Canada.com posed the question that maybe this whole Mayor's staffer calling in as a "Dave Q. Public" from Etobicoke, Scarborough and Georgetown is much ado about nothing. On the surface, they could be right. In an effort to keep Rob Ford and issues in the news, maybe the mainstream media is latching on to one sort of "scandal" or another in order to keep Ford, a figure of tremendous love or hate stature, in the news for sales and ratings. You'd have to be insane not to think that, but there is something real to this, relatively slight, controversy.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Here's some news from the Mayor's office even the most partisan of partisans should have no problem with, the announcement of the recipients of the 17th annual Mayor's Awards.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
At this point, I think maybe Marty Burke likes to write letters to the editor as a way to irk those of us still sore about his campaign of silence back during the 2011 election, a soreness that remains stinging in the wake of the robocall scandal for which Guelph was the epicentre, and on which Burke has yet to really comment on the record. And that brings us to Burke's latest screed to be published in the storied pages of the Guelph Mercury, and it's nice to see that in spite of everything that Burke is still doing the good work of the Harper political machine, which is to pile on Justin Trudeau.
Monday, June 24, 2013
I saw a poster this evening advertising a You Tube video called "Introduction to Guelph." Understandably curious, a decided to click on the link when I got home to see what all the hype was about, and discovered what was a fairly pleasant and kind of heart-warming tribute to the Royal City.
The big Alberta related news this weekend is about the flooding throughout many parts of the province, including the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from neighbourhoods all over Calgary. But here in Ontario, a small but dedicated group is more concerned about another flood, the flood of Alberta tar sands oil that might be passing through our area via a new pipeline.
Now when most people hear the word "pipeline" they think of the Keystone XL pipeline, the proposed run from the tar sands to refineries in Texas, there's also the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which takes Alberta oil to the British Columbia shore. But really, Alberta oil runs throughout this country, and some enterprising environmentalists in our neck of the woods want to draw attention to that and take direction to make it stop.
Friday, June 21, 2013
With the first day of summer comes news that Guelph and area is about to undergo its first heat alert of the year. What fun.
The has sent out the usual list of precautions and locations where Guelphites can seek some relief. Above all, remember to stay hydrated and stay out of the sun, and the same goes for your pets and kids too. Speaking of being hydrated, it will be a tough call the next couple of days to say who has it worse weather-wise speaking in Canada right now, the humidex-sweltering Ontario, or the flooded disaster of Alberta. Tell me again about the myth of climate change...
Sunday, June 16, 2013
The Guelph Civic League has been through many changes over the years, and it seems that the changes aren't done yet with the announcement that the GCL is going on hiatus this summer for retooling.
In a brief posting on the GCL blog, the group says that they are "'going dark' for the summer months to reboot and recharge."
Friday, June 14, 2013
The conventional wisdom says that you can't be socially and environmentally conscious and be a successful business, but Planet Bean has defied that "wisdom" expanding into three locations across the Royal City and doing it their way by creating a unique kind of cafe that makes its own statement without compromising on the belief that they can be successful and sustainable.
So Planet Bean is an ideally suited location to talk about the City's conservation efforts in a laid back setting that's fun and informative (at least, hopefully, let's not pre-judge these things). It's the second annual team-up between Planet Bean and the City to promote sustainability in Guelph, and anyone interested in environmental issues, or public policy concerning the environment, is welcome to attend.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Guelph has some great public art and if you have idea as to how you'd like to add to that incredible collection, then now's your chance. The city is looking for applications to the Public Art Committee and the deadline is coming up fast. If you're interested at all, then you're encourage to get your act together and put together your proposal before the deadline, which is July 5.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Here comes labour trouble. One might think that if there's one union you don't want to stir up trouble with, it's the firefighters (except maybe police), but the City of Guelph is seeking interest arbitration in the negotiations with the Guelph Professional Fire Fighters Association (GPFFA) in order to secure a new contract.
Now people are more likely to side with their firefighters over their government, which is unsurprising, and while I'm not sure I like the tone of the press release, if these were garbage men or park workers, I don't think there would be any question as to what side the public would be on. As I've recently discovered (again) for myself, there's no shortage of anger about government spending no matter how many legitimate reasons why certain line items make life better are given. But I digress.
This sounds pretty bad. Now I don't know a lot about bugs, and it's never especially been one of my priority research projects, but this is one of the unappreciated aspects of global climate change and our easily mobile society, some pests end up in places they're not supposed to be.
In the case of the Emerald Ash Borer, it's a matter of hitching a ride on the wrong box, boat or plane because they're native to Asia and Eastern Russia. In our region they're highly destructive, and it seems that the only way to stop the infestation from spreading is to literally get rid of the infested tree before the larvae get a chance to hatch. So be on the lookout this summer for these persistent pests.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
It was one of the more brazen decisions coming out of last year's budget deliberations, while at the same time it was not exactly the most thought out either. As further evidence of that, the city is extending the deadline for community feedback and proposals from local businesses for the reorganization of the task of overseeing local tourism. The original deadline was this month, but it's now being pushed back to the fall.
Friday, June 7, 2013
As soon as I saw a clip of this on The Daily Show last night, I knew I had to find the whole thing. Thank God for You Tube.
The video features Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz, sounding every inch like the crabby old lady she looks like, about a new program in New York City that's the equivalent of Toronto's Bixi bike-sharing program. To Ms. Rabinowitz, who has the audacity to compare herself to the "average" New Yorker, the recent addition of these bikes to New York City streets is "dreadful" and "totalitarian," and described Mayor Michael Bloomberg is "autocratic" and "a practiced denier" and that City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is "ideology-maddened."
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Here's a good idea that a certain segment of the population is likely to hate. To my mind though, it's not such a big cost to promote the use of municipal tap water with something like this water wagon. Sadly, I think there's still a kind of boogeyman effect when it comes to tap water, even though studies, both scientific and anecdotal, show that there's nothing wrong with tap water except the perception.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Guelph Mercury managing editor Phil Andrews says on his "From the Editors" blog that he recently got a sneak preview of a media review the City's doing as part of it's communications strategy, and the news was apparently good if you're a fan of balanced media coverage.
Looking at stories - news articles, editorials, letters to the editor, columns and blogs - published between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, the media audit aims to examine what kind of coverage City Hall gets from the various media sources in the Royal City. According to Andrews more than half the items audited were from the Mercury. In particular, blogs and editorials were both considered 71 per cent balanced, but while blogs were found to be 21 per cent negative, editorials were only a bit more negative at 23 per cent.
But the real question is what is all this in aid of? Is this the city equivalent of Googling one's own name and seeing what comes up? Is this seriously going to help the city better communicate knowing who's fairest most of the time? Whatever the reason, I hope the results will find their way online somewhere for the consumption by the general public (not to mention other bloggers interested in their perceived fairness. Hint, hint).