Student writer update

Certainly, I have an exaggerated sense of the role of this humble blog in Weston affairs: I am a capon who preens like a cockerel.  Still, I  did not expect it to be so hard to pay writers.

Dear reader, I again need your help—your help finding someone to write for money.

As long-time readers will know, I’ve been trying to raise money and hire a student for more than a month. Several generous readers gave me enough to get started, and I emailed and called, successively, an English teacher, a vice principal, and the principal, at Weston CI.

Not one of them got back to me. When I finally spoke to the principal, she said it would be too much trouble—police background checks, you know. Fair enough. I guess.

The principal did, however, refer me to Frontlines. The staff there were wonderful. They put me in touch with two young people. The young people, however, lost interest.

So now, I come to you, dear reader, with a plea: if you know a young person from the community who might like to write for money (albeit a small amount), would you ask them to get in touch with me?

I will promise the writer this:

  • $20  for each weekly article
  • A lovely letter of reference from a community-minded college professor
  • Help editing and composing
  • The tiniest sliver of power to exploit

My needs are simple:

  • Passable grammar
  • Self-motivation
  • Enough connections in the community to find 2–4 articles a month
  • A willingness to learn

If you know someone who can help, ask them to drop me a line:

Another online campaign to stop diesel trains begins

A west-end resident, Stephen Dorsey, has started an online campaign to stop Metrolinx’s purchase of dirty diesel trains.

The campaign uses Xtranormal video, the deadpan, automated cartoon videos that have generated a lot of buzz over the past few weeks.

Dorsey tries to leverage Rob Ford’s ‘Gravy Train’ campaign, by pointing out that the diesel trains will be expensive in the long run. He also also takes plenty of shots at Metrolinx and the Premier.

You can view the site and the videos here.

Arts organization looking to build in Weston

According to InsideToronto, Artscape, which usually serves those richy-rich artists downtown, is looking to build a cultural and creative hub in Weston-Mt Dennis. It will need to be funded by City Council, however, after the new arts-averse mayor has taken over—and Ford recently promised that there will be no new money for the arts.

Along with preparing a map of existing creative sector jobs and facilities in the area, Artscape staff have been interviewing local artists and sought feedback from the public at a meeting earlier this month, including on where such a hub might be located and what it should offer.

“Is it for performing arts, is it for artists’ work studios, is it for artists’ retail, is it for visual arts, is it for dance?” asked Artscape’s Liz Cohn.

The answers to those questions will have to wait, however.

Artscape plans to present its report to city staff by mid-December, said Cohn. After that, staff and Artscape will prepare an action plan to implement the hub and submit it to the economic development committee in 2011.

Whether there’s support, and funding, from the new council for such a project is unknown.

Nunziata nominated to Speaker

As expected, Rob Ford nominated Frances Nunziata, our recently-reelected councillor, to Council Speaker.

The Speaker presides over City Council meetings; it is a position Nunziata has had her eye on since at least September.

Her nomination must still be confirmed in a council vote, but no real newspapers seem to think that there’s any chance she will be rejected.

Police make arrests in local break ins

Today 12 Division police issued a warning about burglaries at the same time as they announced arrests.

Their email admits that there has recently been an increase in neighbourhood break-ins. The burglars had been breaking a window in the back door in order to reach in and unlock it.

According to police, vigilant community members tipped off police and “a number of arrests have been made”. Still, they warn residents to secure their homes, report suspicious activity, and remain vigilant.

New Christmas store on King St

A new store has opened up in Weston. The aptly-named Locally Crafted Holiday Gift Store is beside Olympic Variety on the corner of King and Elm.

Reanna Niceforo opened her store on Sunday, and it will remain open until Christmas Eve. She is selling her handmade jewelry and art.

“I have been making jewelry for about seven years now, but this is the first time I’ve taken over a store”, Niceforo said.

She says she’s not the only quiet artist in town; many others are around, waiting for another opportunity to showcase their work. Niceforo suggested that another Art in the Park event would be a great way to bring them out—the last one, she says, was several years ago.

Santa brings the hype to Weston

Santa paid his 31st early visit to Weston yesterday, and the village threw a parade on his behalf.

Thousands of children lined Weston Rd in the afternoon to get stuffed on candy cane and catch a glimpse of the old man himself. And while nobody could hold a shiny nose to the man in red, the parade featured many of Weston’s illustrious cast of characters: the kids were thrilled by Indian Elvis, Miss Canada, the Screaming Shriners on their miniature motorbikes, and the city’s most spectacularly out-of-tune Air Cadet band. Even Rob Ford put in an appearance—the first mayor to ever do so, according to Frances Nunziata.

According to insiders, Santa will be back later this month, if the children of the city are generally nice. A very small, pointy-eared tipster who would not be named said “Looking good, so far. Tell Evie to lay off the late nights and Joshua to kiss his mom more. Just sayin’.”