13 March 2017

quick response from Port Coquiitlam about tree removal

City Planning Division
Tel 604.927.5442

To Whom It May Concern

re: removal of mature trees at Terry Fox Library/Rec Centre site

The recent clear cut at the Terry Fox Library/Rec Centre site in downtown Port Coquitlam has once again reminded us that Port Coquitlam seems to have little regard for our heritage of mature specimen and habitat trees.

​​In my neighbourhood alone, dozens of mature conifers have been felled in the last few years. These trees provided habitat for numerous bird species, including the large but increasingly rare Pileated Woodpecker. Among the trees removed by the library this week were snags used for years by northern flickers for nesting.

Our mature trees contribute so much to the City. We have an opportunity here to be part of a global movement to protect habitats for a wealth of declining bird species and to enhance the livability of our City at the same time.(link: Green Infrastructure Metro Vancouver)

Please give priority to the protection and preservation of our mature trees and act to strengthen Port Coquitlam's commitment to better safeguarding those trees in future.

regards, Rhamona Vos-Browning
(sent Saturday March 11, 2017)

Good Afternoon,

The City has received a number of calls and emails from residents concerned about the loss of trees in the development of our new community recreation complex and asking questions about options for more trees to be retained.

The challenge of constructing a new and much larger recreation facility while keeping two ice rinks, the library and seniors’ spaces in operation during construction results in limited siting options for our new building.  While we recognize that meeting this challenge has a significant impact on the site’s trees, overall there are substantial benefits related to achieving a cohesive project design, meeting community needs, and retaining recreation and social activity spaces during the construction period. 

Once the building’s siting and access requirements were known, we carefully considered the potential for tree retention. Unfortunately very few of the trees not impacted by the construction are in a condition appropriate for retention.  It is normally possible to retain more trees along the edge of a development site, but we are unable to do this in part because most of these trees were subject to ongoing hydro line clearance pruning and have a poor structure and in part because the size of the complex results in its close proximity to property lines.  While only 7 trees can ultimately be retained, we will be relocating 17 trees (that have a high probability of survival) and replanting them off site.

New trees will be planted and we will be looking to ensure the future landscape plan includes the right trees in the right places.   We will also be phasing the removals, as we wish to leave trees standing as long as possible. 

For further information about the complex, including information about the site’s trees, please check out  www.portcoquitlam.ca\reccomplex.

Penny Martin on behalf of Kristen Meersman P.Eng, MBA | City of Port Coquitlam
(Received Monday March 13, 2017)

11 March 2017

religion vs. people

The Dilemma Facing Ex-Muslims in Trump's America

How to challenge Islam while defending its adherents

A Muslim faithful reads the Quran inside a makeshift mosque. Yorgos Karahalis / Reuters 

Mar 6, 2017
“Challenging Islam as a doctrine,” Ali Rizvi told me, “is very different from demonizing Muslim people.” Rizvi, a self-identified ex-Muslim, is the author of a new book titled The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason. One of the book’s stated aims is to uphold this elementary distinction: “Human beings have rights and are entitled to respect. Ideas, books, and beliefs don’t, and aren’t.”
The problem for Rizvi is that the grain of Western political culture is currently against him. Those in the secular West live in an age when ideas are commonly regarded as “deeds” with the potential to wound. So, on the left, self-critique of Islam is often castigated as critique of Muslims. Meanwhile, the newly elected president of the United States and his inner circle have a tendency to conflate the ideas of radical Islam with the beliefs of the entire Muslim population. So, on the right, the very same self-critique of Islam is used to attack Muslims and legitimize draconian policies against them.

full article at: theatlantic.com