Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 20-24th: Inaugural week in review

Our return to the Winnipeg airwaves on 92.9 Kick-FM started out with a huge show and kept the momentum strong all week long.

Monday: Kelly Dehn, CTV crime reporter was our first guest. He spoke about the first story he and Marty worked on together cracking leads in the Talwin and Ritalin injection epidemic in 1987, and then touched on current crime issues and his fancy new haircut.

After taking our first two callers, Brian Smiley of Manitoba Public Insurance went over the details of the refund of premiums ordered just hours before by the Public Utilities Board, and assured listeners that the cheques would be out in April. The former sportswriter also agreed to appear in-studio to debate the issue of whether former Montreal Canadien's toughie and Winnipeg Jets GM John Ferguson deserves to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

To our surprise City Film officer Kenny Boyce, an old friend, called in to offer congratulations and promised to come in for an interview in December and catch us up on all the Hollywood-based action being filmed in the province.

Adrienne Batra made her first TGCTS appearance in her role as Canadian Taxpayers Federation honcho for Manitoba. She agreeed that there was something fishy with the province intercepting the $100 monthly Child Benefit cheques meant for the care of 6 years olds in foster care, and redistributing the wealth to all foster families instead.

Tuesday: The assault and torture of a senior citizen inside her suite at 101 Marion by two female lowlifes led to a tenant revolt and an emergency meeting on Monday night with their MLA, Finance Minister Greg Selinger. After a lot of questions about why Manitoba Housing authority officials ignored the crack-dealing and unsafe conditions in the 210 suite building, MHA acting GM Dr. Tom Moody called in to give his side of the story and explain how security was being beefed up. Also on the agenda was our critical examination of the Spirited Energy branding campaign and how the province was spending taxpayers dollars without providing any breakdowns for who was being paid.

Wednesday: After promising to be interviewed about the situation at 101 Marion, Councillor Danny Vandal canceled claiming he had a meeting at City Hall at 4.30. So we contacted tenant organizer Richard Solomon and boy did the audience get an eye-opener. Vandal had been asked by the helpless residents to help but hadn't responded, and Solomon expressed his personal disappointment having just voted for Vandal not a month ago.

Another tenant of 101 called in to back up Richard's claims of how MHA had ignored the growing problem of riff-raff and graffitti infesting their seniors high rise. We also found out a community police station had been located in the building but had been closed in last year. Another caller said she had lived in a west-end MHA building and suffered the same kinds of security issues until she had enough and moved out.

Thursday: The truth about Dan Vandal came out when a student reported that he was not at a city hall meeting yesterday, but rather he was at a local tavern explaining he didn't come on TGCTS because "I didn't want to get cornered".

After asking what kind of politician runs for mayor (2002) but won't address a crime problem in his own neighborhood for his own supporters, and discussing how we moved the story into Question Period that day, on to the other topics.

- Ron East of Canada Sheli, an Israeli advocacy and support group, spoke about the activities of his group including the international news coverage they got last summer for holding North America's first pro-Israel rally during the war in Lebanon. He also explained his charity organization,, which educates the community about preventable head and brain injuries suffered by young people.

- Winnipeg Sun columnist and blogger Krista Boryskavich ( touched on Michael Richards' image problems and the whole concept of using racial insults as humour.

- Finally one of Winnipeg's most recognizable athletes, Shane Madison, called in and let loose on the management of the Blue Bombers and the merits of a new vs refurbished stadium.

Friday: Still no Dan Vandal phone call or sightings and no response from HRDC in Ottawa about how Manitoba was redirecting the Child Benefit cheques and whether this practice was even legal. This was a lesson on politicians and bureaucrats for the listeners.

Then it was on to the startling admissions by Competitiveness Minister Scott Smith that the Spirited Energy campaign didn't have a dollar of actual cash from the so-called private sector contributions, and the NDP had redefined private sector to include Crown Corporations like MPI. Somewhere in the middle of this is the Free Press whose owner is co-chair of the Spirited Energy committee but whose newspaper appears to be getting paid big bucks to run the ads.

At the midway point a very interesting interview with midget wrestler "Short Sleeve" Dan Sampson who has worked for Vince McMahon's WWE and on Spike-TV'sTNA and was in Winnipeg for an IWM event. Sampson was very articulate and sharp-witted. He stated he had no time for bleeding hearts who claim he was being exploited by wrestling promoters, because as Sampson said, he is an entertainer who makes his own living and travels the world without regret.