Sunday, March 30, 2008

Carnage in the big city

This weekend saw the city emergency response teams stretched to the limit with over a dozen prone bodies laying in need of help- and for some it was already too late.

Late night partyers were in the McDonalds drive-through at 3.30 AM Sunday when an enourmous crash echoed. One of them left behind his Big Mac to see what happened. Minutes later, when he hadn't returned, his friend walked onto Portage and headed west to see the carnage of a destroyed taxicab, and his buddy holding the cabbies head saying, don't die, man.

Nearby, the driver of a stolen SUV, that had rammed the taxi after running a red light at Maryland, had been run over by yet another car, which had itself sped away and is suspected to have also been a stolen vehicle.

Imagine, two stolen cars were speeding towards each in opposite directions, and would have passed each other on Portage Avenue at the same minute -- after a Saturday night in Winnipeg.

Only twenty minutes later, more emergency responders were sent to 1398 Alexander, where 2 men and a woman had been shot dead and 2 other men and yet another woman, were bleeding profusely from gunshots. Six people in one house had been shot, and neighbours had heard the owner screaming at the top of her lungs for help.

This had been a week of shootings, with 3 drive-by's on 3 straight days, in the cities' North End. The incidents barely made the mainstream headlines, and Stacey Ashley of CTV said in an interview on our Wedensday show, that the police did not consider this unusual. The Free Press reported that in hindsight, the drive-bys may have been a warning sign about gang war in the making.

Taxi companies will not dispatch cabs to many West Alexander addresses and drivers are warned to get cash in advance, and is described as being as dangerous as Magnus Avenue and the Lord Selkirk Developments. That may also have been a warning sign.

Police say they have no suspects and no motive for the shooting, but you can bet it won't be long before you hear the word CRACK.

More on the weekend violence, the Friends of Upper Fort Garry muscling City Hall, and a special Wrestlemania 24 report with Frank the Italian Barber and Shane Madison, beginning Monday at 4 PM.

Call 780-5425 or email and join Winnipeg's only drive-home call-in show.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bulletin: Mayor Katz depicted as Hitler by budget protester

Handout photo

One of the estimated 80 people at a rally to protest the city budget was photographed with a sign that depicted Sam Katz as Adolph Hitler, complete with mustache and Nazi officer's hat.

The rally was a joint effort of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and a group called Winnipeg is Not for Sale. A spokesperson for the group claimed they had no idea who the protester was and disavowed his placard.

However it appears no one took any effort to stop or confront him, as a picture from City Hall shows he was standing with the offensive sign chatting with fellow dissidents.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Free Press silent about the Million Dollar Week

After months of shoving the millionaires' agenda down the throats of Winnipeg, the Free Press uttered NOT A PEEP about two $500,000 contributions late last week which, in theory, put the Friends of Upper Fort Garry over their private fundraising goal.


This is very odd as normally, the donations would be front page news, and be accompanied by another Gordo Sinclair attack on Mayor Katz

or any councillor opposed to giving the Manitoba Club-dominated "grassroots" group their desired time extension to pry millions more of your tax dollars out of Premier Doer and Treasury Board honcho Vic Toews.

So while the Free Press, CJOB, CBC, and other mainstream media outlets wait for the next phony press conference and stage-managed photo ops, prepared to help the rich and powerful send a "positive" message to councillors who are thinking of following in the footsteps of 'Flip-Flop' Russ Wyatt, here is a review of the orchestrated week that was.

1) The week started with a mystery.

"Bob Cunningham, Chair of the Capital Campaign says the group has had a fantastic week. Adds Cunningham, “Our week began with a $250,000 donation from an anonymous source..."

2) On Wednesday, while Friends spokesman Jerry Gray was telling Executive Policy Committee

they really, really needed more time, wouldn't reach their goal by the deadline, and wouldn't compromise a single inch over the free land they insist on being handed, the board of the Winnipeg Foundation voted to step up to the plate. Quel surprise.

3) Two of the leaders of the Foundation are members of the Friends.

4) That donation is actually spread out over 5 years. This leads to the question, how much actual money have the Friends raised, and how much is labeled as "promised", with the non-existant donations being wielded as proof they have met the required conditions ?

5) Oh and their press release

helpfully mentions that the "grassroots" is actually about 700 other donors.

6) Recently the Foundation decided they couldn't spare anything for aboriginal sports programs. They prefer funding monuments to ghosts, rather than helping the needy of our inner-city.

7) As a follow-up Thursday morning, CJOB embarrased themselves by staging a one-sided analysis of the Friends campaign with Gray. After host Richard Cloutier whined about why the city can't compromise, Coun. Gord Steeves was ambushed during his explanation, by Cloutier's allegation that since Steeves wanted to respect the private (in-camera) details of the contract with Crystal Developers and not talk specifics, he and the other intransigient councillors must be the take.

8) Speaking of which, conflict of interest cuts both ways. But neither CJOB or the Free Press have come clean about how much they have been paid for Friends ads, or how much money they earn every year from the companies associated with the Friends. Such as: CanWest Broadcasting, Great West Life, furniture companies, universities, Pollard Banknote, law firms, even the Winnipeg Foundation itself.

9) Late Thursday Gray announced on CBC radio that another $500,000 had come from an another unnamed benefactor, putting them over their goal of $3.5 million.

10) Not a word was mentioned of this donation in the newspapers, or even on CBC's website. Incredibly CBC got scooped by - who else- CJOB radio, at 12.20 PM on Friday, when they also revealed who it was, that boosted the Friends over the top.

A Mr. and Mrs. John Buhler.

11) CJOB did not mention that Buhler is also a member of the Friends. Neither does the official Friends press release:


So there you have it.

- Members of the Friends come forward at the last minute committing a million dollars,
- No one reports they are actually members of the organization and not benevolent outsiders,
- and aside from a small brief on CJOB's website, no one all weekend long reports the group claims to have now reached their goal.

Which tells you the shameless manipulation of the public by the rich and their media partners is alive and well and will continue unabated resuming Monday.

We use the term "claims" because it turns out, someone at Council can find out.


"All donations will be held in trust by Heritage Winnipeg until March 31, 2008 and tax receipts will be issued."

HOWEVER... since tax receipts cannot be issued for charitable donations pledged but not contributed, ANY COUNCILLOR can ask the Friends for the exact amount Heritage Winnipeg has issued receipts for. And, to whom --so unless the "anonymous" $250,000 donor is publicity and write-off shy ...


From the scattered public record, we have calculated that of the $3.5 million claimed to have been raised, $2,575,000 or over 71%, has come from 6 donors directly connected to the Friends. Another $250k comes from an unnamed source. That leaves only $675,000 from the actual "grassroots" of 700.

Meanwhile, a faint, dissonant voice in the mainstream media was heard.

Buried in the Saturday Detour section of the Free Press- that's the section 80% of subscribers don't read - was this column by globetrotting environmental/civics reporter Bartley Kives.

Word has it that some of the Friends were frantic upon seeing the story, complaining how Bob Silver can't control the message at his own newspaper!

However the Friends can rest easy knowing that Silver still has enough control to keep his own name out of the stories about Upper Fort Garry -- since their fellow Friend has been unnamed in FP stories about the campaign (based on our search) since last November 16th.

Wonder if Silver has made any "unnamed" donations....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Blogosphere lights up with TGCTS stories

Our coverage of many important local issues has been getting mentioned on local blogs (in some cases we picked the stories up from bloggers first and then advanced them).

Here is a short listing of those blog posts for your reading pleasure:

* Winnipeg Free Press conceal their bias for Friends of Upper Fort Garry and refuse to report the developers' side of the story:

* The useless Transit diamond lane on Osborne in front of Great West Life:

* Free Press editing of a story was so twisted the reporter felt compelled to apologize five days before the paper even issued a "correction":

* Lack of government planning for public emergencies aka "CanAlert" may have disastrous consequences for Waverly West residents;

* Mayor Sam Katz had no idea about a proposed expansion of suburban Charleswood, spurred by the Waverly West expansion:

* (Former) Free Press editor Nick Hirst spiked LTE's
complaining about Crocus Fund viability, and complained to Crocus honcho Sherman Kreiner it was becoming difficult to mute the critics:

* Mainstream media wants you to ignore blogs that point out their factual errors and selective reporting:

* The lobby for for former Blue Bomber quarterback Chuck Ealey to be elected to the NCAA College Football Hall of Fame:

* And as a bonus, a website with some great photography of many of many of the city landmarks and neighbourhoods we discuss on the show: