November 29, 2012

Successful Language Lanterns Book Launch in Vancouver

The Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada Vancouver Branch hosted a book launch of several Language Lanterns translations of Ukrainian literature into English tonight at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Vancouver. Admission was free, and cookies, cakes and coffee were served. Thank you very much! And thanks to UWAC Vancouver Chair Lydia Huzyk for taking the lead!

Twenty-eight people braved the dark, rainy night to attend, and we sold over 40 books.

As editor for Language Lanterns, I talked about how the project began over 15 years ago, with my aunt, a retired professor of Slavic languages, translating Ukrainian literature into English, and my mom, Sonia Morris, a retired professor of Educational Psychology, editing them. Before my Mom passed away in 2007, the sisters produced 17 volumes. I helped complete three more that they had begun that were published with Mom as editor, and since then Roma and I have completed two more, with a third at the printer as I write this.

That makes a total of 23 volumes and nearly 10,000 pages!

I read from an interview that Roma had given on how she got started translating, and also from a speech my Mom had written for a book launch back in 2000. I then provided some historical background to the era and place where several of the recent books were written: Ukraine circa 1860-1935.

I capped the evening off with readings from the books Prometheus and Maria.

There were lots of great questions from the audience, and I thank the organizers again for putting on such a wonderful event.

I recorded the proceedings, so if you're interested in listening, you can download the 15MB WMA file here.

Thanks to my wife, Yumi, for taking photos and handling sales.



Posted by Paul at 10:30 PM

November 26, 2012

Ordered New Byrne Creek Streamkeepers ‘Business Cards’

A few years ago volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society in Burnaby, BC, thought it would be useful to make up a "business card" that would be easy to carry and hand out to the public when we're out and about on our activities in the park and along the creek. The cards proved to be handy, so we're printing another batch at Rosewood Printers on Edmonds St. in SE Burnaby - supporting local businesses.

Here's the proof for our latest double-sided card:


We leave a space for volunteers to write in their own name or email address. Works well!

Posted by Paul at 09:16 PM

November 23, 2012

Finally Upgraded Home Office LAN to Gigabit Ethernet

Dust bunnies!

Yes, discovering dust bunnies is just one of the benefits of upgrading your local area network (LAN).

Over two years ago, I got a D-Link DNS-323 NAS (network attached storage) unit, with a couple of 1.5 terabyte HDs. The 323 was capable of 1Gb network speeds, as was my main computer, so I began watching for sales to upgrade my network gear (router/switch) from 100Mb. I eventually got a Linksys E4200 wireless router and a D-Link DGS-1008D 8-port gigabit network switch. And then the new gear just sat in my office for many months, until today.

Aside from crawling around in dust bunnies under my computer desk, the installation was fast and smooth. LAN setup technology has truly become automagical. As I write, I'm synching my ~800GB of photo folders to the NAS, and the process is noticeably faster. I highly doubt it'll be 10X faster, due to network overhead and other factors, but even 3X or 4X faster is a huge difference.

Posted by Paul at 04:27 PM

MP Goodale on Ukraine Terror-Famine Anniversary

While I'm not a member of any political party, and live far from Ralph Goodale's riding, I was impressed with the following release from his office:


A commentary by the Member of Parliament for Wascana

November 23rd, 2012


Saturday, November 24th, is International Holodomor Memorial Day, a day upon which the civilized world pauses to remember one of the most horrific atrocities of the 20th century.

In the winter of 1932-33, the ruthless regime of Joseph Stalin used the power of the Soviet state to contrive a totally artificial but deadly famine, specifically targeted at the people of Ukraine.  It constituted an act of genocide, entrapping and deliberately starving up to 10 million people - about a third of them, children.

Amid bountiful harvests in what was known as the breadbasket of Europe, food supplies were confiscated.  The desperate population was blocked from seeking sustenance elsewhere.  At the height of the devastation, 25,000 people were dying every day.  As much as 25 percent of Ukraine's population was eliminated, to suit Stalin's brutal political objectives.

It took a long time for the world to come to grips with this sorry reality.  But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, an independent Parliament in Ukraine enacted legislation recognizing the Holodomor as an act of genocide.  They also urged the whole global community to acknowledge, honestly and accurately, what had transpired in 1932-33.

To date, over 20 countries (including Canada) have recognized the Holodomor for the genocide that it was.  The fourth Saturday in November has been identified as an annual day of remembrance.

Such an anniversary matters to Canadians.  With Ukrainian settlement in Canada stretching back over 120 years, more than 1.25-million citizens of this country trace their family heritage to Ukraine.  Canadians and Ukrainians share a deep love of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

That's why we mourn those who perished in the Holodomor, and pay solemn tribute to the fortunate ones who survived.

That's also why Canadians take a passionate interest in Ukraine's difficult journey toward genuine democratization, after so many decades of foreign domination and totalitarianism.  As the most recent elections have demonstrated, it's not easy.

As we mark the Holodomor this year, let us be firmly resolved to support the Ukrainian people in their on-going struggle for honest elections, for legal rights and freedoms that mirror our Canadian Charter, and for a political system that respects the unquenchable Ukrainian thirst for freedom.


Posted by Paul at 01:39 PM

November 21, 2012

Environmental Pledge Launched by Burnaby Board of Trade

As a member of the Burnaby Board of Trade Environmental Sustainability Committee, I am proud to help spread the word about the launch of the Board's Environmental Pledge. I am also pleased to say that my company, Cipko Consulting Ltd.,was one of the first ten companies to take the pledge in its pilot phase.

Now it's your turn. Spread the word and get your company or organization to sign up. It's a simple process, and it's based on the honour system, so there are no onerous reporting requirements. The Pledge website also includes lots of tips on how to make your organization more environmentally sustainable. Pitch in, and through all of our individual actions, we can make a big difference.

Here's the announcement:


The Burnaby Board of Trade is very pleased to be officially launching "The Pledge for a Sustainable Burnaby." It is very important to the success of this project that each and every one of you support us by signing up your organization, as well as championing the program on behalf of the BBOT.

Taking the Pledge is easy. Simply follow the instructions below. If you are not the right person in your organization to complete this task, please forward these instructions to the appropriate individual.

Step 1: Go to
Step 2 (optional): Peruse the navigation bar for information about the program, and Tips & Resources for ideas on how to reduce your organization's environmental footprint.
Step 3: Click the 'Take the Pledge' icon found on almost every page of the website. Tell us what actions your organization plans to take, and/or share your pre-existing initiatives. Filling in the form takes as little as 5 minutes.

That's it! If you would like a hand filling in the form, don't hesitate to ask staff for assistance.

After submitting your Pledge, your organization will be added to the Pledge Takers Directory (unless you select otherwise). Don't forget to inform your marketing/social media department so they can share the good news with your customers, networks and staff (#BBOTpledge).

Board and ESC organizations that have taken the Pledge so far:
Valley Bakery
Pacific Blue Cross
Strandberg Consulting
Electronic Arts Canada
Cipko Consulting
Investors Group

If our organization's name is not on this list, please sign up ASAP!

The Burnaby Board of Trade wants you to take the Pledge for a Sustainable Burnaby!

The Pledge is a great way to showcase your business and its sustainability initiatives. Taking the Pledge is easy: simply visit, peruse the tips in our 5 key resource areas, and pick a few actions your company or organization can implement.

Pledge takers will be added to our Pledge Directory and will be recognized throughout the year at Burnaby Board of Trade events and through our many communication channels!

If you already practice sustainability, we want to hear about it! Take the Pledge and tell us what you have done. Your accomplishments will serve as inspiration for others and provide even more great ideas. While you're there, you can choose to take on new initiatives - it's entirely up to you! 

So what have I, and Cipko, pledged to do?

Our Pledge:

  • Bicycle more often
  • Use digital devices more often for agendas and meeting notes
  • Combine trips when doing errands, attending external meetings
  • Put up reminders to turn off computer monitors at night
  • Put up reminders to completely shut down non-essential computers at night
  • Reconfigure office to connect cable TV to computer LCD monitor and recycle old CRT TV

Past/Ongoing Actions:

  • Installed low-flow fixtures
  • Installed dual-flush toilet
  • All light fixtures use CFL or LED bulbs
  • Printing set to double-sided, using FSC paper
  • Switched to email delivery of A/P invoices and statements wherever possible, and send clients A/R PDF invoices by email
  • Digital thermostat set at 18C in the colder months during working hours, 12C otherwise
  • All plastics, cardboard, etc., collected and recycled
  • On-site worm composting
  • Use software such as Evernote and Acrobat to save and file online documents rather than printing them
  • Switched from paper to digital delivery of newspapers, many magazines

Posted by Paul at 09:14 PM

November 20, 2012

I’ll Present at Language Lanterns Book Launch in Vancouver on Nov. 29

The Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada Vancouver Branch will host a book launch of several Language Lanterns translations of Ukrainian literature into English on Nov. 29, at 7pm, in the mezzanine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral , 154 E. 10th Ave., Vancouver. Free admission and refreshments will be served.

Thanks to UWAC Vancouver Chair Lydia Huzyk for taking the lead!

I will talk about several volumes, and do some readings from them. The books will include Prometheus and Maria.


Posted by Paul at 12:57 PM

November 15, 2012

Proof for Latest Language Lanterns Ukrainian > English Literature Translation Arrives

I received the cover and text proofs for our latest Language Lanterns translation of Ukrainian literature into English. Exciting! But it's also a bit nerve-wracking to see what you may have missed in previous editing stages.

This latest volume is called Fantastic Encounters and contains two stories by Oles Berdnyk: "The Eye Flower" and "The Illusionist", translated by Roma Franko and edited by moi.

Assuming I can get this proofread in the next few days, we should have the printed copies back well in time for Christmas.


Here's the description from the back cover:

"Bread is for the stomach, a tale is for the heart," says one of Oles Berdnyk's characters in these two enchanting stories, The Eye Flower and The Illusionist. Berdnyk addresses these works to "seekers of fantastic tales" who have "an openness to adventure." A charming mix of fantasy, science fiction, and bits of Ukrainian folklore, these stories can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Berdnyk says "we all live among miracles and wonders, we are all children of a fantastic tale and of the unprecedented, only we often forget about it. We awaken only sporadically." The common theme that runs throughout both works is that "there's no power greater than a flaming, loving heart--especially one that finds joy in a fantastic tale." Berdnyk encourages us to be open to the childlike wonder within us. "Seek and you will find. Look and you will see."

Posted by Paul at 08:06 PM

November 14, 2012

DFO is MIA in Celebrating Success

We are having an amazing chum salmon year in Burnaby and neighbouring cities. People are reporting spawners in creeks where they haven't been seen in 50+ years. Newspapers and TV newscasts are featuring enchanted kids with sparkling eyes marvelling at seeing salmon in their neighbourhoods.

Chum have moved up the Brunette River, up the new Metro Vancouver fish ladder at Caribou Dam, through the dredged Burnaby Lake (a City of Burnaby initiative that I initially had qualms about, but am now reassessing), and up Still Creek beyond the Burnaby border and well into Vancouver. Some reports say it's been 80 years since salmon have spawned that high up Still Creek, which for decades wasn't much more than an open sewer.

As of last weekend I understand Stoney Creek in NE Burnaby, the most productive stream in the city, had counted over 750 chum back.

And not a peep from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on how much of this is due to decades of local streamkeeper volunteers and the DFO's Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP), of hard-working DFO staff on the ground, of DFO Community Advisors and volunteers at hatcheries, of doggedly rehabilitating and stocking urban and suburban creeks and streams year after year after year, of collaborations between stewards, the City of Burnaby, Metro Vancouver and DFO in making culverts more fish friendly, of tackling pollution issues and sanitary/storm cross-connects...

Why can't DFO publicly promote such success? Hard-earned success and cooperation from volunteers and all levels of government? It's a shame that nothing can be officially said by DFO Pacific without approval from Ottawa.

SEP is likely one of the most popular and cost-effective government programs in history, leveraging contributions by tens of thousands of volunteers in BC. It should be seen as something to celebrate and emulate.

I should include the "full disclosure"  bit: I am a volunteer streamkeeper and president of the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society, a member of the Salmon Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board to DFO, and a citizen representative on the City of Burnaby's Environment Committee.

UPDATE: (Nov. 23, 2012) Happy to see that DFO has published some positive PR on the SEP website. Let's keep it up! Chum salmon make stronger-than-usual return in 2012.

Posted by Paul at 07:33 PM

November 08, 2012

Oily Road Wash Enters Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby

I was down near the corner of Meadow Ave. and Byrne Rd. in SE Burnaby the other day, looking for spawning salmon, when I came across a clogged storm drain on the street. The pooling water was quite oily, and when I cleared the drain, the visual effect of the oily flow down the drain and into the creek was gut-wrenching. Our urban creek are subjected to this again and again.

There are solutions, or at least ways to ameliorate this. Lobby your local governments to dump curbs in favour of roadside swales and rain gardens!

Posted by Paul at 08:31 PM

November 04, 2012

Congrats to ‘Niece’ Kalyna & Partner Luce For Gold Medal at CURCs in Burnaby

Congratulations to McGill Rowing pair Kalyna Franko and Luce Bourbeau for winning a gold medal at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in Burnaby today!

From the McGill Rowing website.

Photo of the girls, Yumi and I, before they headed out to the awards banquet tonight. It's been a pleasure billeting these accomplished, hard-working young women.


I say "niece" because Kalyna is my cousin Ivan's daughter,
and he and I were born a month apart, and spent our childhood
and teen years together so many years ago : -).
Our mothers were "joined at the hip" and so were we,
at least for the first 18 or so formative years of our lives.


And here are our champions, as shot by Yumi when she dropped them off
at Burnaby Lake in the morning. Smiles, yet you can see the determination,
and the gold was yet to be achieved.

Posted by Paul at 10:16 PM

November 02, 2012

Wild Salmon Policy Receives Boost From Cohen Commission

I am very pleased that the recently released Cohen Commission Report sets out strong, specific, deadline-driven recommendations for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans in regard to the long-languishing Wild Salmon Policy. Created with extensive stewardship-community input, the WSP has had no funding and no one driving it within DFO. Yet it is clear that if you do not assess and classify salmon stocks, and do not protect their habitat, we will continue to see wild salmon in decline.

Justice Cohen came out with two basic recommendations regarding the WSP:

1) Cohen recommends the appointment of a "new associate regional director general" responsible for implementing the WSP, and,

2) that "The Government of Canada should establish dedicated Wild Salmon Policy funding sufficient to carry out the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' implementation plan and to cover ongoing operational costs."

If that's not clear enough to DFO's political masters, here's the entire WSP recommendation section from the Cohen report, and I suggest that the federal government would ignore these recommendations at its peril. Tens of thousands of volunteer stewards, First Nations, commercial and sport fishers, and tourism operators representing annual economic value in the hundreds of millions of dollars are watching very closely how the government will respond.

Cohen Recommendations in Regard to WSP

New position of associate regional director general

4  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans should immediately create a new position in the Pacific Region at the associate regional director general level with responsibility for developing and implementing the Wild Salmon Policy implementation plan recommended under Recommendation 5; and supervising the expenditure of funds provided under Recommendation 6 for implementation of the policy.

Wild Salmon Policy implementation plan

5  The new associate regional director general should, by March 31, 2013, publish a detailed plan for implementation of the Wild Salmon Policy, stipulating

what tasks are required;
how they will be performed and by whom;
when they will be completed;
and how much implementation will cost, as set out in a detailed itemization of costs.

Wild Salmon Policy funding

6  The Government of Canada should establish dedicated Wild Salmon Policy funding sufficient to carry out the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' implementation plan and to cover ongoing operational costs.

Annual report on progress in Wild Salmon

Policy implementation

7  The new associate regional director general responsible for implementation of the Wild Salmon Policy should, by March 31, 2014, and each anniversary thereafter during implementation, report in writing on progress in implementation of the policy, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should publish

that report on its website. Each annual report should invite responses from First Nations and stakeholders, and all responses should be promptly published on the DFO website

Wild Salmon Policy: strategies 2 and 3

8  By January 31, 2013, the new associate regional director general should decide whether the Habitat Management Program (Ecosystem Management Branch)* or the Science Branch should take the lead role in implementing strategies 2 and 3 and what support should be provided by the other branch. The new associate regional director general should also identify who is responsible for, and set deadlines respecting, the

following activities:

preparing habitat status reports;
monitoring and assessing habitat using the habitat indicators and benchmarks developed by Stalberg et al.;? and
finalizing habitat indicators and benchmarks where possible.

The new associate regional director general should coordinate with the Habitat Management Program to ensure consistency in implementing both this Recommendation and Recommendation 41.

Wild Salmon Policy: Strategy 4

9  In order to begin integrated strategic planning under Strategy 4 in relation to Fraser River sockeye without further delay, these key deliverables should be completed according to the following schedule:

By March 31, 2013, identification of red zone Conservation Units under Strategy 1, based on the Grant Draft Paper 2011.?

By September 30, 2013, preparation of overview reports for the Fraser River watershed and marine areas relevant to Fraser River sockeye salmon, based on the best available information at that time. Knowledge gaps of concern to the drafters should be identified in the overview reports and a plan developed to address those knowledge gaps.

By December 31, 2013, development of habitat indicators and benchmarks for assessment for the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait, Johnstone Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.

10  As part of the implementation of Strategy 4 in relation to Fraser River sockeye, these key deliverables should be completed according to the following schedule:

By March 31, 2013, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should complete a socioeconomic framework for decision making in the integrated strategic planning process; it should also integrate meaningful socioeconomic input into fisheries management decision making, beginning with planning for the 2014 fishing season.

By January 31, 2014, integrated strategic planning processes should begin for Fraser River sockeye salmon using the best currently available information and following the procedure outlined in Appendix 2 (A structured five-step planning procedure) of the Wild Salmon Policy.

By March 31, 2013, response teams should be formed for all Conservation Units in the red zone and for those that could significantly limit fishing and other activities.

By December 31, 2014, response teams should complete plans for the protection and restoration of priority Conservation Units, and in developing such plans, they should give full consideration to approaches beyond curtailing fisheries.

Posted by Paul at 08:18 PM