Here are more letters.
Check out the second letter too written by a reader to Councillors. If true, and I have no idea if it is or not, then you will understand why little money should be spent on the Mayor's canal vision. The private contributors should buy Library books instead with the $65,000 and Dave Cooke should figure out how to solve the University's problems, especially the financial ones:
1) Gee! All of 18 new hybrid buses for Windsor! Let's see, Kitchener getting an inter-regional Light Rail service, Ottawa 202 hybrid buses and the possibly 4 billion for Light Rail, Toronto, 324 buses plus a subway line to nowhere....and Windsor....nothing for a bridge, any roads, nor tunnel!
Eddie and clowncil really think big...EH! Yep! Go ahead and snub everybody Eddie!
2) To: City Council
Subject: Doing It Backwards, Again!
I have lived in Windsor long enough to recognize that we go about things backwards at the commencement. The Ready, Shoot, Aim syndrome has been the root cause of expropriations to produce vacant plots in downtown, given us convention centres that have to be donated to other organizations to get any hope of use from them and the building of buildings that commence before all the plans and size dimensions are finalized..
The most backward of all could well be the new West Nile river extension to feed the marina and canals for our downtown urban village. Possibly I am not up to date with the cutting edge education so I will continue to think as one educated in the old school.
Water runs downhill in my world. So we make a cut along railway lands to bring the water south out of the Detroit River. We shall name this the West Nile Tributary for purposes of explanation. We want to run water upstream parallel to the Detroit River, that is to bring laterals off of the West Nile and bring the water to an easterly direction counter to the flow of the Detroit River which in our downtown area runs from east to west. To accomplish this feat will require that the water will have to go down hill from the West Nile Tributary. Even a civil engineering technician (less than a full engineer) would tell you to accomplish this there will need to be an excavation of the canals that will require the bottom to be at the same of lower level than at the source. Basically digging against the slope of the land.
This could well be a major reason why the initial study has the concept of providing water to the system from the east end with potable water taken from the municipal water supply. This would keep the water from becoming stagnant and create a positive slow to the West Nile Tributary and provide a new supply of water to the Detroit River. If the need for freshness is that the water not be a stagnant pool but flowing then there should be another canal at the east end of this also going into the Detroit river with a small scoop type dam that would extend a short distance into the river and a bias of extending east as well as north to catch and divert some flow to the canals.
It this second excavation cannot be done for cost reasons then forgetting the whole plan would be a sensible conclusion. We have already had a huge increase in our water rates with the aging pipes needing replacement and the extra millions of liters required to provide drinking water to Tecumseh. To provide the primary source of water to the canal system from the potable water supply is ridiculous. If we were to provide something small like a 2" pipe free flowing in the quantity of water will be taken by absorption, and evaporation to such an extent I would not expect to see a very healthy waterway. Were the Lou Romano plant closer the fully treated effluent water which is supposed to be environmentally safe might be considered a source but with such a distance the laying of pipe and pumping would be something coming with a price tag in the millions for capital and possible millions annually keeping it going. And what about the winter? Would we still be able to flood this ditch in sub zero weather and keep it a stream under the ice or would it just freeze to the bottom?
No even thinking about water pressures and volumes in our aged system just suppose we were to decide that a header would provide a water discharge into the canal system at the easterly end from an 18" diameter pipe at a flow rate of 600 feet per minute.
Area = 3.14159 * 9 * 9 square inches
= 254 square inches
converted to square feet
= 254/(12 * 12)
= 1.76 square feet.
With the proposed flow rate this would be 600 * 1.76 cubic feet per minute = 1056 cubic feet per minute.
A standard year is 365.25 days (counting the leap year as a portion of each year) so we could say a standard month would be 365.25/12 or 30.44 days.
To get the monthly water volume required with this scenario we would multiply 30.44 days * 24 hours per day * 60 minutes per hour.
This works out to 43,834 minutes per month. The water volume required then is 46,288,704 cubic feet per month.
Most people are more familiar with gallons or liters.
In gallons this is 289,304,400 per month.
In liters this is 1,289,140,400 month.
In Windsor we bill homeowners on the number of cubic meters of water they use in a month. For an average home 20 cubic meters would be a reasonable consumption. Since a cubic meter is 1000 liters we then can say the canal will require about 1,289,140 cubic meters per month. This would be as much water as is consumed by 64,457 homes. I don't know if the average home would have 4 occupants but it is conceivable this project could double the City of Windsor water requirements to make it fly, or rather sink. Industrial use of water is much higher so it would be safer to state that it would increase the water demands about equal to the residential water load. Is the City of Windsor going to pay $450,000 dollars a month to WUC for the use of water and the summer levy?
This water would not benefit everyone in Windsor equally. Are we going to then charge for the water, lifeguards, policing the marina, mosquito treatment and who know what else to the properties in the district?
If you live in Windsor and own property you have every right to know the answer to these and other questions.
Anyone one from the council got any idea about how this will all end?
3) explain why police and ambulance drivers sit in their vans virtually every night (certainly on weekend nights) on Park Street (next to the Scotia Bank) with their engines idling just waiting for a call. Beyond the greenhouse emissions - what about the fact that the gas budget is completely out of whack
4) [I saw this in a Detroit Metro Times article published in 2005]
"The city’s dire cash flow situation (with $116 million in the bank, cash will be tight by December, warns Chief Financial Officer Sean Werdlow) is old news by now, as are Kilpatrick’s warnings that unless the unions that represent the city’s workers are ready to deal, layoffs will ensue.
Documents submitted to council with the amendment spell out $139 million in budget “challenges” that must be dealt with. But the remedies Kilpatrick outlined are far from becoming a reality.
The single biggest proposal is a major new source of funding: $20 million in revenue from renegotiating the city’s lease with the Detroit & Canada Tunnel Corp., whose deal with the city runs through 2020.
Tunnel Corp. General Manager Neal Belitsky wouldn’t discuss his company’s deal because of a confidentiality agreement signed by both parties. But city Auditor General Joe Harris says he’s not sure how the administration plans to parlay the renegotiation of a lease (said by Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams to be worth $600,000 a year) into $20 million in revenue.
“The lease expires in 2020. That’s 15 years,” Harris says. “Paying $600,000 a year, times 15 years, is $9 million. How do they get $20 million from that? Just like so many other things in that plan, it doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not going to stand here and tell you it’s baloney, I’m just going to tell you I don’t understand.”
Without a deal signed, City Council Fiscal Analyst Irv Corley Jr. says it’s misleading for the administration to include the tunnel renegotiation in a plan designed to help balance the books. And to list the amendment as a given without council approval, Corley says, is presumptuous. Corley says he’s urged council members not to vote on the amendment until a copy of the renegotiated lease agreement can be analyzed."
5) wished Municipality of essex could start a blog as theres so much wrong in our town its silly thanks
6) I enjoy reading your blogs and they must be hitting their mark b/c
the Star wrote an editorial on the subject.
As to naysayers, I don't know if you follow AM 800 Poll results.
Recently they asked - Do you think the downtown marina and canal
proposal will become a reality ?
Out of a total of 823 votes , 67.4 % said no and only 32.6 %
And while I have your attention (I hope), my main concern about
the new East End Arena is that there was no public consultation
about the site nor was there a public tender held for the construction
of this project.
7) such a set up. Already the discussions have been so fruitful that Red Bull and the Mayor has issued a news release (on a holiday Monday no less). Still not important enough for Red Bull to post the release on their media site. One can only wonder if in fact this was a previously arranged trip. Red Bull (as a matter of courtesy) would probally extend invites to mayors from other cities that hosted the event during the year long competition. Our mayor needed an excuse to go there and realizing that this may be a tad problematic - arranged this "last minute discussion". Then the news release. In my view there are two scenarios: one, that Red Bull had already decided to return to Windsor or two - this is not going to happen but the mayor arranged some friendly discussion so as to bolster his image on other failings. Coincidental that this good news trip comes on the heels of the canal announcement and follows of course the debacle of the tunnel deal and the probally soon to be announced failure of GreenLink. Like you - I am getting sick of this all
8) Naysayers are everywhere! Francis better hurry up or smarten up before all the infrastructure money is gone! Also before every construction worker, engineer, concrete and steel disappear into the pit of the GTA!
9) Don't ever let them get to you Ed, they are the ones that don't care for this City. If they cared they would do a lot better job at it
10) You need to go to other parks. The ones at the river our given but there are hidden gems that have not been discovered by you as yet from your statement. I have lived in Windsor 68 years and each park should be special to there own neighbourhood . One thing that Windsor has is parks and our we lucky to have them.
Right know with the economy the way it is if you want a special day with your family take a picnic to your park. Take time to play on the equipment with your children or child. Why not just take in the the beauty of being able to sit freely and enjoy what we have and be grateful for it. Go for a walk or a swim in one of Windsors outside heated pools. Watch a soccor game or football or kids just having fun in the park or throwing a fresbie. We have parks that make you feel like you are out in the country. There are things that you can do with little or no cost for families to spend time together so lets take care of them use them they need TLC and attention paid to them or you might not have them some day.
How is that for a positive note. Windsor born and raised and proud of it.
11) One of your better blogs Ed ... keep after these guys .. the insiders who
run this City have screwed up and by holding them accountable you allow the
true citizens to come forward to make a difference.
12) Unreal. In-Camera-itis
13) Aside from being environmentally offensive, have our city leaders forgotten that the canal undertaking would require a ruling by the IJC under the International Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 as well as meeting the IJC’s scientific committee’s scrutiny? Since the IJC lists our riverine portion as an “Area of Concern”, do these folks honestly think that will be coming soon?
14) So amazing - the only time that Francis and Orr can get to meet with Red Bull people is on the day of their race in London England (wonder if the meeting will be in the grandstand or at a cocktail party)? You would think that they were far too busy on that day to meet. Were there no other times over the last few months to make a face-to-face effort? Now - what is the cost of a last-minute ticket to England? No doubt may be cheaper if one flew out of Detroit, but we have "Your Quick Getaway". Probally will never know as the last public travel statement show that the mayor hardly ever travelled despite he once said statemnet that he spends a lot of time in airports.
You would wonder why noone from Detroit is attending the meeting.
15) It occurs to me that the main thrust to demolish the latest pie-in-the-sky proposal from the visionary posing as a mayor is a simple question of priorities. How can he justify refurbishing the services to the Western (Super?) Anchor lands when he has already imposed unjustifiable levies to deal with the present disastrous lack of adequate infrastructure services already existing in this city. He has lost control of the Border file. He has ignored the taxpayers in West windsor and declared war on the ownership of the Ambassador Bridge. He has botched the arena deal that will, without doubt, be an extra burden (Over and above the true capital cost) to taxpayers the minute the doors open for business. He has achieved clown status with the tunnel fiasco. He failed to obtain any satisfactory outcome to the Candarel scandal. He has remained silent through the disgraceful suppression of 400 CHS audit, which,like three day old fish, is beginning to stink to high heaven. He has conducted more secret meetings than those in public. He has stripped taxpayer control of Millions of dollars worth of taxpayers' assets by transferring them to Private for profit companies. (eg. Tunnel & The Airport with its land holdings )He has spent millions of dollars on outside high priced lawyers and consultants without any apparent success. He has continually increased the size and cost of the bureaucracy. He is a loose cannon and if we are to succeed in our attempt to curb this man's folly, it has to be an attack on all the above. These are just some random thoughts as the above compendium of the Mayor's failures might serve to concentrate efforts to return sanity to city hall.
16) you made the Star!...you naysayer you.
17) Other than the availability of vacant space for parking in Windsor, does anyone really think that Windorites will walk from the dock in Detroit to the Metro area hospitals? Bus service? DOT & SMART can’t even cooperate & there would be a single morning & afternoon ”glut” for passengers. Let’s compare this to Mackinac Island… But then again, this is not meant to be rational – only aspirational!
18) I guess asking legitimate questions is considered being a naysayer in Windsor now.
Not only should they be looking at who is going to fill those condos but is the city going to expropriate all of those houses and at what cost?
If it is up to the developers to secure the rest of the land then they are going to have to pay the speculators (the ones with all of the vacant lots) what they are asking. Again a high sum for a "think big" idea.
Talk about disregard for the taxpayers of this city! All I heard him talk about was visitors, visitors, visitors but what about those who have been trying to change this small neighbourhood?
19) At least they spelled your name right…but it appears that since they can't beat you on issues (border, arena, FOIAs, etc.,) then they will drag you into tangents that are popular. Your quotes are juxtaposed against the anonymous supporter who shared such insight as “Giddee up” and sounds like he would try ANYTHING to get “this sucker moving.”
Eddie will never see it, and the string of “mega ideas” will fall on its own weight…combined with the heap of others…
20) Reading my morning paper I discover that people like you, Ed, are a "sneering naysayer."
Your negativity gets us nowhere. Listen to our Mayor. Learn in his ways and be wise. First it was a wild bypass through pristine woods, then seven kilometres of tuneling tunneling tunneling. Next, up, up and away as we fly Windsor workers out west all week and then fly 'em back! And who can forget airlifting local radishes and onions to Germany? Don't you see a pattern of wisdom here?
Now it's dig, dig, dig. Canals wide and deep making Windsor the Venice of the North. But maybe we need lots of water to flush the BS coming from City Hall out to the river. Eddie could hop a gondola and share his foresight with the folks downstream in LaSalle, Amherstburg, and Niagara Falls. A modern day Huck Finn!
21) I could probably sum up my feelings on Greenlink with one word: proof. Picking away at details and quibbles aside, that is all it really comes down to. Eschewing my personal feelings and perceptions of those involved, if you were to show me that this design makes sense and is the best option given under an unbiased analysis, then I will be obliged to agree. As someone trained in cold, fast and hard science, it would be unprofessional of me to allow my personal reservations to cloud the issue.
Unfortunately, proof is solidly lacking here.
I took some time to acquaint myself with Greenlink's supplied literature, mostly their comparison between their design and the proposed DRIC roadway. I'll pick apart their comparison below.
Item (2): Protection of People and Item (3) Connection of Communities
Comparison item 2 claims that Greenlink claims to protect neighbourhoods. I should first point out how misleading the title "protection of people" is, when this item goes on to discuss neighbourhoods, and not actual individual people which was my initial impression. As it stands now, neighbourhoods are already separated by Windsor's arterial roadway system, most notably Huron Church. It is very rare to see pedestrians crossing this road, leading me to believe there is no current significant connectivity. Of course, that isn't to say that connectivity cannot be fostered, but if I know one thing about Windsor, it's that status quo is king. It can be argued that added parkland in place of a roadway has the potential to unite communities in the form of communal meeting- and play-grounds, but the extent of this effect is debatable. Are there community usage figures for "Park on the Lid" in Washington? Never mind the fact that parks upkeep has drastically fallen behind the requirements. I have the feeling that these "land bridges" will fall into the same sad state as most of our city parks.
Item (2) and Item (3), to me, seems to be essentially the same thing, restated. Going on my initial "people protection" impression, I am curious as to what this means--does it imply protection for vehicular accidents? If so, I would love to see some crash analyses comparison for at-grade, open below-grade and tunnel scenarios, especially as they relate to pedestrian accidents. From these figures a solid, factual argument may be made.
22) Maybe Kwame should tell the Detroit City Council that only he can speak on the tunnel deal. That would provoke an entertaining confrontation.
23) The canal idea I see on the Star's website is certainly interesting ... I've been to San Antonio and while this ain't no Riverwalk being proposed, anything to take advantage of the water is a good idea in my books.
... the permits required to do this work are onerous. Remember the Windsor marina that was supposed to be built downtown many moons ago? Where is that? Sunk by the approvals process and no City staff to take ownership and see it through. Any major works along the Great Lakes shorelines have to go through a massive elaborate process of demonstrating the displacement effects on water levels on the entire basin, as well as effects on fish habitats, marine ecology etc etc. Sounds ridiculous but true. If Gord Henderson thinks this is coming down the pipe in the next 10 years he'd better keep dreaming. Just like Eddie to propose something grand that he cannot (or will not) follow through on.
24) it makes it look like he’s a forward thinking ideas guy. He has to make up for his ridiculous commuting to alberta scheme somehow.... And yes, people are sick of endless border talks, studies and blueprints so he can give those that have lost their jobs and are stuck in this muggy depressed city something to look forward to. lol