Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, February 17, 2006

How Many Words

A friend of mine likes to play with words. He asked me a question: is "Government Inaction" two words or three. I'll give you the answer at the end of the Blog but keep it in mind as you read what I have written.

I read an email recently that tells me that the DRIC people may have a few sleepless nights as will a few people in Ottawa. It starts by saying:
  • "It strongly appears, based on statements and actions by DRIC that elected officials were intimately involved in this process that was wrongly sold to the general public as a non-partisan, rigorous, transparent evaluation of all the border alternatives. Whether DRIC’s actions are contrary to the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act remain to be seen. At minimum, the spirit of the law appears to have been violated."

The rest of the email goes on to identify a number of areas of concern and then the juicy part as far as I am concerned:

  • "Canada’s new Prime Minister, The Rt. Honourable Steven Harper has made government integrity and accountability his number one priority.

    Mr. Jeff Watson, MP, Essex has made public statements on a local public affairs program (Face to Face with John Fairly) in January 2006 and on CKLW on January 24, 2006, supporting DRIC so long as their process was not interfered with by politicians. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that the DRIC process has been tampered with -- in fact it’s acknowledged by DRIC’s own officials.

    By way of this letter, we will be asking our local MP(s) to request the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Transport, to investigate the decision making of DRIC, whether civil servants were pressured by some politicians into making certain decisions and the conduct of the previous federal government."

I love it. The Prime Minister is put on the horns of a dilemma by an area of the country that gives him nothing but trouble---Windsor. How would you like to be put on the spot of supporting a process that many believe to be flawed that was designed by your predecessor? On the other hand, how can you be seen as the weak Government in a four Government process that would appear to cave in because of a few vociferous NIMBY types! (Oh don't talk to me about what the Michigan Governor did Downriver. It's an election year for her after all).

This is just the latest in a series of attacks against DRIC by stakeholders on both sides of the river. I have read a number of emails from various parties that are about as strongly worded as I have ever seen.

If you are the PM, how do you decide? Each of the letter writers are writing from their own position obviously but each will make a valid case. And then DRIC will make a response that seems to make just as much sense. So that does not help you much.

Then the lightbulb should go on for the PM.


The facts are pretty clear. Once they are presented properly, and they have been out there for a long time, the decision is obvious.

Just to help out the PM, I'll explain in my other BLOG today how and why DRIC seems to have gone off the track when it really has not. And next week, some really good stuff that I uncovered that should make some bureacrats run for the hills if my preliminary reading is correct!

And the answer to the question set out in the beginning to help the PM out in his decision: in this case Government Inaction is Government In Action.

Highway 401 Has Been Completed To The Border

I felt crummy yesterday. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat.

I must have been hallucinating too due to a high fever. The thought just kept going through my head that Highway 401 had in fact been completed to the border.

How could that be possible you say? Haven't we spent the last three or four years and millions of taxpayer dollars on consultants trying to figure out where a new border crossing should go and where the road connection between the Ambassador Bridge (or the new bridge) and Highway 401 should be?

Don't you just hate it there is some information that you had read that answers your question but you cannot remember where it is. So back to my mountain of research data and dig, dig, dig.

Then I found it.

It was that Eddie bugaboo who had given me the answer a long time ago but I had never thought through what he said. Not only was he right, but what he said helped me now explain the disaster known as DRIC. It all fell right into place.

To be direct, I probably am one of the few people in Windsor who has kept up with the Border issue and who has read most of the DRIC materials. Until about a month ago, I thought I had a good handle on it. However, with the weird way that DRIC eliminated the Bridge Co. (a lawsuit just begging to be started), the diagonal bridge, the S-Bridge, the destruction of Sandwich with DRIC's proposed plaza and Sterling Fuels crossing, the Livernois/Dragoon plaza and crossing and the possible Prospect bridge I could no longer make any sense of this. And if you throw in the City's sabre rattling about a possible Estrin launched lawsuit, then I was completely confused.

So I re-read a piece that Dennis DesRosiers had written on the east- west corridor:

  • "I was in the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association's office a few weeks ago and noticed an Ontario map on the wall where they had put pins in place representing all of Canada's parts manufacturing facilities. From looking at this map it dawned on me that the Canadian automotive sector may not have a long-term problem with the Windsor/Detroit border after all. The simple fact of the matter is that the automotive sector in Canada is now more aligned along an east/west corridor starting in Sarnia and ending in Fort Erie than a north/south corridor starting in Windsor and ending in Eastern Ontario.

    And a lot has happened to strengthen the east/west corridor infrastructure. The Bluewater bridge in Sarnia was recently twinned and a new state of the art train tunnel that can handle Double Decker rail cars was built in Sarnia in the early 1990s. The 403 highway between the 401 and Sarnia currently is being upgraded. There are now five, and about to be six border crossings in the Niagara region with the twinning of one of their bridges. I understand that this is in the design stage and will be built over the next few years. Hwy. 403 is being linked to the QEW and Hwy. 406 might be extended to Fort Erie, hopefully in the near future. This will strengthen the connection between the 401 and the Niagara region. Within a decade the new mid-peninsula highway linking the 401 to New York through the Niagara Peninsula will be built. This project is in environmental review at this time and it looks like it will be built, possibly in less time than anticipated. If an OEM comes in and builds an assembly plant at either or both ends of this east/west corridor then the axis will be solidified and the Canadian automotive industry will have almost totally re-aligned itself away from its traditional unionized north/ south corridor to a new primarily non-union east/west corridor.

    This new east/west corridor will have very strong border infrastructure at each end and a very well developed highway system linking all players in between. This new east/west corridor is already a magnet for investments from the overseas players moving to North America.

Then I happened to watch Jeff Watson being interviewed by John Fairley on Face-to-Face. Lo and behold, John asked him about the east-west corridor and not only did Jeff agree, he also pointed out that Sault Ste. Marie was trying to get into the picture as well. For those of you who do not know, the Soo is looking at MULTI MODAL OPPORTUNITIES

  • "The City of Sault Ste. Marie appreciates our strategic location at the hub of the Great Lakes and central to North America and that our location affords us an opportunity to promote ourselves as a multi modal transportation hub for rail-air-marine-truck modes of transportation.

    Our position at the north end of US Interstate 75, an underutilized highway that connects with Highway 17 at our City and the International Bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is not congested unlike other border city locations in Southern Ontario. A Multi Modal Transportation Hub in Sault Ste. Marie would help ease congestion problems in Southern Ontario."

Then I read about the I-69 corridor project:

  • "I-69 Project Overview

    I-69 today connects Indianapolis with the Canadian border at Port Huron, Michigan/Sarnia, Ontario. While it only passes through two states now, it is an important link between the lower Midwest and the most populous provinces of Canada. However, current plans will extend Interstate 69 much further.

    The proposed I-69 extension will connect three different border crossings in Texas (Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville) to I-465 in Indianapolis; from there, traffic will continue over the existing I-69 and other freeways to border crossings in Detroit, Port Huron or Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Approximately 1600 miles of freeway (including the 3 Texas branches) will be added to existing I-69 when it is complete."

Then I found an article about the I-69/I-75 Mid-Michigan Intermodal Trade Corridor.

  • "The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to spend $1.8 billion, mainly federal dollars over the next 25 years to develop the I-69/I-75 Mid-Michigan Intermodal Trade Corridor.

    This regional plan includes Saginaw, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and St. Clair counties working and cooperating together called the Intermodal Trade Corridor Plan.

    The Trade Corridor Plan will help the five target counties capitalize on their location at the crossroads of a national and international transportation network. A recent MDOT report that featured the results of a study conducted by the Corradino Group of Michigan, Inc., notes: “The vision of this study is to develop a major regional intermodal freight system serving air, surface, rail and waterway transportation needs with seamless interaction among all transportation modes.”

    Accordingly, MDOT officials announced in a recent press release that the Trade Corridor Plan provides “a competitive advantage for commodity flow; it creates a new dimension in the regions’ economy; and, improves the quality of life for the region’s citizens.”

    The hub and satellite concept used in Youngstown, Louisville and Fort Worth will be followed in further developing Flint’s Bishop and Saginaw’s MBS international airports according to state officials."

So even in my feverish brain, the message started coming through loud and clear: THE HIGHWAY 401 CONNECTION TO THE BORDER HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE....ONLY IT IS CALLED HIGHWAY 402 TO SARNIA! The move has been on for a long time to shift traffic from the I-75 NAFTA Super Highway route to a new I-69 corridor focusing on Port/Huron Sarnia as the key border crossing.

Don't you get it now. The DRIC was doomed to fail from Day One! The elimination of the Bridge Co. proposal (even though hundreds of millions had been spent on the Gateway project), the fight over where a new bridge should go, the ridiculous sums for the cost of a new crossing, the desire for someone to sue them was all part of an effort to move the main part of the border away from Windsor/Detroit to Sarnia/Port Huron. If DRIC dies, then a new crossing dies as well. And with the doom and gloomers saying the border here does not work, then who in their right mind would make an investment here.

Oh, so you still think I am hallucinating do you? Check out what U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Twp., said in Crains the other day:

  • "the Blue Water Bridge could challenge the Ambassador Bridge as the No. 1 crossing point between the U.S. and Canada.

    Miller helped secure $43 million in federal funds to build a new U.S.-side inspections plaza for the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron. The new plaza, she said, will streamline traffic, improve security and generate dollars for the Michigan and U.S. economies by cutting down on border wait times.

    Miller said that while the Detroit International Bridge Co., which owns and operates the Ambassador Bridge, has hit some snags in its massive plaza expansion, the Blue Water Bridge last year took over the No. 2 border crossing spot from Buffalo, N.Y.

    “We’ve been surging along,” she said."

I read an interesting article the other day in the Free Press that was headlined "A NEW CHAPTER: Backers say Detroit is poised to boom." It said at the end ""Detroit's decline was more magnified than other urban areas so it's taken more time to get grounded," he said, adding that the Super Bowl gave the city and the region a kick-start. "Detroit is an easier sell now."

Well, I have to say that we will not be able to sell the region if the border does not work and if the I-69 corridor is now Michigan's focus.

So where do we go from here....Just keep reading this Blogsite!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Should The Apology Be Accepted

I am sure that you must have read the Letter To The Editor in the Star today from Joe McParland about Windsor and Essex Chamber of Commerce’s 16th Annual Business Excellence Awards at the Chrysler Theatre and "the derisive ‘one-liners’ at the expense of a minority group [that] were offensive, distasteful and unnecessary."

I am posting below a letter that was sent out by Joe about the matter and the apology received. It looks like Joe kept his word since these letters are circulating widely to those in the community. They were forwarded to me by a reader. I decided that I wanted to comment on them since they raise a question concerning the standards to which we hold our officials. I thought they were important to post.

Should we just in Joe's terms "put this to rest and learn some important lessons from it" or is more needed? Is it enough just to accept an apology or should we require, for instance, that Gordon Orr be given "sensitivity training." After all, we need him to be an effective spokesperson for the City to draw tourists here, especially from minority groups. We cannot allow him to make such a mistake again if we are not to lose millions because of an error like this.

Am I being harsh? Absolutely! Is that fair, No... but we seem to require those people who are in "public" jobs to live by a very high standard. Whether that is right or wrong, is another question that needs addressing at some time.

Accordingly, it would seem to me that some of the $3,000 being given to the Governor's husband might be better diverted for training for Gordon and perhaps others who have contact with the public about how to behave.
Dear Friends,

Earlier today I had two very good telephone conversations with Gordon Orr, emcee of last Friday’s Business Excellence Awards, and Jennifer Jones, partner and executive producer at Media Street Productions, who produced the show. They both called me about the letter I submitted to the Windsor Star dealing with Brokeback Mountain and the gay one-liners from the show. Apparently, there were other letters on this matter circulating, but the one I penned as Board president of Windsor Pride made it to the Mayor’s office and was forwarded to Gordon and Jennifer.

Both Gordon and Jennifer have expressed their deep-felt apologies for the effect this particular segment had on many in the community. They both said that they did not intend anything malicious, that it was intended to be lighthearted and fun. They now, in retrospect, wish this segment had been removed.

I know these two individuals personally and know their apology and regret to be sincere. They are extremely fine members of our Windsor community. Jennifer is also a board member of the Chamber, so she wears two hats in this matter. I thanked them for being forthright and upfront with us and have accepted their apologies on behalf of all in our community.

The tape of the Friday’s show was scheduled to air tonight on TV Cogeco, with many subsequent repeat showings. Jennifer arranged to have Cogeco postpone tonight’s showing and asked Cogeco to edit out the Brokeback Mountain segment. I thanked her for this action.

Finally, Jennifer indicated that she would be sending to me a letter addressing this matter which I will forward on to all when I am in receipt of it. Please send this current email on to whomever you forwarded my original letter. We all need to put this to rest and learn some important lessons from it.

Respectfully Yours,
Joe McParland
President of the Board
Windsor Pride


Mr. Joe McParland
President of the Board
Windsor Pride
1559 Victoria
Windsor, Ontario N8X 1P4

Dear Joe:

Please express our heartfelt apologies to your membership. As explained in phone conversations between you and Gordon Orr and Jennifer Jones it was truly never the intention of any of the parties involved to offend or alienate any specific group or individual.

All individuals involved in this process are most committed to respecting the human dignity of all persons.

This segment of Friday night’s program was a parody of Saturday Night Lives’ Weekend Update and was meant to be a lighthearted look at topical events. We were most cognizant of developing a product that didn’t offend anyone in our community and therefore our reference was made using Hollywood as the backdrop.

The first airing of this program on Cogeco Cable was scheduled for Tuesday, February 14th. Immediately following our conversation this program was pulled and directions to edit this portion were executed.

Again, our sincerest apologies if this translated in the local community. This was never our intention and we are sorry.


Linda Smith, President, Windsor & District Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer Jones, Executive Producer, Media Street Productions, Inc.
Gordon Orr, Show Host

Kwame Is The Real Border Authority

Remember what I wrote in my January 17 BLOG, "Whatever Kwame Wants, Kwame Gets"---With the Governor dependant on the Detroit Mayor for re-election, it is obvious that whatever Kwame wants, he will get.

Will Governor Granholm make the pilgrimage to the Manoogian Mansion or will the Republicans do a deal with him so that he will sit on his hands and not do anything to help the Governor?

As an aside, Eddie really hurt the City's position...Can you imagine what the Governor's hubby must have said about our dysfunctional Mayor and Council to his wife after his "Dr. Phil" session with them. It makes me shiver just to think about it

Well the Mayor's position just got stronger.
  • "Michigan Governor: Granholm Lead Disappears

    February 14, 2006--In mid-January, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) held a double digit lead in the Rasmussen Reports election poll and several other polls. Since then, the news has not been good for Michigan's economy or the incumbent.

    Ford announced major lay-offs and plant closings just before the Governor's State-of-the-State address (GM had already done the same). More job losses are projected and the Governor's speech was devoted to the issue of job loss and economic concerns. Even while promising to do her best to secure new jobs, this is difficult territory for an incumbent seeking re-election.

    Through it all, the Governor's support has fallen five points since our January poll. Support for challenger Dick DeVos has increased five points during that time and the race is now effectively even--Granholm (D) 44% DeVos (R) 43%.

    This biggest changes from January can be seen in terms of partisan support. Among Democrats, Granholm's support has fallen from 76% in January to 66% today.

    At the same time, support for DeVos among Republicans has increased from 67% to 78%."

A Dysfunctional Council

Why is this Council failing where the previous one succeeded?

Yup, you heard me correctly. Our old, much-maligned Council had a solid 7-3 majority making the right decisions for Windsor while this Council is incapable of being consistent on the same issue from vote to vote. The classic example is the votes on the Site Plan approval for the new booths for the Bridge Co. It was supported unanimously by Council when they endorsed Schwartz in secret. However, when votes went public, the first time, 2 Councillors flip-flopped and, the second time, the flip-floppers were joined by a third colleague.

In the end, it comes down to people. We had a Charlie Hotham who had the guts to stare down a tough Mayor and demand a vote in March, 2003 that changed the face of Windsor forever. We had the “old” Eddie Francis and Fulvio Valentinis tag-team who could assume a positive role around which the other Councillors could align themselves. Finally, we had a Bill Marra who had the Council experience and who was capable of dealing with the various factions on Council to bring them together as needed, the perfect conciliator, so they could work together in unity for the good of Windsor. Who are their equivalents now?

Sure they were called “dysfunctional” by those that were opposed to the good decisions they made. But Windsor stood firm and tall with them in charge with everyone but the people against them. They made it easy for the new Mayor and Council.

I am raising this issue because again I am totally confused by what this Mayor and Council are doing with the border. Is it any wonder that Windsor is not taken seriously any more. Let me present the flip-flop evidence.
  1. They were elected to find a long-term solution and rallied instead for the billion-dollar short-term Schwartz dream
  2. The people elected on an "open and transparent" government platform have never allowed the people to speak on the border issue
  3. Their major campaign to sell Schwartz flopped, a waste of time and money
  4. The Schwartz Report really was nothing more than a mere "starting point" because the Senior Levels asked us to present something. Never mind that Council "endorsed" it.
  5. If they had a PLAN, it would be nice to see it finally.
  6. The Schwartz Report offered a Route #3 that was endorsed unanimously but Mayor Francis and Councillor Valentinis seem to have disowned it looking for a road through vacant or agricultural lands
  7. The people who ignored Talbot Road before are now their champions as those residents are being played again

The Mayor and Council have no friends. Their "snub" hurt Windsor with the Senior Levels. This is clearly demonstrated by the Cansult Report prepared for the Feds which ended the Horseshoe Road and the Provincial appointment of Steve Salmons (What a slap in the face to Eddie!). Detroiters only think of Windsor as cleaners of snow at the Super Bowl thanks to Kwame's remarks and Eddie as the head of "Sin City" after Eddie almost helped cause Kwame to lose the election. But I am sure that the $3,000 in the Michigan Governor's hubby's bank account means that he will like us at least.

It is time that the Mayor and Council regroup. It is not too late for them to take some positive action. If the Mayor will not listen to his Councillors, then the Councillors must disown the Mayor for the good of Windsor----as they did with ex-Mayor Hurst!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

DRIC Is Done Now

Now I don't know about you but I do not see the State of Michigan spending the $1.5 to $3 billion forecast by DRIC to build the infrastructure for a new border crossing, depending on location, when they have other demands on their scarce roads funds. Nor do I see it happening in the potential "have-not" Province of Ontario.

Take a look at the story below. Do you understand now why the Legislators in Lansing want to look closely at what MDOT and DRIC are doing! The amount spent by these consultants would have helped pave a road somewhere!

If it is clear that there is no money for the crossing, then expect there to be a competition between the Michigan Governor and Legislature to kill DRIC. I would expect Stephen Harper, as our new PM, to be in the thick of things as well to help kill this Liberal money waster.

With DRIC dead, then what happens to the Detroit/Windsor border? Don't worry, I have the answer. That will be the subject of another BLOG in the next day or two.

Road demands outstrip available cash

Sunday, February 12, 2006. By Peter Luke Lansing Bureau

LANSING -- Should Gov. Jennifer Granholm and lawmakers agree to design and construct a limited-access U.S. 131 freeway from Kalamazoo to the Indiana Toll Road, that would be good news for the length and breadth of West Michigan.

Local officials and lawmakers from the region argue that a 20-mile stretch of freeway first proposed three decades ago is vital for economic growth from Petoskey south to the state line.

Michigan Department of Transportation officials in October announced they were killing the project because traffic counts didn't justify the massive investment. After local outcry, department officials appear ready to change their minds, with Granholm's concurrence, lawmakers say.

"(Granholm) has seen the errors of MDOT's ways," Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, R-Wyoming, said last week. But, he added: "I want to see a commitment of X-amount of dollars to the next phase. Then I will know it's real."

Granholm administration officials say the governor has only asked MDOT to take another look at the project.

Promising the road will be built and finding the money to build it are indeed two different things. Twenty miles of new freeway, M-6 in Kent County, carried a price tag of $650 million once it was completed in 2004. That represents about half of what the state annually spends on road repair for the entire state.

If anything, the U.S. 131 road project highlights the central reality of Michigan's road budget: The state's highway repair budget is top-heavy with asphalt overlays. Reconstructing or expanding the highway network would take hundreds of millions more -- money the state does not have and lawmakers are unwilling to raise.

It's not apparent where they're going to get the money for that freeway to Indiana.

"The Legislature and the (Granholm) administration are going to have to admit to the fact that there are dire transportation needs at both the state and local levels," said Michael Nystrom, a road builder lobbyist and spokesman for a coalition advocating more highway funding.

"Michigan is going to continue to lose jobs, the businesses we currently have and new business opportunities, if we don't have the infrastructure to support employers getting their work force to work or their products to market," Nystrom said...

Sen. James Barcia, D-Bay City, ranking Democrat on the budget committee that oversees road funding, said Michigan's roads continue to suffer from what he calls years of neglect. He also represents a lot of anxious constituents in the auto industry...

"I think the public appreciates good roads, but given the state of the economy, the timing may not be the best to put a motor fuel tax increase up for a vote," Barcia said.

Problem is, only 1 percent of sales tax revenue goes to MDOT. Nearly 74 percent is earmarked for local public schools; the rest for local revenue sharing. Steering more sales tax paid on fuel to road repair and construction would face considerable opposition from powerful school funding advocates...

While the state will receive a modest increase in road funding this year, Michigan motorists still send more federal gas tax revenue to Washington than the state receives in return.

Michigan is making up for revenue shortfalls by borrowing about $860 million over the next three construction seasons. MDOT's five-year construction plan calls for spending $1.8 billion in 2006. Unless the state decides to borrow more in later years, that road budget will fall to less than $1.2 billion in 2010, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. According to the agency, MDOT's borrowing costs by 2010 will near $200 million, the same amount generated by the 4-cent gas tax increase back in 1997.

"When you buy something on a credit card, you have to pay it back eventually," said Bob Risser, executive director of the Michigan Concrete Paving Association.

But stagnant road revenue hasn't prevented a new political fight: How to divvy it up.

MDOT's latest five-year road and bridge construction plan was approved Jan. 27 over the objections of 15 West Michigan lawmakers who contend that Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties were being short changed. Rep. Jerry Kooiman, R-Grand Rapids, complains that MDOT's Grand planning region is the third most populous, but will receive the fifth most funding over the next five years.

Kooiman said Michigan's scarce transportation resources should be spent "in a way that promotes economic development and expansion throughout the state." Exhibit A, say West Michigan lawmakers, is the U.S. 131 project that would connect Traverse City, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo to the I-80/90 trans-American corridor.

"Not to simplify things too much, but we are a peninsula," Kooiman said.

Since she took office, Granholm has focused on preserving roads but now appears ready to bow to demands to build them as well.

Nystrom said there isn't enough money to adequately do either.

The bulk of MDOT's new five-year road plan is in road resurfacing, projects that add new layers of asphalt that temporarily improve driving conditions but ignore crumbling, half-century-old road beds, critics say.

Institutionalized NIMBYism

Eddie Francis has sunk to an all-time low now on the border.

If it was not bad enough that he has done everything in secret so far...If it was not bad enough that he "rallied" citizens for a billion-dollar short-term dream rather than a long-term solution...If it was not bad enough that he hid from us that he was ignored by the Senior Levels resulting in the "snub..."

Now we get the Eddie Francis scare mongering.

I am not sure what the outcome will be other than re-creating the animosities that existed before amongst the various neighbourhoods. Oh I know what he wanted to do but that is not what he is creating. He will pit neighbour against neighbour all over again. He learned his lesson well on how to do this from what happened when he was a Councillor. We are back to where we were 3 years ago under this Mayor. What a disgrace!

Check out the City Website and the "Open House" letter to Windsorites. Of course, what you do not know is that a different version of this letter has been sent out to different parts of the City, for example, people who live near E C Row. Their letter is addressed to "EC Row Corridor Residents" and is a different letter from that posted on the website. I guess this is called target-marketing.

And what does the letter say to scare people out of their minds:

  1. THIS COULD AFFECT YOU! in bold capitals
  2. The overflow of truck traffic could filter on to local roads
  3. construction could take as long as 3 to 5
  4. The international truck route and service road could lie just 5 meters from the back of properties
  5. All business and residential properties fronting on Talbot Road, and Huron Church Road south of EC Row, could potentially be removed.
  6. this could affect you! (affect used 5 times in case people are slow to get the message.

"Could" but does not have to.

I am no fan of DRIC frankly, but if you have been reading my BLOG then you know I am hardly a fan of the way the Mayor has been handling this file. HE HAS FAILED !

I wonder which of his strategists advised him to create a diversion and pretend that he is now the champion of the people. After all what else can you say if you are running for re-election and have accomplished nothing on the border file!

Just wait, we will probably get a "public" meeting at Council at the end of the month after all of this fear-mongering to "ratify" in public the secret resolution that Council passed in the last few weeks. Well, maybe not if the same 16 delegations sign up as they did to oppose the infamous Agenda Item #5. Council may "defer" again if the going gets too tough.

It really does not matter what we say though, the script has been written in the Mayor's Office but I am afraid it may not be a happy ending.

By the way, what were the results of the July, 2005 meeting for which we paid out thousands of taxpayer dollars? I guess they did not help Eddie's position so were buried.

The Plane Truth On The Border

I just do not understand Americans. Surely they had the opportunity on the other side of the river to take over thousands of acres of land and spend billions of dollars to build a totally new airport in Detroit. Why we in Canada did that with Mirabel in Montreal and Pickering in Toronto and look at the "successes" that both of them never had.

Instead they kept the existing airport, made improvements like a sixth jet runway, the expanded McNamara Terminal, a second access road from I-275, and more than 11,000 new structured parking spaces. As a result, they were able to handle the largest numbers of passengers since their best-ever year in 2000.

I wonder who the experts were on the airport deal. Perhaps they could give the experts on the border file a different perspective on what needs to be done to deal with record-setting traffic levels. Pehaps "improvements at the existing" rather than "new" makes some sense too. I do know it would save taxpayer dollars.

Metro airport sets traffic record
Total tops 36 million passengers


February 9, 2006

Detroit Metropolitan Airport set a record for passenger traffic in 2005 despite a tepid local economy, higher jet fuel costs, and a mechanics strike and bankruptcy filing involving the airport’s biggest carrier, Northwest Airlines.

Metro handled 36,389,294 total passengers in 2005, eclipsing the 2004 total of 35,276,870. It also topped the airport’s best-ever year of 2000, when 35,535,080 passengers flew in or out of Metro.

“In one year, Detroit Metropolitan Airport smoothly and efficiently handled the equivalent populations of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio combined,” said Lester Robinson, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO. “This illustrates the dedication and professionalism of employees of the airlines, TSA, FAA, the Airport Authority and all of our contractors and vendors.”

Passenger totals had been heading for the 36-million mark back in 2001 when the terror attacks of Sept. 11 cut deeply into air travel. A booming economy in most of the nation and low-cost airlines bringing down fares have gradually build traffic levels back up.

Robinson credited capital improvements in recent years for helping Metro handle the traffic, including a sixth jet runway, the expanded McNamara Terminal, a second access road from I-275, and more than 11,000 new structured parking spaces.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Who Started The Paris Hilton Rumour

Finally, a story about sex and Hollywood gossip in this Blog.

Do you think that we will ever learn the true story behind the success, or not, of the Super Bowl weekend. You remember the $80 million that was supposed to come to Windsor, the 6-700 buses that were to cross the border, the visitors filling our hotels and restaurants, the extra massages and Cuban cigars sold.

Was it a good thing for Windsor to be called "Sin City?" The Mayor did not like it at first but then his attitude changed as the week wore on and as people started saying nice things about Windsor too (and Gord wrote his column saying it was OK). You know the old does not matter what they say about you as long as they spell your name right!

Let me give you some facts. The car and truck crossing numbers for both the Bridge and Tunnel were ugly. I would assume that the operators and Customs put on additional staff and had extra booths open too to ensure everything went smoothly. If they did, they took a big hit in operating costs given the horrible figures.

Over the Super Bowl weekend, in some cases and on certain days, numbers were off from last year's figures by over 50%. Detroit to Windsor numbers were worse than the other way around. Both the Bridge and Tunnel had very similar drops in numbers. Sunday was the worst day of all for movement which should probably be expected. As far as buses were concerned, there was nowhere near the 6-700 number. I am sure that the crossing operators are glad to see the end of the Super Bowl.

Probably a lot of the people downtown were locals or those from southern Ontario. That wasn't so bad because a dollar spent is a dollar spent. "We did show Windsorites what our downtown is capable of all year round...Hotels did fill up although I heard not until just a day or two before."

A lot of business owners did well downtown. One fellow called the weekend like New Year's Eve. "We've never had two consecutive days that were that packed. Normally our new years eve is our busiest night but this was like 2 new years eve's back to back." Obviously, the taxi strike hurt (I do not recall seeing much in the non-Windsor media about it) so enterprising restauranteurs had to figure out ways to bring the cusotmers to them and back to their hotels. Several ran their own shuttle bus service I was told.

How do you measure all of the publicity we got in the media? It was quite extensive even if a lot of it dealt with our vices more than our virtues. I was disappointd that during the big game itself, there was not more mention of Windsor. I am trying to recall if "Canada" was mentioned more than once too.

I wonder if any of the Councillors will demand an audit of what the real costs to the City were, the amount paid by sponsors and any shortfalls. It looks like the policing costs alone will be around the $250,000 mark.

I wonder who received tickets to the events during the week. Politicians got some freebies I know (and which they deserve for taking all the crap we give them all the time) but did Administrators get something for nothing too? I gather that some but not all attended the super-secret VIP party at the Armouries as an example. And how many Super Bowl tickets did we get and who got them?

To put matters into a perspective and to bring us all back to reality, here is a story sent to me by a "friend" that Crains Detroit ran. Their results are a long way from $300 million for Detroit and we would be lot less than $80 million
  • "Super Bowl impact pegged at $49.3M in new study

    By Amy Lane
    Jan. 31, 2006 4:35 PM

    A new report estimates that Super Bowl XL will have a $49.3 million economic impact on the Detroit area, well below estimates that have reached more than $300 million.

    The report, released Wednesday by Anderson Economic Group L.L.C. in East Lansing, estimates the event will have direct benefits of $30.8 million, including visitor spending, sponsorship revenue and a local share of ticket sales, including scalper profits. Spinoff indirect economic impact is projected to be $18.5 million.

    The consulting firm says its numbers are conservative and reflect only net new economic activity directly associated with hosting the Super Bowl that would not have otherwise have occurred in the area.

    For example, the economic-impact figures do not include spending by major Detroit area corporations to promote the event. Such spending likely would have occurred anyway but in a different direction, like other event promotions or charitable contributions, said Scott Watkins, a consultant at Anderson Economic Group.

    The report takes into consideration an estimated $2 million net cost to local and state governments to host the event. The report says that actual costs to governments may be much higher but will be offset by additional tax proceeds from the event.

    A 2004 study commissioned by the Super Bowl XL Host Committee estimated that hosting the game would be worth about $302 million to metro Detroit in total economic impact.

    The Anderson Economic Group study says that the economic impact of the Super Bowl “will likely exceed that of any other one-day event held in the area. Regardless of how much these visitors spend, or how long they stay, it’s a safe bet to assume that Detroit will benefit from hosting the event.

    “The degree to which the economy will benefit, however, is debatable.”

    The consulting firm also says that it recognizes “that hosting this event may have far greater impacts on Detroit” in the future, provided that the “positive economic momentum” started by the 2004 Ryder Cup and continuing through this year’s major sporting events and those in the future, spurs further Detroit area redevelopment."

As for Paris being here and where and what she you really think I am going to give out the true story and spoil the effect! But John Travolota was here...I heard that from a fellow whose friend knew the brother of a cousin of a paparazzi's uncle's son-in-law.

Revoke Eddie's Library Card

Remember when Eddie read the book, "The World Is Flat," 5 times. Didn't he bring in a guru after that to speak to us about economic development?

Now we learn that he brought in the Michigan Governor's hubby at a fee of $3,000 to help Council in "leadership."

According to the Star, "Eddie likened the session to Stephen Covey's analogy of sharpening the saw. The author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People encourages readers of his book to "take time away from sawing wood and occasionally sharpen the saw," Francis said." I wonder how many times he read this book.

Taxpayers cannot afford Eddie's reading habits. You know, we cut the Seniors at Huron Lodge back $1,000 for Tylenol pills but we can afford $3,000 to suck up to the Governor's Hubby. Priceless!

Do you think that we can get Oprah to send him her selections instead?

DesRosiers For Mayor

I was at the doctor's office the other day. My doctor's bookcase has almost as varied a list of magazines in it that the public library does so it is a nice place to sit to pass the time and read.

One of the magazines I read was BizX, the one in which Councillor Halberstadt does a column. The title of his piece in January was: Hypothetical Mayor's Race Pits DesRosiers Vs. Francis.

Now I found it interesting that Alan felt obliged to write that piece. Hadn't Dennis been totally discredited. After all, he was a friend of Mike Hurst wasn't he. He wanted trucks on E C Row. What more needed to be said!

I am sure that you must remember that Alan was the first (and only) Councillor to endorse Eddie Francis publicly for Mayor last time around. I think he is still an Eddie backer although I have not asked him the question directly recently and there have been some "testy" exchanges between the two of them lately.

If you remember, I wrote previously that one of the tactics of the E-machine (Eddie's electoral juggernaut) is to "scare away opponents in advance." So was someone concerned that Dennis DesRosiers might actually run for mayor here?

If you read the column it had a novel slant to it. Alan actually challenged Dennis to run for mayor to stop Windsor's downward spiral! What Alan does is set up DesRosiers arguments and then shoots them down. But it's how he destroys them down that interested me.

1) On E C Row, well Alan does a great attack on that position without even mentioning Mike Hurst's name since we all know which ex-Windsor Mayor was supportive of trucks on that road.

2) On tax loads being so high, Alan says that policies are being reviewed "perpetuated by your old friend (former Mayor) Mike Hurst such as the high industrial tax rate"

3) On pledging $25 million to the University and St. Clair College so they can become innovatation centres, Alan says "City Council is already making painful decisions to drive down an unsustainable tax load built up during the 12 year regime of Mike Hurst."

There are other issues and rebuttals that do not involve Hurst but the fact that the ghost of the ex-Mayor was dredged up by Alan fascinated me.

The approach was similar to another I recalled. I remembered that Alan's friend, Gord Henderson, in a column wrote that "This regime is saddled with inherited disasters... Fixing the mess from years of mismanagement. Thank God someone's tackling this thankless chore."

So Dennis, if you do decide to run, understand that YOU will not be attacked. You will be the stand-in for Mike Hurst. The campaign will be the Eddie/Mike championship fight that never happened because Bill Marra and Eddie were such nice guys last time around that they never really attacked each other.

Wait a minute. I just figured something out. The E-machine knows that Dennis is not going to run. Why does he need the heartache? He has a successful business. Why does he need a reduction in income?

Nope, this is directed at those who might dare challenge the Mayor. It is telling them what they are up against. It is telling Bill Marra NOT to run!

Super Bowl As A Precursor To A Common Market

I am probably reading too much into things but the recently finished "international" Super Bowl could be an impetus for continental and not just regional co-operation.

One of the areas that I need to do some more reading on is on a “customs union” concept for Canada and the US similar to that of the European Community.

One of the ways to achieve a single market there:
  • “was to open up the borders, allowing people, goods and services to move around freely within the EEC…

    in 1985, the Commission – under President Jacques Delors – published a startling White Paper. It pointed out that the expanding Community had the potential to become a single market serving more than 300 million consumers. But it also showed very clearly that this tremendous potential was being thwarted by many obstacles: queues at border crossings; technical barriers to trade; closed markets for public contracts… The cost of this inefficiency – the ‘cost of non-Europe’ as it was famously called – was put at around 200 billion euro.

    The White Paper spurred the 12 member states into action. In February 1986, they signed the Single European Act, setting out a timetable for taking the 270 or so steps necessary for completing the single market by 1993. Progress thereafter was rapid. Businesses, professions and trade unions all moved ahead swiftly, adapting their strategies to the new rules of the game. The benefits were soon felt in everyone’s daily life, as a wider range of goods and services became available and people were able to move around freely in Europe, whether for work or leisure.”

The concept is not unknown in North America. This was something that John Manley has been advocating: “The boundaries of the community [Canada, US, Mexico] would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter….The three countries should accelerate and expand implementation of existing “smart border” action plans to facilitate intra–North American travel and commerce.”

These thoughts were prompted by a story I read at a conference in Toronto recently. Tom Ridge, formerly the head of the US Homeland Security said “The combined efforts of Canadian and American police and military to protect the Super Bowl in the border city of Detroit on Sunday was “a great untold story…”

To be honest, I am not sure what he is talking about but perhaps that is something worth exploring. [See perhaps "Super-tight security for Superbowl: Global National, Friday, February 03, 2006 "Some Canadian border enforcement officers have been "deputized" so that they can make arrests on either side of the border, according to USA Today. "] I know this does not rank with the police action but it is similar: remember that Windsor offered to help clear the snow if Detroit needed our help.

What all of this is saying is that there is a movement to end the “irritants” that restrict the movement of trade and people in North America in the same way as there was in Europe.

To apply this to our border crossing---if the irritants are removed such that we do not need Customs, or if clearances are reduced dramatically, then doesn’t that turn the Bridge into just another road. If so, who needs a new bridge if there are few reasons for backups.

If one is to look out 30 or more years into the future in order to determine what may happen with traffic and traffic patterns before billions of dollars are spent on both sides of the border, then I suggest that we may need to rethink what has been done to date.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Governor Hubby Update


It was just brought to my attention that the Governor's Hubby is an American who will be working in Canada. I hope that the Mayor arranged to have a work permit issued for him in order to do his job. I would hate for him to be arrested at the border. Imagine the international scandal.

I remember that almost happened to an expert witness of mine that I brought into Canada to help me prepare for a trial. He was given 24 hours to get a permit or he was told that he would see the inside of a Canadian prison if he had not left the country if he had no permit.

Another reader wrote:

"To what extent is the Mayor compromising Windsor's interests with American levels of government by allowing Council laundry to be aired before the Governor's spouse ? ... Is there a hen house analogy at play?

If Eddie picked this person, how are the issues advanced when Eddie may be part of the problem."

The Governor's Hubby: Daniel Granholm Mulhern

I like doing research on matters that seem out of the ordinary to me. It tells me to dig deeper into things. Hiring the husband of the Governor of Michigan is a good example. It would be interesting to know when it was done, what the fee is and whether the City went out for tender. I guess there are no Canadians who can do this work, even the ones that lead the Council Strategy Sessions before.

Hiring Dan Granholm Mulhern seemed like a very interesting move to me at first. His wife was going to be the person who had a great deal of input into what the border would look like. Windsor has no friends at the Senior Levels in Canada and Kwame is probably still angry at Eddie. We know now (after my earlier BLOG) that the Americans will make the final decision. We need a friend somewhere and I guess the only one left is the Governor.

An interesting tidbit: when Jennifer Granholm married Dan Mulhern, websites on the Internet claim, she became "Jennifer Mulhern Granholm" and he became "Daniel Granholm Mulhern." ie each took the last name of the other as their middle names.

But poor Eddie and his CAO...their brilliance could be the most stupid move possible by the time this is done, not because there is anything wrong legally, but because of the controversy it may create for Windsor.

Let me explain.

On the Michigan's First Gentleman website, it is said:
  • "As his wife became Michigan’s 47th Governor in 2002, Mulhern decided to leave his firm to focus first on his wife and children."

Apparently, he still does do some out of the home work. On his website, Dan Mulhern states:

"SCHEDULING INFO. For speaking engagements outside the State of Michigan, contact:

  • A note to Michigan organizations: Dan has made the decision, in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety, not to accept pay for any speeches delivered to Michigan organizations, while his wife is Governor."

There have been controversies before involving him and contracts with others. Here's a story from the Metro Times:

  • You be the judge:

    Suppose you were married to the attorney general. Would it be proper, fair, legal and ethical for you to hit up businesses — including law firms — and ask them to hire you as a high-priced “leadership development” consultant?

    In your sales-pitch literature, you subtly but unmistakably note who your spouse is. And if that weren’t enough, when you sign the come-on, you add her last name, which you’ve legally taken, to yours, as in “Daniel Granholm Mulhern.”

    That’s exactly what Mulhern, a nonpracticing lawyer who, like his more famous wife, is an alum of Harvard Law School, has been doing.

    “Have I done anything ethically wrong? I sure don’t think so,” he tells me.

    “What do you think about it?” he blurts. “I apologize for being a bit defensive on this point, but ... I went to Yale Divinity School. I think I have always tried to be a good person. I don’t think there are any ethical or legal issues.”

    Technically, any law firm is, by definition involved with the attorney general’s office; she is the chief law enforcement officer of the state and, by definition, “may intervene in any lawsuit, civil or criminal, which the interests of the state of Michigan require.” Asked whether some of the firms he solicited worked closely with the attorney general’s office, Mulhern says, “I have no idea.”

    It’s understandable that he’s a little nervous. Mulhern’s wife is not only Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm; she is running for governor.

    So is what he’s doing all right? Strictly speaking, the answer seems to be yes.

    Larry Dubin, a law professor at University of Detroit Mercy and an expert on legal-ethical issues, says he knows of nothing that would ethically forbid an attorney from soliciting business in this way, even if his wife is attorney general.

    He says some might raise an eyebrow if Mulhern made an exception in adding his wife’s last name to his own in his pitch to law firms. He says he took Granholm as his middle name when they wed. In any case, as long as he isn’t fraudulently representing himself, it doesn’t appear to violate any canons.

    Dubin says, “But what I do find curious is that lawyers would be interested in these kinds of seminars. Normally, they are not. Most attorneys aren’t interested in any seminars of the type they can’t justify as a billable expense.”

    There’s never been a hint of any quid pro quo. No one’s charging that law firms that sign on to pay Mulhern $4,650 per person for nine one-day leadership sessions get special consideration from the attorney general’s office. Nor does anyone think there’s an implied threat against any firm that doesn’t hire the Mulhern Hastings Group.

    But there are plenty of people who think it doesn’t look good, including a member of one law firm who brought the solicitation letter to my attention. The fact that he doesn’t want his name made public ought to be an indication that this doesn’t feel quite right.

    As is the last page of the letter, where a lawyer has circled the “Granholm” portion of Mulhern’s last name. Next to it, in large letters, is this contemptuous scribble: “WOW! It’s still there.”

    Naturally, Daniel Mulhern has every right to make a living, regardless of his wife’s identity. Testimonials on his Web site show high praise for his abilities, from organizations such as Leadership Detroit to the Kennedy School of Government. Everyone, including me and most likely you, has gotten jobs at least in part because of who we, or our friends and relations, know.

    Other questions have been raised about cronyism involving taxpayer-supported county contracts Mulhern has been awarded.

    His wife’s political career was launched by Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara, who made her his corporation counsel in 1994. It should be noted that her husband, who had worked for the county from 1987 to 1991, didn’t do any work for McNamara’s empire while Jennifer Granholm was its chief legal officer.

    But he began soliciting county work within a month after she left. Two months ago, the Macomb Daily newspaper revealed Mulhern had been awarded six Wayne County contracts for about $300,000 worth of work shortly after his wife gave up her job as corporation counsel to become attorney general.

    According to reporter Chad Selweski, five of the contracts were no-bid affairs. Bids were taken for the sixth, a seven-month, $172,000 deal to train 20 airport personnel. All the other bids were far lower than Mulhern’s. But a four-member team awarded the contract to Mulhern Hastings. The team was headed by David Katz, now chairman of Granholm’s gubernatorial campaign. Later, Mulhern got a $7,500 contract to provide “tutorial leadership development” for Katz, then head of Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

    Jennifer Granholm and Dan Mulhern say this is no big deal. Perhaps they are right. But what bothers me most is that it doesn’t seem to bother them.

It seems Dan can be contacted at the Governor's Office by the way, as his own website says:

"If you would like to contact me directly, address all correspondence to:
Daniel Mulhern
State of Michigan,
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 20813Lansing, MI

His website says he has a newsletter to which you can subscribe.

  • "Invite your friends and families to subscribe to the First Gentleman's weekly e-newsletter called Reading For Leading, on the challenges of leadership at home, work and in life. You can subscribe by sending your request to: FirstGentleman@Michigan.Gov or visiting the First Gentleman's website "

I sure hope that the Governor's husband teaches our Mayor and Council something. What he teaches them, time only will tell.

Just Blogging Along

The power of the Bloggers:

"Gallup's latest examination of Americans' online habits finds that one in five Web users read Web-logs, or "blogs," either frequently or occasionally... this translates into 40 million readers [in the US]."

Now these are big numbers both for Bloggers and for the traditional media who have got to learn to adapt to their new competition.

As for my BLOG, I do track numbers. I have used several different systems but the one that I use now seems to be the best and the most accurate. I have had over 20,000 "page loads" since I have started, obviously, the numbers grow higher now in each month as bloggership increase.

There has been very little advertising of my Blog. Readership has grown primarily through word of mouth. It's just like the Clairol commercial..she tells someone and so on and so on and so on!

This was meant to be just a way to get a few ideas off of my chest but now it is turning almost into a full time job! I have so many "tips," stories and ideas given to me by readers that I am so far backlogged it is not funny! For that I give you, dear reader, my heartfelt thanks.

The Star's A-Musing Editorial

If there is one thing that I hope you have learned from reading my BLOG, it is that the Windsor Star is a very political newspaper.

When you read a story or see where a story or photo is positioned on a page and which page or what an Editorial says, especially when it is about a controversial matter, you must not only read what is written but you have to think why the Star did what it did. It's hardly unusual for a paper to be political but in a one newspaper town, the reader has to be on guard.

Let me give you an example. The Star's Saturday Editorial "Postma's Musings." That was a pretty strong attack on a Councillor who is only doing her job ie keep the arena in her Ward. The arena was to be in the area where the City has spent so much money so far buying land and which arena was to have been the focus of an urban village to re-vitalize her Ward. What else do you expect her to do?

So being suspicious, you have to ask what is going on. There has to be more to it than just a slap at Caroline. Here is what it includes.

The word "musings" gave it away. Who but the Blogmeister in my profile at the top right of the page uses the word "musings" about what I am doing. When Veronique Mandal interviewed me, her opening words talked about my "musings." I was expected to understand that part of the Editorial was directed at me.

No, I do not have a swelled head thinking I am self-important, but let me tell you more. City Hall is furious these days. It is leaking like a sieve. Everything is getting out and certain people are upset about that. Remember I was the one who first talked about Riverside Arena ("Arena Update") and about the $12M and $15M for a new arena (Rumour #3 "City Hall Meltdown)

Here is what Gord Henderson wrote the other day: "I'm told fallback plans are being cobbled together for a twinned Riverside Arena at a new location that could service minor hockey as well as the Spits."

Here is what Roseann Danese wrote:

  • "There are a lot of different ideas floating out there," Mayor Eddie Francis said Thursday.

    One involves combining the $12 million needed for a new minor hockey pad to replace the aging Riverside Arena with the $15 million that has been set aside for a multi-purpose arena to house the Windsor Spitfires.

    The city's capital budget committee has allocated $12 million for a new Riverside arena because the alternative is to spend $1 million this year on immediate repairs and millions more in the years to come. Francis said the repairs required at Riverside can no longer be deferred and a combined facility is "one of the possibilities."

    The other involves building a complex somewhere in the far east end of the city, or even within the town of Tecumseh, to serve both municipalities."

So my sources were quite accurate and that annoyed some people that I spilled the beans before they were ready. But there is more.

Obviously, "amalgamation" of the City and County is going to be an election issue as I predicted...the Star has written several editorials about "regional co-operation." Poor Councillor Postma knocked that when she talked about the "Windsor-Tecumseh Spitfires."

And certain people are desperate for an arena, any arena, any place. Why the Mayor is so desperate, he started talking about a 25,000 seat stadium for a CFL franchise. I already told you why sites in Ward 5, Eddie's stronghold, have been selected to get Councillors Gignac and Wilson onside. It will be the BIG issue in the next election campaign too.

But there is more. Haven't Councillors Postma and Jones been doing their jobs re the border? They have been talking with the DRIC people to preserve Sandwich. Some on Council don't like that I am afraid and they have been attacked in camera about it. So just like when they both complained about the secrecy around the arena, Beztak was run out of town. So here is another shot at Caroline to keep the Ward Councillors from breaking ranks!

And there is even more. It appears that I am not too well-liked these days at City Hall. I am not at the top of the favoured "leakee" list it seems. My gossipy inside sources have said that a number of people at City Hall have been told that it is not a good idea to talk to me. Don't you find that hilarious...but then again, it must be the "Power of the Blog" that scares people.

I am still not finished. There may be more about an East end arena.....However I will save it for another time after I check out some additional facts.