Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Amsterdam, Bangkok, Saskatoon

The first thing that upsets me on the adult services decision is allowing for home-based business.  The second is the limited buffer zone.  Potentially, we could have a whorehouse on every corner of the city.  And third, that Councillor Tiffany Paulsen would justify it by saying that children and people in living in poverty deserve this protection.   I wish she had lamented that women and children living in poverty have to resort to prostitution in order to survive.

Why is there concern for clustering these businesses?  Make a red light district - it could become a tourist zone much like in Amsterdam or Bangkok.  And why not push them out to outlying areas?  You would think that concentrating these services in one area would make them easier to control rather than spreading them around the city. 

City planning and development manager Alan Wallace says if we push them to outlying areas, these agencies will subvert the bylaw and not comply.  What does the city do with other businesses that do not comply with bylaws? 

Prostitution is an age-old business.  It's not going away so the idea of controlling it is not necessary a bad one.  It's the "how" its being controlled that bothers me. 

If the next step is a bylaw prohititing the use of red lights in the city, I hope they exempt the Christmas season from it.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

The silly season

The silly season has officially begun.  Grandiose promises are being made for new bridges, the development of North Downtown, a new library, a roadway repair plan and the list goes on.  A big ticket item for every area of the city and the spread of happiness to each and every one.

The only thing not offered is how we are going to pay for it all. 

But why mess with success.  It works every time during an election campaign.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The 10% solution?

We have all received our new assessment notices.  Many will see up to a 10% hike in their assessment and thus an increase in 2013 taxes prior to any mill rate increase.  At the same time the city is giving away millions of dollars in grant money and tax abatement to a Vancouver-based company to build a 192-unit rental complex in the Montgomery Park area.

Councillor Pat Lorje questions why we are giving away money to create a problem down the road.  Based on her comments from the re-zoning battle,  I suspect the problem relates to the existing infrastructure and whether it can accommodate the increased traffic.  Add to the equation Wally Mah's plan for a strip mall to accommodate this area and the re-location of the city yards and bus barns.

Where is the money going to come from to fix the problem?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A few snags

With the big city comes big city problems.

Noise is always a factor in high density areas.  Its not just motorcycles and loud stereos that come with the advent of warm weather.  There is nose emanating from the many events and festivals held over the summer, especially in the core areas. 

What about the outdoor music activities, the Jazz Festival, the Fringe etc.  When I worked downtown, during the Jazz Festival on every corner on 21st Street musicians were playing.  It was great for those coming for a short period of time to enjoy the music.  But it was hard to concentrate on work with the boom, boom going for eight hours of the day.  Will the noise snare trap these types of offenders as well?

When the Fringe Festival operated its beer tent until 2:00 a.m. nightly, everyone within reasonable proximity complained about the noise and their loss of sleep.   Will we snag the Fringe revellers and make them pay?

What about the boats using the river?  Or the downtown nightclubs?  And we are considering outdoor concert venues at River Landing.

Chalk it all up to summer in the city.

Friday, June 8, 2012

No soup for you!

Each year the City hosts a dinner for its volunteers.  These are the people who apply and lobby to sit on civic committees.

This spring, Councillor Randy Donauer said the grace before dinner.  One of the volunteers lodged a complaint as a result of that action and demanded an apology from both the Councillor and Mayor.  At the time he suggested that a moment of quiet reflection would be more appropriate.  He intends to take this matter to the Human Rights Commission.

In today's SP (June 8/12) there is a report that the Canadian Civic Liberties Association supports him.  However, the man has now changed his mind and doesn't even want to allow for a silent reflection.  My question is, how does one individual get to control the format for the masses? 

I've been at events where different faiths offer prayer or its equivalent.  I stand out of respect to those groups, but don't participate in the prayer.  When First Nations do their thanks, I view it as a cultural rather than religious action.

Sadly, we have gotten to a point were we lack intolerance and respect of those around us - and that includes the minority as well as the majority.

The easy fix here, cancel the volunteer dinner. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Open both eyes

Today's editorial (SP June 4/12) warns that, because our provincial revenue is commodity-based and subject to the variances of the market place, the province should exercise more caution in spending, focus on debt reduction, long-term planning and unfunded pension liabilities.  Couldn't agree more and do give Premier Wall credit for his austerity budget this year.

Would these writers offer the same concern to the City of Saskatoon? 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is he from another planet?

If City Manager Murray Totland doesen't believe the national survey (SP May 31/12) regarding Saskatoon residents' response to roadway conditions in this city, then he is stone-cold deaf!