Queen City Catch Up: The Special Two-Part Finale!

This is it! The eighth and final instalment of Queen City Catch Up! And it’s a special double episode. I ended up with two interviews recorded so instead of using one and tossing the other I mashed them together.

In the first half, I interview Dr Sharon Acoose from First Nations University. We talk about the Truth And Reconciliation Commission and about her book, An Arrow In My Heart: A First Nation Woman’s Account of Survival from the Streets to the Height of Academia.

Then, in the second half, I talk to Adam Martin, the director of the Sakewewak Artists’ Collective. We talk about the Storyteller’s Festival and some of the other projects they have on the go.

And with that, I’m done. I’m totally caught on absolutely everything of substance that happened in Regina over the last nine or ten months or so. I can now get back to the business of whatever it is I do in this city. Many thanks to everyone who took part in the podcast. I enjoyed all these conversations.

You can find all the earlier episodes on the Queen City Catch Up archive page.

Music for this podcast is from the album Malta’s Lost Voices — which I love! — and it’s all used with permission. Many thanks to Filfla Records for letting us use these tracks. You can get your own copy of the album and check out their other projects at their website.

Queen City Catch Up: Councillor Barbara Young On Civic Pension, Road Repair And Packed Galleries (Podcast)

For the penultimate episode of Queen City Catch, I sat down with ward one councillor, Barbara Young. We talked about the civic pension plan that’s in the process of being resolved (in theory) and about the city’s recent efforts to solve our residential roads problem. And, as an added bonus, we touched briefly on council’s decision to reject an application to open a strip club in the city.

In the background of our interview you can hear the clang and clamour of Stone’s Throw Coffee House on Kramer Boulevard. Thanks to them for providing a lively space in which to do this interview.

Music for this podcast is from the album Malta’s Lost Voices and it’s all used with permission. You can get your own copy from Filfla Records.

The next episode of Queen City Catch Up is still being sorted out so I can’t preview who it’ll be with. If all goes to plan though it should be fairly interesting. Expect to see that posted on Monday.

Queen City Catch Up: Greg Fingas On The Elections And, Believe It Or Not, We Even Talk Football (Podcast)

For episode six of Queen City Catch Up, I met lawyer, blogger and Leader Post columist, Greg Fingas, at Fresh Café on Hamilton Street. We talked about the state of the NDP in Canada, we made guesses about how the federal and provincial elections are going to turn out and we even spoke briefly about the Riders.

What? No, I haven’t acquired an interest in football. (Euugh.) But footballing things happened while I was away. Right? I figured I should at least ask about them so that this podcast will achieve some degree of comprehensiveness.

Anyway, you can follow Greg Fingas’ political writing on his blog, Accidental Deliberations.

Music for the podcast comes from Malta’s Lost Voices, a compilation of recordings from the early 1930s. You can get your own copy at filflarecords.com.

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be speaking with ward one city councillor, Barbara Young. It will go up on Wednesday.

Queen City Catch Up: Marc Spooner On The New Deputy Education Minister, Regina’s Homelessness Count And Model Trains (Podcast)

Episode five of Queen City Catch Up is my interview with University of Regina professor, Marc Spooner. And it’s the one that’s the most packed with news items that I had to put in the “Holy crap, you’re kidding me” folder. You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out what those items are.

Music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a collection of Maltese recordings from the early 1930s. You can get your own copy at filflarecords.com.

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be speaking with lawyer, regular Leader Post contributor and Accidental Deliberations blogger, Greg Fingas. That will go up on Monday.

Queen City Catch Up: Belle Plaine On New Music, New Venues And New Arts Funding (Podcast)

Changed up a couple things for this episode of Queen City Catch Up. First, I used different intro music and I think it makes me sound more dopey than ever before. Enjoy it!

Also, I recorded my interview with Regina singer/songwriter Belle Plaine at Bobbi-Joe’s Café on 13th Ave. I like the way the clang, clatter and popular musics bleeds into our chat. I’ll definitely have to do more interviews in coffee shops.

Music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a collection of Maltese recordings from the early 1930s. You can get your own copy at filflarecords.com.

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be speaking with education and anti-poverty activist, Marc Spooner. That will go up on Friday.

Queen City Catch Up: Chris Kailing On Engaging With Your City (Podcast)

Recently, Regina Advocates For Design wrapped up their Urbanity 101 discussion series about how people can shape their city.

Urbanity 101 was one of the things I was most annoyed to have missed while away so it was really important to me to get someone from RAD on this podcast. Fortunately, RAD’s Chris Kailing was willing to make the trek over to my place and endure my nerd-boy questions.

Now I’m just hoping RAD will put together an Urbanity 201 series this fall. And maybe even an Urbanity 222: Special Topics In Automobile Mitigation workshop.

Music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a collection of Maltese recordings from the early 1930s. You can get your own copy at filflarecords.com.

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be speaking with Belle Plaine about what’s been happening in the local music scene. That will go up on Wednesday.

Queen City Catch Up: John Klein On The UPass, Downtown Buses And Not Dying (Podcast)

Before I say anything about this episode of the Queen City Catch Up podcast… I’ve noticed almost everybody listening is streaming it through the Souncloud window. That’s cool but I want to point out that I’ve enabled downloads so you can totally click that down-arrow link in the top right corner then put these podcasts on the listening device of your choosing.

As for episode two of Queen City Catch Up, it’s a conversation with John Klein, the Saskboy behind Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff blog. We talk about the UPass coming to the University of Regina, a surprise change to the buses downtown and the pros and cons of becoming a cyborg.

Once again, music for this podcast is from Malta’s Lost Voices, a compilation of Maltese music from the 1930s. Thanks to Filfla Records for giving me permission to use the tracks. (You can check them out at filflarecords.com.)

In the next episode of Queen City Catch Up, I’ll be talking with Chris Kailing from Regina Advocates for Design about Urbanity 101. That will go up on Monday.

Queen City Catch Up: Florence Stratton On Military Education And Pipelines In Harbour Landing (Podcast)

So I get back from Malta and I’m thinking, I was gone the better part of a year, how the hell am I going to get back up to speed on Regina? And it hits me that the easiest thing would be to just ask people what I missed.

And then I thought, hey, I could record the conversations and get a podcast series out of them. It’d be like multi-tasking.

Here’s the first of those conversations: I talk with peace and justice activist, Florence Stratton, about housing, military education in high schools and an oil pipeline for Harbour Landing.

Incidentally, I got the music for this podcast from Malta’s Lost Voices, a compilation of Maltese music from the 1930s. Thanks to Filfla Records for giving me permission to use the tracks. (You can check them out at filflarecords.com.)

The next episode of Queen City Catch Up will be available on Thursday. In it, I chat with cycling and alternative-transportation aficionado, John Klein.

In total, I’ll be posting eight interviews over the next several days — one for each month I was away.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that you don’t have to stream the podcast. There’s a download link in the Soundcloud window in the top right corner. It’s the little down arrow.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call: The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Bebe Neuwirth

It’s Bryon! Bryon Burnett! In this episode, you’ll get to hear me totally blank on that name! But wily editor, Stephen Whitworth, covers my gaff by dropping an angry scorpion in my lap.

Don’t believe me? Listen to season two, episode twelve of Ultrasonic Alarm Call, prairie dog‘s only Amaretto-themed podcast. It’s all there on tape. And by tape, I mean wax cylinder because that’s what we record these episodes on before digitizing them for the web.

Don’t like the sound quality? Don’t blame me. Blame Thomas Edison!

And why would I be trying to remember Bryon Burnett’s first name, you wonder? Because the day we recorded this was the same day the 2012 city election finally ended. And that was with the completion of the Ward 4 recount which re-confirmed that Byron Burnett will be the councillor for that ward for four years.

Don’t like the outcome of that recount? Don’t blame me. Blame Euclid for inventing counting!

We also talk about that Kal-Tire facility that will be built on the edge of the city. And there’s some ranting about buses. And we talk about the Ikea in Winnipeg. And ice on Mercury. And about NASA. And we talk about Star Wars again. And the new X-Men movie. And that’s it. But there’s another half hour content that will probably turn up here in a couple days.

And for the record, Aidan makes up these episode titles.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call s02 e12 – The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Bebe Neuwirth: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka, Stephen Whitworth and me. Runtime 40min and 3 sec.

Ultrasonic Alarm Calls: The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Bebe Neuwirth by Paul Dechene

Ultrasonic Alarm Call: Come Back To The Five And Dime Brandon Tartikoff

In this episode, we discuss World Town Planning Day (which was November 8, the day this was recorded), we take one last look at the swearing in of our new city council and we discuss the Republican flameout in the American election.

Then, the new Modern Superstitions album. Steve and Aidan really like it. So much that Steve arranged for us to get a clip from it to include in the podcast. So, randomly inserted into our hilarious banter, you’ll hear the tune Bad Habit. It’s great!

After that, we devote the last half of the show to Shit We Haven’t Seen in which we talk about plans to once again adapt Tarzan for the big screen and the upcoming mangling of the Parker novels that stars Jason Statham and is coming out very soon.

Also, Star Wars Episode VII. Lots of talk about about Star Wars. And Disney. And George Lucas.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call, Season 02 Episode 11 — Come Back To The Five And Dime Brandon Tartikoff: At the table, Aidan Morgan (host), Shane Hnetka, Stephen Whitworth and me. Runtime 48 min 35 sec which is kind of a miracle because the recording session ran an hour and a half. But I spared you the worst of our digressions.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call: Come Back To the Five and Dime Brandon Tartikoff by Paul Dechene

You can download this episode by clicking on the radio image above or the down arrow in the player window. And, be sure to check out all our past episodes in the podcast archive.

Graffiti Question From Cathedral Mayoral Forum

The Cathedral Area Community Association hosted a mayoral forum last Thursday that was extremely well attended. And the association decided that they’d get to ask the first several questions of the night which I appreciated because sometimes questions from the floor can be more lecture than question and then the questions themselves can be pretty batshit insane.

Not to be outdone, the CACA asked their own crazy question: As graffiti is a problem in Regina, if elected, would you support a ban on the sale of spray paint to minors.

Okay, maybe it isn’t “crazy.” But it really came out of nowhere. This is an election issue? The laughter from the crowd indicates I wasn’t alone in thinking this.

Thing is, though, the candidates rose to the challenge and gave really sane, thoughtful answers, most of which were along the lines of, “No but… address the root cause,” or “No but… graffiti artists are creative people who need more outlets for their work” or “No but… how about more skate parks?”

So maybe it wasn’t such a ridiculous question after all. It revealed some interesting stuff about the people who want to be mayor.

Anyway, here is the complete audio of that exchange.

Download candidates’ responses to a question about a ban on sale of spray paint to minors. (6.3MB mp3)

Should mention, that I’m actually on the board of the CACA but have recused myself from all participation in putting on their candidate forums. Didn’t see the organizing emails. And I even begged off putting chairs away. Which I suppose makes me kind of a shitheel.

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Interviews From Heritage Mayoral Forum

After the mayoral forum hosted by the Heritage Community Association on October 10, I once again did some quick interviews to get a sense of how people think the candidates are doing.

(The clip starts near the end of my first interview because, like an idiot, I didn’t press the record button right off.)

Download audience reactions to the Heritage Community Association mayoral forum. (3.8MB mp3)

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Clips From Lakeview Mayoral Forum

On October 2, candidates for Ward 2 and for mayor gathered at the Lakeview Elementary School for a pair of forums put on by the Lakeview Community Association. I recorded both but the audio kind of stinks and it takes a bit of Audacity magic to make them listenable. So I’m only going to post two excerpts from the mayoral forum that I’ve managed to fix up.

First, here’s how the candidates answered a question about the housing crisis and how they’d cope with it.

Download candidates’ responses to a question about housing at the Lakeview Community Association mayoral forum (72.MB mp3)Speaker order is Okochi, Novak, Fougere, Elliott, Donnelly, Brown, Brass and Wiebe.

I like this bit because it’s the only point in this forum where the candidates get a little feisty. These mayoral forums are pretty well-mannered affairs and the Lakeview one was no exception.

And, incidentally, Tim Siekawitch’s response is missing because he misheard the question and so his answer was pretty off topic.

Second, I wanted to post this response from Jim Elliott to the question of how to deal with the pension crisis. Typically, I haven’t been singling out stuff specific candidates have said because I frankly don’t want another accusation of unfairness right now. But here, Elliott suggests a way to use pension money to support local projects and I thought it was pretty smart. An elegant and novel idea in an election where there haven’t been a lot of surprising ones. I don’t know if Elliott’s suggestion is at all feasible or even legal (and a friend of mine who knows this pension stuff better than I do says it’d be supremely difficult to implement), but hey, I thought I’d throw it out there.

Download Jim Elliott speaking about the city pension fund and housing. (340kb mp3)

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

U of R Students’ Union Debate Interviews

Last Wednesday, October 3, there was mayoral forum at the University of Regina that was co-hosted by the Students’ Union and the UofR Debate Society. All nine mayoral candidates were there taking questions in what has been their most professional venue so far in this campaign.

After the forum was over, there was a reception with the candidates and I interviewed some of the people there to get their impressions of how the event went.

Download audience reactions to the UofR Students’ Union mayoral candidates’ forum. (8.8MB mp3)

Sorry it took so long to get this up. It was a bit of an editing challenge. I also have the complete audio for this forum. Is anyone interested in hearing that? Because I can make the file available if you are.

Some Closing Comments To The Media From Mayor Pat Fiacco

Tonight was the final meeting for this council. Not returning after the October 24 election are Fred Clipsham, Louis Browne and Jocelyn Hutchinson. And of course, Mayor Fiacco has also chosen not to run again.

The meeting closed out with a touching address from each councillor. They thanked their families, their colleagues on council, the city administration, the people of Regina. It was all very positive and not a single negative word was spoken.

Well, except for one.

In closing out the speeches, Mayor Fiacco had a few words for Regina’s media. Here’s what he had to say….

Mayor Fiacco On The Media by Paul Dechene

Um… ouch. I guess I suck?

Geez, what would he say if he knew about all the things I haven’t put in print.

Later, in the press scrum after the meeting, I got a chance to ask our outgoing mayor a question. Here’s how that went….

What Pat Fiacco will miss about being mayor by Paul Dechene

Continue reading “Some Closing Comments To The Media From Mayor Pat Fiacco”

Ultrasonic Alarm Call: Save Us From The Gin Monster

In this episode, we kick off a new segment called “Shane Is Baffled.” What is Shane baffled about this week? How to vote in the October 24 city election as it turns out. So, to answer Shane’s many questions, we interview Joni Swidnicki, the city’s chief returning officer.

Yeah. We don’t know how long this segment will stick around. But the interview is really informative and if you’re at all confused by or curious about changes to election procedures, this will answer your questions.

After that, prairie dog scribe, Katherine Norton, is in the podcast chalet to discuss the boundary commission that recently wrapped up its work in Regina. Why does Saskatchewan need urban-only ridings? Kat can explain.

Lastly, comics awards season recently ended and there were some big Saskatchewan winners (and one near winner). Shane has all the details.

Ultrasonic Alarm Call – Save Us From The Gin Monster: At the table, Stephen Whitworth, Shane Hnetka, Katherine Norton and me as guest host. Runtime 46 min. Music by the Lazy MKs.

Reactions To The Lakeview Candidates Forum

Another candidates forum this evening, this one put on by the Lakeview Community Association.

The event kicked off with a forum between the Ward Two candidates and that was followed up by one involving all nine of the mayoral candidates. With so many people needing a chance to speak, things were very rushed. Opening statements were only three minutes and responses to questions were supposed to be even shorter. I can’t help but feel that with such a crowded field the whole forum format is starting to break down.

Again, I’m going to avoid commenting on the forum (mainly because it’s late and I want to go to bed). But I did manage to do more post-show interviews so you can hear what other people thought.

Unfortunately, it was a cold night and everyone was hightailing it home so I only managed to get three interviews in before I found myself all alone.* In the cold. Outside Lakeview Community School. With nothing but a dumb bike for transportation.

Download audience reactions from the Lakeview Community Association candidates’ forum. (2.5MB mp3)

FOOTNOTE
* Actually, that’s a lie. There were a few other stragglers hanging around. One of whom turned out to be Adam, who I interviewed after the Make Your Voice Heard forum. But I totally didn’t recognize him because I’m dumb like that. And it was dark.

Listen To The Make Your Voice Heard All-Candidates Debate

I know it’s a little ass-backwards, but seeing as I’ve posted some responses to the September 25 mayoral forum, I thought I’d post the audio I recorded of the event itself. That way, if you missed the show, you can have responses of your own.

The file is 57 minutes long but it’s mostly unedited. I pulled out some of moderator Mitch Diamantopoulos’ introductory remarks but other than that it’s all here.

Unfortunately, our Soundcloud folder is pretty full right now so we won’t have a cool player widget for it. Instead…

Download the Make Your Voice Heard All-Candidates Debate by clicking here. (26MB)

If you have any thoughts on the forum, please put them in the comments below.

And, you can follow all of the prairie dog’s online election 2012 coverage, which includes lots more audio, by clicking here or on that green election 2012 icon that’s above.

Reactions To The Make Your Voice Heard All-Candidates Debate

Last night at the Regina Christian School, eight of the nine candidates for mayor got a chance to talk about the issues facing the city — only Councillor Michael Fougere was absent. (He sent his regrets, saying he had a prior commitment.)

Now, I could tell you how I think it went and which candidates I think performed the best, but instead, for the time being, I’ll hand that job over some of the other people who attended the forum. Eight other people, to be specific.

Special surprise guests in this audio collage, Martin Gourlie a former visitor to Ultrasonic Alarm Call and an author over at Regina Urban Ecology (Regina’s best urban-planning and city-living blog); plus, frequent Dog Blog commenter and former Barking Dogs subject, The Mysterious Ron!.… who is no longer mysterious… at least to me, because I got to meet him in person finally. Ron’s great. And in real life he speaks in full sentences!

Download audience reactions from the Make Your Voice Heard all-candidates debate. (9.2MB mp3)

Many thanks to everyone who agreed to be interviewed. And to read all of prairie dog’s election coverage, click on the green election dot above. Or here, that’ll work too.

City Election 2012: Word On The Street

Back on September 15, I went to the Farmer’s Market on the City Square Plaza and asked a bunch of people what they thought about the city election.

I just got around to editing everything together to share here.

I asked who people were thinking about voting for for mayor (not many would say), what they think are the most important issues and what they think of the current council.

Download interviews from the September 15 Farmers’ Market. (5.3MB mp3)

The music you can kind of hear in the background between interviews is played by buskers, Kiernan Anderson and Benjamin Knorr, who were, I think, the third interview clip in there.