Thursday, January 21, 2010

Graffiti, Curling, Monopoly and Robbie Burns

Graffiti: Not just for whippersnappers any more

Over the last two years, anti-Semitic graffiti has appeared on a number of buildings across the City of Guelph. From Stone Road Mall to the Meadowvale Garden Centre to Riverside Park’s Enabling Gardens to Wal-Mart, the incidents have literally been recorded from one end of the city to the other. Would you surprised to learn that this tagging spree was perpetrated not by the idle hands of youth, but an 83-year-old Guelph man? In another strange-but-true tale, Max Mahr appeared in a Guelph courtroom last charged with five counts of mischief under $5,000 and willful promotion of hate. That last charge, willful promotion of hate, needs approval from the Ministry of the Attorney General. According to the Criminal Code, the willful promotion of hate is communicating statements promoting hatred willfully, other than in private conversation, against any identifiable group. Anyone found guilty of the charge can be imprisoned for a maximum of two years. Mahr will next appear in court on February 5th.

Secret to Saving Local Economy: Curling

Last weekend saw the end of the $100,000 Swiss Chalet National –the second leg of the men’s 2009-10 Capital One Grand Slam of Curling series at the Sleeman Centre, and according to all sources it was a grand slam for the city. (Not being acquainted with curling terms, I subbed baseball ones.) The tournament featured curlers who will go on to represent Canada at the Olympic Games in Vancouver next month, meaning a lot of attention was paid to events in Sleeman. Rich Grau, the Sleeman Centre’s facility manager, told the Guelph Tribune that hosting the tournament meant national exposure for the city, and it gave the Sleeman Centre a chance to show its capacity to host a national event. Additionally, Grau said that between the fact that the tournament was five-days long and it drew a total attendance of 28,431, there’s been a positive economic benefit to the city. “There has to be a substantial impact that goes along with this event that you wouldn’t get with a one-day event,” in terms of hotel, restaurant and other spending. Guelph souvenirs, perhaps? Speaking of which…

Guelph about to get monopolized… but in a good way

Do you like the Parker Brothers board game Monopoly? Do you like playing the variant versions? Do want to be able to buy Guelph in the upcoming 75th anniversary edition of the classic game? Well, the only thing standing between you and this reality is you. Guelph is one of 65 Canadian cities vying for 22 slots on the upcoming new edition of Monopoly. “Guelph has a really good chance to make the top 20. But you have to get people online and voting every day,” Hasbro spokesperson Marissa Pedatella said to the Guelph Mercury. Guelphites can go to to register and vote. Be sure to vote early and vote often because the contest closes on February 7th. According to the rules, the two cities that receive the most votes will get the high class spots of Park Place and Boardwalk, while two cities chosen by “wild card” vote will get shafted with Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues. The selected cities will be announced sometime in June, and the new game itself will be released on Canada Day.

“Tak a cup o' kindness” for Burns at Civic Museum

No, that’s not a misspell, that’s the proper Scottish verse as written by “Auld Lang Syne’s” author Robbie Burns in 1788. Now Master Burns is a pretty big deal for those of us with Scottish blood, so if you count yourself among us, or are otherwise a well-wisher of the Scots or other interested third party, then you’ll want to come out to the Civic Museum this Sunday. Robbie Burns Day is always a wonderful celebration, and this year appears to be no exception. The day includes special talks, music, highland dancing, spinning and weaving, calligraphy, traditional food and lots of family activities. Plus, you’ll definitely not want to miss the piping in of the haggis. The festivities go from 1 pm to 4:30 pm, and admission is $6 per adult or $12 per family. For more information go to

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