Calgary Citizen Newsletter Thursday Dec. 14

Plus: Road rage ends in death, police raid wrong house, and stolen dreams

Good morning, there!

On Saturday in our members-only newsletter, we are giving away two pairs of double passes to Tinseltown: The Christmas Speakeasy, the Christmas-themed event at SunnyCider Bar & Kitchen running until the end of the month. (Sign up for our members-only newsletter to receive perks like this. Sign up here!) For our regular newsletter readers, you can get 10% off your tickets by using CODE CITIZEN10 at the online checkout when purchasing your tickets. Have a nice weekend!

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

👀 In today's edition

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🌨️ Today: High 2C, Low -6C. See the 7-day forecast.

🚗 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation, and find the city’s traffic report and road closures.

Calgarians can make it a green Christmas while also ensuring gift wrap, boxes and holiday food scraps end up in the right cart this year. // Shutterstock

We asked the city about the silly and even dangerous things that Calgarians are recycling and some of the items are shocking. Calgarians try to recycle properly and many are quite successful but there are still some problematic, perplexing, and hazardous items making their way to the city’s sorting facility, says Waste & Recycling Services leader Sharon Howland.

"We do see a bit of what we call wish-cycling" she says, which is when people just put items in the bin, "hoping and wishing" that it can be recycled.

Wacky and weird — One of the weirdest things the city found in recent years was a giant wood Tiki head that looked like it was out of the ’70s. "The facility got a chuckle out of that. Occasionally, we do see some pretty amusing items," Howland says.

Simply silly — The city often finds items that people wrongly think are recyclable in the wrong bins, including an ironing board, which is not recyclable. "I can see them making the connection that ‘Oh, this is metal’, but what happens is that it can get jammed in one of the conveyor belts and we can be shut down for hours."

Downright dangerous — Hazardous items like batteries and propane tanks can cause fires and explosions. Sometimes people put bear spray, medical needles, and other medical waste. The city has even found a rifle and bullet casings in the recycle bin. "These are all very dangerous items.”

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Need to know

🚓 A Calgary man faces manslaughter charges after another man was killed in a road rage incident between the two drivers. [Video]

👮 A Calgary family needs a new front door after the police went to the wrong address during a weapons call.

🏌️ This city councillor was sanctioned by his colleagues when it was discovered he took part in a council meeting while on a golf course.

💔 As three shed fire victims are mourned, unhoused Calgarians share a glimpse of life in suburbia.

📱 Some southeast residents have been left without phone service for nearly a week after vandalism.

💸 A father was scammed out of money when he thought he was buying tickets for his 10-year-old daughter to attend a Taylor Swift concert.

🏢 A quartet of buildings were declared historic resources, including the iconic Plaza Theatre.

💰 Calgary police will receive $8M in funding from the province to hire 50 new officers.

🥞 A man forcibly removed from the prime minister’s Stampede breakfast pleads guilty to trespassing.

🎒 Calgary’s Child Magazine’s free weekly newsletter is packed with family-friendly activities, local events, excursions, and giveaways. Sign up here and never hear “I’m bored” again!


The dos and don’ts of Christmas waste services

The holiday season sees a 25% increase in waste overall, which has massive implications. // Shutterstock

The best way to keep waste down during the holidays is to not make waste in the first place, but easier said than done, right? City Waste & Recycling Services program management leader Sharon Howland says the city collects three times more recycling in the two weeks after Christmas compared to any other time of the year. “Calgarians generally produce more waste over the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Howland says. “Instead, celebrate with new holiday traditions that can help make the season a little greener.”

Decor and gifts: When shopping for decorations choose durable options that will stand the test of time, create DIY decorations, or purchase handmade/second-hand items. You could give the gift of memories, with tickets to a show or movies, classes or lessons or an outdoor activity.

Wrapping: Reuse fancy boxes and tins for future gifts or storage.Skip the bows and ribbons (they can’t be recycled). Use fabric, newspaper/flyers, or old calendars to wrap gifts. Save gift wrap, gift bags, bows, and ribbons for reuse.

Food: Use reusable containers for food leftovers instead of plastic wrap or tin foil. Reduce food waste and save money by making a meal plan and shopping lists for your holiday feasts. Shop from your fridge and cupboards first.

Extra garbage: If you have extra garbage bags that will not fit in your black cart, you need to buy garbage tags for $3 each and wrap them around the knot on top of the bag. Buy some ahead of time at Co-op and Circle K Stores or online.

Christmas trees: Compost real trees in your green cart after removing all decor. If it's full, place branches in paper yard waste bags and set them two feet to the side of your green cart for collection. You can take your tree to a temporary drop-off location from Dec. 26-Jan. 31. Here is a list of locations. 

Where to eat and drink

🍴 ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Holiday Dinner: Pre-order dinner with different protein, side dishes, and dessert options. Pre-order by 5pm on Dec. 20 and pick it up just in time for your celebrations.

🍴 Eau Claire Distillery: Don’t forget to check out this festive trio of whiskies made for the holiday season. These delectable seasonal offerings are available at participating Calgary liquor stores.

Have a food or drink suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Local specials

💸 Blue Grass Garden Centre: Enjoy 30% off Christmas decor until Dec. 17 (some restrictions apply).

💸 Jamesons: Every Sunday at both locations (17th and Brentwood) enjoy all-day happy hour, which includes half-price wings and $6 Caesars and mimosas.

Have a promo suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Things to do

🎟️ Rev Elvis & Friends Blue Christmas: Supporting the Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Rev Elvis, Dwain Sands, and Jimmy Hughes play Christmas, rock 'n roll, and country music with a lunch buffet on Sunday at the Sirocco Golf Club.

🎟️ The Kinkonauts present Love at Christmas: This show is improvised right before audiences with all of those cheesy Hallmark movie tropes of long-lost small-town love and holiday dramatics. Friday to Sunday at The Atrium.

Have an event suggestion? Message us and we might share it!


One of our readers sent us this snowy snapshot of downtown. // Quratulain Khan

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