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 2015 London Majors' Home Games (Regular Season)  ?

2015 Regular Season Home Games of the IBL's London Majors Baseball Club (Labatt Memorial Park at Wilson and Riverside)

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 Stormin' Norm Aldridge and The Famous (San Diego) Chicken®  
Ontario Ministry of the Environment Hot-Line
(odours, spills, pesticides)
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Stormin' Norm Aldridge (pictured above in 1998 at The Rumble at the Riverforks) has provided spiritual inspiration to Butch (the Beast) McLarty since Butch was knee-high to a grasshopper. PHOTO: Herb (The Shooter) Walsh, May 31, 1998

The Famous Chicken® checks in with Butchie-boy from Southern California

In response to an e-mail I'd sent him earlier in the day, I received the following e-mailed response from Ted Giannoulas, aka The Famous Chicken®, on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Hi Butch,

Thank you for your interest and consideration.

Yes, indeed, I did operate the scoreboard in right field at Labatt Park during the years 1965, 1966 & 1967 during my Empress School days. It paid 25 cents a game and it was great fun, let alone free baseball from 325 feet away!

My operation wasn't for each game because management hired on a first come, first serve, volunteer basis back then. As such, kids would rush to the park on game nights and many times, management had to pick from many candidates. Still, I recall they favored me several times because they said I hardly missed a pitch and was timely and accurate on the run postings.

Hope this info helps and thanks for your enthusiasm on the statue idea. If it happens, the pigeons may continue to reek their hazard on me in spirit, just as they did during my Labatt years when they'd perch on the top ledge of the scoreboard!

Best regards,
Ted Giannoulas
The Famous Chicken

 Fresh from The Baker's Oven  
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     Today's Featured Article Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Title:  Tarting up the Thames will not address the river's core problems, by Barry Wells
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Tuesday, June 30 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  1,672 times  
    Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Tue. June 30 ===>

    Best seats in town to watch Canada Day fireworks

    CANADA DAY (JULY 1): Toronto Maple Leafs (10-8) vs. London Majors (10-8) at Labatt Park at 6pm. Fireworks after the game.

    IBL Standings.

    GENERAL ADMISSION SEATING: $8 for adults; $6 for seniors, students and children 12 and under. Purchase tickets at the front gates.

    This Strike is a Complete Failure of Management at London City Hall

    Inside Workers' Strike Driven by Management's High-Handed Mindset, TLY, June 16

    *The Organ Grinder**The Monkey*

    Tuesday, June 30 is Day 37 of the CUPE Local 101 strike

    CUPE LOCAL 101 MEDIA RELEASE, JUNE 27: LONDON, Ont. – The Mediator has suspended talks for today. We had discussions today about the issues in dispute. No agreement has been reached. The parties agree to remain in touch with the mediator. We will have no further comments beyond the above statements.

    BAD-FAITH BARGAINING: Was the city manager reined-in by city council or does council embrace Zuidema's disruptive tactics?

    44-second audio clip of OFL President Sid Ryan on 1290 CJBK with Steve Garrison on June 25

    City Council met behind closed-doors last night (June 25) to discuss the CUPE Local 101 strike, now in its 33rd day, the longest local civic employee strike in memory and maybe London's history.

    The motion to go in-camera to discuss the strike was moved by Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy and seconded by Ward 7 Coun. Josh Morgan.

    They met from about 7:15 pm to 10:30 pm behind closed-doors, just over three hours.

    The question is, was city manager Art Zuidema (pictured right) called on the carpet for his Lone Ranger approach to labour relations, with council members only learning of his day-to-day antics via the local media?

    Negotiations resume Saturday with the help of a provincial mediator. No doubt the City is attempting to send a message to the union local by meeting on a Saturday.

    Jimmy Olsen

    London's city manager running the show, badly

    Sid Ryan, outspoken president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, was on 1290-CjBK's London-in-the-Morning Show with Steve Garrison to talk about the CUPE Local 101 strike, now in its 32nd Day, and London's out-of-control City Manager Art Zuidema at 7:50 am on June 25. Listen to the podcast HERE.

    Council members are only learning about Zuidema's strike antics after the fact.

    Great Places in Canada Contest-Labatt Park-Barry Wells on the radio at 6:50 am, June 24. Podcast, 1290-CJBK

    Raw sewage dumped into the Thames River on Monday, LFP, June 24

    NOT JUST LAST MONDAY: Raw and partially treated sewage bypasses into the Thames River from Apr. 9, 2015 through to June 24, 2015, CoL

    News Arts Attitude
    Published every two weeks. Current Edition: June 25, 2015; Next edition: Thurs. July 9, 2015


    Tarting up the Thames will not address the river's core problems

    The river forks in July 2008 when the Springbank Dam was damaged

    'Water and air, the two essential things on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.' – Jacques Yves Cousteau

    About 16 years ago, former Londoner David Suzuki upset some locals when he publicly called the Thames River "a shit hole." But nobody could challenge Suzuki's blunt assessment when there's about 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools of raw or partially treated sewage being dumped into our river each year from the effluent pipes of London's six pollution control plants and 36 pumping stations during heavy rainfalls.

    Called "bypasses" and "overflows," these incidents occur whenever rainfalls exceed treatment plant capacities due to combined storm and sanitary sewer pipes in older parts of the city. When the Springbank Dam is working (thankfully, it's been broken since June 19, 2008), the dam's reservoir or headpond stretching to the river forks is transformed into a de-facto open sewer for your recreational boating pleasure.

    * Raw and partially treated sewage bypasses into the Thames River in London from April 9, 2015 through to June 24, 2015:

    Sewage bypasses, amount and duration (City of London pdf document)

    With the Springbank Dam broken for the past seven years, this sewage is dispersed downstream through Chatham and southwestern Ontario after which it enters Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie's western basin, contributing to massive algal blooms of toxic green slime.

    Last summer, for example, Toledo, Ohio was forced to endure a three-day water ban due to the slime, while Pelee Island ordered its beaches closed during its lucrative tourism season because of the health risks associated with the contaminated lake water.

    Last week about 110 mayors from Canadian and American cities met in Sarnia to discuss this growing problem in western Lake Erie, during the annual meetings of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. It's no secret the green slime is fuelled by fertilizer-laden run-off from farms, industry, septic tanks and sewer-plant overflows, such as the ones from London.

    BACK TO THE RIVER: Last May 5th at the river forks, the London Community Foundation, the City of London and Upper Thames Conservation Authority launched their joint "Back-to-the-River" international design competition to "revitalize" a core-area corridor of the Thames River, with our gung-ho, Pollyannaish Mayor Matt Brown proudly carrying a Nova Craft Canoe down to the river.

    The last time London juried a similar design competition – won by Hapa Collaborative, a Vancouver-based landscape architecture and environmental design company – was in 2012 for the Market Lane immediately west of the Market Tower at Dundas and Richmond streets, prior to the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships at Budweiser Gardens.

    I don't want to be a party pooper here since I'm a big fan of outstanding urban design for public spaces, but every time I'm in that small public courtyard near the Covent Garden Market, I'm underwhelmed and wonder how the hell the City could have spent $680,000 on such an unimpressive project.

    read more (451 words) 2 comments
    Most Recent Post: 06/27 06:54AM by Butch McLarty

     CUPE Local 101 accuses City of bad-faith bargaining Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Wednesday, June 24 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  3,274 times  
    Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Wed. June 24 ===>

    Legendary London lawyer Norman Peel dies at age 73

    BREAKING NEWS, JUNE 24: Lawyer Clay Powell has reported that his dear friend, London lawyer Norman Peel, passed away at his country home in Denfield last night at age 73 from a stroke.

    Norman Peel, QC, had defended thousand of cases in southern Ontario for more than 40 years. He served in The Canadian Forces as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. He has taught law and lectured in many criminal law fields.

    London Majors' slugger Cleveland Brownlee wins Roberto Alomar's Toronto Blue Jays' Home-Run Challenge at Labatt Park this afternoon with 16 Big-Dawg dingers.
    This Strike is a Complete Failure of Management at London City Hall

    Inside Workers' Strike Driven by Management's High-Handed Mindset, TLY, June 16

    THIS JUST IN, JUNE 23: According to CUPE Local 101 President Shelley Navarolli, the majority of the 20-or-so people who've crossed the inside workers' picket line are co-op students. Not full-time union members.
    SCAB CITY, CANADA: Hiring replacement workers and encouraging scabs will not end this strike, CUPE101, June 22

    500 Uber vehicles seized in New York City in illegal pickup crackdown, IBT, June 22

    Uber fail: two days in the driver's seat below minimum wage, GM, June 22

    Sifton's 2015 Pack-the-Park Game a Resounding Success

    SUN. JUNE 21: While the visiting Brantford Red Sox edged the London Majors 3-2 during Sifton Properties' 6th annual Pack-the-Park game at historic Labatt Park during the first day of summer, a roaring good time was had by all the 5,134 fans attending the game.

    Intercounty Baseball League Standings.

    London's Olympic decathlete Damian Warner was in attendance to toss out the ceremonial first pitch and signed autographs during the game.

    NEXT SCHEDULED HOME GAME: Friday, June 26 at 7:35 pm against the Burlington Bandits at Labatt Park.

    FINAL, JUNE 20: London Majors 11, Hamilton Cardinals 6. NEXT GAME: Sunday, June 21 at 1:05 pm vs. the Brantford Red Sox in Sifton's annual Pack the Park game.

    Intercounty Baseball League Standings.

    City Manager Art Zuidema hires scabs to do some work at city hall, council apparently condones it, CTV, June 20

    'Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.' ~ Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

    London, Ontario, Canada = Brown & Zuidema's Scab City

    City Council backs the civic administration's refusal to negotiate, LFP, June 19

    London woman found guilty after tragic accident last summer

    COSTCO TRAGEDY: (June 19) Londoner Ruth Burger has been found guilty of two counts of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm as a result of her unusual crash last July 25 in a Costco parking lot in south London.

    Ruth Burger will remain out of custody until she is sentenced on October 20, 2015.

    Victims Addison Hall, 6 and her infant sister Rhiannon, born by Caesarian-section after the crash, died of their injuries sustained when they were struck by Ruth Burger's Monte Carlo.

    Their mother, Danah McKinnon-Bozek and sister Miah, then 3, were both seriously injured.

    Nearly 6,000 have signed petitions to decommission the unnecessary Springbank Dam, LFP, June 18

    'Fish gotta swim, rivers gotta run.'

    Sign the online petition to decommission the Springbank Dam HERE (there's more than 5,000 signatures on print petitions)

    BREAKING NEWS: Blackburn heir, Richard Costley-White dies at age 48, BN, June 16

    Ward 9 Coun. Anna Hopkins calls for end of strike, LFP, June 17

    UberX driver deemed an employee by California Labor Commission, R, June 17

    SPEAKING WITH FORKED TONGUE: City refusing to negotiate an end to the 24-day strike, LFP, June 17

    CORRECT DATE: The Thames River Anglers' Association presents the multiple award-winning documentary film, "DamNation" at the Wolf Performance Hall at the Central Library on Thursday, June 18 at 7 pm. The film will begin after a short introduction by Ron Huber, president of the Thames River Anglers' Association. Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes. FREE.
    Fluoride from municipal water supplies is toxic to fish, DCB, June 15

    FINAL, JUNE 13: London Majors 7, Guelph Royals 2 in Guelph. London improves to 8-5 as they snap a five-game losing streak. IBL Standings.

    NEXT HOME GAME: Saturday, June 20 at 7:35 pm vs. Hamilton Cardinals at Labatt Park.

    LIVE CAMERA: An Osprey nest with two young chicks near Fergus, Ontario, GRCA, June 13

    YouTube video HERE of exchange in council chambers on June 10 re: CUPE Local 101 strike

    BACK TO THE RIVER: Let's fix the dam, then canoe on an open, impounded sewer

    Sign the online petition to decommission the Springbank Dam HERE (there's more than 5,000 signatures on print petitions)

    Near the start of tonight's council meeting, Mayor Matt Brown gave lip service to a "Healthy River," neglecting to mention he wants to reactivate (fix) the unnecessary but costly Springbank Dam which toxifies it.

    Ask Mayor Brown if you can have a "Healthy River" when effluent pipes dump raw and partially sewage into Springbank Dam's headpond (reservoir stretching from the dam to the forks) during heavy rainstorms.

    During these heavy rainfalls in London, several pollution control plants in London upriver of the Springbank Dam (there's four of them) discharge raw or partially treated sewage into the Thames River due to co-joined storm and sanitary sewer pipes and capacity limitations.

    Raw and partially treated sewage bypass data

    Mayor Brown wants to reactivate the Springbank Dam so we can capture and retain this toxic "golden goodness" to canoe on it.

    The reason Ospreys, Eagles and Hawks are flocking to nest near the forks down to Springbank Park is because the river is so clean and healthy with the dam broken. Fishing is very good. They go where the food is plentiful. At-risk turtles are flourishing.

    Some people can't seem to understand this. If you can, you're one up on our mayor.

    The latest media release from CUPE Local 101, June 10

    City Hall Action, June 10, Day 17 of the Strike

    LABOUR RELATIONS 101: City Manager Art Zuidema, Mayor Matt Brown and HR boss Veronica McAlea Major demonstrate their respective management skills. None of them have been at the bargaining table, sending flunkies instead. On the other hand, the union executive is at the bargaining table.

    Mayor Matt Brown and City Manager At Zuidema decided to hold a media conference at city hall's 12th-floor cafeteria at 3:30 pm ~ the same time as the CUPE Local 101 rally down on the street.

    Tit for tat, right?

    Mayor Brown, acting as Art Zuidema's mouthpiece, said their offer to the union is fair and final.

    Mayor Brown and City Manager Art Zuidema came to the presser without their suit jackets to appear less like management suit monkeys and more like working stiffs.

    Then shortly after the council meeting started at 4 pm, CUPE Local 101 supporters challenged Mayor Brown's handling of the strike from the public gallery, prompting Mayor Brown to call a recess before the council went in-camera. YouTube video HERE of exchange in council chambers on June 10.

    2015 Bilderberg Conference: full agenda and attendee list, IW, June 10

    According to CUPE Local 101's website, there will be a Solidarity Rally at city hall this afternoon at 3:30 pm, to coincide with the city council meeting which starts at 4 pm.

    The London & District Labour Council will also be picketing the council meeting.

    Labatt Park still leading the nomination pack in the early going

    UPDATE, JUNE 24: Great Places in Canada (Online) Contest: Great Public Spaces Category.

    Labatt Memorial Park: 643; Blackfriars Bridge 182; Meadowlily Woods Environmentally Significant Area 112.

    You can vote once a day for whatever site you want until Sept. 3, HERE.

    CBC fires star host Evan Solomon after Toronto Star breaks story about Solomon's art brokering business, TS, June 9

    The award-winning documentary DamNation, argues against human interference with rivers, NYT, June 8

    The Thames River Anglers' Association presents the multiple award-winning documentary film, "DamNation" at the Wolf Performance Hall at the Central Library on Thursday, June 18 at 7 pm. The film will begin after a short introduction by Ron Huber, president of the Thames River Anglers' Association. Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes. FREE.

    Sign the petition to Decommission the Springbank Dam HERE.


    CUPE Local 101 released the following media release late Tuesday night (June 9), Day 16 of the strike.

    Mediation talks break down once again – City of London does not want a settlement to end this strike


    LONDON, Ont. – Mediation talks between the City of London and CUPE 101 representing inside workers broke down again this evening after the City failed, yet again, to move off from their previous positions even though the union put forward a substantive proposal to address all of the outstanding issues that led to the strike.

    “The City is not interested in reaching a settlement to end this strike,” said Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE 101. “We put forward proposals to address all the outstanding issues. The City’s bargaining committee, who remained absent from the bargaining table for quite some time then came back after 5 and a half hours and responded with minimal movement from their previous tabled positions.”

    The City cannot or is not prepared to explain their specific needs for the proposed changes that management is trying to extract from the City’s inside unit. “We asked them from the very beginning to discuss with us their need for these changes and they have yet to demonstrate the need for their proposed changes to the collective agreement,” continued Navarroli. “Similar to any dispute resolution, you need to have a discussion in order to understand and attempt to resolve the issue.”

    read more (287 words) 1 comments
    Most Recent Post: 06/24 04:15AM by Butch McLarty

     Inside Workers' Strike Driven by Management's High-Handed Mindset, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Tuesday, June 09 2015 @ 01:30 AM EDT
     Viewed:  2,097 times  
    PODCAST: Springbank Dam: Fix it or Leave it? Steve Garrison of CJBK, June 8

    Ron Huber, president of the Thames River Anglers' Association, says the costly and unnecessary Springbank Dam harms the river and its wildlife.
    Removing Dams, Restoring Rivers, S, June 8

    News Arts Attitude
    Published every two weeks. Current Special Fringe Festival Edition: June 8, 2015; Next edition: Thurs. June 25, 2015


    Inside Workers' Strike Driven by Management's High-Handed Mindset

    Yodelling in the Canyon, June 8, 2015
    Barry Wells

    As I write this column, the strike by 750 members of CUPE Local 101 (the City of London's "inside workers") is in its second week, after they first hit the picket lines on Monday, May 25.

    If the strike is settled before The London Yodeller hits the streets on Monday, June 8 (Special Fringe Festival Edition), I'll be way off with my prediction the work stoppage will last about 25 days and be settled on June 18, give or take a day or two either way.

    The City and the union recently agreed to return to the bargaining table with the help of a provincial mediator, but it promises to be a tough slog, given the City's high-handed, command-and-control mindset, with the City's senior management team demanding significant amendments to past collective agreements ("concessions"), several of which defy reason. More on this later in the column.

    * Negotiations resume on Tuesday, June 9th.

    CUPE Local 101's members have been without a collective agreement since Dec. 31, 2014, when their previous four-year contract expired. The bargaining unit is comprised of more women than men and has never been known as a "radical union" as evidenced by the fact its last strike was 36 years ago in 1979 when its membership walked the lines for 22 days.

    Thirty-six years is a long time between strikes, indicating a solid pattern of successful collective bargaining between the two parties, until now. Rest assured the negative effects of this labour dispute will linger long after the strike is settled. They always do, more so in the politicized fish bowl of municipal government. Something management often forgets and our rookie council is about to learn.

    PINK SLIPS: Worth remembering is what happened after CUPE Local 101's strike in 1979: On Monday, March 17, 1980 (dubbed the "St. Patrick's Day Massacre"), London's Chief Administrative Officer Murray MacLean, City Treasurer Dennis Date and veteran City Engineer Keith Rowntree all resigned (or they would have been fired; Mr. Date did, however, briefly retain his position of finance commissioner and Mr. Rowntree's resignation took effect on April 11, 1980), due to the financial mismanagement of the City's controversial "development fund," which helps explain the animosity of the big shots toward its inside workers in 1979. Unionized employees were being hard-lined during negotiations to help make-up the $10.4-million financial shortfall caused by the incompetence of those with the fancy corner offices. Never a good idea.

    So labour disputes are volatile situations in more ways than one, sometimes with unforeseen consequences.

    Similarly, after CUPE 107's (the "outside workers") 28-day strike in August 2001, London's City Manager Jeff Malpass and Communications Director Dan McDonald both walked the plank the following year after a lengthy controversy which included overtime pay for senior managers during the 2001 "garbage strike," which coincided with the Canada Summer Games (timing is everything and management got snookered again, as usual).

    With London taking on a far more positive vibe in the wake of last year's municipal election, when the grandstanding, incompetent bozos on council got the ol' heave-ho from voters, this needless labour dispute is a disappointing setback.

    Calling the shots for the City of London in 2015 are City Manager Art Zuidema (pictured left; $245K a year) and his sidekick, Veronica McAlea Major ($200K a year), the Managing Director of Corporate Services and Chief Human Resources Officer (how's that for a longwinded job title?), with London city council purportedly providing direction behind the scenes during closed-door meetings. But with a newly elected council comprised mostly of newbies, rest assured it's the City's brass driving the labour relations bus, with the council, to date, foolishly buying the misguided spin.

     O Canada will likely be played at the start of city council meetings in the near future Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Monday, June 08 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  1,853 times  
    Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Mon. June 8 ===>

    The award-winning documentary DamNation, argues against human interference with rivers, NYT, June 8

    If London is serious about the 'Back-to-the-River' initiative

    RULE #1: Never erect an unnecessary dam just downstream from a pollution plant's effluent pipe that discharges raw sewage during rainstorms, unless you want a stagnant headpond that's an open sewer for citizens to "enjoy."

    Sign the petition to Decommission the Springbank Dam HERE

    RULE # 2: Never dump a hazardous industrial waste such as fluoride, a proven neurotoxin, into your city's public drinking water, a toxin which accumulates in human bones, tissue, cells and organs over time causing numerous health problems eventually. Then the toxic waste goes into the Thames River which causes a host of environmental problems for wildlife downstream.

    RULE #3: Don't think of the river as something to be tarted up with costly, man-made whizbang gizmos such as fountains and dams, think of the river as a free-flowing natural ecosystem and a living entity to be respected and enjoyed on its own terms.

    JUNE 7: GAME ONE ~ The London Majors lost their fourth game in a row, defeated by the Barrie Baycats 6-5 in extra innings (10) during the first game of a double header (7-innings each) this afternoon at Labatt Park. Their win-loss record is now 7-4 after starting the season 7-0.

    JUNE 7: GAME 2 ~ FINAL: Barrie Baycats 6, London Majors 0. Make that a 7-5 win-loss record. IBL Standings.

    The second-place London Majors (7-3) host the defending IBL champion Barrie Baycats (7-2) in a doubleheader on Sun. June 7 at 1:05 pm at Labatt Park.
    FINAL, JUNE 5: Kitchener Panthers 7, London Majors 3. The Majors have now lost three straight and have a 7-3 record on the season (3rd place). IBL Standings.

    CUPE Local 101 President Shelley Navarroli shares information about the current strike not heard elsewhere. STRIKE UPDATE, JUNE 5: Talks are on-going. The parties have adjourned and will look to reconvene June 9th.
    Federal NDP leading the pack in latest EKOS poll, DA, June 5

    Osprey Nest Camera near Fergus, Ontario, at Belwood Lake, GRCA, June 5

    London Majors lose two in a row, face Kitchener again tonight

    Last night in Kitchener (June 4), the London Majors were hammered 6-2 by the Panthers for their second loss of the season.

    The London Majors (7-2) host the Kitchener Panthers (6-1) at Labatt Park on Friday, June 5 at 7:35 pm. IBL Standings. ADMISSION: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, students and children 12 and under.

    Here's how it's done

    SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY: When negotiations resume between CUPE Local 101 and the City of London this Friday (June 5), both parties will be in separate rooms with a provincial mediator acting as the "runner" taking offers and counteroffers back and forth.

    When the provincial mediator thinks the two parties should meet face-to-face, s/he will make that suggestion.

    After 10 days on the picket lines, the strikers start getting $60 for each four-hour shift on the picket line up to a maximum of $300 a week from CUPE National's strike fund (no deductions). Yesterday (June 3) was Day 10.

    FBI behind mysterious surveillance planes over US cities, AP, June 3

    Have a news tip? Email without delay

    BREAKING NEWS, JUNE 2: Negotiators with the City of London and CUPE Local 101 (the City's 750-800 "inside workers") will return to the bargaining table on Friday, June 5 ~ with the assistance of a Ministry of Labour Mediator. Today (June 2) is Day 9 of the strike. Friday will be Day 12.

    O Canada will likely be sung or played at the start of city council meetings in the near future

    Fighting pinko evil-doers in Canuckistan since Trudeaumania threatened the virtue of our women-folk in 1968

    This afternoon (June 2) the Corporate Services Committee, chaired by Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy, unanimously RECOMMENDED the singing or playing of O Canada prior to city council meetings, even though AM980's Andrew Lawton (pictured left), who first suggested the idea by e-mail, had requested that his letter in this regard be pulled from the agenda at the last minute.

    Why did Mr. self-described "Gonzo journalist" withdraw his letter? Because his boss at AM980 told him to. You know, "the ol' covering the parade and marching in it too" thing. I guess Lawton's boss at AM980 trumps his Gonzo.

    Hilariously, AM980 covered the story but reported the national anthem request was submitted to city hall "by a citizen." No mention of their propagandist radio show host.

    5-0 Vote:

    1. Ward 7 Coun. Josh Morgan moved the motion
    2. Ward 12 Coun. Harold Usher seconded the motion
    3. Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy supported the motion
    4. Ward 10 Coun. Anna Hopkins supported the motion
    5. Ward 13 Coun. Jared Zaifman supported the motion.

    After the vote, the committee even sang the national anthem, led by Ward 12 Coun. Harold Usher.

    read more (414 words) 1 comments
    Most Recent Post: 06/04 01:08PM by heyrich

     Springbank Dam's benefits far outweighed by damage to river's ecosystem, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Tuesday, June 02 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  2,450 times  
    This link shows CUPE Local 101's detailed written response to the City of London delivering its settlement proposal to the homes of 101's membership last week. Must have cost the City about $7.5K in courier costs, CUPE101, June 1

    The Importance of Healthy Shorelines: Something our city council should read before putting the Springbank Dam back in operation, NI, May 31

    London's "Back to the River" vision for the Thames should be restoring the health of the river's ecosystem, not tarting it up with unnatural whizbang gizmos such as a fountain and an unnecessary dam that helps to toxify the river for six months of the year.
    Live Osprey nest cam near Fergus on the Grand River, GRCA, May 31

    Live Osprey nest camera 24-7 on the Grand River; eggs expected to hatch on or around June 2, CBC, May 31

    Two of the three eggs hatched this morning (May 31). One young chick is dead. The adult Ospreys ate some of their dead chick and then removed the remaining carcass from the nest. Just one living chick born this morning. Hard to tell if there's another viable egg.
    Mr. Irreverence wraps himself in the flag

    Fighting pinko evil-doers in Canuckistan since Trudeaumania threatened the virtue of our women-folk in 1968

    Andrew Lawton (pictured left), AM980's right-wing radio weenie who bills himself as "Canada's most irreverent man" on his twitter account, has sent an e-mail to city hall's Corporate Services Committee, wanting our national anthem sung or played during city council meetings.

    Mr. Lawton wraps up his request with this spine-tingling show of outstanding patriotism: "I welcome feedback on this request from you or any councillors, and hope to hear this wonderful song from the chambers of council in due course."

    Gee, that doesn't sound so irreverent to me. If Lawton wants to lead the way with his love for our national anthem, why isn't he playing it at the start of his afternoon talk show, instead of an irritating song by 1970s rock group, Emerson Lake & Palmer?

    FUNGUS AMONGUS: If our city council decides not to sing the national anthem before the ball game starts, we likely have a few too many foreign spies among us. Either that or one too many leftists and commie pinkos on council who fail to appreciate motherhood, apple pie and family values ... yadda ... yadda ... yadda.

    Andrew Lawton's stand-on-guard-for-thee e-mail can be found HERE on the City of London's website.

    At some point in the future, I'll examine the difference between blindly singing our national anthem and actually doing something to enhance our city and country. As in, action versus empty political posturing of little to no redeeming value.

    I remember being forced to sing God Save the Queen (daily) in public school, like a mindless zombie. Never could remember all the words. Once you force people to do anything, it loses meaning.

    Vote for Labatt Park in the Great Places in Canada Online Contest

    FINAL, MAY 29: Brantford Red Sox 5, London Majors 4 at Labatt Park (12 innings), snapping London's seven-game winning streak. IBL Standings.
    BREAKING NEWS: Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong sues AM980 and seven others, alleging defamation, LFP, May 29

    Audio of Woody's famous last call at the now-demolished Brunswick Hotel, YT, May 29

    Jeffrey Reed's premier sports website, LOS, May 29

    PHOTO OF ARDEN EDDIE: Jeffrey Reed

    Vote for Labatt Park in the Great Places in Canada Online Contest

    Three of the outstanding City of London employees who work at Labatt Memorial Park. LEFT TO RIGHT: Park Supervisor Scott Preece, Chris Cunneen and Mike Reidy. Thank you gents for your outstanding work looking after the World's Oldest Baseball Grounds, since 1877.
    Toronto Blue Jays Home Run Challenge coming to Labatt Park on June 23rd, TBJ, May 27

    12:30 pm: Warm up and hitting drills on the field; 1:30 pm: Home Run Challenge; 4:00 pm: Trophy Presentation

    News Arts Attitude
    Published every two weeks. Current edition: May 28, 2015; Next edition: Thurs. June 11, 2015


    Springbank Dam's benefits far outweighed by damage to river's ecosystem

    With the Springbank Dam inoperable, the Thames River is cleaner, attracting Ospreys to nest near the riverforks

    Yodelling in the Canyon, May 28, 2015
    By Barry Wells

    For decades prior to July 9, 2000, when a surging Thames River damaged London's then-71-year-old Springbank Dam, the dam's gates would be open six months of the year from December to April and closed from May to November, thereby stopping-up the river so canoeing, rowing and small motorized boating could occur each summer and fall.

    During these warmer six months of the year, the Springbank Dam would raise the river 20 feet, creating a large reservoir about seven kilometres long from the riverforks to Springbank Park; the London Canoe Club and The London Rowing Club being the two main beneficiaries of the deeper reservoir created by the dam.

    TOXIC RIVER: Each summer and fall, the stagnant, dammed river would turn toxic with bacteria counts skyrocketing. Shoreline vegetation, excellent habitat for wildlife, would be flooded and destroyed. When river water splashed on canoeists and rowers, they were in danger of developing a skin rash.

    In 2005, the City of London decided to repair and upgrade the dam; but after spending nearly $7-million on the facility it was tested on June 19, 2008 and one of its hydraulic gates malfunctioned, leading to a costly, octopus-like lawsuit still winding its way through the courts after seven years. It's expected to reach the trial stage sometime in 2016.

    The purpose of London's Springbank Dam (when working) is not flood control but to stop-up the Thames River for recreational use, thereby toxifying the river

    The Springbank Dam's only function, when it's working, is to elevate the river's water level for recreational purposes – not for essential flood control as is the case with the much larger Fanshawe Dam in northeast London.

    Transforming a stretch of the Thames from a healthy, free-flowing river into a toxic, stagnant one creates a host of serious problems for London's aquatic ecosystem. When the reservoir's bacteria and algae counts skyrocket each summer and fall, fish, wildlife and their habitat pay the price as water quality plummets, riparian vegetation is flooded and fish can't swim upstream past the dam.

    read more (1,481 words) 1 comments
    Most Recent Post: 05/29 05:55PM by Butch McLarty

     Time to Decommission the Springbank Dam in London, Ontario, Canada Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Wednesday, May 27 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  2,121 times  
    Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Wed. May 27 ===>

    Harper weak on governance, even weaker on courage, IP, May 27

    DAY 3: Did the City of London push CUPE Local 101 onto the picket lines with its unusual contract concession demands? CUPE, May 27

    City workers' strike expected to last more than two weeks. CUPE Local 101's last strike in 1979 lasted three weeks.

    SOUL SACRIFICE: In the wake of past City worker strikes, there's been senior city management staff who've been frogmarched out of the building. For example, in early 1980, the City's CAO, City Treasurer and City Engineer were all gassed on March 17, 1980 (the "St. Patrick's Day Massacre"). After the outside workers' strike during the summer of 2001, at least two of the City's brass walked the plank. Stay tuned!

    Toronto man says he was forced to jump out of a moving UberX car, G&M, May 27

    Have a news tip? Email without delay

    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 26: DAY TWO ~ CUPE Local 101 pickets are also at the Exeter Road Operations Centre (EROC, Stores & Administration) this morning at 707 Exeter Road, thereby slowing garbage packers leaving the yard for their beats.

    It's a legitimate location to picket since there's CUPE Local 101 members who normally work there but are now on strike.

    Decommission the Springbank Dam Petition

    Springbank Dam: A high-cost, pollution-maintenance device detrimental to the river, its fish and wildlife. Since the dam has been inoperable, the Thames River and its vegetative shoreline are much healthier.

    Ospreys and Eagles are nesting along the main branch of the Thames like never before and the at-risk Spiny Softshell Turtle is doing much better.

    But Mayor Matt Brown and Deputy-Mayor Paul Hubert appear committed to putting the costly (and unnecessary) dam back in operation as soon as possible. They've dug themselves into a misguided position and can't see how it's far more important to London to have a healthier river and ecosystem, with all the incredible wildlife that entails. There is no future in a toxic river. There is a future with a cleaner, healthier river and ecosystem.

    London Majors remain undefeated on season with 4-3 win

    CTV-London video HERE, May 24

    FINAL, MAY 24: London Majors 4, Burlington Bandits 3 at Labatt Park. London remains undefeated on the season to date with a 6-0 record. IBL Standings.

    With the win today, London Majors' skipper Roop Chanderdat (pictured left) has won his 200th regular-season game as the Majors' manager. In his 10th season, he is 200-135 for a win percentage of .597.

    NEXT HOME GAME: London hosts the Brantford Red Sox on Friday, May 29 at Labatt Park at 7:35 pm.

    NASA discovers galaxy shining as bright as 300 trillion suns, E, May 24

    Celebrating the Thames minus the Springbank Dam, ROTB, May 24

    Florida deems a former Uber driver an employee for unemployment insurance purposes, Uber plans to appeal, TV, May 24

    First strike in 36 years for city's non-management office staff

    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 23: The City of London's 750 "inside workers" with CUPE Local 101 are now officially on strike for the first time since 1979.

    “Once again, this employer has shown that they have no intention to bargain, but to push our members on the picket line,” said Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE 101. “We had given them an extension because it was clear that the City’s decision makers were not listening to our message of ‘No Concessions’ told to the City representatives at the bargaining table. We wanted them to have a chance to review their own unreasonable position and be prepared to bargain, but yet again it was the same pattern of no decision makers at the table but plenty of concession demands.”

    London Majors stretch winning streak to five, remain undefeated on season

    FINAL, MAY 23: London Majors 5, Guelph Royals 1 in Guelph. London remains undefeated on the season with A 5-0 record. The Majors play Burlington Bandits on Sunday (May 24) at 1:05 pm at home (Labatt Park).
    London Majors put the wood to the Guelph Royals

    FINAL, MAY 22: London Majors 19, Guelph Royals 2 at Labatt Park. London had 19 hits and one error, Guelph had seven hits and seven errors. London is now 4-0 on the season and in first place in the IBL Standings.

    NEXT HOME GAME: Sunday, May 24 at 1:05 pm at Labatt Park against the Burlington Bandits.

    Uber says US disability laws don't apply to them because they think they're above the law, DB, May 22

    Decomission Springbank Dam Petition | GoPetition

    NO SPRINGBANK DAM, HEALTHIER RIVER: A pair of Osprey have been nesting atop a light standard at Labatt Park for the past four consecutive years. PHOTO: The London Free Press

    Thames River much healthier without Springbank Dam, PRP, May 11

    Since the Springbank Dam has been inoperational, the Thames River water quality has improved dramatically and the riparian vegetation has recovered to its natural state not seen in more than 80 years. A healthy Thames River and ecosystem attract Ospreys and Eagles while helping at-risk turtles to flourish.
    Friday Night Baseball at Labatt Park

    HOME GAME #2 AT LABATT PARK: The London Majors Baseball Club host the Guelph Royals on Friday, May 22 at 7:35 pm. The Majors are 3-0 on the season and in 1st place in the IBL Standings.

    TICKETS AT THE GATE: $8 for adults; $6 for seniors, seniors and children 12 and under.


    Time to Decommission the Springbank Dam in London, Ontario, Canada

    Here is an important letter to city council from Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) I found online from the City of London meeting agendas, dated May 2, 2007.

    Also online is a technical report TUC commissioned regarding the water quality at the Springbank Dam. In a nutshell, the position of TUC and its technical report supports my position regarding decommissioning the Springbank Dam to improve the health of the Thames River ecosystem.

    Trout Unlimited Canada
    Position Statement on Springbank Dam
    Thames River, London, Ontario


    Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) is a not-for-profit conservation organization. Our mission is “to conserve, protect and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and their coldwater resources for current and future generations." Our core principles include the protection and restoration of water quality and water quantity in addition to aquatic habitats and fish populations.

    Trout Unlimited Canada became involved with the rehabilitation of Springban Dam in 2004 as a member of the Science and Engineering Technical Committee. The dam maintains a recreational reservoir during the summer season and is operated by the Upper Thames Conservation Authority. Due to its scheduled rehabilitation, a Class EA was completed and was considered by many including TUC as inadequate for the project proposed. The committee was formed to address some of the issues missed by the EA including enhancement for fish movement around the dam. During this time on the committee TUC recognized the value of this feature to the local residents and we remained optimistic that the aquatic requirements of fish populations would not require the removal of the dam.

    As talks progressed it became evident that the potential poor water quality within the headpond could be a limiting factor in fish movement and survival. In addition, redds (nests) created in the area of the headpond while the river was free flowing could be threatened by deteriorating water quality as the reservoir filled.

    In the Spring of 2006, TUC and the Forks of the Thames Chapter of TUC contracted a firm to test surface water samples from the area. A technical report entitled “Preliminary Water Quality Monitoring for Springbank Dam” was completed in 2007. The results showed that both phosphorus and E. coli levels were consistently above provincial water quality objectives. E. coli levels recorded in this study are a human health hazard for body contact. The results suggest that though the dam may not directly cause poor water quality conditions, by creating ideal conditions for bacteria survival the dam may be augmenting already poor water quality.

     UberX fudging facts with its customers, its drivers and the general public, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Friday, May 22 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  2,573 times  
    TOY VEY: Israeli Rabbi sells Kosher Vibrators, BB, May 21

    An Israeli set out to create a sex toy store God would approve of

    UberX driver charged with sexual assault of passenger north of Toronto, CBC, May 20

    STEVE GARRISON: The Hardest-Working Man in Show-Business

    Monday to Friday, 6 am to 9 am on 1290-CJBK-AM

    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 19: Andrew Bruce Hill, 38, the father of the female five-year-old stabbing victim in London on Applegreen Grove in southwest London is charged with attempted murder. The child is in stable condition after today's early-morning stabbing.
    Talks with CUPE Local 101 to resume Thursday to avoid a strike or lockout, CTV, May 19

    FAQs about the potential CUPE Local 101 strike or lockout, CUPE, May 19

    UberX bumps its commission from 20% to 30% for new drivers in some cities, F, May 19

    Decomission Springbank Dam Petition | GoPetition

    Thames River much healthier without Springbank Dam, PRP, May 11

    Since the Springbank Dam has been inoperational, the water quality has improved dramatically and the riparian shoreline has recovered to its natural state not seen in more than 80 years.
    London Majors now 3-0 on the 2015 season

    FINAL: London Majors 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 7 in Toronto. London remains undefeated on the season at 3-0.

    Next home game is Friday, May 22 at 7:35 pm against the Guelph Royals at Labatt Park. Intercounty Baseball League Standings.

    Live video cam of an Osprey nest at Belwood Lake near Guelph, CBC, May 16

    The male and female Osprey take turns sitting on the eggs when their mate needs food and drink. They call to each other when they want to be spelled off the nest.
    VIDEO: Grand Theft Uber, YT, May 16

    THRILLS, CHILLS & LEGAL BILLS: Uber facing another lawsuit, this time from a man who says he developed the software app used by Uber, UF, May 15

    FINAL, MAY 15: London Major 8, Hamilton Cardinals 2 at Labatt Park. See Story HERE.

    London is now 2-0 on the season. Next home game: Friday, May 22 at 7:35 pm at Labatt Park.

    The Thrill is Gone

    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 15: "King of the Blues" B.B. King has died in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 89, according to the musician's attorney. New York Times story HERE.
    2015 IBL SEASON: London Majors' home-opener is Friday, May 15 at 7:45pm, LFP, May 14

    Everything else being equal, it always comes down to pitching in the August playoffs. And you can't lose your stars who return to college as the finals begin.
    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 14: The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the federal government's appeal in the Omar Khadr case. Harper's feds wanted Khadr designated as an adult offender.
    VIDEO: The opening of Eldon House, circa 1960, YT, May 14

    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 14: Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.

    Revenu ‎Quebec‬ team executing search warrants at ‎Uber‬ Canada offices in ‎Montreal‬. Say they have reason to believe tax laws are being broken. CBC Story HERE.

    Eye-witness accounts of what caused the steamboat Victoria to capsize in London on May 24, 1881, killing at least 182 people, MHGL, May 14

    I smell a strike or a lock-out at city hall, CUPE101, May 13

    Strike looms for City's 750 'inside workers' with CUPE Local 107, LFP, May 12

    Intercounty Baseball League Standings, IBL, May 12

    News Arts Attitude
    Published every two weeks. Current edition: May 14, 2015; Next edition: Thurs. May 28, 2015


    UberX fudging facts with its customers, its drivers and the general public

    Yodelling in the Canyon, May 14, 2015
    Barry Wells

    One thing I've learned in life is that if someone or some company lies to you from the get-go, the lies will likely continue until the relationship crashes and burns since brazen snake-oil salesmen and other assorted pirates are shameless.

    It's best to avoid these type of self-serving people and sketchy companies because honesty is not part of their repertoire, nor will it ever be. When the misrepresentation involves illegal taxicabs – intermittently carrying paying customers – being dispatched 24-7 throughout busy cities, the problems can be serious and devastating. Think thrills, chills and lawyer's bills.

    INSURANCE LIABILITY: In this regard, see these linked news stories:

    * Uber sued by family of six-year-old killed in San Francisco crash, The Guardian, Jan. 27, 2014;

    * Another Nightmare for Uber: Driver Kills Pedestrian in New York, Yahoo News, Jan. 7, 2015;

    * When a Uber driver kills someone, who is responsible? The Verge, Jan. 28, 2014;

    * Uber denies fault in S.F. crash that killed girl, SFGate, May 7, 2014;

    * Crash leaves Toronto UberX driver confused about insurance, Toronto Star, Mar, 22, 2015;

    * Insurance bureau raises concerns about extent of Uber coverage, Toronto Star, Feb. 4, 2015;

    * Uber driver arrested for Delhi (India) rape was career criminal, Reuters, Dec. 10, 2014;

    * The Comprehensive List of Uber Incidents, Assaults and Accusations, Who'sDrivingYou?

    So let's put this hairy mess into perspective with San-Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. and its UberX subsidiary masquerading as legitimate taxicabs across the planet – even after being fined and banned by authorities in numerous cities and countries. For example, in Europe, UberX is banned in France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

    Worth remembering at this point is billionaire Travis Kalanick (pictured right), the 39-year-old co-founder of Uber Technologies Inc. who calls the taxi industry "corrupt," was a co-founder of the defunct Scour Inc. and Scour Exchange, a search engine and multimedia file-sharing application which was put under bankruptcy protection in 2000 to avoid the fallout from a massive lawsuit launched against Scour for alleged copyright infringement.

    Most are aware what "ride-sharing" is. It's a carpool where several people, often commuters, share the costs of a trip in a motor vehicle to a particular common destination. It's not a commercial venture. It's a non-profit, co-operative one.

     1975 London Majors to be inducted into London Sports Hall of Fame Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Thursday, May 14 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  1,897 times  

    1975 London Majors to be inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame in November

    1975 London Majors a class act, LFP, May 11

    VIDEO: 1975 London Majors voted into the London Sports Hall of Fame, LFP, May 11

    Arden Eddie. PHOTO: Jeffrey Reed

    This morning (May 11) at Budweiser Gardens, the London Sports Hall of Fame induction committee announced its 2015 inductees, which include the 1975 London Majors Baseball Club (IBL Pennant Winners and IBL Champions).

    THE 1975 LONDON MAJORS 40 YEARS LATER ~ From left to right: Dave Byers, Alex McKay, Rick Lindquist, Barry Boughner, Phil Schmidt, Dave (Whitey) Lapthorne, Barry James Fuller, Wayne (Dog) Fenlon, John Marks, Mike Fess, Arden Eddie and Mike Kilkenny. May 11, 2015 at Budweiser Gardens. LONDON FREE PRESS PHOTO

    The six other 2015 individual inductees are:

    Jude St. John, athlete modern (Western Mustangs Football, CFL football)
    Ryan Thelwell, athlete modern (NFL, CFL football)
    Brian Peaker, athlete modern (Olympic rower, nephew to Norm Aldridge)
    Jackie Sheppard, builder/founder legend (slo-pitch softball pioneer)
    Glynn Leyshon, builder/founder legend (international wrestling)
    Sammy Foxworthy, athlete legend (pro hockey, golf).

    All inductees will be honoured during the official induction ceremony-banquet on November 5, 2015 in the Carousel Room at the Western Fair District.

     The London Majors: the tradition continues in 2015, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Monday, May 11 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  1,803 times  
    Decomission Springbank Dam Petition | GoPetition

    Thames River much healthier without Springbank Dam, PRP, May 11

    Since the Springbank Dam has been inoperational, the water quality has improved dramatically and the riparian shoreline has recovered to its natural state not seen in more than 80 years.
    VIDEO: The damage water fluoridation does from an environmental perspective, YT, May 10

    BURLINGTON, MAY 9 – The London Majors pounded out 15 hits and took advantage of five Burlington errors in a season-opening 10-1 win over the Bandits Saturday afternoon.

    In Barrie, the defending IBL champion Barrie Baycats defeated the Guelph Royals 6-2.

    SUNDAY AFTERNOON SCORES (MAY 10): Hamilton Cardinals 7, Brantford Red Sox 6; Kitchener Panthers 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 4.

    The 2015 home-opener of the London Majors Baseball Club is on Friday, May 15 at 7:35 pm at Labatt Park when they host the Hamilton Cardinals.

    The London Majors: the tradition continues in 2015

    By Barry Wells

    While many Londoners are aware the City of London-owned Labatt Park ~ the world's oldest baseball grounds, since 1877 ~ is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, few people know how it came about. Here's the story:

    Back in the early 1990s when the AA London Tigers were still in town (1989-1993), former London Mayor Tom Gosnell made the suggestion to the local heritage advisory committee that Labatt Park qualified as a heritage property and to consider pursuing it. Unfortunately, the idea died on the vine, for two reasons:

    1. At the time in London, appreciation for "sports and cultural heritage" hadn't reached full bloom. London still had the mindset that only the bricks and mortar of "built heritage" were worthy of heritage protection.

    2. The London Tigers had no idea what heritage designation would entail, so it scared them. They wanted nothing to do with it.

    After the Tigers left London for New Jersey in 1993, then-Coun. Gary Williams stood up during a council meeting and made a suggestion regarding selling Labatt Park for a condo development ~ even though the park's in the floodplain and exempt from any new development except in rare circumstances.

    That's when the volunteer group The Friends of Labatt Park formed, successfully lobbying city council to designate the ballpark under the Ontario Heritage Act twenty-one years ago in 1994, with a well-attended plaque unveiling at the park on Canada Day prior to a London Majors' doubleheader against the IBL's Toronto Maple Leafs.

     Cindy Hartman: a passion for sharing Old East London's cultural history, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
     Author:  Butch McLarty
     Dated:  Friday, May 08 2015 @ 12:01 AM EDT
     Viewed:  3,709 times  
    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 7: US Appeal Court says NSA's phone spying program exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden is illegal, ACLU, May 7

    NEW YORK – In a landmark decision, a US federal appeals court unanimously ruled today that the NSA’s phone-records surveillance program is unlawful. You know, the spying NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed and had to flee the country over.
    How Canada made the Koch brothers very very rich, NO, May 7

    City's inside workers poised to strike on May 23

    750 members of London's Civic Employees ~ CUPE Local 101, aka the City's "inside workers," have set the date of Sat. May 23 at 12:01 am to walk off the job if they don't have a signed collective agreement at that time.

    CUPE Local 101 members (non-managerial staff) perform a wide variety of duties for the City of London, including parks and recreation office staff, planning staff, social services staff and all office staff at city hall. The union local's membership voted 91 percent in support of strike action last March 20, 2015.

    UberX vehicle rollover in South Florida; UberX still refuses to conform with the law, SFSS, May 7

    "Uber has threatened to pull its business from Broward County if a new set of laws that were passed in April are enforced. The new laws require insurance, background checks with fingerprinting and licensing for drivers.

    "The company's website says it carries $1-million commercial liability insurance for drivers for the duration of a fare. [if a Uber driver hits another vehicle or a pedestrian without a fare, there's no commercial coverage.]

    "County officials say Uber is currently operating illegally at the airport, avoiding fees that drivers-for-hire are required to pay to the county. Most also do not have proper licenses and permits to operate in Broward, according to the county, which said it has issued 250 fines to Uber drivers that add up to $35,000 from August 1 through January 23.

    "Otaran [Uber driver] does not have a chauffeur registration, which county law requires for such drivers."

    ORANGE CRUSH: The PC era in Alberta is over after nearly 44 years
    The Communist Hordes have seized power in the Free Province of Alberta!

    BREAKING NEWS, MAY 6: Hell has frozen over. The NDP has won a majority government in Alberta. Rachel Notley (pictured left) has been elected premier of Alberta. Jim Prentice, the PC Leader, has resigned and is leaving politics.

    NDP 53, Wildrose 21, PC 10, Liberal 1, Alberta Party 1 (One riding is officially tied; 44 seats is a majority government in Alberta's 87-seat legislature).

    The NDP went from 4 to 53 or 54 seats and the PCs lost 48 or 49.

    There's a tie vote in Calgary-Glenmore: PC Linda Johnson and NDP Kazim Anam both at 7,015.

    The right-wing nutters at the Moan & Groan Simpleton Club® aren't going to like this.

    On May 30, 2015, Labatt Park will have been designated an historic site 21 years under the Ontario Heritage Act.
    Melting Arctic ice affecting weather patterns, scientists say, CBC, May 5

    VIDEO: A protesting UberX driver discusses UberX and its insurance problems, YT, May 5

    The Town of Kingsville wisely decides to end the insane practice of water fluoridation, BN, May 5

    WAR OF 1812: Battle of Longwoods Re-enactment on Sun. May 3, 2015; drone video by Joe O'Neil, YT, May 4

    London Majors split doubleheader with Michigan JetBox

    Yesterday afternoon (Sun. May 3) at Labatt Park, the London Majors split an exhibition doubleheader with the Michigan JetBox.

    Game 1: Michigan JetBox 10, London Majors 8 (nine innings)
    Game 2: London Majors 11, Michigan JetBox 6. (nine innings)

    The Majors' home-opener at Labatt Park is Friday, May 15 at 7:45 pm against the Hamilton Cardinals.

    Burying nuclear waste under Lake Huron; report expected this week, CBC, May 3

    Uber founder Travis Kalanick shut down his former business venture after getting hit with $250-billion-worth of copyright infringement lawsuits, TA, May 1

    Uber PR's latest trick: impersonating its drivers to try and scam journalists, P, May 2

    INSURANCE WOES: Uber denies liability after one of its drivers kills six-year-old in Frisco, G, May 1

    INSURANCE WOES REDUX: Uber driver kills pedestrian in New York City, YN, May 1

    VICARIOUS LIABILITY: UberX says their insurance only covers drivers when they actually have a passenger inside the vehicle. Not when they're waiting for a call, on the way to a call or driving away from dropping off a passenger. You can imagine what a judge will think about that dodgy BS. Namely, "whether or not you have insurance coverage is irrelevant. You're on the hook for damages, regardless. You can fight it out with your insurance company later."
    Ford will demolish its Ford Talbotville plant, STWN, ay 1

    Author Michael Coren leaves RC Church over gay issue, NP, May 1

    News Arts Attitude
    Published every two weeks. Current edition: Apr. 30, 2015; Next edition: Thurs. May 14, 2015


    Cindy Hartman: a passion for sharing Old East London's cultural history

    The first Supertest gas station opened in London, Ontario on May 23, 1923 at 362 Dundas Street, between Waterloo and Colborne streets (north side, where the London Executive Suites building is today).

    Yodelling in the Canyon, Apr. 30, 2015
    Barry Wells

    Local history enthusiast and facebook friend Cindy Hartman recently sent me a 90-year-old business advertorial from the November 21, 1925 edition of The London Free Press, about the long-gone Davis Taxi Service opening its new cab headquarters at 742 Richmond Street, south of Oxford Street (the building is still there, north of the Campus Hi-Fi Restaurant).

    Cindy's aware I'd written an unpublished, 103-page history about London's vehicle-for-hire industry from 1855 to 2005, a decade ago (Murder, Madness and Mayhem, London's Cab Industry Has It All) and rightly figured I'd be interested in the article.

    Cindy is co-administrator, along with Londoner Colin Duck, of the Vintage London facebook group page, which, in my opinion, has the best collection of historical London photos on the Internet. Her photographs of former gas stations and repair garages in London recall an often-ignored part of London's business and cultural history.

    For example, the Imperial Oil Company was founded in London in 1880, as was Supertest Petroleum in 1923 by John Gordon Thompson (1894-1982) and the Red Star gas station chain, Sterling Fuels and Arrow Petroleum, founded by Joe McManus (1907-1976).

    Cindy and her husband, Jim (who's an automotive "hot rodder"), have operated Hartman's Auto Repair since 1988 at 1120 Dundas Street East, across from the former Kellogg's factory, with the help of their sons.

     1. Great Places in Canada Contest. 2. London, Ontario's 159-Year-Old Coat of Arms. 3. Guy Lombardo's Tempo VII Hydroplane  ?

    VOTE NOW: Labatt Park still leading the nomination pack in the early going by 200+ votes


    UPDATE, JUNE 30: Great Places in Canada (Online) Contest: Great Public Spaces Category.

    * Labatt Memorial Park, London, Ontario: 856

    * Abbey Centre, Blackfalds, Alberta: 554

    * Pemberton Downtown Community Barn, Pemberton, BC: 214

    * Blackfriars Bridge, London, Ontario: 192

    * Meadowlily Woods Environmentally Significant Area, London, Ontario: 127

    * AA MacDonald Memorial Gardens, Georgetown, PEI: 153

    * Grizzly Plaza, Revelstoke, BC: 97

    * Bon Accord Memorial Rose Garden, Bon Accord, Alberta: 44.

    You can vote once every 24 hours until Sept. 24. The winners will be announced in November.


    London, Ontario, Canada's 159-Year-Old Coat-of-Arms

    Click on the Lombardo images immediately below to hear The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven

    Guy Lombardo's multiple-award-winning Tempo VII hydroplane, built in 1955 and powered by an Allison aircraft engine, has been owned by the City of London since 1983 when it was donated to the City by the late Colonel Tom Lawson.

    It is currently on display at London's Jet Aircraft Museum along with the Miss Supertest III hydroplane, immediately northwest of the London International Airport. It is open Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

    Contact London's heritage planner Don Menard ( if you or your organization are interested in displaying the Tempo VII in a public setting for a special short-term event.

    LOMBARDO TRIVIA: London-born-and-raised bandleader Guy Lombardo (June 19, 1902- Nov. 5, 1977) never travelled across the bridge named in his honour in London, Ontario, since the bridge never officially opened until Nov. 16, 1978, more than a year after his death.

    Guy Lombardo (1902-1977) with his younger sister, Rosemarie Lombardo (1925-2011) in the 1940s. Guy and his brothers in the orchestra actually named their sister Rosemarie, who was born 23 years after Guy.