A 24-7 live video camera in London, England at the world-famous Beatles' zebra crossing on Abbey Road near Abbey Road Studios, a streetscape made famous by the cover of their 1969 LP, Abbey Road.
All kinds of funny stuff happens here around the clock. A tourist attraction.
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, May 10 2012 @ 05:32 AM EDT
| Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. May 7 to Fri. May 11
Columnist Sheryl Rooth gives it to the Ward 4 bonehead right between the eyes, L, May 9
'Coun. Orser’s antics may make fun radio filler and easy op-ed fodder, but he is still the person that is supposed to be representing my ward to the best of his ability. And if this is his best, it’s not good enough. And there aren’t enough umbrellas and winter coats he can hand out on the taxpayers’ dime to cover up the errors in judgement and his ridiculous comments and actions.' ~ Sheryl Rooth in the Londoner, May 9
Mayor Joe spends a big bundle of your dough, LFP, May 8
VIDEO: 2012 London Majors Baseball Preview, CTV-London. May 7
London Jack-the-Rippers holding spring training in Michigan where those jokers belong, May 7
Mayor Joe's accounting, LCW, May 7
Excellent deal for a 2012 family pass to London Majors' games at historic Labatt Park (51% off), DF, May 7
FLUORIDE LOVER: London family dentist Dr. Peter Fendrick lays it on real thick in his support of water fluoridation. His comments fly in the face of Canada's leading authority on preventive dentistry and water fluoridation, Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc PhD DDS, dentistry faculty head at the University of Toronto, cjbk
London Majors Baseball Club vs. Michigan Jet Box at Labatt Park (DH)
UPDATE, MAY 7: The London Majors Baseball Club won both games of their doubleheader yesterday afternoon at Labatt Park against Michigan Jet Box Baseball Club. 5-3 and 6-3. See story HERE.
When: Sunday, May 6, 2012 @ 1PM
Where: Historic Labatt Park
25 Wilson Avenue (at Riverside Drive)
Description: The London Majors Baseball Club will be hosting an exhibition doubleheader at Labatt Park on Sunday, May 6th at 1 pm against Michigan Jet Box. $3 admission at the front gates. The 3rd-baseline concession stand is open for business.
Let's all sing in six-part Harmony
THIS JUST IN (MAY 5): Ontario's Ombudsman André Marin says his report regarding the pre-budget meeting of six council members at the Harmony Grand Buffet on Feb. 21, 2012, should be ready "in a few weeks."
London's new $265-K-a-year city manager likely to be announced after special city council meeting on May 8th
Will Community Services honcho Ross Fair (pictured right) be the new city manager or will it be someone from outside London, such as Pee-Wee Herman (pictured left) or Forrest Gump?
INTERCOUNTY BASEBALL LEAGUE
2012 INTERCOUNTY SEASON KICKS OFF: Barrie Baycats maul the Burlington Twins 16-3; Ottawa Fats Cats nip the Guelph Royals 5-4
By Roger Lajoie
Sports Triumph Communications
On behalf of the Intercounty Baseball League
The Intercounty Baseball League kicked off its 94th season on Saturday with a pair of games as the 2012 regular season got underway with games in Barrie and Guelph.
In Barrie, the Baycats pounded out 16 hits to start the season with a bang, crushing the Burlington Twins 16-3.
Matt Logan homered, had three hits and drove in three runs for the Baycats, who allowed a run in the top of the first inning before scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning to coast to the win. The Baycats also scored five runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth in the dominating win.
Jordan Lundberg also homered and had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two more, while Ryan Spataro had three hits and scored three runs. Jon Waltenbury also drove in three runs for the winners, with Matt Proctor adding three hits and an RBI. Jeff Cowan contributed two hits and scored three runs for the winners.
||Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 04:30 AM EDT
|When the moon hits your eye like a bigga pizza pie ...
Earthquake Time? Tonight, our moon will be 26,000 km closer to the Earth than usual. As such, it will appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter.
NASA says the best time to see the spectacle is 11:35 pm ET tonight (May 5). It’s called a "supermoon" and they occur once every 14 months.
Supermoons are associated with heightened earthquake activity due to the significant gravitational pull of the moon which creates our tides.
Ward 4's full-time buffoon takes heat, LFP, May 3
Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser apologizes for being a bonehead, LCN, May 3
ABOVE RIGHT: The Nazi-fluoride flyer distributed by Steve Orser during the city council meeting of May 1
Susan McElroy & Associates score $38,490.61 from mayor's office in 2011
BREAKING NEWS: 1290-CJBK's early morning man Steve (Dr. Love) Garrison to be awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding community work, CJBK, May 2
FONTANA-RAMA: London's jurassic city council votes to continue mass-medicating Londoners via fluoridation of our public drinking water and also jam a 12-storey, 165-unit apartment building into the treed slope of Reservoir Hill
To continue mass-medicating Londoners via water fluoridation without their express consent: YES ~ Mayor Joe Fontana, Ward 1 Coun. Spud Polhill, Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong, Ward 3 Coun. Joe Swantana®, Ward 7 Coun. Matt Brown, Ward 8 Coun. Paul Hubert, Ward 10 Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen, Ward 12 Harold Usher, Ward 13 Coun. Judy Bryant and Ward 14 Coun. Sandbox Sandy White (10).
NO ~ Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser, Ward 5 Coun. Joni Baechler, Ward 6 Coun. Nancy Branscombe, Ward 9 Coun. Dale Henderson and Ward 11 Coun. Denise Brown (5).
To jam a giant apartment building into the treed slope of Reservoir Hill in west London: YES ~ Mayor Joe Fontana, Ward 1 Coun. Spud Polhill, Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong, Ward 3 Coun. Joe Swantana®, Ward 4 Coun. Steve Orser, Ward 9 Coun. Dale Henderson, Ward 10 Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen, Ward 11 Coun. Denise Brown, Ward 12 Coun. Harold Usher and Ward 14 Coun. Sandbox Sandy White (11)
NO ~ Ward 5 Coun. Joni Baechler, Ward 6 Coun. Nancy Branscombe, Ward 7 Coun. Matt Brown and Ward 7 Coun. Paul Hubert (4).
Nesting Birds of Prey and Canada Geese at historic Labatt Park
World-renowned dental expert opposes water fluoridation
FACT: Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc PhD DDS, the head of preventive dentistry at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry and Canada's leading authority on preventive dentistry and water fluoridation, is vigorously opposed to water fluoridation.
FACT: Dr. Graham Pollett, the Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health, supports water fluoridation but is not an expert in the field of water fluoridation nor preventive dentistry.
* 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation (with many scientific references cited at the bottom of the article)
If the majority of London city council can't see the light on this issue, at the very least Londoners deserve a ballot question pursuant to the Fluoridation Act since it's been 46 years since the last one in 1966 ~ when the majority of Londoners alive today were either not of voting age or not born yet.
More information on water fluoridation can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.
Canada's national anthem not played at London Majors' exhibition doubleheader, LCN, May 1
"The reason for the email, [Park Supervisor] Preece explained, is because of complaints from residents in the neighbourhood and 'people aren’t really ready for baseball yet.' "
People aren't ready for baseball yet? Only in Melonville, I guess
A new breed of politician
What do you get when you cross a Joe Fontana with a Joe Swan?
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Apr. 30 to Fri. May 4
WILDLIFE AT HISTORIC LABATT MEMORIAL PARK
Several hawks, two Canada Geese and one gosling have made Labatt Park their home
While attending a pre-season exhibition doubleheader of the London Majors Baseball Club yesterday afternoon (Apr. 29) against the Hamilton Cardinals, I noticed there's several hawks ~ believed to be Ospreys ~ building nests atop light standards at Labatt Park, as well as two Canada Geese with a gosling nesting in a flower bed near the first-baseline concession stand.
UPDATE, MAY 1: After hatching one gosling, the mother and father goose appear to have abandoned the original nest with five remaining goose eggs in it.
According to park staff, the goose family of three have moved to the other side of Labatt Park, in the parking lot behind the third-baseline. But the small yellow gosling was nowhere to be found on the afternoon of May 1.
PROTECTIVE FATHER GOOSE: One of the City workers at the park was attacked by the male goose and sprained his ankle during the incident, leading to the installation of temporary metal fencing near their office-tool shed. Workplace health and safety, indeed.
||Monday, April 30 2012 @ 01:16 AM EDT
| Another one of Mayor Joe's brain cramps ~ giving away valuable City of London assets for a song so we have to spend more dough, LFP, Apr. 27
Ward 4's Swag Boy gives away taxpayer-funded swag as part of his non-stop re-election campaign, now Mayor Joe wants to give away city hall, Reg Cooper Square, Centennial House and Centennial Hall. Why not toss in Victoria Park and a few dozen City-owned vehicles as well?
LONDON CITY HALL: Phil McLeod finally hits his stride, TMC, Apr. 27
“The bottom line for me is to do the best for Ward 4 even though I’m acting mayor for two years . . . ah, no, two months . . . no, no I mean two weeks.” ~ Steve Orser
A Hill to Die on, TPP, Apr. 26
The scoreboard at Labatt Park is down and a new one is going up in time for London Majors' home-opener on May 13
The above electronic scoreboard was first installed in 1989 by the London Tigers of the AA Eastern League, replacing the old manual scoreboard. It's been hit by hundreds of balls during the past 23 years and several lightning strikes.
Parks Director Scott Stafford says the new scoreboard will be ready for the homeopener of the London Majors Baseball Club on May 13.
WATER FLUORIDATION: Gina Barber wades in, LCW, Apr. 25
A retired manager of water distribution for the City of Hamilton is against water fluoridation
'There is no dental school on this continent that teaches any dentist, in any dental discipline, the biological effects of turning the fluoride ion loose against the bones, soft
tissue, organs and cells throuqhout the rest of the body. Dentists do not have the specific training or knowledge base to assure you that ingested fluoride is either safe or effective.'
The Battle of Hungerford Hill, aka Reservoir Hill, TMR, Apr. 25
LONDON CITY HALL
50 Reasons to Oppose Water Fluoridation
From this website: www.fluoridealert.org
Updated August, 2011
By Paul Connett, PhD and other members of the Fluoride Action Network (including James Beck, MD, PhD, Michael Connett, JD, Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, David McRae and Spedding Micklem, D.Phil.)
Fluoridation is the practice of adding a fluoride compound to the public drinking water supply ostensibly for the purpose of fighting tooth decay.
The levels used range from 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride ion per liter (or parts per million, ppm).
The practice began in the U.S. in 1945 and was endorsed by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in 1950.
Very few countries have adopted this practice to any significant extent. Only eight countries in the world have more than 50% of their populations drinking artificially fluoridated water (Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S.).
In Europe, only Ireland (with 73% of the population fluoridated), the U.K. (10%) and Spain (10%) fluoridate some of their water supplies.
In the U.S., about 70% of the population is drinking fluoridated water – that is approximately 200 million people and about half the number of people drinking artificially fluoridated water worldwide.
Some countries have areas with high natural fluoride levels in the water. These include India, China and parts of Africa. In these countries measures are being taken to remove the fluoride because of the health problems that fluoride can cause.
Fluoridation is a bad medical practice
1. Fluoride is the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies fluoride as a drug when used to prevent or mitigate disease (FDA 2000).
As a matter of basic logic, adding fluoride to water for the sole purpose of preventing tooth decay (a non-waterborne disease) is a form of medical treatment. All other water treatment chemicals are added to improve the water's quality or safety, which fluoride does not do.
||Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 02:37 AM EDT
|Fluoride supporter to sail off into the sunset on hubba-hubba pension
BREAKING NEWS, APR. 23: Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health Graham Pollett ($308,061-a-year) is retiring in September 2012.
THIS JUST IN: Health Canada is our nation's last bastion of integrity. Just ask Monsanto Corp.
Concern for the poor driving fluoride agenda ~ Bwhahahahahahahaha!®
THOUGHT DU JOUR: If you can believe our well-heeled, soon-to-be-retiring Medical Officer of Health, Graham Pollett, one of the primary reasons we put the toxin fluoride ~ a substance which really only works by a topical application not by drinking it ~ into our public drinking water, stems from a concern the poor can't afford to buy a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Yet we readily accept social assistance rates that were slashed by nearly 23-per-cent 17 years ago in 1995.
Our concern for the dental health of the poor is truly outstanding.
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Apr. 23 to Fri. Apr. 27
Water fluoridation back on the agenda at London city hall, TMR, Apr. 23
NEW-FANGLED ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM TO WATER FLUORIDATION: Try using toothpaste and then spitting it out
City staff think water fluoridation is the best thing since sliced bread, LCW, Apr. 23
Only about 17% of people alive today were of voting age in 1966 when London's last ballot question regarding fluoride was held
Windsor Hum continues to attract attention, CP, Apr. 22
Gina Barber explains it all at city hall but doesn't name the obvious dummies, just hints, LCW, Apr. 20
SAD BUT TRUE: Staff report recommends the continued use of fluoride in our public drinking water based on a ballot question in 1966
Fluoride in our public drinking water works wonders on our bones, resulting in many thousands of pre-mature hip replacement surgeries. Have you had yours yet?
Heritage preservation doesn't mean jack-shit in London, Ontario, Canada. Nor does fiscal accountability
THOUGHT DU JOUR: Based on the recent news story that the City of London gave $20-M to Funshawe College ~ $10-M of which was earmarked for renovating-restoring heritage buildings in the core ~ and that the deal fell thru but Funshawe can keep the $10-M for whatever ... the message is loud and clear:
Heritage preservation doesn't mean jack-shit in London, Ontario. As a taxpayer, I want the $10-M back.
A London Standing Committee that isn't working. Come to think of it, neither is this city council, TMR, Apr. 17
But they gave themselves a raise and now want to nearly double their expense accounts
BREAKING NEWS: Spectacular solar flare caught by NASA camera, DM, Apr. 17
BREAKING NEWS: Levon Helm dies from cancer at age 71, NYT, Apr. 19
BREAKING NEWS: An original docu-soap series called the Grand Benders filmed at Grand Bend premieres on May 8, Apr. 17
NASTY CITIZENS: Orser's worried someone might toss a rotten tomato at him or his council colleagues during a city hall meeting, LFP, Apr. 16
I guess when you're one of the least credible members of city council, you worry about being pelted with tomatoes during meetings
Beware the Flying Tomato
Be afraid, be very afraid (not)
Has a tomato ever been tossed at politicians from the public gallery at London city hall? Not during this century or the last one
OINKERS GALORE: City hall committee recommends jacking up councillor expense accounts from $8.5-K to $15-K annually, cjbk, Apr. 17
Civic Meetings in London, ON, Mon. Apr. 16 to Fri. Apr. 20
The 'Harmony Six' replay this 'facing their accuser' crap over and over again. Do they think they're on trial for murder or robbery ~ or are they denying they were at the lunch meeting to discuss strategy for the impending meetings at city hall on Feb. 21? LFP, Apr. 16
What we all need is a little Harmonization
Time to admit it folks. There's a whack of turkeys on this particular city council of ours, TMR, Apr. 16
LET'S GET HARMONIZED ~ HUMOUR
Top 10 Reasons why the 'Harmony Six' would want to 'face their accusers'
THE HARMONY SIX: Mayor Joe Fontana, Ward 1 Councillor Bud Polhill, Ward 4 Councillor Steve Orser, Ward 9 Dale Henderson, Ward 10 Councillor Paul Van Meerbergen and Ward 11 Councillor Denise Brown
1. To deny they were at the Feb. 21 lunch meeting at the Harmony Grand Buffet. (Oops, all six have admitted they were there.)
2. To deny city hall business was discussed at the Feb. 21 lunch meeting at the Harmony Grand Buffet. (Oops, Mayor Fontana and Councillor Henderson have already admitted city hall business was discussed at the lunch meeting whereas Councillor Denise Brown denies it.)
3. To ask the complainants where they worked so they could try and get them fired.
4. To tell the complainants they'll never get any help from them if they have a problem with city hall.
5. To put the complainants on the "enemies of city hall" shit list.
||Monday, April 16 2012 @ 12:01 AM EDT
| Ombudsman's complaint process has Ward 3 Councillor Joe Swan nervous in the service. Why dat? FASC, Apr. 13
BREAKING NEWS: Ontario's Ombudsman André Marin recently tweeted (Apr. 13) he'll be sending a letter to London city council saying he's willing to do a presentation at London city hall clearing up the misconceptions they have about the complaint and investigation process
Letter sent today (Apr. 13) to London city council by Ontario's Ombudsman
Looks like signs, banners, food and drink could be banned from all meetings at London city hall during review of London's Council Procedure By-Law, FASC, Apr. 13
VIDEO: Proposed new rules for the public during meetings at London city will likely promote greater harmony among council members as well
Steve Orser to be acting mayor for two weeks (Apr. 14 to Apr. 29) while Fontana's in Japan, South Korea and China in search of the ultimate Harmony Grand Buffet, LFP, Apr. 13
Council votes to have lawyers paid by taxpayers despite legal advice
BREAKING NEWS: Ward 9 Councillor Dale Henderson delivers a bizarre rant on 1290-CJBK-AM this morning when interviewed by Steve Garrison, CJBK, Apr. 12
The 'Harmony Six story' just sprouted big hairy legs, TMR, Apr. 13
WHAT, ME WORRY?: Open Local Government is a Police State. We need more Backroom Deals to get the Job Done at City Hall
The 'Harmony Six' ask for legal aid and eight council members vote to provide it, TMR, Apr. 12
The 'Harmony Six' could be lawyered up on your dime, LFP, Apr. 12
THIS JUST IN: Last night (Apr. 10) city council by majority vote approved paying for the lawyers hired (if any) by the "Harmony Six" to deal with the complaint to the Ontario Ombudsman, regarding the Feb. 21st lunch meeting at the Harmony Grand Buffet.
The motion was made by Henderson and seconded by Swan. It carried by a vote of 8-6. (The eight were Henderson, Swan, Fontana, Orser, Denise Brown, Paul Van Meerbergen, Polhill and Armstrong.)
City lawyer Jim Barber, however, had advised council that it was not appropriate for council to indemnify the Harmony Six since they were not conducting official City business and there's no legal peril associated with the Ombudsman's final report decision.
Today (Apr. 11), investigators from the Ontario Ombudsman's office are at London city hall.
THE MCLEOD REPORT: Londoners have reason to be fearful, TMR, Apr. 11
ERIC BYRON TOWNSHEND: Union leader put others first, LFP, Apr. 8
VIDEO: Eric was honoured and remembered during last night's city council meeting (Apr. 10). It comes up at 16.21 into the Rogers TV-London video of the council meeting (you can move the sliding bar with your cursor)
June 26, 1953 (Summerside, PEI) ~ April 4, 2012 (London, ON)
Visitation is Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Rd. N. The funeral service is Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the same location.
Jamming a high-rise into the side of a gravel hill, LCW, Apr. 10
Drama and intrigue at London city hall on council night, TMR, Apr. 10
BREAKING NEWS: Journalist Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes' fame dead at age 93, CBC, Apr. 8
Toronto Blue Jays win second game of season, beating Cleveland Indians 7-4 in 12 innings in Cleveland, NP, Apr. 7
Obituary of Eric Byron Townshend, 58, WFC, Apr. 6
June 26, 1953 ~ April 4, 2012
Former London Majors' all-star Dave Byers is about to take the trip of a lifetime on the back of a motorcycle, WL, Apr. 6
Shortstop Dave Byers was the Intercounty Baseball League's Most Valuable Player in 1975, when the London Majors last won the league title. Dave's jersey (#18) has been retired by the London Majors
Blue Jays win longest season opener, ever: 7-4 in 16 innings, HS, Apr. 6
Local man proclaims himself Canada's new monarch
In the Wed. Apr. 4th edition of The London Free Press on page A7 (upper-right-hand corner), an 8.5-inch by 4.5-inch advertisement announced the following:
His Majesty's First Address
On the morning of March 30, 2012 by the official authority of church and Parliament the law of Canada, through a society for the distribution of royal and royalties, I, Lenard Douglas Hohner, was officially named: His Majesty King Lenard I of Canada.
Any living soul may presently address His Majesty at:
His Majesty King Lenard I of Canada,
567 Adelaide St. N. #3,
London, Ontario, Canada, N6B 3J7
Civic Meetings in London, ON, Tues. Apr. 10 to Fri. Apr. 13
London city council's finance and administrative services committee will be meeting in-camera at Windermere Manor at 200 Collip Circle at 9 am on Friday, April 13th to recommend a new city manager.
Jerry Goose was a survivor who loved life, LFP, Apr. 4
Oh brother, now radio buffoon Charles Adler is blaming Trudeau because he doesn't smoke and won the fight
THIS JUST IN: FROM TWITTER ~ "Charles Adler @charlesadler Since Senator Brazeau chain smokes, why is it taking @justinpjtrudeau so long to condemn Big Tobacco from having undue influence in contest?"
Right-wing radio blowhard Charles (Marble-Mouth) Adler (pictured left) is now trying to blame winner Justin Trudeau because Senator Patrick (Baby-Cakes) Brazeau smokes cigarettes and lost the fight.
FROM TWITTER: "Justin Trudeau, MP @justinpjtrudeau Your boy lost, @charlesadler. Get over it. In reply to Charles Adler"
Longstanding London businessman passed away Sunday night
THIS JUST IN, APR. 2: AltLondon has learned that Jerry Goose (pictured left), 92, husband of Fanny Goose and founder of J. Goose Family Clothing in London, Ontario, and the Jerry and Fanny Goose Judaic Library in Thornhill, Ontario, passed away last night.
Both Jerry and Fanny survived the Holocaust. Fanny's book, Rising from the Holocaust, can be found HERE.
Jerry is the father of Steve (Dr. Love) Garrison, host of the popular London-in-the-Morning Show on Newstalk 1290-CJBK-AM, Monday to Friday from 6 am to 9 am.
Funeral service: Wednesday, April 4, 1:30 pm at Or Shalom Synagogue, 534 Huron Street, London. Rabbi Ammos Chorny officiating. Reception to follow at the Jewish Community Centre, 536 Huron Street.
THRILLA ON THE HILLA: Justin Trudeau whips Patrick Brazeau in Ottawa
Trudeau celebrates Earth Hour by knocking Brazeau's lights out
BREAKING NEWS, MAR. 31: Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, a 3-1 under-dog, has defeated Tory Senator Patrick Brazeau in a three-round boxing match fundraiser for cancer.
Trudeau wins a third-round TKO after a bloodied Brazeau punched himself out in the first round.
More than $230-K was raised for cancer research.
VIDEO: Watch Round 1 of the fight here
VIDEO: Watch Round 2 of the fight here
VIDEO: Watch Round 3 of the fight here
Stained-glass artist Ted Goodden moving to BC, LFP, Mar. 30
Civic Meetings in London, ON, from Mon. Apr. 2 to Fri. Apr. 6
Dullards on London city council? Heaven help us, TMR, Mar. 30
Truth is such a lonely word
LONDON CITY HALL: A mayoralty gone south? TMR, Mar. 29
Mayor Joe responds to Phil McLeod's column, JF, Mar. 29
A dog's breakfast of civic planning, LCW, Mar. 29
ALTLONDON.ORG ~ FIGHTING FOR GOOD LOCAL GOVERNMENT SINCE 2001
We have Spies everywhere, including at the Harmony Grand Buffet
E-mail butchmclartyATyahoo.ca with the Rope-A-Dope
LONDON CITY HALL ~ OPINION
Rating the performance of London's mayor Joe Fontana
It's been 16 months since Joseph Frank (Joe) Fontana, 62, became London's 61st mayor and chief magistrate in December 2010 ~ with the campaign slogan of "Moving London in the Right Direction" and promising a zero-per-cent tax increase during the next four years while also creating 10,000 jobs.
With 31 months left in his four-year term, it's as good a time as any to provide an analysis of how he's doing at 300 Dufferin Avenue.
While Mayor Joe has shown an incredible amount of energy and cheerleading ability since landing in the Big Swivel Chair in December of 2010, a disturbing pattern has emerged regarding Joe's leadership style.
JUICE MONKEYS: It really started to go off the rails for the mayor in September of 2011, when officials from London Hydro made a case for restructuring the publicly owned utility by shifting several City (revenue-generating) departments over to Hydro.
Enhanced operating efficiencies and productivity were cited by Hydro brass as the reason for the restructuring.
Remember, Mayor Joe is also a member of London Hydro's board of directors.
A month later in October of 2011, the head honchos from Edmonton-based utility giant EPCOR made a presentation at city hall, wanting the go-ahead to begin negotiations with London Hydro in order to purchase a significant chunk of the local utility.
The idea was shot down by city council after Londoners made their feelings known on the proposed merger or sale.
While it was never reported by London's mainstream media (not surprising, given the sad state of affairs at The London Free Press), attentive Londoners subsequently learned from the clearly frustrated former city manager Jeff Fielding during a council meeting that EPCOR had been in discussions with London Hydro officials since March 2011.
||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. It’s 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. “This should be a slam dunk,” he argued. “Why are we doing this?”
"It’s 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: