Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- City Council approved its first multi-year Operating Budget this week, with a property tax increase of 3.4% for 2016 and 2017, and a 4.8% increase in 2018. Mayor Iveson wrote about the budget: “The effort to find efficiencies and the push for greater efficacy in our operations doesn’t end with this budget, but remains core to the ongoing work of this Council.”
- During the budget discussions, a $250,000 request from the Art Gallery of Alberta was described as being for “emergency funding” but the AGA itself says “this is absolutely and unequivocally not the case.”
- According to TSN, Chris Jones has been hired as head coach and GM of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, with the official announcement expected tomorrow. I guess the Eskimos are going to be in the market for a new head coach.
- Despite that news, it was a week of Grey Cup celebrations here in Edmonton! Here are photos of the trophy arriving, a video recap of the big game, and a recap of the rally and celebration that took place in Churchill Square on Tuesday.
- Thirteen members were chosen to sit on the City’s newly formed Community Infill Panel. They will meet approximately five times a year and will serve a two-year term.
- New ETS service changes went into effect today, including eight new routes with Smart Bus technology: 35, 37, 39, 47, 70, 125, 126, 130. The ETS Street Team will be demonstrating the technology on Tuesday morning at the Northgate Transit Centre and Thursday morning at the Century Park Transit Centre.
- Monday saw more detail released for Alberta’s climate leadership plan. The government is promising that renewable energy will power up to 30% of the electricity grid by 2030. You can see the original November 22 news release here.
- Non-conventional funding models “helped give birth to two new Edmonton-themed children’s books” argues Brent Wittmeier in the Journal. It’s great to see some new options for sharing local history with kids!
- You’ve probably seen the signs on the bus and LRT advertising the Transit Strategy. Here’s part 1 and part 2 on what ETS riders need from a transit strategy, according to Spacing Edmonton’s Vincent Puhakka.
- The City has released some initial information about the Canora & West Jasper Place Side Streets Concept Planning Study. The study is expected to be complete next year.
- EPS issued 2,316 tickets during Operation 24 Hours in November. There have been 13 pedestrian fatalities in 2015, the most since 2007.
- The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated in Edmonton on December 3. The City of Edmonton has celebrated IDPD since 2003.
- Here’s a thoughtful piece by John Richardson on the construction taking place downtown: “Yeah, Ice District is a crappy name, but it’s a good thing for Edmonton’s working people.”
- Are the Edmonton Oilers as bad as their record would suggest?
- Did you know that Harbin, our sister city in China, has its very own Edmonton Road? And you thought our traffic was bad!
- Here’s what Santa looks like at each of Edmonton’s shopping malls, couresty of Raising Edmonton. Their favorites are Sherwood Park and Southgate Mall.
- For more recent headlines, check out ShareEdmonton.
- The holiday lights are now on at the Legislature grounds! Don’t forget you can also see the Magna Carta there!
- The Festival of Light starts Monday at the Valley Zoo!
- Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society is hosting A Moving Tribute on Monday night to bid farewell to the current building and to look ahead to the new one.
- The Oilers are doing better on this homestand! They host the Sharks on Wednesday and the Rangers on Friday.
- Dark Matters returns Thursday to the TELUS World of Science.
- Also Thursday is MADE’s 15th birthday and first annual fundraiser, taking place next to The Common.
- Starting Friday you can head out to see Candy Cane Lane!
- The Southeast Winter Fun Festival takes place on Saturday in Ottewell.
- Over in the 124 Street area, check out Cash Mob on Saturday. The businesses around High Street could definitely use a little help given that the bridge is still closed.
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.
#RoyalAlbertaMuseum Goodbye, Hello, photo by Greg Scratchley