Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Red-light rally at Café Cleopatra

redalertAs mentioned in a previous post, a coalition is forming to protest the proposed “revitalization” of the lower Main, and the destruction of Café Cleopatra and much of the red-light district. For those who are interested in supporting a more democratic approach to revamping this space, there will be a “Friends of Cabaret Cleo” rally event happening on Saturday, June 6, starting at 8 PM at the cabaret (1230 St-Laurent, 2nd floor). Attendees will be able to sign a petition (also available online and in PDF format, if you want to collect signatures beforehand), and there will be lectures, entertainment and performances, so if you can come on out, you should!

For more info on the rally, check out the Club Sin website, read Louis Rastelli’s article in the Montreal Mirror, or join the Red Alert! group on Facebook.

Red-light district demolition project greenlighted

UPDATED: May 25, 2009, 4:44 pm

Cause for concern or mere progress? Montrealers will be interested to know that our so-called red-light district of lower St-Laurent is currently slated for some controversial renovations by a group called Angus Development Corp.

The scoop: The stretch of St-Laurent slated for reno is between Ste-Catherine and René-Lévesque, and according to a March 6, 2009 article in The Gazette, has been purchased by Angus, a “non-profit development corporation that wants to transform that part of the red light district into an eco-friendly showcase of art and socially responsible retail.” Sounds good, so far. Problem is, this developer is also trying to acquire the building that is currently home to such colourful (and historical) businesses as Café Cléopatra and the Montreal Pool Room.

Though the Gazette article also notes that “The report says the street level on St. Laurent would become an avenue dedicated to ‘responsible retail,’ lined with stores selling fair-trade and bio- and eco-friendly products that promote Quebec design,” and that although the company plans to put in a “restaurant, lounge or café,” no fast-food restaurants will be allowed, nor any chain stores.

Ambitious plans for Montreal’s storied Main, but some citizens are protesting these changes as signs of gentrification and the destruction of local history. Montreal-based burlesque troupe, the Dead Doll Dancers, are fighting to save this stretch of St-Laurent, as most of their shows take place at Café Cleopatra. In fact, a Facebook user named Amy Hudston has been circulating information about upcoming planning meetings, suggesting that “anyone who is concerned about cultural elitism, gentrification, sex workers rights, travesty theatre, historical architecture, expropriation, etc.” attend to voice their opinions.

The next meeting is slated for May 25 at 7 PM at 2-22 Ste-Catherine the Holiday Inn (95 Viger West). The meeting’s topic will be “Architectural concept and urban insertion and heritage.” There is another meeting scheduled for May 26 at 7 PM at the Quadrilatère Saint-Laurent same location on the same topic, for those who can’t make the first.

Further reading:

R.I.P. Griffintown? (Hells, no!)

March to save Griffintown
The funeral march from Griffintown to City Hall took place this afternoon. Complete with dogs, babies, musicians, speakers and a coffin, the protest drew upwards of 150 people. Have a look through the Flickr album to see the townspeople in action. The decision is slated to be made at City Hall tomorrow evening, and hopefully, a glimmer of hope will dawn upon the evolution of our fair city.

Riot and shooter

Well… what a day! The Habs won last night. One step closer to the cup. So much joy and a great reason to celebrate, but of course, human nature dictates that people shouldn’t just feel joy and happiness, but they must also disturb everything around them through senseless riots. What’s wrong with tasers? Nothing. It’s just people.

Next, we have a possible shooter at the Cegep du Vieux-Montreal according to American authorities. The school is closed and the doors are locked. All measures for prevention seem to be paying off since nothing has happened yet and hopefully, nothing will happen.

Like I said, what a day!

Next game, Thursday!

And just like that, it was gone

Manege MilitaireHDR Quebec city AumouryManege Militaire

Right now words fail me.

As “luck” would have it, we were scheduled for a Saturday family lunch at my brother-in-law’s condo near the Plaines d’Abraham. We had just learned about the explosion and fire at the Quebec city Armoury so, after an excellent meal, we decided to walk over to survey the damage.

It was so much worse than we expected.

I was raised in Quebec city and it just breaks my heart so see such a notable landmark dissapear just like that. While the North wall seems to have survived pretty well (stone isn’t a very good combustible), most of the building has been completely gutted.

You can see more pictures on Flickr.

Interac cloning ring on the West Island?

I have heard a report that a debit card cloning ring is currently active on the West Island. The scammers use threats or bribery to convince store clerks to to replace their Interac machines with card scanners. Alternatively, the card can be swiped into a scanner located under the counter while the PIN number is obtained with a video camera.

While I heard this story on CHOM, I have yet to read about it in the online media. Nevertheless, keep your eyes open for strange behavior and don’t wait until the end of the month to check on your bank statements.

I remember: The 1998 ice storm


• I remember the second week of January 1998, as we lived through the great ice storm.

• I remember that this was the first winter in our house in Pierrefonds. At the time, our daughters were 6 and 5. We also had a corn snake named Gumby. Need I remind you that reptiles don’t like cold?

• I remember driving to work on the 520 east, when a truck going in the opposite direction lost an inch-thick sheet of ice the size of a king-size bed which crossed the median and smashed into the car ahead of me. Fortunately the driver made it ok but his windshield was all cracked.

• I remember my wife calling me shortly afterward to tell me that the power was out and that she was pissed because she had a big laundry in the washing machine.

• I remember walking around the neighborhood with my daughters later that night and seeing dozens of blue flashes on the horizon as all of the transformers in the West Island were shorting out.

• I remember moving to my mom’s townhouse on Ile des soeurs along with my brother and his family who were living in Kirkland at the time.

• I remember the next day as the four of us driving west on the 20 to check on the house. A foot of water had accumulated in the curved tunnel at the entrance of the 13 and I plowed into it at about 25 kph. I still wonder how I managed to maintain control of the car and not slam into the wall.

• I remember when I was walking toward my mother’s townhouse with my oldest daughter ahead of me and hearing a loud creaking sound coming from above her. An ice-laden branch gave way and fell toward her. I jumped ahead and essentially body-slammed my daughter into the snow bank thus shielding her from the branch and large pieces of ice that fell on my back. I’ll never forget the faces of my wife and mother who saw everything from the kitchen window.

• I remember Black Friday, the third day of freezing rain, when the power finally went out on Ile des soeurs and most of the city. My bother’s son was getting sick so he decided to drive up to my father’s place in Quebec city while we moved back out to our cold and dark house. At the time, the authorities were considering evacuating the island since they almost lost water pressure and were worried about all of those people using candlelights. It truly was our darkest hour.

• I remember the four of us sleeping in the living room and waking up every two hours to put a log into the fireplace.

• I remember waking up one night to the sound of chunks of ice falling off the branches of our large oak tree onto our victorian windows. Trying to find some cardboard and duck tape in the middle of the cold night was not fun.

• I remember wearing my corn snake under my clothes to keep him warm.

• I remember running out of firewood. My brother had an extra cord of wood in his garage but I had to get into his neighbor’s house to get his spare key. I almost pissed in my pants when I saw a police car driving down the street.

• I remember seeing a huge convoy of trucks from Con Edison coming up on the 40.

• I remember being invited to my brother-in-law’s appartment on the Plateau the day he got his power back. He made enough food to feed an army.

• I remember kissing an electrical engineer from Connecticut when I saw him walking down my street after 6 days without power.

• I remember this period as one of the most stressful of my life.

• I also remember that we got out of it fairly easy, being without power for only 6 days and sleeping only half of those in the cold. Some people in the dark triangle went a full month without electricity.

• The following autumn, I bought so much firewood, that it has lasted us to this day.

Former Expos players cited in the Mitchell report

Today’s big story in sport is the release of the Mitchell report on the common use of steroids and Human Growth Hormone in Major League Baseball. I obtained a PDF file of this report and noted the sections related to a certain baseball club formerly known as the Montreal Expos:

In September 2002, a bullpen catcher with the Montreal Expos was arrested for trying to send marijuana back to Florida with the Florida Marlins’ luggage. He later told Major League Baseball security officials that he had supplied drugs to nearly two dozen major league players, including eight players for whom he said he had procured steroids.

On September 26, 2002, during a game against the Florida Marlins at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Montreal’s bullpen catcher Luis Perez asked a Marlins clubhouse attendant if he would carry a duffel bag back to Florida for him. The Marlins employee, who knew Perez from his previous tenure as a bullpen catcher with the Marlins, agreed. Perez later delivered a large padlocked duffel bag to be included with the Marlins luggage. Marlins equipment manager John Silverman was suspicious because of the padlock and directed that the bag be opened. When it was (using a combination that Perez provided), Silverman and the clubhouse attendant discovered a box coated on the inside with pine tar that contained two plastic packages amounting to one pound of marijuana.
The Montreal police were called. That evening, Perez was interviewed by telephone by Kevin Hallinan, the Commissioner’s senior vice president for security, and other baseball officials, who advised that “the legal process should take its course and that [security] would contact him once the authorities were completed with their work.” Montreal police interviewed Perez and arrested him for possession of marijuana. Perez ultimately received a $5,000 fine for the violation.
After the criminal process had ended, Hallinan and his deputy, Martin Maguire, traveled to Miami to interview Perez. Perez explained that during his time as a bullpen catcher for the Florida Marlins, between 1998 until 2001, two players asked if he could obtain steroids for them.

At the conclusion of their interview of him, Perez’s lawyer handed to Hallinan and Maguire a typed list of players and their “drug of choice” that had been compiled by Perez. The list identified eight players (with the Marlins, Astros, and Expos) for whom Perez personally had acquired anabolic steroids, in addition to identifying twelve players for whom Perez had obtained other drugs.

The following Expos former players are directly cited in the report.

David Segui – infielder
Tim Laker – catcher
Rondell White – outfielder
F.P. Santangelo – various positions
Mike Lansing – infielder
Matt Herges – pitcher

Segui was reportedly at the head of the distribution network.

Who’s gonna wake me up now?

Every morning, my radio comes on at 5:58 AM and I spend the next 20-30 minutes listening to CHOM FM. The old rock songs might drift in and out of my consciousness but I consistently perk up when I hear Terry DiMonte’s baritone voice. I have always been impressed by his intimate knowledge of our city (especially the West Island), his generosity and his sense of humor.

Tonight the following was sent to the CHOM mailing list:

Some sad news to share with you today. Morning man Terry DiMonte is leaving CHOM.
Terry is moving on to a new opportunity in Western Canada. If you’re a fan of Terry, then you know his love for the West. We know this comes as a shock. Terry’s been a large part of our lives and will be missed tremendously.

Terry DiMonte says, “I had quite a decision to make. Montreal is my home, it’s where I feel like I belong, but life is a series of forks in the road. I’ve always been up for a challenge and I believe my success is tied to the risks I’ve taken. It was a tough decision but I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and take on a new challenge. I’ll miss my loyal listeners who followed me from CHOM to MIX 96 to CJAD 800 and back to CHOM 97.7 completing my circle. Most of all, I’ll miss sitting with one my best friends every morning, Ted Bird”.

Terry’s last day is this Friday.

First they send us Stephen Harper and now they seduce our best morning man with the promise of a challege and a truck-full of petrodollars. This means war.


Ok, ok don’t panic but the Eastern Townships are expected to get 15-30cm of snow tomorrow

Also of note, Mont St-Sauveur is now open. They have one little pathetic run open, but they are open..

November is that month that I dread. It’s cold, it rains, riding the bike outside is limited and it’s usually too early to go snowboarding. However, it looks like with the snow storm coming to the Eastern Townships and Sauveur’s canons blasting away, that November dread might not be all that bad this year.

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