Even More Stories
I AM WINDSOR'S OFFICIAL NAYSAYER
I wanted to see what the definition of "naysayer" was so I checked a dictionary online. I could not believe it. Under the word, naysayer, I actually saw my photo. Now that is something special!
- "Naysayer calls plan pie in sky
Trevor Wilhelm, Windsor Star, Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Local blogger and self-described political observer Ed Arditti could be considered one of the "naysayers" dismissed repeatedly at the news conference held Tuesday to announce the redevelopment plan for the Western Super Anchor site.
"It's another one of these pie-in-the-sky ideas that the mayor has floated since he's taken office," Arditti said Tuesday night. "I was actually going to try to sit down tonight and figure out how many of these things have been out there and never gotten anywhere. But I got too tired.
"There are a lot of pretty serious issues that have to be dealt with before anybody takes it seriously."
One of the issues, he said, is the large number of housing units depicted in the concept drawing.
"The question I had was, where are all the people going to come from to fill those units?" said Arditti. "We have people leaving the city, we have no jobs here. I'm kind of wondering who's going to fill up all those units, who's going to pay all that kind of money to buy in that area?"
He said condominium developers are having a tough time selling units.
"They built them, and they didn't come," said Arditti. "So why does anybody think that building canals in downtown Windsor will do any good?"
Several readers of The Windsor Star website also questioned the plan."
You see, if one dares question what the Mayor says, then one has to be discredited. The others are merely "questioners" but I have to be demonized!
TOO FEW COOKE(S) CAN SPOIL THE BROTH
The word is that some of the big muckamucks at the University of Windsor are very upset at their new Board Chair.
They have this silly notion that if Dave Cooke has three months to spare to fool around in the City doing feasibility studies on Canal projects, he might consider spending that time instead taking a look at the University operations to help improve them.
After all, there is a need for big sums of money to help pay for their stadium, the medical building and the new University Engineering Complex amongst other things. A recent Star article talked about "Enrolment stalling at university." A few more students might help pay the bills. And of course there are the ratings of the University that I won't mention in polite company.
They just do not understand. It is so much more fun working on a $65,000 feasibility study on a project that may cost hundreds of millions of dollars than dealing with dull, mundane student issues. Just like it is more fun being an enterpreneur with no personal financial risk by spending taxpayer money rather than being a Mayor and fixing roads and sewers.
What better way to meet the movers and shakers in town if one thinks about running for Mayor. If you are Dave, isn't this a much nicer way to meet people than to ask them for money for the University.
KEN COCKREL'S TURN NOW
You'd think any chance for the Tunnel deal is over by now after this story:
- "Council overrides mayor's veto on Detroit-Windsor tunnel sale
Christine MacDonald / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- The Detroit City Council on Tuesday overrode Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's veto aimed at keeping alive the sale of the city's share of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
Kilpatrick vetoed a July 17 council vote aimed at stopping the process to sell the tunnel. The council had voted 6-2 to rescind its vote creating an authority that would take over ownership and operations of the tunnel, a first step in the $75 million sale."
It is incredible to me. I've never seen two Mayors work so hard to try and put a deal together that makes no sense whatsoever. I really am trying to understand what they are trying to achieve. Can anyone figure out what is really behind it?
In any event, if you think it is finished guess again. Expect the Detroit Council Pesident and perhaps Mayor to-be if Kwame resigns or is forced out and mayoral hopeful in the next election to take a good long look at whether he should get involved in the Tunnel morass. He voted after all in favor of the Authority and thought that it might make sense to work together with Windsor.
We know that a couple of politicians on this side of the river have been courting him for some time. Does he really want to get involved in this mess?
ANOTHER BLOW FOR THE TUNNEL DEAL
It is not necessary for naysayers to kill the deals that the Mayor gets involved in. He and his friends do a perfectly good job of doing it themselves.
Take the proposed idea of the ferry taxi to Detroit. Now I could understand it if it was to take tourists back and forth across the River. Like the gondola idea that never got anywhere. Apparently however, it is meant for commuters:
- "Thousands of Windsor workers who commute daily to Detroit may soon be able to leave their gas guzzlers at home and take the ferry instead."
Yes, those 5,000 commuters that Eddie wants to protect at the Tunnel and who make up a good part of the revenues of the Tunnel are to be shifted over to some ferry boats.
I sure would like to see the business case for the Tunnel if that happens. There goes that $75 million.
However, once those commuters arrive on the other side, unless they work in downtown Detroit or are prepared to take buses to wherever it is that they work in the suburbs, please explain to me how they are going to get from the waterfront to their job location. Bicycle on I-75 perhaps?
Of course, Customs would have to staff the ferry landings on both sides of the river with staff that can barely cover the existing crossings now.
Do you see what I mean... these ideas implode on their own. We do not need a $65K feasibility study to tell us that. Naysayers need not do anything.
A NEW DEFENDANT FOR THE BRIDGE COMPANY LAWSUIT
The ferry taxi concept is interesting from another perspective. It is one that the Windsor Port Authority is working on. Seriously don't they have any sense whatsoever:
- "The Windsor Port Authority is holding preliminary discussions with the largest commuter ferry operator in the United States that is seeking to begin a commuter service across the Detroit River. WPA chairman Charlie Pingle said the proposed inland marina for Windsor's downtown west side would make a perfect terminus for such a service"
Let's give the Authority the benefit of the doubt and say that this service could be wildly successful. One of their competitors would be the Tunnel and the other one obviously would be the Bridge Company.
As you may recall, for the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project
- "A federal environmental assessment is required because this project would require specific approvals from Transport Canada and the Windsor Port Authority."
Here we go again. It is not enough that the City of Windsor is a competitor of the Bridge Company and is throwing up roadblocks to their project. It is not enough in addition that Transport Canada is a judge of the Bridge Co. project and a competitor for a new crossing with their DRIC Bridge. Now the Port Authority has made themselves a possible defendant as well with their role as judge and ferry advocate.