From protests over developments to job action by teachers, Vancouverites had a lot to say about this city in 2012. We've selected the best comments from the past 12 months of the Vancouver Courier to present who said what about the most prominent news, community, entertainment and sports stories of the year.
It'll just be a huge loss in our lives. People my age, I mean what do you do? It's nice to have housing for people but this is something kids can do, middle-aged people can do, seniors, anybody... It's here, we can do it, we can get to it. When you get to our age they start taking your driver's licences away and you just can't go to things because they're too far away.
-Arlie Johnston, bowler at Varsity Ridge Bowl, which will be demolished in a redevelopment at Arbutus and 16th Avenue.
As the population of Mount Pleasant continues to grow, I feel it would be a giant step back for the neighbourhood and the city as a whole if this rezoning application doesn't get approved. I make my living off of this, so you could say that I have a vested interest in the continued awesomeness of Vancouver.
-Vancouver Is Awesome blogger Bob Kronbauer on the rezoning application for the Rize development highrise at Kingsway and Broadway.
I fail to see how the community benefits from this highrise. I am happy for the new residents who move into these top-notch buildings with their rooftop gardens and stunning views, but what does the rest of the community receive?
- Chris Bevacqua, computer animator and Mount Pleasant resident.
We cannot reach our goals without rapid transit through central Broadway. The region can't meet its goals without rapid transit through central Broadway, we can't meet the provincial goals without rapid transit through central Broadway.
-City of Vancouver's director of transportation Jerry Dobrovolny on the need for a subway from Commercial-Broadway transit hub to the University of B.C.
It's like one of those condo sales jobs where you look at a condo model and decide whether you're going to move in. It's not a legitimate process with any ability to give feedback to government about whether it should be approved or not. I see it more like a focus group session that people are volunteering to take part in.
-Wilderness Committee spokesperson Ben West on the Kinder Morgan public consultation process about its proposal to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.
It's not the same experience when you walk on Kits Beach as it is when you walk on what we call the Point Grey foreshore. People see this as their opportunity within a big city to have this urban rural experience. We have a deep-seated need to have a rural experience even if we live in the heart of the city.
-Mel Lehan, longtime activist and director of The Point Grey Natural Foreshore Protective Society, which opposes a proposed seawall expansion on the south shore of English Bay.
STREETS WITH NO NAMES
Halloween is the most depressing. My mom still carves seven pumpkins and still buys a lot of candy but no kids come around. This street is sad.
-Rachael Bingham, whose family home on West 38th Avenue is surrounded by empty houses and speculative real estate investment.
Most of these single-family houses [in the area] are owned by retired people and retired people don't get out. If you go down to Main Street and look at all the eateries, all are for young people, so the merchants are having a hard time because there's not enough young people [in this area] and how many people can afford a $1 million house.
-James Cheng architect of the Little Mountain development.
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED
There is no Kerrisdale Village anymore. Hobbs became like a museum where people just dropped by to put on free hand cream.
-Thomas Hobbs on the closure of his Kerrisdale gift store Hobbs, which was scheduled to close at the end of December.
MARPOLE HAWK DOWN
They land right there. There is no room for error. And now we can't even leave them this tiny postage stamp of property. We have to take it all.
-Marpole resident Richard Wozny lamenting on the fate of a family of hawks that will likely be displaced if a community garden is approved next to the Marpole Museum on Southwest Marine Drive west of Granville Street.
Basically the park board wants us to become advisory committees with no power.
-Todd Constant, treasurer for the Riley Park/Hillcrest Community Association, on the power struggle between the park board and several community centre associations over funding and operating agreements.
As good as it would be to educate all of the students on breaking down those misconceptions and stereotypes, at least we're starting with our own people because, geez, if we can't even break down those stereotypes, how are we going to teach the rest of the city, the world?
-Aboriginal focus schoolteacher Fiona LaPorte on why she thinks the school, which opened in 2012 at Sir William Macdonald elementary, is necessary for young aboriginal students to succeed.
Seven out of 10 aboriginal kids don't graduate. That should have been, in our mind, the number one issue, is how can we all collectively, all aboriginal service providers, non-aboriginal service providers, the school board, the parks board, work together to address that crisis that's going on right now. If this was happening to the mainstream community, where 70 per cent of the kids were being pushed out of the system, there would be an uproar, but it seems to have been normalized.
-Scott Clark, executive director of Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society, who sees the aboriginal school as an exercise in segregation.
The most significant thing is the government was forced to take off the table the punitive legislation that Mr. [George] Abbott and the premier consistently and constantly threatened to bring into being in July. That legislation would have stripped teachers of further collective agreement rights.
-BCTF president Susan Lambert on the compromise reached between the union and the government.
This was a negotiated agreement. It's also very bare. The employer definitely didn't get all that they were hoping to achieve. I think that's what negotiations do. We seemed to have compromised at the end and we tried to do the best we could with what we were given as a mandate and the situation.
-B.C. Public School Employers' Association chair Melanie Joy.
Both those guys are well-known, great organizers, great communicators, know how to run a campaign. Calling either one of those guys an underdog is just not on.
-Paul Faoro, president of Local 15 of CUPE, when asked about George Heyman being an underdog in the NDP nomination race with Geoff Meggs in Vancouver-Fairview. Heyman won.
I said if the people don't know who I am by now, going around and talking to them isn't going to make any difference.
-Musqueam Indian Band chief-elect Wayne Sparrow, who said he spent more time hunting than campaigning to get elected in the Dec. 3 band election.
FRIENDS WITHOUT BENEFITS
For every decision you make, you will make one temporary friend and one permanent enemy.
-Richard Rosenthal, the chief civilian director of the fledgling Independent Investigations Office.
[Sex workers] have to be able to communicate and not be intimidated and frightened of the police to report stuff. Because right now it's like, why the hell should we report, nobody f---ing listens to us.
-Mona Woodward, executive director of the Aboriginal Front Door Society, on the Vancouver Police Department's draft guidelines on enforcement related to the sex trade.
Once you get the craziness of alcohol out of their life, the alcohol seeking, the criminal behaviour that comes with that, underneath that you find really interesting people who, once stabilized, want to be part of our community.
-Dr. Jeff Turnbull, co-founder and medical director of the Ottawa Inner City Health Project, on the benefit of programs that provide regular doses of alcohol to severe alcoholics.
If you're under 25, you don't own a car because it's an inconvenience and you care about the environment. And unlike the '50s, you do not need a car to find out where your friends are. The reality is, youth has replaced dependency on the automobile with the dependency on the iPhone. And unlike their moms and dads, youth does not require a car to get laid.
-Real estate marketer Bob Rennie speaking at the annual Urban Design Institute meeting in May.
I'm getting more and more complaints about scooter users bombing up and down sidewalks. And people have also told me about getting their ankles clipped in Safeway and in malls.
-Vancouver Police Department Const. Heather Brown explains why she organized a scooter "roadeo" to teach users safety, as well as manners, while driving motorized scooters.
By these small acts of consideration for others, we can solve this problem at a grassroots level, one turd at a time
-Eileen Mosca, founder of the Poop Angels Facebook page encouraging dog owners to pick up any dog poop they find.
David was a really good man who had this eternal optimism and belief that we could all be better than ourselves, and that really drove him.
-Longtime neighbour and friend Mark Wirtz on the death of David Holtzman, a prominent member of the gay community.
He came from very poor beginnings and never enjoyed an excess of wealth. But seeing the assembly here, he was rich beyond what he could have imagined.
-Koos Dykstra speaking at a memorial for friend and legendary VPD cop Bernie "Whistling" Smith, who died of cancer in November. More than 800 people packed the Croatian Cultural Centre.
Jim's record has been a consistent and tireless one - activism for social justice, democracy, for the arts, for shaping an inclusive and sustainable city.
-Mayor Gregor Robertson on the death of former city councillor and activist Jim Green, who died in February.
Basically, we're not there to judge anybody. We have standards and guidelines but they're made up by us. We're not welfare, we're not the schools, we're a group of moms who have a passion to get things done.
-Gina Hawkins, the driving force behind a group of single moms in the Downtown Eastside seeking to better their lives.
We were going to announce a theatre school and a bunch of other things in our 50th year. We had a really exciting plan.
-Jeff Schulz, chair of the board of governors for The Playhouse Theatre Company, which ceased operating in March.
I originally wanted there to be zombie killing in the streets but, in getting my special events permit, I had to go through a police department representative and there was a concern - and a completely valid one - that people would be upset.
-Virtual Stage artistic director Andy Thompson, on staging a live action zombie show in downtown Vancouver.
WHY WE PLAY
We have to continuously remind ourselves it's about our student-athletes. They come first. Sometimes, quite honestly, our coaches forget that.
-Sue Keenan, former executive director of B.C. School Sports, addressing the animosity between public and private high school basketball coaches.
THE COMMITTED LIFE
I trained really hard. I did everything I was told to do by my coach. I trust him completely and it's really paid off. I just shut my mouth, do the workout, do what he tells me to do and everything will work out.
-Liz Gleadle, Olympian, Canadian record holder and the first Canadian to compete at the Summer Games in javelin since 1988.
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