Empire Landmark Demolition Information Session

A community information meeting will take place Friday as demolition is set to begin this month at the 42-story Empire Landmark Hotel on Robson.

The towering hotel won't be going down with a bang. The developer, Hong Kong-based Asia Standard Americas, and JMX Contracting, the company in charge of the demolition, have advised that they will be using a "cutting-edge, European demolition technology" that promises to keep the process as quiet and dust-free as possible for the 44-year-old West End skyline icon's neighbours.

Opened in 1973 by Vancouver developer Ben Wosk, the Empire Landmark was best known for the spectacular views from its celebrated revolving restaurant, Cloud 9.

The redevelopment plans call for two smaller towers -- 31 and 32-stories -- with 237 market condos, 63 social housing units, and retain and office space on the lower three floors. The new buildings will be about 91 metres in height, about 25 percent lower than the old structure. 

Friday, March 9 at the Listel Hotel (1300 Robson) from 4 - 6:30 p.m.

No Mayor's Race For Spencer

Romi and Spencer Chandra Herbert, with their son Dev. 

In case you hadn't heard (been down in Mexico, have you?) West End / Coal Harbour MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert has put an end to speculation that he might take a run at the City of Vancouver's mayor's chair in this October's civic elections. Not going to happen.

The idea has been mooted about for some time, with suggestions that he would make the perfect candidate to bring together the several left-of-centre parties that will be running candidates for the ten Council seats. The story acquired real legs the last Sunday of February when the Province newspaper ran a story heavy on rumours and light on facts, along with a coy "I may, I may not" response from Chandra Herbert.

But with the following statement on his Facebook page on March 5, the story has been put to rest:

"As many of you know I have been asked to consider running to be the mayor of Vancouver, and I have given it much thought. Thank you to the many folks across Vancouver who have given me advice, support, and shared your thoughts both for and against over the last while. I've come to a decision. I ran to be the MLA for my neighbours in the West End and Coal Harbour because I wanted to change our province for the better. I have so much that I want to get done for you, the community that elected me as your MLA in our new government that I realized I can't stop now. I also know I can not and will not give up the precious time I have with my son, and husband to run for Mayor. It's just too important. Walking through the park holding my son as he cooed at the birds it just hit me, I can't leave this. I can and am making changes now with our new government that my neighbours have dreamed about for years, and don't need to run for Mayor to do that. I am incredibly humbled by those who expressed their support for me, and thankful. I look forward to continuing my work with Premier Horgan and our team, and continuing to stand up, and work hard for my neighbours in the West End and Coal Harbour as your MLA. It's a privilege and honour to serve you. Thanks again."

End of story. 

Isabel Ashton

Congratulations To Gordon Neighbourhood House's Donna Simpson Awards Recipients

Congratulations to Isabel Ashton and Brendan David Bailey, the recipients of this year's Donna Simpson Community Champion Award.  

The Donna Simpson Award is awarded to individuals who show outstanding service to the community and Gordon Neighbourhood House, just as Donna Simpson did when she was a dedicated volunteer who worked at the Attic Thrift Store.  

Brendan David Bailey

Isabel has worked at GNH for 4 years with children, families, and youth. Her devotion and dedication to GNH is invaluable; she has been here from open to close on many many nights and is always there to help her fellow staff when needed. Isabel's strong social justice compass has been a strong force in ensuring that GNH remains an open and accessible place for everyone. Thank you for everything you do for GNH and the community, Isabel! 

Brendan began volunteering with GNH more that 3 years ago when he approached us about an innovative program he co-designed which aimed to engage residents and foster relationships between tenants of a newly constructed multi-family building. Since then, Brendan has been a limitless supply of creative ideas, passion and dedication with our Young Ideas group. Brendan brings creativity and a strong work ethic to the team and is always cheerful and willing to assist with any task. Thank you for all you do in our community, Brendan!