"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

Friday 27 June 2014

From your Children ye shall learn

I was out and about at mid-day  on Tuesday. Heather worked on the election for six weeks. Both our gardens had grown vegetation of Amazonian proportion.

 We needed box plants.

It was time for Adam to leave work at the Park's Department on Scanlon Court.

He works until noon, then goes to Able at  the old Trinity rectory.

It was threatening another storm.

Heather phoned him  to ask if he wanted a ride .

 "No" he said in the tone .

"It looks like rain" she said.

"Mum" he said " Umbrella" ....like he was speaking to an infant.

Adam  has always had a  speech deficit. He understands everything  he hears and has  some choice words in his vocabulary.

He is twenty-seven years old. Because he is out and about  among ordinary people his abilities continue to grow.

I wanted to see him  make his independent way down Industrial Parkway,west along Wellingtion,
cross at a signalized intersection and  south on Victoria.

We  hid behind a hedge in a parking lot opposite Scanlon....so  that he couldn't see us. We hid so well, we didn't see him. He was already well on his way down Industrial Parkway when we caught up .

He had two  bags. One  big and  black carrying exercise gear, A knapsack on his back  and a  golf umbrella under his  right arm.

His stride was  quick, sure and confident.

He was less than pleased.  "I'm walking here" he said .. .. in  the tone.

"Let us take the work boots"  Heather said.

Down went the black bag, umbrella on top ,off came the back pack. Boots were  surrendered.

The day he was born they said he would not breast feed.

They were wrong.

A support worker was provided at home. Expectations  were cited

They were wrong.

Adam defied them all.

Raj of Omar's  Shoes told a dinner audience  once;

"When we agreed to let  him work with us, we thought we were doing something for Adam. It's Adam who has enriched our lives"

He works a day a week at  Ray Twinney Complex.

On one occasion, the aqua fitness class stopped in their routine.  Adam was dancing to their music while vacuuming the deck.

He plays baseball, basketball,  bowling, floor hockey ,ice hockey goalie ,swimming and golf. He goes ti the fitness centre.

He fell off the bed once as an infant.  It  never happened again.

He raised his feet from the ground with his mother and I each holding a hand and encouraging  him to walk. He walked when he believed he could.

No gate needed at the top of the stairs. Stairs were not tackled until he knew he could.

He was eleven before he stopped wearing a life jacket even when jumping into the deep end.

"Do you want me to die" he roared  in mock  rage when  we tried to convince him to take it off.

Adam's life has been a constant revelation. He continues to amaze us. On his terms.

Play is filled with lessons for children.  Some learn differently than others.

A good  playground  is  designed to offer challenges and opportunities with safety at the forefront. Each of our town parks offers something different.

I am not convinced a playground designed to treat differently abled children differently to
able children is  the path I want to take.

Everything I know about the subject, Adam has taught me. Adam and his friends.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Double Dealing is Risky Business

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Vice and Virtue..... Vice Vercae":

He is right!!! And you of all people should be supporting his thoughts. The fact that this project continues to be delayed "thanks to GALLO" and the other Morrisite stragglers is an absolute disgrace, and councillor Able is trying to make a point about how disgraceful it is.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 26 June 2014 09:31


The thing about having nine members  on Council is opportunity for differences to be 
considered. By the time  each member has  had an opportunity to put forward an aspect and voted the decision may not be unanimous, at least everyone has been heard. 

It doesn't work when a  clique have already discussed  and  decided prior to the Council meeting. 

It  doesn't  work if after  the decision , the clique  hatch a plan to  change it by underhanded means,

 Like  using an advisory committee meeting  yo provide a second kick at the can.

Once decided  the Rules do not permit the question to be raised again within six months. 

The Code of Conduct  clearly states  all members shall  have goodwill toward one another and treat differences with respect. 

Rules of Order require Councillors not criticize  or "impugn"  each other's motives. 

Self-preservation would suggest the same thing.

Procedure is  Council's first  order of business after the solemn Oath of Office. I've never seen any  member unmoved by the moment. 

The  Rules are  immediate commitment of goodwill towards and respect for each other's differences  and  to work together in community interest. 

It is what people expect.

It  sounds easier than it is. Discipline is required and  is usually acquired by practice. 

It's easy to slip. 

Therein lies the essence of the  presiding role ....to remind  Councillors of obligation and commitment and  precedence of  municipal interest. 

If   the Chair chooses to use  authority to permit the jabbing  and accusing and  seldom misses  an opportunity to have a little of that for himself, there's little hope.  

There is no air freshener manufactured that masks the odour.

Without trust there is mistrust.

Vice and Virtue..... Vice Vercae

Almoat forty years ago, I was Chair of Family ad Children's Service We had launched a Child Care Service. The economy was in bad shape and the Province had provided a hundred per cent fundin for a beautiful new Child Care facility.

Infant care was accommodated and a facility  outfitted for Children with Special Needs.

I already had a bad feeling about the future of the program. The Province had set the child/teacher
ratio and the workers  were organised .

The union felt the workers  were educators and entitled to the same compensation a school teachers.

They may have been  right  The problm was the ration of teachers to children was six tomes higher and for babies even more than that.

It would have been  considerably less expensve to pay mothers a salary to  stay home and take care of their children

It took a decade, The Region went from  growing the service many times over before getting out of the field altogether. Infant care went first.

At the time I'm talking about, the Supervisor and some others attended a conference. They met a fellow called Max. He  sold them on a  development program for children with special needs.

For $18 thousand a year, he  would provide a development program for  children with special needs.
The Director felt  it was worthwhile and  it wa s recommended . The committee accepted the recommendation.

I wasn't sold. Everything was verbal. Substance  and form were lacking .

I  made  enquiries. No hours of work were established in the contract.  Details of program delivery were hazy.  Max was a student doing post-graduate work at Toronto University. He was  paid assistant to a Professor. His contract  with the University limited hours he could work outside his post-graduate studies.

He had no credentials to deliver a program. There were to be no specified hours for delivery.

Max was unsuccessful in exploiting  the needs of specail children. No contract was offered by the Region.

I found out later I had become  known in University circles as the woman who stopped fast-tlalking Max in his tracks.

Children with the greatest needs were  to be the source  of his financial advantage. I have been equally offended  in vartious helping institutions many times since. Never more offended.

It was before my grandson  Adam came into our lives . Before we learned to let Adam teach us about ability as opposed to disability.

As I listened on Tuesday to the  arguments for $578,000 to be spent on a playground  for children with special needs I remembered Max.

Councillor Pirri argued the project is a fitting tribute to the Queen who is known to value volunteers.

Councillor Abel stated  a lack of enthusiasm for the project signified a lack of willingness to allow  children with special needs to be included in society.

He said;

 Why don't those opposed just come out and say they  are against inclusivity. don't want to help children  with special needs and stop making excuses for  trying to delay or stop the   project

The Mayor had little to contribute other than the authority of the Chair to give  free rein to  Councillor Abel to repeat personal castigation and insult. Councillor Abel speaks very highly of  the sterling quality of his own  position.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Judgement is a precious Commodity

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I left at 11.10pm":

Are you saying that a place on your much-reviled advisory committees is the same as a Council seat?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 25 June 2014 14:1


I'm saying the process of appointment. is the same  for Committees,library Board ,Committee of Adjustment or any other appointed board or commission.

It is not a Byelection. It is an appointment. 

It is not an election by Council. It is an appointment.

In the process ends in a tie vote on Council ,it is not even an appointment .It's a decision by lot.

 logistics of a candidate meeting have not been  understood.

Each candidate  was to have ten minutes to speak and  then answer two questions with apparently no limit to length of answers.

Readers may recall a reduction is staffing for economic reasons in January of this year.

Position  eliminated was that of Municipal Clerk  and Elections Officer.

Even in an election year  it was deemed acceptable

Council acted on that advice as well.

I left at 11.10pm

Just so you know. I left the table a few minutes  before the rest last night. I wanted to catch Bob McRoberts before he left the Council Chamber

Last time  I spoke  to him he  said he was leaning against being a candidate.

That was a disappointment.

Last night I needed to know if he might consider offering to fill the vacant seat. Bob attends all the meetings and could slip into a seat at the table without missing a beat.

It certainly  will help if he comes forward.

I disagree  entirely with staff's interpretation of legislation that Council cannot dicsuss the matter behind closed doors.

Nothing so lugubrious could possibly be intended. By legislation.

Of course the decision must be public.

A by election is not permitted with a certain period prior to an election.

Therefore the seat must be filled by Council appointment. Appointment is not election.

That council and candidates  should participate in a process that defies sensibility is preposterous.
Every time there's a vacancy on an advisory committee, Council deliberates their choice behind closed doors. At the beginning of  each term of office, Council invites applications with resumes
from citizens interested in serving on an advisory committee.

The decision is public the selection is confidential and made behind closed doors.

The reason is another piece of legislation called the Privacy Act.

Another little detail  in the process is called the secret ballot.

No-one has ever suggested that's against the democratic process

Monday 23 June 2014

The Best Is yet To Come

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I Remembered Something Else.":

Mayor Dawe has a Notice of Motion on the Agenda for tomorrow's Council meeting that deals quite specifically with the Town's annual insurance premium. What is not stated so clearly is that the reference is to liability insurance to protect staff and elected officials against legal action that may be brought against them.

'NOW THEREFORE BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED THAT BFL Canada, being the Town's insurer, be requested to publicly present updated information to Council as soon as possible regarding significant insurance matters/claims affecting the Town directly, including any amounts and legal costs paid to date for existing claims, and ways to reduce the Town's insurance premium in future years."

As to your question about a personal conflict of interest insofar as the six defendants in your action against them are being defended at taxpayers' cost under the town's liability insurance policy, you should seek counsel from your lawyer.

Obviously, as a member of Council you have a legitimate right to know and access any and all documentation in connection with the town's insurance coverage, liability or otherwise, but you are in the unusual position of being the plaintiff against the six.

I would guess from figures in the press during the past few years that costs could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The judge in the inquiry against the Mississauga mayor suggested in his report that there should be an option for the office of the Attorney General to be involved, so 

that individual citizens didn't have to mortgage their homes when pursuing a perceived breach

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 23 June 2014 20:27


I know what my lawyers must say if I ask them.  

Say nothing  to anybody about anything. Let us do our job.

 But It's s-o-o-o-o  hard. 

It's been five years.

I'm used to fighting my own battles. 

It's hard to sit quietly in the background.

I Remembered Something Else.

As well as paying $45,000. for legal fees  for a personal suit by the former Mayor against town residents  and $8,500.  to an  external lawyer to advise.

In addition  there was termination for cause  and severance  of $186,000.or thereabouts , paid to an employee of barely two years.

No insurance  to cover any of it. Straight out of taxpayers' pockets. Paid  by the new Council with nary a hint of concern or doubt as the cost of doing business.

A town carries  insurance against losses from employee miscreant conduct.


I have until the  Council in July to decide if I have a conflict of interest in the
question of increase in  insurance premiums.

 I have had no pecuniary advantage from town insurance coverage.

No part of  my costs of litigation are paid by the company.

No decisions made by the company were influenced by a decision of  mine.

Would  disclosure of facts and figures resulting from decisions made by the company benefit me  financially?   I don't  see how.

If a  citizen  were to file charges of a Conflict of Interest , would I be entitled to a legal defence  paid by the insurance company?

Would that be different to the elected representative  already charged with Conflict of Interest?

D'you know, I never thought of that. Would that be another cost that contributed to increase in premiums?

Does anyone have particulars of cost of doing what the Conflict of Interest Act requires?

Not The Way It Was

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Mountain Came To Mohammed":

And to think that the Town cut the former off of funds right at the start of the term.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 23 June 2014 14:54


Well No they did not.

They did terminate the law suit .

$45,000. legal costs had been incurred.

Council retained a  solicitor ($8.500) to examine the circumstances and tell them what to do.

The lawyer advised they should pay.

Council did.

I disagreed and argued it was not in the  town's interest.

The town is currently engaged in litigation  to defend against a claim for damages and costs ordered against the former Mayor  in the previous action.

The decision found it was a S.L.A.P.P . It's an acronym to describe legal action  initiated for the purpose of silencing critics.

The  file is registered  in Waterloo.

Costs continue

The Mountain Came To Mohamed

Tomorrow's Agenda has a Notice of  Motion referencing  substantial increase in insurance  premium. Stated objective is to suss out reasons for the increase and take measures to ensure nothing like it happens again.

A motion with wider sweep but similar intent was defeated on May 27th.

The vote was 5 to 2. The mover ,Councillor Abel and Mayor Dawe supported the motion.

Because of a Conflict of Interest, I was unable to speak to the motion. I am of course conversant with the particular circumstances.

Councillors Gallo and Gaertner spoke to the motion then decided they too had a Conflict of Interest
They  perhaps should be even more conversant than myself. But possibly not.

It  was February 10th  when a  Vice President of the Insurance company attended a budget meeting of  Council  Likely by invitation. To explain the vagaries of  the insurance industry and variables that lead to premium increases.

It was an unproductive encounter.  Answers to pointed questions were avoided.

I am  privy to information. All of which I believe the community is entitled to know. Yet I am not currently at liberty to tell.

It should not be hard to imagine the difficulty.

As well, the  account deserves more substance and certitude than I can satisfactorily provide.

A factual report could not likely be compiled in house.

Records are missing.  Key Staff have left town service.

It seems, from what has gone before, the insurance company will  not  release relevant information unless compelled to do so.

A Commission of Inquiry may be  the only route possible to obtain the facts  of what transpired  in the previous term to account for  the huge increase in premiums.

Legal  services retained by the  former  Mayor and incurred at town expense  would  be accessible
through the treasury department.

A  town policy in place at the time prohibited the practice.

The  last  figure I heard for  the Toronto Inquiry into corruption. cost something like thirteen million dollars. It was undertaken in David Miller's term.

McCallion's  Fiefdom  had  a Commission inquire into the Mayor's Conflict of Interest which also cost millions.

Neither  were likely  covered by insurance.

The Toronto Commission  findings resulted in permissive legislation to authorize Municipalities if they so chose, to adopt a Code of Conduct , appoint an Integrity Commissioner.  develop a specific procedure to adjudicate complaints  and thereby establish and enforce integrity to provide assurance to the governed, their affairs henceforth  would, forever and a day, be managed  by  the governors with complete and total integrity for all to see and admire.

Yes  indeedy, we have seen.

Sunday 22 June 2014

All Good Stuff

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "There are Lesson to be Learned":

I recently heard the word "tourism" in connection with Aurora at a council meeting, I believe.

Can you list half a dozen sites that would appeal to tourists, that would draw them to our town?

Or is this something that will require a consultant and

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 22 June 2014 11:12


In May Council   received   by e-mail  a copy of an invitation  from the Program Manager BES  MCIP RPP. of Specail Program. Town of Aurora.

We were informed of an invitation from an organisation  with a title that connected Counties with
Sports and Tourism..There was a meeting in the training room at Regional headquarters.

The only thing I 'm certain of  it's costing us money.

Sometimes it seems there are more meetings and yammering  going on than anything else.

We also received a  notice from Sport Aurora, you know the organisation with an address at the town Hall so that it can be successful in obtaining grants so that the Sports Hall of Fame can  be managed by a manager.

The Sports Hall of Fame  is a space on a wall  of the Skylight Gallery at the Town Hall.

The  Sport Aurora notice displayed advertising from National Sport, Aurora Chamber of Commerce,and Baldwin's Restaurant. 

The one before had  a number of different sponsors including McMaster University.

Council were informed of a meeting with all the Presidents of Sports  Organisations who are members of  Sport  Aurora  and Mayor Geoff  Dawe so that they can talk about the condition of Sports in Aurora.

Sort of like having an audience with the power to make a difference.

It happened  in the Holland Room.

Kind of convenient that in an election year.

All of Council was invited.

The Town received a grant of $20000 last week. Ro pay for two top bands at Rib Fest.

It means people can have a  week-end festival of eating ribs,  a  beer garden, concerts in the park
and it will only cost taxpayers $12,000.

I think that might be about attracting tourism as well.

Saturday 21 June 2014

There are Lesson to be Learned

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "More Stuff You Need To Know":

Someone from Scotland against curling?! Whatever next? Ban golf?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 21 June 2014 11:02


I learned to play golf on a municipal course. No club membership. 

The course was on a moor.  It was spooky 

As the afternoon wore on ,a mist  slowlly rose out f the ground.

First we looked around  and  saw golfers with no feet. As the mist rose golfers moved around on a white surface with no legs from the knees down. The mist stopped rising when it was waist high. 

Everybody kept playing. 

A road ran through the middle of the courseNo mist rose on the road or drifted across it. 

That golf course has been covered with houses at least fifty years

The drumlins  on the moor, when I was really small ,our father toiok us on Easter Sunday to roll our Easter eggs down the slopes We didn't know then they were drumlins left over from the ice age. 

The  sand dunes on the shore have vanished. Miles and miles of them covered with  long blades of 
grass  that would cut like a knife. They have all been trucked away  no doubt for construction. Certainly not for winter road maintenance. 

On a beautifil August day, I walked along the  shore with the sun sparkling off the rippling waves of the tide coming in. A soft breeze blowing in my hair, just the way I remembered it.

I sat down on a  turned -on -its -end wood fish box to read the Glasgow Herald. I brought with me.
I might have had a letter in to the editor.

A girl rode by on a horse. A couple came down with a dog.

Millions of pounds had been spent taking up the rail siding and removing the wharf   to change ithe harbour into a pleasure boat  marina.

 The first leisure cenre anywhere was constructed a few years before, The object  of  the multi-million investement being to torn Irvine a destination of choice for tourism.

It was a  pleasant  short walk down from the station.

The Tourists never came.

On the other hand, airports were packed with vaationers heading for Corfu and Spain and Portugal and the Greek Islands and  even Florida in the summer,  a whole host of places more fun  in the sun andheat to be and  with better food

The  Low Countries were a day trip on a bus.  Parking lots everywhere on Edinburgh had  lots of buses from Scandinavian countries. People  out for the day

What were  you  talking about.... a ban on golf .... no.no...a ban on curling.

Not likely. As long as people can afford to own and operate a curling club facility, I don't see that happening. Being a private facility they probably even pay  taxes

.The Newmarket club might even have been able to buy the drill hall for a dollar. That would be in the days when senior governments recognised  we  all serve the same community and the municipal ity's only has one source of  revenue is a tax  on people's homes.

Don't  get me started

Friday 20 June 2014

Code of Conduct ...Procedure Bylaw ...All for Nought

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Furthermore":

Seems like there are a # of negotiations about which councillors [ some ? ] are not been kept informed. When the matter of the dead-lock between ice time & the CofC was discussed the other night, the Mayor mentioned that he had been working with the 2 sides. Nice if he could just drop a note when something reaches the stage where it hits the council table.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 20 June 2014 15:12


The situation illustrates what has been the entire term .

Council passes a resolution...there's no follow through.

Instead the Mayor takes it upon himself to hold meetings and discuss matters and out of that comes recommendations to Council. 

He  was attending closed meetings of the Culture Centre Board   at borad invitation, and keeping it  to himself for a  year before Council  even knew he was doing it. 

A resolution  was passed to  appoint a  museum curator  in the first year of the term 

Instead , without authority ,the Mayor  and CAO  had meetings with the President of the Historical Society and worked out something they thought was a better idea. 

The term is almost over and we are back to appointing a curator and nothing else  of substance has 
been accomplished. 

A couple of weeks ago I suggested Council should meet with representatives of the United Church congregation to discover if there is opportunity for mutual advantage in plans that must be made as a result of  Church being lost in a fire. 

Councillor Abel indicated the Mayor has been  having talks with Church representatives without Council authority.

I don't know if  other  councillors  are in the Mayor's confidence . It seems likely.

It's apparent Council has  not privy.

Commitments made by the Mayor have made without Council authority .

Such as the Mayor's signature on a looney tune  real estate scheme to separate the town from $11
million fore Heritage Fantasy Park. Even when all the  facts established no benefit to the town, he still persisted it was a good idea.

I'm never quite sure what route a staff recommendation has taken before it gets to the Council table.

The idea to compete with builders to acquire  the Stronach  development lands on Wellington Street for a community park, a real estate appraisal had already been obtained  and paid for.

It was $750,000 an acre. The price obtained under the bidding process was $1.2 million.

Not only was the  effort futile, it failed to take into consideration forfeit  revenues from Development  charges calculated  for use in the ten year capital forecast.

Nor did it factor reduced population figures derived from development  already factored into Master Recreation Plans.

These details  would not come  naturally to  the  Mayor's thinking because of his lack of experience.

The issue was  discussed behind closed doors because it was about real estate matters.

Council had not authorized  staff proceed in that direction.

Town resources were spent chasing after something that was senseless from the beginning.

The  Procedure Bylaw sets out requirements for  Council  to direct staff.

The Code of Conduct  clearly states  staff  take direction from  Council.

No single member of Council has authority to direct staff..

The Mayor is a single member of Council.

Time and time again recommendations are received  not requested  by Council.

Council resolutions  giving direction to staff are not followed through.

Part of the Mayor's function is to ensure Council direction is followed. in a timely manner..

That's not what happens.

If anyone at the table besides Councillor Abel is in on the strategy, if that's what it is.it's not apparent.

The  pair are members  of the closed meetings of the Culture Centre Board.

No record  exists of town involvement in  board affairs.

The Mayor and Councillor Thompson are  the  finance monitoring committee on the joint facility project.

Not a dicky bird has been heard  on that issue either.

Whatever comfort can be taken from the situation entirely escapes me.


I don't believe for one minute     when the Federal government is trying to gouge residents of the Town of Aurora ....who are also federal voters...the thieving blighters should be allowed  to do it to us  in secret...behind closed doors...confidentially ......so nobody will know what the chiseling rscals are up to....cloaked in s secrecy to cover their asses....furtive.....underhanded... sleazey ....slimey,,,,
slithery and in general terms,  unfitting and unworthy of a government of the people  by the people. for the people.

Citizen Krane ...if I publish your comment,it will start another  stream of personal abuse. which I am not going to encourage .

More Stuff You Need To Know

If  I don't publish a comment it doesn't mean I don't want you to send it to me.  I do want to hear what you think even if I can't share it for a variety of reasons.

It  doesn't apply to  those who  complain about what they read here. They should either write their own blog or read one that echoes their thoughts. There  must  be some out there.

And if someone pays me a compliment I give myself permission to invade my own privacy and publish it.

Also if someone wants to promote Michael Thompson,tell him to write his own blog and share his innermost thoughts with the world. Encourage him in his chosen path on his own turf.

I'm a politician not a philanthropist.

This morning we share what we know about curling clubs.

There are or were three in the Region.....Thornhill, Richmond Hill and Newmarket.

A comment noted a drill hall in Newmarket is well used.

I called Newmarket  and inquired about  a drill hall. I was  asked for more information. I gave some particulars about the Armouries in Aurora. The information  that came back was about the curling club in a building with something in the name that indicated it might at one time  have been a drill hall.

Aha I thought...so that's what's in the wind. Curling had already been whispered in my ear. Sort of subliminal advertising.

Who would know about a curling club  in Newmarket once being a drill hall except a member of the curling club. And who would likely comment but an Aurora member of the curling club. I know two.

Two things come  to mind. A hospital board member ,when I was on the Board ,was in charge of the curling club.  He talked about expense and responsibilities.  I learned something.

County Council used to have  regular social gatherings in each other's communities. That's how I know about Richmond Hill and Thornhill.We knew a lot about each other's  affairs at that time.

Curling Clubs have memberships. Members share ownership and  all costs and responsibilities.

It's  an expensive  past- time. Not within the means of the average Joe or Annie.

Now then ...I don't believe deals  between two levels of government should be behind closed doors.

I am bound because the solicitor says so.

Howsomever,.... I can talk about whatever is already in the public domain. Whatever you could find out yourself if you knew your way about.

Title to the  Aurora Armouries is a public document.

When  a corner of  Mosely park was transferred to  Queen Victoria, a clause in the document stipulated if the facility was no longer needed by the militia, the property would revert to the town.  That clause was scratched out.

Obviously the Town intended  to protect their  interest.  The other side did not agree.

It was a time when the British Parliament had jurisdiction. Not sure if that had to do with anything, Just trying to understand why Aurora , knowing  their own  interest would  submit to an unreasonable demand.

Maybe there was a War Measures Act.

There is however another clause in the agreement. Haven't seen it yet. The drill shed cannot be used for anything but  the militia. That's agreed to.

It is also a fact ,the property only accommodates the shed.

 It sits inside the property lines. It means there is no space for parking, a driveway, sideyard, landscaping or any of the normal requirements of zoning for a different use.

The structure is designated heritage. Apparently the Feds asked for that.

So it can only be used  by the militia.

There is no property to speak of beyond the building. It cannot be re-zoned. It can't be demolished because it's designated.

Therefore, it's of no use to anybody except the Town of Aurora.

It should be returned to the municipality at the price paid.

I have a hard  time understanding reluctance to go toe-to-toe with  politicians  who use government planes to fly themselves on fishing trip vacations at a cost far more than the value or investment they never  made in land for that old shed.

We  all  serve the same taxpayer.

We have an M.P. in Richmond Hill and our own M.P. who take such an interest in the Farmers Market they write letters in support in the face of nothing but a review of a bylaw.

Modern  municipal panty-waist politicians certainly are a bunch of wimps. Or lazy.  Or spineless. Or scaredy-cats  Or sly sniveling wretches. Or just silly snobs.

I think the hydro fund is burning a hole in their pockets.

When we talk about the cash in lieu of parks , my mind goes to the last Canadian Tire extension of business.

They  grew their facility and business by fifty-per-cent. They added jobs.  In the retail trade,Canadian Tire are  fair  employers

In return for their enterprise we took a chunk of money for Cash -in-lieu of parks.

D'you know that just doesn't make a damned bit of sense to me.

But if anything makes less sense. it would be to use  the  fund to provide a facility for a sport  essentially for the rich and famous.

Most certainly not Canadian Tire employees.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Appreciation and Discord

The town is beautiful.  Though short, now is  a special time . The pale green ,lace like quality of new Spring foliage is a delight.

Trees  are everywhere planted on public and private property.

 The canopy in  new neighbourhoods  is particularly impressive.

Developers might have  have attended to creating pleasant neighbourhood ambience
but  credit is  definitely due the town.

Enjoyment  may be reaction to the long hard winter .No matter . Everywhere, the  urban forest  bespeaks  concern for the environment and appreciation  of trees in particular.

Trees  do not flourish unless planted  with care  or without ongoing care and attention.Particularly,  when planted in  restricted root space.

Development is monitored by town  park staff.

The urban forest budget does not break the bank.

There are many  reasons  to  be glad to call Aurora home.

And concern  Aurora has become a place  that only the elite can afford .

Recreation programs   and fun events are well-received and appreciated by families.  They pay for themselves and more besides

Library service is exceptional . Throngs of  adults and families  using  the facility year round certainly justify that investment .

The Oak Ridges Moraine,  ravines , seven golf courses ,several wood lots , trails and a hydro corridor all contribute to  ample open space and a natural environment accessible to all.

Situated at the height of land between two river valleys contributes to good air quality to say nothing
of  the rural splendour  that surrounds us.

A thirty minute drive  from Toronto on excellent highways, puts world-class theatres, concert halls,  museums and art galleries  to those with a taste for and  pockets sufficient to indulge  according to one's priorities.

An  international airport  provides transport to any place of choosing  the world  over.

 Muskoka Lakes, Kawartha Lakes, Sandbanks Provincial Park , United Empire Loyalist country
or  Niagara fruit-growing peninsula  connects us with our country's history and heritage.

Shaw Festival  or Stratford's Shakespeare Theatre or Mennonite country in Wellington County and the  complete wealth of our culture  are  all within  reach.

Yes Yes Yes there is much to appreciate about our chosen place of domicile.

The Town's Budget and how it comes about is not  a  celebratory feature.

Affluence in the community is referenced by officials  in consideration of  unlimited spending.

It's a definite note of  needless discord

Wednesday 18 June 2014

From a Distance

At the same time I queried funding provided to the Farmers Market I sought information about the Chamber  of Commerce. I received the following information.'

Records do not show any grant funding being paid to the Chamber in recent years.

Predominantly the Town supports the Chamber of Commerce in the following ways:
o   Sponsorship of the Business Achievement Awards ( Paid $ 6,000 in support of the event in 2012, 2011, 2010);
§  Did not sponsor this event in 2013, but are budgeting $ 8,000 to sponsor event in 2014 ( $6,000 sponsorship, $2,000 for tickets );
o   Purchase of Business Achievement Award Event Tickets for TOA attendees and award candidates ( Paid $3,813.75 for tickets in 2012 );
o   Purchase of business directory ad each year ( Paid $ 2,107.45 in 2013 & 2012 );
o   Entry of Foursome in Annual Golf Tournament ( Paid $ 1,250 in 2011, 2013 amount was $940 through the CAO’s office. );
o   Payment for Town’s own Home Show Booths ( Paid $ 1,288.20 in 2012 );
o   The majority of our spend is undertaken by the Economic Development Committee.

All funding for Chamber of Commerce spend comes from the approved general operating budget.

The Town also has a membership in the Chamber of Commerce. 

The Chamber  facility sits on public property. I believe the current facility was financed with  backing from the Town. Original accommodation was obtained for the Chamber by the town. 

The Mayor's Luncheon is held annually.  A table is purchased. 

Last week I  asked for cost of  manpower support for the Street Sale. No fees are charged by the Town. 

 I   had asked for the information before the issue  of  The Tiger's need for  later ice in the community centre and  resultant conflict with Home Show dates. 

During that discussion, reduction in  Chamber user fees  was suggested by Councillor Humfryes.

I had  already planned a post .

Aurora Chamber of Commerce is highly successful .Management is to be commended. 

But they  didn't do it alone. Numbers  help put things into perspective.

The Decision Is Ours To Make

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "You Need to Know":

I can think of 2 excellent possibilities but am reluctant to land anyone in a mess. One of mine is, I believe, free except for some tutoring work, the other is in & out of the town hall regularly.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 18 June 2014 17:11


Council is planning to do the following:

Invite  people to submit their names  Schedule a meeting  to allow candidates to make speeches
to Council about why they should be chosen.

Like an all candidates meeting. Except  Council will choose one and all the rest can wonder why they put  themselves through all of that.

The person chosen might wonder as well.

We have until August 23 to make the decisions. It could take that long.

Registration for election closes on September 12th
Council  is  then officially a lame  duck council. Everybody is a candidate.

We could decide now to offer the vacancy to an individual.

We all know people  ,who could  take the seat without missing a beat.

Staff would not be using the time left for this council  to  get some things finished.

There is no authority to require a commitment not to be a candidate in the upcoming election.

Whoever we chose could have an advantage over  other candidates  including incumbents.

Regulations require we fill the seat by appointment. There is no option.

I say we should do it with  least expense and hurlyburly and make the best use of the time we have left.

A Pretty Thing

The ceremony at  Queen's  Diamond Jubilee Park  yesterday was very nice.

Medal recipients were there.

 Aurora's  Town Crier  did the honours and read from a parchment scroll.

A reception was held in the Skylight Gallery in the town hall directly across the road . It was well

There was cake,key lime pie, pecan pie, strawberry cheese cake cookies and fruit. Fresh hot coffee
and soft drinks ....comfortable  and convivial seating  around large round tables.

A happy occasion. Friendly and homely.

People were talking about meeting  the Duke of  York   and how very pleasant.

The handsome Park sign faces into the park and stands in a pretty garden,

A few comfortable park benches would not be amiss.

The Leisure Services Department has produced spectacular bideos of towm parks and prohrams in the past.

Methinks its time for an update.

It should be on U-tube  on the town  web site.

You Need to Know

$ 62,267  in full. Town share $12,794.

When Power  Stream  moved out of the hydro building , my first inclination was it should be sold Twenty-seven jobs went with the utility.

An  election was in the offing. Nigel Kean was challenging Tim Jones for Mayor. He floated the idea the property should be used as a  youth centre.

Tim caught the ball running ... and  ran with it.

At the time, inquired about assessment and potential tax revenue.  Taxes derived from  estimate assessment was $69,000.

Assessment is based on market value. A couple of factors  alter the principle for business .

Revenue from the lease to the Department of National Defence  is regularly cited as an asset.

Forfeited  tax revenue is never factored .

If the Feds owned the building there would  be a grant in lieu of taxes.

But the town owns it. Taxes  and grant are  both forfeit.

 As landlords we provide maintenance for the property.

Several hundreds of thousand were  spent initially  which  would swallow up several years rent.

Figures  were never made public. . To this day, the total is not known. Annual budget for  maintenance must be factored.

This morning,  figures reveal forfeit taxes represent almost half the lease rent. No doubt
cost of upgrades to suit the client take that figure well over the halfway mark.

Interest on realized capital asset is  lost.

The public  can  have no confidence the town's interest is well served  by the lease with the Federal government.

I  do not believe a  bad deal  between two levels of government, both committed to integrity , is  untouchable.

Wrong should be made right

Continued  effort should be extended to that end

 I may be the only one at the Council table of that view.

Sometimes  it seems  Councillors  and staff have a problem hearing  me. It's not a unique experience.

They listen but  the  message gets lost in contradiction ,mis-placed  accountability and various other factors.

They forget or  never understood  Council's  authority  in town  affairs

Public understanding  of  government business is constantly under-valued.

Listen to me Carefully

Council recently resolved to inquire into possibilities of acquiring  the Aurora Armouries.

Last night a report was submitted  behind closed doors. It's odd how speedily some directions are followed.

The report confidential.  You can't know what Council knows.

Except  what you already know and with  a little digging you  can discover.

The land was given to Queen Victoria for a drill shed. For men to come there and march and counter march .present arms ,stand to attention, stand down , fall down on one knee and don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.

It was a time men marched into battle.  An American invasion was on the horizon.  Queen's York Rangers had their beginnings in New Hampshire under the name of Rogers Rangers ,they were an expeditionary  force,  Had there been an invasion, who's to say, it might  have been  the  Rogers Rangers soon to become Queen's York Rangers.

But I digress ... the drill shed sits within  lot lines of the property given to the Queen for  a nominal sum  in at that time sterling currency. Probably a shilling. Maybe
one and sixpence.

So.... facts established... land was  given to the  Old Queen for next to nothing  For a hundred years the Feds have had free use of it.

 Zoning would be unheard of .  Current use would be non-conforming.

No property  attached .No potential for adaptive re-use.

No parking possible.  Inadequate side yards. No rear yard. No space for planting to protect the neighbours.

None of the normal requirements. Like I said...non-conforming.

The Department of National Defence  recently sought heritage designation  for the building. The town obliged.

One wonders....why would they do that?

A  restrictive bylaw registered  against  title. No change can be made that would change the  character
of the building.

What character ?
It's a  drill shed.
The only thing remarkable is that it's still upright.

Now the question for readers to ponder ...what is the value of  a property without potential use in the private sector...that owes nothing to the public sector. ???

There will  likely be a test on this question.

Monday 16 June 2014

The Link is Not Missing

The Town of Irvine is very old. So old nobody has been able to unearth its beginnings. It is older than Christianity.

The street I mentioned in the pervious post,  " Glasgow  Vennel"  It was a very short street and the gateway into and  out of the town.

In mediaeval times, the town was patrolled by a night watchman after the gate was closed.

Only people who lived in the town were  Freemen and entitled to make a living in the town.

A person who  could hide and live in the town for a certain period  could  become a  Freeman.

King James, not sure which one,  made Irvine a Royal burgh. That entitled them  to have a  school named the Royal Academy. It was intended to educate and have the right to set up their own assizes.

The King would not then have to include Irvine on his rounds  of court decisions.

People  living outside the burgs were not  Freemen. They were owned by The Lairds. The Clan Chieftains.

Serfs  owned nothing. They farmed  small crofts and delivered 75 precent of harvest to the Laird. Sons were required to serve in the Laird's  army when he decided to go out and fight his neighbour or had to defend his turf .

It was called the feudal system. Not much different to slavery.

Except that they could not be bought or sold. Kind of like the Spartans and helots.

I believe in Canada's beginnings, records exist of "indentured servants." That's
when a parent sold a child to an employer for a period of labour, unpaid to the child.

Also slightly similar to slavery when tribal chiefs sold young people of the tribe into slavery for life.

Not unlike  children of poverty sent to Canada by the British government to solve the poverty  problem in the U.K. during the industrial revolution.

Somewhat similar to countries that still have child labour and no laws to protect them.

I have known survivors  of the U.K. scheme to fight poverty. It's not that long ago,

I think it may well have a link  to Spartans.

And helots ,who were required to  surrender  everything they worked for to support the elite and friends  of the elite.

Of course,  I have no academic credentials.

No body of research to  support the connection.

Only an abiding passion for understanding the human condition. How we got here from there.

Where  we go from here?

With  a Blog

Cultural Past-time.

I think my  formal education  may have been  slightly lacking.

I learned nothing really  relevant about Spartans and their connection to democracy.

 We  were not  even fully exposed to  our national bard, Robbie Burns . He was no Spartan.

We learned a few of his innocuous poems but of his more robust offerings little and nothing much about the man himself.  Except that he was local talent.

I took it upon myself later in life  to learn what there is to know.

Scots as we know are hard as the granite they come from.

 But Rabbie the man, can be counted on to bring a tear to the eye of the toughest.

I have stood in the attic room he lived in for a while in his teens.

In a cobbled street called the Glasow Vennel. My mother lived on that street.

I've looked out his window and saw what he saw. A building occupied  in his time by a woman  who formed a religion based on free sex.

Not unlike Dorian Baxter's  church symbolising idolatry of Elvis Presley.

Rab had a strong predilection for that particular faith.  As noted  already. he was
no Spartan.

The woman was eventually and literally run out of town.

I have eaten in the  Ship Inn , a pub at the harbour where Rab and his pals hung out of an evening
drinking and carousing. He was seventeen at the time . Not much different to youths of his age of any time.

He had  apprenticed as a thresher with a relative. Rab's small investment was notrealized   and he had to go back to farming.

He wrote an awful lot of poetry . Some of it on commission. Not all of it readable. But no living  was to be made of it , despite the hoi poloi who sought him out.

He died when he was 39 years old . He had just gotten a government  appointment that might have made a difference if he'd lived longer.

He left a wife with a houseful of children for his brother Gilbert to look  after. Apparently also  a number of others scattered hither and thither.

And poems recited the world over in myriad languages, a variety of  cultures  and  universally revered for the sentiment expressed.

What Culture Is That ?

Last week TVO presented a program about Ancient Greeks ,democracy and pursuit of excellence.

Criticism and competition were  apparently salient features.

There was stuff  about Spartans.  The name was referenced in  school history. All I knew was they were severe in lifestyle and ferocious in battle

Ii's probably the only thing the nuns wanted to talk about. Everything didn't have to be about sex.
But if it  wasn't , the less said ...the better.

Last week I learned something new. At seven years old Spartans went off  to  learn to be warriors.

They also, to a man, became homosexuals. It was the norm

Marriage to women was for procreation.

The bride prepared herself by shaving her head and wearing male garments .

I did not know that.

Women could have sex with anyone they wanted and children with men who were not their husbands.

In the circumstances  I suspect that wasn't much of a bargain.  Or an option. Maybe they travelled.

Spartans lived in city- states. They did not farm. They fought. Naturally enough, rural States around city/states  were invaded , conquered and inhabitants  were compelled to provide Spartans with  their daily sustenance.

Helots ( non-Spartans ) were not slaves because they could not be bought and sold

They  simply existed to serve Spartans and keep them   in the style  to which they were accustomed .

Spartans focus was  to live well at everybody else's expense.

Oh yes and they self-governed . It was civic responsibility.

They paid tribute to gods with statues, carvings and beautiful buildings. You know...cultural stuff.

 Maybe helots  were brought in from the country for those everyday functions.

Or maybe women with all that time on their hands  did all the sculpting and carving  and had sex with helots.

Or maybe consultants  came  from other cultures and cashed in on the dearth of artists in the Spartan

Candidates,Campaigns and Elections

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Listen to the Mocking Bird":

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Invitation extended"


Because he is allowed to run as a candidate in our country. Get off your
entitlement high hprse

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 16 June 2014 08:04


"What does it say about the City that chose him"

What does it say? Did the people of London elect him 4 years ago knowing the past? What sort of vetting of candidates should be done to show that they are all upstanding people? I do not think it is fair for you to damn London because they elected a Mayor who turned out to be crooked. If that was the case, there are alot of cities in the same boat

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 16 June 2014 07:

The comments are in response to  separate posts.  I've tried to cut and paste before without success. This time I succeeded with a juxtaposition on headings. 
That's as good as it gets.


I identify with the comment wondering why  Dorian Baxter is entitled to use the electoral process for his own purpose.It appears to have  met  his  ends . He keeps doing it.  Some  believe  he adds light
and colour to  an otherwise dreary proceeding. 

I think he degrades the process. 

Time was a municipal candidate had to be nominated and seconded  in a public meeting .  That was not a dreary process. 

Then requirement changed to a form signed by twelve citizens whose names appeared on the voters' list.  No meeting. No  speeches. No excitement generated. Now it;s reduced to a payment of $100. and an oath  swearing that you are who you say you are.

It can be done any time between January 1st and a date in September. 

Olivia Chow says elections are too long. 

There's no rule  requiring a person to sign up on  January 2nd.

You can say you're running. But you're not  an official candidate until you've signed up. The election  does not begin until the  final day of registration.

It's different for senior levels. Party politics is  the norm. Even though ,only the candidates name appears on the ballot and  a candidate can be independent.

A substantial deposit must be made and it will be lost unless a certain number of votes are cast for the candidate.

Joe Fontana was a federal Cabinet Minister before he  became Mayor of London.
The offence, of which he has been found guilty, happened when he was a federal member. .

He would have reason to keep  the secret. Challenging candidates had no such obligation,

Maybe he assumed  office by acclamation.  The story was in the media very early in the term.

London Council cast a vote asking him to resign.  He didn't.

By my calvinistic standards, Mayor Fontana must be suffering a deficit in common sense as well as integrity.

Yet I have the impression different cultures have different standards. In this culture, some believe that's what politics is about.

In multi-culturalism however,  who  really knows what the standards are.

Being privileged  means  having authority to do things you can't do  without  "the powa"

Codes of Conduct says it means higher standards are expected.

But  votes  are cast one at a time. with as many reasons as voters.

Like growing old....one day at a time.  They pile up though every  day you feel pretty much the way you did the day before.

 I think we can be sure the people of London are not collectively proud of their  Chief Magistrate.

There are likely those however who think......I'd like to get me some of that. 

Whether or not Joe Fontana could be re-elected  would depend on One, the obvious impediment of whether or not he is in jail,  and  Two,who  might challenge him for the job.

The only certainty in an  an election is that somebody will get elected.

The  night of the provincial election, on Steve Paikin program on TVO,  Dwight Duncan a former Liberal finance minister  was very sombre.

He  sounded  a warning;  " whoever gets  elected" he said "this Province  faces serious financial problems "

He's right and we know what caused them.

Cronyism and elitism.

We are promised...more of the same.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Only in politics....

What year was it ?  It  wasn't t a history lesson Iymay never appear in a  school text book. Kids don;t have to learn

So I let my  mind  skitter about  waiting for a clue.  And there it was; Trudeua's  supercilious  drawl.

"Well . welcome to the eighties"

In 1984, Canada repatriated the Constitution and  passed  a Charter of Rights and Freedoms into law.

Trudeau's Liberals had been defeated in the previous election. Joe Clark defeated him.

The  new governments first  budget was presented. Not enough votes  om the government side of the house  yo carrycarry.

The government lost the confidence of the house. A new election was decreed.

Trudeau had taken his memorable walk  in the snow and  decided to resign.

 He recited the  Serenity prayer :

God  give me the serenity to accept what I cannot change

The courage to change what I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Trudeau got a  second chance  to make the change  that seemed  to be his reason for being in politics.



The news is the Thornhill seat has changed from Liberal to Conservative.

It makes a difference of 2 in the tally.

Liberals lose one.  Opposition increases one.

Not sure it's enough to put Liberals  back in minority /

Are there recounts in the offing?

This thing may not be settled yet.

The Field is Wide Open

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Blogging has its trials and tribulations":

Good on 21:00 - because Evelyn has one set of rules for herself, and another for everyone else - she often contradicts herself, and attcks when there is no reason... but to her it's an opinion, when anyone else does it, it's "an inappropriate" comment...... it's getting tired.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 14 June 2014 12:28


I am a politician .  I do hold elected office.

It takes precedence over being a bloggist. But not by much. Being a bloggist is a multiple of the same.

Make sense of that if you can. Sometimes words just take possession of me. La di da   La di da

Blogging,in historical terms, is  new.  There aren't any rules.  No tried and true

The field is wide open. No centuries of practice.  We are all pioneers charting a path.

There  goes my ego again pushing me along in  the direction I want to go.

Some believe having an ego is a failing. Like being self-effacing is a virtue.

Not in politics my friend.

I do not  ascribe to that school of thought.

When attacked ,it's wise to defend oneself.  Then the risk  becomes "Methinks the lady doth protest too much"

If commenters  were required to identify themselves things would be different.The option of self-identification is available.  Except for Chris Watts ,few avail themselves.

If comments were reduced ,attacks would also vaporize

Future, possibly current, politician/bloggers may decide discretion is the better part of valour and choose that means of eliminating criticism. ..and  concurrently ,the  need to defend themselves ...as I do now with relish.

More people enjoy the opportunity for input, than use it  to belabor  my efforts  to communicate.

I  will continue to chart this path.

Critics who seek a forum  can publish their own blog .... build their own readership.

It's an available option.

Catch me if you can

Listen to the Mocking Bird

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Snippet":

Of course it isn't the reason he resigned. Usually the claim is that the individual needs to spend more time with his/her family ". Which is later followed by a divorce.
I am still puzzled about the felony conviction of the Mayor of London over $1700. By the look of the guy he spends that kind of money on his ward-robe. It makes no sense.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 14 June 2014 08:4


The one  found to have plagiarized someone else's work was  TDSBDirector of Education. Top honcho for educating and guiding future generation of Canadians.  Salary for the position  would be in six figures.  His credentials were clearly suspect. 

A media  story  about the same time  said the Board ,to stay within budget,among other things,  was cutting 27 Education Assistant jobs  out of staff complement.  Wages  could probably have been covered by the salary paid to the lying cheat.

Charging  London Mayor Joe Fontana with  a criminal act  would  have to be carefully considered. by the crown attorney.  Consequence  of failure would be severe. 

Choices would be made.  The one chosen  likely had fail-safe evidence.

Like a government cheque with  Cabinet Minister Joe Fontana's signature  paying for  the wedding of a younger Fontana. 

Joe Fontana was, possibly still is. Mayor of  London. What does it say about the City that chose him. Council  called upon him to resign. He didn't.  No petitions or demonstrations outside city hall. 

Have the denizens  of this deep  south-western Ontario city become  inured to such behaviour ?    
Did they shrug their collective shoulders and say ...Well what  do we expect from politicians ? 
Like they are accustomed to that face? Like breathing out and breathing in....

No... that can't be it.   Codes of Conduct declare .

....members of council are privileged...

 a higher standard is expected... 

So an example  can be set for the unwashed masses , I suppose 

His Honour the Mayor Joe Fontana makes a crock out of that . However well dressed . 

 London too perhaps. The City of Black  Homburgs and John Robarts and a beautifil children's park Called, I think. Story Book Garden.

Well what are we supposed to make of it  ?  Have  Ontarians  changed so  much?

How many blips does it take to change the whole screen?

Have we no shame?

A Snippet

The Chairman of the Toronto District School Board has  resigned.

He says it's time to examine other options.

The term of office ends on November 30th.

He was a school  principal in the system for thirty years.

He Has has been a board trustee for the last ten.

He is being investigated as head of a Toronto -based charity. There's no shortage of them about.

He says that's not the reason he has resigned.

Friday 13 June 2014

Did the end justify the means?

The U.N. is warning of atrocities and  other crimes as insurgents battle for control of towns and cities in Iraq.

Obama promises help but says "We can't do it for them"

Since the U.S. and others,  invaded Iraq , destruction and  atrocities  have been  constant.

Thousands of young Americans died  in carnage far from  home. Geneva Convention rules
did not apply;

Official  reasons  for the invasion was possession of weapons of mass destruction. None  were found.

Saddam Hussein was identified as a tyrant, responsible for atrocities.

Iraq  was a civil society. There were schools and hospitals.  Women had freedom.

Ancient cities of incomparable beauty were reduced to rubble. Museums and art galleries were looted.

The French refused to join the conflict.  Warned against it. The French had a long and bloody history trying to remove themselves from French Indo China. better known as Vietnam.

Donald Rumsfeld and America's late night comics had fun with French perfidy.

As I read to-day's headline but not for the first time, a question comes to  mind.

On balance ,  was Saddam Hussein's regime which  maintained order in Iraq , worse than events  in that country to-day ?

The sacrifice of  all those young Americans  who died horribly or came home,tormented  by  memries of the horror ...... was  it all for a just cause ?

In My Own Skin

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Blogging has its trials":

I've followed your blog from the beginning.
Your sentiment is new.
Good for you to change your attitude at this stage of your life.
I never thought you'd get there, but am pleased that you have.
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 13 June 2014

It's not  at all new.   hat you see is what you get is noweher more true in recording one's views. 

I am regularly accused of being narcissistic. 

I think it's an essential part of  the need for self-expression. 

It would be terribly naive not to realize the obsession generates hostility.

I'm nothing if not consistent.

Since I am breaking no law, I have learned to live with it.

Invitation extended

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No Refuge in a Recipe":

You and your followers deserve better than this post

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 13 June 2014 13:11


Be my guest 

Blogging has its trials and tribulations

Comments have become a  definite feature of the blog.  It' s a good thing.

Moderating has  become a substantial  chore and responsibility.

Especially when the exchange  is between comments identified by time posted.

I have to  flip back and forth to  follow the thread and see what was said  by 17.90 p.m., or whatever .
to understand the context  in order to "moderate" the comment. 

If a comment is really ugly  it's a  no-brainer.

Sometimes my finger hits ever so slightly below publish and  there's an accidental deletion. 

I  may copy and paste  it to a post but that's a confounded nuisance.

If  deletion  happens  for no apparent reason I would appreciate a repeat  so that I can undo my error. 

Sometimes I don't understand the context .Then I think it may have landed like a butterfly by mistake. 

I deleted one about the resident trollster having made some good points...I couldn't follow that one. 

So I made an admittedly biased judgement .

I am not comfortable with  anonymous personal criticism . If I do it, my target knows it's me and can fight back. If  I didn't do  it , I become the target for something I didn't do.

A comment might be thoughtful and arguable  and right  smack in the middle there's a shot at  a councillor ....then I have a problem  with deletion. So I publish  hoping it won't be noticed and I 
won't be blamed.  Of course I know that's not going to happen. 

I  am not personally hostile towards any Councillor.  Without exception , all are perfectly 
civil and save when they're mad at me, congenial.

I will fight anybody on a political  issue.  My mother used to say "That yin would fight wi' her ain shadow"

But my life is not blighted with the weight of  hatred.

That's a terrible waste/

No Refuge in a Recipe

Take refuge in a recipe.  I did that in the first column I wrote. It was a very simple thing with packages.it was aimed at mothers with a whole bunch of kids. Our neighbourhood was full of

But that wasn't  the reason   for finagling a column. And that story isn't the reason for this post.

I wrote the recipe because  I had no idea how to go about writing a weekly column. My leraning process was all there for everyone to witness.

I got a lot of help  and encouragement from the editor in politics as well.

I learned since. Most of it the hard way. With eye witnesses galore.

This morning I have a dilemma.

I  have described elections as celebration of our freedom.  Celebration does not come easily to mind  No reason to hope for change. Everything indicates more of the same.

That being said, the  riding elected Councillor Chris Ballard  as  the Honorable M.L.A.

There was real competition. The candidates  were well-matched. I did not watch the debates,

I am told he was best prepared,

He  is the people's choice. Chris Ballard won.

He is to be congratulated in victory.

We wish him well.

There will be no demeaning comments posted on the blog.