It's so hard to find good help these days. No doubt this cliché applies to the freelance market.

Vancouver's Mark Fromson and Stephen Hayes-McCoy have built a website to connect employers and "quality local freelancers". Local Solo launched in October and has since expanded to 27 cities in Canada and the U.S.

It's free to use for both employers and freelancers. Not just any freelancer can get listed on Local Solo though. You have to apply to get a profile on the site.

Local Solo has categories for people in such fields as game design, marketing, user experience, and video. "You'll always have full control over your profile, including availability and visibility," the site states.

When Chomp Vegan Eatery set up shop in Port Moody back in 2011, it was the Tri-Cities’ only fully vegan and gluten-free restaurant. Three years later, the Tri-Cities’ loss is Vancouver's gain.

Chomp has moved in with Fairy Cakes (3586 Fraser Street), a vegan cupcake shop, in East Vancouver. Its menu is also nut-free.

A video titled "Sturmgruppe 2013 Reel" has been the buzz of the Internet since its posting to YouTube on Wednesday night. And not the good kind of buzz. The video, apparently a demo reel from a production house called Sturmgruppe, is mostly composed of scenes from a couple of Marilyn Manson videos. But there is also a brief sequence in which singer Lana Del Rey is depicted as being pushed onto a bed and held down by someone who looks a lot like actor and filmmaker Eli Roth. (Other bloggers have described this as a "rape scene" but I won't go that far; at the end of the scene the man is shown getting up and walking away with his pants still on.)

The video has since been removed, although others have reposted it, and you can watch it below, for now.

Two famous country singers have come out of the closet.

Ty Herndon, 51, was the first to do so, inspiring 26-year-old Billy Gilman to  follow suit.

The twice-married Herndon decided to speak about his sexual orientation to People magazine to help younger gay men.

"I am an out, proud, and happy gay man," Herndon declared.

Gilman then released a video explaining his decision.

Country music appeals to many conservatives who are not known for their support for the LGBT community.

Thirty years ago this Sunday--on November 23, 1984--Nazareth played the Commodore Ballroom, touring behind its new album The Catch.

In advance of the show I interviewed frontman Dan McCafferty and--among other things--got the scoop on the story behind the group's curious single, "Vancouver Shakedown".

Here's a slightly condensed version of the piece that appeared in the Nov. 23-30 issue of the Straight.

 

Comedian Bill Cosby was in the Bahamas last night raising money for a local charity and polishing his image.

He cracked jokes and told tales of his upbringing in Philadelphia in a benefit for the Links, a women's service organization.

Meanwhile, a fourth woman has come forward with claims that Cosby sexually assaulted her. 

Florida nurse Therese Serignese alleged that the incident occurred 38 years ago.

A fifth woman, Carla Ferrigno, has told a radio interview that Cosby grabbed her and tried to kiss her in 1967. Ferrigno is the wife and manager of Lou Ferrigno, who starred in The Incredible Hulk.

All of the women's statements have been vigorously denied by Cosby's lawyer, who says these are "decades-old discredited allegations".

In late September 2014, the federal government announced a major new approach for dealing with aboriginal land claims.

The "laughably short consultation period" ends on November 30, according to the video above by IdleNoMoreMedia.

It comes in response to the Williams decision in the Supreme Court of Canada, which granted aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot'in First Nation.

Douglas Eyford is heading the consultation. That's the same Douglas Eyford named by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to generate support among First Nations for pipeline projects and other energy projects.

"Land-claim policy requires negotiating with First Nations to extinguish their rights and underlying title to their land," the video states. "The government calls this reconciliation."

Joy of Jazz is a three-concert series taking place at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue). The first concert, titled Heart & Soul, takes place November 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Heart & Soul features Vancouver duo Jillian Lebeck and Adam Thomas sharing a double bill with vocalist Karin Plato. The first set will include vocal duets with Lebeck and Thomas. In the second set, Plato will be joined by Lebeck and Thomas in her band, with clarinetist James Danderfer as special guest.

As you've no doubt seen on social media, Burnaby RCMP today (November 20) moved in to arrest more than a dozen people protesting the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project on Burnaby Mountain.

Vancouver photographer Jackie Dives was on hand to capture these dramatic photographs.

In the photos, you'll see protester Marija Brzev locked to a cement block with her mom watching over her, and David Suzuki's grandson Tamo Campos being led away by police.

While some folks might find it too early to partake in Christmas festivities before December, Vancouver will be getting a double-dose of holiday cheer this weekend. Both the Vancouver Christmas Market and CandyTown Festival take place downtown on Saturday (November 22).

The Vancouver Christmas Market kicks off a month-long run at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza (650 Hamilton Street) starting Saturday at 11 a.m. The outdoor event, now in its fifth year, is modeled after a classic German Christmas market. Revellers can check out handmade gifts, such as wooden toys, knitted goods, pottery, and nutcrackers, while sipping on mulled wine and apple cider.

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