Laurier Avenue bike lane now open

JULY 10 MARKED the opening of Laurier Avenue West’s segregated bike lane, the first project of its kind in Ontario. The motion that led to the creation of the two-year pilot program was passed in January of 2011. More than 12,000 cyclists have used the segregated bike lane since its inception—nearly double the average amount of users.

However, there has been some debate about its accessibility for emergency vehicles and transportation for those with limited mobility. CBC cites a higher level of congestion due to the lane’s concrete barriers between the road and the sidewalk. The City of Ottawa is currently working to increase the number of parking spaces for those with accessibility permits.

—Katherine DeClerq

‘I can’t believe we’re alive’

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqpJaviLj10

AFTER FINISHING THEIR hit song, “I Want You to Want Me” on the last day of Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, band Cheap Trick ran offstage when violent winds knocked part of the main MBNA stage backward onto the Ottawa River Parkway.

The Canadian War Museum provided shelter to thousands of concert-goers, and although several injuries were sustained, no deaths were reported. A crane started to remove parts of the stage an hour after the collapse accoutred.

While Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is investigating the stage collapse, Cheap Trick reported on their website that the entire band had escaped uninjured.

—Charlotte Bailey

British reporter and whistle-blower found dead

SEAN HOARE, A 47-year-old reporter who worked for British tabloid newspapers the Sun and News of the World (NoW), was found dead in his home on July 18. Although the police department of Hertfordshire has declared the death to be “non-suspicious,” an inquest is being held.

There is speculation that Hoare’s public outcry against questionable journalistic habits, specifically the prevalence of illegal telephone and email hacking at his former places of employment, may have been related to his unexpected death.

The NoW phone-hacking scandal led to the arrest of many of the newspaper’s employees earlier this month. The series of arrests also caused the end of the tabloid’s production effective July 10.

Local police were careful to stipulate that Hoare’s death seems likely to be the result of an undiagnosed illness and are awaiting toxicology results to confirm.

—Jaclyn Lytle

Space shuttle Atlantis makes final landing

THE ATLANTIS SPACE shuttle brought forth a record 2,000 people to watch its final landing on July 21 as NASA’s shuttle program came to an end. The 30-year program journeyed 135 missions, 542 million miles, and circled Earth more than 21,150 times. Atlantis was the last of three surviving shuttles to return home.

After it has been decommissioned, Atlantis will be on public display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex as an integral part of the world’s galactic history.

“After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle’s earned its place in history,” radioed commander Christopher Ferguson, as noted on CBC News. “And it’s come to a final stop.”

NASA has confirmed its space exploration is not over and that until another program is underway, they will be relying on commercial spacecrafts for access to their International Space Station.

—Katherine DeClerq