fighting ghosts

There is at least one Marine Drive restaurant owner who continues to act as though the reason his business is failing is because of the Spirit Square project that will begin construction in September. While I (and many others on Council) have been trying to have a dialogue about how to make it easier for customers to visit Marine Drive businesses, it seems he’s more interested in attempting to stop the park expansion – as though the project not proceeding would resolve parking problems on the beach.

The Mayor has created an opportunity to address some long-standing transportation and customer service challenges on Marine Drive. Rather than take advantage of the opportunity and work with the City on solutions, he just wants to complain about the Spirit Square. These are issues that have been a problem on Marine Drive for decades and will continue to be the achilles heel for waterfront businesses with or without the Spirit Square. It would be incredibly short-sighted to waste this opportunity for the sake of trying to sabotage Spirit Square.

If the real goal is to create an exceptional, special experience for visitors to the waterfront, then all merchants ought to be looking for ways to improve transportation systems so that their concerns about the Spirit Square will be resolved. Anyone objective or with any knowledge of urban planning knows that well-planned public spaces are good for business.

If transportation is the issue, then let’s focus on that – let’s put in place solutions to the real problem. It would be counter-productive to defeat the Spirit Square for the sake of parking – that won’t solve the problem and would just waste an opportunity to refresh and improve the focal point of the waterfront.

2 Responses to “fighting ghosts”

  1. Johan Sandstrom Says:

    Visit Johan Sandstrom

    Matt Todd,
    Commerce and retail business as proprietor has never been one of your documented successes in life, so far.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    Insinuating [ based from reading about the spaths of emails written about in the local newspaper alleged you've had with Freedman] the Grapes Restaurant [openend last year 2007] and its manager and its owner partner Mr. Dave Freedman, after all is the one person and restaurant and party you are now referring to, I contribute this. Correct me if I am wrong.

    It is absurd that with your bleak business background and non-documented experiences in business as employer and employee one need to listen and read what you profess being the ‘correct and best’ for the city and its merchants and the constituency as a whole.
    Instead a coward person asked me to ask you to go out and get yourself a job to learn and get connected with reality and the populaions of our community.
    I am happy to suggest the very same but asked to be the messanger of an issue and message as this is merely and indicating there is something ‘going wrong’ with our social fabric of which we all are part of.

    Your cross examination of applying and responding developers and engineers and other stake holders in the honest process of ‘doing business with and in White Rock is pathetic burst of your own verbal opportunity to boost yur ego while being televised.

    May I suggest most of us in the gallery in chambers find it sometimes embrarrassing to be part of the community when someone like yurself is lambasting and inquisitively ramrodding these poor educated, honest and trained and experienced professionals being forced to stand and listen to your [from literature memorized sentences] exclaimed for no other prupose but padding your insecuity and bolster your ego and media profile.
    In one of your bright moments please step aside, go back, and view your own efforts and attempts of performance. Listen to the ’silent voice’ and stunned faces and non-engagement of your collegues in council chambers when your body gestures and body language indicate you’re seeking for words and/or, are you grasping for air. Like all actors you need to learn the proper techniques to manage air flow; exhale and inhale. We need no more of yur entrtaining performance but rather see some substance in your dfinitions of ’side walk experience’ and your ‘planning theories.
    You should talk more about the necessities of adapting energy saving models like for instance geothermal and solar power energies when ou address developers. May I also suggest you start learning from Mr. Richarson on staff who can answer many of your questions prior to you coming to council for your acts of selfdeception.

    Common sense solution on your challenges in the city re parking and the ‘Piazza Adorables’ or ‘Plaza Imposibles’some call the infamous ‘Spirit[s] Square’ requires no more than just that ‘Common Sense’[ a quality most of use become privvy of handling by the amount of experience we attain over time].

    1. Move location of the Provincial semi-political statement and redundant ‘monument’ from West Beach on Marine Drive to the vicinity of the East Beach on Marine Drive. Finish the promenade by offering a place of ‘contemplation and relaxed activities for all ages’ safer and more appropriate for the target group and demographics of our community.
    2. Start construction late October this year.
    3. If this is not good enough for the Minister in charge in the Province of BC ask humbly for him to overlook the declared independency of White Rock to mind its own business and incorporate the construction in the Official Community Plan -OCP in an orderly fashion.
    Say No to half a million dollar with those initial terms.
    4. Create immediately provisional and short term and temporary resolve to the ‘transporation problem’ most call ‘parking stall shortages needed to be taken care of…adequately addressed for all concermed.
    5. Work the long term parking complexities based on the bold view of an attractive solution by way of a ‘parkade’ under-ground if necessary…hide the concrete and do it under the ‘hump’. Manned parking stalls and parking operation can be long term and hold as many as 600 stalls in several levels and be invisible to the visitors. Your ‘predestrian experience will be met’ and most will be happy and satisfied to see a ‘real action to be taken’ to meet the long term goals for parking in the area.

    Thanks for the discussions and the unsuitable location proposed for the ’spirits square’ now the parking challenges for visitors effecting merchants and restaurnats alike in a most negative way finally come up for serious contemplation and discussion.

    Keep the ‘monument and the Province’s birthday memorial to White Rock’ apart from the major issue of parking which is creating so much commotion.

    Go easy on those who want to contribute and may have solutions and ideas worth listening to. All ideas are worth listening to. Only those ignorant and those speaking with disdain have a hard time to follow suite and disclose manners and present constructive positive contributions and action based on common courtesy, experience and common sense.
    Correct me if I am wrong.
    Be well

  2. Johan Sandstrom Says:

    Visit Johan Sandstrom

    May I add as seen in retrospective [22 June 2008]
    Mr. Todd wrote:
    “Anyone objective or with any knowledge of urban planning knows that well-planned public spaces are good for business.

    1/If transportation is the issue, then let’s focus on that – let’s put in place solutions to the real problem. 2/It would be counter-productive to defeat the Spirit Square for the sake of parking – that won’t solve the problem and 3/ would just waste an opportunity to refresh and improve the 4/focal point of the waterfront.”

    Johan responding: Ref above indent #1. Please do anad come up with concrete solutions to posible planning and realistic proposals for cnstruction estimates and suitable location[s]. What is alternative ‘Martin Street’ and for how many stalls? Why not negotiate [re-negotiate with the Yearsley family? They've got the muscles and will to develop which is documented in the numerous proposals and requested permits landed in the laps of councilors..or?!! Yes, Transportation is the issue but for this year with the season almost over..don't break a neck trying to resolve and rush to's futile and in realms from what has so far come out of the Task Force as assigned. A delicate meal and content which could fill a Menu of the Grapes Bar & Grill with envy.
    #2/ Spirit Square is a plain and blatant smack in the face' and an insult to citizens of White Rock. I reiterate: location is the wrong location. Try Est beach..Marine Drive east and incorporate the promenade int he landscaper's equation, plese.
    There is no point in making an area more congested than what it is today.
    #3.It's impossible to waste soemthing which never nothing but a monument of stupidity created by back benchers in the BC Provincial electorate. Where do they print their money? Opportunity???
    Recommend the minister to seek other venues to create a legacy for himself and his closest by venturing into other alternatives or just be himself...that's enough.
    #4. Bring order in the tent or tepee.
    "improve the 4/focal point of the waterfront."
    Th interpretation of 'focal point' varies from person to person and by age and experience..remember..??.
    It's the same with the 'pedestrian experience' as referred to before in these columns [NT].
    For instance the focal point for a toddler may the one of find a place to go peepee or potty. For an elderly prostate ridden and challenged pensioneer..the very same urge may be an event requiring ‘firmm and immediate action’ of reach into s suitable rest roon.
    Or the focal point for a mom with her kids and a toddler or two the changing of diapers may be the focal point.
    For restaurnat owners the focal point surely must be to pray for good weather and that no restrictons or obstacles come in the way to hinder customer flow and accessability for those visiting Marine Drive to eat and entertain themselves.
    For some councilors the focal point just have to be to try to become re-electable ‘material’ with substance.
    Looking for substantial results individually per councilor one maay reach the conclusion after reviewing the ‘report cards’ a couple will survive based on merits and the rest will just come along for the ride and be ‘electoral chicken feed’ and most likely find it hard to re-enter the local political arena and this after a dim and mediocre period of years during which each performance by most in counciol just have to be discounted and forgotten.

    The almost 40 percent of citizen in the constituency of last election must double [almost] shall we see some change and improvements in the next period of White Rock council.
    That’s the focal point for those daring and prepared to challenge ‘the system’.
    Build new spacious wash rooms worthy acclaim and public and tourism admiration for its hygiene and practicality. Maybe that will add a new focal point to our community?
    Johan Sandstrom, BComm.

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