Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Transit stuff - "new" GM for the TTC

I've been read the riot act - specifically that I should spend more time on my own writing and less posting on other people's web sites.

In recent transit news, the TTC have hired 'interim' Chief General Manager Gary Webster as 'permanent' CGM. What's it been - a year since Ric DuCharme had enough of being Howard Moscoe's lapdog. My alma mater was able to find a new president in roughly half that time.

My guess is that no-one with any talent from outside applied for the job. We can thank Moscoe for this state of affairs - i.e. overpoliticization scaring away top professionals. This is a Toronto problem in general. The TDSB had to promote the handiest warm body from within to replace Dave Reid as education director.

I'm not sure of Mr. Webster's qualifications. He's been at the TTC for a long time. I'd hate to think that he's agreed to the job as a nice quiet place (well paid of course) to wait until retirement. We don't need a another lap dog at the TTC.

Mind you Adam Giambrone is a noticeable improvement over Moscoe - then again Attila the Hun would have been an improvement.


The collective 'we' (i.e. the citizens of Toronto) are getting what we asked for - a government intent on taxing the city to death instead of making a modicum of effort to control expenses. We're being bled to death to fund endless varieties of sham schemes.

Actually, it's worse than most anyone can imagine. A municipal land transfer tax will take 1 - 2% of the value of homes and businesses. That's just for starters. Since city spending is growing 8% a year - what are these taxes going to be in a couple of years? Hold onto your horses (houses) - we could be in for a long term bear market in Toronto real-estate. One can be bullish on real estate in Peel and York.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On the transit front

The Ontario liberals made a big splash with the election promise for $12 billion or so of transit capital spending over the next 12 years. This is smart packaging politically. The Conservative platform that calls for all gas tax $$$ to be used for transportation (instead of other pet causes) would deliver as much - but Mr. Tory didn't list the projects in as much detail.

It's also smart because although the legislature won't sit before the election, this accouncement is not within the official campaign limits. The election laws should be changed to prevent a party from using the front of being 'in power' and using as election PR.

Council flip flop

I'm having to adjust to borrowing a computer for a few days. I haven't posted here much as recent - but I will once the techies fix my machine. (As I've learned - you need to be careful when borrowing a computer!!)

The news from yesterday was Council's unanimous vote for keeping the yellow ribbons on our city vehicles. Kudos to Council.

hmm - but the vote wasn't truly unanimous - some councillors were not present. The Sun has a great picture of ultra-left Councillor Pam McConnell trying trying to sneak out without being noticed - so she didn't have to vote. It's scary that this woman was once the head of the police oversight board!!! Who is the furthest left person on council - Paula Fletcher or McConnell? Either way, with such people in positions of power, no wonder the city is going down the tubes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

TTC - Downtime in downtown

Well - the vaunted Spadina LRT is out of service again.

TTC Notice re: 509 510 service

This is barely a news event anymore. Riders will be taking buses from Union Station and then transferring for trips north. 'Transit City'? - no - 'Transfer City' more likely.

Monday, June 04, 2007

What is that pile of earth?

Last year, bulldozers and other heavy equipment were busy pushing mounds of earth around a site on the NW corner of Lakeshore and Coxwell. The exact nature of the exercise was a mystery to most until the municipal election approached. At that point a sign appeared explaining that the City was building a skateboard park.

Well - half the sign was about the skateboard park - but the main purpose seems to have been to provide free campaign publicity for the local Trotskyite councillor Paula Fletcher, and the Beaches' own Sandra Bussin. (No one is sure what Ms. Bussin thinks - other than her writing ultra-sycophantic columns praising Mayor David Miller.)

Well, now that the election is over - and Fletcher and Bussin aren't in election mode - guess what! Construction has stopped. The piles of earth are still there. The status is even a mystery to the local group that had been fundraising to build the park - The Southeast Toronto Skateboard Association.

On one page of the STSA's website we read:

STSA fundraising for the permanent skatepark at Ashbridge's Bay has been put on hold.
Funding for the first phase of construction has been secured from the City, and as a result they have taken over the management of the construction of the park.

On another, the bad news:

Ashbridges Bay Skatepark

While we wait and wait and wait, the Stan Wadlow skatepark park has been completed and the Ellesmere park has been started. What's up with that?

The City has given us no indication of the construction schedule. Send Councillor Sandra Bussin an email and ask her what is going on -

Poor naive STSA, you've been used as an election prop.