Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association
Volume 4, Issue 8
AUGUST 19, 2013
“Stunning” New Park Puts Baseball Games in Play
“Flaw” Forces UNA Board to Withdraw Elections Policy Policy was approved by governance committee; however, approval by full board was not obtained
Play ball! Richard Alexander, chair of the University Neighbourhoods Association, throws first pitch to UNA mascot Luna at opening of Nobel Diamond and Park at UBC. Please see story on Page 9. Photo credit Edward Chang.
No UBC Governance Study without Consensus, Says Minister Coralee Oakes, minister of community, sport and cultural development, is queried in legislature; government support is for status quo at this time
The provincial government will not embark on a governance study at UBC unless there is consensus among residents for the study, says the new minister responsible for UBC. Coralee Oakes, who is minister of community, sport and cultural development, told a legislative committee meeting July
BC Assembly Applauds Work of UNA MLAs are given account of UNA by David Eby; Mr. Eby is MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey Thanks to the efforts of local MLA David Eby, the work of the University Neighbourhouds Association has become better known and appreciated in the provincial legislature. Mr. Eby, who represents VancouverPoint Grey, stood in the legislature July 16th to explain to fellow MLAs why the UNA and its large pool of volunteers matter greatly to the 8,000 residents of the UBC campus. ASSEMBLY continued on Page 2
16th that “if there was that element of consensus that could be brought forward, we’d be more than willing to look at what governance the stakeholders agree to in consensus.” Ms. Oakes said that until consensus is evident, the government will continue to support the status quo, which is governance provided by the University Neighbourhoods Association in the case of UBC. The minister expressed a similar set of thoughts on the separate prospect of governance change in the UEL. Ms. Oakes sketched out the position taken by the provincial government on governance at UBC (and in the UEL) in response to persistent and pointed questioning by David Eby, new MLA for Vancouver Point-Grey. In the committee meeting in Victoria, Mr. Eby asked what plans the government has to consult with the University Neighbourhoods Association on a variety of topics. CONSENSUS continued on Page 11
Acclaimed UNA Directors See Pages 6-7 David Eby
The University Neighbourhoods Association has withdrawn its new election policy, which in part included a campaign spending limit of $500 per candidate. “The policy development and application was flawed”, said Richard Alexander, chair UNA board of directors. The election policy, announced only a month ago, was developed with the good intention of creating a level playing field for all candidates running for election to the board, Mr. Alexander said. “One goal was to create an environment where access to money was not the primary manner of enhancing the standing of or promoting electoral success for an individual.” Policies to prevent excessive spending by electoral candidates are in place in many countries. Such policies may focus on expenditures by political parties and individual candidates as well as transparency around donations. In the case of the UNA, the election policy developed by its governance standing committee should have been forwarded to the UNA board for discussion and formal approval. This did not occur as the July board meeting was cancelled. As a registered society and legal entity, the UNA board has the right to set election policies, but it must abide by the long-standing procedure that all committee decisions require board approval. Also, all board decisions must comply with the UNA constitution and by-laws. Mr. Alexander called the policy development “an instructive process.” He said, “For the first time, the Governance committee discussed legitimate questions around election spending; we were reminded about the importance of due process and transparency with our legal advisor reconfirming the UNA Board’s right to pass rules that affect the members”. As a result of the new elections policy being withdrawn, the same election rules will apply this year as in previous years.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Building Community by Singing Together - The Internationals Choir By Julie Wang, choir participant and Hawthorn Place resident Established in September 2012, The Internationals choir celebrated the close of its first season in July with two lively performances at the Acadia Park Commonsblock and St. Anselm’s Anglican Church. Families, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and other community members were treated to an eclectic musical program that ranged from traditional folk songs from the U.S.A. (“Shenandoah”), Cuba (“Son de Camaguey”), and Israel, to the contemporary Chilean ballad “Gracias a la vida” and the Beach Boys’ pop hit “Barbara Ann.” The Internationals choir is the brainchild of Sarit Aloni, a graduate student in the UBC School of Music’s Master of Music in Choral Conducting program and resident of Acadia Park. A professional soprano and voice teacher who has trained in Italy and Israel, Sarit founded the choir when she realized she had a unique opportunity at UBC: to develop a community vocal en-
semble from the ground-up while sharing and building on her own extensive experience as a musician and conductor. Today, The Internationals choir gathers together people who enjoy singing from the UBC community and beyond. Its participants are as diverse as its song repertoire, with members hailing from more than eight countries on four continents and including graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, alumni, and residents of UTown@ UBC. Some have extensive choral experience, while others have little or no formal musical training. Singers at all levels have the opportunity to grow musically and have fun through our team-oriented rehearsals. The Internationals choir is an exciting addition to the growing array of cultural activities enriching community life at UBC. We sing mostly a cappella and in four voices (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), and we warmly welcome new participants. Fall rehearsals are scheduled to begin in early September and will be held in Wesbrook Village. For more details and to learn more about participating in the Internationals choir, please contact choir direc-
Members of The Internationals after their performance at the Acadia Park Commonsblock, July 3, 2013. tor Sarit Aloni, firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our page at http://www.meetup.com/ The-UBC-Internationals-Choir/ Want to
hear us? Here’s a preview: http://youtu.be/ MeS9MknoLfk
Directors Take Pass on Praising Planning Report Directors of the University Neighbourhoods Association showed no interest in debating a report praising UBC for its “sound” neighbourhood planning practices at their August meeting. The board had received Review of the UBC Neighbourhood Planning Process, a report by consultant Thomas Fletcher, from UBC, and listed it as an item of new business. However, when the time came to debate the report, none of the five directors at
the meeting offered to comment. Resident-director Thomas Beyer offered a hint as to the way he feels about this report by voting against the employment of Mr. Fletcher on a separate item of business, namely his employment as a UNA consultant to compare the roles of UNA directors and councillors at eight municipalities in British Columbia. While the board agreed to employ Mr. Fletcher as a consultant on this $25,000
project, Mr. Beyer voted against his employment—citing adverse feelings towards the Fletcher report on neighbourhood planning practices. In this report commissioned by UBC, Mr. Fletcher concludes that the planning and amendment processes as applied generally at UBC, and specifically to the Wesbrook Neighbourhood Plan, meet, and often exceed, the practices of other similar planning agencies.
Mr. Fletcher—a former director of planning at the City of Vancouver who delivered his review to the UBC board of governors earlier this year—offered that “the fundamental process employed by UBC Campus & Community Planning is sound.” The board instructed UNA staff to advise UBC that directors had ‘received’ the Fletcher report.
ASSEMBLY continued from Page 1
of applause. Mr. Eby told legislators—some unfamiliar with the story of residential land development at UBC—how UBC had formed the UNA ten years ago, and how “a unique (residential) community” had developed on campus lands since then. He noted that while the UNA started out as “an administrative vehicle of convenience”, it has grown into “a vibrant and effective community-building and advocacy group”
thanks to the efforts of both its volunteer board and pool of resident-volunteers. Mr. Eby referred specifically to the time put in by UNA volunteers in contributing to their community. He said the UNA had advised him 2,000 hours of work time are volunteered every year. As well as inviting fellow MLAs to applaud the UNA for its good work in creating a vibrant community at UBC, Mr. Eby encouraged them to visit the UNA website
to see the long list of services offered residents. He listed a number of such services (cycling resource clinics, family fun days, volunteer workshops, garden parties, midsummer markets.) and said, “The list goes on.” Mr. Eby said he attended the recent July 1st Canada Day celebrations on campus, and “it was clear to everyone the UNA is the core of a vibrant community.” This said, Mr. Eby acknowledged challenges face the UNA in seeking to establish an ideal community on campus, especially challenges it faces in dealings (or lack of dealings) with the government in Victoria. He listed two areas in particular where challenges are evident: governance and transportation. In the case of transportation, the Vancouver-Point Grey MLA hoped the provincial government would see fit to consult more fully with the UNA prior to making ‘changes in infrastructure’ on campus such as roadway re-development. Considerable debate has arisen of late regarding changes to 16th Avenue between Wesbrook Mall and East Mall with some residents claiming the changes by the ministry of transportation and infrastructure are steps backward not forward. In the case of governance, Mr. Eby said that “despite a community understanding of the need to increase the role of ‘just’ a society (the UNA is organized under the BC Society Act, not under municipal charter), they’ve been told there will be no governance reform until they (the residents) come to some consensus.” Mr. Eby said, “All is not perfect on campus.” However, “life there would be unimaginable without the UNA.” A video of his speech is at http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=xQv2OGD0kBM
After referring to, and naming, the seven directors who currently constitute the UNA board (Richard Alexander, Thomas Beyer, Charles Menzies, Erica Frank, Nancy Knight, Caroline Wong and Ian Burgess), Mr. Eby invited fellow MLAs to applaud their work and the work of UNA volunteers. MLAs responded with a generous round
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Published by: University Neighbourhoods Association #202-5923 Berton Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S OB3
Editor & Business Manager John Tompkins 604.827.3502 JTompkins@myuna.ca
Opening the Door to Direct UNA Talks with Victoria An opportunity has arisen for the University Neighbourhoods Association to have a closer day-to-day relationship with the provincial government. Coralee Oakes, the new minister with oversight for UBC, has opened the book on this more intimate relationship with comments made recently in the legislative assembly in Victoria. A close and more personal relationship with the provincial government would take the UNA into uncharted waters. Previously, only UBC has maintained a direct relationship with Victoria, leaving UNA resident-directors to learn from UBC what was talked abut behind closed doors, To be fair to UBC, its esteemed appointees to the UNA board, kept their elected resident-director counterparts reasonably well informed. However, the UNA needs to function directly in relation to Victo-
ria. Likewise, the provincial government needs to learn how to deal directly with the UNA for there is no better way of getting in touch with 8,000 residents than through the UNA. Hope rises in this direction with the comments of Ms. Oakes who said in a legislative committee meeting in July, “We are always open to consultation, and we’re just waiting for the group (the UNA) to ask us. We have not yet heard from them.” The minister invited the UNA to call her deputy minister (Becky Denlinger) to learn precisely who in the bureaucracy to get in contact with to initiate consultation on all manner of issues—changes to the 16th Avenue roadway that runs on UBC land and governance to name just two ‘hot button’ issues. UBC might join the UNA in the various avenues down which consultations
flow. However, let’s keep the order right here: the UNA should have direct dealings with Victoria on matters affecting the lives of residents. The UNA should not merely learn second-hand from UBC what it may accomplish with government assistance. On the matter of governance, the minister said she has no reason to believe either the UNA or residents in general are seeking relief from the status quo at this time. She further noted that the ministry she now heads has held this same position for some considerable time—certainly three years when an in-house government review of governance matters in the UNA area was undertaken. The minister at the time (Ida Chong) also concluded that neither the UNA nor residents in general were seeking relief from the status quo— despite the outspoken views of some resi-
dents. In the case of UBC residents, the status quo amounts to the UNA providing them with municipal-like governance. As everyone who lives on campus know, the following question always hangs in the air. Will there ever be change? Enhanced UNA dealings with the provincial government might lead to some other form of governance, perhaps municipal incorporation, or it might lead to enhanced status quo. This question needs to be answered eventually. Whenever that is, Ms. Oakes asserts she will approve change only if it comes with the broad support of residents. She told the committee that “if there was that element of consensus that could be brought forward, we’d be more than willing to look at what governance the stakeholders agree to in consensus.”
Parting Thoughts after Seven Years on Campus… By John Dickinson Departing Hawthorn Place Resident, Founding member Organization for U-Town Residents We are leaving! Not because of what follows below, but for business and family reasons. For seven years we have lived at UBC in the Hawthorn neighbourhood and, for the most part, they have been good years. Hawthorn is a very pleasant, well planned and extremely well executed development. At this time of year, with trees in full leaf and landscaping at its best, it is tempting to let the mellow rays of summer erase all negative thoughts. To leave without speaking out one more time would, however, be disrespectful to the many public spirited members of the U-Town community whose concerns I have heard over the years, and whose voices continue to be ignored. I would also like to note and emphasize that the voices raised are not, as labelled by some “rabble rousers” or “the radical fringe”. Many of these are intelligent, professional people with long careers and impressive credentials in business or public life, people accustomed to being in leadership roles. While there is much to applaud in our community, I see two big problems – and they are related. One is the absence of a real, democratic, responsive local government with the powers and responsibilities of a true municipality. The second is UBC’s entrenched attitudes about planning. When UBC began to develop its land for residential purposes – with an ultimate goal of housing 25,000 people
– there surely must have been a serious discussion about the ultimate need for realistic governance options. Did the planners and UBC executives imagine that a community of 25,000 would be satisfied without proper democratic representation? Did they really think that people would invest their life savings in properties on campus, pay thousands in annual taxes and levies and be happy to hand over their hard earned cash with virtually no accountability for how it is spent? Did the powers that be truly believe that a toothless association (the UNA) without the ability to establish and enforce its own bylaws could be an effective tool for community management? It is worth noting that the UNA did not come along until 2002 – long after UBC had begun the development of residential communities. If the answers are “Yes”, then I fear that UBC’s much vaunted “Place of Mind” might be better labelled “Out of Mind”. Campus and Community Planning, which seems to be the real power broker in the U-Town community, has as its stated purpose “To serve the academic mission of the university”. And this is the crux of the problem. While there is a genuine desire and commitment to create attractive communities and an apparent willingness to consult with residents, the ultimate decision making serves UBC’s needs. Consultation, when it does occur, is often about the details and not about the basic concept and, as a result, feels like window dressing and lip service. If there is a conflict between what is desirable for residents and what UBC wants, the outcome is almost always going to favour UBC. Residents have no recourse and very limited means of influencing UBC’s actions because there are only
very weak checks and balances in the system. A good example of how this works against residents is the way additional density (and a proliferation of high rises) has been dumped into the Wesbrook neighbourhood following the decision to save the UBC Farm. Had I been an original buyer in Wesbrook, seduced by the “Village in the Woods” marketing concept, I would be appalled at current plans. This is not NIMBYism as I do not think there is opposition to appropriate densification. There is, however, widespread dismay about the number of highrises and the impact of the ultimate density of the Wesbrook area. In the minds of many residents, the liveability of the original plan has been severely compromised and there is a sense of betrayal. What needs to happen? First, instead of stonewalling, UBC needs to recognize that the status quo is not sustainable and open its mind to a serious review of governance options. This process must be led by residents with the support and financial assistance of the Provincial Government. Quite possibly, this will lead to the establishment of a special municipality with a full set of powers and responsibilities. There are those with a long history of advocacy for (and much invested in) the current structure who will argue that the status quo is the best alternative and that the complexities of creating a municipality at UBC are overwhelming. Great change happens when there is a clear and empowering vision of the future that enables people to figure out how to move ahead. It never occurs by focusing on all the problems and roadblocks. UBC’s residential community needs a clear vision that reflects the goals and desires of its residents and
it needs it now. Second, the mandate of Campus and Community Planning needs to change to “Serve the academic mission of UBC and the needs of the residential community”. This would be the prelude to the reform of the planning process to create a robust community partnership in which collaboration replaces mistrust, joint determination replaces one-sided decision making. Utopian? Perhaps. Doable with good will and hard work on all sides? Definitely. I suspect this will only happen, however, with some arm twisting from Victoria. Finally, none of this will happen unless residents continue to speak out. There is a group of hardy volunteers out there who refuse to be bowed by all the setbacks and who are vocal advocates for change. They need your support and your help. They need you to express your views and debate the issues. They need you to vote for candidates in elections who will put residents first. Communities are created by people who care enough to challenge and press for change, who are energized by debate, who are motivated to be engaged. I hope you will do your part and will follow the results with interest!
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
HOW TO BEST ENHANCE THE VALUE OF OUR LEASES (9th IN A SERIES) Jim Taylor, Hampton Place Resident, Lawyer and First UNA Chair This is the last of my articles on this subject. The entire series can be found, if one is interested in reviewing them, on the UNA website – www.myuna.ca. When I started this work I had no idea what the data would show. My goal was to determine what we could do as individuals and as a community to maintain or increase the value of our leasehold interests (“LH”) here in the Neighbourhoods. I thought it would be helpful to summarize the conclusions I reached: 1. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A FORM OF LEASE THE TERMS OF WHICH ARE SUCH THAT AT YOUR ORIGINAL PURCHASE DATE THE MARKET EQUATES THE VALUE OF THE LH TO FEE SIMPLE (“FS”). In the Neighbourhoods we have 100 year prepaid leases. At our original purchase
date our LHs sold for the same as FS. When compared to a series of other and sometimes different, leases like ours have greater value than most. 2. QUITE ASIDE FROM THE TERMS OF THE LEASE, MAINTAINING A PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS-LIKE AND CIVIL WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LANDLORD HAS AN IMPACT ON VALUE. I examined carefully what had happened with the Musqueam leases on Marine Drive and also on the Fraser River. In part the precipitous decline in the value of the Marine Drive leases results from the form of the leases (the lease rent was only fixed for a period of time and then subject to periodic reviews) but in part it resulted from a long series of disputes, some very public disputes, between Musqueam and the leaseholders. Losing a productive, business-like and civil working relationship with your landlord denies you flexibility (such as, as an example, possible revisions in the mid-term of a 100 year lease (100 years is a long period of time and beyond the normal life expectancy of some of the
buildings we build) and revisions as redevelopment occurs as the leases comes to an end or, if advantageous, earlier. 3. THE VALUE OF A NEARBY CONTIGUOUS LH AREA MAY AFFECT THE VALUE OF WHAT IS A BETTER LEASE. When the problems occurred between Musqueam and its tenants in relation to the non-100 year leases in the Marine Drive area, the diminishing value of those leases affected the value of the 100 year prepaid leases that Musqueam had given to tenants who had bought in the Musqueam Fraser River area. 4. ENSURING A WELL FUNDED INDEPENDENT RESIDENTS’ GROUP TO DEAL WITH A UNIVERSITY LANDLORD ABOUT UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE ISSUES THAT IMPACT RESIDENTS HAS AN IMPACT ON LH VALUE. Whatever “municipal” governance arrangements we have or may have those arrangements alone will not address the particular governance issues to which one is unavoidably subject on a University campus where the Board of Governors has the statutory power to manage its campus. That means that whatever purely municipal-like or municipal structure we have, there are a series of independent governance issues with the University that we have to be able to address
(as we do through our present governance structure). If we do not have that capacity we will find that the relationship with the University becomes, as appears to be happening at SFU, simply a landlord and tenant relationship and the interests of the tenants can get lost. 5. THE PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL CARE THAT WE TAKE WITHIN OUR INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENTS AND THE COMMUNITY THAT WE DEVELOP WITHIN THEM IMPACTS LH VALUE. 6. THE EXTENT TO WHICH WE CARE FOR AND NOURISH THE PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL CARE OF OUR ENTIRE NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMUNITY IMPACTS LH VALUE. I hope that readers found these articles and my conclusions helpful and, if they agree, ensure that we all work towards achieving a situation where our LH value is maintained and enhanced. As I noted several times earlier, I did this work as a volunteer. However, in order to do it, I needed help from a property consultant and other help to collect and gather material relating to court proceedings, press, particular legal instruments that apply in particular cases and things of that nature. UBC and the UNA kindly agreed to at least partially fund this work.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013 ADVERTISEMENT
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Three Resident-Directors Acclaimed Richard Alexander, chair of the University Neighbourhoods Association, announced the acclamation of three resident-directors to the UNA board of directors at the August 13th board meeting at The Old Barn Community Centre. Beginning September 19th (day after the 2013 UNA annual general meeting), Prod Laquian, of Hampton Place, will serve as a director for a term of two years.
Also commencing September 19th, Ying Zhou, of Chancellor Place, will serve for a term of two years. Thomas Beyer, of Chancellor Place, whose current position as a director is scheduled to expire at the AGM, will serve on the board for another year to fill a vacancy on the board. Mr. Alexander extended congratulations to Mr. Laquian, Ms. Zhou and Mr. Beyer, and said, “The UNA board of di-
rectors and UNA staff look forward to working with you.” Mr. Laquian, a retired UBC professor, returns to the board on which he sat for four years, including a term as chair, while Ms. Zhou, a financial analyst, serves on the board for the first time. A businessman, Mr. Beyer—also UNA treasurer—will complete his first two years on the board at the upcoming general meeting.
Chancellor Place Resident
Hampton Place Resident
I intend to advocate four main issues: 1) Improved UBC Independent Representation: The current
As a Hampton Place resident since 1993, I have been involved in the UNA as a volunteer since its inception. In 2008, I was elected to the UNA Board and served as Vice Chair (2010-2011) and then as Chair and President (20112012).
representation of its citizens by UNA needs strengthening and a stronger voice independent of the institutional, traditionally academically focused university. Specifically: a. High density land use planning needs more formal resident input, b. UBC’s and the students’ appointed representatives need less or no formal voting power on the UNA board, c. BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s (MOTI) heavy handed road design needs more resident input and oversight. 2) By-Laws: While we made some progress on noise and parking by-laws over the last two years, pet & waste by-laws have yet to be ratified and enforced. 3) Value for Money It is paramount we receive good value for our taxes paid by eliminating wasteful spending, paying staff market salaries (and not higher like in many Canadian municipalities) and continuously questioning expenses and adjusting desired services levels benefitting residents. 4) A City on Campus Land: We need to continue to work with UBC, but we need to strengthen our direct relationships with the media, BC Ministries such as MOTI and the provincial government to achieve better resident oriented services and to not be continually considered just a cash-cow for academia. I can contribute to this complex governance process through life and business experience, forthrightness, proven stewardship principles, vision and independence as demonstrated in the last two years. UNA needs more cost conscientious directors that are independent of UBC and focused on taxpayers/ resident power. Background: As a businessman and business owner, responsible governance, cost control, revenue improvements, property enhancements, and customer satisfaction are my daily bread. I was trained as a software engineer with a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Technical University in Munich, Germany (1986) and an MBA from UofA in Edmonton, Alberta (1988). I am the president of Prestigious Properties and chairman of the board of the property management firm Fireside Property Group. I was a UNA Director from 2011-2013, elected as a vice chair in late fall 2011 and last year as UNA’s treasurer where we delivered a very large surplus. UBC is a small village, close to a big city, surrounded by forests, parks, beaches and water. UBC is changing from a purely academic educational facility to a mixed-use “place of mind” with currently 15,000 and soon, 30,000+ residents, some temporary during their years of study but many full-time, long-term. UBC’s governance model needs to reflect these new realities. It does not today. I am independent of UBC in that I have no ideological or natural ties to the academic institution UBC – my wife and I happen to like to live here as full-time residents because we love the fairly car-free environment, the views, the parks, the beaches, the international mix of its residents and the closeness to bright academic people and a vibrant international city, Vancouver.
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The UNA has eight seats on its board— five reserved for elected resident-directors, two for UBC appointees, and one for an appointee of the (student) Alma Mater Society. Incorporated under the Society Act of B.C., the UNA serves to provide municipal-like services to the resident community at UBC. Please find biographies of the three directors below and on Page 7.
In 2012, I took time off from UNA to coordinate a study on how 17 AsiaPacific countries (including China and India) provide urban services like water, sanitation, transportation, solid waste disposal and disaster preparedness. My study will be published in a global report on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and as a chapter in a monograph titled The Governance of Local Basic Services: Providing Access for All (Barcelona: United Cities and Local Governments, 2014). If elected to the UNA Board, I will focus on the following issues to benefit UTown residents: • Giving voice to residents’ concerns in the governance of UTown, especially in planning our neighbourhoods, providing urban services, financing of amenities in a cost-effective way, managing community assets, and encouraging peoples’ involvement and participation in community affairs. • Enhancing and promoting effective UNA action on key issues such as appropriate densities, good urban design, building and infrastructure standards, efficient transportation, landscaping measures and environmental and social sustainability. • Pursuing programs and projects on emergency and disaster preparedness at the household and community levels. • Launching governance reforms to make the UNA responsive to community concerns, less bureaucratic and more efficient, consultative, transparent and accountable. I have a Ph. D in political science major in urban planning and governance from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I worked with the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa and Nairobi, Kenya for 10 years and then with the United Nations (in China and New York) for another 10 years. I am currently Professor Emeritus of Community and Regional Planning at UBC and was a tenured professor at the School of Community and Regional Planning and director of the UBC Centre for Human Settlements. After retiring from UBC in 2000, I was a visiting scholar and acting head of the Special Program on Urban and Regional Studies at MIT (2001-2002) and then a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, where I wrote two books on the planning and governance of the14 largest cities in Asia and the provision of basic services to the urban poor in Asian cities. Both books were published by Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press. I have written or edited 20 other books as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles on urban affairs. I believe that if elected a Resident Director, my education and experience will serve the UNA well.
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Ying Zhou Chancellor Place Resident Why I am running for election as a Resident Director on the UNA Board: Like many new immigrants I felt lost and isolated when I came to Canada. My world changed when I became involved with the UNA Community Centre. There I experienced the power of community participation through volunteering. There is great value in working hard to make our community a caring and supportive place for all of us, no matter our backgrounds. I am actively involved in a large number of programs some that encourage new residents to participate in our community. These include: • Vice Chair UNA Multicultural Committee • Coordinator of the Sudoku Club at the Old Barn Community Centre • Member of the UNA Book Club I believe my work background and experience will allow me to make an informed and valuable contribution to the Board. My business experience includes 16 years in Financial Services. My Canadian Personal Financial Planner designation is in progress. As your elected Director, my focus will be on: • Creating a bridge between the community and new immigrants. • Improving community safety especially for children with special attention to traffic, our environment and animal control. • Developing programs that offer help and companionship to seniors. • Continuing the dialogue on the UNA-UBC Neighbours Agreement and improving access to UBC recreation facilities, all to increase every resident’s rights. • Paying special attention to building development in the neighbourhoods and adjacent lands. Your support is much appreciated.
Road Stats Support Claim 16th Avenue Roundabout Safer than Intersection Collision data is provided by ICBC; second roundabout is under construction UBC has presented a set of ICBC statistics supporting its claim the controversial roundabout at 16th Avenue and Wesbrook Mall is safer for both pedestrians and motorists than the four-way intersection with traffic lights which preceded it. Speaking on behalf of UBC, Margaret Eckenfelder, acting director, public engagement, commented to directors of the University Neighbourhoods Association at their August meeting, “We are much better off with the roundabout.” Ms. Eckenfelder delivered a Fact Sheet to the board indicating that in the four years (2009-2012) since the roundabout was built in 2008, there were five ‘casualty collisions’ (crashes resulting in an injury or fatality), whereas in the five years (2003-2007) before it was built (when traffic was controlled by green-amberred signal lights), there were 18. The Fact Sheet shows a similar comparison extending to ‘property damage collisions’ (crashes resulting in material damage with no personal injury or fatality)—28 collisions in the four years since the roundabout was built and 43 in the five year period 2003-2007 before. Facts also indicate five casualty collisions and 11 property damage collisions in the actual year in which it was built. Ms. Eckenfelder said the roundabout at 16th Avenue and Wesbrook Mall was
built to replace the intersection “as part of a strategy to improve safety for all road users.” Construction along 16th Avenue is currently underway that includes a second roundabout at East Mall, as well as a number of other safety enhancements, with projected completion by September 2013. UBC reports that once the 16th Avenue project is complete, the following improvements will be have been made: • Addition of a mid block crossing with pedestrian activated overhead amber flashing lights between East Mall and Wesbrook Mall that connects with the multi-use pathway through Thunderbird Park. • Addition of sidewalks and bike lanes on the north and side south of 16th Avenue between East Mall and Wesbrook Mall. • Reduced speeds between Hampton Place and SW Marine Drive to achieve a consistent 50 kph speed limit on this corridor. • Bus stops and shelters on the north and south side of 16th Avenue close to the mid- block crossing. • Straightening of 16th Avenue between Wesbrook Mall and East Mall to improve sight-lines and visibility. • Enhanced lighting above the minimum requirements at the mid block and along the corridor. • Conversion of a signalized intersection at East Mall to the roundabout.
1. Data available at www.icbc.com/crashmap-lm 2. ICBC bases their time series evaluations on data collected no more than 5 years prior to intersection improvement 3. Casualty collisions are crashes resulting in an injury or fatality 4. Property damage collisions are crashes resulting in material damage with no person injury of fatality 5. Greyed out as roundabout was constructed in 2008
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
UNA Community News Sustainability Corner
A Green Guide for Residents Guest columnist Tania Leon is the UNA Sustainability Intern for summer 2013 Have you ever wondered what you should do with that old cell phone? What are the best ways to conserve energy at home? How much water are we using every day? Where can you find information about cycling and transit options? What
about the difference between free-range and free-run eggs? The UNA is setting out to publish a Green Guide for its residents and as the new Sustainability Intern, I have been tasked to put this guide together. What is the Green Guide all about? It is a handy little booklet that highlights five key sustainability topics: reducing waste, reducing energy use, reducing water consumption, sustainable transportation, and
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September 14, 2013 1 - 4pm
The Old Barn Community Centre, 6308 Thunderbird Blvd @ UBC
sustainable food systems. Within each section, the guide will point out simple actions that can make the most positive impact on our environment and our daily lives as well. The guide also includes little known facts and useful resources for residents to seek more information online. The Green Guide aims to provide residents with the knowledge and tools necessary to incorporate sustainability at home and throughout our daily lives. The guide demonstrates ways in which you can benefit from being more sustainable, from saving money to creating a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. We also selected information that was both local and relevant to our residents and the UNA community. You may have seen activities focused on sustainability around our community, including the Cycling Resource Clinics and Community E-waste drop off, but residents will soon be able to refer to our Green Guide for quick information at home as well. Our goal is to ensure that residents are able to make sustainable choices with ease. Community members have expressed an interest in having a guide and we hope to have the guide published this fall. Keep in mind that our Green Guide is
geared towards all of our residents, from individuals to families. We chose tips and ideas so that all age groups can take part in household sustainability. In fact, teaching kids how to be more sustainable now will set them on the right path for the future! If you have any questions about the upcoming Green Guide or would like other information related to sustainability, please contact Ralph Wells at rwells@ myuna.ca.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
“Stunning” New Park Puts Baseball Games in Play In terms of community baseball facilities, UBC is now on par with Dunbar, Kerrisdale and West Point Grey; Nobel Park is “Grand Slam,” says UNA chair The much-anticipated grand opening of Nobel Softball Diamond and Park at the University of British Columbia took place Saturday, July 27th under gloriously sunny skies and with youngsters and others keen to play ball on what is now the largest park for residents on campus. “I am honoured to have the privilege of opening Nobel Park – our community’s newest park and softball diamond,” Richard Alexander, chair of the University Neighbourhoods Association said. “Today, we are celebrating the UNA’s first community softball diamond and the newest and largest UNA park.” The UNA invites all residents to use Nobel Park, which is located off Wesbrook Mall at the south end of Wesbrook Place (in South Campus). Following a brief speech in the seating area of Nobel Park, Mr. Alexander—fittingly wearing a baseball cap—took to the baseball field to throw the ceremonial first pitch to a local youngster dressed as Luna the Cow, The Old Barn Community Centre mascot. In baseball terms, the chair said, Nobel Park “is a Grand Slam.” The UNA notes that Nobel Park is also community amenity providing more than baseball. In the words of Mr. Alexander, “It is a space to promote various types of physical activities, community connection and, of course, future home run hitters.” With the addition of Nobel Park to the inventory of neighbourhood parks on campus, UBC joins the ranks of such communities as Dunbar, West Point Grey and Kerrisdale with facilities where competitive ‘little league’ teams play and where flourishing competitions take place. For example, on the day Nobel Park opened, the Kerrisdale field at Elm and 41st in Vancouver hosted a well-attended, day-long little league tournament. Advertising at the field indicated support for the tournament from the Toronto Blue Jays. Parents and volunteers interested in helping start junior teams at Nobel Park should contact the UNA. Mr. Alexander paid tribute to UNA staff members who organized the official opening and UBC Properties Trust for
The Old Barn Community Centre
Phil Thom, Manager of UBC softball team; Richard Alexander, UNA Chair; Bradley Thomas, volunteer coach; and Gord Collings, Head Coach, opening Nobel Softball Diamond and Park. Photo credit Edward Chang. constructing “such a stunning field and park-space.” The UNA operates and manages Nobel Softball Diamond and Park. Teams wishing to use the facility should contact staff at The Old Barn Community Centreto book space. UBC Properties released the following statement in conjunction with the opening of Nobel Park: “1. Our commitment to the neighbour-
Batting practice at Nobel Park. Photo credit Edward Chang.
Program Guide Registration open
August 26, 2013
hood is to have the parks completed prior to residents moving into adjacent sites. In this particular instance, Nobel Park was delayed due to a very significant storm retention tank installed beneath the park. As you may be aware we have made a substantial commitment to accommodate storm water within our boundaries. The engineering requirements took longer to resolve than we had hoped. 2. Nobel Park is our single largest park
for active park use. We are looking forward to the community to establish teams for the children in our neighbourhoods.” UBC Athletics and Recreation also released a statement saying it “is thrilled with the addition of this wonderful sport and recreational amenity. UBC Athletics is also thrilled with the opportunity to assist in community program development to support youth and recreational sport.”
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Flow of Water through Wesbrook Park Fascinates Youngsters
On Friday August 9th, the children from Sandpiper Preschool came out to Wesbrook Place to learn about our storm water system. Forestry research student from UBC, Ping Na, explained how the water in the fountains that flow from Khorana Park to Smith Park are from rain water. The water is first collected from building drainage systems in Wesbrook Place and then flows into the streams and ponds in the parks. The children all had a blast learning where the water came from and they even did a little project. After colouring a popsicle stick, they place it at the beginning of the stream, and watched their stick flow down to see how the water moves and where the water ends up. If you havenâ€™t already, go check out and enjoy Wesbrook Placeâ€™s beautiful and natural storm water pond!
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Biodiversity in your backyard The Inconspicuous Carnivore of Camosun Bog By Sara Mimick, Museum Interpreter, Beaty Biodiversity Museum When visiting Camosun Bog you might hear or catch a glimpse of a few cagey carnivores that love to eat insects, such as the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla), Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile) or a variety of bird species that inhabit the Bog. However, there is one living organism, that, even though it grows in plain sight, you might never guess, it also ensnares and digests insects as prey. This inconspicuous carnivore is a flowering plant called the Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia). The Round-leaved sundew is a common sundew species found across BC in bogs, marshes, fens and other wet habitats where the soil is poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen. The sundew has adapted to these habitats by finding needed nutrients elsewhere, in particular from the strange yet fascinating and important world of insects. The Roundleaved sundew mainly feasts on midges, gnats and mosquitoes; however, it has the ability to digest insects the size of small flies and ants. The small leaves of the Rounded-leaved sundew grow in a basal rosette formation and are equipped with hairy tentacles
called laminae. The laminae are stalked with sweet, sticky mucilage that appears like morning dew and attracts tasty insects. Once the insect is trapped, the sundew secretes various enzymes that digest and extract a form of nitrogen and other nutrients from the insect. Many people are aware of other carnivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) or Pitcher plant (Nepenthes spp.); however, these plants are not native to the Lower Mainland. The Round-leaved sundew is local and
Photo credit: Robert Mo, courtesy of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group
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CONSENSUS continued from Page 1 Ms. Oakes seemed to send a mixed message. On the one hand, she said, “We are always open to consultation, and we’re just waiting for the group (the UNA) to ask us. We have not yet heard from them.” On the other hand, Ms. Oakes said, “Currently when we talk about Electoral Area A, the University Neighbourhood Association is actually outside the jurisdiction of this committee. It is a separate society based under the Society Act.” When Mr. Eby asked for some history on the governance position taken by the government in favour of the status quo, Ms. Oakes said, “By way of background, in the fall of 2010, the deputy minister and staff visited and met with the university — the UBC board of governors, the executive alumni, the UEL Community Advisory Council and the University Neighbourhoods Association. “The conclusion at that time was that there was a strong preference for status quo.” Mr. Eby did not seem impressed with the response. He said, “Is the minister going to stand here and advise the thousands of people who live in the Univer-
sity Neighbourhood Association’s area that she is relying on a three-year-old consultation as being sufficient for the next year?” Ms. Oakes dug in. She said, “Just going back to what I previously stated, in the fall of 2010 we did do the consultations with that group (the UNA). They, in fact, wanted it to remain status quo.” Consolidating her position in the face of further questioning by Mr. Eby, Ms. Oakes said, “The challenge on this particular issue…is that there has not been consensus around the change in governance.” Through Mr. Eby, the minister invited the UNA to contact her deputy minister (Becky Denlinger) if it wished to begin consultations on such issues affecting UBC residents as governance, highway improvement (especially on-going 16th Avenue improvement) and infrastructure development. Referring to both residents of UBC and the UEL, Ms. Oakes reiterated the government perspective, “The challenge…is that there has not been consensus around change in governance.” Find video of debate at: http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=CnXNpoA84tc
can be found right here in UBC’s own backyard – Camosun Bog. Camosun Bog is an unfamiliar ecosystem that dates back to 2,000 years ago. Its characteristic components consist of sunlight, nutrientpoor soil and sphagnum moss. Now is an excellent time to view the sundew there as its dew-like mucilage shimmers in the summer sun and its white, five-petalled flowers are blooming. When you visit the Bog, you might see dedicated members of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group. Be sure to explore other amazing plant species of this ecosystem, including the 13 species of Spagnum mosses (Sphagnum spp.), Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum), and the Arctic starflower (Trientalis europaea), to name just a few. You can also experience a mini piece of Camosun Bog at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum that was generously donated by Susan Chung of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group for public access and education. It displays some of the Camosun Bog plant species, including the Roundleaved sundew, Labrador tea, Bog laurel (Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis), Bog cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris), Oval-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) and the Arctic starflower. In the Collections: [a]drift, a visual art exhibition by Edith Krause and featuring human life-sized images of microscopic
marine creatures, runs until August 25 at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Current Extreme Adaptations theme explores how organisms adapt to survive and exploit the world around them, with special programming and activities at the Museum and guided tours at UBC Botanical Garden. For more information, visit beatymuseum.ubc.ca and botanicalgarden.ubc.ca.
Photo credit: Robert Mo, courtesy of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group
UNA Events Prove Successful
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 19, 2013
Master UBC Chef Shows How Good Cooking is Done
Langley Ukulele Ensemble performing at August 9 Evening in the Park Photo credit William Wan.
UNA staff member Julia Melanson serving wine and cheese to a UNA resident at the August 14 UNA Garden Party. Photo credit Jerry Chen.
Steve Golob, who is resident chef at Place Vanier dining room at UBC, demonstrated art of using fresh, local and UBC Farm ingredients to create appetizing menu selections at July 17-20 Blueberry Fest. Mr. Golob began his career at UBC Food Services 15 years ago. Recipes by Steve and other UBC chefs can be found at www.food.ubc.ca