Friday, 21 February 2014

Things to do: Rapid Transit, Corydon/Osborne and Seeds

Do you live in Winnipeg and have some time to kill the week of February 24-28? Are you interested in learning about plans for rapid transit and/or Corydon and Osborne Village areas? Do you like free snacks? If you answered "yes" to these questions ... or if you like gardening ... read on!

Winnipeg Transit is holding open houses on Monday and Tuesday regarding the proposed 2nd leg of Winnipeg's bus rapid transit:

Public engagement is a critical component of this study. We want to make sure everyone knows what is happening, and we also want to hear your opinions. Landmark Planning & Design has been in contact with residents, property owners and business owners in the immediate vicinity of the corridor. A series of public Open Houses were held in November to communicate preliminary transitway concepts and to understand opportunities and constraints associated with this stage of the transitway.
Our first round of stakeholder and public consultation concluded early December 2013 and we have prepared a draft functional design for the transitway. A second set of Open Houses has been scheduled to allow the public to provide feedback on the functional design and the active transportation pathway plans. Click on our February 24-25 Open House flyer.pdf for a printable version of the invitation.
Where:
CanadInns – 1824 Pembina Hwy. (Click here for directions)
When:
Monday, February 24 – 3:30 to 5:30pm
Monday, February 24 – 7:00 to 9:00pm
Tuesday, February 25 – 3:30 to 5:30pm
Tuesday, February 25 – 7:00 to 9:00pm

link: http://winnipegtransit.com/en/southwest-transitway/stage-2---southwest-transitway/#publicengagement

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Related to the above, a community group is holding a get-together to discuss their concerns about there that BRT is going:
Parker Wetlands Conservation Committee – Public Transit Forum
When Tuesday, February 25, 7pm – 9pm
Where Fort Garry Community Centre, 80 Derek Street, West Fort Garry (map)
Description Parker Wetlands Conservation Committee presents “Public Transit Forum” at Fort Garry Community Centre, 80 Derek Street

A Transit Route is planned to run through land that was identified by the City as high quality habitat. PWCC is not opposed to rapid transit but would like to offer discussion around the selection of the route.

Four panelists to present information, followed by discussion.
Alan Freeman; Social Economist  – will focus on the preservation of urban green spaces and their role in the overall cultural and environmental concept of how cities develop and what are their assets
Chris Baker; Master of City Planning –  His presentation will discuss his masters practicum project titled: Testing the Benefits of On-street and Off-street Rapid Transit Alignments: Implications for Winnipeg’s Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor.
Karen Wilson Baptist;  MED. PhD,  Acting Head: Landscape Architecture – Value of Green Space for people
Edwin Innes;  Electrical Engineer , Energy Specialist – Ed has a broad background in energy systems analysis, including transportation systems.  Ten years of that experience is in emerging alternative energy systems, including leading-edge electric and hydrogen powered vehicles

links: 

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The City of Winnipeg is holding a public meeting about the Corydon-Osborne Area Plan:
Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Location: Gladstone School Gymnasium (2nd floor, elevator available)
500 Gertrude Avenue
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
You are invited to attend a meeting to discuss the Corydon-Osborne Area Plan. This is the second public meeting in this phase of the project. The objective of the meeting is to ensure that the draft plan reflects the input of stakeholders.
A presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the planning process and specific plan elements, followed by an opportunity for the public to provide input on the plan's design components.
The intended outcome is a Corydon-Osborne Area Plan that is consistent with the city's landmark planning studies, OurWinnipeg and Complete Communities, and that supports the neighbourhood's vision of its future.
The meeting is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. There will be refreshments on hand and activities for kids.
link: http://www.winnipeg.ca/PPD/Corydon/

Go to get engaged and informed! Go to give 'em a piece of your mind! Go for the snacks! 

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If you're more interested in urban planting than urban planning, you should check this out instead:

The St. Vital Agricultural Society is hosting an informational evening titled Starting Seeds. Master Gardener, Lenore Linton and Val Johnson will be sharing their expertise and tips on how to start seeds in your home. They have started seeds for many years with great success and will pass their knowledge along so that you too can have beautiful thriving plants that are the envy of your friends and neighbours. Starting your own seeds gives you the opportunity to have different flower and vegetable varieties than those offered in the local nurseries and Lenore will share how to read the seed catalogues to choose plants that are appropriate for our summers.
Starting Seeds will be held on Thursday, February 27, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Road United Church, 613 St. Mary's Road. There is limited parking in the church lot and street parking on both St. Mary's Road and St. Anne's Road.

The cost for the evening is $10.00 or $4.00 with a 2014 St. Vital Agricultural Society membership.
link: http://www.svas.ca/pdf/14Startingseedsposter.pdf





Friday, 7 February 2014

Canada's Worst Driver -- in Winnipeg?

People in Winnipeg like to bitch about other people's driving. According to many Winnipeggers, we have the worst drivers in Canada.

Well, it's time to prove it. Casting for Canada's Worst Driver is starting for the next season. Nominate your room mate, girlfriend, or the guy who cut you off, simply by filling out a web form:


10th Anniversary Search for Canada’s Worst Driver Embarks on Winnipeg
- Discovery’s hit series CANADA’S WORST DRIVER is marking its tenth anniversary with a dedicated stop in Winnipeg as part of its most in-depth candidate search EVER! -

- Nominations for Winnipeg’s worst drivers are being accepted online NOW at www.canadasworstdriver.com -
Toronto (February 5, 2014) - This spring the Canada’s Worst Driver search team is cruising the streets of Canada, on the prowl for  the nation’s most dysfunctional drivers. To commemorate the decade long series, producers will be visiting more cities and meeting with even more bad drivers than ever before. One key stop is Winnipeg, where producers are hoping to narrow in on the motorists causing the most mayhem and madness on local city streets.

But just how will the Canada’s Worst Driver team track down those in need of driver’s rehab? With the help of Winnipeg residents of course! Winnipeg Nominations are now being accepted for the 10th season of the series and can be made online by visiting canadasworstdriver.com. Those selected will be given one of eight coveted spots at the Canada’s Worst Driver rehabilitation centre featuring the most unique and effective training facilities in the country.

“To honour a decade of producing Canada’s Worst Driver, we’re launching our largest call for nominations yet, searching for the next round of terrible motorists,” said Guy O’Sullivan, President of Proper Television and Executive Producer of Canada’s Worst Driver. “To find the worst of the worst, we’re enlisting the help of local residents to nominate the shoddiest drivers they know. Whether it’s a spouse, child, parent, friend, or co-worker, Canada’s Worst Driver wants to hear from you.”

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Responsible Budgeting in Manitoba

Just sharing ... 
This popped into my mailbox today:

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The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is pleased to announce the launch of a new report in to the state of provincial government finances in Manitoba, and across the country.

Called Responsible Budgeting, the report, and accompanying interactive website, analyse the 2013 budgets for all ten provincial governments and aim to supply citizens with a broader understanding of how governments spend and receive money.

The Responsible Budgeting project focuses on presenting financial information in a relatable manner, by imagining the province as a family and adjusting budget figures to match.

Rather than simply calculating per-household costs for various government services, the report actually scales provincial budgets down to the size of an average household budget.

...

At a time when many governments are hard-pressed to balance their budgets and keep spending under control, it’s vitally important for citizens to be able to access easily understandable information to help them understand how government budgets relate to their lives.

If Manitoba was a family:
  • It would earn $71,200 this year - the provincial average household income.
  • It would spend $74,541 this year.
  • It would own $103,134 in assets, but $132,936 in debt.
  • It would add another $3,341 in debt to the ‘credit-card’.
  • It would spend $28,092 on healthcare - almost 40% of the total budget.
  • It would spend $4,211 servicing debt this year.
For more information about the project, figures for other types of government spending, and comparisons with other provinces, please visit the Responsible Budgeting for the full report:
http://www.responsiblebudgeting.com

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The healthcare figure is a little bit bogus. The spending priorities for the province are much different then that of a family. How much does the province spend on food? Nevertheless, this is a interesting way to visualize the financial position of Manitoba.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 at the Peanut

Well, it's been a year, hasn't it?

One of the big goings-on around here was that this blog became mostly-dead. We had a pretty good run, but the defection of one of our researchers and a decrease in the quality of the coffee in our staff room spelled the end of this enterprise. At least for now.

Blogging is a bit of a dying activity it seems. The CreComm program at Red River College pumps out a fresh new batch of bloggers each year, but content and quality are mixed and most are short-lived. Besides that though, we have stumbled across a few new local Manitoba blogs that you should check out. If we have missed any good ones, and I'm sure we have, by all means leave a comment and it will get added to the list.

New Manitoba blogs:

Around This Town - Written with an oddly familiar though slightly stuffy style. Might be worth looking at.

James Hoddinott - This teacher and novelist has a diverse blog, with posts about art, development, and other things.

RPARC - Former Waverly West And Beyond blogger David Watson makes a return here, writing on behalf of the Riel Parks and Rivers Commons organization, mostly digging into the emerging development of agricultural land in south St. Boniface -- something that has the potential of becoming a bit of a debacle.

Open Letters to Louis Riel: Fulfilling the Winnipeg Dream - Dr. Robert-Falcon sets up this blog as a series of letters to Manitoba hero/villain/founder/crazy person Louis Riel, but in doing so he tackles some hefty and important issues.

The Art Of Gettting By In Winnipeg - Melissa explores the 101 things to do in Winnipeg (and more).

Good Day and Great Days - Winnipeg Free Press journalist Lindor Reynolds allows us to follow along as she battles brain cancer.

Dave Shorr - One of Winnipeg's 100 most interesting people also took us along on a very personal and poetic journey through his own battles with cancer.

WHOLLY SHIT  ~ church reviews from a serious punk - A tip 'o the hat goes to James Hope Howard for finding this gem, with its refreshing and hilarious reviews of local churches.

Colin Blog-heed [title pending] - Winnipeg based but not about Winnipeg, this astonishingly well researched blog is a must-visit if you dig cartoons.

365 Portrait Project - Dave Lipnowski committed to posting a portrait every day in 2013. I have seen other one-a-day-for-a-year blogs that failed, but what makes this more remarkable is that each photo was taken the day it was posted, and the quality of the photos are excellent.

Sadly we haven't been following the blogs as closely as we should, but we do have a New Year's resolution to update the blogrolls in the sidebar .. and keep them updated.

New blogs that need just a little more encouragement to keep going:

Cam Does Winnipeg
Tom Scott In Winnipeg
Another Megan
Eden In Winnipeg
From The Mind, Heart & Toe...


Our most read posts of the year:

Derelict Properties Bylaw?
We would like to think that this 2011 post made a resurgence because our novel idea to apply the derelict properties bylaw to vacant lots finally gained traction, but no ... it was Ray Rybachuk's hijinks and eventual demise that sent people scrambling to the internet to find out more about the shady dude with marginal snowmobiling skills.

People in glass houses should buy small furniture
Our sneak peak at the (very small) floor plans for the new Glasshouse Condominiums in downtown Winnipeg. The funny thing is all of the floor plans were completely redesigned from what I posted here.

How to get to Vimy Ridge
Once again this 2008 Vimy Ridge post generated hits almost on a daily basis. Go, if you ever have the chance.

Phil Sheegl: The right man for the job
Gosh, what could have possibly drawn people to this sarcastic little post about Winnipeg's former CAO? I can't imagine ...

Proposed new Winnipeg Jets logo!
We have to admit that our redesign of the Winnipeg Jets logo didn't go over as well as we had hoped. That is to say, the Jets organization didn't email us and offer to buy it for $100,000. Nevertheless, it was fun to do.

The Manitoba Government subsidizes strippers
Perhaps one of our better posts of the year? One of the least bad? At least not so crappy as to prevent assiniboiadowns.com from linking to it. This one sneered at Minister Stan Struthers and the government's claim that it was saving tax payer money by cutting back "subsidies" or "funding" to the Manitoba Jockey Club...

The places receiving this so-called funding includes strip clubs like Teasers, which in addition to featuring "Sleek & Sheek, Sexy, Exotic & Erotic, Applebottom babes, Big bang bootys, MilkJugs, Curvy, Mind Melting Hourglass figures, Long Legged Ladies, Big Bouncing boobs, Shocker Knockers & fun all the way around" also offers VLTs for your gaming pleasure. Each VLT could net Teasers up to $50,000 per year in revenue, thus the government is likely funding "nipple popping snow shows" to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Thank you, Stan!




A big thank you to all of patrons of Anybody Want A Peanut throughout 2013 and since the inception of this blog. Also a special thanks to those who shared these pieces on twitter or elsewhere, and to the other blogs that linked here.

Finally, here are a few other year-end blog posts to check out:


West End Dumplings: Most Read Posts
Slurpees and Murder: 156 Lines
Observations, Reservations, Conversations: Part I and Part II and Predictions for 2014
Nothing In Winnipeg: Bookends
The Crime Scene: Top Stories of 2013
The Black Rod: Newsmaker of the Year
Conceit and Sociopathy: Yeah it's 2014
North End MC: 2013 stats 



Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Winding things down at the Peanut

Well my friends. I think this blog has run it's course.

It all started 6 years ago -- SIX YEARS! -- with a rant about Bipole III. It wasn't long before I branched out into rants about Upper Fort Garry and rants about general government incompetence.

19 Bipole III and 21 Upper Fort Garry rants later, it's time to start winding things down.

I will keep this up on the webz for the foreseeable future. There is a great deal of content on this web site after all. I'm not gonna lie ... a lot of it is crap ... but some is actually researched and still relevant.

I'm also quite proud that my How to get to Vimy Ridge post still draws hits almost on a daily basis, and in fact visits to that one post have increased over time. I think that's pretty cool, because Vimy is an amazing place and I'm glad that I can still encourage people to visit it.

So that's that. Upper Fort Garry is still nowhere near being funded and Bipole III is still a $4 billion burden to Manitobans that can potentially be reversed, but we're all done with those types of discussions here.

If you want more Peanut-esque policy-oriented posts, check out aroundthistown.ca

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Waverley West bike paths already cracking.


Last weekend I did some suburban exploration on my bicycle. Among the things I discovered was an elaborate garden on or near a hydro corridor, complete with garden shed, shag carpeting, mysterious 50 gallon drums and other various containers laying about. The whole operation stretches close to 200 yards from one end to the other.

what's in the shed?
This was not far from Waverley West, Winnipeg's largest new subdivision, so I decided to toodle about the Bridgwater area of Waverley West to see what was going on.

I was excited to see Bridgwater (Yes, I'm spelling it correctly. There is no 'e'. That was the guy's name. Deal with it.) because we are being told it is going to be a dynamic "new-urbanist" suburb with a town center that promises to reinvent the "neo-traditional architecture of early-20th-century". Already this area is being compared to the walkable Corydon and Osborne Village neighbourhoods. -fp-

Sure, it doesn't look like much right now ...

Bridgwater Town Centre

... but just close your eyes and envision the multi-use buildings lining the sidewalks with patios, clock towers, fountains, and people bustling about. This is going to be no ordinary suburb, I'm telling you!

Roundabout!
Part of this new ethos of suburban sprawl is a focus on active transportation. As we mentioned in a recent post, Bridgwater will incorporate a network of trails that will allow people to get around while mostly staying off the roads. I fully support this concept in principle.

Nice path to nowhere

As we also mentioned previously, as the network expands so too will the cost of maintaining these trails.

Especially if they're built like this ...
It's only an asphalt wound.
Yes, that's right. These brand news paths started cracking virtually the moment the steam rollers left the scene.

The path above is so new that it's not even shown on the Public Works Department AT plan as a "proposed" or "future" route. It doesn't even go anywhere, because the path that it will eventually connect with, this being the "future" path along Bishop Grandin and Kenaston, is nowhere near being constructed.

See I told you it was a path to nowhere.
So this brand new path that is already cracking will have to weather at least one more freezing winter and spring thaw before it even connects to something and becomes useful.

 The crack shown above is certainly not a one-off. There are many more like it, though this one is probably one of the worst on this stretch. But why is this cracking so soon? Did the company that poured the concrete in the new Investors Group Field win the bid to construct these paths? I know that some paths have problems with tree roots causing cracks, but there is not a tree anywhere near this path. It was constructed on newly graded treeless terrain.

Another question: why did these paths even get built at this time when they're not on the Public Works AT plan and don't go anywhere?

Another question: why are we spending $330,000 on an active transportation master plan, when the city goes completely off the map and doesn't follow the plan we already have in place? The thing about a plan is it doesn't work as intended if you use it to prop up the uneven back left leg of your desk.

Perhaps this Master Plan will be followed and will result in an orderly and sensible trail building strategy. That would be great, but there is only so much a plan can do. One thing it cannot do is ensure a path is properly constructed so that it doesn't crack before anybody sets foot on it.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Diagnose your health problems using beer.


More people are turning to the internet for self-diagnosis of health problems. This is one of the great benefits of the technological marvel that is the world wide web, and not only do I fully support it but I wish to contribute myself.

This is why I am sharing a system I developed to accurately pin-point your health problems using a cheap and easily accessible tool: BEER.

This is how it works: your body is a complex mechanism that processes inputs to generate energy and provide the nutrients that your body needs to operate, while expelling anything that is not needed. If your body is not operating effectively, it will expel more of one thing or less of another, and there will be tell-tale signs of this in the colour of your pee. Stick with me here ...

To take advantage of this underrated bodily function, I have developed the Perfect Urine Beer Scale (PUBS). Using PUBS, you can tell what ails you simply by comparing the colour of your pee to the colour of an ale from your local beer store.

The PUBS© diagnosis

If your pee looks like: COORS LIGHT


Diagnosis
: The pale colour indicates that you are lacking vitamins and minerals in your diet. Go buy yourself some fruits and vegetables for a change. If your diet consists mainly of Coors Light and empty carbs, your urine will look like Coors Light. Coincidentally, your pee and Coors Light also probably taste the same.





If your pee looks like: KOKANEE

Diagnosis: You are healthy. This is a normal colour, which means that your body is operating normally so you can cancel your doctor's appointment. There is no need for you to waste his time and yours with a needless check-up when you can tell just by looking in the toilet bowl that you're in perfect health.


If your pee looks like: RICKARD'S RED


Diagnosis: The red tinge is a result of blood in your urine. You had better sit down for this part ... you are dying of cancer. If you haven't caught it by the time you start to pee blood then it is probably way too late. You shouldn't have cancelled that doctor's appointment last year. What were you thinking?


 

If your pee looks like: SLEEMAN HONEY BROWN

Diagnosis: This is darker than normal which indicates that you are dehydrated. The solution is to drink more fluids. No, NO, not BEER. I mean something besides beer. Get a glass of water or juice or something like that.


If your pee looks like: NEWCASTLE

Diagnosis: You are extremely dehydrated. What the hell were you doing? Never mind ... just find a cool room, perhaps a rec room in the basement, drink water and keep drinking until your pee returns to normal. Do it now, before you pass out and require an IV drip.




If you pee looks like: HOEGAARDEN

Diagnosis: The cloudy appearance is due to a kidney infection called pyelonephritis. It sounds bad, but don't worry, it is treatable with antibiotics although severe cases may require hospitalization.

Or you may have cataracts. Better get your eyes checked too.


If your pee looks like: GUINNESS


Diagnosis: You are a zombie. That is all you need to know.











Disclaimer: The accuracy of the PUBS© diagnosis may be compromised by eating Doritos chips with artificial colouring, especially Spicy Chipotle BBQ. Also, everything else may be grievously incorrect.




 
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