Friday, April 22, 2011

Bring Back the Don on the Chopping Block

OK folks, the fix was in. Despite 80 emails and 42 (28) deputants, the Executive Committee decided to pass the item to axe the advisory committees without any changes or debate. I am particularly disgusted by the manner in which this meeting was run. Of the 12 items up for discussion, the item on the advisory committees was the one that drew the most attention from the public. Yet the executive decided to handle all 11 other items before tackling this one. This meant that all the deputants were left waiting from 9:30 AM to nearly 5:00 PM before they were allowed to speak. 14 of the speakers did not come back after the lunch break but 28 soldiered on waiting for their chance to speak.

When they did speak, few questions were asked. From 5:00 PM to 9:20 PM when they moved the item the most discussion centred on who would stay in the room to maintain quorum (5 councillors) while other members went off to do something else. Only one councillor, Jaye Robinson, chose to discuss the item. She tried to move an amendment to allow for more discussion but this was voted down 6-4 (amazingly, 3 councillors sided with her against the mayor).

I might have been OK with this except that no one in the city consulted with us about whether the Task Force had finished its mandate. It was all done in secret with no discussion.

So now our only alternative for recourse is to hope for a reversal at city council on May 17. Some recent goings on at council gives us at least a faint hope that opponents of the mayor will must enough backing to save us. If this matters to you, write or contact your local councillor and let them know how you feel about this.

More on this later.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

"The Camp" Cleaned Up

The Camp, summer 2010

Same view, Spring 2011

Last fall I reported that the city was going in to cleanup the biking areas known as Dirt Jumps and The Camp. Both areas are in the vicinity of Crothers Woods. Originally I thought that both areas would be remediated but apparently the city was just interested in cleaning up the camp, likely due to the multitude of wooden structures. DJs on the other hand is mostly earth and sand built mounds so this was left untouched. The Camp was cleaned up. All the wooden structures were removed. There was only a few bits and pieces left behind.

I can't say that I am disappointed but there really is no alternative outlet for the kids who were using this site. What'll happen now is that the builders will just find some other secluded ravine and start the building process all over again. Until the city creates a comparable facility our natural area ravines will be the unfortunate recipients of these types of places.

Ramp jump perched at top of slope

Ramp jump location now. You can just make out four stumps of posts where they were sawed off.

Back at it

Chester Springs Marsh in early spring

After four months spent at school I am thankful that it's over and will be getting out into the valley again. I went on a short tour yesterday and noticed a few things. Everything is still pretty much drab browns and greys but there are signs of life. Here's a shot of Chester Springs Marsh looking north to the Bloor Viaduct.