Environment, sustainable living

Recent Posts

Important guages calibrated along waterfront

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By Robert Washburn

An Environment Canada truck sits in front of the Canada Coast Guard office on the east pier on a bright, beautiful June morning. A brick structure, about the size of a one-seat outhouse has its door open. Inside Chris Panacci, an environmental monitoring technologist, is pumping out a very deep pipe leading down into the side of the pier. On a shelf inside the brick outhouse building is a set of equipment used the measure the rise or fall of Lake Ontario. It is one of 2,500 active hydrometric gauges across the country. Continue Reading →

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Idling bylaw being studied by environmental committee

By Robert Washburn

A bylaw to control idling cars or trucks in Cobourg is currently being considered by the Environmental Committee, the town’s engineering manager confirmed last week. Teresa Behan, manager of engineering, said the committee is looking at creating a bylaw similar to other municipalities that would prevent people from leaving their cars running while waiting or unloading. The biggest concern is getting a bylaw that works and is enforceable, she said. “We are aware Port Hope has a bylaw but they have not enforced it,” she said. “So we are hesitant to bring a bylaw forward to council that is not enforceable.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Good weather arrives with planting blitz

[singlepic id=10 w=320 h=240 float=left]After several weeks of mainly rainy days, Cobourg horticulturalist Jason Johns and other members of the parks department were busy around Victoria Hall Wednesday planting Alternanthera and Cleome, or Spider Plant, along the east side and the front of the building. The town grows about 98 per cent of its own flowers for planters, hanging baskets and  beds inside various parks, he said. “I love all of it,” he said. “But it is especially nice at the end of July and at the end of August when everything is in full bloom. It’s good.” Continue Reading →

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Norlock gets House of Commons support for Port Hope

Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock took a major run at nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott in the House of Commons Tuesday. During Question Period, Norlock called on the House of Commons to denounced the Australian activist after she visited Port Hope, proclaiming residents should move away due to nuclear contamination. She followed this with a speech held in Oshawa where she made a number of claims and promoted her recently published book. Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis, who is also a Conservative, responded by denouncing Caldicott’s claims. It would appear this was a bit staged. This news piece is found on the Lake Ontario Waterkeepers website , one of the sponsors of the Caldicott speech. Continue Reading →

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Keep plastic bag fee to help local environment education

When it comes to the use of recyclable bags over plastic in grocery stores and other retail outlets, the answer should be simple: Yes.  But that would be too easy. A full-blown debate over retailers charging five cents to customers for a plastic bag was ignited by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford last month when he announced shoppers “can’t stand” the levy. He claimed it was a burden to businesses. There was no specific plan when he first made his claims. But his comments have launched passionate pleas from both sides. Environmentalists herald the fee, which was introduced two years ago, as an effective deterrent in stopping huge amounts of non-degradable plastic from ending up in landfills. Continue Reading →

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Return of Atlantic salmon good news for Cobourg Creek

The return of Atlantic salmon to the icy waters of Cobourg Creek is welcomed news after decades of hard work and dedication by numerous individuals and groups. It represents a milestone in the rehabilitation of the species, but also places a salve on an old wound in the community. Terry Quinney, fish and wildlife services manager for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, told Cobourg council recently that the work being done by the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program was proceeding extremely well. It appears Atlantic salmon, a breed nearly wiped out of provincial streams, creeks and rivers, may return to spawn following years of efforts to rejuvenate the population. More than 120 years ago, early settlers, who dammed creeks, streams and rivers for mills, wiped out Atlantic salmon. Continue Reading →

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Responding to editorial cartoon on wind energy

First published: June 18, 2004

The following was submitted to The Port Hope Evening Guide on the
afternoon of 6/17/04 in
response to the editorial cartoon and editorial in Wednesday’s newspaper. When I read the editorials in the newspaper I expect a certain amount of
opinion and quite often it makes sense and I find myself influenced by
the opinion of the community concern hashed out between the Managing
Editor and the Publisher. What I’d like to know in the treatment of the residential class wind
turbine built in Alnwick/Haldimand Township is how the issue could
possible spin into a stab at ‘liberal rhetoric’ and the advances in
renewable energy construction in Ontario. The focus should be on how Germany built 3,247 mW of wind electrical
generating capacity in 2001, roughly 10% of the base load need of
Ontarians and why in Canada, but most especially Ontario, we have laws
and a government political and departmental mentality that suggests wind
farming is the pursuit of people who are ignorant of the health benefits
of nuclear power generation. In Germany, it is largely understood internationally that legislative
tools exist to level the playing field to allow farmers and cooperatives
in on the ground floor to build their own generating capacity. Continue Reading →

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