Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Order Your Opportunities

My job, trying to change the world, is at least twice as hard as a conservative’s. I have to overcome others’ instinctual fear of change and new technology. Monday evening I proposed my condo board “investigate” using solar energy, if the association’s Winter expenses don’t exceed our budget. 2 Board members opposed the idea! The motion passed anyway, but why would someone oppose an investigation of saving money on electricity? They stated it was an opportunity cost. Let’s look how that claim stacks up:

They suggested raising property value by installing carpets as a competing example. If we spent $10K (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the City of Regina has learned a painful lesson about the Saskatchewan Party’s habit of accepting credit but not responsibility on P3 projects.

For further reading…
- Emma Graney reports on how the province forced the City to foot the bill for immediate site development costs here.
- For background on how decisions about education have been taken out of the hands of elected school boards, Joseph Garcea and Dustin Monroe examine the history of education funding in Saskatchewan (and other provinces) here (PDF).
- And finally, I’ll point back to my earlier columns as to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #CBCTweetup Was Fun

Last Thursday I attended the first CBC Tweetup, which is a gathering of people who’ve connected via Twitter.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CBCtweetup

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Sun Country Highway in Regina

I rode around in an Electric Vehicle (EV) today in Regina, and saw a (currently) still rare Tesla Model S in the city right now.

Rav 4 EV

Pick up some excellent EV tips, from a Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada perspective here, as James and I tour the city on electricity:

Find out more about charging stations at Sun Country Highway, Best Western, Delta Regina, and Peavy Mart.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Global Regina Bullied by Racists Into Censorship

Racists who were criticizing the launch of a new mosque in Regina, forced the TV station to remove the news story from their Facebook page, rather than report and delete the offensive comments. Some of the racists were not even from Regina (one persisting is from the deep south).

When will this good-news story be shared again on the Global Regina facebook page so more people know about it?

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Borg at #UofR on Privacy

MP for north shore Montreal, Charmaine Borg, made a presentation at the UofR this morning.

Of the things she noted was that cell phones are tracking devices, and Canadians have no way to follow their information to know who has it.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the corporate sector is taking advantage of Brad Wall, Michael Fougere and their respective administrations at the expense of citizens who both fund and rely on public services.

For further reading…
- Murray Mandryk and the Leader-Post editorial board each weighed in recently on the latest developments from the smart meter debacle.
- CBC reported on the province’s decision to let Deveraux Developments walk away from its commitment to build affordable housing, as well as Donna Harpauer’s subsequent declaration that she’s entirely sympathetic toward Deveraux (and by implication, not so much toward people who need homes), (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: There Are Homeless People in Saskatchewan?

How is this even possible? How could a Minister of the province of Saskatchewan not realize there are homeless people, and others struggling to pay rent right here in Regina?

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Scott Clark and Peter DeVries criticize the Cons’ choice to prioritize right-wing dogma over sound economic management:

What should Canada do? For starters, the passive approach isn’t working. In the face of global economic uncertainty and a secular decline in growth, Canadian policy makers need to get at the levers that can strengthen growth at home.

…Of course we have options — they just happen to be ones that clash with the Conservatives’ hands-off economic orthodoxy. The Harper government is committed to lower taxes, lower spending, balanced budgets and smaller government. But why (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Queen City Ex 2014

Buffalo Days is on in Regina, and I went on the opening day in large part because Lonestar was the headline band in the evening.
Buffalo Days 2014

Buffalo Days 2014

Last Saturday, Jeri and I went to the Riders game where they creamed the Argos.

Argos vs. Riders

Argos vs. Riders

Canada Flag

A trip to Moose Jaw earlier on had us go (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda McQuaig discusses how a burgeoning wealth gap is particularly obvious when it comes to retirement security:

Quaint as it now seems, not long ago this was considered a good basic plan: Work hard all your life and then retire with a comfortable pension.

In recent times, a new plan has replaced it: Work hard all your life and then all bets are off.

The notion of retirement security in exchange for a lifetime of hard work — a central element in the implicit social contract between capital and labour in the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, looking at the sad similarities between Regina and Detroit, and noting that the crucial step we should take to avoid the latter’s humanitarian tragedy is to fund our commitments to workers and residents while we have the means to do so.

For further reading…
- Tom McKay and Wallace Turbeville each discuss how the decision to run Detroit under corporate principles made a bad financial situation far worse.
- Jon Swaine reports on the recent move to shut off water for up to 100,000 residents. Monica Davey writes about the vote to slash already-meager pensions. And Dominic Rushe (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Mariana Mazzucato writes about the need for governments to shape markets through their own investments, rather than acting only to serve existing business interests:

The idea that at best the public sector can fix “market failures” and “de-risk” business, means that when the banks become too active in an area, they are accused of “crowding out” the private sector. That is, of taking up too big of a share of total investments (all of which in the end must be financed from savings). While some Keynesians defend such investments by arguing they actually (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Solar Tour 2014

Cowessess wind turbine.
800kW at 32mi/h
Has Li-ion batteries.

Solar farm and home system of 10kW
Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down.
Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the City of Regina has taken a first step – but only that so far – in making sure that new development doesn’t result in the perpetual subsidization of developers by current residents.

For further reading…
- Shawn Fraser’s thoughtful post on the new interim phasing and financing plan is here. And the plan was approved (PDF) (with an amendment for a single project) earlier this week.
- The Calgary study on the time it takes for a neighbourhood to start providing net benefits to a city is discussed here.
- And for those with reading (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Reich proposes that the best way to address corporate criminality is to make sure that those responsible go to jail – rather than simply being able to pay a fine out of corporate coffers and pretend nothing ever happened.

- And Shawn Fraser suggests that Regina developers should pick up the tab for the costs they impose on the city – even as the city itself has opportunities to both better shape residential growth, and turn a profit through its own own development corporation.

- Meanwhile, the CP reports on the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The Star-Phoenix discusses how the Cons are systematically attacking the independent institutions which are necessary to ensure a functioning democratic system:

When a handful of Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan attacked the integrity of the province’s electoral boundaries commissioners last year in an attempt to subvert the democratic process, it may have seemed to be a rogue act of an outlier group of politicians concerned with their electoral future.

But when you consider the tactics of the MPs, who accused Justice Ronald Mills and political scientist Prof. John Courtney on the commission of attempting (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Beyond The Book Lecture: John Gormley – #UofR 2014

Gormley at UofR

I’ve been to a lot of University of Regina lectures over the years. None by a right wing radio commentator, until tonight, and it didn’t turn out how I expected. I know there are people who reeeally don’t like John Gormley and his radio show. I used to listen to it frequently while I worked in a job that had me in a car most of the day, traveling the province’s east side. I’ve not really tuned in too much the past 6 years, while I work meters from where his talk was given Tuesday night. It’s not easy to (Read more…)