CSL golf tourney proves more fun than I imagined

Leave a comment

Five in this Foursome: Andy Lee, Glenn J. Nashen, Mike Cohen, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Police Commander Jean O’Malley

Had you asked me a few weeks ago I couldn’t tell you who Bill Lee was. I’m not the biggest sports fun, but despite my occasional venture to see the Expos at Jarry Park as a teenager I really didn’t know the names of the players all that well.

So when I was told that my recent foursome in the Cote Saint-Luc Golf Classic included Bill “Spaceman” Lee I was kind of excited to know I’d be meeting an astronaut. Well, that’s what I thought.

Truth be told, I was more excited that Police Commander Jean O’Malley of Station 9 would be one of my four besties for the day.

But life has a funny way of unfolding and once I was adequately briefed by my fellow rookie golfer Mike Cohen as to the background on Bill Lee the day was anything but usual.

For those that were as clueless as me, William Francis Lee III (born December 28, 1946), nicknamed Spaceman, is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. He played for the Boston Red Sox 1969–1978 and the Montreal Expos 1979–1982. On November 7, 2008, Lee was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, as the team’s record-holder for most games pitched by a left-hander (321) and the third-highest win total (94) by a Red Sox southpaw. On August 23, 2012, Lee signed a contract to play with the San Rafael Pacifics of the independent North American League at age 65.

In addition to his baseball experience, Lee is known for his counterculture behavior, his antics both on and off the field, and his use of the Leephus pitch, a personalized variation of the eephus pitch.[1]

Lee has co-written four books: The Wrong StuffHave Glove, Will TravelThe Little Red (Sox) Book: A Revisionist Red Sox History; and Baseball Eccentrics: The Most Entertaining, Outrageous, and Unforgettable Characters in the Game. In 2006, the documentary film by Brett Rapkin Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey featured Lee.

In 1988, Lee was the Rhinoceros Party presidential candidate running on a platform of bulldozing the Rocky Mountains so Alberta could receive a few extra minutes of sunlight and banning guns and butter. His slogan was “No guns, no butter. Both can kill.”[21]

In May 2016, Lee was chosen by the Liberty Union Party as its nominee for the 2016 election for governor of Vermont.[21] Lee, who had never heard of the Liberty Union Party before, was contacted by the party to run for governor and accepted.[4] Lee did not take campaign contributions.[22] His campaign slogan was, “So far left, we’re right”.[23] 

Lee lost the election, receiving 8,912 votes (2.78%).[25]

Commander O’Malley with Montreal’s Finest, ‘Officer’ Flick, Bill Lee and Glenn J. Nashen

True to his bio, Bill was as entertaining as can be, a ton of laughs. He reminisced about his olden days in Montreal, about his life experiences and his ‘retirement’ plans to move from Vermont to British Colombia. He was joined by his son and his adoring and charming wife, Diane.

Baseball player or not, Bill instructed me every step of the way, as I was completely out of my element with golf clubs in hand. We spoke about family, travel, and of course, baseball.

D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum was a real sport golfing in his Expos T-Shirt, seen here at the ACC for lunch, with my dad, George, and me

Not to underscore (pun intended, as I really underscored) the importance of having the best coach the Montreal Police Department could offer, Jean had the patience of a saint in instructing me on proper posture, grip and swing. My game, only the second time out in my life, was dramatically improved by Jean’s coaching and the pressure of not making a complete fool of myself. Lucky for me, years of mini putt really paid off.

Oh, who am I fooling? I wasn’t even close to being close!

The honouree at this year’s tournament was Johnny Elias, a long-time volunteer and past owner of the Grand Slam Baseball School. “Johnny recently agreed to loan nearly 50 years’ worth of baseball memorabilia to Côte Saint-Luc,” said Councillor Mike Cohen.

Bill shared stories about his close relationship with Johnny Elias from the days he played with the Expos. When he was released in 1982, Johnny hired him to be an instructor at his camp. Bill has maintained a connection to our city for more than 30 years. “Johnny and I are like brothers,” Bill said.

The Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund was launched, sponsored by local McDonald’s franchisee Pierre Brunet. “The Fund will be used to help local families who need financial help to register their children in recreation programs. Funds will also support children with special needs. Pierre Brunet has been involved in helping our community for many years,” Mike Cohen said. “This new initiative will have a direct impact in the lives of many kids in our community.”

Brunet announced that $4,700 was raised at the two McHappy Days in CSL this year. CSL Men’s Club contributed $1400 by selling coffee to its members (courtesy of McDonald’s). Men’s Club funny man, Mannie Young, announced that his grandchildren Jesse, Zoe, Andie and Cooper Young, donated an additional $500. With spontaneous support from others including Steve Woloz from the CSL Model Aeronautics Association and MNA David Birnbaum the fund will be launched with more than $7,000. Now that’s the power of community!

Bill Lee was interviewed live on stage by the well-spoken and personable CSL resident and TSN 690 Radio show host Matthew Ross.  Lee was hilarious in his views on anything and everything and in telling bits of his fascinating life story. “Live in the moment,” the outspoken and provocative sports legend told the audience. “Don’t worry about the past or be concerned by what may come. Just enjoy thing right now.”

Thank you to event co-chairs Councillors Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom, to staff leads Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman and to all the volunteers and sponsors such as Marc Ezerzer. It was really a great time and Mike and I got to meet a Montreal Expos legend and hang out with a Top Cop. What a great day.

Montreal police launch pedestrian awareness campaign

Leave a comment

Montreal police have launched an awareness campaign after two fatal collisions involving pedestrians in the city’s west end in the last two years.

The aim is to alert the public about the dangers of crossing street intersection without being careful.

Dubbed Operation Intersection Safety, the campaign targets both pedestrians and motorists alike, and runs until July 14 in Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West.

According to Montreal Police Commander Jean O’Malley, of stations 9 and 12, the aim is to reach as many people as possible.

“We have police officers stationed at various intersections, mostly at rush hour or at lunchtime, when we can reach most of the people,” he said.

“It is mostly elderly people in the area and they are grateful that we are giving them this information.”

In fact, O’Malley explained that the pedestrians who died in the last two accidents were seniors – the last one, just a few months ago.

However, the problem of high collision rates at intersections aren’t just limited to that part of the city.

Police note that “[o]n the island of Montreal, 77 per cent of personal injury collisions occurred within five meters of an intersection or directly at the intersection,” and perhaps the biggest cause, O’Malley explained, were distractions.

Additionally, many people don’t know when it’s permissible to cross at a traffic light.

O’Malley explained that “a lot of pedestrians think that just because there’s a green light that it’s OK to cross.”

Yet, crossing when the red hand is flashing is an infraction and pedestrians can be ticketed for doing it.

This is the first time that  police are conducting this pedestrian safety campaign and, according to O’Malley, “all we want to do is to keep people safe.”

Meet the new chief

Leave a comment

By: Mike Cohen

The City of Côte Saint-Luc has always maintained an excellent relationship with our local police commanders.

Since 2005, we have had four commanders for Police Station 9– which covers Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West: Réne Allard, Sylvain Bissonnette, Marc Cournoyer and now Jean O’Malley.

OMalley

Commander O’Malley at CSL Council table

Commander O’Malley began his tour of duty here recently. And because Police Station 11 in NDG is presently without a commander, he is covering that area as well until the post is filled. We invited him to meet with council in caucus, a traditional move on our part.

Most recently Commander O’Malley was  the head of  Police Station 45 in Rivière-des-Prairies. Prior to that he was stationed downtown and at one time even worked for the Ontario Provincial Police. He is a resident of the South Shore and takes great pride in his pastime as a tennis pro.

We are very fortunate to have the actual police station in our community at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare. A number of years ago the Montreal Police Department was looking at abolishing our local station and merging it with Station 11. Along with Hampstead and Montreal West, we lobbied successfully to ensure that did not happen.

Commander O’Malley inherits a hard-working team which has a real presence on our streets. They work hard on traffic enforcement, combat criminal activity and try to keep us safe in many different ways. Their Coffee With a Cop Program at the local McDonald’s Restaurants, in which citizens are invited to sit down and chat with their neighbourhood police officers, has really helped promote good community relations. Commander O’Malley said that he plans to expand this program and have members of his team take the coffee with them and go into seniors residences. “We want to sit down and meet with people who cannot necessarily get out to come see us,” he said.

Good luck Commander. We look forward to working with you.

Oh yes, the Rembrandt Park Tennis Courts are only a short walk away from the station, so perhaps you’d like to join us one day as a guest instructor?

O’Malley takes over as commander of Station 9 and 11

Leave a comment

 

 

Free Press | Nov. 24, 2015 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Nov. 24, 2015 | Click to enlarge

 

N

Councillor Ruth Kovac and I recently had the pleasure of meeting privately with newly installed Commander Jean O’Malley. We were pleased with our new commander’s openness and willingness to work with our city along with our neighbours in Hampstead and Montreal West, with respect to our unique identities and particular needs as demerged municipalities. Our local police station is of great importance to our residents as well as to our neighbours. O’Malley is sensitive to our needs and I look forward to working with him and the officers of Station 9 to ensure that we remain the safest city and police precinct on the Island of Montreal.

Welcome to the neighbourhood Commander O’Malley!