The Pulse: July 4, 2023

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  • 20°C: A mix of sun and cloud. 30% chance of showers in the afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 20. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • 7-26: The Edmonton Elks lost to the Ottawa Redblacks on June 30. (details)
  • 80-90: The Edmonton Stingers lost to the Vancouver Bandits on July 1. (details)
  • 92-78: The Stingers defeated the Bandits on July 3. (details)

The interior of Seoul Fried Chicken's downtown Edmonton restaurant with a neon sign near the window

Seoul Fried Chicken and Padmanadi expand to Calgary

By Sharon Yeo

Edmonton-based restaurants Seoul Fried Chicken and Padmanadi are hoping for a warm welcome as they expand into Calgary this year.

Seoul Fried Chicken (SFC), which offers Korean fried chicken, held its soft opening in Calgary on June 30. Padmanadi, a vegan restaurant, is aiming for a Sept. 15 grand opening. Both locations have been in the works for some time.

"Ever since opening downtown, we were exploring our next move," SFC partner Suzanna Yu told Taproot. Chef Jake Lee, who started SFC in 2016, has always had a vision to expand the brand throughout Alberta, she said. SFC added its second location in Edmonton last summer. "We considered expanding in Edmonton further but wanted to drive more awareness to the brand. So Calgary came up."

Yu and SFC partner David Shi spent time in Calgary over the past year and a half surveying the Korean fried chicken competition.

"I think for us our product stands out," said Yu. "The flavours we offer are unique to the ones we've tried, and our price point and the amount of food you get is a big factor that has helped us become successful."

Padmanadi also has two locations in Edmonton, having added a southside location in 2019. Its expansion to Calgary came as a result of wanting to better serve existing customers in that city.

"There is demand for plant-based food in Calgary," said Maya Richmond, co-owner of Padmanadi. "We have a lot of clients that come into our Edmonton restaurants asking if we would open in Calgary. People would buy so much food to bring back to Calgary and freeze it."

Richmond suggested that Padmanadi brings a unique take on vegan food to Calgary. "I don't think there is an Indonesian-Chinese plant-based restaurant in Calgary. Calgary has a lot of different kinds of plant-based restaurants, but none of them have a dine-in, family restaurant experience like Padmanadi would offer."

Carmen Cheng, a Calgary-based food writer, predicts that Padmanadi will be well-received in the city.

"I think Padmanadi has a really loyal vegan customer base Alberta-wide," said Cheng. "There will be Edmonton transplants in Calgary that will be happy. Padmanadi has also been delivered here through Uproot Food Collective for a number of years, so I wouldn't be surprised if they have a following through Uproot."

As for Seoul Fried Chicken, Cheng said the appetite for Korean food is strong in Calgary, crediting chef Roy Oh for making Korean flavours mainstream. In fact, SFC's Calgary location is down the block from Oh's current restaurant, Roy's Korean Kitchen, in the neighbourhood of Mission.

"Calgary has strong Korean fried chicken brands," said Cheng, citing Yum Yum BBQ Chicken and WOW Chicken, among others. "So SFC will have to get their brand out there."

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Headlines: July 4, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • Edmonton Transit Service adopted its summer service changes on July 2 as part of its seasonal schedule adjustments, which happen five times a year. The changes impacted dozens of bus routes, including the cancellation of school special routes until Sept. 3 and the extension of Seniors On Demand Transit hours on weekdays.
  • Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for Edmonton and much of the province on July 3 due to wildfire smoke from northern Alberta and British Columbia. Over the Canada Day long weekend, 56 new wildfires started in Alberta, with 19 confirmed to be caused by lightning. As of July 3, there were 107 active wildfires in Alberta. The province has had 772 wildfires so far this season, compared to 527 at this time last year.
  • Alberta Health Services confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a worker who handled food at a McDonald's in Nisku, located at 301 20 Street. People who consumed food or drink from the location from June 20-24 may have been exposed and are advised to monitor themselves and their families for symptoms until Aug. 13. AHS also recommends getting vaccinated against hepatitis A to prevent illness. Inspectors have approved the McDonald's location as safe to operate.
  • A report by real estate search engine Point2 found that nearly 19% of Edmonton's resale market listings in April were below $200,000. Edmonton has a much larger number of low-cost homes compared to similar sized Canadian cities, and Jenn McPhillamey with RE/MAX River City said homes under $200,000 are drawing many buyers from outside the province, particularly the Greater Toronto Area. Despite having a higher supply of low-cost listings, Edmonton has seen the number of homes under $200,000 steadily fall since 2019, particularly single-family detached homes.
  • Sandra Romanyk, a former Edmonton Catholic School Division employee, was sent to prison on June 30 for defrauding the division of $218,588 from a fund for vulnerable children. From 2009-2015, Romanyk was in charge of administering early childhood program unit funding at the Genesis Early Learning Centre, where she approved invoices from family members for work they didn't do or did at an inflated price. She also used a division credit card to buy equipment for her horse ranch. She received a two-year sentence, although Court of King's Bench Justice Jody Fraser called her an "unmitigated thief" who could have faced a longer sentence.
  • Duncan Kinney, who was charged with mischief in 2022 for allegedly spray painting two Ukrainian monuments, will have a pre-trial conference in October followed by a jury trial starting Sept. 5, 2024, Postmedia reported. Kinney has pleaded not guilty and says the charges are an attempt by the Edmonton Police Service to silence him because he is a vocal police critic. Kinney is the founder of Progress Alberta and editor of its "independent and proudly left wing media project" The Progress Report, which reported on the vandalism incident in 2021. In May, Kinney also threatened Premier Danielle Smith with legal action for allegedly telling attendees of an election forum in Brooks that he spray painted the monuments with swastikas, which his lawyer said is inaccurate and could influence the jury.
  • The Edmonton Athletics Invitational drew local and international talent to compete in track and field events at Foote Field over the long weekend. Among the competitors was Marco Arop, an Edmonton athlete who represented Canada in the 2020 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games. Cool weather and rain held Arop back from his goal of setting a new Canadian record in the 800-metre race, but he still finished first with a time of 1:48:95.
  • The 34th annual Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament, a minor hockey competition for kids aged nine and 10, started July 3 at the Ice Palace in West Edmonton Mall. The tournament ends July 9. A full game schedule is available online.
Several Edmonton police officers on bicycles in Churchill Square with the Edmonton Public Library in the background

On the agenda: Community and transit safety, encampments and housing, and more

By Mack Male

This week, city council will hold its final full meeting before the summer break, on July 4, with a continuation scheduled for July 5.

A discussion about the funding formula for the Edmonton Police Service is being postponed for the third time, until Aug. 22. It was originally requested last year when city council decided to approve the funding formula for 2023 only, and was scheduled for March 14 before being postponed to June 13 and then July 4.

Here are some of the key items on the agenda:

  • The Community Safety and Well-Being Strategy, approved by city council in May 2022, is now in the implementation phase with an evaluation framework under development to measure "achievement of outcomes, system shifts, and the impact of continuous learning on efforts." Administration says that community partners will help determine how to allocate the remaining community safety and well-being funds, including $1.86 million in ongoing funding in each of 2023 and 2024, and $4.35 million in ongoing funding in each of 2025 and 2026. A list of recommended priority initiatives will be presented at the fall supplemental operating budget adjustment.
  • In the latest update on the Transit Safety Plan and the Downtown Core, administration says emergency shelters remain at or near capacity despite the warmer weather, with 1,317 people unhoused or using shelters. The report also says there has been a 61% increase in encampment complaints compared to the same time last year, and that "prompt reoccupation of locations cleared of encampments continues to be a challenge in the downtown core."
  • An update on the implementation of the Edmonton Transit System Safety Plan outlines 14 opportunities for further enhancing safety and security, including collaborating with community partners to activate transit spaces, adding in-person customer support at transit stations, and redesigning bus shelters.
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A sign advising motorists to watch for pedestrians in a neighbourhood setting

Coming up this week: July 4-7, 2023

By Debbi Serafinchon

Events this week include opportunities to research your ancestry, learn to unwind, have a say on community initiatives, find a reason to laugh, and network with the region's hydrogen professionals.

Find even more things to do in Taproot's weekly roundups.

Photo: The City of Edmonton is inviting residents to provide insight into street safety issues in the community of Northmount. (Vision Zero)