Posted in Life, politics

Where are the Rob Ford haters now?

As 2011 rolls along (project 365, as someone called it) I’m wondering where all the Rob Ford haters are right now. They sure have been quiet since the kerfuffle over Don Cherry calling them “pinkos”. I hope they were not actually offended?!?

I gather they are quiet because since Ford took power he has;

Made the TTC an essential service.
Put Councillor (future mayor and my old City Councillor) Karen Stintz in charge of the TTC
Removed the $60.00 “fee” (I prefer to call it a tax) on registering a vehicle in Toronto
Moving to remove the Land Transfer Tax
Announced he is moving to remove the bag tax of $0.05 for plastic bags purchased in Toronto (if council wants to)
Stopped sending our garbage to Michigan.
Cut Councillors expense accounts from $52,000 a year to $30,000 a year(the taxpayers money councillors spend on stuff)

And he announced that he is not anti-bike and will be unveiling more and safer bike routes for the biking community in Toronto.
He is not done considering a light-rail / subway for Eglinton connecting Scarborough to the airport
and his resolution for 2011 is to lose sme weight.

Not bad.
Saving us taxpayers some money and removing stupid hidden taxes put in place by David Miller.
How awful of him…
I remember the night of his election people tweeting that they were going to move out of Toronto because this was going to destroy the city… Yup.

So I’m going to take a moment and put on my left-wing hat, and figure out how I would reply to this post.
I would probably reply with this comment, saving you all the time to have to type it for yourself;

“Yes Urban Daddy, you right-wing capitalist bastard, he’s cutting taxes but how is he going to pay for services? I’ll tell you… He’s going to cut services and apply userfees!”

Well, Lefties (and I am left-handed so do be offended) I would like present this case in my defense of not wanting to tax the rich to give to the poor… Your hero, David Miller put in place all these taxes and fees because he wanted to point out how poorly the previous mayor treated the city and to pay for all his giving to make every Torontonion equal… Then upon stepping down from being mayor, in order to preserve his “legacy” he announced that he left the city better than it was when he took over, with a surplus! Pardon me.
surplus would mean his additional taxes needed to run the city were either a cruel joke or a huge miscalculation of the debits and credits at City Hall.

That’s like me running a free swimming pool, then suddenly charging users $10.00 a visit because without it the pool will have to close, then after doing this for 5 years saying, Look everyone, I have $2 million extra dollars in the bank”… Not nice!

So I for one am happy that for dinner last night there was no gravy. Staying away from that stuff can help me shed some pounds… That and not wearing pink!


Posted in news, ttc

Randomness: TTC Observation

My random thought for a Tuesday…

Last night on my way home from my son’s soccer game, I saw a TTC bus (public transit in Toronto) sitting at a bus stop letting off a passenger. About a block away a medium sized woman and a VERY large (but young) man broke out into a sprint to get on the bus.

These two were determined to get on to that bus…

They got to the end of the bus – needing only to reach the front doors to get on, when…

… The driver closed the doors of the bus, drove through the yellow light, and went on to the next stop.

Either incentive for the couple to get a little more exercise, or yet another example of what is wrong with the TTC in Toronto…

I really just thought that the driver was being a jerk a he left that stop a few seconds later.

But hold on…

I reached out to a friend of mine who works at the TTC and he told me that under no circumstances would a drive pull away from a stop if there was a person running for the bus – regardless of their proximity (or size). He said more than likely, the driver was checking the time to ensure he was on schedule and just pulled away from the stop without looking – as the bus was waiting for a couple minutes before it left.

I guess in this case, being on time – and therefore providing good customer service to all the passengers accidently resulted in bad customer service for that couple…

They just can’t win!

I should re-title this post, “Why working for the TTC will never be an easy job”.

Ride the Rocket!

The better way!!!

Posted in news, ttc

A Tale of Transit Woes in Two Large Metropolitan Cities

I found the following very interesting.  Today there are two stories around the same topic – public transportation and reducing costs of it, and the actions taken to correct it are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  The pathetic Canadian response refuses to touch the fact that the TTC holds the city hostage with their extremely high salaries, poor customer service, questionable work ethic and the ability to strike at a moments notice.  The MTA in New York also in debt offers up a solution right up front… Read on.  

Toronto – A Toronto Member of Provincial Parliament’s bid to have the TTC designated an essential service is being derailed by the Liberal government because Toronto’s City Hall refuses to ask the province to outlaw transit strikes.

Liberal member David Caplan (Don Valley West – Toronto) introduced private member’s legislation Monday that would strip Toronto Transit Commission workers of the right to strike.

While the MPP’s bill passed first reading by a vote of 39 to 7 – with the unanimous support of Progressive Conservative (right wing) and Liberal (centre) members, including six cabinet ministers, and the New Democrats (left-wing, union / welfare loving party) dissenting – the government intends to quash it.

The bill “does not reflect the government’s position,” Liberal Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne told reporters.

“The municipality (Toronto) would have to ask for that action and that has not happened,” said Wynne, adding “costs can increase” because arbitrated deals are often more costly.

Caplan, a former cabinet minister, said arbitration is already the norm because strikers are routinely legislated back to work as soon as they hit the bricks.

“There is significant dissatisfaction with the service on the TTC … the unreliability and the work disruptions that I have seen. People will not ride a system which is not reliable,” he said.

Deriding the bill as “a pathetic political ploy,” TTC union president Bob Kinnear, who engineered a wildcat strike in 2006 and a legal stoppage in 2008, blamed those disruptions on Queen’s Park failing to adequately fund transit.

TTC chair Adam Giambrone (Toronto council member with a reputation from promiscuity) warned “this piece of legislation could end up costing tens of millions to the city and the province wouldn’t pay anything.”

While (Toronto’s left-wing commi-pinko) Mayor David Miller supports the status quo, the two leading contenders to succeed him in October welcomed Caplan’s bill.

“Concern about the cost of arbitrated wage settlements aside, (it) reflects an appropriate source of concern about the cost of TTC service disruptions to the city and commuters,” Mayoral candidate and former Liberal cabinet minister, George Smitherman said in a statement.

Former Liberal strategist and mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi said the bill “shows there is clearly a larger role the province can play fixing the TTC.”

Among Toronto city councillors (the majority of whom are left-wing) in 2008 rejected by one vote a motion to ask the province to make TTC workers an essential service, opinions remained split on Monday.

While in New York…

New York –  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will try to clean up some red ink by handing out pink slips to more than 1,000 employees.

MTA Chairman Jay Walder says the layoffs are extremely painful but the agency must live within its means.

“The State’s economic crisis demands that the MTA move quickly and decisively to cut costs, and that is exactly what we are doing,” Walder said.

The MTA plans to eliminate more than 600 administrative positions and it will begin laying off up to 500 transit station agents.

The MTA said in December it was facing a $383 million budget gap. It’s due largely to a cut in state aid and lower-than-expected revenues from a payroll tax.  On Tuesday, they announced another $378 million gap which had developed this year based on revised state revenue projections.

The MTA said management employees whose jobs are cut will be offered a severance package.

“This is just the beginning of a comprehensive overhaul of how the MTA does business,” Walder said. “We will be reducing overtime, consolidating redundant functions and working with suppliers to lower costs. We will not stop until I can say that every dollar the MTA receives is spent wisely.”

What a novel concept.

I want the MTA running the TTC… Right away.  Screw the mandatory unionized wage increases and the fare increases.

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, family, Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things that caught my attention;

13) Some idiot Mercedes 4-matic driver this morning, license plate BDTS 134 who drove the entire stretch of road from Lawrence to Eglinton on Bathurst) in the middle of 2 lanes. Yes he was old, but he also didn’t give a shit and that is why I think Mercedes drivers are idiots. BMW drives are assholes, but some, not all, Mercedes drives think because they own (or lease) one, they can do what they want.

12) My son’s school collected new pairs of socks to distribute to Toronto’s homeless and on Tuesday they made sandwiches to distribute along with the socks to their “homeless friends”… Awesome!

11) My almost 10 week old daughter today found toys. Yay.

10) My 9 week old daughter a few mights ago found her fist and was watching it in awe as it slowly crept closer and closer to bopping herself in her eye. She blinked, it moved and she seemed surprised it was gone. LOL.

9) In London, England, British authorities ordered a man to take down his castle he built and kept hidden from them for over 4 years. That’s the situation faced by Robert Fidler, a farmer who lost a High Court bid Wednesday to protect the once-secret castle he built 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of London and kept hidden from planning authorities.

The adverse decision means Fidler’s roof must come down. He has one year to comply unless an appeal is successful.

To keep prying eyes from noticing his unauthorized abode, Fidler placed bales of hay and tarpaulin around his dream home in Salfords, Surrey, authorities said. The court ruled he could not benefit from his deception.

Mike Miller, a chief planner with the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, said the council was delighted with the decision, which it viewed as vindication of the decision to challenge Fidler in court.

“This was a blatant attempt at deception to circumvent the planning process,” he said, adding that Fidler now has one year to destroy the castle, remove the ruins and return the property to its original state.

The unusual castle, complete with cannon, ramparts and stained glass, was completed in 2002 and Fidler lived there with family for more than four years before the authorities started legal action against him.

Fidler, who has had disagreements with planning authorities before, anticipated that his request for permission to build the castle would be denied, so he tried to take advantage of a rule that allows a structure to be legalized if it has been lived in for four years. “It has been pursued at the expense of the taxpayer which we find deeply regrettable — but Mr. Fidler will continue to fight for the right to live in his home,” the his lawyer said.

8) That anti-Semitic, drunken douche bag is at it again…  While promoting his new movie, “Edge of Darkness,” Mel Gibson was caught on tape making a complete ass out of himself.  

In the video which is probably already viral, Gibson called his interviewer an asshole after the interview was over which still miked for a taped interview with Chicago’s WGN-TV reporter Dean Richards.  During the interview, Richards asked Gibson if he felt like he was “a different person, a better person,” than he was four or five years ago, noting that the actor has “had a lot of ups and downs” since then.  (In 2006, Gibson was arrested for driving while under the influence, and made anti-Semitic remarks to his arresting officers.)

During the interview with Richards, Gibson responded that the past few years have been “a real roller coaster ride,” but said he thinks he’s the same person he always was.

Richards then asked Gibson if he felt the public would receive him differently, at which point Gibson became visibly agitated.  “That’s been almost four years, dude,” he told Richards. “I’ve moved on. But I guess you haven’t.” Richards said he just wondered whether Gibson thought the public had moved on, to which Gibson replied, “Well, I certainly hope so. That was a while back, and I’ve done all the necessary mea culpas, so … let’s move on, dude.”

Richards wrapped up the interview with a standard thank-you-for-coming, and Gibson, drinking coffee, gave the reporter a thumbs-up before muttering a loud-and-clear “asshole” right into his mic before the satellite feed was cut.

This comes after an interview with CNN affiliate station KTLA, where entertainment reporter Sam Rubin asked Gibson if his long absence from acting had anything to do with the alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Gibson denied he ever uttered statements of that nature, and then asked Rubin, who is Jewish, “I gather you have a dog in this fight?”

Gibson has since apologized to Rubin for the query, Rubin confirmed.

Gibson’s publicist Alan Nierob said Gibson was not aiming his expletive at WGN’s Richards, but rather at Nierob himself, who was “pulling faces” during the interview.

I’m sorry but I still think of Nazi Mel and no matter what he does, or how he pretends to be remorseful or deny any wrongdoing I will never support his work, see his movies or consider him to be credible at anything.

7) The Super Bore aka the Super Bowl is coming up… Saints vs. Colts.  You heard it here first.  The Saints WILL win.  Guaranteed.

6) Heard a commercial for McCains, I think.  Says the number one asked question is “what’s for dinner”, and the number one question not asked question is, “what’s in dinner”… Really?  Not sure I believe that.

5) Saw a show called Undercover Boss… Great concept.  Watch it if you can.

4) Sad to hear that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke’s son passed away in a car accident in Indiana. 

3) Shuffling off to Buffalo… Really.

2) Love my daughter… Hated when she holds her poo for 2 days then explodes when we are out of the house.  Messy is an understatement.

1) Unions.  Specifically the TTC union and the Ontario college teachers union.  For some reason both these groups of thugs seem to think they can hold the city hostage under the guise of “doing it for the people”.  If you really wanted to do it for the people – you know, as public servants – you would not demand 3% raises every year and set limits on the amount of work you perform.  I find it appalling that in times of recession, when private sector jobs begin to disappear and people are asked to work harder, do more and cover off tasks from others, that unions continue to do the same amount of work that they were mandated to do 50 years ago.  20 years ago a classmate of mine laughed that he was told to only wash 2 TTC buses an hour so that he doesn’t look bad.  After completing that task in 15 minutes he was told by the foreman to go sleep on the bus, all for $28 dollars an hour.   What has changed in 20 years?  That job now pays $47/hour.  Nothing else.  Same 2 buses, same procedure to sleep the rest of that hour so as to not do too much.  It’s a joke and it must be stopped.  Too bad TTC head Adam Giambrone – who has decided in the wake of his failure as TTC Chair – to focus on the Mayor’s job instead of fixing this mess first.  He has put too much attention on the fact he was sleeping around with multiple people rather than on getting his job completed.  These unions need to be removed right away and privatize this service in order to cap the escalating salaries without seeing any increase in production

Posted in family

I’m confused…

Why is all the music on the radio, shit?!?  Where did all the rock ‘n’ roll go?  Why is Theory of a Deadman the only good thing I’ve heard in the last 3 months???

Since when did 1050 CHUM become CP24 on the radio?  I’ve actually listened… My morning drive consists of the FAN 590, AM640, 680 NEWS, sometimes, but not often, CFRB1010, and now 1050… I’ll need to drive further in order to listen for more than 5 minutes per station.

On Mother’s Day we took the kids down to the CN Tower.  Kids 3 and under are free, and a subway ride down is already worth the price of admission.  Did you know kids 2 and over cost $0.70 to ride the TTC?  I didn’t but the nice TTC employee at Union station let us in without paying for the kids… I believe his words to me were, “who gives a fuck”.

Anyways, Stewie – the fearless child decided the glass floor was right up his alley so after stepping on it, he proceeded to lay down in the middle of the glass floor and check out the stuff nearly 500 metres below him.  As others were reluctant to step on the floor, there was Stewie laying on the floor, face pressed to the bottom checking out the world… It’s SO Stewie!

Speaking of Stewie… He loved being there so much, every time he sees a picture of the CN Tower or asks about when we are going back, he calls it the “Same” Tower.  LOL.  Well, to be truthful, he actually yells, “OHHH, it’s the SAME tower… Look!”.

He he he.

Oh, and if you are considering coming to the CN Tower… The website is, NOT  Even though www.cntower.cadoesn’t show up in a google search, it’s the one… Trust me!

All in all, it was a fun, tiring weekend.

But the point of this post… Music… Where is all the good music hiding?  Please, anyone…