New York City and Vancouver both have a Ball of Lights.
The one in the Big Apple drops at midnight every New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
The one in Vancouver was re-elected in the November 2014 civic election and has dropped a motion onto the agenda of the Feb. 3 city council meeting.
NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball wants the Vision Vancouver majority city council to order staff to develop a Vancouver OutdoorLighting Ordinance aimed at protecting human health, wildlife and taxpayers.
Ball is city council’s expert on lighting. Her reported assets include shares in Ball/Welch Holdings Ltd., Lightscene Ventures Inc. and Eos Lightmedia Corp. and income as co-owner of Eos. Lightscene is the holding company for CD/M2 Lightworks Corp.
The Vancouver Charter says: “A council member must not use his or her office to attempt to influence in any way a decision or action to be made or taken, if the member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter to which the decision, recommendation or other action relates.”
Ball denies there is a conflict of interest.
“As a director who produced outdoor theatre productions and events for over three decades I have long thought of bringing forward a motion regarding night skies and light trespass,” Ball said. “While my motion would have no financial impact on our family business, the exposure I have had to lighting technology certainly informs me as to the health and safety issues involved and in light. This motion is about shielding light, not about fixtures. It asks for regulations regarding light spill and trespass.
“These regulations would be a great boon to tourism as visitors seek cities with dark sky preserves.”
In 2012, she was involved in a council discussion over the light pollution from the B.C. Place Stadium external video boards (one of which was removed before last fall’s civic election).
Another relic of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has disappeared.
The Ilanaaq the inukshuk logo painted on the Wyland mural “Vancouver Island Orcas” on the south face of the Continental Hotel is gone, because the 1390 Granville/625 Pacific building is under demolition.
Wyland, the famed artist who specializes in scenes of whales, restored the 1994 work in time for the Games. It was unveiled Jan. 18, 2010 at a ceremony including Vision
Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal and Los Angeles Coun. Tom LaBonge. Wisconsin-based J.J. Keller Foundation, Get to Know Program, Pure Painters and City of Vancouver contributed to the restoration.
The building was in the news in the summer of 2014 as part of a city real estate sale. The Cedar Party found hidden in the prospectus for the Eastern Granville Loop a bombshell:
the city had hoped a private partner would build a new aquatic centre on the property. That immediately called into question the future of the Vancouver Aquatic Centre on prime waterfront land beside the Burrard Bridge.
Residents were moved to a former Ramada Inn on Kingsway, bought by city hall for $15.5 million.
The prospectus remains on the City of Vancouver website, an indication that the property is still on the market.