To celebrate jumping on to the FM dial (88.1), the CBC is on location at O’Douls today to enjoy some piano music (note the theme… 88 keys… 88 on the dial). The topics today will focus on the West End; from rent-o-victions to St. Paul’s and I’ll be adding my own notes, history tidbits and insights on living in this great neighbourhood.
From 3:00 until 6:00pm if you have any questions, comments or concerns about Vancouver’s West End life, please feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll try to work it into one of my spots on the show.
Update: I just did my first hit at 3:19 and was able to introduce my blog, what I write about, what I like about the West End etc. I got to sit next to the charming woman who runs programs at Roedde House, Janet Bingham.
Update: If you’re listening in on the radio or online, the lovely music you’ll hear throughout the is provided by: The Shannon Thue Trio, singer Melody Diachun and her trio and the Ross Taggart Trio with special guest Mike Allen on saxophone.
Update: There is now a panel of three residents of the West End who have all lived here for various time spans, from decades to months. “You can be who you want to be,” said Jim from Little Sisters. While Naomi, who is an international student, said it’s just simply “convenient.” One woman has worked at St. Paul’s and said she was just walking by apartments and found her place to live. Actually, that’s how I found an apartment for John and I too — I was just out walking around and taking down phone numbers until I found a building I liked that had a vacancy.
The panel is asked about what is changing in the neighbourhood, which is already known for its wonderful diversity and open community. However there are issues, as with the rest of the downtown core, from drugs to incidents of gay-bashing, safety, security and affordable housing.
Update: Jackie Wong from the Westender is now on tap, and she notes that the biggest issue in this part of town is rental housing. She also notes that the provincial riding has changed for this part of town as we are no longer “Vancouver Burrard” we are now “Vancouver West End” removing Yaletown and focusing directly on the West End.
Update: I was just on again sharing some comments from the liveblog and Twitter. I also got the chance to talk about City Reflections, which you can purchase online or at several locations throughout the city.
Update: Spencer Herbert, MLA for Vancouver Burrard is up next. He talks about the rental situation, which how there are several cases of landlords cranking up the rent to cover ‘renovations’ that don’t appear to be that much work or evictions so they can renovate and jack up the prices for those who move in after. The second pressing topic he mentions is homelessness.
Update: After a musical interlude we now have Brent Granby on the mic who is the president of the West End Residents Association as well as a member of the Save St. Paul’s coalition.
Update: The next guest is WERA member Christine Ackermann, who mentions that she personally knows two people who have gone through these types of evictions and are now living in Stanley Park.
Update: Jane just arrived so I’m going to wrap up my liveblogging (I don’t think I’m doing any more live hits). She was the one who contributed the stellar amount of $4,000 to my Blogathon campaign last summer so we’re going to head to the studio this evening and hang out with Matt Good (who offered up the prize for highest donation at the time).