Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lauren McCrawley, Chair of the Federation of Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations

TIOH: As a Federation, you have a very broad-based approach to NA activities. 

McCrawley: We do. NAs are about community life, and Life is broad-based. 

TIOH: We're going to list some of them here; maybe you could comment on those you've found the most beneficial, and those that have been the most challenging. 

Skill swaps
Babysitting clinics
Micro loans
Senior Watch
Grocery-run pooling
Volunteer banks
Flower parades
Regular NA meetings
Street fairs
Tool co-ops
Street makeover blitzes
Bike repair/salvage clinics
Toy appeals
Community gardens
Town halls
Film nights
Seed swaps
Holiday celebrations
Road-marking vigilanteism

McCrawley: Because of the kerfuffle the 'illegal' activity has caused, I shouldn't comment on the last one, but I will. (laughing) Certain members of certain neighbourhoods took to doing what our Roads and Maintenance Department either wouldn't or couldn't: they freshened up the road markings. 

TIOH: Tell us about the impact. 

McCrawley: Well, no different than when one homeowner begins to take better care of their property: there's a ripple-effect. The stopwalks are re-painted, the dotted lines are re-painted...and one thing leads to another...and before you know it, you've got a street that's so much easier to be proud of. 

TIOH: What about a 'flower parade'?

McCrawley: We get a sponsor to help out with the supplies, and we go down a street with a van, ring a bell along the way and make a spring celebration of planting in residents' gardens. Pretty simple. 

TIOH: Reminiscent of the Good Humour truck. 

McCrawley: Exactly. 

TIOH: There's a common theme in the list of sharing. Sharing time, sharing skills, sharing tools.

McCrawley: Absolutely. We're great believers in 'collaborative consumption'. 

TIOH: Again, it seems to be about community

More with Federation of Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations' Lauren McCrawley

TIOH: Talk a little about how important you feel 'framing' is when it comes to NAs. 

McCrawley: I always go back to the story about 'The Honeymooners' Jackie Gleason. When he was a touring comic, he'd have a nap in the afternoon. And he tell his body it was time to have a snooze by changing into pyjamas. 

TIOH: He 'framed' his nap. 

McCrawley: Yes. And how we frame our NAs matters just as much. It's about acknowledging, it's about's about celebrating

For starters, we believe in NA signs on the street. We believe it's paramount to have NA signs showing where the neighbourhood is. What it consists of. 

TIOH: I love them. They're all different!

McCrawley: Exactly! They're all declarations of pride, like flags. It's where that all-important feeling of belonging starts. 

TIOH: Whose idea was it to partner-up with Neighbourhood Watch for the NA signs?

McCrawley: A volunteer at one of our Ward 9 NAs. 

TIOH: And each NA has a presence on public garbage cans. Litter bins. 

McCrawley: Yes. Consistent branding. Also paramount. 

TIOH: And there seem to be so many more bins in neighbourhoods now. It's got to be more convenient not to litter with them being so convenient. 

McCrawley: (smiling)

TIOH: OK, so let's shift to the electronic world for a moment. 

McCrawley: Sure. Each NA has a site. This is the Internet equivalent of a 'public square'. And attached to the site is a blog. And message boards. Additionally, we recommend a Facebook page. And links to a BIA if that exists, as well as a gamut of community elements. 

The next layer is a Ward site. Linking all the NAs. This is the ward's 'public square'. With all of the above elements. 

Finally, there's the Federation site. Which acts as a portal, featuring links to the NA and Ward levels. 

TIOH: That's a lot of interconnectivity. 

McCrawley: It's a lot of what they refer to as 'network weaving'. 

Worst Possible Outcome?

1) Mac backs out on 100 Main Street West deal, ends up at Innovation Park.

2) HWDSB moves south, to either Crestwood, or East Mountain location. (Site of proposed PanAm Games stadium)

3) 100 Main Street West property is purchased, Joe Singer building is demolished. 

A further excerpt from the Lauren McCrawley interview

March 5, 2022

Some more material from 'This is Our Hamilton's interview with Lauren McCrawley,  Chair of the Federation of Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations.

TIOH: Describe what kind of impact having over a hundred NAs speaking with one voice has on local governance. 

McCrawley: Where do I start?!? Well, I guess it would help to look at 'before'. Going back to pre-2012. While there were things like 'Community Councils' in several wards, and a pretty-entrenched group of NAs in Ward 2, the truth is that councillors were voted into office, people got in touch when there was a problem, something they wanted addressed, various councillors held 'community' meetings periodically. And of course, issues cropped up where, because people weren't really on top of them, because people weren't a part of the ongoing process of governance, there was barely lip-service consultation before final situations played-out. 

TIOH: And now?

McCrawley: All councillors work in concert with their ward's NAs. (Pauses) in concert...with their ward's NAs. The previous default, pre-social media, was people who had concerns or complaints either phoning or writing their councillor. Then, with the Internet, there were emails, there was Facebook, there was Twitter, blogs, message boards, Comments sections on mainstream media news articles. But even with all that, no unified voice. Yes, twenty emails from constituents had a certain amount of clout. But when you get a phone call from an NA president and they let you know that there have been four hundred votes cast on the NA website and that seventy-five comments have been posted... Which do you think has the greater power to influence?

Here's the thing: there's a mindset...gradually fading, but it's still there...that councillors should be left alone to do their jobs. That they're the ones who are best qualified to make decisions. 

TIOH: And you don't agree?

McCrawley: No...and yes. Councillors are chosen to best address the needs of the welfare of their constituents. Some bring incredible talents to the job involving visionary thinking, creativity, innovation. Some bring abilities at marshalling other elements. Every member of Council consults with City Staff. But that's only one part of the formula regarding input. The other part is consulting with the very people who put them in their Council chair, their 'clients' for good governance service, and their employers

TIOH: The residents. 

McCrawley: Yes, the residents. 

TIOH: But you've admitted that residents by-and-large aren't 'experts'. So how do you reconcile this with them being so integral a part of their own governance?

The rest of the interview can be found at

Monday, February 27, 2012

Another excerpt from the Lauren McCrawley interview

March 3, 2022

Due to the response we received after posting a bit of the interview with Federation of Hamilton Neighbourhood Associations Chair Ms McCrawley as featured on 'This is Our Hamilton', we're providing another piece. 

TIOH: Talk a little bit about 'before'. Before the Federation became what it is today. 

McCrawley: Pretty simple: roughly 40% of eligible voters cast their ballots in municipal elections, almost two-thirds of these doing so by 'name recognition'. Their councillors were voted in, governance was executed, some issues came to the fore, were championed by a very, very small number of residents... Mostly, we saw a hands-off relationship on the parts of Hamiltonians concerning City Hall and everything that goes on there.

TIOH: But we did have neighbourhood associations. NAs.

McCrawley: Of course! And some had longstanding histories and were cohesive units advocating for their communities. But we hadn't attained a mindset-shift to 'the commons' at that point. Each NA fought its own battles, sometimes with, sometimes against its own councillor, they were, for the most part, either unable or unwilling to network with other NAs... And more than this, it was a fight to keep an NA going. 

TIOH: Even in the well-established communities. 

McCrawley: Yes. Life is hard. Getting people to make time, to offer up their energies...

TIOH: But at some point, this changed.

McCrawley: Yes. Call it 'critical mass'. Call it 'the tipping point'. But things changed. 

TIOH: Now, as I understand it, this actually came pretty early on. 

McCrawley: It did! In the summer of 2012. When efforts behind fighting AEGD rose to the surface. That interlude galvanized people, and inspired the creation of nine NAs that autumn. A year later, another 13 had been founded. 

TIOH: Why? 

McCrawley: I'm not a social scientist. So-

TIOH: But you are a community organizer. You were on the ground, you helped set up one of those NAs. 

McCrawley: I did, and I am. So from my vantage point, I'd say that people- Look, there's a maxim that therapists use that's particularly apropos, especially in conjunction with the notion that people love to be led, that they love to be engaged in the betterment of their community: 'People remain where they are until they're uncomfortable enough to move.'

TIOH: So the Federation took on life when there was sufficient discomfort in Hamilton. 

McCrawley: (smiling) 

The rest of the interview can be found at

Naturally, I have to ask...

Yes, partially because I am an 'agent provocateur' of sorts. Or maybe the label 'agitator' allows some of the aggrieved out there in Dissident-land to sleep better at night. Phhttt.

And partially because I'm kindasorta tired of the standard 'M.O' of 'concerned citizens' in Hamilton regarding 'taking up the cause' well into the game. 

But it's mostly sincere curiosity. 



So, here's the question:

When the HWDSB/Mac situation is whatever way it's going to end up being resolved...I'm wondering what the next circus theme is going to be?

AEGD, maybe?

After that, the site (and composition) of the much-derided 'super-secondary-school' taking in the Delta-Sir John A Macdonald catchment areas?

Let's not forget LRT, when provincial funding dissipates. 

And of course, it won't be long after this before the 2014 Municipal Election will be getting underway. Oy-friggin'-vey. Can't wait for the curtain to rise on that

Seriously though, I'm sure that The Little Enclave That Could will prime their declamation units, get their fulmination machinery running at full capacity as they co-opt yet another cause celebre and produce their next cirque de dudgeon haute. 

West Harbour and a stadium is one thing. The Joe Singer HWDSB building, and even LRT, with its defining element being provincial funding are similar 'things'. 

But grabbing hold of Aerotropolis at this stage of the proceedings and shouting their shouts about this pivotal issue as they no doubt will, to me will be not only the height of gall, but reveal Those Who Campaign Too Late to be as ill-advised as has been suggested. 

Part of me wants to see this next edition of Hamilton's Barnum & Bailey's extravaganza...but the other part of me doesn't think there's sufficient Gravol available to get me through the experience. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Excerpt from Lauren McCrawley interview

March 2, 2022

In the decade since the formation of the Hamilton Federation of Neighbourhood Associations in 2012, how things happen in the city has changed so much that were it possible to venture back in time and present to that year's Council the implications of organizing, energizing and empowering Hamilton residents by way of NAs...chances are 'gobsmacked' would have attained quorum. 

Here's an excerpt from the interview with Federation Chair Ms McCrawley featured on 'This is Our Hamilton'. 

TIOH: So, 'night and day'? Does that describe the difference between now, and pre-formation of your federation?

McCrawley: (laughing) Absolutely! Think of the situations in the previous years that had driven so many Hamiltonians to distraction: West Harbour, including Setting Sail, the CN Ontario Municipal Board hearings. The Pan Am Games Stadium site-selection process. IWS2. Our dance with illegal dumping and garbage collection. The questionable destruction of the Lyric/Century Theatre. The Connaught's prolonged, languishing state. The HWDSB headquarters situation involving the Joe Singer building, the Board's relocation to Crestwood, Mac's entrenchment at 100 Main West. And the biggest battle of all, 'Aerotropolis'. Voices were being raised, but despite the din, it was too online-focused, too fractious...and we were always too late.

TIOH: Consistently behind the 8-ball, always behind the wave.

McCrawley: Exactly!

TIOH: And now? Now that you've got 119 neighbourhood associations in place in the sixteen wards?

McCrawley: (laughing) Night and day.

TIOH: Why?

McCrawley: Because we changed the landscape of our local governance. Because we now have activated residents in most neighbourhoods. We have cohesion, we have synergy, we have power. We work with our councillors and our mayor, we're part of the process now, whereas before, some of us voted every four years and then went about our business...and a small number of us were vocal when our frustration level was high enough.

TIOH: But there are still contentious issues, situations where the consensus on the street doesn't get delivered by the City or by developers.

McCrawley: You're right. But nothing that comes close to how badly the process was being executed 'back then'. And I need to point out that it's only because of the initiatives from the Federation that Hamilton was able to forge its own unique way forward regarding LRT when provincial funding vanished. That happened as a direct result of our 'Congress at Copps' in 2015. 

The rest of the interview can be found at

And so we'll see what's what.

Today's article 'Time may be expired for meters in Stoney Creek and Waterdown' is a herald of things-to-come.

Or...maybe not.

(Never mind that it should be 'have expired'...)

I won't indulge myself and launch into my standard speech about what's really wrong in Downtown Stoney Creek (Hint: it's not the meters), but will be watching patiently to see how things pan out once they're gone. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ta-da! All 'lower city' neighbourhoods

For your edification, all 84 Lower City ward neighbourhoods (as recognized by the City of Hamilton) can be found in this post. Just click on 'Read more'. 

 Ward 1

Re-drawing Ward Boundaries: Ward 9, v2.0

After all, why not go back to the historical roots of 'Stoney Creek'? Pre-amalgamation with Hamilton, Stoney Creek had incorporated Fruitland and Winona.

And yes, I don't include anything on top of the Escarpment to be-

Oh, I'm sure I don't need to bring that up again...

Anyway, this makes for far better consistency governance-wise...and also brings about some interesting possible knock-on effects for Wards 10 and 11.

Leaping ahead, Ward 10

Ward 10

And he should know.

André Marin, Ontario Ombudsman

“I think municipalities have to mature when it comes to openness and transparency. There’s a lack of evolution. I hate to generalize, but it’s something I see. There’s a lack of embracing open government.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Speaking of NAs...

When I established Town Halls Hamilton, the basis of the notion was increasing engagement from the resident side.

And to that end, my belief is that you have to consider neighbourhood associations (NAs) to be the primary element towards energizing our citizenry.

To this end, I created a 'marker' for my 'Grand Intent', the goal of having an NA in every neighbourhood in Hamilton. Why do I see a 'federation' or a 'congress' of NAs as being so important? In a nutshell, to provide a cohesive voice for residents, a means by which critical 'community-reaction' efforts can be fuelled...ultimately, to allow Hamiltonians to finally and properly take their place in local governance. An 'It's about time!' thing, if you will. (Additionally, 'Put up or shut up'.)

Take a look at these maps of the traditional neighbourhoods in Wards 3, 4 and 5...and guess what percentage of the 35 highlighted actually have City-recognized NAs. (These neighbourhoods contain almost 120,000 people.)

Ward 3

Ward 4

Ward 5

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Elements at Play at 100 Main Street West

1) The cause of saving a loved building from demolition.

2) The importance of having the BOE downtown.

3) The importance of having Mac downtown (in its proposed configuration).

4) The revelation of the specifics of the site-selection process. 

5) The legacy resentment at the Board at being 'forced' to locate downtown in the first place, almost a half-century ago. 

6) Feelings of disenchantment/impotency by some Hamiltonians towards this unfolding situation, as fuelled by other recent situations, such as the Pan Am Games Stadium Site Selection fiasco. 

7) Frustration at the impending loss of yet another 'landmark' downtown building; loss of legacy. 

8) Anger on the parts of pro-downtowners at a further example of 're-location to the suburbs'. 

9) A general fedupedness about the dearth of genuine leadership in the city. 

10) The realities of shifting demographics in the Lower City. (And some people being in denial over them.)


Given that Hamilton-at-large has a pretty tough time grasping the intricacies and nuances of something as simple as garbage collection, is it any wonder that this discussion isn't any more evolved than the one about our radial separation bylaw?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Something for us all to consider.

How serious a problem can 'conflation' be...?

Last weekend, I ran into some typical Hamilton thinking. (It's not something the city has a monopoly on, believe me. I see it everywhere, all the time.) I wrote about it here.

The core of its dysfunction strikes me as conflation.

Which can be caused by intellectual laziness.

Or, it can be caused by wrapping oneself in an ideology, the equivalent of putting your hands over your ears, closing your eyes, stamping your feet while yelling "LALALALALALA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU, THEREFORE I'M IMMUNE TO YOUR RATIONAL WAYS!!!"

Or it can be caused by fear. Fear brought about by frustration, exasperation...desperation.

Or...all of the above. (We have working against us, as a kind of 'exacerbation-factor', our 'legacy-malaise'.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Re-drawing Ward Boundaries: Ward 11, v1.0

Re-drawing Ward Boundaries: Ward 10, v1.0

Re-drawing Ward Boundaries: Ward 9, v1.0

Seeing as the name of the blog is 'My Stoney Creek', I may as well start where I stand. (Not entirely true, but I'm using some artistic license here.)

I think any time someone addresses how something is framed, they're going to bring into effect their own biases. Mea culpa, no contest here. 

I'm a traditionalist. I believe that 'Stoney Creek' means just that, and I've never accepted that it extends to 'Upper Stoney Creek' or any somesuch nonsense. (As it is, extending the eastern border to Fruitland know, itself contentious to me...but there ya go.)

Further, I believe that in an Amalgamated Greater City of Hamilton, if I'm going to push my beliefs forward about the importance of neighbourhood associations being the foundation of activism, if I'm going to evangelize about the importance of 'pride-of-place', community identity, respect and everything attached to these things, then I believe we need to acknowledge our 'roped-in' communities and celebrate their heritage and traditions. 


The start of my re-imagining of ward boundaries begins here, in Stoney Creek, with Ward 9. 

(Apologies for the quality of mapping.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

As ignored as 'de-amalgamation'...

Re-drawing ward boundaries.

Never mind being an 'elephant' in the room, it's got the potential to be a Pandora's Box. (Admittedly, writ smallish.)

And given how badly equipped we seem collectively, I have little faith in our abilities to either a) generate the impetus to bring this to the table, or b) actually make something of the discussion.

However, the editorial collective at the HCN has managed to lob the first salvo by mainstream media. I've broached the subject in the past, so I'll put my money where my mouth is and posit my own rendering, presently.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

re: David Brace and all the other children over at their Facebook 'box...

When is a 'Dissident' Movement Little More Than a Coffee Klatch Clique?
My Visit to a Dissident Sandbox

Last autumn –and I'll concede that the exactitude with which I'm able to corral my memories might be slightly flawed– when 'Peggygate' was at the height of its wondrous illumination of the city, when Mayor Bratina made his famous 'dissident' statement in response to the negative outcry (mostly online), about the same time that Graham Crawford of HIStory and HERitage had his fun poster-wise, a Facebook group was created. 'Dissidents (Hamilton Chapter)'. Common sense says that they wanted to have some fun, they wanted to blow off some steam...'birds of a feather' and all that. 

I visited the group. And just as I was a little sickened by the energies poured into 'Peggygate' by Ryan McGreal over at Raise the Hammer and Graham's (I refer to him in this way because I know Graham, he's anything but a mystery to me) inveighing against Mayor Bob on that blog in the form of comments, I remember shaking my head at the repetitive threads on Dissidents. In fact, when I got to know one of its more respected members and struck up a close friendship, she eventually stopped frequenting the group. 'Too much negative energy', or words to that effect.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

'How?' you ask...? Part Four, The Practicals, Cont'd

In Hamilton, a deeply-committed neighbourhood hub project is well underway under the auspices of SPRC, HCF and the City of Hamilton, amongst others. And we have individual organizations, agencies, groups that are actively involved in trying to bring awareness to residents, who spearhead efforts. The Hamilton Civic League. Environment Hamilton. Hamiltonians for Progressive Development, to name but a few. As well, we have at least two online entities that act as forums for issues, places where those who wish to investigate these issues can, for want of a better word, 'assemble'. Raise the Hammer. The Hamiltonian. And of course, we have social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Rounding things out, we have The Spec, urbanicity, CHML, CHCH and others.

'How?' you ask...? Part Three-B, The Practicals

In truth, I can offer up no easy, prize-winning 'practicals' addressing what I raised here at The Spec. Not ones pertaining to any given situation. Each situation is different, each will require its own approach, its own strategy, its own checklist.

Sorry if this admission strikes some as a 'shaggy dog tale' ending to the series, considering the build-up.

But in fact, what I'm going to propose...and what I've been proposing for a long time...facilitates the above, makes it all possible. So indulge me as I propose an analogy.

Suppose you're looking at entering into an important match. (The actual sport we're talking about doesn't matter...I'm loath to place the analogy within any particular one for fear of bias-of-reaction.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

A: Actually, I find it both depressing...

...and dismaying. 

Q: Given that almost two-thirds of voters don't vote in municipal elections, given that about the same ratio of voters who do cast ballots, do so out of 'name recognition', how do you feel when you have people who are at least sufficiently engaged to read and comment on a 'community/civic activism' blog musing on the publisher running for office....based on the apparent 'feel good' factor? 

Addendum: It's been suggested to me that 'this is being done by The Publisher's own people'. That possibility just shifts things around, it doesn't diminish my 'feel bad' factor. It merely places it in another category. 

'How?' you ask...? Part Three-A

This week has been chock-full of rich experiences and Life-lessons for me. (This is an admittedly silly way to begin a post; all weeks contain these. LOL) So please forgive me for not getting to the meat of the matter and immediately laying out my practical suggestions.

Family health, medical and mortality issues. The travails of friendship. Meeting online commenters for the first time. Reconnecting with community confidantes, their intellects and their spirits. Observing knee-jerk judgement in action. Witnessing well-intentioned community efforts go benignly awry. Reading both enlightened and informed commentary (and reassuring responses to these) as well as self-indulgent, self-limiting pap.

Despite some peoples' perceptions of me by way of my online 'delivery' (I'm strident, that ain't gonna change), I'm actually a sensitive bunny. Most of the above affected me in one way or another. And apropos of this series of posts, they contributed to what I believe about changing 'How Things Are Done in Hamilton'.

A beautiful piece of commentary.

Over at The Hamiltonian, Herman Turkstra has offered up his take on the HWDSB relocation, its building, downtown development, etc. (The Spec picked it up, too.)

Context and perspective.

Always refreshing.

'How?' you ask...? Part Two

Nobody cedes power willingly.

Life is a competition, and people just want to win. 

Nothing matters as much as getting what you want.

Boys will be boys.

Since forever, for all practical purposes, power has been denied the general populace. It's been held by just about everyone but residents, notions of 'democracy' notwithstanding. Royalty, emperors, dictators, 'the upper class', people with money, business magnates, precinct bosses, the Mafia, gangs...yadda, yadda, yadda. 

And the thing is, nobody who's a 'player' in whatever game they're in, wants to see it change. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

'How?' you ask...? Part One

'Good question!' is my initial response.

(The question under consideration is in regards to the notion that I presented in the essay 'The 8-Ball and The Curve: Why Are We Always Behind One or The Other?': We need to change the landscape so that we, the residents, the taxpayers, the underwriters of publicly-funded development, have a much higher level of participation than we've traditionally had.

It's a touchy, usually-avoided topic, a situation seen as being beyond any degree of 'fixing'. People who I present it to roll their eyes, shake their heads...and offer to sort out world peace instead. 'Good luck with that!" I'm told. "Not gonna happen," others mutter. "You must be living in your own little world," generally sums things up. 

So before I go any further, allow me to suggest this analogy when it comes to this discussion: 

For the record...

...the original title was:

The 8-Ball and The Curve: Why Are We Always Behind One or The Other?

Here's the article in today's edition. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

To dream, perchance to...? Part Three

I'll admit up front I'm going to get a little esoteric on your intellectual rumps here. (But for those who prefer to take the facile, get-to-the-point route: 'We need to play more of a part in how our city changes into its next iteration. We need to 'creatively re-imagine' Hamilton. We need to dream.' There; feel better? Now go get me a coffee.)

I'm going to riff on awareness for a bit. Ability. Engagement, involvement...participation. But as I'm heading down that esoteric route, I present to you the spiritual stages of the above:

To dream, perchance to...? Part Two

Last week, I published a post and circulated it amongst those readily identifiable to me as 'ones who might be good choices for contributing to the discussion'.

The post was about the idea of a self-directed grocery store downtown, connected to the city's 'prize' of $650,000 to the business that opens up a store in the core.

And the responses were-

Well, sufficient to compel me to title this post as I have.

Over at Town Halls Hamilton, last month I posted a commentary on the notion of 'playing'. On the idea of 'creatively re-imagining' our city, specifically the downtown, the area from James Street to Wellington, King to Cannon.

What I proposed wasn't some sure-fire solution, a project to be approved that would be the 'magic bullet' to cure all Hamilton's ills. (In the same way that I've been saying that increased engagement on the part of our residents isn't an 'instant fix' to some inarguably pressing concerns such as AEGD.)

In truth, no such project exists.

But even in framing things that way...that the 'solution' is something brought to us, bestowed upon us, as some sort of act of developmental beneficence...cranks up my cringe level another notch.

To dream, perchance to...? Part One

Ryan McGreal, Publisher of Raise The Hammer

Yes, I'm the guy who 'spurred that spirited discussion' both in The Spec and at Raise the Hammer.


But the 'discussion' didn't turn out as I'd hoped. Allow me to first share feedback to Ryan et al during the 'content approval' stage for his article's publication (edited marginally for clarity):


Interesting collation. 

Too bad what it's sprung from hadn't been in-person. 

A few points, as I attempt to stay away from the thrust of my own commentary, still being written:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Regarding a 'downtown supermarket'

Within a lengthy Facebook exchange on the subject, I posited this notion for my correspondent's consideration:

Further to that final point, here's a challenge, for all the 'dissidents' in Hamilton, for all the 'movers and shakers', for all the 'community organizers' and 'civic activists': Why don't you utilize your immense talents and sound, heart-based energies and construct a co-op effort in concert with either an independent entity (Goodness Me!, Longo's, Lococo's etc) or Loblaws or Metro? I'm not being glib here. I'm being absolutely serious. We have so much whingeing and kvetching in Hamilton concentrating on what we're disappointed with, on how powerless we feel in the face of so many 'bad decisions' being made, here's a chance to actually pull together and make a difference. This wouldn't be the first time such an effort was made; didn't this happen in Ward 3 with a rec centre? Residents putting their own resources up to make the project happen? There's no reason why a 'community effort' coudn't provide a downtown grocery store, and plough the proceeds back into the community. Town hall anyone...?

So, there's the challenge: brainstorm a way to get a self-directed supermarket into the core. 

I'm looking forward to the discussion. 

M Adrian Brassington