Calling a Spade a Spade, April16, 2012, Volume 1, Issue 3a

Apr 14 2012

Published by Calling a Spade a Spade Publishing, Editor Andy Michaelson

Our blog name was chosen and the domain registered to meet these criteria:

  • to speak honestly and directly about a topic or topics that others may avoid speaking about due to the topics sensitivity or embarrassing nature;
  • to be out spoken even to the point of rudeness; to call things by their proper names without ‘…beating around the bush.’

The phrase comes from the ancient Greek, believed to be first used by Erasmus who is quoted as having written:

‘calling a fig a fig, and a trough a trough,’ some time in the mid 600′s Before the Common Era (BCE). The phrase moved into usage in practical English about 1542 AD.

The layout and design for Calling a Spade a Spade (CaSaS) are underway,  in the near time CaSaS will publish weekly using this format.

Seniors’ deferral of property tax almost a reality — thanks to Len.  We wait for the regulations to be written but the legislation is passed.

Take Note

Municipal Government Act, Section 170 (1):  ‘…a councillor has a pecuniary interest in a matter if (a) the matter could monetarily affect the councillor or an employer of the councillor, or (b) the councillor knows or should know that the matter could monetarily affect the councillor’s family.’

Municipal Government Act, Section 172 (2): ‘When a councillor has a pecuniary interest in a matter before council, a council committee or any other body to which the councillor is appointed as a representative of the council, the councillor must if present, (a) disclose the general nature of the pecuniary interest prior to any discussion of the matter, (b) abstain from voting on any question relating to the matter, (c) …abstain from any discussion of the matter and (d) …leave the room in which the meeting is being held until discussion and voting on the matter are concluded.’

How many St. Albert Councillors or Aldermen have ever been barred or chastised on these regulations?  Who?

Pay close attention in the coming weeks.

ELECTION CANDIDATES BY RIDING

Candidates wishing to have their election website added to this list, need simply to contact andymichaelson@shaw.ca with the website and a telephone number for confirmation. of the supplied information.

St. Albert Riding

Alberta Party          Tim Osborne          www.timosborne.ca

Liberal                        Kim Bugeaud         www.

NDP                             Nicole Bowness    www.

PC                                 Stephen Kahn        www.stephenkhan.ca

Wildrose                    James Burrows     www.jamesburrows.ca

Spruce Grove-St.Albert

Liberal                      Chris Austin             www.

NDP                           Rev. J.J. Trudeau     www.

PC                              Doug Horner, incumbent     www.horner.votepc.ca

Wildrose                 Travis Hughes                      www.travishughes.ca

Senate — voters may vote for one, two or three Senate Candidates to become Senators in Waiting for Alberta.

Doug Black                           PC

Elizabeth Johnansson     Evergreen

Paul Frank                             Independent     www.votepaulfrank.ca

Ian Urquhart                       Independent

Len Bracko                           Independent     www.lenbracko.ca

Mike Shaikh                         PC

Raymond Germain           Wildrose

Scott Tannas                       PC

Vito Marciano                     Wildrose

Next Issue scheduled for April 20, 2012, excepting breaking new facts of relevance to St. Albert residents and businesses.

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No responses yet

Calling a Spade a Spade, April 5, 2012, Volume 1, Issue 2

Mar 30 2012

Published by Calling a Spade a Spade Publishing, Editor & Reporter Andy Michaelson

Our blog name was chosen and the domain registered to meet these criteria:

  • to speak honestly and directly about a topic or topics that others may avoid speaking about due to the topics sensitivity or embarrassing nature;
  • to be out spoken even to the point of rudeness; to call things by their proper names without ‘…beating around the bush.’

The phrase comes from the ancient Greek, believed to be first used by Erasmus who is quoted as having written:

‘calling a fig a fig, and a trough a trough,’ some time in the mid 600′s Before the Common Era (BCE). The phrase moved into usage in practical English about 1542 AD.

The layout and design for Calling a Spade a Spade (CaSaS) are underway,  in the near time CaSaS will publish weekly using this format.

Take Note

Municipal Government Act, Section 170 (1):  ‘…a councillor has a pecuniary interest in a matter if (a) the matter could monetarily affect the councillor or an employer of the councillor, or (b) the councillor knows or should know that the matter could monetarily affect the councillor’s family.’

Municipal Government Act, Section 172 (2): ‘When a councillor has a pecuniary interest in a matter before council, a council committee or any other body to which the councillor is appointed as a representative of the council, the councillor must if present, (a) disclose the general nature of the pecuniary interest prior to any discussion of the matter, (b) abstain from voting on any question relating to the matter, (c) …abstain from any discussion of the matter and (d) …leave the room in which the meeting is being held until discussion and voting on the matter are concluded.’

Pay close attention in the coming weeks

All Candidates Forum, open to all members of the public

Hosted by the St. Albert & District Chamber of Commerce

Date: Monday, April 16th, time: 7:00 pm

Location: St. Albert Inn & Suites, 156 St. Albert Trail

Invited Candidates:

St. Albert:

Alberta Party – Tim Osborne

Liberal – Kim Bugeaud

NDP – Nicole Bownes

PC – Stephen Khan

Wildrose – James Burrows

Spruce Grove, Sturgeon, St. Albert:

Wildrose – Travis Hughes

PC – Doug Horner

NDP – Rev. J.J. Trudeau

Liberal – Chris Austin

Alberta Party –

Format: Each candidate will provide opening remarks (up to six minutes in length). Order of speaking will be drawn prior to the commencement. Once all candidates have made their initial presentation, there will be a brief intermission followed by a question and answer period conducted by the moderators (from written questions submitted from the audience). Candidates will be given up to one minute to respond to each question. Following the question period, each candidate will be given three minutes for closing or rebuttal statements. An official timer will be used to ensure time lines are respected.

ELECTION CANDIDATES BY RIDING

Candidates wishing to have their election website added to this list, need simply to contact andymichaelson@shaw.ca with the website and a telephone number for confirmation. of the supplied information.

St. Albert Riding

Alberta Party          Tim Osborne          www.timosborne.ca

Liberal                        Kim Bugeaud         www.

NDP                             Nicole Bowness    www.

PC                                 Stephen Kahn        www.stephenkhan.ca

Wildrose                    James Burrows     www.jamesburrows.ca

Spruce Grove-St.Albert

Liberal                      Chris Austin             www.

NDP                           Rev. J.J. Trudeau     www.

PC                              Doug Horner, incumbent     www.horner.votepc.ca

Wildrose                 Travis Hughes                      www.travishughes.ca

Senate — voters may vote for one, two or three Senate Candidates to become Senators in Waiting for Alberta.

Doug Black                           PC

Elizabeth Johnansson     Evergreen

Paul Frank                             Independent     www.votepaulfrank.ca

Ian Urquhart                       Independent

Len Bracko                           Independent     www.lenbracko.ca

Mike Shaikh                         PC

Raymond Germain           Wildrose

Scott Tannas                       PC

Vito Marciano                     Wildrose

Next Issue scheduled for April 13, 2012, excepting breaking new facts of relevance to St. Albert residents and businesses.

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No responses yet

Calling a Spade a Spade, March 30, 2012, Volume 1, Issue 1

Mar 29 2012

Published by Calling a Spade a Spade Publishing, Editor & Reporter Andy Michaelson

Our blog name was chosen and the domain registered for to meet these criteria:

  • to speak honestly and directly about a topic or topics that others may avoid speaking about due to the topics sensitivity or embarrassing nature;
  • to be out spoken even to the point of rudeness; to call things by their proper names without ‘…beating around the bush.’

The phrase comes from the ancient Greek, believed to be first used by Erasmus who is quoted as having written:

‘calling a fig a fig, and a trough a trough,’ some time in the mid 600’s Before the Common Era (BCE). The phrase moved into usage in practical English about 1542 AD.

The layout and design for Calling a Spade a Spade (CaSaS) are underway,  in the near time CaSaS will publish weekly using this format.

PROVINCIAL ELECTION CALLED FOR APRIL 23, 2012

Alberta’s expected provincial election, called  is underway and already the gloves are off. ‘The writ dropped,’ on Monday by Wednesday bitter words were being fired at the Premier, Alison Redford, by the leader of the Wildrose Party, Danielle Smith. Depending where you live in St. Albert you’ll be voting in either the riding of St. Albert or the riding of Spruce Grove-St. Albert and in concert with the provincial election you’ll have the opportunity to vote for one of three Alberta senators-in-waiting.

ELECTION CANDIDATES BY RIDING

Candidates wishing to have their election website added to this list, need simply to contact andymichaelson@shaw.ca with the website and a telephone number for confirmation. of the supplied information.

St. Albert Riding

Alberta Party          Tim Osborne          www.timosborne.ca

Liberal                        Kim Bugeaud         www.

NDP                             Nicole Bowness    www.

PC                                 Stephen Kahn        www.stephenkhan.ca

Wildrose                    James Burrows     www.jamesburrows.ca

Spruce Grove-St.Albert

Liberal                      Chris Austin             www.

NDP                           Rev. J.J. Trudeau     www.

PC                              Doug Horner, incumbent     www.horner.votepc.ca

Wildrose                 Travis Hughes                      www.travishughes.ca

Senate — voters may vote for one, two or three Senate Candidates to become Senators in Waiting for Alberta.

Doug Black                           PC

Elizabeth Johnansson     Evergreen

Paul Frank                             Independent     www.votepaulfrank.ca

Ian Urquhart                       Independent

Len Bracko                           Independent     www.lenbracko.ca

Mike Shaikh                         PC

Raymond Germain           Wildrose

Scott Tannas                       PC

Vito Marciano                     Wildrose

CaSaS asks for Council Roll Call

Taxpayers pay council salaries, as those who helped choose the individuals who represent citizens we are entitled to know if we are getting our moneys worth. Policy decisions aside, beening where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there is one measure  of what we’re getting. This letter was sent to Christopher Belke for a response at the end of half term, the end of March 2012.

March 26, 2012

Chris Belke

Chief Legislative Officer

City of St. Albert

St. Albert Place

St. Albert, Alberta

Via email

Mr. Belke:

Please forward to me by email or Canada Post, the attendance records of the members of the current St. Albert Council.

I seek the statistics related to council meetings, council committee meetings and a list of those council duties which would keep a member from council activities because of their duty to liaise with other governmental bodies.

I am looking for up to date figures from the election of the current council to March 31, 2012. I appreciate the effort required and for your information intend to be published in a new blog titled Calling a Spade a Spade.

Thank you for your effort.

Sincerely,

Andy Michaelson

Lots going on and lots more to come next week.

No responses yet

Calling a Spade a Spade — is coming soon

Mar 22 2012

St. Albert, Alberta — During the days of Dragnet, near the beginning of each thirty minutes  Joe Friday or his partner would say ‘All we want are the facts.’  I think we still do want the facts but in these ‘spin doctor, message massaging’ times fact seems to be the communications tool that is bent, half told or just plain ignored.

Time I think to correct that trend. Coming to a computer in your home or business a news-zines (an on-line news  site) facts only as they relate to our community, province and country, in a format very similar to what newspapers use. There will be no opinions, mine or yours, I’ll save that for the resurrection of Maybe it’s just me.  The news-zine will be delivered to your computer under the home address of Maybe it’s just me, becoming Calling a Spade a Spade when construction of the site is complete. In the short term beginning March 28, 2012, you’ll receive weekly updates covering local and provincial politics, no opinions only information to assist you in making clear well thought-out decisions, updates of the latest and most successful telephone scams for you to beware of, inaccuracies making their way through our community as truth and those most damning of all communications, the spin doctored, massaged and half told pieces of information meant to sway your opinions without any basis.

I’ve been away from my blog sites for almost a year but I haven’t been away from my sources nor from my ability to question comments and decisions. Next week we’ll start to share.

To be removed from the list send a email to andymichaelson@shaw.ca with unsubscribe in the subject line.

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That’s the reason

Oct 30 2011

St. Albert, Alberta — I’d thought about taking her down and retiring her. She’s hung on the pole attached to my fence since our first troops were sent to Afghanistan, I swore when I put her up, she’d stay there until everyone was home. I’ve debated with myself about retiring her, when we started to bring troops home, but there were still some 900 men and women left to touch our soil in safety. So my neighbour Ray (an army reserve Master Warrant Officer, retired) and I have agreed to let her continue to fly.

She’s been there in the snow, rain, heavy winds, sunshine; winter, spring summer, autumn since the beginning. She’s flown and waved day and night through the 158 deaths of our fine women and men in a distant land. She’s faded, her fabric has softened, sometimes she wraps herself around the pole and Ray or I will unwrap her and let her hang properly again. Ray says not long ago while his hands were full and while he was completing his autumn yard work, she reached out and caressed his face. While he was surprised and a bit taken aback, he says that caress was electric, full of love, full of pride, full of remembrances, full of names and faces. While he told me that story the ‘goose-bumps’ grew on my arms and a chill climbed my spine, I hope in your life you find the same experience for the same reason — it is a truly powerful moment which is going to stay with you forever.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

All of it makes me sad

Jul 28 2011

St. Albert, Alberta — It has been a while since ‘Maybe it’s just me’ published. I fell on the ice twice in February and it took to mid-July to see a surgeon and determine if I would go under the knife, the good news — most likely not. The really good news — remedial treatments and no pain killers. Those babies can distort your focus quickly and I had to stop writing this blog. On the other hand, I have piles of paper with questions, literary ideas and even outlines for two books.

The past two weeks and their events have brought me back to the keyboard earlier than planned. I was thinking August 2, 2011, after the long weekend, would be the right time but nationally, Jack Layton’s illness, the bomb and shootings in Oslo and local complaints of ‘attack’ mail sent to citizen’s homes deserve comment.

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A worthwhile read

Jun 11 2011

St. Albert, Alberta, Canada — All my life I’ve been very proud of our country’s military. Army, Navy or Air Force I’ve read their history, found reasons to be proud of every service even in their defeats. June 11 in this community, The Lord Strathcona’s Horse are being presented an historic honour “Freedom of the City.’ Wednesday last,  Major John Cochrane of the unit spoke to the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce at lunch. What he had to say was worth sharing, thanks Major, glad you’re home safe, proud to have parade through our city. His presentation follows.

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‘Someone got some ‘splainin’ to do.’

May 05 2011

St. Albert. Alberta, Canada — You might not remember the original I love Lucy television program, after all it went to air in 1951 and ran until 1957, then morphed into something else, actually a lot of something else’s. Lucille Ball as the dizzy, stay at home, housewife and Desi Arnez as her Cuban, night club band leader, husband named Ricky. Of course in real life they were exactly who they were on television in black and white except Lucille wasn’t really dizzy and Ricky was really Desi. Together they built that half hour of television into Desilu Productions, a highly successful business.

The show was formula, every week  Lucy want to do something without her husband knowing, she and her friend, Vivian Vance, would mess it up and get into difficulty, husband Ricky would find out by accident, confront Lucy by saying; ‘Someone got some ‘splain’ to do.’ Eventually Lucy would explain, Ricky would understand, save the situation and all would be happy again until next week. I think many, as they watched, were waiting for that one line and please don’t misunderstand the show was hilarious in its time.

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A fresh start

Apr 06 2011

St. Albert, Alberta, Canada — The world turns and all things come to an end. As of Thursday past I no longer write an opinion column for the St. Albert Gazette, which makes this blog our only contact. You should know that I’m not about to back away from the questions that need to be asked and facts that need to be passed along to St. Albert citizens. The column ‘Maybe it’s me‘ has always been a challenge for explanation or admission. Never have I been concerned about anything but accurate facts and clear answers. Liking me isn’t part of the equation and believe me — many haven’t. I’m making a couple of changes, first publication day will Wednesday to accommodate council meetings on Mondays or those rare Tuesday meetings. Some to whom the blog was sent have wanted to get off the send list. They’ re among those who sought and received a high profile in St. Albert politics, from here on in there will be an unsubscribe address on the blog and as always anyone who wants to receive the blog can do so by contacting maybe.andymichaelson.com.

I’d been writing Maybe it’s me’ since August 2003 almost eight years, the first column was titled Quit complaining do something,’ sort of a general theme over the years. Of course if you do something, if you ask questions, if you print or detail answers or lack of answers, if you simply call to account those who need to answer; you can make a lot of people angry. Many of my questions have gone unanswered, many of my questions have been answered by email, by letters in my Canada Post Box and many by pressing government departments for information. Guaranteed that isn’t going to change.

I’ve been told the column and blog were too personal, yes they were/are personal. I was very deliberate in putting names on actions, that’s not going to change.

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Blog for March 20, 2011 delayed

Mar 20 2011

St. Albert, Alberta, Canada —

The St. Albert City Council meets tomorrow beginning at 3:30 pm, there are key community issues coming forward in that meeting and for that reason ‘Maybe it’s just me’ is delayed until Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at approximately noon.

Andy Michaelson

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