November 21st, 2009

Damn Good Whacking

(no subject)

Dear City of Ottawa,

Please get your heads out of your butts. You are being presented with a proposal, by a group of local, well-known businessmen, to take the decaying abomination that we call Lansdowne Park and turn the rotting carcass into a vibrant, beautiful, USABLE, and attractive space.

Yes, they are going to make money. They're businessmen. They aren't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. But guess what? They aren't robbing the city, they are asking for a LEASE. They are going to rebuild the stadium (you know the one that's crumbling away, that no one can use, you remember, the one whose south side stands you had to demolish a couple of years ago), they are going to renovate Aberdeen Pavilion, build shopping, hotels, and residential spaces(note: all of these will bring you TAX DOLLARS!)

Let's take a look at what we have currently:

Yep, the 'park' is a vast expanse of crumbling concrete and virtually useless buildings. I'm sure it's lovely for the residents to have this vast expanse of unusable space near them, not drawing any crowds into their neighbourhoods, but guess what? They moved in beside a FOOTBALL STADIUM. You want quiet streets and quiet spaces that no one visits? Move to the suburbs.

Here is the (idealized of course) view from the developers:

I can see how this is a horrible thing. Sure I'm sad that I don't think they've made any accommodations for the only fully fenced dog park in the city in their plans, but I'll get over it and so will all the other husky owners.

What is your track record again? How would you not botch this up like the O-train? Oh that's right, you've - no wait WE'VE - had to pay out $37 million for the cancellation of that contract.

Or would you handle it like the Green Bins? You know the ones you introduced, got everyone on board for, then you decided to us a $68 user fee. Oh, while your at it, add a fee for the blue and black boxes and curbside pickup. Well that gives you another $200 on my tax bill before you're 'raising taxes'...which you're proposing is what 7.2% this year? Nice job. What happened to zero means zero? Oh, but to make it even better, you've set everything up to start collecting the green bins in January, but the plant to receive them isn't set up yet. So you have to ship the compostables elsewhere. Why would I want you anywhere near any other projects?

Could you be any more arrogant in your treatment of this proposal? These gentlemen are spending a considerable amount of time and money bringing a solution to the table, and you constantly attack them. Like you have something better planned. Why don't you go back to turning a $6.7 million dollar tender for stop-call technology into $17 million and a potential lawsuit? Savvy business people the lot of you.

So just sit down, shut up, stop pretending like you know what you're doing or that you have any of your constituents' interests in mind. Pass the motions when asked and let the nice men go about fixing the damn place up.


People suck, but many, many more don't

So earlier this week a story hit the papers about a man (for lack of a better word) living in Quebec who had sled dogs, and his business had tanked so he was no longer able to care for his dogs (his story). So he resorted to keeping them outside in inadequate shelter, with no food and no water (I think water's basically free). By the time the SPCA found him, he was down to 97 dogs, the dead dog's carcasses rotting around his property. 30 of his dogs were/are pregnant. They have parasites, are malnourished and need people to love them.

The part of the story I don't get is that animal control had to negotiate their release from him. And he 'agreed' to turn them over in return for his name not being published and for NOT BEING CHARGED. How the hell does this happen? I say they should have left his property with him tied up in the yard, with no access to food or water...But that's not what this is about.

What this is about, is that yes this sucks, but, the 97 dogs have ALL found at least foster care. They have been transported all over, but groups from as far away as NY. The NY SPCA has a truck big enough to carry large numbers of seized animals...isn't that wrong? Shouldn't these incidents be so few and far between that when it does happen it overwhelms the system and people have to scramble to transport the animals? But that's not what this is about either.

One guy sucked, and he sucked in a huge way to a lot of animals. And maybe some of the guy's neighbours sucked too. I'm not sure how remote this guy is, it took the SPCA a while to find him (months) but someone knew something. But many, many, many more people didn't suck. They are the anti-suck. People who are going to be paying $4k each to care for the pregnant dogs, they don't suck. The people that reported this guy, same. Each and every one of the organizations that are raising money for these dogs. Each of the fosters. The volunteers who are treating, transporting and evaluating the dogs, they don't suck. Just think about the number of dogs, and the effort involved.

And most important of all, the dogs coming to Ottawa got here Thursday, and they are all in loving homes. And this guy's life doesn't suck anymore.