Thursday, July 31, 2008

Election Recount Sham at Carnegie

The membership voted at a Special Meeting at Carnegie Center this evening to hold a recount of the June 5th election results for the Board of Directors. The vote was tight: 16 members voted "No" and 19 voted "Yes".

Even though those who wanted the recount won, they felt they were being denied procedures which would ensure fairness.

Brian B. wanted the Teller's Report from the last election released. The Teller's Report would reveal how many votes each candidate had received. Voting on a recount of the election results, he said, "presupposes that a count has already been published and to my knowledge that has not happened." And it was not going to happen, Board President Matthew Matthew responded: "We don't do a teller's report."

James Arkinstall requested that the recount "be scrutinized by uninvolved people, that means people who were not nominated." Matthew told him he was "out of order".

Ruth, another member who volunteers in the Carnegie Computer Room, took the microphone to say that she too wanted the ballots counted by "uninvolved people". Mathhew told her as well that she was "out of order". "You're not being fair to us", Ruth responded.

Tara, a woman who has in recent months begun to come to the neighbourhood to volunteer in the Carnegie Learning Center, asked Matthew to "read out the specific provision that says ballots cannot be counted by independent individuals."

Matthew responded that according to the Carnegie Voting Procedures he had in front of him, for 21 years the ballots have been "counted in a manner identified by the Chair." They are to be "counted by whoever the chair chooses", he explained.

Another member, a thirty-something man who did not identify himself, told the Board what the membership wanted. "They want a recount but they want it done out in the open. And if you can't figure that out.... What is this? The Bush administration you've got here?"

Matthew said that since the members had yet to vote on whether they wanted a recount, "I haven't identified any manner [of chosing who will count the ballots] 'cause that hasn't come up yet." After members voted for the recount though, Matthew laid down the law. "I'm the one who decides", he announced.

Matthew said there would be three tellers chosen by him to perform the recount, and that he favoured choosing people "from opposing sides". It would later become obvious that he ignored his own advice.

Member James Arkinstall said that Matthew's choice of tellers should be "not the same people who already counted the ballots or it's a breach of the Society's Act." More advice that Matthew ignored. Matthew chose two of the same people to count the ballots this time as had counted them at the election:

Ethel Whitty, Carnegie Director
Rolph Auer, Secretary of the Board

Neither Whitty or Auer were neutral tellers. Both have demonstrated antagonism in the past toward Rachel Davis, a popular Board member whose defeat in the last election prompted calls for a recount.

Actually, there couldn't have been a worse choice for teller than Whitty. She has been implicated in fraud against more than one Carnegie member. She blatantly lied on CBC Radio, claiming that Board member William Simpson had been banned from the Carnegie [and Board meetings held there] because he posed a Work Safe risk. As recently as this month, Whitty has been implicated in the manufacture of witnesses, fraud, and undemocratic processes in the banning of a female Carnegie senior for daring to talk back to a man with a ten year reputation for verbally abusing members. [We hope to get more details of that case so that we can report further on it.]

James Arkinstall insisted that a teller is "supposed to be somebody from amongst us...the audience". He would later add, "If you wanted to prove you were acting in good faith, you wouldn't get the same people to count them [the ballots]."

As a third teller, Matthew's first choice was Board member Stephen Lytton. Lytton declined based on the fact that, "I was one of the elected members". There was loud clapping in support of Lytton's decision.

Brian B.offered a suggestion for choosing the third teller, that "this mysterious third person be from those who didn't get elected." That advice was not taken by Matthew.

Matthew then chose Diane Wood. Wood is not a neutral party. When Rachel Davis and William Simpson began speaking on Co-op radio about undemocratic processes at Carnegie that saw homeless Simpson banned from the Carnegie Center two weeks after being elected to the Board and then libelled in the Carnegie newsletter, Wood was part of attempts to offset such commentary, rather than addressing it directly. Carnegie arranged for Co-op radio to give them their own show on which they were never, of course, criticized. Diane Wood co-ordinated the show. When Matthew selected her as a teller this evening though, she declined.

Matthew's final choice for teller was Craig, a current Board member. Craig was not a neutral party either. Even before being elected, Craig had spoken at a Board meeting against efforts by Rachel Davis to change policies which had left a homeless Board member banned and libeled. Rather than taking a principled stand on the recount and supporting requests that a teller be chosen from members in the audience rather than from Board members who had benefited from the original ballot count and were therefore in a conflict of interest position, Craig stated that the membership must get to a point where they can exercise basic "trust".

The three selected tellers scurried out of the Carnegie Theatre to count the ballots from the last election in secret. Whitty never returned, even though she is paid by the City of Vancouver to sit on the Board and monitor procedures.

Craig did return to announce that the recount had been completed and the original results "confirmed". Even Craig's closing statement, though, hinted at bias against those who had called for a recount: "Hopefully, this will settle this matter and we can go on to some disputes about more substantial things."

It was surprising not that the recount was a sham that reinforced the disrespect the Board and staff seem to hold for the membership, but that a recount was even held. We have the Vancouver police to thank for the recount. As the meeting progressed, word came into the Carnegie theatre that police were confiscating belongings of homeless people in Oppenheimer Park. So Jean Swanson -- who calls herself a homeless advocate but has gained a reputation as an anti-democracy activist due to her history in relation to the banning of a homeless Board member from Carnegie -- and a few others including her husband and a Board member left the meeting before the vote on whether to hold a recount occurred. Had these people stayed, it is possible that the pro-recount forces would not have won. But it was ultimately Swanson and her ilk who won. The anti-democratic tendencies they have nurtured at Carnegie prevailed.

[Thanks to those present who recorded the proceedings for DTES Enquirer bloggers.]

Firemen Bring Hazardous Materials Unit to Lori Krill Co-op on Downtown Eastside

Thursday afternoon at around 4 p.m. several fire trucks and two HAZMAT Unit trucks arrived at the Lori Krill Housing Co-operative on Cordova near Carroll on the Downtown Eastside. Residents left their apartments and clustered outside. The man on the right in the above photo said he would never leave his apartment again for a fire alarm; he was annoyed that he had been standing on the street for some time and firemen wouldn't allow him back into his apartment.

Firemen and police were tight-lipped about what had happened. One man walking past on the sidewalk joked, "I wonder whose meth lab it was." A resident of Lori Krill said that they have been making an effort to "get the druggies out" of the building.
The photographer who gave the DTES Enquirer the above photos said that the Vancouver Fire Department's Co-ordinator of the Hazmat exercise, Dan McClelland, requested that photos not be taken. The photographer had heard the resident on the right of the top photo complain to McClelland. McClelland claimed that residents wanted "privacy". The photographer responded that it is a "Charter right" to take photos on a public sidewalk -- and then took McClelland's photo.

Special Meeting Tonight Over Demand for Recount of Election Results at Carnegie

There will be a Special Meeting at 5:30 p.m. today in the Theatre of the Carnegie Center. Members will vote on whether to have a recount of the June 2008 election results. Members have been demanding a recount.

Board President Mathhew Mathhew has announced that at least 30 Carnegie members have to show up to make the election valid. But Carnegie member, B.B., alleges that number is "arbitrary". Sort of like the arbitrary 150 signatures, Mathhew said members had to get on a petition before the Board would consider a recount.

Even if a recount is granted, it is unlikely that the results will be trusted by members. The election was just too sloppy. One member has pointed out that the ballots are photocopied and that anybody could photocopy a few more, add some Xs, and substitute these ballots for others. This could have been done over the two months that have passed.

Some members such as B.B. say that the request for an election recount is actually pre-mature, that members should first demand that the Board release the results of June's election. To date, Carnegie Board of Directors and Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty (who is given an automatic seat at the Board) have avoided releasing the Teller's Report from the June election that would reveal how many votes each candidiate got. Members have been waiting for two months for this report. The Board is required by Roberts Rules, which was adopted by the Board, to make the Teller's Report public. But fair elections have never been a strong point of the Carnegie Board or Whitty; they after all colluded with the locking of an elected Board member out of the building for a year, denying him access to Board meetings.

Carnegie member, Jim A., who is usually not politically active, is one of several members asking about the Tellers Report. He asked Whitty why the Tellers Report was being concealed from voters. She responded that it was tradition not to release it.

Board President Mathhew Mathhew has told a different story than Whitty. According to B.B., Mathhew said the Teller's Report would be printed in the Carnegie Newsletter. Three Carnegie Newsletters have been published since that promise was allegedly made. No Teller's Report.

A primary reason behind the demand for a recount and for copies of the Teller's
Report is that Rachel Davis, a popular candidate amongst members who frequent Carnegie on a day to day basis, didn't get elected. Davis was the only incumbent who had spoken up -- and continued to speak up -- about the fact that homeless man, William Simpson, was banned from the building two weeks after Carnegie members elected him to the Board last year. Whitty told him he would not even be allowed into the building for Board meetings.

Paul Taylor, Editor of the Carnegie Newsletter who was forced to retract libelous commentary about the homeless Board member, and Jean Swanson, a paid organizer with the Carnegie Center Action Project on homelessness, stacked the election with pals who were instructed to vote for a slate which didn't include Davis. Low income Carnegie members who had not planned to run, report that they were instructed by Taylor or Swanson to show up at the election as they were going to be nominated. Taylor and Swanson were manipulating the poor.

Swanson's stacking, though, also involved bringing unfamiliar faces to the Carnegie election and getting some of them elected to the Board. These virtual strangers will now be making decisions affecting the lives of regular users of Carnegie. So much effort expended by homeless advocate Swanson so that incumbent Rachel Davis, who was speaking up about the banning of an elected homeless man and the banning of other members without just cause, would not get re-elected. Here is one of the few election results clearly revealed: Jean Swanson is not an anti-poverty activist, she is an anti-democracy activist.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Missing Woman" Traced to Ethel Whitty

There is a woman who for ten years has regularly dropped into the Seniors Center in the basement of the Carnegie Center to use the public access computers. She hasn't been seen there for six weeks. She is missing. Her disappearance has been traced to Ethel Whitty.

Whitty, Director of the City of Vancouver's Carnegie Center, made an example of the woman. Through this woman, Whitty sent a message: A woman talking back to an abusive man will not be tolerated.

This woman has now been banned by the Whitty administration for over six weeks from the Carnegie Senior's Center for daring to talk back to the notorious Devor, a tyrannical coffee seller from Croatia who Whitty unleashes on Carnegie members at least once a day in the basement Seniors Center. When Devor went into his usual rant one Saturday in June and then pushed the woman who dared talk back out the door by taking swings at her (although not actually making contact with her body), Whitty made certain the woman was punished. The fact that Devor was yelling much louder than this woman was of no concern to Whitty.

Whitty will not be out done by former Ottawa Mayor Charlotte Whitten known for saying, "A woman has to be twice as good as a man to be considered half as good." Whitty's rule of thumb is that a woman has to raise her voice half as loud as a man to be considered twice as bad.

As the woman's banning from the Seniors Center had reached five weeks last Saturday on July 19th, she went to Carnegie Center to deliver a letter to Head of Security, Skip Everall, insisting that he inform her in writing when the banning would be up. "He wouldn't take the letter," she said as she sat outside the Waves coffee shop next door today. "He ran upstairs to get Dan Tetrault [Whitty's Assistant Director]." Tetrault came downstairs with Everall and the two jointly refused to sign for the letter "unless I let them read it first". She told Tetrault that as a City of Vancouver administrator he was required to acknowledge receipt of a letter and not screen it out if he didn't like the content. She explained to Tetrault that if she could afford a courier, he and Everall wouldn't have the option of reading the letter before deciding whether to sign for it. But the two were intransigent on this point so she allowed them to read the polite, brief, letter. Tetrault then gave Everall "the go ahead". Everall photocopied the letter and signed, using only his initials. [At an earlier date, he refused to say whether "Skip" is his real name.]

Yet another week has gone by and the woman has received no response to her letter, even though she provided her home address on it. "I think a City lawyer is helping them write a response," she said.

Every day that the banning is extended, this woman is deprived of access to public computers in the Seniors Center. She is essentially deprived as well of access to the computers on the third floor of Carnegie because Whitty and Everall have created such a hostile environment that she feel uncomfortable going there. "I don't know what they'll do next."

When delivering her letter, this woman also asked Tetrault and Everall whether they would ban her from the entire building if she gave an interview to the media. She reminded them that they had banned William Simpson, a duly elected Board member from the building for being merely associated with media. "Tetrault winced", she recalled. Tetrault evaded the question, turned his back and walked out of Everall's office. She followed him. She asked him again if she would be banned and he responded, "No." Everall would not give her that assurance.

She also asked Tetrault and Everall to tell her who had taped the meeting she had with Everall. (Everall had met with her after she served her initial sentence of five days, Saturday to Wednesday.) Tetrault said the meeting had not been taped. But she told him that a tape was circulating and she had been contacted to confirm it's authenticity. Everall did not say much. "I'd like to hear the tape," she says, "because I want to use it against them. They've been lying."

Downtown Eastsider, Audrey Laferriere, to Run for City Council

Audrey Laferriere is running for City Council as an Independent in the November 2008 election.

You might remember Laferriere as the woman who earlier this month managed to get 100 signatures of Carnegie members who wanted a recount of the election of the Carnegie Board of Directors. She got help from a few others but she was the organizer behind the effort which produced the signatures in just a few days. Laferriere and other supporters of Rachel Davis were suspicious of the election results. Now there will be a meeting at Carnegie on July 31st in which people can vote on whether to hold a recount. (A minimum of thirty people must show up to make the vote valid.)

Laferriere has a blog, Voice of Gone Ballistic, in which a comment she made about the people who flock to the Downtown Eastside to provide services to the poor caught my eye.

"Just look at all the service providers who also have double gated their entrances. The service providers should be fighting for shelters not paying for bars."

This reminded me of something I saw earlier this year, in the winter, at Pathways Employment Center for the poorest of the poor at Main & Hastings. I had dropped into Pathways one morning looking for Bill Simpson, the homeless man banned from Carnegie Center across the street for carrying a link on his website to the DTES Enquirer. The federal government Security guard at Pathways was pushing the side doors open, attempting to push a man sleeping under a white blanket out of the Main Street entrance. The Indo-Canadian guard was yelling at the man in pigeon English to wake up and get out. The receptionist was watching. The computer tech counting the days to retirement was watching. This drama had been going on for a few minutes when I left. I was amazed that the guard was bothering as I had never seen anyone use that side entrance to Pathways; it always appeared locked to me.

The next day, when I walked by Pathways, I noticed workmen there installing iron bars around the steps (photo by dag above). The homeless would no longer be sleeping there. But these service providers claim to be soooooo sensitive to the poor and homeless. And the Director of Pathways, Carol Madson, is according to a client who has had conversations with her, "an NDP type".

Friday, July 25, 2008

Welfare Gave Parents Money on Wednesday for Back-to-School Supplies

Wednesday, July 23rd was welfare day. But this month's welfare cheque included a bonus to buy children back to school supplies. Here was how the government explained it in an insert with the cheque:

"This cheque includes the school start-up supplement. This supplement is $84 for each child aged 5-11 years and $116 for each child aged 12-18 years."

Why was the back to school supplement was dispersed so early? It could have been included with the next welfare cheque which will be issued on August 27th. This being a five-week welfare month -- most welfare months are four weeks long -- people will be tempted to dip into their back to school money just to get through the month.

The government also announced in the insert with the cheques that they have yet again changed the name of the ministry which hands out welfare cheques. It is now the Ministry of Housing and Social Development.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Firemen Return on Saturday to Site of Thursday Night's Fire at Homeless Man's "Home"

On Saturday night, four fire trucks returned to the site of Thursday night's fire at a homeless man's home. As I arrived, the last fire truck was leaving.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Firemen Douse Flames in Homeless Man's "Home"

A spot where a homeless man was living in an alley off Main St. between National and Prior Streets -- just north of the Pacific Central train and bus station -- went up in flames Thursday night around 10 p.m. "A homeless man and his girlfriend got into a fight and she came back and set his place on fire", explained a man standing behind the boarded up American Hotel next door watching the firemen.

Five fire trucks (one pictured above), a white van marked "Fire Investigation", an ambulance and at least three police cars arrived in the alley. A pedestrian said the smoke was about 50 feet in the air before the firemen hosed the site down. "The firemen had it out in no time", he said.

A dark-haired, forty-something, mustached man of Middle Eastern descent stood in front of the nearby T-Rex corner store on Main St. -- Muslims run that store -- talking to two other men as they looked in the direction of the smoke. "I hope some bums died," he said. "I hope all those bums died."

Remains of homeless man's place after firemen hosed it down.

Fire Inspector examines scene of fire. A charred post from the fire can be seen in foreground.

Firemen chat after Inspector finishes up.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Theft of Service on Ethel Whitty's Watch

On Thursday afternoon, Carnegie closed the third floor computer room leaving scores of Downtown Eastsiders without public computers. Carnegie is funded to keep that service open and has staff on the payroll to ensure it is kept open.

Why was the computer room closed for at least four hours in the middle of a work day? Ethel Whitty's office is just metres from that computer room and she passes it when walking to the washroom. Ask her why it was closed?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Firemen Climb onto Roof of Best Pizza to put out Fire

It's the second time it's happened. Late Monday afternoon, something on fire was thrown from the Balmoral Hotel at 159 Hastings onto the roof of Best Pizza next door at 151 Hastings. It was a sweltering sunny day. Four fire trucks and an ambulance arrived.

Three firemen climbed onto the roof of the pizza joint. A fireman later told two Vancouver Police constables -- police arrived after the firemen had finished their work -- that there was lots of trash and needles on the roof.

After the fire risk was over, a Muslim man -- one resident says he thinks the guy is Kurdish -- who runs Best Pizza, made a point of walking up to one of the firemen to thank the fire crew for coming.

Lots of Downtown Eastsiders buy pizza slices at Best Pizza -- they sell for about $1.25. A few customers claim to have been short changed there though, and one fellow says he found a couple of worthless foreign coins in his change.

Skip Everall Hit on his Bike

Have you wondered why Skip Everall, Security Co-ordinator at Carnegie Center, hasn't been at work since his day off on Canada Day? He was hit by a car while riding his bike on the afternoon of Wed. July 2. But he wasn't seriously injured and will return.

Here's a tip for ICBC. Don't believe a word Everall says.

Everall has been caught lying in a barring case of a female Carnegie member from the Seniors Lounge for standing up to the notoriously abusive coffee seller, Devor, who has been yelling at her for ten years. The Enquirer will be reporting on this issue later. This woman, who was sitting on the Carnegie patio sipping green tea when she learned that Everall had been banged by a car, said, "I wanna talk to ICBC....They should look at his history of lying."

In addition to this woman's barring, Everall has become notorious for personally supervising the barring on fraudulent pretenses of William Simpson from the Carneige Learning Center by Co-ordinator Lucy Alderson. Everall demonstrated that he was not a man of integrity when he refused to provide Simpson with the reasons for the barring in writing.

The woman sitting on the outdoor patio at Carnegie today -- that would be the woman mentioned above who was barred from the Seniors -- was wondering out loud if Everall had been wearing a helmet when he got hit. She saw Skip on the day she was barred (he had evaded telling her she was barred but she suspected something was up); he was talking to Carnegie receptionist Dan Feeney on Main St. and when he saw her, she recalls, he averted his eyes and took off on his bike, going west on Pender. "I noticed he wasn't wearing a helmet."

She said repeatedly between sips of tea that ICBC should not accept statements by Everall or give him a pay out without first examining his history of lying.

Jamie Lee Hamilton to Run for Parks Board under NPA

Jamie Lee Hamilton, a Downtown Eastsider who writes the Oldtown News blog, intends to run for Parks Board under the NPA, according to CKNW.

Hamilton has been willing to criticize povertarians on her blog, so she looks pretty good to us.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July to our Amercian cousins.

And thanks to Canadian residents born in the U.S.A., like Rachel Davis and Dag Walker, who have been making it uncomfortable for Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty and the Carnegie Board as they deny democratic process to Downtown Eastsiders, including the right to free speech.

Even Corky, reportedly born in the U.S.A., who gained a reputation in Canada as a nudist activist, showed up at the Carnegie Board meeting last evening. At the meeting, members were asking questions about why they were being denied a recount of June's election results for Board of Directors. Board President Matthew Matthew had obstructed that process last week by insisting that those requesting the recount obtain 150 supporting signatures. Last night Matthew said that this Board meeting was not the place to work through this issue, that it would be on the agenda at a subsequent meeting.

We have just learned that a week ago as the request for a recount was being obstructed, lawyer Gregory Bruce, retained by Rachel Davis, wrote Whitty and the Board a letter requesting that they respect Roberts Rules for conducting elections. This is the second time Davis has had to pay for a lawyer as a last-ditch attempt to get the Board and Whitty, who is on the City of Vancouver payroll, to respect the rights of the Carnegie membership.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Woman "Beaten Up" at No. 5 Orange

A woman was assaulted at the No. 5 Orange Showroom Pub on Wednesday night around 11:15 p.m. A twenty-something male witness standing on the sidewalk outside the No. 5 at Main & Powell St. on the Downtown Eastside said the woman had been "beaten up". A female standing with him agreed, saying, "I know her".

Eight to ten police cars, a few of them unmarked, along with a police paddy wagon were parked outside the No. 5 after the incident. One of the police vehicles was a black SUV that a Downtown Eastside resident said he recognized as belonging to the Gang Unit. He also said he had seen one officer at the scene carrying "a bean bag gun". The Gang Unit has identified the No. 5 Orange as an establishment that they keep an eye on.

Police officer speaks to the male suspect in the paddy wagon.

The alleged victim was sitting in the back of this police car "giving a statement" to police, according to a man standing on the sidewalk with a woman who said she knew the victim.

The female police officer with blond hair holding a plastic bag pictured above walked over to the photographer and said politely, "You can't take pictures here", when the photographer was standing on the sidewalk taking a shot of the paddy wagon with the open door. That photo is posted above. There was no yellow tape around the area and the photographer was standing about six feet back on the sidewalk where pedestrians were allowed to walk freely. The photographer then moved to other areas of the scene to take photos and the officer didn't interfere.

Several police officers search the suspect's vehicle in the No. 5 Orange parking lot.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Distrust at Carnegie Results in Request for Election Recount

Carnegie members don't trust the results of the June 5th election for Board of Directors at Carnegie Community Center. James A. announced at the meeting that he would like a recount. Many other members who came out to vote for incumbent Board member Rachel Davis, who was defeated, support a recount.

Board member Colleen Carroll assured James A. in front of the audience at the June 5th election that he was welcome to count the ballots, that the ballots would be preserved for 30 days for that purpose. Carnegie Director, Ethel Whitty, with a reputation for involvement in fraud and undemocratic practices -- her reputation can be supported with documentation -- sat at the Board table nodding her head in agreement.

Guess what happened when Carnegie member Audrey Laferriere (pictured above at the election) recently asked for a recount? Board President Matthew Matthew responded that the request for a recount would be granted only if it was accompanied by 150 signatures from Carnegie members.

Laferriere began circulating a petition for signatures and on it she wrote, "We do not need a President who is inflexible and into power tripping. Anyone should be allowed to recount votes without hindrance. He has screwed up my long weekend."
Dag, a blogger at Covenant Zone, who had attended the June 5 election to support Davis for speaking out about erosion of free speech rights under the Whitty administration, suspects Matthew Matthew arbitrarily chose 150 as the number of signatures needed. "It's as if he looked in his hat and saw the number 'one five zero.' "

Paul, a labourer who often has dinner at the Carnegie cafeteria, voted at the Board election but was not optimistic about securing a recount. When Paul learned that his pal James A. was one of several Carnegie members helping Laferriere collect 150 signatures, he signed the petition but said, “If they can only get 75 people out to vote, how are they going to get 150 people to sign.” The 75 people Paul was referring to had made up the unusually high turnout at the June 5th election. That turnout was the result of intense organizing by such members of the Carnegie establishment as Jean Swanson (who doesn’t live on the Downtown Eastside) and Paul Taylor, who got their friends and allies to swarm the meeting and vote for a slate that didn’t include Davis.
The Carnegie establishment, including Director Ethel Whitty, had wanted to get rid of Rachel Davis since she appeared on Co-op Radio and later CBC Radio to question the legitimacy of Whitty delivering homeless man, William Simpson, a letter barring him indefinitely from the Carnegie Center where Board meetings are held. The letter was delivered two weeks after Simpson was elected to the Board and it's content was called "contrary to the rule of law" by lawyer Gregory Bruce. Whitty later appeared on CBC Radio and lied about the reason for Simpson’s barring, presenting this man as a "WorkSafe" risk. Her claim completely contradicted the official reason given to Simpson in the letter, that he operated a website that "features links" to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog which criticizes Carnegie.

The votes that Carnegie members would like recounted were originally counted by Board secretary Rolph Auer. Rolph is an unfamiliar face to most regular Carnegie members and was elected during a by-election last year after Board member Sophia Freigang resigned due to what she called “human rights” abuses on the part of the Board and City staff. Freigang had pressed for a review of the barring of Simpson and was critical of efforts by Whitty and her cohorts to curb “free speech” by barring a man for being connected to a blog. Jean Swanson (did I mention she doesn’t live on the Downtown Eastside?) had been instrumental in getting Auer elected, using the email list from the Carnegie Action Project to ’remind’ people to come out and vote for him. One of Auer's early tasks as a Carnegie Board member was to show up at a Community Relations meeting and oppose Davis' attempts to curb the use of the Carnegie newsletter for personal attacks. And when the man sitting next to him, Paul Taylor, told Davis to "Shut up!", Auer didn't even flinch.

Even if Carnegie members are granted a recount, they are not convinced they can ever trust the result. James A. said, as a few other members having coffee with him nodded their heads in agreement, that it would be easy for somebody to use a pencil to tick off a few extra boxes on ballots. This possibility exists because many people at the meeting had ticked off far fewer boxes than the 15 they were allowed, as they simply weren’t familiar with many of the candidates. One woman at the table said, "I only voted for Rosetta (aka Rachel Davis) and maybe one other person."

Laferriere wrote towards the end of the petition, "Time is of the essence as the signatures have to be done within three days."

This issue will be raised at the next Board meeting at Carnegie on Thursday evening at 5 p.m.

Contact information for Audrey Laferriere:

Cyclist Hit by Courier Truck near Main & 3rd Ave.

Vancouver Police blocked off all traffic other than buses on Main St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave. for roughly 2 1/2 hours on Monday after a cyclist was hit. The cyclist, riding what a witness described as a "mountain bike", was hit by a white courier truck shortly before 3 p.m. A witness said the cyclist lay face down, not moving. He appeared to be in his thirties.

It was a sweltering hot afternoon as Vancouverites looked forward to the July 1st Canada Day holiday the next day.

The cyclist's shoe was about 10 feet from where he lay, leading to speculation that he had been thrown some distance upon impact. "His shoe was over there and his bike was over there," said a witness, cocking his head in different directions to indicate that these items lay some distance from the cyclist.

The witness didn't know whether the cyclist had been wearing a helmet. It could have been removed, he said, by a woman standing with the cyclist waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The witness thought the woman could have been the driver who hit him. "Ohhhhh," said a man in his seventies listening to the witness, "Woman driver, no survivor."