The Pulse: Jan. 7, 2022

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

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  • -22°C: Periods of snow. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Temperature steady near minus 22. Wind chill minus 28 in the morning and minus 33 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. (forecast)
  • 498: There are 498 people in hospital in Alberta due to COVID-19, including 64 in intensive care. (details)
  • 1 million: As of Jan. 3, more than one million Albertans have received a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. details

Barto Residence, a bright blue, two-storey building

Vintage Fork survives pivot, prepares for new home

By Emily Rendell-Watson

Vintage Fork, a restaurant turned online tea shop, is preparing to move into a new brick and mortar location this summer at the Barto Residence.

Sarah Melli and her husband Salar bought the residence six years ago with the intention of seeking municipal historic resource status and offering a restaurant inside. It has since been designated and restored, but now their plan is to base their growing tea shop out of the house.

"We'll have seating where you can come in and have a cup of tea. Salar is probably going to be doing some cookies, and our scones are going to be coming back, but it won't be a full restaurant like it used to be," said Melli, who added that her and her husband currently live in the Alberta Avenue-area residence.

"It is a historic home, and we want it to still feel like you're walking into a house. There's really interesting, original character and trim and woodwork in the house that we wouldn't want to change because that's part of the part of the historic aspect of it."

The business was initially forced to shut down in March 2020 when its home of two and a half years, Rutherford House, was closed because of COVID-19. Unlike other restaurants, Vintage Fork wasn't allowed to offer delivery and pickup services.

But customers quickly began inquiring about buying the high-quality tea the boutique restaurant was known for, so the Mellis decided to pivot and create an online tea shop.

"We just decided that this is our new path, and we're all in, we're going for it," Melli told Taproot. "We had 12 tea flavours at the restaurant and now we have over 70. We're hoping to have over 100 by the end of this year."

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By Mack Male and Doug Johnson

  • The city will resume snow clearing in Phase 2 residential areas on Monday, Jan. 10 following a pause in non-essential operations due to the extreme cold. The parking pan will take effect at 7am.
  • Edmonton police are investigating reports that unvaccinated people paid vulnerable people to get vaccinated so they could use their QR codes. One nurse said that they saw one patient who received seven doses of the vaccine in a single day, and had several patients say they were paid to get fraudulent shots.
  • Edmonton Public School Board trustees have published an open letter to the provincial government asking that schools be considered "high risk" settings in order to continue being notified of positive COVID-19 tests. Trustees also want better data and clearer metrics amid the spread of Omicron. Chair Trisha Estabrooks said she is expecting "a very turbulent time" due to increased staff absences.
  • The majority of Edmontonians are in favour of allowing alcohol consumption in public parks following last year's pilot. According to a poll by the city, 53% of respondents had a positive experience with the pilot, and only 12% had a negative experience.
  • Edmonton's Food Bank had a successful holiday season, and managed to raise $2 million and 250,000 kg of food to help those in need.
  • Dozens of Albertans have suffered from frostbite or falls on slick streets due to the extreme cold in the province. So far, there have been 15 cases of frostbite treated at the University of Alberta hospital, and emergency responders have been called to 95 falls.
  • The province will eliminate traffic courts and will instead email tickets to those who violate traffic laws. The change will deter Albertans from going to court to fight unfair fines, critics say.
Cover art for Healthy Lifestyle Design

Podcast pick: Healthy Lifestyle Design

By Andy Trussler

The start of a new year brings its rituals: hanging up new calendars, misspelling the date by accident, and most importantly, considering New Year's resolutions, or at least reflecting on changes we might want to make.

Healthy Lifestyle Design is a show all about making that positive change in your life, for body, mind, and soul. Host Pamella Heikel and her mom Janet "share a passion for a healthy lifestyle" and enjoy talking about what has worked best for them and what they are still exploring. They have shared the perspective of their two generations with each other and their listeners for more than 150 episodes.

The mother-daughter duo has covered a number of timeless topics, such as fitness as you age, the value of time spent outside, and resistance to exercise fads. If fitness is not your bag — trust me, been there — Healthy Lifestyle Design covers the whole you, with episodes on panic versus anxiety, estrogen, seasonal affective disorder, and much more.

"I love the power in words, and the way in which we can deliver them," writes Pamella, who also co-hosts a podcast called Rebelle Mystics Radio. "Podcasts are where I get to collaborate with people I love, talking about, well LIFE."

You can listen to podcast picks from Taproot on Listen Notes or Spotify.

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