Monthly Archives: December 2009

John Lyle’s MacLean House demo stopped

Province halts alterations of 100-year old home
City explores heritage criteria for 7 Austin Terrace
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 23.)

President of Casa Loma Residents Association Robert Levy and Dyan Kirshenbaum cheered the provincial stop work order. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Is the MacLean House at 7 Austin Terrace worth saving?
The province has bought the city 60 days to find out.
Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll issued a stop work order Dec. 21, halting the owner from continuing to destroy possible heritage features of the 100-year-old mansion near Casa Loma.
The new owner, a numbered company, applied to the city for a demolition permit to tear down the house and build a townhouse development.
But residents who want to see the home designated a heritage property will have nothing of it.
“Residents said we should look at it from a heritage standpoint,” Councillor Joe Mihevc said. “That was communicated to the developer who started work on (removing elements of the home).”
Some damage had already been done before the stop work order was issued.

Continue reading

What to recycle, trash in Toronto

City launching new online tool to answer questions
Type in your item and find out what goes in blue bin, organics and garbage
By Kris Scheuer

Blue BinGarbage BinGreen Bin

I write about garbage, recycling and organics. A lot.
I have dug through rotting trash for stories to find out why people in Toronto still put so much garbage at the curb. And I am still confused at times about what can be recycled and what has to be trashed.
To make the whole mess simpler, the city has launched a new web search tool. See it for yourself.
Let’s pick five items as examples: cooking oil, human hair, TV, dental floss and plastic bags. Continue reading

E-Health at Toronto East General

East York hospital launches electronic health records
Patient records go digital, phasing out handwritten charts
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 10)

Dr. Pieter Jugovic uses the new electronic patient record software on a mobile hospital computer. Photo courtesy of Toronto East General Hospital.

Deciphering illegible handwriting will be all but eliminated at Toronto East General Hospital thanks to a new electronic health record system.
This is the main benefit of having over 80 percent of all health records and medicine orders available electronically rather than handwritten, say TEGH staff.
“No more bad doctor handwriting,” Dr. Pieter Jugovic tells the Town Crier during a demonstration of two new programs, Computerized Provider Order Entry and Electronic Medication Administration Record. Continue reading

Davisville school redevelopment process promise

By Kris Scheuer
(See Jan. 13 UPDATE
.)
I wrote a detailed story on the possible redevelopment and Accommodation Review Committee process at Davisville Public School Dec. 23.
I am working on an update that will be printed in the Town Crier newspaper on Tues. Jan 13 including some new interviews and re-interviews with key players TDSB’s Sheila Penny, trustee Josh Matlow and councillor Michael Walker.
So I have removed my original story until I write my update and it is edited.
Want the
update? Click here for the story.

Who will replace Kyle Rae?

Enza Anderson, El-Farouk Khaki, Susan Gapka possibilities
Early election contenders, others expected as Kyle Rae leaves seat for grabs
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Dec. 21 for Town Crier. Read UPDATE.)

Enza Anderson plans to run for council in Toronto Centre Ward 27. The shovel symbolizes her intention to clean up city hall.

Candidates are already lining up at the gates to replace outgoing councillor Kyle Rae.
Rae announced he won’t seek re-election in 2010. With no incumbent, the contest for Toronto Centre-Rosedale is wide open.
Here’s an early sneak peek at how the race is shaping up thus far:
Enza Anderson is throwing her hat in the ring.. “I want to show people Enza Anderson is dead serious about making change.”
The high profile transgendered local resident has run twice before in 2000 for mayor against Mel Lastman and against Rae in 2003. Continue reading

Kyle Rae quits city politics

The veteran will not seek re-election in 2010
His take on the voters, his colleagues and the city
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Dec. 21 for Town Crier.)

Toronto Centre-Rosedale Councillor Kyle Rae will miss consulting with constituents, but not the narrow mindedness of some colleagues at city hall.
The veteran politician will finish his 19th year on council next year and then call it quits, he announced in mid-December.
“I love the public meetings,” he tells the Town Crier Dec. 14.
Yet he’s often referred to the outrageous demands or unrealistic expectations of some voters who want to halt change.
“That’s the most hilarious part. That’s the fun part,” says Rae, who turns 55 in January. “A lot of my constituents want the status quo also, but that’s an unacceptable perspective to take in the downtown core.” Continue reading

Share your Toronto stories

Video, maps and interactive ways to know T.O
New online stories to launch in January
By Kris Scheuer
(For my story on this website, click HERE.)

I got an email from Adil Dhalla who is launching http://mycitylives.com. There’s nothing to see yet until the end of January 2010 when it kicks off.
I don’t know Adil, so can’t vouch for the project at all but it’s sounds interesting and so am happy to promote it as a way for people to get to know my beloved city as well as tell their own tales.
It’s an online platform for people to share video stories about Toronto that are linked to an interactive map.
Adil describes it as “Youtube meets Google Maps”.
Can’t wait to see it in action…

Toronto’s next mayor

Who will you vote for when there may be over 40 candidates?
Major players, fringe candidates, unknown names, up-and comers
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated Feb. 5. Frequent updates here.)

Mayor David Miller

Mayor David Miller not seeking re-election in 2010. Who should be the next to run the city?

Who will be the city’s next mayor? As of Feb. 5, two dozen candidates have signed up.
I have started the ball rolling with some who have expressed interest.
Let me know if there are others who you see running or think should run for the city’s top political job.
As well in my eight years writing about politics, I’d say there are two categories of candidates, well maybe four. I will let you decide where you think the mayoralty candidates belong in these categories…
But first  the contenders.
The serious and well known so called “front runners”. These are higher profile candidates.
So far MPP George Smitherman, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, and Liberal strategist and fundraiser Rocco Rossi, Councillor Joe Pantalone, Councillor Adam Giambrone have announced they will all run for mayor.
Others who were considering and would have been frontrunner but decided against it are Conservative leader John Tory, current city councillors Adam Vaughan and Shelley Carroll.

Here are a couple of the lesser known people planning to run for mayor…
JP Pampena is running. So what does he stand for? Well check out his site for the full scoop. But here are two of his ideas: set up a Public Expense Registry so we can keep track of how city hall spends our money and try to reduce Toronto’s land transfer tax for first time buyers. It’s my recollection first time buyers are exempt already from this tax.
John Letonja wrote me at the end of September to say he’s running for mayor and he is registered.

Now my perspective on the different categories of candidates. This is an observation having interviewed dozens and dozens of candidates in elections at all levels of government in the past seven years. Continue reading

Toronto mayor and council candidates

Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone has expressed interest in running for the top job in 2010.


By Kris Scheuer
(For update, click here.)

For political junkies, like me, elections are a fun time to be a journalist.
There’s change, drama, personality clashes, issues debated, suspense, scandals, disappointment, joy, surprise upsets, unpredictability…
Okay maybe it’s just me, but I know I am not the only one who gets excited by politics and electi
Someone back me up here and write to tell what you think.

So last night, I was at a party with a bunch of left-leaning strategists, politicians, journalists and lobbyists. I am not a card carrying member of any political party and never have been. But it so happened this evening’s party was packed with NDPers.
As I was not working this past weekend,yesterday was my first chance to officially confirm what’s been reported on Friday that Councillor Kyle Rae is out of the game. He won’t run in Toronto Centre-Rosedale in the 2010 municipal race.
I interviewed him today, so click here for a teaser of the full interview I am writing for the Town Crier and will post on my site this Thursday.
But that’s not the only story.
Today Liberal fundraiser and strategist Rocco Rossi made it official that he, along with MPP George Smitherman and councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, is running to be Toronto’s next mayor.
But that’s not all. On a range of rumour all the way to sure bet – others are set to announce their mayoralty hopes too including current city councillors: former journalist Adam Vaughan, Budget Chief Shelley Carroll, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone and TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

Continue reading

Kyle Rae won’t seek re-election

Veteran councillor calls it quits in 2010
His seat will be wide open for next year’s election
By Kris Scheuer

Councillor Kyle Rae

Councillor Kyle Rae is bowing out in 2010. The veteran politician was first elected in 1991.

I interviewed Kyle Rae Dec. 14 and he is definitely not running next year.
He told me there’s two main reasons for his decision: lack of financial leadership from the province and federal government in working with the city and the lack of vision of some of his colleagues on council.
He seems to fondly enjoy his work in public service, so I think he may continue do some public service in some form.
He’s yet to decide what to do next.
By this time next year, there will be a new councillor in Toronto-Centre Rosedale Ward 27.
There are a few names floating about. Continue reading