Edmonton Notes for 7/11/2009

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Edmonton Street Performers Festival

The 2009 Edmonton Street Performers Festival wraps up tomorrow afternoon at Churchill Square. There will be a closing group show at 3pm!

Edmonton Notes for 7/4/2009

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The future of local news gathering in action

On Saturday morning Sharon and I walked to the City Market Downtown, as we often do on the weekends. Along the way, near 107th Street and 102nd Avenue, we came upon a parade of firefighters. I immediately took out my camera to snap some photos, and also used my BlackBerry to post one to Twitter via TwitPic. We followed them up the street until they turned toward Jasper Avenue, taking a few more pictures. They were a somber group, so we assumed it was a memorial march of some kind, but we didn’t know the details.

Firefighters remember Station Captain Al HarrisFirefighters remember Station Captain Al Harris

For the next couple hours, I sent BlackBerry messages back and forth with Brittney at iNews880. She had seen my TwitPic, and wanted to write a story about the march. I always tell her she can use my photos, but she asks anyway which is nice. Brittney and her team figured out what the march was for, wrote the story, and posted it with my TwitPic. When I got home, I uploaded the rest of my photos and they added them to the story.

That’s the future of news gathering in action.

Now I realize that iNews880 and some other media organizations regularly use photos from contributors but I think what’s significant here is that the story started with the photo. Would they have written about it had I not posted a TwitPic? Maybe, maybe not. In this case they saw the photo, tracked down what it was about, and were able to produce a story.

Here’s a quote you might have heard:

In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right. – Ellen Goodman

In this case, I got it first and iNews880 got it right. Note that doesn’t mean that I got it wrong and iNews880 was way behind. We simply worked together to make the story happen. This is the kind of news gathering that can scale. So many of us walk around with mobile Internet devices, always ready to post a message or a photo.

What comes next? Aggregation, of course.

Edmonton Notes for 6/27/2009

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These ashtrays have been on Whyte Avenue for a while, but they just started appearing downtown this week:

Ashtrays Downtown

Edmonton City Centre Airport Debate: Resources

We’re down to the final stages of the City Centre Airport review process. If you haven’t taken the time to educate yourself on the issue, the time is now.

Here are the reports that were released last week:

  • Airport Legal Review and Analysis (Attachment 1 in this PDF)
  • Airport Lands Net Revenue Review (Attachment 3 in this PDF)
  • The Airport Lands Impact Assessment Final Report (PDF)
  • The Medevac Transport Report (PDF)
  • The Historical Impact Assessment Report (PDF)
  • The Economic Impact Analysis (PDF)
  • The Public Involvement Plan Results (PDF)

The Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) posted a response to the reports here.

The big report is the Airport Lands Impact Assessment, at 299 pages. Here’s a Wordle of that report:

Here are some highlights from the various report conclusions:

  • “The planning of ambulance services is dependent on many local factors such as availability of resources, both financial and personnel; regional density of populations; road condition and geographic variations; and so forth. Clinically, outcomes for trauma and medical patients are mainly impacted by the services available rather than by type of transport.”
  • “The City Centre Airport ranks with the Rossdale site and the provincial government precinct as among the three most significant historical locations in the City of Edmonton. As such everything possible should be done to acknowledge that fact through commemorative and interpretive initiatives.”
  • “Redevelopment of the ECCA, as defined in the Demonstration Plan, would result in the equivalent of a net tax saving to the City of Edmonton. The value of redeveloping the ECCA Lands is, in aggregate, a net benefit to the City of Edmonton’s financial position.”
  • “Based on the review completed, the redevelopment of the ECCA Lands into a new residential and employment based neighbourhood represents a significant opportunity for the City to achieve established long term visions regarding sustainable development and a more compact urban form. The redevelopment of the ECCA Lands could allow for the development of a new urban community with transit as its centrepiece.”

There will be a public hearing on Wednesday (and Thursday/Friday if necessary):

What: Public Hearing on the City Centre Airport (Agenda in Word)
When: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 from 9:30am to 5:30pm
Where: City Hall
Request to Speak: Fill out this form to speak.

The next step is for any recommendations to be reviewed by Council on July 10, 2009. Don’t forget that you can watch or listen to Council and Committee meetings live online.

The City’s portal for the City Centre Airport Review contains a bunch of additional information and links, so be sure to check it out. There’s also some info at the Public Involvement site.

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Here are some social media resources:

Some other stuff to read:

Lorne Gunter wrote a great article in Sunday’s Edmonton Journal: Muni is not ‘my’ airport. For some predictions on Council’s vote, check out Scott McKeen’s piece from yesterday’s Journal. He’s betting that Council will vote to close the airport. Also – you’ve got to look at this photo of Councillor Tony Caterina on the tarmac of the City Centre Airport. And finally, you might find my post (from May) about the ECCA debate on Twitter interesting.

For the latest news, check out #ecca on Twitter Search.

As you’ve perhaps figured out by now, I’m in favor of closing the City Centre Airport. I don’t feel that keeping the status quo is compatible with making Edmonton a more sustainable, vibrant city, and moving passenger service back to the muni isn’t possible. There is an opportunity to redevelop the lands however, and I think the City should act on that now before the opportunity passes us by.

Let’s close the City Centre Airport and move on.

UPDATE: Edmonton Airports has compiled a number of briefing notes related to the airport for presentation at the public hearings. (PDF)

Edmonton Notes for 6/20/2009

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Edmonton Notes for 6/13/2009

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Edmonton Notes for 6/7/2009

Travel has put a wrinkle in these posts for the last few weeks – all should be back to normal soon! Here are some Edmonton notes for this week:

Edmonton Notes for 5/30/2009

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Edmonton Notes for 5/16/2009

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes: