Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Local MLA Mike Allen Arrested

When I caught wind that one of our local MLA's had resigned I initially thought it was some sort of joke since our provincial election was barely over a year ago.  But no, turns out Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Mike Allen resigned after being caught in a prostitution sting while down in Minnesota.  The Edmonton Journal and CBC Edmonton provide details.  Even SUN News, the cheerleaders of Conservatives everywhere, covered this story so you know it must be true.

Obviously an incredibly stupid move in any situation and doubly so given that he was on government business at the time.  I really debated what to write here as it would be so easy to make a political statement and really, I'm no fan of the Alberta Conservatives as of late.  Allen did defeat the former incumbent - a Conservative-turned-Independent-turned-Wildrose candidate who just seemed to come across as arrogant and annoying, so in that sense I didn't mind his election.

Still, this really does irk me in many ways.  There was a time when I followed politics almost religiously and bought into the infantile fantasy that elected officials served some greater good.  Obviously, those days are now long gone.  Still, I find myself wondering....wouldn't it be wonderful if we actually could have elected officials that truly did serve people, rather than their own selfish inclinations?

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Continuing Saga of the Confederation Overpass

There's quite a bit of back story here but essentially this spoof radio announcement pretty much sums up what I'm sure many commuters think about the ineptitude of Alberta Transportation.  The long-awaited Confederation overpass was opened last fall.  Things seemed to be improving.  But then, things just started to get goofy.  In a nutshell, it seems the government was in such a rush to show it was actually doing something to fix traffic flow here that it jumped the gun (by several months it would now seem) and opened an overpass before it was truly ready.

Frankly, I think our Transportation Minister, Ric McIver, (with our local MLA's in tow) should drive up here and be made to do several circuits from Highway 63 up the Confederation overpass, down Confederation Way in Timberlea, through Thickwood, then down the Thickwood overpass, back to 63 and then back up into Timberlea via the Confed overpass several times repeatedly until he clues in how much of a pain in the ass this all is.  Not that the average driver would just drive this circuit in a continuous loop but perhaps by doing this and hitting both overpasses repeatedly Genius McIver might get a message.

One can only hope.  In the meantime Mr. Minister, I think a village is missing its idiot.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Road Weirdness

I'm not sure if its the constant oscillation between sun and rain we've had the past few days or that its summer and some people's brains are in neutral but it seems like local overpasses have a bull-eye on them or something.  It seems that some distracted genius in a big truck misjudged the height of the Suncor overpass and made contact with it with his load this morning.  We had a similar incident earlier this year here in town as well.  I haven't really heard any more on this little oops but it did result in quite the traffic back up on the ride in to work.  There wasn't really much to see once my bus turned off there other than an RCMP vehicle and a couple other smaller vehicles and what looked like a load of material stacked on the shoulder but at any rate it meant an extra hour getting to site this morning (an hour for which I still got paid double-time being a weekend I happily note) and I'm sure it caused a few headaches for other drivers as well.

As if that wasn't bizarre enough, I caught word at work that someone was hauling what may have been a U-Haul trailer up the hill to Thickwood and the trailer somehow detached itself and rolled back down the hill. I work around a lot of trucks and trailers so I know what a mess a spilled load can make.  Again, I didn't see anything on the ride home and apparently no one was hurt which is always a good thing of course.

All a bit surreal and while I did chuckle a bit there is of course a serious side to all this.  Hopefully lessons are learned and more attention is paid in the future, especially with more people out on the roads  in summer season.