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Month: May 2013

Crime Stopped

I live in a mature neighborhood in the west-end. It’s straight, wide avenues running unimpeded between arterial roads happen to be a favorite for drug dealers who make no effort to hide their activities, as evidenced by the sound of screeching tires as they peel out after the deal.

A few summers back, the corner of my neighbour’s lawn became a favored gathering place for buyers and they waited for their delivery. The drop-off vehicles were always the same. We recorded make/model/plate numbers and put in the call.

I’ve been called as a witness before. A nearly 90 year-old neighbour was violently mugged while walking one-block home from the local market. I was more than happy to testify against a worthless thug from out of the province who used every stall tactic possible to build-up that ‘double time served’.

With what was clearly a well organized group with a small fleet of vehicles with commercial plates, I was less eager to potentially make a court appearance. So the call went to Crime Stoppers, not the EPS. The late night activity on the street ended very soon after.

Without anonymity that call wouldn’t have been made. I respect Crime Stoppers, I appreciate it, and I’ve used it to help protect my community. Letting it fail would be indeed be a crime. It’s a small investment with a big reach. I can only hope that those with the power and funds to keep it alive, be they private or public, step up and help ensure it’s sustainability. It may not be an arena, but it’s a world-class service with the criminal record to prove it.

Hey Hey Hey Goodbye…

Katz Group puts pressure on potential Edmonton Northlands contractor

Downtown arena may be dead if Oilers owner Katz doesn’t step up

An election is approaching – an unpopular arena funding model seems to become more so by the day – A provincial budget came and went without $100 million in arena funding, leaving the Mayor’s “the money is coming, the money is coming” reality distortion field, bleeding on the side of the potholed road – And a couple more City Councillors have toyed with the idea of possibly, maybe, sort of, voting against the Arena framework as it heads back to Council without the Provincial funding we knew it wasn’t going to get.

Did I mention an election is coming?

Anyway, as it all heads to either a tear-filled finale or a ramming through from throat to rectum, I’d like to offer Council and Council hopefuls a solution, free of charge.

Cut Katz loose.

Aside from a 30+ year lease for the use of the facility for 41 days per year + the playoffs (if any), let’s do it without him. Let’s do it without the Katz drama, the Katz ego, the $20 million marketing deal and the forfeiture of facility revenues. Let’s do it without his meagre investment to be spread out over decades.

I don’t begrudge Daryl Katz for making fantastically one-sided business deals, I just wish my city could do the same. Here’s Edmonton’s chance – cut Daryl out. If we’re going to build it, if we’re going to own it, if the city is going to stretch its borrowing capacity by a half-billion dollars to do this; then let’s run our rink, fill its seats, and profit fully from it.

If we need partners going forward, who have the expertise and the ability to bring shows through the door; Then starting with a trip to LiveNation, City Council can send Simon Farbrother on the road with instructions to fill the barn, not give away the farm.