Sunday, January 21, 2007

Jan. 15-19: Covering the coverage on stadium and city hall

This week the show was able to get into the field and check out breaking developments on stories the city was buzzing about- the Bomber stadium study, City Hall handling closing community centres, and the Airport vs Taxicabs tussle. While we were at it, the MSM in Winnipeg got some kudos from us to go with the razzberry's.

Monday: The week started with our show having been honoured on Saturday with the ultimate tribute for us in the alternative media: a mainstream columnist took credit for breaking a story we had broken first. Last week you heard it here: Carolyn Brock of Manitoba Justice admitted that there wasn't 5 or 50 kids only recently identified as car thieves, but it was two hundred. Our callers had caught onto the effects of catch and release months ago but the authorities think they have things are improving and "get an immobilizer".

One idea about how to deal with youth crime is via municipal curfew. The ugly spectre of litigation was launched by 2 mothers who are concerned that their kids have rights of free association and are victims of age discrimination. As if. Imagine if cops didn't have the power to tell groups of Jr. High kids 'hangin out' at 3 AM : GO HOME.

Frank the Italian Barber joined us in studio to talk sports and sad to say, he went 0 for 4 on Pro Line but was stiil happy about the NFL games. The phones lit up on our discussion of the NFL playoffs and the march of the Saints to the "Winnipeg of the South" Chicago, and the Colts-Patriots showdown. One caller predicted Colts by 3-6, and Bears by 17. Longtime bomber booster Morris in the Village said the Saints were the Cinderella story and could beat the Bears; we said Grossman plays within his limits and the Bears defence wins it for them. We had so much fun we forgot to mention his Jeep was stolen two weeks ago. Again.

Tuesday: One of our most popular segments so far, when we connected the dots: Justice Fred Sandhu gave a 15 year old girl one years probation and told her to find new friends, when she was involved in 4 thefts and another she tried to pull herself after being shown the tricks of the trade. It got bargained down to one theft and one attempted.

This kind of light consequence for a crime that included driving a stolen truck from Polo Park Mall to the north end, is why there is so little sympathy for the convicted car thief still in the hospital after being louisville sluggered. That, in turn, what led to the creation of a new decal, by artist Travis Blair, being sold at Wild Planet. The artwork shows a man besides a car door and getting clocked over the head by another person wielding a bat.

The text says:

"Auto theft may result in severe death or injury"

The store has had inquiries from as far away as Vancouver.

As a follow-up to last Thursday's interview with Avion Services about their airport shuttle van proposal, Joan Wilson of Unicity Taxi spent some time to explain why this issue is so important, and why cabbies feel they have been put together by dirty dealings.

Wilson pointed out that taxis are $200,000 investments by hundreds of largely immigrant drivers. They pay $250,000 to have pick-up rights at the airport, and not only were there no complaints, the airport authority didn't ask them if the company would add vans to the fleet to respond to this supposed need.

In essence, the airport itself is deciding to start a shuttle van service because Avion (which they own) is claiming the service is needed (no data needed please we're a non-profit). There are 135,000 fares out of the airport every year and the Airport's for-profit subsidiary wants a piece of the action, to help finance the airport's bottom line.

And the Taxicab Board which is supposed to regulate motor vehicles transporting passengers for compensation, refused to force Avion to meet the same standards of qualifying for a licence as do the 409 taxis they regulate, somehow claiming the city had to rule on the matter because the lawyers told them so.

Now this isn't courtesy vans operated by a hotel for customers; this is a private company charging $9 a ride. It gets dumped on the city who are in turn told by counsel that they must refer it the PUB. Government lawyers. Go figure.

Why does it look like the Cab Board didn't want to upset the Airport Authority's applecart, and passed the buck to Mayor Sam Katz ?

Two letters to the Editor in the Free Press caught our attention, one quite negative on the Asper Stadium proposal and another, by longtime Winnipeg musician Dan Donahue that while he liked the plan, maybe the team should have to repay the City the bail-out money from 5 years ago, and then we'd have money to keep Community Centres open. Great idea.

Wednesday: CTV crime reporter Kelly Dehn got us updated on the arrest of the Domo robber/kidnapper, the Mayor's proposed Police Commission, and the first murder of the year. Unfortunately, CBC's newsroom doesn't have a map, and reported that the murder occured in the North End when it was near the Stock Exchange Hotel on the other side of the rail yards. But hey, to some reporters, if it's a murder in Winnipeg it must be the North End.

Our main focus on the show was a fascinating visit to City Hall to watch our Councillors in action. The Executive Policy Committee had to handle the hot potatoe of the Avion shuttle van application, with 70 cabbies jamming into the room.

Taxi industry lawyer Barry Gorlick described the Winnipeg Airport Authority as "the elephant in the room", that Avion was "part of a monolith" and made the point that it was "mischief" to compare the utility or demand for a van at any other airport- only Winnipeg's lay so close to a Canadian downtown at a mere $14.00 ride.

And oh ya, according to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Avion had misrepresented them as supporting the proposal when they did not.

Maples Councillor Mike O'Shaunessy said he was flabbergasted. "Here's these fine folks don't tell us it's owned by the airport".

St. Norbert Councillor Justin Swandel noted that the contract for Unicity to service the airport happened to be expiring on March 31st.

Transcona councillor Russ Wyatt saw through the Cab Board's position and suggested their legislation need to be 'reviewed' by the province.

Gord Steeves of St. Vital dusted off the Act and read the part about transporting fare-paying passengers, out loud.

Yet EPC still just held their noses, and approved the recommendation to Council, that Avion be able to take their proposal to the provincial Public Utilities Board for a decision after a public hearing would be held ( not that PUB has to acceed the city's condition). Just like the lawyers told them to.

Being at City Hall today gave us the chance to describe to our audience, how the different reporters approached the subjects and how little some of them seemed to understood about what was going on, based on the kinds of questions they were asking about taxis and their biases. We'll be watching the coverage to see if the public is given the full picture.

Today was the 65th birthday of Muhammed Ali, our opportunity to reminisce about his career in the boxing ring and the impact his life had outside of the ring around the world.

Thursday: The North End tied the score as it were, only took a couple of days for a body to be found in a house near Alfred and McPhillips.Other local news we pondered was the Gypsy gang that had tried to rob Zeid's supermarkets a few weeks ago. Arrested in Calgary and with stunning store video of their crime spree on the newscasts, they are claiming asylum as refugees.

With the receiver for Maple Leaf proposing to court that they approve a plan to leave creditors holding the bag for 4.6 million dollars, some of the facts around the Crocus Fund collapse. Our belief is the need for a public inquiry completely overweighed the Premier's assertions that the Securities Commission hearing (now postponed going on two years) and Class Action suit (being fought every step of the way by lawyers for the former Directors and still not even certified as a group) would suffice.

As we expected, the coverage of yestreday's EPC decison was falwed. One outlet didn't even mention the Airport is connected to Avion; two others said it provided services to the airport but again, didn't explain the real question to the public.

Because this is not about free enterprise; if another group came forward with a shuttle proposal, who really thinks the Airport would allow them to pick up passengers when it would compete with their own shuttle?

This divisive proposal, putting 300 visible minority cab owners who count on that extra 30 or 40 dollars a day from airport runs, against the airport trying to capture all the dollars on-site, will ineveitably impact service for the rest of Winnipeg cab users and the economy city-wide in favour of A) tourists and B) the airport's bottom line.

Next segment we got to ask the question, what's nice Jewish boy doing being a wrestler?, when Colt Cabana joined us on the phone from Chicago. Choosing a career of bumps and international travel to the UK, Japan and points in between, Colt was plugging his Winnipeg debut this coming Sunday for a worthy cause, The Children's Hospital Foundation. Colt is a star of MTV's new Wrestling Society X show, and is a mainstay of cult favorite Ring of Honor.

Lastly, we had to ask, does anyone at the Free Press even proofread their columnists, or don't they read their own paper to start with? Gordon Sinclair Junior lambasted Sam Katz and the councillors who vote with him, saying the vote to close Elmwood Community Centre was proof there was no compassion at city hall for kids at risk of becoming car thieves.

His bright idea was for Manitoba Public Insurance to fund community centres instead of prosecutors and more cops on the street.

Well, where to start.

We had made two calls and confirmed that Elmwood - the community centre in 900 block Beach, was not on the chopping block.

So either Sinclair meant Kelvin, and no one at the paper fact-checked the column; or Sinclair made it up as an excuse to continue his unwarranted slams at the Mayor.

His bright idea is for all us insured car owners to pay for community centres to stay open; we say MPI's job is to deliver the lowest rates not be in the social service game.

And we wondered, why didn't Sinclair ask the subject of some of his recent glowing columns, the Richardson family, if while they're kicking in a quarter million dollars for the RWB to perform a specific artsy ballet, and another $250,000 for the symphony, maybe they can pony up to save Kelvin....maybe ?

But no, Sinclair would have none of it. It's the Mayor's fault for being hard on crime, and the councillor's fault for mindlessly voting with the mayor. Sound familiar...?

Well one of the calls we made this morning was to Councillor Lillian Thomas' assistant and went like this.

TGCTS: The paper says Elmwood is being closed.
Assistant: Yes that's right.
TGCTS: Oh, well last week it said...
Assistant: Oh, no, it's Kelvin, that's a mistake.
TGCTS: Oh, Ok, but the paper says Elmwood.
Assistant: Is it Gordon Sinclair's column?
Assistant: Oh well I haven't read it yet.

Now how did this fellow know Sinclair was writing a column (that did exactly what his boss did last week- shriek at Mayor Katz and call the councillors 'mindless minions') - if he hadn't read the paper? Lucky guess...?

Either way - concocted story or no proofreading - we said we'd invite Free Press editor Bob Cox to explain how the paper handles these kinds of mistakes and what the editing process entails. He had said in the past he'd cover stuff like that on his blog, but it had been dormant since he went skiing on December 29th.

Friday: We were first in the city to bring you the explanation from Ian Craven of Meyers Norris Penny, author of the Stadium Feasability Study, why there was no calculations included for the value of the existing stadium and how much it's disposal could generate. He spent 10 minutes on the air explaining how he crunched the numbers and the square footage to come up with the $204 million required to build a new "Destination Centre" at the Red River Ex site outside the city beside Headingly.

Then we followed with Red River Ex honcho and former Bomber player and exec Paul Robson.

It was a lively discussion and Paul admitted that if the Stadium gets built on a tract of land elsewhere, his Board had never contemplated moving there to continue the synergy found in the Craven study. He wants this project badly, but if some thing else ie David Asper's plan, is approved, the Ex will still work on developing their own facilities.

After joking with Paul about his playing days and what it felt like to be run over for 8 years by George Reed and Clyde Brock on Labour Day, we wished him well and he was off to speak to CJOB.

As nice and sincere as those men were, we told the listeners, based on what we saw and heard at the press conference where the study was released this was essentially stillborn. The MSM reporters clearly were prepared for this story. Good questions were asked about why there was no estimate of the amount the plan would require from the feds and province; why there was no information made available about the other 12 sites studied; and what took so long to release the study when it could have been put out the week after Grey Cup. Some very pointed reporting was taking place.

The vibe was so sceptical that Leo Ledohowski of Canad Inns, who wants to anchor a $50 million dollar hotel and waterpark to the hypothetical DC, basically lectured the media to get behind this concept which would allow Winnipeg to "leapfrog Regina and Saskatoon".

The one thing we noted at the presser was that the 'V' word - VISION - was not uttered for 45 minutes, surely a record these days.

The buzzword du semaine couldn't be attached to this idea because, besides the Premier and Mayor refusing to support any stadium outside the Perimeter, a Bomber rep told Kelly Dehn the team knew their fans were very negative on the Assiniboia Downs-adjacent locale. A nightmare vision- build it and they won't come.

And our listeners have told us, if there's one thing the Asper plan has, is vision.

Based on our reading, the Bomber proposal would only suck life out of the city, hurt downtown and Polo Park, and benefit the Ex and Canada Inns more than anyone.

To wrap up the busy week, we briefly mentioned the sudden passing of well-known main event wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow whose most memorable bout was a Wrestlemania match against New York Giant's superstar Lawrence Taylor.

We also confirmed we had left an open invitation to Free Press editor Bob Cox to come on the show whenever he was available.

NEXT WEEK: In-studio on Tuesday January 23, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz taking your calls.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Crime and breaking news: Jan. 8 to Jan. 12

Citizen outrage about the car theft epidemic in Winnipeg reached the boiling point, and we broke a number of leads in ongoing news stories as the week progressed.

Monday: Over the weekend, an S.K. Security guard had his car rammed by a stolen car in Elmwood and engaged the driver in some sort of confrontation. When it was over, the guard and his supervisor were charged with assault and the driver, identified as a Manitoba Warrior with priors for car theft, was in a medically-induced coma in hospital.

The other local story of interest, was from Brandon.

Maple Leaf Food announced they were suspending a foreign hiring program when it was learned that 61 Chinese workers had been paying kickbacks of $10,000 - cash mind you - for some sort of "training" before they left for Canada. Of course the Vancouver-based immigration consultant - acknowledged to be in a relationship with a Maple Leaf Executive- had no idea what was happening, and the company denied the relationship had anything to do with the contract being awarded to her in the first place.

Other topics we covered included the career of the late Yvon Durelle, the great New Brunswick boxer who knocked down Archie Moore 4 times in a losing challenge for the World Light - Heavyweight title in 1958; The Aquatic Hall of Fame filing suit against the City of Winnipeg over their forced move this summer out of the Pan-Am Pool; and Janet Stewart set to debut on CBC News at Six after moving from ratings leader CTV.

Tuesday: Auto theft remained the hot topic and we got Brian Smiley of MPI on the line. He explained the measures MPI and authorities take to monitor 50 so-called "level 4 " offenders, the habitual and mostly-juvenile criminals who take advantage of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and steal car after car after car without consequence. He also announced exclusively on TGCTS, that the MPI offer to pay for free immobilizers was not expiring at the end of February but was being extended indefinately.

Brian, coach of the MJHL Stonewall Jets, also got into the Cooperstown voting asking who could possibly have not placed Cal Ripkin on the ballot. He renewed his promise to appear in-studio to talk sports with us.

In the wake of a report which showed that by the numbers, Winnipeg was way over the national averages for fire incidents and injuries, Alex Forrest came on the phone and explained why the Firefighters union thinks it is because south-side units are sent to respond incidents in the Core Area and North End, leaving the suburbs even more vulnerable to firebugs. He spoke of the education outreach they do but with only 4 members assigned it is an uphill battle to get the message to kids in school - let alone the truants.

Our sports focus was on the rise of Mixed Martial Arts and UFC into the mainstream. Loretta Hunt, new editor for The Fight Network, joined us from Southern California.

She is the only woman reporter covering the genre and her journey from New York's Tisch School for the Arts and aspiring actress to becoming a leading expert on combat sports started because of her brother. In the mid-90's, with exhibitors of the early UFC Pay per Views hard to find, the siblings would meet at the only New York bar and grill around that showed the fights. She became hooked and on a whim began contacting seminal internet sites like Full Contact Fighter, establishing a reputation for getting the story behind the scenes.

We spoke about the different promotions competing with UFC for fighters and market share, the development of regulation by state and provincial governments, the rise of women competitors like Gina Carrano, and whether the saturation point for fans is being approached.

Loretta is currently working on the autobiography of UFC/MMA legend Randy Couture, and she will be a regular guest on our show. Thanks to Stephen Murdoch of OEB International Public Relations/Public Affairs for arranging the interview.

With the Baseball Hall of Fame voting announced, our attention turned to the exclusion of reliever Goose Gossage and slugger Jim Rice. The induction of ironman Cal Ripken and 8 time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn was expected and deserved. And why do a couple of jerk writers return blank ballots and ensure that unanimous induction is inevitably denied the deserving players?

As for the distaste of 76% of the voters for Mark McGuire, we suggested that maybe the Baseball Writers of America should get past their obsession with moralism, and in the absence of any proof about McGuire using illegal enhancement substances, remember that he and Sammy Sosa singlehandedly revived the moribund public interest in MLB with their 1998 home-run race.

Wednesday: Kelly Dehn of CTV told about the arrest of a suspect in 4 robberies, 3 committed against taxicbs. That's right, the Boxing Day case where the perps left a phone number? We will keep tabs on this one as it goes through the courts. Kelly also explained how an early morning home invasion on the 1800 block of Alexander had the earmarks of a targeted debt collection.

The Winnipeg Sun was rife with coverage of the public support for the weekend beating of Stanley Ross by those employees of SK Security. Laurie Mustard wrote that he, his wife and his daughter have all been victims of car theft and vandalism. Tom Brodbeck wrote a column going over the numbers and blasting the system for letting criminals off the hook and losing public confidence to the point that Joe Citizen approves of vigilante-ism. Not a surprise to listeners of our program.

Caller Morris from the Village was interested in our recounting of the morning's confrontation between Mayor Sam Katz and Elmwood councillor Lillian Thomas. Thomas unleashed a deafening blast at Katz in front of the cameras, over the decision of EPC to follow-through on the planned closure of the Kelvin Community Centre in her ward. Morris harkened back to the days when debate and leadership at City Hall was epitomized by the likes of Joe Zuken, a true champion for the working class and poor whose eloquence was spellbinding. We had similar experiences, that when as teens we had occasion to meet Zuken, both of us were in awe and rendered speechless.

(Of course I was also rendered speechless when I met Ron Lancaster, which came up because Ronnie was relieved of his front-office job with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hopefully he will take them up on a PR role as the CFL needs the class acts to promote the game).

Item last: We reminded listeners to toss their dental floss in the garbage and not down the biffy, as the Toronto sewer system is suffering equipment breakdowns caused by floss-balls that don't bio-degrade. So TOSS YOUR FLOSS everyone.

Thursday: The Great Canadian Talk Show broke news days ahead of the Free Press, with our interview with Carolyn Brock of the Manitoba Justice Department.

Brock is the Executive Director of Youth Correctional Services and works with police and MPI to develop and enact strategies to combat car theft. She explained how they have 136 kids being watched more intensively with reporting conditions and the like. To our surprise, she revealed that their meetings had discovered a gap in the prior analysis, and that there was a group of kids not previously identified by authorities involved in stealing cars.

Not 5 or 50 kids either...

Try 200.

More than twice the number already being "closely watched" by 13 staffers.

And when asked what she could say to our listeners who are obviously concerned and frustrated, she said "get an immobilizer".

In the second segment, we dug into the issues behind a proposal to start a new "CityConnect" Shuttle service to and from the Airport and came up with more news.

General manager Shelley Tataryn reviewed the basics of the proposal that Avion Services Ltd. had taken first to the Taxicab Board and then to City Hall. She said that various business groups supported her contention that travelers wanted 9 passenger vans as an alternative to taxi service, and that competition was a good thing. She was frustrated with City Hall for not immediately seeing the good sense of their idea and allowing it to start.

Then the questions came up.

When asked what if the city opened this idea up for bids, she dismissed the notion anyone else had the interest or expertise. A strange answer given the previous attempts by business executives and cabbies to enter the market in the past with "luxury cabs".

Then she could not answer if the drivers of the vans would be part of the PSAC local which already represents the 78 existing employees of Avion. Keep in mind that many of the hotel offer free shuttle rides, which are generally driven by unionized employees, and that those jobs would be at risk if a new service started up.

Finally the question of the relationship between Avion and the Airport Authority, and the answer the MSM does not seek, cannot comprehend or just ignores.

Avion is "a for-profit wholly owned subsidiary of the WAA".

So we have the airport, which charges Unicity Taxi $250,000 a year for the airport contract, wanting to start their own $9 a trip van service, to undercut Unicity - and have Unicity pay for the privilege.

No wonder Tataryn's attitude was "who else would bid?"

When the airport authority has the sole power to authorize transportation providers to passengers on-site, who believes they're going to permit any other business to compete on airport property with their vans ?

We're told 135,000 fares a year leave the airport, never mind how many taxi fares go into the airport. There's a lot at stake. The proposal goes before EPC next Wednesday and we'll be keeping a close watch on the vote.

Finally on the show we began to read off a list of every stolen and attempted-to-be-stolen vehicles, by street location, from the first week of December 2006.

It's Outrageous. No neighborhood is safe. Inner-city, east side, Assiniboia to St. Vital, St. Boniface to North Kildonan to Garden City, hundreds in just one week.

And we brought exclusive news that, which we were the first to profile in December, is receiving death threats from hooligans when they are exposed online as vandalizing the West Kildonan area. They know where you live, stop going to the schools and social workers asking for some sense of responsibility - or else, they say.

Curt says, try me.

There's the best example of how far Winnipeggers have felt pushed by punk-coddling legislation, liberal politicians, uncaring judges, bleeding-heart social workers, and despite the shocked disbelief of columnists like Gord Sinclair of the Free Press, this is the state of the city we live in, where the little guy is mad as hell and won't take it anymore.

Friday: The best columnist in town is Tom Brodbeck and he proved it when he wrote why the Sun has been
inundated with emails supporting the beating meted out to the alleged car thief. The usual half-dozen emails is numbering in the hundreds as the public anger has boiled over, especially after last night.

The crazy chase of a stolen Avalanche right after we got off the air Thursday, ended with 2 cars near HSC rammed, an apartment building slammed into, a woman sent to emergency, 4 youths under arrest ( two of them Level 4 offenders, dont'cha know), and a fifth last seen hotfooting it away from the scene.

Tom said this assault on public safety and on the very integrity of the justice system has to be an election issue when Premier Doer drops the writ, and we agree with Tom.

Our sports segment centred on the life of Terry Hind, the man who was the brains behind the old Northern League original Winnipeg Goldeyes, the AAA Winnipeg Whips, the 1964 Allen Cup winning Winnipeg Maroons, and served in the front office of the Blue Bombers in the late 60's. Terry also worked with the Red Cross for a number of years before retiring. He was a great friend of amateur and pro sports in this town and was much loved and respected.

Shane Madison called in and wanted to pick up on the news that Randy Couture was ending his short respite from UFC competition and intended to challenge Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight crown. If she knew about it, Couture biographer Loretta Hunt sure didn't let on three days ago.

Madison confirmed he is not coming out of retirement himself but will be Commissioner of record at the LPW wrestling event on Jan. 21st at Coyotes, with proceeds going to The Children's Hospital Foundation. We'll be profiling the event next Wednesday. Madison also let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, when he revealed that our good friend Gary Derksen is battling cancer and we are planning a benefit show for him.

Gary is perhaps most recognized as proudly wearing the Canadian Flag to the ring at our Rough House Rasslin' theatresport productions every Canada Day in Osborne Village. The tribute show is being supported by wrestlers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and a former wrestler turned policeman, himself a cancer survivor, is prepared to fly in from Victoria for the event to stand with our brother. As plans unfold we'll be sure to keep Winnipeg up-to-date.

Finally to end the week, Kick-FM News Director Chris Reid dropped by the studio to brief us on the Capital Budget from city hall, with notable highlights being city route maintainance ( Pembina and Waverly) and development (Waverly underpass and Chief Peguis extension). There was also $4 million set aside for Rapid Transit, giving us a good starting point when Mayor Katz appears next week.

Monday, January 8, 2007

2007 begins in style: Jan. 2nd-5th

Lots of interviews and some breaking news too in a shorter than usual week.

Tuesday: The strange story of a "business invasion" at radio station CJSB on December 22 crossed our desk.

When we contacted the Swan River RCMP, they shed some light on the subject. Evidentally 5 people, two adults and three teenagers, entered the station on the Friday night before Christmas, and armed with little more than a bill of sale, proceeded to dismantle the equipment, knocking the FM'er off the air. Staff called the Mounties, who attended the scene and scored the matter a civil dispute involving a former employee and a genuine belief someone had sold the studio to someone else. The Crown Attorney from Dauphin will look at the file but charges are not expected to be laid. What will happen with the repair bill and the 8 hours of lost broadcast time is anyone's guess.

Consecutive drug and weapons busts in Winkler and Morden caught our attention as the scourge of crack resurfaced in Southwestern Manitoba. Beside drugs, paraphenalia and cash, a rare steroid seizure was part of the pre-New Years operation. Five people in total were charged for the various offences.

Dan Denton of Frozen Pond Productions called from Los Angeles and we spoke for 30 minutes about a variety of subjects. I was raving about the Boise State Broncos comeback win over Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, and Denton told a great story about being recruited by BSU. They were the only school to emphasize non-academic subjects, which he explained meant that the pamphlet included pics of co-eds rafting. He was ready to enroll but his mother was less convinced that girls in shorts was part of a well-rounded education.

On a more serious note, Denton spoke about how colour-blind his upbringing in Winnipeg was compared to the ethnic-gang warfare he sees everyday in LA, which is so bad now he has to change shirts when he goes to the mall lest he wear the wrong colours. He hopes to return for a visit in March and if he does, we'll have him in-studio to talk about all things Hollywood.

Wednesday: Kelly Dehn of CTV had all the details about the surprise announcement by Chief Jack Ewatski that he would be retiring at the end of September. Kelly said that Ewatski, love him or not, was very accessible to the media and whoever fills his shoes had to be able to develop a good relationship with the press.

David Asper, owner of the National Post, spent about 10 minutes responding to the Winnipeg Free Press story about his preparing a new proposal for a football stadium/retail complex at the present Polo Park location. David was very clear that whatever disagreement he may have had with the Board of the Blue Bombers had been overblown in the media, and he felt a new arrangement could be agreed upon, which would ensure the future financial viability of the team regardless of the actual ownership structure.

After taking a few minutes to reveiw the thrilling shootout win by Canada over the USA to advance to the world Junior Hockey gold medal game, it was time for a trip down memory lane.

We celebrated the birthday of the man who made hockey in Winnipeg, Bobby Hull, by getting original Jets goalie Joe Daley on the line. Joe was one of the last to play without a facemask and after ribbing him about his good looks, he regaled listeners with stories about the greatness of Bobby Hull, on the ice and away from the rink. Without Bobby leaving the Chicago Blackhawks and joining the fledgling WHA in 1972, players would never have earned more than fraction of the money they earned NHL owners at the gate. And Joe reminded us that when Bobby scored 50 goals in 50 games in 1975, it was as great an accomplishment as when Roger Maris went after Babe Ruth's home run record in 1962. Sports fans are invited to vist Joe at his eponymous card shop, at 666 St James St. across from Polo Park.

Happy Birthday Bobby Hull !

Thursday: New provincial standards for the licencing and training of security guards were set to begin, and the Provincial Registrar took a few minutes to explain the new rules. Charlene Muloin clarified some confusion on our part, that these rules and standards applied to in-house security (such as shopping malls) and private security firms, and that hospitality industry workers standards were under the auspices of the Liquor Commission. We'll get them on-air soon to explain how they see the role of bouncers in the new millenium.

The aftermath of the Ewatski announcement included the Chief refusing to do an interview with the Free Press, as a result of an editorial in September that had called for Ewatski to resign following revelations from the Driskell inquiry. Meanwhile the Winnipeg Sun dropped a little bombshell, that the step-son of the Chief was facing an internal and criminal investigation over a search warrant that was tossed out by the court for being a little loose with the facts.

We followed up on the stadium story, noting that the Free Press editorial was months behind in the details and that the team had committed to public consultations before any change to community ownership was acted upon.


The talk of the town was how proud the team, led by Winnipeggers Jon Toews and Darren Helm, made all Canadian fans. We made sure to praise coach Craig Hartsburgh, who prepared the team to play nearly perfect hockey throughout the tournament. Goaltender Carey Price was MVP of the championships and is a great story of a family who moved from a remote BC reserve to Williams Lake to give him a chance to play hockey and develop his skills.

A bizarre car accident near Kleefeld claimed the life of a teenage girl, who was the passenger in a Dodge Neon that collided with two horses that had escaped their pen. in the city, another police car was rammed by a stolen car, leading to the arrest of 2 men wanted in connection with 5 pre-Christmas break-ins.

To end out week the heroic actions of actor Days of Our Lives star Drake Hogesteyn was in the spotlight. Some deluded nut who thought Drake was really his on-screen character John Black and therefore, supposed to be dead (based on the storyline deathbed hospital scenes), entered the house and tried to "exorcise the Devil" from the not-quite-dead actor. A right cross and hogtie-ing later, police were called and Hogesteyn's family were safe from harm.

This gave us the overdue opportunity to use our best Stephano Dimera voice and proclaim "and now Marlena will be MINE!". Bravo Roman Brady, or John Black, or whatever the writers will be calling you in 2007.