It's looking like a busy pre-Halloween weekend

It's one busy pre-Halloween weekend across South Bayview with two free pumpkin giveaways and the Leaside Public Library Halloween Fair all taking place tomorrow. The traditional giveaway of pumpkins in separate events by realtors Charlene Kalia and Patrick Rocca always draw big turnouts, The former (Kalia) will go at noon at the Pawsitively Pets space outside their office on Parkhurst Blvd. Mr. Rocca's giveaway will be held at the valu mart store on Bayview Ave. See links to stories on these events at the left. Also this weekend, the 75th anniversary celebrations of Rolph Road School will be held with a re-union tonight at the William Lea Room. Tomorrow morning there will be an open house at the school. See the link on the left for details. 

Misfits are the best ISIS can muster in Canada

Canadians should take a good look at the men who have committed murder this week in the name of the so-called Islamic State. Martin "Ahmad" Couture-Rouleau and Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau -- two sad misfits looking around for some way to fulfill themselves in a world that frankly didn't have much use for them. They are dangerous, but as the face of ISIS in North America they are a sad lot. The media should look at them too. We need the news from Syria and Iraq about this insane tribal gang. But the 24/7 bombardment of Canadians with the glory of ISIS victories has created a perfect appeal for lost souls like the two we have seen this week. It's worth remembering that the cries by ISIS for their followers to strike at the Canadian infidels has thrown up two guys, unknown to each other, who are nobodies. 

Parker "okay" with bikes rolling past stop signs

There was a moment at last Tuesday's Ward 26 candidates debate which seemed to say a lot about how traffic laws are bent and ultimately changed. John Parker, the councillor, said that he had no problem with the common practice of cyclists ignoring the requirement that they stop at a stop sign. The practice is known, he noted, as an Idaho stop after the unique legislation that permits cyclists there to treat a stop sign like a yield sign and a stoplight like a stop sign. A question had been asked about how cars and bicycles could possibly be reconciled on City streets. In fact, the discussion was about how all the candidates were in favour of bike lanes. Mr. Parker just added the stop sign reference seemingly as an after thought. Can letting cyclists roll through stop signs and stop lights make things work better? Idaho introduced this legislation in 1982 and it remains the only place in North America where such practices are allowed. Even today, Boise, the capital of that wide-open place has barely 215,000 souls. Bayview and Millwood might look like a speedway to your average Idaho driver. The bicycle versus car dilemma was seen at a police community safety meeting on October 2, 2014 at North Toronto Collegiate Institute. The discussion broke down not only among members of the public but among the police on hand over just where and when it was safe to cycle. Bike riders said they frequently did not feel safe on the road and therefore had to ride on the sidewalk. This is illegal and it enraged pedestrian-minded members of the audience.  As anyone knows, it is a daily sight to see bicycles speeding up and down the wide sidewalks of Bayview Ave. Bicycle lanes may help riders to travel more safely. But the collectivity of cycling habits has created an expectation of drivers which challenges even the most careful. Their job is more suited to a pilot with 360 degree radar. Cars fortunately can come to a dead halt without falling from the sky while the driver deciphers as best he can where the cyclist is going. Ideas like rolling stops and safe haven for bikes on the sidewalks hang heavy over the prospects for urban peace however.  

"Without borders" doc has got Ebola in NYC

A member of the the group known as Doctors Without Borders has tested positive for  Ebola in New York after returning from West Africa. It is said he attended a bowling party in Brooklyn last night (Wednesday,October 22, 2014).  Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were scheduled to deliver a news conference at 9 p.m. EDT. The doctor is Craig Spencer. He worked treating Ebola patients in Guinea. 

Shooter stopped from going to Libya, Syria

Good story about the background of Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau including a feeling among many who knew him that he was mentally disturbed. An acquaintance said he apparently wanted to go to Libya to study. In recent hours Canadian security sources have told media that Zehaf-Bibeau wanted to go to Syria and fight with ISIS. He was denied a passport. Globe and Mail

Talk and listen to your children to allay fears

It's part of good parenting to talk to your children but the events in Ottawa this week will require this important duty be done with an effort to monitor how kids are feeling. Children are able to sort out the reality here and it may have a profound impact on their sense of just how safe they, how safe the family is  Sandra Mendlowitz is a clinical psychologist in the anxiety disorders program at the Hospital for Sick Children. She sugests parents talk to children with the intent of getting them to talk and of listening to what they say. Words of reasonable and realistic reassurance can be helpful even if they can't make the terrible truth go away. She says: "Find out what they're worried about. Find out what they know. Because sometimes parents assume kids know things that they actually don't know."

"We are so sorry" say parents of Zehaf-Bibeau

A statement has been released via Associated Press that is said to come from the parents of the shooter who was killed in Parliament yesterday. They are Susan Bibeau and Bulgasem Zehaf

“Hi, I am writing this note on behalf of my husband and myself. No words can express the sadness we are feeling at this time. We are so sad that a man lost his life. He has lost everything and he leaves behind a family that must feel nothing but pain and sorrow. We send our deepest condolences to them although words seem pretty useless. We are both crying for them. We also wish to apologize for all the pain, fright and chaos he created. We have no explanation to offer. I am mad at our son, I don’t understand and part of me wants to hate him at this time. You write that our son was vulnerable, we don’t know, we (he) was lost and did not fit in. I his mother spoke with him last week over lunch, I had not seen him for over five years before that. So I have very little insight to offer. We don’t wish to be part of any media circus, we don’t think it will add anything to the conversation. Please respect our privacy although many may not feel we deserve any … Once again we are so sorry."

134 Leacrest Road. sells for $1,865,000

A bidding war just after Thanksgiving is said to have increased the paying price on Leacrest Road, which is south of Southvale on the peak of the heights over the valley. Parts of the street are within siight of the Loblaws on Moore Ave. Globe and Mail

Memorable photo of HOC Sergeant at Arms

A memorable picture of Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers holding his handgun has emerged. It was taken moments after the battle in which the armed intruder at Parliament was shot and killed by Mr. Vickers. This morning, he was given a standing ovation in the Commons. 

Mother of Ottawa shooter weeps for victims

The mother of Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau says she is crying for the victims of her son's shooting rampage yesterday, not for him. The women was contacted by phone by the Associated Press and spoke briefly. Susan Bibeau was weeping as she told the reporter: "Can you ever explain something like this?" she said. "We are sorry." Authorities have identified the shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, whose gun rampage was stopped was stopped cold when he was shot to death by Parliament's ceremonial sergeant-at-arms. One victim was killed and two other people were wounded in the attack. This morning, the prime minister and his wife Laurene laid a wreath at the National War Memorial to honour the solider killed yesterday, Cpl Nathan Cerillo.  

John Tory comfortably ahead in Monday poll

Forum Research has finished a poll within hours which projects that John Tory has a solid lead in the campaign to become mayor. As Forum puts it, forty-three per cent of the voters who participated said they had voted for, intended to vote for or were leaning toward voting for Tory if the election had been held Monday (October 20, 2014). That compared to 29 per cent for Ford and 25 per cent for Chow. 

Terrorists will find no safe haven PM tells nation

The prime minister has called today's one-man terrorist attack on a Canadian soldier and the House of Commons a "grim reminder" of the intention of some to intimidate the country. Speaking briefly from an unannounced location,  Mr. Harper said: "We will not be intimidated." He said such attacks will cause Canada to re-double its efforts against terrorism and promised: "They will find no safe haven." 

Abdul Zhaf Bibeau killed in Commons shootout

He is Abdul Zhaf Bibeau, a Canadian citizen born in 1982. Friends say he has been a recent convert to Islam. Abdul Zhaf-Bibeau is the son of a Libyan who fought against Qaddafi but who also was active in criticism of the NATO forces. He is said to have a criminal record in Montreal and Vancouver. There is video from what appears to be a dash cam of him getting into his car after killing Cpl. Nathan Cerillo at the War Memorial this morning. He drove a short distance to the Parliament building and then tried to shoot his way into the House of Commons. He was killed by guards and police. It is also said in the media that this picture is part of ISIS cheer leading online following of what is being called a great triumph against Canada. Abdul Zhaf Bibeau has been in trouble in 2004 and 2011. The first time in Montreal he was let off with a day in jail and psychiatric assessment for drug possession.. Seven years later in Vancouver, he committed a mugging in the street. The source of this picture is not known although it was accessed off Twitter. The original may be in the hands of middle eastern terrorists. Clearly, he was in Canada and he was trouble. That's all we know. 

Prime minister delays scheduled speech to country

Prime Minster Harper has delayed remarks which he had previously said would be made by 7.45 p.m. It appears the prime minister is dealing with unfolding events just as is everyone else and they have caused him to defer his words to the nation. 

Identity of shooter killed in Parliament attack

According to CBS News, the Parliament Hill shooter was 32 year old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. CBS quotes U.S. officials identifying the dead Ottawa shooting suspect as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982.

Sergeant at Arms hailed as hero in shootout

The Sergeant at Arms
He is the imposing figure with the mace who is seen during ceremonial openings of the Commons. But guess what? He also carries a gun and today Kevin Vickers is being lauded as the man who saved many lives by shooting down the armed intruder on Parliament Hill. His full name is Kevin Michael Vickers and he is a veteran RCMP officer. Now he is the 9th Sergeant of Arms of the House of Commons. Mr. Vickers was born on September 29, 1956 and it is not clear whether he sustained a wound in the process of dealing with the intruder. He has since mailed word that he is "okay". MPs of all parties are tweeting and mailing thanks to and about Mr. Vickers. In 2009 Vickers was honoured by the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada, for his "long outstanding service to" Canada, and for his "efforts to promote bias-free policing and diversity in the workplace".