Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, April 23, 2010

Windsor Oddities

The stories, not people.


I have to admit that I thought at first that it might have been a smart idea. I bet Sandra thought of it because of her visit to the Paris Air show:
  • "Pupatello said she was at the Paris Air Show last year when she saw Windsor's Red Bull event being profiled on a French television.

    "It was unbelievable ... there I was on the other side of the world, watching my city," she said, predicting "a stellar weekend for us."

I am not talking about the millions just to hold the race. Rather this:

  • "Red Bull air races to be used to promote Ontario's aerospace industry

    While world-class pilots are roaring across local skies this June, much of the most important work during the Red Bull Air Races will happen on the ground.

    With the provincial government providing $250,000 in funding, the Ontario Aerospace Council will be staging On the Wings of Innovation June 4 to 6, an event designed to bring together representatives of leading global aerospace companies with Ontario manufacturers seeking to diversify their customer base by entering the aerospace supply chain."

The reason why I am a bit jaded on all of this spending is this announcement:

  • "Porter to begin flights to Moncton

    MONCTON, N.B.—Porter Airlines says it will introduce service between Ottawa and Toronto to Moncton, N.B., starting June 25."

And this

  • "Porter Airlines expands service

    Fast-growing Porter Airlines said Thursday it is expanding service on the Eastern Triangle routes, running between Toronto and Montreal, and Toronto and Ottawa."

And this:

  • "Island airline’s new terminal paves way for expansion
    Toronto Island airline plans increased service to American cities

    Toronto’s once-sleepy island airport is going to get a lot busier.

    More passengers, more flights and more destinations are planned for Porter Airlines, which unveiled the first phase of its new $50 million terminal Monday, marking the latest step in the burgeoning company’s ongoing expansion...

    Buoyed by rapid growth amid overall declines in the aviation industry, Porter has expanded from serving two cities in 2006, to more than 10 today, with two more destinations already on the schedule: seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach, S.C., will start Sunday, and daily service to Sudbury will begin March 31.

    Service to Washington and Philadelphia are also planned for the near future, with at least one of the cities likely to be on Porter’s schedule sometime this year, Deluce said, adding that flights to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit “and more destinations closer to home” are in the airline’s longer-term plans."

Detroit and not Windsor. Now you will understand why I think spending a quarter million for a booze-up to make flyers high is a waste of money:

  • "Airline to get VIP treatment; City to woo Porter during air race

    Mayor Eddie Francis is crossing his fingers that next week's Red Bull Air Race attracts more in the way of airborne interest than just the zippy little fixed-wing racers that will be flitting up and down the Detroit River.

    Porter Airlines, the popular small outfit that makes its name from a downtown-to-downtown air passenger service, has been chartered by Red Bull to fly in the VIP guests from Toronto and Montreal to the Windsor races next week, said Francis.

    Windsor Airport has been wooing Porter for almost two years to have the Rose City added to its flight schedule, so expect the red carpet treatment not only for the Red Bull passengers but also for the Porter pilots and flight crew.

    "I'm excited ... just to have their plane land on Windsor's runway -- I call it a good test run," said Francis, who chairs the airport board.

    He said a chief selling point will be to show how efficiently passengers and even large commercial aircraft can be handled just a few minutes from a major American city. Porter made its name as a quick and inexpensive downtown-to-downtown service, and Francis said Windsor already provides the world's only international city transit service, with municipal bus routes that connect downtown Detroit to Windsor's airport."


It was Earth Day on the 22nd. I know I am a bit late for Earth Hour but...

Do you watch Council? Do you believe that Earth Hours happens most Monday nights during the time while Council meetings take place, even without a proclamation. The Council seems to be in the dark on most big issues:

  • "This year Earth Hour takes place Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

    Mayor Eddie Francis asked all Windsorites to participate.

    “I urge all citizens to turn off their lights for one hour on March 27 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and demonstrate how easy it is to make changes to their everyday behaviour."

Perhaps if Council turned on their lights, their behaviour could change.


Let's outsource everything. A great idea out of Germany via the New York Times. Is that the real reason Edgar (aka Eddie) has flown to Germany so many times:

  • "A week later, though, I saw a television report on Niederzimmern, a German village where citizens can sponsor pothole repairs after this year’s especially cold winter. For a $68 contribution, they get their name embossed, over the town crest, on a patch of new asphalt...

    With a few tweaks, New York could have its own sponsor-a-pothole program...

    In New York, potholes are like pets — requiring constant care over years and years — so our program would mean almost literally adopting a patch of road. It would also come with a slightly higher price tag than in Niederzimmern: filling a New York pothole costs about $30; new asphalt every 18 months for 15 years would cost $300.

    But the idea of such a commitment contains the germ of a viable educational plan for New York: call it Pick-a-Pothole, a citywide civic investment program.

    In Niederzimmern one contributes to a fund; in New York you would get to choose a hole to sponsor. Rather than a brick for your child’s school, why not pay to repair the hole that swallows your stroller tire, with a personal marker in the pavement to recognize your effort..

    With the budget deficit rising, new methods for the city’s upkeep need to be explored. At the same time, New Yorkers seem more willing to invest in their communities than ever before. And we have a mayor consumed by the same issues that would motivate a pothole adoption program, including metrics, education and sustainability."

Quick, call Gridlock Sam for advice.


There is little hope for our airport. Why not just say it's the excuse to upgrade E C Row to 10 lanes and get on with it! Surely that was discussed as Sandra's killer quiche was being served.

I hope that no one from the Opposition reads this BLOG after Sandra gave $200K to Lufthansa because Windsor Airport could be a Transportation Hub. Mind you, that is probably a bit less than her travel bill for the Paris Air Show.

  • "The MPP for Windsor West said the local airport is “ideally situated” to be transformed into a regional air cargo hub, and she announced Friday that Windsor is getting $200,000 to study the proposal in greater detail."

She cannot be serious after seeing these stats: Windsor is 39 out of 42 airports across Canada. Now you definitely know that the money is being paid so Edgar has a reason to justify upgrading E C Row.

We were one of Porter's proposed routes at one time. I am not sure if we are now and if they are more interested in the larger market in Detroit. Perhaps Porter won't come here because we have no cash to induce them to do so after paying so much money for a 3-month service from Westjet.

I am told that there were City employees wearing parks and rec tee shirts working - assembling the new WestJet counter. I wonder who is paying their salary to do this--the City, YQG, Westjet?