Solar Eclipse from Regina, SK

The eclipse today was visible from Regina, but not the totality available to Americans in many states.

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
My new Canon SX540 HS did a good job with a pair of solar eclipse filter glasses taped over the lens. The sunspot chain was very sharp and visible at 200X digital zoom, 80ISO.

I made a projector that worked well:

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

ADDED: Here’s 2012’s annular eclipse in Regina.

Nazis Ruling News Cycle In USA

The “loons” on the right wing really stuck their foot in their mouths this week, so better balance things out so they don’t seem so violent and crazy by bringing up some possibly comparable event from years ago on the left wing. Main stream media continually proves it’s unwilling to be a reasonable adjudicator of the truth. Simply condemn the violent and idiotic rhetoric of the Conservatives, and if you need context, please find a better analogy.

That was my response to the Leader-Post’s Columnist Murray Mandryk’s “Left or right, wingnuts unwelcome” #BothSides column last year. I saw it as a tepid defense of Rebel and Conservative Party wingnuts, by saying “What About” the radical left wing?

His comments on Twitter in the past days have been far more blunt as it’s become mainstream to call The Rebel out for its naked hatred.

Wind Will Be Cheaper Than Natural Gas

Will be? Naw, it has been for years. Still, SaskPower is building another 350MW of natural gas to go online in 2019, while building far less than 300MW of wind power by then. They’ve a target of 50% renewable generation by 2030, and still wind is far less than 5% of the grid total. Clearly they’re on the wrong track, and costing rate payers money.

More Small Town Banks Closing in Saskatchewan

“they don’t think about what goes on in these small villages. All they can see is $ & cents & that’s it,” she said.”

It doesn’t matter if the pencil pushers are in Toronto on Bay St., or in Regina on Albert St. they just don’t get how important it is to have viable rural communities with services for farmers, teachers, children, etc.

Will Mandryk Eat His Privatization Crow?

Has anyone watched Mandryk eat crow about this doozy of a column defending Wall’s last campaign yet?
“On Tuesday, Wall emphatically said “no” to selling SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskTel, SGI and even STC. He reminded voters he signed the old NDP Crown Corporation Protection Act and noted his only proposed change to that law is on the sale of liquor stores.
Yet there was Broten, becoming the fourth straight NDP leader telling us of their opponent’s hidden agenda to sell off all Crown corporations, including SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SGI, STC, etc.”
“Broten has a smoking gun. Don’t let it get around, but … pssst …. Saskatchewan is running a deficit.
 
“He’s not talking about his plans for privatization, but we know, in his desire to go after quick, one-time money … anything is on the table for him.” Broten said.
 
Well, there you have it. What more proof could anyone possibly need? Wall and the Sask. Party intend to commit political suicide by first being forthright about selling liquor stores, then lying to the voters about selling off everything else.
 
So why does the NDP keep doing this?
There is the sentimentality.”
Ugh. He even mocked the smoking gun(s). Maybe he’s just sentimental about beating up on the NDP when they don’t even deserve it, instead of when they do.
This May, Wall closed STC, and changed the law in order to sell off half of SaskTel, SGI, SaskEnergy, etc. for a quick buck and to destroy public services in the hope that the private sector offers them instead. STC has been shut for weeks now, and Greyhound has expressed an interest in NOT operating buses on profitable bus routes in Saskatchewan. We went from having the best inter-city bus line in Canada, to NO bus service between the province’s largest cities of over a half million people collectively.
Mandryk’s column defending the Premier’s campaign deception, when he should have known better, helped make this possible.
Mar 18, 2016 11:24am
 
Media: ‘Why won’t both parties stop talking privatization?’
3rd party: ‘Change Crowns to public-owned co-operatives.’
Media: *silence* then ‘Why won’t the NDP stop talking about Crowns?’

The Core Of the Problem Is Austerity

In the Saskatchewan Legislature Thursday, Premier Brad Wall says a decision to stop STC bus service and lay-off 250 people did not come easy.

Wall says the decision was difficult but ridership had declined significantly.

“As ridership declines and the costs increase, that per-passenger subsidy is well up over 90-dollars,” said Premier Brad Wall. “Almost 100-dollars per passenger, Mr. Speaker. And at some point you have to ask the question; is that the core function of government? To subsidize to 90-dollars per passenger for the bus company?”

STC’s the very definition of a “sustainable core service“! It costs less than a municipal transit service!

@PremierBradWall March 22, 2017:
#skbudget outlines a 3yr plan to balance: controlled spending, sustainable core services, less reliance on resource rev & keep econ strong.

==

There is presently no replacement bus service as the Minister indicated there would be. People are being stranded daily now, in Saskatoon and Regina even, unable to directly get to the other city without desperately going through Winnipeg, hitchhiking (illegally in Regina) or flying on expensive airline tickets.

Today, and last week, Greyhound’s website indicates “no service available” between Regina and Saskatoon! I’ve been in contact with Greyhound perhaps more than the incompetent Saskatchewan Government, to try and fix this problem.

There are companies other than Greyhound applying to operate in Saskatchewan, but the government has dragged on with deciding, until after the deadline arbitrarily set for STC’s privatization closure and subsequent sell off.

“The province is confident many of the routes that STC covered will be taken over by other privately owned companies.
Minister Responsible Joe Hargrave says they have already received an offer from a major bus company to take over some routes that will be cancelled when STC is done and Saskatchewan is the only province that still operates a bus company like STC.”

The Highway Traffic Board is supposed to be independent but……
“The HTB is, according to its website, a “completely independent body” that consists of members appointed by the Sask. Party government.
Its chair, Bill Missal, is a long-time Saskatchewan Party supporter who has, according to Elections Saskatchewan, donated to the Sask. Party.
He has also worked with Sask. Party MLA and former Highways Minister Don McMorris at election time.”

You might also like:
https://saskboy.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/weak-transportation-week/
https://saskboy.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/transportation-not-meeting-demand/
https://saskboy.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/stc-bus-shut-down-by-callous-saskparty/

Weak Transportation Week

Sent to a Saskatchewan Government employee who announced Saskatchewan Transportation Week immediately after STC bus and parcel services were closed to be sold off much later:

Dear Brandy Leippi:

Reading your press release citing the proclamation of this week as Saskatchewan Transportation Week, I was struck by how contradictory the Government’s messaging is in juxtaposition to reality.
http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2017/june/01/transportation-week
“this week is about recognizing the thousands of people who make it happen.””
Hundreds were laid off on Thursday at STC.

““Investing in priority areas like transportation infrastructure is a major part of our government’s plan to ensure the economy remains strong,” Marit said.”
Failing to invest in rural and inter-city bus service will have the opposite effect, obviously.

““An efficient transportation network is the key foundation of a strong economy; nothing moves until the roads are built.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/highway-near-cumberland-house-called-saskatchewan-s-worst-1.1307838
4 years later:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/highway-123-cumberland-house-sask-1.4132668

“Since 2008, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested $7.4 billion in transportation infrastructure, improving more than 12,000 km of Saskatchewan highways.”
And has in that time also removed transportation options for people who don’t own a private car or cannot or will not drive for a variety of reasons.

If you’d like to turn this very obvious slide around, please help restore STC bus services at the very least until private sector replacements are in place. Investing in public EV charging infrastructure along major highway routes is probably a constructive means to work with Ottawa on improving Saskatchewan’s infrastructure, too.

Thank-you for your time.
Sincerely,
John Klein
Regina, SK

CC my MLA

The Sask Heavy Con comments in the press release were grating too. That association has been fighting the carbon tax with the Premier, instead of finding cost-saving ways to reduce their emissions, or lobby for ‘carrots’ to modernize their equipment as opposed to the carbon tax ‘stick’.

The Saskatchewan Government and SaskParty are really this obtuse.