Monday, June 04, 2012

Magnotta Story with BDSM

Oldtown News Vancouver, BC I still find this story about Luka Magnatto so sad and deeply troubling. He apparently was treated for psychiatric issues previously. Not sure what his past was like but I suspect very difficult. In the gay world though young men like Mr Magnotta are often targeted, exploited and used. Apparently he was into BDSM activities and this is scary. I have always believed that some people into this type of activity have a distorted reality and I've heard horror stories from those who got out of this lifestyle which isn't always safe, sane and consensual. I have empathy for the victim and the accused who both had what appeared to be darker sides to them. But I also have to say that we live in such an evil society where people have become desensitized to some awful things happening out there. Many people watched the snuff video allegedly made by Mr Magnotta and that to me is even scarier. These people who watched such a video have issues of their own. Really troubling if you ask me. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mr Luka Magnotta Needs Help

Oldtown News Vancouver, BC MR LUKA MAGNOTTA NEEDS HELP Again what seems to be a disturbed young man killing someone is now playing out nationally and internationally. Luka Magnotta it has been stated was a gay porn actor and model. It seems that this young man fell through the cracks and his mental health issues were not properly treated and this is worrisome. I feel kinda sorry for him in a way because his lifestyle was probably such that he was caught up in a world of bizarre sexuality, drugs and mental health which left untreated is a lethal and deadly mix. Perhaps this young man had been sexually abused in his youth and feels that life is one messed up mess. I just hope that this does not end in a shootout. Already such tragedies are playing out in our daily news. It is obvious Mr Magnotta needs to be treated humanely rather than treated like some degenerate. I just hope and pray that Mr Magnotta does not die in a hail of bullets. Perhaps he may come to his senses and turn himself in. Perhaps he can somehow reach out to family or friends that he trusts. While it would be easy to say this troubled young man deserves whatever it is that happens to him I'm not ready to also echo this. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Friday, May 04, 2012


Oldtown News Vancouver BC EMERY BARNES PARK I am concerned over the publicity on Emery Barnes Park. First it was a previous Board who earmarked this park for the citizens of Vancouver. Yet all publicity has gone to Chairwoman Constance Barnes and her late father, Emery Barnes. At the opening, members of the previous Board who had the vision to create this park should have been invited and they were not. Mr Barnes widow Janet Barnes should as protocol dictates and been invited to say a few words of her late husband and she wasn't. Ms Constance Barnes provided thanks and recognition to her Mother who was in attendance at the opening and I'm not sure why since her Mother had nothing to do with the Park or the creation of it, moreover she had left Mr Barnes in 1969. This is where I think Chairwoman Barnes exercised poor judgement and made a serious mistake. She was making the park opening about her family and that in my opinion is improper since who really deserves credit for the Park is the former Board and longtime General Manager of Park Board, Sue Mundick who oversaw most of the completion of the park. Further why this black BC Lions football player was invited to speak at the opening of the park makes no sense either and neither did the hiring of the entertainer also from the Black community who performed at the opening. It seems to me that Vision Vancouver and Ms Barnes attempted to make the opening of a community park into a black community issue for political purposes and why they did this has left many of us offended since Parks are for all people regardless of race, origin or cultural background. I am deeply offended over the racial overtones regarding this park opening and this opening was clearly used as a politicalization of our parks. Never before have I seen this happen in Vancouver and this issue needs to be addressed promptly. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lack of Civility at Park Board Now the Norm

Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

April 16, 2012


Vancouver Park Board has spiralled to a new low. Instead of addressing serious issues like service cutbacks to community centres, cuts to children's summer camp program funding, eliminating the children's farmyard and petting zoo, implementing user fees for toddlers when previously there were none and closing park washrooms, instead, Park board is caught up in changing the park naming process to ensure park naming for friends, and political insiders. Park Commissioners in a blatant display of silliness are now-a-days whacking each other over the head in efforts to have political colleagues recognized in a manner with flies in the face of what public service actually means. It seems the Commissioners are engaged in some out-of-control egomania which is causing the public to lose faith in our elected board. Serving on the Park board means working to ensure that park programs are maintained, our parks remain safe and available for public use, new parks are created and never should Park board be used as a political platform for cronyism which now seems to be the case.

On April 16, 2012 Commissioner John Coupar is bringing forth a motion that demands that two individuals connected to his political party the NPA are recognized in some public way. The two individuals, long serving park board Commissioners George Wainborn and Andy Livingstone already each have a park named after them so why Mr Coupar is seeking further recognition for them seems bizarre. Moreover, it is clearly inappropriate as is a motion previously announced by Vision Commissioner Sarah Blyth who is lobbying to have a park named after her former colleague City Councillor , the late Jim Green who is the co-founder of Vision Vancouver. In fact, the late Mr Green had no involvement what-so-ever in park board issues.

Already an inordinate and unecessary amount of time is being wasted by the Commissioners in attempt to reward their political friends. Valuable staff resources are being drawn upon so that Commissioners can meet their objectives of creating public monuments for their political allies.

Of course the public is being inconvenienced to no end as we must continually address our displeasure regarding ongoing stupidity at Park board. Due to Park Board ineptness, meetings now routinely last until midnight which is a real inconvenience for the public. Plus park board staff are required to be at the entire meeting. This usually means a dozen staff are present. and consequently staff overtime costs are soaring

The lateness of the meetings are a direct result of Park Board incompetence. The Board eliminated two committees which previously met on different days than the Board meeting. The creation of one super park committee which all members of Park board must sit on was mandated by the Board to meet directly before the Monday Board meeting.

Park board has also requested a staff report to look into starting Board meetings thirty minutes before the normal 7 pm start time. This will truly inconvenience the public who normally are sitting down at this time for supper. It seems like a crass move on the part of Park Board to silence the public who are increasingly agitated and raising concerns about the continued erosion of democracy and creeping in of nepotism at Park Board.

Another example of the ongoing silliness at Park board was the recent change in seating arrangement of park Commissioners. With this change there has to be a 15 minute break between the Committee and Board meetings as Commissioners seats are different between the two meetings which makes no sense at all as it is the same business on the agendas. Furthermore this issue took up an hour of debate as the Commissioners had their turns voicing their opinions about this new seating arrangement., Moreover, this issue was raised again at the last meeting and a repquest for the Committee chair to look once again into this matter. Needless to say this new seating debate really irritated the public delegations present who were patiently waiting to speak on a far more important issue which was the elimination of lifeguards at public beaches.

At future Park board meetings one can expect to see even more of this ongoing silliness and stupidity from the Commissioners as their entire focus seems directed toward creating favours for friends rather than actually getting down and doing the public's business which is quite the shame since the Vancouver park Board is the only elected park board in Canada but the way our current crop of politicians are acting out what seems a given is there will continue to be a lack of civility and an erosion of fairness and democracy at Park Board.

Jamie Lee Hamilton

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Undemocratic and Flawed Process

Vision Park Board is changing the democratic process regarding park namings. Currently, the process can be initiated by community members, neighborhood or resident organizations and park users. There is a Park Committee set up for each proposed park naming. There is public consultation involved and this process has worked fine. Now it is being proposed to do away with the Park Naming committee and instead STAFF/PARK BOARD will initiate park names and the public consultation will occur only through the web. Park Board then makes the decision. This new measure is anti-democratic since elected members of the Park Board will have undue influence regarding park names. They will be able to instruct staff on the name they want for a particular park. This method will allow them to suggest names of friends or political insiders. Cronyism will creep into what was until now a fair and democratic process. This issue will be debated at Park Board on March 26 at 7 pm. No doubt this measure will pass since Vision has a majority but I will be there making my voice heard.

Jamie Lee Hamilton

Friday, March 02, 2012



Park Board meeting on Monday was crazy. On the agenda was the the election of new Chair and Vice-Chair for new super committee of Park Board called Park Committee. But previous to the Monday meeting, over the weekend Commissioner Sarah Blyth sent out an email announcing herself as new Chair. Problem there is that Commissioners had not voted on this yet. To make matters worse the new Chair of Park Committee has insisted on new seating arrangement of Commissioners which makes absolutely no sense since Park Board meets right after the Committee mtg and Commissioners then need to change chairs again. Seemed to me like a game of musical chairs. During this time Commissioners engaged in a war of words which held up the start of the meeting almost by an hour. This is the Park board you elected people. That's your tax dollars at work.

Jamie Lee Hamilton

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Regarding Developer Mr Jim Green

Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


I am saddeneed to hear that Mr Jim Green is struggling with Cancer as I would be with anyone dealing with the dreaded C, however, Frances Bula's recent column in the Globe and Mail and a statement on her blog which issues a statement of 'I hope I've made the City a better place', obviously the comment is attributed to Mr Green and it is in this context and an issue coming before the Park Board on Monday February 27that I wish to make comment.

Mr Green started the push when he became head of DERA to lobby for a concentration of housing and social services in the Downtown Eastside. Concentrating all subsidized housing and social services in a really small area has been disastrous for this community and neighbourhood. Having said that, one of Mr Green's most significant contributions to the area and hence to the City was raising awareness of how Expo 86 was in turn creating the displacement of poor people from the hotels in the area. Mr Green should be commended for bringing attention to the gentrification which was happening. Interesting though a few decades later people need to be reminded that while Woodward's was attributed as Mr Green's crowning glory, the impact that Woodward's is having on the DTES community is very noticable. Once again residents of the area are being forced out as Woodward's by most accounts is contributing significantly to the rampant gentrification going on in my former community. It is ironic that while Mr Green lives in a beautiful skybox Penthouse-style and million dollar condo in the Woodward's development, resting somewhat comfortably albeit coping with a terminal illness and yet below those poor people that Mr Green once championed for are being herded out of their community at alarming rates as Woodward's has become the major gentrifying force within this longstanding community.

On Monday February 27 the Vision Vancouver Park Board is bringing forth a motion to create something lasting for Mr Green and it doesn't seem right that Mr Green who has really never been involved in parks and recreation issues is now being considered for something significant to be betowed upon him.

In fact in the Park Board motion the motion states Mr Green was responsible for CRAB Park and Hastings Park which are complete fabrications. Mr Don Larsen was the one individual credited with creating a real available beach (CRAB) and in terms of Hastings Park Mr Green has done nothing for this Park except voting in favour of approving slots in the Park against the neighbourhood's wishes.

Jamie Lee Hamilton