Showing posts from November, 2008

Tommy Springman, former owner of Spring Taxi, passes at 76

We have just received confirmation that Tommy Springman, a legendary figure in Winnipeg's taxi history, has passed away after a lengthy illness at age 76.

According to sources, Springman was released from St. Boniface Hospital after a 10 day stay yesterday. He returned to his home, but had a heart attack at 1.30 AM today, and emergency treatment at Seven Oaks Hospital failed.

Springman was a third-generation resident of the small prairie community of Edenbridge, Saskatchewan, established on the Carrot River by Jewish emigree's in 1908. At a 100th anniversary reunion just last month, the Canadian Jewish News reported Springman "recalled families working hard under harsh conditions. “It was a time and a place where honesty and integrity were important,” he said. Springman left Edenbridge in 1953 and moved to Winnipeg to pursue a teaching career."

Springman was a respected school principal at Andrew Mynarski School in the Seven Oaks School Division for many years, who cam…

City health inspectors tracing tainted pork

Press Release

For immediate release

City health inspectors on the trail of spoiled pork

The City of Winnipeg Health Department have begun tracing the source of 1500 pounds of minced pork, which was delivered to striking Winnipeg Free Press employees in October.

Health officials will be seeking security camera video to try and identify the mysterious truck driver who handed out the meat, which had obviously been improperly stored. One of the reporters on strike wrote that strikers had to toss away some of the pork because it was spoiled, but planned to refreeze the rest and hand it out to Winnipeg's poor in Christmas hampers.

"I did speak to the inspectors and they were genuinely concerned... there's no doubt in their mind whatsoever that if it's thawed and refrozen, ya there's a health risk.", Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz said Thursday during an interview with The Great Canadian Talk Show on Kick-FM.

City health officials and the federal Canadian Food Inspection Agency …

Press release: Feds warn Porkgate poses "possible food safety problem"

Press release

For immediate release

Feds warn Porkgate poses "possible food safety problem"

Canada's federal food inspection agency has become the second public health service to alert Manitobans of the potential health hazard of 1500 pounds of frozen pork that was delivered to striking Winnipeg Free Press employees.

Free Press reporters have claimed that the taxpayer-subsidized pork came off the back of an unidentified truck courtesy of an anonymous supporter of the strikers. Some of the meat was obviously spoiled and had to be thrown out. Most of the rest was taken to strike headquarters and distributed to picketers, who refroze it with the stated intention of giving the meat to the poor and needy in Christmas hampers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reviewed the situation at the request of The Great Canadian Talk Show and warned:

"if the product thawed or was held for any length of time at temperatures that would permit microbial growth, it then becomes a p…

Surprise leak of $12 Million plan for BRT line expropriation will lead off Monday

Monday will start off with a question: after years of Bus Rapid Transit discussion and debate, when was the first time you heard about the city wanting to spend MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to swipe land from private owners, whose properties stand in the way of the proposed BRT corridor?

For everyone I have asked so far, the answer was "today", in a Free Press expose of a leaked report, that is going to Planning Property and Development Committee on Tuesday.

All we ever heard was the phrase "rail line right of way", and never a syllable about "plus an extra $12.7 million for 11 properties we don't own".

Which by the time the lawyers and courts get involved, will be closer to $20 million. Of your money.

And today was also the first time anyone heard that city bureaucrats
insist BRT's co-funder, the provincial NDP government, must take away the right of property owners to appeal any expropriation -- because TRANSIT IS IN A HURRY to stay on schedule. F…

Thank you for two great years of TGCTS on 92.9 Kick-FM !

I wanted to post a short note, thanking all the listeners of Kick-FM, as well as station manager Rick 'fearless leader' Baverstock, Red River College and the Cre-comm students who have manned the control room, our volunteers like Spirited Kenny and Wonderboy Taylor, our advertisers, and the many many guests and callers from all over the continent, for their support and participation.

The drive-home talk show, which I had first thought of over 20 years ago, has filled a gap left by the formats of Winnipeg commercial radio.

It has helped get the presence of the alternative media and blogosphere into the public arena.

It has given voice and context to our understanding of neighborhoods and victims and heroes and government transparency, to real news and critical viewpoints filtered out by the bias of the mainstream media.

I am very fortunate to be in this place at this time of my life - and I deeply appreciate the many words of support and encouragement to stay true to the Monday …

The Timeline Tells the Tale: Behind the Gordon Sinclair "apology" to readers

In Saturday's Free Press, columnist Gordon Sinclair was forced to deal with the expose in the alternative media of his columns about the Chantel Henderson 'eviction'.

After 3 stories we can now piece together how the story unfolded.

Good journalists know, the timeline tells the tale.

1) Thursday Nov. 6, 6 AM- Gordon Sinclair Jr. column, "It's a libel to label entitled generation" published in FP delivered to Winnipeg homes.

Sinclair wrote "Chantel explained she expected to be evicted Friday" and quoted her as saying "I'm on the brink of being homeless with my daughter."

2) Sinclair's neighbour Cliff King was first to contribute, cutting a cheque to pay the rent. ("Winnipeggers swoop in to help single mom" Nov. 8th.)

3) Later Thursday, Chantel's 10 co-workers passed the hat and gave her $600.("Winnipeggers swoop in to help single mom" Nov. 8th.)

4) Thursday night, Sinclairdrove to her house to deliver the cheque to …

Vote for Best Story of Year 2 and win...something.

As part of our 2nd anniversary show next Thursday, we are asking listeners to vote for story of the year.

And a prize package- ok 2 books and maybe a keychain- will be awarded one voter (drawn at random) from the responses we get. Please email with your vote before Noon on November 20th.

Here are some suggested nominees, if there is a story or issue we covered you would like added to the list we will do so (* denotes story broken by TGCTS):

Young Joshs' look into The Derelict Buildings bylaw, * flaws and all

* Spirited Kenny's work on The 10 year delay in the CanAlert/511 initiative plus the follow-ups by the province and the feds

The Winnipeg Police Advisory Board creation, and
* their appointees involvement in race-baiting tactics at the Dumas inquest

* NDP Elmwood MLA Jim Maloway's misadventures with constituency expense money

* Nick Hirst, former editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, provided at least one (unpublished) letter from readers critical of the Crocus Fun…

The people of Winnipeg gave the Winnipeg Free Press a lesson in the new journalism

This past week, Winnipeggers proved that our ongoing "Lessons in Journalism" have had an empowering effect.

The Winnipeg Free Press finds itself facing a crisis of public trust because of the lessons on how-the-mainstream-media-manipulates-news, learned by listeners of the Great Canadian Talk Show.

On Thursday we took note of a column by Gordon Sinclair Jr. about a woman who could not pay her rent. The tale-of-woe wound through the typical Sinclairian path - a brave 26 year old aboriginal single mother born of poverty, struggling to raise a child almost half her age in subsidized housing, felled by the delay between paycheques of term jobs, reduced to using food banks and pawning possessions, expecting to be evicted Friday, "on the brink of homelessness."

But this time something was different. This time, instead of reaching for their hankies, our listeners joined in asking sharp questions about the obvious holes in the story. The Winnipeg Free Press was about to feel …

Start Living campaign timed for Doer's triumphant return from China?

Information about the results of the Premier's trade mission to China arrived during the show Friday, and we simply did not have time to review it.

Now we know why 'Son of Spirited Energy', Start Living, was launched all of a sudden this week.

The talking points so far for both initiatives are all identical. It's as if Robert Ziegler was in China evaesdropping, instead of on CJOB with Richard Cloutier Thursday morning.

As we roundtabled on Friday's show, callers joined Spirited Kenny and Young Josh, agreeing with their observations that the guiding hands of this rebranding exercise ( now sitting at over $4 million dollars with an executive director yet to come ) have not succeeded at convincing young adults- 28 to 40, those starting families and businesses ( let alone people outside the province ), that living and investing here is a viable option. How the failed infrastructure and fear of crime isn't something normal people will turn a blind eye to. That the Pro…

Vacant and Derelict Buildings, One Year Later, By the Numbers

Young Josh here, and by audience request, I've got the numbers on the Vacant and Derelict Buildings Bylaw from before and after The Great Canadian Talk Show's special reports in late 2007. Here you go!

When Justin Swandel made his declarations in October 2007…

Waiting List of Derelict Properties: 880

Number of Inspectors: 2

Number of Properties Available For Taking Title: 12

Length of Time Until City Seizes Property: 450 Days (roughly 15 months)

One Year Later, After TGCTS Releases Its Five-Point Plan…

Waiting List of Derelict Properties: 700

Number of Inspectors: 5

Number of Properties The City Took Title To: 11

Length of Time Until City Seizes Property: 360 Days (just under a year)

- - -

In the year since we covered this story on The Great Canadian Talk Show, the increases we've seen have been greater than in all three years prior to our coverage.

That being said, there's still a great deal that Justin Swandel and the other councilors at City Hall can do to improve their performa…