Monday, November 2, 2015

The "Needles" and "Razor Blades" in Halloween Candy Hoax

A Winnipeg mom is warning parents to carefully examine Halloween candy after she found a sewing needle poking out of a small chocolate bar her daughter collected on Saturday night.

Jennifer Tichborne said the candy's wrapper looked like it had been tampered with and when her daughter broke the chocolate bar in half, she saw the needle. Its eye still had thread attached.

"I freaked," Tichborne said.

"I didn't know what to think of that. I just couldn't believe I was actually looking at it."

Tichborne said she must have missed the candy when she first inspected what her daughter brought home. She posted pictures of the finding on Facebook so other parents would be reminded to check their kids' treats, too.


Last year at Halloween:

Annamarie Born told CTV Winnipeg she was shocked to discover a sewing needle lodged in a chocolate bar one of her daughters collected while trick-or-treating.
"My other daughter bit into it and said something poked her, and she spit it on the floor," Born said.
Born picked up the chocolate bar and found a sewing needle inside it. At first glance, the packaging and the chocolate appeared normal, but upon closer inspection she could detect a small hole in the candy bar where the needle could have been inserted.
Luckily, her daughter wasn't hurt, but Born said she’s still in shock.
"It's disturbing that somebody would actually do this to children's candy," she said.
Born and her children were trick-or-treating in the area of North Kildonan. Residents there said they're disgusted that something like this could happen in their neighbourhood.

First off, I'm not saying that this mother is lying, but in 99% of these reportings (or more), it's found to be a hoax, perpetrated by children, or mentally ill parents.  There have been instances in decades past, where a man was given the death penalty for deliberately spiking his son's candy bar with cyanide, and killing him, then blaming tampered candy.  

Another time a man found wrapped chocolate at his work at the post office, only to give it away to children, without realizing that the small candy bars were laced with marijuana, in some elaborate drug smuggling operation.  In another case, a child accidentally consumed his uncles heroin, mistaking it for candy, and died.  However, the are barely any credible confirmed cases of stranger tampering with candy.

I'll dissect the mother's story:

1. "On Saturday night, Tichborne took her daughter trick-or-treating on all streets between Winnipeg's Strathcona and Clifton Streets and then between Dominion and Garfield Streets. They also made their way between Sargent and Wellington Avenues and then from Wellington to Notre Dame Avenue."

Check Google maps.  You will realize that it would be impossible for a speed walker (let alone a mothers and small child), to walk that distance within a 3-4 hour time frame.  In fact, one would be hard pressed to go from home to home, delivering mail in an 8 hour shift.  We are talking about all streets in between Strathcona and Clifton, then Dominion and Garfield.  At the very least from Sargent at the south, and Notre Dame at the north.

I compared the area I used to walk as a child, in my neighborhood, and it is anywhere from 10-15 times the distance, and it took my parents and I at least three hours to trek less than 10% of that distance.

2. The dead giveaway.  Look at how the Aero bar is cut.  It's cut nearly perfect, yet there is a needle sticking out of the bar.  Even just throwing an Aero bar in a container, and walking that distance, small pieces of the bar would shred, or at least break off if it were legitimately tampered with.  There is no way you can walk a dozen city blocks, and have it remain perfectly divided it two.

3. Why would these people appear on camera, or conduct numerous interviews with the media, without first filing a report with the Police.  Better yet, why was nobody ever charged in the past with this type of activity by the Winnipeg Police? If this really happened, it would be a #1 priority for any Police department, as it would inflict bodily harm on an innocent child, not to mention the paranoia of other residents of the community.

4. History:"]

"Poisoned candy myths are urban legends that malevolent individuals could hide poison or drugs, or sharp objects such as razor blades, needles, or broken glass in candy and distribute the candy in order to harm random children, especially during Halloween trick-or-treating.""]

"We checked major newspapers from throughout the country from 1958 through 1988," he said, "assuming that any story this horrible would certainly be well reported."

Well, they found a total of 78 cases and two deaths. [The two deaths Best was referring to were the O'Bryan murder and the accidental poisoning of Kevin Toston.] Further checking proved that almost all of the 78 cases were pranks. The deaths were tragically real, but they, too, were misrepresented in the beginning.

The pranks, he said, were all of kids — after years of hearing similar stories — inserting needles or razor blades into fruit, not realizing (or maybe realizing) how much they frightened their whole town.

"My favorite," Best says, "was the kid who brought a half-eaten candy bar to his parents and said, 'I think there's ant poison on this.' They had it checked and, sure enough, there was ant poison on it — significantly, on the end he had not bitten." Of course, the youngster had applied the poison himself. 

Best has tried mightily over the years to destroy this particular myth, but obviously to no avail. "It's the old problem of trying to prove a negative," he says.

What investigators found

In one of those cases, it turned out that a child who died after supposedly eating Halloween candy laced with heroin had actually happened upon a stash of the drug in his uncle's home.

In other cases, children who were initially thought to have died as a result of poisoned Halloween candy were found by pathologists to have succumbed to natural causes.

In one of the very few incidents in which Halloween treats were actually implicated in the death of a child, investigators discovered that the fatal sweets had been poisoned by the child's own father, who had recently taken out a life insurance policy on his son.</i>

"Tainted Halloween candy is a contemporary legend, spread by word of mouth, with little to support it," Best concluded.

Like most contemporary ("urban") legends, this one has more to reveal about our collective psyche than it does about real-world events. "Contemporary legends are ways we express anxiety," Best explains. This legend shows just how anxious we can be.


Please spread this post.  It's about time this urban legend dies, and children can enjoy Halloween without these attention seekers creating unnecessary panic in the community.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

50,000 hits!

I would just like to take the time to thank everyone who has followed my blog over the last 3 1/2 years.  I admit that after June 2011, I haven't blogged as much as I would like, but it's nice to know so many of you all over cyberspace have read what I have had to say about issues surrounding Winnipeg, and more.  Cheers!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Ghomeshi Scandal and the CBC: Should we Privatize the Public Broadcaster?

Personally, I have never understood why the government did not sell the CBC to private investors years ago. However, with the loss of nearly all of it's NHL games (it's main cash cow), and now the Jian Ghomashi scandal, I think it's time Canadians really took a hard look at the public broadcaster, and decide whether we want to fund the network?

CBC was recently outbid by Rogers Communications, for the rights to broadcast NHL hockey

Losing the rights to the vast majority of NHL games, and the playoffs to Rogers Communications, was an incredibly stupid move, as it was proven to make money for the public broadcaster for years, and Hockey Night In Canada was it's #1 show. That was bad enough. However, this is tame compared to what is in store for the CBC, when attention inevitably focuses on their role in the Jian Gomeshi scandal, and how much the public broadcaster knew of Gomeshi's inappropriate treatment of female co-workers and interns.

Jian Ghomeshi's radio show "Q" was one of CBC's highest rated programs.

I find it very telling that after the CBC finally fired Jian Ghomeshi for his deviant, and arguably criminal sexual lifestyle, a number of well known artists and employees of CBC went on Twitter, and made allegations that it was no secret to anyone about Jian's behavior, and how the CBC had looked away and ignored allegations of sexual harassment and violence for years, as his radio talk show "Q" was one of it's most popular programs, and a big ratings draw, and attracted much needed advertising revenue.

 Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy Decoutere has alleged she was assaulted by Ghomeshi.

It is now known that at least one female CBC worker filed a complaint about sexual harassment by Jian Ghomeshi in 2010, but the complaint was largely swept under the rug. How many other women at CBC were sexually harassed and intimidated by Ghomeshi?  Was Jian Ghomeshi ever even notified of the complaints against him, much less punished and reprimanded by the public broadcaster?

Author and Lawyer Reva Seth is alleging Ghomeshi assaulted her.

I personally think it is only a matter of time, before shit hits the fan, and CBC is forced to be accountable for one of their employee's behavior, due to the fact that there are complaints about Ghomeshi on record, but were largely ignored. The big question is who knew, and for how long did they know the details about Ghomeshi. With each passing day, it appears that the executives at CBC almost certainly knew of rumors about Ghomeshi's conduct, yet ignored it completely.

Toronto Police have opened an investigation into the accusations against Jian Ghomeshi.

Since CBC terminated it's relationship with Jian Ghomeshi on Sunday, October 26, at least 8 woman have come forward, alleging Ghomashi physically and sexually assaulted them on dates.  Recently, three woman have gone to the authorities in regards to being victimized by Ghomeshi, and the Toronto Police Service has opened up an investigation, and is asking potential victims to come forward to Police.   Lucy Decoutere, known for her role on the hit Canadian series "Trailer Park Boys," and author/lawyer Reva Seth had publically come forward, to state that they were assaulted by Jian Ghomeshi at his Toronto home. 

If Ghomeshi is convicted in a criminal court of sexual assault (or worse), it will be inevitable that CBC will face a possible class-action civil suit, which could force the network to shell out tens of millions of dollars to victims of Ghomeshi. I believe it may be more of a question of "when" not "if," in terms of CBC facing a huge backlash for the knowledge of continuing to employ a sexual predator, and placing a higher emphasis on ratings and advertising dollars, then the safety and well-being of it's workforce.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Congratulations to Brian Bowman: Winnipeg's New Mayor

Bowman and his wife celebrate the election victory.

With another election under wraps, Brian Bowman managed to thrash Judy Wasylycia-Leis 111,504 to 58,440 votes.  With the victory, Bowman becomes the first indigenous mayor of a large Canadian city.  The voters of Winnipeg also sent a strong message to the NDP, who backed Wasylycia-Leis. With the NDP approval rate hovering around 30%, it is clear Manitobans want change, and only a miracle can keep the NDP from being soundly defeated in the next Provincial Election.

Thomas Steen defeated.

In the City Council race, Jason Schreyor easily knocked off the incumbent, and ex-Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen, who has been dogged by accusations of assaulting a woman at a Boston Pizza in the spring.  It did not do Steen any favors, when ex-Winnipeg Jet Bobby Hull, who also has a history of domestic violence, publicly endorsed Steen's campaign.  The move ultimately backfired for Steen's campaign, as Schreyor won the riding of Elmwood-East Kildonan.

Grant Nordman defeated

In other upsets, councilor Grant Nordman lost his seat to Shawn Dobson, in the St.Charles riding.  Long time councilor Harvey Smith went down in defeat, losing to Cindy Gilroy, in the Daniel McIntyre riding.  In all other City Council ridings, the incumbants managed to get re-elected.  

I congratulate all candidates who ran for office, and hope Bowman, and the new City Council can help lead Winnipeg into economic prosperity for the next four years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thinking of voting for Judy Wasylycia Leis for Mayor of Winnipeg tomorrow?

This video speaks for itself:

Judy is asked a simple question:  "Where will you find the funding to build the second leg of the BRT route?"  She cannot answer the question, and goes around in circles.  It's painful to watch, as she has a legitimate shot of becoming Winnipeg's next mayor.

Judy refusing to answer a simple question about Marijuana legalization.  It should be noted that every other mayoral candidate had no problem answering the question.  

Interviewer:  "Would you support legalizing marijuana?"
Judy:  "That's a federal issue, nothing to do with the Municipal scene"

*Note:  Judy had come out in support of the legalization of Marijuana in 1999.  In 2014, she denies ever saying this, even though it is found in transcripts in the House of Commons, when she was a Member of Parliament for the NDP.

Question: "What have you done for the benefit of Winnipeg for the last 5-10 years?"

While Brian Bowman lists a number of impressive accomplishments, Judy rambles on about leaving Federal politics, and to help current NDP candidate Brian Chief's  Federal campaign.  She also goes on to talk about the Tina Fontaine homicide this summer, which is irrelevant to the question being asked.  In other words, she has done NOTHING.

Judy has absolutely No idea what she is talking about.  Judy is also a big time socialist, and union supporter, two things that Winnipeg does not need at the moment.  She has danced around issues too many times, and has great difficulty giving straight, honest answers.  

Help make Winnipeg a progressive city that it should be.  DO NOT vote for Judy.  Winnipeg deserves better.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Happened to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club?

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have won 10 Grey Cups in their storied history.  There were times when the Bombers were the powerhouse of the CFL.  During the 50’s, early 60’s, 80’s, and early 90’s, the Bombers were arguably the top professional football team in Canada.  Those days seem long gone, as the Blue Bombers continue to set records for futility.  I cannot believe this is the same Winnipeg Blue Bomber franchise, as the one I grew up with in my youth.

I started following the Bombers, as my Grandparents (God bless their souls), were nice enough to buy me a season ticket for years, starting in 1983, when I was old enough to finally appreciate what was happening on the field.

I fondly remember:

The 20 game home winning streak from 1983-85
·         The acquisition of Tom Clements
·         The return of Dieter Brock, and “Brock-Busters!”
·         The 1984 Grey Cup win
·         Sweeping most honors at the CFL Awards ceremonies
·         The "BC Sucks!" chants
·         Sean Salisbury leading the Bombers to the 88' Grey Cup   
·         Destroying Edmonton 50-11 in the 1990 Grey Cup

To drive home my point of how good the Blue Bombers were in their glory years, take a look at the 15 year period, beginning in 1980, where the Blue had an amazing record of 162-95-1

Blue Bombers regular season records (1980-94):

1980: 10-6
1981: 11-5
1982: 11-5
1983: 9-7
1984: 11-4-1 (Grey Cup Champions)
1985: 12-4
1986: 11-7
1987: 12-6
1988: 9-9 (Grey Cup Champions)
1989: 7-11
1990: 12-6 (Grey Cup Champions)
1991: 9-9
1992: 11-7
1993: 14-4
1994: 13-5

What the hell happened? I used to watch every single game the Bombers played. Since around 2005, when I moved to Alberta for the first time, I occasionally watched and followed the Bombers.  In the last couple of years, I can't even be bothered to follow them. I long for the glory years of Tom Clements, Willard Reeves, Chris Walby, James Murphy, Tyrone Jones, Joe Poplawski, James West, John Bonk, Nick Bastaja, Greg Battle, James Jefferson, Less Browne, Lyle Bauer, Mike GrayRod Hill, Rick House, Bob Cameron, Trevor Kennerd, and many more.

Winnipeg Stadium, AKA the "House of Pain" used to instill fear in the hearts of visiting CFL clubs. Now, at the new Investors Group Field, it is painful for Bomber supporters to watch the team.  The fans deserve better.  Winnipeg deserves better.  Winnipeg has supported the Blue Bombers for over 75 years.  It’s time to make some drastic changes with this once proud organization. 

IMHO, the Bombers should have never let Lyle Bauer go to Calgary. We also need to purge the Blue Bomber Board of Directors of all its members, and find someone who knows how to win football games. There must be a football version of Mike Ilitch out there. We need to find him to turn the Blue around, and become a well-run organization.  Maybe we should ask Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman to run the club.  I look forward to when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers can call themselves Grey Cup Champions again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Terry Fox Petition A Success!

I would first like to start by saying thank you to all people in Winnipeg and beyond, for supporting my petition to rename the Perimeter Highway to “Terry Fox Drive.”  Since my petition has reached its goal, I will now inform the Terry Fox Foundation, and if I have their blessing I will proceed to contact the Minister of Highways and Transportation, Steve Ashton, and let him know about the idea, and my petition.
However, if the Province of Manitoba denies my request, I will simply have to make alternate plans.  A recent Winnipeg Free Press poll seems to indicate that the majority of Winnipeg residents, while not in favor of renaming the Perimeter Highway, are in favor of naming an existing road in the city after Terry Fox.  The two roads that came to mind were Ravenhurst Street and the future east leg of the Chief Peguis Trail, which will run from Lagimodiere Boulevard to Plessis Road. 

The blogger Cherenkov, who writes the local blog “Anyone Want a Peanut,” makes a great case to rename Fermor Avenue after Fox.  Cherenkov makes a good point, when mentioning there are relatively few homes and businesses along Fermor, and it is technically part of the Trans-Canada Highway, up until it intersects St.Anne's Road.  It is quite conceivable that if Fox had made it to Winnipeg during his run, he would have used Fermor Avenue, as going through the city would have gave him an opportunity to raise more money for cancer research.

I certainly have my work cut out for me, and considering this is a road I have never crossed in my life, if anyone would like to help me in achieving my goal of naming a road after Terry Fox, please message me, as I would love to hear from you.  Meanwhile, I would like to remind everyone that the Terry Fox Run this year is on Sunday, September 15If you would like to volunteer and help out, or donate to the Terry Fox Foundation, please visit this link.  Terry Fox always reminded us that “cancer can be beaten.”  Let's help make his goal become a reality.