘I need your money to save you’ lines, with Gaza Strip-tease in full bloom free speech is passed from devastated room to room so even more countries can fall to their knees is it in these primitive moments that just maybe the answers are there for us to find, like watching eleventeen commercials being interrupted by some crime show that’s on once every week or showing your random loyalty with your ever-present fistful of flags choose your path it is time for all of you to speak put down your fists & put out your hand, all stupidity aside in so many other places everyone who’s written a poem or story for the Carnegie Newsletter would get between 10 and 10,000 years in an unlit out of the way toilet they’d call a prison we’d be bargaining chips  or beheaded or forced to sign a letter of lies betrayal & all sorts of omissions These storm-selling affliction finding underminded brainwashing soul butchering closing down the light people… now if there is a god thank it cuz even though remnants of the above exist they will never stop me from writing nor remembering about our rights our memories & our land.
                                By ROBERT McGILLIVRAY
Dedicated to James Foley who put himself in harm’s way to tell the rest of the world about injustice & tragically paying the ultimate price!

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The Ray-Mur Mothers
The Ray-Mur Mothers
  43 years ago, a group of single mothers in an East Vancouver housing project carried out one of the most iconic and successful feats of direct action in Vancouver history, blockading and shutting down all rail traffic to the Port of Vancouver in a desperate measure to ensure their children’s safety.
  On Oct 29, a dramatized version of their inspiring story will premiere in a musical play, The Raymur Mothers – They Wouldn’t Take No For An Answer.
  Featuring 13 original songs, the play is brought to you by Theatre In The Raw, the same people who created Bruce-The Musical and Yippies In Love.
 The show runs until November 9 at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell, as part of the 11th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival.
For more information  check theatreintheraw.ca. or
                                      heartofthecityfestival.com.

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Downtown Eastside Literacy Roundtable Update

Downtown Eastside Literacy Roundtable Update

 Members of the Downtown Eastside Literacy Roundtable, a coalition of educators from the community, understands literacy as having the knowledge, skills and confidence to participate fully in life.  In the past year the 50 volunteers involved with Carnegie’s Learning Centre, in collaboration with Capilano University, have committed 8000 hours of their effort to support drop-in participants.
  Some half of these folks require immediate literacy assistance to access government programs only available online; apply for jobs, prepare for trade programs analyze information and various other reasons to enable them to improve their ability to participate more fully in community life and activities.
 In June the Roundtable convened a meeting of representatives from 15 adult learning organizations to share information about recent cuts to adult education programs and the consequences of these for adult learners hoping to upgrade their literacy and language skills for the purposes of work, further education, high school completion and community integration and participation.  Three dominant themes emerged:  the consequences of cuts to GED and ABE for access to training and employment for adults; the implications of cuts to literacy and ESL in the context of shifting post-secondary institution mandates, and the broader policy context and consequences of these changes for adults with the lowest incomes and lowest levels of literacy on DTES who are most affected by these cuts.
  Following this meeting, Literacy Roundtable  member Dr Suzanne Smythe of the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University compiled and edited “Policy changes and cuts to adult education programs in the lower Mainland, British Columbia: A situation report” which was subsequently submitted to the Ministry of Advanced Education. This is an important indication of our concerns.
  More recently, Roundtable members who represent both community-based organizations, secondary and post-secondary learning institutions and are instructors and programmers working directly with community members, convened Downtown Eastside Education Forum: navigating learning needs, challenges, innovations and opportunities to discuss the impact of low-literacy on low-income people’s ability to continue their education.  Support for this initiative came from Raise-a-Reader which is currently raising funds, some of which will continue to support other projects in the DTES community.
  On 18 September DTES Literacy Outreach Coordinator William Booth, along with two other LOC representatives from Vancouver, made a presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.  This Committee had recommended to the Government in 2013 to provide annual funding of $2.5 Million to Decoda Literacy Solutions, who fund our work.  While the government delivered some of the recommended amount the short-fall of $.5 Million effects everything from healthcare, to employment to the economy as well as our ability to assist the community to participate in today’s BC jobs Plan.  The LOC’s thanked the Committee for its past support, and requested they again renew their recommendation to government.
 Efforts are currently underway to update the Literacy Roundtable website (http://dteslit.ca) as well as the Downtown Eastside Learning and Training Services Quick Reference Guide which will occur during the last quarter of the year.  
       [This excellent report was submitted by William Booth]

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The New Cold War – Part 2

The New Cold War – Part 2

  It was February 2014. The pro-Russian president of the Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych fled the Ukraine to Russia. A massive anti-Russian uprising, funded in part by the United States government, threw him out of power. But then in response, Russian president Vladimir Putin sent troops into Crimea, an adjunct of the Ukraine and annexed it to Russia.
    The Crimea at one time had belonged to Russia but in 1954, the Soviet Union's leader Nikita Kruschev had given it to the Ukraine. Crimea has a coastline on the Black Sea. Putin wanted a warm water port for the Russian fleet.
     Now he had one.
      At once the western world went into a frenzy. The U.S. of A., strongly supported by Canada and Great Britain, slapped sanctions on Russia. The United States also forbade western firms to invest in or do any trade with Russia.
     A revolt soon erupted in southeastern Ukraine. it was led by Russian-speaking rebels, based in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. They attacked Ukrainian troops and proclaimed, "We are independent of the Ukraine." As said before, Ukraine's western part is full of Ukrainian-speaking people. In the country's eastern part, most of the people speak Russian.
     "Putin is behind this," one western media outlet after another said. "He is a tyrant who wants to restore Russian power in Europe." This may be true since Putin has often lamented the collapse of the Soviet Union and the shrinking of Russian power as a result. Crimea's annexation, said some western leaders, is Putin's first step to restoring Russian power in Europe. The revolt in the Ukraine is his second step.
    When someone shot down a plane near Donetsk killing well over 100 people. the western media went ballistic. Some media outlets blamed Putin for the deaths.
     But let's talk some sense about all these anti-Putin, anti-Russian statements. True enough, Vladimir Putin is a tyrant. He was a charter member of KGB. He has put protestors in prison, and forced NGO's or Non-Governmental Organizations in Russia to be labelled as 'Foreign Agents' ..Massive fines have been slapped on what the government calls 'Unauthorized Gatherings." They're in fact anti-Putin gatherings. Members of the anarchist band Pussy Riot were thrown into prison for singing an anti-Putin song. And Putin has supported anti-gay laws, homophobia and censoring the Internet.
     Yet the U.S. government and its allies are no saints either. Pinochet of Chile, Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Videla of Argentina, Somoza of Nicaragua, Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam, Mobutu  of Zaire and Suharto of Indonesia are just some of the tyrants that the U.S. government supported and helped keep in power. Many of these people lined their pockets a mile wide and a kilometre deep with cash while crushing protest.
     "He may be a son of a bitch," the usually pro-democratic U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt said of the founder of the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua in the 1930'S. "But he's our son of a bitch.":
   Now as another Cold war is falling on the world, it's time to take some of the anti-Russian propaganda with a grain of salt. The last Cold War left millions dead in Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, southern Africa and Latin America. Another Cold war could be just as deadly. It must be avoided, Putin or not Putin.
                                                             By Dave Jaffe

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6th Annual H'Arts for the Homeless

6th Annual H'Arts for the Homeless
A Fundraiser for the Lookout Society

This gala fundraiser for will be a special evening of entertainment, live painting and inspiration.
Through circus, music, stories, dance and art, the gala will highlight the deep sense of relief and hope that a stable, safe home provides. H'Arts celebrates joys, successes, untold strengths & stories of the residents, as well as the front-line workers who live and work at Lookout.
 Experience art installations telling the story of homelessness, delicious food, fantastic performers, live visual artists, a silent auction & of course, the live auction with comedian David C. Jones as auctioneer.
We are raising funds for the essential services and support necessary to bring solutions to homelessness in Greater Vancouver.
* Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014
* Time: Doors at 5:30pm / Event 6 - 9:30 pm
* Where: The Imperial, 319 Main St.,
* Valet parking available (suggested $10 donation)
                             Tickets: $60

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CANADIAN CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES

CANADIAN CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES
Dear friends,
   This weekend the CCPA received a stunning show of solidarity from the academic community. As you may have heard in the news, almost five hundred university professors—across disciplines and across the country—signed onto an open letter defending our “internationally respected” intellectual work, and called for an end to what appear to be politically motivated audits of charitable organizations in Canada.
  These audits—conducted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)—have disproportionately targeted charitable organizations critical of federal government policies, especially those to do with energy and pipelines. The CCPA is among the charities targeted.
  Since October 2013 we have been forced to divert resources from our policy work in order to comply with the most intrusive audit we have ever experienced—and there’s no end in sight.
  Through an Access to Information request, we have learned that the decision to initiate a political audit of CCPA was based on an accusation that our work is “biased,” and “one-sided” but as the academics’ open letter explains, “researchers explore specific questions of interest, and then present the results of their research. Reaching a conclusion is not the same as bias.” The letter continues:
  It [CCPA] may reach a different set of conclusions from those of the government, but then, this is allowed in a free-thinking, democratic country. On the contrary, we would argue, that such dissent should be encouraged and not stifled by such actions of the CRA.
  At the CCPA, our job is to conduct research, and provide well-reasoned analysis of policies and programs relating to social, economic and environmental issues. That often means being critical of government decisions. Our recent analysis of the teachers’ strike (including pieces by Marc Lee, Iglika Ivanova and Seth Klein—based on our research into provincial budgets, tax structures and funding for education and other public services—is a strong example of that.
  Nationally, recent CCPA studies have exposed how federal income splitting tax proposals will increase inequality, the government's reckless military procurement policies (notably regarding the purchase of F-35 jet fighters), and the regulatory failures behind the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster—to name a few
  We are concerned about what these audits mean for the future-not just for our own work, but for open discourse in this country.
  That said, we are incredibly grateful for this show of support for the academic community—it was unexpected, and such a pleasant surprise. With people like this standing up for the future of open democratic debate, we’re confident that we’ll get through these tough times.
  If you’d like to support the CCPA as we push forward, please consider a making a donation. Our success in becoming this country’s leading progressive think tank happened thanks, first and foremost, to the contributions of
people like you. Chip in now, and demonstrate that even threats like this audit can’t weaken us.

With hope,
             Seth Klein (BC Director, CCPA) and Bruce Campbell (Executive Director, CCPA)

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Violence at the Empress

Violence at the Empress

  I was having a quiet glass at the local. It was “happy hour” –goin’ home time.. L’heure bleu…
  Near the door a commotion broke out. Two friends, one female & one female started yelling and hitting –
quelle surprise! The odd couple were both singers and maybe had a common life experience?
  It took several other females to keep them apart. The bartender, Michelle, has a great Vulcan nerve pinch. When the two were ejected the customers returned to their desultory talk.     
  No more floor show. The Francophones next to me were especially disappointed: Not like back home – not even one shiv.
  The Latino continued to play Santana & Los Lobos
I left precipitously, secretly scared.
                                                             Wilhelmina

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October 1, 2014