January 16, 2018

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St. Albert Council
Muzzles Speakers

In a move that will dumbfound city residents, their new council made it much more difficult for city residents to make a verbal presentation to council at Monday's city council meeting. Further they reserved the right to review material in advance and outright reject the subject one wishes to speak on.

In creating a slippery new slope, council has spoken and residents will now have to follow new and specific rules to address council. City residents now face the possibility of it taking up to four weeks to appear before council and then only if what they wish to say is acceptable to the people controlling the process.

Gone are the days when one simply registered they wanted to speak, right up to the very minute the mayor called for any other speakers in the gallery who wished to speak, and it was previously allowed.

If I understood what I watched in disbelief unfold, now those who wish to speak will have to notify the city's legislative officer two weeks prior to being approved to speak to council, submit a detailed copy of the contents of their presentation including any slide shows that accompany it.

The city legislative officer will then review the material and if approved, will set a date for the person to appear to speak before council.

This smacks of council control and prohibition of freedom of speech by an unelected member of administration.

Is this the result of some former councillor convincing new councillors they need to protect themselves from being hijacked by a speaker without prior warning? We think so.

Remember Steve Stone appearing before council to admonish them for their actions in the hiring of a member of council as the second in command at administration? And it was done without any interference by council, resulting in a new city official who was woefully under qualified for the position. That further resulted in council being forced to clean up their act and ultimately led to a formal inspection by the provincial government.

Isn't that exactly how democracy should work? Now city council has enacted controls to prevent that kind of thing ever happening again. At least that is my take on the matter and it should alarm residents in the extreme.

This is the death of democracy in our city and so very wrong that new rookie council members have fallen to the 'protect ourselves at all costs' move, that likely emanated from more experienced members of council.

Councillor Hughes saw right through the charade and called on council to reconsider. They refused and passed it over her objections.

Democracy died in St. Albert last night and people should rise up against this repressive move.

Don New Caricature Small
If there is not a revolt at the next council meeting by dozens of speakers demanding the right to speak, this will go down as the most totalitarian move ever by a council in St. Albert.

How about if St. Albertans? Are you going to stand for such a clampdown on your rights?

Photographs From My Library
There is beauty all around us no matter where one goes. And it is not all confined to the mountains or the sea. This shot for example, highlights the beauty of my old home city on the plains of western Canada. It was taken in Swift Current, Saskatchewan a couple of years back from the cutbacks of the creek overlooking the Chinook golf course and the city dam. Photo by Sinclair

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The Power Outage

The Power Outage
We had a power outage at our house this morning.

So our PC, our Laptop, iPad, were all down as well, The TV, DVR, Bose systems down too.

Then I discovered my iPhone was run down with no way to charge it. And to make matters worse, it was Cold/ Blowing with Rain /Snow so I could not go out!

I went to the kitchen to make a coffee and then remembered of course, the coffee machine also needs power.

So, I just sat and talked with my wife for a couple of hours.

She seems like a really nice person.




A roundup of bits from the web.

* For the first time, the 3 best-selling beers in America are light beers. Can craft brewers catch up?

* GoPro takes a lava bath, keeps on shooting.

1965 Ford Falcon

1965 Ford Falcon
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Photos by Sinclair

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How To Break Your Rotisserie Chicken Habit

How To Break Your
They're easy, but you might be hitting that button too often.

Rotisserie chickens — those $5.99 (or less) already cooked birds that supermarkets sell — are in the news. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Americans bought well over 600 million of them last year alone, more than any other year. Our consumption of rotisserie chickens has continually increased since they became a supermarket staple in the 1990s, yet their price has not increased. Grocery stores don't want to raise their prices.

Why have they kept prices steady for 20 years? They count on making more money by keeping the price down. Many people, myself included, often buy their side dishes at the same time they buy a rotisserie chicken. Those side dishes are money makers for the grocery store.

More on the mother nature network.

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