After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Why the site crashed yesterday and other VO news

Yesterday, the site shut down for five hours. This happened under the pressure of a huge surge in traffic.  Finally, we upgraded to a larger server and acquired new speed and capacity.  We've been drawing an audience of about 5, 000 people a day. I hope the new system will keep us up and running for the forseeable future. If you can't get onto VO, it means we're down, and that means traffic is up. 

It started after Dr. Erica Frank, Professor and Canada Research Chair at University of British Columbia and the School of Population and Public Health, filed an editorial. She asked whether the Lower Mainland was monitoring nuclear fall out from Japan. Erica then looped me in to national media teleconferences with top US experts in nuclear energy on the nuclear crisis in Japan. Sharing the information with the New York Times, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other top publications gave me insight I'd never have had otherwise. It also allowed me to post important information for our readers.

VO story leads to City Square scrum?

Our story about earthquake preparedness, focusing on a store at City Square that sells earthquake preparedness kits, led to a media scrum in the store. The day after VO ran the story, the owner said she was shocked to see CBC, CTV, Global News and City TV all in her store to do their versions.  GO VO!

"High school confidential"
Fantastic series coming next week from VO editor-at-large Zi-Ann Lum and  Beth Hong, Schema Managing editor.  In the wake of Maclean's "Too Asian?" story, Beth and Zi-Ann went to the high schools and talked with thirty-five students about how they see themselves and each other in terms of race. They went to ten schools, public and private.  Their stories are funny, sad, compelling and illuminating. This partnership with Schema Magazine promises to tell stories that tell the truth about who we are in one of the most diverse cities in North America.

Casino coverage kudos
Some good vibes around VO  coverage of  the proposed casino at BC Place. 

 "Best casino coverage in town," former NPA city councillor Peter Ladner  told new managing editor Jenny Uechi, just before the public hearings at City Hall. 

Jenny did live blogging from the public hearings at City Hall with a good run down on all the stuff people had to say to council.  Our casino coverage also apparently led Business in Vancouver to send reporter Kevin Chong to spend a morning at VO as part of his report on how the city's political blogs are seting the tone for the conversation in the city.  Kevin's story comes out in July.

Top traffic driving stories show readers'  proclivities to embrace big issues and small
A list of our top stories for this  month might break your heart, but it's the reality of online publishing. Here they are:

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