Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:43 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Egbert Gaye, the founder and director of Montreal Community Contact, the city’s only paper for the Black anglo community, has died. CTV has a link to Gaye’s last appearance on CJAD radio, only last week.

    • Kate 15:03 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Noted mob figure Francesco Del Balso was shot and killed on Monday afternoon. The hit happened at the Monster Gym on the 40, somewhere between DDO and Dorval.

      Del Balso was also shot at in November but was unhurt. CTV also reminds us of the time he tried to extort money from a church.

      No arrests have been made yet. Del Balso was 53.

      Minor update: On Monday the anglo media said it happened in Dorval whereas franco media said DDO. On the map it looked like Dorval, and Tuesday, everyone says Dorval.

      • Blork 18:28 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

        Wasn’t he busted at the airport just a few months ago, trying to leave the country right after another hit on someone? (I think he was detained as a suspect, or something like that…)

      • Kate 18:34 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

        Yes, he was stopped at the airport at the end of March. This item mentions both a drug raid and that he was under suspicion of involvement in the shots taken at Leonardo Rizzuto a couple of weeks earlier. When stopped, he was holding a one‑way ticket to Italy and it’s a fair guess he knew he’d made the city too hot to hold him.

      • shawn 08:25 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        Wow, that’s right behind the Galerie des Sources (old West Island Mall). Close to Sunnybrooke which has seen too much violence of its own.

    • Kate 13:17 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      A record 53,000 trees were planted last year in town, both on public and private lands. At the same time, we continue to lose ash trees to the emerald ash borer. As mentioned in the following item, despite the record planting, ultimately the city gained a net 25,000 trees last year, taking into account the ongoing removal of afflicted ash trees.

      An account of the damage to trees in the April 5 ice storm was also given. Nine hundred trees were lost to the storm – the damage not being, as pointed out, anything close to the losses from the ash borer.

      • Chris 19:30 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

        Not all trees are equal. Comparing only net count is deceiving. The trees we’ve lost are (presumably, mostly) large and old. The trees we’re planting are (definitely) small. Shame the article does not address this.

      • Kate 19:43 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

        Chris, I think that’s generally understood.

      • Chris 20:49 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

        By smart folk like you and your eminent readers, sure; but by Joe Average newspaper reader? Not so sure. I suspect they see “net increase in trees; yay, we’re advancing”.

        Also, I note they chose a headline like “Record de plantation d’arbres à Montréal” instead of something like “Tree CO₂ absorption in Montreal decreasing/stagnant” (assuming it’s the case, someone would need to calculate the different tree sizes, etc. We used to have journalists for that, but…).

      • Kate 09:31 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        Chris, nobody was making claims about square footage of leaves or projected CO2 throughput. They just mentioned numbers of trees.

      • Chris 10:29 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        >Chris, nobody was making claims about square footage of leaves or projected CO2 throughput

        Yes, I know. That’s clear. Like I said already: Shame the article does not address this.

      • Joey 11:12 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        Chris, it’s not like the City cut down 30K trees out of spite or something…

      • DeWolf 15:26 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        Exactly. The trees chopped down are trees that would have died soon anyway.

        Another aspect of the story that isn’t being told is that the city is planting a much more diverse array of trees than in the past. It’s a break from the old tradition of planting monocultures, which is one of the reasons Dutch elm disease and now the ash borer have had such a big impact. When you look at the most recent plantings, like on St-Hubert and Pine Avenue, there’s a variety of several different trees.

      • Kate 15:45 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        The ash that was taken down outside my place was replaced a couple of summers ago by a silver maple that’s doing quite well. Then last year, city workers punched a new hole in the sidewalk only a short distance away and planted a new elm. I was surprised, but one of the workers told me that it’s a variety that’s resistant to Dutch elm disease.

        We’ll have to stay ahead of new pests and diseases, especially as climate change moves faster.

      • DeWolf 16:16 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        I did a story for the Gazette last summer about how elms are making a comeback:


        Unfortunately the Gazette’s website is so terrible, I’m not sure if anyone actually read it.

      • Kate 21:54 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

        Nice piece, DeWolf. Thank you.

      • DeWolf 17:05 on 2023-06-07 Permalink

        I also came across this follow-up article in Metro today that alludes to what Chris is talking about. The city is planting more and more trees, but the tree canopy has actually shrunk since 2017, because so many mature ash trees are being felled.


        Of course it’s a temporary situation and in a decade or so, the canopy should be even more robust than before. Unless something catastrophic happens…

    • Kate 13:07 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse’s Samuel Perron recounts this brief piece without comment: in March 2010, a pair of cops dropped a homeless man from downtown out on a service road in Kirkland. They claimed to the judge that the man had given his consent for the trip, and the judge bought it. Everyone enjoys a starlight tour, don’t they?

      Speaking of cops, a document reveals that the city has been extremely generous in the recent deal offered to the police.

      • Kate 12:33 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

        The fire department’s smoke detector brigade, a summer student job that has existed since 2010, has been abolished. Item says Ensemble doesn’t like it, but surely the city got by without them before 2010?

        • Ephraim 17:38 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          The city should simply hand out 10 year lithium battery smoke detectors door to door… every 10 years. They save lives and they are cheap if bought in quantity.

        • dhomas 21:00 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          I bought one such model for my tenant. Yet every time I visit the apartment, it’s off the wall. Because he doesn’t turn on the hood and his cooking produces a lot of smoke, he finds it “annoying”…

        • steph 03:20 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

          I let the brigade kids in just once. They stomped right in with their dirty boots. The two kids looked at me dumbfounded as we stood below the detector, the button out of reach. After a long half minute of awkward silence he pointed at my dining room chair, expecting met to bring it for him to stand on. I brought him a broom stick to reach the button instead.
          I never let them in after that. I hope they smartened up and now carry around a small stick with them.

        • Kate 09:32 on 2023-06-06 Permalink

          I had a visit in 2020, which I mentioned on the blog, and the guys were almost startlingly well turned out, like a small Boy Scout detachment made up of super keeners.

      • Kate 09:20 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

        We’re under a smog warning Monday morning from the wildfires burning outside town, air quality expected to degrade in the afternoon.

        • Blork 10:50 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          The sky is really orange, and as a result, the light everywhere is orange. I feel like I’m on Mars.

        • MarcG 11:19 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          It’s a good thing that because of Covid we all adopted the habit of wearing high-quality respirator masks.

        • Kate 11:26 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          Sky’s kind of yellowy-gray in town. I don’t smell burning, as has happened before with forest fires – everyone calling 911 because they thought there was a fire nearby.

        • Joey 11:33 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          Makes you wonder how many more years until the birth of the last human who will ever see a blue sky…

        • Joey 11:39 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          @MarcG interestingly, the air quality index is currently 47, which is “good” (though close to 50, which is “moderate”; above 100 is “unhealthy for sensitive groups”; above 150 is “unhealthy”). For comparison’s sake, Quebec City is currently at 85, Peterborough is 172 and Sept-Iles is 68.

        • shawn 12:27 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          Right, per Kate et al, no smoky smell yet, as reflected in those air quality index readings. So I guess it just hasn’t dropped down low enough yet, but surely it’s only a matter of time?

        • MarcG 12:36 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          I’m looking at this site and the numbers haven’t been updated in 2-3 hours. Ottawa numbers are more current and are 100+. https://aqicn.org/map/montreal/

        • Alex 14:01 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

        • EmilyG 15:53 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          Gray sky and orange sunlight. I was wearing my mask outside today. I think I might’ve tried to do without it, but I have asthma and I thought I’d be extra careful.

        • walkerp 15:55 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          Definitely smelled it going out of the house today. Very scary. I’ve experienced this in the interior of B.C. but it seems foreboding that it’s happening here.

        • JaneyB 16:13 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          The light is ominous and the message of forest fires feels more worrisome every year. Today, I was reminded of one of Lars von Trier’s movies and also the (Canadian Don McKellar’s) movie ‘The Last Night.’ It’s late aft and I still smell smoke. Forecast is optimistic though so that’s a good sign.

        • Kate 17:44 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          Oh JaneyB, please let’s not live through a Lars von Trier movie!

          I was just outside for a bit and although the woodsmoke smell isn’t overpowering, it’s definitely there.

        • CE 17:52 on 2023-06-05 Permalink

          I was outside all day today, my eyes are a bit itchy but it didn’t seem as bad as I thought.

          These are good days to get a sunburn. The UV rays are still there even if the sun isn’t!

      • Kate 09:18 on 2023-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

        This CBC piece is somewhat incoherent, blurring together the story of a retired engineer annoyed about broken metro escalators with the wider issue of universal accessibility.

        The key information – that a lot of the installed equipment is old, so getting parts is a problem – is in there, but the issue of putting elevators in all the stations is something that’s been discussed a lot. Everyone knows the STM cannot upgrade all the remaining stations at the same time. It isn’t even a story.

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