It’s odds-and-ends blog time, a fallback position for guys like me who suddenly realize that it’s been a while since they’ve written a blog. Can’t disappoint the followers, can I? Well, yes I can, and have, but not deliberately.

Most Edmontonians have no idea why our best park is named Hawrelak, a name that does not exactly trip off the tongue. Friday’s daily history lesson in the Journal reminded me of why this beautiful park, once known by the mellifluous name Mayfair, is now called Hawrelak.

It was named after former mayor William Hawrelak, who was Edmonton’s longest serving mayor. Now, naming things after politicians is common practice worldwide, but renaming Mayfair Park in honor of Hawrelak was, and remains, an injustice. Hawrelak was kicked out of office — not once, but twice — for improper conduct involving land deals. Twice! It is to Edmonton’s lasting shame that this two-time loser was actually re-elected for a third time, in 1974. He died in office, which led to a decision to rename Mayfair Park in his honor. The fact that the city council vote on renaming the park was so close — 6-5 in favor — tells you just how controversial the decision was at the time. You’ll still find old school Edmontonians (like me) referring to the park as Mayfair.

In other news …. I see the city wants to put up an office tower downtown to house all civic staff. If this happens, it could become the biggest building ever erected in Edmonton.  What does this tell me? I don’t know about you, but to me it means that Edmonton has WAAAAYYY too many civic employees. And as exciting as it would be to have a new high-rise downtown, what happens to the thousands of square feet of space the city would abandon in other buildings? Just a thought …

In even more news … at long last, some common sense in the E.coli crisis. Food experts have finally come forward to label the E.coli scare a panic. The fact is that if you cook beef properly — to an internal temperature of 71C, or 160 F — you will kill the E.coli that might be lurking in your burger. Unfortunately, most Canadians don’t use a meat thermometer, so they don’t know what the internal temperature of their beef is. I’ve been using one for years, but my choice of temperature if 150F. A simple search of Google sites finds a range of safe cooking of between 145F to 160F. But, since you can’t count on people to do the smart thing, a total recall was necessary to protect the poorly informed public …

And finally, in non-news … for those of you suffering from hockey withdrawal (not me; couldn’t care less about hockey before football season ends), here’s a treat: the SCTV hockey movie, Power Play. If you remember the era that this parody so brilliantly lampoons, this is a true comedy classic. Everything about this bit — the music, the bad production values, the cast, even the credits (“and Al Waxman as The Chief”) — is so perfect, it hurts. Enjoy!


One thought on “An odds and ends blog, with an SCTV bonus at the end.

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