Library Open House

Stephen Whitworth and I dropped by Central Library this afternoon to see where things were at with the proposed expansion of the downtown branch. James Youck from P3 Architecture was there, and based on a number of principles that had been developed in visioning sessions, his firm had produced several drawings exploring different options for how the project might proceed. These were strictly blue-sky, so a lot of things are still up in the air. But here's a few points.

  • P3 is looking at infill on the entire block where the library currently sits ie the empty lot west of Knox Met, the parking lot south of the Masonic Temple, and the pocket park west of the library. No negotiations have taken place to acquire the properties, but it seems likely that the expanded facility will occupy more than just the existing library lot.
  • Harvard Developments is in charge of finding possible public and private partners to become part of a new complex. Youck said Harvard had received favourable responses from a number of parties, but that no committments had yet been made. Retail stores, a condo tower and rental housing are some of the possibilities being explored, but integral to any mixed use complex that might emerge is the idea of it being a cultural hub.
  • most of the drawings incorporated the existing library, but in conversation Youck said that it was still possible that it could be demolished and an entirely new library built. One person at the open house proposed building a condo tower on the site, then using the revenue garnered from the sale of a prime piece of real estate overlooking Victoria Park to build a new library elsewhere. But I think there's a firm commitment that the library will remain at its current site.
  • for people paranoid about parking in the downtown, Youck said that if a large-scale complex was built, underground parking could be incorporated.
  • with a municipal election scheduled for Oct. 28, it's likely that nothing much will happen until after a new mayor and council are in place, but further opportunities for public input will occur down the road once more details are fleshed out.

U.S. Congressman Destroys Health Care Critic

Barney Frank for the win. Finally a politician acknowledges you can't argue with crazy people. Here's a short news piece on this exchange, which happened yesterday in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. (Boston Globe)

For Those About to Rock

Going on over the lunch hour is an Angus Young air guitar contest where people have the opportunity to win tix to the sold-out AC/DC show next Monday, along with a number of consolation prizes, including an electric guitar and AC/DC memorabilia. The contest, which was sponsored by Regina Downtown and Jack FM, had originally been scheduled for Victoria Park, but it got moved to Tower II on the Scarth St. Mall because of inclement weather. Here's hoping conditions improve by Monday (YouTube). The top photo, by the way, features judge Michael Huber of Regina Downtown showing contestants how it's done.

Child Stands On Wing Of Flying Plane

Why, why, why is the phrase "child endangerment" not in this story? (Leader-Post/AFP)

Tiger Brewer, aiming to be the world's youngest wing walker, stood on top of his grandfather's plane as it climbed to an altitude of 1,000 feet (300 metres) during the stunt at an airfield near Cirencester in southwest England.

The name of the dad is pretty good though. (Thanks to Alex Whyte for the link.)

Six in the Morning

1. PR COMPANY EVIL Old but relevant story I just stumbled upon: Think Progress has outed the Coalition to Protect Patient Rights, as a complete sham. The American group, which is advocating against healthcare reform was created, surprise surprise, by PR company the DCI Group. As Desmog Blog is pointing out today, DCI Group is notorious for protecting tobacco companies and attacking climate science. (Think Progress, Desmog Blog)

2. NOT SHOCKING Taser International is filing a lawsuit against the Braidwood Inquiry findings. (rabble.ca)

3. POTTY MOUTHED PMO In advance of PM Harper's trip to the Arctic, the PMO sent out a press release in which it repeatedly misspelled "Iqaluit" with an extra "u". The extra vowel makes a big difference as "Iqualuit" means "a person with an unwiped bum". Ha! Ha! He said "Iqualuit". (Globe and Mail)

4. A LITTLE LATE FOR AN APOLOGY A campaign in the UK is calling for the British government to apologize to Alan Turing. Turing was a genius computer scientist and mathematician. He was also gay. And he was prosecuted by the British government for being gay then chemically castrated to cure his gayness. As a result, Turing committed suicide in 1954. (Manchester Evening News, Pharyngula)

5. FOOD SPECULATORS IMPERIL MILLIONS The head of the International Food Policy Research Institute is saying that speculation in the world food market leads to malnutrition and starvation worldwide. (Guardian)

6. SO WRONG, IN SO MANY WAYS They're casting children to appear in a live-action film version of the Smurfs. (Cinema Blend)