The chickens have come home to roost:
The Ontario Ombudsman issued a scathing report (click on the image to read it ) about the treatment of Adults with development disabilities. Basically it lists the problems that have accrued since the “deinstitutionalisation” of these folks. It has a Cobourg connection since D’Arcy Place, an Institution for the Mentally Retarded was a Cobourg workplace. Of course we don’t use that language anymore. Casting back to the time of the emptying of the “Cobourg Hospital”, located on College St./University Ave, we can remember telling the powers to be that such events would happen. But the pols of the day refused to heed the warnings and now the mess has got the attention of the Ombudsman. What he can do isn’t much if the Government of the day doesn’t accept the recommendations.
We hope that Minister Helena Jaszek acts on the report and helps the adults trapped in the maze of regulations and poor funding.
Port Hope makes a change:
Fire Chief Jim Wheeler has been retired. Not by his choice but by the new broom of the Council. Apparently the Chief has two years to go on his contract but there is a clause in it to say that the Council can invoke retirement. Now the BR doesn’t have a copy of the contract but at least the Chief should be consulting his lawyer to increase his severance – six months pay after thirty-seven years is a little short of the mark. Considering that he was not let go because of any performance issues it could be considered to be a dismissal without due cause. Get a lawyer Jim!
Another note from Port Hope – Dan Christie has an opinion:
The 15th Annual Port Hope All Canadian Jazz Festival is fast approaching. September 9,10 and 11. The organizers and volunteers spend all year putting this thing together. I applaud their efforts.
With that out of the way, (and bearing in mind that BurdReport bills itself as ‘A Place For Alternative Points Of View’) let me say this: As in past years, save for one, I won’t be attending The Port Hope All Canadian Jazz Festival. I won’t be attending any other jazz festivals either. To paraphrase the late, great Jeff Healy, it’s not my kinda jazz. Jazz -to me at least- always had a tinge of the illicit about it, a mild kind of wickedness that seemed somehow both dangerous and exciting. Speakeasies. Prohibition. Flappers and running boards. Ness and Capone. The 20s roaring with Fats and Louis and Bix and all that jazz.
And it only got better with age.
By the time the forties gave way to the post-war rebirth of the 1950s, hot jazz had turned cool. Real cool. The Birth Of The Cool if Miles had anything to say about it. And he said plenty. He said we’re going somewhere else now, somewhere we’ve never been. And we’re not coming back. It was all languid, leggy blondes draped over barstools in smoke-filled grottos waiting for Peter Gunn to stroll in and be so understated it hurt. It was Brubeck’s outfit, so uncool they were cool, looking like horn-rimmed high school math teachers, -except for Joe Morello and his sunglasses looking like he was on the lam with a price on his head. Then, by the seventies it was Lee Morgan being shot dead on stage by a jealous lover at Slugg’s Bar in New York. And the news that Miles either had been or was a pimp. But we’d forgive anything if he’d just pick up that horn, something Lee would never do again. And it was Cannonball Adderley at The Colonial on Yonge Street as the sixties were on the way out. I might have been 18, the drinking age 21. But I got served and the whole scene changed me forever. Oh, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy alright. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
And that’s why I don’t go to jazz festivals, which are everywhere throughout the summer. Everywhere. Ubiquitous. Like mushrooms after a rain. I don’t go because jazz to me is not -and never was- about small children gamboling on green lawns and poking their darling little heads out from under billowing white tents where, between acts, Hagendass and Perrier work their magic on new age jazz fans. In broad daylight no less. It just doesn’t feel right somehow. It’s like Jazz-Lite, a thoroughly sanitized version of what it used to be, that illicit tinge now reformed and 12-stepped straight into respectability, cleansed of any lingering bad habits. Perfectly suited to fans of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift alike.
As for myself, on all three days of The Port Hope All Canadian Jazz Festival, I’ll content myself with staying pleasantly stoned on (medical) marijuana, cold draught from my kegerator, watching Youtube reruns of Peter Gunn, and contemplating where jazz might be headed next.
Or maybe not. Maybe it’s better to just enjoy it for what it was.