Saturday, February 6, 2010

What the Hell is Wrong with Windsor? 8

I think when I started positing on what the hell is wrong with Windsor, I still cared about the place - but I've come to realize that I just wasn't ready to let it go. Not so much that I wasn't ready to leave it behind, because I was, but because I knew so much about it. I'd been reading the news every day for four years, meeting movers and shakers, interviewing everyone all over the city for articles and essays. I'm not going to pretend I know a whole lot about what's going on down there, but I sure felt that I did.

But now it just seems like I'm picking on the city - and I'm not really all that interested in maintaining any knowledge that I used to hold for the place. Like, I remember how much of an issue student parking was every single year - and we've all known for four years now that the new UofW Engineering Facility was going to trim parking down to an even fewer spaces. But I'm just not interested in that anymore.

Students fume at loss of parking lot [Jan. 18]

WINDSOR, Ont. -- The closing of a prime parking lot in the middle of campus has students at the University of Windsor seeing red.

“There’s nowhere to park,” said Michael Szarka, a fourth-year history and political science student. He said students like himself have to arrive for class an hour early to begin the daily hunt for a parking spot. “Today I was driving around for 30, 35 minutes.”

The university has closed a 400-car parking lot at Wyandotte Street and California Avenue to bring in construction materials for the new engineering building. With plenty of vacant spaces in lots at the farthest reaches of campus, the university compensated for the loss of spots at the central lot by adding another 78 spots in a lot between Sunset and Patricia avenues off Union Street.

“Students are used to only having to walk a block and a half,” said university spokeswoman Lori Lewis. “We certainly recognize that students are inconvenienced, but … it’s hard for us to provide everyone with parking right near their classes.”

And I used to care when I heard about people in different parks all around the area were being attacked. I could characterize different neighbourhoods by the newspapers - but now I just don't care if someone's shot with a pellet gun in Brunet Park out in LaSalle anymore.

Woman shot with a pellet gun in LaSalle's Brunet Park area [Jan. 18]

LASALLE -- LaSalle Police are looking for information after a woman was shot Saturday night with a pellet gun.

The incident occurred between 8:15 and 9 p.m. in the Brunet Park and Seventh Street area. Police believe the woman was struck by a pellet.

The victim had to seek medical attention. Police wouldn't release information on the victim Sunday.

And of course there are the politics in the area - I made a big statement about politics through the voice of one of my characters in Lefevre's Redemption - to paraphrase, the character felt that the city always pitted itself politically against the rest of the country, and that made things terrifically difficult to gain provincial and national support.

Think about it - they've voted NDP in overwhelming numbers, no matter what. They'd been Liberal for a near half-century when Herb Grey was around, and then they switched over to Brian Masse. Now, traditionally, when voting, you're supposed to look at the community around you and compare how you are now to how you were during the last electoral period. But Windsor voters don't do that - they just follow the union-mantra and vote in unison for the NDP (the friend of labour, the NDP). And the dumb part is, union jobs have never been more fragile. They've never been so unemployed. These strategies aren't helping, but the politics of it all is only doing one thing, keeping the politicians in power. As usual, it's not helping anyone but the guy in charge, who does whatever it takes to stay in power.

I suppose this segues into the huge windfarm/green energy announcement from not long ago with Samsung. Windsor's been looking for major foreign investment in the green-energy sector for years - and they've finally got it. BUT they went foreign, not domestic. Big political issue... why not Canadian companies? Why not a Canadian manufacturer? All news, especially big news, becomes heavily politicized so the man in power can keep his power, while the rest of the politicians look to use the issue to take the power for themselves. I suppose it's like this all over the world, but ... maybe you'd rather live where there aren't so many issues, is what I'm getting at, I guess?

$7B Ontario-Samsung green energy investment largest of its kind

Ontario has entered a $7-billion green energy deal with Samsung in what is likely the largest renewable energy project of its kind in the world.

The agreement will see Samsung C&T and KEPCO establish and operate a series of wind and solar power clusters across Ontario over the next 20 years.

The clusters will include giant wind turbines capable of generating up to 2,000 megawatts, as well as solar power facilities that will generate up to 500 megawatts.

The entire project is expected to have a combined energy-production capacity of 2.5 gigawatts by the year 2016 — the equivalent of four per cent of Ontario’s total energy consumption.

In the meantime, the province plans on closing all of its coal-fired power plants by 2014.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the initiative today in Toronto joined by provincial energy minister Brad Duguid, Samsung C&T Corporation president and CEO Sung-ha Chi, and Korea Electric Power Corporation vice president Chan-Ki Jung.

And when people are all hot and bothered with how the politics of Windsor work, why not start pissing off people when they're really young?

Junk food ban annoys teens: 'They can't control us'

WINDSOR, Ont. -- It’s the end of the line for the gravy train.

As of September 2011, fatty, salty and sugary foods will be slim pickings in the cafeterias of Ontario schools as they beef up on healthy food choices.

Under a new provincial policy released Wednesday, foods with few or no essential nutrients or those that contain high volumes of fat, sugar or sodium will be banned from sale in all Ontario schools. Pop, chocolate bars, candy and fries will be among the casualties in cafeterias and vending machines.

While students aren’t planning mutiny quite yet, they’re unimpressed with the announcement.

“I’m not very happy about it,” said Holy Names high school student Brent Rankin, who was downing poutine with Coke at lunch Thursday. The 15-year-old said he doesn’t eat the healthy food already offered at the school’s cafeteria and he’s unlikely to start when the new rules are implemented. “I guess I’ll just pack a lunch if I have to,” he said.

Sixteen-year-old Chelsie Seip wasn’t excited by the prospect of rice and vegetables for lunch, either. “Who likes vegetables? Kids don’t like vegetables.” Seip said she often brings her own lunch from home and buys an extra treat at school — with her mother’s permission. “My mom would give me a toonie to go get some Skittles or something. She doesn’t say, ‘Go get yourself some rice.’”

While I'm not sociologist, nor psychologist, but won't something like this have the same result as telling a young kid they can't do anything? I would imagine this most likely to have them rebel than comply.

Honestly, I was going to post a load of discouraging links from the news but ... I just don't have Windsor in me anymore. And I think that's a good thing. Perhaps, once we get ourselves adjusted into a new home that we both enjoy, in a new town (which I think will be happening some day soon) I'll be able to share some pride for where I live.

Maybe this is what I've been looking for all this time.

No comments: