The Pulse: May 10, 2023

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  • 19°C: A mix of sun and cloud. 60% chance of showers in the afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 19. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • Purple: The High Level Bridge will be lit purple for World Lupus Day. (details)
  • 8pm: The Edmonton Oilers (5-4) play the Vegas Golden Knights (6-2) at Rogers Place for Game 4 of their second round playoff series. (details)

Civic Youth Fellowship participants, including youth, councillors and others, are gathered on the steps leading into City Council chambers.

Civic Youth Fellowship gives council's ear to underrepresented youth

By Colin Gallant

A new fellowship has paired 13 equity-deserving youth with members of Edmonton's city council for internships that prioritize two-way learning rather than top-down instruction.

Participants in the Civic Youth Fellowship began their eight-week internships on May 1. It's a valuable opportunity to learn and be heard, said Omar Yaqub, servant of servants for Islamic Family (IFSSA), which was one of the "key conveners" for the program.

"I'm thinking back to myself as a youth, and I wouldn't have even imagined this (opportunity). I think about how it'll change the way people understand and access civics," he told Taproot. "It's one thing to think about civics as this impenetrable thing, this thing that might be distant. It's another thing to think, 'I see an issue or I see an opportunity, I'm going to text my city councillor because I have a good relationship with them and see what we can get done.'"

The point of the Civic Youth Fellowship is to offer young people opportunities while simultaneously training politicians to better engage with Edmonton's various communities.

"When we think about the youth who are selected, they come because they bring access to networks," Yaqub said. "It's incredibly important for our municipal leaders to gain access to those perspectives."

Tiger Bellerose, 24, applied to be part of the fellowship after Sarah Dharshi from the mayor's office reached out to him. Dharshi helps Bellerose with the social media for nimihitotân, the Indigenous-led dance collective he co-founded.

Bellerose is one of three fellows paired with Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. He said his perspective has been welcomed and encouraged since beginning his internship.

"Whenever I go into any space, what I notice first and foremost is that oftentimes I'm the only Indigenous person within that space. Even though it can be intimidating … it's really one of my biggest strengths," he told Taproot.

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Headlines: May 10, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • The city is once again accepting applications for the Residential Boulevard Gardening Program, which allows Edmontonians to create gardens on city-owned grassy strips between the sidewalk and the road. Free permits are available to do low-impact gardening, and the city will waive the $75 annual fee for license applications submitted in 2023 for more ambitious gardening projects. The program only applies to developed residential boulevards maintained by residents or a residential complex. The city said it received hundreds of applications for the program when it launched last summer.
  • The Office of the City Auditor presented a report to the city's audit committee on May 8 showing that most city departments failed to consistently track or evaluate whether city grants and subsidies worth more than $800 million were spent effectively over the past five years. Although the city's governing documents outline best practices, the report found most departments are unaware of the documents and lack training on how to use them to administer grants and subsidies. The committee accepted recommendations to create a framework to help make future funding decisions and have Financial and Corporate Services train, monitor, and provide guidance to other departments. Coun. Jo-Anne Wright told reporters the findings were "not terribly surprising," adding that administration did not always provide clear information about grant and subsidy spending during budget talks last year.
  • An Edmonton Oilers fan was reportedly sent to hospital after someone at a Moss Pitt watch party outside Rogers Place was allegedly biting fingers. One fan said their finger was fractured and the tip had to be sewn back on. On April 29, police shot a man who stabbed two people near a watch party and later charged him with two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a dangerous weapon. Last week, organizers made the watch parties open to adults only and began enforcing a wristband and no re-entry policy. Police Chief Dale McFee said more security cameras have been added to the area, along with an increased police presence. The city also hosts a separate family-friendly Oilers game viewing area in Churchill Square.
  • Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman was not present during the team's morning skate on May 9, and it is unknown whether he will participate in Game 4 of the playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights on May 10. Hyman showed signs of injury after taking a knee to his right thigh area in Game 3. His absence would require the team to shuffle its lineup and select a different player to be in front of the net during power plays. Goalie Stuart Skinner, who was pulled in Game 3 after letting in four goals, was in the starter's net during practice, suggesting he will open Game 4.
  • Yellowhead County Mayor Wade Williams wants Alberta's political parties to postpone the provincial election to focus efforts on the wildfire emergency. "This election is nothing but a distraction at this point when we, Albertans, need every government official to roll up their sleeves and fight for this province before we don't have a province to come back to," said Williams. He is asking all Albertans, mayors, and reeves across the province to contact their MLA about the issue.
  • UCP Leader Danielle Smith made her first campaign stop in Edmonton to announce the UCP's plan to fight crime and violence. The plan includes using ankle bracelets to monitor dangerous offenders out on bail, increasing funding for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), expanding the province's cyber crime unit, and putting more money toward Internet and Child Exploitation (ICE) teams. The UCP has also proposed sending sheriffs to the Canada-U.S. border as part of anti-fentanyl and gun tracking teams. NDP justice critic Irfan Sabir criticized the UCP's track record, saying the UCP "took funding for police away from municipalities in 2019, withheld resources from victims of crime, and refused to fully fund women's shelters." The Alberta NDP's public safety plan focuses on restoring municipal police funding and investing in integrated teams of police and community and social service providers.
  • The province clarified its one-time emergency financial support for wildfire evacuees is available for people forced out of their homes for seven days total, rather than the seven consecutive days it initially announced. "If residents were evacuated, returned to their homes, and then were re-evacuated, they are eligible if it's a cumulative total of seven days," Colin Aitchison, acting director of government communications, said in a statement. Eligible adults can receive $1,250, plus $500 for each dependent child under 18.
A newspaper clipping with the headline "Shy UFO Shows Up Again"

A moment in history: May 10, 1967

By Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1967, eyes were on the skies after reports of UFO sightings in Edmonton.

The May 10 UFO sighting was called into the Edmonton Journal by a couple who withheld their names out of fear of being branded as "kooks." The pair claimed to see an object with red-and-blue flashing lights about 500 feet in the sky. The thing seemed to fly away and then return before leaving again. A photographer was sent but found nothing of note to capture.

It might seem silly that the paper sent that poor, unnamed photographer out on a futile hunt for evidence of alien life. But May 1967 was a time of E.T. enthusiasm in Edmonton due to a detailed and elaborate UFO encounter described by a 14-year-old boy just a few days earlier.

Ricky Banyard claimed he was walking home early one morning when he spotted a strange flying object streaking over Mount Pleasant Cemetery. He claimed he spotted the object again once he reached his doorstep and watched it for the next four hours.

He described a spherical ship split into two spinning halves hovering a couple of hundred feet off the ground. The object was covered in red and green lights and emitted a "muffled whistling noise as it hovered," he said. Eventually, the boy said, the ship let out loud bangs and took off into the sky. He even produced a drawing of what he said he saw.

News of Banyard's close encounter spread, drawing dozens of UFO watchers to the cemetery over the next few days. The May 10 sighting was reported a few days later. And then, a little over a week after that, a couple of people described seeing a bright egg-like object tearing across the sky in the Mount Pleasant area.

The sightings died down for a while after that. But perhaps whatever Banyard saw that night just relocated. According to a government briefing, someone was dispatched from a military research facility in Suffield to investigate possible UFO landing marks in a field near Camrose following reports of strange phenomena. In the end, the investigator concluded that the markings were weird but could not rule out that they were a hoax.

In 2015, Edmonton had the fourth-highest number of UFO reports in the country, behind Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. And 2021 saw a sharp uptick in people calling 911 with claims of alien craft descending from the heavens. (Experts suggested that had less to do with increased interstellar tourism in Edmonton and more that people had a lot more stargazing time during the pandemic.)

You likely won't see any flying saucers, but if stargazing is of interest, the RASC Observatory at the TELUS World of Science is open on Friday and Saturday evenings whenever it's warmer than -10C.

This is based on a clipping found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse — follow @VintageEdmonton for daily ephemera via Twitter.

Dozens of sticky notes on a wall under the words "What Issue Should the Provincial Government Prioritize with the first year of being elected?"

Provincial election roundup: May 10, 2023

By Ashley Lavallee-Koenig and Karen Unland

Here's a summary of useful things to know heading into the provincial election, including forums from interVivos and the Women's Health Coalition, agenda-setting from Alberta Municipalities and Public Interest Alberta, and news about Edmonton-area ridings.

Events and dates of note

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