Preserved Stories Blog

Conserving Long Branch – February 2018 update from David Godley

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Among many other achievements, Jim Tovey was (in 2009) named Mississauga Citizen of the Year. The photo is outside the City of Mississauga Council Chambers.

Among many other achievements, Jim Tovey was (in 2009) named Mississauga Citizen of the Year. The photo is outside the City of Mississauga Council Chambers.

Detail from photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

Detail from photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

View of photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

View of photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

Attached files from David Godley:

2233rdmyths

coa2018

jimtovey

lbcgcouncil

Please note: I will no longer be uploading David’s updates, once I have moved from Long Branch, which will be later in the current year. (I will, however, be working on books and videos related to my family’s years in Long Branch.)

If you wish to be on David’s email list, please contact him at:

mhairig@pathcom.com

David has shared the following text. I have not formatted it, as I have cut back on my volunteer work. As well, click here for previous posts about Jim Tovey >

Update from David Godley

Happy February

1) Long Branch Urban Design Guidelines Approved Unanimously by Council 31 January 2018
Motions (City Council)1 – Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mark Grimes (Carried)
“That City Council request that the Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines adopted by Council be used by home builders, the community, City staff, committees and appeal bodies to provide direction in their decision making as they develop plans, review applications for redevelopment and/or enhance the public realm in the Long Branch Neighbourhood.”

The full motion can be viewed at the following link: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.CC36.15

(Toronto Local Appeal Board, TLAB has authorised their eligibility as non legal evidence at hearings, Dec 12 hearing on 38 36th Street.)
TLAB Will hear deputations on how to improve the appeal system on a date yet to be selected in April or May.

Enormous thanks to the Councillor, Planning Dept and innumerable citizens for creating these over the last two years or so.
They provide clarification on the intent of policies in the Official Plan which Long Branch has been trying to implement most often with little success.
They also provide clarity for anyone wishing to develop in the Neighbourhood. With urban design input it would have been so easy to modify nearly all applications to make them fit better into the neighbourhood.
We need to work closely with the group opposing. I suggest a meeting! 56 31st is the perfect candidate around an actual proposal. See below.

See article about group opposing Guidelines to be published in next week’s Guardian.
https://www.insidetoronto.com/community-story/8100768-battle-over-long-branch-lot-severances-divides-south-etobicoke-community/
2) New Applications
36 Ash, Soldier Houses. (definition 3 storey, about double density on narrow lot) 0.35 to 0.71 density. April 12 COA
75 27th Large Deck
3 26th No details available
23 36th No details available

The Mediation Pilot Project nas now finished. Private consultants were brought in to assist with settling issues at the Committee of Adjustment meetings prior to hearing. Generally severances are really hard to reach consensus on whereas there is more scope for variances.

3) January 11 COA Decisions
90 Ash, Soldier houses 0.35 to 1.04. Deferred
58 Laburnham Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.65. 1pm Approved
93 Lake Promenade. Monster House, 0.35 to 1.54. 3pm Deferred
27 39th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.98. 3pm Deferred, Mediation meeting held January 25 2018 without resolution. Community Meeting Long Branch Library 7pm Feb 21st
89 27th Monster house 0.35 to 0.78. Community working with the owner to reduce density and impact. Approved
17 Evergreen, 2 (2)storey houses 0.35 to 0.58. Jan 11 COA. Approved

4) February 8 COA Agenda
72 Arcadian, Soldier Houses. 0.35 to 1.06 and 1.01. To be withdrawn. No notices circulated. Application for return of fees.
10 Lake Promenade, Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.59
76 29th 0.35 to 1.01 Soldier House
80 23rd Severance previously approved by OMB but not density. Soldier Houses. 0.35 to 0.60

5) March 8 COA Agenda
15 Elton, 2 storey modern 0.35 to 0.51. Major tree issues
21 Phlox, 2 storey 0.35 to 0.40
10 31st, 2.5 storey at front, 3 storey at rear. 0.35 to 0.49 Well designed with verandah and good roof lines
83 26th 2 storey 0.35 to 0.68 2 storey, no integral garage, parking on driveway
79 Laburnham, Severance and variance for soldier semis in detached house zone. Building Dept comments that semis are excluded therefore there are no zoning controls if approved.
(Other than 79, this is an interesting group of variances, none of which are soldiers. Parking at the rear or in the driveway allows better designs and reduces mass by eliminating the garage and creates more basement space which usually is not provided under the garage.)

6) April 12 COA Agenda
93 Lake Promenade, 3 storey house 0.35 to 1.54
80 39th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.62
74 38th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.63
46 Park Blvd. No details
32 36th Soldier Houses 0.35 to 0.56 and 0.63. Community Planning recommend refusal.
56 31st Soldier house 0.35 to 0.50. This is a perfect opportunity to use the Guidelines. The appearance of a 2 storey house can easily be achieved.

7) Outstanding Applications
69 Marina, Soldier houses – No details
11 Garden Place Soldier Houses 0.35 to 0.71.
11 Shamrock, Soldier Houses 0.35 to 0.68

If you wish to look at all the material online go to “City of Toronto” “Development Applications” “Committee of Adjustment” “Ward 6” “Search” and follow the cues
However the number of applications in Ward 6 has outstripped the capacity of the Applications Information Website and you cannot view the whole list of applications together.

8) Toronto Local Appeal Board

9 38th Street. A revised application from February 2016. 2 storey modern and ultra modern on 25 feet frontage lots from 0.35 to 0.56 density in an area of wide lots. Approved by COA and appealed by the City to TLAB.

This is Long Branch ‘s first appeal to TLAB. Hearing postponed from October 13 to November 13 2017. Last minute revised proposal and adjournment to April 16-17 Venue TLAB Offices 40 Orchard View Blvd Suite 211 (Eglinton and Yonge) 9am

38 36th Street. 3 storey soldier houses 0.35 density to 0.70. Refused by COA and appealed by applicant. Hearing 12 December 2017 deferred to 7 March 2018 for 1 more day. Additional material can be submited up to 30 days prior to hearing Venue, York Civic Offices, 2700 Eglinton West, 9am

9) OMB Hearings

30 38th Street, 27 June 2017 Awaiting Decision

68 Daisy Avenue, Zoning for 73 4 storey townhouse units, February 24 2017. Pre-hearing Conference for 1 day held. Hearing held 10 October 2017. Awaiting Decision

82 Twenty Seventh Street, March 21 2017 continued August 21 2017 PL161006 Refused

5 Ramsgate, 16 May 2017 PL161257 Awaiting Decision

24 33rd, 1/2 May 2017 No planner on board Approved PL161073 Review request submitted to OMB by Lakeshore Planning Council Corporation. Request Refused.

22 33rd, Severance and Variances for semi soldier houses 0.35/0.60 to 0.70 to density PL170413, 18 January 2018. Awaiting Decision. (Evidence submitted attached)

34 27th Street, An appeal was dismissed but a Review Request was made by Legal. Awaiting decision. Review request does not stop a building permit being issued which it has.

10 Minor Variance, Definition The new City Solicitor Wendy Walberg (wendy.walberg@toronto.ca) has asked Legal staff to consult with Planning Staff and the issue has been acknowledged by TLAB (tlab@toronto.ca)
An independent Lawyer is preparing a report on “What is Minor” to be produced shortly. How anyone could imagine soldier houses qualify as minor is a mystery. Doubling weight, salary, or cost cannot by any definition be considered minor. This is yet another reason planning for severances and variances has gone off the rails. A few refusals by the OMB on this ground would have killed the issue which is still damaging people’s lives.
The City Policy

Small size of variance, as well as impact, is a legal requirement. The Toronto definition of minor is “Small changes or exceptions to existing land use or development restrictions contained in the zoning bylaw are called minor variances.” The word “Adjustment” defines the Committee’s role. A further recent clarification is included in the Blue Brochure “Getting to know the City of Toronto, Committee of Adjustment” produced by the Planning Department which states “Whenever your project or development largely complies with the rules in the Zoning Bylaw but does not quite, you need to have to apply to a minor variance. Example. The maximum permitted height for the building is 10m. The altered building is proposed to have a height of 10.5m.” Planning decisions are to determine the public interest and decisions need to be in line with City policies.

In other words De Gasperis rules.

NB The North Barrie case had nothing to do with size being relevant. Rather it related to how it is addressed in decisions.

Compiled by David Godley October 2017

11 Mediation Pilot Project Private consultants were brought in to assist with settling issues at the Committee of Adjustment meetings prior to hearing. This program has now finished.

12) Councillor Jim Tovey for Lakeview, immediately west of Long Branch in Mississauga. Obituary attached. Jim was cut from the same cloth as Mayor David Crombie where the people rule the roost rather than the development sector.
He promulgated the neighbourhood planning. Stakeholders, with the help of planners, prepared policy for their area. The result was invariably supported by the Planning Department and Council. Since the Planning Department in Toronto is understaffed they cannot manage this more effective mode of planning. Community meetings on Lakeview were inspiring and productive whereas Toronto’s community meetings are usually confrontational. Under David Crombie the Planning approach was based on strong local democracy, not a strong suit in the current administration.

Feel free to comment and have a good weekend.

David

 

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On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, Toronto Council adopted the Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines with amendment by Councillor Grimes

The following message is from the Long Branch Neighbourhood Association:

Another step towards thoughtful planning in Long Branch!

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, our City Council adopted the Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines with the following amendment by Councillor Grimes.

“That the guidelines be used by home builders, the community, City staff, committees and appeal bodies to provide direction in their decision making as they develop plans, review applications for redevelopment and/or enhance the public realm. ”

[End]

Feb. 1, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article regarding lot severances

A Feb. 1, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article is entitled: “Battle over Long Branch lot severances divides south Etobicoke community.”

 

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Traffic light to replace crosswalk on Brown’s Line in south Etobicoke – Etobicoke Guardian, Feb. 1, 2017

A Feb. 1, 2017 Etobicoke Guardian article is entitled: “Traffic light to replace crosswalk on Brown’s Line in south Etobicoke: Councillors, residents’ association president hope move slows traffic.”

 

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MPP Peter Milczyn January 27, 2018 e-News Update

To view the message in your browser Click here

The message from MPP Peter Milczyn’s Office opens with the following text:

Dear Neighbour,

February is shaping up to be a very busy month. On February 14th, I will be hosting a Complimentary Seniors’ Valentine’s Day Tea at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 643. The Guest Speaker at this event will be from Consumer Protection Ontario and is sure to bring lots of valuable information for seniors.

Also on February 24, 2018, I am co-hosting the Annual Government and Community Services Fair with MPP Yvan Baker. This annual events brings over 100 Government and Community Agencies together under one roof. I hope you will join us at Cloverdale Mall on the 24th.

Peter Milczyn

[End of excerpt]

Click here for previous posts about Peter Milczyn >

 

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Even one cigarette a day greatly raises cardiovascular risk – Guardian & BMJ, Jan. 24, 2018

A Jan. 24, 2018 Guardian article is entitled: “Even one cigarette a day greatly raises cardiovascular risk, experts warn: Impact of one daily cigarette on risk of heart disease and stroke greater than previously thought.”

A Jan. 24, 2018 BMJ editorial is entitled: “Just one cigarette a day seriously elevates cardiovascular risk.”

Passive smoking

An excerpt from the editorial (I have omitted the footnote references) reads:

The high cardiovascular risk associated with very low cigarette use has major public health implications. Firstly, light smoking, occasional smoking, and smoking fewer cigarettes all carry substantial risk of cardiovascular disease. Only complete cessation is protective and should be emphasised by all prevention measures and policies.

Secondly, passive smoking is essentially another form of low dose smoking that carries a substantial cardiovascular risk. Comprehensive smoke-free laws in public places, now common in high resource countries, result in large drops in hospital admissions (about 15%) for cardiac, cerebrovascular, and lung disease, and it would be prudent for low resource countries to follow suit. Marijuana and sheesha (hookah) smoke are also of concern because incomplete combustion of organic substances produces many highly toxic chemicals, with similar serious adverse health consequences.

Thirdly, new tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn cigarettes, may carry substantial risk for heart disease and stroke. Although e-cigarettes deliver reduced levels of carcinogens, they still expose users to high levels of ultra fine particles and other toxins that may markedly increase cardiovascular risk. Somewhat lower emissions of many toxic substances from heat-not-burn cigarettes do not make these products safe. Regulatory approval of these products should be withheld. We cannot afford to wait several more decades to document the illness, disability, and deaths caused by new recreational tobacco and nicotine products.

Finally, e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products should not be promoted for “harm reduction” on the grounds that they lead people to smoke fewer cigarettes,because modest reductions in cigarette consumption are unlikely to have meaningful health benefits and dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes may expose smokers to increased total risks. Furthermore, e-cigarettes are reducing smoking cessation rates, and marketing of supposedly safer tobacco products seems to recruit and addict new generations of young smokers.

The take home message for smokers is that any exposure to cigarette smoke is too much. The message for regulators dealing with newly marketed “reduced risk” products is that any suggestion of seriously reduced CHD and stroke from using these products is premature.

[End]

One cigarette per year

Smoking is a cultural tradition that can readily cut short a person’s life.

I used to smoke one cigarette a year, after stopping a pack-a-day habit about 45-years ago. Each year, one cigarette. Finally, however, I said: “Enough.”

At some previous posts, I’ve spoken about the history of smoking:

1960s-era documentary films by the Maysles brothers and The Meaning of Human Existence (2014)

The Big Sleep (1946) demonstrates the effective application of screen direction, sound, lighting, and editing

Veronica Foster the Bren Gun Girl was a non-smoker, except on the occasion of a wartime NFB photo shoot

Women’s roles in Special Operations during the Second World War

Sugar

A related topic concerns the role of sugar, a product that is very effectively marketed, in the destruction of health and well-being.

Click here for previous, evidence-based posts about sugar >

Update

A Jan. 30, 2018 statnews.com article is entitled: “The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to fake news.”

 

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Conserving Long Branch, January 2018 – Message from esteemed citizen-activist, David Godley

David Godley sent out the following message on Jan. 2, 2018. I am slow in posting it.

I have not formatted the message. I trust you will, nonetheless, find the content of interest.

Message from David Godley

Happy 1439,2018,5778…

1) Long Branch Urban Design Guidelines

The Long Branch Character Guidelines clarify the intent of Official Plan
From City Clerks to INTERESTED PERSONS:
Item EY26.4 – Final Report – Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines
Referred by City Council on December 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2017
City Council on December 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2017, referred Item EY26.4 to the Acting Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the City Solicitor for review and directed the Acting Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the City Solicitor to report directly to the January 31, February 1 and 2, 2017 meeting of City Council on any recommended changes in content and approach so that the Long Branch Neighbourhood Character Guidelines meet the objective of strengthening the ability to reinforce the City’s zoning by-laws and to defend these before appeal bodies.

(TLAB has authorised their eligibility as non legal evidence at hearings, Dec 12 2017 hearing on 38 36th Street.)

2) New Applications No details available
15 Elton, Variances
21 Phlox, Variances
11 Shamrock, Severance and Variances
10 31st, Variances
56 31st, Variances
83 26th, Variances
79 Laburnham, Severance and variance for semis in detached house zone. Planning consulted. March 11 COA

3) December COA decisions
15 38th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.70. Deferred
70 36th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.67. Refused, appealed by Applicant
99 27th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.0.96. Deferred
75 25th Soldier house. Approved. City Appeal Pending
67 30th Soldier house needing height variance. Approved.
38 31st Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.65. Deferred
32 36th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.81 and 0.91. Deferred

4) January 11 COA agenda (Deadline for inclusion in COA member’s package 4 Jan 3pm, Thursday)
90 Ash, Soldier houses 0.35 to 1.04. 3pm
58 Laburnham Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.65 1pm
93 Lake Promenade. Monster House, 0.35 to 1.54 3pm
27 39th Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.98. 3pm
89 27th Monster house 0.35 to 0.78. Community working with the owner to reduce density and impact. 3pm
17 Evergreen, 2 (2)storey houses 0.35 to 0.58. Jan 11 COA. 10am

5) February 8 COA agenda
72 Arcadian, Soldier Houses. 0.35 to 1.06 and 1.01. To be withdrawn
10 Lake Promenade, Soldier houses 0.35 to 0.59
76 29th 0.35 to 1.01 Soldier House (definition 3 storey, about double density on narrow lot)
80 23rd Severance previously approved by OMB but not density. Soldier Houses. 0.35 to 0.60

6) Outstanding Applications
56 31st Minor Variances. No details
10 31st Minor Variances. No details
74 38th, Soldier Houses. 0.35 to 0.62
69 Marina, Soldier houses – No details
80 39th, Soldier House 0.35 to 0.65
11 Garden Place Soldier Houses 0.35 to 0.71.

If you wish to look at all the material online go to “City of Toronto” “Development Applications” “Committee of Adjustment” “Ward 6” “Search” and follow the cues
However the number of applications in Ward 6 has outstripped the capacity of the Applications Information Website and you cannot view the whole list of applications together.

7) Toronto Local Appeal Board
9 38th Street. A revised application from February 2016. 2 storey modern and ultra modern on 25 feet frontage lots from 0.35 to 0.56 density in an area of wide lots. Approved by COA and appealed by the City to TLAB.

This is Long Branch ‘s first appeal to TLAB. Hearing postponed from October 13 to November 13 2017. Last minute revised proposal and adjournment to April 16-17 Venue TLAB Offices 40 Orchard View Blvd Suite 211 (Eglinton and Yonge) 9am

38 36th Street. 3 storey soldier houses 0.35 density to 0.70. Refused by COA and appealed by applicant. Hearing 12 December 2017 deferred to 7 March 2018 for 1 more day. Clarifying whether additional material can be submitted. Venue, York Civic Offices, 2700 Eglinton West, 9am

8) OMB Hearings

30 38th Street, 27 June 2017 Awaiting Decision

68 Daisy Avenue, Zoning for 73 4 storey townhouse units, February 24 2017. Pre-hearing Conference for 1 day held. Hearing held 10 October 2017. Awaiting Decision

82 Twenty Seventh Street, March 21 2017 continued August 21 2017 PL161006 Awaiting decision.

5 Ramsgate, 16 May 2017 PL161257 Awaiting Decision

24 33rd, 1/2 May 2017 No planner on board Approved PL161073 Review request submitted to OMB by Lakeshore Planning Council Corporation. Awaiting decision

22 33rd, Severance and Variances for semi soldier houses 0.60 to 0.70 to density PL170413, 18 January 2018

9 Long Branch Neighbourhood Association, The following officers were elected at the General meeting at the Long Branch Legion on 23 October: Co Chairs Brian Liberty, Christine Mercado; Vice Chair Judy Gibson; Jenny Ribiero; Bill Zufeldt: Doe Orser. Christine and Judy, two very bright women, are covering COA meeting and putting forward LBNA points of view. The quality of their written submissions is excellent and they are canvassing residents around controversial proposals as well as attempting to minimise impacts with redesign. Experience has shown easier to deal with residents who are rebuilding themselves (usually with a sympathetic architect) than with speculative builders sometimes referred to as gangers.

10 Minor Variance, Definition The new City Solicitor Wendy Walberg (wendy.walberg@toronto.ca) has asked Legal staff to consult with Planning Staff and the issue has been acknowledged by TLAB (tlab@toronto.ca)
An independent Lawyer is preparing a report on “What is Minor” to be produced shortly.

11 Committee of Adjustment Mandate. The Committee of Adjustment for the last couple of years has been ignoring their mandate and replacing it with their own uninformed opinions.
Attached is the mandate which was followed at one tine but has been abandoned. The Long Branch Character Guidelines clarify the intent of the Official Plan.

12 A satirical short play on new vs not so new housing in Long Branch by Mark Davidson (attached).

13 [David refers to Resident’s Letters]

14 Mediation Pilot Project Private consultants were brought in to assist with settling issues at the Committee of Adjustment meetings prior to hearing. Attached is my comment.

All the best, David, for a year which has at least light on the horizon.

PS Late News
Subject: Re: Heritage tree consent form for 23 Long Branch
To: “Bill Zufelt” <bwzufelt@gmail.com>
Cc:

Good Morning Bill.. And… the story gets better!

Your tree, Bill, was approved by the Panel! Congratulations!!
It will now join other significant trees in Ontario that enjoy the lofty status as recognized Heritage Trees!

The Plaque and Certificate are likely a number of weeks off – as there is bit of a line at the busy graphics department. I can ask for a copy of the certificate to go to you (as well as the city. The City will liekly want to attach the plaque – maybe there will be a little ceremony to mark this occasion?

Thank you for being part of the Heritage Tree Program! It’s been fun to work with you and read all the really interesting history of Long Branch!

All the best for the new year, Bill!

Toni

Toni Ellis
Heritage Tree Coordinator
Forests Ontario
144 Front St. West, Suite 700
Toronto, ON, M5J 2L7
519-362-9469
tellis@forestsontario.ca
www.forestsontario.ca

Celebrate Canada’s 150th by nominating a Heritage Tree & help us recognize 150 significant trees in Ontario!

On Dec 21, 2017, at 5:48 PM, Bill Zufelt <bwzufelt@gmail.com> wrote:

Hallelujah! There is a Santa Claus!

Thank you everyone

Bill Zufelt
bwzufelt@gmail.com
Sherway Academy of Music
www.SherwayAcademy.ca
416 259 0251

 

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Marketing remains a key driving force, fueling the opioid crisis. That said, marketing can also serve positive purposes.

An Oct. 30, 2017 New Yorker article is entitled: “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain: The Sackler dynasty’s ruthless marketing of painkillers has generated billions of dollars – and millions of addicts.”

It’s a good read.

Click here for previous posts about opioids >

Portugal’s unique approach to drug policy

A Dec. 5, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?: Since it decriminalised all drugs in 2001, Portugal has seen dramatic drops in overdoses, HIV infection and drug-related crime.”

Click here for previous posts related to ‘War on Drugs’ >

I am very impressed with a book, available at the Toronto Public Library, entitled: Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction (2018).

A blurb at the Toronto Public Library website notes:

Telling the story of a grassroots group of addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who waged a political street fight for two decades to transform how the city treats its most marginalised citizens. Over the past 25 years, this group of residents from Canada’s poorest neighbourhood organised themselves in response to the growing number of overdose deaths and demanded that addicts be given the same rights as any other citizen; against all odds, they eventually won. But just as their battle came to an end, fentanyl arrived and opioid deaths across North America reached an all-time high.

[End]

Marketing is a powerful force, in the pursuit of positive or negative purposes

Marketing, along with public relations and media relations, is a powerful force for good or ill.

Click here for previous posts about public relations >

As a volunteer over the past several decades, with a focus on volunteer efforts related to public relations and media relations in the context of community self-development at the local, national, and international levels, I’ve often had the occasion to think about the power of word-pictures, and the power of the adept use of language – for good or for ill.

A great overview of the power of marketing – as a positive force, in this case – can be accessed at a study available at the Toronto Public Library (TPL).

The study in question is entitled: Happier?: The History of a Cultural Movement That Inspired to Transform America (2018).

A blurb at the TPL website reads:

When a cultural movement that began to take shape in the mid-twentieth century erupted into mainstream American culture in the late 1990s, it brought to the fore the idea that it is as important to improve one’s own sense of pleasure as it is to manage depression and anxiety. Cultural historian Daniel Horowitz’s research reveals that this change happened in the context of key events. World War II, the Holocaust, post-war prosperity, the rise of counter-culture, the crises of the 1970s, the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and the prime ministerships of Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron provided the important context for the development of the field today known as positive psychology.

Happier? provides the first history of the origins, development, and impact of the way Americans – and now many around the world – shifted from mental illness to well-being as they pondered the human condition. This change, which came about from the fusing of knowledge drawn from Eastern spiritual traditions, behavioral economics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and cognitive psychology, has been led by scholars and academic entrepreneurs, as they wrestled with the implications of political events and forces such as neoliberalism and cultural conservatism, and a public eager for self-improvement.

Linking the development of happiness studies and positive psychology with a broad series of social changes, including the emergence of new media and technologies like TED talks, blogs, web sites, and neuroscience, as well as the role of evangelical ministers, Oprah Winfrey’s enterprises, and funding from government agencies and private foundations, Horowitz highlights the transfer of specialized knowledge into popular arenas. Along the way he shows how marketing triumphed, transforming academic disciplines and spirituality into saleable products. Ultimately, Happier? illuminates how positive psychology, one of the most influential academic fields of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, infused American culture with captivating promises for a happier society.

[End]

Studies related to Second World War

I have taken time off from blogging, in the process setting aside time to focus closely upon intensive reading, within the analog sphere, of reality.

The above-noted book refers to the Second World War, among other topics. Over the past several months, I’ve been reading extensively about the history of Nazi Germany – about how the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, how it consolidated its power in the years leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War, and its role during the Second World War. I have also been reading extensively about the aftermath of the Second World War.

As I have noted in previous posts, in my anecdotal experience, Richard J. Evans provides an exemplary overview regarding the above-noted topics.

Click here for previous posts related to Richard J. Evans >

As it happens, Richard J. Evans writes in a style that is much easier to read than the style of Happiest? (2018). On one level, that matters; it makes the reading a little easier than otherwise would be the case. It is not, however, the only variable that matters.

If a book is strongly evidence-based, is built around a cogent and well-reasoned framework, and is structured in such a way that it’s also easy to read, then I much enjoy reading such a work.

On the other hand, if a book is strongly evidence-based, is built around a cogent and well-reasoned framework, and is structured in such a way that it’s quite a chore to read, then I will still be interested in the reading of it. That is too say, the ease of reading is just one of the many variables that are at play, when a person seeks to get educated about a particular topic.

With regard to positivity, I am a keener. In the late 1960s, I read a couple of books that convinced me of the power of a positive attitude, and the value of framing things in positive terms.

Framing is the key variable.

Jim Tovey’s father’s advice, about attunement to the present moment

On our way from the Small Arms Building to meet Kate Hayes at the Lake Ontario shoreline, we stopped for a discussion about the wooded baffles at the Long Branch Rifle Ranges. In response to a question for a walk attendee, Jim Tovey (holding microphone) noted that the aim is to restore Long Branch Rifle Ranges to a state approaching their original condition. Jaan Pill photo

May 28, 2016 Small Arms Jane’s Walk: On our way from the Small Arms Building to meet Kate Hayes of Credit Valley Conservation at the Lake Ontario shoreline, we stopped for a discussion about the wooden baffles at the Long Branch Rifle Ranges. In response to a question for a walk attendee, Jim Tovey (holding microphone) noted that the aim is to restore the Long Branch Rifle Ranges to a state approaching their original condition. Jaan Pill photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

I am reminded, in this context, of the advice that his father gave to the late Jim Tovey, as noted at a previous post:

“The only thing we are guaranteed in life is this moment, and every moment is precious. Be the best person you can be in this moment and make every moment positive, helpful and productive.”

Click here for previous posts about Jim Tovey >

It is noteworthy, at least from my perspective as an observer, that the above-noted excellent and powerful advice deals with mindfulness, but is not labelled as such. That is all for the best; mindfulness as a concept has great power, yet it can readily be addressed without labelling it as mindfulness. As well, no one really owns the concept of mindfulness; and we can add that the concept can be defined in many different ways, and can be claimed by many different constituencies.

Click here for previous posts related to mindfulness >

Violence, associated with strongly held belief systems, including but not restricted to, Buddhism

In particular, I have explored the latter topic at a page entitled: Mindfulness meditation.

With regard to themes addressed at the latter page, a recent Toronto Public Library study that I have been reading with interest is entitled: Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim ‘Other’ (2017).

A TPL blurb reads:

Summary/Review: Explores the growing divide between Myanmar’s Buddhist and Muslim communities, and questions why some of the most respected and articulate voices for democracy in the country have become complicit in the persecution of its religious minorities.

[End]

Click here for previous posts about Buddhist violence >

I refer in particular to Buddhism because it has been marketed widely, in particular in the West, as a uniquely non-violent religion. The bottom line from my perspective is that practitioners of Buddhism, like adherents of any strongly held belief system, are readily, and enthusiastically, capable of acting in support of violence, and, indeed, in support of genocide, under specified conditions.

These are all great topics. I am delighted that, as a result of having a website, I have the opportunity to share my reflections, from time to time, about these many topics.

Updates

A valuable study, available at the Toronto Public Library, is entitled: The Globalisation of Addiction: A study in Poverty of the Spirit (2008).

A blurb (which I’ve broken into shorter paragraphs) for the book reads:

The Globalisation of Addiction presents a radical rethink about the nature of addiction. Scientific medicine has failed when it comes to addiction. There are no reliable methods to cure it, prevent it, or take the pain out of it.

There is no durable consensus on what addiction is, what causes it, or what should be done about it. Meanwhile, it continues to increase around the world. This book argues that the cause of this failure to control addiction is that the conventional wisdom of the 19th and 20th centuries focused too single-mindedly on the afflicted individual addict.

Although addiction obviously manifests itself in individual cases, its prevalence differs dramatically between societies. For example, it can be quite rare in a society for centuries, and then become common when a tribal culture is destroyed or a highly developed civilization collapses.

When addiction becomes commonplace in a society, people become addicted not only to alcohol and drugs, but to a thousand other destructive pursuits: money, power, dysfunctional relationships, or video games. A social perspective on addiction does not deny individual differences in vulnerability to addiction, but it removes them from the foreground of attention, because social determinants are more powerful.

This book shows that the social circumstances that spread addiction in a conquered tribe or a falling civilisation are also built into today’s globalizing free-market society.

A free-market society is magnificently productive, but it subjects people to irresistible pressures towards individualism and competition, tearing rich and poor alike from the close social and spiritual ties that normally constitute human life.

People adapt to their dislocation by finding the best substitutes for a sustaining social and spiritual life that they can, and addiction serves this function all too well.

The book argues that the most effective response to a growing addiction problem is a social and political one, rather than an individual one. Such a solution would not put the doctors, psychologists, social workers, policemen, and priests out of work, but it would incorporate their practices in alarger social project.

The project is to reshape society with enough force and imagination to enable people to find social integration and meaning in everyday life. Then great numbers of them would not need to fill their inner void with addictions.

[End]

A Jan. 27, 2018 Guardian article is entitled: “The Sackler family made billions from OxyContin. Why do top US colleges take money tainted by the opioid crisis?”

A Jan. 31, 2018 Guardian article is entitled: “‘It needs to make you uncomfortable’: the opioid documentary set to shock America.”

An excerpt reads:

Each day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose. The five-part docu-series, which premieres Friday on Showtime, bypasses the didactic timeline of how the US got to this position and instead places the audience in unvarnished scenes of human suffering.

It’s an intimate style the director, Matthew Heineman, used in the Oscar-nominated Cartel Land, and it puts a face to people affected by the crisis.

The camera keeps rolling as women with children are investigated by police for their connection to the opioid trade in a home filled with kilos of heroin, in a car driven by an intoxicated mother and in a front yard, being taken away by child protective services.

The children’s faces are blurred, unlike those of almost everyone else in the film, including the main characters: police, people with addiction and Mexican poppy growers.

[End]

A Feb. 1, 2018 CBC article is entitled: “Rohingya crisis has ‘hallmarks of genocide,’ UN official says: Yanghee Lee said that Burma’s actions were ‘amounting to crimes against humanity.’ ”

 

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Man With a Wrench does A-1 work on appliance repairs

We recently ran into a problem with a Kenmore dishwasher that we bought a few years ago.

We checked out Man With a Wrench at homestars.com and contacted this company, based on its excellent ratings.

The work was gone quickly and well, at a price that made good sense for us. We recommend them highly:

2571129 Ontario Inc (Man With a Wrench)
920 Yonge Street, | Suite 900 | Toronto, ON M4W 3C7
1-888-454-4840 | manwithawrench1@gmail.com | http://www.manwithawrench.com

 

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At November 2017 Small Arms Society meeting, Jim Tovey outlines January 2018 “Morphology” exhibit – YouTube video

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Display at Small Arms Building, January 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Among many other achievements, Jim Tovey was (in 2009) named Mississauga Citizen of the Year. The photo is outside the City of Mississauga Council Chambers.

Among many other achievements, Jim Tovey was (in 2009) named Mississauga Citizen of the Year. The photo is outside the City of Mississauga Council Chambers.

Detail from photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

Detail from photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

View of photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

View of photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

Updates

A Jan. 19, 2018 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “Jim Tovey’s audacious dreams kept coming true: An irrepressible spirit, an irreplaceable man, says John Stewart.”

James Michael Tovey Obituary: Jan. 20, 2018 Toronto Star

Other YouTube videos of interest:

Remembering Jim Tovey

Jim Tovey, Mississauga Visionary. LAKEVIEW LEGACY PROJECT February 27 2008

An April 2012 Mississauga Life article is entitled: Councillor Jim Tovey: Ideas in Motion.

A one-minute video at watermarkproject.ca featuring Jim Tovey, canoeist, is entitled: Mijinemungshing Lake, ON – Jim Tovey

[End]

 

Councillor Jim Tovey has, on occasion, shared the best advice he was ever given.

It’s a quotation from his father:

“The only thing we are guaranteed in life is this moment, and every moment is precious. Be the best person you can be in this moment and make every moment positive, helpful and productive.”

Three-minute YouTube video

Jim Tovey and friends at June 17, 2017 Small Arms ceremony. Jaan Pill photo

Jim Tovey and friends at June 17, 2017 Small Arms Groundbreaking Ceremony. Jaan Pill photo. Click on the image to enlarge it.

I’ve recently posted a YouTube video entitled:

At November 2017 Small Arms meeting, Jim Tovey outlines January 2018 “Morphology” exhibit

The video highlights a discussion, at the annual general meeting of the Small Arms Society, on Nov. 22, 2017 at the Army & Airforce Veterans Club at 765 3rd St. in Mississauga, in which Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey outlines plans for the Jan. 14, 2018 “Morphology” exhibit at the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant.

The event featured local photographers chronicling changes at the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project.

A Jan. 17, 2018 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “‘Everybody will miss you’: Politicians, colleagues, friends celebrate the life of Coun. Jim Tovey: Public tribute held at city hall.”

An Oct. 17, 2017 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “Good Questions – Jim Tovey.”

About Jim Tovey (overview from his website) >

Morphology exhibit at Lakeview site

In connection with the above-noted “‘Morphology” event, a Feb. 16, 2018 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “Morphology’ exhibit features birth of coastal wetlands at Lakeview site: 11 local artist featured in showcase.”

Click here to access a Staff Video, by Rob Beintema of Mississauga.com, of the “Morphology” exhibit >

The image is from a series of photos at the Jan. 16, 2018 Mississauga.com article featured at the post you are now reading. Caption: Photograph taken by PJ Bell documenting the progress of the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project. - Rachael Williams

The image is from a series of photos at the Jan. 16, 2018 Mississauga.com article featured at the post you are now reading. Caption: Photograph taken by PJ Bell documenting the progress of the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project. – Rachael Williams

The article outlines the final project that Councillor Jim Tovey was involved with planning, before he suddenly passed away.

I first got to know Jim Tovey some years ago through my website, after he learned of blogs I had posted based on comments, from Long Branch residents, concerning plans to change the sand beach at Marie Curtis Park – the stretch of beach between Etobicoke Creek and Applewood Creek – into a pebble beach.

An early plan, for such a pebble beach, had been outlined in a Lakeview Waterfront Connection document. A Long Branch resident had contacted me by email, to let me know about the plan. I had subsequently discussed the plan, at my website, taking care to frame the discussion with a focus on accuracy and balance in my reporting.

After he’d read my posts, Jim Tovey called me on the phone. By way of a paraphrase, he said: “Great website! Let’s meet for coffee. Let’s discuss this topic further.”

View of demolition work, April 10, 2015. The view is looking east toward Toronto. Jaan Pill photo

View looking east toward Toronto during demolition of interior of south end of Small Arms Building. A crew of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga completed the task in mid-April 2015. Jaan Pill photo (April 10, 2015)

Some time later, a public meeting was held in Long Branch, regarding the plans for the western stretch of the Marie Curtis Park beach. In time, the decision was made that only a small, westerly portion of the beach would be turned into a pebble beach.

Click here for previous posts about the “sand beach” topic >

I have interviewed Jim Tovey on many occasions.

I have, as well, recorded many meetings and events at which he was a key player, including ones connected with the Lakeview Waterfront Connection, Hanlan Water Project, the Small Arms Building, Inspiration Lakeview, Inspiration Port Credit, and a couple of Jane’s Walks. As well, I’ve signed up as a member of the Small Arms Society.

Highlights are available at previous posts. You can do a search, using this site’s internal search engine, to find lists of posts regarding any of the projects listed in  the previous paragraph.

Jim Tovey’s remarkable and powerful legacy lives on, in the outstanding work that so many fine people, in so many communities – and at three levels of government – are now actively engaged in, along the Lake Ontario waterfront. My own friendship with Jim Tovey is among the most inspiring highlights of the 21 years that I have lived in Long Branch.

Click here for previous posts about Jim Tovey >

 

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Online video of Jan. 17, 2018 Tribute to Councillor Jim Tovey at City of Mississauga Council Chambers

Jim Tovey and friends at Small Arms Building. Jaan Pill photo

Jim Tovey with friends and colleagues at June 17, 2017 Small Arms Building event. Jaan Pill photo

Click here to access the video >

The above-noted video includes a quotation, from Jim Tovey’s father, that has served as a guideline for Jim’s life:

“The only thing we are guaranteed in life is this moment, and every moment is precious. Be the best person you can be in this moment and make every moment positive, helpful and productive.”

Among many other achievements, Jim Tovey was (in 2009) named Mississauga Citizen of the Year. The photo is outside the City of Mississauga Council Chambers.

Among many other achievements, Jim Tovey was (in 2009) named Mississauga Citizen of the Year. The photo is outside the City of Mississauga Council Chambers.

Detail from photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

Detail from photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

View of photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

View of photo display outside Mississauga Council Chambers

A Jan. 17, 2018 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “‘Everybody will miss you’: Politicians, colleagues, friends celebrate the life of Coun. Jim Tovey: Public tribute held at city hall.”

An Oct. 17, 2017 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “Good Questions – Jim Tovey.”

Click here to access previous posts about Jim Tovey >

About Jim Tovey (overview from his website) >

A related post is entitled:

At November 2017 Small Arms meeting, Jim Tovey outlines January 2018 “Morphology” exhibit – YouTube video

Updates

A Jan. 19, 2018 Mississauga.com article is entitled: “Jim Tovey’s audacious dreams kept coming true: An irrepressible spirit, an irreplaceable man, says John Stewart.”

James Michael Tovey Obituary: Jan. 20, 2018 Toronto Star

Other YouTube videos of interest:

Remembering Jim Tovey

Jim Tovey, Mississauga Visionary. LAKEVIEW LEGACY PROJECT February 27 2008

An April 2012 Mississauga Life article is entitled: Councillor Jim Tovey: Ideas in Motion.

A one-minute video at watermarkproject.ca featuring Jim Tovey, canoeist, is entitled: Mijinemungshing Lake, ON – Jim Tovey

[End]

 

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