Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mayor Declares This Friday 'Black & Gold' Day

Residents Encouraged To Show Their Hometown Pride & Support The Ticats

HAMILTON, ON – November 25, 2014 – Today the Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina, announced that this Friday, November 28 is 'black and gold' day across the city. All residents are encouraged to show their hometown pride by wearing the colours in support of the Hamilton Tiger Cats, bound for the Grey Cup for the second consecutive year.

"The sold-out Eastern semi-final game this past Sunday was a testament to the enormous spirit and excitement our community has for its CFL football club," says Mayor Bratina. "To help boost our Ticats as they head to Vancouver for this Sunday's final against Calgary, I hope to see as many Hamiltonians displaying the team's colours."

“Our fans at Tim Hortons Field have made a huge difference for us,” says Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell. “While we know they can’t all be there in Vancouver with us wearing our colours on Friday will further demonstrate how much they are behind our team on our journey to bring the Grey Cup to Hamilton.”

Black and gold day was declared as the Mayor, along with council members, Tiger Cats management and residents of Hamilton gathered at the team's headquarters this afternoon on Jarvis St. to help send the team off. The Ticats boarded a bus at approximately 3:15 p.m. to depart for their flight from the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to Vancouver.

Mayor Elect Eisenberger will be heading west to represent Hamiltonians and join Tiger Cat fans in cheering our home town favorites in the 102nd Grey Cup game. "Hometown pride is running high as we make our second consecutive trip to the big game," said Eisenberger. “In keeping with the betting tradition between mayors, I will be connecting with Calgary Mayor Nenshi to make a friendly wager on Sunday’s game. We're going to ask the online Hamilton community for their ideas and determine a wager that is meaningful for our respective cities."

Mayor Bratina's Message re: the Passing of Pat Quinn

On behalf of myself and City Council I want to express our deepest sympathy on the sad passing of Pat Quinn to wife Sandra, the Quinn family and Pat's friends everywhere. Pat always maintained a strong relationship and love for his hometown, and the East End neighbourhood where he was raised. As kids we were team mates on the Mahoney Park Dodgers baseball team and on meeting up with Pat through the years our conversations would start with memories of team-mates, neighbours,
war-time houses, the old Barton Street arena and all the things he cherished from his growing-up years. 

 Thankfully his city acknowledged him during his lifetime with the arena and street-naming of which he was very proud. In view of Pat's remarkable life which emphasized education in addition to sport I would suggest that some thought be put by Council and others to a further tribute to Pat involving his passion for education that could inspire our youth to follow his example of life-long learning. As Pat assisted me in becoming mayor I would be pleased and honoured to participate in such an initiative.
Mayor Bob Bratina

Monday, November 24, 2014

Media Release: Crews prepare for winter maintenance on Cannon cycle track

HAMILTON, ON – November 24, 2014 – As we brace for winter conditions and more snowfall, City crews are preparing to replace the planter boxes in the Cannon cycle track with flexible bollards (knockdown sticks) for the winter season.

Due to limited space restrictions there is a risk of the snow removal equipment damaging the planters or knocking them into the traffic or bike lanes, causing a potential safety hazard. The planters will be removed and flexible bollards will be added to maintain the buffer between traffic and the bike lanes during the winter season. The planters will be added back to the cycle track in the spring.

“Roads crews are making every effort to assist with this pilot project and are committed to accommodating cyclists and motorists during the winter season,” said Bob Paul, Manager of Winter Control. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation of both cyclists and drivers this winter as we strive to provide efficient and reliable snow clearing service.”

In the area of the Cannon cycle track, crews will plow the road and the bike lanes so they are clear and safe for travel. Crews will then use a blower, as required, to remove the accumulated snow from the bike lanes. This removal is expected to take place during overnight hours.

The City’s operational experiences and community feedback over the winter season will be documented as part of the evaluation of this three-year pilot project.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From Democracy to Oligarchy? - Our Perspectives Virtual Panel Weighs In

The Hamiltonian posed the following questions to our Perspectives Virtual Panel. Their responses follow.

The following chart  represents the percentage of voters who voted the new city council, as per the October 27th 2014 city-reported election results. Click here to see chart.

The chart presents the candidates in order of lowest to highest percentage of voter support. For example, the Ward 9 candidate won with the lowest amount of % of Voter turn out, with 8.95% of the vote. Even the winner with the highest amount of voter turn out (Ward 14) only won with 28.53%.

Representative government rests on the concept that elected officials represent the people who elect them. The results suggest that the new council will in effect, not have a mandate supported by a healthy degree of people who they are to represent.

What do you believe led to the very poor voter turnout, what does this say about the state of affairs in Hamilton and how could this new council hope to be effective in a representative model, when the majority of people to be represented did not provide their support or endorsement?

Herman Turkstra wrote....

One solution is really simple. If one candidate does not get 51% or more, a run-off happens between the first and second place candidates. Premier Wynne has told Ted McMeekin, as Minister of Municipal Affairs to make that happen in 2018. It will make a big difference in turnout. I'm not sure it will make any difference in the depth of voter analysis.

M Adrian Brassington  wrote.....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Reader's Den - In The Company of Educated Men by Leonce Gaiter

In the Company of Educated Men is quick but interesting read. At 177 pages, it's an ideal read for those who want something new to read, but something not as voluminous as your average paperback or hardcover.

Author Leonece Gaiter takes us through the misadventure of three recent Harvard graduates who take to the open road as an escape of sorts from the world of the mundane in search for an undefined outlet or calling.

Instead, they find themselves entangled in a unexpected encounter, which leads to being on the run from police, with an armed thief and young girl who happens to sneak her way into their vehicle.

The stress and tensions that result, pull at loyalty, strain relationships and impact lives forever. 

Find this book by clicking here.

Are you a published author, or a publisher who would like your works considered for review in The Hamiltonian's Reader's Den? Contact us at admin@thehamiltonian.info with your request. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Media Release- Preliminary report on The People’s Platform

Key Achievements

19 town halls were held
10 community partnerships were built
47 proposals for a better Hamilton were put forth
7 mayoral candidates endorsed the process
6 mayoral candidates went on record supporting citywide participatory budgeting
70 candidates completed the People’s Platform questionnaire
544 residents voted on the proposals
44 proposals were approved
9 of the 16 members of the newly elected Council endorse some or all of the 44 approved proposals
30 focused media impressions were made, including news articles, op-eds, radio interviews, and television spots

Campaign Overview

A kick-off event was held in July, four regional forums were held in August, and 15 ward forums

Friday, November 14, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- Artisan Bread – Gluten Free?

Gluten-free Artisan Bread
Artisan Bread – Gluten Free? 

One of the pleasures of this gig is getting to see some neat cookbooks. Danielle Johnson, Senior Publicist At BC’s Raincoast Books very kindly sent me several titles recently, and I am looking forward to perusing, and sharing thoughts about, them with readers in the coming months.

The one that first caught my eye was “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg (an MD), and Zoe Francois (a Pastry Chef). It seems more and more people say they can’t handle wheat or gluten, but their options for truly great fresh, crusty bread appear pretty limited. I’d also like guests at my table to be able to indulge in one of life’s pleasures, without concern

The front cover attracted me because of the beautiful loaves featured. The resident baker was instantly sceptical saying something to the effect “there is no way those are gluten-free”. After an expensive trip to the health food store to acquire the various ingredients (which are going to see us thru about ten loaves) the yeast is doing its magic and the dough is rising.

The aforementioned baker is an adept of the Jim Lahey, ‘no-knead’, method of making bread popularised in a seminal New York Times Article. She learned the techniques from Marc Albanese at Pane Fresco when he himself was still actually baking his fantastic breads in the Burlington Store. The method is close to foolproof and we immediately ditched our bread machine as our ‘no-knead’ bread proved far superior in taste and texture, and was not appreciably more work. (We also reduced the frequency of visits to Pane Fresco, except for a few items they excelled in, but which were beyond us!)

Hertzberg and Francois previously authored “Healthy Bread”, “Artisan Bread,” “the New Artisan Bread” and “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread” (all “in 5-minutes a day”), none of which I was previously familiar with. Point is they seem to know what they are about: The family baker found plenty to give her comfort as she read through the key bits before acknowledging gluten-free could well work, and heading out on her shopping expedition.

The results of the first experiment (a standard white made following the basic recipe) won’t be in till tomorrow and, after that is mastered, there are plenty of great-sounding recipes to try. (Pumpernickel, date and walnut for one.) I’m encouraged too, enough to share the details with readers who might wish to acquire the book without delay. I will report later on how things turned out and also point readers to a coming cookbook giveaway (including this one), in the winter edition of BCity Magazine, where I also get to write about food and drink.

For more pictures. click here.

To see all past columns please see (and “like”) the Food for Thought Archives

Alex (Alex can be reached at fft@thehamiltonian.info or on twitter @AlexBielak)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ontario Ombudsman Comments on The Hamiltonian's Question to Earl Basse

Double click on picture above to enlarge it. 

Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin applauds Hamilton for having the position of Integrity Commissioner but wonders why  Hamilton Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse believes our question to Mr. Basse for stats related to how many investigations he has submitted late, was deemed by Mr. Basse to be an inappropriate question.

Thanks Mr. Marin for tweeting out your view on this!