The rapid transit announcement
After years of waffling, the mayor put a new bow on the old rapid transit plan of a few years back and re-gifted it to Winnipeggers. I am only giving thumbs up to the announcement because I won't believe the line will be completed until my arse is bumping along the corridor ! (news article)
The failure of the South Point Douglas stadium
Failure can sometimes be a good thing. I thought there were a couple of positives here. (my blog entry)
First off, the city backed down on one of it's favourite area improvement methods: turn the bulldozers loose. Over the decades numerous mind-bogglingly expensive megaprojects have been tried to improve areas of the city. From The Civic Centre Complex, to the Centennial Centre to Portage Place. In the end, the project was moved to U of M where BOTH the Bombers and Bisons will enjoy a top notch facility.
It also focused attention on South Point Douglas as a neighbourhoood. Though some of the attention may be unwanted, it nonetheless reminded people that, yes, people live there. In the Provincial throne speech SPD was mentioned by name as a priority area for the next Winnipeg Partnership Agreement. It's probably been a long time since SPD received that sort of attention !
Public Space upgrades
Two of our nicest public spaces began their much deserved face lifts - Central Park and Old Market Square. (my blog entry)
RRC expansionI remember back when RRC's Princess campus was being built. Construction issues, cost issues and just the general "that won't work" movement caused a lot of grief for political types who stood by the project. Now, RRC is the gift that is giving back. Thanks to the largest donation in the college's history they have opted to move, among other things, their culinary arts program to the tower and revive yet another downtown gem. (news release)
Pints in, well, pintsHow silly was it to order a 'pint' and not actually be served Her Majesty's pint ?! (Well, in our case the metric 586ml equivelant). A wag of the finger, though, to Winnipeg's "authentic" pubs - the Toad and King's Head among two - for not converting to a real pint. Kudos to the LO Pub for being the first (and mybe the only ?) one to do so. (news story)
KICK-FMOkay, it's not new to a lot of people as it's been on the air for four years now but, hey, I'm a late bloomer when in comes to stuff like this. I had pretty much given up listening to radio due to bad music and I am getting a bit old and lazy to get out to explore the local music scene on a regular basis. (KICK website)
KICK has a very enjoyable line up of music - alt rock and local bands - and some great shows like Beer for Breakfast, Just for Kicks etc. that serve me up a whole new world of music. I now listen to radio again. Thanks guys !
ObamaThe US election was about more than politics.(my blog post).
Will he change the world ? Likely not, but he did something more than that. He broke one of the last psychological barriers that Amercians had: the "not ready to elect a black man as president" one. For a country that thinks it can do anything at all, that was one of the last taboos they could truck out.
Seeing older black people being interviewed with tears in their eyes because they remember the hate, the segregation and the humiliation of decades ago, you know something special happened that night.
If a bit of that "Yes WE Can" attitude could sink into the local media, politicans, beurocrats and citizens he will have served us well.
U of W DevelopmentI went to UW in the mid 90's and have to say that more stuff has happened in the past couple of years than the previous decade. The closing of Spence, the Duckworth expansion, renovating Wesley and Convocation Hall, a new theatre space, and soon to come a new science facility, residences and Con-Ed have all taken place. (construction website)
Some have accused Lloyd manifest destiny, (in a negative way) which is par for the course for making things happen here. Some of these items like science upgrades were in the rumour mill over a decade ago (I think there was even talk of the scince program's accreditation being in question at the time ?).
Investing in education, especially in some of thea reas taht actually generate income for a university: the private high school, rental accomidations, Con_Ed, are a good thing. It's also making good changes to Portage Avenue as well.
The Blogging Community
This year I joined a new community - the "blogoshphere" (I'm with cj, I really don't like that expression).
My first attempt was to create a personal site, which did not go too well. Technology isn't my strong suit, I find that I am a bit too impatient to learn the "how's" and like to jump right into things. Eventually, I set up shop on blogspot with two sites: this one for my thoughts and This Was Winnipeg for my local history stuff.
I've enjoyed my 6 months or so immensely not only doing my own thing but contributing to others and hearing and reading what others have to say. There's a great crew of folks out there. Check out my blog roll for some of them !
I look forward to sharing the community space with all of you in 2009 !