Calgary Citizen Newsletter Saturday Dec. 2

December warm weather, polar bears arrive, looking for a good few firefighters

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Hey Insiders, it’s Krista 👋 

It’s officially December and the holiday season is upon us with new beginnings around the corner as the New Year approaches. I’m taking this time to wrap up some unfinished business that I don’t want to carry into 2024 and it’s going to be a busy month but I can’t wait to see what’s ahead! Have a lovely weekend.

The Insider Poll

The Calgary Zoo debuted two polar bears in a new exhibition. Is this the first time the zoo has had polar bears?

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Here’s what happened in the news this week

Coming face-to-face with polar bears, tracking otters gliding through the water and watching caribou prancing delighted guests at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo the day before the public unveiling of its newly renovated exhibit. The area is home to the zoo's newest members, male polar bears Baffin and Siku, who were both orphaned as cubs near Churchill, MB then lived in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Zoo before moving to Calgary earlier this year.

It’s been a dry November with above seasonal temperatures and according to Environment Canada and Climate Change Canada, those temperatures will stick around with the help of El Niño. Alysa Pederson with ECCC says the dry fall is due to what’s called a blocking period. El Niño usually hits in December, January, and February.

A Calgary man who purported to be a member of ISIS appeared to be planning to kill gay people participating in local pride events earlier this year, a judge heard during a guilty plea to a terrorism charge Friday. Zakarya Hussein, 20, admitted to facilitating terrorist activity.

The family of a man who died after being hit by a minivan while riding his bike along Macleod Trail is speaking out about the importance of discussing mental health. According to his loved one, all things athletic — from the bobsleigh track to the weight room, dragon boat racing or rugby — seemed to come naturally to Andrew Penaranda. Andrew, a volunteer coach with a Calgary special needs swim team, always wanted to encourage others to excel in sports. Christopher said there was there was a deep sadness in Andrew. Friends and family tried to get him to open up and talk about the trauma.

Rapid population growth is fueling demand for additional Calgary firefighters in record numbers. Captain Lloyd Wyer says the Calgary Fire Department plans to add 320 recruits, 120 each year, over the next three years. Hoping he meets the standard is 27-year-old Robert Safiullin. He says he is so thankful Canada welcomed him and his wife four months ago that he wants to dedicate himself to helping others in his adopted home.

Here’s what’s happening this weekend

🗓 A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Claire Butler Trio will play the soundtrack of Charlie Brown’s Christmas live with the children’s choir from Montessori School of Calgary at the Engineered Air Theatre on Saturday at 4 and 6pm.

🗓 Wildflower Arts Salon & Sale: The 13th annual art salon and sale will feature ceramics, watercolour paintings, acrylic paintings, fibre arts, mixed media, jewelry, and glass from over 20 artists on Sunday from 10am-4pm.

🗓 Morning Glory Burlesque Brunch: On Sunday from 11am-2pm, enjoy an afternoon of burlesque and brunch at The Attic Bar + Stage with a vegan brunch menu, $5 mimosas, and performances.


Catch up on this week’s features

Want to see what you missed in the newsletters this week? Here you go!

  • Tuesday: Calgarians have growing concerns about public safety in light of recent shootings, mall stabbings

  • Thursday: Alberta Health Services confirms case of measles in Calgary

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