Odds and Ends


Eastside Stories Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – “Whistling” Bernie Smith

Old-time beat cop meets new Posted on November 13, 2011 by Steve He walked the Hastings Street beat long before anyone had ever dreamed of AIDS, HIV or taxpayer-funded buildings where you could plunge heroin into your veins. The Charter of Rights was still ten years in the future, and it would be two decades before so-called hockey fans would riot in the streets of Vancouver — for the first time — following the Canucks’ Game 7 loss in 1994. There was no Twitter or Facebook to whip people into a frenzy. They had to use old-fashioned ways to organize rallies and marches — by knocking on doors and dialing rotary phones. There were no iPhones to record his every move, and no police complaints commissioner breathing down his neck every time he said something that might hurt someone’s feelings. For Bernie “Whistling” Smith, Hastings Street in the 1970s was a hard place. But he had easy answers. His methods were unconventional, abrasive and a little controversial. But they worked. Bernie “Whistling” Smith “What are we going to do to keep the young people away from drugs? I think one of the things is to make it difficult on the streets […]


RestART the restorative justice art project

Watch online now at oddsquad.com/videos RestART is a restorative justice art program that provides youth who have previously engaged in illegal graffiti with opportunities to express themselves in a positive way under mentorship from established local artists and community members. The RestART Program has experienced success with deterring youth participants from reentering the illegal graffiti subculture.  


Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – News Flash: Vancouver has a drug problem

Posted by Steve One of the lead news stories in Vancouver today was a study which found that illicit drugs are rampant on the streets of Vancouver. The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS reported that drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth and marijuana can be bought on Vancouver’s streets in as little as 10 minutes. Go figure. And in other news, a plane landed safely today at YVR. I’m not sure what’s more frustrating — that this problem continues to fester after years of enforcement, education and even harm reduction, or that some people are just waking up to the fact that it’s about as easy to buy crack in Downtown Vancouver as it is to find a Starbucks. By the way, there’s a Starbucks on just about every corner. What appears of particular concern to the study’s authors is that street drugs are just as accessible to young people as they are to adults, if not more. “Among the 330 youth aged 14-26 involved in the study, nearly 63% reported accessing crystal methamphetamine in as little as 10 minutes, compared to 39% of adult users. Young drug users also reported significantly easier access to marijuana, with 88% saying they could obtain the […]