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Communitech News

Year in review: Moving beyond 2020

Even though 2020 had its share of challenges (understatement!), we’d love to highlight some of our clients’ successes, which will position them well for the future. Many companies that collaborated with the Communitech Data & Advanced Technologies team last year made amazing strides forward. Interested in exploring how the Communitech Data & Advanced Technologies team […]

The post Year in review: Moving beyond 2020 appeared first on Communitech News.


Honeypot Marketing

How to Create a Visual Content Marketing Strategy

This week, we explore the world of visual content marketing and discuss best practices, brand guidelines, KPIs, and more!

Check out the video or podcast above. ♦ Subscribe to our weekly live stream on Facebook, or take it on the go with a podcast on your chosen platform. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and tips in digital marketing and join in on the conversation.

What’s New?

There’s always something new happening in the world of digital marketing. This week we have some interesting new tools from LinkedIn, Adverity, and Pinterest – and some drama from WhatApp. You can read more in the links below. Check it out!

LinkedIn Launches LinkedIn Marketing Labs On-Demand Courses For Advertisers – LinkedIn has introduced on-demand video courses that aim to teach advertisers how to use LinkedIn ad tools. The courses cover the basics, including an introduction to LinkedIn Ads, how to use LinkedIn ad targeting, and reporting and analytics for LinkedIn ads.

Adverity Launches Augmented Analytics – Adverity, a leading force in marketing data intelligence, launched Augmented Analytics, an automated tool for marketers. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can access hidden insights and provide critical intelligence on data to improve marketing measurement effectiveness and maximize performance.

WhatsApp Delays Controversial Update After User Backlash – WhatsApp has caused quite a bit of commotion with a planned update to its privacy policy, which spooked users. It added more detail on how Facebook and third-party businesses can use and interact with user data on the platform.

Pinterest Adds New AR ‘Try-On’ Tools for Eyeshadow, Expands Product Tagging Within Pins – With eCommerce on the rise, Pinterest is looking to facilitate more capability assessing and comparing products, with the expansion of its AR ‘Try On’ tools to replicate the in-store shopping experience better.

What’s Working?

Visual content marketing is a crucial part of any marketing campaign.

Visual content can craft compelling messages that speak volumes without using a single word, and visuals are processed better. They produce much faster and stronger reactions than any other type of content.

Types of visual content can include:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Quotes
  • Graphs
  • Typography
  • and more!

We’ll take a look at examples of each type, as well as best practices and KPIs.

Let’s do it!

Why You Need a Visual Content Marketing Strategy

The things we see have a profound effect on us.

  • 90% of the transmitted information is visual in the human brain.
  • The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster.
  • People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.

Studies have consistently shown that your content will get more views, likes, shares, retweets, and social networks; the engagement rate is higher for visual content.

These are some eye-opening statistics (cringy puns are fun, right?), coupled with the fast pace of modern living and the tremendous amount of content we’re inundated with daily; it’s easy to see why visual content marketing is essential and how it helps capture attention.

If more than half of all traffic only spends 15 seconds on your website, you need to ensure you are capturing their attention and interest as quickly as possible.

Define Your Visual Content Marketing Strategy

Before you start pumping out that sweet content, you need to develop a strategy. We talk about the importance of strategy a lot for a good reason. You don’t want to be flying off the seat of your pants and trying to guess what may or may not work.

You want to conduct thorough research, create different strategies for different channels, create a visual language that works for your brand, and then test and iterate, test and iterate.

Let’s break it down.

1. TO RESEARCH ON HOW AND WHERE TO SHARE YOUR VISUAL CONTENT

Different types of visual content perform better on other platforms.

For instance, long-form, horizontally oriented video works great on YouTube but won’t play so well on Instagram Stories.

2. CREATE A VISUAL MARKETING STRATEGY FOR EACH CHANNEL AND PLATFORM

Do your research and make a plan for what types of visual media you would like to create for each platform.

They might vary in tone, style, size, and length depending on where they live.

It might be useful to lay out this plan in a spreadsheet, so all your upcoming content is tracked in one location.

3. CREATE A VISUAL LANGUAGE AND A VISUAL WORKBENCH

How could you possibly produce enough content to fill out the 3+ social channels where you’re active, as well as your blog and your website?

You don’t have to produce entirely new content for every channel, every time.

Plan to create the type of visual content that you can repurpose as needed.

4. TEST AND EVALUATE WHAT TYPES OF VISUAL CONTENT WORK BEST AND REFINE YOUR STRATEGY

Even the best content strategies are continually changing and developing as new data is gathered and the communication landscape shifts.

Make sure to compare the success of the different kinds of visual content you produce.

Consider whether certain design styles or mediums are performing better on certain platforms.

If you’d like to dig even deeper, we talk more about strategy in this blog: Research. Strategize. Execute—3 Pillars of Building Your Brand Online.

Define Your Brand Guidelines

Consistency is essential when creating content that represents your brand.

If you are not consistent across all channels, it can make your brand look unprofessional and unorganized and create a perception of lack of trust and competence.

First impressions only happen once, and you don’t always get a chance to prove yourself a second time, so make sure you develop your brand guidelines.

Brand Guidelines are a tool designed to give your brand consistency and flexibility.

Designers often use them to make sure they’re using the right fonts, color palettes, and logo versions.

Guidelines are a resource that everyone in the company can use to understand how to represent their brand and maintain consistency.

Define Your KPIs

Businesses today have easy access to massive volumes of data coming at them from all sides, from product usage information to customer behaviour, or support queries to budget and revenue data – and so much more.

By defining KPIs for your business, you can transform that constant stream of information into something actionable.

If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish, it is too early for KPIs.

This is why you want to have your visual content strategy developed to begin setting your goals based on those strategies.

KPIs provide a focus for a business, but only if they’re clearly defined and easy to understand.

To get started, you’ll want to:

  • Define your primary objectives – The first step toward defining KPIs is identifying your company’s main objectives. What goals are you trying to achieve?
  • Determine the best indicator of success – Say your objective is to become your industry’s market leader. You determine that success would mean reaching 10,000 signups by the end of the quarter. Your KPI for that goal, then, is the number of signups.
  • Limit the quantity of your KPIs – The entire point of defining KPIs is to help organize and align your business around a common goal. An essential part of keeping your team focused and united is making sure they’re not overwhelmed by unnecessary data.

Below are some common KPIs that many businesses use to determine success:

These are just some of the many KPIs you can use to measure the performance of your visual content.

Best Practices

Best practices are generally a handy guide for inspiration you can use for your visual content marketing, but be careful not to get stuck doing the same ‘ol thing over and over again. If everyone just followed best practices, what do you think would happen to all the content out there?

That’s right. It would all become homogenized, and everything would feel the same. It’s critically important to experiment and try new things.

And now that I’ve warned you against using best practices let’s look at some best practices you can use! ♦

  • Align Visual With Text – Any content you create needs to fit with the rest. Consider how each element in your visual marketing content piece interacts with one another.
  • Be Helpful – Prioritize delivering helpful information to your target audience. Being helpful primarily means understanding what your audience needs.
  • Stay on Brand – Consider how your brand talks; its colours, shapes, and designs. Staying on brand also means being true to your recurring messages.
  • Use Clear Call-to-actions – Visual marketing can help you get your potential leads to the next stages in the buyer’s journey. Define where you want your audience to go after consuming that piece of content.
  • Repost and Repurpose – A single piece of content can turn into many others depending on your approach. A video can be turned into an infographic, or vice versa.
  • Let Go of Stock Images – Everyone is tired of seeing the same photos everywhere. Plan your marketing around the tools you have at your disposal and the people at your business.

This is an example of a stock image. Try not to use these.

Examples

Let’s close this off by taking a look at some examples of different types of visual content, such as:

  • Video
  • Infographics
  • High-Quality Images
  • Memes
  • Quotes
  • Presentations
  • Typography
  • Graphs & Charts

Video

Videos are an excellent tool for properly communicating even the most complex subject to your audience.

They help you show your product, explain your service plans, and add a uniquely human touch.

Videos are highly versatile, as they can turn into almost any kind of content.

honeypotmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/Combine-Selling-1.mp4

 

Infographics

An Infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic.

Presenting information in such a compelling fashion encourages visitors to spend time on your site, consuming and sharing more of your content.

They convey a world of meaning with a glance and make complex content understandable and scannable.

Remember those stats from earlier? If 90% of transmitted information to the brain is visual, then infographics are pretty much the perfect way to tell a story.

High-Quality Images

Great images capture attention – plain and simple.

Whether you’re adding a featured image at the top of a blog to capture attention or posting content on social media, the quality of the imagery you use will determine the content’s success.

Think about the last time you saw a low-quality image from a business. Did you click on their content? Did you go check out their website? Or, did a little voice in the back of your head tell you to steer clear from those amateurs?

It’s one thing for your cousin, Jimmy, to post a low-quality image that you ignore, but when a business does it, you immediately get an impression of that business, and it’s not flattering. And once you have that impression, it’s challenging for that business to win back your trust.

You’re not giving your cousin Jimmy money (hopefully). Still, we expect a higher standard with a business because we are trusting them to provide us with a certain level of quality for our hard-earned dollars.

This applies to all the content you’re putting out. Remember the consistency rule – it’s crucially important. So that means, even if you’re posting to social media, make sure all of your imagery is of the highest quality possible, and just as importantly, the right size.

If your images are cropped or cut off, it looks unprofessional and messy and gives the impression that you didn’t put much effort in – which is not a good look for any business.

So make sure your logo fits right, and your images are the right dimensions for the platforms you’re posting them on.

If you don’t have access to professional camera equipment or the budget to cover it, you can always make your custom images, as we did in the below example!

Memes

Remember a world without memes? I do, friends, and let me tell, the world is better with them. Aside from all the horrible and crazy stuff happening right now, memes….memes are great.

They are also highly viral and can help your brand reach a new level of discussion.

The funny images that reference pop culture, daily life, and other topics with a touch of humour can truly elevate your brand.

Memes are great examples of visual expression with minimal words. We use them to convey our feelings, make jokes, and relate to each other. They’ve become ingrained in our culture and everyday lives.

Of course, one does not just create memes. Humour can be very challenging and subjective and can easily go wrong – especially if you’re trying to be super edgy and cross questionable lines.

But they don’t have to be complicated or profound. They just need to be relatable, like these examples below:

Quotes

People like reading inspiring and impactful quotes. There is an entire industry built on it.

That makes them very useful pieces of visual content and could be a perfect fit for your strategy.

Just make sure the quotes communicate with your target audience and fit your brand. As fun as random quotes and words of wisdom can be, you’ll find that your content performs better if it’s aligned with your brand.

That’s A Wrap

As always, thanks so much for reading, and we hope you found some helpful insights here for your journey into visual content marketing. If you have any questions or feedback, drop them in the comments below.

Until next time!

The post How to Create a Visual Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Canada's Leading SEO, Social and SEM Digital Shop.


Agilicus Blog

OAuth 2.0 Security Best Current Practice

OAuth 2.0 is a deceptively simple protocol. For many of us, we create a client id, client secret, set a few environment variables, and watch the black magic take effect. It turns Auth into a Boolean on/off switch. Great! But, what are the best practices for how to configure and use it if we are a bit more behind the scenes? Read on!

First, lets understand some of the threats and security considerations for OAuth 2.0. This is covered in much more detail in “OAuth 2.0 Threat Model and Security Considerations“.

You can see many more details in the IETF Draft “OAuth 2.0 Security Best Current Practice“.

tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-oauth-security-topics-16


AutoScreenCapture

Armin Höhe posted a comment on ticket #75

Nope, 2.3.3.4. I didn't realize there is a newer version. Will download 2.3.3.7 and try. THX for the tool!

Bridgit Solutions

Human capital and physical capital: Important differences and benefits

  ♦ Abstract vector created by vectorjuice - www.freepik.com 

Human capital and physical capital are both very important for any construction company. Keep reading as we take a closer look at these asset classifications and how they fit into the world of construction resource management.

What is the difference between physical and human capital in construction?

Physical capital consists of inanimate assets such as cash, job site equipment, property, and inventory. Human capital, meanwhile, describes the skills, knowledge, and capabilities associated with a company’s personnel.

Let’s take a closer look at the practical differences between human and physical capital in construction.

How their value is tracked and measured

The process of tracking and measuring physical capital’s value is quite logical. For example, a construction company can list equipment’s market value on its balance sheet and account for depreciation in a relatively predictable manner.

Human capital, on the other hand, is intangible. It doesn’t appear on a company’s balance sheet. After all, organizations don’t own workers. The value of a company’s human capital could drop at any time if key personnel departs.

Additionally, measuring human capital’s value involves an arguably more complex set of metrics, including:

  • time to hire

  • cost per hire

  • revenue per employee

  • turnover

  • billable hours per employee

  • absenteeism

  • workforce utilization ratio

Check out this article for more information about calculating construction labor costs, which is a key part of measuring human capital.

The nature of investments

Construction companies invest in both human capital and physical capital. However, the nature of these investments – including who ultimately benefits from them – differs.

With physical capital, things follow relatively straightforward logic, once again.

Picture this scenario. A construction company purchases new equipment that will improve job site performance. That investment will benefit the company directly. There’s no risk of a competitor somehow deriving direct financial benefits from that new equipment.

This might seem like an odd point to belabor but it underscores a very important difference between investments in human capital and physical capital.

You see, human capital investments are split into two categories:

  • Specific human capital investments primarily benefit the company making them. As with physical capital investments, there’s little risk of competitors deriving direct financial benefits.

  • General human capital investments improve a workforce’s capabilities through training and other strategies that could conceivably benefit any competitors your employees work for in the future.

These two classifications were identified by University of Chicago economists Gary Becker and Theodore Schultz. You can read more about it here.

Check out this post, meanwhile, to find a concrete framework for strategic human capital investment planning.

Mitigating risks associated with general human capital investments

Imagine you make a general human capital investment and a handful of workers subsequently leave to work for a competitor. That company now benefits from your investment in that they enjoy the worker’s increased productivity and skill while paying less for it than you did.

It’d be like renting a piece of equipment, paying to make it run more efficiently, and then sending it to a competitor who now gets to rent that improved unit at the same exact price you did.

This is a particular risk with human capital investments that improve soft skills like communication, decision making, and organization. These skills, unlike formal qualifications, may not translate directly into higher pay that would offset the competitive edge a future employer receives.

Many construction companies mitigate against these and other generic human capital investment risks by using non-compete competitors. These restrict employees from working for direct competitors.

Of course, this isn’t always practical in the construction industry, especially for companies that utilize independent contractors. Getting independent contractors to sign non-compete contracts can cause legal issues. Additionally, these contracts aren’t easily enforceable. Read more here.

Given the challenges of controlling general human capital investments in construction, some companies minimize them.

Human capital comes with important social considerations

Human and physical capital differ in ways that go far beyond financial considerations.

While physical capital is a largely economic concept, human capital has very important social ramifications. In fact, handling human capital with a purely economic focus raises ethical issues many construction companies try to avoid at all costs.

The construction industry has been particularly hammered by complaints of limited diversity, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that women comprise just 9% of workers in the space.

Research indicates increasing diversity in construction as crucial for getting the industry out of its current productivity slump.

Of course, we don’t talk about physical capital in the same sense. Even when it comes to the importance of a diversified tool and technology set, social factors aren’t at play. It’s a purely economic and technical discussion.

Liquidity

Another key difference between human and physical capital concerns liquidity. Physical capital, such as construction equipment, can be sold very quickly. Human capital can’t be sold at all. Instead, financial benefits are derived from utilizing that personnel effectively.

This is an important consideration when building a financially stable construction company. You need a balance between liquid physical capital and intangible human capital.

Physical capital can be lost in ways human capital cannot

As long as a construction company retains personnel, its investments in human capital are secure. This is because you can’t separate human capital from its owners, the workers. The value lies in their capabilities and skills.

Physical capital, on the other hand, can be misplaced, damaged, and stolen. This is actually a major concern for construction companies. According to one research paper, larger construction companies face devastating impacts when it comes to theft whereas smaller companies endure costlier effects in terms of property damage.

This is a crucial consideration from the perspective of making secure investments.

Human capital and physical capital have different mobilities

Barring trade barriers, transporting physical capital internationally is often simpler than with human capital, which is subject to immigration and cultural concerns.

Even though there are established processes for handling immigration concerns, companies still need employees that are willing to relocate. This is the only means of directly transferring human capital to another country given that it can’t be separate from its owner, the worker.

Physical capital such as equipment, meanwhile, requires no coaxing. It’s inanimate!

We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between human capital and physical capital.

While there are substantial differences between the two, both are incredibly crucial assets of any successful construction company. Any effective construction resource management plan considers both types of capital.

For more construction resource management tips, visit our blog here.

  ♦ LAUREN LAKE

Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more. Follow Lauren on LinkedIn and Instagram.


 

AutoScreenCapture

Gavin Kendall posted a comment on ticket #75

Is this with 2.3.3.7?

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Armin Höhe created ticket #75

Crash, virtual memory running low

Elmira Advocate

ELMIRA ALSO TO RECEIVE NEW WASTE WATER (SEWAGE) TREATMENT

Today's Waterloo Region Record has a front page article describing new technology, methane aerated biofilm reactors (MABR), that are being installed currently at the Hespeler wastewater (sewage) treatment plant. This new technology will be much more efficient and cost effective than the old technolgy which required large amounts of electricity to run blowers producing oxygen through air bubbles. This improved technology will deliver the oxygen passively through strings of biofilm. While I am all in favour of improved technology to either lower treatment costs or to increase treatment efficiency, I believe that Waterloo Region have been well behind the curve in properly and fully treating wastewater prior to its discharge to local creeks and rivers. A prime example has been the decades of reduced river health and aquatic organisms health downstream of the Kitchener wastewater treatment plant near Doon. ........................................................................................................ We are advised in today's article by Catherine Thompson titled "Coming soon: A less wsteful way to treat wastewater", that this new technology will also be arriving at the Elmira wastewater treatment plant. That too is long overdue based upon occasional "spills" or overflows of partially treated sewage entering the already and forever stressed Canagagigue Creek.

Bridgit Solutions

4 Tips to improve operational efficiency in construction

  ♦ Abstract vector created by vectorjuice - www.freepik.com 

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the construction industry. Disruption is nothing new to the industry though, and while the ENR’s 2021 forecast expects the industry to recover slowly through the first half of 2021, many contractors are using this as an opportunity to evaluate their current processes to be more efficient and cost-effective when the dust eventually settles.

In this article, we’re going to dive into operational efficiency in the construction industry – what it is, why it’s important, and a few tips to help you improve upon your current processes.

What is operations efficiency and why does it matter in construction?

Operational efficiency can be measured as a ratio between the output gained from the business and the input to run a business operation. Working to improve operational efficiency means you’re working to improve that ratio. Typical inputs would include:

  • Money (cost)

  • People (FTE)

  • Time and effort

Typical outputs would include:

  • Money (revenue, margin, cash)

  • New customers

  • Customer loyalty

  • Quality

  • Speed

  • Opportunities

Essentially, operational efficiency for construction is your ability to deliver projects or services in the most cost-effective manner, without sacrificing quality of work, productivity, or profit. Some examples of how to improve operational efficiency would be:

  • Reducing idle time for project teams

  • Streamlined and automated planning

  • Minimizing waste

  • Reducing defects and rework

4 Tips to improve your operational efficiency1. Centralize your people data

Construction projects produce mountains of data, with a lot of that information being stored in multiple softwares and spreadsheets. Consolidating relevant information to make data-driven decisions for your company can be time-consuming and tedious to say the least. Centralizing your data provides a single source of truth that your entire organization can build off, and ensures everyone is looking at the same information.

Why people data though? Centralizing your people data helps to create a foundation that every other department can use to inform their own decisions and processes. Sales and marketing have eyes on available resources for upcoming project bids, human resources can create informed recruitment strategies based on workforce utilization, and project operations can create balanced workloads for their teams – all from a single tool.

In short, centralizing your data creates a more efficient planning process. Resource management solutions, like Bridgit Bench, allow you to track all of your people in relation to your projects, and allows you to customize the software to track any information that would be relevant to any of your departments.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Efficient and effective communication at every level of your organization will be key to driving operational efficiency. Effective, constantly flowing communication helps to eliminate misunderstandings and avoidable errors. It can also help to provide clarity for your team in regards to their role and expectations for each project. When you extend that communication to the project level you’re also ensuring that idle time is reduced for your project teams, which in turn allows you to find more productive tasks that can be done.

Creating a system of constant communication at the project level can also help to uncover new methods of problem solving from your project teams, and help to develop a more efficient process onsite to reduce lengthy pre-shift meetings and eliminate idle time.

3. Use construction specific, cloud-based software

Many software solutions exist for the construction industry to leverage to improve their operational efficiency. Tools like Bridgit Bench help to reduce time-consuming manual tasks and allow your team to spend more time on productive, or profit-driven, tasks instead. 

Many of these software solutions can also be fully integrated into your existing tech stack, allowing you to automate many of the time consuming tasks associated with a project’s lifecycle. Cloud-based software also helps to increase the accessibility of your decision-making data and ensures your team is up to date on any adjustments or modifications to a project or resource plan.

As we discussed earlier, communication is key to driving operational efficiency. Using cloud-based software built specifically for the construction industry means that everyone is on the same page, which makes your communication that much more effective. For more information about manpower planning, check out this guide.

  ♦  4. Manage your team’s time effectively

One of the biggest costs for any project will be the resources allocated to it. Having a firm grasp on the resources needed to hit benchmarks can help to mitigate risk regarding over or under staffed projects. Two areas to pay attention to will include:

Utilization rates 

Your workforce utilization rates will provide insight into how stretched your team is. On the flip side, your workforce utilization will also help to identify team members that are underallocated and costing you money.

Your company culture also stands to benefit from an optimized workforce utilization rate because you’re actively monitoring your team to avoid burnout. In fact, a study conducted by NewScientist revealed overworking your team can lead to certain negative health effects. These negative consequences can quickly be reflected in your organization’s productivity and ultimately – its bottom line, whether it be inconsistent attendance, or rising costs of health insurance. Managing your team’s utilization effectively is a sure fire way to keep your team healthy, happy, and engaged with the work they’re doing.

While overloading your team can lead to burnout, the silent killer for your margins will be underloaded team members. They have a tendency to go unnoticed for long periods of time, which can lead to significant costs to your organization. Resource management tools like Bridgit Bench provide company-wide insight into utilization rates to help ensure you are right-staffed on all projects, at all times. For more information about capacity planning and using utilization to your benefit, read this article.

Recruitment strategies

One of the most challenging aspects of effective resource management is knowing when to bring on more team members to help with a project. Having an overview of your entire project pipeline and the respective resources being allocated to each project can help identify areas where your team is either spread too thin, or needs more work. Timing is everything when it comes to construction projects. Onboarding and getting up to speed can take weeks for each new hire. Closely monitoring your utilization can help you accurately forecast project demands well in advance to ensure your HR department can be ready when the time comes to bring on new team members. Some indicators it might be time to hire might be:

  • Quality of work is decreasing

  • Too many opportunities needing to be declined due to lack of resources

  • Your skilled workers are being assigned basic tasks

  • Your workforce utilization rate is consistently pushing 100%

Tip: A utilization rate of 100% likely means your team is spread too thin. Utilization rates are calculated using billable hours, and there are many administrative tasks that require your team’s time outside of billable project work. Make sure you understand the administrative duties of your different work teams (is. Project Managers) and calculate a utilization rate that allows them time to complete these tasks without being overworked.

  ♦ MICHEL RICHER

Michel Richer is the Product Marketing and Content Manager at Bridgit. He got his start in the construction industry at an early age with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, inefficient processes. Connect with Michel on LinkedIn.

 

James Davis Nicoll

Shake Their Bony Hands / Folklorn By Angela Mi Young Hur

Angela Mi Young Hur’s 2021 Folklorn is an up-coming contemporary fantasy novel.

Else Park splits her time between stalking the wild neutrino in desolate Antarctica and doing physics research in Sweden. She’s aiming at professional success — which will be hers if her hypothesis is supported by experimental evidence — and also at emotion management: putting thousands of kilometres between her and her family back in America. 

Turns out that this isn’t far enough.



Pull the Plug

PTP335 - January 25, 2021 - Pop-Punk Bands, Sucks to Suck, and Tough Noodle Choices

Opening

- Gaining weight during COVID

Is Love Alive? by Riley and Sandy Toole

Ranker

- The Top 10 Pop-Punk Bands

Full Moon Grin by Trent Macdonnell

Sucks to Suck

- Man has personal license plate revoked

- French woman trying to prove she’s alive

- Lawyer suspended for posting NOT GREAT advice

Victoria by Ida Skodt

Would You Rather?

- Some tough choices about noodles

Watering Hole by Jay Pollmann

Closing

- Kitchen Nightmares on YouTube

- Dads on Apple TV+

- CallMeKevin Plays GTA V with Chaos Mod

- Tiny Hands Game

- Shannon played Tiny Hands


Want to support the show?

patreon.com/ptppodcast


Use our Amazon affiliate link and buy ALL THE THINGS


Rate us on iTunes!


Want to reach out to us?

Email: contact@ptppodcast.com

Twitter: twitter.com/ptppodcast

Website: ptppodcast.com

Facebook: facebook.com/ptppodcast


Just like one of us?

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--- Send in a voice message: anchor.fm/pulltheplug/message

James Davis Nicoll

Written in the Book of Life / Starship Through Space By G. Harry Stine

G. Harry Stine’s 1954 Starship Through Space is a standalone juvenile SF novel. It was published under his pen name, Lee Correy. It shares a setting and a character with 1953’s And a Star to Steer Her By.

Granted a leave of absence from Schiaparelli Space Academy on Mars, Walter ​“Walt” Hansman is summoned back to Earth by his father. He fears that this might be bereavement leave, but Commander Le Farge assures Walt that whatever has happened, or is happening, it is not that Walt’s mother has died. Otherwise, neither the Commander nor the summons provides any hint as to what waits on Earth.

Warning: this review contains spoilers for a book I am pretty sure you will never read.

Knox Waterloo Presbyterian Church

January 24, 2021

Community Connections Sunday

Prelude                   

Call to Worship

One: Jesus called people to join in a new Way of living.
All: God calls us to follow in the Way of Jesus.
One: It is an invitation extended not in a spirit of coercion, guilt, or fear,
All: but one that is rooted in God’s desire that we experience abundant life.
One: Arise, shine,
All: for our light has come!

Hymn  #174 Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

Welcome, Gathering Prayer and Lord’s Prayer

Assurance of God’s Grace

Peace Invocation: Shalom

May the peace of the Lord be with you
At home and in your heart
Shalom with you abide
Through the day and night
Every day of your life

Fun with the Young at Heart

Song  Count on me
(Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine)

Scripture        Mark 1:14-20

Wondering about…net casting
Featuring a video presentation from Ray of Hope, in which we meet Scott Brush, Tonya Verburg, and Paul Seney, members of the leadership team.

Musical Reflection: Make this Church a Welcome Place
(Joel Raney, J. Paul Williams): Mary-Catherine Pazzano

Life and Ministry of Knox Waterloo

Presentation of our offering

Invitation to Offering

Offerings may be given in prayer and service and with financial gifts…
Ways to Give to Knox

Offertory Hymn:  Lord, You have come to the Lakeshore, #721, Glory to God, the hymnal of PC(USA)

Doxology: Lord of All Good (Louis Bourgeois, Albert F. Bayly, from Sing the Journey #60)

Lord of all good, our gifts we bring to you
Use them your holy purpose to fulfill
Tokens of love and pledges brought anew
That our whole life is offered to your will
Lord of all good, our gifts we bring to you

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope

Hymn    #635  Sibling, let me be your servant

Benediction

Sending Song  Walk with me

Walk with me
I will walk with you
And build the land
that God has planned
Where love shines through

Copyright 1988 Estate of John S.Rice
From Voices United

Worship Leaders: The Rev. Courtney Crawford, The Rev. Hugh Donnelly, Mary-Catherine Pazzano

Tech Team: Barb Gaudet, Eric Gaudet, Kathleen Forde

Knox Waterloo: CCLI License # 2580326
Images and videos used with permission.

 


Don Bowman

Dough Guard Aucma Stand Mixer

Recently an Aucma Stand Mixer entered the fleet of gadgetry. No Internet connectivity, so you are probably not clear on where I’m going with this, but… hack on!

You see, the Acuma stand mixer (like others) has a bit of a problem with Dough climbing up the kneeding hook. Drop a bunch of flour, some yeast, salt, a bit of water in a bowl, hit the go button, and after about 10 minutes the dough is wandering up around the top enroute to the door.

This must have a simple solution involing 3D printing, right? Well, a few lines of OpenSCAD and it does look like it. Open up the micrometer, measure up the dough hook, come up with this script:

OD = 27.75;
ID = 24.75;
NOTCH_WIDTH = 2.5;
WIDTH = 35;
HEIGHT = 7;
difference() {
 difference(){
  cylinder(r = OD/2, h = HEIGHT);
  cylinder(r = ID/2, h = HEIGHT); 
 } 
 cube(size = [OD*2, NOTCH_WIDTH, HEIGHT*2], center=true);
}
difference() {
 cylinder(r = WIDTH-1, r2=WIDTH, h = 3);
 cylinder(r = OD/2, h = 3);
}

and we get a shield that looks like below.


Elmira Advocate

POLITICAL DONATIONS HELP WANNABEE LAWYERS BECOME JUDGES

Well that certainly explains some particularly bad choices as local judges. Let me guess: is/was Robert Reilly a Conservative? If so that might explain his bias and or incompetence. Did Conservative Ken Seiling back in the day when he was Regional Chair, whisper in Robert's ear? Were there any other local Conservatives whether municipal, regional or provincial who dabbled in local trials of activists or other political undesireables? Oh heck why just focus on Conservatives despite their current federal embarassing ties to sexists, homophobes and racists (eg. Mr. Sloan). Could the local Liberal establishment be involved in whispering in local judges ears about particular cases before them? ................................................................................................... Last November 23. 2020 the Waterloo Region Record published a very important Editorial titled "Take politics out of judicial appointments". I've known for some time that the worst of us ethically (politicians) are the ones who appoint lawyers to become judges. I was appalled when I first learned. Appalled and disgusted. Provincial governing parties appoint provincial judges and federal governing parties appoint federal judges. What a horrible opportunity for honest citizens to end up facing unqualified, incompetent, biased judging. Is it any wonder with all the other problems within the justice (Just Us) system that so many wrongful convictions have taken place over so many decades? ................................................................................................ This Record Editorial indicates that the problem is even worse however. Not only do the governing parties want to know if a judicial candidate is a member of their party but they also want to know prior to their decision whether or not to appoint them to a judgeship, whether they've donated to the party and how much. Have they actively been involved in party politics such as election campaigns or leadership races. As the Record states, this information allows the politicians doing the appointing to know, in this case, "...exactly how Liberal friendly a candidate is." Are judgeship appointments at the federal level simply Liberal politicians quietly rewarding Liberal friends? ............................................................................................... Democracy Watch, a private citizens' group, have filed a challenge of the appointment process in the Federal Court, alleging that the appointment process is undermining the independence of the judicial system. I wonder how many of the judges adjudicating the case are past Liberal (or Conservative) appointees. Has Canada become a third world country in terms of our justice system? Or is the question better asked along the lines of exactly how far has the Canadian justice system been intentionally devalued and broken down from the values of fairness, honesty and truth?

KPL Kids Blog

Tween Scene: Bird Watching

♦image credit: Unsplash

Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well. One of the activities I enjoy when I feel like I need a break is to watch the birds at my feeders and in the neighbourhood. The birds have their own personalities. Some get along at the feeders, while others can be “bully birds.”Do you enjoy looking for birds when you are outside?

What Will You See?

Here are some of the birds I see in my backyard that you might observe on a walk.

American Crow ♦

Last February a single crow came to my feeder, and I named him Cooper. As I ate breakfast he would come and snack on peanuts, using his beak to rake away the seed he did not want. In the spring and summer, Cooper brought his growing family along to eat. One day the younger crows started to rip up my herb plants, and Cooper cawed at them. I like to think he was telling them not to be destructive.

American Goldfinch ♦

The male bird is a bright yellow colour in the spring to the fall. In the winter its colour fades to a dull brown. Females are always a duller yellow colour. These birds enjoy eating nyjer and sunflower seeds.

This photograph shows a male on the left, and a female on the right. 

Black-Capped Chickadee ♦

This friendly bird is adorable with its black cap, small size, and the call of chick-a-dee-dee-dee. When I fill my feeders with food there is always one that flies up to grab a quick snack before I finish. I took this photo on a walk in a park in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The bird flew right up to me, as if it was waiting for some food. I was lucky to get the picture!

Blue Jay ♦

This bird loves to eat peanuts. I find they like to come in groups to feed at the feeder. Did you know that Blue Jays can imitate the cry of a hawk? 

Indigo Bunting ♦

I saw this bird at my feeder for only one day last spring. It is so beautiful.

Mourning Dove  ♦

This bird makes a call that sounds like whoo whoo whoo. When in flight the wings make a whistling noise. It prefers to feed on the ground, or on a platform. Usually they will land on the roof of the feeder, and then slide off onto the platform below.

Northern Cardinal ♦

This bird is beautiful, but quite shy. The male is red, and the female is a brownish-red colour. I have seen the male feed the female seeds in the spring.

Wild Turkey ♦

Eight years ago I had a wild turkey visit the neighbourhood. I named her Trudy. She had five babies, called poults. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances. They make different vocalizations. It was fun seeing them in the backyard! Unfortunately, the turkeys only stayed one year. 

Take it Further

Don’t forget to check out Karen W.’s blog post here about making an eco-friendly feeder for your backyard friends. If you want to make homemade fat ball treats for the birds check out Sarah M.’s post here.

Turn the Page

Here are some great resources about birds!

Birdology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Birds by Monica Russo ♦image credit: KPL Encore

How to identify birds by their beak shape, information about nests, and what various bird calls mean can be found in this great resource. Click here to place a hold for curbside pick up.

Nature All Around: Birds by Pamela Hickman ♦image credit: KPL Encore

If you want to learn about birds this is a wonderful book to use. The beautiful illustrations highlight information about types of bird feathers, beaks, and more. Click here to place a hold for curbside pick up.

Your Turn

Do you look for birds when you are outside? What kinds do you see? Let us know in the comments below, and share any photographs at childkpl@kpl.org.

POST WRITTEN BY KAREN B., CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMER


James Davis Nicoll

Far Away, But Maybe Someday / The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Fifth Annual Collection (The Year’s Best Science Fiction, book 5) By Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois’ 1988 The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Fifth Annual Collection is the fifth Dozois anthology of noteworthy science fiction from the previous calendar year. I too am horrified that Dozois used the term ​“collection” when ​“anthology” would have been more appropriate. 

And what did the SF of 1987 — now thirty-four years in the past — look like?


Carrie Snyder: Obscure Canlit Mama

Views from inside another lockdown

♦01/14/21

Our morning routine is sturdy and pleasant. Exercise, shower, breakfast. We’ve worked out a shower schedule, since there are six of us vying for a spot. I’ve been eating chia seeds and oats soaked in yogurt, or scrambled eggs on homemade bread for breakfast. Everyone is at their desk (or couch, or bed) by 9AM. Peaceful. And motivating, too. I’m wasting less time in the mornings getting to my own work.

♦01/15/21

Today, I wrote for so long that two of my pens ran out of ink! Something that brings me pleasure each day is to check in on my plants. I’ve got two new ones that I repotted from cuttings, and it gives me such a kick to see the progress their little shoots are making, day by day, slowly, slowly, rising and unfurling into shiny new leaves.

♦01/16/21

If I’m getting “better” at drawing, as a few people have commented recently, does it change my approach to this project? I’d like to keep this fun, unselfconscious, an adventure into the unknown, into the hidden parts of myself that only my hand and pen can discover; like what’s shown today, above, in my awkward hesitant shape, revealing the vulnerability I felt (but didn’t want to admit) during this conversation with a friend.

♦01/17/21

Many lovely grace notes on this quiet Sunday—baking bread, playing hymns and singing harmony with Annabella, church on YouTube and Zoom followed by watching the Liverpool game while everyone sat around in the living-room—but it all revolved around breath. Controlled. In, out, long, smooth.

♦01/18/21

Talked to my Grandma this afternoon, asking questions about specific times and experiences in her life. We will keep talking. I want to ask her about big things, like, how do you feel about death? How did you survive the upsets and shocks in your life? (Talk about self-conscious: I do not like the drawing of myself in the corner of the Zoom screen, and nearly scribbled over it before posting here; but decided to let it stand.)

♦01/19/21

Sometimes I can’t keep my eyes open and I unroll my yoga mat and lie down in a very particularly way on my studio floor (which is heated), and I nap—for no more than 24 minutes. More stories via Zoom from my Grandma this morning. I’m listening. I have time to listen.

♦01/20/21

I paused my day to watch Kamala Harris take her oath of office, and was later transfixed by Amanda Gorman’s recitation of her poem “The Hill We Climb.” We aren’t broken, we are unfinished, she proclaimed. I write these words on my heart. (I’ll admit, I held my breath till Joe Biden was sworn in, and then—relief.)

♦01/21/21

It can get very busy in the kitchen at breakfast time: for accuracy, this drawing should have at least two more people squeezed into it. I spent the morning talking to Grandma again, and she told me about celebrating the inauguration last night, even watching the entire TV special, sitting through all the musical acts, even when she didn’t love the songs. Someone chose them for a reason, she told me. We talked about change today, and next time we are going to talk about death.

♦01/22/21

I’ve scarcely left my desk all day; but after supper last night, our whole family walked uptown. It was the first time we’d all been out together since lockdown. I get very panicked and queasy seeing new businesses opening now, and trying to survive. Like, the worst feeling! I wonder why?

*

I should have taken photos of my drawings in full natural daylight, but I forgot till it was too late (too late being just after 5PM). I notice a lingering and annoying dissatisfaction with the imperfection caused by the poor lighting. The colours are faded and distorted, for one thing! But I’m too tired and it’s too much end-of-the-week to start all over again (plus, I’d have to wait till tomorrow to re-take all the photos!). Hey, it’s Friday evening, and we’ve got take-out on the table, from Sari-Sari Filipino Cuisine. Look them up, if you live in Kitchener. They post their menus daily on Facebook, and the food is delicious and inexpensive, and served in the most generous portions.

Happy weekend, everyone.

xo, Carrie


KPL Kids Blog

Books and Bites #2: A Dash of Dragon

♦image credit: Pixabay

Hi friends! Welcome to Books and Bites; a fun program that combines our love of books, and food! (But not literally because that would be messy! And sticky pages are hard to turn).

Each week, I’m going to talk about one brilliant book, some fun food facts, and then my friend Karen is going to make an amazing food dish that relates to that book too. Fun…and delicious!  We hope you’ll join us on this literary and culinary journey! If you aren’t yet registered for the program, check out our program calendar for all the details.

The Book A Dash of Dragon by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski ♦image credit: KPL Encore

A thirteen-year-old chef has a lot to prove as she tries to run a five-star restaurant, repay a greedy loan shark, and outsmart the Elven mafia in this entertaining novel that combines all the best ingredients–fantasy, humor, adventure, action, and a feisty heroine! 

For years Lailu has trained to be the best chef in the city. Her specialty? Monster cuisine. She’s an expert at hunting dangerous beasts; and she’s even better at cooking them! When her mentor agrees to open a new restaurant with Lailu as the head chef, she’s never been more excited. But her celebration is cut short when she discovers that her mentor borrowed money from Mr. Boss, a vicious loan shark. If they can’t pay him back, Lailu will not only lose her restaurant–she’ll have to cook for Mr. Boss for the rest of her life. Nooooooo!

As Lailu scrambles to raise the money in time, she becomes trapped in a deadly conflict between the king’s cold-blooded assassin, the terrifying elf mafia, and Mr. Boss’ ruthless crew. Worst of all, her only hope in outsmarting Mr. Boss lies with the one person she hates–Greg, the most annoying boy in school and her rival in the restaurant business. With mouthwatering descriptions of mystical dishes, epic rivalries, astonishing adventures, and a smart and spunky heroine, this is a story that’s easy to devour! 
Sound like a story you can sink your teeth into? Request your copy here for curbside pick-up.

The Bite Shortbread Dragon Eggs Silly Bits…and Bites Shortbread Fun Facts
  • There’s a national shortbread day…who knew? It’s January 6th.
  • Shortbread is so named for its texture, which is crumbly, and that is the result of the large ratio of butter to flour. So much butter…mmmmmm!
  • There’s lots of different flavour combinations for shortbread cookies. Some of the more unusual ones include chili-lime shortbread, chocolate-coffee, and lemon-thyme-asiago (a type of cheese). Would you try any of these?
Just for Laughs

Q. What is a gnome’s favourite kind of dessert? 
A. Shortbread!

Q. When should you take a cookie to the doctor? 
A. When it feels crummy!

Q. Why do basketball players love cookies? 
A. Because they can dunk them!

By the way, I heard some bad news about shortbread…they’re just not making it any longer! Ha ha ha…groan.

See You Next Week…

Well friends, I hate to cut our time together short (haha, get it??), but that’s all for this week. We so appreciate you taking part in our program today! Are you intrigued by the book? Does Karen’s recipe look yummy to you? (It sure does to me!) Let us know in the comments below, or send us an email at childkpl.@kpl.org. Bon Appetit!

POST WRITTEN BY SARAH M. AND KAREN B. CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMERS


Andrew Coppolino

The Best Beer | The Bent Elbow

Reading Time: 3 minutes


The Bent Elbow
2880 King Street East
Kitchener, ON N2A 1A7
(519) 208-0202
thebentelbow.ca

On the menu tonight are jalapeno and bacon popper-rolls, a Carolina mustard pulled pork grilled cheese, a falafel with yogurt sauce and Thai chicken sausage with banh mi slaw.

Featured beers include a Schneeeule sour, beers from Anderson, Collective Arts Small Batch IPA and Belgian Orval Trappist ale.

*****

[Previously published] With 39 beers on tap and roughly 55 bottles or cans in their beer “Bible” (though it has been excommunicated during the pandemic), it is a haven for beer aficionados as well as folks who like to visit their local pub: The Bent Elbow has also carved out a distinction for itself for home-made food that’s elevated beyond pub grub.

Conceived by proprietor and food- and beer-lover Harold Kroeker and his wife and co-owner Deanna, Bent Elbow opened eight years ago (the big day is January 28), the pair having previously owned and operated a pretty good beer pub and restaurant in the iconic “castle” across from Rockway Gardens.

Kroeker loves to experiment, boldly, with ingredients: most of what you eat at the 65-seat venue (pre-pandemic) is made in-house.

In that, he says he finds a certain pleasure in spending time in the kitchen preparing the menu items.

♦“Beyond veg burger” (Photo/andrewcoppolino.com).

“During the day, it’s nice to be back there getting the food ready, but then I like being out front too and seeing how it all comes together and hearing the reactions we get from customers. One influences the other,” Kroeker says. “It makes you want to go back and do more because people appreciate it.”

Beer as an ingredient

In the past several months, and even during the pandemic, the Elbow has been creating interesting dishes to go along with the beer — and using it as an ingredient.

An example? To coincide with Oktoberfest a few months ago, the burger was a porky, mammoth of a sandwich dubbed “The Beyond Veg Burger.”

It is divine home-made beer mustard acting as a sort of cement for the tower of bratwurst patty, grilled beerwurst sausage, wiener schnitzel (the veal version), luscious Bent Elbow beer-braised onions and Havarti on a pretzel bun. There’s a little sausage cap mounted on top too.

Kroeker is undaunted by its meat-forward construction. “There’s a lot of people who like to eat meat, so we’ve tweaked a burger that way,” he says. “There’s no lettuce and tomato, but there is more meat. And we’ve sold quite a few.”

They are not currently on the menu, but don’t worry: there are always more inventive burgers on the horizon. “We’re always thinking about new concepts and having new ideas,” he adds.

Beer ice cream too

There’s actual cooking going on. That’s not 100 percent of the menu, but a substantial number of menu items. “We don’t buy very many pre-packaged foods,” Kroeker says. “It’s fun to think of ways of using beer in the menu and for things people may not think of, like sauces and salad dressings.”

The menu has included sandwiches and wraps, a curry, pork chops, schnitzel, a couple of salads (that don’t have meat and benefit from the house-made sauces and dressings, like an IPA-orange vinaigrette, that the kitchen makes).

Deanna Kroeker makes a serious portfolio of beer-based ice cream: in the past, the current menu includes a radler creamsicle, porter chocolate, Elora Collusion chocolate stout and MacLean’s Ales cherry porter to name a few; they are very good.

The effort to make menu ingredients has a practical basis too: knowing exactly what ingredients you are using helps when people have allergy concerns or intolerances. “Just tell us about it,” Kroeker says. “We can find you something easily without having to grab packaging and reading the list of ingredients.”

Sense of pride

It makes sense. Even in an excellent beer pub, Kroeker adds that people appreciate when you take the time to prepare the food yourself.

“I think there’s a difference in the flavour, and there’s a sense of pride we have too.”

Check out my latest post The Best Beer | The Bent Elbow from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.


Elmira Advocate

EXPOSING POLITICAL HYPOCRISY IS JUST SO MUCH FUN

1) The Proud Boys are now calling Donald Trump weak and ineffectual. .................................................................................................. 2) The Conservative Party of Canada just booted Derek Sloan out of their caucus. ...................................................................................................... 3) Sandy Shantz a) insisting on erecting warning signs along the Canagigue Creek b) getting on her environmental high-horse and insisting that Woolwich Township needed to examine the former Varnicolor's (now Elmira Pump) Risk Assessment very carefully because she's worried about deep contamination having to go "somewhere". ...................................................................................................... 4) The Ontario Ministry of Labour are being called upon to do more inspections and monitoring of workplace working conditions. i.e. COVID-19 working conditions. ................................................................................................. O.K. I admit it. It took me a very long time to recognize the depth, the expanse, the extent and the pervasiveness of both corporate and political corruption in Canada. I am sure that there are Canadians who by the time they were 23 or 24 years old had taken the measure of municipal, provincial and federal governments and knew that they smelled to high heaven. Just way too many scandals, too many "cracks" in the system, too many instances of double standard treatment of politicians, police officers, wealthy and prominent persons caught excessively benefiting from a system already set up to ensure their continued status and lifestyle, far above the rest of us. What I had seen and experienced and then interpreted as aberrations or rogue elements within organizations were no such things. They were the norm. .................................................................................................. And here is my next admission. Geez do I love to expose those lying bastards. Whether it is bought and paid for... oops-client driven consultants, corporate polluters long on rhetoric and short on cleanup, municipal councillors who routinely break laws that have little or no enforcement, provincial ministries whose real hidden mandate is simply preserving the status quo (eg. Min. of Labour, Environment, Transportation), certain school boards, police behaviour both public and private and finally our "Just us" system (i.e. Justice system). ................................................................................................... Going back to the four numbers above: 1) Donald Trump "forgot" to pardon Proud Boy members involved in the Capitol Hill insurrection. 2) A wonderful cartoon in today's Waterloo Region Record showing all the sexist, racist, homophobic members of the Conservative Party. 3) Sandy is the most blatant pro polluter mayor in Woolwich history and her minimal "greenwashing" efforts are fooling no one. 4) The Ministry of Labour have been nothing but a shield protecting recalcitrant and third world employers from the law for many decades but now they are getting their wrists slapped for failing to enforce Covid rules. Oh my a virus filling up hospitals requires enforcement of rules whereas employees being crippled or killed on the job do not.

Bridge to Belonging

28 Days of Fun Challenge

Since we need to Stay-At-Home anyway, why not have fun? Our BE-Connected group is challenging everyone in Waterloo Region to get creative and do something fun or try something new for the next 28 days!

Let’s go viral! Send us a selfie or video of you doing something fun and we will share on social media…and you can too! Remember to use #28daysoffun

♦ ♦

The post 28 Days of Fun Challenge appeared first on Bridges To Belonging Waterloo Region.


House of Friendship

February Potato Blitz Needs Your Help!

♦House of Friendship’s February Potato Blitz is moving online! This year’s virtual campaign will provide families and individuals in need with nutritious food.

Although this annual event looks different than previous years, you can still walk alongside your neighbours in their time of need. Hunger in our community has not gone away. Your caring support gives families and individuals the ability to tackle other challenges, without worrying where their next meal is coming from.

On Feb. 6, you are encouraged to make an online donation or host your own virtual community fundraiser. Share your fundraising efforts on social media and inspire others to support the February Potato Blitz. Local grocery stores are also providing the opportunity to donate at the checkout, in support of this year’s February Potato Blitz.

Your generosity and compassion contributes to the fight against hunger in Waterloo Region. Last year, you helped us raise $24,000 and 68,000 pounds of potatoes. This year, we need to raise $45,000 to help meet the growing need in our community. This year, the first $10,000 in donations will be matched – help us double the impact in 2021 and pave the way for a spud-tacular year!

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit www.houseoffriendship.org/potatoblitz

The post February Potato Blitz Needs Your Help! appeared first on House Of Friendship.


Elmira Advocate

ARE THERE STILL LIVING VICTIMS OF UNIROYAL CHEMICAL TOXIC POLLUTION IN ELMIRA, ONTARIO?

The answer is yes although our authorities are quite happy to pretend otherwise. Or at least to be happy not to know. Recently I was talking to a middle aged gentleman in Elmira who played in the Canagagigue Creek as a child. This would be in the early 1980s. Now keep in mind the creek had improved somewhat by then because of the construction of the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in 1965. Now there were multiple issues with local manufacturers sending their wastes to the new STP after 1965 (such as Borg Textiles) and it took a while to sort them all out. Therefore until 1970 Uniroyal still on occasion were dumping in their on-site pits and ponds. Therefore the daily flow of thousands of gallons of toxic liquid waste had been stopped for perhaps ten years when this individual was playing in the creek. There are two ways to look at that. Chemical wastes and concentrations in the creek had been reduced although being in the creek not too far downstream from the effluent coming from the Elmira STP might not have been a great idea. ............................................................................................................... Of course the daily flow of toxic liquid wastes directly from new production into the creek may have ended but the ongoing flow from contaminated soils and groundwater theroughout the site had not been stopped. That did not even begin to be reduced until approximately 1996 after the introduction of the "cheapest and least effective" method of containing the highly contaminated South-West corner of the Uniroyal site was implemented. This method was referred to as the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACS) and it was an incredible crock and lie. It did not hydraulically contain the other 3/4 of the site from dischatging their shallow aquifer water into the creek. Therefore this individual was certainly exposed to Polycylcic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, DDT, NDMA, dioxins/furans and a plethora of pesticides and herbicides. In those days (the 1980s) there were no warning signs and little or no warnings from the company, health authorities or local municipal councillors. Everybody were keeping their heads down and hoping that Elmira might luck out and avoid the coming disaster finally known as the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis. ................................................................................................................ All our authorities are pleased to hide behind lies, damned lies and statistics as Winston Churchill once said. Currently over 40% of our population will have cancer in their lifetimes. I believe that industrialized urban environments have a disproportionate number of these cancers do to environmental toxins in our air, water and foods. This is courtesy of the results of Uniroyal Chemical's behaviours from 1942 until nearly 1970. The cleanup since 1989 can best be expressed as per local activist Rich Clausi: "When all was said and done, more was said than was done.". ................................................................................................................... Cancer is not the only result of environmental poisoning. Suppression of animal and human immune systems leads to an increase in biological and virological infections. Some of these are life threatening. Many other diseases, including rare diseases have been found locally again I believe due to damaged human immune systems courtesy of discharges to air, water and soil of dioxins/furans, mercury, PCBs, pesticides and herbicides. It seems clear to me that the decision makers at Uniroyal and their fellow travellors (politicians & bureaucrats) have no belief in or fear of hell. Otherwise they would never have permitted these atrocities.

Cindy Cody Team

Activities Every Kitchener-Waterloo Family Needs To Try

We asked families in the community what their favourite activities are in Kitchener-Waterloo. Hopefully, these responses will inspire so family fun for you throughout the year.

Note: Some activity ideas may not be ideal for 2021 during COVID-19. Please adhere to current regional Public Health regulations, and use this list as inspiration for future Family Days. ♦

Family Activities in Kitchener-Waterloo
  1. Hiking
  2. Trying all the great local restaurants we have
  3. Buying some new books from a local bookshop
  4. Walking through the Christmas lights at the Wonders of Winter in Waterloo Park
  5. Saturday morning trip to St. Jacob’s Market
  6. Bingemans Gift of Lights
  7. Panthers Baseball games
  8. Walking our pets in the park
  9. Tobogganing
  10. Exploring nature!
  11. Skating in Uptown Waterloo or at Kitchener City Hall
  12. Vist all the cool ponds and streams
  13. Checking out live bands
  14. Going for walks on our beautiful trails
  15. Fishing
  16. Skating on a pond
  17. Puzzles
  18. Thrift storing
  19. Swimming
  20. Tubing at Chicopee
  21. Game board cafe
  22. Attending local events
  23. Seeing a movie at Princess Cinemas
  24. Looking for new trails to adventure on then coming home to enjoy a hot chocolate and play cards or a board game as a family
  25. Going to the Kitchener Market
  26. Hiking the Grey Silo trail
  27. Going to Waterloo Region Museum
  28. Exploring our neighbourhood
  29. Hiking at Huron Natural Area
  30. Adventure/ Escape Rooms
  31. Playing hockey
  32. Bowling
  33. Tennis
  34. Walking the Grand River trails
  35. Visiting the outdoor market in Uptown Waterloo
  36. Snowshoeing
  37. Hiking the Westside Trails
  38. Getting a new game from J&J Cards & Collectibles to play together!
  39. Fun a Bingemans
  40. Exploring Victoria Park and Waterloo Park
  41. Walking the forest and Grand River trails in Doon
  42. Skating at Lions Arena and outdoor rinks
  43. Dining at the great restaurants in Downtown Kitchener
  44. Watching hockey
  45. Biking to local establishments as our destination
  46. Bingemans water park
  47. Medieval fair at Victoria Park
  48. Camping
  49. Skiing at Chicopee
  50. Visiting THE MUSEUM
  51. Going to the movies (Princess Cinema or Apollo Cinema)
  52. Go-karting
  53. Kayaking along the Grand!
  54. Heritage Village
  55. Mini golf at Bingemans
  56. Build a snowman

The post Activities Every Kitchener-Waterloo Family Needs To Try appeared first on Cindy Cody.


ACCKWA

What is HIV?

-/-

Knox Waterloo Presbyterian Church

This Week at Knox – Jan 21

WORSHIP – Community Connections Sunday
We continue to learn about partner organizations in our communities, with a special emphasis this year on those working to eliminate hunger and promote food equity.

This week we welcome Ray of Hope.
Here is the reading for this Sunday.
Livestream the service each Sunday at 10AM.  
Listen on 98.5 CKWR FM radio.
Access the Knox YouTube channel.

THE ART OF GATHERING 
The Presbyterian Church in Canada has planned a special event with Casper ter Kuile on March 11. Casper is author of the popular book The Power of Ritual. Register or find out more at this site. 

CHURCH SCHOOL – A message from Carole ♦ 
Virtual Painting Afternoon for Jr. and Sr. High:
Join Barb Gaudet and enjoy creating some artwork! This virtual event is scheduled for Sunday January 31st, 3-5pm. If you are interested, please contact Carole.  

LOGOS – Starts this week!
The LOGOS Ministry will begin the winter session on Thursday nights virtually starting Thursday, January 28th until March 25, 2021 with no LOGOS during March break. The vision of LOGOS continues to be nurturing Christ-centred relationships. The overall theme for the session is Belonging. The grades 1 to 5 and 6 to 8 groups will start January 28th and meet every other week, and the senior high group will start February 4th and meet every other week for a total of 4 weeks for each group. The link for a new blank registration is here: LOGOS 2020 – 2021 Registration Form. If you have any questions, contact Jennifer Yessis (Reist).  

FAITHFUL PARENTING in the PANDEMIC
The first online session of Faithful Parenting in the Pandemic will begin Thursday, January 28th at 8pm and will run for 4 weeks on Thursday evenings (Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18). This session will focus on ministry with parents and guardians of children 12 & under for the purpose of mutual connection and support. In the spring we will reach out to parents and guardians of teens. You may attend any or all of the four weeks. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Courtney. 

COMMUNITY CARE & PRAYER
Funeral service for Elsie Baird will take place at Knox on Thursday, January 28, at 11AM. The service will be livestreamed.

FINAL THOUGHT
“For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”
– Amanda Gorman, from a poem recited at the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States of America


May you encounter moments of peace this weekend.
– Hugh Donnelly

Communitech News

Budding firm shoots for consistency in medicinal cannabis

When Jim Clark developed osteoarthritis, he turned to medicinal cannabis for pain relief – but it was hard to find a reliable product with a consistent effect. So Clark, an electrical engineer, set out to solve the problem himself. He developed a microclimate grow chamber for his personal use and began to experiment with ways […]

The post Budding firm shoots for consistency in medicinal cannabis appeared first on Communitech News.


KPL Kids Blog

DIY Origami Pockets

I love getting secret notes from people. But you have to have a secret pocket for your friends to put your notes in! I’ll teach you how to make your own pocket with any paper at all, so you can send secret notes to everyone in your house!

Supplies
  • A square piece of paper (anything will do)
  • That’s it!
Instructions
  1. Fold your square paper in half like a triangle. You might already have that from turning a rectangle paper into a square; easy!
  1. With your paper triangle positioned so the long side is facing you, fold Point A to the middle of Side A. do the same on the other side, folding Point B to the middle of Side B.
  1. Your paper should look kind of like a pentagon now. Take the top flap of Point C and fold it down toward you. You can tuck that flap into the flap of Point B to hide it.
  1. You’re done! You have a pocket that you can hang anywhere in your house (but ask your grownup about putting tape on the wall, first!).

A small paper makes a small pocket, good for tiny secret notes. A large paper, like wrapping paper or a sheet of newspaper, makes a much bigger pocket for jumbo-sized notes! You can decorate your pocket however you like with markers and stickers, and you can send all kinds of things as notes to your family: puzzles, drawings, stories, or even jokes!

Billie’s Book Picks Fortune Cookies by Albert Bitterman, art by Chris Raschka ♦image credit: KPL Encore

Fortune cookies are kind of like pockets that you can eat! This simple story has real fortunes that you can pull out of cookies, with fantastic art by Caldecott-winner Chris Raschka. Request it from the library.

Mr Postmouse’s Rounds by Marianne Dubuc  ♦image credit: KPL Encore

This is a lovely story about a postman delivering mail to the forest community. You see cutaways inside the homes of all the animals, which is also kind of like a pocket, sort of. But maybe it will inspire you to write some great long letters to your family for their origami pockets! Request it from the library.

A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Ryan Karas ♦image credit: KPL Encore

Of course, you can also use your origami pocket for holding things besides letters. There is a long-standing tradition of carrying a poem in your pocket! This story is about a girl who is trying to write her own poem for her pocket, but is having a little trouble. Request it from the library.

Your Turn

What secret note will you leave for your grownups? What secret note do you think they’ll leave you? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or send pictures of your pockets to childkpl@kpl.org.

POST WRITTEN BY HANNAH V., CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMER


Elmira Advocate

UNIROYAL/LANXESS/CRA/GHD BIG LIE # 7

Yesterday here I went through six "Big Lies" that much of the Woolwich and Waterloo Region public have swallowed over the last thirty years. Today we will discuss "Big Lie" #7 which is giving Lanxess Canada fits. They along with Woolwich Council and the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE/MECP) have long pushed the idea that all of Uniroyal Chemical's east side toxic liquid wastes flowed south and west. The big lie at the north half of the site is that these toxic wastes never reached either the deeper sub-surface aquifers nor the Canagagigue Creek. This was premised partly upon magical qualities along the alleged due western route of these liquid wastes. Suppposedly shallow aquifer contaminants discharged at the surface where they and surface flow from the east side RPE (retention pond east) pits ended up in swampy areas that broke down or nuetralized these toxins. Like most good lies it had at least a tiny grain of truth. Cattails have some ability to uptake liquid wastes but certainly not remotely the daily volume that Uniroyal discharged over decades. ................................................................................................................. The other claim was that man made ploughed ditches directed overflowing surface waters southwards and hence less actually flowed westwards. First off these were ditches in the ground. They were not pipes or even open concrete swales or waterways. Hence they leaked both through the bottom into the sub-surface as well as during precipitation events the liquid wastes overflowed the shallow man made ditches and discharged along their entire pathway. ................................................................................................................... Finally these man made ditches did not go directly into either GP-1 or GP-2, their polluter designated and wishfully hoped for final resting place. The ditches stopped near the bottom of the most southerly major pit, namely RPE-5. They discharged into the swampy area just south where they gravity flowed mostly south-eastwards and crossed over to the lower lying Stroh ptoperty into a bowl shaped topographical area. Here they settled out with likely hydrophobic compounds such as DDT, dioxins/furans, PCBs etc. soaking into the ground where they adhered to (bonded) soil particles. ..................................................................................................... To date Ramin Ansari and Lanxess have flatly refused to do serious, honest soil sampling in the appropriate areas of the Stroh farm and property. Their ridiculous (Big Lie) excuses include that well we took a public walk with TAG in 2019 near the area (i.e. Lanxess property only) and that put the issue to rest. ........................................................................................ BULL.HIT, HORSE MANURE and "BIG LIE" all rolled into one. Shame on GHD (consultants) and Lanxess but even more shame on Woolwich Council, TAG chair and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks whose "sweetheart deal" apparently absolves Uniroyal/Lanxess of off-site cleanup to the east.

Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Business Excellence Awards 2021: Nominees, Environment & Sustainability

♦This award category praises the accomplishments made by implementing sustainability measures. The Environment & Sustainability category seeks to shine a light on the organizations in Waterloo Region making a difference for our planet.

The Cora Group was the recipient of the 2020 Environment & Sustainability Award. Without government incentives, they designed and constructed a prototype that would be used for all commercial construction, with the only motivation being ‘that it’s the right thing to do’. They have been working towards this sustainable future for the past 15 years and have even inspired our local Universities, who now study their innovative designs. Most notably, they are recognized for their evolv1 building, the first zero carbon net positive building in Canada.

Awarded to a business or organization that has:

  • Been in operation for a minimum of two consecutive years
  • Made an outstanding commitment to sustainable development
  • Self-initiated environmental actions and programs beyond legislative requirements
  • Found energy or waste efficiencies
  • Provided environmental stewardship, education, or innovation in the past year

The nominees for the 2021 Business Excellence Awards Gala are:

  • Accelerator Centre
  • AET Group
  • Arcadian Projects
  • City of Kitchener
  • Diva International
  • Joseph & Company
  • Vertical Interiors by McIntyre
  • Wake Up Coffee Solutions
  • WalterFedy

The post Business Excellence Awards 2021: Nominees, Environment & Sustainability appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Cindy Cody Team

Hobbies You Can Learn At Home

Being at home more is a great opportunity to hone your craft or develop some new skills to keep you busy during the winter months. Maybe you’ve been thinking about building on your skillset for your professional life, or just want to start a new hobby. Either way, here are some hobbies you can learn at home.

Hobbies You Can Learn At Home
  1. Knitting – once you learn this skill, there are so many options for you. Make clothing, gifts, household items and more! If you’re a beginner, there are tutorials online, kits you can purchase to get started and more. If you already know how to knit, start a new project!
  2. Crocheting – Find a fun pattern online and start creating
  3. Learn to play a new instrument (or your first) – Dedicate 30-60 minutes a day to teach yourself to play a new instrument. Guitar, piano, ukelele.
  4. Colouring – Starting drawing anything from your imagination, or buy an adult colouring book. There are so many fun designs to help you have a few stress-free minutes each day.
  5. Puzzles – There are two types of puzzle people: those who do puzzles with others, and those who like to complete a puzzle by themselves. Which one are you?
  6. Painting – You don’t need to be a pro to start patining. In fact, there are so many fun paint-along videos on YouTube. Just like a paint night event, you can set up your studio in your home and paint along with a tutorial (you’ll be SO surprised how well your masterpiece turns out)
  7. Writing – If you’ve always dabbled in writing, but really want to strengthen your craft, this is a great opportunity for you. Set aside some time each day to write, whether it’s journaling or working on that novel you’ve always wanted to start.
  8. Reading – There’s no better time to tackle that trilogy you’ve always wanted to read! Looking to make it more social? Start your own virtual book club.
  9. Yoga – With so many online resources for every stage of yogi, you’ll be able to start at your comfort level and learn as you go.
  10. Meditation – Meditation takes practice, but it’s a great investment in your mind and body
  11. Baking – Whether you want to jump on the sourdough train or start making some beautiful cupcakes, baking can be a fun hobby to start…. plus the results are delicious!
  12. Cooking – If you love to cook, this is a great opportunity to learn some new skills in the kitchen and try out some new recipes. If you’re not quite a master chef, why not take this time to master a few key recipes.
  13. Origami – Again, YouTube for the win. Start making some cute origami animals. Bonus: white a nice message for a friend, then deliver your figures.
  14. Candle making – Beeswax, soy wax, gel, scented & more! This is a fun hobby, plus you can repurpose old candle canisters or other glass you have at home. Make your own unique candles and you’ll always have a gift on hand.
  15. Running – This one isn’t quite in the home (unless you have a treadmill). Running is a great way to get exercise, clear your mind, and explore your community.
  16. Board games – Pull out the classics or try some new games.
  17. Calligraphy – Calligraphy can be a soothing activity. Plus when you get good at it, you’ll always have the prettiest-addressed envelopes for any letter or invitaion!
  18. Basket weaving – Baskets are all the rage in home decor. Can’t find your ideal basket? Why not try to make it yourself!
  19. Learn a new language – There are lots of apps that can teach you a new language. You can invest as little or as much time as you want.
  20. Soap making – This is another hobby that will result in a practical item for your home.
  21. Cross stitching – Start with a beginner’s kit and pattern then create your own designs.
  22. Photography – There is beauty everywhere, you just have to look for it. Bring your unique perspective to a photography course and start snapping some amazing shots. You can also learn to do your own editing.
  23. Thinking of something else? – The internet has endless courses and tutorials, so no matter what you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find a guide online!

Just remember: Whatever it is that brings you joy is important. So make sure you reserve some time each day to do the things you love.

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Andrew Coppolino

Map of Conestoga College culinary graduates

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As a region grows in population, it can also potentially grow in what I call culinary “sophistication.” I don’t mean that in a snobby, tweezer-chef kind of way (not that I don’t like tweezer chefs).

Nor am I saying that just because the population grows will the level of culinary maturity necessarily grow. Rather, the possibility is there. And it’s happening in our area, I believe.

The more people there are in communities who care about food the more interesting food experiences there will be; more chefs exploring different foods will often mean more interesting food experiences too. I think that has never been more so than right now.

Waterloo Region has long been a “meat and potatoes” food culture — and, for better and for worse, there’s still very strong elements of that — but new chefs joining the culinary sphere and new food operations such as Wooden Boat Food Company and Nuestro 88, Vietnamese and Filipino cooking, respectively, have helped changed the landscape. And that’s to name only two relatively new and recent additions to the scene. There could be a much longer list I could write in that regard. I think most people would agree.

What else is happening is a growth in strength and numbers in the cooks and restaurateurs working in Waterloo Region and environs. Part of that comes from the re-building that our local culinary schools have undertaken, including Liaison College and Conestoga College.

Conestoga culinary grads and where they work

Emily Schlieper | Arabella Park Beer Bar (Kitchener)
Paul Gauthier | Cascata Bistro (Carlisle)
Alex Krawczyk | The Grand Surf Lounge (Kitchener)
Greg Dove | Elora Bread Trading Co. (Elora)
Mark Pagett | Lancaster Smokehouse (Kitchener)
Chris Sperduti | Ciuffulli (Hamilton)
Navita Singh | Loloan Lobby Bar (Waterloo)
Grant Holdbrook | TWH Social Bar & Bistro (Walper Hotel, Kitchener)
Megan Dron | Red Eye Café & Donuts (Cambridge)
Wallace Wong | Six Pack Chef (Toronto)

Conestoga, for instance, has hired a number of area cooks and restaurateurs as instructors to join long-time staff members such as Brian Abbott and Philippe Saraiva, the latter of whom was instrumental in starting the program decades ago.

Today, at the College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, an impressive array of cooks have been installed as technicians, instructors and mentors: Steve Allen of Cambridge’s Little Louie’s; Amédé Lamarche, formerly of George Brown College and The Church, Stratford; John Baltazar, formerly of Homage, Cambridge; Sean Duffy, once chef at Nick and Nat’s Uptown 21 in Waterloo; Eric Neaves, who opened Fork and Cork Grill, Kitchener; Tim Simpson, formerly of George Brown and Ambrosia Pastry Co.; and, Darryl Haus of Grand Trunk Saloon and Grand Surf Lounge in downtown Kitchener.

In addition, Brad Lomanto, a Niagara culinary school graduate and former executive chef at the Cambridge Mill and a number of other notable restaurants, oversees the new kitchen and dining room at Conestoga’s Bloom restaurant. The College has also hired a number of instructors who have cooking experience from around the world, including Michelin-starred restaurants in Germany: Sabine Heinrich-Kumar and Yvonne Kanchan.

With all of that happening, it bodes well for the strength of the local restaurant scene. Accordingly, let’s also look at the many Conestoga graduates who are cooking locally: I’ve started compiling a list of graduates working in culinary in Waterloo Region and elsewhere, and have captured that in an interactive map, below, to give you an idea of the program’s reach. Click on the Conestoga “C” to open a window with the restaurant and the chef-graduate.

This is only a start: there are likely many others to discover and chart, so let me know if you know of a CC graduate at work in the region, or anywhere in Canada for that matter. I plan to update this map and add new chefs as often as I can.

Here’s to a growing food and beverage scene in our Region!

Check out my latest post Map of Conestoga College culinary graduates from Andrew Coppolino - World of Flavour.


Communitech News

M-Theory: Social media and our collective health

Ahh, 2021. A new calendar year. Quiet, peaceful, uneventful… Right. Well. At least the COVID vaccine rollout is slowly but surely happening and the sea shanties are fun? This piece is scheduled to be published the day after the U.S. inauguration and, honestly, I have no idea where we’ll be at by then. Fortunately, what’s […]

The post M-Theory: Social media and our collective health appeared first on Communitech News.

Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Business Excellence Awards 2021- Nominees, Employee Engagement

♦The Employee Engagement Award celebrates organizations in Waterloo Region who have gone above and beyond creating a safe, inclusive and positive work environment. These organizations provide a workplace that prioritizes forward thinking, reduces barriers, provides opportunity for growth through training, and emphasizes diversity.

Traces Screen Printing Ltd. was the 2020 recipient of the Employee Engagement Award for their work with Lutherwood Job Connection and regular contributions to YMCA Employment Services in support of Immigrants & Refugees. They are also a living wage employer and each year they review and refresh their company policies.

The Employee Engagement Award is presented to a business or organization that has:

  • Been in operation for a minimum of two consecutive years
  • Provided training to improve the skills, knowledge, safety and/or performance of their workforce
  • Reduced employment barriers and/or assists employees who are recent immigrants and/or employees with physical, communication or developmental challenges
  • Increase productivity through innovative and creative programs or initiatives for their employees

The nominees for the 2021 Business Excellence Awards Gala are:

  • Driverseat
  • Equitable Life of Canada
  • Grand River Raceway
  • Igloo Software
  • McCarter Grespan Beynon Weir PC
  • Quarry Integrated Communications Inc.
  • Reid’s Heritage Homes Ltd
  • Token Creative Services

The post Business Excellence Awards 2021- Nominees, Employee Engagement appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Catherine Fife MPP

NDP MPPs call for presumptive WSIB coverage and paid sick days for all frontline health care workers

KITCHENER-WATERLOO – NDP MPPs Catherine Fife (Waterloo) and Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) say the Ford government must provide paid sick days and presumptive WSIB coverage for frontline workers during the pandemic, after the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) revealed that paramedics in Waterloo Region are being denied WSIB claims despite being exposed to COVID-19 while on the job.
 
“Paramedics are risking their own health to save lives and care for patients. They are working on the front line in our region, and the least we can do is to guarantee they’ll have paid sick days and be covered by WSIB if they are exposed to the virus.”
 
“Our paramedics, and every health care worker in this province, should have presumptive coverage and should never be forced to prove they contracted COVID-19 on the job.”
 
Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services is challenging WSIB claims made by paramedics who have been exposed to patients with COVID-19, and is claiming that because they were wearing PPE they must have contracted the virus in the community. 
 
“It’s unacceptable to deny WSIB claims to workers who we know are doing everything possible to stay safe but are being exposed to COVID-19 through their life-saving work,” said Lindo. “The Ford government must take action to provide the presumptive coverage that the Official Opposition NDP has been calling for since the beginning of this pandemic. It is the responsibility of employers to protect workers from COVID-19, and when a worker does have to isolate they should not lose their income for doing the right thing.”
 
The NDP’s Workplace Health and Safety critic Wayne Gates introduced legislation, Bill 191, back in May that would retroactively ensure that frontline healthcare workers and workers in essential businesses will receive presumptive WSIB coverage during the pandemic. Presumptive coverage means that WSIB would be required to assume that the workplace was the source of frontline workers’ COVID-19 exposure — saving the workers from having to jump through hoops to try to prove how they were exposed.
 
Lindo says that without presumptive WSIB coverage, and without paid sick days that Doug Ford still refuses to provide to workers in the province, more health care workers will be forced into the impossible choice of going to work sick or losing a pay cheque, and we’ll see more infections in our region.
 
“Doug Ford has failed to support our frontline health workers, and without WSIB or paid sick days, he’s putting their lives, and our community, in danger. To control the spread of the virus, and to give our workers the protection they need, we need presumptive coverage and paid sick days right now before more lives are needlessly lost.”


Al Zahra Shia Association of Waterloo Region

Majlis e Esal e Sawab for Shuhada of Mach, Quetta Pakistan and KW Community Marhomeen | Thursday, January 21, 2021 | Al Zahra Shia Association – Waterloo Region

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ As Salam Alaykum AZSA-WR informed the community early in January about the martyrdom of 11 coal miners in a brutal terrorist attack on the Shia Hazara community in Mach Balochistan Pakistan. Many of our Kitchener Waterloo (KW) community members also lost their loved ones in the last few years including Marhum Irshad Rashid, Marhum Sikandar Ali Shah, Marhum Maqbool Khan, Marhuma Shirin Ibrahim, Marhuma Fauzia bint e Ale Rasool, Marhuma Zakira Zakiya Sultana. Al Zahra offers heartfelt condolences to the families of 11 Shia Hazara coal miners and KW community members who are going through a challenging phase in their lives._ In memory of Shuhada of Mach and Marhumeen of KW community, Al Zahra has arranged “Majlis e Esal e Sawab” as per the following schedule: Islamic Date: Eve of 8th Jamadi-ul-Akhir, 1442 AH Gregorian Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021 Time: 7:00pm Speech by: Moulana S. Hasan Mujtaba Rizvi Zoom Link: us04web.zoom.us/j/389071417 Zoom Meeting ID: 389 071 417 Note: Meeting space will open 5 minutes earlier prior to the Program start time Program Details: 7:00 pm: Recitation of Sura E Yaseen 7:15 pm: Recitation of Dua E Kumail 7:40 pm- Short

Elmira Advocate

HOW THE GUILTY PARTIES IN ELMIRA HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH THE BIG LIE

Most of today's posting will come directly from Gwynne Dyer's Opinion piece in today's Waterloo Region Record. The title is "Lucky Joe Biden comes to power at a time when his opponents are in utter disarray". In this article by Mr. Dyer, a very well known historian and military expert, he discusses the " Big Lie", both Mr. Trump's (wah...the Democrats stole the election) to Adolf Hitler's various Big Lies. In fact Mr. Dyer quotes extensively from Adolf's infamous "Mein Kampf" with specifics as to how to get away with outrageous lies to the public. .............................................................................................................. "In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility because ...in the primitive simplicity of their minds (the great masses) more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.". Wow and there folks is the psychology behind getting away with blatant public lies. ........................................................................................................................ Do you think that dishonest, unethical politicians and private interests have actually stopped doing the same thing? Clearly Donald Trump got away with it and continues to do so to a large extent. Here in Elmira there have been a number of Big Lies. For example: 1) The cleanup will be world class and the drinking aquifers restored to drinking water standards by 2028. Horse crap! 2) Uniroyal Chemical were the only contributer to the destruction of the Elmira Aquifers with NDMA, chlorobenzene and ammonia. More horse crap. 3) A local citizens group sucessfully challenged a multi national corporation and forced a cleanup. Unbelieveable. Just look at the first big lie. Thirty plus years later and Lanxess (Uniroyal) are receiving a new Control Order extending the cleanup deadline. The citizens group leadership have been very sucessful in promoting themselves. Two of them ran for mayor of Woolwich Township. The third didn't because she's not a Canadian citizen. The creek and the aquifers haven't done nearly so well. 4) Canagagigue Creek will be restored to its former beauty and health. Ridiculous. The entire cleanup has been based upon dilution is the solution to pollution. Everything either flows and dilutes in the groundwater or eventually (centuries?) flows into the Canagagigue Creek and is carried downstream to Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and eventually Lake Erie. ...................................................................................................................... The private and political guilty parties have used and abused the principles of the "Big Lie" from long before the November 1989 shutdown of the drinking wells in Elmira. 5) NDMA was "discovered" in Elmira in 1989. Bullcrap! 6) In the early 1980s Elmira residents were advised that their drinking wells were safe and that there were ample monitoring and warning wells between Uniroyal and the wellfields. Really! So what happened? To this day the public really don't want to know the truth. It is too abhorrent. It is too outrageous. It is too infamous. It would destroy their faith in government and all our authorities. Right now especially, the public need and want to trust and have faith that our authorities are competent and trustworthy. It would crush them to know the truth.

Cult KW

A “Loyal She Remains” Take on the Epiphany Mob at the U.S. Capitol

January 20, 2012 That unprecedented scene at the U.S. Capitol on the 6th of January — Epiphany, 2021 — has been characterized as an insurrection, a coup attempt, a riot, a fascist uprising, a terrorist act, a mass outburst of MAGA madness … All these terms denote a certain scale the debacle at the Capitol […]

James Davis Nicoll

We’ve Done It Before, So Why All the Shock? / Recognize Fascism Edited by Crystal Huff

Crystal M. Huff’s 2020 Recognize Fascism is an anthology of stories about people recognizing fascism. It’s example of truth in advertising, which is something in short supply in certain circles these days.

Elmira Advocate

I'M THINKING ABOUT A STATE OF DISUNION ADDRESS TO WOOLWICH COUNCIL

Hmm I'm trying to recall if my last Delegation to Woolwich Council was regarding the proposed residential subdivision at Union and First St. right across Union St. from Sulco (CCC) and Lanxess Canada (Former Uniroyal). If so I do believe that I received a polite and respectful reception (no questions as always - I call it the Bauman snakebitten syndrome). This reception was likely a result of relatively newer Council members (Merlihan, MacMillan & Redekop) as well as the fact that Woolwich Council know that they have a huge problem with that subdivision's location. .................................................................................................................... Regardless it may soon be time for another foray into the cesspool of Woolwich local politics. Ironically some of the rats seem to be slow in abandoning the rapidly sinking Trump ship south of us. I have a prediction for the future regarding a similar situation here. The time will come when the history of Woolwich Council appeasement, support, cooperation and indeed collusion with Uniroyal Chemical and their litany of corporate successors (Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess) will become both publicly known and publicly aknowledged and accepted. At that time watch the appeasers and fellow travellors, past and present, on Woolwich Council run for the hills. There will be disavowals, condemnations and criticism, some of it literally decades too late, coming from past Uniroyal supporters on Council. Now keep in mind that many Woolwich councillors had zero environmental background or knowledge when they got on Council. Others simply deferred to the "old hands" on Council and followed their lead. Regardless, friends of the company did and have done a huge disservice to the public interest, public health and public knowledge of the severity of the contamination and the damage to the environment, wildlife and human life in the Canagagigue watershed as well as throughout Elmira due to contaminated air and water.

Elmira Advocate

KUDOS FOR PROMPT NOTICE - SHAME FOR CANCELLING A VIRTUAL TAG MEETING FOR NEXT THURSDAY.

What the heck is going on? Aren't the guilty parties already satisfied with how they've got public consultation stifled, stymied and broken in Elmira, Ontario? Do they really need to cancel virtual public TAG (Technical Advicory Group) meetings as well? As if removing the best and brightest from first hand public participation in the alleged cleanup of Elmira's ground and surface water wasn't enough. Currently Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach is leading the attack on Lanxess's east side (Stroh & Martin farms) coverup and it's an uphill battle even with support from honest, dedicated people behind the scenes. Honest, dedicated people denied the right to speak at TAG by pretend mayor, Sandy Shantz. Just like in the U.S., the biggest idiot here became mayor (illegally as per Justice David Broad's CONDITIONAL reinstatement of Sandy in 2016). ........................................................................................................... Both our legal and political systems reward the rich, not the honest. Regarding next Thursday's, January 28/21 TAG meeting I guess Sandy or the TAG Chair wanted to sit in the big boys chair at Woolwich Council for the meeting. Maybe they just aren't bright enough to figure out how to host a Zoom type meeting from home. Oh heck, give them the benefit of the doubt. While this cancellation/postponement continues a decades long litany of delays and procrastination, maybe they have a legitmate excuse for the cancellation. Nice if that would have been shared completely with all of us however.

Communitech News

InkSmith expands access to education opportunities with Farnell

WATERLOO, ON | Jan. 19, 2021 — Waterloo Region-based education company, InkSmith, has signed a global distribution agreement with Farnell, an Avnet Company and global distributor of electronic components, products, and solutions, to distribute its popular coding and robotics product known as the Climate Action Kit. The partnership agreement will expand access to learning through […]

The post InkSmith expands access to education opportunities with Farnell appeared first on Communitech News.


Cindy Cody Team

Local Businesses Serving Up Sweet Treats

Indulge in some sweet treats this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re looking for a surprise for someone special, a gift for yourself, or a porch package to leave for a friend, there’s lots to choose from in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Here are local businesses baking up delicious goodies.

Ambrosia Corner Bakery

 

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Angie’s

 

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Bellissima Cakes & Pastries

 

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Bon ApaTreat Ce Food Exprience

 

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Crumb Bakehouse

 

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Dana Shortt Gourmet

 

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Debrodniks Donuts

 

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Four All Ice Cream

 

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Lady Glaze Doughnuts

 

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Nougat Bakery and Delicatessen Q’s Cakes

 

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Queen of Hearts Coffee & Tea House

 

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Seven Shores Community Cafe

 

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Sweet & Savoury Pie Company

 

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Sweet T’s Cakes The Sconery

 

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Unity Baking

 

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Zero Waste Bulk

 

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Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region

CYPT Annual Survey

PLEASE COMPLETE THE CYPT ANNUAL SURVEY

The Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) Steering Committee is committed to ongoing evaluation and continuous improvement. As the CYPT continues to grow, evolve and build momentum it is key to check-in and hear from those connected to and engaged in the work.

We are asking members of the CYPT to complete the Annual Survey as one way of collecting information and feedback from members. Your responses will help shape the strategic direction of our work together, support sustainability planning and ensure that the CYPT continues to improve and best support the members and our shared vision and mission.

Please complete the online survey by end of day January 31, 2021. 

The individual responses will be kept anonymous; responses will be reported in a manner that does not allow individual responses to be identified. Results will be shared with members via the Annual Report and other communication, including future meetings.

If you have any questions specific to the completion of the survey or require an alternative version of the survey, please contact Silviu Kondan, Social Planning Associate for the CYPT at skondan@regionofwaterloo.ca.   Members often ask if the entire annual survey can be reviewed before they get started and complete it, a preview is available online.

 

Thank you for your participation and ongoing commitment to the CYPT.

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Communitech News

Kitchener-based Bridgit welcomes Head of Talent Acquisition to drive accelerated hiring for 2021

TORONTO, CANADA, Jan. 19, 2021 – Bridgit, a global leader in construction resource management solutions, today announced it has brought on Daphne Gorman as the Head of Talent Acquisition. Building on the 2.5X revenue growth and 20 new hires in 2020, the company plans to hire for multiple roles across all teams in the next […]

The post Kitchener-based Bridgit welcomes Head of Talent Acquisition to drive accelerated hiring for 2021 appeared first on Communitech News.


Communitech News

Alert Labs commercial leak and flood solutions to be offered by Chubb

KITCHENER, ONTARIO, Jan. 18, 2021 – Alert Labs today announced that its leak and flood detection solutions will be offered by Chubb to commercial property clients across Canada. Chubb is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. The professional-grade, cellular-connected […]

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Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Comerce

Business Excellence Awards 2021- Nominees, Business of the Year 11-50 Employees

♦The Business of the Year Award (11-50 Employees) celebrate the small to medium sized businesses in our region that are leaders in their industries. This category has historically highlighted the innovative work year after year.

Home Care Assistance was the 2020 recipient of this award. With over 200 worldwide, this franchise has grown to be one of the seven largest franchise locations and has emerged as an innovative leader within their industry, focusing on game-changing services and a science-based approach.

Awarded to an outstanding business or organization with 11-50 full-time employees that, in the

past year, has:

  • Been in operation for a minimum of two consecutive years
  • Demonstrated innovative & proactive leadership within their business or industry
  • Demonstrated measurable success as a business and/or as an employer
  • Practiced good corporate citizenship
  • Made exceptional contributions by promoting community betterment

Nominees for the 2021 Business Excellence Awards Gala are:

  • Anytime Fitness
  • Clean & Tidy
  • Diva International
  • Foxnet Inc.
  • Jay Fencing Ltd.
  • The Inn of Waterloo & Conference Centre
  • Warm Embrace Elder Care

The post Business Excellence Awards 2021- Nominees, Business of the Year 11-50 Employees appeared first on Chamber of Commerce KW.


Inksmit

InkSmith expands access to education opportunities with Farnell

The Climate Action Kit designed to encourage learning about environmental issues through coding will now be globally available through Farnell 


WATERLOO, ON | January 19, 2021 — Waterloo Region-based education company, InkSmith, has signed a global distribution agreement with Farnell, an Avnet Company and global distributor of electronic components, products, and solutions, to distribute its popular coding and robotics product known as the Climate Action Kit. The partnership agreement will expand access to learning through educational technology, democratizing STEM and digital literacy education to students throughout the world in the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“Our exclusive global distribution partnership with Farnell means that educators beyond Canada will have access to our Climate Action Kit and the valuable digital, critical thinking, and design thinking learning opportunities that it enables,” says Jeremy Hedges, CEO and Founder at InkSmith. “It’s important to us that while we empower the next generation of makers, coders, and problem solvers that we do so in as equitably as possible — regardless of economic,  socioeconomic, and now geographic limitations. The UN Global Goals are a key driver behind why we do what we do, and this partnership helps further that mission.”


The Climate Action Kit’s project-based learning experiences are designed to teach students how to apply technology to solve real-world problems through the lens of the UN SDGs. Every project provides a unique hands-on opportunity for cross-curricular learning, with students encouraged to work collaboratively in groups or independently, in the classroom or remotely. K-12 students around the world will now have the opportunity to develop coding and design thinking skills through a variety of experiential learning challenges to design and prototype solutions using the BBC micro:bit. 


“The Climate Action Kit is the ultimate tool for modern educators wanting to stimulate inquiry-based learning and inspire students to solve real world problems using technology. Technology is our greatest asset to ensure our young leaders of tomorrow have the skills and capability to overcome major global issues such as poverty, climate change and societal justice. Farnell’s market leading distribution network will dramatically expand the global reach of InkSmith's immersive, hands-on learning experiences and ensure educators can provide creative cross curriculum learning opportunities to students at every level,” says Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and SBC at Farnell.  


The Climate Action Kit tackles a variety of climate change issues impacting the world today. The Kit introduces students to a variety of climate issues pertaining to SDG15: Life on Land. The projects allow students to explore topics such as deforestation and fertilization run-offs while challenging them to design their own solutions, such as automated tree planters or automated watering systems for vertical or indoor farming. Each of the following curriculum-aligned projects promote critical thinking and problem-solving while learning about environmental issues associated with advanced agriculture, deforestation, carbon farming, insect farming, and plants and pollinators.


The Climate Action Kit, now globally available from Farnell includes: 

  • All motors, sensors and accessories required to tackle a number of the different Climate Action projects.
  • Teaching resources and curriculum for five project-based lessons (Deforestation, Plants and Pollinators, Insect Farming, Carbon Farming and Advanced Agriculture).
  • Three new and improved online curriculum course packs designed by InkSmith’s in-house education experts to be compatible with remote, in-class, and hybrid learning environments.
  • One Climate Action globe Breakout Board to connect a BBC micro:bit.
  • An accompanying Teacher’s Guide with easy to follow instructions.

Farnell has worked with multiple educational organizations and governments to support strategic rollouts of STEM learning solutions into classrooms around the world. Farnell also offers support with provision and bundling of equipment for bespoke large-scale programmes similar to the Super:bit programme in Norway.

The Climate Action Kit is available from Farnell in EMEA, Newark in the United States and Mexico, and element14 in APAC.


James Davis Nicoll

Where Are You Going, My Little One, Little One / Kiki’s Delivery Service By Eiko Kadono (Translated by Emily Balistrieri)

Eiko Kadono 1985 Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming-of-age fantasy novel, the first of a series featuring the eponymous Kiki. Illustrations are by Yuta Onoda. Translation is by Emily Balistrieri.

Kiki is half-witch: her mother Kokiri is a witch while her father, folklorist Okiro, is human. She has the choice of two heritages but can embrace only one. She chooses witch but … to her mother’s disappointment has mastered but a single witchy talent: flying her broom.

Nevertheless, Kiki is thirteen. For witches that means leaving home to find their destiny out in the world. Accompanied by her cat, Jiji, and her parents’ best wishes, Kiki flies away from her former home and heads off to her new one.