From Soup To Nuts
I’m sure that this phrase will go down with all of the other great phrases such as
- A voyage of a thousand miles starts with the first step
- I’d walk a million miles for one of your smiles
Here it is:
- “Windsor and Detroit may be one step closer to attracting the hugely popular Red Bull Air Race back next year."
Unfortunately, they still have the other 99 out of 100 steps to go.
It is interesting that people from both sides of the border are setting up a working group since:
- “news that Red Bull representatives may come here is encouraging”
Personally, I would have preferred “are coming” before I got too excited about all of this.
The one thing I still do not understand is why Detroit Air Racing Inc. is not part of this:
- “Detroit Air Racing is not responsible or involved with the production of the Red Bull Air Race in Detroit, but only facilitated the key relationships required to enable this race. Detroit Air Racing is now an Agent of the Red Bull Air Race Hospitality Programme in Detroit.”
BLOGGERS GET NO RESPECT
I just cannot tolerate it anymore.
I cannot get media accreditation from the City the way the traditional media journalists can. The Star gets all the big scoops. Now, CKLW has pairs of Grand Prix tickets to give away. Pairs, not singles either. And what do BLOGGERS get… nothing but being called names.
Oh this giveaway may be quite costly and I just don’t mean in a monetary fashion.
Now we all know that Eddie needs Windsor's GrandPrix program to be a success to keep his friend Roger Penske happy:
- "He was the driving force behind bringing racing back to Belle Isle last year. And as chairman of the event's sponsor, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, he's still the engine behind it"
It is pretty clear now that the City’s attempt to fill up the racing grandstand was a dismal failure:
- “…a dedicated grandstand of Canadian race fans will be created at the Grand Prix. Prime race viewing in Grandstand 2, located at the start/finish line, will come alive with hundreds of Canadian fans on Grand Prix weekend.
“The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is a tremendous event for entire region,” said Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis…We want to pack the Canadian Grandstand for all three days of the Grand Prix and show our pride and enthusiasm to the world.”
And to show pride to Red Bull and Roger too I would bet.
After all, how can Eddie get the air race back here if not only could he not fill up the viewing area in Windsor for Red Bull but now he can’t do it for the Grand Prix race.
So it is true that the grandstand will be “packed” but not in the way that most people think. I wonder frankly how much all of this will cost. I cannot believe that the City would get so many freebie tickets that they can give them away.
Here’s where things get interesting. CKLW was at the Tunnel Duty-free Shop giving away tickets. Apparently the Duty-free also was running a Customer Appreciation Day. Given the decline in Tunnel volumes, any customers there would be appreciated! They too were giving away tickets if someone purchased $100 worth of goods.
I guess I would not be too happy about this if I was a downtown merchant seeing that people were being encouraged to buy at the Duty-free instead of my shop, especially since I believe they have made some kind of a new rental rate arrangement with the City as well.
I certainly hope that our Mayor did not structure this arrangement with the Duty-free since he declared a pecuniary interest in the issue of the Duty-free when it came before the Windsor Tunnel Commission.
I hope that someone from the favoured, traditional media will ask the Mayor some questions about all of this. I’m getting tired of filing Municipal Freedom of Information applications.
Just one other matter. If someone you knew was trying to find a hotel room in Windsor and was having difficulty, don't let anyone tell you that Grand Prix people were filling the hotel rooms. I heard there was a big baseball tournament in town that took the rooms.
HOLA ONTARIO GOVERNMENT
I believe that our two Cabinet Ministers and the Premier better get ahold of Senator Fortier quickly and tell him to resolve the problems with the Ambassador Bridge quickly.
If they do not, then Ontario’s main corridor to trading with the United States, Windsor/Detroit may have a competitive disadvantage as Mexico starts flexing its distribution muscle.
- “Mexico plans huge Baja port for U.S. trade
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's government is setting sail with the largest infrastructure project in the nation's history, a $4-billion seaport that it hopes will one day rival those of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
President Felipe Calderon is scheduled to travel to northern Baja California today to open bidding on a development that his administration hopes will catapult Mexico into a major player in North American logistics…
Plans call for the construction of a massive port in the tiny coastal village of Punta Colonet, about 150 miles south of Tijuana, along with new rail lines to whisk Asian-made goods north to the United States. Mexico's aim is to snatch some Pacific cargo traffic from Southern California's ports, whose growth is constrained by urban development and environmental concerns…
“But whether Punta Colonet turns out to be lucrative for Mexico won't be known for years. Competitors up and down the Pacific coast are in the midst of major upgrades. Panama has begun a $5.3-billion expansion of its landmark canal. Canada's Prince Rupert port in British Columbia began speeding containers to the American heartland by rail last year and is planning a major expansion.”
TWO POLITICAL STORIES IN THE STAR
I hope that you can help me. I'm having a bit of difficulty reconciling these two stories about the Federal Liberals:
- Liberals 'fully ready' for fall election: Dion
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says his party is "fully ready" for a fall election, and suggested the party will build an election platform on championing arts and culture funding.
- The candidates line up
Politicians who have declared so far
Conservative - incumbent Jeff Watson
Green - no declared candidate
Liberal - Susan Whelan
NDP - Taras Natyshak
Conservative - Kristine Robinson
Green - no declared candidate
Liberal - no declared candidate
NDP - incumbent Joe Comartin
Conservative - Lisa Lumley
Green - no declared candidate
Liberal - no declared candidate
NDP - incumbent Brian Masse
I trust that when Finance Minister Dwight Duncan looks for a new job after he has finished his political career that he will not look to the finance industry for a position, especially on the investment side.
Take a look at the following story where you see the amount of money that the Provincial Government has lost in the subprime mortgage market and other asset-based securities messes and how long it will take to get that money back.
If one looks for a quick way not to spend money, then the obvious place for Dwight to look is the DRIC road because it is claimed that is 10 times more expensive than any other road project in the Province. In other words, why spend $1 billion when $100 million would work satisfactorily. Why give the fancy DRIC road the nod when a "cheap" at grade road can be justified at this time as an "intermediate" solution to the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project.
After all, why not shove it into our Mayor's face because he was talking about "cheap solutions." Give him one and blame it on his threatened lawsuits against everybody and their uncle!
- "Ontario's subprime hit worse than forecast
Public is out 7% more than minister's estimate
Ontario taxpayers are facing a bigger hit than expected on an ill-fated investment in asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP).
The province is taking a writedown of $106.8 million – about 7 per cent higher than Finance Minister Dwight Duncan forecast in his fall economic statement when opposition parties accused him of "rolling the dice" with taxpayers' money.
The figure from the province's public accounts is about 17 per cent of Ontario's original investment in ABCP.
Duncan's office defended the increase in the writedown as "quite small."
The market for asset-backed commercial paper – securities made up of mortgages, credit-card receivables and other debt instruments – collapsed about a year ago as fears deepened about subprime mortgage defaults in the United States' housing slump. Other governments and companies have taken billions in writedowns as the ABCP market shakes out.
Ontario's investment in ABCP peaked at $1.4 billion in July 2007 but is now worth an estimated $636.8 million.
That is less than 10 per cent of the government's cash and temporary investments, the finance department contends, noting that other governments of all stripes have put money into ABCP going back as far as 1994.
"We have a balanced portfolio that is prudently invested in a diverse range of investments," a spokesperson for Duncan said. "This means that we have no undue risk weighted in any one category of risk."
But the government said it could take 10 years to "earn back" most of the $106.8 million writedown.
DOES EDDIE WANT A GREEN CARD
Apparently, it is possible to get a US green card through investing. Here's one explanation that I saw:
- "Green Cards through Investment (also called the Fifth Preference Green Card or EB-5) are available to anyone who invests a certain amount of money United States by creating a business or expanding one that already exists.
The investor must be active in the management of the company. A number of investors may join together in creating or expanding a U.S. business so that each applicant may qualify for a Investor Green Card through one single company. However, the individual investment of each applicant must still meet the minimum qualifying amount, and each investor must be separately responsible for the creation of new jobs."
The reason why I asked the question is the following excerpt from a news story in the Star:
- "The economic impact of last year's Detroit Grand Prix for both Canada and the United States is in the neighbourhood of $59 million, said event chairman Bud Denker.
Race organizers are hoping that this year will be even bigger. They are expecting more out-of-towners will take in the speed spectacle.
"We're looking at bringing $65 to 70 million to the community (this year)," said Denker. "A big part of that is bringing fans down from Canada thanks to Mayor Eddie Francis over in Windsor.
Francis and Denker created a ticket package to appeal to race fans from Toronto and across Ontario."
Super Bowl, WWE, Grand Prix racing, Red Bull air races, fixing Detroit's budget deficit... our Mayor is doing as much for our neighbour's financial well-being by investing in matters there as is his buddy Roger Penske.