Friday, February 29, 2008

This and that

Of interest to local filmakers - Facebook's new Film Pages

Welcome to WE Speak's newest blog - Quoteflections

Last day for Engineering Week at Science City - free admission from 4 to 6pm.

Like Soup? The Great Soup Kitchen is a good deal and supports a good cause.

A different approach

As opposed to Windsor's propensity for lobbing things, Hamilton's Mayor takes a different approach.

With 20 new research chairs being funded at $1 million a piece, I wonder if everyone is done throwing things at the University of Windsor to work with them to secure a chair or two?

What are we doing or what can be done to encourage more R & D to come to Windsor?

I'm guessing that $85,000 a year for five years for the Detroit Grand Prix isn't it. More on that later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Elton John tickets "hot" item for some Municipal Councillors

Sudbury is also embroiled in an Elton John Ticket controversy, much like Kitchener. Their situation though, seems to be taking a turn towards the bizzare.

Ticket controversy deepens; How the city tried to force an end to negative stories arising from Elton John ticket fiasco

One thing very troubling to read in the article:

Mieto's e-mail also informs council that, in response to the ticket controversy, municipal bureaucrats are pursuing a number of measures to try to ward off media inquiries into how the city handles such ticket sales. These measures include:

Despite having its own legal department, the city is using taxpayers' funds to retain a private law firm to determine if the municipality must disclose ticket information being sought by The Star under freedom-of-information legislation;

Investigating the possibility of establishing an arm's-length municipal corporation to operate Sudbury Community Arena, to "protect business interests" and make it easier for the city to ward off public requests for information. If such an arrangement can be made, "all matters would be private" and the public would no longer be privy to ticket information, Mieto tells council;

Now why does that sound familiar?

Could this happen in Windsor?

Couldn't get a ticket to see Sir Elton? - It might have helped if you were a Kitchener council member
At this point, we have no way of knowing. The deal between the City of Windsor and the Windsor Spitfires is secret.

There are several Freedom of Information requests slowly working their way through the system, so hopefully we'll eventually get all the facts.

New blogs

WE Speak welcomes the following new blogs to the site:

Amherstburg Liberal

Kdduck Talk

Transition to Betterness

Inoke Errati

Dinner Lately

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Windsor Liberty Seminar 2008

Windsor Liberty Seminar

On March 15, the Institute for Liberal Studies will be hosting the third annual Windsor Liberty Seminar on the campus of the University of Windsor.

The seminar is free for students and just $10 for general registration.

Date: Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:30am - 4:00pm

After-party and social at Phog Lounge with music by Lindy starting at 8:00. Everyone is welcome!

Complete details and registration

Windsor February Bloggers Meet

Taloola Cafe, 396 Devonshire Rd, Walkerville

Wed February 27th, 2008

7pm to 10 pm

Details at the wiki

If you're a blogger, looking to learn about blogging or just enjoy reading blogs - come out and join us.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Scale Launch

Off to London today, but I just wanted to commend the gang at for a fantastic evening last night. I was somewhat tardy, but the event was well worth it. Fantastic turnout.

Make sure you visit Scale Down today and check out their fancy new digs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Transition to Betterness

Through the wonderful networking of Facebook I came across the Transition to Betterness Facebook group and through that, their website.

I haven't visited their website for a long time, so the new site I found was a pleasant surprise. It's a clean, sharp looking website. Easy to read and navigate. Complete with RSS syndication and a blog and most importantly, for a charity, various ways to donate including online.

Very nicely done. This is a site other charities and non-profits could learn from. Believe it or not, it doesn't take very much money to create a site like this today. With free Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal and Joomla or even a blogging platform like Wordpress, a charity can significantly increase it's profile within the community.

If there are any charities or organizations that are interested, I'd be happy to spend some time demonstrating just what they could accomplish with very little money.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Windsor Blogs Top in the Country

Chances are, if you're reading this you already know, but it doesn't hurt to shout it out a little more.

Congratulations to everyone.
Local bloggers bag awards
Ted Whipp, Windsor Star
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bookmark this -four local blogs have risen to the top of Canada's blogosphere, snagging national awards for their online Windsor content.
If you want an easy way to stay on top of these blogs and others in the local blog scene, stop in Windsor Essex Speak. WE Speak is a blog aggregator that collects a snippet from every new post on local blogs and displays them in one location with a link to the blog in question. It's a quick and easy way to scan your favourite blogs.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Brand this

This little campaign is still keeping me rather busy these days, but not so busy that I can't keep a virtual ear to the ground.

If City Councillors aren't reading the feedback in articles like this one, and taking it to heart, they deserve everything they get in the future.

The can throw all the snide remarks and dismissals they wish at local bloggers but the fact remains there is a significant portion of City taxpayers who are quite simply fed up.

I don't know who, if anyone, advises Councillor Valentinis politically, but they should all have their heads examined.

Coun. Fulvio Valentinis, an Enwin board member, defended the board's decision to give the $4-million dividend, noting the money is going back to the local taxpayer.

"Shifting from one pocket to another, I guess that argument that can be made," he said. "If you didn't do this, well that's another one per cent increase on (municipal) taxes. It's a decision the (Enwin) board made."

That's one statement that will haunt the Councilor for a long time to come.

One thing to remember, we still haven't heard what the recommended increase for the WUC is for this year. Make no mistake, there will be an increase. If you go back and read the reports from last year, you'll discover that the 86% was not sufficient to generate the revenue WUC really needs to carry out repair and maintenance, but it was deemed to be the most citizens would stand for in one year. The other shoe drops sometime between now and July.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Say no to Junk Mail

Four easy steps to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive.
Red Dot Campaign

Choose to Say NO to Junk Mail -- 25% of Canadians never read their junk mail anyways ... So, if you aren't reading it, Say NO. Help spread the word that we all have this choice. We reduce waste and you reduce clutter and inconvenience. Another great way to help the planet.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Little evidence partners will join police in new HQ

Windsor, with a Naval Reserve unit, Canada Border Services Agency, RCMP, the Port of Windsor, two border crossings (with a potential for a third), and a nearby Coast Guard Station, would make a natural location for a permanent Marine Security Operations Centre.

Are we so focused on looking at the forest that we're missing the trees?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Written about Toronto

but easy to apply to many other locations.

Real leaders don't engage in government-by-stealth.

When there's bad news, they deliver it themselves, lay out their plans for corrective action and accept responsibility. That's how a competent civic administration acts.

You do your job, make a decision, stand up to receive criticism or kudos from the public and trust voters to be fair at the end of the day.

You don't stumble from crisis to crisis in a fog of your own making.

Good government is about people actually living up to that popular motto of a famous hotel chain: "No surprises."

Sadly, what taxpayers are getting far more often from the mayor and his minions these days is government by chaos theory. And that act is getting pretty old and tiresome, pretty fast.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Winter Beach Bash

A free event for youth and family - WINTER BEACH BASH!

Activities include:
- Free Swim 1:00-3:00PM
- Games and Activities 1:30PM to 4:00PM
Limbo contest, free henna, games and much more.


Saturday February 9th

then later in the day.........

Beach Party 5:00-10:00PM at New Song Church 993 Drouillard Rd (NO

- Giveaways, MP3 Players, Digital Cameras, a Mountain Bike and much much
more!! (FREE DINNER FOR THE FIRST 475 participants)

For more information or to volunteer contact 519-971-0973 ex. 127 or

An added note by New Beginnings:

On Saturday February 9th, 2008 we are hosting Winter Beach Bash 2008
in the Ford City District (Drouillard Rd). The entire event is free and
includes free swimming, henna tattoos and a limbo contest at Gino Marcus
Community Centre during the day. 95.1- The ROCK is broadcasting live
which is pretty cool too. In the evening there is a free dinner and live music
at New Song Church starting at 5pm. We are giving away some really cool
prizes like mp3 players, digital cameras and a bike.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


The newest blog on the WE Speak blogroll - Ottawa Street Dental.

Kudos to the office for attempting to reach people through a different medium.

More to the story

Can the pile get any higher under the carpet?

Despite speculation over the timing and reasons behind his sudden resignation from
the city -- just weeks before the release of his fleet audit -- Dunbar did not want to comment on his reasons for leaving the job Dec. 31.

"I would rather not," he said. "I'm concerned anything I may say will negatively impact getting an auditor general. It's more important to get that in place."

The question is, what else is coming down the highway?

I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but something is starting to smell here. H/T to Mr. Dunbar for pushing this issue forward.

The next battle is going to be who and how we pick a Windsor Auditor General. The composition and mandate of that particular committee will tell you much about politics in Windsor.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Windsor Blogs rock on!

Congratulations to Michael's English Usage for winning first place in the Canadian Blog Awards - Best Education Blog category.

I enjoy reading his blog and brushing up on my admittedly rusty English skills. I'm sure the local media have already developed a curious form of love/hate for his efforts. :)

H/T to Monica Wolfson for first highlighting Michael's blogging efforts.

Noticed in passing

With the Public Works audit bomb exploding all over town, it probably wasn't a really good idea to issue this press release today. It's kind of like rubbing salt in an open wound.

2008 Interim Tax Bills in the Mail

Impeccable timing. Maybe if someone can find all that missing gas from the City, they can add it to the fire.

Windsor bloggers score big

Congratulations to and International Metropolis for their win in the Best Local Blog category of the Canadian Blog Awards.

WindsorEats captured first place in the category, followed by International Metropolis - a Windsor one, two!

Unfortunately Danielle from Maple Syrup and Poutine did not place in the top three in the Activities category but her Top 5 finish still places her among the best in Canada!

Keep your fingers crossed as WindsorEats, Scale Down Windsor and Michael's English Usage are still in the running for further awards.

Blog on everyone.

Eye-popping indeed

I'll let others weigh in on most of the details of today's audit revelations.

One thing that makes me wonder:
"It was carried out by former city auditor Mike Dunbar and his staff. Dunbar resigned Dec. 31 and has not been replaced. He could not be reached Tuesday for comment."
Considering Mr. Dunbar's outspoken comments on the need for an Auditor-General in Windsor and his sudden resignation, I'm left wondering what else is still lurking under the carpet.

Feel free to add your name to the petition for an independent Windsor Auditor-General.

Edit: if you're looking for some heat on this cold winter day, make sure you pop on over to the Windsor Star and read some of the heat being generated in the comments right now. And they say bloggers are bad...

Edit 2: I guess we can add Forensic Auditors to the list of growth industries in Windsor.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sold to the highest bidder

Kim Arnott has an interesting article published on the Municipal Information Network site regarding the fight communities face in attracting doctors.
Are municipalities headed toward a bidding war for doctors?

by Kim Arnott,
Freelance Writer

The city of Belleville has put its offer front and centre. Head to the Ontario city’s web site ( and you can’t miss it. In big, bold letters – near the top of the page – the community of 48,000 advertises its doctor recruitment program.

The details? The community will pay up to $150,000 to any physician agreeing to practice medicine in Belleville for at least five years.

In less than a year, the city-led program has enticed 14 new doctors – or doctors-in-training – to commit to Belleville.

A similar offer in nearby Hastings County has convinced nine medical students to sign on to work in that community.

Last month, the northern Manitoba community of The Pas sent a three-member delegation to Ireland with tuition cash to lure medical students across the ocean.

Cash incentives, cars, and even houses are now being offered up in some communities desperately seeking doctors.