Friday, December 27, 2013

Mental Health or Movies

B.C. struggles with ways to treat the mentally ill
Sadly we were giving the problem a better attempt at dealing with the issues a 100 years ago, some of the concepts were wrong, of course, but that is hindsight; but some were correct;  what will they say 100 years from now? I think the answer will not be as kind, as what was attempted 100 years ago on this site.

 B.C. struggles with how to treat the most severe of mentally ill drug addicts
     Surprised that the "Conservatives" have offered their "Cure" with longer prison sentences.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mary Steinhauser fundraiser

The Tri-Cities NOW, page 13 Friday, December 6, 2013

 PoCo Resident organizes fundraiser

      Social worker Mary Steinhauser was killed in a botched hostage taking in 1975 at the old B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster. Her sister, PoCo resident Margaret Franz, is publishing a book about Steinhauser. 

It’s time to rock and dance for a good cause.
A fundraiser for SFU’s Mary Steinhauser Memorial Bursary Fund will be happening Saturday Dec. 7) at the Russian Hall in Vancouver. 

The rock and blues show will include the bands Mercer Van Eyes, Mud Bay Blues Band and Jug head.
Steinhauser was killed during a botched hostage taking at the old B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster in 1975.
The social worker trained as a nurse for two years at Essondale hospital or Riverview as it later became known, in the early 1960s.
Her sister, PoCo resident Margaret Franz, is in the process of publishing a book about Steinhauser, which she hopes to release to coincide with a fundraiser scheduled for March 29, 2014 at the Terry Fox Theatre in PoCo.
Doors for Saturday’s show in Vancouver open at 8 p.m. at the hail, located at 600 Campbell Ave.
Admission is a suggested $10 donation, with proceeds going to the Mary Steinhauser Memorial Bursary for SFU Aboriginal Undergraduate Students in the Arts & Social Sciences. 

 Blogged about Mary a few months ago HERE

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Santa works at Riverview

Apparently Share is using the Valleyview building to store their stuff, and do the Christmas things there.
If you are a good boy or girl and are quiet you may spot Mr. and Mrs. Santa up there doing their thing.

The gravel roads are not being maintained in any way and are rapidly deteriorating into small ponds, and "ruts as big as huts".  I fixed on drain up there that was overflowing the road, and rapidly causing erosion of the gravel surface.

Similiar in some ways to some of the many issues at Riverview...  George Pearson Centre
Georgia Strait article:
Pearson Dogwood redevelopment plan prompts concerns
Advocates for people with disabilities seek clarity on proposal

Pearson Residents' Website

Redevelopment group    From reading all this it sounded like the residents have been promised the world. But sadly history, tells another story, and the odds of better patient care for them are close to nil.
Once gone it will be nearly impossible to get a piece of land of that size again for health care use. Can you sing  Big Yellow Taxi ?
Prove me wrong, Christie !

Friday, November 15, 2013

MLA wants bus

Bus route scrapped
Hell will freeze over before we get our bus service back unfortunately. :(

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Memorial Service at Riverview Cemetery

 "A Memorial Ceremony at the Riverview Cemetery"

Update:  photo from the event, nice sunny day.

Article in the newspaper:  Remembering Riverview’s dead  
We even have a Jane Doe interred there, who knew?

Now is a timely opportunity to ensure that the religious/spiritual Life of Riverview is given proper recognition and attention.

In the midst of high profile debatable issues around Riverview, a pause needs to be taken in order to remember and to celebrate the sacred history of the Riverview "Estate" Lands.

As a significant part of this recognition, a Memorial Ceremony is being planned for Sunday afternoon, 17th November. It is to be held in the Cemetery, off Lougheed Highway, at the eastern side of Riverview garden.

The Ceremony will honor, not only the religious programs of the "Estate", but even more so, the people who are buried and resting in peace in the cemetery. Beneath the shadows of the ancient oak trees growing along Orchid Avenue, the promise of a new future is imagined and hoped for as individuals are remembered and their lives celebrated.

Over 1,000 headstones, flush even with the ground, mark their individual places. Their 'resting in peace' in the hallowed ground acknowledges who they are and to whom they belong as much as the sacred identity and integrity of Riverview itself.

The Ceremony will include prayer, song, readings, and the scattering of flower petals by different leaders in the community. The public is invited to attend and to participate in the event which begins at 2:00 p.m.

The Memorial Ceremony is intended to provide that opportunity to build community awareness and to express gratitude for the heritage of the Riverview "Estate" Lands.

Further details can be obtained from Rev. David Spence (604-469-1164).

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October is upon us

 Recent news:
 Letters to the Editor:   Monday, Oct. 21: Readers call for more support for mental health

 Riverview not the answer
 [ more drivel from the misguided academic. Throw her into the trenches for a few years and see if she changes her mind.  ]
two letters to the editor:   Riverview’s future

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson ready to tackle mental health ‘crisis’

Reopening of Riverview Hospital not the answer
 Opinion: Truly compassionate solution would be an honest look at how we treat people with severe mental illness   [ When are the writers of this piece going to start to give an "Honest look at how we treat people with mental illness" ]

A letter replying to the above article:  Thursday, Oct. 3: Riverview healed my mother, saved my childhood

A letter in the local paper:   Riverview saved my life  Great to hear the voice of former patients.

More than 200 new beds for seniors, people with mental health issues announced.
[ Further hardening up of the privatization of the health care industry. The shit hits the fan though when these for-profit groups want more money from "OUR" government, and the patients are used as pawns ]

World is lighting up purple for mental health
Can you say Barney ?

 David Spence — Riverview Cemetery Memorial Service

     Gathering information on the names of the people interred in the cemetery and inviting their families to participate in the event. Sunday, November 17, 2013 as the potential date for the Memorial Service.
A project still in the planning stages.
 <<<<<     (     )     >>>>>

We are at the early stages of another planning process, apparently the present land management outfit: Shared Services, is transferring their control of Riverview to BC Housing, will be interesting to see how that works out, No idea who actually will be in total charge of the fort, as usual.
BC Housing will be starting a planning process to look at revenue creating ways to maintain the buildings and grounds, about time! It was very noticeable through the years how the site had empty space; that I know local groups would have loved to have, but were turned away  when they asked. Will be interesting to see if this attitude will change.
As a goodwill measure they have started to cut the lawns again, a good neighbor thing.
A few local news articles: 
 Not a 'surplus asset'

Cutting the grass, BC Housing says, shows it means business about Riverview's future
 Correction to the above article from Anna Tremere:  As a point of clarification re "bodies of thousands of patients lie in rest."   My comment was that "there are over one thousand patients interred in the cemetery."  The actual figure I was given by Shared Services in 2012 was one thousand and eighty five patients interred.

[ I am looking into getting the list of internments in the cemetery, and will ask if it is allowed to be made available to the web.]

 This closure was 'nuts'
 It's time to talk about Riverview

Another letter from a patients family:  Renew Riverview Hospital to support mental health

Found out on the side that they are making 500-800,000$ per year from the movie industry use of the site.
And that it is costing actually about 3.5-4 million per year to maintain the site.

The Greater Vancouver Water District is scheming away to run a large 2 metre diameter water pipeline to Surrey through the western end of Riverview and along the western edge of Colony Farm; one giant huge mess ahead. See map below the Yellow line was an early idea, that has now been changed to the blue line idea.

March 2014, Update:  some news about the water tunnel under construction; Metro Vancouver drilling $240m water tunnel under Fraser River (with video)
And the official Metro page devoted to the project;   Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Riverview UBCM resolution

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities , (UBCM) are having their annual town Parliament, and one of the resolutions is directed at Riverview.


B121       REINSTATING RIVERVIEW         Maple Ridge

WHEREAS the lack of adequate treatment and housing for those suffering from serious or severe
mental illness is a reality experienced province wide, resulting in a less efficient system, with
unacceptably poor outcomes for the most needy citizens of BC, as well as severe financial and social
burdens on local communities;
AND WHEREAS the Riverview facilities and grounds have a proven history of providing a very
suitable environment for such treatment and housing, with much of the necessary infrastructure
already in place:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government immediately begin to undertake
all necessary action, including funding, to reinstate Riverview as a modern centre of excellence for
mental health care and support.
The Resolutions Committee advises that the UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution that specifically requested that the provincial government reinstate Riverview as a patient-centred, wrap around care modern centre of excellence for mental health care and support.
However, UBCM members have consistently endorsed resolutions calling on the provincial government to
provide adequate support services for mental health patients.

 Past Resolutions

 (  2012-B37, 2011-B61, 2010-B42, 2008-A1, 2008-B51, 2006-B50, 2006-B51, 2006-B153 ).

And the Answer Is:

Endorsed as Amended (amendment in Bold red )

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government immediately begin to undertake all necessary action, including funding, to reinstate Riverview as a patient-centred, wrap around care modern centre of excellence for mental health care and support.

Followed quickly by:
Civic politicians demand Provincial Government re-open Riverview

UPDATES: Premier says Riverview Hospital won’t be reopened
     The Tri-City NewsPremier rejects UBCM call to reopen Riverview

[ Sold to the highest bidder who pads the party coffers no doubt. More interested in replacing a tunnel with a ( Guaranteed to be a toll ) bridge, the "Rusty Clark bridge" typical. ]

B.C. mayors call for a return to facilities like Riverview to treat mental illness

Lack of mental-health care in B.C. is immoral.  [ That last word that should be very familiar to our premier ]
Reopen Riverview, says mental health agency

Some Opposition from "professionals" :   Reopening of Riverview Hospital not the answer
Written by the CEO of the BC section of the Canadian Mental Health Association, (CMHA)
and  Marina Morrow, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU.
[ Typical writtings from two people who live in glass palaces away from the trenches. ]

 A letter to the editor...
Re: Riverview Hospital

Save these poor tormented souls who reside on our streets. They are without stability.

If these people with problems were put on a schedule of eating, sleeping and taking their medications, they would improve greatly. They need proper supervision. Riverview can provide that salvation for them.

Ruth Enns, Vancouver

Another Letter:
 Riverview renewal needed

I was disappointed when the premier announced the Massey bridge project, negating the dire need to look into the Riverview Hospital situation.

Wasn’t it closed because the government felt people shouldn’t be institutionalized? Face facts. Some poor souls are incapable of managing their medications, diets and general well-being.

I’m hoping Christy Clark will rethink the decision and put our tax dollars toward the greater need of addressing the mental-health situation in our province.

Marilyn Adrian, Langley

Monday, Sept. 23: Mentally ill deserve better care    Numerous letters to the Vancouver Sun.
Wednesday, Sept. 25:
  Premier douses Riverview plan; Mayors' Vote To Turn Hospital Site Into Mental Health Centre Nixed.

And a nice letter to the Maple Ridge News:    No public outcry over Riverview closing
   [ the writer brings up some very good points in the letter ]
Riverview was an asset  also from the Maple Ridge News, written by a former forensic worker.

          A news video discussion:     WATCH:    Should Riverview be reopened?

------------------------   (((((((o))))))   ------------------------

The Burke Mountain Naturalists, (BMN) prepared a handout for the delegates, volunteers went down to Vancouver, but were hindered by security, and turned away. :(
But Mae Reid, Coquitlam councillor heard of the plight and decided to print up 2,000 copies of the letter below and personally place them on the delegates seats in the venue. Apparently the resolution will be voted on this Thursday sometime; I will update this post when the resolution is voted on.

 BMN Handout

To:  Delegates at the UBCM Conference, September 2013

Please support the restoration of mental health care to Riverview!

The 99 hectare Riverview Hospital grounds contain a number of significant heritage buildings in a graciously designed landscape with a world class collection of trees.  First opened in 1913 to serve the needs of the mentally ill of the province (and originally called Essondale), the site has now matured into a stunning park-like setting which instills a sense of peace, tranquility and closeness to nature.  Last year when the hospital finally closed after decades of community service, the Heritage Canada Foundation placed Riverview in the Top Ten Endangered Heritage Sites in Canada.

But Riverview contains far more than a few magnificent heritage buildings.  Some of its buildings are more contemporary and could be readily made available for patient care.  For example, the Valleyview facility, which closed in late 2011, opened in 1959 and in many respects has all the features of hospitals of that era, most of which are still in use throughout BC.  Originally designed for over 300 patients, if re-opened, Valleyview could comfortably provide 150 beds for mental health care.  Other residential buildings such as Brookside and Leeside were recently used for over a year to provide 40 beds for dual-diagnosed patients when overcrowding at the Willingdon facility in Burnaby presented challenges in 2011.  The Centre Lawn building, opened in 1924 for 300 patients, was also used for health care as recently as 2011 and could be made available with little effort.  The North Lawn building, opened in 1955, remains available for patients from the nearby Forensic Psychiatric facility should flooding require its evacuation.  The Henry Esson Young Building, originally designed as a nursing school in 1957, contains 100 bedrooms as well as classrooms, a library and auditoriums.  Thus, it offers space for teaching and recreation as well as residential care.  The Coast Mental Health Foundation currently uses a number of cottages on site for their patients.  Staff at the Coast Mental Health Foundation frequently comment on the therapeutic value of Riverview’s grounds for their patients.

The West Lawn building, which opened in 1913, was closed in 1983 during a period of government austerity.  That it remains standing after 30 years of utter neglect is a testament to its sound and innovative (at the time) construction.  Unfortunately, this building now has vegetation growing on it and it is typically featured in news coverage.  Yet, in no way do the remainder of the buildings at Riverview share similar conditions or state of neglect.  The movie industry continues to use a number of buildings at Riverview including the magnificent Art Deco-style Crease Clinic.

Riverview is well situated in the lower mainland to serve patients, having close connections to the Lougheed and TransCanada Highways as well as public transit.  Volunteers continue to maintain Finnie’s Garden which was originally designed as special place that patients could call their own.  Unfortunately, the provincial government has, for the most part, stopped landscaping services at Riverview.  As a result, the lawns have become overgrown and volunteer tree seedlings are now several feet in height and threaten the integrity of the tree collection.  In addition, the lawn areas have become a hazard for walking and a fire risk during dry weather.

The needs of the mentally-ill should be addressed through the health care system.  While the development of modern drugs has resulted in some remarkable resolutions to mental health care problems, not all such problems can be fixed by the simple writing of a prescription.  Some patients will continue to need stable, longer-term care in a facility such as Riverview Hospital.  Too often what they get instead is overnight confinement in a jail cell.

We are also facing another tsunami of mental health care as the baby boomers approach the age of declining health.  Predictions are that the number of people suffering from dementia will soon increase dramatically.  Eventually all such people will require long term care for, at least, a few years.  Riverview Hospital, with its spiritually-uplifting and pastoral grounds, would be an ideal site to provide longer term care facilities for older patients with diminishing abilities.

Produced by the Burke Mountain Naturalists in Coquitlam who for many years have worked in partnership with the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society and other community  partners to enhance public awareness of the value and potential of the Riverview site.  For more information about Riverview, see our report “The Riverview Hospital Site, Respecting its Past, Realizing its Future” available on our website 

------------------------   (((((((o))))))   ------------------------

Also heard over the grapevine: Apparently the Royal Columbian Hospital is looking at expanding, and some rough estimates have been made, to expand at its present location will cost around 750 million, and to build new at Riverview would cost somewhere around 500 million, I  struggle to think that there is that much difference, but I could easily see 100+ million in price difference, which is still significant, saving more money for actual services. The Royal Columbian many years ago outgrew its present site, and I was always surprised that with all the development that has been allowed to occur in the area, why they were not knocking at the gate a long time ago.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September MMXIII

Demolition by neglect’ at Riverview: Nicholson

Lively discussion about autism:   I know it’s happened to someone else

See yew at Treefest !

Grass keeps growing at Riverview,  Organizers of treefest upset about lack of landscaping at site

 Almost time to look into having the staff involved charged with neglecting their duties. i.e. they are supposed to work for US, to protect and enhance OUR asset, something that is obviously not occurring on the site at this time.

B.C. not ready to create mental institution.
     Vancouver mayor, police chief say alarming trend of violent citizen attacks constitutes a crisis

Pressure builds on B.C. to update and reopen Riverview mental hospital

Some Riverview hospital buildings could be adapted quickly to modern mental health care; Coquitlam councillor says newer building, used until hospital closed in 2012 are in reasonable shape, while older buildings are wrecks.

Global News video clip  Includes a short interview with Craig Hodge, Coquitlam City councillor, and a few shots of a treefest walk with Doug Justice.  starts at 9:35 minutes in

A few panoramic photos on Panoramio of a few of the buildings on the site.
And some pictures of Treefest, at the Treefest Blog

At this time the only bus is the 169  download the ROUTE map, the full SCHEDULE, apparently NO service on the weekends, the nearest bus stop in this case would be on the Lougheed Highway, near where Como Lake Avenue crosses it. A long walk from there to the far end of the property or Colony Farm.
The bus starts/ends its runs at  Braid Station, (PDF)  and Coquitlam Central Station, (PDF)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Re-open Riverview?

I thought that silly season had ended, how wrong I am. We can house all the senators and failed politicians with room to spare. At least we would know where the senators are really living.
Mayors calling for re-opening of Riverview Hospital
video clip: Re-open Riverview

Article about the probable cause of all this alarm; Tri-City NewsCities target gaps in care for mentally ill
Maple Ridge News:  Maple Ridge council calls for Riverview Hospital to reopen

       OppositionWarehousing mentally ill is cruel

Globe and MailDistrict urges reopening of Riverview Hospital mental-health facility

Global News:   Idea of re-opening Riverview Hospital gains traction
     Some nice comments with this article, and one un-informed comment so far.

Tri-City News:   Coquitlam lauds support for re-opening Riverview
Letter to the Editor:  Yes, reopen Riverview Hospital to help the mentally ill

Vancouver Sun:  B.C. pushed to improve mental health services, reinstate Riverview Hospital
                   Mayors, police call for provincial support for intervention centres for mentally ill, addicts

NEWS 1130:        Riverview Hospital was best for some patients: former nurse.
                      Maple Ridge Council wants to see the facility re-opened.  [ Some nice comments ]

 Topnews (NZ): Better Mental Health Care Services Needed
 Austrian Tribune:  Coquitlam’s Riverview Hospital should be reopened for Mental Health Patients

It appears that the story is gaining more legs than the average centipede...
The site was continually by previous generation dedicated to public health, lets keep it that way; get some life back into this beautiful property.

The venerable CBC radio had as a segment  on August 27;
  Call for Riverview to re-open, Life-long learning.
          Download the Podcast  [ mp3 file: runs 00:45:51 ]
Interviews with people  about re-opening Riverview, some retired staff, doctors, and head nurse Anna Tremere are interviewed.

 Hopefully if the powers that be, "see the light" and re-open Riverview, and the decent bus service will resume again.
BUS ROUTE HAS CHANGED   Low ridership blamed for bus route changes

Tree 1380, looks like a cherry tree to me, Prunus sp.
Prunus serrulata “Kwanzan”. Oriental Cherry in fact.

Treefest is in September
City of Coquitlam's webpage about Treefest, and other environmental events.
Download a PDF Treefest poster, for FREE !
Tri-City News:    Riverview Treefest on Sept. 14 in Coquitlam
Green Scene, column written by Elaine Golds, ( a picture from moi !)
Apparently this years Treefest is under-funded considerably from past years, and the government bureaucrats have moved the venue area from the HEY building 
                        (which is being used by the movie industry, these days apparently)
  to the area in front of the I.D. building,(Industrial Therapy, Industrial Services), which is nearer to Finnies Garden, but farther away from the rather limited access to public washrooms.

 The staff also are adamant that they will not  have a portion of the lawn cut  as promised in a past meeting for this event; Typical !  And of course the public is not allowed to cut it either, even though we do own it !
Destruction by neglect of hard-earned taxpayer dollars that went into creating the hospital; but you can bet that the bureaucrats are still being paid handsomely.     Guerrilla grass cutting anybody ?

Monday, July 15, 2013

RHCS display at the Port Coquitlam Heritage museum

I was in PoCo today, and went to visit the Heritage at Leigh Square, (museum), and surprise, surprise, there was a display about Riverview Hospital in place, apparently Norma G., had just installed it, and just left before I arrived. According to the website there is an official opening on Thursday July 18 at 6.30 pm. Be there, or be normal !    The display will be there for a few months apparently
A few pictures . . .
 A larger image of this table display, with a description is on Flickr
VIM Electric breast pump ( industrial size ! ) description and larger size photo at Flickr

 Cream can from Colony Farm; larger photo at Flickr

 Side-view of table display, larger image is available on Flickr

 Panoramic image of the display. The map on the left is difficult to view without a magnifying glass, but it is incredibly detailed.  Larger image is available on Flickr

Friday, July 5, 2013

fallow fields

 Update: Local Mounties seek missing person from Colony Farm
Coquitlam RCMP are seeking the public assistance to locate a missing person from Colony Farm Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. Christopher Todd Taylor, 43, is a Colony Farm out-patient who was supposed to see staff July 2nd. He did not attend his appointment. He last contacted hospital staff on June 25th.

Taylor is described as:  a Caucasian male,  6'1" tall,  177 lbs,  dark brown hair,  brown eyes, and
    fair complexion. It was unknown what type of clothing he was wearing at the time of missing.

Taylor suffers a mental disorder and should not be approached. Anyone with information about Taylor or his current whereabouts is asked to contact the Coquitlam RCMP.

Destruction through neglect.
 I wonder where the Fire Marshall is on this giant conflagration waiting to happen? Surely the Fire Marshall has the greatest say in this matter, since the Province obviously does not care about OUR assets.
Province lets the grass grow at riverview

Two replies to the above newspaper article;  CITY COULD MOW, TOO
and  the Deputy Premier responds:
  Riverview lands viewed as a "long-term asset"


*     *     *     *     *
Here is a transcribed letter that was sent to me, it relates also to the above situation in some ways, all about money!

March 1, 2013                                                                        Ref: 97512
His Worship Richard Stewart, Mayor
City of Coquitlam, Office of the Mayor
30001 Guildford Way, Coquitlam BC V3B 7N2

Dear Mayor Stewart:

Re: Riverview Lands

Thank you for your letter of October 31, 2012, addressed to Minister Rich Coleman and myself, regarding the Coquitlam City Council’s resolutions for the Riverview Lands combined with a copy of the report “For the Future of Riverview”. Please accept my apology for the delay in response.
In your letter, Coquitlarn City Council requests that the Province of British Columbia read and consider the report “For the Future of Riverview” in conjunction with the Province’s Heritage Conservation Plan. The Province is committed to an open and transparent planning process for the future use of the Riverview Lands. The report “For the Future of Riverview” will be a valuable contribution to that planning process.
We are pleased to learn of the City of Coquitlain’s interest in working with the Province to develop a future use plan for the Riverview Lands, which will honour its heritage values. Also, this plan will support economic, social and environmental objectives of the City of Coquitlam, the region and the province.
In your letter, Coquitlam City Council urges the Province to act upon the Immediate Actions as set out in the Heritage Conservation Plan; in particular a feasibility study for re-use of some of the buildings. Shared Services BC, part of the Ministry of Citizens’ Services and Open Government, is in the process of developing an implementation plan to address the Immediate Actions which includes a feasibility study. The yearly net cost of $4.5 million to maintain the Riverview Lands combined with costs of implementing the Immediate Actions will be important components of future use planning discussions with the City of Coquitlam.

We invite the City of Coquitlam to engage in dialogue with the Province to identify methods of reducing this burden while achieving the objectives of both levels of government.
The Coquitlam City Council also asks that the Province support the National Historic Site nomination. The Province recognizes the historical significance of the Riverview Lands and its importance to the community, the region and the province. Shared Services BC followed through on our commitment to develop the Heritage Conservation Plan. This was the largest heritage-related public consultation undertaken for a specific property by the Province. The Heritage Conservation Plan documented the heritage values and developed a statement of significance based upon those values. The Heritage Conservation Plan will help guide the management of the lands and inform future land use planning, and as such, the Province does not
support the National Historic Site nomination.
Thank you for your efforts to work collaboratively with the Province to develop a future use plan for the Riverview Lands and for the time you have taken to bring your suggestions to our attention. We trust our comments will provide some assurance that our ministries’ are working to address these issues.


Ben Stewart, Minister

pc: Honourable Rich Coleman
Minister of Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for
Housing and Deputy Premier
City of Coquitlam,
Mr. Peter Steblin, Manager, City of Coquitlam

Ministry of Office of Citizens’ Services and Open Government. Office of the Minister Mailing Address: P0 Box 9068 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E2
Location: Room 346, Parliament Buildings,Victoria BC V8V 1X4
Phone: 250-952-7623
Fax: 250-952-7628


As you can see from reading this letter, in which the Province was glacial in replying to; that the Province is pleading poverty, begging the people of Coquitlam to put their money where their mouths are, and cough up money to run the site. Sort of like your neighbor asking you to take care of their property and home, with no compensation;"Sure, I will cut your lawn, and trim your trees for free". Note that the Province was not supportive of the National Historic Site designation too!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Missing again! and again, and again

Missing Cottonwood Lodge Patient Donald HANSEN
(last time his first name was Ronald). A good picture of him for a change. This fellow goes missing constantly, probably needs a closer eye kept on him, especially since the powers that be are warning the public about him almost immediately after he goes AWOL, ( he must have done something nasty in the past )

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Never forget

I vaguely remember the incident recalled in this article from the Coquitlam NOW;
  A story of compassion
        Poco woman keeps the legacy of her sister alive
Mary Steinhauser (25 Aug., 1942 -  d_cert. 11 June 1975)
Given name Maria Elizabeth Steinhauser was murdered at the British Columbia Penitentiary in 1975, she received two years of training at Riverview, and graduated as a RPN in 1962.
             Some fuzzy pics of this graduating class from my collection: one - two - three
A poor picture of Mary from the Registered Psychiatric Nurses class graduation  picture in 1962 from Riverview:
On the evening of Wednesday the 25th of April 1962 at Vincent Massey Junior High school auditorium in New Westminster, 92 women and 24 men graduated as psychiatric nurses.
They pledged all in unison:

      I do hereby pledge my wholehearted service to those entrusted to my care, endeavouring at all times to understand the patients individual emotional and physical needs and differences.
to that end I will strive for skill in the fulfilment of my duty holding sacred and inviolate all confidences entrusted to me.

      I promise to respect the personal rights and privileges of my patient and do all in my power to prevent of alleviate physical or psychological discomfort.
I will always be kind, tolerant and just. I will endeavour to cultivate a keen sense of observation and an understanding attitude.

      I acknowledge the dignity of my profession and accept the obligation it implies. I will faithfully perform my duties and will give the utmost in co-operation to those persons with  whom I associate in ministering to the mentally ill.

All of which I pledge on my sacred honor.

       The Province newspaper article about the events that caused her death.
Maria, graduated in 1971 from SFU, ( Remembered at SFU: Mary's Song ) with Ba of Arts, First class Honors,  living in Sechelt at the time, and in 1973 gained her Ma in Social Work, from UBC.  Her life was stolen from her.  News articles from the Sunshine Coast where Mary is mentioned in five of the six articles.

Father was August Steinhauser
Mother was  Johanna Henrietta Steinhauser nee.Reisner. both parents are now deceased.

Mary's sister Margaret (Steinhauser) Franz, is seeking any information, remembrances about her sister contact her via email     mfranz01(at)

UPDATE:  I recently Jan., 2014 found this forum thread   where some guards, staff, are remembering the times in 1975.    

“Mom” of the Downtown Eastside Bonnie Fournier dies
              Women’s advocate fought for rights of sex trade workers

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Missing Cottonwood Lodge residents

The media appears slightly scattered on these two missing residents. Ronald Hansen, age 61 and Michael Louis Andrews, age 55 both missing from Cottonwood Lodge; why is it that nearly all of the AWOL patients are from Cottonwood Lodge? the two adjoining units, do not have this problem.

From the Tri-City News :  Coquitlam cops seek man who went missing from Riverview

And Coquitlam RCMP :  Missing Cottonwood Lodge Patient

Coquitlam RCMP list only one missing at this time.

More recent updates:  Police search for missing men from Cottonwood Lodge
And one of the resident's has been located:  Located Missing Cottonwood Lodge Client
This appears to be Ronald Hansen; still missing is Michael Louis Andrews

"Leave them alone and they will come home, wagging their tails behind them"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New mental health centre

B.C. to start work on $82M mental health centre in Vancouver this fall

From Coastal Health:   Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre moves ahead

BC government announcement:  Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre moves ahead

Joe Segal and Rosalie, give 12 million for this cause. A short biography about Joseph Segal
whom has been very philanthropic throughout his life.

 New mental health centre $10 million short of its goal,  New building at VGH expected to open in 2017

The 64 year old Willow Chest Centre,which is being used for health research purposes at this time, will be demolished to make space for this new building; no mention of where the health researchers are going?
So this is the new model for health care in BC?  the government gives 57 Million and expect the 25 Million more that is needed to come from other funders. To be completed in 2017, a long wait, can you say "cost over runs"...No mention of an operating budget, cap in hand on the street maybe? Lottery ? Silly season has started, maybe a shift in funding from ethnic voting, to health care voting block issues?

12th & Cambie: ‘Urgent response centre’ still lost in transition;
   About one-third of police calls involve mentally ill

 Reply to above article in the Vancouver Courier:

  Status quo on mental health unacceptable

 Mental health group says Parliament's tough stance on mentally ill offenders won't reduce crime
 But it can fill our new prisons !!!!
 New Okanagan prison to go north of Oliver,
Project will create up to 500 direct and 500 indirect jobs: province
I wonder if the prisoners are direct or indirect jobs?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Catching up

Sad news to report we lost Sue Haberger to pancreatic cancer a few days ago, she was a passionate supporter of Riverview for many years.
Haberger remembered as Riverview crusader

Susan and her mom, Liz were highlighted in this article from August 2012,
 RIVERVIEW STORIES: Mother and daughter sing for Riverview

 Riverview Redevelopment inquiries, please call 604-524-7946.
Back to the "old" way of dealing with the health government! A Phone! "give em a call"

 You can read online the Riverview Hospital Legacy book

Daughter writes, mother reconciles

Troubled teen, mother living in a nightmare
 Woman says 15-year-old daughter isn't getting the help she needs

Editorial: Mentally ill offenders need care, not more jail

Jail is quickly becoming the way the governments manage mental health issues. The American way !

 A postcard of the Crease Clinic, Essondale.  ( from SFU Library )

 Another postcard of Essondale.  ( from SFU Library )
Both of these postcards appear to be from the 1930's

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Missing Cottonwood Lodge resident

From The Province, newspaper: Man missing from Coquitlam psychiatric facility

The Coquitlam RCMP posting about the wayward patient.
Michael Louis Andrews, 55, was last seen on Dec. 28 by staff at Cottonwood Lodge.
Information about the Cottonwood Lodge building
He has in the past faced charges of assault, mischief and impaired driving.
I would have thought that a better picture exists of this missing hospital resident!
Not the best way I would like to start the first post of the new year.

UPDATED: Man missing from Riverview found
Michael was found on January 4th., safe and sound.

Save the Riverview Hospital lands

The Riverview Hospital lands, are under pressure to be developed into market housing. Help to save the lands as a healing sanctuary for the mentally ill of OUR Province.

Please join the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society,( RHCS ) Facebook page. Twitter too!

Please sign the On-line petition or download a Word document petition ,which is a more official type of petition.
Blogs, about the hospital grounds
Mike Farnworth,MLA; Facebook forum " Protect the Riverview Lands"
And another Facebook group: Riverview Preservation Society
this group also has a petition to sign.

Click-able Map of the Riverview site

BISCO -- Brookside-Leeside-Roadside -- Centre Lawn -- Colony Farm
Crease Clinic -- East Lawn -- Essondale Hospital
Finnie's Garden -- Henry Esson Young -- Hillside unit
Home for the Aged-Valleyview -- North Lawn
Nurses homes -- Pennington Hall -- TreeFest -- West Lawn
John Davidson; "Botany John" blog. He was the first Provincial Botanist, who created British Columbia's first Botanical Garden at Riverview.
Other groups involved Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Who also have a media NEWS Blog
You can also download a 42 page report titled, For the future of Riverview created by the Riverview Task Force.
Or Burke Mountain Naturalists, report: The Riverview Hospital Site, Respecting its Past,Realizing its Future
Coquitlam has designated the buildings and grounds, as a heritage site.
Download the Statement of Significance; SoS report PDF

Tour through the grounds

Paul Buikema, of Progress Landscaping, created this video.

Treefest 2011 slideshow

A slideshow of images from the Tree festival of 2011. Created in HD. Enjoy.

Riverview trees

Finnie's Garden -- slideshow

Finnie's Garden -- Pond restoration slideshow

TreeFest -- slideshow