David MacDonald at Leaside United Church

We’re notified in mail from Geoff Kettel that the Rev. David MacDonald will speak at Leaside United Church this Sunday, January 22, 2012.  Mr. MacDonald will preach during Sunday Service at 10.30 am followed by a discussion at a “Justice Cafe” that will begin shortly after the service. Everyone is welcome. Mr. MacDonald has had an interesting political career as a member of the Progressive Ccponservative Party.  He was first elected to the Commons in 1965 and represented ridings in Prince Edward Island from 1965-1980, and also served in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Joe Clark. He later represented the riding of Toronto Centre Rosedale in the early 1980s. He was deeply involved with African famine issues in the 1980s and since 1998 he has been the United Church of Canada’s Special Advisor on Residential Schools.

Budget approved despite unruly rally outside

There were a number of arrests at City Hall Tuesday night as a rally protesting the Toronto’s 2012 budget got out of control. See the video from City News Channel here. Inside, Council passed the budget in relative good order. It backed off on some its planned cutbacks. Some of the rally protesters were trying to get into the building as the debate went on inside. It is reported that at least five people were arrested.  Toronto EMS said two people were treated for exposure to pepper spray.  

Oh Timothy, what a mess

Did you hear the one about the free coffee promotion? All you had to do to get four 24-pack boxes of single serve coffee was to go on Timothy’s Facebook site and say you liked Timothy.  It sounds like trouble brewing for Timothy doesn’t it’? Even those who participated were skeptical. “4 boxes? really! I hope this isn’t too good to be true…one fan wrote. But it was. Demand far exceeded supply. Worse, Timothy sent mail to its fans saying they would get their coffee. Today the coffee retailer has had to renege on that and apologize.

Flower Nook blooming on Brentcliffe

Daughter and Mother owners Jennifer and Margaret have housed The Flower Nook in temporary quarters at the corner of Wicksteed Ave. and Brentcliffe Rd. This follows the fire on South Bayview October 14, 2011. It caused serious smoke damage to their shop. They soon realized that the insurance companies move super slowly. The fire originated in  Leaside Cleaners next door to the Flower Nook. Business seems brisk at the temporary location where the owners have taken a six month lease. Anyone wishing to contact the shop should go to the Flower Nook site.  

COBS will re-open tomorrow

COBS the bakery is closed for a week to replace flooring in the bread making area at the back of the store. COBS on South Bayview will re-open for business Monday, January 23, 2012

Reckless stunt caused sinking: Italian media

A Facebook post just minutes before the Costa Concordia hit rocks suggests the ship was sailing precariously close to land as part of a stunt by the captain. The cruise liner’s head waiter is from the Island of Giglio and his sister, Patrizia Tievoli, posted on Facebook moments before the accident: “In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally gets to have a holiday on landing in Savona.” According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, Captain Francesco Schettino sailed the ship dangerously close so head waiter Antonello Tievolli could wave to his family. Corriere della Sera reported Tievoli did not request the sail-by but is said to be “tormented by a sense of guilt” nonetheless. The paper said Giuseppe Tievoli, the waiter’s father said: “Antonello called me earlier to say the ship would be passing by the island at around 9.30 and they would come and give us a whistle to say hello. It was something they often did “The ship obviously came too close. I don’t know if Antonello asked the captain to come near, but the responsibility is always and only the captain’s. “It was only coincidence my son was on board. He was supposed to have disembarked at Savona (on a cruise the week before), but the person who was supposed to replace him wasn’t well, so he had to stay on board.” Schettino allegedly sailed close to the island as a regular stunt but this time it has resulted in the loss of 6 lives so far. Twenty-nine people remain unaccounted for.

Tim Hortons adds gigantic 24 oz cup

Tim Hortons is growing the size of its paper cups at the top end. A NEW extra large cup will now tempt Tim fans who really want to float in their java. This top end cup will carry 24 ounces.  If you’re a Old extra large drinker and you want to stay that way, you’ll have to order a Large. The company has provided a picture-easy lineup above. But Tim’s will probably get a windfall from those who inadvertently order their old size by mistake and find they have to pay a few cents more.  

Leadale Ave. cul de sac draws traffic

Residents of Leadale Avenue have complained for some time about the barking and parking that goes  along with Sandy Bruce Park. That’s the large park that sits between the end of the Leadale  cul de sac and Moore Ave. Sandy Bruce is a designated off the leash dog park. Trouble is, the hours of business seem to be 24 hours a day. That means the happy canines running free bark until whenever. Owners who park on the cul de sac street have, according to one resident, learned to be a little more considerate when parking. They don’t block driveways anymore. Above top is the view north from the end of the quiet street. The park (seen lower left) is a great place for dogs. The park is also accessible at its south end from Moore Ave (lower right) but there is little parking there. It would be possible to park in the Loblaws lot and walk across the street, but that apparently not the way of choice.

Ship sinking is likely to hit the entire industry

The sinking of the Costa Concordia has sent a wave of apprehension across the cruise world. The effect is world wide as tourist industry officials in Florida brace up for mass cancellations. The Italian cruise line Costa is owned by Florida based Carnival.  It is said to be the Miami area’s eighth largest employer. Veterans of the cruise line industry can’t remember an accident more dramatic than the one that captivated the world’s attention this weekend. Some are comparing the potential chill on business to the sudden drop of business after September 11, 2001. 

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What we owe Agnes Macphail

Agnes Macphail was a committed public servant who was most notable for being the first woman Member of Parliament. She was elected under various progressive banners and served in the Commons from 1921 to 1940.  For a time she lived at 2 Dongeall Dr.  This is a duplex which is also known as 720 Millwood. In 1943 Ms Macphail was elected to the Ontario Legislature for the riding of York East. Thus she has more than a passing connection with the Leaside neighborhood, which was part of York East. The movement to give heritage status to the home at 2 Donegall has been widely supported by many local people. It is a well-intentioned effort to remember this feisty politician.  A different view, however, would be that Agnes Macphail would be remembered more appropriately by the naming of a park or street in her honour. The designation of heritage status to a residence is carefully considered by City Council and correctly so.  Leaside is an established neighborhood but the designation of heritage status to a residence introduces a static condition to a property.  We think it would be better to honour Macphail in a way that is easier and more public.      

The glorious triumph of managing our money

You don’t have to like Rob Ford to get it.  Now writer Michael Gee is making the same point in the Globe and Mail.  Gee concludes that Mayor Ford is correct to resist using the $154 million budget surplus to feed Toronto’s insatiable appetite for cash. And he has suggested what so many citizens know in their hearts to be true.  The City of Toronto has been mismanaged for decades. There may be plenty wrong with Rob Ford. But in the end, he is the first Mayor of Toronto in a long time who knows how to count.