Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Red Bull Traffic Jam?

Yonge and Dundas is a nightmare as it is. A pro skateboarder took advantage of the scene this week, with the help of Red Bull. A new meaning of playing in traffic.

Sorry People, John Tory Won’t Save You

The major media have been touting the “top 5″ candidates for months (the cast in alphabetical order: Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman, and Sarah Thomson). Giorgio Mammoliti dropped out of the race weeks ago, not a huge loss, though his though his proposals regarding affordable housing are worth adopting by whomever eventually wins the election.

Some have called for partisan politics and party affiliations to help voters along. Sorry, I tend to feel that partisan “branding” is the last thing we need at this level of government. Voters are, or should be sophisticated enough, to evaluate the people, policies and platforms presented.

Toronto voters will have to do some heavy lifting in before Monday October 25th. Last I checked there were far more than 5 candidates vying for the job of mayor. Oh yeah, John Tory made it painfully clear that he is not running for mayor this year. So who will win?

I know who should win. The candidate that can articulate a clear vision for Toronto. Someone who’s policies are not based liquidating assets but building on what we have or investing in the future. So far we have seen a lot of petty bickering and little leadership or vision. John Tory is not on the shortlist and the “top 5″ financially backed candidates may or may not have what it takes. It will be up to the citizens of Toronto to choose the right candidate for mayor and hold them accountable beyond October 25, 2010. One thing for sure, apathy will get you nothing but grief.

Haunted Hillbilly Hootenany – Dakota Tavern – TONIGHT

Country music, funny people and prizes?! Tonight, Monday June 28th, you can shake off the G20 blues at the Dakota Tavern. The Dakota Tavern is hosting a fundraiser for the production of “Haunted Hillbilly”. Haunted Hillbilly is a show that will be staged as part of the Summerworks Theatre Festival.

Haunted Hillbilly Hootenany
Dakota Tavern
249 Ossington Ave.
Monday June 28th, 2010
$15
Music and more…
Featuring: Justin Rutledge, Afie Jurvanen, Doug Paisley, Derek McCormack, Chelsea P. Manders, Matt Barber and others.

Darcy Sheppard… The Wrong Kind of Hero???

It has been hard to digest the ruling that saw charges against Michael Bryant dropped after an incident that left Darcy Sheppard dead. I do give credit to the Ontario government for seeking an outside prosecutor for the case (even though the final outcome is disappointing).

I’m not exactly looking for vengence, political and public character assassination or revenge. In my opinion the tragic incident that left a cyclist dead was the result of two individuals. A cyclist over-reacting and a driver over-reacting.

Today’s Globe and Mail article misses the point. Yes, Darcy Sheppard repeatedly responded to drivers when he felt they threatened his safety on the road. He did so in some colourful and not so flowery ways (spitting or yelling back). Such a response could be understandable given that number of life threatening incidents that occur, not to just bike couriers, but everyday citizens. The pedestrian death toll this Spring was a testament not only to oblivious people crossing the road, but to dangerous drivers. It is far too easy to glaze over the indifference of drivers who would rather run others off the road than to delay their journey. I can say I’ve witnessed both sides of close calls but in the end road users make it bad for everyone.

From the surface, Darcy seemed to engage those who “crossed” his path. In my opinion that is not always wrong, criminal or unjustified. He chose to stand up for his personal safety in an often aggressive way but there are many non-violent ways to report or police a situation without taking it on one on one.

Darcy may have faced issues with addiction or mental health but the behaviour of at least two individuals led to this tragic end. The same ill advised escalation can often be witnessed at a bar fight. Two men enter, one leaves but often both are equally to blame. The saddest thing is that the major media and the court failed to recognize that. It seems that the prosecution feared the demonization of Darcy. Perhaps after much time and consultation they moved away from any conviction or charges against Bryant that would be hard fought to apply.

One can only hope that improvements to our streets, TTC and bike lanes come soon and that people travel with more respect for each other. Yet another dark chapter closes, hopefully some lessons were learned. Can’t we all just get to our destination?

Jane’s Walk Day – A Great Way To Meet Your Neighbours

Toronto owes so much to Jane Jacobs. This weekend she’s celebrated with over 120 walks across the city. She is also being honoured around the world with Jane’s Walks in 68 cities worldwide (29 in Canada, 32 in the U.S, 7 internationally). That’s over 400 walking tours around the world! What a wonderful way to rediscover one’s neighbourhood (and neighbours).

Jane’s Walk Day
May 1st and 2nd
see http://janeswalk.net/cities/category/toronto/ for details on Toronto events

Wheelers, Dealers, Thieves and Crooks…

I’ve heard first hand about some wheelers and dealers in Toronto and their love of rock star nights on the town. Not to say that all patrons of Toronto’s fine venues are thieves and crooks, but not everyone can wine and dine themselves with $10,000+ diners and afford that lifestyle through legal means.

The Toronto Star has an interesting article regarding some drama after a night at Harbour 60. This article may shed some light on the lenient sentence Rahim Jaffer after facing charges of drunk driving and cocaine possession. Although Jaffer may have boasted insider influence in the past but the Conservatives are denying any ties to him at present.

As a whole it is disturbing how tough on crime we appear to be but how soft things are for white collar criminals. Time will tell whether any justice will be served. Unfortunately crime knows not of a recession.

The Only Thing That’s Soft Is The Pillow

Toronto's PFL stopped in at the Casbah in Hamilton Thursday.  Oh, the carnage!

The Pillow Fight League only gets better. I missed #36 at the Mod Club and decided to make the trek to Hamilton to catch Fight #37.

This was the first match ever to be hosted in Hamilton and the PFL didn’t dissapoint. The Casbah turned out to be a perfect venue. Judging by screams and enthusiasm from the crowd some new fans were converted.

Don’t worry Hamilton has hijacked the PFL. The next Toronto match promises to be an exciting new chapter. (One that involves SATURDAY NIGHTS instead of weeknights!).

PFL 39 – NEW DAY RISING!

The Garrison
1197 Dundas St. West (at Ossington)
TORONTO

Saturday Feb. 27, 2010
$12 in advance, $15 at door
Doors 9 pm, fights 10 pm

And The Axe Falls At CityTV…

CityTV once a jewel on Queen Street West has been hit with yet another blow. Now a plaything for larger media corporations CityTV is now owned by Rogers Media.

“Today’s changes, although difficult, are necessary to align our operations with the economic and regulatory realities of our industry,” says Leslie Sole, CEO, Rogers Media Television. Today’s press release adds fuel to the fire that the consolidation of media outlets has not only reduced real “choice” but has resulted in fewer jobs. (Some would argue consolidation has meant less quality too!) It seems the bulk of job losses are related to markets outside of Toronto. It is likely that some CityTV Toronto on-air personalities, writers, producers, editors and camera people are affected by this announcement.

Love it or hate it CityTV’s new home is Yonge and Dundas Square. Hoping that this “rationalization” doesn’t further erode what was once one of Toronto’s best stations. My condolences to those that have lost their jobs in these uncertain times.

CN Tower To Be Lit With National Colours Of Haiti

The Red Cross has estimated that the death toll due to the magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti as high as 50,000. As a small gesture of solidarity, remembrance and aid The CN Tower will be lit with the national colours of Haiti.

Canada has said that it will match charitable donations for the relief effort up to C$50 million. The department of Foreign Affairs and International trade has listed ways citizens can help contribute to the relief effort.

6 Milliards d’Autres

Just barely survived the worst of the holiday rush. As if traffic, malls and parking lots are not treacherous enough the other 364 days of the year!!! Perhaps more people should contemplate the 6 billion others on the planet we share.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand is an awesome photographer. Both “The Earth From Above” and his latest “6 Billion Others” project are amazing.

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