This Week At City Hall

So much for my new year's resolution of blogging more often on city hall. Can't even get this weekly update thing done in a timely fashion. Two meetings have already gone by for the week. Fortunately, agendas are still on the thin side as most committees are hammering out when they'll be meeting over the course of the year. Anyway, without further ado, here's what's happening downtown....

Monday, January 11
Municipal Heritage Advisory: Setting meeting dates for 2010.

Tuesday, January 12
Finance and Administration (12:15 pm): Setting meeting dates for the year and appointing elected officials to administrative boards.
Public Works (4 pm): Setting meeting dates for 2010 and considering the annual infrastructure investment strategy.

Wednesday, January 13
Executive Committee (11:45 pm): Reviewing outstanding items and considering advance approvals for capital projects.
Community and Protective Services (4 pm): Setting 2010 meeting dates and considering the funding request for the transit fare assistance program and revised Sunday transit schedule.

As always, you can download complete agendas and reports on the city's website.

Six in the Morning

1. SEND YOUR SASK MPs SOME LOVE: Why is Harper proroguing parliament whenever he doesn't want to be held accountable for things his government's been doing? Because he reckons Canadians couldn't care less whether parliament sits or not. At least, that's what his industry minister is saying. According to Tony Clement, the only people who care whether we have a democratic, accountable government are a few in the chattering classes in Ottawa. Considering Regina's MPs are sitting around at home now twiddling their thumbs (with the exception of maybe Ralph Goodale who seems to be heading back to Ottawa to work with the Liberals on.... something), you can bet they'll be eager to hear what their constituents think of all this proroguery. If you live in Palliser, you can contact Ray Boughen at Boughen.R@parl.gc.ca; if you live in Regina-Qu'Appelle, you can contact Andrew Scheer at Scheer.A@parl.gc.ca; if you live in Regina-Lumsden, you can contact Tom Lukiwski at Lukiwski.T@parl.gc.ca; and if you live in Wascana, you can contact Ralph Goodale at Goodale.R@parl.gc.ca. Harper's gathering up his MPs on Jan 22 to find out what us proles have been saying, so if no one emails these guys to say their peace, they'll be able to report honestly that we don't care. (globe and mail)

2. FEDS HIDING TARSANDS TRUTHS: Mike Desouza of Canwest Newsservice has uncovered documents that question the accuracy of government assessments of the impacts of Alberta's tarsands developments. Seems the Harper government has been slanting information released to the public so that it represents the position of the oil industry. (Calgary Herald)

3. CANADIANS MORE CONCERNED BY CLIMATE CHANGE THAN TERRORISM: A poll finds that the changing climate is more of a worry to Canadians than any threat by terrorists. How does that jive with Harper's desire to focus G8 discussion on dirty bombs, I wonder? (DeSmog blog)

4. ANTI-SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LAW CHALLENGED: A challenge to California's Proposition 8 (which bans same-sex marriages) is headed to the courts. (Globe and Mail)

5. REGINA WATER RATES RISE: Expect to see an increase in the cost of water in Regina on your first bills of 2010. (Leader Post)

6. SPIDERMAN SQUASHED: Announcement came out yesterday that plans for a fourth Spiderman film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Macguire have been scrapped. Instead we'll be getting a rebooted franchise with a young, hip director and a Peter Parker who's back in high school. And it seems the script for this new Spiderman is already written and will be "gritty, contemporary," whatever that means.

Pick of the Day: Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight

This DVD came into our office a couple of months ago. It sat around for a bit before I bogarted it to watch. It documents a remarkable performance by Canadian poet/singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen at the Isle of Wight musical festival on August 31, 1970. The festival was tumultuous, to say the least. First off, there were around 600,000 people there. It was the height of the counter-culture movement, and some audience members acted out against what they regarded as the creeping corporatization of the festival by tearing down fences and setting fire to equipment and other structures on the festival grounds. The Who played the festival that year, as did Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix. Taking the stage at 4 a.m. after a fiery performance by Hendrix had further aroused the crowd, Cohen, as fellow performers like Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson and Judy Collins recount in the DVD, captured and enthralled the crowd with calm stage presence and beautiful songs -- which , back in the day, he actually did a pretty good job of singing. The sound and video quality of this DVD are both excellent, and it's definitely worth a look. Here's a clip from the DVD of Cohen performing "Suzanne" (YouTube)