Curtain Call

If you happen to be downtown tomorrow between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Globe Theatre (1801 Scarth) is holding an open house with free guided tours of backstage facilities like the green room and prop department, along with a host of fun activities like a chance to play dress up in the theatre's costume archive and have your picture taken. The event's designed to give theatre lovers, plus just the plain curious, a behind-the-scenes look at all the work that goes into presenting a play at the Globe. (Globe website)

The Mysterious New Downtown Plan

No, my mood has not fucking improved since my Six in the Goddamn Morning of earlier today.

Not helping matters is I've discovered an interesting tidbit about the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan deliberations slated for a week from today (which I mentioned in Point 3 of said Six in the Goddamn Morning).

The city sent a notice out yesterday informing some folk that the plan would be discussed at a special meeting of the Regina Planning Commission.

Here's a quote from that notice:
"Please be advised that the Regina Planning Commission will be considering the above report at a special meeting sheduled for Friday, September 18, 2009 at 11:45 a.m., in Henry Baker Hall, Main Floor, City Hall. You are welcome to attend this meeting. The agenda will be made public at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 17 and you will be able to access the report and Regina Downtown Neighbourhood Plan on the 17 by visiting www.Regina.ca>City Council and Committees > View meeting calendar, agendas & decisions > Sept 18 Regina Planning Commission. The website will also reflect the changes that have been made to the Regina Downtown Neighbourhood Plan since it was released in May 2009."
You read that right. The plan will be released a mere day before the meeting at which it will be discussed.

Now I was always under the impression that, as reliably as daybreak following night, taxes coming due in April, hangovers following a Friday "editorial meeting", reports to be considered at RPC one week were released on the Friday before the meeting. I thought that was the whole reason behind this four month delay: people needed more than a week to read the plan.

This time around, we're getting 24 hours to go over what's been changed. (The changes, by all accounts, inspired by concerns coming mainly from the development community.)

Granted, the bulk of the plan has been available for months so it's time to get things moving along. But still.... a day to go over the final draft and sort through any changes? Why the break with tradition? Why isn't the modified version online right now so that those of us with a few other commitments in our lives can have a chance to go over the new version before the meeting?

(And, by the way, if you have any questions about the final draft once it's released, you can apparently contact the city's senior planner with them. That'd give you about seven hours of work time to read the thing, grok the changes then get him on the horn.)

You can still download the original version of the plan on the city's website. By all accounts, most of this will still be valid a week from now. (I'd like to say that for certain, but obviously, I can't.)

And keep in mind, where it says in that memo I quoted from, "You are welcome to attend", that doesn't just refer to people who get a notice. Anyone can speak before RPC. That includes you. All you have to do is show up before the meeting and put your name on the list of speakers.

More on this when, and if, we get anything.

Cough, Sniffle, Bleah

I'm sick! I feel awful! And you know who else is sick around here? PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY!


Friday Afternoon Kitty!

I'm sick. Sick, and haven't had a coffee. Woe.

Here's a cat thing.

Thanks to whoever sent me the link, either Carle or Peakay. Can't remember. SICK!

Eight Years Later...

... and there is still nothing on the World Trade Center site.

Pitter Patter Let's Get At'er

Part performance art, part good old fashioned party, complete with food, drink, decorations, music and dancing. That's probably the best description for an event being held Saturday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. at the Dunlop Art Gallery's Sherwood Village Branch location as part of the group exhibition Block Party. For six weeks or so now three artists--Jen Delos Reyes, Lori Gordon and Jessica James Lansdon-- have been engaging with residents in northwest Regina through various means to explore and critique concepts of neighbourhood identity and community spirit. For the party, Lansdon has created a wire armature in the shape of a bear. At the end of the afternoon, attendees will be invited to assist the artist in tearing down the decorations and stuffing them into the armature to create a sculpture that will remain on display in the gallery until the show closes Oct. 11.

Energy Rethink?

Received a press release from the Committees Branch of the Saskatchewan Legislature yesterday announcing that an all-party committee (official title: the Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies) will be conducting, and I quote, "an inquiry to determine how the province can best meet the growing demand for electricity in a manner that is safe, reliable, environmentally-sustainable and affordable for Saskatchewan residents." To that end, hearings are scheduled to be held in Regina Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 16 and 19; in Saskatoon Oct. 9, 13 and 14; and in LaRonge Oct. 15.

In a news release of its own, the NDP opposition criticized the government for the tight timeframe. "This is a process designed to deal with an extremely significant issue--the future of our energy needs in Saskatchewan--and it is very unfortunate that the Wall government has no interest in taking it seriously," says NDP MLA Trent Witherspoon.

Is the all-party committee just a whitewash to deflect criticism of the biased and deeply flawed Uranium Development Partnership process, or is it a legit attempt by the government to address concerns that were raised during public consultations into the UDP report, and which Dan Perrins will surely have noted in his report that is due to be submitted, last I heard anyway, on Sept. 14? Time will tell, I guess.

For more info, check the committee website at:

Six in the Morning

For the record, I'm ill, sore and cranky as hell so read with caution. Or not. I don't give a f*k.

1. CHICKENSH*T IGGY SAYS NO F*KING COALITION: Because parliamentary democracy -- you know, like they have in Europe -- is too confusing and scary for your average Canadian, Ignatieff has to respond to accusations that he's planning another coalition to secure government by saying there's no way he'll team up with the NDP or Bloc. Fucking. Hell. So, more than two thirds of this country can vote against our resident pack of religio-fascists but they're guaranteed another minority Government of the Simpletons because the slightly more sensible parties can't team up like they would in any other democracy on the planet save one. You know what? Fuck it. It's time we just applied for statehood. It'll save the US the trouble of invading to get our water and oil. And they won't have to undermine our healthcare system from afar any more either. And you can all help get Palin elected in 2012. Congratulations. (Globe and Mail)

2. TORONTO GETS $190MILLION, SASK HOUSING STILL SUCKS: How can you tell there's an election on the horizon? Well, sign one: Harper's buying Toronto votes with $190 milion in infrastructure funding. Yeah, I'm playing the "Toronto hater" card. Sue me. Thing is, this pisses me off because Regina's vacancy rate is till under 2 per cent and all the federal infrastructure money for housing that's out there is essentially useless to us because it's only supposed to be used to rehabilitate existing rental stock. Why is that? Because Toronto needs to rehabilitate its existing rental stock. Saskatchewan cities, on the other hand, need new rental stock. But we can't use infrastructure money to build any because the feds say we can't. And instead of sending us some new money to build some, or removing that absurd restriction -- like our provincial and municipal governments have been screaming for them to do -- the feds are up and giving more money to Toronto. Why? Because they need more votes in Ontario. But they don't need your Saskatchewan votes because the shitting bastards already have them. (Globe and Mail)

3. F*KING DOWNTOWN PLAN MEETING FINALLY F*KING SCHEDULED: At the Wednesday Regina Planning Commission meeting, they scheduled a special meeting for September 18 to go over the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan. You'd think I'd be all sunny and happy at the news but today, all I can say is, about fucking time. As you may recall, this was supposed to go before RPC in May but the meeting was postponed to give it more "soak time." During this "soak time," developers were given a chance to provide more input into the plan and the plan was adjusted to accomodate their concerns and confusions. (To be fair, anyone could provide input at that point, only, despite the best efforts of the prairie dog, few outside the development community knew this extra delay was taking place because nobody pays any fucking attention to municipal politics unless it has to do with their dome stadium or parking.) Throughout this, I've been assured there's no conspiracy to water down the plan going on here. And I've been assured that the even newer, revised post-extra-(some-would-say-superfluous)-consultation-with-developers Downtown Neighbourhood Plan would be up on the city website in plenty of time for the public to read it in advance of the RPC meeting, and any adjustments to the plan would be highlighted. Well... check the city website. No mention of the Downtown Plan on the front page. And as far as I can tell, the pdfs that are buried in the housing section there right now are the same as the ones that were up in May. Thanks for the lead time on that, guys. Were I in a better mood, I'd be willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt on this one, but not today, sorry the fuck.

4. ACTIVISTS PLAN PROTEST OF ANTI-CHRIST'S SASKATOON VISIT: George Bush is coming to Saskatoon and protests are being planning. Yahoo. Protest away. Biggest protests on the planet were organized to stop the Iraq War and you saw how fucking successful that was. Look. According to some very scientific statistics I just pretended to compile, two-thirds of people living on the prairies want this guy as their lord and master. And they will make sure that W has nary an inkling that some tiny minority are out on the streets waving signs. (Leader Post)

5. SOME F*KING GUY WITH MORE MONEY THAN SENSE WANTS TO BUY SOME F*KING SH*TTY HOCKEY TEAM: I. Don't. Fucking. Care. But I can't escape the fucking story so I'm sharing all the pointless glory of it with you. (Globe and Mail and pretty much everywhere else)

6. FRENCH IMPOSING TAX TO SAVE HUMANKIND, CANADIANS STILL FLINCH AT THE "T" WORD: Sarkozy announces a carbon tax and vows to lead the fight against climate change. Try to do the same thing here and even our ostensibly left wing political party will sabotage your ass. (Sorry Layton, I'm never forgiving you for undermining the Green Shift. It was good fucking policy and you shat on it you opportunistic bastard. And now I'm going to stare into my crystal ball and predict the fortune of the NDP in the upcoming election. WHOo-OOO-oo-ooo. Oh, lookee: 18% of the popular vote. Way to bring the party into the mainstream, Jack. Keep up the good work.) Meanwhile, in Canada it's still political suicide to suggest you're in favour of any kind of taxation even if it's to keep the country out of the fucking poorhouse.