If you think all is quiet on the St. Thomas Elevated Park front, all you have to do is look up to see nothing could be further from the truth.
The first of two large sculptures crafted by area artist and blacksmith Scott McKay was positioned in place this week, high above Sunset Drive in readiness for this year’s picnic on Aug. 27.
Entitled Fear Not The Wind, the artwork is an over-size, functional weathervane.
“Because it’s a windy environment up there, the artist came up with the idea of using that wind to make the sculpture move,” explained Serge Lavoie, president of On Track St. Thomas. “So, a big, overgrown weather vane was the answer. You go to old-fashioned gardens and they put in weather vanes or sun dials and he came up with a weather vane for this garden and I think it’s a cool idea.” Continue reading
An initial scan of the public sector salary disclosure for city hall employees seems to indicate restraint was in order in 2011.
A total of 39 city employees are ensconced in the Sunshine Club — those earning in excess of $100,000 — unchanged from 2010.
Topping the list is police chief Bill Lynch at $150, 976, but that’s a decrease of almost $7,000 from his previous salary reporting.
A close second is the city’s new CAO/clerk, Wendell Graves, checking in at $146,217. As city clerk only in 2010, Graves earned $126,338.
She’s a master’s student of local economic development and a former resident of St. Thomas who has issued a challenge to the city to embrace alternative modes of transportation.
Tara Smedbol, now a London resident, contacted us recently with two simple ways in which St. Thomas can increase its livability for residents. The first focuses on developing cycling infrastructure and the other is to increase transit options.
This is not a matter of recreational infrastructure, Smedbol asserts, but instead it would increase the options and abilities for residents to be mobile and connected to the city.
“The key to a vibrant city with a vibrant downtown,” she points out, “is activity and movement of people.” She continues: “One tactic to increase activity on the streets is by encouraging walking and bicycling in the downtown core and other areas of the city.
“It is self-explanatory that as someone drives a car less (maybe even giving up a car in favour of other modes of transportation, if they are able to change their commuting patterns) and thus decrease the costs directly associated to owning a car, they increase their disposable income.”
Thanks to Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands for passing along the current Share the Road Cycling Coalition newsletter.
It’s timely in that it outlines The Active Communities Pledge – an initiative to increase the visibility of active transportation issues in the upcoming municipal elections.
Here is a relevant excerpt:
“With just under month before the October 25th municipal election we ask that you do what you can to engage your colleagues – and your candidates – where you live in the discussion about how to ensure that cycling is a part of the vibrant debates which are taking place in communities across Ontario.
Your first step should be to ask your local candidates to sign the Active Community Pledge on our website – all the information you need to get going follows this message. The Pledge is already up and running here