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A brief word from children about happiness, empathy and lemonade

When life hand you lemons, Marky know what will make you feel better.

When life hand you lemons Marky knows what will make you feel better.

Yesterday (January 20) a homeless fellow who regularly sleeps and panhandles in front of the Toys “R” Us store in the 1100 block of West Broadway Avenue was handed a folded-up letter, which read:

Marky: “daddy, look there’s a homeless guy on the sidewalk with a hat collecting money”

[homeless guy in sleeping bag with hat… cardboard sign: homeless, not hopeless]

Marky: “he’s sleeping, he must be tired”

Marky: “can we give him some money so he can buy lemonade?”

Marky: “because if we gave him some money, he can buy some lemonade and then he will be happy. When he’s happy he will buy a house and he won’t be homeless anymore! We can help him!

#childrenarebeautifulminds #positivemindset #helpingthehomeless #inspiration #happy

And the homeless guy was happy. When he unfolded the letter to read it he found that in addition to the sweet sentiments recounted above it contained $100—more than enough to buy himself some lemonade!

Sweet story. Kids say the darndest things don’t they?

Now back to the Donald Trump coverage, already in progress. Click the image to enlarge it.

B.C. overdose death numbers are mild by U.S. standards

Compared to U.S. states, B.C.'s 510 overdose deaths in 2015 rank 45th out of 51.

Compared to U.S. states, B.C.’s 510 overdose deaths in 2015 rank 45th out of 51.

A look at the 2015 overdose numbers south of the Canadian border show that 44 0f 50 U.S. states—or 84.6 percent of the total—experienced higher rates of overdose deaths than British Columbia.

B.C.’s all-time high of 510 overdose deaths in 2015 worked out to 11.01 deaths per 100,000 British Columbians and ranked us 45th out of 51, when compared with U.S. states.

In 2015, the U.S. state with the least overdose deaths was Nebraska, with 6.9 deaths per 100,000 and the state with the most was West Virginia, with 41.5 overdose deaths per 100,000.

This is not to minimize the terrible tragedy of British Columbia’s fentanyl-driven drug overdose epidemic but to stress how much worse things could get if we do not act wisely and quickly.

We’ve already seen what sitting on our hands and not acting can do.

Between 2015 and 2016, drug overdose deaths in B.C. increased a staggering 79.2 percent—from the all-time high of 510 deaths to a new record of 914 deaths.

Province-wide in 2016, the overdose death rate was about 19.7 deaths per 100,000 (near the U.S/B.C.. median average in 2015).

In the city of Vancouver, however, where 215 of the 914 overdoses took place, the rate was more like 35 overdose deaths per 100,000. Read more…

The Chalmers Lodge assisted living highrise in Fairview is for sale

The Chalmers Lodge assisted living residence on 12th Ave.—Colliers International

The Chalmers Lodge assisted living residence on 12th Ave.—Colliers International

The Chalmers Lodge is for sale. I have just noticed that this 48-year-old assisted living highrise has been listed on the Colliers International website as a “development opportunity” since some time in 2016.

The building sits on a 27,500-square-foot lot at 1450 West 12th Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Granville Street.

The asking price for the Chalmers Lodge is undisclosed but I would expect it to be at least $20.9 million—which is 40 percent above its total 2017 property assessment of $14,936,000 ($14,726,000 for the land and $210,000 for the building) and in line with property sales over the last two years in the Fairview neighbourhood. Read more…

Inviting breakfast tableau


A restaurant in the 1400 block of West Broadway Ave. waking up at 7:30 a.m.

Oh breakfast place across the street,
Your hearth-like glow looks so neat,
But however much I wish to eat,
your Eggs of Benedict and cakes of wheat,
Your lofty prices have me beat.
All I can afford to do is look at you…
Standing here across the street.

A hockey wall of fame at the Cambie and Broadway SkyTrain station


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first season of the National Hockey League (NHL). If you’re quick you may be able to begin the year-long celebration by catching a small hockey-themed art exhibit that has been showing for the last few weeks more-or-less at the SkyTrain station on the southeast corner of Cambie and West Broadway.

To be precise, there are four large colour sketches of iconic and history-making NHL players displayed just outside the entrance of the station, stuck high up on the wall of the city-owned building next door.

The sketches are each signed “Miller 2016” and depict a special quartet of professional hockey players.


There’s Fred Sasakamoose, the first Canadian Aboriginal player in the NHL; Willie O’Ree, the first Canadian of African ancestry to play in the NHL, Larry Kwong, first Canadian of Asian ancestry to play in the NHL and Gordie Howe, who, for many years, was first in the scoring stats and in the hearts of North American hockey fans.

Hopefully the sketches are still there.  I’ve reproduced them below just in case the City of Vancouver has finally noticed and pulled them down. Read more…

Marketing opportunity with a hip U.S. clothing chain


“Are you really a blogger” she asked.

Linda is probably just one of those people who stands out in a crowd—even when she isn’t carrying a advertising sign roughly twice her own height.

However, when I saw her in the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue on the afternoon of Friday, December 6, that’s exactly what she was doing—walking around the South Granville shopping area carrying a sign that looked all of 3 metres high and I have to say that she carried it off wonderfully.

Partly it was simply the ridiculous disparity of scale. Here was this petite young woman with bright auburn hair, tromping around in over-sized gumboots and gripping in big yellow work gloves a garish plywood and corrugated plastic assemblage that towered over her comparatively diminutive frame—that was a striking enough sight by itself.

But as the sign and the woman repeatedly wobbled past by my window seat in the McDonald’s in the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue, what really caught my attention and earned my appreciation was the unconsciously theatrical way that she maneuvered the ungainly sign to and fro (not to mention up down and sideways) through the flow of pedestrian traffic—accompanied by suitably wide-eyed facial expressions of alarm, effort and mock frustration.

Her gesticulations and unconscious mugging, as if for some unseen camera, made a drudgery look like a kind of slapstick comedy performance.

It was funny and somehow touching to watch and I couldn’t let this unexpected little star turn on the stage of life pass without a modest tribute.

Fortunately, an hour into her gig and after she assured herself that I really was a blogger and not just some perv with a camera, the sign-bearer was happy to take a break to chat with me and pose for some photos. In turn, I was happy to buy her a cheeseburger to help replenish her energy, so the show could go on, as they say. Read more…