Thursday, December 2nd 2021
Letter to the Editor: Serve all citizens PDF Print E-mail

From the StarPhoenix, January 4, 2012

Our mayor and city councillors are missing something important in how they devise and implement policy that affects citizens.

They consider themselves privileged by virtue of getting elected. They are chasing big bucks and big projects, which aren't necessarily a priority for most citizens. In doing so, council has lost touch with the citizenry at a time when Saskatoon is Canada's fastest growing city.

In Memory of Our Dear Friend and Champion, Joe Kuchta and His Wife and Soul-Mate, Georgie Davis PDF Print E-mail

Joe Kuchta - joins friends and family in mourning the loss of a brilliant man, our friend and champion, Joe Kuchta, and his wife, inspiration and soul-mate, Georgie Davis

We all  owe a huge debt to Joe, a well-known activist and humanitarian, who wrote the Owls and Roosters political blog, founded in 2006. Bold and honest, his writings could always be counted on on for their conscientious integrity, detail and humanity, relying on the hard-won fruits of his exhaustive research. And would not exist without his prodigious efforts to protect the Mendel Art Gallery on Spadina.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much, Joe and Georgie.

"Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
- from Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

Council Bumbles PDF Print E-mail

From the StarPhoenix June 23, 2011 - Letter to the Editor

It comes as no great shock that our bumbling city councillors are now wringing their hands in despair about how to find an escape route from their reckless half-billion-dollar spending spree.

In rather arbitrary fashion, with no concern as to who will pay, council has rubber-stamped approval to building an art gallery and police station, moving the bus barns, south bridge, a Traffic Bridge replacement, etc.

And now it has the audacity to insult taxpayers' intelligence by announcing a "gut-wrenching" review of services in the guise of being fiscally prudent? Heaven help these councillors if they think the electorate will tolerate cutbacks to basic services such as garbage pickup, snow removal and maintaining streets.

Read the full letter at the StarPhoenix website.

Apathy Alarming PDF Print E-mail

From the StarPhoenix June 23, 2011 - Letter to the Editor

Despite the fact that there are currently several would-be galvanizing issues affecting the general public of Saskatoon, the lack of awareness or interest is alarming.

First, bravo to all of you who do take an interest in our city's environment and health. Second, I must apologize on behalf of my apathetic contemporaries.

My generation Y is left to deal with a legacy of debt and environmental degradation, and en masse, we are certainly not prepared to do so. The time has come to put down our drinks, pull up our pants and get involved.

Read the full letter at the StarPhoenix website.

Needless Expense PDF Print E-mail

From the StarPhoenix June 23, 2011 - Letter to the Editor

Your editorial, Major projects bringing to life long-held visions (SP, June 15), tries to spin the massive $84 million pricetag of the new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan as insignificant because the direct cost to taxpayers is just $21 million.

To some folks, that's still a lot of money to be spending on something that's unnecessary.

The new gallery is twice, or maybe even three times, more expensive than expanding and renovating the established and respected Mendel Art Gallery. I agree with other letter writers that it makes more sense to upgrade the Mendel and put the millions left over towards fixing the main library downtown.

Read the full letter at the StarPhoenix website.

Moving the Mendel: Hot or Not? PDF Print E-mail

Saskatoon's C95 fm Radio is asking whether moving the Mendel is Hot or Not in an online poll.

Please take the poll and add your comments against moving the Mendel. The discussion is already quite lively on their comment page!

Click here to take the poll.

Click here to view the results.

Call for Resignation of Mendel Art Gallery Board of Trustees! PDF Print E-mail

From the Mendel Trustee Job Description:

A Mendel Gallery Trustee is expected to:

  1. Be committed to the goals and purpose of the Mendel Art Gallery and be willing to support its programs and functions.
  2. Govern the affairs of the organization through the Board and one or more of its committees. Ad hoc committees are created as needed.
  3. Develop, review, and monitor policies for all areas of the Gallery's operation, including Acquisitions and Collections management, Exhibitions and Public Programs, personnel, Membership, etc.
  4. Commit time to the governance of the Mendel Art Gallery by:
    - Attending Board and relevant committee meetings and undertaking appropriate preparation and study. (The Board of Trustees meets once a month usually in the evening. Committees meet during business hours.)
    - Being able and willing to accept executive responsibility.
    - Participating as necessary in the selection and evaluation of the Executive Director & CEO of the Mendel Art Gallery.
  5. Show a commitment to the financial support of the Mendel Art Gallery through membership as well as involvement with some aspect of membership development or fundraising.
  6. Act as a Trustee in the interests of the Mendel Art Gallery and not on behalf of any other group, individual, or belief.

The Mendel Art Gallery's Board meets monthly, except for July and August. Meetings are 2 to 3 hours in duration. Trustees are also expected to serve on one or two of the Mendel's committees: Executive Committee, Audit and Finance Committee, Collection Committee, Facility Development Committee, Governance Committee, Human Resources Committee, and Fundraising Committee. Special committees are appointed from time to time. Trustees are expected to participate activeely in the annual corporate and individual fundraising campaigns.

Mendel easy on eye PDF Print E-mail

From the StarPhoenix June 13, 2011 - Letter to the Editor

What do an aging freeway bridge, a poorly executed sound wall, a major storm water outlet, a set of public washrooms, and an eyesore of a sewage lift station across the river from these have in common?

The Mendel Art Gallery will be giving up its existing natural river park setting for a commanding view of all these great pieces of urban infrastructure. Also, the predominance of so much concrete at the gallery's proposed new location pales in comparison to the pastoral wood-chip trails that are easily accessed from the Mendel's current site.

River settings are not all created equal.

Read the full letter at the StarPhoenix website.

'Naysayers' raise valid concerns PDF Print E-mail

From the StarPhoenix June 8, 2011

Following the announcement of Ellen Remai's $30-million donation to the Art Gallery of Saskatchewan (AGS) - sorry, Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan - Mayor Don Atchison attempted to silence critics this way:

"There are a lot of naysayers who say you can't raise $20 million.

Negative connotations like that don't help a fundraising campaign. . . .

(This announcement) should put those people's thought process to rest."

If I may, Your Worship: Why are people automatically "naysayers" (a.k.a. "naysaying minimalists") for expressing genuine concerns about such an expensive, controversial project?

Read the full article at the StarPhoenix website.

Art Gallery of Saskatchewan cost soars to $84M; closed-door meetings continue; Remai donation changes little; StarPhoenix misleading public PDF Print E-mail

Joe Kuchta continues his fine exposé of the ongoing mismanagement of the Mendel Art Gallery move at his blog Owls and Roosters:

More spending, more secrecy, more sham meetings and more lies. In other words, it’s business as usual on the Art Gallery of Saskatchewan (AGS) file.

At a press conference on May 25, 2011, Mayor Don Atchison and Mendel Art Gallery board chair Art Knight unveiled a series of schematic drawings for the new gallery by architectural firms Smith Carter Architects and Engineers and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB). It was also revealed, almost as an afterthought, that the estimated cost of the new building has soared to $84 million, a 52.7 per cent increase from the $55 million price tag that was originally announced on April 3, 2009.

Read the full entry at Owls and Roosters.

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