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Jeremyatwork
Victoria’s modern rock radio station,
The Zone’s afternoon drive host Jeremy Baker
Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

Plugged in to the music

Disc Jockey, blogger and podcaster Jeremy Baker
keeps finger on pulse of local rock scene

By Mike Devlin,
TimesColonist.com
July 8, 2009

Jeremy Baker has listened to more music, written more words, and digested more news by mid-afternoon than your average music fan does in a day, myself included.

For that, I hate his bloody overachieving guts.

Baker, 29, hosts the afternoon drive show (3-7 p.m.) on the Zone, the city’s modern rock station. His irreverent on-air chatter is only part of the package: Within the span of any given week, Baker also writes five blogs, DJ’s for at least one club, and creates Capital Rock City, a half-hour podcast spotlighting local music.

“You have friends who start doing something then stop, because they don’t get the payoff. That’s backwards,” Baker says. “You’ve got to keep going.”

Every conversation I’ve ever had with Baker reveals a new nugget of impossibly hilarious information, from his affinity for scooters to his love of barbecue. He eats a lot of sandwiches, walks to work most days, and goes into the record books as the only guy in the radio business who actually pays for music.

And when he signs off on a blog post, he writes “Go with yourself,” which I believe is a reference to an obscure Fiona Apple quote. Baker is geeky enough to be cool.

At his core, however, he’s simply a music fan looking for way to make his passion pay the bills. Baker would love to whittle his duties down to one gig, thus allowing for more time with his fiancée, Coral, and their 16- month-old daughter, Madelyn. But the funds for the pair’s upcoming wedding, slated for Oct. 11 at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas, have to come out of someone’s pocket.

“I would love to get paid and not work. Write a book, then collect some money, hang out with my family somewhere sunny and call it a life. But I’ve got a mortgage and I have to eat. To do that, you’ve go to be out there.”

I’m calling his bluff. When there wasn’t a mortgage to meet and bills to pay, and Baker was living in his parents’ basement, gigging with some buddies in a weekend warrior punk band, the dude was still non-stop.

He ran for mayor of Coquitlam at 18, while still a student at Coquitlam’s Centennial high school. That would strike nearly everyone as unusual, but Baker shrugs it off. “Young people run all the time. It’s when they win that it’s special.”

He doesn’t recall his platform, but he remembers the number of people who supported him.

“I got 404 votes,” he said, laughing at his shortcomings. “That was good for fourth, which was last place.”

Baker scaled back his aspirations and ran for Coquitlam city council the following year. He fared considerably better, placing 17th out of 30 candidates, but his dreams were dashed. He rejoined politics last year, running as a candidate for Esquimalt Council. This time, the results were less than favourable. He came dead last.

Baker said he might try politics again later in life, but only if he can dedicate 110 per cent of himself to the task. Then again, maybe not. “I keep losing, so maybe that means something.”

The radio business is a better bet. He’s a colourful, quirky on-air personality, prone to esoteric between-song breaks and revealing personal anecdotes. In short, the kind of radio jock which is in short supply these days.

“Seventy-six per cent of my job is spent keeping up with Jeremy’s antics,” says Sara Parker, Baker’s boss at the Zone. “But his Kermit the Frog laugh makes it all worth it.”

The broadcast bug bit Baker early. The summer after high school, while at a house party, he had the idea of hosting a campus radio show. Soon after, the Morning After Show on the University of British Columbia’s station, CiTR, was born. He later received a diploma in Broadcast and Media Communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, which he parlayed into a gig at the Zone in 2003.

Luck played a part in Baker’s hiring — he arrived for his college practicum on the day the station’s morning show host quit — but Zone management is extremely happy with his ratings. They should be: Baker has literally grown up on-air in Victoria, both as a professional and person.

“I was lot more of a hipster when I first moved to Victoria. Now, spending $100 bucks on beer just because doesn’t really fly anymore.”

Next time you see Baker at a gig, buy him a frosty beverage. He deserves it.

Mike Devlin email: mdevlin@tc.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Plugged+music/1770050/story.html

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Oh Sara P, this is way too weird.  This is why 14 year old boys should not be allowed to write movies.

***

How is this for raddest job alive!  The other day on the ZAS I was talking about Against Me! drummer Warren Oakes getting fired/quiting amicably with the band to open a burrito shop in Gainsville, FLA.  Today I get word that former Shins drummer Jesse Sandoval left the band to open a mexican food cart?

Nice.  I love mexican food and I love rock and roll, so far, so good, I like these stories.  BUT then I continue to read the story, and there is a man that travels the WORLD America trying out street vendor food.

Watch it, its good: Vendor TV – Portland

I have often spoke of my dream to open a sandwich cart called “The Paper Bag Princess” but now, if it ever happens… I’ll be so yesterday’s news.

Closer to home, there is a dude that has a blog that talks nothing but burgers… and next week, I’ll be meeting with Donald to review a burger! fun.

After sandwiches, my next passion is a good burger.  Maybe I should have Donald come over sometime and make him a burger! mmm.  I wanted to review the Canoe burger and that was our original plan, but the dude ended up hitting that place last week, so next week I want to do Pluto’s and then Coral and come too and we’ll eat burgers and talk about them all intellegent like.

***

and lastly on a non-food related front, just a great article from my man Devlin at the TC about one of my fave Vic bands, the Racoons.

Read All About it!

That’s all I got, go with yourself.

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Thank you Mike Devlin for sending this amazing link to us here at the Zone.

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“Green” power is an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen?  Do people even know what they’re saying anymore when they pitch a new power project idea or do they just ad-lib the proposals… this is so confusingly backwards.

Times Colonist: B.C. Rivers at Risk from Green Power

um… if the project pollutes the river, like say the COAL MINE on Flathead River for example, then that is not GREEN.

I think when the coal mining industry uses the word “green” to describe their new project, its time to find a new word for environmentally sustainable.

OK, I’ll climb off my soap box now… but seriously… Rivers at RISK from Green Power!  SWA?

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Holy FUCK!  I just opened up the cell phone bill and $160!  WTF?

***

Tim and Dave from The Stills dropped by the Zone Afternoon show today before the first of two show they would be (are currently) performing in Victoria.  Last night they opened for Sam Roberts and Mike Devlin had some good things to say.

We jibber jabbered about, you know stuff.  I asked Dave why he thinks the song “Being Here” has really grabbed people’s attention and Dave gave a pretty perfect answer, but I didn’t really give him a chance to get the joke in.  Listening back I now hear what might have been a rad joke if I hadn’t stepped on his reply, so that is my bad.  The boys then perform “Being Here” and it ends with Tim and I talking about Nine Inch Nails and their insane LED light show.  Tim knows the man that designed NIN live light show experience!

Download: The Stills Interview with performance of “Being Here”

Download: “Being Here” (live @ The ZAS)

Moment Factory

***

Day 03

Day number three of single Dad is winding down to an end.  Another glorious challenge.  I really have so much more respect for ZooeyJane and Huckdoll after kinda trying my hand at single parenting.  Mads was a wee bit ornery this morning and wouldn’t nap or even really let me put her down.  Nana came early because Fridays are an epic challenge as it is, getting all my work done… so I had a quick shower and shave then off to the radio factory.  Had a good show and came home to take Nana out for a birthday dinner and Madelyn had/has spots all over her torso?  SWA?

I’m no Grey’s Anatomy doctor so I have no idea what is wrong.  She was n a much better mood when I got home (Nana does that to her) we decided dinner wouldn’t hurt.  Auntie Alyx joined us and we punched back some Greek food.

Brought Madelyn home for a bath and just to she why you never leave a baby unattended in the tub, while sitting there in the water, she’d get herself worked up and then like fall over in the water.  She’d freak and almost freeze up in the water and couldn’t right herself.  If I wasn’t there, like right there beside her, that would be it.

Madelyn likes bath time so she was ready for bed.

I packed up the Jeep while she was sleeping because we are off to visit Grandma Mom and Grandpa Jack tomorrow.  Day Three is done.

Baby is still alive.

Dad: 03
Israeli Air Force: 00

***

Have a great weekend.  I likely won’t get a chance to write again till Monday.  Go with yourself.

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Rob lives in Esquimalt and he wrote this article in today’s TC, profiling our community.

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Rob Shaw, Times Colonist

Published: Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Population (2006): 16,840

Median household income (2005): $47,653

Area: 7.04 square kilometres

Average house price: $509,833

Median house price: $506,000

Prominent landmarks: Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt

Esquimalt council’s ill-fated attempt to close the Archie Browning Sports Centre more than a year ago has snowballed into one of the main issues in the town’s municipal election on Nov. 15.

It’s not necessarily the arena itself that remains controversial, having been granted at least a five-year reprieve by the outgoing council.

Rather, candidates say it’s the lingering sense of distrust toward the politicians who tried to push through its demise suddenly, with little public consultation.

Fourteen candidates are vying for six council seats. Two are vying for mayor. At least six candidates are affiliated with community groups pledging to save Archie Browning, and many say their decision to run for office was sparked last spring when council suddenly voted, at a count of 5-1, to close the arena because staff reports said it was losing money and needed expensive repairs.

Hundreds of residents crammed subsequent meetings and heckled council until it reversed course and agreed to spend more than $150,000 in repairs to keep the facility open.

Barb Desjardins was the only councillor to vote against closing the arena. She’s running for mayor. “Council changed its decision but that created a lot of distrust,” she said.

Her lone vote to save Archie Browning shows she’s in touch with what the community wants while other politicians have to be told through backlash, said Desjardins, a 52-year-old physiotherapist who lives on a floathouse at the Westbay Marine Village. She points to other examples of leadership: Pushing the Victoria Police Board to better communicate with Esquimalt council for its budget, and first raising the idea of putting a sewage treatment plant at MacLaughlin Point (an old oil tank site) rather than Macaulay Point (near a park).

“I often play a leadership role and to me it’s just a natural progression,” Desjardins said of the mayor’s job.

Incumbent Mayor Chris Clement admits he made a mistake on the arena issue and said he now agrees with keeping it open at least five years. Beyond that, the 59-year-old consulting ecologist said he’s not sure what the future holds for the facility.

“The arena comes up occasionally,” said Clement, while door knocking in the Rockheights neighbourhood last week. “[Desjardins] assumes it’s going to be a big galvanizing issue, but it’s not.”

Clement is also in favour of McLaughlin Point rather than Macaulay for sewage, but said the idea was actually first raised at the Capital Regional District sewage committee he has served on the past three years.

The election is largely about leadership, said Clement, who served a term on council in 1988 before serving two terms as mayor from 1990 to 1996, and a third from 2005 to 2008. With only two incumbent councillors running for office, the six-seat council could be full of new politicians that need the guidance of an experienced mayor, he said.

“The comments I get mainly are, ‘You are doing a good job, we’re going to support you.'”

The subdued mayoral battle between Desjardins and Clement is nothing like the rancorous, bitter, fight between Darwin Robinson, Ruth Layne and Clement in 2005.

Clement said he respects Desjardins but her campaign platform is vague. Desjardins said she respects Clement but the community wants a mayor it can trust.

Meanwhile, the changing political landscape on Esquimalt council is perhaps reflective of the town’s demographic shift.

The community is close to Victoria but has lower-priced homes than that city. As a result, young families have increasingly moved there, eschewing its reputation as Victoria’s poor, gritty, crime-riddled, working-class military neighbour. The town is projecting a 25 per cent population increase within the next 20 years.

That population shift has led to a conflicted vision for the future between new and old residents. There is no clear consensus on such things as plans to revitalize Esquimalt’s village core and whether the community should accept highrise buildings that exceed the 10-storey limit in the official community plan.

Both Clement and Desjardins agree on the need to review the OCP with the community. They say the key to propping up Esquimalt’s stagnant business sector is to increase density and attract more residents. That could also prevent residential taxes from continuing to rise as the community wrestles with future budgets, they say.

Both Clement and Desjardins say they are finding support on the doorstep of Esquimalt’s taxpayers. But it has been historically hard to predict how Esquimalt’s 17,000 residents will vote. Half are renters who are often unsure if they are even eligible to vote (they can), and the large military community at CFB Esquimalt is often transitory and not always engaged in local politics.

Still, in the last election, approximately 32.5 per cent of residents turned out to vote — a slightly better turnout than in many of the other capital region municipalities.

rfshaw@tc.canwest.com

ESQUIMALT

These are the candidates up for election on Nov. 15:

Mayor:

Chris Clement

Barbara Desjardins

Councillor:

There are six council seats available.

Jeremy Baker

Meagan Brame

Randall Garrison

Alison Gaul

Brian Gray

Sylvia Hammond

Lynda Hundleby

Lori King

Don Linge

Bruce McIldoon

Bob McKie

Thomas Morino

Norman Swan

Christopher Zegger-Murphy

The Times Colonist is profiling election campaigns in the region’s 13 municipalities.

If you miss one, go to http://www.timescolonist.com to catch up. Look under “Editor’s Picks.”

Friday, Oct. 31: Sooke

Saturday: Oak Bay

Yesterday: North Saanich and Metchosin

Today: Esquimalt

Tomorrow: Sidney and Colwood

Thursday: Central Saanich

Friday: View Royal and Highlands

Saturday: Victoria

Sunday: Langford

Monday, Nov. 10: Saanich

More biographical information on the candidates, including details on their experience, community involvement and goals, will be available on our website later this week as part of our online election coverage.

Go to http://www.timescolonist.com and click on “Election Notebook” under Blogtoria. If you have something for the notebook, e-mail us at election@tc.canwest.com.
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008

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Ha, the TC had a great article today about the municipal election.

Municipal Hopefuls Drowning in a Sea of Questionnaires

Finally, someone understands our pain!

***

I like the surveys.  I have run for office twice before and I don’t remember being taken to task on ideas as much as I am this time around.

Today I worked on questions for the Hallmark Society and Questions for the all-candidates meeting.  I think I’ll post them here and if you have any feedback or concerns or questions, then please comment.

I’ll start with the questions for the Esquimalt All Candidates Meeting.  The forum is Wednesday, November 5th at the Esquimalt High School at 7PM.

Questions for the All Candidates Meeting

01) How do you propose to keep our homeowner taxes from becoming unaffordable?

By controlling costs and keeping the townships expenses focused on the municipality’s core responsibilities to the rate payers.

02) What are your environmental and growth concerns for Esquimalt?

I don’t have a position on this yet.

03) What is your opinion of the balance between growth and quality of community?

I don’t think the two are at odds and may actually benefit each other. A growing community is a healthy community where people desire to live. This growth fuels business and expands the tax base, which in turn improves our shared quality of life.

04) What is your opinion with regard to increased residential density; would you allow condo towers?

I would be open to condo towers. There are areas of Esquimalt where condo tower development would be appropriate. I support increased density at the Village core and on Esquimalt Road by the Vic West border.

05) Will you push for Development Cost Charges for new development?

Yes. Development Cost Charges allow the township to expand service to new developments without over burdening the rational tax base. It is important that Esquimalt is competitive with the charge and fair in its application.

06) What action would you take to improve the service by our Police Department and to improve safety and security for the businesses and residents of this community?

I think the Police do an excellent job. My concern is with the costs that Esquimalt pays for the service. When the Province forced Esquimalt to amalgamate with Victoria, I believe the plan was to eventually amalgamate all the core municipalities. This would spread the cost out over more rate payers. This has not happened and now Esquimalt is charged with policing the volatile downtown core of a neighbouring municipality.

07) As a member of Council what would you do to support existing businesses and entice new businesses to locate in Esquimalt?

I want to see the business communities group together to brand their neighbourhoods and raise money to enhance and improve the neighbourhoods. The township should make funds available to match any money privately fundraised to improve our community.

08) Would you support an initiative to provide tax relief as a means of:
a) either attracting new businesses to the community to create new employment, or
b) to encourage existing commercial property owners to upgrade their existing buildings?

a) It would have to be a pretty unique and massive employer coming to Esquimalt to warrant a substantial tax incentive. Esquimalt already gives a break to the federal government for CFB Esquimalt.

b) I think it would be a wise use of township funds to encourage businesses to improve their storefronts and revitalize the commercial areas of Esquimalt.

09) We now have a report on the Esquimalt Village Project.  The business community and the residents of Esquimalt want to see one of the options under this report go forward for the economic well being of our community.  What will you do to move forward with the implementation of this report?

The Esquimalt Village Project has a clear mandate and path. As a town councilor it is my job to continue to move the process forward. I support the revitalizing of the village core and want to see it built.

10) What is your perspective on the current CRD approach to sewage treatment planning and what would you do to ensure that the CRD constructs the best treatment system for communities and taxpayers?

I support the belief that Sewage Treatment is not necessarily needed as urgently as the Provincial Government has mandated. I think the Storm Drain System is a far more critical project to be tackled by the CRD that will have real environmental and public health benefits. That said, I recognize that Sewage Treatment will be moving forward as it is mandated by the Provincial Government. It is my position that Esquimalt must protect our community’s integrity when it comes to choosing a site for sewage treatment. I will support the plan that is the simplest and most cost efficient. I will be diligent in ensuring that the plan chosen does not have a greater environment detriment to our community’s health or the environment than our existing practice of dilution. Therefore I support the township’s stance that Macaulay Point is not suitable for a sewage treatment plant and that MacLaughlin Point is a superior choice. Waste products can not be trucked through the township and should be barged from the municipality.

11) What is your stance on the issue of sewage treatment being placed on Macaulay Point lands and will you allow up to 16 sludge trucks a day to travel through our community?

No. I do not support this plan. The town must be very firm that no sewage treatment plant be allowed to be built in this park.

12) The April 2008 Tourism Action Plan that prepared for the Township of Esquimalt reiterates the need to develop tourism products and access to Esquimalt. What will you do to support the extension of the Songhees Westsong Walkway, from the West Bay Marina to the Fleming Beach, which is a tourism focal point?

I support the extension of the West Bay Walkway as far as we can get the thing. If we could wrap it around every inch of waterfront, I’d be for that. I think the town needs to protect and expand the Archie Browning Sports Center to act as a focus for future tourism expansion and will require a hotel. Preferably near the arena so that the arena could be a potential place for conventions, concert and tournament and families and business people taking part could have the option of staying in Esquimalt.

13) Esquimalt has made a commitment to supporting year round cycling as part of its commitment to sustainability, yet the project to build bike lanes from Head Street to Lampson Street has never been completed. If elected, what will you do to overcome the funding and other problems that have stalled this project?

If needs be, fundraise it.

14) How often have you attended Monday night Council meetings in the past year?

I have not attended any. But if elected, I’ll attend them all.

15) Esquimalt has made a commitment to promote environmentally friendly, sustainable recreation activities, yet it has only one site dedicated to providing ocean access for launching kayaks and canoes. If elected, what will you do to promote the creation of launch sites on municipal property such as Capt. Jacobson Park?

Ocean access is important to me personally as I love walking along the ocean for recreation. I believe that every opportunity to connect people to the nature needs to be acted on. Not only does this improve quality of live and increase property values… it sets our town apart form so many cities in Canada and across the world.

16) Are you in favour of the Provincial and Federal governments providing funding to improve the rail infrastructure on the E&N Railway and having B.C. Transit provide commuter rail passenger service from Langford to Victoria as an alternate mode of public transportation to bus service?

I am always in favour of other people paying for project in Esquimalt. I am for commuter rail in principle, but as someone that lives by the train track, there will need to be safety, traffic and noise concern to be dealt with. Commuter rail will be massive benefit to the region and to Esquimalt as we are ideally situated between Victoria and the growing Western Communities.

16) Sea Breeze Pacific Juan de Fuca Cable LP has been given permission by the National Energy Board to build a 550 megawatt high voltage power line under Esquimalt streets, i.e. Craigflower Road and Lampson St. running down to Fleming Beach where they intend to bury the line under the foreshore and run the line across to Port Angeles, Washington to supply our power to the U.S. market.  If elected to Council what would your stance be to this threat to our health and our property values?

The line is underground, so that is the responsible thing to do. I do not believe it will be a threat to our health and will have only temporary effect on property value (during construction). I the long term, underground cables will have a tremendous benefit on property values compared to overhead lines.

17) What are your connections to political parties such as the NDP?

None. I had my picture taken with Jack Layton dressed as a Sasquatch once. Good times.  jack has an inspiring moustache, just in time for Movember!

18) In 2001 a traffic calming plan was implemented in the West Bay area.  Paradise Street was meant to have two speed humps because of the small children’s playground there, but only one has been built. Consequently cars turning off Lyall onto Paradise often speed down the street until they are forced to slow down at the other end. If elected, what will you do to support the whole implementation of the 2001 plan, since there are funds available for traffic calming in this area?”

Traffic calming using speed bumps is not an efficient method of controlling traffic. I support textualized pavement, painted roadways, raised crosswalks, narrower lanes, bike lanes, increased diagonal parking and landscaping to control driver behavior. Speed bumps are bad for cars, less safe, a hazard to bicycles, motorcycles and scooters, hard to navigate for buses and emergency vehicles, look ugly and are environmentally irresponsible. Esquimalt can move forward toward Living Streets.

***

And now the questions from the Hallmark Society.

1) How important is Built Heritage to Esquimalt?

Built Heritage is exceptionally important to the township of Esquimalt.  Esquimalt is one of the first areas of Western Canada settled by Europeans and before that, the area was home to native groups.  The original townsite has already been swallowed by CFB Esquimalt, so the areas of town remaining that have a clear link to our shared past stories are important  and should be protected.  Heritage Building are also important because they create a unique Character for our town, diversity in the landscape and a warmth in our community.

2) Are you in favour of unilateral Heritage Designation as a last resort to protect significant buildings?

No.  Property rights must be maintained for land owners.  It is a fundamental element of freedom and democracy.  However, any building that is worth saving can and should be saved.  There are always options and “carrots” that can be used to encourage the preservation of our built heritage.

3) Are you in favour of allocating more resources in order to expand and update the Heritage Registry?

I think the township can play an important role in rallying the community to raise the funds privately to protect building of importance.  I believe the community should have some form of financial compensation for home owners that do choose to have their homes or property registered and designated a heritage property.

4) Density bonuses for developers are problematic.  What is your position on this concept?

It is OK that a developer “feels” that a density bonus is a problem.  They are, by definition, a bonus.  If a developer is wishing to ask the community for a variation on our community plan to generate increased profit for their business, then it is fair of the town to ask for certain considerations.  As long as the city is clear and fair as to what constitutes a density bonus and how the bonus is calculated then I support density bonuses.  Density bonuses are an effective tool of the township to generate additional revenue for affordable housing and amenities.

a simple search of the townships website return no responses, so to begin, the township would need to define what is a density bonus and how it will be calculated.

5) What can be done to encourage protection of Esquimalt’s heritage resources?

The township can encourage residents to designate their building a heritage building.  The Hallmark society can work with property owners with knowledge on how to best represent their building to effectively recreate the period the building came from.

***

Thank you for taking to the time to read my answers to the questions.

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