HicksBiz Blog

Hicks on Biz: We mustn’t count our chickens BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2016

Never count your chickens until they hatch. But as the beaks of the baby chicks break through their shells, things look promising. Two new petro-chemical plants have been announced in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland – the enormous industrial park around Fort Saskatchewan. One will be in Sturgeon County, the other in Strathcona County. These are economic development monsters – a total of $5.6 to $6 billion spent over the next four years, 4,000 skilled-trade construction jobs through 2021. Dozens of local fabrication plant bosses aren’t sleeping these days, wondering where new business will come from as the Sturgeon Refinery and Suncor’s Fort Hills oilsands plant finish up construction. Two new petro-chemical plants will be a God-send. But we mustn’t count our chickens quite yet. The boards of the two energy companies involved – Pembina Pipelines (with Kuwaiti partner Petrochemical Industries) and Inter Pipelines – have not yet officially approved ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Opposite but two great places to eat BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2016

Bodega Highlands 6509 112 Ave. 780-757-0137 bodegahighlands.ca 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. Fri/Sat) Closed Sundays (No reservations outside of groups) Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two (excluding beverages and tip): basic, $30; loaded, $60   Red Goose Restaurant 9625 66 Ave. 780-435-8661 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sundays Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Lunch for two (excluding beverages and tip): basic, $10; loaded $24   While as opposite as opposite can be, Bodega Highlands and Red Goose are two terrific places to go eat. Highlands is charming in an upscale, informal, old-fashioned way — as if you’ve wandered into a tapas bar in Lisbon ...with a 40C difference in temperature. Red Goose is a magic portal into the 1950s. It’s not trying to be kitschy or retro-fashionable. Korean owners Hank Lee (server) and his wife Chon Lee (cook) simply like the place the way it is ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Adopt-A-Teen - Helping One Family At A Time BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016

One by one, employees are called into the boss’s office. Termination notices are issued, individuals ushered to their desk with 10 minutes to gather belongings and turn in keys. Security guards escort them to the front door. No one likes layoffs, but, hey, the next day it’ll be business as usual for the organization. Not for the ex-employee, not for her or his family. Especially with Christmas approaching. Especially for the children. Especially for the teens. The families of the recently laid-off, of those down-sized in the oilpatch, of recently arrived refugees, of the underemployed are hurting this Christmas. Kids are watching their parents fall apart because of financial stress. For those of us fortunate enough to have kept our homes and our living standards, much must be asked. With your help, three extraordinary charities work arm-in-arm to ensure every child in Edmonton aged zero to 17 will have a Christmas gift, and every family on a limited income will have a festive meal. ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS WEEKLY DISH Latino's: Just about everything is very, very good BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2016

Latino's Restaurant 10708-98 St. 780-705-1895 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two (excluding beverages and tip): basic, $25; loaded, $55 Decisions, decisions, decisions. When it comes to taco/tortilla choices in Latino/Mexican/Tex-Mex cooking, where do you start? Tacos, tortillas, corn tortillas, flour or wheat tortillas, corn shell tortillas, crispy tortillas, taco shells, crispy tortillas, masa tortilla, steamed tamales – all originating in a single round portion of unleavened, mostly corn flour bread. Then there’s the popular names for tortillas and tacos with fillings — rolled (enchilada), folded (quesadilla), topped with grilled meat and onions (fajita), extra-thick (pupusa), closed-end wraps (burrito). Finally, there’s no end of tortilla/taco variations based on place, i.e. the geographic regions of Latin and South America,  individual country preferences, regional cooking with ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS ON BIZ Some big ifs in pipeline expansion BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2016

Congratulations to Premier Rachel Notley for her part – acknowledged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – in securing federal approval for doubling the oil-carrying capacity of both the Trans Mountain pipeline to the west coast, and Enbridge’s Line 3 to the American midwest. IF – and that’s a huge if – the pipelines actually get built, another million barrels of oil a day can be shipped from Alberta. IF – and that’s a minuscule if incoming American President Donald Trump approves the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast refineries, another 800,000 barrels a day can be exported. The ability to export another 1.8 million barrels a day means the oil industry and the province can continue a slow, measured, environmentally friendly expansion of oil and gas production for several decades. The big IF is getting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built and operational, given the intense opposition on the B.C. Lower Mainland ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS WEEKLY DISH ATLAS Steak + Fish a cut above BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2016

ATLAS Steak + Fish Grand Villa Casino, 10224 104 Ave. 780-413-3178 atlassteakandfish.com/edmonton/ 4:30 p.m. to late, seven days a week 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two (excluding beverages and tip): basic, $60; loaded, $90   Precious few restaurants in this town make ordinary food extraordinary. Even fewer can make steaks, pork chops and chicken that will satisfy both Trucker Tom and Fiona the Foodie. Well done, ATLAS Steak + Fish – the casual but elegant restaurant in the new Grand Villa Casino that’s glued on to Rogers Place. Executive chef Shelley Robinson walks this tightrope between mass appeal and fine dining as if it were a super-highway – pumping out dish after dish of familiar proteins, starches and sweets, but every one with a “Wow, is that ever good!” factor. It’s too much fun to watch Robinson at her usual station at the open kitchen’s pi ... Read the rest of entry »

Tom Wood returns as Scrooge, better than ever: The Citadel Theatre's A Christmas Carol, review by GRAHAM HICKS

A Christmas Carol Adapted for the stage by Tom Wood Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Nov. 26, 2016 to Dec. 23, 2016 Review by GRAHAM HICKS,  Hicksbiz.com Tickets at www.citadeltheatre.com,  $25 to $110 Parking:  Downtown Library Parkade, $10 evening    Nobody does old/miserable/crotchety/irritated in Canadian theatre better than Tom Wood. So what a treat to have Wood back, after a seven-year absence, to play Scrooge in the 17th annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Citadel Theatre. No slight on the other Scrooges in the intervening years, they’ve all brought much to the role. But Wood is a living, breathing, real Scrooge.  He is Scrooge incarnate, and his transformation through miserable, to regret, to despair and finally redemptive joy is an intense, rich, emotional experience. It helps that Wood has a certain intimacy with the role. He wrote it! Wood created the Citadel’s stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol, originally w ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: How to save the world and still keep our coal industry BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2016

A few weeks ago, a simple question was posed in this column. What’s the most cost-effective way for Alberta to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (and other atmospheric pollutants) by 30% by 2030? Is it by ending all coal-generated electricity (currently producing 60% of Alberta’s power) by 2030 and replacing it with renewable power (wind and solar farms) and natural gas, as is planned by the New Democratic provincial government? Nobody is even pretending this is a least-cost model. To shut down six coal plants prematurely, the province has just  announced it will compensate three power companies to the tune of $1.36 billion ($97 million a year over 14 years). The money is to come from the impending provincial carbon tax.  Would it be cheaper to meet environmental targets by replacing all coal plants with natural gas? Would a “blend” of coal, natural gas and renewables make the most economic sense? I had never seen any cost comparisons – at leas ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: A Bazaar of great food and poor service BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2016

Wheat Garden Noodle & Dumpling Bazaar 10703 103 St. 780-757-8166 Wheatgardenyeg.ca 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 2 of 5 Suns Service: 2 of 5 Suns Dinner for two (excluding beverages and tip): basic, $20; loaded, $40 Intrigued by the descriptive name and encouraged by optimistic reviews from well-known food blogs linda-hoang.com and letsomnom.com, off we set Saturday to Chinatown to try the relatively new Wheat Garden Noodle & Dumpling Bazaar. The food is very good, but for ambience and service, I recommend take-out. The exterior of Wheat Garden looks fine as you pass by – it’s the familiar bright-red house on the northeast corner of 107 Avenue and 103 Street that formerly housed the Old Szechuan Restaurant. But as you head up the short flight of outside stairs to the restaurant, you realize this is an old, worn-out building with minimal maintenance and no upgrades. The dining area – allegedly renovated — is w ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: A new made-in-Edmonton product is born BY GRAHAM HICKS, FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2016

There’s something about St. Albert’s Connie Stacey, founder, owner and “mad scientist” at Growing Greener … her buoyancy, enthusiasm and intelligence. The 42- year-old mother of two young’uns lights up a room with her presence. Born in Newfoundland, raised in Fort McMurray, Connie has invented, developed and is now selling the Grengine™ 1000 Ultra-Lite, the world’s first battery-powered, light-weight, no-noise, no-fumes portable generator … that will last for days without a recharge. When re-charging is needed, it can be done back at an electrical outlet or via a solar panel. Other battery-powered generators are on the market, but most are powered by one big, heavy rechargeable battery with limited hours of operation. Growing Greener’s secret is a patent-pending battery pack design, a novel method of stacking and interlocking light lithium-ion battery packs under the Grengine™ 1000. The stacked battery packs work as one, giv ... Read the rest of entry »