WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS ... I don't know what happened to the dog days of summer. Maybe we can blame global warming. But Monday produced a pack of local stories, from Vic Toews leaving office, to Alex Burmistrov leaving the Jets, to...
Jeppe Hansen, a would-be Royal Winnipeg Ballet star who became an adult-entertainment performer, leaving the company's professional division after the RWB learned he was doing porn on the side.
Gay porn, if you must know.
That was back in March, mind you.
But judging by what Hansen is bleating lately to inquiring journalists from his new home in New York City, he feels he's been done dirt by our prestigious ballet company.
Apparently, when the RWB learned of Hansen's other performance speciality, they requested he sign a letter that said he had voluntarily withdrawn from the program.
No wonder Hansen's upset.
He signed it.
By April, he was a full-time adult-entertainment performer.
So far, the RWB has artfully dodged their "personnel" issue by simply saying it has a code of conduct. Even if their code of conduct doesn't explicitly mention a student having explicit sex on camera isn't something the ballet crowd would sit still for.
Or at least admit they would.
I'm sure, eventually, Jeppe Hansen will land on his toes somewhere.
Meanwhile, he seems to be suggesting the RWB doesn't understand porn can be an art form and that, by extension, he's an adult-entertainment artist.
You know what they say. When all else fails, claim it's art.
These must be the dog days of summer after all.
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NOW AS PROMISED, THE POLICE REPORT ON THEMSELVES ... Back in the fall of 2011, when the Winnipeg Police Service's chief, Keith McCaskill, trumpeted the organization's strategic plan for 2012 through 2014, it pledged to issue an annual "report card" on how the stated goals measured up against the results.
The report card arrived in my email Monday at 1:06 p.m.
So how did the city's finest do last year?
Well, generally they appear to be pointed in the right direction and accomplishing most of what they hoped to.
Or so the self-generated report card suggests.
I particularly applaud the arrival of the long-overdue downtown foot patrol strategy. And this fiscal goal: "improve process for authorizing overtime..." And the "status" of that goal as of last year. "A formal budget management process has been implemented."
That and the accompanying note that "senior management... is reporting on this regularly."
Or reducing assaults.
The stated goal was to reduce assaults in the city by nine per cent by 2014. Last year, they were down three per cent. Right on target.
But there was something near the outset of the document that's on the police website for all to read that suggested the report card needs some elaboration, to put it politely.
The document opens with what amounts to an executive summary from new police Chief Devon Clunis.
Then, near the top, the report card mentions one of its first goals for 2012.
"Reduce violent street crime; with a focus on Downtown and high crime rate areas."
This is the reported "result."
"Violent crime dropped by four per cent across Winnipeg from 2011 to 2012."
That's great news.
But that's a city-wide number.
What about the specific areas set out in the "goal?"
What's the year-over-year crime rate in the goal's target area of downtown and so-called high-crime areas?
One would think -- at least this one would -- when the Winnipeg Police Service issued its generally self-congratulatory "report card" on how it's doing, they would call a news conference and provide a spokesperson, preferably Chief Clunis himself, to answer questions like that.
As I recall, McCaskill did that when he proudly announced the strategic plan.
But this time, there was no news conference.
It was just before 3 p.m. by the time I contacted a police public information officer and asked why not.
That was followed with this question, sent via email as requested.
"If 'reduce violent street crime, with a focus on Downtown and high crime rate areas' was the stated goal, by what rate did violent crime climb or drop in those target areas and why wasn't that information included in the report card?"
The standard answer from the on-duty public information officer arrived via email:
"I have forwarded your query on and will advise as soon as I have answers for you."
I'll let you know when I know.
What I can tell you in the meantime is my comment on the police report card.
I doubt even Chief Clunis would argue with that.
I'll let you know if I hear from him.
Meanwhile, you can read the police service's report card on itself by going to the Winnipeg Police Service website at http://winnipeg.ca/police/stratplan/stratplan.stm.