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Parker’s Pen – March 2024

David Parker

Choreography is such a nice word – looks good and it rolls off the tongue. I don’t pretend to be a lover of ballet, but its meaning in suggesting the deliberate design of a sequence of movements came to mind trying to maneuver 33rd Avenue in Marda Loop again. 

One wag had a Letter to the Editor published commenting on a sign that should be posted at either end: Abandon hope all ye who enter here. 

There are no choreographers at city hallnot even communicators. Work that had to be done meant one way traffic on both 33rd and 34th for weeks resulting in loss of business for retailers and restaurants. We all cheered when the work was finished. But, hold on. Now the gas company are tearing up the same road and we are back to driving one way and no street parking again. 

Not too many people in Merchants for lunch these days, and how do you get to Monkeyshines to show your children books? And what’s the betting that as soon as this work is finished the street will be closed again for landscaping or construction projects? 

I was sent a quote, purported to be by Ben Franklin, that said: “In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria.” You who sip from a flask of water all day might think of how much E. coli you consume in a year. 

And on the subject of beer, I now carry my own beer coasters to mop up the water that drips off a too cold glass. Just don’t understand why coasters advertising either the beer or the name of the establishment pouring aren’t used as cheap promotional materials anymore. 

Standing before council with a purpose in explaining a grievance, you are given five minutes for your presentation. Times up, and you are yanked off like a too-long-a-speaker at a lunchtime Rotary club. 

Same day Councillor Jasmine Mian had the commonsense to say, “I think we’ve wasted about an hour of time going through this. Let’s move on. We’ve got a city to run.” 

The lengthy debate was on whether they should accept an increase in pay! 

Interesting news that the Calgary Police Service is planning to partner with Bridgeland Community Association that has offered it a place to work out of, and therefore have a police presence in the area. 

Wonderful idea, except I can remember the time when the CPS was very noticeable downtown and other neighbourhood areas. They pulled out to disappear way up north of McKnight and guess what? No police walking the core and problems began to grow. Just seeing a uniform is a deterrent and we need them back. 

So, there will be an evaluation of effectiveness over a year-long period and then more discussion to decide if a downtown office is feasible and necessary. If so, it has been determined it would take a substantial investment – even if located in a city-owned building – and three to five years to establish. Nonsense. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day but I do believe the Empire State Building was completed in one year and 45 days. With none of today’s giant cranes. 

I complain a lot about TV commercials, but have to applaud the current CNIB shoot showing the Labrador pups waiting to begin their training to be guide dogs. I could watch it over and over. 

Final Words: Even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea. ~ Swinburne