Bartley Kives

  • Meddling by politicians real roadblock

    To opponents of new downtown bike lanes, any expansion of Winnipeg's cycling and pedestrian infrastructure will push cars off the road, force toddlers to work in salt mines and hasten the coming of the apocalypse to the point where it'd be unwise to purchase T-bills that mature in more than 90 days. OK, so maybe no one's actually talking about child slavery or the end of the world, but the hyperbolic chatter about the supposed evils of bike lanes is getting tough to tolerate.
  • ‘Use it or lose it’ money rule hurts city

    To opponents of new downtown bike lanes, any expansion of Winnipeg’s cycling and pedestrian infrastructure will push cars off the road, force toddlers to work in salt mines and hasten the coming of the Apocalypse to the point where it’d be unwise to purchase T-bills that mature in more than 90 days. OK, so maybe no one’s actually talking about child slavery or the end of the world, but the hyperbolic chatter about the supposed evils of bike lanes is getting tough to tolerate.
  • Futility loves company

    By pretty much any measure, 1990 was a fantastic year. Nelson Mandela got out of jail. Germany was reunified. Goodfellas and Dances With Wolves appeared in movie theatres. Public Enemy put out Fear Of A Black Planet and Sonic Youth released Goo.
  • NDP same as Harper Tories on critical environment file

    In the hyper-partisan, often petty social-media universe, the federal Conservatives are the party environmentalists love to hate. Stephen Harper's Tories have taken heat for watering down legislation protecting waterways, muzzling Environment Canada scientists, gutting funding for freshwater science and reducing some national parks to three-season destinations, among other offences that turn green voters red.
  • Selinger government fumbles questions over state of stadium

    Don’t worry about the budget that ballooned to $209-million from $115-million. Forget about a stadium schematic so ill-suited to the needs of the Winnipeg market, it had to be amended to allow concert-goers access to the field and enclose a press box from the elements.
  • Russ Wyatt proves to be a potent force even from the sidelines of city council

    When Sam Katz led this city, Russ Wyatt bounced in and out of the mayor’s favour so often, it’s tough to recall when he was and wasn’t a member of executive policy committee. When the colourful Transcona councillor sat on EPC, he had the power and influence to drive the former mayor nuts. On the other hand, when Wyatt sat as a member of council’s unofficial opposition, he had the time and energy to drive the former mayor nuts.
  • The Forks approved for new form of liquor licence

    By the end of the year, you should be able to wander around The Forks Market with a beer in your hand without freaking out the kid behind the mini-doughnuts counter. This isn’t because The Forks plans to make drastic cuts to security or declare 2015 the “Year of The Tall Boy.”
  • Mayor must put his mouth where the money is

    Glen Murray couldn't do it. Sam Katz couldn't do it. Now, Brian Bowman wants to be the mayor who convinces Broadway and Ottawa to cut Winnipeg a better financial deal.
  • Three cheers for more hockey

    This fall, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet ought to consider asking its dancers to pirouette in skates. Manitoba Opera might want to scrap The Marriage Of Figaro in favour of a new musical adaptation of Slapshot. The Winnipeg Art Gallery should clear out Olympus early and devote its main display area to Hawerchuk, Babych and Boschman: A Retrospective of the 1984-85 Winnipeg Jets.
  • Having Jets and Moose will change city's entertainment landscape

    This fall, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet ought to consider asking its dancers to pirouette in skates. Manitoba Opera might want to scrap the Marriage Of Figaro in favour of a new musical adaptation of Slapshot. The Winnipeg Art Gallery should clear out Olympus early and devote its main display area to Hawerchuk, Babych and Boschman: A Retrospective of the 1984-85 Winnipeg Jets.
  • A few tips for when you hit the trails

    Last year in early May, the lakes were covered with ice, some trails were packed with snow and nighttime lows dipped below zero. This spring is pretty much summer in southern Manitoba. Trails are dry and the days are already warm, so you have no excuse but to get out and move your legs.
  • Why not extend liquor hours permanently?

    Whether they're hoisting a pint in celebration or crying in their beer, hockey fans tend to drink when the game is on. Some even like to drink before the game, after the game and would probably consider a means of absorbing alcohol in their sleep, if that was possible or advisable.
  • Jets playoff great, but don't get carried away

    The date 4/20 has long been a special one for Winnipeg, given this city's penchant for getting completely wasted. But the entire town was high on something a lot less odoriferous than weed -- and a lot more intoxicating -- on Monday, April 20, 2015, the first time the Winnipeg Jets have hosted a playoff game in nearly 19 years.
  • Trying fowl

    In polite society, it isn't acceptable to kill and consume your enemies. But if you're into symbolic domination, consider the case of the Anaheim Ducks, the only one of 30 NHL squads to adopt a relatively helpless, commonly consumed creature as its nickname.
  • Too much at stake in Chipman-Bowman impasse

    During the final weeks of the NHL regular season, the Winnipeg Jets hunkered down and got the job done. The club's owner and the mayor's office, however, remain kilometres apart on their impasse over True North Square - and time really is beginning to run out.
  • Anaheim and Winnipeg: the capital of cold vs. the city on the edge of anonymity

    Over the years, Winnipeg sports fans have grown accustomed to trash-talking the fine people of Saskatchewan at playoff time. Familiarity, as they say, breeds all manner of contempt. And who could be more familiar than our potash-mining, canola-farming, bunny-hug-clad brothers and sisters to the west?
  • Game changer: Epic fantasy TV series could overtake books it's based on

    If you watch HBO's Game of Thrones but have never read George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, you're about to get even with the geeks who have. The fifth season of the richly imagined TV show, which premières on Sunday night, is expected to not just veer away from the Martin novels, but jump ahead of books the notoriously fastidious author has yet to finish.
  • Be sure to enjoy the water this spring

    While the winter was a lousy one for all manner of snow sports, this spring is shaping up to be a good one for paddlers. In Winnipeg, the Assiniboine River is clear of ice, and that means the Red River is as well. The absence of flooding this year means there are few, if any, submerged hazards to consider.
  • Making the playoffs is about shedding past ghosts — but fanaticism is not always a good thing

    The morning after Winnipeg qualified for the NHL playoffs, professional women in the downtown business core were rocking an unorthodox form of Friday casual: jeans, blazer and a Jets T-shirt. Portage Avenue pedestrians were more resplendent than usual in club ball caps. A Winnipeg Jets flag hung from the pole at city hall.
  • Miller won't let stadium stop success

    When Wade Miller assumed the reins of the embattled Winnipeg Blue Bombers, every day was an adventure. Not a happy-go-lucky, feel-good thrill ride like How To Train Your Dragon, mind you. More like a perilous, lethal, what-the-hell-is-happening adrenaline freak-out like the opening scene of Raiders Of The Lost Ark or the Cornucopia bloodbath in the Hunger Games.
  • Rock 'n' roll damnation

    In 2015, it's nice to know AC/DC remains one of the world's top concert draws. This cements the notion rock 'n' roll is a tired and faded institution, so bereft of new ideas it's forced to peddle extremely old ones to an audience that isn't even interested in anything new, anyway. This is, of course, unfair. There are thousands of recording artists still trying to add something to the creative conversation that began in the 1950s, when rock 'n' roll emerged as a fusion of the blues, country, jazz and folk.
  • If this were a joke, it would be funny

    If you're a member of the Manitoba NDP caucus, every day must seem like April Fool's Day. That's the only rational way to take the latest, greatest and most hilarious effort yet to reunite a party divided over the failed winter-long effort to topple Premier Greg Selinger and install somebody else as the leader of the only ruling party any Manitoban under the age of 16 has ever known.
  • No one talks tough on sewage

    When the mayor and council signed off on the city's biggest infrastructure priorities, they once again left Winnipeg's No. 1 need off the list. Over the next six years, the city will spend $1.3 billion on waste-water upgrades that include big-ticket improvements to sewage-treatment plants and combined-sewer replacements.
  • How's my home, James? What the measurement means to flood-prone Winnipeg

    If you're new to Winnipeg, be thankful this isn't a flood year -- especially if your name is James. Water levels in Winnipeg are not measured in metres above sea level but in an idiosyncratic measure known as "feet James," which is the elevation in feet above the normal winter ice level on the Red River to the east of James Avenue in the Exchange District.
  • Curious beluga whales initiate interaction

    As wildlife-watching experiences go, very little compares to getting up close to whales, some of the planet's most immense, intelligent and graceful creatures. Every summer, thousands of beluga whales congregate around river mouths on the southwestern coast of Hudson Bay.

About Bartley Kives

Bartley Kives wants you to know his last name rhymes with Beavis, as in Beavis and Butthead. He aspires to match the wit, grace and intelligence of the 1990s cartoon series.

Bartley joined the Free Press in 1998 as a music critic. He spent the ensuing 7.5 years interviewing the likes of Neil Young and David Bowie and trying to stay out of trouble at the Winnipeg Folk Festival before deciding it was far more exciting to sit through zoning-variance appeals at city hall.

In 2006, Bartley followed Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz from the music business into civic politics. He spent seven years covering city hall from a windowless basement office.

He is now reporter-at-large for the Free Press and also writes an outdoor-recreation column called Offroad for the Outdoors page.

A canoeist, backpacker and food geek, Bartley is fond of conventional and wilderness travel. He is the author of A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada’s Undiscovered Province, the only comprehensive travel guidebook for Manitoba – and a Canadian bestseller, to boot. He is also co-author of Stuck In The Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg, a collaboration with photographer Bryan Scott and the winner of the 2014 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award.

Bartley’s work has also appeared on CBC Radio and Citytv as well as in publications such as The Guardian, explore magazine and National Geographic Traveler. He sits on the board of PEN Canada, which promotes freedom of expression.

Born in Winnipeg, he has an arts degree from the University of Winnipeg and a master’s degree in journalism from Ottawa’s Carleton University. He is the proud owner of a blender.

On Twitter: @bkives
Email: bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

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