Every time I turn around I hear people calling Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton horrible names.
I wish they would stop. While there seems to be no middle ground on those two my experiences were so positive.
On Feb. 25, 1995, then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary came to Ottawa and Hillary brought her skates on Air Force One for a glide on the Rideau Canal.
Myself and late great photographer Mike Cassese brought ours on an Air Canada flight — along with a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater.
When Mike and I gave Hillary the sweater, the secret service swooped in.
Poor Mike, who sadly died in 2012, was getting manhandled. I told Hillary the gag and she thought it was hilarious.
“I love it,” she said with a mischievous grin. “Pat, Pat, it’s OK. Let him go.”
We skated with her for a kilometre and she was fantastic — even giving us a tip on where we could meet the president later.
Years later when she was running for the senate she remembered our caper and treated me like an old friend.
Hillary was all class.
Same goes for Donald Trump when he was putting the shovel in the ground for the Toronto Trump Tower in 2007. The Apprentice was the No. 1 show at the time and with dozens of prearranged interviews set up, photographer Dave Thomas and I were declined. From 50 feet away Trump interrupted.
“I want to talk to the Toronto Sun,” said The Donald. “Just wait over there (in the VIP area).”
He asked my name and 90 minutes later he was good to his word. He was the first to tell me about Section 37 money being be used as a compromise for more floors built. He praised Councillor Pam McConnell for getting a pool built in Regent Park.
I like Trump and Clinton. Either will make an excellent president and I have a good selfie with whichever one it is.
It’s just not every day a police officer ends up in a jail cell.
It happened Thursday to Const. James Forcillo. He was held at the Toronto South Detention Centre to await a decision from his bail hearing.
“It was not easy for a police officer to go to jail but he made it through,” said a source, who said he was given no special treatment in an isolation area.
Friday morning he was released again on bail, pending an appeal on his conviction of attempted murder in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim three years ago.
Forcillo — who received a six-year sentence on Thursday — has served just one night in lockup. Will he ever serve any others?
He’s rolling the dice hoping it will be a one off. Risky since he’s already beaten a murder charge.
Forcillo could start doing his time, enrol in university courses, help fellow inmates and start the process of starting a new life.
There’s no second chances for Yatim.
I can see Forcillo’s point of view. He went to work that day to serve and protect and it ended badly. But it is not the same as going out with the intent to kill someone illegally. In fact, he was trained to kill. He was equipped to kill.
It just is not the same as a gangbanger with illegal weapons and criminal intentions.
As former Toronto police officer Ross McLean said so well, there needs to be a new “negligent homicide or attempted homicide” charge for police officers.
And a different standard on sentencing.
That said most agree it was excessive force to shoot at Yatim at all — let alone nine times. Still it’s only fair to remember that Yatim was waving around a knife.
There is no question Forcillo went too far but it’s a hard sell that it’s the same as most of the other shooting deaths.
This was a cop who screwed up but is not someone who would ever likely attempt to kill again. It was wrong what he did but it’s not going to help Forcillo or the Yatims to have him go to prison.
In the interest of the next police officer to make a big mistake perhaps that one night served behind bars is enough?
The Canadian Guitar Festival at the Loughborough Holiday Park near Kingston saw amazing Jamie Dupuis of Sudbury win.
Ali Deniz Kardelen from Turkey was second and Jaume Cabalgante of Spain third. Hats off to Peel Police for the arrest of a man alleged to have committed three knife robberies in Mississauga this week. Lou-I Bou-Chahine, 24, is charged with three counts of robbery.
And congrats to James Akam, the Afghan interpreter now in Canada with his family. He had an interview Friday with Loblaws in Calgary and found out he got the job. Wow. So awesome. Just three months ago he was in a refugee camp in Germany. Dreams can come true.
Have a terrific long summer weekend everybody. Scrawler out.