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.
||Thursday, March 29 2012 @ 01:42 AM EDT
| London city council deserves a 66% hike in pay to $50-K a year says Mayor Joe, LFP, Mar. 28
SURPRISE SURPRISE: After the team's 10th straight loss at the Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs can now officially take their winning ways to the golf course.
BREAKING NEWS: A pedestrian struck by a train near the Maitland Street CN tracks around 11 am this morning (Mar. 27) has died. Developing ...
More nonsense from the usual suspects on city council
THIS JUST IN: Mayor Joe (Mr. 0%) Fontana not only supports a 3.1%-increase for London's council members, he says he'd also support a whopping 66%-increase for London's ward councillors, to bring them up to $50-K annually.
Ward 4 Coun. Steve (Swag Boy) Orser, who purports to be "full-time," is again pounding his lonely tom-tom in favour of making London's ward councillors full-time.
Currently, six or seven ward councillors out of the 14 have full-time jobs in addition to their duties as council members.
If the position of council member is ever deemed "full-time," many competent people in London could never realistically run for city council.
Further, the role of council is to set policy, not micro-manage the City's affairs. We have full-time City staff to implement policy set by council and handle the day-to-day problems of the municipality.
As usual, Orser's self-serving brain wave would make for lousy public policy.
Western's Sunshine List, WN, Mar. 26
Ontario Court of Appeal's 148-page 'prostitution decision' released Mar. 26
BREAKING NEWS, MAR. 25: FINAL ~ London Lightning 116, Halifax Rainmen 92. London wins the inaugural championship of the National Basketball Association of Canada.
Looks like the worst London city council in decades is about to vote themselves a pay hike. Think of it as 'retention pay,'
CTVL, Mar. 24
LEFT TO RIGHT: Ward 4 Coun. Steve (Swag Boy) Orser, Ward 14 Coun. Sandy (Sandbox) White, Ward 9 Coun. Dale (I've Got an Idea) Henderson
LONDON IS THE CITY OF OPPORTUNITY AND TAXPAYER-FUNDED SWAG
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Mar. 26 to Fri. Mar. 30
BREAKING NEWS: Dan McLellan resigns as CTV-London's senior news anchor, CTVL, Mar. 23
Just in time for Mayor Joe's junket to China, Apr. 23 to Apr. 27, WT, Mar. 22
Information report going to the Finance and Administration Services Committee on Monday, March 26th regarding the former Normal School on Elmwood Avenue in London
BREAKING NEWS: The Halifax Rainmen have defeated the London Lightning 93-85 in Game 4 of the NBL finals to tie the series at two games each. The final and championship-deciding game is Sunday, March 25 at 2 pm at the John Labatt Centre in London.
East Village Coffeehouse moves to larger digs
BREAKING NEWS: The East Village Coffeehouse at 785 Dundas Street East in London will be moving from its cramped leased space after purchasing the building at 758 Dundas Street East ~ the northeast corner of Dundas Street East and English streets ~ a former Canada Trust branch back in the 1970s and 1980s.
The proprietors of the East Village Coffeehouse also had numerous problems with their landlord at the original location.
VIDEO: London city council meetings can make for great TV with ice-cold beer and some hot buttered popcorn, CTVL, Mar. 22
'Look, Mom and Dad, Councillor Henderson has dreamt up another brain wave to lead us to The Promised Land!'
Fleming Drive Riot on March 17, 2012
1. According to Police Chief Brad Duncan, the police had undercover cops on Fleming Drive monitoring the situation well before the riot broke out late in the evening.
2. Police Chief Brad Duncan is a member of Funshawe College's Board of Governors. (Did this affect his judgment not to use tear gas, for example?)
3. The worst student riot in London occurred on Oct. 19, 1984, at the Gatewood townhouse complex on Huron Street in northeast London. Tear gas was repeatedly used on 1,500 students.
4. Let's call a spade a spade: Fanshawe and Western attract students from across Canada and around the world. Think $. It was a political decision not to use tear gas to quell the riot and stop the property damage and arson.
4. I don't think a "nuisance by-law" that takes away rights for everyone in London is the answer. The City of London and the police already have enough power to deal with riots, property damage and arson.
||Thursday, March 22 2012 @ 12:15 AM EDT
|BREAKING NEWS: FINAL: Halifax Rainmen 95, London Lightning 93. Game 4 tomorrow in Halifax. London leads the championship basketball series 2 games to one.
Ward 9 Coun. Dale Henderson: not the sharpest knife in the drawer, LCW, Mar. 22
Public distrust of the 'Fontana 8' growing with the passage of time, TMR, Mar. 22
London Police identify those charged in Fleming Drive Riot, LPS, Mar. 21
You can watch Tuesday night's (Mar. 21) city council meeting on Rogers TV-London's website. London-born-and-raised Tommy Hunter, 75, was honoured at the start of the meeting, RTVL, Mar. 21
Museum London rhino vandals caught on security video, YT, Mar. 21
Frozen beef products recall, GoC, Mar. 20
A curious land rush in SOHO, TMR, Mar. 20
VIDEO: Since today is the first day of Spring, YT, Mar. 20
Happy 75th Birthday, Tommy Hunter! London, Ontario-born and played his final concert Tuesday night (Mar. 20) at the John Labatt Centre
Tommy Hunter was honoured at London city hall yesterday afternoon, prior to the city council meeting which started at 5 pm
Another 'pearl of wisdom' from the King of City Hall Swag
BUFFOONERY REDUX: London's King of City Hall Swag comments on the right of citizens to file written complaints with the Ombudsman of Ontario regarding open meetings:
"I'm concerned it could become a retaliatory weapon for people who don't like council's decisions." ~ Ward 4 Coun. Stephen Orser
By majority vote, London city council has selected the Ombudsman of Ontario as its "closed meeting investigator" and the process outlined here is the one Coun. Orser is suggesting is being abused or not in the public interest.
BREAKING NEWS: Ombudsman finds council's committee-of-the-whole did nothing wrong in Occupy London in-camera vote
THIS JUST IN, MARCH 19: The Ombudsman's final report regarding the Occupy London in-camera vote on Nov. 7, 2011, was faxed to London city hall today (Monday, March 19).
The eight-page Ombudsman's report can be read HERE.
The investigation of the Harmony Grand Buffet meeting by six members of London city council on Feb. 21 is a separate matter altogether.
Just round-up the damn punks, Joe!
CTV-LONDON NEWS VAN TORCHED: Funshawe students go apeshit on Fleming Drive in northeast London during St. Patrick's Day drunk-fest, CBC, Mar. 18
Watch a YouTube video of the St. Patrick's Day shenanigans here. The CTV-London news van explodes at the 53-second mark, YT, Mar. 18
The lighting in this video shows the faces of some of the St. Patrick's Day punks on Fleming Drive near Funshawe College, YT, Mar. 18
Another YouTube video of the hoolliganism last night and late last night and early this morning on Fleming Drive near Fanshawe College, YT, Mar. 18
THOUGHT DU JOUR: Who will be London's new city manager? We may know after Tuesday's city council meeting. The Well-Paid Job from Hell.
City standing committee chaired by Mayor Joe rents room away from city hall to hold upcoming, confidential Tuesday morning meeting (interviewing short-listed candidates for new city manager perhaps?)
Lots of meetings at London city hall (plus a Special Finance and Administration Services Committee meeting at the Ivey-Spencer Leadership Centre's Juniper Room on Windermere Road) from Mon. Mar. 19 to Fri. Mar. 23, CoL
The standard rental rate for the Juniper Room (pictured above) at the Ivey-Spencer Leadership Centre at 551 Windermere Road in London, Ontario, is $350-plus tax for a half day. City meetings at London city hall are free.
The only agenda item to be discussed at the Ivey-Spencer Leadership Centre (Juniper Room) is this: "CONFIDENTIAL (Confidential Appendix enclosed for Members only.) C-1. A matter pertaining to personal matters, including information regarding identifiable individual(s), including municipal employees, with respect to employment related matters, advice or recommendations of officers and employees of the Corporation including communications necessary for that purpose." Why dat? Is council chambers not good enough anymore?
BREAKING NEWS: Mayor Joe and Team London heading back to China, Apr. 23-27, in search of more Harmony Grand Buffets, CoL, Mar. 17
Claudette Sweitzer's obituary, the Mother of a close friend from old south London, LFP, Mar. 14
Time to get out of Dodge City
THIS JUST IN: Another one puts on the vanishing cream ~ David Ailles, the managing director of the development approvals business unit has resigned from the City of London.
This is in addition to top City bureaucrats Jeff Fielding, Pat McNally and Ron Standish, who all resigned effective Jan. 31, 2012.
London's media needs to start putting two and two together about why the City's senior bureaucrats are resigning or retiring. It's not too difficult to figure out what's going on.
Gina Barber comments on the sad state of affairs at city hall for staff and politicians alike these days, LCW, Mar. 14
'... there is an undercurrent of anxiety and depression around the place [city hall]. People are leaving for early retirement or greener pastures; others are making plans or fear they may have to. Itís affecting their performance on the job and their relationships at home.' ~ Gina Barber
London city hall baffles ombudsman, LFP, Mar. 14
HARMONY GRAND BUFFET: Fontana and Henderson admit City biz discussed, Polhill and Denise Brown deny it
Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser is now trying to justify the lunch meeting at the Harmony Grand Buffet by saying if they wanted to meet secretly, why would they do it in a public restaurant?
Ah, maybe because arrogance and stupidity are a dynamic combination just like sweet-and-sour chicken balls and vegetable rice?
To date, Mayor Fontana and Coun. Henderson have publicly admitted City business was discussed at the Harmony whereas Coun. Polhill and Coun. Denise Brown deny it.
To date, Orser's justification for the Feb. 21st lunch meeting at the Harmony (immediately prior to three meetings at London city hall) include the following:
1."I'll have din-din with whoever I want!" (CTV-London news clip)
2. Lunching at the Harmony with a select group of city council members is the same as eating during the dinner recess at city hall (where ALL members of council are invited, as well as City staff and the media); (print and local radio)
3. I want to know who made the complaints so I can "face my accuser." (print and local radio); (contrary to the Ombudsman Act.)
4. If we were up to no good, why would we meet in a public restaurant? (local radio)
Who knows, perhaps Coun. Orser was just giving away City of London watches and umbrellas at the Harmony?
GETTING HARMONIZED: Will the 'Harmony Six' need another clandestine meeting to get their respective stories straight? LFP, Mar. 13
OK, Henderson, if you switch your vote on the affordable housing reserve fund you'll be taken out to the woodshed. Now, what are we going to do about Hubert's budget survey?
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Mar. 12 to Fri. Mar. 16
BREAKING NEWS, MAR. 12: The Ombudsman of Ontario has launched an official investigation into the Feb. 21, 2012, lunch meeting of six city council members at the Harmony Grand Buffet ~ immediately prior to two standing committee meetings and the final 2012 council budget meeting at city hall.
An exclusive story first reported by AltLondon on the afternoon of Feb. 23 and picked up six days later by London's mainstream media.
Watch Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser's stunning performance for the CTV-London news camera from late last month here.
AltLondon's original exclusive can be found By Clicking Here and then scrolling down.
On an am980 news clip today, Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser tries to justify the Harmony lunch by saying it's no different than having dinner in city hall's 12th-floor cafeteria during council's dinner recess.
One big difference Orser neglects to mention is that ALL council members, City staff and local media members are also in attendance during the dinner recess at city hall.
At the Harmony on Feb. 21 (immediately prior to two standing committee meetings and the final budget council meeting), not all council members were invited, nor were any City staff or members of the local media invited.
There's another news clip on am980 today where Orser is demanding to know who the complainants are because he wants to "face his accuser."
Meanwhile back at the ranch, all complaints to the ombudsman are confidential, plus both the mayor and Ward 9 Coun. Henderson have already admitted City business was discussed at the Harmony and none of the six have denied they were there.
Further, if the Ombudsman used his statutory power pursuant to the Ombudsman Act to compel someone to give information to him, the testimony and identity of that individual would still remain confidential and protected.
If Coun. Orser can't understand how the Ombudsman's office works regarding the investigation of municipal meetings, how can he understand the often complex issues that regularly land on standing committee and council agendas?
Red-Light Cameras Q&A, City of Toronto
THOUGHT DU JOUR: Dr. Hardy Limeback, one of Canada's leading authorities on preventive dentistry and water fluoridation, says public drinking water fluoridation is unnecessary, harmful to human health and unethical (no informed consent).
WORTH NOTING: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
THIS JUST IN: The London Majors Baseball Club and Hamilton Cardinals of the Intercounty Baseball League will be playing an exhibition doubleheader at historic Labatt Park on Sunday, April 29th at 1 pm.
The Majors will also be hosting a 2nd exhibition doubleheader at Labatt Park on Sunday, May 6th at 1 pm against Michigan Jet Box Baseball Club.
BREAKING NEWS ~ Salvation Army: London's Bethesda Centre is set to close on June 30, 2012, unless $1.5-M can be raised from the public by May 31, 2012. LFP story here.
To donate and help save the Salvation Army's Bethesda Centre in London, Click Here.
New medical pot shop opens in London
THIS JUST IN (Sat. Mar. 10): Shop420 has just opened at 1472 Dundas Street East in London, Ontario.
Shop420 will help people with the process of getting their federal medical marijuana licences. Currently, there are estimated to be more than 400,000 Canadians self-medicating with marijuana and only 12,000 federal licences issued by Health Canada.
Shop420 also has outlets in Kitchener and Stratford, Ontario.
MEDIA CONVERGENCE: THE SLOW, PAINFUL DEATH OF CANADIAN JOURNALISM
Quebecor-Sun Media-London Free Press too cheap to pay the freight for its own National Newspaper Award finalists
After much thumping of its corporate hairy chest by The London Free Press (Two NNA nominations for Free Press, LFP, Mar. 8), AltLondon has learned all newsroom sluggos with the Sun Media-Quebecor newspaper chain must pay the freight associated with their own National Newspaper Award submissions and nominations (journos submit their own work for consideration), including costs of attending the "National Newspaper Awards show and banquet" ~ the annual, out-of-town circle jerk where the hardware is presented to tipsy award recipients.
So The London Free Press likes to blow its own NNA horn but for about the past six years has made its newsroom employees pay for this corporate recognition.
The 62nd annual NNA bun-fest will be held in Hogtown on Fri. Apr. 27, 2012, but it can be held in any major Canadian city from coast-to-coast (despite Mayor Joe's pipe dreams, London, Ontario, isn't considered a "major" Canadian city by the NNAs since the gala has never been held here).
Last year for example, it was held in Ottawa where tickets for the NNAs cost $180 each, plus HST ($203.40). Tables of eight were $1,440, plus 13% HST ($1,627.20).
EL CHEAPO: As an aside, Quebecor-Sun Media, which throws nickels around like manhole covers, is no longer involved with the Ontario Press Council nor subscribes to The Canadian Press news agency ~ both cost-cutting measures.
||Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 06:20 AM EST
|Blackfriars Bridge to re-open this afternoon (Fri. Mar. 9)
THIS JUST IN (Fri. Mar. 9): Historic Blackfriars Bridge, which connects Ridout Street North to Wharncliffe Road North, will reopen this afternoon by 2 p.m.
The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic recently in order for repair work to be carried out on the wooden deck surface. As scheduled, the work was completed within four weeks.
More solar storms on the way, SMH, Mar. 9
Noose tightening on robocalls perpetrator, NP, Mar. 9
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says pot should be legalized, AP, Mar. 9
BREAKING NEWS: Massive solar flare racing towards Earth, expected to hit on Thurs. Mar. 8 at 7 am and linger for 24 hours, S, Mar. 7
VIDEO: More info on the massive solar flare and its effects here, S, Mar. 7
It seems the Manning Centre for Building Democracy thinks voter suppression is an acceptable practice, JCVD, Mar. 6
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Mar. 5 to Fri. Mar. 9
Public safety minister Vic Toews targeted in second 'Anonymous' campaign, VO, Mar. 4
VIDEO: A hippo that had sweet-and-sour chicken balls for lunch, YT, March 4
LONDON CITY HALL ~ OPINION
Harmony Grand Buffet brouhaha and the Freedom of Association
'Under the Municipal Act, 2001, with limited exceptions, municipalities must hold their council, local board and committee meetings in public.' ~ Ontario's Ombudsman
The City of London has selected the Ombudsman of Ontario as its "closed meeting investigator"
Some people have been defending the right of members of city council to freely associate with each other and "have din-din" with whomever they want (including each other), while discussing City business.
Members of London city council can associate all they want to discuss City business during open meetings of standing committees, boards, commissions and/ or city council ~ with the public, City staff and the media invited.
The "danger zone" of impropriety as established by the Municipal Act, 2001, London's Council Procedure By-Law and the provincial ombudsman's office regarding closed meetings, is when they get together "in secret" with quorum-plus numbers to lay the groundwork for City decision-making.
"In secret" = without notifying all council members, the media, City staff and the public (via the media) of their meeting to discuss City business.
Remember, this quorum standard applies not only to city council but standing committees of council and all local boards or commissions, noting a standing committee of council exercises a statutory authority pursuant to a Council Procedure By-Law when it makes recommendations to city council. But it can only do so when it has a quorum.
An informal meeting of council members (with quorum) is more suspect when it occurs immediately before three official ones (including a final budget meeting, which is the most important council meeting of the year), as occurred on Feb. 21 at the Harmony Grand Buffet in London when six council members met, individuals who constituted quorums of two standing committees which met later that afternoon at city hall. And City business was discussed at the Harmony, according to Mayor Fontana and Ward 9 Councillor Dale Henderson.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out and protects the fundamental freedoms of citizens from government infringement, not government from citizens.
A quorum of a standing committee, board, commission or council is "government" when laying the groundwork for decision-making.
||Thursday, March 01 2012 @ 04:04 AM EST
|THIS JUST IN, MAR. 1: A Transportation Safety Board official says a VIA Rail train was travelling at four times the speed limit when it derailed near Burlington, Ontario.
Mayor Fontana says City business was discussed at Harmony Grand Buffet lunch meeting, LFP, Feb. 29
VIDEO: Mayor Fontana says he has nothing to hide, CTV-London, Feb. 29
VIDEO: Mayor Joe and The 5 Neat Guys go GOLD!, YT, Mar. 1
CTV-LONDON NEWS VIDEO: Orser's performance is priceless, YT, Feb. 28
WORTH NOTING: "I'll have din-din with whoever I want." ~ Ward 4 Councillor Steve Orser (from CTV-London news at 11 pm on Feb. 28).
AltLondon.org/ is now an honourary member of the Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team ~ OMLET
FROM TWITTER: Ontario Ombudsman @Ont_Ombudsman
Just finished drafting #occupy #LondonON city council closed meeting report.
The Old Boys' Land Development Club is officially back at London City Hall, LCW, Feb. 29
The meeting started with a complaint from Mayor Joe Fontana about why there was a public participation meeting to deal with a site plan review of two properties on which single family residences had been replaced with duplexes catering to a student population. ďThis should be a slam dunk,Ē he argued. ďWhy are we doing this?Ē
"Itís a requirement of the Official Plan," he was told.
Phil McLeod revisits the City Hall Swag issue, TMR, Feb. 29
Just a good ol' fashioned Wing-Ding at the Harmony Grand Buffet, LCN, Feb. 28
Hey Mr. Mayor, can you pass the gravy? 981freefm, Feb. 28
GET HARMONIZED AT THE GRAND BUFFET, am980, Feb. 28
THIS JUST IN (FEB. 27): Today, the London Rippers Baseball Club of the Frontier League moved into the office space (to sell Rippers tix and gear) of Money Plus X-Press ~ a payday loan and cheque-cashing business ~ in the Market Tower at Dundas and Richmond streets, a business operated by Tim Best, the former mayor's husband.
FOR CLARITY: AltLondon has recently learned that Tim Best's pay-day-loan-and-cheque-cashing business moved out of the Market Tower several months ago. It was independent of the London Rippers moving into Mr. Best's former office space at the Market Tower.
BREAKING NEWS: Missing woman last seen in London, Ontario, LPS. Feb. 27
BREAKING NEWS: Liberal staffer Adam Carroll responsible for 'Vikileaks' campaign against Vic Toews, CBC, Feb. 27
Not including police officers, London Hydro, the LTC, LEDC, Museum London and the London Public Library, here's the $100-K Club on the civic public payroll in London, Ontario, CoL, Feb. 27
BREAKING NEWS: Finance and Administrative Services Committee voted this afternoon to spend a maximum of $450-K on sound and light show during the 10-day, World Skating Championships at the JLC. Fontana, Baechler and Hubert (3) supported the expenditure. Branscombe and Denise Brown (2) opposed it. Recommendation must be approved by full council, CoL, Feb. 27
Ward 3 Coun. Joe Swan and Ward 5 Coun. Joni Baechler in a post-mortem interview regarding the 2012 City Budget on Rogers TV-London
BREAKING NEWS VIDEO: Eastbound VIA-passenger-train derails in Burlington around 3:30 pm Sunday, three VIA staff dead, 42 passengers injured, three seriously, HS, Feb. 26
VIA Rail Media Release, Feb. 26
Gina Barber writes about City Hall Swag, LCW, Feb. 27
Alice Gibb receives Lifetime Achievement Award from ACO
THIS JUST IN: London author-historian-and-heritage-supporter Alice Gibb received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO)-London Branch's Fifth Annual Heritage Awards Gala at the Elsie Perrin Williams Estate on Tues. Feb. 21, 2012. Congratulations, Alice! Well-deserved!
The King of City Hall Swag Rides Again, am980, Feb. 24
Orser keeps a trunk-full of City of London swag in his vehicle, LFP, Feb. 25
'Orser said his spending is higher than that of other councillors because of extra time he devotes to the job.
Part of his tab was for souvenirs promoting London, said Orser, who keeps his car trunk full of umbrellas, coffee mugs and T-shirts bearing London's name and logo.'
Civic Meetings in London, Ontario, Mon. Feb. 27 to Fri. Mar. 2
Majority of City Council acting like arrogance personified, TMR, Feb. 25
At one time, you were simply taken out to the woodshed, nowadays you just eat until full, LCW, Feb. 24
Guy Lombardo's Tempo VII and the Miss Supertest III hydroplanes will be on display at the Western Fair's Boat Show this weekend, WF, Feb. 24
LONDON CITY HALL
BREAKING NEWS: Meeting of six council members at Harmony Grand Buffet last Tuesday at noon raises questions about possible Municipal Act breach
This exclusive story was originally posted on AltLondon during the afternoon of Thurs. Feb. 23, 2012
UPDATE, FEB. 25: AltLondon has learned that two written complaints have been filed with Ontario's Ombudsman regarding the strategy session at the Harmony Grand Buffet on Feb. 21
VIDEO: London's new city hall for 'sensitive meetings'
AltLondon has learned from an extended family-member-eye-witness that six (6) members of London city council met last Tues. Feb. 21, shortly before 12 noon at the Harmony Grand Buffet at 304 Talbot Street (at York) in London, immediately prior to a meeting of the Investment and Economic Prosperity Committee at 1 pm at city hall, a meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee at 1:15 pm and a key meeting of City Council at 3 pm, where the controversial 2012 budget was finalized later that evening.
At the offsite lunch-strategy meeting were: Mayor Joe Fontana, Ward 1 Councillor Bud Polhill, Ward 4 Councillor Steve Orser, Ward 9 Councillor Dale Henderson, Ward 10 Councillor Paul Van Meerbergen and Ward 11 Councillor Denise Brown (6).
The only two members of the so-called "Fontana Eight" voting block absent from the strategy session were: Ward 3 Councillor Joe Swan and Ward 14 Councillor Sandy White.
Worth noting is that Councillor Henderson supported the $1-million reduction to the new affordable housing reserve fund at council after the meeting at the Harmony Grand Buffet ~ when he'd previously told the local media the day before he was going to oppose the reduction. As a result, the $1-million reduction to the new affordable housing reserve fund lost on a 8-7 vote at city council on Feb. 21.
The question remains, 'Who picked up the restaurant tab?' Surely, not on City of London plastic! That would be just too rich.
The problem with the offsite lunch-strategy meeting by council members can be found in section 239 of Ontario's Municipal Act, 2001 and London's Council Procedure By-Law, which regulate "meetings" of committees and municipal council members and when such meetings must be held in public session wilth all council members, relevant City staff and the media invited and when they can legitimately be held behind closed doors away from public scrutiny when City business or strategy is discussed.
||Thursday, February 23 2012 @ 01:25 AM EST
|THIS JUST IN: The scuttlebutt is that Mayor Fontana will be seeking re-election in 2014.
VIDEO: Complete GOP presidential debate from last night in Arizona, YT, Feb. 123
When our elected officials turn on us, PP, Feb. 23
Councillors Orser and White continue with their embarrassing antics at London city council, LCW, Feb. 23
Phil McLeod wants to know what they're smoking at London city hall, TMR, Feb. 22
LONDON CITY HALL
It's time to bring the 'city hall experience' into the 21st Century
Last night at city hall during the council meeting which finalized the City's 2012 budget, the third-floor public gallery of council chambers was jam-packed.
In fact, there was a lineup of folks waiting to get in.
Most of the time, however, there's only a few people attending council meetings.
If the City of London is serious about "citizen engagement," it needs to enhance the "city hall experience" by making the public gallery more fan-friendly.
Here's my suggestions to guarantee a full house during each and every meeting of city council:
||Tuesday, February 21 2012 @ 12:07 AM EST
| BREAKING NEWS: Sparks fly as City's 2012 budget approved (tax freeze 2nd-year in a row), LFP, Feb. 21
Phil McLeod wades into last night's final budget debate at London city hall, TMR, Feb. 21
WORTH NOTING: 'And Stephen Orser, who contributed not a discernible nickelís worth of ideas to realistically cut the budget, nevertheless blamed councilís lack of initiative on the fact most members donít work full-time at the job.' ~ London, Ontario, Journalist Philip McLeod
Watch last night's city council meeting (Feb. 21), RTVL, Feb. 22
Rogers TV-London now live streams all city council meetings (as of Jan. 2012) and then archives them
VIDEO: St. Thomas hosers take Quiznos Sub-Shop to task for rubbery substance in submarine sandwich, YT, Feb. 20
City of London tender for the design and construction of office space under the main grandstand at Labatt Park
New office for the London Rippers? Historical exhibit space when they're gone? I like it. I like it a lot
Ontario methadone treatment doctor accused of unprofessional conduct, CNEWS, Feb. 20
Aljazeera report about 'Windsor Hum' hits YouTube, WS, Feb. 20
Click-Monkeys of London Unite!
Vote for London, Ontario's "Woodfield" neighbourhood in the "Great Places in Canada" online contest. Currently, historic Woodfield is leading the nation. Voting continues until the end of February. You can vote several times a day from the same computer
WOODFIELD: 'Residential to the Core'
The boundaries of historic Woodfield are east to Adelaide, south to Queens Avenue, west to Richmond and north to the CP tracks.
Meetings at London city hall, Tue. Feb. 21 to Fri. Feb. 24
The city council meeting on Tues. Feb. 21 starts at 3 pm. The budget portion of Tuesday's council meeting will not be heard before 6 pm
Uh-oh. Keith Horwood's mea culpa for hacking the USC vote at UWO
The Gazette interviews UWO hacker Keith Horwood, TG, Feb. 18
Ward 14 Councillor Sandy White denies on am980 this morning she's called the employer of a critic before calling the employer of local activist Sean Quigley, am980, Feb. 17
Civil-rights group fears chilling effect by Sandy White's phone calls to past and current employers of local activist, LPF, Feb. 16
THOUGHT DU JOUR: I, Butch McLarty, solemnly swear, that no one from city hall has attempted to muzzle me during the past 14 days (that I can remember).
Three surefire signs you're about to be fired
1. Your boss of many years asks who you are and what you're doing in the workplace.
2. You boss starts twitching every time s/he sees you.
3. Your after-hours security access card to the office suddenly quits working.
BREAKING NEWS: Councillor White pulls away from social media, LFP, Feb. 15
Ward 14 Councillor Sandy White's most recent update on Facebook, FB, Feb. 15
LFP editorial regarding free speech in London, LFP, Feb. 15
Chill of silence surrounds City-funded agencies, LFP, Feb. 15
THE 'SANDBOX' PLOT THICKENS: Free Press reporter asked to leave city hall last Monday (the LFP thinks this is a non-story. P.S. It's always newsworthy when a council member wants a member of the media removed from city hall ~ for legitimate or bogus reasons)
According to Ward 14 Councillor Sandy White (pictured below right) during an interview on Steve Garrison's London-in-the-Morning Show on 1290-CJBK-AM today (Wed. Feb. 15), London Free Press reporter Norm De Bono (pictured left) ~ normally a business writer for the newspaper ~ was asked to leave city hall last Monday (Feb. 13) by city hall security staff.
De Bono eventually left the building on his own, however, insisting he had every right to be at city hall doing his job as a reporter. He left when he had completed his assignment.
De Bono's story, White in deep in blog snipe, appeared the next day (Feb. 14) in the newspaper on the front page, but never mentioned the incident at city hall.
De Bono was covering the story regarding the reported "dust-up" between Councillor Sandy White and Sean Quigley, the recently hired executive director of the non-profit organization, Emerging Leaders, which received City of London funding to the tune of $53,000 in 2011 and is slated to receive $50,000 in 2012.
According to its website, "Emerging Leaders (EL) is an incorporated nonprofit focused on the retention, development and engagement of emerging talent as a means to a more vibrant, inclusive and dynamic London community for the future."
White had called Scott Courtice, the chairperson of Emerging Leaders' board of directors, to inquire whether or not Quigley's innocuous comments on his personal blog (White wasn't the focus of the blog post), Cagertlr (critical of last Friday's recommended budget cutbacks affecting the city's most vulnerable), were the same views of the group, Emerging Leaders.
Then last Monday, things apparently became somewhat heated when De Bono was trying to get comments from Councillor White regarding her phone call(s) ~ White didn't want to talk to De Bono ~ resulting in White calling for city hall security staff.
De Bono was then asked to leave city hall and subject to some sort of internal review at city hall, De Bono could be banned from covering further stories at city hall for a one-year period ~ according to Councillor White.
Can you see the lawyer$ $tarting to circle?
Pat Maloney is the regular city hall reporter for The London Free Press.
Ironically, Sandy White produced a play about her first three-year term on city council from 2003 to 2006 called "Sandbox" that was staged at the Grand's McManus Theatre in 2009.
OBSERVATION: There appears to be a bit of a pattern developing here, with Councillor White calling the "authorities" (city hall security and Sean Quigley's past and current employer) for perceived slights. Stay tuned, amigos.
Aditionally, there's an interesting blog post from 2011 HERE.
By the way, the Freep has not reported the above story. Apparently it's not newsworthy enough, noting that it's likely the first time in history a Free Press reporter has been asked to leave city hall, not to mention the possible ban for a year.
City council will finalize its 2012 budget on Tuesday, February 21.
THIS JUST IN: Joe Ruscitti, editor-in-chief of The London Free Press has denied the reporter was "removed" from city hall ~ on twitter:
joe ruscitti @JoeRatLFPress
NO. RT @zb_armstrong: RT @Stew_Blair: @LFPress was one of your reporters removed from city hall by security? #ldnont
Glen Pearson wades into the White-Orser debacle, PP, Feb. 15
CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT: La crŤme de la crŤme always rises to the top, rarely the bottom of the swish barrel
ANGLICAN PRIEST: Orser tried to muzzle me, LFP, Feb. 14
Here's the social media exchange between Marty Levesque, an Anglican priest, and the self-described "hillbilly" from Ward 4, Steve Orser, LFP, Feb. 14
"I saw Sandy chasing squirrels in Victoria Park, can Councillor White ever move fast when sheís mad. One squirrel was holding a city council agenda in its little paws yelling 'you dropped it, itís finders keepers.' Ē ~ Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser
Councillor Sandy White in deep with online banter, LFP, Feb. 14
THOUGHT DU JOUR, FEB. 14: Some members of London city council have very creative ways to discourage criticism.
Some shower their constituents with City-funded trinkets. Others call the employers of their critics, particularly if the organization receives some City funding.
Some even read their meeting agendas and try to formulate an intelligent position on issues of the day.
THOUGHT DU JOUR, FEB. 12: "Years ago, I saved up a million dollars from acting, a lot of money in those days, and I spent it all on a horse farm in Tucson. Now when I go down there, I look at that place and I realize my whole acting career adds up to a million dollars worth of horse shit." ~ American actor Robert Mitchum
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Feb. 13 to Fri. Feb. 17
VIDEO: Monsanto, Health Canada and the FDA say GMOs and toxic fluoride are good for us. Oh, what to do?
2012 Home-and-Away Schedule of the London Majors Baseball Club, LM, Feb. 10
HOMEOPENER: Burlington Twins vs. London Majors on Sun. May 13 at 1 pm at historic Labatt Park ~ Canada's Favourite Ballpark; May 13, 2012, is Mother's Day
Son says Gordie Howe affected by concussions, TS, Feb. 10
BREAKING NEWS: Aboutown cab involved in collision with London Police SUV at Dundas and Talbot streets early this morning, DO, Feb. 10
Toddler wading pools recommended to be closed: University Heights, Murray, Byron, Smith and Silverwoods. Evening closure of adult pools at Northridge, Byron and Southcrest. Recommendations only. The final budget vote will be on February 21st.
VIDEO: Magnetic poles of Earth are shifting, YT, Feb. 9
BREAKING NEWS: LHSC executive to receive $465-K severance package, LFP, Feb. 9
Caterpillar Inc.-CAW severance talks 'stressful', WS, Feb. 9
BREAKING NEWS: Canada's Supreme Court rules ISPs not subject to broadcast regulations, G&M, Feb. 9
BREAKING NEWS: Three suspects arrested for passing American funny money, LPS, Feb. 9
Suspicious death in west London at 560 Proudfoot Lane, LPS, Feb. 9
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Copy of Letter sent to Mayor Joe Fontana about London Firefighters
Dear Mayor Fontana, I am a member of the London Fire Department and have achieved the rank of Captain. I would like to express my extreme disappointment with your most recent comments regarding the London Fire Department. Specifically, that Police should be paid more than Firefighters.
In your quest to keep an unrealistic 0% tax for your term as Mayor of London, you have belittled and insulted a group of people whose job is every bit as important and dangerous as our emergency services brethren on the LPD.
You are correct in stating that the jobs are different, but the risks undertaken by me and my firefighter brothers and sisters are every bit as unpredictable and dangerous as a police officer.
A popular argument is that due to the lack of firefighter deaths the job is not as dangerous as stated by the firefighters. I would like dispel this argument and say that the firefighters of today are more educated and from their training are more able to recognize dangerous situations, thus minimizing injuries and deaths.
||Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 12:53 PM EST
|INTERCOUNTY BASEBALL LEAGUE ~ LONDON MAJORS
LONDON MAJORS SIGN FORMER CINCINNATI REDS' FARMHAND
ROOP CHANDERDAT, Co-owner, general manager and
field manager of the London Majors Baseball Club is pleased to announce the signing of right-handed pitcher Mike Henry from Sarnia, Ontario.
Mike is 22 years old and is 6'4" and weighs 225 lbs.
Mike was drafted in 2007 by the Cincinnati Reds in the 48th round. He spent 4 years in the Reds farm system, including stops in the Golf Coast and Arizona leagues. His minor-pro teams were as follows:
2008 Gulf Coast League Reds
2009 Gulf Coast League Reds, Billings Mustangs
2010 Arizona League Reds, Billings Mustangs
2011 Arizona League Reds
||Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 02:57 AM EST
| Rare Canadian artwork by Selwyn Dewdney (reportedly) at Electro-Motive Diesel in London: TMR, Feb. 6
"London may well be Canadaís largest city without a list of important and historic archives Ė one reason why few seemed to realize that behind the fence at the Electro-Motive plant are five large paintings by an artist of national importance with deep London roots."
SHOCKER: JFK's former teen mistress writes tell-all book, NYP, Feb. 5
Civic Meetings in London, ON, Mon. Feb. 6 to Fri. Feb. 10
Caterpillar Inc. stripped Canada clean of its locomotive technology in London, Ontario, TS, Feb. 5
BREAKING NEWS, 10 AM, FEB. 3: The Electro-Motive Diesel plant on Oxford Street East in London is being closed by its U.S. parent companies Progress Rail and Caterpillar Inc. About 765 (465 unionized and 300 management) jobs will be lost locally, plus many more jobs with local suppliers, CNW, Feb. 3
Never trust a politician with a snap-on hairdo
Correlation between low IQ and conservative views, V, Feb. 2
Ali's trainer Angelo Dundee dead at age 90, BBC, Feb. 2
THOUGHT DU JOUR: Water fluoridation is the only case in modern civilization's history (to my knowledge) where industry has managed to avoid the costs of taking its toxic waste to toxic waste disposal dumps and somehow managed to be paid for its toxic waste products and have them dumped into the public drinking water ~ for many decades.
Give it some thought.
Watch London City Council live right now (meeting started at 5 pm., Tues. Jan. 31), RTVL, Jan. 31
The 'Windsor Hum' and the call for federal intervention, CTV, Jan. 31
Monitoring the Planned Poisoning of Humanity, ACO, Jan. 31
Gina Barber on water fluoridation, LCW, Jan. 31
WATER FLUORIDATION: Bureaucratic inertia is alive and well at the Middlesex-London Health Unit
THOUGHT DU JOUR: "When are we going to stop denying that the energy policy of the United States is run by the oil cartel? Oil is behind the war in Iraq. Oil is the reason we give the fundamentalist, terrorist-breeding theocracy of Saudi Arabia a pass. Oil is the reason we can't get a goddamn energy policy in this country. Almost every important administration official has a connection to the oil industry." ~ Lee Iacocca, from his book "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" (2007).
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Jan. 30 to Fri. Feb. 3
VIDEO: Mayor Joe Fontana hits a zero-per-cent tax increase for the second year in a row!
The Death of Slippery the Seal on January 10, 1967. It's Part 7 of 7 of the Slippery the Seal documentary by the late Chris Doty. I've posted all 7 videos on my Facebook page.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 31st, London City Council will probably decide to close the seal pool and ship all 4 of the harbour seals in Storybook Gardens to St. Louis, Missouri, since they don't want to spend the dough to bring the seal pool up to modern-day standards, thereby ending a 54-year-tradition of having seals at Storybook Gardens. London is the City of Opportunity, indeed.
Caterpillar Inc.'s profits surge, LFP. Jan. 26
Caterpillar Inc.'s media release, CAT, Jan. 26
Electro-Motive Lock-Out in London, Ontario, HP, Jan. 24
Unions must adapt to survive, TS, Jan. 24
THOUGHT DU JOUR: Oh great, after the public participation meeting last night (Wed. Jan. 25) regarding water fluoridation, we'll get a report back from City staff and the Middlesex-London Health Unit in 6-8 weeks, once things cool off.
These two groups are the same jokers who think water fluoridation is hunky-dory. You can imagine what their report will say: Steady as she goes, stay the course!
Get that toxic crap out of our public drinking water!
Even if you support local water fluoridation, you should also support the right of Londoners to vote on the matter via a ballot question during the 2014 municipal election ~ noting the last ballot question regarding water fluoridation was 45 years ago in 1967 when the vast majority of Londoners alive today were either not born yet or not of legal voting age.
As Dr. William Hirzy, Senior Vice-President of the EPA's Professionals Headquarters Union, put it, "if this stuff [hydrofluosilicic acid] gets out into the air, itís a pollutant; if it gets into the river, itís a pollutant; if it gets into the lake, itís a pollutant; but if it goes right straight into your drinking water system, itís not a pollutant. Thatís amazing!"
MR. ZERO-PERCENT: Mayor Joe wants us to pay for his own website, separate from the City's, LFP, Jan. 25
Mayor Joe has really done it now. Setting up his own website away from the City's and expecting us to pick up the tab. Joe ... Joe ... say it isn't so.
Let the boycott begin ...
THIS JUST IN: All three TSC Stores in London have taken Caterpillar Inc. products off their shelves in support of the approximately 470 locked-out (unionized) workers at Electro-Motive Diesel Canada on Oxford Street East in London.
Caterpillar has its own line of work clothing and work boots.
The irrepressible Art Cartier dies at age 97
BREAKING NEWS: Art Cartier (pictured left), a former long-time member of London City Council, former Thames Valley Public School Board trustee, former Public Utilities Commissioner, former London Free Press employee and author, has died at the age of 97.
Art started out many moons ago as a sports editor-reporter for the Chatham Daily News.
I remember volunteering with Art to man the London-Middlesex Historical Society booth in the Confederation Building at the Western Fair approximately 16 years ago and he had more energy at 81 than the Energizer Bunny.
Visitation is at A. Millard George Funeral Home on Ridout Street South (near Bruce) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, January 27.
Art's funeral is set for Saturday, January 28 at 10:30 am at Calvary United Church at 290 Ridout Street South at Cavalry United Church on the southeast corner of Ridout and Garfield Avenue.
Art's obituary can be read HERE (NOW WORKING:
Millard George's site is currently not working for some reason but the LFP obituary can be found HERE).
The Civic Works Committee of London City Council is holding a public participation meeting regarding water fluoridation on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 7 pm at Centennial Hall. Londoners have been drinking fluoridated water since 1967 after a plebiscite. At the very least it's time for another ballot question since the vast majority of Londoners alive today were either not born by 1967 or not of legal voting age.
Cliff Nordal and his astounding pay package on the taxpayers' dime, LFP, Jan. 25
AltLondon remembers that, not only is January 25 Robbie Burns Day, but it is also Norman James Aldridge's birthday!
Norm Aldridge roaming the field at Labatt Park during the fundraising ballgame, The Rumble at the Riverforks, between the London Majors Oldtimers, members of city council and the media, on May 31, 1998. The game was organized by The Friends of Labatt Park and SCENE magazine to raise money for a new cedar-shingle roof on the Roy McKay Clubhouse which was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1996. The park itself was designated in 1994. PHOTO: Herb (The Shooter) Walsh
Norm-baby, who is AltLondon's ongoing inspiration, is 87 years young!
Norm's been inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame (twice) as a member (trainer) of the Can-Am/ Canadian/ Ontario/ Intercounty champs, the 1948 London Majors Baseball Club and also the trainer of the Canadian Champion 1970 London TV-Cable Fastball Team. Norm also has the premier baseball diamond at Stronach Park in northeast London named after him ~ Norm Aldridge Field!
||Tuesday, January 24 2012 @ 01:41 AM EST
|Storybook seals likely leaving the can-do City of Opportunity
TUESDAY, JAN. 24: Last night at city hall, the Community Services Standing Committee voted 4-1 to recommend relocating all the wildlife, including the harbour seals, at Storybook Gardens to out-of-town facilities in Canada and the U.S.
Only committee member Coun. Dale Henderson (pictured left) voted against the recommendation. The matter goes to City Council next Tuesday night (Jan. 31).
2008 Business Plan proposed improving popular wildlife enclosures at Storybook Gardens
The following sentence is from the 2008 council-approved Business Plan for Storybook Gardens:
"Although the reduction to only farm animals is quite attractive from a financial perspective, it would have a drastic impact on the marketability of Storybook Gardens and we recommend maintaining a 'Modified Zoo and Farm.'Ē
TRANSLATION: City staff are now wanting to implement what they once said would "have a drastic impact on the marketability of Storybook Gardens" in 2008, noting the "modified zoo and farm" concept meant keeping the popular seals and a few other wildlife exhibits.
No wonder some council members are confused.
Regarding the remaining wildlife at Storybook Gardens, this "added" report is going before the Community Services Committee tonight at 7 pm, Jan. 23
FROM THE REPORT: "The modified zoo option was presented and endorsed in 2008 recognized that the Storybook
Gardens zoo enclosures are aging and do not meet cunent best practices and public expectations for the housing of captive wildlife. The 'modified zoo' approach anticipated maintaining the seal pool and possibly as many as 2-3 other main [wildlife] exhibits, the remaining exhibits were to be enhanced and improved as funding allowed. Subsequent investigation into renovation of the existing enclosures to bring them up to current standards is estimated to be in the millions of dollars and far exceeds available funding."
TRANSLATION: City staff's original plan was to keep and improve the sea pool and a few other wildlife exhibits at Storybook but City staff changed their minds.
Proposed seal move from Storybook Gardens making waves, LFP, Jan. 23
I just put in an order for a hundred T-shirts with "Save the Seals!" emblazoned on the front. Figure it works for animal rights activists and me
Time to leave the City of Opportunity behind, LCW, Jan. 23
Slippery the Sea Lion had the right idea back in 1958. Ditto for the Lombardo orchestra in 1924. Let's blow this pop stand! Senior City managers Jeff Fielding, Pat McNally and Ron Standish are leaving at the end of January 2012!
If one actually reads the 2008 Business Plan, getting rid of all the wildlife was not proposed. Improving the most popular wildlife exhibits was proposed.
Perhaps there's been a coup at London city hall, with community services staff successfully executing the takeover.
VIDEO: Thousands Rally in London, Ontario, CTV-London, Jan. 22
Mayor calls out PM at labour rally, LFP, Jan. 22
Civic Works Committee agenda regarding water fluoridation ~ public participation meeting on Jan. 25
It's time for another ballot question. 45 years is too long
Tax-and-spend levy-slush fund dead ~ for now; first they have to figure out what they'd do with OUR money, LFP, Jan. 21
CIVIC SNAKEOIL: First Mayor Joe et al. tried to sell us a bill of goods regarding restructuring London Hydro in order to make it more attractive to sell to Edmonton-based utility giant EPCOR and that idea crashed-and-burned; then they wanted to whack us all with a "1%-economic-development levy" and that slush-fund scheme swirled down the toilet. But rest assured they'll try again on both fronts in the not-to-distant future. After all, London is the City of Opportunity. P.S. Which way to the urban beach?
Baseball Canada's favourite ballpark banner to be unveiled at Labatt Park on July 14
BREAKING NEWS, JAN. 21: Another AltLondon news exclusive ~ AltLondon has learned the City of London will be unveiling "Baseball Canada's Favourite Ballpark banner" ~ won last summer by historic Labatt Memorial Park after a two-month online contest conducted by Baseball Canada ~ during London's Eager Beaver Baseball Association (EBBA)'s annual Frank Colman Day at the park on Saturday, July 14, 2012.
BREAKING NEWS: End of an era at London's Storybook Gardens
ARCHIVAL VIDEO: The legend of Slippery the Seal, Channel 10, 1958
Slippery the Seal was a superstar in 1958, CDN, Jan. 21
The Saga of Slippery the Sea Lion, DD, Jan. 21
THIS JUST IN, 12 PM, JAN. 20: An AltLondon scoop ... Bowing to pressure from organizations such as Zoocheck Canada et al., the City of London/ Storybook Gardens will be re-locating their non-domesticated animals later this year, including the harbour seals, beavers, otter, lynx and birds of prey to better wildlife facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
The City of London was close to spending $600-K on a 10-day light show in the downtown but it seems it never occurred to our civic brain-trust to upgrade the facilities for the animals at Storybook Gardens. The most recent public input regarding Storybook Gardens was in 2008 ~ with a previous city council.
And yet community services department staff have announced this wildlife relocation from Storybook is a done deal with only a "verbal" report by City staff mentioned online. NEW: A written report, apparently, will be available on the City's website on Monday morning, according to a Friday afternoon media release from the City.
City staff's recent decision to unload ALL wildlife at Storybook Gardens is not proposed in the Business Plan from 2008
In the 2008 Business Plan (on which public participation and council action were based), there were no plans to unload ALL wildlife. In fact, improvements were proposed to the respective enclosures (seal sea pool, otter, beaver etc.) and staff reported "The sea pool [housing the seals] is the most popular animal exhibit in the park."
ALTERNATE POINT OF VIEW RECEIVED BY E-MAIL: "This process has been very open and transparent ~ it just has not been of great public interest and has occurred over time.
"There was a Public Participation process in April of 2008 to discuss a new future for Storybook. This was openly advertised and there was a PPM.
"The PPM was covered in The London Free Press in advance of the actual meeting, and there was still only a very small list of delegates, so this was not a burning issue for Londoners.
"Later, a Citizen Task Force was created ~ again, openly advertised and open to any Londoner to apply for.
"There were various work groups as part of this Task Force, Environmental Initiatives, Inter-active Play, Literacy, Storybook Themes, and Animals. About 30 people participated in this.
"These work groups met for about 8 weeks and filed recommendations to Storybook management.
"The recommendation from the Animals sub-committee was that the wild animal portion of the zoo be phased out and improvements made for the remaining domestic animals.
"City Council later passed a motion that the zoo would be modified over time, which would include transferring animals out. It was noted that this is a lengthy process that may take several years, as indeed it has.
"This was in an open Council meeting.
"So ~ there has been a lot of civic engagement and open discussion, and this has not been done in secret."
Storybook Gardens first opened in 1958 amid much fanfare. To read a comprehensive history of Storybook Gardens by historian Carling Marshall-Luymes, CLICK HERE.
1290-CJBK-AM is holding a London Theme Song contest ($1,000 cash prize), CJBK, Jan. 20
Civic Meetings in London, ON, Mon. Jan. 23 to Fri. Jan. 27
Another Londoner questions council's commitment to 'citizen engagement' Jan. 20
STATUTORY BALLOT QUESTION: "Are you in favour of the discontinuance of the fluoridation of the public water supply of this municipality?"
THOUGHT DU JOUR: Even if you support local water fluoridation, you should also support the right of Londoners to vote on the matter via a ballot question during the 2014 municipal election ~ noting the last ballot question regarding water fluoridation was 45 years ago in 1967 when the vast majority of Londoners alive today were either not born yet or not of legal voting age.
As Dr. William Hirzy, Senior Vice President of the EPA's Professionals Headquarters Union, put it, "if this stuff [hydrofluosilicic acid] gets out into the air, itís a pollutant; if it gets into the river, itís a pollutant; if it gets into the lake, itís a pollutant; but if it goes right straight into your drinking water system, itís not a pollutant. Thatís amazing!"
VIDEO: Peanut butter falls in love with Jam
VIDEO: Snooze you lose 'cause I've got news for you, YT, Jan. 19
VIDEO: An interview with Dr. Hardy Limeback regarding water fluoridation, Part 1 of 3, YT, Jan. 17
Water fluoridation: Benefits and risks, FC, Jan. 17
Ontario's Fluoridation Act sets out the process to put fluoride into Ontario's public drinking water and also for its removal
Added Communication regarding water fluoridation public participation meeting on Jan. 25, 2012, at Centennial Hall
Chair and Members
Civic Works Committee
The Corporation of the City of London
c/o the City Clerk's office
Re: There's considerable scientific evidence demonstrating that water fluoridation is dangerous, unnecessary and unethical
Incredibly, Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), publicly stated on the radio a few months ago that there's NO scientific evidence to cause us concern about water fluoridation.
In this regard, please note the scores of scientific studies cited below from an article by Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc, PhD, DDS ("Why I am now officially opposed to adding fluoride to drinking water"), one of Canada's leading authorities on preventive dentistry and water fluoridation, to judge for yourself whether or not there's any scientific evidence that water fluoridation is harmful to human health.
You can read many of the individual scientific studies and reports cited below, online by Googling them.
The MLHU's fall-back position is, as I understand it, due to the relatively low levels of fluoride in London's drinking water, there is no cause for concern. But scientific studies also indicate that fluoride and its associated toxins accumulates in our tissue and organs.
One of the tenets of modern medicine is that it's unethical to medicate an adult (with all of their mental faculties) against their will. Water fluoridation of our drinking water is clearly "mass medication" based on the local authority of a ballot question from 45 years ago (1967).
At the very least, Londoners deserve a new ballot question regarding water fluoridation during London's 2014 civic election ~ noting the majority of Londoners alive today were not of voting age in 1967.
At first, positive change seems impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.
||Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 06:00 AM EST
|A leading Canadian authority on preventative dentistry vigorously opposes water fluoridation (scroll down to the end of the article to see scores of scientific studies and reports cited), FA, Jan. 17
It's interesting that many Londoners are reluctant to get the flu shot but drink fluoridated water without questioning the wisdom of water fluoridation despite mounds of evidence that it is both dangerous and unnecessary
FROM TWITTER: SteveYoung CTV
CTV News has learned Michael Rafferty, facing murder charges in death of #ToriStafford also faces sexual assault charge as well. @CTVLondon pm, Jan. 16?
Civic Meetings in London, Ontario, Mon. Jan. 16 to Fri. Jan. 20
VIDEO: London's new theme song "London is the City of Opportunity" rockets to Number One in Care-Bear Land, YT, Jan. 12
VIDEO: Hitler reacts to London's new theme song, YT, Jan. 12
Phil McLeod comments on the mayor's state-of-the-city address yesterday morning, TMR, Jan. 12
London, Ontario, Canada ~ Boom Town, YT, Jan. 12
Shortly after Mayor Joe proclaimed "London is the City of Opportunity," robber knocks off FOUR banks in 136 minutes
BREAKING NEWS, JAN. 11: Three banks in London have been robbed this morning, all within 30 minutes: TD-Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal at Wellington Road South and Baseline, ScotiaBank at Richmond and Oxford.
Police now say there was a fourth bank robbery, linked to the other three. See STORY HERE. ~ and now a fifth by another robber. Holy Mackeral. Has to be a record for London, Ontario.
The suspected get-away vehicle is a grey Jeep with license plates: BRM C851. Developing.
CITIZEN REPORTER SARAH WATKIN ~ 2:30 pm ~ Police chase has just terminated at Waterloo and Oxford. Swat team. Guns drawn. Canine unit on-scene. A Jeep collided with a van driven by a woman who was taken away by ambulance. The driver of the Jeep has escaped on foot. Police in pursuit. One suspect in custody. Busy corner of late involving money and petroleum jelly.
'Joe the Robot' a dud this morning before 1,200
BREAKING NEWS: At the Mayor's Annual State-of-the-City Address at the London Convention Centre this morning, Mayor Joe Fontana attempted to unveil "Joe the Robot" (reportedly made in Russia) to promote London's high-tech sector but the robot was a complete dud due to a malfunctioning power supply.
Last I saw of the robot, it was in the back of a Zubick's Scrap Metal pick-up truck heading east.
Mayor Fontana also unveiled London's new syrupy sweet theme song "London is the City of Opportunity" written and sang by Jim (The Voice of London) Chapman and the Incontinentals. But no live performance, just a recording. That's when some people started heading out the door ~ likely due to the line in the song: "Imagine a factory where none was before" which really cuts close to the bone.
Jimmy Chapman's song is not exactly a big hit with the poll respondents at the LFP online.
Incredibly, Mayor Fontana emphatically slammed Guy Lombardo ~ the best ambassador London, Ontario, Canada, has ever had ~ when he was talking about London's downtown being the "beat" of the city and how Guy Lombardo can't cut it anymore (Lombardo died in 1977).
Mayor Fontana was extremely upbeat about London's future, as usual, with London in the throes of an unemployment rate of 9.6%, an unfolding biker war and impending plant closures such as Electro-Motive Diesel and Accuride.
Play in the works to honour Lombardo brothers, LFP, Jan. 11
Finally, a spark of creativity returns to Melonville after years of cultural amnesia
City Council kills previously approved $600-K light show, LFP, Jan. 11
Finally, some fiscal responsibility returns to Melonville
The London Fress Press reports cleanup of contaminated properties is nearly complete when 24-7 remediation plan has yet to be approved by the MoE, LFP, Jan. 9
Shell Canada's yet-to-be-approved remediation plan, MoE
AltLondon has learned that on December 16, 2011, Shell Canada purchased the commercial property at 775 Waterloo Street for $600,000 and the heritage home at 777 Waterloo Street (now boarded up) for $290,000 from David Murphy of Murphy & Murphy Architects.
Both properties are in the Bishop Hellmuth Heritage Conservation District in old north London.
Someone must have been rubbed the wrong way
BREAKING NEWS, UPDATED JAN. 9: London Police have now revealed a possible motive for the three fires last Sunday, Jan. 8 during the early-morning hours.
A fire occurred about 3:45 a.m. last Sat. Jan. 7, causing $5,000 damage to a business at Hamilton Road and Little Hill Street. This is the location of tattoo parlour, La Tinta Latina, owned by an Outlaws Motorcycle Club member.
Blue Lagoon Massage at Oxford Street East and Empire Street was subsequently torched the next day (Sun. Jan. 8) at approximately 4:40 am, Famous Flesh Gordon's at Oxford Street East and Industrial Road at 5:04 am and Empire Street and Virginia's Adult Massage and Spa at Clarke Road and Charterhouse Crescent at 5:15 am.
All three businesses have ties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
Geez, I wonder if all four torch jobs are related? Inspector Clouseau will ferret out the truth, no doubt.
OPSEU MEDIA RELEASE
Cuts to developmental services to hit London's most vulnerable
An announcement this week by Community Living London that seven staff will receive layoff notices will be a severe blow to services for persons with developmental disabilities, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU, says the government's refusal to provide adequate funding for developmental services is a shameful act, hurting the most vulnerable people in the London area.
"The Ministry of Community and Social Services has continued to ignore the chronic under-funding crisis in this sector," Thomas said. "Waiting lists across the province continue to rise with no relief in sight."