As an avid collector of notable quotations, I love this time of year. Cast a line back over the past 365 days and troll for the best of the best. Those utterances that generate thoughtful approval at the time, but over time, quite often leave you scratching your scalp in puzzlement.
To set the scene, let’s turn to the master of the put-down, Will Rogers, who noted many years ago, “Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
As guest of the Elgin St. Thomas Archives Association, Mayor Cliff Barwick’s presentation Wednesday on heritage building preservation was so laced with negativity, it made his bland New Year’s address stand out as stirring motivational oratory.
And as was the case in his state of the union to open the 129th council of the Corporation of the City of St. Thomas early in January, Barwick proved a master of buck passing this week before 50 or so gathered in the public library’s Carnegie Room.
Jack (The Mouth) Layton roared into St. Thomas on Wednesday for a town hall meeting that, for the most part, focused on the task at hand — addressing the needs of Canadian families ravaged by a vicious downward spiral of plant closings and layoffs.
“This is driving people into homelessness and despair,” warned
Layton. “How are we going to bring the economy back if that’s how
we’re treating people?”
Posted by Ian:
My but this story has an eerie familiarity to it. Perhaps because we in St. Thomas have lived through it first hand. Withheld Alma report So what exactly is the mandate of Culture Minister Aileen Carroll and her staff? It would appear preserving the heritage of this province is not anywhere on her radar, as witness this story from yorkregion.com. Thanks to the Alma Advocacy Association for the heads up.
The Minister of Culture could have preserved the Dunlap Observatory site’s entirety with the stroke of her pen, according to newly-released information.
A letter sent by Ontario Heritage Trust chairperson and former Lt.-Gov. Lincoln Alexander to Culture Minister Aileen Carroll in September, recommends the province take immediate action to declare the site’s main 177 acres a heritage site.
That would mean if designated by the minister, no alterations to the property would be allowed without her consent.
With several thousand layoffs and job losses battering the local economy, T-J readers may question last week’s headline announcing the Alma College fire as top news story in 2008.
It wasn’t an easy decision for this paper’s editors and reporters … the disappearance of several thousand jobs in the city would surely qualify as the banner story in any other year.
The Alma Advocacy Association has written to the City of St. Thomas to complain about the condition of the property at 96 Moore St., the site of Alma College.
Chief Building Official
St. Thomas City Hall
PO Box 520
St. Thomas, Ontario
December 15, 2008
Re: 96 Moore Street, St. Thomas, Ontario, known as Alma College
Dear Chief Building Official;
We wish to file a complaint regarding the condition of the heritage property at 96 Moore Street, St. Thomas, Ontario.
Our concerns relate to the buildings and structures remaining at 96 Moore and public health and safety hazards.
The full transcript of an address to St. Thomas council on Dec. 15, 2008 by Suzanne Van Bommel of the Alma Advocacy Association.
On behalf of the Alma Advocacy Association I would like to thank your Worship and members of Council for the opportunity to speak this evening.
My name is Suzanne van Bommel, President of the Alma Advocacy Association.
The goal of our group is to preserve and maintain what is left of the Alma College campus, obtain Provincial Heritage designation and maintain the municipal designation at 96 Moore Street.