Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, January 05, 2007

Apocalypse Cow: TEOTWAWKI

Did you know that

  • many Midwestern US states are economically dependent on the livestock industry

  • there is a trend toward larger feedlot operations

  • at one time, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois were the top cattle feeding states in the Midwest but now Nebraska and Kansas have also assumed a bigger role

  • Nebraska and Kansas are 2 of the largest states with processing facilities

  • In the late 1990s, annual beef consumption per person was highest in the Midwest

  • Beef cattle production is the sixth largest enterprise in Michigan's agricultural sector and Michigan's rank in cattle on feed has improved from sixteenth in 1980 to its current position of fourteenth (1998)

Why am I telling you all of this you might wonder.

It is well-known that Windsor's "biggest problem remains transboundary pollution from the U.S. midwest, Zug Island and other U.S. industrial sources." It has always been considered that the pollution comes from heavy industry such as coal-fired power plants, manufacturing, steel mills, waste incinerators, oil refineries and chemical manufacturers.

All of this Windsor Star stuff on tunnels and pollution got me doing some research. Lo and behold, I found out that cars and trucks may not be the big concern that we always thought they were. There may be a greater source of concern for us that so far has not been discussed in the border crossing debate. I have seen no proposed DRIC tests to confirm or deny the problem as it may apply to Windsor. No one has proposed setting up a conference to discuss it or ran on an election platform to eliminate the problem.

Yes I am talking about bovine flatulence: cow farts to you! I found the BLOG headline in an Australian article and thought it appropriate.

Did you know that:

  • "According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation...

  • the livestock sector accounts for 9 percent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.

  • And it accounts for respectively 37 percent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 percent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.

  • 15 out of 24 important ecosystem services are assessed as in decline, with livestock identified as a culprit.

  • global livestock grazing and feed production use ‘30 percent of the land surface of the planet."

Where are our Government leaders in Windsor demanding answers. Why hasn't the Star undertaken an investigation into this major world issue. Why are they focusing on cars and trucks when Midwestern cows may be our problem never mind local herds! I did not hear Eddie talking about this environmental problem during the election. Surely, as the head of the Windsor Tunnel Commission, don't you think he should have known of this issue. When is the last time you read about cattle in a Gord Henderson column?

Stop snickering. Let me provide you with some excerpts from the media about this issue:

  • Dairy Air: Scientists Measure Cow Gas

    By Kathleen Hennessey
    Associated Press 27 July 2005

    DAVIS, Calif. (AP) -- In a white, tent-like "bio-bubble'' on a farm near Davis, eight pregnant Holsteins are eating, chewing and pooping -- for science. "The ladies,'' as they're called by University of California researcher Frank Mitloehner, are doing their part to answer a question plaguing one of California's largest agricultural industries: How much gas does a cow emit?

    The findings will be used to write the state's first air quality regulations for dairies and could affect regulations nationwide.

    But before he explains how it works, Mitloehner wants one thing to be clear.

    "We're not talking about flatulence,'' he says.

    He emphasizes the point because his research has been dismissed as "fart science,'' a label he says doesn't do justice to the seriousness of his work.

    There are more than 3 million cows in California, the vast majority living in the booming Central Valley, home to some of the most polluted air in the country. How much to blame the cows and how much to blame the cars for the bad air is no small concern...

    That puts the air quality specialist and animal emissions expert in the middle of a heated dispute coming to a head Aug. 1, when the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will announce its new emissions factor for cows-- the amount of VOCs, in pounds, that a cow releases each year. The number will eventually determine which dairies must apply for air quality permits and invest in mitigating air pollution equipment.

    "This is a multibillion decision,'' said Mitloehner. "It's not just a number...''

    "We thought it was the waste that would lead to the majority of emissions, but it seemed to have been the animals,'' he said.

    The chief offender appears to be the ruminating process. After a cow eats, the food is briefly deposited in its bathtub-sized stomach. There it mixes with bacteria, begins to break down and produces methane, a greenhouse gas. About 20 minutes later, the food comes up again as cud. As the cow chews it, the methane is released into the air. The process also emits methanol and ethanol, both VOCs...

    Meanwhile, environmentalists contend that the import of Mitloehner's research has been exaggerated. They note that it tests only one of the many polluters on a modern, large-scale dairy.

    "It doesn't take into account the lagoons that store the waste or the decomposing feed, the decomposing corn stored on a dairy,'' said Brent Newell, an attorney with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment."

  • Should We Have a Cow Over Cow Pollution?
    By Katrina C. Arabe

    Factory dairies have a beef with an air district in California which claims that dairy cows, not cars, are the biggest single source of smog-forming gases. Time to clear the air:

    Over the last six years, California's San Joaquin Valley has held the dubious distinction of being home to the smoggiest air in the country, reports this LA Times article.

    Now, government officials have identified one of the biggest culprits: dairy cows. Officials contend that gases from the valley's 2.5 million bovines, not cars or trucks or pesticides, are the region's biggest single source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a key smog-forming pollutant. In a controversial new report, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District claims that the typical cow releases 50% more VOCs than currently thought. The yearly VOC emission of an average dairy cow is 19.3 lbs., estimates the air district. VOCs react with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone, or smog, reports this story.

    And this estimate (also called emission factor) has serious implications for the region's booming dairy industry. Up to 250 more dairies will have to apply for permits with the air pollution control district. And dairies that are able to obtain permits will also have to comply with regulations slated to be announced next summer.

    To satisfy the region's planned air-quality regulations, the dairy industry will have to spend millions of dollars in pricey pollution-control technology in feedlots and waste lagoons, and may even have to look into modifying animals' diets, reports this news story.

    While, it's important to note that cars do emit many major pollutants that cows do not, and they are responsible for more smog-forming emissions overall, the VOC emission of cows is a contentious issue in the San Joaquin air basin because of its huge bovine population (roughly one of every five dairy cows in the country resides there). Also, government officials estimate that the number of cows in the valley will increase from 2.5 million to about 2.9 million over the next several years."

This is an issue deserving of attention from our Municipal Government and our local media. Instead of wasting hours at Council on feral cats or pitbulls, we should be talking about cows. The Senior Levels on both sides of the border should be demanding that DRIC start cross-border bovine flatulence experiments forthwith. One need only look at the weather forecasts to know that there are serious climactic changes going on and we need to know how Windsor is being impacted. Instead of arguing for a tunnel for diesel trucks, we may have to build geodesic domes for cow herds!

After all, unless something is done and done immediately, it could be:

The End Of The World As We Know It!

Ross Paul Stay Home

I'll bet that many of my readers thought that the Star's Editorial "City funds: The charity equation" was mean-spirited.

The Editorial was about:

  • "The union representing outside workers at City Hall has launched a well-meaning but misguided effort to aid Brentwood Recovery Home, which is struggling financially and been forced to slash its valued services as a result. "

The amount involved was $1,372 with a maximum of around $13,000 for an institution that is providing an important service to the Community.

Some might say that a Council that thinks nothing of spending money for an arena that they has not been priced out yet and for which $3-5 million will have to be borrowed for interim financing to help out the private enterprise Windsor Spitfires (never mind the deals on the Canderel leases to private companies and the cheap Keg parking rates) should be able to find a thousand or so dollars especially since they have quadrupled their line of credit to $100 million to please some bond raters.

Do not expect the Council to approve the request. After all, didn't the elderly Huron Lodge occupants see their Tylenol budget cut at budget time by $1,000 to save pennies? And do not be too hard on the Star either. In this case, it is at least being consistent. In August, 2003, the Star was the leader in opposing a donation to Hospice.

But you, dear reader, should know by now that there is more involved than that. Otherwise, why would I write a BLOG about the matter.

No, this Editorial is designed for a different purpose. It will provide Eddie and then his Councillor buddies the excuse to turn down the University of Windsor when they come calling shortly for money for the Unviersity's fund-raising campaign. "We will get crucified if we give you money but not Brentwood" will be their cry. "The Star will hammer us...After all, it is only four years until the next election!"

Eddie talked out of both sides of his mouth during his Inaugural speech concerning the University:

  • "And we are very fortunate here in Windsor, to have two incubators of skilled people right in our city: St. Clair College, and the University of Windsor.

    Already, great things have happened between the college, university and the automotive sector when it comes to R&D and skills training.

    But we can – and must – do more.

    Our University is such an important asset – one that many communities would love to have. And the time has come for the University of Windsor to achieve more, and to do more, when it comes to achieving excellence...

    The University of Windsor has so much opportunity and potential. The time has come for it to join the ranks of the truly great universities in this province and in this country.

    This, too, is largely beyond our City Council’s control."

Make the University a success Dr.Paul to help out the City and make it prosper. But don't look to Council to help!

Eddie is facing a difficult challenge. In the Star, it was said that

  • "Education key to city's future: University, St. Clair College focus on research...If there's light at the end of the dark economic tunnel, much of it shines on the University of Windsor and St. Clair College.

    The region's two post-secondary institutions are being viewed as "beacons of light" in the quest to navigate the economy through treacherous waters."

So how does Eddie skate around this one? It's so easy. The Star story said as well:

  • "The heavy-truck R & D centre came to fruition through a series of partnerships involving Ottawa, the Ontario government, the U of W and the city, adds Francis. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade coughed up $32-million, while the city contributed a grant of $70,000 to the university, he says.

    Government incentives will have to be even more enticing in the future, says Francis, who has held discussions on the matter with Sandra Pupatello, Windsor-West MPP and the new Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

    "The time has come now where southwestern Ontario requires the same type of action, incentives, such as wage subsides and training dollars given to other regions trying to attract jobs and investment. Sault Ste. Marie, for example, gets all training costs paid for because it is part of a Northern Ontario program. Sandra and I have talked about the opportunity for us to work together to create a similar type of program for this area."

All of the focus for fund-raising will be directed to Sandra and the Province. After all, funding Universitites is their legal responsibility, not Windsor's. It should be up to the Province not the poor City to help out.

It's a win-win for Eddie. If Sandra gives money, he wins because he will be positioned as the Unviersity's champion. (Remember how "frustrated" our Mayor said he was about the University right after his speech). If she refuses, he wins because she will be positioned as not helping her home-town in its time of economic crisis.

Sandra does not dare say no does she. After all, she has been slammed by Gord Henderson several times already and can she stand another blow given the upcoming election. After all, her opponent running as a candidate for the Tories may well be the Mayor!

Windsor Star's Change, Positive Change

It seems that the Windsor Star is on some kind of a mission. Again. I really do wish that they would report the news instead of trying to make it.

I was amused reading the story "West side's demise predicted." Predicted was a strange word to use for an area that has been in rapid decline for years and seems to be going nowhere anyway.

Their Councillors have achieved little for many years for Ward 2, being effectively ignored by their colleagues. One should expect more of the same given the re-election of Councillors Jones and Postma.

I would have thought that:

  • the near inaction on an urban village for years
  • their support of the move of the Western Super anchor site to the East end
  • their failure to accomplish much in Sandwich except to do a study and to propose a Heritage Designation that would be thrown out of court if litigated for obvious reasons

did more to destroy the future of the West end than the Bridge Co. doing exactly what they said they would do for years now! Failure to achieve anything significant on the border for over three years is another measure of the Councillors' inability to protect their neighbourhoods. They had the chance to lead but blew it. It is not an acceptable excuse for them to keep saying that the Mayor has carriage of the file

Councillor Jones has been on this kick about "watching" the Bridge Co. for some time now, mentioning it several times at Council. Each time he was told by Administration, as it was related in the story, that the Bridge Co. was acted absolutely legally. I am sure that must really trouble him!

I found it hilarious who were being quoted: people who rented Bridge Co. homes in the area where the Bridge Co.'s enhancement project was going to be built! If they are so angry, why did they move there in the first place? Surely Windsor's vacancy rate, which is about the highest in Canada, means that there were places to rent other than on Indian Road. Or were their homes sold to the Bridge Co. for a nice price and they were being allowed to continue living in them until they were needed at a good rental rate?

It's a no-win for the Bridge Co. no matter what they do. Imagine if they did NOT tear the homes down so that Councillor Jones could accuse them of not taking action to prevent fire and vandalism risks.

"No respect for the community" is a charge made. But the enhancement project does NOT sandwich Sandwich between two bridges as both DRIC and the City want to do nor does it destroy hundreds of homes and businesses in Delray across the river. Oh but that is Detroit's problem isn't it.

It is up to our Governments to figure out how to get trucks to the Ambassador Bridge but it is so much easier to tar the Bridge Co. or to do nothing but yell Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel. Why be realistic after all?

Remember before what I wrote about the Star and the Bridge Co.:
  • "Take Saturday's Star as an example. We should have a debate some time whether the Star is performing a service to this Community as the major media outlet in town or a disservice. Are they providing the news or making it or manipulating it for their own purposes?

    Remember what I remarked on, given what the Star's Editor said, in the context of stories about the Ambassador Bridge [BLOG April 19, 2006 "Between A Pepsi And A Lemon Juice"]:

    "Now I think I get it. Now I think I know the reason for the two news stories about the hazardous goods crossing the Ambassador Bridge...

    [Windsor Star executive editor Marty] Beneteau credited the news team for helping to bring about positive change through its coverage of the Lori Dupont slaying at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital.

    "I think we can take partial credit into calling an inquest into the nurse's slaying," Beneteau said. "We did things that newspapers can do to bring about change, positive change. I think we got a lot of results this year and this now validates the results we got."

    So shall we insert "Ambassador Bridge" in place of "Lori Dupont" to explain the coverage?
    Is the Star on another mission to change things, like building a public bridge perhaps?"

I refer you back to my BLOG October 13, 2006 "West Enders Bite Bridge" where I was commenting on another Star story "Bridge work raises fears." It was a similar story to the one the other day: "West-end community leaders fear land preparation by the Ambassador Bridge is linked to the company's bid to twin its span or resurrect a controversial ring road proposal in the heart of their neighbourhood."

Expect more of the same....after all, we will be spending more hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight our "enemy!" After all, the Star has to guide Eddie and Council to make a positive change doesn't it?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Visiting Gridlock Sam's Hometown

By the end of the year, my Blogging brain was mush. Since this BLOGsite started about 16 months ago, I have written about 900 BLOGs about my views of local events and their impact. From what was originally meant to be a way to distribute a Guest Column that the Windsor Star refused to publish, posting BLOGs each workday has become almost a full-time job. Go figure.

The holidays were a chance to forget about politics for awhile and to re-charge the batteries. And thanks to an $18 roundtrip special fare on Spirit Airlines, yes $18 was not a typo, and an inexpensive hotel room at the Holiday Inn Express in Chelsea due to booking well in advance, my family and I spent 5 great days in New York City getting away from it all!

No I did not visit Sam. I was too busy going with my family to the Century 21 Department store getting bargains. I guess that Councillor Postma and I have something in common! It was voted the #1 Discount store in NYC and no wonder. Floor after floor of name-brand products sold at huge discounts. It was also the first time I have ever seen a VISA machine offer the option to allow for payment to be made right at the time in US dollars or converted to Canadian on the spot. I must admit that is not such a good idea. It would be better not to know how much I was really spending until after I came back and saw the converted amount on my VISA statement a month later!

We took the Midtown Tunnel both ways going from and to La Guardia. I was surprised at the amount of the toll, US$4.50. The tunnel has 2 lanes going in each direction with the lanes physically kept separate so no passing is possible thereby minimizing the chances of accidents as in the Tunnel video I posted previously. The greater number of EZpass lanes compared with lanes for cash would encourage a commuter to get a pass or be stuck for some considerable time waiting to pay the toll as we were.

I remember one day being in the Times Square district. Crowds on the street were shoulder to shoulder with shoppers and tourists packing the sidewalks almost to the point of overflowing. The traffic was bumper to bumper although moving. Yellow cabs darting around. Horns blaring with the sound of sirens in the background. Those huge Jumbotron-type screens were flashing their commercials. Enough police around to make one feel safe but not an overwhelming presence to make one feel insecure. I just stopped and took it all in. That was the New York of my earlier memories that I was able to share with my wife and kids!

Just some random thoughts about the trip:

  • The transformation of NYC from near-bankruptcy to after 9/11 to what it is today should be a lesson for Windsor. It proves what strong Mayors with a shared vision with their electorate can achieve. An estimated 44 million people visited New York City in 2006, spending $24 billion and supporting nearly 350,000 jobs. Windsor is not NYC obviously but we do have the attractions that we ought to be able to promote to make Windsor a destination.

  • Am I getting that old or are New Yorkers that polite? Several times on the subway, people got up and offered me a seat. Big-city New Yorkers being so well-mannered was a big shock to me as was the "proof" that I was not a kid any more [sigh]. And when we got lost or looked for a certain spot, we were always helped out.

  • I could not believe how clean the subway cars were, both outside (very little graffiti) and especially inside. They looked like the way Toronto subway cars used to be.

  • Speaking of graffiti, I do not remember seeing very much of it, not enough to remark on anyway. Something for Councillor Halberstadt to try to emulate.

  • I always felt safe in NYC no matter where and no matter what time of the day or night. That was a change from earlier trips. Perhaps our Mayor and Chief of Police could learn from them how to fight "crime."

  • I can just imagine what an immigrant to the US must feel the first time that he/she took the Staten Island ferry and saw Lady Liberty

  • It was fun attending street markets and negotiating with vendors and there were some good deals too. Wouldn't our riverfront be a perfect spot for this type of activity to draw people downtown in the summertime?

  • Food was always excellent and tasty no matter which place we tried. Generally the service was good too. Portions were gigantic...22 ounce Prime Rib was the norm at one place we ate! I was surprised how busy the restaurants were. I could never get a reservation at one place I tried. While expensive obviously, there was good value for the money. I think that Windsor restauranteurs should visit there and learn a few lessons especially in how to treat customers.

  • The subway Metro Pass was a bargain and saved my legs on many occasions. Again, I have experienced more anxiety in Toronto's system lately than I did in New York's.

  • I have never seen so many people in a department store as I did in Macy's during their one-day sale when we were there. It felt like being in an ant colony. It was an incredible experience.

  • There is nothing like walking around Central Park and 5th Avenue early on a Sunday morning. It is like having the whole city to yourself.

  • Air travel is such a hassle what with removing winter coats, hats and shoes at the security checkpoints. And $2 for a small bag of chips on the plane....what happened to real food! Do you get as nervous as I do wondering whether your checked luggage will actually make it?

  • A new tourist site for the holidays: the Charmin Restrooms near Times Square. Thank goodness also for the fast-food chain restaurants everywhere.

  • The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was truly spectacular as was seeing the Empire State Building when I was walking at 34th and 8th Avenue.

  • We lucked out on weather...temperatures as high as the mid-60's with only a hint of rain one afternoon.
Oh well, it is back to reality now. Time to wonder what 2007 will bring us in Windsor. It just has to get better here. It does doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pollyanna And The Tories

Along with smearing the Bridge Co. at every opportunity, we should expect negative pollution reports to be dredged up from around the world over the next year about the evils of truck pollution.

In addition, expect news stories, columns and editorials ad nauseum on why Windsor deserves the best by having a tunnel built here for the road between Highway 401 and the Ambassador Bridge's new Enhancement project. [Why doubt it any more...their project is what is going to be built once reality finally sets in so get on with life!].

We saw the continuation of the effort to produce more scare stories on pollution :

  1. Truck emissions linked to higher cancer rates
    Dave Battagello, Windsor, Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    People living next to busy trucking corridors have two to six times greater cancer risk than average, according to a report released by a California coalition detailing escalating health damages caused by diesel emissions. Diesel pollution is the worst toxic air contaminant in California, responsible for 70 per cent of the state's air pollution-related cancer risk, said the report.

  2. Danger of diesel fumes probed
    Dave Battagello, December 20, 2006

    Mounting evidence linking higher rates of cancer, lung ailments and heart disease with diesel exhaust is a growing concern in Windsor and across Ontario that warrants further investigation, according to a senior scientist with a Toronto environmental watchdog group.

I must admit that I do not recall seeing too many stories on how truck pollution will drop dramatically over the next decade with new technology for trucks and with changed diesel fuel. Did the Star report when Ontario Minister Cansfield said to the Chamber of Commerce back in September:

  • "People in Windsor and Essex County should also know that new truck emissions standards come into effect in January 2007. A combination of new engines and lower-sulphur fuel will eventually cut emissions by more than 90 per cent.The average truck life is about five to seven years, according to the transport industry… that means by the year 2012 – 2014 trucks will have these new engines with reduced harmful emissions."
I wonder why not.

Do you remember the Star quoting Ontario Minister Cansfield's comments about tunnelling at their Editorial board meeting? She talked about tunnel challenges including natural ground condition and constructability, soil conditions, high water table, operational issues if emergencies, getting out of a tunnel for fire and safety issue, access from freeway to neighbourhood. ventilation and fumes have to come out to be dispersed, how fumes are dissipated.

I wonder why not.

Our Pollyanna, our cheerfully optimistic Columnist, Gord Henderson will talk about every tunnel built under the sun over the next few months to demonstrate why other Canadians should pay billions for us while ignoring the traffic in their own home towns. (By the way, have we Windsorites offered to pay a billion or two for our share of the tunnel costs yet or is that something that Eddie will spring on us next as part of a P3 deal with, say, Borealis or Macquarie Bank, as part of his Detroit-Windsor Tunnel salvage plan?).

Gord told us about the Irish Dublin Port Tunnel. What he did not tell us however was:

  1. it took longer to build than projected (two years behind schedule and has missed at least four separate completion deadlines).
  2. it cost much more than projected (from €580m to €715 million to €752 million with the possibility of £240m more for "unforeseen elements").
  3. it may have been designed improperly with many larger trucks unable to use it because of height restrictions (one report said more than half of the trucks operating in Britain won’t fit in it)
  4. tolls are charged to cars, taxis, motorcycles and car vans/light commercial vehicles but NOT to heavy trucks
  5. tolls for cars at their highest charge for the 4.5 Km tunnel are €12 or about $18.50 each way
  6. parts of the tunnel were cracked and leaking water at one time requiring immediate repair
  7. the tunnel was bored, a process that cannot be done in Windsor
  8. there were almost 200 complaints of damage to buildings during construction

Of course an "opinion piece" disguised as a news story in Tuesday's Star listed a number of projects around the world that built tunnels. By the way, one that was mentioned was one I would not have used as a model: the Ted Williams Tunnel, part of the Big Dig in Boston.

The reporter should have remembered that the accident in the Big Dig where four concrete slabs, each weighing at least three tons, fell from the ceiling took place in a 200-foot section of tunnel that links Interstate 93 and the Massachusetts Turnpike to the Ted Williams Tunnel. There were also safety tests undertaken on epoxy bolts upholding concrete ceiling panels in the Ted Williams Tunnel.

We had heard all of this before so why the crusade? Only the cynical amongst us would say that it is designed to help a certain political figure build up momentum for him to be elected to be the Saviour of Windsor. How else would a Tory ever get elected here? You will vote for the man, not the Party!

Saving Windsor and fighting crime...what a power-packed duo for future success.

Predictions Scorecard

I trust that you had a great holiday!

I gave you a day of grace. Now that you have been back at work for a day and are all caught up, it's time that you started reading my BLOG each morning again. Can you think of a better way to start your day?

Just to show you that I am prepared to be judged on my predictions for last year, here they are from 2006. I thought I did pretty well all things considered:

  1. The border will still be an important election issue but amalgamation of the City and County will become a major topic

  2. The City will be hit by a huge scandal-----I was a few months early on this one

  3. The relationship between the Mayor and Councillors and amongst Councillors themselves will deteriorate badly, finally coming out into the open

  4. Eddie Francis will be a one term Mayor IF any credible candidate runs against him, a big IF right now-----Bill Marra could have been Mayor today, easily, especially after Project Ice Track announced its move to Tecumseh.

  5. Bill Marra will decide early in the year if he will run for Mayor or Ward 4 Councillor or at all

  6. If Bill runs for Mayor, Eddie will desperately seek someone else to run to split the vote so he can sneak in.

  7. There will be big surprises in Wards 1, 4 and 5.

  8. The Raceway arena will effectively be dead and gone early in the year. ---but who could have predicted to Tecumseh instead!

  9. St. Clair College will pull out of the Cleary deal since the price will be too expensive but will still relocate downtown, perhaps in a joint deal with the University---the College is having serious concerns about moving forward and I hear some within the College wonder if it was all a huge financial mistake that should not be allowed to proceed..

  10. The Mayor of Detroit will rebuff Eddie's entreaties over the Tunnel

  11. Sam Schwartz will appear back in Windsor to make a new presentation on the border and soon thereafter close his office here.

  12. No one will care what the City says on the border issue

  13. The Americans will force the ending of DRIC---not quite, yet, but the Michigan Legislators' actions have made all Governments rethink their position

  14. Governor Granholm and Mayor Kilpatrick will announce a major initiative with the Bridge Co. to redevelop SouthWest Detroit---premature by a year or so

  15. In Windsor, the Mayor's Office will continue to churn out press releases like the one saying "Windsor‘s Economy is Shifting into High Gear" rather than actually doing something.

  16. The Bridge Co. will start building their 200 booth "intermediate" border crossing project---a few months too early

  17. The DRIC road to the border will be started by the Senior Levels as part of a "jobs" and economic redevelopment program for Windsor since hundreds of people will have to be employed to build it---wait for the Federal and Provincial elections to see this happen in spite of Eddie and Council

  18. The two floors in Canderel will finally be rented out but at a huge discount and there will be vacancies in the Income and Security Building that will be filled by more City workers being moved over

  19. Some new financial surprises will come out that will cost taxpayers dearly resulting in a lowering of Windsor's bond rating.---just wait until the bond rating services understand Windsor's real fiscal picture and understand what our new Canderel, the East end arena, will really cost us

  20. The Windsor Star will face serious challenges this year resulting in significant changes.

As for my 2007 predictions..........more of the same I am afraid. The only big news will be if Eddie decides to run for the Tories provincially.