Sunday, June 29, 2014

View Towers Fire and Evacuation Story Links

Last Updated: June 29, 2014 3:04 pm
 
As one of the residents evacuated as a result of the View Towers fire on May 15, 2014, I thought it would be interesting to collect links found on the story so that they are all in one place for the benefit of anyone following the matter. Despite most of the links below being from Kate Derosa at the Times-Colonist, I have no bias towards her; she’s simply providing most of the coverage on the matter, therefore more links to be found.

If anyone has additional links or if any of the above go dead, let me know as I plan to update this regularly. Links are in chronological order as best as I’m able to make them, in order of original posting date (as opposed to last revision).

Denton, Don “View Towers Fire Closes Downtown Streets” Victoria News May 15, 2014 8:00 am

“View Towers apartment fire sends 8 to hospital in Victoria; Fire forced evacuation of one Victoria's largest apartment buildings” CBC News May 15, 2014 9:12 am, updated May 27, 2014 2:02 pm
Earlier version: “View Towers apartment fire sends 5 to hospital in Victoria” Canada MSN News
Abridged version: Huffington Post May 15, 2014 12:12pm EDT, updated 12:47 EDT
Abridged version: Firefighting in Canada May 16, 2014

Simcoe, Luke “Update: Police officers injured in Victoria apartment fire” Metro News May 15,2014, original time unknown, updated 2:51 pm

Edgell, Susan “Apartment Fire in Victoria; Officers Sent To Hospital For Smoke Inhalation” CFJC TV May 15, 2014 3:48 pm

Spurr, John “Cigarette suspected cause in View Towers fire” C-FAX 1070 May 15, 2014 3:54

McElvoy, Justin “Approximately 100 people displaced by fire in Victoria’s View Towers” Global News May 15, 2014 6:50 pm

User, Super “A huge fire in Victoria's View Towers could have been much worse. Stacy Ross explains.” CHEK News: Officlal Page May 15, 2014

Derosa, Kate “Victoria highrise fire forces as many as 100 people to flee from homes” Times-Colonist May 15, 2014
ht tp://www.timescolonist .com/Victoria+highrise+fire+forces+many+people+flee+from+homes/9844215/story.html
I’ve added spaces to the above URL as the original link is dead. However: it is the source of the following
The Province May 16, 2014
Vancouver Sun May 16, 2014
Calgary Herald May 15, 2014 (no story text found beyond the headline, just image)
Abridged version: Vancouver News May 15, 2014 9:50 pm
Abridged version: Press Report May 16, 2014 5:28 am

Derosa, Kate “Police officers warned tenants to flee View Towers” Times-Colonist May 16, 2014 10:52 am, updated same         

Derosa, Kate “50 still locked out of suites after View Towers fire” Times-Colonist May 16, 2014 9:41 pm
Same: iPick News May 16, 2014

Sidhu, Pav “Fire in Victoria View Tower Apartment” Victoria Feed May 16, 2014

Derosa, Kate & Dickson, Louise “Displaced residents of fire-hit View Towers ‘want answers’“May 21, 2014 9:29 pm
Abridged version: Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness May 22, 2014

“Red Cross steps in for View Towers residents in Victoria” Victoria News May 22, 2014 9:00 am

Derosa, Kate & Cleverley, Bill “Mail deliveries to Victoria’s View Towers halted amid safety fears” Times-Colonist May 22, 2014 9:48 pm, updated May 23, 2014 12:40 pm

Price, Ryan “Poverty society worries about possible View Towers evictions” C-FAX 1070 May 30, 2014 5:48

Derosa, Kate “Tenant of fire-hit View Towers asks: Why was I on evacuee list?” Times-Colonist May 30, 2014 10:20 pm

Derosa, Kate “Displaced by fire, some View Towers tenants face eviction” Times-Colonist May 31, 2014 12:29 pm
Abridged version: Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness May 30, 2014
Related post: Times-Colonist Facebook page May 30, 2014 7:44 am

“View Towers Tenant Solidarity Rally” View Towers Tenant Solidarity Rally Facebook page created June 6, 2014

Derosa, Kate “Suite undamaged in fire, but View Towers tenant still must go” Times-Colonist June 7, 2014 9:55 pm

Hines, Kym “View Towers Tenant Solidarity Rally:Wed, June 11th 12 – 1pm” thawVictoria June 10, 2014

Wilson, Carla “Fire-hit Fort Street businesses get support as they work to reopen” Times-Colonist June 11, 2014 8:34 am

Palmer, Daniel “View Towers’ resident problems simmer” Victoria News June 11, 2014 3:00 pm
Abridged version: Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness June 12, 2014

Derosa, Kate “In Victoria fire aftermath, View Towers ‘renovictions’ condemned”  Times-Colonist June 11, 2014 7:30 pm

“Volunteer legal society is pitching in to help those displaced at View Towers” CHEK News June 11, 2014

Hines, Kym “Solidarity Rally for View Towers Tenants: A Photo Show.” thawVictoria June 12, 2014

Derosa, Kate “Owner of Victoria's View Towers has history of disputes”  Times-Colonist June 16, 2014 9:35 pm
Related post: Times-Colonist Facebook page June 17, 2014 7:03 am

Derosa, Kate “Ontario activist blasts View Towers apartment evictions in Victoria” Times-Colonist June 18, 2014 10:34 pm
Related post” Times-Colonist Facebook page June 19, 2014 7:46 am

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pacific Northwest Trip June 2013 Day 13 Friday June 28



This is the 13th and last of a series of posts dealing with my tenth and most recent trip to Seattle as adult. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. 

Last night I heard one guy who I thought wasn't as nice to be as he could be get scolded for an unrelated reason by his girlfriend/wife/platonic female companion. I looked away in my bed so my smile wouldn't be too obvious. I had a bit trouble sleeping but mainly just nerves before the trip back. I lugged my heavy stuff as well as I could to the ferry terminal, putting the stuff down briefly to I could dash to Rachel the Pig at Pike Place Market briefly.  By the time I reached the ferry terminal I was sweating like crazy. A panhandler approached me; I indicated no. He started asking me for a Bainbridge Island ticket anyway. I scolded him that I was dying here and he left me alone after that. I grabbed McDonald's breakfast at the terminal and then got on the Washington State Ferries ferry to Bainbridge Island. At Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal I took the 90 bus (Kitsap Transit) to Poulsbo, where I transferred to a 7 bus (Jefferson Transit) and got a daypass.

Jefferson Transit changed their timings so I was able to ride all the way to Haines Park & Ride in Port Townsend instead of having to cross twice earlier at Four Corners (a stop just outside of Port Hadlock).  At Haines I took the 8 bus (Jefferson Transit) to Sequim. At Sequim Transit Center, I got a guy I'd been talking with a little to keep an eye on my stuff while I did a quick run around, including the small park (but not as small as Mill Ends Park) Seal Street Park. Back at Sequim Transit Center I took the 30 Commuter bus (Clallam Transit) to Port Angeles' Gateway Transit Center. I didn't feel like walking so I sat by the Dairy Queen there until they opened and then had lunch there. I then wandered to Black Ball Ferry Terminal. That terminal has two sections; the path to the second section had new black railings this time.  I didn't want to do much climbing so when I got on the Coho ferry I didn't go to the upstairs viewing area at the back of the shop but rather found a decent spot at the front. By this point I had noticed that one of my travel cases was a one-use wonder; no further trips a good idea for that case.

Probably at this state seeming more run down than a threat to national security, I was one of the first to clear Customs and I wheeled my stuff as best I could to my apartment.

Pacific Northwest Trip June 2013 Day 12 Thursday June 27



This is the 12th of a series of posts dealing with my tenth and most recent trip to Seattle as adult. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  What few updates there are indicated by NOW in brackets.

Well, it was overcast all day today so I didn't make it to Alki Beach. I once went there on an overcast day and it was depressing, so not this time.

It was raining a bit as I set out this morning and made it to Freeway Park (a park built over the I-5), passing through Washington State Convention Center en route. I returned to the hostel for breakfast and then to get out of the elements bought a ticket for the Underground Tour even though I just did it last year. I still had close to an hour before the first tour of the day, so I passed through Occidental Park (a park made of concrete; skid row; some art pieces like the Firefighters Memorial.  I also visited Waterfall Garden Park (and enclosed space that, yes, has lots of plants and mad-made waterfalls.  From there I went up the steps at CenturyLink Field and through railing got a few pics of the football field.  I visited Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park (actually a free museum) before retuning briefly to Waterfall Garden Park and Occidental Park en route to the Underground Tour, which has three underground sections, the third being the shortest.

I decided to go to Smith Tower as Underground Tour participants are $1 off. It was 35 storeys high, low compared to Columbia Center but being open air was a lot scarier. My hands were sweaty and I kept worrying that I'd drop my camera and it would take the express route downward. 360 degrees though so I got some great shots, albeit shots with railing in most of them beyond a few zoomed shots.  I found a pamphlet about another free museum whose name unfortunately escapes me at the moment (and the pamphlets packed). It's basically promo for the Alaska Viaduct, so advertises  having the most boring exhibit (i.e. boring through ground; no Oregon aspect).  I went to the food court at Uwajamaya in the International District (got Chinese food) and also visited a Japanese book store and Hing Pay Park (another concrete park) before heading to that area's Downtown Transit Tunnel.

To kill time and avoid possible rain, I took the Central Link light rail (Sound Transit) to SeaTac Airport and visited the airport briefly.  They have a bird cage near an entrance to attract wild birds that get in so they can be released back into the wild. Seemed to be working on one sparrow that did indeed get in.  I then took the Central Link back to Westlake Station; because I was still on an ORCA transfer, I was still on the clock from the first trip and didn't have to pay for the return. So a good $2.75 investment with some nice photos taken from the trains.

I visited Pacific Place one more time (scrap metal penguin, Barnes & Noble), then Pike Place Market (Left Bank Books, Rachel the Pig; also wanted to use the bathroom but the people in the cubicles were taking a very long time and I finally decided I didn't want to use the toilet after either one of them). I visited Holy Cow Records before leaving the market. The goats under the freeway rank were gone when I headed north, finally crossing Bell Street Bridge one more time and checking out the observation area on the other side again briefly.  I made one final trip to Olympic Sculpture Park (only got so-so photos of Love & Loss as people were sitting on part of that art piece) and checked out the newly opened (today I think) Western Oracle art piece (a small house). You were allowed to go in, but the only thing to really see inside were support beams. I went to the International Fountain at Seattle Center and stayed a while until I got the sense that it might rain again. So I went to the McDonald's across from Seattle Center (I ordered cheeseburgers with no mustard and pickles and she thought I said no mustard and ketchup; I realize my speech isn't the best but does my pronunciation of "pickles" really sound like "ketchup"??). This time I got photos of the poles with sports balls (one type of ball each: soccer, baseball, football, basketball; the latter must now push a few Seattlites' buttons).

[NOW: Western Oracle was just a temporary exhibit.]

I visited the statue of Chief Sealth, feeling like a statue of Seattle's namesake was a nice way to end this trip.  I returned to the hostel and packed. There was live comedy show. Quality varied with one person in particular bombing, but it was a time passer, something different for my last day.

And when I say last day, I mean it in more ways than one. I've been doing these Seattle trips since 2006 and so much has changed that it's time to retire them. The weather hasn't helped of course, but really it's that for me a critical part of the Seattle experience was being able to spontaneously (from the International Fountain or whenever) be able to wander to a store that sold my kind of movies (i.e. the strange stuff) and to be able to do so very late at night. Having a store with my kind of movies so accessible was a large part of what I loved about Seattle, also being able to take a fun little break from the fountain and then return to it. It just doesn't feel right without it. There's been a lot of changes and I've weathered them, but this is the final straw variety, losing the nearby Easy Street Records and especially Silver Platters (Tower Records same location the first year) in one fell swoop. I still like Seattle, but not to the point when I can keep it as a yearly ritual. I think I'll invest in a passport so next year instead I can fly to Disneyland. Obviously I'll probably get back to Seattle again some time, but I think it's time for a break.

[NOW: I am toying with the idea of a small Seattle trip this year, but in terms of concrete plans, Disneyland is indeed replacing Seattle this year.]

Pacific Northwest Trip June 2013 Day 11 Wednesday June 26



This is the 11th of a series of posts dealing with my tenth and most recent trip to Seattle as adult. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  What few updates there are indicated by NOW in brackets.

Okay, I checked in with myself after getting more sleep last night than I had been getting and I can handle continuing on at this stage. Having said that, I'll take advantage of the fact that I already covered today's plans on the first Seattle day and keep it a relatively low key day, sticking downtown unless the weather breaks and focusing on stuff that will keep me indoors as much as possible today.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning. The rest I wrote in the evening.]

First off I do feel a lot better than I did last night. I turned in around 8:15. It took a while to get to sleep because one roommate in particular kept making sounds whenever I started to drift off but I did get a decent rest anyway.

Forgot to mention yesterday: en route to Mercer St Books. the former location of Easy Street Records now had the Chase logo on the building, which wasn't the case Sunday. Sad.

This morning I got some DVDs at Dan's Belltown Grocery (I think this is the first time I ever bought DVDs before 7 am), then walked to the Washington State Convention Center.  I had planned to go to Freeway Park from there but got caught up with photographing art pieces there. Just before returning to the hostel I walked across Bell Street Bridge and this time was able to get photos from the observation area on the other side. I ate breakfast at the hostel (Not sure if I've named the hostel in these reports: City Hostel Seattle, located in Belltown).

I walked to Pike Place Market including First and Pike News and Rachel the Pig. I also crossed the Hillclimb, which sounds fancy but is just a small enclosed space, about as anticlimactic as the modern day London Bridge.  I walkied to the Bay Pavilion at Miner's Landing. I stopped exploring though when I saw trophies on the wall. I don't like looking at decapitated animal heads.  I then walked to the Seattle Aquarium. I had a coupon but even with it, it was still pricey ($20.85). Still it was a time passer and the resting sea otters in particular were very cute.  I then walked to Columbia Center for the Skyview. The price had almost doubled since my last visit a few years ago ($5-$9) and part of it was blocked off for renovations. Still I did manage to get some incredible 73rd floor photos. I visited the Downtown Transit Tunnel at Westlake Station briefly to see how much money was left on my ORCA card, though I didn't use the bus today.

I got lunch at Westlake Center's McDonald's.  Then it was pretty sunny and I was feeling better and better due to some giant shiny globe in the sky that seemed vaguely familiar, so I chance a walked to Capitol Hill. I visited Capitol Loans and then Twice Sold Tales, making sure I saw all three cats there.  I walked to the Jimi Hendrix statue, then Elliot Bay Book Company, then Seattle's sole branch of Everyday Music, which you may recall has quite a few Portland area branches. I got some DVDs there, including Smallville season 1, which I already have but someone failed to return the first disc. This set cost me $2.95 so I'll put in the missing disc and give the rest away.

It was raining for a bit after I left there. Still, I decided to visit an area of Capitol Hill I hadn't seen in a while and visit On 15th Video, but that store didn't seem to have any previously viewed videos for sale. I returned to the main area of the Hill (Broadway) and got some DVDs at Broadway Video. They couldn't find one disc but I had a ringer already in mind for their special (4 for $20; got 8).  I walked to the pop machine with the Mystery buttons, hoping I wouldn't get cherry again. I did wind up with cherry Mountain Dew, but luckily the Mountain Dew dominated the cherry.  I walked to Seattle Center, started once again with the International Fountain. I just got my shoes off and it started to rain again.

[NOW: Broadway Video has since closed.]

So not that long after I decided to go to the EMP which now allows photos, just not flash photos (previously it was no photos); another case of still pricey but coupon helped; $17 with coupon. The EMP has two large sections: music and sci-fi/horror/fantasy. I'm more into the latter so I got the former out of the way first. They had sections devoted to Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and women, plus recording studios. They also have a giant cone of guitars hanging from the ceiling. One main quibble, admittedly as a bit of an outsider to music is that beyond the guitar cone, the only historical musical instruments were ones that had actually belonged to notable musicians. Which was impressive in its own right but it might have been nice to see some older instruments not connected to any one person.  In the sci-fi et all part I was disappointed that my favourite item from last visit was gone (the Captain Marvel costume from the 1940s serial). Still there was an impressive range of movie (and some TV - Buffy's Book of Ascension for instance) memorabilia covering a wide range of eras, be it the Cowardly Lion suit from the Wizard of Oz, the Superman suit from Superman: The Quest for Peace, or for people who like their gore cerebral, the hacksaw from Saw. 

I returned to the International Fountain.  A guy tried to chat me up but I acted uninterested. A good move: from elsewhere I saw him chatting someone else up for around half an hour. Then he tried it on someone else near the first guy when he and his family finally left, and the second guy and his family left almost immediately. I ate dinner once again at Mod Pizza at the Seattle Center Armory (later I really had to go to the bathroom again so I might skip it tomorrow).  I returned to the fountain once more but it was cooling off and I finally left for the hostel.

While I was typing the earlier part of this report I heard a woman arguing with staff and then her leaving after they threatened to call the police.

Tomorrow is the penultimate day of the trip and thus the final full day in Seattle. A few things are definite for the last day, like Freeway Park and Waterfall Garden Park. And if the weather cooperates (it was noticeably a lot better today, which probably contributed to my improved health and ability at points to even walk normally), I absolutely still want to do Alki Beach.  No promises but if I can fit in my favourite Seattle beach, I will!

[NOW: Unfortunately the weather failed to cooperate so I never made it to Alki Beach.]