Taxes business confidence and demographics highlight Calgary satisfaction survey

first_imgWhile the overall quality of life continues to be good in Calgary according to an annual survey, age plays a big factor. Ipsos Reid released its 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey Monday, with 85 per cent of respondents reporting the quality of life as good, a two-point increase from the year before. Just under 80 per cent say they’re satisfied with the overall level and quality of programs and services as well. However, there were notable findings in several categories.The data suggests 42 per cent of baby boomers are likely to say the quality of life has worsened, while it was just 24 for millennials. Ipsos vice-president of public affairs Jamie Duncan offered an explanation. “We hear the narrative of the small town that maybe isn’t as small a town as it used to be and that certainly is a bit of a context for some of their frustrations, where millennials are using a very different lens on how they’re viewing things,” he said to council. Mayor Naheed Nenshi said with a changing population, council has to adjust. “We have to get ahead of these demographic shifts, and that’s an important part of what council thinks about, at the same time, it doesn’t mean that we ignore people on one end or the other end of the age scale,” he said. One of the big findings was taxes, as 60 per cent said we get good value for our dollars, 16 said it was poor, and 29 per cent neutral. “You have to remember that in your quest to make them happy, which do every single day, we also have to remember that the other 65 per cent of people who are pretty happy, you can’t take away the stuff that’s making them happy, so it makes this job challenging,” he said. Nenshi also noted the good value portion was 49 per cent before we have to take office and it’s also a good sign that the response in 2017 was that positive coming out of an economic downturn. But business confidence has been tracking downward, as the survey said since 2013, we’ve gone from 90 per cent down to 68 per cent regarding the size of the population who agree Calgary is a great place to make a living.Nenshi said that’s entirely driven by the economic downturn. “As we start to create more jobs within the community and our economic development is laser-focused on job creation right now, and it should be, that I expect you’ll see those numbers change,” he said. As for how Calgary compares to other cities, Duncan said Calgary is doing very well. “Calgary’s numbers continue to be as strong, if not in some areas, outperforming other Canadian municipalities where we do this work,” he said.last_img read more

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Smoking light ballast causes evacuation at Peace Villa

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – An overheating light ballast caused officials to evacuate Peace Villa for a short time this morning.Deputy Fire Chief Darrell Blades with the Fort St. John Fire Department said that firefighters were called out to Peace Villa shortly before 7:30 Friday morning. He said that an overheating light ballast began emitting smoke, setting off the building’s fire alarms.Residents of Peace Villa seen during this morning’s evacuation. Submitted photo. Blades said that Peace Villa was evacuated while firefighters went inside to investigate. He said that apart from a minor amount of smoke, there was no extension of fire, and the facility’s residents and staff were allowed to return inside after about ten minutes. No one was injured.last_img

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North Peace SPCA reducing cat adoption fees by 50 percent

first_imgResidents looking to adopt a furry friend can do so by visiting the North Peace SPCA at 9311 81st Avenue. All “Purr-fect” adoptable companions can be found here.For more information contact the North Peace SPCA at (250) 785-7722. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC SPCA’s North Peace Branch in Fort St. John is hoping to find as many good homes as possible for cats this month by offering an intriguing promotion.As of July 10th, all cat adoption fees at the North Peace SPCA will be for half the original cost. In a release the SPCA said that the promotion will be running until the end of July.“We have so many cats and kittens in our care right now and we’d like to find them loving homes,” said North Peace SPCA manager Candace Buchamer. “We’re hoping this promotion will encourage anyone who has been considering cat adoption to take the next step and make it a reality.”last_img read more

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Grande Prairie investigates suspicious death

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, B.C. – The RCMP’s Major Crime Unit (MCU) and Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment are investigating the suspicious death of an adult male.The morning of January 20th, 2019 at approximately 1:30 a.m., police responded to a report of an altercation in the area of Resource Road and 100th Avenue. An adult male suffered serious injuries was transported to the Grande Prairie Hospital were he was pronounced deceased.MCU have now assumed carriage of the police investigation which is in its preliminary stages. Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this altercation to contact Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700 or your local police.If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.”last_img read more

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A Divine Offering

first_imgA scene from the movie Ratatouille: A tall, lanky man walks into a classy French establishment and opens the menu. His name is Anton Ego. The waiter, Mustafa, walks in. Mustafa: Do you know what you’d like this evening, sir?Anton Ego: Yes, I think I do. After reading a lot of overheated puffery about your new cook, you know what I’m craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? Also Read – Torpedoing BengalMustafa: With what, sir? Anton Ego: Perspective. Fresh out, I take it? Mustafa: I am, uh . . . Perspective was what was on our minds as we rumbled along the dirt paths into Rongmesek, our last stop of this journey. It’s hard to come by these days. With all the advances in technology one would think that we’ve become more global of a community, when the reality is that we’re still living in bubbles – from newsfeeds to friend circles – huddled together in Plato’s cosy cave. Also Read – Educational model of coexistenceBut as we turned away from the concrete and into a lush wilderness tucked behind the hills of Meghalaya, a tribal community changed all that. Before we knew it, it had started. That indescribable ooey-gooey warm brownie feeling deep in our souls in a week that began with an animal sacrifice and ended with a fashion show. There’s a lot going on in this community straddled between a traditional past and modern future. Perspective is ripe and served daily. SPIRITS OF LIFE As with most days in Ri-Bhoi, there was a glass of rice beer in our hands before we trekked behind Albinus Timug, the head of this riad, or village-state, to one of the sixteen communities on the outskirts. (It’s quite possible that we accidentally called him Albus a couple times. Although unfortunately not a wizard, he was equally eccentric.) It was there that we would witness a ceremony only imaginable in a Hogwarts Divination class: a reading of entrails. But before we could take our seats Albinus spotted our bamboo mugs were empty and called for a refill, an offer we couldn’t refuse. A chicken slowly bled to death in the hands of one of the village elders who chanted from the depths of his throat. Next to us sat Dr Fabian Lyngdoh – also with a bamboo mug of rice beer – translating the local Khasi dialect of the man to his right (he wasn’t having any rice beer so we question his judgment). The ritual that was unfolding in front of us was one that falls under ‘animism’ or an indigenous faith sometimes referred to as Ancient Hinduism – but due to the variety of influences from East Asia, these titles are mere political classifications rather than a true reflection of the faith. What exists here is a rich and robust tradition with unique mythologies such as the mythical bird, voplakpi, that propagated mankind. Before the elder were two gourds – representing two deities, or Spirits of Nature. According to myth, one of these deities, Peng, was at first a wild, evil ‘forest entity’ with a proclivity for trickery. After mankind tamed him, he took his spot above their doorways, protecting them from other malevolent spirits as the new household guardian (in exchange or the occasional meal). The ceremony continued as the elder placed the chicken at the foot of these deities and brought out a bamboo mug of his own. These deities were being called upon through these prayers to aid in the village’s request, to ensure a successful start to the sowing cycle that would begin the next day. He sprinkled the rice beer on to the gourds, inviting the deities to give their blessing. After this, he made an incision in the chicken’s rear end to pull out the entrails. Took a moment with them. Then finally announced that the ceremony had been a success – how he determined so was not something we were made privy to. But the village elder wasn’t alone in that decision. To help him, he had, at the very beginning, also called upon his ancestors, another important facet of their faith. From deities to ancestral spirits, these communities pay homage to their lineage as well as nature, fostering a connectedness to the world around them. The offering of rice beer represents their gratitude, but no ceremony can end without feeding the deities. The chicken, along with rice used in the ceremony, was then cooked and served to the deities before parting ways. VILLAGE ON FIRE Some traditions, however, fade with time. The vibes of the main town of Rongmesek are more modern. And smack dab in the middle is a church. Our story begins in Rome, 1889. A religious congregation – the Society of the Divine Saviour – is preparing to send the German Father Otto Hopfenmuller to Assam to indoctrinate communities into their faith. Otto makes his way over to Shillong where his first few months are spent learning the tribal culture and translating Christian scriptures into Khasi. The legend goes, as Dr Fabian’s brother, Constantine, narrates, that there once was a village called Phahamingding, or the village on fire. For years a great mystery had plagued the residents: every spring, a fire would ravage the village, destroying land and houses alike. Until one fortunate day a French priest encountered this village and baptized its community into the Catholic faith, and suggested they rename the village to Rongmesek. Then—the fires stopped. Becoming Christian has made this community no less Indian But faith was only a pinch of what followed. A church was founded in the heart of the village, and a school at its side. Education led to improvements in language, agriculture, macro-economics and societal welfare. To appease the pessimist in you, crediting the new life of this village – away from magical fires – to education wouldn’t be a stretch. Today, Sunday mass has become an ingrained part of the lifestyle with the entire town closing for the day. While the Catholic doctrines might not have changed, the spirit of Karbi culture has affected how Christian practices manifest themselves in this once burning village: during mass, traditional dances are a part of the ceremony. The custom of blessing grains with the ceremonies of the indigenous faith continues in its own fashion at the church. Constantine finds an enthusiasm behind the newfound Christian faith. There’s a joy that this once isolated village has now become part of a bigger community. Whether wrong or right, everything that happened has led to this moment for the village. We have no control over the past. There is no point in regret. Whether it was truly a miracle, coincidence or simply strategic planning—ultimately faith is what you make of it. And in this community, it served as a step forward. In the month of August, prayers are dedicated to India with the national flag proudly swaying inside the church. (Photographs extracted and text excerpted with permission from Bhagwaan Ke Pakwaan; written by Devang Singh & Varud Gupta; published by Penguin. The excerpt here is a part of the chapter titled ‘Rongmesek, Meghalaya’.)last_img read more

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Rahuls 52 guides KXIP to 1826 against Royals

first_imgMohali: Opener K L Rahul cracked a patient 50 before a terrific cameo by skipper Ravichandran Ashwin powered Kings XI Punjab to a challenging 182 for six against Rajasthan Royals in a second leg IPL clash here on Tuesday. Rahul, who was named in the World Cup squad on Monday, recovered after a slow start to post a 47-ball 52 studded with three fours and two sixes. He was ably supported by David Miller (40 off 27) as the duo shared a 85-run stand to lay the foundation. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhAshwin then blasted a four-ball 17 in the last over as KXIP posted a good total on board. Pacer Jofra Archer (3/15) returned with an exceptional three-wicket haul to emerge as the best bowler for the Royals. Invited to bat, opener Gayle (30) smashed Jaydev Unadkat for a couple of sixes in the second over, before blasting Dhawal Kulkarni for a four and a six in the fifth over. Archer then had him caught behind by Sanju Samson in the sixth over as KXIP were 39 for one in the first powerplay overs. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterPlaying his first IPL game this season, New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi was then introduced into the attack and Mayank Agarwal (26 off 12) clobbered him for a six in the fourth ball. Agarwal then picked up a four and a six off Shreyas Gopal before Sodhi returned to remove him. Trying to play a slog sweep, Agarwal was caught by Archer at long-on. Left stranded on the other end, Rahul tried to steady the ship with Miller, who came into the side due to the last-minute ankle injury of Moises Henriques. The duo took singles and twos before Rahul finally scored his first boundary when he lifted a Unadkat delivery across the mid-off region. In the 14th over, Rahul and Miller exploded after bringing up the hundred for KXIP. The duo amassed 19 runs off Sodhi’s over, his last, with Rahul smoking a massive six over deep square leg and Miller thumping one over long-off. Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab: 182 for 6 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 52; J Archer 3/15) vs Rajasthan Royals.last_img read more

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Cong demands probe into suspicious black box in Modis helicopter

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday demanded an investigation into the transportation of a “suspicious black box” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during poll campaign in Karnataka’s Chitradurga. A Congress delegation met the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and submitted five memorandums on various issues including hate speeches by BJP president Amit Shah and its Himachal Pradesh chief Satpal Singh Satti during campaigning for Lok Sabha elections. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Congress delegation was led by party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi and also included AICC secretary Pranav Jha. “We have raised five main issues before the Election Commission and it has assured us of action. The EC has said that it has already initiated action on some issues raised by us and will take further action on the other issues,” Singhvi told reporters after the meeting. He said a level-playing field must be maintained during elections. “It is strange that the prime minister, holding such a high post, carries a black box in his own helicopter…,” Singhvi said. “There should be a thorough investigation into this. We have not got any satisfactory reply on this issue. It is strange that the ruling party is doing such an illegal thing while hiding behind the prime minister,” he added. The Congress also sought action against Modi and Shah for allegedly making hate and divisive speeches in Nanded and Latur respectively on April 12. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Now that the EC has initiated action and a precedent has been set, then why has action not been initiated against the Prime Minister and Amit Shah as the speeches made by them are in violation of the model code?” he asked. The Congress also demanded strict action against Satti for allegedly using expletives and making “obscene remarks” against party president Rahul Gandhi. Speaking about Satti, Singhvi said, “What is worrisome is that instead of apologising, this person has said that he will not apologise and claims his statement is right as Rahul Gandhi opposes the prime minister.”last_img read more

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Indias first voter Shyam Saran Negi casts his vote

first_imgShimla: Notwithstanding his failing vision and aching knees, India’s “first” voter Shyam Saran Negi Sunday reached his polling booth in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district to exercise his franchise.The 102-year-old was given a warm welcome by election staff at the Kalpa booth in Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, which went to polls in the last and seventh phase of the general elections. “A resident of Himachal Pradesh’s tribal district Kinnaur, Shyam Sharan Negi is India’s first voter and very important for the state election department,” Kinnaur District Election Officer Gopal Chand said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkNegi, a retired school teacher was born on July 1, 1917, as per his official records. The centenarian still vividly remembers how he became India’s first voter. “India’s first election was held in February 1952, but the voting for remote, tribal areas in Himachal Pradesh was held five months in advance on October 23, 1951, owing to fears of inclement weather rendering the exercise impossible here during winter,” Negi said. “I was a school teacher then and had been put on election duty. Due to it, I reached my polling booth at Kalpa primary school in Kinnaur at 7 am to cast my vote. I was the first one to reach there and cast my vote,” he said. Also Read – Afghan Taliban frees 3 Indian hostages in exchange for 11 top militant leaders: Reports”Later, I was told I was the first to cast my vote anywhere in the area,” he said with a glint in his eyes and added that he proceeded to join his election duty after voting. Negi, who also made a special appearance in Hindi film “Sanam Re”, said he never missed casting his vote ever since then whether it be a panchayat election or the Lok Sabha polls. He on Saturday had appealed to people to elect “honest” candidates for all the four Lok Sabha seats in the state. “Elect honest and active candidates for your parliamentary seats instead of voting for particular parties,” Negi appealed. “It’s my last wish to vote again. But I have got immobile legs and aching knees now, besides failing vision and hearing,” he had said. The Shimla (SC), Hamirpur, Kangra and Mandi seats went to polls on Sunday along with 55 other Lok Sabha constituencies in the country.( With PTI inputs)last_img read more

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Can England Win The Champions League

The round of 16 of the Champions League is over, and only eight teams remain. And for the first time in more than a decade, four of those teams are English. This is obviously good news for the Premier League, which hasn’t boasted a Champions League winner since 2012, when a Chelsea team led by a caretaker manager beat Bayern Munich on its home pitch. Not only do four English sides remain, but the two favorites according to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index are among them.Aside from Manchester United, which had to pull off a historic upset to send Paris Saint-Germain to the French Riviera earlier than it would have liked, English teams were dominant in the first knockout stage round. On Tuesday, Manchester City embarrassed a Schalke 04 team that is also fighting a relegation battle in the Bundesliga, dispatching its German foe 7-0 on the night — tied for the largest margin of victory in a single match in Champions League history — and 10-2 on aggregate. Last week, Tottenham Hotspur finished off Borussia Dortmund, admittedly a team that’s been trending downward in recent weeks, 4-0 over two legs. And on Wednesday, Liverpool dismantled perennial contenders Bayern Munich 3-1 thanks in large part to a brace from winger Sadio Mané.This is impressive because Bayern Munich doesn’t lose in the Champions League in the round of 16. The club last failed to advance to the quarterfinals in 2011, and it has made it to at least the semifinal stage in six of the last seven seasons. That all changed on Wednesday night.Bayern’s loss also means that four of the seven teams favored most to win the Champions League as of a week ago by SPI have been eliminated from the competition. Now, SPI gives two English teams the best and second best odds. Manchester City has a 28 percent chance of winning the final, and Liverpool’s win in Munich increased its chances from 11 percent to 22 percent. Imagine if they meet in the quarterfinal again?1The quarterfinal draw takes place early Friday. The strong showing from the EPL clubs signals that the power center of European soccer may be shifting — something we were quick to notice last fall. Bayern Munich is the second Champions League blueblood to be ousted early after three-time reigning champion Real Madrid was bounced by Dutch side Ajax last week. But in the world of top-flight international soccer, one thing is not ready to change: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are still dominant forces of nature.Messi put on a master class Wednesday in a 5-1 win at Camp Nou against a plucky Olympique Lyonnais. The French side managed to keep the Argentinian maestro quiet in the first leg two weeks ago in France, but Messi proved too much in Barcelona. He scored two (and could have had a few more) and assisted two. With the win, Barcelona’s chances to win the title increased from 16 percent to 20 percent.And in Turin, Cristiano Ronaldo did exactly what Juventus paid all that money for Cristiano Ronaldo to do: Score big goals on big European nights. Before Juve’s second-leg clash with Atletico Madrid began, our SPI gave the Italian squad a measly 12 percent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals. A 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in Spain in February meant Juventus needed to score three goals and concede none to win in regular time and advance to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately for Atletico, there’s no real defense for Ronaldo.If City, United, Spurs or Liverpool hope to pry the Champions League trophy from continental Europe, they’re likely to have to go through an in-form Ronaldo. Or an in-form Messi. Both realities are terrifying.Check out our latest soccer predictions. read more

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What Cleveland Would Look Like With LeBron James And Kevin Love

Update (July 11, 12:30 p.m.): It’s official: LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.Perhaps we should collect data on what percentage of NBA rumors on Twitter turn out to be true. But as of late Thursday afternoon, the Internet was abuzz with speculation that LeBron James will return to Cleveland.If it happens, the Cavaliers may need some additional help to build an instant championship contender for LeBron. In an article earlier Thursday, I projected the Cavaliers’ record should they sign James and Ray Allen but otherwise stand pat. It wasn’t so great: 52-30. That would be enough to make them one of the better Eastern Conference teams but probably not good enough to win a championship.But one of the reasons for James to choose Cleveland over Miami is that the Cavs have a lot more flexibility in how they might build a team around him. The Cavaliers also have some young assets — including No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins — who could be traded for another star.So let’s imagine that not only the LeBron rumors but also those involving Minnesota’s Kevin Love are true. Cleveland, after signing James, uses Wiggins as the centerpiece of a package that goes to Minnesota for Love. It also gives up Anderson Varejao and Anthony Bennett, and gets Ronny Turiaf in the deal — the salaries look like they’d work out.Also, in addition to Allen, the Cavs bring in friend-of-Lebron Mike Miller. That would allow them to construct a 12-man roster that looks something like this:It’s a slightly weird roster, with players splitting time between several positions. But because James could be an All-Star at any of the five positions, that’s as much a feature for Cleveland as a bug — the Cavs could go big, small or anything in between. This roster could use a defensive specialist or two off the bench, and a true backup point guard, but those are fairly petty complaints.How would this team perform? Using the same process from Thursday’s article, which projects a team’s win total based on a system called Statistical Plus Minus, it’d be on track for a record of 63-19.This would be a much better opportunity for James than anything likely in Miami, which finished with a 54-28 record last year and which would probably have about the same record if the Heat brought back James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. A 54-win team has less than a 5 percent chance of winning an NBA title; a 63-win team has about a 40 percent chance.The Cavs could be better than this still — perhaps in the range of 65 to 67 wins — if they managed to acquire Love without giving up Varejao. read more

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