Regina Chamber Of Commerce Luncheon

Rider LogoIn our Feb. 18 issue we ran our first Rider Fan Forum of the 2016 season. That gave our esteemed panelists Earl Camembert, Ron Mexico, Cal Corduroy and John’s Chick a chance to weigh in on all the off-season moves the Riders made to revamp their coaching staff and roster.

Following last season’s 3W-15L debacle, the panelists all felt major changes needed to be made, and that so far the team is moving in the right direction. John’s Chick gave a special shout-out to team president Craig Reynolds for the decisive moves he made in bringing GM/coach Chris Jones and talent scout John Murphy aboard.

On Wednesday 30, Reynolds is the guest-speaker at this RCC luncheon. It goes at Conexus Arts Centre with registration at 11:30 a.m., and you can find more details on the RCC website.

The Ethics Of Bitcoin

I did a short post on Bitcoin back in April 2013. It’s a digital currency that’s been around since 2008. Supporters of the concept regard it as akin to the second coming (in a currency context) paving the way for an expanded digital economy and freeing people from the tyranny of the existing monetary and banking system.

Skeptics outnumber believers by a huge margin, though, with many people questioning the legitimacy of Bitcoin and the wisdom of having a currency that exists outside the boundaries of normal commerce.

Plenty of roadblocks have slowed Bitcoins acceptance in our society from wild swings in value to allegations of money laundering, to lack of merchants willing to accept it in payment for goods and services, to security of the coin itself. But Bitcoin continues to exist and circulate, so it’s not like it’s dead as a concept.

Tonight, as part of the ongoing public lecture series Philosophy Cafe, University of Regina academic Roger Petry will give a talk on Bitcoin. The full title is “The Ethics of Bitcoin: Lessons For Developing Money As A Social Contract”. The talk is at the Artesian on 13th with a start time of 7:30 p.m.

Exciting Goings On In The Newspaper Biz

No shortage of drama heading into the final weekend of our oh so gripping 78-day election campaign as both the PostMedia chain and the Globe & Mail endorsed the Harper Conservatives as the best choice to keep Canada’s blah blah blah… blah.

The unsigned PostMedia editorial came from head office in Toronto, and was tweaked to fit the different provinces/regions in which the papers operate. The Leader-Post version even referred specifically to residents of “southern Saskatchewan” in urging  readers to grant the Cons four more years. Can’t get more authentically local than that.

The National Post is part of the same chain, and it endorsed the Harperites too. Political columnist Andrew Coyne is on the National Post editorial board. He would have participated in the discussions around the endorsement decision, but he planned a follow-up column of his own in Saturday’s paper that would endorse a different party.

Word is circulating, though, that the column was killed by higher-ups in the National Post. By any objective definition, Coyne qualifies as a centre-right journalist — but with a reputation for presenting well-reasoned arguments to support his position. So no left-wing media conspiracy bullshit here folks.

While supportive of the Harper government in some areas, he’s been scathing in his criticism at other times. Below is a quote from a column in May about the Conservatives’ contempt for democracy:

If one were to draw up an indictment of this government’s approach to politics and the public purpose, one might mention its wholesale contempt for Parliament, its disdain for the Charter of Rights and the courts’ role in upholding it, its penchant for secrecy, its chronic deceitfulness, its deepening ethical problems, its insistence on taking, at all times, the lowest, crudest path to its ends, its relentless politicization of everything.

Editorial staff at other newspapers in the PostMedia chain had no say in the decision to publish the endorsements, it was all done from head office. So score one for corporate media.

As for the Globe & Mail, it unleashed a shit-storm of scorn by endorsing the Conservatives, but then calling on Harper to resign to defuse the massive fracturing that’s occurring in the country due to his toxic leadership style. Make of it what you will — but with the Cons having earned the tag “Party of One” because of Harper’s vise-like control through the PMO it’s hard to envision how the party could transition away from him while still performing competently in government.

Weekly Reckoning: It’s Built On Bluff It’s Built On Trust Edition

weekly-reckoningThe Internet runs on faith. Millions of pages sent from servers to computers every day, each full of clickable links that may or may not be what they promise to be. With every click you run the risk of seeing GIFs of wagging genitals or, even worse, Rick Astley. Lucky for you, Prairie Dog holds to higher standards. Here are some links that – I guarantee – will consist of precisely what I promise.

1. HERE IS A LINK TO PHOTOGRAPHS OF HEAVY METAL FANS IN MID-HEADBANG Although to me they look like they’re sneezing, mostly. Who can say what’s going on in these photos? We think they’re headbanging because we’re told so, but maybe they’re being exposed to pollen. While being punched in the stomach. Whatever, they’re fun photographs.

2. HERE IS A LINK TO AN ILLUSTRATED EXPLANATION OF GENRES OF MUSIC (via @cenobyte). The additional comments detract from the illustrations, but this is my favourite bit of Internet today. I always suspected that folk music songs contained an appreciable proportion of man bun.

3. HERE IS A LINK ABOUT A WOMAN WHOSE AIRBNB ACCOUNT WAS TERMINATED THAT WILL REMIND YOU WHAT THE SHARING ECONOMY REALLY IS Hint: it’s not a decentralized and empowering networked approach to generating revenue. It’s a mysterious world where your livelihood can be taken away at whim and you will be left adrift in misery and confusion because – surprise! – the individual has no power. See also: Uber.

4. HERE IS A LINK TO A VIDEO OF A GRIZZLY BEAR ROLLING DOWN A HILL The rolling starts at about 20 seconds in. So much delighted laughter and shutter clicking as the bear rolls down and down and down towards the onlookers. Not shown: the screaming, the blood, the unanswered cries to a distant god. Take a look!

5. HERE IS A LINK THAT MAKES ME NERVOUS for all kinds of reasons, including our economic future in a resource economy and the state of our climate in a fossil-fuel hungry world, but mostly because I don’t trust any news about engergy prices and global oil reserves. Mind you, I assume that most of the news we see is a smokescreen to keep us from panicking and eating each other in an apocalyptic frenzy, so make of this what you will.

*Prairie Dog Magazine, prairiedogmag.com and all associated corporate and individual entities can not be held responsible for link rot, advertising content on other sites or Rick Astley.

Pigeons Left Homeless By Closure Of Downtown Landmark?

Travellers BuildingI went for a walk in the downtown last night. When I was on the west side of 18 block Broad St. around 8:15 p.m. I noticed a fair bit of commotion across the street at the pigeon condo a.k.a. the Travellers Building.

Pigeons were flying around and landing, then taking off and landing again, and making that weird warbly sound that they make. I took a closer look and ended up taking the above snap.

If you compare it to a shot of the building I took in April 2014, it does seem that the windows on the second floor that had been open previously are now closed so the pigeons are no longer able to roost there at night as I believe they were in the habit of doing.

Judging by the confusion I observed in the pigeon community, this is a relatively recent development. But I don’t have any other confirmation of that beyond the pigeons. Both photos can be enlarged by clicking on them to see the pigeons in better detail.

Taste Of Spring

This event has been around for a few years now. And in that time the roster of potential exhibitors has grown significantly. No longer is it unusual to find locally sourced producers of wine, spirits, beer and gourmet food items, and on Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9 you’ll have an opportunity to check out the current crop at this annual showcase.

Exhibitors will be exhibiting, and patrons consuming, all manner of food and drink products at the Credit Union Eventplex at Evraz Place. Doors both nights are at 6:30 p.m., and tickets (which are limited to the 19+ crowd), are $45. You can find out more information on the Brandt Centre website.

Saskatchewan Fashion Week

Saskatchewan Fashion Week happens only once a year for a single weekend. But in 2015, organizers have you covered for the whole year. That’s because during SFW 2015 local retailers will be showcasing spring/summer style trends, while 23 Canadian designers will be debuting their fall/winter collections.

Saskatchewan Fashion Week is being held May 7-9 in expanded facilities at the Canada Saskatchewan Sound Stage on the corner of Broad St. and College Ave. For ticket information on the runway shows, and details on who the participating designers and retailers are, visit the SFW website.

As you can see if check out the website, if you can’t make it to the actual event, the runway shows will be live-streamed. The host this year is former Regina resident Ryan Massel who has carved out a reputation for himself in the fashion world as a Calgary-based blogger under the tag Mr. Fabulous.

Here’s a short promo video where Massel introduces himself as SFW 2015 host

Fan Expo Regina

We [by we, I mean Steve, Aidan, Carl and perhaps one or two others] blogged the crap out of the inaugural version of this event last year. Things went so well for organizers that it was pretty much a no-brainer that a second Fan Expo would be held in 2015.

The event’s been bumped up a week compared to last year, when it was in early May. The 2015 Fan Expo Regina goes Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26 at Canada Centre Building at Evraz Place.

You can find out more on the Fan Expo Regina website.  Celebrity guests include Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Next Generation), Lawrence Gilliard (The Walking Dead), Shannen Doherty (Charmed), Margot Kidder (Superman) and Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars, Dr. Who).

While the celebs get lots of attention, the real stars of the show are probably all the fans who show up in costumes celebrating their love of science-fiction, comics, anime, horror and other niche nerd cultures. As well, there’s always lots of writers, artists, illustrators and other content creators who have loyal fans of their own. And there’s no shortage of retailers too offering products tied to favourite shows, movies, books and characters.

On Saturday the expo runs from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., while on Sunday the hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Breaking News: Alberta Premier Unveils New Pipeline Plan

DRILLING FOR DOLLARS Giant middle finger extended to Earth during press conference
DRILLING FOR DOLLARS Giant middle finger extended to Earth during press conference

Frustrated with roadblocks erected by other provinces, environmental groups, First Nations, and the Obama administration in the U.S., to three existing pipeline proposals to deliver Alberta bitumen to market, Premier Jim Prantice announced today that his government had had enough.

Flanked by industry officials at an outdoor press conference at a science park, Prantice said that Alberta would begin construction soon on a pipeline that would drill straight through the Earth to deliver bitumen from the province direct to China.

“The idea came to me when I was watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon the other day,” Prantice recalled. “Elmer Fudd was hunting Bugs  with his shotgun, and to escape Bugs dug a deep hole. Like he said after, ‘I knew I shoulda taken that left toin at Albuquerque.’ But he didn’t, and he ended up in China instead.

“After I’d finished wiping away the tears from laughing so hard, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, maybe that Wascally Wabbit is on to something.’”

The next morning, Prantice revealed his idea to cabinet. “They all thought it was a no-brainer. So I had Frank [Oberlay, Alberta’s Energy Minister] contact our partners in the oil patch to arrange a meeting.

“Oil’s in the crapper now price-wise,” Prantice admitted. “But boom times will return. And we intend to be ready.”

Alberta has long argued that to maximize its oil wealth it needs access to global markets — especially energy-hungry southeast Asia. But proposed pipelines heading west to the Pacific (Northern Gateway), south to the Gulf of Mexico (Keystone) and east to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick (Energy East), are all stuck in regulatory limbo. As a result, analysts say, the Alberta government and oil industry are missing out on billions in revenue.

Responding to reporters’ questions about the project, which would require drilling through 12,000 km of solid rock comprising Earth’s crust and mantle, Prantice admitted they were still figuring out the exact angle they’ll need to drill at to reach China. But he insisted the project, which he declined to give a cost estimate on, was doable.

“Remember, we’ll be able to use Earth’s gravity to move bitumen to the core. We’re also examining the feasibility of using the intense heat and pressure there to refine the bitumen into light crude that would be easier to pump the rest of the way to China.”

It would be a huge undertaking, the premier admitted. “But once the oil’s flowing there’s sweet F.A. all the tree-huggers and anti-Alberta types will be able to do about it. As Porky Pig would say, ‘Th-Th-That’s all folks!’”

Exciting Goings On On Scarth Street Mall

BreezewayI’ve posted on the Scarth Street Mall breezeway before. Originally built in the mid-1990s, it had undergone a fair bit of deterioration in the succeeding two decades — to the point that long stretches of duct tape had to be used to repair rips in the flooring. The worn pebble on the floor also presented a hazard for pedestrians. When the floor was wet from tracked in snow and rain, the different grades along the breezeway created a lot of slick spots and slips and falls were not uncommon.

Local merchants and residents contacted the city about the issue in late 2012, and were informed that plans were in the works to upgrade the breezeway in the second quarter of 2013. That didn’t happen, but last night a crew was in the breezeway ripping up the old flooring, so it looks like renovations, which are the joint responsibility of the city and Harvard Developments, are underway.

The Brad & Michael Show

Courtesy of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, you’ll have an opportunity in the next two weeks to get updates on the state of both Saskatchewan and Regina.

On Tuesday Dec. 2, the provincial update will be provided by Premier Brad Wall at a luncheon at Conexus Arts Centre Convention Hall. Registration is at 11:30 a.m., and more information can be obtained by calling the Chamber office at 306-757-4658.

Then on Wednesday Dec. 10, it’s Mayor Michael Fougere’s turn to discuss the state of the city. You’ll have to get up a little earlier for that, though, as Fougere will be speaking at a breakfast at Queensbury Convention Centre. Registration is at 7:30 a.m., and more information can be had at the above-noted number.  Or you can visit the Chamber website.

I Just Want The Awesome Barber Shop To Give The Nice Lady A Haircut UPDATED

Well, Yellowknife’s Ragged Ass Barbers is apparently willing to give men’s haircuts to women. Here’s a freshly tweeted tweet:

See? No big deal. Change the rules and move on.

Original post below.


Judging from Facebook, Ragged Ass Barbers continues to have a lot of support for its trouble-making and divisive “no haircuts for women” policy. While some of its defenders are reasonable, unfortunately, this comment on my original post stood out as reflective of too much of RAB’s support:

“…this is such neo feminist bullshit.. she is trying to destroy an honest, well liked and successful business thats here to fill a small niche in the community. There are hundreds of other hair stylists that can fulfill her needs.. there are also places like ‘curves’ that only serve women. She has launched an attack campaign that amounts to no more than harassment and is doing nothing to further the needs of her lesbian rights movement. There are bigger problems in this world. I say either grow a pair or stay out.”

“Neo-femminsit [sic] bullshit?” Don’t have a clue what that is, sounds like a made-up thing.  “Grow a pair or stay out.” Charming! “She has launched an attack campaign [that’s] doing nothing to further the needs of her lesbian rights movement…” Her what-movement, who now? Most of Evie’s supporters are boring straight people like me.

And then, this:

“…trying to destroy an honest, well liked and successful business…”?

No, hard-part refugee Evie Ruddy is not trying to “destroy a business”. As Evie herself says in the comments:

“…if RAB had a change of heart and continued to offer traditional barber style haircuts to anyone, not just men, it wouldn’t affect their male-dominated atmosphere as I doubt that very many women would want barber-style cuts and this could end.” [Emphasis added.]

She’s absolutely right. There will be a ton of support for RAB changing their dumb policy. It won’t ruin the place, or even significantly change it (girls don’t have cooties!) and we’ll all have a lovelier, more civilized city.

I understand why everyone’s worked up: it’s terrifying to be accused of discrimination and threatened with a human rights complaint, and it’s especially head-essplodey when the business on the receiving end of such a major complaint isn’t evil. And yes, an argument could be made that Evie went for the big guns (media, human rights complaint) sooner than she needed to, and ideally, she would have found gentler, friendlier ways to persuade RAB to change their dopey, ill-considered rule.

(Then again, one should be hesitant to judge the actions of someone who’s just been discriminated against: i.e., the actual victim who’s now receiving threats).

If this fight doesn't end soon it  could escalate to an Ezra Levant-category disaster.
If this fight doesn’t end soon it could escalate to a full-blown Ezra Levant-category event.

I understand that many people love Ragged Ass Barbers and are just defending their friends. And I’m pretty damn sure that Ragged Ass is a great business run by great people. I think everyone wants it to flourish. But it’s getting more clear by the minute that this men’s only rule is too divisive. People aren’t going to let this go. A week from now, this stupid brawl will be national news and Ezra Levant will be flying in to get his hair cut.

Ragged Ass will not like that. NOBODY will like that.

Ragged Ass Barbers gets to pick how it presents itself and what services it provides, and they’ve done a fantastic job of that. They shouldn’t pick who they provide their services to based on the customer’s wiener situation.

To Ragged Ass Barbers: change the policy, cut the nice lady’s hair and everything will be fine.

Prairie Dog will even buy you guys a bottle of decent bourbon to celebrate this stupid fight being over.

Ragged Ass Barbergeddon

August 1993 Vanity Fair cover | photographer: Herb Ritts
Cindy Crawford says it will all be okay.

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you’re probably aware Regina is having an epic brawl over a much-loved local barbershop that’s in hot water because it doesn’t serve women.

Last week, local human-with-hair Evie Ruddy tried to make an appointment at the Cathedral neighbourhood’s beloved Ragged Ass Barbers. Evie wanted a particular style of men’s haircut that they’re really good at. But when she called to make an appointment, she was told they don’t cut women’s hair and wouldn’t serve her.

Ruh roh.

Evie isn’t the first female customer RAB has turned down but she is the first to fight back. She also might be the first to have worked as a journalist and  activist, which is probably why she thought to turn to the media to announce a human rights complaint against the shop. From CBC:

A Regina woman is planning to make a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission after being refused service at a barber shop. Evie Ruddy says she went to Regina’s Ragged Ass Barber seeking a men’s style hair cut known as a hard-part. Ruddy says she learned the shop only did men’s cuts for male clients.

“It makes me feel discriminated against,” she said. “Because the only reason they are denying me service is because I am a woman.”

She added that when she pressed the point and asked how the shop would respond to a transgender person seeking a haircut, she was given an emphatic answer.

“He launched into this rant saying if they start accepting trans clients and lesbians then what if a lesbian with long hair wants their hair cut? Where do you draw the line?,” Ruddy told CBC News.

More here.

I thought about this situation a lot yesterday. I talked to a lot of people — because this town is so small, I know Evie and I also have friends who love Ragged Ass Barbers. I also know a lot of opinionated people in the Cathedral and even other neighbourhoods.

I pondered the issues, I weighed the facts and I’m now ready to share my thoughts.

Here’s what  everyone should think and do.

First, Ragged Ass Barbers needs to immediately change their idiotic policy. They also need to apologize to Evie, offer her a free haircut and maybe make some kind of additional gesture — small donation to an organization for women’s advancement, maybe?

Ragged Ass needs to remember that this is Canada in 2014. A business attempting to discriminate against women is not going to win the fight.

Once they do this, Ruddy should graciously accept the apology (haircut optional) and drop the HR complaint.

Easy!

Second: no one wants Ragged Ass Barbers to change its business model. Ragged Ass is a lovably scruffy, hairy, beardy, male-clientele focused barber shop. It can stay that way. It doesn’t have to start doing perms or shag haircuts or flower braiding or whatever. What its misguided defenders aren’t realizing is that this is the environment Evie wanted to get her hair cut in. She didn’t pick Ragged Ass because she wanted to change it, she picked it because it seemed like a cool place where she’d fit in, and get the cut and service she wanted.

Evie is a natural Ragged Ass customer. The problem is Ragged Ass doesn’t realize it.

Third: Ragged Ass Barber’s is not some evil club of woman-hating man-trolls. While I don’t know owner Craig Zamonsky, I do know some of his friends and they assure me  he’s not a sexist idiot. I don’t know if anyone’s breaking out the rope, but if they are, let’s hold off on the public lynching, okay? This isn’t some  men’s rights creep. This isn’t an organized effort by Real Women Of Canada to undermine hard-won rights. This is a businessman who through no fault of his own grew up in a sexist, homophobic and dumb society and, thanks to long-term exposure to cultural toxins, innocently blundered into a minefield.

There’s a lot of misogyny, homophobia and transphobia out there that deserves excoriation. What’s happening here doesn’t (at least not yet). This isn’t malicious. We should look at it as the cultural equivalent of a fender-bender. The fender can be un-bendered!

Fourth: drop the stupid arguments. “How come Curves can be a women’s gym but Ragged Ass can’t be a men’s barber shop?” Answer: because society is not as welcoming for women as it is for men. Thanks to harassment, sexual assault and violence, women need safe spaces in a way that men don’t. No one can reasonably claim they’ll suffer because a woman got a men’s-style cut at the same place they get their beard trimmed. But a lot of women have been harassed while working out.

Fifth: there is some genuine hatred being directed at Evie, which tells me that she’s right to challenge this dumb rule.

Finally: let’s put this in perspective. Women do not have cooties. An occasional female client is not going to ruin this manly-men’s barber shop/salon/whatever people want to call it with their stinky period smells. Ragged Ass Barbers is not going to see an influx of imaginary feminists demanding armpit hair grooming. Get real. The only “risk” is that a popular local business becomes a little cooler (and more successful).

Selling a male-style haircut to the occasional female customer will not ruin Ragged Ass Barbers. This fight, if it continues, might.

Genetically Engineered Foods & Human Health

GMO TourThe Regina stop on this cross-Canada tour is being hosted by Regina Public Interest Research Group. Speaking will be Dr. Thierry Vrain and Tony Mitra.

Vrain is a retired genetic engineer who, according to RPIRG, spent 30-years with Agriculture Canada working as a soil biologist and genetic engineer, and who now speaks against GE technology. Mitra, meanwhile, is a retired marine engineer who now works as a citizen journalist and food security activist in Vancouver.

During their presentation, Vrain and Mitra will discuss concerns about GE foods and provide information on how people can take action to promote bio-diversity and not surrender control of the food supply to corporate interests.

The presentation goes tonight at the Education Auditorium, University of Regina at 7 p.m. More information can be found at the RPIRG website or by calling 306-337-2420. Admission is by donation.

University Draws Criticism For Proposed Security Partnership With Israel

Partnership (IsraelandUofR)In a recent article on demonstrations in Regina and Saskatoon against the bloodbath in the Gaza Strip I noted that demonstrators in both cities were touting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

BDS is modeled after a successful effort in the 1980s to persuade South Africa to end apartheid. With little likelihood of the current Canadian government doing anything constructive to help resolve the crisis in Gaza, where Palestinian casualties in the last two weeks have topped 900 (most of them civilian), the BDS movement is seen as a way to put grassroots political and economic pressure on Israel to stop enforcing what BDS proponents argue is apartheid in that country.

In Saskatoon, demonstrators rallied at the headquarters of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan to draw attention to ties it has with an Israeli mining company. In Regina, a possible partnership between the University of Regina and Hebrew University in Jerusalem on an MBA in public safety was the focal point.

On Wednesday, July 23, members of the university’s faculty, student body and the broader community held a press conference (photo above) to release documents obtained via a Freedom of Information request. Andrew Gaudes, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration which includes the Paul J. Hill School of Business and Levene Graduate School of Business, has since denied that any partnership exists.

That’s perhaps true, but the documents released by the group show that extensive discussions were held between the U of R and the Policing and Homeland Security Studies department in the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University. The discussions included a trip by Gaudes and associate dean Ron Camp to Israel in November 2013 to visit Hebrew University and meet with faculty there. Proposals for a course syllabus, fee schedule, and other activities for U of R students to participate in while they were in Israel (such as trips to the Dead Sea and the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada) were subsequently developed.

During the press conference various speakers outlined their concerns with the idea. To begin with, Hebrew University is partly located on contested land in Jerusalem that Palestinians regard as being occupied illegally by Israel. As well, if a student with Palestinian roots enrolled at the U of R was to sign up for the course they would likely be denied the opportunity to take it as huge restrictions exist on the ability of Palestinians to participate in public life in Israel. That would run contrary to the University of Regina’s overall commitment to human rights and equality which is a core principle of the university.

The biggest concern, though, was the idea of students in the MBA program, which would be geared to providing training for police and other security work in Canada, taking lessons on tactics and strategies in one of the most volatile regions of the world where the human rights of an oppressed population are regularly trampled on. The speakers emphasized that Israeli academics have close ties with Israeli police, military and security forces and were an indispensable part of the overall enforcement of apartheid in the country.

It boggles the mind that the university would ever consider such a partnership. And when you consider the escalation of police tactics in Canada lately to control lawful demonstrations such as at the G8 summit in Toronto in 2010, not to mention the comparison that could be drawn between Palestinian activists/agitators in Israel and indigenous activists/agitators here in Canada and the oppression that could be visited on them, the potential impact on our democratic rights is pretty scary.

With the recent outcry, this partnership might be dead. Or maybe it will just lie dormant for a time. Regardless, concerned Reginans have submitted a second FOI to gather more information about the U of R’s involvement with other Israeli institutions with security mandates beyond Hebrew University. That likely won’t yield any results for a few months, but we’ll see what’s uncovered then.

We Are Watching You Regina

This afternoon I was part of a covert meeting with Saskatoon Ward 10 councillor Zach Jeffries.  I invited him to meet me here on the “down-low” but of course, with public profiles like ours it was a matter of time before the Regina paparazzi caught wind.  I expect photos and rumours will begin to pop up like so many Richardson’s ground squirrels, so I have decided to strike first in an effort to control the message because some of the photos and reports may not be flattering.

Among the topics on our agenda:

The tripling of Highway 11 to introduce a lane specifically for use by Zach, myself and our friends.  Start kissing our asses now if you don’t wanna be tail-gated by a Dodge Ram or boxed in by a Crown Victoria ever again. None of  those in our lane.  Also no speed limit.

Saskatoon to become a second location for the Regina Folk Festival, and Regina will host some of  The Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.  The RFF is a beauty and Sask Jazz is friggin’ amazing. Both festivals should happen in both cities. For example, Serena Ryder plays RFF Aug. 9 at 10:50pm and under our new arrangement, she would then drive to Saskatoon, using the Zach- Heath Superlane and play at 1:30am.

Mayor swap! Once a year, for one month we will swap mayors.  They don’t get to use the lane.  Extended time away from home presents a great chance for politicians to get quality time with a mistress!  A happy mayor is a better mayor, no?

We have a lot to do so I bid you farewell.  In the meantime, we welcome your suggestions regarding Saskatoon/Regina co-operative efforts.

Back off with the camera you sonofab***h!

 

Look Up, Way Up

AgPlaceThis is the view from the back entrance of the building where I live. The crane that’s to build Harvard Development’s Agriculture Place has pretty much been erected. Hamilton St. was blocked off all this week while crane sections were brought in. Crews battled stiff winds today but things look to be pretty much done and soon the above-ground building will begin.

After the jump there’s a photo that’s pretty much the omega of the alpha one above (click to enlarge). Continue reading “Look Up, Way Up”

Metro Goes Kaput

Media_MetroThe Toronto Star reports that the commuter newspaper Metro, which arrived in the Saskatchewan market with much fanfare in April 2012, will cease “printing operations” as of Friday.

Three papers are being trimmed from the cross-Canada chain. In addition to the Regina and Saskatoon newspapers, the London (ON) paper is also being sliced as the paper shifts its attention, in the words of Star Media Group President John Cruickshank, to “larger markets”.

Downtown Dialogue

Downtown DialogueA notice has been circulating in the downtown area about a couple of public meetings that Regina Downtown has organized to, in the words of the notice, “hear about updates regarding Safety & Security from the Regina Police Service.”

The meetings are being held at Regina Downtown’s boardroom at their offices on the Scarth St. Mall on June 24. One’s at 9:30 a.m. and the other’s at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to the RPS update about Safety & Security, “Action steps to enhance Safety & Security” is on the agenda. And there’s also supposed to be a Q & A roundtable.

As someone who lives and works downtown, I’m planning to attend the morning session. I’ll provide some follow-up later.