Headlines: Nov. 14, 2022

· The Pulse
  • Heritage Festival will temporarily relocate to the city's Exhibition Lands and Borden Park from 2023-25 while Hawrelak Park is closed for rehabilitation work. The Edmonton Heritage Festival Association said the move comes with an agreement with the city for incremental cost coverage and improved site access, along with a guarantee the festival can return to Hawrelak Park once it reopens. "We look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in our temporary home with our partners in Edmonton's cultural communities and with our new site partners at Explore Edmonton and the City of Edmonton," said association president Robert Rohatyn.
  • A new report from city administration suggests hiring two teams of five peace officers to deal with excessive vehicle noise, at an estimated cost of $1.6 million annually. Currently, about 20 peace officers monitor vehicle noise as part of their regular duties. According to the report, noise complaints have increased dramatically in recent years, from 150 in 2019 to 770 in 2020, and 1,028 in 2021. Coun. Michael Janz said the city should increase the bylaw fine to $1,000 to help offset the cost of enforcement. "This constant abuse by a small group of Edmontonians who are modifying their cars to make them even noisier and even more annoying, it's completely unacceptable," Janz said. "It's about time we have enforcement and let's stick them with the bill for it."
  • More than 20,000 students missed school because of illness on Nov. 9, according to data released by Edmonton Public Schools. The school board has called an emergency meeting for Nov. 15 to ask provincial health officials how many students need to be sick before additional health measures are considered. "We are not considering a mask mandate as we continue to believe that decisions related to health need to be made by the chief medical officer of health and Alberta Health Services," school board chair Trisha Estabrooks told CBC.
  • The city's waste services utility rate filing proposes a 0.9% increase to residential garbage pickup rates in 2023 and 2024. If council approves the proposal, total rates would increase by about $5 to $15 annually for the three bin sizes, while communal collection rates would increase by $0.28 monthly. "The increase will be used to support new programs, such as introducing food scraps sorting in apartments and condos, and address rising operational costs due to inflation," Keith Knoblauch, finance director for waste services, told Postmedia. The proposed increase follows two years of freezes.
  • An Edmonton couple spent two decades and $70,000 on a net-zero renovation of their 1969 Kilkenny area bungalow. Darren and Darcy Crichton began with a project to better insulate the home, but it later turned into a major effort to reduce the home's carbon footprint. The couple said they received subsidies to compensate for some of the renovation's cost and did most of the work on their own. "We strongly believe that climate change is negatively impacting us," Darcy Crichton said in an interview with CBC Radio Active. "We became aware that really, there were things we could do that actually made our lives better and also contributed less to climate change."
  • Flair Airlines has named Hall D at the Edmonton Expo Centre The Hangar after a five-year deal for the naming rights to the arena, which is home to the Edmonton Stingers basketball team. "It's an exciting time to be engaged in basketball in this country, and we couldn't be happier to have Flair join us," Stingers president Reed Clarke said. The arena is also in the final stages of a multi-million dollar renovation, which includes new seats for spectators.
  • The city's subdivision and development appeal board held a hearing on Nov. 10 to hear arguments against the proposed relocation of Boyle Street Community Services to a new facility at 101 Street and 107A Avenue. Janice Agrios, a lawyer representing some of the appellants, argued the new building is zoned for commercial use and not for social services the organization offers. Boyle Street Community Services executive director Jordan Reiniger said the organization's development permit application included the same uses they have in their current building. "There is a lot of fundamental misunderstandings about the work that we do," Reiniger said. A decision from the board is expected within 15 days.
  • Court filings show Duncan Kinney is now facing an additional charge of mischief to religious property in connection with the vandalism of a Ukrainian World War II memorial at St. Michael's Cemetery, Postmedia reported. Kinney was already facing one charge of mischief after a controversial statue outside a Ukrainian centre was spray-painted with the words 'Actual Nazi.' Kinney, a vocal police critic and editor with The Progress Report, wrote about the vandalism in August 2021. In a statement released after the initial charge was laid, Kinney said he would mount a "vigorous defence" and called the accusations an attempt by police to "silence and discredit a critic." He is next due in court on Dec. 22.