Ongoing History Daily: Modest backstage needs

Back in the imperial period of David Bowie’s career in the 1970s, he ingested a lot of drugs and alcohol at all times of the day and night. By the time he got to the late 90s, he’d long since cleaned up and wasn’t much into the excesses of the old days. For example, when he was preparing for an appearance at the BRIT Awards, all he wanted was a few slices of ham on a baguette.

Billy Idol loves a specific brand of chocolate chip cookies. Marilyn Manson’s big request was gummy bears—although he often asked for a bald toothless hooker just to see if the promoter could do it.

And Nine Inch Nails was known for asking for two boxes of cornstarch for the dressing rooms. Your guess is as good as mine, although it may have something to do with keeping leather pants from sticking and chafing.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canadian Jamal Murray records triple double in Denver Nuggets Game 3 win over Miami Heat

After building their largest lead of the night to that point midway through the third quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the Denver Nuggets put on a rebounding clinic.

Aaron Gordon grabbed one on the defensive end after Miami’s Max Strus missed, then Michael Porter Jr. came down with the ball off Jamal Murray’s failed 3-point attempt. Porter got his own rebound off a block — and when he missed, Gordon put it back up and in, and the score wasn’t close the rest of the way.

It was their own personal game of shoot until you make it — and it spoke to the Nuggets being too big, too strong and too tough inside for the Heat in their 109-94 victory Wednesday night that put them up 2-1 in the series and one step closer to the first championship in franchise history.

“It’s a collective effort,” said Kitchener native Murray, who had 10 rebounds as part of his triple-double. “Sometimes it’s just an effort play. Sometimes the ball just comes to you. Sometimes somebody else does the dirty work and boxes the big guy out. I think it’s everybody chipping in to get those rebounds.”

Denver outrebounded Miami 65-41, and points in the paint were a lopsided 60-34. Nikola Jokic had 18 rebounds on the defensive end alone and 21 total as part of his triple-double.

“When we rebound like that, there’s usually a direct correlation to a `W,”’ said Gordon, who had 10 rebounds. “We’ve got to keep eating the glass, continue to rebound on both sides of the floor.”

While Jokic became the first player with 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game in the finals, he had plenty of help on the glass. The Heat had few answers inside for Gordon, Murray and Porter, who with his seven.

“They just pummeled us in the paint,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said, lamenting his team losing too many 50-50 plays. “They didn’t really have to shoot 3s. They had, whatever, 60 in the paint. They probably shot over 65% in the paint at the rim there. Wasn’t a need to space the floor.”

With Denver looking for complementary help for Jokic and Murray — who had 14 points midway through the second quarter and finished with a game-high 34 that were the most by a Canada-born player in a finals game — Gordon stepped to the forefront. The 27-year-old forward had 11 points in 34 minutes on the court.

Rookie Christian Braun also came up big with 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench. His was just one of several crucial secondary performances.

“This is by far our best game of the series, the most compete game of the series, and it’s not because of the triple-doubles or all the individual stats,” coach Michael Malone said, citing the 60 points in the paint and outrebounding Miami by a significant amount in a game in the finals. “That really helped us out tonight: the defending and rebounding at a high level.”

Malone saw it as the Nuggets responding teamwide to their Game 2 performance, when they blew a 15-point lead and lost. Now he hopes it carries into Game 4.

“I loved our energy, our effort, our urgency, our discipline,” Malone said. “I felt we were where we needed to be tonight, and we’ll have to be even better come Friday evening.”


© 2023 The Canadian Press

Upper Grand District School Board is tracking poor air quality for local schools

The Upper Grand District School Board said schools can continue outdoor activities for now under local conditions.

Wellington and Dufferin Counties are among the areas under a special air quality statement from Environment Canada

The smoke from local forest fires in Ontario, as well as Quebec, has resulted in poor air quality that is expected to last through the week.

In a statement on Wednesday, the board said it is monitoring the situation closely and providing guidance from the national weather agency to all schools.

The UGDSB went on to say it’ll continue to monitor the weather and provide guidance from Environment Canada.

The Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board cancelled both regional track meets on Wednesday, along with other outdoor activities.

The WCDSB said time is being limited outside but recess is not cancelled.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Pedestrian taken to hospital after being struck at Peterborough intersection

A pedestrian suffered minor injuries after being struck by a vehicle in the north end of Peterborough on Wednesday evening.

According to the Peterborough Police Service, the incident occurred around 7 p.m. at the intersection of University Heights and Water Street.

Police say the pedestrian was taken to Peterborough Regional Health Centre for treatment of minor injuries.

The driver was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian, a Highway Traffic Act infraction.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man charged after knife-point robbery at downtown business: London, Ont. police

A London, Ont., man is facing charges in connection with a downtown robbery earlier this week.

On Tuesday at 7:55 a.m., police say a man entered a business in the 600-block of Dundas Street and attempted to steal property while threatening employees with a knife.

The man was arrested in front of the business. Police say they seized a knife.

No injuries were reported.

A 47-year-old London man has been charged with armed robbery.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Throwback Thursday: The Alarm and Rain in the Summertime (1987)

The Alarm came roaring out of Wales in the early 80s and peaked with their third album (well, that’s my opinion), Eye of the Hurricane. When it appeared in October 1987, this single led the way. As seems to happen a lot with so many bands, the biggest song on the record was the last one written for the album. It didn’t, however, come easily.

Up until this point, lead singer Mike Peters and bassist Eddie MacDonald wrote pretty much all of the songs, which meant that guitarist Dave Sharp and drummer didn’t get any songwriting royalties, something that annoyed them greatly. Rain in the Summertime was a rare collaborative effort but not without plenty of fighting.

Producer John Porter needs a lot of credit. He took a loose 20-minute demo jam, cut it up, into something a little more concise, and then got the band to work with his edit.

It was worth it in the end. The record revitalized the band enough for them to make it through two more albums before they broke up in 1991.

In another universe, this song was written and recorded by U2. You’ll hear it.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

3 people dead after crash in eastern Ontario

Three people are dead after a two-vehicle head-on crash in eastern Ontario earlier this week.

Ontario Provincial Police said officers responded just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday to the scene on Highway 7, west of Tatlock Road in Lanark County.

Police said the 20-year-old driver of one of the vehicles died at the scene, while a 42-year-old passenger from that vehicle was taken to hospital, the passenger was later pronounced dead.

Another 29-year-old who was also taken to hospital later died, police announced Wednesday.

Two people who were in the second vehicle were seriously injured and were taken to hospital.

Police said the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Montreal is the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup. Three decades later we look back

Hockey may be a quintessentially Canadian sport, but the Stanley Cup is staying south of the border once again with the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs being eliminated from the NHL playoffs. Eric Sorensen takes a shot at why our teams can't seem to bring home hockey's ultimate prize.

Kirk Muller remembers the speech like it was yesterday.

Down 2-0 to the Quebec Nordiques in the first round of the 1993 playoffs — and coming off a clunky regular-season finish — Montreal Canadiens general manager Serge Savard addressed the group during a meal.

“Our plane broke down and we stayed an extra night,” Muller, the team’s No. 1 centre, recalled of Game 2’s aftermath in Quebec City. “(Savard) stood up and goes, ‘If you keep playing the way you are, you’re gonna win this series.'”

Muller paused for a moment in his retelling.

“The way Serge said it,” he continued. “So calm.”

Patrick Roy, meanwhile, wasn’t sure he’d even get the start from Jacques Demers in Game 3.

“I wasn’t very good,” the Hall of Fame goaltender added of his play through two contests. “Lucky enough to have a coach that believed in us and believed in myself.”

Then everything — almost as if preordained — fell into place.

The Canadiens won the next four against their bitter rivals, swept the Buffalo Sabres, and got past the upstart New York Islanders to set the stage for a Stanley Cup final against Los Angeles.

“Things can turn around quickly,” Savard, a 10-time Cup winner, recalled in a 2020 biography. “It doesn’t take much to change the rhythm of a game or a series.”

Banners hanging from the rafters of the former Montreal Forum marking the 24 Stanley Cup victories of the Canadiens, in Montreal Feb. 22, 1996.

Banners hanging from the rafters of the former Montreal Forum marking the 24 Stanley Cup victories of the Canadiens, in Montreal Feb. 22, 1996.


Montreal then completed its magical run by besting Wayne Gretzky’s Kings to claim the Original Six franchise’s 24th title — one sparked by a record-setting 10 straight overtime victories on the back of Roy’s string of stellar performances.

Canada is still awaiting its next champion.

“Amazing it’s been 30 years,” said Guy Carbonneau, the last captain from a team north of the border handed hockey’s Holy Grail. “Not just Montreal, which is pretty unusual, but in Canada.”

That’s the reality.

Friday marks three decades since the Habs celebrated that victory on a sweltering night at the Montreal Forum.

Vancouver (1994, 2011), Calgary (2004), Edmonton (2006), Ottawa (2007) and Montreal (2021) have all made the final since, but stumbled at the last hurdle.

There are plenty of theories why the dry run has stretched this long — from the weight of expectation to better tax incentives for players in some U.S. markets — but it really just proves one thing to Patrice Brisebois.

“So hard to win,” said the former Canadiens defenceman.

“Even in ’93, we needed luck.”

The pressure continues to mount on Canada’s seven-club NHL contingent, but that Montreal team faced a drought of its own. Seven years had passed since the Canadiens hoisted Lord Stanley’s mug — at that point the city’s longest dry spell.

“Something they weren’t used to,” Muller, an associate coach with Calgary, said with a laugh.

Things didn’t look promising heading into the 1993 playoffs.

“Don’t even think we were projected to get out of the first round,” said ex-Montreal blueliner Mathieu Schneider.

Demers, however, was confident from Day 1, especially after Savard acquired forwards Vincent Damphousse and Brian Bellows.

“First meeting, Jacques comes in and goes, ‘We’re going to shock the hockey world, we’re going to win the Stanley Cup,'” Brisebois said.

Roy remembers looking around the room at his teammates.

“We’re like, ‘Really?'” said Roy, who recently completed his final season as coach and GM of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts with a Memorial Cup title. “But (Demers) was such a positive man.

“One of the reasons why we were capable of doing it.”

The Canadiens had a good season and ended up third in the Adams Division despite finishing with four regulation victories over their final 18 games.

“Everybody was smart enough to know it was going to be a stretch,” Carbonneau, a Hall of Fame centre, said of his coach’s Cup prediction. “He never wavered.”

But what Demers — and the Canadiens — needed was for Roy to step up following a sub-par campaign and those poor early showings against the Nordiques.

All the netminder did from there was win the next 11 playoff games against Quebec, Buffalo and New York, including seven in OT, before the Islanders avoided the sweep in a series that would end two nights later.

“You can see when a goalie has that confidence,” said Schneider, who works for the NHL Players’ Association. “Just surreal.”

Before the New York series, however, the Canadiens still had a massive obstacle on their title path — Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After the Islanders upset the two-time defending champs in the second round, Montreal really started to believe.

“When (New York) scored in overtime in Game 7 we were jumping,” Brisebois said.

The Islanders subsequently brushed aside in five games by the Canadiens, L.A. entered the final coming off a defeat of Toronto to deny fans a mouth-watering, all-Canadian tilt.

“The Maple Leafs and Dougie (Gilmour) were having a great playoffs,” Muller said. “Built up a lot of hype.”

Gretzky and the Kings would have to do.

Montreal dropped the opener at home, but responded in Game 2 following a gutsy decision by Demers to have officials check for an illegal curve on Marty McSorely’s stick with the Canadiens trailing 2-1.

The Kings defenceman was assessed a penalty that led to the tying goal before Montreal won in OT to knot the series.

“Game-changer,” Brisebois said of Demers’ curve call. “If that doesn’t happen, I don’t know.

“Can you imagine if the curve was legal? Maybe it’s over.”

The Canadiens picked up two more OT victories in California to give them an even 10 on the spring and set up a 4-1 triumph in Game 5 that sealed their 24th Cup.

“Patrick was Patrick,” Brisebois said of Roy. “He was our key man from the first round until the final.”

As things turned ugly in the streets with rioters wreaking havoc that night, players weren’t allowed to leave the Forum for a few hours. The same went for the franchise greats on hand, including Maurice (Rocket) Richard and Yvan Cournoyer.

There would be no celebration out on the town. Just beers with some legends.

“You’re so happy,” Brisebois said.

“So much love and joy.”

“Never would have planned that,” Muller added. “Ended up being really cool.”

He’s also convinced the cool, reassuring message from Savard after Game 2 against Quebec made all the difference.

“Could have went the other way real quickly,” Muller said. “Big turning point. Who would have thought?”

The same could be asked about Canada’s Cup drought — one set to enter its fourth decade.

With files from Abdulhamid Ibrahim

© 2023 The Canadian Press

2 children critically injured after knife attack in French town

A Syrian national wounded four children and an adult in a knife attack in a park in the southeastern French town of Annecy on Thursday, police said, leaving some of the victims critically ill in hospital.

The attacker was a Syrian national with legal refugee status in France, a police official told Reuters. He was not known to security agencies and his motives were unclear, an investigative source said.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that the attacker had been arrested.

Two children and one adult were in life-threatening condition, while two children were slightly hurt, police said.

Antoine Armand, center, deputy for the Savoie region, in the French Alps, speaks at the National Assembly, Thursday, June 8, 2023 in Paris.

Antoine Armand, center, deputy for the Savoie region, in the French Alps, speaks at the National Assembly, Thursday, June 8, 2023 in Paris.

Lewis Joly/AP

“Children and one adult are between life and death. The nation is in shock,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Twitter, calling the attack “an act of absolute cowardice.”

Witnesses said at least one of the children wounded in the attack was in a stroller. The incident took place at around 0745 GMT in the playground of a lakeside park in Annecy, a town in the French Alps.

“He jumped (in the playground), started shouting and then went towards the strollers, repeatedly hitting the little ones with a knife,” a witness who gave his name as Ferdinand told BFM TV.

“Mothers were crying, everybody was running,” said George, another witness and owner of a nearby restaurant.

The TV channel showed footage of several policemen overpowering an individual in a park.

“Nothing more abominable than to attack children,” National Assembly speaker Yael Braun-Pivet said on Twitter. Parliament observed a minute of silence to mark the incident.

© 2023 Reuters

Jays reliever Bass meets with Pride Toronto director after apologizing for post

TORONTO – Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Bass said he’s “in a better place moving forward” after speaking with Pride Toronto’s executive director in the wake of his social media post that supported anti-2SLGBTQ+ boycotts.

Bass, who made a public apology last week, said he had a “really good conversation” with Sherwin Modeste during a recent meeting at Rogers Centre.

“He was glad to see that I apologized,” Bass said. “He just informed me about the Pride community and a lot of the good things that they’re doing to spread awareness and make people feel comfortable with their decisions.”

Modeste was pleased that Bass was willing to “unpack” some things when they met on Tuesday.

“I think it is a good second step but it is not the end of the journey,” Modeste said when reached by phone Wednesday night. “I see this as a continuation of learning and this was something that we agreed on.”

Bass was booed by the home crowd last week in his first game appearance since making a brief pre-game statement on May 30, a day after his Instagram post.

He prefaced his remarks that day by saying, “I’ll make this quick” before speaking for 33 seconds and returning to the dugout. Bass declined to take questions from reporters at the time.

Bass had shared a post urging others to spurn Target and Bud Light over the support they showed for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

In an interview with The Canadian Press and Sportsnet, Bass said Modeste shed light on some topics in their one-hour conversation.

“(We were) talking about how a lot of people obviously are very uncomfortable coming out and making that big decision in their lives and how many people end up taking their lives because of that,” Bass said.

“They didn’t have that support group to help them get comfortable. So it definitely made me think back on my post and obviously being a public figure, it might not go over well with someone that’s trying to feel comfortable in making a decision for their life.

“So for that reason, I definitely apologize, not only to Sherwin, but also knowing that I could have just kept those thoughts and feelings to myself, not knowing that it’s a very difficult decision for a lot of people to come out.”

The Blue Jays’ fourth annual Pride Weekend begins Friday against the Minnesota Twins.

The event features involvement from various 2SLGBTQ+ organizations across the community, pre-game festivities, live performances and themed activities.

Bass, who no longer uses Twitter and has deleted the Instagram app from his phone, said he has taken some learnings from this whole experience.

“I have my personal beliefs in my faith and that’s what initially drew me to re-post the video that I did,” he said. “Through this process, speaking with Sherwin, getting the backlash from the majority of people here in Toronto, I just need to be more sensitive in understanding people are free to think and feel the way they want, and not to cause any type of burden or strain on someone that may be trying to make a decision with their life that some people might not be accepting of.

“I think I’ve learned that being accepting of everyone’s views and values and beliefs is important.”

Modeste said once they got to know each other a little bit, the conversation turned to unpacking the effect that Bass’s post had on the community.

“He took full responsibility for it and said he now has a better understanding of (how) his reposting something (can) have an impact on other’s lives,” Modeste said.

“So that for me was what I was wanting to get. So I went in, I’m not going to hide, I (wanted) to really hammer home so he can leave that conversation having a better understanding of his power, his privilege and when he screws up, how that can affect others.

“I think that was made very clear and I don’t foresee this mistake happening (again) on his part.”

Modeste also mentioned options for potential next steps and offered support and to help facilitate interaction with other community members.

For now, Modeste said, it was left for Bass to think about.

“We left the conversation with a clear understanding that the respect that he expects for his belief and what he cherishes, that he will give the same respect to others,” Modeste said.

Bass, meanwhile, said the lines of communication were open and he felt like he has “built a friendship.”

On Friday, Bass plans to catch the ceremonial first pitch by leZlie Lee Kam, who has spent over 45 years working in the 2SLGBTQ+ community as a champion for senior and youth issues.

“I just want to let people know that there is unity there, there’s acceptance there,” Bass said. “It’s like a symbol of acceptance and unity and I thought that was the right thing.”

Asked about the reception he’s expecting from the home crowd on the weekend, the veteran pitcher said he won’t be surprised if fans are vocal.

“I would expect more boos,” he said. “It’s still fresh, it’s still pretty new and I think it’s going to take some more time than just a week and a half to get the fans hopefully changing those boos into cheers. But I get it.

“I understand where they’re coming from. So I’m just going to keep doing my job and hopefully in time things will be better.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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