Are you as annoyed as me that we lost an hour today? Actually it’s more the hassle than anything. Make sure to check your smoke alarms!
Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- The Province unveiled its 2013 Budget on Thursday, and it was full of cuts as expected. Among those cuts – MSI funding was reduced from $1 billion to $896 million. Edmonton will see about $170 million of that. The University of Alberta was also negatively affected by the budget, seeing a 7.2% reduction in base operating funding (one of the changes they’re making as a result is the shuttering of two book store locations). Still no word on the missing $100 million for the downtown arena, but the Mayor isn’t worried.
- On Tuesday, the City announced its plans for annexation in the south. About 15,600 hectares of land, including the Edmonton International Airport, would join the City’s southern boundaries. In case you missed it, here’s my look at Edmonton’s history of annexations.
- Doug Griffiths, Municipal Affairs Minister, came under fire this week for comments he made about the urban/rural divide. “It could be asked by rural Albertans why 17 per cent of the population that lives in rural Alberta, that has all the oil and gas revenue, does all the work, all the farms, all the agriculture. And everything associated with it goes to support urban Albertans, who sit in high-rise condos and don’t necessarily contribute to the grassroots of the economy,” he said.
- Finally some good news for businesses along the north side of Jasper Avenue: the sidewalk between 101 Street and 102 Street opens tomorrow! All sidewalks along the north side of the avenue should be open by the end of March.
- The potholes have been pretty bad this year, and it seems a gamble by the Transportation department could be to blame. The real challenge is to figure out how to avoid budgeting on the ups and downs of each season.
- On the positive end of roads news, it seems that 63 Avenue from 99 Street to Gateway Boulevard is finally going to be fixed. The road was rated 0.1 out of 10 by the City last summer. It’ll cost more than $10 million to dug out and rebuilt.
- Parents are annoyed by the overcrowding taking place at southwest schools. ESPB decided that Grade 8 and 9 students at Esther Starkman will be moved to another school. Should planners have anticipated this overcrowding? Good question that I’d like to explore further.
- Last year’s Graffiti Audit found a 1.5% decrease in graffiti vandalism compared to 2011, a much smaller decrease than we saw from 2010 to 2011. Graffiti vandalism was found in 438 locations, down from 543 in 2011.
- Here’s the latest Council Roundup. They approved the revised Downtown CRL boundary, and also approved funding to construct a retaining wall along Saskatchewan Drive.
- A new Edmonton-led study could set a world standard for treating heart attack patients.
- Could City departments soon be home to artists-in-residence? It’s an idea the Edmonton Arts Council is currently exploring.
Cool shot of the new Jasper Place Library by Nelson Webb.
Here are some upcoming events:
- The Edmonton Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Wednesday – check out all the festivities here.
- The Oil Kings are in action at home this week against Saskatoon on Tuesday and Red Deer on Saturday.
- The Oilers return from their road trip to take on Detroit on Friday and Nashville on Sunday.
- CPRS Edmonton is holding its 50th anniversary conference on March 13 and 14.
- The next Mercer Collective Maker’s Market takes place on Saturday at the Mercer Warehouse.
- Hungry? Downtown Dining Week takes place from March 15 to 24.
- Have you been reading about Make Something Edmonton this week? The launch event is coming up on March 21.
- Early heads up on the City’s Run Walk Ride 4 Traffic Safety event coming up on April 27 at Concordia University College.
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.
Great outdoor shot by Dejan Galetic taken in the Brookside neighbourhood of Edmonton.