Aldershot Groups Work Together to Alleviate Food Shortages in a time of crisis

News 100 blueBy Jim Young

March 30th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Jim Young reports on how the Aldershot community is dealing with the COVID 19 crisis.

Those of you who pay attention to what happens in Aldershot, and we know that is everybody in Burlington, have probably heard by now that a group of us out in our city’s wild west are organizing twice weekly food drives to help keep Burlington Foodbank supplied and helping those who need help amid the Covid 19 crisis.

In such times the need for food is greater and in a medical pandemic not only does the need increase but the logistics of supplying foodbanks get more complex and run the risk of food donations drying up completely.

People who might normally donate food are socially and physically distancing themselves, staying home hesitant to venture out of doors. Volunteers who help with collection and distribution of food are less readily available, afraid to expose themselves and families or may even be sick themselves

People are hoarding food and reluctant to share. Hoarding produces a double hit on foodbanks. Fewer personal donations are available and empty store shelves leave grocery chains unable to make the donations of surpluses they regularly provide.

As a result many organizations that provide food for the needy and the hungry, have closed their doors. The lack of donations and the fear of physical contact involved in normal foodbank operations, have forced Halton Compassion Society, like many charitable and church food supply organizations to close down indefinitely.

Faced with a reduction in food donations at a time when the need is greatest, the Outreach Committee at St Matthew Anglican Church, on Plains Rd. are doing something to help. In conjunction with Partnering Aldershot Seniors Committee and Engaged Citizens Ward 1 Group they are collecting non-perishable food donations on behalf of Burlington Foodbank two days per week.

St Matthews Aldershot

Food donations get dropped off at the front door – out of the weather – they are taken inside moments after they are dropped off.

In an inventive way of collecting donations safely, while limiting personal physical contact, these good folks have established a drive through donation drop off at St. Matthew Anglican Church. This allows donors to continue supporting Burlington’s only operating foodbank safely in this time of crisis and caution.

Supervised from behind the church’s glass frontage, donors drive around the circular driveway, stop by the wooden skids on the sidewalk, get out, safely deposit their donation in bags or boxes and drive off with thanks from the volunteer on duty inside. Donations are accepted Monday and Wednesday from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm.

As 3.00 approaches volunteer drivers arrive one at a time on a pre-arranged schedule to load the donations into their cars. Again “No Contact” is the watchword. Bagged and boxed donations are delivered to Burlington Foodbank on Old Plains Road. At the foodbank wheeled polyethylene laundry hampers await. Drivers transfer the bags from their cars to the carts again with no physical person to person contact involved. Drivers practice safe hygiene protocols for themselves and their vehicles.

Burlington Foodbank has its own quarantine and sanitation protocols in place to ensure that cross contamination of containers and packaging is minimised. Distribution of food hampers will be continued by Burlington Foodbank but will be modified to a delivery model rather than traditional individual pick-ups. Those in need should contact info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca (905 637 CARE (2237).

Our hope is that this process will allow food donations to the foodbank to continue and, as word gets out, to increase from the current extremely reduced levels.

As the only currently safe method of making food donations, Burlington Foodbank is recommending that the Drive-Thru Donations at St Matthew be utilized rather than risky, individual donations at its Old Plains Rd. outlet.

At a time like this, monetary and grocery gift card donations are the most hygienic, non-contact way to donate and we urge people of Burlington to give generously in this way.

For those without the means to donate financially or who may be suffering buyer’s remorse at overstocking during the first days of panic buying, we hope to provide a way to continue giving safely in compliance with physical distancing protocols.

St Matthew’s Outreach Committee, Partnering Aldershot Seniors and Engaged Citizens Ward 1 Group exemplify all that is good about Aldershot, and Burlington. Help us continue to help those in need when the need is greatest.

Connie Price, Grace Anne Wilbur, Jim Young.
Connie is a member of St Matthews Anglican Church and Partnering Aldershot Seniors Committee. She is also a biggie on United Empire Loyalist matters.
Grace Anne is the Chair of St Matthews Anglican Outreach.
Jim is a member of ECoB Ward 1, Partnering Aldershot Seniors, Burlington Seniors and Inclusivity Advisory Committees.

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All recreation facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and City administration facilities to the end of June.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 30th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the City of Burlington has decided to suspend all City-run spring programs and extend the closure of all recreation facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and City administration facilities to the end of June.

During this time, all bookings will be cancelled, and refunds will be given. Organizations and residents are asked to please be patient as refunds may take up to two weeks to process. Questions related to rentals can be sent to rentals@burlington.ca. For registrations, email liveandplay@burington.ca.

This decision, made by the City’s Emergency Control Group, follows the guidance of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health to prepare and plan for the months ahead.

The City of Burlington regularly plans in quarters, including Council’s 4-year strategic workplan, Vision to Focus. We need to make decisions now that affect programming weeks and months out, to provide some certainty to our community and to our many community partners.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains that: “This decision is absolutely necessary to protect the health and well-being of our employees and our community, as we plan for the best but prepare for the worst.

“COVID-19 numbers are still rising in our City through community spread. So we must continue to work towards flattening the curve through social and physical distancing and staying home. That means we can’t gather together at recreation facilities, community centres, sports fields and parks.

“We don’t know exactly how long this situation is going to last. By planning ahead, we can redirect resources where most needed, put non-essential projects on hold, and remain agile enough to open things up earlier if the situation changes. And once this is over, we will come together again as a community to celebrate. Let’s each do our part to get through this, healthy and whole.”

We are asking everyone to remember they have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19:

Please continue to keep out of park facilities including

o playgrounds,
o sports fields,
o skate parks,
o dog off-leash areas and
o community gardens.
o If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through our parks, but please do not linger.
o Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from everyone else in the park or on a trail.
o Please take your waste home with you to dispose of it.

During this extended closure we will continue to maintain our essential services and those services that provide direct support to keep our residents and staff safe. These include areas such as Burlington Fire, Burlington Transit including Handi-Van, Traffic Services, ByLaw Enforcement, Roads, Parks and Forestry Operations, Building Inspections and Service Burlington.

With this announcement the administration wants to assure residents that the business of the City will continue during this critical time.

“Our staff that are able, are continuing to work from home to maintain City services such as Community Planning, City Capital Works and various Corporate Services. During this unprecedented time, we are continually looking at ways for us to work more efficiently and to use taxpayer dollars wisely. We have already put in place spending restraints on all non-essential purchases during this time and will look to utilize our staff where we can instead of outsourcing.

“The majority of the City’s expenditures is paying our hard-working employees and we must continue to ensure we have the staff needed to get us through these challenging times. This means we will maintain our full-time staff workforce. They will continue to work remotely during this period or be redeployed where possible into essential service areas. We are also aware of other organizations that may need assistance, like the Region of Halton, where we may be able to redeploy staff.

“For our part-time staff, we will look at various options including evaluating government assistance programs being offered by the provincial and federal governments.

“Once we have looked at options for our staff, as a last resort we will also consider layoffs as required.

“We also know we’re not going to be back to 100 per cent on Day 1 after this pandemic has ended. We have to set the expectations for ourselves as a City and the public that it won’t be business as usual the first day we’re back from this. However, having plans in place for the next three months means we’ll be able to get back on our feet, operating at 100 per cent again that much sooner.

“This situation is evolving every hour and we are continually monitoring. The City of Burlington will continue to keep you informed.

Commisso stare

Tim Commisso, City Manager

Tim Commisso, City Manager adds that “Over the last few weeks our focus and priority has been on dealing with the immediate impacts of COVID-19 which has included meeting daily and taking specific actions based on analysis of virus spread and in partnership with public health.

“Clearly, we now need to look ahead and make decisions that are in best interests of our community and staff. We still need to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus and continue to deliver our essential services in addition to providing certainty and stability for the next several months. We remain committed to strong financial management and ensuing we have adequate resources to meet this challenge.”

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Mayor is preparing for the next three months to provide stability and certainty to the public.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 30th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Mayor Meed Ward explains how council will continue to guide and direct the administration as the city settles in for what is going to be a long haul.

Mayor Meed Ward

Burlington Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward

We continue to find ourselves in unprecedented times with our lives changing daily, and at times hourly. We now know that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be over as soon as we expected.

We’ve heard from the Province, guided by the Medical Officer of Health, that gathering together in schools and other places will not be possible by April 6 as we had hoped, with no definitive timeline following that. We are also expecting another announcement from the Province related to schools in the coming days.

We have also heard from Canada’s deputy chief public health officer that this situation will last “many
months.”

The City of Burlington and your Mayor and Council are committed to seeing us all through this health crisis. To do that successfully, we must turn our mind to being prepared beyond hour-to-hour and day-to-day to a longer time horizon.

The City of Burlington regularly plans in quarters — that’s our rhythm, that’s what we do, including
Council’s four-year strategic work-plan, Vision to Focus (V2F).

It is prudent then for us to prepare for the next three months and continue our planning in three-month cycles, and important for us to provide stability and certainty to the public.

In practical terms, there are decisions that must be made now for activities months ahead, including activities that affect many of our community partners and city operations. We need a plan for what the next three months will look like in our community, and we are going to do that.

We will plan for the best, and prepare for the worst, and be ready to respond no matter what may come.

We also know we’re not going to be back to full operations the day our State of Emergency is lifted. It won’t be business as usual the first day we’re back, so part of our three-month plan will include ramping back up to full operations.

Our plan will also be agile and include flexibility to return to full operations sooner, should the situation warrant.

Stand By says the city motto - for how long one might ask?

Stand By says the city motto – for how long one might ask?

The duration of the crisis depends on all of us. Everyone in our community has a role to play in this. The more of us that stay home (except for essential trips or outdoor walks/jogs/cycling); keep a 2-metre (6- foot) distance from anyone not in our immediate household when we are out; stop congregating in groups in public places; and follow all the advice of our expert medical professionals, the sooner we will see this situation resolved.

When it’s done, we will mark the occasion with a community celebration that brings us all back together!

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Close to unbelievable - but sadly true. Do help those who have not helped themselves.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

virus imageA Gazette reader made a comment on a piece we published about the Mayor’s efforts to impress upon people the need to stay at home.

The message isn’t getting through the way it has to or we will, as our reader said, all be “in lock-down”.

Here is what we received:

I live on a court and have observed a home with a single resident welcome a) a girlfriend (not living at said residence), b) an adult son (not living at said residence) and c) a cleaning lady (also, not living at said residence).

Likewise, I have noted a young couple with an 18 month old welcome one set of grandparents for playtime and a meal, and the next day another set of grandparents for playtime and a visit.

People are only willing to self-isolate and socially distance themselves if it is of no inconvenience to them.

This will inevitably force us into lock-down.

We asked for the specific address and were quite prepared to advise the Public Health Department who would send someone out with the police to “educate” the individual.

Our reader advised us that she had a talk with them.

This virus is spread from person to person. Stay at Home – please.

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COVID-19: Some simple tips from the perspective of a motorcyclist.

opinionred 100x100By Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This came to us from a Gazette reader:  Carol Gottlob has been with us from the very beginning.

I’ve never taken advantage of any opportunity to be a passenger on that bike; today she can put on her helmet and the rest of her safety gear and enjoy the freedom the road offers – and those roads will be close to empty today. Ride with the wind my friend!

Tips from a Road Warrior by Carol Gottlob:

Carol Gottlob March 29-20

Carol Gottlob with her 750 Honda Shadow.

In these times of new rules governing our lives to keep us safe in the time of CoVid, I would like to provide some simple tips from the perspective of a motorcyclist.

As a motorcyclist, I AM A RISK TAKER. This is pointed out to me at every opportunity when I tell people I ride a 750 Honda Shadow. I am well aware of the risks. They are calculated risks, and along with them, are some useful protocols to reduce those risks and improve my safety and the safety of those I share the road with. Here they are, and here is how you can apply them to your current self protection plan:

1. Keep your engine and brakes in good working condition. This equates to keeping yourself healthy by eating well, exercising and getting rest.

2. Wear protective gear. I don’t go on my bike without a helmet, gloves, and a safety jacket at the very least. You should not go out of the house without a mask, gloves or sanitizer if you are going to be in a grocery store, liquor store or gas station.

3. Ride at a safe distance. When we ride in formation, we are staggered, and the higher the speed, the further apart we are distanced to allow time for emergency braking. Remember to keep at least 6 feet apart when walking outdoors, shopping or talking to your neighbour on the front porch.

4. Ride defensively. Don’t assume everyone is going to follow the rules. Be watchful, especially at the intersections! But also remember to be polite if someone makes a mistake.

5. Know where you are going. Plan your route so there are no surprises, such as construction or a road closure. Likewise, plan your shopping trips efficiently so that you know which stores are open, get what you need and leave the stores quickly so others may enter.

6. Obey the traffic laws. Pull over and stop your engine when the cops pull you over. There’s a reason they’re pulling you over. It’s usually because you have been doing something unsafe, such as speeding. Listen to the authorities, for the same reasons.

7. Help others in distress. If you see a fellow rider by the side of the road, stop and ask if they need help. If you see a friend or a neighbour having trouble in these times, ask how you can help.

8. Enjoy the freedom and the journey. When you’re riding a motorcycle, it’s not because you want to or have to get somewhere, it’s because you enjoy the open road, the adventure and the friendly waves from other riders. In other words, make the best of this journey we are all on together. There will be lots of stories to swap when we stop our engines, take off our helmets, settle down with a beer and appreciate sharing the experience with other like-minded folk.

We are all risk takers on this blue green planet hurtling through space.

Ride safe, my friends.

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COVID-19 deaths world wide to date: 31,940

News 100 redBy Staff

March 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The numbers continue to rise.

And yet there are those who still will not heed the Stay at Home rule.

They put the rest of us in personal danger.

The numbers world-wide are beyond staggering – and they are still, for the most part, climbing. China seems to have gotten a grip on the growth of the disease. Problem with data from China is that many people just don’t trust their numbers.

The site with all the data is HERE

March 27

March 27th, 2020

Livde screen Mar 23

March 23rd, 2020

March 29th 2020

March 29th, 2020

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COVID-19 test results not available one week later

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Brian Rose, the Burlington resident who felt he should be tested for COVID-19 after returning from Spain where he had taken part in an event that included a person who later tested positive, had to get noisy before he was tested.

That took place more than a week ago

Rose parking spot

The parking spot Brian Rose was directed t at Joseph Brant Hospital.

“We were tested last Saturday at Jo Brant – 1 week and still no results. In an Open Comment to Regional Chair Gary Carr, Rose said: “I trust you and our other leaders know you are making decisions with data that is:

– Over a week old and derived from a very very small fraction of symptomatic Halton residents lucky enough to be tested.

That means the only number you can really trust is Severe Cases, Severe Cases Recovered and Deaths.

Rose referred to “an article in the Globe and Mail this morning. The University of Toronto Vector institute has launched a site to gather data online from symptomatic and asymptomatic residents. The site is up and running.

“If you are interested in adding another meaningful source of data to your decision making toolbox I would suggest looking into it.

“Perhaps you and the other local leaders copied could play a role in encouraging residents to provide data. I think this could really make a difference in tracking COVID-19 in Halton.

The Globe and Mail article Rose refers to can be found at:

Related new story

Burlington resident explains what getting tested for COVID19 amounts to.

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Individual responsibility and social responsibility as well pleases

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A regular Gazette reader, who frequently notes some of our spelling and grammar errors, brought to our attention what she thought were two frightening stories in as many days about people in Toronto driving to nearby communities away from the city to shop for food because of the shopping conditions in Toronto grocery stores.

“They claim” she said that “ it’s faster and easier to go out of town than trying to negotiate shops at home; they don’t realize they are potential carriers of this disease to another community.”

“Then a neighbor, who has a cottage in cottage country, thought about going there for isolation and to get away from restrictions and other people here in Burlington. Many of her cottage “neighbours” are full-time inhabitants of that area, and have made it very clear that they don’t want their city neighbours to come around and infect them.

Ford - dumb thoughtful

Premier Ford discourages people from heading for their rural cottages

“In fact, some of the mayors and reeves of these municipalities have contacted Doug Ford and asked him to talk about this on TV- and he did. He explained that those mayors and reeves had communities with limited facilities that were set up to accommodate their own citizens, and could not also accommodate an influx of others as well.”

The leadership in the community is asking that we be responsible for our welfare: follow the rules and maintain safe distances between the people we meet. That is being individually responsible.

There is also social responsibility – our reader is suggesting we pay heed to that responsibility as well.

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City announces new time lines on Planning and LPAT matters: public gets some breathing room.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City has had to make changes to various timelines and processes related to Planning and Building and By-law matters.

“To that end, the Statutory public meeting scheduled for April 6 on the official downtown policies has been pushed to fall to better enable the public and all stakeholders an opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and Council as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum.

“The City is currently processing development applications and building permit applications received by March 13.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings until the end of June. As a result of COVID-19, processes for building inspections have been modified accordingly to keep both staff and the public safe.

Staff and consultants Rosa +

Detailed policies on the Downtown are being developed by the consultants and staff – preparing them for public review

Official Plan Update
Over the past few months, the Official Plan project team with help from planning firm, SGL Planning and Design, have been working on developing detailed policies.

“The endorsed land use vision and built form concept for the Downtown was largely endorsed by Council this past January. The detailed policies were going to be available for public review during the week of March 23 and presented to Council in April 2020 as recommended modifications to the policies of the Adopted Official Plan.

“However, these timelines have been delayed to protect the public and City staff and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, the City has closed facilities, including City Hall. These closures and workplace changes have had an impact on the project timeline. As a result, the public release of the detailed policies and associated reports will be delayed.

“The detailed policies will now be released at the end of April and the Statutory Public Meeting will be scheduled for the fall.

The City recognizes the work of the Scoped Re-examination of the Adopted Official Plan is vitally important to continue to move forward.

The City remains committed to ensuring the public has the full ability to comment on the detailed policies and for this reason, the associated timelines have been changed.

Planning Applications

Millcroft logo• Development applications received by March 13, 2020 are currently being processed.
• Inquires continue to be handled by Planning staff via phone and email.
• Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.
• No Pre-application public meetings will be held at this time, including Millcroft Green, and will be re-scheduled at a later date.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings scheduled to take place between March 16 until the end of June.

The cancelled hearings will be rescheduled at a later date. Currently, hearings July onward will proceed on their scheduled date. Burlington applications affected include:

Amica development rendering

Amica – proposed development

• March 20 – HHHBA Appeal of Parking rates- first Case Management Conference
• March 20 – 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews- a telephone CMC
• April 17 – 1157 Northshore Blvd (Amica)- a telephone CMC
• April 30 – 2069 Lakeshore /Pearl Street (Carriage Gate)- first Case Management Conference
• May 11 – OPA 107 (Evergreen)- a Case Management Conference
• May 19 – 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews- Hearing

There were no Burlington hearings scheduled for June.

Building Permits and Inspections

• Building permit applications received by March 13, 2020 are currently being processed.
• Staff have implemented a modified level of building inspections. Exterior building inspections continue and a modified process for interior inspections is in place that does not involve staff going into buildings and protects staff from physical contact in line with COVID-19 safety precautions.
• Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.

Signage in Commercial Districts

City hall told the merchant signs like this were a no, no. Why then would a merchant break the rules? what else would this merchant do?

City hall told the merchant signs like this were a no, no.

• A-frame signage on private property is still permitted in front of any business during regular business hours and no permits are required.
• Portable sign permits and renewals are still being processed by sending necessary information to building@burlington.ca.

Business License Renewal
• Existing business licenses that require renewal will be extended during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had this to say: “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented situation we’re facing, and we know it won’t be business as usual for some time. As a City, we’ll continue the operations we can, while putting the health and safety of our community and employees first.

“Our downtown policies and Official Plan are vitally important to our entire community. We want to ensure the public and all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and council as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum. This work is appropriately put on hold till we can provide that opportunity. Releasing the policies early affords everyone significant time for review and comment, before decisions are made. This is perhaps the silver lining in this situation. ”

Heather MacDonald, Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Community Planning added: “The City continues to process applications received prior to March 13th and City staff remain available by email and phone to connect and answer questions. In light of the situation with COVID-19 and the rapidly changing updates from healthcare professionals and our partners across all levels of government, our priority remains on keeping staff and the public safe. Since March 16th, City Hall remains closed to the public and we will continue to do our best to ensure transparency and accountability to the public while protecting our staff and the public.”

Dev fee guy STAFF

Nick Anastasopoulos, Chief Building Official / Director of Building & By-law

Nick Anastasopoulos, Chief Building Official / Director of Building & By-law explained that: “Our primary focus is on the safety of the public, our staff and buildings in our city when we do our building inspections. Exterior building inspections are continuing with our normal process and the reality of COVID-19 has made us look at creative ways to deliver on interior inspections. We have created a modified process for interior inspections to respect physical distancing and avoid the need for staff to go into buildings. We appreciate the continued understanding of our community as we continue to address this challenge together.”

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Mayor doesn't mince her words - 'Walk and don't stop'

News 100 redBy Staff

March 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

mehaphoneWalk – don’t stop was Mayor Meed Ward’s message. She has threatened to get out her megaphone to tell people to walk by all means but don’t congregate with people who are not part of your immediate family that you live with.

The COVID-19 virus is being passed from person to person – that has to stop.

Here is her message:

 

 

 

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Flour is scarce at the supermarket shelf level - getting it into small bags seems to be part of the problem.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of the things that struck us as we spent some time in supermarkets – the shelves with flour were empty!

Flour shelves

Empty shelves – been that way for a few days.

Were people hoarding the product?

We reached out to Ron Foxcroft whose Fluke Transport has 150 trucks on the road moving product from manufacturers and processors to supermarkets and asked if he could shed some light on why there is a shortage of flour – at least at the supermarket level.

Fluke truck

There are 150 of Fluke trucks on the roads running between Ontario, New York state and Pennsylvania

Foxcroft came back to us with this:

Institutions and homes are using lots of flour.

We are trucking 5 to 10 loads a day of bulk flour for commercial use.  Bakeries, etc. etc.

There is a challenge getting labour to put it in smaller bags and getting labour to put it on store shelves.

It takes time to load, unload, and put on shelves.

It just seemed odd to us that something as basic as flour would not be on the shelves – bread shelves were stocked.

We’ll keep an eye on it.

 

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Food Bank keeps on trucking - Rotary helping to deliver the food.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Food Bank was very busy this morning picking up donations from several grocery stores, assembling delivery food supply hampers and arranging deliveries.

Some brand new volunteers and some drivers from Burlington Rotary – thank you so much for helping us out right now.

Diane Gris Food Bank

Diane Gris talks about the Food Bank volunteers, the clients and about managing production.

Diane Gris manages the production – she makes sure that the families requesting food, not only get the food supply hamper but any special needs they may have as well.

We’re trying our very best to keep distance from each other as we work at the food bank and taking every precaution so that the food delivered is as safe as possible.

The short video gives you a look at the inside of a Food Bank – the unfortunate part is they are now a part of life in every community.

 

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Ok - who did it? The lovely painted rocks didn't just fall out of the sky. Do we have rock painting fairies amongst us?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We used to say we were always so busy – now hundreds of us are sitting at home and just plain bored.

There is only so much Netflix you can take. And reading those books you always wanted to read requires an approach to life that many of us have lost – just being quiet is something we find ourselves having to learn.

Yesterday, and again this morning, we were sent pictures of little painted rocks by people who were out for a walk and came across them.

Who put them there – and why?

SmileHave a look at the news story we put up this morning and then go into your Sherlock Holmes mode and see if you can discover who did this really nice thing. I personally love the one of the rock that is winking at me.

Painted rocks story HERE

We are waiting to hear what you learn?

Send whatever you find out to publisher@bgzt.ca or put a comment at the bottom of the news story.

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The trend is still upward - the worst is yet to come. Follow the rules and we will get through this

By Pepper Parr
March 27th, 2020
BURLINGTON, ON

The number of people infected and the number of people dying of COVID-19 are higher now in the United States than they are were in China.

Our data comes from a reputable source – you might want to review all the data. It can be found HERE

The increase for New York city was 40% in one day.

The data below shows what has taken place in one week.

March 27

March 27th, 2020

March 26

March 26th, 2020

Livde screen Mar 23

March 23rd, 2020

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Town Hall on line at 6:45 pm - Call 1-800-280-9610 to listen in or follow the audio on twitter @yourtvhalton.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city is going to hold an electronic town hall this evening – it will not be a web cast.  It will be audio only – to hear what is said you apparently dial into the 1-800 number – which we thought was for people who were going to ask question.

Telephone town hall logoFor an item that has been hyped by members of Council, the Mayor and her staff there is little in the way of clarity.

Cogeco TV is involved – a senior political staffer used the phrase “so I am told”.  Cogeco was apparently a late comer to the initiative.

Earlier in the week the Mayor was doing robo calls to random telephone numbers asking people to participate.

Council members sent notices out to their participants saying: “We know there are a great deal of questions in our community related to health, finances, and supporting those in need.  Call 1-800-280-9610 if you want to listen in. 

The people who will be asking questions have apparently been selected.

“Important information is changing daily, and not everyone in our city has access to channels like television, the internet, and print media.

“This one-hour town hall will be open to all members of the public and provide an opportunity to hear from a panel of leaders including:

Eric andewall TITLE

President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital

City Council and the Mayor
▪ Senior City Staff including City Manager, Tim Commisso
▪ MPP Jane McKenna
▪ President/CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital
▪ Medical Director of Infection, Prevention and Control of Joseph Brant Hospital
▪ Deputy Chief of Halton Regional Police
▪ Superintendent of Halton Regional Police

How to Participate
“Anyone who did not receive a telephone invitation can listen in by calling  1-800-280-9610 at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 to join the town hall.

“For those individuals calling into the town hall, please be advised that more than one attempt may be required to connect to the call due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If your call does not connect you to the town hall on your first try, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

“Information about the town hall has also been shared across the city through the City’s website and social media channels.

“We ask our residents to help spread the word to their friends and neighbours so that anyone who is interested may participate.

“Once the call begins, participants will be provided instructions by a moderator for submitting their questions to the leadership panel.

“Any questions that are not answered within the hour-long call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at burlington.ca/coronavirus, along with an audio file of the call and a full transcript as soon we can.”

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Non profit sector proves to be both nimble and innovative in an uncertain environment: Food Bank ensures people have what they need

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The not for profit sector in Burlington has shown that it can be nimble and innovative when the need is evident.

The Compassion Society, located in Aldershot had to close their doors due to COVID-19 issues.

Food Bank - Robin

Robin Bailey, Executive Director, Burlington Food Bank

The Burlington Food Bank found that the demands being made on their services were increasing at a time when their normal sources of food were not as available.

With COVID-19 something that had to be dealt with – the Food Bank changed the way they delivered food. Instead of people coming in for food – the Food Bank created a group of volunteers who would drive the food from the Food Bank to the needy household.

With the closure of the Compassion Society St. Matthews United Church jumped into the breach and set up a food collection service open every Monday and Wednesday from noon to 3:00 pm.

At the end of those two days the St Matthews volunteers took the food to the Food Bank.

Lisa-with-deaf-man-768x831

Lisa Lunski at Wellington Square United Church

Lisa Lunski, who runs the helping side at Wellington Square United Church, brought up a concern. Is the food being dropped off at St Matthews secure?

“People drop off their non-perishable food at St. Matthews’s driveway between 12 and 3pm on Mondays & Wednesdays. After 3pm the transportation volunteers one at a time put the food in their vehicles and take it directly to the Burlington Food Bank who keeps it separate in their facility for 2 weeks before using it in their food hampers.

They do not want the possible contamination of the public coming to drop off food any longer. They are concentrating on making up and delivering the food hampers to people who have contacted them. Their drivers leave the boxes at the recipient’s door and then from their car, call them to tell them it is there.

Connie Price assured The Wellington Square United Church people that the food wasn’t compromised in anyway.

Domenique W Food Bank

Dominique Wildeboer getting ready to show how the food hampers are put together at the Food Bank

Burlington Food Bank volunteer Dominique Wildeboer demonstrates the assembly of  hamper baskets for non perishable items. Currently these 30-40 lb baskets get delivered to family doors by our volunteers.

St Matthews flyerThey also include some special order items as needed and communicated by the family. Each family or individual gets all of these items. Once the boxes are packed they then include the fresh produce portion.

In video updates the Food Bank does every couple of days Wildeboer demonstrates a family donation assembly and Robin Bailey shows the fresh produce portion.

What we were seeing is four different non-profit organizations working together and changing as quickly as necessary to ensure they didn’t become part of the problem and at the same time ensuring that people who were food insecure were fed.

 

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COVID19 is approaching the half a million mark: it can be contained - just follow the rules.

background graphic greenBy Staff

March 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The growth of the COVID-19 in Burlington is very very small when looked at from a global perspective.

Part of the reason for that is the diligence most people have shown and the way the public is listening to the leadership from the Mayor.

On Thursday there will be a telephone Town Hall that will give the public a chance to ask questions.

To give the public a chance to get a sense as to just how bad things are in the rest of the world we have excerpted some data from a web site we refer to frequently.  The source is very reputable. A link to the site with the data is here.

Set out below is data that shows the world wide status for three different dates.

Covid live Mar 24

March 24th, 2020

March 25

March 25th, 2020

March 26

March 26th, 2020

The best way residents can prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19 is to:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into upper sleeve, not hand.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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Marathoner is ready for the long haul with kids out of school.

graphic coping blueBy Ashley Worobec

March 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

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, Amber Rohol, 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.

Ashley Worobec is a  chiropractor  working with athletes as well as a mother with two children  11 and 8.  She completed the New York City Marathon a number of months ago.

We have a big sheet of paper where we brainstormed a bunch of ideas to do over the coming weeks.

Lots of house projects, like sorting through our closets, cleaning out the garage, raking the backyard.

Oct 1 Ashley with dog

Ashley Worobec and the family Golden Retriever who has been taught to roll over.

We have been looking on YouTube for “dog trick” videos and trying to teach our Golden Retriever some fun stuff- she just learned how to play dead, ha! Next is rolling over…..

The kids have been using a website called www.typing.com and that’s been helpful to improve their typing skills- there are various levels they can complete.

In the evenings, we’ve been working on a 1000-piece Harry Potter puzzle that’s on our dining room table.

We’ve also looked up a bunch of recipes that interest us, and have been making something new each day, whether that be dinner (last night was chicken parmesan from www.skinnytaste.com) or baking a new type of muffin.

Facetime has been a lifesaver- lots of chatting with my extended family in Alberta and with the kids’ friends locally.

Ashley Worobec - hair flying H&S

Worobec on a practice run – when the weather was nicer.

My next race is the Chicago marathon in October- so far that’s not changed, but we will see how the coming months play out. All of the Major Spring marathons have either been cancelled or pushed to a Fall date…..

graphic coping redCoping with COVID & the kids is a collaborative effort between three women and the wider community.  The group will “prime the pump” with ideas from their experiences; we invite readers to use the comments section at the end of each feature to add their own ideas.

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Getting tested for COVID19 at the hospital

News 100 redPepper Parr

March 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are all working at keeping our distance from others; going out only when it is necessary; washing our hands regularly and listening to the news to stay aware of a very challenging and changing set of circumstances.

What happens if you feel you may have symptoms – and think you should be tested,
You have to fall within the parameters set out by the Regional Heath people.

If they think you should be tested this is how it happens.

A Gazette reader advises that he and his wife went in for testing last Saturday.

No results yet.

– We arrived at Jo Brant for our appointment time

– COVID-19 Testing is done on the Northshore side of the Hospital where the old Emergency Department Exit was.

Rose parking spot

Assigned parking spot

– You pull up in your car to a designated parking spot.

– The Doctor contacts you on your Mobile Phone. Asks you to come in and touch nothing.

– We walked to the door where we were greeted by a very nice fully gowned Nurse.

– The nurse handed us a Face-mask and instructed us to use the provided Hand Sanitizer.

– You then enter a highly sanitized room (So sanitized it causes the stethoscope to corrode)

– They proceed to take your temperature, Blood Pressure, O2 levels and assess your breathing with the Stethoscope.

– You are then asked to lean back and the Nasopharyngeal swab is shoved up your left nostril so far it seems like it tickles the bottom of your brain.

– We were then instructed to wait 48-72 hours for our results. (Obviously this SLA that has something to do with the testing is hard to achieve)

We wish our reader well with the test results.

They did let them go home.

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Transit User's Forum scheduled for May postponed to Fall

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The scheduled Burlington Transit Users’ Forum, has been postponed.

bfast-logo-w-type-rgb-400x133No new date has been set, Bfast will examine holding the Forum this Fall when the picture becomes more clear with regard to the COVID-19 virus.

doug-brown-with-buses

Doug Brown in his happy camper mode.

In a statement released Wednesday, Doug Brown said: “This postponement is a disappointment to all of us, but we at BFAST will continue to make submissions to City Council and staff to promote continuing improvements to a transit system that was making excellent progress in providing better service and significantly increasing ridership before the virus hit.

Brown said: “We see three major issues for transit on the agenda now. The first is to ensure that our City Council continues to support improvements to the system.

“The second is to make Council aware that, while we support the City’s efforts to develop a Climate Action Plan, its current approach will worsen traffic congestion and not achieve the admirable goals it sets forth.

“The third is to participate in the development of the City’s Integrated Mobility Program. To this end, we have been meeting regularly with City staff to help ensure the Plan points us toward a transit-oriented future.

“Despite our disappointment in postponing the Transit Users’ Forum, we are excited and optimistic about the medium-term prospects for transit in Burlington and look forward to continued progress.”

 

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