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Much ado about almost nothing…

Fort McMurray fires

Muzzling elected officials…

National Volunteer Week, 2016

Much ado about almost nothing…

Posted in: Politics, Ottawa, Politics | Comments (0)

So here I am sitting wide-awake at 2 am because I couldn`t sleep last night, woke up with a blinding headache and spent most of the daylight hours slumbering away…

In an attempt to find the peace that is sleepy-land, I thought I`d throw some words down about the latest local (non)-issue of the day; namely, the construction of a new playground at Mooney`s Bay here in O Town.

The local burghers have their knickers in quite a twist over a proposal (more of a done deal, actually) to construct a one acre children

The upshot is that a private film production company from Toronto (all things from The Big Smoke are evil in Ottawa unless otherwise designated, ya know) wants to build this facility and kick in $1 million to make it happen. The City (who leases the land from the NCC) would kick in a million (without going to Council – staff decision) and the thing would get done, and the company would film it as part of a series on TVO.  The knicker-twisting part is that the whole process has happened behind closed doors at the request of the private company and not even the local Councillor, Riley Brockington, has been able to say a peep about this as per instructions from the City parks and Rec. senior staff.

Of course, the local NIMBY apparatchiks scream foul because the usual public consultations sort of didn`t happen. Trees were being cut down, the traffic would be horrendous, what about the water quality… etc. What about the Hope Volleyball Tournament? What about the boaters? What about the ducks?

And I get that. Wherever possible with any large scale plan that may impact a community, there should be extensive public consultations as soon as possible and the advice from the community should be taken into account in the final design plans.

Now, bowing to local pressure the Councillor did propose a walk-on motion to Council yesterday asking that the project be delayed until the anti-tree-killers and water quality worriers could have their say. This motion was defeated and the project will go ahead.

Out of this, I do wonder about the staff having the authority to spend $1 million without Council approval and maybe this should be re-visited. However, I really don`t see the issue with the lack of advance public consultations in this instance. This was a situation where the City was being offered a $1 million in times of budget shortfalls. It looked to be a solid, viable and valuable project for the community with little negative impact. After all, it is just a playground, not a PCB incinerator!!! The public will be consulted, I imagine, as the project proceeds and this should suffice.

Should it have come to Council? Maybe. But all City and NCC requirements going forward will have to be met about traffic, environmental protection and the lot, so it isn`t as though the film company can go off willy-nilly and do what they want.

Should the lure of private dollars allow for the bypassing of agreed-upon public processes? Not usually, but there are sometimes exceptions. And this is one of them.

I look forward to seeing the new park!

 

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ May 26, 2016

Fort McMurray fires

Posted in: Environment, Fundraising | Comments (0)

I don’t know about you, but I am blown away by the images I am seeing out of northern Alberta.

Keep in mind that Fort Mac is a city of about 90,000 and much of it could go up in flames.

If you are able, please donate to the Red Cross relief effort or the relief organisation of your choice.

Here is the link to the Red Cross effort.

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ May 4, 2016

Muzzling elected officials…

Posted in: education, school board | Comments (0)

… is a worrisome development and one that has been codified by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB).

Trustee Blackburn is outspoken, no doubt. And sometimes, like all of us, she likely says things that she wishes she could take back. But Donna alone is responsible for what she says and how she says it and if her bosses (the voters of her zone in Barrhaven) do not agree, they will turf her out in 2018.

She is a fine representative of her constituents and works harder than any other Trustee I have seen. Some may not like her style or her politics, and that is fair, but it does not warrant what is, in essence, the passing of a motion of censure.

Go get ’em, Donna!

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ April 20, 2016

National Volunteer Week, 2016

Posted in: Volunteerism | Comments (0)

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the importance I place on volunteering one’s time freely and gladly for the benefit of the wider community.

Without volunteers, there would be little help for those down on their luck and living on the streets, pets in need of homes, or seniors who want some companionship or require someone to deliver their food.

Kids’ sports programs? Hockey? Soccer? Baseball? Forget it. 99% volunteer-run.

Parent Councils wouldn’t exist and without them, no movie nights, new play equipment, used book drives or school bake sales.

Community Associations – those groups of volunteers that organise community garage sales, offer programs and events, do those baked bean suppers or who arrange for Santa to give out some presents at the local community hall – b-bye to all those.

Spring garbage clean-ups? Nope, those riverbanks and highway ditches will just have to live with the tossed out cans, bottles and tires.

United Way canvassers? Ciao.

Adios to all those who collect furniture and food for refugees, money for the Kids Help Phone or put together a soccer tournament at work to benefit something-or-other.

Goodbye Rotarians, Lions and Kinsmen. All you do will be missed.

The point I am trying to make is this:

Think, even for a moment, of all the ways that the work that volunteers do touch you and your family and friends. Then imagine if they all bailed.

Thank a volunteer today. Better yet, become one! It doesn’t need to be a huge effort. Do it and you will feel good about yourself and will become one of these irreplaceable threads in the fabric of your community.

Happy Volunteer Week!!!!

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ April 12, 2016

The anti Uber argument…

Posted in: Politics, Ottawa | Comments (0)

… reminds me of the old story of the electric light and the candlestick makers…

NO! The candlestick makers said. We invested. We thought our industry would last forever! The electric light makers don’t have to go by the same rules!

IT ISN’T FAIR!!!

It is sad and unfortunate that the candlestick makers are going to have to change their business models and that some will suffer.

It truly is.

But the world has changed. Consumers want light at the flick of a switch and for-hire rides when they want one and on their terms.

Should the free for all that Uber has enjoyed so far carry on?

Nope.

Should cities like Ottawa find a way to accept times have changed and consumers demand a level of service above what the taxi industry has been offering?

Absolutely.

Ottawa City Council must accept reality and create the environment where Uber can compete with the taxis. And if the taxis don’t like it, they should find something else to do aside from the candlestick business.

 

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ April 7, 2016

Here there be dragons…

Posted in: Politics, American politics | Comments (0)

… are words that you can find on old sailor navigation maps that are meant to say: “Hey fools! Stay away from here! Like, don’t even THINK about it!”.

The American people would serve themselves well to heed these warnings. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC outlines a solid case that the escalating violence around the Trump supporters has been deliberate and planned. If true, our southern neighbours are headed full-steam toward those dragons… and they may not find it that easy to escape them.

Those are pretty dangerous beasts, those dragons. They have a nasty bite.

Be careful, my American friends…

Dragon

 

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ March 13, 2016

That point when you know that something has gone too far…

Posted in: Politics, American politics | Comments (0)

You know, extreme fashion like bell bottoms and clothes made from meat, a practical joke that pushed the limits of good taste, Boy George…

That kind of too far.

Sooooo, America?

You have now and officially gone too far.

Stop the stupidity.

Now, please.

trump

 

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ February 24, 2016

Quote of the week…

Posted in: Politics, Canada, Politics, Canada, Harper | Comments (0)

… from the Guardian:

Stephen Harper, Canada’s former prime minister, was a vacuous, anodyne nothing, as magnetic on the public stage as the podium he spoke from. His occasional efforts to ingratiate himself to younger voters – or rather the efforts of his staff to make their boss seem plausibly nonrobotic – ranged from dismal to pathetic, such as a kitty-petting photoshoot so unconvincing that you fear for the safety of the cat.

Brilliant.

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ February 19, 2016

About that storm…

Posted in: weather | Comments (0)

… that we had in Ottawa yesterday.

  • All things considered, I think the City staff and equipment handled the situation the best they could. More than fifty centimetres of snow fell in about a 14 hour span… very challenging for City crews. Hopefully the aftermath will be cleared away quickly.
  • What switch doesn’t go off in some drivers’ heads during a storm? Clearly it’s the “wow, I guess I should slow down” switch
  • Speaking of failed switch openings – please, please, PLEASE clean off your vehicle BEFORE you leave the parking lot! Do NOT do so in the middle of a busy street after your “clear the car of snow” switch finally does trip.
  • Last -and this will be sure to bug some of my cycling friends. I get it that you pedal-pushers have the right to share the road with we drivers. And normally I never have issues with that. But do you really, REALLY have to exercise that right in the middle of one of the biggest storms EVER and cycle along one of the busiest streets in Ottawa (Heron road and Riverside Drive, for those of you in the know). Witnessed this yesterday (and not for the first time)… couldn’t see a freaking thing because of the blowing snow but here’s this idiot, riding along, cars swerving to avoid him… being a hazard to himself and others! Can the City pass a bylaw prohibiting this type of activity? Or maybe a change to the Highway Traffic Act is in order? It is sheer lunacy to cycle in those conditions.

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ February 17, 2016

The death of a newspaper

Posted in: media | Comments (0)

I have never been the biggest fan of the Ottawa Citizen. Ever. Preaching, self-righteous columnists like David Warren turned me off the paper years ago. Their coverage is usually biased, overtly partisan and sometimes poorly written.

However. And it is a big “however”. Those are my opinions, and I am entitled to them. Others think differently and that is how it should be. A healthy democracy needs all opinions to be aired and discussed. Newspapers have traditionally performed that function and usually very well.

That is why losing another newspaper like the Ottawa Citizen is a tragedy. With each passing of an Ottawa Citizen or a Sun or any other paper, a little bit of our democracy is eroded.

There are some talented people named in the Tweet below. I have had the pleasure of meeting Joanne Chianello on a couple of occasions and she and her work is top-shelf. Same goes for Andrew Potter. They are both talented individuals who will land safely somewhere. And I wish them the best.

citizenlayoffs

Maybe it is time for another one of these?

Why is this happening? Like Warren Kinsella, I am not buying all of the B.S. excuses that Godfrey et al are spewing.

What does it mean? Well, it means Paul Godfrey doesn’t give a sweet shit about Canadian journalism, for starters. That much should be clear to everyone, by now. All that he cares about, seems, is fattening the accounts of U.S. hedge funds, and giving himself big bonuses as amazing people like the ones above are shown the door. –

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Trashy,
Ottawa, Ontario

trashee @ February 11, 2016