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EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Hill Park community should wake up to closure possibility

This corner has said it for a long time: There won’t be a new public high school in Ward 6.
Finally, a board staffer admitted as much at last week’s high school closure public meeting.
It came in answer to a question about whether the board could get through the process of buying land, getting all the approvals and building a new school by 2015.
The answer, ostensibly, was no. Getting land puts a huge kink in any 2015 school plan.
So why was a new school south of the Linc in 2015 part of a staff recommendation a year ago?
Because the plan, no different than it was just five years ago, is obviously to build on land it already owns off Upper Wellington south of the Linc.
Known as the Jerome site, the board has long coveted building a new high school there. At one point, it also desired to build its new headquarters on the site.
It also explains why the staff recommendation didn’t specify Ward 6 when it suggested closing Barton and Sherwood. It only started to talk about Ward 6 after public outcry, but trustees wouldn’t commit to that formally after east Mountain rep Laura Peddle brought the idea forward.
I’ve said from the start it would never be built in Ward 6 because the land isn’t available, unless it wants to squeeze a state-of-the-art facility onto a small parcel it owns on Broughton Avenue.
The Jerome location could be specified in an updated staff recommendation to trustees next month. Or it could be unveiled by trustees in May after all public meetings have wrapped up.
Either way, Hill Park parents had better take note. With a new school a few blocks away, it will be their school destined for closure alongside Sherwood. They might want to make a fuss April 10 while they still have a chance.
Bowes and arrows
Stout Scotty, the timekeeper at the Olympic Park greyhound races, gives this update on the Mountain high school closure odds board: Mountain 1-9; Sherwood 2-1; Hill Park 3-1; MacNab 20-1; Barton 30-1; new school on Jerome site 2-1.
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There’s been a great outcry from the Occupy movement against CEO compensation, but don’t they understand the same Hollywood supporters they adore for supporting their cause operate on the same ratio ($20 million for a star, 200 bucks a day for a key grip)?
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As the high school closure process winds down, we have to ask again: for something called an accommodation review, why were the overstuffed, portable-packed school exempted? Surely those students deserved some help in getting better accommodation.
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Anyone who shoots down talk of true health-care reform in this country is effectively condemning the populace to suffer needlessly for the sake of holding on to a failing ideology. Why should anyone wait a year for hip surgery? It is nice that it is free, but no doubt those people would gladly pay a little bit to more quickly get rid of their pain and suffering. I always think of an example a few years back when a friend of mine in Ontario had to wait nearly a year for shoulder surgery. My brother-in-law, living in the U.S., needed similar surgery. His doctor told him, “I’m sorry, I can’t get you in until next week.” We’d all be healthier if our health-care system was in better shape and simply throwing more and more money at it each year is obviously not the answer.
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The volunteers who diligently worked on the Mountain high school review deserve a round of applause. Many made personal sacrifices to be at the meetings over the past year and put their hearts into what a times can be a thankless process.
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Not sure if new owner of plaza at corner of Stone Church and Upper Paradise is taking my advice from a few months ago, but watch for a Tim Hortons on that corner before the end of the year.
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Did anyone notice last week’s letter from HWDSB trustee Wes Hicks didn’t actually address concern about MacNab closing?
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Nice to see new “signal your turn” sign for drivers on Mud turning onto Pritchard. Many tend to ignore traffic rules there. Be courteous!
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Gord Bowes is editor of the Mountain News. The Editor’s Notebook generally appears biweekly. Got a tip, complaint or suggestion? Email editor@hamiltonmountainnews.com.

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