[kwlug-disc] (In progress) kwlug candidate meeting site sourced.

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat Dec 19 23:05:41 EST 2009

On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 08:52:22PM -0500, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:

>     I don't understand. This is all one and the same, wrapped up in
>     each other.  Change has occurred - the Working Centre became too
>     noisy.

> No, it does not follow ...

> "We need a new place to meet doing what we were doing all along" is
> different from "who are we? why are we here? we should change?"
> ...etc.

> Two different topics that should not overlap. We are confusing
> ourselves if we are mixing them up like this.

(Sorry for covering some of the same ground that Bill just did in his
post. I was writing this while he sent his post.) 

I don't think we are going to be able to avoid overlap completely. 
The space shapes what we are able to do as a group. It shapes who we
do/do not attract (e.g. 43 Queen was chasing people away). 

More concretely, it looks like every option we are looking at will
come with tradeoffs: 

0. Many nice places (including First United, incidentally) are willing
to give us meeting space no problem -- if we pay rental fees.
Complying with this condition means some aspects of the group will

1. The Huether was willing to give us a home provided we bought enough
beer/food. Complying with that would have meant that some aspects of
the group would have changed. 

2. St John's Kitchen is potentially willing to let us use their space,
but there are tradeoffs here as well. The location and parking are not
fantastic. I can't handle hosting at 97 Victoria all by myself, so
we will need helpers. We will have to close the door soon after the
meeting starts. Lately I have been reflecting on some of the other
challenges (such as middle-class anxiety around poor people, which
could be a factor depending on who attends the meetings). If we comply
with these conditions then some aspects of the group will change. 

3. First United might potentially let us use their space for free. At
this point the conditions are unclear; I think the term "outreach" is
misleading, because when Bill S (unsolicited) introduced me to the
co-ordinator it was not clear that First United's definition matches
the one I would have used. These conditions may (or may not!)
involve explicitly doing more newbie-friendly projects. If so, then
some aspects of the group will change. 

4. Meeting at 43 Queen could still happen, but since the cafe got
noisier some aspects of the group had to change. We decided that we
could not make the environment comfortable enough, so we opted for
change (which I think was necessary, incidentally). 

In short, no option I have seen so far will allow us to "doing what we
were doing all along". I enjoy denying impermanence as much as the
next person, but I expect that clinging to expectations will lead to

So the question becomes "what changes are we willing to embrace"?
Given our eclectic and organic nature, that's a tough question.
Regardless of where we meet we won't make everybody happy. 
But it is good to get some sense of what people are and are
not willing to put up with, and to see who has the energy to make some

I do think that it might be helpful if people who would like to see
specific improvements start new threads, then see what the energy is in
getting those initiatives started. I agree that this aspect of the
conversation can (and maybe should) be split off from the meeting
space discussion. 

- Paul

P.S. I think some of the confusion around our roles comes because Bill
S is trying to assist the co-ordinator at First United with his pitch
for the meeting space. Maybe if you want to help you can contact Bill

P.P.S. Why didn't anybody let me know that I was misspelling the
Huether Hotel's name all this time? No wonder they hate us. 

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