Arsonists Move Downtown
(Staff) - Winnipegís arson problem seems to have moved into the downtown area these past couple of weeks. In a burst of activity, a grand total of 15 houses were set on fire over the course of a day.
The police have only had one eyewitness report to date about the fires. An elderly lady saw a small group of people leaving an abandoned house on Spence Street north of Portage, and telephoned the police. When the police services arrived at the scene, they entered the house and found that it had been soaked in gasoline and a small wooden box was in the centre of the room.
The bomb squad was called in to examine the box. An as-yet-unidentified acid was sprayed over the contents of the box by the perpetrators, leaving little for the police to study. Police believe the box held an incendiary device.
To date, close to 35 of the older, boarded up houses have been torched in the core area. Police currently see no end in sight to this rash of arson affecting the city, and hope that luck holds out and no one is hurt in these fires.
They ask that anyone who believes they are witnessing a crime in progress, not to approach or deal with it on their own, but to call the police services.
Is Concert Hall Haunted?
(Staff) - As the Winnipeg. Concert Hallís janitorial staff cleaned yesterday evening, they began to notice the sounds of operatic singing echoing throughout the building. Security searched the premises, believing that perhaps one of the performers had remained behind for some extra practice. However, no one was found, though the mysterious singing continued to be heard.
Employees and staff at the Concert Hall are baffled, and one unnamed staff member claimed that it had an eerie echo to it, "The singing was some of the best I have ever heard, but it was truly creepy," our source said.
Concert Hall security is continuing to look into this strange phenomenon, and wants to assure the general public that it should not affect various up-coming shows.
City's Chinese Community Enters Year of the Dragon
(Staff) - A dragon a full city block long, and requiring two hundred people to carry it, is just one of the impressive decorations being prepared for the upcoming celebration of the Chinese New Year. Mr. Xiaou Lee, first vice-president of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre, spoke with the Tribune briefly about the celebration of this New Year, which is known in the Chinese calendar as the "Year of the Dragon". "The Dragon has special significance because it has always been associated with royalty, storms and the cycle of the seasons. It is a very, very powerful and special symbol."
Mr. Lee says the public is invited to join in the festivities on Chinese New Year's Day, which begins this weekend. The Chinese Cultural Centre, located at 180 King St, will open its doors for the celebrations on the second floor at 6p.m. Events will also be held in the Oriental Gardens across the street.
The program for the evening will include folk songs and dancing, Chinese calligraphy and displays, plus traditional Chinese foods for the time of year.
Mr. Lee says the Year of the Dragon promises to be one of energy, fertility and romance, with some strength and adaptability thrown in.
Many Chinese families will celebrate New Year's with a family dinner, and some Chinese restaurants will offer banquets.
Another important custom for Chinese at New Year's involves Lishi, or red envelopes, which contain money and are given to children.
Winnipeg's Chinese community numbers about 50,000.
Entertainment Column: Festival du Voyageur
(J.C. Beauvier) - From February 11 to 20, the Festival du Voyageur will be exposing to the public Canadaís unique French-Canadian heritage.
Already, ice sculptures are delighting the eye, while other promised events include traditional entertainment and cuisine, arts, crafts, exhibits, displays, and lots of family fun. The Festival du Voyageur is a celebration of those fur-trading pioneers who originally set out over three hundred years ago to explore these lands we now inhabit. How fitting it is that we should now remember their efforts in the halls and streets of old St. Boniface.
Letters to the editor
Art In Winnipeg
Who needs it? Strange freaks that live off government grants do all the "art" in the city. They are the first ones to complain when the government goes to give money to a local sports team. Why? Because its money out of their pockets - not that they earn it anyway. So which is more enjoyed - "Art" or sports? - D.B., Transcona.
Mr. Beauvierís comments on the state of culture in Winnipeg were exactly right. It is a shame so much money is wasted on an ineffective government and useless sports teams, when so many people are without good plays and concerts to go to. We need more culture, not more mindless "Sports Entertainment." - C.R., Tuxedo.
Live Theatre for Sale
SWM- Seeking Kindred spirit for long term relationship. I promise to expand your point of view. May Lilith and Caine watch over you - Box 154.
Sports: Wrestling To Enter the Football Market?
(AP) - The owner of the WWF Entertainment Inc, Vince McMahon, has announced the creation of the XFL, a new spring football league. Showing off the leagueís new black and silver logo, the owner of the World Wrestling Federation trumpeted their-arrival of a more "smash-mouth style of play". He claimed that the NFL had become too constrained and regulated in recent years, and fans wanted to see a more wide-open style of play once again.
Wrestling commentators are skeptical about the ability of McMahon to promote a new league, especially in light of the failures of the short-lived World and United States Football Leagues, both spring leagues. However, McMahon promises that with his knowledge and experience of "sports entertainment" (his euphemism for professional wrestling), he would be able to "provide a more enjoyable football experience for the fans."
The Canadian Football League president, Jeff Giles, has indicated, both his worry and his anticipation of this new venture.
"I know that if you watched the XFL Press Conference on Thursday, you might have the idea that heís (McMahon) just a crazy fool. But nothing could be farther from the truth. That Press Conference was choreographed. That was the "Showroom Vince," not the "Businessman Vince"."
On the new ventureís chances of succeeding, Giles said that the World Wrestling Federationís backing would make all the difference.
While nothing is for sure yet, the XFL will certainly be something to watch in the future.