Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Calgary Transit vs NYC subway -- Apple & Oranges

Today I came across an article on the Calgary Rants blog; the author had taken a trip to the Big Apple and was dazzled by the city's sophisticated underground transit system which prompted him to compare the subway network with that of of Calgary's C-Train system. He seemed to be critical of this city's conveyance structure by examining in contrast the networks of the two cities.

There is no doubt that New York's subway system is one of the best in the world, but to match-up the MTA with the C-Train is like comparing apples and oranges (in this case, comparing the big apple with a little kiwi fruit). The authors also raves on about how vastly more efficient the subway is compared to our little street cars and how they can accommodate thousands of passengers more (again...DUUH).

Now, granted that Calgary's transit system is not fulfilling the current needs of the population and it goes without saying that it needs revitalization and a make-over. But to say that NYC's transit is ideal would be an exaltation it does not deserve.

As a former New Yorker, I can say this with certainty; it is NOT as safe as some people think it is. The drug problems are still there - even after Giuliani tried to clean it up - the riders are extremely rude, and the fares go up whenever city hall feels like it. In fact, there was a feature report in one of New York's publication a few years ago describing the fragility of the subway system. The entire network is plagued by constant threats of floods and fires and built on technology that predates the automobile.

To many, the grass seems much greener on that side of the fence, but the allure fades away when one has to deal with impaired coordination of the MTA, (not to mention the unprofessional attitude of the subway police).

In contrast, the C-Train, with all it's flaws and imperfections, has the potential to be exceptional. Perhaps, new tacks around the Sarcee ring road and an extension further down south with more express buses can make transit more desirable for people who don't use the system currently, but would like to once they know how convenient and enjoyable their trips can be.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trip to the Calgary Zoo

We are Number-3

It's official folks...Calgary has become the third largest city in Canada, after Toronto & Montreal (not including suburbs). According to the municipal census of 2009, cowtown now has 1,065,455 people as of April 2009. The city has grown very rapidly in the last 3-4 years, and a lot of people have moved here, primarily to find jobs.

Unfortunately, it has also brought along crime and street drugs to this once peaceful place. The criminal scumbags have established a lurative enterprise in Calgary doing their dirty deeds. But the good news is that the law enforcement authorities are on their asses and have cuaght quite a few thugs and put them behind bars.

Another issue that is talked about quite frequently these days is the congestion and traffic jams in Calgary. The sudden increase in population has forced city-planners to come up with a viable solution for dealing with future developments. The Plan It Calgary is a step in the right direction.

Calgary ain't what it used to be...it's gotten big, noisy and chaotic, but nonetheless, it's still a good place to work and live (much..MUCH better than toronto of-course ;-)

Chris Pirillo's Favourite Places in Calgary

Anybody who has even the slightest interest in the latest gadgets or internet apps and technologies knows about Chris Pirillo and his lockergnome website. He is the uber-geek, the GURU of all things geeky.

A couple of days ago, Chris posted a blog about his Top 10 Places to Visit in Calgary, which include the usual suspects like the Canada Olympic Park, the Stampede, and Banff National Park, (even though technically speaking, it's not within Calgary).

However, I was surprised to see the Calgary Police Youth Centre as one of the places to visit in town. Usually, Calgarians don't really think of the CPS as a touristy area. But I checked it out and it seems like a groovy place for kids and teens and give them insight on what a policeman's (or policewoman's) work entails.

Sometimes we take resources like these in our city for granted. But hey...this city is so big, (and growing fast), you learn something new about it everyday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Free and Low Cost Dental Care in Calgary

There are a lot of people who cannot afford Dental care for themselves or their children. The province of Alberta in partnership with the Calgary Health region has a oral health program for folks like these.

If you want to learn how to get free or low-cost dental procedures done, consult these places for eligibility requirements.


HOW TO GET DENTAL CARE IN THE CALGARY REGION

1. Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB)
Phone: 1-877-469-5437
Web: www.employment.alberta.ca/achb
E-mail: achb@gov.ab.ca

Who is eligible?

  • Children under the age of 18 (19 if attending high school) in low-income families.
  • Eligibility based on income and number of eligible children in the family.
  • Must apply. Call for an application or download from website.

Coverage

  • Free basic health benefits and routine dental services.
  • Show benefit card to a dental provider.

2. Alberta Health Services - Calgary Region

Community Dental Clinics
Chumir 403-955-6888
Northeast 403-944-9999
Airdrie 403-912-8484
Web: www.calgaryhealthregion.ca/programs/dental

Who is eligible?

  • Children and adults with limited income that do not have a dental plan.
  • Eligibility based on income and family size.
  • Families must apply. Call for application or download from website.

Coverage
  • Reduced fee dental care.
  • Routine and basic services including cleanings, x-rays, fillings and removal of teeth.

3. Burns Memorial Fund
Phone: 403-234-9396
Web: http://www.burnsfund.com

Eligibility
  • Must be under the age of 21 and lived in Calgary for at least 6 months.
  • No dental insurance/benefits.
  • Referral letter and treatment plan needed.
Coverage
  • Payment or cost-sharing for dental or orthodontic treatment.
  • Payments are not given for services already provided in a dental office before applying to the Burns Fund.

Dental Care for Low Income families

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Science Centre in Calgary

The Telus World of Science is moving near the Calgary Zoo, to a bigger and better building! It'scheduled to be completed in 2011 and will be the first science centre to be built in Canada in 40 years, replacing the old building in the Calgary downtown area.

The centre will be a 153,000 square foot building with a 240 seat dome theater and a 10,000 square foot atrium. Total cost: $160 million






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