Tag Archives: media

Media: Slow Train Coming (Cascadia Trains) / Vancouver Courier, Oct. 22, 2008

from the article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008
from the Vancouver Courier article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008

I was interviewed (and used loquacious quotes like “super lame”) for an article about train travel in the Vancouver Courier.

I am including my quotes and a few other snippets about my pet-rant, ergo: inadequate train travel between here and points south – as well as the photo by Dan Toulguet so it doesn’t disappear…

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Slow train coming

Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast – Robert Alstead, Vancouver Courier Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dave Olson, who works in marketing for Gastown web design company Raincity Studios, travels six or seven times a year by train, on business and pleasure. “I don’t care for jet travel because of the incredible hassle and huge eco-footprint,” says Olson. Like many, he would take the train more if he could. “I like the pace and not having to drive, I like the rhythm and the scenery you normally don’t see, the rail yards and seashores and forgotten neighbourhoods. I find the train-riding experience somehow charming, even poetic and certainly creativity stimulating,” he says.

However, he complains Amtrak’s evening train south is hardly convenient for trips to Olympia or Portland, seeing as travellers must make an overnight stopover in Seattle. The Amtrak Cascades is also infrequent and often booked up. Amtrak does offer several “train buses” which Olson has found “super lame” with long border waits. He’d rather take the car if there are no seats on the train, although it did mean a $124 parking bill and a chipped windshield on a recent three-day trip to Seattle. “I know we would’ve enjoyed some work or playing cards or meditating on the train,” he rues.

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However, the Amtrak Cascades offers a good example of the difficulties faced in enhancing rail services.

For years, Amtrak has wanted to add a second roundtrip train between Eugene and Vancouver. However, congestion due to heavy freight movement on track this side of the border meant that a new siding needed to be added to allow trains to pass. For six years, Canadian and U.S. officials and railroad owners Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been unable to hammer out a deal over who should pay for the upgrade.

That means that a second Amtrak Cascades has been running only as far as Bellingham. Then in March of last year, spurred on by the onset of the 2010 Olympics, B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon announced that he was committing “up to $4.5 million” (reportedly 57 per cent of the upgrade cost) to build the siding.

In June last year, Premier Gordon Campbell marked the new service on the platform at King Street Station in Seattle by exchanging a large symbolic train ticket with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a photo op.

The siding was completed months ago. Amtrak is ready to go. But the service hit the buffers due to complications with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which reportedly wants $15,000 per day to clear the train.

Graham says the matter is in the hands of the B.C. government. A spokesperson for the province says it’s a federal government issue. Faith St. John, spokesperson for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter “because we are in discussions.” But she did say that “decisions to provide CBSA services at a new location or to expand current services take into account human resource requirements and the ability to provide security and service to the public.”

She could not say when the matter would be resolved.

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Update, the article “disappeared” from the internets (mostly), 

Print version of Slow Train Coming

Web version of Slow Train Coming [archived link via WayBack]

Media: Zhonka + Wi-fi / Olympian (WA) Dec. 15, 2005

Media: Zhonka + Wi-fi / Olympian (WA) Dec. 15, 2005 / cover
Media: Zhonka + Wi-fi / Olympian (WA) Dec. 15, 2005 / article quotes by Dave
Media: Zhonka + Wi-fi / Olympian (WA) Dec. 15, 2005 / date for the record

Media: Candid Q&A / Business Examiner (WA) March 4, 2002

Media: Candid Q&A / Business Examiner (WA) March 4, 2002, part 1
Media: Candid Q&A / Business Examiner (WA) March 4, 2002, part 2

Media: OlyWa offices empty / Olympian (WA) May 7, 2002

Media: OlyWa offices empty / Olympian (WA) May 7, 2002

Media: OlyWa.net Sold (ATG) / Olympian (WA) May 2, 2000

Media: OlyWa.net Sold to National Company / Olympian (WA) May 2, 2000

Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis Magazine, Seattle/Oly, June 1998

Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis, Seattle/Oly, June 1998 / cover
Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis, Seattle/Oly, June 1998 / interview

Continue reading Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis Magazine, Seattle/Oly, June 1998

Media: Cleaning Neptune (holiday) / PDN, Guam, July 5, 1995

Media: Cleaning Neptune (holiday) / Pacific Daily News, Guam, July 5, 1995
“Not everyone had the Fourth of July off. The crew of the SS Neptune spent the say working on the maintenance of the boat that is dry-docked at the Harbour of Refuge”
Dave Olson pictured, right

See also: Guam Dossier, SS Neptune + Guam Dossier, SS Neptune 

Media: Jerry Garcia’s Legacy / PDN, Guam, Aug. 18, 1995

Summary: Woke up to the news, quit my job, went to a candlelight vigil, passed one around, talked to some geeks from Pacific Daily News newspaper, learned about the Internet, signed up for class the next day, started making websites about hemp in Japan, got a new job, quit, went to Palau and Yap, went to Olympia, met some Internet hippies… somehow its today.

Where were you?

Media: Jerry Garcia death / PDN, Guam, Aug. 18 1995, part 1
Media: Jerry Garcia death / PDN, Guam, Aug. 18 1995, part 2
Media: Jerry Garcia death / PDN, Guam, Aug. 18 1995, part 3 (detail)

See also: “The Internet Age Began on August 9, 1995” / via Litkicks (with comment)

Folio: “Sounding Board” family newsletter (guest edited), 1985

Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / masthead

My dear ole grandfather, Robert “Bob” Stevenson (rip), (one of many Bob/Roberts in our extended family), fired up a family newsletter for various extended cousins and uncles and aunts et al… Of course, this sort of project requires a lot of wrangling of assignments to generate content which he then dutifully typed, laid out, re-produced and distributed (yes i come from all this honestly). When he was expressing frustration about lack of input from various family members, brother Bob and I volunteered to guest edit an issue. Of course, we put our own style to the dispatch with mail bombs, clipped cartoons, corny jokes, plagiarized punk rock lyrics along with the various “scene reports” from extended family units.

Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / (mildly condescending passive aggressive) letter from editor, Gramps

I’ve shared a few pages here – with some minor crops – to provide a flavour of the publication while retaining some semblance of discretion as to not shock or offend any family members (any further).

Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / punk rock lyrics (stolen from Massacre Guys), corny jokes, a remixed punk rock sticker and possibly made up letter from Robby
Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / “scene report” from our segment of the family including Andy’s love of He-Man and our choice for “2nd place” of the family crest (shown elsewhere in the newsletter but not in this review)
Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / fun page with sports items including instructions for a piledriver
Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / i guess this is really the masthead, is the masthead the part which tells who contributed? i should know this. Anyhow…

Media: Cub Scout Trash / “Surrey North Delta Today”, May 1981

Media: Cub Scout Trash / “Surrey North Delta Today”, May 1981

“Pitching in.. The boys, leaders and family members of the East Whalley/ Guildford Scout District turned out in force to participate in the recent Pitch-In ’81 campaign… “