Friday, August 29, 2014

Tony Fallis Clarifies

With respect to the following story, (click here), Tony Fallis Manager of Elections/Print & Mail, provided The Hamiltonian with the following clarification through our Q/A with him:

Q. With reference to this story, http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2014/08/bad-brad.html a claim was made that you advised that the signs in question were “ok” according to the municipal election rules. Can you confirm as to what you advised and what the city’s position is on this matter?

A. I did not advise that the signs were ok. That decision would be made by the Municipal Law Enforcement office of the City of Hamilton.

Candidates are responsible for the interpretation of the Municipal Elections Act. On legislation they are not comfortable with they are advised by the Elections Office to seek advice either from their attorney or an accountant dependent upon the sections of the Act they are concerned about.

The Elections Office does not give advice on the interpretation of the MEA. Interestingly the Province of Ontario, the legislative body that writes the Act, will also not interpret the Act.

Hope this helps,
Tony Fallis
Manager of Elections/Print & Mail

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bad Brad?

The Winona Peach Festival is a signature festival in Winona. A place where community members gather and people travel to from far and wide. Festival attendees are there for the peaches, the rides, the food, the vendors and the fun.

Controversy sparked when Mayoral candidate Brad Clark had flags installed on a prime property fronting the path to the festival, which advertised his mayoral intentions.

Hamilton's by-law requires that election signs, as defined in the by-law, are not permissible on properties until 28 days prior to the October 27th election. Further rules exist that define campaign offices and allowances for such offices.

Clark's flags which, according to his campaign manager, were placed on a property that was serving as a temporary satellite office, prompted at least one official complaint. Some might interpret Clark's actions as an attempt to skirt election sign by-laws and take advantage of the dense foot and vehicle traffic en route to the Peach Festival. His campaign manager however maintains that he was told by city staff that the signs were okay. See Spec coverage by clicking here or obtaining a printed copy.

Do you accept that explanation?

Mayoral Battle- Ringside Seats

The Hamiltonian will not be endorsing any mayoral candidates. Rather, our focus is to provide each registered mayoral candidate with an equal opportunity to share their thoughts on a variety of topics that are of importance to the role of mayor.

We thus used the metaphor of a boxing match, in which contenders step into the ring and respond to a series of questions that we have grouped into rounds.

Round 1 asked the candidates what their views are on several issues- from light rail to what they would do in their first ninety days in office.

Round 2 was on the topic of Accountability- an important aspect of good governance.

Round 3 asked about their thoughts on Leadership.

A summary of the rounds are as follows:

Round 1: To read Michael Baldasaro's views on issues, click here
               To read Fred Eisenberger's views on issues, click here
               To read Crystal Lavigne's views on issues, click here
               To read Brian McHattie's views on issues, click here

Round 2. To read Michael Baldasaro's views on Accountability, click here
               To read Ejaz Butt's views on Accountability, click here
               To read Crystal Lavigne's views on Accountability, click here

Round 3. To read Michael Baldasaro's views on Leadership, click here
               To read Crystal Lavigne's views on Leadership, click here
               To read Brian McHattie's views on Leadership, click here

Note: For each round, the questions were emailed to each registered mayoral candidate who has an email contact.

Who will win Hamiltonians over and emerge the winner? We'll see on October 27th.  In the interim, enjoy ringside seats as we move into the next rounds.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak-Cookbooks: Essential friends, new friends

In the last column I wrote about Chef Daniel Pascoa of Eatalia saying the cookbook “NOMA – Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine” was “one of his must-have references and inspirations.” I also alluded to the fact that although I have this hefty volume, I have not actually cooked anything from it, partially a reflection of the very specific Nordic ingredients Chef Rene Redzepi sources locally and partially because of the complexity of the preparations.

I don’t know how many cookbooks I have, but it is a lot. This was driven home when a house stager told us to cut the number of books on the shelves by half!  Some of these books are ones I’ve barely skimmed. Others I use for as little as a single recipe. And yet others I’ve read cover to cover, more than once, to the point the pages are loose or stained with sauce.

I pick cookbooks up for new ideas, time-tested recipes, inspirational photos, insights to the minds of exciting chefs, great writing, and techniques. If I strike the jackpot, a book might have most of those things. If I had to choose the best, my favourite, or the last one I’d let go, I’m not sure which I’d pick. And yet I put that

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ward 6 Contender Dan Rodrigues

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

Hamilton is poised to step out of the shadows. We have exciting opportunities ahead with a new stadium and the PanAm Games; our communities are growing in their passion to ensure that decisions made are done so with civic engagement, and we have an immediate need to build our commercial tax base. My goals are multiple, however the foundation will be based on better civic engagement (through a Ward Community Council) and business development (through a review of our existing business park areas to ensure zoning doesn't restrict new business opportunities, such as those experienced in the Nebo Road area). From these foundations, Ward Six will not only prosper...so too will the City of Hamilton.

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

-I have Chaired multiple Community, City and Chamber Committees and Boards over the last 20-years in a volunteer capacity. I continue to be an active community volunteer today. This volunteer experience has raised my awareness of many of the intricacies of how City Hall operates. Through my work as an Advisor to the Restaurant Industry, I've been at the forefront of several policy papers, active on by-law preparation, and knowledgeable on Provincial and Federal matters. I remain current on changes on all three levels of Government, which provide me with the necessary tools to reach timely decisions.

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

Website: www.voterodrigues.ca

Email: voterodrigues@gmail.com
Facebook: Serving Ward 6
Twitter: @voterodrigues
Cell: 905-966-0508
Traditional Mail: 11 Billington Cres, Hamilton L8T 4P9

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Mother’s Plea for Help.

You may recall that The Hamiltonian and many others in our community rallied to assist Anita in her battle against Lyme Disease. For more details about our coverage, please click here.  Anita's mother, Nancy Kos is requiring some support around finding accommodations for important treatment that Anita requires in Richmond BC. If you know of any resources out there, or people who can help, please let her know. The following are the specifics of her request. 

A mother’s desperate plea for help.  Daughter, Anita Kos suffers from Lyme Disease, Google  Lyme Disease Anita’s Journey Hamilton. Dr. Eric Chan in Richmond BC is helping, but we need to stay there for approx. 2 months.  Reasonable or near free accommodations are desperately needed.  If anyone can help or have ideas please email  nkos@cogeco.ca.
Sincerest thank you,

Nancy Kos (mom)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Round Three- Crystal Lavigne- on Leadership

As part of our series in which we ask all registered mayoral candidates questions on a variety of topics, please enjoy our chat with Crystal Lavigne on the topic of Leadership. Note: Due to an email glitch, Crystal just received the questions on August 2nd. . We had offered an extension to the deadline, but Ms. Lavigne opted to submit the following:

Having just received these questions on Saturday August, 2nd, I am very short pressed time-wise to answer in the same manner some of the other contenders may or may not have. My apologies to all that I will not be answering the questions individually due to this hiccup. Therefore, I am going to give a brief statement here:

A 6th century B.C. Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, once said, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they say; We did it ourselves.”

This is what I define what true leadership looks like. A true leader works the same as everyone else. My

Friday, August 8, 2014

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak- Global Tastes, Local Tastes

Chris M with Chef Redzepi by Tom Motz
So the last column set readers a culinary challenge. But got nary a nibble.

I’ll admit it was probably completely unfair to expect anyone to guess the mystery cover photo was of barbequed cucumbers adorned with liquid nitrogen-frozen ants (and tiny flowers?), a dish served at one of the top restaurants in the world, NOMA, in Copenhagen.

In the photos section accompanying this offering I have included several other shots taken by my friend Tom Motz who recently partook of the Nordic cuisine served up by Chef Rene Redzepi. The plating is extra-ordinary and Tom described the meal and setting as up there with anything he has eaten anywhere.

The twenty courses included such things as “Nordic coconut”, Moss and cep, Flower tarts, White cabbage and samphire, Caramelized milk and monkfish liver, Æbleskiver, lovage and parsley, Burnt leek and cod roe, Shrimp and goosefoot, Radish and yeast, Cured egg yolk, potato and elderflower, Turbot and nasturtium, and even a graphic Beef tartar and ants. (Tom said the ants offered a nice acidic contrast!)

The rarified world of restaurant food at the top level may seem a bit distant and disconnected to us here in

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Link of the Moment

Click here to learn more about the People's Platform initiative. 

Round Three- Michael Baldasaro- on Leadership

As part of our series in which we ask all registered mayoral candidates questions on a variety of topics, please enjoy our chat with Michael Baldasaro on the topic of Leadership.

1. How do you define leadership and can you give us an example of a project, initiative or effort that you lead. What result did you achieve and how did you demonstrate your leadership?

 Leadership can only be achieved through the integrity of the person leading and the understanding he/she can provide to the people, of the issues at hand. The leader must set an example others are willingly want to follow. I don’t want blind followers. I am interested in informed citizens given the opportunity to share in the information their Leader is blessed with.

A Short Story: Sometime around 2008, a City of Hamilton, so-called un-assumed alleyway, behind the parking lot across from the Trocadero Tavern on Barton at Sanford, had been boarded up at both ends by a property owner. He wanted to enlarge his yard and illegally park a car beside his house. He had blocked access to workers of the (now defunct and moved to the U.S., Siemens Plant on Westinghouse Ave.), from access to Tim Horton’s on Cannon at Sanford. Automobiles and emergency service vehicles could no longer access the alley. And so, with the Reverend Brother Walter A. Tucker in tow, I took the initiative to tear the fence down at both ends. To this day the alleyway remains open. 

Footnote: Hamilton needs to reclaim all un-assumed alleyways and put an end to property owners

Monday, August 4, 2014

Round Three-Mayoral Contender Brian McHattie - On Leadership

As mentioned, Round 3 of our series in which we ask all registered mayoral candidates questions on various topics, is on the topic of leadership. Enjoy our chat with mayoral contender Brian McHattie as he responds to our questions on leadership.

1. How do you define leadership and can you give us an example of a project, initiative or effort that you lead. What result did you achieve and how did you demonstrate your leadership?

I’ve spent a lot of time being a leader, and a lot of time reflecting on what leadership really means. In fact, I wrote a series of personal posts on this very topic on my website, McHattie2014.ca that I called Lessons of Leadership that focus on some of the key elements of leadership I’ve learned over the years. I included personal examples in each one of the Lessons. The titles are:
(click on links below)

#1. If You Can’t Listen, You Can’t Lead

#2. If You Can’t Collaborate, You Can’t Implement Lasting Change

#3. It’s Your Job To Do Your Homework

#4. People Expect You To Make Decisions, Not Excuses

#5. Whether Leading or Championing, Consistency is a Strength, Inconsistency is a Weakness

#6. Learn From Everyone and Everything

#7. Understand the Difference Between Opinion and Principle

#8. Sometimes You Get It Wrong

I would encourage readers of The Hamiltonian to take a look at my thoughts under each of the titles to get a better sense for what I believe about, and what I’ve experienced, being a leader.

2. As a leader, name an incident where you learned from a mistake. Describe the circumstances, and what you took away from it.

Please see Lessons of Leadership #8. Sometimes You Get It Wrong.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I think the ability to reflect is one of the key tools that has to be in a leader’s toolkit. You have to look back, honestly, on decisions and really reflect on why you did what you did. Especially when it turns out that your decision was not the best one.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Musical Notes- Green Mountain Road Band

Enjoy this installment of Musical Notes, with Angelo Noto Campanella as he reviews Green Mountain Road Band

The band's name should actually be “Green Mountain, a Road Band”, at least that's what David Castelli, drummer, stated when asked how the name came about. They seemed to like the word Mountain and all the connotations that go with it; mountains are big, the great band from the 70's, and of course, to climb a mountain. 

 Then someone said Green Mountain, "that's our road, that's where we grew up", and then they thought, "Road Band, yeah that's it, we'll be Green Mountain, a Road Band". Three of the members of the band actually grew up on Green Mountain Road, David Castelli on drums, brother Julian Castelli on keys and lead vocalist Joe Spinelli. 

 The other members are Angelo Russo on guitar and Barry Smith on bass. All of the guys in the band had been playing for years in one band or another except for Joe Spinelli, he was an avid music lover and fan. In 2012 Joe invited David to check out his new place in the country. Joe's vinyl record collection is vast, 2000 albums at last count. Then he showed Dave 30 or 40 books he had that were filled with lyrics to songs he had been writing and saving for years, so Dave asks "Are you ready to be a singer?" and he said "Yes". David Castelli - "That was two years ago. We started auditioning and 8 months later we had a band. There's been a few line up changes since but now we finally have the band in place."

I had never heard of these guys before and don't normally interview a band that I haven't gone to see

Friday, August 1, 2014

Meda Release: Valentino’s is giving back to the Rotary Club of Hamilton


Local restaurant hits the sweet spot: Valentino’s is giving back to the Rotary Club of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – On Saturday August 16th, 2014 from 12:00 pm (noon) to 4:00 pm, Valentino’s
Restaurants (located at 824 Main Street West and 835 Paramount Drive Hamilton) are inviting Hamiltonians to come out and enjoy their new gelato, with all proceeds going to the Rotary Club of Hamilton. “Just in time, before the end of summer” Owner, Paul Spadafora says “We perfected our Gelato after years of trying different recipes and we wanted to share it with Hamilton and really liked what the Rotary Club of Hamilton does in the community and wanted to support this great organization”.

The Rotary Club of Hamilton was excited about this opportunity with Valentino’s and Rotary Club of Hamilton President, Peter Quaglia states “It’s exciting to have local businesses like Valentino’s that help our community. We were delighted to not only hear they were donating to our club, but further that we get to enjoy Gelato at the same time”

Valentino’s will be making the presentation of the cheque from proceeds to the Rotary Club of Hamilton on September 11, 2014 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton during the Rotary’s weekly meetings. Valentino’s hopes to raise over $1,000 from the sales.

About Valentino’s Restaurant

The first Valentino’s location was opened in the late 70’s, and no one could have predicted the impact it would have. It has never been just an eatery, it is a place for families to meet, lovers to share a romantic meal, and memories to be made. For more information, visit them online at www.valentinosrestaurant.ca

About Rotary Club of Hamilton

The Rotary Club of Hamilton was established in 1913 and has supported the local Hamilton community with programs like Cathy Wever Summer Camp and Telling Tales Festival just to name a few with a focus on improving literacy to children in downtown Hamilton. Visit www.rotaryclubhamilton.ca for information