Canada’s Don Valley East (Ward 33) city council candidates speak

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley East (Ward 33). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Zane Caplan, Shelley Carroll (incumbent), Jim Conlon, Sarah Tsang-Fahey, and Anderson Tung.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reactions to the review of the economic implications of climate change include optimism about the commercial opportunities and apprehension about possible fiscal repercussions.

The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, points to the need for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions if a world-wide economic catastrophe is to be avoided. The institution of global carbon trading, control of deforestation, increased investment in energy R & D and support to poorer countries in adapting to climate change are all key proposals in the Review.

A leaked letter from David Miliband, Environment Secretary, to Chancellor Brown contains a package of tax proposals to promote the use of public transport and to encourage people to buy smaller cars and fly less. The proposals also include charges on petrol-guzzling cars, road pricing, levies on air travel and increased charges for landfill waste disposal.

The findings of the Review and the promise of a Government Climate Bill, containing measures in response to the Review, received a mixed reception from employers and unions.

Miles Templeman, Director-General of the Institute of Directors, said: “Without countries like the US, China or India making decisive commitments, UK competitiveness will undoubtedly suffer if we act alone. This would be bad for business, bad for the economy and ultimately bad for our climate.”

The Confederation of British Industries, the British Chambers of Commerce and asset managers F&C all pointed out the dangers to business of additional taxation.

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, was optimistic about the opportunities for industry to meet demands created by investment in technology to combat climate change. The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, formed by 14 of UK’s leading companies shared this hope. Chairman of Shell UK, James Smith, expressed the hope of the group that business and Government would discuss how Britain could obtain “first mover advantage” in what he described as “massive new global markets.”

The markets for low-carbon energy products are expected to be worth £300 billion by 2050.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, questions the assertions that there is scientific consensus on global warming. At best, he said, there is uncertainty. Politicians world-wide are jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon, but, if they want popular support, they’d better be sure that this is not simply the ‘new witchcraft’.

Ruth Lea, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, also questions the notion that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ over global warming. She alleges that “authorities on climate science say that the climate system is far too complex for modest reductions in one of the thousands of factors involved in climate change (i.e. carbon emissions) to have a predictable effect in magnitude, or even direction.” About economic models, upon which Stern relied for his projections, her experience was that forecasting just two or three years ahead was usually wrong. She described the problem of drawing conclusions from combining scientific and economic models as ‘monumentally complex’. She doubted whether international cooperation was really possible. She concluded that she thought that this Review was designed to cloak the motives of a government that wanted some moral justification for increasing taxation on fuels.

An unconfirmed report on BBC 24 early Tuesday morning, October 31, stated that the White House had not yet seen a copy of the Stern Review.

In response to the Stern Report Australia‘s Prime Minister John Howard promised a AU$60 million to fight climate change. The projects are part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. “The Asia-Pacific Partnership includes countries that represent about half of the world’s emissions, energy use, GDP (gross domestic product) and population, and is an important initiative that engages, for the first time, the key greenhouse-gas emitting countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Howard said in a statement.

A statement by Australian Greens senators Rachel Siewert and Christine Milne criticised the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics saying “ABARE indicated that the type of research undertaken for the Stern Report is beyond them. They can put a price on what ratifying the Kyoto protocol would cost but have no idea or capacity to put a price on the cost of not acting. They are tinkering around the edges of the problem and don’t seem to know whether climate change is real or whether there is any urgency.”

Can You Spot A 1967 Camaro?

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By Tom Burgess

The

Chevrolet Camaro

is a popular pony car made in North America by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors. It was introduced at the start of the 1967 model year to compete Ford’s Mustang. The

Camaro

was an F-body and shared the platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird. There were four generations of the Camaro produced 1967 until 2002.

Even though the name Camaro has no meaning, GM researchers claimed they found it in a French dictionary as a slang term for “friend” or “companion.” GM’s offical project designation for the Camaro was XP-836. When the press asked Chevrolet product managers “What is a Camaro?”, they answered “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs”. Camaro fits Chevrolet’s “C” naming structure that included Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette.

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The first generation

Chevrolet Camaro

debuted for the 1967 model year on the new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform. It was available as a 2-door 2+2 coupe or convertible with a choice of 6 cylinder and V8 engines. The first-gen Camaro ran until the 1969 model year. The Camaro’s standard drive train was a 230 c.i. straight 6 cylinder engine rated at 140 horsepower attached to a Saginaw 3 speed manual transmission. A four speed manual transmission was also available. The two-speed “Powerglide” automatic transmission was a popular option in 1967.

The first generation

Camaro

shared some mechanicals with the 1968 Chevy II Nova. Almost 80 factory and 40 dealer options, including three main packages, were available Including the RS package, the SS package, and the Z/28 package.

Available on all models, the RS was an appearance package that included the hidden headlights, revised taillights, exterior rocker trim, and the RS badges.

The SS package included three engine options. The 350 c.i. V8 engine which was only available in the

Camaro

in 1967, and the L35 and L78 396 c.i. big block V8’s were also available in the Super Sport package. The larger Turbo 400 3 speed was an option on L35 SS Camaros. The SS featured air inlets on the hood that were not functional, dual striping and SS badge on the grille, gas cap, front fenders, and steering wheel. You could order both the SS and RS to create the Camaro SS/RS. A 1967 Camaro SS/RS convertible with a 396 c.i. engine was the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 in white with orange stripes.

The Z/28 option package was not mentioned in sales literature and was unknown to most buyers. The Z/28 option included power front disc brakes and a Muncie 4-speed manual transmission. The Z/28 package came with a 302 c.i. small-block V-8 engine modified with a 3″ crankshaft with 4″ bore, an aluminum intake manifold, and 4-barrel vacuum secondary Holly carburetor of 780 CFM. The Z/28 302 c.i. was designed by Chevy specifically to race in the Trans Am series that required displacement smaller than 305 c.i.’s and that the car be available to the public. Advertised power was listed at 290 horsepower. This was an under rated figure since Chevrolet wanted to keep the horsepower rating at less than 1 horsepower per cubic inch for insurance and racing classes. The factory rating of 290 horsepower occurred at 5300 rpm with peak power for the high-revving 302 c.i. was closer to 360 horsepower with the single four barrel carburetor. The Z/28 package produced up to 400 horsepower with the optional dual four barrel carburetors at 6800-7000 rpm. The Z/28 package also came with suspension upgrades, racing stripes on the hood, and Z/28 emblem. It was also possible to combine the Z/28 package with the RS package. Only 602 Z/28

Camaros

were sold in 1967. The 1967 Z28 received air from an open element air cleaner or from an optional cowl plenum duct attached to the side of the air cleaner that ran to the firewall and got air from the cowl vents. 15 inch rally wheels, were included with Z/28s had while all other Camaros had 14 inch wheels.

About the Author:

musclecarsociety.com

Tom Burgess is an avid muscle car enthusiast who has been driving and working on muscle cars for years. Tom enjoys all makes and models of muscle cars from the early 1960’s until the early 1970’s including his.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=146379&ca=Automotive

TARC to showcase R&D achievements in 2008 AutoTronics Taipei

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Friday, April 11, 2008

In the Opening Day of 2008 AutoTronics Taipei (April 9), the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan (ITRI) invited Jamie C. Hsu (Consultant of Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Republic of the China and Former Management Executive Director of General Motors Global Technology) for a speech in the “Pavilion of Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium (TARC)” to forecast the future of automobile industry in Taiwan, which echoed the “Taiwan Automotive International Forum & Exhibition”, held at TWTC Nangang in conjunction with 2008 Taipei AMPA.

Before the main show, Department of Industrial Technology of Ministry of Economic Affairs supervised the establishment of TARC by ITRI, Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Metal Industries Research & Development Center, and the other academical and industrial units to improve the level of research and development including applications on security, artificial intelligence, and energy-saving.

There were several crisis for the automobile industry in Taiwan because of the decrease of market scale, low self-independence, technology transition, and the rise up of oil prices. But after in conjunction with light-weighting, electronical, and energy-saving related industries, there were other chances and challenges for the automobile industry in Taiwan. Currently, the Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium should do a proper role on R&D, policy driving, and quality improving, even though urban and rural differences, and key issue of carbon dioxide wasting, if there is a new innovation, Taiwan will be a good example in the automobile industry in the world.

2008 COMPUTEX Taipei: Three awards, One target

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Monday, June 23, 2008

2008 COMPUTEX Taipei, the largest trade fair since its inception in 1982, featured several seminars and forums, expansions on show spaces to TWTC Nangang, great transformations for theme pavilions, and WiMAX Taipei Expo, mainly promoted by Taipei Computer Association (TCA). Besides of ICT industry, “design” progressively became the critical factor for the future of the other industries. To promote innovative “Made In Taiwan” products, pavilions from “Best Choice of COMPUTEX”, “Taiwan Excellence Awards”, and newly-set “Design and Innovation (d & i) Award of COMPUTEX”, demonstrated the power of Taiwan’s designs in 2008 COMPUTEX Taipei.

Ontario investigators search for the body of Victoria Stafford

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Police forensic investigators in Canada continue the search for the body of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, whom they now believe was murdered on the same day she was abducted, April 8, 2009 from her Woodstock, Ontario school.

Counselors have been providing support to students at Oliver Stephens Public School.

There have been two arrests made, one for the first-degree murder and abduction of Tori Stafford and the other person has been charged with being an accessory and abduction. The next court appearance is May 28.

Police and neighbours say that the parents of Tori may have been familiar with at least one of the abductors.

The search continues for the body of Tori as well as the rear seat of a vehicle connected with the abduction. The search area is around Guelph, and Fergus north east of Woodstock.

Police are seeking information about a blue 2003 four-door Honda which is believed to be blue with black spray paint on large portions of it. Investigators believe it to have been in the Home Depot parking lot in Guelph on the evening of April 8, the day of the abduction.

The grey cloth covered back seat from the above vehicle is missing and police are seeking to recover it. Police have been combing rural areas and scouring lake bottoms in the hopes of turning up more evidence.

“We continue to receive information on all different parts of the investigation and each piece of lead or tip, if you will, is being investigated as far as it can take us,” said Laurie-Anne Maitland, an Oxford Community Police Constable. “If I were her parent I would want to have that ounce of hope too until I knew 100 per cent. I think it’s the nature [of people to hope for] one possible little miracle … and it’s not [possible].”

Woodstock, the home town of Tori is located in the county of Oxford, and the search has spread out to the neighbouring county of Wellington. The city of Guelph is located about 42 miles (68 km) to the north east, and Fergus which is north of Guelph is about 57 miles (92 km) from Woodstock.

US Capitol lockdown lifted after shooting

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

In Washington D.C., the U.S. Capitol building has reopened after shots were fired in front of it. For safety, no entry or exit was permitted from the building after a man committed suicide just before 2pm local time yesterday. The lockdown lasted until around 3:50pm while members of the bomb squad investigated the man’s backpack, suitcase, and the surrounding area.

A witness estimated 60 other persons were in the area at the time of death. Witnesses reported the man had a sign of protest about taxation and social justice.

The shooting occurred during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, a busy Washington tourist season. Congress was not in session during the attack but are returning from recess tomorrow.

Film project aims to raise £1 million to make a Creative Commons-licensed film

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Matt Hanson aims to raise £1 million to fund the production of a feature-length film which would be distributed freely via the Internet under a Creative Commons licence, all funded through 50,000 people each donating £25 to the project, which he’s called ‘A Swarm of Angels‘.

No stranger to filmmaking, Matt has produced numerous digital short films, a series of books on digital filmmaking and set up the digital film festival onedotzero, now in its tenth year. He wants to finally make a feature length film, and decided that it was better to turn to the Internet for help and funding rather than plod through the usual ‘development hell‘.

“I wanted to put into practice what I’ve been preaching as a film futurist for ten years, and the technology and Internet infrastructure has just really caught up with that vision now for me to put it into practice.”

The process is inspired by the ‘web 2.0‘ movement, using social and collaborative communities on the Internet. Matt doesn’t see the funding as coming from donations, but as people paying a subscription to become part of a ‘Swarm’. “Rather than the ‘many producer’ model, this is more of an [sic] ‘smart consumer’ model … members can help implement and bring their expertise into play, and so become more actively involved in the production.”

The project hopes to use professional actors and crew, but use qualified members from the swarm as much as possible. The cast and the crew, including any volunteers that get chosen, would be paid for their work on the film, with Matt suggesting that this is “a great way for people to get into the industry”.

Those members not directly involved in making the film can still participate in the process by discussing ideas on a messageboard, and having a vote on certain crucial decisions such as which script gets chosen for production. Asked how he would balance his own creative direction with input from members, Matt said “my vision will lead the project forward and define the parameters, but the Swarm can influence that, and indeed offer improvements or insights I might not think of alone”.

“Remember filmmaking is always a team effort – whether you are Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick or Jean Luc Godard, you promote people within the project that will complement and bring something extra to the vision of the film. Give it more life. With the Swarm we are making that process more democratic, and giving a wider range of people an opportunity to shine and have creative input.”

Members are promised a collector’s edition DVD of the end product and exclusive merchandise, but the main distribution of the film will be via the Internet, using ‘BitTorrent‘ and peer-to-peer networks. “Unlike many other filmmakers, I’m not wedded to cinema projection as the ‘be all and end all’ – I’m much more excited about people viewing remixed versions on their video iPods,” explains Matt.

The ‘remixing’ of the film will be possible thanks to it being distributed under a Creative Commons licence. Matt suggests that the ‘younger generation’ is more used to being involved with and interacting with entertainment, and points to remixes of the Star Wars films (eg ‘The Phantom Edit‘) as an example of these ‘mashups’. “At the end of the project I would love to have an event that showcased five wildly different versions of the film, different visions from people other than my definitive initial edit,” he suggests. The licence will be for non-commercial use only, however, and so commercial TV stations would still have to pay in order to screen the film.

The project is partly inspired by the success of ‘The Million Dollar Homepage‘, in which British student Alex Tew aimed to raise a million dollars to fund his university education, simply by selling advertising space on a single web page. The publicity surrounding the idea, coupled with the ‘viral’ effect of Internet users passing the page on, meant that he eventually managed to make himself the million dollars.

The success of these projects partly seems to depend on them being interesting and original enough to attract enough attention, and it’s often difficult to see how they could be repeated. Copy-cat versions of the million dollar homepage have so far failed to hugely take off. When asked about this idea, Matt responded “I already expect people to copy the model we are inventing with A Swarm of Angels – it’s a perfect way to create cult media, where the director gets more creative control and organically funds a project, and the fans of the project get more involvement within it. If the market gets too crowded with these projects though, then they’ll have to be packaged differently to stand out. But that’s what traditional film and media projects need to do anyway.”

Over 600 members have signed up to the ‘swarm’ so far, which Matt comments is already an early success, but 50,000 members in total will be needed in order to fully fund the £1 million budget. Matt suggests that getting to the next stage, of reaching 1,000 members, followed by the phase of getting 5,000 members, will be the hardest part, as after that the film will be more ‘tangible’. He expects to raise the full budget, but comments that if the fundraising stalls, “options will be presented by advisors and The Swarm, and based on some kind of consensus we’ll come up with the best option for moving forward.”

Traditionally, independent films are funded either through persuading wealthy individuals to invest, who sometimes are sometimes given ‘Executive Producer‘ credits, or through organisations like the UK Film Council, who award funds from the National Lottery. A tax credit for producers making small films in the UK was announced by the government in 2005, in a bid to give a boost to the UK independent film industry.

Matt says that the film will be “a thriller with soft science fiction elements”, which he says will suit his target audience. “But it will have an indie edginess to it, and be far more visually inventive than you would get with a ‘normal’ British independent feature.” Contributors to the project include artists The Kleptones, who will help with the soundtrack, comic book writer Warren Ellis and documentary filmmaker Grant Gee.

The Swarm of Angels project is online at aswarmofangels.com and costs £25 as an individual to become a member.

New Jersey files lawsuit against federal sports betting ban

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Jersey state senator has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a federal law banning sports betting in 46 states.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat representing portions of Union County, filed the suit Monday, arguing the 17-year-old law is unconstitutional because it treats four states differently than the other states.

Under the law, sports betting is prohibited in all states except Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada, although only the latter two currently allow wagering.

“This federal law deprives the State of New Jersey of over $100 million of yearly revenues, as well as depriving our casinos, racetracks and Internet operators of over $500 million in gross income,” Lesniak said in a statement to the press.

The 39-page lawsuit is believed to be the first challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. New Jersey missed a 1994 deadline that would have allowed it to join the other states when the law was implemented.

Atlantic City officials and their political allies have argued allowing sports betting would give all the states a new source of revenue needed in the face of a staggering recession.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was not involved with the lawsuit, but he said legalizing sports betting would help Atlantic City and said it was “worth pursuing”.

Legalizing sports betting in New Jersey could bring the state more than $50 million in annual tax revenue, according to officials from the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consultant for the electronic gaming industry, which joined Lesniak as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“This is about more than revenue,” said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman of Interactive Media Entertainment. “It’s about jobs and economic activity.” According to 1999 study, $380 billion in illegal sports betting occurs in the state each year.

New Jersey, in particular, is facing a difficult budget season, and the Atlantic City casinos are in what the Associated Press called a “financial meltdown”. Eleven of the city’s casinos suffered their biggest revenue decline in 30 years last month.

Delaware is reported to be considering regulating sports betting, which New Jersey backers of the lawsuit said adds a sense of urgency to the issue.

“We cannot afford to be naive about illegal sports betting,” New Jersey State Sen. Jeff Van Drew said in a statement to the press. “It’s happening right now, and is funding other criminal enterprises which are far more dangerous.”

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey and the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey were also listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Australian government announces study of tax system

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Monday, February 27, 2006

The Australian federal treasurer, Peter Costello, has announced a study to compare the Australian taxation system with those of other countries. It will include overall tax levels, as well as indirect tax, income tax and company tax systems. Mr Costello says that the results are intended to inform discussion of the future of the tax system.

“The aim of the study is to provide a public document that compares Australian taxes to those in other countries. This will identify those areas where Australia leads comparable countries and those areas where it lags. It will enable a focus on the most important areas,” Mr Costello said in a media release.

The study will be lead by Mr Richard (Dick) Warburton and Mr Peter Hendy. Mr Warburton is Chairman of Caltex Australia Ltd, and has been Chairman of the Board of Taxation since its inception in September 2000. According to its website, the Board of Taxation is “a non-statutory advisory body charged with contributing a business and broader community perspective to improving the design of taxation laws and their operation.”

The Australian Democrats welcomed the study but warned that nothing would be achieved without serious reform of the tax system.

“The Inquiry announced yesterday by the Treasurer may turn out to be a step in the right direction but will be a pointless exercise if it ends up being simply a ‘desktop’ report,” said Senator Murray, Democrats Tax Spokesperson.

“The problem with Mr Costello’s approach is that in contrast to the approach taken on the GST, the New Tax System, and the Business Tax System, he has seen income tax change to be solely part of the budget process. Across the whole of the political and public policy spectrum, there is strong agreement that reform is needed, not just tax cuts, and that the income tax system needs redesigning, not just fine tuning.”