Tag Archives: crime and safety

New podcast aims to challenge stereotypes

Nicola Dakers says it’s all good in the hood


Nicola Dakers wants to spill a secret about our communities with her new podcast. The intro says the podcast is about “all things inner city Edmonton, from Boyle Street to Delton, from Spruce Ave to Eastwood, and all the great little places in between.” Her well-researched, frank, and proactive approach aims to focus on changing negative perceptions by focusing on the way people talk about the communities. Dakers’ secret is the podcast title: It’s All Good in the Hood.

The inner city has many dots on the map on the Edmonton Police Service crime map site. From the statistics and from the rumour mill, those unfamiliar with the inner city might hesitate to buy property, do business, or enjoy our many festivals and activities. The crime statistics, as residents know, can be convincing; the rumours, pervasive.

Dakers does not try to sugarcoat realities. Crime exists in our neighbourhoods. The real story, however, is complex. She says, “It makes me so happy to be able to look at perspectives of people from outside the community and challenge those views.”

Dakers is a self-described nerd about researching statistics and history. She is digging deep to learn about how community leagues started in the city. She is intrigued to find that community origins have shaped the way an area views itself over time. Dakers wants to “highlight that all the things that happen in the community come from the community. The focus is not top down; it’s bottom up.” Her research has shown that the “history [of this community] is very much people taking a chance on the ‘wild’ lands to the north [of the river valley].”

Nicola has lived in the inner city for 12 years. | Supplied

Dakers is a 12-year resident of the inner city. After a year of personal challenges, she decided to take a leave of absence from teaching to heal and to reassess her direction. The podcast idea was born of a desire to engage her creativity. The recent CBC podcast, Slumtown, also inspired her. It examines the crisis of problem properties and low-income housing in Edmonton’s inner city. She says Slumtown reignited a conversation among residents. “This neighbourhood has been asking for help for a long time. In normal neighbourhood fashion, what do we do? We help ourselves. The noise people have made [about the podcast] has started things up again.”

Dakers quips that gathering guests will be simple because “I know lots of people because I talk a lot.” She has started to network with other community leagues, which helps enrich her perspective. 

The first two episodes have already been released. The first features a conversation with local real estate agent, Michelle Patterson-Nipp, about outside perspectives. The second episode features recent members of the community discussing their perceptions before they moved in, and how those views changed as they settled in. Future topics will include gentrification (is this truly gentrification?), historical development of community leagues, more on inside/outside perspectives, and even a true crime story. Currently, the podcast relies on word-of-mouth promotion, mainly by Facebook sharing. Dakers is developing a website (below), and is exploring other means of sharing. You can find It’s All Good in the Hood on iTunes and RSS.


IT’S ALL GOOD IN THE HOOD

itsallgoodinthehoodnorwood@gmail.com

www.itsallgoodinthehoodnorwood.com


Featured Image: Nicola Dakers is excited about her new podcast, It’s All Good in the Hood | Tekla Luchenski

Property theft increasing throughout city Police offer tips to help create a safer community

Not too long ago, Carolina Astorga, an Alberta Avenue resident, woke up at 10 am after returning from a vacation and noticed the side door of her garage was open. She thought her husband had left it open after leaving for work that morning, but instead discovered thieves had forced their way through the locked door. Continue reading Property theft increasing throughout city Police offer tips to help create a safer community

Organization promotes safety of citizens Goal is to provide safe homes throughout city

Where do you go when you’re scared, lost, or sick? We teach our children to be wary of strangers, but what happens when children are away from home and need help? Thanks to the Edmonton Safe Parents Association, help is only a skunk away!

Spunky the Skunk is the mascot in the window sign of the Edmonton Safe Parent Association. It’s a red, white, and black sign of a skunk holding a child’s hand. Approved and screened volunteers (Safe Parents) display this sign in their windows when they are home and available to help. Continue reading Organization promotes safety of citizens Goal is to provide safe homes throughout city

Community Liaison Constable is all ears Constable Freddie Challenger says he is here to listen

HAMDI ISSAWI

Community Liaison Constable (CLC) Freddie Challenger wants neighbourhood residents to know he’s available to talk and to listen.

Assigned to the F3 district, which includes Alberta Avenue, Westwood, Elmwood, Eastwood, Delton, Parkdale, and Spruce Avenue, Challenger is responsible for working with the community to find lasting solutions to crime and disorder. Continue reading Community Liaison Constable is all ears Constable Freddie Challenger says he is here to listen

Rethinking supervised injection sites Sites should have been linked to broader city plans

In December, a coalition called Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) proposed four supervised injection sites.

Supervised injection may decrease transmission of communicable diseases and provide better outcomes for people who overdose. As drug addiction affects a wide swath of society, regardless of socioeconomic status and geographic boundaries, supervised injection sites within hospitals or larger community health centres throughout our city (and province) seem reasonable. After all, hospitals or health centres are busy public places with onsite security, treatment beds, social workers, and natural surveillance.

Continue reading Rethinking supervised injection sites Sites should have been linked to broader city plans

Supervised injection sites could be a boon This model could help drug users and communities

There is ongoing concern in our communities about injection drug use in public spaces and discarded needles found in parks, alleys, and schoolyards.

In response to this concern, an interdisciplinary team called Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) has addressed public health issues surrounding injection drug use in the inner city.

Continue reading Supervised injection sites could be a boon This model could help drug users and communities

Seeking a safe place for supervised injections Possible supervised injection site draws mixed feelings

In the third-floor office of the Hull Block, a red brick Edwardian building on the edge of Chinatown, Georgina Fiddler keeps a photo album most people would find unsettling.

The images capture scenes she sees during walks around the southwest corner of McCauley: discarded syringes, empty vials, and people curled up on the concrete.

“I would have called 911 on that one because he wasn’t moving,” she said, lingering on one. “A needle with blood in it, people sleeping—this is every single day, and these are only a few of the pictures I have.”

Continue reading Seeking a safe place for supervised injections Possible supervised injection site draws mixed feelings

Solutions for problem properties Ways to improve neighbourhood safety

Problem properties are found on nearly every block of our community. Some need bylaw attention for overgrown lawns, unshoveled sidewalks, or poorly maintained buildings. Others have yards collecting garbage, weeds, and car parts. More than a few have tenants getting frequent visits from police and emergency services.

In some of the worst cases, drug dealing and violence have caused considerable trauma to those communities.

Continue reading Solutions for problem properties Ways to improve neighbourhood safety