The national sport of Canada kicks off its short annual season today and I’m not referring to NHL hockey either.

I mean that McDonald’s Canada’s popular Monopoly promotion is back until November 2.

That means that for the next month the loyalty card coffee stickers are gone from the coffee cups.

Monopoly contest stickers replace coffee stickers on the medium and large coffee cup sizes. The small coffee cups have neither Monopoly nor coffee stickers.

Remember that Satan statue with the penis that was erected in East Vancouver a few weeks ago?

It was quickly discarded by City of Vancouver workers. Now another statue has taken its place in the Stonehenge-imitating plaza at Clark Drive and Grandview Highway.

This morning (September 30), a penguin with a bowtie and sunglasses was seen by commuters on the street and SkyTrain. Since there's nothing controversial about this penguin, I suspect the city will leave it alone.

By now most everyone who follows the Vancouver music scene has heard the sad news about the passing of local concert-biz legend Drew Burns. The longtime proprietor of the Commodore Ballroom died on Saturday, leaving scores of friends and fans feeling down--until memories of him got them up again.

The latest major operating system bug to be found this year again strikes at the heart of open source software.

Malicious hackers will likely use this bug to target not people’s personal computer devices but rather things like routers and web servers in order to launch ever-larger dedicated denial of denial of service attacks against targets on the Internet such as yesterday’s (September 28) DDoS attack against the new social media service Ello.

Free Wi-Fi is coming to Surrey.

At over 40 locations—all recreation centres and some parks, civic buildings, and public spaces—residents and visitors will eventually be able to access the Internet at no charge.

Surrey council has approved a multi-year licensing agreement with Shaw Communications, which will see that company build and run the wireless network. Shaw will get access to city facilities and "shared marketing opportunities".

You may have seen some barely legible graffiti around Vancouver touting the "Stop Party" and a mayoral candidate calling himself Meynard Aubichon.

Aubichon has a SoundCloud account, on which he makes some interesting, scurrilous, and offensive claims about local politicians.

He also makes these, er, unconventional proposals:

  • Waive development fees for residents with marijuana or prostitution convictions.
  • Hire "pot cops" to fight ISIS.
  • Lower property taxes by two percent for pro-pot stores.
  • Raise property taxes by two percent for stores that are not pro-pot.

That's not all. Check out the campaign's weird soundtrack below.

Every weekday, the Straight highlights a great local shot as the Photo of the Day. Interested in submitting your photos for consideration? Check out our Flickr group.

Alan Lee, who founded and ran the popular Lee’s Donuts in the Granville Island Public Market, has died at age 70.

The amiable owner of one of the market’s original vendor spots passed away on September 19, three days from the 35th anniversary of his opening day. Lee had been dealing with a kidney ailment for several years.

Lee and his wife, Betty-Ann, attended Granville Island’s July 1979 kickoff and decided to start their business there, securing a lease within weeks.

Ever since, their cosy spot just inside one of the market’s south doors has been a mecca for lovers of fresh-made doughnuts, locals and vistors alike, many of whom know the fryer schedule and show up to get their favourites while they are still warm.

This weekend, I got harassed by a man. On a residential street. In broad daylight.

Not 10 minutes into a leisurely Saturday afternoon walk in the Victoria-Fraserview neighbourhood, I was stopped by a man who looked at my completely bare wrist and asked if I knew was time it was.

“Yeah, for sure,” I replied. 

As I fumbled through my bag for my phone to check the time, he started staring me up and down.

Then he said the words I loathe the most from strangers: “You’re beautiful.”

“Uh, thanks?” I said warily, not making eye contact while I stepped back from him to look at the time.

“It’s five to two,” I informed him, and hurried to shove my phone back in my bag.

I consider myself a fair-weather cyclist. For several months of the year, it’s my main mode of transportation around the city. I enjoy the exercise, and it gets me from point A to B cheaply and fairly efficiently. In all my years of riding a bike, however, I had never taken part in a spin class. The few times that I had hopped on a stationary bike at the gym, I found it, well, boring. Plus, fear that I would not being able to keep up with hardcore spin-lovers made signing up for a class intimidating.

Last week, I had the chance to try out a new spin studio that recently opened in Gastown. Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary (154 West Hastings Street) is located across from the Woodward’s building.

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