Archive for September, 2007

Citizen Action Saves The Day

A bit fuzzy from the night before I knocked my 35mm film camera over. Deciding to assess any damage I took lazy walk on to the balcony and had a surprising view. Almost a soon as I framed the street and checked whether the lens could focus, or was even cracked, I was seeing a man getting mugged!

An elderly man was having his wallet stolen by some character but luckily his cries for help were answered. Within a few seconds a young woman and man from a local restaurant were able to wrestle the would be thief off the older gentlemen and free him. The old man was able to shuffle away (still in possession of his wallet) and no one got hurt. No knives, no guns, no grandstanding. As quickly as it happened everyone dispersed. It will be interesting to see the film frames of this theft that almost happened. Evidence that a few caring souls still live in this city.

Word!!!

Still groggy eyed from the night before but I’ll try and catch the Word on the Street. Word on the Street is a great celebration of the written word with 130 readings as well as author signings. This year you can even enjoy your books and pick up food at the “World’s Food Market”. From Thai to falafel to David Suzuki. Food for the stomach and mind! The festival is always a treat for young and old. WORD!!!

WORD ON THE STREET
11am to 6pm
Queen’s Park

More than 250 book, magazine and literacy exhibitor booths. Over 200 featured authors, poets, storytellers, performers and industry experts at 14 on-site performance venues.

Bring on the Night

The sun is on its way down. Get ready for one of the best free Toronto events, Nuit Blanche. From live music from Toronto bands to massive art installations this is one night on the town you wont want to miss. Pick up an eye or a Now weekly or simply explore the night.

Three Zones to lurk through:
Zone A – Bloor Yorkville
Zone B – The Gange and Chinatown
Zone C – Queen West / Liberty Village

Election Ontario: Our Roads and Transit Suck. What will the Parties do about them?

Driving in Toronto is a nightmare. There’s really no such thing as rush hour, no matter what the experts say. You sit in traffic going into the city at all hours practically, especially on the 401. You sit in traffic leaving the city. And as you sit, you get to look at rusting medians, potholes, and brown weeds, never mind belching trucks trying to mow you down. You stand on the subway during “off” hours and wade through litter at the main stations. You wait forever for a bus, then have nowhere to sit and the drivers won’t call out the stops and you can’t see out the windows to see where you are, that is if you know the area anyway.

So I want to talk about transit and where the parties stand. I wanted to go straight to the sources, and not through the media filter. It should have been a simple matter of clicking to the Ontario party pages, seeing a link to their campaign promises and then some sort of link about transit or infrastructure or roads, right? Wrong!
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This Election We Have a Referendum

OK apologies to the Metblog folks. We’re not supposed to copy posts from our own blogs here, but I feel that this issue is important to everyone, including Torontonians (probably especially us, given the lemming way so many here vote), that us Toronto Metblog writers are having a hard time keeping this site updated daily, and that it’ll only be for maybe 3 posts anyway, that copying will be ok…or so I hope! So here’s my first salvo about the referendum we’re all supposed to be voting on, on October 10.
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Keeping the Public Informed, the Public Health Way

TheStar.com | News | City quiet as a mouse?

Why did Toronto Public Health not advertise the mouse infestation?

“Because it was only pre-packaged dried goods the risk level is quite low,” said Jim Chan, the city’s manager of food safety. Oh well, too true, it’s not like mice chew through the cardboard boxes or shit on top of the cans or litter their skin flakes in the crinkles in plastic packaging as they brush on by.

Just to push his point home, he added that although a public announcement was not made, consumers could find the closing notice posted on the department’s website.

Well, I don’t know about you, but like a good little Torontonian, I always start my day perusing the public health website. And when I’m done there, I move on to the fascinating announcements on the Ontario and Canadian ones (is there a national one?) about the latest food poisoning scare. Now, just one thing, when you visit Toronto’s helpful and comprehensive website, please tell me where the infestation info is.

A&P did its part. “The company disposed of any and all food and grocery products that was potentially compromised,” it said. And it did it in a record two days too, on top of hunting down and ridding the place of every mouse and bacterium they carried.

Time for The Star to do another Dine Safe series, except this time it should be on Shop Safe!

From Both Sides of His Mouth

Mayor David Miller speaks:

“Ultimately, the quality of our natural environment relies on government and citizens doing what they can alone and together to reach the highest levels of environmental achievement.”

“We also know that Torontonians very much want to do the right thing.”

“We’re doing our best to deal with Toronto’s fiscal situation in a way that causes the least damage, and that’s within the city manager’s authority to manage.”

Heritage preservation is recognized throughout the world as a fundamental component of a liveable city,” from Toronto website.

According to Leslie Roberts on CFRB, Mayor David Miller and his minion Councillors want to expropriate from its great-grandmother owner the Matador Club near College and Dovercourt for $800,000 so that they can tear down this heritage building and build 20 smog-producing parking spaces.

I couldn’t stop laughing when Leslie told us all about this latest idea from our City Council, else I’d start crying that the green, fiscally-prudent Mayor’s solution to restoring an old heritage building is to replace it with a parking lot.

Toronto Councillor Comes Round to Roundabouts

City hall eyes traffic circles

I can hear every British immigrant or first-generation Brit going, “Finally!”

Toronto’s Essence for $10 or Less

Let say you had to give a perfect stranger a piece of Toronto. A piece to treasure, hold on to and remember our great city always. What you give them? Oh, what if you also had a limited budget like $10 to spend?

Already gave my “Toronto Essence” away at the Lomo Congress in London UK this past week but I would be interested in all the ideas I may have missed. I will say a that a piece of CN Tower memorabilia with a #2 on it was close to the top of my list…

Miller Caves, or Does He?

TheStar.com | GTA | Miller flip-flops on cuts

According to The Star, Mayor David Miller will table a motion to cancel the community centre cuts as he’s feeling the sting of the public backlash, thereby out-maneuvering his opponents who were going to table a motion to reverse them at the next meeting.

But I wonder. Why does he need Council approval to overturn the cuts, but did not need approval to make them in the first place? According to a Miller aide, “[City Manager Shirley] Hoy was legally allowed to trim budgets without council approval.” Given the huge negative effect on people, these cuts were more than trims, and if the City Manager can cut whenever, then what’s the point of Council having budget debates? Why not just hand the whole kit and caboodle over to her and say here, you deal with it? I’m exaggerating I know, but I’m trying to make a point: that we elect Council to make budget decisions, and only Council ought to have the right to make those decisions, not a bureaucrat most of us know little about.

I wonder how Miller will word his motion, and if he’ll sneak in those tax hikes he wants? He has after all been holding people hostage using those cuts as bait. On the one hand, it looks like people have won; on the other, he can carry out his plan of reversing the cuts as long as he gets his tax hikes before the Council-agreed-upon date. Badabing, badaboom.

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