Friday, April 11, 1997
Telling drivers where to go

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign? Many Yellowknife motorists who hear that vintage piece of pop culture while driving this city's streets must say to themselves: "What signs?"

The worst example of Yellowknife's lack of street planning and traffic management is the mess of pavement, a sort of road-cum-parking lot, located just off Airport Road, linking Wal-Mart to Tim Hortons and beyond.

It's congested, confusing and dangerous. Just getting into and out of the strip of shops, restaurants and department stores can be a nightmare, but once inside it's even worse. Fortunately, Petro-Canada has stepped into the breech by setting up some concrete barriers for motorists to crash into while trying to figure out which way to go.

While the folks at Petro-Canada must be applauded for their actions, the city, bylaw officers and police must be scolded for their inaction. Direction and speed limit signs, guard rails, barriers and flashing lights, along with traffic organization and enforcement of speed limits is the solution to this problem.

The same could be said for Franklin Avenue in front of Mildred Hall school and the downtown core and the turn by Yellowknife Direct Charge Co-op on Old Airport Road.

The sages say it takes a death before anything changes and even that isn't always enough.

But Yellowknife doesn't need a death. It needs some common sense and a better approach to street and traffic management.

At last

The number zero isn't always a sign of trouble. This week, for example, its appearance on temperature charts was cause for celebration. Spring has sprung.

Zero degrees centigrade, after all, isn't just an arbitrary number on an abstract scale. It's the melting point of water -- and our frozen hearts. Anyone who didn't rush to enjoy the sun and warmth this week better have a darn good excuse.

While the realists point out we can expect at least one more dose of winter's chill before summer, we prefer to be optimistic. The long underwear is going back in the closet.

Shattered dreams

Imagine moving to the city where gold is paved with streets, looking for a diamond-studded opportunity at the nation's first diamond mine.

After spending your last few dollars to get here, you find no work at all.

The Salvation Army says it's happening all the time.

If we are to embrace the good that comes from developing our economy, we must also accept responsibility for the bad.

That means building a broader social support network to ensure people aren't living -- and dying -- on our streets.

Ice cream champ

If ever there was a time to dish out kudos, this is it.

In the capital city of the land of the ice and snow, ice-cream champ Loc Nguyen has found a way to somehow sell more of the frozen treat than anyone else in the Northwest Territories and Alberta.

The king of the cones says he sells about 16,000 of them at his 50th Street Reddi Mart location from April through to September. He was honored with an award recently to recognize his record-breaking achievement.

All we can say is, stock up Loc, the busy season is just around the corner ... and congratulations.