9.30.2009

No Hamilton Coyotes For Now

The judge has ruled in the case of the NHL hating Canada and not wanting it to have more teams. The verdict: nope to Balsillie and a 'seriously, that sucks, please try again' to the NHL (TSN).

Snottiness aside it's probably the right ruling. I wouldn't want a crazy owner doing whatever he wanted in my league. That could work against Canadian franchises just as easily as for.

It's good that the NHL's "screw Wayne Gretzky and that other guy" bid was tossed out, though. That was ridiculous.

Here's Your Municipal Election

A few more names made it in right at the end: Katherine Gagne will run in Subdivision 6, Donna Standingready will run for council in Ward 8, while Frank Fiacco and John Stevenson will run for spots on the Separate School Board.

And with that, the nominations are now closed and this is what the election is going to look like. (* indicates the incumbent)

MAYOR
Pat Fiacco*, Jim Elliott, Linda AM White

CITY COUNCIL
Ward 1: Louis Browne*, Shawn Kuster, Andy Asherbranner
Ward 2: Jocelyn Hutchinson*, Heather McIntyre
Ward 3: Fred Clipsham*, Don Young, Shirley Dixon, John Conway
Ward 4: Michael Fougere*
Ward 5: Bill Gray*, John Findura
Ward 6: Wade Murray*, Brenda Mercer
Ward 7: Sharon Bryce*, Danny Berehula
Ward 8: Michael O'Donnell*, Donna Standingready
Ward 9: Terry Hincks*
Ward 10: Jerry Flegel*, Chris Szarka, Michael J Cassano

PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD
Subdivision 1: Timothy Stobbs
Subdivision 2: Barbara Young*, April Bourgeois
Subdivision 3: Dale West*, Dr. Shauneen Pete, Larry Davis
Subdivision 4: Cindy Anderson, Frederick Rackow, Chad Blenkin
Subdivision 5: Carla Beck
Subdivision 6: Debra Conlin, Don Wren, Katherine Gagne
Subdivision 7: Angela Fraser

SEPARATE SCHOOL BOARD
Gerald Kleisinger*, Rick Turchenek*, Robert Bresciani*, Bert Yakichuk, Vicky Bonnell*, Jim Graham, Donna Ziegler*, Jerry Adams*, John Stevenson, Frank Fiacco

Congratulations to Councillors Michael Fougere and Terry Hincks who are running unopposed (in Wards 4 and 9 respectively) and get to take this election off. Same goes for Timothy Stobbs in Public School Board Subdivision 1, Carla Beck in Subdivision 5 and Angela Fraser in Subdivision 7.

The municipal election will be held October 28.

Three-Way Race for Mayor

This just in from Twitter: Linda A.M. White will be running for mayor against Pat Fiacco and Jim Elliott.

More Candidates Enter Election Race

Four minutes to go until the election office stops taking nomination papers and few more people have declared their candidacy.

Andy Asherbranner will be running in Ward 1. This will be a three-way race between Asherbranner, Shawn Kuster and incumbent Louis Browne.

Over on the separate school board side, Donna Ziegler, Jerry Adams and Jim Graham have submitted their nomination papers.

In Public School Board Subdivision 4,
Chad Blenkin will be running for the trustee spot against Frederick Rackow and Cindy Anderson

Late to the party, eh?

Notice to CBC Saskatchewan's newsrooms: (CBC Saskatchewan)

Way ahead of ya. (Planet S)

They let anyone into the business, these days

Things aren't going that well for Sarah Palin on the lecture circut these days because she's a blithering idiot (Mother Jones). Well, that hasn't stopped some people (CJME). Me, I think it's sexism.

More Competition for Flegel and Szarka

Michael J. Cassano has announced he'll be running in Ward 10. He'll be up against incumbent Jerry Flegel and Roughrider Chris Szarka. In less than 24 hours, this has become one of the wards to watch.

Four in the Afternoon

Man, the phone just would not stop ringing this morning then I had to bundle my daughter off to a "Kids Music and Motion" class at the Neil Balkwill Centre. That's why you're getting another late and truncated dose of headlines....

1. NOMINATION DEADLINE LOOMS: These are the last few hours for people to submit nomination papers to run in Regina's municipal election on October 28. At 4:01, we'll know who's running and who's won by acclamation. Keep an eye on the city's election Twitter feed to find out who the final candidates are. (the Twitter)

2. CANADIAN SOLDIER GETS FOUR YEARS FOR KILLING FRIEND: Cpl Matthew Wilcox was sentenced to four years in prison and was dismissed from the military for accidentally killing -- during a game of "quickdraw" -- his tentmate in Afghanistan. (CBC)

3. SASKATCHEWAN POPULATION NEARS ALL-TIME HIGH: We're 1,030,129 people strong. Only need 3,000 more to top the all time high in 1987. (CBC)

4. ECONOMY GETS A FLAT: Throwing into question reports of a recovery, numbers from July indicate the Canadian economy failed to grow. (Globe and Mail)

And to top it all off, he did sing 'If I had a Rocket Launcher ...'

Bruce Cockburn recently went to visit his brother, who's a doctor with the Canadian Armed Forces expeditionary force in Afghanistan. He also entertained troops at a forward operating base there. (cbc.ca) The folk festival crowd at Rabble (rabble.ca) aren't impressed.

In Defence Of Anime

I don't know nuttin' about Evangelion 1.0 but I do know that, like any genre, anime has its good points and its bad points.

Here's one of anime's good points. Just to make a point.



Today's Evangelion ticket giveaway is at Comic Readers downtown from 12-1:00. More info here.

My pissy, defensive relex aside, Vanda's Max Fleisher/Cab Calloway cartoon is mind-blowing. You should all watch it. Haven't had a chance to watch her second vid but if it's as good as the first, whooof! Yay Vanda!

Mandryk, Condensed

Let's bash Micheal Ignatieff for picking an out-of-control wingnut as his Quebec lieutenant. And while we're at it, let's blast him for the coalition agreement with the separatists and socialists, something Iggy disavowed. And we'll talk about how lucky Stephen Harper is ... especially the fact that the same Harper who criticized the coalition has to depend on the same coalition partners to remain in office. Oh wait, since that contradicts my whole argument, maybe I should leave that out? Ugh. (L-P)

An antidote to Anime

Did you miss out on the big Evangelian 1.0 ticket giveaway?  Don't dispair.  You can always sit at home and watch all kinds of animated brilliance on youtube like this: 



Or how about this:


Now, will someone please define "progress" for me?

Pick of the Day: Final Fantasy w/Timber Timbre

Final Fantasy a.k.a. Owen Pallett has performed in Regina a couple of times before. In 2008, in fact, he played the main stage at the Regina Folk Festival. Here's the video for the title track of his 2006 Polaris award winning album He Poos Clouds. (YouTube) As well, if you check out our Sept. 24 issue, you'll find an interview with him by Emily Zimmerman that serves as a preview of his gig tonight at the Exchange as part of the RFF's Concert Series.

Joining Pallett is another pseudonymous singer-songwriter Timber Timbre a.k.a. Taylor Kirk. He's signed to Arts & Crafts and has three albums to his credit -- Cedar Shakes (2006), Medicinals (2007) and Timber Timbre (2009). I believe he's making his first appearance in Regina. But don't be surprised if, following this show, you see him on the main stage at a future Regina Folk Festival. Here's him performing his song "Demon Host" off Timber Timbre (YouTube)

9.29.2009

Gray To Seek Re-Election in Ward 5

Apologies for knocking the Evangelion contest out of the top spot. I'll make this quick. Ward 5 councillor, Bill Gray, will be seeking a ninth term. He'll be up against John Findura.

Free Stuff: Passes to Evangelion:1.0



Do you like this Japanese anime and film stuff with apocalyptic themes and, like that?

Wanna win tickets to Evangelion: 1.0?

We’ve got five pairs of passes to giveaway to this two-day only showing at Galaxy Cinemas tomorrow Wed Sept 30th at 7pm and Sat, Oct 3rd at 10am

Just go to Comic Readers (Downtown location only- 2000 12th Ave) between 12pm-1pm tomorrow Wednesday, Sept. 30th

First five people to ask for them will receive a free pair of passes to Evangelion: 1.0. Passes are good for either Wednesday night or Saturday morning screening at Galaxy Cinemas.

I have no idea what this is but it sure looks cool? Rock on dog bloggers.

Szarka Runs In Ward 10

This came through the Twitter just as I was posting the last post: Chris Szarka has submitted papers to run in Ward 10 against incumbent Jerry Flegel.

Hang on a sec... Google is telling me there's some sort of "sporting personality" who is also named Chris Szarka.

... and just spoke to someone at the election office who says she's pretty sure that this Chris Szarka is indeed the
Chris Szarka of Saskatchewan Roughriders' fame. But, like me, she doesn't follow the football, so we'll have to wait until he either sends out a press release or his bio goes up on the city's website for better confirmation than this.

You did know that the city is posting candidate bios didn't you? No? Well, there's no reason you should have unless you were compulsively checking the election Twitter. Anyway, you can find bios for the candidates for mayor here. Candidates for council are here. Candidates for public school board are here. And candidates for separate school board are here.

UPDATE (8:20pm): No surprise, really, but the bios were updated on the city's website and sure enough, it's Chris Szarka of the Roughriders who's running in Ward 10.

More School Board Nominees...

... on the public side this time. Frederick Rackow has declared in Subdivision 4 where he'll be running against Cindy Anderson. Meanwhile, April Bourgeois has submitted papers to run in Subdivision 2 against incumbent and current board chair Barbara Young.

Separate School Board Candidates Aplenty

I was starting to worry that the separate school board was going to be understaffed board-wise as I'd only noticed two candidates come forward. But three new nominees have announced their intentions to run: Vicky Bonnell, Bert Yakichuk and Robert Bresciani. I say new, but Bonnell and Bresciani are the current board's deputy chair and chair respectively. So, Bert Yakichuk is the only new name in that list.

Rosie LaRose’s Top Six This Windy Day

1 POWER SHIFT The Jurist takes a look at some bizarre – on the surface – moves involving SaskPower. (Accidental Deliberations)

2 NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME Denis Coderre quits as the Liberals Quebec consigliore, leaving behind a trail of bad karma. Iggy may be happy that he's not going to the polls after all. (Canadian Press)

3 AMERICANS AFRAID OF HEALTH CARE When I wrote my prairie dog/Planet S story about American health care, I had some hopes for Obama's plan, but now I don't. Woodrow Lloyd (who was mandated to bring in medicare after the 1960 provincial election, when Douglas went to lead the federal NDP) wasn't the greatest Saskatchewan premier, and Allan Blakeney (health minister at the time, premier from 1971 to 1982) always struck me as a man more at home with the theoretical than the practical. But at least they had the brains to understand when the opposition was bargaining in bad faith, and the guts to do, as Nellie McClung said, to "never complain, never explain, just get the thing done and let them howl." Instead, the Democratic Party seems to be letting the opposition dictate the terms. Not exactly acting from a position of strength. Someone should remind him who won the 2008 presidential election (Crooks and Liars)

4 WAR ON CRIMINALS? RIIIIIGHT … The Vanity Press does a pretty good job of deconstructing Peter Van Loan's complaint that we can't just lock up everyone who scares him. (The Vanity Press)

5 SPEAKING OF WHICH Sounds like it's going to be another week of stonewalling regarding the Regina Police Service's investigative capabilities, or lack thereof. (Leader-Post)

6 PALIN'S MEMOIR SET FOR EARLY RELEASE As the Royal Canadian Air Farce said when Margaret Trudeau released her autobiography, it's amazing that someone can write more books than she's read. (CBC)

Pick of the Day: Zeus w/ Brett Dolter

I suppose it takes a certain amount of hubris to name your band after the penultimate deity in the pantheon of classic Greek gods. Especially when you hail from the Canadian equivalent of Mount Olympus -- at least in the minds of those who live there, anyway. Toronto.


Led by long-time friends Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson, Zeus began as the backup band for former Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett before striking out on their own. In June, they released the EP Sounds of Zeus, then followed that up with a month-long residency at the Dakota Tavern in July where they performed every Wednesday with various Toronto bands and musicians. Here's video of Zeus doing their song Heavy On Me during one of those gigs. (YouTube)

Backing up Zeus during tonight's show at the Exchange will be Regina eco-activist musician Brett Dolter.

9.28.2009

Free Stuff: Final Fantasy tickets

Hey dog blog fans, Twitter followers and yes even you brand new Facebook fans. We've got a sweet sweet contest here for you. What is it? A pair of tickets to the Final Fantasy show this Wednesday Sept.30th at the Exchange. Timber Timbre opens. What do you have to do? Just tell us the name of the artist who tours as Final Fantasy. Send an e-mail with your answer to contests@prairiedogmag.com with "Final Fantasy" in the subject line by 4 p.m. tommorrow Tuesday, Sept. 29th. A random draw of all correct answers will determine the lucky winner.

Thanks to our good friends at the Regina Folk Festival for the tix!

Stobbs Declares in Subdivision 1

According to the city's Twitter feed, Timothy Stobbs submitted his nomination papers to run for Public School Board Trustee in Subdivision 1. That subdivision is currently represented by Russ Marchuk.

And, a note to anyone else out there who's considering a run for public office this year.... Time's a-wastin'! The Election Office will only accept nomination papers until 4pm, Wednesday, September 30. (The Elections Office is at 1330 Winnipeg Street, 751-4479.)

Cool-Lookin' Poster Documentary

Prairie dog's designer Alex apparently doesn't want the next issue to get to the printer on time. Why else would he be sending me distracting links to movie trailers for neat-looking documentaries on rock and roll posters? Links I would have to watch RIGHT NOW, then do a blog post about?

What a dumb troublemaker.

The film is American Artifact and like I said, it's a documentary about rock concert posters and the artists who make them. It's the same idea as a doc I blogged about earlier this year called Died Young, Stayed Pretty--but this looks heavier on illustrated posters and less on text- and design-intensive work, like the poster by Nashville's Hatch Show Print. (who are great; see more work here.)

It also looks a little slicker overall. But the important thing is there's an Art Chantry interview so it's a must-see for fans of this stuff.

Here's the trailer!


And the film's website is here.

Six In The Morning

1 IRAN'S DOUCHEBAG NUKE MOVE What a shitty past few days it's been for what's supposed to be the coolest middle-eastern country around. First it's revealed that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program. Now, the country's testing long-range missiles. Not surprisingly, the United States is talking sanctions. Oh, and for bonus fun here's the story of an Iranian prisoner who says he was tortured and raped by guards. (New York Times)

It's almost like the belligerant and illegitimate (see: this summer's stolen election) leadership is willing to risk a regional war because that'll keep the democracy rioters in line. Plus it's a big "eff-you!" to the U.N., which largely shunned President (or should that be "President"?) Ahmadinejad last week. (CBC)

2 CUTTING YOUR POWER (BILL) SaskEnergy is expected to announce a rate reduction today. Good? Yes? (Leader-Post)

3 EMERY INTO EXILE A colourful, convicted Canadian pot merchant is off to an American gulag because his own stupid country won't let him serve the sentence here. Jeez. Remind me again, how does marijuana being illegal help anyone, anywhere?

4 WHAT'S UP AT SASKTEL? Conflict of interest investigation? Who what where now? Harrunk? (Leader-Post)

5 FREE THE RAPIST For whatever stupid reason, France and Poland are leaping to defend of genius filmmaker and evil sexual assaulter Roman Polanski. Dog Blog says do the time, you jerk. (Guardian)

6 TOURIST DEATH TRAP? Two Canadians have apparently been murdered in Mexico. (Toronto Star)

This Week At City Hall

Wednesday, September 30
Executive Committee (11:45 am): A quiet week at city hall as the Executive Committee is the only committee meeting but there are no items on the public agenda.

Pick of the Day: Talkin' About School & Society


In the last few years, the University of Regina has started several public discussion/lecture series situated in non-academic settings to maximize their availability and appeal for Reginans outside of the university community. In addition to hopefully elevating the general level of intellectual discourse in the city, they're good public relations for the university. People in broader society are sometimes skeptical about the value of post-secondary institutions, regarding them as ivory towers where little that's relevant to everyday life is taught/researched.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. But by hosting public lectures and discussions the university is able to demonstrate its relevance. The Faculty of the Arts was first out of the gate with its popular Coffeehouse Controversies which are held at Chapters. Since then, the Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Education have both launched lecture series at Connaught Library and LaBodega Restaurant respectively.

Tonight at 7 p.m. the Faculty of Education launches its 2009-10 program Talkin' About School & Society with a discussion on Youth, Gangs, Dropouts & Racism. It's a problem that definitely carries a high cost, both on an individual and societal level. I'll be doing a news article on it for our Oct. 8 issue. So stay tuned.

9.27.2009

Pick of the Day: Moon

I think I could handle being alone in space for three years. Especially if my isolation was guaranteed to end at that point, and I had plenty of interesting things to do in the interim, which I presumably would, being that I was in freaking space.

That's the situation facing Sam Rockwell's character in this movie. He's been dispatched to the moon on a three-year assignment by Korean-based Lunar Industries to extract helium-3 for much-needed power generation back home (via fusion, I guess). Things go well for most of his stay, but as his date of departure looms he finds himself doubting his sanity when he begins to experience hallucinations aboard the station.

Leaving aside for a moment the premise -- what 21st century corporation would be allowed to dispatch a person to work alone for three years on the moon with only a robot for company? -- this flick is supposed to be pretty good.

If I was put in Rockwell's shoes, I'd like to think I'd be up to the challenge. Still, outer space is a daunting environment. I remember reading that when the U.S. was first launching astronauts solo into space during the Mercury program in the early '60s, one mused to ground control as he whizzed repeatedly around Earth that if NASA recruited an astronaut without any legs it'd be able to cram even more equipment into the already jam-packed capsule. So space does fuck with your head.

Here's the trailer for Moon (YouTube). It plays tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m.

9.26.2009

ANARCHY IN THE NHL

Nope, nothing about the Coyotes' sell off. This week's G20 conference in Pittsburgh brought out the usual protesters against the capitalist system ... and Penguins fans? (PuckDaddy)

Saturday Morning Cartoon

It's time for some monkey business.

After five movies and a short lived live action TV show, the Planet of the Apes franchise made it's way to a short lived cartoon in 1975.

The story involves a group of astronauts flung into the future and trapped on - that's right - The Planet of the Apes!



The animation was crude but the backgrounds were detailed and the overall feel of the show was kind of creepy for a Saturday morning cartoon.

Pick of the Day: Beethoven Septet

Each season, the Regina Symphony Orchestra does a main concert series at the Conexus Arts Centre. Smaller groups of RSO musicians also perform chamber concerts at Government House. I've never been to one. But I imagine it would be interesting. Entering Government House is kind of like stepping back to the late 19th century. Classical music has that vibe too.

But this isn't 1891 (when construction of Government House was actually completed). It's 2009. Society's more laid back now. It's not like you're expected to show up in formal dress and bow/curtsey to your social superiors while tweaking your waxed mustache/surreptitiously adjusting your corset. Rather, you're free to be yourselves (within certain limits, of course).

This RSO gig at Government House features works by Beethoven, Sebileus and Krommer. It's being held tonight at 8 p.m., and again tomorrow at 3 p.m. To whet your appetite, here's a young Dudley Moore doing a Beethoven sonota parody. (YouTube)

9.25.2009

Friday Afternoon Kitty!

Maru the cat who loves cardboard is a Yootoob all-star. I've posted a couple of Maru vids before, here and here. This third one was located by Awesome Co-worker Blaine after I staggered in at 11:00 with the sniffles and staggering amounts of self-pity, and no ideas for today's kitty (hey that rhymed!).



Thanks Blaine!

Don Wren Declares in Subdivision 6

Contrary to a post (I made) from a little while ago, Don Wren declared his nomination for trustee in Subdivision 6. Not 7. I misread that. Subdivision 6. Thanks to Barb for catching me out.

Save Our Insurers



What's really funny is the article I found this in -- worth a read (Insurance News Net). Among other things, INN calls the video "witty but ineffective" and, without a trace of irony, object to the actors' lack of irony in presenting the skit, because they're all rich enough to afford healthcare.
Rich actors. That's a good one. Note the random university student sources too. That Will Ferrell's so darned mean.

Also thanks to The Current which broadcasted the audio this morning. God bless The Current.

Pick of the Day: Apocalyptic Discourse in the White House

Dr. Ira Chernus hails from the University of Colorado. He was orginally supposed to deliver today's lecture at the university (RIC 119, 3:30 p.m.) last March, but he got snowed in somewhere and couldn't make it.

The George W. Bush White House, as most Canadians know, was full of right-wing loons who either fervantly believed in all sorts of apocalyptic Christian fundamentalist claptrap, or else were ruthless enough to exploit this truly scary undercurrent in American society for political gain. Thank God they're no longer in power, right?
Well ... yeah, I guess. But the full title of Chernus's lecture is Apocalyptic Discourse in the White House: FDR to Obama. That suggests that threads of that way of thinking cross party lines and are deeply embedded in American political culture. And the impact it has, worldwide, is considerable.

Take the U.S's blinkered support for Israel. It's driven, in part, by a fanatical belief in the southern Bible Belt that before Jesus can return to Earth and the Rapture occur, in which the righteous will ascend to Heaven and the sinful will rot in Hell or whatever, Israel must be restored to its Biblical glory. Each year, the U.S. provides Israel with billions in military aid to protect itself from Arab aggression. One tactic that Israel has adopted to secure its presence in the Middle East is to establish settlements in the Palestinian-held West Bank and Gaza Strip. The irony is exquisite. Unless Jews see the light and convert when Jesus returns, they're destined, in the minds of hardcore U.S. Christians, to burn in hell along with all the other heathens. But until then, they're invaluable allies.

Because of the mythology that has built up around their country -- inspired, in no small part, by fundamentalist religion -- Americans truly believe they are divinely ordained to lead the rest of the world. In his talk, Chernus will hopefully shed some light on how this discourse infected American politics, and what can be done to eliminate its pernicious influence. Definitely worth checking out.

9.24.2009

Rock the House just a little bit more

A few more pics to accompany Gregory Beatty's
article "Rock the House" in the current issue.

Pictured are The Wooden Sky and Matt Goud

Photography by Carey Shaw

Regina Election Update

Shawn Kuster has declared his intention to run against Louis Browne in Ward 1. I'm just pulling this information off the Election Twitter feed so I've no details on who Kuster is, but I'm wondering if he's the same Shawn Kuster who's a strength and conditioning coach for the UofR Rams.

Also,
Debra Conlin has submitted nomination papers and will be running for trustee in Subdivision 6.

New Dog!

Hello hello, and how are you? Well, I hope? Enjoying the weather? Keeping healthy? I hope so. Say--what about a new issue of prairie dog? There's one out today! And as usual, it's packed with interesting things to read. Here's an overview!

THE DOCTOR WARS Last month I was sitting in a bar with good friend and prairie dog restaurant reviewer Dave Margoshes, who pointed out that some publication needed to run a story comparing the Saskatchewan doctor's strike of 1962 to the ongoing U.S. mental meltdown over health care. This was probably around the time that Arizona asshole walked around in public with an assault rifle to to imtimidate health care supporters. Well, if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself. Dave's feature, a must-read, is our cover story this issue.

ROCK MY HOUSE Gregory Beatty infiltrates a house party where the entertainment is top notch--awesome, touring band The Wooden Sky and excellent local band Libray Voices (AKA a sure-fire 2011 Polaris prize nominee, you just wait and see, buddy).

FREE THE PANHANDLERS Regina needs to stop fining beggars for begging, says the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. I agree 8000 per cent.

ALSO! An interview with Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett, CD reviews, News Quirks, Queen City Confidential, Ask Greg, an update on Regina's now-official Downtown Plan, Street Wear, several wildlyentertaining Top 6s, a look at the fabric art show at the Art Gallery of Regina, and basically a whole ton of other stuff. Pick it up free at something like 400 locations city-wide.

Six In The Morning

1 BECAUSE IT'S WORKED SO WELL FOR AMERICA The Conservatives want to convert Canada's prison system to a U.S.-style, punishment-based model. But smarter people than our angry, ideologiocally-blinkered PM say it's stupid, stupid, stupid idea. (CBC)

2 NUKE RESOLVE The United Nations talks sorta tough about countries who want nuclear weapons. They mean countries like Iran and North Korea, not countries like Russia, the United States and Britain., of course. (New York Times)

3 POLYGAMY PROTECTED Tow Canadian polygamists in British Columbia had charges against them tossed out yesterday. Which is a problem if, in fact, they're running brainwashing sex cults as some have alleged. (Wanted: legal framework to differentiate adults--who should be allowed to make make their own decisions about life, love and partnership--from exploitive cults.) (Toronto Star)

4 BIG HIV BREAKTHROUGH Go science! (Guardian)

5 UNBELIEVABLY SELF-SERVING MARKETING GIMMICK A HUGE SUCCESS Look, I support daily newspapers and all, but, ugh. (Star Phoenix)

6 PUBLIC NEEDS TO CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY City elections are important, says prof. Know what? Prof is right. (Leader-Post)

A Contender for Mayor Steps into the Ring

Just found out via the city election Twitter feed that Jim Elliott has submitted nomination papers for mayor. Elliott, as some may remember, was voted prairie dog reader's Eco-Warrior for 2008.

In other election news, the Leader Post is reporting that John Findura, a water heater technician and community organizer, will run for council in Ward 5. That's Bill Gray's ward and still no word from the veteran councillor if he will run again.

Pick of the Day: Val Halla

In the last few years, a number of stylish new coffeeshops have opened in downtown Regina. They're okay, I guess. But none of them has the character and charm that the downtown Roca Jacks had in its heyday. With its expansive second floor, far removed from the noisy espresso machine and the chatter of the coffee break crowd, and with a balcony overlooking Victoria Park, it was a perfect place for me to conduct interviews with authors, curators, artists and other creative/intellectual types that I was writing on.

I started going there in the mid-90s. And over the years, especially after I got a laptop in 2001, I did a lot of work there. People from all walks of life used to frequent the shop, and hang out there. It was uber-hip. Uber-cool. With a great summer patio. And a real arty, egalitarian vibe.

Over the years, plenty of young people worked there as baristas. Near the end, Valerie McLeod joined the staff. In the time she was there, I had occasion to chat with her about various gigs that were happening in the city. Later, she moved to Vancouver and embarked on a music career of her own. In 2006, she released a self-titled CD. In Regina last year, she collaborated with Def 3 on a track from his CD Drumbo.

While she considers herself a rock artist, Val recently spent some time in Nashville. "I went to Nashville to learn from some of the best songwriters in the industry," she says. "Not only has my writing improved, but so has my guitar playing & singing. There's nothing like being the rookie in a city of veterans to make one step up their game!"

If you check out her show at O'Hanlon's Pub tonight, here's a taste of what you'll experience. (YouTube)

9.23.2009

Six At Night

1. OBAMA ROCKS THE UN: At home, he's starting to seem a little gutless. But his speech at the UN -- which called for more cooperation between nations -- was a big hit. (Guardian)

2. CANADA SAYS NO TO LIMITS ON BANKERS' BONUSES: While the G20 nations are working out ways to limit executive bonuses in the banking sector, it looks like Finance Minister Flaherty is prepping to break ranks and leave bonuses in Canada's banking sector untouched. (Progressive Economics Forum)

3. YOUR STUFF IS SAFER... YOU? NOT SO MUCH: Crime stats in Regina from January to August show property crime has gone down a fair bit over last year, but crimes against people are up a smidge. (Leader Post)

4. CANADA BOYCOTTS IRANIAN SPEECH: The Canadian delegation to the UN participated in a walk out of a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (CBC)

5. UNION DENIES HELLS ANGELS LINK: The head of a Quebec construction union denies allegations the Hells Angels bike gang were involved in his election. (CBC)

6. UWE BOLL FILM MAY NOT SUCK: His movies are so utterly horrid -- and not in that funny-good-bad way -- I find it somehow newsworthy that an early review of Uwe Boll's film Rampage is a good review. A very good review. (film.com)

Pick of the Day: Blow Your House In

I interviewed Australian artist Vernon Ah Kee when he was in town for a month-long residency at the MacKenzie Gallery in early September. As I noted in an article that ran in our Sept. 10 issue, I got a quick look at the central portrait, but didn't see any of the 50 other smaller-scale drawings that he was doing for this exhibition -- which is on display at the gallery until Jan. 3.

For generations of Canadians in search of adventure, Australia has been the destination of choice. Exotic, yet civilized. Friendly, prosperous, and sub-tropical, just like us (except for the sub-tropical part). And to top it all off, we share a common heritage as part of the British Commonwealth.

But while similarities exist between Canada and Australia, we are not identical. In its region, Australia is a dominant power. Canada, meanwhile, shares a border with you know who. Indeed, in conversations I've had with people familiar with Australia and its much smaller neighbour New Zealand, the comparison's been made that as New Zealand is to Australia, Canada is to the U.S. Which maybe helps explain some of what Ah Kee and I talked about.

As brutally as Canada has treated its First Nations and Metis people since colonization began in the 17th century, he said, we're regular Ghandis compared to the Aussies and their treatment of aboriginal people. In this show, Ah Kee doesn't huff and puff, but he does present dozens of drawings and text works that challenge the oh-so-comfy perception that most Canadians have of Australia -- and of themselves in relation to aboriginal people here, for that matter.

Definitely worth a look. And today would be as good a day as any.

9.22.2009

City Tweeting the Election

Recently, a hawk-eyed dog-blog reader pointed out that, contrary to my earlier claim, Ward 3 is not the only contested ward in the municipal election. I concede, I blogged too hastily, my information was grotesquely out of date.

Anyway, in the course of actually doing some research on the field of candidates as opposed to just typing from out my ass, I discovered that city hall is posting via "The Twitter" up-to-the-minute info on who has officially declared their intention to run for council or school board.

I'm signed up and checking it obsessively. Huzzah! First worthwhile thing I've seen "The Twitter" used for.

For my own edification more than anything, here's how things are breaking down at 8:42pm September 22 (asterisks on the incumbents)....

PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD
Subdivision 2: Barbara Young*
Subdivision 3: Dale West*, Dr. Shauneen Pete, Larry Davis
Subdivision 4: Cindy Anderson
Subdivision 5: Carla Beck
Subdivision 7: Angela Fraser

SEPARATE SCHOOL BOARD
Gerald Kleisinger*, Rick Turchenek*

CITY COUNCIL
Ward 1:
Louis Browne*
Ward 2:
Jocelyn Hutchinson*, Heather McIntyre
Ward 3: Fred Clipsham*, Don Young, Shirley Dixon, John Conway
Ward 4: Michael Fougere*
Ward 6: Wade Murray*, Brenda Mercer
Ward 7: Sharon Bryce*, Danny Berehula
Ward 8: Michael O'Donnell*
Ward 9: Terry Hincks*
Ward 10: Jerry Flegel*

MAYOR
Pat Fiacco*


For the record, this list includes everyone who has filed their nomination papers as well as those who have declared their intention to run to the media. It's (very) possible that I've missed some nugget of information out there so if you notice I've overlooked someone, please, let me know in the comments or via the e-mail.

Anyway, things worth noting on the city council front, seems there's no word from Ward 5 councillor Bill Gray on if he's planning to run again.

Over in the public school board race, no word (that I'm aware of) from subdivision 1 trustee Russ Marchuk, subdivision 4 trustee Rhonda Parisian, subdivision 6 trustee Barb Saylor, and subdivision 7 trustee Garry Schenher. In the separate school race, no word from trustees Paul Malone, Donna Ziegler, Jerry Adams, nor from board chair Robert Bresciani and deputy chair Vicky Bonnell.

UPDATE: Thanks to dogblog reader Laura who guided me to a post by dogblogger Stephen LaRose (I swear I read it when it went up I just... forgot, honest), I've added Heather McIntyre to Ward 2.

Yeee-Ikes Things Are Getting Weird Down There

According to a survey by Public Policy Polling, 18 per cent of New Jersey conservatives believe that Barrack Obama is the Antichrist. Even creepier is that 17 per cent are on the fence. In New Jersey.

Brrrr.

Pick of the Day: The Age of Stupid

I blogged about tonight's screening of this movie at the university (RIC 119, 7:30 p.m.) last week. I have a smidgen of understanding about how some people could be persuaded that global warming isn't as big a problem as its being made out to be. And there are a lot of skeptics out there. Oct. 7, in fact, some Lord Viscount guy who was once science advisor to British PM Margaret Thatcher (which Rosie equated in an e-mail to being the rehab counsellor for Amy Winehouse) is speaking in town on the subject Apocalypse Cancelled. His talk is being sponsored by the extreme right-wing Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and is intended to “broaden debate” on global warming.

Climate change is a complex subject. There are climate cycles that operate on the scale of months, decades and even millenia. You can't make definitive predictions based on trends over the past 20 years or so.
But two things I know for sure.

Never, in the 4.5 billion year history of Earth, has a species like humanity existed. Not only are we extremely numerous (6.6 billion and counting), we also possess massive technological resources and are easily capable of effecting change on a scale and at a rate that Earth's natural control mechanisms simply can't cope with.

Second, if we wait until we have incontrovertible proof of climate change, it will be too late. Like a snowball rolling down hill, once underway, the various processes fueling global warming will cascade, and quickly spiral out of control.

At present, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that climate change does pose a significant threat to Earth. If people in the West in particular made even a modest effort, it would be so easy to reduce our carbon footprint and other negative impacts that we are currently having on the environment. Sustainability is what it's all about.
Tuesday is production day for prairie dog, so I won't be at this screening. But I hope lots of others take the opportunity to go.

9.21.2009

NDP Sweeps By-elections

Regina Douglas Park candidate Dwain Lingenfelter's back at the marble palace (representing ME!?!) and Saskatoon Riversdale elects a young, progressive and dynamic candidate in Danielle Chartier. Details here. (CBC). This result comes as a huge surprise to...no one.

Fucked Up wins 2009 Polaris Music Prize

I guess the judges wanted to stick it to family newspapers, because Fucked Up, who are this year's Polaris prize winner, have a name a lot of publications wouldn't print. The band won for their album The Chemistry of Common Life.

One interesting thing about Fucked Up: lead singer Damien Abraham was invited to become a recurring guest on Fox News' show Red Eye as the friendly, hardcore, lefty Canadian. Story's here (CBC). I have no idea how often he's been on Red Eye because I don't watch Fox beyond Youtube clips (and The Simpsons and Family Guy).

Anyway, here's some Fucked Up!

Note To Self: Vote

Oh yeah, those Provincial by-elections are today. I should vote. You should too, if you're in the Regina Douglas Park riding. Here's a link to Elections Saskatchewan for a bunch of info you might need. If you're confused about where to vote, call 787-0222.

Polls are open until 8:00 p.m.

Things To Pay Attention To Tonight Dept: Polaris Prize

The merit-based, critic-voted Polaris music prize will be handed out tonight. Here's the Polaris Prize website. Here are this year's nominees. Worth paying attention to, partly becasue a.) this is all great music and b.) two of the nominees, Elliot Brood (October 1) and Chad VanGaalen (October 8) will be through town soon. Oh, and past winner, Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) will be here Sept. 30.

Never fear ... here's Stephen LaRose's Top Six

1. DO WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW THAT? Thanks to the blog of former L-P reporter/NTR John Gormley producer Tyler McMurchy (Tyler Has Nothing to Say), I present to you Texts From Last Night, the accumulation of text message from people bragging /ashamed of what they're about to do. Hint: it usually involves drugs, booze, sex university students and stupidity. The 306 area code sction could use a little work (Texts From Last Night -- NSFW)

2. ALL THE NEWS WE MAKE FIT A Fox News Network producer is shown cheerleading for crowd of anti-government protectors at in Washington, to jazz up a news story. (Huffington Post)

3. I GOT NOTHIN' Red Tory. Go. Read. (Red Tory)

4. MULRONEY VS. HARPER They may be Liberal party bloggers, but both Impolitical (Impolitical) and A BCer in Toronto (A BCer in Toronto) think there may be a split between Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper over President Obama''s health care plans.

5. YEAH WELL, YOU DYING ISN'T A CONCERN TO STEPHEN HARPER BUT KEEPING HIS JOB IS The federal government was spending up to five times as much on an advertising campaign promoting its economic agenda than its anti-swine flu campaign (Canadian Press), the Harper government announced that they were going to spend more money on a public information campagin. Yeah. Sure. That it was just coincidence. And the dog ate Stephen Harper's homework. (impolitical)

6. HOCKEY NIGHT IN REGINA If you are one of those who can't afford, or couldn't get, tickets to tonight's Ottawa Senators-Tampa Bay Lightning game at the Brandt Centre, you might be out of luck looking for local coverage, as there's no local radio broadcast. Well, here's the websites for the Lightning broadcast (WDAE) and the Senators (Team1200).


Municipal Election Nominations Start Today

People wanting to run for city council or school board have from September 21 (today) through to September 30 to send in their nominations.

So if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a councillor or a school trustee -- or even mayor -- go to the nominations page on the city website (here) to find out how.

In related news, prairie-dog readers' favourite city councillor for 2008, Fred Clipsham, announced that he will run for another term as Ward 3's representative on city council. He'll be up against U of R professor and prairie dog columnist-on-political-hiatus John Conway. As far as I know, so far this is the only contested ward in the city.

This Week at City Hall


Monday, September 21
Crime Prevention Advisory Committee (12:15 pm): As part of a program started in 2008 to develop an evidence-based approach to crime prevention, the committee will be looking at a report from the Institute for the Prevention of Crime. There will also be a presentation of gang activity and they will be going over the mid-year crime statistics.
City Council (5:30 pm): Though there's no mention of it in the agenda, the big news items will be the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan and the plan to build a condo/hotel building on the site of the Plains. And there's a long list of items on top of that such as a proposed daycare at 1801 Toronto St, special events funding requests, and a proposed propane storage and handling facility.

Tuesday, September 22
Community Services Advisory Committee (5:30 pm): Deciding which members will attend the Canadian Urban Transit Association Fall Conference.

Wednesday, September 23
Board of Police Commissioners (9:00 am): Looking at mid-year crime stats and at year-to-year stats for July. Crimes against people in July 2009 were up 2.9 per cent over July 2008 while crimes against property were down 16.9 per cent.

Not Six In The Morning: Glenn Beck Edition

I just don't have time to post the usual morning news run-down today, so instead, here's a link to what is probably a good (I don't have time to read it!) feature on Fox News lunatic Glenn Beck. (Salon)

It's the best thing I have right now. Apologies.

Pick of the Day: Lightning vs Senators

I guess tonight's NHL pre-season game at Brandt Centre between the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning would be worth seeing. Rosie's doing an article on the upcoming NHL season, and some of the challenges the league faces, for our Sept. 24 issue, and was supposed to secure press access to the game. Whether he did or not, I don't know.


As I've opined before in the pages of prairie dog hockey really needs to shorten its season. Played with the requisite skill and intensity, it's a compelling sport. But you can't expect teams to sustain that competitive fire game after game during a season that regularly stretches from mid-September to early June. Tens of thousands of kilometres of travel, multiple time zone shifts, nagging injuries and illnesses -- all conspire to make it difficult, if not impossible, for teams to put forth an honest effort every night. The end result, a sub-par product that turns off fans and, at the minor league level in particular, causes player burn-out.

Being as this is a rare opportunity for the NHL to showcase its product in Saskatchewan, I expect both Ottawa and Tampa Bay to ice quality line-ups. So as far as exhibition games go, it should be a pretty good tilt. Tampa has a young, mobile defence plus some top-notch forwards. Ottawa, meanwhile, will be looking to rebound after a disastrous 2008-09 campaign that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time since the 1995-96 season.



9.20.2009

Pick of the Day: Riders vs Eskimos

I mis-listed this damn game in the 14 Days section of our Sept. 10 issue. I have it happening yesterday, but it's really happening today. If the Riders beat the Eskimos, they'll seize sole possession of first place in the West at 7-4. That following Calgary's 24-17 loss to Hamilton in Steeltown on Friday which dropped the Stamps to 6-5. If Edmonton wins, all three teams will be tied at 6-5. Last time Saskatchewan and Edmonton met in late July the Riders gassed a 22-0 lead and ended up losing 38-33. It's a game the Riders would dearly love to have back. Following a 32-8 pasting at the hands of the Stamps on Labour Day the Esks fired offensive coordinator Rick Worman. In the rematch the next week in Edmonton, the offensive rebounded somewhat, but the Esks still lost 35-34. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, demolished the hapless Winnipeg Blue Bombers 55-10. Next week, the Riders and Esks hook up at Commonwealth Stadium. A victory today would give the Riders a chance to win the season series against Edmonton, plus position them comfortably for the stretch drive in a tightly-bunched CFL West . Whether it'll happen or not is anyone's guess. This year, the outcome of CFL games has been harder to predict than the market price of potash. But come kick-off at 2 p.m., Mosaic Stadium will definitely be rocking. Last game I attended was the 2008 pre-season opener. But I could see myself checking this out.

9.19.2009

Hilarious Media Smackdown at Values Voter Summit

Fair, and Unbalanced. Attendees at conservative christian rally go apeshit on MSNBC and Fox reporters.


Hat tips to Lisa Stretten.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

George Herriman's critically acclaimed Krazy Kat comic strip ran in newspapers from 1913 to 1944. The strip followed a bizarre love triangle between a cat of undetermined gender - the Krazy Kat of the strip - who was in love with Ignatz - a brick throwing mouse who hated Krazy Kat. Ignatz was constantly foiled by a protective police dog called Officer Bull Pup who was in love with Krazy Kat. And as early as 1916 there had been several animated cartoon versions of the cartoon out there.

The early 1916 cartoon's followed Herriman's strip fairly closely.



By the 1930's the characters looked and acted more like a certain popular mouse at the time.



These series of cartoons stopped by 1940. In 1962, a Czechoslovakian animation studio Rembrandt Films produced a new cartoon series for King Features that played on American TV. This series was once again closer to Herriman's original strips.



With over 100 animated cartoons made over the years not to mention the 30 years of strips printed in the newspapers - it's a shame that hardly anybody has ever heard of Krazy Kat.

9.18.2009

Pick of the Day: Obituary, Goatwhore, Krissium And More

Regina has a pretty strong metal scene. Saturday, there's a big blowout at Riddell Centre featuring Obituary (pictured), Goatwhore, Krissium, The Berzerker and Warbringer. Not to everyone'e taste, granted. But it's something I could see myself checking out.

Downtown Plan Update

I'm writing this while listening to a CD called Worser by the indie Canadian supergroup Duplex. It's just been released on Mint Records as a folow-up to 2006's Ablum, and I'm reviewing it for the Sept. 24 issue. I like it, even though it's aimed at "small people" a.k.a children. But because Vedda Hille, Geoff Berner and other indie stalwarts are behind it its uber-cool. There's a hard-rocking song about the noble gases (Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Radon), and another bouncy-tune called Orange Popsicle. So overall, pretty hip stuff.

Not hipster hip. Legitally hip.

Earlier today, I attended a 10:30 a.m. news conference at city hall where civic officials finally unveiled the long awaited Downtown Neighbourhood Plan. I'd picked up a hard-copy of the 260 page document (on-line version here) on Thursday. Skimming it last night, a sentence leapt out at me on page four of the Introduction. "Great places are not created by accident."

That got me thinking. Regina has just gone through a complex two year process involving input from numerous experts in multiple fields of urban planning and development. Some were paid by the city, hundreds of others volunteered their time. All focused on the problem of how to revitalize the downtown which for a good 40 years has basically been hung out to dry by city powerbrokers enthralled with relentless suburban expansion.

We've seen the results on a far grander scale in cities like Detroit and Buffalo. Most right-thinking Reginans don't want that here. For maybe 10 years, the city has been taking tentative baby steps to revive the downtown. Now, it's decided to fully commit itself. Paul Dechene will have more on the plan's details in our Sept. 24 issue but it's pretty comprehensive, with sections governing the creation of public space in the downtown, the type of architecture and design that will be allowed, the integration with surrounding neighbourhoods, the regulation of parking, and all sorts of other things.

"Great places are not created by accident." When I read that I thought, these days, that's definitely true. But what about with much older, and truly great cities like London, Paris, Rome and Athens. Did city fathers there go through exhaustive planning processes like the one we just did, or did things happen more organically (and intuitively) back then?

People didn't have cars, remember. They mostly walked. That limited both the distance they could travel, and the amount of stuff they could carry. Without steel-frame technology, light construction materials and elevators, buildings could only be so high. The neighbourhoods that developed, therefore, were all human-scale. People could interact, and together, forge a great base upon which to build an even greater city.

Built in a much more technologically advanced age, cities like Regina have too often failed in their growth and development to be people friendly. The Downtown Plan that Office for Urbanism devised tries to correct that by shifting development priorities in the downtown so that people are able to interact more comfortably there. It's nothing radical. It's already happening a bit Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. But at night and on weekends, things are pretty bleak. Some positive things have been happening in the last few years, admittedly. But there's still a long way to go.

With this plan, Regina has a chance to get there. It worked in Portland (Wikipedia). It can work here (on a smaller scale). But the committment has to be there. The downtown is Regina's heart. It's a showcase for the city. When people visit and stay at a downtown hotel, it might be the only area of the city that they get a really good look at. Right now, downtown Regina does not exude a "happening" vibe. It's got tons of potential. But it needs some help. And that's what this plan is about. Hopefully the political, economic and civic will will be there to see it through.

Margaret Thatcher, Soviet Apologist

I was watching the CBC newscast on a five-inch black and white television set in a North Battleford newsroom on the day the Berlin Wall came down. What struck me, apart from the joyous celebrations of the German people who no longer had to worry about their nation becoming an atomic battleground during World War Three -- was that President George Bush was, at first, reluctant to show any emotion about the symbolic fall of the Warsaw Pact. Presidents from Kennedy (YouTube) to Reagan (YouTube) came to the Berlin Wall and used it to denounce communism. So, if the wall came down, it showed that America's will and system had triumphed, right? Right?

Well, as it turns out, neither was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She and the French government were worried that a newly resurgent Germany would mean another warlike Germany. (BBC)

Given how active the peace movement was in Germany, given also how much the population -- who had suffered through two world wars and expected a third on their soil -- didn't want to go to war over anything, and given that the former West German government had a lot of work to improve economic and social conditions in the former East Germany before thinking of anything else, it was very hard to see how a united Germany would become a warlike Germany. And it still isn't today.

While this columnist (The Telegraph) says Mrs. T was right to worry, in reality, she was dead wrong. Unless Gorbachev's imposition of the Sinatra Doctrine (Wikipedia) resulted in a coup (there was a badly blundered one in 1991) , a united, peaceful and integrated Germany in Europe would mean a more stable, not a more unstable, world.

One of the major problems with the conservative movement is that they possess such blinkers that even when they win, they're relishing the next battle, almost as if the only way they can define themselves is through who they're fighting against.

Another bad day for the Regina Police Service

Hey kid, that Tim Horton's wasn't going to drink itself ... (CBC Saskatchewan)

Friday Afternoon Kitty: Cat Vs. Water

The tension between Cat and Water is primal. On the one hand there is Cat: intelligent, graceful, dignified, in control... or at least that's what She would have us think.

On the other there is Water. Water is all-poweful. Water is primal, dangerous and mysterious--its motives are quite literally unfathomable.

Cat is a reflection of us: She is our individuality, our civilization, our knowlege and our pride. She is Ego. She is mortal. Water is terrible Id. It is the Eternal Wet that effortlessly drowns our puny conceits and doesn't care. It gives life and destroys life. It can turn our world upside down in an instant. Water cannot be tamed; any attempt risks utter destruction.

Water's reflection is Sky. And you don't fuck with Sky, either.

To ponder Cat Vs. Water is to philosophize on existence. I think that's a good thing and I think people should do it more often. So here you go. Some YooTube vids revealing the secrets of existence. With cats. And water.

Now, ponder!











And finally, one water-wise cat with a warning...

Can So Lit

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece in the P-Dog about the always precarious future of Canadian Literature. Following up on that, it's great to see a lot of chatter lately on the merits of CanLit. Yesterday, Vancouver novelist Steven Galloway responded to National Post columnist Barbara Kay's recent musings in a strongly-worded, deliciously concise defence of CanLit for the NP's blog (Nat'l Post). Among the highlights:
Yes, Canadian literature is subsidized. So are tourism, mining, forestry, automobile production, small business and oil. In 2006 the petroleum industry alone received $1.4-billion in government subsidies in the form of tax breaks. I'll apologize for our subsidies when they apologize for theirs, because what writers do is every bit as important and vital as putting together cars, docking cruise ships or cutting down trees.

Today, Darryl Whetter at THIS Magazine weighs in, asking when Canadian writers are going to join the rest of us who live in cities. Word to that, of course, but I can't let it pass without repping for one of the best Canadian novels of the last 10 years which happens to be decidedly rural: Brad Smith's All Hat (recently adapted into a completely unremarkable film). It can't be the only Canadian example of a popular novel in the tradition of John D. MacDonald and Carl Hiaasen, but I'm hard pressed to think of any others.

Six In The Morning

1 MEET THE DOWNTOWN PLAN The long-awaited final version of the downtown plan arrived yesterday. It's pretty and has lots of photographs. (Fun game to play: see how many times you can spot prairie dog's editor in the inch-thick tome. So far, I've found myself twice.) The City's Bob Bjerke is giving a technical briefing right now (started at 10:30) at City Hall, and there's a Regina Planning commission meeting at 11:45. Here's the link on the City's web site. Dog Blog posts will follow.

2 HARPER'S CONS SURVIVE VOTE And Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is all scoffy at the NDP and the Bloc for propping up the government (The Globe And Mail). You realize, dude, that you're the one who crapped all over the coalition the Liberals had with those parties, right? Just checking to make sure you remember that.

3 TALK TO THE BANDS the Uranium Development Partnership report says there need to be special efforts to communicate with Sask First Nations and indiginous people about any nuclear power plans. (StarPhoenix)

4 POWER BILLS GOING DOWN? Apparently SaskEnergy is planning a rate reduction. (Leader-Post)

5 CABINET MINISTER REPORTEDLY LOVES HER ALLEGEDLY COCAINE-POSSESSING HUSBAND The Conservative's Helena Guergis is apparently standing by her man. (Toronto Star)

6 JUST US AND QUEBEC We're one of two provinces where consumer prices went up last year. yay? (CBC)

9.17.2009

New Feature: Pick of the Day


Big ego-head that I am, I'm going to start a new daily feature on the blog. The thing happening in Regina the next day (that I know of, anyway) that I'd most like to do. It's not that I'm necessarily going to do it (although sometimes I might) just that it's what I would do if the right combination of time, energy, money and availability was there. Tomorrow, for example, the thing I' d most like to do is see Deep Dark Woods and Little Miss Higgins at the Exchange. Great alt-country double-bill.

Snakes On The Plains


Autumn is the season when our slithery friends the snakes wriggle home to their hibernaculms for cozy, winter-long snoozing. If you've ever seen a garter snake den this time of year you'll know it's a spectacular sight: thousands of the squiggly funsters undulating willy-nilly around their winter homes and just being generally big-eyed, benevolent and goddamn cute. (Don't argue with me, you know it's true.)

In the spirit of this most serpenty season, today's Globe and Mail has an article on a seniors' complex in Inwood, Manitoba (about an hour north of Winnipeg) that's been completely overrun by our noodle-bodied amigos:

At Inwood Manor, a Manitoba Housing complex 80 kilometres north of Winnipeg, residents have been finding the reptiles in the strangest places this month. “Yesterday I found one curled up in my clothes,” said 84-year-old Shirley Thiessen. “I said to him, ‘You don't pay rent' and picked him up and tossed him outside.”

But the cold-blooded free-loaders keep coming – in such droves that the local MLA, Conservative Ralph Eichler, raised the issue in the legislature Wednesday.

You can read Patrick White's article--which also contains the gruesome description of an elderly snake murderer's grisly deeds--here (The Globe And Mail).

To conclude, yay snakes!

This post is dedicated to Markian Saray, who coined the term "funsters" for snakes. God bless you, good sir. Wherever you are.

Global Wake-up Call

On the eve of a UN General Assembly session on climate change the latest film by Franny Armstrong (McLibel) and John Battsek (One Day in September) will receive its premiere at over 700 locations worldwide as part of the Global Climate Wakeup Call. Set in 2055, The Age of Stupid is an animated docu-drama starring Peter Postlewaite as a elderly man living in a devastated world who, while watching archival footage from our own age, ponders why we failed to stop climate change when we had the chance. A Regina screening is being held at the University of Regina's Research and Innovation Theatre Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more info contact 585-5210.

Plans are also in the works for a flash mob demo at the university's Riddell Centre over the lunch hour on Sept. 21. So be on the lookout for that.