Thunder Bay – Something Hypocritical This Way Comes

Council denies rowing club relief for $9,600 in tax arrears

The Thunder Bay Rowing Club is going to have to pay its taxes.

City council avoided setting a precedent on Monday by voting to support its administration and against providing the rowing club relief on $9,600 in tax arrears.

“We open that door and we’re going to have every organization in the city coming to us,” said Coun. Brian McKinnon – Tbnewswatch

read full article here

It will be interesting to see what taxes the proposed $30 million publicly funded, privately owned waterfront art gallery pay to the City of Thunder Bay.

The annual taxes on a waterfront location with all landscaping and snow clearing work most likely done by the City of Thunder Bay?  I would believe that number to be quite high.

What would the art gallery use to pay property taxes anyway?.  It gets all of its funding from governments.

I understand the art gallery has offered the city $10 in annual lease payments.  Seems kind of low to me.

Hmmmm….

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Thunder Bay – Sunday/Monday

Still hanging around the hospital. I am assuming that there is no change in the status of the much hyped and much delayed Marriott/Delta Waterfront Hotel. August is almost over. Let see what September has in store.
_1530598As you can see, the sidewalk along Golf Links Road follows the horizontal alignment of the road
_1530603
_1530429…except here. When the sidewalk reaches the Days Inn Hotel property, it zigs closer to the road. I wonder why that is?  The hotel parking lot and its trees appear to be in the way.  Interesting.
_1530446The result of that zig mentioned above is this.  I am sure that this was not planned.  Normally utilities are installed in locations to avoid this very problem.
_1530366More on the hospital’s “no smoking on its property” policy.   Does not seem to be working.
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_1530508Looks like rot.  Zero maintenance on the exterior wood.
_1530421Golf Links Road..filter cloth used to control erosion.  It should not be visible.  If its visible then, I believe it was not installed properly
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_1530457The rec trail on the opposite side of Golf Links Road than the sidewalk. I noticed this odd thing on one side of the trail.  Outer edge of compaction roller’s track?
_1530461You can see it more clearly here.
_1530472It looks like the trail is cracking along that line
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_1530487Zero shoulder on the trail.
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_1530494I wonder if it runs along the whole trail?
_1530465Erosion issues. When the supporting material is missing, asphalt edge begins to fall away.
_1530658Do you think that this sign is visible to any vehicle passing by?
_1530644Sidewalk that is less than 5 years old? Something like that.  Not looking that good.

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Thunder Bay – Minimalist Website? Hmmmmm…

Something interesting with the Manshield Construction website.  Interesting.   It has gone minimalist. I am sure there is a logical explanation for this. Maybe its being revamped? (if you want to see what the website used to look like, click here)

Why do I care?  Don’t know but the company and several of its owners were very involved in the public portion of  Prince Arthur’s Landing project as well as the private portion that includes the two waterfront condominiums and the proposed Marriott/Delta Waterfront Hotel. (here)

However, that all changed last September.

Soooo…we will have to see what all this means.  Could be nothing.  Could be something. Only time will tell.

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Thunder Bay – Saturday

_1530350You can see at least two cigarette butts in the photo sooooo?
_1530354..or what?  Nothing.  Another unenforceable regulation.

I have had to stand outside bus shelters on many occasions because smokers ignore the sign.

_1530242There are a surprising number of catchbasins that look like this all over the city.  I wonder why? Where is the water going?
_1530243An observation: The City of Thunder Bay always claims poverty when it comes to items that make the city a better place for its citizens.

I am not talking about the $120 million hockey rink or the new Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Projects like that always are provided with big piles of that sweet, sweet taxpayer cash for whatever needs arise.

No, I am talking about smaller projects. Projects such as pedestrian crosswalks. Projects such as the Botanical Conservatory. Neighbourhood splash pads.  Stuff like that.

What I find confusing is that Tbaytel gives the City of Thunder Bay over $17 million a year in cash. The company has given the city over $250 million in cash over the years.

So, where is that money going?  If not spent on unaffordable extras , then what is it being spent on?

This city should have the best rec program in the province.  The best neighbourhoods in the province. The best cross city bike trails in the province. We have received the money to do just that.  Free money.

Where has it all gone?

 

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Thunder Bay – $120 million Hockey Rink Petition

A petition on Change.org  is requesting that the high salaried residents of City Hall give the citizens of Thunder Bay a say in the never-ending saga of the $120 million hockey rink.

The problem I have with a plebiscite is that I do not trust City Hall and its contractor friends to play fair.  Plebiscite results will become even more suspect if the City of Thunder Bay adopts online voting.

Anyway, take a look at the petition and sign up if you want a plebiscite. Sign the petition if you want a say how $120 million of that sweet, sweet taxpayer cash spent.

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Thunder Bay – A Change Of Venue

Spending some time visiting a family member in the hospital so I don’t have much information about Marina Park and the downtown.  I do have some photos that are sure to be seen as negativity by the Chronicle Journal.  Oh well….
_1530117The problem with wood that is exposed to the elements is that it must be maintained.
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_1530123Sure, wood exteriors look nice but using it in our climate????Does that make sense economically?
_1530128More sod problems.
_1530131This si the rec trail that runs along Golf Links Road between Oliver Road and John Street.  Filter cloth should have been covered by rocks.  Having it stick out like this is just crap.
_1530132Rock next to a rec trail is stupid anyway. It creates a non-recoverable shoulder/slope which is dangerous.  Cyclists that wander off of the edge of pavement are extremely likely to lose control of their bike.  Plus, if they fall on it, it is going to hurt…a lot.
_1530134More exposed filter cloth. I suspect it is there to keep the fill from sinking into the muskeg.  The toe of slope should have been extended out.
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_1530145More of Thunder Bay’s paint marks that will last for years.
_1530146Like the filter cloth, there is this plastic mesh extending beyond the toe of fill slope.
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_1530152I have no idea why this is considered OK.
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_1530163The foreslope of Golf Links Road is extremely steep. Trying to keep shoulder erosion at bay by covering the slope with asphalt or asphalt product usually becomes a temporary solution at best and requires regular maintenance.
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_1530167The earth ditch runs along the entire length of the west side of Golf Links Road. Why? Money of course. Did the slope foreslope have to be so steep ?
_1530169This is where curbing and gutter starts for the hospital entrance area.
_1530170Erosion issues..
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_1530177crossing to hospital from rec trail.  Pavement cracking.  No pedestrian crosswalk here.
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_1530185More erosion protection issues. The east side of Golf Links Road has a siewalk running the full length.
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_1530189Grass is not growing.
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_1530196More rocks fill needed. Should be flush with edge of sod.
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_1530199Sod looks awful.
_1530221Asphalt work around catchbasin appears to be wanting.
_1530222This is where water goes.

 

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Thunder Bay – Legacy Quest

The further adventures of Kosco Keith
Keith Hobbs Costco Employee 2015

Some excerpts from a Chronicle Journal article on the opening of the new Lowe’s Store at Intercity Mall.

The part of the article that interests me is the mayor’s comments on Costco’s much hyped and much delayed arrival in Thunder Bay.  The mayor’s second favourite topic.

….Hobbs says the president of Costco is coming to the city soon.

….“They are still very interested in Thunder Bay and they ensured me they are coming,” he said.  – Chronicle Journal

read full article here

Hobbs is going to have a legacy facility built here in town one way or another.

costcodream

Mayor;s Quest For A Legacy Continues

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“We just have to keep trying to develop the city, build things and hopefully build this city up, increase the population and increase the workforce,” he said. “That’s what we are all about and this is a prime example today, economic development at its best.” – Chronicle Journal

read full article here

If the city’s new economic development is all consumer based, that would imply that the city’s residents will have more money to spend than it does now.  Hmmm…

If all you end up doing is spread the already diminishing consumer spending dollars over more stores and restaurants, I am not sure how that will make for a growing economy.

There will be winners and losers. Winners hire staff.  Losers layoff staff.  A zero sum game? Hmmm…

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Thunder Bay – Companies That Live In Glass Houses Should Not Litter

Thunder Bay’s 3 worst habits

Thunder Bay has some bad habits. Every municipality does but over time some stand out. Here are Thunder Bay’s three worst habits:

1. Litter. It is plainly ugly and truly amazing that decades after litter became a four-letter word in countless Canadian and international campaigns to stop it, a large contingent of Thunder Bay residents continues to toss its junk wherever it’s of no more use.

Whether dropped on streets and sidewalks, in parks and other public and private places, or blithely tossed out of car and truck windows (or, unsecured, let blow from the backs of pickup trucks), all manner of waste is seen as somehow better beyond the hands of its owners. It’s of no more use to me so rather than place it in a receptacle or take it home, I’ll just let go of it. Let someone else deal with it. I don’t care. – Editorial, Chronicle Journal

read full article here

I agree. Litter in Thunder Bay is a problem. A disgusting habit that is all to common. However, I find the Chronicle Journal making that argument interesting.

Companies that live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.

_1520618 _1520619 _1520620 _1520621 _1520622 _1520623 _1520625 _1520627 _1520628 _1520630 _1520631 _1520633Eventually, the wind will blow this newsprint litter, which has made its way through and under the fence, out onto the street.   (see related post here and here)

You will just let go of it. Let someone else deal with it. You don’t care.

I guess this post falls under the third worst Thunder Bay habit: negativity. Oops.

PS – Number two was driving

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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

ring3

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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