Archive for April, 2010

False Lamium

I thought I recalled someone calling this plant the “aluminum plant” but that’s something different. In any event, it is invasive but I don’t think it’s poisonous (the kids were sucking the nectar from it the other day!)

For photos and more info see: http://www.gvipc.ca/most_wanted_article.php?id=6

Here’s what they recommend instead:

Alternatives for planting:
Instead of false lamium, try yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii), piggy-back plant (Tolmiea menziesii), kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) – all native plants that provide habitat for native wildlife. You can also try euonymus (Euonymus fortunei); it’s not native to BC, but is also non-invasive.

I’ve learned that what makes it invasive is that not only does it spread, insects carry the seeds to new places.

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Google Map view of my home

Here’s a link to a recent googlemap of the building I live in. Also noted as being the “home” of Brent Butt’s character in Hiccups.

And another link.

We’re going to get the trim painted. Stay tuned for the colour choices!

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Dogs!

I went looking for by-laws related to dogs, and found that this is a hot issue in Vancouver.

From iCare Vancouver I read:

The first initiative iCare is tackling is the issue of responsible dog ownership.

Research conducted for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation found that even though only 15% of Vancouver residents own dogs, a 60% majority of Vancouverites have experienced or witnessed problems with off-leash dogs, and an overwhelming 82% of us would like animal control bylaws to be enforced.

In Vancouver the by-laws concerned are part of the

ANIMAL CONTROL BY-LAW NO. 9150

At a Coop Housing educational workshop, it was suggested that co-ops simply follow the city bylaws – which on checking says a maximum of 3 dogs at any one time.

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Mission, Vision and Values

My co-op is going through a process to develop a mission, vision and values statement. At the last meeting, someone brought the statement from their employer, a large corporation, so I thought I’d post the statement from my employer, a small non-profit. If your organization (esp if you live in a housing coop and it has statements approved by your members) has gone through this process, please comment. It would be good to see a variety of examples as we move forward on this.

Mission Statement

CACV creates community through the arts.

CACV is the voice for the community arts in Vancouver. We explore critical social issues through creative processes. CACV fosters and supports programs, practices and initiatives that develop common understanding through shared experiences.

Core Values

To fulfill its mission of Creating Community Through the Arts the Council incorporates the following values:

* Accountability: To be transparent and responsive

* Contribution: To create opportunities for everyone to contribute and to learn

* Community: To encourage active participation and collaboration in community life

* Diversity: To be open and inclusive

* Creativity: To support the role of the artist in bringing out the creativity and the artist in everyone

* Meaning: To bring to light the beauty of people and their communities, the issues of social justice that challenge people and communities, and the opportunities for healing within our communities.

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Can you say “fiduciary”? I knew you could.

If you’re a board member of a co-op (or pretty much any organization), you have a fiduciary duty. The Co-op Housing Federation of BC highly recommends monthly financial statements coming to the board and having them reviewed in detail at board meetings. Their new Governance Test workshop showed that 20 of the 23 people present said their co-op does do this.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about fiduciary.

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Whose policies are they?

Co-ops (including but not limited to housing co-ops) create policies which must not say anything that contradicts our Rules which can’t say anything that contradicts the Co-op Act of BC and, if relevant, any government program the co-op is under.

I learned last weekend that housing co-ops used to use the term “house rules” to refer to what’s now called policies. I’ve begun to think we should talk about “community agreements”, because the policies are what we’ve decided on ourselves, through voting at a general membership meeting.

Some people seem to object to terms like policies, rules and standards. Me, I’m ok with these words – and I’m very OK with the practice of groups of people taking their community life seriously enough to develop, discuss and live by their own policies and rules and set standards for their own practices and behaviour.

To me, this is democracy in action and it’s better than the alternative.

Just my view.

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Wind+Old Tree = No Tree

I was admiring the blossoms and then...

The wind’s been howling and branches are down everywhere.

For some reason (perhaps some woo-woo inclination or premonition–or more probably that I’d just been watching the buds get more and more established.) The blooms were looking lovely in their nascent phase, so  I went out earlier today and took a photo of the lilac coming into bloom.

Two hours later, I left the apartment, to see it had broken off and was straddled right across the sidewalk to the building.

Last year it had some disease and we got some advice on treating it and also this: and sometimes lilacs have a habit of just falling down dead. Shall I confess the treatment was Elmer’s glue and cinnamon?

RIP: BELOVED LILAC OF THE TRAFALGAR CO-OP. 19??-2010

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