Skip to content

Archive for

Bad idea: Felicita’s Pub to be renamed at UVic

Apparently Felicitas’s Pub is going to be renamed by the University of Victoria Students’ Society. They are holding a contest with a $500 prize. The final vote is tomorrow night (November 29) at the pub.

This contest is a mistake. As a general rule, monuments, landmarks and buildings should not be renamed, absent a compelling reason. (No, corporate rebranding is not a compelling reason.)

Page 25 of the Autumn 2012 issue of Torch Magazine lists fifty unique things about UVic. Here is number 24:

“Felicita’s Campus Pub in the Student Union Building is named after beloved janitor Felicita Gomez who used to work in the SUB.”

This renaming contest is disrespectful to Mrs. Gomez. It is disrespectful to thousands of alumni, many of whom remember great times at Felicita’s. And it is disrespectful to working-class people, who almost never get anything named after them. Ditto for women, of course. Most buildings are named after men.

I hope the UVSS leadership reconsiders. I hope they think about history. Visit the Save Felicita’s Facebook page if you agree. If you are a student, you can also vote on Thursday evening at the pub.

Should BC municipalities and school boards switch to Linux?

Many municipalities, police departments and school boards in British Columbia struggle with their budgets each year. Perhaps they should consider following the lead of Munich, Germany:

Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city’s own Linux platform. The calculation of savings follows a question by the city council’s independent Free Voters (Freie Wähler) group, which led to Munich’s municipal LiMux project presenting a comparative budget calculation at the meeting of the city council’s IT committee on Wednesday. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million.

Linux is open source, secure, flexible and free. Yet the only local government on southern Vancouver Island using Linux – that I know of – is School District 63.

View Royal firehall referendum

This article in the Times Colonist describes the video below as “controversial” but I’m not sure why. You can watch it yourself and make up your own mind:

I am supporting the volunteer firefighters in their campaign to build a proper firehall in View Royal.

Prospect Lake and District Community Association demands halt on the plans for sewage treatment pending cost benefit analysis

I received the following open letter via email today:

November 16, 2012

Frank Leonard, Mayor and Members of the Council: Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff, Vic Derman, Paul Gerrard, Dean Murdock, Vicki Sanders, Nichola Wade, Lief Wergeland

770 Vernon Avenue,

Victoria, BC V8X 2W7

Dear Mayor Leonard and Saanich Council,

Re: Town Hall Meeting organized by the Prospect Lake and District Community Association.

A town hall format meeting was organized and held at the Prospect Lake Community Hall on Spartan Road on Wednesday evening, November 14th. Seventy four people from the community attended to hear David Anderson, previous Federal Environment Minister, and Saanich Councillor Vic Derman, discuss the proposed GVRD sewage treatment center and it’s ramifications. Unfortunately, Councillor Judy Brownoff, a proponent for the project, refused to participate. The presentations were well received as were concerns and questions from the audience. As a medical doctor believing that sound science should overcome emotion, I was distressed that no proponent of this obviously flawed, billion dollar plus plan, would bother to participate and explain to community members what the benefits might be.

Aside from the fact that secondary treatment of sewage would in all probability be no better than the existing naturally occurring process, millions of dollars, better spent on practical needs such as social housing, medical care, rapid transit, and upgrades to infrastructure would be lost for a generation. Following the discussion, the following motion was proposed and passed unanimously.

Motion: The Prospect Lake District Community Association members demand a halt to the Proposed Sewage Treatment Plan pending an environmental review and cost benefit analysis. I hope that you, as mayor and council members, in view of available overwhelming scientific evidence, lend support to our community based concerns.

Yours Sincerely,

John Wrinch, Chair, PLDCA

cc. Saanich News, Victoria Times Colonist

U.S. Customs and Border Protection mission statement

While not a huge fan of corporate mission statements for law enforcement agencies, I saw this a few days ago, and I like it. It’s the U.S. Customs and Border Protection mission statement:

We are the guardians of our Nation’s borders. We are America’s front line.

We safeguard the American homeland at and beyond our borders.

We protect the American public against terrorists and the instruments of terror.

We steadfastly enforce the laws of the United States while fostering our Nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel.

We serve the American public with vigilance, integrity and professionalism.