Monday, February 06, 2006

Potholes

I sprained my ankle and scraped my knee walking home from Radio 203 with Trudie Mason.
That's right, I actually got out in time to make it (on time) late to class.
My back is killing... You try carrying two laptop bags around, standing during a 30 minute metro trip. That's nine pounds for the laptop, and at least the same for a bunch of tecnical books from PAPTAC. Add the weight of the bags, notebooks, power supply... and my wallet. Which doesn't weigh very much, unless you count all the savings and ID cards.

Here's a bit I wrote for my 201 class with Bob, due today.

*****

February 2, 2006

Montreal police budgets 133 new cops
$8 million program aims to make streets safer

By Naila Jinnah

What do 133 new cops and 60 cruisers make?

According to Montreal Police chief Yvan Delorme, it will make “road users change their habits.” The bad ones, that is. Speeding, not respecting pedestrian crosswalks, abusing priority lanes for buses and taxis… the list of common traffic violations goes on.

But the road stops here. Or that’s what $8 million of this year’s Montreal Police Service’s $486.4 million budget hopes to achieve. But can the addition of a new traffic safety squad really make a difference?

Claude Dauphin, the city executive committee member in charge of public security, believes the new program, effective last Monday, will ease a major concern for Montrealers, driver and pedestrian safety.

“In the last (municipal) election campaign, 80 per cent of the complaints I heard going door-to-door concerned speeding and motorists not respecting pedestrian crossings,” said Dauphin, who is also the mayor of the Lachine borough.

The numbers agree with Dauphin. A 2005 police survey revealed that 94 per cent of citizens want Montreal police to prioritize road safety. Further results showed that 90 per cent of respondents believe that police presence is the best method for crime prevention.

By creating these new posts, the Montreal Police Service seeks to increase police presence and promote prevention, communication, and education.

“Citizens want to see officers on the street, not just police cars,” explained Yvan Delorme.

One of the keys to testing the effectiveness of the program will be the number of accidents and deaths on Montreal roads.

In 2004, there were 716 collisions resulting in death or severe injury, up from 151 in 2001. 226 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in 2004, 161 more than in 2001. 60 cyclists were seriously injured or killed in 2004, compared to 42 in 2001. But most upsetting is the fact that 32 pedestrians a week are struck by cars.

The assistant police director, Pierre-Paul Pichette, confirmed that the new squad would have full police powers. The presence of the 60 new cruisers with the word “Circulation” printed on their windows is also meant to deter other crimes.

“All police officers currently do (occasional) enforcement of traffic bylaws but this group will focus on traffic every day,” specified Pichette. “The squad will work to ensure the orderly flow of traffic. We will enforce speed limits, especially near schools, and focus on stop signs and red lights.”

The full-time traffic squad, will be composed mostly of experienced officers, whose current posts will be taken over by the 133 rookies. These changes will allow 22 cops to provide a constant police presence in each of the four departments of the city, aided by a new, 44-member motorcycle squad.

Before these measures were applied, the city’s traffic safety was guaranteed by a 22- member motorcycle squad, and a single officer from each of Montreal’s 39 neighbourhood police stations.

“There will be a period of adaptation,” said Chief Delorme. “You cannot drastically change things right from Jan. 30.”

The new crew strutted their stuff on the last day of the month, setting up a speed trap in Anjou during morning rush hour. At least 31 drivers learned a serious lesson when they failed to respect the posted 50 kilometres per hour speed limit, with the highest ticket, at 91 km/h, costing $175 and three demerit points.

The crackdown will affect all road travellers. “We will also be targeting jaywalkers, but there's a lot of education on that subject to be done,” said Constable Ian Lafreniere.

Delorme dreams of a Montreal where motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians get along on the road, as they do in Ontario. “Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents while increasing the sense of security among residents through a bigger police presence,” stated Delorme.

Dauphin said it best when he declared, “More police across the island will affect the way we drive. If we can save just one life, it's worth the money.”


-30-

*****
The server is down. I knew it was going to happen, yet I didn't think twice about starting a post. Well, I guess that means I'll just have to keep rambling for a bit. ;)
I'm exhausted, and it's only day one. At least it's fun. The internship experience that is. The sessions could be dryer, so I'm glad I find this stuff slightly interesting. Furthermore, there was no Gazette letter in the mail, and my e-mail is clear.... There might be hope for my yet!
In the event that the Gazette internship doesn't work out for this year, then there's still the LOULOU Magazine internship I applied for. Or sticking with my current telephone survey job. Too bad summer is a slow season for that industry.
Speaking of seasons, did I mention that I was a huge hockey fan? My dream job would be to become a travelling sports reporter for the Montreal Canadiens. My ideal job would be to edit a national and/or international Interior Design or Fashion magazine. Maybe Lifestyles and/or Weddings.
Here are some bits written back in 1998, published on AllSports.com, a site for the fans, by the fans.
*****
Zednik Leaves on Stretcher
By starshine_diva
April 25, 2002

The outcome of the game was already decided. Everybody knew that the Boston Bruins would be going home with a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. With 1:28 minutes left in the game, an expected fight got underway after Habs tough guy Gino Odjick taunted P.J. Stock. Obviously, both players got 5 minutes for fighting.
But what happened with 1:17 left in the game was uncalled for. Bruins defencemen Kyle McLaren elbowed the NHL's top playoff scorer, and the author of both Canadiens goals, Richard Zednik, just as he lowered his head to cut to the net. He immediately went crashing to the ice, giving fans a sense of déjà-vu: the Brian Savage incident.
As all three of Montreal's doctors rushed to the ice, trainers from both teams were already assisting Zednik. After more than twenty minutes, he was completly immobilized and lifted by some of his teammates onto a waiting stretcher. The diagnosis comes as follows, major concussion, cheekbone fracture, and fracture of the nose.
The Canadiens were also victims of a vicious hit on defencemen Andrei Markov that resulted in a sprained knee and back. He had to be injected with steroids to be able to complete the game. It is expected that the management will contact NHL administrators to make sure that McLaren is punished with a playoff ending suspension, such as the sentence inflicted to Toronto's Tie Domi last year.
Obviously, Richard Zednik did not accompany the team to Boston, where the fifth game of this first round series between the Canadiens and the Bruins will resume on Saturday.
*****
Emotions Rise High in Habs 5-3 Win
By starshine_diva
April 24, 2002

The old Forum Ghosts made a special appearance at the Molson Center last night. The Molson Center was shaking with emotion on Tuesday night, and the screaming fans led the Montreal Canadiens to their second win of the first round series against the Boston Bruins.
As soon as the home team stepped on the ice, cheers erupted in the building, resonating all through the first period. Perreault's goal lifted the crowd and all the spectators appeared to be on their feet until the end of the first session.
The second period was a whole different story. Although the Habs skated hard, the Bruins skated harder and took a 3-1 lead. It seems that the Ghosts took a coffee break, and it showed! Some so-called fans booed the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge at the end of the second, and that's when the big "A", Doug Gilmour, decided that enough was enough.
As the team rested in the locker room, Dougie called out to his teammates and told them to pay respect to the old Ghosts and show them what they were capable of. Well, probably not in those words, but it had the same effect.
In the last twenty minutes, the Habs, with a lot of help from the exuberating crowd, scored four breathtaking goals. First, Audette out-witted Boston goalie after a precise pass by captain Saku Koivu, off the faceoff. Next, on a brilliant long pass, Sheldon Souray handed the puck over to Mr. Stickhandling himself, and Oleg Petrov's rebound landed on Doug Gilmour's stick to finally settle behind Byron Dafoe.
The score was now tied at three. Four minutes later,on an amazing play at the blue line, defenceman Andrei Markov, seeing Donald Audette on the right of Dafoe's net, made a perfect pass. The man who lost 4 liters of blood a few months back imediatly passed the puck back to the man who battled cancer throughout the whole regular season. Saku Koivu lifted both the puck past Byron Dafoe and the Habs to a 5-3 win. Joe Juneau finalized it all with a well deserved empty net goal.
The three stars resume it well, Saku Koivu leading Donald Audette and Oleg Petrov. Both Sheldon Souray and Chad Kilger, who was paired up with Audette on the Koivu line in the third period, deserve an honorable mention.
The next game takes place at the Molson Center in Montreal, before the series moves back for a possible finale at the FleetCenter in Boston on Saturday night. Let's hope the legendary Forum Ghosts make the trip.
*****
Season Considered as a Step in the Right Direction
By starshine_diva
May 15, 2002

No one could have predicted the outcome of this game. Every analyst had counted on a strong Montreal Canadiens team and maybe even a victory. But since the fatal 4-3 loss in game 4, the Habs were going down, and sinking lower every day.
The Hurricanes had the momemtum coming into the decisive game, and they used it to their advantage. Yup, they scored another quick goal, this one after having played only 25 seconds. The Canes then proceeded to outscore the Habs 17-3 over the final 8 periods of the series.
Although they tried hard, the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge couldn't make it. Most people say that they ran out of steam. I think so too. Some people blame the series loss on Michel Therrien, the Montreal's head coach, for taking a penalty in game 4. I don't agree. That defeat was definetly not the turning point of the series. Neither was the Canadiens' inability to fight back in games 5 and 6.
The turning point of the series happened before it started. The loss of winger Richard Zednik in game 4 of the Boston-Montreal series was. The two games that the Canadiens won in order to proceed to the second round were the product of emotions and a very good young goalie named Jose Theodore. He had been pretty ordinary, and he was due. It was his turn to carry the team. And he did. He stole those two games right from the hands of the Big Bad Bruins.
But let's talk about the coach. You can't blame the end of the Canadiens season on him. Think about it. He led his team all season in a fight for the final playoff spot without his three best players. First, Saku Koivu's season was finished before it even started. That was not good news, but Therrien stood tall and marched on. A little good news came when Doug Gilmour came back to hockey after less than one year of retirement. Plus, the Habs were going to have a solid goaltender duo. Then Jeff Hackett went down with his second shoulder injury in two seasons. Still, Therrien stayed composed and worked with what he had. What he got was veteran Shaun Van Allen and Quebec native Donald Audette, from a smart trade by GM André Savard, who got rid of potential free agents Benoit Brunet and Martin Rucinsky. But after a quick start, Audette was the victim of a laceration to all the tendons in his forearm.
The Montreal Canadiens weren't supposed to make the playoffs. And when they did, no one believed the would beat the Boston Bruins. But they did. They worked hard, and Jose Theodore showed up for every game. The 39 year old Doug Gilmour led a pack that was inspired by comebacks by Saku Koivu, Donald Audette and Sheldon Souray. They lost a man at combat, but got their revenge with a series win.
When we'll look back at the Montreal Canadiens season this summer, we won't think about those 2 losses to the Hurricanes. Everybody is proud of this team's success.
"This team has battled all year," said Sasku Koivu himself. "We're all disappointed. We hate to lose. But these last two games didn't show what we were all about this year. Everybody said we wouldn't even make the playoffs."
We're probably going to reflect upon the fact that the Habs discovered a few young potentials for the upcoming season when trying to fill in the spots left by the injured.
"It was great. It's been a while since the team was in the playoffs," said Doug Gilmour. "Obviously, this is not the way we wanted it to end, but we're proud. It's a steppingstone. There's a lot of young guys here."
And we definetly won't think about the 1,343 man-games lost over the past three seasons, but about the rising star that got his chance.
"I was really moved by the reaction of the fans," said Theodore, who is nominated for both the Hart and the Vezina trophy. "We came a long way. We faced a lot of challenges. A lot of people didn't think we'd make the playoffs, and we beat the top team. Everybody knows what we accomplished."
Sure, it was an embarrassing loss for such a great team. But they weren't even supposed to be there at all. Like the great Chief Gino Odjick said, "Even Napoleon had to capitulate after a while."
*****
Keep in mind, these stories were written way before I was officially interested in journalism... for the before last time. The writing is poor, in general, but the stories are good. I like the punch lines, I like the quotes. I like the fact that I wrote them all under deadline. That's right. Official, pre midnight, deadlines.
Give me a shout out, the server should be back up soon. I'll be posting ASAP.
By the way, 24 tonight was excellent, and CSI:Miami is a hit. Literally.

2 comments:

Sana said...

hey!

i was just wondering how you applied for the lou lou internship? i was trying to search it online, and found you instead :)

Naila J. said...

Hi Sana,

It was actually something that got posted on the billboards at school.

Sorry!