Monday, June 29, 2009

Margin Notes: Upsetting Scenes, CBC, KNX

The garbage collection site at Étienne Brûlé Park in Toronto, Ontario was quiet--and not particularly smelly--on 28 June 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The largest city in Canada is now entering the second week of a strike by city workers. In rather extensive tours of the city the past few days with my visiting aunt and uncle, there were a few places where the lack of garbage collection was apparent, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I might have guessed. One reason may be that the city has opened nineteen locations to collect garbage across the city. I was surprised to find that one of those locations was my local Étienne Brûlé Park near the Humber River. However, when I walked by the location for the first time on Sunday since it opened, I found that that despite a reasonable amount of collected material, it didn't have a bad smell nor did it really disrupt the use of the park much for locals, as it mostly took up a parking area. Of course, the bad smells may be coming if the strike goes on for too long.

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One thing that has a bad smell to me is the CBC's summer schedule. Most years, the programming on CBC Radio One during the ten weeks of summer features a variety of innovative new shows or old summer favorites, some of which go on to become permanent additions to the schedule. That's not likely this year. If I am reading the web page correctly (and that should be clear in the coming week), then only six summer shows are producing new content this year, and only one of those (Socket) is a new series never heard before. Other shows are things we've heard in previous years, and in some cases, it appears that the old series are being rebroadcast (including the excellent "Hidden City" and "White Coat, Black Art"). I know the CBC is in budget trouble, but at the rate things are going we're going to be listening to "As It Happens" repeated continuously before long.

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More non-news out of the radio industry came out of Los Angeles. I thought I was going to be reporting that another major AM station had started a FM simulcast. However, it turns out that the only change at KNX 1070 AM is a simulcast on a digital subchannel of smooth jazz KTWV 94.7 FM. That's nice, but considering that almost nobody has a digital radio, that's about as consequential as if I decided to re-broadcast KNX to my neighborhood--just about nobody will hear it.

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A crew cleaned the Monument to the War of 1812 on the Toronto Waterfront on 27 June 2009

Fortunately, just about nobody will see the vandalism that apparently occurred on Douglas Coupland's controversial Monument to the War of 1812 located near Fort York in Toronto. By chance, I caught the cleaning crew already well into their mission on Saturday, so I don't know if it was American hooligans upset by the message of the sculpture or what.

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The Frankenstein Museum and Burger King were engaged in a bit of co-marketing at Niagara Falls, Ontario on 26 June 2009

Some might consider the scene above upsetting, but I found a certain appropriateness to the Frankenstein Museum and Burger King mixing their signs in the tourist-crazy zone of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Somehow I can just see Frankenstein saying "Sometimes you've gotta break the rules."

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