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Several months ago Host Co. of the Pan Am Games gave the Hamilton Tiger Cats $100 million to build a new stadium provided Hamilton kicked in another $50 million. The Pan Am $100 million was supposed to go towards a Pan Am Athletics Stadium. This deal was brokered by the newly minted Mayor Bratina. There will be no athletics in the Ti Cats Stadium. The monies supplied by Hamilton helped drain its Future Fund. A private entertainment complex does not meet any of the Future Fund’s criteria. It was hard to understand how a both sources of cash for the Ti Cat stadium came from sources that should not to go towards such a project. A few months later, without consulting the elected council,  Mayor Bratina announced that Hamilton will pursue all day GO Service instead of LRT, and disbanded the LRT workgroup.  This allowed our Premiere to state the following:

“That was the No. 1 ask of the city,” McGuinty said. “We’ve had some important conversations with the mayor, and this is their priority. Which made it our priority. Over time, we can enter into other discussions about things like the LRT.” Link

So now instead of fulfilling a $1000 million promise of paying Hamilton’s rapid transit bill, Hamilton will instead get $7 million in funding for GO Train service. It gave the provincial government an easy out from a billion dollar promise to Hamilton. Metrolinx recommended the Hamilton LRT, earmarked $850 million for it, and is presently shovel in ground for $9500 million in rapid transit development in Toronto.

Would a mayor actually betray his own city so completely just to get his beloved Tiger Cats a stadium? I don’t know but he used to work for the Tiger Cats. I  still don’t know, but  he is publicly endorsing the provincial candidates who’s butts he saved…. Link

Dot You Ess

As soon as the .US domain suffix came available my brother and I started reserving domain names. Basically we reserved anything that made us (not .us) laugh. I received the below email just moments ago. Clearly it is from an agent of Satan.

Hello, my name is Jonathan Waltz from Flex Media Domains.
satansaves.us will be available for purchase in a few days.
Since you own satansave.us, I thought you might be interested in satansaves.us.
It is recommended to eliminate any confusion to satansave.us, to own both the singular/plural versions of the domain.

Your purchase will be a one time fee only... Etc. Etc.

The link sends one to a site where you can ‘bid’ on the domain name satansaves.us. If I had chosen to bid I would have bid  $666. This would be a winning bid for certain. I  perused my list of 1and1.com domains several other domains are waiting for Flex Media to pluralize them:

Brother Andre The Giant Canonized

Finally the great man is being recognized by the Catholic Church! It is wonderful to hear that someone who has contributed to society as much as this caring individual, and everyone’s favorite giant. He charmed us all with his role as Fezzik in the Princess Bride and miraculously held the WWF Champion belt in the same year that he died.

Congratulations Brother Andre!

Let’s Drage the Stadium Thing On and On and On?

I was very excited when Hamilton was announced as the venue for the Athletics (track and field) portion of the Pan American Games. Many years ago I represented Canada at the Pan Am Juniors in Barquisimeto Venezuela. I recently volunteered for the entire month of February at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver  (most of the pictures in the right column are from that trip). I was amazed that Hamilton had scored something so near and dear to my heart. I began taking Spanish lessons right away, with the goal  of volunteering for Pan Am athletics in 2015.

The stadium was always supposed to be in the west harbour. It was written in the Toronto Pan Am  bid book well before 2010. The “location beside the railway tracks” has been publicly labelled as stadium territory a long ways back. In a tragic turn of events the stadium location became bogged down in local politics and Hamilton missed the deadline set by the Toronto (official host city), and lost the crown jewel of the Pan Am games. It is unimaginable. It now appears that the stadium itself is in jeopardy as the Feds and Queen’s park will not fund a tenant-less stadium. The Tiger Cats have made it clear that they will not be going to a stadium in the west harbour. It makes sense because cats don’t really like water. City council promptly voted for the harbour site, and now the Ti Cats are planning to leave Hamilton. The stadium plan will leave with them.

Conflict Of Interest

I will declare that I have a potential conflict of interest here. My family owns three properties on Dundurn street within walking distance of the my proposed stadium. One of those properties is The Staircase Cafe Theatre. The Tiger Cats play a sport called Canadian Football. A few Canadians watch this sport, but no one plays it recreationally. The ten home games each season will make no difference to The Staircase.  If we were to fill The Staircase every Ti Cat game, that would be a mere ten times per year. There are 355 other days of the year to lose money.

Present Situation

The city has wanted to put a stadium where the rail yard is for a long time. Those hopes were dashed when CN sold the yards to someone other than the city. So now the city has to make do with a stadium  beside the railway tracks for a long time.  The cities choice is a  40 acre parcel of land close to the harbour, but it is really beside a busy train yard. Resident’s private homes will need to be expropriated. Commercial property will need to be purchased. Some dirty land will be reclaimed.  The closest proposed light rail stop may be as far as one kilometer away. Buses can go there for sure. Go transit cannot have a stop at this location. There is NO parking. The benefits and drawbacks have been discussed ad nauseum.   The key point is that the Tiger Cats won’t go there, and therefore higher levels of government will not  fund this location.

Proposed stadium 40 acres.

The only potential tenant for the proposed stadium plays in the  80 year old Ivor Wynne Stadium. Ivor Wynne is quite ironically a Commonwealth games legacy stadium. Ivor Wynne  is on the bus route and proposed light rail line,  has NO parking, and is no where near a  GO transit line.  The only tenant is losing money hand over fist at this location (or is it because no one plays or watches Canadian Football?). The city funds this location to the tune of at least $120000 per Tiger Cats game. Meow.

Ivor Wynne 15 acres (stadium and practise field).

 

Modest Proposal

Let’s put the stadium on Kay Drage Park. This park is a parcel of land laying between the 403 Highway and the rail way tracks. Kay Drage Park hosts a wooded lot for transients at one end and some soccer fields (more than a million Canadians play soccer regularly) at the other end. Move the sports fields to the proposed West Harbour Stadium location. There is about  30 acres available to work with. The parcel of land is long and somewhat narrow. It just depends whether you like it long and narrow or short and wide.  Design it to look  like the nearby Gothic basilica and call it The Cathedral. Here are some of the perks:

  • No land needs to be expropriated.
  • No land needs to be purchased.
  • Quick walk from proposed rapid transit.
  • GO Train stop right beside the stadium is possible.
  • Build over rail tracks to increase space and improve local living conditions.
  • It is near many bus routes.
  • Thousands of parking spaces.
  • 403 highway exposure.
  • 403 highway access is possible.
Proposed stadia Kay Drage Park (yellow) Railway (red).
Stadium, some parking GO station fit here (20 acres)
Additional 1000 parking spots here (9 acres).

This will be a true legacy stadium. With a GO station and plenty of parking the location will be used every day of the year, instead a of a mere ten times per year by an arcane sports franchise that may not survive the rise of the MLS.

P.S. I am not a Bob Young basher at all. I am a happy Linux user and am forever grateful for what Mr. Young and Red Hat Linux have done for the open source community.

McCartney to the Moon

The last concert I went to see was TMBG at CBGBs in NYC, and that was more than 15 years ago. My dear friend Anne is a screaming Beatles fan, and when she found out that Sir Paul was playing mostly Beatles songs at the ACC she has to go. So Jamie, Anne and I made it into to TO via car and GO. Got lost looking for the arena (how do you hide an arena?). And saw a really fun and possibly sincere concert from an aging music icon. I was really impressed by Sir Paul’s charisma and slightly Parkinsonian dance moves. We had backstage seats which were really fun because I got to watch all the roadies running around.

I am not as passionate about music as others. So normally I would NOT  have gone to such a  concert. Something that played a role in me going to see Sir Paul was a chance meeting a fellow named Doug. He showed up at The Staircase the morning of the concert. At this point I had not decided whether to go or not. Doug had travelled from London ON  on a pilgrimage of sorts. He had seen a lovely video by Jacob Moon that was shot on the roof of The Staircase last year. Doug wanted to stand on the roof where the video was shot because he had found the video and song so compelling. Jamie and I took him up to the highest roof where he looked out over west Hamilton and talked about how the song had affected him. So I went to see Sir Paul on a whim, thanks to Anne and Doug, and had an amazing experience.

Freedom For Your Cell Phones

Shockingly our governing humans are agitating to make a law that will actually benefit common folk. There is a move a foot to force all cell phone companies in Canada to unlock the cell phone you paid for if you choose to leave the company. Rogers is the worst offender of this egregious  form of coercion. Unlocking cell phones is one of the most important tools that Canadians have to create some level of competition between the non-competitive cellular giants. You can get more info here. I will post more when I find out more. Here is more.

Freedom For Cell Phones