Saturday, June 26, 2010

The saddest day in the history of Toronto

The G20 brought riots to Toronto streets today as thugs and anarchist (or whatever they think they are) mixed in with protesters and let it be known they weren't in town to simply engage in peaceful demonstrations. Sadly police cars were set on fire, car windows and storefronts were smashed and arrests were made. Hospitals reported treating a few people for minor injuries.

Roving band of protesters in black balaclavas shattered shop windows for blocks. Four police cars have been torched and officers have used tear gas. There are reports that police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds. So far abouit 150 people have been arrested.

In response to the violence, several locations, including the Eaton Centre shopping mall, and three downtown hospitals were in lockdown. Also much of the transit system shut down.

I'm speechless.

Ontario Regulation 233/10 is not such a big deal

Ontario's Public Works Protection Act is a 71 year old law that was created to protect public buildings and facilities. The statute is very short.

Guards and peace officers (including the police) who are assigned to protect these public assets have special powers which include the ability to search people entering a public facility, require people to show identification, and refuse entry into a public facility. Anyone who refuses an order from a guard or peace officer could be arrested and charged under the Act. The maximum penalty under the Act is a $500 fine and 2 months in prison.

The Act covers the follow "public works”: any railway, canal, highway, bridge, power works including all property used for the generation, transformation, transmission, distribution or supply of hydraulic or electrical power, gas works, water works, public utility or other work, owned, operated or carried on by the Government of Ontario or by any board or commission thereof, or by any municipal corporation, public utility commission or by private enterprises, any provincial and any municipal public building, and any other building, place or work designated a public work by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

The last part of the definition has been given a broad interpretation and likely where a legal challenge could be made. It allows the Ontario Cabinet to designate just about anywhere in Ontario to be a public works. On June 2, 2010 the Ontario Cabinet passed Regulation 233/10 under the Public Works Protection Act which designated the following area to be a public work.

The area in the City of Toronto lying within a line drawn as follows:

Beginning at the curb at the southeast corner of Blue Jays Way and Front Street West; then north to the centre of Front Street West; then east along the centre of Front Street West to the east curb of Windsor Street; then north along the east curb of Windsor Street to the centre of Wellington Street; then east along the centre of Wellington Street to the centre of Bay Street; then south along the centre of Bay Street to a point directly opposite the north wall of Union Station; then west along the exterior of the north wall of Union Station to the centre of York Street; then south along the centre of York Street, continuing east of the abutments under the railway overpass, and continuing south along the centre of York Street to the centre of Bremner Boulevard; then west along the centre of Bremner Boulevard to the east curb of Lower Simcoe Street; then south along the east curb of Lower Simcoe Street to the north curb of Lake Shore Boulevard West; then west along the north curb of Lake Shore Boulevard West to the south end of the walkway that is located immediately west of the John Street Pumping Station and runs between Lake Shore Boulevard West and the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre; then north along the west edge of that walkway to the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre; then west along the south edge of the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre to the west edge of the driveway running between the parking lot and Bremner Boulevard; then north along the west edge of that driveway to the north curb of Bremner Boulevard; then west along the north curb of Bremner Boulevard to the east curb of Navy Wharf Court; then north along the east curb of Navy Wharf Court to the southwest point of the building known as 73 Navy Wharf Court; then east along the exterior of the south wall of that building; then north along the exterior of the east wall of that building to the curb of Blue Jays Way; then north along the east curb of Blue Jays Way to the curb at the southeast corner of Blue Jays Way and Front Street West.

The Regulation has been on the government website since June 16th but obviously no one has noticed it. E-laws isn't the easiest website to access. The Regulation has a short shelf life. It came into force on June 21st and expires on June 28th.

So was the Regulation passed in secrecy? Well the proceedings of Cabinet are confidential and are not accessible through Freedom on Information laws. So in fact it was passed in secrecy as are all regulations. But most regulations approved following public consultation. However, the government does make exceptions to the public consultation requirement for reasons such as security.

Does the Regulation create a police state? Not really. The statute has been on the books for 71 years and already applies to places like Union Station, highway 401, City Hall, etc. Cabinet extended the scope of the law to a section of Toronto for one week to address specific security needs.

I know that civil libertarians deplore things like this but it is being grossly overblown. It only applies to anyone trying to enter the security perimeter and does not turn the city into a police state.

Carly Simon has turned 65

Carly at a Central Park concert in 1972

Carly at a Matha's Vineyard concert in 1987

Carly in New York this year

You might be a redneck...

Grandpa seems to be passed out on his favourite recliner. So what that his recliner is on the back up a pickup heading up I70.

The man who owns Paul Henderson's iconic jersey

Meet Mitchell Goldhar. He owns SmartCentres, a private real-estate development company in the city of Vaughan, and is part owner of Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust. SmartCentres owns more than 160 shopping centres across Canada. Goldhar, who helped bring Wal-Mart to Canada in 1994, also sits on the boards at Indigo Books & Music Inc. and the SickKids Foundation in Toronto. In 2008, Canadian Business listed Goldhar as the 50th richest person in the country, worth an estimated $1.06 billion.

Goldhar has some rich childhood memories of the 1972 Summit Series. He remembers sitting in the gymnasium at his Toronto elementary school, crouched around a small TV set with his schoolmates and teachers. The building was silent and eyes were glued to the final game. He was 11 years old at the time. Now he own the ultimate collector's item for just $1.2 million.

The sweater was put up for auction by an anonymous American owner a month ago, setting off a wave of nationalism as companies such as Canadian Tires, the Forzani Group Ltd., Molson and the Jim Pattison Group lobbied to have it returned to Canada.

The bidding started at $10,000, and seemed to sputter out around $200,000 late last week. The deadline was 9 p.m. Tuesday, but would-be buyers were allowed to keep bidding by phone and Internet until all action had stopped for 10 minutes. Mr. Goldhar said he didn’t put in his first bid of about $350,000 until three minutes before the 9 p.m. deadline.

Mr. Goldhar put in his final bid at about 1 a.m., then fell asleep. He didn’t find out he’d won until he was awakened by a media telephone call at 6:30 a.m., having slept through the official notification that came by e-mail at 5:33 a.m.

So what will he do with the jersey now?

Goldhar promises he'll take it on a national tour and loan it to different institutions — including the sports hall.

He dreams of people getting the chance to visit Henderson, posing with the sweater, at gathering points across the country.

He says he'd never charge anyone to see it, nor does he intend to sell it for profit.

I'm glad it's back in Canada.

Let's just hope he does the righ thing with it.

Sign of the day

Surviving the G8/G20 Summit Week

Hmm. Maybe it might be better if you headed up to Haliburton for the weekend.

Breaking News: Toronto Maple Leafs introduce their 1st round draft pick

Yup here he is our first round draft pick for 2010, Phil Kessel. Come to think of it he is also the 2011 first round pick. And the 2010 second round pick. How would you like to be carrying that much baggage around the centre of the hockey universe?

Couple tries to sell baby for $25 outside a Walmart

Police in Salinas California arrested a couple who they say tried to sell their 6-month-old baby for $25 outside Walmart.

Salinas resident Patrick Fousek, 28, had approached two women and asked to use their cell phone. After he finished, police said, Fousek asked the women, who were playing with the baby, if they would like purchase his daughter for $25. “They thought he was joking.” “They laughed, but he was very persistent. That’s when they knew this guy was serious.”

Fousek immediately left and went to the car where the mother, Samatha Tomasini, 20, was waiting. As the couple drove away the two women were able to get the pair’s license plate number. Police officers tracked down the couple at their residence.

Police arrested Fousek and Tomasini on suspicion of child endangerment and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Fousek, police said, was also on probation. The pair were booked into the Monterey County Jail. Police said the baby has since been taken by Child Protective Services.

Look $25 is a pretty good deal for a baby. Even Walmart would have to be impressed. But remember you're buying a baby from 2 drug addicts and who knows what kind of baggage this baby comes with. This looks like to good of a deal. I would just keep on walking.

Woman uses her breasts to keep street quiet

Marika De Florio is using bare breasts to win a feud with her neighbours. The 56-year-old says she is sick and tired of her neighbours' five-year-old grandson driving a loud all-terrain vehicle for hours on her quiet street in Seeley's Bay, near Kingston, Canada. So she found a solution under her shirt. De Florio has discovered that if she goes out topless, the boy's horrified grandparents rush the child into the house.

And she said she will continue to go topless every time the child rides the ATV. "It is maddening," she said of the noise. "I'm going mental. I'm not moving, but I need some peace. I can't believe I did this, but they pulled the kid inside and then called police because of their small-town mentality."

De Florio says the problems with her neighbours, Mike and Nancy Berry, started two years ago when she moved to the area. Leeds OPP, which covers Seeley's Bay, have received complaint calls from both De Florio and the Berrys. She is not breaking the law, because in Canada women are allowed to be topless.

"There is not a criminal charge for that ... not since 1996," said Toronto Police Const. Isabelle Cotton. De Florio says she decided to go topless to solve the problem because police wouldn't do anything about the ATV noise. She said it's the bravest thing she has ever done. "I'll do what I have to to eradicate this problem," she said.

This is why I love living in Canada. It is perfectly legal for woman to walk around topless. The Ontario Court of Appeal even says so. Because Canadian judges are just as horny as the rest of us. The only problem is that for most of the year Canada is too cold to go topless. But maybe global warming will fix that.

Woman starts fire to get out of work early

A Florida woman accused of starting an office fire to get sent home early with pay pleaded guilty to criminal mischief.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Michelle Perrino, 40, drew suspicion during a meeting of Bayonet Point Oxygen employees when she mentioned the May 12, 2009, fire had started in a filing cabinet before workers had been informed of the fire's origins.

Investigators said a friend of Perrino told them she had admitted to tripping the main circuit breaker and adjusting phones to block incoming calls in bids to go home early without sacrificing the day's pay.

Perrino was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of probation. She was also ordered to pay Bayonet Point Oxygen $4,800 in restitution and banned from contacting the company or its employees.

Hey this wasn't such a dumb plan. The "pull the fire alarm" doesn't work because once they figure out it was a false alarm then send you back to work. But Michelle's problem was she didn't know how to keep her mouth shut. She has to start talking about the fire at a staff meeting. Why didn't you just show them a video of you torching the file cabinet.

Friday, June 25, 2010

No one disturbed dead man for 4 years

Relatives followed the instructions of a Dutch man who asked not to be disturbed when he went to his bedroom: they left him alone and his body was found in bed four years later, police say.

The man, 50 at the time of his death, lived with four siblings aged between 44 and 71 in the northern village of Minnertsga. "He was used to being obeyed and very quick to anger," police spokesman Wouter De Vries said.

"Four years ago he told his brothers and sisters he didn't want to be disturbed and went to his bedroom." Though they frequently passed by the bedroom door, no one dared to open it and look in, Mr de Vries said.

The body was only discovered when the landlords decided some work needed to be done in the room. "A decomposing body produces a very strong smell, and it's really remarkable that his brothers and sisters don't seem to have noticed anything," the police spokesman said.

Surviving the G8/G20 Summit Week

If you are heading downtown to do some window shooping don't both. You will find that boarded up windows, chain-link fences and thousands of "activists" and "security" personnel will some how take away from the experience. So here are some alternative activities to consider:

  • G20 Feminist Picnic and Politics, Friday, 12:30 p.m., Allan Gardens

  • Free the Streets! March, Friday, 2:30 p.m., Allan Gardens

  • G-420 parade (Toronto Cannabis Community), Saturday, noon, starting at Dundas Square

  • Get Off the Fence, Saturday, 1 p.m., Queen's Park
  • People's First. We Deserve Better, Saturday, 1 p.m., Queen's Park

  • Prayer Vigil, Student Christian Movement, Sunday, 2 p.m., starting at St. James Park

  • Make Believe Tea Party, Sunday, 3:33 p.m., anywhere including 299 Queen St. W.
  • Fire Works For Prisons, Sunday, 5 p.m., Bruce Mackey Park

Sign of the day

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Taser Bro gets probation

17-year-old Steven Consalvi, better known as Taser Bro, was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to do 80 hours of community service as punishment for running onto the field at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia earlier this season and getting tased.

A better punishment would be to wear the Phillies Phanatic suit the rest of the season in that hot mumid Philadelphia weather.

Mick Fleetwood is 68

With Fleetwood Mac in 1982

Mick Fleetwood today

You are crowned Mom of the Year!

I actually found this video hard to watch.

Like I always say, anything can happen in a gay bar


Attention shoppers, we have a wedding going in aisle 9

Between the frozen treats, the beer and wine at the Copps grocery story in Wautoma, Denise Irvine and Marty Czarnecki came together to get married.

The two chose aisle 9 since this is where they met last year, when Marty, an employee at Copps provided a little customer service.

"I was working in the liquor aisle and Denise came in to buy her wine, and we got talking," said Czarnecki.

After getting engaged on Valentine's Day they tossed around ideas on where to tie the knot. Best man Richard Schwantes came up with the plan.

So in the midst of a busy double coupon Wednesday, decorations were put up by family and friends, and today's store special turned out to be something really special.

Customers stopped their shopping to take it all in.

The happy couple plans to honeymoon down the road at a local hotel for a couple days of swimming and fun, because Marty's back on the schedule at Copps come Friday.

Now this is why I call a real love story. Yes they met in the wine aisle then walked down the aisle to tie the knot surrounded by plunk. But that Marty pulled out all the stops by surprising his bride with a honeymoon at the local motel. How special is that? I bet they had a vibrating bed and an ice machine outside the room.


Torontonians are under the impression that it is not safe to venture downtown during the G20 Summit. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Police are encouraging citizens to come down and enjoy the unique sights of an economic summit, Bring the kids and pets. If you feel like running into AMC to catch a movie while downtown they would be happy to do baby sitting and pet sitting. The police just love pets and kids.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Wimbledon time so here are tennis' greatest grunters and screamers

Maria Sharapova

Elena Dementieva

Michelle Larcher de Brito

Ana Ivanovic and Venus Williams

Sign of the day

The longest tennis match in the history of the world

At 41-41, the net broke down. At 47-47, the scoreboard broke down. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, however, were still standing at 59-59 in the fifth set as the match was suspended for darkness a second day.

All of tennis' longest match records lay in tatters. And all over the grounds, all over the world, people got up knowing they had witnessed something truly historic in the annals of tennis. The longest match ever. By far.

At the end, both players were able to walk off the court without losing and everyone else was left to consider the statistical enormity of what they had just witnessed.

The previous record for longest match ever was six hours, 33 minutes, set when Fabrice Santoro beat Arnaud Clement at the French Open in 2004. The match was spread over two days.

The marathon will resume Thursday. Could it carry on for yet another day?

This would be like an NHL playoff game going into 10 periods of overtime, like running 5 consecutive marathons, like racing the Tour de France all in one week, like listening to Jean Chretien speak for 24 straight hours. Talk about torture. I'd rather go through waterboarding.

This had to have been the mother of all drinking binges

Surviving the G8/G20 Summit Week

Sometimes its best to just try to blend in. My advice is ditch the Armani suit and the stiletto heels, get some street threads, make yourself up a protest sign and head for the barricades. There are numerous groups that you can choose from:

Anti-globalization groups

Environmental groups

Anti-Palestinian groups

Anti-Israel groups

Animal rights groups

Gay rights groups

Shaking all over

There I was sitting in my office sipping on a coffee when I began to bounce up and down. The bookshelf was swaying side to side. WTF? I was thinking this must be what an earthquake is like. This must be an earthquake!

Thirty seconds later it stopped and everyone comes crawling out of their offices asking if they felt it. Then the fire alarm went off so down we went 15 flights for little fresh air. I checked on my blackberry and sure enough there was an earthquake in Quebec hitting 5.5. When every calmed down we shuffled back to work. A news photographer happened to have stopped outside our office to record the commotion.

Hump Day Hottie

Scarlett Johansson

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fashion Disaster

Surviving the G8/G20 Summit Week

Air quality in Toronto may be an issue throughout the G20 Summit. Though in this case smog is not the problem but rather tear gas which is lachrymatory agent. Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, hard breathing, pain in the eyes, temporary blindness, etc.

If you happen to be downtown for a jog or just doing some window shopping, it is advisable that you bring along a mask or at the very least a pair of goggles. A bottle of water would also be helpful in case you need to wash out your eyes because Toronto streets are not currently equipped with eye wash stations.

Probably best thing to do if hit with a chemical agent is to head to the closest hospital. A great opportunity to test out Canada's world renown health wait times. I would recommend bringing along a book but with your eyes burning it just isn't going to be practical.

Darwin was right about survival of the fittest

Three residents of a small settlement in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region died from exhaust fumes of their own Zaporozhets vehicle. The head of the family, a 71-year-old man, decided to exterminate rats in the house with the help of his old car.

The man attached a hose to the exhaust pipe of the ZAZ-968 “Zaporozhets” car and put the other end of the hose into the basement of the house. He started the engine and went upstairs.

Some time later, the man decided to see what was happening in the basement. As soon as the man entered the basement, he lost consciousness because of the high concentration of exhaust fumes.

His wife, a 77-year-old woman, started worrying about her husband when he did not come back. She went downstairs to see what was happening in the basement and fainted too. The same happened with their 29-year-old granddaughter. Their other granddaughter found the bodies two hours later and was lucky to stay alive. However, her three relatives died.

Insurance fraud for dummies

The culprits hid their valuables, from jewellery to electronics, smashed windows and even made faux bad-guy footprints before calling police.

Unfortunately, for those who hoped to foil authorities, Const. Charanjit Meharu was among those to arrive at the alleged break-and-enter scene.

When the purported victim, who was hysterical and saying she had lost everything and had a list of what was missing for cops, took a call from her father in Quebec telling him what happened in French, the carefully crafted ploy unraveled.

“She was telling him she and her boyfriend made up the story to make an insurance claim,” Meharu says.

“By the end, I had about 10 pages of notes and I said, ‘Merci beaucoup.’

Yeah the perfect crime! Solved in 10 minutes. If these two were bank robbers, they'd be asking the police to drive the getaway car.


Solid Gold!

The best senior citizen cat fight I've ever seen.

Sign of the day

Monday, June 21, 2010

Surviving the G8/G20 Summit Week

If you are caught in downtown Toronto with a case of the munchees you might have a problem. Restaurants in the downtown core plan to shut their doors because of concerns over staff getting to work, customers finding the place and the occasional projectile that might find its way flying through the front window. Not to worry. The City of Toronto in cooperation with a number of agencies have organized some emergency food distribution locations to help out. The centres will be able to handle special dietary needs including vegetarian/vegan meals, Kosher food, and a wide range of food allergies.

Woman blows out throat on vuvuzela

nsurance saleswoman Yvonne Mayer, 29, was unable to speak or eat for two days after ripping her windpipe when she blew the three foot horn during a street party in Cape Town.

The next day shocked doctors diagnosed her with a ruptured throat and ordered her to rest it completely to allow it to heal.

The bizarre injury is the first known vuvuzela-related accident since the World Cup kicked off last week.

Yvonne, from Cape Town, said: 'I had never blown a vuvuzela before but was given one at work and was going to watch the first South Africa match so thought I'd take it along.

'I was walking towards the Fan Park in Cape Town and blowing it as hard as I could when suddenly my throat started to hurt.


Is cheerleading a sport?

Connecticut university made a decision to cut women’s volleyball in favor of a competitive cheerleading team last year. That volleyball coach and five of her players sued the school on the basis of a Title IX violation. That case has reached the U.S. District Court in the form of a class-action lawsuit.

The judge issued a temporary injunction last year that prevented the school from disbanding the volleyball team after finding the school was over-reporting the participation opportunities for its female athletes and under-reporting the opportunities for men.

Evidence showed the men's baseball and lacrosse teams, for example, would drop players before reporting data to the Department of Education and reinstate them after the reports were submitted. Conversely, the women's softball team would add players before the reporting date, knowing the additional players would not be on the team in the spring.

Hmmm. That's a tough choice to make. I'd hate to be the judge who has to decide between cheerleaders' behinds and volleyball asses. I'd keep both and drop the men's wrestling team. Too gay!


Happy 63rd Birthday to BOTH Michael Gross & Meredith Baxter!

As the Keatons in a 1984 episode of Family Ties

Michael and Meredith today