Thursday, September 20, 2007

More O'Learygate Daily Questions, Guests galore

A quick note to thank all of you who are emailing the show at with your comments, complimenets and story tips.

Also special thanks to our board ops - Shannah-Lee who returned from a summer job, the versatile Spirited Kenny, pinch-hitter deluxe Dave Shorr, and we welcome the new interns who are learning the ropes with our unique format.

This week has been very busy as we put the finishing touches on an upcoming magazine story; follow-up on the Radocaj murder and the death of former AWA wrestler, Transcona's Monte Black; dissect the Free Press/Lindor Reynolds series on the First Nations CFS failures to save children's lives and the key points the Free Press refuses to report on; and keep an eye on the "Premier Doer Caravan o' Justice Reform" trip to Ottawa to pursuade the feds to toughen the Criminal Code and protect us from car thieves and gang-bangers.

Every day at 4.30 PM, we continue our analysis of the Seven Oaks School Division Swinford Park land development scandal with the Question of the Day. The provincial auditor Carol Bellringer will be explaining her "audit" of the SOSD books to the Public Accounts Committee.

We are putting the unanswered questions on the record to ensure the MLA's have no excuses about what the taxpayers want answers to, such as an explanation why the SOSD has been allowed to cook their books to claim a profit !! when they lost over $300,000 on the illicit venture.

Among the guests this week have been:

- Kelly Dehn of CTV news discussing the arrest of a suspect in the murder of streetwalker Ainsley Kinch;
-'s Cathy Edwards reporting on the CRTC hearings into media conglomeration, and detailing the issues behind her Free Press op-ed piece about the demise of Community Access TV under the Shaw Cable thumb;
- Jon Waldman of Slam!Sports reviewing on the Leafs-Coyotes exhibition tilt at the MTS Centre; and
- Frank the Italian Barber lamenting the upset victory of the Browns over the Bengals that cost him $9000.

On Friday we will take an exclusive look into the University of Winnipeg being caught lying by west end residents about their plans to blockbust Langside and Young Streets as part of their take-over of the Spence neighborhood, and Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen will be on the hot seat about whether the lobby effort in Ottawa was all posture, or if it will garner genuine results to make Manitoba a safer place to live.

And a heads up- next week's guest list is heavy on sports including:

* The new CEO of The Fight Network, George Burger,
* Bodog Fight commentator Paul Lazenby, and
* Spike TV star Samoa Joe of TNA Impact who will be wrestling a future superstar in Kenny Omega, Thursday night Sept. 27 at the PCW event at the Lid Nightclub.

Plus the usual news and public affairs coverage and analysis that Winnipeggers tune in for, weekdays at 4 PM - 5 PM and Sunday evenings from 7- midnight.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Former Winnipeg Wrestler found murdered

I only knew him briefly over a period of about 5 years through the 1980's, starting with me holding a microphone straight up in the air to interview him with New Brand Wrestling on Videon.

Big John Radocaj, who promoter Walter Shefchyk affectionately called Lumpy the Giant, was by far the tallest wrestler around at 6'9", and as Ivan the Giant wrestled off and on from about 1982-85.

He never really took to the effort needed to travel the territories in those days, but at his size he could have made a bundle. He was the proverbial wouldn't hurt a fly kind of giant, very easy going and never in a hurry. And he loved a good sandwich.

Shefchyk even tried to repackage him in what was a major sports scandal at the time, when the wily promoter sidestepped the Manitoba Boxing and Wrestling Commission and started the NorthAmerican Sumo Style Championships.

It was a shoot but the rules made it relatively harmless- striking was limited, there was no submissions holds involved, and it was just a pushing match on mats. A number of Walter's other pro wrestling trainees, including Dangerous Dan Denton, Randy (Unrah) Rose and the recently deceased Monte Black, took part along with Brian Jewel and some other young wrestlers and local athletes.

It was pro wrestlers doing something that was not pro wrestling, but was it exciting watching competitive athletes try to move the immovable grinning man mountain.

Sumo packed the hall a couple of times in St Andrews and Selkirk and drew the attention of Don Stone, the Commissioner, who wanted his piece of the action even though as Walter said, " McMartin, do you think Don Stone would tell Inoki what to do if he ran a sumo show at the Arena? If I was Japanese they'd be asking for my autograph."

The pressure from the government kaiboshed the business and with it, Radocaj's career as an athlete.

Last Friday, a man was found dead in his home in Manitoba's Interlake region near Inwood, about 50 miles North of Winnipeg, not far from my mother's ancestral home in Narcisse. An autopsy at the St. Boniface Hospital revealed he had died of blunt force trauma. He was mis-identified on TV as "I-van Rad-o-cay", not "Rad-o-cadge", so at first I did not connect the 43 year old's passing with someone I knew.

At 1.30 this morning, I realized that Ivan = John, and that a link to my past was the victim. RCMP continue to investigate and later, on today's show we'll discuss some of the events of John's life, his misfortunes, and what we know about his tragic end.

Our condolences to his parents and siblings.