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Herbicide use on City roads: Safe or Hazardous?

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Herbicide use on City roads: Safe or Hazardous?

Some residents have noticed signs of herbicide use along the shoulders of Kawartha Lakes’ roads and wonder what the consequences are of spraying to control vegetation – and if it even need to be done in the first place.

Denis Turcott is one such individual. Driving from his Newmarket home to his seasonal property in the Kawarthas, he became alarmed when he saw dead vegetation — obviously treated with herbicide — at the sides of major roads in proximity to watercourses and wetlands.

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Federal election Q & A with Judi Forbes of the Liberal Party of Canada

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Roderick Benns recently interviewed the PPC, Conservative, Liberal, Green, and NDP candidates for Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Brock riding to help voters make an informed decision leading up to the election in October. In our third installment we connect with Judi Forbes of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Benns: Can you highlight a policy of your party that will lead to increased employment and increased average income in our riding?

Forbes: As your future MP, I am committed to the Liberal policies and commitments to strengthen and grow our middle class and improve the lives of all Canadians.  Since 2015, the Liberal government has reduced unemployment, created one million new jobs and made post secondary education more affordable for over 480,00 students. We are directly investing in our Canadian youth to provide education, apprenticeships and skills development to prepare them for future employment.

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Going, going, gone: Death of a species as Kawartha Lakes set to lose 24,000 trees

in Around Town/Community/Environment/Municipal by
City Parks workers taking down the Peace Park trees. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Peace Park sits on a small, irregular plot of land just north of Central Senior Public School. It’s bordered by Albert Street., Peel Street W., a parking lot used by LCVI students, and a home. You might not have been aware it’s a park: there are no benches or play equipment. Until very recently what it consisted of was a stand of trees. There were thirteen of them, all planted in 1992, which is the year the park was dedicated.

The number 13 was significant, as a plaque explains: “The trees are symbolic of Canada’s Provinces and Territories and represent a link with one another, with nature, and as a symbol of hope for the future.”

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Norland forester plants one millionth tree

in Environment by

A Norland area forester has planted her 1,000,000th tree on a property near Norland in May.

Eleanor Reed has been a planting delivery agent for the 50 Million Tree Program since it began in 2008. The program is managed by Forests Ontario and was funded by the Province of Ontario until 2019 and will be funded by the federal government in 2020 – 2025, after the Province under the Conservative government cancelled the program.

Through the program, Reed planted trees for over 150 landowners in Kawartha Lakes and surrounding municipalities. She established nearly 1300 acres of forest. These young forests sequester significant amounts of carbon every year and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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Environmental Youth Hero Award recipients recognized

in Environment by
Dunsford students Leah Connor, Jake Connor and Mattie Ariza, for their environmental project titled “Operation Garbage Pickers.” With Pat Warren and Tracy Richardson.

During the week of June 24, Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee recognized students across the municipality for their exemplary efforts toward enhancing and protecting the environment in the current school year (2018 to 2019). A total of three awards were presented to students ranging from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 7.

The first Environmental Youth Hero award was presented to Alexis Benns, a Grade 7 student at Central Senior Public School, who was nominated for her efforts in raising awareness on climate change by organizing community marches. Alexis felt compelled to take action on her own because of her recent studies of the impacts that climate change is having on the environment. On March 15 and May 3, Ms. Benns was able to organize two marches that involved not only students from multiple schools within the area, but members of the community as well.

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Contaminated brownfields: Time to clean up our ugly past

in Environment by
Contaminated brownfields: Time to clean up our ugly past
Photo: Sienna Frost.

We have all driven or walked past them — the empty lots, both big and small, that have sat undeveloped and seemingly abandoned or forgotten, in some cases for decades. Whether it’s a former gas station on the city’s busiest street, the site of a former brake pad factory or a long empty First World War munitions plant cum rubber processor, these sites — referred to commonly as ‘brownfields’ — lie dormant; they are victims of an earlier time.

We used to do things a lot differently in the past. Be it from a leaky gas station tank or the unsafe handling and disposal of chemicals used in manufacturing, we have been left with a sobering, expensive – and ugly – brownfields legacy.

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Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

in Community/Environment by
Leslie Dyment, at Crow Hill Farm in Cameron.

Farmers have been concerned about water issues for as long as human beings have been growing crops. From the irrigation ditches of the ancient near east, to the flooding of ancient Egypt, the lack of water, or too much of it, has shaped the rhythms of farming life.

As a result, farmers throughout history have developed various strategies related to water. Some of these—like the worship of ancient fertility gods and goddesses—seem a little odd to us now. Some, like tile drainage, are still practiced but are somewhat controversial. Others, such as the use of terrace farming and dams, continue to be used today.

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Dandelion days: What will you have to drink?

in Environment/Opinion by

It was a warm spring day at our food co-op as we ran the annual plant exchange. Gardeners with overflowing yards had dropped off excess plants and cuttings, and now those in need of greenery were choosing which plants they would like to take home.

“Excuse me,” said a hesitant voice, “I’m looking for some help with dandelions.” It was one of the neighbours from down the block. “I really need to find a way to deal with all the dandelions in my grass.”

My colleague and I shared a glance. “Well,” I said, “You could always leave them. They are one of the earliest sources of pollen for bees, and they are fun for the kids to pick. You could also eat their leaves.”

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Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

in Environment/Opinion by
Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

It was a peaceful climate justice protest organized by a high school student inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. A man approached us to say he fully supported what we were doing; and in the next breath said he hoped we didn’t think the carbon tax was going to make a difference. A fellow protester asked him what approach we should take: “Reduce, reuse and recycle. Just like we’ve always done.” Our visitor then jumped into his car and drove away.

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Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint

in Environment/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan has proposed a possible Styrofoam ban.

A motion brought forward by Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan to Committee of the Whole on May 7 proposed looking at a possible Styrofoam ban. The memo recommended that Kawartha Lakes staff conduct a study surrounding the feasibility of a ban and bring a report back to Council by the end of this year.

“It’s time that we do something. We can’t ban what’s coming in from external sources, such as online retailers, but we can ban what’s being used and sold directly in our municipality. It all ends up in the landfill,” commented Councillor Seymour-Fagan.

“I own a restaurant and there are options to ban Styrofoam. Part of our Strategic Plan is a healthy environment, and this is part of a healthy environment. It’s time we take a leadership role in change.”

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