How Bad Has Swine Flu Been So Far?

There’s a graphical interpretation of swine flu’s impact to this point. It could get a lot worse quickly, but it’s been minor so far.


Hat tip to Alec

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Civic election results in Regina. Not too surprising, and I was high in my prediction by 6%, for mayor.

Civic Election: Schools, and Protests

Do you like to pack kids into schools as if they are sardines? If not, you might want to vote against the incumbent school board, who tried to close Dieppe school even as its enrollment rose significantly! And you have a chance to vote this Wednesday; what good luck!

You can follow the news on Twitter this time.

What worries me is how Conservative-like Mayor Fiacco’s campaign has been. Like the Conservative candidates in the last federal election he refused to participate in a free-to-attend debate. He only agreed to the $45/ticket Chamber of Commerce sponsored debate at the Centre of the Arts. On top of this anti-democratic policy of only speaking publicly for those who pay to hear, a small group of protesters at the Centre of the Arts were told to leave or they’d be charged with Trespassing! Yes, their Charter rights to peaceful protest were violated by someone at the Chamber of Commerce sponsored event.

The Centre of the Arts is on Wascana Centre Authority land, which is public land that even the Saskatchewan Legislature occupies. Can you imagine a legislature where protest outside of it is “against policy” or even illegal? It seems some people working at the Centre of the Arts want a country with a different constitution where protest of injustice is illegal.

Car Buying

I’m going to soon be buying a new-ish car. It must be automatic transmission, reliable, and less than $11,000. Any suggestions or advice at this time would be appreciated, even if they are funny.

I have a preference for something that gets better than 30MPG in city driving, and has 4 doors or even 5. The trunk should be nice with flipping down back seats for more cargo room.

Community Gardens in Regina at Risk

Are there people interested in ensuring community gardens can stand alone, or who have ideas on how to make this possible? I’ve seen the first community gardens I knew about, plowed under for “development”. (See Broad St. across from the CBC, and here in LA. )
Perhaps this is a normal cycle, where gardens show up where land isn’t being used, then it becomes valuable, and sold out from under the gardeners, and they find and reclaim new land. However, I think some permanence is essential to maintain the communities they create and directly sustain. It’s also sad that many people think of local food production as a temporary solution for vacant, but agriculturally desirable land. It’s not a problem just in the microcosm of a city, but our politicians’ approach to rural Canada as well.

This has been on my mind a lot, since yesterday I learned who ultimately controls the land the South Zone Rec Board Community Gardens resides on. The UofR apparently has control of how this land is used, and since most community gardens don’t attempt to make as much money as property development can, the gardens are at risk of disappearing. They may not be at risk this year, but there are discussions underway where some powerful interests feel the land would be better used for student housing. If that philosophy is allowed to dominate over the need for “backyard” food, I doubt the gardens will exist at this time next decade.

P.S. Further ranting, and thought available: Continue reading

Found Money

Have you ever found someone’s lost cash? Do you feel bad for them? I do. That’s why I wait where I find it for a couple minutes in case someone comes back looking for it, but they never do. So in a possibly futile, and certainly funny way of trying to pay money-losers back, I’m giving them the chance to claim their lost money through a newspaper, and the Internet.

UofR money

If they can identify how much lost money I found in College West on Sunday, explain the route they think they lost it on, and describe how it was folded, I’ll give them half of my findings. If they can give me the serial number, they get it all.

Regina in Entertainment

Craig Ferguson gets a laugh out of Regina. It’s not the first time the city has made the rounds on American late night comedy. David Letterman spent a lot of time with Dick Assman of the Queen City in the 1990s.

Even Saskatoon got a mention, even though he meant to say “Saskatchewan”. Probably chickened out of trying, even though it’s easy to pronounce (especially since he can make up Polish words)…
“su-Skatch-a-win”.

Idiocracy

I watched “Idiocracy” [7/10] last night, and was impressed with a lot of it considering it’s a comedy about stupidity. Some of it’s absolutely hilarious, and other parts are more like an SNL movie. A soldier wakes up 500 years in the future, and even his doctor in the future is only barely bright enough to read.

I picked some crab-apples today, and have to figure out how to use them. The weather was perfect, reaching maybe 30 degrees.

New Kind of “Last Spike”

They’re ripping up the last spike in the west. That’s it, take our infrastructure away. We don’t need it in the 21st century. Growing food and living in the country is so passe.

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“Uh kid, call the cops or something, what do you expect us to do about the theft, drive after them?” – Regina Police officers to 13 year old bike theft victim in hot pursuit of the culprits.

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I went out delivering mail for a city councilor tonight, getting some exercise in the process. Didn’t get nibbled by a dog, but co-walker Justin almost did.

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I watched “Willow” [8/10] a children’s movie about a fantasy world with an evil queen. I guess all of the evil kings were booked up solid for other movies.

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Bill added me to his blogroll, so I’m sending him another link.

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When “stop” and “no”, mean “yellow” and “go”. The Sask Party’s nuclear aspirations sound like a would-be date rapist.

Nuclear Powerless in Saskatchewan

I feel I have to preface this by saying this isn’t an anti-Sask Party post, or a pro-Green Party, or pro-NDP post. My mission is to inform my neighbours as to the swindle on their pocketbooks underway by the nuclear power industry. If you don’t want your SaskPower bill to more than double, you’d be wise to read on, and get informed.

The Perrins Report is in, and the Sask Party is confused. 84% is a butt kicking. The people have spoken — nuclear power is an albatross that the people of Saskatchewan don’t want around our necks. Ontario ditched plans to expand with plants like those pitched for the prairies, and they have about 13 times as many taxpayers as Saskatchewan has.

“Nearly 500 responses dealt primarily with the need to move to alternative energies (see Figure 31). An overwhelming majority (98%, n=469) of these responses indicated that Saskatchewan should have a greater focus on alternative energies. A very small percentage of responses focused on the need to have a lesser focus on alternative energies (1%, n=6) or indicated that Saskatchewan should maintain its current focus (1%, n=5).

Of those who wanted a greater focus on alternative energies,
environmental/sustainability reasons were the most commonly identified. “

Here’s one such alternative to provide us a residential base load using renewable energy. And hundreds of these plants,with no toxic waste, would cost less than 2 nuclear reactors.

What did learning ever do for us?
On September 15th, 2009 Get Down says:

“All you leftwing nuts have to learn that the way to go isn’t to learn about the good and bad about something before making an informed decision — it’s to act fast and deal with the fall out later!!! Like the old saying, kill em’ all and let god sort em’ out!”

Saskboy replies:
Rawlco, you’ll publish “kill em'[leftwing nuts] all “, but pull a comment from me about George Bush being a war criminal? Nice bias.

UPDATE: They didn’t publish my reply, and removed the anonymous comment about killing “leftwing nuts”. I just wanted them to publish both comments, and my other one about Bush on that other article. —

But remember, there are a lot of moderate people at Rawlco, so it’s okay they are a greed-biased business that will let the ultra-right wing spout off to make people angry.

Talking Trash in Regina

It’s your turn to talk some trash. letstalktrash@regina.ca Regina’s current garbage removal system is dying. They don’t make the trucks anymore that we use for garbage removal (according to a city employee I spoke with last night). If the coming waste removal plan doesn’t present something other than the status quo, it’s the equivalent of the city crawling into a corner to wait for death by garbage suffocation.

Email the city at the email address above, and tell them that you want Option #4 “Comprehensive” WITH curb side pickup of compostables like they were told in the consultations! Send them to this blog and my examples of where it is done in Canada, and ask them if we want to be a second rate city, or the best.

Paul notes that the “basic” plan pushed by the city (in an invisible consultation meeting I missed) was the status quo with some buzz words. “Basic” garbage removal in most of Canada includes curb side pickup of recycling and compost. Why should Reginians pay “enhanced” prices for a basic service in Richmond Hill or Halifax?

We could reduce our waste load on the landfill by approximately 40% simply by having curb side recycling/compost pickup like you see here in a city of smaller size in Ontario.

And it’s nothing personal, but I can’t stand how Regina’s website is laid out. I can never find what I want, and it’s strange too that Regina Transit runs from regina.ca instead of reginatransit.ca. Here’s a portion of the Let’s Talk Trash documents. There’s no single page so far as I can tell to get all of the information you’d want on their consultation process.

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GoGreen Recycling is recycling glass at a place in Moose Jaw, so apparently there is still a market, as long as the glass isn’t sorted in with a lot of garbage (like in the old city drop bins for glass). $89+GST/year for comprehensive curb side recycling from that private business (which is less than the city’s estimate for doing the same thing). Sorry, no compost pickup.