Pick Of The Day: Science Rendezvous

Given all the anti-science shenanigans that have been going on lately, with the federal government in particular seemingly determined to squelch any and all studies and scientific findings that clash with its agenda to exploit the country’s natural resources to the max, this is probably a more controversial event to consider attending than it should be.

But for people who are interested in science, it’s a great way to get up to speed on what sort of research is going on at the University of Regina. You can find out more details here, but the basics are as follows: it’s family-focused, it goes today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and most of the activities will occur on the main floor of the Research and Innovation Centre at the university.

Jane’s Walk Regina

No pick of the day today. Instead, here’s a heads up about an event that’s happening this weekend in Regina. We’ve posted on Jane’s Walk before. Named after urban theorist Jane Jacobs, it’s an opportunity for people in dozens of cities around the world to go on walking tours of select neighbourhoods to learn about their unique heritage and culture.

Jane’s Walk Regina goes May 3-4. It’s being presented by Regina Urban Ecology and several community partners. For more details visit this website. And to give you an idea of what’s on offer, here’s some of the walks that are being presented:

Professor Marc Spooner leads a discussion about homelessness in Regina’s downtown and Heritage neighbourhoods. Jan Morier and Jessica Hannah provide a view of community murals created by new and established artists throughout North Central. Martin Gourlie leads a discussion about the opportunities and challenges inherent in one of Regina’s biggest development projects, the Regina Revitalization Initiative. An exploration and celebration of the Central Library by a collection of dedicated patrons including heritage architect Bernard Flaman, and writer and activist Florence Stratton. Bike Regina hosts a ride through the downtown to discuss bikability in the city. Story-teller Vincent Murphy exploring the history of the Warehouse District. Jeannie Mah returns to host her popular tour of modernist architecture in the downtown.


For Posterity

VicPark(southeast)The forecast high for Regina today is plus 8 degrees C. Double digit temperatures in the 12-13 degree C range are also forecast for Friday and Saturday. So it looks like the long-awaited spring melt is finally upon us.

To help future generations appreciate what we’ve endured over the last six months or so, here’s a photograph of Victoria Park taken this morning from the Cenotaph facing south-east (click to enlarge).

May we never see a winter like this again. Although with the worst effects of climate change, especially at the polar regions, still to come, I wouldn’t bet against it.

Pick Of The Day: Open House

I forget which article it was in, but last fall I wrote something where I predicted that when historians assess this period in Regina’s history they’ll refer to it as “the Planning Years”. Transit, Downtown Revitalization, Recreational Facilities, Waste, Industrial Development, Parking — I’ve lost track of how many studies the city’s either conducted or is in the process of conducting.

This open house is being held to solicit public input on another one — a Design Regina initiative where the city is seeking to develop a Cultural Plan to help guide civic investment  in the arts and broader cultural and heritage community.

The event is being held at Conexus Arts Centre tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. You can find out more here.

Defiance Debuts On SyFy Channel

TrennaLike Tatiana Maslany’s star turn in a new science-fiction series Orphan Black on BBC Americaformer Saskatchewan resident Trenna Keating (born in Weyburn, studied at the University of Regina in the Fine Arts Department) has a prominent role in a new SF series/on-line game that premiered on the SyFy channel last night called Defiance

You can read more about the show, plus see an interview with Trenna where she discusses her character (an alien named Doc Yewll) here . And that’s a photo of Trenna in character at left.

Six In The Morning: A Cruel, Cruel World

6-in-the-morning1 UNDER INVESTIGATION A home in Boston was searched after the deadly bombing attacks killed three people and injured more than 150 at the Boston Marathon. But there is still no suspect and no leading theory/motive. Apparently, there were some people from Saskatchewan who took part n the race and who are telling their stories.

2 MAJOR EARTHQUAKE 40 people are dead after a 7.8 magnitude quake struck along the Iran-Pakistan border. It is Iran’s largest earthquake in 40 years.

3 “OUTCOMES” A report on how to improve education and employment opportunities for First Nations-Métis people in Saskatchewan was released yesterday. The task force had a number of recommendations including, “proclaim First Nations and Metis languages as the original languages of Saskatchewan”. Well, they are…

4 WILL THE PEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT THE PASQUA HOSPITAL BE MOVED TO THE GENERAL HOSPITAL? Parents and stakeholders do not want the small children’s cancer treatment centre to be moved to a larger pediatrics unit at the General. One reason is that they fear their children, who often have poor immune systems, could be exposed to other children with contagious illnesses. But the premier said he has not signed off on the proposal just yet.

5 BIEBER HEARTFELT OR JUST PLAIN STUPID? Over the weekend, the Biebes visited Ann Frank House in Amsterdam and left a comment in the guestbook that is sparking debate across the globe. “Hopefully she would have been a Belieber” was part of the Canadian pop singer’s entry. Now, the museum honouring the Jewish heroine is defending Bieber, in a round about way.

6 TRUDEAU ALREADY BEING SLAMMED Just a short time after the new Liberal leader was elected over the weekend, the Tories have already got their weapons out: attack ads. But Justin Trudeau doesn’t believe there is any sense in fighting dirty.

Exciting Goings-On On Scarth St. Mall

Scarth PigeonsThe other day the City of Regina announced plans to take a more adventuresome tack in allowing downtown pubs and restaurants to establish temporary sidewalk patios similar to what O’Hanlon’s and the Copper Kettle have done for over ten years.  The patios would operate from late spring through early fall and would be facilitated by the attachment of wooden boardwalks to existing sidewalks for pedestrians to use.

For people with mobility issues, that probably presents a bit of a challenge so care must be taken to ensure the boardwalks are solidly built and properly installed. Care should also be taken to regulate traffic around the patios. One reason the O’Hanlon’s/Copper Kettle patio has been so successful is that Scarth at that point is not a thru street so it generally doesn’t see that much traffic and the traffic it does see generally moves at a slower speed. That wouldn’t be the case on Hamilton, Broad or other thru streets and avenues in the downtown. Anyway, the proposal is supposed to go to City Council on April 29.

As for the above photo, it’s where Beer Brothers has its own outdoor patio. It’s on the pedestrian mall, so traffic, outside of the odd vehicle that mistakenly enters the mall off 11th Ave., isn’t a problem. But apparently there is another hazard in the form of pigeons that roost in the pediment of the old Northern Bank building which sits above the patio. Today, a crew is there rousting the pigeons and spraying some substance to discourage them from returning — along with cleaning pigeon poop off the building facade and supporting columns.

Wall Can’t Say “Gay” In Question Period

Well, that certainly blew up, no help from us…

In question period on Wednesday, NDP leader, Cam Broten, asked Premier Wall if his government would consider providing information to schools through their website about Gay Straight Alliances. Wall said his government would keep that in mind when forming their anti-bullying policy then he wandered off on a tangent about not wanting to risk infringing on religious freedom.

We reported on this Wednesday night.

And apparently, we weren’t the only people to find Wall’s comments disturbing because Broten followed up in question period yesterday with more questions for Wall.

The controversy is even being followed in “the real media” (and incidentally, it was through the Twitter feeds of a couple reporters in the real media, Murray Mandryk and Stefani Langenegger, that I first heard about Wall’s comments) and Wall is having to defend himself to the Leader Post.

And it’s worth noting that Broten’s concerns aren’t just over the way Wall seems to be trying to shift a debate about passively providing information about Gay Straight Alliances on a website — a measure I would describe as trivial, innocuous and, frankly, inadequate — to a one about religious freedom. He also pressed the government on the fact that their anti-bullying press release on the Day of Pink at no point made mention of homophobia.

As Broten pointed out to the Leader Post, “the premier has trouble saying ‘gay’ in question period, it sounds like.”

Anyway, thought it would be helpful to see what exactly Wall and Broten actually said in question period yesterday so I’ll include a transcript of their most recent exchange after the fold and you can make up your own mind about what the hell is going through Wall’s head. Obviously, I have some thoughts on the subject, but apparently I’m a partisan hack just for fukken noticing that this is happening.

Continue reading “Wall Can’t Say “Gay” In Question Period”

Pitching A Tent

Plaza TentHere’s a shot from a few minutes ago of the tent going up on City Square Plaza in preparation for the Juno Awards which are in Regina next week. The official Juno dates are listed as April 15-21. Events that will be happening in the tent that I’m aware of include the following:

Thursday April 18 Grapes of Wrath, Fly Points, Indigo Joseph and Jason Plumb & the Willing will be playing. Start time is 5 p.m. and tickets are $15. Friday and Saturday, admission will be via a $30 wrist band that allows access to 17 venues in Regina and Moose Jaw as part of JunoFest. The line-up Friday is Rah Rah, Two Hours Traffic, Foam Lake and Slow Down, Molasses starting at 8 p.m. Saturday there’s a hip hop show with Classified, SonReal & Rich Kidd, Kayo and Quake starting at 8 p.m. Then on Sunday there will be a simulcast of the Juno Awards show from Brandt Centre (assuming it goes from there as scheduled) at 5:45 p.m..

The tent will remain in place for Saskatchewan Fashion Week which happens May 9-11. Then come Grey Cup time, I imagine the tent will be returning to the plaza. In 1995 and 2003 there was an outdoor tent on 19 block Scarth that proved to be a hit with revelers.

Six In The Morning: Do Not Panic, Cher Is Still Alive

6-in-the-morning1 DEBT CEILING HIGHER AND HIGHER The City is looking to increase it’s debt limit by $100-million, for the second time this year – TO BUILD THAT STADIUM.

2 IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT THAT NO-FAULT INSURANCE IN SASK IS BEING THREATENED SGI is fighting the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals, saying its ruling to torpedo the no-fault insurance plan “gravely impacts” its ability to administer coverage. The Supreme Court could potentially review the matter. Get details here.

3 DENY, DENY, DENY The head of the Royal Bank of Canada is denying those claims that the bank is replacing current employees with temporary workers. Surprise, surprise.

4 OUT OF (BIRTH) CONTROL Yikes!!! A Canadian Drug company, which distributes Alysena, a type of birth control, is issuing a recall. The botched batch has two weeks of placebo sugar pills instead of one. December is going to be a busy month in maternity wards across the country… except for Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the batch was not distributed.


6 LESSONS IN HASHTAGS News that Margaret Thatcher died had Cher (and Teri Hatcher) fans in frenzy on Twitter. #NowThatchersdead started trending on the social media site and because spaces and apostrophes can’t be used in hashtags, it had some users thinking it read, “Now that Cher’s dead.” Don’t worry, Cher is still kicking.

Update On Regina Plains Museum

Last August, the Regina Plains Museum, which was located on 18 block Scarth St. across from our office on the mall, announced it would be closing to accommodate a move to a new facility with expanded exhibition and programming space to better showcase the 10,000 artifacts it has in its permanent collection.

Today, it was announced that the museum, whose mandate encompasses the settlement history of Regina and the development of the city through the 20th century, will be moving to 1375 Broad St. The street address is right beside the Saskatchewan Arts Board so I assume it will occupy space in the whitish one-story building that runs for a sizable chunk of that block.

In addition to relocating, the Regina Plains Museum will also operate under the name Civic Museum of Regina. The museum is supposed to be open by August and further information will be available once the new website (www.civicmuseumofregina.com) is up and running.

Six In The Late Evening: Headlines Not Al-Qaeda Related

6 in the Evening1 POW WOW POSTPONED The 35th Annual FNUniv Pow-wow set for this weekend has been re-scheduled due to a potential labour disruption at Brandt Centre where the event was supposed to be held. It has been postponed to the weekend of May 11, 2013. FYI: God forbid, the Juno’s could also be affected.

2 WALLIN WOES Saskatchewan Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin is stepping down as chair of the Senate’s defence committee and from the subcommittee on veteran’s affairs for “personal reasons”. Wallin has been making headlines recently for her alleged over-zealous spending on travel between her homes in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

3 DILUTED DRUGS How would you like to find out that you are not getting the correct dose of medication you’ve been prescribed for a deadly illness? Hundreds of people in Ontario and New Brunswick got that shock today when they learned their chemo therapy drugs were being watered down anywhere from three to 20 percent.

4 CALLING OUT THE ROBO-CALLERS A former Conservative staffer was the first person charged in a probe into the 2011 robo-call controversy. Michael Sona has denied it, saying he didn’t have the technological intelligence to pull it off.

5 SELLING BABIES Wood Buffalo RCMP are investigating an advertisement placed by a pregnant 20 year-old Fort McMurray woman offering to sell one of her twin babies. The ad is just plain weird and unsettling.

6 EXCESS BAGGAGE A tiny Samoan airline is offering another reason to shed the extra pounds. Instead of charging by seat, it is charging passengers by weight. Is this discrimination or is this going to be the airline standard of the future? Hmmm…

Two-Way Traffic Time

The City has an electronic sign up near the corner of Victoria Ave. and Smith St. stating that starting April 1 Victoria Ave between McIntyre and Albert St. will be two-way. There’s no mention of how long that will be the case, or whether it will be the east-bound or west-bound lanes of Victoria that will be closed.

If it’s the latter I wonder if it has anything to do with some possible work being done at the Capitol Pointe site? Or maybe it’s just an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke?

Six In The Morning: Who’s Breaking The Rules Today?

6-in-the-morning1 POLICEBOOK We begin with a story about Facebook and the Regina Police Service. Our city’s law enforcement team has yanked its Facebook page because of an influx of abusive hate comments, in response to that pit bull shooting over the weekend.

2 HOUSING HULLABALOO Tomorrow city council is going to address our city’s housing crisis. Councilors will discuss the Comprehensive Housing Strategy, which will look at creating new strategies and revising old ones to spur rental housing starts. Then we can look forward to Mayor Fougere’s Housing Summit in May. Woo-hoo!

3 BREAKING BOUNDARIES Members of parliament will review changes to federal electoral boundaries in Saskatchewan today. The Saskatchewan Boundaries Commission is recommending that five new urban ridings be created. Conservative MP’s aren’t pleased with the recommendations because it could affect their stronghold in Saskatchewan come election time.

4 UNITED AND GAY Today the US Supreme Court will hear first arguments in the case to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Some are comparing it to Supreme Court cases in the past such as Loving vs. Virginia, in which the court lifted bans on inter-racial marriage.

5 FORD FIASCO It would seem he can’t go a day without the media spotlight shining down on him – good or most likely, bad. His escapades have become pure entertainment for the rest of Canada. It’s now being reported that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was kicked out of a gala for being intoxicated over the weekend.

6 BLAME GLOBAL WARMING! Scientists have linked this winter’s massive snowstorms and this freezing cold spring weather in North America, Europe and Britain to the dramatic loss of Arctic Sea ice – a symptom of Global Warming.