Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, May 08, 2009

More Interesting News Stories

Ho ho ho, ha ha ha, he he he.

Stop it please, I just cannot take it any more. My sides hurt from laughing.

Our "Francis pitches 'unprecedented investments' in city projects" of $300 million has just been increased to $646 million.

Obviously, the Mayor did not get the kind of reaction he expected on the earlier announcement. So he doubled it!

And if he does not get the feedback to keep everyone happy, in two weeks it will be a billion dollars!

Books of materials that he only knew about presented in the last minute to Council. The canal all over again. Why was there the need to have any budget meetings before? And the timing right after Minister Baird's and DRIC's shocker makes it all suspect as I shall discuss later in a BLOG next week.

Why worry. It means nothing...just like the East End arena with seats jammed for hockey and playoff games which will not make the profits expected and might only get half of the events planned. That is typical on megaprojects that run amuk. Typical Eddie---big buildup, little performance.

I have so much to write that my fingers hurt. However, that will come next week. For now, some items of interest.


No, no, no. I meant a single copy of the Star, not the entire newspaper operation. The story is a bit late but typical of problems the traditional media is undergoing. Heck, Eh-Channel for a buck!
  • Canwest shares worthless, to be avoided: analysts

    TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Canwest Global Communications are essentially worthless and should be avoided by investors as Canada's biggest media company fights to restructure its massive debt amid a severe advertising downturn, analysts said on Monday.

    Canwest has another debt deadline on Tuesday, by which time it must pay $30.4 million in interest to holders of its 8 percent senior subordinated notes. The payment was originally due March 15, but the company missed it.

    If it doesn't pay on Tuesday, the investors can demand the repayment of about $761 million of outstanding principal on the notes. This could further exacerbate the crisis facing the company...

    "Based on these major liquidity challenges, it seems unlikely to us that Canwest can continue in its current form," Casey wrote, adding that timely and successful asset sales also seem unlikely.

    The recession continues to severely depress the advertising market, which is the lifeblood of Canwest's stable of newspapers and television stations. It has also dampened the appetites of potential buyers of Canwest's assets."


It does not look like the new Detroit Mayor is all that interested in a Tunnel deal.

Is Windsor ever lucky the Tunnel deal with Detroit is dead:

  • "Joseph Harris, Detroit's chief financial officer, said the agreement, which should be presented to the council in a few weeks, requires the city to appropriate payments annually on the swaps and to post collateral for those payments from its wagering tax.

    In addition, Detroit will face an additional payment of $800,000 a year starting in 2011 on top of the $50 million a year already being paid on the swaps, according to Harris, who added that without the deal he believed the city would be bankrupt.

    A material event notice the city filed in January said ratings downgrades had triggered termination events with eight interest-rate swap agreements associated with Detroit's issuance of pension fund-related taxable certificates of participation.

    All three Wall Street credit ratings agencies downgraded Detroit's general obligation rating to junk status in January. Bond insurers that participated in the deals also lost their triple-A ratings last year, Harris said.


Who can it possibly be? Do you think it could be.........Naw. No way!

Clearly it cannot be Eddie who slammed Detroit for thinking that the Tunnel is worth $100M after HE determined it is worth much less. And we know that Eddie is never wrong. The Detroit Mayor said this in his budget:

  • "Since January, we have explored, with certain interested parties, the potential of leasing Detroit’s income stream from three of the City’s assets: the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel; the Municipal Parking facilities; and, the Public Lighting Department. These discussions have helped to further convince us that the City can raise $100 million from leasing the income stream of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel; $100 million from Municipal Parking; and $75 million from Public Lighting. In every instance, the City of Detroit would retain ownership. The $5 million deficit balance could be paid off from operations next year. And we continue to explore this opportunity."

    Since Windsor has no interest in the other two revenue streams, we only wasted about $2M on legal and consulting fees. We could have used the cash to loan money to the Art Gallery.


Oh I get it, since Michigan cannot afford the bridge, Canada will graciously pay for it so that one of the most important border crossings in North America is owned by a Government that threatened to cut off US supplies of oil and energy. Right!

  • "Granholm: State budget in dire shape

    Lansing -- The state budget situation is so bad that every dime of federal recovery money could be used to patch holes in the budget, and significant cuts would still have to be made, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today.

    "Suffice to say ... we have not seen an uptick in the sales tax, the income tax, the property tax or the business tax," Granholm said during a news conference at the State Capitol.

    State tax receipts have been coming in at least $100 million a month short of projections made in January due to the anemic economy. Legislative leaders will huddle with the state budget director Thursday to discuss the budget in detail, the governor said.

    Granholm offered no "glimmer of hope" statements about Michigan's economy that President Barack Obama expressed about the national economy last week. She said the recovery in Michigan is all about jobs, and the state continues to see growing unemployment. The 12 percent jobless rate here leads the nation."


I hate to be a downer but...

If we had a robust economy with people doing well, then there would be lots of Transit advertisements offering goods and services so people could spend, spend spend. Accordingly, this concept, however admirable, only works while we are in the economic pits. The more of these shown, the worse things are for Windsor. And the more depressing. How ironic:

  • "City bus messages to accentuate positive

    Positive and thought-provoking messages are being sought for Transit Windsor buses as part of a grassroots effort to engage a city that is down on its luck.

    The Text-in-Transit project -- the brainchild of Justin Langlois and -- aims to place as many as 100 catchy phrases and even poems on placards that will fill unused ad space above the seats aboard city buses...

    The campaign isn't expected to cost taxpayers a penny as the ads are earmarked for unused advertising space."