Friday, July 30, 2010

Free Press reports on half the MPI donation story, 3 weeks late

Today the mainstream media showed another example that they are in the history business rather than reporting news.
The Winnipeg Free Press not only took 3 weeks to even pretend to cover the MPI $1 million dollar giveaway under the guise it was a wise business decision, the newspaper of record tried to spin that it was no big deal.

But it didn't take long for outraged FP online readers - and TGCTS listeners - to assail the gatekeepers' trick of not reporting the true facts in the first place, and then say no one complained about what they read.

MPI gets little flak over donation of building

"A decade ago, there was a public revolt against an NDP government plan to use $20 million from Autopac's profits to fund crumbling universities. Drivers flooded call-in shows and editorial pages and then-premier Gary Doer was forced to abandon the plan.

This time, no similar outrage materialized."

Oh ya? said one listener...

Let's begin by confirming that Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata is an excellent organization that does fabulous work. My complaint is not with them, but rather with the Free Press coverage, its lack of investigative journalism and the perception of conflict of interest that arises when you look closely at the facts behind the donation.

There was:

No mention of the misleading press release, quoted verbatim by the Freep, which stated that the value was less than $100K.

No mention in the Freep that one of CLOUT's member agencies was the recipient of the donation or the possible conflict of interest that this may represent.

No mention in the Freep that MPI specifically targeted Aboriginal organizations for the donation (per Brian Smiley and MPI's comments to The Great Canadian Talk Show on 92.9 KICK FM), rather than offer the building to ALL service agencies in the area.

No mention in the Freep that the hand over was overseen/attended by elected provincial NDP officials in a city ward where the NDP is fielding candidates in the upcoming municipal election.

No mention in the Freep that The Great Canadian Talk Show on 92.9 KICK FM broke the real story about the value of the building.

No wonder there has been little public outcry. When you leave out the facts of the story, there is little to be critical of.

Other FP commenters reflected what we had heard on our show when we broke this story:

"In my opinion no crown corporation - MPI, MB Hydro, etc. should be doing anything but their core business. Thata a full time job. Do it and do it well. Being a "good corporate citizen" is something I don't expect from them and I don't want my money used for."

"Its doesnt matter how noble or worthy the cause; MPI is not a charity. Premiums are supposed to insure ratepayers in the event of an injury;(something they dont do by the way, but most wont figure that out until its too late) not save inner-city kids."

"There is no doubt that the Ma Mawi is a good organization and the building will be put to good use. My problem is with the mandate of MPI, where does it state that it should be donating buildings to local causes?

This is, in effect another tax on community involvement - one that I have no say, nor can elect or choose not to elect politicians for making these decisions. Who is to say that there wasn't other community groups wanting the same building, maybe it could have been sold and the proceeds given to another charity, or towards reducing our ridiculous insurance premiums (no they aren't even closest to the lowest in North America). "

"I don't agree with MPI giving anything away. It should have been sold. But realistically, who do you complain to? If you complain nowadays you're being racist, insensitive or intolerant. MPI's response is quite typical. Not too much flak, we must be doing okay.

An excellent example of today's "oversensitivity" is posting to this website. If you have anything that can be misconstrued or judgemental to the gov't the main stream media will ensure it never sees this board."

and our favorite:

" Well MPI should try reading the comments about them in the papers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Clearing out the emailbag for spring and summer

Who to hold accountable for lack of consultation (mostly about Active Transportation)
Thursday, July 15, 2010 5:39 PM

"Marty Gold"
As I have mentioned you before what has happened is the mayor and yes it is the mayor has hired Laubenstein, Sheegl, Ruta and Robinson and he has created a similar situation where there was the Board of Commissioners and they had all of the power at City Hall. So if there is an "elected" position to be held accountable where the full "elected" people are not able to make decisions that you have just been mentioning it is in fact the Mayor.

"Marty Gold"

Why aren't the traffic laws enforced for cyclists as often as they are for cars! I love the idea of more people using these healthy transportation but what is about loseing an engine that means they gain impunity from the law! A stop sign still means stop! Green means go, NOT RED! Today i saw a cyclist cross Highway 1 in headingly through a red light, in an area normally crawling with cops, so how come the city isnt useing them for a cash grab instead of cameras in construction zones (like a camera can protect workers as well as a speed bump, it cant! CASH GRAB!)

I meant to comment last week when I witnessed the most absurd thing on my drive in to work...

There was a woman, walking across the Maryland Bridge towards Sherbrook and the downtown, in the bike lane amidst the rush hour traffic..

I had only to glance at the sidewalk on the bridge to understand her logic.. no fewer than 4 bicycles occupying her space on the sidewalk!!

I have been following the on-air discussion with interest, but not once have I heard "Grosvenor" mentioned ..

There are great plans afoot, and like all others unfolding, little neighbourhood consultation, and a series of"traffic-calming" roundabouts planned
( and this is a fire-truck route as well).

The planned roundabout that concerns me the most is at the intersection of Brock and Grosvenor, where there is huge pedestrian traffic as families, many parents with small children, strollers and wagons cross the street to go to the neighbourhood park and wading pool/playground.

I see the addition of a roundabout as adding confusion as to who will have right-of way to cross the street, and I fear for the safety of pedestrians..

I suspect most people in the area will be caught off guard as construction begins.

MPI Donation of mothballed service centre
"Marty Gold"

there are, as of July 1, 2010:
1,065,758 policies and 562,000 customers.
Therefore, each policy, if MPI sold the King St property for $1.4 million, would receive $1.40. And if you held more than one policy, it is definitely more than $1 per customer. So again, MPI uses their data and slightly misleads the customers they serve.

Subject: Free Building!
Marty, the longer I work for MPI, the more I hate it. This building giveaway is another thing that gets me angry. The donation is completely indefensible. If I get a call about it, I'll have to transfer them to Marilyn's secretary.
Biased MSM

"Marty Gold"

Over the weekend Bruce Owen of the WFP wrote a piece on the recent Probe Poll. In the article it is very clear how he is biased. Here is an excerpt which typifies the WPF left-wing bias.

In the key electoral ground of Winnipeg, Probe found the NDP still enjoys the support of 45 per cent of voters, a number they need to keep to hang onto another majority government. That number is down from 49 per cent in March. The PCs have seen their support increase marginally in Winnipeg since Probe's last poll. It's now 36 per cent, up from 32 per cent in March.

In both cases there is a
four point swing (NDP down from 49 to 45 and PCs up from 32 to 36) YET Owen writes that the PC supports increased "marginally" while Owen states that the NDP "still enjoys the support of 45% of voters in Winnipeg".

If his writing were not so biased toward the NDP he should have been concentrating on the upward and downward trends in support. In fact the story should have concentrated on the fact that the NDP is losing support in Winnipeg at the expense of the PCs.

Trend analysis in case Mr. Owen needs reminding is what opinion poll are all about.


Burntwood Regional Health Authority has banned a freelance journalist from board meetings for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 5:29 PM


Just another example of communism and socialism mirroring each other in actual behaviour.This is no different than the NDP giving you the cold shoulder as I have never seen you misbehave but they refuse to acknowledge you as legitimate media which is no different than this in the context of freedom of the press (it should make no difference if you disagree with there policies as long as you do not misrepresent the facts which I do not believe you do or in this instance Hussain Giusti does ).

They just refuse to acknowledge anyone who does not agree with them and instead of standing up to them mainstream media cowers to the pressure and puts the NDP up on a pedestal so they do not get cut out as well which leads to poor coverage of government and misinformed constituents

With great power comes great responsibility

Elected judges sounds great however it may not truly be practical. I have been in favor of this for a long time until I sadly came to the realization that the majority of people are ignorant and uninformed to begin with, thus we may not want these people to have the responsibility of electing judges. Even if you have a so-called "informed group" made up of only lawyers, many of them are also crazy and idiots too!

The logic of garbage bins?


I had a yellow tag left on our recycling bin stating that is “Not Acceptable” after looking on the 311 website I discovered these pictures of the non acceptable bins. If you could please help me understand why this bin is not acceptable? Using the square uncovered bins has left a mess on our street on windy days and the employees of the recycling company will not pick up windblown recyclables never mind anything that they drop while emptying the bins. To add to that, these bins also keep the rain and snow out making them lighter in weight that the open square bins. The blue bin below are sold at local stores for recycling, maybe you should prohibit the stores from selling them. Why can they be used for refuse yet not for recycling. We do produce a fair amount of recycled good each week and this is a better option for us. We could put six boxes out instead, that accomplishes more lifting for the driver and helper. I suppose now, once our smaller bins are full, we will have to resort to putting the rest of the recyclables out with the regular trash. Good recycling practices.

Looking forward to your explanation.



A listener replied:
Having watched our recycling guys in action on a few occasions, I know exactly why the round bin with a lid is not acceptable:

Our recycling guy comes along and scoops up the open recycling bin with one hand and using the flick of a wrist, bangs it onto the side of the truck, mostly emptying it. He doesn't use both hands, and he doesn't bother ensuring that the bin is empty before tossing it back into my yard.

That's why my bins are held together with duct tape, and my street is filled with loose paper after recycling day.

A round bin with a lid would require him to take off the lid, lift properly and use both hands to empty it into the truck. Waaaay too much work.

more bins de garbage
Hey Marty,

Here's a fun piece of garbage bin information:

Last week I got home from work to my back-alley driveway, and noticed that the automated garbage truck had left the lid of my garbage bin open after depositing it back on the alley-side. I thought, "Gee, that will be a pain when it's raining or snowing." As I went to close the lid, I saw printed clearly on the inside (paraphrased from memory), "FOR YOUR SAFETY, KEEP LID CLOSED AT ALL TIMES."

Thanks for endangering my safety, City of Winnipeg!



Hello Powerline,

School is out, and it’s a hot and sunny 26 degrees today, but the splash park at Norquay CC is closed agai, due to “electrical issues.” This is the second day in a row that this has been the case, and yet there is no City/Hydro/contractors to be seen this morning and early afternoon. Also over the weekend, I hear that they closed the splash park because of some rainclouds that didn’t materialize.

My kids are 4 and 1, and we would love to be able to take them to that great (when operating) splash park around the corner from us, but it seems that the City doesn’t seem to think of it as a priority. They spent $600,000+ to build it and hosted a big ribbon-cutting event in 2008, but they can’t be bothered to show up a couple days before its scheduled opening and see that things are working ok, or to quickly start working when problems when the arise.

As frustrating as it is for my family, we are fortunate to have a car to get out to the beach or to other neighborhood splash parks. I cannot imagine how it must be for parents and kids in N. Point Douglas who don’t have a car.

People in cities need to be kept cool. The weather turned hot this weekend, and stabbings and shootings abounded. I wonder why. In New York City in the old days, the city would crack open the fire hydrant and let kids splash around in the street. I hope that the splash park issue is something Powerline that can be brought to the appropriate authorities.

If this kind of thing continues throughout this week, I am considering writing an open letter to the Mayor, nearby councilors, candidates running against them, the Free Press, and any City Department people or people at the Province you may think it would be beneficial to contact.

Either that, or crack open the fire hydrants.


a resident

P.S. Contacting 311 regarding the splash park at Norquay has, in my experience, been a crapshoot, since for some reason this splash park isn’t easy to find on the City’s website (which is obviously what 311 employees read off of) So they usually don’t even know where it is. Same goes for anything else to do with Norquay Park, such as overflowing trash bins, upmowed grass—it doesn’t show up on the City’s list of parks and open spaces, and so 311 employees tell me it isn’t a City responsibility, and that it is maintained by the Community Centre.



The Norquay splash park was up and running at noon today. The Powerline has contacted the mayor’s office, and the electrical problem (caused by a storm over the weekend) has been fixed. Lots of kids out there at the splash park, even though it’s a little cooler today.

It’s been great having the Power Line in North Point Douglas; they help make up for our neighborhood having NO elected representation: the MP is running for mayor, the MLA has never been more silent and absent; the councilor is on his death-bed. Even Councilor Mike Pagtakhan, who would often work on behalf of people in North Point Douglas (not part of his ward) has been off seeking the Federal Liberal nomination.

P.S. You were bang on about why so many people are running for council and mayor, so early in the race: they’re frustrated by the issues and the way the City handles them (or doesn’t). I see the issue with the Norquay Splash Park as one microcosm of that. The disastrous bike lane plans, the parking authority, etc. are bigger examples. In the last election, no one was filing their election papers in early July. Harry Lazarenko was uncontested until early September. This year he has two people running against him—with three and a half months left before the election.

****************** Line of the day
I saw a photo radar car on Logan today that was parked about 1M or less from a fire hydrant.

I would have taken a picture, but I was scared to hold up my phone while I was driving.


Hank Cochran

Yr right
I was just saying to my girlfriend that
No one Marty. No one but TGCTS.
That is the answer.
No one.
Thank you and thank you from all the music geeks in Winnipeg.
Hank's soul will have a lil extra boost on it's way to the great Rock and Roll beyond.
Way to go, cat go.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Councillors push back against bike lobby/ exclusive bike counts for Osborne Village and Downtown

TGCTS has once again proven there is LOTS of news out there that MSM newsrooms don't bother to look for, because it doesn't fit in with their 'where's the press release' summertime work ethic.

Yesterday on our show, St. James councillor Scott Fielding praised our work to dig out the truth about bike lane "demand" and hold officials to account for poor consultation and concealed costs. Fielding assailed claims by the bike lobby and city Active Transportation coordinator Kevin Nixon that property values rise because of the addition of the paths to neighbourhoods as being unproven.

After stating that social engineering by "Egghead Elitists" was never going to get Winnipeg families out of their cars, Fielding vowed to put the brakes on the Berry Street project if he finds out city staff misled him about any added costs or work to enable completion of the project.

How Fielding has more power with the mandarins at 510 Main Street than Daniel MacIntyre Councillor Harvey Smith is unclear - as every objection Smith has lodged against the bloated Sherbrook bike lane plan has been ignored not only by Nixon but by fellow councillors on the Public Works committee. They did not care that the bike lobby backstabbed West End Biz and area residents by reneging on compromises agreed to in June, and rammed through approval of the 'Use it or Lose it" crowds' desired proposal despite what the area councillor or residents want.

Last week, on the eve of announcing his surprise re-entry into the 2010 civic election, Smith told the Kick-FM audience he was taking his complaints directly to Nixon's bosses and that Nixon has exhibited bias by refusing to answer key questions about the nature of "consultations" or produce "bike counts" as proof the AT projects are hunky-dorey.

Also yesterday, we heard from Jean Hird, a resident of Roslyn Street who said Nixon had ignored her requests for an explanation of the Roslyn Road bike lane that would eliminate handicapped and seniors parking. The lane has NEVER been discussed at any open house or public meeting, and TGCTS has reported that it may have been implemented on the basis of as few as 5 residents suggesting they liked the concept, even though 500 or more may be negatively affected by it.

Hird made the most obvious statement yet about the folly of the AT rollout -- why would seniors have paid any attention to the city brochures about AT Open Houses - "we're seniors, we don't ride bikes !". One listener told us "This lady should be hired and our seniors should be consulted. They seem to have a better grasp then consultants and engineers."

Hird was also shocked to learn that a flyer about Nassau Street AT construction- which she said was going to cause worse traffic jams than ever - was not provided to Roslyn Road apartments.

A listener provided that flyer, with these comments :

Hi Marty,

Was just listening to you talk about the residents of Nassau and Roslyn Road on my way home from work. Ironically rushing to get off to Gord's Bike Club Wednesday Night Ride!
I am one of those people who would ride to work if I felt more safe doing so, but not at the expense of regular traffic flow. Osborne Village and Confusion corner is already over congested at rush hour. Taking the roads away is not going to help.

I live on Nassau, and have noticed signs along Nassau promoting the new bike lane, and having listened to your show, wondered how they were going to pull that off. Already an incredibly narrow, and incredibly busy street, I couldn't imagine them taking out any of the huge old trees that line both sides of the street. So, I've been watching my mail to see how the plans would be conveyed to Nassau residents. Also note that the signs stop at River, they do not show up between River and Roslyn.

Finally last week, I saw a notice go up in our mail room (and one other in the parkade). It's a full page of tiny text, in amongst the posted building classifieds - guaranteed to be read by very few people, busy getting home and collecting their mail, or seniors who aren't going to stand there and read a page of miniature text. I was shocked that this was not being delivered to each and every mailbox.

I also find it very interesting that it mentions nothing of the traffic diversion and the reduced parking you spoke of on Roslyn Road. I took a few brief notes.

- dated July 14th, notes that construction is set to being mid July (thanks for the notice) - bike path to be built on the west boulevard of Nassau
- several traffic circles to be installed (sounded like every 4 way stop, not the light controlled intersections, seems like a lot for one short road)

- Gertrude to McMillan will become one way north traffic

- Corydon to Jesse will be one way south traffic
- they only make one reference to parking
, and that was to say it would not be disturbed in one of the one-way sections, which leads me to believe it will be affected in the other section.

- Jeff Crang is listed as the "sender' of this letter - phone 928-8428 (haven't had a chance to call yet, but have noticed that the intersections have been spray painted, so assume that work is starting soon)

This is such a major route during rush hour traffic, I can't imagine how turned around people are going to get with one way sections in there. I also feel that people in this city are not accustomed to traffic circles, especially when combined with bikes. I think that is going to be much more dangerous that a few four way stops on a narrow road.


In an attempt to gauge the true need for the Roslyn Road railroading of residents, the connectivity theory with Assiniboine, and the usefulness of the downtown bike lanes, we once again sent Kim the Traffic reporter and Allan the Bike Guy out to the streets to do a bike count.

From: Kim the Traffic reporter

Subject: Osborne Bridge/Assiniboine Ave bike counts

Good Morning Marty,
This count performed on Thursday July 22, 2010 from 07:00-09:00 was done in 5 minute increments. There are two separate counts for this report. One for Assiniboine Ave and one for the Osborne St. Bridge. Weather conditions were: warm, no wind, mostly cloudy with some sunny areas.

The first set of counts will deals with East bound Assiniboine Ave., most of the riders came off the Osborne Bridge with exception noted below. Cyclists who came off Assiniboine and didn't turn onto the Bridge were NOT counted.

Note: Of the total tally, 8 cyclists turned onto Assiniboine either off Osborne (southbound) or off Mostyn. There were 6 in the first hour and 2 in the second hour.

Assiniboine Ave
7-8: 51 total cyclists (minus 6 = 45 came off the bridge)
8-9: 53 total cyclists (minus 2 = 51 came off the bridge)
104 total cyclists ( 96 came off the bridge)

The next set of counts deals with the Osborne St. Bridge both directions as well as both East and West sides. Cyclists on the road and sidewalk were counted. Please see note below:

Note: Cyclists turning onto Assiniboine were NOT counted for the bridge count, though the numbers will be posted to also include those additional counts

Osborne St. Bridge

7-8: Eastside Westside Total Bikes

Road: 22 10 32

Sidewalk: 3 27 30
Total Bikes:
25 37 62

Total Bikes (including those coming off the Bridge) onto Assiniboine Ave.
62 + 45= 107

8-9: Eastside Westside Total Bikes

Road: 34 10 44
Sidewalk: 7 24 31

Total Bikes:
41 34 75
Total Bikes (including those coming off the Bridge) onto Assiniboine Ave. 75 + 51= 126

Combined Osborne Bridge (not going down Assiniboine) Totals, 7-9 AM:
Eastside Westside Total bikes
Road: 56 20 76
10 51 61
Total Bikes: 66 71 137

Total bikes (including those coming off the Bridge onto Assiniboine Ave):

107 + 126 =
233 total bikes from Osborne Bridge
(or, 96 Assiniboine plus 137 Not Assiniboine = 233 total bikes)

96 out of the 233 --- 41%, appeared to use Assiniboine Avenue to commute to downtown.

I noted a few things along with the counts.
There were a number of cyclists on Mostyn who turned off onto the existing paths by the Bridge on the West side as well as those using the paths on Assiniboine.

Kudos to the cyclists who followed the rules and I saw quite a few of them. Bigger kudos to the man on the bike who called out to pedestrians to let them know he was there.

As I sat and watched, I was a little surprised at the amount of people communting (
Hail Aurtarlia! - ed.) as pedestrians. Though I didn't do an official count, I do believe the amount of pedestrians out numbered the cyclists. It was not unusual to see 7 people walking for every one or two cyclists. If I had to rank in quantity I'd go: vehicles/pedestrians/cyclists/skateboards/ rollerblades

I found this interesting. Kim

(at the same time...)

From: Allan on his bike

Hello all.

I was on the road for just under two hours this morning, plus the 45
minutes for my regular commute, and I can tell you I'm feeling it now.

I did loops as follows:

Ellen/Carlton to Assiniboine

Assiniboine to Fort

Fort To Notre Dame

Notre Dame to Garry

Garry to Assiniboine

Assiniboine to Hargrave

Hargrave to Bannatyne

Bannatyne to Ellen/Carlton

I broke it down into approximately half hour intervals, 7:00-7:30,
7:30-8:00, 8:00-8:30, 8:30-8:50.

One thing I was very surprised about was the lack of traffic in
general on those streets at those times. I was sharing the road with no more than 4 or 5 cars most of the time. Often, I had whole blocks of the street to myself. There were more on Assiniboine and more cars as you got close to Portage, but really it was very light. Even at Portage and Fort for example, I was waiting at the lights with a maximum of 14 cars. Most lights, I waited with 5 cars or less.

Traffic was much heavier on Portage, St. Mary & Assiniboine, where
there are no bike lanes. On two of my trips down Ellen, I was the only traffic moving on the road until I got to Ellice. In my opinion, and I want to be very clear, the bike lanes downtown have an absolutely minimal effect on traffic flow (in the morning).

I saw zero
situations where the bike lanes caused any backups or congestion of any kind on any streets. There were two instances where drivers had to wait a few seconds for me to clear the lane before they could turn right, but that was it. I felt much more in the way and crowded on Assiniboine, where there is no bike lane. This is the same feeling I got when I did the afternoon count last year.

Anyway, the counts are:
7:00 - 7:30
Bikes in Lanes: 5

Bikes on Sidewalk: 0
Bikes on Cross streets: 2

7:30 - 8:00

Bikes in Lanes: 18

Bikes on Sidewalk: 6

Bikes on Cross streets: 1

8:00 - 8:30

Bikes in Lanes: 24

Bikes on Sidewalk: 8

Bikes on Cross streets: 4

8:30 - 8:50

Bikes in Lanes: 7

Bikes on Sidewalk: 1

Bikes on Cross streets: 0

TOTAL Downtown observed bikes (7:00 - 8:50):

Bikes in Lanes: 54

Bikes on Sidewalk: 15

Bikes on Cross streets: 7

Total: 76


This week, TGCTS

- broke the news about Manitoba Lotteries buying the Days Inn property on McPhillips for over $6 Million;

- skewered the hypocritical complaints of "we weren't consulted about Chief Peguis" from the bike lobby on CJOB

- interviewed St James-Brooklands candidate Fred Morris about his platform

- analyzed the "apology" of FP columnist Lindor Reynolds for her gossip-rag story on Mayor Sam Katz' private life, an "apology" which lacked any comprehension of how she had been used by a political operative to run a hit piece

- explained the reason the Crime Severity index might really be held artificially low by plea bargains and bleeding heart judges

- wondered aloud why MSM accepts construction inflation as a reason for the rising price of the first leg of rapid transit, but for years ignored how that factor meant the announced cost of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was a deliberate fiction
by the panhandling millionaires who promote it

- featured RRC student Breanna Bouchard's work on Assignment Saving Lives, her donor recruiting effort on behalf of Canadian Blood Services;

- spoke with Winnipeg Dodge dealer Walt Morris about the rise of new car sales this spring in Manitoba and his labour of love Red River Co-op Speedway

LOTS to come in August including HOT 103's Ace Burpee, CTV's Kelly Dehn, NCI's Scott Taylor, Mayoral candidate Judy W-L. on August 19th, more Canad Inns Classic rock concert tickets, and your emails at talk@kick-fm.

(Enjoy next week's replays !!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Next week: Classic Sunday replays, All Star Week and All Star Sunday

While we take our first extended break since debuting on Kick-FM on November 21st, 2006, Rick the Boss has tirelessly accumulated some of our most popular and requested episodes for your summer listening pleasure. Included in the list are two Best-of compilations.

Regular broadcasts continue today:

- Our exclusive bike counts for Osborne Bridge and downtown bike lanes;
- Roslyn Road bike lane deception by city hall;
- Coun. Scott Fielding addresses the Berry Street bike path cost overruns;
and at 5.05 PM we give away tickets for the Lee Aaron/Headpins concert at Silverados on Thursday, August 5th, courtesy of our friends at Canad Inns

and Friday:

- A special interview about the Chesed Shel Emes (Jewish funeral chapel), and other assorted general interest topics - "what was Lindor thinking?" when my sister Rena joins me for the first time ever on the air
- between 4 and 5 PM, we give away another set of tickets for the Silverados concert
- Jon Waldman of Slam!Sports

and then, we take our summer break! while you listen to:


7pm - Hydro Compilation - all about Black Swan theory and Hydro-economics
9pm - Miss Whistle, the Hydro Whistleblower, our April 1/10 exclusive interview
11pm - Mayor Sam Katz from Sept. 22/09
1am - Mayor Sam Katz from Dec. 1/09
3am - Coun. Jenny Gerbasi from Nov. 2/09


Monday July 26:
4pm - 100 days of unelected Premier Greg Selinger/ Health Minister Theresa Oswald vs UFC champion Brock Lesnar Jan. 25/10 show
10pm - Miss Whistle

Tuesday July 27:
4pm - Pay station programming failures/Stacia vs Parking Authority June 22/10 show
10pm - Katz from Sept. 22/09

Wednesday July 28:
4pm - mayoral candidate Judy W-L June 23/10 show
10pm - Katz from Dec. 1/09

Thursday July 29:
4pm - Miss Whistle
10pm - Coun. Gerbasi from Nov. 2/09

Friday July 30:
4pm and 10pm - Mike Sutherland, president Winnipeg Police Association/ Mike Gobeil of Eliminator-RC (Disraeli expropriation) Compilation

ALL STAR SUNDAY Sunday, August 1:

7pm - Sutherland/Gobeil Compilation
9pm - 100 days of Selinger/ Oswald vs Lesnar Jan. 25/10 show
11pm - Pay station failures/Stacia vs Parking Authority June 22/10 show
1am - Candidate Judy W-L June 23/10 show
3am - Miss Whistle April 1

Monday, August 2:
4pm and 10pm - Hydro Compilation

Back to normal on Tuesday, August 3

Monday, July 19, 2010

This week: the bike lane war heats up, more exclusives, and classic rock concert tickets

On Canada Day the public got information in plain English, about how Active Transportation in Osborne Village will endanger schoolchildren and seniors, and theatens private property

This week TGCTS will continue to break the real story about the bullying of neighbourhoods in the name of "Active Transportation".

With powerful friends in the city bureaucracy, the bike lobby continues to hopscotch the niceties of things like proper consultations, proof of user volume, and neighborhood safety, and get their way. The flyer distributed in Osborne Village on Canada Day was met with a serious reaction; when Captain Audio followed up last week, he heard an earful from concerned and dissatisfied residents and businesses. As part of our follow up this week, we are planning to conduct an experiment and on Thursday examine the claims made by the bike lobby about bike traffic.

It won't take us till Thursday to follow -up on the bike lane double-cross of the good people of Sherbrook.

In an exclusive interview last Friday, Daniel MacIntyre councillor Harvey Smith said he is going to demand to meet with the city CAO Glen Laubenstein, with hard questions about the partisan conduct of AT Co-ordinator Kevin Nixon.

Nixon, you will recall, told TGCTS in a February broadcast, that if a councillor opposed a planned bike lane, it would not be implemented. That is, until a councillor actually did oppose a bike lane -- at which point the elected representative of the area had no say whatsoever and was ignored.

Not only did Nixon tell the Public Works committee a week ago that he didn't agree with any changes to the full-time, 12 hour a day, 7 day a week Bike Lane plan for Sherbrook north of Ellice, he appeared, according to Councillor Smith, to have withheld vital information from the councillors.

Like for instance, that
Nixon had previously agreed to a compromise proposed by the West End Biz and other stakeholders, after being forced to do further consultations by Smith and the City Centre Community Committee.

Here is the summary of that June 18th consultation meeting published by the consulting group MMM, which is also now at the centre of controversy:

Notice how it says on page 2 "Attendees AGREED to the following:" and went on to itemize things like "establishing time of day and seasonal bike lane" and "ongoing monitoring of the use of the bike lane".

That means, Bike to the Future, one Green City, the Biz, and the Ellice Cafe, as well as the city -- represented by Nixon and his nominal boss Bill Woroby (who will also be getting a call from Smith) -- ALL agreed the 365 day a year, 12 hour a day bike lane was off the table.

That is NOT what the Public Works committee heard last week.

As Harvey Smith said, it appears that the city's representative Nixon reneged on his agreement for compromise with the people of Sherbrook and his colleagues on Public Works (O'Shaughnessy, Vandal and Gerbasi) based their decision on fraudulent information given by advocates for the greedy cycling lobby.

The dirty trick is that there is no built-in avenue of appeal of the Public Works green light for a Sherbrook bike lane -- despite the lack of on-the -record consultation - and as Smith told us, the enabler of this perversion of democracy immediately went on vacation.

Meanwhile, we have waited about 5 weeks for information about how the Berry Street bike lane was planned and rolled out without warning to unsuspecting residents, and 3 weeks for answers about when seniors and residents of Roslyn Road were told they would be forced to give up handicapped parking for a bike lane nobody was even told about.

We won't hold our breath this week expecting any city employee, especially ones on summer vacation, to care about answering the questions our listeners want answers to. After all, it's only their money.
Other exclusive stories we will continue to discuss this week include;

- Value of MPI donation to insider community group now worth $1.4 million
- Teamsters play to win in attempt to swipe Lotteries union
- Trick process used to name Norquay CC park after Governor-General bypassed residents ('Consultation? we don' need no stinkin' consultation' )

With 176 reader comments and counting, the biggest elephant in the Free Press newsroom is the smear against Mayor Sam Katz that has backfired all over the face of columnist Lindor Reynolds.

After being admonished by a TGCTS listener for trying to drag Katz' personal life into the civic election, Reynolds emailed him the following:

RE: Katz article

Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:41 PM
To: xxxxx

You’re correct. I deeply regret the column.

Lindor Reynolds


Winnipeg Free Press

After angry readers had assailed her online with remarks such as:

This is vile hypocritical writing. Presenting this subject and pretending to be above using it to criticize the mayor is a transparent ploy to continue the Free Press's smear campaign against Mister Katz. You should either admit what you're doing and come clean or quit prostituting yourself on behalf of your bosses.

"Katz dating younger woman -- but that shouldn't matter"

Apparently it matters enough for you to write a column on this.

I'd like to know when the paper will change to tabloid style to fit the tabloid journalism that it is has been publishing for quite while now. This is no longer a paper, it's a rag. However, very good for lining the birdcage.

Lindor - you have to re-evaluate your, for lack of a better name, journalism.don't give us that "freedom of the press" crap. Lately you have been totally off the mark a few times - maybe back off for awhile and get your newsworthy ducks in a row. I agree with one emailer- this is the stuff the Enquirer is made of. You owe a lot of people a huge apology - and

Seven minutes after the email, Reynolds expanded her damage-control to her online readers - at least those that would bother to navigate the comments section:


The golfers out there will know what it means to take a mulligan. The rest of us call them do-overs.

I regret the column. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Mea culpa.


FP readers were not impressed, and have repeatedly asked when an explanation for this alleged journalism will appear in print. That is where the vast majority of Free Press readers would have seen the gutter-level swipe at Katz's alleged dating dynamic written by Reynolds based on a mysterious email "complaint".

Edit: Reynolds' column today is entitled "I Promise Not to Abuse Your Trust Again"

" I haven't been asked to write this column of apology by Free Press city editor Paul Samyn or editor Margo Goodhand."

Again, we won't hold our breath expecting the FP to do the right thing.

But, we will have LOTS to say about the plummeting credibility of the broadsheet which tried 2 smears on 'non-liberal' politicians last Thursday (Katz and Vic Toews) and got caught at it twice.

The regulation of newspapers has now become a legitimate issue among
media consumers and print advertisers, who tell us they need protection from the abusive behavior of reporters and columnists just as much as their political targets.

Lots of guests this week including:

- Kristine Sigurdson, executive director of the Gimli Film Festival Tuesday at 4.10 and Red River College student Breanna Bouchard of Assignment Saving Lives with Canadian Blood Services Thursday at 4.10 (both segments part of the New Media Perspectives feature with 360;

- St James city council candidate and Berry Street bike lane opponent Fred Morris comes into the studio Tuesday at 4.35;

- Real estate guru Brad Gross appears Wednesday at 4.10;

- Dan East of Winnipeg Dodge gives insight into the huge increase of new car sales in Manitoba on Wednesday at 5.25;

- and on Thursday at 4.55 we will give away tickets to the Silverados double bill of classic rockers Lee Aaron with special guest Headpins for the August 5th concert, courtesy of Canad Inns.
Call in to win!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

When the bike lobby says "but in Europe...", what does that REALLY mean?

email from a world traveling listener:

Hi Marty,

I've been away (in Europe) for the past 2 months, so not only have I escaped the terrible weather here, I've been able to gather some "real" information regarding the cycling facilities in other major centers, where they enjoy MANY MORE months of "active transportation" friendly weather.

Rome. I only saw one bike path in Rome. In my mind, if you ride a bike in Rome, you have a death wish. The roads are not conducive to being narrowed, and so...they don't.

Here, there were more bike paths, painted a rose sort of colour, but they were often narrow, and were also bi directional. While there were not a lot of bike lanes I saw, they were there... but there weren't many cyclists using them.

Verona. Well here I saw a lot of bikes, but that was because of the Tour de France. The roads in the center of the city are not specifically geared to cyclists.

Venice (the island) Forget about a bike. Didn't see one.

Nice. Cyclists share the boardwalk along the major routes, which are wide enough to accommodate both types of "active transportation". There does not appear to be a substantial set of infrastructure for cyclists.

Cologne. The old city has many roads closed to vehicle traffic, or severely restricted. These are shared by pedestrians and cyclists, some of whom travel around at a pretty good clip. Bridges have cycle lanes, bi directional, with almost no identification as to where a person should walk, but they are wide enough so that it's not a problem. The sidewalks are divided, so bikes use one side, and peds the other. The bike lane is painted, or a different coloured asphalt is used to make it "clear". I was "caught" in the bike lane a couple of times, to which I got "the bell".

Dresden. Didn't see anything specific.

Berlin. Same as Dresden

Hamburg. Not much, but these large cities are in a position to put bike paths in/through parks and other green areas (think Minneapolis)

Amsterdam. Bikes rule. They have their own lanes, their own traffic lights, parking garages, bike stands are everywhere. People own a few bikes and will ride from home to the train station, take the train to the next station where they hop onto another bike and ride it to work. There are literally THOUSANDS of bikes visible at any one time... and DON'T get in their way.

Paris. Nothing that struck me as specific, they have a few bike lanes, but there is a lot of vehicle traffic, and peds.

London. Bicycles can share the sidewalks, parks in certain areas provide good connections for bike users, but I didn't see a lot of infrastructure on the major routes, or in the traffic circles.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Taxpayers Federation and a listener follow up on our MPI $1.2- em, $1.4, million donation story

MPI Should Have Sold Surplus Building

Two thumbs up to Marty Gold for doing some digging into MPI's recent announcement to sell its surplus building to Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

According to Marty Gold, the donation of MPI's surplus building on King St. was no small contribution - it reportedly has an assessed value of $1.2 million. Ideally, if MPI has a surplus asset, it should be sold off and the funds used to fulfill MPI's mandate - providing low-cost vehicle insurance to Manitobans.

Critics may argue that selling off the asset may have only reduced premiums by a couple dollars per vehicle, but that's not the point. Taxpayers should have the right to decide how their money is spent, not the government. Again, MPI's role is to provide low cost vehicle insurance, not to get into social policy and help the province appear to be doing good deeds (see Minister Andrew Swann's free publicity in the news release and at the press conference).

However, as we have seen in the past, the province clearly has a different view on the role of our 'beloved' crown corporation. Who could forget the Doer government's plan to use MPI's $20 million surplus for fixing up university buildings back in 2001 or the "secret donation" to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in 2008?

While some would defend those initiatives as well-intentioned, few would come to MPI's rescue and defend its $10,000 donation towards buying gifts for out of town politicians.

Yes, that's right, back in 2006 when Manitoba hosted the Western Premiers' Conference, MPI and other crowns were asked to contribute towards purchasing gifts for visiting politicians. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation discovered the expenditures in 2008 so it didn't attract too much media attention, but it was discovered that MPI donated $10,000; even though they were only asked to contribute $8,000. How generous of them.

Spread the word folks, with an election coming up in 2011, candidates should be pressed to speak out against such manipulation of our crowns.

From a listener:

Marty: I did hear back today from MPI customer relations and he did admit that the value was estimated at $1.4 million which would equate to $1 per policy. So if a person owns four vehicles, their share is now $4, not $1 as they are trying to say.

MPI also said they did not fully open it up publically but only consulted with one group of people and MPI did not feel a conflict of interest has taken place since the winning group was represented on the board.

I have made many calls to MPI general enquiries and guess what, no one can tell me exactly how many policies or customers exist with MPI. If nobody can tell me this, how do they know it is $1 per policy????????

Why did MPI not sell the land and offer up 20 different $50,000 grants to many different agencies or 40 grants for $25,000? Why is one part of the city (MPI is provincial) benefiting from this and not the whole province and many different groups. Sell the land/builing for $1.4, use $400,000 to administer the $1M in grants. This is a no brainer.

Why do our politicians continue to give young people reasons to leave this province instead of stay. We are becoming nothing more than a welfare state and we need to be progressive or this city will continue to deteriorate as the tax base waves bye-bye for better lands.

Today at 4 PM, we are joined by Lee Goren and Barrett Fraser of to preview the Winnipeg Sun Lee Goren and friends Autism Invitational, and at 4.25, Dr. Tim Ball addresses the claims that "the book has been closed" on Climategate.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Councillors runs interference for city staff and bike lobby at Sherbrook bike lane hearing

Ed. note: Kim the Traffic Reporter attended yesterday's hearing at which the bike lane proposal was discussed, and filed this report. We have invited Coun. O'Shaughnessy to appear today on the show, and area Coun. Harvey Smith for Friday.

On July 13th a meeting with the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works was held at 10:30am, City Council Building at 510 Main St. dealing with the Sherbrook bike lanes.

Councillor Harvey Smith representing the Daniel MacIntyre ward spoke briefly with this committee, stating there are "legitimate concerns" regarding the bike lane. He complained that there had "not been consultation" with the residents.

Councillor Mike O'Shaughnessy, who is the chairperson of the Committee, disagreed saying that there had been "lots of consultation" and that "Kevin Nixon would not agree about the lack of consultation".

Belinda Squance of the Ellice Cafe was one speaker who stated that she could not support this bike lane for the two block route along Sherbrook, Belinda also stated there had been no consultation with the community and that there truly were no numbers available which would support this bike lane.

Belinda said that a member of Bike to the Future, Mark Cohoe had told her that they (BttF) had sat at Sherbrook and Ellice to counts bikes and the numbers were 2000 cyclists a day. Belinda Squance told the Committee that she is not opposed to bike lanes, but perhaps they could be during peak times instead of all day and that the community has been denied that compromise.

Belinda further went to say that "more people would be impacted negatively than impacted positively" with regards to these bike lanes and that the numbers she has are "significantly different" than those quoted by BttF and the Active Transportation Advisory Committee.

Belinda proposed that the bike lane be moved to Langside suggesting that a crosswalk be put into place at Langside and Sargent and in fact went on to say that the Spence St. Neighbourhood agreed with that assessment agreeing a crosswalk at Sargent and Langside would benefit not only cyclists, but the community as well.

Belinda told the Committee she had been informed there was "no money in the budget" to put a crosswalk in place at that location. In fact, a City engineer offered a suggestion a loading zone by the Ellice Cafe could be cut into the boulevard (take away green space for 'Active Transportation' ? - ed.), she suggested it would cost more to that than put in a crosswalk. Belinda also disagreed with the idea that consultation had taken place in the community, saying that the consultation had not been adequate at all.

Gloria Cardwell Hoeppner the Executive Director of the West End Business Improvement Zone was the next presenter to the Committee, Gloria indicated that while the "consultation was well intentioned, it did not reach the people
". The West End Biz is asking for a compromise, to monitor the community to see if a bike lane is really needed for the length of time being demanded by the bike lobby or if perhaps the time could be limited to peak times. She suggested maybe two hour restricted parking be implemented and that the bike lanes should "start slow and then build" as the need becomes apparent.

Tina Tenbergen of the HSC user group (bike users) supports keeping the Sherbrook bike lanes as is saying the lane "goes right to HSC" and that it connects to Misericordia, Wolseley then connects to Academy, Harrow and the Southwest corner of the City. Ms. Tenbergen went on to say that it's "not just a question if the local area benefits but is a question of safety", meaning the safety of the cyclists. She further went on to say that "no parking is inconvenient, but bike lanes are for safety". Ms. Tenbergen indicated that she is a year round cyclists and wants the bike lane for winter use as well.

Councillor Jenny Gerbasi did not appear to be in favour of the peak time compromise, stating she "doesn't like it" meaning the lanes only being during rush hour, but did ask if people could get to work at HSC without the bike lanes during the day. Ms. Tenbergen responded indicating that people work different shifts througout the day and those people may not ride to work if there were no bike lanes available. (Coun. Dan Vandal was the third member of the committee but said nothing of note).

Anders Swanson was the next to present on behalf of the bike proponents, saying that he would not be in favour of a time limit on the bike lanes and that the most important factor is the safety of the cyclists. Swanson also indicated that more people would cycle if bike safety were taken into consideration. Anders Swanson also told the Committee that this area had the highest number of cyclists and pedestrians in the city.

Swanson further went on to say that more people would come downtown on their bikes if they had places to put them and that it took less room to park a bike than a car. Swanson also told the Committee that more people would rent apartments if there were more bike parking than vehicle parking and would encourage more people to bike to work than drive.

Swanson believes that if there were more bike lanes and bike parking then the 22 000 vehicles driven on Sherbrook would be decreased as more people cycled instead of driving.

Kevin Nixon the Active Transportation Coordinator for the city informed the Committee that he was not in favour of a part time or seasonal bike lane for Sherbrook, that he considers it to be unsafe and requested that the lane not be removed from Sherbrook.

I spoke briefly with Kevin Nixon after the meeting asking if he'd had any meetings with the residents of the neighbourhood (who are also the stakeholders).

I was told that the only meeting he'd had were with those who had attended the City Centre Community Meeting on June 8th. where only two residents had been present (see notes below).

At this point in time the Standing Policy Committee has decided to keep the bike lane on Sherbrook and will now be sent on to the EPC for further deliberations before going to City Council to be voted upon.


Kim's Thoughts:

Oh were to start. Let's start with winter cycling. A year round "inconvenience" to the community for how many cyclists? How many people are so hard core they cycle during the winter? A handful is all. Yet an entire community should give up their parking, an entire community should be "inconvenienced" for the greed and demand of a small group of people who aren't even insured. Talk about arrogance.

The bike lobby talks about numbers. But they can't even get that right. Certainly the numbers we did on Sherbrook for one week don't add up to what we are being told by BttF. In fact, the BttF counts with one exception don't even have counts for the morning and afternoon on the same day, in the same month in the same year. And they talk about comparisons? With what? Imaginary numbers? Do they just pull a number out of a hat?

Anders Swanson tells us that it's easier to rent an apartment when bike parking is offered than when vehicle parking is provided. Who is he kidding? If we took a poll of the listening audience of Kick-Fm, how many would agree with that statement? How many people look at an apartment and ask about parking their cars? Please! As for Anders Swansons statements about the high number of cyclists and pedestrians in the area ... well hello ... let's look at the area. Many of these people can't afford a car, for that matter not all of those people can afford regular transit services especially as transit fares keep rising and not all can pay for regular trips on a bus.

Would more of this community drive if they could afford it? In my personal opinion ...yes. So I think we are looking at more an economic situation than any real desire to ride a bike. But BttF has blinders on and doesn't see the reality of this community.

Tina Tenbergen's statement that it's not a "question if the local area benefits".

OH REALLY???? So for the small amount of cyclists, a community should just roll over and play dead? For them? The quality of their lives should be disrupted because a few cyclists can't scoot over to Langside to use a bike path because it's not a direct route, when not only the community, but groups like Spence Neighbourhood would really like a crosswalk which would make things safer for that community.

But nooo that isn't good enough. It's the cyclists safety which comes first -- not the community. Can anyone say selfish?

Councillor Gerbasi sits in the hip pocket of the bike lobby groups, but I have to wonder, in her ward many people are upset with changes they knew nothing about, guess we will see how they react come October.

The fight isn't over, it's still ongoing. I guess the next step is to see if the EPC can be persuaded not to give in to a bunch of selfish, greedy people who want what they want regardless of how the community feels. Cycling is still a choice but it's being forced on residents and communities and being presented as the only way to go. How greedy can one group be..guess we'll find out.

PS. - If Councillor O'Shaughnessy really thinks consultation with the West End was done properly, he should be made aware of this comment we have already published on the blog. It comes from Kevin Nixon himself at that June 8th Community Committee meeting that sent this issue to Public Works committee for yesterday's agenda:

"Obviously we don't have it (public consultations) done right yet".