Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year? Yes, it's true, 2011 is going to reverber8...

Happy New Year? Yes, it's true, 2011 is going to reverber8...

YYCCC Unknown Building in Sunnyside

What is in this City of Calgary building? Why does it occupy some of the most valuable real estate in Calgary?

USE: Unused Space Exploration on facebook

11 wishes for 2011: Full Dream Ahead

11 wishes for 2011: Full Dream Ahead

1. Respect & Protect Transit Users... Bus shelters at unprotected transit stops. High Performance Transit. Rock the transit echelon. Shake it up. New blood, new ideas. Join Calgary Transit Users Group.

2. Access to Unused Spaces & Buildings... create the policies & legislation to nurture AREA: Art, Recreational, Educational, Environmental, Agricultural and Community Building initiatives.
USE: Unused Space Exploration on facebook.

3. Changing the Corporate Culture of YYCCC... The 3 C's in YYCCC = Change the Corporate Culture. Employees are scared. This has to stop. I can't tell you how often I hear City of Calgary employees say "I'll get in trouble", "I can't do that", "I'm unable to do that", "I have to ask my boss" when requesting very basic information. We need to empower employees and encourage them to do more by expanding their job descriptions. We also need to add a few questions to the interview/HR process. Questions like, "How have you been involved in your community?" & "What are your ideas for making Calgary a better city?"
How? Citizens Supporting the Move Towards Progressive, Inclusive & Responsive Governance... Whenever we engage lacklustre efforts from YYCCC, citizens should feel empowered to challenge the performance. We are no longer frogs in boiling water. We are the difference.

4. Eliminate Calgary Economic Development & Restructure Calgary Housing Corporation... Does it get anymore inefficient than these 2 organizations? Well, maybe Calgary Parking Authority & Calgary Police Service, but even they look orderly compared with Calgary Housing & Calgary Economic Development. See point #10 on ways to Save Municipalities MONEY

5. Adopt a City... Adopt a Stop (Transit), Adopt a Park, Adopt a Garden, Adopt a Street, et al... Engaging citizens by allowing them to take responsibility for their areas of interest/neighbourhoods. It is a variation on Take Back Our Neighbourhood that YYCCC needs to explore seriously in order to create long term, sustainable change.

6. BikeBahn... A dedicated network/system of Bike paths for Calgarians. Calgarians are sick of $25 Million foot/bike bridges. This is simple infrastructure that has been bastardized by an irresponsible and detached elite that enjoys spending public funds on vanity projects. BikeBahn is different. This is inexpensive infrastructure development that has a massive ROI. It is hard to imagine the expanded capacity of our bike/foot path network had it received $50 Million instead of 2 bridges.

7. Transparency, Gov20, Open Government, Open Data, YYCDATA... Open up city hall to all! Allow access to information that is directly related to Calgarians. Embrace citizen engagement. All of this in the imagineCalgary targets. More Data Sets!

8. Calatravesty... What a trainwreck. YYCCC has shot themselves in the FOOTbridge on this one. No end in sight and we have a temporary bridge that can hold a 100 tonne crane, but no one has yet walked across the Bow River. We drilled no less than 18 pilings into the Bow River for a bridge that was not allowed to have supports. When was the last time a helicopter landed anywhere near Prince's Island? Ya, Calatravesty. And it is happening again @ The East Village with the CMLC proposing YET ANOTHER $25 Million bridge.
Can we please build a $2.5 Million bridge that is functional for Bike & Foot traffic? I'll paint it for free.

9. Hoarding at construction sites & anywhere there is a Blue Fence. West LRT could be the world's longest art installation. We have 100's of sites where art could happen in public = PUBLIC ART. Presently the incentive is a 25% reduction in hoarding fees. Make this a 100% reduction and actually coordinate the effort. Artists are standing by...

10. Art Policy... get serious on cultural issues YYCCC, ArtPolicy is not a document that sits on shelf. Art Policy is vibrant, living, breathing, expansive, interactive, inclusive, responsive and very, very alive. Get bureaucrats as far away from art decisions as possible. Engage local artists wherever possible. The Autocracy has to go, and the sooner the better. Calgary needs an open Art Summit that builds progressive ART POLICY. Calgary Art Policy Alliance

11. One Stop Shop for Poverty Reduction... Affordable Housing. Poverty Reduction/Elimination by training and employing people in Urban Agriculture & Development. YYCCC can flex our resource muscle and provide opportunities with immense social ROI.
Time for an Opportunity Summit!

2011 will be a pivot year for progressive change in Calgary. We should be confident & creative moving forward. Full Dream Ahead...

Happy New Year, YYC!

Paul Hughes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Less than 1% & CMLC pulls the trigger on yet another $25M Bridge in Calgary

Kudos to Chris Ollenberger (twitter: @collenbe) for engaging on twitter on the subject of another $25M bridge in Calgary. Unfortunately, by suggesting 7000 people (less than 1% of Calgary's population) polled actually "requested" a $25M bridge @ St Patrick's, Chris fails in his attempt to provide reasonable grounds for building yet another $25M bridge in a city that is averse to even the mention of such a waste of infrastructure money. Ollenberger is manipulative & laughable when he states, "7000 people requested the bridge." 7000 Calgarians are not going to suggest this as an option and CMLC/Stantec know this, so they devised a strategy that would allow them to pad their numbers. This is commonly known as "leading" -- suggestions that reinforce your position. If my 2010 run for Calgary mayor taught me anything, it was that Calgarians DO NOT support $25M foot/bike bridges. Now, to be clear, Calgarians support advanced infrastructure, but at a reasonable cost. Calgary should be the city of bridges. We should be encouraging the development of pedestrian bridges and even financing research and competitions to construct highly utilitarian bridges with a dash of artistry. But, another VANITY project? No, Calgarians believe funds can and should be allocated with a greater degree of science, scrutiny & respect.

To voice your opposition to yet another $25Million Bridge, send an email:
CMLC email:
Chris Ollenberger email:
Mayor Nenshi email:

I oppose spending $25 Million of Taxpayers money on another Pedestrian
Bridge in Calgary. I support alternative options & urge City of
Calgary/CMLC to explore these immediately.

Less than 1% of #YYC population participated, & this is basis 2 build yet another $25M Bridge? #yyccc

Of the less than 1% of #YYC that responded, how many specifically requested another $25M bridge? #yyccc

What is rational about yet another $25M bridge? Is this new CMLC logic? 7K dictate to 993K? #yyc #yyccc

Friday, December 24, 2010

FoodStock 2011: Saturday, 29Jan11 @Kingsland FM 2-5pm

FoodStock 2011: Saturday, 29Jan11 @Kingsland FM 2-5pm


Family Friendly Fundraiser 4 the Canadian Right to Food Trial Legal Fund, Saturday, 29Jan11 @Kingsland FM 2-5pm

Tweet ready: #FoodStock 2011 29January11 -- Every1 invited. Mark your calendars FOODSTOCK #yyc #R2F

Contact FoodStock Event Coordinator:

Send Email to Chelsea Pratchett


Send Email to Paul Hughes

Looking 4 artists 2 donate pieces 4 silent auction. 50% of bid will go 2 the artist.

Looking for musicians 2 play acoustic sets @ FoodStock.

Send Email to Reghan Ottenson

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 Biggest Food Stories of 2010

2010 was a big year for food policy — particularly because our country's diet became the focus of two major pieces of legislation: one to keep our meals safe from pathogens like Salmonella, the other to feed America's children more and better food. But alongside these twin pillars of food news stand a host of other developments and trends. Here, as part of The Atlantic's end-of-year round-up, we present you with the 10 biggest food stories of 2010: the stuff we just couldn't stop talking about, thinking about, or eating.

10 Biggest Food Stories of 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Urban Decay: The Shame of Kensington: Anthill still empty 5 years later

The Shame of Kensington: Anthill still empty 5 years later

Calgary Parking Authority continues with policy of urban decay.

Shameful, shocking, scandalous, deplorable, despicable, contemptible, beyond contempt, beyond the pale, dishonorable, discreditable, reprehensible, base, mean, low, blameworthy, unworthy, ignoble, shabby, inglorious, outrageous, abominable, atrocious, appalling, dreadful, terrible, disgusting, shameless, vile, odious, monstrous, heinous, iniquitous, unspeakable, loathsome, sordid, nefarious, et al

Exorbitant Bush League Urban Facelift & Fluff: eBLUFF

Exorbitant Bush League Urban Facelift & Fluff: eBLUFF

How did Graham snag yet another city contract for fluff work? Where is this project going? Where is the decorative hoarding as per city policy? Why is #YYCCC addicted to these types of fluffy urban renewal projects? Are there alternatives?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Enmax cuts off power to Canadian military veteran's Calgary family

Enmax cuts off power to Canadian Military Veteran's Calgary family, in the middle of winter, while family works on payment arrangements

#yyccc #TragicallyHip #GaryHolden

Enmax boss Gary Holden has made Forbes Magazine's Top 10 list — for the fifth biggest CEO screw up of 2010.

Enmax CEO paid $2.7M in 2009
Perquisites include car and driver, parties with rock stars

New York State Governor Paterson Announces Executive Order to Promote Sustainable Local Farms

Governor Paterson Announces Executive Order to Promote Sustainable Local Farms

ALBANY, NY (12/15/2010)(readMedia)-- Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he has signed Executive Order No. 39, establishing State policies for the promotion of sustainable local farms and the protection of agricultural lands. Currently, there are seven million acres devoted to agriculture throughout the State, and New York's 36,000 family farms generate $4.4 billion in annual sales.

"The protection of New York's agricultural lands is a fundamental principle enshrined in our State Constitution and has been a priority of my Administration," Governor Paterson said. "Agriculture is a bedrock of New York's economy and this Executive Order will set forth provisions to aid in the protection of agricultural lands for our State's long-term economic and environmental prosperity."

Maintaining agriculture helps ensure healthier soil and cleaner waterways, and aids in the absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. State agencies are directed to consider these issues when reviewing and revising policies relevant to the purchase of agricultural products. The Executive Order also designates the first week in October as "Agriculture Week," during which individuals, restaurants, institutions and markets are encouraged to celebrate the benefits of New York's fresh and nutritious food products, and of agricultural land as a vital natural resource.

Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker said: "I am very excited that the Governor is continuing his strong support for New York's hard working family farmers. As the original guardians of the landscape, agriculture in New York will continue to provide fresh, safe, healthy food for New Yorkers and the world at large. This is a most worthwhile initiative."

Frederic C. Rich, Chair of Scenic Hudson and Head of the New York State Environmental Leaders Group, said: "We are all delighted with the Governor's action. Never before has the public, both urban and rural, been so aware of the importance of healthy local food, and of the need to protect New York State's ever-shrinking base of farm land. His Executive Order makes clear that a commitment to sustainable farming in New York is not optional -- it is mandated by the Constitution and the law. We applaud and thank the Governor for this important Order."

Robert Morgenthau, Former Manhattan District Attorney, said: "The order is extremely important and significant. It should be a great economic benefit to the farmers of New York State, and the Governor is to be congratulated on taking this major step toward supporting sustainable agriculture. New York State will continue as a leader in extending the benefits of agriculture to all of its citizens."

News from New York State Office of the Governor

For more information contact: Jessica Bassett, 518-474-8418/212-681-4640

Additional news available at | High resolution images available at | password: paterson | New York State | Executive Chamber | | 212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418

Full Article: New York State Governor Paterson Announces Executive Order to Promote Sustainable Local Farms

Ten Ideas to Save Municipalities Money... #10 Ditch Calgary Economic Development

Ten Ideas to Save Municipalities Money... #10 Ditch Calgary Economic Development

#10 -- Economic development

Community economic development has been one of the least cost-effective enterprises of municipalities. Millions of dollars have been spent in an attempt to bring new businesses into communities across Canada, with very little success. The reason is simple: new businesses are more likely to be attracted to a community with reasonable tax levels and a healthy progressive business environment than to one that is in a steady state of decline.

What these offices should have been doing was to concentrate on keeping their existing businesses happy and healthy. Business retention and expansion activities have helped to avoid the continual deterioration of jobs, particularly if these retention efforts were aimed at helping businesses to strengthen the quality of their operations. Several municipalities have initiated business incubator programs to promote new businesses, started training programs for new and existing businesses, and changed legislation to encourage businesses operated in homes. Joint committees of business, labour and government have had much success, as have apprenticeship programs designed by businesses and schools. The best economic development programs seem to emerge from strong community-based strategic plans because the best ideas are captured and strong support is more likely.

Municipal decision making can be affected by concerned and informed citizens. However, it will take perseverance on the part of a community s citizens, combined with sound political leadership and enlightened management. The main difference between municipalities with excellent services and low tax rates compared to those with average or poor services and high tax rates is the degree to which they strive to find a better way to deliver services.

Full article: Ten Ideas to Save Municipalities Money

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Office: Household Food Security

My "film" directing and scriptwriting debut...

The Office: Household Food Security

featuring (sorta) Pam Beesly Halpert (Jenna Fischer) & Michael Scott (Steve Carell)