It’s been compared to Alma before the former school for girls succumbed to a fiery death.
It’s been the centrepiece of a $3 million lawsuit launched immediately prior to the 2010 municipal election. And, it’s had its top floor shaved off at the front in a questionable attempt at reducing the danger of the structure falling to its knees.
The sad legacy of the Sutherland Press building over the last decade is another example of the city handcuffed by absentee landlords.
In this case David McGee of Toronto, who had high hopes of turning the hulking structure into luxury suites.
It was a similar script with the Zubick family of London, who subjected Alma to death by neglect. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: May 2015
The stories behind the homelessness stories
Following a longer than he would have liked winter hiatus, homeless advocate Jason McComb is ready to pick them up and lay them down as he resumes his cross-Canada trek in aid of the homeless.
Long before the sun breaks through on June 1, Jason will be on the road to Tillsonburg and on to Brantford, Hamilton, Oshawa and then north to Orillia for a musical interlude with Matchbox 20 front man Rob Thomas, who is performing a solo gig at Casino Rama on June 11.
Thomas has been a positive influence in Jason’s life and the promise of a ticket waiting at the door was enough to warrant tweaking his route to accommodate this side trip.
“Through his band and through his music he has gotten me through so much,” Jason advises. “He’s had a tough life.” Continue reading
Over-capacity and under-used, aye there’s the rub
A special meeting of council on Tuesday which included invited officials from the Thames Valley District School Board did little to heal the great divide in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau French Immersion School community.
In fact, if anything, the rift has widened.
The tone was established early when manager of facility services Kevin Bushell admitted the board “mis-read the community” when dealing with overcrowding at the French Immersion school.
He then announced — and which was confirmed later that evening at the scheduled board meeting in London — an area attendance review would be undertaken beginning in the fall to be completed before the end of the year.
So, there will be no busing of senior students from the school to Port Stanley Public School to deal with severe over-crowding at the former Homedale Senior Elementary School. Continue reading
Greater scrutiny on city employee health care claims?
Coincidence or symptomatic of deeper problems at city hall? Two cases of fraudulent health claims filed by a former city employee and a current member of the St. Thomas Police Service in a matter of months.
Two weeks ago in a tribunal held at city hall, Const. Aaron Fraser pleaded guilty to charges of misconduct and deceit under the Police Services Act and was demoted to second-class constable for one year with a loss of $12,500 in salary.
The charges under the Police Act stem from six fraudulent health claims for massage therapy filed electronically with Manulife, totaling $353, but never rendered.
And on Friday, a release from city police advising Amanda Graham, a former bylaw enforcement officer at the animal shelter, has been arrested and charged with one count of fraud over $5,000 and seven counts of uttering a forged document.
These charges haven’t yet been proven in court and she will make her first appearance later this month. Continue reading
No portage for les Voyageurs this year
The overwhelming success of the French Immersion program at Pierre Elliott Trudeau school is to be admired.
The downside of that success is severe overcrowding at the school, which has resulted in what can only be called a great divide.
The rift in the school community over busing 240 students to Port Stanley to relieve pressure on a school that is literally bursting at the seams.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Thames Valley District School Board, a recommendation was made to put on hold for a year the busing plan while a full attendance area review be completed this fall. Continue reading