The city, residents, land developers and urban groups are combining to define how Calgary's main streets will be like 60 years in the future

Photograph 4THUMBResidents, community organizations, developers and city planners are among the stakeholders joining to envision the future of Calgary's main corridors.

The first phase of the Main Streets project started in November. The city, using workshops, events and online engagement with all stakeholders, is looking to identify issues, opportunities and potential outcomes with the new redevelopment plan.

"Many of the changes in our community are happening without much concern in our main streets... It is good (City Hall) is listening to us," said Nancy Tice, a resident of Cliff Bungalow-Mission, at a workshop with stakeholders about 4th Street S.W. redevelopment on Nov. 20.

"This is not another fairytale planning exercise," said Ward 8 Councillors Evan Woolley, during the workshop. "The planning department, in a very exciting way, is investing a lot of recourses into this."

Hilly communities prove to create hazardous conditions

SnowRemovalTHUMBWith the winter months approaching, Calgarians are starting to get ready for hazardous driving conditions but not everyone has faith in the city's snow removal efforts.

Petroula Christakis lives in Hawkwood, a hilltop community west of Nosehill Park in the city's northwest. She cited that every winter city buses getting stuck is a regular occurrence and that getting to work in the morning can be a frustrating endeavor.

"The snow removal is always really bad in this area," she said.

As evidenced by the snowfall on Sept. 8, parts of Calgary can fall into disarray when there is snow on the road in the winter months.

Calgary creates plan to research e-cigarettes and their health effects

thumbnail copy copy copy copySome Alberta smokers are living within a loophole of the law when it comes to indoor puffing of electronic cigarettes, also known as E-cigarettes.

Alberta's Tobacco Reduction Act states that, "'smoke' means to smoke, hold or otherwise have control over a lit tobacco product" – the word "lit" being the loophole.

Once again technology has outpaced law-making and the City of Calgary is trying to catch up.

City councillors met on Sept. 22 and passed a motion to begin a work-plan on E-cigarettes. The goal is to conduct comprehensive research about E-cigarettes to better understand what health concerns there may be. Some Calgarians are worried that this work-plan is only the beginning of future bylaws restricting use of the cigarette substitute.

Abba Shytermeja smoked for 15 years. She used E-cigarettes to quit smoking and thinks the possibility of bylaws is ridiculous.

"You can see the smoke, but it's just vapour air," she says.

Inventory of tax and utility relief programs does get the go-ahead

changemoneyCouns. Sean Chu's and Ward Sutherland's two-part tax motion was half successful when it was brought before city council members at their July 28 meeting.

In a unanimous vote it was agreed that the city should compile an inventory of programs that provide tax and utility relieffor Calgarians.

However, the second part of the motion was defeated in an 8-7 vote. That motion would have empowered administration to prepare a study outlining the impacts of tax and utility increases on low-income households when it comes to the council adjusting its budget.