Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk has confirmed that Bus Rapid Transit did not receive adequate consideration by Metrolinx in a number of its Big Move projects including the Hamilton rapid transit project. The auditor general report says that Metrolinx significantly under-estimated the passenger capacity of Bus Rapid Transit, deciding that hourly ridership as low as 2,700 passengers per hour would make it necessary to move to LRT. But as Lysyk writes, “We noted, however, that BRT systems implemented in other cities (for example, Ottawa, Canada; Istanbul, Turkey; New Jersey, United States; and Bogota, Colombia) handle 7,300 to 40,000 passengers per hour….

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LRT Final Costs may be Mounting
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Hamilton willingness to pay a share may be tested The new Hamilton city council will be confronted with some serious decision-making around the LRT issue in the coming term, and
Metrolinx ignored suggestions Bus Rapid Transit was best for Hamilton: Auditor General
The Bay Observer
Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk has confirmed that Bus Rapid Transit did not receive adequate consideration by Metrolinx in a number of its Big Move projects including the Hamilton rapid transit project.
Second Jewel in stadium precinct nears completion
The Bay Observer
For a hardy band of aqua-fit participants who use the Jimmy Thompson Pool on King Street East the wait is nearly over. The pool has been closed since last spring
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Remembering past Christmas Hockey Tournaments
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The faces of organizers of the Royal Bank International Hockey Tournament were flush-red with embarrassment in December of 1972. Global hockey fever still was running high after Team Canada defeated
Survey offers advice for a new council
The Bay Observer
Incumbent Mayor Fred Eisenberger, a strong supporter of Light Rail Transit (LRT), won re-election by a comfortable margin last month, earning a majority of the vote in 13 of Hamilton’s
Profiling Burlington’s new Mayor
The Bay Observer
Long before Burlington’s new mayor was born, John Boich was locking horns with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a guard for the Ottawa Rough Riders. Boich, who died in 2011, wound

MONTHLY COMIC

OPINION

I was doing my best impression of a guy out for a stress-busting jog.  It was anything but.

Instead of a conservation or provincial park trail, beneath me was a revolving rubber mat and instead of a headset pumping favourite tunes into into my brain’s “I like this” sensors, external sensors, strapped and taped to my chest and back were pumping out…

Monthly Editorial

Now that Premier Doug Ford has, for the umpteenth time, reaffirmed his position that Hamilton can use the $1 Billion in provincial funding for LRT—or not, there is no need for Council to get dragged into a “re-affirmation vote.” It is clear from his remarks, that the premier understands the local situation, including the fact that there is deep local division on the issue.

Given a growing sense that the LRT project is likely to cost significantly more than $1 Billion, and the fact there is no indication that the Province is prepared to increase its commitment beyond the $1Billion, council would be reckless to commit to something that after ten years still has no firm price tag in terms of either capital or operating costs. Another unanswered question is what would be the procedural impact of a positive affirmation vote? Right now, anything regarding LRT that comes before council requires a simple majority yes or no. A question we would like answered is would a positive affirmation by council make any subsequent vote on…

Grandchildren provide grandparents with an opportunity to experience things they would otherwise miss completely. Watching TV with kids, for instance, allows you to see what captures the attention of developing minds at various stages. So for a few years that meant watching SpongeBob SquarePants with the boys. One was immediately struck with the subtle wit of the series, based in an imaginary seabed town mischievously named Bikini Bottom, inhabited by the aforementioned sea sponge and an array of sea creature friends—Patrick Star (fish), Squidward Tentacles, the greedy Mr. Krabs, proprietor of the restaurant Krusty Krab and the evil Plankton, owner of the rival and far less successful eatery, the  Chum Bucket. After close to 20 years on the air the series’ popularity had made it a media franchise, as well as the highest rated series to ever air on Nickelodeon, and the most distributed property of MTV Networks. As of late 2017, the media franchise generated $13 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon. So it was sad to learn that SpongeBob’s creator Stephen Hillenburg…

Last Fall the Toronto Area Board of Trade floated the idea of uploading all transit in the GTAH to the province under the umbrella of a new agency—Superlinx. The benefits of such a plan would include region-wide prioritization of projects based on evidence-a concept notably absent in the Hamilton LRT debate. Important as well would be the integration of local transit routing into a seamless regional system so that commuters who can’t be served by GO rail can still get to their destinations with a minimum of transfers and long waits. The operational problems with the fare integration system PRESTO (which is anything but), would finally be resolved with the elimination of local jurisdictions. There are some flawed assumptions in the Board’s proposal—the main one being that “safeguards” can be built into the Superlinx governance structure to eliminate political interference. That was supposed to be the case with Metrolinx which was launched with great fanfare as an arms-length, evidence-based coordinator of regional transit. But in recent years especially, Metrolinx had fallen prey to political…

Culture & Living
The Bay Observer
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

There’s a sweet flavour to this stage adaptation (Princess of Wales Theatre-Toronto) of the1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (starring Gene Wilder). A remake with Johnny Depp was released in 2005 (under the original title). The original source is the popular 1964 children’s book by Roald Dahl.

Young Charlie Bucket lives hand-to-mouth with his mother and his four grandparents in the hard knock of a house. The chocolate-obsessed Charlie idolizes the crafty Willy Wonka, the eccentric capitalist who seeks to monopolize the world’s chocolate supply. Willy’s burdened by slow sales of his candy, so as a marketing ploy, five bars contain gold tickets entitling the winners to tour the factory and a chance of receiving a lifetime supply of Willy Wonka chocolate.

Charlie gets one of the ticketed bars, and accompanied by his eccentric Grandpa Joe, joins an an odd ball quartet of fellow winners: a sausage-devouring German, a privileged ballet-dancing Russian princess; a bubble gum-chewing budding rap star; and a techno geek. Its a colourful blending of cultures, unusual characters (live and manipulated puppets), songs and clever choreography,

I was particularly impressed with pint sized dynamo Henry Boshart (who looks about 11 years old,) who portrays the title character (in rotation with two other youngsters). Boshart fills the role with full authority, vocally strong, sturdy acting and self assurance, indicating a future theatre career.

The onstage show opens with “The Candy Man,” the pop music hit by Sammy Davis Jr. heard in the…

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Lifestyle

As I write this General Motors has just announced they will be closing their assembly plant in Oshawa in December of 2019. Four more plants will be shut in the US in a move GM says will save money, increase efficiency…

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If you can find a few days to carve out
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Premier Ford is not named in the AG's report, bu
A relevant detail glossed over by many critical
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I propose using that $1B for things we want and
Politics
Public gets gamed with the public consultation game
The Bay Observer
It takes stamina, fortitude and patience to be informed. Fall asleep at the wheel only at your own peril. Information hurtles at us from newspapers, TV, Twitter, gossip and notices
LRT vote lays bare deeply polarized city
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After repeatedly denying it until election night, Mayor Fred Eisenberger declared that the election that resulted in his 22,000 vote victory over challenger Vito Sgro was a referendum on Light
Meed Ward faces a mostly like-minded council
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As she held her left hand up to her ear on election night, Marianne Meed Ward was letting Burlingtonians know she intends to listen to them closely over the next
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Do You Hear What I Hear… or Is That Just My Tinnitus?
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    The sound of silence? Never again for 1 in 5 of us. Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is a perception of ringing, humming, or buzzing in the ears.  Almost everyone has
Promoting Healthy Skin
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First let’s understand aging skin. The skin is the largest organ and detoxification organ in the body. Changes that occur within the skin during the aging process decrease its ability
DRY EYES ARE EVERYTHING BUT DRY
The Bay Observer
There’s a prevalent misconception we cry when emotionally aroused or when the eye is irritated by invasive foreign substance. In fact, using the more correct medical term LACRIMATION, the eye
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HAMILTON AIRPORT NAMED FASTEST GROWING
The Bay Observer
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport has been recognized by Airports Council International as being North America’s Fastest Growing Airport after achieving an 80% growth in passenger traffic in 2017.
OUR FUTURE HAMILTON SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS PUBLIC SAFETY IN A CONNECTED WORLD
The Bay Observer
The City of Hamilton has opened registration for the 2018 Our Future Hamilton Summit. The theme for this year’s annual summit is Public Safety in a Connected World. Now in
STIRRINGS OF LIFE IN MOTHBALLED NIAGARA TO GTA CORRIDOR
The Bay Observer
It’s been several years since the Liberal government in Ontario shelved the proposed Niagara to GTA  and the GTA West projects. The Niagara to GTA corridor would have provided an