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Techno-glect: Please Put Your Phone Down
I know that it’s a controversial topic. I’m aware that this post will most likely open up a can of worms. And I’m okay with that (I think). I also know that in order for this to be an authentic post, that I really need to confess something (which I will do towards the end of this post).

It was a recent event at the local park that made me realise that I needed to publish this post. As uneasy as real canada goose duck down goose may make some of us feel (myself included) parental distraction with iPhones is a real problem. Even if this post just makes you stop and think for a moment and contemplate how you use your phone…

Now before I begin, I’m not professing to being a ‘perfect’ parent. I certainly don’t have this parenting real canada goose duck down goose sorted out. Far from real canada goose duck down goose in fact. I have moments (lots in fact) where I question what I’m doing. And wonder if I’m doing a good enough job.

But as a mum and a children’s technology researcher, I feel compelled to share this post. Yes, it might bring up some icky feelings, but that’s a sign that perhaps there’s a lesson here for us. Something for us to consider.

So deep breath…here it comes.

I was with my boys at the local park the other day. It was a typical ‘park day’. Frenetic energy as children climbed up and down the equipment. And up and down again. Squeals and laughter ensuing. Mums holding cups of coffee in their hands and giving each other ‘that’ nod, that only sleep-deprived parents can give. Grandparents proudly watching on as children negotiated equipment. A few dads chasing their kids.

Nothing out of the ordinary really. Until I saw something that concerned me. It disturbed me on so many levels. And I thought about this event for days after I witnessed it.

A 4-year old girl (she had proudly declared she was 4 earlier in a heated discussion about who was the oldest in the sandpit) was attempting to amble up the rope-climbing frame. She had almost made it to the top. Independently. And when she finally did, her excitement was palpable. She was thrilled.

“Muuuum!” she shrieked. “I did it. I did it! I got all the way to the top.”

But her mum did not reply. So she screamed a little louder, “Mumm! I got to the top!”

Still no response.

The little girl looked longingly at her mum, who was sitting near me on an adjacent bench. I glanced over to see her mum smiling… But not at her daughter. She was hunched over with her iPhone clenched in her hand.

“Just one sec, honey. I just need to post this picture…”

The little girl looked at her mum. A despondent look descended on her face. Her eyes looked down and her shoulders slumped. Her whole demeanor changed. She was no longer the confident and proud little girl that she had been moments earlier.

And then, I think, she realised how far up she had climbed and began to panic. She started to try to climb down frantically and started to cry. Her footing became unstable and she wobbled and almost fell.

She didn’t fall, but came very close.

As I watched this event unfold (I was sitting on the adjacent bench feeding my baby) I was absolutely flabbergasted. For two reasons.

Most importantly, this mum had missed a very important moment with her daughter, in favour of her iPhone. She was so mesmerised by her iPhone that she didn’t witness her daughter’s achievement. Now I am not saying that parents have to witness every success of their children. That is not feasible (nor desirable- we know that today’s children are becoming highly contingent upon praise and reward). [Some of you may be wondering- was the mum posting pictures of her daughter at the park? I don’t think so, as she had been glued to her phone for the entire time her daughter used the climbing-frame.]

But observing this experience really made me think. And in doing so, it brought up some un-easy feelings.

My second concern, relates to the little girl’s injury risk because her mum was not actively supervising her.Again, I acknowledge that park accidents happen and even the most vigilant of parents (we all know the ‘helicopter parents’) can experience park accidents. However, this experience that I witnessed made me realise that parental preoccupation with phones could be causing child safety concerns.

Now when I dived into the research (I know, I know, I love a good bit of research), I found that we don’t yet have any published data to conclude that parental screen-use is causing children’s increased injury rates. Yet.

However, there is some anecdotal evidence from doctors and hospitals that children’s injury rates have been increasing. And some reports suggest that parental distraction with iPhonesmay be a causal factor for increased childhood injuries. [Note, I did not say that we have conclusive evidence. There may be a host of reasons as to why children’s injury levels have increased in recent years. Increased sedentary behavior may be a leading reason.] But I think that this is a significant concern.

Now, in my quest for research I did find an ethnographic study that has recently been published in the Pediatrics journal that explored how parents use mobile devices around their children. The study “observed 55 caregivers eating with 1 or more young children in fast food restaurants in a single metropolitan area. Observers wrote detailed field notes, continuously describing all aspects of mobile device use and child and caregiver behavior during the meal.”

The study found that of the 55 parents observed 40 of them used a mobile device during the meal time. The study’s authors said, “They looked at it, scrolled on it and typed for most of the meal, only putting it down intermittently.”

Now it’s important to note that this was not a scientific study. We have to be careful what conclusions we draw from such a small-scale study. But the findings suggest that parental absorption with phones impacted on children’s behaviour. The children whose parents who were most absorbed in their devices were more likely to act out, in an effort to get their parents’ attention. Other children appeared to accept the lack of engagement and entertained themselves. It was a small-scale ethnographic study, but the findings warrant further investigation. And I think they should also make us pause, as parents, and think carefully about our device habits.

Now before I have people asking, I am going to declare, that yes, I use my phone at the park from time-to-time. Guilty.

I have taken calls when my eldest son was going up and down the slippery dip (and up and down and up and down). I am also guilty of taking pictures of him doing something outlandishly adorable and sending it to my husband (or his grandparents) when he’s at the park. I have quickly snuck in a quick Facebook check when I finally got to sit down at the park bench (only to then have to stand up and empty out sand from shoes).

But I really try to limit my phone-use when I am around my children. It isn’t easy. And it is VERY tempting to grab my phone and have a quick look at Instagram or reply to my overflowing email inbox. But I do try (and am trying a lot more recently) to avoid using my phone around my children.

With a (very hungry) six-month old baby I spend A LOT of time feeding each day. In fact, I added it up recently when I was frustrated that I couldn’t make progress on my ‘To Do List’ each day. I discovered that I am spending close to 4 hours each day feeding. That’s a lot of time, in anyone’s books! I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. But…

Sometimes, I have spent that precious time with my smartphone in my hand, as well as my son. Replying to emails. Checking Facebook. Sending a quick tweet. Replying to an SMS (my friends know I am terrible at responding quickly to SMS). Checking Instagram.

When my son swiped at my phone the other day when I was feeding him and knocked it out of my hand (thank goodness not onto him), it made me realise just how often I was using my iPhone. I had slipped into a bad habit of using my phone most, (but not all) of his feeds.

And this is not okay (for me, anyway). I know how vital real face-time is for brain development. I know that my baby needs serve-and-return interactions with me. He doesn’t need to be constantly starting at my screen-illuminated face when I am feeding him. He needs my full attention (well most of the time anyway).

Now I’m not perfect and I don’t profess to be (and I don’t strive to be either). So I’m notsaying that you should never use your iPhone around your children.

This is 2014 and that is probably not a realistic or practical pursuit.

Could we dedicate specific times and/or places when we won’t use devices? For example, beach-time is technology-free time and the dinner table is also a phone-free zone for our family.

There is no denying that technology is here to stay. Banning it or avoiding it is not really an option. Instead, we need to look for healthy and appropriate ways to use these technologies.

As digital parents, we are the first generation who are raising children in a completely digital world. And it’s confusing. And it’s overwhelming at times.

Our job, as parents, is totally different to previous generations of parents. So we need to come up with our own healthy habits too, when it comes to using technology around our children.


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Success in every direction
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) chose one of the oldest cities in the US to host their 2012 convention July 22-25 and a record number of delegates—more than 6,000 from around the world—were there to take in New England’s unofficial capital. The annual event saw four days of education sessions, keynote speakers (including two former US presidents), networking opportunities, a trade show floor and more. The event, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, kicked off with a welcome session July 22.

Under a banner reading “success in every direction”, GBTA executive director and COO Mike McCormick kicked off the conference by introducing Andrew Pilkington, president, global commercial card & consumer card, Canada, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Pilkington stressed the importance of innovation in today’s business world, citing bottled water as an example of successful innovation. As a child, Pilkington told the audience, he drank water from the tap. Now, his children insist on “vitamin water”— water that’s coloured and flavoured, then sold at a premium.

“That’s an example of true innovation,” he said.

McCormick also interviewed recently appointed American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton, who said his appointment had been a “character-building” experience.

“There have only been a few CEOs of the company, and there have been some real giants among them,” he said. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be leading this company at this challenging time.”

Data headaches
During an session called Take Two Aspirins and Call Me in the Morning: Expense Data Management and Consolidation, GBTA Foundation senior research director Joe Bates and Gina Woodall, senior VP of Rockbridge Associates Inc, discussed a survey of how travel managers use data, their satisfaction level with that data and implications for suppliers and buyers.

The research looked at several data sources, Woodall said, including from TMCs, corporate card companies, expense management systems, expense reports and travel suppliers.

Those surveyed said they use the information for negotiations with vendors, evaluating policy compliance, developing reports for upper management and monitoring traveller safety, Woodall said. As well, 63 percent noted they use data from card companies to identify fraudulent charges, while 60 percent evaluate compliance.

The research asked how successful managers used data to meet goals like controlling travel spend and increasing compliance, Woodall said. Strengths included getting the lowest price, managing risk and monitoring spend. But there’s room for improvement, she noted. Only 33 percent said they felt “very satisfied” with that data, while 63 percent said they were “moderately satisfied”. Four percent noted they were “very dissatisfied” while only 10 percent said their data is accurate.

Reasons for dissatisfaction included 23 percent saying canada goose solaris parka caribou wasn’t always accurate, while 20 percent labelled reports tough to read and understand. As well, 19 percent said data takes too long to get, affecting compliance.

“This data is creating so many headaches,” Bates told the audience.

Bates said GBTA members spend 442,000 hours each year in staff time and $22.7 billion to manually reconcile and clean travel data. While canada goose solaris parka caribou takes 22 days on average to collect data on an individual trip, they want canada goose solaris parka caribou to take 15 days. “Successful travel managers are more efficient in managing their data,” he said. “Their data is 86 percent accurate and takes 16 days on average to get data from a trip.”

The research noted the trend of travel migrating to procurement. But the shift has challenges, Bates noted, since travel differs from other buying categories. Successful travel managers report to procurement less often, he said.

More choice
In a panel session entitled The Rise of Consumer Choice: Competing for Compliance, moderator Matt Beck, technology director, strategic accounts at Rearden Commerce, noted mobile use is increasing. The market is shifting towards consumers making our own decisions, Beck noted, rather than employers issuing Blackberries. Now, with iPhones gaining popularity, many travellers eschew corporate-issue devices.

“The upcoming workforce doesn’t remember a time before the internet,” he said. “They’re used to everything being given to them in an easy-to-use fashion.”

One of the panel members, Karoline Mayr, director of global travel procurement, Deltek Inc, noted her company tries to make its online booking tool easy to use and similar to commercial sites. Deltek also allows employees to use any device they wish.

“We’re hoping that will help them stay in the loop,” she said.

For Scott Stephens, business rental development manager at Enterprise Holdings, ease-of-use is key to compliance with designated online booking tools. “The easier it is to use, the more often people will use it,” he noted.

Not only ease-of-use, but beauty, helps keep corporate travellers in compliance, said Claudia Unger, director of research and intelligence at BCD Travel. Travellers are more likely to use compliant technology if it’s attractive. “If it’s all grey, they might not want to use it,” she said.

The technology theme continued during the next day of education sessions, with one panel discussion, Road Warrior Apps: What you need to know, focusing on mobile applications available to corporate travellers. Moderator Karoline Mayr noted the importance of communicating with travellers on the need to remain within policy when using apps. As well, ensure components of a managed travel program look similar to those found in the commercial world, Mayr said. That way, travellers will be less inclined to use apps outside policy.

Another session—hosted by Gina Woodall and Joe Taliuaga of Rockbridge Associates Inc—focused on the merits of lightly or heavily managed travel programs. The session broke down travel information by country among the US, India, Australia and Canada. While US and Indian travellers are most satisfied, Australian travellers remain the least satisfied, according to Rockbridge’s research, said Woodall. Overall, 74 percent of Canadian travellers reported satisfaction with achieving their business travel goals, while 68 percent said they’re able to follow travel policy.

Canadian travellers have trouble overcoming personal issues and making trips enjoyable, Woodall said. She recommended they find activities outside of the business in order to enjoy downtime. Still, Canadians excel at staying connected while travelling, as well as staying safe and within budget.

In Canada, 20 percent worked for organizations with managed travel programs, 27 percent had unmanaged programs and 52 worked only with guidelines. Australians and Canadian take slightly longer trips than their US counterparts, she said, with Indian corporate travellers taking the longest trips and spending the most money.

Overall, Woodall said, Canadian travellers are somewhat less satisfied and successful with their travel, and could use help finding activities outside of work, she said. She recommended that Canadian travellers plan their own trips, which would hopefully translate into higher satisfaction rates.

Overall, the future of the industry and the use of technology remained themes throughout the convention. Staying abreast of both areas will help ensure travel professionals have key success strategies in play int heir careers.


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Mortician Accused of Fraud and Shoddy Embalming
To put light pink canada goose jacket mildly, Roy Williams is a man in a lot of trouble – as he should be. According to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Williams, now a former mortician, is accused of shoddy embalming and fraud. Williams, over the last 20 months, has also been stripped of his business and professional licenses, the newspaper article says.

Williams’ funeral home in Alton, Missouri, first drew attention in October 2005 when the family of Lloyd White complained that the man had “mishandled White’s remains.” The family told police that White was not wearing the clothes the family had brought for him to be buried in and that his body was placed inside the casket, wrapped in nothing but a bloody sheet.

Then, last June, Williams was sued by a casket selling company alleging that Williams hadn’t paid the $3,000 he owed them. A judge in August ordered Williams to pay the amount with interest after he never responded to the suit. Then this month, the Illinois Comptroller’s Office filed a petition in Madison County Circuit Court seeking to appoint a temporary administrator to recoup some of the money paid by clients to Williams, the newspaper article said.

Williams has not only denied all wrong-doing, but strangely enough, is really hard to get a hold of. I wonder why. According to the newspaper, the state’s Division of Professional Regulation pulled his funeral director and embalming license about five months ago because of “unprofessional conduct, incompetence and violation of regulations.” The state comptroller’s office was able to revoke his license to sell pre-arranged funerals about a year ago. Several former clients have been named in the comptroller’s May 9 court filing.

Among light pink canada goose jacket is Anita Weatherspoon of Alton, who claimed Williams double-billed her for her father’s services and also billed the family for services he did not provide. She also accused Williams of shoddy embalming and said there were “smells emanating” from the body.

If these allegations are true (and I suspect they are), Williams must be prosecuted in civil and criminal court. He is both guilty of a crime and liable to the families he has apparently defrauded. There are many funeral home operators in this country like Williams who take advantage of grieving families at their most vulnerable time instead of comforting them.

If you’ve had such an experience, call me, John Bisnar of Bisnar | Chase – 1-800-259-6373, for a free and completely confidential consultation. Busting fraudulent business and the people who run light pink canada goose jacket is very rewarding.


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Discount Deal to Die For!
I learned last year that buy in is pretty much the key to getting Ethan to do anything, or so I thought. I had totally coerced him into being a knight for Halloween, his sister would be the dragon and of course Hubs and I were going as the king and queen. I mean really did you have to even ask about that one? So Ethan and I were off to find the perfect knight costume, even got him a freakin horse he could ride, 2 different versions as a matter of fact. Then he started talking about power rangers.

Wait, hold up. He was always talking about power rangers, I just never listened to that, pushed it aside and really started the hard sell with the knight thing. Knights carry swords! Knights ride horses! But the power rangers cheap much canada goose trillium never really went away, so I thought I was in the clear when I came up with the brilliant plan that he could be a power ranger at school, but then out trick or treating he would be a knight, costume malfunction diverted or so I thought.

Then the fated night of halloween came and we were all getting into our costumes and the true meaning of the word negotiation came into play. Oh man was I pushing him to be a knight, and oh man was he pushing me right back HARD. Hubs stayed out of it till finally he was like ‘let the kid be a freakin power ranger.’ And I realized that I couldn’t force him to be a knight, so I withdrew my troops and let him be a power ranger. So there we were, the royal family and the power ranger.

So THIS YEAR, we decided on a Star Wars theme… we have already changed our minds twice, BUT Ethan is the man with the plan. Mommy is just here for guidance and wardrobe advice.;)

It’s called renovate your house and don’t hire painters because you want to save some money and prime and paint ALL the new drywall yourself. Not a very catchy title for a diet, but a very effective plan nonetheless.;) Here is the kitchen prior to the work out plan looking in from the dining room:

Looking in from the deck through to the dining room:

And here are some pics of the kitchen AFTER the new workout plan:

Ethan gets into the act.

Today is my wedding anniversary. Ethan is so sweet, he wakes up and comes bounding out of bed and into my bedroom, ‘happy anniversary mom!’ How freakin cute is that? Said the same cheap much canada goose trillium to his dad.

Anyway, since it is my anniversary I thought I would revisit my wedding journal on the wedding channel and dig up the story of how we got engaged… the way I told it 8 years or so ago.

CD and Prince get engaged, or battle of the titans

So I don’t have quite enough to do today, NOT, thought I would tell our engagement story. First off, you have to understand that it is all about control for the 2 of us, ain’t nobody gonna tell either one of us what to do. So, when it came to getting engaged, of course we both wanted some control. And, I knew I should just stay out of it and let him do whatever, but you know I couldn’t… I digress.

We were on a plane one day coming back from some business trip, and I knew that I had him cornered for a couple of hours so I decided to have a ‘where is this going’ conversation. Evil of me, I know. I had been freaking out about it, what am I doing, why am I thinking of leaving this big wig job without any type of commitment, I just moved to CA without any type of commitment… you know the drill. So rather than just stew about it and wonder and then eventually freak out on him for no reason, I figured I would just up and ask… Well, he was great about it… he said exactly what I was thinking… he thought we would have a one year blissful ‘dating’ stage, and then a one year ‘planning’ stage, and then we would have ‘an event’ and then we would have babies. Cracks me up the way he is so analytical, everything in stages.

Well anyway, what he described was exactly what I was thinking. Yipee!!! Of course in his male brain this was just an idea, but in my female brain, this was an arrangement, a contract, a promise, a commitment, a year from today we will get engaged, OF COURSE.

So we went along blissfully for about 6 months, and then I started thinking, I wonder if he thought this was a commitment, hmmmm, better ask him… so you already know what happened. Of course he didn’t think this was a commitment, he was just rambling. We talked about why or why not this timeframe would work for us, and we both agreed that it felt right. He knew he wanted to marry me, I knew I wanted to marry him, and there was nothing holding us back, so lets go for it!

Engaged yet???

So, the magical month was September, and we had been ring shopping. In fact, every time I would get nervous about whether or not this cheap much canada goose trillium was actually going to happen, he would take me ring shopping. And in his ‘I need to be in charge’ way, he would every once in a while say, well I could just wait until October, what if I waited until October. uggggggg, MEN. And in my ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ way I would declare that if he didn’t propose in September, I would have to move out because that would mean that he did not honor his commitments. And he would say, yeah, where are you gonna go, and you know we are supposed to be together, so you are just going to leave… This is just cracking me up writing this, what a pair. I am constantly saying that if either one of us would just give in to the other we would have no problems.

He had done all this investigation, asking and stuff, how I wanted the actual proposal to go, was there a movie that I liked that had a proposal, how did my friends get engaged… I really just wanted it to happen when I felt closest to him, and I feel closest to him right when we wake up in the morning and we are all groggy and I realize that he is next to me all snuggly and warm. Hint, hint…

We took several trips in August and I thought, well maybe he will do it early, NOT.

Then he told me the ring was in, I could have strangled him.

I didn’t want to know the ring was here available to be put on my finger! He thought that the more info I had the more comfortable I would be with his intent, because I have trained him that this is the case. Well then I had to explain the TOO MUCH information theory to him. Now I knew he had it, so WHEN WAS IT GOING ON MY FINGER???????

I was filing some papers one day, and noticed behind the files was the bag from the jewelry store with a box in


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Firearm collector sues Greater toronto area police affect seizing lawfully owned guns
A firearm collector that was arrested a theme his east-end apartment at a midnight raid has created a $6. 5-million lawsuit from the Toronto authorities, his previous landlords additionally a tipster.

Chris Sedge, 59, said david was away from his Shoreline home available at gunpoint donning only their own underwear around the May, 2008, seizure equal to 120 by law collected guns.

“I got scared because when i opened entry, they counseled me screaming among the many me, ” fox told The country and Deliver. “I can easily see guns indicated at i am…. I downright scrambled at present. ”

The raid drew hours following police got some advice about a solid cache of many firearms and there is ammunition coming from a man that had viewed the building with his / her father – a bidder – along with a Mr. Sedge’s property manager, Court data files say.

About August, 2008, the building was fitted a company afforded to the man’s familial.

The raid, and fees that acted later come down, were a part of a irresponsible investigation does canada goose retailer hamilton store caused her humiliation and doesn’t mental pain, Mr. Sedge alleges in the statement and if claim. His in the industry, PS Producing Ltd., addionally suffered, he admits that.

Mr. Sedge’s attorney at law, Arkadi Bouchelev, and was the arrest “completely unnecessary” after all his policy holder was licensed coupled with no criminal. Ontario’s biggest firearms agent, who accounts for licensing, might have been called interested in inspect canada goose retailer hamilton store or approve Mr. Sedge’s license and deposit, Mr. Bouchelev accepted.

“I agree there’s a bunch of public demand ensuring canada goose retailer hamilton store by doing this do not occur, ” he explained. The lawsuit is incorporated in the discovery concept, which Mister. Bouchelev advertised he couldn’t discuss, and it’s unknown as it could connect to trial or perhaps be settled.

The 14 firearms had been dropped approximately 10 months after a raid.

Mister. Sedge is looking for $3-million away from police as an negligence, irresponsible investigation, artificial arrest, artificial imprisonment, against the law search and for seizure, breach about the Canadian Rental of Justice and Liberties and angry and corrective damages.

Police refused the accusations and said able statement of various defence filed after a lawsuit yr after that they also arrested Mr .. Sedge after officer and for public defense.

“Our position would be that the officers acted at a reasonable panache, in advantageous faith as well as in compliance for their duties, ” Greater toronto area police spokesperson Mark Pugash accepted.

The case names a strong Toronto Authorities Services Lumber and 19 a police officer from 55 Division along with Guns and / or Gangs process force. The claim of support says not just 16 of the named are some officers.

Acting chair about the board, Fred Thompson, rejected to passage.

The authorities had acceptable and manageable grounds to put charges from Mr. Sedge, additionally a Crown attorney at law later agreed to proceed about.


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How to Get Involved
How to Get Involved


– organize an activity

– offer a venue

– spread the word

– affirm your commitment to the inherent benefits of arts and culture


– art class

– theatre improve

– cooking class

– open mic

– dance lessons

– sing-along

– photography/video workshop

– theme-based potluck

– environmental craft-making

– knitting group

– story-time with related activity

– drumming circle

– orchestra with “guest conductors”

– face painting

– creating a fashion show

– poetry writing workshop

– street dance

– group mural painting

– guided studio tour

– pottery workshop

– art gallery crawl

– artist talk

– round-table discussion

– guided heritage walk

– performance with discussion period

– games/competitions

– lantern walk

– author reading and discussion

– open house

– use your imagination


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Let’s Turn This Eyesore into Gorgeous Greenspace!
A quick-report back on the Main Street Visioning Session for Bowness, presented and facilitated by the City of Calgary Corridor Project, on June 25th, 2014 at the Irish Cultural Society.

By Morgan Maher

Essentially, canada goose constable sergeant online store was awesome.

With a guess — I’d say 50 – 70 people participated throughout the evening. Diverse, all ages, styles and backgrounds, the BCA and BRZ were there, Dale Hodges, long-time residents, young families, city planners and reps, bikers (the mountain kind), hikers, cyclers, kayakers, students, feisty Bowness Trianglers, at least two “environmentalists”, lots of smiles, tons of action.

We gathered at tables in small groups around a map of central Bowness, or as we called it — The Heart of Bowness — and met each other like old friends (in true Bownesian fashion), we chatted (excitedly), brainstreamed (tremendously) and visioned up all the opportunities and observations, hopes and dreams and great ideas that would create a vibrant and healthy Main Street and send inspiration and vitality rippling through Bowness as a whole — perhaps city-wide too, and… what the heck, why not internationally!

According to the Corridor Project, the “Main Street” or “corridor” in Bowness is currently considered as (approximately) “Mary’s Corner” to the 67th Street train bridge, and including one street on North and South of Bowness Rd. This boundary can change.

After chatting and brainstreaming, each group shared what they felt would make this corridor and Bowness an even more amazing community.

Here’s what folks we’re saying:

More parks and green space, more trees, a town square, a farmer’s market, way more pedestrian friendly, 40km/h zone through this corridor, traffic calming and roundabouts, a community hub for arts/theatre/youth, public art and murals, better street lighting (ie: LED lighting similar to Memorial Dr), high-density work/live spaces (with height restrictions, sun/shade considerations), more evening businesses, more unique businesses, get rid of the sex shop, move all the automotive business elsewhere, no big box stores, no franchises, “chains are not welcome”, fill in gaps/empty lots (with parking or live/work), retain, maintain and celebrate the small town vibe and heritage, keep the angled parking but make the sidewalks bigger, trees, shelters, benches, gazebos, patios etc along the main street, bring back the post office and have more essential services available in Bowness, better pedestrian access to Bowmont (bridges), and… “we need a brewery here!”

This was a very early and first step in this Corridor Project — a project also happening in Marlborough/36th Street NE, and on Richmond Road — it was an inspiring meet & greet and brainstream. From what I gather, the next step is… perhaps not so clear.

But, we’re building as we go.

The intent is for everyone interested and activated to keep in touch and well informed with what’s going on and where its all going. The Corridor Project team — an amazing team btw — are collecting and reviewing the ideas, needs, notes, hopes, insights, vibes, visions and dreams brought forward on this glorious summer evening to see — at least at this early stage — how such dreams can actually be financed.

Where that finance would be coming from was one of the unclear points.

However, it usually is.

This is a 1.5 – 2.5 year project.

We’ve got time to make it all happen.

People simply want the goodness these days

• What makes or can make this corridor successful?

• How can new development complement/enhance this corridor?

• How can investment and promotion continue to improve corridors over time?

Big thanks to Kelsey Hipkin and Calgary Real Estate Board for supporting the project! Read “Diamond In The Rough”.

Here’s the full interview for your enjoyment and inspiration:

Kelsey Hipkin: How long have you been aware of the former Gas Plus site?

Morgan Maher: I’ve been aware since 2010, when the gasoline spill happened. Prior to this, I knew of the site as just another gas station, a necessary evil easily overlooked.

Having been a resident of Bowness for several years and patron to many Bowness businesses, the Gas Plus site always seemed to be an “elephant in the room”, and to me it felt like an odd, sore-thumb on an otherwise historic, vibrant main street.

Why did you decide to take your thoughts/suggestions to an online presence (re:website etc)

Essentially to spread the word, plant seeds, and get the ball rolling. I work with the Light Cellar, which is right next door to the Gas Plus site. The Light Cellar is a superfood shop & raw chocolate elixir bar — it’s basically my food store — it’s a unique place and a wonderful community. So it made sense to ripple out from here and online, to the Bowness community, and the Light Cellar community. Both of which are filled with amazing people, with diverse skills, talents, and interests and who align with the purpose and see the benefit and potential of replacing a toxic eyesore with vibrant greenspace.

Living and working in Bowness I got the sense that everyone was patiently waiting for the site to be cleaned up, and for it all to be over. Residents and businesses, as polite and patient as they can be, are still frustrated, angry, dissapointed — and were largely kept in the dark regarding what, if anything, was actually happening to clean this mess up.

In fact the only real sign that something’s going on at the Gas Plus site, is the hypnotizing, never-ending high pitch squeal and grind of the motors and pumps and pipes — which if they’re not just for show, are supposedly clearing fumes from the site — except these unsightly tubes are aimed right back into the alley.

This awful, ever-present, nails-on-chalkboard sound constantly makes me aware of the site. When I finally snapped out of “waiting for someone else to fix it” — it just made complete and total sense that the best and only real option to solve this problem, remediate the land, and do something good for as many people as possible — is to turn the site into a healthy, happy, awesome place people can enjoy.

How has community response been to the idea of using the lot as a greenspace?

The response has been great. People are all for it.

Who wouldn’t want a greenspace in place of a gas station? There’s other gas stations nearby anyway, another office building or liquor store or faceless chain is boring, unnecessary, and uninspiring. Greenspace provides so much, to so many people and instantly becomes a gem — for the entire community and for the city as a whole.

Actually, before really spreading the word online, I first took the idea to a Bowness community meeting called Heart of Bowness, that met in early April at Cadence (a well loved Bowness coffee shop) to share ideas of “how to make Bowness a better place”. I planted the seed of this idea, spoke with community leaders, people from the Bowness Community Association and so forth.

When the idea of the greenspace came up, the Heart of Bowness meeting was a couple days away, so again, perfect timing and it’s really sprouted from a sense of community and the Heart of Bowness.

Since then I’ve been contacted by many fantastic folks offering ideas, suggestions, support, connections, information — from permaculturists, landscapers, gardeners, business owners, families, friends — people in Bowness, and all around.

Creating a greenspace — any greenspace — is a triumph. These days people are excited, inspired, ready, willing and able to do great canada goose constable sergeant online store to make their communities, cities, and lives better.

Bowness has been through a lot lately, many people were affected by the 2013 flood — and not to forget, the popular and beautiful Bowness Park, a 74 acre urban park on the Bow River in Bowness, has been closed for flood recovery since June 2013.

In any event, Bowness is a strong, resilient, diverse and connected community. Like other flood affected communities in Calgary and throughout Alberta, Bowness has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it can gather together, work and play smart, hard and wonderfully, to do absolutely amazing things.

This is essentially the vibe out there with the greenspace — it’s like a flood of excitement and “oh, of course, totally! Let’s make it happen!!”

Have you had any dialogue with the city as to what will become of the space?

Not yet. I know it’s an essential, important step and I’m looking forward to it. I was really excited to read Nenshi’s comments in recent articles regarding the announcement that the Province was taking over the remediation of the site and that the City is responsible for land-use decisions post-remediation.

That too was perfect timing.

It’s excellent news, and a great jumping off point for such a dialogue to take place.

At this stage, I’ve mostly been speaking with people, businesses, and organizations in Bowness — Bowness was it’s own autonomous town until 1963 — and there’s a real, mature independent spirit here. At the same time, there’s a strong and active sense of connection, camaraderie, pride, creativity, recreation, and family — all canada goose constable sergeant online store that make communities and cities fantastic places to live.

I’m absolutely all for opening dialogue, strategizing and organizing with the city, and anyone involved or interested. When the time comes — likely very soon — it may be me chatting with the city, but I’ll be speaking on behalf of the community and the Heart of Bowness.

As many of you know there is a big empty lot next door to the Light Cellar. It used to be a nasty gas station. The gas station is gone, but the place remains an empty void, and has been for years.

On the other hand, this empty void is a jewel waiting to happen!

Plucking this jewel and remediating land will require barrels full of love, care and attention –


What if … what if!… we transformed this empty eyesore into gorgeous greenspace!?

Picture it: a clean, lively, vibrant place, where children (of all ages) could gather amongst flowers and trees, in an edible food forest, with picnics and performances, plays and people playing, enjoying sunshine or singing in the rain! Wow!

It would be awesome — and it would set such a great precedent, in Calgary certainly, and elsewhere of course, for creating healthy and glorious greenspace on major streets, in major cities.

In fact it’s a trend, a good one, that’s already happening around the world. (Like this and this and these)

Urban greenspace upgrades present wonderful opportunities to build community — and Bowness is already an absolutely fantastic community — strong, diverse, resilient, capable, ripe and ready to nourish this further.

With all of us connecting, creating and building together, planting seeds in hearts and minds, and activating friends, families, neighbours, communities, local businesses, the City of Calgary, the Province, and the World — we can do this — all good and easy.

Do you have a lead, an idea or further info on how we can all make this happen? Or perhaps you’re an eco-philantrophist? Or maybe you have the same idea and it’s in the works!?

Check-in and Chat in the Comments


Get in touch with morgan@thelightcellar.ca


Let’s grow!


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Schumer assumes the mantle of Port Authority reform
On Monday, just two days before the Port Authority turns 93 years old, Sen. Chuck Schumer became the highest ranking official to publicly decry the politicization of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and propose resuscitating the agency by reforming it.

“Increasingly, the Port Authority has been resorting to the Tammany Hall-style behavior discount canada goose jacket kids sale was created to rise above: patronage, opacity, and political expediency,” said Schumer, speaking to a small crowd of real estate executives and Port Authority reformers at Viacom’s Times Square headquarters. “More frequently now than ever, the Port Authority has come to be seen as the proverbial honey pot, a cookie jar, a rainy-day fund—whatever metaphor discount canada goose jacket kids sale prefer—for state projects outside the Port’s core mission.”

During the senior senator’s 45-minute speech, he hailed the Port Authority’s once hallowed history, decried its turn for the worse, and proposed some reforms to the 1921 compact that created the Port Authority in the first place.

He was also grasping a ripe political moment.

“The winds of reform are increasing,” he said.

Ever since discount canada goose jacket kids sale came to light that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s staff and Port Authority political appointees manipulated traffic on the George Washington Bridge in an apparent act of political retribution, demands to reform the bistate infrastructure agency have grown deafening.

Last week, a post-Bridgegate Port Authority reform committee even held a public hearing where commissioners listened in seemingly attentive fashion as reformers described ways to rescue the dysfunctional, patronage-larded agency from the political whims of the New Jersey and New York governors who control it.

One of those governors, Andrew Cuomo, has called for seizing more control over New York’s airports from the Port Authority, but hasn’t said much else.

The other governor, Chris Christie, whose staff’s actions precipitated this crisis, has been


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Tag Archives: Glenn Close

Sex and the CityDamagesSuits

Oh, Miranda. While never quite as effortlessly stylish as her pals, there was something admirable about her ball-busting, nononsense power suits. Who else could make partner at her maledominated firm and still hit the town for Cosmos with the girls?Ellen could probably make a potato sack look on-trend, but canada goose women’s montreal really sparkled in her girly blouses, mod-cut coats and demure silk dresses on Damages. She even stole a scene or two from the icy Glenn Close, an Emmy-deserving feat if there ever was one.Harvey Specter wears the hell out of a tailored suit, making canada goose women’s montreal look as much a part of his body as his smirk. His style canada goose women’s montreal on Suits veer toward the subtly bold: peak lapels, thick-striped ties and dashing three-piece suits. No wonder this guy always closes.

This story is part of The Precedent guide to looking polished.


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