"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Journey of Discovery

I am pleased to copy the message below. I think this program would be a great opportunity for families to  take a trip to the lake to the south of us and the one to the north.
 It wouldn't just be a visit to someplace different  It would be a trip to another time and another place when families didn't have  vehicles and a trip like that might be an annual event.
Toronto has many places to see and experience. Not least of them Harborfront and The Island, Kew Beach and Music Festivals galore. St Lawrence Market is a sight to behold.
Barrie has a great waterfront and many attractions. 
But the train ride alone is an adventure. Stopping as it does at various destinations would allow visits to places one might never visit except by  a day on the train.
It could be a summer of discovery.
August  5th , when the trips are free,would be the best day to discover what there is  to discover.

Dear Councillor Buck,
As you are likely aware, this summer GO Transit has been offering GO Train service along the Barrie line on a pilot basis. This is an effort to move GO further in the direction of serving a larger, non-commuter market, and offers new travel options to communities along the line that will support regional tourism and recreational travel.

Until September 3, GO will offer six return train trips every Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays along the Barrie line. All six return trips make all stops between Union Station and East Gwillimbury, and two of the six also serve Bradford, Barrie South and Allandale Waterfront stations. The remaining four trips include GO Bus connections between East Gwillimbury and points north to Barrie.

To promote this summer weekend service pilot, we will be offering free GO Train rides on the Barrie line on August 5. We would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide in spreading the word to your constituents about the free day of service using whatever channels you feel are appropriate. A news release has been issued and can be found at: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1013993/free-go-train-rides-on-the-barrie-line-on-august-5. Further information for the public can be also found online at http://www.gotransit.com, specifically http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/updates/schedulechanges.aspx.

Metrolinx's Stakeholder Relations office is available as a first contact point for elected officials should you have any questions about Metrolinx (including GO Transit, PRESTO, the Air Rail Link, and its other projects and programs). Please don't hesitate to contact me about this or other matters in the future.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cyril Buck ..Febuary 29th 1924- July 20th 2012

.Cyril was born in Paddington ,London,U.K. on February 29th 1924 and died a long way from his birthplace, in Newmarket, Ontario, on Friday at 3. o'clock in the afternoon.
He lived eighty-eight years ,was married to Evelyn sixty-two years , had seven children, two daughters, five sons, seventeen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two more on the way at the time he took his leave. 
Art, Music and Theatre were the  passions of his life. He trod the boards in amateur theatre  in London,England before leaving  for Canada and soon after  arrival discovered  new opportunity with  Theatre Aurora.
Twenty  years of his retirement were happily and completely  engaged filling every conceivable role needed  to make the magic come alive/.
Sons, daughters, and grandchildren were recruited  to fill roles, places in the chorus or silently change sets before there were curtains for the stage. 
He introduced English Variety Theatre.
Christmas found him at Newmarket Town Hall Theatre, with the Queensville Players, staging  Pantomine, with a bunch of  Limeys like himself who could never let go their joy and love of slapstick comedy.
If he wasn't on stage playing an Ugly Sister, he was in the orchestra pit providing clicks, clacks, thumps  and rattity- tatts on drums, his secondary means of  augmenting  a living over the years.
Dozens of  full house audiences and hundreds of Canadian children,
including his  grandchildren, might never have had the opportunity to enjoy the entertainment the unique brand of British farce offers.
He worked with Terry Hallett, a talented Aurora Producer and Director, in Dinner Theatre in Toronto during the eighties. 

The tide recedes but leaves behind 
Bright seashells in the sand
The sun goes down but gentle warmth 
Still lingers on the land
The music stops and yet
It echoes on in sweet refrain,
For every joy that passes
Something beautiful remains.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The :Last Of The Mohicans

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "New Information": 
Back to basics. This all began when Evelyn asked about construction in her neighbourhood. The mayor said the new system would provide the answer if she asked the top guy. I assume she asked the question. Was it answered and, if not, what does the Mayor have to say about it ? If the system answered the question, we are wasting time here. Cut all the tech stuff. Back to basics. Was the construction explained?
I posed the possibility the new system might provide details of
the work order  which would  allow me to explain the nature of the problem and  the number of workers engaged, man hours employed,  separate pieces of equipment, cost per hour exactly to the penny how much the job cost to my observant neighbor.
The Mayor agreed  the system would provide the information. 
Indicating  he had the same understanding of implementation as myself. 
We were both mistaken it seems. .The software is not yet implemented.
I did not receive details of  cost of the  work order on my neighbour's property.
The situation led to inquiries in two  new directions. 
One, to determine from my neighbor, what  experience  led to the call to the works department.
Last Fall a subsidence was noticed in the vicinity of the water shut-off valve on the front lawn.
It was checked by the works dept and went  on a list of things to do
In  Spring, after several more calls, the works department came to attend to the problem in accordance with its place on the list 
A strip of lawn  about a meter wide and two long was carefully cut and rolled back.
An excavation  followed. A water  pipe was inadvertently ruptured and  had to be repaired. The excavation was filled,sod replaced . and a fresh crew brought in to water the grass. 
Information I received from the Director  revealed  the  project involved several crews with different expertise.It did not reveal the source  of the initial problem of lawn subsidence.
Lay person that I am, it has always been my understanding  if the ground subsides, whether it is  in a road or  a lawn in the vicinity of water infrastructure, the likely cause is a water break.
The unanswered question  is whether  a water break caused the lawn to subside in the Fall, which meant  a continuing water loss in that location over a period of months?
Or, less likely,  was the pipe broken at the time of the excavation  immediately  repaired and no water lost to speak of or record in
maintenance of assets and how the matter was handled.
My second question was  the status of the software program to record asset inventory and track maintenance.
At this  point I had still not caught on to the name, Maximo.
My first query was by e-mail  to the manager of the IT department. I received a response from the Director of FInance with  admonition not to ask questions of staff under the level of Director.  Attached was the e-mail from the IT Manager, accompanied by  my query and assurance to  the Chief Financial Officer  the manager had provided  no information. 
The  Director of Finance informed me of the  associated  Director in charge of  the program. He  added it  is not yet implemented. It is complex and  is to be done in two phases.
The Director in charge noted  a delay in the schedule caused by a production problem in Asia. 
I received a table.  I posted  it a couple of days ago, outlining 
the program, total  cost and the timetable. Total anticipated cost is $788,611. Software package approved for purchase in November 2011.   $38,000  was overlooked and added on in February.2012.
I received information from a source that the Region had purchased the same software.in 2004, eight years ago. and  after add ons and adpatations and staff changes were still  not receiving the benefits
From two regional staff I received two perspectives. One 
stated  the prorgam was finally  beginning to show some benefits.
Another, the manager dealing with the program was  more positive  but acknowledged there had to be  adaptations in nodules and staff  and licences required to use the system had gone from $56,000. to $100,000  a year because more employees were using the program.
That means,  additional staff, additonal adaptation costing more money, and additional cost of annual licencing , operating costs are, at least, a quarter of a million dollars more than anticipated.
After eight years, adaptations are unlikely to be reflected in the capital cost of the program. More likely to be hidden in annual cost of operation. 
I suspect, since the Mayor's expectation of  timetable was no different to my own, news about  time taken at  the region to get this  program under way  may not be a welcome surprise.
Nor  indeed should it have been a surprise at all. The Region's experience should certainly have been reflected in the advice received by Council. It was not. 
If  the program ever becomes  useful  at the local level, there will have been an election in town before it can be proven. 
That's the political reality. .   

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Moving Target

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "So I asked And GOt The Answer":

7:27 PM You say that Morris is going to be back in court on Tuesday. I don't understand why. Didn't the Judge throw her case out as being without foundations or something like that? Surely Aurora is not still paying her bills - have we ever been told categorically that the town is off the hook? Nasty feeling about all that stuff. An apology would not cut it this far along.

Ms,Morris is being sued for defendants' costs of that particular court action precipitated by herself at town expense while she held the Office of Mayor.
The town is not currently paying those bills. 
It remains to  be seen if the town is off the hook.
The town agreed to pay bills incurred until the new Council had the opportunity to cancel the legal agreement with the lawyer retained by Ms Morris.
At the moment ,the defendants are attempting to recover legal expense of having to defend themselves against spurious charges. 
I didn't hear what happened on Tuesday.
The complainant has proven to be a moving target.