Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- The City announced on Thursday that it reached an agreement to lease a new building in the arena district starting in 2016. In consolidating approximately 2000 staff into a single building, the City hopes to save up to $5 million a year over the first five years. Here is Paula Simons’ take on the deal.
- You’ve probably heard the City and Mayor Iveson repeatedly say that the deal was the best for the City and that it was not a subsidy for Daryl Katz. I have no reason to question that aside from healthy cynicism, but I will say that discussing the proposal behind closed doors and then deliberately avoiding any mention of the Katz Group in both the news release and Mayor Iveson’s blog post does not look very good.
- Speaking of Mayor Iveson, he has now been in the position for more than three months. Vue Weekly asked me and Paula Simons to share our thoughts on his first 100 days in office.
- Edmonton has joined other Canadian cities and will fly a pride flag at City Hall for the duration of the Olympic Games.
- Capital Power has reached a new agreement with the City to keep its head office and senior executives here in Edmonton. I wasn’t aware this was up for debate, to be honest.
- Slow and steady wins the race? Let’s hope so. Two more routes – the 7 and 57 – have been added to Smart Bus, beginning today. It’s going to take a long time if ETS keeps deploying this two routes at a time. In other ETS news, smart fare technology will take another three years.
- The Province is reviewing the Municipal Government Act, with public meetings taking place over the next twelve weeks. Unfortunately the Edmonton dates were Wednesday to Friday, but you can view all the information and provide feedback online.
- I don’t know what the half-dozen or so loaders that have been on the site for the last few weeks were doing because they only just broke ground officially at the new Royal Alberta Museum site on Friday. I think the plans for the new building look good, so let’s hope they stay on track now.
- File this one under “finally!” – the Neon Sign Museum is set to open on February 21 at 7pm on 104 Street. “These signs were once icons of the avenues they lit up,” said David Holdsworth, a city planner who originated the idea. “We hope that the museum will draw people to enjoy the art, beauty and heritage preserved in these neon designs.”
- It seems like they just published last year’s, but already Avenue Edmonton is looking for your input into the 2014 Best Neighbourhoods issue.
- Here’s an update from the Province on construction of the Sherwood Park Freeway and Anthony Henday Drive interchange.
- Omar says he’s willing to take a chance on the Light the Bridge project.
- Did you check out the Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown? Sharon was disappointed, and highlights a number of challenges facing the area.
- High-speed rail in Alberta: a terrible idea that just won’t go away. Yup, let’s build out the LRT network first.
- Congratulations to Stantec, named one of Alberta’s Top Employers for 2014.
- Here’s a look behind-the-scenes at the City of Edmonton’s Fleet Services.
Beautiful shot of the historic McLeod Building by Jeff Wallace
- Blithe Spirit continues at the Walterdale Theatre all week, wrapping up on Saturday.
- The Edmonton Python User Group meets at Startup Edmonton on Monday evening.
- GameCamp Edmonton meets at Startup Edmonton on Wednesday evening.
- Winefest Edmonton takes place at the Shaw Conference Centre on Friday and Saturday.
- The 2014 edition of the Silver Skate Festival kicks off on Friday at Hawrelak Park.
- Of course, Friday is Valentine’s Day! And it’s not just a day for love – it’s the start of a long weekend as Family Day is Monday!
- Heads up that DemoCamp Edmonton 24 is scheduled for February 20!
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.
Looks like the Flying Canoe Adventure was fun! Photo by Chris Gusen.