Our Discriminal Mosaic


      


There was a post in a local community Facebook group recently advertising a class for those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), which sparked a couple of threads worth of back and forth conversation both commending and condemning the need for such a space.

Looking at these threads and so many ‘candid’ discussions I have followed recently, it reminds me of the importance of responding in a way that simply states how a post or opinion is received by you, without providing our own judgement. There is a lot of learning in allowing others to be open to explaining how something we say or do can be received by others in a world so diverse in traditions, religions, or social norms. I will also point out that I personally do not feel deleting comments is actually constructive as even if they portray hate, if nothing else it shows us that it still exists.

I have to admit, when you come across a post for something that leaves out others, it is easy to see it as a form of discrimination or segregation for those of us looking ‘in’. The truth is though, I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to have been marginalized. I have been bullied, but I can’t say it was enough to leave any scars (that I know of anyway).

How many of us who felt these first segregation instincts, have actually been discriminated against?

Within this discussion of course, I see comments about how white people cannot be discriminated against. We only need to look at World War II (Schindler’s List or a ‘lighter’ story depicting these truths for the music lover, Swing Kids) for past examples of how this isn’t true. Or we can look at students with special needs, or a childhood cancer survivor who is picked on, centered out, or excluded every day. All of which offer a couple of simple factual examples of how whites have been and are discriminated against to this day whether man, woman or child.

There are so many forms of discrimination that know no race, creed, color or religion like crimes against sexuality.

The truth is every day we see in the news how people of color, intelligence, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference (or their sex), etcetera are marginalized.

It is hard for those that just don’t see discrimination in our day to day travels, to fully understand this need. It seems rare that I see this kind of treatment of others in my own community. I guess I would feel this way as a straight Caucasian man with a Caucasian partner and Caucasian kids in a city with a dominant Caucasian population.

I have never seen someone stare at me on a bus (or deny me entry), with an unbearable stare of hatred yelling ‘nigger’ or ‘terrorist!’. I have never been kicked and called a ‘pansy faggot’ in a dark corner on the playground or spit on and called a ‘stupid retard’ or a ‘wahoo’ in a bathroom stall while having my head flushed in a toilet. I’ve never been whistled at through a creepy, wide-eyed drooling stare, had my ass or other body parts grabbed in public. Never called a slut or whore. The only thing I have ever had to worry about might be at a job interview and my lack of education, not whether I was a man or woman. I have no idea what’s it’s like to be judged by sexual preference, sexuality, color, etcetera at something as simple as looking for employment?

I hope nobody is offended by my language above because even writing those words makes me sick and angry. I went back and forth on whether or not to use such language but in the end, this post needs to make both ‘sides’ angry with an end goal to come together in our fight against racial and social discrimination.


(Please continue watching the follow-up to the video above, which starts automatically, where they continue this experiment mixing Jewish and Muslim couples. There is some positive in the end but the looks, actions, and words of disgust are heartbreaking. )

I watch this video , and it’s … it’s sort of the world I see in Hamilton – the living as one part not the discrimination or some jerk calling the one gentleman a terrorist as he walks by them part. The latter of which is F’ing sick and sorry there is no ‘nice’ way to show the kind of disgust I feel hearing such a thing.

For me, Hamilton seems like an overall safe place for the most part but I know we have a long way to go diversity-wise. I realize a lot of problems exist but I see in education, business, etcetera. how we are working hard to accomplish and focus on inclusion.

The video above shows plain and simple and real, the hate that exists. It does show hope that more feel as others do about wanting us to live as we actually are – brothers and sisters. As one people.

I found myself realizing after my own internal questioning of the original Facebook post , that I don’t believe in full inclusion either do I? I want it, but I continue to question the definition and listen to what others feel is inclusion to them. I am one of many who fought to save a school that evolved into one for people who had been marginalized in a different way. They were bullied for being different or were far behind in their studies for the way our one size fits all educational system failed to help them achieve their academic and social potential. That’s not a knock against public education but an appreciation of alternatives being offered to suit varying needs and abilities.

I still believe in that school concept. A model for a certain group of students who struggle whether they have special needs, high anxiety, or just plain learn and thrive under circumstances far different than a mainstream school. This is segregation in many minds and against societies vision of ‘inclusion’. I get dirty stares for even talking about this kind of ‘segregation’, but the problem is that inclusion is personal and we must stand our ground and fight for what is personal for each of us.

There are so many kids (and adults for that matter as we look at one size fits all open concept offices), who need safe places and we can’t tell them what we feel that safe space should look like. They must and they have, told us what that looks like and for those kids, their own school was a model of what inclusion looked like to them in education.

How different is a class for those who identify as BIPOC or a school club for LGTBQ?

Looking at a class for Black, Indigenous and People of Color versus, for example, a school for ADHD, Autism, Gifted and High Anxiety students, there are many similarities in their importance and values. Two different groups of people who have been marginalized in their own personal way. People with different social and academic needs often look just like you and I. Just like for many of us people of different color or creed look the same as us on a metaphysical level – they are just people. Only these groups however, know what ‘the real world’ often looks like for them.

The problem with all this inclusion talk, is that we lose individuality both in who we are and how are needs are met. On a much smaller scale, is forced inclusion not similar to the theory behind residential schools – normalizing others to fit our societal mold? Isn’t inclusion, especially when we look at it in the light of these are government-driven directives, kind of like making everyone identify as the same on some level? We must all get along and live in harmony but do we really when it’s forced? I want to, but I am not convinced forcing inclusion is the answer.

Going back to my school for ‘special and gifted’ kids again, the goal of that is to help them thrive, feel included, build their strength and confidence in a safe environment before they become part of a more all encompassing, inclusive society. ‘Our’ inclusion for them meant they were hanging out with other students similar to them in a corner on an ‘inclusive’ school playground or they never had girlfriends or went to dances or participated in sports or talent contests. A school for these students meant they could be themselves. Walk around the halls with their teddy bear and not for one moment feel that anyone at that school would think twice about judging them for they knew what judgement felt like themselves. They had friends or girlfriends and boyfriends for the first time. They went to dances and so many participated in these amazing talent shows. They, with the help of a visionary staff who faced push back from educational leaders, helped these students define their own inclusion.

If we stand back for a minute, we can question ‘why am I against this?’ ‘What do I know about being marginalized or being a member of this group?’ If I was a young student who recently came out and was being bullied, would I want to be in an inclusive group because others who weren’t gay wanted to help, or would I first want to spend some time with those who knew firsthand what it was like to be gay or Indigenous or black, Jewish or once upon a time of Chinese or Japanese decent?

For me as a single dad 4 years ago, I felt most secure when I was with others who had been through what I had. Male, female, straight or gay. Anyone who had experienced that kind of pain of separation – most importantly where children were involved, were my biggest comfort. Whether they were also still living with it, or they had found their way through it, being around those with shared experiences was the space I felt safest and most understood, and it is those relationships and conversations that helped me come through the other side strong and confident. Not feeling like I had failed and that I would find happiness again.

Family and friends are great, but those who understand our struggles first hand, are the ones with the greatest power to heal us.

Now I’ve seen the light and I am among the broader public living life one day at a time, but I now look at myself as someone others can go to when they need to share their own experiencesin a group just for ‘us’. Thinking back to this experience, I see this BIPOC group that this community members has created now not as segregation, but as that place to start to heal.

So although in 2016 we wish groups like this didn’t have to exist, videos like the one above, the news, and even horrific incidences I have witnessed in local parks, show us that there is a need for those who have been marginalized to have safe spaces and activities like this. What I do want those who have been marginalized to know is, that hopefully one day you can start to expand these groups into a ‘next phase’. A group still for the marginalized, but that includes those with the compassion, understanding, and desire to be a part of the solution because when we are all seen walking side by side, heads are turned, people are inspired and taught that we are all one.

That’s just my wish, but ‘you’ need to do whatever is right for you and I have no say in that matter other than to ensure you know that I am a safe person. I hope anyway.

Rather than get angry that such an event leaves us out, let’s realize that we all have to work harder to show the true love that exists in our communities. Let’s do something about it ourselves rather than condemn the efforts others are making helping to ensure everyone has a place they know is free from the hate that is alive and well. Much of which is truly only seen in its darkest of forms from those that have faced this discrimination day in and day out for far too many generations.

It’s 2016??? Let’s do a better job standing up and speaking out when we hear or witness marginalization of any kind. It starts in education, and news of our students learning topics like the true history of our Indigenous people as one example, gives me hope that our children will grow up with better knowledge and tools for a more inclusive and understanding society. Let’s not count on education alone though. We must teach our youth together as a broader community.

Let’s use mention of groups for those who have been marginalized as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done. Without their existence we are left to assume the world is one big happy place and that with what we read or watch in our world news headlines, is otherwise so far away and not present in our own backyards.

I don’t care if being gay isn’t for you. I don’t care if you don’t like someone asking to be called non-binary. I don’t care if you don’t agree with the Quran or the Bible or evolution or a single creator. I don’t care what you don’t believe in ‘for you’. Let’s all stand up to the freedom for others to feel what’s right for them and leave it at that.

Let’s mind our own business unless someone’s right to be who they are and proud of it is at threat. Let others know how something makes you feel so they can see their thoughts from all angles, but leave right and wrong in the end to the individual unless of course their intention is to purposely physically or mentally hurt another.

Forget inclusion based on other’s definition. If right now what’s best for you is to be around those that have suffered the same pains, then you know what is right for you. When the time comes, just know there are more people who would not for one second treat you the way you have been treated, and that we are there to support you.

There is a hell of a lot of love and compassion in our community. Let’s all play a part in helping that message shine the brightest and not make those trying to offer safe places for people, afraid to even let the community know that they exist.

I am sorry this type of group or class is needed, but glad there are many in the community working tirelessly to provide such experiences.

Perhaps we need events where we walk a mile in many different shoes.

I want to thank this person, for the work they do in our community because her past efforts are proof that the creation of such a class comes from a very good place.

Megwiich.

Categories: Human Interest, Miscelaneous | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From One Jr. To Another – A Message to Donald Trump Jr.

The following is a letter in response to a post on Donald Trump’s Instagram account where he shared a letter a little girl sent to her father.


Snapshot from Donald Trump Jr.'s Instagram account.

Snapshot from Donald Trump Jr.’s Instagram account.

Subject: From one Jr. to Another

 

Dear Dr. Donald Trump Jr.,

This letter from an otherwise bright young woman, shows the weaknesses of our public educational systems in teaching our children what is right and wrong on a much more broader scope. Not that we don’t to some degree, but the focus is not strong enough to have these lessons carried the strongest beyond their secondary school years; above academics because without good basic morals, academia means nothing.

The way your father talks about woman, generalizes Muslims like we once did our Indigenous, African-American’s, Japanese or our LGBTQ community. The way he boasts about America building walls between great nations instead of relationships, and even simple things like blurting out ‘crooked Hillary’ all the time. This is not good leadership especially where setting a good example for our children is concerned. No child who has been taught what’s right and wrong before even learning arithmetic and literacy would ever write such a letter to any potential leader of what on the surface is a beautiful country.

You’re a father yourself. You even have a little girl.  The next time your father speaks, take your son glasses off and put on your dad shades. Would that be the voice you would want your own children to model after? Would you be proud to hear your boy or girl running off at the mouth calling people names, making poor excuses for the way they treated the opposite (or same) sex? Would you be a proud dad who felt he did well by how you have raised your son or daughter as he or she shouts out ‘I’ll bomb the shit out of them?’ Will you allow your sons to talk about woman the way your dad does? What about your daughter? Do you think she deserves this kind of treatment?

Maybe we are getting a lot of lies thrown our way but real words past and present on live television, tell their own stories.

I know he is your dad. We inherently love and protect and stand behind our parents through their strengths, weaknesses, and faults. We are all human after all but we are talking about a voice to lead a nation to peace, good health, and sustainability for 100’s of years to come hopefully.

No leader is perfect. There are bad leaders in every walk of life now, in our past and surely into our future. There can be no good in what your father represents however, if he cannot learn to wholeheartedly apologize for past mistakes without making excuses, and move forward with words that a child as sweet as this will look back on and feel they were right then, because she is wrong now.

Maybe Mrs. Clinton is crooked or an awful choice as President? There is nothing wrong with people not feeling like a certain candidate wouldn’t serve them well, but stop with the disgusting rhetoric. I don’t care what the other person did. Just focus on what ‘you’ (your dad) will do.

One day your children will look back on YouTube or Way Back Machine footage of the past couple of years and wouldn’t it be nice if at some point, tapes from today on, they could look back knowing that he righted his wrongs and chose peace and leadership fit for a child over the hate and disgust he spews each and every day?

I know you have to have thick skin to lead a nation and it’s not all raindrops and lollipops, but he still has to chose love at the end of the day before he can truly and honestly call himself the People’s leader. The most important people we must lead, are the children. They are our future and only when we can teach them what’s right and wrong at a very young age, will our nations have any hope in becoming truly ‘great again’. Every time your father is on television, he is teaching our children. He needs to remember that with every word.

We’ve seen through President Obama and now Justin Trudeau, what leaders look like who build strong relationships with people. You may not believe in what they have done otherwise, but for 8 years you have had someone (and his beautiful wife), who have been an inspiration to so many including the children. His children. Maybe soon, your father’s children. (shivering)

Hate is why we all dislike politics. Obama has returned faith in leadership. Stop bashing that and tell people how you will build off of that and change what you feel is lacking in your country’s leadership.

Take down this letter. Pass this onto your dad, and I’ll remove this story. Otherwise, this poor child is going to be horrified one day when she catches old video clips of the hate she heralded.

This is from someone with family and friends in your beautiful country. I have seen more of the US through these relationships than Canada so I have had the chance on a small scale to get to know the breathtaking land and the wonderful people from coast to coast to coast. They deserve better than what this election has stood for thus far.

I’m sure you’ll hate me for these words as I know I would get my back up if someone bad-mouthed my own father, but there is nobody with the power to make us better people than our own children. We have an inherent desire to make them proud and lead by example. We make mistakes and many of them but it’s how we say I am sorry, point out the err in our ways, that show our true mentor-ship.

You and your siblings and your beautiful children see the good in your father as perhaps few may have had the opportunity to see, but please step back and understand the father the media has portrayed for us on one hand and on the other, your father’s own portrayal through his words and actions, of himself. If he is the great man you believe he is, let’s see love. The love you see because I can’t say that I have seen any of that and there is nobody who can show us the father you see behind closed doors, other than Mr. Trump Sr himself. How he presents himself in public going forward perhaps will determine if there is any goodness for the world to see.

I don’t want to see your father win because the whole world loses as it stands now with that choice and that’s in no way an endorsement for the other party. I do feel it’s important (especially for our children), that your father finishes off his campaign with even a glimmer of what it is you and your sisters see in him as a father, mentor, and founder of the businesses you yourselves now help lead.

I don’t like putting down anyone never mind someone else’s dad because I know my own fault’s all too well. The problem is this affects us all when our children up here are talking about Trump on our own playgrounds.

I believe it’s important that your father spend a few days in some of American’s most diverse schools. Without speaking and as much as possible under the radar, watch the children learn and play together. Little kids. Kindergartners. Before they know hate, color, religion, or various other factors that divide us. There is a great deal to be learned in the kindergarten classroom about getting along, playing nice, and living harmoniously as a wonderful mosaic of colors, beliefs and traditions.

Before you yourself respond with hate and judgement, be a dad for a minute. Look at this from the standpoint of parents wanting to leave a better world for their children and their children’s children to quote Michael Jackson. Heal the world. Don’t divide it further apart.

Sincerely,
Larry from the other side of your father’s imaginary northern wall

 

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Fast Forward

facebook-20150618-080716_edit

‘Regrets, I’ve got a few. But then again…’

Fast Forward
by (Little) Larry Pattison

It’s 5:18 and I have been up for a few hours now. We all have our nights of unrest I am sure, not unlike my restlessness tonight, even amidst those early hours when you should be so exhausted that you sleep soundly past the 4th and 5th snooze.

Maybe I’ll check social media.

Phone down.

Still tired.

Give the animals some needed attention. Even they tire and lay down their heads.

Do I turn the television on? Too bright. Too loud. Too much effort.

Why not watch something on one of too many time-sucking devices. Okay. Fuller House. I’ve been enjoying this flashback/forward into the past. Everybody is ‘partnering’ up.

Phone off. Back to sleep?

Nope.

Pick up phone again. How about a movie? The rest of The Terminal that I fell asleep to just a couple of hours ago maybe.

Not available. Smart alec software makes a few recommendations. (The cat steps on my keyboard while editing. Now bumping her head off of keyboard tray. Good thing for undo.)

The Truman Show. Cool. Haven’t seen that in forever. Good lessons in it related to having your life on display. Click on it. It makes more recommendations still.

Okay. Click. Cool! Haven’t seen that in a long time and remember it ‘waking me up’.

Thought I’d fall asleep to it. Screen time. Dogs humping stuffies. The tainted memories.

‘Time is flying by middled-aged girls.’ The snow in her snout. The slight swaying tummy of a once scrawny, crazed cat. Two hampsters. Fish. Now a Gecko.

The magical parent’s life.

The girls? Insert sad emoticon.

Guess the lesson is working the second time around. I’m sure I thought that the first time.

Here I am. After a snack, starting the dishwasher that I never use, sweeping, picking up park stick remnants, giving the cat some long, long anticipated wet food, contemplating picking up where I left off with the endless sock sorting game I can’t convince the kids is fun, to finally finding myself sitting at my computer writing about doing too many things without some sort of at least rough draft of a plan.

Phew.

Staring at screen. What’s this little gadget on my desk that can distract me from writing.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Cat jumps on my desk in front of the screen I am peering around. Jumps down. I’m sure the dog will be over soon to bump my arm with her wet nose. I’ll reach down for a kiss. A pat. ‘Soon.’

Tap. Tap. Tap..

Staring at screen.

Weird little gadget again.

So Click.

Now the cat’s (Sand is her name) is on my lap purring like a happy girl who had soft food for the first time in awhile without pretending she is being sneaky stealing a fry from my lunch.

Pats. Kisses and resting my head on hers. “I love you.”

Purr.

Sometimes a story has it’s own journey. I think the biggest change I need to make is seeing more clearly, what I need for me to be my best self.

Wish I’d learned more the first time around because the second time around just exemplifies the sadness the original message wisened me up to.

Why didn’t it? Why doesn’t it? Why always the hard way?

My life is rushing past me like the train that will be quietly whizzing through my neighborhood what will soon be tomorrow.

Are we all afraid of what lies ahead however far or near? I keep saying what I am scared about most is looking back without recollection of the stories behind the million pictures I’ve taken.

I recently put a photo album together for my parents comprised of pictures of the first years of their granddaughter’s lives. Well I printed the pictures at least. That was a start for me. Then there are hundred’s of more pictures I’d like to find/sort through.

Phew.

Maybe if I’d take a few moments from time to time to look back at where I’ve been, looking back wouldn’t seem such a space void of what I have really accomplished.

If you haven’t seen Click with Kate and Adam, do. Like many of his gooffy films, the basis is solid and something I have a great deal of respect for him over.

I usually get too technical and start creating all sorts of hyperlinks that lead to way too much time learning about what I don’t need to know about, and less doing what’s needed or in the best interest of a project or sanity.

So go learn about the movie for yourself. Is ‘lol’ appropriate for blogs? I hope not. ‘Chuckling out loud in my head.’

I’ll leave the meaning for you to interpret but my wake up call has me wanting to stay up all night writing about it.

Time to just do it.

Be brave icehopper.

Wait. It’s 6:13 am (now 7:03). I guess it was all night after all. I actually like these nights. The ones where inspiration replaces the need for workplace coffee.

“Okay, Pretty Girl. Let’s go for a walk.”

Gracie is her name.

Okay. Now strong coffee though and maybe some song recommendations to keep me awake until midnight.

Categories: Education, Family & Friends, Featured, Love, parenting, Self-Discovery, Seperation | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

So Long For Now

It’s been awhile since I have written in this space. Another adventure has captured every ‘spare’ moment of my time.

I have had a difficult couple of days. Today I found myself needing to think about a mentor to help guide me through what I am struggling with.

I wrote this story and submitted it for publication upon my grandfather’s death last May, but it wasn’t until after the 2014 Municipal Election that I remembered that I had not at least posted the story on my blog. Today I once again remembered that this tale had still yet to be shared.

I thought that sharing a brief account of my late grandfather’s influence on all of our lives was very appropriate under the circumstances. Seeing this image of love in itself, was therapy enough.


Gran_Gramp_Hansen


“Did you know that I was born in the same town as Hans Cristian Anderson,” my grandfather would often query.

That town was Odense, Denmark.

His birth place and the legends that sparked from it through the pen of HC Anderson seem to have influenced even late into life, my grandfather’s inner child and his ability to tell a story.

It was that child inside that kept him young and loving life even through everything 99 years threw in his path.

I spent a lot of time listening to my grandfather share his life’s stories so I thought I had heard almost every tale. During my grandfather’s viewings in May, I realized there was still a big part of who he was missing from what I knew about him from his full real name, to the touching stories that everyone carries about how my grandfather influenced them.

I’ve heard recollections of how people past and present touched him, but to hear the stories from another vantage point leaves our family with such comfort in knowing that the adoration that he carried for so many, was returned with every hand he shook.

My grandfather jet set across countries and space time continuum during our visits as he shared his life’s travels from an old, ratty rocking chair. He seemed to know then that his world adventures were behind him although I know he would have loved to cross oceans if for one more time.

My grandfather was always giving but he held a special place in his heart for helping children in need. He had this life-long desire to bestow both time and gift.

I often walked away from our visits with a little something from a book, to a memento from one of his many adventures. He’d disappear for a short while. You could hear the hallway cupboards sliding open and thudding shut. Some fiddling around. The sounds of searching.  Then you would hear him marching back down the hall and upon entering the room, he would ask you to reach out your hand. He’d meaningfully place the item in your palm and begin to tell the story of how he had come into possession of your new keepsake.

His offerings weren’t always tangible. Sometimes they came in the form of a story but ask anyone who met my grandfather and his gift for re-telling his life’s adventures was something we all remember him by the most.

My grandfather loved to bake from homemade bread to his infamous butter tarts.  He carried those tarts around with him like business cards.

Harvey Hansen had a gift for conversation. He often talked about the importance of recognizing someone being new to a situation and how all you had to do was reach out your hand to break the ice and settle someone’s unease.

“See. It wasn’t so hard.”

The rural roads we travelled had many stories to tell of how our city and countryside had changed over an 80+ year span. I am not sure many of us can even fathom what it’s like to see a city – a world, change so drastically in one lifetime.

He fought in a great war and lived through the depression. He quit school in grade 8 to take care of his family and travelled the countryside via train selling flowers his sisters arranged to make ends meet.

For a man whose education was so short lived, a love for adventure, books, and people made him one of the wisest people I have ever known.

My grandfather travelled a great deal but what made his stories fascinating was that there were real people attached to them. Even on vacation, he had this need to make human connections. To him travel wasn’t about full service and beaches. It was about the people.

My grandfather’s greatest gifts were the connections he created for us. He even left us with new friendships in his final days that I am sure will last many more years for we have shared something very powerful together. The hard work, dedication, and unconditional love of the closing years of our loved ones lives. It is during these difficult struggles that we truly see what our families are made of. It is through these experiences that my family pride was further reinforced.

I am touched by the lengths my parents and other loved ones around the nursing home went to, to ensure their patients had everything they needed from love to care and not just for their own relatives, but the extended families these experiences forge. They were always looking out for one another, including my grandfather’s newest friend Bob Bishop; a war vet himself, who watched over my grandfather until his final moments.

Harvey Hansen was an amazing father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and a mentor. He will forever be missed, admired, and loved.

So as he has asked us all to do over the years we will not say goodbye. We will say so long for now.

“But shouldn’t all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?” ― Hans Christian Andersen

Categories: Family & Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defining Hamilton’s Schools as Community Hubs Model

The Parkview Institute

 Excerpt from the original article published on Raise the Hammer.


  

We should reach out to every school community in Hamilton. We should ask them to engage the broader neighbourhoods – from those without children to seniors – asking them what their needs are with regards to their immediate surroundings. Is it a pool, a room to play cards with other neighbors, a kitchen to learn how to cook or access to sewing machines or woodworking tools? How about Yoga classes or a weekly friendly pickup basketball game in a nearby gym?

How about social services or shopping needs? What if there were family services located in our schools or a post office even? What could your neighbourhoods use? In the case of Milgrove, how about the loss of a public library. Could one in the school become accessible to the entire community?

We should enter this process with the current guidelines for community partnerships set out by the Province out of sight and out of mind. It’s important for us to allow creativity to shine through and if we go in with a stringent set of rules, we will miss out on truly developing a plan in line with the community’s needs and desires.

It’s important for the Province to see without prejudice, how local municipalities see the model for their neighbourhood schools supporting our changing needs.

There are many documents on the Schools as Community Hubs concept including a definition of a true Community Hub. Take these documents, study them, and look at the individual needs of each school community.

 


See this link for the full article.

 

 

#YHM14

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Green campaigns connected to communities

My Letter to the Editor from Thursday June 12th 2014 with links to external content


As someone whose top concerns this provincial election are education and poverty, I am infuriated that the only party truly addressing these important issues has been left out of our local media coverage.

The most inspiring of all campaigns in any Hamilton riding has been Peter Ormond’s “uncampaign” yet we have read nothing of how it has resonated with citizens in Hamilton-Centre.

This wasn’t about votes for Peter. This was about making our communities better. That’s what I want from a leader.

Locally, the task to take down the leader of the New Democrats in a long-standing orange city is tall, but Peter Ormond and the Green’s in general prove more and more each day, how well connected they are to their communities.

As someone who has generally despised politics, it’s refreshing when faith is restored through leadership grounded in creating grass-roots change. Not slander and broken promises.

If you haven’t read the Ontario Green’s platform yet or listened to Mike Schreiner on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, than I encourage you before voting tomorrow to at least give Mr. Schreiner the benefit of the doubt. By taking a few moments to learn about what the Green’s stand for, you are sending a statement to the other parties that you are tired of the status quo. Of broken promises and your hard earned money squandered.

This Province can no longer move forward in this manner and the ‘big three’ have had their opportunity to show us how they could create a more prosperous, healthier, happier place to live. Did you know Hamilton-Mountain candidate Greg Lenko started the Escarpment Project? I thoroughly enjoyed watching my young girls excited to help out in their community this past April. Just another in the inspiring acts of community the Green’s are bringing to our neighborhoods. These are the types of leaders that will be on your ballots.

Hamilton in general has great candidates in every riding including Niagara West-Glanbrook where Basia Krzyzanowski would be a welcome change to politics. The Green Party of Ontario has candidates in all 107 ridings.

Vote for the future you want to see. Not the one you fear.

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50 things that matter – Seashells, Candlelight & Saying “I love you.”

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Seashells

 

Candlelight

 

Saying “I love you.”

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50 things that really matter – Puppies & The Sound of Music

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Puppies

 

The Sounds of Music

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50 things that really matter – Bubble Baths & Passion

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Bubble Baths

 

Passion

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50 things that really matter – Honest Work and Faith

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Honest Work

 

Faith

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