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Monday, 31 August 2015

40 years of CKND!

https://youtu.be/u-jW3kiiebI
Clancy, Candy, Nip and Dandy, ca. 1982 (watch)

At 8:30 pm on August 31, 1975, the Pembina, North Dakota-based television station KCND signed off the air for the last time. Thirty minutes later, it was replaced by a new feed, that of Winnipeg’s own CKND, (now Global Winnipeg).

Liba and Brinton. June 28, 1975, Winnipeg Free Press.

In 1973 the CanWest Broadcasting Company beat out two other bidders for the right to create a third television station in Winnipeg. To get a jump start, CanWest purchased Pembina's KCND, which already broadcast into Winnipeg on cable channel 12, and moved much of its equipment north.

it took CanWest about a year and $3 million dollars to launch the station. They purchased a former Safeway store at the intersection of St. Marys and St. Annes Road for studios and offices, built a transmission tower and hired about 60 staff.

CKND’s first local broadcast took place on August 31, 1975 lasted 30 minutes. It consisted of welcoming remarks by Paul Morton, president of CanWest Broadcasting, and D. C. Brinton, general manager of the station. Recorded greetings from Lt. Gov. W. J. Mckeag, premier Ed Schreyer, Senator Gil Molgat, mayor Stephen Juba and John Shanski, the Manitoba commissioner of the CRTC, were played.  Then, there was a 20-minute show introducing the station, outlining the work that went into putting it together and its plans for the future.

At 9:30 pm CKND joined the live feed of the 20 hour long Jerry Lewis Labour Day Telethon, the first time it was broadcast into Canada. The station’s parking lot was set up with cameras and a giant donation bowl for the local portions of the telethon broadcast.

August 30, 1975, Winnipeg Free Press

The majority of CKND's broadcast day would be American imports, though the independent station signed an agreement with the Global Television Network for a few Canadian shows and the rights to broadcast their national news program at suppertime. CKND's local fare was focused on local news and current affairs.

Initially, there was no suppertime local news, instead there was a series of short "newscaps" broadcast throughout the evening. Their local news began at 10:30 pm, a half hour earlier than their competitors. The first news anchor was Gus Nanton with Peter Farrel handling the current events portion of the show.

http://umanitoba.ca/libraries/archives/tribune/photographs/display_photo.php?id=5992
High School Report, June 1976 (source)

The following year, the fledgling station's local programming included This Week Today, a current events program hosted by station executive Peter Liba, High School Report, a news and sports roundup from high schools around the city, and the broadcast rights to the WHA's Winnipeg Jets. (The Jets broadcasts were soon cancelled when team management found that it was severely cutting into ticket sales, though CKND would beat out CKY for a five-year broadcast deal in 1979.)

CKND's nightly news program, called First News, was moved to 10 pm, leaving more time afterwards for longer form documentaries like a three part series on Indian and Metis culture in contemporary society and a two hour feature about Assiniboia Downs.

When CKND's first licence renewal hearing came up in 1977, there were sharp criticisms from the CRTC, the ACTRA union and rival CKY, the latter two suggesting that the renewal not be granted. Their biggest grievance was the station's lack of local, non-news, television programming. Some referred to is as just a rebroadcaster of the national Global Teelvision's feed.

The renewal was granted, likely due to the strength and depth of their news and current affairs programming, something their private competitor couldn't match.

http://umanitoba.ca/libraries/archives/tribune/photographs/display_photo.php?id=5991
Manitoba Tonight's debut on September 17, 1979

On September 17, 1979, CKND revamped its nightly news program. It was rebranded Manitoba Tonight, a 90-minute package that began at 10:30 pm. The First News segment was  presented by Andy Arnott, Marjorie Salki and Brian Swain. It was followed by Eye on Manitoba which took on feature length stories and the entertainment beat. The Salki Report, a weekly current affairs program, had already debuted in September 1978. 

Related
Global Winnipeg Celebrates 40 Years in the Community Global Winnipeg
CKND Timeline Canadian Communications Foundation
KCND Revisited St. Vincent Memories

August 30, 1975, Winnipeg Free Press

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Radio Edition - August 30, 2015

http://www.herizons.ca/node/565

Join me tonight at 7 pm on 1010.5 UMFM for West End Dumplings - The Radio Edition, the show about Manitoba history.

Joining me in studio is Penni Mitchell. She's the long-time managing editor of herizons, the national magazine of women’s news and feminist views, published right here in in Winnipeg. Their summer edition is a special history issue profiling 50 women who changed Canada. We'll talk about some of these women.

Mitchell also has a new book, About Canada: Women's Rights that profiles many women who changed Canada through their efforts to end discrimination and to promote social justice from the 1600s to the turn of the last century.

Later, I will tell you about some events that will be commemorated in the week ahead in Manitoba history and let you know about some upcoming tours !

Music by Rita MacNeil, Tanya Tagak and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

The Radio Edition for August 30, 2015

http://www.herizons.ca/node/565

Join me tonight at 7 pm on 1010.5 UMFM for West End Dumplings - The Radio Edition, the show about Manitoba history.

Joining me in studio is Penni Mitchell. She's the long-time managing editor of herizons, the national magazine of women’s news and feminist views, published right here in in Winnipeg. Their summer edition is a special history issue profiling 50 women who changed Canada. We'll talk about some of these women.

Mitchell also has a new book, About Canada: Women's Rights that profiles many women who changed Canada through their efforts to end discrimination and to promote social justice from the 1600s to the turn of the last century.

Later, I will tell you about some events that will be commemorated in the week ahead in Manitoba history and let you know about some upcoming tours !

Music by Rita MacNeil, Tanya Tagak and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Roundabout / Traffic Circle Conundrum



"Traffic circles" have gone and raised the ire of Winnipeggers again.

I've seen and used roundabouts in Europe, where they are an integral part of many traffic  systems and actually work. The reason they don't do so well here is that most drivers do not know how to use them properly and the city and province have not done much to help the situation. The result is that they remain foreign and confusing and people will actually take time to go protest when new ones are being built.


It's too bad because, according to the US Federal Highway Administration, a country where many cities have been converting intersections to roundabouts for decades, they are a much safer alternative to other types of intersections. Their data shows that:
  • By converting from a two-way stop control mechanism to a roundabout, a location can experience an 82 percent reduction in severe (injury/fatal) crashes and a 44 percent reduction in overall crashes.
  • By converting from a signalized intersection to a roundabout, a location can experience a 78 percent reduction in severe (injury/fatal) crashes and a 48 percent reduction in overall crashes.
So why are some up in arms in Winnipeg when the topic of roundabouts arise?


First off, Manitoba's Highway Traffic Act, and those of most other provinces, call them "roundabouts", so using the term "traffic circles" is a misnomer and people searching for the rules governing their use will never find them. Why the city has decided to use a different term that what they are officially called, which leads the media to do the same, is beyond me.

A huge part of what makes a roundabout work, and how cities around the world manage to make (gasp!) multi-lane roundabouts work, is that drivers must SIGNAL OUT of them. If not, some or all of the four approaching lanes of traffic must come to a stop when a car is inside the roundabout because you have no clue what it is going to do. It also makes it dangerous for cyclists sharing the roundabout if cars are going to suddenly pull out.

If you don't believe me about signaling out, check out the Manitoba Drivers Handbook, p. 52:  "Continue until you reach the street you wish to exit, signaling your intentions to exit before you reach the street you wish to exit on to." MPI, on the Road Safety section of its website, sums it up this way: "When you are ready to exit the roundabout, you must signal your intentions and yield the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists."

By not signaling out, a roundabout becomes nothing more than an an expensive, poncy looking, rolling 4-way stop. Why bother even changing it over, then?

Source: A. Sobkow,  eBrandon.ca

Since this has been a bugbear of mine since roundabouts were introduced on Waterfront Drive, I always keep an eye out for who signals out and, more importantly, who does not. I have been in the circles with transit buses, police cars and fire engines, all official vehicles that should be obeying the rules of the road. I have NEVER seen one of them signal out. EVER.

I remember when Brandon introduced a couple of large roundabouts to its west end a decade or more ago. Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), I believe it was, had a series of temporary signs the side of the road as you approached with handy tips: "Remember: yield to the car on the left"; "Remember: you must signal out". It was a simple way to get people used to the rules.

I don't blame city planners for adding roundabouts. On paper, and in most jurisdictions, they actually work to keep traffic flowing, (and who wants to stop at a red light or 4-way stop when there is no oncoming traffic?)  If crosswalk features are properly designed into them, assuming you live in a city where drivers actually stop at crosswalks, (which could a whole other blog post), they are safe and easy to use for pedestrians and cyclists as well.

Traffic circle with ped crossings. (Source)

So what can be done to get roundabouts back on track?
  • Call them what the traffic act calls them: roundabouts, so people who are curious about the rules can actually search and find them.
  • MPI needs to do a better job on their online education products. The roundabout section of the Manitoba Driver's Handbook is dismal and, as far as I can tell, you have to download the whole booklet to read that one section. The roundabout section I could find on MPI's website is just some text with a reminder that people should watch the 60 Second Driver bit on CTV, no hyperlink is provided.
If you want to see a kick-ass version of what an online educational resource should look like, check out the Saskatchewan Driver's Handbook page on roundabouts and the roundabout section of the Washington State Department of Transportation's website.
  • At roundabouts in the city, the city and MPI or the city should introduce temporary signage to introduce drivers to the rules, similar to what was done in Brandon. 
  • Civil servants using city vehicles, including police, fire and transit, need to set good examples for others on the road and follow the rules. This includes following the rules in roundabouts.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Radio Edition: August 23, 2015

PODCAST AVAILABLE HERE

On tonight's show I'll look back at the Man-Pop rock festival of 1970, wish a happy birthday to Monty Hall and tell you about my recent tour of the former Merchant's Hotel.

I'll talk to Cash Akoza, who just finished a beautiful mural in the West End and members of the Manitoba Transit Heritage Association, who had a large selection of their fleet on display at Grant Park Shopping Centre a couple of weeks back.

Music by The Ides of March, Dianne Heatherington and The Mongrels.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Inside the former Merchant's Hotel


 

The infamous Merchant's Hotel has been closed for three years now and construction will begin soon to convert it into Merchant's Corner, a mixed-use development with education as its cornerstone.You can find out more about the project at its website.

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the building, constructed in 1913-14, to document its interior. For the most part, old hotels are some of the most difficult buildings to get a sense of history from. Generations of fire codes and liquor control board regulations meant exterior windows disappeared, dropped ceilings were installed and open hallways and staircases enclosed.


Lucky for me, at this stage of its redevelopment a number of engineers and architects have had a go at peeling apart sections of the interior to see what lays beneath.

A testament to architect Max Blankstein's excellent work, the bones are still in very good shape. The foundation is sound and the timbers of the roof look almost new. They're even confident that they can open up some of the upper storey windows that have been bricked in and remove the awful 1950s tile cladding from the original brick exterior of the main floor.


The building wasn't as depressing as I thought was going to feel, at least not the living areas. Rooms were tiny, typical of an SRO hotel, but each had at least three huge windows that let in lots of light. Each floor had common bathrooms and laundry facilities, though the "primo" rooms facing Selkirk Avenue were larger and had their own private bathroom.



A couple of interesting things I saw included a sign on what was once the exterior of the west wall. it was covered up when the 1950s diner extension was added. The huge flagpole on the roof is made of a single piece of wood, and the ramp from the sidewalk beer entrance into the basement is still in place!


Thanks to the North End Renewal Corporation for the top to bottom tour of the building. I'm sure the original owners, Robert and Sarah Steiman, would be pleased to know that the Merchants will be around to serve the community for another century!

For more present-day photos of the building, check out my Flickr album.

To read about the history of the Steiman Block / Merchants Hotel, see my Winnipeg Downtown Places blog enry.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The introduction of parking meters to Winnipeg

The "first nickel" ceremony, Oct. 6. 1949 (Winnipeg Tribune)

My column in today's Free Press recounts the introduction of parking meters to Winnipeg in October 1949 !