Opening Statement



Thursday, 16 January 2014

Toronto: Yonge Street in Winter



Yonge St. looking south from Wellesley

Good news! The deep freeze and thaw is over. Now it's just typical winter days in Toronto again. Short, cold but not too cold. Minus 2 degrees Celsius is seasonable. The snow comes, then goes. And life goes on.

I went downtown yesterday afternoon to get my hair cut. It was getting long. I was starting to look like a hippie. Not that I would've once cared. I was a hippie, so to speak, back in the day. However, when I started to go grey in my 40's, I started to look like the 1000 year old hippie. Not good. Now I get it cut more regularly to keep it short.


Anyway, I took the subway down to Yonge + Bloor St. Went to see my barber, Wayne, in Yorkville. While there I stopped by the "Grigorian", a very cool jazz and classical music store that's well worth mentioning. There aren't very many independent music stores anymore, let alone huge and thoughtful classical and jazz ones. I bought a Dizzy Gillespie disc. I like Dizzy and I like to support the proprietor + staffs' efforts. They are true music aficionados.


Afterwards, I walked down Yonge St. to Zings, between Bloor and Wellesly. I sat at a window seat eating a bowl of pad thai, surfing the net on my ipad for a bit. I also watched the Yonge Street shuffle of busy cars, trucks and people going back and forth up and down Yonge St. again + again + again. It is very Torontonian to watch and participate in the Yonge St. Shuffle. I have done so all my life and have blogged about Yonge St before. I will add the links below.

Did you know that Yonge St. is the longest street in the world? If you keep travelling on  Yonge it turns into a highway that runs right across Canada, for thousands of miles.

I tried it once. It works. I was young. I stood at the side of the street with my thumb out, as folk were still apt to do then. Life was simpler and safer. I hitchhiked all the way to Vancouver, on the Pacific coast, then back again. It took a few months but I stopped a lot a long the way to check my country out. That was back in 1976. I had finished high school with no idea of what I wanted to do. I suppose it was a lifetime ago. That's cool though. This is now and that was then. It's all good to me.


In Yorkville

After Zings I went to a cheap store, where I bought a stack of new cd releases. Some readers of my music blogs, and the lists and quickie reviews at the bottom of my site have told me that there in fact still is some good new music being made. Every few years I usually explore the audio scene. I decided to do so again. I will review the cds later.

Well, to be quite frank, I was enjoying myself and all, but that was enough for one day. At Yonge + Wellesley I took two photos, one looking north and one south just to show you that the deep freeze and thaw is over. The weather extremes have been a defining event of sorts this month, rather peculiar for here, fairly far up north, compared to a lot of other places. I won't belabour the topic. Still, you can see the photos. It was sunset. I caught the subway back to my car, up north at Yorkdale Mall, so as to avoid the rush hour crowds.


Yonge + Wellesley looking north to Bloor St.

I think this is about the second time I have gone outside in a week. Now I will get back to work here at home. Soon Janet and I are going to fly north on an overnighter in Sudbury to visit my sister and mom. I will try to take some pictures from the airplane window way up in the sky. Ontario in winter, outside of Toronto, is usually very picturesque. Hopefully I can show my non Canadian readers what it is like.

Anyway, back to business ....

(PS: Yes. I know. These type of blogs aren't going to result in 300,000 more reader visits in and of themselves, but either check them out or skip. It's my blogsite! So there ! ;-)

RELATED BLOG READS

Sociology 101: Toronto life + the Yonge Street tradition @ Here

A baby boomer's Yonge St story among other things @ Here

Some summer notes on Yonge St., Willow Beach, Toronto life + the like @ Here

Some notes on being Toronto born + bred @ Here

Very Toronto Canadian: Jack Layton's last street party @ Here

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

David : Can you describe the usual "best practices" method of collecting and approving names for a unit executive to approve AGM delegates going from their unit? Does the unit president just decide this by themselves or should all of the unit executive be involved and vote on the list too?

David Chiarelli said...

I am not sure if there is a predetermined method for choosing delegates but you might check the Provincial handbook for the template. Here is what we did during my years on Oecta Tsu exec:

a set of objective criteria was decided upon and provided to the membership.

it included staff rep, chair and committee experience. Also other unit involvement that showed interest and engagement

interested participants were required to attend the motions meeting where the membership could review and forward any local ones going to AGM that year

interested delegates would submit an application with the above info usually by early January.

they would also agree to attend the pre AGM team meeting and be available at AGM for the full 3 days. Sign submit.

The unit exec would review all the applications at our monthly meeting. A master list would be name of names organized as per the selection criteria. Those that met all the croteria would usually make first draft.

we would also need broad representation: by schools, new, experiened teachers, male and female. TSU was not politically correct in that we needed to have X amounts of each but would try to strike a good balance of qualifications and groups.

exec would go around the table discussing each remaining application ( that didn't) make first draft with the above in mind.

We would then each nominate X amount by ballot, to rank rest.
Go around table again discussing as per criteria above.

Some years everyone would make it if the number of applicants equalled the spaces allotted our unit.

other years no. we would include a list of substitutes as per the results from above, maybe take a few along to provide breaks or fill in as need be. Interest and committment here would count for next year.. if anybody had to cancel before AGM we would ask next person on the list and so on.

members would be advised early as possible (usually in Jan) if they were being offered a space and confirm they would be attending.

David Chiarelli said...

PS executive members were all offered a delegate position and it was generally expected would go barrring personal emergency. Since TSU had about 30 delegates it still meant lots of opeings.

Hope this helps. I am not sure other units follow the same procedures and would rather doubt it for a wide variety of reasons, quite valid and not quite so valid.

At TSU we condidered it a question of developing leadership capacity for the futureand providing a good balance to represent memberships of couse varied interests, perspectives and views.

TSU did/ does not require delegates to vote in block, but for most units this is the exception not the rule.

No system is perfect nor fool proof but I can honestly say, I always thought our system was fair and worked wrll.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

David Chiarelli said...

You are very welcome! Please allow me a senior moment here, as a retired teacher, but I really hope enough teachers stand up and get involved in the OECTA + other affiliates AGM's and unit elections this year! It is a formidable task but somebody has to do it. Otherwise the gains of years past are in great danger of totally going down the toilet from apathy, abuse and stagnation. Keep up the good fight. All we need are a few good men + women who will say enough is enough and show the rest of the membership that you don't have to take put up with it and shouldn't. From small starts grow great movements. It's been done before. It can be done again. All power to you!!!!

In solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

David that's a nice hat.
Where's Angelo?
Did the Oecta powers that be take his thinking cap and its powers to answer meaningful questions?
They took Richard's cowboy hat and put it on ice for two years. You better watch out David they could take your fedora and not give it back.
Maybe James Ryan will intervene and get your hat back, but I wouldn't count on it.
Signed-Oecta's Mad Hatter

David Chiarelli said...

Yes! It is VERY IMPORTANT to be careful of ones hat when OECTA is around. I bought it in London or Paris, I forget, but it is my favourite. Janet has one too. I bought it for her. Isn't that nice? Anyway, thank you Mad Hatter!

Anonymous said...

Interesting Oecta school rep. meeting in Halton at the elementary unit office last night. Lots of surprise guests that no one knew were coming like James Ryan, Bruno from Provincial, and Horst Schweinbenz from Hamilton-Wentworth as Chair of the meeting. Then the questions came from the school reps-and some information came onto the public record about the police being called to the unit office earlier that day? Why?

Anonymous said...

Chilling satire from the mad hatter.

Anonymous said...

Hey David has OECTA Provincial ever threatened you legally to close down your blog?

What protection, if any, does OECTA's Harassment-Free Policy give to unpaid unit executives from OECTA Provincial Staff legal threats? Any outside bodies to go to for assistance?

David Chiarelli said...

Thanks 4 your concern! Go through my blogs, as far back as 2012 even, and you will get a general sense.

As 4 the overall situation at OECTA nowadays, hopefully the wide variety of troubling issues you've discussed quite thoroughly and at great length here + in your units will be appropriately addressed during March AGM. It will be up to your unit membership and executive to deal with them there and then.

Cheers!

David C

Post a Comment

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Youtube Bar: Afrika Bambaataa!

Loading...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!