Morse the Merrier

Today marked the 218th anniversary of Samuel Morse's birth. For some reason, Google chose to commemorate it with a special graphic replicating the type of dot-dash system he invented to communicate via telegraph. That made me think of another famous Morse -- or, at least, relatively famous. Canadian actor Barry Morse. He's best known for his role as Lt. Philip Gerard in the American drama The Fugitive, but I'll always remember him for his role as Prof. Victor Bergman in the classic SciFi series Space: 1999. (YouTube)

One More Bea Arthur Video Clip

...from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Six In The Morning

1 SWINE FLU Today's Globe and Mail update on the latest, scary, potential pandemic.

2 TRADE WINDS Europe and Canada talk about a trade pact. The good news: any move to increased trade with Europe could help shelter this country from ongoing U.S. meltdowns. The bad news: any trade pact including "government procurement" needs to be treated like a possible attack on the public sector and particularly on public worker salaries. Local jobs are good, right? We all like them, right? Just checking. (Globe And Mail)

3 SO WHAT DOES A SHIT SANDWICH TASTE LIKE, ANYWAY? Canadian autoworkers ratify a brutal deal to save save their jobs. Musing: if Chrysler-Fiat doesn't go bankrupt, how long before we read a story about ludicrously high executive compensation (made possible, of course, by worker sacrifice?). My prediction: early October. (Montreal Gazette)

4 WE JUST DECIDED "RAPE" HAD AN UGLY RING TO IT Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says his country will amend a vile, misogynistic law that took away women's rights to turn down sex with their husbands, among other things. (CBC)

5 GET OFF MY LAWN Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin proposes a national ban on cosmetic pesticides. His private member's bill has zero chance of passing, but this is notable because this debate isn't going away. Several provinces already ban or severly limit home pesticides. (Toronto Star)

6 SNAKE IN THE BOX A British mailman gets a bitey surprise. Ssss! (Guardian)

This Week at City Hall

Monday, April 27
City Council Meeting (5:30 pm): Looking at expanding the budget for the City Square Master Plan, the taxi fare increase, and the 2009 Local Improvements Program (that's the list of maintenance construction projects for the summer).

Tuesday, April 28
Mayor's Task Force on Access (5:30 pm)

Wednesday, April 29
Regina Planning Commission (4 pm): Considering an application for a new multi-unit seniors' complex and an application to convert a building in the Warehouse District into offices (1916 Dewdney) and build a parking lot beside it -- the parking lot, by the way, will necessitate the demoltion of a building just north of 1916 Dewdney and city administration have recommended approval of this plan because the developer plans to put up shrubs (sorry, landscaping elements) to mitigate the impact on the neighbourhood. Great, more shrubs.

Also, after a long absense, the dreaded condominium conversion has reared its head at planning commission once again. Four are under consideration this week. Three are being recommended for denial due to the still very 0.5 percentness of our vacancy rate. Administration, however, have added something new into their reports -- recommendations to the commission on what they could do if they decide to approve these conversions (which they most likely will). The plan is this: require that the property owner only convert 25 percent of the units to condos and leave the remainder as rental. In all three cases, the property owners have indicated they're okay with this plan.

The fourth condo conversion is being recommended for approval because it's a conversion of a presently empty building so no rental units are actually being lost to the market.

Okay, that's it for this week. You can, as always, find full reports and meeting agendas on the city's website.