Life sentence for E.Y. man who shot wife - The Toronto Observer by zhouwenjuan


									                                          THE EAST TORONTO                                                                                              INSIDE
REMEMBER                                                                                                                                                       in Hogtown
PAGE 8                                                                                                                                                             PAGE 4

 Friday • April 23 • 2010                            PUBLISHED BY CENTENNIAL COLLEGE JOURNALISM STUDENTS AND SERVING EAST YORK                                     Volume 40 • No. 6

Life sentence
for E.Y. man
who shot wife
   An East York man has received a life sentence
after finally admitting that he intentionally shot his
estranged wife.
   On April 16, Judge Brian Trafford sentenced Donald
Sneyd, 48, to life in prison with a parole ineligibility
period of 12 years, in accordance with the suggested
sentence jointly submitted by counsel. A second-degree
murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence with
parole eligibility ranging from 10 to 25 years.
   Sneyd placed a 911 call at approximately 7 p.m. on
Feb. 25, 2008. He told Toronto Police Services that his
wife, Edyta Lewandowski, 32, had committed suicide at
his home near Woodbine and Danforth avenues.
   After an investigation by the homicide squad, Sneyd
was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on
June 10, 2008.
   For almost two years, Sneyd maintained that his
wife killed herself. But on the eve of jury selection, he
admitted the murder.
   Sneyd’s son, who cannot be named due to a publication
ban, was about two and a half years old at the time.
                                                                                                                                                                     Observer, Julie Tu
   The child was upstairs when his father shot his
mother in the foyer, according to the agreed statement
                                                            FUTURE PRIMA BALLERINAS: Girls from the Grade 2 ballet class at Pegasus Dance Studios near Danforth
of facts. It has not been agreed upon by counsel whether    and Coxwell avenues practise their Pliés and Port de Bras for future examinations and recitals.
or not the young boy witnessed or heard the murder.
   Before the killing, Sneyd had maintained during
child custody proceedings that Lewandowski had
suicidal tendencies and a history of mental illness. But
                                                            E.Y. pharmacies fear legislation
Lewandowski successfully challenged these allegations       By KRISTOFER BAKER                       proposed legislation to force makers       “We’ve known for some time
and by early February of 2008, she had developed a            Small pharmacies in East York          of generic drugs to cut their prices     Ontario is paying too much for the
strong case to regain custody of the couple’s son. That,    say they face an uncertain future.       by 25 per cent. Their price cuts         cost of prescription drugs,” Wynne
said the judge, helped lead to the murder.                    Local pharmacists are concerned        would be offset by a ban on the          said.
   “The murder of Edyta Lewandowski was directly            that a government move to cut            “professional allowances” they pay         She said that drug companies
related to the disintegration of their relationship and     drug prices will hurt independent        to pharmacies.                           inflate the costs of their generics to
the likely result of the court proceedings,” Trafford       pharmacies especially. They say the        But pharmacists warn that,             cover the professional allowances
wrote in the 22-page sentencing rationale.                  bulk of their revenue is earned from     as a result, patients could see          they’re paying out.
   Crown attorney Mary Humphrey submitted victim            generic drugs.                           new charges on services that are           “The reason why Ontarians pay
impact statements to the court written by Lewandowski’s       George Christopoulos, of Hurst         presently free.                          $26 and not $14 is to cover special
parents, brother, sister-in-law and best friend. They       Pharmacy on Donlands Avenue,               “Taking away from our funding          allowances given to pharmacies,”
demonstrated the personal anguish they have endured         warns that his patients will see         will mean that there won’t be any        Wynne said.
since the woman’s death.                                    major changes if he is forced to slash   profits left for us to operate our         According to Wynne, the profits
   Defence counsel John Rosen told the court that Sneyd     prices.                                  business,”     Christopoulos     said.   generated       from      professional
had left high school at 16, but managed to receive his        “It’s going to be a huge change.       “Having this lack of funding will        allowances have been squandered
Bachelor of Social Work in 1992. He also worked for the     Especially      since    we’re      an   force us to charge patients for more.”   inappropriately.
Catholic Children’s Aid Society for 10 years.               independent pharmacy, most of our          Kathleen Wynne, Liberal MPP              “Seventy per cent of money gained
                                                            business is prescription medication,     for Don Valley West, defends her         from these allowances are not being
   Sneyd was “a productive member of society,” Judge
                                                            unlike the big chains,” Christopoulos    government’s proposal as an effort       used to cover the cost of drugs and
Trafford wrote. “But for the horrible events of the case    said.                                    to make drugs more affordable for        services,” she said.
                   See FAMILY, page 8                         The Ontario government has             the people of Ontario.                          See ONTARIO, page 2

                                                                                            Hospital gets top marks
                                                                                            for reducing wait times
                                                                                            By JULIE TU                                 to find out how quickly they are able
                                                                                               Cancer Awareness Month is coming to      to get through the necessary tests and
                                                                                            a close, but the attention that Toronto     procedures, given the discouraging
                                                                                            East General Hospital (TEGH) is             news they tend to hear in the media
                                                                                            receiving for its Time to Treat program     about medical wait times,” Zeldin said
                                                                                            is ongoing.                                 in a news release issued by the Ontario
                                                                                               Introduced in 2005, the program          Ministry of Health and Long-Term
                                                                                            launched by TEGH and Sunnybrook’s           Care.
                                                                                            Odette Cancer Centre has successfully          Recipient of the 2007 Cancer Care
                                                                                            decreased wait times for lung cancer        Ontario and Cancer Quality Award,
                                                                                            patients. The time from suspicion of        it is the collaboration and willingness
                                                                                            lung cancer to diagnosis and the start      to work with other hospitals that Dr.
                                                                                            of treatment was reduced by 71 per cent     Carmine Simone says makes TEGH a
                                                                                            (11 weeks).                                 leader in patient satisfaction.
                                                                                               According to the Ontario Ministry of        “There’s a very different feeling of
                                                                                            Health, lung cancer is the leading cause    family and community in our hospital,”
                                                                                            of death due to cancer in Canada. Time      Simone said in a news release. “The
                                                                                            to Treat enables patients to meet with      willingness to help out, the sense of
                                                                                            radiologists, oncologists and surgeons on   teamwork and working together are
                                                                                            the same day, or all three at once.         unparalleled.”
                                                                      Observer, Minshu Mo
                                                                                               Dr. Robert Zeldin, head of thoracic         Simone says the cost to set up Time
PLANTING SEASON: John Benton chooses potted plants with his daughter                        surgery at TEGH, says patients are          to Treat was minimal-to-none. The only
Meghan, 10, and his son Matthew, 8, at Bill’s Garden Centre, located on Pape                seeing the improvements.                    requirement for starting the program
Avenue.                                                                                        “Patients are pleasantly surprised       was a reorganization of the system to
Page 2 — East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010

‘Buckle up’ blitz clicks with kids                                                                                                                         Police
   Another police blitz continuing
through tomorrow aims to make
East York roads safer.
   After RIDE spot checks,                                                                                                                             Worker injured
pedestrian and cyclist ticket
                                                                                                                                                       A man was hurt jumping from
campaigns, police are trying
                                                                                                                                                       a burning bank building on
to crack down on deaths and
                                                                                                                                                       April 10. Fire broke out at the
injuries caused by not buckling
                                                                                                                                                       TD Canada Trust branch at
                                                                                                                                                       Eglinton Avenue East and Laird
   The     provincial      seatbelt
                                                                                                                                                       Drive just after 10 a.m. The
campaign started April 14
                                                                                                                                                       bank was open at the time, but
and ends April 24. Locally, it
                                                                                                                                                       staff and customers were safely
kicked off in Leaside on the
                                                                                                                                                       evacuated. Toronto police Staff
14th,     with     transportation
                                                                                                                                                       Sgt. Ron Aalen said a group of
minister and Don Valley West
                                                                                                                                                       workers had been repairing
MPP Kathleen Wynne visiting
                                                                                                                                                       something on the roof when a
Bessborough Drive Elementary
                                                                                                                                                       propane leak ignited. One of the
and Middle School to highlight
                                                                                                                                                       workers was injured after falling
the importance of “clicking in.”
                                                                                                                                                       approximately seven feet to
   “Keeping our children safe
                                                                                                                                                       the ground. Toronto Fire Capt.
is our top priority,” Wynne
                                                                                                                             Observer, Tamara Baluja   David Eckerman said it took
said. “The whole issue of seat
                                      SAFETY FIRST: Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne and Bessborough Drive students                              just 15 minutes to extinguish
belts and buckling up — it’s
                                                                                                                                                       the fire.
all something we know but it’s        Samantha Harwood and Johnny Wright spread the word about wearing seatbelts.
                                                                                                                                                                     —Laura Grande
one of the things we need to be
reminded of.”                         his seatbelt.                        Grodzinski.                           use, five lives are saved in On-
   Over    on    Hanna       Road,      Motor vehicle accidents are           Ontario’s one-person one-          tario every year.                     O’Connor crash
meanwhile, several students           the leading cause of death for       seatbelt law, introduced 33              Seatbelt tickets issued by
at Leaside High School painted        children, Wynne said.                years ago, requires every occu-       a police officer have a set fine      Charges have been laid after
a mural to remind motorists to          She praised this cultural shift    pant in a vehicle to buckle up        amount of $240, and upon con-         two cars collided at the corner
“Buckle Up.”                          among today’s youth, telling the     properly.                             viction, drivers are assessed two     of Pape Avenue and O’Connor
   “We always buckle up when          students before the launch event        This spring’s campaign focus-      demerit points against their li-      Drive on Tuesday. A vehicle
we drive,” said Grade 11 student      about her childhood experiences      es especially on drivers who fail     cence.                                headed westbound on O’Connor
Peter Zambazis. “It’s the kind        with seat belts.                     to secure their children safely.         “Every day on OPP-patrolled        was in the intersection waiting
of thing you just remember,             “My parents got in the car,           Child safety seat clinics have     roads, officers witness needless      to turn left onto Pape when a
because it can save lives.”           and not only did they not buckle     shown that 80 per cent of car         injuries and deaths that could        second vehicle headed eastbound
   Less than a week before            up, they would also get in the       seats are installed or used in-       have been prevented had the           on O’Connor in the curbside
the launch of the campaign,           car and smoke,” she said.            correctly, said Kristen Gane          person used their seatbelt,” Gro-     lane came to the intersection on
a Brampton teen died after              Nearly one-third of all            from Safe Kids Canada, a na-          dzinski said.                         an amber light. The eastbound
he was ejected from his car           passengers killed in traffic         tional group promoting child in-         “Help us prevent you from          vehicle and the westbound left-
following a collision. Peel police    collisions in Ontario were not       jury prevention.                      becoming one of our traffic sta-      turning vehicle collided. The
said the 17-year-old might have       wearing seatbelts, said OPP             Police estimate that for every     tistics. It’s as simple as buckling   driver of the eastbound vehicle
survived the crash if he’d worn       Chief     Superintendent     Bill    one-per-cent increase in seatbelt     up.”                                  was charged with disobeying
                                                                                                                                                       an amber light. The driver of
                                                                                                                                                       the westbound vehicle was

Women raise voices against violence                                                                                                                    charged with making an unsafe
                                                                                                                                                       turn. Both cars sustained heavy
                                                                                                                                                       damage, but no one was hurt.
                                                                                                                                                                   — Courtney Kraik
By MEEGAN SCANLON                                                                                       According to Palmateer, in 2006 there
   A group of women lean forward, listening                                                          were 38,000 reported cases of family

intently to the speaker at the front of the                                                          violence. That is 15 per cent of all violent
room.                                                                                                crimes reported to police.
   Their sharp focus may be because the                                                                 To her, society seems to have become

topic is related to women, or because the                                                            almost accepting of this type of behaviour.
speaker has a powerful delivery.                                                                        “(Girls) have become accustomed to a
   But what really makes this talk hit home                                                          certain amount of sexism, sexual taunts,
is a sad reality: it’s a statistical probability                                                     harassment at schools — and the older they
that most of these women are, or know
someone who has been, a victim of family
                                                                                                     get, they seem to get more acclimatized,”
                                                                                                     Palmateer said. “It almost becomes a
                                                                                                                                                       Open house
violence.                                                                                            normalized reality where they expect that         Centennial College’s East York
   On April 15, the Leaside chapter of the                                                           kind of treatment.”                               campus invites you to attend
Canadian Federation of University Women                                                                 Changing these attitudes is one of the         its “Fast Forward” conference
(CFUW) met for its monthly meeting to hear                                                           things the YWCA is trying to achieve. And         at 951 Carlaw Ave., taking
about family violence and the December 6                                                             part of that effort includes getting the word     place tomorrow (April 24). Fast
Fund.                                                                                                out to the community.                             Forward will include career
   Sally Palmateer is the director of girls and                                                         “Much of the discussion in media coverage      workshops on graphic design,
family programs and property services for                                                            about violence in Toronto is about boys and       visual arts, journalism and
the Toronto YWCA. According to her, abuse                                                            guns and gangs in public spaces,” Palmateer       digital animation. Admission
happens everywhere.                                                                                  said. “The fact is that interpersonal,            is free. For more information,
   “Violence against women occurs across all                                                         domestic and sexual harassment of girls and       visit
ethnic, social, economic and racial groups,”                                                         women is far more common than guns and            thecentre/fastforward
Palmateer said. “Half of Canadian women                                                              gang violence.”
have experienced some form of violence in
                                                                          Observer, Meegan Scanlon
                                                                                                        But, she added, “this type of violence         Come to the ball
their lives.”                                                                                        simply doesn’t attract as much media
   The December 6 Fund, run by a coalition         BREAKING        THE     CYCLE:      Sally         attention or create the same level of fear and    The Ontario Science Centre is
including YWCA and the United Way,                 Palmateer (left) of the YWCA discusses            anxiety as street violence.”                      hosting the “LG Innovators’
provides loans that assist women who are           family violence with Marylin King after a            To Palmateer, it is time people stood          Ball” on May 6 at 8 p.m. The
seeking to escape violent situations.              meeting of the Canadian Federation of             together and demanded more action from            money raised by the event
   It was started a year after the Dec. 6,         University Women.                                 government on the issue.                          will assist with making the
1989 mass murder of 14 female engineering                                                               “We need to advocate to our provincial         centre more accessible to those
students at L‘École Polytechnique in                                                                 governments to take a leadership role in          with special needs and with
Montréal — the so-called “Montreal                   In return, the women make $25 monthly           fostering a co-ordinated action plan, to          financial limitations. For more
Massacre” by a deranged gunman screaming           payments until the loan is paid back.             make sure that women can leave violent            information, call 416-696-1000.
“I hate feminists.”                                  “We don’t have a lot of money to give           situations, establish safe homes and raise
   The fund gives loans of up to $750 for rent.
It also provides $500 for things like moving
                                                   women,” Palmateer said, “and it can take
                                                   about three years to return the loan.” But
                                                                                                     children without falling into poverty,” she
                                                                                                     said. “We need emergency shelters, housing,
                                                                                                                                                       Garden talk
expenses or hydro bills.                           for many, there is no other choice.               child care and secure incomes for women.”         The Leaside Garden Society
                                                                                                                                                       encourages you to attend up-

Ontario government defends drug cost reform
                                                                                                                                                       coming meetings at the Leaside
                                                                                                                                                       library branch, 165 McRae Dr.
                                                                                                                                                       Meetings start at 7:30 p.m. On
        Cont’d. from page 1           to pay,” he said.                    but added: “We are working            have opened up in Ontario,” she       May 13, Ann and Bob Granatier
  “So millions are lost,” Wynne         Wynne         defends    the       towards making medicine more          said.                                 will be speaking about how to
continued.                            government, describing the           affordable in the future.”              Wynne said that professional        grow and care for irises. On
  Christopoulos dismissed the         legislation as a step toward           Wynne also dismissed the            allowances     have      forced       June 19, Trish Symons will give
legislation as a government cash      lower drug costs.                    contention that pharmacies will       customers to subsidize the            a speech entitled “The Joys and
grab.                                   “We will help cover the            close because of the proposed         profits of major drug store           Hazards of a Large Country
  “The government may end up          costs of services provided           legislation.                          chains.                               Garden.” For more information,
saving some money but it’s the        by the pharmacies such as              “We have worked towards               “Ontarians need to stop             call Nora Mular-Richards at
patients and the independent          dispensation,     delivery and       drug reform since 2006 and            sustaining these profits,” she        416-421-4184.
pharmacies who will really have       prescriptions,” Wynne said,          since then, 140 new pharmacies        said.                                              —Tanis Reynolds
                                                                                                                                   East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010 — Page 3

                                                                                                                  Hope for cleaner
                                                                                                                  Don River keeps
                                                                                                                  eco dream afloat
                                                                                                                  By TANIS REYNOLDS                     sewage systems were combined
                                                                                                                     Fredelle Brief remembers a         underground.
                                                                                                                  time when people used to swim           Today, the abundance of
                                                                                                                  in the Don River.                     synthetic surfaces causes the
                                                                                                                     Those days are long gone,          storm water to overflow in the
                                                                                                                  but the public consultation           sewer system; the sanitary
                                                                                                                  facilitator for the City of           waste     and     sewer      water
                                                                                                                  Toronto is hopeful that the river     combine.
                                                                                                                  can one day be restored to its          “The sanitary waste is
                                                                                                                  former pristine condition.            going into the sewer system
                                                                                                                     Brief was a guest speaker at       and directly into the lake,”
                                                                                                                  a spring meeting of the Leaside       Brief said.
                                                                                                                  chapter of the Canadian                 “And that’s what we want
                                                                                                                  Federation        of    University    to do something about. That’s
                                                                                       Observer, Tanis Reynolds   Women.                                what we want to capture and
ALL IN A DAY’S PLAY: Sebastian Larosa, 14, practises a kick flip at the Stan Wadlow skatepark.                       She described the city’s           treat,” she continued.
                                                                                                                  Central Waterfront Project and          She suggests the city install
The park is popular with East York skateboarders who are enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
                                                                                                                  its efforts to restore the polluted   an additional sewer to collect
                                                                                                                  Don to its previous state to                           the     polluted

Competitive eater confronts                                                                                       the more than 50 members in
                                                                                                                     Currently, the river does not
                                                                                                                                                                         down to the

personal demons in new film
                                                                                                                  meet provincial water quality                          Ashbridges
                                                                                                                  objectives and has been labeled                        Bay Plant.
                                                                                                                  an “area of concern” by the city.                         “The Coxwell
                                                                                                                     It is one of the most sullied                       t r u n k …
By NASTASHA ALLI                     filmmaking skills as a student       teenage life.                           ecosystems in Toronto, and the             BRIEF       gathers all the
   Documentary         filmmaker     at Centennial College’s East            When he was 16, his mother           reasons are plentiful.                                 sewage that is
George      Tsioutsioulas   kept     York campus. Since graduating        was diagnosed with multiple                “Firstly, wet weather flow,        going down to Ashbridges Bay
his camera focused on Peter          in 1994, he has been a host and      sclerosis (MS) and his father was       which is the runoff caused            Treatment Plant,” she said. “We
(Pete) Czerwinski — who had          producer at Global, Citytv and       hospitalized with complications         by heavy rainfall or snowfall,        need flexibility with this trunk.”
just consumed 15 pounds of           the Rogers Network.                  from bipolar disorder.                  creates pollution for the Don           Brief believes there are
barbecued ribs in under 15              His past projects include            Shortly after, Czerwinski            River,” Brief said.                   different ways people can
minutes — as he took to the          Biography Channel specials           was told that he had cancer.               She explained that rain or         contribute to solving this
stage.                               and red-carpet reporting at          Although it later turned out            snow accumulates on roads,            environmental       concern     at
   The camera kept rolling           the Toronto International Film       to be a misdiagnosis, he felt           roofs and parking lots.               home.
until the applause died down         Festival, as well as documentary     overwhelming pressure and                  As it travels on these surfaces,     She said that installing
and Czerwinski thanked the           films Postcards from the Rez and     turned to one of the only things        the water collects debris and         water-efficient appliances will
supportive crowd.                    Miles From Home, aired on the        he could control – eating.              dirt and enters Toronto’s storm       help prevent sewer systems
   “I was waiting for something      Aborginal Peoples Television            “It’s a story that’s bizarre,        sewer system.                         from being taxed at maximum
emotional to happen (at the          Network (APTN) and Omni TV,          gross, inspiring and heart-                “It was all right when the         capacity.
end), and it did,” Tsioutsioulas     respectively.                        warming,” Tsioutsioulas said.           storm water went into the soil,         Planting trees will help to
said. “Pete broke down on stage         Tsioutsioulas believes there      “It’s ironic.... You learn about        but it isn’t right now,” she said.    absorb excess storm water,
and so did his mother. They were     is a bigger audience for these       this strange sport of competitive          With synthetic surfaces, the       putting less strain on the sewer
crying together and hugging.”        films now because people can         eating but you’re also touching         excess runoff water collects          system.
   The Story of Furious Pete is      relate to them. He admitted          on something that not a lot of          such pollutants as oil and metal        Tracey Ehl, a city consultant
Tsioutsioulas’ big-screen debut.     it was a constant challenge          people talk about, and that’s           pesticides that eventually end        and colleague of Brief, says
   The film is about overcoming      to gain the trust of people he       male anorexia.”                         up in streams.                        that East York residents are
personal obstacles and the sport     interviewed, but that in the end        Tsioutsioulas said one of               Storm water pollution causes       concerned about water quality.
of competitive eating.               revealing those truths was the       the difficulties he encountered         a high concentration of bacteria        Ehl also said that the
   Furious Pete made its way to      genre’s defining aspect. With        was “getting to the heart of the        and creates poor water quality        East     York community has
the Top Five list of this year’s     documentaries,       Tsioutsioulas   matter.”                                by producing high levels of           been interested in efforts to
Hot Docs Festival, a 10-day          added, “it’s all about learning.”        “I never really got the depth of    metal and organic toxins.             revitalize the river.
independent showcase regarded           For Furious Pete, one of          how serious (his situation) was            Problems also lie in Toronto’s       “Most people we’ve talked
as the Sundance Festival of          the storylines Tsioutsioulas         until I talked to his mother...         infrastructure.                       to... have been very supportive
documentary films.                   followed was the eating disorder     and she said it was the worst              When it was originally built,      about     cleaning      up     the
   Tsioutsioulas     honed   his     that took over Czerwinski’s          time of her life,” he said.             the storm water route and             waterways,” Ehl said.

Punch to emPower teaches women a lesson in defence
By MINSHU MO                         women, but also empowers them          “It’s about telling these
  Self-defence training isn’t just   in their daily lives.                women how to protect ourselves,
for fitness enthusiasts. It could      “It’s a way to help you become     how to encourage other women,
be considered a life skill for       prepared in case you are faced       our sisters, our daughters to get
everybody — especially women.        with certain situations. You         involved,” she said, “and also
  On April 10, a group of            need to know what to do so the       when there is a problem, who
students     from     Centennial     attackers won’t hurt you,” she       they should call and where to
College’s East York campus held      said. “Learning martial arts also    get resources.”
an event downtown to emphasize       allows you to feel physically fit      Alys Latimer, 32, has been
that point. They called it “Punch    and confident.”                      taking the self-defence class for
to emPower.” It was a self-            Maya Roy is the executive          three months, which makes her
defence class and discussion,        director of NEW. In her opinion,     feel more secure.
and it attracted more than 40        immigrant women are often              “Being a woman, the chance of
participants and raised over         especially vulnerable when it        being a victim is much greater.
$600 for Newcomer Women’s            comes to physical safety.            You never know what could
Services Toronto (NEW).                “They have a language barrier      happen to you,” Latimer said.
  During the two-hour class,         and do not know Toronto as             “Knowing how to engage in a
held under the direction of          well. Maybe because the police       combat with the attacker or get
a professional martial arts          back home were dangerous, they       away makes me feel better,” she
instructor at a Yonge Street         don’t want to talk to police,” she   added.
gym, the participants — mostly       said, “so the potential attackers      Warren Lee is the instructor
women — practised how to             might find them as easier            of the class. Besides mastering
get away from or fight against       targets.”                            martial arts, he suggests there
attackers with all sorts of            According to Roy, many             are other ways of protecting
techniques.                          women experience violence at         yourself.
  Ayla Lefkowich is one of the       the hands of friends and family        “Doing regular exercise gives
students from the college’s          members.                             you the strength to get away,”                                                                Observer, Minshu Mo
corporate communications and           So NEW hosts courses in            he said, “and you should always         PROTECT YOUSELF: Stephen D’Angelo, one of the
public relations program who         collaboration with the Women’s       be aware. Don’t put yourself
planned the event.                   Self-Defence Association several     in situations where you could           Centennial College students who ‘Punch(es) to emPower,’
  She said that teaching self-       times every year, in order to        potentially be attacked, like           helps participants practise self-defence skills so they can
defence not only helps to protect    raise awareness.                     avoiding certain areas at night.”       protect themselves in dangerous situations.
Page 4 — East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010

talk show
host defends
Ann Coulter
   Michael Coren believes Ann Coulter is
not a public enemy.
   That’s what he said after interviewing
the famous — or infamous — right-wing
political commentator.
   A newspaper columnist and talk show
host on CTS television, Coren spoke
to journalism students at Centennial
College’s East York campus on April 12.
   Coulter, known for her provocative
political views and statements, had been
interviewed by Coren less than three
weeks earlier — right in the middle of her
controversial speaking tour of Canada.                                                                                                                          Observer, Reinisa MacLeod
   The tour included a cancelled
                                                OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Actors James (left) and Oliver (right) Phelps, better known in the Harry Potter series as the
engagement over a fear of violence,
loud cheers and jeers at her other stops,
                                                Weasley twins, spoke at the April 8 media preview of Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre.
and even a debate over the limits of
free speech after Coulter told a Muslim
student to “take a camel.”
   But behind the scenes, Coren said,
Coulter is very approachable and down-
                                                Hogwarts Express stops here
   “I thought she was very pleasant,” he        Harry Potter exhibit                             “Everyone can see all the detail that’s
                                                                                              involved in it, knows what we’re talking
said. “You can tell a lot about a person
by their personality, and she was very          debuts in East York,                          about when we say ‘the detail that goes
                                                                                              into it’ now — so people can understand
gracious to most people.”
   Coren said that Canadians only gave          much to fans’ delight                         where we’re coming from,” he said.
                                                                                                 Lesley Lewis is the CEO of the
Coulter more of a platform after the                                                          Science Centre. At the opening, she
University of Ottawa warned her of              By REINISA MACLEOD                            said that transporting the artifacts to
possible criminal charges if she promoted         There may not have been much magic          Toronto from their previous location in
any hate speech.                                in the rainy air outside the Ontario          Boston was no mean feat.
   Coulter claimed the warning itself           Science Centre on April 8, but inside,           “The trucks with the exhibit in it
promoted hatred against conservatives.          on the sixth level, magic ran rampant.        started arriving from Boston just
When a large group of rowdy protesters            The Harry Potter exhibit at the             before March break, and it took about
showed up for the speech, it was cancelled      Science Centre was opening, and the           10 days for all the trucks to get here,”
for safety reasons.                             Hogwarts Express was ready to go.             she said.
   Coren told the Centennial students             Harry Potter: The Exhibition runs              “There were about 20 tractor-trailer
that Coulter should have the right to           until Aug. 22, and showcases various          loads full of different parts of the
speak.                                          props and costumes from the movies of         exhibition.”
   “Ann Coulter herself, she has no huge        the wildly popular series.                       Once all the pieces were in town,
amount to say, really,” he said. “When she        Launching the display, which is             according to Lewis, it took days of hard
explains why she says things, it makes          touring the world, were actors Oliver         work to get everything set up and to get                          Observer, Reinisa MacLeod
an alarming degree of sense, actually.”         and James Phelps, known in the movies         the proper atmosphere.                        NOT JUST FOR KIDS: Julie Tu pulls a
   In his own interviews, Coren said, he        as the Weasley twins, Fred and George.          “There have been about 12 people            magical plant from its pot at the Harry
doesn’t try to avoid a bias because he          For the brothers, seeing forgotten            working all day, every day, getting it in     Potter Exhibit.
already has one. However, that doesn’t          articles from the movies was exciting.        to the shape that you see it now, where
stop him from getting an opposing point           “It’s really cool,” said James Phelps.      the exhibition is complete,” she said.        was just awestruck.”
of view.                                        “You forget about them, almost. Like             All the hard work was well worth              The fans’ response to the exhibit has
   “What I won’t do is ban the other side,”     the Marauder’s Map, and things like           it, Lewis said. Even before the               already been big, according to Lewis,
Coren said. “I’m not going to agree with        that, they kind of disappear into your        finishing touches were laid, she was          with tickets being sold weeks before the
you maybe, but I will allow you to finish       imagination, whereas (here) we can see        enthusiastically       anticipating     the   display opened.
your sentence.”                                 them up close again.”                         exhibit.                                         “Lots of people (have been) calling,
   His goal is to get the truth, he said, and     Phelps added that the exhibit gives            “It’s so exciting,” she said. “I saw the   finding out when does it open, buying
he does so by challenging his guests. He        fans the opportunity to do the same and       almost completed exhibition for the first     tickets online, talking about it on blogs
said if someone doesn’t know their stuff,       to relate to the amount of detail that        time last week. The lighting still wasn’t     — a lot of tweets going on in the past
they have to be exposed.                        went in to the films.                         set, the special effects weren’t in, but I    few weeks,” she said.

Thorncliffe library revamped to attract students
By DAN HEYMAN                                                                                                                               screen greets guests with information
   Talk about grand reopenings.                                                                                                             regarding upcoming library programs.
   When the Thorncliffe public library                                                                                                         The kids, meanwhile, have “KidsStop”
finally threw its doors open again last                                                                                                     to call their own.
week, it had added thousands of square                                                                                                         According to Malette, this is only the
feet and thousand of items available for                                                                                                    third branch in the system to have such
borrowing.                                                                                                                                  an area. It’s a bit of a mix of an indoor
   The Toronto Public Library branch,                                                                                                       playground and kindergarten classroom,
located at 48 Thorncliffe Park Dr., closed                                                                                                  with games and interactive exhibits
in December 2007 and many have been                                                                                                         designed to help kids read through word
waiting for the doors to reopen. So more                                                                                                    association.
than 100 eager patrons showed up and                                                                                                           “In the previous library, the children’s
waited over an hour before the locks were                                                                                                   section was kind of a narrow side room
officially scheduled to come off at 1 p.m.                                                                                                  off of the main body of the library,”
on April 13.                                                                                                                                said Patricia Eastman, library services
   When the crowd crossed the threshold,                                                                                                    manager for the branch. “(A larger
they experienced a library that,                                                                                                            kids’ section was) a key thing that was
according to librarian Susan Guglielmin,                                                                             Observer, Dan Heyman   needed.”
had doubled in size from 5,000 to 10,000        FUN STARTS HERE: Library staff line up in the “KidsStop” section of the newly                  Thorncliffe Park Elementary sits right
square feet — and now features a                reopened Thorncliffe branch of the Toronto Public Library.                                  behind the library. With 1,900 students,
collection that has grown by 11,000 new                                                                                                     it’s North America’s most populated
books, magazines, CDs and DVDs.                 space for young people and teens. They’re     the main entrance.                            elementary school, Guglielmin said.
   The need to make the library more            not always easy to draw to the libraries,”      It features shelves with magazines             Shailina Dossa is a mother of two
accessible to families with young children      said Phyllis Malette, area manager for        specific to the 12-17 age bracket, new        whose eldest attends Thorncliffe Park.
and to attract more teens was a running         libraries in the Don Mills, East York and     computers (the branch has 21 in all,             “We are definitely excited because it’s
theme in a presentation given by the            East Danforth regions.                        up from 11 previously), Wi-Fi Internet        been (closed for) too long,” she said. “We
library to media before the doors opened.          The Teen Zone, as it’s formally called,    access and, soon, a big-screen TV that        only have a little bit of (library) resources
   “Part of the strategic plan is to build      is a brand new section just to the right of   will be controlled by patrons. Another        in the school.”
                                                                                                                                 East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010 — Page 5

Brickworks reborn, history preserved
By JON SPRATT                             “It’s a pretty formative part     will be the skating pavilion.
   One of East York’s historic         of (the park’s) lifetime, and it’s   The open-air facility, with its
treasures is almost ready to           going to get better and better       uncovered roof beams, will be
begin its new life.                    now,” House said.                    home to planted pots as islands
   The Don Valley Brickworks              The park will fully reopen        in the community skating rink.
site, near Bayview Avenue and          to the public by year’s end,         Excess heat generated from the
Pottery Road, is in the midst          but parts of it, like the garden     ice-making process will be used
of a transformation that will          centre, will be open beginning       to help power another building
see it reborn as Evergreen             May 7.                               on the site.
Brickworks. The new complex               The overarching idea behind          “When I started working in
will consist of a themed park          the plans for the site is to         the development industry in the
concept that emphasizes the            use emerging environmental           ’70s, people came to Toronto to
importance of environmental            building technologies to act as a    see buildings like Commerce
sustainability.     Construction,      model for efficient, sustainable     Court. And not to dismiss them…
which began in early 2009, is          urban growth.                        they were great buildings for the
ongoing.                                  “We’ve spent a lot of time        time,” House said.
   David House, development            and energy managing and                 But the lingering threat of
advocate for Evergreen, said he        preserving these old buildings…      climate change has made some
expects the changes to benefit         and reusing them,” House said.       in the development industry
the surrounding communities.              When finished, there will be      reconsider     how     they    are
   “It’s a pretty amazing place,       a mixture of community-use           building.
and if it works even to cause          areas and commercial entities.          Jamie Kennedy, a renowned
people to start asking questions,      Several large event spaces, the      Toronto-based        chef,    will
then it will succeed,” he said.        biggest accommodating up to          cater some events at the new
   Evergreen, a Toronto-based          1,500 people, are part of the        Brickworks site.
not-for-profit charity, leased the     plans.                                  Kennedy says Evergreen’s
Brickworks site from the city in          “This is a place where people     idea of sustainable building is
1998. Since the closing of the         will come from all over North        a good fit with the changes he’s
historic brick factory in 1983,        America to go, ‘How do you build     seen in the food industry.
the site had become derelict,          a really green building?’” House        “In my world, how that
home to drifters, parties and          said.                                translates is through more
even raves, according to House.           “It’s happening, and now          active support of local food
   The redevelopment ensures           the question is, ‘How do you         economy; making communities
that, at the very least, the           respond to that?’ And you have       more self-sufficient through                                                           Observer, Jon Spratt
grounds will become a meeting          to respond right now,” he said.      producing their own food,” he
                                                                                                                 LAYING THE FOUNDATION: The Centre for Urban Sustainability,
place for the community.                  “The longer you wait, the         said.
The new park will feature 15           more demanding and difficult            “So it’s kind of a cultural ad-   on the Evergreen Brickworks site, will be a mixed-use building
buildings tightly compacted            it’s going to be.”                   vancement, as well as a respon-      with community facilities and offices. Expected to open by the
among revitalized portions of             Another example of the            sible stewardship practice for       end of 2010, the construction method used on the building will
the old brickyard.                     forward thinking on the site         sustainability.”                     reduce its energy expenditure by up to 70 per cent.

                                                                                                                 Gardening expert’s
                                                                                                                 passion for plants
                                                                                                                 attracts loyal fans
                                                                                                                 By MICHAEL GIBBONS                   It also allows those who do
                                                                                                                    Some     people     say    that not have a space for gardening,
                                                                                                                 gardening is boring. They such as people who live in
                                                                                                                 haven’t heard Paul Zammit on apartments, to garden as well.
                                                                                                                 the subject.                         “Even in this concrete city
                                                                                                                    About 100 people experienced that we live in… if you have
                                                                                                                 Zammit’s enthusiasm first-hand some outdoor space, it may not
                                                                                                                 at the East York Garden Club’s be large, but it can be very, very
                                                                                                                 monthly meeting on April 15.       productive,” Zammit said.
                                                                                                                    Zammit, the director of horti-    The gardener held the room’s
                                                                                                                 culture at the Toronto Botanical attention, often provoking fits of
                                                                                                                 Garden, delivered a lively pres- laughter.
                                                                                        Observer, Dan Heyman     entation about container gar-        He was also very active —
CATCHING THEIR BREATH: Blessed John XXIII Catholic School students (l-r) Krayton Friskey,                        dening to a room full of garden- standing up on his chair at
Alfren Adlawan and Nexel Abay, all 13, take a break between songs during the annual student                      ing enthusiasts                                    various points.
music festival at St. Patrick high school on Felstead Avenue.                                                    at the Stan           ‘If you have some              Zammit’s ex-
                                                                                                                 Wadlow Club- outdoor space, it may uberance even
                                                                                                                 house.                                             prompted      an

Leaside gardeners get a lesson                                                                                      Zammit’s
                                                                                                                 knowledge and
                                                                                                                 passion      has
                                                                                                                                           not be large,
                                                                                                                                      but it can be very,
                                                                                                                                                                    audience mem-
                                                                                                                                                                    ber to politely
                                                                                                                                                                    tell him to slow
                                                                                                                                        very productive.’
in growing vertical vegetables                                                                                   actually
                                                                                                                 tracted some-
                                                                                                                 thing of a fan
                                                                                                                               at-                                  down.
                                                                                                                                                  —Paul Zammit R e g a r d l e s s
                                                                                                                                                                    of the speed at
By ANDREW ROBICHAUD                    sionate about the topic. Howev-         Linda Wickland, president         base among gardeners.              which he spoke, people walked
  Toronto garden enthusiasts           er, he sees how other gardeners      of the garden society, said the         “I attend his talks regardless away from the meeting with new
don’t have the luxury of having        are running into some simple         members thrive when profes-          of sometimes where he goes,” information.
farm equipment at their dis-           problems that take away from         sionals share their advice.          said Betty Meyers, who has           Even experienced gardeners
posal, or the space needed to use      the experience.                         “When someone so knowledge-       been a member of the East York such as Paula Cameron-
that equipment.                           Brown doesn’t separate his        able...comes in and presents it in   Garden Club for close to 30 Meaney, who is on the club’s
  But Ken Brown, who has a de-         flowers from his vegetables. In      a fun and engaging way, it’s fan-    years.                             board of directors, learned
gree in horticulture from Guelph       most cases, he mixes them.           tastic,” she said.                      Zammit’s presentation, en- something.
University and a teaching degree          “(My wife and I) don’t have a        Although Wickland won’t           titled Container Gardening: The      “You never stop learning.…
from the University of Toronto,        vegetable garden,” he said. “We      compare her garden to Brown’s,       ABCs and So Much More, in- I picked up quite a few little
says the size of your lot is a small   have a lot of vegetables, but we     she’s excited about using the tips   cluded many photos and tips on tips,” she said. “I’m going to
obstacle when organizing the           don’t have a vegetable garden.       and tricks she learned from the      how to effectively use containers implement them, probably in
perfect vegetable garden.              We just have a garden.”              hour he spent with the society.      for gardening.                     the next couple weeks.”
  “The biggest mistake is that            Brown uses different inven-          “I want to try the lemon grass       Those containers can be trad-     As for Zammit, he wants
people don’t take care of first        tions to contribute to the space-    and garlic. I’ll be growing them     itional pots, but they don’t have to stress the diversity of
things first; they don’t make          saving mode of his backyard.         up,” she said.                       to be.                             container gardening.
good soil,” said Brown, who was        He’s built many structures using        The audience voiced the strug-       Some gardeners use other          “It opens up many different
the guest speaker at the April         old pieces of wood, string, chain    gles involved with their own gar-    receptacles: buckets, wheel- options in a wide range of
8 meeting of the Leaside Gar-          link fence and chicken wire.         dens, but Brown was adamant          barrows, you name it.              growing conditions,” he said.
den Society. “If they’ve got a lot        These devices help the plants     that it’s all about love.               And because potted plants         “Even in the absence of a
of compost and they can fix up         to grow vertically, which he says       “I’ve been in my garden sweat-    can go on tables or shelves or traditional garden without
their soil, the success rate would     is the key to saving space.          ing, I’ve been in my garden hurt-    other elevated surfaces, Zammit ground space, you can still
be much higher.”                          “Up —grow things up,” he ad-      ing my back and I’ve been in         explained, container gardening enjoy a garden through the
  Brown, who spoke to the club         vised. “There’s so many that will    my garden for endless hours in       is especially beneficial for older use of containers, because
about vertical vegetables and          grow up that you wouldn’t nor-       a day,” he said, “but I’ve never     gardeners who have difficulty I believe in having gardens
growing in small spaces, is pas-       mally think would grow up.”          worked.”                             bending over.                      everywhere.”
Page 6 — East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010

COMMENT       The East Toronto                                                 It’s becoming harder and
              OBSERVER                                         Serving

                                                                               harder to say ‘no’ to extras
                                                              East York

               Centennial College • East York campus
               P.O. Box 631, Station A, Scarborough, ON M1K 5E9                   When Morgan Spurlock was                                                  I think part of this problem
                                                                               filming the movie Super Size Me,                                          comes from my five years of
               THE EDITORIAL BOARD
               Managing Editor: Lloyd Quansah
                                                                               he made a rule. If anyone asked      Aileen                               working in a retail video store.
               Assignment Editor: Natalie Samson                               if he wanted to super size his                                            Every day was spent pitching
               Copy Editors: Ryan English, Lydia Moore, Samantha Scarlett      meal, he had to say yes. I have      Donnelly                             combos and up-selling. We had
               Photo Editor: Tanis Reynolds
                                                                               made no such rule for myself —                                            a quota to meet. If we didn’t,
               Production Editors: Jacqueline Delange, Aleksejs Nesterins
               Faculty Editors: Lindy Oughtred, Stephen Cogan, Louie Piacen-   and yet it’s impossible for me to                                         it meant a meeting with the
               tini, Dave Johnny                                               say no when presented with the                                            shift supervisor and if it was
               Journalism Program Co-ordinator: Stephen Cogan                  opportunity to upsize, combo or      chose iced tea instead.              an ongoing problem, formal
                                                                               take part in any promotional            But then I was in a               warning of poor performance. So
                                                                               offer.                               predicament. I knew I wanted         I see where these cashiers are
                        The Observer is a member of the Ontario                   I like to consider myself an      popcorn and a drink, but there’s     coming from.
                         Community Newspapers Association                      avid anti-consumer. I firmly         a combo that comes with candy.          I can sympathize with their
                                                                               believe in not purchasing things     The cashier asked if I would         obligation to ask and I realize

Renovations offer a
                                                                               that I don’t need, and I don’t       like to upgrade to the combo,        that they may get in trouble if
                                                                               make a habit out of shopping in      because it’s “cheaper.” I couldn’t   I don’t say yes. Call it the retail
                                                                               the first place. But every time I    help but say yes. But in reality,    code, if you will, but I just can’t
                                                                               do venture out into the world of     it’s not cheaper than what I was     say no to someone in the same

golden opportunity                                                             consumerism, I’m often swept
                                                                               up by yet another deal that
                                                                               convinces me to spend more
                                                                                                                    originally going to spend; it’s
                                                                                                                    cheaper than if I had bought
                                                                                                                    each of those items individually.
                                                                                                                                                         position I once was.
                                                                                                                                                            But there’s still hope. I have
                                                                                                                                                         finally developed the ability to

to right past wrongs
                                                                               than I intended.                        So now I’m stuck with a large     say no to Tim Horton’s when
                                                                                  The last time I went to the       iced tea and I can only drink        I’m asked if I’d like to add a
                                                                               movie theatre, I knew what I         a quarter of it because it’s big     doughnut to my tea, sandwich,
                                                                               wanted to eat: popcorn. That         enough for a small child to          etc. I have done the math and
   In 2007, The TTC unveiled its modernization project to update               was it. But I had forgotten my       take a bath in, a large bag of       can see through the statement,
the look of nine subway stations and improve accessibility.                    trusty refillable water bottle…      popcorn that I can’t come close      “it’s cheaper.” I realize it’s not a
   Pape station’s $20.8-million makeover was slated to start first             and what happens when you eat        to finishing, and a bag of candy I   good idea to consume as many
due to the facility’s “state of repair.” Pape hasn’t seen any tangible         popcorn? You get thirsty.            have no desire to eat.               doughnuts a day as I do cups of
upgrades since it was built into the Bloor-Danforth line in 1966.                 I hate buying bottled water,         I am a marketing campaign’s       tea.
   Last week, signs were posted to tell riders the project wouldn’t            because it feels like a gigantic     dream. I’m sure that every              I’m not sure how to fix this
be completed until spring 2012. The end-date was originally 2010.              waste of money, and a slap in        combo and upsize deal is             problem. If anyone else does,
   When it’s completed, there will be two elevators: one taking                the face for Toronto’s excellent     marketed toward people like me       please let me know. Perhaps
passengers from the concourse to the east platform; another to the             water quality. But I also hate       who are always looking for the       some life coaching that teaches
west platform.                                                                 pop. (I don’t understand the         best deal — and are terrible at      me to “just say no” would be
     The elevators alone cost $5 million. Brighter lighting will               appeal of carbonation.) So I         saying no.                           helpful.
also be installed throughout the station, along with new signage
for easier navigation. The TTC has hired Kitchener artist Allan
Harding Mackay to create public art. His pieces will be shown on
the concourse and platform levels.
   Another notable improvement involves an upgraded bus terminal
                                                                               Clearing cobwebs lets in light
layout with a bigger enclosed waiting area.                                       As the end of the school year                                          National Post from November
   Due to a lack of funding, Pape is currently one of only two stations        approaches and the spring                                                 underneath.
on the Bloor-Danforth line involved in the modernization project.              sun shines warmly through                                                    I shove a broom under my bed,
As an outcome of the December transit commission meeting, Pape’s               my blinds, I’m burdened by           Courtney                             then pause to prepare myself for
upgrade became a top priority.                                                 the heavy task ahead: spring                                              what I’m about to unearth: two
   The TTC has an opportunity here to right some of its wrongs.                cleaning.                            Kraik                                pairs of unmatched wool socks
   If it simply creates said infrastructure improvements and walks                The shedding of my mental,                                             colonized by dust bunnies; the
away, it will fail. It would be wise to use the upgrade of the bus             emotional and physical winter                                             other slipper that I thought
terminal to also ensure stricter adherence to the schedule.                    weight is a daunting adventure       week. You were so busy with          my puppy had stolen before
   During peak hours, the 72, 25, and 89 buses sometimes fall behind           at best.                             your life that you had no time       Christmas; and a pink shoebox
schedule. That’s understandable.                                                  The mental strain and emo-        for trivialities like laundry and    overflowing     with    forgotten
   However, it’s not acceptable (or responsible) to leave riders               tional exhaustion manifested it-     dusting.’                            knick-knacks.
waiting 40 minutes for a bus at 12:30 a.m.                                     self over the dark winter months       On the other hand, if by Friday       All these secrets from down-
    Management should use the Pape modernization project to rectify            in piles of unidentifiable papers    I got home and my room was in        under, now exposed to the light
operation problems that plague the station — and the surrounding               and overturned laundry heaps         much the same state as when          of day.
area it serves.                                                                that have come to resemble           I woke up Monday morning, I             I thought about this concept
   The TTC union has set up town hall meetings for users to attend             makeshift bat caves.                 would feel like a failure.           for a while — bringing things
and air their customer service grievances. Management was in                      During the school year,             What had I done with my            to the light which had been put
attendance at the first meeting held on April 12, but wasn’t able to           my room would always be a            week? Clearly if I had the time      away for the winter.
adequately answer some questions. There was similar frustration                reflection of how busy I’d been      to keep my room in an orderly           Maybe that’s exactly what
among some riders about the follow-up meeting this past Sunday.                over the week.                       fashion, I must have had too         spring cleaning is about: letting
     This seems a clear sign of infighting. Moreover, it creates                  By Friday, if I came home after   much free time that could have       the sun shine in dark places
confusion. If TTC staff and those above them can’t show a united               school and had to plow through       been filled with other more          forgotten under the snow.
front, customers can’t be expected to accept fare hikes and sub-par            my room like an icebreaker,          important tasks.                        People are very good at
service without a fight.                                                       I would have a small sense of          Now that the end of school is      keeping things under wraps,
   This is a major problem within the transit commission that’s                triumph.                             coming around the bend, I have       but it’s now time to turn on the
trickling down to users. It should use Pape to start digging itself               I’d mentally pat myself on        to face my fears.                    light and clear those cobwebs
out of the sand.                                                               the back and say, ‘Good job.           I clear away stacks of books       away.
                                                  —Vanessa Brown               You accomplished a lot this          only to find editions of the            Happy cleaning.

E.Y. residents shouldn’t expect instant gratification
   Rome wasn’t built in a day,          streets a little safer.                more than a speedy solution to         But maybe that’s not the           who improve East York by
and neither was East York. So              A string of fires has blackened     more complex problems. Take          point.                               addressing problems in person,
it shouldn’t come as a surprise         the GTA – one at an East York          today’s   20-Minute      Toronto       Maybe the point of a blitz is to   to the family and friends who will
if the many police “blitzes” don’t      home on March 18, another              Makeover,      Mayor      Miller’s   connect with other people in the     put aside their work to spruce
solve the plethora of East York’s       on March 28 and another at a           Community       Clean-Up     Day     community to make an impact          Toronto’s        neighbourhoods,
safety problems – at least not          Leaside bank on April 10. Fire         tomorrow, or East York’s             – even if it’s just for a day.       anyone who takes time out
right away.                             officials had already enacted          Community          Environment       Toronto’s environmental blitzes      of a busy day to engage the
   Over the past few months,            an inspection blitz in various         Days, for instance. It seems         ask family and friends to come       community will be doing his or
East York has seen more than            parts of the city last year. They      ridiculous that the litter that      together to collect litter and see   her part to build a better East
its fair share of tragedy. We’ve        go door-to-door testing smoke          clogs Toronto’s public places can    the difference a community can       York.
seen a pedestrian death, unsafe         alarms in people’s homes.              be banished in a day, let alone      make in a short period of time.                         —Jacqueline
bicycling, three major fires and           But how much positive change        20 minutes.                            From the authority figures                                 Delange
environmental hazards.                  can we expect from targeting

                                                                                            See you in September
   Just as swiftly as the problems      individual offenders one by one,
occurred, authorities sought a          on the spur of the moment?
quick fix.                                 These       problems      didn’t
   As part of a worrying trend          suddenly crop up out of nowhere.
of traffic accidents, a dump               For     years      they    have      The bad news: This is the last edition of East York’s Observer in newsprint for the 2009-
truck struck and killed a man           consistently       plagued      all     2010 academic year. Centennial College journalism students produce this newspaper and
at Broadview and Danforth               residents of East York and              are now approaching the end of the semester. The good news: We’ll continue some cover-
avenues early in the new year.          Toronto in general. So why do           age over the summer on our companion website, the Toronto Observer, at www.torontoob-
Police then took to the streets,        we expect them to disappear at… and the newsprint edition will return in September to provide East York resi-
ticketing individual jaywalkers         the mention of a crackdown?             dents with news and commentary on community events and issues. Have a great summer!
and unsafe cyclists to make our            Perhaps the blitzes represent
                                                                                                                                   East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010 — Page 7

                                                                                                                  Candidate hopes
                                                                                                                  to improve TTC,
                                                                                                                  conquer gridlock
                                                                                                                  By SAMANTHA BUTLER                    future of the TTC.
                                                                                                                     With public transit becoming         Sarah Thompson suggests a
                                                                                                                  a hot-button issue in the             $6.6-billion subway expansion,
                                                                                                                  municipal election campaign,          while Rob Ford wants to rein in
                                                                                                                  one of the candidates in the          spending and make the TTC an
                                                                                                                  contentious Ward 29 city council      essential service to prevent any
                                                                                                                  race has come forward with            strikes. Rocco Rossi, meanwhile,
                                                                                                                  something of a transit wish-list.     wants to remove politicians
                                                                                                                     John Richardson, who is            completely from oversight of
                                                                                                                  trying again for the council seat     transit and shift management
                                                                                                                  from Toronto-Danforth, is just        away from city hall.
                                                                                                                  back from a trip to China, where        Spending money on the TTC is
                                                                                                                  he says he gained inspiration         not something Richardson shies
                                                                                                                  for changes he thinks should          away from.
                                                                                                                  be made to Toronto’s bus and            “I think Mayor Miller had it
                                                                                                                  subway system.                        right when he said that we can’t
                                                                                                                     “We need to look to other cities   think about what transit is going
                                                                                                                  and learn from other cities,” he      to cost us. We have to think
                                                                                                                  said.                                                 about what it’s
                                                                                      Observer, Michael Gibbons      In Shanghai and Beijing,                           going to cost us
BRAND NEW POETRY: Toronto’s Poet Laureate Dionne Brand reads from her latest book of                              he said, gridlock is minimal,                         not to improve
poetry, Ossuaries, while others look on at The Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., on Monday. Poets                    despite the second- and fourth-                       transit.”
John Steffler and Paul Vermeersch also launched new books that evening.                                           highest population densities                             Richardson is
                                                                                                                  in the world. In contrast to the                      a self-employed
                                                                                                                  one-hour journey from Toronto                         businessman

Social media helps build
                                                                                                                  Pearson Airport to his East                           who       finished
                                                                                                                  York home when he got back,           RICHARDSON fifth out of six
                                                                                                                  Richardson travelled from the                         candidates for
                                                                                                                  Beijing airport to his downtown       Ward 29 councillor in 2006.
                                                                                                                  destination in eight minutes —        This year, the race is more open

community, blogger says                                                                                           on a German-engineered Maglev
                                                                                                                  train, at speeds topping 400
                                                                                                                     In the city, transit takes a
                                                                                                                                                        in Toronto-Danforth because
                                                                                                                                                        of the retirement of veteran
                                                                                                                                                        councillor Case Ootes. But the
                                                                                                                                                        presumed front-runners are
By REUBEN SOKOL                      stein said. “We wanted to pro-        page to co-ordinate efforts to         person anywhere on the system         Jane Pitfield on the right and
  East York has its own niche        tect our neighbourhood.”              save the school from a possible        for only two Chinese dollars,         Mary Fragedakis on the left.
in the blogosphere. Make that           Ratepayers associations try        closure or merger by the Toronto       about 30 Canadian cents.                Pitfield is a former Don
niches.                              to protect and enhance commu-         District Catholic School Board.           Toronto currently faces a          Valley West councillor and
  For the uninitiated, weblogs,      nity standards typically through         DECA Diaries functions main-        crisis in transit planning. In        mayoral contender. Fragedakis
or “blogs” are essentially Inter-    things like campaigns against         ly as a public site, featuring on-     late March, the provincial            is a businesswoman who has
net diaries that people or orga-     real estate developments per-         going postings and comments            government        postponed       a   been endorsed by local New
nizations post to promote them-      ceived as intrusive.                  from and for the neighbourhood.        promised $4 billion in transit        Democratic MPPs Peter Tabuns
selves — personally or profes-          But over time, DECA has               The public aspect and the           spending.                             and Michael Prue.
sionally.                            evolved to include any activ-         site’s boosterish tone requires           Meanwhile,       both      TTC       Richardson        said      that
  Within an hour or two, any-        ity that serves the local com-        careful monitoring by Granat-          Chair Adam Giambrone and              municipal politicians need to
one in East York can set up this     munity: painting walls of stores,     stein — and occasionally she’ll        Mayor David Miller, principal         be prepared to “think big,” and
form of social media to describe     announcing a new business or          have to squelch intemperate in-        proponents of Toronto’s Transit       commit to long-term planning.
their day, advertise wares or an-    honouring donors at a school          put, like a piece that criticizes a    City plan, have announced their       “We’ve got to think beyond
nounce community events.             fundraiser.                           resident or business.                  imminent withdrawal from              today.”
  They can be set to canvass            Other local blog spaces serve         “I will recommend a restau-         municipal politics. And Toronto         He’s said he’s also confident
and publish feedback, or not.        as a one-way communication            rant that I personally visited         has been ranked last among 20         that Toronto can anticipate
  One of the local leaders, Na-      from the organization to its          and enjoyed the food,” Granat-         international cities in a transit     many years “in the (economic)
tasha Granatstein of DECA            members.                              stein said, “but I will not post an    gridlock assessment in late           driver’s seat” if it focuses
Diaries, sees it as an interactive      The East York Collegiate In-       article where someone says not         March.                                on     developing     sustainable
process of building a community.     stitute blog serves 2,000 high        to buy at a store because the ser-        Richardson said the creation       management of Lake Ontario.
  Granatstein has set up her so-     school students and their par-        vice was bad.”                         of the city’s subway in 1949 was        “People here have no idea
cial media site as a true commu-     ents, plus alumni.                       Granatstein was influenced          inspired by a similar problem,        how fortunate and blessed they
nity medium, covering and pro-          While one can submit com-          by the teachings of Jane Jacobs,       when a booming post-war               are in terms of the water.…
moting the area around Wood-         ments to the editor, the site pro-    a legendary writer on urban            population began to flood the         There are many parts of the
bine and Coxwell avenues.            vides mainly news and informa-        planning who changed the face          city.                                 world, and China is one, where
  The site serves as the weekly      tion about the school’s activities,   of development in Toronto, New            “We’re in the same situation       you don’t drink water out of the
diary of the neighbourhood, as       rather than a two-way discus-         York and other cities.                 now,” he said. “We’ve got this        taps in the hotels.”
represented by the Danforth          sion.                                    Granatstein wants to ensure         gridlock and we’ve got to do            “There will be no more wars
East Community Association.             Just outside East York’s           that DECA Diaries presents a           something about it.”                  fought over oil, but there will
  You can find the blog at http://   southeast corner, meanwhile,          positive tone, as part of what            With Toronto’s municipal           be over water. We’re sitting on          students and alumni of Notre          she considers an organic and           elections set for October, some       the largest body of fresh water
  “The group initially served a      Dame      Catholic     Secondary      collective process of community        mayoral contenders are already        in the world,” he said. “There’s
ratepayers association,” Granat-     School have set up a Facebook         building.                              declaring their positions on the      a lot we can do.”

Paris dream becomes reality for East York author
Writer shares                          Kelly read parts of her
                                     memoir to a group at the S.
                                                                              “I felt the first trip to Paris
                                                                           had somehow awakened maybe
                                                                                                                  feminine city.”
                                                                                                                     Paris isn’t the only city
search for self                      Walter Stewart library branch
                                     on April 7. She described
                                                                           what I thought was the real
                                                                           me, and I’m on a quest to
                                                                                                                  that has been known to shape
through travel                       the memoir as a series of
                                     photographs of herself at
                                                                           find that real me again,” she
                                                                           explained. “Despite the so-
                                                                                                                     Reneé, another East York
                                                                                                                  woman who declined to provide
                                     different points of her life.         called success… life looked            her last name for publication,
By LYDIA K. MOORE                      “When I looked back at my           really grand, but there was            read Kelly’s memoir and related
   Paris is more than just the       various selves in Paris, it           something deeply missing and           it to her own experiences in
city of romance.                     was as if I took an emotional         I think Paris emphasized that          Athens, Greece.
   It’s known for its rich culture   photograph each time,” she            for me.”                                  “I had similar experiences
and historical landmarks. And        said, “and because it’s the              Each trip to Paris had a            in Athens. Each time I went
it’s also a place one woman          other place it’s that you can see     special meaning for Kelly, she         back it was different, like
occasionally calls home.             yourself frozen in time.”             said. One of them involved             in Deirdre’s book,” she said.
   Deirdre Kelly, an East York         Her first trip to Paris was not     the search for an ideal mother         “Being in Athens showed me
resident and feature writer          overly planned, but when she          figure.                                how different I was in each
for the Globe and Mail, has          arrived she began to experience          “It was an escape from my           country.”
put together her first memoir        the city in a unique way.             mother and my home life. It               “I was a different person
of her eight trips to Paris,           It wasn’t until her second          was a quest of an ideal mother         in Canada. I’m calmer, and                        Observer, Lydia K. Moore
entitled Paris Times Eight:          trip that Kelly began to realize      figure,” she said, “and I had          in Athens I feel like I need to       PARIS TALES: East York au-
Finding Myself in the City of        she was on a quest to find the        made Paris my ideal figure for         struggle to survive like I did        thor Deirdre Kelly shares sto-
Dreams.                              missing pieces in her life.           me because it’s an ultimate            when I grew up there.”                ries from her new memoir.
Page 8 — East York’s Observer, April 23, 2010

Creative people
urged to ‘come
out of the closet’
By REINISA MACLEOD                   notes. She chooses instead to
   The ninth annual “Admit           follow the participants’ lead.
it! You’re Creative” event took         “I’m responsive in the moment
place at Centennial College’s        to the group, so... I basically
East York campus on Carlaw           follow the lead of the people as
Avenue on April 17.                  they’re doing their creativity,”
   The conference was the            she said.
flagship    event    of    “World       “It’s been 12 years in the
Creativity     and     Innovation    making, in the prepping, but
Week” (WCIW), proclaimed by          every time it’s still brand new.”
Toronto Mayor David Miller and          Gatthas also took part in a
starting on Leonardo da Vinci’s      workshop during the second
birthday, April 15.                  half of the day, participating
   The Saturday event at Cen-        in the workshop on theatrical
tennial included eight creative      improvisation.
workshops, such as laugh yoga,          “I’ve always wanted to do                                                                                                 Observer, Tamara Baluja
soul-gazing and theatrical im-       improv, always. So it was kind
                                                                           A MEMORABLE RUN: Students at Leaside High School participate in a school fundraising event
provisation. WCIW’s leaders, in-     of nice and it was just so basic,”
cluding co-founder Marci Segal       she said.                             that paid tribute to their late teacher, Rocky Yeung. The five-kilometre run kicked off the school’s
of Toronto’s CreativityLand Inc.        “It wasn’t too demanding for       fundraising week.
and Janet Rouss set the day’s        my energy level. And it was fun
   “We inspire people all over the
world to think new thoughts,
                                     to watch the others and how into
                                     it the group was.”
                                        Segal     said    putting   the
                                                                           Students hear author’s journey
                                                                           from judgment to self-discovery
initiate new actions, and joy-       conference together wasn’t easy.
fully celebrate their unique con-       “(It took) a lot of details
tributions for improving condi-      and a lot of really good people
tions for the people, the planet     working and making sure that it
                                                                           By LAURA GRANDE                                                           potentially help him learn
and profits,” Segal says on the      happens… a lot of people putting
                                                                             Ian Brown can handle being                                              something new about Walker.
WCIW website: www.creativity-        in a lot of sweat work so it could
                                                                           called any number of things.                                                “I wanted more than one way                               look as smooth and as effortless
                                                                           Just don’t call him a hero.                                               of understanding him,” Brown
   One of Saturday’s workshops,      as it looked,” she said
                                                                             Brown’s      14-year-old     son,                                       explained. “You don’t want to
“Truly Madly Deeply: Juicy              She stressed the importance
                                                                           Walker, was born with a genetic                                           have just one arrow in your
Soul-Gazing,” explored drawing       of people letting their creativity
                                                                           mutation so rare that it affects                                          quiver.”
as a therapeutic outlet.             out and embracing it.
                                                                           only about 150 people globally.                                             Brown’s motivation for writing
   According to the woman               She said “Admit it! You’re
                                                                             The Globe and Mail feature                                              The Boy in the Moon began as
who led it, Laila Gatthas, the       Creative” is just one way to do
                                                                           writer recently published a                                               a therapeutic outlet and led to
participants took well to it.        so. Even in this day and age, she
                                                                           memoir, The Boy in the Moon: A                                            genuine self-discovery.
   “It was great,” she said. “It     added, talking about something
                                                                           Father’s Search for his Disabled                                            He believes journalists too
was my first time with this          so intangible feels taboo to some.
                                                                           Son. On April 19, Brown sat                                               often fall into the trap of telling
group, and I’m looking forward          “It’s easier to talk about sex
to next year already,” she said.     these days than it is to talk
                                                                           down with journalism students                 IAN BROWN                   the same stories over and over
   Gatthas says she conducts her     about creativity, so it’s time to
                                                                           at Centennial College’s East               A father, not a hero           again and encouraged students
                                                                           York campus to discuss his                                                to write about “what truly
workshops in a very spur-of-the-     get it out of the closet and own
                                                                           experiences.                          afflicted without the ability to    moves you, as opposed to what
moment manner, rarely using          it,” she said.
                                                                             After receiving critical acclaim    walk, talk or eat on their own.     you think should move you.”
                                                                           and support from people around           Walker has a tendency to hit       The emotional toll of writing
                                                                           the world after the book’s            himself and is fed with a feeding   The Boy in the Moon also
Family relieved as murder                                                  release last year, Brown doesn’t
                                                                           feel comfortable being referred
                                                                                                                 tube. He has the mental capacity
                                                                                                                 of a two year old and requires
                                                                                                                                                     enabled Brown to realize what
                                                                                                                                                     he’d learned since Walker’s
trial ends with life sentence                                              to in heroic terms.
                                                                             “You can’t live up to that
                                                                                                                 ’round-the-clock care.
                                                                                                                    “I learn to pay attention to
                                                                                                                                                       “It made me much more
      Cont’d. from page 1            er, Peter Lewandowski, said           ideal,” he said. “(My wife and        details,” Brown explained. “It’s    patient, less willing to judge
one would have expected him          that no sentence can bring his        I) are not heroes. We are no          very isolating.”                    people by obvious standards,” he
to continue as such through the      sister back.                          different from anyone else in            That isolation proved to be      said.
rest of his life.”                     But he said he’s thankful that      this room.”                           enlightening as Brown travelled       When asked what he hoped
  The defendant’s trial began        the truth about what happened           Cardiofaciocutaneous        syn-    to learn more about the             his readers would get out of
on March 15.                         has been exposed.                     drome (CFC) is a debilitating         syndrome that caused his boy        reading The Boy in the Moon,
  On April 8, before a jury was        “My whole family’s relieved         condition that typically affects      pain and constant struggle.         Brown paused.
to be chosen, he pleaded not         that we can go on with our lives      the heart and facial features.           Brown spoke with doctors,          “I hope they remember it for
guilty to first-degree murder but    and focus on raising my nephew        It leaves the majority of those       geneticists, anyone who could       Walker,” he said quietly.
guilty to second-degree murder.      and making sure that he’s going

                                                                           Community comes together to
  Edyta Lewandowski’s broth-         to have a normal life,” he said.

                                                                           explore Topham’s war history
                                                                           By VICKEN POLATIAN                    from G.A. Brown interviewed           She wanted to teach her
                                                                             Students from a local middle        the audience during their           students about the importance
                                                                           school have been busy with a          ‘harvest.’                          of the past, and said they were
                                                                           little harvesting.                      They asked for stories, photos,   very enthusiastic:
                                                                             In this case, they weren’t          documents, videos and any other       “They are really excited about
                                                                           interested in crops. Instead they     memorabilia that may have           it, although it happened a long
                                                                           conducted what they called a          been important to the history of    time ago. You can see it.”
                                                                           “History Harvest,” to collect         Topham.                               Robel Adugna, a 12-year-old
                                                                           stories about Topham Park.              Davis felt it was an important    student at G.A. Brown, said
                                                                             The students, from Gordon A.        way to strengthen the neigh-        he enjoyed the experience as a
                                                                           Brown Middle School, invited          bourhood — and a great forum        unique way to learn.
                                                                           people from the community to          for sharing stories.                  “It was fun. I learned a lot of
                                                                           gather at the school on April           “My role is to facilitate com-    fun facts in a different way,” he
                                                                           18 to celebrate and explore the       munity-building,      celebrating   said.
                                                                           area’s history.                       the past and making it relevant       Topham Park has withstood
                                                                             The        Topham         Park      to today,” she said. “This area     the test of time, and tightly knit
                                                                           neighbourhood was used to             reflects the war years and in-      neighbourhoods have ensured
                                                                           house veterans during the             volves personal perspective.”       its legacy lives on.
                                                                           Second World War, and today             Named        after    Frederick     “The enduring lesson is that at
                                                                           people are paying tribute to the      Topham, who received a Victoria     the root of a strong community
                                                                           area’s rich history.                  Cross, the community takes          is proud and responsible
                                                  Observer, Reuben Sokol
                                                                             With the help of Beaches-East       great pride in the veterans who     citizenship,” principal Richard
BALLOONS GREET BENGALIS: Tonia Cirone, who works in                        York councillor Janet Davis,          lived there years ago.              Bradley said.
the office of MP Maria Minna, arranges balloons at the Bengali             Heritage Toronto, ThinkTank             Sherri Walker, a Grade              He hopes that G. A. Brown will
New Year celebration on Saturday at the Crescent Town                      Toronto and the East York             7 teacher, co-ordinated the         also be considered a hub of the
Community Centre.                                                          Historical Society, students          presentation.                       community.

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