MISSISSAUGAWATCH
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MISSISSAUGAWATCH report: Maui Community Correctional Center –barbed wire, surveillance –any way you look at it it’s still a jail

August 8th, 2012  

For the record, there’s lots happening —and just to give you an idea here’s a partial list:

City of Vaughan’s Council Code of Conduct, Mississauga Council Code of Conduct, George Rust-D’Eye, The LIEberals, Warren Kinsella, Rob Trewartha, City of Mississauga Corporate Security, graffiti, skateboarding,

Reading List:

“The War Room” —Warren Kinsella

“Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics” —Warren Kinsella

Publications:

The Municipal Integrity Commissioner in Ontario: Role and Responsibilities  —George Rust-D’Eye, WeirFoulds

Case Law Update: Gagliano v Gomery and the Attorney General (Canada)    —WeirFoulds LLP Litigation

Not Why I Ran for Office – The Perils of a Councillor Facing Allegations of Improper Conduct  —George Rust-D’Eye, WeirFoulds

Municipal Conflict of Interest Law: A Law in Conflict Based on Interest  —Barnet Kussner, WeirFoulds

And believe it or not, all of it is related to the Roots of Youth Violence.

So. Anyway. For a slight change of pace, here’s yesterday’s walk past the Maui Community Correctional Center (aka Wailuku Jail).  I kept to the other side of the street and did my best not to look too interested. Hard to do with a video camera but—

Here’s the video complete with transcript.

Maui Correctional Center –barbed wire, surveillance –any way you look at it it’s still a jail (4:30 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH, reporting August 7, 2012

It is Tuesday, August the 7rh, 2012 and I’m over here at Wailuku [Maui, Hawaii] and I’m just going to document here the, well they call it a correctional center.

Barbed wire across the top.

I’m just going to take a bit of a walk here. This is in Wailuku. I looked up the name of this facility but haven’t quite remembered it. Uh, maybe it’s called Wailuku [sic] Correctional Center.

Apparently rehab programs and everything in there. But—

It also says “No Trespassing” on that side so that’s one of the things I’m going to make sure I don’t do. I’m staying on this side.

Having been researching Security in Canada —specifically municipal security, I can see the video surveillance cameras there bristling among the also-bristling barbed wire.

Maui Community Correctional Center video surveillance, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii (aka Jail)

It’s really interesting because on this side of the road is Freedom.

So it’s kind of the contrast of what a street can do. People being on the right side over here with the video surveillance cameras. Look at that. And the barbed wire.

And over on this side, hibiscus and no fence at all. So.

I also went and read what are the rules of the facility including such things as photography. There is nothing against that. But in the process I was also reading about the rules of just Visitation.

And it was really interesting because one of the things that they said was, women who are having their menstrual periods are required to take off their pads and put on new ones when they’re visiting inmates here. Possibly because they might be smuggling something personal in the pads, I’m not sure.

But what was really interesting was —they had to provide their own pads. It wouldn’t be something that the correctional facility would do on its own.

It is my understanding that women are housed here as well as men.

And yeah, it’s quite the video surveillance. Let’s see if I can get that one right there. I’m pretty good at this. Had a lot of practice with the Security hacks in my own municipality. I’m not saying the people here are of the same ilk.

But you can see here just this massive row of barbed wire all the way across. Anyway.

And over on this side. Freedom.

So. We’re parked over here.

[waiting at crosswalk]

[inaudible] That person’s letting me go. This person’s also letting me go. And now of course I’ve got to do a very quick jaywalk across the street.

But again, here’s the Maui  mountains over here. Lush, I guess it’s the Kehalani subdivision. And across the street? You would not want to rent a room on that side!

Turning camera off.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

 

Maui Community Correctional Center, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii (aka Jail)

Female visitors will inform the female Search ACO of their menstrual period. Visitors shall be
required to remove and change sanitary supplies in the presence of a female ACO.
The used sanitary supplies will be discarded and replaced with new supplies.
It is the visitor’s responsibility to provide sanitary supplies for the change.

—MAUI COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTER (MCCC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) Off the Cuff Hate Crime/Gang REPORT PART 2

April 2nd, 2010  

This time Part 2  —the transcript of this video report —uploaded to YouTube just prior to the Hate Crime/graffiti data released by the Peel Police Services Board at their Friday, March 26, 2010 meeting.

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA "HATE CRIME" "JULY 29" 2009 "ERIN MILLS PARKWAY" "WHITE POWER" "NIGGER" PERMISSION WALL"

Rather than repeat the introduction, please click here if you’re interested in viewing/reading Part 1 MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture first.

Otherwise, we begin Brampton/Mississauga graffiti Part 2 video and transcript.

WARNING! DO NOT VIEW THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY THE F-WORD AND EVEN WORSE WORDS!

NOTE: When I uploaded Part 2 to YouTube on March 25th, I referred to it as a DRAFT and said that I’d replace it at a later date with a more-worked version. I’ve since changed my mind. Viewing this a week later, I realize that it’s important to show “works in progress” –even as rough, rushed and off-the-cuff as this one was.

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:31 min
uploaded March 25, 2010

Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:32 min

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (parked directly in front of the City of Mississauga Big Yellow evil empire, March 25, 2010):

Just to speak a little bit further on the lack of overlap between what the July and August 2009 Peel Regional Police graffiti photographs showed and mine —that was a surprise. I had actually figured that I would recognize more tags than I did.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing is, in my own driving and looking around, the tags that I documented, while they might still be there —they’re the original tags that I documented a year ago. And I often don’t see new ones by the same individual.

And I’m not quite sure how to interpret that.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Peel Police has [sic] suggested that catching graffiti [sic] is very difficult to do —and catching people in the act. That’s not a surprise.

So the question is, do the kids just naturally grow out of it in the sense that they’ve tagged maybe for a few months and then just grown out of that, or whether they’ve been caught, whether they’ve been talked out of it by buddies —I don’t know. But it doesn’t seem to be something that for a lot of them they don’t do for any length of time.

[DIP TO WHITE]

For graffiti people who might be out there watching this and offended, I have to admit that I haven’t been at the Mississauga Graffiti Wall. I’m aware that it exists. I just have difficulty getting access to it. But it appears to run —I’ve checked Google Maps and it runs along Streetsville. And I have seen the graffiti there and there’s a lot of beautiful stuff there. I’m talking about the artwork because it is Art —it’s just unauthorized Art and therefore it’s a crime, but—

It may be a crime, but it’s still Art.

In the case of somebody spraying “FTP” on a post, don’t convince me that’s art —that’s just tagging.

[DIP TO WHITE]

One thing just looking at the occurrence reports and the quality of the occurrence reports, who’s ever writing them, the descriptions are excellent. The best occurrence reports also explain what the graffiti represents. And I’m satisfied myself, that I’m beginning to recognize gang-related graffiti versus just a bunch of boys [sic] who are out on a lark.

[DIP TO WHITE]

However at the same time just because somebody’s putting up gang graffiti doesn’t make them gang members either. It just means that they know the gang symbols —as do I.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There was the underpass, clearly permission wall underpass and it had been sprayed with —I know one of the words was “White Power”. I can’t remember if there was the word “N*****” in there. I seem to remember that to be the case, which again would it clearly make it a Hate Crime.

But what was interesting is, I remember, oh, about a year ago, maybe more, Councillor Katie Mahoney saying, oh, we put up these permission walls and when we do, other graffiti artists respect this art and won’t draw over it.

Wronnnnnnnnnnnng! They draw over it.

And the best example to show that taggers will draw over other graffiti artists is just to go to the [points to Mississauga City Hall] skateboard plaza in there.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Some of the permission walls constantly attract taggers. There’s only one that doesn’t and it was done by a respected, well-known graffiti artist. And it seems to be that, yes, that stuff is not touched because people recognize it as a true graffiti artist.

The other stuff? Pfffft.

[DIP TO WHITE]

I have to say that at this time last year, I don’t think there was as much graffiti around as there is now. I think it’s on the increase. However, at the same time I also know that I’m a much much better at spotting it.

So, and Peel Police also suggest that maybe there isn’t as much —that the increase that they see might not be so much an increase in graffiti, as an increase in reporting.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There’s a lot of question marks, here. You see I’m kind of struggling with what the graffiti says.

But there’s absolutely no doubt that if you are not —I’m talking about now people who want to understand youth and trends of youth. I’m not talking about the kind of youth that feel comfortable walking into building.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The youth that I’m interested in and the most at-risk aren’t going to be writing as much. They’re more likely going to be expressing themselves on YouTube.

Again. It’s just a hypothesis right now.

And I think in the case of video, YouTube is richer for the [sic] kind of research because sometimes you see incidental things. In the case of one video, I was, I won’t say what the subject was but somebody was

[DIP TO WHITE]

driving down Highway 10. And you could see out the window, as they were videotaping out the car, there was a Mississauga Transit bus. And also a City of Mississauga Transit Enforcement vehicle. I don’t know if it was the 301 or 302 car but there are these little snippets that you get and then you can email the videographer and say, hey, can you tell me something about that incident.

Or, hey, I noticed some interesting graffiti you’ve got in your video. Can you tell me the location.

And you know, at first they don’t want to tell you. But then when they start looking at your stuff and they realize that yeah, you’re really interested in researching and what they have to say, they do share it.

[DIP TO WHITE]

When they really know that you’re not reporting the location, you get, I get emails —really terrific insights into graffiti and the tagging culture. And it is a culture.  It’s a —yes, it’s a sub-culture.

But when you think about these people [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people look down on —not just look down on, they look at taggers and graffiti artists and the “bad youth” with the most, with the most contempt.

And [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people view themselves as “decent folk” where the tagger is essentially an animal.

[DIP TO WHITE]

What was really interesting was to be going through and reading each of the [Peel Police] documents and I matched the photographs up with the occurrence reports and then I flipped the page and I saw big black spray paint on yellow brick and I knew immediately that it was [points to Mississauga City Hall] City Hall.

And as I looked at the other pictures, sure enough, somebody, and I don’t know the date, about late July, “bombed” City Hall!

And it looked like they started at the skate plaza, went around the front, did the pillars —I don’t know what those watchtowers are at both ends—

[DIP TO WHITE]

But I want to make it clear I will never report a location of graffiti and tagging. Because when you’re researching if you report, what happens then, it becomes erased. And because of that, you have changed something in what you’re researching.

And one of the things I’m researching is how long some of these graffitis [sic] —graffiti meaning paintings or drawings, or tags, stay up!

If it’s on public property, Public Works, I will tell you this, Public Works gets rid of stuff really fast. A lot of the stuff on private property stays up a lot longer.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Peel Regional Police and Peel Council say how much they try to work with the community. I had been at the Lincoln Alexander School lock-down, had an opportunity to talk to Malton residents and they spoke very highly of Peel Regional Police. Every last one, including a Honda Civic, you know, with the dark tinted glass coming in with three youth in it.

And you’re kind of thinking, oh oh, [laughs] this is going to be a drive-by shooting. No, they rolled down the window and they asked what was going on and those guys in there with the hats this way [turns cap sideways] they supported Peel Regional Police too.

[DIP TO WHITE]

What I’m trying to do is anything that I remember I want to record right now because I’m really interested in how much of it, of my observations, matches Peel Regional Police. And wouldn’t it be interesting if it’s different? Because it really shouldn’t be. If —there might be different stuff that Peel Police record, but the ratio of the Hate Crimes and “FTP”s [F*** the Police] and this kind of thing, the ratio should be the same as my photographs.

Should be. Well, we’ll see.

[DIP TO WHITE]

[PART 2 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL "BOMBED" (MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL MATERIAL courtesy Peel Regional Police through Freedom of Information)

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" Pic 2 MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL "BOMBED" (MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL MATERIAL courtesy Peel Regional Police through Freedom of Information)

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" (undisclosed location) photographed March 30, 2010

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture

April 2nd, 2010  

—As promised —the transcript of this video —uploaded to YouTube just prior to the Hate Crime/graffiti data released by the Peel Police Services Board at their Friday, March 26, 2010 meeting.

Advisory: I research graffiti/tags and do not report any locations no matter how offensive (even racist) it is. After all, if I am documenting such observations as how long something stays up, I can’t be the one reporting it! Having begun my research into graffiti on April 19, 2009, I can now confidently say that studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture. Graffiti and especially the tags, give marginalized/alienated youth a voice they simply don’t have anywhere else.

These youth never showed at Mississauga Youth Plan meetings. Never showed for Peel Youth Violence Prevention meetings.

These youth NEVER show. Because they KNOW.

Like I do.

Want to prep you for the graffiti stuff with a quote from Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb, February 28, 2008.

“I had a young gentleman in to see me yesterday that was here to convince me that we need to get away from the word, ‘multi-culture’ and we need to get to the word of ‘integration’. If we don’t get to the word of integration —how these communities are going to integrate, that, maybe not in our time here soon, but maybe in his children’s time, they’ll be a big issue in this Region.”

To me, that’s the most important thing Chair Kolb ever said in the four years that I’ve been researching municipal governance.

PEEL REGIONAL CHAIR, EMIL KOLB, MULTICULTURALISM vs INTEGRATION, YOUTH GANGS, RACISM

OK, enough background.

WARNING! DO NOT VIEW THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY THE F-WORD AND EVEN WORSE WORDS!

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:09 min
uploaded March 25, 2010

Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:32 min

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (parked directly in front of the City of Mississauga Big Yellow evil empire, March 25, 2010):

March 25th, 2010 and all I care about is that I get this report up on YouTube today and before tomorrow’s Peel Police Services Board meeting.

I read in the Toronto Sun that Peel Regional Police were going to be tabling their annual Hate Crime statistics.

[DIP TO WHITE]

And there was mention that quite a bit of the material that would be presented was in the form of graffiti.

So I’m absolutely intrigued and I want to record my own findings and study so far on graffiti and I thought what better place to do it than right here in front of Big Yellow evil empire City of Mississauga city hall. Because, see right there? Freedom of Information, direct observation, videotape, observing the Mississauga Youth Plan, Peel Youth Violence Prevention —all manner of emails and documents going back and forth, that, right there is a MAJOR Root of Youth Violence.

So I thought no better place than right here with that in the background.

[DIP TO WHITE]

OK, first of all the Mississsauga Youth Plan. I had been observing it including four meetings, ostensibly called “youth input” meetings.

Let’s put it this way. The youth that really needed a voice, not only weren’t represented, they wouldn’t have even been welcome there!

[DIP TO WHITE]

So I realize that the youth who were most at-risk, the ones who got in trouble with police and that I would see at Brampton Court House  —they’re not going to these meetings.

And I thought, well, how do I even go about finding them? And I managed to do that through YouTube. And it became very clear that if you want to know what youth are thinking (laughs) you don’t invite them to the Mississauga library!

The youth that I’m primarily interested in, the target group, the most at-risk, have already pushed these people aside and recognized them for what they are. Frauds.

[DIP TO WHITE]

But how do you gain access to them? To be able to see what it is that they’re thinking and what it is they’re saying because, for the most part, they’re not interested in talking to people like me. I’m 60 years old for example. They just— and a lot of them don’t even trust you or think that you’re legitimately interested in them. And, by the way, I don’t blame them.

And they certainly have a hatred —an absolute hatred, for institutions. And may I also say that I don’t blame them for that either.

[DIP TO WHITE]

So in March 2009, I watched a lot of true youth voice videos on YouTube. And it became obvious that graffiti was a big thing in those kids’ lives. So by April I was already deciding that I was going to start documenting graffiti here in Peel Region.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing I want to say is even though I’m a resident of Mississauga, I think Peel Region. And in fact, the fact that I’m wearing this hat today is symbolic of that. I’m a Peeler. I think in terms —I love the City of Brampton. I love Brampton kids. Those are the kids I taught for most of my career. So there’s this strong feeling of community within me and pride for Peel.

So it wasn’t just a case of me documenting City of Mississauga graffiti, I also wanted to know what was happening in Brampton. And I began my first photographic foray on April 19, 2009.

[DIP TO WHITE]

And I did not report any of the graffiti. While I put these samples up on my Flickr site, I did my best to try to hide the locations. And I can say that even now, that some of these graffiti and tags are still up.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There are some really-truly graffiti artists. And I mean like ART. It’s zero question, it’s ART.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing is, in July and August I also expanded my graffiti research to the Hawaiian Island of Maui. And also expanded my research to include skateboarding culture and to compare —and I also researched skateboarding, to compare the urban-style skateboarding that we have here in Brampton slash Mississauga versus the west coast style of skateboarding that you’d see in California and definitely on Maui.

Very very interesting and I also speculated that there would be a difference in the graffiti between the urban here Mississauga one and west coast, Hawaiian Island kind of graffiti as well.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing that I did, is in July and August, what with me researching Hawaiian or Maui-based graffiti, it meant that there was a two-month window that I didn’t have graffiti here in July and August. So what I did just recently, is I filed Freedom of Information with Peel Police requesting their graffiti information for the months of July and August.

And I can’t thank Peel Regional Police enough for two reasons. For one thing the amount of material that they gave back both in terms of print-outs, colour print-outs and also one DVD cost —was roughly $44.00. And they waived the fee. I’m grateful.

But the other thing is, by reading their —Peel Regional Police’s occurrence reports and the quality of their observations and the insights there, that did two things. I learned a lot from what Peel Regional Police is looking for in terms of its own graffiti research. And to realize that they are applying Science to the study of graffiti. As am I, by the way.

[DIP TO WHITE]

One thing that I found with the graffiti here, is I agree too that a lot of the graffiti is —of the Hate ones, and there isn’t as much as you might think. Which in some ways is good.

But yeah, you see the swastikas. You see the White Power. You see N***** and niggaz.

However, I’ve also documented graffiti which shows sort of the Chinese —the target Chinese community, with the Chinese hat and the moustache, with “Chinaman” down there. Or drawings of the turban. And then —I mean really offensive stuff!

The other thing I was looking for was the relationship that these youth who do graffiti have with Police. Because I felt the relationship between youth and Police would be reflected in the graffiti.

And I admit that there’s some “F*** the Police” and “FTP” which is short for “F*** the Police”. And Peel Regional Police, in their July and August 2009 data also showed some evidence of that.

But what was neat was, it’s still quite rare.

And when you go, for example, to the City of Hamilton, which is one of my alternate study sites —comparative sites, “F*** the Police” is one of the most common pieces of graffiti. As is “FTP”. And I’m talking about every pole. Along every area— even in the parks.

And I’m talking about Beasley Park where “F*** the Police” is about this high in big black letters and has been there since I started back in April.

[DIP TO WHITE]

So there’s a really huge difference in the relationship, I believe —at least that’s what I think it suggests between the youth in the City of Hamilton and the Police, as opposed to what we see here in Peel and the relationship with Police.

Sure there’s the odd tag but it isn’t nearly as prevalent and as obvious as City of Hamilton.

And so one of the questions you ask is well, what’s the message there?

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing that is interesting is, when I looked at the photographs that Peel Regional Police had for July and August, there was very little overlap between what they documented and what I did.

And the other thing really interesting is, Peel Regional Police —their July/August stuff, a lot of it was parks. And a surprising amount was City of Mississauga sites and parks. And City of Mississauga Corporate Security being the ones filing the reports on graffiti.

[DIP TO WHITE]

That’s not a surprise because I avoid City of Mississauga property because (whispers) I know about these security guards.

[DIP TO WHITE]

So I always have a— I have to have a [sic] audio recorder to even feel remotely-safe on City property. So I try to avoid that and my analysis is more along the roadways and just driving along the roads and pulling aside when I see something.

[PART 1 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

2009 MISSISSAUGA VIDEOS: MISSISSAUGAWATCH Shatters the MYTH behind the City of MYTHississauga

January 1st, 2010  

JANUARY 2009 video INSIGHT INTO THE BRANDING (AND FLUFFING) OF MYTHISSAUGA

Last Blog you saw the pics: The first being, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion hugging and congratulating Michael Nobrega fellow Director of the Enersource Board after their successful Enersource public meeting and Cable 10 broadcast. Nobrega is president and chief executive of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) —10% partner with 100% veto power (yes. really!).

Here’s the video uploaded to YouTube on January 25, 2009 of Mississauga Inc and McCallion-Nobrega in action.

Video: GEORGE ORWELL MEETS MISSISSAUGA ENERSOURCE (4:27 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

FEBRUARY 2009 (Uploaded February 10, 2009)

Video of youth/Police interaction on the TTC. Bitter February and the youth was wearing a thin T-shirt —complete with holes.

Video: HOMELESS YOUTH and TORONTO POLICE/SPECIAL CONSTABLES at TTC SUBWAY (Queen St station) 090205 (2:28 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

MARCH 2009 (Uploaded March 12, 2009) FROM THE THIS IS FRIKKIN’ SO-TYPICAL DEPARTMENT

MISSISSAUGAWATCH asks Dr. Alvin Curling if the authors of the Roots of Youth Violence Report had filed any Freedom of Information as part of their research. Nope.

Video: “ROOTS OF YOUTH VIOLENCE” co-author, DR. ALVIN CURLING interviewed by MISSISSAUGAWATCH (4:40 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

APRIL 2009 (Uploaded April 17, 2009)

HAZEL MCCALLION SAVES MISSISSAUGA’S SHERIDAN LIBRARY (4:16 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

MAY 2009 (Uploaded May 17, 2009) PUT A *STAR* BESIDE THIS ONE!

Video: HAZEL MCCALLION: on City Staff’s “complete disregard” for Policies (10:06 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

JUNE 2009 (Uploaded June 5, 2009) MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL SETS A NEW RUBBER-STAMP RECORD!

Video: ROOTS OF YOUTH VIOLENCE: MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL FAILS YOUTH: IN 12 SECONDS! (1:00 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

JULY 2009 (Uploaded July 4, 2009)

Video: SKATEBOARDING MAUI, PAIA STONEWAVE SKATE PARK (1:48 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

AUGUST 2009 (Uploaded August 5, 2009) NOW HERE’S A PROMISE THAT NEVER DREW ITS FIRST BREATH!

Video: HAZEL MCCALLION MAKES PROMISE ABOUT PUBLIC QUESTION PERIOD (0:54 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

SEPTEMBER 2009 (Uploaded September 10, 2009)

Video: Poor and Invisible in Toronto. Through a (Tim Hortons coffee shop) Window 6:22)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

OCTOBER 2009 (Uploaded October 2, 2009) NOT ONLY WON’T THIS HAPPEN BUT EXPECT RIGOROUS COVER UP

Video: ‘MAKE MISSISSAUGA YOUTH BANS PUBLIC INFORMATION” says COUNCILLOR PAT SAITO (3:07 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

NOVEMBER 2009 (Uploaded November 1, 2009) WHEREIN WE WITNESSED WHO REALLY RUNS MYTHISSAUGA

Video: “Mega-Builder” Harold Shipp $$$threatens$$$ Seven Mississauga Councillors with $$$DEFEAT$$$ (1:04 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

DECEMBER 2009 (Uploaded December 15, 2009)

Video: MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY: Citizen-Blogger MISSISSAUGAWATCH requests limited standing (8:09 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

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SKATEBOARD SUNDAY preliminary report: Turner skatepark (Hamilton), Chinguacousy skatepark (Brampton) and Iceland skatepark (Mississauga)

September 7th, 2009  

Yesterday as part of a MISSISSAUGAWATCH Skateboard Sunday survey, I visited three major “flagship” municipal skateboard facilities, Turner in Hamilton, Chinguacousy in Brampton, and Iceland, Mississauga. The Sunday before (August 30, 2009) we wrapped up our summer’s observation of Maui’s three skateboard parks.

We’ve already reported on the Maui skateboard scene in previous Blogs and especially in “MISSISSAUGAWATCH reports on three Maui Skateboard parks (StoneWave-Paia, Kalama-Kihei and Keopuolani-Kahalui)”.

Once back in Mississauga, it became clear that it would be absurd to now compare the Maui Three with the skateparks we’d been observing and reporting on back in May and June. For example, while observing Beasley Park in City of Hamilton, we were not aware that the new $500,000 Turner Skatepark had opened. (Plus back in May/June I preferred neighbourhood skate plazas to observing a larger City-wide facility.)

No more. The Maui Three forced me to turn my attention to local Flagship Parks.

Yesterday, as part of back-to-back Skateboard Sundays, I first visited Turner Skatepark in Hamilton. (I’d been tipped to the existence of this new facility by a commenter here.)

I ran a quick check of City of Hamilton Council’s decisions as to how Turner Skatepark got located where it did, and surfed a tour of what Google Maps suggested was an affluent surrounding neighbourhood (it was).

TURNER SKATEPARK CITY OF HAMILTON

By far the most surprising thing about Turner Skatepark came from a conversation with one of several parents sitting around watching their kids skateboarding. This mother enthused about how the skatepark was right next to the police station (and I mean right-next-right-next).

I responded that such close presence of police must make parents feel comfortable letting their kids skate there.

Her response was, “Oh no, I’d never leave him here by himself!”

That made Turner Skatepark the most fascinating park in our 6-facility study.

After Turner, I traced out the Upper James route that a kid living around Beasley Skatepark would have to take to reach the flagship Turner. There were only three kids skateboarding that day at Beasley and only one had an actual skateboard. A pervert waxed poetic into my video camera about the number and quality of his testicles while three other suspicious characters were sitting on a park bench watching me videotape graffiti.

Now with two months of Maui skatepark observation behind me, I see Beasley Skatepark for what it is. One ramp. One small depression for a “bowl” and some concrete to smear a board across —that’s Beasley.

BEASLEY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF HAMILTON) 090906

Two small girls were on swings unsupervised and I was reminded of the Turner Park mother’s comment, “Oh no, I’d never leave him here by himself!”… Hamilton: A Tale of Two Cities.

I then set off for Chinguacousy Park, City of Brampton. I heard more F-words in my observation time there than at all Maui skateboard parks the months of July and August combined, plus Turner that morning. Not a good start…

However, Chinguacousy surprised me the most of the three local skateparks I visited yesterday. And surprised me in a good way.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) panoramic shot 090906

(Click here for larger version)

Chinguacousy reminded me of Kahalui’s Keopuolani Skatepark.  More about all this in later Blog entries.

It was getting deep into afternoon and I reluctantly headed for Iceland in Mississauga. I say “reluctantly” because 1: I have the City of Mississauga Corporate Security database printout of all the bans and arrests issued at that City Property, plus 2: I’d visited the skatepark there on several other occasions.

ICELAND SKATEPARK (CITY OF MISSISSAUGA) 090906

On this visit, there were perhaps 20 boys, with about an even split of bikes and boarders. Being just fresh from Chinguacousy, I found Iceland the bore. I videotaped a bit, narrating into the camera and then once I was done, a parent supervising his two kids talked me up.

“You mentioned a skatepark in Brampton?”

“Yeah, Chinguacousy. I just came from there.”

I mentioned Chinguacousy’s attributes (like that it was in a park and not beside the 403) and then provided directions. He gathered his two kids and B-lined it for B-Town.

I saw Chinguacousy as a cool mix between Maui’s Keopuolani and Kalama skateboard parks.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) TRUE TO THE SPORT 090906

Even a Chinguacousy conversation between a kid and a BMXer reminded me of the New York Times article “The End of Falling” in memory of Skateboard pioneer, Andy Kessler.

The BMXer rested his bike on a ramp ledge.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) close-up BMX BIKE 090906

The kid asked, “How did you get so good?”

“I fall down a lot,” and he sped away.

Having observed all six skateparks now, I’m confident in rating them as if I were a Middle School kid committed to skateboarding. But I recognize that what this almost-60 year old white female might look for isn’t the same thing as a real skateboarder (or for that matter a male!).

For me, the Skatepark Rankings were based on architecture, respect and supervision. Did the parks have the kind of ramps and bowls to attract the serious big-boy skaters? Was there a culture of respect among the park users?  If two parks’ architecture and respect rated equal then the ranking came down to a skatepark’s supervision.

I hope you’ll agree that a skatepark where kids are respectful of others and is unsupervised, is infinitely preferable to a supervised park. Unsupervised means it’s the kids’ skatepark where they are free to be respectful, inclusive and solve inevitable conflicts —on their own.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

New York Times and Toronto Star REMEMBRANCE: Skateboarding pioneer, Andy Kessler (48) dies of wasp sting

August 23rd, 2009  

I had meant to post this a week ago. Andy Kessler…

The thing  is that for readers to understand the importance of skateboarding pioneer Andy Kessler, you have to know something about the skateboarding culture. Far too many of us see skateboarders as thugs-on-wheels.

And when we see graffiti and tags, we make an immediate connection to skateboarders.

I can tell you this from my summer research here on Maiui. Real skateboarders have the same contempt for the “thugs-on-wheels” as real graffiti artists have for taggers.

Real skateboarders are athletes and like top tier surfers, they’re Alpha-Male-fearless-crazy. (Expect skateboarding to become an Olympic sport.)

While I began my study of skateboarders and skateboard parks in Mississauga —and then Hamilton, it took quality time at Maui, Hawaii’s three skateboard parks for me to GET it. Get real skateboarding.

I didn’t know who Andy Kessler was until I read his Obituary in the Toronto Star. He was a skateboarding pioneer, died at age 48 from a wasp sting.  I can’t emphasize enough that to understand real skateboarding, you have to know that the first skateboarders were surfers.

Thought I’d share a portion of this Blog commemorating Kessler —“The End of Falling”, from the New York Times first.

What’s interesting is Bret Anthony Johnston’s comparison between the East Coast skateboarders and the West Coast ones (“gritty, dirty, and beautiful, the shadow-version of the breezy West Coast surf-style”).

That’s the same difference that I’ve observed this summer between the Mississauga/Hamilton skaters vs those at the three skateboard parks in Maui, Hawaii.

Excerpt from the New York Times Blog, “Happy Days, The Pursuit of What Matters in Troubled Times”

Image Courtesy of the New York Times

Andy Kessler, West 30th Street, Manhattan, 2005. Image courtesty of the New York Times

Andy Kessler, West 30th Street, Manhattan, 2005.  Ivory Serra

The End of Falling

August 13, 2009, 11:15 pm

By Bret Anthony Johnston

I’ve been skateboarding seriously for more than 20 years, and while I never met Andy Kessler, I know his life story. Most skaters over the age of 25 do. Born in Greece and raised on West 71st Street in Manhattan, Kessler started skateboarding when he was 11. This was in the 1970s, a time when skateboarding was so alien to New York City that he had to mail-order his gear from California. Significance-wise, think: Prometheus and fire. When other kids saw Kessler carving around the Upper West Side on his board — which would’ve been three inches wide with metal wheels — they followed, and just like that, the East Coast skate scene was born. It was gritty, dirty, and beautiful, the shadow-version of the breezy West Coast surf-style.

And now, with special thanks to the Toronto Star.

COURTESY THE TORONTO STAR:

REMEMBRANCE

TheStar.com | Obituary |

Andy Kessler, 48: Skateboarding pioneer

Aug 15, 2009 04:30 AM

DANIEL DALE
STAFF REPORTER

The next time some punk skateboarder cuts you off on a downtown sidewalk, curse Andy Kessler.

California’s skateboarding pioneers were surfers, kids who rode in empty backyard swimming pools when they couldn’t ride the waves.

YOUNG SK8RZ, STONEWAVE SKATEBOARD PARK, PAIA, MAUI, HAWAII

Because there were fewer pools in New York, young rebels there were forced to pioneer city skating. In the late 1970s, a group of a few dozen teenagers turned the features of the urban landscape – stairs, poles, flower planters – into obstacles to be challenged and conquered.

“It was about making that action happen with your imagination,” J.J. Veronis, one of those rebels, told The East Hampton Star. “And Andy was king.”

Kessler, born in Greece in 1961 and raised in New York, was the unofficial leader of the Soul Artists of Zoo York, the city’s first skateboard crew. The Upper West Side was their laboratory – and their fishbowl. When they began skating, they had to order their gear by mail from California; in large part because of their rolling advertisements for the sport, New York developed its own burgeoning scene.

Kessler received his first skateboard from his mother at age 10. Like most Zoo Yorkers, he dabbled in graffiti and drugs as a teenager. After the crew disbanded in the 1980s, he became an addict. But he recovered. He then helped take skateboarding off city streets.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0043

Despite his dedication to street skateboarding, Kessler long advocated the creation of a haven where New York’s skaters could ride unbothered. In the mid-1990s, his lobbying persuaded the municipal government to build its first public skate park. The city hired him as lead designer, and he eked out a living creating several more.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0027

Kessler continued skating into his 40s. While young skaters tended to be unaware of his contribution, an ignorance that sometimes bothered him, the older ones never forgot. In 2005, dozens helped raise thousands of dollars for his medical care when he broke his femur in a wipeout.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0044

Though he could be unpleasant – “Some days you caught him and he was a jerk, some days you’d sit and talk for hours,” skate-park builder Tim Vander told ESPN – he was widely beloved.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0037

Kessler died Tuesday of a heart attack following an allergic reaction to a wasp sting at a cottage on Long Island.

He was 48.

This pic is dedicated to Andy Kessler. I’m sure he’d know what the kid on his back and under his skateboard is doing. But up until my husband and I witnessed it, we wouldn’t have been able to guess.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0043

Signed,

The (Special mahalo nui loa to the skaters at Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii) Mississauga Muse

“Often, especially when Kessler was nurturing what would become the East Coast scene, the kids who gravitated toward skateboarding were misfits and malcontents, the shy outcasts who’d been intimidated and sullied by the complex pressures of social interaction. Skateboarding gave them an identity and voice, and Kessler, by example, gave them the confidence to declare themselves to society.”

“This is who he was and how he’ll be remembered, as a man who understood the abiding and cathartic power of resilience. You don’t give in. You take every run —on the ramp, with recovery, at City Hall.”

Bret Anthony Johnston from “The End of Falling” New York Times Blog, “Happy Days, The Pursuit of What Matters in Troubled Times”

READ THE TORONTO STAR ONLINE

www.thestar.com

READ THE NEW YORK TIMES ONLINE AT:

www.global.nytimes.com

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reports on three Maui Skateboard parks (StoneWave-Paia, Kalama-Kihei and Keopuolani-Kahalui)

July 7th, 2009  

Over the weekend, MISSISSAUGAWATCH visited StoneWave Skateboard Park in Paia, as well as Kalama Skateboard Park in Kihei and Kalahui’s Keopuolani Skateboard Park (Maui, Hawaii).

Having conducted “Skateboard Sundays” at various City of Mississauga skateboard plazas as well as City of Hamilton’s Beasley Park, we were immediately struck by the huge difference between Mississauga/Hamilton skateboard facilities and those on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

Fact is, Maui sk8rz would find both Hamilton’s Beasley Park and Mississauga’s Iceland, pretty “lame”.

As for MISSISSAUGAWATCH, both my husband and I were gob-smacked by the huge difference in skill levels between our local skateboarders and the Maui breed. And we’re talking even the youngest keiki (kids).

It quickly became clear to us that the more challenging the skatepark, the more skilled and daring the kids. And MY what accomplished, dedicated skaters! Get this. At Kalama Skateboard Park in Kihei, we witnessed one 13-14 year old skateboarding with his left arm in a cast! We were enthralled.

We thought we’d share what Maui/US skateboarders were doing during their Independence Day weekend holiday.

First, here are some photos of StoneWave Sk8 Park, Paia, Maui.

STONEWAVE SKATEBOARD PARK, MAUI, HAWAII

The stone waves form deep bowls at beautiful StoneWave Skateboard Park, Paia, Maui, Hawaii

The stone waves form deep bowls at StoneWave Skateboard Park, Paia, Maui, Hawaii, July 5, 2009

There was surprisingly little talking during our two and a half hour observation period. Skateboarders were intent on skateboarding.

Not once did we hear a swear word of any kind.

YOUNG SKATEBOARDERS AT STONEWAVE SKATEBOARD PARK, PAIA, MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

Young skateboarders observe and learn from elders. The most daring sk8rz —referred to as “crazy” are the most admired.

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This young man was by no means the smallest skateboarder. He brought his little brother!

ACCOMPLISHED YOUNG SKATEBOARDER POISED TO DROP AT STONEWAVE SKATEBOARD PARK, PAIA, MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

For fun, we encourage you to watch our video of this small young skateboarder and his little brother co-exist peacefully and respectfully among the Paia Sk8 Big Boyz.

SKATEBOARDING MAUI, PAIA STONEWAVE SKATE PARK  (1:47 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

Yesterday, we visited Kalama Skateboard Park in Kihei and Holy Jumpin’! WHAT A FACILITY!

The Ramps! The sheer drops! (and yes, The Graffiti!)

HIGHEST RAMP AT KALAMA SKATEBOARD PARK MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

Kids in all sizes came and went and again, very little talking. They had important skills to practise and practise and practise.

RAMPS AT KIDS AND KALAMA SKATEBOARD PARK MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

And kids barely in their teens took up the challenge of The Intermediate Ramps

YOUNG MAN DRAGS SCOOTER UP AN INTERMEDIATE RAMP AT KALAMA SKATEBOARD PARK MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

scooting over them grabbing the highest air they could as a friend measured just how high! Crazy!

YOUNG MAN FLIES A SCOOTER OVER A RAMP WHILE A FRIEND MEASURES HOW MUCH AIR HE GRABBED AT KALAMA SKATEBOARD PARK MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

We were delighted to spot our first girl. This is the only girl we saw skateboarding at any of the three Maui sk8 facilities we are currently observing.

FIRST SK8R GIRL WE'VE SEEN AT ANY FACILITY HERE AT KALAMA SKATEBOARD PARK MAUI, HAWAII JULY 3, 2009

And then we visited what we immediately proclaimed the “tamer” Keopuolani Skateboard Park in Kahalui, Maui.

While this skate park featured the highest ramp we’ve seen anywhere (one and a half story with a measuring stick to mark jumps higher), certainly none of the skateboarders (all in their late teens) that we observed went anywhere near it.  We found Keopuolani quite a letdown.

For one thing, unlike the Paia and Kihei skate parks, Keopuolani has the unfortunate feature of not being right by the beach. Surrounded by buildings and constant reminders of almost-urban sprawl, the Keopuolani/Kahalui  site reminds us somewhat of Mississauga with palm trees. (Yes, we know. We’re jaded.)

We have to give credit to the Kahalui graffiti types though. They sprayed the challenge, “Try grind dis brah” (Try and grind your board along this post, brother) into the concrete and then…

KEOPUOLANI SKATEBOARD PARK, MISSISSAUGAWATCH

sprayed the outline of an anatomically-correct body of a skateboarder (complete with squished nasty bits) precisely where someone would land face down if he wasn”t successful in “grind dis brah”.

*SPLAT*!

Graffiti: Sprayed outline (police style) of an anatomically-correct body of a skateboarder (complete with squished nasty bits) precisely where someone would land face down if they weren't successful negotiating a challenging maneuver. KEOPUOLANI SKATEBOARD PARK, MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Photo Credits:  Peter Bennett  ( Kalama Skateboard Park, Kihei and Keopuolani Skatepark, Kahalui )


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