Posts Tagged ‘city of edmonton’

Last Edmonton Headlines

Good morning, Edmonton. This is indeed the last time you and I will discuss the news of the day here in Headlines at the edmontonian. Let’s hope there’s some juicy news to dig into.

It’s almost always funny, in a sad kind of way, that when governments announce they are going to tackle a problem or get tough on something, it’s a problem that’s had previous attempts to do just that. Edmonton’s recent worries over violent crime is just one of those issues. So, hopefully this is the time everyone follows through on plans and recommendations.

Meanwhile…Edmonton Police are teaming up with other agencies for a new kind of patrol…an action team!

On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an Edmonton firefighter who went to New York with the Red Cross is trying to remember the triumph of the human spirit he saw in the days after the Word Trade Centre towers fell.

The City of Edmonton is trying to entice filmmakers to shoot here. Though, not with a grant or tax break, or deals if they are locals or use local crews. I don’t think it’s a great idea to move $5-million from the financial stabilization fund when you’re running a deficit.

“Are people supposed to park on the next block? It’s insanity.” Really? Parking one block away is the end of the world?

(more…)


September 6 Edmonton Headlines

Good morning, Edmonton, and welcome back to the work week.

How do you commute to work? Is speed your choice? Cost? Convenience? (There’s also a video.)

Here are some updates on Edmonton’s transportation network.

All this commuting stuff comes with the end of the Journal’s summer series on the suburbs. Living on the Edge looked at everything from commuting, to density, shopping, churches, who’s moving to the ‘burbs, and what’s working well out there.

If you followed the series at all, or are about to dive into it, there’s a survey you can fill out. I’d suggest filling out the survey if you appreciate long-form, in-depth reporting like Living on the Edge.

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Wow. Could it really be?

Could the old Esso (Imperial Oil) lot at the corner of Whyte Avenue and 105 Street finally be moving toward sale? After more than a decade is the contaminated land finally going to be ready for new development? It’s a miracle!

And it’s a good reason why the City of Edmonton needs more and tougher rules for contaminated lots, or “brownfields,” and owners who would let properties sit vacant for more than a couple of years. (This one has sat empty and dirty for 13 years.)

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Edmonton Police are going to start using black and white cruisers.

Alberta festivals, including a couple of Edmonton big ones, are getting some federal funding.

News on new beers after the jump. (more…)


September 2 Edmonton Headlines

Good Friday to you, Edmonton. Ready for the long weekend?

The City released a short update on what City Council did this week. The three and four paragraph stories are great for you and me to get a glimpse at what our elected officials are talking about, and it’s bad news for newsrooms that put out the same length, or shorter stories.

That Council Roundup is an example of media and public relations skipping the middleman of newsrooms. There are a few in Edmonton (and every city) that write very little on City Hall. When they write very little they are often doing no more than what we see from the City itself in this Roundup; a few quick notes on what was on the agenda and what happened. Newsrooms are going to have to add some depth and perspective to their stories or risk people skipping them and just checking on the official Roundup.

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I like the gusto of outgoing Premier Ed Stelmach. He says his Conservative caucus is willing to give Edmonton money for a downtown arena, but it’s a decision that he won’t have to give final approval to. Well played.

Speaking of Stelmach…capital region municipalities want to build a better integrated transit system and he doesn’t think that’s a good idea. I take back my kudos. There’s also a consideration for an outer ring road for Calgary?! Geez. I hope Alison Redford or Doug Horner become the next premier and move on some highs-speed rail.

Calgary prosecutors will look at whether a trio of Edmonton police officers went too far during the arrest of an Edmonton shop owner. His own store’s surveillance video will be part of the evidence they can look at.

Surely the irony of attacking the Edmonton salon which produced a domestic violence ad is lost on the vandals. If you want to do something productive to show you don’t think domestic violence is a good way to sell a business, boycott the place or donate to the Bad Ad Fund.

We’ll probably be paying more for water, but it’s not clear if that will be on tax bills or EPCOR bills. Meanwhile…at EPCOR Tower…that utility is already going to try to boost fees for sewer and and drinking water. Of course, they are mulling the decision.

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Minimum wage went up with the new month. And it really is a minimum (even more so for those in jobs serving alcohol).

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Lloyd Robertson anchored his last national newscast last evening.


August 30 Edmonton Headlines

I stumbled upon this dance floor at Churchill Square last night. Downtown is not dead!

Good morning Edmonton. I’ve got to say, I’m totally into this summer weather we’ve been having lately. It feels so good.

You know, you’d think people creating ads would take some time to think about what they were doing. But, I guess, some businesses still have to learn about social media the hard way. And by “hard way” I mean doing something that’s not all that thought out and being lambasted by people far and wide.

Hey, advertising doesn’t always work. Sometimes things get lost in translation or execution; that’s totally fair. And if something falls flat, or offends, you can apologize and explain that it wasn’t your intention. Then everyone can move on.

But then, you get businesses like Fluid Salon, which doesn’t really apologize, blames the rest of us for not “getting” their “art” and not doing enough to end domestic violence (again, you and me, not them) and you can’t help but wonder what is going on…

Also, I don’t think I saw the “media” talking about boycotting your salon so much as regular people.

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Sidenote: This is a good example of news and objectivity. Newsrooms are covering the story, but their headlines offer items like “a campaign for a local hair salon is raising eyebrows”  and “ad being called ‘disgusting.'” That leaves a lot of room to say glorifying domestic violence might not offend everyone, or shouldn’t. By way of clarifying that point I offer a fake headline of  “Certain neighbours don’t like new condo plan” which is a totally acceptable place for objectivity because it’s going to be a subjective decision-making process.

If newsrooms, and the humans working in them, expressed that this was unacceptable (which I think they’re doing by non-objectively choosing to cover the story) they’d be saying to the audience that they are a part of the community and want the best for Edmonton. That’s not to say you can’t get the salon owner’s take on the ads and issue.

A couple of journalists did express actual human emotions about the ads on Twitter (and in opiniony places like blogs), but we need to see that become part of news coverage. Your audience knows you’re humans, knows you have reactions and emotions, and it’s ok to show that. It might even make stories better. Leaving room for people who might welcome domestic violence in ads, or who don’t think the moon landing happened, doesn’t make you fair and balanced, it lets down your audience.

Balancing that journalism criticism, is this story from Fish Griwkowsky in the Journal. He’s writing about local filmmaker Trevor Anderson and it says at the end of the story that the two know each other and work together. That doesn’t make the story about Anderson’s new movie any less interesting. More of this please!

I promise to keep the journalism discussions at a minimum in the rest of today’s Headlines.  (more…)


August 26 Edmonton Headlines

Good Friday to you, Edmonton.

Do you want government money to go into the downtown arena proposal?

If your answer is “no” then I guess you hate downtown Edmonton.

The new idea from City Hall is to tax the entire downtown area to help pay off loans and construction costs of the Oilers’ new home, as well as help put some money into a few other downtown projects. It would also take away nearly a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in provincial education money (giving it to downtown projects), and potentially raise taxes across the city because extra tax revenue in this giant CRL (community revitalization levy) area would be dedicated to downtown projects and couldn’t cover any other items in the City budget.

I like downtown Edmonton. I think it’s coming along nicely. Don’t make me a bad guy for not wanting to pay Daryl Katz for an arena, City of Edmonton.

Never before had $15 sparked such anger, such fury. When the provincial government announced it was going to charge municipalities for license plate information searches done on a vehicle pulled over for a moving infraction, or a parked car breaking the rules, municipalities, including Edmonton, and police forces, couldn’t believe it. They fought, they pouted, they got their way.

My hunch is that oil prices went up enough this year to allow the provincial government to drop this fee to future budget debates. But, then, I can be really cynical.

Also, if the Alberta government really needs the $15, they should just tack it on to provincial traffic fines.

We aren’t done yet! (more…)


July 29 Edmonton Headlines

I know plenty of Edmontonians will be happy to have Langano Skies back.

Can you feel that, Edmonton? It feels like the end of a week with a long weekend looming. Sorry if you’re the only guy in the office today.

Recent missing Alberta Hospital patients – one of whom has not been found – have sparked a review of safety and security at mental health facilities across the province. Let’s hope this begins a look at our entire mental health system, including interactions with police and the courts.

A new downtown development (yes, we have those without the arena even being built) is looking at a slightly later completion date, but it should spruce up the crap out of 109 Street and Jasper Avenue.

The City of Edmonton’s power bill will be going down as it replaces street lights with more efficient LED light bulbs.

You car insurance rates aren’t going up. Well, your basic rates, anyway.

An Amber Alert issued Thursday ended with a little boy being found safe with a family member. Police didn’t have a report of a missing child, but still felt there was enough information to warrant the city-wide search.

That story I linked to, from the Sun, gives a nice explanation of what police did and why. It’s exactly the kind of follow-up people need after an Amber Alert – especially one that didn’t result in criminal charges because of a kidnapping or other crimes – and other newsrooms should follow the example. We can’t have people walking away from an Amber Alert without stories clearly explaining what happened, or folks might be left to think we’re living in a city of kidnappers.

Edmonton Police are hailing the actions of a delivery man who helped run down a man after a boy reported a sexual assault.

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RCMP in Strathcona County will not face charges after shooting a man last winter.

The company behind the second-largest oil spill in Alberta history is ready to get pumping again.

Oil and gas companies are being warned about a fake environmental registry which is trying to scam them. Don’t worry, there is yet to be a company to pay any such fees.

The lack of public education in Morinville is now looking at the potential of being a civil liberties case.

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Riding the streetcar across the High Level Bridge is always fun. But riding an original 1912 Edmonton streetcar would be even more fun.

The dragonfly population is rising, and they’re eating all of our mosquitoes. I think I saw two dragonflies mating yesterday.

 


July 27 Edmonton Headlines

Good morning, Edmonton, and welcome to the middle of the week.

So, the Premier is considering boosting a municipal fund to help Edmonton pay for a downtown arena. Man, we could use that money to keep building our LRT system too.

But, I guess, since Ed Stelmach enjoyed the mess Ralph Klein left him he wants to leave a little something for his replacement. All of the candidates to be Progressive Conservative premier have said they won’t help fund the downtown arena. Even though this isn’t necessarily direct funding, but Stelmach openly tying the idea of an increase to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative to the Mayor’s request for arena money, he puts the new premier into a tough position.

For Calgary, however, it bodes well for their looming request for arena money.

Oh, and while the outgoing premier seems all-too-ready to help pay for a downtown arena, students in Morinville are without promised temporary classrooms in September. Maybe if they could play hockey really well…

A man who attacked city bus driver Tom Bregg is going to prison. And he does not have a release date. The fact the attacker did not have the worst record of violent offences says that transit drivers deserve a higher level of respect and protection.

Spruce Avenue School’s got an innovative summer program to keep kids caught up on their lessons, have something to do in the summer, and enjoy some play time.

Habitat for Humanity has its largest ever Edmonton-area donation: $1-million.

It’s going to cost you an extra $5 to fly out of the Edmonton International Airport. Have we built high-speed rail yet?

You’d think that’d be lots of news. But there’s lots more. (more…)


Rainy July Weekend

This guy is always ready to party.

I know it’s raining. A lot. But, there’s some sun in the weekend forecast, and not everything that’s happening is outdoors, so we can still have fun this weekend. Come on, it’ll be fun!

We’ve got plenty of festivals on. Rain or shine, they’ll be going all weekend (well, most of them, so watch for venue changes and cancellations if the rain never stops).

Our annual summer exhibition, Capital Ex, begins today. So, get your cotton candy on.

A Taste of Edmonton is in Churchill Square. (As it always coincides with Capital Ex, which is a one-stop LRT ride away). Get your eat on from lots of Edmonton restaurants. Or take your food home and deep fry it. Anything goes!

The Freewill Shakespeare Festival winds down for another summer, in Hawrelak Park. Of course, there’s the Edmonton Indy and Race Week Edmonton events (most of the events are downtown, the race is at the City Centre Airport).

On Sunday, Fork Fest begins part 2 of its summer run. Time to get your local eat on.

In arts…Year of the Rabbit wraps up this weekend. It’s a combination of visual arts and a play, at the Catalyst Theatre. Wicked is also playing in Edmonton. There’s burlesque at The ARTery tomorrow night, with the River City Review. This is also the weekend for Edmonton: The Musical.

Pretty solid music weekend, so you can stay dry. The New Music West conference and festival is in Edmonton, and will have plenty of shows around the city. The Frolics, The Burning Sands, and Hook ‘Em Revue are at Wunderbar…Kenny Shields and Streetheart are at the Century Casino…Warning to Avoid, GBM, and rhodes play at New City Legion…Manraygun is at The Empress

The Taste of Edmonton and Race Week Edmonton festivals also have their share of music.

And there’s the Sasquatch Sweet Sixteen Festival, at Rangeton, Alberta. Bring the rubber boots!

The Campus Community Garden is planning a second shot at an open house. They are certainly hoping for a sunny Saturday.

In sports…the Edmonton Capitals are home to the Chico Outlaws this weekend…and the Edmonton Prospects are home to Medicine Hat, at John Fry Park…there’s also the Kokanee Edmonton Canada Cup in Kinsmen Park, so expect a muddy good time on mountain bikes!

If you’re into local government and transit, you could also check out the Downtown LRT connector workshop happening Sunday afternoon.


July 11 Edmonton Headlines

Anyone else feel like roadwork has them walking a plank?

How was that wet weekend for you, Edmonton?

The mayor wants more money for suburban roads so people can more easily afford to live in the suburbs. Aaaand, he’s lost me. I don’t think people pay enough of the true municipal cost of living in the suburbs now, let alone tossing more money into roadwork which could drop developer’s costs more.

It’s not your imagination, parking is getting more expensive.

The City of Edmonton could open a museum or hold the mother of all garage sales with all of the stuff it’s collected over the years.

No matter where people move from it’s great to have ways to connect them with other people, and teach them how to get around the city.

Speaking of those moving to our city…some in the local Sudanese community were celebrating the independence of South Sudan

Alberta Health Services and Edmonton Police are looking for a missing woman.

After posting an image of a groping suspect Edmonton Police report an arrest in the case.

The world’s best female triathlete couldn’t compete here at home this weekend.

An Edmonton girl is Miss Teen Canada International.

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The outgoing Information and Privacy Commissioner doesn’t expect to land any future jobs with the government of Alberta. Which is really too bad, since that means he did his job well.

Alberta’s childcare and foster system continues to be under pressure to open up, let everyone see how things work, and answer questions.

Speaking of children in provincial care…murder charges have been stayed against two teens accused of killing a couple out in Strathcona County…it was a case that saw changes to how Bosco Homes operated…

First it was fires, now it’s floods. Northern Alberta can’t catch a break this summer.

You’d think hospitals would have the healthiest food around. You’d think.

Perhaps lawsuits are a cost of running a large healthcare system? Though, that would mean that people aren’t happy, things went wrong, and change needs to happen in a number of areas.

Alberta had more new jobs created last month than in all of the U.S. So, yeah, I guess we’re doing alright.

One horse down at the 2011 Calgary Stampede. Do you think the Calgary Humane Society would be cool with me chasing down puppies and tying them up? I think you could take away all the animal stuff and everybody going to Calgary for the breakfasts and parties wouldn’t even notice.

Speaking of animal welfare…the oilsands are yet to finish off the Whooping Crane…so far…


July 7 Edmonton Headlines

You might have seen these eye-catching "posters" for the No Longer With Us campaign to promote Housing First. (Click for more details.)

 

I think I’m starting to like “today’s date-Edmonton Headlines” as my go-to title. I reserve the right to insert puns.

If you get caught on the LRT without transit fare, or put your feet on the seat, or give drivers the stink-eye (that one may be made up), you’ll be facing a larger fine. Now, with the most important problems solved, if Edmonton Transit could just increase service to the most populated and busy areas of the city, get GPS on the buses, and keep things clean we’d see the monthly cost be a deal compared to personal vehicles.

Festival organizers are looking to the City for a little help in killing mosquitoes. That would mean breaking out the chemicals to “fog” parks.

The river valley is getting money that was supposed to go to other park projects. Go river valley go!

The footage is grainy, but Edmonton Police hope it will help them catch a downtown groper.

A landmark that used to sit outside of CFRN TV is on its way to the new Royal Alberta Museum. Speaking of that new museum…give the provincial government a little input, would you. Oh, you can’t?

You might have heard about a Sun News Network item on some Edmonton artists’ housing this week.

The Bestest of Edmonton? You’ll have to make the jump to find out. (more…)


Canada Day Events (and the rest of the weekend too)

Ah, the Canada Day long weekend in Edmonton. If you’re anything like me you started off by sleeping in, then dug into your traditional July 1 breakfast of back bacon+maple syrup poutine. Delicious.

And now that you’re energized by meat, fries, and gravy-syrup you need to get out and celebrate this fine country we call home.

Edmonton does Canada Day pretty damn well. You can catch the Silly Summer Parade on Whyte Avenue at lunch, then head just about anywhere for more red and white festivities; City Hall, the Alberta Legislature, Mill Woods (which has a huge party), attractions like Fort Edmonton Park (where they call it Dominion Day), the Muttart Conservatory, and Valley Zoo, and the Edmonton Garrison.

Don’t forget about fireworks! The big show is downtown in the river valley. Mill Woods also fills the sky with spectacular-ness.

The World’s Longest Flag Football Game also begins today, at noon. You can help them out, play, volunteer, cheer, and donate to the Stollery.

Speaking of sports…the Edmonton Capitals have the Maui Na Koa Ikaika in town.

Don’t think the festivals stop for a holiday. The Works Art and Design Festival continues at Churchill Square and around downtown. The musical lineup at Churchill Square continues to be amazing.

Speaking of amazing music…we’ve got this thing called the Edmonton International Jazz Festival. Yeah, that’s gonna have a great lineup too. (And is a good time to check out jazz if you’re not a regular at the Yardbird Suite.)

A new festival just began this weekend too. (New as in it just started, it’s not new to Edmonton.) The Freewill Shakespeare Festival is on in the Hawrelak Park Amphitheater. This summer you can see Othello and Twelfth Night.

Great show Saturday night at Wunderbar, with Shotgun Jimmie, Liam Trimble, and The Mitts. There’s also a big Slave Lake fire fundraising show this weekend up in Widewater (which is on Lesser Slave Lake).

Also this weekend, Edmonton is hosting the 2011 Canadian Ismaili Games. Neat.


June 23 Edmonton Headlines

Hey, you, uh, got $50-million the City of Edmonton can have, to keep the 2012 tax hike at 4.5%? There may be a cut or two (or three) if more money isn’t found. I know you have it in coffee cans buried in the yard!

Meanwhile…the City announced $56-million to get the east Jasper redevelopment moving along

And there will be a new statue in, or around, Churchill Square.

If I’m reading this story on the downtown arena correctly, Councillor Ed Gibbons will meet with the City Manager to ask a list of questions but that meeting would happen outside of a public meeting. Weird. (Or I’ve got it wrong.)

The chair of the Edmonton Public School Board wants longer-term funding from the provincial government, to allow a little more stability in school board budgeting.

TELUS is putting in $20-million worth of work into one of its two towers on 100 Street, and also a bit of green space right beside the plaza.

100 years of flight in Edmonton, the City Centre Airport, and aviation are being talked about and celebrated this week.

Speaking of the City Centre Airport…we know who will be designing a neighbourhood planned to take over the land. The Charrette has a further look at the design plans.

As soon as I saw that police had made an arrest in a Whyte Avenue stabbing my brain started to try and guess at the story. There hadn’t been any homicides recently. Could it be the Dylan McGillis killing from four-and-a-half years ago? A homicide I covered when still working the daily news beat? Yes! Edmonton police have made a long-awaited, long sought-after arrest.

The homicide was among the violence that sparked some change on Whyte to try and attract more live music, more street life (and not just drunk people eating pizza street life), and campaigns to enjoy a night out without violence.

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There are more nurses being hired in Alberta, but a lot of them aren’t working full-time. This is, essentially, a good news story though.

The Alberta government is spending some money educating you about carbon capture and storage. Whether we’ll ever end up building the systems to trap carbon emissions underground is another story.

Canada’s western premiers are talking disasters and disaster funding. Our premier (still Ed Stelmach until fall, when Progressive Conservatives choose a new one) wants more foreign workers, and to get them here faster.

Speaking of leadership races…Bill Harvey is running to lead the Alberta Liberals. I know…NOW you’re excited about that race.

Alberta author Robert Kroetsch died in a car crash this week, and is being remembered for his literary contributions to Alberta, Edmonton, and Canada.

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Oh, that pesky Senate.

Canada’s approach to asbestos is very “do as I say not as I do” since we won’t be doing a whole with the known cancer-causer but will gladly export it. I guess The Daily Show cares more than our federal government.


June 22 Edmonton Headlines

I am digging all this blue sky!

Potentially good news for those hoping the provincial government will help pay for a new downtown arena in Edmonton as Red Deer lands some cash.

Ah, the irony of building and refurbishing schools while the school boards look at cutting teachers and staff. This is why we stopped calling it the Alberta Advantage, right?

Castrol Raceway is expanding. While they aren’t planning to host the Indy anytime soon it probably bodes well for the race sticking around this area when it can’t run at the City Centre Airport anymore (We’re supposed to find out today who won the design contract for the new neighbourhood going there.)

A group of Edmonton students have caught the attention of chef Jamie Oliver, currently on a food revolution in Los Angeles (on TV at least, they might be done filming). The Westglen students are kicking the sugary-milk habit.

I feel like we could keep going. Yeah, there’s lots more. Let’s keep going. (more…)


Rainy Rain, Rain Headlines

This puddle will be large enough to swim in by the end of the day.

Well, it’s sure not dry around here anymore.

But, after a few days of (seemingly) non-stop rain, it is staring to affect some lower-lying areas of Edmonton, and puddling up on other roads.

There are so many options on how to keep older schools open, even if they aren’t 100% used for schooling, as we try to fill-in our oldest neighbourhoods. One key will be the City of Edmonton, school boards, and Government of Alberta actually getting together to plan things out.

Our city’s 26th homicide of the year has the mayor trying to figure out how to keep people from killing each other.

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Alberta’s political parties are spending lots of money, but we don’t know what it’s going to. I bet it’s really good cheeses.

The Progressive Conservative leadership race, to be Alberta’s next unelected premier (you get a few of those in dynasty governments) is officially on. Edmonton will host one of the leadership debates.

You’re looking at an auto insurance hike this year. The final numbers won’t kick in until November.

U.S. and European organizations want an independent group to oversee the new oilsands land use plan.

Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein made an appearance at the opening of a park named in his honour.

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The federal government’s cabinet ministers have new powers today allowing them them to pull unsafe items off store shelves.

Canada Post isn’t back to delivering regular mail, but people waiting on government cheques should get those.

Canada’s western and northern premiers are meeting this week. Disaster planning and assistance, and selling to Asian markets, look to be on the agenda.

Paula Findlay is unstoppable. (Keep your Denzel jokes to yourself, Gregg and Sally.)

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I’m going to throw my two cents at Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau. He thinks the CRTC needs to regulate Netflix and YouTube to keep Canadians watching Canadian programs (and, I presume, American programs the big networks have spent so much money on). I think he, and all the media companies, need to produce Canadian programs to keep Canadians watching. Crazy, I know. Spend billions of dollars on homegrown productions, instead of Hollywood programming I can always watch on an American channel or online, and you basically force me to watch Canadian TV shows.


June 13 Edmonton Headlines

Good Monday morning to you, Edmonton.

Calgary’s mayor wants to team up with Edmonton’s Stephen Mandel to push for more power for Alberta’s largest cities, perhaps even landing a “charter” which would give Edmonton and Calgary more taxing powers. Naheed Nenshi thinks the perfect time to do this is this summer, during the Progressive Conservative leadership race.

Edmonton is being told to not close older schools but make them multi-use facilities, in an effort to maintain life in mature neighbourhoods.

I don’t agree that trying to keep older schools open is a bad fiscal move by the Edmonton Public School Board. Building more schools in the suburbs simply because people are going there now doesn’t make sense as the City tries to reign in sprawl. The Provincial government, City of Edmonton, and EPSB need to sit down and figure out where things are going in the next few decades, because otherwise they’ll all keep making plans that contradict each other.

Staff and parents of a Christian education program that operates within a half-dozen Edmonton Public School Board schools are concerned about a new policy which aims to include gay and sexual minority students, and crack down on bullies.

The “Highway of Tears,” a stretch of road in northwestern Alberta and into British Columbia, is again the focus of calls for more police investigation. A woman last seen at West Edmonton Mall has been identified after remains were found, and her friend may yet be identified as dead as well. The area has been the site of many disappearances and missing persons.

Today’s a Monday, and that usually means more than a few stories to catch up on after the weekend. More after the jump. (more…)


June 6 Edmonton Headlines

Welcome to the new week, Edmonton.

City Hall saw a protest this weekend, as Edmontonians rallied against the use of tax dollars to pay for the Oilers’ new downtown arena and the abruptness of the decision from city council to move ahead. Another rally happened this weekend (what a political weekend!) at the Alberta Legislature (though it made its way to City Hall), as the “Slut Walk” hit Edmonton. And Edmontonians also walked, and raised money, to fight poverty.

On the arena…while many tout that the City will only be paying $125-million to build it (updated from $100-million, thanks to that City comment…a Monday morning math slip on my part),with $100-million from Oilers owner Daryl Katz, $125-million in a ticket tax, and $100-million in mystery money, the actual construction costs have to be paid by someone which may call for more City tax money or more provincial money. Perhaps in a loan.

A third Somali-Edmontonian has been killed this year. The Somali community has seen a dozen young men murdered or killed in the last few years, mostly due to connections to drugs and gangs. Meanwhile…at police headquarters…the Acting Police Chief is reassuring us that if we steer clear of street drugs and criminals we shouldn’t be at a high-risk to be murdered. (And he’s not the acting chief after today, since our new police chief begins work Monday.)

Nine years later…an Edmonton police officer will indeed face disciplinary charges for a 2002 Tasering

Next up, CYCLOTRONS! (more…)


The First Crazy Weekend of Summer

Get ready for a busy weekend, Edmonton. (And the festivals are just getting started too.)

The 10th Royal Bison Craft Fair is at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre. This one’s gonna be good, with Culina serving up food, and more craftsters than you can shake a knitted-stick at.

Not too far from the Royal Bison, it’s the first East Whyte Street Party. The block party, including Eva Sweet Waffles!, is on 100 Street, between Whyte Avenue and 81st Ave. Businesses up and down Whyte (between 99 Street and the tracks) will have specials and deals for you too. We’ll see you there!

A few blocks away from that…the City of Edmonton is talking food and agriculture policy, outside of the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market.

Sticking with the City…Saturday sees the 3rd annual ETS Community Fair at West Edmonton Mall. And Big Bin Events continue, so you can get rid of all of your old couches.

The Edmonton Energy are in action tonight, playing the USA All-Stars. (The Edmonton Energy are our IBL basketball team.)

In music…Hale Hale, Raptors, and Randy Graves are playing the Pawn Shop tonight with Andrew W.K. So you know it’ll be a party. Anvil is at the Starlite Room. Rusty Reed’s and the Sherbrooke Community League are putting on the “Blossom into the Blues” festival this weekend. Opera Nuova’s Vocal Arts Festival is on right now too. On Sunday…Timbre Timbre at the Avenue Theatre

On Saturday watch out for people running around Edmonton in the City Chase (kind of an Amazing Race style event) and then on Sunday, you’ll see folks running and biking in the Subway Coronation Triathlon – which brings with it road closures.

On the political side of things…the Alberta Party’s got Big Idea Night to kick-off its leadership convention this weekend…and there will be a rally at the Alberta Legislature Sunday, to pressure the provincial government into funding education and avoiding hundreds of teaching cuts this fall…

SEE Magazine might be disappearing, but Merge is back. They re-launch with a party tonight.

You can still catch new one-act plays from local playwrights at the Walterdale.

There are always movies to be watched.

On Sunday, buy some baked goods to help the Slave Lake fire victims. Never before has gorging yourself on brownies been so helpful.

You can wash down all those brownies and cupcakes with beers. Zombeers.


Edmonton Headlines

Parking rates are going up. (Click for details.)

Well, Edmonton, we made it through the short week. Now its five-day weeks for a month. But it’s the weekend now, so that’s something.

While this story may be about Garneau residents trying to keep bars from spilling off of Whyte Avenue, I like the part about the City’s planning and development department keeping closer tabs on what’s happening with business licenses.

The Edmonton Sun says Councillor Karen Leibovici should not be voting on downtown arena deals, because her husband is an executive with a Katz pharmacy chain.

An inner city crisis team is touting its successes on the streets of Edmonton.

The Edmonton International Airport has shifted from “stopping the Calgary habit” to getting Edmontonians to “Unite for More Flights.” Essentially, the EIA’s new campaign to get people to fly out of Edmonton is centered on the fact more people flying from here could mean more flight options.

A couple of missing men in uniform have been found. It’s not clear what happened to an EPS officer reported missing, and it’s a sad end to the story of a missing soldier.

*****

Teachers are going to be cut because of tight education budgets, and the fight to get the Alberta government to pay for better education is on.

Slave Lake residents – those with homes to go back to anyway – are returning to the town after a devastating wildfire.

A couple of front-runners in the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership (or, Premiership) race are talking about new rules and changes to improve government transparency.

As northern Alberta burns, southern Alberta is soaked.

Alberta’s only non-Conservative MP, Edmonton-Strathcona’s Linda Duncan, is going to be in the NDP’s shadow cabinet.

*****

Former Edmonton Eskimo quarterback Jason Maas is retiring from football.


NextBus me!

One week ago Mack Male wrote about St. Albert Transit launching its system-wide GPS system. I gave it a whirl Tuesday.

It’s great.

As you’ll be able to barely see from my crappy cellphone photos, the NextBus system allows you to track St. Albert buses on their routes. You get up-to-the-minute results, allowing you to know if the bus will be exactly where it’s supposed to be at any given time.

I tried it out after an interview at the new Enjoy Centre (where Hole’s Greenhouses now reside). First up, the A21. (more…)


Late Headlines

Good day, Edmonton. As Sally mentioned earlier, I was out and about and got hung up. But, fear not, I still love me some Headlines.

Hundreds of Edmonton teaching jobs could be cut, as the Edmonton Public School Board tries to balance a budget that’s not getting any extra love from the Alberta government. The same Alberta government that’s going to be asked to put in up to $100-million for our city’s new downtown arena.

I guess education and teaching degrees do make one qualified to work an arena concession stand.

Speaking of provincial education dollars, Beaumont is getting a pair of new schools.

Meanwhile…the closed-door, after-hours vote to approve the arena deal isn’t getting a whole lotta love.

Starting with the arena again…you’d think that was some kind of big deal or something. (more…)


Arena Rant

By Gregg Beever

Over the past 24 hours I’ve had to listen to some ridiculous arguments against the proposed arena district. I understand when public money is involved there is bound to be rather strong viewpoints for or against, and I believe there are valid arguments to be made on either side.

For those who are compiling thoughtful, cogent arguments based on fact and logic, I applaud you. However, if you have made one of the following cases against the arena, give your head a shake! (more…)


May 20 Edmonton Headlines

Good Friday to you, Edmonton. Start with the downtown arena? OK!

The downtown arena is going to need money from the provincial and/or federal governments. While the provincial government says they won’t give money to a private business, I wonder if that’s not why the potential deal has the City of Edmonton owning the land and building, so it could be argued it’s a public facility. The ask better come quick, since a couple of potential Conservative premiers are ruling out the money.

The spend-crazy NDP don’t want tax money to go to the Katz Group’s new Oilers home. Because they hate the Oilers? Edmonton? Freedom? What’s with everyone wanting questions answered on this thing? Just get excited already. And, I’m sure school boards considering cutting teachers and staff to balance their budgets would agree, the Alberta government should fund the arena.

Does the arena herald a new era for downtown Edmonton? I would have argued 104 Street, a centralizing MacEwan University campus, LRT connections to the west and southeast, Capital Boulevard, and 109 Street’s makeover were doing that already.

OK, that’s the arena, now let’s see what else is going on. And there really is other stuff going on. (more…)


Edmonton Framework Agreement Headlines

So…they’re building a downtown arena.

What’s that?

The odd 9:30pm news conference caught you off guard? The vote behind closed-doors feels a little off? The fact nothing really changed from the last, seemingly tentative, steps forward, leaving construction costs $100-million short doesn’t sound like sound city planning?

I believe that is anti-Oiler, Anti-Edmonton talk.

Don’t you love the downtown, don’t you love your city?!

(I do recognize the deal uses terms like “framework” and “agreement in principle” but come on…)

On the plus-side, one can hope the City sticks to its guns and doesn’t move forward without making up the $100-million in missing money. Right now that is tied into asking the federal and provincial governments. A seat sale won’t be part of it. (We also have a pretty good idea for funding the arena.) The provincial government also has to approve a community revitalization levy (CRL) that can use taxes from a specified zone to help pay for the arena (the City has identified a pretty large swatch of the downtown for this). There has to be a public hearing on the CRL.

One can also hope Edmonton doesn’t become just another example of a city that handed money to a sports franchise to try and invigorate it’s downtown, only to be looking for ways to in invigorate it’s downtown a couple of years later. Design, and the “entertainment district” around the arena are going to be the most important parts of this.

Also, regardless of other reports and math, Daryl Katz is putting in $100-million, which is fantastic, but does account for less than 1/4 of the construction costs. That means the City of Edmonton (and/or other levels of taxpayer-funded government) must pay the majority of costs to build the arena. Katz may eventually pay $125-million of that back through a ticket tax, but you and I are paying to build his team’s arena.

Oh, and Northlands is gonna be pissed, because the Katz Group wants a non-competition clause, so Northlands doesn’t keep booking concerts, sports, the rodeo, etc… at Rexall Place. Which I presume will become some sort of housing location for wigs. (Northlands could end up non-existent, totally reinvented, or rolled into Edmonton Economic Development, as a result of all this.)

Alright, these are Edmonton Headlines, not just Arena headlines. Let’s dig in. (more…)


May 17 Edmonton Headlines

Good morning, Edmonton. We’ll begin again with the fire in Slave Lake.

It's been a little while since I posted a river shot.

Edmonton’s got roles in helping the people of Slave Lake. That northwestern Alberta town is burning because of forest fires. The City is putting up residents at the Northlands Expo Centre. (Nearby towns and cities are also taking in those fleeing the fires.) The Edmonton Humane Society is looking after pets. Edmontonians are rallying to donate any needed items. (The Corus radio stations are holding a BBQ on Wednesday for relief efforts.) Edmonton firefighters are among those fighting wildfires north of our city.

The fires already shut down cleanup on Alberta’s largest oil spill in decades, and now more energy sources will be affected.

These fires are far from the only ones in the province. Is it a freakish fire season? Have we waited too long to combat climate change?

Locally, CTV Edmonton, the Edmonton Journal, and Global Edmonton look to be providing lots of coverage on the fire.

Alright, let’s check on the rest of Edmonton. (more…)