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August 20, 2017
February 28, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Watch that driver behind you. And slow down.

Written by Jeff Samsonow

People driving in Edmonton are too impatient. Tailgating – following the person in front of you too closely – is the top reason for crashes in our city.

…the most common reason Edmonton drivers give for tailgating is that the vehicle in front of them is not travelling as fast as they would like.

Wow. You can’t get much more telling than a quote like that. And that isn’t one person saying it. That’s the result of a survey of many people having the same feeling.

We may not know exactly how many of the nearly 9,000 tailgating crashes could have been prevented by a little bit of a slowdown. Certainly, bad weather will be a factor in some of them, or multiple reasons will be in play. But it does seem like a fairly simple thing to change about driving behaviour to save a lot of time, money and the health and life of people.

Along with this stat, the City also release details of the top 10 locations you’ll be in a tailgate collision. They look like fairly high-traffic commuter areas, which makes sense when you consider how impatient you might be rushing out of the house in the morning or trying to get home from work.


When the news release is good enough

It could soon be time to put some solar panels on your house, as the provincial government rolls out a new plan to provide rebates. You’ll notice that I linked to the Alberta government news release for this story. It’s because everyone that appears to have “covered” it has just re-written the news release.

Metro, 630CHED, iNews880, Global and CBC* used a version written by The Canadian Press (a wire service). The Journal and Sun had a reporter do the same kind of rewrite (although the Journal version had some more details added later). I didn’t spot the story on CBC or CTV.

With newsroom resources limited, why waste time replicating a news release? Wouldn’t it be as effective to just share the news release directly, or through social media?

In these Headlines posts I like to link to the best-written or most thorough version of a story that everyone might be covering. And I like to link to the first newsroom to have a story, especially on original journalism. So, today, we’re going with the government news release.

Click to see how similar the stories are.


Education news

For the first time in a couple of weeks, we’re not talking about conflict and contentious issues when it comes to education.

Well, unless you consider the allegation that teachers are inflating grades contentious. (Although, if students are turning in lower marks on exams, couldn’t that also speak to test anxiety?)

The University of Alberta is working with students from countries subject to the recent U.S. Muslim ban. As the U.S. tries to close its borders and deport people, education, research and innovation are going to become big parts of the story as people are forced to find new homes. We hope they do so safely.

Over at MacEwan University, students can now use their preferred name and gender. What a great step forward for inclusion.

Concordia University has a familiar Edmonton face as its new chancellor.


We were just talking about…

The potential for a PST, last week. Now the Alberta Party, the political party vying to claim Alberta’s political centre from the listless Liberals and soon-to-be super-right conservatives, is talking openly about how we need to consider a provincial sales tax (PST) to help with predictable revenue. News stories consistently mention that it’s basically forbidden to talk about such a tax in Alberta, but I think a lot of people are going to start coming forward to say it makes more sense than hoping for oil and gas money.

Sex education, yesterday. On the heels of a story about new, and needed, sex education programming at Edmonton’s public school board, one of the Catholic school trustees is wondering if it’s past time to update that school board’s sex education program.


Don’t be too loud out on the river, would ya? Actually, if you are, the City probably won’t do much to you. At least not this year.


Civic Meetings

At City Hall, Executive Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. See the agenda online. Watch or listen live through the City’s streaming service.

The Edmonton Public School Board meets this afternoon, at 2 p.m. You can see the agenda online, and also stream the meeting live from the same link.

The Edmonton Catholic School District also meets today, at 3 p.m. See the agenda online. You can also watch live.


*Later addition: We included a link to CBC’s posting of the same Canadian Press version of the news release as other newsrooms were running.