Great day for a Run!

I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying the warm weather this morning while out at the annual Rankin Cancer Run here in St. Catharines.  It was an absolutely spectacular day for a run along the Welland Canal in northeast St. Catharines, and the crowd definitely proved it:

A crowd shot before the run

Thousands of people out for the 1/5k walk/run.  Me being me, I had to run it and run it as hard as possible, which may have been a mistake given the distinct lack of run training I’ve been doing recently.  I still managed to clock a 27:07 for the 5k though, which wasn’t half bad.  I look a lot better in this picture than I actually felt at the end:

In between gasps

It was nice for me to finally be able to run this one – in past years I’ve either been in Ottawa for the ING Half-marathon, or I’ve been in Africa meeting my son.  The ability to raise money for an excellent cause is definitely a benefit to running it as well.

As a side-note, Xavier is totally getting into that kids race next year – I have no doubt he could compete!

Another beautiful day in Niagara – off to the Farmer’s Market downtown when X wakes up to get our veggies, and then maybe the beach for the rest of the day.


City Council almost drops the ball on artificial turf field

Over an hour debating the tender for the new artificial turf field to be built behind the 4-pad arena.  Numerous councillors with serious issues about the project, related to budget miscalculations and site selection.  Continuous questions to various city bureaucrats about decisions that have been made.  $500,000 in needed repairs to Victoria Lawn Cemetery put off for a year so that the money can be ‘found’ in the 2010 budget.

Result – a unanimous decision to award the tender.  Oh well – I suppose the drainage issues at the cemetery can wait for another year.  A quick back of the envelope calculation by several of us at the meeting on how much work has been deferred until next year – somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1,100,000.

But if you ask, city council will CROW about what a low tax increase they brought in this year!

St. Paul Street bridge

Anybody who has walked across the Burgoyne bridge knows the meaning of the word terrified; never mind the tight access for cars, bikes and pedestrians, the whole bridge has never felt particularly safe.  A look while passing underneath shows rust and other signs of aging, and I’ve often wondered how much work needed to be done to make it last for another hundred years.

So this article wasn’t a surprise.  I think it goes without saying that the bridge needs to be replaced; in fact, one of my big complaints is that the regional transportation director has already made up his mind on the matter even though the region is paying for a study to examine the feasibility of repairs, and the study isn’t done yet.

That said, my question is simple – given the obvious need for a new bridge, why has the lobbying effort over the last few years been so paltry from City Council and Regional council for this project?  Unprecedented sums of money have been handed out at both the Provincial and Federal levels of government for improved infrastructure.  It seems to me that one of the few links between west and downtown St. Catharines qualifies as a fairly important infrastructure project – why are we only now getting Regional support to critical mass for lobbying the upper levels of government?  With all the ‘stimulus’ money that’s been sent down the QEW to St. Catharines, why wasn’t this project pushed two years ago?  Instead of, say, a parking garage?

Questions, questions, questions.  Unfortunately, this article had very little in the way of answers.