Pounding the pavement

The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation is running a petition to show the government how many people do care about the absurd waste of money that the gateway project represents. And lots of people do care, I met a great group of volunteers today who do care, we care so much that we all sacraficed our Saturday to run the petition.

Canvassing was harder than I thought it would be. It can be pretty discouraging knocking on 10 doors and nobody's home, or didn't speak english, or "sorry this isn't my house", "I think you're wrong", "I don't like people knocking on my door", or talking with a voice on the other side of a cold video camera. Finally I knocked on the door of someone that did care, and knew the issue, and wanted to sign the petition. After that things became much easier; the knowledge that at least someone would sign was a real boost. In the end I filled my page with signatures.

After meeting up with the gang again to trade war stories and clipboards I went home and drew a hot bath for my aching feet. Yes the bathwater was cloudy but it was so worth it.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of these cool people at the Gateway Sucks! party on friday. Everyone is invited!


Letter to Kevin Falcon regarding Twinning of the Port Mann bridge and the widening of highway 1

Right Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation
108-17700 No. 10 Highway
Surrey, BC
V3S 1C7

Cc: Gregory Robertson, MLA Vancouver-Fairview

Re: Twinning of the Port Mann bridge and the widening of highway 1.

Dear Mr Falcon,

It has come to my attention that you plan to twin the Port Mann bridge and widen highway 1, with the intent of relieving traffic congestion over said bridge. We agree that something must be done, however I believe your plan will fail. Many cities in North America have taken a similar action in response to a similar problem; all of them have found highway expansion to be ultimately ineffective at controlling congestion. On what basis are you undertaking this action?

Have you considered spending money on new buses and transit infrastructure, such as commercial and transit-only lanes? With a stronger transit network, real estate development can occur at an increased rate within the town centres located across our region. Investment in public transit should occur well before any investment in new bridges.

I am concerned that you are helping to bring our cities towards more traffic congestion, greater risk of accidental death, and more pollution. If you can provide evidence that your proposed bridge and highway expansion will reduce traffic congestion over a 20-year period, then I will support your action.

Please, reconsider your plans to twin the Port Mann bridge and expand highway 1.


Benjamin Damm


Ruby happens [tech]

Well it finally happened. After writing dozens of ruby scripts over the last few years, several of them were merged into a module for entirely pragmatic purposes. And that means I'm a ruby programmer. In a last ditch attemt to save some face before finally admitting that ruby kicks butt enough for me to keep using it, I'm happy to report that all my little scripts run perfectly in ruby and JRuby.


Raffi's on Wikipedia

While researching Canadian honourifics, I discovered that Raffi has a page on Wikipedia. Maybe checking it out will bring back old memories like it did for me. Ahh, summer excitement at the children's festival!


Postage: Letters to our MLAs?

By Nov 8th I will have written a letter to Kevin Falcon and Gregor Robertson, both MLAs, regarding the issue of highway expansion. Have you, my dear reader written a letter to your MLA before, and do you know if the envelope requires postage?