Protest or not to protest

As many of you out there who know me, know Im a big Leafs fan. I’ve talked about them ad nauesem with everyone over the last little while, especially since the beginning of the season.

Let me give you a bit of history. I was once a Habs fan!

*Collective gasp*

Yes indeed. In my younger years I was what you called a Habs fan. My dad grew up watching the Montreal Canadiens on CBC week after week playing against his HATED Maple Leafs. Yvon Cornoyer, Serge Savard and other Habs were heroes in our house. My dad grew up on Rocket Richard and other all time greats and his enthusiasm was infectious to say the least.

My favourite Hab at that time was Guy Lafleur. Number 10 could do no wrong. He bolted up the ice on the right wing so fast, the defensemen didn’t see him coming. Goal after goal I was impressed by both him and other players like Larry Robinson and Steve Shutt.

I don’t really know when it happened or what game it was on Hockey Night in Canada but they were playing the Leafs and I happened to notice this amazing goaltender by the name of Mike Palmateer.

 

Now, at that age having someone famous named “MIKE” was pretty darned cool, so I watched the game intensely. Save after save he made had me open my eyes. Ian Turnball and another all time Leaf fave of mine Daryl Sittler caught my eye and before I knew it…I was a LEAFS FAN!

To my fathers dismay I made immediate demands for a Leafs jersey with the number “29” for my Christmas present, and with the help of my aunt who worked at Maple Leaf Gardens (God I miss that place) Santa had one under the Christmas tree that year. I was a convert.

Now with my criticism of the team in the last few years, and my growing admiration of the Vancouver Canucks (my west coast fix for hockey) I’ve been asked, am I going to convert from a Leafs fan to someone else.

Let me tell you I would have to put aside a fair amount of money for therapy if I was going to do that. Good or bad, I cheer them on. Sometimes quite loudly as my screams of horror and dismay were heard throughout the house with the game against Atlanta earlier this week. Pat had to call down at times to tell me to keep it down as I grumbled and groaned at each missed play and even worse when I saw Pavel Kubina jump out of position YET AGAIN which leads to the oppositions goal scoring totals.

It’s not as bad as that … yet.

I feel that given the Leafs ownership situation and their apparent inability to do ANYTHING about the current state of the team, I need to do something. Goal tending isnt really an issue here. Toskola is a good goaltender and so is Raycroft. Im one of the few fans out here that think Andrew Raycroft should be given more of a chance than he has. Instead the braintrust at the Leafs Nation HQ decide by coin toss it seems, who is to go in net on a nightly basis. No chance of building momentum is there. Bryan McCabe isnt the problem either. Sure hes overpaid. $7 million plus a year? Who’s to blame for that? Surely McCabe isnt. Oh ya, like anyone out there would turn down that salary.

“No really John Ferguson Jr….I’m not worth that. Please pay me $2 million.” You would accept it and you know it.

Defense is the problem. Its inconsistent and at times, non existent. Players are out of position, they seem tired and run down and God forbid they have a lead going into the 3rd period as the gas tank seems to be on “E” at the start of the 3rd.

So what does a fan do?

I don’t buy tickets to games…that’s a fact. I cant afford to take a mortgage payment to take the family to the ACC for overpriced beer and bad seats to cheer them on. The odd time I buy some merchandise for Anthony or get it as a gift. So I cant really hurt them in the pocket book now can I?

I could call all the radio call in shows and complain but when the topic of discussion is the Leafs the lines are full and everyone squaks ab0ut them anyways…so I cant help out there.

I can do something though. I can say, enough is enough. Why should I as a Leafs fan put myself through 60 minutes of hockey that only ends up in heartbreak at the end of the night. Why should I take the time out of my night, sit back and watch Kubina run around the ice like a moron, get out of position and give the other team a chance for a goal?

So I think I’ve decided to stop watching the games until they give me a reason to watch them. I picked a hard night to do it, what with the Leafs playing Pittsburgh and who doesnt want an opportunity to see the best player in the NHL in Sidney Crosby play.

I had thought about it long and hard after the last Atlanta game that saw the Leafs fall in a shoot out loss. They did, to their credit, keep the game close. But in order for them to be a playoff contender, they need to win those games. Ottawa has a tendency to either kill their opponents or at the last second pull out a victory and get TWO points instead of settling for ONE point with a tie or an overtime loss.

Last year the Leafs missed the playoffs by one point. That one point could have been earned on a number of occasions in games that they were supposed to win or should have won.

They seem to be falling into the same trap this year with their record so far.

So, I dont know if I will be able to hold off tonight and NOT tune in. We’ll have to see. It’s hard to go cold turkey, but I’ll give it a try.

Im NOT resigning my Leafs fan membership just yet. It would take a bit more of this to get me to think about that. Until then, I just plan on watching hockey, with my focus going to the Vancouver Canucks. We’ll see about that team. SOMETHINGS gotta give here.

New Look to the Blog

Trying some new things every now and then so if it looks like somethings been changed….youre right! It has. Let me know what you think. I’ll be trying to make it look a bit better so it might change some more over the next little while.

Im trying to incorporate this blog into my website so it will be easier to go to www.mikecluett.ca instead of this blog. As with everything…a work in progress.

Speaking of a work in progress, the Amazing Race is coming up next month as well. It looks like the teams are now set in place and they wont be accepting any new applicants…BUT we will need lots of people to come out and cheer the teams on.

This race has been many months in the making, and its going to be a fitting end to the 150th Anniversary celebrations. Go to www.milton.ca and click on the 150th logo for more information.

As well, one of the top rated schools (Hawthorne Village Public School) will be having its “WELCOME BACK FUN FAIR” on September 29th starting at 11am. Theres going to be tons of stuff going on so even if you dont have kids in the school…come on by.

Milton Fall Fair this weekend

It’s that time of year folks. The world famous Milton Fall Fair is upon us and this year, as every year, looks to top them all.

Check out more information at http://www.miltonfair.com/

Friday, September 21st 2007

3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Halls and exhibits open to public
3:00 p.m. Midway Opens
(Special Reduced Midway Rates from 3:00 till 7:00 p.m. only!)
5:00 p.m. 2007 Speed Show (Barrel Racing) – Horse Ring #2
5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Beer Tent Open
6:00 p.m Ambassador Competition/ Grand Opening
7:00 p.m. Open Junior Dairy Show – No. 1 Barn
8:00 p.m. Demolition Derby

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Halls and exhibits open to public
9:00 a.m. Hunter Show Jumper Challenge – Horse Ring #2
10:00 a.m. Pet Show1
0:30 a.m. Heavy Horse Show – Horse Ring #1
10:30 a.m. Truck & Tractor Pull
10:30 a.m. Youth Beef Show – Beside No. 1 Barn
11:00 a.m. Halton 4-H Dairy Calf Club Achievement Day – No. 1 Barn
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. Beer Tent Open
11:00 a.m. Midway Opens
11:00 a.m. Circus Jonathan – Infield Stage
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Chili Cookoff
11:30 a.m. Light Horse Show – Horse Ring #2
11:30 a.m. Sneezy the Clown-Infield Stage
12:00 p.m. Stylamanders – Infield Stage
12:30 p.m. Craig Douglas – Infield Stage
12:30 a.m. Open Beef Show – Ring Beside Cattle Barn
1:00 p.m. Travel’n Riverboat Show
1:30 p.m. Stylamanders – Infield Stage
1:30 p.m. Terrie – Karaoke By Terrie – Exhibition Theatre
2:00 p.m. Craig Douglas – Infield Stage
2:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull Sign (Registration) on the track area by the office
2:15 p.m. Len Lee – Rose Specialist – Exhibition Theatre
2:30 p.m. Silver Elvis – Infield Stage
3:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull Commences
3:00 p.m. Neon Rain – Infield Stage
3:00 p.m. Terrie-Karaoke By Terrie – Exhibition Theatre
4:00 p.m. The Stylamanders – Infield Stage
4:30 p.m. Craig Douglas – Infield Stage
5:00 p.m. Martial Arts – Cead Bua – Infield Stage
5:30 p.m. Neon Rain – Infield Stage
6:00 p.m. Mounted Games – Grandstand
7:00 p.m. Demolition Derby Drivers Meeting – Exhibition Theatre
8:00 p.m. Demolition Derby

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

9:00 a.m. Hunter Challenge and Gymkhana Show
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Halls and exhibits open to public
10:30 a.m. Lawn & Garden Tractor Pull11:00 a.m. Midway opens.
11:00 a.m. Sheep Show – No. 1 Barn
11:00 a.m. Baby Show – Exhibition Threatre
11:30 a.m. Jonathan Fletcher Band – Infield Stage
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Beer Tent Open
12:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull sign up in track area by office
12:30 p.m. Sneezy the Clown – Infield Stage1:00 p.m. Demolition Derby Drivers Meeting
1:00 p.m. Jonathan Fletcher Band – Infield Stage
1:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull Commences
1:30 p.m. Hal Allison – Exhibition Theatre
2:00 p.m. Demolition Derby
2:00 p.m. Skyway Cloggers – Infield Stage
2:15 p.m. Sean James (Ponds & Water Gardens) – Exhibition Theatre
2:30 p.m. Martial Arts – Hundo- Infield Stage
3:00 p.m. Hal Allison – Exhibition Theatre
3:00 p.m. Skyway Cloggers – Infield Stage
4:30 p.m. Halls close
5:00 p.m. Hall Pick-up

Community Road Watch

With the new school term beginning and the almost in synch complaints about peoples “bad driving” running rampant throughout the town this article by Halton Region Chair Gary Carr is quite timely.

Many people I spoke with during the last municipal campaign talked very passionately about road safety. In fact it was one of the core parts of my campaign. Unlike some other candidates I ran on issues that were important to Miltonians and had a plan of action for each. For every resident I talked to, I always brought up this organization as the ones to contact and find out more information. Road safety is very important…even more now that we have our kids walking through the streets to the bus stops and along the sidewalks to school.

We have all experienced it. The car speeding down the street at an obviously high rate of speed with what we all assume to be reckless abandon while a number of students are trying to cross the street to get to the school bus. I live on Yates Drive at March Crossing and I seen my share of speeders. Many of them not realizing that they are driving at excessive speeds or if they do notice, they don’t seem to care.

Many people plead from their porches and from the sidewalks to those who feel it necessary to exceed the speed limit on our residential streets and endanger the lives and safety of all of us, but most importantly our children. Those pleas go unheard.

The police cant be at every street corner in every part of town, although at times we would like nothing better than to see those who break the law get punished. The Community Road Watch program is set up for just this reason.

It really shouldn’t have to come to this but here’s what you can do. Thanks to Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr for including this in his recent guest column in the Oakville Beaver.

Participating in Road Watch
Gary Carr, Guest Columnist

Published on Sep 08, 2007

As the Chair of Halton Region, I have the pleasure to sit on the Board of the Halton Region Police Service (HRPS).

As a member of the police service board, I have the opportunity to hear about the community programs HRPS is involved in with the community, as well as their ideas for new projects that would benefit our community.

One very exciting project currently being run in Halton Region is the Community Road Watch program.

This is a community-operated program that gives residents the opportunity to report aggressive and unsafe drivers through a Citizen Report Form to police.

Here’s how the citizen report is processed:

The first time a citizen report is received, an information letter is sent by the police to the registered owner of the vehicle explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location, and asks them to remember to drive safely on Halton roadways.

If the vehicle owner was not driving their vehicle, it is their responsibility to speak with the person who was.

The second time a citizen report is received on the same registered owner, a repeat letter is sent from the police with the potential for personal contact from a police officer to address the problem.

A third report against an owner will result in a third letter and a personal visit from a police officer.

If you observe a dangerous act of aggressive driving on the roads in Halton Region, please consider taking the time to submit a Citizen Report Form.

You can fill out the form online, or place a completed form in one of the secure drop boxes that are located throughout the community at participating police stations, businesses and libraries.

Copies of the form can be faxed to the Halton Region Police Service at 905-845-0381.

The information you provide in the reports is held in strict confidence by Halton Regional Police and you will remain unidentified.

Please fill out the forms as completely as possible to provide the police with the most information possible.

All completed forms are picked up on a regular basis and verified by the police for accuracy. I encourage you to participate in this program and help to keep Halton streets safe from dangerous and aggressive driving.

To fill out a Citizen Report Form, or for more information about the Community Road Watch program, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-825-4777 — South Halton; 905-878-5511 – North Halton, or visit the website at www.hrps.on.ca.

Milton’s Ivory Tower

For those of you who havent seen the news, the Town of Milton is making it known we have some coveted land available for a post secondary institution…almost like a first come first serve.

The
town has been talking about this for some time now. Its been in the works for months and they’re finally moving on the pitch. If Milton could scoop a university/college campus for the town it would be a major coup. Mississauga was/is trying for the same thing.

There is a shortage of spaces available at post secondary schools in Ontario and with getting rid of Grade 13, it only got worse with more students looking for a place to go. Its a huge piece of land and giving it away might sound like the wrong thing but the long term goals outweigh the short term.

Where its located, it can provide a huge boost…especially with young people…shopping in town. Its really close to downtown Milton which can only benefit from the additional people. Traffic of course would increase and we have to make sure the towns ready for it and plan in advance. We would have to look closely at locations in Oakville by Sheridan College and the traffic impacts there. The town would have to look at how commuters will be getting to the campus, for instance GO train or GO bus. If so, we would have to start now working on a deal with the province to provide sufficient GO bus/train service to Milton, well before the ground is broken on the campus.

You can also play devils advocate and say with bringing in more students you will increase the need for “affordable housing” IE apartments and it would also increase the demand for basement apartments. Its something I don’t think the town has an official by law on and it in turn would have to be looked at. Not everyone who would be attending this campus location would be from the area. With it getting harder and harder for students to get into high demand university programs, a good college system will be needed to catch the overflow and provide a high quality program to keep up with the needs of business and technology in the future.

And thats just the tip of the iceberg. Many questions need to be asked, studied and answered. When you make a decision like this you have to look at the long term impact…5, 10 and 15 years in the future. Its something the Town of Milton hasn’t done very well in the past and I hope that will change in the coming months/years to come.

I think, if its planned correctly, a college or university campus located in Milton can be a good thing. Only if they use common sense in making those plans. We can only hope.

Here’s the article.

Milton covets its own ivory tower TheStar.com – Education – Milton covets its own ivory tower

Fastest-growing town in Canada offers free land in bid to lure a university or college campus

August 01, 2007


Education Reporter

Free to a good campus: A chunk of Canada’s new boom town.

Bustling Milton may have the fastest-growing population in the country and a business boom to match, but there’s one thing it hasn’t got that it wants very badly.

A wing of the ivory tower.

It’s offering a $3.5 million parcel of land by the main drag, just steps from the GO Train station, free to the first college or university to bite.

The timing couldn’t be better, after Toronto university presidents warned this week a surprise surge in enrolment could bring 40,000 more students to GTA colleges and universities in the next 15 years – sparking talk of a possible new GTA campus.

“The way we’re growing – and the way the GTA is growing – this could be the most sensible location for a new campus,” said Mario Belvedere, Milton’s chief administrative officer, who calls the two-hectare site of the old Pigment and Chemical paint factory “a dynamite, gorgeous location.”

“We want a post-secondary institution to balance out our residential and industrial growth – we’ve got a disproportionate number of kids here and in a few years they’ll need somewhere to go for higher education,” said Belvedere.

Milton topped the charts in the latest Census by roughly doubling the number of children under 14 in just five years, making it a young town that will put pressure on the school system, he said. It opened two more schools last year and has another two ready to open this fall.

These students will be part of the boom that puts pressure on all GTA universities, as well as community colleges such as George Brown College, which face the same space crunch as enrolments climb.

The U of T already has satellite campuses in Mississauga and Scarborough. McMaster University in Hamilton plans to open a campus in Burlington. Sheridan College in Oakville has a satellite campus in Brampton. The University of Guelph has a joint campus with Humber College in Etobicoke.

Still, Milton needs its own campus, says Belvedere.

“But we realized just wishing for a university or college to come here is not enough; we need to attract their attention.”

The town acquired the land through a partnership with the Royal Bank. Officials are contacting all Ontario colleges and universities to pitch the free land. The offer expires in December 2008.

It has even posted a sign that proclaims with confidence, if few details: Future Home of Post-Secondary Institution.

“Free land!” says Belvedere. “Is that amazing or what?”

Humber College plans to open a satellite campus in 2009 in Orangeville.