We’re chasing quotes all the way into a new year


city_scope_logo-cmykIt’s a tradition embraced by this corner over the past decade or so — bidding farewell to the departing year with a bevy of quotes gleaned from the comings and goings of the previous 365 days.

What began as the stage for those in the glare of the spotlight at city hall has now become a forum that includes Times-Journal readers and T-J website and Facebook posters.

Revisiting the wit and wisdom — and at times the lack of same — can often ruffle the feathers of those quoted and we offer in our defence this observation from George Orwell — born Eric Arthur Blair — English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic.

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

And with the introduction out of the way, let’s flip the calendar pages back to January and the announcement Rachel McAdams had been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Spotlight.

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Lance McAdams

“If I can skate like her with a stick in my hands, I might be getting an Oscar as well.”

Hockey aficionado and proud father Lance McAdams reflecting back on daughter Rachel’s accomplishments, including achieving her gold standard in dance as a figure skater while attending Central Elgin Collegiate Institute.

The calendar is circled for Jan. 19 and the 2017 St. Thomas Sports Spectacular, which brings to mind this dandy pitch.Blue Jays Bo Schultzjpg

“My favourite part of meeting fans is seeing a genuine smile. When you have someone say ‘Hey, do you mind signing something’ and I say ‘Sure, what’s your name?’ Just that brief couple of seconds of interaction where afterward they say ‘Cool, I’m glad I got to meet the guy.’ It’s fun to have that little bit of interaction with people.”

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Bo Schultz appearing at St. Anne’s Centre for the 2016 edition of the annual fundraiser.

We’ve long suspected many reports directed to the attention of city hall staff and council disappear into the Twilight Zone, and the Professor was of the same opinion, as witnessed in this observation in a City Scope tribute after his death in February.

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Ed McLachlan

 

“We’ve done all of the reports and a lot of those reports disappeared. We gave the reports to the right people, but we never got answers back.”

Ed McLachlan, former chairman of the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee, commenting on the lack of action at city hall in the 12 years he volunteered on the committee.

Will a change in ownership of the former school for girls reveal a ray of hope at the Moore Street property? A letter last spring from the Zubick family in London offered an explanation and an apology.

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New owner Gino Reale

“We pray that you will work differently with the new owner. Listen to his ideas. Work together. He has some great plans. Learn to compromise. Be honest with the situation and what can and cannot be accomplished. Do this for the people of St Thomas, for the neighbours of Alma, and for the alumnae of the college.”

George and Jill Zubick, the former owners of Alma College who, in March, sold the property to London developer Gino Reale.

The latest cuts at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, which saw the lights turned out at the sleep clinic in October, are nothing short of a bad dream for the former director of the lab.

Dr. Charles George

Dr. Charles George

 

“To offer a service and develop it over a number of years and then suddenly pull the plug on it is misguided.”

Dr. Charles George, former medical director of the sleep clinic at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, who sent an open letter to all members of the St. Thomas Elgin Medical Association urging them to make their concerns known.

Steelway Building Systems celebrated their 40th anniversary in

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Bryan White

September, an opportunity to talk business philosophy to the gathering of several hundred people at their open house.

“I believe business has a higher calling and we’re not just here to make a profit. Certainly we do and we’re very proud of it. Profit is not a dirty word. Profit means we’re here for another year to make a profit and to support the community we’re in.”

Bryan White who, along with brother Jason, own and operate Steelway Building Systems near Aylmer

Five years ago, Paul Collins announced there would be no contract extension or renewal and his tenure at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital did indeed expire this fall.

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Paul Collins.

“It wasn’t that long ago when people were worried about the future of the hospital, it’s very existence. Now you are seeing that the hospital is becoming a regional player. And I think that’s a good thing for the future of the hospital.”

The former president and CEO after announcing he would retire when his five-year contract ended in October.

It’s an intriguing question for the new year: Can the Burstein boys of Brampton breathe life back into Elgin Mall? Considered the poor cousin of enclosed shopping malls by its previous owner OneREIT, Elgin Mall has wonderful potential according to its new owners.

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Brothers Jay, left, and Mory Burstein

“Our goal is to try and lease the vacant space as quickly as possible and try to make this mall the vibrant place it once was.”

Jay Burstein, whose family owned real estate investment company acquired the 263,000-square-foot property in October.

As announced just before Christmas, St. Thomas Energy plans to enter into a utility union with Entegrus, with consummation expected in January, 2018.

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Jim Hogan

Based in Chatham, Entegrus currently services Chatham-Kent, Strathroy, Mount Brydges, Parkhill, Dutton and Newbury. We interviewed Entegrus president and CEO Jim Hogan immediately following the announcement where he stressed the merger is all about customer service.

“The City of St. Thomas and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent would not accept any merger or partnership without insuring the customer service will be as good if not better as we move forward.”

And with that, we close the book on 2016 in fitting fashion on this New Year’s Eve. And we leave you with a reminder the near decade-long battle to level what the city deems an unsafe structure is headed back to the courts Jan. 3 in Round 3 of the Sutherland Saga.

We begin the quote-gathering process again next week in this corner. And we hope your 2017 is a year of good health, happiness and personal accomplishment.

 

City Scope appears Saturday in the St. Thomas Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to: City Scope

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