Four years!

Every week I wonder if there will be anything at all to write about. Every week there is—and yet, for four years, I’ve kept worrying.

On May 13, 2010, four years ago today, your humble correspondent wrote the first post on

A few numbers, because I find them interesting:

  • We’ve posted exactly 1400 stories in that time—if you give me a week off between Christmas and New Years, that’s one a day, every day!
  • At, very roughly, 100 words an article, Roy and I have typed 140,000 words—almost two short novels’ worth.
  • But people don’t read novels, while we get about 5000 visitors a month. It’s hard to tell exactly what that means, since I can’t figure out how many of them are unique and how many are repeat visitors, but heck, any way you cut it, it’s pretty great.
  • There are 2,875 comments on the site. Wow! Thank you for being a part of this.
  • 112,365 spam comments did not make it to the site.  Really.
  • The site has cost about $650 to run. In four years, I have made exactly $0.00 from advertising, despite my repeated attempts and fantasies of internet dozens. When I’m feeling vain (which is a often), I think that I’m doing the same kind of thing as a small town newspaper used to do. But, on the one hand, my god, has the internet ever changed things: I can ‘publish’ a ‘paper’ for $12 a month. And, on the other hand, my god, has the internet ever changed things: there’s no money community news.
  • It’s the best $650 that I’ve ever spent.

Weston soldier honoured

Chief Warrant Officer Stuart Gordon Hartnell, from Weston, received the Meritorious Service Medal yesterday from Governor General David Johnston. The medal goes to people whose “specific achievements have brought honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.”

CWO Hartnell has served for 28 years in the military, including in the Airborne and special operations.

As battle group sergeant-major in Afghanistan from April to November 2010, Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell was a key player in high-intensity counter-insurgency operations. Tenacious in combat and a firm disciplinarian, he was respected throughout the unit as a model for others to emulate. Whether providing advice to the commander or leading soldiers in combat, Chief Warrant Officer Hartnell demonstrated impressive leadership and soldiering ability, which proved to be critical to the battle group’s operational success.



UP Express to cost $500 million to electrify

The Wynne government will need to pony up $500 million to electrify the UP Express line, according to InsideToronto. The cost is, according to the article, in line with predictions.

The budget to electrify the Union Pearson (UP) Express air rail link will be released in a matter of months, a Metrolinx senior-level manager confirmed this week….

According to Pitre, the current budget estimate falls in line with previous projections from 2010 which found the project will cost $450 million for design and construction costs.


Debate videos online

You can find videos of last night’s debate between Laura Albanese and Paul Ferreira on the WestonWeb YouTube channel. (The videos are uploading now, and should be done by Friday morning.)

I apologize for the quality of the videos and audio; it was a bit of a gong show around my house last night. I had to make do with my little camera and a seat in the audience.

The debate was often very spirited. The politicians’ supporters heckled, booed, cried ‘Shame!’, and called their opponents liars. At least one supporter was escorted from the meeting. The result was, well, not exactly a frank discussion of the candidates’ ideas.

At one point, the moderator had to ask for calm, and a representative of the Learning Enrichment Foundation had to remind the audience that the LEF “has been for years a place of open dialogue, questions, and respectful discussion.” He went on, in a voice filled with emotion, “I would ask that here, where people come to learn, and come to turn their lives around, that respect be shown.”

I am sorry to say that the heckling restarted only shortly later.



TIFF schmiff

Sure, you may not get your picture taken stepping out of a limousine, but you can no longer complain that you never get invited to gala screenings with filmmakers, celebrities and politicians.

Mike Sullivan, our MP, has invited you to a screening of Bending the Rails, a documentary about the Georgetown rail expansion. It was made by a local filmmaker, Jeff Winch.

Sullivan and Winch will be answering questions after the film, which will be shown on Friday, September 30 at Weston Park Baptist Church, at 1871 Weston Rd. The movie starts at 7.