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October 25, 2010

Five police officers injured in Naples protest over new garbage tip

Five police officers injured in Naples protest over new garbage tip

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Monday, October 25, 2010

In 2007, Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi pledged to create a solution to Italy’s ever-growing problem with litter. Residents of Terzigno, however, claim that nothing has been done to clear up the refuse on their streets.

Five police officers were injured as they attempted to quell a demonstration over plans to build a large garbage tip on the edge of an Italian town, officials confirmed on Saturday. Two police officers and three carabinieri suffered minor injures during the protest, which lasted several hours. Residents of Terzigno, a municipality in the Province of Naples, hurled stones and fireworks at the police, who responded by attempting to disperse the demonstrators using teargas and baton charges. Protesters are campaigning against the opening of a new waste dump near the town, and the incident on Saturday is the latest in a series of demonstrations in which campaigners are preventing access to the existing garbage tip.

Cquote1.svg They have ruined our lives, the lives of our children who are growing up in a world of rubbish, they are destroying our lives day by day. Cquote2.svg

—Terzigno resident

The blockade means waste disposal workers are unable to collect refuse, and it has been reported that 2,000 tones of rubbish has already piled up on the streets of Naples. Protesters set the garbage alight on Friday evening, Rosa Russo Iervolino, the mayor of Naples confirmed. Some protesters burned Italian flags and set cars on fire. “The bad smell bothers us, but it is the lesser evil,” one protester, a grammar school teacher, said. “The most important thing is that we are dying here, there is leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, there are the most terrible diseases around.” Two parents added that their children were suffering from respiratory problems and paediatricians had advised them to move away from the area. “They have ruined our lives, the lives of our children who are growing up in a world of rubbish, they are destroying our lives day by day,” said one.

In 2007, Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi pledged to create a solution to Italy’s ever-growing problem with litter. However, a European commisioner has warned the Italian government that they may face legal action from the European Union (EU), who may be able to fine them for failing to improve waste management in Naples. “I am worried by what has been happening in Campania in recent days,” said Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for the Environment. He added that the EU were considering sending a team to the area to assess whether laws protecting human health and the enviroment were being breached. “Today’s situation leads us to believe that measures taken by Italian authorities since 2007 are insufficient,” he said. “What has been happening in the last days shows that the Italian authorities have not yet done what is needed.” Mr. Potočnik added that he felt that the region still had no waste management and that the only incinerator “is not functioning properly and at full capacity.”



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June 19, 2010

Russia\’s main airport faces high danger from dump birds

Russia’s main airport faces high danger from dump birds

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Russia
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Moscow Sheremetyevo 2 International Airport airfield

It has been unveiled that aircraft operating at or near a major Russian airport, the Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport, have for about four years been at high risk of bird strikes because of a high number of birds nesting nearby on a large, illegal landfill site. Prominent Russian social activist Alexey Navalny, whose anti-corruption campaigns are nowadays largely discussed on the Internet in Russia and general press, on Friday published a LiveJournal post with the details on the case.

Navalny, among other things, references the recent writings in the LiveJournal blog of the airport’s Director General Mikhail Vasilenko, who has publicly expressed concerns about the birds near the airport. He says that, since the landfill came into existence, there have been 141 instances of planes hitting birds while flying near the airport and 21 instances at the airfield during takeoff and landing operations. Bird strikes are a common problem in aviation that can lead to equipment damage and human casualties.

The damaged fan blades on this engine clearly demonstrate the potential danger from bird strikes

It has been reported that, for a long time, airport administration and groups of local citizens concerned with the landfill have been appealing to different Moscow Oblast and Russian Federation authorities to address the problem, but almost nothing has been done to close the landfill due to obstacles in local governing and commerical systems. It has been emphasized that the existence of the landfill in question is not officially permitted, and as such, the landfill is operating illegally.

As reported by Navalny, the only thing state authorities could recently accomplish, was a temporary suspension of trash transportation during May 7–12, when many world leaders came to Moscow through Sheremetyevo—historically the state’s main civil airport—to celebrate Russia’s 65th Victory Day. That was made possible only with the interference of Federal Protective Service, the state service which protects top Russian officials.



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December 16, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: December 16, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: December 16, 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: December 16, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, December 16, 2007.

Woman missing in California Bay Area

An example of a crime scene

A San Jose, California, United States resident, Ann Lisa Nguyen, was reported missing on Monday. On December 13 police searched a landfill for her body. Nguyen’s killer is suspected to be 45-year-old San Jose resident Anthony Davis Evans, a personal trainer at 24-hour fitness in San Jose. It has not been confirmed that Evans was Nguyen’s trainer.

Inside his apartment police say they had found blood, and evidence suggests that he killed Nguyen with a metal bar. If convicted of the homicide, Evans could be sentenced to up to 81 years in prison.

Nguyen’s family says they had last seen her on December 7, when she went to have dinner and see a movie, however according to a flier given out by her friends, she was last seen in front of an apartment building at Alvin Avenue on December 8.

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United Kingdom report into Liverpool City Council

The location of Liverpool

The United Kingdoms Audit Commission has concluded that the behaviour of Councillors on Liverpool City Council “fell short of even the fledgling democracies of Eastern Europe”. After watching a council meeting on October 17 the council is now set to be given a mark of one out of four for councillor behaviour.

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More deaths blamed on severe US winter storm

Ice storm in Atlanta on January 25, 2005.

Highways near the Great Lakes and New England were slick and coated with ice for many days now. From Michigan and Indiana to Maine, the National Weather Service posted severe storm warnings that are still in effect.

In the Chicago area, almost a foot of snow had fallen, and anywhere from 10 to 14 inches in parts of Michigan and Vermont. Maine state police say that their best advice for now is to stay home. Visibility was down to under 200 yards, and in strong gusts, even more.

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November 3, 2006

Canada\’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

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Toronto municipal election, 2006

Etobicoke North (Ward 1)
Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3, 4)
Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ward 5)
York West (Ward 7, 8)
Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
Davenport (Ward 17, 18)
Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
St. Paul’s West (Ward 21)
Don Valley West (Ward 25, 26)
Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29, 30)
Beaches—East York (Ward 32)
Don Valley East (Ward 33)
Scarborough—Agincourt (Ward 39, 40)
Scarborough East (Ward 43, 44)
Toronto from space

Toronto from space.

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Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 26). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Muhammad Alam, Bahar Aminvaziri, Orhan Aybars, Michele Carroll-Smith, Mohamed Dhanani, Abdul Ingar, Geoff Kettel, Debbie Lechter, Natalie Maniates, John Masterson, John Parker, David Thomas, Csaba Vegh, and Fred Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Geoff Kettel

58-year-old Geoff Kettel is a public administrator.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.
  • Development in residential areas in Leaside and Bennington and Wynford/ Concorde
  • Public safety, tenant issues and property standards in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park
  • Future use of the Leaside industrial area
For other issues please go to the web site www.geoffkettel.ca

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: The need to engage all communities and ensure fair representation of the whole ward. I will work with the community to build a city that is safe, green and healthy, and responsibly manage the City’s finances

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I want to build a city that is safe, green and healthy and to responsibly manage the city’s finances.
The municipal councillor is in a unique position to effect positive change due to working at the order of government that is the closest to the citizens
I am qualified for the job having 25 years of community service in Ward 26 and 30 years of public service in the Ontario government. My record of community service includes being:
Chair of the East York Board of Health and champion of the East York smoke free bylaws;
Chair of a not for profit housing corporation which created 120 units of seniors housing in Leaside so folks could stay in the community they love;
Chair of the Jenner Jean-Marie community centre in Thorncliffe Park and champion for its recently announced expansion to meet the needs of a growing community.
And in public service my record includes being Chief Financial Officer for Ontairo public health responsible for a $1 billion budget

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: In my view it is essential that the councillor live in the Ward they represent. I have lived in the Ward for 25 years. As a result of living in and being involved in the community I am very knowledgeable about the Ward, its history, geography and economy etc.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have lived in the Ward for 25 years, and with my wife we have raised our 3 children who attended local schools. In addition to being involved as a parent and community member in such areas as home and school association, school council, and church committees, I have taken on wider community leadership roles.
Most recently I was chair of the Advisory Committee for the Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre in Thorncliffe Park until September 2006 (chair for 6 years). I am former Chair of the East York Board of Health for 4 years (and active member for another 8 years) and former Chair of Stay at Home in Leaside (SAHIL) a not for profit community-based organization that built 120 units of seniors housing in Leaside.
In addition I am on a leave of absence from my position with Ontario Public Health effective September 4, 2006. I was formerly senior manager with a budget of $1 billion in health care.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto used to be known as “New York built by the Swiss”. I would like to have a role in returning Toronto to being “the city the world wants to visit” because it fulfills its destiny as a diverse city that works for all its residents and visitors.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: The new Official Plan encourages intensification and increasing density, at the same time the plan gives more authority to neighbourhoods to protect and retain their character. Least desirable – the failure of council to make significant progress on its plan to become a less auto-dependent city (e.g. by approving bicycle lanes – this year only 1 km approved).

Mr. Kettel abstained from the question “If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?”, as incumbent Jane Pitfield is running for mayor, “and as such I believe it is inappropriate to respond to this question”.

Natalie Maniates

27-year-old Natalie Maniates is a Public Affairs and Communications Consultant.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A:
Zero tolerance for urban decay:
  • Consistent and efficient services to ensure graffiti eradication, lighting, street cleaning, parks maintenance, and beautification.
  • The maintenance of Toronto City Housing in Flemingdon Park must be restored to a state of good and safe repair.
Safe communities that encourage residents to keep active
  • Toronto must ensure a safe community environment that gives residents peace of mind in their daily life activities.
  • I propose the city introduce a system of location markers in our ravine and parks to provide residents with a feeling of safety and security as they enjoy our parks. This will also reduce response time of emergency services responding to 911 calls in our parks and ravines.
Responsible development for our neighbourhoods
  • I would advocate for a mandatory architectural peer review council to promote consistent and well planned development. This would enhance the public realm with respect to green space, size and height, density, and public access ultimately benefiting Toronto’s communities.
  • A thorough and guaranteed public consultation process with local residents for any large scale development proposal. The recent surge of new buildings in the Bayview Institutional area could bring further development and we must ensure that the confines of any original agreement and framework are adhered to.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Protecting the strong sense of community Ward 26 is the most important issue the must be addressed. Traffic and development are converging forces in our community that have an impact on the sense of neighbourhood spirit . The city must arrive at well planned decisions through a thoughtful and efficient process that accommodates residents’ concerns.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I have always had respect for Canada’s political process. The municipal level symbolizes grassroots politics and I enjoy having that direct contact and support of my neighbours. I decided to involve myself because it is time that younger Canadians entered our political realm to make that difference and encourage our demographic to vote and have their voices heard. I am confident that I can bring a FIT – Forward, Innovative, Thinking approach to city hall in order to bring sustainable solutions to Toronto over the next twenty years.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: Growing up and living in our community all my life has shaped my values and given me a sense of pride for where I live. I am proud of how Don Valley West has evolved but still feel that there is more work to be done. I understand the traditions of my neighbourhood and also identify with the new generation of residents who have chosen Ward 26 as their home. I want the City of Toronto to take responsibility to ensure a safe, healthy, and active community for residents of all ages.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: Coaching the Rumsey Rattlers children’s basketball at Bloorview Kids Rehab. Fundraising for the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation and the Toronto Child Abuse Centre over the past three years.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: Most desirable: The City’s commitment of sustained support of the Career Bridge program that helps foreign trained professionals get their first Canadian job experience. Toronto was responsible for employing new immigrants in the City of Toronto workforce and set an example to employers across our City as to how we can tap in to such valuable expertise that is right at our doorstep.
Least Desirable: The purchase of the Green Lane landfill site without lengthy consultation or discussion with the entire City Council. The City must start investigating proposals for alternative methods of waste management that could prove to be more sustainable such as incineration.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: The FIT approach – Forward, Innovative Thinking. I am forward with a fresh start and futuristic outlook, innovative with beyond the box ideas, and thinking, as a natural communicator with a multitude of experience dealing with a variety of stakeholders. Coming to City Hall with no political baggage and such experience would position me well to become a consensus builder not just within council, but with both the federal and provincial levels of government.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto has enormous potential that has not been tapped in to yet. I would like to see Toronto become a world class city that embraces zero tolerance for urban decay, Safe communities that encourage residents to keep active, responsible development for our neighbourhood, and most of all, accountability to it’s taxpayers.

John Parker

52-year-old John Parker is a lawyer.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: Get the budget under control; achieve value for money in City Hall spending; protect our neighbourhoods.

Q:What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Protect our neighbourhoods.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I am concerned that Toronto is falling far short of its potential due only to lack of committed responsible leadership. I want to help change that.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: Ward 26 has been my home all my adult life.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: Over the past several years I have served in many capacities of local, provincial, and national scope. This involvement has ranged from consulting to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to coaching pee-wee hockey.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto has always been my home. I always assumed it to be the best city in North America. I feel it is starting to slip. I want to get it back on track to where I think it belongs as the best city on this continent in which to to live, work, and raise a family.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: Not much to be proud of. Outraged at secret vote to try to slip a pay raise past the voters. Seriously disappointed at decision to commit $500M to buy a hole in the ground as another temporary solution to the issue of waste management.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: I would bring a determination always to keep an eye on long range goals and needs while focusing on achievable, immediate priorities, and not mortgage the future to finance a response to immediate short term political pressures.

Csaba Vegh

37-year-old Csaba Vegh is a private investigator.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: Property taxes, crime and traffic are three hot topic issues. I believe that homeowners and businesses are being over taxed. Generation of revenue is not a problem for the city, the way we spend taxpayers money needs to be re-evaluated. We need to hire more police officers and we need to give them the resources to do their job effectively. I believe that a city the size of Toronto should have at least one regularly operating police helicopter. We can also address youth crime by giving our youth the opportunity to spend their time in healthful and productive ways. I have suggested that the city should work with the school boards to open high school gyms to their student for after school activities. Currently, a lot of school gyms are closed to students after school due to a lack of qualified supervisors. Finally, infiltration of traffic onto the streets of Leaside have incresed [sic] drastically over the past few years. I suggest reducing vehicular access to the streets of Leaside during peak hours for non-residents or their visitors. I also support the construction of the Redway Rd. extension to ease traffic flow.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: As I mentioned before, I believe that that property taxes for homeowners and businesses need to be frozen. We are being over taxed.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I have lived in ward 26 for thirty years. I have also attended school here, worked here, and I have been a volunteer football coach at Leaside High School since 1989. I believe that I can be a strong and effective voice for our community at City Hall without partisan influence because I am not a member of any political party.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: I have deep roots in the community. Being a long time resident, I share the views and concerns of quite a number of the residents of Ward 26.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have been a volunteer football coach at Leaside High School since 1989. I am also a volunteer with the Scarborough Minor Football Association. And, I have been a volunteer coach for the Leaside Hockey Association.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is a city of diversity, multiculturalism and acceptance. And with giving our police force the tools to do their jobs effectively, I would strive to make Toronto’s streets the safest in Canada.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: Being an effective councillor requires the ability to work with a varied group of individuals to work as one unit to make decisions that affect millions of people daily. Through my volunteer efforts, I have worked with teams for many years, where bringing individual achievements into one cohesive unit are absolutely necessary to succeed. I will bring this experience to the table at City Hall.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: In my opinion, Councillor Jane Pitfield has done a great job for ward 26. I would hope to continue this strong representation with a non-partisan perspective.
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October 31, 2006

Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reactions to the review of the economic implications of climate change include optimism about the commercial opportunities and apprehension about possible fiscal repercussions.

The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, points to the need for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions if a world-wide economic catastrophe is to be avoided. The institution of global carbon trading, control of deforestation, increased investment in energy R & D and support to poorer countries in adapting to climate change are all key proposals in the Review.

A leaked letter from David Miliband, Environment Secretary, to Chancellor Brown contains a package of tax proposals to promote the use of public transport and to encourage people to buy smaller cars and fly less. The proposals also include charges on petrol-guzzling cars, road pricing, levies on air travel and increased charges for landfill waste disposal.

The findings of the Review and the promise of a Government Climate Bill, containing measures in response to the Review, received a mixed reception from employers and unions.

Miles Templeman, Director-General of the Institute of Directors, said: “Without countries like the US, China or India making decisive commitments, UK competitiveness will undoubtedly suffer if we act alone. This would be bad for business, bad for the economy and ultimately bad for our climate.”

The Confederation of British Industries, the British Chambers of Commerce and asset managers F&C all pointed out the dangers to business of additional taxation.

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, was optimistic about the opportunities for industry to meet demands created by investment in technology to combat climate change. The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, formed by 14 of UK’s leading companies shared this hope. Chairman of Shell UK, James Smith, expressed the hope of the group that business and Government would discuss how Britain could obtain “first mover advantage” in what he described as “massive new global markets.”

The markets for low-carbon energy products are expected to be worth £300 billion by 2050.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, questions the assertions that there is scientific consensus on global warming. At best, he said, there is uncertainty. Politicians world-wide are jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon, but, if they want popular support, they’d better be sure that this is not simply the ‘new witchcraft’.

Ruth Lea, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, also questions the notion that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ over global warming. She alleges that “authorities on climate science say that the climate system is far too complex for modest reductions in one of the thousands of factors involved in climate change (i.e. carbon emissions) to have a predictable effect in magnitude, or even direction.” About economic models, upon which Stern relied for his projections, her experience was that forecasting just two or three years ahead was usually wrong. She described the problem of drawing conclusions from combining scientific and economic models as ‘monumentally complex’. She doubted whether international cooperation was really possible. She concluded that she thought that this Review was designed to cloak the motives of a government that wanted some moral justification for increasing taxation on fuels.

An unconfirmed report on BBC 24 early Tuesday morning, October 31, stated that the White House had not yet seen a copy of the Stern Review.

In response to the Stern Report Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard promised a AU$60 million to fight climate change. The projects are part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. “The Asia-Pacific Partnership includes countries that represent about half of the world’s emissions, energy use, GDP (gross domestic product) and population, and is an important initiative that engages, for the first time, the key greenhouse-gas emitting countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Howard said in a statement.

A statement by Australian Greens senators Rachel Siewert and Christine Milne criticised the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics saying “ABARE indicated that the type of research undertaken for the Stern Report is beyond them. They can put a price on what ratifying the Kyoto protocol would cost but have no idea or capacity to put a price on the cost of not acting. They are tinkering around the edges of the problem and don’t seem to know whether climate change is real or whether there is any urgency.”

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October 30, 2006

Canada\’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak

Canada’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak

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Toronto municipal election, 2006

Etobicoke North (Ward 1)
Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3, 4)
Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ward 5)
York West (Ward 7, 8)
Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
Davenport (Ward 17, 18)
Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
St. Paul’s West (Ward 21)
Don Valley West (Ward 25, 26)
Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29, 30)
Beaches—East York (Ward 32)
Don Valley East (Ward 33)
Scarborough—Agincourt (Ward 39, 40)
Scarborough East (Ward 43, 44)
Toronto from space

Toronto from space.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal
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Monday, October 30, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is York West (Ward 7). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Sandra Anthony, Fred Cutler, Giorgio Mammoliti (incumbent), and Larry Perlman.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Larry Perlman

42-year-old Larry Perlman is a self-employed equities trader.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A:
1. The perception and reality of crime in Ward 7 that has resulted in feelings of discomfort in our communities. By initiating a Neighbourhood Watch in my community and eventually connecting all the Neighbourhood Watches within the Ward, I hope to show residents that by participating in their own communities they can make a difference.
2. A lack of connection between residents to their communities, the communities to the Ward, and the residents and communities in the Ward to their local Councillor. By establishing 10 community committees and having one representative from each community part of a Ward committee, I will help connect the residents of Ward 7 together.
3. Voter apathy and cynicism to the political process that has resulted in low voter turnout and the lack of pride in their communities. A goal of 50% voter turnout within 8 years is one of the visions in my campaign.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Connecting the residents and communities in Ward 7 together will be the most effective means of identifying the Ward’s “quality of life” issues, which will then be used to find the best solutions that can be solved together.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: In the last 3 years living in Ward 7, I have noticed a void in effective leadership from the incumbent Councillor. I took it upon myself to fill that void by getting involved in community organizations, finding solutions to Ward-area problems, and providing City Council committees with ideas that would benefit the City as a whole. My accomplishments are reason enough to go to the next level — Councillor.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: My wife and I moved into Ward 7 a little more than 3 years ago (our first home). We have a close connection with our neighbours, and as Councillor I would like to make things better in my community.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have participated in a number of organizations and initiatives in my community, including the establishment of a Neighbourhood Watch and participation in the Humber Summit Community Resource Centre. I virtually eliminated illegal pocket bike use in the Ward, minimized garbage dumping in various areas in my community, established speed humps and a review of the City’s traffic-calming policy, and voiced my opposition to excessive aircraft noise coming from Pearson Airport. Please go to my website for more accomplishments and initiatives that I have undertaken and will undertake in the future.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is my hometown. It is the City I was born in, raised in for many years and the City I have chosen as my home and place to work after finishing University. I met and fell in love with my wife here, bought a home here and intend on raising my family here.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: The decision to react strongly to the “year of the gun” last summer by recruiting more Police and putting more money into youth programs was the best decision the City made for our Ward (and the City as a whole). There is still more work to do, as the perception and reality of crime is still around us, but the situation is much better than last year. The least desirable decision by City Council was the pay raise given to themselves earlier this year. It was not deserved and resulted in negative feelings towards our City representatives and cynicism among the residents of Toronto towards the political process.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: Passion, Persistence and Fresh Ideas! As a “rookie”, I would not be settling in my position as Councillor, but would be actively bringing new ideas to the table, searching for the best solutions for the Ward, and representing the needs and wants of the residents of Ward 7 with energy and determination. I have shown this with my accomplishments, my promises, my future initiatives and my vision, as stated clearly on my website. No other candidate for Ward 7 Councillor (including the incumbent) can say the same thing.
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May 23, 2006

Australia saves three billion plastic bags from circulation

Australia saves three billion plastic bags from circulation

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Plastic Bags

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has praised supermarket shoppers and operators for cutting three billion plastic bags from circulation during the past two years. He said a report compiled by the Australian National Retailers Association, representing major supermarkets, showed that by the end of last year supermarkets had reduced their annual use of lightweight, single-use bags by 45 per cent compared with 2002.

“This is an enormous achievement by shoppers and supermarket management and a clear demonstration of a behavioural change by thousands of Australians,” Senator Campbell said. “The cutback means fewer bags in the litter stream. The goal must be to stop plastic bags getting into the litter stream and spoiling Australia’s environment.”

The Senator says the result came from entirely voluntary action – “no regulations, no levies or additional costs to shoppers. I am delighted that the major supermarkets are committed to achieving the 50 per cent goal by the end of this year. I also share their view that development of a viable degradable bag to replace existing lightweight plastic ones is a key to achieving further significant reductions.”

Plastics have been widely used in Australia in the past few decades but environmentalists say plastic bags have had a devastating impact on the nation’s natural environment. According to Clean Up Australia plastic bags can take between 20 and 1000 years to break down. Despite their recyclable nature, an estimated 6.67 billion or 36,700 tonnes of plastic bags are disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia each year.

Many thousands of marine mammals and seabirds die every year around the world as a result of plastic litter. A 2004 NSW Parliamentary paper reported that plastic bags are of “significant concern in the marine and aquatic environment, as aquatic life can be threatened through entanglement, suffocation and ingestion.” The then Federal Environment Minister was reported as saying: “All environmental ministers believe that all plastic bags should be phased out within five years. If this voluntary campaign isn’t working then of course we have to consider what to do (next)….”

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February 28, 2006

Two zoo bears killed after biting four-year-old boy

Two zoo bears killed after biting four-year-old boy

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Maymont Zoo in Richmond, Virginia killed two black bears for their involvement in the biting of a 4-year-old boy. The boy sustained minor injuries after reaching his hands through the fence.

Citizens expressed outrage when it was reported the bears were destroyed and their carcasses disposed of by the zoo at a city landfill. The furor caused an investigation by Mayor Wilder into the decision by the zoo. A report issued by WTVR during the Monday evening news said that a “bear monument” would be erected in memory.

When informed on Monday of the zoo’s decision to destroy the bears, the mother of the boy said she wept for the bears. The bite wounds will require the boy to under-go treatment for rabies.

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April 22, 2005

Radioactive soil from Maine reactor refused at landfill in Utah

Radioactive soil from Maine reactor refused at landfill in Utah

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Friday, April 22, 2005

Envirocare, a corporation that runs a landfill in Utah that accepts radioactive waste, has turned away a shipment of soil from around the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant in Wiscasset, Maine, the Portland Press Herald reported. The soil, which is held in 48 boxcars, was contaminated during the 26 years during which the Maine Yankee plant generated electricity. The shipment was refused due to excess water in previous shipments.

The plant stopped producing electricity in 1997; its concrete dome was detonated in September of 2004. The decommissioning is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2005.

In a related development, a Wiscasset environmental organization, the Chewonki Foundation, has taken possession of a 200 acre portion of the former power plant’s lands; the Foundation will act as stewards of the land, according to the Wiscasset Newspaper. The plot, known as Eaton Farm for its previous agricultural use, will be the site of what Chewonki Foundation Executive Director W. Donald Hudson, Ph.D., calls, “the coolest trail in the state of Maine.” The five miles of trail on the Eaton Farm land will be part of a 12 mile trail that may eventually run from downtown Wiscasset to Montsweag Bay.

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April 16, 2005

Utah Man pleads guilty in wife\’s death

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,Landfill,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Utah Man pleads guilty in wife’s death – Wikinews, the free news source

Utah Man pleads guilty in wife’s death

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Salt Lake City (Utah) resident and hospital orderly Mark Hacking pleaded guilty Friday to killing his wife Lori, and placing her body in a dumpster.

Mrs. Hacking’s disappearance last summer touched off an intense, weeklong search in Salt Lake County which a wire service report said was similar to the other sensational Salt Lake crime, the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart from her own bedroom.

After Hacking admitted details of his crime to his family, earlier, he suffered a breakdown and was placed in a psychiatric hospital. He was seen in court Friday with his hands cuffed behind his back.

He admitted to the judge that he killed his wife while she slept. His motives, according to prosecutors, were his anger and despondency when she discovered that he was not accepted into a North Carolina medical school as he had claimed, but would remain a hospital orderly.

Mrs. Hacking is reported to have broken down sobbing at her workplace, a Wells Fargo brokerage, after discovering her husband’s deception. She had placed a call to the medical school’s administrators and been told he was not enrolled. He had lied to her about graduating from the University of Utah as well.

Mrs. Hacking’s mother and father were in the courtroom to hear their son-in-law declare: “I intentionally shot Lori Hacking in the head with a .22 rifle.” They said it was like a “knife in the heart” to hear that, but were happy he owned up to the crime.

The attack occurred last July. Volunteers scouring a landfill found her decomposed remains after three months of searching.

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