Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Buzz Off City Caucus! Hopeless hacks whack Allen Garr's volunteer beekeeping contribution to Vancouver

Don Hankins photo

Here's a message to City Caucus - buzz off!

The hopeless hacks who drove the Non-Partisan Association into the ground, who couldn't keep an incumbent mayor - Sam Sullivan - from losing his own party's nomination to Peter Ladner and who haven't been able to resuscitate the NPA since its crushing loss have lately had a winning cause at last - to force Allen Garr from offering his beekeeping services to the city of Vancouver for free!

What a great victory boys! Well done at last - lowering your sights and standards finally pays off!

For those who don't read City Caucus, there has been an ongoing attack against Garr - the veteran columnist for the Vancouver Courier who has more journalistic experience this year alone than the City Caucus dynamic duo of Daniel Fontaine and Mike Klassen can add up in both their lifetimes.

Garr was Vancouver Province political columnist during the Bill Bennett years, then a CBC TV reporter, then a Courier columnist for the past dozen years - but apparently City Caucus thinks it has discovered an enormous failing of Garr's journalistic integrity - he offered to beekeep for the city for free!

Since the City Caucus "Beegate" expose, Garr has rescinded his offer to manage bee hives at City Hall - as he also does at Van Dusen Gardens and the Vancouver Convention Centre - because he doesn't want to be a distraction from a useful and environmentally friendly project.

This after City Caucus wrongly reported Garr was being paid to do the work and then refused to retract and withdraw its erroneous postings. It actually still has a line in its original story that says - "It strains credibility to think that Allen Garr can continue writing about Vancouver City Hall when he is working for City Hall receiving a pay cheque from them." - with a strikethrough line over the "pay cheque" part - which is clearly readable - and dead wrong.

More commentary still online despite their errors says Garr has been "hired by the City of Vancouver" and other factually incorrect statements, along with many comments attacking Garr on the basis of the City Caucus mistakes!

Let's be clear - City Caucus has repeatedly trashed Garr - and also the veteran reporter/columnist/blogger Frances Bula - for not kicking the tar out of the Vision Vancouver city council.

City Caucus allegations of bias, unfairness, favouritism and outright being apologists for Vision have made the blog an embarrassment to read.

Anyone who knows Frances or Allen - or has felt the sting of their reporting and commentary over the years - knows it's just not true.

But the City Caucus crew - themselves still smarting from one of the most embarrassing electoral and leadership losses in Vancouver history - can't see straight through their ongoing pain.

Most likely they are trying to block Garr from being elected to the Board of Directors of VanCity Credit Union - that election is - surprise - now on and ends Saturday.

I endorsed Garr and his Action Team running mates Virginia Weiler and Heather Tremain
- and if you are a VanCity member who finds the City Caucus attacks on Garr to be reprehensible - well, one way to say so is to elect Garr and his fellow candidates.

But regardless of the results of that election, City Caucus is once again proving to be the Vancouver blog equivalent of Ann Coulter's brain - nasty and pointless.

Boys - Clifford Olsen is getting a federal pension supplied by taxpayers, Willy Pickton is appealing his conviction, a gang war fueled by drugs continues in Metro Vancouver, an onerous and outrageous tax is about to be imposed on all British Columbians - there's lots more important things to write about than whether volunteer beekeeping services have been offered to the city.

Political hardball is just fine by me - as anyone who reads this blog knows - but I get my facts straight, I retract and apologize if I make a mistake and I don't go after people based on personal and misguided vendettas.

Over to you Daniel and Mike - will you finally do the right thing or just carry on like you did nothing wrong?


Mike Klassen said...

Dear Bill,

Glad that you've got enough powder left over in your musket after blasting Gordon Campbell to concern yourself with smaller matters.

In your dissertation you neglected to mention a few details, such as the fact that the hives were promoted to city staff as part of Vision's Greenest City political initiative. It's a bit like you were taking a contract from the BC government, all the while beating them up in your columns. It simply doesn't work.

Clearly someone – either Garr or his publisher – did the math and it didn't add up. We would have preferred he stuck with the bees and dropped the column, but you can't win 'em all.

As for not retracting our statement, as a long time blogger surely you're familiar with the strikethrough convention, which clearly signifies that a mistake was made. We did say that we incorrectly wrote that he was receiving a pay cheque for managing the hives in our last post on the subject.

You've been writing a long time, Bill. No mistakes so far??

While I appreciate that Allen is passionate with his work on the hives, we've talked to at least one organization where he does the "free" work and learned that Allen is allowed to sell the honey from the hives he works on. While I doubt he's going to retire on the income, it's funny how a few bucks makes your effort more worthwhile. Allen services a lot of hives, which means a lot of honey. At six or seven bucks a jar that adds up.

As for Garr's candidacy for VanCity, has endorsed him. What's wrong with that? Again, we wonder how he'll navigate the potential conflicts that will arise being both a bank board member and a political columnist, but he's a pro and we have no doubt he'll figure it out. You know what they say in politics - just spell the name right. G-A-R-R

Thanks for the plug. Come on by sometime and leave a comment on our site. We miss you!

Best regards,

Mike Klassen / 24 Hours

Anonymous said...

Gee willikers Mr. Tieleman, I looked at the city caucus website and see that the boys think maybe Garr is making a profit selling honey that he collects from the city hall bees. Any idea where I can get Garr honey? Sweet eh?

Anonymous said...

Bill this happens with all main stream garbage its been going on for years started with fred and kathy,years ago and continued to see the trend till the ndp was beaten down to 2 seats and then the wholesale theft of our resources started Ive written about this for years on these blogs as a matter of fact started typing with two fingers so long ago and now both hands and things are getting worse I'm so glad it's not only me that noticed ,my only question is what took you so long and now that you started are you going to start hammering back I mean really hammer?well two questions.

DPL said...

They don't seem to have enough to do. WE keep bees and the nearest trees and plants and flowers say thank you

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have video of Gordon Campbell spazzing out over death of Enbridge pipeline?

Bill Tieleman said...

You're welcome Mike - glad to see you noticed.

Of course I've made mistakes - and I've corrected them - not put a strikethrough over a few words and left everything else as is.

As for Garr making bucks from the sale of honey - do you really want to say that in public?

If not I can put a strikethrough over it for you!

Mike Klassen said...

Bill, we've already spoken with senior management at PavCo, who told us that Allen sells back honey to them from the hives at the Convention Centre. No one is saying that it's a windfall for him, but it should be noted.

Norm Farrell said...

While City Caucus is talking about Garr maybe or maybe not earning a few northern pesos by caring for bees and extracting honey, maybe they could disclose who is paying them for their "journalistic" efforts. Now, that would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing that some folks are so ego bound they can never admit a mistake without digging themselves deeper into the doodoo. Heaven help Vancouver if the NPA return to city hall.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the blogger world are slagging each other.

1. City Caucus against Frances Bula.

2. Frances Bula aganst City Caucus.

3. City Caucus against Civic Scene.

4. Civic Scene against City Caucus.

5. AGT against City Caucus.

6. AGT againt Frances Bula.

7. Frances Bula against AGT.

8. Tieleman against City Caucus.

How long are these childish antics going to coninue?

Time for people to grow up!

Anonymous said...

They should all just buzz off!

Anonymous said...

agt is a hack and a moron sorry Bill I know he was a colleague but the drivel he has on his blog is ludicrous,you know the breaking newz crap and the people of Vancouver's lives are in danger, LMAOROTF.Genuine

Anonymous said...

One of the sad realities of many 'blogs' is they reveal the vanities of their authors. In addition to what is said, what is shown tells another part of their story. In Mr. Tielman's case he has a need to show an exhausting list of photo ops of him with various politicians. Wow, I'm impressed. In my experience those with something to say leave the reader to decide its value & not divert attention away by trying to impress the reader that this guy really is a player. The thought 'men & boys both like their toys, men's are just more expensive' comes to mind.

DPL said...

Tieleman is in the communications business working for himself. If he has no contacts, he gets no pay. So of course he needs to advertize his services. Most of us can understand that, but it seems an anon or two simply can't or doesn't want to, figure that out. But then again , some of the anon's might be doing communication work and being well paid by other agencies

RossK said...

It would appear that, ever since the Spamaloteers* hit proMedia paydirt with their bogus 'Snowmaggedon' campaign, they can find no wee, teeny bit of trivia trivial enough that they will not make crap up about if it will get them on the evening Newz.


Thanks for calling them out on this one too Mr. T.

*aka, the Dynamic Duo from the FABULAusly not-so dynamic CC.


kootcoot said...

Thanks Bill, being a rube from up country, I had no idea why the term "beekeeper" appeared to be constantly used as an epithet in a sewer in cyberspace that I couldn't seem to stop myself from falling into until the proprietor of said sewer kindly built a fence to keep me out.

I was starting to wonder if NPA types were afraid of bees or didn't realize that bees were not only GOOD, but damn near necessary for any kind of healthy and enjoyable diet. They can make plastic cheese and Big Macs without bees, but oooh, icky.

Too amusing was Mr. Warner over on the other thread. I hope I don't get sued or banned for speculating that Mr. Warner's head just might be a locker full of hurt.

Anonymous said...

There’s nothing more pathetic than vested pundits hucking mud at each other for their political agendas, loose treatment of fact and hyperbole. Fight the fight if you wish, but every word spent trying to convince me that the other guy is the only bastard denigrates the art…

Anonymous said...

"City Caucus is once again proving to be the Vancouver blog equivalent of Ann Coulter's brain - nasty and pointless."

Very well put. To say the NPA apologists of City Caucus are petty and malevolent doesn't begin to describe it. I'd be interested to know who funds them.