Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I was pretty unhappy with how the stadium became (by dint of default-by-way-of-apathy?) the Number One Election Issue this year. Putting aside Mainstream Media's role in defining the parameters of governance and of wishing there'd been a much stronger push by incumbents to take firm stances on far more substantive -and pressing- issues, what made me the most unhappy was that this wishy-washy, soap-operaish situation crept into the collective consciousness of Hamiltonians, took root and added to the long-festering mindset of 'Hamilton Can't Do'.
Town halls should be held. Right now.
Throughout the entire city to be sure, but as I am a 'Cricker', most of my encouragement would be towards the four of you having them.
Generating clarity, clearing the air, establishing the facts, taking back ownership of the process...providing much-needed context.
Otherwise, this interlude will undoubtedly poison future efforts to move forward, no matter how well-founded, no matter how well thought out they might end up being.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We live in a consumer society. One based on acquisition. On materialistic, acquisitional consumerism, where so very great a portion of most people's self-regard is at least informed by purchasing something. Endlessly.
Over the past twenty years, Downtown Hamilton has been on an ever-downward spiral. All of the above factored into its decline, but I've left out what probably accounted for much of this: Hamilton City Council took its eye off the ball.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
1) Downtown Stoney Creek's history. I'd focus on the past 50 years, with a longer overview provided in sidebar form.
2) How Commerce Has Changed. What's been going on in the rest of the marketplace (in Hamilton, in Ontario, in Canada, over the rest of the world) over the past half-century.
3) What Makes for Thriving Downtowns, City-centres, Main Streets.
4) Where Downtown Stoney Creek is Today. An analysis of the current state of affairs
5) What Needs to Be Done. Recommendations, options and strategies.
Some may say that it's not the responsibility of the Stoney Creek News to effect change in Stoney Creek. The only polite response I have to that notion is 'bullshit'.
If it's not the responsibility of the community's newspaper to shine light on subjects that need some illumination, if it's not their responsibility to make the residents aware of a situation that affects their Quality of Life, if it's not within the purview of a newspaper to endeavour to inform, to educate, to provide its readers with what's required to produce informed, qualified opinions in them...
...then whose is it?
Surely to God the Stoney Creek News' only mandate can't be the obvious, what it has long excelled at, to merely regurgitate material already circulated by other elements of media in more expedient fashions, or report on feel-good mush.
Downtown Stoney Creek is the way it is for many reasons. There's no question that the health of the economy in general and the shifting of the area's specifically have been contributing factors to the area being a non-starter. But more than this, I believe a distinct lack of imagination, of entrepreneurial vision combined with an attachment to a time-worn status quo on the parts of land-owners have brought us to this morass. And that customers have progressively registered how they feel about all this by simply shopping elsewhere. Rectifying this situation can't be achieved by the simple publication of a few articles. But the effort can be spearheaded by such a gesture.
Stoney Creek residents deserve a much better downtown than what they've been provided for what amounts to decades, now. The Stoney Creek News can play a vital role in making this happen. It would be a wonderful way to galvanize the community, to bolster the newspaper's fading status, to make a suitable contribution to the lives lived here.
Consider it a localized travelogue, a veritable barbershop/hair salon musefest, a Speaker's Corner indulgence for a good rant...or a seemingly endless -though segmented- Op-Ed piece. You can also find me at the Town Halls Hamilton and the Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations sites.
- ► 2012 (212)
- ► 2011 (124)
- Going National...
- And now, amongst the surreal, something whimsical
- Why I Do What I Do
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- As Petula Clark sang...
- OK, I just have to lob this one...
- And now, a full response to The Spec
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- Letter to The Editor: An Unseasonably Uncheery Dou...
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- An Online Gem
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- Something found online
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- You see, it's a dance.
- Meanwhile, over at Raise the Hammer...
- Overheard recently...
- ▼ December (20)
- My name is M Adrian Brassington. I'm a writer. I've included Stoney Creek in more than a handful of the creative projects I've brought to fruition (and even some I haven't.) I've lived in various cities in three countries on two continents. Several years ago, I returned to the town I grew up in after being away for almost a quarter-century. I'm a left-of-center dreamer who has strong opinions about everything I have an opinion on (I don't tend to open my mouth unless I feel I know what I'm talking about; the 'unqualified opinion', AKA 'talking for the sake of declaring oneself' is one of modern society's scourge-habits), whose belief system is grounded in community, responsibility and respect and runs contrary to the standard 'free-market, consumption-based, materialism-as-validation' precepts. I love my hometown and won't apologize for wanting it to be far better than it is...even if I'm perceived as being too strident, a snob and not willing to suffer fools gladly.