Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Even more emails

They just keep coming and coming and coming. Thanks for yours!

1) Honestly Ed, rather than get mad over that article, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

I'll bet Eddie hired Siegfried and Roy to come help him and his high school buddy Frederica with the dog and pony show - only this pony was set to carry a cart of onions and green beans. Honestly, what type of business wants to remain under the radar to avoid competition, but feels the need to come speak at a public council meeting? It's a comedy.

Siegfried and Roy fits with the whole circus in outerspace opera that is Windsor.

2) Ed.. would you mind running over to Shopper Drug Mart and get my prescription for blood pressure pills renewed and ship them down to me. Maybe Freshlines Airlines fly to Florida.

I'm like you.. climbing the walls over this BS.... think I'll go cool off in the pool.

Hang in there old boy!

P.S. Excellent blog!!

3) I am absolutely dumbfounded with all this media coverage of the German investors in town.. to say the least it is absolutely bizarre!

1. 99% of all potential investors wish to remain confidential and out of the media limelight due to competitive, labour and financial reasons.
2. the majority of potential investors wish to keep dealings out of the eyes of politicians. Why.. because many politicians have a tough time keeping quiet about potential investments prior to having the bottom line signatures on a

But what have we seen with this German food distributor:
1. the Mayor announce their interest prior to him (the Mayor) visiting the firm in Germany. He tells the media (and the public) of their plans to re-distribute food from overseas to Windsor and thus into the US.
2. we now have the German firm give a presentation to Council of their plans and intentions using only the consultant's first names
3. the German firm grants an interview with the Windsor Star praising the area and telling of their plans
4. the German firm stipulates the investment may take up to 3 years to conclude...why??? If things are so positive of the area what will take so long... wouldn't happen to be infrastructure and services to the airport land would it? If it is such a great concept why not have private money fund it and start construction ASAP.

This whole investment potential goes beyond any "normal" pattern of anything I have seen in the past. What involvement does the Development Commission have in this scenerio? Why are we being fed partial information yet cannot find out what this "deal" entails from a public cost basis? Too many questions to ask.

Good thing this potential investment isn't from a Danish firm or I would be justified in saying "something is rotten in the state of Denmark!!!"

Again, this is totally bizarre!

4) Just read your blog. Aha... a couple of quick talking investors with an idea that is very, very early in the "concept" stage talking to a Mayor and council that don't have enough business sense to know how to sell lemondade on a hot day. Now I see the 3 year "lag". That explains it !!

They are visiting many airports worldwide to source their veggies..yes, it would be an excellent opportunity for the growers in the county to ship worldwide but it would take a pile of peppers to fill an Airbus 310 many times per week.

Hate to be a skeptic but.. after seeing the picture of these two especially with the ball cap on backwards makes me think they may have better luck selling used BMW's from Germany.

5) This city council is just in a death spiral.
A few years ago the Mayor stated boastingly about all the cash that was there.
Now it's cutting the library, crossing guards, workers.
What really gets me is the 700k for the study on how to run the city more efficiently.

6) [Re Leveraging The Tunnel] Me thinks your predictions were very accurate....

7) I just had a meeting with my insurance rep... By the way, my premium did go down 15% for not being in the WIndsor area. Sucks eh?

8) From what you have written and from what I have read, I believe that the DRIC process is almost dead, if not on its last legs, the new PPP Inc. is going to take care of that. The Ambassador Bridge Companies "replacement" span will go ahead...

any tunnel long or short is a potential choke point and target.

9)At the February 25 Council meeting there was much talk about the benefits Sandwich Towne will receive through the highly touted "Community Improvement Plan".

City officials say the library budget must be sliced to the tune of $800,000 or more. Does this mean the Sandwich Town CIP will include shutting the doors of the wonderful Sandwich Library? Community Improvement my dog's hind leg!

10) The conspiracy theory is dead.
No one on council has the brain matter to plan it...........

11) [Re destruction of Delray] It is a screwy development model: to improve, first we must destroy…

12) Traffic projections (how many will there be) and travel modeling (which way would they go) is an art, not a science. The artist is often more like Dali than like Rembrandt.

The art is full of assumptions stacked one atop the other and is always somewhat inaccurate and often wildly innaccurate.

The assumptions can be arranged, accidentally or maliciously, to achieve almost any kind of result.

No one is really sure just what variables drive traffic decisions and for certain no one knows what drives the variables that drive the traffic decisions.

13) I don't think that an economic depression is coming to Windsor. I believe that it is already here. Unemployment is at, near or probably over 10% (once your benefits run out you are no longer included in the count), job losses are continuing to mount, more people are leaving the city than are arriving and with the continued erosion of the manufacturing sector in Ontario I see no reason to believe things will get better any time soon. Watch for more downward trends in household income, personal wealth, disposable income and higher rates of foreclosure, bankruptcy, job losses, mental and physical ailments, social services demands, Ontario Works funding, drug and alcohol abuse, problem gambling, divorce and suicide.

Will new border construction pull Windsor out of this mess?

Given the City's relationship with the CTC all construction and engineering will probably be based on the U.S. side. The Canadian side will have a site office and Canadian workers are going to get some work but certainly not enough to make-up for continuing losses to our manufacturing jobs in the city/county.

Will anyone even build a new bridge?

DRIC will eventually have to close-up shop, we can't keep throwing away tax dollars on that boondoggle much longer. Once they announce their findings it will soon probably be followed by an announcement that the plans will be held until such time as the volume of cross-border trucks has increased to warrant the investment of tax dollars in a public owned bridge. The U.S. government/Homeland Security doesn't want another crossing to guard and Michigan is paying a quarter billion to connect the Ambassador Bridge. There is no incentive on the U.S. side for a public crossing.

If the current bridge is at 60%-70% capacity and there is little likelihood of significant increases in cross-border truck traffic any time soon or even ever, will Matty be interested in building a new span? As the Canadian, U.S. and Mexican government working groups continue to work on reducing the red tape to North American free trade there may be a time in the foreseeable future when trucks will only need to be scanned or sniffed for contraband. Once commercial traffic can move with little hindrance a four lane bridge will do just fine. Also, has Matty secured the financing for his improvements? A number of economists and pundits are expecting worse to come from the U.S. economy and lending requirements are tightening as the financial sector continues to suffer. Matty may have to hold off on a new span until things pick-up.

So, to summarize our depression has begun and bridge or no bridge it will continue to worsen.

Keep smiling:-)

14) Liked your non stories this morning, I think that you can forget about being hired by the Windsor Star :)

15) You may recall from previous discussions the "sewer surcharge" and how this account operates.

Today's paper talks about Councilor Halberstadt and his proposal to cut the fee, basically playing more of the "hide the Oktoberfest sausage" game with the taxpayers. Don't know what is going to happen but this fund is a huge fund, out of sight, out of budget etc. and collected through our friends at Enwin/Windsor Utilities.

Watch for a move down the line to taking all of the sewers/pumping stations/ wastewater treatment plants out of Public Works and moving them to the water supply side. All the debt, bonds etc. would go off the books of the City and onto Utilities. Talk about an opportunity for further manipulation.

Next is a P3 partner to then look after all this while the taxpayers are stuck with a guaranteed stream of increasing payments.

16) The closure of I-75 for many months was planned and accomplished by MDOT, several City of Detroit departments (including Public Utilities and Traffic Engineering) and the Ambassador Bridge.

This was not the temporary closure of one route to downtown. It was an entire interstate highway.

Why is it so hard in Windsor?

17) I have gone from anger to shame with this mayor and council, they just don't get it! It is time to ask the province to step in and please do a coup d'etat or somethin'

18) [Re "Border Hissy Fits"] one of your better ones my friend and once again you are spot on.

19) How stupid does Eddie and friends think the Americans are? They make it sound like they will end up in Puce or somewhere. I guess they don't think Americans can read directional signs.
We do have Search and Rescue Teams available. Maybe that would get people over here knowing there was a guarantee that they wouldn't get lost.

Canadians seem to be getting accross to the states fine with the construction. I've been over several times and yes I followed the signs. I haven't heard of any search and rescue emergencies over there yet. Has anyone on council crossed over to see what construction looks like?

By the way, has the Mayor started legal action against Michigan? They are reconstructing a major highway that feeds into Windsor and without an Environmental Assessment who knows how it will impact Windsor.

Sorry. I digress, again. This is getting to be a familiar place. If the Mayor and Council feels losing one lane of traffic will hurt Windsor's downtown that bad, where does Windsor stand? Seriously?

20) Ed, in response to your request for thoughts regarding the CAW in windsor I submit the following for thought...

It may be a surprise to some reading this but not others. when it comes to economic development in this area.. the road indeed does stop at London.

The media coverage of union leaders threatening that if they don't get their way "all hell will break loose" in Windsor getting nationwide tv coverage
(2) "dead meat" campaigns that threatenthose that don't buy Big Three vehicles will be "dead meat" (again nationwide coverage)
(3) the CAW complaining about the Roll Up the Rim vehicle being a Toyota RAV 4 (again nationwide coverage)
(4) the violent confrontation betweenthe CAW and Veteran Cabs (again nationwide coverage) etc. etc.
is seen by business leaders world wide .

Sitting in their offices or watching tv in their hotel rooms while on business trips and seeing these news clips certainly does not enhance the image of Windsor.

With all due respect to those CAW members reading this and obviously gritting their teeth and thinking I amanti-union. take a deep breath and think. Think again. of the actions I have exemplified above. Think as if you were planning to invest millions of dollars on a new plant and two sites were your last choice Windsor or London. You had to make a decision the next day and while in your hotel room during the late news you see Ken Lewenza shouting and ragingthat "if we don't get our way all hell will break lose in Windsor." Would you invest in Windsor?

Your final thoughts should be how to fix Windsor's problems and the perception of labour to others. Gentlemen, militancy, "goon" tactics and bullying only get great media coverage and little positive comes from it. Maybe if the media (print, radio and tv) were "busy" with other stories when the union wanted coverage of their meetings we at least would prevent the "world" from seeing the negative side of Windsor.

The media in this town is being "used"by the CAW. it is free publicity for them. It is time the media were more supportive of the overall majority of citizens and acted more responsibly. The results would be beneficial for all of us in the region. but most importantly the biggest winners would be the CAW members themselves.