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The Guelph Mercury weighs in on Guelph’s water conservation strategy. Yes to more conservation, no to a pipeline to Lake Erie!

Candidates Need To Talk About Water
Guelph Mercury, Editorial
September 20, 2010

There’s a sobering chart in the just-issued annual report of the city’s water conservation and efficiency public advisory committee.

The line graph plots the city’s annual water production against its population growth. The population line is ever rising in the 1998-2010 statistical illustration. The water production is a much flatter line – trending down, with the final year tracked providing the lowest volume flow of water.

During the last civic election campaign, there was some talk of a previously floated remedy to this dilemma – the option of tapping Lake Erie via a pipeline.

So far, the issue of providing a sustainable water supply for the municipality has produced little campaign talk. That might change with the emergence of the water conservation report. It would be good if it did.

The city is set to launch a terrific-sounding pilot program related to this policy area.

This week, the community development and environmental services committee will review a proposed incentive plan to encourage new home builders to establish houses that make smarter use of water. The program would see builders be able to achieve rebates of up to $2,460 for installing such things as low-flow toilets and taps, greywater reuse systems, and/or rainwater harvesting systems.

It could be in place by Nov. 1. We hope it is. It appears a wonderful extension of water conservation measures already undertaken by the municipality such as its promotion of the use of rain barrels and encouragements to replace old inefficient toilets with water-conserving ones.

More can be done and needs to be in this area, however. The city is aiming to reduce average daily water use by 8.7 million litres of water, per day, by 2019. That’s an ambitious target and timeframe – before projected population growth during that period is factored into the thinking.

The pilot Blue Built Home Pilot Program is an example of the type of thinking that will be required to meet this goal. We look forward to council candidates adding to the brainstorming about else could be done. Just please, keep the Lake Erie solution bottled up.

For more on this issue listen to Municipal Election Radio, Tuesdays 7-9 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Municipal Election Radio live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Consumerism Is The Problem Not The Remedy
Joanna MacDonald, Letter to the Guelph Mercury
September 20
, 2010

Great letter in the Guelph Mercury today. Well said, Joanna!

Like most students returning to Guelph last week, I had to make a shopping trip to pick up a few things as I settled into my new home for the next eight months. As I was leaving a local shopping plaza a simple 8-by-10 sign on a door stopped me in my tracks.

It read, “Never underestimate the power of retail therapy.” I was overcome with shock from this blatant lie posted right in my face.

However, shock was quickly replaced with worry about the hundreds of other poor souls who also saw and, worst of all, believed this lie. Therefore, I felt compelled to write and remind my fellow citizens that more does not equal better and stuff does not equate to happiness. But more importantly, not only is this sign lying to us, it is encouraging us to take part in a detrimental activity — consumerism — one of the culprits killing our planet.

Rather than retail therapy I would suggest nature therapy. Go outside and enjoy nature … it’s free.

Joanna MacDonald
Environmental science student
University of Guelph

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As part of CFRU 93.3fm’s coverage we are asking all candidates whether they are willing to report contributions to their campaign before the election takes place on October 25.

The current Ontario Municipal Election Guidelines require only that all donations greater than $100 are recorded and reported in a financial statement, however that information is only made public after the election has taken place.

We do not believe that this is in the public interest. To ensure election transparency, we believe the information on who is donating to individual campaigns should be available to the public before they go to the polls.

We also do not believe it is appropriate that municipal election candidates accept donations from corporations and unions, groups that are not eligible voters. Campaign donations from corporations and unions have already been banned in Toronto.

We have therefore asked ALL candidates in the election to answer the following questions:

  1. Are you willing to make all donations to your campaign greater than $100 public during the election campaign period rather than requiring citizens to wait for the post-election financial report?
  2. Will you be accepting donations from corporations?
  3. Will you be accepting donations from unions?
  4. If you are willing to make all donations to your campaign greater than $100 public during the election campaign period, how will you make this information available to the public?
  5. In other municipalities, 10 days before election day, candidates will disclose via their website or Facebook page, all contributions received up until 2 weeks before election day. Do you support this for Guelph?

The replies we receive from candidates will be posted on our election website, www.voteguelph.ca.

Stand Up For Democracy in Guelph!

For more on this issue listen to Municipal Election Radio, Tuesdays 7-9 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Municipal Election Radio live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or on voteguelph.ca, a day or so later.

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Manhattans Music Club and the Hillside Community Festival are pleased to announce a new kind of cultural experience for the fall and winter of 2010 and 2011.  Taking leads from three existing popular live culture shows – Spectacle, Inside the Actor’s Studio, and Q, this new show is to be called M.A.S.H. Mondays: Music, Art, Science, & History.  

The goal of the series is to explore the different aspects of culture that currently are recognized under different names but are really all the same thing. 

According to M.A.S.H. Mondays host Doug Larson: ‘Music, art, science, and history are all fuelled by the same human spirit and many of us know that our lives depend on borrowing from one ‘area’ to fuel the ‘others’.  Yet society and the media tend to pigeonhole people into single categories: artist, scientist, musician, and historian. Once placed in a category society then tends to discredit the advice or opinions offered by people perceived to be outside of their area of expertise. M.A.S.H. Mondays will try to change this by showing the joy and utility that can come from multilateral living.”

The shows will be held at Manhattan’s Music Club, 951 Gordon St., Guelph, a club well-known for its wonderful atmosphere and great food. The show will run from 8.30 to 10.30 p.m. Tickets are $30 with dinner and $10 for the show alone.  Seated capacity will be limited to 60 to ensure  that all of the audience have an excellent sightline. 

The first show will run Sept. 13, 2010 to be followed on the first Monday of every month (Oct.4, Nov.1, Dec.6, Jan.10, Feb.7, Mar.7, Apr.4).  

The guests for the fall series include:

  • Sept. 13: Craig Norris:(host of CBC R3-30, lead singer of the Kramdens)
  • Oct. 4: Mike Ford:(musical historian, Canada in Song / Moxy Früvous)
  • Nov. 1: Bob McDonald:(host CBC’s Quirks and Quarks)
  • Dec. 6: Samir Baijal:(artistic director, Hillside Festival / musician). 

Not all dates are set for the winter series, but the guests so far confirmed include:

  • Alan Wildeman: (President, University of Windsor)
  • Jay Ingram: (host, Daily Planet, best selling author)
  • Mark Stutman & Matty Cooper: (instrument builder and teacher).

The host, Doug Larson, brings to the stage his long experience in science plus an intimate familiarity with music, art, and history.  This background should enable the exploration of the creative background of each performer in a setting that would be entertaining to the audience.  The two hour long shows will contain a mixture of talk, visual display and song.  Shows will be filmed in high definition by award-winning scientist and film maker Melanie Wills.  

Patrons will have the opportunity to participate in the show but be prepared for the on stage guests to ask questions back to the audience!

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Shane Koyczan In Full Flight... And Bringing The House Down

Shane Koyczan And The Short Story Long... A Hillside Standing Ovation

Andy White And Friends On The Lake Stage

From Busking In Times Square to Hillside... Banjo With Passion, Morgan O'Kane

Banjo, Dobro And Cello... Time For A Party... Morgan O'Kane On The Lake Stage

Farewell Hillside 2010

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Morgan O'Kane And Friends

New Orleans' Sam Doores

Be Good Tanyas Frazey Ford And Trish Klein

Horse Feathers' Justin Ringle Leads Off

Hillside Audience Where's Waldo During The Gospel Hour (Pic: Mike Darmon)

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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Guelph's Emerald City Rock The Island Stage

Stephen Fearing’s Solo Show On The Lake Stage “The Finest Kind”

Stephen Gets A Little Help From Andy White

Reid Jamieson And His Uke On The Lake Stage

Wayne Buttery Lays Down Some Blues On The Lake Stage

Sarah Harmer Fires Up The Main Stage on Saturday Night

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

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