Archive | December, 2017

Unearthing the truth behind Santa

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

His real magical gift is not in what he puts under the tree for us, but what he teaches us we can do for each other, and with each other, when we decide that making each other happy is our goal, Edward Keenan writes.

Every year around this time, my kids bring me reports from the schoolyard of conspiracy theories. Whispers about a certain jolly bearded man. There are doubts about his existence, expressed knowingly by people convinced of their own smarts.

Santa Claus Truthers.

Christmas morning, they suggest, is an inside job.

Nothing new there. Conspiracy theories of all kinds have a long tradition. John F. Kennedy’s assassination. 9/11. Barack Obama’s birthplace. Always there is the certainty that a small, brave group of clear-sighted outsiders have managed to assemble the real facts from a series of apparent inconsistencies in the official explanation. Always a smug, self-righteous confidence from those willing to question the story everyone seems to want you to believe.

Trutherism isn’t even new when it comes to Santa, of course. Rumours questioning the veracity of his story have circulated at least since Virginia O’Hanlon wrote her letter to the editor of the New York Sun in 1897 seeking clarification. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” the editor famously responded. “A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

But even that did not put the doubts to rest. They persist.

I admit, as a journalist I admire the skeptics’ devotion to pursuing facts. Who can help but raise an eyebrow when considering mystifying accounts of flying reindeer, arctic workshops staffed entirely with elves, and a single-day’s circumnavigation of the globe stopping at every single house along the way? Santa’s is a story that seemingly defies rational explanation. It is magic, is the conventional explanation.

Yet the Truthers’ explanation also seems to stagger belief in its scale and scope. When confronted with a conspiracy theory, the first question to ask is always, how many people would need to be in on this and keep it a secret?

In the case of Santa, we’d appear to be talking about a top-secret global, generations-spanning plot carried out by billions of people. And this thing seems to go all the way to the top, encompassing not just parents but also teachers, Canada Post, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and all kinds of other public and private international institutions, including the United Nations.

All of this effort and co-ordination, and the cloak-and-dagger enterprise it entails, and to what purpose? To give gifts and spread joy. And to keep it all secret to avoid taking credit.

As explanations go, does that sound more or less magical to you than a jolly old man in a sleigh?

For those trying to nail down the facts, that question may not make things any clearer. As I’ve gotten older, and I hope somewhat wiser, the factual assertions about how Santa Claus does what he is said to do have not become easier for me to explain. But I have come to understand that the important truth of the story of Santa’s life and work is not found in grasping the mechanical details, but in being inspired by his example. He is an illustration, and an embodiment, of a spirit of joyful giving we might all want to believe continues to exist in the world.

Though we’d all maybe hope to see it more at all times of year, it’s something often called the “Christmas Spirit.” Almost all of our traditional Christmas stories revolve around this concept of giving.

The religious holiday of Christmas is based on the story of the birth of a child who was sent into the world as a gift from its creator, a child who grew up to spread the message “love one another,” and to ultimately sacrifice his own life to save those who would remember him and follow his example. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the story of how Scrooge learns that his own salvation from misery lies in becoming generous and kind to those around him, and joining their celebrations rather than scorning them. Even the Grinch saw his heart grow three sizes when he realized people were not celebrating the loot they would haul in, but the joy they could give to each other.

It may take some of us a while to understand it fully, but this is the truth about Santa, too. His real magical gift is not in what he puts under the tree for us, but what he teaches us we can do for each other, and with each other, when we decide that making each other happy is our goal.

And that remains true whether you believe the official stories, or the conspiracy theories, or something else, or nothing at all.

The older I get, the less skeptical I am about that truth about Santa. His greatest gift, for those who want to receive it, is an opportunity to participate in the spirit of the season by embracing the joy that comes from giving to one another, to make the world a happier place. To pass that spirit of kindness and generosity on to others. To see something magical in the world because you help to create it.

Santa’s gifts are something you experience more than something you can explain. Is his story hard to believe? In a way. But it’s a story that, if you let it, can continue to make “glad the heart of childhood.” And adulthood, too.

Still, and always. Believe it or not.

 

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Young leaders demand more than ‘status quo’ budget at Toronto city hall

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

As it approaches its 20-year anniversary, the Toronto Youth Cabinet is still advocating for a better Toronto.

 “On behalf of the youth cabinet we want to express to you how much a spending freeze in 2018 would hurt Toronto’s youth and other marginalized youth,” begins Riley Peterson.

The 18-year-old Ryerson University student is seated directly in front of Mayor John Tory and a committee of his hand-picked executive members on this mild May day.

A freeze, direction endorsed by Tory and his allies, would make it harder to access social services and to break the cycle of poverty, Peterson says. It would leave residents waiting for better housing and transit.

“We need to break away from the status quo by truly investing in our city and the services that make it function,” she tells the committee. She endorses raising property taxes beyond the rate of inflation. “People are not numbers on a financial statement that the city balances.”

When she’s done with her deputation, Tory challenges the teen, asking if she’s aware this is just the beginning of the process.

Peterson looks directly at Tory, hands clasped in front of her.

“I’m aware of that, but also every year we come back, begging, basically, for money for our services.”

Peterson is one of just over a dozen young people tasked with running the Toronto Youth Cabinet, an official advisory body to city council, which turns 20 next year.

As this term moves into its final year, the group has become increasingly vocal about their vision for the city and how to fund it, challenging the adults who ultimately make the decisions.

“Honestly, I just Googled like “youth municipal politics,” says 20-year-old Keisha St. Louis-McBurnie of how she found the TYC and got involved.

She’s seated in the 15th floor office the TYC shares with the Toronto Seniors’ Forum in the east tower of city hall with Peterson and two other female leaders who all tell similar stories.

Beyond a Grade 10 civics class that doesn’t make civics sound very interesting, there are few lessons on the important of the municipal level of democracy thrust upon young people, the group says. And city hall, like other institutions can be an intimidating place for the teens and 20-somethings they represent.

The TYC has aimed to change that.

The cabinet was established in 1998 by then-councillor Olivia Chow to promote youth participation in city issues, with youth defined as anyone between the age of 13 and 24.

It remains enshrined in the cabinet’s constitution for its members to reflect the city’s youth in race, ethnicity, religion and other identities, and to represent all corners of the city.

Seven working groups led by youth tackle the big issues: Newcomers, community safety, transit, education, equity and employment, housing and the budget.

“We’re adding an additional lens to how we’re looking at city council,” says executive director Edna Ali, 21.

“Especially for the budget we add a different perspective, because I think a lot of the people in those discussions are focused on what’s going on now and what’s happening in the city now, but we’re also looking at 10, 20, 30, 40 years down the road too,” adds Peterson, who is the group’s budget lead.

“I think as youth we’re kind of tired of like just scraping by every year on the budget and not investing in the city now is going to have a real impact on our futures so that’s what I mean by status quo budgets.”

The youth cabinet is also challenging council for promising new initiatives without funding them in the budget.

In the preliminary 2018 budget, there are $41.2 million worth of programs and services that are not yet funded, though Tory has promised to add many to the budget. They include student nutrition, a low-income transit pass, an anti-Black racism plan and more childcare spaces.

“It’s not just they’ve promised it, they’ve made announcements,” said St. Louis-McBurnie. “Why did you announce it if you didn’t have the money to fund it? I think that is disingenuous.”

Like many other young people, St. Louis-McBurnie, who lives in co-op housing in Cabbagetown, says she’s come to accept she’ll never own a home in the city. As the group’s housing lead, she said that affordability crisis impacts youth like her in many ways.

“There are other things I have to think of: I’ll have to pay rent; I have student loans to pay back; If I have a child, I have childcare costs. I mean, when we talk about housing it isn’t housing in itself, it’s housing in conjunction with other issues that young people are facing,” she said.

“The mayor loves to say that he got the province to finally do something. But what did you finally do? There are things that you have to do as the mayor of the city to actually advance affordable housing and so for me, overall, the long-term vision would be more social housing. We have not built social housing since the 90s.”

Factoring into a city that is increasingly unaffordable for youth is a troubling unemployment rate, said Mana Sadeghipour, 25, who leads the equity and employment working group. The current rate, around 18 per cent is, according to city data, nearly triple the overall unemployment rate for the city and consistently higher than youth unemployment rates for both Ontario and Canada.

“There’s definitely a lower standard for youth and their standard of living and I think that’s something that needs to be talked about,” Sadeghipour said.

Chow told the Star she launched the youth advisory body to be an active participant in city debates.

“Given the city of Toronto provides services that have dramatic impact on young people, they, young people themselves, need to be engaged and provide wisdom, not just advice, and intervention to how the city functions and delivers service,” she said. “It’s their city.”

For now, the women in charge of the youth cabinet say they don’t have political aspirations. They’re happy trying to make progress behind-the-scenes while aware of the lack of youth and women of colour represented on council.

“In the future, possibly.”

“Maybe one day,” they say.

With the last budget of the term to be finalized in February, Ali said she’d like to see the whole process changed.

“Why are we only asking for the public consultation at the end?” she asked.

Instead of first setting direction like keeping taxes low, why not look at the city you want to build and then decide how to fund it? the group asks.

When describing to her peers what a budget freeze means, Peterson said she tries to explain it on their level, instead of how it’s usually discussed: The impact on single-family homeowners.

“Well that’s why you wait 10 or 15 minutes for the Jane bus or why your local library has weird hours, just breaking it down like that and then they start to say, like, ‘Why? We should be investing in our services because we need them.’ And then it comes to down to, well, we need to generate more revenue to do that and property taxes is one of the ways to do that.”

That stretching of dollars, she said, is felt across the city’s waitlists for affordable housing and recreation and in recent statistics that one if four children live in poverty in the city.

Then she pivots to a term the adults downstairs have been using a lot.

“Youth are at the end of the road that we’re kicking the can down,” Peterson said. “It’s something to think about.”

 

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Advocates urge more action for shelter crisis in Toronto

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

City of Toronto has a target of a 90 per cent occupancy rate but on Dec. 21, homeless shelter system was at 95 per cent capacity with more than 5,400 people.

The City of Toronto is facing renewed criticism for its handling of the city’s shelter crisis following a story last week about a badly injured homeless woman who spent the night on the floor of a drop-in centre after she was hit by a car because no shelter beds were available.

“We are playing with people’s lives, and this shell game, at some point we are going to lose and losses will be significant,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale).

Wong-Tam said she felt “anger, heartbreak, and shame” when she heard the story of the homeless woman, identified only as K.A. She suffered a broken shoulder, a gash above her eye and bruising when she was hit by a car near Parliament St. and Bloor St. E. in the early hours of Dec. 7. It was five days before she could access a bed in respite care.

“Most of the shelter workers I’ve spoken to tell me absolutely, in no uncertain terms — and actually they’ve been a lot more forceful in their language lately — that ‘Councillor, we are full,’ ” she said.

While the City of Toronto has a target of a 90 per cent occupancy rate, the shelter system was at 95 per cent capacity on Dec. 21 — with more than 5,400 people staying in shelters.

In a statement Mayor John Tory said he has asked city staff to investigate what happened in K.A.’s case, which he called “an incredibly sad story.”

He added that he is “deeply concerned about the plight of people who are homeless in Toronto.”

“That’s why a majority of councillors voted this month to expand the City’s shelter system by 400 beds to deal with the unprecedented demand that we are facing. It is also why over the last three years, we have worked to expand the shelter system by more than 1,300 beds while, at the same time, we have worked to get people off the street and into permanent housing,” he said.

While these are steps in the right direction, Wong-Tam said, the city’s most recent announcement is ultimately just another temporary “Band-Aid.”

Dr. Glen Bandiera, the chief of emergency medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, where K.A. was treated following her accident, said, while he can’t comment on the specifics of her case, the hospital does have a number of options available to it for patients who may not have anywhere to go or any supports at home, including admitting them to hospital, referring them to long-term care, or respite care.

“It depends a lot on the nature of the injuries and what type of environment is most suitable to create a healing environment,” he said, adding it also depends on whether the patient wants to avail themselves of any of those options.

While Bandiera said “we would not send the patient home if we didn’t think it was safe to do so,” space is often an issue.

“It’s not unusual that we have patients that come to St. Michael’s and we try to get them into the shelter system and we’re told that they’re full,” he said.

Bandiera said St. Michael’s also has a Rotary Centre for patients who are medically discharged but may need time to organize support in the community. But Jessica Slotnick, a community health worker who works with K.A., said they were told the Rotary Centre admissions were only for 18 hours, so K.A. couldn’t have spent the night.

Cathy Crowe, a street nurse well known for her work with the homeless, said 70 homeless people have died between January and September.

“The mayor has to call a state of emergency around the homeless shelters,” she said, adding that she’s also calling for the city to commit to 1,000 new shelter beds and to open the armouries for emergency relief.

The mayor, however, is unlikely to call a state of emergency.

Tory’s director of communications Don Peat said he has been advised that calling a state of emergency wouldn’t be an appropriate use of the law. Peat added that the Better Living Centre is preferable to the armouries. The last time the armouries were used, they could only be accessed during the evening hours and for a limited time.

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Justice of the peace slams Toronto Community Housing for latest fire code violation

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

An Ontario justice of the peace called a fine levied against TCH “outrageous” and “unacceptable” after the landlord pleaded guilty to fire code violations.

A justice of the peace has slammed Toronto Community Housing after the landlord pleaded guilty to fire code violations related to a blaze at its 275 Shuter St. building.

“There’s an expectation entities such as Toronto Community Housing are on top of these things, are responsible, are following the law and are monitoring the requirements of the law,” justice of the peace Ana Christina Costa said in provincial offences courtNov. 24. “This is outrageous and if this were not a joint position on penalty, Toronto Community Housing would be getting a much higher amount because I think it’s unacceptable.”

While no was hurt in the Feb. 8 fire in the seventh-storey unit, a fire investigator discovered Toronto Community Housing knew the fire alarm system wasn’t working, and did not inform tenants, the on-site supervisor or the fire department, said prosecutor Amanda Cahill. At least two of the building’s supervisors were not trained in fire emergency procedures and did not receive the proper training for another six and a half months after the fire occurred.

In all, Toronto Community Housing was fined a total of $25,000 for two fire code violations. The maximum fine for each violation is $100,000.

It was the latest round of fire code violations faced by Toronto’s largest landlord.

During the fire on Feb. 8, it fell to tenants to raise the alarm. Joan Harvey was one of the first to respond. She was standing outside the 16-storey, 300-unit building at about 6:30 a.m. when she heard a window shatter. She looked up and saw flames and smoke billowing out of her apartment window.

She ran into the lobby, alerted security, took the elevator up to the seventh floor and pounded on tenants’ doors.

“I’m not a hero,” Harvey told Star. “I just did what everyone would do.”

Toronto Fire Services said it has responded to more than 300 fires at Toronto Community Housing buildings in 2016 and 2017, several of which were fatal.

In 43 of these fires, Toronto Fire Services laid charges, some of which are still before the courts. From January 2016 to Dec. 21, 2017, Toronto Community Housing has paid more than $230,000 in fines related to fire code violations, its spokesperson Anne Rappe said. In those 43 fires, Rappe would not say how many charges were laid or provide information as to their status.

“Tenant safety and fire life safety, in particular, are top priorities for Toronto Community Housing,” Rappe said. “Toronto Community Housing is committed to taking all reasonable measures to make (our) buildings as safe as possible for tenants, employees and the public.”

But one housing advocate called the violations “pure discrimination.”

“If these apartments were for people who were wealthy, (city officials) would be running to fix the problem. But because it is community housing it’s like, ‘who cares?’” said Alejandra Ruiz Vargas on behalf of Acorn Canada, an advocacy group for low-income families.

Justice of the peace Costa could have raised the fine amount in the Shuter St. fire but such a move is unusual, when a deal is reached, said one Toronto lawyer.

“The fact the justice of the peace accepted the fine doesn’t surprise me because it takes a lot for them to not do that… the joint submission has to be so manifestly so unfit for the circumstances it would shock the public,” said Antoinette Raviele, a former assistant Crown attorney, now a Toronto defense lawyer.

She said she was surprised, however, that the prosecutor agreed to a $25,000 fine.

“What do you think the reaction would have been with a $100,000 fine (for each charge)?” Raviele said.

Toronto Community Housing is a city-owned, non-profit corporation that houses 110,000 low-income and oftentimes vulnerable residents across 2,100 buildings. The agency faces a massive repair backlog totaling more than $2.5 billion.

Many of Toronto Community Housing’s fire code problems may relate to the repair backlog. Fire code violations can include a wide-range of issues, some big, some small, including: holes in walls and ceilings, door latches that don’t work, fire doors that don’t close, inoperable alarm systems and lack of fire safety training for staff.

“There has been a huge effort from Toronto Community Housing and fire services to have better performance in this area,” said Councillor Ana Bailao, chair of the city’s affordable housing committee. This “effort” was rolled out this year and will continue next year and its impacts are yet to be determined.

Toronto Community Housing said in 2018 it plans to hire two fire prevention inspectors to regularly review all its buildings.

Toronto Fire Services spokesperson Cpt. Dave Eckerman said it has inspected Toronto Community Housing’s high-rise buildings over the past two years and has also trained 500 Toronto Community Housing staff of their responsibilities under the fire safety plan.

However, due to budgetary pressures from city hall, Toronto Fire Services has not requested money to inspect the remaining Toronto Community properties, nor to “properly address the Toronto Community Housing portfolio-wide issue” in 2018, Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said at a recent Toronto budget committee meeting.

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Change will come slowly despite OMB reforms

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

Regulations put forward by Ontario on how to transition to a new planning tribunal mean hundreds of applications currently being considered by city could be appealed under old rules.

After more than 100 years, the Ontario Municipal Board will come to an end.

But things won’t change for years.

Queen’s Park voted last week to reform the province’s most powerful tribunal — responsible for land use planning disputes and how cities are built — and replace it with a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal aimed at giving power for planning back to cities.

But regulations put forward by the province on how to transition to the new body mean potentially hundreds of applications currently being considered by Toronto staff will still be eligible for appeal under the old system, which has been favourable to developers.

And while city officials have championed the reforms, calling them long overdue, they say the transition plan will cause turmoil at city hall.

“We’ll have the OMB with us for years or so, wreaking all kind of havoc,” said North York Councillor John Filion, whose Willowdale community is one of several pockets under intense development pressure. “If the government decided that the OMB was bad enough that it needed to be reformed, you have to wonder why they’re leaving it in place for so long. You’d think they’d want to minimize the damage.”

“It really looks like they’ve stood there, held the door open for the developers.”

The province, through a spokesperson for Minister for Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro, said the regulations are still out for consultation until early in the new year and that they will “consider all feedback.”

The province first outlined possible reforms to the tribunal in the fall of 2016 and announced their proposed changes in May, a move celebrated by city officials, urban planners, environmentalists and community groups.

The major detractors have been the development industry who warned that Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) attitudes would be allowed to rule supreme.

The new rules require city councils to make decisions that conform with provincial policies and the city’s own rules. Appeals will only be heard on those grounds, making it a true appeals body for the first time in its century-long history.

Under the old system, if a developer didn’t like a decision they could seek a new one at the OMB, which was guided under former rules to “have regard” for local decision-making but had the power to overturn council decisions after re-litigating the application.

A regulation put forward by the province as part of the reforms means all complete development applications submitted to the city before it received royal assent on Dec. 12 could be eligible for appeal to the old OMB system.

There are currently 1,177 major applications in the pipeline, according to the city planning division. They did not specify how many of those applications are currently considered complete.

While she remains optimistic developers will want to work with the city, Kerri Voumvakis, who is in charge of city planning policy, noted they continue to see an increasing number of appeals. The number more than doubled in 2017 over the same period last year.

“There’s going to be a huge workload increase for the OMB,” Voumvakis said.

At a development meeting in his busy Yonge-Eglinton area ward Wednesday night, Councillor Josh Matlow said he found out on his way in the front door that another application was being appealed.

“This is an example where the developer’s application, while still half-baked, wasn’t far out of the range for what I think city planning would eventually support,” he said. “We were having productive discussions.”

An appeal at that stage “takes the wind out of the sails of trying to find resolution between all parties when they go to the board and now everybody feels like there’s a gun to their heads . . . It’s happening over and over again.”

The reason for reform, and the fear with the ongoing reign of the OMB, city officials say, is communities continue to buckle under growth without relief from problematic precedents set by the old tribunal. While waiting for change, they say, schools remain at capacity, there is an increasing lack of parks and recreation spaces, and packed subway cars continue to pass platforms teeming with commuters.

 

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NDP calls for end of pilot project that shortchanges auto workers

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

WELLAND – Ontario NDP Labour critic MPP Cindy Forster is calling on the Liberal government to reverse its secretive decision to give auto workers in Ontario fewer personal emergency leave days than everyone else.

“It’s incredibly disappointing that Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government are cracking down on auto workers,” said Forster. “These people work hard, often in physically demanding roles, and they certainly deserve treatment that’s equal to what everyone else in the province is getting.”

Forster is calling for an immediate end to a Liberal government pilot program for the auto and auto parts sector that restricts all workers to seven unpaid personal emergency days. That’s in comparison to almost every other worker in Ontario, who are entitled to 10 days of personal emergency leave, including two paid days. The decision appears to have been made at a Wynne Liberal cabinet meeting held behind closed doors shortly before Kathleen Wynne went to Japan and met with major auto manufacturers.

“One of the plants most affected by this decision in Ontario is Toyota,” said Forster. “Workers there are not unionized and therefore not protected by any collective agreement.  They are subject to the whims of this Liberal government and are facing troubling labour practices as a result.”

Forster is calling on Wynne to ensure that auto workers receive the same workplace benefits as everyone else in Ontario.

“It’s time for this unfair regulation to change, immediately,” said Forster. “Treating auto workers worse than all other workers is just plain wrong.”

Leader Andrea Horwath and the NDP have committed to changes to make life better for Ontario families, and give all workers more stability and more work-life balance. Those commitments include:

•         Three weeks paid vacation after the first year of employment, up from the current two

•         Ending exemptions that allow some worker categories to be paid less than minimum wage

•         Five paid days for illness or personal emergency, up from the current two

•         10 days paid leave for survivors of domestic violence to access medical care, find safe housing or participate in legal proceedings

•         Making it harder for employers to label long-time workers “contractors” instead of employees

•         Requiring temp workers to become permanent employees after 90 days of work

•         Requiring employers of temp workers to bear the same responsibilities as employers of all workers when a worker is injured or killed on the job

•         Protecting injured workers’ benefits from unfair clawbacks caused by deeming them eligible for jobs they never held

 

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Winter Tree Wraps are Back – Get Ready for a Magnificent Sun-SET in Mississauga’s Downtown

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

Need something to warm you up this winter season? How about a magnificent Sun-SET.

Residents and visitors travelling through Mississauga’s downtown will see a spectacular Sun-SET along the Hurontario Street median. The Winter Tree Wraps are a temporary public art display that add colour and vitality to Mississauga’s downtown streetscape during the winter months. Created by Polymétis, a Toronto-based architectural design firm, Sun-SET features a series of vibrantly printed fabrics that span across 45 burlap-covered oak trees.

“Artists Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft designed the art piece to infuse our city with vibrancy and colour during the winter months,” said Paul Damaso, Director, Culture Division. “In addition to signalling a new dawn for the City in the face of new projects, Sun-SET also addresses the theme of environmental stewardship and our appreciation for Mississauga’s natural resources.”

This year’s tree wrap theme was Future Directions, as it related to concepts such as city building, transit infrastructure and climate change.

In August, the City held a public art competition calling for proposals from artists to create the temporary public art piece for the Winter Tree Wraps. Proposals were reviewed by an independent jury made up of arts professionals and subject matter experts. Sun-SET was recommended by the jury and Polymétis was awarded the commission.

Damaso added, “Public art, like Sun-SET, fosters community pride and contributes to a sense of identity for residents, visitors and surrounding businesses.”

The temporary public art piece will be on display until spring 2018.

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Tiger Zinda Hai creates history, mints Rs 114.93 crore in its first weekend

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

Salman Khan – Katrina Kaif’s spy thriller Tiger Zinda Hai, is clearly smashing all the box-office records. The mega action spectacle created two big records on its Day 3 by collecting Rs 45.53 crore on Sunday. The film has just not grossed the biggest ever single day collection by a Bollywood film but has broken the previous record of the highest ever weekend collection held by another Salman Khan film – Sultan by collecting a whopping 114.93 crore in its first weekend.

On its very first day of its release, TZH recorded the Biggest Ever Non-Holiday collection by a Bollywood film. The film has been receiving great response from both the audiences and the critics and has been announced as the biggest blockbuster of 2017 already. Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s sizzling chemistry in the film has also been loved by the fans.

Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Tiger Zinda Hai marks Salman Khan’s return to action. The current box office trending of the film hints a huge run for Tiger Zinda Hai in the holiday period. The film has opened to a massive 5700 screens worldwide, with India Screen Count at 4600.

Trade gurus also mention that the film may gross more than Rs 200 crore by its first week.

 

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Mouni Roy to feature in Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3 with Sonakshi Sinha

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

Earlier this year we had reported that popular television actress Mouni Roy would soon be making her big screen debut with the Akshay Kumar starrer Gold. Well, now we hear that Mouni has been roped in for yet another film that will see her sharing screen space with one of the three big Khans in Bollywood.

In fact, reports state that Mouni Roy will feature in the third instalment of the Dabanggfranchise. While Dabangg 3 has been confirmed to be on the cards, and that the said film will feature Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, the addition of Mouni Roy does certainly come as a surprise.

This new addition to the cast of Dabangg 3 will certainly have Salman Khan fans jumping with joy. However, we await more details of the film that still has a long way to go before it goes on floor. In fact, going by the reports, work on Dabangg 3 will commence only after Salman Khan wraps the shooting of his other ventures Race 3 and Bharat.

 

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Mallika Sherawat continues to confuse

Posted on 28 December 2017 by admin

From sneaking selfies with the likes of Barack Obama and Antonio Banderas to deriding the status of Indian women at a global forum…the lengths to which Mallika Sherawat has gone to keep herself in the news over the years is astonishing, not only for the sustained life-span of her delusional stardom, but also for the impact her attempts at self-promotion has had on sections of the media in India which continues to dutifully report her self-promotional misadventures.

The latest Mallika salvo is her denial of a BBC report claiming her French “Husband” and Mallika owe truckloads of money for their rented home in Paris.

Mallika Sherawat says she has neither a husband nor a home in Paris. If this is the case what was that about three armed men attacking her and her live-in partner at her apartment in Paris is November 2016?

Either she was lying then or she is lying now? Or maybe she was being far from truthful both the times? Who knows! Anything is possible with this delusional actress who came into the industry with a lie: that she was unmarried.

When in fact she had left a husband to pursue her dreams in Mumbai.

No harm in that except that the delusional attitude to her career has continued over the years. In Bollywood her attempts at stardom have been met with dismay and derision. Outside India her films like Hisss and Republic Of Love were never released in movie theatres.

Today Mallika Sherawat’s career is defunct and as good as dead. Her starrer Dirty Politics drove its producer-director K C Bokadia out of the Mumbai film industry. She had no success at the box office since Anurag Basu’s Murder. But she will find some way of being in the news, no matter what it takes.

 

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