Monthly Archives: February 2006


The City of Winnipeg has a series of reserve funds for investment in heritage properties, housing rehabilitiation, improvements to Assiniboine Park, perpetual care of city cemetaries, and much more. The purpose of these funds is to ensure that the city will be able to meet its obligations in the face of the inevitable fluctuations in budget allocations and costs.
In the 1980s it used to be an annual ritual for city council to balance the budget by raiding these funds. Mayors Susan Thompson and Glen Murray, who were the city’s chief executives from 1992 until 2004, had the good sense to put a stop to that practice. Now the city is reviving it.

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Cities that are growing slowly are often thought to be in trouble for no other reason than slow growth. The residents and leaders of slow-growth cities often sound as if they’re apologizing for themselves. In reality, it’s not slow growth, but mismanaged growth that’s likely to be the problem.
Take the example of Winnipeg, which has a very modest growth rate and, and, in terms of collective self-image, an ego to match. The word “decline” is often, and inaccurately, used in describing the city’s economy, or population. In self-characterizations, harsh winters and mosquitoes are invariably mentioned, salubrious summer weather and Winnipeg’s acknowledged status as the “performing arts capital of Canada” almost never. If self-deprecation is charming, Winnipeg is Charm City. Continue reading


“Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.” Sir Francis Bacon.
A general rule for all note-taking, whether lectures or readings: Listen or read and think. Decide what’s important to you, and summarize it in complete sentences.
Learning is an active process. The only way you learn is by processing the material in question through your own mind, and integrating it with what you know already. That’s what you’re doing when you read or listen and summarize.
Reading or lecture notes that consist of words, phrases and incomplete sentences are limited in their usefulness, because they’re open to interpretation. When you return to them in a month or three months, you will have trouble understanding them, because you won’t remember which interpretation you were placing on them when you wrote them.
Underlining or highlighting text in your readings is useful only if you already have an understanding of the material being covered. In that case, it can remind you where the key points are for the next time you use the text.
Conclusion: The way to learn, and the way to remember are the same: Think, summarize what’s important to you and write it down in complete sentences.

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