Monthly Archives: March 2010

Chris Sellors St. Paul’s candidate

Sellors a candidate to replace retiring by Coun. Walker
Walker endorses his former assistant  Sellors for Ward 22
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 25)

Chris Sellors announced his candidacy March 11. Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Chris Sellors has decided to step out of the shadow of Councillor Michael Walker and try to take over Ward 22 from his retiring his former boss.
“I will take his methods and build on them,” said Sellors, who started volunteering with Walker in 1997 and has the councillor’s endorsement. “I will remember what he has taught me, but I am my own man.”
Sellors was hired as the constituency assistant for the St. Paul’s councillor back in 2001 and became Walker’s executive assistant in 2005.
“I was over the moon,” said Sellors. “I was so honoured.” Continue reading

Michael Walker retiring from city hall

Veteran councillor recalls three decades in politics
Walker not seeking re-election in St. Paul’s
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 24)

Councillor Michael Walker bids so long after 28 years on council, he's not seeking re-election. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

It is with certainty that for the first time in 28 years, Michael Walker won’t be among the decision-makers guiding Toronto’s future come October.
The longtime St. Paul’s councillor has decided it’s time to retire, announcing in March that he won’t be seeking re-election.
The born and bred Torontonian has long political history, winning every election he’s ever entered — with the exception of his first try for school board back in 1976.
Recalling that first race, Walker says he refused offers of help, even from then MPP Margaret Scrivener, and knocked on doors alone. He came in third. Continue reading

Bloor West Village bike lane study

Survey shows shoppers & businesses support bike lanes
Study indicates even if parking removed, support is strong
Some local businesses not a fan of losing parking
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 19)

Study floats idea of bike lanes on Bloor West. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

A controversial new survey of businesses and shoppers in Toronto’s Bloor West Village shows a willingness to sacrifice street parking to make room for bike lanes or expanded sidewalks.
The study, undertaken by bike lane supporters the Clean Air Partnership, indicates the majority of the 510 visitors surveyed either walk or take transit to shop in the busy commercial hub on Bloor Street West, between Kennedy Avenue and Jane Street. In total 47 percent of shoppers in the area walk to their destination while 24 percent said they take transit, 21 percent drive and five percent cycle. Continue reading

Hogg’s Hollow disaster remembered

Five immigrant Italian men died digging York Mills tunnel
A memorial quilt unveiled marking 50th anniversary of tragedy
By Kris Scheuer
(Written March 18 for Town Crier.)

Doria and Christina Fusillo were on hand for unveiling of memorial quilt honouring five men including Giovanni Fusillo who died in 1960 tragedy. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

A flood of emotions rolled through the York Mills subway station as a quilt depicting the last moments of five immigrant workers who died in the Hoggs Hollow tragedy was unveiled.
Pasquale Allegrezza, Giovanni Carriglio, Giovanni Fusillo, brothers Alessandro and Guido Mantella were building an underground sewer tunnel near Yonge and York Mills when a fire broke out and took their lives on March 17, 1960. Continue reading

See Toronto like a tourist

If you had just four days, where would you go in TO?
Trying to pack in the best of the city in short span, a challenge
By Kris Scheuer

If I can swing it financially, I am going to Europe this fall specifically to Paris, Rome and London.
No this is NOT a blog post about my trip – it’s about Toronto.
One of the challenges of this vacation, besides money, is how to see these historical, romantic, cultural European gems when I may have just three or four days in each of these world class cities.
And it got me thinking…if I had only four days and nights in Toronto what would be on my to do list? Continue reading

City candidate uninvited to Grit forum

Jennifer Wood running for city council was invited to Liberal forum
But Ward 29 candidate was uninvited when she didn’t agree to conditions
By Kris Scheuer
(Written March 11 for Town Crier.)

Ward 29 candidate Jennifer Wood. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wood.

Ward 29 city candidate Jennifer Wood was snubbed from a recent forum held by the Toronto Danforth Provincial Liberal Riding Association after refusing to sign a release stating she wouldn’t run against the Grits in future provincial or federal elections.
Wood first reached out to the Liberal association to speak about her candidacy.
The association contacted her with info about the March 8 forum to introduce Liberal-friendly council hopefuls to their members.
She was originally invited to the forum.
“They had three questions,” Wood said days after the forum. “Why I’m running, the credentials I’d bring and the third thing was an agreement not to run provincially or federally against any Liberal candidate in the future.” Continue reading

Mayor David Miller’s budget surplus

David Miller announces his suggestions for extra $100 mil surplus
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 12.)

Mayor Miller announced city's surplus higher than expected. Photo by Phil Alves/Town Crier file photo.

Mayor David Miller’s announcement the city has an additional $100 million budget surplus has sparked a political war of words.
“When the budget was announced almost a month ago, the estimated surplus was $250 million,” he told a packed house of media in his city hall office March 10. “I am pleased to announce today that more accurate year end accounting only now available, estimates the surplus to be over $100 million dollars higher.”
Toronto-Danforth councillor Case Ootes was not impressed with Miller’s announcement.
“Why didn’t he know about it before?” Ootes asked. “I don’t know why he called this press conference to highlight the fact this whole place has been mismanaged.”
Miller told the media it’s hard to get complete year-end numbers too far advance before final figures are available. Continue reading

East York hospital physio clinic closing

TEGH physio outpatient clinic shutting down
Province doesn’t fund this physiotherapy service, hospital can’t afford it
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Sept 11 for Town Crier.)

TEGH physiotherapist Damian Wyard talks to his patient Salza Khakoo about the closing clinic. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

East York resident Salza Khakoo is waiting for knee replacement surgery and currently qualifies for free pre-op physiotherapy at Toronto East General Hospital.
However, that will end April 1 when the hospital closes its outpatient physio clinic.
“I got a letter saying that physio would no longer be offered and a list of OHIP clinics, which I don’t qualify for,” said Khakoo at a March 9 community meeting on the issue. “I can’t work anymore because of knee issues.”
Khakoo currently receives two hours of physiotherapy a week for her knee at the hospital and is on a wait list for knee surgery. She doesn’t have health coverage for physiotherapy and also doesn’t qualify for physio under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Continue reading

When to judge politicians’ behaviour

What are reasonable expectations to have of political reps
How perfect should they be in their private lives
(Opinion column written March 5 for Town Crier.)

Politicians are people too.
Okay I know that sounds obvious, but as Midtown councillor Karen Stintz points out people are flawed.
This means politicians, like us, aren’t perfect.
“Generally, the public is not interested in the flaws of politicians,” she tells me.
“Where it is a problem is if a politician presents themself in a particular light and doesn’t live up to that,” she says. “If you try to present yourself as perfect, you are bound to disappoint people because no one’s perfect.”
So it is when a politician is a hypocrite professing to be one way or preaching on a subject when they can’t uphold those same values that the real problem unfolds.

Continue reading

Davisville school staying open

ARC members recommend 5 schools stay open
Plus Maurice Cody expands, if school board agrees
By Kris Scheuer
(Written March 5 for Town Crier)

There will be no school closures and one local site will even be expanded if the Davisville-Yonge Accommodation Review Committee gets its way.
For months, the committee members have been considering 12 options on how best to accommodate students at four school sites: Davisville, Hodgson, Maurice Cody and Eglinton Public School/Spectrum Alternative Senior School.
The group has now chosen one option with six key recommendations to the Toronto District School Board:
• All four school sites to stay open.
• No change in boundaries to who can be accommodated at a school.
• Spectrum’s grade 7 and 8 mix will not include other grades.
• Maurice Cody will be expanded.
• No programs will be lost at any of the schools.
• Davisville and at Eglinton schools will maintain English and not move to
French only. Continue reading