Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Playing around with my pics brought me to the U of M Winnipeg Building Index and Heritage Winnipeg site trying to find some "thens" for my "nows". I didn't have a lot of luck but found some other neat things.
Here are a few of Portage Avenue in the pre-Portage Place / monster skywalk days (Click on the photo to go to the source page).
Portage and Main sans barricades c 1938:
I love the streetcars but, yikes, that would have been a bit of a dangerous a trek to and from the middle of the road in winter as the cars whizzed by you !
Portage and Donald looking west (circa 50s ?).
Portage Avenue 1965:
Portage Avenue 1975:
Here's Portage and Vaughan looking east. To the left is where Portage Place is now, (c 70's)
If you click on the above image, look to the first building on the left - that was the Scientific Building. It was home to such local institutions as Scientific School of Beauty, Shaino's (which I believe was a leather wear store), Solar News and the first Rae and Gerry's.
There's a great picture of it in Going Downtown but I can't find anything better on the net. Here's a blow up. Look closely and you might recognize something:
Well, if you do any walking downtown you might have seen part of the Scientific Building's facade. It's on Portage Place:
It's on the wall outside Pantages (the black portion close to the confederation building)It's on the main floor of Place Promenade:
If memory serves correct, it's also around the stage at Old Market Square and maybe even Air Canada park as well.
Well, time for another nap !
Friday, June 26, 2009
Attention U.S. Urban Blacks: There is a new campaign called Greater Than AIDS "...a national movement to mobilize Black Americans in response to AIDS and promote specific calls-to-action to prevent and reduce the further spread of HIV" (news release).
About half of all new cases in the US are among blacks, despite being just 12% of the population. A good sign found in research done by the Kaiser Foundation: Blacks, much more than their Latino or white counterparts, are willing to talk about HIV/AIDS with partners or a caregiver, willing to get tested and feel that it is a problem for their respective community.
Greater Than AIDS want to capitalize on this awareness and use celebrity spots, PSAs and events like concerts and basketball tourneys, to reach their goal of 1 million Blacks tested for HIV/AIDS by June 27, 2010.
While you're at it, might as well check out ROB's memorable moments in business news from the past quarter century. Ahhh...the portable phone: "Every ring of the cellular phone confirms the upward mobility of its owner". Indeed.
(By the way, "the brick" is making a comeback !)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
This, despite (or maybe because !): we're a bit chubby (51%); 21% still smoke (that's down 5 points since '01) and 6.8% say that they've been diagnosed with a mood disorder, (depression, bipolar, mania) - that's a 1.5% increase since '03.
These, and other health indicators, can be found on at the Health in Canada section of the Statscan website.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
CHA program helps families save money and rebuild their lives: The Chicago Housing Authority's Family Self Sufficiency initiative has helped 608 participants save $5.6 million for housing, education and other needs. Eighteen graduated from the program yesterday.
Damn, someone beat me to it ! Despite best attempts otherwise, Brandon has managed to hold onto a few of it's great heritage buildings. The Massey Building in Brandon is a favourite of mine (sorry, I can't find a decent pic of it anywhere !). It's great news that after sitting underutilized for many years that it will be converted to affordable housing with the co-operation of the governments, the Brandon Mental Health Association, Habitat for Humanity and the Friendship Centre. (Also see)
A few years back I go to see what the BMHA did with this, once derelict, block in the downtown which is now housing. Great stuff !
Party like it's 1909: The Wall Street Journal has a great feature about the 1909 Chicago city plan in Chicago, City Without Limits: Celebrating 100 years of urban elegance and the plan that started it all".
The plan, by Daniel Brinham, was to show the world that the people of Chicago “must ever recognize the fact that their city is without bounds or limits,” and that they themselves are “a population capable of indefinite expansion.
Design New Haven: I'm going to add this to my blogroll. An interesting blog about design and urban affairs in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. There seems to be a lot of neat stuff going on. Also check out the NY Times Magazine story from a few months back "It's a wonderful block".
And a couple of non-urban dumplings too:
Real News: This Hour has 22 Minutes was a North American forerunner in mock news. Since then, a number of programs, including the Daily Show and Colbert Report, continue to blur the line between real and imaginary news. It was only a matter of time until: former CNN anchor Bobbie Batista has joined the cast of The Onion News Network as an anchor.
Jon and Who? I never even got to figure out who the hell Jon and Kate were, aside from the fact that they had some tv show that I never heard of. Now, there's news that they are getting divorced. I guess I'll never know now. How do I know ? I don't get CNN at home but when I was eating out yesterday CNN covered the "news" as if it were the Obamas or Charles and Camilla getting divorced. Over to you, Bobbie ...
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here are a few tidbits that caught my eye today....
1. "9-1-1, what raw emotion would you like ?" Man, I'm not sure if I would want to work at the 911 monument offices creating THE ground zero monument in New York. Intense grief on an international scale. Conspiracy theorists abound. Political posturing at all three levels. What a horrible stew that would be.
There are some updated pics of the monument on the NY Times blogs page.
2. Stonewall Our uprising's 90th anniversary has passed. The City of New York has released new police documents about a more recent event in their city: the Stonewall Uprising.
3. F1 in Parc Fermé ? Is this just smoke ? This isn't the first time the owners have used the threat of creating a rival series to pull Mad Max and the FIA into line. Like most big budget sports F1 has it's share of problems. I'm not sure if going it on their own would solve many of them.
Of course, the more races, (or threat thereof), the better chance Montréal has of getting theirs back. I've been there at Grand Prix time and the two go hand in glove.
4. "Job Lock" Does our healthcare system make Canadian cities more innovative than their U.S counterparts? According to this Retuers story, "job lock" is becoming an increasing problem in the US.. People who might jump to a better firm, start a company of their own, or become freelancers are increasingly staying at their old job just to retain health benefits. This lack of 'entrepreneurial movement' is only expected to get worse.
5. Built Heritage, Meet Bulldozer The Chinese are catching on to N. American style urban renewal. Bye historical districts - bring on the giant malls !
Friday, June 19, 2009
A.A. Heaps is a prominent name in Winnipeg politics. He was an alderman during the Winnipeg General Strike and one of the ten leaders arrested on June 17. In 1925 he became CCF M.P. for Winnipeg North and sat until 1940.
The Vital Statistics building on Portage is named for him.
Turns out that there is another AA Heaps in urban politics: his grandson Adrian, (who goes by A.A. as a tribute to his grandfather). AA the current sits on Toronto City Council representing Ward 35 - Scarborough Southwest.
New Store: From June 19, 1919 and ad for a new store in town on the north side of Portage at Furby (around - maybe part of ) National Typewriter building.
The Keenora is a feature attraction at the Selkirk Marine Museum. Here's an ad from her sailing days in June 1919:
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
1. I really enjoyed Doors Open 2009. I even volunteered for some of it. I haven't uploaded all my pics but here are a couple of things I saw:
2. June 2009 is Story of London month, a sort of Doors Open on a grand scale. How do you take a city like London and try to her story ? There are the historic tours and re-enactments but participants are also urged to: Take your pick from hundreds of events across the capital, ranging from art, architecture and fashion to film, history, literature, music and theatre.
Perhaps we could turn Doors Open into a wider discussion about our city with lectures, architectural displays, art tours etc. as part of the mix. Perhaps do that the following weekend and make it a "Story of Winnipeg" week.
(Related media from BBC News)
3. The answer is: Québec ! Yes, la belle province gets the top grade, a B+, for the amount of Canadian History it teaches. The score is from the Dominion Institute Canadian History Report Card (related media). Next in line: BC (B); YK (B); ON (B); MB (B-); NS (C+); NB (C-); NU (D). Riding in on the fail boat are Nfld and PEI.
The Institute's past Canadian history polls have pointed out that 26% of us did not know the year of Confederation and that 40% could not place Sir John A. as the first prime minister.
4. At the New York Historical Society this month there is an interesting photo exhibition: Harlem, 1970-2009: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara.
Slate's article The Harlem That Was. Photographs of New York's most interesting neighborhood in its most neglected age includes a partial slideshow andinterview with Vergara about the changes he has seen in Harlem since the early 70's - for better and for worse.
5. Shameless plug but the Winnipeg General Strike is in the final days. Keep up on all the news !
Monday, June 15, 2009
It is a repeat of a study from 40 years ago and King's College London researchers found that there has been no real change in people's understanding of their body. For instance, only half of people could correctly locate where the heart is.
I guess in the whole scheme of things having precise knowledge of where your pancreas is won't necessarily make the world a better place to live in. Still, I wonder how many emergency visits for "heart attacks" turn out to be gastrointestinal pains or, worse, how many heart attacks are assumed to be simply a result of too much pizza.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Small hospitals to run out of isotopes this week
Canadian Press Jun. 9 2009 2:17 PM
Smaller hospitals across the country will run out of medical isotopes this week, leaving many cancer and heart patients scrambling to find alternatives.
What to say about all this ?!
Really, Harper should have accepted Minister Raitt's resignation and snuffed out the sexy aspect of this issue before these inevitable headlines started surfacing. "Scrambling" cancer patients vs. standing your ground and not let let the media/oppo tell you what to do with your cabinet ? Umm.... yeah, I'll take the cancer patients and a Thompson, MB sized crow, please.
I was a "fart-catcher"for many years, to use the Frank-crafted term for political staffer, and have winced and cringed numerous times throughout the week.
The binder issue ? Nasty stuff. God knows what happened, though. The Ministerial hurricane pulls into the studio for a few minute interview and then is gone again before you can even finish checking your voicemail. Did the Minister, now used to a legion of young staff to pick up after her at every turn, carelessly leave it behind expecting that SOMEONE would sanitize the room before they left ? Did the comm staffer carry a "secret" binder from the car to a media studio then simply walk out and leave it behind ? Could a media type have plopped newspaper down on it or nudged it closer to the plant in the corner just to see if it would get left behind so that they could have a looksey ? A combination of the above ? None of the above ?
Worthy of Ministerial demotion ? Naw.
Worthy of comm staff firing ? Probably not, though you know that an unwritten part of your job is to fall, or be dropped, on the sword if necessary - even if it was the Minister's fault.
Tape recorder left behind in the can ? Am I reading this right ? Yikes. I can remember going to the bathroom holding a briefcase in my teeth so that I wouldn't have to worry about leaving it behind. Even if your lone reason for entering the washroom is to have privacy while you drop dead: you still don't leave the tape recorder unattended.
Worthy of Ministerial demotion ? You're at the 50/50 point. You're having trouble guiding the dinghy so you're not going to be graduating to a "grown-up" boat anytime soon. Next excuse for a minor cabinet shuffle and you could be back riding the green bus and the $7 breakfast special at the cafeteria.
Worthy of comm staff firing ? At best, your new job is going to involve handing out pins and pamphlets at constituency barbecues - providing that the CO is a loooong way from The Hill. Politicians live in a fishbowl and become hypersensitive, (some even truly paranoid), that the oppo, media, some colleagues and a selection of the myriad of hangers-on that they've collected, are going to screw them. Someone on the inside, albeit unintentionally, they can't trust ruins some of the few moments when they should be able to relax.
Of course, the fireworks / dancing elephants of this story is the fact that what you said in private became public. I don't necessarily condemn what you said - tape record a nurse, doctor, policeman, firefighter, lawyer, waiter, chef, reporter etc. talking about work issues when nobody is around and you're going hear references that you don't want to hear. The fact that you got caught is like getting shot in a paintball game: yes, he came out of nowhere; yes you were careful; yes you had a good strategy; of course you didn't see this coming; yadda, yadda. Now go back and sit in the truck. Say hi to Dianne Marleau if you see her on your way.
Harper, swallow your pride and try to salvage anything that could resemble a future political career for Raitt by putting her on the back benches.
This is supposed to be about scrambling cancer patients.
One of them is a family member of mine.
Update June 10:
Raitt Has Finally Said Sorry
"I want to offer a clear apology to anyone has been offended by what I said."Raitt choked up as she described watching her father die of colon cancer when she was a child, and then losing her brother to lung cancer as an adult.
2. WiFi for the new Disraeli Bridge ? We're still debating over whether the homeless really need washrooms or not, but in San Fran they are addressing the 21st century issue of staying connected while homeless. As the gentleman in the story, who lives in a van under a bridge, says:
3. Minnipeg: I was at the Chicago Architecture Institute last year and had bittersweet feelings. Wonderful that they celebrate their built history (though it took a lot of struggle and demolitions to get to that point) yet a bit sad in that we have many similar buildings, some built by the same architects and firms, but many still have a sense that they are a hindrance to downtown development.
I saw version of a model of "The Loop" not sure if it's the same one they're talking about here. They are now using digital imaging to print the image of each building onto the models in such detail that some buildings take 40-70 hours to do !
Now THAT would be something neat for The Exchange and Downtown. Start back in 1900 and move up to 2010. Cool. Actually, we could probably start with decent building photo index.
Monday, June 8, 2009
For financial donations, Manitoba still ranks among the highest per-capita givers in the country (though we were at number one for a while, yes ?): Alberta ($596) NWT ($550) Yukon ($530) Manitoba ($520).
Where does that cash go ? Mostly to religious based organizations:
As for volunteerism, another prairie province takes the prize: Saskatchewan at 59% then Yukon (58%), PEI (56%) and Nova Scotia (55%).
Be sure to get the kids involved - it pays off in the ling run:
Friday, June 5, 2009
Take time to remember.
- CBC Archives: Canadians Target Juno Beach
- Juno Beach Centre: D Day
- Winnipeg D-Day veterans keep memory alive
- National Film Board D-Day Project
Images: click for source
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
1. Happy ? Soo Happy !
Men, are you thinking about retirement, or know someone who is ? Get a hobby NOW. A new study shows that men are planning for financial security in retirement but not for happinessWHO bulletin visual impairments. More about how More eyeglasses could help global economy in this Reuters article.3. Less Crime, Less Babies
In "drop outs: a public safety issue" I wrote about the correlation between staying in school and a drop in criminal activity. An Oregon State study, to be published next month, reports on the unexpected side result of a youth crime study they were conducting: criminal behavior intervention reduces teen pregnancy.
The results are a 20% difference between girls in regular foster care and those in a specialized crime behavior intervention programming. More in this MNT story.
Scientists asked people around the world on Monday to help compile an Internet-based observatory of life on earth as a guide to everything from the impact of climate change on wildlife to pests that can damage crops.
The Encyclopedia of Life project is now online. You can check out what's being submitted or submit something yourself to the database. Also, check out their blog.
5. Thanks to Stimpson for pointing this out...
The Oprah-fication of medicine is also a hot science topic this week. Also see Oprah's website of woo---can it change? and Newsweek's What Oprah Gets Right On Dieting and Nutrition.
Does this mean that my weekly rosewater colonics can come to an end ;-)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Now, the Friends of Upper Fort Garry's plan for a park on the site has been approved. Interestingly, a deal has also been done for the gas station land at the north-east corner. Of note is that a gas station has been there since 1925 and that neither that parcel of land, nor the Manitoba Club, were part of Upper Fort Garry in the first place (see map above).
Looking back through Upper Fort Garry Notes I am reminded of David Asper's speech last week in which he accused the city of being all about "too much planning and not enough execution". The city began discussing the expansion of the park around the gate area in the 1930's. It was at one time touted as the site of a new city hall and the closest it came to getting the full treatment: removal of the buildings around it and made a national historic site and park was in 1972 when it was the city's candidate for their Manitoba Centennial project (the library beat it out at the last minute).
For someone who is both a heritage AND downtown advocate this 'victory' is bittersweet. It required the scuttling of the first hi-rise apartment built downtown in three decades to preserve a piece of land we've been humming and hawing over for eight decades.
Monday, June 1, 2009
House of Commons Meets The F Word
Damn, I was watching this news conference for a bit this morning but missed the translator's meltdown ! I wonder if she were translating in the other direction if she'd have to swear in french ?
Contracted out media ? well, if you're just going to take wire copy and press releases and toss them into your paper, why not ?!:
Made in India, but Published in New Haven (New York Times) A weekly newspaper in Connecticut tried an experiment in outsourcing, with interesting results. The Advocate, the usual alternative weekly mix of listings, personal ads, entertainment news and local reporting, wasn’t the first publication to wonder whether you could do local journalism without local journalists.
The Other Black Despite the gloom and doom I read this about a small BC media company actually doing well in these times. Part of the secret: get back to LOCAL news in local papers:
Black’s Magic (Maclean's) Newspapers around the world are in free fall, but B.C.’s little-known media baron has a model that just might point the way to the future.
The S word The H1N1 outbreak has brought about a debate over science reporting. Most media don't have a science or medical beat. Do they get the story right ?
H1N1 flu virus not an extremely serious condition, most doctors say (Canada NewsWire) The majority (66%) of GPs believe that the H1N1 situation was overblown by the media, and almost one-half (48%) of Canadians agree with this sentiment.
Quebec health minister lashes out at media over breast cancer report (Globe and Mail) Yves Bolduc said media reports last week alleging that up to 30 per cent of breast cancer patients in Quebec may have received improper treatment were false.
Britain's Got Burnout And, of course, when regular people and the media collide, the results are not always good....Hey, if Brittany can do it, why not Susan Boyle ?
What's in a Name ? I didn't dream it, CTV NewsNet DID change it's name to CTV News Channel over the weekend.
So, what will news junkies see with this re-branding ? More corespondents ? A cutback on small-town USA 'water-skiing squirrel' type stories as filler ? Fewer day-old CNN stories ? Well, notsomuch. CTV says it's "a continued commitment to breaking news, the channel also unveils a new look with a refreshed graphics package."
In the Media in Canada article CTV Newsnet relaunches as CTV News Channel they note that CTVNC (?) can now feature ads in it's news ticker and "The relaunch will also provide more sponsorship opportunities. Companies can sponsor various segments of news programming, such as business, health news and weather."