Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Syphilis outbreak ? Better bring back End of the Road !

May 8, 1920, Winnipeg Tribune

With news that Winnipeg is on its way to its worst-ever syphilis outbreak, it might be time to bring back screenings of End of the Road !

It is the story of two girls, Mary and Vera. Mary has been taught well by her parents about love and chastity, while Vera is a gold-digging floozie. Both girls end up in New York City where, you guessed it, Vera catches syphilis. Mary has to help treat her and gets a glimpse inside Vera's horrific world of syphilitic zombies.

The feature-length silent film was produced by the American Social Hygiene Association in 1919 and toured cinemas across the United States. The Canadian National Council for Combating Venereal Disease sponsored a Canadian tour. It played at both the Province and the Gaiety in May 1920.

You can check out an excerpt of the film here.

1919 pamphlet (source)

Manitoba has always been on the forefront of fighting venereal diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea. It is credited with being the first province to pass legislation to fight them in 1910, (source). 

That year, 50 children died from syphilis, passed along through "the sins of their parents" at childbirth. That was up from just 23 cases the year before. When compared to much higher profile infant killers of the day, scarlet fever with 105 deaths in 1910 and diphtheria with 79, syphilis was a force to be reckoned with, (source: Rowland Dixon, provincial statistician, in March 10, 1911 Winnipeg Tribune).

The problem got a lot worse during World War One. According to the Canadian Public Health Association, it was believed that 28.5% of troops had venereal disease and, of course, brought it home with them, (source). 

The above pamphlet, "Coming Home" was one in a series produced by the YMCA. It asks soldiers: "...are you coming back clean in body?”, noting that some are returning with the “dishonourable marks of Venereal Disease” caught from prostitutes or harlots. It recommended never marrying or, if they did, never to have sexual intercourse with their spouse.

You can read the booklet here.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Mayor Parnell's inaugural address to 1921 Winnipeg City Council

These are excepts from Mayor Edward Parnell's inaugural address to the 1921 Winnipeg city council. Parnell was newly elected and taking over at a difficult time. Years of post-war recession and continuing fallout from the general strike meant that the city was as socially divided as ever, deep in debt and struggling with high unemployment. 

Just over a year later Parnell had to take a leave of absence due to poor health. He died in Victoria on June 9, 1922.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Election night thoughts .....

Well, well.... I am doing a 1 am radio show tonight so took a 2 hour nap and woke up with a new mayor and city councilor ! I haven't read anything other than the results, so here are my raw, unfiltered opinions on the Mayor's race and in "Danny Mac"....

Congrats to everyone who ran in a campaign. It is a thankless part of the democratic process that we cherish. Take time to get caught up on your laundry, reunite with the family you've neglected and stay involved in your community !

Election sign house !


I had to rub my eyes a couple of times before believing the mayors results. Did Bowman really beat JWL by more than a 20% spread?! Wow. Didn't see that coming. 

That's not vote splitting or any other voting quirk. That's an old fashioned election night whooping. (Late addition: Note that adding JWL, RFO AND Steeves' votes together, she would have barely beaten Bowman.)

Either JWL's support had a nuclear meltdown in 48 hours, 20% of them forgot it was election day or, perhaps this is another case of iffy election polling results, that people sitting around at home with a land line telephone were of a demographic more likely to support Judy than one of the other candidates.

Good for Bowman in that scraping out a win by a couple of percentage points means you'll always have additional chirpers pointing out that you barely have a mandate. A 20%% (late addition: 23%) victory is a decisive margin and a sign that people want you to lead.

I voted for Bowman with a bit of an asterisk. He was pretty centrist, as was JWL for that matter, but made some lofty promises that he'll have to keep. Katz was once the businessman outsider who first won on a series of feel good promises, (eliminating business tax downtown, free transit for seniors, all traffic lights synchronized in 4 years), all of which he walked away from before the first term was even done. Will Bowman be a repeat ?

Kudos to Falcon Oullette. I actually stood and stared at my ballot for a full minute before voting for mayor. My heart was with him but I went with my head. I am certain that he mobilized many people to vote who have never participated before. Also, he overcame probably one of the worst campaign starts one could have to finish a decisive third.

I don't like to gloat over a losers campaign but Steeves not breaking the 10% mark is a good thing. Bad campaigns should be punished and he went from the man who could easily have been the winner to a single digit percentage finisher. 

He ran an uninspired, "no we can't" campaign. Framed differently, he could have turned the exact same platform into a positive one and ran with it, but it came off as chiding and negative. On two occasions, (the wife thing and when he fell to third in the polls), he cancelled public events and disappeared from media sight. Um, as mayor you have to face up to bad news and controversies, most of which are not of your own making. Turning and running is not an option in a top public service job.

Kudos to all the candidates. Each of them brought something unique to the table. Some very interesting choices.

Danny Mac

After the close race last time, 9300 votes cast with just 350 separating Smith, Gilroy and Bellamy, the same three squared off to a 1,000 vote spread with Gilroy winning by 500.

Good for her. She's smart, has worked as a constit assistant for Kevin Chief so has a pretty good idea of some of the retail political issues that a depressed area of town faces and did a term as school trustee.

Farewell to Harvey. You had a good run on council but timing has caught up with you. "Danny Mac" is not some sleepy suburb with a minimum number of problems, most of which will get looked after by default.

The ward includes some of the poorest census tracts in the country with high crime rates, gang involvement, poverty, housing and infrastructure issues. It needs a vibrant, creative, engaged, activist representative to get the "over and above" things that the ward needs done. Merely voting the right way and tossing in the odd gimmick isn't going to cut it. Honestly, I am still surprised that 3,200 people voted for Smith.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Radio Edition - Pledge-o-Rama Episode !

Update: Join me and guest Katie tonight on 101.5 UMFM Monday at midnight for three hours of … stuff !  It's part of the week-long special Pledge-o-Rama nightime programming !

There will be comedy by Bob Newhart, David Steinberg and Wayne and Shuster. Short stories from the Brothers Grimm, Guy de Maupassant and Ralph Connor. Also, a full episode of The Shadow, the 1930s radio drama starring a then unknown Orson Welles, that appeared in the opening lineup of the original CJUM / UMFM in 1975.

Music will include the Kubasonics, the CFL Sessions album, Red Alix, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Florence and the Machine, Viet Cong, fifth, Eagle and Hawk, the Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack, Tanya Tagak and lots more - because it’s three freaking hours long !

Billboard, January 27, 1979

 Winnipeg Free Press, September 16, 1998


Tonight on West End Dumplings - The Radio Edition, something a little different for Pledge-o-Rama !

UMFM has had two incarnations, from 1975 to 1980 and 1988 to present. My guests will be John Robertson (station manager 1975 -1976), Chris Epp (news director 1998 - 1999), Sara Stasiuk (program director 1998 - 1999), Jared McKetiak (current station manager) and hopefully a few pop-ins !

I will, of course, talk about Pledge-o-Rama, the great schwag that's on offer, and my Winnipeg Historic Hotels Pub Crawl. If you would like to donate to UMFM through the show you can do it by following this link or call in during the show - operators will be standing by ! No donation is too small !

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Historic Winnipeg Hotel Pub Crawl Oct 25th !


October 17 - 24, 2014 is UMFM's Pledge-o-Rama, when the station asks listeners for donations to help fund the station's operations and the numerous community events it sponsors. The goal this year is $28,000 which represents about 15% of its operating budget.

There's a lot of great UMFM schwag to be had, including CDs, t-shirts, travel mugs and hoodies. Be sure to check out the list here, and if you do pledge, please mention my show :)

The Pledge Masters ask show hosts to try to come up with something of their own to sweeten the pot for listeners that donate through their shows. Here's my bright idea: a Saturday afternoon historic hotel pub crawl !

The Winnipeg, The Garrick, The Vendome and The Woodbine. You may have passed them hundreds of times but have never gone inside. Now here's your chance !

The Saturday afternoon walk takes about 2 ¼ hours. We will stop outside each hotel where I will tell you a little about its early history. Then, at three of them, we'll go inside for a quick beer, talk some more and take a look at some old photos, ads and newspaper articles that I have compiled. We end off at the Vendome Hotel and one of the city's best kept secrets - their burger bar !

I’m offering the tour for people who pledge at least at the $40 level to the station through West End Dumplings between now and the end of pledge week. This also entitles you to the UMFM Friends With Benefits discount card and the 2014 version of the Transmissions CD. 

The date of the event is October 25, 2014 starting at 2 pm. 

If you are interested in pledging but that week does not work for you, let me know at cassidy at mts.net as I am willing to change the date or do a second tour to accommodate more people. The maximum per tour is six.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Radio Edition - October 12, 2014 *PODCAST*

Here is what is on tonight's tonight's West End Dumplings - The Radio Edition, the show about Manitoba history. Check it out at 7 pm on 101.5 UMFM. Later tonight,
Show Links

- 1918 influenza precautions poster. More about the "Spansih" flu in Manitoba.

- Lester B. Pearson wins the Nobel Prize. Here is the link to his 1965 UBC address.

- The Persons Case page at Historica.ca and the U of S.

- Syd Halter, the CFL's founding father.

Play List

- The Funky Turkey by the Jive Turkeys

- Shine On, Harvest Moon by Harry Macdonough

- Farmer's Song by Murray McLaughlin

Roger Currie's daily newscast and weekly reflections can be found at his Community News Commons site.

The short story Aunt Susanna's Thanksgiving Dinner by Lucy Maud Montgomery is courtesy of SuperUtils.com. It, and many other Thanksgiving short stories, can be found at their YouTube page.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Daniel McIntyre Race Overview and All Candidates Forums !

Here's your chance to hear from the candidates running for city council in the Daniel McIntyre Ward at a pair of all candidates forums !

The first will take place at Orioles Community Centre, 448 Burnell Street, on Wednesday, October 8th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.. Candidates will be asked questions about infrastructure and housing, then the mics will be turned over to the floor.

The second takes place on Thursday, October 9th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, 430 Langside Street. Candidates will be asked questions about community safety, then the mics will be turned over to the floor.

2010 Election - Top 3 Results
Harvey Smith 3,251x
(click on name for 2014 election website)

Daniel McIntyre promises to be one of this year's tightest election races.

In 2010 a mere 352 votes separated the top three contenders and incumbent Harvey Smith, despite losing his long-time NDP endorsement, kept his seat with just 28 per cent of the vote. This time around, those top three are back on the ballot as well as John Cardoso, who finished a distant fifth in 2010, and new entrants Godwin Smith and Dave Donaldson.

The Daniel McIntyre Ward includes the neighbourhoods of West Broadway, Daniel McIntyre, St. Mathews, Spence and parts of Downtown.

Many of the hot-button issues will be the same as in 2010. Areas of the ward have stubbornly high crime rates, which include gang activity, annual arson sprees and street prostitution. It also has some of the oldest streets and lanes in the city. 

In the past four years, parts of the ward have seen great rejuvenation and redveloment, such as Central Park, Sherbrook Street and Portage Avenue. This has caused housing prices and rents to soar in an area where the average household income is $20,000 less than the city average.

2006 census data on Daniel McIntyre Ward
Daniel McIntyre Ward Official City of Winnipeg election site
Daniel McIntyre Ward WinnipegElection.ca (includes links to media stories mentioning the candidates.)