Okay, so. Top bureaucrats who have stepped down this term:
A number of city councillors have also announced they’re not running for re-election:
I mean, like…does anyone get the sense they’re not running to something so much as running from something? 🤔🤔🤔
One possibility is that, after years of budget cuts and “kicking the can down the road”, the City has run out of road. And if MLTT revenue flattens or falls, which it’s bound to do eventually, we’d be well and truly fucked. As successive City Managers have said, there is no “gravy” left at City Hall. Serious cuts would have to involve mass layoffs, and the unions representing City staff would fight back. It could get unpleasant.
Or they’ve all realized that, deep down, Toronto is a potential NYC with ambitions of becoming, like…Akron, Ohio, and any forward-thinking bureaucrat or politician can make a bigger impact elsewhere.
Or some oracle has revealed to the elect that a
massive sinkhole is going to swallow up Hellmouth is going to open up under City Hall some time in the next four years, but she’s not quite sure when, and everyone’s just decided to play it safe.
Or it could just be coincidence.
I’m just being a bit paranoid, right?
So, some of the people who give me money are running for City Council in the upcoming election. Someone asked me about this yesterday and I’ve thought about it a bit, and I think it would be inappropriate for candidates to keep donating to me during the election period. (And obviously afterwards as well, if they win.)
I’ll be going through Patreon and Paypal to check who is running and message them individually, but this is just a heads up.
I’m grateful for everyone’s support, and wish candidates luck in the campaign ahead!
Livestream · Meeting Monitor
It’s the last Council meeting of the 2014-2018 term. Whew. Here’s a rundown of the sizeable agenda, including addressing recent gun violence, end-of-term concerns, plastic straws, affordable housing of all kinds, planning studies, and the newest addition to the PATH.
Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: July 2018 City Council
If you’re lucky and you know what to look for, you can watch mini wildlife documentaries unfolding in front of you. Back in late May I was lucky to witness mesh-web weavers courting and mating; I’m writing it up (including photos and video) because I couldn’t easily find anything else online about this intriguing behaviour.
Continue reading Dictynidae Drama
So last November, I found dozens of tiny baby orbweavers in my bathroom. They were probably the offspring of the big grey cross spider who lived just outside the window, feeding on insects attracted to the building lights.
It was bad timing. Grey cross spiders do most of their courting and mating in the fall. The spiders guard their egg sacs into the winter, until they die. In spring, the babies emerge and go their separate ways. Most will die soon after; a lucky few will survive to continue the cycle. I don’t know why this batch hatched.
I painstakingly evicted at least a dozen, but the next day they were back. I decided to let nature take its course. Over the next few weeks, they gradually disappeared, to starvation or cannibalism or other insect predators. Then, one day, I saw one I’d missed. She had woven the tiniest of webs in the basil plant on the kitchen windowsill. All her siblings had died, but somehow she had made her way to this small oasis.
It was one thing to let the spiders starve to death when they were just black specks on the bathroom ceiling, but I felt a vague sense of responsibility to this lone survivor, and decided to keep her alive as long as I could.
Continue reading Winter Spider Diary