Bitcoin isn't saving the forest industry, and the Hart isn't walkable
Plus rumours of a No Frills go unconfirmed. Read to the end for some sunset pics
Happy Year of the Rabbit/Year of the Cat. After a beautiful Sunday, it’s forecast to be a gross week for weather, ricocheting between plus and minus seven, with rain sure to make roads slick. Prepare accordingly. If you’re in Southridge, also prepare to be without water. And prepare for Coldsnap 2023 to kick off at the end of the week, if you haven’t got tickets already.
One fatality reported after a series of avalanches in the Valemount region.
The Nordiq Canada trials wrapped successfully with a goal of making Prince George a regular stop on the world competition scene.
Prince George SPCA caring for 10 malamute/husky crosses after owner hospitalized.
Joining UNBC and the city, the Prince George Airport is updating its master plan and wants feedback from the public.
B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon pulled a Pierre Pollievre on his recent trip to Prince George, recording a street-level video talking about repeat offenders.
He also says he’s been hearing rumours of a No Frills moving into Parkwood to replace Save-On but there are no business applications yet.
In memorium: Howard Lloyd, former MLA and city councillor and comeptitive cyclist Kris Yip.
Forestry futures: Bitcoin won’t save us
And a quarter million hectares around Prince George protected
Enough conversations that this is going to get its own section.
In the Tyee, Amanda Follet Hosgood has a feature on how there was once thinking that Bitcoin mining operations could provide economic opportunities for struggling industry towns but, like much related to cryptocurrency, that seems to have burst.
Consultant Rob Schuetz says its inevitable a pulp mill in Prince George would close and Quesnel could be next.
The Narwhal’s Ainslie Cruickshank reports that a quarter of a million hectares of forests in the Prince George area have been set aside as “high risk” areas for biodiversity that are not to be logged, getting approval from conservationists who also say these sorts of protections are not to be blamed for job losses — and, in fact, some changes may have been made to avoid impacting short-term timber supply.
Peter Ewart says we need more community control over forests.
Neil Godbout says we shouldn’t wait for the province to take the lead on innovation and do it ourselves.
CNC is seeking applicants for its Research Forest Legacy Fund.
Is the Hart walkable?
This Twitter post kicked off quite the conversation last week:
Here’s the thing about the Hart: Aside from the VLA (which has an exaggerated stigma around it overshadowing a lot of cool things) it is easily the part of town with the most unique character to it. I barely was aware it existed until I met my now-wife, who lived there, and I discovered it had a whole world: A mall, restaurants, grocery store a library branch, hardware store, clothing stores and of course advertisements on where to buy fireworks and see drag races. While the strip of land along the highway toward College Heights resembles the suburban communities of Metro Vancouver, the Hart shares a kindred spirit with small-town B.C., with a combination of people who pile old trucks in their yard and the people who are there because they value the cleaner air. My experience of it is also that it is extremely walkable but that’s because she lived a few blocks away from said mall/grocery store/restaurants etc which themselves are clustered pretty close together — and the Hart is a big place, so you could easily be quite far away from the centre of it all.
Of course, that’s the issue with Prince George overall — there are a few places close to services while the rest of it is quite deep. I’ve written before about how my neighbourhood (Heritage) used to have a pub, bakery/deli and convenience store but over the years those disappeared (the convenience store is, at least, now a pet supply store which works out well for me, personally but doesn’t lend itself as well to a self-contained neighbourhood as the convenience store did). Basically, the city used to be built around walkable neighbourhoods but over the years that’s been replaced by a handful of mega-service areas with very few of the neighbourhood convenience store-style spots left.
We’re not unique in this, of course: There’s a lovely ode to the neighbourhood convenience store that ran out of St. John’s on the CBC over the weekend but it’s still a shame.
Letters to the editor
In response to Cameron Stolz’s column I linked to calling for the conference and civic centre to be expanded, Heather writes:
If they do that, why not put a performing Arts centre right in there. ... But why take away the parking? Why are they talking away the parking where the old pool used to be? It doesn't make sense even now.
I think the future of this parcel of land is going to be a big one over the next ten years. We’ve heard from this mayor that it’s too early to decide anything but there are a lot of opinions on what should be done with the old Four Seasons pool area. A performing arts centre is a choice, as is expanded conference space, or some combination of the two (I visited the Banff conference centre last year and it has a theatre built-in). But if that were to happen there is the question of where would people park? When the new pool first opened there were very limited options until the old pool was cleared away, and if you added traffic to an arts centre that’s even less space. There is always the possibility of the old firehall being replaced with parking, or even the Coliseum if it gets replaced with a facility elsewhere in town (the CN Centre?)
The conversation about this is going to start with the Civic Core District Plan which will begin consultations this year. Learn more about it here and watch this space for developments!
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Here are some sunset photos
I missed it but I guess Friday was a good night for sunsets.
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