image Family Dining (early 17th century) via Wikimedia Commons
Shoes and laces is slang for guns and ammunition. A little thing to learn drawn from life in Toronto’s suburban crime world. This Toronto Star piece embodies one of the reasons reading and writing and later the mass media were invented: so that we could see into other worlds. A disturbing picture of life for many in Toronto is based largely on police wire tap material from a major investigation which appears to have passed rather close to disgraced mayor Rob Ford.
This piece from The Globe & Mail last summer looks at the same part of Etobicoke. Guns, gangs, and drugs are not the beginning and the end of the story for everyone there, but…
image: all appears well in Etobicoke from above by BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons
image: MARTA stop in Atlanta by pdxjeff via Wikimedia Commons
Before the video accompanying this piece on suburban poverty in California’s Inland Empire plays we got to watch a commercial for a Mercedes-Benz SUV. A very brief inclination to irony was replaced fairly quickly at hearing the phrase, “Blueberries? Wow, what a blessing.”
Hardship makes a new home in the suburbs
image: notice regarding the opening of the first Welland Canal via Wikimedia Commons
Social mobility for poor children is held back by suburban sprawl according to a new report. If we want to see people of modest means and their kids go somewhere in life we better make sure they enjoy access to good, cheap public transit. This item from Al-Jazeera links you through to the report which comes from Smart Growth America and the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Urban Center:
image: USDA via Wikimedia Commons
Now that Canada is no longer at war in Afghanistan we might have some cash for fixing up high rise hell here at home? Aging towers built sometime between Louis St. Laurent’s prime ministership and Blondie’s first hit single are a front line housing resource in greater Toronto and home to tens of thousands. Not good enough in many a case. Canada’s people should be the best housed people on the face of the Earth.
image: Simon P via Wikimedia Commons
A five-part, in depth look at children, poverty and mental health in Hamilton, Ontario is underway at cbc.ca. If the first segment is anything to go by this will be an impressive piece of feature journalism on a very important topic. Even moderate exposure to poverty has implications for community mental health because of its effect on childhood development. Hamilton’s children will be the first generation to grow up there as citizens of a fully post industrial community. Where those children go so goes Hamilton. A picture of the conditions and issues faced by Hamilton’s children is assembled by Denise Davey based upon key statistics and time spent with families. Some of the best cared for of children are found in Hamilton but even newer neighbourhoods “up the mountain” as Hamiltonians say, are home to children in problematic situations.
A twenty minute segment on Huffington Post last fall discussed a trend in the US mainstream media to attach heroin to the emergence of suburban poverty. It is said that a shift from prescription pain killer use and abuse to heroin consumption is under way. The horrors of 1970s New York City were invoked. Detroit cited. Fear suggested and dismissed in turns.
The segment mixes HuffPo’s amateur style with the traditional alarmism of mainstream media leaving the viewer with mixed feelings as to the reality behind the segment. Even though it is of laughable quality, disorganized and glitch-containing there is a discussion of suburban poverty here so the segment is the subject of this posting. Take it only as a possible starting point on the matter. A relationship between a rapid rise in poverty and a rapid rise in the use of heroin might make some intuitive sense but in this rich topic area the truth is not always straightforward.
image: Wikimedia Commons