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Opinion

Question; “Is City Council’s inconsistency a sign of preferential treatments?”

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A developer was denied a development, in Deer Park, because 15 people submitted concerns about an increase of traffic (18 cars) from 39 Street. There were concerns that if the development went to residences you might see 15 more cars in the area.

7 streets south is 32 Street, and the city is talking about increasing traffic by the thousands. I am talking about the city not extending Molly Bannister and making 32 Street 6 lanes. Submissions were submitted from almost 1800 people with the majority supporting the extension, and not increasing 32 Street into 6 lanes, and not increasing traffic by the thousands on 32 Street.

7 blocks apart, same Deer Park neighbourhood, 2 different developers, and 2 different trains of thought.

When considering 32 Street you heard condescending remarks, about it not being even close to Edmonton traffic, or the Deerfoot Trail.

When considering 39 Street, they talked about an accident, years ago and the intrusion of 18 cars on a neighbourhood.

The city’s politicians are considering restricting traffic flow by removing the Molly Bannister Extension even though the majority disagrees and their own planners recommend the Molly Bannister Extension.

There have been some discussions about this hypocrisy of city council, some using adjectives like erratic, weak, fearful, out-of-date, inconsistent and words about preferential treatment.

The downtown was brought up in this denial of development along 39 Street, but that point was mute when the developer announced he would thus move to the county.

The environmental corridor was mentioned in the supporting of expanding 32 Street, but that point is mute because the increasing traffic on 32 Street severs access to the northern sections by animals.

Staying with the environment, building 50 houses backing onto Piper Creek would restrict wildlife movement, and the lawns and non-native plants of homes would affect the environment along with all the fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides used on household landscapes.

I was asked if I thought the city would ever grow again or continue on this road of stagnation and decline. We worry so much about the downtown that we lose opportunities, business and growth.

We spend big money on experts but ignore it often for superficial and out-dated rationale.

1 development proposal denied because of 15 opposing submissions but another development proposal may be approved despite a 1,000 opposing submissions.  

No inconsistency here?  Must be the developer?

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

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Alberta

Fast Action, And Fair So Far

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Fast Action, And Fair So Far

All over the world, one of the first political acts after coronavirus declared itself was to shut down all sports events. Now, with the same coronavirus persisting, and in some cases expanding, its dismal influence, many of the same elected individuals are rushing to open those events as widely and as often as possible.

It’s obvious that presidents, commissioners and other leaders in the athletic world are doing their best to keep up with this mad charge to activity that features millionaires on local, national and international television. The majority agrees it is neither wise nor important to wait for fans to fill the seats before starting or replacing seasons in all major-league sports.

North America’s four most-watched pro sports – soon to be recognized as five, including soccer — have already declared preferred, possible or potential starting dates: officials in every case are ensuring that large or small COVID-19 outbreaks could force further adjustments and, of course, ultimate elimination of their entire project.

At this moment, baseball is dealing with the sad fact that many teams are dealing with fierce emergencies. A lot of programs have been shut down and there have been stated suspicions that some facilities will not be suitable for the 30 home games designated in a stormy agreement finally set by players and owners last week.

Like everyone else, the Toronto Blue Jays have standard concerns about staff and players contracting the virus, but finding a place for home games may turn out to be more urgent. Permission has been granted to train in Toronto for the scheduled 60-game season but some cautious souls still suggest it is more likely that the young Jays will be required to nest this season in nearby Buffalo or distant Dunedin, Fla. American infection numbers indicate the problem of bringing players across the border into Canada could become politically and medically improbable by the scheduled July 22 season opener.

Here in Alberta, the saga of the Blue Jays, as well as the fascinating basketball Raptors who will be competing by the end of July, fades in a dull colour by comparison with the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers who open their official training camps on Monday.

A Stanley Cup playoff run could extend to as many as 33 games for survivors in the best-of-seven final, which will be staged entirely at spectacular Rogers Place. Only because of Alberta’s relative success in tamping down the coronavirus did the NHL finally designate Edmonton as a “hub city” after making it obvious from the beginning of all this talk that Las Vegas and Toronto (the other hub) were the favoured communities.

Almost from Day 1 after the NHL declared it would somehow present the 2020 Stanley Cup to a legitimate playoff champion, commissioner Gary Bettman insisted that safety was the “biggest issue and most serious concern” for all. Granting that some insiders were less than thrilled at the decision to involve so many teams in a one-series-loss-and-you’re-out scenario, he still believes the proper move was to involve teams that had not been officially eliminated when the season wrapped up on March 16.

“The competitive balance in our league is so extraordinary,” he said, “that we had to make sure it was for all to get a chance to win.”

Admittedly, the plan took effect in a massive hurry. Now, there is league-wide concern that one of the eight outsiders admitted to the playoffs might somehow win the Cup and wind up with a high draft choice – perhaps Number One. If that case, weaker teams who lose out can be expected to yell: “Not fair.!”

A Small, Important Opening

 

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Alberta

A Small, Important Opening

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A Small, Important Opening

Chances are pretty good that all major-league sports and some of the lower-profile ones will manage to complete partial 2020 seasons despite growing signs that COVID-19 will not give up without a long and continuing fight for dominance over sports and all else in today’s world.

Experts and observers of all athletic and public disciplines agree, however, that nothing is certain: baseball players are opting to stay home; basketball players express discontent and confusion every day; the NHL waffles over naming so-called hub cities for a wacky playoff proposal that continues to raise more questions than answers.

In the midst of all this uncertainty comes one simple burst of optimism: the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the public on Thursday, 98 days after the rampaging coronavirus pandemic forced closure of the building on the edge of Red Deer on March 16. It is fair to concede that reopening a small-city building warrants little public interest when compared with the billions involved in professional sports, but it’s also reasonable to accept that every step of progress in this deadly world-wide struggle is worth recording.

Although none of the $302,000 committed to the Hall in the current provincial budget has been received – a $75,000 commitment has been made but no cash has appeared and a review is already promised for later this year – executive director Tracey Kinsella said some pleasant things have been achieved during the lockdown.

“We have been extremely busy giving our Hall of Fame an update,” she smiled. “Our goal is to improve the entire experience for our visitors from the moment they walk in the door.”

Cleanliness was, and is, essential in the reopening. Sanitizers, directional signs and plenty of obvious messaging are part of the opening, of course. There is no plan for an opening ceremony, Kinsells said. “We would like to do something of a celebration, maybe later in July.”

At one time, fingers were crossed that induction of the 14 members selected several months ago but “we had to decide (last week) that there will be no induction banquet in 2020. We’ve had to tell all the inductees that we’re having to wait until next year.”

The list includes four athletes: skier Deirdra Dionne, hockey player Chris Phillips, chuck-wagon racer Kelly Sutherland and snowboard-cross star Michael Robertson. Five builders – Jan Ullmark, figure skating; Terry Morris, curling; Ken Babey, hockey; Derek Douglas, soccer – were selected along with five Hall of Fame Award winners Nancy Southern and Ian Allison (equestrian broadcasters, Bell Memorial Award), John Currie (Western Canada Summer Games 1983, Achievement Award); Stan Wakelyn (1922 Canadian soccer champions 1922, Pioneer Award); Dennis Kadatz (coach of Edmonton Huskies national junior football champions 1962-64).

Those awards show clearly how broad is the effect of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Every winner spent years working and practicing toward the world’s most elusive goal: perfection. There is no suggestion that it was reached, just as there can be no hint that they have inspired thousands to follow them.

Discussing the government’s failure to live up to its contracted financial commitment, Kinsella was not especially critical: “We’re sad, disappointed, maybe a little alarmed.” During a lengthy discussion, she finally confirmed receipt of the government’s letter providing the limited amount and mentioned “I’ve asked for meetings, have not had a direct, face-to-face conversation with anyone in the area of culture.”

My unsolicited opinion: this is unreasonable. As the Hall opens its doors, perhaps a government department should also open up.

Learn more about the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Our sports history has value

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july, 2020

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