Posts Tagged ‘activism’

Thanks for Helping!

September 19, 2008

What can I say about The Londoner that won’t sound self-serving? I mean, they’ve been so accomodating to me!

During the last municipal election campaign when other media outlets were ignoring the way that I couldn’t participate, Ben Benedict wrote an article about it. They’ve published many of the letters that I’ve sent to them. Phil has given me permission to republish a number of their articles on my site, and he even responds to my emails.

And now this.

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I hope that the Transportation Advisory Committee and the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee and the Environment and Transportation Committee and the Community and Protective Services Committee and Shane Maguire and Sgt. Tom O’Brien all read it.

Thanks for the validation, Bill.

Perhaps they’ll have more difficulty ignoring someone of your stature.

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What’s it going to take …

September 14, 2008

… before pedestrians can cross Commissioners Road E. without risking their lives?

From: Gregory Fowler

To: Thomas O’Brien

Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 1:52:03 PM

Subject: 2008/09/14 Complaint

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Sgt. O’Brien:

On Sunday 2008/09/14 I left the Tim Horton coffee shop which is located at Adelaide/Commissioners at approx. 12:40 pm. Waiting until there was no eastbound traffic on the south side of Commissioners, I crossed to the median without incident. I then waited to proceed until there was no westbound traffic on the north side of Commissioners. As I stepped off the median, a red pickup turned west from Leathorne St. directly into the center lane (across two closer lanes) and bore directly down on me. Stepping backwards onto the median I shouted “idiot” at the male operator as he passed by. I then crossed the north portion of Commissioners and proceeded east along the north sidewalk on my way home. As I approached the corner of Commissioners/Eagle I was approached by a younger male who objected to having been called an idiot. I asked him if he was the operator of the vehicle which had turned off Leathorne just moments previously and he acknowleged that he was. When I observed that he had put me at risk with his behaviour he accused me of having “jaywalked” and proceeded to deliver a two-handed shove to my chest, forcing me backwards. When I withdrew my cellphone from my pocket and cautioned him that I intended to call the police he returned to his vehicle (which had been left idling on the west side of Eagle just north of Commissioners) and quickly drove away. I noted that the license number was ‘168 4RR’ and managed to get the photo of the vehicle which is attached.

You are well aware that I have long complained that this arterial is unsafe to pedestrians and that this is not the first incident that I have reported to you. I have also complained verbally and in writing to local politicians and city staff about the situation, to no avail.

You must be well aware that there is no designated pedestrian crossing between Adelaide Street and Frontenac Avenue. And at Adelaide Street, the east side of that intersection is closed to pedestrians.

You must also be well aware that besides the Eagle Crescent neighbourhood in which I reside, there are also high-occupancy apartment complexes located in this area on either side of the arterial. Every day, pedestrians risk injury and/or death trying to cross this high-volume roadway.

Quite apart from whatever action you may take (or typically not take) with respect to this particular incident, I implore you to do whatever you can to influence those at City Hall who have responsibility for such things to examine this issue seriously. Before a tragedy occurs.

Respectfully,

Mr. Gregory Fowler

962 Eagle Crescent

London, Ontario N5Z 3H7

City Hall can keep me off the Transportation Advisory Committee. They can continue to ignore the police report about Commissioners/Pond Mills. They can continue to spend millions of dollars on paving/widening roads and filling potholes while ignoring the unsafe conditions for pedestrians. But they can’t stop me from telling you about it. Not so far at least.

Stay tuned.

Giving Credit When It’s Due

September 12, 2008

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It doesn’t always pay to complain, but for sure you don’t get any results by staying silent. It looks like my threat of a class-action lawsuit against the City may have gotten more attention than what I first thought back in June … hopefully this work is going to put an end to the repeated pedestrian obstruction because of overgrown foliage.

It took a lot longer and was way more work getting this situation fixed than it ever should have been, but fair is fair. I’ll try to track down an explanation of exactly what’s being done and who ordered it and let you know. Because it appears that somebody at City Hall deserves some credit for a change.

Don’t you think that somebody would have let me know about this development?

More credit…

From: “Caranci, Roger”
To: “Greg Fowler”
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 2:17:35 PM
Subject: Re:

Greg,

I have told the staff about your concerns. They told me they would get to the walkway but could not commit a timeline. Nice to know they are there. Better late than never but I will push them to put the maintenance on a more timely and reasonable rotation.

Roger

Tossed for Wearing Pink

March 4, 2008

17-year-old Grade 12 student Chandler Wilson was suspended from (Catholic) Ursuline College in Chatham on Friday.

Apparently, the pink shirt that he wore to class in support of a Nova Scotian anti-bullying movement violated the school’s dress code policy. UCC principal Geri Brown is quoted as saying that said she would have allowed Mr. Wilson to wear pink is she had known that he was being asked to leave, even though that gentleman had reportedly asked for permission two weeks earlier. 01

See no evil, hear no evil…

Sources:
01. 2008/03/04 – Chatham Daily News: Caught in anti-bullying mix-up…

Activists Of Interest

February 2, 2008

I have no reservation about using this blog to profile an individual, a group, or even another (competitor?) blog that has done something that I respect.

“I have a lot of respect for activists. If it were not for them, we would not have had a civil rights movement or same sex marriage. The words Fair Trade would not be part of our vocabulary. Activists made known many of our objections to the Iraq War and continue to work hard to see that the environment remains a priority, poverty one days becomes obsolete, and that women be treated as equals in all ways. I have several friends who are activists and they always have the best intentions in their hearts and always look to see that people, especially those in their community, get a fair shake and that profits aren’t always put before people. Despite some claims to the contrary, we are all better off as a result of social justice and environmental activism.”
Here in London, there’s been considerable talk in our recent history about ‘communities of interest,’ a perspective that I personally find attractive. Over on Dodosville, there’s an interesting post about activists (which I consider myself to be) and whether they might not have more success if they were to unite.

Over on my London Commons blog, I’ve already suggested that same thing. That perhaps what needs to be done here in London is a concerted effort by pedestrian, bicycle and public transit activists in order to achieve some parity with the large, vociferous community of SOV adherents.

I would be most grateful if you would have a look at the discussion that’s taking place there and give it your thoughtful consideration. Because we all occupy this space, and we all have a vested interest in it’s future.

Loretta Lau’s Timmy Petition

November 30, 2007

care2Petition logo I’d like to draw your attention to an online petition which attempts to influence Tim Hortons® (Canada’s largest food service operator) to do more toward addressing it’s harmful behaviour than simply putting anti-litter messages on it’s packaging (click HERE to view the petition).

logoI’d also like to highlight a similar initiative by a group of local student activists. EnviroWestern’s Mug Team is trying to get “as many as people on campus to utilize travel mugs as possible.” Very nice.

Why are we so complacent in the face of commercial enviro-assaults? Have we convinced ourselves that nobody will pay more than lip service, or that we’ll only be ignored completely? Too busy to bother, do we assuage ourselves into believing that somebody else will eventually confront the problem?

Please have a look at these petitions and consider giving them your support. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, it doesn’t cost you anything, and it’s a whole lot better than doing nothing. Because, by remaining silent, you’re still making a statement. But, is it the one that you want to make?

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Links:
2007/11/28 – FMBS: Making a difference …
2007/11/30 – Gazette: Curb waste with biodegradeable cups

Pond Mills Safety Petition

November 23, 2007

iPetitions logoAn initiative is underway to have a pedestrian crosswalk installed at Pond Mills Rd. & Cleveland Ave., and an online petition has been created (click HERE). Please visit the website and give it your consideration.

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Harder Than It Should Be

November 12, 2007

OMG! I finally got a response with respect to my communication about drive-thrus! Mind you, it took several more emails than it should have had to. And it looked like they were trying to keep it out of the public record. Why do they have to make this so hard???

Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2007 19:54:37 -0500
From: Baechler, Joni
To: Gregory Fowler; Lorelei Fisher
Subject: RE: City Wide – Drive Through Review

Greg,

We will make sure your comments are part of the public record.

Regards,
Joni

—– Forwarded Message —-

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Lorelei Fisher
Cc: Joni Baechler; Kevin Bain; Roger Caranci
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 9:15:46 AM
Subject: Fw: City Wide – Drive Through Review

Ms Fisher,

Bad enough that there’s been no response to my communication. But worse, I note that my communication to Mr. Parker is absent from tonight’s Planning Committee agenda. Specifically, “Responses to…” re item #15 (Regulation of Drive-Thru Facilities). I trust that you attend to this omission.

Respectfully,

Greg Fowler.