Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How war in the middle east affects Edmonton Festivals.

Laughable at first thought to think western imperialism in the middle east would have consequences at home here in Edmonton at festivals we love.  Every large grouping of people, from festivals to sporting events has had to increase the amount they spend on security as all the wrong person needs is a smartphone to attract the right type of disenchanted individual.  Born from media carefully put together using the extreme images, words and ideologies to give hope to one who has none.  In God's name kill and you shall be rewarded with whatever.. My response would be no, I am going to hell, more ice sales, however when I was younger and looked to religion, I can understand how desperation makes bad men out of moral.  It is hard to find meaning in a world that is so confusing.  For those who do not fit, don't have that one connection the voices of the shadows can be strong in making seemingly intelligent people stupid.  

Those who run Heritage days, Taste of Edmonton, Fringe and others all have to worry about every person with a bag, bottle of water, truck I guess now.  This means taking all reasonable precautions which starts with more police onsite.  Ask our Police Chief and he will tell you it is expensive putting cops on the street.  Someone has to pay for it and from what I can tell reading the news is there is not enough money for cops as is.  If festivals need security then they will have to pay for it themselves even though the reason festivals need more security is no fault of their own.  It is a different world when a truck and a gas pedal become death's tool.  What is a festival to do?  What happens when it is no longer financially viable to run a Heritage days or Taste of Edmonton?  Where is the money going to come from to make up the difference between what is brought in and what goes out?

Price of most stuff at festivals is already pretty high.  Vendors don't get rich and the not for profit behind the scenes can only ask for so much.   Logically the city would have a budget for events, festivals and the like.  Some of this money is used to help support local, born in Edmonton, come to expect year after year, part of the fabric of the city festivals we become quite attached to and then the oddball events like Red Bull Crashed Ice, Triathlon festival... which actually sounds fun.  You drink for the half a day a triathlon takes.  The real competition really is how many allycat golds can you drink from the gun to the first finisher.  The issue that the people behind the born in Edmonton events have is essentially how much of the pie is going to the out of town, one time events like that extreme biking event last summer.  It just does not make sense in any meaningful way to take a habitat away from ducks and geese, making it into a pool and then back to a habitat.  Some want a beach showing once again how wrong the way we see the world has become to nature.  Instead of learning to peacefully co-exist we take over more of there territory.  I loved watching geese at hawrelak park.  I loved walking across the bridge with my dogs to a really awesome dog park.

The notion you could use volunteers to manage the traffic at heritage days is asinine.  You want to see the best of edmonton, then see how fast, how efficient the EPS and ETS work together to get everyone out of the park fast and safe.  I want a cop with a gun at the entrance to Hawrelak park not a volunteer.  Nobody in Germany thought in my country, like nobody in France, or anywhere else in the west where stupid happened.  Terrorism shatters this reality we are safe and secure.  Smart folk, the lucky or crazy few who take on dealing with the crazy musicians, small business owners, people of every nationality and even a crazy iceman or two to put on Blues, Rock Fest, Interstellar along with the big fish Heritage Days and Taste of Edmonton would be devastated if anything happened at their festivals.  This is Alberta where we think ahead, plan for the unexpected and that includes more real cops in plain clothes and uniform. Someone has to pay for this.  It is only reasonable that some would come from all parties involved.

The city of Edmonton needs to be more of an active partner in covering the increase security costs.  If this means investing less money in bringing to Edmonton the one time are nice but can't even remember the name events, so be it.  I know the crazy few we elect to run our city want to make a name for themselves.  Photo ops, being able to say I brought yada, yada, yada to Edmonton being important for reelection.  Make a name for yourself by having not for profits praise you instead of ask suppliers to cut prices pushing out the small business owner, leaving the same, boring, big brand crap that is already shoved down our throats.

Master Iceman
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