Monday, May 31, 2010

protest against Israeli attack on aid workers

Protesting the recent Israeli attack on Gaza aid workers, today a small group of cold but vociferous students waved placards and cheered at supportive passing motorists during the afternoon rush hour. For almost three hours, University of Calgary student members of the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights group stood in front of the Harry Hayes Building. Their mission, to draw attention to the military attack and death of 10 foreign aid workers and for what they view as Israel’s lack of respect for international law. See the BBC news coverage with video footage.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

hey, me too, me too!

Spent the Victoria Day holiday at Prince's Island Park and was mobbed for my lunch by the Canada Geese. They fear nothing. And they also sneak up from behind. Very exciting. They also prefer junk food over the pea pods I tried sharing. Feeding the geese is a feat best done standing up, like this person did. Unless you're not much taller than the geese, then it's a little overwhelming.

hey, me too, me too!
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1

Saturday, May 22, 2010

heh! watch for the kids!

Is it any wonder why the geese downtown get a little hissy?
It also appears that the letter to the editor claiming the City was rounding up goslings was either inaccurate or someone trying to get a rise. There were still quite a few down at Prince's Island Park.

This is the City of Calgary's response to letter writer's concerns:


Removing goslings from Prince's Island Park

In the past few days, several Calgarians have expressed their concerns about why The City is removing goslings from Prince's Island Park.

According to Michael Kenny, The City’s Parks Manager, West Division, there are a few reasons that The City has undertaken this process. The City of Calgary’s actions mirror those currently in place in many municipalities across North America to contend with large goose populations.

Firstly, when large numbers of geese are living in a small area, the geese can become very aggressive to people, including young children or the elderly who may get too close to these large birds. In the past, geese at Prince’s Island have been known to charge and attack people, especially when goslings are present.

Secondly, large numbers of geese in a small urban area translates into a big problem with excrement. "In other words too many geese at Prince’s Island means pathway users slip on the droppings and park visitors are unable to sit on the grass to enjoy the many festivals and beautiful summer days," says Kenny.

Lastly, a large non-migratory goose population in a confined area is at risk of contracting disease, which can be highly contagious and devastating for the bird population.

According to Kenny, The City takes every precaution to ensure the health and well being of these birds. Once removed from Prince’s Island, a provincially licensed expert rears the goslings for three to four weeks until they are old enough to survive on their own.

These geese are then released into rural wetlands, such as Ducks Unlimited lands, where the young birds join migratory flocks in a more natural environment.
Source: Calgary City News Blog


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Last Saturday, in the Calgary Herald's letter to the editor, someone wrote that they witnessed city workers with cages collecting the goslings at Prince's Island Park. The writer claims the workers were "releasing them into the wild." If this is true, how could the worker live with himself! I believe all creatures have an equal right to life. To take one creature's children and place them in a situation that will kill them is extremely cruel.

Sure, there are hundreds of these little fluff balls and if they survive and grow up they will want to nest at Prince's Island, but there are less cruel ways of maintaining the park's geese population.

One year they sprayed the geese eggs with something that made the shells soft and no geese hatched. The fact that the letter to the editor still bugs me three days later proves that I've got to call 311 to confirm. I hesitate, because what if it is true? Do I wage an animal cruelty crusade against the City? Do I protest at Prince's Island Park? Will it bring the goslings back? Will it protect future hatchlings? When I hear the sad noises the adult geese now make, my heart says "yes!!" to all that and more.

goslings 3
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1

In Europe Canada Geese are considered a nuisance, because they breed prolifically and make terrible messes that change the ecology. Gee, I can think of another species on this planet that does that, but we don't round up its young and leaved them to die in the wilderness. Well, on second thought, it has been done and it was considered murder or a war crime and extremely cruel.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ode to Tigerstedt

ode to Tigerstedt
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Just read an excellent article in the April 30th, 2010 edition of Swerve Magazine about the Tigerstedt Block. Established in 1932 on Centre Street, in the community of Crescent Heights, it has been slated for demolition someday to make way for a new condo/retail complex. I say "someday" because the condo ad sign has been up for a few years. The article also had a small piece about Albert Tigerstedt, a local photographer who set up his studio near the Crescent Heights Senior High School and who was also a photographer in the Canadian Navy during the second World War. Several of his photographs were donated to the Glenbow Museum by his wife when he died, in 1989. I haven't seen the Glenbow collection, but a search through Glenbows online photo archive turned up 39 records shot by Tigerstedt Studios.

I chose to make a black and white photo because, one, it downplays how tattered the sign has become and, two, I figured in 1932 if Mr. Tigerstedt had taken a photo of his sign it would have been shot with black and white film. Here's the color version. Photos of this sign bring out interesting stories. On Flickr, in the comments of Mr. Sable's film noir photo of the sign a woman mentions that her father was one of the photographers at the studio, which prompted someone to post a photo done by Tigerstedt Studios. One of my Flickr contacts remembers when he was a student at Crescent Heights in the '60s how he would visit Mr. Tigerstedt during his lunch hour. The sign said Tigerstedt Studio then, which got me wondering if there was a photo of the original sign somewhere. Like a dog with a squeaky toy, I couldn't drop the idea that I could find that photo somewhere on the 'Net. Like a lot of my searches, I found more than I was searching for.

For instance, Mrs. Tigerstedt's obituary on the Alberta Histories Society web site reads:

TIGERSTEDT - It is with great sadness that the family of Jean Tigerstedt announces her passing on Saturday, November 1, 1997 at the age of 80 years. Jean is survived by her sisters, Margaret Dempster of Calgary and Isabella Hunt of Edmonton. She was predeceased by her loving husband Albert, in 1989, and by her Father and Mother, and brother Robert. Jean was born in Calgary on July 6, 1917, where she attended Normal School. After graduation, she taught in Oyen before returning to Calgary where she married her sweetheart and joined him in his business, "Tigerstedt Studio".

I wonder if she taught at Crescent Heights. Maybe they met when she escorted a group of reluctant students to his photo studio. One can only imagine.

Still, I haven't found a photo of the original sign. Like most things, though, it will probably appear when I stop looking for it.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your Song @ Cantos - Salute to Elton John

In sync with the Alberta Ballet’s production of Love Lies Bleeding, the Canto Music Foundation invited prominent Calgary musicians to perform their choice Elton John song, Wednesday evening, May 5, 2010. The result was Your Song: Calgary Artists Salute Elton John, featuring Elton John’s song writing piano. The performing artists included Simon Fisk with Sheldon Zandboer, Kris Demeanor with Anne Loree, Matt Masters with Earl McCauley, Donald Ray Johnson, Lynn Olagundoye with Chris Maric, Onalea Gilbertson and Jay Crocker. They used the piano that Elton John used to write hundreds of songs, probably between the late 1960s and early 1970s.

My favorite performances of the evening were Kris Demeanor, with Anne Loree on keys, doing "Western Ford Gateway" from Elton John's Empty Sky album; Donald Ray Johnson performing a very spiritual version of Elton John's "Border Song," and Onalea Gilbertson finishing the evening with "Your Song." Earl McCauley and Matt Masters performed a country song from Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection album that was very good. Their bassist and backup singer played some very smooth bass riffs. (I wish I could remember her name.) Charismatic Andrew Mosker, Cantos' executive director, hosted the event. In between performances he added trivia about the musicians, Cantos, and, of course, Elton John. He also spoke of their plans for the King Eddy site where Cantos will be moving their collection, setting up sound and recording stages, and reviving the Blues at the Eddy. Definitely something to look forward to.