Downtown business types get creative - small but smart idea - it should grow.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 5th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is tough for the retail people.

They have gone through more than a month of no revenue and weeks of wondering how all this is going to work out.

The federal government has all kinds of programs and tons of money that they are throwing at almost everything. Heck the football league is looking for financial support.

City hall doesn’t have much in the way of immediate measurable support – the kind of thing that you can put into a bank account.

A small but smart initiative came out of the creative marketing people at the Burlington Downtown Business Association. Brian Dean – the Executive Director over there passes all the credit for this one back to his staff.

They offered a gift box.  They call it the #DTBURLBOX.

Burl BoxThe first is targeted at Mother’s Day. Can’t take Mom out for breakfast and you may not even be able to invite her over for breakfast.

It was a limited production – they sold out.

The plan is to roll out a different box each month.  If the BDBA use their creative juices they can come up with something targeted at any number of demographics.  The kids – 3-6, the tweens, the teens, the Dad’s, the fisherman, the golfers – almost limitless.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with.  Kudo’s for the effort.

The special gift box was seen as a way to support the downtown businesses during this difficult time. With the purchase of just one box, you are helping support multiple small businesses within our community. All proceeds go back to the vendors involved.

Each new box will be released at the beginning of the month and will be available for purchase in limited quantities on a first-come-first-served basis.

What was in the May Box?
Hand-selected items from each retailer include:

Creme de la Creme• La Crème de la Crème Creamery – 6-piece caramel chocolates
• Pure Boutique – Hairclip
• MollyCake – “The Cookie” dough (1/2 pint)
• Harmony Fine Jewellers – Jewellery cleaning kit & $25 gift certificate
• Purity Nails and Spa – Foot mask
• Joelle’s – Wish n’ Wear Bracelet
• Soapy Penguin – Facial toner, oil or cream
• The Handmade House – Soy candle or room spray
• Centro Garden – Pre de Provence soap

Total Price of Box: $75 + HST This is a retail value of $150!

The May Box was sold on a curb-side pick-up basis in downtown Burlington.

The first Gift Box was marketed primarily to the people on the Downtown e-news subscriber list.  The Gazette will tell you about the next box.

 

 

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On balance the public behaved reasonably well - there were exceptions but the message has certainly gotten through.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 3rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the first really nice sunny warm day since the decision was made to lock down the province with the Mayor telling anyone with ears to stay home – and when they do go out for some exercise to walk and not stop to talk.

The only way, the public has been told, to put an end to the pandemic is to ensure that the virus is not spread from person to person.

The Regional Public Health unit produces daily reports showing that infections in the Region are rising every day – not by a huge number – but they are rising.

That curve we have been told about is not flattening.

But – sunshine, good weather – what do people do?

Playground beachway

Playground was vacant – surrounded by yellow tape.

I drove around the city in the northern part and then down into the waterfront and along the Beachway.

A couple of things were immediately evident. There were more police vehicles on the street; there were a lot of bikers roaring along and hundreds of young people on their bikes.

The vehicular traffic was not really heavy. On the residential streets most driveways had several cars parked.
I didn’t see very much in the way of sidewalk crowding.

Wore mask

Some people wore masks – which they slipped away from their faces once they were outside the supermarket.

Some people wore masks, some didn’t. Did see one couple – she wore nothing – he wore a mask and a shield.

There were children out and about but there weren’t hundreds of them.

People were respecting that six foot rule – for the most part.

Fortino

Each of the major supermarket chains has taken their own approach to staking out how they choose to respond to the public concern. Business for this sector is great.

Brant and Lakeshore is definitely the pinch point the Mayor has mentioned several times.
Supermarket parking lots, as well as Costco weren’t packed solid but there was a steady flow of traffic in and out.

Lowvillw Park

Lowville Park – CLOSED

Mt Nemo

Mt Nemo -CLOSED

Parks were all closed. Saw a couple of coffee shops that were opened but you couldn’t sit down.

Queen's Head patio

A hard sight for those who enjoy a cold one while sitting out on a patio.

The Queen’s Head patio was barren – a terrible sight for a drinking man.

Promenade well spaced

People were reasonable spaced, most people respected the pedestrians only rule.

Pedestrian traffic on the Promenade was steady and for the most part well-spaced out.

The message has certainly been heard and there didn’t appear to be a lot of worry from the people we spoke to – tough to have much in the way of a conversation six feet away from someone.

Two weeks from now we will see new numbers from the Public Health Unit and get some idea if our individual behavior is working.

I stood and watch small groups, 10 to 15 people, gather at intersections; some wearing masks other less than a foot away from people who were not wearing a mask.

Brant - Lkshore crossing

This is probably the location that bothers the public health people the most – Brant and Lakeshore – where people cross to get into Spencer Smith Park.

City manager Tim Commisso said last week that he shudders when he thinks about what could be going on amongst those small groups of 10 to 15 people.

We will know soon enough.

The Provincial government wants to open things up – give people some breathing room and let some business operations open up.

It is going to be tricky; these are perilous times.

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Food Banks get a much needed financial boost from Lexus dealerships - $5000 each

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 3rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the need is there the commercial sector inevitably comes through.

Last week the Oakville and Burlington Lexus dealerships came together and wrote a cheque for $10,000 with $5000 going to the Food Banks in each city.

Those were badly needed dollars.

_Lexus dollars to Food BAnk

From the left: Peter Wolfraim, President of the Fare Share Food Bank in Oakville, Frank Apa, the man who signed that cheque on behalf of the Lexus dealerships and Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank.

Burlington Food Bank Robin Bailey was at the Lexus dealership to take part in the photo op – he was standing beside a shiny new Lexus, which he will tell you is about as close as he is ever going to get to owning one of those vehicles.

The donation was very timely; food donations have dropped off during the crisis forcing our Food Banks to purchase their own food for deliveries to families.

For Bailey this was a great way to kick off Spring!

The Burlington Food Bank is now giving out 100% cotton Face Mask to any of their clients who need one.  The masks are a Gazette initiative that involved the Burlington Community Seniors and ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington.

The Gazette donated the cloth and did some of the sewing.  There are currently ten community volunteers sewing masks from cloth provided by the Gazette.

Robin Bailey’s update.

The canned goods and toiletries collection is still on every Monday and Wednesday at St. Matthews Anglican Church on Plains Road – open from noon to 3:00. You can pick up a mask there as well.

 

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Binged out? Can't take anymore Netflix ? A treat from Margaret Lindsay Holton

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 3rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Just how much Netflix can you take?

You get to the point where you’re bushed – enough. The Crown was great – good history but I’ve had enough. It was becoming predictable.

One gets tired of the American need to shoot everyone.

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton,

Margaret Lindsay Holton, an area artist has treated all of us to something we’ve heard about; may  have even listened to – but don’t really remember.

Should I tell you what she has shared or ask you to trust me and click on the link below.

I’m going to go for the trust angle.

You won’t regret it – this is more Canadian than the Calgary Stampede or that beer commercial.

This isn’t Holton’s work – it is something she is sharing

Try it – the quality is superb – you will want to share it.
Click here

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Craft brewers want federal funding support - claim that if there was ever a time for a local brew it would be right now

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A ray of sunshine when the Canada’s Craft Breweries said: “If there was ever a time for beer lovers across the country to support their local craft breweries, it would be right now.”

The comment was part of a plea to the federal government for financial support.

A survey of the craft breweries on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the brewing industry in Canada. There was sufficient response from across the country to achieve a 95% confidence level with 5% margin of error.

brewery photo

Let the suds flow.

“Similar to many other industry sectors, craft breweries across Canada have been dramatically impacted by the current health and economic situation.” began Rick Dalmazzi, Executive Director of the CCBA. “For example, 44% of breweries reported a year over year revenue drop of over 50% in March, while another 25% were down over 25%. Over 77% of breweries anticipate that April will be the same or worse.”

There are over 1,100 craft breweries in every province and territory in Canada, with over 90% of them opening in the last decade. Many have helped to rejuvenate local economies and bring new employment to communities that have otherwise lost jobs. In provinces where it is legal, many breweries have added a home delivery service to help replace lost revenue. But it doesn’t come close to making up for their own restaurants and taprooms being closed, and keg sales to bars eliminated. The 317 survey respondents reported having to lay off 4,180 of their 6,409 employees, or 65%.

brewery logo“Cashflow is the biggest problem”, continued Dalmazzi. “Many of our member breweries are still in their investment growth phase, and therefore marginally profitable if at all. Everyone’s doing whatever it takes to weather the storm as best they can. Fortunately, we’ve seen very few permanent closures, but that will change if current conditions extend into the summer.” continued Dalmazzi.

The survey also found that craft breweries are stepping up to support the fight against COVID-19. Over 15% of respondents said that they are either making hand sanitizer or that their beer is being used to make it elsewhere. Most of the hand sanitizer being produced by breweries is for use within their local community.

“We are appreciative of the federal government’s wage subsidy and other programs. Ottawa has been very responsive to the financial needs of small businesses. However, our industry will need further support if it is to survive in its present form.” concluded Dalmazzi. “And if there was ever a time for beer lovers across the country to support their local craft breweries, it would be right now.”

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Providing food for those who are self-isolating has created a complex supply chain

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is very good at stepping up to the plate and filling a need.

What caring people have managed to do is create a supply chain that gets food to the Food Bank who in turn deliver it to people who, in some cases, are self-isolating and not able to get out to buy food.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Robin Bailey does a short web site broadcast most days – keeping donors and those who need food up to date.

The Food Bank has exceptional sources and were recently given significant sums to buy food.

Fresh vegetables and eggs are now being delivered to homes. The Food Bank has succeeded in teaching people to call in for food rather than drop by the Food Band to pick it up – which cuts down on people getting too close to each other.

One of the gaps in this food chain is personal toiletries and canned goods.

Face Mask Sign

If you need a mask – take a couple of cans of food to St Matthews Anglican church on Plains Road in Aldershot and pick up a mask when you leave.

St Matthews in Aldershot has stepped into the gap and is collecting toiletries and canned goods.

They have set up a space outside their front door that is protected from weather where people can drop of the things that are needed.

Jim Young, one of the Aldershot volunteers said in a note he sent out to his circle of influence; “Just passing along some information on an Aldershot/Ward 1 initiative to help keep local food banks stocked and operating during these difficult times.

“I know I’ve sent this before but it is an ongoing need and it would be wonderful if ongoing donations could be received.

Food notice St Matthews“It is a joint effort by St Mathews Anglican Church, Partnering Aldershot and ECoB Ward 1, and is operated by volunteers from each organization.

“The Drive Thru donation is set up to be a safe, no contact, distanced method of giving.

“Please share this information as widely as you can. Think of it as a great way to get out of the house for twenty minutes while supporting a very worthwhile cause, made all the more essential in tough times.”

Connie Price added that the donations on Monday were a little on the short side; she urged people to step up on Wednesday (today) when the boxes are set out in front of the church between noon and 3:00 pm Monday and Wednesday.

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Gazette launches a face mask initiative - expect to distribute 2500 with the help of mask makers and community groups

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Bolts of cloth

Bolts and bolts of cloth – being put to good use.

It began with a comment from a friend who knew that we had a lot of cotton cloth – and a number of different sewing machines in the basement.

Why don’t you make masks and give them away?

So we did.

Caremonger pieceWe reached out to Burlington CareMongers and asked if there were people who could make masks if the cloth was provided. We had ten positive responses before the day was out.

It just built from there.

What kind of masks: the tie type of masks or with elastic?

Many people said elastic could get quite uncomfortable – so we opted for tie type masks.

Jan at sewing machine

Four ties per mask – 2000 masks – you do the math.

That meant we also had to make the ties.

We decided that we would make the ties and pass those along with the cloth and have the sewers do the assembly.

Someone had to do the organizing.

That’s when Connie Price came through – Big Time. She has undertaken the supervising of the sewers – getting material to them and following their output.

We then had to get the completed product from the mask makers. The Burlington Kinsman stood up and took on that task.

They will pick up the completed product,  quarantine the bags for 72 hours and then deliver it to the people who will hand it out to the public.

The Burlington Community Seniors put up a bit of cash to cover the small expenses.

Then there has to be a location where the completed masks could be delivered; then inspected, then placed in plain brown envelopes and quarantined for 72 hours then handed over to the Burlington Lions Club who will deliver the ready to use masks to the organizations that were going to do the final distribution.

Face Mask Sign

First batch of the masks being given out at St Matthews Anglican Church

The was like creating, instructing and communicating with a small army.

So far it is working.

The first batch of 100 masks was delivered to Connie Price a few days ago.  She is handing them out to people who drop off food at St Matthews Anglican Church. Part of that first shipment went to the Food Bank.

Councillor Stolte (ward 4) is working with the Caremongers to find volunteer sewers who are perhaps not on Facebook.

 

 

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July Downtown car show - cancelled

News 100 blue

By Staff

April 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The summer is beginning to look quite quiet; the Burlington Downtown Car Show has been cancelled.

Carshow Blue car

Remembering when

Ron Baker, organizer and promoter of the event announced today that “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of protocol for social distancing in early July, the Burlington Downtown Car Show is cancelled for this year.

car show crowd

Best argument ever for making Brant a pedestrian only street – car show crowd filled the street

‘The Car Show has become a mainstay of summer in the city. Five hundred meters of Brant Street in downtown Burlington is turned into a pedestrian mall with as many as 200 cars on display.

“The idea has always been to present a celebration of the automobile”, stated Ron Baker, car show founder. “We have had representation of every decade of the automobile on display, from 1910 to present day”. The show has attracted over 100,000 visitors in the past five years.

The summer of 2021 is an option.

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Coping: Week 6 - it has come to listing the ups and the downs

graphic coping redBy Nicki St George

April 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Nicki St George is the mother of two, lives in Aldershot and teaches at a private school in Oakville. She is also a recovering cancer patient.

WEEK 6 – seriously?
As the days are becoming indistinguishable from one another, here are some ups and downs during my time in self-isolation:

The UPS:
• When a box is delivered, and you cannot remember what it could be because you have ordered so much crap over the last 6 weeks.

St George kids in big bed with cat Apr 27

Clifford the cat and the kids – in their parents bed.

• Clifford the cat – my self-isolation guru.

• When the makers of Candy Crush give the gift of unlimited lives for a whole week!

• Having the time to make homemade hamburger buns and other treats.

• Puzzles – Now that everyone is into doing puzzles, I do not feel like quite as big a nerd.

• No sport on TV = nothing left for my husband and I to fight about.

• Learning a new language while binge watching Money Heist.

• Saying goodbye on Zoom or Houseparty…you just hang up! No more awkward goodbyes at the door.

• Saving money on car insurance because you are no longer driving to work every day.

• Bringing out the patio furniture and setting up the trampoline. It’s starting to feel a little like summer.

• Less laundry…just choose your legging/sweat top combo for the week and you’re good to go.

• The magical hour around 5pm every day when a glass of wine and favourite song provide me with the motivation to dance and cook dinner.

• Discovering a new podcast.

The DOWNS:
• Temperatures in the single digits in April…or worse, snow!

Thank you drawing

Results of a parent led art class

• The annoying soundtrack of Beatrix’s YouTube videos which have become ambient noise in the house.

• My embarrassingly high score on Candy Crush.

• Where do all the charging cables keep disappearing to?

• Making plans for the summer…

• Google classroom on the iPad: why can’t I just write on the document?

• Sad husband because there is no sport on TV.

• Finding out that schools will remain closed until at least May 31st – SERENITY NOW!

• Doing your tax return – the worst part of being an adult.

• Getting the weekly alert telling me what the average daily screen time was last week…gulp.

• The absurd volume of new passwords to remember for accessing homeschool websites.

• Deciding what PPE to don on the weekly trip to the grocery store – how many times can I reuse this same mask?

• At home haircuts…they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.

• Finding the motivation to do at home workouts and complete assignments for grad school.

• Being interrupted by children asking for TV during a work Zoom call -this was not on the list of pre-approved activities.

• Google Play charging $19.95 to RENT Trolls 2 – how dare they?

• Discarded latex gloves left on the ground: so uncool.

Previous columns:

The idea

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 5

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Give Team Burlington credit for doing the right thing, the responsible thing. And remember all this when they are able to open their doors again.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It does sound a little ass-backwards – but they are on the right path.

The hospitality and entertainment sectors are hurting – they are bleeding.

With the weather beginning to look nice the idea of being on a patio in the afternoon when the work is done sounds very inviting.

Team Burlington gets it – not yet – but soon IF you stay home so that they can eventually get back into business.

Fig 2

The curve is far from flat. The virus that is infecting people is being passed from person to person – not from someone from China.

They are calling this initiative their STAY HOME to Get Back to Business campaign – they are encouraging people to support local business by staying home and practicing physical distancing which will ultimately help businesses open their doors sooner.

It isn’t just the hardest hit industries that are feeling the impacts of the global pandemic. Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are experiencing unprecedented challenges, including significant and unforeseen revenue loss, the need to lay off staff, supply chain disruptions, and uncertainty about the future of their business and when they will be able to reopen. Simultaneously, businesses are also facing tremendous pressure to digitize and shift existing business models to include online and contactless pick-up and delivery options.

Team Burlington recognizes these challenges and plans to leverage their audience and networks to help get Burlington businesses open as soon as possible. The STAY HOME(to Get Back to Business) campaign reinforces the message that is consistent with public health officials — the sooner people STAY HOME, the sooner the business community can open their doors and get back to business.

Brian Dean 2 long

Brian Dean, Executive Director of Burlington Downtown Business Association

“Businesses of all sizes are being impacted by COVID-19″ said Brian Dean, Executive Director of Burlington Downtown Business Association, one of Burlington’s two Business Improvement Areas (the other being Aldershot Village BIA). “We hope this campaign will help Burlington residents understand that their actions and choices during this time have direct consequences on our business community.

We are getting asked a lot about how people can support their local businesses. One of the things you can do is stay home and practice physical distancing as much as possible.”

Craig Kowalchuk, Owner of Emma’s Back Porch and the Water Street Cooker and President of the Burlington Restaurant Association echoed Brian’s sentiment. “Temporarily laying off staff and closing down the restaurant has been one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do in my twenty-eight years of operations.” He went on, “You can help us get back to business by staying home, reduce your trips to the store and minimize contact with others. We can’t wait to welcome you back, for our twenty-ninth summer, but we can’t do that until everyone stays home.”

The STAY HOME campaign will be launched across social media, as well as through window decals displayed in the windows of downtown businesses. A video campaign featuring local business owners from across Burlington will also help spread the message.

Give Team Burlington credit for doing the right thing, the responsible thing. And remember all this when they are able to open their doors again.

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Sun rise runs, move onto schoolwork, afternoons whatever-we-feel-like.

 

The Gazette has put together a team of parents who are at home taking care of their children while the province goes through school closures and the shut down of everything other than essential services.

Ashley Worobec  and Nicki St. George will write regularly on how they are coping.  We invite parents to take part in this initiative by adding comments to each Coping with COVID19 & the kids article.

 

graphic coping blueBy Ashley Worobec

April 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Our mornings have still been a bit more structured and afternoons tend to be more whatever-we-feel-like.

One thing that I’ve found helpful for my Type-A personality, is writing out a list of the next day’s activities/tasks on the whiteboard on our fridge. Mornings almost always begin with a 5k run for myself and my dog, with my husband on the bike beside me, and more often than not, at least one of the kids comes on their bike too.

I haven’t been setting an alarm clock though, and in my “normal” life I’m often up at 4:45 or 5am, and out the door for my runs- these days I’m sleeping until I naturally wake up, which has been closer to 7:30 or 8am!

baking

Baking is a constant and consistent activity in the Worobec household.

I have been thinking about getting up for a sunrise run here and there, as the sunrise is my favourite time of the day, and it would also give me some solitude. I’m an introvert by nature, so I re-charge with alone time, and that’s been much harder to come by lately. Perhaps a sunrise run will happen next week….

After my run, we move onto schoolwork. I’m the one who tends to supervise the kids during their schoolwork, as my husband uses this time to do his own online work with his students (he’s a high school teacher). Depending on the day, this has usually been taking my kids 1-2 hours to complete. My son is in Grade 5 and my daughter is in Grade 2, and they seem to be adapting to e-learning quite well.

Both of their teachers have been exceptional, and have been great at providing a variety of assignments and tasks for them, and I know my kids miss seeing them in person. Both kids have been using FaceTime regularly to “see” their friends, and that’s been a big help to them.

We’re into week 7 now of the clinic closure, and Saskatchewan has announced that chiropractors can return to work (with appropriate PPE in place) on May 4th, so my colleagues and I have been closely watching that situation. It is quite a helpless feeling to have the clinic closed, but my work team is having online meetings twice per week to stay in touch and keep our morale high.

I’m also keeping in touch with some of my patients via virtual or telephone consultations, and that’s been really helpful for me personally, as it’s given me a sense of purpose surrounding my work and a small feeling of being able to help my patients who are in pain. I am anxious to return to work, and hopeful with the trending numbers that Ontario is showing.

One initiative that I have just begun is hosting “Movement You”, which is a 10-minute workout, LIVE online on my Facebook and Instagram pages (search “Dr. Ashley Worobec”)- it’s a way for me to connect with my community and to encourage my patients to stay active and moving, which is something I believe passionately in.

Last Friday was the first time doing this, and it was a wild success, with my kids participating in the workout too. I plan on making this a weekly thing, every Friday at 11:45am, with movements that people can do easily in their living rooms.

A couple of other fun things we did this week:

kids magic show

Virtual magic show for the relatives in Alberta

1. My kids put on a virtual magic show for our relatives in Alberta. I grew up in Alberta and my extended family is all still out West, so my kids are very used to using online platforms to talk to their grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. They looked up magic tricks on YouTube, practiced them, and then set up a little show. Their cousins and my parents loved it, and they were really proud of themselves.

2. We baked 5 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and then packaged them up and dropped them off on friend’s porches throughout the City, along with notes of support and encouragement.

3. We did a workout called “Heidi,” in honour of Constable Heidi Stevenson, who was tragically killed in the Nova Scotia shootings. I’m not sure who designed this workout, but this image has been circulating amongst the CrossFit community, and since my husband and I both go to a CrossFit gym, we jumped at this chance.

Heidi workout

A workout called “Heidi,” in honour of Constable Heidi Stevenson

It’s common for CrossFit to have “named workouts” based upon First Responder’s killed in the line of duty, and since our gym has loaned us some gym equipment to use at home, we did this workout in our driveway on Saturday afternoon- it’s 23 air squats, 23 pushups, 23 kettlebell swings, 23 jumping lunges, 23 situps, and 23 box jumps, as many rounds as possible for 23 minutes. The number 23 honours the fact that she served with the RCMP for 23 years.

4. We watched the “Stronger Together” Covid-19 broadcast benefit on CTV on Sunday evening, and especially loved the montage of “Lean On Me” at the end.

~

 

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Provincial parks are closed until May 30th - at least

News 100 redBy Staff

April 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Getting into spring and thinking about summer is going to be harder this year than it was last.

camping ontario park

No camping in provincial parks – Maybe in June?

The province announced on Friday that the government is extending the closure of Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves to May 31, 2020.

This includes car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities, access points and all public buildings.

Provincial parks and conservation reserves will continue to remain fully closed to all recreational activities.

Reservations for arrivals up to, and including, any further closure extension date will be automatically cancelled and reservation holders will receive a full refund with no penalty. We are also providing penalty-free refunds to reservation holders who wish to change or cancel their 2020 camping reservation, regardless of arrival date.

This is part of the drive to keep us apart and not have groups of more than five people congregating in one place.

Fig 2 episode all dates

This is the infection curve for Halton – it hasn’t begun to flatten yet.

That curve of COVID-19 infections is not flat enough – this kind of direction is going to be necessary until the number of infections stop increasing.

The virus that is now loose in the community is being passed from person to person – we know that. What we don’t know is who has it and who are they passing it to.

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Face shields

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Austin Horton, a Grade 9 student from Georgetown District High School, is using his personal 3D printer to make dozens of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help medical professionals stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Austin read about the need for PPE on social media in early April, he didn’t hesitate to fire up his 3D printer at home to start making plastic face shields.

FAce shield Auston Horton grade 9

Grade 9 student Austin Horton saw a need for Face Shields – went into production and has delivered 80 so far.

“I found the design online and slightly adjusted it for my printer,” he said. “It feels good to be doing this. I’ll keep doing this for as long as we have materials and it’s necessary.”

He has printed 80 shields so far. Each one takes about an hour and he prints around a half dozen a day. Austin leaves the PPE in a sealed bag at the front of his home and it is picked up by St. John Ambulance twice a week. He says the shields are being distributed to non-hospital medical professionals.

Michael Gallant, Principal at Georgetown District High School, said Austin’s PPE effort brings important hope to the local community.

“Like the residents of Georgetown, GDHS students and staff look for ways to support and improve their community and are committed to the success of all,” he said. “It is this dedication to the welfare of others that makes Georgetown such a special place. Find a way to do something that helps others and you will spread the hope and positivity that will get us through this challenge.”

Austin’s parents Krista and Shaun are very proud of their son’s effort to help people during these challenging times.

“Austin has always been very generous with his 3D printer,” Shaun said, noting he has made items to sell to fundraise for charities. “When it comes to helping others, he is always willing to assist wherever he can.”

“As soon as he was advised of the call for help, Austin offered to help immediately,” Krista said. “We thank (frontline workers) for taking time away from their family and friends to care for those who are not well and unable to have their families with them.”

Tim Bauer, Executive Director of St. John Ambulance, Halton-Hamilton Region, is grateful for Austin’s effort to help.

“The incredible work (Austin) is doing will go a long way toward ensuring public safety in this time of crisis,” Bauer said. “St. John Ambulance sincerely thanks him for understanding the need for PPE and for choosing to make an impact in the Halton community during a time of such great need in the battle against COVID-19.”

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Burlington Foundation announces first 17 grants from Covid-19 Response Fund; $163,500 supports front-line organizations

News 100 redBy Staff

April 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burl Foundation logoThe Burlington Foundation today announced the first round of charities that will receive $163,500 from the Covid-19 Pandemic Response Fund since the Foundation announced the fund on March 31; 17 grants were announced.

Through the generosity of donors, the Pandemic Response Fund has grown to over $400,000 to support both community-based response efforts through two phases of granting, and a third phase that will assist charities in their recovery efforts recognizing that this pandemic will have long-term implications for the non-profit sector.

“The Covid-19 Pandemic Fund is designed to be a rapid response solution to the immediate and ongoing challenges facing our front-line charities as they struggle to meet the growing demand of community members impacted by Covid-19,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation.

BCG Mulholland

Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation.

The first phase of grantees provides a range of much-needed supports to high need, vulnerable people and families including those experiencing food insecurity; isolated seniors; community members with disability or mental health challenges; medical assistance; and safe housing. Second phase of granting will open on May 1.

“We are humbled by the care these front-line charities are providing to our friends and neighbours in great need during these unprecedented times. We are also honoured to partner with our fundholders and donors who are sending a loud caring message that we are all in this together,” Mulholland says.

Here are just a few of the grants being distributed to front-line charities:

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20• $10,000 to Burlington Food Bank & Open Doors of St. Christopher’s to purchase fresh food and staples for over 135 households increasing at a rate of 20% per month

• $10,000 to Compassion Society of Halton to acquire non-perishable food and hygiene supplies to help support over 1,200 clients a month and increasing

• $10,000 to ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids) to adapt virtual therapy programming to support
over 300 clients with need escalating

• $10,000 to YMCA to adapt seniors’ programming to virtual platforms addressing isolation issues for nearly 900 Burlington seniors

• $15,000 to Halton Women’s Place to provide safe housing and healthy meals for 3 families

• $15,000 to Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation to aid in the purchase of PPE, equipment and
related supplies as the hospital continues to battle Covid-19

The complete list of awarded grants is HERE.

Providing these critical emergency grants in this time of tremendous need would not be possible without the kindness of donors. Our heartfelt thank you to our many donors including: The Paletta Family, Pioneer Energy, Randy and Denise Reeve Family Fund, Milne Family Foundation Fund, Pieczonka Family Foundation Fund, LKH Spirit Fund, BDO Burlington Community Fund, Dalton Timmis Group Fund and several community donors.

To learn more about the Foundation’s Covid-19 Pandemic Response Fund, and how to support your community through a donation, please visit the Foundation web site.

 

 

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Food Bank is able to adapt to a changing scenario getting food to people who are self isolating

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Food Banks are now serving the needs of a much different demographic.

Robin Bailey, Chief Cheese at the Food Bank, is shouting out a big thanks to the people who are helping get hampers of food to people who for a number of reasons aren’t able to get out of the house to shop for themselves.

The number of people who need support means needing more food, which we are fortunate enough to have – the amount coming in to meet this new demand needed a place to be stored –Access Storage donated space and is even managing the delivery for us as volunteers themselves. It was perfect timing too with the Feed Ontario support coming in this week.

We had a few clients let us know in advance that they have been diagnosed with or are potential cases for the COVID-19 virus. We let our volunteer drivers know that there is that potential for certain homes and allow them to opt-out of doing the delivery if they don’t feel comfortable.

What we do is drop off food at the door (and we don’t knock) then the driver goes back to their car and phones the client to let them know it is ready at their door and then they come out to get the food – that way there is absolutely no contact. Please let your friends and neighbours know that we are here for them and ask them to reach out to us. Deliveries are up but we are prepared.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at the door. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Robin is a member of the Mayor’s Task Force. “They met last night via Zoom” said Bailey, ”  it took hours – so much to deal with right now. We really have a good group on the board that want to do everything they can for the community; nice to see such wonderful people working so hard together but apart.”

Visual update

Donations are the lifeblood of the Food Bank – keep them in mind.

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Nice idea - could we do that here?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Somewhere in Germany – food is put in a plastic bag and left for people who need it.

Simple, almost elegant.

Food - somewhere in GermanyIf you tried that in Burlington – it would probably be a bylaw infraction or Legal would find a way to say – that it can’t be done.

Nice idea though – eh!  Makes you feel good

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Keeping yourself entertained with the COVID19 virus swirling around out there.

Weekend Indoors: How Burlington Residents Can Create a Stylish Night Out from the Comfort of Home and get caught up on some entertainment and political gossip.

eventspink 100x100By Claire Nash

April 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Another weekend – during which you will be home-bound.

It doesn’t have to be a grim weekend.The weekend is almost here. It may not yet be time to get out for a walk in a park – but you can get creative and spend home time doing fun things.

Check out these three innovative ideas for creating a night out on the town right at home, so you get the best of all worlds over the weekend.

drinks

Think creatively when you set up a bar.

Turn Your Kitchen into a Cocktail Lounge
Hesitant to hit the bar? You can create your own state-of-the-art cocktail lounge right at home. Start by gathering up the essential home bar ingredients, making sure to grab any flavors and mixers you can’t live without. You don’t want to get stuck with a boring combination, so plan your purchases ahead of time to suit your tastes. Likewise, pick up some tried-and-true cocktail snacks to munch on like cornichons, mixed nuts, or candied fruit.

Once you’ve gathered all your necessities, break out your most lavish cocktail glasses to give your drinks some flair. This is important, as it means the difference between creating a cocktail lounge atmosphere and settling for a kitchen counter vibe. After that, simply don your fanciest garb and get to mixing. You’ll have to be your own bartender, but you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your drinks will come exactly the way you like them.

Host a Casino Night on the Couch
Missing the casino? A night at your favorite venue can be a thrilling way to pass the time on the weekend. Of course, you don’t have to head outside to get your game on. Thanks to Canada’s friendly iGaming laws and a plethora of web-based venues, it’s easy and safe to create a casino night right at home. Online casino providers like Unibet offer the full gambit of games and sports betting options to choose from, so you’ll find something to fit your preferences no matter what you like to play.

Create a Movie Theater Cinema at Home
You can’t drive downtown to CineStarz Theater? But you can create a home cinema experience that’s worth staying in for. However, you should keep a few tips in mind to get the optimal experience.

In need of some cinema entertainment? There’s no reason to pay big bucks for the theater when you can have your movie night at home

movie theatre sign

Make it personal – give your theatre a name.

Set the scene by rearranging your furniture. You can organize everything to have a bit more space around the coffee table for snacks, or you can create classic movie rows for your audience. Either way, make sure the screen is viewable from every seat in the house.

It’s also a great idea to put out some classic cinema treats for your fellow moviegoers to enjoy. Popcorn is a tried-and-true munchie that gets everyone in the mood, but you can go all-out with nachos, extra-large iced sodas, or anything you like. Food is a major aspect of the movie theater experience, so pick your refreshments wisely.

Ready to have the perfect night out indoors? If you’re willing to put in a bit of effort, you’ll be able to create that perfect cocktail lounge, casino, or movie theater experience without leaving the living room. All you need is a bit of imagination, and you’ll be on the road to home-based bliss in no time flat.

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Week 5 of coping: Cat is fine; Bea is something else; Leo is nine 9 now - how much longer is this Coping going to last?

graphic coping blueBy Nicki St George

April 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Nicki St George is part of a Team that details how their weeks goes as parents do their best to cope with the Corono virus and take on the task of educating their kids. Nicki has two children; a nine year old boy and a six year old girl. Husband Dan is working from the house – office in the basement. Nicki has completed her chemo therapy and is happy with her cancer recovery.

Bea cropped

Daughter – a work in progress.

WEEK 5
MONDAY, April 13
Bea storms out over a disagreement about Candy Land. She says she is going to find a new home. I suggest that she pack a bag. Leo watches from the window. It’s so windy that her umbrella blows inside out. We laugh until she comes back inside and then feign concern. She is a character. She comes back inside to tell me that from now on she is going to live in the car except for meals. She will take her iPhone, but she promises not to use it until the scheduled time (3:30pm). I point out that the Wi-Fi is crap in the driveway, so she relents and has her iPhone time inside the house. Tomorrow, when Dan takes the car to the grocery store, she will ask why dad is driving away with her new home.

TUESDAY, April 14
This week I have resolved to go for peaceful walks by myself every morning when I wake up for sanity’s sake. This will last two days. I miss going for walks with my friends; it’s boring all by myself. In the afternoon, the kids insist on going for a bike ride, which I’m opposed to because it is so cold. On our ride I pass some friends of my parents and stop to say hi. Leo warns me against talking too long, in case we get a ticket like that lady whose friends drove by her house to wish her a happy birthday.

Nicki 1 Apr 21

Out at the grandparents farm where there is acres of space to run and roam

WEDNESDAY, April 15
On our weekly pilgrimage to my parents’ property we listen to a podcast about Weird Al Yankovic’s appeal (I’m actually quite curious about this). My parents are having some trees cut down from their property, so we stand in the brisk, April wind and watch the men take down a tree. This is the most exciting thing that will happen to us all week. The kids nearly miss it because they are wrestling on the ground.

Every mum I talk to is tearing their hair out today. I empathize. I often wonder if Bea has been sent to test me. Our conversations go something like this:
Bea – so is the answer 3
Me – no, it’s 4
Bea – That’s what I said! Whines and storms out of the room.

THURSDAY, April 16
Dan and I finish watching Unorthodox on Netflix. I am envious of how long that girl’s hair is. (In case you haven’t seen it, it is a very short pixie cut.) Every day and I check the progress of my hair regrowth. I examine my pathetic eyelashes and eyebrow hairs which I can count individually. Then I draw on a new pair. I am tired of looking like a sick person. Bea sees me doing this and now she does her eyebrows every day too. I do really love that kid. I have my appointment at the hospital today and when I get home, I cannot be bothered to do any schoolwork with the kids. We spend the day doing a puzzle and playing Mario Kart.

Leo cropped

Nine now.

FRIDAY, April 17
We listen to the Kidsnuz podcast and today they announce Leo’s birthday (all the way from Burlington, Ontario!). His excitement at hearing his name through my iPhone brightens my day. At 6pm, Dan emerges from his work cocoon and makes delicious homemade pizza. I prepare a foot bath and give Bea a full nail salon experience including a face mask. She is in heaven.

SATURDAY, April 18
Today is Leo’s 9th birthday. Instead of the new bike and new bed that he had been promised, we get him a couple of games for his Nintendo Switch and a few t-shirts with witty captions. He spends the day playing Roblox while on messenger with his friends. At around 1pm, a few of his friends (and their parents who are our friends) stop by and we all try to catch up while keeping our distance on our front lawn.

Leo approaches me and tells me that the closeness is making him uncomfortable and he is worried that we will get fined. Seriously where did this child come from? I sometimes forget that Leo has inherited Dan’s sensibility, but I’m grateful for it in this moment, because he is right. I politely ask everyone to get back in their cars and we slowly disperse the crowd. I think we were all so starved for some socialization and Leo’s birthday provided the perfect window to have some face to face contact.

After everyone leaves, Leo opens the gifts they brought – cupcakes, seafood, homemade cards and pictures, and some gift cards. We are all touched by the effort everyone has gone to, considering the circumstances. Later we make his meal of choice and a chocolate pavlova for dessert which we serve up over Houseparty with my extended family. Leo hasn’t complained once about his COVID19 birthday and I feel very proud of him.

SUNDAY, April 19

Nicki 2 Apr 21

The cat just seems to go with the flow.

I pet the cat, do some of my puzzle, read something, knit, repeat. This is how I spend the day. I am feeling bored and restless. I want this period of social distancing to be over. I would settle for just knowing when it will be over. My newsfeed is depressing -a mass shooting in NS and idiots protesting social distancing measures in Michigan.

Bea’s behaviour has become intolerable and I refuse to live under her regime any longer. Everything is a battle with her, including the basics such as getting her to wash her hands. Dan and I decide to enact Marshall law which involves no treats, no smiles and no iPhone until there are three consecutive days of good behaviour. She is receptive so far and we have a pretty good day with Dan enlisting her help doing yard work. I guess fixing Bea will be my project for the upcoming week. She’s still a work in progress, but I guess we all are…

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You can go for a walk but it won't be in a park - and forget the idea of getting a marriage license either

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 20, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City has put out an update on what it expects of its citizens.

The parks are closed and are going to remain closed.
City staff are focused on delivering essential services.

With the arrival of warmer weather, residents will start to see City of Burlington staff begin spring maintenance work in City parks and roads:

street sweeper

Expect to see equipment like this on the streets

• Street sweeping has begun on arterial roads and crosswalks with residential roads scheduled to begin mid-May
• Park and roadside litter clean up where needed prior to grass cutting
• Grass cutting will begin but will not include the usual trimming around trees and other objects
• Repair work for grass that has been damaged by sidewalk snow plows will begin the week of April 27with a contractor visiting the sites to fill areas with soil and grass seed

Pic 1 Spencer Smith Park

City wants to keep pedestrian traffic to a minimum.

Staff are only doing essential work to maintain City parks, facilities and assets until further notice. Wood chips at the Operations Centre on Harvester Road are not available for pick up during the pandemic and community gardens will remain closed as they have been deemed non-essential by the Provincial government. The City has delayed Community Garden openings until further notice.

To help keep everyone safe during the provincial emergency order, Spencer Smith Park is only available for walk-in traffic. The parking lots are closed and only walking is permitted in Spencer Smith Park, including the Promenade and the Brant Street Pier.

Visitors must keep a two-metre distance from other walkers. No other activities are permitted until further notice: no running, no rollerblading and no biking through Spencer Smith Park. This is to reduce the volume of people in Spencer Smith Park and to help walkers maintain physical distancing.

Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most important steps everyone needs to take. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t move on its own; it needs people to move it.

Remember to:

• Keep two metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick
• Move to the right on pathways to make room for others to pass safely
• Carry out your garbage whenever possible

Respect the caution tape and keep off playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts. The City has signage and barricades in the entrances of parking lots to block vehicles from parking. Vehicles left in parking lots will be towed at the owner’s expense.
Residents who see groups of five or more people gathering or individuals using outdoor recreational facilities can call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID hotline to file a report at 905-825-4722.

Local enforceable orders include:

• Closure of places of non-essential businesses
• Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
• Closure of public places and establishments
• Closure of all outdoor recreational amenities and parks

Burlington Transit
As an essential service, Burlington Transit continues to operate on a modified schedule for essential trips only. Essential trips include going to medical appointments and picking up medication or groceries. Extra buses will be added if needed to help protect drivers and allow passengers to practice physical distancing from other riders. Please use the back doors to enter and exit the bus, keep behind the marked area and follow the recommendations of public health professionals. For more information on Burlington Transit, visit www.burlingtontransit.ca

Parking - municipal cash grab

Not much work for the parking control people.

Parking
Parking enforcement is currently limited to safety-related issues such as fire routes, accessible parking, no parking/stopping areas and blocked areas, including parking lots at Spencer Smith Park, Lowville Park and all other City parks. Time limit restrictions have been relaxed to help those working from home or self-isolating. Parking permits and exemptions are not required until further notice. For more information on parking, visit www.burlington.ca/parking.

Service Burlington
Customer Service staff are available by phone and email for residents’ questions. Online forms can also be submitted via our website. Only in-person services, such as marriage licences, are not available during the pandemic.

Marriage couple at the altar

Not going to tie that know this month – maybe not in June either.

The City of Burlington is not issuing marriage licences while City Hall is closed. Residents needing a marriage licence can call Service Burlington two weeks before their intended marriage date and if City Hall has re-opened, will be accommodated as close to their wedding date as possible.

Municipalities issue marriage licenses on behalf of the Province of Ontario. Current legislation requires original signatures and documentation. City staff have asked the Province to review this legislation and make some interim amendments to allow for electronic signatures and documentation. Staff is also asking the Province to extend the licenses that were issued prior to the COVID-19 shutdown beyond the normal 90-day expiry dates.

In-Home Activities
The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home. The City of Burlington and its partners have put together a list of activities people of any age can do while staying home at burlington.ca/programming. The list includes:

• Virtual fitness
• Free music
• Ebooks, emagazines and online resources from Burlington Public Library at bpl.on.ca
• Videos for recreation programming such as games, activities and crafts.

graphic covid 1Mayor Marianne Meed Ward cautions people. “As the weather gets warmer we know it will be harder to follow the provincial emergency orders, and the directives from Burlington City Hall. But we must continue to stay apart, and stay in our own neighbourhoods, so we can get through this sooner. Please resist the urge to congregate in groups, stay 6 ft. away from anyone you don’t live with and please stay in your own neighbourhood and local parks for your walks.

“Walk, don’t stop, and stay off playgrounds, benches and other park amenities. In particular, please do not come downtown to the waterfront where there has been some crowding in Spencer Smith Park and Beachway Park. We have taken extra measures to restrict the use of these areas.

“We know how difficult this has been so far for our residents, but it will only get more difficult the longer we have to keep these directives in effect. The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can safely come together.”

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Burlington Foundation to get half of a $500,000 donation from the Paletta Family

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 20, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Paletta family announced a donation of $500,000 to support pandemic relief efforts that is to be split equally between Hamilton and Burlington.

PALETTA_logo1This major donation is intended to address the needs of vulnerable people and families including those experiencing homelessness and poverty, isolated seniors, people with disabilities and other marginalized communities.

It is the largest donation yet to the fund and will also support agencies to adapt their services or operations as needed, as a result of COVID-19.

“Though each of us is affected by the current crisis, the impact is far greater on some citizens than on others. We wanted to make a difference for those who are already in difficult circumstances,” says family spokesperson Paul Paletta. “We feel blessed to be able to help in this unprecedented situation.”

“This donation is just one of many examples in the Paletta’s long history of philanthropy and community leadership, of stepping up whenever and wherever they can and inspiring others to do the same. Their remarkable gift will help reduce uncertainty for our city’s most vulnerable at this critical time and in the months ahead.”

Burlington FoundationIn Burlington, the Paletta family’s donation will support Burlington Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund which prioritizes food security, medical assistance, mental health and safe housing.

“In this overwhelming time, remarkable generosity like the Paletta’s offers hope and inspiration,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation. “As the number of vulnerable community members needing help grows, their gift will have meaningful impact.

“It’s a challenging time for everyone but it’s also heartening to see people contributing in their unique ways,” says Paul Paletta. “We encourage everyone to step up in whatever way they can because we can only get through this pandemic together.”

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