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  • Kate 20:28 on 2014/10/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada pursues its theme of verifying received ideas about the city, this time looking at income variations, with maps.

     
  • Kate 10:50 on 2014/10/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A story that made headlines in January looks pretty sad now: Naima Rharouity was strangled when her scarf got caught in an escalator at Fabre metro station, according to the unsurprising findings in the coroner’s report. At the time it was seized on by some as an example of the downside of “tolerating” multicultural garb, now we can see it was a mishap that could happen to anyone, especially in wintertime. The coroner says the exact sequence of events remains a mystery.

     
    • Clément 11:45 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      It said that the number of incidents is relatively low taking into consideration that the STM has 68 Metro stations with escalators, and that 1.3 million trips are taken a day on the Metro.

      However, the coroner reported, the STM should improve its escalator maintenance program.

      In unrelated news, smoking, drinking, eating fatty foods, physical inactivity, driving a car without a helmet, unprotected sex and firearms are all still legal and the coroner had nothing to say about these leading causes of preventable deaths.

    • Doobious 11:54 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Is there a reference somewhere to the supported tags?

    • rue david 14:31 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      seriously, clement – that’s one of those absolute freak accidents that virtually never happens. it’s called the isadora duncan in the parlance. just so totally obscure and strange that it couldn’t be used in fiction for lack of believably.

    • Noah 20:27 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Anyone remember the headline in the Journal: Strangled by her hijab. I’d love to see a retraction now.

    • Kate 20:44 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Noah, here’s the TVA version of the story – same headline, same text since they’re both Quebecor outlets: Étranglée mortellement par son hijab. But this time round they’re asking Le foulard était-il vraiment en cause?, the coroner having admitted he couldn’t determine whether Naima Rharouity’s scarf got into the mechanism and caused her to fall, or whether she fell first for some other reason and then her clothes and hair got caught up in the escalator.

      rue david: I’m not convinced it’s so rare. After Naima Rharouity was killed, another woman spoke up and said the same escalator chewed up her coat and nearly strangled her, about a month before Rharouity’s death, but she didn’t report it at the time.

      Doobious: I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to that question, but will try to find out.

  • Kate 09:21 on 2014/10/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s three-year plan includes $52 million for work on the Quartier des Spectacles. Luc Ferrandez, wearing his new hat as interim Projet chief, says you can’t double up on infrastructure work while reducing borough staffing without imposing major cuts in other areas at the same time.

     
    • thomas 22:11 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Of topic, but does anyone know why the Yukon flag is hanging from the street lights surrounding Place des Spectacles?

  • Kate 09:17 on 2014/10/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Sukkot is causing a problem in Outremont with the Hasidic community asking for a few more days of grace to put up and dismantle sukkahs, and a certain councillor wanting to limit the number of days sukkahs can be tolerated. La Presse quotes Leila Marshy as noting that she’s seen Christmas trees left up until March, also that CDN-NDG borough has a more tolerant policy already.

     
    • Ian 09:32 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      In the Plateau there’s no limits to when sukkahs can go up or come down at all. Civilization has not crumbled. FWIW I saw xmas decorations put up on the streetlights by the City on Saint Larry a couple of months ago and they will be there until spring, but none of the sukkahs on my street went up until until a few days before sukkot.

    • Ephraim 10:48 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Well, if you are going to limit sukkahs, you should limit christmas lights, halloween decor and even when bunnies can lay eggs.

    • Bill Binns 13:38 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Hanging up Christmas lights isn’t exactly the same thing as building a wooden shed on your balcony.

    • Ian 14:42 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      How so, Bill? I mean, I can think of many ways that they are different, but what do you mean?

    • John B 18:52 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      You should see some of the stuff that’s going to end up on balconies here in Verdun over the next 6-8 weeks, enough to rival a sukkah anyday.

    • Chris 22:22 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Bill, uh, shoddy sheds can fall to the sidewalk and hurt someone, xmas lights can’t.

    • Kate 23:01 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      I have never seen a report of any sukkah causing danger or damage here.

      Here’s a report from Christian Aubry, the blogger of Rue Hutchison describing the meeting. It’s typical but ironic that he gets thrown out for describing certain parties as not liking the Hasidim, when it’s transparently obvious that they don’t.

    • Ephraim 06:51 on 2014/10/31 Permalink

      Isn’t it odd how those who tend to be intolerant move into neighbourhoods that were built on tolerance.

  • Kate 08:54 on 2014/10/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal alleges that 41 city fonctionnaires are being paid their full salaries to do “tasks that don’t correspond to their salary level” although I doubt this means managers are pushing brooms. The phase “Club Med” suggests otherwise, or at least suggests the Journal is maximizing the situation for its outrage value.

     
    • Steve 09:53 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      I would say that most of the city fonctionnaires are overpaid anyway. Thus explaining why there’s no money left for social housing, no money for increasing public transport and that the taxes are wayyyyyy to high !

  • Kate 08:49 on 2014/10/30 Permalink | Reply  

    An armoured truck was robbed in Rosemont on Wednesday night, two armed men making off with a sack of money while the truck was stopped at a bank on Masson Street.

     
    • Ian 08:51 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Ah, a good old-fashioned armoured car heist. In these days of cybercrime and whatnot it’s refreshing the classics haven’t gone out of style. The money was even in a sack! How quaint!

    • Kate 09:28 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      I know, it’s a real cartoon story, with masked thieves and a big sack with “$” on it.

  • Kate 21:10 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Because of last week’s events, visitors must enter city hall by a side door and consent to be searched.

     
    • Alex L 16:55 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      I was there last monday, for the question period. It got a bit crazy, with City Hall imposing a new limit on the amount of citizens that could enter to watch, some 50-75 people were refused entrance by policemen. Fear slowly encroaching democracy.

  • Kate 20:51 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A couple of nights ago police rang my front doorbell at 1:30 a.m.

    I was still up, which was a bit of luck – at that hour it’s a tossup whether I’d be awake or not.

    They asked me questions about a neighbour – was she away, does she live alone. I didn’t know the answers, and told them so. She may live next door but we’re not friends.

    They wanted to know who owned the building I live in, they wanted to come through my place and back yard to check something out from the back. This all happened very fast – I was caught off guard.

    As it turned out my neighbour was home after all, they needn’t have bothered me. I don’t know what it was about, but I wondered later: is this normal? Do police normally wake up a person’s neighbours in the wee hours if they’re looking for that person? Was I obliged to let the policemen in?

    Afterwards it occurred to me it reminded me of this

     
    • Steph 21:16 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      I wouldn’t even answer the door at 1:30am. I’d only check to see if the building is on fire, otherwise the blinds stay shut. You’re not obliged to let them in/through. The police are known to lie just to get you to give up your rights – who knows what their true intentions are.

    • Kate 21:26 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      At 1:30, I thought maybe something was wrong that I should know about. I’m not afraid of answering my door.

    • Blork 21:34 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      The cops showed up at my place one night last year a little after midnight. Apparently our phone was on the fritz (we had noticed it behaving oddly that day) and it had been dialing 9-1-1 and then not letting the 9-1-1 response calls through. So there were two cops on the doorstep and inside was her and me in our pyjamas looking sleepy.

      To their credit, the cops wouldn’t just take our word for it that nobody in the house had called 9-1-1 nor disconnected the phone. They asked if they could look around and basically went through every room in the house, including closets.

      I wasn’t offended. I thought they were doing the right thing.

    • Kate 22:09 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      Blork, why did a phone glitch make police want to search your house?

    • jeather 22:29 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      People call 911, then get in trouble because their abusive spouse/parent gets mad, so they need to deny it. Cops search to see if it was a real 911 call that you are trying to cover up.

    • Charles 23:09 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      What worries me more is home invasion. How can you be sure you really are talking to cops, especially if there aren’t any windows to check?

      When you live on upper floors of a -plex or apartment building, say, and someone just knocks directly at your interior door (which is quite startling), you can’t see who’s there. (This happens to me from time to time because my elderly neighbor indiscriminately buzzes to let people in when her bell rings.)

    • Kate 23:23 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      I live on the ground floor. I had a look through the window in my front door, past the two men, and when I saw the squad car covered with red stickers I figured they were actual cops!

    • JP 23:33 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      What happened to Blork also happened to us. Our phone had not been working properly for a few weeks leading up to the incident. The police showed up at about 4 am one morning and told us they had received a call. It was initially a bit of a shock. They went through the entire house and checked all rooms and basically opened every door. We weren’t offended either and they weren’t rude or aggressive in any way. They told us that this kind of thing does happen from time to time and that we should have our phone line fixed.

    • Joe 07:15 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      “The police are known to lie just to get you to give up your rights – who knows what their true intentions are.”

      Steph, why so paranoid?

    • Ian 08:31 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Because anything you say to a cop can be used against you later. You are legally obliged to identify yourself, but nothing else.

    • John B 08:39 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      They might have gotten a call or something, who knows what happened.

      I called the police once because some folks were breaking into a car right in front of my place. The police knocked on every door within a few buildings, (probably 15-20 homes), even though it was midnight, and they roused the car’s owner from wherever she was and helper her tape a plastic bag over the broken window.

      I believe it is true the police can lie to you and say pretty much whatever, but unless you’re the target of an investigation, or have something to hide, or are doing something that you should be hiding but don’t realize you should be hiding, or the police have mistaken you for someone else, (and made you the target of an investigation), or someone maliciously reported you for something that may or may not be real, you probably don’t have much to worry about and it would be great if we could, as citizens, help them do their job, for example by giving them access to places they might legitimately need to go.

    • Blork 08:44 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Kate, the cops looked around the house because of the possibility that we had abducted someone who had managed to make a 9-1-1 call (which had been cut short), or that one of the two of us (typically the male) had been abusive and the other had tried to call 9-1-1, and the abused person was not speaking up out of fear but might break if the cops were actually in the house.

      These are real things that happen. Remember, the cops didn’t know the phone was defective, and us denying calling calling 9-1-1 and saying the phone’s been acting up sounds very fishy.

      Imagine if they had just taken our word for it and left, and then six months later an abducted teenager escapes from our basement and it came out that the cops had been AT THE DOOR but hadn’t investigated any further. We’d all be outraged that they hadn’t come in!

    • Ian 08:49 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      You are legally obliged to let the police in if there’s been a 911 call as it’s considered an emergency. If you refuse, you can be charged. You don’t have to answer any questions, though, and if they do find evidence of anything illegal not related to the 911 call they can charge you for that, too. If you’re being a hassle they may very well go out of their way to hassle you & find something to charge you with even if they know it won’t stick, it’s not unheard of.

    • Kate 09:06 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Blork, jeather, thanks for laying out the reasons for the search after the 911 call. I hadn’t thought that through.

      However, following this thread, please note: I did not call 911 two nights ago, even in error.

      John B: You get perilously close to the old “why should you want privacy if you’re not doing anything illegal” argument there. I’m not paranoid about cops but I still find it odd they banged on my door given that it turned out my neighbour actually was home, although she may have been taking her time answering the door at 1:30 in the morning.

      One of the cops came in and had a good look around my place before his partner radioed him and said never mind, the neighbour’s home, come on out. I have no idea what my neighbour is involved in, but the cop seemed satisfied with my explanation that I have no interest in her activities.

    • Ephraim 10:29 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      The owner of a building is public record, these cops need to learn how to use the Internet. And they can look up the owner and address of a car owner on their computers in about 15 seconds. WTF are they waking people?

    • John B 18:50 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Kate: I realized that as I was writing it, and it’s not what I was trying to say, I just couldn’t seem to get it out right. I’m trying to say that helping the police out once in a while when they ask for it shouldn’t be a big deal, they could use a little goodwill once in a while, especially here in Montreal where so many bad apples make life harder for the rest of the force. Of course, you have to hope it’s not one of the bad apples at the door.

    • Kate 22:45 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Ephraim: yes, re the owner, but this was more like “We may need to get into her apartment – are you the owner? No? Does the owner live around here somewhere?” rather than an intensive investigation of the building.

      John B: I agree that there are good cops. There were all kinds of reasons those guys might’ve been here, good reasons for me to help them if I could. It’s mostly just that I found myself in the middle of letting them in and answering questions without any idea what was going on, and in fact I still don’t know, nor is it my business, unless something shady is going on next door which could affect me in some way.

    • Chris 07:02 on 2014/10/31 Permalink

      Ephraim, WTF are they waking people? They are fishing of course.

      If it was me, I would have answered all their questions politely and honestly, but with the dead bolt still on.

  • Kate 20:37 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The city plans to spend $4.6 billion over three years on infrastructure work. Most of it will be for fixing the roads.

     
    • Alex L 16:58 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Fixing the roads, always, only, fixing the roads. As if the whole city was a road.

    • Noah 20:30 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Yeah, who needs roads? Buses and bicycles can take the unicorn trail to pixie dust land to get us to and fro.

    • Chris 07:06 on 2014/10/31 Permalink

      Clever Noah :), but you know what Alex means. There always seems to be money for roads when there’s no money for anything else. $5b for Turcot, $5b for Champlain II, autoroute 19 extension, now this $4.6b. Yet for everything else: austerity. Odd that.

  • Kate 20:05 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A TVA investigation alleges the city ignored both a report from its own engineers and an independent study to hand the contract to fix up Beaver Lake to a Dessau subsidiary at great expense. Video plays: if the subject interests you, it’s worth a watch.

     
    • Bill Binns 09:40 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Beaver lake has been a mess for something like two years. At one point the work appeared to be done, all the equipment was gone and the fences were down but the sidewalks around the lake were frequently flooded. Then the equipment and more fencing than ever came back the lake was drained and the whole area torn up again. The work shows no sign of being completed by winter. How could a one meter deep reflecting pond possibly require so much work?

    • Kate 09:42 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      The item explains that somehow the Dessau subsidiary convinced the city the pond had to be rebuilt to a very exacting engineering standard involving anchoring the surrounding walls in the bedrock. That they’re rebuilding a park pond and not a hydroelectric installation seems to have been forgotten.

  • Kate 19:18 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada runs the stats to demonstrate that the Plateau really is the most “bourgeois bohème” borough. This is part of an ongoing series examining clichés about the city to discover whether they’re true.

     
  • Kate 19:08 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM announced Wednesday that it would go on using its MR-73 trains till 2036. The oldest cars, the Vickers-built MR-63 model that still plies the green line, will be retired, then a little musical chairs game will ensue with the MR-73 trains moved to the green line and the new Azur trains running on the orange line.

     
    • Doobious 19:43 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      2036 – 1973 = 63. Half of us’ll be dead before the metro is fully updated.

    • Dave M 20:15 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      Doobious, in 2036 you’d hardly be able to call cars with a 2014 design “updated”. None of us will ever see a fully updated system.

    • carswell 21:24 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      “None of us will ever see a fully updated system.”

      I did. If I remember correctly, the last time was in the first half of 1976.

    • Clément 07:06 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      In La Presse + this morning (sorry, can’t link from my laptop), Bombardier is disappointed about the news. That same Bombardier that threatened to sue if they would not get the contract, got the current contract handed to them on a silver platter after a non-competitive bid, is late, and then late again, then even more late and won’t pay a penalty for being late.
      And somehow, we should give them a new contract for more cars…

    • Bill Binns 09:44 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Well, maybe by 2036 some miracle technology will be developed that will allow Montreal to join the worldwide fraternity of cities that have air conditioned Metro cars.

    • Ephraim 10:31 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Someone have the phone number of that Spanish company that wanted to build the cars? Maybe they can do it faster and cheaper, albeit without the fancy rubber tires.

    • ant6n 10:47 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      The “Spanish Company”, CAF, was gonna build a proper rubber-tyred metro (as they did for Santiago).
      It was the Chinese company, ZhouZhou, that wanted to convert the metro system to steel tires.

    • j2 15:14 on 2014/10/30 Permalink

      Bill Binns, air conditioned metro cars are awful. I’ve lived and travelled in Spain and I hated them. The stations are HOT, moving the waste heat is very difficult, and now you’re soaked in sweat and in air conditioning. Awful.

    • Chris 07:10 on 2014/10/31 Permalink

      j2, I was in Spain recently, and must agree. Though Spain is hotter than here in general, which must play a part.

  • Kate 10:08 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Cult MTL has a piece explaining the Biennale, which has changed management since earlier editions so has a rather different vibe.

     
  • Kate 10:04 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    SPVM police are sending their own chief a mise en demeure over the force’s lack of gun training and its rusty, defective weapons.

     
    • Blork 13:09 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      Wasn’t it just a few years ago that they upgraded all of their sidearms? (Hmmm, maybe it was more than five years, which would be enough time if they weren’t taking care of them. Semi-autos have a lot more moving parts and delicate fittings than the old revolvers.)

    • Dave M 18:03 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      As if I wasn’t already afraid enough for my life whenever I see a cop on the street in Montréal..

    • Ephraim 18:15 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      Do they all need to carry anyway?

    • No\Deli 18:55 on 2014/10/29 Permalink

      Do any of them need to?

  • Kate 09:55 on 2014/10/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A story Wednesday morning about bulletproof vests for city hall security was followed by one saying the mayor hasn’t yet decided. The agents would also give up wearing camo pants in return for the vests.

     
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