Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bombers CEO asks fan for chat

Buchko, travelling fan discuss security

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FINALLY, BOMBERS MAKE A GOOD MOVE... Winnipeg Blue Bombers CEO Garth Buchko did something smart Wednesday morning.

He invited a fan into his office.

But not just any fan.

Owen Preston is the Bomber fan who spent $5,000 to $6,000 this season following his team behind enemy lines to every other CFL city.

His conclusion, as previously reported, was he was treated better at every other stadium than he was treated this year in his home park.

And he wasn't patted down once.

All of which prompted Buchko to contact Preston and set up the meeting.

It lasted about half an hour, according to Preston, and they both talked and listened equally. Preston's biggest takeaway was Buchko telling him the security policy is under review.

But then, as Preston understood Buchko, so is every other club policy because they're moving into Investors Group Field, which should make the experience more fan-friendly even if the management doesn't.

"There were no direct examples of what would be resulting from it," Preston said of their discussion on policy reviews, although he said Buchko expects the security policy review to be completed by the end of this month.

They talked about a range of other concerns Preston has, from the food inside the new stadium to plans for fun outside the stadium.

"I did appreciate that he did take the time to let me discuss it with him," Preston said of the road-trip report letter he sent to both the Bombers and the Free Press.

So should all Bomber fans, especially the hundreds if not thousands of fans the club hasn't listened to during this calamity of a football season.

-- -- --

YES, YOU CAN PARK YOUR PARKING COMPLAINTS RIGHT HERE... I wasn't sure if my city councillor would really follow through with last week's request, but he already has.

John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) says a motion has been drafted to amend the traffic bylaw and allow for a more reasonable 24 hours' notice for neighbourhood parking bans for street cleaning, instead of the present 12 hours.

Will it pass?

"Why not?" he asked Wednesday.

Judging by how viscerally readers reacted, you might recall the column that promoted my request. It centred on the Winnipeg Parking Authority ticketing and towing vehicles on Oct. 24 on Queenston Bay in south River Heights.

And, more specifically, resident Yehuda Tcherni, who said a woman at the WPA told him the no-parking signs went up between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. the day before he received a parking ticket in front of his home.

Which, if true, would contravene the bylaw that says they have to be up by 9 p.m., which gives at least 12 hours' notice of street cleaning the next day.

According to an email from the parking authority that was forwarded to Orlikow, the no-parking signs on Queenston Bay were up by the 9 p.m. bylaw deadline. Tcherni still plans to see the WPA in court about the parking ticket, which prompted local criminal defence lawyer Dan Manning to email me.

 

Manning wrote that he and his wife had a similar experience two years ago on nearby Queenston Street.

"On the evening of Easter Monday, they posted the signs and towed our cars from the front of our house. We had been in B.C. for the long weekend, and the cars were there.

"Yet, when we called 311, the city claimed that there was no record of our cars being there when the postings were set."

Manning set his ticket-and-a-tow case down for trial.

"I ended up winning the case based on a brief I filed which argued that the tickets were improperly laid. The Crown dropped the charges a few days before the hearing. I beat the tickets, but was still stuck with the towing costs. If you want to pass along my information to these people, if they're interested, I would love to fight this for them. I'm still angry for what they did... and would love to advocate for them if they are interested."

I know at least one person who will be interested. Yehuda Tcherni's court date on his parking ticket is set for June.

-- -- --

THE LAST LAUGH... Steve Warnar is a Free Press reader who often corresponds with me via email and regularly makes me smile, and even laugh out loud. So it was this week when he forwarded his own experience at the last Bomber game.

"Well, I did buy a drink and popcorn inside the stadium... for $9.75.

"Gave them $10 and asked for my quarter back. Could not do. Seems they do not have quarterback."

Then Steve corrected himself.

"Actually they tried to give me two quarters. But, you know, you just don't get much for a half-a-Buck anymore."

gordon.sinclair@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2012 B1

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