Written by KARRY TAYLOR
Calgary group members of international movement
They arrive at meetings, protests, and other events decked out in long, flamboyant skirts, canvas sneakers and old-fashioned aprons. Sometimes they are invited; sometimes they just show up. They re-write lyrics to familiar songs to impart their social concerns. They are witty, self-depreciating and concerned with social justice.
They are the Raging Grannies.
The Calgary Raging Grannies represent a social justice movement that began in Victoria, B.C. in 1987 when a group of older women joined together to protest the presence of United States Navy warships in Canadian waters. “The original Raging Grannies in Victoria were all ‘of a certain age’ as we say, and thought they might draw more attention by dressing up,” says Sandra Vida, a member of the Calgary Raging Grannies. “The stereotypical ‘granny’ was just a brainwave of that moment. They did get attention, and kept it up.”
Written by GEOFFREY PICKETTS
John Bodman's plight reveals complex nature of homelessness
John Bodman was 51-years-old when his life began to unravel. He had a welding ticket, owned a business and had a place to call home in Prince George, B.C. Having two friends over one night ultimately became the catalyst to a brutal chain-reaction that saw Bodman lose it all.
"They asked, 'Mind if we smoke?" Bodman said. "I said, 'Nahh, everybody smokes.'" He thought they meant cigarettes. Then they slapped a pipe and other crack-smoking paraphernalia on the table.
Bodman didn't want anything to do with crack-cocaine, but admitted "it looked like they were having fun." A few hours later he tried his first hit.
"It went downhill from there. I pawned everything, sold my business and started rooming in crack houses in Prince George," he said.
Written by SHARDAY L. ISAAC
Three SAIT grads turn backpacking trip into a reality show
At Burt and Lucy's canteen, the walls are tarps and in place of a floor, uneven sand. There is no electricity, no working lights or refrigeration either. The kitchen prep area is littered with sugar canisters and jugs of vinegars — while white candlesticks stand freely for light.
It's 6 a.m. and Burt wakes from the top of the restaurant's dining table. He reaches for his Marlboros and tosses a ragged, white tea towel over his shoulder, grunting the entire time. The rising sun only means one thing — time to prepare for the day's rations.
Written by LISA HALLET
A shift with a Calgary police officer reveals community concerns about crime and drugs
What's in a name?
Take Forest Lawn, for example.
Crime? Drugs? Prostitution? These seem to often be the words associated with this community in Calgary.
I recently got the chance to get a first-hand look from the inside of a police car to see what exactly happens in this neighbourhood.
I entered the District 4 Franklin Calgary Police Service Station at 5 p.m. sharp — you don't want to be late for the law.
Written by KARRY TAYLOR
Fred Penner continues to engage and energize his long-time fans
For countless Canadians who grew up between 1985 and 1997, Fred Penner was a childhood mainstay. Across 12 years and nearly 1,000 television episodes, he crawled through a magical hollow log on CBC's Fred Penner Place to sing songs and connect with his young audience.
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