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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2011 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

EW13

news he’s worked closely with Mackinnon this term and he’d look forward to the Green party commissioner running as a member of the NPA.

Central Park

with Sandra Thomas

Equines are fine

Gerry O’Neil, owner of Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours, told me Wednesday he’s relieved no horses were hurt after a suspicious fire broke out at his Pipeline Road facility early Wednesday morning. O’Neil received a phone call at 3 a.m. telling him a fire had broken out. His horses are in the Fraser Valley and won’t return to Stanley Park for a month. Luckily the horses kept in the Vancouver Police Department’s barn, which is adjacent to the tour facility, were also safe. But two carriages sustained damage when the tent-style tarps covering them were set on fire. The most badly damaged carriage was one O’Neil had just rebuilt. He estimates the damage at between $50,000 and $80,000. According to O’Neil, the fire is being considered an arson.

I heard a rumour

In Wednesday’s edition of the Courier I covered early election rumours regarding the park board.

Butt out

Ian Robertson I was able to reach everyone on the board with the exception of NPA commissioner Ian Robertson who was out of town. He gave me a call Wednesday. I asked him about the rumour he might be taking a run at the mayor’s chair. He didn’t confirm or deny it but added there’s a “50 per cent chance” he won’t run for park board again after having served two terms. He said he might want to focus more time on his family, his career and shedding the extra 10 pounds he’s put on since being elected to park board six years ago. “I haven’t had much time to hit the gym,” said Robertson. I also asked him if Green Party commissioner Stuart Mackinnon had been approached by the NPA to run for council. I’ve heard two versions of that rumour— one that includes Mackinnon being approached to run as part of a multi-party coalition and another that has him joining the NPA. Robertson said the story was news to him, but added

What do Vancouver and New York City have in common, besides well-dressed dogs? Both recently banned smoking on beaches and in public parks. The Vancouver park board actually beat NYC to it, implementing the smoking ban here last September. According to a story in the New York Daily News, NYC council voted 36 to 12 last week to approve the ban. The Vancouver smoking ban includes sports fields, courts and ball diamonds, as well as playgrounds, pathways, trails, the seawall and public golf courses. Across the city the ban includes green spaces, access streets, sidewalks and parking lots. According to the article, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg initially questioned the proposal—until he saw a photograph of more than 1,000 cigarette butts heaped together on the beach at Coney Island. The New York smoking ban will be largely self-policed, while in Vancouver park rangers have the authority to issue tickets, which cost $250 for a first offence. sthomas@vancourier.com Twitter: @sthomas10

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Vancouver Courier - February 11, 2011  

Vancouver Courier - February 11, 2011 printed edition