Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas ......

My Christmas Eve shopping extravaganza is completed. Good time had by all at the mall today. I just realized today that it was the 10th anniversary of my Christmas Eve shopping adventures. How time flies when you're having fun!

Blogging will remain sparse for the next little while. The campaign is eating up a lot of time right now and will be picking up steam in the new year. Regular blogging should resume around the end of the first week. I'm heading out on a tour of Ontario during the first and second week of January. While I'm heading down the highway I should have plenty of time to spare for a few blog posts.

A Windsor/Essex bloggers meetup is in the works for the 2nd or 3rd week of January. I'm just trying to nail down a good location with wireless. WE Speak has continued to grow and evolve and I thought now would be a good time for bloggers and readers to have a chance to interact, share tips and ideas and just have a good time. Once I have all the details finalized, I'll post them here and on Facebook.

Merry Christmas to all and a safe and happy holidays for you and your families.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Free Wi-Fi access for Cogeco subscribers

Something I just came across that surprised me. Cogeco has an extensive list of Wi-Fi hotspots in Windsor free to current Cogeco Hi Speed subscribers. I haven't tested any of these out yet.

Windsor Adult Learning Center 284 Cameron Ave.
Windsor Beach Grove Golf & Country Club 14134 Riverside Dr. E
Windsor Big Dick's Tap Eatery 2169 Wyandotte W
Windsor Bin 151 1515 Ottawa St
Windsor BMW Dealership 9425 Tecumseh
Windsor Bridgeview Library 1295 Campbell Ave.
Windsor Bubi's Awesome Eats 620 University Ave W
Windsor Burger King 2850 Tecumseh
Windsor Burger King 570 Goyeau St.
Windsor Canada South Science City 930 Marion St
Windsor Coffee House 1473 Ottawa
Windsor Cogeco Windsor Office Dougall Ave
Windsor College Ave. Community Center 3325 College Ave
Windsor Danny's Coin Laundry 1652 Wyandotte
Windsor Dieppe Park (West End) Riverside Dr. W & Caron Ave.
Windsor Essex Golf & Country Club 7555 Matchette Rd
Windsor Fountainbleu Public Library 3030 Rivard Ave.
Windsor Greyhound 44 University Ave. E.
Windsor Kildare House 1880 Wyandotte St. E.
Windsor Lakeview Park Marina (Central) Riverside Dr. E
Windsor Lakeview Park Marina (West) 9200 Riverside Dr E
Windsor Lasalle Billeavarga Library 5940 Malden Rd
Windsor Lilly Kazzilly's Crab Shack 9550 Riverside Dr
Windsor Maria's Cleaner & Laundromat 3905 Seminole st
Windsor McDonalds 93 Wyandotte East
Windsor Mercedes Benz Dealership 9360 Tecumseh
Windsor Mezzo Ristorante & Lounge 804 Erie St E
Windsor Nico's Ristorante 851 Erie St. E.
Windsor Nikola Budimir Library 1310 Grand Marais Rd. W
Windsor Nissan / Infiniti Dealership 9760 Tecumseh Rd E.
Windsor Paul Martin Law Library 2475 University Ave. W
Windsor Peppers Bar & Grill 375 Ouellette Ave
Windsor Per Bacco Ristorante 1199 Ottawa St
Windsor Plunkett's 28 Chatham St E
Windsor Rainbow Laundry 405 Tecumseh Road W
Windsor Remington Park Library 2710 Lillian Ave.
Windsor Riverside Arena 6755 Wyandotte
Windsor Riverside Library 6306 Wyandotte St. E
Windsor Riverside Marina East 9150 Riverside Dr E
Windsor Riverside Marina West Area Riverside Dr. E
Windsor Roseland Golf & Curling Club 455 Kennedy Dr W
Windsor Sandwich Public Library 3312 Sandwich St.
Windsor Saturn / Saab Dealership 10120 Tecumseh Rd
Windsor Second Cup Coffee 13462 Tecumseh Rd. E
Windsor Seminole Public Library 4285 Seminole
Windsor South Walkerville Library 1425 Tecumseh Rd. E
Windsor Spago Trattoria & Life Style Fitness 13275 Tecumeseh Rd E
Windsor Spago Trattoria & Pizzeria 614 Erie St E
Windsor Super Clean Laundry 2675 Lauzon Rd.
Windsor Swiss Chalet 1690 Huron Church Rd
Windsor T B Q'S Market Place 1855 Huron Church Rd
Windsor The Man's Shop 2587 Howard Ave
Windsor Tim Horton's 650 Guyeau St
Windsor Tim Horton's 1420 Huron Church Rd
Windsor Tim Horton's 3300 Huron Church Rd
Windsor Tim Horton's 1920 Ottawa St
Windsor Tim Horton's 80 Park st. E
Windsor Tim Horton's 3901 Sandwich St.
Windsor Tim Horton's 3998 Walker Rd
Windsor Volkswagen Dealership 10280 Tecumseh Rd E
Windsor Volvo Dealership 10648 Tecumseh Rd. E
Windsor Wendy's 1411 Ouellette
Windsor Wendy's 7605 Tecumseh Rd.
Windsor Windsor Public Library 850 Ouellette Ave

Friday, December 14, 2007

Blogging for a good cause

Local tri-athelete and blogger Shelley is looking for some fundraising support for a good cause.

Shelley has been invited to participate in the 2008 Boston Marathon as part of Team Hole in the Wall.

Who knew that this area had such interesting bloggers?

Why you of course!

Please consider pitching in.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

AM800 goes blogging

Looks like the hosts (and one producer) at AM800 are dipping their toe into the wide world of blogging.

From the Morning Drive:

Open Mike with Mike Kakuk

At Arm's Length (not really a blog, more of a static page with updates)

From Windsor Now:

Mel Moments

A Canadian Penny for Dan's Thoughts

I've added the feeds for all the blogs to WE Speak and put their banners in the rotation.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ontario Municipal CAO's Benchmarking Initiative

The Ontario Municipal CAO's Benchmarking Initiative Report for 2006 was released on the 4th of December. A timely release for this report as Windsor continues it's budget deliberations. Lot's to digest in this report.
Through OMBI and other initiatives, our municipalities provide comparable data to allow municipalities to make informed decisions on service quality, quantity and cost. This is known as “benchmarking” and enables our service teams to collaborate and share information on various ways of conducting municipal services, making the best use of valuable resources and producing the best possible outcomes. We have focused on services that municipalities have in common, while recognizing the unique characteristics related to each community’s socio-demographics, geographic location, population density, size and other influencing factors. The benefits of these comparisons are to provide enhanced information for decision making, identification of innovative ideas for service improvement and ultimately better service to our citizens.
The report benchmarks 16 different areas of Municipal government. For today I'm going to focus on just the Library portion, as that is certainly front and centre in Windsor's budget discussions right now.

Edit: Sudbury and Peel are two out of the fifteen municipalities who have posted this on their Municipal websites and issued Press Releases related to the report.

Related Article:
Library Workers face deep cuts
"Every year they seem to come back and say, 'You have to cut more out of the budget, but you can't cut services,'" Fish said. "It's unrealistic to keep coming back to tell the library to get its act together, when we're already one of the most efficient libraries in the province."
(click on individual pictures for full size graphic)

4.1 - How many hours are all library branches open? - Windsor is at the Provincial median for 2006

4.2. - How many holding do libraries have? - Windsor is slightly below the Provincial median for holdings per capita

4.3 - How many times is each item borrowed from library (turnover)? - Windsor is well below the Provincial median for this category.

4.4 - How many times were libraries used? - Windsor is again well below the median in this category.

4.5 - How much does it cost for each library use? - Windsor is second in the Province in this category.

My read on these benchmarks has Windsor providing the same hours and holdings as most of the Province but with a lower turnover and usage rate, delivered at a higher cost. If someone else can provide a different interpretation, I'm open to it.

What this tells me is that Councillor Brister is right. Savings can be had in our Library system without closing branches. Some reductions in hours may help in bringing our costs in line. Although I don't have the data to back it up, I suspect much of Windsor's current woes are related to the opening of the Fontain Bleu branch.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

How ironic

John Tory's in town this morning.

Apparently he's meeting with Mayor Francis from 9 to 11 am with a media availability at 11.

So what's it going to be for the local media - softball or hardball?

He spent all day yesterday ducking the media in Toronto, sending Interim Leader Bob Runciman in his stead. John's spent a couple of years studiously avoiding Windsor other than to take potshots at the Casino expansion.

Turn on a little heat and suddenly it's morning coffee time with the Mayor. In spite of the recent weather, Queen's Park is a little hot for Tory these days. I guess Windsor is about as far south as you can go to escape the Provincial media without leaving the Province. Will it work?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A piece of art?

I never was much of an art critic, but regardless, I think I'm going to print, frame and hang this one.
Open Debate

Despite the unacceptable defeat of Dilkens' motion, though, it was refreshing to see council actually hold a spirited debate in public, and comforting to see councillors speaking their minds, voting their conscience and calling for increased openness and accountability.

Debate, dissent and the clashing of divergent opinions are essential to the functioning of any robust democracy. It's nice to see they've finally arrived in Windsor.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So much to say...

so little time to say it in. I'd love to sit down and compose a few good posts, but unfortunately, I'm currently occupied with a project that's taking up a great deal of my time. Back to normal after Christmas hopefully.

A few brief comments:

Hat's off to Drew Dilkens, Alan Halberstadt, Bill Marra and Percy Hatfield. I can't say I'm surprised at the result, but the first steps are being taken. Well done.

Jason Moore's commentary? Well, it certainly filled up my email box and spiked the visit stats on my blog. What does it say when the opinion of the News Director of the only all news station in town is that everyone should just strap on a W and cheer?

I guess my only response at this point is, I thought that's what his station was already doing.

Windsor's well known for producing softball champions, most people just don't realize that many of them have nothing to do with baseball. More on this later.