Categories
Events

September 2016 tech events

Finding and validating product ideas (Sept 21). I’m speaking at the Okanagan Project Managers group, from 5:30pm-7:30pm on Weds, Sept. 21. Register here >> (free)

Tech Brew (Sept 21, 5pm-7pm). Big event in Kamloops! Some folks are carpooling out. Register here >>

BizCamp (Sept 26-30). This conference looks awesome. It’s being put on by Shane Austin at co+Lab. I’m speaking on “How to start a digital products business” on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 12pm-1pm. Register here >>

Vancouver Startup Week (Sept 26-30). There’s some folks from Kelowna + Vernon going! Register here >>

Predictable Revenue Model Workshop (Sept 27, 11am-12:30pm). Register here >>

Geek Beers (Thurs, Sept 29, 5pm-8pm). It’s been too long since we’ve hung out! Let’s head to Marten Brewing, Vernon, on the last Thursday of this month.

Categories
Events

Geek Beers is back on for June 30th, 2016

Geek Beers is back on for Thursday, June 30th, 2016.5pm-8pm, at Marten Brewpub.

Also: Daryl Chymko is joining me as another Startup Vernon “host.” I think “host” is a good description for what we do: we host Geek Beers, and we’ll be hosting some other types of events in the future. (Here’s a message Daryl just sent me)

See you at Geek Beers this coming Thursday.
Justin Jackson
startupvernon.com

Categories
News

Amistad’s new EP

Just bought Amistad’s new EP: “Talk Peace to Wolf.”

Love seeing great music come out of Vernon, BC. Give these fellas a listen!

Buy it on iTunes →

Categories
Events

Geek Beers tonight in Vernon

Join us at Marten Brewery tonight from 5pm to 8pm for Geek Beers. We use the word “geek” very loosely. 😉 If you’re interested in making Vernon awesome, talking tech, or just hanging out, you should come.

Here’s a message from Pearl and Stefan (the owners of Marten):

We now have Happy hour till 6:00 so early Geeks will get cheapest Craft beer in the city! I will put our new Flatbreads on special for you guys, your going to love it!!! New Honey Saison is running out fast… See you then!

Who: you!

What: geek beers

When: tonight, Thurs, April 28, 5pm-8pm

Where: Marten Brewery, 2933 30th Ave Vernon BC
Why: hanging out is fun

Categories
Opinion

Fact sheet: skateboarding as green transportation in Vernon, BC

Note: you can download this fact sheet as a PDF.

Fact #1: The City of Vernon currently promotes skateboarding as “green transportation” on their website.

In 2015 the city’s Long Range Planner, Cleo Corbett, made this comment on the vernon.ca website:

“[We] want to help people get to destinations… self-propelled, like biking or skateboarding.”

Fact #2: Vernon’s Master Transportation Plan has goals to increase alternative transportation usage

Under the new slogan “Activate life” Vernon, like many other municipalities, wants to encourage more people to take green modes of transportation. Their 2013-2038 Master Transportation plan identifies these goals:

  • Increase community awareness of the benefits of using alternative transportation.
  • Increase travel options through improvements to public transit and providing fully connected walking,
    cycling and trail networks.

Fact #3: Vernon’s bylaws currently allows roller skating, rollerblading, Segways, hover boards, and mobility scooters on sidewalks. But not skateboards.

Bylaws currently prohibit skateboard use on both sidewalks and roadways. Section 309 disallows skateboards and roller-skates on roadways (which makes sense).

But Section 801 goes on to prohibit skateboards on sidewalks (while allowing roller skates, rollerblades, Segways, and mobility scooters):

Section 801: No person shall operate a bicycle or a skateboard upon any sidewalk unless so authorized by the Manager, Bylaw Enforcement.

Fact #4: There are no stats that show that skateboarding as transportation is any more dangerous to pedestrians than rollerskates, rollerblades, Segways, or mobility scooters

There are no reliable statistics that show that skateboarding is inherently more dangerous than other forms of wheeled transportation. As mentioned in Tess Walker’s masters dissertation, “skating tends to incur moral and literal policing,” despite the lack of facts to back it up.

“If the data on the safety of bicycle riding on sidewalks is sparse, then it is non-existent for skateboarding.
From the Downtown Ambassadors’ observations, bicycles on sidewalks are a greater issue than skateboards.” 
- Olympia City Council

Fact #5: Progressive, green municipalities are moving to legalize skateboarding on sidewalks

Portland, Oregon has a particularly good policy:

It is legal to skate on any street or sidewalk in the city 24 hours a day.

Similarly, Seattle has a well-written bylaw:

Every person using a skateboard or roller-skates upon any sidewalk or public path shall use the same in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of pedestrian traffic, grade and width of sidewalk or public path, and condition of surface, and shall obey all traffic-control devices. Every person using a skateboard or rollerskates upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon.
(Ord. 113546 Section 1, 1987.)

Download this fact sheet here (PDF)

Categories
Opinion

The City of Vernon is discriminating against green transportation

In 2015, the City of Vernon posted this on their website:

[We] want to help people get to destinations… self-propelled, like biking or skateboarding,” said Cleo Corbett, Long Range Planner and project coordinator.

Under the new slogan “Activate life” Vernon, like many other municipalities, wants to encourage more people to take green modes of transportation. Their 2013-2038 Master Transportation plan identifies these goals:

  • Increase community awareness of the benefits of using alternative transportation.
  • Increase travel options through improvements to public transit and providing fully connected walking,
    cycling and trail networks.

They also identify a specific action that needs to be taken in terms of Bylaws:

  • Revise the Traffic Bylaw in terms of designating corridors and facility types as suitable for use by small wheeled modes of transport (e.g. children’s bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades and longboards etc)

Discrimination against skateboards

It’s ironic that Cleo Corbett says that Vernon wants more people to travel by skateboard, when their bylaws prohibit skateboard use on both sidewalks and roadways. Section 309 states:

No person shall use roller skates, skateboards, sleighs, skates or other means of conveyance on any roadway.

Ok, that makes sense. You shouldn’t use skateboards, roller skates, etc… on roadways with cars around. Thankfully, you can still roller skate and skateboard on sidewalks, right?

Nope. Section 801 states:

No person shall operate a bicycle or a skateboard upon any sidewalk unless so authorized by the Manager, Bylaw Enforcement.

So roller skating on a sidewalk is fine, but skateboarding is not.

Why no bylaws for mobility scooters?

Even more puzzling: the bylaw does not mention the hundreds of motorized mobility scooters that are driven on Vernon’s sidewalks. I’ve been hit by electric scooters while walking down main street. They take up a lot of space, and can drive erraticly.

So a 200 lbs scooter that can go 16 km/h is fine on sidewalks, but skateboards are not.

The current bylaw is inconsistent, unclear, and discriminatory

There are no good stats on the relative danger to pedestrians on sidewalks caused by mobility scooters, roller blades, roller skates, or skateboards.

If the City wants to maintain a bylaw, they should have data to back it up with data (and not just anecdotal opinions).

Furthermore, if they’re going to address skateboarding, they should have clear bylaws for all other forms of transportation on sidewalks (scooters, roller skates, etc…).

As a side note: any current harassment or tickets given by bylaw officers for people riding skateboards should have no legal merit, as their technical definition of a skateboard is flawed. Section 223 states:

“Skateboard” means a narrow board approximately “ two (2) feet long, mounted on roller blades.

A skateboard is not a board mounted on roller blades. That would look like this:

Skateboard mounted on rollerblades

If you are not riding a object that looks like the above, I can’t see how the bylaw would apply to you.

If Vernon wants to be green, follow Toronto’s lead

To encourage skateboarding as an alternative transportation in one breath, and then have bylaw officers giving kids tickets is disgusting.

Vernon needs to revise their bylaws, and they should follow Toronto’s lead. I particularly like how they word it in Subsection E of 313 (Article IV)-27:

“Pedestrians shall have the right-of-way on a sidewalk, and no person shall ride upon or operate a bicycle, roller skates, in-line skates, skateboard, coaster, toy vehicle or similar device on a street or sidewalk on the Toronto Islands without due care and attention and without reasonable consideration for others using the street or sidewalk on the Toronto Islands. [Amended 1995-03-31 by Bylaw No. 1995-0263]”

Give pedestrians the right-of-way, and ask anyone using wheeled transportation to be careful. That seems reasonable.

People to contact

Want to chime in on this issue? Here’s the people you should contact:

Akbal Mund, Mayor – Facebook, 250-938-0022, mayor@vernon.ca

City Council – 250-550-3572, email here

Cleo Corbett, Long. Range Planner – 250.550.7830, parks@vernon.ca

Transportation Committee – web

Categories
Events

Geek Beers is TONIGHT

Linda just reminded me that Geek Beers is early this month.

Thursday, March 24 is Geek Beers!

We’ll be at the new Marten Brewery (right next to the Naked Pig).

We’ll be sitting at that long table in the middle.

The 411:

Who: entrepreneurs, IT people, developers, designers, and creatives who want to make Vernon awesome

What: Beer, BBQ, and good conversation (everything from design, to hardware hacking, to business, to programming in VIM)

When: Thursday, March 24th, 2016, 5pm-8pm (and even later sometimes!)

Where: Marten Brewing (beside Naked Pig), 2933 – 30th Ave, Vernon, BC

Find us at the Stammtisch table (the big long table in the middle).

Hoping to see you there!

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin

Categories
Events

Mega Geek Beers in Vernon, BC

Update: Wow. It looks like there could be quite a crowd tonight.

A big group of tech folks (nerds, makers, IT people, developers, designers, creatives) are converging at Marten Brewing in Vernon, BC. This Thursday, Feb 25th, people from Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vernon are getting together for MEGA GEEK BEERS.

Marten Brewing is going to be super busy tonight (there’s 2-3 other groups reserved there), so please be patient with the serving staff! (Also, they’re only doing credit card tabs tonight. If you have cash it’s “pay as you go.”)

The special tonight is half-priced wings! A full 20 oz pint at Marten is only $6. (Daryl and I tried the Dunkel Bock, and it’s really good.)

What is #megageekbeers? It’s a central gathering of geeks for great beer, BBQ and conversation.

Where: At Marten Brewery in Vernon(right next to the Naked Pig). We’re trying something new: we’ll be UPSTAIRS in the “mess hall.” There’s a couch + private balcony for us to hang out on, plus tons of tables and chairs so we can sit down and eat. Should be fun!

Who: Entrepreneurs, IT people, developers, designers, and creatives who want to connect with other people. Whether you’re an ideas person, hardcore programmer, UX expert, maker (or just really like beer) you are welcome to join!

When: Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016, 5pm-8pm (maybe even later?)

How: Just show up! Ride-sharing is happening from both Kamloops and Kelowna.

Categories
Events

A bunch of tech events

Tomorrow, Weds Feb 17th, 7pm I’ll be speaking at the MAD (Marketing and Design) event in Kelowna (at Cheeky Monkey Media). I’ll be talking about building and launching your own digital product. I’d love to have you come!

You can RSVP here →

On Saturday, Feb 20th, at 10am at Ratio Coffee James Love is having a launch party + reading of his sci-fi book.

Read more in Vernon Morning Star →

On Thursday, Feb 25th, at 5pm at Marten Brewing Daryl Chymko and I are organizing a MEGA GEEK BEERS where we’ll be hosting tech people from Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna (and elsewhere). I’ve just confirmed that we’ll be upstairs in the executive sweet (which has a balcony that overlooks the whole brewery). Should be fun!

View event details →

April 30th, at the Atrium Hotel in Vernon, will be the Okanagan’s first WordCamp! This is going to be an amazing event for WordPress users.

WordCamp website →

That’s it for now!

Hope to see some of you tomorrow night at Cheeky Monkey!

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin

Categories
Events

Geek Beers: Jan 28th at Marten Brewery

Tomorrow (Jan 28) is Geek Beers!

We’ll be at the new Marten Brewery (right next to the Naked Pig). We’ll be sitting at that long table in the middle.

Stefan and Pearl (the owners of the Pig) are doing some Geek Beers specials: mugs of MBC (Marten Brewing Co.) beer for $4.75!

The 411:

Who: entrepreneurs, IT people, developers, designers, and creatives who want to make Vernon awesome

What: Beer, BBQ, and good conversation (everything from design, to hardware hacking, to business, to programming in VIM)

When: Thursday, Feb 28th, 2016, 5pm-8pm (and even later sometimes!)

Where: Marten Brewing (beside Naked Pig), 2933 – 30th Ave, Vernon, BC

Find us at the big long table in the middle.

Hoping to see you there!

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin