Archives for posts with tag: thought vomit

Attention everyone. I have an agenda. I also have the city council agenda for next week. (My agenda is shorter and involves cookies and possibly a puppy.) This week’s agenda is only 249 pages long, practically a short story.

First thing up is a care home, Type II, which I believe means that it’s an adult-onset care home. In this case it’s late adult-onset. They want to up the residents from five to seven. There’s no objection from the Administration; there’s more than enough parking and it’s already a care home. One of the neighbours has an issue with the increased traffic and she’s worried they’ll change it into a treatment centre. No worries there, with the population trends as it is operating a seniors’ home will be a license to print money in the coming decades. They’ve cut off or omitted the name of the neighbour but she’s mentioned earlier – Lindsay Haeusler. Anyways, she says she moved here because of the neighbourhood and if anything changes or her house value goes down, well – well, actually, she doesn’t say what she’ll do. Hopefully she loves Lakeview so much she’ll want to spend the rest of her life there, perhaps in a care home in the vicinity. Seriously though, having a family move in next door with >3 kids between 16 and 22 will generate more traffic than a care home.

(Ask me about the time I had an undiagnosed anxiety attack while doing a temporary job in a care home. You guys, I do not want to be in one of those things, ever. Remind me to write up a will and living will, just in case. Perhaps I’ll get a tattoo too. Don’t get me wrong, the care home was perfectly nice and clean and well-run, with good staff. I just personally get super itchy and panicky when I think about being confined in one.)

p. 16 is some land use applications, complete with surveys for you mappy types. Addresses are:

  • 1132 College Drive
  • 125 Willis Crescent
  • Rosewood Boulevard West and East
  • Bentley Lane, Court, and Kensington Road
  • Boykowich Street, Marlatte Crescent/Lane/Street, Baltzan Boulevard, and Ahktar Bend
  • 126 Idylwyld Drive North
  • 715 Werschner Street
  • Evergreen District Village — Area 2
  • 1541 Spadina Crescent East

Ooh and here’s the results of an enquiry from Councillor Lorje about the planning criteria for off-leash recreation areas (henceforth known as … well, I’m still working on a snappy epithet for these. No doubt Australians have something already.) If you were wondering, there is currently no, um, “Dog Park Planning for Dummies” guide and as such, they’re considered on a case-by-case basis. Cllr Lorje’s request was twofold: to find out the planning criteria for dog parks and to consider requiring them as a standard amenity in neighbourhoods.

I did a bit of Googling here and found out London, GB has 8 off-leash parks. The reason why I picked this was because I know Britain has a high rate of dog ownership and I’ve been watching gobs of British telly lately. Absolute loads of it. Saskatoon has 5 OLRAs. To be fair, the parks in London include such famous grassy swathes as Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, both of which you may have heard. Here I don’t think anyone wades through the canine-infested wastelands unless they already own an ankle-biter . (I’ve biked through the Sutherland park, but was nearly overcome by the smell of dog pee at one point. If you ever want to punish someone you hate, have them reincarnated as a rock just inside a dog park entrance.)

p. 20 has some “criteria and approaches that were relatively consistent” across Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Surrey, Toronto, and Markham. Full report is later, so settle down.

As far as I can tell here, what the report is recommending is stepping up maintenance in current parks (huzzah) before plugging in new ones. As for creating new “neighbourhood” parks (small ones you can walk to), they prefer to wait until a critical mass of dog owners accumulates in an area. Larger parks in new neighbourhoods will be developed in consultation with user groups.

p. 24. It costs the city slightly over 2 million dollars for cell phone and data service for five years. Clearly this is a waste of municipal tax dollars. If employees have something to say to each other, they can drive over and say it to each other’s face. Bonus: this will cut down on interpersonal conflicts. As for data use, city employees could just ask passers-by to look things up on the Google. I’m sure taxpayers won’t mind being asked this favour, since it’s saving them money. Also, e-mail is well-known to be a  source of stress, so the City should just switch back to posting letters. This will also provide Canada Post with a boost in income. I have just saved the city 2 mil. To quote T-Rex, “You’ll thank me when you share my politics!” (Why are you all not reading Dinosaur Comics? Go on, get out of here.)

(At least City Hall doesn’t have a contract with Rogers. There’s a reason why I don’t hang out with my Rogers-contracted friends…they never answer their phone since “the tower is down” or get my texts.)

Whoof. If the city switched to individual contracts instead of negotiating it all as one block, it’d be over 3.3 million dollars. This is the power of “collective bargaining”, people.

p. 27 is the “Contract Award Report” or at least the report on the report. No names are named…yet. (The City reports the winners of contracts/RFPs between $50K and $75K thrice yearly.)

p. 28 is a proposed increase to the homeowner’s portion of the water/sewer replacement program. The City pays 60% of the costs but, as you most likely guessed, costs are rising. If you’re thinking about getting on this bandwagon, get on before January 22nd or else you’ll be out another $290 on top of the initial $2250. I could be wrong about this, though. Anyway, you should probably get your lines replaced sooner rather than later, if you have the choice.

Brunner’s is doing the line replacements.

p. 38. The Northeast needs a lift station and force main; Associated Engineering wins the bid with $396,620, or will if Council approves it.

p. 39. “The force main will discharge into the Central Avenue sanitary sewer trunk system at the intersection of Central Avenue and Somers Road.” The good people of Evergreen and future environs will not have to worry…about the security…of their shit.

Of course I love Burn After Reading, who doesn’t?

p. 42. Brevoort Park and Lakeview need to secure their shit. Er, install some sanitary sewer storage aka “super pipes”. There’s some funding from the government but the whole thing has to be done by 2015 in order to qualify. AECOM wins this one.

p. 46 is the University Bridge hey hey hey Rehabilitation. Design this year, construction to begin next year, so buy your house accordingly. Good heavens, the bridge is 98 years old. Do you think the new police palace will last that long? (I know, I’m being needlessly contentious here.) Fun fact: the 25th St Bridge was, when it opened, the longest of its kind in Canada. Also it was supposed to be a steel-truss bridge originally, like the Victoria bridge.

Anyways, as you’ll remember, Council approved the bare minimum of funding to keep the bridges wheezing along, so expect to see lots of RFPs for bridge bandaids coming up. (Also possibly RFPs for ziplines, but those of us with discerning taste prefer a slide/gondola combination.)

p. 47. Here is what needs to be done:

  • Remove asphalt wearing surface, membrane, and expansion joints;
  • Spot repairs to approximately 10% of the concrete deck;
  • Provide new membrane and asphalt wearing surface or replace with concrete driving surface;
  • Spot repairs to approximately 30% of the arches and abutments;
  • Provision of a galvanic protection system over the arches and abutments.

CH2M Hill wins this tender.

p. 50 is more on the landfill gas thing. It’s the agreement between Saskatoon Light & Power and SaskPower and is rather boring.

p. 53. Damn. “The Landfill Gas Project will generate electricity by combusting the methane emitted from the landfill, producing electricity and converting the gas to carbon dioxide (C02), which is 21 times less harmful for the environment than methane.”

(This is partially why eating less cow meat can be potentially more beneficial than driving less. Full disclosure: my parents operate a cattle farm, or at least my dad does some of the time. If you don’t get the link, cows burp a lot. And it’s methane. 100-500L per day, depending on who you ask. In New Zealand, over a third of their greenhouse gas emissions come from sheep and cattle.)

p. 55 is a bunch of  from the Chamber of Commerce, asking the City to agree with the following grammatically suspect statement: “That the City of Saskatoon continue to work with the Saskatoon business community to maintain Saskatoon’s position as Canada’s Business Friendliest City over this City Council’s elected term between 2012 and 2016.”

The CFIB named Saskatoon as the top Canadian “big city” with the most business-friendly policies. KPMG also rated Saskatoon as the most tax-competitive city in Canada. I rather want to draw a Venn diagram and see if “business-friendly” ever overlaps with “excellent levels of snow removal and road maintenance”.

p. 57. The five-year tax exemption is for businesses that commit to job creation targets. That’s funny, Vecima Networks is up for this (as in the previous meeting this month) and they’ve been handily laying people off since 2011. (Almost 20% of their workforce was cut in 2011 at one blow, twas brutal.) Perhaps there’s something else I don’t know about this program. Either that or they’ve hired everyone back and more.

p. 60 is the start of the survey maps for the zoning/rezoning applicants.

p. 69 is the start of Off-Leash Recreation Areas Best Practices Review. Includes a list of best practices for dog parks from several cities and then segues into the report on p. 72.

p. 72 may be of interest to Jordon Cooper, in case he is uncredited for yet another photograph.

p. 75 lists one of the benefits of OLRAs as “reduce incidence of unauthorized off leash activity in parks and open spaces”, which, ha. There is a serial offender in the summer who refuses to leash their dogs en route to or from the dog park. (After informing them several times with decreasing politeness that this was not part of the off-leash area, I just called Animal Services. I don’t care how perfect your dog is. I grew up around animals. Even you cannot predict 100% how your animal will react in an unpredictable situation, especially one that involves blind corners. Not to mention that in any altercation, it’s likely your dog will get injured. Putting your dog on a leash when required: safe for others, but even safer for your dog. Unless you are walking your dog on a leash while you drive your car, which, why.)
 
p. 83 is the start of the Insightrix dog-owner survey which has some fun statistics. Dog owners: you are not coming across very well here. Also, I begin to understand just why there is a lot of canine ejecta everywhere. I’ll leave you at this point as you no doubt want to read it, and I want to go to bed.

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What it’s come down to is that I’ve blocked “Merry” and “Christmas” on Twitter, not because of the atheists, but because of the so-called subset of “Christians”. I recommend it. It’s very relaxing. Also, I’m making a conscious effort to limit Christmas stuff to the days immediately around the 25th, for a more intense Xmas high. Christmas creep is diluting Christmas, you guys. Putting Merry Christmas on everything isn’t helping either. At this rate it’s going to be a secular government-sanctioned holiday and then we’ll get stat pay for it or something.

Also, if you’re going to bring up the preamble for the Charter as evidence of a Christian nation, I’m very interested in how you’re going to put this into action. Who speaks for God, exactly? I know, it’s whatever sect of Christianity you subscribe to, but what if someone else gets there first? Who gets to decide what God wants? Are we going to have some sort of Canadian Pope figure? (The Governor General? We saw how well that went down.) What if it’s David Suzuki? WHAT IF DAVID SUZUKI IS GOD’S VOICE. God gets to decide this, and this is who God has chosen. David Suzuki will smite you down with his righteous wrath. I mean, there are how many different versions of the Bible and nobody can agree on what is the best one. Also, what if the Charter guys were just playing with us and the “principles that recognize the supremacy of God” refer to a different monotheistic deity than the Christian God? I, for one, welcome our new Sikh overlords. So, as you can see, if we start running around squawking that we are a Christian nation without really thinking about what that entails we’re in for a bit of fun. Do we stone all the gay people first, or do we get rid of strong spirits? What is God’s position on polyester? (Is it … of the devil? I think it’s of the devil. Unless you are at the gym, in which case cotton is of the devil.)

It’s all very confusing. I think we should just leave it up to the individual to decide what religion(s) they wish to follow (if at all) and keep the government out of it. Look how well the bureaucracy is doing at running the rest of the city. Do you really want them telling you what to do on Sundays? If you’ll recall in a much earlier agenda summary, I stated that Saskatoon is now an Islamic city, so I’m not sure where all this Christian nonsense came from. Some scrappy Regina Christians no doubt. More forced pilgrimages to Davidson for you feisty ones. I know it’s December, put on an extra pair of pants.

Perhaps we all need to take a hot buttered rum and relax. Christianity is not threatened because someone thinks that it’s not appropriate for “Merry Christmas” to be on a city bus. Drop the persecution complex, it’s unflattering. You’re not hiding in crypts and running from lions. If anything, as “Christians” you should be arguing against the dilution of Christmas. If everyone says “Merry Christmas”, how will you tell the true believers apart from the unclean false idol worshippers? Or the heathen flea-bitten agnostics? You’ve been played for a yule here. Next thing you know they’ll insist on tree worship and displays of consumerism as celebrations of the birth of Our Lord. If you’d like to call me an “offensive spineless nitwit”, please go ahead, although I’d like to point out it’s rather spineful to assert opinions that run counter to the dominant narrative.

This reminds me of something I saw illustrated in the City’s planning workshop I attended. (I think they have it in February if you’re interested; I recommend it but then I’m a weirdo who likes sitting in boardrooms taking notes and eating cookies on the weekend because it’s so unlike my day job. Seriously, I am fascinated by bureaucracy and filling out forms and pootling around filing things. How do you do this all day.) Anyways, what I was talking about: people who were trying to block proposed projects (or zoning) in their neighbourhood said they were against draconian zoning decrees. But, judging from their words, their beef wasn’t with the system, their beef was that they were not the ones in charge. I’m more interested in people critiquing the system than those who want to be put in charge. (Put me in charge. You won’t regret it. Everyone will have a puppy room.)

Well, this was not what this was supposed to be about. Fortunately I can’t remember what it was supposed to be about so you got this instead. I’m turning the comments off as well, so that I don’t find out who can’t take a joke. That’s right! I’m a leftist coward! I’m also an unfunny feminazi with a weak husband/no husband/hates men/likes women; an angry harpy who is just bitter about her lack of looks;  and I ride bikes. I think I’ve covered the bases here. We all can’t be David Suzuki.

(obviously none of this is addressed at YOU, dear reader, who is possessed of uncanny grace, charm, and tact, unlike myself.)

**bridgeburning.gif**

update: I was in an office-type setting and overheard a lengthy discussion on the stocking and re-ordering procedure for printer toner. I no longer want to work in an office.

 

Right, sorry, sorry. I am a bit late on this one. It’s just that Top Gear is an actual hour long! And you can’t just watch one.

Things covered in this agenda that I am not going to talk about:

1. The Point 9 development for the absolutely fabulously walkable University Heights
2. The decision to formalize the allotment of extra funds garnered through development
3. The taxi bylaw and accessible cab licensing fiasco
4. The awarding of the snow dump site pushing contract
5. The upgrading of the wastewater treatment plant computer network and software from it’s c. 1995 (!) operating system
6. The awarding of the North Downtown Plan plan
7. The report on the Saskatoon.ca website
8. The 2012 tax assessment report
9. The report on the abuse of engine retarder brakes within city limits (conclusion: it’s a problem, but difficult to enforce.)
10. The report of the Administration and Finance Committee on the Neighbourhood Land Development Fund and the District Energy Systems Feasibility report.
11. The report on the projected return of investment for the Hampton Village and Willowgrove. Actually, I am going to comment a bit on this. It’s rather alarming that the city is expanding three neighbourhoods at once, especially in light of the declining house sales across the board in Canada. I mean, it’s not certain Saskatoon will follow suit. City managing is like turning a tanker around, but I’d rather not see the allegorical sequel to S.S. City of Medicine Hat vs Traffic Bridge. (If the housing market does indeed tank, I get rights to this allegory, journalists! You owe me money!) Anyways Willowgrove is completely sold out of single and multi-family residential lots. There are less that 25 lots in the Hamptons. Come on down! Ha ha, I am such a crank on this subject. Gonna change my Twitter handle to “HENRY MAYDAY”. (™ ME)

12. the sale of the last bit of property – the commercial bit – in Willowgrove Square. You know the place, the goofy square-shaped park deal that always ices up like a motherfucker in winter where you can bust out some sweet slides, not that I would ever do such a thing. Also you can park there and make out/deal drugs/discuss Life, the Universe, and Everything in your little car-box of Emotion, because you’re 17.

Things covered in the agenda that I am going to talk about:
The S.S. CIty of Medicine Hat. It has a lovely report, starting on p. 153, that I badly want to edit for grammar and spelling. Some background: the captain was Horatio Hamilton Ross and Ye Old Boate cost $28,000 to build – about $683k today – for a 130 foot ship. Anyways, they were coming up from Medicine Hat to Winnipeg. Our noble boat (I just like calling it a boat, okay) stopped before the bridge in order to let people off to Not Drink Alcohol. After firing up again, the majestic vessel promptly got entangled in telegraph wires and kronched at a leisurely pace into the southernmost bridge pier (now surrounded by land). There were no casualties. This, my friends, is the Greatest Marine Disaster in the history of Saskatoon. (The runner-up is the person who parked their SUV in the river this fall, with an honourable mention to the dude who tried to escape the cops by swimming across the river.) Other notable marine disasters in Saskatchewan: the one guy in Clavet every year who insists on driving his skidoo across the slough when it’s not ready; Wascana Lake; and the Lumsden Duck Derby.

Wait, what? “At the time of the crash, a small herd of cattle was being driven across the bridge from the east to the west to the stockyards”. This is more exciting to imagine than the ol’ S.S. expiring gracefully on the side of the bridge.

All right, who wrote this report? “Grand Truck Railroad”? The only Grand Truck Railroad I know of in this city is Circle Drive North.

They’ve found approximately 1,000 artifacts. This may surprise you but the Stantec archaeologists have concluded that the artifacts are most likely from the S.S. City of Medicine Hat (here listed as the “S.S. CIty Medicine Hat”. Macros are your friends, anonymous report writer.)

Annnd IMDB is listed as a source. As well as Wikipedia. The City of Saskatoon: less rigorous than your 8th-grade English teacher.

Yay, the North Downtown energy study. Previous to this agenda, this is one thing that I hadn’t thought about: where all the energy is going to come from to power this infill. Anyways the report has found that “a district energy system developed in Saskatoon would be profitable.” Since it’s a bit smaller, the power source can be changed over at a reasonable cost to something more sustainable (insert hot-air-politician joke here). Other areas of the city that qualify for a local energy district are: Evergreen, Holmwood (whatever that is) and the North Downtown. The rest of you lot are not dense enough to justify having a local energy-generating source. (No, but seriously, where is Holmwood? Is the city just making up areas now?) Anyways the report indicates that partnering with a private-sector energy company would produce an “acceptable rate of return for the City”.

Ohh Holmwood is the area the City just annexed from our friends, the RM of Corman Park, may they rest in peace. Seriously? That’s going to be super dense? I suppose that it’s easier now to just make all new developments denser than integrate density into existing neighbourhood and feel the prickle of many pitchforks in the small of your back. It’s just that Holmwood is going to be, like, so far, from, like everything. (Everything being Broadway and Downtown, where I spend most of *my* non-working time.) Oh, I’m sorry, if you’re looking for journalistic integrity and bias-free reporting, you’ll have to look somewhere else.  I’m not quite sure where, though.

Also in this section, Charlie Clark asked about sucking some more heat off the water entering the river from the power plant, in order to solidify the river’s surface a bit. Unfortunately this would cost A Lot, so no skating on the river for you. Even if there wasn’t any hot water dumped into our glorious waterway, the City would have a hell of a time stopping people from looking for a quick shortcut regardless of thickness of ice.

p. 182, if you’re following along has a terrific bit of manager-speak. The bit it’s about, if you care, is the implementation of the new telephone system along with the establishment of a Unified Communications Reserve (this sounds like socialist propaganda to me.) Here it is, in its entirety:

“This report supports the long-term strategy of increasing staff productivity by being more efficient and leveraging new technology to improve operational efficiency under the Strategic Goal of A Culture of Continuous Improvement.”

Leveraging! I love it. You know what else has “a culture of continuous improvement?” Microsoft. I think of this lovingly every time I update my work computer and my drivers are all fucked. I also love it when I unplug the keyboard and it FREAKS OUT. It also refuses to turn on without a keyboard plugged in. I suppose there’s some sort of analogy I could draw here. Look under “W” on the Saskatoon.ca website for more city worker jokes! Whoops, it’s under “H” for “Hackneyed”.

So, the new telephone system, as I understand it, will be a sort of proto-Skype (phoning people using the power of the intertubes). The police and fire phones won’t be migrated until later. I just have one burning, throbbing question: what happens if the power goes out? The savings gained by switching ($20,000 net) doesn’t mean much if, hello, there is some sort of oh, I don’t know, ACT OF NATURE. I suppose we are in the glorious 21st century, but growing up in a rural area with frequent power outages, the fact that you could still pick up your old landline phone and call your neighbour is worth something. (The conversations would go like this: “Hi, it’s so and so. Do you have power? No? OK. Who else doesn’t have power?” Oftentimes we could determine where the power was out based on our rudimentary form of triangulation. Then we would call SaskPower and ask, not unlike our Eastern cousins, how long we’d have to freeze in the dark.)

Fiiine. I’ve just been reading a lot of Sandy coverage lately and now I’m looking at things like “crank flashlights” and “wood stoves that generate electricity”. I’m sure we’ll be OK. The City is working on a disaster response plan, right? Right? Oh god, how much are zodiac rafts. I’ll take two. Wait, with no power plant operating, the river will freeze. Now I am starting to understand the thought process of certain persons who live in Clavet.

p. 196 makes reference to an “urban village” which seems rather oxymoronic to me. I know what they’re driving at, but do we have to make everything sound quaint in order to make it palatable? That was a rhetorical question. All these questions on here are rhetorical, in case you were wondering. There’s a bunch of stuff here about What Is Allowed and What Is Not Allowed, in case you live around that area and your pitchforks are getting dull. (I keep mine nice and sharp.) Also some things on LEED standards, architectural standards etc.

p. 210 is the RFP. The RFP is fun to read if you’re familiar with the area, as you will enjoy the discrepancy in how the City describes the area vs how it is generally used (see above.) Anyways it should be rather entertaining once it’s done, especially if the city doesn’t use ice-mitigating techniques. Seriously, you can go down there in winter and re-create Tokyo Drift without any loss of tire rubber. (Other forms of loss, such as self-respect, may occur.)

p. 230 recommends the charging of fees for snow-dump users. I am not sure if you read the letters to the editor in the Star-Phoenix, but if you do, then you will understand the following: HOW MANY CHILDREN WILL DIE BECAUSE OF THIS SHAMELESS DECISION? (Seriously though, props to the guy for busting out the child-killing factor. It’s an angle that I wish Saskatoon Cycles would pursue more aggressively in their lobbying efforts.) (Yes, holy Odin, I am being sarcastic here. Or am I? I mean, what are children, but pawns to advance our own agenda? Literally, if you consider the genetic factor. Children: small, occasionally adorable, meat-pylons and/or political wedges.)

Fine, I’ll list the gist of this letter: a snow-dumping person wrote in that charging user fees would result in more piles of snow being stored in/on private property rather than hauled away. Children play on the resulting piles of snow, which will invariably collapse and send them off gently into that good night. Ergo: charging fees for snow dumping would result in the deaths of children. Wait till this guy sees the stats on how many children die in car collisions. HOW MANY CHILDREN WILL DIE BECAUSE PEOPLE INSIST ON DRIVING CARS? (A lot.)

Ok, I’m rather done with this lot. Next: the communications to Council.

Most of my frustration these days stems from the fact that I am attempting to live the life of a downtown person, while currently residing in an inner-ring suburb. I got a folding bike and a folding shopping trolley cart thing and then it fucking snowed. Normally I enjoy winter (see: skiing) but this year I am Taking Things Personally. Anyways, this frustration is reflecting itself in what I write/make/say, so I am just busy getting it out of my system. Frothing rants only go over so well. I’m not funny all the time; the other side of me is a crushingly boring, didactic, and frightfully anxious person, which the sense of humour seeks to alleviate.
edited to add: here is a small post from the Corner Side Yard about the “new urbanism” and how it’s not really new. I agree. It doesn’t matter how much I carpool, or walk, or take the bus; without significant investment at higher levels our actions, even collectively, are futile. I’m in a great mood today!

463 pages. I’m not feeling particularly funny tonight but I’ll give it a whack anyways, see what falls out.

Jennifer Hueser has won a scholarship; so have Kourtney and Krista Fesser. Also we have won a Planning Excellence Award, hopefully not for Willowgrove.

Welp here’s our first big whammy. Right away too, not buried in the back. They want to re-establish the debt limit for the City at $414 million.

INT. DAY

HENRY DAYDAY sits at a dining room table, alone. He is playing tic-tac-toe on a yellow legal pad against himself. He jerks upright; his shoulders convulse and his hands close into fists, breaking the pencil. The fit passes. Glancing around, he reaches up to comb his hair back into place. Only then does he look down and see, written on the pad, “414000000”.

Ha ha, just kidding. This is Business as Usual. I know this because under “FINANCIAL IMPACT” it says “There is no financial impact”. Actually here are the rest of the options. (Hot tip: there are no options.)

OPTIONS TO THE RECOMMENDATION
There are no options.
POLICY IMPLICATIONS
There are no policy implications.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
There are no financial implications.
PUBLIC AND/OR STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT
There is no public or stakeholder involvement.
FINANCIAL IMPACT
There is no financial impact.
COMMUNICATION PLAN
There is no communication plan.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS
There are no environmental and/or greenhouse gas implications.
PRIVACY IMPACT
There is no privacy implication.

GET IT TOGETHER, CITY.

This is the current debt limit, they just have to approve it again. Standard operating procedure. I’m not going to get into the debt stuff here since I am not qualified or inclined to discuss it at this moment. I just hope everyone knows what they are doing.

Some land use applications, page 6. Condos going in Marquis Industrial…wait, what? Where? Blairmore, oh, and a care home for Evergreen (for a numbered company). Darcy’s 23rd Street Service wants to expand to a neighbouring lot. Willowgrove might be getting a care home. Something on 7th St which I think came up earlier this year. And some subdivisions out in Fairhaven. Subdivision subdivision subdivision, more things you may care about if you live near 115 Willowgrove Crescent, 908 Sask Crescent, 625 52nd St E, 418, 502 and 510 51st street east, or 132 and 140 Idylwyld Drive North.

What, another page of subdivisions? OK, I am just jumping to the letters now. We’ll return to page 9 of the fractally-inspired requests later.

***
Heh, heh. Those were some great letters. Great! Actually just OK. No jumping green men. Lots of flouride. Poor Mr Jorgenson.
***

One of the subdivision requests is for 112 109th St West, I wonder if that was the unfortunate arson target earlier this week. (I bet the City approves the request anyways.)

p 12 is the Naming Report. Rosewood is getting “Jeanneau Way”. Yes,  you heard that right. In case you didn’t hear it, I suggest you say it out loud. I imagine the city naming committee is just standing around in a circle at this point, giving each other high-fives. Kolynchuk, Pringle, Dawes, and Veltkamp are the other names. FYI “Pringle Bend” is forever going to be referred to as “Hyperbolic Paraboloid” in this household. Page 13 is the start of the bios, if you wanted to Jeanneau more.

p. 13 Please stop naming streets “Manor”. Your house may be a pressed-cornflake castle but that doesn’t mean you get to pretend it’s an estate. You know what, I will amend that. You can pretend it’s an estate, and I get to judge you.

[cornflakes break]

Section B on page 15. Here’s the corporate services. DynaIndustrial (all one word) would like to have a tax break for their building expansion. So would Deca Industries. In case you were wondering how this ties in with the Strategic Plan, it falls under the Economic Diversity and Prosperity section. Specifically, the part where it “demonstrates the City’s commitment to a business or industry”. The city has put a price tag on this commitment at $38,000 of deferred taxes.

p. 18 I think is about issuing some bonds. [Googles] OK yes, “debenture” is, according to Wikipedia, “a document that either creates a debt or acknowledges it and it is a debt without collateral.” (You can all stop shouting definitions at your screen now.) This falls under the city’s Strategic Goal of Investing in What Matters (itself). The AAA credit rating is also mentioned in here. Gee, I sure hope those guys at S&P are on the up and up.  The Administration would like to use the bond money to get a UV disinfection system, a new water intake, a sludge recovery facility and a standby generator, among others. Aaaand the Circle Drive South River Crossing (land purchase). That’s 18 mil for that piece of land, in case you missed that whole, er, plotline.

The city should issue more bonds, really. Call them “Saskatoon Shares”. We could be the first publicly-owned city…wait.

p. 22 is the IBEW contract changes. No, it is not. It is a thing announcing the contract changes but not the contract itself. That is later in this PDF. Sorry to get you all excited there, just keep sharpening your union-bashing sticks.

p. 23 involves the Food Bank Drive, some tasteful signs, and Robin Bellamy. He is back at work and wants modifications to the temporary sign bylaw so he can put up some signs advertising the Food Drive. The administration points out that if they change the bylaw for Mr Bellamy’s initiative they have to change it for all charitable organizations. It doesn’t look good for Mr Bellamy. And there’s another solid 4 months before better biking weather. I am not sure how he will manage to advertise this event without boulevard signs, but I suspect Mr Bellamy is a man of many talents.

p. 25 is the results of Bev Dubois’ inquiry into the intersection of Muzyka and Stensrud – whether it requires a four-way stop. In case Ms Dubois is reading this, no, it does not qualify for a four-way stop. They are putting in a rodeo clown barrel – sorry, a traffic-calming island – and a “standard crosswalk”. I can’t offer any personal experience at that intersection aside from the fact I had a delightful time sliding through it last week.

p. 28 The city is finally closing the walkway between Fairlight Drive and Stone Court. This falls under the Strategic Goal of “Quality of Life”, whereas the “long-term strategy” is to “reduce and prevent crime and provide protective services in our downtown core and neighbourhoods.” (Curiously, they do not cite another portion of the Strategic Plan. The “Moving Around” goal emphasizes the importance of connectivity for all travel modes, especially ones that encourage walking and cycling.) It will cost $6000 to close this walkway.

Here is the offending walkway:

From the Google Maps aerial view it looks like they’ve already closed it. That was quick. (Zoom in for maximum effect)

Speaking as someone who uses walkways a fair bit, I’m glad I read the full agenda. Otherwise, unless it’s on my street, I would not know about closures until it happened, and I’d be forced to walk several blocks out of my way. I live on a cul-de-suck [sic totally intended] and I must walk 3 blocks out of my way to go anywhere north of where I live, thanks to the trailer park. I have to walk through the trailer park anyways! We might as well put a walkway through. Personally I’m more terrified of the people on the next street over who view the sidewalks as convenient vehicle storage. I was nearly mashed by an individual who drove nose in up onto the sidewalk rather than parallel park in the usual fashion. This was not anywhere near a driveway, by the way.

p 35 Lane is closing at Weldon Avenue. Oof it’s taken me two hours to get this far. I must be more succinct up in here.

p. 37 onto the highly contentious closure of Range Road 3045 between Keedwell and Agra. (Fun fact, I typed that Rage Road and it’s not entirely unsuitable, see comments/letters from residents to be revealed later in this agenda.) I know Keedwell, it’s the street I kept going the wrong way on while trying to find my sister’s new domicile in Willowgrove, the Area That Must Not Be Named Because It Isn’t Named Because of the Stupid Naming System. Yes, I am still mad about that evening. Fortunately the closure of Rage Road is no longer contentious since they finished the extension of McOrmond Drive. Also fun fact: I did not know there was a group of rugged individualists, living off the land north of Evergreen along the river banks.

Aerial view of survivalist hamlet, complete with bouncy castle (again, zoom in for max effect):

This recommendation has “positive greenhouse gas emissions implications” as “traffic will not be able to access the closed road”. Permit me a moment of high-horseyness here as I say that closing this section of road will not make the residents of Riversedge reconsider the drive into town. They will just take the other route. On the other hand, I know a way we can instantly reduce most, if not all, of our greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. I suspect it may not be very popular but you’ll get used to it soon enough. Although those of us who live within walking distance of Costco may benefit more than others. Which reminds me, I must look into a sled suitable for grocery-hauling. I live 1.8 km from a grocery store and it’s completely unacceptable to me that I have to drive there. Also I want a sled for when the apocalypse happens. Related: I have been reading accounts of the gas shortage in NYC today and I want no part of that scene. $20-100 per gallon? Fights?

[we now pause while I set up a Kijiji alert for “skis AND OR sled AND OR snowshoes”]

[700 ads about snowmobiles later]

I’m going to end it here, because now I am going to upgrade my current x-c setup by contacting strangers on the internet and convincing them I am not the usual flaky Kijiji buyer. $80 will upgrade my current x-c setup into something that’s only 2.5-3 decades old, as opposed to a solid 4.

I went to Amigo’s last night to see AC Newman and the Mynabirds. AC Newman is a Canadian institution; if you like indie pop and haven’t listened to him or his supergroup the New Pornographers, you are in for a treat. Likewise with the Mynabirds, who put on a solid show. I’d be surprised if they aren’t headlining the next time they come back into town. Anyways. Here is where you can stream some Mynabirds.

There is also some solid artwork happening down at the Mendel this season; the main exhibition (Beneath a Petroliferous Moon) is rather hit-and-miss, however the hits hit hard and you can easily skip over the misses. Highlights are some excellent Burtynsky photographs (I was fortunate enough to see the terrific Oil show at the Art Gallery of Alberta, A+++ would see again) and this hypnotizing motorized map by Robyn Moody. (It’s beautiful, angry, and compelling.)

I also liked the mid-exhibit, The Names of Things, with wasp-paper and sandhill crane elements from Terry Billings, huge drawings from Zachari Logan, and these delightfully repulsive glue sculptures from Stacia Verigin.

In movie news, I saw Samsara at the Roxy, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have any knowledge of these following concepts: gaze, ethnography, objectification, Orientalism, essentialism, colonialism or cultural hegemony. If you don’t I can assure you that you will enjoy it unconditionally, especially if you liked looking at National Geographic as a child and/or enjoy recreational substances. (I’m not being disdainful here; I definitely do not enjoy things as much as I used to before I started my studies.) I hope to see Seven Psychopaths on some form of screen in the coming months.

Other news: the full City Council agenda should be coming out this week for next week’s meeting (YESSS FINALLY DEAR ODIN); all other aspects of my life involve me throwing things at the metaphorical (and literal) wall to see what will stick. This includes shopping for Christmas presents, which I have to make, buy, or otherwise acquire 15 so far this year. Unfortunately when I start doing Christmas shopping usually what I end up doing is buying things for myself, since I always know I’ll like whatever it is.