Tag Archives: Orleans

Win a trip to Kennedy Space Center

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MAGAZINE LOGOAstronomy Magazine & Kennedy Space Center Sweepstakes —
Total Prize Value: $6,425!

Win round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for four including a behind-the-scenes tour, lunch with an astronaut, and a meteorite collectible.
Open only to residents of the USA and Canada (except Quebec).

CENTER4  CENTER1    CENTER5

HURRY! Enter Sweepstakes
– before November 30th.

http://sciencecontests.secondstreetapp.com/Win-a-trip-to-the-Kennedy-Space-Center/Enter

IMAGE1Each year, more than 1.4 million guests from around the world experience their own space adventure by exploring the past, present and future of America’s space program at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This Visitor Complex opened on August 1, 1967 in response to public interest and demand to see our space program up close. This was at the time NASA was preparing to launch the first astronauts to the moon. In 1995 Delaware North Parks and Resorts, Inc. began managing the 70-acre facility. They have redeveloped and enhanced this facility to make it one of Central Florida’s most popular tourist destinations. KSC visitor complex offers IMAX films, live shows, hands-on-activities, behind the scenes tours, lunch with an astronaut, and its newest attraction, The Shuttle Launch Experience. The facility offers great shopping, dining, education programs, and sometimes even launches, and it is entirely self-supported. It receives no taxpayer or government funding.

CENTER5Excellent overview of Center link ~ http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/KennedySpaceCenter-122607.cfm

Good luck to all who enter.

Have a scare-riffic Halloween and great weekend!

 fireghost FIREY LETTERS

Colorado River ~ most endangered U.S. river

1-COLORADO RIVER BESTThe following Youtube video was published on Apr 16, 2013 by Pete McBride.

The Colorado River is a lifeline in the desert, its water sustaining tens of millions of people in seven states, as well as endangered fish and wildlife. However, demand on the river’s water now exceeds its supply, leaving the river so over-tapped that it no longer flows to the sea.

Alexandra Cousteau says, “With the ongoing drought in the West, this beautiful short film really hits home how fragile our water really is.”

It runs through seven states, nourishes nearly four million acres of farmland, and has flowed for more than six million years, yet the Colorado River, which supplies drinking water for thirty-six million people, is the most endangered river in America.

The following Youtube video, “The Colorado River in peril” by GeoBeats News, was published on Apr 22, 2013

The Colorado River was named the most endangered waterway in the US by American Rivers, a US environmental protection organization. They cited overuse, drought, and outdated management as its top threats. American Rivers’ president Bob Irvin said, “The Colorado River…is so over-tapped that it dries up to a trickle before reaching the sea.” The waterway runs through seven states and into Mexico. It supports the daily needs of 36 million people and the irrigation of the 4 million acres of land that produce 15 percent of the nations crops. Local flora and fauna (1,5,1) and a large recreational industry also rely on its well-being.

Link – excellent in-depth background on topic ~ 

link for Keep the Colorado Flowing ~

http://www.americanrivers.org/newsroom/resources/colorado-river-americas-most-endangered-river-2013/

Living Life Well ~ Commandments

LIFE LESSONS LOTUS IN WATER

The meaning of a lotus flower ranges from divine purity and enlightenment, as in Buddhism, wealth, as in Hinduism, to rebirth, as in the ancient Egyptian religion. Many of the ancient meanings are still in use today.

RULE 1ONE ~
Give  people more than they expect and do it  cheerfully.

RULE2TWO ~
Marry  a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get  older, their  conversational skills  will be as important as any  other.

RULE3THREE ~
Don’t  believe all you hear,
spend all you have
or  sleep all you  want.

RULE4 CROPFOUR ~
When  you say,
‘I love you,’ mean  it.

rule5add textFIVE ~
When  you say, ‘I’m sorry,’
look the person in the  eye.
      

 

ENGAGEMENT CROPSIX ~
Be  engaged at least six months
before you get  married.

 

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT SEVEN ~

Believe  in love at first  sight.

LAUGH AT DREAMEIGHT ~
Never  laugh at anyone’s dreams.
People who  don’t have dreams don’t have  much.

1-LOTUS FLOWERNINE ~
Love  deeply and passionately.
You might get  hurt but it’s the only way to live life  completely

TENTEN ~
In  disagreements, fight fairly.
No name  calling.

 

ELEVENELEVEN ~
Don’t  judge people
by their  relatives.

THINK SLOWTWELVE ~
Talk  slowly
but think  quickly.

THIRTEENTHIRTEEN ~
When  someone asks you a question you don’t want to  answer,
smile  and ask, ‘Why do you want to  know?’

FOURTEENFOURTEEN ~
Remember  that great love and great achievements involve  great  risk.

FIFTEENFIFTEEN ~
Say  ‘bless you’
when you hear someone  sneeze.

SIXTEENSIXTEEN ~
When  you lose,
don’t lose the  lesson.

SEVENTEENSEVENTEEN ~
Remember  the three R’s:
Respect for self;
Respect for  others;
and Responsibility for all your  actions.

EIGHTEENEIGHTEEN ~
Don’t let a little dispute
injure a great friendship.

NINETEENNINETEEN ~
When  you realize you’ve made a mistake, take  immediate steps to correct  it.

PHONE SMILETWENTY ~
Smile  when picking up the phone.
The caller will hear  it in your  voice.

TIME ALONETWENTY-  ONE ~
Spend  some time  alone.

 

TRUE FRIEND ENDINGA  true friend
is someone who reaches for your hand
and touches your  heart.

Northern Quebec community receives $1.4 billion

1-BUILDING TOGETHER

“Building Together – A hydro project in Quebec works with collaboration from its neighbours.”, by Antonia McGuire appeared in WaterCanada’s May/June 2011 edition.

BUILDING2New roads, transported goods and purchased services, employment for trades and construction workers,  transferred knowledge of a water  treatment technology to the local community. When it comes to the business of water sustainability, the regional economic spinoffs are clearly significant. In the case of Eastmain 1A/Sarcelle, a northern Quebec hydroelectric project, the local community benefited from a boost of up to $1.4 billion, increasing quality of life and providing jobs. Of that amount, $632 million went to contracts awarded to the Cree people in the area, and over $260 million was invested in environmental measures. 
  HEADER IMAGESome people are already calling it Canada’s project of the decade, but what’s truly unique about this project is its collaborative approach. As part of its $5 billion sustainability development  strategy Hydro-Québec’s Société de développement de la Baie James (see “About SDBJ/SEBJ” at end) has earned an international reputation for providing world-class services in project engineering and construction in cooperation with First Nations communities.
Sharing resources
HYDRO QUEBECHydro-Québec and subsidiary SEBJ have an agreement to work together with the Cree people—through the partnership, they share resources such as personnel and environmental experts to assess the risks around water quality.
MAP3“A joint committee of representatives from the Cree and SEBJ decides everything together—how we go about it, who does it, and what it means for the Cree communities,” says Hydro- Québec’s biologist specializing in water quality for SEBJ, Roger Schetagne. “The Cree participate in all sampling, and are involved in every stage of the project. The methodology and all results are presented to the community very openly.”
It doesn’t end there. Despite $1.25-billion spent over four years by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on water and wastewater infrastructure, documents obtained from Health Canada revealed that one in five First Nations communities still lack safe drinking water…Prior to the agreement with Hydro-Québec, the Cree Waskaganish  First Nation did not have an adequate water treatment system and some people still used and drank surface water from the river.
CREE COUNCIL“Water services were already an issue for the Waskaganish community, who, at the time, had an obsolete drinking water facility,” says Schetagne. Before the project, he says, SEBJ and First Nations people decided to build a new water treatment facility. The location and type of water treatment was decided with the Cree, and the facility was completed in 2009. It runs on a waterproof membrane water cleaning technology that is easily transferred to the Cree people.
SAFE WATERThe SEBJ/Hydro-Québec and Cree project team also provides a targeted local health campaign about healthy, safe drinking water practices. “We work in collaboration with the Cree board of health on this issue,” says Schetagne.
This sustainability development project is not only bridging two cultures to do business, but the work being done along the way is helping others develop real-world adaptation strategies— lessons that can provide benefits to the partnership and beyond.
About SDBJ/SEBJ
Back in 1971,the Société de développement de la Baie James
(SDBJ) formed a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec known as Société
d’énergie de la Baie James (SEBJ). For the past three decades, SEBJ has offered numerous services in power generation, transmission plant engineering, project management, and construction, as well as developed an expertise in remote areas and multicultural environments. Today, Hydro-Québec’s SEBJ group is spearheading one of the largest hydroelectric developments in the multicultural environments.
ANTONIA MCGUIREAntonia McGuire
is a Toronto-based
freelance writer.

Fun Friday ~ Quirky USA Town Trivia Part 3

The following article, “America’s Quirkiest Towns”,  is the 3rd part of Huffington Posts’ ‘The Blog’ article posted by Katrina Brown Hunt, taken from Travel+Leisure  Sept. 3, 2014.
America’s Quirkiest Towns (PHOTOS)

Paul Stone loves the colorful locals he sees on Boulder, Colorado’s downtown plaza, the no-cars-allowed Pearl Street Mall…
 That double-jointed blend is probably why the Colorado mountain town also made the top 20 for quirky locals, according to Travel + Leisure readers…

Doylestown, PA

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In the heart of history-rich Bucks County, there’s a fine line between quirkiness and extreme quaintness: cutting-edge souvenirs include the locally grown sachets from the Peace Valley Lavender Farm. Doylestown also ranked well for its fairs, such as the annual Polish Festival, held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (a Black Madonna sometimes seen as a subversive), and the crowd-pleasing Beer Fest, held at the town’s former estate, Fonthill Castle. Readers also applauded Doylestown for brunch: try the Purgatory Plate (poached eggs over slow-cooked sweet onions, plum tomatoes, and Grana Padano cheese) at local favorite Domani Star.

Lawrence, KS

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This Kansas town made the top 20 for embracing those who aren’t afraid to make public spectacles. Each summer brings the Lawrence Busker Festival, featuring sword swallowers and fire dancers, and every Christmas the fire department makes a show of rescuing Santa off the roof of Weaver’s Department Store. Year round, Lawrence supports the Museum of the Odd, whose curator has collected such fascinating exhibits as celebrity toothbrushes, ashtrays made from animal limbs, and roughly 600 sock monkeys. It also ranked highly for its ice cream, such as the cookie-and-candy-filled Kansas Twister scoops at Sylas and Maddy’s.

Snowmass, CO

16 Snowmass, CO

This ski town landed in the survey’s top 10 for being friendly and smart, but quirky isn’t too far behind. After all, it seems locals have a habit of attaching stuff to trees. The Sanctuaries in the Snow tour, led by a retired attorney, will take you to see the area’s best mysterious shrines—elaborate homages in the woods devoted to, say, Jerry Garcia, golf, or Snoopy. Past quirky residents, meanwhile, have included at least one woolly mammoth; a tusk was excavated a few years ago in Snowmass Village and can now be seen, along with other local fossils, at the town’s Ice Age Discovery Center.

Greenville, SC

17 greenville-south-carolina

The most iconic site in this Blue Ridge town is truly off-kilter: Liberty Bridge, in Falls Park, a pedestrian bridge whose 90-foot-tall masts tilt an eye-catching 15 degrees. If you’re not feeling woozy afterward, stop in at the Dark Corner Distillery, the state’s first legal moonshine operation, where you can taste the Butterscotch Shine or the chipotle-and-cinnamon Hot Mama, and learn to make your own hooch back at home. Readers also liked the casual dining scene: at Papi’s Tacos, the off-the-menu favorite is the Walking Taco, a loaded bag of Doritos and a fork. Locals may enjoy it ironically, since Greenville also placed in the top 10 for being hip.

Franklin, TN

18 franklin-tennessee

This charming town south of Nashville dances to it own beat, winning the survey for its un-countrified festivals, such as its summer Jazz Festival and winter’s Dickens of a Christmas. Franklin also won the survey for its cool souvenirs. You might go home with bottles of brisket marinade and denim coozies from Puckett’s Grocery, or rare volumes from Landmark Booksellers, whose building dates back to 1798 and reportedly houses some busy ghosts. Around here, that’s not so unusual: Franklin’s present-day locals scored well in the survey for staying active.

Amelia Island, FL

19 amelia-island-florida

There’s a fickle backstory to this little island town: it has belonged to eight different nations, and today offers a fun-loving blend of Deep South and island culture. The town ranked highly in the survey for historic inns like the Victorian-era Hoyt House andWilliams House and for its family-vacation appeal. For a one-of-a-kind activity with the kids, take Amelia River Cruises’ Eco-Shrimping Tour, where you get to catch (then release) the little shellfish.

Beaufort, NC

20 beaufort-north-carolina

While some towns do Civil War reenactments, Beaufort does an annual re-creation of a 1747 showdown between pirates and feisty town locals. That swashbuckling sense of excitement still lives on. Readers loved this Inner Banks town for its romantic places to stay—such as The Cedars Inn, which has hosted seafaring types as far back as the late 1700s – and its live music. To hear the best local musicians, go to the Backstreet Pub, where Wednesday nights are “Hoot Nights,” and during downtimes, patrons are welcome to play cribbage at their tables.

water-dropletHope you all enjoyed your armchair travel time,
Parts 1,2,3 with us.

Get out and enjoy nature’s autumn bounty this weekend. 

Villages sunk during St. Lawrence Seaway

1-SEAWAY SUNKEN VILLAGES

Many thanks to gizmodo.com’s Geoff Manaugh who posted the following article, “Haunting Aerial Photographs Of Drowned Villages In Canada”, 23 October, 2013

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Louis Helbig is cataloging aerial photographs of Canadian villages drowned by the construction of the St Lawrence Seaway on his website Sunken Villages. The photos are haunting and gorgeous, almost emerald-like, but often difficult to read. Outlines of houses and roads barely emerge from the silt like scenes from a dream by J.G. Ballard, or flooded stage sets in the water that, in some photos, are lazily criss-crossed by boats.

The shot seen above, featuring a “barn with octagonal silo“, or the photo simply described as two buildings in Riverside Heights — an overly optimistic name for a town that now finds itself underwater — exemplify the dreamlike nature of the scenes.

Some of the lost architectural features of the region are now SCUBA-diving attractions, Helbig explains.

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Two Buildings Riverside Heights” by Louis Helbig.

Helbig relays the extraordinary history of these villages on his site, including a brief introduction to the dispersed former residents who still refer to things like “Inundation Day” as a perverse local anniversary.

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Down Altsville East to West” by Louis Helbig.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway was the largest industrial project of its time,” he writes. “A feat of unprecedented industrial accomplishment, it eliminated the powerful Long Sault Rapids and opened the Great Lakes to the ocean-going vessels of its era. In the rapids’ place, Lake St. Lawrence became the headwater for a massive hydroelectric dam.”

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Doran Point Buildings in May” by Louis Helbig.

LOUIS HELBIGThe project began purely by accident, while flying over a body of water and looking down, spotting the outlines of architecture in the shallows below:

The first path began in the air in late 2009 when, flying over the St. Lawrence River, I spotted, quite by chance, a rectangular outline in the clear, blue-green water. At first I didn’t quite believe what I thought I was seeing — I had never heard of such a thing as houses, let alone whole communities, under water in Canada and the United States. A few turns later, I found a road and some more foundations; the entire thing snapped into place with a sidelong glance at the dam in the distance between Cornwall, Ontario, Canada and Massena, New York, USA.

Deciding both to memorialize and, in a sense, to warn others about the experience of loss these artificial floods have led to, Helbig’s project is both abstract and documentarian — and, even better, it is currently on display at the Marianne van Silfhout Gallery at St. Lawrence College, so you can see the photos in person. The show closes on November 2.

Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Downtown Aultsville” by Louis Helbig.

Browse the lost villages on Helbig’s site, and check out Gizmodo’s own brief survey of drowned towns.

 

Canada water and wastewater systems dilemma

The following article, “Balancing Act – How PC3s may help Canada’s water and wastewater systems given the dilemma faced by municipalities”, by David Caplan, was posted to ReNew Canada on September 3, 2014

IMAGE1


IMAGE2Properly maintained water and wastewater systems underpin our quality of life. Most Canadians are unaware of the poor condition of these systems and the risks associated with our governments’ lack of an adequate plan for long-term sustainability. If not addressed, this negligence will cause economic hardship and may also pose a threat to public health and safety and the environment.

In some municipalities, parts of water systems were built in the 19th century, with some dating back as early  and safety and the environment. as the 1870s.  In the City of Toronto, for example, DIRTY WATERhalf of the water network is at least 50 years old and almost 10 per cent is more than 100 years old. It was reported in May 2014 that 13 per cent of Toronto’s drinking water contained unsafe levels of lead due to the dilapidation of water pipes that were installed in the 1950s.

COSTLYInefficiencies in our water and wastewater systems are costly. On top of the province’s decaying municipal water and wastewater infrastructure, many drinking water distribution systems have leakage rates ranging from 10 to 50 per cent. On average, 25 per cent of every drop of water that is purified and sent through the system is lost through leakage. Municipalities spend a lot of money treating water that will never reach the end user. The impact is multiplied when you consider these systems are the top source of energy consumption for municipalities across Canada. 

CORRODED PIPEThe risks of continued inaction are troubling. Toxic lead pipes, corroded water pipes, and broken sewer pipes are a potential source 
of drinking water contamination. Broken water and wastewater PIPEpipes can contaminate rivers and lakes, making them unsafe for drinking and recreation and threatening wildlife and fish stocks. Broken watermains often cause disruptions in traffic, significant property damage, and substantial costs.

These risks are not hypothetical or worst-case scenarios, but ongoing problems that currently threaten water and wastewater systems in Canada.

FUNDING ESTIMATEThe scale of the infrastructure gap is staggering. Canada’s municipal water infrastructure deficit currently sits at more than $80 billion. Many municipal systems require significant capital investments that most simply don’t have in their annual budgets.

So how do we repair an antiquated system given the financial dilemma faced by municipalities?

With a significant need for investment to update aging infrastructure and lack of budgetary capacity in municipalities to fund it, creative solutions are needed. Although many Canadians are (rightfully) concerned about the retention of public ownership over their water and wastewater systems, solutions that marry the best of public-sector oversight with private-sector financial innovation and technical advances are required.

The question of public versus private ownership of water is divisive. Sustaining and improving water and wastewater systems while retaining public ownership of our water utilities is fundamental to protecting our drinking water and public health. The issue we have today is not with who owns what—but more so who pays for what.

MONEY TREEWith the financing gap, coupled with the concern over public ownership, how do we inject new capital into a sector that has long shuddered in fear of any private involvement?

P3SConsider the example set by the Province of Ontario. Public-private partnerships (P3s) have been used by the Ontario government to inject private capital into the public health care domain for more than a decade. The result has been remarkable. The gap that once existed between the available public funds and the investments required for new and aging hospitals has decreased dramatically. The government, alongside health-care officials, managed to balance the injection of private financing models with the sensitivity over the public ownership of hospitals and health-care facilities.

HEALTH CARE REFORMP3s proved to health-care officials and local municipalities that they would retain ownership over their health care services and transfer financial and related construction risks over to the private sector. This, in turn, protected the taxpayer and ensured that the system is maintained and kept to a higher standard than what currently exists. The utilization of the P3 model also promotes full-system cost recovery and ring-fencing, which protects consumers from financial instability and guarantees that any money generated by the system stays within it to encourage regular re-investment and renewal.

BUDGETBoth full-system recovery and ring-fencing are critical in making the P3 model work for water and wastewater projects as it will help municipalities deal with the current economic conditions that call for tight budgets and decreased spending. The injection of private financing into the system would promote technological innovation that could make Canada one of the world leaders in clean water technology.

  VICTORIAFollowing this example, Canadian municipalities need to consider adapting the P3 model to close the financing gap that currently exists in the water and wastewater sector. Municipalities like Victoria, Edmonton, and Regina are already leading the way in EDMONTONadapting the model for use in the water and wastewater sector.
These municipalities were successful in implementing the P3 model despite fears it would kick-start the privatization of public infrastructure, loosen accountability, and
begin the process of monopolizing water and wastewater entities. REGINAVictoria, Edmonton, and Regina were all able to prove that the P3 model would ensure the retention of public ownership; increase operational and financial transparency; and promote a fair, open, and efficient bidding process.

Regina consequently approved the use of the P3 model for its water and wastewater systems in September 2013, with 57 per cent of the population voting in support of a referendum on the issue. This process proved that a proper explanation and defense of the P3 model is crucial in the early stages of any project that involves a public utility—especially one as galvanizing as water and wastewater.

Those who are critical of applying the P3 model to public utilities claim the push for profit and a solid return on investment will lead to an increase in water rates, decrease in system reliability, and cuts to vulnerable users. However, properly structured and administered contracts provide protection to municipalities and ratepayers.

Putting aside the argument for P3s, it should be apparent that the water and wastewater systems need immediate attention in Ontario and Canada as a whole. Boil-water advisories, broken watermains, lead toxicity, and E. coli outbreaks will continue to occur if we do not address the antiquated water systems crumbling under our feet.

 

David Caplan is the vice-chair of Global Public Affairs.