Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Hang Up and Drive Headlines

I guess, more accurately, that headline should “Hang up, put down the sandwich, don’t do your hair and makeup, shave before you get into the car, stop tweeting on your iPad and drive.” Yes, Alberta’s new distracted driving law takes effect today. It’s a $172 ticket, so keep your eyes on the road.

Alberta is not the first province to have this kind of law.


Edmonton councillors will talk about the community revitalization levy (CRL) in October. This is the tax zone that’s supposed to help fund the downtown arena downtown revitalization projects. I hope it goes through and we finally see something productive happen on 104 Street, at 109 Street, at the old Canada Post property, with LRT expansion, and…what? That stuff is already happening?

Are you sure? I mean, how can it happen without an arena?

Speaking of LRT…Engineering design is to begin on Edmonton’s expanding LRT system.

Edmonton’s deficit for the year is improving.

One community in each of Edmonton’s five police divisions is going to get a little more policing. This is part of a new crime reduction strategy from the Edmonton Police Service. The EPS, by the way, is stretched thin trying to solve this year’s extra homicides.

I’m a little boggled on this one. Three Edmonton newsrooms (the Sun, CTV, and CHED/iNews) have a story today on a fatality report being released. Yet, CBC had it two weeks ago. Just a strange delay.


This school year will be the first for public education in Morinville. Which sounds really weird when I read that back. (Today is the first day of school for most students.)

A new way to move patients through the University Hospital faster will likely be applied at other hospitals after successful wait time reductions. We’re also performing more surgeries in Alberta.

Being the start of a new month all the monthly magazines are out with new issues. Alberta Venture’s got a look at the Slave Lake fire.


The photocopiers were flying, more textbooks are likely to be required, and more online links will be provides, because the University of Alberta’s getting out of its copyright agreement with Access Copyright. (Also, check out that new Gateway website! They’ve also got a refresher on top U of A summer stories.)

U of A students are depressed, not getting exercise, and not eating enough fruits and vegetables. But they’re not doing as many drugs as you may think.

The U of A’s Faculty of Arts is cutting some language classes to save money.


Libraries are not just “warehouses for books” anymore.

And that library story probably has a tie-in to this one about Blockbuster closing their remaining Canadian stories. (Locally, you can still find movies at Videodrome and The Movie Studio.)


August 19 Edmonton Headlines

Look at the difference in road top. Smooth!

Welcome to the end of the week, Edmonton.

Since the daily news media loves talking about crime, building it up to levels not actually seen here (or in most cities, for that matter) the Edmonton Police Service is hitting YouTube with new videos to talk about crime officers are seeing on a regular basis. This is great. Not that it won’t come with a little bias from the EPS, but that it helps force the crime debate to get real.

The City of Edmonton is changing things up for snow removal this winter. Neighbourhoods will continue to be bladed with 5cm of snowpack (down from 10cm in previous winters), there will be parking bans on bus route (and elsewhere if it really snows), and you’ll be able to see when your neighbourhood will be cleared on a new website.


Now, this could just be like the last provincial election when news media were predicting a breakthrough for the Alberta Liberals, but I’m getting the sense from coverage of the Progressive Conservative leadership race that Gary Mar and Alison Redford are the frontrunners. Ted Morton didn’t even get a mention in this story from Medicine Hat’s debate. Sounds like the Mothership really is down.

While some may say Mar’s idea of private healthcare gets shot down on principle alone and won’t get a fair discussion, I say talk about how many more doctors and medical staff you’ll hire before you create two levels of care. If you don’t hire more staff, buy more diagnostic machines, and open more clinics, you aren’t creating more healthcare space, you’re simply splitting it in two.

If you can’t make it out to the leadership debates, you can hit up videos on the Edmonton Journal’s website which will answer some frequently asked questions.

Meanwhile…outgoing PC leader and premier Ed Stelmach seems determined to find a way to throw in $100-million for Edmonton’s downtown arena. This, after PC leadership candidates asked him to stop announcing projects that are going to cost them money, or have to be pulled back off the table by them.


The Alberta government is worried about environmentalists. Oh, did I say Alberta government? I mean oil and energy executives.

Do any of these designs for the new Royal Alberta Museum (to be built behind City Hall, beside the CN Tower) float your boat? I don’t mind the first one from EllisDon, but none are blowing me away.

Alberta won’t be getting its own police force for at least 20 years. The RCMP’s getting a contract renewal.


Excellent commentary from Vue Weekly on suicide. Too often mental illness is hushed up, but we need more mental health and mental illness awareness, not less. It gets extra points for going after the news media and police policies of not reporting openly on suicides. If there’s a fear of others copying that, why do murders and violent crimes not get the same silence?

Spinning off that, PC leadership candidate Rick Orman wants to have more treatment of mental illness and addiction in our jail system.


A dentist is offering free treatments to people without dental insurance.

We are falling very much in love with our smartphones and tablets. I wonder if the CRTC can stay relevant in the digital age.

August 8 Edmonton Headlines

Well, that might be going a bit too far.

Hello Monday! And hello Edmonton.

Just to check: the Edmonton Oilers still play in Edmonton.

And the Katz Group wants to help with your PR, you know, if you need it or anything.

Forget the murder hype, we’re all safe. While that headline may be an oversimplification, it’s great to see at least one newsroom trying to challenge the scary, headline-grabbing homicide count. Now, if the same sentiment could seep off the editorial page and onto the front page – where we usually see the homicide and violent crime stories themselves – we’d really be onto a more balanced view of Edmonton.

The columns have come after Everybody in this city is armed?! was launched. So, keep up the pressure on newsrooms to dump the “If it bleeds, it leads” approach and talk to you like you know your own city. Which, we’re about to see in the next couple of stories, is still very much needed.

Stuff like saying “…rash of violent crimes in the city.” without including any stats or information on whether that’s true is what unnecessarily hurts the city’s image and leads to an ill-informed view of what’s going on and what may lead us to some solutions.

Or blaming crime on families with working parents and immigrants. That’s probably not helping any discussion on crime. Or football. Or whatever this iNews880 blog is about.

Balance those crime statements!

We should hear more on crime from the police chief today. (Update: He’s working on things.)

It’s Monday and we’re just getting this week going. More Edmonton news after the jump. (Which makes less sense if you’re reading this as a result of a direct link.) (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.


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.


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.


May 11 Edmonton Headlines

Once you see robins you know spring is here.

Good morning, Edmonton.

The Edmonton Public School Board is trying to pressure the provincial government into more funding, by prioritizing older schools. The province has recently been building new schools, so this shift of priorities increases the line in the sand the new school board trustees have been drawing after years of school closures.

Sticking with education…Could a slim education budget be to blame for cuts to a special needs program at Avonmore School? Could it be due to enrollment (which is a similar reason so many schools have recently closed in Edmonton)? Either way, it means special needs cuts.

Before you click through to this story on University of Alberta students borrowing money to go to school I want you to guess how much money, in total, the students at the U of A borrowed in 2010-2011. Alright, now that you’ve got a number in mind, head on through… (when you come back let me know if you were close to the actual figure)

It’s going to cost the City $15 to run your name when you get a parking ticket. But the fines will likely go up more than $15 very soon.

Alright, now let’s head downtown! (more…)

March Lamb Headlines

I guess we should be happy that March decided to come in and go out like a lamb. I still don’t trust Mother Nature thought…

The Katz Group, and Oilers, are trying to jack up support for a new downtown arena with videos played in Rexall Place. Remember when the Katz Group brought that video with Morgan Freeman narration to City Council? They sure love videos. I’m not sure about that giant yellow font though.

I wonder if anyone will create a response video…

Speaking of the arena…we hear more from City administration on how to make it happen what documentation and information will be going to city councillors next week. You know, April 6, when the mayor says make a decision, regardless of whether questions are answered or we have a clear idea of how to pay for Katz’s new arena.

Oh, and here’s two really rich guys talking about hockey.

Alright, enough of that arena for today. (more…)

March 30 Edmonton Headlines

Good morning, Edmonton. Let’s start with some good news before diving into the rest of it, including the federal election. Our city’s expanding transit system helped bump us up on MoneySense’s annual look at the best cities to live in. I’m sure low taxes and high job prospects helped more, but I like to think people dig transit.

Edmonton Oilers fans have already been getting used to hearing the new guy call games, but now Rod Phillips officially hangs up his voice.

Pharmacies are being robbed more frequently, and money is often not the target of the criminals.

Does being fined for overcrowding just mean you’re super-popular?

To the federal election-mobile! (more…)

March 10 Edmonton Headlines

Holy crap it’s actually not freezing outside. I didn’t see that coming. And we’re headed for temperatures on the plus-side of zero for the weekend. You better not being messing with us, Mother Nature.

Might as well start with a snow story though. X marks the spot. So don’t park on the X.

Speak Up, Edmonton is a small group, but it’s the official opposition to a City-funded downtown arena.

Speaking of speaking up…there are more chances to talk with the City of Edmonton about our various plans and schemes. Are you heeding the call?

Edmonton’s a smart city. So says IBM.

Edmonton’s lost a legendary restaurant owner, sports-supporter, and businessman.

One of the city’s “ugliest buildings” has been bought by new owners. Anyone ever stay at the The Courtyard/Thornton Court? Speaking of buying…Capital Power is buying, buying, buying!

You can find good vegetarian food in Edmonton restaurants at…

Where’d all the trees go?

It is Thursday. So you know that means lots and lots of news. (more…)

Internet and Coffee Headlines

The mayor thinks Edmonton should contract out more of its snow removal. This, as the City ponders buying more equipment to deal with snow. Hey, it’s totally an option. But…when there’s a big storm, don’t we always hear about how many of the “on-call” contractors don’t show up right away? Whatever we do heading into the end of 2011, it’s got to be different. I think it’s time to suck up the pride and copy ideas from other cities.

The mayor also wants more river valley money.

There are a lot of stories on the Scona Road construction today, but the Journal’s captures the neighbourhood feelings best. That’s my opinion, but I think people in Old Strathcona are more upset about a third lane coming off the James McDonald Bridge (the merge lane will be extended right up to Saskatchhewan Drive) than they are about six months of construction.

Sure, people are upset about the total closure (except some local access) of Scona Road, but work needs to be done. No, it’s the lack of consultation about the extra lane of traffic that’s most upsetting – as I’ve heard around the community. It also says, to me, that every time we take a step forward with LRT expansion and bus route improvements we take a step back by adding lanes for personal vehicles.

Edmonton’s police disciplinary process might need a tweak or two. One officer’s been winding his way through for eight years, to finally have the charges dropped.

The Edmonton Public School Board is the first board in Alberta to draft a policy on discrimination over sexual orientation.

Leaky roof? Sounds like you need an entirely new house. Or something.

You want more Edmonton news? Sure you do. (more…)

Opinion: Don’t give money to the homeless

The givers not knowing where their money’s going
Is as sinful as throwing away

– Cold War Kids, “Passing the hat”


By: Janine Edwards

We’ve established already that I’m an uncaring human being. If you are unaware of this, perhaps you should pay closer attention to my Letters to the Editors. If you’ve previously been offended by my point of view… you really aren’t going to like this.

Homeless people are ruining our city.

‘But Janine! They can’t help it. They’re addicts, they’ve had a bum deal, they are victims of an uncaring society.’ Bah.

There are places out there to help them. Lots of places. Okay, now we’re all recessionary… But there were tons of homeless even when we had staff shortages.

Now, in the style of our soon to be ruler of Colberta, I’m putting the Homeless on notice. (more…)