Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Short Stories

Here are some more shorties for you to consider:


Can Windsor Police be this silly or is this just a warning to CUPE that the Chief of Police is serious now.
  • "Striker faces charge after car keys taken

    A 51-year-old CUPE worker is facing charges of theft under $5,000 after she allegedly stole keys from the vehicle of a man who was dumping garbage on the growing mounds outside CUPE headquarters on Parent Avenue."

    A crime was being committed for which the perpetrator was charged:

    "a man who was dumping trash near the front of the property...The man was issued a ticket of $125 for violating a city bylaw by dumping garbage on public or private property."

I cannot believe that the Crown will permit this to go forward but will rather have it thrown out.

By the way, we no longer need lawyers in Windsor. Another Windsor police officer tells us what the law requires:

  • "She went to his car, opened the door and removed the keys. She can't do that. That's his property," said Staff Sgt. Steve Bodri.

    "What they should have done -- they were videotaping everything -- is videotape what he was doing, get his licence plate number, photograph his face and call police and we would have went out and given him a ticket.

    "Instead, they chose to handle it themselves, which was improper."


Remember the note I sent to the Star where I said they were in error in saying that Eddie wanted to do away with post-retirement benefits for politicians.

Here is the thanks that I got for trying to make the Star a better and more accurate paper. Mr. Beneteau at least read my note but never responded to me. As for John Coleman:
  • "Your message

    To: Beneteau, Marty (WIN); Coleman, John (WIN)
    Subject: Correction required
    Sent: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 06:07:45 -0500

    was deleted without being read on Fri, 3 Jul 2009 23:24:22 -0500."


Here is an interesting story out of the Edmonton Journal. Actually who needs a Development Commission considering how wonderfully everyone is adjusting here according to the Mayor.

As for Mr. Piasentin, he seems to be a lot smarter than anyone we have had recently in the job as Head of the WEDC. He recognized our problems years ago and acted on it successfully! Maybe some of those parts suppliers could form the Board of the Commission too since they started acting around the time Eddie first became Mayor. What did they know then that we did not!

  • "Windsor, Canada’s automotive capital, once supported close to 60,000 automotive jobs. Today, about 12,000 remain. The city’s unemployment rate in May was 13.5 per cent, the highest in Canada.

    Mayor Eddie Francis is confident the auto sector won’t completely disappear but he knows it’s changing and, as such, the city is adapting.

    Recognizing the automotive decline, many parts-suppliers reluctantly began diversifying their supply base seven years ago, said Francis, who became mayor in 2004.

    The city also started to reposition its local economy. Windsor’s post-secondary institutions are expanding to accommodate skills re-training, particularly in health sciences.

    Given Windsor’s proximity to the United States, efforts are also underway to build the city’s tourism industry, he said. Windsor is now home to the third largest convention centre in Ontario and a new 5,000 seat downtown entertainment venue that attracts big acts like Celine Dion.

    It’s also invested $71 million in a new arena for the Memorial Cup-winning Windsor Spitfires and recently hosted the Red Bull Air Race which brought some 300,000 visitors to the region.

    Francis said Windsor is also poised to invest in capital works projects and also become a transportation hub for its $1.5-billion agri-foods industry.

    “Someone on the line today is trying to be the ambulance driver of tomorrow,” he said. “Someone working in the paint shop yesterday is re-training their skills and looking to become a dental hygienist.

    “Windsor is a good textbook example about how people are really doing everything they can to not only reposition the city, but reposition themselves for the economy.”

    Shannon and Peter Piasentin, both former mould designers for different Windsor auto-parts companies, are a perfect example.

    Shannon was laid off in February 2008. The 32-year-old mother of three has since decided to turn her photography hobby into a part-time career.

    After 10 years in the business, her husband Peter, also 32, saw the downturn coming and decided several years ago to leave his high-paying job to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer.

    While both took massive pay cuts when they changed careers, they’re also happier now and admit they might not have taken the leap if not for the downturn in the automotive industry.

    “I didn’t like the job but I got comfortable with the pay,” Shannon said. “Once I was laid off, it was my opportunity to walk away from it.”

    Take a look at Eddie's verbs. Always the promise: started to reposition, are expanding to accommodate, efforts are also underway, poised to invest, is trying to be, looking to become.


How else to explain this mess in Sarnia that can only drive trucks to the Ambassador Bridge. I can hardly wait until the same people start on the DRIC road here:

  • "OTA warns of "traffic chaos" near Sarnia crossing

    SARNIA, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is warning that construction may create traffic chaos on Hwy. 402 through Sarnia, after local politicians rejected a proposal to amend noise by-laws to allow construction to occur during off-peak hours this summer...

    The OTA’s fear is that traffic chaos will ensue on the approach to the second busiest commercial border crossing between Canada and the US...

    About 2,000 to 3,500 trucks pass through the crossing each day. Reducing the stretch to one lane could create major backups, the OTA pointed out in a letter to Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley...

    He said truckers will do their best to avoid the Bluewater Bridge crossing, but many don’t have a choice."


This should scare people after seeing what has happened to Windsor parks during the CUPE strike. We should demand the end of green space or at least artificial turf as was done on Dougall at $81 per square yard:

From the DRIC REFQ:

  • "Parkway will include community and environmental features, such as: 300 acres of green space, 20 kilometres of recreational trails, extensive landscaping throughout the corridor and noise and environmental mitigation measures.

The artificial turf would only cost $117,612,000.


The Good

  • "Website highlights area's capabilities

    "A website detailing the capabilities and available capacity in tool, die and mould shops across the Windsor region [has been started]...

    Most of the data collection has been completed."

The Bad

  • "[The website] is expected to undergo a soft launch in December and be fully operational and accessible by trade missions across the globe by February.

    Although it's constantly being updated, and the next step is to design the website, write programming language and set up the infrastructure so the information can be loaded onto the site."

The Explanation

  • "It seems like a long time but for what we're trying to make available on the site and to make it as accessible and user-friendly as possible, it's actually a pretty aggressive timeline," said Tracy Pringle, director of business retention and expansion for the WindsorEssex Development Commission which is developing the website."


Watch for its promising future for us in upcoming Mayoral speeches. Right after aerospace and the medical field.

  • "Of course we needed to expand our horizons. But how? What exactly could this area do to reinvent itself, and what new jobs would allow us to equal or exceed the excellent standard of living we'd come to expect?

    There were many ideas bandied about, but we never could have predicted that some day Windsor and Essex County would be on the cutting edge of the "green technology" movement. Yet here we are, using our existing skilled workforce, research and development abilities and prime location to lead the way in an exciting new area."

Who will remember that conference that Dwight and Sandra sponsored.


Sure it was supposed to connect communitites, but a good Highway project can do that anyway without overpasses and tunnels and greenspace. Take a look at what MDOT said about their huge project:

  • "Group effort

    Community involvement takes center stage in Michigan reconstruction project

    The I-75 reconstruction project in Detroit boasts a lot of accomplishments. The project, which began in April 2000 and is expected to be finished by December 2009, is 2.5 miles of concrete road designed to allow direct connections between the freeway and the Ambassador Bridge.

    It is the state’s first public-private partnership; involved the closure of two major freeways; connects to the state’s busiest border crossing; has the state’s first cable-stayed bridge and first HOV lanes; is the first maintenance of traffic simulation; and is the largest single contract letting ($170 million). All of these elements combine to move Michigan into a new era of construction—while focusing on the community’s best interests and keeping the public informed.

    The project involved ripping out the entire freeway and all the ramps and starting fresh, including adding an additional interchange, Matt Simon, vice president of HNTB and a project manager, told Roads & Bridges.

    It’s also about connecting the neighborhood through the bridge, because the freeway cut through Mexicantown—it’s a bridging of the neighborhood,” he said. “The whole project was about connecting neighbors and improving connections with the bridge and freeway.”

Oh and the story also helped the Bridge Company in their lawsut against the State too for good measure.


Just remember Fort Drum's history and tell me that Canada does not have more to worry about than thickening of the border:

  • "Fort Drum has been used as a military training site since 1908, however the Army's presence in the North Country may be traced back to the early 1800's. In 1809 a company of infantry soldiers was stationed at Sacket's Harbor to enforce the Embargo Act and control smuggling between northern New York and Canada. Following the outbreak of the War of 1812, Sackets Harbor became the center of United States Naval and military activity for the Upper St. Lawrence River Valley and Lake Ontario.

    During the 1830's and 40's, the Patriots War in Canada prompted a new round of military preparations and Madison Barracks became the home of artillery units."

200 years later:

  • "U.S. Predator drone planes hover closer to Windsor-Detroit border

    Another stretch of the Canada-U.S. border is now being patrolled by an unmanned Predator B drone, another step in Homeland Security's plan have the planes eventually flying over the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's office of Air and Marine have announced that a Predator drone plane has begun flights out of Fort Drum, N.Y., at the eastern end of Lake Ontario."