Halloween week started two minutes before 8 p.m. on Sunday evening. That’s when the 1400 block of West Broadway was host to an impromptu and quite brief fireworks show.

The flashes and bangs emanating from the alley on the north side of the street were all bang and no flash to begin with as nothing rose higher than the one- and two-storey buildings.

Once they got going though, the fireworks easily topped four storeys.

It was a nice little show.

To whomever was behind the spectacle, the sprinkle of people waiting for the number 9 bus particularly enjoyed it and thank you very much. 

Thirty years ago today—on October 26, 1984—Ian Lloyd played the old Georgia Street party palace known as Outlaws. He was performing with his new band, Fast Forward, and doing tunes from their first (and only) album, Living in Fiction.

But more importantly, Lloyd was the funky-voiced guy who sang that awesome 1973 tune "Brother Louie". You may have heard it more recently as the theme for Louie CK's TV show, Louie.

It's the only song I can think of that has a lead guitar vs. strings battle.

I interviewed Lloyd at a local hotel way back when in advance of the Outlaws gig. For all you dozens of hardcore Ian Lloyd fans out there, here's the story as it appeared in the Oct. 26-Nov. 2 issue of the Straight

A day before Jian Ghomeshi took a leave of absence from the CBC Radio show Q, he delivered a lengthy commentary on last week's shootings in Ottawa that took the lives of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

You can hear Ghomeshi's editorial in the video above.

Today, CBC announced that it had parted ways with Ghomeshi, who cofounded Q in 2007.

He has since declared that his dismissal was linked to the public broadcaster's fears that aspects of his sex life would be made public.

The NPA's mayoral candidate, Kirk LaPointe, continues coming under fire from Vision Vancouver over a potential Broadway subway line.

Late last week, the city's governing party released the video above, which shows LaPointe refusing to respond to a question from journalist Frances Bula.

Bula started by asking LaPointe why he keeps blaming Mayor Gregor Robertson for proposing a carbon tax to pay for transit when, according to her, the idea is being pushed hardest by Surrey mayor Dianne Watts.

Bula also claimed that LaPointe was blaming Robertson for a 10-year transit plan supported by various mayors.

"Why do you make it sound like he's the only person who thought of this?" Bula asked.

Twenty-five years ago last Tuesday—on October 21, 1989—the Tragically Hip played the second of two shows at the 86 Street Music Hall, touring behind its then-new album, Up to Here. That's the one with "Blow at High Dough", "New Orleans is Sinking", and "38 Years Old". You know that one.

I don't remember the show—although I'm sure I went, seeing as they were one of my fave bands back then. But I do recall interviewing Hip vocalist Gordon Downie, who was 25 years old at the time. It was the first article I did on the Hip, though far from the last.

Here's the story that ran in the Straight the week before the gig. 

It’s autumn and the wasps are sick…and…tired…of…living.

When yellow jacket wasps appear in the spring they are immature and tentative young things—a bit slow off the mark but still quick to become the perfect little killing machines they are born to bee, oops, I mean be.

Yellow jackets aren’t bees. Aside from the yellow and black colouration they don’t even look like bees. And they don’t collect honey, they collect kills.

Wasps: the enemy of your enemy

The host and cocreator of CBC's national cultural-affairs radio show Q is out of a job. But he's not going down without a fight.

Jian Ghomeshi will sue for $50 million in damages and file a grievance to be reinstated, according to a statement issued by the law firm Dentons Canada LLP.

Last week, Ghomeshi announced that he was taking a leave of absence "for personal reasons" from Q.

That was followed by a statement today from the Crown-owned broadcaster that its relationship with Ghomeshi had "come to an end". This was as a result of information that had come to its attention recently.

Vancouver can boast no super couples  with the star power to rival Hollywood’s Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or “Brangelina” as they’re popularly conflated.

No “Bennifer” (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez) and no "Hilltons"—that would be former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former U.S. president Bill Clinton, if they went in for cheap tabloid portmanteaus, which they don’t.

But Vancouver does have rain and fall, which have hooked up in the city every October for as long as anyone can remember.

Showered with affection or what?

This fall, HUB Bike to Work Week returns to Metro Vancouver from October 27 to November 2.

Since the first HUB Bike to Work Week in 2007, over 9,500 people have tried cycling to work for the very first time during the event.

HUB encourages cyclists of all levels to participate in Bike to Work Week by offering online tools to track commutes and a chance to win over $15,000 worth of prizes.

During the week-long event, over 30 HUB celebration stations will be set up on high-traffic bike routes for free coffee and snacks, bicycle tune-ups, and daily giveaways. 

Jason Kenney has long been Stephen Harper's secret political weapon.

When Kenney was the prime minister's parliamentary secretary and later as citizenship and immigration minister, he relentlessly wooed new Canadians into the Conservative tent.

Kenney has probably eaten more Asian dinners outside of Ottawa than the rest of the Harper's cabinet put together.

And he's continuing this tradition as the minister of employment, social development, and multiculturalism.

You can see in the photos above that it was Kenney, and not Harper, who met the Dalai Lama during his trip to Canada.

It will help the Conservatives among some expat Tibetans as well as with apolitical types who admire the Dalai Lama's Buddhist worldview.

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