The Pulse: March 8, 2022

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

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  • -7°C: A mix of sun and cloud with 60% chance of flurries. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 7. Wind chill near minus 18. UV index 2 or low. (forecast)
  • 1,103: There are 1,103 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 77 in intensive care. Alberta reported 18 new deaths on March 7. (details)
  • 1-3: The Oilers (30-23-4) lost to the Flames (34-14-7) in Calgary. (details)

Appliances and cookware at The Kitchen

Downtown library prepares to open community kitchen

By Sharon Yeo

The Kitchen, a learning and community kitchen facility located on the second floor of the Stanley A. Milner Library, is finally ready to open to the public this month.

The in-person grand opening celebration will take place on March 16, while a virtual tour will run March 19.

Although the renovated downtown branch of the Edmonton Public Library has been open since September 2020, many of its plans for group-based, in-person activities were postponed due to the pandemic. Now, with the further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, The Kitchen can operate as intended.

"The primary objective of The Kitchen is to create learning opportunities to help increase knowledge and grow interest in food literacy and nutrition, and to teach skills that would be transferable into a home kitchen environment," said Karen Chidiak, the EPL's manager of marketing and communications.

The facility will offer courses in cooking, baking, and other food-related matters either directly or through partner organizations.

"We also want to make The Kitchen available to community groups and others looking to build connections or share cultural practices with food," Chidiak said. "Finally, we hope to make our space available to entrepreneurs looking to explore starting food-related businesses and in need of space and equipment to help them start out."

The 2,100 square feet of space can accommodate up to 36 participants at workstations, and it is equipped with commercial-grade ovens and ventilation systems alongside more traditional at-home appliances like stand mixers.

Pre-registration is required for the virtual sneak peek sessions running March 19 and 20. So far, workshops featuring Fox Burger's Sean O'Connor on pancakes and Pei Pei Chei Ow's chef Scott Iserhoff on Indigenous potato pancakes already have waitlists, and sessions on preparing a Spanish-themed supper, brownie baking, and cocktails are filling up fast.

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By Mack Male

  • Thanks to the recent freeze-thaw weather, the city has received about three times more pothole complaints this year than it had at the same time in 2021. Last year, more than 740,000 pothole repairs were completed, reports Global News.
  • The citywide parking ban, which came into effect Saturday at midnight after heavy snowfall, ended on Monday afternoon. Andrew Grant, the city's general supervisor of infrastructure operations, thanked everyone who obeyed the ban but said not everyone did. "It's important for residents to partner with us when we have a parking ban and move their vehicles off the road — it just allows our teams to work efficiently and safely," he explained.
  • The city is bringing back its pop-up community gardens program for a third year to help Edmontonians access fresh food and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on food security and well-being.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, wearing a blue cape emblazoned with "Super Sohi" on the back, joined students at City Hall School to read The Builders, a comic book about how everyone is a city builder and "how everyone who builds our city is a superhero." The comic book is available free in PDF.
  • Edmonton ranked 10th in a listing of Canada's top 25 bed bug cities of 2021 from Orkin Canada. That's down one spot from the previous ranking.
  • Alberta will pause collection of its 13-cent per litre fuel tax starting April 1 — the same day the federal carbon price is set to rise — in an effort to help consumers facing skyrocketing fuel prices. Premier Jason Kenney said the pause will remain in effect as long as the benchmark price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil remains above US$90 per barrel. If the pause is in place for the full fiscal year, the cost would be about $1.3 billion, Finance Minister Travis Toews said.
  • The province is considering expanding eligibility for outpatient COVID-19 drugs Sotrovimab and Paxlovid. According to CBC, experts are anticipating increased demand for the drugs due to the lifting of all public health restrictions. The drugs are currently only available to high-risk Albertans who are not fully vaccinated.
Cover art for The Re:Pro Health Podcast, featuring the title on a pink square

Podcast pick: The Re:Pro Health Podcast

By Karen Unland

If you've ever had a question about your sexual or reproductive health that you were too embarrassed to ask your doctor about, The Re:Pro Health Podcast is here to help.

The podcast is hosted by a team of University of Alberta medical students who are passionate about increasing awareness about sexual and reproductive health in the community. It has been running since 2018, with different students joining the project over the years.

It launched its third season in January with an episode on adolescent reproductive health featuring Dr. Julia Chronopoulos, coordinator of the Rainbow Health Centre at MacEwan University. She came back for Episode 48 on providing transgender care. The show generally speaks with health professionals, but this season has also seen interviews with activist Marni Panas and MLA Janis Irwin.

As the podcasters make clear from the start, the show isn't intended to replace medical advice, but it might give you the words to start a conversation with your health-care provider. It's also an example of podcasts serving as a means of knowledge transfer to the general public as well as to students, as is the case for Surgery 101, another medical podcast that started at UAlberta back in 2008.

You can listen to this and other podcast picks from Taproot on Listen Notes.

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