Friday, March 19, 2004

London's glorious heritage

911 Richmond Street: A case study in political obstruction May 9.2006:
Not content with losing every court challenge over the development and forfeiting over $220,000 of taxpayer money for legal bills along the way, London city council is still unable to let go the apparent political benefits of invoking collective authority over private property to assuage the proprietary grunts of NIMBY-style activists — it's not their money or property at stake.
Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's … April 16, 2006:
… and demand handouts!
Heritage tyranny February 26, 2006:
Heritage bylaws are simply nothing other than the appropriation by the municipal government of others' property rights without having to go to the trouble of actually acquiring the property. They are poorly rationalized by an apparent heritage "value" that can neither be measured nor well described, but that is certainly not an attribute that is held in common.
Heritage 2
London 0
February 20, 2006:
Asserting a vicarious identity or ownership with collective pronouns such as "we" or "our" is harmless enough when it comes to sports teams. It's such a common fallacy that the assertion often goes uncontested and a democratic interest is easily appropriated. But when local activists and politicians arrogate that idle sense of possession for the purpose of making policy, it exacts a great cost both to taxpayers and to individual property rights.
Save London roads! Close Fanshawe Pioneer Village December 11, 2005:
Overtaxed Londoners may recall that Fanshawe Pioneer Village is part of the list of organizations receiving free handouts from council. Last year the virtually unattended and crumbling heritage zone was nearly forced to close as council wisely considered cutting the lifeline. However, council acted as we have come to expect, which is to say irresponsibly, and dished out an additional $300,000 last year, promising $350,000 this year. The unpopular village will also receive an unexpected $50, 000, funded by assessment growth.
The community gathered in the public square November 14, 2005:
Although Londoners are threatened with yet another tax increase this year by the city, currently reporting a surplus, worthless relics and state amusement zones continue to receive millions of taxpayer dollars. The startling fact that most people are not interested in going to Fanshawe Pioneer Village nor Storybook Gardens matters not at all to council. The collective roar of The People is the determining factor. The other members of the consortium will just have to wait until next year.
So long abandoned gardens August 30, 2005:
Fire, the element associated with Hades, becomes impatient with heritage activists and city council here in London Ontario. Wonderland Gardens burns to the ground.
Lazy heritage thinking and reporting July 28, 2005:
According to the London Free Press, the reconstruction of the St. Peter's Cathedral rectory building, whose demolition in December caused so much wailing and gnashing of the teeth by the heritage lobby, will be put on hold by the Catholic Diocese of London for at least three years but instead the grounds will be put to functional use as a parking lot in the meantime.
Selective heritage in a crumbling culture July 23, 2005:
Loyal readers of the London Fog will likely remember my outraged posts concerning Fanshawe Pioneer Village and the free handouts they eventually received due to council's continual generosity with other people's money. Although the crumbling relic, as I so fondly refer to the nearly abandoned structure, sees only 28,000 visitors annually, including 10,000 students, the city recently dished out an extra $300,000, with the verbal promise of additional increased funding for the next five years, so long as the village embarks on a successful fundraising campaign and doubles their attendance over the next ten years.
Images of London June 1, 2005:

Taking "pink" back from the pinkos May 28, 2005:
Burlington residents are fighting back against the unrecompensed yet "legal" appropriation of private interests in property and substituting vague and arbitrary political heritage interests.
Heritage versus common sense March 5, 2005:
Funny, the London Free Press never wastes any newsprint indulging in my fantasies, like being left alone and maybe being able to keep a bit of my earned money. But I'm not an adherent of the heritage industry.
Urban decay — the collectivist way March 1, 2005:
The Ontario government is rapidly weakening the legal implementation, and correspondingly the very concept, of property rights in this province — banning development of the Oak Ridges moraine, the development restrictions of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Greenbelt land-protection legislation, banning smoking in private establishments, etc. These incremental steps go largely unnoticed by the media except to congratulate the Liberals for capitulating to special interest groups for political gain.
"Piles of rubble, empty lots, blocks of concrete, steel and glass" February 26, 2005:
Oh boy! It's Ontario Heritage Week.
I am tired of these people February 22, 2005:
The Heritage activists are at it AGAIN and as usual, they are receiving a disproportionate amount of press.
Figures — no one but the media cares February 21, 2005:
Of particular note in regards to the presentation of the Free Press story, of the mere 30 Londoners who bothered to write or email about the village, only about half of them were in support of coughing up more funds, although these letters were given disproportionate weight in that they were printed above the dissenters. In other words, the Free Press strongly suggests the desires of fifteen or so writers justify stealing $75,000 from already overtaxed Londoners. But I forget myself - did people really think such 'assets' come for free?
A broken record February 12, 2005:
The heritage lobbyists are still petitioning the city for funds for Fanshawe Pioneer Village. The most absurd and pathetic aspect of this whole affair is that the time these people spend collecting signatures and lobbying for free money could be used for fund raising. 'Course, noone really cares.
Unpopular heritage destination threatens closure February 1, 2005:
Good riddance - noone cares to go to your smelly site anyway.
How much is your property worth to us? January 22, 2005:
There's nothing like budget time to bring out the wailing and gnashing of teeth by people you've never heard of before but seem to have a pretty clear idea of how to dispose of your property! In the case of the heritage industry, the histrionics get plenty of coverage in the local media. The heritage advocates are so badly underfunded they can barely afford any real accomplishments to justify their non-productive salaries, after these salaries are paid of course. And with a 150th anniversary too! These people must be the resurrected ghosts of the derelict past, as shabby as their little protectorate.
Pay for it yourself! January 9, 2005:
I cannot believe the audacity of some people! Take! Take! Take!
The Urban League of London October 31, 2004:
I am so goddamned tired of hearing about the Urban League Of London as constantly reported on by the London Free Press. Why does the Free Press cite these people so often?
Why not turn London into one great big Heritage Park? September 14, 2004:
City hall staff and key politicians yesterday endorsed the efforts of a community group to preserve the village green in Wortley Village.
Demolition Control - Heritage is our justification for controlling property rights in London Ontario September 11, 2004:
Planning committee has deferred its decision regarding an application to demolish a one-storey, two-unit, Priority 2 heritage row house at 467-469 Dufferin Ave. in the East Woodfield Heritage Conservation District.
The heritage tyrants once again try to oppose development in London September 10, 2004:
A London architectural protection group is fighting a proposed downtown apartment project. The London Advisory Committee on Heritage is looking to designate as historically significant three buildings on Ridout Street slated to be demolished to make way for a 150-unit apartment building.
Hail to Heritage Designations! Just when you thought Council was running out of things to waste our money on August 31, 2004:
Dear Neighbour
The heritage controversy continues August 3, 2004:
One of London's oldest watering holes has bitten the dust, demolished in a move that's renewed calls for a tougher heritage preservation policy.
Bureaucratic interference into property exchange July 19, 2004:
New heritage preservation tools being sharpened by the province may help save an Old South landmark, says a community activist.
It's something to see when the state actually lets go of something May 18, 2004:
What's not clear is if a buyer could eventually demolish the former library, which has a heritage designation, or would have to incorporate the structure in any redevelopment of the Queens Avenue site.