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Friday, January 31, 2014

Stepping Up to the Plate

Candidates are often thrown tough questions on the path to running for office. Some of them dodge questions, some answer forthright and some wish they were never asked in the first place. The odd time, a candidate actually volunteers to take a stand on the issues. That's what Ward 13 contender Danya Scime did when she asked us if she could field the same questions we are asking of registered mayoral candidates. (One question was slightly modified to make it appropriate for a ward councillor contender).

So, enjoy Danya Scime's thoughts on the following issues:

De-Amalgamation: Should we? Shouldn't we? Is it feasible? Why? Why not?


If I had a million dollars (actually a hell of a lot more), the simple solution would be yes BUT, that ship has sailed and would cause even more distress and dollars than we could possibly imagine.(Not to mention the red tape Provincial woes.) What WE CAN DO is re visit the New Urban and Rural Official Plans and ACCEPT the fact that none of the pre-amalgamated Towns and Cities should have a 'one size fits all' document to grow (or in some instances) die from.

We can have all of the Citizens work together for the benefit of the ENTIRE City by agreeing that each area


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hamilton Doesn't Have Six Downtown Cores- By M. Adrian Brassington

Actually Councillor, no; Hamilton doesn’t have six downtown cores

OK, first things first: I’d like to present a short list of things I don’t like in local ‘politics’:


-Bafflegab: Public servants avoid getting to the point, and instead, stave off being pinned down on an issue by offering up platitudes, generalities and other obfuscations. (I’m tempted to use Winston Churchill’s ‘terminological inexactitude’ phrase, but any reference to ‘lying’ might not be germane here. Which in itself is a lie.)

-Prolixity: If Councillors said half as much as they do –either in Council, to press or to their constituents– I believe we’d be inclined to get twice the performance.

-Disingenuousness: Although we could also call it ‘mollycoddling’, or ‘patronizing’, all three descriptives can be considered ‘insulting’.

A couple of recent (January 25th) Spec articles showcase at least one of the above. Most of what’s in the pieces is the standard stuff of examination. Nothing really new here, but for anyone interested in a better
understanding of Hamilton, they –along with the Spec editorials on resident voting habits– do provide some additional insight. However modest.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Perspectives Virtual Panel- The Election Collection- Advice

"Wise men (women) don't need advice. Fools won't take it." 

 Those are words from Bejamin Franklin and while they may be true in many cases, running successful campaigns involves many variables and good advice is a commodity that should be embraced. We thus asked our Perspectives Virtual Panel the following:

Q. The Hamiltonian's "Early Birds" feature is intended to provide a brief introduction to new people who are running either as a ward councillor, mayor or school board trustee. We thought it would be interesting to ask you for what advice you would offer these new candidates? If you have experience helping with a campaign, or running a campaign, what advice might you give these people? What are the do's and don'ts that they should bear in mind? If you have not been directly involved in running or assisting in a campaign, what advice would you offer these new candidates from a constituent's point of view? What are the do's and don'ts in term sof seeking votes?

1. Know why you are running: what improvements will you make to the ward? the city? the organization? the people you will represent.
2. Are you the best candidate? Why? What qualities and experience do you have to make you the best?
3. Who will help you in your quest? Family? Friends? Groups?
4. Where is your base of support? Now, can you grow this base? How?


Crystal Lavigne- on Her Mayoral Bid

The Hamiltonian is committed to remaining neutral in our coverage of the race for mayor. Our goal is to provide Hamiltonians with good information direct from the candidates, so that our readers can form their own opinions. Thus, we will be reaching out, as much as possible, to all registered candidates, at various times.

The following is our chat with mayoral contender, Crystal Lavigne.

What is your position on the following issues:


De-Amalgamation: Should we? Shouldn’t we? Is it feasible? Why? Why not?

Instead of trying to open old wounds, I think we should try to finish closing them and move on with the issue. Instead of trying to re-divide our city, we need to focus on the future, move forward, and bring each of our unique and individual communities together. We need to learn to work together and respect the needs of each area, with the emphasis on needs.

Light Rail: Do you believe it is critical and essential? What is your position on Light Rail for Hamilton?

Secrecy in Democracy?

Click here to read about it

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Link of the Moment

Mayor Bratina's, The Balance of Power. Click here to go there...

Rev. Michael Baldasaro- on his Mayoral Bid

Please note that Rev. Baldasaro has updated his answer to question 2, regarding light rail.  The updated response follows the question:

The Hamiltonian is committed to remaining neutral in our coverage of the race for mayor. Our goal is to provide Hamiltonians with good information direct from the candidates, so that our readers can form their own opinions. Thus, we will be reaching out, as much as possible, to all registered candidates, at various times. 

The following is our chat with mayoral contender, Rev. Michael Baldasaro.

What is your position on the following issues:


1. De-Amalgamation: Should we? Shouldn’t we? Is it feasible? Why? Why not?

We amalgamated years ago, get over it!

2. Light Rail: Do you believe it is critical and essential? What is your position on Light Rail for Hamilton?

Updated reply:

Yes, I support LRT for all the reasons explained to me via Raise the Hammer and the Presentation Video by The Hamilton Light Rail Initiative.
http://hamiltonlightrail.ca/the-presentation

Initial reply

What the G.H.A. needs is a Mono Rail. As I recall, the H.S.R. tore out Light Rails back in the 1970’s.

Toronto is an excellent example of why Light Rail doesn’t work. All the G.T.A.’s Light Rail Street Cars do is add to the grid lock, continually stopping in the middle of the road for passengers to get on and off. Such transit is an insult to motorists whose taxes and licensing etc. pay to create and maintain our streets. Grid

Monday, January 27, 2014

Don Ross- on his Mayoral Bid

The Hamiltonian is committed to remaining neutral in our coverage of the race for mayor. Our goal is to provide Hamiltonians with good information direct from the candidates, so that our readers can form their own opinions. Thus, we will be reaching out, as much as possible, to all registered candidates, at various times. 

The following is our chat with mayoral contender, Don Ross.

1. Why are you running for the position of Mayor and what do you believe that you can offer, that others may not be able to?


These are a few reasons why I’m running for mayor. One is that I believe I can bring new and exciting ideas and change to our city. I’ve been able to watch what’s happening from the outside while knowing very well how it all works on the inside this has allowed me a unique view. There is a disconnect between the mayor’s office and council which has used up energy in that direction which has taken the focus off what needs to be achieved, namely getting a cohesive message out. I know I can work with members of council by bringing a different approach to the interaction between myself and council members and helping to move the city forward in a positive way. When I was on Council for 12 years from 1985-1997, I did just that on a regular basis. We must work together, not fight within.


2. In your media release, you appear to focus on being responsive to the business community. What do you say to those Hamiltonians who may be struggling, who may be in receipt of social assistance or who might

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Redesigning Wards

In this article submitted by John Sullivan, John proposes a new model for ward design. 

Ward Review

A Ward Review is scheduled for 2015, in time for the 2018 municipal election. This Ward Review should not just be about representation by population; it should recommend a more equitable, balanced and innovative democratic practice. Let’s re-draw wards, so that in addition to dealing with the wide discrepancy in ward size, we deal with the other issue that affects the way that this city is governed. That is, councillors beholden to constituents with specific ward concerns. Their desire to be re-elected focuses councillors on

Musical Notes- Robin Benedict

Enjoy this installment of Musical Notes, with Angelo Noto Campanella as he reviews Robin Benedict

The Charismatic Robin Benedict

I first heard Robin sing at a graduation party for a guy I went to school with. They had a karaoke machine going and lots of different people got up to sing. At some point it sounded like someone had finally put on a mixed tape because the song "Zombie" by The Cranberries came on and I was tapping on the table in sync with the song. Just then, I saw a beautiful young lady walk by on her way to the dance floor. As I watched her dancing, she made her way to the front and center, that's when I noticed that it wasn't a tape I was listening to, it was Robin singing, that was about 8 or 9yrs ago. In 2011, I was coming off a 3 to 11pm shift at the Hospital and headed over to "This Aint hollywood" to catch Carole Pope. She was already on and the place was jumping. I ran into my friend, the guy who's grad party I was at and heard Robin first sing, told me that I missed his sister-in-law Robin Benedict open. After the show I stole the Carole Pope poster hanging by the door( shhhh...don't tell Lou Molinaro), and hung it on my wall. I just noticed that


Saturday, January 25, 2014

50 Reasons why Alex Bielak's Food For Thought has been So Successful

Alex Bielak
 photo by Ninka Bielak
The Hamiltonian and our readership are truly fortunate to have Alex Bielak as our "foodie" and expert in the celebration of food and drink. Alex's enthusiasm for the appreciation of fine food and drink, is infectious and is laden with depth and elegance. With this week's edition of Food for Thought, Alex has reached a milestone marking this edition as his fiftieth.

Alex has definitely caught the attention of our readers and is also a sought after personality in the food and drink circles. He was invited to be a judge of the First Flamborough Chili Festival (http://www.waterdownlegion.ca/12415/Hall-Rental-Social-Events.htm) in support of the Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre and also a judge at the 1st Hamilton Battledish (http://dishcrawl.com/hamilton/) held last October. He has been to various food events including the Ontario Culinary Tourism Summit (https://ontarioculinary.com/octasummit/) and is a proud member of the Food Bloggers of Canada http://www.foodbloggersofcanada.com/

His writing will also be featured with our friends at Hamilton Magazine and has an article in the most recent edition of upcoming “Wine Food and Friends". Alex will also be featured in http://rarerepublic.com/ in the future.

Alex tells us that he is most happy that people read his material and that he is having fun writing. Thank-you Alex for your hard work, enthusiasm and contributions to The Hamiltonian. 

In truth there are not fifty reasons for Alex's success in The Hamiltonian and beyond; there is only one- Alex Bielak.

Cheers Alex and thank-you. We are all looking forward to edition 100 of Food for Thought ;-) For now, let's enjoy the fiftieth edition by clicking here.  

Teresa DiFalco and staff of The Hamiltonian


Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Sips and Bites – the January 2014 Value edition

Sips and Bites – the January 2014 Value edition 

Certainty is elusive. The vortex is polar and the loonie is falling. But there can be value upsides.

The cold winter has been great for ice wine producers who have had plenty of time and optimal conditions to harvest what looks like a bumper crop. And the weather is appropriately brisk for the Ice Wine Festival that concludes this Sunday, January 26th. This means there is still time to nip down and partake of some of the excellent-value “Discovery Pass” events at a variety of locations, from Beamsville to Niagara on the Lake.

I’m pleased to have been invited to the sold-out preview event for a Taste of Burlington at the Burlington


Friday, January 24, 2014

McHattie says his campaign will be different

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 24, 2014
McHattie to launch a “different kind of campaign”

HAMILTON – Ward 1 City Councillor Brian McHattie will officially launch his campaign for Mayor of Hamilton Tuesday night with a gala event featuring live music by acclaimed Hamilton band Harlan Pepper.

“We’re pulling out all the stops,” said campaign chair Todd White. “Tuesday night will push the boundaries of a traditional campaign launch. We’re starting off with a bang.”

The event will reveal McHattie’s vision for a stronger Hamilton and mark the launch of a full-fledged website and social media campaign, which will go live during the event.

“This is going to be a different kind of campaign,” said McHattie. “Our launch will introduce innovative ways to engage Hamiltonians. We’re changing the dynamic of municipal politics across this city.”

The McHattie 2014 Campaign Launch will take place at LIUNA Station, King George Room (lower level) on Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:00 p.m.). The event is open to the public.

"Early Birds" - Meet Danya Scime

Danya Scime (centre) - contender for Ward 13
Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I chose to run in this Election to win! I was a Candidate in 2010 and was the 'runner up' to the Incumbent.

What I wish to accomplish is a more balanced approach to how the City deals with the uniqueness of our smaller communities; some of the policies and direction (ie by-laws), make sense for the core but are not necessarily in the best interests of Dundas.

I realize the importance of operating our City as a whole yet know that allowing our Citizens to have more input into their individual Wards is crucial. The words transparency and accountability are spoken over and over again; THIS MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED! As your Councillor, my goal would have all the City Councillors, Mayor and City Staff be held responsible for their actions and reactions.

Can you briefly describe your experience, and/or what you believe you have to offer as a candidate.

Being self employed for decades has enriched me with invaluable experience and life skills that are imperative assets for a strong Community Leader.

My current company is akin to a small Town of individuals who have problems that need to be dealt with on a weekly basis;

utilizing my skills and strong problem solving interactions, I ensure that issues are addressed and solved swiftly.

As a small Business Owner, I have witnessed first hand the many frustrating changes that face our local Ma & Pa Companies (the backbone to our City). Moving forward, I believe it is vital that we focus on supporting small Business and encourage mixed usage to maximize 'living/working' space.

Volunteering in an array of organizations has given me great insight on what is important to the Citizens across our City.

As a single parent of four children, I have participated in discussions regarding the loss of our schools...An issue very dear to me, that as a Councillor; I will work on bridging the gap between City Council and the School Boards to ensure the best for every Student.

Where or how can constituents learn more about you and/or contact you?

E-mail: danyafordundas@hotmail.ca Twitter: @123Danya Phone: 905-541-2980

My website will be activated soon.

Have an amazing day everyone!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Petition to Stop Closure of Parkview School

See it by clicking here.

The Morrow of the Story

It is being said that former long serving mayor Bob Morrow, is being approached to temporarily fill in for the late Clr. Bernie Morelli, pending the next election.  

Media Release- Don Ross Registers in Mayoral Race

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hamilton, ON - January 23, 2014

Former city council member Don Ross has joined the race for Mayor.

On Wednesday morning, he visited Hamilton City Hall to submit his papers for the Mayor’s chair.

Don served on city and regional council from 1985 until 1997, when he did not seek re-election, and returned to the private sector, but he continued to be involved and informed in all matters affecting the City Of Hamilton.

Don’s experience, knowledge and ability to work with diverse groups puts him in an excellent position to lead council in building on Hamilton’s foundation of being a National leader in education, innovation, research, and development. 

As Mayor, Don will work to develop a team that is helpful and responsive to the business community, no matter what issue is brought to the table. The team will work to find a solution, if possible, that will be beneficial for all concerned. Job creation by the private sector is vital to our prosperity and growth, and will help lessen the tax burden on our residents.

Recently, a discussion has been raised regarding de-amalgamation, to which Don says, “Raising the spectre of de-amalgamation, especially in an election year, is counter-productive and divisive.” He believes that, “we should be building on the positive aspects of all of the communities that make up this great city, rather than being distracted by de-amalgamation discussions.”

Don Ross is looking forward to running a solid and vigorous campaign that will lead him to Election Day on October 27th.         

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Parkview High School- Beacon of Hope surrendered?

The following letter authored by Gary Santucci  argues that the closing of Parkview High School will have a devastating impact on the students it will leave behind; particularly those living with severe learning disabilities.

Mr Mayor,Councillors, Trustees et al

It is with great dismay that we have learned of your complicity (knowingly or unwittingly) in the closure of Parkview High School risking the future of our most vulnerable student community. This school under the leadership of principal Paul Beattie and his staff, is a beacon of hope for those young people afflicted with severe learning disabilities. You are about to destroy this community and replace it with a parking lot. Assurances have been given that these young people will be integrated into the school system under the banner of "inclusion". History tells us that this will not happen in any meaningful way and will only create more casualties by an indifferent self serving bureaucratic system. Please take a moment to watch this short video that will put a very human face to the consequences of your decision to support the closing and demolition of this marvellous and miraculous community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0IQWSKvqx8&desktop_uri=%252Fwatch%253Fv%253Dv0IQWSKvqx8&app=desktop

Please view these Facebook pages as well; People in support of Parkview
https://www.facebook.com/parkviewschoolhamilton


Single Parents of Children with Autism
https://www.facebook.com/singlemotherswhohavechildrenwithautism

It is never too late to right a terrible wrong.

"There is no humanity without empathy" Robert H. Jackson Nuremberg Trials.

Sincerely yours
Gary Santucci

Please also see The Spec's Jeff Mahoney's coverage as well by clicking here. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bratina Probes Cost of Public Art Piece Honouring Lincoln Alexander

Mayor's Bratina's motion (see it here)  requests that staff report back on the cost of developing a public art piece honouring the late great Lincoln Alexander.

"Early Birds" - Meet Jason Allen

Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I'm running in this election because I'm passionate about the people in Ward 1, and the issues that affect them. I also believe that municipal politics is the place where I can have the greatest impact on people's daily lives. Over the next four years I hope to continue the transformation of Ward 1 to a pedestrian, cycle, and transit-user friendly ward. I intend to continue with and enhance the participatory budgeting process, to work closely with the neighbourhood associations of the ward to determine their priorities and to put those priorities into action where ever possible. I will ensure that when commercial development happens, it respects existing neighbourhoods and residents, while creating an environment that encourages small businesses to locate in the ward. I intend to address the student rental housing issue in Ainslie Wood/Westdale in a way that respects both home-owners and tenants and finally to ensure that the Prince Philip P.S. property, if acquired by the city, is converted to a community and recreation centre.

Can you briefly describe your experience, and/or what you believe you have to offer as a candidate?

I have lived in Ward 1 for the past seven years, and in that time have sat on the Strathcona Community Council and spent six years on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton. I am currently a member of the Participatory Budget Advisory Committee for the ward, the Kirkendall Neighborhood Association's Development Review Committee and a Beaver Scout leader with the 47th Hamilton Scout Group at St. John's on Locke Street. I have a long history as a problem solver and I'm known for doing my homework. Not only do I research issues, but I am committed to listening carefully to the views of people closest to any problems I might encounter. I find this is often where the best solutions come from.

Where or how can constituents learn more about you and/or contact you? 

People can contact me by email at jason@jasonaallen.ca, or go to my website at www.jasonaallen.ca to sign up for campaign updates to learn more. I'm also very active on twitter (twitter.com/janoallen) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/janoallen).

Thanks Jason for your submission to The Hamiltonian

Monday, January 20, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY

MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release

Councillor McHattie and the Ward 1 Participatory Budgeting Advisory Committee (PBAC) to announce the 2014 Area Rating projects at a public meeting

Hamilton, Ont. – Councillor Brian McHattie and the Ward 1 Participatory Budgeting Advisory Committee will be announcing the selected Ward 1 Area Rating projects and launching the 2014 process at a public meeting.

Who: Councillor Brian McHattie; Ward 1 Participatory Budgeting Advisory Committee

What: To announce the 2014 Ward 1 Area Rating projects and to launch the 2014 Participatory Budgeting process.

When: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Fellowship Hall, First Unitarian Church, 170 Dundurn St. S. (enter by the front doors)

Why: For the second year, the Ward 1 Participatory Budgeting Advisory Committee (PBAC) has engaged the community to solicit ideas on spending Ward 1 Area Rating infrastructure dollars and to vote on the ideas. The PBAC invites the Ward 1 community to hear a report on the process, to learn the results of the voting and to find out how to become involved in the 2014 process.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Words to Vote By

"Anybody knows that the people have the power. All we have to do is awaken the power in the people. The people are unaware. It's like they're not educated to realize that they have power. They put the politicians in power. They vote for the local Mayor. The people do it, but the system is so geared that everybody believes that just the father will fix everything. The father being the government. The government will fix everything. It's all government's fault. You know..shake a fist at the government. But we are the government.  The people are the government and the people have the power. We must try to make them aware of this."
John Lennon

The Shell Game

In December of 2013, Clr. Collins dropped a bombshell when he noted that some staff had been redirecting millions of taxpayer dollars, without proper oversight or approval. His assertions were backed by Clr. Terry Whitehead who also raised concern over the practice. (see Spec story here

In any large organization, there is ordinarily flexibility within like budget lines, to move money. However, that levity is ordinarily constrained, is done transparently and is part of the management of budget lines.  What Clr. Collins and Whitehead were onto however, was the redirecting and re-purposing of money, to projects or initiatives that fell outside of the initial allocation intent. The implications are serious in that they distort the direction set by council, who, in turn are representing the interests of Hamiltonians. 

You may recall that the City of Hamilton created the position of Auditor General, presently held by Ann Pekurak. (see our previous story here) The trial project which created this specific position, allowed for the expansion of responsibilities of the role Director of Audit Services (which was the role that Ms. Pekurak previously held) to allow for, among other things, value for money audits to occur. The intent of such audits is to determine whether the city has realized enough value for the money it invests in particular projects or initiatives. 

The impact of repurposing money outside of council oversight, becomes apparent as we consider  value for money audits. How can  proper value for money audits be conducted, if money originally intended to achieve an envisioned outcome, is repurposed as described above? This led to us having the following Q/A with Ms. Pekaruk. We concede the questions posed are tough ones to answer, but we would argue, necessary.

Q. Recently Clr. Collins discovered that city bureaucrats were redirecting millions of dollars that were approved for certain projects or initiatives, and using them for purposes outside of their intent. As you will know, in any large organization there are ordinarily some allowances for moving monies within budget lines, to  allow the management of budgets to achieve their approved purpose. However repurposing monies  for purposes outside of their intent, without proper notification or approval, threatens the authority of council and undermines an important aspect of good governance- financial controls.  Can you explain how this could have happened and what advice/direction you may have for managers within the organization who may have been repurposing funds as described. In your role as Auditor General, would you assess this as a serious concern and if so, what do you believe to be a proportional response? 

The City of Hamilton’s Audit Services Division has not investigated this allegation and, as a result, is not aware of the specifics or how this happened..

Any situation in which Council may feel its responsibility over governance is affected is a concern. In the last two years, at the request and approval of Council, Audit Services has reviewed selected construction contracts and reported results and corresponding recommendations to improve accountability and information flow to Council.

In addition to following specific policies in place to guide capital projects, recommending disclosure of project activity (sources of funding, major expenditures, cost recoveries) above an established individual threshold throughout the year as well as a year-end (annual) accounting of the year’s capital project activity would provide a useful tool to inform Council and the taxpayers of where dollars have been budgeted and spent and make management accountable for variances (and their ultimate resolve) from the approved capital budget.

Friday, January 17, 2014

UNU-INWEH Photography Contest

The following is information from the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) located in Hamilton.

This year UNU-INWEH is helping to coordinate the official United Nations World Water Day (WWD) celebrations. One of the initiatives we are leading for World Water day is a Facebook Photography contest. Winners of the photography contest will have their work displayed at the official World Water Day Photo Exhibit at the main WWD 2014 celebrations in Tokyo, Japan (20-21 March 2014). It’s a very large event, so this is a great opportunity for photographers and creative minds alike to gain artistic exposure on an international front!  

Contest rules can be found here: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/media/news/news-details/en/c/211987/

Applicants may enter the contest here: https://www.facebook.com/UNWorldWaterDay/app_321922377880728

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Details of Funeral Arrangements for Bernie Morelli

Visitation will be held at P.X. DERMODY FUNERAL HOME, 1919 King Street East on Saturday and Sunday, January 18 and 19 from 1 to 4 and 7 to 9p.m.  A Funeral Mass will be offered at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Monday, January 20 at 10:30 a.m. Interment, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Nicholas Morelli Memorial Fund (a Non-Registered Fund ) c/o 45 Ivy Lea Place, Hamilton, Ontario L8T 3R5 or SPCA would be appreciated. Online condolences may be made at www.dermodys.com

In Honour of Clr. Bernie Morelli

The Hamiltonian is saddened to learn of the death of Clr. Bernie Morelli. Mr. Morelli had been struggling with serious health issues and passed at age 70.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

"Early Birds"- Trustee Edition- Meet Larry Pattison

Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

Thousands of parents across this city (and the province for that matter), are upset with the Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) process. I do not feel that closing schools it the direction our education system should be heading in and neither is ridding ourselves of vocational schools and schools that specialize in children with different needs. I also cannot endorse the idea of centralized schools no more than I believe in centralized employment. Each of us learn to our fullest potential best in different environments.

Since the beginning of public education, we have built schools to cater to the workforce. It’s time to create the environment in our schools that we want to see carry over into the workplace from walk-ability, decentralization, creating more individualized learning/work environments and engaging our communities in the decision making processes in a manner that actually leaves them feeling as though their voice does matter. Most of all, it’s time to bridge the gap between City Council. HWDSB and our community. I truly feel looking at our schools as community hubs is how we can reverse these closures and lead our education in a direction that is in line with one council, through the voices of its constituents, is heading towards.


Can you briefly describe your experience, and/or what you believe you have to offer as a candidate?

I have worked in office settings for some 20 years and much of that has been in a leadership role. I have spent a great deal of time in boardrooms, made presentations to hundreds of people and over the past couple of years, have delegated in front of city council numerous times. I have also been engaged with Council and Trustees expressing my thoughts, ideas and concerns regarding decisions being made that I feel are not in line with the city's wants to be 'The Best Place to Raise a Child.'

I have a profound passion for education. That fervor is even more so now that I have children in the system. There are many issues facing our society and throwing a little money at each issue will not solve any of them. I strongly believe that the best way to build a healthy and vibrant Hamilton, is to treat education and the community hubs that serve our neighbourhoods, as the most important fabric of our society.

  • Peer Health Educator at Sheridan College
  • Four years volunteering with Big Brothers Association (from being a Big Brother to a SOAR volunteer)
  • Four years Social Club Committee member at Cogeco Cable
  • Two years volunteer coach from Crown Point soccer to Scott Park baseball.
  • Volunteer with Hockey Initiation program at Scott Park
  • Served on three parent councils including Parkview Secondary School
  • Community volunteer attending several community and council meetings
  • Active in team sports since age 6: hockey, football, baseball
  • I recognize the importance of team effort and love engaging with people from my community of Ward 3.
Where or how can constituents learn more about you and/or contact you?

Calling the campaign office at 905-528-0307 is the best way to contact me. I can also be reached via email, Twitter, and the campaign website, Pattison2014.com, is currently being developed.

Thanks Larry for your submission to The Hamiltonian

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Clr. Merulla's message concerning Clr. Morelli's Passing

The following was written by Clr. Sam Merulla about Mr. Morelli's passing. Mr. Morelli's office has asked that we share this with our readers:

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of a dear friend and colleague, Councillor Bernie Morelli.

Each of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual who has given so much to so many but also for the loss his family suffers.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bernie’s family at this most difficult time.

As soon as further details on the funeral arrangements become available, I will share them with you.

Should you wish to express your condolences, please do so by clicking here and posting to the thread this link takes you to. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Early Birds" - Meet Victor Rosettani- contender for Ward 3

Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I have always wanted to represent the Ward I was born and raised in for as long as I can recall. I believe this is the time for me to start my dream and I look forward to the challenge. The ward 3 constituents need a new voice, a voice that knows the ward very well. I am a 2nd generation ward 3 constituent, my father’s family grew up in the ward and it is a place that I brag about to my friends, family and people from out of town. I love this ward I was educated in this ward and I want everyone else to love and embrace it the same way I did and still do.

I want to change the stigma of Ward 3. It’s no secret that when you drive down certain streets in the ward, it could use some revitalization. I want to change that I want the great people of Hamilton (some of whom grew up in the ward and moved away for work or school) to drive down our main streets in the ward and decide to stop for a bite to eat or go to the park or visit a plaza. I want to bring New Business to the ward and I plan on working very hard with the Local BIA to get this done.


Can you briefly describe your experience, and/or what you believe you have to offer as a candidate?

I am a people person and I consider myself a good listener. Being in Business for myself most of my adult life I understand hard work and understand the needs of people. Customer Services is key in this business I can and will bring that to the table. I believe that I can offer a voice for the people of Ward 3, I think that the constituents of Ward 3 a looking for a new Voice and will welcome a hard working no nonsense type of guy that will represent them 100%.

Where or how can constituents learn more about you and/or contact you?

I have my email on line at Hamilton.ca/2014 election/new candidates. I want the people to feel free to contact me any time with any questions they may have. I will be opening an office in the ward in the very near future.

Thank-you Victor for your submission to The Hamiltonian

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Early Birds"- Trustee Edition- Meet Grant Thomas

Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I believe the students and parents of Ward one and two need a strong voice at the board level. I believe my knowledge of the working of the board and being a parent myself that I would be able to bring that strong voice to the table on their behalf.

Can you briefly describe your experience, and/or what you believe you have to offer as a candidate.

For the last 13 years through my work as School Council Chair and Home and School President at various Ward One and Two schools I have been able to advocate and assist students and their parents in matters dealing with the local school and at the board level. When parents and students have thought they didn't have a voice or maybe they didn't think there voice would be heard, I have taken on the challenge to make sure they are heard. Communities of Ward one and two are very dear to my heard, my children reside and attend school in these wards, I'm an active coach in these wards and I also grew up here as a child. I'm a proud 1005 steelworker and I'm very proud of the area I grew up in and where my children grow up now.

Due to my many years of volunteering in these wards(which I still currently do) I feel I can offer a strong voice for the Public School Supporters of Ward one and two.

Where or how can constituents learn more about you and/or contact you?

How to learn more about me.....well I have twitter(cdnspeedy), currently constructing a facebook page, email or phone or text. As I say to parents I currently represent on School Council whatever question you have please ask away and if I don't know the answer I will have it for you in 24 hours.

Thanks Grant for your submission.

"Early Birds"- Meet Matthew Green- contender for Ward 3

Q1. Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I believe we need a new approach to politics. I see my role as Ward 3 Councilor as championing a winning vision for our community by helping, promoting and enabling our residents to solve the challenges we face.

It is critical to keep the doors of government wide open and to connect citizen leaders to the resources they need to make positive changes. And that starts with changing the way we talk about the problems we face. It’s far too easy to just focus on what’s wrong. We need to look at the strengths we have in our local people, ideas and skills and invest in them. We must support local business owners to meet local needs and hire local employees. We need to implement a transit plan that makes our streets more complete, so that people can bike and walk safely, transit can move quickly and effectively connect our neighbourhoods with the broader city, and drivers can drive at safer speeds. With the right infrastructure in place, we can offer youth viable and relevant alternatives to street life by connecting them to local employment opportunities, recreational activities and social support.

We can become a family-centred, recreational district in the city, that is affordable to live in and where all

Sunday, January 12, 2014

$251.00 plus, per second.

A 17 second exchange between Mayor Bob Bratina and City Manager Chris Murray, which prompted council to call for an investigation by the Integrity Commissioner, cost the Hamilton taxpayer $4,275.00. That's about $251.00 per second of the exchange. Given the amount of work involved to interview several witnesses and watch the footage, Mr. Basse seems to have kept his costs within reason, but those costs, along with the in-kind costs of the time expended by witnesses who are also city employees, would make the total cost to the taxpayer more significant. Mr. Basse's investigation concluded that Mayor Bratina's comments to City Manager Chris Murray, during the course of a discussion on Light Rail Transit, were not in contravention of the Code of Conduct. The Hamiltonian verfied these costs with Mr. Basse directly. 


Re. Michael Baldasaro- on Mayoral Campaign

Rev. Michael Baldasaro, has registered to run for mayor.  Michael has previously run for mayor on more than one occasion. Enjoy our chat with Michael:

You have registered early for the Mayoral race for the city of Hamilton. Can you tell us what your mayoral campaign might look like and how might it differ, if so, from previous bids you have made for the Mayor’s chair?


Dear Hamiltonian, 

It has always been my custom to register early as a Mayoral Candidate for the City of Hamilton.


According to CATCH News - January 6, 2014 "City staff says only about 40 percent of eligible voters cast


"Early Birds"- Trustee Edition - Meet Chris Erl

Chris Erl
Meet Chris Erl. Chris is running in the public school board system (English) as Trustee for Wards 1 and 2. Enjoy our chat with Chris:

Q1. Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I believe that Hamilton’s schools are one of our community’s cornerstones. They are places for students and residents alike to learn and grow, serving as everything from concert halls to polling stations. Strong, vibrant, diverse public schools are essential to our growth as a city. Hamilton is quickly becoming an internationally-recognized centre of education, innovation, activism, and creative

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Early Birds" - Meet Crystal Lavigne

The Hamiltonian has extended an invite to all the "early bird" registrants who have registered to run in the 2014 municipal election. Our invite did not extend to incumbents, as this feature is intended to showcase non incumbents. Having said that, incumbents who would like the same opportunity, need only contact us at admin@thehamiltonian.info. Please note that at this stage, we have asked that these guests keep their responses concise to one or two paragraphs per question. 

Our first guest in this series is Crystal Lavigne who is running for mayor. Enjoy our chat with Crystal.

Q1. Can you tell us why you chose to run in this election? What do you hope to accomplish?

I chose to run in the election because we need a drastic change of leadership at City Hall and for the city of Hamilton.

Right now the city of Hamilton is stagnant and is going to continue down that path if we don't start making new changes at City Hall. I hope to be able to bridge the generational gap at City Hall. I hope to lead


Friday, January 10, 2014

Link of the Moment

Click here to go there...

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - White Gold (and a missed opportunity?)

White Gold (and a missed opportunity?

What is whitish, mottled, lumpy, pungent, and might generally be qualified as visually underwhelming and unattractive, yet is a luxury food that normally costs in the range of $7 - 8,000 per Kilo?

My wife and I had the opportunity to find out just before Christmas at a $60 per plate event held at Konoba, the Croatian restaurant and lounge in Hess Village. The answer is of course a sought-after seasonal delicacy Tuber magnatum Pico. That’s white truffle to you and me, and no, we’re not talking the chocolate kind. Rather we were sampling the elusive fungus hunted with dogs (really – there are lots of videos on YouTube) in the Motovun forest in Istria, Croatia.

The white truffle is truly a luxury item available in the fall through to December. They are tasty (more on that below) and aromatic beyond belief, which is why dogs (and pigs) can be trained to find them where they grow in the wild. The most highly prized are from Italy and Croatia and, according to Wikipedia, stratospheric prices in the range of hundreds of thousand dollars have been paid for large specimens of a kilo or so.

We were among a small group of enthusiastic guests that joined Konoba’s Chef and co-owner, Vedran


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Panoramic View of the Panoramic State of the City Address

Clr. Sam Merulla and some others are crying foul over Mayor Bratina's $5000.00 contribution, through his office budget, toward the State of the City address which was delivered at a Chamber of Commerce function. A $50.00 dollar entry fee was charged at that event. (see Spec coverage here, or purchase today's print copy)

However, staff confirmed that the expenditure was proper and within the parameters of the mayor's office budget spending rules.

State of the city speeches are significant and designed to communicate to Hamiltonians and interested parties, the progress made by the city.

As such, a contribution from the mayor's budget toward the expenses related to the venue, appear consistent with his leadership role and the corresponding requirement to communicate with Hamiltonians at large.

The following figures obtained through the office of the mayor, demonstrate the fiscal management of his budget.


Year           Restated Budget                Actual                 Variance
2011          1,072,125                          509,864              562,261
2012          1,024,070                          654,818              369,252
2013             996,400                          654,920              341,480

Highlights of the 2014 State of the City Address...

...can be found by clicking here.

Amalgamation in Ontario

At 3pm today (January 8th) there will be a presentation by Dr. Tim Cobban, from Western University, on his work regarding amalgamation in Ontario. He will present this at the MacNab room in the Sheraton – 116 King Street West, Hamilton

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In Honour of Aaron

Aaron Urquhart
It is with sadness that The Hamiltonian has learned that Aaron Urquhart, a friend of The Hamiltonian and staunch advocate for the rights of people living with a disability, has passed away today. 

You may recall that Aaron wrote this piece (click here) making a case for the need for federal disability legislation.

Aaron and his passionate advocacy will be dearly missed. 

Cece Johnson, wrote this about Aaron:  My heart breaks today for my dearest friend Pam Prawdzik, Matt Urquhart, Kim Cesar, family members, my children and myself. As today Aaron Urquhart a wonderful young man and a very important part of my extended family has passed at the very... young age of 21. Aaron did everything with such an immense passion. He loved to sing and did it beautifully! He was very intelligent and his mom and I one day agreed that yes he is an "Old Soul" and that he was. Not too long ago he was published, as he had something to say and wanted it to be heard. I am re-posting this because I know that this is what he would have wanted. Aaron, you fought so many battles in your short years so many more then an army of us could have and you made a very large footprint in such a short time. You are the very reason I count my blessings. Love you.

Thanks Aaron for your contributions to The Hamiltonian and for your concern for others. Those wishing to express their condolences for the family and friends of Aaron, please feel free to do so here. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Clr. McHattie- on Mayoral Campaign

Enjoy our Q/A with Mayoral contender, Clr. Brian McHattie.

Q. You were the first to register as a candidate for Mayor in the 2014 election. What message, if any, are you sending to Hamiltonians by being the first to register and what can we expect from a Brian McHattie campaign?

A. By being the first to register (and announcing my intentions more informally in October) I am stating emphatically that my Mayoral campaign will be a full year, having decided now not to run again in Ward 1. By starting early, I have the luxury and I now intend to, spend the first part of my campaign consulting with citizens from across the city, gaining a better understanding of their concerns and issues in the diverse city we enjoy. 

The details of the McHattie Campaign will unfold over the next while, beginning with a website and a social media strategy the likes of which Hamilton has never seen. My official campaign launch will occur in late January in an innovative style. So, stay tuned!

Thanks
Brian

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fred Eisenberger- on running for Mayor in 2014


Clr. McHattie recently registered as a mayoral candidate and is apparently beginning a consultative process to finalize his platform. Although Mayor Bratina has not formally registered, he is expected to. Some speculate that if you do run, it may split the vote which will bolster the chances of the incumbent, if he does run. Does this give you any cause for pause? You had previously indicated that you would also be running. Is your resolve still the same?

Thank you for the question Diane. I will reiterate my previous comment to you...” Now more than ever, our city needs strong leadership, clear vision and a well developed plan, along with the ability to collaborate effectively, build positive relationships with all of our institutions, organizations and other levels of government to build pride and confidence in our community and its people. I have been encouraged many, many times over the past few years to give the important position of Mayor of the city of Hamilton serious consideration , and I am. My focus has always been to build a clean, green and prosperous city that will once again embrace innovation, ambition and compassion to the benefit of all the diverse people that make up our city. I am consulting broadly on all of this throughout the community. I thank all of those that are sending my notes of encouragement and I look forward to my final decision in the coming ,months. I will be sure to keep all of the media posted......”. Let me add the following:

“My consultations in the broader community the past year or more has gone very, very well and has been very informative. . I have learned much from my time as Mayor and as the Chief Executive officer and President of the Canadian Urban Institute ( an organization dedicated towards building sustainable, liveable cities in Canada and throughout the world) and from the many citizens and leaders I have conferred with over the past 4 years. I look forward to filing the nomination papers in the near future and then let the voters decide who has the best experience, passion and ability to lead our city forward.”

I wish the Hamiltonian and all of your viewers and subscribers a healthy and prosperous 2014.

Cheers Fred Eisenberger

Mayor Bratina?

Mayor Bratina,
expected to seek re-election.
From our Q/A with the Mayor, it looks as though his intent to seek re-election remains intact.

Q. Clr. McHattie and Rev. Michael Baldasaro have been early registrants in the race for mayor for 2014. You have not yet registered. Should Hamiltonians continue to expect your candidacy and when might you make a final decision in this regard and register?


I appreciate the question and understand its context. The election is 10 months away and the office of the Mayor is currently fully occupied with the business of the City. Once again I have no reason not to seek re-election and a formal statement will come down at the right time.
Mayor Bob Bratina

And They're Off.......

Clr. Brian McHattie was the first to register as a candidate for the Mayor's chair in the 2014 municipal election. Rev. Michael Baldasaro, who has run multiple times in the past, has also registered to run for Mayor. McHattie obviously sees an advantage to registering early and according to a Spec report, McHattie wants to take time to consult with others prior to finalizing a platform. McHattie seems to have come out swinging throwing a few barbs along the way at Mayor Bratina. (see Spec story here or purchase today's print copy). Bratina has yet to register but is expected to. Former Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who has also expressed an intention to run, has also yet to register.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Predicting Hamilton's 2014 Future

The Hamiltonian predicts that soon, we will be publishing our Perspectives Virtual Panel's 2014 predictions for Hamilton.  Stay tuned.

(If you are part of our panel and have yet to submit your replies, day's end today is the deadline. )

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Helping Frank

‎The  text below is an open letter from the wife of a childhood friend of mine, Frank Italiano. Frank's wife Marlow, is seeking the community's help in helping to save her husband's life. My heart and prayers go out to him and to his beautiful family. It's times like this when a community can help make a difference in a person's life. In Frank's case, we can help save his. Please consider helping in any way you can. 

Thank you and God Bless,
Teresa DiFalco


Dear Family and Friends of Frank Italiano:‎

My husband Frank, has been fighting an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for the past 5 years. During this period, he has endured six rounds of chemotherapy, all the while continuing to run our business, Westside Auto Collision.

Frank never took a day off, he was like a warrior. You would never know he was sick, if it wasn't for the hair loss. Unfortunately the cancer returned.

Next up was stem-cell transplants last August, 2012. This entailed the highest doses of chemotherapy


Musical Notes- Social Animals

Enjoy this installment of Musical Notes, with Angelo Noto Campanella as he reviews Social Animals

Social Animals...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble

I first heard Social Animals perform at the Artword Artbar on Colbourne street here in Hamilton back in November of 2012, it was an acoustic set. They played some covers, with a rousting rendition of "Whipping Post", and they also played some amazing original material. I was awe-struck by the jaw dropping vocals of Christa Bradbury and the power of Chris' guitar, they held me in a trance. I had my camera with me that night, as I almost always do when I go see a band, and I recorded the acoustic version of a song that's on the upcoming release of their first album "Innominate". I feel so lucky to have heard the evolution of this song which also happens to be the title track. 


 This very first release is a ...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble rock album. I use the term ...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble, which is the name of a Uriah Heep(heavy rock) album, to describe how really HEAVY this album is. To illustrate my point I refer to Heart's first album "Dreamboat Annie", it had some pretty little ditties on it with an underlying rock heaviness to it. Other albums like that were Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album and Supertramp's "Crime of The Century" album. This new to be released album by Social Animals brings to mind legendary albums of this stature and other classic albums too numerous to mention, but it's brand new and fresh...Chris Bradbury - "Because we did grow up in that era listening to that kind of music it's not surprising that we would be creating music that somebody can hear the hint of that." Chris and Christa Bradbury wrote all the words and music for this album, long time friend and drummer David Guild co-produced along with Jordan Abraham for SpectreBox Productions, and filling out the band is Jarrod Ross on bass guitar and Jeff Litka on electric guitar. They will be releasing this album at The Pearl Company on June 7th, 2014, doors open at 8pm, performance will begin at 9-ish.

Chris and Christa were born on opposite sides of the world, Christa in Vancouver British Columbia and Chris on the gulf coast of Queensland Australia. At some point Christa moved to Oakville Ontario and just loved to sing...Christa - "at 16 or 17yrs old I'd get all dressed up and sneak into bars with older friends in Oakville. I'd get me some liquid courage and asked the band playing at the bar to let me sing. I would do an improvised 12 bar blues song, nothing fast 'cause I had to make stuff up on the go." People were always amazed by her vocal prowess. She didn't do any music for a long time and moved to Hamilton in about 1999 where she met Andrew Amoah who intoduced her to blues man Ronnie Copple.

 More introductions were made with a bunch of guys who use to play with King Biscuit Boy, they were all good teachers, and they formed a band called "Poor Girl Blues Review". They did all blues covers, Big Momma Thornton and Erma Thomas tunes, and played all the rough and tumble bars in the east end that nobody wanted to play, but the band gained some recognition and they graduated to playing the Mermaid Lounge and 33 Hess. After that band fell apart she met up with a young Hamilton musician Dylan Matthews(Hammer of The Gods & Torque Hound) and a seasoned Eric Costello(Stone Blue & Revolver) and they formed another cover band called Voodoo Chicken. Christa - "I met Chris at an after party. Me and a bunch of girlfriends..." Chris - "They were all drunk and wanted to play guitar, then they asked me to play. I had not played in a while 'cause I was all depressed, so I put it away. I started playing old Zeppelin tunes and no matter what I played Christa could sing it and sing it really well. My eyes bugged out. She some how found her way back....LOL...we were sitting together and I said, "let's write a song", and she said "how's that gonna work?" I said, "easy, I'll play some chords, and your a vocalist, and you'll have some words" Quite literally, 30 minutes later we had written our first song, and it's on the album." 


Chris - "I was born and raised in Australia, the gulf coast in Queensland. I started a blues rock cover band called "No Quarter" after the Zeppelin song. We lasted 5 or 6 years and got fairly popular in our local circuit and were working regularly. Then I met a Canadian girl in Australia and followed her over here, got married and divorced in quick succession and depressed and miserable and stranded in a foreign country with my dog, which I brought from Australia. Met Christa on that night we spoke about and we've been together ever since, 8yrs. I had been under the the radar in Canada for 14yrs, no medical, no dental, no nothing. I couldn't put my name on a single thing, I just survived any way I could, sometimes it was hard. In 2010 Christa and I were married. We were doing some official paperwork as a married couple, it went through channels and the next thing I know I was arrested and deported back to Australia. We had already begun immigration applications and I ended up submitting it to the Canadian Consulate in Australia. I got back here in 2011 and have been legal ever since, and that's when we started the album."

Chris - "One of the things about the band "Social Animals" right now, we chose a couple of people in particular that we wanted to have in the band. We were lucky to get them actually, because they are busy working with tons of other people. Jarrod Ross is our bass player and Jeff Litka is our guitarist, and we chose them specifically for their talents, but one of the things about choosing high echelon players is that you have to be ready for them. So Christa and I keep ourselves well rehearsed.

ANC - So are these guys gonna be "Your" band?

Chris & Christa - "Yes!"

Christa - "Yes, for as long as we can have them, otherwise the Social Animals is just Chris and I. On drums we have Dave Guild, he's been there since the beginning."

Chris - "Yes, Dave's been with us from the start. He helped produce the record with Jordan Abraham, he knows the songs inside and out. Jordan Abraham is our mentor and producer and if it wasn't for him this album wouldn't have gotten made."

Christa - "He's our main squeeze...LOL..."

ANC - What role has the city of Hamilton played in your musical career?

Christa - "A huge role"

Chris - "Yeah, allowing us a vehicle through open mics, through people that we've met who have had a studio in their basement and will record a demo song for you, from right up until now with the contacts in the professional music scene so that we could choose our other guitarist and bass player. So Hamilton has been the vehicle to try out songs, to write songs...

Christa - "I moved here because of the scene that Hamilton was a steel city, a music city. I use to take a taxi from Oakville just to go to 33 Hess to see Steve Strongman and Joel Gunther play. I'd split cab fare with a few people cause it was expensive, but we would do that because Hamilton was the cool place to go."


Chris - "The other thing is the diversity. When I was first coming to Canada and I was considering what it would be like living over here I thought, I'm an Aussie guy, good looking, I play the guitar. I'm gonna be a hero over there. Then I got over here and not only is there guitarists every where, most of them are better than me, and most of them are younger and better looking...LOL..."

ANC - What is it that makes your music so unique/stand out, and lets just talk about this new album of yours.

Chris - "Let me read you something that some body wrote about us...

"Social Animals hearkens back to an era of rock that still moves us a generation later. The listener may be reminded of Janis Joplin or Led Zeppelin but is immediately aware that they are witnessing something completely new"

Chris - ...I really liked that interpretation because I did grow up listening to Zeppelin, Christa listened to alot of Zeppelin. You've heard Christa sing, she's Janis Joplin/Robert Plant-esque, and when ever I've made something up on the guitar and some body says, I can hear the Zeppelin in that, I don't take that as an insult. I think that if I can create something that some one thinks sounds like Zeppelin and they're not offended by it then that's fantastic and I take it as a compliment. I thought that was a great description because you can hear the history in it and yet you can hear that it's something really new. The lyrics are all Christa stories, of her experiences of life. The Guitar is new in as much as I came up with it today and which are our stories through that music. When you hear it you'll say, Oh, I know this music and yet it's new.

ANC - What's next for the Social Animals?

Christa - "Play, Play, Play!"

Chris - "Live shows"

ANC - (at Chris & Christa) The last time I saw you two play was at a Jam after Robin Benedicts Fundraiser, and that was back in February. I'm always looking at facebook to see whose playing where. I scroll down searching for Social Animals...social animals...social animals...oh, no social animals this week, maybe next week...LOL...

Chris - "One of the main reasons for that was, when we started we were a folk duo. Then we were writing songs that were meant for a rock band, well we put a rock band together, we recorded as a rock band. Then we got our boys and we're rehearsing as a rock band. To consider now stepping out and playing with out the boys, it doesn't compute. All the songs now are BA-BOOM! So if we did go and play on an acoustic guitar we'd probably prefer to play covers because our songs now are for a rock band and that's how we want to present them. At our release on June 7th we're going to step out onto that stage and any body who has seen us play in the past will have an expectation and what we have to do with this band is blow those expectations right out of the room. So we want Social Animals to come out with a bang and then however you go about getting more gigs, getting your self more exposure, getting to play with people who are much further along in their careers than you...However that happens, that's what we're chasing.

So there you have it. Social Animals, Rock Band, will be performing their very first album release "Innominate" at The Pearl Company on June 7th, 2014 doors at 8pm show will start 9-ish. To find out more about the band follow the link listed below.

www.socialanimals.ca
info@socialanimals.ca 

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year!!!