Daily Archives: August 6, 2009

Seniors paint mural under bridge

Barbara Bunting makes sure plan for the mural she designed is spot on. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Retired art teacher helps brighten up community a second time
By Kris Scheuer 
(Written July 29 for Town Crier.)

For senior Barbara Bunting life, is a blank canvas begging for a splash of colour.
The 89-year-old local resident is leading the charge to paint murals at a pedestrian bridge at Christie and Dupont. And this is not the first time the retired art teacher has coordinated efforts to beautify the area.
Four years ago, about 47 residents, mostly seniors plus some other volunteers and high school students, spent four months painting a sunflower mural that Bunting designed. She and other residents from Christie Gardens are in the process of redoing the sunny image a second time.
The mural was recently destroyed due to the city’s reconstruction of the deteriorating concrete along the pedestrian bridge, said Councillor Joe Mihevc.
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How to fund democracy in Toronto

Should corporations and unions contribute cash to political campaigns?
Council considers banning this kind of donation in city elections
(Originally published Jan 16/09 for the Town Crier.)

I first wrote this  column six months ago, but I think it is even more timely now for three reasons.
Firstly, the city just came through a 39-day strike by two union locals 416 and 79 where there were all kinds of accusations that Mayor David Miller is too cosy with unions. (By the way, Miller took zero corporate or union cash contributions in the last election). This leads to the second reason why this opinion piece is relevant now, the next Toronto election is in 2010 and you can bet politicians’ connections to unions will be a very hot topic. And lastly, the city will be revisiting the issue of banning corporate and union donations in the fall and could make a decision BEFORE next year’s election. So onto my original column…

Getting elected isn’t cheap. Some of our midtown councillors spent over $60,000 a piece and Mayor David Miller almost $1.2 million on the latest campaign.
So it begs the question who is footing the bill? City council is wrestling, yet again, with a plan to ban corporate and union campaign contributions. Continue reading