"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

Thursday 31 March 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "JACK BE NIMBLE...JACK BE QUICK": 

Evelyn, do you think that Ellen de Generis is  a transgender person ?

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 29 March 2016 at 08:05


I had not thought about it until after I wrote the post.

The question compels me to think deeper. 

I'm no longer sure I know the difference between a homosexual,a lesbian and a transgender person.

We know Ellen is lesbian because she told us. She dresses in a masculine style, has a slightly masculine gait and has had or has a female partner. 

Rosie  O'Donnel is a lesbian, dress style varies ,she has had several spouses and nothing specific  about her gait comes to mind. 

I can't imagine either Ellen or Rosie feeling compelled to use a men's washroom or any woman having concerns about either of them using the women's washroom. 

Both are women with masculine inclinations. 

Their partners are also lesbians who prefer women life partners with masculine inclinations...
I think. 

A transgender is a woman in a man's body or vice versa. I understand this person's presence in a women's washroom is to be prohibited for the safety of women. 

At this point in the thought process, the juxtaposition of roles is as confusing as the differences between a homosexual, a lesbian and a transgender person.

As a heterosexual , I am certainly not qualified to explain. 

That is not an invitation to delve deeper into the details. 

Wednesday 30 March 2016


The discussion on CNN was whether the Belligerent Billionaire's  rivals will support BB if he wins the presidential nomination.

Senator Ted Cruze said intently ; " I am not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife" 

He gets an F for articulation. F minus for imagination. 

He makes it sound like his wife is a regular target and a nomination battle is a regular event in his life. e

So far as we know,it's his first flight of fancy.  How is that habit-forming?

He could have answered the question, yes or no.

Or better still, he could have disassociated himself with the attack ad showing a nude photo of BB's wife. 

With all the intensity he could muster, he didn't  even think of that.

This  from a man who thinks he should be King. 

The media are still aiding and abetting  sly,calculating , "Independent" Senator Sanders.

Numerous times a day, it's  repeated that Hillary is not popular or trusted. No explanation is added . 
Her opponents are given free rein to pound her mercilessly and then,to add insult to injury, they ask Hillary to explain the phenomena.

The Secretary of State has earned a million votes more than the Behemoth  and 2.5 million more than the  Senator but apparently votes cast don't mean the same as they do elsewhere.

Sanders crowds are orchestrated  to boo the Secretary,  as Trump Rallies are encouraged to physical abuse. But Sanders gets a pass. 

Dozens  of political "analysts" endlessly  engage in the gabfest of expertise . Uniformly, they acknowledge  Hillary's competence,skill, experience and platform, while insisting on her unpopularity. 

What would it take, one wonders, to please the chattering class. 

Do they ever listen to themselves ?

Tuesday 29 March 2016


In many ways, social media is the most exciting of revolutions. But it's a long way from civilzed and 
the gap is growing. It's hard to envision the  shape of it years hence.  If users don't self-regulate, it will prove over-all to be a gross liability to an orderly society.

Nothing is improved by  wild, untrammeled indulgence at the basest level of exchange. The language of  the Republican Presidential nomination battle is an example. We are all degraded. 

The video that went viral of a young woman misusing  an Ontario handicapped parking spot was
over  the top. 

O.K. she was  inconsiderate. She had a Tim Horton's drink in each hand. She hadn't ordered grilled sandwiches or toasted cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese that might have taken twenty minutes to prepare.  She didn't have a car full of passengers waiting for his/her order. 

She was hurrying back to the car to get on her way. 

The punishment was  severe.  Licence plates in full focus and a display  of fury that cost both drinks to be thrown at the accuser filming the video was extreme but perhaps not in disproportion. 

While not sympathetic to her situation, it was uncomfortable viewing that video . Her's was an error  of judgement . Who among us are not capable of it? Certainly the punishment was egregious no matter how you look at it. 

By the level  of criticism  for being caught in flagrante delicto, I cannot imagine empathy from the critics for a person in need of a handicapped parking spot or anyone else for that matter. 

The flood of foul language and vilification was beyond temperate and  definitely outside the bounds of civil interaction. 

That video has been an issue floating inside my cranium in need of venting. 

The last couple of conferences I attended while in office, were national. 

Municipal officials from all across the land came to hotels and conferences centers designed to host large numbers. 

Ramps and elevators make them accessible for people using mobility devices. 

But  between sessions the elevators were  fully occupied by people who had the option of escalators and ramps were  jammed by people who could use stairs.

These were people responsible for measures to make public spaces accessible to all. 

And without giving a thought to it, they themselves made  them inaccessible. 

It's the times we live in. 

They do not improve. 

Monday 28 March 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHAT'S UP DOC ?": 

Thousands of Americans have signed a petition to allow open carry ay the republican convention. I know at least a dozen democrats who have signed to let them do it. No one is going to be checking the names and the secret service will not allow it anyway. 

Posted  to  Our Town and Its Business at 27 March 2016 at 16:46


Obviously a typo above and the comment refers to a petition circulating to allow guns at the Republican nomination convention. 

The  writer knows a "dozen democrats who have signed the petition to let them do it"

Be careful what you ask for.

It's obviously fantasy time in the neighbourhood. Sounds like shoot-out at the Old Coral. The Behemoth is at large.

Right now CNN is discussing a law to prohibit transgender people from using washrooms of the 
adopted sex. Women are alarmed at the prospect of being in danger from a man who feels like 
a woman. 

Apparently men are not worried about being at risk from a woman who feels like a man. 

It boggles the mind . I keep waiting for details to be revealed.

Ellen de Generis using a men's washroom would be unlikely to perch on a urinal.

The  cubicle is the obvious option. What kind of man would be threatened by twinkle toes?

If a man feeling like a woman, wanted to use a woman's washroom, a cubicle is the only option. 

If a man was suspected, the cubicle would have to be taken  apart for evidence. 

Then who would be at risk?

I've seen similar silly bylaws proposed but this is utterly ridiculous. 

I was at a celebratory breakfast in a Country Club in Hockley Valley a few months ago. Washrooms were in a row in a small passage off the cloakroom. There were no urinals. No segregation. 
If anyone else noticed, no mention was made of it. 

Sometimes It seems the entire country has gone mad. 

But I suppose it depends on how much news you watch. 

Who has more fun than people?

Saturday 26 March 2016


When I use a line from a nursery line as a title, attribution is farthest from my mind. I take familiarity for granted. As when I used the line..."Life is a bitch and then you die", I have  no idea where it came from. 

It sounds like the late George Carlin's rough and edgy humour. I enjoy George Carlin. I'm not mad about the man but I appreciate his genius. 
This morning  I am asked if I have no interest in what's going on at the old Tannery site. 

I've no idea what's happening down there. I know it was a brownfield site. I believe strict regulations govern rehabilitation. It's my understanding control rests with the provincial government. 

I am no longer a  Councillor. I don't live in that neighbourhood. If anything happening doesn't  look right, I would not normally know about it. 

Why don't you tell  us why you  are concerned .

Friday 25 March 2016


HAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "LIFE IS A BITCH AND THEN YOU DIE": 

That is a terribly depressing title for your post.

Life is what you make of it, or are allowed to make of it. Luck and fate are obvious influences.

It seems that you have lived a full and satisfying life, notwithstanding setbacks and suffering.

Most lives experience happiness and joy along with pain and sadness.

It's what we do with our lives to fulfill our destiny, whatever and wherever that takes us.

This particular weekend recounts one of the most powerful and emotional stories in human experience, so lighten up a bit and let the sun shine in. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 March 2016 at 10:43

The title is not meant to be taken seriously.

Last week's Maclean's magazine had an article suggesting Jesus never existed. Research  fails  to produce evidence that he lived. It seems reasonable. Since none of us were there at the time, we are hardly in a position to argue. 

I am not inclined to argue. 

 Good Friday is the most solemn day in Catholic faith.The Eurcharist is removed from the tabernacle. The oil lamp that lights the altar twenty-fours hours a day to signify The Presence ,is extinguished on that day and the next . And joyfully lit again on Easter Sunday. 

Considering the influence of the  Church, that  it was  founded on three years of Christ's ministry and has survived two thousand and sixteen years since is certainly impressive.

The lessons taught in that short span of time have stood the test of time. No consult, no code of ethics could improve upon it. 

I never really bought  the miracle concept. Walking on water, stretching a couple of loaves and a few fillets to feed thousands and raising Lazarus from the dead seemed a bit over the top. But the narrative didn't depend on its authenticity. 

The concept of Limbo was a bigger hurdle but I reserved my own counsel about that. 

All in all, It really doesn't matter if  research proves Christ did not exist.

 I will continue  to believe  that he did.Faith is the first founding principle. 

 Life would lose meaning without belief in a higher power. 

Whoever wrote the story made a very convincing job of it. 

If nothing else,what measurement could be used to distinguish good from evil ?

How else would we cope with life's vicissitudes? 

From the darkest day, Good Friday, to the glory  of Easter Sunday, life is celebrated and Hope springs eternal...the second founding principle.

Thursday 24 March 2016


I was fifteen when I learned there are worse things than death. My grandmother was dying a long,slow, painful death at home. Family prayers were for the agony to end. 

When she died my grandfather, who never spoke much,  said there was nothing  left for him but to wait. 

Rob Ford has been dying for months. Anyone who lives in this world knew the prognosis was not good. The days and nights must have been agony. The end a blessing for himself and his family who
could  not have wished for his last ordeal to continue. 

Now they are grieving and hopefully not paying  attention to Toronto media. 

This morning Facebook has a reminder of  the lone vote  he cast against a segregated shelter for gay youth, he refused to walk in a Gay Pride Parade and they said, privately slurred gays and lesbians.

He denied he was homophobic. 

What is that about ? 
The man's life just ended .
His mother will bury her son. 
His children will grow up without a Dad.
His siblings lost a brother. 

Why, at the time of a man's death, is this a suitable occasion to bring up the subject of gay and lesbian lifestyle? 

What is it with some members of the LBG  community, they think everybody should be as pre-occupied with their sexual preferences as they are? 

Life is not easy. Most do well to cope with whatever demons they have to cope with. 

To each his own, I say. 

Unless it's a child of mine, however far removed, I am not opposed to anyone else's sexual predilection. I am not interested either. Walking or watching an exhibition promoting the lifestyle 
would not be my choice. 

While on the  super sensitive, I agree a woman should make decisions about her own body. 
I also believe there should be a time limit for abortion.
It should be early.
Never ever in the third trimester of a pregnancy. 

That's my tribute to Rob Ford , a man who stayed true to himself.

Tuesday 22 March 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "That's the way the money goes ....Pop goes the wea...": 

Make no mistake, Al Downey has been driving the bus on the Cultural Precinct plan. He had the pedal to the metal on it, too - until the new CAO hit the brakes

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 22 March 2016 at 21:16

Well O.K....supposing you have the inside track and Mr Downey, Director of Recreation, was assigned to the Cultural Precinct Plan .  And supposing he was getting the job done, as you say "with the pedal to the metal " ...that should come as no surprise.

Mr. Downey was  Director of Recreation and Leisure Services until the first re-organisation under the previous CAO , within weeks of his own appointment. 

He didn't take enough time to determine how things were operating before he recommended the changes that transferred the authority of some Directors with credentials to others without credentials.

For example, the treasurer was assigned responsibility for Human Resources. A couple of years later the auditors suggested the inadequacy of financial operations were because the treasure was 
dealing  with human resources . The auditor did not understand the background. 

Under conditions of the times, it would have been foolish to imagine  re-organisation was the brainchild of the new CAO. 

Or the intention was greater efficiency. 

Downey's competence was politically inconvenient.  

In the last term , the  CAO assigned responsibility for overseeing the engineering contract for servicing Leslie Street lands to Downey, Director of Recreation. 

As always, when he was in charge, the project  was  completed on time and within budget. 

Unlike the addition to the Family Leisure Complex which isn't finished yet and was millions over budget. 

Downey took the crap for it  and wasn't even in charge.

Now we have a new CAO. Maybe he doesn't see any merit in the Culture Precinct Plan. Maybe he sees it for what it is .  A bunch of bafflegab. 

He should have been here when the town was prepared to spend twenty-two million dollars with the Town of Newmarket to entice a university to locate on our border. 

Or before that, ten million on a heritage style Disneyland on three Yonge Street lots at the north end of town. 

That's the way the money goes ....Pop goes the weasel

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "PANDERING,PROSTITUTION AND POLITICS ARE OFTEN LINK...": 

Rumour has it that the new CAO has put Al Downey's Cultural Precinct plan on the backburner. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 21 March 2016 at 23:19


The Cultural Precinct came out of the Promenade Study . In weird and convoluted style, it justified a building renovated for a museum being handed over to a private organisation, rent free, with full maintenance and half a million dollars  rising annually for operating, plus all revenues derived. 

The town administration  was re-organized and management of buildings,including recreation facilities was transferred from Downey to Simanovsky, Director of Infrastructure and Environment, 

The addition to the Family Leisure Complex costing millions over budget taking months beyond schedule and still not complete with millions still needed to complete the necessary was also 
done without Mr. Downey's oversight. 

The new joint facility is rumored to be millions over budget, while specs  in the original contract 
have been changed to avoid having to requisition additilnal sums to complete the planned project.

It would be difficult  to tally the  millions siphoned from town coffers with nothing, absolutely nothing accomplished but funded from steadily rising property taxes. 

Mr Downey was not the author of the Promenade Study nor the Cultural Precinct Plan within it.

He did however oversee servicing town-owned land for industrial development. It was  purchased  years before with borrowed money, for recreation purposes. Funds for servicing  were also  borrowed to be repaid with funds from sales. Still unrealized as years roll by. 

The engineering project was completed within schedule and budget. 

Lands have been purchased here  and purchased there and a contaminated shack acquired at a cost of half a million doors , all without stated purpose .

While redundant buildings on Library Square await decision since the 1990s. 

Should they go or should they stay? If the old library stays, hundreds of thousands need to be spent on repairs. More is needed to make it accessible .When that's done, the structure makes  a library building difficult to adapt to other uses. 

While this Council, like the last six , delays the decision, the solitary ,thoroughly modern hotel in town closed and Council  publicly frets about being unable to determine the intentions of its owners . 

Councils  come and Councils go. 

Studies and plans and purchases proceed unchecked.

For example ,changes were made to the redundant library building to accommodate  transition during construction at the town hall which was cancelled at staff level after $ 300,000. were spent.

All the while, top dollar was spent for management expertise. 

Saturday 19 March 2016


Anonymous  has left a new comment on your post "THE BIBLE THUMPER'S CREED": 

There is so much money floating around that election that cannot be traced to a source. Perhaps that has always been the case but this time it is very obvious. I think Congress should reign that in but it may have passed laws that allow it. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 19 March 2016 at 16:27

The voice is mellow ,manner calm and his logic to the point. Jeff Greenfield is a CNN contributor who makes me feel secure. Even Charlie Rose occasionally reveals his bias . 

Some time ago...I forget which  crisis... Jeff's contribution to the conversation. put everything into perspective. He was the big old comfy chair in the room. 

Then he disappeared from CNN. I missed him. 

Yesterday he was back. Unchanged. 

The subject... media coverage of the ballistic billionaire. 

The consensus seems to be, a Frankenstein monster is at large. 

In response to the comment above, an effort was made to limit financial contributions to political campaigns. It was appealed to the American Supreme Court  and that's where the kibosh came down. 

When I finished reading the Auroran account of  council's debate on the Mavrinac parcel, the thought
occurred, what if Rogers did what CNN does after a debate...have research on the spot to establish for all to see,what was true and what was false and what was abysmal  ignorance at best and deliberate deception at worst. 

Recently Council filled the vacancy in the Chief Administrative Officer. The job pays upwards 
of $200,000. a year. 

What should be expected  in return? Expertise, I suggest ... historical background to guide Council to make sound coroorate management decisions 
The master recreation plan is under review according to provincial regulation and to determine future development charges. A consultant advised Council the Mavrinac parcel  is not needed .The neighbourhood is well served with parks. The funds are needed for other recreation purposes. 

Quotes attributed in the Auroran story indicate Councillors neither accepted nor acknowledged the advice. 

The new Chief Administrative Officer is a fresh start and one of a team. 

The obvious question arises; if facts and expert advice is neither needed, acknowledged or referenced in the decision-making process, what is the purpose of awarding contracts or maintaining an administrative structure at cost of millions? 

If there is no purpose and it's all an extravagant sham, how does that make us different to the circus 
going on to the south of us? 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE BIBLE THUMPER'S CREED": 

A more than slight CORRECTION.

The last sentence in the comment following the QUOTE from David Brooks is outside the quotation marks.

He did not say it.

I did, and I stand by it in spades. 

Surely we can do without one person for the benefit of hundreds of millions, even billions. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 19 March 2016 at 11:46


Obviously, I missed the quotes but recognized the exception. 

With limited circulation, I doubt misrepresentation travels far. 

But as much as is possible, I want to correct without removing either post. 

It's al relevant.

It seems Republicans may now be trying to rationalize a Trump nomination. 

I still think enough rope will hang him. 

He's a long way from the Oval Office. 

If climate change makes more of Canada habitable there would always be room for migration north. 


HOkAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "IN POLITICS , CONSEQUENCES  

Wishing death? Really?? This just proves how both sides are equally  
pathetic. What sad days lay ahead.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 19 March 2016 at 07:46


It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. The sky is blue and completely clear. Trees have a hint of colour  that will change to pale green lace in a day or two. 

So much natural beauty to lift the spirits. 

I thought twice before I published David Brookes'  Op -Ed piece from the New York Times.

But he  is a serious writer and the Conservative  half of Shield and Brookes,duo of political analysts on P.B.S. hIs views are right of centre but he's not given to excess.

When  he says something like the best thing that can happen is for Trump  to suffer a heart attack before the nominating convention, I think that's a sign of severity of the crisis.

I've wondered as I watched the Swaggering Provocoteur toss out  mindless threats and insults over a microphone to thousands gathered at his feet,so to speak, if he can survive the storm he is creating.

Last night I went to Safari for recall of the exchange between himself and Rosie O'Donnel.
I was aware of Trump's show but never watched it. Like much modern TV., it's not my idea of entertainment.

The site was jam-packed with advertising . That was interesting. I read some of the comments and thought; nope ,if that's what it takes, I can't be party to that. 

I also realized the limited  choice of entertainment is probably what drives me to the real life drama of politics

Trump really  is disgusting. His friends and supporters insist there are two sides to him.even while they argue people love him because he is authentic. 

If that's true, lewd and vacuous are virtues, the pay-off is huge and judging by the millions  who approve his conduct  ...all  are hoping his much- boasted Midas Touch will rub off on them .

If he's successful in winning the nomination, things can only get worse.

Friday 18 March 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE WORST... EXCEPT FOR THE REST": 

The country is deservedly falling to pieces.

A gun in every home, a bullet in every gun, an evangelical on every corner.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 18 March 2016 at 16:23


Hillary Clinton and millions of  supporters are fighting with everything they have to change that and they have a mighty machine. 

It's inconceivable  they will not succeed. 

It's certainly in Canada's interest  they should. 

We have no right to participate but we are more than an interested observer. 

Yesterday , a Republican stated the GOP  is  nothing more than a fund raiser and a register of names. They have no process for developing  a policy platform. 

Judging by the time and energy candidates spend degrading each other personally, that would seem to be true. 

There  should be  consequences.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THERE IS A TIDE": 

Some are still fighting their civil war. Others are furious about the election of a black man to the presidency- twice.
Nothing honourable about this election but perhaps there never was.  

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 18 March 2016 at 09:31


On November 11th 1947 , in the House  of Commons , Winston Churchill said :

"Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest" ....or words to that effect...
He attributed the remark to a predecessor. 

I doubt anyone left a greater mark on history than Churchill.  He was admired and hated ,often for the same reasons. 

He led a coalition government during the Second  World War and received full credit on our side of the pond for the victory. 

He took no satisfaction in the agreements between  Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin.

He was right. The ten years after the war saw crisis follow crisis and a continuous threat of new hostilities ending in a max exodus of people exhausted by the threat of annihilation. 

The election that followed the war saw the Conservatives defeated by the Labour Party.  

The army vote clinched it . The defeat had nothing to do with Churchill's personal standing.

Men left home to fight during the Great  Depression. Poverty was endemic. They endured  and survived the horrors of war for five years, they were not going back to the poverty and hardship they left behind. 

An economist named  Clement Atlee led the new government. 

In a book named "Churchill by Himself"  he wrote;

"Many forms of government have been tried in this world of sin and woe. No-one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed ,it has been said , it's the worst government except for all 
the others which have been tried from time to time"

He himself was wise beyond most as was his delight in language.  

He wasn't a perfect human being. 

He didn't need to be, to enjoy life and being who he was. 

Another of his quotes: 

"The Americans always do the right thing after they've tried all the rest"