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Is urban wildlife in Fairview going, going, gone to the dogs?

One of my first (and worst) squirrel photos of 2019; taken in an alley off Birch St. and 10th Ave.

For this, my first Fairview critter post of 2019, I have to again complain about the ongoing scarcity of four-legged urban fauna, such as skunks, raccoons and (to a lesser degree) squirrels, across the neighbourhood. Excluding dogs of course, which are, if anything, too plentiful.

And again, for lack of any better explanation, I blame the visibly shrinking number of the former on the growing abundance of the latter.

When raccoons roamed the alleys of Fairview. A photo from June of 2013.

As recently as four years ago skunks and raccoons were quite a regular sight across the Fairview neighbourhood—at least after the sun had gone down. Squirrels, for their part, were likewise abundantly visible during the day shift, as it were.

Things have changed. More than a year has gone by since I last saw a raccoon anywhere near the South Granville area and about six months since I crossed paths with a skunk. Read more…

Residents justifiably pissed off with binners

Residents of an apartment building on 8th Avenue, between Spruce and Alder Street, have taped up the nicest sign on the door in an entrance way alcove on the alley-side of their building.

It politely asks those concerned to stop pissing there!

The sign is hand lettered on an ordinary sheet of letter-sized paper and contained in a clear plastic sleeve (perhaps to protect it from spray).

It reads as follows:

Please stop urinating in this corner… It is seeping through the walls/flooring and making our corridor smell like urine. This is very unhygenic.

Thank You
Building Residents

Isn’t that nice and polite?

There can be no doubt about who the sign is addressed at, or who the actual culprits are that the residents are so pee-ved about.

The entrance way alcove where the sign has been taped up is situated right beside another alcove containing the building’s dumpster. This dumpster alcove, in turn, is right beside another alcove containing the building’s recycling blue bins.

The latter two alcoves see a steady, day-and-night traffic of binners and dumpster divers. Read more…

Sunday’s effing and blinding sunset

My camera was blinded on its first try at capturing Monday’s sunset at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday’s sunset (April 7th), as seen from West Broadway Avenue and South Granville Street, was so bright you’d have thought that the sun had set itself down at the intersection of Macdonald Street, little more than two kilometres away.

The second try at 7:31 p.m. was another glaring failure.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so incandescent a solar glare in Fairview before. It was hard on the eyes but it was even harder on my dumpster-derived point-and-shoot camera.

I wasn’t so much surprised that the little Fuji Finepix Z’s sensor was rendered senseless by the blazing sun itself (the camera generally has its hands full with Christmas lights, after all). But I was surprised, by the strong coronal fringe surrounding each photo I took of Sunday’s sunset.

That was something new. Read more…

Early morning spray-bombing at Jody Wilson-Raybould’s constituency office leads to arrest

Man being taken into custody by police this morning against the backdrop of sidewalk graffiti in front of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s West Broadway constituency office.

At 7 a.m. Monday morning (April 8th), large spray graffiti messages covered the sidewalk and roadway outside the 1200 block West Broadway Avenue constituency office of Jody Wilson-Raybould, independent Member of Parliament for the British Columbia riding of Vancouver Granville.

Amidst the oversized, pro-Wilson-Raybould, anti-Trudeau graffiti, Vancouver police could be seen taking a man into custody, who could be heard talking loudly about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read more…

Some positives and negatives of dumpster diving

Two flappers and a flivver. One of over 200 photo negatives found by a homeless dumpster diver last night and half-converted to a positive.

My friend the antiquarian dumpster diver—of pen-and-ink diagram fame—saw me in the South Granville McDonald’s this morning (April 3rd). So he stopped to show me the stack of some 200 black-and-white photo negatives that he rescued overnight from a massive housecleaning somewhere along the Cambie corridor, as he pinpointed it.

He explained that the homeowner actually encouraged him to come back with a car and take as much more as he could.

The negatives he had were large—probably 70 to a 100 years old—consisting of dry gelatin emulsion on a clear, flexible plastic film, either made of cellulose nitrate, or the less flammable cellulose diacetate (a.k.a. “safety film”).

Any number of photographers will know better but I judged these to be vintage 116/616 Kodak roll film—meaning either #116 (sold between 1899 and 1984), or #616 (introduced in 1932 and also discontinued in 1984); both produced negatives measuring 6.5×11 cm (2.5″x 4.25″). Read more…

More Broadway subway station location speculation—this time Arbutus

The three current candidates for an Broadway subway terminus at Arbutus.—Google Street View

While I’m all afire on the subject of of station locations along the line of the soon-to-be-a-digging Broadway subway, I have to disagree with the DailyHive website’s declaration in November of 2018 that the Arbutus Street terminus station entrance will be located at 2097 West Broadway Avenue.

If that is the case, why did TransLink pay $16.8 million in May of 2018 to acquire 2096 West Broadway, the longtime location of Fletchers Fabricare, which is on the other side of the street from 2097?

Not that I want to contradict the Hivemeisters.

Not only did the website generously copy, er, echo (in November of 2018), the conclusion and evidence for the location of the Granville station contained in my March 2018 post, back in 2016, I too believed that the City of Vancouver-owned property at 2097 West Broadway was the natural location for the Arbutus terminus of Phase One of the Broadway Subway Project. Read more…