Newsletter 124, 18 April 2017

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A vacation from our high-tech, high-pressure lives is always welcome. But what if we could make that freedom and contentment with life permanent, instead of returning to the rat race after a one- or two-week escape?

An alternative way of living, called Voluntary Simplicity – or sometimes the Simpler Way – will be discussed at the next Transition Brockville presentation on Sunday, April 23, 2 p.m., at the Brockville Public Library.

Chris Stesky, a member of the Transition Brockville steering committee, will introduce the concept, offer some insights from her experience, and invite the audience to share stories from their own journey toward a simpler life.

Following the discussion, everyone is invited to a celebrate Transition Brockville's 10th anniversary. There will be a look back at the group's history, appreciation of those who have contributed over the years, and a delicious cake and treats...

Call for Steering Committee members

As a newsletter subscriber, you likely have more awareness of our changing world than many of your neighbours, and an interest in building a more resilient community. People with new ideas, new strengths, and the desire to see our community thrive in challenging times are always welcome on our Steering Committee. If you think you might be interested in taking a larger role in the group, please contact us at or call 613-345-4020.

Newsletter survey results

We recently undertook a survey of our subscribers' interests in this newsletter. We received some excellent suggestions such as linking directly to source articles. 45% or more of the survey respondents have been clicking-through to read a full story in each of our newsletter sections. Some sections are not even being scanned by - at most - only 13% of the respondents. Written comments included these:

  • Whether global, regional or local information, it is always informative and inspiring.
  • Great work! It is immensely useful as a compendium of news that matters. It is a great service and is highly valued. I like the new format - it makes much sense. Please keep up this work. Thank you.
  • You present a daunting number of links in each newsletter. Overkill? Maybe, but I think it lets each of us tailor our use to the things that interest us most, within the time we have available. That's as it should be! Keep it up.

Transition Backgrounder: What is Transition?

The Essential Guide to Doing Transition / 2016

Transition is a movement that has been growing since 2005. It is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. By coming together, they are able to create solutions together. They seek to nurture a caring culture, one focused on connection with self, others and nature. They are reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, reskilling themselves and and weaving webs of connection and support. Courageous conversations are being had; extraordinary change is unfolding.


Wanted! Tiny house manufacturers and owners

Beyond Events / 11 April 2017
Help us bring Ontario to the forefront of the Tiny House movement by exhibiting your tiny house at Ontario's first (and finest) Tiny House Festival – [to be held in Perth and] following the example of Quebec's successful "Festival Mini-Maisons." Details follow. The goal of the festival is to inspire and explore ...

Leeds-Grenville moves ahead with paved shoulders

Brockville Active Mobility Matters / Alan Medcalf / 04 April 2017
In a unanimous vote today, the Committee of the Whole of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville passed the following motion: THAT the Committee of the Whole recommends consideration of paved shoulders in its award of the 2017 County Road 2 contract for the reconstruction of...

World Water Day is a great time to reflect on how precious every drop of water is, particularly when much of the world does not have access to clean, safe, drinking water. According to a report by World Health Organization (, half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas by the year 2025. Given these facts, it's easy to see how critically important it is that we think about ways to reuse wastewater. newterra (, a leader in modular water, wastewa...

How pig power helped restore a local farm

NCPR / Todd Moe / 03 April 2017
Healthy food is the mantra at Funny Duck Farm, just north of Brockville in Ontario. When Samantha Klinck and her husband, Aaron, bought their 96-acre property in 2001, it hadn't been farmed since the 1970s. Samantha said its pastures were "almost visible" in spite of the trees, brush and rubble left behind by the previous owner. Unable to afford expensive, heavy equipment, Samantha and Aaron relied on their foraging livestock – mostly pigs – to help clear the land. It's a long process, but it fits their "all organic" CSA philosophy...

Kingston is WALK Friendly

Green Communities Canada / 17 April 2017
The City of Kingston has been designated as a 2016 Bronze Walk Friendly Community. This medium-sized city has done an impressive job of promoting walking and walkability and in engaging its citizens to increase walking rates. A large number of Kingston's residents live close to their workplaces, providing a huge opportunity to in...


6 electric buses, charging station coming to Newmarket / Teresa Latchford / 27 March 2017
York Region and the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) have partnered up with Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution to bring the electric buses and one electric charging station to town. This makes the local utility provider the first in Ontario to participate in an electric bus pilot project. Newmarket-Tay will be responsible for maintaining an overhead, on-route bus charging station, which was the hurdle needed to move the pilot project forward....


  To the Ends of the Earth

TVO / 23 January 2017
Narrated by Emma Thompson, this documentary examines the rise of extreme energy extraction in Canada and its impact on the environment, economy and local communities. The fossil fuel industry's intensive hunt for unconventional non-renewables, including Arctic drilling and shale gas fracking, also gives rise to a formid...


Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

NASA Global Climate Change / Maria-José Viñas / 22 March 2017
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached on March 7 a record low wintertime maximum extent, according to scientists at NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. And on the opposite side of the planet, on March 3 sea ice around Antarctica...

Most billion-dollar weather disasters for a 1st quarter

The Weather Network / Jonathan Belles / 07 April 2017
The first three months of 2017 claimed the most billion-dollar weather disasters for the same stretch of any year on record, according to a report released Thursday by NOAA. Five separate disasters, ranging from tornado outbreaks and wind damage to late season freez...

'Human fingerprint' found on global extreme weather

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 27 March 2017
The fingerprint of human-caused climate change has been found on heatwaves, droughts and floods across the world, according to scientists. The discovery indicates that the impacts of global warming are already being felt by society and adds further urgency to the need to cut carbon emissions. A key factor is the fast-melting Arctic, which is now strongly linked to extreme weather across Europe, Asia and north America. Rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have long been expected to lead to increasing extreme weather events, as they trap extra energy in the atmosphere. But linking global warming to particular events is difficult because the climate is nat...

Mental health harmed by global warming

International Business Times / Juliana Rose Pignataro / 30 March 2017
A report released Wednesday by the American Psychological Association, Climate for Health and ecoAmerica detailed how climate change and associated extreme weather events can cause trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and an abundance of other mental health problems...

  Experiencing 'eco-anxiety'?

CBC The Current / 06 April 2017
"Eco-anxiety" has become a short-hand description for symptoms that psychologists are starting to see from Nunavut to Australia and beyond. That feeling of distress is detailed in a new report by the American Psychological Association that suggests worrying about climate change is having a serious impact on...

Former US vice president Al Gore has produced a follow-up to his award-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.


  Building community from your front porch

Peak Moment TV / 15 May 2015
"Hi, neighbor!" After work Michelle Colussi's husband sits on the front steps, attracting visitors young and old. This bit of neighborliness encourages relationships which come in handy -- like bailing out one another's houses when the nearby creek flooded.

Supercharge your soil for spring!

Mother Earth News / Benedict Vanheems / 28 March 2017
Now's the ideal time to enrich your soil for the coming growing season. The best way to do that is to add organic matter to improve soil structure, increase fertility, and feed the essential microbial life that lives in the soil. A thick layer of organic matter — for instance, compost, ani...


Brockville Community-Wide Cleanup

WHEN: Saturday, April 22, 9:00 am - noon
WHERE: City-wide

The Brockville Community-Wide Cleanup organizing committee is comprised of volunteer community members and students. Each year, the committee coordinates with City of Brockville staff and with the financial support from environmentally conscious businesses, in an effort make our city clean.

The greatest efforts come directly from local volunteers and neighbours, who pitch-in armed with rakes and garbage bags. Each year this event draws a few hundred volunteers, removing tonnes of garbage and recyclable rubbish from our parks and green spaces.

More info:

10th Annual NG Sustainability Fair and Market

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Sunday, April 23, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Road 44, Kemptville, ON

Discover great ideas for your Greener Lifestyle!

  • Source local green products and services
  • Savour local and organic foods
  • Create in the kid's area
  • Enjoy local live music
  • Electric vehicles on display

More info: 2017 Sustainability Fair & Market

Speaker Series: Matt Windle, St. Lawrence River Institute

WHEN: Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Aquatarium, Broad Street, Brockville, ON

Come to our Lighthouse Theatre and hear Matt Windle, from the St. Lawrence River Institute, talk about the great research and special programs they are doing. $5 at the door. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Jane's Walk

WHEN: Saturday, May 6, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Maphin's Coffeehouse, Perth and King Streets, Brockville, ON

Dale Chisamore will be leading a Jane's Walk, beginning at the corner of King and Perth streets (at Maphin's coffee shop). Walkers will glimpse Brockville's past in the buildings and public spaces in the historic downtown core.

How Planting Wildflowers Can Help Protect Local Ecosystems

Athens Garden Club
WHEN: Tuesday, May 16, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Athens Free Methodist Church, 58 Elgin St. North, Athens

The May meeting of the Athens Garden Club meeting features a naturalist from Thousand Islands National Park. All are welcome; visitors pay $3.

Urban flooding webinar

Green Communities Canada
WHEN: Thursday, May 18, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
WHERE: Online

Join GCC's RAIN Department for a free webinar that presents findings from our new report: Urban Flooding in Ontario: Toward Collective Impact Solutions. Suggested donation of $25 appreciated. Details and registration here.

Community Treasure Day

City of Brockville
WHEN: Saturday, June 17, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville, ON

The garage sale where everything is free! Leave any unwanted but still useful items at the curb by 9 a.m. Remove any uncollected treasures from the curb and cease collecting by 6 p.m. Please do not remove items from anyone's property- only collect items from the curb. • • Facebook Group

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