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October 22, 2017
April 12, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hockey is the only answer

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

If you’ve been paying even passive attention to the news, you know today’s the day many in our city have been waiting for. The Oilers return to the NHL playoffs. (I still think Oilers Twitter was more fun when they were terrible.)

For all of us, it’s going to mean some revelry out on city streets (and maybe some hungover coworkers). It will also cost Edmonton Police at least $50-60,000 every game day to patrol the streets for rowdies, potential rioters and all the public urination. Win or lose, this will be the dominant story in local news for at least the next two weeks.

Sticking with hockey… The City is moving ahead with a deal to re-purpose our other arena, working on a deal with Hockey Canada to create a training facility that could also be used by the community.

If the plan goes ahead it could mean some new life for the old arena, and surrounding neighbourhood. It could also mean consolidation of community rinks, which is great on the City’s budget but sucks life out of neighbourhoods with everyone having to drive to the big rink.


At city council

For the second time this week we’re saying “we saw this coming.” The City is moving ahead with the sale of some top-of-bank land just east of the downtown for a proposed 80-story tower. (Please excuse our cynicism at how tower-crazy this city council appears to us.)

It’s not all done yet, though. The land still needs to be re-zoned to accommodate a building of that height. So, if this doesn’t sit well with you – for height reasons, sale of river valley land reasons, closed-door debate reasons, or thwarting plans for The Quarters reasons – you’ll need to take action quickly by getting in touch with your councillor or speaking at the April 24 public meeting.

It looks like the property tax increase for this year will be 2.7 percent. No matter how much you were holding out hope for one of those zero percent increases which surely always ends up being a bad idea. Among the other last-minute budget details are funding for another go-round of the nighttime Nuit Blance festival and some money for heritage projects.

As councillors wound their way through this week’s agenda, they also pushed forward changes to how public engagement is conducted. Changes that should occur include getting more people involved at early stages of consultation, by building out maps and lists of groups that go beyond community leagues.

There are a few examples cited in the proposal that offer the City new ways to engage with community members, including the work in Queen Alexandra during their Neighbourhood Redevelopment.


In your car

If you are the kind of person who takes the chance on parking tickets by not paying to park in private lots, you may soon find your car has a Denver Boot on the front tire. Even though Edmonton Police say the immobilizing tool is illegal in our city.

An excellent question raised by a local traffic safety website: Why do so many journalists not take photo radar seriously? As the story points out, photo radar is proven to improve safety for all road users.


Public engagement

Edmonton City Council continues meeting this morning, at 9:30 a.m. See the agenda online. You can watch or listen live.

The City’s Audit Committee also meets today, at 1:30 p.m. You can see that agenda online. That meeting is also streamed live.

There’s a community meeting about “problem properties” in West Jasper Place tonight, 7-9 p.m. at Westlawn Cemetary’s community building.

You can also check out the City’s plans to annex parts of Leduc County (close to the airport) at another open house tonight, 5-8 p.m at the Nisku Inn.

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