Tuesday, October 28, 2014

City of Hamilton hires new Director of Transit


City of Hamilton hires new Director of Transit

HAMILTON, ON – October 28, 2014 – The City of Hamilton is pleased to announce that David Dixon is the successful candidate for the Director of Transit position with the City of Hamilton. David spent over 25 years with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), most recently in the role of General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, until the organization restructured in 2013. 

David was responsible for all subway, streetcar and bus operations at Canada’s largest transit authority with an annual operating budget of $825 million, a multi-billion dollar 10-year capital budget and 11,000 employees. David will join the City on Monday, November 3rd.

“I am pleased to welcome David to our team,” said Gerry Davis, General Manager of Public Works. “I am confident that his leadership qualities and related experience will continue to build upon Hamilton’s modern, reliable, and service-orientated public transportation program.”

David will be leading the transit group through a progressive transition towards achievement of the City’s corporate culture goals. This includes a number of important initiatives including a dedicated Human Resources Organizational Development Specialist to support senior staff as they work through culture changes within HSR.

The current Director of Transportation, Don Hull, will assist with the transition of the leadership role until he retires on November 14th, 2014. “We wish Don a very happy retirement after 18 years of dedicated service to the City of Hamilton,” Davis said.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Meet Ed Pecyna- Contender for Catholic School Trustee in Ward 6

Ward 6 Will Not Be Left Behind

Ward 6 Catholic schools are the “middle child” of the board. And that is not always a good thing. As a middle child myself, I want to prevent Ward 6 schools from suffering the “middle child syndrome”.

In my family, the joke was that my older brother got everything shiny and new - clothes, toys, etc. When he was done with them, I got his hand-me-downs. By the time I was through with these items, they were too worn out for my younger brother, so he got everything shiny and new!

All kidding aside, I seriously do feel this way about all the Catholic schools in Ward 6 – Blessed Sacrament, St. Margaret Mary, St. Anthony Daniel and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Did you notice I didn’t list a secondary school? That’s because we do not have a Catholic high school in Ward 6! That’s another story.

What I have noticed is that millions of dollars buy shiny and new schools in the affluent and the disadvantaged areas of the city. In the middle is quiet Ward 6, patiently waiting and left wanting. This may all be anecdotal, maybe just a gut feeling. But, I do care for student achievement and well-being in Ward 6 and the whole city. We have to ensure that there is a fair and balanced approach to spending in our board, especially in quiet, middle neighbourhoods like those in Ward 6.

That is one of the reasons I am a candidate for Catholic School Trustee for Ward 6 in the upcoming election. For the past ten years, I have been extremely involved not only in my daughters’ schools but in all the schools in our board to make things better for all who attend Catholic schools in Hamilton and for their parents who have made the choice to send their children to Catholic schools.

Highlights of this involvement include:

· Executive Member of JEPAG (Joint Educational Parent Advisory Group)

· Member of HWCDSB Parent Involvement Committee (PIC)

· Chairman of Catholic School Council

· Applying and winning thousands of dollars in school and regional grants from the Ministry of Education

· Communicating with students, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, trustees, the Chairman and the Director of the HWCDSB

I was born and raised in Ward 6. I live here. I am a parishioner at St. Margaret Mary Parish. To my neighbours in Ward 6, I ask for your vote so that I can be your representative. If you elect me as your trustee, my focus will be on:

· Student achievement and well-being

· 2-way communication between the board and you

· Representing YOU

· Promoting Catholic Education

Quiet no more, this middle child will not leave middle Ward 6 behind!

You can find out a lot more by visiting www.edpecyna.com or by calling me at (905) 385-6905.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Death of a Soldier of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Today a member of Hamilton’s own Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was killed while performing the duties of a sentry at the National War Memorial.

His name has not been released at this time pending notification of next of kin.

The death of this young citizen-soldier and the act of terror that took his life in Ottawa today give us all cause to reflect on dangers that young men and women can face at any time when they don the uniforms of the military and protective services to serve their fellow Canadians at home and abroad.

At this time I join all Hamiltonians in offering our sincere condolences and prayers to the members of his family and his Regiment at the loss of their son and comrade.

Bob Bratina, Mayor

"The particulars of your plans I neither know or seek to know You are vigilant and self-reliant; and pleased with this, I wish not to intrude any constraints or restraints upon you. — If there is anything wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it. And now with a brave Army, and a just cause, may God sustain you.
Yours very truly, A. Lincoln" .... to Lt Gen US Grant , 1864

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Picture of the Moment

Click on picture to enlargen
Click on picture on left to make bigger. 

To the left of picture- election signs shown destroyed and dumped in a field, while another is left untouched.

There is a history of this in Ward 10. Click here for last election tactics. 

Meet Ward 2 Contender Terri Wallis

Hi, my name is Terri Wallis and I am running for City Council in Ward 2. I have lived in the Central neighbourhood of the Ward for over fourteen years and believe that it is important for a Councillor to live in the Ward they represent. You can better represent your Ward when it is your home too. I have extensive experience in all three levels of politics and find Municipal politics to be the most personal and rewarding.

As a City Councilor, I will make it a priority to fight for the interests of the residents of Ward 2. I believe the residents of the Ward and the rest of the city should have a very strong voice when it comes to what is best for their neighbourhood, and that voice must be listened to, respected, and honoured. I promise to listen, and to fight for your decisions regarding development in your neighbourhood. I will work to make your goals for the future of Ward 2 a reality. I promise to meet and work with individuals, businesses, groups and associations to make Ward 2 a place where we can all feel safe, proud, respected and included. I will answer all communications promptly and personally respond to all issues brought to my attention. Your input will always be welcome and your point of view valued and respected.

With almost 30 years of political experience and 8 years of volunteer work on the Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities (ACPD), an advisory committee to Council I feel that I am qualified to represent you. I have substantial experience in public transportation. As a member of the Transportation Sub- Committee for ACPD, I have worked with HSR, DARTS, ATS, and the taxi industry to help improve transportation in the city of Hamilton. I also use public transportation on a daily basis, a practice I intend to continue as a City Councillor. As well, I sit on the Accessibility Advisory Committee for Metrolinx, Chair the Built Environment Sub Committee of ACPD, and as a member of the newly formed GO ON the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the Business Improvement Areas Association, I hope to help our Business Improvement Areas become even better.

It is time for a change. Hamilton needs fresh faces and new ideas on Council. I offer a unique perspective with creative and practical solutions needed to bring accountability, accessibility and transparency to Hamilton’s City Council. I will work to uphold your vision and for the future and make Ward 2 a place where everyone has a voice, and where everyone can be proud to live and work.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Bit and Byte – the back to school edition

Food for Thought has gone back to school, for the next six months! And I must say being a student again is quite taxing, so the column is going to a somewhat new format for the upcoming months. Every second one will be a short snippet, or perhaps just a photo. Intervening columns will aim for the feature length that has proven so popular with readers. We’ll see how it goes…

This week’s byte is to feature a good friend of mine, nutrition goddess, Sue Baron. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the depth of knowledge Sue brings to my table on healthy eating. She has a formal Certified Nutritional Practitioner qualification, not to mention a wealth of practical experience in the field. It is because of her I have ventured to eat Swiss chard and kale. She also has steered me to the best of supplements and healthy foods in general.

Hot on the heels of a successful workshop on gluten free and sugar alternative baking, she is leading a session called “Sensational Soups” where she will lead participants in making no less than five yummy (and gluten-free) dishes. They will include chicken noodle, lemon lentil, and a squash-based soup.

The session will run 2-4 p.m., Sunday November 9th at the Monarch Wellness Studio at the corner of Upper James and Empress. The cost is $35 and the number of participants limited. Call 905-388-2400 or email info@monarchwellness.ca to book a spot.

Oh, yes, I’m glad you asked. I’m taking an intensive course in “digital media” so once I’m done, my photos will look more appetizing than ever, and might even be supplemented by video…

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Michael Baldasaro- on Schools, Construction Projects and on Media Treatment of Candidates

On behalf of The Hamiltonian, Catherine (Katie) Chisholm asked a few questions of our mayoral hopefuls. Not many of them replied, but Michael Baldasaro's answers are featured here:

In response to recent school closures throughout the City of Hamilton, do you support the decision to close smaller schools and create mega-schools out of the remaining ones? In your opinion, are the financial savings worth the social costs to communities? Some people (for example, Sean Hurley at
http://raisethehammer.org/article/2269) have pointed out that the closures will also lead to changes in housing prices. What is your opinion on how these closures will affect your community and
the city in general?

Michael Baldasaro replied as follows: 

No. I do not support closing small schools. Super Schools will prepare our children for Super Jails

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak-Chili Times in Flamborough

Chili Times in Flamborough

It was hot, hot, and hotter at the Legion in Waterdown as folks sampled chili from a dozen restaurants during the 2nd Annual Flamborough Chili Festival. The beneficiaries of the September 21st fund raiser were the women and their families served by the Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre. Councillor Judi Partridge honoured me by asking me to again help in adjudicating the contest. I was much impressed by the uniformly high standards of the chilies served this year. It was clear returning competitors had upped their game and were in it to win it.

There were awards aplenty to be had, and I’m glad to report the Celebrity Judges recognised Roseto Culinary and Catering Services as winners in their category. I first introduced readers to the owners of the Waterdown-based business, Anna Hansen and her mother Elizabeth, in this column in July 2012: their second attempt at Chipotle Blonde Chicken Chili (it included charred peaches and cream corn and a mini-cornbread garnish) had been lightly porked-up over last year’s offering, improving flavour and winning them top honours.

The People disagreed, awarding Flamborough Downs their award for a chili based on over 25 pounds of deboned and de-fatted Prime Rib. They also took the “Most Creative Garnish Award” for a somewhat overwhelming add-on to the Chili, as well as the “Hot n Spicy Award”. Their armful of