Monthly Archives: May 2010

Laurie and Olga are back … on K103

Remember Laurie MacDonald and Olga Gazdovic, of CJAD’s Saturday afternoon Laurie & Olga Show? Almost a year after getting canned from CJAD along with a bunch of others, they’re returning to the airwaves, in their old time slot (1-4pm), starting next weekend.

A (grammatically incorrect) Facebook group has already been started, and the few hundred people who joined the “Bring Back Olga and Laurie” Facebook group will probably be happy.

MacDonald and Gazdovic got their first radio job through a contest at a mall in 1995.

When they were suddenly fired in August 2009, Gazdovic told The Gazette: “It’s the nature of the business. If I had the chance, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

And so, like Ted Bird and Paul Graif in the mornings, Laurie and Olga become new voices from outside the Kahnawake community being added to Kahnawake’s community radio station. And the country music that used to dominate CKRK’s schedule is seeing less and less airtime in favour of castoffs and disgruntled former stars of the big Montreal stations.

It’s up to the community to decide how to react to this. But some were already suggesting that K103 was suffering an identity crisis, and the 250-Watt station was trying too hard to compete with the 50,000-Watt powerhouses atop Mount Royal, a battle they couldn’t possibly win, even with some names familiar to Montreal listeners.

Life imitates art

Metro article, Thursday May 27, Page 6

Let’s put aside for a second that an article was written based entirely off a Facebook group with a few thousand members (actually I found four of them, the largest with more than 145,000 members), what’s interesting here is the photo that accompanies it (spotted by a commenter in the previous post). It’s not a photo of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, but rather one of actors Misha Collins and Laura Prepon portraying Bernardo and Homolka in the 2006 film Karla:

Misha Collins and Laura Prepon try their best to be creepy in Karla

From this I can draw only two conclusions:

1. These actors resemble their subjects much more than I think they do;

2. Editors at Metro are so young they have no idea what Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo look like

The real Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka (right?)


It was really hot today, but that’s nothing compared to the forecast for next week, apparently:

CBC's Kenny Bodanis realizes he's made a typo in his weather forecast

One thing about putting your newscasts online is that the errors of live TV remain accessible long after they’ve aired. This is Kenny Bodanis (sitting, err, standing in for Frank Cavallaro), who accidentally added an extra digit to next Tuesday’s high during Tuesday’s weather segment on CBMT (fun starts about the 15-minute mark). He assures us it won’t actually be 234 degrees next Tuesday, though it might feel like it.

Then again, I have it on pretty good authority that the weather people just pull numbers out of nowhere for forecasts six and seven days ahead, so he could very well be right!

(via Alex Leduc on Facebook)

Yummy bolagna

Sometimes the bad translation is from French to English, as evidenced by these “sandwichs submarines” that were “prepered” in a food plant.

I looked up “bolagna” to find out what it means. Let me assure you I don’t want to eat that.

Maybe that’s why they were 50% off.

TVA journalist fired for plagiarizing Rue Frontenac

You probably didn’t know until this week about a journalist named Stéphane Malhomme.

It’s OK, though, because two years out of journalism school, and a month into a job as a web editor for Canoe, his journalism career is over.

In case you didn’t hear, Malhomme published an article on the website of Canal Argent, TVA’s business network, about this guy Martin Tremblay who is fighting the government over tax money he thinks he doesn’t owe them. Nothing particularly special about the story. It’s topped with a quote from Tremblay (from an “exclusive” interview on Argent), and has a bunch of background below.

The article has since been pulled, but Google Cache still has it, and it was republished through the Agence QMI service, and appeared in the Journal de Montréal.

It didn’t take long before the folks at Rue Frontenac, the website of the locked-out journalists and other workers at the Journal de Montréal, saw this piece and noticed that it bore a striking resemblance to one written by Martin Bisaillon that same day.

In fact, the resemblance was more than striking. Though the stories are not identical, some sentences and even entire paragraphs are. But Canoe’s story makes no reference to Rue Frontenac.

Rue Frontenac cried foul, and by the next day TVA apologized for the plagiarism and said it had fired Malhomme. (As a contract worker, Malhomme did not have job security from the union.)

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The airport-train link: Let’s put our cards on the table

It seems like forever that we’ve been arguing over which route should be taken by the new train linking Trudeau airport with downtown. In fact, I wrote about the debate almost two years ago.

Airport train's possible routes: CP route to Lucien L'Allier (red) and CN route to Central Station (blue)

Using existing railways, there are two possible routes, each of which ends at a different terminus:

  • Using CP tracks that go through NDG and Westmount, ending at Lucien L’Allier station just outside the Bell Centre. This is the same path used by the Dorion/Rigaud train line.
  • Using mainly CN tracks, passing through the Turcot interchange and St. Henri and ending at Central Station. This is the path used by VIA trains to Toronto and Ottawa.

This debate is in the news again because Aéroports de Montréal (which runs the airport) and the Agence métropolitaine de transport (which runs the commuter trains) are having a pissing match, refusing to give in on their choices. The AMT wants to use the CP route, because it’s cheaper and because it uses tracks (and stations) already used by the AMT. ADM wants to use the CN route because it leads to Central Station and downtown hotels.

Both camps are now using quantitative data to make their cases. Joël Gauthier, of the AMT, points to the fact that the CP route is significantly less expensive – $786 million vs. $1.1 billion. James Cherry, of the ADM, points to a study that shows ridership would be 22 per cent higher if the train ended at Central Station.

Various third parties are also jumping in, some on Cherry’s side making the Central Station argument, others on Gauthier’s side for Lucien L’Allier.

Despite what both these men think, the issue is neither obvious nor is there a desperate need to make a snappy decision. Yeah, it’s been years, but these studies are only coming to light now, and this kind of study is the difference between a billion-dollar project and a billion-dollar boondoggle.

That said, unless there’s some other serious study that needs to be done, it’s about time to make a decision. So let’s put all our cards on the table. Here are, from what I can see, the benefits of each route:

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Je déteste les Flyers

Welcome to the party, Les Justiciers. (They brought us this last year.)

You know, I was rooting for a Bruins win in the last round. Partly because coming back from 3-0 would mean stealing the Canadiens’ Cinderella status. Partly because the Canadiens and Bruins have such a rich history. Partly because it was time to take revenge for last year. Partly because I thought our chances were better against them.

But I’m learning to appreciate the value of a Canadiens-Flyers series. We can take revenge for 2008. The matchup has already been billed as Cinderella vs. Cinderella, and made history as the first 7th vs. 8th matchup since the conference system was setup.

And, because the Flyers fans can be just as much assholes as Canadiens fans, it feels good to hate them.

By the end of this series, the streets of Philadelphia will be orange … with blood

Blood mixed with urine, I guess.

We need a bigger bandwagon

You can tell your team is going somewhere when other people try to take credit for it.

The Toronto Star is grasping at whatever straws they can find to attach their city to our team. And both Toronto and the United States are taking credit for Michael Cammalleri.

But that’s the way it is when you’ve gone from being the underdog to the favourite. Even though technically Philadelphia has the (ever so slightly) better record and home ice advantage, the pundits are finally calling it for the Habs:

Canadiens in four

Canadiens in six

Canadiens in seven

Flyers in seven

Flyers in six

Second best of Montreal, again

Page from this week's Mirror

It seems there’s nothing I can do to stop myself getting voted on the Mirror’s Best of Montreal list, so I give up. This year, I tried just not updating as often, including spelling mistakes all over the place, and just lowering the quality of the blog in general, but it looks like that didn’t work either.

For the second year in a row, I’m #2 behind Midnight Poutine (despite the fact that their RSS feeds have been down since February), and judging from the comment by the paper’s editors it seems I’m a perennial favourite, much like Mutsumi Takahashi, Justin Trudeau and Gérald Tremblay in their categories.

I won’t spend too much time talking about this, except to link to the other blogs on the list:

  1. Midnight Poutine (local culture)
  2. Fagstein
  3. Indecent Xposure (music)
  4. Spacing Montreal (local urban planning)
  5. 25stanley (hockey gossip)
  6. Said the Gramophone (music)
  7. BitchinLifestyle (lifestyle)
  8. Montreal City Weblog (local news)
  9. Fashionista514 (fashion)
  10. Habs Inside/Out (hockey)

Honourable mentions:

Even though I don’t put much stock in the collective wisdom of Mirror readers, it’s nice to see at least one francophone blog on the list (25stanley, even if it isn’t exactly highbrow) among the ballot stuffers and lazy asses such as myself.

With Midnight Poutine, Spacing Montreal, Montreal City Weblog, Habs Inside/Out and Coolopolis all listed above, I can’t think of any offhand I think were snubbed this year. Are there any good quality local blogs that you think should be here but aren’t?

Spacing’s Alanah Heffez suggests Luc Ferrandez’s blog (he’s the mayor of the Plateau borough and the bearded cutie from Projet Montréal), which is a really good one but hasn’t had enough time to really build an audience yet.

A highlight from this year’s poll: a roundup of the “weirdos” suggested by readers. My favourite: “Naked dude with a spear with a tennis ball on it”

What a night

7pm: I get off the metro train at Lucien-L’Allier station. The platform is flooded with red Habs jerseys.

Crowd gathers in parking lot as Game 7 begins

7:07pm: I arrive at the parking lot outside the Bell Centre, which has been designated as a celebration area by the Montreal police. A giant screen is showing RDS, and the speakers have plenty of volume for people to hear. The lot is mostly empty, unlike the Bell Centre itself, but a crowd is slowly forming.

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