Thursday, January 25, 2007

The latest proposal from the residents of Elmwood is that the City of Winnipeg simply "sign over" the ownership of the Kelvin Community Club to the Association and let it sink or swim on its own. This proposal has been more or less supported by our local MLA, Jim Maloway, who has expressed the suspicion of many residents of this neighbourhood- that the property will be subject to a "quick flip" for commercial development. One should note that none of us will ever be invited to the Mayor's Christmas parties. The best that Molly can do in that regard is knowing one of the "contractors" (fucking literally) who helped build up the decadent decorations for Sammy's soiree. So it is just a "suspicion" that the property will be opened up for friends at a less than fair bidding process. I would never suggest such a thing as reality. People have, however, expressed this opinion on talk shows in this town, and Molly is merely a good reporter here.
What Molly can say is that this idea is the idea that she has promoted all along, that Community Centres should be independent of the ever tempting "free money" from government, whether it be city or otherwise. It is the only path to true security. The Mayor and his coterie have been on the media recently claiming that they have no plans to close other community centres in this city- just like Mayor Katz claimed in 2005 that there would be NO forced closures of any community centres(see previous posts on this blog for the references). Residents of Elmwood have caught him up in this lie. The next items on the list will inevitably be other centres in poorer areas of this city. The powers that be have, after all, "promised" to review the matter annually (can we say "plot" ?) to see what happens if this test case goes through.
WELL...Kelvin becoming an independent cooperative, just like other likely victims going the same route, would certainly save the City tax money. The only losers in such a case would be real estate developers who salivate over the prospect of acquiring such properties. But, of course, such people never socialize with the right wing majority on city council. Even if they do there would be no paper trail. Amazing what can be done over a glass of fine wine.
Well... if Kelvin closes Molly can expect a few things. Being well skilled in handling Rottweilers she has little fear of the increase in gang activity very close to her on the south. Molly is one nasty bloody cat, and she's lived in worse places before. She feels sorry for the kids who will be caught up in such things as the right wing of City Council attempts to correct it by more police, but it is minor. What Molly is really concerned about is the kids who have to trek east through a rough neighbourhood to get to the Chalmers Community Centre or have to trek north to the Bronx Community Centre just north of Molly's cathouse. So far my "window of excitement" on Henderson Highway is merely for vehicle accidents. As I have said before this happens at least once a month. I have no desire to watch kids trying to cross this goddamn speedway where nobody slows down for pedestrians and having them killed in front of me. To date many people have been killed crossing this road, but they have always been either to the south or the north. I've tended to schmucked dogs out on the median. I have no desire to tend to a schmucked kid. It's bad for my blood pressure. I've seen a lot of shit on this road, and I have no desire to see the potential increased by a factor of ten.
One kid quoted on the media said it would take him 45 minutes to walk from Kelvin to Bronx. I live just south of Bronx. I can get to a bit south of Kelvin in less than 30 minutes. On the other hand in my younger days I was able to run a mile in less than 4 minutes despite my tiny short little feline legs. Some 2o year olds could make it in 20 minutes, but these guys could also lift 200 pounds. I walk that sometimes to rent a car because walking is faster than waiting for a bus in this town...a little something to think about when you consider how kids are going to get up here to Bronx. Also think about wind chills of 40 below, But mainly think about crossing Henderson. It is one evil graveyard of a road.
Well, maybe Mayor Katz doesn't live on a major thoroughfare, and neither do his co-conspirators. Maybe they don't live a short distance from "gangland", and maybe they think that making rules about "panhandling" will address the issue of crime in this city. Maybe they think all sorts of things, and maybe they think that they can bask in the glory of Olympic athletes while undercutting the communities that produce them. Maybe they think that this is "progressive"- an ugly word if I've ever heard one. Progress to where and what ? Maybe they think that Olympians should only come from their own "good people", and that the underclass doesn't deserve such opportunity, small as it is.
This is the "cleanest" and simplest issue that this City has seen in decades. It's not muddied by issues of race, like much in Winnipeg is. Elmwood is very much a multi-racial community. It's not muddied by matters of special interests demanding fat easy jobs. It is starkly an issue of class, of the poor and the working class and small business people versus those who attempt to control their lives. It calls for the support of all ordinary people across this city, and the support of small business who oppose a corporate agenda for this city. Think about it. The bulldozer may head towards you next.

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