CLASSIFIEDS SECTION : $15 for 30 words for 40 days. Click Here
 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
519.873.5000


Stormin' Norm Aldridge, Jan. 25, 1925 - July 15, 2015 (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-mail 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



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 Today's Featured Article Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Title:  Bill Armstrong's $3.5M defamation suit likely more trouble that it's worth, by Barry Wells
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Friday, April 29 2016 @ 12:59 AM EDT
 Viewed:  495 times  
Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Thur. Apr. 28 ===>

Ex-GOP-Speaker John Boehner calls Ted Cruz 'Lucifer in the flesh' in interview at Stanford, CNN, Apr. 28

"I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” Boehner said of the universally detested Texas lawmaker, Tec Cruz.
China tests new high-tech, hypersonic guided missile, TD, Apr. 28

THE LONDON YODELLER

Bill Armstrong's $3.5M defamation suit likely more trouble that it's worth

Yodelling in the Canyon, Apr. 28, 2016
By Barry Wells


LEFT: Veteran Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong has been on city council for 22 years. First elected in 1994, he has been re-elected six times. The NDP supporter is now embroiled in an unusual, $3.5M defamation lawsuit he launched against Nancy McSloy, (husband) Jack McSloy, Robert Spencer and Joe Wilson, plus Corus Entertainment (parent company of radio station AM980) on Dec. 4, 2014, after being re-elected on October 27, 2014. RIGHT: Former Armstrong supporter Nancy McSloy ran against Coun. Bill Armstrong in Ward 2 in 2014, but was narrowly defeated by 316 votes in a three-way race. She's now a co-defendant in a $3.5M defamation lawsuit.

As bombshells go, it had a resounding bang, but the resulting blood spatter was different than expected: Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong was re-elected to his seventh council term in 2014, challenger Nancy McSloy was the Ward 2 runner-up and Corus Entertainment, AM980's parent company, and McSloy were subsequently named as co-defendants (along with three others) in a $3.5M defamation suit currently before the Superior Court of Justice.

AM980's Sept. 5, 2014 online news story titled, Bombshell in Ward 2 Council Race (it's still online), about Armstrong's 1987 criminal conviction for sexual assault was based on a McSloy media release, a 1987 newspaper clipping and a follow-up interview with candidate Nancy McSloy, a 2014 election rival of Armstrong's in Ward 2. The on-air interview, online story and subsequent social media comments prompted London's longest-serving city councillor to file an unusual $3.5M defamation suit with the courts three months later on Dec. 4, 2014, just days after Armstrong was sworn into office for another four years.


Councillor Ward 2 (Oct. 27, 2014 Election)
Bill Armstrong 2,499; Re-elected
Nancy McSloy 2,183
Steve Polhill .. 1,731
Whether Armstrong's lawsuit proceeds to trial after the Apr. 13 motion to dismiss it remains to be seen, but already it's drawn far more media attention to Armstrong's past legal troubles than he'd like, legal troubles for which he received a criminal records pardon years ago. Sometimes it's best for public figures to take their sugar lumps in the media and let sleeping dogs lie 'cause when you disturb them they get snarly.

For example, the Apr. 14 Free Press story on Armstrong's defamation suit reported some new information: "He [Armstrong] was twice convicted of drunk driving-related charges in the early 1980s, court heard Wednesday [Apr. 13], when he would have been in his early 20s. Armstrong long ago received pardons for all three convictions."


The Courtroom Players
Superior Court Justice Joseph Donohue (pictured right)

Relevant Statutes: Libel and Slander Act;
Protection of Public Participation Act;
Criminal Records Act

Plaintiff: Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong
Lawyer Sean Flaherty; LAW FIRM: McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP

Co-Defendants: Nancy McSloy, (husband) Jack McSloy, Robert Spencer, Joe Wilson; Corus Entertainment
Lawyer Andrew Camman; LAW FIRM: Polishuk, Camman & Steele
Corus lawyers Peter Jacobsen and Julia Lefebvre; LAW FIRM: Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP (Toronto)

Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit: Heard Apr. 13, 2016
Judgment: Reserved (pending).


ANCIENT NEWS: AM980's so-called bombshell story of Sept. 5, 2014 was not only ancient news to me, but also several other local media veterans, political insiders and even some Ward 2 voters.

Why?

Because photocopies of the Jan. 1987 London Free Press news story, London tenant activist jailed for sex assault, by (now-retired) reporter Chip Martin detailing Armstrong's criminal conviction, had been widely distributed prior to every municipal election (six in total) dating back to 1997.

I'd received my copy in a envelope with my name on it when I was news editor at SCENE magazine 19 years ago in 1997 and after some investigation, decided to respect the fact Armstrong had received a criminal records pardon erasing the conviction (the Harper Tories subsequently amended the federal Criminal Records Act to "suspend" not erase criminal convictions about four years ago).

The reporters at the Freeps obviously took the same approach since Armstrong's 1987 criminal conviction was never specifically mentioned in the paper again until Aug. 4, 2015 — eight months after Armstrong's $3.5M defamation action was filed with the courts.


In 2006 and 2010, I'd also been told by Ward 2 residents with Armstrong re-election signs on their front lawn during election campaigns that they'd received a photocopy of the 1987 newspaper clipping in their mail box, in addition to it being distributed anonymously during all-candidate meetings in the east-end ward.

As a result, it was surprising to hear Ward 2 candidate and east-London community activist Nancy McSloy state on the radio on Sept. 5, 2014 she'd only learned of Armstrong's criminal conviction from an anonymous tip while campaigning during the summer leading up to the Oct. 27 municipal election.

Who knows? Maybe she just wasn't plugged into the city's political jungle drums during previous elections as most community activists are.

Even though Bill Armstrong's 1987 conviction was one of the worst-kept secrets in town, he was re-elected to city council in 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2014. So Armstrong was obviously doing something right by his constituents with many Ward 2 voters apparently unconcerned with his stale-dated legal difficulties.


 PROJECT JERICHO: An urgent repair project is underway at St. Paul's Cathedral, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Friday, April 29 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT
 Viewed:  2,359 times  
Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Fri. Apr. 29 ===>

More exhibition baseball at Labatt Park

The London Majors host the Detroit JetBox Baseball Club for another exhibition doubleheader (two nine-inning games) at historic Labatt Memorial Park on Sat. Apr. 30 at 1 pm.

Admission at the front gates at game time: $5. Parking inside the park: $2. The 3rd baseline concession stand will be open.

SATURDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST: Sunny. High 15.

Last Saturday afternoon (Apr. 23), London won both games of their doubleheader with Detroit, 7-6 and 12-1.

There's two Canada Geese nests at the park (stay clear of them), plus the nesting Ospreys atop a light standard along the 3rd-baseline for the fifth year in a row.


UBC Okanagan engineering prof develops handheld marijuana breathalyzer, GS, Apr. 25

CBC to launch a new morning am radio show in London, Ontario, CBC, Apr. 25

White House set to release secret pages from 911 inquiry, GNL, Apr. 24

DEJA-VU ALL OVER AGAIN: Asbestos discovered in T-Block building in Apr. 2016, LFP, Apr. 22

Asbestos found in T-Block building in Dec. 2010, LFP, Apr. 22

London Majors host Detroit JetBox on Sat. Apr. 23

FINAL SCORES: Last Saturday afternoon (Apr. 23), London won both games of their doubleheader with Detroit, 7-6 and 12-1.

The London Majors host the Detroit JetBox Baseball Club in an exhibition doubleheader on Saturday, April 23 at 1 pm at historic Labatt Park. $5 admission fee at the front gates. London Majors Baseball.

WEATHER: Sunny, high of 13C.


PRINCE: 1958-2016

Prince nearly overdosed on the narcotic Percocet six days before he died, NYDN, Apr. 22


"And if the elevator tries to bring you down, Go crazy, punch a higher floor" ~ Let's Go Crazy, Prince
APR. 21 NEWS IN A NUTSHELL: Queen Elizabeth II turns 90, Prince dead at 57 and Mike Duffy not guilty on all 31 charges.
The Ol' Duff not guilty on all 31 criminal charges


SENATOR MIKE DUFFY: "People wanted to see me spin on a rotisserie with an apple in my mouth, but I refused to apply the BBQ sauce."
Katz brothers defend right to remove trees on large property near Mudd Creek in west London, LFP, Apr. 21

The late Fred H. Armstrong (1926-2016) was both a gentleman and a scholar, OFH, Apr. 19

BREAKING NEWS: Starting Monday, April 25th, Steve (Dr. Love) Garrison will be a regular guest on The Monday Roundtable during The Pulse with Devon Peacock at AM980, 12 noon to 1 pm.
Phil Millar, a well-known London lawyer who was stone-cold sober was improperly arrested and cuffed for impaired driving, ML, Apr. 19

London Yodeller freelancer Joseph Couture a finalist in Canadian Association of Journalists' Community Media Award for Series on Homelessness, Drug Addiction & Mental Illness, CAJ


Local history, Lombardo aficionado Doug Flood dies at age 86, LFP, Apr. 16

The Phony War in Syria, EM, Apr. 16

Ontario's at-risk turtles are like the canary in the coal mine. Not a good sign when they die off


Stable, vegetative shoreline habitat is essential to at-risk turtles living along the Thames River from the river forks to Byron. A working Springbank Dam destroys this essential habitat by flooding it when it creates the swollen, bacteria-laden reservoir in the summer months. Unfortunately, Springbank Dam supporters who nonetheless think of themselves as "environmentalists" can't seem to understand this somewhat elementary concept.
Why the river-killing Springbank Dam can't be repaired and reactivated: Species-at-risk biologist Scott Gillingwater's 2015 turtle report

"During the 2015 season, the largest single nesting aggregation of softshell turtles ever recorded in the City of London, and the fourth largest known along the entire Thames River was documented. The oviposition (nesting) site where these nests were located would not exist if Springbank Dam were in operation."


AltLondon's contact e-mail: barrywells7ATyahoo.ca, including advertising enquiries and news tips. Woodward & Bernstein are standing by, 24-7.

When the environmentally responsible thing to do converges with the least expensive and most progressive way forward ... Decommission the Springbank Dam.


THE LONDON YODELLER

PROJECT JERICHO: An urgent repair project is underway at St. Paul's Cathedral


The 170-year-old St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown London is the seat of the Bishop of Huron and the Anglican Diocese of Huron.

Yodelling in the Canyon, April 14, 2016
By Barry Wells

The London Yodeller has learned St. Paul's Cathedral, London's oldest church and one of the city's most historic properties at 472 Richmond Street — one designated in 2005 under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act — is undergoing emergency repairs to maintain its structural integrity and keep its walls from tumbling down.

Dubbed "Project Jericho" by the church's administration, the urgent repairs to London's 170-year-old Anglican cathedral at the northeast corner of Richmond and Queens are necessary after water damage was discovered to exterior and interior masonry under the eves, to interior plaster walls and wooden roof truss ends (embedded in the bricks) which support the roof.

The repairs are expected to take another seven or eight months to complete and cost more than $500K to ensure the ongoing safety of the building. Some interior restoration work to the plaster walls and scrolling will follow the urgent repairs. To date, contractors Empire Restoration in New Hamburg and Robertson Restoration in Brantford have worked on the project.

St. Paul's Senior Warden Melissa Broadfoot says there's now "scaffolding in five places along the north and south exterior and interior walls." In the meantime, regular church services and community programs are continuing while the work is underway. Ms. Broadfoot says St. Paul's will be issuing a media release about Project Jericho at the end of April or in early May.

STAINED GLASS: Of special concern, says Ms. Broadfoot, is the cathedral's magnificent collection of stained glass, including four irreplaceable lancet windows created by the Louis Tiffany Company in the late 1880s, located next to and opposite the nativity window of the church. As a result, snug plywood panels have been form-fitted over the exterior side of several stained-glass windows.

By way of history, St. Paul's opened for worship on Feb. 25, 1846 (Ash Wednesday) after the original frame church on the site (1834-1844) was destroyed in a fire, also on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1844.

The grounds of the cathedral — which is the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Huron and built in the English Gothic Revival style — once served as a cemetery for London during its pioneer days ("St. Paul's Grove Cemetery"). Most of the interred remains and their grave markers were transferred 136 years ago to Woodland Cemetery on Springbank Drive, a cemetery owned and operated by the Anglican cathedral. Twelve marked graves, however, remain on the grounds as reminders of London's historic roots as a Christian pioneer settlement at the forks of the Thames River.

During the 150th anniversary of the cathedral in 1996, four new stained-glass windows, designed and crafted by internationally renowned Canadian stained-glass artist Christopher Wallis, were placed in the nave. Three of the windows depict the life of St. Paul the Apostle and the fourth depicts a nativity scene.

Recommended Reading — Gargoyles & Gentlemen: A History of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario, 1834-1964, by the late London, Ontario author and historian Orlo Miller (1966, Ryerson Press).

FUNDRAISING: Donations to this urgent repair project can be made online at www.CanadaHelps.org or cheques and money orders can be mailed to St. Paul’s Cathedral, 472 Richmond St., London, ON, N6A 3E6, Attn: Project Jericho. Envelopes dedicated to Project Jericho are also available at the church. All donations are eligible for an income tax-deductible receipt. For more information, e-mail cfieldhouseATstpaulscathedral.on.ca or call 519.434.3225 ext. 201.


 LONDON MAJORS' IBL 2016 REGULAR-SEASON HOME-AND-AWAY SCHEDULE Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Wednesday, April 13 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT
 Viewed:  1,222 times  
Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Wed. Apr. 13 ===>

Judge reserves decision in motion to dismiss Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong's defamation lawsuit, LFP, Apr. 13

The time nutjob Ted Cruz defended a ban on dildos in Texas, MJ, Apr. 13

Another sewage bypass-overflow into the Thames River on Mon. Apr. 11, 2016

To date in 2016, the running totals are 59,662 cubic metres of raw sewage discharged into the Thames River from London's network of six wastewater treatment plants and 36 pumping stations and 102,559 cubic metres of partially treated sewage on the following dates: Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Mar. 28, Mar. 31, Apr. 7 and Apr. 11.
Another City of London advisory committee (Trees and Forests Advisory Committee) has opposed the repair and reactivation of the Springbank Dam:

b) "the Municipal Council BE ADVISED that in the opinion of the Trees and Forests Advisory Committee (TFAC) the only purpose of the Springbank Dam is for recreation and therefore the TFAC does not support the prioritization of recreation over the health of the Thames River and its surrounding trees;" ~ Council Minutes for March 22, 2016.

The City's Advisory Committee on the Environment also opposes the repair and reactivation of the river-killing, gremlin-infested Springbank Dam.


The US government, including the IRS, CIA and NSA, just loves the personal information they get from Uber about its customers, R, Apr. 12

London Majors load up for another run at the elusive IBL title, LFP, Apr. 12

Lots of London's raw and partially treated sewage going into the river these days, LFP, Apr. 11

The LFP story doesn't include the most recent Apr. 7, 2016 sewage overflow into the river.
1290-CJBK's Andy Oudman interviewing shit-disturber Barry Wells on Monday, April 11, 2016 about the regular and ongoing sewage overflows into the Thames River during heavy rainfalls in London: 18-minute segment, Wells comes in at 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
Another sewage bypass-overflow into the Thames River on Thursday, April 7, 2016

To date in 2016, the running totals are 59,662 cubic metres of raw sewage discharged into the Thames River from London's network of six wastewater treatment plants and 36 pumping stations and 97,116 cubic metres of partially treated sewage on the following dates: Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Mar. 28, Mar. 31 and Apr. 7.
Salmon near Seattle are full of cocaine and anti-depressants, ED, Apr. 11

LONDON MAJORS ~ INTERCOUNTY BASEBALL LEAGUE

LONDON MAJORS' IBL 2016 REGULAR-SEASON HOME-AND-AWAY SCHEDULE


All 18 home games are played at historic Labatt Memorial Park at 25 Wilson Avenue.

$9 for adults; $7 for seniors, students and kids 12 and under.

Ice-cold beer is sold at all home games of the London Majors Baseball Club.

LondonMajors.com

MAY

1. Sat., May 7, 2016, London at Burlington Bandits, 1:00 pm
2. Sat., May 14, 2016, London at Brantford Red Sox, 2:00 pm
3. Sun., May 15, 2016, Barrie Baycats at London, 1:05 pm 2016 HOMEOPENER
4. Fri., May 20, 2016, Hamilton Cardinals at London, 7:35 pm
5-6. Sun., May 22, 2016, London at Barrie, 1:00 pm (DH)
7. Fri., May 27, 2016, Toronto Maple Leafs at London, 7:35 pm
8. Sun., May 29, 2016, Brantford Red Sox at London, 1:05 pm

JUNE

9. Thur., June 2, 2016, London at Kitchener Pathers, 7:30 pm
10. Fri., June 3, 2016, London at Hamilton Cardinals, 7:30 pm
11. Sun., June 5, 2016, Guelph Royals at London, 1:05 pm
12. Wed., June 8, 2016, London at Brantford Red Sox, 8:00 pm
13. Fri., June 10, 2016, Burlington Bandits at London, 7:35 pm
14. Sat., June 11, 2016, London at Guelph Royals, 1:00 pm
15. Sun., June 12, 2016, London at Toronto Maple Leafs, 2:00 pm
16. Fri., June 17, 2016, London at Hamilton Cardinals, 7:30 pm
17. Sat., June 18, 2016, Kitchener Panthers at London, 7:35 pm
18. Sun., June 19, 2016, Brantford Red Sox at London, 1:05 pm
19. Tues., June 21, 2016, Hamilton Cardinals at London, 7:35 pm
20. Fri., June 24, 2016, Kitchener Panthers at London, 7:35 pm
21. Sun., June 26, 2016, Brantford Red Sox at London, 1:05 pm
22. Tues., June 28, 2016, London at Guelph Royals, 7:30 pm


read more (160 words) 2 comments
Most Recent Post: 04/18 06:11AM by Butch McLarty

 Hollywood Heart-Throb Tony Curtis ate Chicken Pickins in London, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Sunday, April 10 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT
 Viewed:  2,239 times  

AltLondon's contact e-mail: barrywells7ATyahoo.ca, including advertising enquiries and news tips. Woodward & Bernstein are standing by, 24-7.

Kansas toddler nearly suffocates with a dead Octopus lodged in its throat, NP, Apr. 9

London's tone-deaf mayor, deputy-mayor and city engineer still trying to stickhandle a way to repair and reactivate the costly, river-killing Springbank Dam ~ against the wishes of most Londoners

The Never-Ending Curse of the Springbank Dam which will make Matt Brown a One-Term Mayor will be discussed by the Civic Works Committee behind closed doors ("in camera") on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

VI. CONFIDENTIAL (Confidential Appendix enclosed for Members only.)

C-1. "A matter pertaining to advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose and for the purpose of providing directions and instructions to officers and employees or agents of the municipality with respect to the Springbank Dam."


Another sewage bypass-overflow into the Thames River on Thursday, April 7, 2016

To date in 2016, the running totals are 59,662 cubic metres of raw sewage discharged into the Thames River from London's network of six wastewater treatment plants and 36 pumping stations and 97,116 cubic metres of partially treated sewage on the following dates: Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Mar. 28, Mar. 31 and Apr. 7.
Merle the Pearl Haggard dies on his 79th birthday of double pneumonia, NYT, Apr. 5

'Matt and Art' deny they're trying to muzzle council members, LFP, Apr. 5

Electrical contractor fined after senior dies from flawed heated floor, LFP, Apr. 5

The Associated Press @AP · 3m3 minutes ago BREAKING, APR. 5: Mississippi's governor signs law allowing employers to refuse service to gay couples.
PANAMA PAPERS: Massive document leak of offshore financial records exposes rampant global corruption, PP, Apr. 3

Curiously, the leak is devoid of information on American and Canadian evil-doers. What ever can it mean?

Audio recording of Woody's infamous 'Last Call' at the long-gone Brunswick Hotel (1855-2008).


Labatt Park Ospreys reject relocated nest, return to light standard for 5th year in a row to watch baseball overlooking the hot corner of 3rd base, LFP, Apr. 3


THE LONDON YODELLER, Mar. 31 - Apr. 14

Hollywood Heart-Throb Tony Curtis ate Chicken Pickins in London


Tony Curtis made more than 135 movies during his 60-year show-business career, 1948-2006.

Yodelling in the Canyon, Mar. 31, 2016
By Barry Wells

After Yodeller columnist Dan (Scoop) Mailer spilled the beans about a young Walt Disney staying at Ma Butler's rooming house at the southwest corner of Queens Avenue and Clarence during the early 1920s in the Mar. 17th edition of The London Yodeller, I knew I'd have to dig deep for some column fodder to bring my A game to these pages.

So I went to my old standby, ace-in-the-hole, Sonny Drysdale, Hollywood's crackerjack agent to the stars. Sonny was born in London on Becher Street back in the days when drinking beer on a Sunday was a sin, so he knows everything about this town, including the name of the drunken justice of the peace who rode a Harley through Gord Kent's Silver Dollar on Dundas in 1947. He also remembers the time New York Yankees' catcher Yogi Berra rolled into Labatt Park with local ball hero Frank Colman in September of 1948 and when singer Nat King Cole walked into the 7 Dwarfs Restaurant for dinner in 1960.

According to Sonny, matinée idol, Tony Curtis (1925-2010), once dined at The Three Little Pigs Pentry (owned by city council member Earl Nichols) at 30 Wharncliffe Road North back in September of 1965. The Three Little Pigs Pentry, you may remember, was the place to go on Friday and Saturday nights after the bars closed in the '50s and early '60s.

Sonny says "Tony had a basket of chicken pickins, crinklecut fries and a cuppa coffee at The Pigs Pentry shortly after he completed the Stoney Curtis voice-overs for The Flintstones cartoon series. I was with him. We were on our way to Toronto to meet with Normie Panama, the producer of Not With My Wife, You Don't! Tony starred in that flick in '66 with pain-in-the-ass George C. Scott. I got Tony $375K for the part — a good payday back then for a comedy. Some of the movie was shot at the Goose Bay Air Base in Labrador. If it wasn't for the 15 cases of Canadian Club flown in, everyone would have frozen their asses off."


Tony Curtis at age 79 in 2004 (six years before he died in 2010) at his Henderson, Nevada home. Filmed by Stanley Sheff, who directed Curtis in the 1989 cult classic, Lobster Man from Mars.

read more (654 words) 2 comments
Most Recent Post: 04/03 08:49PM by Butch McLarty

 The Curse of London's river-killing, gremlin-infested Springbank Dam, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Wednesday, March 30 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT
 Viewed:  2,262 times  
Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Wed. Mar. 30 ===>

Three First Nations' communities want Springbank Dam decommissioned


Want to go Back to the River? Permanently decommission the Springbank Dam because a dam-created pond is not a river. The 1st step to understanding a river's complex ecosystem is to RESPECT the river. It's not a toy. It's home to a wide variety of species in the water, on the land and in the air.

BREAKING NEWS, MAR. 30: CTV-London's Daryl Newcombe broke the news on twitter last night that the three First Nations' communities downstream of the river-killing Springbank Dam ~ the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, the Oneida Nation of the Thames and the Munsee-Delaware Nation ~ have jointly sent a three-page letter (dated March 21, 2016) to Mayor Matt Brown of the City of London detailing why they collectively want the Springbank Dam decommissioned.

The letter was likely included on the Civic Works Committee agenda for March 22 and March 29 as an "added communication" under confidential cover.

Daryl Newcombe posted images of the three-page letter on twitter which enable the entire letter to be read.

Read the three-page letter HERE on AM980.

* More dam trouble for London's dam-loving rookie mayor, LFP, Mar. 30.


LONDON, ONTARIO: Raw and partially treated sewage discharged into the Thames River on March 24 and March 28, 2016

To date in 2016, 6,186 cubic metres of raw sewage and 24,733 cubic metres of partially treated sewage have been discharged into the Thames River from London's network of sewage treatment plants and pumping stations on three days: Feb. 24, Mar. 24 and Mar. 28, 2016.

To solve this ongoing problem during heavy rainfalls and snow melts, it's approximately a $300M fix to separate storm and sanitary sewer pipes in older parts of the city and increase capacities at London's network of six treatment plants and 36 pumping stations.

More info HERE.


Trump campaign manager charged with assaulting reporter, CBC, Mar. 29

Priest of Catholic Church in London admits blowing $500K on gambling, money meant to help refugees, TS, Mar. 28

CONFLICTING VISIONS FOR LONDON: Which national magazine or newspaper headline will it be for London?

1. "London a green leader: decommissions deadbeat dam, rare turtles flourishing"

Ward 1 Coun. Michael Van Holst, Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong, Ward 3 Coun. Mo Salih, Ward 6 Coun. Phil Squire, Ward 9 Coun. Anna Hopkins, Ward 10's Virginia Ridley, Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner and Ward 13 Coun. Tanya Park have indicated a willingness to help make the above headline a reality through their actions on city council.

2. "London freeze-dried in '40s: reactivates deadbeat dam, destroys rare turtle habitat"

Rookie Mayor Matt Brown and Deputy-Mayor Paul Hubert have indicated a willingness to make the above headline a reality through their actions on city council.


EA Decision delayed for the river-killing, gremlin-infested Springbank Dam

BREAKING NEWS, MAR. 22: After meeting in-camera (behind closed doors) to discuss, among other things, a confidential item regarding the Springbank Dam:

A matter pertaining to advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose and directions and instructions to officers and employees or agents of the municipality with respect to the Springbank Dam. (C1/4/CWC) ...

London City Council voted 15-0 in public session to defer any debate or decision on Springbank Dam's future tonight since Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner wanted additional legal advice regarding process with the proposed environmental assessment (EA).

In the days ahead, watch for First Nations' involvement to ramp up (there's three First Nations' communities downstream of the dam). They want the dam decommissioned as well, along with every other intelligent person in London and area.

* Springbank Dam decision delayed pending more legal advice regarding the EA, BN, Mar. 23

* London Free Press article HERE regarding the latest legal concerns about the EA, Mar. 23


MAR. 22: Rob Ford has died from cancer this morning at age 46, CBC, Mar. 22


When the river-killing, gremlin-infested Springbank Dam is eventually decommissioned, best to have an experienced Exorcist on hand to dispel the bad vibes and unclean spirits.
Rob Ford is sedated and in palliative care with possible terminal cancer, HS, Mar. 21

Key environmental assessment vote on Tuesday for the contentious Springbank Dam, LFP, Mar. 21

WHO STANDS WHERE

In favour of a combined, $700K environmental assessment for the dam and Back-to-the-River project:

Rookie mayor Matt Brown, councillors Maureen Cassidy, Jesse Helmer, Josh Morgan, Paul Hubert, Harold Usher (6)

Opposed: Councillors Mo Salih, Phil Squire, Anna Hopkins, Michael van Holst, Tanya Park, Stephen Turner, Bill Armstrong (7)

Undecided: Councillors Virginia Ridley, Jared Zaifman (2)


The Curse of the Springbank Dam and the possibility of Brown being a One-Term Mayor for being an ill-informed fool, LFP, Mar. 19


This is our goofy mayor Matt Brown's specious rationale for wanting to repair and reactivate the costly and unnecessary Springbank Dam, thereby further damaging the Thames River's ecosystem:

“What we have to do is recognize the Thames River in an urban setting,” the mayor said. “It’s surrounded by 381,000 people. It’s also part of a larger system that has close to 200 other structures as well as thousands of farms connected to it.

“We need to (make it) a priority to have this asset that is in the heart of our city to be as clean as possible. But it would be inaccurate to suggest that it could ever return to its natural state.”


The prerequisite for understanding how and why the Springbank Dam is bad for the Thames River is respect for the river. No respect, no understanding.
London's sewage overflows feed Lake Erie's critical algae problem, LFP, Mar. 18

City of London Management Staff and Downtown London thinks paying an out-of-town consultant $1.9M is the answer to the core's problems, LFP, Mar. 17

"A consultant looks at your watch and tells you what time it is." ~ Steve Garrison on AM980 with Craig Needles on March 17, 2016.
Frank Sinatra Jr. dies while on tour at age 72, BBC, Mar. 17

THE LONDON YODELLER

The Curse of London's river-killing, gremlin-infested Springbank Dam


A restored Toxic Pond at the river forks is the perfect home for strange amphibious river creatures, aka tourist attractions.

Yodelling in the Canyon, March 17, 2016
By Barry Wells

Ten months ago, this fine upstanding organ's editor, Herman Goodden, suggested I write a column about the broken Springbank Dam, located astride the main branch of the Thames River in Byron.

Initially, I was reluctant because — not only did I think the dam's eventual repair and reactivation were likely a done deal — there was no anticipated movement on the file for the next six months or so when a lawsuit involving the dam was scheduled to go to court in Jan. 2016. Further, I wasn't really interested in the subject!

Boy, that sure changed in a hurry after I stumbled across an online petition to decommission the dam, a petition crafted by Robert Huber, president of the Thames River Anglers Association.

The 2500-name petition, finally presented to the Civic Works Committee for its Mar. 8, 2016 public participation meeting at city hall, is notable for its detailed and informative preamble, explaining how devastating the recreational Springbank Dam is to the river's ecosystem, including at-risk species.

Here's an excerpt from the petition's preamble:

"Springbank Dam was constructed at the current site along the Upper Thames River within the City of London in 1929 to create a reservoir for recreational use. It held back water from Spring until Fall and did not serve any flood control or hydroelectric purpose. While the dam was operational independent studies were completed showing that the water had elevated levels of phosphorus and e-coli nearly 55 times higher than provincially acceptable levels.

"The water contained in the reservoir was deemed not safe for direct human contact and threatens many at risk and endangered species of fish, amphibians, plants and wildlife. After the dam was damaged in 2000 a full rebuild was completed in 2008 and on the first test one of the doors was damaged. Since then it has remained open allowing the Thames, a designated Canadian Heritage River, to run free ..."

Needless to say I was intrigued, so I began researching the Springbank Dam and dams generally, online. It became apparent that, while every dam is different in size, design and purpose, all dams are devastating to the respective rivers dammed. In a nutshell, dams in rivers are the equivalent of blood clots in our veins.

My first column on the dam appeared in The Yodeller's May 28th edition last year.


There's some strange Mojo at work in the river swirling around the Springbank Dam.

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Most Recent Post: 03/25 06:46PM by mindtwister

 2015 Study shows Turtles at Risk making Big Comeback without the negative impact of Springbank Dam Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Wednesday, March 16 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT
 Viewed:  2,132 times  
"If you're going to tell people the truth, be funny or they'll kill you." ~ Billy Wilder (1906-2002) was an Austrian-born, American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films.
The mayor and civic administration have a credibility problem with the Springbank Dam combined EA proposal, TMR, Mar. 10

Strong undercurrents in Springbank Dam debate, LFP, Mar. 10

Temperatures rising in the Springbank Dam EA Showdown, CTV, Mar. 10

SPRINGBANK DAM ~ THE ENVIRONMENT ~ BACK TO A HEALTHY THAMES RIVER

THE DAMBUSTER: 2015 Study shows Turtles at Risk making Big Comeback without the negative impact of a working Springbank Dam

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Springbank Reservoir Reptiles-At-Risk Study (2015): Documentation and Study of Species-At-Risk Reptiles Along the Former Springbank Dam Reservoir

By Scott Gillingwater
Species-at-Risk Biologist, UTRCA

"This is the executive summary of a 2015 report I authored entitled: Springbank Reservoir Reptiles At Risk Study: Documentation and Study of Species At Risk Reptiles Along the Former Springbank Dam Reservoir. It covers some of my research on reptiles at risk over the past two decades in West London." ~ SG

Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
1424 Clarke Road London, Ontario, N5V 5B9
519.451.2800 Ext. 236 | Fax: 519.451.1188
gillingwatersATthamesriver.on.ca | www.thamesriver.on.ca


A reptiles-at-risk research and recovery program has been ongoing since 1994 throughout the Upper Thames River Watershed, providing monitoring and study of rare and declining turtle and snake species in this region. The West London area, from Harris Park to Springbank Dam, has been of particular interest with regard to changes experienced along the Thames River due to a non-functioning water control structure (Springbank Dam).

In some cases, water control structures can cause unforeseen and often detrimental effects to wildlife, including changes to, or loss of, habitat necessary for various life processes. During two decades of reptile studies throughout the City of London, we have documented changes to the landscape and the effects on wildlife. The significant ecological changes to the river and adjacent floodplain habitat, since the dam has been inoperable, have been notably positive for some species found in this region, including at-risk turtles.

The Spiny Softshell Turtle [pictured above left with Scott Gillingwater] is designated as Threatened both Federally and Provincially due to low and declining populations, significant threats to both habitat and individuals, and increasing stressors on this species throughout its small Canadian range. The Thames River maintains the largest known concentration of Spiny Softshell Turtles in Canada. An estimated 1000 to 2500 adult softshell turtles are thought to remain in Canada, all of which are limited to a small number of river and lake sites in southern Ontario, and two locations in southern Quebec. One of the primary threats to this species is habitat loss.

Turtle surveys and research in West London have been ongoing since the mid-1990s, with significant ecological changes being observed in recent years. During the 2015 season, the largest single nesting aggregation of softshell turtles ever recorded in the City of London, and the fourth largest known along the entire Thames River was documented. The oviposition (nesting) site where these nests were located would not exist if Springbank Dam were in operation.

Additionally, five other oviposition sites and numerous nursery, thermoregulation, and foraging sites were located in areas that previously, while Springbank Dam was in use, were not suitable for Spiny Softshell Turtles. Softshell turtles show fidelity to habitats necessary for survival; a number of such areas of habitat have become available since the operation of Springbank Dam halted, of which now appear vitally important to the recovery potential of these at-risk turtles.

In 2015, surveys were conducted from May to October within the former footprint of the Springbank Reservoir. A total of 50 Spiny Softshell Turtle nests were located within the target area, resulting in 468 hatchling turtles emerging from eggs and entering the river.

Surveys in this area also resulted in observations of 87 additional Spiny Softshell Turtles (Threatened), 203 Northern Map Turtles (Species of Special Concern) and 34 Snapping Turtles (Species of Special Concern).

The 2015 surveys have shown a dramatic and unparalleled increase in at-risk turtles to this area, since the dam has been out of commission. In comparison, of records available from 1905 to 2006 (UTRCA, OMNRF Natural Heritage Information Centre), while the dam was in operation, only a small handful of observations were recorded in the same stretch of river, and only patchily distributed. Since the dam has not been in use, Spiny Softshell Turtle and Northern Map Turtle ranges throughout West London have expanded due to greatly improved habitat and resource opportunities.


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Most Recent Post: 03/18 06:00PM by Butch McLarty

 There's No Business like Show Business, Anymore, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Monday, March 14 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT
 Viewed:  1,811 times  
Blowing the biggest political story in the last 50 years, M&C, ar. 13

The shocking story isn't the rise of Donald Trump but how the GOP slowly morphed into a party of hate and obstruction.
The mayor and civic administration have a credibility problem with the Springbank Dam combined EA proposal, TMR, Mar. 10

Strong undercurrents in Springbank Dam debate, LFP, Mar. 10

Temperatures rising in the Springbank Dam EA Showdown, CTV, Mar. 10

Civic Works Committee recommends combined EA by a 4-2 vote; goes to council on Mar. 22 LFP, Mar. 9

Voting for the combined "One River, One Jesus, One God" EA at committee on March 8th were rookie Mayor Matt Brown, Jesse Helmer, Maureen Cassidy and Josh Morgan; Opposing the combined EA were Anna Hopkins and Michael Van Holst.
London's engineering and planning departments clearly need to take an introductory course in river aquatics. There's more to urban life than concrete and bricks. Somehow city hall staff missed the environmental movement and the concept of an aquatic ecosystem.
Springbank Dam a hot topic at city hall and across the city, LFP, Mar. 8

What to do with the unnecessary Springbank Dam? ORA, Mar. 7

Damn those weasels at the dam, TMR, Mar. 6

Trying to tie the Back-to-the-Black-Lagoon project to the Springbank Dam via a combined Environmental Assessment is blatant political maneuvering by those who want the dam repaired and want the higher water levels at the river forks.

Such shenanigans compromise the integrity of the EA process.

The environmental issues with the two projects are completely different in both scope and significance and as such deserve separate EAs.


Support for a free-flowing river continues to grow

Respecting a river means you'd never dam it unnecessarily. A stagnant pond created by a dam is not a river, let alone a healthy one. Let the river run free.

Nancy Branscombe, who served on city council from 2006 to 2014, is also urging city council to decommission the Springbank Dam.

"For me, under no circumstance should we be fixing it," said Branscombe on The Craig Needles Show on AM980 (March 4).

"I think it’s going to be a black hole and we’re going to be ruing the day that we ever agreed to fix it because I don’t think it’s repairable," she added.

SPRINGBANK DAM: In addition to Irene Mathyssen, the NDP MP for London-Fanshawe, former Mayor Joni Baechler, former Coun. Nancy Branscombe, former Coun. Cheryl Miller, Ward 1 Coun. Michael Van Holst, Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong, Ward 3 Coun. Mo Salih, Ward 6 Coun. Phil Squire, Ward 9 Coun. Anna Hopkins, Ward 10 Coun. Virginia Ridley, Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner, Ward 13 Coun. Tanya Park, Mike Bloxam, chair of the City's Advisory Committee on the Environment, Dean Sheppard, executive director of ReForest London, lifelong environmentalists David and Winnifred Wake and former Urban League of London president Gloria McMinn-McTeer (2000-2003), the following groups have come out swinging for the permanent decommissioning or removal of this costly but unnecessary dam in the Thames River, due to the dam's negative effects on the river's ecosystem, both in London and downstream:

The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation; Oneida Nation of the Thames; Munsee-Delaware Nation; World Wildlife Fund-Canada; Ontario Rivers Coalition; Thames River Anglers Association; Nature London; Trout Unlimited Canada; Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters; Earthroots; Western Ontario Fish & Game Protective Association; Forest City Fly Fishing Club; the Urban League of London; the City of London's Advisory Committee on the Environment and the Byron Community Organization.


Could the City be on the hook for $2.8M if it doesn't fix Springbank Dam? Not likely, CTV, Mar. 4

The Urban League of London opposes the repair and reactivation of the costly, unnecessary and river-killing Springbank Dam, ULL, Mar. 3

Community activists and everyday citizens alike have begun to mobilize to make the river-killing Springbank Dam ("Matt Brown's Folly") a civic election issue in 2018. It appears we need a new mayor, one with some mature, critical thinking skills in the environmental department.
Conversations with the Artist, Philip Aziz, LFP, Mar. 3

London's ongoing sewage overflows upstream of Springbank Dam are contributing to Lake Erie's growing algae problem, LFP, Mar. 2

THE LONDON YODELLER

There's No Business like Show Business, Anymore


The J. Arthur Rank Corporation gong; J. Arthur Rank Corporation was the parent company of Odeon Theatres (Canada) Ltd.

Yodelling in the Canyon, March 3, 2016
By Barry Wells

"Without promotion, something terrible happens ... nothing!" — Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891).

Forty-two years ago on March 4, 1974 I started a full-time job in the magical world of show business as a manager-trainee with the Odeon chain of movie theatres — a subsidiary of Britain's J. Arthur Rank Corporation. The pay wasn't much to start (a mere $100 a week), but it was clean, suit-and-tie work with all the free movies, hot buttered popcorn and ice-cold soft drinks I could handle.

Eddie Leigh (1927-1997), the manager and master showman of Odeon 1 and 2 in downtown London (1962-1987), hired me after I'd responded to a classified newspaper advertisement. At the time, American Graffiti, the Francis Ford Coppola-George Lucas film starring Candy Clark, Richard Dreyfus, Bo Hopkins, Ron Howard and Cindy Williams, was playing in Odeon 1 with The Paper Chase, starring Timothy Bottoms, John Houseman and Lindsay Wagner, playing upstairs in Odeon 2.

Since afternoon matinees were still standard fare in London's downtown movie theatres, I kicked off each day at 12 noon to the sounds of popcorn popping and Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock. At the time, adult admission to watch a movie was $2.75 (soon to rise to $3 and $3.25) and a hot dog at the "candy bar" was a quarter, as was a box of plain popcorn.

For the next four months, Eddie Leigh showed me the managerial ropes before I was transferred to Odeon Kitchener to work under manager Eric Ball and his assistant manager, Randy Fuller, a cousin of Canadian First Nations actor Jay Silverhills, who played Tonto in the 1950s' TV series, The Lone Ranger.

My duties included everything from payroll, box office and candy bar operations to supervising cashiers, ushers, candy girls and projectionists, banking and movie promotions; so there were a wide variety of tasks to perform on a daily and weekly basis, including preparing a fat package of reports for Odeon's Canadian head office in Toronto.

According to former Odeon manager and retired district supervisor, Lindsay Martyn, "every theatre manager had their special skills and Eddie Leigh's was showmanship. He must have shown the promotional ropes to 50 manager-trainees over the years. Head office sent them to Odeon London for a reason."

Mr. Martyn says Eddie won many Canadian and North American showmanship awards: "At various times, there were stories about his award-winning ways in all the film industry magazines — Variety, Box Office, Motion Picture Herald and Canadian Film Digest.

"Eddie won a Chevrolet Caprice Classic for his promotion of the 1976 movie, Car Wash, an award for his work on the movie, The Battle of Britain [his promotion included organizing a veteran's parade down Dundas Street] and a cash prize for designing the best newspaper advertisement in Canada for the movie, Funny Lady, starring Barbara Streisand," says Martyn.

A DIFFERENT ERA: Martyn says such promotions by individual theatre managers are now a thing of the distant past. "Today, a movie distributor wouldn't dream of letting a manager alter their promotional material for newspapers. Everything is sent from New York or wherever."


read more (430 words) 1 comments
Most Recent Post: 03/06 05:03AM by Butch McLarty

 For the March 8, 2016, Public Participation Meeting Agenda Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Wednesday, March 02 2016 @ 12:01 AM EST
 Viewed:  1,228 times  
Civic Meetings-Events in London, ON, from Wed. Mar. 2 ===>


AltLondon's contact e-mail: barrywells7ATyahoo.ca, including advertising enquiries and news tips. Woodward & Bernstein are standing by, 24-7.

Enforcer Robert Frid's life after minor pro hockey with a concussed brain, G&M, Feb. 27

1st sewage overflow event of 2016 on Feb 24; 9.33 hours of partially treated sewage from Greenway (1,345 cubic metres), CoL, Mar. 1

2015's raw and partially treated sewage overflows into the Thames River from London's sewage treatment plants, CoL, Feb. 27

Chris Tasker, P.Eng, Mgr. Flood Control, UTRCA, said at the Urban League of London meeting on Feb. 25th, that the Thames River's ecosystem from the river forks to Byron is healthier WITHOUT the Springbank Dam working.

Sadly, self-serving and/ or uninformed dam supporters stubbornly refuse to accept the widely known aquatic science that barriers in rivers damage the river's ecosystem, including the shoreline habitat for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, some of which are species at risk.

No self-respecting canoeist would ever prefer a toxic pond over a free-flowing river.

"The river has noticeably healed itself since the dam was left open in 2008 allowing the water to flow freely. A public consultation meeting has been scheduled for March 8 and there is way more opposition to completing the dam rehabilitation than there was in 2003," says the UTRCA's general manager Ian Wilcox.


What's so Bad about Dams Anyways? AR, Feb. 27

Toxic Spray of the Blackburn Fountain at the Forks needs to part of the Environmental Assessment, Alt, Feb. 25

BREAKING, Feb. 25: The Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee has voted 14-1 to set aside $700K for the Back-to-the River/ Springbank Dam EA with another $5M set aside for the Back-to-the River project pending the outcome of the EA and project costing.

City Engineer John Braam says much of the (18-month-long) EA will be about water levels at the forks despite the fact the Back-to-the-River contestants were explicitly told to design their proposals for both a working dam and a decommissioned one.

COMMENT: The City doesn't want to go Back to the River. They want to go back to a stagnant headpond for six months of the year via the dam. "Back to the Toxic Pond" would be a more accurate name for the project because it's clear they have no real respect nor use for a free-flowing river.


CITY HALL ~ SPRINGBANK DAM

For the March 8, 2016, Public Participation Meeting Agenda

Chair and Members
Civic Works Committee
The Corporation of the City of London


Re: The costly and unnecessary Springbank Dam; Fountain at the Forks

I am steadfastly opposed to the repair and reactivation of the river-killing Springbank Dam but also wish to point out the following information:

If and when a combined EA is undertaken for the Back-to-the-River project and the Springbank Dam, the health effects of the toxic spray of the Walter J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain at the forks needs to be examined during the EA since the fountain, installed in 2009, has never operated with the Springbank Dam working, spraying the more polluted water impounded by the dam (the fountain uses recycled river water).

As some on city council may remember, the fountain project was stopped in its tracks about 15 years ago by then Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Graham Pollett due to human health and safety concerns with the toxic spray (including E. coli and benzenes) of such a fountain (the carcinogenic coal tar blob was never completely removed from the river near Thames Park).

The fountain project was subsequently allowed to proceed when the fountain was designed with wind sensors to try and keep the toxic spray from hitting the shore. Nonetheless, this toxic spray continues to hit the shore at various times and as such represents a human health hazard.

DAM: I've heard four specious arguments from Springbank Dam supporters to date regarding repairing and reactivating the unnecessary dam:

1. You can't canoe or kayak on the Thames River without the Springbank Dam working, particularly in the summer.

RESPONSE: False. While water levels are obviously lower without the Springbank Dam working, people still canoe and kayak on the main branch of the Thames all the time, even in the summer. Rowing, not so much. That's happening at Fanshawe Lake where there's a national rowing and training facility.


read more (347 words) 2 comments
Most Recent Post: 03/02 12:14PM by Butch McLarty

 $1.2M property sale jeopardizes Philip Aziz's legacy project, by Barry Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Thursday, February 25 2016 @ 12:01 AM EST
 Viewed:  1,407 times  
THIS JUST IN, FEB. 24: AM980's resident right-wing ranter, Andrew Lawton, says he doesn't like Donald Trump as a GOP presidential candidate, but he still favours Trump over either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton of the Democrats, because, you know, those Democrats are sane and dangerous.
Orser might drive for UberX, LFP, Feb. 22

He'd be able to put that set of tires he scored on the taxpayers' dime on the way out the door in 2014 to good use.
UberX Driver from Hell randomly kills six people in Kalamazoo, P1, Feb. 21


Jason Brian Dalton, 45, your friendly neighbourhood UberX Driver from Hell

TRUMPED: Jeb puts on the vanishing cream

BREAKING NEWS, FEB. 20: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has dropped out of the GOP presidential race after spending $150M.

"I couldn't get any traction thanks to my goofy brother, George, who was the worst president in the history of the U.S.A."


The media are misleading the public on the War in Syria, BG, Feb. 19

Justin Trudeau is right to end Canada's bombing campaign in this Syrian snakepit of smoke and mirrors

Removing Dams, Restoring Rivers, S, Feb. 19

" ... a significant factor in recent dam removal efforts is to restore the rivers and the natural flows for fish and wildlife, and reinstate the natural sediment and nutrient flow. We’ve seen a desire from the public to restore their surroundings back to their natural state."
Springbank Dam-loving mayor cites London's green initiatives. Huh? LFP, Feb. 18

MATT BROWN"S FOLLY: A mayor wanting to repair and reactivate the costly and unnecessary Springbank Dam is environmentally regressive and freeze-dried in the 1940s.
Let the River Run Free: Decommission Springbank Dam


THE LONDON YODELLER

$1.2M property sale jeopardizes Philip Aziz's legacy project


Artist Philip Aziz talking about his life and his art during a four-part documentary made about a year before he died in Sept. 2009 at age 86.

Yodelling in the Canyon, Feb. 18, 2016
By Barry Wells

"The Philip Aziz foundation is newly established. The purpose of it is to help artists who have talent who are coming up and need to have some exposure ... to enable them to proceed with their artwork with enthusiasm. There's so many artists and it's difficult for them to get a foothold, to get established in the art world ... In addition to that, the foundation also looks after my own art and keeps it together and looked after and safeguarded. It's to be exhibited here in this gallery for the public to come in and view it. The foundation has many ramifications, really." — London artist Philip J. Aziz in 2008 (YouTube documentary).

Earlier this month on Feb. 1st, I received confirmation from a trusted source that the historic Aziz property at 150 Philip Aziz Avenue, immediately south of Thompson Recreation and Athletic Centre, had been purchased by Western University, effective Dec. 1, 2015. After several phone calls I put together an exclusive story for AltLondon.org which was subsequently picked up by The London Free Press two days later on Feb. 3rd. The Free Press story reported the purchase price of $1.2M.

The story was newsworthy for several reasons, including the fact artist Philip Aziz (Apr. 15, 1923-Sept. 13, 2009) had told many people over the years (as well as me) he had no intention whatsoever of selling his heritage-designated home, studio and showpiece art gallery to Western, nor to anyone else for that matter.

In fact, Mr. Aziz had directed his live-in Man Friday, Barry Callow, to incorporate a registered charity, the Philip Aziz Foundation of Art, to operate an arts centre on-site after his death, utilizing his stand-alone studio and art gallery Philip built in 1967 as his Canadian Centennial project. Finally receiving registered charitable status in 2008, preliminary plans were in the works to expand the gallery so other artists could showcase their work in addition to Philip's.

So what the hell happened?

Unfortunately, the Aziz foundation struggled from the get-go in 2008 for a variety of reasons, including personnel changes to the foundation's fledgling board of directors, a split between the board and Mr. Callow (who at one time was the executive director of the foundation) and a will contested by Aziz's surviving family members; a will amended when Philip was bedridden in University Hospital on Aug. 10, 2009, a month before his cancer-related death at age 86 on Sept. 9, 2009.

Then there was another legal dispute involving the estate, power of attorney signing rights and Philip's sister over a disputed $425,000, which was eventually settled out of court, according to foundation board chair, Julie Misener, a former executive assistant to Liberal MPP Khalil Ramal in the riding of London-Fanshawe (2003-2011).

After the dust finally settled six years later, Barry Callow, estate co-executor and also a beneficiary to the tune of at least $200K, says the property sale was necessary to pay the estate's bills, including legal bills of about $500K. Too bad, because the treed land on the hill was meant to be the headquarters of the Aziz foundation in perpetuity.


 Unusual series of events has given London a chance to embrace a more exciting relationship with the Thames River, by B.A. Wells Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Butch McLarty
 Dated:  Wednesday, February 17 2016 @ 12:01 AM EST
 Viewed:  1,403 times  
Dr. McLarty's Complaint of the Day™

NEW FEATURE: Dr. McLarty's Complaint of the Day™: "I bought a few tins of Campbell's Chunky Soup recently ~ new lines of soup ~ and I needed a microscope to see the so-called chunks."

Have a complaint? E-mail barrywells7ATyahoo.ca with the details. If we use your complaint, you'll win two tickets to a London Majors baseball game (regular season) at historic Labatt Park for the upcoming season.


Zap, 2015 sewage overflow data removed from the City's website. Why dat?

The link to the City's 2015 Sewage Overflow Data has been restored as of 11 am, Tues. Feb. 16


Raw and partially treated sewage Bypass and Overflow activity into the Thames River by London's sewage treatment plants, City of London

* The City of London has recently removed its 2015 Sewage Overflow info from its Overflow page. Interesting. 2015 was a very heavy year for sewage overflows into the Thames River. I've contacted the City's webmaster asking when the link will be restored.

The link to the City's 2015 Sewage Overflow Data has been restored as of 11 am, Tues. Feb. 16

And Springbank Dam supporter Deputy-Mayor Paul Hubert (pictured left) thinks the Thames River is cleaner and healthier these days because there's less sewage going into the river. Unfortunately, Hubert's theory is not supported by the data, now removed from the City's website. Developing ...

On a related subject, the Walter J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain at the river forks blows around river water. To date, the fountain has only operated (since 2009) when the dam was been broken.

If the dam is repaired and reactivated, the fountain will be blowing around river water with even more bacteria and coal tar blob carcinogens in the headpond. What are the increased health risks associated with this new scenario?

It's time to get the highly paid Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie, involved in this important health matter. Inhaling E. coli-laced water spray and airborne benzenes is not good.


Stantec gets paid here, Stantec gets paid there, so Stantec has a conflict when it comes to Springbank Dam

So Stantec is the consultant for the West London Dyke Master Repair Plan and Civitas-Stantec is the winner of the design contest for the Back-to-the River design contest at the river forks ... and the City of London wants the Municipal Environmental Assessment (EA) for the West London Dyke Replacement Project, the Back to the River Project and Springbank Dam to be a combined EA ~ a so-called "One River holistic one."

Seems to me like the EA for Springbank Dam should be a comprehensive, stand-alone one removed from Stantec's involvement since Stantec will be participating in any combined EA and Stantec is already receiving big bucks from the City of London.

On the other hand, this link (below) clearly shows Stantec Engineering-Consulting is very aware that dam removal or dam decommissioning projects help to restore a river's ecosystem, which is good. Perhaps they should inform the honchos at city hall about this growing movement across North America. STANTEC LINK HERE.


U.S. Conservative Supreme Court Judge Justice Antonin Scalia has reportedly died in his sleep (Feb. 12-13) at a fancy ranch-resort in Texas after a day of watching others hunt quail. He was 79 years old.

There will be no autopsy nor was there an examination of the body before Scalia's death was declared a "natural one" after a few questions were asked over the telephone.


In response to dam defender, Barry Callow, LFP, Feb 12

SPRINGBANK DAM & THE ENVIRONMENT

An unusual series of events has given London a chance to embrace a far more exciting relationship with the Thames River, one where nature is respected and embraced


Osprey nesting at Labatt Park at the river forks. PHOTO: The London Free Press

By Barry Wells
Fri. Feb. 12, 2016
barrywells7@yahoo.ca

When a surging Thames River damaged the old stop-log Springbank Dam in Byron on July 9, 2000, most people in London thought it was a bad thing.

Then when a hydraulic gate failed on the unnecessary Springbank Dam on June 19, 2008 — after about $6.8M had been spent on the redesigned dam — once again most people in London thought it was more bad news.

The truth is, however, the above two events are the best things to happen to the dam, the river and the city in years and as time goes on, more and more people in London will start to see it that way as well — even those who wanted the dam repaired and reactivated in the past — because it's a classic example of a serendipitous learning opportunity presenting itself to those who'd never thought about what a dam does to a river before.

Namely, dams create stagnant (and warmer) reservoirs, impound toxic pollutants decreasing water quality, destroy shoreline habitat, impair the movement of aquatic life and generally create a less healthy, less diverse ecosystem. It's why dams are called "river killers" by aquatic biologists in the know.

We won't even get into London's five sewage treatment plants and 36 pumping stations upstream of the Springbank Dam that dump lots of raw and partially treated sewage into the Thames during heavy rainfalls and snowmelts due to co-joined storm and sanitary pipes in older parts of the city. A problem needing about $337M of public cash to fix.

And don't fall for the nonsense that people can't canoe or kayak on the Thames River with the Springbank Dam broken because it happens all the time, even in the summer.

London, through a series of unusual events, now has a glorious chance to embrace a far more exciting relationship with the Thames River for the first time in the city's 161-year history. One involving respect for nature and focused on a cleaner, healthier river, a river teeming with life, including 90 species of fish and several at-risk species under the federal Species at Risk Act and provincial Endangered Species Act, 2007.


A mature Spiny Softshell Turtle, categorized as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, 2007. A working dam destroys its shoreline habitat.

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Most Recent Post: 02/13 03:32AM by Butch McLarty

  Guy Lombardo's Tempo VII Hydroplane ~ The Sweetest Boat This Side of Heaven  ?



The nesting Ospreys at Labatt Park first developed their love for baseball while wintering in Venezuela. LONDON FREE PRESS PHOTO

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 (dmenardATlondon.ca) 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.