She could go in and go nuts on them, but to what end?

city_scope_logo-cmykThe notion, upon first hearing it, is almost absurd. Nearly four years ago, City Scope referred to it as entirely counter-intuitive. Let an absentee owner off the hook and reach out to the community instead for their help and support.
But, that is exactly the approach lawyer Elena Dempsey was proposing in June of 2014 to turn things around at Walnut Manor — an independent supportive living home operated by Niagara Supportive Living in Welland.
Well, a lengthy conversation this past Wednesday (Jan. 3) with the lawyer at Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic in St. Thomas confirmed Dempsey is just as passionate.
She had visited the group home at 57 Walnut Street just before Christmas to drop off gifts for the 18 or so residents and found the facility just as dreary and depressing as ever. The food, appalling not appealing. Continue reading


Interpreting Ascent deal through our ‘filters’

city_scope_logo-cmykThree members of council are in favour of keeping the people who elected them to office in the dark about the comings and goings at Ascent, formerly known as St. Thomas Energy.
Well actually it may only be two but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The trio, Mayor Heather Jackson and councillors Gary Clarke and Linda Stevenson sit on the Ascent board of directors which met May 26 to deal with the sale of its Ascent Solutions division to Spark Power of Oakville.
Included in the deal are Tillsonburg-based Tiltran — acquired by Ascent in 2007 — and Belleville operation Tal Trees — acquired in 2009.
This corner — and we’re sure many ratepayers — would like financial disclosure on the sale.
Guess what, that is not about to happen. Continue reading

Promoting healthy lifestyle choices for St. Thomas


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.”
Continue reading

Make St. Thomas a bicycle friendly community


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

Continue reading