Category Archives: General

Vancouver Mayoral Candidate Bob Kasting on Vote Splitting: In His Own Words:

My friend, Bob Kasting is running for Mayor of Vancouver. That’s pretty exciting for me! Maybe I will be on a first name basis with the next mayor. Better yet, I know what kind of a person he is, so the city would be in the hands of someone with integrity who cares about the stuff I care about; recycling, daycare, transit, affordable housing. Maybe we could get rid of those plastic bags and that is even more exciting!

Anyway, Vancouverites seem to be concerned about ‘vote splitting,’ so I asked Bob if he’d guest blog his thoughts for me, right here. And he agreed so read on. Oh and PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 15th!

As an “independent” mayoralty candidate, I have been asked a few times if I intend to “split the vote”. I think what is meant by this is whether I intend to have people vote for me as mayor who, if I didn’t run, would vote for someone else. That is actually completely true. In that sense, I do intend to “split the vote”.

But if I didn’t run for mayor, who do you think those people would vote for, assuming they are part of the 34% of the population who will actually vote.

It might be that the teaparty sorts think I will peel off some of their votes; or maybe the Maoists and Trotskyites think I will peel off some of theirs. I don’t know, but I will make a few confessions and you can decide for yourself.

I once worked at a country club in St. Louis, where the rough political division was between Republicans and real Republicans. But I also protested the War in Vietnam and rallied to free the Black Panthers. I confess that I live in Point Grey and belong to a tennis club, but I also recycle my bottles, compost my food for my flower boxes, and built a cottage deck this summer out of recycled wood.

I went to Yale where I studied political science where I was the member of a secret society, but I also went to the University of Stockholm where I got an “A” in a graduate course in European Marxism and where I walked, rode my bicycle and took the subway.

I also once touched John Diefenbaker’s hat and ate pizza with Rene Leveque (admittedly not at the same time) But that doesn’t make me either a prairie populist or a fellow traveller with quebec separatists.

So, I am not sure which other candidates I will be taking votes away from. But I do think that having an independent mayor, who is not beholden to the financial support of large real estate developers is a good thing. And I do think that Vancouverites should be given the choice of voting for an independent mayoralty candidate, of which I am one.



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Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween


Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.  

Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.  

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.  

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,  

Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.


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Your Chance to Link Arms Against Oil Pipelines in BC and Defend Our Coastline

On Monday, October 22nd hundreds will join together at the B.C. legislature in Victoria to participate in potentially the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience ever to protest tar sands pipelines and tankers.

Then, on Wednesday, October 24th, we’ll link arms in front of MLA (provincial representative) offices across BC to symbolize the unbroken wall of opposition across the province, and say “Defend our Coast” with banners and creative visuals.

Together, we’ll make a powerful visual statement to show the unprecedented depth and breadth of this movement, and make sure our politicians know that we are organizing in the communities they represent.

Let’s shut the door on tar sands pipelines and tankers with a clear message to our provincial and federal representatives. Let’s support the First Nations who have lead the resistance against tar sands, pipelines and tankers. Join us in your community on October 24th to show our governments that BC’s coast must be protected.

Say No To Oil Tankers on our Coastline

Find an action near you.


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Tips for Uni Students: Get a PhD or Get Online to Start the Job Hunt?

Guest post kindly submitted by Sofia Rasmussen

With that undergraduate degree in your hand, it is time to make some serious decisions about your future. If you have a deep passion for your field of study, you may be thinking about moving on to graduate school and working towards a Master’s or PhD. On the other hand, you may also have considerable college debt to work off and a real need to find a job before starting a family a few years down the road.

Rather than feeling torn between graduate studies and the job hunt, approach the matter practically. Set several ground rules for your future plans, and find out what you truly need. Whether you’re planning to obtain your PhD degree online or through a traditional program, graduate school will demand that you put in a considerable amount of effort to gain a deep understanding of a subject through research that will test your passion to the limits. On the other hand, a new career typically means long hours and little pay, but you’ll quickly gain valuable experience that you can monetize on after only a few years. Both paths can lead to your dream life, but make sure you carefully evaluate which path is right for you.

Know Your Field

Despite the fact that new PhDs are battling for jobs within academia, a growing number of private sectors are placing a high price tag on job candidates with a PhD, especially in science and engineering fields.

Technical fields offer far more job opportunities than the humanities. If your degree is in the computer science or engineering school, you not only will be able to find a job more quickly than a humanities major, you will also probably start off making significantly more money. This can be a big bonus, especially when paying off debt or starting a new family, so the job hunt may be a more favorable path. Many companies will even pay for further training in tech fields later on in your life.

Business degrees fall somewhere between the technical and fine arts fields. Businesses love to see an undergraduate degree, but they are becoming so common you may at least want to aim for a Masters if you have long-term management plans.

Graduate School Is Harder Than You Think

A Master’s or PhD in a variety of fields will not only require you to study hard — and we mean hard — but you’ll also be expected to carry out research, grade papers, teach lower-level courses, and participate in seminars. Don’t expect to have too much time to party. You may very well work fewer hours at a start-up.


Graduate education can cost you upwards of $50,000 per year, particularly if you’re going for a degree in medicine, law, or business. (Admittedly, several programs, especially PhDs in the sciences, will pay you to study and research with them.) If this is out of the question for you right now, your decision is an easy one. If you think this is doable, search for grants, scholarships, and favorable loans to make the price tag work. Alternatively, you could save up now by working and apply to school in a few years.

Look Online

Hop online and get started looking no matter what your plans are. With the rising prevalence of online degrees, you may be able to find graduate level courses available (especially business courses) that do not require you to relocate and are much easier on the wallet. Of course, if you really can’t make a choice, don’t be afraid to start sending out applications to both jobs and further degrees, so see what type of responses you receive for either one.

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Christmas Books for the Under Five Set

With Christmas just around the corner, lots of people are starting to think about gifts for their friends and family. In our house, everybody gets a book. Books are great gifts that provide hours of entertainment and take away any excuse for boredom over the Christmas holidays.

Sometimes, it is difficult to know what to buy, which is why I was so excited to see that the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) has released a list of 100 Picture Books to Read Before Kindergarten.

The great thing is that not all of these books for young children are new. Many can be found in second hand stores or, if you prefer to just go through the list with your little ones, you can get them in your local library.

People love books, whether they are tots or adults or fall somewhere between. Make a pledge to yourself to buy a book for the people on your Christmas list this year.

One of Santa's helpers at the bookstore

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New Year: It’s 2011

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I haven’t been blogging much – lots going on, but Christmas is over and it’s 2011. James took these pics at Spanish Banks over the holidays and I wanted to post them for all to see.

I went skiing today and it was beautiful on the local mountains – new snow, no people, except for us and my new ski boots caused me no pain at all – bliss.

It’s late. Kitty and I are on the couch watching SVU and I’m planning my next day – which belongs to me – weird, but the first time in so long that it is just me…and James has a great house at UVic…wow! I can sleep in, start a new book, do some editing, sleep in….options – kind of scary – a novelty.

At a loss for New Year’s Resolutions: Just adapt and make it good 🙂


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Vancouver Laneway House: Four Months In

Just a reminder about my other blog: Building a Laneway House in Vancouver. Learn all about the process of laneway house construction through the eyes of a neophyte – me! Find out how long it actually, really takes to get a permit, should you use a company or sub contract, the nitty gritty of design and more. Enjoy!

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