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August 21, 2018
January 5, 2018

Edmonton Headlines: Friday, January 5, 2018

Up and down

Written by Jeff Samsonow

A sample assessment from the City of Edmonton.

One of the big stories in Edmonton this week was about property tax assessments being sent out. So exciting!

Funny thing is, depending on which newsroom(s) you follow, you might have heard the story differently. 

Some said property assessments were down. Some said assessments were up. And others, which I think are closer to the truth, looked at the very tiny deviations between 2016 and 2017 and proclaimed property assessments were stable

The different interpretations speak to a few different things. One, you’ve got to have something punchy for a headline, nobody wants to hear about things being the same as always. Two, some people are pessimists and some are optimists. Three, an overall look at property assessments can make for a shaky story, since the assessment really depends on where your property is and what kind of building it is, and some people are seeing increases while others decreases. Somehow I’ve made a fairly boring story even more boring. 

If you haven’t received your assessment yet, or you just want to check out some property values (even if you rent), the City’s got some online tools to do that


Around the city

Edmonton doesn’t currently give a lot of weight (if any) to social procurement in contracts and bidding processes. But maybe we should start to consider if the people being paid by government should be doing more for the world around us.

Speaking of doing more… we could look at a comprehensive plan on how to harvest all of the fruit from our public trees and plants, not to mention all the fruit that goes to waste on private property.

Volunteers are trying to get Edmonton’s unique red springs preserved. 

Whyte Avenue may one day have an LRT running down it. Like, way in the future. 

Edmonton isn’t the only place struggling with school and playground zones, and reduced speed limits. Strathcona County is trying to get their zones more in line with what’s going on in the Metro Region.

Beaumont’s by-election has been set for February 5, with nomination day on Monday. The town’s got to replace a councillor who was actually ineligible to run for office in the fall election.

Oh, and watch for falling light poles. This is now a real issue in Edmonton. And the City may not be too quick with any type of compensation


Social challenges

Just before the end of the year, Edmonton Police were meeting with those tasked with reviewing the practice of carding. A report to the Edmonton Police Commission has been delayed until the end of March, and it’s not clear which community groups will also be involved in the review of what has been found to be racial profiling. 

You can find more about carding, and what’s been going on in Edmonton, and Alberta, in our newest feature story

As Edmonton looks at social isolation as a growing problem, this centre for Indigenous seniors is in peril of closing

There’s more Indigenous inclusion throughout the building, programming and exhibits at the new Royal Alberta Museum. Although the museum isn’t giving back the Manitou Stone, which has been previously requested (for years). The executive director wants “a solution that Indigenous peoples can agree on and present to us, we are happy to consider all options for it” which doesn’t sound like there will ever be enough to convince the museum to return the stone. There’s a lot of Indigenous history and culture in museums, a lot of which people would like back


Some good stuff

News doesn’t have to be all boring stuff, or all terrible things. Here are some stories to redeem your belief in humanity. 

These three Edmontonians have done a lot of good and important things over the years, and are now named to the Order of Canada

A Stony Plain Metis man is picking up a national business award, being recognized as the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneur of the Year.

One man is trying to help people connected to the 60s Scoop, coordinating efforts around their healing and the official apology from the Alberta government. 

An actual local hero needs some help. Almost one year ago, Riza Kasikcioglu ran into a burning building to alert residents, and even carried a woman out on his back. He’s just had brain surgery, and there’s a GoFundMe up to help with business and household costs while he recovers. 

If you’ve ever owned or played a piano in Edmonton, it was very likely tuned by this guy at some point

Also, don’t forget to meet Edmonton’s New Year’s baby.

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