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Found 9 results

  1. On vient de me recommander ce livre; sûrement qu'il y en aura ici qui seront intéressés... The Endless City At the turn of the twenty-first century, the world is faced with an unprecedented challenge. It must address a fundamental shift in the world’s population towards the cities, and away from mankind’s rural roots.Over the course of two years, a group of internationally renowned professionals from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds gathered together in six world cities to take stock of the new urban condition and to offer an approach to dealing with it. The Urban Age conferences – organised by the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society – centred on six very different cities. In Shanghai and Mexico City, the urban population is experiencing rapid growth and change,while Berlin is coming to terms with shrinking expectations.The result was a sometimes passionate, always challenging and informed debate on how architects, urbanists, politicians and policy makers can constructively plan the infrastructure and development of the endless city, to promote a better social and economic life for its citizens. 34 contributors from across Europe, South America, China, Africa and the U.S. set the agenda for the city – detailing its successes as well as its failures. Authoritatively edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, The Endless City presents the outcome of this pioneering initiative on the future of cities. It has a follow-up volume called Living in the Endless City (2011). http://lsecities.net/publications/books/the-endless-city/
  2. City planners take new look at urban vistas Frances Bula, Special to the Globe and Mail, March 30th, 2009 --------------------- Vancouver’s famous view corridors have prompted more anguished howls from architects than almost anything else I can think of over the years. Now, the city is looking at re-examining them. (And, as the sharp-eyed people at skyscraper.com have noted, the posting for people to run the public consultation went up on city website Friday. You can see their comments on the whole debate here.) You can get a flavour of the arguments from my story in the Globe today, which I’ve reproduced below. --------------------- Vancouver is legendary as a city that has fought to prevent buildings from intruding on its spectacular mountain backdrop and ocean setting. Unlike Calgary, which lost its chance to preserve views of the Rockies 25 years ago, or Toronto, which has allowed a highway plus a wall of condo towers to go up between the city and its lake, Vancouver set an aggressive policy almost two decades ago to protect more than two dozen designated view corridors. But now the city is entertaining re-examining that controversial policy, one that has its fierce defenders and its equally fierce critics, especially the architects who have had to slice off or squish parts of buildings to make them fit around the corridors. And the city’s head planner is signalling that he’s definitely open to change. “I’ve got a serious appetite for shifting those view corridors,” says Brent Toderian, a former Calgary planner hired two years ago, who has been working hard to set new directions in a city famous for its urban planning. “The view corridors have been one of the most monumental city-shaping tools in Vancouver’s history but they need to be looked at again. We have a mountain line and we have a building line where that line is inherently subjective.” The issue isn’t just about preserving views versus giving architects free rein. Vancouver has used height and density bonuses to developers with increasing frequency in return for all kinds of community benefits, including daycares, parks, theatres and social housing. A height limit means less to trade for those amenities. Mr. Toderian, who thinks the city also needs to establish some new view corridors along with adjusting or eliminating others, says a public hearing on the issue won’t happen until the fall, but he is already kicking off the discussion quietly in the hope that it will turn into a wide-ranging debate. “The input for the last few years has been one-sided, from the people who think the view corridors should be abolished,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks. Most people who would support them don’t even think about them. They think the views we have are by accident.” The view-corridor policy, formally adopted in 1989, was the result of public complaints over some tall buildings going up, including Harbour Centre, which is now, with its tower and revolving restaurant, seen as a defining part of the Vancouver skyline. But then, it helped spur a public consultation process and policy development that many say confused the goal of preserving views with a mathematical set of rules that often didn’t make sense. One of those critics is prominent architect Richard Henriquez, who said the corridors don’t protect the views that people have consistently said they value most from the city’s many beaches and along streets that terminate at the water. Instead, he says many of the view corridors are arbitrarily chosen points that preserve a shard of view for commuters coming into town. That has resulted in the city losing billions of dollars of potential development “for someone driving along so they can get a glimpse of something for a second.” And, Mr. Henriquez argues, city residents have a wealth of exposure to the city’s mountains throughout the region. “Downtown Vancouver is a speck of urbanity in a sea of views,” said Mr. Henriquez, who is feeling the problem acutely these days while he works on a development project downtown where the owners are trying to preserve a historic residential hotel, the Murray, while building an economically feasible tower on the smaller piece of land next to it. The view corridor means the building has to be shorter and broader and is potentially undoable. His project is one in a long list of projects that have been abandoned or altered because of view corridor rules in Vancouver. The Shangri-La Hotel, currently the tallest building in the city at 650 feet, is sliced diagonally along one side to prevent it from straying into the view corridor. At the Woodward’s project, which redeveloped the city’s historic department store, one tower had to be shortened and the other raised to fit the corridor. And architect Bing Thom’s plan for a crystal spire on top of a development next to the Hotel Georgia was eventually dropped because city officials refused to budge on allowing the needle-like top to protrude. But one person wary about the city tinkering with the policy is former city councillor Gordon Price. “When people talk about revisiting, it just means one thing: eroding,” said Mr. Price, still a vocal advocate on urban issues. “People may only get this fragment of a view but it’s very precious. And those fragments will become scarcer as the city grows. The longer they remain intact, the more valuable they become.” It’s a debate that’s unique to Vancouver. Mr. Toderian said that when he was in Calgary, there was no discussion about trying to preserve views from the downtown to the Rockies in the distance. --------------------- cet article n'est pas tres recent, mais je sais pas s'il avait deja ete poste sur ce forum. meme s'il y a des differences, a mon avis beaucoup de ces arguments pourraient s'appliquer aussi pour Montreal. est-ce qu'on devra attendre une autre vague de demande bousillee pour relancer le debat ?
  3. Less Charter, more economy. MONTREAL — There was an initial sense among many observers that the Liberal election victory would be good for the economy, at least in the short run. It’s true that some measure of political stability will return to the province as the PQ’s divisive Charter of Quebec Values is thrown in the wastebasket and as the immediate risk of a referendum on sovereignty is removed. But the sobering truth is that Quebec could face years of mediocre economic growth unless it undertakes some major structural reforms. That warning came this week from Glen Hodgson, senior economist at the Conference Board of Canada, who said Quebec is heading for a prolonged period of economic underperformance unless decisive steps are taken by government and the private sector. “Quebecers could face the disagreeable prospect of deteriorating public services combined with a rise in income taxes” unless the province’s competitive position improves, he wrote in an opinion piece in La Presse. Interviewed Tuesday, Hodgson noted that over the past couple of years, during a period of economic recovery, Quebec has been unable to do better than a growth rate of around one per cent. That raises the question: What’s in store once the North American economic cycle shifts back to recession? The current underperformance has weakened the government’s fiscal position and made it less able to withstand the next economic downturn. Combined with a slowdown in private investment and little growth in the job market, this is playing havoc with government revenues. There are reports that the $2.5 billion deficit projected for 2013-14 may run as high as $3.3 billion once the Liberals get a full picture of public finances. Meanwhile, Quebec’s public debt is the highest in Canada, equalling about 50 per cent of its economic production. The Conference Board estimates growth of two per cent this year as the recovery in the United States picks up steam and extends into next year. “But the recovery will not last,” said Hodgson, “because the foundation for growth in Quebec is not solid.” The province’s long-term growth potential is around 1.5 per cent, he says, which will put it behind the eight ball. “You can’t grow at 1.5 per cent and be able to pay for health care when it’s growing at five per cent.” One doesn’t have to look far to find the reasons for Quebec’s troubles. “It’s really driven by demographics, private investment and productivity,” Hodgson said. Demographic forces are hitting Quebec harder than Ontario, which is also struggling with a weak economy. As active participation in the Quebec labour force declines, paying for expensive government programs like health care and education will get more difficult. The Conference Board projects growth in the labour force of just 0.5 per cent after 2015 as baby-boomer retirements kick in. Compensating for that reduction will require integrating more immigrants into the economy, providing more job training and boosting productivity. Former Liberal finance minister Raymond Bachand says he’s optimistic that some of those hurdles can be overcome. Bachand has agreed to head a new economic think tank called the Institut du Québec, which will be a joint venture between the Conference Board and the HEC business school in Montreal. The goal, he says, is to stimulate public debate with evidence-based research on the economy and public finances. Too many think tanks these days have a political bias, he believes. “We’re going to come up with a fiscal outlook in the next few weeks as our first piece of research,” Bachand said. “We know that we have a demographic challenge. We need the labour market to be healthy. “We have to get private investment back and we have to get our health costs under control. That’s the real goal of the Institut: to contribute to the debate from a fact-based point of view.” Between the Conference Board and HEC, the joint venture will have 400 researchers at its disposal to try to contribute to the debate. That should help the new finance minister and other government players get a better sense of the policy options available.
  4. RE : U.S. Health care debate After spending some time watching some news clips, reading some articles, and listening to people debate health care... there's one thing i just don't understand. If there are any socially conservative people here, (I know MTLskyline is fiscally conservative but not sure about social issues) I'd love to hear and try to understand your rationalization. I sincerely mean that. I'm not here to provoke debate, i just want to understand an opposing view point. I don't understand how sidewalks, electricity and roads are deemed acceptable publicly funded services, yet human health care is not. If life is so sacred, and the sanctity of life is so important that a woman cannot have the right to choose, then why is it wrong to acknowledge life as a basic right and grant health care to everyone? People that can't afford health insurance are permitted to suffer and die, by no fault of their own... their lives are meaningless. Yet a newly fertilized egg is sacred? To me, this seems outrageously hypocritical and appallingly unethical.
  5. Launch of the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal A think tank is created to shed light on urban planning and development policy in Montréal. MONTREAL, Oct. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Phyllis Lambert, architect, Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, Dimitri Roussopoulos, founder of the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre, and Dinu Bumbaru, Policy Director of Héritage Montréal, announced today the creation of a think tank, the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM). This citizens' initiative seeks to contribute to viable urban planning in Montréal, to its economic and sustainable development, and local democracy. As an independent and multidisciplinary organisation, IPAM has been formed to play a key role over the long term in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. The economic, social and ecological challenges to urban development require an open-minded dialogue accessible to all sectors of Montréal society. IPAM is created as a think tank, a research centre, and an open public forum where different publics can meet, exchange ideas, and debate. It will act to provide a way for civil society to contribute its own innovative solutions alongside those of municipal bodies to help shape Montréal's long-term future. "The considerable impact of economic development in the City of Montréal and the megaprojects it has proposed, clearly indicate that we are currently at a major crossroad," said Phyllis Lambert. "The establishment of IPAM is essential: for it is clear that everyone that makes up the city's civil society must understand and agree on a definition and parameters of city planning, and they must share a clear vision of their rightful place in a permanent, constructive, democratic and effective dialogue with political decision-makers." An independent, multidisciplinary, and inclusive organisation, IPAM's purpose is to play a key role in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. IPAM's intention is to contribute the expertise of individuals from different spheres within the community. "By combining the strengths and expertise of a wide range of specialists in complementary fields of activity both locally and from elsewhere, including university research, business, socioeconomics, neighbourhood roundtables, ethnic communities, and environmental NGOs, we will create a centre of reference composed of people who will mobilise around issue of sociology, economy, democracy and physical planning related to urban development and recommend courses of action for the municipal administration in each of these areas," added Dimitri Roussopoulos. According to Dinu Bumbaru, "With the City about to update the Urban Master Plan, Montreal needs a framework that integrates urban planning, economic planning and sustainable development, which is why IPAM will establish six working groups to tackle questions of long-term economic and cultural development: heritage, poverty, social housing and social justice, ecology, urban planning and transportation, and democracy." IPAM's work will concentrate on the following two activities: - Dissemination information and holding public debates by organizing public forums, conferences and seminars concerning a great variety of challenges in urban planning. - Monitoring the municipal administration's activities through annual evaluation of the annual reports of the Ville de Montréal on urban planning, and of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, and the Ombudsman's report. As a first initiative IPAM will, the day after the elections, call on the new City Administration to hold a citizens' summit on the future of Montréal in partnership with civil society, permitting an exchange of ideas and experience, in order to help to establish the guidelines for the administration's new mandate. For further information: Louise Constantin, IPAM, (514) 769-4553, [email protected]; Isabelle Huiban, Press Relations, Office of Phyllis Lambert, (514) 222-4307, [email protected]
  6. I've always had the thought of what would happen if stores didn't close early in Montreal, mainly on the weekends. On one hand, it gives a nice work-life balance, but on the other hand, stores closing at 5 pm in a major city gives it a dead feeling. I've had friends from the states, and also people here who want stores to be opened later on weekends, preferably until 9 pm. 2. Bars being open till 6 am, with the last call being at 5:30 am. The question is 1. In your opinion: would you want retail/store hours extended until 9 pm on weekends, and would you want bars open until 6 am? 2. Would it benefit the economy, will things stay the same or will it be a boon? 3. Will it have a huge impact on society? or a minimal one?
  7. (CNN) -- From time to time, Sasha Raven Gross can be seen teetering around a neighborhood drinking hole. She flirts with strangers, talks gibberish and sometimes spins in circles for no apparent reason until she falls down. In one hand is her liquid of choice -- watered-down orange juice in a sippy cup. The 14-month-old toddler is the sort of barfly who's at the center of a recurring and heated debate: Should parents be allowed to bring their babies and children to bars? It is a question in Brooklyn, New York, that's fired up online arguments, prompted unofficial protests and made outsiders giggle. And while the issue may not be exclusive to that area, it's the stuff disputes are made of in what Sasha's dad, Matt Gross, calls the kid-heavy "greater stroller zone" of Park Slope and its surrounding neighborhoods. Single hipsters and others without (and sometimes with) kids complain about being asked to watch their language, to not smoke outdoors near strollers and to keep their drunk friends under control so as not to scare the little ones. They don't want to feel pressure to play peekaboo. They want to cry over their beers, they say, without having an infant drown them out. If anyone is spitting up, they want it to be them. "I will get up on the subway for kids. I will be tolerant of them kicking the back of my seat while seeing a G-rated movie. But let me have my bars," said Julieanne Smolinski, 26, who feels guilty sucking down suds in front of staring 5-year-olds. The adults who bring their offspring to bars, she suggests, are "clinging to their youth." Parents, on the other hand, say that as long as they're responsible and their kids behave, they deserve the right to grab a quick drink with friends. And, they might add, in a place like New York -- where the cost of baby sitters can be prohibitive and tight living quarters can make hosting guests at home difficult -- they need places to hang out, too. "As a stay-at-home dad, it can be kind of isolating. Bars, as much as they're places to drink, they're places to socialize and meet people," said Gross, 35, a freelance writer, an editor for the blog DadWagon and the columnist behind the Frugal Traveler in The New York Times. "I long for adult contact. ... I don't want to be excluded from the adult world." But the divide remains wide in the blogosphere. Around 150 readers weighed in recently when someone posted on the Brooklynian, a neighborhood blog, the simple query: "Which bars are child free?" One writer shared the tale of a drunk father standing at a bar while his beer sloshed on his stroller-strapped kid's face. Another poster announced a bar crawl in which "no crawlers" would be allowed. The public debate about babies in bars ignited about two years ago when the bar Union Hall, a popular stomping ground, banned strollers from the premises, Gross said. (...) Rest of the article here http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/03/02/brooklyn.babies.in.bars/index.html#disqus_thread ------------------------------------------- Franchement stupide. Un bar n'est pas une place pour un enfant, point final. Si tu veux prendre un verre, arrange toi pour trouver un gardien ou invite tes amis chez toi.
  8. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Barcode Project is a section of the Bjørvika portion of the Fjord City redevelopment on former dock and industrial land in central Oslo. It consists of a row of new multi-purpose high-rise buildings, due to be completed in 2014. The developer is marketing the project as "The Opera Quarter." There has been intense public debate about the height and shape of the buildings. video from Kristian Larsen
  9. Senate passes bailout Plan to buy $700B in troubled assets wins OK. Backers hope add-ons will yield more yes-votes in House. By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer Last Updated: October 1, 2008: 10:20 PM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Senate on Wednesday night passed a sweeping and controversial financial bailout similar in key ways to one rejected by the House just two days earlier. The measure was passed by a vote of 74 to 25 after more than three hours of floor debate in the Senate. Presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and John McCain, R-Arizona, voted in favor. Like the bill the House rejected, the core of the Senate bill is the Bush administration's plan to buy up to $700 billion of troubled assets from financial institutions. Those assets, mostly mortgage-related, have caused a crisis of confidence in the credit markets. A major aim of the plan is to free up banks to start lending again once their balance sheets are cleared of toxic holdings. But the Senate legislation also includes a number of new provisions aimed at Main Street. The changes are intended to attract more votes in the House, in particular from House Republicans, two-thirds of whom voted against the bailout plan. The House is expected to take up the Senate measure for a vote on Friday, according to aides to Democratic leaders. The legislation, if passed by the House, would usher in one of the most far-reaching interventions in the economy since the Great Depression. Advocates say the plan is crucial to government efforts to attack a credit crisis that threatens the economy and would free up banks to lend more. Opponents say it rewards bad decisions by Wall Street, puts taxpayers at risk and fails to address the real economic problems facing Americans. "If we do not act responsibly today, we risk a crisis in which senior citizens across America will lose their retirement savings, small businesses won't make payroll ... and families won't be able to obtain mortgages for their homes or cars," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moments before the vote. In a press briefing after the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., said, "This is a measure for Main Street, not Wall Street. [it will help] to unfreeze our credit markets and get the American economy working again." Because of Senate add-ons, the bill's initial price tag will be higher than the $700 billion that the Treasury would use to buy troubled assets. But over time, supporters say, taxpayers are likely to make back much if not all of the money the Treasury uses because it will be investing in assets with underlying value. How the Senate bill differs The package adds provisions to the House version - including temporarily raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000 from $100,000. It says the FDIC may not charge member banks more to cover the increase in coverage. But that doesn't prevent the agency from raising premiums to cover existing concerns with the insurance fund, according to Jaret Seiberg, a financial services analyst at the Stanford Group, a policy research firm. Instead, the bill allows the FDIC to borrow from the Treasury to cover any losses that might occur as a result of the higher insurance limit. The bill also adds in three key elements designed to attract House Republican votes - particularly popular tax measures that have garnered bipartisan support. It would extend a number of renewable energy tax breaks for individuals and businesses, including a deduction for the purchase of solar panels. The Senate bill would also continue a host of other expiring tax breaks. Among them: the research and development credit for businesses and the credit that allows individuals to deduct state and local sales taxes on their federal returns. In addition, the bill includes relief for another year from the Alternative Minimum Tax, without which millions of Americans would have to pay the so-called "income tax for the wealthy." The debate over extending AMT relief is an annual political ritual. It enjoys bipartisan support but deficit hawks on both sides of the aisle contend the cost of providing that relief should be paid for. Others argue it shouldn't be paid for because the AMT was never intended to hit the people the relief provisions would protect. Nevertheless, lawmakers pass the measure every year or two. How Senate bill mimics House version For all the sweeteners added to the Senate bill, however, it is similar to the House bill in many key ways. The core is the Treasury's proposal to let financial institutions sell to the government their troubled assets, mostly mortgage-related. And as in the House bill, the Senate would only allow the Treasury access to the $700 billion in stages, with $250 billion being made available immediately. The Senate bill is also similar in that it includes a number of provisions that supporters say would protect taxpayers. One would direct the president to propose a bill requiring the financial industry to reimburse taxpayers for any net losses from the program after five years. And the Treasury would be allowed to take ownership stakes in participating companies. Like the House version, the Senate bill includes a stipulation that the Treasury set up an insurance program - to be funded with risk-based premiums paid by the industry - to guarantee companies' troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, purchased before March 14, 2008. And it would place curbs on executive pay for companies selling assets or buying insurance from Uncle Sam. One provision: Any bonus or incentive paid to a senior executive officer for targets met would have to be repaid if it's later proven that earnings or profit statements were inaccurate. Lastly, the Senate version would set up two oversight committees. A Financial Stability Board would include the Federal Reserve chairman, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, the Federal Home Finance Agency director, the Housing and Urban Development secretary and the Treasury secretary. A congressional oversight panel, to which the Financial Stability Board would report, would have five members appointed by House and Senate leadership from both parties. Differing views Despite the Senate bill's sweeteners, the bill did not garner unanimous support because those who oppose the Treasury plan felt passionately it was the wrong approach. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a champion of the energy tax breaks in the bill, said on Wednesday afternoon she nevertheless would vote against the bill because she opposes "giving the keys to the Treasury over to the private sector." Opponents of the bill have said they resented being given a "my way or the highway" choice to address what they acknowledge is a very serious economic threat. During the Senate debate on Wednesday, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., characterized the administration's request to lawmakers 12 days ago as "crying 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, then claiming the only [way out] is to tear down the walls when there are many exit doors." Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the Senate will have "failed the American people" by acting hastily. "I agree we need to do something. ... [but] we haven't spent any time figuring out whether we've picked the best choice." Supporters of the bill say they hate the position they are in and are angry, too, but say it's better to do something now than to let the credit crunch persist. "There's no doubt that there may be other plans out there that, had we had two or three or six months to develop ... might serve our purposes better," said Obama during the floor debate. "But we don't have that kind of time. And we can't afford to take a risk that the economy of the United States of America and, as a consequence, the worldwide economy could be plunged into a very, very deep hole." Potential costs The tax provisions of the Senate bill - the bulk of which come from the addition of tax breaks from other legislation - may reduce federal tax revenue by $110 billion over 10 years, according to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation. More than half of that is due to the 1-year extension of AMT relief. The Congressional Budget Office said it cannot estimate the net budget effects of the troubled asset program because of the many unknowns about that piece of the bill. However, the agency noted in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, it expects the program "would entail some net budget cost" but that it would be "substantially smaller than $700 billion." Overall, the CBO said, "the bill as a whole would increase the budget deficit over the next decade." All eyes on House Now the fate of the bailout rests with the House. "The reality has hit some members," said House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., late Wednesday on CNN. "The main change is reality - it's not possible now to scoff at the predictions of doom if we don't do anything." The lead House Republican, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, was consulted on the Senate's plans and gave his "green light," spokesman Kevin Smith said. "We believe we'll have a better chance to pass this bill than the one that failed [Monday]," he added. The plan could attract House Republicans while simultaneously alienating bailout supporters among the Democrats because the tax cuts in the revenue bill aren't offset by spending cuts or increased revenues. President Bush, following the Senate vote, said the bill was central to the "financial security" of the nation. "The American people expect - and our economy demands - that the House pass this good bill this week and send it to my desk." - CNN's Jessica Yellin, Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett contributed to this story. To top of page First Published: October 1, 2008: 12:00 PM ET