By Michael Comstock –
You always expect daylight will fade in the winter months, but it comes as a shock each year that it is dark at 5 p.m.
In Old Town there are over 100 home décor stores; many tell me this is a great time to be selling lamps.
The brain trips a switch with the loss of daylight and we need lamps. To every season there is a turn. We need to enjoy a new light during this period of darkness, something to intrigue us until spring.
Most everyone is looking at the election of U.S. President Barrack Obama as such a light. He is a focal point, a new leader.
Half of the duty of a leader is to bring new light, to articulate that things are basically okay, that they have a plan and things are going to get better.
Obama, a young family man who is eloquent and positive, is quite a change from Bush. A recent U.S. polling showed that 78% felt Obama would fix the economy, now that is hope.
He has already given the western world the first half of good leadership, respect and hope for a better tomorrow. The other half of what we need in a leader is to create an environment in which needed changes can happen. The banking crash has people scared that their savings and their jobs maybe disappearing.
The $700 billion banking bailout looks like a good plan at first, then like an insider handout and now like they aren’t really sure what is needed. U.S. and Canadian governments are discussing whether the Big 3 automakers should go bankrupt and start over, or be propped up, hoping they will change. We all wonder what is best to do about Iraq and Afghanistan. Like hoping for spring, we hope Obama can make these big decisions and moving forward create a positive social and economic framework.
Right here Downtown we could use a new winter light as well. I wish someone would articulate the recycling policy. Many small residential buildings are now paying for each garbage bag picked up, but are not allowed any green bins for organics.
Those dedicated environmentalists and some trying to save $3 per bag, sneak out at night to deposit their organics into a local restaurant’s nightly green bin pickup. The chart on what is recycled and what is trash is approaching novel length.
I have solved the coffee cup with plastic lid recycling problem that has caused hours of concern by city staff. I saw such a cup on the sidewalk (probably because the street furniture deal hasn’t given anyone new sidewalk trash cans) and stepped on it. Presto, the lid popped right off and the cup was compacted, in one motion. I tried to phone a report of this discovery to the city, but couldn’t get through.
I hope the city can shine some light on how we will solve the recycling problems and the homeless problem and make the TTC better. Excuses and complaining about past governments and poor funding are not a recipe for success tomorrow. Presently we re-elect over 90% of our politicians. Name recognition and party affiliation create professional lifetime politicians.
To that end it would probably be nice to have term limits on city politicians, like the U.S. presidents. We would find a better chance of new approaches and new ideas with more changes in city council.