Landfill dumping is wrecking the lifestyle and peaceful use of an Appleby Line property – obscene behaviour.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 6, 2013. This is obscene!

That is the only way to describe what is being done to the property on the north and south side of the home Barbara Sheldon owns on Appleby Line.

Sheldon has a home on a nice lot that has a large spring fed pond that is home to a number of geese who watch over their goslings with a wary eye.

Some time ago, back in 2008, Sheldon noticed that the land on either side of her was being built up with landfill which didn’t seem all that bad at first – other than the noise from the trucks and the heavy construction equipment that seemed to be running around every day.  But it began to get out of hand and she now has a wall of earth more than 30 feet high on the north side of her property less than 50 feet from her kitchen window.

The south side of the Sheldon property on June 5th.

A few weeks ago this matter made its way to a city council meeting where it was clear the city, while aware of the situation didn’t have a grip on what was going on.

South side on the the 25th of May. The trucks just keep on rolling in and dumping fill.

Most people felt that kind of thing could not be done in north Burlington and that someone would step in to put a stop to the landfill operation.

And the trucks just keep on coming. No protection for this taxpayer from anyone.  Landfill continues to get dumped on the south side of the property.

What stunned everyone was that there didn’t appear to be much the city could do.  There was nothing the Niagara Escarpment Commission could do – the property that was being filled with landfill was just outside their boundary.

Many felt the Conservation Authority would be able to step in.  They are looking at the options which turn out to be pretty close to zilch.

The city learned that there really isn’t much they can do – the land is defined as an air park that comes  under the jurisdiction of the federal government; specifically the department of transport.

The people over there aren’t pleased but they do admit that the property is an air park and that is comes under their jurisdiction.

Monte Dennis argues that what happens on the land may be under federal jurisdiction but the land itself and what people can do with it is local and that the city can actually do something.  But they have to get up on their hind legs and begin to bark.

It isn’t quite that easy and the city is looking into the problem and figuring out what their options really are.  This is brand new territory for the city and they are up against a seemingly predatory land owner who doesn’t show his face that much.

Our Burlington has been trying to meet with Vince Rossi and while he says he’d love to meet – dates don’t get set.  Rossi sends his lawyer to handle the problems.  There is a very significant amount of money involved – perhaps in the tens of millions in revenue earned from allowing people to dump what is believed to be untested land fill on the site.

Turns out there are some 10,000 of these small air parks which are usually the location for small flight training schools.  The amount of work being done on the land suggests that there are plans for a much larger operation which has north Burlington residents upset.  Others suggest that there are no plans for a larger airport – that the dumping of landfill was just a way to make some very good money.  The understanding is that each truck of landfill dumped generates $50 in revenue and that given the amount of dirt being dumped – some $2.5 million in revenue has been generated.

That is not exactly chump change.

What the city is facing is a property/business owner who appears to have found a loophole that generates a significant income.

It looks like a lovely, close to idyllic country property – until you look to the north and the south and see mountain of earth that have destroyed the value of the property. And the air park neighbour seems to be able to get away with it.

What we know for certain is that we have a property/business owner who doesn’t show himself very much.  Vince Rossi, understood to be the owner of the Burlington Executive Air Park, did have one meeting with the Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring who listened to what Rossi had to say and suggested he develop a business plan and let the city see what he had in mind.  That was the last of the Mayor saw of Rossi.

When the Mayor visited the site a week ago he was stunned with what he saw and put himself in touch with the city manager quickly to push for more action on the administration side.  Were the Mayor to return to the site today he would see a 20 foot + wall of landfill in the south side of the property that wasn’t there when he visited.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster has apparently not visited the site and many of the people in rural Burlington think its time to look for a better candidate to represent the interests of that community.

This is just such close to violent disregard for the rights of ones neighbours.  The city does need to step in and do something.  What can they do?

City General Manager Scott Stewart was given the file and instructed to hire a consultant who could advise the city on just what its options are.  The aeronautical sector is complex – it is a world of its own with many layers of administration.

Finding someone with the experience the city is going to need is easier said than done “We can’t just flip through the yellow pages and find what we want” explained Stewart.  He is confident he will find what the city needs but it isn’t going to be easy and it isn’t going to happen quickly.

This is the hill that has been built on the north side of the property. There was a time when Sheldon could see Rattle Snake Point from her kitchen window – today – she looks at a pile of landfill – that has never been tested.

The city will need someone who fully understands the regulatory side of the business and probably have something in the way of a legal background.

“At this point” said Stewart, “we don’t even know what we don’t know.”  This is a whole new field of endeavour for the city.

The comment section of Our Burlington on this situation has many entries; many are what are called “flame throwers” remarks that have one person accusing another.

Andrew Forbes commented that:  “I suppose I could say that the name-calling has begun by people who make unfounded claims of criminal behaviour while not revealing their real names, hiding like cowards behind the supposed anonymity of the Internet. If you want to call people names like “bully” to their faces, “Jake”, at least have the simple courage and decency to do it in the open, with your real name. Some of us are trying to have a civilized, fact-based discussion here. Others, apparently, are more interested in hiding behind pseudonyms and taking anonymous pot-shots at what they see as an easy target. It’s so easy to vilify without taking the trouble to understand or to listen.

Real accusations have been made here. You should not expect, if you are one of those people, that you don’t have a responsibility for what you say, or that there will be no consequences for being a jerk just because you’re doing it online. I don’t know Mister Rossi well, but I do know that I don’t see a schoolyard bully here. What I do see is a mob mentality: a bunch of people calling names, making unsubstantiated accusations of criminal behaviour, and piling on, all without having the simple decency to even tell everyone who they are.”

Forbes doesn’t say that he is a pilot and represents other pilots and their interests.

It is a mess and it needs attention.  Time for the buck passing to stop.

Sheldon believes she is being targeted by the land owner because she has stood up and complained very loudly.  while she doesn’t say so – one can tell that she fears for her personal safety.  That’s not the kind of city we live in – is it?

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Some commercial activity has popped up in the Beachway Park. Rent yourself a paddle boat and get out on the water.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 6, 2013.  It’s a good idea; it should work.  And if you ever wanted to try out one of those stand up paddle boards well Maria Gerow has just the thing for you.

Gerow has always thought setting up a rental location for paddle boats and deck chairs somewhere along the Beachway Park was a great idea.  “I’ve had the idea for more than five years and I’ve been bugging the city for the past three years about renting the Pump House and running a rental operation out of the place”, she said.

Many have wanted something in the Pump House – the hope was that maybe an upscale wine bar – the best that could be done was a rental outlet. The signage on the door isn’t very upscale. Perhaps there will be something better than a hand drawn sign in the near future.

When the city Waterfront Access Protection Advisory Committee (it was sunset last December) recommended putting something in the building – they thought an upscale coffee shop with a nice selection of wines would be just the ticket – Gerow saw her chance and when the city ran its advertisement looking for a tenant for the space she moved real quick and got her idea in front of the right people and before she knew it – well it didn’t happen quite that fest – I mean this is city hall – she had a three year contract and opened up the last long weekend and she was in business.

Looks easy enough and if you want to try it – Burlington Beach Rentals is the place.

A Burlington resident Gerow was in insurance for some time but that entrepreneurial streak in her came to the surface and she now has a business called Burlington Beach Rentals – where you can rent paddle boats; stand up boards, chairs to sit out in the beach on with an umbrella.

Sun tan lotion, sun glasses will also be available.  Small rental lockers and for those who rent chairs – WiFi is also available.

Gerow has targeted the “family friendly” market.  If you’re a boozer and a carouser – don’t bother dropping by. 

Two adults or one adult and a child. Looks like fun.

Prices seem reasonable and according to Gerow the demand is there.  Now all she needs is some sunshine.

The Beachway will be going through a change; not in the next six months but certainly in the next few years.  The Regional Planning people produced a report which they felt set out a detailed background.  some feel the report was badly biased and there is a bit of a move to have the report sent back for a re-write.

However, the report is a regional document and the decision as to what will be done is a Regional decision.  It will be up to the Burlington Council members to convince their fellow regional council members to accept what Burlington wants done.  And that is a large part of the problem: Burlington isn’t at all clear on what it wants.

The people who live in the Beachway have made their point loud and clear – they don’t want to have to move.  They like where they are and they think that if anything is done about housing in the Beachway it should be to add more housing.

The  Family Medical facility under construction will be the first part of a several phase re-build of the hospital. When completed it will change fundamentally the way people see and use the west end of LAkeshore Road.

A couple of years from now the hospital will open the Family Medical facility where ten new doctors will practice on the ground level of a structure that will have several levels of parking.  The entrance to that facility will be off Lakeshore Road which will change the traffic pattern considerably.

When the hospital completes its re-build the entrance to the hospital will also be on Lakeshore Road which will change that par of the city.

Lakeshore Road will become the entrance way to a park – what we don’t know is what kind of a park will it be?

The Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade will be completed by the time the Family Medicine Facility is operational.  The planned planting of a cedar tree screen will make the roadway much different than it is today.

Is the Burlington Beach rental operation the first part of the change?

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Hardly seems worth the effort but the city seems prepared to let you out on the pier IF the work is done a day earlier. Whoopee.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 7, 2013 — The Brant Street Pier will open to the public on June 13, two days ahead of the community celebration planned for Saturday, June 15 at noon at Spencer Smith Park.

“We are opening the pier to the community as soon as it safe to do so,” said Scott Stewart, General Manager of Development and Infrastructure. “The pier will be open and the fencing will be down the afternoon of Thursday, June 13.”

The city is also lighting up the pier, including the beacon feature, each night starting at 9 p.m. following successful lighting tests earlier this week.

Less than a week – and hundreds of people will be out on the pier enjoying the view.  The pier could hold more than 2100 people – assuming they were standing shoulder to shoulder.  Is there a Guinness Book of Records opportunity here.  Maybe 2000 people enjoying the Goodness of Guinness all at the same time with a helicopter overhead recording the event.  Dial up the city events department – see what they think.

The city is planning two celebration events related to the pier.  The first is a thank you event to recognize the city’s funding partners, including the federal and provincial governments, Halton Region and Burlington Hydro. That takes place Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m. and includes speeches, a plaque unveiling and a tour of the pier.

 MP Mike Wallace, Mayor Rick Goldring and representatives from Conservation Halton, Burlington Hydro and other community partners are expected to attend. The seven children who will leave their hand prints on the pier will help dignitaries unveil the plaque that recognizes the completion of the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington, including the Brant Street Pier.

 

Charissa Pavlou, one of the city’s best kept entertainment secrets. Hear her just the once and you will want to know why we aren’t seeing her during the Sound of Music Festival. This young lady is going to break through big time soon.

The second event is on Saturday, June 15 at noon, when the Burlington Teen Tour Band will march out onto the pier to signal the pier’s official opening. When the band leaves the pier, the community will be invited to walk on the pier and eat free cupcakes, leave hand prints on a canvas and enjoy local entertainment, including from Burlington vocalist Charissa Pavlou and other local artists.

So – here is how it is going to play out.  Assuming the work is complete – all the fencing will come down the afternoon of the 13th and anyone wandering around can stroll out to the end of the pier.  No sense of occasion, no marching bands, nothing special.  And at $20 million – this is special.

Then a day after the politicians will show up and huff and puff and look important; unveil the really rather nifty plaque that will have been put in place and all get their pictures taken.  There are a lot of gulls flying around – you know what one of them can do to the dignitaries on this occasion don’t you?

Then the NEXT day the pier will go through yet another opening when everyone will be cleared off while the Burlington Teen Tour Band will march out and open the pier for the people.  Cupcakes get served – maybe balloons too.

Then everyone gets cleared from the pier at 3:00 pm so things can be set up for the fireworks display that night.

Here is the Burlington Teen Tour Band opening up the Performing Arts Centre. Imagine them doing the same thing on the pier. Going to be a glorious sight.

Mercy on us all – what a mess!  Now you have some idea as to just why it took three times as long as expected to get built and more than twice what the city expected to pay for the thing.  Someone called the pier the “mistake on the lake”; could he have been right.

Whoever is making the decisions about the opening doesn’t appear to have any sense of occasion or a feel for drama.  The dignitaries could have been lined up and given credit for finding the money to build the thing and then the plaque unveiled.  Right after that the Burlington Teen Tour Band could have come marching in off Lakeshore Road down the promenade and out onto the pier with all their flags snapping in the wind.  The public would have followed them on out to the pier.

The band could have done one of those fancy turns they do at the end of the pier and come marching back towards the public that would have been kept back a respectable distance with a nice fancy felt rope.  The BTTB could then have stopped just down from the node – played a few pieces and then someone would declare the pier officially opened.

Instead we are going to get one dreary official opening and then another yes you can go on the pier – now you can’t and then later you can go out again.

Enough to make you dizzy.  However, when you eventually get out there – it is something.

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Small potatoes in the drug world but an arrest is an arrest and it adds to the police stats.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 6, 2013.  The drug dealers are keeping the police busy enough.  Earlier today  members of the Three District Strategic Support Team concluded an investigation into alleged cocaine traffickers in Burlington. 

Investigators conducted the investigation and as a result, the  Team arrested two targeted persons.  Both were found to be in possession of a quantity of marihuana and cocaine. 

The investigation was concluded when the Strategic Support Team members executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at a residence in Burlington. 

As a result of the arrests and drug warrant, investigators seized the following items:

  43 grams of cocaine

• 7.5 grams of marihuana

• Approximately $ 640.00 in Canadian currency

• Scales, Packaging materials and cellular phones

ACCUSED(s):

 Lilit ISHAK (20 years old)

Matthew COOPER (20 years old)

Both from Burlington have been charged with;

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance and Possession of a controlled substance

Dealing in drugs is a lucrative business – which helps to pay the lawyers you need.  Gotta be a better way of making a living.  But I guess as long as there are people who want to buy and use the stuff there are going to be people who will supply it.

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Road closures to be in effect for paramedics funeral.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 6, 2013  On Friday June 7, 2013 the Halton Regional Police Service will lend their support and logistical assistance in the funeral of Primary Care Flight Paramedic Chris Snowball.

 His funeral will be held at Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road, Burlington and in order to accommodate the funeral procession, the following closures will be in effect from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 

Eastbound and Westbound North Service Road from Brant Street to Kerns Road

Northbound and Southbound Kerns Road from North Service Road to Winterberry Drive

Where possible, motorists are encouraged to plan alternate routes, as traffic in the immediate area of the closures will be heavier than normal.

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Robin Hood – a leading thinker on the distribution of income.

By Ray Rivers.

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 6, 2013  Robin Hood, legend has it, stole from the rich to give to the poor, doing what we call ‘redistributing income’.  England, at the time, was run by Prince John, a greedy SOB and a very poor fiscal manager who ran up record deficits to pay for his brother’s crusading activities and his own extravagant lifestyle.  During his reign, as national growth plummeted and unemployment skyrocketed, he taxed the poor to death (literally) while allowing the rich to hoard their wealth. 

Robin Hood – a leading thinker on the distribution of income.

Robin, on the other hand, understood that income is either spent on consumption or stuffed away as savings.   He knew that the poor spent everything they earned, so every penny or half-crown they could lay their hands on was being plowed back into the economy – creating employment and domestic product.  The rich, who couldn’t possibly spend all they made, stuffed their savings into a strong box or under the mattress. Robin was often heard to say, “If you want economic growth you need to redistribute” – the Robin Hood Clause. 

Taxation, I know, sometimes feels like highway robbery.  But not all taxes are created equal – some help our economy and some hurt.  Sales taxes are regressive.  They hurt, disproportionately, the middle-income and poor and thus, the economy.  Stephen Harper understood this when, in his first term as PM, he cut two percentage points off the GST in order to grow the Canadian economy.  By contrast, income taxes are progressive – you pay more only if you make more.  Consumer demand and economic growth are largely unaffected, in comparison to sales taxes.  

Our Premier was looking in the wrong places to help Toronto, the city that won’t help itself, get real public transit.  The last thing the recovering Ontario economy needs is an increase in our regressive HST.  I guess Jim Flaherty agrees with me, although I suspect he also had other reasons for turning down the Premier’s request to raise the HST. 

So, why not look at income taxes?  Provincial rates are about the lowest they’ve been in three generations.  In the US, President Obama has long been trying to ratchet up income taxes on the wealthy.  Even the normally conservative US Federal Reserve Chair (Bernanke) has been making noises that he supports a doubling of the tax rate on the richest Americans.  Is it only a matter of time until we will need to catch up with the Americans again?

So Premier Wynne, let’s get ahead of the game.  Why not get serious about reversing the damage done to our economic potential over the years by the ruthless cuts to the most important tax system we have?  

Raise the progressive rates on those with the highest earnings; those who can best afford to pay.  Didn’t the NDP already force Dalton McGuinty to apply a token surtax on the wealthy in his last budget?  Does that then leave Andrea as the closest thing we now have to a modern-day Robin Hood?  And if so, why is she silent now?

Rivers with his latest book: The end of September.

Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat after which he decided to write and has become a  political animator. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

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Mayor’s trip to Germany part of plans to develop new opportunities for the economic growth of the city.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 5, 2013  If you haven’t seen the Mayor around town that’s because he left town – spending a couple of days in Germany on city business.  That should bring howls from those that think the politicians do nothing but spend public money and provide little in return.  They do that in Toronto.

Mayor rick Goldring delivered an address on water to an organization that develops strategies on how to better manage water around the world.  Burlington with its abundance of water will provide a significantly different perspective. 

Mayor Rick Goldring and Kyle Benham, Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation, have been hopping across Germany and dropping into Berlin, Munich and Frankfort.

The Mayor was invited to give an address to the German Water Partnership (GWP); a central coordination and contact office of the German water sector serving foreign partners and clients.

Kyle Benham, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation joined the Mayor on a three day trip to Germany to develop interest in Burlington as a Canadian base for German companies in the water business.

Burlington realized that it has a cluster of some 60 organizations that are involved in the water business and that the Canada Centre for Inland Waters was a leading research institute on water.  The thinking was that there might be some synergies that could result in some much needed economic development.

While we in Ontario seldom think about water as a commodity or a problem other parts of the world are not nearly as fortunate.  Water is a very serious problem in large parts of Africa and the Middle East.  Wars are fought over water.

The GWP is involved in water projects in Palestine, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon. They put together the umbrella organisation that is now the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association.

The GWP is seen as the leading organizational group focused on water.  They wanted a Canadian perspective and Mayor Goldrring was invited to speak and while there visit with organizations that might look on Burlington as a place to grow their North American operations.

This can be pretty heady stuff – something different for the Mayor who often finds himself bogged down in small local problems.

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., a major multi-national in the prescription drug field with a focus on products for the veterinary market has an operation on the South Service Road.  While in Germany the Mayor will be meeting with some of the head office people.

Centre for Inland Waters, a federal facility that may have the potential to spearhead some economic development.

Burlington is home to Canada Centre for Inland Waters where the National Laboratory for Environmental Testing, , a fully accredited environmental analysis capability for a wide range of organic and inorganic chemicals, including a specialization in low level metals and the analysis of organic contaminants.

In addition to laboratory research, work carried out at the National Laboratory for Environmental Testing involves engineering and technical operations, such as the planning and management of field sampling programs.

This is all pretty technical stuff but a vital part of the water business and something Burlington just might manage to build into something that could become an industrial and commercial focus for the city and perhaps put some of the “economic development” land we have for sale to use.

The decision to make the trip to Germany came out of the realization that Burlington has a number of companies that are in the water business. About 60 actually.  Economic development types call that a cluster – and clusters are very good for economic growth.

Burlington’s economic development corporation is in the middle of a re-development of its own – moving away from putting on events, retaining the companies that are doing business in Burlington and looking for newer opportunities for the city.

The change in focus bumped into a stunning surprise when the city realized that the income from Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) tax sources was going to be a negative number for 2013 – less than it was for 2012.  That was not a good sign for a city that has reached the build out point in terms of large new housing developments.  There is the Eagles Heights development in the north east and the Tremaine Road/Dundas development on the drawing boards and after that it is all infill.

Burlington does have a lot of land that is defined as “employment lands” but very little of that is shovel ready which in the minds of the economic development people means they can begin to build in a short period of time.  Some of the developers are not all that keen on seeing land used for ICI type construction when, in their minds, they can build houses which provide a significantly larger financial return.

These conflicting interests put Burlington in an awkward financial spot – we have the land for new business; the developers don’t want ICI type construction; the city faces a situation where the money needed to run the city for an aging population isn’t what it used to be; that population will need more in the way of services and the city faces a massive expense to repair the infrastructure.  The cost of getting our roads up to snuff is reported to be $18 – annually.

Pasquale (Pat) Paletta will be inducted as 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year Thursday evening at the Burlington Convention Centre

Given that kind of a scenario a Mayor might be forgiven for wanting to go to Germany and staying there.  Our Mayor is hoping that his trip to Germany will interest companies over there into coming here – and using some of that “economic development” land we have for sale.

International Harvester is in the process of getting ready to move out of the Harvester Road and Guelph Line property. Emshie Developments either has it on the market or is looking for an opportunity to get a new client into what is really industrial space on the corner of two of the busier streets in the city.  There is perhaps a better use for that land.

It will be interesting to hear what the Mayor has to say when he returns.  He will land in Toronto on Thursday and head directly to the Economic Development Corporation dinner to celebrate Pat Paletta, founder of the company that is the largest holder of economic development land in the city.

Pasquale (Pat) Paletta will be inducted as 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. Mr. Paletta is the founder of what is known today as Paletta International Corporation. He started the company in 1964 with a 10,000 sq.ft meat packing plant, today the facility is over 200,000 sq.ft. They export to over 17 countries worldwide, in addition have developed 1000s of residential units, constructed over 500,000 sq.ft of buildings, developed 100s of acres of property for retail and employment, farm thousands of acres, and expanded in to film, media and entertainment. Burlington has always been home for the Paletta Corporation.


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Some movement on $$$ BLOMHA won – pretty slow response from a major multi-national with dozens of national brands.

 

 

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 5, 2013  They didn’t say very much but they at least said something.  It would have been nice if the public relations agency that ran the Kraft Canada  Game Goes ON contest  had communicated with the various hockey clubs around the country on how the processing of the prize money was going.

This red button got clicked thousands of time by minor hockey associations across the country.

Minor hockey associations across the country used two days in April to corral every person they could find to click on that red button on a web site and rack up votes for different levels of prize money.  It was quite a public relations feat – that kind of went sour when it took so long for the prize money to actually get to the clubs.

Burlington`s minor hockey association entered the contest and ended up one of the five Ontario Regional winners.  When the prize money didn’t show up Our Burlington started asking questions.

John McNeil put together the team that took on the Games Goes on Challenge that won BLOMHA a $20,000 prize.

Here is what we got from Sherri-Lyn Brown, with the public relations company that ran the contest:  “Please see the response below from Joanna Milroy, Senior Consumer Promotions Manager, Kraft Canada.”

Kraft said:  “Thank you for your inquiry. Each of the winning communities can expect to receive their prize money in the month of June. We look forward to seeing the impact that these funds will have on the Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association.”

Each of the prize-winning clubs want to say thank you for what they won – they will probably do so a little less enthusiastically.  Pity.

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Lots of talk talk about the closing down of the Regus operation on Brant Street. No clear resolutions yet.

 

 

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 5, 2013.  There is at least some movement on the space rental situation at the Regus operation on Brant Street where tenants were advised the operation was going to be shut down at the end of August.

Grant Greenberg, a spokesperson for Regus advised that the tenants were given 90 days’ notice and that Regus was actively looking at two possible locations for a new operation in Burlington.  Greenberg said they were looking at two buildings where they hope to be able to rent a full floor.

Many suspect that information – and wonder where these buildings are with a whole floor of space available for rental.  There is some space that will come on-line in a couple of years – but no one we talked to could name a building with that much space suitable to the kind of operation Regus runs.

James Burchill, the éminence grise that hosts the Business in Burlington Meet Up at The Ivy on South Service Road once a month will be setting aside some time on Wednesday evening to allow Jackie Isada, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Ian Cameron who is with the Economic Development office in Burlington to update the community on what has taken place so far.

Regus advises that they will have a representative on hand.  Barry Weinghell will apparently be able to speak for Regus.  The Meet Up at The Ivy starts at 5 pm runs till 7pm. 

Greenberg said Burlington is a strong market for Regus and they would like to remain in the community.  He did admit that there might have been some miscommunication from the Regus operations manager.  For a short period of time no one was able to get through to a woman named Charlotte who was understood to be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Regus office on Brant Street.

Marie Copeland (Hryczynski), a mortgage broker,  has been part of the discussion around what tenants can do,  said in a communication that she was informed from one of the more established tenants at Regus, an accountant, that there may have been some financial mismanagement and as a result the landlord is not renewing the lease. “I don’t know but there may be other issues surfacing from this”.

The property, owned by Upper Canada, has experienced some difficulties recently when the movie theatre decided to go out of business.  The building also recently underwent a major re-construction of the front entrance area.

The Regional Police have a small office in the building.  There has been a solid, well established base of tenants in the building which many people find very convenient with a city parking lot at the rear of the building that is well-lit and maintained.


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Rapid police response results in the arrest of transient youth for assault of a 16 year old female.

 

 

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 5, 2013.  Halton Police have arrested a transient youth following the assault on a young girl on Sutton Drive near Dryden.

At just after 4:00 p.m. a 16-year-old girl was walking northbound on Sutton Drive near Dryden Avenue when a male approached, attempting to engage her in conversation.  The girl did not stop and continued walking when she was suddenly pushed off the sidewalk by the male.  The girl was uninjured, but an article of her clothing was ripped during the assault.

The girl went to a nearby friend’s house and immediately contacted police.

The incident generated a significant police response that resulted in the swift arrest of the male, in the area of Alexander’s Public School. 

A 17-year-old youth has been charged with Assault and held for a bail hearing.  His identity is protected under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  

Detectives are continuing their investigation into the incident and are seeking information from the community that would assist in that regard.  Anyone who may have witnessed the assault is asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 x2315, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting ‘Tip201’ with your message to 274637(crimes).

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A Canadian’s influence on the way we saw world affairs from 1936 to 1960 – subject of a talk at the library.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  June 5, 2013. There was a man named Beverly Baxter.  Those of you who recognize the name will know your Canadian history well.

Baxter wrote a column in Macleans magazine from London and gave us a perspective on foreign affairs that wasn’t available anywhere else.

Baxter wrote during and after the Second World War and brought Canada essential reportage, trenchant opinion and vivid portraits of his associates, prominent among them Winston Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook and Anthony Eden.

Baxter was born in Canada, served in WW I and stayed in the UK where he worked as a writer and then as an editor of a number of very influential newspapers.  He left the newspaper business and ran for public office and served in the British house of Commons for more than many years.  He is said to have won his seat in the 1959 British election without ever giving a speech.

A view of the way Canada outgrew its Imperial Heritage.

Neville Thompson, distinguished author and venerated scholar of modern British history, wrote a fascinating chronicle of a statesman and columnist at the heart of global political process through three decades, highly influential and closely read by Canadians everywhere.

Thomson will be at the Burlington Public Library along with the fine folks from A Different Drummer Books, partnering to bring you a significant literary event.

Baxter’s reporting and commentary gave Canadians the information they needed to form their own opinions at a time when most of our information came from the United States or Great Britain. It was Baxter who gave us those foundational tools to develop our own viewpoints.

Examining the stirring columns that appeared weekly in Maclean’s for nearly twenty-five years, Dr. Thompson charts the times, the events, the careers of the leaders and Baxter’s impact upon them in a vivid, discerning and compelling account.

Canadian thought and opinion was shaped by Baxter in a way that isn’t fully appreciated.

Thomson, in his, Canada and the End of the Imperial Dream: Beverley Baxter’s Reports from London through War and Peace, 1936-1960, should prove to be a very entertaining speaker.

Tickets are $10, available at the bookstore and at the third floor Information Desk at the Library.  To reserve seats please contact us at (905) 639 0925 or diffdrum@mac.com.gaging Ideas  Monday,  June 17  7pm

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Performing Art Centre announces four new Directors bringing the total to 13 Board members. .

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 4, 2013. The Board of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is pleased to announce the election of four Directors at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  The election returns the Board to its full complement of thirteen directors.  Joining the Board are Donald Baxter, Michael Southon, Barry Simmons and Arthur Salzer. 

Don Baxter has spent several years in Economic Development positions, including Burlington Economic Development Corporation from 2002 to 2008.   Baxter brings experience in business management positions and board governance to the board.   He is involved in the development of the Roseland Community Organization as well.

Baxter, who was executive director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation where he picked up the tag of Burlington Booster moved on to Mohawk College where he served as the executive director of corporate training and partnerships.

It was built on time and on budget; they hired an accomplished Executive Director then the wheels got loose and things didn’t run smoothly and the blame game began costing the Centre its Executive Director.

Before joining the BEDC, Baxter was a founding partner of consulting firm Economic Growth Solutions Inc., doing education, tourism, economic development strategy and downtown work for municipalities, provincial ministries, colleges and school boards and private clients. He also served as executive director of economic development for Metro Toronto.

Baxter is a registered professional planner and a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, Economic Developers Council of Ontario, Economic Development Association of Canada, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and the International Economic Development Association.

He also worked in the consulting and municipal planning fields, and was seconded to be Research Director for a Federal/Provincial Task Force on the Supply and Price of Serviced Land in Canada. He then became Commissioner of Planning and Development in a Toronto municipality responsible for planning, building and economic development activities. For 11 years, Don was Executive Director of Economic Development for Metro Toronto, including economic development responsibilities as diverse as hosting the G7 summit, establishing the GTAA, international bids, and developing the National Trade Centre. He has degrees from the University of Guelph and Queen’s University. 

Give them an Oil thigh Don and show them how it’s done

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The thieves are now on the run, working at not getting caught. Solid police work will catch them. You can help.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 4, 2013.  They are beginning to close in.  The police recovered a vehicle they believe was used by a pair of bandits that broke into a number of homes in the north Burlington and parts of Milton.

The car was stolen – of course – this luckless pair would not have owned a car – that would require an honest source of income.  The vehicle is a 2001 Buick Regal, silver in colour.

The Halton Regional Police are seeking the public’s assistance to catch these two.

Lots of them around – but did you notice one like this in North Burlington, maybe at a gas station. Occupants wearing baseball caps looking a bit on the scruffy side. It is information like this that catches thieves.

You may have seen them in the area, they are thought to have pulled in for gas or stopped at a convenience store in the south Milton area along the Derry Road corridor and in the north Burlington area along the Dundas Road corridor.  

The description of the suspects is sketchy – you may be able to add to it.

Suspect #1:

Male / White, muscular build, Mid 20’s, jogging pants and muscle shirt, dark hair with a beard (Scruffy looking)

Suspect #2:

Male / White, muscular build, Mid 20’s, jogging pants and muscle shirt, blond hair. 

Both suspects were believed to be wearing baseball hats and were between 5’9” and 6’2” in height.

The Halton Police would like to hear from any citizen who believes they may have seen the suspects or the suspect vehicle.  Anyone with information concerning these incidents is asked to contact the One District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 x 2415, or the Three District Criminal Investigations Bureau at x 2315, Crime Stoppers at 1- 800-222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).

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Trip home on Walkers Line at Fairview will be slow; Serious Multi-Vehicle Collision

 By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 4, 2013   Police report a serious multi-vehicle collision at the intersection of Walkers Line and Fairview Street.

 Vehicular traffic in and around this intersection will be severely disrupted for several hours.

Halton Regional Police are currently at the scene

Any witnesses to the collision are asked to contact the on-duty uniform Burlington Staff Sergeant at 905 825-4747 x2310.

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Burlington office set up loses the word “service”. Their tenants lose their office digs.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON. ON.  June 4, 2013.  Boy there is really something wrong with parts of the corporate world.

Regus, the office services operation on Brant Street decides to give up the Burlington operation and advises their tenants that the doors will close at the end of August.

James Burchill has succeeded in pulling together more than 1000 entrepreneurs and smaller business operators who meet monthly. The Mayor’s Chief of Staff will be talking to his group about what appears to be an office space problem for this sector.

These things happen.

Most of the tenants are small operations requiring a couple of hundred square feet – but with enough of them you have a viable business.

Regus has operation around the world so you think they would know how to shut down an operation with a minimum of damage to both their clients and their corporate image.

Afraid not.  The Mayor’s office begins making calls trying to help.  Their phone calls to Regus don’t get returned but they did answer some email.  (Isn’t it amazing how scummy companies hide behind their email addresses?)

Both the Economic Development office and the Mayor’s office ask if they can get a list of the tenants and let them know what they are trying to do.

Regus fails to co-operate.  OK – so there might be a privacy issue – but Regus, as a sound corporate operation could have offered to forward a message from the Mayor’s office.

Nice furniture – lousy service.

Nope – they don’t do business that way.   Remember that if you find yourself looking for an office somewhere.

The Mayor’s Chief of Staff will be attending the Business in Burlington Meet up Wednesday evening (5 to 7 at The Ivy on south Service Road) to give a quick update on what they are trying to do.

Small space opportunities are at a bit of a premium in Burlington – especially in the Downtown core, which is where a lot of the smaller entrepreneurial types like to be.  Opportunity here for someone.

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The gangsters moved north – but they are still out there. Be vigilant.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 4, 2013.  Yesterday five homes were entered in rural Milton as a result of day time break and enters.  All of the entries are believed to have occurred before 1:00 PM and may be linked to another break and enter in Burlington. 

Two homes were entered on the Sixth Line south of Derry Road, two more homes were entered on Bell School Line north of Derry Road and also a home on Tremaine Road south of Derry.   

A lot of country roads down there. The police will do as much as they can – neighbours might want to get out on the roads as well – keeping an eye on things.

All of the homes were unoccupied at the time of these entries.  Access was gained in a variety of ways including forced entry through front, rear and side doors as well as windows.  Unknown culprits ransacked each home taking valuables such as cash, electronics and jewellery.   

 The Halton Police are requesting residents to be extra vigilant in reporting any suspicious persons or vehicles in your area and if they observe a crime in progress to call 9-1-1.

An Our Burlington reporter was driving along Bell Line a few days ago and had paused to look at a piece of property when an HRPS cruiser was about to pass and slowed down and gave us that questioning look.  So the police are out there doing their part.

There are a lot of roads and only so much money in the gas budget.

when they catch a few of them – let us hope the judge who gets the case fully appreciates the damage, not only financial but psychological, that is done when someone returns home and finds the house has been broken into.

It takes some people a long time to get over the feeling that they are not safe.

Catch these guys – quick.

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Waiting for the cheque: Kraft Foods fails to deliver prize money to BLOMHA.

 

 

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 4, 2013.  Figuring out who they are going to offer a hockey scholarship to must be a little awkward for the people over at BLOMHA (Burlington Lions Optimists Minor Hockey Association); the prize money they won in the Kraft Foods –  The Game Goes On contest hasn’t arrived yet.  The winners were announced mid-April.

BLOMHA hasn’t even been told the cheque is in the mail.

Maybe they are waiting until the Stanley Cup winner has been decided.

Odd how a corporation the size of Kraft Foods would hire a company to run the program for them and then not follow through promptly.

Two of the three worked away at their keyboards much of the weekend to bring home some prize money for BLOMHA.  The little guy on the right is still waiting for the $20,000 cheque to arrive.

BLOMHA won $20,000 – the top prize was $100,000, and planned to use the funds to buy equipment that could be loaned to those who couldn’t afford to play the game.  Scholarships were going to be awarded for kids whose families could not afford the fees.

The BLOMHA ideas were great – a part of what makes this community what it is.

The speed at which the public relations agency (Edelman) handling the project hasn’t moved is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the hundreds of people who spent the 48 hours at their keyboards.

Wonder how the other Kraft winners feel about this?

We asked the public relations agency, Edelman, for some comment.  Nothing yet.

Kraft Foods Canada is a little difficult to get through – but we will keep trying.

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This is on the scary side for rural Burlington residents. Higher police coverage is gong to be needed and that probably isn’t in the budget.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 4, 2013 Halton Regional Police are asking residents in rural Burlington to be extra vigilant after a series of daylight home entries in the north end of the city.

Late in May several homes were entered in the rural area, north of Dundas Street.  Entries occurred on Britannia Road, Blind Line and Walkers Line near #2 Side road.

In each case the homes were unoccupied at the time of entry, suspects forced their way in and the contents of the residence were strewn about.  Jewellery and small electronics were taken.

Rural Burlington is going to need to see more of these on the back roads. Thieves are now prowling those roads and forcing their way into homes whose occupants are out for part of the day.

Police are asking residents of the rural communities to report any suspicious persons or vehicles promptly and if they observe a crime in progress to call 9-1-1.

In the suburban areas there are “eyes on the street” – nothing like that at the end of a long laneway.  Once the thieves realize there is an opportunity it won’t take them long to exploit it.

Higher and more visible coverage is the solution.  Maybe HRPS could take some of the cars that sit behind the bushes waiting to catch speeders and have them drive up and down the side roads.

Inexpensive video cameras hooked up to the internet are the safest thing residents have going for them.

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Are the basics of the Cogeco cable offering changing without full disclosure to their clients?

By Walter Byj; Correspondent

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 3, 2013.  Don’t wake sleeping dogs; you heard that one.

Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs is an old marketing maxim.

 These were some of the thoughts that came to mind after reading a recent letter I got from Cogeco, my cable TV provider.   I was being advised that as a part of Cogeco improving my TV package, I would no longer receive the American time shift stations, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and PBS. They would now be available as part of the Time Shifting Theme Pack, which I could add at an additional cost. 

Time shift refers to being able to watch the stations in a different time zone. Currently Cogeco uses Seattle for the time shift channels.  As Seattle is three hours difference, a show that we watch here at 8:00 pm EST  we could watch again at 11pm our time or 8:00 pm Seattle time. That way if you miss a show, you can catch it 3 hours later.

If you use PVR,  you can copy it for later viewing. 

Was this a hidden price increase?  Or do I receive less for the same price?  Or maybe I was overreacting.  I decided to get the opinions of other Cogeco subscribers and have a more complete picture.

For some – cutting the cable is seen as an option. Are there real options to the sky-rocketing prices for communications services?

Matthew and his wife were reviewing their current package to determine if they were getting value for their dollar. Considering that they were watching less TV and subscribed to Netflix, they decided to cut back on their current selection of channels.  Janet found they were reaching their cable cost limits and would be reviewing their current package.

Vic in Grimsby said he and his brother-in-law were quite upset with this change. He utilized the time shift station often and now they would be gone.  He asked “if they are going to take away five stations from me, why don’t they give me five in their place that I would watch”. 

It was beginning to sound like a un-popular move.  Surely Cogeco has some strong reason for this change.

After a few phone calls, I was finally put in touch with a spokesperson from the corporate head office in Montreal.  It was explained to me that they did receive calls from customers stating that they did not want the above listed channels. Really.

Does this mean that when we have a channel and want to maintain it that we have to call with our approval?  Or does it mean that the people who called were hoping for other channels in lieu of the time shift channels?  Cogeco takes great pride in their customer service and the representative advised that people should call the customer service department and express their feelings. Apparently some customers are already calling in regard to the time shift channels being removed and this is an issue that Cogeco is now reviewing.

This does not mean that the time shift channels will remain, it only means that if enough anger is expressed, then perhaps they will be left untouched. The onus is on you.   With many customers on preauthorized payments and many companies not sending out monthly bills, we tend to lose touch with what we are paying today versus a year ago. 

When Vic called to express his disappointment over potentially losing the time shift channels, the customer service agent was able to offer him a somewhat satisfactory solution.  However, during the conversation, it was discovered that he was paying a rental fee for a digital box that he had bought when he purchased the TV. Needless to say, that fee is no longer being applied and a credit is forthcoming. Have you reviewed your bill recently?

There was a time when TV signals were free.  All you needed was an antenna on your roof or at the side of your house.  True, the channels were limited, but life was still good. Will the consistent rising cost of internet, phone and cable result in people looking for alternatives?

There are two HD antennas on my street. Is this a trend or isolated to just a few?

And there is talk of YouTube or somebody like that setting up a service that would let me pay for the shows I want.  No bundles – I just go to the web site and key in what I want – and that’s what I get.

Has cable TV reached its best before date?

The discontinuation of the American time shift stations is due to take place on June 18th.  That date was not set out in the letter they sent.

If you currently get those channels and will not miss them or are willing to pay more to retain them, then you need not do anything.  If, however, you are upset with their removal, then call Cogeco and let them know what you think.

They do listen.

 

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Whoa, that wasn’t the deal ? The pier is part of the park and the park doesn’t open and close.

 

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 3, 2013  It was while taking a picture of the sign the city is putting up down on the pier setting out all the things that you can and can’t do – mostly common sense stuff.

When we cropped the picture and went to put it in our photo library we noticed the line that said “Park is closed from 11 p. m. to 7 a.m.”  When did that happen?  Who made that decision?  Is someone kidding?

Ain’t that the darnedest thing you ever read – closing a park that doesn’t have a gate on it.

During a meeting this morning with Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward she said that the hours were news to her and that “well we will just have to do something about that won’t we?”

Halton police know nothing of special hours for the park – and they don’t have any special plans for policing the pier either.

While a little dated – taken May 29th – this picture shows what the entrance to the pier is going to look like. No place in this picture for any gates – so why put up a sign saying the pier is closed?

So who is going to keep people out – there are no gates.  Sounds like a dumb idea to me.

This is one of those slower weeks.  A couple of Council members are in Vancouver at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention where they are leaning on the federal government to get more funding for the infrastructure work that has to be done on our roads  and the Mayor is preparing for his short trip to Germany where he and the Economic Development people are making a presentation to an organization involved in water and how we use it.

There is a Council meeting next Monday – maybe we will learn more about the hours of operation then.

And it is said we just might learn something about the legal problems with the pier as well.

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