"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday, 26 September 2016

GUEST POST ON GUEST POST ON REAL ESTATE PRICES

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "GUEST POST ON HOUSE PRICES AND SIZES": 

Question for the Real Estate agents.... 

Why do you feel the need to show your picture on your ads and signs? And when you do, you appear to be over the top. 

If I am approached by a real estate agent and he or she appears to be a bit of a show off from a status point of view, I am turned off. Sure, you make 3% on a sale (a #million house grosses you $30,000) but don't forget that I am paying for that. So, that Mercedes or BMW that you drive and the "glamour shot" photos of you come out of my pocket. I would be more inclined to use an agent that does not surround himself or herself with the trappings of money. Do that on your time. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 26 September 2016 at 09:34

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Houses don't sell themselves. 

The agent bears the cost and often the house is not sold. 

I don't know all the expenses. 

 I know they are substantial.

 I posted the comment to provide  opportunity for a real estate agent to respond.                              
                                                                                                     

Sunday, 25 September 2016

THE STORY CONTINUES

So...another of my grandsons was joined in Holy Matrimony yesterday. Mark, son of Mark ,son of mine and Cyril , married Mindy at a spot named  Butterfles and Blooms in Baldwin, Ontario. 

The sun shone down on them and family and friends gathered to celebrate and wish them well going forward in their lives. 

The bride and groom were both beautiful. The wedding party were beautiful. So many, so young and so full of joy. 
 
Weddings are still historic events . Little pockets of drama all gathered in one place to collect the new family unit into the ever-widening circle. 

Mark and Mindy have known each other since they were nine years old. Much has already been endured. More than most. If their journey ahead is as constant, they will continue to be strong together. 

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, is a wise old saying, oft repeated. 

If young folk always paid attention to the old, history would be a dreary affair.  

Inexperience and innocence are the energy that makes the world go round. 

I've often thought if people knew what was ahead,they might not choose to go. 

So Mark and Mindy have joined cousins Myles and Mary, Vanessa and James ,Lindsay and Scott,
and Keenan and Kari .They have stepped on to the round-about, to be joined next year by Aaron and Rachel and Lizzie and Derek with Zoe and Michael and eleven more potential couples to follow in 
the next decade. 

We can draw our own ancestral tree

And in Canada, the head of it all, will be me.  

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

GUEST POST ON HOUSE PRICES AND SIZES

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO": 


HOUSING

I commute through an interesting little part of Aurora a couple of times a week to do my shopping.

I house recently sold on Ransom St. The FOR SALE sign features a photo of the listing agent that occupies 3/4 of the sign. Was he selling the house or himself? At the top of the sign is the word SOLD, and immediately below "ABOVE ASKING." So what was the asking and what was the above?

Just around the corner on Temperance St. are four houses in various stages of sale/construction. The first is a newly built that is actually very attractive, on a corner lot. Beside it is a work in progress with a price tag of $1,750,000 and the next one recently sold. Just across the street is an Edwardian on a 66' x 160' lot with a sticker price of $1,250,000.

Then swing west onto Kennedy and you come across a marble megabuck number. Priced at $4,199,990. Why chisel over $10? This place would appear to contain more marble in its seven bathrooms than Carrera, according to photos. It wouldn't surprise me if the bathtub in the master was hewn out of a solid block of the stuff and then lowered into place via crane before the roof went on.

Where George and Kennedy intersect is a very attractive bungalow with an in ground swimming pool and a tasteful wooden fence for safety and privacy. To its immediate north there used to be a sweet little bungalow that was totally renovated by the elderly widower who lived there. Upon his death it got sold and now is "home" to an extremely large and high, and attractive, home with many windows overlooking its neighbour to the south. So goodby nude sunbathing or anything like privacy.

All of these are in compliance and require no approvals.

And further west along Kennedy is a multi-million mansion undergoing retrofitting. Beside a swimming pool and non-stop bobcat running back and forth with the "hole" - and diggers, the stucco on the front has been partially removed down to the TYVEK skin, awaiting what?

I suppose in a democratic society we are all free to do what we want with our money so long as the C of A and Council do not have a burr up their collectives asses. 

Publish 
Delete 
Mark as spam 

Moderate comments for this blog. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 19 September 2016 at 19:33

Monday, 19 September 2016

MY TWO CENTS

A recent comment noted the Mayor is taking off three more weeks in September. After two months of summer recess. Summer is when nothing much gets done. 

I thought for a bit before clicking to publish the comment.  I wrote a follow-up post. Then I lost it and wasn't inclined to re-write. 

After two months of  summer hiatus, Tuesday's agenda was apparently light, most items were approved without debate and one decision was deferred because of the Mayor's absence. 

Councillor Mrakas notes on Facebook the deferred recommendation had unanimous support Council support. He didn't understand why it should be deferred.

The CA said deferment is a regular courtesy at the region. 

Council agendas are put together by staff with the Mayor's oversight. 

The post I wrote and lost referenced the Mayor's job as full-time and remuneration commensurate  with employee status 

The job has a combined salary package of  about a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Benefits 
 are provided at the regional level but for some reason  paid for at the local level. 

A severance package is paid after two or three terms served. Life insurance and pension benefits are also entitlements enjoyed by regional Councillors. Mayor Dawe also collects an extra $10,000. a year for serving as chair of the Conservation Authority. 

As we see, he can also take  three week vacations  whenever he pleases and manage the agenda to suit his timetable. 

Councillors are nowhere nearly so generously compensated. 

The Agenda with Steve Paikin is a must watch this week. Title is The Failure Of The Fourth Estate. 

After It ended, I felt compelled to do what I do on the internet. However small the contribution.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "IT MAY BE ABOUT HAVING FRIENDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE....": 

Geez, off to another OMB hearing we go. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 September 2016 at 12:15

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I read  Brock Weir's  news story again to be sure I had details straight. 

The addition to a two storey building is four not two. The proposal would triple height and size. 

The Committee  of Adjustment is an independent body. 

The  town must be informed and application for variance  must be advertised as soon as a date is set .  

In tnis instance ,Councillor Gaertner went the extra step and made sure the neighbours were aware. 
That too is a Councillor's responsibility. 

The C of A must notify relevant public agencies for professional input re impact of the variance. 

Council ,as Planning Board, is an agency.  Planning Board  input is required. 

The application is not for a change in use. 

The  use conforms.

The question is ,can they cram 78 more units onto this  site?

 Can they change location of the driveway and reduce a neighbour's property enjoyment?

Can they replace a two storey building with a building three times the height in a stabilized neighbourhood? 

CofA members are appointed residents required to adjudicate.

Councillors also are elected residents obliged to exercise authority. 

The question of going up four storeys in height and changing access for delivery trucks,garbage 
trucks and increase ambulance traffic without interfering with continued enjoyment of  neighbours' property is not insignificant. 

The need  for more is not public business. 

Murray and Seaton Drive are not Yonge Street. 

The site is not a vacant parcel of land subject to a plan of subdivision. 

The application is for a variance. Not a change in use. 

No planning arguments support the need for a variance. 

Institutions for senior care  is a lucrative and fast growing industry . The argument in support of adding seventy-eight units to an inadequate site is strictly economic. 

This council has removed several parcels of property from the revenue sector of the ledger during this term. They can hardly argued over-use of an inadequate site in an inappropriate location is in the public interest. 

Exploitation for private gain  is not a public function. 

Approval is contra- indicated.

Whether sufficient grounds exist for successful appeal of a  negative CofA decision, is a matter for the applicant to decide. 

He won't know that until the decision is made. 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

IT MAY BE ABOUT HAVING FRIENDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

There's a wrinkle  to a news story in The Auroran this week. 

Planning staff have been working with a property owner on Murray Drive to double square footage of 
a retirement centre and add seventy-eight units,more than double the current accommodation. 

No change in zoning is required. The current facility blends nicely with the neighbourhood. 

Two large schools in the vicinity generate substantial traffic. Both have doubled in size since  
first built. Buses, family and staff cars generate heavy traffic and parking on the street. 

 A town park completes the campus. Soccer and baseball facilities also generate heavy traffic.

On -street parking  frequently reduces one road to single lane traffic. 

Frontage of the proposed building expansion is on a major traffic collector. 

Area resources are stretched to the limit. You  have to live in the neighbourhood to appreciate the 
circumstance. 
 
Neighbours are rightfully concerned the proposal will create additional problems.

They have the impression, they have no right to be heard. 

Town staff explained they have been working with the applicant since May. Time limit for a decision has expired and there's a right to an OMB appeal. 

Therein lies information witheld. 

Because the site is inadequate approval of a variance is necessary for the plan to proceed. 
The Committee of Adjustment must hold a hearing. 
Neighbours are entitled to be heard . 

No reference is made to timing of the hearing . 
No advice given on the right to be heard. 
Council has a right to oppose the application. 
The news account  indicates no intention to do so. 

Contrast this account with this Council's response to neighbours of a nearby disused golf course. 

And  $3 million plus spent  on an unnecessary park in Mavrinac neighbourhood. 

Friday, 16 September 2016

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

It gets harder to find anything  interesting or entertaining to watch on television.

The Mentalist has been replaced with a Martha Stewart cooking.

The Mentalist was on it's third or fourth re-runs. The last of the series was soppiest but easier to watch than Martha Stewart cooking. 

My grandchildren don't watch television any more. They talk politics though. They get tneir
news from Facebook, U-tubes and other computer devices. That's scary. Accuracy or deliberate 
misrepresentation, you can never be certain. 

I find myself surfing  cable channels more than ever.  I don't expect to miss Peter Mansbridge no matter who replaces him. 

Stephen Corbett is currently celebrating his first year replacing David Letterman. 

Letterman's  retirement was timely. He had a harder time hiding distaste for vacuous performance of many interviewees . It was uncomfortable to watch. 

Corbett tries very hard and that's the problem. Contrivance kills the lurking  humour. 

At least ten hosts people late night T.V.  All trying too hard. It's a surfeit of endeavour.  

Larry Wilmore's show was terminated. After the White House Press dinner I thought the powers 
would  pick the moment. The sight of TWO black Americans openly sharing satisfaction was  too 
much for them.

When surfing, I stop at Don Lemon on CNN to watch, in horrible fascination, how bias
dominates.
 
Last night, five days into it, CNN was still talking about Hillary Clinton's non -transparency in health 
matters. Collapsing in the heat from pneumonia could not  be a fault. So they kept on playing  the video and accusing her of keeping it secret. 

News of the bellicose billionaire cheating on the rules for charitable foundations came to light but wasn't allowed to overtake juicy details about Hillary's triglycerides and cholesterol counts. 

The author of a book on misuse of Trump Foundation funds was Lemon's guest. The host  was attempting to switch from Trump's disgusting behaviour  to Hillary, when the guest interrupted  and demanded he....

 Stick to the point...this is not about Clinton....we are discussing Trump and his mis-use of  funds. 

If CNN ever has to review their coverage of this presidential election, most of them will have a hard time watching the re-runs. They otta be ashamed. 

Which brings me back to how news is garnered these days by The  Young. 

I have sought to obtain answers fromThe Source, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

I've lobbed questions at Kyle Peterson who is one of two Honourable Members representing Aurora 
in Canada's Parliament. He posts on Facebook and contributes a column in The Auroran. 

What can he tell us about a Bill put forward by Cabinet Member John McCallum, to provide refugees with immediate right to voting privilege  and about Canada's adoption of a section of Sharia law ?

Is it true and if so, what section and why?

Mr. Peterson has asked that I e-mail him personally.  Which at the very least, seems to be lost opportunity.