Appeared in the North Shore News – July 18, 2014
Dr. Lautens believes he recognizes the symptoms in the unfortunate marital breakup of a certain mayor across the water from the North Shore.
Dr. Lautens, B.A.,
D.K.F.A.A.A., the last three letters standing for All About Anything, diagnoses the underlying malady as what the French call la crise de cinquante – the crisis on reaching, or just north or south of, age 50. (It is adjustable to la crise de quarante, commencing around 40.)
The patient under scrutiny enters his 50th year in September – a classic case.
Cutting through the medical/technical jargon, which I’d gladly explain if space allowed and readers could follow it, the afflicted typically has a successful career, an agreeable spouse, satisfactorily raised grown children, and some prosperity. And – often abruptly, like a tropical disease – is struck by the haunting self-question: “Is that all there is?” Yes, he – more often he than she, though neither sex is immune – suddenly hungers for a new life. In the painfully fashionable phrase, has an intense urge to reinvent himself. Gamble all he has for an entirely new him. And often for a desirable new her.
Some time ago a woman I’ve met occasionally for 20-odd years fascinated me, only scientifically of course, though stunningly beautiful, when she confided that her marriage was over. I delicately coaxed out her age. Fifty. La crise. I had suspected it.
The above, I fear, sounds facetious. But there is underlying sorrow of deepest nature, poignancy for the restlessness of the spirit and of the flesh. I may be a mere D.K.F.A.A.A. – but after decades of study, I know something of the human heart. And it is a terrible knowledge, for I too have been touched.
Well, which is it, then? Who’s to be believed? One, the other, neither, or even both?
West Vancouver town hall and Grosvenor are strangely at odds on when the police will leave their turf at 13th and Marine Drive, and when the monster global developer moves in and starts building its project of decidedly mixed popularity.
As stitched together in this space last month, using a process of ratiocination stolen from Sherlock Holmes, it would seem that the WV police could be grilling suspects on the site while Grosvenor simultaneously holds open houses for prospective buyers of its costly condos.
Town hall, as Stefania Seccia reported in these pages, claims the present tenants, the cops, have until Dec. 31, 2017 to remove their rubber truncheons, shock devices and other instruments of torture (joke!). But when I asked Patti Glass, marketing director for Grosvenor Americas, about its schedule, she stated: “Construction is expected to begin late 2014 or early 2015.”
Seriously sooner than on town hall’s schedule. So I checked again. Glass confirmed: “The dates I gave you regarding Phase 1 are correct – we are targeting end of year construction commencement.” I noted a construction fence has already gone up on the west side of the block. Glass explained: “The activity currently on site (former Handi restaurant) … is to make way for the presentation centre.”
The sure thing is that replacement of the cop shop, to be joined at the hip with a new firehall, is stuck at the design level, eight months to a year behind schedule, and chief administrative officer Nina Leemhuis conceded – as divulged here – that using WV’s recently acquired Vancouver Coastal Health buildings is a temporary option. Disputed: Whether to include holding cells, or share North Vancouver’s RCMP cells.
WV Mayor Mike Smith and Leemhuis are soothing: No fear, plenty of time to make design changes in the $36-million project. A good start would be if town hall and Grosvenor co-ordinated their clocks.
A West Van widow donates $8 million (1998 dollars) for a theatre. Grosvenor buys the name “Grosvenor Mainstage at the Kay Meek Centre” – 10 years of self-serving publicity for a measly $1 million. The grovelling locals tug their forelocks in gratitude. I vomit.
Outstanding broadcasters Philip Till, superb in his too-rare commentaries, and Bill Good are retiring at month’s end. Veteran Terry Bell, the best and clearest radio news writer/reader of my experience, has gone. All same with sports reporter Stu Walters, as biz-watcher Greg Douglas (Dr. Sport), my only sports pages must-read, notes in the Sun.
First the good news: West Vancouver lawyer Dave Thomas has been appointed chairman of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Now the bad news: He’ll have to live in Ottawa.
The tribunal adjudicates human rights complaints that the Canadian Human Rights Commission hasn’t been able to resolve. Thomas’ seven-year appointment starts Sept. 2. His Vancouver practice centres on corporate immigration.
In 2006, Thomas sought the federal Conservative nomination for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country (formerly West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast), won by present MP John Weston. I await with kindly interest how a white male heterosexual, father of three, fits into the human rights culture.
© Trevor Lautens, 2014