A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for June 2012

[URBAN NOTE] Sad news about Zelda’s

Reading Xtra!‘s Jeremy Feist this evening, sad news about Zelda’s came through. The GLBT community restaurant, once located at Yonge and Wellesley (I posted a picture of that location in January 2011), suffered a devastating fire earlier this month. It won’t be reopening.

On Saturday, June 16th at approximately 2:45am a fire broke out at Zelda’s in the main floor restaurant.

The likely cause was electrical, and no, Zelda did not leave her hair dryer plugged in! Thankfully there was no-one in the building at the time and no injuries. Damage to the restaurant & building was very extensive and will require a complete gutting and clean-out even before renovations can commence. This is expected to take several months.

This has been a difficult and stressful time for myself and my absolutely fabulous staff, many of whom have worked with me for years and have become dear friends. My heart goes out to all of them.

I would like to thank and acknowledge the truly overwhelming support that has come from the community, customers, individuals and fellow businesses. Your offers of condolence and assistance through calls, emails and on Facebook have been wonderful. This is even more poignant with Pride coming up so soon.

This is the third location for Zelda’s since we first opened on Wellesley Street in 1997 and the third time the business has been built from the ground up.

Unfortunately due to the capital and energy required to start all over again we have regrettably decided not to re-open.

Zelda’s has had an incredible run over the past 15 years and touched the lives, I hope in a good way, of so many people. It’s been an absolute blast for us to be a part of and to have served this amazing community.

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Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2012 at 3:19 am

[URBAN NOTE] Sad news about Zelda’s

Reading Xtra!‘s Jeremy Feist this evening, sad news about Zelda’s came through. The GLBT community restaurant, once located at Yonge and Wellesley (I posted a picture of that location in January 2011), suffered a devastating fire earlier this month. It won’t be reopening.

On Saturday, June 16th at approximately 2:45am a fire broke out at Zelda’s in the main floor restaurant.

The likely cause was electrical, and no, Zelda did not leave her hair dryer plugged in! Thankfully there was no-one in the building at the time and no injuries. Damage to the restaurant & building was very extensive and will require a complete gutting and clean-out even before renovations can commence. This is expected to take several months.

This has been a difficult and stressful time for myself and my absolutely fabulous staff, many of whom have worked with me for years and have become dear friends. My heart goes out to all of them.

I would like to thank and acknowledge the truly overwhelming support that has come from the community, customers, individuals and fellow businesses. Your offers of condolence and assistance through calls, emails and on Facebook have been wonderful. This is even more poignant with Pride coming up so soon.

This is the third location for Zelda’s since we first opened on Wellesley Street in 1997 and the third time the business has been built from the ground up.

Unfortunately due to the capital and energy required to start all over again we have regrettably decided not to re-open.

Zelda’s has had an incredible run over the past 15 years and touched the lives, I hope in a good way, of so many people. It’s been an absolute blast for us to be a part of and to have served this amazing community.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm

[LINK] Two links on Justin Trudeau as (likely) disappointing saviour of the Liberal Party

Justin Trudeau, the Montréal-area MP who is an apparent front-runner for the leadership of the battered Liberal Party of Canada mainly because–it seems–he’s the son of late great Liberal PM Pierre Trudeau, has been the subject of much media attention mainly because–I suspect–the dominance of inherited fame in making him a viable candidate for the leadership of a political party is something recognized as ridiculous by many people.

  • Lysiane Gagnon’s acid column in The Globe and Mail from this Monday is good.
  • [I]sn’t it strange that a man who will turn 41 in December is considered too young to lead a party? Pierre Elliott Trudeau was only nine years older when he won the Liberal crown in 1968. What this indicates is that, indeed, Justin Trudeau exudes juvenile charm, lightness and immaturity, as if he were not actually approaching middle age, well past the age of Peter Pan.

    His aura is made of the most superficial assets: a famous father and handsome looks. In a carefully scripted marketing stunt designed to show he had the steely courage of his father, he fought in a boxing match against Senator Patrick Brazeau and won. The gullible parliamentary press, too happy to escape the lugubrious corridors and the boring debates of the House of Commons, transformed this silly match into a big event.

    Yet Mr. Trudeau remains a lightweight. A former high-school teacher with unimpressive professional baggage, he lacks gravitas and substance. He has never offered the public debate anything but clichés inspired by the lamest political correctness.

    As Mr. Den Tandt asks, “What has he ever said or written that’s substantial, original or politically powerful?” Well, there is at least one remark of his that was original – when he childishly mused that he’d rather join the Quebec sovereigntists than live in a Harper-dominated Canada.

    In a confrontation with Bob Rae, the older and wiser politician would have crushed him at every step of a leadership race. (Not coincidentally, Mr. Trudeau considered running only after Mr. Rae had opted out.) In a televised match, Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair would eat him alive.

  • Elsewhere, Pat Murphy’s “Trudeaumania in the 21st century” takes a look at how Justin Trudeau would do. (Hint: The Liberal Party is much weaker in western Canada and Québec now than in the 1960s when Pierree Trudeau ran.)
  • From a policy impact perspective, [Pierre Trudeau] was certainly one of Canada’s most consequential prime ministers. He was also successful politically, winning four of the five federal elections in which he led the Liberals. And his 1968 win was a genuinely broad-based triumph.

    But after that, his political success had a relatively narrow base.

    In the four following elections, he never won Western Canada. In fact, the Liberals were reduced to two seats there by the time he was done.

    Neither was he particularly successful in Atlantic Canada. He only won it once – in 1980.

    As for Ontario, his track record was pretty much a split decision. He won it in 1968, 1974 and 1980, but lost it in 1972 and 1979.

    All of which brings us to Quebec, the power base on which Trudeau’s political dominance was built. He carried it overwhelmingly in all five elections, often winning 50 per cent or more of his national seat total there.

    To cut to the chase, I’ll put it this way. Absent Quebec, Pierre Trudeau would have been a one-term prime minister, ignominiously turfed out in 1972 and never returned to power.

    You may very well ask what this has to do with Justin’s prospects. After all, couldn’t he replicate his father’s formula and ride to the prime minister’s office by sweeping Quebec? Maybe, but he’d have a much steeper hill to climb.

    Pierre Trudeau had it relatively easy in Quebec. He was French-Canadian, the Liberals were Quebec’s traditional favourites, and his serious opponents were a pair of hapless out-of-province Anglos – Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark.

    Things are different now. It’s been 30 years since the Liberals dominated Quebec federally and the NDP has emerged as the current inheritor of what was once the Liberal base. To claw back his father’s overwhelming position, Justin would have to successfully go head-to-head with the feisty Thomas Mulcair, a man with deep roots in Quebec.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    [LINK] “Jean feared ‘dreadful crisis’ when Harper sought prorogation”

    Jeff Jedras of A BCer in Toronto linked to Steven Chase’s Globe and Mail article claiming that, back in December 2008, then-Governor-General Michaëlle Jean accepted the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper–then leader of a minority government–to close down parliament so as to avoid a coalition government because she feared a constitutional crisis.

    Constitutional scholar Peter Russell told OntarioNewsWatch.com this week that weighing on Ms. Jean’s mind at the time was the likelihood the Tories – had they lost office – would have poisoned confidence in the coalition government through a PR campaign framing the change as an illegitimate transfer of power.

    The Conservatives, he told the Ontario-based news website, “have a huge publicity machine” at their fingertips.

    “If a ‘no’ had come out of Rideau Hall and an attack launched on a Dion-Layton coalition that said we’ve had a coup d’etat in Canada,” he said, “we would have been there in the headlines of the world like Greece. [That’s] not very good for the country in any which way.”

    As is already known, Ms. Jean also extracted pledges from Mr. Harper at the time: that he would bring back Parliament shortly and produce a budget to win sufficient support in the Commons.

    [. . .]

    Reached Monday by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Russell said he believes Ms. Jean was concerned about a Conservative backlash that could generate a crisis of confidence in Canada’s political system. “My best guess was that she was,” he said.

    “I can’t say for sure,” Mr. Russell said, adding that he, however, was worried about this. He wouldn’t divulge what Ms. Jean told him during consultations.

    [. . .]

    The constitutional scholar said it’s hard to envision the governor-general not being worried about how Mr. Harper and the Conservative political machine would react if the PMO was handed to then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.

    “Can you imagine anyone sitting here thinking ‘If I say ‘no’ to this man we’ll just have a nice quiet time and swear in Mr. Dion and life will go on?’ ” he told The Globe and Mail.

    [. . .]

    Kory Teneycke, a former director of communications to Mr. Harper, was quoted in Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin’s book Harperland as saying that an appeal to Buckingham Palace was one option under consideration.

    According to Harperland, Mr. Teneycke maintained, in an interview well after the event, that it would have been “just unheard of” for the governor-general to refuse a request for prorogation by a prime minister who had already survived a vote of confidence in the Commons.

    When Mr. Teneycke was asked what other avenues the Prime Minister was exploring in case the decision had gone against them, he responded: “Well, among them, the Queen.”

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    [LINK] Two links on Justin Trudeau as (likely) disappointing saviour of the Liberal Party

    Justin Trudeau, the Montréal-area MP who is an apparent front-runner for the leadership of the battered Liberal Party of Canada mainly because–it seems–he’s the son of late great Liberal PM Pierre Trudeau, has been the subject of much media attention mainly because–I suspect–the dominance of inherited fame in making him a viable candidate for the leadership of a political party is something recognized as ridiculous by many people.

  • Lysiane Gagnon’s acid column in The Globe and Mail from this Monday is good.
  • [I]sn’t it strange that a man who will turn 41 in December is considered too young to lead a party? Pierre Elliott Trudeau was only nine years older when he won the Liberal crown in 1968. What this indicates is that, indeed, Justin Trudeau exudes juvenile charm, lightness and immaturity, as if he were not actually approaching middle age, well past the age of Peter Pan.

    His aura is made of the most superficial assets: a famous father and handsome looks. In a carefully scripted marketing stunt designed to show he had the steely courage of his father, he fought in a boxing match against Senator Patrick Brazeau and won. The gullible parliamentary press, too happy to escape the lugubrious corridors and the boring debates of the House of Commons, transformed this silly match into a big event.

    Yet Mr. Trudeau remains a lightweight. A former high-school teacher with unimpressive professional baggage, he lacks gravitas and substance. He has never offered the public debate anything but clichés inspired by the lamest political correctness.

    As Mr. Den Tandt asks, “What has he ever said or written that’s substantial, original or politically powerful?” Well, there is at least one remark of his that was original – when he childishly mused that he’d rather join the Quebec sovereigntists than live in a Harper-dominated Canada.

    In a confrontation with Bob Rae, the older and wiser politician would have crushed him at every step of a leadership race. (Not coincidentally, Mr. Trudeau considered running only after Mr. Rae had opted out.) In a televised match, Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair would eat him alive.

  • Elsewhere, Pat Murphy’s “Trudeaumania in the 21st century” takes a look at how Justin Trudeau would do. (Hint: The Liberal Party is much weaker in western Canada and Québec now than in the 1960s when Pierree Trudeau ran.)
  • From a policy impact perspective, [Pierre Trudeau] was certainly one of Canada’s most consequential prime ministers. He was also successful politically, winning four of the five federal elections in which he led the Liberals. And his 1968 win was a genuinely broad-based triumph.

    But after that, his political success had a relatively narrow base.

    In the four following elections, he never won Western Canada. In fact, the Liberals were reduced to two seats there by the time he was done.

    Neither was he particularly successful in Atlantic Canada. He only won it once – in 1980.

    As for Ontario, his track record was pretty much a split decision. He won it in 1968, 1974 and 1980, but lost it in 1972 and 1979.

    All of which brings us to Quebec, the power base on which Trudeau’s political dominance was built. He carried it overwhelmingly in all five elections, often winning 50 per cent or more of his national seat total there.

    To cut to the chase, I’ll put it this way. Absent Quebec, Pierre Trudeau would have been a one-term prime minister, ignominiously turfed out in 1972 and never returned to power.

    You may very well ask what this has to do with Justin’s prospects. After all, couldn’t he replicate his father’s formula and ride to the prime minister’s office by sweeping Quebec? Maybe, but he’d have a much steeper hill to climb.

    Pierre Trudeau had it relatively easy in Quebec. He was French-Canadian, the Liberals were Quebec’s traditional favourites, and his serious opponents were a pair of hapless out-of-province Anglos – Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark.

    Things are different now. It’s been 30 years since the Liberals dominated Quebec federally and the NDP has emerged as the current inheritor of what was once the Liberal base. To claw back his father’s overwhelming position, Justin would have to successfully go head-to-head with the feisty Thomas Mulcair, a man with deep roots in Quebec.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Posted in Assorted

    Tagged with , , ,

    [BLOG] Some Friday links

    • 80 Beats notes suggestions that odd carbon-14 ratios in classical Japanese manuscripts and records of a red cross in the night sky from Anglo-Saxon England indicate that there may have been a supernova visible from Earth in 774.
    • Extraordinary Observations is skeptical about the prospects for farming in urban areas in the United States, taken in isolation.
    • Anti-Semitic and anti-Romani sentiment in Hungary is detailed, those two populations’ histories explored, at Geocurrents.
    • A New APPS Blog post suggests that feminism might be unpopular with some men because they’re not familiar with working women in their own lives, drawing from the author’s personal experiences as well as broader analysis.
    • Border disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and the underlying patterns of disorder they reflect, is the theme of a Registan post.
    • Technosociology suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood’s transparent communication of electoral results in Egypt may have been responsible for the acceptance of the vote by the military.

    [LINK] “Jean feared ‘dreadful crisis’ when Harper sought prorogation”

    Jeff Jedras of A BCer in Toronto linked to Steven Chase’s Globe and Mail article claiming that, back in December 2008, then-Governor-General Michaëlle Jean accepted the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper–then leader of a minority government–to close down parliament so as to avoid a coalition government because she feared a constitutional crisis.

    Constitutional scholar Peter Russell told OntarioNewsWatch.com this week that weighing on Ms. Jean’s mind at the time was the likelihood the Tories – had they lost office – would have poisoned confidence in the coalition government through a PR campaign framing the change as an illegitimate transfer of power.

    The Conservatives, he told the Ontario-based news website, “have a huge publicity machine” at their fingertips.

    “If a ‘no’ had come out of Rideau Hall and an attack launched on a Dion-Layton coalition that said we’ve had a coup d’etat in Canada,” he said, “we would have been there in the headlines of the world like Greece. [That’s] not very good for the country in any which way.”

    As is already known, Ms. Jean also extracted pledges from Mr. Harper at the time: that he would bring back Parliament shortly and produce a budget to win sufficient support in the Commons.

    [. . .]

    Reached Monday by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Russell said he believes Ms. Jean was concerned about a Conservative backlash that could generate a crisis of confidence in Canada’s political system. “My best guess was that she was,” he said.

    “I can’t say for sure,” Mr. Russell said, adding that he, however, was worried about this. He wouldn’t divulge what Ms. Jean told him during consultations.

    [. . .]

    The constitutional scholar said it’s hard to envision the governor-general not being worried about how Mr. Harper and the Conservative political machine would react if the PMO was handed to then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.

    “Can you imagine anyone sitting here thinking ‘If I say ‘no’ to this man we’ll just have a nice quiet time and swear in Mr. Dion and life will go on?’ ” he told The Globe and Mail.

    [. . .]

    Kory Teneycke, a former director of communications to Mr. Harper, was quoted in Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin’s book Harperland as saying that an appeal to Buckingham Palace was one option under consideration.

    According to Harperland, Mr. Teneycke maintained, in an interview well after the event, that it would have been “just unheard of” for the governor-general to refuse a request for prorogation by a prime minister who had already survived a vote of confidence in the Commons.

    When Mr. Teneycke was asked what other avenues the Prime Minister was exploring in case the decision had gone against them, he responded: “Well, among them, the Queen.”

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Posted in Assorted

    Tagged with , , ,