Thunder Bay – City Hall’s Genitals Start To Grow

City ready to issue permits for waterfront hotel

Chief building official with the city of Thunder Bay, Desmond Stolz, said the city is very close to issuing the permit for the construction of the hotel superstructure.

Before the city can issue the permit, they still need two pieces of information from the hotel developer, including information on the loading dock on the west side of the building and a revised site plan.

ReSolve Group Inc. submitted plans last June and were supposed to resume construction at the start of the month, however, the city issued a letter to ReSolve in the same month to inform them of the outstanding information and have been waiting for the information since that time. – Tbnewswatch

read full article here

Sooo the City of Thunder Bay has been waiting for 15 months for that additional information?  Fifteen months?  And they are only speaking up now?

This whole situation stinks. I believe that the City of Thunder Bay is starting to realize that they may have been victims of a scam.

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Thunder Bay – Lords Of The Rink …The Saga Continues

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A couple of excerpts from a Tbnewswatch article about how Queens Park and Ottawa are a bunch of lying bastards.  At least that is the vibe I get from the local members of the Fellowship of the Rink.  My responses follow.

Members of the delegation named a number of provincial ministers as having expressed support for the project, including Minister of Infrastructure, Bob Chiarelli.

Virdriamo claimed Chiarelli told delegates to ensure their event centre proposal was “shovel ready” to qualify it for provincial infrastructure funding.

Funny, if you believe our local politicians, every minister in Queens Park and Ottawa is a liar.  Those lying bastard ministers appear to tell the local members of the Lords of the Rink that they all support the $120 million hockey rink and then those same lying bastard ministers tell us, the public the exact opposite. Amazing!

And of course our local Lords of the Rink has no proof that all those lying bastard ministers in Queens Park and Ottawa are actually lying bastards…but then who needs proof when the Thunder Bay media will print anything our local Fellowship of the Rink say.

 

In a written statement issued afternoon, a spokesperson for Chiarelli said the minister had suggested Thunder Bay apply for federal funding as no current provincial program would fit with its vision.

Hmmm…I think we know what the answer will be. Why? Because the Feds have already said no…twice!

“While there are no provincial funding opportunities for a project like the Thunder Bay Event and Convention Centre, Minister Chiarelli encouraged the delegation to develop a proposal for consideration of future opportunities,” the statement reads.

In non-political terms….piss off!

“The Federal Government has not yet finalized phase two funding requirements, as part of phase one funding allocations were just announced yesterday. We encourage the city of Thunder Bay to continue working with all levels of government to best serve the needs of their municipality.”

In non-political terms…piss off!

“Even though we have received letters, published in the media, that the feds said ‘no,’ the feds didn’t really say no. They said ‘no, there’s an issue with the design’ and we’re willing to do anything we can to make our project fit in the box it needs to fit in.”

Sooo, all those various studies that claim a tsunami of financial benefits to the city with a $120 million hockey rink seating 5,700 people…all funded with big piles of that sweet, sweet taxpayer cash were a waste of time and money because our high paid residents of City Hall and their consultant army are just going to make things up as they go.  Just build whatever facility they can get funded.  I don’t remember that ever mentioned in any of those studies. Not mentioned anywhere…EVER! Until now.

Does it make economic sense to build something different? Who knows?

Are the potential financial benefits of another design worth spending $120 million?  $100 million?  $90 million Who knows?

Would a competitive bidding process for designing/building that facility have saved the taxpayer money?  Lots of money?  Who knows?  Probably.

Our high salaried residents of City Hall are sooo desperate to get something built, anything built just to save face, they will let the Feds tell us what sized facility we can have. What sized facility we need. Just think of all the money The City of Thunder Bay could have saved if they let the Feds run the Feasibility Study and design process right from the start.

Come high salaried residents of City Hall, get off your knees.  You are embarrassing us.  Time to move on.  Thunder Bay could use a lot of facilities. New and refurbished.

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Thunder Bay – The City In One Photo

_1530010Thunder Bay in one photo.  Traffic cone, shopping cart, construction sign nailed to hydro pole, construction barricade that is not being used. All on one corner.

No, I did not stage this.

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Thunder Bay – The Education Of Ms. Shelby Ch’ng

I came across this post from William Olesky regarding Ms Shelby Ch’ng’s Letter to the Editor in yesterday’s Chronicle Journal. (see my recent post on the subject here)

I thought I would post his letter here for those of you who missed it.

THE EDUCATION OF MS. SHELBY CH’NG

It seems Ms. Ch’ng, council newbie and know-it-all in chief Is continuing to lecture councillors and citizens about any topic that strikes her fancy .

Yesterday she took on Councillor Ruberto, suggesting among other things, he didn’t seem to have a handle on the mechanics of municipal government – and in a public and ungenerous way. Mr. Ruberto responded in a letter to the editor in a reasoned and literate narrative. It was a generous and correct reply. It was very classy.

Not humbled by her public rebuke, today Shane Judge is called out on his lack of appreciation for the arts. All this because he wrote a letter demonstrating his reasonable concern about a process that will see a “pearl” of her ward (the art gallery) extracted and moved to the waterfront district – and on the wrong side of the tracks as it were.

The difference between clever and snarky is not so hard to discern.

Thunder Bay is not an arts community. It is a recreation community. One local thespian told me the best way to get people to a theatrical performance is to hold a hockey game – and have a play break out.

Art galleries, it is thought by many, are becoming the buggy whip business – an old fashioned way of engaging people in the arts. More and more public dollars are being sought for an institution that draws fewer and fewer numbers. This is elite accommodation.

If people wanted to move the gallery, they would surely pay for it. I am unaware of any fundraising effort in that direction. Any attempt would prove an embarrassment. This is no small point.

Respecting her mastery of the real world reasons to buy a multi-million dollar art gallery, Ms. Ch’ng describes a path to enlightenment that journeys no further than to the advice of the self interested administrators of the gallery itself, and the recommendations of city bureaucrats.

In a few years, she may see further. In a few years, she may become more respectful of democratic disagreement.

It will be wonderful to see – the education of Ms. Ch’ng.

#TBAY   #THUNDERBAY

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Canada – Student Debt And Its Effect On The Economy

This is an article about the US but it rings very true for Canada as well. Student loan debt and how much money that debt repayment is taking out of the economy.

Low wage jobs minus student loan repayment equals less consumer spending.

There’s an $80 billion elephant in the room that could be worse than a recession for Walmart, Home Depot, and Costco

America’s largest retailers are facing a threat that is rarely discussed: student-loan debt.

Consumers make $80 billion in student loan interest payments a year, Moody’s retail analyst Charlie O’Shea said on Bloomberg TV. This means that they have less money to spend at retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, and Costco.

Total loan payments add up to $160 billion annually.

“The average salary per college graduate has increased by only about 3% in the past seven years, while the average student debt burden has increased by roughly 53% over the same period,” O’Shea told Bloomberg.

He says that America’s more than $1.3 trillion in student loans could hurt the American economy more than a recession because it will last for decades to come.

Industry website Retail Dive notes that younger people are so burdened by student-loan debt that they’re frugal.

“It’s slated to get worse as retailers find that millennials in their thirties are hampered by debt in what should be their highest-spending years,” writes Daphne Howland at RetailDive.com. – Business Insider

read full article here

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Thunder Bay – Questions That Will Never Be Answered

Northwood councillor Shelby Ch’ng responses to Shane Judges Letter to the Editor with one of her own.  A couple of excerpts and my response to her response.

The Art Gallery is an independent organization from council that performed its own needs assessments. Based on the results of that assessment, the gallery evaluated its options and selected the one that best fit their needs. The board has worked hard to lobby for federal and provincial funds and it looks like it is paying off for them. The city has contributed and does contribute a portion of its funding.-Shelby Ch’ng, Letter to the Editor, Chronicle Journal

The gallery may be an independent organization but it is almost ENTIRELY funded by the taxpayer.  That fact does not give that independent organization a blank cheque to build whatever it wants wherever it wants. Yet, that is EXACTLY what is happening here.

It is up to that publicly funded independent organization to ensure that the taxpayers of Thunder Bay, the Province of Ontario and Canada are getting the most benefit for the huge pile of that sweet, sweet taxpayer cash being given to them. Biggest bang for the buck possible.

For me, that means exploring as many options as possible, finding the pros and cons of each option and costing them out.  That way, the rationale for choosing any option is clearly laid out.  That is not being done here.  Nor was it done for the $120 million hockey rink either.

This single option only wave that is becoming the City of Thunder Bay’s favourite way of doing business.  Why?

This would not fly in the private sector.  Money matters a lot more when you do not get it free of charge.  Funny how that works.

I spent four hours at the Art Gallery that day with Coun. Frank Pullia and Sharon Godwin. We asked questions directly from the source and received answers. Coun. Pullia came forward with the idea years ago to use the Eaton’s building for the Art Gallery but it is privately owned and doesn’t suit the needs of the gallery. – Shelby Ch’ng, Letter to the Editor, Chronicle Journal

Four hours?  A whole four hours? Received answers from “the source”?  THE SOURCE?   Who is THE SOURCE? Are we supposed to be impressed by this “source”?  Where does this “source” get its information? Why can you not identify this “source”?

Some questions that will never be answered…not even by “the source”:

  • Was the Eaton’s building option included in the Feasibility Study? No. How was the Eaton’s building unsuitable?   We don’t know.
  • How much would it cost to make it suitable?  We don’t know.
  • What would the economic impact be to the north core business community be if the gallery was located at the corner of Red River Road and Court Street?  We don’t know.
  • What has the fact that it is privately owned have to do with it?  I think we do know…Money.
  • Did the fact that the gallery will not pay property taxes wherever its located have anything to do with keeping the Eaton’s building in private hands?  You see, as long as the building is privately owned, the city receives taxes.  Hmmm…I think maybe we are on to something here.
  • What is it that they say?  Its all about location, location, location?  Which is the best location in the city? Do we know?  No we don’t.  Why not?
  • Is the waterfront location the most fiscally responsible location to build? Do we know? No we don’t. Why not?

This stinks to high heaven. Once again, City Hall is only looking out for its own interests and they are not even trying to hide that fact any longer.

It appears to me that City Hall is competing against the private sector using huge piles of that sweet, sweet taxpayer cash.  Money taken from its owners at the point of a gun.

Why is this independent organization not being asked to fund a portion of the construction costs?  I think that would be a fair request.

 

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Thunder Bay – Monday

_1520640Foundation insulation on the east facing side of the much hyped and much delayed Marriott/Delta Waterfront Hotel looks pretty sad.  Was it supposed to be covered?  You know, protected from UV radiation?
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_1520801These paint marks were put on sidewalk quite a few years ago as part of a construction project.  You can still see them.
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_1520863This is still being done.  Its a form of graffitti and the city needs to find another method of marking these points.  Something that lasts less than a decade or two.
_1520815Shopping cart of the day.
_1520844These cones are still laying around Algoma Street.
_1520855I hope that the fecal matter is from more birds than just the one sitting on the church.  Bird with the runs?  All birds have the runs.
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Feral safety cone of the day.  Its there because???  Who knows.  There are soooo many of these cones laying around the city that it makes me wonder if they actually have any affect on public behavior.

I doubt it.  This city has a problem with massive abuse of safety signing and cones.  Drivers just don’t pay attention to them any longer.

_1520812Ever see the Hitchcock movie “The Birds” ? Hmmmm…

_1520794Thunder Bay is a dirty city.  More dust from cutting concrete.
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_1520800Sad…just sad.

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Thunder Bay – The Pelican Brief

_1520740aWalking through Marina Park and I noticed three pelicans.  You see them rarely in this location but once and a while, if your lucky, and you are paying attention, there is one or two or three.

I was looking at the photos on my computer when I noticed this…
_1520746aThe what I assume to be the young pelican had something sticking out of its neck.  Are pelicans into body piercing?  I wouldn’t think so.
_1520746bWhat in the world is that?  Looks like tent pegs or something.
_1520769aStrange. Somewhere, somehow, this pelican picked these things up.
_1520775aI wonder if those things in its neck makes it hard for the bird to eat.  You have to feel for the bird.

Truly sad when you see something like this.

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Thunder Bay – Sunday

_1520501New paint on the caboose.  The metal at each end is a bright orange.
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_1520524Old duct tape? Used to patch tears in the plastic bag that houses the caboose.
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Untitled_Panorama1South parking lot is progressing.
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_1520538Some large rocks and debris..
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_1520547Can’t get over that dip in the granite wall.
_1520553I believe something is very wrong with that catchbasin, curb and gutter, sidewalk and granite wall.

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Our elected residents of City Hall need to ask whoever was representing the taxpayer on that contract exactly why this construction was considered acceptable.
_1520559Nothing happening at the site of the much hyped and much delayed Marriott/Delta Waterfront Hotel
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_1520561I was wondering if the UV rays from the sun are damaging the foam insulation
_1520562Field office or hotel?
_1520563I wonder what is happening with the train station. The building has been closed off to the public for five years or so.  Too bad because the building always played a large role in the Marina Park experience.

I am sure tourists look at it, walk around it and are amazed that it is empty and locked.  What a waste.

City Hall was crazy to give that facility away.
_1520571Trash of the day..umbrella
_1520579This hydrant goes back to the 2011 Algoma Street construction work. The intersection of Red River Road and Cumberland Street (here and here)was part of that contract.
_1520580Started to sink almost immediately. More crap work paid in full by the taxpayers of Thunder Bay.

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The World – German Government Urges Citizens To Stockpile Food, Water

German Government Urges Citizens To Stockpile Food, Water For First Time Since Cold War Ended

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Following Angela Merkel’s proclamation that Islamic terrorism is not a function of the massive influx of muslim immigrants into Germany thanks to he immigration policy, we could not help but be a little surprised that, as TagesSchau reports, the federal government, according to a newspaper report wants to encourage the population to begin stockpiling food and water again, so that they temporarily can take care of themself in the case of a disaster or an armed attack.

As Reuters details,:

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.
“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper quoted the government’s “Concept for Civil Defence” – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying.

The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012. – Zerohedge

read full article here

Something is happening in Europe.  Might be a good idea to have food and water stored here in Thunder Bay as well.   How much?  What can you afford?

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