VOTE LARRY PERLMAN FOR COUNCILLOR

TORONTO WARD 7 (YORK WEST)


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Summary:

My name was referenced in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, North York Mirror, Scarborough Mirror, 24 Hours and CityTV.   Most stories have connected me to the illegal use of Pocket Bikes (mini-motorcycles) in Toronto (I introduced the issue to City Council via the Pedestrian & Works Committees).  I have also been referenced on traffic-calming, as well as Pearson Airport's Noise Management Committee.  See below for the stories by issue.

I believe it is important for Toronto Councillors to connect positively with the media, as it is an effective means of communicating with their constituents.  Unfortunately, media attention towards City Hall has been overwhelmingly negative for far too long.  Although constructive criticism can never be ignored, it should be balanced with accomplishments as well (and my contributions have been positive overall).  If elected, I will endeavour to keep finding the positives to return to a balance once again.

Please note:  I do not have permission to provide full copies of the stories below and would prefer to respect media copyright laws (links in red are provided to publicly-available websites).  Toronto Community News (ie. North York Mirror), in particular, has decided not to allow candidates to copy articles, in order to provide a level-playing field.  Therefore, I have provided a summary to each reference, including the history behind (and my interpretation of) each article.  I would encourage anyone to read the articles below and contact myself and/or the writers for clarification.

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Issue 1:  Illegal Pocket Bike Riding In Toronto:

  • Miniature menaces. Kids love them, but some say pocket bikes are not just a pint-sized nuisance -- they're dangerous, by Alex Dobrota.  Globe & Mail, Saturday July 1, 2006, Globe Toronto Section, p. 1
    • I met Alex Dobrota at my deputation to the Pedestrian Committee on May 18.  He contacted me soon afterward for an interview, and his story was published a few days before my July 5 deputation to the Works Committee.  His article was the first to mention the problem of illegal pocket bike use in Toronto.  Along with myself, he interviewed other residents of Ward 7 (York West) who were having difficulty with pocket bikes in their community.  He also interviewed teenage students and the current Ward 7 Councillor who considered riding pocket bikes fun and a better choice than buying weapons.
  • Pocket bikes drive resident to city hall, by David Nickles.  North York Mirror, Friday July 7, 2006, p. 1
  • Pocket bikes raises concern for Scarborough man.  Possibility of injury very high, resident says, by Mike Adler.  Scarborough Mirror, Friday July 7, 2006, p. 1
  • Council looks at pocket bikes, by Sophie Nicholls.  24 Hours, Tuesday July 11, 2006, p. 6
    • Three articles above.  Both Dave Nickles and Sophie Nicolls interviewed me on July 5, after my deputation to the Works Committee.  The Mike Adler story dealt with pocket bike problems in Scarborough and he used Dave Nickles' article to reference me.
  • Pocket bikes, by Pam Seatle.  CityTV News, Tuesday July 11, 2006, 6:00pm 
    • Pam Seatle was more interested in my video footage of pocket bikes on the street than interviewing me, but her story received the greatest media attention of all and I was grateful for that.  The story introduced the dangers of pocket bike use to the general public.
  • Powerful machines and teenaged boys don't mix.  Editorial.  North York Mirror, Wednesday, July 12, 2006, p. 4
    • The most satisfying of all was the above editorial, commending me on my efforts to stop illegal pocket bike use in Toronto.  The editorial also criticized City Councillors for not dealing with this issue before me.  The editorial was written by Steve Houston (Regional Managing Editor, Toronto Community News).
  • Pint-sized bikes spell giant nuisance. Kids ride them in parks, streets. Toronto pushes province for crackdown, by Donovan Vincent.  Toronto Star, Tuesday August 1, 2006, GTA Section p. 1
    • The day after the Canadian Press wrote their article on City Council's decision on pocket bikes (unanimously endorsing the Works Committee decision), Donovan Vincent interviewed me for the above article.  A decision by Ontario's Ministry of Transportation is pending.

Issue 2:  Traffic-Calming Policy In Toronto 

  • Bumps grind to a halt.  Letter To The Editor by Larry Perlman.  North York Mirror, Wednesday September 29, 2004, p. 17.
    • This letter to the editor was in reaction to City Council's unwillingness to make changes to its traffic-calming policy (ie. slowing traffic on residential streets).  I criticized the City's existing policy as well as mentioned the difficulties getting speed humps approved for my community.  To this day, City Council has yet to make any changes to its traffic-calming policy.
  • Review traffic policy. Now is the time to 'take back the street' and have drivers share the road with pedestrians, cyclists.  Letter To The Editor by Larry Perlman.  Toronto Star, Wednesday August 2, 2006, p. A17
    • This letter to the editor is in reaction to Donovan Vincent's article in the Toronto Star above.  My argument was that illegal pocket bike use was only one aspect of a larger problem -- namely the need to update Toronto's Traffic-Calming Policy, as teens riding pocket bikes illegally today will soon be adults driving cars tomorrow.  I also stated that my request for a deputation to deal with updating Toronto's Traffic-Calming Policy was submitted to the Works Committee for consideration in their September 2006 meeting. 

Issue 3:  Aircraft Noise From Pearson Airport (Noise Management Committee) - GTAA:

  • Noise committee rarely hears councillors, by Jeff Gray.  Globe & Mail, Tuesday May 23, 2006, p. 1
    • I contacted Jeff Gray after noticing the lack of regular participation by two Toronto Councillors on the Airport's Noise Committee (alternates were used) and the fact that there continues to be a two-year vacancy for a third Toronto representative (delays due to Amalgamation).  Please note that I submitted a series of recommendations to the Noise Committee to ensure that complaints by Toronto residents are dealt with effectively.