Headlines: Nov. 17, 2022

· The Pulse
  • The Stony Plain Road Bridge over Groat Road is scheduled to be demolished and replaced as part of Valley Line West LRT construction. Stony Plain Road will be closed between 129 Street and 131 Street starting in late December until fall 2024. There will be short-term closures on Groat Road between 102 Avenue and 107 Avenue during demolition in late December and again when the new bridge is built in spring 2023. The city has not yet provided specific dates for the project.
  • The City of Edmonton finalized its facility sponsorship agreement with Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. The deal grants the organization naming rights over what is now the Clareview Community Recreation Centre, which will receive new signage in 2023 dubbing it the "Jumpstart Community Recreation Centre." According to a release, the partners "look forward to working together to plan and introduce new programming and activities at the Clareview Community Recreation Centre in an effort to increase access for marginalized and vulnerable groups." The city said it is pursuing similar partnerships for recreation centres in Terwillegar, The Meadows, and Lewis Farms.
  • The general public is once again allowed to park at a popular access point to the Patricia Ravine in west Edmonton after the city decided not to renew a year-long pilot project that only allowed some residents of Wolf Willow to park there with a permit. The city's public engagement revealed that the "vast majority" of people, including "a majority of those residing within the program area," wanted the program to end, according to a post on the city's website. The city will collect more feedback next year as it continues efforts to "modernize Edmonton's curbside space" with its Curbside Management Strategy.
  • Dr. Mark Joffe, the interim chief medical officer of health who replaced Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Nov. 14, issued his first statement in response to the rising number of respiratory viruses circulating in Alberta. Joffe said Albertans, and Canadians, should expect to see similar outcomes to Australia because the countries have similar flu seasons. "In Australia, the highest rates of influenza disease were in children and teenagers, and children under 16 years of age accounted for the majority of influenza hospitalizations," he wrote. "Influenza can also have a severe impact on the elderly." The City of Edmonton said in a statement that administration has not recommended council consider a mask bylaw but is "keeping an eye on the situation in Edmonton as cases of respiratory illness, COVID-19, and influenza rise."
  • The Zebra Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, which serves children in Edmonton who are victims of abuse, reported it has been serving increasingly more kids in recent years. The centre saw 3,844 kids in 2021, up from the 2,362 it saw in 2019. CEO Emmy Stuebing said the figures are a result of more people reporting child abuse and an increase in "complex cases" such as those involving internet crimes. Mary Jane James, CEO of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, suggested pandemic restrictions also created conditions where "there were a lot of kids and a lot of adults confined in homes where there was abuse happening." Around 60% of youth helped by the Zebra Centre in 2021 were victims of sexual abuse. Alberta has a child abuse hotline (1-800-387-5437) and other resources to help recognize and respond to child abuse.
  • Edmonton is experiencing a string of bus shelter vandalism, with glass shattered at 141 bus shelters as of Nov. 15, including dozens along 118 Avenue. Trevor Dennehy, the city's director of LRT operations and maintenance, estimates the repair costs to be $38,000. "Bus shelter vandalism impacts all of us and is a senseless act, especially at a time when finances are already constrained," said Dennehy. "Every Edmontonian pays for the repair costs."
  • The Edmonton Oilers wore an updated version of their retro "Flying Oil Drop" jersey during their game against the L.A. Kings on Nov. 16. They will also sport the new reverse retro kit on Dec. 15, Dec. 31, Jan. 25, and Jan. 28. The original design by comic book artist Todd McFarlane was introduced in 2001.
  • Alphonso Davies, an Edmonton soccer hero, is in the spotlight as he and the rest of Team Canada await their first match against Belgium for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.