“What the city is asking is probably significantly more than what we can do.”
Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee sounding like a broken record on police budget cuts. But maybe it's just the strong medicine right-wingers who voted down the mayor's tax proposal need.
Freeing the trees
Gotta love Streets Are for People. The urban guerrillas known for Kensington Market's Pedestrian Sundays took to the corner of Spadina and Oxford on July 21, crowbars and sledgehammers in hand, to liberate five city trees from those suffocating slabs of concrete depriving them of rainwater. And we wonder why they're dying by the dozens. The group planted flowers around the trees (phew, that feels better) and turned the slabs into makeshift benches -- without advertising on them. Sounds like a project with legs, an idea that should be taken city-wide. We can certainly use the shady respite from this smoggy heat wave.
Gulp! Pepsi comes clean on bottled water
If a corporation admits it's screwing you, does it make the act any more pleasant? Pop peddlers have been bottling our tap water, then selling it back to us at 1,000 times the price for years now. But Pepsico made marketing history when it recently caved to activist pressure and announced that it would clearly tell consumers where its Aquafina comes from -- or at least spell out that cryptic PWS acronym on the label. (PWS, we now know, means Public Water Source). No word yet on whether Pepsico plans to trade in those misleading mountainscapes on its label for an image of a Mississauga tap.
Grist for the Miller
Popular online eco mag Grist put out a list of 15 green cities "making impressive strides toward eco-friendliness." And while we didn't expect to beat out San Fran and Curitiba or even traffic-busting Bogotá, Mayor Miller must have been a little disappointed that T.O. didn't even make the list of honourable mentions. What? The judges didn't count Miller's heartfelt vows to make T.O. the greenest city in North America? Guess they could see through our empty commitments to more bike lanes. Still, we're not sure Vancouver deserved fifth place for getting 90 per cent of its energy from renewable sources (i.e., hydro-electric dams) Building the damn things isn't always so eco.