Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Thoughts

Just a whole bunch of random thoughts going through my mind that might interest you


Wow, so many terrific ones around.

One of my favourites was the one of the Mayor and Canada's own Red Bull Pilot, Pete McLeod, entitled "Pete doing the press conference" on Pete's Facebook page.

You have to join Facebook to see it although I have asked permission to BLOG it. Here is the link

I'd appreciate your thoughts about it.


Who is the person with a front-end loader who was seen picking up garbage and trash in the Aylmer/Wyandotte area at around 5 AM the other day?

Another good-deed doer or was it someone hired by the City?

If there is no more garbage around, then who needs to settle the strike.


Carrousel of the Nations took place there over the weekend but did not do too well according to the Star. I am surprised that it was not filled up with the Red Bull throngs

It seems that the grass was cut for the event. Who gave permission to do so? Was the Square leased out to them as it was to Red Bull so the Parks By-law did not apply or did Management cut it previously?

Perhaps someone from the organization contacted City Hall for help. I wonder who that could have been.


Just like the ridiculous one with Ambassador Wilson's letter saying the Bridge Company was treated fairly, do you think the Star would run this headline:
  • "Windsor's Red Bull Air Race weekend was an "absolutely amazing" failure."
What else would you expect the Mayor to say other than
  • "Windsor's Red Bull Air Race weekend was an "absolutely amazing" success"


How can we explain the drop in numbers from last year from 750,000 people on both sides of the river to only 300.000.

Heck, Eddie promised:

  • "The event attracted thousands of fans to the Windsor river front last summer, and Mr. Francis said he expects bigger crowds this year."

Remember, I told you that the Red Bull site was sending people to Niagara Falls for the attractions. American tourists probably did not appreciate how far away Windsor was from there!

DWBIA executive director Chris Edwards better learn how to count in a more appropriate fashion:

  • "he expects the Red Bull Air Races from June 12 to 14 will bring an estimated 100,000 people downtown."

Or is the increase from 100,000 to whatever the real number was on our side a fantastic victory.

We have the excuses though:

  • "New passport requirements and the ability to watch the races for free from Detroit's waterfront may have kept Americans at home."

Lack of much Detroit media interest may have helped too!


30,000 were available...The Mayor said:

  • "Get 'em and get 'em early."

So how many did?


Attendance numbers were ugly. The question is whether Red Bull made the money they expected.

Last September "Red Bull Air Race director Stefan Lehrmayer [said]...

  • "We were surprised at the success this year," he said.

    "We think we can reach one million people here. We now see this as a potential classic location we could build for the future."

Not with the numbers dropping!


How many Councillors visited it during the air races? How many were invited to visit it?


Most of Windsor's 1,800 downtown hotel rooms were booked for the Final Four games.

  • "Orr said he expects $1.3 million in direct spending in this area in the span of just a few days, which translates into $2.9 million in economic benefit — once those who make money locally treat themselves to something extra.”

Yet last year

  • "With an estimated economic impact of $60 million on the region last year, Francis hopes the event will be a financial boon once again"

No wonder Spanky had to say after his $3.2M investment

  • "Estimating that the event generated $100 million in economic activity, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan added that he's already planned to meet with Red Bull officials in Toronto in the coming days to discuss that possibility."

These numbers are in Super Bowl range and you know how good those numbers weren't! Why can't we just be pleased at what success we achieved in these poor economic times rather than giving out numbers that make no sense.


Here I was expecting the usual restaurant owner to be interviewed for a Star story on Red Bull. Instead we have a new dining mogul:

  • "businesses revelled in the steady stream of customers filing through their establishments.

    "This is business," said Dorota Stasiak, serving up sausage after sausage from her stand at Riverside Drive and Ferry Street. Taking orders over the drone of jet engines, she said,

    "This is good."


  • "An informal meeting to end a 10-week strike by municipal workers mediated by a top official from Ontario's labour ministry went nowhere Sunday night and broke up after about four and a half hours, according to both sides.

    Local union representatives from CUPE Local 543 and Local 82 offered a couple suggestions around the controversial issue of retiree benfits in a bid to end the negotiation stalemate to Reg Pearson, Director of Labor Management Services for Ontario's labour ministry, according to Jean Fox, president of CUPE Local 543.

    But the unions got no reponse back from city negotiators who said they were there simply on a fact-finding mission to see if there was anything new, Fox said."

What was the point of meeting if Council had not given instructions:

  • "The two sides have scheduled formal negotiations for Tuesday, but the mayor said city council will first decide tonight behind closed doors whether it still wants to stage those talks and next direction on the city's position."

The City's position seems clear:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis also attended the meeting.

    "Our team made it clear we are not moving on post-retirement benefits," Francis said."

So all this talk about negotiating again was a joke.


I shed a tear for them after reading Gord's Saturday column

  • "The most appalling aspect of CUPE's behaviour in this marathon strike, and there are many candidates, is surely the thug-like harassment of downtown restaurant, bar and shop owners who've been trying to haul away their own garbage in order to beat back the rats, hold off the health authorities and remain in business.

    What we have here are folks who enjoy the taxpayer-funded good life, including better than competitive wages, something close to blanket job security, great hours, paid vacations, terrific benefits and a fully indexed OMERS retirement plan, declaring war on individuals who live by their wits and have none of the above."

But then I remembered what our Mayor said after Red Bull and did not feel so bad for them after all:

  • "I know that some downtown businesses in the hospitality industry were able to pay off their lines of credit due to the amounts of money they took in during the three days of the race."
  • "Francis hopes the event will be a financial boon once again. "It's a significant, significant money generator. Most businesses said they did more business in those four days than they did in the whole year," Francis says."

Imagine the money to be made over the remaining 361 days. And Gord wants us to feel sorry for them!