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Jen Vasic: Learn More

In support of the school board's direction for Halloween

My kid’s homemade costume from a few years ago: The World. Blue felt makes up the ocean, green felt the land, and there are cardboard animals from each continent. His hands are stretched out to his side.

I am a parent of a kid who goes to Waterloo Region District School Board. My research area is also in the area of public schooling. So while the school board is out of the jurisdiction I represent in government, I feel a responsibility to advocate to other levels of government on matters that are important to the community. That’s why I sent the below letter to Waterloo Region District School Board Trustees and relevant staff, including Director jeewan chanicka. If you feel compelled, too, feel free to copy and paste any parts of my letter below.

Thank you for making the decision to avoid school-based and led Halloween events. While I know it has received backlash for being interpreted as extreme, it has been anything but extreme. Your decision has been a balanced one. I think we all know that those who are alright with the decision don't as frequently speak up, which is why I'm writing to you today in support of this direction.

Contrary to what comment sections across the internet would have us believe, you have not "cancelled" anything. As far as I understand it, kids are still permitted to wear costumes as long as they follow COVID protocol and costumes are not discriminatory or offensive.

The change from a few years ago seems to be that there aren't supposed to be any school-led events and activities, nor resources (time and money) directed towards Halloween celebrations. This is a fiscally prudent decision in financially difficult times. Funding always poses challenges for school boards, but even more so because of the additional resources needed to attend to the pandemic.

Research also tells us that schools are resourced differently depending on neighbourhoods, primarily because of parental fundraising. For example, schools serving more affluent families are able to raise more funds from parents. This means that if parent resources are used towards a one-day celebration such as Halloween, kids across the city are having more (or less) extravagant events depending on the socioeconomic makeup of their geographical location. This doesn't seem fair to me.

It has also become more well known that Halloween is often a time when costumes are used to make fun of or misrepresent different cultures. This makes it difficult for many students to face coming to school for fear of being mocked. Maybe some don't attend school that day and they lose out on learning. Or perhaps they do come and hide their shame to seem chill or not too sensitive in front of their friends, an emotionally and psychologically exhausting experience, one that takes time and years to heal from. Are Black, racialized, and Indigenous students supposed to suck it up? No. We can and have a responsibility to create the conditions in public spaces where all students feel safe and through this direction you are doing just that. One person's fun doesn't take precedence over another's well-being.

Finally, there are those students whose families do not have the time or money to make or buy costumes. They should not have to deal with the undue stress and possibly missed school days simply because some want Halloween to stay the same as it always has been. There's no reason that schools should be making families "keep up with the Jones'." And indeed, I personally thank you for that, too. There's no doubt we'd need two costumes - one that would get dirty and, knowing my kid, ripped running around the school field and another for the main event.

I write this to you as someone who loves Halloween and making my kids' costumes (one each and no more!). I also think Halloween doesn't need to be front and centre in public schools for the above mentioned reasons. Thank you for making this difficult, yet balanced, decision. You are moving in the exact right direction.


Jen

Waterloo


KW Granite Club

OPEN HOUSE Oct 19-22 Open to the Public


Code Like a Girl

Getting Started with Python Debugging Using a Debugger

♦Photo from Unsplash by Daniel IgderyIntroduction to Debugging

Debugging is the process of identifying and removing errors from code to ensure the program works as expected. Debuggers allow developers to remember issues in the code by introducing breakpoints into the application workflow. Variable values can be checked at a particular program execution state to determine where the bug is originating from and rectify it. Several metrics allow the analysis of code performance as well.

Remote Debugging

Remote working brought with it several challenges for developers. Developers had to adjust to remote working. Remote debugging reduces security risks for teams by controlling access. The main aim of having a remote debugger is to reduce the time spent resolving issues that occur during the deployment of applications.

A significant benefit of remote debugging is that the application can remain up and running while it is working. Thus, it allows you to debug without disrupting user service. In addition, it generates logs and metrics, shows variable states, and will enable you to evaluate specific variables. Some popular remote debugging tools are Visual Studio Remote Debugger for remote debugging android devices and Rubymine for debugging applications in Ruby.

A lot of software developers use Python for coding and development. I went through debuggers that support Python and other commonly used languages like Java and came across Lightrun. I tried it out with my code and recommended that all of you shopping for remote debuggers try it!

Lightrun Cloud

Lightrun Cloud is a fast remote debugging tool that provides increased visibility for bug identification and elimination in software development. Lightrun can be best classified as a production debugger.

Here, I will provide a basic walkthrough of its best features. You can integrate it with the PyCharm, IntelliJ, and WebStorm IDEs to debug applications built using Flask, Django, Maven, and more!

First, you need to open your free Lightrun account here.
♦Image by author

Select your company or create a new one. Next, there are a series of onboarding steps. For the configuration, select your development environment.

I selected PyCharm as the IDE and Python as the runtime environment.
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Once PyCharm opens up, go to Plugins and install Lightrun.
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PyCharm opens up a default Python program. We will be using this to check out some cool features that the Lightrun plugin provides!
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In the right-hand side pane, go to Login. This page will open up in your browser. Sign in to your Lightrun account.
Come back to PyCharm. You will see that it says Connected in green in the right-hand side pane.
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Add the following code to your Python file where the execution begins :

try:
import lightrun
 lightrun.enable(com_lightrun_server=”app.lightrun.com/company/soumibardhan",
com_lightrun_secret=<ENTER YOUR SECRET HERE>)
except ImportError as e:
print(“Error importing Lightrun: “, e)

Open your terminal and cd into your project. My project folder is pythonProject. Install Lightrun using the following:

python3 -m pip install lightrun
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Next, run your file using the command python3 main.py so that Lightrun can detect that the agent is running. Make sure your file runs for enough time for Lightrun to detect it — 40 seconds to a minute. Once it is complete, all the steps will be done, and you will be taken to the following page. Here, you can go through Lightrun’s detailed documentation to understand its usage.

♦Image by authorAdding an Action

Let’s take a look at the simple sample program that comes with PyCharm. I have inserted a loop so that it runs for some time, which allows Lightrun to detect the agent.

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I have added an integer variable ‘s’ and assigned it a value of 100. The following line is a statement s += 1 to increment it. So, to check if the value of ‘s’ got incremented or not, let’s insert a log in the following line using Lightrun. Right-click on the line, select Lightrun and click on Log.

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The following dialog box will open where you can enter some specifications.
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Select an agent from the drop-down menu to bind the action to a specific agent. File is the source code file where you are inserting the action. Format is the log string that will be displayed — it can be a string with a variable or some expression.

For example, you could write the format as: Value of s is {s}, which will print the log Value of s in 25 if s equals 25. You can also specify some conditions. The log string will be displayed only if that condition is fulfilled. You could use s % 5 == 0 as a condition.

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Click Advanced to configure the following additional fields:

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Users with the IGNORE-QUOTA role can set a rate limit (quota) in the agent configuration file. Its default is false. Expiry is the time after which the action stops tracking code behavior and is disabled automatically. It is initially set to 1 hour.

Click on OK after selecting the required configuration settings.
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When you run the program, you will be able to see the actions you added on the right pane.
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When you run the file with python3 main.py, you will be able to see the agent running the action, like so:
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After adding an action, you can view its current configurations, edit them, and delete the action.

Snapshots

You can also create Snapshots, which capture all the local variables and expressions in that location. Right-click on the line where you want to take a snapshot of your variables, go to LightRun, and click on Snapshot.

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Once you enter the details and select OK, this icon appears on the line:

♦Image by authorPiping Configuration

By default, the data output is sent to the Lightrun web console. You can also view the data from PyCharm by changing the piping configurations to Plugin so that the logs appear on the LightRun console of PyCharm. If you select Both, the logs will appear in the LightRun console in PyCharm and the web console. Here is how you can change the configurations:

In Lightrun’s right-hand sidebar, select the Pipe icon to open the piping menu:

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In Lightrun, dynamic logs and metrics are printed into the Lighrun Console of PyCharm, and they can be seen along with the previous log statements.

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Click on the checkboxes on the top right to filter logs on the console into errors, warnings, info, and debug. To free memory or remove items already viewed, click Clear.

There are several more actions you can try out:

  • Counter
  • Time Duration
  • Custom

The Counter action counts the number of times a given line was reached and logs that information to the standard logger. You can also add a Measure Duration metric to measure the amount of time the specified code block runs. This data can be used to analyze performance and identify issues. You can insert your customized metrics into the code using regular expressions.

The Lightrun Management Portal allows users with the ROLE_MANAGER role to manage all users, logs, and services. It also provides instructions on how to set up Lightrun and view system exceptions. Additionally, you can view details of running agents and manage team actions.

Lightrun manages data security to prevent sensitive data from being displayed in logs and prevent developers from adding breakpoints in certain classes.

You can blocklist certain users and configure data redaction in Lightrun. Lightrun also supports integrations for generating alerts and communication, like Statsd, Prometheus, and Logz.io.

Conclusion

Developers use debuggers to analyze code to identify and correct bugs. Debugging also improves efficiency by using different metrics. After the COVID-19 pandemic affected organizations globally, remote debugging has been instrumental in letting teams collaborate securely and seamlessly.

Getting Started with Python Debugging Using a Debugger was originally published in Code Like A Girl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Elmira Advocate

COLLUSION BETWEEN GUILTY PARTIES INCLUDES SMOKESCREENS - MECP REFUSES PROFESSIONAL LAB RESULTS

The question of why they are doing this is a very simple one. PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY. All the guilty parties can honestly say that they do not have any soil samples from in and around the Stroh Drain with dioxin/furan detections. Of course this is only true if they themselves refuse to take and analyse soil samples and if they can refuse to accept citizens' properly taken, stored and analysed soil samples. Jason Rice of the Ministry of Expanded Corporate Pollution (MECP) (O.K. that title is a bit of humour) sent me a long winded list of conditions, terms, bullsh.t, reasonable expectations for soil sampling and analysis etc. Most of them have been met. The fact is very simple: The Ontario Ministry of Environment in collusion with the other guilty parties are throwing up a smokescreen. They are buttressing their and the polluter's monopoly on investigating. ....................................................................................................................... How much collusion do you ask? Sandy Shantz and Scott McMillan together might be able to technically describe the difference between a bunsen burner and a cigarette lighter (on a good day). Despite this both of them referenced scientific requirements of which they don't have a clue. Sandy somewhat hid behind Tiffany whereas Scott went full bore with this:"...how the samples were obtained, were all necessary permissions granted, who obtained them, what was the process, what was the scientific method and controls governing their collection..." blah, blah, blah. Yes Dorothy we as Canadians routinely elect dishonest twits at all political levels. The fact is that most of these "requirements" have been met but the guilty parties are SAYING NO BEFORE THEY SEE THE LAB REPORT. That professional lab report, within itself answers and clarifys many of the normal requirements for soil samples. .............................................................................................................................. So to date we have TAG, RAC and the Ontario MECP begging me NOT TO SEND THEM THE LAB RESULTS. Hoo boy are they both stupid and corrupt? Oh and besides the fact that most normal sampling and analysis conditions have been met is the fact that dioxins are much hardier and more stable in soil then say volatile organic solvents. Those (VOCs) have a very short shelf life because they volatolize into a gas as their name implies. Dioxins, PCBs etc. are hydrophobic and bond tightly with soils and DO NOT DEGRADE well. This is what makes them PERSISTENT Organic Pollutants. Therefore the to date unanalyzed soil samples are viable for a very long time. ............................................................................................. Lastly I have obtained a formal opinion from what the MECP and Lanxess just love namely a Qualified Person. This expert spells out exactly what all the guilty Elmira and area parties are doing hiding behind alleged scientific requirements that they think only they can provide. IT is called THROWING UP A SMOKESCREEN to avoid professional scientific data not provided by themselves and fellow travellors. ........................................................................................................... More corruption exposure is coming.

Knox Waterloo Presbyterian Church

October 17, 2021

Radio Ministry Sunday

Prelude

Call to Worship

One: People of God, join in worship!
All: We praise the One between, within, and over.
One: God is like a hen who gathers her brood under her wings.
All: Gathered up, we rest in the warm embrace of community.
One: Trust in the artist who co-creates the was, the now, and the will-be.
All: Our hope is in the One who creates expansive love calling us to do the same.
One: Swim and splash in the river that flows, is constant, and gives us new life.
All: We come to drink the Living Water that sustains us.
One: Together we praise our expansive God!

Hymn #307: God of the sparrow, God of the whale
Words: Jaroslav J. Vajda; Music: Carl F. Schalk
© 1983 Concordia Publishing House. OneLicense #05148

Welcome

Making Connections through Knox Radio Ministry – Ruth Larson

Gathering Prayer, Lord’s Prayer

Assurance of God’s Grace

Peace Invocation: Calm me, Lord
Words: David Adam, Music: Margaret Rizza
© 1998, Kevin Mayhew Ltd. Admin. and sub-published by GIA Publications, Inc., OneLicense #35778

Calm me, Lord as you calmed the storm;
Still me, Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease;
Enfold me Lord, in your peace.

A Story for the Whole Community

What is God like? a book by Rachel Held Evans & Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by Ying Hui Tan

Making Connections through Knox Radio Ministry – Barbara & Walter McLean

Musical Reflection: So Many Faces of God
Words & Music: Erin McGaughan © 2014, erinmcgaughan.com

Scripture various scriptures including:
Deuteronomy 32:11-12, Jeremiah 17: 13, Proverbs 8, Matthew 23:37, John 15: 1

Wondering …about the expansiveness of God

Hymn #310: Bring many names
Words: Brian A. Wren; Music: Carlton R. Young
© 1989,1994, Hope Publishing Company OneLicense #00293

Making Connections through Knox Radio Ministry – Mildred Sibel

Life and Ministry of Knox Waterloo

Invitation to the Offering

A Celebration of Knox Radio Ministry through CKWR 98.5

Prayers of Gratitude for the Radio Ministry

Hymn: God of many faces
Music: SLANE Traditional; Words: Amy Cerniglia
© 2019 Amy Cerniglia; Harmonization © 1989 Hope Publishing Co. Used with permission.

Blessing

Sending Song: #777 Send me, Lord/Thuma Mina
Words: South African (Zulu) traditional, Music: South African traditional; arrangement Anders Nyberg © 1984, Walton Music Corporation OneLicense #592e04d40c50a

  1. Leader: Thuma Mina:
    All: Thuma mina (x3) Somandla.
  2. Leader: Send me, Lord:
    All: Send me, Jesus; (x3) Send me, Lord.
  3. Leader: Lead me, Lord:
    All: Lead me, Jesus; (x3); Lead me, Lord.
  4. Leader: Fill me, Lord:
    Congregation: Fill me, Jesus (x3) fill me, Lord.

Postlude

Worship Leaders: The Rev. Courtney Crawford, The Rev. Hugh Donnelly, Mary-Catherine Pazzano
Tech Team: Kathleen Forde, Stephen Kauk, Jamie McManus
Copyright: CCLI License #2580326. Onelicense A-713805 Images and videos used with permission.


Knox Waterloo Presbyterian Church

This Week at Knox – Oct 15


We acknowledge that Knox Waterloo is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral Peoples. Read the full Territorial Acknowledgement.

RADIO MINISTRY SUNDAY
October 17th @ 10 am

This week we celebrate our radio ministry through 98.5 CKWR FM radio. We celebrate all those who join us for worship and make connections through the Knox Radio Ministry.  We will give you an inside look at this ministry and some of the wonderful people who are grateful for the ability to listen in through this ministry.

Through various scriptures in the Old and New Testaments, we will explore the expansive nature of God. There are a myriad of images of God given to us through the Bible: God as hen, eagle, wisdom, living water, gardener, mother, and the list goes on.  Together, we will discover how expansive language speaks to our ability to be reformed in our thinking about God.

Download this week’s bulletin.
Livestream the service.
Listen on 98.5 CKWR FM radio.
Access the Knox YouTube channel.
Make a Gift to Knox

Community News

The flowers in the sanctuary are provided by Anne and David Church, and Katherine and Reuben St. Louis in loving memory of:

Andrew Church
(October 9, 1985 – October 9, 2020)

Sunday’s radio broadcast is sponsored by Glen Seibel in gratitude and celebration of his mom’s 98th birthday on October 26.

Happy Birthday to Mildred Seibel!

133rd Anniversary of Knox Waterloo – October 31, 2021

This year Knox Waterloo marks 133 years of witness, worship, and ministry. This is something to celebrate, and you are invited to attend the party on October 31!
Read the details in this year’s Anniversary Letter.

Knox COVID Health & Safety Team believes that Knox can live out its call to be an inclusive community by welcoming all people to public worship and programming, and still ensure safety by requiring that all adhere to Public Health Guidelines.
Details are outlined in this statement from the Health & Safety Team.

In-Person Sunday School for Junior & Senior High starts on October 17th!

Youth (Gr. 7-12) in-person Sunday School will begin on October 17th! Please email Carole to let her know in advance whether you will be attending so she can set up and plan safely distanced seating. Youth who are attending Sunday School are asked to go straight to the assigned room (this will depend on numbers) when they arrive and not go into the sanctuary unless you are planning on staying in Worship for the whole service.  Parents of youth!
Please book your seat with the Knox Reservation System ahead of time so you are guaranteed a seat in Worship! Pre-school to grade 6 will remain online until further notice. Food for Thought

Food For Thought meets online on Sunday nights at 6:30 pm. If you’re university-age (a student, working, or in-between), join others for study, discussion, and prayer, as we dive into this fall’s theme, Feasting & Faith: A Look at Meals in Scripture. Contact Nancy Matthews for the Zoom link or questions.

Connecting Together – Monday, October 18th


Molly Guse will be teaching us to paint rocks! Molly is a high school student at Knox who is very talented and will be teaching us how we can make beautiful rocks. Supplies will be provided. If you’re planning to participate, please send a message to Kathy Sauve.

The Knox Christmas Chancel Choir Needs You!


We welcome new members until October 21st to join the Christmas Chancel Choir (rehearsals on Zoom). Email MC for all the information you need to get started.

The Knox Praise Band – Looking for Musicians


Are you in Jr high, Sr high, or university? Do you like to make music and have fun together?
Whether you sing, play the guitar, drums, violin, ukulele, piano or any other instrument, we’d love to have you join! The praise band usually meets on Tuesday evenings, but as we remain online for the fall we are able to accommodate all schedules. If you are interested, contact Jotham.

World Food Day – October 16 ♦
Saturday, Octobert 16, is World Food Day, a day to raise awareness and take action for the over 800 million people globally who struggle against hunger and malnutrition.  PWS&D has suggested a few actions we can take. Click here, or check Knox’s Facebook page and consider following one or more of the suggestions, including changing your profile picture or displaying their poster. And… please remember our local food bank and hungry neighbours. Closely connected to this, Sunday, October 17, is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. In 2019 the Government of Canada passed the Poverty Reduction Act, a first step. To learn more about that and what you can do, click here: Dignity for All – Dignity for All campaign . Food for the Residents of A Better Tent City We continue to join other churches in KW to provide food for the 50 residents of A Better Tent City. A Better Tent City is a no-barrier alternative to shelters. Every other week Knox Waterloo will be taking responsibility for providing breakfast for the 50 residents of A Better Tent City. We are so grateful for all those who have offered to help out so far with this ministry! We are asking if you would be willing to sign up to bake two dozen (24) portions of healthy baked goods: muffins, scones or protein bars/balls. We need 3 portions each time. Please click on one of the links below to sign up. If portion 1 is full, please try to click on the links for portion 2 or 3 or try another week. Details are provided at the link. Baked goods need to be dropped off to Femmy Birks on the Thursday or Friday of the week you register for. If you have any questions please contact Femmy.

Portion 1: mealtrain.com/nk320o
Portion 2: mealtrain.com/4q6w76
Portion 3: mealtrain.com/nk3747

Halloween Gathering for Families with Young Children!


October 30th, 10 -11:30 am in the Knox Hall! Email Carole to book your table! Each family will sit at its own table safely distanced from others. Masks and self-screening required. Costumes encouraged!

They’re back – Cookies in a jar!!


This awesome fundraiser is back for 2021, after getting approval from the Knox Health & Safety Team. The LOGO’s Jr High will be making and selling cookies in a jar at a cost of $10. Donations are also welcome. We are only making oatmeal chocolate chip jars this year with a cap of 150 jars so order soon, so you don’t miss out!

While we hope to be shopping and donating to the Tree of Angels, we have not yet confirmed this due to potential Covid restrictions. Rest assured there are numerous worthy causes we can consider; PWS&D and Ray of Hope are just two of several options.

You can pre-order up to Friday, November 5th by sending an email to Vaughn, the Knox office, or calling (519) 886-4150. Please provide your name and how many jars you would like to order. Jars will be available for pick up at the church starting on Monday, November 29th (watch for further details on this).

Thank you in advance for your support!!
Vaughn, Kathy, Jeff and the LOGO’s Junior High youth!

This Week @ Knox – Deadline for Announcements ♦
We do our best to ensure that TW@K goes out on Thursday.
If you would like to make an announcement, please send your submissions to Charlene.
Deadline for announcements: Wednesday @ 11:00 am.
We reserve the right to edit!

Knox In-Person Worship


Knox is open for in-person worship! You will need to reserve your seat online  and follow health and safety protocols. Once again, if you have difficulties with the online registration system, give the office a call.

FINAL THOUGHT…

” God transcends gender, space, time, the natural order, or visually any category we can muster, and yet God has created the earth and all that is in it.” — Allan Rudy-Froese

Make a Gift to Knox

♦ Facebook  ♦ YouTube  ♦ Instagram

 

 

 


Kitchener Rangers

FINAL: Rangers 5, Sting 1

  The Kitchener Rangers took on the Sarnia Sting at the Aud on Friday, October 15th. The first time the teams have met since February, 28th 2020. Reid Valade scores early in the first period (assisted by Mike Petizian and Cameron Mercer), and the Blueshirts hold onto the 1-0 lead after the 1st. The Rangers add to the lead during the latter half of the second, as Declan McDonnell scores (assisted by newly minted Captain Francesco Pinelli, and Joseph Serpa). Pavel Cajan continued making great saves in the second. The third period was action-packed, as the Rangers score three goals (Francesco Pinelli, Reid Valade, Mike Petizian), with the Sting getting on the board midway through the period. -- Let's GET LOUD at The Aud  With 100% capacity, the Kitchener Rangers have a seat waiting for you, but you may only use the edge of it as you witness the best of the #OHL! Purchase your tickets today: CLICK HERE

The Backing Bookworm

Over My Dead Body


In this fourth installment of his Detective William Warwick series, Jeffrey Archer once again shows his readers why he's known for his detailed, compelling and layered story lines. I had read the first book in this series years ago but remember very little of the characters and plot. Now I wish I had read books two and three because of larger story arcs and returning characters. Over My Dead Body could be read as a standalone but if you want to understand the whole picture in terms of plot and characters, I suggest starting at the beginning with Nothing Ventured. 
The story kicks off with a murder on a NYC-bound ocean liner. I was quite enthralled with this plot which introduces readers to 17-year-old James Buchanan (who I can't help but think will make appearances in future books). One murder isn't enough for Warwick so readers are then whisked back to London when Warwick learns that his nemesis - millionaire art thief and collector Miles Faulkner who was presumed dead - may still be alive. A cat-and-mouse story ensues, and other cases are added to the docket stemming from Warwick's cold case squad at The Met. 
There is a lengthy list of well-drawn characters - both friend and foe - and with the multiple cases, things get a bit confusing at times but through it all Warwick shines as the main character. I loved his banter with his Mrs. which added levity, but it was ex-undercover agent Ross Hogan who stole the show for me with his mad skills and penchant for not following the rules. Gotta love a good bad boy, right?
This was an interesting story and while the telling is a bit choppy as we jump from case to case, I think readers will enjoy this layered novel and its many different locales. Look for this book in stores October 19th in Canada!
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to HarperCollins Canada for my advanced copy given in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 3.5 starsAuthor: Jeffrey ArcherGenre: SuspenseSeries: #4 in the Detective William Warwick seriesType and Source: Trade Paperback from publisherPublisher: HarperCollins CanadaFirst Published: October 19, 2021
Opening Line: "Are you a detective, sir?"

Book Description from GoodReads: An unputdownable story of murder, revenge and betrayal from international number one bestseller Jeffrey Archer.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING IN THIS ROLLERCOASTER RIDE OF A THRILLER…

In London, the Metropolitan Police set up a new Unsolved Murders Unit—a cold case squad—to catch the criminals nobody else can. 
 
In Geneva, millionaire art collector Miles Faulkner—convicted of forgery and theft—was pronounced dead two months ago. So why is his unscrupulous lawyer still representing a dead client? 
 
On a luxury liner en route to New York, the battle for power at the heart of a wealthy dynasty is about to turn to murder.
 
And at the heart of all three investigations are Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick, rising star of the department, and ex-undercover agent Ross Hogan, brought in from the cold. 

But can they catch the killers before it’s too late?

Kitchener Rangers

NOTICE To Digital Season Ticket Members

Due to unforeseen technical difficulties we are not able to complete your digital season ticket package pick up during tonight’s game (Friday, October 15). This includes the following items: Authentics Vouchers, VIP Card and 12-month Wall Calendar. Packages will be available next Friday, October 22. Following that, you may visit The Aud Box office – by appointment only between 10 am – 4 pm. Appointments can be made by calling 519-741-2699. We value your support and apologize for any inconvenience.

Kitchener Rangers

Rangers Announce Captain and Leadership Team for the 2021-22 Season

The Kitchener Rangers have named forward Francesco Pinelli the club’s 2021-22 team captain. The 18-year-old, forward from Stoney Creek, Ontario was selected by the Rangers in the 1st round, (13th overall) in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Pinelli has tallied 20 goals and 45 points in 61 career regular-season games played. Pinelli won the gold medal with Team Canada at the World Under 18 Championships in Frisco, Texas. Francesco finished tied for third on the team in points as he put up four goals and seven assists in eleven games. Pinelli was selected 42nd overall in the 2021 NHL Draft by the LA Kings. "It obviously feels great to be named captain, for this amazing organization," said Francesco. "I think I lead by example on and off the ice in many different ways. Looking after the younger guys, and making sure everyone is feeling good." ♦ Arber Xhekaj, Mike Petizian, Declan McDonnell and Reid Valade will also be part of the leadership group as the team’s rotating alternate captains.

Grand River Hospital Foundation: Grand Ideas

Celebrating Health Care with a Gift in Support of Grand River's Greatest Needs


Every year, the team at Heartland Farm Mutual proudly comes together to support initiatives that give back, both within the broader communities they serve and in places where their employees, agents, and brokers work and live. With their head office right here in Waterloo, Heartland chose to generously donate $30,000 to support the highest priority needs at Grand River Hospital this year—which, in turn, helps Grand River Hospital provide the best possible care close to home.

While health and wellness are a pillar of community giving at Heartland Farm Mutual, its importance has become increasingly evident as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing the members of our community continue to step up to help one another in the face of adversity and the incredible resilience of our health care workers inspired them to support Grand River Hospital. It’s their way of giving back to the health care workers who have given so much to ensure our safety and care over the past year and a half.

"Grand River is the regional hospital that serves our greater community, and we thought this would be a worthwhile gesture to thank health care workers," said Rocco Neglia, Vice President, Claims, Loss Prevention & Marketing, Heartland Farm Mutual. "Their efforts have been extraordinary, and in recognition of that, we would like to say thank you."

And this isn't the first time Heartland has supported patients and staff at Grand River Hospital as a part of their community giving program. Early in the pandemic, when PPE was in short supply, the team at Heartland took it upon themselves to procure medical masks for hardworking health care workers across the province. They were able to support a local company as it converted to producing PPE for the very first time to help meet the demands of the pandemic, and Heartland donated 3,000 medical masks to eight Ontario hospitals, including Grand River Hospital.

Despite the unprecedented challenges our health care system has recently faced, the ongoing support from the individuals and organizations in our community, like Heartland Farm Mutual, is what enables us to continue to provide great care for every member of our community.

Our sincerest thanks to Heartland Farm Mutual for their continued commitment to local health care and their gift in support of the highest priority needs at Grand River Hospital.


Code Like a Girl

Realize Racism Kills Careers, and Other Actions for Allies

Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.♦Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw1. Realize racism kills careers

Last weekend, I read Minda Harts’ new book, Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace. While her primary audience is women of color, it’s also a critical read for anyone who wants to be a better ally. Harts gives so much insight into the everyday racism that seeps into far too many workplaces and is allowed to go unchecked. The impact? Racism kills careers.

Here’s just one story Harts shared:

“For example, your colleague says, ‘Sandra, you are so articulate. I just can’t believe it. Where did you grow up?’ Now, for my readers who are not of color, you might read this statement and see nothing wrong with it. Let me put you up on game. We, Black women and other women of color, hear these racial aggressions our entire lives. You might make these statements with the assumption that your Latina or Asian American colleague couldn’t have grown up in the United States with English as her native language. Or with the idea that Black people don’t know how to speak proper English, like being articulate is a superpower that many Black people never attain.”

Allies, when you hear a racist comment like this, speak up! Consider using my favorite “seek-common-ground-and-educate” approach. For example, “I used to think calling someone articulate was a compliment, but I have since learned many people of color don’t think so …” Then move on to educating by explaining the underlying negative stereotyping.

Let’s not let racism go unchecked in our workplaces any longer.

p.s. Listen to Harts talk about her book in this brief interview on MSNBC.

2. Resist the urge to say, “That doesn’t happen here”

As I read Right Within, I found myself wondering if the women of color I worked with during my 25 years in tech experienced any of the microaggressions Harts described. I hope not, but I bet they did. And I wonder if I would have responded if they had told me.

No one wants to believe that their own workplace is oppressive or racist or overflowing with sexist rhetoric. In fact, “That doesn’t happen here” is often the default response when leaders are informed about bias within their organization’s walls.

Yet, defensiveness serves no purpose.

If managers refuse to believe that bad behavior is happening under their own roofs, they do their organizations a disservice. Their denial prevents them from addressing issues that negatively affect people from marginalized groups, which can cause morale, productivity, and retention problems. Their companies may garner reputations as workplaces that are unfriendly to certain demographics, and they’ll have increasing difficulty hiring a diverse workforce. It’s a domino effect that leads to a nasty cascade of repercussions.

So, if you are in a position of privilege, resist the urge to say, “That doesn’t happen here.” Especially when your employees or coworkers come forward and tell you that it does. Instead of steadfastly and stubbornly insisting that your company is already as equitable as it can be, work hard to make it even better.

3. Encourage work-life boundaries

On a recent weekend, I wanted to catch up on some work-related requests, one of which was answering a Slack message from a client. Their company is notorious for encouraging and rewarding an always-on and responsive mindset, and I didn’t want my client to feel pressure to respond to me quickly. It was far from being an urgent matter.

So, I prefaced my message with, “Please understand that I’m sending this on a Sunday morning because it’s convenient for me to catch up on the weekend. I don’t expect a response outside of your normal working hours.” Guess what? They got back to me on Monday.

As I’ve shared in the past, we can also use our email signature to send a similar message. Inspired by newsletter subscribers Nick Marchese and Toby Mildon, I changed my signature to include “My working hours may be different than yours. Please do not feel you need to reply outside your normal working hours.”

Whether we put this kind of expectation in the body of a message or our email signature, we all can play a role in encouraging people to set the boundaries they need to rest and thrive.

4. Say “they are” not “they is”

Over on Twitter, I noticed Mirriam-Webster sharing advice about how to conjugate verbs used with the singular “they.”

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 — @MerriamWebster

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In a blog post Singular Nonbinary ‘They’: Is it ‘they are’ or ‘they is’?, Mirriam-Webster explained,

“When someone tells you that their pronouns are they and them, … you might wonder what kind of a verb goes with that pronoun: is it ‘they are my friend’ or ‘they is my friend’?
The simple answer is that the most natural-sounding verb is the one to use. ‘They’ always goes with a plural verb, even when ‘they’ is referring to a single person: ‘They are my friend.’

It’s just like the word you. Whether we use you to refer to one person or many, we use a plural verb form.

5. Use safelist, not whitelist

Many organizations use spam filters that allow specific email addresses, domain names, or network addresses to pass through while blocking others. Historically, these have been called “whitelists.” In tech, there are also “blacklists,” which are used to deny access to certain users or addresses.

While the historical context of these terms may not be related to race, using them feels inappropriate. Simply stated, they reinforce that “white” is good and “black” is bad. Why not use “safelist” and “blocklist” instead?

Speaking of safelists, please help make more email clients trust us and ensure “5 Ally Actions” reaches everyone who subscribed. You can:

  • Add our email address “info@betterallies.com” to your contacts
  • If you use gmail, drag the latest newsletter to your “Primary” tab
  • Ask your IT department to add “betterallies.com” to their safelist
  • Read about more ways to safelist us in this blog post

(Many thanks to the Anti-Racism Daily newsletter for providing similar guidance to their subscribers recently.)

That’s all for this week. I wish you strength and safety as we all move forward.

— Karen Catlin, Author of Better Allies®

Copyright © 2021 Karen Catlin. All rights reserved.

I wrote this article in what is now called Burlingame, California. It is on Ohlone territory.

Being an ally is a journey. Want to join us?

😍 Follow @betterallies on Twitter, Medium, Instagram, or Pinterest

✉️ This content originally appeared in our newsletter. Subscribe to “5 Ally Actions” to get it delivered to your inbox every Friday

📖 Read the Better Allies books

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Together, we can — and will — make a difference with the Better Allies® approach.

♦♦

Realize Racism Kills Careers, and Other Actions for Allies was originally published in Code Like A Girl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Andrew Coppolino

Three dishes to take into the weekend

Reading Time: 2 minutes


It’s the middle of October, and while the weather might be unseasonably warm at the moment, there’s some grey and rainy conditions lurking. And always ready to pounce.

Here are three dishes to keep the weather at bay.

Cornish pasty, British Pride Cambridge
“Pasties are sold everywhere in the U.K.,” according to owner Tony Armstrong, and British Pride makes six delicious and filling ones: traditional ground beef with turnip, potato and onion; diced steak; corned beef; curry; and a cheese and onion pasty with leek.

A pastry that holds meat and vegetables inside, the pasty has a disputed origin, adds Armstrong. “The Cornish think they were the first to bring the pasty to the table, and in Devon they think that too,” he says.

♦Meat pie and Cornish pasty (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

The story, he says, is one of the tin mines. “The reason the vegetables are in there is because they were cheap, usually turnip, potato and onion that you grew in your garden. After the World War II, there wasn’t much meat so that was added later.”

***

Kabobs, Chopan Kabob Kitchener
The family at Chopan and the food they cook adds an important—and delicious—layer of flavour to the neighbourhood and the city. That’s what makes this country great.

Afghani dishes include a delicious fried pumpkin and masala sauce, beef chaplee, bolani (a stuffed dough) and kabulee palao, a delicious version of pilaf that includes grilled carrots and raisins.

Firnee pudding is an Afghani dessert with cardamom and pistachio. Prices at Chopan Kabob range from $6-$22.

“The food is mostly Afghani,” says Jamali, “but we have a few Indian dishes. We advertise that because people recognize Indian food.”

♦Chicken kabob with rice and salad (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

However, the Afghani mantoo (pictured in banner) is among my favourites: its origin is uncertain, but it is popular in central and western Asia and the Caucasus. When Mongolians conquered Afghanistan centuries ago, this dish came with them, according to Jamali.

“It’s not traditionally Afghani, but the Afghanis changed it a little bit.”

***

Dosa, Shiri’s Kitchen Waterloo
While we generally know pakoras and masalas, samosas and biryanis, the dosa is less familiar. The former dishes, for the most part, are from more northern areas of India; the latter, from the south—regions that include Chennai, Kerala and Hyderabad.

♦Shiri’s Kitchen dosa (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

Wherever they’re from, dosas are delicious, and that includes Shiri Madireddy’s version at Shiri’s Kitchen, primarily a catering facility with a bit of a store front for take-away.



Check out my latest post Three dishes to take into the weekend from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.


Pull the Plug

PTP 365 - October 15, 2021 - Best Canadian Rock Bands and Favourite Album Openers (feat. PTP OG C-Ro-Mo)

Opening

- Support us, we need new gear

The West Coast by Trouble & Daughter

Ranker

- The Best Canadian Rock Bands

Knockout by Quite Articulate

Favourite Album Openers

- Playlist on Spotify

- Playlist on Apple Music

Dancing in the Dark by Will Muir

Closing

- Briner’s surprise gift


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Aquanty

"Aquanty’s physics-based hydrologic forecasting web services" - Aquanty webinar hosted by the Meteorological Service of Canada

On October 5th Aquanty’s Graham Stonebridge gave a talk hosted by the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) about our use of the government’s meteorological datasets in our hydrologic forecasting system and web services (i.e. HydroGeoSphere-RealTime and AgSat).

Aquanty’s web platforms and forecasting systems are only as strong as the meteorological forcing data that we feed into them, and we rely heavily on data products published by organizations like the MSC. So we’re very grateful for the availability of these data sets, and for the opportunity to present these platforms and discuss our latest works.

The presentation provides some great insight into the way that our hydrologic forecasting systems work, and how they wouldn’t be possible without the excellent data services and support from the Meteorological Service of Canada.


Andrew Coppolino

Olde Heidelberg Restaurant for pork hocks

Reading Time: 2 minutes


It’s a suitably porky time of the year while we are in the spirit of the recent Oktoberfest, albeit a very different one, so here’s a way to get out into the country and enjoy an historic dish that rings true of “Waterloo County Fare.”

It’s more than a myth—there’s a legend that has evolved around the gigantic smoked pork hock at The Olde Heidelberg Restaurant and Tavern.

The deliciously rich chunk of meat is part of the culinary history of the region, and it’s a phenomenon that includes tourists travelling from Toronto.

Roughly a decade ago, word got out in Toronto that the smoked chunk of pork demanded a visit, even from 100 kilometers away.

Soon, buses of hungry visitors de-boarded and packed the dining room during the summer, according to Heidelberg co-owner Gayle MacMillan.

“A Chinese gentlemen from Toronto ate here, and he wrote an article in a Toronto Chinese newspaper,” says MacMillan who has owned the business with husband Bob MacMillan for over three decades.

“That was about ten years ago. Since then, we’ve been crazy busy, and we get bus loads and large groups,” she adds. In summer, they’ll serve as many as 1,200 hocks.

Located a few minutes from the popular St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, the Heidelberg, by virtue of its 1860 founding, indeed warrants the “olde” spelling.

The venue is part of a scattering of pubs and food establishments, especially in the region’s four townships, that can be described as serving “Waterloo County fare” or country pubs and taverns that serve dishes traditionally associated with Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. (I have to add parenthetically that with the closing of the Blue Moon in Petersburg, that number is sadly getting smaller.)

Such cuisine is meat-heavy—specifically pork—and that is highlighted by the Heidelberg’s “no trim” menu features of dishes of bread and meat only—there are no vegetables allowed on these plates: spare ribs, country sausage, pork hock, crispy broasted chicken and pigtails all foreground the meat.

Although it doesn’t brew its own beer any longer, the Heidelberg was one of the first on-site micro-breweries in Ontario, pre-dating operations such as the original Brick Brewing Company. You could once sit at your table feasting on pork hock while looking into the brewery facility in the next room.

Originally called the Great Western Hotel by its founder Heinrich Muller, the Heidelberg was a stagecoach stop between Kitchener and Millbank.

It’s now a stop for the hefty pork hock, also known as the classic Bavarian schweinsaxe. The cut of pork, located just above the animal’s ankle and just below the ham section, is prepared and smoked by Stemmler’s Meat and Cheese, less than a block away on Lobsinger Line.

In the large Heidelberg kitchen, the pork hock needs a low and slow braising to soften the tissues and break down the tougher cut into the tender, fatty and juicy rich meat.

Add to it some mashed potatoes and some sauerkraut, and you’ve got a dish that Edna Staebler would be proud of.

The popularity of the dish crosses all cultures, it should be noted. “A lot of other people like the dish too,” MacMillan says. “Not just the visitors from Toronto.”

Wherever you come from, come hungry.

*****

The Olde Heidelberg Restaurant and Tavern 
3006 Lobsinger Line (R.R. #15) 
Heidelberg, ON   N0B 2M1 
(519) 699-4413 
www.oldhh.com/ 

Check out my latest post Olde Heidelberg Restaurant for pork hocks from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.


Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Warm Embrace Elder Care – The Impact of the Business Excellence Awards Gala

Being nominated for a Business Excellence Award is truly an honour. To know that someone in the community appreciates your business and is willing to nominate you, is a huge vote of confidence. The list of nominees is always exceptional and being included among them is a distinction in itself.

The 2021 Business Excellence Awards were unique not just due to the online format of the BEA Gala, but because they were based on the prior year of business operations during the pandemic. It goes without saying that throughout 2020, there was no such thing as “business as usual” and it was an exceedingly difficult year for many businesses.

At Warm Embrace Elder Care, we continued operations 24/7 throughout the pandemic. Our incredible front-line team of caregivers adapted to PPE use and additional safety protocols to ensure their own safety, and that of our vulnerable clients. When it seemed that so much of the world had retreated and hunkered down, our brave and loyal team continued serving elderly clients in need across the community.

We are so grateful for our team and we tell them so regularly. It is one thing for us to affirm our team and express gratitude for their diligence and exceptional efforts; it is quite another for the business community to acknowledge their efforts. So, when Warm Embrace Elder Care was selected as the recipient of the 2021 Business of the Year Award, we were elated that our front-line team of caregivers could be acknowledged for their essential role throughout the pandemic.

We continue to be proud of our caregivers for their infection control diligence as we maintain our record of not a single case of COVID-19 transmission amongst caregivers or clients. Our caregivers have proven how safe homecare can be when caring for the elderly in their own homes. For many of our elderly clients, we are their main social contact, and it is a privilege to share time with them.

As a company, we are pleased that Warm Embrace did not lay off any staff, even at the height of the pandemic. We were able to maintain our team and provide gainful employment. We continue to expand and are now hiring additional caregivers to join our growing team. Currently, we’re celebrating 14 years in business, and we look forward to many more years of providing dignified care to the elderly.

Thank you to the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, and to the anonymous nominator, who recognized the critical work of our amazing Warm Embrace caregivers by awarding our team the 2021 Business of the Year Award.

This blog was written by Chloe Hamilton, Founder Warm Embrace ElderCare.

Nominations are now open until October 22th for the 2020 Business Excellence Awards Gala.

The post Warm Embrace Elder Care – The Impact of the Business Excellence Awards Gala appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Elmira Advocate

NOW RAC REFUSE TO ACCEPT SOIL DIOXIN ANALYSES FROM STROH DRAIN AREA

RAC - Remediation Advisory Committee i.e. a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians devoted to the joys of sustaining and maintaining the status quo despite the costs to their own souls and to the health of both the environment and to their fellow human beings. ................................................................................................................ Earlier in the week the Woolwich Council appointed TAG committee flatly refused to accept the complete seven page professional laboratory analyses by a very well known lab who specialize in dioxin/furan analysis. They analyzed two different soil samples, one a composite and one not, and the composite sample actually had higher concentrations of dioxins/furans than the other one. A composite soil sample is one made up from multiple other samples with equal amounts of each mixed together and analyzed as one. The idea is to cover a larger area of ground at less expense. .................................................................................................. This lab (Pacific Rim) is highly reputable and their seven page report answers many of the questions that both TAG and RAC have put forth as excuses not to accept the report. The scientific methodology for analysis is detailed, storage conditions, EPA Reference Method, Chain of Custody etc. The irony is that most of the dishonest idiots demanding this additional information BEFORE they even look at the lab report, don't have a clue what they are talking about. How could they, they are politicians taking orders privately and then mouthing the excuses the MECP, Lanxess and others tell them to. ........................................................................................................ One hand washes the other and each part of the group hides behind the other. It is an incestuous, corrupt process with a purpose. Maintain the decades old Elmira Water Crisis coverup both for the company's and Ministry of Environment's financial gain as well as to minimize the total destruction of all their reputations in the public's eye. ........................................................................................................................ Sandy Shantz as co-Chair of RAC states "Any technical reports should be sent to TAG. I believe Tiffany replied to your request. Feel free to forward them to her for TAG's review if they meet the scientific requirements as she outlined them." Sandy hired Tiffany at $1,000 per meeting. Tiffany does as she is told. So the two bodies appointed by Woolwich Council six years ago ostensibly to assist with the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers and the Canagagigue Creek both refuse to even receive much less seriously look at a seven page professional report showing soil dioxin contamination where Lanxess & the MECP deny it exists by their refusing to take either their own soil samples or anybody else's. .................................................................................................................. ........................................................... THAT FOLKS IS ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP AND PUBLIC CONSULTATION IN WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP (ELMIRA)

James Davis Nicoll

Just a Little Breeze / Cradle and Grave By Anya Ow

Anya Ow’s 2020 Cradle and Grave is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic dungeon-crawl adventure. 

Even after an apocalypse, people still need to work. Dar Lien needs to work. She’s a scout, an experienced guide to the wastelands. Wastelands into which no sensible person would venture, had they a choice.

Servetu and Yusef (a halfer, his man’s torso grafted onto a horse’s body) want a guide to take them into and out of the Scab. Dar Lien hesitates. She’d be willing to do this with folks she knows and trusts, but not with two complete strangers. What tips the scale is the fact she is terminally ill. Her would-be employers are offering her fifteen thousand taels, which would pay for a treatment that could save her life. 

Desperation trumps caution.



Check It Out WPL

Friends-For-Life Has a Different Meaning in this University Murder Mystery

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife is an intriguing, slow burn whodunnit/coming-of-age story set within an academic backdrop with an interesting character focus.

Ashley Winstead’s psychological thriller has a murder mystery at its heart, but it is clearly more of a character-driven novel that slowly reveals the close bond, secrets and deceptions of a group of university friends. This group of friends first met during their first weeks at Duquette University and instantly became inseparable and were soon known on campus as The East House 7. But by the end of their four years at Duquette, one will be murdered, another will be accused, and their friend group irreparably damaged.

I enjoyed the use of multiple POVs who tell the story as it jumps between the group’s years at school and their 10th reunion in the present. I found some of the switches between the timelines a bit choppy and some of the pacing to lag just a bit in the middle, but the red herrings and the well-developed characters more than made up for it.

This is an impressive and twisty thriller about obsession, friendship, ambition, and rivalry, and shows just how far someone is willing to go to get what they think they deserve out of life. Put your hold on either our print or eBook copies today at wpl.ca!


Andrew Coppolino

Cartoon Robin Hood signed my recipe book

Reading Time: 5 minutes


I have a very old, bulging-at-the-seams book of notes and recipes from the restaurant that, at once, makes me smile and gives me a little jab or twinge of melancholy.

It’s black with a faux leather design held together by a large Acco binder clip which keeps corralled (just barely) a jumbled stew of innumerable slips of paper, envelopes (some empty), notes, clipped recipes and a flotsam-and-jetsam of ideas and hoped-for inspiration.

It’s not a rectangular book any longer, its now-misshapen spine hacked and tattered and bowed – the edges and corners are softly rough: like smooth suppleness through years of clutching it. Now near talismanic, it somehow gives me great pleasure to hold it and flip through its worn and slightly oily pages. Hell, it gives me pleasure just to look at its battered boards.

Inside the true business part of the notebook are a few diagrams of plate design – amateurish, for sure – and the basic recipes that I was responsible for: bread, pizza dough, Caesar dressing, cheesecake, tiramisu, chili oil, a delicious lemon tart which demanded intense focus to get just right in terms of the creaminess of the filling and the crispiness of the pâte sablée, which, I was told, was a rather forgiving short-crust pastry dough.

The pages are dog-earred and slaughtered with spills of oil and sauces and yellowed and discoloured from even the short time I spent in the hurly-burly of prep time as I was learning how to do things on the line and in prep. There are lists of dozens of menu items and ingredients in the back pages – what I saw as an overwhelming regimen of duties and responsibilities, coded with “(D)” or “(EOD)” or “(W)” or “(TW)” for daily, end-of-day, weekly or twice-weekly.

♦Fontina sticker prank (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

I don’t recall if the annotations were my hastily added hieroglyphs or Entremet’s suggestions, but, like hieroglyphics, a foreign language, I can’t be entirely sure of how to interpret them looking back today: they represent a sort of code and jargon short form of my past quite some time ago. They stir a question: what if I had stuck with it and pursued this idea I had had, this experiment I had undertaken, of making cooking a career?

There’s no answer.   

On the flyleaf of the notebook – if notebooks have a flyleaf – there is a colourful rectangular sticker, eight centimetres by five centimetres, from a wheel of cheese, nicely appended to the very bottom corner of the page: that, I am sure, was put there by wise-acre Entremet. It says, “Imported from Denmark. DANISH FONTINA” and is described as “A Delicate, Nutty Almost Honey Flavoured Cheese,” the upper-case letters reminiscent of a mid-18th century epistolary novel. It’s what I imagine Henry Fielding would write if he was in food marketing.

The cheese was used on one of our pizzas; it would make sense that that would have been the four-cheese variety we had on the menu at the time. But, that bit of a prank is just over the page from another addition to the notebook that has much greater and warm significance: whenever I unclip ACCO to rifle through the mess of papers looking for a recipe or an idea, the two not always linked, I flip to those opening pages and look at a signature that’s scrawled there – that of the late Stratford actor, the talented Brian Bedford.

That he signed my sloppy stained notebook is not what you might think it is. Cooks (but not me) are often asked, “What famous people have you cooked for?” I don’t recall many, actually. Periodically, celebrities and personalities of all magnitude would find themselves in Kitchener for one reason or another and the restaurant’s central location in the city and near cultural points of interest and its political hub meant they would drop in to eat at a decent venue like ours that could provide some privacy and anonymity. And it was just a very good place to eat.

That was not the case for Bedford, however. He and his partner, Tim McDonald, would travel from the lovely town of Stratford, about 30 minutes away, including during the winter when the Shakespeare Festival was in its sleepy off-season and therefore many of the town’s food outlets were dormant. The restaurant owner had previously cooked in Stratford and so I’m sure that there was a familiar relationship between them. There was that idea of the restorative nature of a restaurant – the relationship between host and patrons – I have previously mentioned elsewhere. I certainly don’t recall what Brian and Tim ate on those occasions, but I did prepare soups and salads that I knew were going to their table. Perhaps the odd dessert.

♦Battered and clipped (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

So, one snowy winter evening as they left by the restaurant’s back entrance, just outside of which the dishwasher was cursing as he chopped firewood for the pizza oven, which meant walking right in front of the pass of the open kitchen and the cooks. I grabbed my notebook without really thinking much about how I was going to blurt out, “Mr. Bedford! Could you sign my book?” I don’t think I even said “please.” I’m sure he was surprised, and perhaps a bit alarmed, by the sudden request, but he was gracious and, smiling from behind a large, fluffy scarf twirled dashingly around his neck and shoulders, he took off his gloves, accepted the pen I was offering and signed “Brian Bedford.”

I knew that the British-born Bedford, who died in 2016, was something of a giant of the stage. He was in acting school with Alan Bates, Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole. Good Lord. The man was a Shakespearean master who played opposite Gielgud in The Tempest, was Richard III, was a stellar Malvolio in Twelfth Night and who also had roles in Moliere’s Tartuffe and Wilde’s wonderful The Importance of Being Earnest. I may be wrong, but I think he had either the role of Vladimir or Estragon in one of my favourite plays ever, Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

And now, here he was standing in front of me, having just eaten some food that I had prepared for him, a Tony-award winner and an actor who had gained more of those Tony nominations than just about anyone. I guess I was a bit star-struck. However, as terrific and accomplished as his stage-craft might have been, it was for another performance entirely that I had acted so spontaneously and frivolously — and that was on behalf of my seven-year-old daughter.

You see, Brian Bedford was the voice of “Robin Hood” in the 1973 animated adventure and musical comedy, a film produced by Walt Disney Productions.

I wanted his signature for her because she loves the film to this day.

“Oo-De-Lally, Oo-De-Lally
Golly, what a day.”


Check out my latest post Cartoon Robin Hood signed my recipe book from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.


Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Blog

North American Luxury Market Trends

Source: Institute of Luxury Marketing

Future Trends Homeowners and Investors Should Consider

Over the last few months, the luxury real estate market has experienced the return of a more normal pace of doing business for those looking to buy and sell their homes. Initial trends also indicate a moderation in the levels of sales and price increases.

However, while the frenzy may have settled, it is important to note that prices are still trending upwards because an inventory shortage remains the dominating factor affecting current market dynamics.

During the previous 18 months, an extraordinary demand from buyers prioritizing single-family homes with large square footage, extra rooms, outdoor space, and privacy above all else, had been the dominant trend.

In the last 6 months, demand for attached properties, especially condos which stalled in 2020, started to see an uptick, as buyers realized that greater inventory levels and more reasonable pricing had opened the door of opportunity.

As we move into the fall season, we review both new opportunities and trends that homeowners and Investors should consider during their property search. 

Return to Urban Living

An increasing number of buyers are starting to return to the larger metropolitan cities for multiple reasons, whether it’s simply missing the lifestyle to looking for a potential investment opportunity.

These buyers are recognizing that while city prices did not drop significantly, they did soften due to high inventory levels. Many local residents are seeing the chance to buy an urban property at comparatively discounted prices against the skyrocketing prices found in their suburban areas.

This door may close soon, as also in the mix are foreign investors (now that travel restrictions are easing) and first-time buyers who are heading to urban markets looking for the opportunity to purchase a larger property at  more affordable prices.

Experts are predicting that city markets may see stronger returns on investment than their suburban counterparts, which are already reporting a slowdown in the acceleration of their price increases.

Emerging City Neighborhoods

While cities are starting to experience an influx of new and returning buyers, some of the best deals may be found in the emerging neighborhoods. Prior to the pandemic, many of these inner, mid-city communities and industrial areas had been on trend for gentrification.

Cities from Vancouver and Toronto saw their emerging neighborhoods stall in 2020, as people chose to purchase away from the more crowded metropolitan communities.

Today, emerging neighborhoods not only afford buyers better values, but also have the potential to create greater equity returns. These are ideal for buyers ready to invest in a property for the longer term; understanding that they are buying early and will need to wait for the neighborhood to evolve and mature.

Opportunity in Compromise

In highly popular luxury markets with little to no inventory, compromise might be the only option. However, it could ultimately be the right one. Opting to purchase a condo or fixer-upper rather than a turnkey property may provide buyers other opportunities worth considering. 

Firstly, less popular properties come without the added pressure of feeling desperate to purchase sight unseen or enter into a bidding war. Secondly, the longer a property is on the market the more likely the seller will be open to negotiation.

But more importantly, even for highly affluent buyers, getting a foothold in their preferred market despite the property not being ideal, allows them to keep up with price appreciation as well as giving them the advantage of purchasing the property they really want, once it comes on the market.

Home Field Advantage

Two of the pandemic’s effects on the luxury real estate market have been the purchase of properties sight unseen and multiple-offer situations. Unfortunately, this has created a negative trend; desperate buyers have often felt the need to make extraordinary offers in order to secure the property, only to terminate the sale when the house proves not to meet their requirements.

While there are usually back-up offers, this still impacts the seller’s timeline and budget, especially if they are already in negotiations for a new property that may be proving equally popular.

This can give a local buyer the home field advantage, especially if there is a multiple-offer situation. Sellers are recognizing that local residents not only know the surrounding community and where they want to live, but given their proximity will have had the time to view the property prior to making an offer.

A buyer who has seen the property in person and who is able to move quickly will almost always be more appealing to a seller.

New Priorities

In 2020 and early 2021, the priority was to purchase larger homes offering more space, privacy and safety – and the value of fulfilling these requirements often superseded the cost factor.

However as we enter into the latter part of 2021, and mainly as a result of the historic rise in property values over the last 12 months, many affluent buyers are now starting to reprioritize their purchases with a keen eye on market stability and potential returns.

Which trends will see better investment return; larger estate-sized homes, properties with views, or those located on expansive land or closer to amenities, are questions being asked of our luxury real estate professionals.

The answer may lie in reviewing the sales data for the last 6 months, which reveals that luxury mid-sized homes ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet are proving to be in the greatest demand. While people want extra space, they do not want to be overwhelmed. Equally land and privacy are still important, but as things return to normal the shift back to living closer to amenities and locations closer to work may become the main priority for some once more.

Time to Diversify

On the opposite side, the opportunity to work from home, or anywhere, will still play a significant part in the choices of the wealthy. Now that remote working is mainstream, there has been an increasing focus on investing in real estate that aligns with people’s lifestyle choices.

Vacation and second home properties are expected to see a continued increase in popularity, especially for those who need escape options from their primary property. People are continuing to seek diversity in their lifestyle and owning multiple properties, whether they are in the city, mountains or beach locations, is an important facet in meeting that requirement.

Demand is predicted to drive more development in resort and vacation markets, so properties in well-established second markets will only see an upward pressure on their values.

The post North American Luxury Market Trends appeared first on Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Agent - The Deutschmann Team.


KW Predatory Volley Ball

Indoor Competitions Pivoting to League Model for 2021/22 Season Start

Read full story for latest details.

Tag(s): Home

The Backing Bookworm

The Mother Next Door


Welcome to Ivy Woods Drive, where the secrets, lies and maternal one-upping are matched only by its beautiful mansions, epic Halloween block parties and requirement to fit the status quo.
This October-themed read has a strong Desperate Housewives meets Big Little Lies feel as the Ivy Five, a powerful clique of privileged suburban moms, show their competitive, deceptive and malevolent sides in this domestic thriller that was a touch more domestic drama than thriller. 
The author takes her time to acclimate her readers to the close-knit suburban location and the relationships between the characters which made some earlier sections a bit of a slow go. There are a lot of characters to keep track of with some, even among the Ivy Five, not well fleshed out and feeling more like background characters. But as the story progresses in both in the present and past, we get different POVs, witness the threats and secrets accumulate and the story picks up its pace for a satisfying twist. 
While not quite as chilling and a little heavier on the suburban drama than I had expected, the story and impending reveals kept my attention and I enjoyed this read. This is a good pick for fans of Big Little Lies who want to get into the Halloween spirit.  
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Harlequin - Graydon House for my advanced copy provided in exchange for my honest review.


My Rating: 3.5 starsAuthor: Tara LaskowskiGenre: SuspenseType and Source: eBook from publisher via NetGalleyPublisher: Harlequin (Graydon House)
First Published: October 12, 2021
Opening Lines: Ladies and gentlemen, skulls and boys: by the time our Halloween block party is over tonight, one of us will be dead.

Book Description from GoodReads: 
GOOD MOTHERS…Never show their feelings.
Never spill their secrets.
Never admit to murder.

The annual Halloween block party is the pinnacle of the year on idyllic suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive. An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as the Ivy Five—plans the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five has been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, the moms see it as an opportunity to make the group whole again. This year’s block party should be the best yet... until the women start receiving anonymous messages threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, the good from the bad. They’ll do anything to protect their families. But when a twisted plot is revealed, with dangerous consequences, their steady foundation begins to crumble, leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.

From award-winning author Tara Laskowski, The Mother Next Door is an atmospheric novel of domestic suspense in which the strive for perfection ends in murder ...

Kitchener Rangers

Antonino Pugliese Signs OHL Standard Player Agreement

The Kitchener Rangers have announced that forward Antonino Pugliese has signed an Ontario Hockey League standard player agreement. Pugliese was the team’s 14th-round pick (277th overall) in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. We are excited to welcome Antonino and his family to #RTown. Antonino Pugliese Hometown: Hamilton, ON Birthdate: April 19, 2004 Height: 5'10” Weight: 181 lbs Shoots: R

Elmira Advocate

TAG (TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP) REFUSE A COPY OF PROFESSIONAL LAB ANALYSES OF DIOXINS/FURANS IN SOIL AROUND STROH DRAIN

This was done by the TAG Chair, Tiffany Svensson, last Saturday in an e-mail to me. Lest we forget of course, Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment have refused many times to take soil samples anywhere near the Stroh Drain since I and CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) found it in 2014. This now proven, by five lines of evidence (soil twice, groundwater, sediments and topographical contours), contaminated area to the immediate east of Uniroyal/Lanxess apparently is a) either a bridge too far for the guilty parties b) a hot potato far too damaging to both Lanxess/MECP's credibility. ............................................................................................................. Tiffany to her credit did attempt an explanation. Her first two sentences are "TAG is interested in any relevant and scientifically defensible analytical data. This means that all analytical results need to be accompanied by documentation that provides the why, where, when, how and who collected the sample(s)." Unstated by Tiffany are the following fictional sentences namely: "Horrible things will occur if I, Tiffany, accept willy nilly any analytical data not provided by bought and paid for, client driven consultants whose loyalty is solely to their well heeled, paying client, Lanxess Canada. These horrible things would include me losing my $1,000 per meeting stipend and amenable TAG members losing their status as members of a professional committee of experts. Woolwich Council as they've done in the past would bounce their butts from the committee in a heartbeat. If that isn't enough then studies have proven that soil samples obtained by untrained, unqualified persons have been known to self explode causing untold catastrophes, damages and injury." .......................................................................................................................... Phew, well I got that out of my system. Obviously I believe that Tiffany is full of it. Yes, after receiving the seven page lab analyses done by a recognized expert in the field (Pacific Rim), I would expect some questions that were not answered in the seven page report. The qualifications however of Pacific Rim would not be one of them. Nor would the concentrations of dioxins/furans found in the soil samples. None of us involved with this project had any doubts that the first attack by the professional liars would be the where and who collected the soil samples. Both the MECP (Min. of Environment) and consultants involved have a jealously guarded monopoly on taking soil samples. This has nothing to do with accuracy of results and everything to do with total control of information. Information is power and if you are going to be involved in a conspiracy to coverup the truth you desperately need that monopoly. ......................................................................................................... Oh and by the way just to state the obvious, no you can't go to your local supermarket for example and order a pound of 2,3,7,8 TCDD (dioxin) and then send it out for analysis. The samples taken were done so after consultation with accredited experts as to all the necessary conditions. TAG's failure to straight up accept the written seven page lab report first and then ask questions and decide what weight to put on that evidence is to their everlasting shame. ................................................................................................................... As I reflected here earlier on it does appear that TAG members are under some sort of communications blackout with stakeholders not vetted and approved by Mayor Shantz and Chair Svensson (& Lanxess). I say this for the benefit of TAG members as I have e-mailed them directly with information and generally they do not respond. I believe that there are other good TAG members on that committee who unfortunately, misguidedly, follow inappropriate orders. If I'm wrong on this then they are all as bad as their two worst members and that is indeed disheartening.

Kitchener Rangers

Hockey is home for the 2021-22 season

Hockey is home and now more than ever we need your support. With 100% capacity at The Aud, the Kitchener Rangers have a seat waiting for you, but you may only use the edge as you witness the best of the Ontario Hockey League. Tickets are available for all remaining home games, purchase yours online today at KWTickets.ca By Phone: 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977 In Person: ONLY at Centre In The Square Box Office, 101 Queen St. N., Kitchener (Hours: Tu – Sa 10-4) The Aud box office is only open for in person purchases game days from 10-8. For group inquiries please contact us at zfoss@kitchenerrangers.com  and for more information on our Mercedes Benz Kitchener Waterloo Suite Rentals click here We remind fans that proof of vaccination is now a requirement for all those over 12. Season Ticket Member Ticket Packages How to use my digital tickets CLICK HERE Ticket package pick up information CLICK HERE The Aud Safety plan and policies CLICK HERE Ontario Hockey League policies  CLICK HERE  

Code Like a Girl

Are DAOs the new way of working?

Consider a world where you do not work full-time for any tech giant. But you are able to work with multiple such startups.

Continue reading on Code Like A Girl »


Code Like a Girl

Is using public WiFi safe? How to fully protect yourself

You must be wondering — Is using public WiFi safe? And indeed you have a right to worry. Public wifi is any internet connection that is available to the general public for use. Free or cheap connections are the new norm and have become very popular at coffee shops, restaurants, airports, libraries, and other venues. These connections are generally not encrypted, so they leave you vulnerable to attack from other users. All of your traffic is visible to everyone else on the same connection.

Virtual Private Networking (VPN) can be used to create a secure connection between two or more remote locations. A VPN is a technology that allows organizations to securely connect their offices through a public network, such as WiFi or a corporate intranet, with their office buildings over the Internet.

Read more about VPNs in this article.

Risks of using public WiFi

When you are on a public wifi network, there are risks to your security in addition to anything else. Hackers can gain access with social engineering or by guessing passwords.

You should never click links in emails or instant messages that could contain malware when using these networks because it could lead you into a hacker’s trap. For this reason alone it is worth getting a VPN if for nothing else but your online privacy while browsing on these networks.

WiFi Passwords does not mean secure WiFi
The biggest misconception people have about public wifi is that it is secure. It is not. Many people believe that if they have a password on their WiFi, then they are safe on the network. This is not the case at all.

Having a password on your WiFi connection does not keep you safe from a hacker, a government agency, or an ISP trying to collect metadata about you and your online activity for marketing purposes. An attacker can easily capture your internet activity with less sophisticated hacking tools such as Wireshark. Even though these tools are common and easy to use, companies like your ISP want to sell the data they collect (metadata) to advertisers and other third parties such as insurance companies.

It might not be Their Router

Do not assume that it is your neighbours’ routers that are the problem when you have problems connecting to the internet. If everyone in your neighbourhood has problems connecting or if you are getting disconnected from being on these networks, then there is probably a “man in the middle” attack going on. This kind of attack happens when an attacker sets up their own router so they can monitor all online traffic coming out of the public wifi network.

Always use HTTPS websites

When using public wifi, you should always check to see if a website has HTTPS before logging into it or entering any kind of sensitive information into it (such as your bank account number).

However, can be hacked!

Many people think that TLS is “secure” because it uses encryption. However, it only encrypts the connection between your computer and the server. It does not encrypt your data once it gets to the server and all of your data is still visible to the ISP and anyone who is monitoring or man-in-the-middling on these networks.

What if I use a VPN while using public wifi?♦

A VPN will always use encryption to keep you safe from any attacker on these networks. This means that if you are ever on one of these compromised networks, hackers will not be able to gain access to sensitive data such as banking information or credit card numbers that you send over the network.

How to protect yourself while using public wifi

1- Never login to a website on a public network that is not using HTTPS. Use a VPN for additional security on these networks.

2- Always use a VPN on a public network.

3- WPA2 encryption should be used on all WiFi networks. Use WPA2 if your router or modem supports it, otherwise use the highest encryption your router or modem supports. Avoid any wifi with WEP encryption as it can be hacked relatively easily and quickly by anyone with some basic hacking skills.

4- Be wary about clicking on links that come from emails or instant messages. Anything sent over a public network is subject to interception by attackers and should not be trusted. These attacks can happen even if your email program uses SSL (HTTPS).

5- Never give out the word for your wifi password and never use one of those “guess my password” tools on a public network.

6- If you are on a public network and you feel like someone is spying on you, switch to another channel such as an open wifi channel (such as channel 13) as some people will still be broadcasting radio signals over those channels but they are less likely to be hacking you with those signals.

7- Never use shared wifi with your mobile devices.

8- Never login to a site on a public network if you feel your session is being hijacked by someone else.

Conclusion

Public wifi networks are not safe to use. It is best not to use them at all, but if you have no choice, use a VPN to help protect you.

Originally published at senseitechtips.com on October 2, 2021.

Is using public WiFi safe? How to fully protect yourself was originally published in Code Like A Girl on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Hoesy, Michalos & Associates

York Credit Services Contract Review

I’m saddened that we continue to receive calls and emails from Canadians who signed a contract with a non-licensed debt professional for assistance in choosing a consumer proposal, only to find that the costs of these services are harming them financially. This time it was York Credit Services.

As we have done in the past with other debt consultants, we will review the contract details as provided through our client (with their permission) to help others avoid unnecessary costs.  To protect our client, personal information has been removed from images taken from the York Credit Services contracts provided to us.

Services Provided

According to their contract, York Credit provides debt relief consultations, helps clients choose a ‘Third Party Professional’ and represents the client while implementing the chosen program.

In other words, they collect information, and when they suggest a consumer proposal, they refer you to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

For this review and referral, they charge a hefty fee.

How Much Does This Cost?

In this case, the consultation fees charged amounted to $4,920, payable as two installments of $400 each BEFORE the consumer proposal was filed, and 24 ongoing installments of $172.

On top of this, the client would pay proposal fees to the Licensed Insolvency Trustee bringing his total recommended payments to $13,920 on unsecured debts (as listed in his proposal filing) of $31,010.

  • $4,920 payable to York Credit Services
  • $9,000 for the proposal to his creditors

As many who read our blog know, a consumer proposal allows you to settle debts for less than you owe, and settlements as low as 20 cents on the dollar are possible. In this case, York Credit Services recommended monthly proposal payments of $150 a month payable over five years, or 29 cents on the dollar.

However, when you factor in their consulting fees, the total settlement cost increased to 45 cents on the dollar! That means going through a debt consultant increased the cost by 55%.

Whether the proposal payments of $150 a month were reasonable, I cannot determine as I did not conduct a debt assessment at that time. However, I can say that it was completely unnecessary for this client to pay an additional $4,920 for a referral to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

To be clear, Licensed Insolvency Trustees are required by law to conduct a complete financial assessment (more robust than the cursory services which appear to have been provided for by York Credit Services), and an LIT does so for free.  All reputable LITs provide free consultations. If you are not happy with the recommendation of one trustee, seek a free second opinion from another Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

As you can see from this scenario, debt consultants cannot get you a deal that is better than the one you can achieve going directly to a trustee, especially after factoring in their consulting fees.  Consultation fees by debt consultants can increase the overall cost by 50% or more.

Additionally, LITs do not require clients to make payments prior to filing a consumer proposal with the federal government. And when you work directly with an LIT, the ONLY payments required are those under the proposal, in this case, $150 a month.

This client continued to pay an additional $171.67 a month to York Credit because they thought these payments were required as part of the proposal process. They were not.

And yes, Licensed Insolvency Trustees do get paid to administer consumer proposals. That administration including filing the proposal with the government, collecting credit claims and counting votes, communicating with creditors, holding meetings if necessary, and making distributions to the creditors.

A $150 a month proposal for 60 months would result in total fees of $3,279 to the trustee plus costs (government filing fees and counselling fees) of $296.34.  I should also point out that Licensed Insolvency Trustees are regulated, and our fees are included in the monthly proposal payment. The creditors bear the cost since they receive a smaller distribution after the trustee has been paid.  Debtors do not pay extra.

That means, in this scenario, the Licensed Insolvency Trustee would be paid $3,279 over five years to administer the proposal while the ‘consultant’ was paid $4,920 to recommend a proposal!

Other Clauses

Also of note is a clause in the agreement prohibiting the client from retaining the services of anyone else conducting similar services, including consultations regarding their debt relief options. In other words, this contract tells a client they cannot engage another Licensed Insolvency Trustee since these are the services they provide.

While this clause may or may not be enforceable, it certainly capitalizes on the confusion, fear, and stress a client is feeling to prevent them from seeking a second opinion.

Another pressure clause we found was 8 (c) which indicates that failure to make payments will result in cancellation of the program.  Many clients may believe this means that if they stop paying York Credit, their consumer proposal will be cancelled. This is not the case. A consumer proposal is annulled according to law, and only when someone is behind three consumer proposal payments. The payments to York Credit are not part of the proposal and stopping payment to York Credit cannot impact an ongoing proposal. However, the fear of cancellation is enough to keep many people from questioning the extra payments to York Credit even after having filed their consumer proposal.

What happened in this case?

In this situation, the client filed a consumer proposal with another Licensed Insolvency Trustee in March 2021.  This was, of course, after paying $800 to the debt consultant prior to filing. They then continued to make payments to both the Trustee and York Credit for several months.

Unfortunately, the burden of paying an extra $172 a month was unaffordable, so this person turned to payday loans to keep up. To be clear, this person thought that these additional payments were part of the proposal. They did not know the charges by York Credit were not legislated payments.

After they contacted us a few months later, we advised that they stop all payments to York Credit while we conducted a new debt assessment. This individual then proceeded to file bankruptcy, which was a more affordable option for them.

Could this individual have afforded the $150 a month proposal? Perhaps, however, they could not afford those payments plus $800 upfront and another $171 a month on top of their proposal fees.

Recommendations

If you have contacted or signed an agreement with any debt consultant, we recommend the following to protect your interest:

  1. Confirm their credentials. When seeking debt advice, be sure you know who you are dealing with. If the advisor recommends a proposal, ask: “Are you a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?” If you are uncertain, search the government website.
  2. Never sign an agreement that requires fees in addition to your proposal payments which are payable to the Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
  3. Never make payments before your consumer proposal is filed with the government and you receive your official insolvency filing documents, including estate number.
  4. Stop paying the debt consultant if you have entered into such an agreement prior to filing a consumer proposal. Our position is that this is an agreement for services rendered prior to the signing of a consumer proposal and that the ongoing payments are money owing in the future for past services and hence should be included as an unsecured debt in the consumer proposal.
  5. If you were paying these types of fees and were under the impression they were part of your consumer proposal, contact the Office of the Superintendent and file a complaint.

We also recommend that the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy:

  1. Place under administrative review any Licensed Insolvency Trustee consistently obtaining file referrals from debt consultants.
  2. More strictly regulate the provision of debt assessment and consulting services for consumer proposals. Licensed Insolvency Trustees are tightly regulated, however, the advertising and provision of consulting services around consumer proposals are not. Like medical services, the service, not just the provider, should be regulated.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees have many years of training and practical experience, are required to take many courses and pass many exams and are regulated by the federal government.  LITs are the only professionals that can file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy in Canada.  We are the professionals.  Our fees are set by the federal government.  We are not allowed to charge up front fees.

Don’t be scammed.  If you have debt, get a free consultation from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, not an unlicensed debt consultant.

And I’d really like for the government to protect consumers by taking action to fix this problem.

The post York Credit Services Contract Review appeared first on Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc..


Angstrom Engeneering

Turning Black Energy into Green Energy | IMEC Energyville | Research Spotlight

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James Davis Nicoll

Where Are All The Gods? / Supermen (Isaac Asimov’s Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction, volume 3) Edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg &amp; Charles G. Waugh

Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh’s 1984 Supermen is the third volume in the Isaac Asimov’s Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction anthology series.


Angstrom Engeneering

IMEC: How to build a perovskite solar device | Research Spotlight |

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Angstrom Engeneering

Angstrom How-To | Troubleshooting a Loss of Base Pressure

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Andrew Coppolino

Haleem at Urwa’s Waterloo

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Urwa’s Pakistani and Indian Cuisine
401 King Street North
Waterloo, ON 
(519) 954-6600

[Previously published] Indian restaurants dot the Waterloo Region serving variations of butter chicken, curries, samosas, biryani and naan. The dishes, for the most part, are familiar.

Haleem, however, is a less familiar dish I discovered at Urwa’s Pakistani & Indian Cuisine in Waterloo, just near where King and Weber streets, having run parallel to each other for several kilometres, suddenly intersect.

The intersection is also that which finds Pakistani and northern India food intersecting in this type of “stew” that appears among the beef curries on Urwa’s menu.

Often made with lamb, Urwa’s beef version assumes a texture akin to a porridge or even a fine-grained polenta – and soft concoction that just demands to be eaten with a nice portion of warm naan.

In general, the beef is cooked low and slow, in some recipes for up to eight hours, along with dhal (pulses and legumes), lentils, urud dal (a sort of black lentil), cashews and whatever the spice of the region dictates.

At Urwa’s, a small restaurant that has been open in the small plaza for about six months, the haleem carries with it undertones of lemon, ginger and is green onions.

♦Take-away biryani at Urwa’s (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

The flavours are good – complex and rich and earthy – but it is the texture which sends haleem into a different experience. In much of North America, there is a range of textures that are considered part of the palate – but one that is very Western-centric.

Chew on tapioca balls that bob around in bubble tea or beef tendon in a bowl of pho and even some noodles that have been bathed in a lye solution (such as those in downtown Kitchener’s new Crafty Ramen), and you experience a sort of “gumminess.” I find it quite enjoyable, though it isn’t so for everyone.

♦Urwa’s aloo tikki “fritter” (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

The texture of a bowl of haleem is polenta- and porridge-like. But I find the flavouring complex, evocative and, really, quite soothing (I have to disclose a love of porridge and polenta, however.)

Other dishes include the usual Indian fare such as tikka masala, tandoori chicken and korma. The aloo tikki, a small fried croquette is delicious if not a bit too oily, and the biryani ($4.99) is very fresh and brilliantly coloured.

Check out my latest post Haleem at Urwa’s Waterloo from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.

Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Digital Transformation: How can you use it?

♦The pandemic has undeniably changed the market, forcing businesses to rebound to continue their activities. Transformation imposed itself as an appropriate response, and many societies took a 180° degree turn: digital transformation. This challenge has been a subject of discussion for some time now, but the health crisis has certainly propelled the topic to the forefront. With lockdown restrictions lifting, businesses want to ride the wave of digital change and build on lessons learned.

Understanding the digital shift
The emergence of new technologies has changed the face of the economic market and our ears have been buzzing for years about the importance of evolving by digitizing our practices.

What is digital transformation? It means putting the most recent technologies to the service of your business, and thus contributing to your success. This transformation unfolds at different levels of your business with repercussions in operational sectors such as information management, human resources, finances, and many more.

Let’s use human resources as an example. Digital and artificial intelligence can improve access to knowledge and training processes, therefore maximizing the human and organizational performance within your business. In this sense, integrating new practises affects recruiting and especially personnel retention.

Although on the onset implementation of this kind may disturb your way of functioning, in the long run it will allow you to face the ever fierce competition head on and manage your resources effectively, whether human or material.

Digital transformation is at the heart of concerns
New technologies now punctuate the professional sphere, making the digital shift everyone’s business. At the tail end of an economic slowdown or even standstill, evolution becomes urgent, necessary. Fully conscious of the changes involved for entrepreneurs, the governments are taking digital transformation very seriously.

In 2020, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario invested 50 million dollars so that entrepreneurs could receive help from key partners throughout the province to transform their activities and increase their competitiveness.

Digital Main Street’s goal was to enable the digital transformation of main street businesses in communities across Ontario. Impacted by the crisis, these businesses saw the animation and life that punctuated their daily routine disappear. The Government of Ontario also became involved, injecting 7.6 million dollars to render the project accessible to businesses located in the north of the province.

Training: an adequate response to concerns
Nonetheless, the crisis will have allowed us to identify mistakes we do not want to repeat in the future. As a return to normal life takes shape, companies are confused about what to do. Yes digital transformation must continue. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs need help to effect change at different operational levels, and thus turn this transformation to their advantage.

Indeed, many entrepreneurs do not understand automated processes and do not have a suitable model. When something is unfamiliar, questions come up. Waste of time? Waste of money? For some, such a change feels like a huge leap into a void, without knowing the outcome. However, technology can be a powerful ally when we know how to use it!

Based on this reflection, projects are flourishing to guide companies on the path to digital transformation. Cegep André-Laurendeau is a perfect example. The college offers free online e-comm courses in line with their new program called “Montréal E-commerce”.

Frédéric Viossat, training consultant at Cegep André-Laurendeau, expresses the concerns encountered by entrepreneurs in terms of technology: “Many participants apprehend deciphering new technology and changing the way they do things. They have to learn how to interact differently with the market and their clientele.”

The goal is to guide businesses strategically by targeting entrepreneurs and workers. Not only will these courses help with understanding and implementing retail trade and digital marketing, they will also make the digital shift smoother. This mentorship should extend over one year to support 96 small businesses and merchants.

According to Frédéric Viossat, the interest is there: “We announced the launch of this program last February and we soon had enough registrations to form two groups.” It’s no surprise. The pandemic has accentuated the need to offer support to our businesses.

“The pandemic has reminded us that we live in a world where anything can happen. Whether it’s by choice or necessity, consumers and businesses have discovered the possibilities offered by e-commerce.”

– Frédéric Viossat, Training Consultant at Cegep André-Laurendeau

The unprecedented health crisis we find ourselves in today has confronted entrepreneurs with a brutal reality: the shutdown of their activities. Backs against the wall, there was a choice to make. Some were forced to evolve and reinvent themselves quickly in order to survive.

CGI: What do the experts say?
Today, it’s important to move forward, to ride the wave of change that was initiated in the past year. There’s no going back. We have asked CGI experts for recommendations on how to build on the lessons learned.

Digital transformation is a broad process: we are not only talking about online sales platforms. Implementing digital strategies is a sustainable response to client needs and for optimizing operations.

The crisis has helped us to see the importance of thinking about the work of tomorrow. As an entrepreneur, you can, for example, integrate collaborative tools to your practises. Agathe Garrido, Innovation and User Experience Consulting Director at CGI explains: “Collaborative tools are important and the crisis has shown us how certain sectors are lagging.”

By using software packages to manage your business’s activities, transformation can take place in sectors such as human resources, inventory management, or the transfer of information. Such tools support productivity and monitor quality: being agile puts you in a better position to face challenges, and economic, commercial and operational changes.

One thing is certain, digital channels will shape the work of tomorrow, and if as yet the digital shift has been a cause of concern, businesses that have taken the turn fared better during the crisis. Before looking to the future, we must first learn from recent events.

Digital transformation through the lens of the crisis is leading us to question our habits: what we have long considered acquired may no longer be so. As the lockdown lifts, Agathe Garrido invites entrepreneurs to turn to hybrid work models, which will allow customers to be served more quickly and efficiently.

“What is certain is that there is no going back. We must look to the future with empathy and welcome transformation.”

– Agathe Garrido, Innovation and User Experience Consulting Director

You must therefore continue to adapt, staying true to your business’s values. No worries: it is quite possible. However, to operate such a transformation while respecting your corporate culture, you must implement adequate change management. Agathe Garrido offers you a formula that is as simple as it is obvious: culture = the sum of its employees.

Inspire your clients, but also your employees by respecting your fundamental values. To do so, show empathy by placing your teams at the heart of the change and build an experience that is unique to your corporate culture. You thus promote a feeling of belonging.

In conclusion

How to use digital transformation?
The economic situation has shown entrepreneurs that transformation is a must, and many realize that it would have been better to do so before the pandemic. Going forward, the important thing is to understand what digital transformation can do for you, as the possibilities are many: it can modernize human resources, finances, information management and many other aspects of your business. Let the winds of change blow on your business and remember the following words of expert advice:

  • Do not be afraid of changing your habits.
  • Build an experience that is unique to your corporate culture.
  • Place your employees at the heart of the change.

About Nethris

Founded 45 years ago, Nethris is a Canadian company that provides payroll services to over 17,000 SMEs across the country. We take care of your payroll from A to Z, from calculating salaries to the issuing tax slips. Our easy-to-use, affordable and secure cloud solutions also simplify time, human resource, and group benefits management.

Click here for more information or speak with one of our experts now, at 1-888-650-6291.

 

The post Digital Transformation: How can you use it? appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


KW Granite Club

Open House and Learn to Curl Clinic: Oct 19-22

This would be a good time, to get your QR code and vaccination validated, pick up a parking pass and confirm your locker. QR codes were sent out on Oct 12, please check your emails, this email will come directly from the Ontario Curling Association.

For members who would like to practice, we will have practice ice available daily.  The time slots are 1 hour long but you can book multiple slots if required. Practice Ice is available 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 5:00, 6:00. 7:00, and 8:00 pm. For Bookings call the club at 519-742-4281 or email Lorna In your email, please indicate the day and times and duration you would like.

If you have friends and family how would like to give curling a try, we are having a Learn to Curl Clinic and Refresher on Wednesday, Oct 20 at 7:00 pm, register here, the event is free of charge and open to the public. However, we do require all people coming into the building to be fully vaccinated for more information on our Return to Play policies you can find the document here

We look forward to seeing old and new members - See you on the ice!


Concept UWaterloo

How Passion Turned Into $5k

Being passionate about your problem space and solution is an overlooked aspect of creating a successful venture. Passion is a key motivational factor for Miraal Kabir and her venture, Safi. Miraal had firsthand learned about and seen MERS, a coronavirus with a 35% death rate and 5x reproduction rate that runs the risk of turning into a global pandemic. MERS spreads primarily through camels who transmit it to herders through the consumption of unpasteurized milk, and a vast majority of Kenyan herder households do not pasteurize their milk. This then inspired her to get a team together to create Safi, a cost-effective pasteurization tool that destroys harmful pathogens in milk through high temperatures and stirring 

We spoke with the founder, Miraal, to get some advice on how the Safi team made it to the $5k finals!

Q: Why did you and your team decide to pitch for the Concept $5k? 

As university students with an entrepreneurial idea, it can be difficult and discouraging to bring your idea to life without having any money. We were really lucky to be students at the University of Waterloo since our school encourages students to showcase their innovative solutions through Concept. We were especially inclined to pitch for the Concept $5K when we saw that there was an extra grant for healthcare related pitches in the Spring 2021 term, something that SAFI fits into.  

Q: How did you prepare for your pitch?  

When we first came up with the idea of Safi, we made a really detailed pitch that outlined the problem we were trying to solve, our solution, and the different benefits it would bring. It took us weeks to create this detailed pitch but once we had it, we only had to adjust it for different competitions like Concept $5K. Creating this pitch makes you really clear on why your idea is needed and the value it can bring to others.  

Q: What have you/will you use the $5k for?  

So far, we have used our $5K for incorporating Safi as a Canadian nonprofit. This was very exciting for us as it means that we are now officially working for a real company! We also plan to use the remaining funds to create our first aluminum prototypes and use them to conduct a dry run in Kenya and Tanzania.  

Q: What are your long-term goals for Safi?  

In the long-term, we hope to use the data we gain from using Safi’s handles to show the benefits of pasteurizing milk. This will help us to lobby governments to make it mandatory to pasteurize milk. We do not want to create a dependency on our handle, but instead we want it to be a catalyst to make sure that everyone has access to safe milk by law.  

Q: Do you have any tips for those considering applying for the Concept $5k?  

The biggest tip I can give is to believe in your idea! There were so many times when we were filling out the $5K application that we thought we should give up because our idea wasn’t good enough. I would say keep persevering and believing in yourself because it’s amazing how far that can take you! 

To get in touch with Safi or to follow along their journey, check out their website. 

Inspired by Miraal and Safi? Well this could be you! Concept’s $5k Pitch applications for Fall 2021 are open until October 17th 2021. All students are welcome and encouraged to apply! 

Miraal will also be doing an Instagram takeover over at @concept.uw Friday October 15, 2021. So if you would like tips/have questions, be sure to ask them then! 

The post How Passion Turned Into $5k appeared first on Concept UWaterloo.


Angstrom Engeneering

Angstrom How-To | Cleaning Gauges [Updated]

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The Backing Bookworm

Always, in December


I originally requested an advanced copy of this book because I was in the mood for a light Christmas romance. Tis almost the season, right?! 
But that's not the book I got.
Always, in December has a quick and brief romance between Josie and Max, but this is more of a story about missed opportunities and grief - particularly how it stays with you, despite the years that pass. Not a light and fluffy read, to be sure. 
The story heavily relies on the fact that readers accept the idea of a quick but lasting bond between two strangers. This couple are together for a few days and then spend most of the book apart, only meeting accidentally a couple of times over the following year. This first third of the book was sweet and their initial awkwardness was endearing, but readers are told rather than shown this chemistry between Josie and Max. The rest of the book felt overly drawn out, culminating in an ending that didn't sit well with me.
Here's a rundown of my feelings for this book:
What I liked:- initial Christmas-y feel- how the couple first meets- the descriptions of the beautiful locations
What I didn't like:- the story is told in the third person which made me feel disconnected from the characters and their emotions- requires readers to believe in Insta-love- the story relies heavily on the lack of communication trope with several near misses that could have easily been explained in 2 minutes if Josie and Max had just had a quick chat. Instead, things are drawn out and became frustrating- the abrupt twist that didn't give readers time to digest it and bypassed the opportunity for some in-depth emotion. It felt like a contrived emotional Hail Mary than the tear-fest I think it was expected to be
I'm feeling particularly cranky about Always, in December and think my initial expectations for a lighter, Christmas romance impacted my feelings for it. I'm in the minority with my feelings for this book but I think others may find this book to be a better fit.
Disclaimer: My thanks to Random House Ballantine for my advanced copy provided in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 2.5 starsAuthor: Emily StoneGenre: Contemporary FictionType and Source: eBook from publisher via NetGalleyPublisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, DellFirst Published: October 12, 2021
Opening Lines: Josie stood in the doorway of her flat, under the mistletoe that Bia had insisited they hang "just in case," and stared mutely at the box Oliver was clutching.

Book Description from GoodReads: It started with a letter. It ended with a love story.
From London to Manhattan, from Edinburgh to the English countryside, this stay-up-all-night read is impossible to forget...

Josie Morgan never looks forward to December. It's always a reminder of the life she lost, twenty years ago. Now, she always switches off the radio when Christmas music comes on. She always wants to tear down the tinsel her flatmate insists on pinning up. And she always posts a letter she knows will never be read.

Max Carter never expected to find himself stranded in London just days before Christmas. He never expected it would be so hard to say goodbye to a woman he hardly knows. Then again, he never expected to fall in love.

But, this December, when Josie's letter leads her to Max, a chance encounter will change their lives in the most remarkable way. And their story is only just beginning ...

Angstrom Engeneering

Research Spotlight | The Gorodetsky Group creates octopus inspired camo

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Angstrom Engeneering

Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD) with a Variable Angle Stage | Dr. Steven Jim

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Jesse Roders

My Summer Project

For the summer of 2021 I took on an important project, coach a baseball team of 15 and 14 yr olds. These young men worked their butts off to become a competitive team that finally found a way to win games by the end of the season. It wasn’t easy.

When I coach kids sports, I usually learn something new about coaching and teams. No group of kids is the same. I find team sports can offer far more than just intense parents and odd organization politics. Team sports can demonstrate to kids how reaching goals takes more than just one person and their own effort contributes to the outcome.

Lessons from this summer include; developing a deeper understanding that a team is bigger than an individual, how to recognize that one person can contribute to a team outcome, and dealing with negativity.

This project also offered a big bonus, I had fun while doing it.

It is a big time commitment and you do have a lot of ‘stuff’ to deal with. But something that I think is missing in the startup ‘community’ in Canada is a sense that the startups are indeed part of their local community. Coaching is an important thing people can do for their community. Sharing my summer story is my attempt at motivating others.

Building the team

With the start of training season we had a plan — three training sessions a week, 10 weeks, and time to develop a team bond. Plans rarely go as planned. A third wave of covid happened and cut our training short. After two months off, they came back to training with the same energy they had before.

The break in momentum was felt by all the teams we would play. But what affected this team more than some of the others is that they lost the time to bond as team. This created a challenge that is particularly tough in baseball. The game is a mix of individual and team effort. An error on the field can change the game. Players have to be supportive of each other on and off the field so that those mistakes that always happen in the game or in practice do not cascade into a really bad game. The teams that do better are the ones that can let them go and focus on the next play.

We had to build that. Quickly. The season was just over 2 months long. Thankfully the boys took the initiative and connected for online gaming almost every night and because friends.

We became competitive but still couldn’t win. Our hitting was good in practice but the confidence wasn’t there in the game. The kids felt too much pressure to perform at the plate. The defensive play was good enough.

Then finally on an August night in Stratford, Ontario, on the very old field at the National Stadium. We played our best game. The Stratford team had arranged for the national anthem before the game, names were announced as they came up to bat, the lights were on. It was already a special night.

Then the team put together a focused effort for our 7-inning game. It wasn’t perfect. But plays were made. Our pitcher had to hold a lead with two outs and the tying run on third base. He got the strike out to end the game.

The above photo was taken just after the kids celebrated. It was a team win. Months and months in the making. It’s the stuff that team sports is all about. Captured in that moment was the feeling of working towards something. Together.

Team sports is important for kids and adults.

In our modern time, team sports has taken on this odd semi-professional sport expectation OR they are completely casual. In the semi-pro mindset, there is endless training. Huge expense. Families are forced to put a load of time towards it and can forget why they do it. In the casual mode they are largely individual focused where the team does not matter.

The work individuals put in, the team dynamics, the friendships that are formed in these shared experiences teach many lessons. Most of them are obvious. But the coach (and parents) have to remember to put this all into perspective.

My hope is the kids hold on to this night and don’t remember the nights the team fell apart in an inning but instead remember the night the team came together for a win.

Every player made a play that night to get the win. But they also contributed all summer in practice and in other games. It takes time. Just like in any organization or team.

What I take from team sports and apply to business teams:

  • Organizations are always bigger than any one person. Star players can make teams better but they aren’t stars unless the team is there to support them.
  • People need to know how their individual contribution leads to the success of the organization and share in that success.
  • Negativity is contagious and will sink the team. On the ball field it just takes one player to just be frustrated with their own play and you can see the reaction in the whole team. Same in work teams.
Why startups and tech need to ‘be present’ in their communities

Besides just being the right thing to do and an excuse to spend time with your own kids, coaching exposes you to people far outside your immediate social network and expands your understanding of the local community. I have written about this before.

Now with remote work and teams that are global, companies are going to lose any sense of place or home. It is important that we all take the time to volunteer in our communities and help in any way that we can. There is no ideal volunteering experience.

Joseph Fung was the first founder I met with a deep sense of importance of volunteering in the community. Over 10 years ago we would talk about how you don’t see tech companies sponsoring kids sports or other local things. You didn’t see many tech leaders coaching or leading volunteer activities. We still don’t. We should work on changing that. We should talk about it more.

It is a heck of a lot of fun to coach a sport that I love to play. It is also a great way to give back to the broader community. I can’t thank the young men of the 15U A team in Kitchener for showing up all summer and making it fun. Can’t wait for next summer where you will find me coaching 11U baseball.

My Summer Project was originally published in whoyoucallingajesse on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Barndoor Creative

Ribbon of Dirt: The Story of the Hydrocut 4K [Mountain Bike Documentary]

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AutoScreenCapture

Gavin Kendall posted a comment on ticket #92

If you look in the "!autoscreen\debug" directory there's probably a file there that's logged the error. I would need to know what that error is to diagnose further. The application.xml file in "!autoscreen\settings" has a key named "ExitOnError". Edit the application.xml file and change the value for that key from True to False then save the application.xml file. That will stop Auto Screen Capture from exiting when it encounters an error, but it would be good to see what that error is from the "!autoscreen\debug"...

AutoScreenCapture

Mark Brewer created ticket #92

Keeps crashing after 30 minutes or so - Windows 10

Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

What to Consider When Planning to Work with a Student

As a small business, you have a lot to do. After all, you often don’t have a large team of people to manage the different tasks associated with operating your business. As you stay on top of every detail of your business, your workload can seem demanding. One solution to this challenge is to partner with our Chamber’s Access Student Talent Program and local post-secondary schools to engage with students and discover the ways that they can help support your business. It might seem daunting if you have never worked with a student before, have a small staff, or are unsure on where to get started, but we are here to help! Below we have gathered recommendations on what to consider when get started with planning a work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunity.

What is Work-Integrated Learning?

Work-integrated learning is a process of learning where students incorporate what they have learned academically into an experience working with an industry partner. There are a variety of different ways that businesses and students can work together. Below are some of the various and common types of work-integrated learning and their typical attributes:

  • Field Placements: Provides businesses the opportunity to work with a student on a part-time and short-term basis on tasks or a project that are aligned to the students’ field of study. Students complete field placements while simultaneously continuing to fulfill their academic requirements.
  • Applied Research Projects: Provides businesses with the opportunity to get support targeting larger, long term problems with little supervision requirements. Students work on culminating projects to solve workplace problems in collaboration with partnered businesses while remaining in the classroom setting.
  • Co-op Work Terms: Allows businesses to fill short-term staffing needs with significant funding available to reduce labour costs of students. Students alternate study and paid work terms that provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study. Co-op work terms are normally full-time and four to eight months in duration. Due to COVID-19 some co-op work terms have become more flexible in their duration.
  • Apprenticeships: Provides businesses the opportunity to recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce that helps grow their business while improving productivity and profitability. An apprentice is a student who completes a combination of classroom learning and on-the-job training to learn a skill that leads to a trade credential. An employer that is a skilled trades professional sponsors the apprentice and provides paid related practical experience.
1. Consider what tasks you need assistance with

Do you have projects you just have not had the time or resources to get to? Think about any research, strategies, or projects that you could assign to a student and develop a task list. Be sure to consider the project’s purpose, length requirements and other key information in order to enable us to research the most ideal work-integrated opportunity for the project(s) and your business. Examples of tasks and projects that students have completed for businesses include developing social media plans, creating dynamic PowerPoint presentations, or conducting research and analysis and developing possible solutions through an ideation process.

Deciding on what types of tasks and projects you need assistance with, as well as the timeline for completing the projects/tasks, will play a part in determining the types of work-integrated learning opportunities available to you.

2. Assess your needs for the position

Think about the types of critical skills you are looking for within the role. Consider the industry specific skills that will be required to complete the projects/tasks, as well as any particular skills that might be missing within your business that you would value being brought on. Is there a minimum level of expertise you require? Communicating what you are looking for in the role really helps our team find an ideal placement opportunity for you and your business.

3. Determine the start and finish date for your projects

Determine when you would ideally want a student to start working on the project/task. In our experience, post-secondary schools start recruiting industry partners approximately a semester prior to the work-integrated learning opportunity happening. Reach out to us far enough in advance so we can provide you with options that align with your desired timeline. We will work alongside you and our post-secondary partners to give you information about suitable work-integrated learning opportunities along with relevant information regarding specific deadlines and details about the academic cycle to ensure that they align with your business needs.

3. Funding options

If you are considering hiring a co-op student to assist your business, then your business may be eligible for funding through the federal government’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP). In response to the current challenges faced with COVID-19, Employment and Social Development Canada has introduced temporary changes to SWPP in order to increase funding for employers. Small and medium sized employers (500 employees or less), including not-for-profit organizations, may receive up to 75% in wage subsidies per student per semester (to a maximum of $7500). Students are able to work from home or other safe, remote worksites.

If you are interested in learning more about the different funding options through SWPP, you can contact us or review these resources:

  • Hire Waterloo
  • SWPP from ESDC
  • SWPP by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada
5. Understand your role and responsibilities

Understanding the roles and responsibilities you will have when working with a student will help to provide a good and valuable experience for you and the student. Allow yourself to be available for any questions that arise at the beginning and throughout the student’s time with you. Be ready to communicate your expectations and desired goals of the tasks and projects you are giving them; this can be done through a work plan, a creative brief or an in person or virtual meeting. Allow the student(s) the freedom to complete the tasks and let them navigate how they will accomplish it. If applicable, include chances for the student to work with various people and teams. This opportunity is a great one for them to discover more about their own skills and the expectations and behaviours of a workplace.

Get started today!

Although it may seem daunting to work with a student for your business, the Access Student Talent program is here to help you with the planning and preparation. Our program shares webinars, blogs and additional educational resources so you can feel confident as you plan to work with a post-secondary student. The first step is to get connected to the right people. If you are interested in learning more about the Access Student Talent program, contact us today!

The post What to Consider When Planning to Work with a Student appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Why The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is Passionate About Work-Integrated Learning

In a year marked by uncertainty and concern, it is no secret that small businesses have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a voice and advocate for the business community in the Greater Kitchener Waterloo area, our mission has always been to help our local businesses succeed; when businesses succeed, our community prospers. Now more than ever, the GKWCC provides resources, like Chamber Check, to help all types of local businesses cope with the challenges caused by COVID-19.

As restrictions start to ease and we slowly begin to shift into gradually reopening, businesses are seeking out opportunities for support to navigate the operational and financial challenges of reopening their business in a rapidly evolving landscape. The GKWCC’s Access Student Talent program has emerged as a key resource to help support businesses during their reopening and planning processes.

What is the Access Student Talent Program?

The Access Student Talent program works in partnership with our local post-secondary schools (Conestoga College, University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University) to help connect our local small businesses with work-integrated learning opportunities in a variety of low to no-cost ways. The program, which is funded by the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), aims to address and reduce barriers that small businesses face when interested in working with post-secondary students.

Through the free Access Student Talent program – which is open to Chamber members and non-members – we talk with businesses and non-profit organizations about the work-integrated learning options that are available to work with students; we research the options that a business may have for working with a student based on their business needs; we provide one-on-one advisory support; we connect businesses with the appropriate representative at the post-secondary school(s) based on the work-integrated learning options they are interested in exploring further.

What is Work-Integrated Learning?

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is an umbrella term describing the process of learning where students incorporate what they have learned academically into an experience working with an industry partner. There are a variety of different ways that businesses and students can work together including:

  • Field placements
  • In-class projects
  • Capstone projects
  • Co-op work terms
  • Apprenticeships
  • And more!
Benefits of Work-Integrated Learning

Work-integrated learning opportunities provide a wealth of benefits to businesses, students, educators and ultimately Canada’s economic recovery. Due to its versatile nature, the benefits of WIL are plentiful. Through work-integrated learning, businesses have the opportunity to access fresh and innovative student ideas. Post-secondary students often have been deeply immersed in the newest digital tools to experiment with, innovate and develop creative solutions.

Another benefit for small businesses is the reduced costs and risks of recruitment. Through work-integrated learning, businesses have the opportunity to evaluate and observe potential future hires before considering hiring them post-graduation. Once the student has immersed themselves in the workplace and had extensive training, recruitment and onboarding time and costs are reduced. Many employers choose to hire their highly skilled students after graduation because the student has knowledge about and experience in the role and workplace.

Many work-integrated learning opportunities are on a short-term basis which can be helpful for businesses who need some temporary support. Students can support businesses by working on projects that businesses have not had the time or expertise to complete. At different points during the COVID-19 pandemic, the GKWCC saw an increase in businesses looking for temporary support to strengthen their brand awareness and shift their business to online sales and services through the lockdown. Read more about how post-secondary students are helping businesses with marketing support here.

Working with students can be a great way for businesses to build their future talent pipelines.. Providing the opportunity for students to learn new skills and experiences prepares them to be workforce ready upon graduation. The GKWCC has focuses on initiatives that serve as a catalyst for our business community’s success; work-integrated learning fosters economic growth and supports the local business climate. Students are an untapped resource that can drive productivity and support your small business while simultaneously strengthening the future talent pool.

Get started today!

As you begin to reopen your business, consider the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce’s Access Student Talent program to help with the planning and the resources. Our program shares webinars, blogs, and additional educational resources so you can feel confident as you explore how a post-secondary student might help your businesses. The first step is to get connected to the right people. If you’re interested in learning more about the Access Student Talent program, contact us today!

 

The post Why The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is Passionate About Work-Integrated Learning appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Andrew Coppolino

Sisters’ Story Coffee: from Peru to Guelph

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Several years ago, I listened to a speaker and environmental and social activist, Barton Seaver, in Guelph.

He was talking primarily about the oceans, but he said something else too that has stuck with me given his travels and explorations across the globe; to paraphrase, he said, “Take care of the women of the world and you take care of a lot of other problems in the world.”

He believed that the central crux of many issues we currently face has been our failure to support women in their striving for equality but also in the challenges they face with abuse and factors that include families, children and the environment.

♦Barrett and Schincariol McMurtry of Sisters’ Story (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

Basically, women run the world in many, many of its components — and they have simply been down-trodden, beaten and ignored (and worse) in every corner of the planet.

This recent story about a women’s coffee Co-op in Peru is improving conditions for women both in the South American country and across Canada. You can help, too, by buying their coffee beans in the form of Sisters’ Story Coffee based in Guelph.

The link to this CBC-KW story is here. Please read it and buy their coffee online!

Check out my latest post Sisters’ Story Coffee: from Peru to Guelph from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.