5X5 Update 1: James St. Baptist Church

Five different shots, each lasting five seconds, using natural sounds.  James Street Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Letter to City Manager – Re: James St. Baptist

May 21, 2014

Attn: City Manager

I wish to express my concern over the recent approval process for a partial demolition of the James Street Baptist Church.

It is my understanding that the Heritage Permit Review Sub-Committee recommended the granting of a demolition permit based on the Developer fulfilling a number of conditions.

This Committee (made up of community volunteers), then directed City Staff to ensure that the conditions were fulfilled before allowing the partial demolition by the Developer.

It is also my understanding that the Director of Planning approved the permit without the decision coming before the Heritage Committee or City Council.  Apparently, there is a committee bylaw that allows for minor alternations to heritage designated buildings to be addressed by City Staff.

It is my view that recommendations by the Permits Sub-Committee (an advisory committee made up of community volunteers) should have their decision reviewed and approved by the Heritage Committee, the Economic Planning Committee, and then by City Council. I believe my view of the decision making process is supported by the mandate descriptions of each of these committees.

If my information is correct, then a bylaw intended for minor decisions was used to make a significant impact to a heritage designated building.  I do not feel volunteers and city staff should be placed in such a decision-making role.  Such decisions are the responsibility of elected city leaders.

Finally, I am concern that no elected officials reviewed the efforts of City Staff to ensure that the conditions were addressed.

While I support the James Street Baptist Church project, because the City deemed the building to be unsafe, I am concern over future demolition requests.  Elected officials could easily be bypassed by City Staff on such important issues as the Hermitage Ruins or the Kerr Buildings.

I would appreciate you looking into this situation, and if required, ensured that good decision-making procedures are established.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Hamilton Artist Update 16: Hermitage Ruins

Sorry for the poor sound quality.  First attempt at syncing sound and video.  Racing to put together the video, so lacking text.  Please contact the Heritage Permits Sub-committee and demand that the Hermitage Ruins be fully restored.

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Save the Hermitage Ruins

On May 27, 2014 – the Heritage Permits Sub-Committee will be deciding the future of the Hermitage Ruins located in Ancaster.  The Hamilton Conservation Authority wants to demolish the ruins to a height of 3 feet.

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

Hamilton Artist Update 14: Standing Out

A weekly review of art related activities by artist, Chris Erskine. Updates are posted every Monday.

This week:
1.) New Name
2.) Standing Out From The Crowd
3.) Going Live
4.) The Hermitage Ruins

1. New Name

I have re-named my weekly update to Hamilton Artist Update. I hope this name achieves three goals:

– it will appear in searches of Hamilton

– it will clearly associate myself with Hamilton, Ontario

– the order of postings will be clearer

This last point was inspired by the Youtube channel called “This Week in Tech.” They have over 400 episodes, and their numbering system seems to be a very good way of organizing videos and blog postings.

2. Standing Out From the Crowd

I find it truly amazing how little is available on Hamilton via Youtube, blogs, and websites. So, given the small size of this internet universe, you would think my Youtube or Blog would appear easily in search engine results. My name is buried by Chris Erskine the soccer player or the L.A. Times columnist. My blog “Fat Cats and Starving Dogs” is lost among the references to the movie, Margin Call.

I am impressed by Bruce Jones and his work on using Google and Youtube to promote your channel. He is very helpful in explaining the logic behind search engine results and how you can use it to market your products or services.

As a result, I have tried to re-shape the words that describe my video content so that my material appears more readily in search engine results.

3. Going Live

This past week, I also came across Steve Garfield’s channel on Youtube via Bruce Jones. Steve Garfield provides another perspective on making your blogs and Youtube channels stand out from the crowd. However, what struck me most was how he used live video to gain exposure on national American networks. Now, I not interested in that sort of thing, but it got me thinking of different sorts of art events that I could broadcast to the community. Combining Steve Garfield’s examples with some of the things that Bruce Jones was suggesting, and I can see a whole new range of possibilities.

For example, broadcasting live from one of my sketching locations. I always get a lot attention and feedback from the public. Now, I can incorporate that reaction into a video that can also be archived and playback later.

So, for the past few days, I have worked on the mechanics of doing live video and what locations might have Wi-Fi access.

4. The Hermitage Ruins

Hermitage Ruins, Hamilton (Ancaster), Ontario
Hermitage Ruins, Hamilton (Ancaster), Ontario

As I have already mentioned, the Permit’s Sub-committee has delayed their consideration of the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s request for a partial demolition of the Hermitage Ruins out in Ancaster. At the moment, the foundation is weakening and the HCA solution is to tear the surviving walls down to a height of three feet. The Permits sub-committee occurs on the same night and time as Hamilton City Council, so I understand that they will change to a new date so that more people can attend the meeting.

 

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec