TORONTO: Top six candidates platforms comparison

Top six candidates with platform profiles
Source: Toronto Star, May 11/23
[The Star has an excellent dynamic chart available at TorStar Chart It allows user to compare candidate profiles by topic.]

Ana Balião
Former city councillor

  • move on province taking responsibility for the Gardiner and the DVP
  • redirect the $200 million currently spent on these highways to fix services for our residents
  • revise fiscal framework for Toronto funding by fed and prov govts.

Brad Bradford
City councillor

  • Toronto faces a serious budget shortfall
  • Toronto undeserved disrespect
  • More forthcoming during the campaign on city budgeting


Olivia Chow
Former city councillor; former NDP MP

  • Address inherited problems: poor transit service, backlogged city services, crumbling infrastructure
  • New deal for cities that includes long-term sustainable funding to grow the economy
  • Use progressive revenue tools to improve city services
  • Possesses needed experience to fix Toronto’s fiscal challenges
  • Has plans for improving housing, and city services to make living in Toronto more affordable.

Mitzie Hunter
Liberal MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood

  • fully costed, balanced budget statement forthcoming
  • affordable housing for more people
  • a city where people feel safe
  • transit accessible to more riders
  • services people can count on
  • planning for the future but acting for today

Josh Matlow
City councillor

  • Senior levels of government of course need to step up with alternate plan
  • Need for considering all possible funding sources for Toronto
  • Consider new revenue tools:
    – a community safety fund through a three-year police budget stabilization
    – two percent property tax dedicated to reinvesting in city services
    – commercial parking lot levy could raise roughly $200 million per year
    – discontinue rebuild of the elevated east portion of the Gardiner potentially saving $1 billion


 Mark Saunders
 Former police chief

  • Toronto needs a new tax system
  • Need to review the city budget
  • Need better alignment of services, find efficiencies and make necessary adjustments
  • ensure the budget process is 100 percent transparent listening to all input
  • closely scrutinize current expenditures before expecting province or federal government funding
Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

Wk 5 25 23 Beware shopping at Loblaw’s

Hello, Savvy Shoppers!

I was at Food Basics yesterday, to buy the broccoli crowns, special of the week at $0.88. While, there, I bought Liquid Plummer. I thought $12.99 was rather expensive, but I is needed it. Next, while at the nearby Loblaws I thought I’d check the price for that same item: $17.99!!! Wow! A $5 difference?!! That’s insane.

Shoppers, we do have to be selective as to where we buy and what.

Despite the maligned high prices charged by Loblaws, this week Loblaws does offer some attractive and very competitive prices for the following items.

Romaine hearts 3pack     $3.99
2lb lemons                      $3.99
Tomatoes on vine           $0.99 lb
Strawberries                    $2.44 lb
Black Diamond cheese   $4.99
PC Raw shrimp               $7.99
Lean ground beef            $3.44 lb
Chapmans Ice cream      $4.49

Enjoy this beautiful spring weather, Savvy Shoppers!



Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Everything old should be new again

Life was simpler before. So it seemed, more joyful, more delightful, more pleasureful. Even Hollywood concurs that the old days were happier days. The entertainment center of the world is trying to return to those happier times by producing sequels based on past successes in hopes of repeating them. The remakes are poor copies of past gems. The latest CGI and AI technologies (Computer Generated Images and Artificial Intelligence) fail to bring back the excitement and energy of the original, simple stories made into simple entertaining productions.

Two notable examples…
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 75 years old, stars in a newly released Netflix’ series, Fubar, a remake of the very entertaining original, True Lies, co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Hollywood thought it could cash in on the popularity of the movie with a TV series. Poof! Wrong. The series never made it past season one, too glitchy, trying too hard to cash in on the simpler production of the original movie.

Fubar is another failed attempt at cashing in on the success of simpler times, simpler productions. It fails. The reasons are varied. Ageism may be one reason but more likely it is the yearning for the productions of the past, productions that were simpler, more direct and better written. A full review of Fubar may be best left for a detailed Internet review of the series. For now, best to say Hollywood is trying to recapture the success of simpler times and failing. Today’s society is trying to do the same.

Hollywood trying again.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was very successful. Entertaining, popularly successful, a very good movie with action, suspense, terrific stunt scenes and wonderful engagement.

Hollywood declares, “Let’s try it again.” Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the latest remake of the Indiana Jones success, dies on the vines. Read the reviews on the Internet lamenting everything from the second-rate CGI cinematography to the digital makeup do-over of its 80-year-old star, Harrison Ford.

Puleeeeze…at the risk of sounding ageist, Sean Connery, Roger Moore and even Daniel Craig recognized that Father Time cannot be ignored and retired from the role. Harrison Ford should do the same.

However, the point of all this is that the old times were simpler and are viewed as better times. There is much to accept and admire about the world today but the past seems more favoured. There was more of the positive things and less of the negative. There was more of people being engaged with one another rather than the social media polarization dividing our society as it has. There was more acceptance of contrary points of view rather than malevolent or violent reactions to it as today.

Wrong way, Jose?
We reminisce about those past times with so much enthusiasm and verve but are we doing it the best way? Rather than revisiting the past and lamenting it as history, can we revive those days? Can we find ways to compromise, collaborate and corroborate on issues, current problems and the way we live without resorting to extreme reactions, volatile verbiage and aggressive actions in response? Can we return to the gentler times where we said, “Yes sir, yes ma’am. That may have validity. Let me think about it.”

What do you think?


Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Nuclear public alert: SYSTEMS TEST

From June 5 to 9, the City of Pickering will be testing its nuclear public alerting system during daytime hours, over five days. The test will consist of 34 individual short, five-second siren alerts.

On June 5, an auto dialer will call listed Durham Region landline phone numbers that are within 10 kilometres of the nuclear-generating stations. The calls will show as coming from 905-666-6291.

Learn how you will be alerted by looking up your address at

No action is required. In a real emergency, upon hearing the alerts, you must go indoors and tune into trusted local media outlets or government channels for further instructions.

For more information, visit, or call 311.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

TORONTO: Olivia Chow leads the mayoral candidate pack

Olivia Chow has ‘untouchable’ lead in final weeks of Toronto’s mayoral campaign, new poll finds

Source: Toronto Star, May. 21st, 2023
[ The article has been modified for brevity and suitability.
To access the original article, click –>  TorStar – CHOW]

Former NDP MP Olivia Chow is entering the final weeks of Toronto’s mayoral campaign the undisputed front-runner, according to a Forum Research poll for the Toronto Star.

“Chow’s lead remains untouchable,” after seven weeks of the 12-week campaign, said Forum president Lorne Bozinoff. “Other candidates have yet to connect strongly with voters.”

Despite her recent two per cent dip Chow remains nearly triple that of her nearest rivals, according to the new poll.

The survey of 1,000 Torontonians conducted Friday shows:

Olivia Chow                  34%
Josh Maitlow                12%
Mark Saunders            12%
Mitzie Hunter              10%
Ana Bailão                       9%
Brad Bradford                7%

One-fifth, or 20 per cent, of respondents said they don’t know which of the 102 total candidates they’ll choose in the June 26 byelection. Fifteen per cent of respondents chose one of the less prominent candidates.

Results of the interactive voice response telephone survey are considered accurate plus or minus three percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Support for Saunders, a conservative with close ties to Premier Doug Ford, dropped six percentage points from the previous week. Support for Matlow, a progressive highly critical of Ford and his impact on Toronto, rose two points.

Hunter, Bailão and Bradford all linger within three percentage points of their support level recorded in Forum’s late April poll.

The new survey, like those of other pollsters, suggests that with Tory not in the race, Torontonians want the city to shift to the political left after 13 years of centrist or right-leaning rule under Tory and predecessor Rob Ford.

During 14 years on Metro and city councils, Chow held posts working on housing, child advocacy and the city budget. She followed that with eight years as an NDP MP during which her late husband, Jack Layton, became party leader.

She ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2014, starting as an early favourite in the 11-month campaign but finishing third behind winner Tory and runner-up Doug Ford. Since then she has taught and founded the Institute for Change Leaders.

This campaign Chow has said the city needs “progressive revenue tools” and a “new deal” from provincial and federal governments to raise cash to fill the city’s budget hole, and improve city services that have deteriorated in recent years.

Her pledges include:

  • reversing service cuts to the TTC
  • fighting the Ford government’s plans for Ontario Place
  • fighting the Ford government’s plans for the Ontario Science Centre
  • building 25,000 city-owned and nonprofit-run, rent-controlled rental homes
  • changing rebuild plans for the elevated east Gardiner Expressway to make it ground level.

Chow and Mark Saunders have likely benefitted from high name recognition in polls conducted when many Torontonians were not paying much attention. Scrutiny on all candidates is expected to increase over the coming weeks as they participate in multiple debates and unleash a barrage of election advertising.

Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Calendar of SPOTLIGHT SERIES presentations

Free Interactive seminars with local guest speakers.
All seminars are free. Registration is required.
Register in advance using the codes provided at

Getting The Most From Your Healthcare Appointment
Thursday, June 1
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Activity code: 46516
Highly recommended for those attending medical appointments. This presentation deals with these aspects of medical appointments: what to do before, during, and after a health care appointment.

Cancer Screening
Tuesday, June 6
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Activity code: 46515
The Central East Regional Cancer Program team will provide education on cancer prevention.

Understanding Your Medication
Friday, June 9
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Activity code: 46517
This seminar covers topics such as: challenges and importance of medications, tips on taking medication and the importance of keeping a personal medication record.

Frauds and Scams
Presented by Durham Regional Police Services
Tuesday, June 13
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Activity code: 46513
Presentation by DRPS Constable Darryl Rice who is a dynamic, effective and very informative speaker. This presentation is one of the very best in arming oneself against Frauds and Scams. Constable Rice’s presentation is exceptional in its comprehensiveness and in its engagement. A not-to-be-missed presentation.

Understanding Food Labels
Presented by Home and Community Care
Thursday, June 15
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Activity code: 46518
Learn how to read food labels and find out what you can be doing to eat healthier.

Understanding Blood Pressure
Presented by Home and Community Care
Tuesday, June 20
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Activity code: 46519
Though everyone knows about Blood Pressure, few people are well informed about it. This presentation explains what blood pressure is, how it works, and tips on how to control it. A must-attend presentation for information about your health

Personal/Home & Travel Safety
Presented by Durham Regional Police Services
Tuesday, June 27
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Activity code: 46514
Presentation by DRPS Constable Darryl Rice, a dynamic and very engaging speaker. This presentation covers the vital aspects of Personal, Home and Travel Safety. It really is a presentation that will update you about living safely at home and away. A very important presentation reducing risks at home and while travelling.

Practical Planning for Your Health
Presented by Home and Community Care
Tuesday, June 27
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Activity code: 46520
We will be discussing how manage and maintain our health as we age.


Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

Steak Marinades

Steak Marinades
Marinades will tenderize your steaks and make them juicier and more flavourful.

Try each marinade below. Save your favourite ones and then tweak them to your specific flavour tastes.

  • Classic Steak Marinade
    The classic steak marinade is a simple yet effective combination of oil, acid, and flavorings. To make this marinade, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until well combined, then pour over your steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.
  • Balsamic Marinade
    For a sweeter, more tangy flavor, try a balsamic marinade. This marinade is made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, honey, and Dijon mustard. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour over your steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • Soy Sauce Marinade
    If you’re looking for a savory, umami flavor, a soy sauce marinade is a great option. To make this marinade, combine soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, and black pepper in a bowl. Whisk until well combined, then pour over your steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • Citrus Marinade
    For a bright, zesty flavor, try a citrus marinade. This marinade is made with orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, honey, and cumin. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour over your steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • Herb Marinade
    For a more subtle flavor, try a herb marinade. This marinade is made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, and a selection of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour over your steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • Beer Marinade
    For a unique flavor, try a beer marinade. This marinade is made with beer, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and a selection of spices such as paprika and cumin. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour over your steak and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

No matter which marinade you choose, be sure to let your steak marinate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to soak in and tenderize the meat.

Posted in RECIPES | Leave a comment

Chicken marinades

Chicken marinades
A great way to add flavour and tenderness to grilled chicken.

  1. Lemon and Herb Marinade:
    Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano, rosemary). Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Teriyaki Marinade: Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. You can also add pineapple juice or honey for sweetness. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours before grilling.
  3. Yogurt and Spice Marinade: Mix together Greek yogurt, cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours before grilling. The yogurt will help tenderize the chicken and the spices will add a delicious flavor.
  4. Balsamic Vinegar Marinade: Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can also add honey or Dijon mustard for sweetness. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours before grilling.
  5. Mustard and Maple Syrup Marinade: Mix together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours before grilling. The mustard and maple syrup will create a sweet and tangy flavor.
  6. Jerk Marinade: Combine allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, scallions, thyme, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. You can also add soy sauce or orange juice for sweetness. Marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours before grilling.

When marinating chicken, it’s important to make sure that the chicken is completely coated in the marinade and stored in the fridge. You should also avoid reusing marinades that have come into contact with raw chicken to prevent cross-contamination. Finally, make sure to grill the chicken until it’s fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure food safety.

Posted in RECIPES | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Councillors influenced by big developers?


Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: American politics – a stage for clowns

American politics is astounding in its ridiculousness. It is a stage for political clowns and currently, the two biggest are also presidential candidates. Absolutely incredible! Over  234 million eligible voters and these two clowns lead the possible candidates for a major political party, the Republicans. Unbelievable. Impossible. But truth is stranger than fiction. 

T**** has a track record of being a liar, misogynist, sexist, bully and worse. Yet, he is fast becoming the leader in the presidential race, 2024. Second in the running is another wacko, Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida. Are Florida’s that old, that senile that they cannot see this politician is of questionable sanity. First, to prove he is “the power” in Florida, he takes on Disneyworld. Then he restricts certain on books to be used in Florida schools. Now he defunds any Florida school that practices free speech, permits freedom of information and uses liberal policies dealing with the LGBTQIA+ community. Black students be damned. If they don’t like the racial policies legislated for their schools, leave.

Two clowns! These are the best candidates that can be had? A very sad situation for Americans and their political world.

Dan Rather, retired CBS journalist, writes an excellent commentary about DeSantis and this latest insanity of political policy in Florida.

To read Rather’s comments, click –> CLOWN GOV

Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment


One night only, Hello,

Featuring Canadian poets, Anindita Mukherjee, Mbonisi Zikhali, Diana Manole

 Diana Manola is a second-language immigrant woman poet in Canada who will read from Praying to a Landed-Immigrant God which is about to be printed:

The event will the culmination of the HAPPENING Multicultural Festival, the first and only Toronto festival created by community artists, giving center-stage to the talent and skills of immigrant, newcomer, and refugee artists. It is a multi-arts platform which includes music, dance, visual arts, community-engaged arts, storytelling, spoken word, and poetry. HAPPENING embraces the cultural richness of Canadian cities while creating professional development opportunities for artists, as well as offering opportunities to connect and form meaningful collaborations for artists.

The HAPPENING Poetry Nights festival celebrates poets who are newcomers, refugees, or immigrants and is an event that connects poets from many geographical locations and who speak in different accents and languages. Literature continues to be the most exclusive of arts and the most resistant against outsiders. An immigrant’s linguistic, cultural, and political accents marks them as alien, and hence, an unwanted company or colleague among fellow writers and poets.

Curator of the event: Bänoo Zan
Banno Zan is a poet and poetry curator with over 200 published pieces and three books, including Songs of Exile and Letters to My Father. She is the founder of Shab e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse and brave poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012).

May 18, 2023, 7:00 pm EST

Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment


Updating you on the names

Volodymyr Zelensky    Ukraine
Giorgia Meloni             Italy
Olaf Scholz                  Germany
Emmanuel Macron       France
Rsihi Sunak                 United Kingdom
Joe Biden                    United States
Justin Trudeau             Canada

Posted in SzPINNERS | Leave a comment



I’m a lifelong Toronto resident committed to a vision of a city that thrives economically and environmentally. I’ve been part of local grassroots initiatives related to green spaces for children, transit improvement, and pedestrian safety. I’ve advocated for better street design and at budget hearings. I’ve served political movers and shakers as a waitress and debated them at the Board of Trade. I’ve been the Executive Director at a non-profit which paid me a salary and been a stay-at-home mom which did not.

Message to voters
This is my third run for mayor and I’m done with conventional campaigns. Our democracy seems to me to just shuffle people around. No matter what political stripe the new leader is, the status quo always seems to win. Wealth, power and control continue to concentrate in fewer and fewer hands, while our quality of life and the health of the natural environment on which we depend suffers. So I don’t take this election too seriously. I’m in this for the opportunity and the joy of sharing my vision with others who are looking for something new. If you’d like to learn more about my vision on housing, transit, crime, environment and democracy, with some philosophy along the way, please sign up for my platform newsletter on Substack here:

Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

TORONTO: Josh Maitlow, mayoral candidate on AGE-FRIENDLY city for everyone

Josh Matlow: a bold Age-Friendly Toronto plan

Mayoral candidate will reduce seniors’ TTC fares and support healthy independence

Toronto, May 16, 2023 – Mayoral candidate Josh Matlow announced today that, as Mayor, he will invest $14.75 million in making Toronto one of the healthiest cities to age well in.

Key initiatives include:

  • reducing seniors’ TTC fares
  • expanding services that promote seniors’ social inclusion
  • independence and quality of life.

The City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy acknowledges Matlow as a “longstanding advocate for seniors in Toronto,” and reports that “the success of the Toronto Seniors Strategy is a direct result of his deep and abiding commitment.”

“In my 10 years as our city’s Seniors Advocate and strategy co-chair, I learned that when you design an age-friendly city, one that is caring, accessible and respectful, you design a city that includes everyone,” said Matlow.

Matlow’s Age-Friendly Toronto plan targets the financial, psychological and social well-being of our city’s approximately 450,000 residents aged 65 and older. By 2041, one in five Torontonians will be over 65.

“Seniors have energy and lived experience and contribute so much to the rich diversity of our city,” said Matlow. “When we truly understand and meet the needs of our aging population, we ensure that seniors have their health, their independence and the financial security to thrive in our community.”

Toronto has a responsibility and an opportunity to make our city one of the best places in which to live and age well. Not only is supporting seniors the right thing to do, when it comes to our economy it is a demographic imperative. Experts like Dr. Samir Sinha, Sinai Health’s Director of Geriatrics, report that the care needs of our aging population could bankrupt governments if not addressed immediately.

Issues include escalating transit expenses for older adults living on a fixed income, which limits their independence and social connection. Nine in 10 (90 percent) of Canadian seniors say aging in place promotes independence, but just one quarter (26 percent) predict they’ll be able to stay in their current home as they age. Some seniors are high-volume 911 callers because they have no other adequate healthcare options. And, approximately half (49 percent) of all pedestrian fatalities on Toronto roads are adults aged 65 or older.

Matlow’s Age-Friendly Toronto plan will invest in and support:

  • Transit – investing $6 million to extend the City’s Fair Pass discounted TTC fare program to all seniors, lowering pay-as-you-go fares to $2.10 from $2.25 per ride, and reversing recent TTC service cuts (see TTC Funding).
  • Aging in place – investing $5 million to expand the vital Homemakers and Nurses Services Program to support more low-income seniors with light housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping and meal preparation to make living at home easier and safer.
  • Age-friendly housing solutions – introducing an Age-Friendly approach to the City’s urban planning process and expediting the planning of seniors residential and facility proposals that adequately address the needs of seniors, including the support and expansion of Toronto’s 489 naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs). Even adding more benches to outdoor spaces can provide a place to rest on daily walks or serve as a place to build community.
  • Healthcare access – investing $2.4 million to expand the community Paramedicine Program by 50 per cent to serve more seniors through home visits, wellness clinics and referrals, thereby reducing reliance on 911 calls and acute care,  and advocating to the Province of Ontario to expand CareTO’s model of emotion-focused, culturally sensitive care to all Toronto long-term care homes.
  • Safe travels – redesigning dangerous roads and improving snow clearing to keep streets and sidewalks accessible and help older adults stay healthy and connected to the community (see Traffic Safety and City Works Fund).
  • Social and recreation spaces – investing $1.35 million to bring back main-lobby cafes in City-run long-term care homes that were eliminated in Rob Ford’s mayorship. And opening neighbourhood schools as community centres on evenings and weekends and all libraries on Sundays to allow for more social interaction and programming (see Open Schools Toronto and Open Libraries).
  • Meaningful work – expanding work and volunteer opportunities with the City and its funded agencies for the many seniors who would rather continue to work if they had the opportunity. Older adults have vital skills and knowledge to contribute.
  • Healthy lifestyle and community – advocating to the Province of Ontario to expand the City’s NORC programs to more of the 489 apartment buildings where seniors in Toronto already congregate and live. This model reduces isolation and promotes good nutrition, physical fitness and a sense of purpose.

Matlow has a track record of fighting for seniors and pushing for a more age-friendly community. Over a decade ago he initiated Toronto’s Seniors Strategy, which was unanimously adopted by City Council. He has worked closely with the province and community leaders to change the culture in the City’s 10 long-term care homes through CareTO and the 2SLGBTQI+ toolkit for seniors and co-led the launch of the Toronto Public Library’s Seniors Digital Literacy Program. During the pandemic, Matlow personally delivered COVID-19 vaccines to house-bound seniors across his ward. 

To learn more about Josh Matlow’s mayoral campaign to make Toronto a city that works, the safe, affordable, livable city that we all know it can be, please visit




According to the City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy 2.0, the proportion of Toronto’s population aged 65 and over is projected to continue growing. By 2041, people aged 65-plus will make up 21.2 per cent of Toronto’s population. While this proportional increase may not at first seem significant, the number of seniors in Toronto is expected to nearly double to 828,064 from 426,945 (2041 vs 2016 population numbers).

Budget assumptions
Extending the TTC’s Fair Pass discount program to all seniors in Toronto would cost $6 million based on a 15-cent decrease in fares for 40 million annual riders; it would be funded through Matlow’s recently announced City Works Fund.

Introducing an Age-Friendly approach to urban design and expediting the planning process would require two staff planning employees dedicated to the fast approval of these projects. These two employees will be funded by a mild proportional increase in development fees for these projects.

Reintroducing lobby cafes in Toronto’s long-term care facilities would cost $1.35 million based on 2 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per cafe X 10 LTCs (20 X $55k average long-term care staff salary = $1.1 million) plus $25,000 in light renovations X 10 LTCs ($250,000). The cafes would be funded through the Community Health and Safety Fund.

The Paramedicine Program will be increased by 50 percent through the hiring of 20 new FTE community paramedics. At the approximate current rate of $120,000 per year, this would cost $2.4 million annually and be funded through Matlow’s recently announced Community Health and Safety Fund. 


Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: More than 100 candidates!

There are more than 100 candidates campaigning to be Mayor of Toronto.

Regardless of what you may think of any candidate: fringe, “not-a-hope-in hell,” wacko, contender, considerable, serious, worthwhile, whatever, one thing for certain, there are a lot of people who think they could do a reasonable job if not a better one if they were in the office of Mayor of Toronto.

John Tory
No matter how Tory’s moral principles have been assessed, polls indicate that Tory would win if he ran in this election. This may be justifiable if one examines his political record while mayor, the impact of his policies on the city. The city was always moving forward, at a snail’s pace in many eyes, but this is understandable and understood by every politician. No policy can be passed without innumerable compromises, modifications, and much bargaining. Tory had the skills of compromise and give-and-take down to a science, polished to an art. All for naught as he chose not to seek re-election, arguably a notable loss for the City of Toronto.

More than 100 candidates
Application submission has closed with 102 hopefuls ponying up the $200 fee to apply. Maybe in this day and age, the fee should be increased to weed out fringe or less-than-serious candidates but an increased application fee could be viewed as being undemocratic for some. Regardless, democracy will likely do its work reducing the crowd to one, the best one, though that cannot be known without some time in the office..

Though politicians everywhere suffer the slings and arrows of citizen criticism, sometimes too rigorous as seen at a recent all-candidates town hall in Toronto where a protestor or protest group stormed the stage until security managed to regain control of the meeting. We live in the waterfall watershed years of T**** politics and that miscreant still dominates the news and every political conversation or discussion. He lies constantly but a significant number of people still support him, selectively deaf and mentally intransigent.

Democracy is strong
In Toronto, the number of candidates running for mayor affirms that democracy is strong and vibrant. That over 100 people applied to campaign shows how equitable our democracy is. No one was rejected. We believe everyone can run for office, any office and we walk the walk, stand by our words, and practice what we preach.

Victory vs defeat
Democracy may apply restrictive limitations on campaigns, but practical considerations are unavoidable. Beyond democratic considerations, a candidate’s chances of victory are affected by many factors: campaign budgets, celebrity or public familiarity, incumbency, public popularity, reaction to media presentations, campaign styles, media facility and use, and much more. Appropriate size and effective use of these factors will help determine outcome. Success will not be determined by funding, looks, or debate style. These are not negligible factors. Rather victory will be determined by contact and credibility. The more hands the candidate shakes, the more doorbells rung, doors knocked, the more the candidate is seen, those are the crucial facets to forging a victory. That they go a long way is evidenced by so many low-odds candidates being successful in many recent local elections.

These days candidates must contend with public cynicism with politicians in general. Perhaps there has never been a time when politicians were accepted and believed readily and at face value. With the T**** declarations of fake news and nasty media, politicians themselves condition the public to be skeptical and cynical about anyone or anything political. No matter how sincere, how principled, how upstanding the campaigner may be, each of them today paddles against the stream, navigating their campaign canoe against tumultuous headwaters that precious politicians churned.

Cheers for all of us
There should be supportive cheering as given to our wonderful Maple Leafs who played their hearts out in the playoffs. Maybe it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose. What matters is how you played the game.

We wish each candidate the very best in their campaign endeavours and we urge every voter to take part in the game….VOTE!


PICKERING: “Land Over Landings” declines award from Pickering mayor

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment


Anthony FUREY

  • highly respected journalist, broadcaster, and commentator
  • recognized as one of the most insightful and knowledgeable voices in Canada on matters of politics and civic affairs.


Message to voters
“My message to voters is simple: I’m deeply concerned about the safety of our city, and the path that we’re headed down. Toronto is a world-class city that deserves world-class leadership, and it’s time to champion policies that respect taxpayers, promote economic growth, and keep our families safe.”

Anthony was stumping the campaign fields far and wide recently. Here he is addressing a local Conservative Party function in Pickering. This man is all over in his activities.


Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment



  • Municipal Socialist Alliance (MSA)

Message to voters
Toronto is in crisis, the product of a failed capitalist system. As a socialist, I bring mass social housing construction, expropriation of giant landlords, and free public transit, repair our schools, cut police budget and replace “strong mayor” powers with grassroots participatory budget process and steep taxation of the rich.

Contact Information:
Ph: 647-986-1917
Twitter/ Instagram: @kiri_vadivelu

Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

TORONTO: Complete list of CANDIDATES

List of Toronto Mayoral CANDIDATES
[Candidates with * …click to get more information]

Abdulsalam, Bahira  
Acquaye, Emmanuel
Acton, Blake
Ahmed, Sharif          
Alam, Asadul
Allan, Gru Jesse       
Aly, Atef
Apostolopoulos, Dionysios
Atkinson, Darren
Atkinson, Jamie
Bailão, Ana               
Baking, Jose             
Bankas, Ben
Beals, Claudette
Benway, Glen           
Bonilla, Eliazar
Bradford, Brad          
Brown, Chloe           
Buffey, Brian
Caesar-Chavannes, Celina *
Carrie, Mason
Chan, Roland            
Charlton, Matti         
Chevalier Romero, Danny
Chow, Olivia            
Choy, Logan
Clarke, Kevin           
Climenhaga, Sarah   
Cohen, Gordon         
Collins, Paul
D’Amico, Frank        
D’Angelo, Frank       
Davis, Rob                
D’Cruze, Phillip        
Deb, Samson
Desai, Habiba           
Deville, Cory            
Fenby, Simryn          
Forrester, Monica
Furey, Anthony        
Furnival, Scott
Gamk, Isabella         
Gao, Feng                 
Gong, Xiao Hua        
Goraya, Adil
Graff, Brian              
Grosman, Ari            
Guglielmin, James
Gulyas, David
Hall, Thomas
Handjis, Peter           
He, Heather              
Heaps, Toby
Hossain, Monowar   
Hunter, Mitzie          
Igodan, Sheila
Irmya, Daniel
Jaffery, Syed             
Jensen, Michael
Johnston, Patricia
Khan, Walayat
Korovitsyn, Serge
Lamoureux, Michael
Langenfeld, Kris       
Lee, Rick
LeLiever, Mark
Letonja, John            
MacLeod, Norman
Mammoliti, Giorgio 
Mann, Steve
Marshall, Cleveland
Matlow, Josh            
Mohee, Faizul          
Murphy, Bob
Nicula, Michael        
Nowwarah, Jamil
Perruzza, Anthony    
Ransome, John
Renée, DIONNE       
Reodica, Willie
Rubino, Walter
Saccoccia, Chris       
Sanders, Lyall
Saunders, Mark        
Schipano, Rocco       
Shusterman, Robert  
Singh, Joshua           
Singh, Knia               
Singh, Partap Dua
Sivaneswaran, Raksheni
Sniedzins, Erwin      
Srivastava, Sandeep           Info@SrivastavaForMayor.Com
Straus, Meir              
Tang, Weizhen
Toye, Mitchell
Tull, Reginald           
Tunney, Jeffery        
Vadivelu, Kiri           *
Weenen, Jack           
Wei, Yuanqian
Williams, Jody         
Winter, John
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi

Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment


Stephen Colbert, a late-night talk show host, stopped using the name “Trump” on air about 2 years ago. Brilliant, and does it ever anger T****. The X-president, X-man can barely utter the name Colbert without exploding into an angry tyrant calling the show the worst show on TV.

Well, we see Colbert’s point and fully agree with the idea. From now on, we are going do the same substituting “T***” for the X-man’s full name on our website.

This person does not deserve the respect or recognition of a human being. He is sexist, a misogynist, a bully, a liar, a thief, and much more. He has utterly destroyed the meaning of decency and propriety in our society today, and imagine, he held the highest political office in the world for four years demolishing and destroying ethics and morality in unheard-of ways. There was no such thing as ‘fake news’ before this man. 

From now on, rather than use his name or type it out fully, we will substitute “T****” instead.

Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Woe….for the simpler times!

Recently, I read a piece by Dan Rather, a past CBS broadcast news anchorman, where he was nostalgic about the typewriter and the atmosphere it created anywhere where a writer was creating some piece of writing. Click:  TYPEWRITER

Reading the piece reminded me of simpler times when being in a room where writers were working was a comforting and reassuring experience.

As Rather writes, the room in which the writer of the past created his work, clicked metronomically with the rhythmic clickety-clack of the keys tapping out words, the pace relative to the typing skill of the writer.

Remember all the sounds: the whir as you inserted the paper and turned the paten wheel; the clack when you pulled the lever to advance the paper for the next line of text entry; and then the click, click, click as you typed the letters. Such a reassuring sound. Each click confirmed that another letter was being added to the formation of a word, completing a thought in the writer’s head.

The pace was reinforcing, the click-clack confirming. The momentary silences in the pause of the typing were opportunities to develop the thoughts being created. A pause after typing a period gave one the chance to sit quietly and review, examine, revise, or continue.

What a reassuring workplace. The staccato clicks confirming that someone was writing, each click signalling that a thought was being developed, an idea was being put to paper. The clickety-clack in the room produced the feeling of a writer at work, productivity was being completed, ink was animating thoughts recorded forever on paper.

None of this is in today’s world. Technology has been replaced by silent swipes. Flat keyboards lack reassuring feedback from spring-baked keys. Entry is mere contact with the key symbol. No depression of the key, no click of reassurance. Nothing. Just silence.

The silence must be deafening. It must be an unwanted vacuum of no sound, something the young find intolerable or undesirable. They replace this objectionable aural vacuum with music, clamped to their ears with headphones, isolating them from any other invasive sounds that might interfere with their mental flow. Some eschew the headphones exchanging them for sound just filling the room, immersing them in a bath of musical murkiness.

Woe to return to those simpler times. A time when we weren’t swamped by a deluge of distractions, inundated with new input, flooded with waves of new data. A time when we dealt with one thing at a time, had time to think about it, to review it and examine it. A time for more consideration in a calmer, less disruptive atmosphere. Just the gentle clickety-clack of creativity confirming life as simpler, more relaxing, and gentler in those days of old.

Oh, to hear that typewriter again.

Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

CITY SPARK: A useful and practical CALENDAR to find local events

A great little local events calendar

<—- click on the image to access it. Play with the displayed calendar, particularly with the three circled areas…see image below….


Click the above image to access the Calendar website.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general), ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

Wk 5 13 23: Yummy roast stuffed chicken roll

Hello Savvy Shoppers!

This week, Loblaws features fresh whole chicken for $1.99 lb. So I am sharing the following recipe which is a favourite in our house, a recipe that can be for a Sunday dinner or for a special occasion.


1 whole chicken, 3-3.5 lbs
1/2 lb ground beef/pork
salt, pepper
garlic powder
1 onion
1 stick celery
1 medium carrot
Butcher’s string
roasting pan


  1. Debone the chicken, and keep the skin on.
  2. Put the chicken flat on parchment paper. Cover with cellophane. Pound the chicken into a then layer that is about ½ inch thick. Remove cellophane.
  3. Prepare the ground meat mix with all the flavours you would use for your favourite hamburger or meatloaf.
  4. Spread the ground meat mixture onto the flattened chicken.
  5. With the help of the parchment paper, shape the chicken into a roll.
  6. Using the string, tie the roll at intervals like a salami.
  7. Roast pan:
    A little olive oil, coarsely chopped onion, carrot, and celery.
    Add a branch of rosemary and sage if you have these.
    Place chicken on top of these ingredietnts.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for about 1 hour. Rotate 1-2 times.
  9. Take it out of the oven. Cover with aluminum foil. Let chicken rest 45 min.
  10. To serve:
    Cut the chicken roll into slices.
    Accompany with roast potatoes, a vegetable, and a green salad.

Buon appetito Savvy Shoppers!



Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Nuclear Preparedness

Durham Region Nuclear Emergency Procedures

The emergency procedures plan is out of date, published in 2018.

The councillors were notified of this at a Ward 1 Town Hall early in 2023. Nothing has been published about any notification.

The Region of Durham is likely responsible for creating and publishing evacuation procedures.

Nothing has been received as an update to the present time, May, 2023.

The Regional councillor sitting on the City of Pickering council is MAURICE BRENNER

Send Councillor Brenner an email with your concerns.
Copy and paste to your email app  —>

Ontario Tech University has asked for concerned citizens to complete this survey:



Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

COMMUNITY BOARD: “littlefreelibrary”- book borrowing beyond your local library

This library concept has been around for a few years now and people are finally catching on.

The basis of this little library is “take one, leave one”… a borrower can take a book from the books inside the library box. When they are done reading it, they simply return it to the box…no fees, no library card, just a simple ‘borrow and return’ concept. Brilliant in its simplicity, practical in its convenience. Users are often surprised at how recent or popular the books are that are held within the box. It all depends on the local borrowers.

These boxes are available in more than 100,000 locations across North America. They are especially practical in cottage country and rural areas where people are less likely to drive to a local library.

Elizabeth Phin Public School has one of these “littlefreelibrary” books boxes with some excellent titles at the time I attended the box. Other borrowers at this location must be the creme de la creme of book readers as the selection of titles at this box was top-notch, even some best-selling authors such as Dan Brown.

This local community endeavour is a real book-borrowing convenience. Check it out and see how conveniently it fills your reading needs. 

Great stuff Elizabeth Phin Public School…and another reason to read our “COMMUNITY BOARD” news.

Posted in COMMUNITY BOARD | Leave a comment

COMMUNITY BOARD: Elizabeth Phin Public School “Phive K Phun Run”

Support your local elementary school

Elizabeth Phin Public School
A community event in support of
Physical Education Program

Come out to help local school kids with their physical education program.

For you:   exercise and fresh air

For them:  assistance to develop their physical education program.

<—-  For Registration


Posted in COMMUNITY BOARD | Leave a comment

PICKERING: City cashes in thanks to Casino

May 10, 2023

City of Pickering received $4,230,279 as fourth-quarter payment from the Casino recently.

During OLG’s fiscal year, from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, Pickering has received $16,641,766.

Since the gaming site opened in July 2021, Pickering has received $24,484,059.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

** CANDIDATE: ** Celina Caesar-Chavannes


  • Former Member of Parliament & Parliamentary Secretary
  • Community Advocate & Mental Health Champion

Message to voters
The pillar of my platform is generating new revenue streams for Toronto and commitment to negotiate a 1% carve out of the GST (and potentially the HST), in order to generate sustainable funding ($600M/year)for social programs and housing.

Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Conservative Party: An event organized by PUCA

Conservative Party: An event organized by PUCA local Pickering-Uxbridge Conservative Party Association

The buzz from the Pub-Night with Pints and Politics event organized by Pickering-Uxbridge members of the federal Conservative Party continues. It was a well-attended gathering of people interested in hearing and taking the pulse locally of the national party.

Anthony Yacub and John Meloche, two executives with PUCA, Pikering-Uxbridge Conservative Association, organized this special even and they deserve much praise for how successful it was.

More than 200 guests attended the event and heard from numerous political guests.

The attending guests heard from party executives and party supporters among whom were: Patrice Barnes, MPP of Ajax; Pickering Mayor, Kevin Ashe; MP Jamie SchmaleAnthony Furey, Toronto Mayoral Candidate; Former MP Bob Saroya, Markham-Unionville; and Stewart Kiff join us for this amazing event.

It is grassroots events such as this that keep the federal parties in touch with the issues and interests of local voters. Much appreciation is extended by the guests and attending supporters to the organizers of the event.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general), POLITICS | Leave a comment

TORONTO: Anthony Fuery, a politician who clearly shows his colours

Anthony Fuery, a politician whose campaigning work is broad and wide.

This politician is a candidate for mayor in the Toronto mayor election. Recently he expanded his campaign into the Durham region. Nothing ventured, nothing lost. No doubt he was playing to the attendees who lived in Scarborough, a nearby City of Toronto region that is adjacent to Pickering.

It is very admirable to see a young politician broadening his campaign footprint this way and openly declaring his federal party support.

We wish him every success in his campaign.


Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

TORONTO: Guess the number of mayoral candidates…you’ll be shocked!

You likely weren’t even close thinking that there are about 40 or so. 

There are 103 candidates running for the office of the Mayor of Toronto. Thank goodness, candidate applications are now closed….whew!

Posted in 1TORONTO | Leave a comment

The Curse of Harold Ballard

The Curse Of Harold Ballard

In the mid-1900s, the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the most successful hockey franchises in the NHL. They had a strong core of talented players, including Frank Mahovlich, Tim Horton, and Dave Keon. Under the leadership of Conn Smythe, they won the Stanley Cup several times in the 1940s and 50s. Then, Harold Ballard took over as team president and general manager in 1969 and the downward spiral began.

Ballard, bully or boor
Harold Ballard was convicted of tax evasion in 1971 and spent nine months in jail. Despite this scandal, he kept his position with the Leafs. He was also fined $10,000 for using a racial slur in a press conference. The Leafs rocketed to the bottom of the NHL standings. Star players aged, new talent couldn’t be signed.

Management struggled, Ballard battled other Leaf executives. The Leaf rocket zoomed downward.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, the Leafs continued struggling, finishing in the bottom half of the standings season after season. Attendance dropped.

End of the Ballard era
Ballard died in 1989. The team was sold to a new owner. This marked the beginning of a new era.

The new owner immediately made some changes, hiring a new general manager, Pat Quinn who got to work rebuilding the team with new talent building a strong core of young players. The Leafs started to show signs of improvement in the early 90s.

They finished higher in the standings, even making the playoffs several times. In 1993, conference finals but were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens. Fans ever hopeful were rewarded with the Leafs making the finals in 1994 only to be defeated once again by the New York Rangers.

The belief was that the Leafs were on the right track.

In 1995, the team won the President’s Trophy, awarded to the team with the best regular season record. Again, hope springing up once more, was dashed at the rink of reality where again the Leafs suffered another playoff defeat.

The trend continued
Consistently one of the best teams in the league, perennially failing in the playoffs, the Leafs’ history repeated itself: 1998, another loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the finals.

More losses followed: 1999 to the Buffalo Sabres; 2000 to the New Jersey Devils. Still they were touted as being a strong team.

Always in the playoff mix for the Stanley Cup, the team just couldn’t seem to get over the finish line.

In 2001, the Leafs finally broke through, only to be crushed by the Colorado Avalanche, the defending champions. Ultimately, heartbreaking defeat again but starting to prove that they were a team to be reckoned with.

The next decade saw more disappointments: 2002, the Carolina Hurricanes; 2003, the New Jersey Devils; 2004, 2005, no playoffs; 2006 another defeat; 2007, repeat, the Buffalo Sabres; 2008, again out of the playoffs; 2009 back and busted, by the Philadelphia Flyers; 2010 no playoffs; 2011, beaten again by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals; 2012, again in the playoffs, broken by the New York Rangers.

The next few seasons were rough for the Leafs. No playoff returns again until 2016 when they made it with a new phenom, Auston Matthews, to no avail, beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A few more playoff returns followed bringing more defeats: 2017, by the Boston Bruins; 2018, the Tampa Bay Lightning; 2019, the Carolina Hurricanes; 2020, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Enough already
Changes were made. Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock. The team made the playoffs only to be disappointed in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Finally, 2022-23 season, a roster bolstered by strong signees. They made it past round one, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now the Florida Panthers!

Will the Ballard curse continue?

Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment


SEASON             WINNERS

1967-1968        Montreal Canadiens LEAFS STANLEY CUP

1968-1969        Boston Bruins

1969-1970        New York Islanders

1970-1971        Chicago Blackhawks

1971-1972        Boston Bruins

1972-1973        Detroit Red Wings

1973-1974        New York Rangers

1974-1975        Philadelphia Flyers

1975-1976        Boston Bruins

1976-1977        Boston Bruins

1977-1978        Montreal Canadiens

1978-1979        New York Islanders

1979-1980        New York Rangers

1980-1981        New York Islanders

1981-1982        Buffalo Sabres

1982-1983        Boston Bruins

1983-1984        New York Islanders

1984-1985        Quebec Nordiques

1985-1986        New York Rangers

1986-1987        Detroit Red Wings

1987-1988        Philadelphia Flyers

1988-1989        New Jersey Devils

1989-1990        Chicago Blackhawks

1990-1991        Montreal Canadiens

1991-1992        St. Louis Blues

1992-1993        Montreal Canadiens

1993-1994        New Jersey Devils

1994-1995        Quebec Nordiques

1995-1996        St. Louis Blues

1996-1997        Washington Capitals

1997-1998        Washington Capitals

1998-1999        Buffalo Sabres

1999     2000     New Jersey Devils

2000     2001     Pittsburgh Penguins

2001     2002     Philadelphia Flyers

2002     2003     Ottawa Senators

2003-2004        Philadelphia Flyers

2004-2005        LOCK OUT

2005-2006        Ottawa Senators

2006-2007        New Jersey Devils

2007-2008        New York Rangers

2008-2009        Boston Bruins

2009-2010        Boston Bruins

2010-2011        Boston Bruins

2011-2012        Boston Bruins

2012-2013        Boston Bruins

2013-2014        Boston Bruins

2014-2015        Washington Capitals

2015-2016        Washington Capitals

2016-2017        LEAF vs Washington

2017-2018        Boston Bruins

2018-2019        Boston Bruins

2019-2020        Columbus Blue Jackets

2020-2021        Montreal Canadiens

2021-2022        Tampa Bay Lightning

2022-2023        Florida Panthers TBD


Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: No cajones !

It’s your money they are playing with!

Here we go again, another example of government ineptitude, narrow vision, and inadequate research, all at your expense, the taxpayer.

The Ontario government has announced a plan to combat auto theft. Every 48 minutes a vehicle is stolen in Ontario, between 2014 and 2021, there was a 72 percent increase in auto theft across the province, while there has been a 14 percent increase in the last year alone.

The province has announced a plan to tackle the issue:

  • $51 million over three years into a new multi-point plan that includes auto theft prosecution teams that will investigate and prosecute criminal organizations that profit from stolen vehicles;
  • $1.4 million over three years is to be dedicated to help stop the exporting of stolen vehicles;
  • $13.4 million is designated this year into the Guns and Gangs Violence Reduction Strategy which officials say will continue to target organized crime that fuels gang operations, such as vehicle theft rings;
  • the provincial government is looking at opportunities to further combat the issue by working with the Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and shipping container and rail companies.

The criticism of this government is that the policies are wrong, more accurately they are inadequate.

No accountability; no tracking of the results; no timelines for a follow-up.

Political puffery
Political leaders proudly puff themselves up with such boastful policies but none proposes any follow-up to see confirm their effectiveness, test their impact, monitor their effects, or scrutinize their results.

These politicians seem very satisfied with making their policy proposals as if these things will automatically bring success. They do not. If they supposedly do, prove it. Show it. Publish the results. These politicians cannot because they do not do follow-ups to confirm the results they expect and hope the public will believe will happen.

The above criticism is not naivete. It is confirmation of the rule: You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.”

Lack of backbone
As Latinos would say, “lack of cajones.” Politicians are quick to offer policy platitudes, make work policies, and band-aid solutions but they have no spine to put “their money where mouths are.” If they had backbones, they would attach accountability clauses to these policies, salary penalties to their salaries: if their proposed policies do not meet certain generous result levels, they would have their salaries reduced. If they operated with those accountability clauses, many political leaders would receive deficit salaries. Likely, even fewer people would run for office, or the ones who would, would do more carefully considered work. The current modus operandi for political leaders is to spend taxpayer money as if dipping into a bottomless pit with no personal consequences if they are wrong.

Should people express their dissatisfaction with tax increases without justification?


Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

Wk 5-6-23

Hello Savvy Shoppers!

I have examined this week’s grocery store flyers in the GTA searching for good buys. From these, you can combine, and create a variety of main meals for the coming week. For the protein portion on your plate choose from chicken, pork, fish, pasta, pizza, and with eggs you can create a great frittata.  The value vegetables are broccoli, potatoes and mixed frozen vegetables. Your healthy dessert can be a fruit: apples, pears, or strawberries. Savvy Shopping and Bon Appetit!

Food Basics
Chicken leg quarters $1.68 lb
Whole chicken $2.99 lb
Schneider Bacon $3.33
De Cecco past $1.68 pkg
Molisana passata $1.68 bottle
Strawberries $2.88 lb
Broccoli crowns $1.98 ea
Black Diamond Cheese $4.44

Pork back ribs $2.99 lb
Bartless Pears $.99 lb
Red Prince apples $.99 lb
Celery $2.49 bunch
tomatoes $1.29 lb

No Frills
Potatoes 15 lbs $4.00
Bartlett pears $.97 lb
Lean ground pork $3.49 lb
Purex /Fleecy  $ 9.77

NN eggs $2.49 doz
Pork loin $2.99 lb
Ristorante pizza $3.49
Bagels 8/$4.
GG frozen vegetables $3.49

Lean ground beef $3.44 lb
Farm Boy
Fresh Salmon fillets $10.99 lb
Vine ripe tomatoes $1.29 lb

Savvy shopping everyone!

Savvy Shopper

Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Conservative Party News/Update (advertisement)


April was a busy month with an even busier month planned! Thank you to the many Conservatives who have come out and participated.

In March we have done the following:

Participated in Legion Branch No. 606’s Easter Day Parade

On Saturday, April 8th, Pickering-Uxbridge Federal Conservatives had numerous volunteers and Board Members participating in the Parade. This will be the last year in which the Legion will be hosting the Parade. In future years, the City of Pickering has stepped up in running this event.

Hosted a Nation-Wide Hybrid Policy Meeting

On April 23rd, Pickering-Uxbridge Conservatives hosted a nation-wide Policy Breakfast with over thirty-two (32) EDAs from around the country who joined either in-person or online at the Pickering Legion Branch No. 606.

Thank you to the EDA Board Members who helped support this event with the food, drinks, accessories, etc. Raveena Rajasingham and Pat Perry for the food. John Meloche for technical assistance.

Ajax Conservative’s EDA Pub Night Fundraiser/Social

Pickering-Uxbridge’s Conservative EDA also had representation at Ajax’s Pub Night Fundraiser/Social. We supported our neighboring Conservatives, and we hope that we can take each other’s best practices to better organize for our next election and build bridges that may be useful for our EDA.

Thank you to Ajax’s President, Dave Saunders for the invitation.

Scarborough-Rouge Park’s EDA AGM

I was invited by Scarborough Rouge-Park’s President Craig Anhorn who allowed me to give some words of support to our fellow Conservatives to the West. Moreover, it enabled me to invite some of the members to our future events and to bring attention to the progress we have made locally. Moreover, we also do share some members on our respective EDAs so in good faith, it is always good to have a positive relationship with our neighbors.

Tim Hortons Smile Cookies

Two of our Board Members: John Meloche (PUCEDA Secretary) & Ayesha Sardar, took part in making smile cookies in support of Durham Children’s Aid Society. Thank you for positively representing our EDA in the community!

Our Upcoming Events in May will Include:

PUCEDA’s Pints and Politics Evening (Sunday, May 7th, 2023)

This Sunday, I am proud to announce that we will be hosting a Pints and Politics evening between 4-7PM at the Harp and Crown Pub (300 Kingston Road Pickering, ON L1V 1A2).

There will be special guests which include: Pickering’s Mayor Kevin Ashe, Member of Parliament Jamie Schmale, Member of Provincial Parliament Patrice Barnes, Former Member of Parliament Bob Saroya, Toronto Mayoral Candidate Anthony Furey, National Councillor Stewart Kiff, and National Policy Committee Member Sue McArthur.

Tickets are $20, which includes dinner and can be purchased at:

Family Meet & Greet Evening with Member of Parliament Tom Kmiec (Friday, May 12th)

Due to a scheduling conflict, MP Tom Kmiec will be unable to attend our Pints and Politics Evening. In lieu, we will be having a Meet and Greet on Friday, May 12th at Second Cup (650 Kingston Road Pickering, ON L1V 1A6).

If you would like to attend, please RSVP at

Only Members who RSVP will be able to attend the Event

We are trying to support our local small businesses, so all attendees would have to purchase their own food and drinks at the Second Cafe. The owners would like to thank everyone who helps purchase anything in advance!

In closing, I appreciate the grassroots support we have been receiving from our membership. The Direct Mail Campaign started last month, and we appreciate our members’ generosity to help successfully organize to win our Constituency in the next Federal Election.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Council Meeting Highlights, April 24, 2023

City of Pickering passes 2023 Current & Capital Budgets

  • The approved Current Budget is $82,162,832
  • The approved Capital Budget is $58,899,668

The City’s portion of the residential property tax bill will increase by 2.44%. This increase, when combined with the Region of Durham and School Board increases results in an average increase of 5.31 percent on the total property tax bill.

Budget Highlights

  • Expansion of the senior’s snow removal program from 500 to 750 registrants
  • Increase in seniors property tax grant from $525 to $535
  • Expanded Automated Speed Enforcement program
  • New events at Millennium Square
  • Staff to support a new Office of Affordability
  • Funding for the implementation of the digital strategy to include website redevelopment and customized client portals
  • Major 2023 Capital Projects: construction of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre ($40 million total budget), new pickleball and futsal courts at the Pickering Soccer Centre ($902,000), Walnut Lane extension ($2.0 million) and various asphalt resurfacing, reconstruction and culvert replacement projects ($4.6 million)
  • Funding for the development of a new Corporate Strategic Plan as well as updates to the Parks & Recreation, Fire and Library Master Plans
  • An increase of five positions for front-line firefighting staff (Seaton)

Council receives the 2022 Sustainable Pickering Year-in-Review

Through a Report and Year-in-Review, staff provided a high-level, reader-friendly summary that highlights the City’s achievements, events, programs, and projects, as they relate to sustainability. The document promotes the efforts of the City of Pickering and its community partners and serves to inspire others to connect and get involved.

The City of Pickering’s sustainability efforts address a variety of initiatives, including community engagement, pollinators, waste diversion, local food, sustainable development, climate change, natural environment, and more.

Council endorses staff comments on the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review of the Durham Regional Official Plan

The Region of Durham asked for comments on its new draft Regional Official Plan.  

The Durham Regional Official Plan guides decisions on long-term growth and development–providing policies to ensure an improved quality of life–and securing the health, safety, convenience and well-being of present and future residents of the region.

A copy of the draft plan can be found on their website, under Envision Durham. It will repeal and replace the existing Durham Regional Official Plan and includes a new planning horizon to 2051.

In 2019, the Region launched Envision Durham – the Municipal Comprehensive Review of our Official Plan. This review looks at:

  • How and where our cities and towns may grow
  • How to use and protect our land and resources
  • What housing types and job opportunities are needed for our residents
  • How people and goods will move across our region and beyond

Council approves asphalt resurfacing for various streets

Council approved a net project cost of $3,467,059 to improve 13 streets:

  1. Alder Court
  2. Eyer Drive
  3. Chapleau Drive
  4. Heathside Crescent
  5. Vistula Drive
  6. Victoria Street
  7. Chiron Crescent
  8. Listowell Crescent
  9. Dellbrook Avenue
  10. Jomar Avenue
  11. Martins Drive
  12. Linwood Street
  13. Stonehurst Road

Council approves running track replacements

The existing running tracks at Beverly Morgan Park and St. Mary Park.

The total net project cost is estimated at $945,045.00.

Council takes an official position on a Pickering airport

The Council for The Corporation of the City of Pickering:

  1. Does not support an airport on the Pickering Lands;
  2. No further resources and/or funds will be spent to promote an airport on the Pickering Lands; and
  3. The City of Pickering continues to endorse support for High-Frequency Rail with a station located in Green River.

A copy of this resolution will be forwarded to the Minister of Transport Canada, Omar Alghabra, and to Pickering-Uxbridge MP O’Connell, as well as to MPs Anandasangaree, Carrie, Holland, Jaczek, Turnbull, and O’Toole; to Durham and York regional councils, and to Scarborough East councillors; and to the municipal councils of Ajax, Markham, Oshawa, Scugog, Stouffville, Uxbridge, Vaughan, and Whitby.

This summary was edited and abbreviated by the BOOKz, COOKz, NOOKz who is responsible for any errors, omissions or misstatements.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Moment of Reflection

RSVP       “Community Services  by May 12, 2023

                Ph 905 420 4620


Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Only one councillor voted against tax increases

One councillor voted against tax hikes for residents of Pickering. It would have been interesting to hear the debate on this topic!

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Pickering Public Library special event, May 27

May 27, 10 am – 4 pm

Join us at Central Library and explore your library beyond the books! Come see live demos of some of the equipment available in the Maker Space! From sewing machines to coding there will be something for everyone. What will you discover next that inspires you?
<— Click the logo for more details
[ Be sure to watch the videos there ]

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

MAY 2023 Newsletter

Posted in NEWSLETTERS | Leave a comment

Wk 4-27-23: Rising food prices partly due to careless or reckless shoppers

Is a lot of unnecessary food waste in grocery stores caused by reckless shoppers?

It is disheartening to see shopping carts, borrowed to haul groceries home, abandoned along a main walkway or alongside a main street, far from their originating store. As well, it is disheartening to see shoppers select items from the refrigerated section, only to abandon them on some other shelf, thawing and spoiling because some changed their mind about the purchase. When these items are discovered, thawed and ruined, they are inevitably trashed at the store’s expense. More food wasted, with the store’s only recourse to raise prices.

Even more amazing, is the customer who opens a sealed jar to inspect or sniff at the contents; then re-lids the item returning it to the shelf. Would you buy the item knowing this had been done to it? Then the shopper who unwraps produce or fruit to check its ripeness…worse, the shopper who squeezes every single fruit testing its maturity. Who wants to buy produce or fruit that has been manhandled like this?

Finally, would you believe there are shoppers who open the bag of grapes to taste one or two? Then, they move on to the bagged cherries. Wow! Good enough for tasting on the spot but not for purchase at the designated price.

No wonder some of these stores are raising their prices. They must cover their financial loss for tossed items ruined by careless shoppers.

Shouldn’t all shoppers respect all other shoppers with consideration for cleanliness and hygiene? Choose grocery items with your eyes, then direct-to-bag them, showing consideration with clean and hygienic shopping. It’s the proper way to shop….and as for those careless or reckless shoppers, we, the Savvy Shoppers, are watching you!

Savvy shopping everyone!

Savvy Shopper

Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment


Ward 2 Town Hall Report

The Ward 2 Town Hall, Apr. 25, held by WARD 2 councillors, Linda Cook and Mara Nagy was a very informative and friendly event. These rookie councillors could give veteran councillors some needed pointers on staying current with constituency issues and city policies. These councillors demonstrated that have done their homework and solid preparation for their town hall.

The main presentation
The main agenda of the evening was “Activities and Events in the City.” Kim Bradley, Activities coordinator, Pickering Recreation Programs, gave a comprehensive description of events and activities available to the city residents. Kim did a marvellous job distilling and summarizing the extensive list. The presentation covered all the bases, from athletic to cultural to social. Events held at the Pickering Central Library were also included in the presentation. Because there is so much information Kim suggested persons confer with the ‘Recreation Guide’ available online at (The spring guide: )

In short, the City of Pickering offers a treasure trove of activities and events to residents who are interested in being more active and involved with their community.

The Q&A session
The open Q&A session ranged broadly in topics:

  • The Liverpool nautical village events and parking facilities;
  • Lakefront events to attract residents, Winter, Summer;
  • Improvement and expansion of washroom facilities at the waterfront;
  • Pickering Budget update: tax increase 5.2%;
  • Traffic issues, now and upcoming, even consideration of roundabouts;
  • Important upcoming City events in May;
  • June: Seniors Month

Councillors Cook and Nagy are to be congratulated on holding another very informative and worthwhile town hall. However, there are some reservations about the compliment. Furthermore, town halls are information sessions not campaigning opportunities.

Clarity of comments/questions
Though the acoustics are very good at this venue, Cook and Nagy should remind all attendees that it is important to speak loudly and clearly to benefit if everyone. The very least officials should is take the essential rule from “Szpin’s guide to better communication:” repeat the question for everyone’s benefit. Too many commentors or questioners at such meetings forget their comment/question is for the benefit of the entire attendance. They need to voice their comments/questions with that in mind. This is not a question of good hearing. It is a matter of conversational clarity, verbal enunciation and crisp commentary.

Some personal comments regarding Town Halls
Town halls are an excellent venue for residents to express opinions, ask questions and initiate needed discussions with their councillors. However, only those who attend benefit. Councillor Cook acknowledged the problem in talking about tax payment assistance in the City at the last WARD 2 Town Hall. She criticized the city’s publication of such needed information underlining that a serious review and significant improvement of communication with the people of Pickering should be undertaken. She is correct. The City’s website at needs substantial modification for both what is being reported and published and how it is being presented. However, the onus of being informed rests with the city residents themselves.

Councillor newsletters
Additionally, attending Town Hall events is not always practical, easy or feasible for many Pickering residents. But there is a tremendous amount of information that is covered and non-attending residents learn nothing about it. Some councillors have launched personal newsletters, an excellent supplement to the actual town halls. However, the Pickering demographic is aged, and the majority of people interested in such information are older adults. Councillors publishing newsletters should consult with seniors or experienced publishers about such material. Seniors are challenged by extensive and overly comprehensive publications. Keep it simple and succinct. One town hall attendee at another town hall lamented that it took hours of navigation and manipulation on the city website to find the information being sought. This lament is corroborated by residences in a particular Pickering seniors’ residence. “We find it very difficult to find the information we need on the city website.”

The extrapolation from these difficulties relating to the city web site should be considered with newsletters also. Residents will appreciate and understand more when the material is present in a succinct, summarized form.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

COMMUNITY BOARD: Caribbean Cultural Event, Sept. 23/23

Posted in COMMUNITY BOARD | Leave a comment

COMMUNITY BOARD: Conversation Cafe – practice English – REGISTRATION Info

Posted in COMMUNITY BOARD | Leave a comment

VSOP: Member application form

Posted in 1VSOP - Very Special Old Persons | Leave a comment


Ward 1 Town Hall
Councillers Brenner and Robinson, an unbeLEAFably comprehensive meeting

Lessons learned at the Ward 1 Town Hall

Town Halls are opportunities for local residents to express views and voice concerns relating to their city councillors’ work and endeavours directly to the councillor(s) in attendance. Attending the recent Ward 1 Town Hall, I learned much more. I learned about myself as a municipal resident and about councillors as adept politicians.

Residents are sincere in asking their questions, and in making their constructive comments, though at times, some might question if it is so. Nevertheless, these town halls are grassroots democracy in practice.

Questions varied:

Train traffic transporting toxic cargo through the city?
The participant expressed concern as the potential risk for Pickering is of greater concern given its nuclear facility, the environmental dump north of the city and the centralized thoroughfare the rail system has. The response was a repetition that rail transport through the city is a federal government responsibility. Councillor Robinson, a tenacious bulldog in seeking answers to questions received a less than satisfactory response from the federal Ministry of the Environment,  “No substantive or concrete response.”

Amazingly long delays in policy enactments for city policies?
One ratepayers’ association executive questioned the reason for such long delays from when the city initiates policy discussion to actual implementation asking what has happened to policies initiated as far back as 2011? “Not our fault,” Councillor Brenner’s response. “Other councils initiated them but never had time to complete that initiation.”

Budget assignment of $15,000 per councilor for computer upgrades?
The premise of the question was that regardless of the computer model, expensing $105,000 budget for councillors’ computers seems excessive. Extrapolating from this, the budget could have an amazing amount of waste in it. Can this be explained? This is where attendees got a lesson on political deflection, the avoidance of a clear and concise response to the question. Councillor Brenner has refined political deflection to an epitome level. The deflection explained, “The councillors need electronic equipment to carry out their responsibilities.” No argument there but do they need ‘Cadillac’ computers? Does “economies of scale” not work for City of Pickering buying power? An obvious criticism. The point was if there is exorbitant expense in this minor area, what are the implications for the other areas of the budget? Councillor Brenner never addressed that. All but two attending participants seemed oblivious to that. One even blurted out, “You’re missing the point,” to which Councillor Brenner did not respond.

Main Agenda: Tree by-law and regulation
Other questions dealt with the topic of the town hall’s main agenda, Tree regulation in the city. Participants expressed worry and anxiety about tree maintenance in the region. The City of Pickering City Development Department staff, Chantelle, Whitaker, Ish Chowdhury and Dean Jacobs were excellent in covering all the asked questions regarding tree maintenance in the city. People in attendance left with a better understanding of tree maintenance, who does the work for the city and how the tree bylaws are enforced.
For more information, phone the city at 905 683 7575

Again, at the risk of being unnecessarily repetitive, acoustics is a continuous problem at these town halls. People need to hear the discussion. Surely, effective electronic equipment for optimum audience reception must be available. Three town halls have had communication problems, always rationalized somehow. Stop with the explanations and rationalizations…get the right equipment! At the very least, repeat the posed question loudly and clearly, so everyone knows what is being discussed.

Click –>  VIDEO

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Council Meeting Apr 24 – REPORT

From Richard’s desk…

REPORT: City of Pickering: Council meeting, Apr. 24

Primary Agenda: Pickering Airport
There were about a dozen delegations presenting to the Pickering Councillors, and most of them dealt with the proposed Pickering airport.

Mary Delany, LandoverLandings
Mary Delany, chair of LandoverLandings, a citizens’ organization opposed to the proposed Pickering airport, was a powerful start to the delegation parade of the evening. She was dynamic, on-point, and steadfast in her focus. When prodded by Mayor Ashe, she responded knowledgeably, intelligently with facts rather than subjective frivolity. LandoverLandings has been recipient of an environmental award by the City and if Mary Delany is indicative of the group’s thinkers, then the message it delivers deserves very serious consideration and thought. Opposed to the airport, LandoverLandings support high speed rail as the practical alternative to any airport.

June Enright, Anti-airport
This great-grandmother’s presentation had an emotional attraction. A great-grandmother representing multi-generations from older, her mom is 105, to much younger, great-grandchildren. So this delegate’s stake in the battle against the airport is familial. She wants her family protected from the potentially destructive impacts of an airport on the Class A farmland of the region and the environment in general. She too was a supporter of Rapid Rail transit.

Cynthia Davis (BSc, MSc, President and CEO) Lakeridge Health
Cynthia Davis, CEO of Lakeridge Health, arguably was the most powerful of the delegations at this council meeting. Her presentation seemed to be a fundraising endeavour for the Lakeridge Health facility, and she was very persuasive in this endeavour. She proudly explained the recent partnering of Lakeridge with Queen’s University to create a medical training school in Pickering, to be launched Sept. 2023. The school hopes to alleviate the problems associated with the growing aged population and the need for more general medical practitioners. Canada has more than a million people without family medical care association and the new school seeks to alleviate the problem by graduating more general medical practitioners. Lakeridge Health is a multi-focused medical facility, hospital, long-term care residence, mental health care and more. The council has designated $200,000 to LH.

Sharon Powell, private anti airport delegation
This delegate supports high-speed rail as a viable alternative to any proposed airport. She stated that the Pickering Council was pro-airport and that the council should cease all expenditures promoting it.


Anthony Yacub, “Serving the people, protecting the community:
The primary concern of this delegation was how Pickering was managing revenues from the Casino and when its current policy of sharing casino revenue with other municipalities would end. The response from the council was that such sharing would continue until the end of the term of this council.

Janice Frampton, Election 2022 mayoral candidate
Mayor Ashe’s misnaming of Ms Frampton as “Janet” may have been an honest mistake, after all, Frampton nearly snatched the mayoral victory from Ashe in the last municipal election. Frampton is a retired CP Air stewardess with over thirty years of service. She is a community activist leading an anti-airport group. Her presentation was a warning that the unforeseeable and unexpected could result in Pickering Airport becoming a ‘white elephant’ as Mirabel Airport is to Montreal, a very expensive financial sinkhole caused by unforeseen and unexpected events like jet-age technological modernization, lack of proper infrastructure and municipal connectivity for passengers and Quebec’s Bill 101, the language bill that drove away many successful and financially powerful corporations elsewhere in Canada. She asserted that High-Speed Rail, a likely endeavour in Pickering, would be the death knell of any airport as the Rome-Milan high-speed train affected Alitalia Airlines in Italy.

Frampton closed her presentation by critiquing the council’s current budget as being confusing, overly generalized, and developer centred. She concluded with a call to regional municipality consolidation to oppose the destructive policies of Premier Doug Ford.

Ted Nickerson, Gateway Partners
Retired engineer, Ted Nickerson’s presentation was another informative and educational address relating to the airport proposal for Pickering. Nickerson evaluated and analyzed the repercussions of an airport on employment and environmental concerns in the region. His conclusion was that an airport was inevitable and therefore, the council should concentrate on dealing with its reality instead of plans for its creation.


Helen Brenner, anti airport delegation
Helen Brenner, speaking for her anti-airport association described the biggest impacts of the proposed airport on the region as relating to pollution, air, health, and noise. She made the questionable claim that all the councillors but one opposed the airport, concluding that another airport would be needed in the GTA until the mid-2030s.

Margaret Bowie, chair, Rougemount Community and Recreation Assoc.
Chair of the recently established Rougement Community and Recreation Association, Bowie was critical of the current Pickering budget calling for it to be more innovative, more farsighted, and more specific in how it impacts on the city.  “The people of Pickering should have more information about the outcomes of the budget.”

Maurice Brenner acknowledged the launch of the RCRA and stated that he was responsible for the City of Pickering’s assistance to the association in relation to printing needs.

Louis Bertrand, retired Durham College Professor, anti airport
The final delegation for which this attendee remained, was presented by retired local college professor, Louis Bertrand. Bertrand focussed on the environmental impact of the airport: destruction of farmland, devastating pollution, and destructive impact on the flora and fauna of the region. When queried about young people’s concerns about an airport in Pickering, Professor Bertrand deflected into how the school emphasized workplace preparation of young people, not environmental consciousness.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

Wk 4-20-23

Hello Savvy Shoppers!

After years of trying to encourage shoppers to steer away from plastic shopping bags, perhaps now?

The 5-cent surcharge didn’t work…
reading about the negative impact of plastic…was probably written for others, not for us.

Right? Wrong!. We all have a responsibility towards our environment. And finally, Canada’s law banning single-use plastics is a great step towards pushing us to save our ecosystem.

Do you look at how much plastic wrapping is being used? In meats, wrapping fish, and on houseware items? We are overwhelmed by plastic, and not all of it is recyclable.

Plastic production in the world has increased from 1.5 million tons in 1950 to 35.9 million tons by 2018. More than 150 million tons of plastic are polluting our world’s waters, 70% of which are single-use plastics. There is even an island of plastic that has formed known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and it moves according to the ocean’s currents.  The impact of plastic garbage has reached such a level it endangers our whole ecosystem. It may not even surprise you to learn that our own bodies ingest 5 grams of plastic per week!

So, finally, congratulations to Loblaws, the last of the big shopping conglomerates removes single-use check-out bags.

April is Earth Month
Let’s all lend a bag to our environment. Let’s use our reusable and fun bags. Let’s declare our own personal challenge: “Break Free from Plastic Challenge”

Deals of the week:

Breyers ice cream $2.88

No Frills
Oranges 8Lb case  $4.99
6lb apples $3.50
Cascade dish detergent $9.99

Fresh steelhead trout $10.99 lb
grapes $2.49 lb

striploin steak $8.88 lb
broccoli $1.99 ea.

Food Basics
Black Diamond cheese $4.88
Activia yogurt $2.88

Cantaloupes $1.88
tomatoes $.99lb
Delissio pizza $3.49

Savvy shopping everyone!

Savvy Shopper

Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment


It Ain’t Over Yet
By Michael McFarland

 My heart’s in the right place; what’s left of it, I guess
My heart ain’t the problem; it’s my mind that’s a total mess
It ain’t over yet; you can mark my word
It ain’t over yet. © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Those lyrics are from a song written and recorded by county singer Rodney Crowell. They carry a lot of weight today as more and more worldwide investigations are being carried out for the benefit of our senior population.

A new report from the World Health Organization says annual healthcare costs will rise from lack of physical activity. Under the current trajectory, the healthcare costs due to diseases linked to physical inactivity are estimated to reach US$300 billion by 2030; Canada’s share of these costs is expected to total US$421 million annually.

To hopefully offset this annual cost and to be a benefit to seniors, a new USA study marks the most extended test of whether exercise makes any difference once memory starts to slide — the research was carried out amid a pandemic that added isolation to the list of risks to participants’ brain health.

Researchers recruited 300 sedentary older adults with hard-to-spot memory changes called mild cognitive impairment or MCI — a condition that’s sometimes, but not always, a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Half were assigned aerobic exercises, and the rest stretching-and-balance moves that only modestly raised their heart rate.

After a year, cognitive testing showed neither group had worsened, said lead researcher Laura Baker, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Nor did brain scans show the shrinkage that accompanies worsening memory problems. By comparison, similar MCI patients in another long-term study of brain health – but without exercise — experienced a significant cognitive decline over a year.

The results suggest “this is doable for everybody” — not just seniors healthy enough to work up a hard sweat, said Baker, who presented the data at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.” Exercise needs to be part of the prevention strategies” for at-risk seniors. “

Next up: Baker is leading an even more extensive study of older adults to see if adding exercise to other can’t-hurt steps such as a heart-healthy diet, brain games, and social stimulation together may reduce the risk of dementia.

It ain’t over yet; I’ll say this about that
It ain’t over yet; here’s the truth, my friend
You can’t pack it in, and we both know why
It ain’t over yet. © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Posted in @GOLDENYEARS | Leave a comment

NEWS&BITS: Valuable and practical hacks

Ongoing uncategorized list of tips, ideas, and useful suggestions based on non-tested Internet research.

Write Richard with your feedback for a tested tip:

  • The risk of heart attack can be reduced by drinking a glass or two of water before bed at night. Drinking water is very important for healthy hydration but there are special times when one should drink water.
  • Put a sticker with a fake pin on your debit card. If someone tries to use it 3X times, the ATM will eat the card.
  • To whiten white clothes soak white clothes in hot water with a slice of lemon for 10 minutes.
  • Ants problem: ants hate cucumbers. Keep the skin of cucumbers near the place where they are or at ant hole.
  • To get pure & clean ice boil water first before placing in the freezer.
  • You can clear a room full of cigarette smoke in about a minute simply by spinning a wet towel o around.
  • When you go to a zoo wear the same colours as the employees do. The animals will come right up to you.
  • To make the mirror shine clean with Sprite.
  • To get maximum juice out of lemons soak lemons in hot water for one hour, and then juice them.
  • To avoid the smell of cabbage while cooking keep a piece of bread on the cabbage in the vessel while cooking.
  • To avoid tears while cutting onions use “chew gum”

Posted in @ NEWS bits | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: PSAC strike imminent

The Public Service Alliance Coalition is about to walk out on strike. Wage demands are their biggest demand. Foolish or futile demands?

The corporate powers and their political partners pay lip service to care about workers. Politicians have never taken a pay cut, let alone been accountable for their inaction in helping workers. Today’s robber barons, the corporate CEOs of any large corporation, care about the salaries of their employees as the fox cares about the feed offered to the cooped chickens. Chicken feed everywhere.

Be aware, when the PSAC workers walk out, Canada Revenue will sharpen its corporate blades. File your tax return regardless of the strike situation. Otherwise, be prepared for tax filing penalties, late filing charges and interest fees. Do not expect the government to let you off the hook. 

Prepare your tax return and file it by the deadline time. Otherwise, you will be subject to interest penalties with no possibility of assistance or support from any politician. It’s the way of the world today, the world of robber barons and political collusion.


Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Morons on the road !

Posted in EDITORIALS | Leave a comment

AIR QUALITY: 4 16 23 WARNING again

Posted in AIR QUALITY ALERT | Leave a comment

NEWS&BITS: An excellent website for computer people

Click the logo above to access their excellent newsletter. It’s free, so explore its menus to get the most of all that they offer at no charge.

We have been using/connected with Cloudeight for a couple of years now and have found the site safe, secure and dependable. The executive duo running the website, Thundercloud and Darcy, are responsive and proud of the work they do and the services they provide.

I recommend reading their newsletter first and exploring their website to determine if and how it can benefit you. Click:  CLOUDEIGHT

More about CLOUDEIGHT…

What is CLOUDEIGHT and how did start?

Cloudeight Stationery is a website that provides a large collection of free email stationery for use in Windows Live 12, Windows Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook, and Mozilla Thunderbird. The stationery includes a variety of themes such as holidays, seasons, animals, sports, and more. Users can download and install the stationery to add visual interest to their email messages. Cloudeight Stationery has been providing these email stationery services since the late 1990s and is known for its extensive collection of designs.


It all started in a land far, far away.. well, actually it started in Michigan when I met my friends Orca and Ldy on the old IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Michigan Chat lines. We had a regular group of people who came to chat. Then sometime in 1996, TC came snooping around one day… even though he was not from Michigan! It made him stand out, so naturally, I began chatting with him. He was making a web page and was a newbie, so I took him under my wing, shared all my store of knowledge from the two months I had accumulated, and taught him how to put some images on a page. We started emailing and chatting about new things we were learning, and found that both of us were eager to learn all we could! Wow.. a cyber match made in heaven!

OK… on with the story. One day I was searching the web for something new I had just learned called “scripts” and set out to learn them inside out. I was playing around with one of these scripts (a script simply automates something) and it made my picture appear to be scrolling. Wow! Something really cool! I sent it in an email to TC and asked him if he could “see” anything. I was not sure if only I could view this scrolling picture or not!

He was as excited as I was.. instead of just answering me to say yes or no, I had to wait all day and my answer finally came.. he had created a nice graphic of his own (using skills he had obtained from the one and only… !) and had it scrolling away! We couldn’t believe something like this could be done on the computer, much less in email! We wanted to tell our friends about this.. so off we went, emailing our friends our new discovery.

We found our friends were just as excited about our new discovery, and soon they were asking how to do this. We tried to explain, though it seemed so complicated, especially for those that didn’t understand scripting or those that did not work in PSP/Photoshop, so we “made” a \stationery for them and send it to them by email. They would in turn click reply, remove all the text, change whom they were sent to, and were sending their “own” stationery. It was a roundabout way of doing things, but it worked, so our circle of friends was having fun along with us now!

Soon the requests got overwhelming… and we just couldn’t find the time to send stationery to everyone! So, TC and I decided to make a website page for our friends to download the stationery we had made. We created it from any pictures we thought were nice and soon we had 10 or 15 people a day coming to our new website. We were ecstatic when it hit 20! Twenty people in one day! We couldn’t believe all the traffic!

When we weren’t chatting, we were creating! We would spend days working on a single stationery design. sometimes editing an image one pixel at a time to get it to tile perfectly. I remember letting “the little things” go, like the dishes and the laundry so I could create! We put our hearts into every single creation, and couldn’t wait to show each other what we’d done. Then up to the web, it would go! Lucky for us, Thundercloud had his very own domain… it was empty so we had a great place to put our stationery! Cloudeight had not yet been born.. but soon would be and its home would be on

Our next step was to come up with a name for our site. We pondered on this for days, tossed names back and forth, but nothing sounded “right”, until one day we mentioned something about being on cloudnine and how nice it was.. and it hit me.. let’s combine our names.. (or part of our names!) and call our site Cloudeight! A step back from “being on cloudnine” but better! And finally.. a name that clicked and after all these years we are still known as Cloudeight. This explains why Cloudeight’s home is on!

Jump ahead to today, we have a mailing list for our stationery and tech news with over 200,000 members, and while we have created many new sites and products since then, our stationery site remains our biggest site with nearly 10,000 visitors daily and more than double that amount during holidays and winter season.

I highly recommend giving CLOUDEIGHT a test drive. They provide a lot of valuable information as well as computer repair service.




Posted in @ NEWS bits | Leave a comment


Posted in AIR QUALITY ALERT | Leave a comment

AIR QUALITY: WORST IN CANADA (Toronto Pickering) 4 14 23


Posted in AIR QUALITY ALERT | Leave a comment


A SPECIAL AIR QUALITY STATEMENT is in place due to the possibility of deteriorating air quality. Hot and sunny conditions are expected to cause increasing ground-level ozone concentrations this afternoon in the above regions. Moderate-risk AQHI values are possible throughout this afternoon with the potential of short-term high-risk AQHI values for a couple of hours.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

Visit for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

If you are experiencing symptoms, such as coughing or throat irritation, consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities until the special air quality statement is lifted. Exposure to air pollution is particularly a health concern for people with heart or breathing problems, those with diabetes, children and the elderly.

Be air aware!
Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.

Special air quality statement in effect
The latest status and details on all alerts can be found here:

Posted in AIR QUALITY ALERT | Leave a comment

Wk 4-12-23

Hello Savvy Shoppers!

Do you check your bill?
At the grocery checkout. In a hurry. Give the total on the cash register receipt a quick glance. Now, pay and leave.


Before you walk out of the store with your cart and bags of groceries, examine the scanned bill. Are the prices on the specials as advertised?

OOPS! An error? Or a couple of them? You note the differences. It’s not the fault of the cashier. Someone did not enter the new price on the store’s computer system. Should you go and complain? Yes, you should! In fact, the store will appreciate the notification of the error to avoid other customers from the same problems. Learning you have been overcharged once you are at home is too late. At that point, all you can do is stew over being overcharged for some items.

Before leaving the store, examine your receipt for price accuracy. Bring any errors to the attention of customer service in the store. They will verify the price and if you are right, the error will be corrected. However, in those stores that participate in the SCOPE program, “Scanner Code Of Practice,” you will be given one item for free, up to a $10 value. Worth checking your bill!

This week’s highlighted grocery specials:

Food Basics:
Canteloupes                      $1.88 ea
Bartlett pears                     $.98lb
Red Prince apples              $.98lb
3 romaine hearts                $3.98

5-6 avocados                   $1.98
Activia yougurt tub           $2.99

No Frills:
NN napkins 500                $3.99
Royale bath tissues 15=30 $5.99

Strawberries                      $2.99lb
Zucchini/eggplants            $1.29 lb
Kraft peanut butter            $5.77

Fresh whole chicken         $1.99lb
Bertolli olive oil 1L          $7.99

Oranges                            $.88lb
Seedless cucumbers          $.99 ea

Savvy shopping everyone!

Savvy Shopper

Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: May she rest in peace



Sgt. Maureen Breau
Quebec Provincial Police.

Pause for a moment as respect for another fallen police officer.

Thank the next police officer you encounter for the job they do to make life safer and more secure for each of us. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, every shift. They never know what they will encounter. The most seemingly mundane incident can become a catastrophic event for any one of them, any day, any time.

Officer Breau was killed on her regular shift, Mar. 27. She was a mother of two, married to another Quebec police officer.

Take a moment to pause as respectful honour to Officer Breau and all the police officers who have been killed while on duty to safeguard us.

May they rest in peace.


Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

AGEISM: Elder abuse

Elder abuse is a serious problem that is surprisingly common in the United States. the UK and Europe affecting the lives of millions of elderly individuals.

Read the full article at PENSIONERS’ FITNESS

Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

HEALTH: Weight loss…no magic answer…diet, exercise and determination

Consult with your doctor about weight loss. There is no easy solution but your doctor will advise you on what may work best for you.

This article may also give you some insights regarding some  popular weight loss medications and supplements: WEIGHT LOSS 

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

>>> CLICK TO ACCESS – City of Pickering website <<<

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Comments Off on >>> CLICK TO ACCESS – City of Pickering website <<<

NEWS&BITS: The world is going wacko…or have we already arrived?

WALMART: on sale !

Walmart is selling these tshirts supplied by third party producers. You, of clean mind and no alterior thinking, would read the tshirt caption as “REcycle, REuse, REnew, REthink…but upon closer examine and taking joining the first letter of cycle, use, new, think…you’re into profanity and mind boggling territory.

It’s a perverse world we live in. Far too many people just want to get something over on someone else. The extreme is pulling a gun. But this vendor sales product is a tad subtler…the tshirt producer got one over on Walmart. Bully for them.


Posted in @ NEWS bits | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Spotlight Series – homelessness awareness

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

SCAMS: ANOTHER ONE…they never stop

Be sure to unmute your volume button.

Click —->   Grocery rebate scam

Posted in SCAMS | Leave a comment

NEWS&BITS: AI – Artificial Intelligence: valuable tool or potential threat?

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making. This computer tool may not be of interest to many readers, especially the older ones who already are resistant to the Internet and digital tools.
At this time, AI is little more than a computer toy. However, as the corporate ‘whales’ of the digital world are working hard to exploit the revenue potential of this new toy. Their free trial offers will become fee-based subscriptions in no time, once they hook you by making AI easier to use and clearly beneficial.
Until then, computer users interested in exploring and experimenting with AI, can try one of these two sites which at the time of publishing were still free (Do not be surprised if that changes by the time you access either.)

The large corporations are still in their exploratory stages of development offering their AIs, at no charge or a very small one for limited use. The two above sites seem to be unlimited and have no applicable fees for their use at the time of publishing.

So, what should you try?
The “YOU” AI is very easy to explore and experiment with. Type your question in its ‘search box’ and it will respond on the same screen in seconds. Ask it to write:
“A poem about the dampness of spring;”
“A short description about the joy of riding a motorcycle”..….or…
Hey Don, I asked it to “describe the appeal of golf to seniors”… went blank !

Where you might use AI
A member of a club, ask it to give you a plan for a fund raising event for the club;
A social club events planner: ask for a list of speakers for your social club;
Publish an online website: ask how it can be improved for seniors;
Want to learn how to play a harmonica: ask it how to learn to play it.

The limitations of AI
AI information is based on all the information input into it or that it can mine from online sources. It will summarize what it can find into short, reader-friendly paragraphs within seconds of being asked.
The developers have placed restrictions on AI: it will not give offensive replies; it will not respond to negative requests such as bomb-making.

AIs are not human. Though these computer programs respond in human-like replies, they are not sentient beings. Therefore they have no moral code or any ethical value system. Their responses are neutral, objective, and factual based on the ‘scraping’ of the Internet. However, their development continues at a rapid pace. The sentience is being developed which means the next group of AIs may become a real danger. Government and corporate leaders should be working on guardrails and safety measures relative to AIs. At the moment the creativity and original thinking of AIs is limited and narrow. However, they are in their nascent stages of development. The next generation of AIs will be capable of much more and will pose greater risks to our world unless protective measures are put into place at this very outset.

Posted in @ NEWS bits, AI - Artificial Intelligence | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Spotlight Series Interactive Seminars for adults 55+

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

Wk 4-5-23

Hello Savvy Shoppers!

In case you didn’t get all your shopping needs for your Easter dinner done last week, there are a few good offers in the latest grocery store flyers valid for the next few days.

Some of the best deals are as follows:

Superstore and No Frills
Grapes         $.99 lb

No Frills
Fresh pineapples    $1.88
Sweet potatoes       $.79 lb
Breyers ice cream  $2.99,
Shrimp                   $6.99.

Food Basics
Potatoes (5 lb)       $1.25
Carrots (2 lb)         $1.25
Onions                   $1.25.

Metro – Thursday and Saturday, 2 days only
Asparagus              $1.99 lb
Prime rib roast       $6.99 lb
fresh turkey           $2.49 lb.

Farm Boy
hot cross buns,(8 pack) $5.99

Hickory smoked ham $ 1.97 lb
Asparagus              $1.97
Brussel sprouts      $1.97 lb. 

Enjoy your weekend festivities, Savvy Shoppers…and be reminded these stores are closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I have to go now, and finish off my own last minute dinner shopping list.

Savvy Shopper…




Posted in ARCHIVES, SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment


Though the Toronto campaign for mayor of Toronto is not Pickering news, many residents are still very interested in this political race.

Toronto Star City hall bureau chief, David Rider, has launched an excellent first piece regarding the campaign with his comprehensive summaries of the leading/current candidates campaigning for the office.

MAY 12 – Nominations close
JUN 26 – Mayoral Byelection

Click –>   Candidate Tracker

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Council members 2023

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment




Posted in @THOUGHTs | Leave a comment


AMICA RETIREMENT HOME had a party on Sunday, April 2. The celebrants ranged from old coots to old pooches…maybe said a bit politically incorrectly but these party people showed no signs of age and surprising energy and spirit in their dance steps all afternoon.

Amica deserves to celebrate after a year of development and growth. The 16160-suite complex with over 100 residents is part of the City of Pickering. These residents are in their homes which is a different residence in the city. The Amica corporation is behind the residential complex but in the words of general manager, Jennifer Smith, “We are providing a real home for older  citizens and that is our first priority.” This feels like a corporation with a heart, intent on providing a caring home for older citizens, first and foremost, not to promote the corporation behind the home.

A Mardi Gras party!
What a party! Golden oldies dancing to the golden oldies music, nibbling away on delicious finger food with sparkling bubbly to wash it down. This really was a super party for the residents and for the invitees from the city who chose to accept the broad invitation made by AMICA. Many came, nearly all of the two hundred invited guests. Even political representatives like Councillor Shaheen Butt with his lovely wife.

Two hours of shufflin’ feet, in flats, some in heels, these seniors were ready to party. It was the festa of the besta…live entertainment with a local band playing oldies with energy and experience for those who really appreciated the reminiscence down memory lane of the old tunes and dancing away as they once did to the sounds played on CHUM radio and DJ Al Boliska.

Amica held a party and close to two hundred people used their invitation.

The music was fabulous: Elvis revisited, rockabilly Everly Brothers back once more, Rick Nelson, Fats Domino, Chuck Barry, Johnny Cash, all the greats of the past, their tunes rocking the room with vigor and vim once more. Even slow stuff by “Old Blue Eyes” adding a touch of romance to the atmosphere at Amica’s party. The main room of the Amica Rock Palace swung for two hours, a mite slower than in past years, but still spirited, alive and kickin’.

In another room, the music was augmented by a white-haired maestro tinkling on the ivories with the memory of a man who was familiar with all those golden oldie show tunes: South Pacific and Mitzi Gaynor, Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz, movie memories with instrumentals from Exodus and GWTW. This man was a showstopper, a piano fortissimo.

To top everything off, the chef of the Amica kitchens deserves the highest of compliments for his non-stop production of outstanding “nibbles:” from pizza to pulled pork, gnocchi in mushroom cream with fried sage crisp to rosé creamed ravioli. This chef never stopped, always kickin’ up a notch which suggests these residents dine first class nightly. A charcuterie side table that would be the envy of a Parisian charcuterie with slices of salami, prosciutto and capicola, wedges of cheddar and Grana Padano chunks. The culinary offerings were endless and delicious.

Whew, then the desserts, no cake walk here. Creme brule, blueberry cream cheese wraps, meringue cookies and sugar cookies. Old standards, cupcakes, donut crullers and even candies, jujubes, and chocolate-covered raisins. Amica pulled out all the stops when it came to the food presentation and as John R., one of the residents confirmed, “Yep, our dining is first class here, like dining out every night.”

Finally, apple juice and refreshing water were supplanted. Amica pulled out all the stops even cracking open some bubbly for the festa celebrants.

What a great anniversary party! Amica deserves to be congratulated big time for providing the local residents to join a wonderful celebration in an opportunity of seeing how senior residents live in an outstanding retirement home in their city.

Bravo Amica!



Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Political corruption, condescension, and chicanery

Well they’ve done it again, still trying to con us into believing they are working on our behalf.

The federal government recently approved the Rogers-Shaw Communications merger after rejected it many times. What changed? Not the players? Perhaps some financial campaign support was increased. Well, break out  the champagne, Philippe Champagne, that is, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Talk about hypocrisy. “We’ll be watching them like a hawk!” Sure, like a hawk who’s resident at the CNIB, Canadian National Institute for the Blind. This minister is pulling our legs. He should do a sidehustle as barker for Clyde Bros. Circuses. Do you really believe this ministry will do anything about telecom service prices? Canadians pay the highest prices in the world. Canada ranks 157th out of 182 countries in terms of fixed mobile data pricing and it ranks 146th out of 204 countries in terms of broadband pricing. (2020)  

Now, Minister Champagne expects us to believe that this Rogers-Shaw merger will really benefit all Canadian digital service users. Who is he trying to kid? All he has done is create another giant corporation which will gouge Canadians very soon, though he denies this will happen. Didn’t Rogers just unexpectedly disconnect service for a week costing users millions of dollars. And as a punishment, they get to merge with another telecom.

This is an example of government complacency and collaboration with big business. Champagne likely cannot be accused of corruption but the smell of collusion pervades the Ottawa air. Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri cashed in recently to about $31 million in salary and stock bonuses. Likely another Robber Baron of the 21st century. What do you think his highest priority may be? Profit for shareholders and equitable pricing for consumers. Ahhh, let me think about that a moment.

Just last summer Rogers delivered … disconnection to its users. Now it refuses to even consider making cell service available to TTC transit users where crime is escalating regularly. So, you cannot phone 911 from almost anywhere in the TTC. Explain the justification and rationale behind that one for us.

It’s almost Easter and we should be thankful for having such wonderful political leaders.


Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

CARJACKING WARNING: new scheme for stealing your car and invading your home


Warning..!!!! Warning..!!!! Warning..!!!!



I was parked in a public parking area. As I drove away, I noticed a sticker on the rear window of the car. I did not stop to remove it but when I took it off after I got home, it was a receipt for gas. Luckily, a friend told me that it was the latest method used in carjacking and could lead to more trouble with a home invasion.

Heads up everyone! Please, keep this circulating. You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine, shift into reverse and then notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park and get out of your car to remove the paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car.

So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!


If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just drive away. Remove the paper later. And be thankful that you read this warning from BOOKz COOKz NOOKz.

Forward the link to the website to friends and family, especially to women. A purse contains all kinds of personal information and identification documents, and you certainly do NOT want it to fall into the wrong hands.

Please keep this warning message going and tell all your friends.

Posted in SAFETY, SCAMS | Leave a comment

NEWS&BITS: ITALY, OGGI Magaziner: Pope pissed with pushy paparazzi Pompezzo

Pope Francis was released from Casa Santa Maria d’Alighieri today but his planned getaway to avoid the paparazzi and the press failed. The press and paparazzi gathered at the front of the hospital disappointed in their expectations as the pope took a more secure route to evade them. Using back hallways and wearing an unexpected black frock, the holy father exited the back of the hospital in what turned out to be near-perfect security. However, Guido Pompezzo, a photographer with Oggi magazine with many years of experience capturing celebrities trying to evade his lenses, managed another photographic coup. Pompezzo was too experienced to be fooled and snapped this photo of the pontiff sneaking out through the security-proven back hallways of the hospital. The strategy nearly worked.

Some of Pompezzo’s other photographic coups…


Silvio caught sipping a beer in a park in Rome.

Melania Trump sunning at the back of Donald’s expropriated yacht.

Megan riding behind Prince Harry.

Posted in @ NEWS bits | Leave a comment



Tentative Agenda (to be confirmed)

  • Focus on City programs and services available to Seniors
  • Changes to snow clearing program
  • Improvements to the Waterfront parking program, and
  • Reminder regarding Senior’s Property tax program. 
Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

NEWS&BITS: Italy temporarily bans ChatGPT over privacy concerns

Posted in @ NEWS bits | Leave a comment

NEWS&BITS: PICKERING: Animal Shelter receives $25k from PetSmart Charities

Posted in @ NEWS bits | Leave a comment


Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

APRIL ’23 Newsletter

APRIL 2023 Newsetter FINAL
Posted in NEWSLETTERS | Leave a comment

SENIORS, HEALTH: Older Adult Centres’ Association

OACAO provides support and assistance to Older Adults and their caregivers. They present workshops that advise and inform caregivers and seniors in general about better living as they age.

  • Empower Your Mind, Empower your Life – How to Thrive in Today’s World (Mar 30 11 am)
  • Technology Information And Knowledge Sharing Virtual Workshop (Apr 4 10 am)
  • Dementia Prevention Awareness (Apr 6 1 pm)

Registration information



Posted in HEALTH, SENIORS | Leave a comment


South Pickering Seniors’ Club
This club is an association of seniors with the goal of enriching the lives of their members. For more information, click on the various subtitles listed below:

SPSC website


SPSC detail description


SPCS activities schedule

For more information, phone: 905 420 5049


Posted in SENIORS | Leave a comment


Click –> SPSC website

Posted in SENIORS | Leave a comment

South Pickering Seniors Club

The South Pickering Seniors Club
A seniors’ activities club that is excellently developed, very well-organized and finely managed.

Begun in 1974 when 6 seniors met in a basement to talk about forming a seniors club, to the present time where the SPSC has seen amazing growth in membership approaching a  1,000 members. Reopening recently after the covid shutdown, the Club has been in a rebuilding mode.

The Clubhouse: the East Shore Community Centre
The East Shore Community Centre, is a multi-purpose City facility from which we operate rent-free.

The City manages the property and maintenance absorbing all the operating expenses. City staff do the necessary work of property maintainenance and operationgs. It provides free printing of our club News & Views, posters, and all our printing needs. The City provides many extra services and support benefits to help our club operate, and always a not added cost to the club members.

The City also provides annual grants to offset club expenses associated with trips and our “Seniors Active Living Centre.”The club pays an $1 fee for its 5 year lease agreement for use of the property.

The club has full control of its programs and the use of our designated parts of the building facility. The club purchases and consequently own all the equipment used by its members including assets such as tables & chairs, kitchen appliances and games equipment, computers, and electronic equipment. Repair expenses are underwritten by the club.

The purpose of the Club
The Club’s purpose is to plan, promote, direct and operate the social, recreational and health-rewarding activities for its members. It enriches the lives of its members providing low cost programs, in-house activities, special events, trips and social support throughout the year

Club membership
To join the Club you must be 55 years or older, a resident of the City of Pickering or pay taxes to the City. An exception would be where one spouse is 55+ and their partner is under 55.

Club administration, executive, and group convenors
The Club executive and the conveners are all volunteers and many positions are elected.

Club meetings
Club meetings are held each Tuesday morning, attended by the administrative executive, Club directors and occasionally guests.

Club communication
The club is diligent about keeping members informed and does so via:

  • timely announcements and information at the Tuesday meetings
  • An “Information Highway” bulletin board
  • Our “News and Views” publications
  • Our Website –
  • Robo calls
  • Pop-ups on ‘MySenior Center’

The club is dedicated to its members, their participation, their activities and their enjoyment of socialization. It is open to and invites seniors to consider joining. The goal is to provide greater enrichment to life as a senior.


Posted in SENIORS | Leave a comment

SPSCA “Come out and give it a try” ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE

BADMINTON Monday 1:00 – 3:00 pm
BALLROOM DANCING Friday 2:15 – 3:45 pm
BID EUCHRE Monday 1:00 – 4:00 pm
  Wednesday 6:30 – 9:30 pm
BILLIARDS Mon – Fri  9:00am – 9:00pm
  Saturday 9:00am – 1:00pm
BINGO Tuesday 1:00 – 3:30 pm
BRIDGE (progressive) Friday 1:00 – 4:00 pm
CARPET BOWLING Friday 9:30 – 12:00 pm
CRAFTS Wednesday 1:00 – 3:00 pm
CRIBBAGE/PINOCHLE Wednesday 1:00 – 3:30 pm
DARTS Monday 7:00 – 9:30 pm
  Thursday 9:00 – 11:30 am
DOMINOES/SEQUENCE Wednesday 1:00 – 3:00 pm
EUCHRE Tuesday 1:00 – 3:30 pm
  Thursday 1:00 – 3:30 pm
EUCHRE/BID EUCHRE lessons Wednesday 10:00 – 11:30 am
FITNESS CLASS $3.00 / week Wednesday 9:30 – 10:30 am
LINE DANCING Friday 1:00 – 2:00 pm
PICKLEBALL Monday 9:30 – 12:30 pm
  Wednesday 12:30 – 3:30 pm
  Friday 12:30 – 3:30 pm
POKER Tuesday 6:00 – 9:30 pm
SHUFFLEBOARD Monday 1:00 – 3:00 pm
TABLE TENNIS Wednesday 7:00 – 9:30 pm
TAI CHI Tuesday 10:30 – 11:30 am

Posted in SENIORS | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Rougemount Community & Recreation Association to launch this spring.

The Rougemount Community and Recreation Association is planning to launch for May 1, 2023.  Information flyers will be available soon, along with more information about the association.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING walks the talk: City begins improving communication

Thought the City of Pickering has not yet begun improving its digital footprint at, it has taken the first steps to improve communication with its residents by publishing “Council Meeting highlights,” (Mar 27/23). A great start to the promise to improve the communication process with its citizens.

Lets talk Pickering – Digitalization
A discussion group examining Digitalization of City of Pickering information was held at the East Shore Comm Centre Monday, Mar 27th. led by two coordinators from Edmonton [Curious!] and Shauna Muir, Coordinator, Corporate Communication and Community Engagement.

The group of nearly a dozen interested residents participated in this discussion with the goal of expanding knowledge and improving the digital dissemination of information to Pickering residents.

The group narrowed their focus to three key points:

  • simplification
  • humanization and
  • encouragement of greater connectivity.

Simplification is needed in all information processes used by the city. Make the information more concise and the sources should be easier to navigate. Simplify the text, reduce the material and make it easier to find information. The website at was praised as being tremendously comprehensive but the same complaint was repeated: it is a challenge to navigate and find the information sought.

Humanization was repeatedly underscored. People want to talk to people, want to connect with people, not computers or computer robots. The telephone is the acknowledged work horse of information gathering but there is a need for more personnel to staff the other end of the calls. Hiring more staff to assist was a proposed idea with the suggestion of employing more young people to staff the phones. Given the current unemployment issues in the city, many unemployed people would be helped along the people searching for information.

Encourage greater connectivity seems to be a problem with all information publication in the city. As one attendee underlined, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” The point was that the city is working hard at publishing information, broadly and easily accessible, but unless residents make some effort themselves to access the information, the message falls on deaf ears. Use of the telephone is pervasive, not so with other electronic devices. However, there is a problem of motivation among the residents, the ongoing obstacle to any communication the city attempts in connecting with its citizens.

The meeting concluded with a clearer understanding of the problems with digitalization of information in Pickering. Now the city must bat that ball with constructive and practical swings. The city is in a pickle as the ball is its court.



Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

Down memory lane….if ya got memory!

Someone asked the other day………….

‘What was your favourite fast food when you were growing up?’
‘We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up, I informed him, ‘All our food was slow.’

‘C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?’
‘It was a place called ‘at home,’ I explained!

‘Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, & if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’

By this time, the guy was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

Other things I could have told him about my childhood,
if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.

My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds and only had one speed, (slow).

We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 10. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at 11:00 p.m., after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 6:00 a.m. And there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people…

I never had a telephone in my room.

Our only phone was on a party line.

Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people weren’t already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home…but milk and bread were.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers – my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. He had to get up at 5 AM every morning.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies! There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Don’t blame me if they bust their gut laughing.

My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother’s house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to ‘sprinkle’ clothes with because we didn’t have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember:

  • Headlights dimmer switches on the floor.
  • Ignition switches on the dashboard.
  • Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
  • Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
  • Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz:
Count all the ones that you remember, NOT the ones you were told about!

Your count will get a rating at the bottom.

  1. Candy cigarettes
  2. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes
  3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard lids that popped up on cold winter mornings
  4. Party lines on telephones
  5. Newsreels before the movie
  6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (Only 3 channels! If you had a TV!)
  7. Pea-shooters
  8. Howdy Doody
  9. 45 RPM records
  10. 78 rpm records
  11. Hi-fi records 33 1/3 rpm
  12. Metal ice trays with lever
  13. Blue flashbulb
  14. Cork popguns
  15. Studebaker
  16. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age, &
If you remembered 11-16=You’re older than dirt! THAT’S ME!
I might be older than dirt, but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

Don’t forget to pass this along!
Especially to all your really OLD friends

Posted in @GOLDENYEARS | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Our governments, our friends? Way to go Doggie Ford

Ford government cutting back OHIP-covered eye services for some seniors

Way to go Doggie Ford at Queen’s Park
Another example of our governments looking out for our best interests. Governments are not intended to be friends with their citizens. Doggie Ford epitomizes that rule. 

Corruption at Queen’s Park. Maybe not in the classic sense where actual money is handed over under the table as in bygone eras, but something stinks in the state of Toronto and it ain’t the hogs downtown. Other hogs? For certain. As for money under the table in reality? In these days of Trumpism, it may actually occur. As for Doggie Ford, there is no question this political head walks among the questionable political leaders; consider his inefficacious Greenbelt promise, his dubious policies to assist families with autistic children, try his fee-based bridal shower garden parties with the $1500 entrance ticket, try his continual erosion of public health in the province, his inadequate salaries for hospital staff, his failure to alleviate the inadequate medical professionals in the province and now this new cut back…eye care for seniors. This provincial leader is clearly doing us in. Where do we stand in our response to him?

All this bears some resemblance to the public responses to the German government policies of the 1930s. Silence and apathy kill. Might Doggie Ford be a pit bull in oversized chihuahua’s clothing?

Eye care for seniors? Read that again. Is that the same government that saw many seniors killed due to inadequate or improper care in residential homes like Orchard Villa Residential Home, Pickering during the pandemic? Now seniors get hit again with loss of eye care. Those whose eyes deteriorate more quickly than the young get relegated to longer intervals between medical examinations. Bravo Doggie!

Will this ageism and inexplicable poor governing stop…not with Doggie’s “rain!”
They’re deaf at Queen’s Park. Worse, there’s no accountability, no transparency, no responsibility and by the time an election rolls around, the malevolence of this government’s current tainted policies will be forgotten. Just ask Saul!

The man is malevolence personified. He is in office for two more years for sure, until the 2016 election and is likely to win again given the problems and inadequacies with the alternative provincial parties.

Doggie Ford is as dumb as a Border collie with his herd of sheeple. In the next provincial election, he’ll follow his proven campaign strategy of avoiding all specifics, no explanations of potential policy, and clamming up every Party member and QP Conservative MPP. That strategy has been his successful go-to card twice already and he’ll play it again next election.

Will you remember any of his felonious failures, tainted inadequacies or malodorous machinations in two years?

What do you think? What are you going to do about it?


Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

Reversible causes of dementia in older adults

Reversible causes of dementia in older adults
Cognitive Decline something is missing
Source: Ian McClymont, PENSIONER FITNESS.

Early Identification and Accurate Diagnosis are Key
Reversible causes of dementia in older adults. Early identification and accurate diagnosis can improve patient outcomes.

  • Some causes of dementia can be reversed through proper identification, intervention, and treatment.
  • Nurses play an essential role in improving the lives of many older adults by recognizing and treating reversible forms of dementia.

Nurses often care for older adults (65 years and older) with memory issues that may lead them to suspect dementia. However, several medical conditions mimic dementia and can be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. So then, these conditions frequently are reversible if diagnosed and treated. An early and accurate diagnosis can reduce the emotional toll.

Seven common reversible causes of dementia
Some dementias can be reversed by resolving the underlying cause. Screening for cognitive impairment is an important first step. Screening typically takes no more than 10 minutes at a primary care visit and can help identify conditions with symptoms that mimic dementia.

If screening detects potential cognitive decline, additional evaluation may be warranted to determine the underlying cause. Caregivers or family members can help facilitate the screening process by providing information about patient’s behaviour or memory at home and by comforting the patient during the screening.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid can’t produce enough hormones to meet a person’s metabolic needs. One cause is Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder. The less-robust immune response associated with ageing puts older adults at increased risk for the disease. Other causes include certain medications that older adults may be taking such as amiodarone, lithium, rifampin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine.

Hypothyroidism is associated with depression and memory problems related to damage to the brain systems. Also, it is associated with short-term memory, concentration, and problem-solving. If untreated, hypothyroidism may cause psychosis, anxiety, and sleeping problems. As a result, clinicians may misdiagnose hypothyroidism as an irreversible form of dementia.

Signs and symptoms
Many hypothyroidism symptoms—such as depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, and memory impairment—are nonspecific. The central nervous system is susceptible to changes in thyroid hormone levels which may slow all cerebral functions, resulting in memory loss and sleepiness. Hypothyroidism also may cause metabolic rate or neurotransmitter synthesis imbalance.

Diagnostic tests
Suspected hypothyroidism is assessed by testing serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) levels in the blood. Low T4 or high TSH levels indicate primary hypothyroidism. Treatment should begin as soon as possible to avoid progression to severe hypothyroidism when brain structures may be irreversibly altered.

Hypothyroidism symptoms can be reversed if they’re identified early, and thyroid function is restored. Thyroid replacement therapy using levothyroxine reverses most neuropsychological and behavioural abnormalities.

Depression can increase older adults’ risk of developing dementia, according to doctors. Symptoms of depression occur in 40% to 50% of those with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. The increased risk for memory impairment is highest in individuals with depression and those who are 65 and older, more severely depressed, bipolar, or in inpatient treatment settings.

Signs and symptoms
The hippocampus plays a significant role in mood and cognition regulation, which can cause symptoms of cognitive decline. Hippocampal volumes link depression and dementia; reduced volumes are typical in people with mood disorders. People with depression frequently have poor visual and verbal memory resulting in the poor interpretation of information, difficulty processing information or reduced executive functioning (organizing data and making decisions) on memory tests.

Diagnostic testing
Patients with depression symptoms and memory complaints may suffer from brain dysfunction rather than just depression. The way to distinguish brain dysfunction from depression alone is by screening for hippocampal atrophy via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, cognitive assessment is performed using screening tools, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination. The AD8 dementia screening interview, and the Mini-Cog. Depression assessment can be accomplished using the Geriatric Depression Scale.

Dementia may be reversed by treating hippocampal atrophy with antidepressant medication in early-onset depression to improve neuron health and prevent neuron damage progression. Patients receiving these medications should be assessed periodically for treatment adherence and symptom improvement.

Vitamin B12 deficiency
Memory loss may result from vitamin B12 deficiency. (and, to a lesser degree, vitamins A, C, and folate deficiencies), mimicking dementia symptoms. According to doctors, patients with low vitamin B12 or folate have double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting they work together for cognitive function.

Signs and symptoms
In addition to memory changes, individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency may present fatigue, numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, vision loss, heart palpitations, GI problems, depression, or noticeable behaviour changes. Vitamin B12 can also affect cognitive functions because it is essential in the structure of myelin, the protective coating of neurons causing slowing of neuronal conduction. Vitamin B12 deficiency also may result in transcobalamin deficiency (a disorder that impairs the transport of vitamin B12). Malabsorption, and metabolic disorders can cause neuronal degeneration. In addition, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency may cause homocysteine levels to rise. Homocysteine has neurotoxic effects that can lead to cell death or neurologic disturbances.

Diagnostic testing and treatment
Patients with recent mental changes should be screened for vitamin B12 deficiency. This condition is reversible with vitamin replacement.

Memory loss may result from vitamin B12 deficiency (and, to a lesser degree, vitamins A, C, and folate deficiencies), mimicking dementia symptoms. Some doctors feel patients with low vitamin B12 or folate have double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease suggesting that they work together for cognitive function.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus
According to research, approximately 375,000 Americans have been misdiagnosed with dementia or Parkinson’s disease when the underlying condition was normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Misdiagnosis can occur because patients with NPH frequently have difficulty with word formation, inability to carry out simple tasks, or impaired sensory interpretation.

Signs and symptoms
Three distinct areas can be checked to help recognize NPH: cognitive impairment, urinary dysfunction, and mobility impairment (slow and shuffling gait). Early identification of NPH is difficult because symptoms occur gradually. Those that mimic dementia (apathy, dullness in behaviour and thinking, and impaired attention) are associated with altered brain structure, and cognitive impairment may result from reduced neurotransmitters.

Diagnostic testing
Early detection is critical when NPH is suspected. MRI and cerebrospinal fluid testing are the best ways to diagnose the condition and evaluate its severity accurately.

Treatment for NPH requires surgical placement of a shunt that removes cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricle. Shunt surgery may reverse or improve cognitive impairment if significant dementia has not already developed.

Sleep apnea and related deficits
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleep apnea, are common as people age and may lead to reduced cognitive performance, mimicking signs of dementia. Lack of restful sleep can increase the risk of sleep-disordered breathing, decrease total sleep duration, and impair circadian cycles. A study by Hung and colleagues indicates that insomnia is associated with a two- to three-fold increased risk of developing dementia.

Sleep apnea is known to cause neuron hypoxia and increase the risk of vascular conditions, such as vascular dementia and stroke which can increase the risk for dementia. Poor sleep quality and quantity can affect neuron health by interfering with the brain’s natural processes for clearing toxins, which can increase glial cell inflammation and oxidative neurotoxin accumulation. The result can be neuron damage, dementia pathology in the brain, and subsequent dementia-like symptoms.

Diagnostic testing
To determine whether a patient with a sleep disturbance has dementia or depression, their sleep patterns should be assessed with a sleep study. The study will help determine if the patient has obstructive sleep apnea, but it will not be able to differentiate a sleep disturbance resulting from dementia or depression. These will require complex testing and may still be inconclusive.

Sleep disturbance treatment should begin with basic sleep hygiene strategies and nonpharmacologic approaches, such as transcranial nerve stimulation or cognitive behavioural therapy for chronic insomnia. For patients with sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure treatment is essential for improving cell oxygenation, which Ferini-Strambi and colleagues have shown to reverse dementia-like symptoms.

Alcohol-related dementia
Alcohol-related dementia (ARD) accounts for approximately 10% of early-onset dementia cases. It may result from neurotoxic damage or nutritional deficiencies related to chronic excessive alcohol consumption. For example, thiamine deficiency can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a neurologic disorder with symptoms that include confusion and cognitive decline.

Signs and symptoms
Signs of ARD include cognitive and behavioural changes, such as impaired orientation, rational functioning, and inhibition. Patients with ARD typically are under the age of 65 years, socially isolated, and male. In addition, their cognitive impairment may be more difficult to detect.

Diagnostic testing
Specific diagnostic criteria for ARD are not clear. Frequently, clinicians rely on evaluating changes such as loss of memory or alterations in thinking or reasoning, but only after patients have stopped drinking for some time.

ARD is potentially reversible with timely alcohol use disorder treatment, such as counselling, behavioural therapy, or medication. The earlier ARD is identified, the better the outcome and prognosis for the patient.

Medication adverse effects and interactions
Cognitive impairment resulting from prescribed medications is more likely to occur in older than younger adults because they’re already vulnerable to dementia caused by neurodegeneration. Adding a moderately neurotoxic medication might trigger delirium or memory issues.

To identify a medication causing dementia symptoms, the drug causing impairment would have to have been administered before confusion onset. A return to normal cognitive baseline would have to occur when the medication is stopped. However, these conditions rarely are met because many older adults take multiple medications. Medicines that can potentiate delirium in adults older than 65 years are found in the American Geriatric Society 2019 Beers Criteria®. These medications—including those with strong anticholinergic properties, conventional and atypical antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and nonbenzodiazepine and benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics—should be avoided.

Medications causing dementia-like symptoms should be discontinued, as ordered by the medical provider, while still treating the underlying medical condition. You can educate patients about the risks of taking multiple drugs, work with them to ensure they take only essential medications, and recommend alternative medications when necessary. Medical providers should always ask patients if they take over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or natural products. Furthermore, which may adversely interact with prescribed medications. (See Medication considerations.)

Medication considerations
Older adults’ altered metabolism, absorption, and excretion may make them more sensitive to adverse medication effects. However, steps can be taken to mitigate them.

  • A provider may decide that a prescribed medication’s therapeutic effect is more important to the patient’s care plan than potential adverse effects. However, if the adverse effects become too severe, the provider may consider an alternative medication with less potential for harm.
  • Large amounts of free drugs can circulate in an older adult’s system, increasing the risk of cognitive impairment. To avoid this, medications should be started at the lowest dose and slowly increased until the desired therapeutic effect is reached.
  • Polypharmacy can increase the risk of drug interaction and potential cognitive impairment. Determining which drugs interact may be difficult, but providers may consider an alternative medication regimen to address the issue.

Dementia prevention
Nutrition, physical activity, and social networks are critical to dementia prevention. A healthy diet is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension. For example, in patients with diabetes, elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance can increase the risk of dementia, and more severe conditions (such as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar non-ketonic syndrome) can deprive neurons of glucose and lead to cognitive impairment.

Physical activity increases circulation, decreases triglycerides and cholesterol, and reduces insulin resistance. Physical activity also can lower blood pressure at rest. Studies, including one by Košcak Tivadar, have shown that exercise reduces cognitive decline and the risk of developing dementia.

Increased social contact has been shown to decrease the progression of cognitive decline. Older adults’ social networks may change because of decreased interaction resulting from retirement, children leaving home, and losing friends or family. Encourage older adults to strengthen their bonds with others and support healthy, social, and therapeutic relationships to maintain healthy mood and neuron health.

In Conclusion
Dementia is reversible under certain conditions; early identification and diagnosis are key. Like many medical conditions, the earlier the treatment starts, the better the outcome. This post is for your understanding of these conditions, but only your doctor can help you identify and diagnose these conditions.

Important Note:
Remember that everyone is different, it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

Bio of the Savvy Shopper


I am the shopper behind Bargain Buying.

I’m a married domestic engineer managing a family of two in a large home. I’m a retired education administrator with multiple post-secondary degrees which means I have the capability of discerning a good deal when I see one.

I have an extreme aversion to high prices and am very irritated with regular prices these days. I take great pride in being an extremely careful and astute shopper. I closely review weekly shopping ads, scrutinizing them to find where I can save money.

I saw more and more friends consulting with me about my shopping finds. So, I thought maybe more people could benefit from my money saving suggestions and the best ‘finds’ I discover each week.

Voila….my Bargain Buying column. I hope I can save money for you!

Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment

Coghill 2 21 23

Posted in @THOUGHTs | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Ward 2 Town Hall, volatile and fiery

The Ward 2 Town Hall. Mar. 20th  was a volatile and vociferous meeting managed superbly by the ward’s two rookie councilors, Linda Cook and Mara Nagy. They recognized soon after the meeting started that they were holding a tiger by the tail but they must be commended for keeping the discussion open and ongoing, giving the approximately three dozen attendees full opportunity for expressing their grievances and complaints.

The primary speaker for the meeting was Kyle Bentley, Director of the City of Pickering Planning Dept. Bentley barely got through his opening remarks when the room’s fans got splattered. A particularly assertive attendee expressed strong complaints about the planning department service at the city hall front desk. The complaint expanded into the lack of enough human help at city hall.

The door flew open to other complaints and grievances each handled with aplomb and respect by the two councilors.

The complaints covered many areas: parking availability and payment procedures in the Nautical Village at the waterfront, and the limited number of dog refuse containers along Liverpool Rd.

More grievances : the Bell Service boxes being located at the end of driveways in such ways that driveway egress becomes a serious challenge for the household; irregular enforcement of city bylaws, most notable in regard to new home construction that is outlandish in style compared to the other neighbourhood homes; homes that were very high, or extremely large. Bentley’s response was that the city bylaws were regularly and equitably enforced but that wrinkles occur in them. This just opened a new area of protests, the need for affordable homes smaller in size, thus more likely affordably priced.

The affordable housing opened more areas of grievance besides oversized homes and mismatched styles: ADUs. Additional Dwelling Units is recurring topic at every town hall. Homeowners have no problem with ‘granny flats” as these are family related tenants. However when rentals become open to more tenants, the impact becomes a much greater concern. The impact broadens to parking issues, traffic congestion, and greater use of city services by non-taxpayers.

Another area of concern was the underuse of the Nautical Village as a festivities, events and cultural centre. The attending residents lamented that the waterfront had far greater potential as a city festivities and events center than is being currently done. References to Ajax’s waterfront were repeatedly mentioned. Toronto’s Distillery District comes to mind, an area that not too many years ago was little more than abandoned warehouses of the Gooderham Distillery but which has become a shining jewel as an events center for the city. Attendees lamented that the Nautical Village is missing the boat here.

Cook and Nagy did a very commendable job managing the many complaints, always with positive, meaningful, and constructive responses. If it wasn’t the “city is doing this or that about the issue” then it was a “we’ll look into it and get back to you” reply. These new councilors deserve appreciation for their work and diligence in staying up to date on the issues of their ward.

This town hall was one which could have been extremely disconcerting due to the passion and level of intensity of some of the attendees. However, the councilors were excellent in keeping the discussion ongoing and open. They conducted the meeting with praiseworthy respect and liberalism, giving every questioner full opportunity of expressing concerns.

Town halls can become heated and very volatile but they are important opportunities for hearing the city residents’ anxieties and worries about the city they live in. Cook and Nagy gave the attendees the opportunity to vent their concerns openly, publicly and without criticism or restriction.

The town hall, Ward 2, a resounding success!

The next town hall:
St. Martin’s Anglican Church
1203 St. Martin’s Dr.
Apr. 25, 7 pm

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

HEALTH: Diet or exercise: Which works best for weight loss?

Sep 19, 2016 – McMaster University –

The Bottom Line

  • Improving your diet is more effective than exercising to lose weight, but a combination of diet changes AND exercise has the greatest benefits for weight loss and heart health.
  • Start small: Nutrition expert Dr. Russell De Souza suggests one small diet change and 5 minutes of exercise each day can help build long-term healthy habits to keep the pounds off.
  • Measuring your waist circumference is a more accurate indicator of weight loss impacts on heart health than measuring your weight on the scale.

We’ve all seen ads for “miracle” diets, pills, or other weight loss plans. We may even have tried one or two only to discover they’re fads that don’t live up to their claims. As many studies have shown – and you may have heard before – the basis of most successful weight loss is eating less and exercising more.

But just out of curiosity, which is more important? We often joke about needing to take an extra walk around the block to validate that extra slice of cake or serving of Thanksgiving turkey. Does exercise really help counter those extra calories, or do diet changes make a bigger difference?

That’s what a recent systematic review hoped to discover. It included 21 randomized controlled trials involving more than 3,500 overweight adults aged 35 to 70 who took part in diet and/or exercise programs lasting between 1-6 years. The diets emphasized low-fat, high-fibre foods including fruits and vegetables, while the exercise programs included both aerobic activity (e.g. walking) and resistance training done on a regular basis.

“Before and after” body measurements (weight, body fat, and waist circumference) and cardiovascular health readings (fitness level, blood pressure, and cholesterol) of all the participants were taken to help determine the most effective way to drop weight, reduce body fat and improve heart health.

What the research tells us

The verdict? Sorry, those extra steps are likely not enough to burn off extra calories. Like previous studies, the review confirms that changes in diet contribute more to weight loss than exercise.

However, the review emphasizes that the best results come from a combination of both. As McMaster University’s Dr. Russell de Souza says, that’s the important message people should take to heart – literally!

The overwhelming prevalence of obesity means that more and more people are at high risk for cardiovascular problems. Dr. de Souza, registered dietitian, and nutrition epidemiologist with McMaster University’s Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, explains that diet and exercise actually work hand in hand to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering body weight and fat as well as blood pressure – which is known as the “silent killer” because it is a significant factor in heart attacks and kidney disease.

When it comes to weight loss, Dr. de Souza says the challenge is to go about it in a sensible, healthy way so that it’s sustainable.

“When people go to extremes with exercise or diet it can result in injuries or rebound food cravings. I recommend people start off slow by going for the ‘low hanging fruit’ such as actually having a piece of fruit or a salad and walking for five minutes every day. Once that becomes a habit it is easier to incorporate other healthy actions.” The good news, he adds, is that once you start, your body responds very quickly to exercise so that before long five minutes becomes 30 minutes – or more – each day.

You can ensure you are on the right track by monitoring your weight or BMI (body mass index) but Dr. de Souza suggests one of the best and simplest measures is waist circumference: men should aim to stay below 102 cm and women no more than 88 cm. Aiming even lower than these conservative estimates may be even better: a recent systematic review found that heart health risks increase for women with waist measurements over 75 cm (8). “The higher the number,” explains Dr. de Souza, “the more visceral fat being stored around your internal organs and in your liver.”

Dr. de Souza believes successful weight loss takes patience and persistence. “It’s a long-term effort. It took some time to put on those pounds and it’s going to take some time to take them off in a way that’s healthy and will keep them off!”

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

HEALTH: The dark side of daylight saving time

Why can an hour’s time change in spring disrupt our body, sleep, and mental health?

“That one-hour change may not seem like much, but it can wreak havoc on people’s mental and physical well-being in the short term,” says Dr. Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine.

Go toward the light
Research suggests that changing our clocks twice a year can have various health consequences. Of the two, springing ahead one hour tends to be more disruptive. That hour change can upset our circadian rhythms, the body’s natural 24-hour cycles regulating key functions like appetite, mood, and sleep.

Circadian rhythms largely depend on light exposure. The hour transition in the spring initially causes darker mornings and lighter evenings. Less morning light can decrease levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. In contrast, exposure to light later in the evening can delay the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep.

Many people also have trouble adjusting their sleep schedule to the new time. For the first few days or even a week, they may go to bed later or wake up earlier than usual, which can cause sleep deprivation. One study found that the average person gets 40 minutes less sleep on the Monday after DST begins compared with other nights of the year.

“Disrupted sleep can cause people to feel fatigued, groggy, and less focused,” says Dr. Czeisler. This may explain, in part, the 6% rise in car accidents following the spring time change, according to a 2020 study in the journal Current Biology. Poor sleep caused by DST also can exacerbate existing problems like depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder.

Is the end of daylight saving near?

Present-day daylight saving time (DST) was officially adopted in 1966. Proponents believe the semiannual time change means people can enjoy outdoor activities longer, save energy by using less electricity for lighting, and perhaps have a positive economic impact.

But DST has its critics. A 2022 poll found that 61% of Americans favored ending DST. Also, many sleep experts say evidence strongly suggests that staying on standard time all year is healthier. A bill to eliminate the time change has been introduced in the past three Congressional sessions but has not yet made it into law. It remains to be seen whether legislators will reintroduce it.

Prepare for the switch

People can take steps to make the hour change less daunting to their bodies and mind. Dr. Czeisler offers several different approaches:

Alter your bedtime. About three days before the time change, go to bed and wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier than usual. The next night, aim for 20 to 30 minutes, and then 30 to 45 minutes on the third night. “By the end of this period, your body would have adjusted to that lost hour, and you won’t have the stress of trying to quickly catch up on sleep,” says Dr. Czeisler.

Take afternoon naps. If you feel tired in the afternoons after DST starts, take scheduled midday naps for 20 to 30 minutes (napping longer than that can make you feel even more groggy).

Get more light. During the first week after the time change, try to get about 15 minutes of exposure to morning light, which can help maintain your circadian rhythms. Another option is to use a light box that produces a bright white light. Choose a light box with 10,000 lux exposure (lux is a measure of light intensity). Sit about 12 inches away for up to 30 minutes. Keep your eyes open, but don’t look directly at the light. Spend the time reading, writing, or just being present.

Delay your day. For several days after the time change, postpone beginning your daily routine for an hour. For example, if you go for your morning walk at 8 a.m., wait until 9 a.m. “Your internal clock is still running an hour behind, so you give it a chance to adjust,” says Dr. Czeisler. Gradually shorten your start time by 10 or 15 minutes; within a week, your body’s clock should be reset to the new time.

Curb the alcohol and caffeine. Cut back on drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages several days before and after the time change, as they can disrupt your sleep.

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

HEALTH: How to fall asleep when your mind won’t rest

Rein in racing thoughts with these calming, expert-backed strategies (no counting sheep required)

Source: Joanne Chen, Consumer Reports Continue reading

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Gnome of Information, Councillor Brenner

Councillor Maurice Brenner is a fount of information. He amazes me with his power of recollection and his depth of data. Ask him any question, and more often than not, he responds with detailed, fact-based information, not political bafflegab.

Councillor Brenner occasionally slips, resorting to the fog of double talk and gobbledygook. Thankfully, these slips are infrequent. Most often, Brenner is authentic and true to real responses to the benefit of all of his electorate.


Councillor Lisa Robinson is one of the rookies on the council but one who is demonstrating astuteness and intelligence in learning the job and becoming an effective councillor. She boasts that she asks questions often and a lot which should be the case for any political greenhorn. Her questions lead her into productive and constructive directions.

Her wisdom is demonstrated in her mentorship with and strong affiliation with her Ward 1 colleague, Maurice Brenner, a councillor with more than 25 years of successful political experience.

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Spring Guide – Recreational activities

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment


Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. During this month, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset. It is also a time for increased charity and good deeds. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr.

And those of us who observe other religious traditions, we wish all of our Muslim friends good health and a Great Ramadan with their families in this very important time.

Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

HEALTH: The very best way to show your doctor/health care profession your medical information

How often have you been asked for your medical information, and medical history while visiting a medical practitioner or a clinic? If you use a cell phone or an iPad there’s an easy way to present the information to the health practitioner.

Create or locate an easily found folder, on your device and save your medical information to it. Such information as:

  • prescriptions
  • dosages
  • doctor contact information
  • medical procedures
  • surgery information
  • photos of prescription labels
  • pharmaceutical info:
    pharmacy, location, phone, pharmacist

Learn how to put this information into an easy-to-find folder and practice accessing it yourself. Keep it up to date and learn how to modify or update the info.

Then, you visit a health professional, and rather than trying to recall all the medical/health information on the spot, you pull out your iPad or cell phone and display the information.

Practice doing that so you become adept at doing it when you need your medical/health information.

Rather than trying to remember on the spot, you can easily show your medical professional something like this on your ipad (or any information you photographed and stored on your ipad/cell phone:

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: City of Pickering needs to reassess how to keeps its population informed

The Ontario Government, the Durham Region and the City of Pickering need to go back to school to learn the fundamentals of information dissemination, especially in regard to the growing demographic of seniors. The publications and information material they provide their residents is unnecessarily complicated, confusing and often chaotic. Comprehension of the material may be a challenge for many older adults.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple)
Older adults struggle with information publications, not because their comprehension capabilities have diminished, but because their tolerance of long-windedness and bafflegab has. Older adults prefer that one gets to the point, quickly, efficiently, and directly. Informational documentation from many political entities, the City of Pickering included, is often far off the mark of succinct and concise writing.

The Durham Region provided local residents with The Ontario Government’s Emergency Preparedness Guide (2015), a comprehensive pamphlet informing recipients of how to prepare for a nuclear emergency. The pamphlet is excellent, for those with strong English literacy but even for them, it may be too much information. The surfeit of text may dissuade many readers from reading the entire pamphlet in detail. Many may feel it is information overload.

Furthermore, though lengthy explanations may be of much value, sometimes saying less says more. Refine, reduce, and simplify are key principles that need to be applied to public information material.

A picture is worth more
In line with the K.I.S.S. principle, fewer words and more illustrations may increase the likelihood the pamphlet will be read completely. Readers struggling with English will likely benefit from more graphics.

Website weightiness wasted
Lengthy website scripts may be an overabundance of information. Many readers want to get to the point as quickly as possible. The City of Pickering publishes an excellent website at Pickering. Clearly, the site developers have put themselves in the reader’s seat as evidenced by the design and layout of the site. Maybe more important, the site is dynamic, presneting the reader with useful and practical graphics in many areas. Thus, encouraging site visitors to explore more.

The site uses headings, color, cleanly-presented titles, and dynamic maps to the benefit of its readers. It offers local resident site visitors a pleasurable opportunity for learning a lot about their city.

The Durham Region distribution of the Government of Ontario nuclear emergency brochure is a necessary public service. However, the actual brochure should be more concise, be more succinct and and be up to date. The current brochure was published in 2015 and should be brought up to date for the safety, security and peace of mind of the Pickering population. An up to date plant can significantly reduce the impact of a nuclear incident on public health and safety. The Government of Ontario should get moving on this for the sake of the people of Pickering.

Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

HEALTH: Benefits of drinking enough water

Reasons Why You Should Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Staying hydrated can help support physical performance, prevent headaches and constipation, and more.

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It’s commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Although there’s little science behind this specific rule, staying hydrated is important.

Here are 7 evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water.

1. Helps maximize physical performance

If you don’t stay hydrated, your physical performance can suffer.

This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.

Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. However, it isn’t uncommon for athletes to lose as much as 6–10% of their water weight via sweat.

This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.

Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and it may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. This isn’t surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water.

If you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

Losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can significantly impair your physical performance.

2. Significantly affects energy levels and brain function

Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status.

Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.

In a study of young women, researchers found that fluid loss of 1.4% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration. It also increased the frequency of headaches.

Many members of this same research team conducted a similar study in young men. They found that fluid loss of 1.6% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

A fluid loss of 1–3% equals about 1.5–4.5 pounds (0.5–2 kg) of body weight loss for a person weighing 150 pounds (68 kg). This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.

Many other studies, with subjects ranging from children to older adults, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance.

Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1–3%) can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.

3. May help prevent and treat headaches

Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraine in some individuals.

Research has shown that a headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration.

What’s more, some studies have shown that drinking water can help relieve headaches in those who experience frequent headaches.

A study in 102 men found that drinking an additional 50.7 ounces (1.5 liters) of water per day resulted in significant improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life scale, a scoring system for migraine symptoms.

Plus, 47% of the men who drank more water reported headache improvement, while only 25% of the men in the control group reported this effect.

However, not all studies agree, and researchers have concluded that because of the lack of high quality studies, more research is needed to confirm how increasing hydration may help improve headache symptoms and decrease headache frequency.

Drinking water may help reduce headaches and headache symptoms. However, more high quality research is needed to confirm this potential benefit.

4. May help relieve constipation

Constipation is a common problem that’s characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.

Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there’s some evidence to back this up.

Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both younger and older individuals.

Increasing hydration may help decrease constipation.

Mineral water may be a particularly beneficial beverage for those with constipation.

Studies have shown that mineral water that’s rich in magnesium and sodium improves bowel movement frequency and consistency in people with constipation.

Drinking plenty of water may help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally don’t drink enough water.

5. May help with kidney stones problems

Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system.

The most common form is kidney stones, which form in the kidneys.

There’s limited evidence that water intake can help prevent recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones.

Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they’re less likely to crystallize and form clumps.

Water may also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but studies are required to confirm this.

Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.


6. Helps prevent hangovers

A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol.

Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration .

Although dehydration isn’t the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth.

Good ways to reduce hangovers are to drink a glass of water between drinks and have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.

Hangovers are partly caused by dehydration, and drinking water can help reduce some of the main symptoms of hangovers.

7. Can aid weight loss

Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight.

This is because water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.

Some evidence suggests that increasing water intake can promote weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.

A 2013 study in 50 young women with overweight demonstrated that drinking an additional 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of water 3 times per day before meals for 8 weeks led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat compared with their pre-study measurement.

The timing is important too. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full so that you eat fewer calories.

In one study, dieters who drank 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks than dieters who didn’t drink water before meals.

Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically.

Make sure that you get enough water each day, whether your personal goal is 64 ounces (1.9 liters) or a different amount. It’s one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

Continue reading

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

PICKERING: WARD 2, Town Hall, Mar. 20, 7pm, East Shore Comm. Cntre

Ward 2 Town Hall
Mar. 20, 7 pm, East Shore Community Centre

Guest speaker:

Kyle Bentley
Chief Building Inspector
City of Pickering

Main discussion: the Nautical Village. 


Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Ward 1 – 3rd TOWN HALL, friendliest and very productive

Ward 1 councilors Maurice Brenner and Lisa Robinson hosted their third town hall March 16 and it may have been the best one yet.

Kudos to the councilors for holding their town halls in changing locations to give more citizens opportunity of attending. Alas, the spirit of the citizenry is problematical as the turnout was low, about 50 attendees.

Friendly but business like
The Abbey Lawn Retirement home lounge was conducive to being a friendly and relaxed environment. From the outset, Brenner and Robinson maintained that atmosphere to the appreciative comfort of all the participants.

Gnome of Information
Councillor Brenner, a “gnome of information,” fielded the majority of questions with a deft political hand. He had boundless information and amazing recall of it.

The might consider parking him on a digital town hall for citizens to phone in questions. Councillor Brenner would be up to the task.

His responses were always loaded with details and recalled facts making them constructive and informative.

Questioning Councillor
Councillor Robinson is the councilor that poses limitless questions to the other councilors and to any sources from which she can learn. She is sincere in her quest for information and as she states, “I make my decisions on an informed basis.”

She may be the councilor of questions but she is also the councilor with informed comments and responses. She does her homework before she makes a statement.


Very successful Town Hall
Many of the town halls have been informative and valuable for the attendees, but this one seemed to cover all the basis. Relaxed atmosphere, an open floor to all participants, comfortable and casual but still very constructive and very informative.

Topics of concern were wide ranging:

  • The city’s concern with the meaning “Affordable”
  • Excessively large homes with extensive paving on their frontage
  • Bylaw restrictions and applications on property renovation for rentals
  • concern about environment with the upcoming Tree Preservation policy
  • Privacy concerns with delegations and their home addresses
  • Nuclear emergency plan updating

The councilors acknowledge that the city needs to continue its improvement and effectiveness of information dissemination to the city residents. The council presents video summaries of its meetings on YouTube. The problem remains that the number of residents accessing the information is small, much like voter turnout in elections. Brenner commented on the City efforts to refine its publications to make them more effective. His conclusion seemed to waft away in the air of political vagary. 

This town hall was excellent in every way.


Tentatively, the next town hall is scheduled for Apr. 20 at the George Ashe Community Centre. Stay tuned here for confirmation.


Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

Wk 3-16-23: Cards, cards, and more cards in your wallet

Have you been at the grocery check-out and been asked if you have a loyalty card? Yes? No? You may already have one, two, or three of them. Or, none. And asking yourself” what’s that?”, “How do I get one?”

When you apply for these cards, you will have to provide some personal information such as your name, e-mail address.

These loyalty cards are free and provide useful cash-back rewards.

Three very popular loyalty cards:

Air Miles
Air Miles has been around for possibly the longest time. At specified locations, for every purchase or product promotion you earn “AMs”. Then, 95 AM accumulated equals a $10 value which can be redeemed in merchandise at check-out. A popular us is applying these reductions at the Shell gas pump or at the Metro grocery store. Once signed up, you will learn of other participating merchants.

PC Optimum card
PC Optimum card is used by Loblaws and its affiliates such as No Frills, Superstore, and Shoppers Drug Mart, among others. Once signed up for the card, a weekly email is published with special offers for the cardholder, along with promotional discounts offered that week. Over time, an accumulation of 10,000 points will earn you a $ off your grocery bill. As an example, 2kg of sugar this week is offered for $1.99 accessed through your PC Optimum card.

Scene is the latest loyalty card adopted by a grocery chain such as at FreshCo grocery stores. Similar to the PC card, points are accumulated through the purchase of specifically offered products. The points accumulated can then be redeemed to reduce your overall grocery bill at checkout or applied to a ticket at Cineplex.

There’s no hurry to accumulate points but you just have a card to take advantage of the offers that suit you. Before you know it, you’ll have accumulated a $10 point value, and voilà…a lower grocery bill.

By the end of the year, you would be surprised at the dollar amount you’ve actually earned through points accumulation and redemption.

These cards are worth using for your shopping advantage.

Keeping more money in your pocket as you shop…

Savvy shopping everyone!

Savvy Shopper


Posted in SAVVY SHOPPER | Leave a comment

PRODUCTIVITY: NOTEZILLA digital post-it notes that beat all others, hands down

NOTEZILLA digital post-it notes that beat all others, hands down.

NOTEZILLA is the best tool you can possibly add to your digital arsenal.

NOTEZILLA is digital post-it notes on steroids. Writing about all the features of Notezilla is challenging because the app is capable of doing so many valuable things. It will become the Lamborghini of your digital garage in no time. It can be used for everything guaranteed to become your right-hand assistant as you use it more and more.

Just some things it can be used for:

  • Lists
  • Reminders
  • Notes
  • Records
  • Confidential notes
  • Website notation
  • Password vault

Powerful added features:

  • Notes about websites, on the website itself
  • Colored notation
  • Variable formatting of fonts
  • Tagging of all notes for easy searching
  • Search variables, by tag, by word, by title, by category

NOTEZILLA is a little pricey the first year but the annual subscription fee thereafter is very competitive.

Download site> NOTEZILLA

Posted in PRODUCTIVITY | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Councillor ROBINSON newsletter

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Councillor Brenner receives award

Congratulations! Bravo! Kudos!

Congratulations Councillor Maurice Brenner for being recognized and awarded by the Ontario Govt (MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy) for his more than 25 years of service as municipal councillor in Pickering from 1985 – 2023 (except 2006-2016).

Brenner has been an oustanding councillor, involved, active and incredibly energetic in serving Pickering for throughout his whole time in office.

Congratulations Councillor Brenner!

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: BRENNER Newsletter….very comprehensive

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Mayor ASHE supports PM Ford’s destruction of Ontario Greenbelt

Ford govt’s continues the onslaught of provincial Greenbelt regardless of studies showing no need for this in some regions of the province begs many questions.

Who is behind this push for Greenbelt destruction? Is developer money for Ford’s party behind this push? What are the benefits to the PC party with the carveout? Why are studies opposing this destruction ignored?

Mayor Ashe and Councillor Pickles should explain why they favour this Ford govt policy.

Continue reading

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: AI’s: potential for unleashing evil Mr. Hydes

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are two separate fictional characters in the book authored by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. They have differences in their mental, physical, and moral characteristics, and are often portrayed as being fundamentally incompatible with each other.

Dr. Jekyll is generally described as a normal person with good morals and values and is well-respected in his community. He is often depicted as tall and middle-aged and is regarded as a man of great status. He is also said to possess a sense of humour and to be somewhat antisocial.

In contrast, Mr. Hyde is often portrayed as being small, young, and physically deformed. He is frequently depicted as being sociopathic and violent and is generally considered to be a morally corrupt character. Unlike Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde is said to enjoy talking with others and does not possess a sense of humour.

Stevenson was writing that good and evil both exist in the world, in each of us. Mr. Hyde is likely a play on words to indicate that we try to hide’ the reprehensible side of ourselves for social reasons. However, the evil that lurks within each of us gets exposed, more or less, to various degrees depending on the person’s motives and objectives. Racism, sexism, ageism, misogyny are all examples of our Mr. Hydes coming to the fore. The isolated examples of police brutality, another example.

The Mr. Hyde character appears more readily with increased anonymity as seen in social media. People are more ready to make biased or offensive comments when they are anonymous. Evil appeals to more people than one might hope. Consider the multitude cheering for the criminal Barabbas rather than the preacher, Christ.

How does this relate to AI?
AI or chatbots work with the accumulation of material that is input to them, anonymously. Hence, it is inevitable that some users will write offensive material. Chatbots mine and record everything developing their database including the evil side material. This becomes a vicious circle of endless growth.

The current AIs have accumulated trillions of bits of data input from the technology users of the world and this accumulation continues to grow unimaginably and incredibly.

The ignorant, illiterate, uneducated
Most certainly, there is no debate about the benefits of AI as an assistant tool for writing, planning and inspiration. However, AI can become a cudgel rather than a pen if used by the Mr. Hydes. Educated users, users who evaluate and examine the information they read may not fall into the chasm of abuse and evil because they weigh and consider the information they read online. The ignorant, uneducated and non-analytical thinking users may succumb to their evil side believing that everything they read is truthful, valid and right.

We are on the technological cusp of an unimagined world of technological power and potential. We need to tread warily.

Posted in EDITORIALS, TECHNOLOGY | Leave a comment


Regional Councillor, Ward 3, Dave Pickles has launched his first enewsletter and it is excellent.

Continue reading

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

PRODUCTIVITY: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME disrupts more than just sleep

Daylight Saving Time explained
Source: New York Times, Alan Yuhas

What is daylight saving time and why do we have it.

When is it?
Unlike other, Daylight Saving time is tied to a roving calendar day. Since 2007, the second Sunday of March is time to change the clocks springing forward an hour. The first Sunday of November, those clocks go back.

In Britain, France and Germany, the clocks change on the last Sunday in March, and the last Sunday in October.

American lawmakers in 1966, decided that the right time of day for this shift was 2 a.m.

What is it?
To farmers, daylight saving time is a disruptive schedule foisted on them by the federal government; a popular myth even blamed them for its existence. To some parents, it’s a nuisance that can throw bedtime into chaos. To the people who run golf courses, gas stations and many retail businesses, it’s great.

“When it’s dark or there are limited hours after work, people tend to go straight home and stay there,” said Jeff Lenard, a spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, an industry group. “When it’s lighter, they are more likely to go out and do something, whether it’s in the neighborhood, a local park or some other experience. And that behavior shift also drives sales, whether at a favorite restaurant or the local convenience store.”

OK, if it wasn’t farmers, whose idea was this?
The idea is to move an hour of sunlight from the early morning to the evening, so that people can make more use of daylight.

Benjamin Franklin is often credited as the first to suggest it in the 18th century, after he realized he was wasting his Parisian mornings by staying in bed. He proposed that the French fire cannons at sunrise to wake people up and reduce candle consumption at night.

Over the next 100 years, the Industrial Revolution laid the groundwork for his idea to enter government policy. For much of the 1800s, time was set according to the sun and the people running the clocks in every town and city, creating scores of conflicting, locally established “sun times.” It could be noon in New York, 12:05 in Philadelphia and 12:15 in Boston.

But why?
One of the oldest arguments for daylight saving time is that it can save energy costs. There have been many conflicting studies about whether actually it does.

Department of Energy report from 2008 found that the extended daylight saving time signed by George W. Bush in 2005 saved about 0.5 percent in total electricity use per day. Also that year, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the shift in daylight saving time, “contrary to the policy’s intent,” increased residential electricity demand by about 1 percent, raising electricity bills in Indiana by $9 million per year and increasing pollution emissions.

Energy savings was precisely the argument President Richard M. Nixon used in 1974 when he signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act amid a fuel crisis. But what started as a two-year experiment didn’t even make it the year. On Sept. 30, 1974, eight months after the experiment began, the Senate put the country back on standard time after widespread discontent.

Daylight saving time still has fervent supporters, especially among business advocates who argue it helps drive the economy.

Who wants to end it?
The European Union and several U.S. states, including California, Florida and Ohio, are either considering dropping Daylight Saving Time altogether.

In March 2022, the Senate suddenly and unanimously passed legislation to do away with the twice-yearly time changes, making daylight saving time permanent. But the bill failed to make it out of the House. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, reintroduced the bill in March 2023.

If Congress passes the bill and if President Biden signs it, the new law would take about a year to implement.

In October 2022, Mexico’s Senate sent its president a bill to end daylight saving time for most of the country, but carved out an exception for the area along the United States border.

China, India and Russia do not use daylight saving time. Nor does Hawaii or most of Arizona. (The Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, does observe.) Several U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands also do not apply daylight saving time.

In 2020, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine called for the abolition of daylight saving time. In a statement, the academy said the shift, by disrupting the body’s natural clock, could cause an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular events and could lead to more traffic accidents.

“Not only are we sleep deprived but we’re trying to force our brain into a little bit more of an unnatural sleep schedule,” said Dr. Rachel Ziegler, a physician in the sleep medicine department at Mayo Clinic Health System. “If you ask any sleep specialist, I think most of us would be in favor of a permanent schedule.”

Posted in PRODUCTIVITY | Leave a comment

HEALTH: Exploring the benefits of MUSIC THERAPY for older adults

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

― Plato, Philosopher

 Music is a safe, inexpensive strategy to support health and well-being. Given the deep connection that most of us have with music, it should be no surprise that researchers worldwide continue to investigate music’s therapeutic benefits. Whether for yourself or a loved one, consider incorporating more music into your everyday life and enjoy its benefits.

 Music can help ease your hospital stay
If you’re undergoing surgery or other hospital treatments, you’re probably not thinking of boogying to the beat. But research shows that music therapy can reduce anxiety and pain and help ease depression and fatigue.

Music can improve walking speed
Walking speed and “gait” (the pattern and manner of walking) are important indicators to gauge your overall health. Whether you realize it or not, you may be training yourself for a longer, healthier, and more active lifestyle by listening to music while you walk.

Music may improve cognitive functioning
Research has shown that active music-making therapy may improve cognitive functioning by a small but important amount in older adults with cognitive impairment or mild to moderate dementia. Seek out music-based programming delivered by a professional, emphasizing activities that actively engage participants in music-making.  

Music can improve overall behavioural issues in people with dementia
Studies have shown that listening to music allows older adults with dementia to be calmer, which indirectly helps reduce caregivers’ stress levels. Also, group music therapy sessions led by a trained music therapist helped reduce caregivers’ anxiety by allowing them to express and share their feelings.

Whether for yourself or a loved one, consider incorporating more music into your everyday life and enjoy

Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Snow removal is a problem for all but…..

Joanna Johnson hoped her TikTok post would heat up Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier enough to just melt the snow out of her driveway. It never melted, but her driveway got cleaned.

You will have to click various places of the Metroland news piece to access the TikTok video
Joanna Johnson posted.

And she is dead on right about her snow removal complaint.

AJAX resident
is dead on right.

Undeniably, snow removal is a problem, particularly for older people who more than likely have health issues already. Snow shovelling can really exacerbate an already serious residential problem. However, what is not debatable is that man vs machine is not a fair match. The machine wins in the snow shovelling department every time. But there is a loss here too. The machine’s victory over the snow removal battle has been known to also defeat the homeowner. It is emotionally destructive to have cleaned the driveway right down to the city property edge, the curb, only to have the plow come around again and dump gigantic snow berms at the end of the driveway. “Heart attack city!!!!”

So Ajax resident Joanna Johnson has a legitimate gripe when she complains and criticizes the City of Ajax for its snow removal service. City bylaws legislate that a person must shovel the walkways in front of their house within 24 hours after the snowfall. A couple of hours work and then, the snowplow comes by again and in a minute, the end of the driveway is filled again, an impassable mountain of snow, a giant berm.

This snow removal process is no trivial matter. Councillor Robinson addressed this problem very soon after taking office promising that Pickering residents would get more help with snow removal than the current snow removal assistance policy at Pickering City Hall.

Councillor Robinson must have been outvoted as nothing has come of her promise. It would be interesting to hear that discussion: It’ll cost too much money in employee overtime; the overtime expense being passed along to the taxpayer expenditures will never be accepted; it cannot be done, there is no practical, feasible way to shovel driveways twice or easily avoid the problem; ahhh, let Saul Alinsky’s 9 day theory take its course, the public will forget about it in no time.

This is not an incomprehensible problem. Person to clear the snow, hours; plow to refill the driveway as it was before, seconds. That is not right. Johnson is among many people who are right in complaining about how municipalities clear the snow. She is dead on right in her criticism of a problem which is becoming more significantly serious as Mother Nature disrupts normal weather patterns because of climate change. Next, wait for it, when the torrential rains hit us, the city’s possibly outdated spillways and sewer infrastructure may be putting in a call to Noah, rather than Kevin or Maurice or Lisa, et al.

The snowplow is a machine and can do its job in minutes. If the driver slows down, adjusts how he plows the snow, it may add minutes to his run but there is no danger to the health of any resident. However, the dumping of a second load of snow in a resident’s driveway is another matter. Some residents are seniors. Some may have health issues. All residents are challenged physically by horrendous snowfalls but for those with health issues, there is more to worry about. Clearing mountains of snow can mean a serious impact on individuals with health issues. Residents do not have options for snow removal as the city bylaws dictate snow removal and these bylaws even dictate the time frame for this work.

City councillors should be aware: your snowplow operators are putting residents at serious health risk. There is no way to record or confirm that heart attack victims increased after a snow storm but common sense suggests it is likely so. Councillors, spend some more of our tax dollars to have snowplow operators clear snow or clear it again so residents’ lives are not put at risk. Otherwise the public purse at the provincial will be impacted severely with the increase of cardiac patients. This is not an exaggeration nor an overstatement. There are many residents who are at risk of heart attacks in clearing snow from their residences as dictated by the municipal autocrats.

Councillors, it’s time for you to do the right thing for the people who elected you. We doubt any of you will volunteer to shovel any else’s driveway for them and we wish you good health while you shovel your own.

Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

The 50 Best Foods for Your Heart

The 50 Best Foods for Your Heart
Source: Reader’s

This list of foods that will benefit your heart is listed in alpha order. However, there are some crucial notes to consider as underlined below:

  1. To read the detailed article,



The full article is very comprehensive and worth reading if you have the time.

2. Shop for these foods where suitable for you, your grocery store or Bulk Barn. Read our food shopping guru for advice about shopping at Savvy Shopper.

Cherries (tart)
Cottage cheese
Leafy greens
Lean beef
Olive oil
Onions and garlic
Pumpkin seeds
Red bell peppers
Soy milk
Sweet potatoes
Vegetable oil
Whole grains
Yogurts and spreads


Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

PICKERING: Spring Recreational Guide



 Pickering Spring Recreation Guide

Posted in @ PICKERING (general) | Leave a comment

BITS n PIECES: Cancer research from New Zealand

The University of Auckland’s Waipapa Taumata Rau trial shows that administering a cancer treatment drug to healthy middle-aged mice (one year) for a prolonged period increases their lifespan by an average of ten percent. This is looking really good for humans who get excited about increasing old age, not so good for folks who would like the time to be added to adolescence, when they can consider making non-life-threatening choices in potential mates.

Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

BITS n PIECES: Netherlands promotes ‘slow lanes’

Netherlands, home to one of the happiest and healthiest and tallest populations on earth. And, in addition, they are pretty plucky. Thanks to the Dutch, we have something that makes our lives worth living: Wi Fi, and something that makes us suicidal: Wi Fi not working. The Dutch created wi-fi, along with a whole host of other stuff that has been way more popular around the world than wooden shoes.

Something the Dutch care about are all those elderly folks who don’t have anyone to talk to and are tired of just yelling at little kids playing in the street. Jumbo, a Dutch supermarket chain, introduced “slow lanes” back in summer 2019 as part of a wider initiative called One Against Loneliness, launched by the Dutch government. According to Statistics Netherlands, 1.3 million people in the Netherlands are over 75, and 33% have reported feeling at least moderately lonely. The response was so positive to the first lanes like that created, that the company made plans to create 200 of these lanes across the country. Elders can chat their hearts out with the cashiers in such lanes. Plans are underway for lanes to be create for folks who want to “use up the spare change they have in their wallets” when paying for groceries.

Posted in ARCHIVES | Leave a comment

MAD HONEY, J. Picoult, J.F. Boylan

A sweeeeet read! Continue reading

Posted in RICHARD reads reviews | Leave a comment

The 6:20 MAN, D. Baldacci

The 6:20 MAN, a Baldacci read, a little weaker than his earlier style. Continue reading

Posted in RICHARD reads reviews | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: In defence against AGEISM

Are you aware of it yet? Do you feel it affecting you? Are you able to recognize it when it is happening to you?

Continue reading

Posted in EDITORIALS, EDITORIALS n COMMENTS | Leave a comment

LIFE: 7 healthy habits to develop

  1. Eat moderately
    Likely the key to healthy living.
  2. Drink water
    Water is essential for your body. Any other liquid is not a substitute.
  3. Do not skip meals
    Hunger has a purpose. Be attentive to it and respond appropriately.
  4. Skip junk food/snacks
    Pass all of them. They are slow killers that take destroy your health, eventually.
  5. Control the food portions
    Eat a reasonable amount, no more, maybe 80% of what you think is the right amount.
  6. Maintain regularity
    Bowel movements are a necessity of life. Try to maintain a regular bowel routine.
  7. Excercise moderately
    If you’re not physically active try to incorporate moderate exercise into each day.
Posted in HEALTH | Leave a comment

SCAMS: Learn how to identify a SCAM

This SCAM is easy to spot.

  1. The RECIPIENT address is just a jumble of letters
    It should read my email address, or Instead it is a disorganized set of letters not identifying any real email address.
  2. The SENDER is unknown
    This sender is someone who I do not know, do not have in my emailing lists and cannot identify. 
    Do not open the email. Do not click on it…doing so will infect your computer with whatever malware this hacker has created.
Posted in SCAMS | Leave a comment