Is that a Pot of Coffee or Pot in your Coffee? Rivers comes out for legalization of marijuana.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 4th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Imagine a ‘pot’ of coffee – made with real pot. In the late sixties we were encouraged to share a little ‘tea’ with Goldie, a popular feature of the late ’60’s Smother’s Brothers Comedy hour. Tom and Dick were fired by an uptight CBS, in part for that. But they cut the cloth of political comedy for Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Trevor Noah.

Policde-drugs-Feb-23-15-1024x575

Halton Regional Police have a unit dedicated to tracking down drug dealers – columnist Ray Rivers feels they won’t be needed when marijuana is legalized.

A Canadian company has developed an alternative way to administer medical cannabis. You just drop a pod in your Keurig and bingo, you get a standardized dose of the heady stuff (THC) in your caffeinated brew. Orally ingesting marijuana has always been tricky because of the lag time, so this should make it all a little more reliable, predictable. But for many, it sure beats ‘smokin’ the shit’ – or using a vaporizer, something the Ontario government hasn’t quite figured out.

Marijuana seized in Ottawa

The manufacture, growing and distribution of illegal substances has created a criminal element that police cannot control. Will the legalization of relatively soft drugs drive the criminals out of the community?

What a great way to start your day. Mary Jane and Joe together to greet you at the breakfast table. Your morning beverage to wake you up and chill you down at the same time; getting you up and down, flying to the sun and back down to earth, all at the same time. And if you can mix the whacky-backy with tea and coffee, why not wine or whiskey, and make it available at your favourite LCBO?

In fact British Columbia liquor stores have jumped the gun and are already vying for that very franchise. And why not? Licensing existing liquor stores to sell pot makes a lot of sense, since all are provincially regulated and most are provincially run. As for B.C., where some liquor stores sell snacks as well as liquor and beer, we’d be able to buy our beer, weed and munchies all in one place – one stop shopping for body and the mind. And we can put all of that on the credit card. Have you ever known a drug dealer to accept credit?  Goddam the pusher man!

Canada’s new health minister is aware that the world is watching the Trudeau government as it proceeds to rid us of a stupid prohibition that has plagued us for generations. Uruguay has the distinction of being the first nation to legalize cannabis, though its success has been less than impressive. Even in the most progressive country in Latin America, old habits die hard. So organized crime is still mostly in charge of the drug trade and the police seem to have missed the memo – that it is legal now.

Mexican authorities, who went part way by decriminalizing all street drugs a while ago have also been disappointed with their results. Since the rules allow such tiny quantities, real ‘tokers’ turn to the drug gangs to buy in more volume. And the cops, always looking for another bribe, are still arresting people. It may just be too early to say how well this half-measure is really working, but half-way is sometimes no way at all.

Maijuana and police

Raid after raid to seize marijuana – columnist would like to see the product sold in the LCBO outlets and let the government tax the sale.

The US state of Colorado has had a different experience. Costs for drug related offences are down almost 90%, saving the state millions of dollars in enforcement and adjudication costs. There was some $40 million in new revenue in 2014, which was in part reallocated for health programs. Crime rates fell; violent crimes, property damage and burglaries were down by as much as 10%. Even traffic fatalities came down by about 3%, challenging the naysayers, who had speculated, incorrectly, about ‘stoners’ on the road.

Washington State, the other early US adopter of legalized weed has had a similar experience, though even better from a cost savings and revenue perspective. Most critically, marijuana use among youth has not increased, a frequent talking point among the opponents of legalization.

It was Justin’s father who commissioned the Le Dain Commission to look into the issue back in the ’70’s.. Way back then Le Dain recommended that we lift the prohibition on cannabis. And it is finally going to happen, some 40 years later. So, make mine a double-double.

Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran as a Liberal against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. Rivers is no longer active with any political party.

Background links:

Coffee Pot      Share a little Tea      Pusher Man       Uruguay drugs       Mexico Decriminalization

Canada being Watched        Province Flip Flops

Another View      LSD 

B.C.     Colorado     Washington      Le Dain Commission

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What may well be toxic chemical waste in Sheldon Creek is being ignored claims a Burlington resident.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 16, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Keeping the natives happy seems to be easier said than done.

Aldershot resident Tom Muir is still spinning his wheels over the answers he isn’t getting on the development application made by the ADI Group for a 26 storey building at the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

Now Vince Fiorito is wondering why his discovery of what he thinks is toxic material discovered in Sheldon Creek is not being looked into.

Sheldon Creek - vince in high water

Vince Fiorito on a tour of the Sheldon Creek when the waters were high.

Fiorito wrote MPP’s Eleanor McMahon (Burlington) and Indira Naidoo-Harris, (Halton) and Mayor Rick Goldring.

Fiorito had strong environmental credentials – he was named the Steward for Sheldon Creek by the Halton Conservation Authority. In his most recent email to the above named he said:

“This is a status update, regarding a dump site that I discovered in the Sheldon Creek flood plain adjacent to a residential neighborhood near 1829 Creek Way, Burlington, Ontario”

Fiorito had taken his concern to the provincial Ministry of the Environment. When he followed up with them he was told “the MOE considers this case to be closed even though as far as I know nothing has been done about this site and nothing is planned to be done.”

Fiorito, who documents rather well, provided pictures of the material he discovered and said he “estimates the site covers 1000+ square meters. The depth of material buried at this site is unknown. What is buried at this site is unknown. This site is also full of sharp metal objects and broken glass.

Bags of something Sheldon Creek

A Burlington resident doesn’t know what these chemicals are – no one seems to be concerned.

This site is next to a residential neighborhood full of children and apparently near the residence of McMahon the Burlington MPP.

Fiorito discovered this site in the Sheldon Creek flood plain next to a residential neighborhood about a year ago. At the time, he considered this site to be yet another dump site, like many others that Friends of Sheldon Creek has discovered and cleaned up.

He organized a volunteer clean-up of this site on June 27, 2015; David Hulsman from the Field and Stream Rescue Team showed up to help. The two of us started cleaning up the site and dragging trash to the curb.

rusted barells sheldon creek

Rusted out drums and some equipment were found in Sheldon Creek – Burlington resident Vince Fiorito wants to know how it got there and what is being done to remove it. so far he claims nothing is being done.

They halted their activities out of concern for their personal safety, when Hulsman found two pesticide containers indicating that the site could be a toxic waste dump.

Fiorito immediately contacted the MOE spill hot line to report this site. The MOE opened a file (case # 2784-9XVMEM) and contacted the city for follow up. City staff couldn’t find the site and they contacted Fiorito.

barel in Sheldon creek

Vince Fiorito, the Steward for Sheldon Creek discovered what he fears are toxic chemicals in the Sheldon Creek flood plain and cannot understand why neither the province, the local MPP or the Mayor have not moved on this – they were alerted five months ago.

On Monday June 29th, 2015, Fiorito guided Gary Glenn of the City of Burlington to the site. He agreed that this site appeared to be a problem. The two agreed that the site appeared to be decades old and that it looked like someone dug a big hole, dumped suspicious looking barrels, drums and containers into it, and then buried it. We were unable to determine the scale of the problem, because when we lifted up a barrel or sheet of metal, we could only see more barrels and metal underneath, indicating that this could be a deep hole.

“I expected the government would follow this problem up until it was resolved and keep me informed. But after four months of silence and no sign of activity at this site, I decided to follow this case up.

“I went to the MOE website for information about case # 2784-9XVMEM. As far as I can tell, the MOE has no way for the public to search for information on a reported spill by case number.

“I tried to file a request for information but got an error message.  Finally I called the spill hot line, where I was able to get help. The operator told me that according to the file:

• I reported the site with contact information
• The MOE contacted the city
• The city couldn’t find the site and was going to contact me.
• The file had been closed by Karen Wassink, Senior Environmental Officer – HALTON-PEEL DISTRICT (I looked up her contact information: Phone: 905-319-3149 Email: karen.wassink@ontario.ca)

“I contacted Gary Glenn of the City of Burlington ( Gary.Glenn@burlington.ca ) for a status update. In his email reply he informed that the City of Burlington does not own that property and that it is owned by Paletta International. I have been directed to contact that Company for follow up.

Fiorito said he is “dissatisfied with the process and lack of results. I reported this problem nearly five months and absolutely nothing has been done.
“At a minimum, this site should be tested immediately to see if it is leaking dangerous chemicals. I’d like to know the results of that test as soon as they are available. If it is leaking dangerous chemicals then the public needs to be informed immediately.”

Fish from Sheldon creek

A fish caught in the Sheldon Creek is believed to have been dinner for a local family.

“Downstream, Sheldon Creek flows through a nature area, parkland and eventually into Lake Ontario, where it becomes our drinking water. This young person in my neighborhood caught a rainbow trout in Sheldon Creek. I believe he took the fish home and ate it with his family.

Fiorito who certainly knows how to jump on a high horse when he sees one said: “I feel that more than one person has behaved irresponsibly and possibly illegally. I feel that government officials have not done their duty. Their inaction after knowledge of the facts could be endangering public safety.

Fiorito continues: “If city staff have determined that Paletta International is responsible for this site, then I feel they are still responsible for following the problem up as well as keeping the MOE and myself informed. Just because I found and reported this problem, should not mean that I am responsible for ensuring its resolution. I will try to clean it up if I can, but first I need to know if the site is safe or contains toxic chemicals. We will happily remove trash, including sharp objects (Field and Stream Rescue Team has insurance, so our activities do not create any liabilities), but we are not qualified to clean up toxic chemicals.”

Fiorito is a strong believer in accountability and responsibility and points to the people he holds accountable:

Rick Goldring puts the city before himself - he wants what he thinks it is to remain the same and at the same time would like to see good growth.

Mayor Goldring positions himself as a strong environmentalist – but so far he hasn’t delivered in the eyes of Vince Fiorito – who walks his talk.

This site is in our City Mayor Rick Goldring. You should be aware of the action and inaction of city staff. I am concerned, that if this case is typical of how city staff handles environmental problems, then I have to wonder, “How many other problems like this have been reported and ignored, rather than cleaned up?”

He takes the same approach to MPP McMahon: “This site is in your neighborhood Ms McMahon. You should inform your neighbors about this problem. You should tell them that you are aware of the problem and following its progress towards resolution closely.

Bed race McMahon - Rosie the Riveter

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon hasn’t made the grade in the eyes of Vince Fiorito who points out that what he believes could be very toxic chemicals dumped in Shelden Creek close to the home of the MPP has not been given any attention.

Fiorito finds himself feeling “that if I do nothing in this case, then nothing will be done. How is it possible he asks “that after I reported a problem to the responsible government agency and guided city staff to the location, where we both agreed I identified a problem, that this problem can then be ignored?

Fiorito does acknowledge that he did get an acknowledgement from the Office of the Mayor. Tom Muir, the Aldershot resident looking for detailed information on just why the city missed that 180 day deadline’ got the promise of a “meaningful response” – so far he feels all he has gotten is a lot of bafflegab.

Two effective, involved, concerned citizens spinning their wheels. Is there a trend here – is this the way the city does business.?

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By registration only family flue shot appointments available at the Regional office in Oakville.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The best way to protect young children from getting infected with influenza (flu) is for all family members to receive the seasonal flu immunization. To make it easier for families with young children to receive the flu shot, the Halton Region Health Department is hosting two appointment-based family flu clinics for families with young children aged six months through five years of age who are most vulnerable to the virus.

This is the first year Halton Region has offered appointment-based flu clinics. Families can register for their 15-minute appointments at halton.ca/flu or by dialing 311.

flu-shot child

It doesn’t always happen this easily – does it?

“We know that sometimes it can be challenging for families with young children to attend a drop-in clinic, so this year we’re offering two appointment-only flu clinics to meet the needs of Halton’s young families,” said Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Meghani.

“These new clinics will give young families more opportunities to get the vaccine as pharmacists are unable to immunize children under five. By making it easier for families with young children to receive their influenza immunizations, we’re not only working towards achieving the best possible health and well-being for children, but also for the entire community.”

The two appointment only family flu clinics are located at the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville, from 3:00 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 and Tuesday, December 15, 2015 and are in addition to other flu clinics being offered by the Halton Region Health Department.

To register for an appointment at one of the family flu clinics or to learn about Halton’s 12 drop-in flu clinics, please visit halton.ca/flu or dial 311.
This is a really good idea but the clinics have to be closer to the people who pay the tax bills – at the very least in schools during the late afternoon or evenings.
It is easier to just go to a local pharmacy where they will give you your flu shot at no expense – I didn’t have to wait more than the time it took to roll up my sleeve.

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It will be the Mother of all photo ops - can the Mayor get to them all?

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 29, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

This was clearly the Mother of all photo ops.

As part of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington Community Launch – Chalk It Up event Thursday, October 29, 2015 the beavers in the Parks and Recreation department have designed a challenge designed to create and adapt healthy behaviours for children aged zero to 12 years through healthy eating and physical activity.

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump play

Tax dollars at work – all part of a program that is designed to get the under 12 set out to run, jump and play

The first theme of the challenge is “Run. Jump. Play. Every Day.” This theme encourages physical activity through active play, sports, active transportation and structured activities. Chalk It Up events will be taking place at YMCA after school programs and at city recreation centres from Thursday, Oct. 29 until Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015.

The Burlington YMCA After School Care program is participating in the Chalk It Up event as are four school sites after school on Thursday, Oct. 29:

Central Public School, 638 Brant St.
Sir Ernest MacMillan Public School, 1350 Headon Rd.
St. Mark Elementary School, 2145 Upper Middle Rd.
Tom Thomson Public School,2171 Prospect St.

Not to be outdone city facilities are also participating in the Community Launch, including:

Goldring + Tina 4 run jump play

Mayor Rick Goldring gets an approving glance form a four year old during the kick off of the Run Jump Play initiative the province has put $1.1 million into.

Aldershot Pool, 50 Fairwood Pl. W.
Angela Coughlan Pool, 2425 Upper Middle Rd.
Brant Hills Community Centre, 2255 Brant St.
Centennial Pool, 5151 New St.
Haber Recreation Centre, 3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
The Burlington Music Centre, 2311 New St.
Student Theatre, 2131 Prospect St.
Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way

What the Gazette really wants to know is – will the Mayor find a way to be at ever one of the locations?

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Hospital construction now at level four - with pillars for the bridge from the garage in place. Watch the construction live.

element_healthservicesBy Staff

October 26, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Every couple of days one can see the re-developed Joseph Brant Hospital reach higher and higher. They are at the point now where the bridge that will lead people from their cars to the hospital is now having its pillars put in place – 2018 is not that far off.

JBH Oct 23-15 Park gar bridge

Pillars are not in place to hold the bridge that will lead from the garage to the hospital.

The photo above shows a view of construction from the roof of our parking garage. If you take a look in front of Level 1 of the new patient tower there are 6 large columns leading to the garage. These columns will one day support the bridge connecting Level 1 of the parking garage to Level 1 of the new tower.

The construction of the Level 4 deck will continue over the next couple of weeks. You might be wondering why there is no Level 3. To facilitate the needs of the operating rooms, which will be located on Level 2, high ceilings are required for lights and an extensive amount of mechanical work. There is however, a small Level 3 section for an elevator bank that will connect the existing hospital to the new patient tower.

The columns from Level 2 to Level 4 are complete.
The pouring of concrete for the first half of Level 4 is complete. The second half will be completed by November 6.
Construction of columns and the pouring of concrete for Level 5 continues.
8 elevator shafts and 3 main stairways from Level 4 to 5 are currently being built.
The loading dock is nearing completion.

In our existing hospital, demolition, mechanical and electrical decommissioning has started to make way for the new engineering department. The department will be located in the basement of the hospital where the finance department was once located.

The Operational Readiness team has formed five Integrated Working Groups; these are subject matter experts from across the hospital working together to achieve specified goals around defined issues, and to ensure alignment with the hospital’s objectives for Opening Day View.

Opening Day View identifies the major changes that will be in place at Joseph Brant on the opening day of our new hospital. As the project progresses there will be 15 groups in total; the five formed so far are:

Alcove Management – new, starting in December 2015
Transition Budget – ongoing
Bed Mapping & Bed Management – ongoing
Move Planning – ongoing
Medication Management – new, starting in December 2015

The Gazette was not able to reach anyone at the hospital re-development office to learn just what Alcove management is all about.

Brant hospital - part of 4th floor

A portion of the fourth floor of the hospital be swung into position by a crane and lowered into place where construction crews secure it. This is better than side walk superintending.

To see the pace of construction day by day – CLICK HERE and watch the crews build your hospital.

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Violence against women to get special attention during November: a cultural change is needed and it is the men in the community who have to change their behaviour.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 23, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

November is Woman Abuse Awareness Month

Violence against woman is not a women’s issue – it is a men’s issue – they have to change their behaviour and find other ways to resolve their differences with the women in their life. It is really that simple.

Regional Chair Gary Carr and Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner and community leaders will join members of Halton Violence Prevention Council to mark the beginning of Woman Abuse Awareness Month.

Our language gas to change – “slapping someone around” is not acceptable language.

The Halton Violence Prevention Council will be hanging “Act Against Violence” banners throughout the Region for the month of November.

Violence agaainst womenThe Council’s mission is to end violence against women and their children in our community. It is a coordinating committee working to improve services for women and children experiencing abuse, in order to achieve a healthy, safe and inclusive community.

HVPC members consist of more than 20 agencies in the Halton community, including representatives from legal and police services; counselling and sexual assault agencies; women’s shelters; child protection; addictions, housing and mental health sectors; health-based services and survivor-informed agencies.

The Council has been busy with many initiatives this year, including developing and facilitating training aimed at strengthening service provider responses to victims of violence who are also experiencing co-occurring issues, such as addiction and/or active mental health; supporting collaborative practices between the Violence Against Women sector and our Children’s Aid Society; and fostering survivor-informed initiatives, including our Speakers’ Bureau.

The launch this year will feature a member of our Speakers’ Bureau, who’s keynote address, “Life in the Shadows”, will focus on her experience of being stalked by her ex-partner.

In addition to these newer initiatives, the council continues to be engaged in the Neighbours. Friends and Families Campaign – a provincial strategy to raise awareness of the signs of woman abuse, so people who are close to an at-risk woman or a man who uses abusive behaviours can provide information, support and resources.

Hurt+Family1The Council will use the launch to invite community members, businesses and organizations to engage in the “Purple Thursdays” campaign – a movement to draw attention to the issue of woman abuse and gendered violence throughout the month of November by wearing purple every Thursday as a way to start conversations, raise awareness and support.

Are you currently involved in an abusive relationship? You and your family can get help! Call the 24-hour crisis line of Halton Women’s Place (south 905-332-7892, north 905-878-8555) or the Assaulted Women’s Helpline (toll free: 1-866-863-0511).

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The province wants to put more money into off road bike paths - where would Burlingtonians like to see those paths built?

News 100 redBy Staff

October 23, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

The province wants to help cities become more bike-friendly – that perked up the ears of council members as they worked through a draft of the Strategic Plan that is going to set a direction for the balance of the current term of office.

McMahon with a bike

MPP Eleanor McMahon is a strong and consistent cyclist.

Burlington has an MPP, Eleanor McMahon who is a champion of sharing the road.  The city has hundreds of kilometres of bike trails and a rural area that offers some of the most challenging terrain for the truly committed.

McMahon said: “Ontarians want to spend less time in their cars and more time travelling by active transportation. The number one reason Ontarians don’t ride their bike is because they don’t feel safe to do so. In addition to recent changes to the Highway Traffic act, the amendments support the development of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure by simplifying the process for municipalities to plan and build off-road multi-use pathways.”

Burlington could be the poster boy for community cycling.  So when the province announces funding for more bike use – we are in.

Ontario is helping cities become more sustainable and environmentally friendly by making it easier to build off-road bike paths and large-scale recreational trails.  The province will invest $25 million in #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy to create a more cycling-friendly the province.

The province has created a new streamlined process for municipalities to submit proposals for environmental assessment on new paths and trails. The new process will be easier and quicker, saving municipalities considerable time, money and effort.

The amendments were proposed by the Municipal Engineers Association and received significant public feedback during the province’s public consultation. The new environmental assessment process also supports CycleON, the province’s long-term strategy to help make Ontario the number one province for cycling in Canada,

Det

Cycling enthusiast Rob Narejko keeps a couple of bikes in his garage and can often be seen on the rural roads.

Supporting cycling and helping Ontarians reduce their carbon footprints is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Great wording – now where would Burlingtonians like to see “off road bike paths” built?

Leave your ideas in the comments section.

 

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Region announces flu shot clinic dates for Burlington

element_healthservicesBy Staff

October 22, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton Region Health Department has started the influenza (flu) immunization clinics for the 2015-2016 flu season with community influenza clinics for all residents aged six months and older beginning this week. Flu immunizations are also available at many pharmacies (for those aged five years and older), as well as in doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics and at some workplaces.

Getting the flu vaccine every year is the most important way to protect against the flu. It also helps to prevent the spread of the virus to those who are vulnerable to complications of the flu. The flu immunization is recommended for all those six months of age and older.

Most healthy people recover from the flu within a few days; however, influenza infection can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization, and can even be fatal, especially in the elderly, those under five years of age and those with certain chronic health conditions.

Caucasian woman washing her hands

Washing your hands frequently when you are not well prevents the communication of viruses.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday precautions against influenza by washing your hands with soap frequently, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (when soap and water is not available) and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading your illness to others and see your doctor if your illness worsens or doesn’t begin to improve after a few days.

Clinic dates for Burlington are:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Burlington Seniors’ Centre 2285 New Street 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monday, October 26, 2015 L.B. Pearson High School 1433 Headon Road 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Robert Bateman High School 5151 New Street 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
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Burlington techies take to the internet and raise enough food contributions to provide 1500 Thanksgiving meals.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 9, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

A company involved in determining what kind of advertising shows up on your computer screen when you are online decided it wanted to do something to help people during the Thanksgiving weekend – a time of year when the Salvation Army holds a major food drive.
Direct Access Digital, a twenty eight employee firm in the east end of the city divided the staff into four teams that then competed with each other to see who could raise the most in the way of food contributions.

They raised enough food to provide 1500 Thanksgiving meals.

DAD Vanessa

Vanessa Mateus and “Captain Alpha with some of the food that was raised by employees at Digital Direct Access

Vanessa Mateus came up with the idea of giving back to the community, and the competitive nature that of the technology industry was all that was needed to result in 3000 items being purchased

In true digital fashion, Team Three, lead by “Captain Alpha”, quickly got online and ordered over 1200 items of canned goods to be delivered to the office and then taunted the other teams on the company’s blog to match that effort.

Digital Access Data (DAD) Director of Performance, Rob T. Case, has an affinity with the Food Bank. His family had used food banks for five years. After turning his life around, he became a successful digital marketer, worked at Google and joined the Direct Access Digital team this year.

Case said the food banks ” were there when his family of four needed them and it is important to give back, to show gratitude, especially at Thanksgiving.”

Another member of the team also claimed to have used the Food Bank in the past. She says, “Sometimes you find yourself in a place you never expected. You get help and drive forward.”

DAD co-founder, Eric Rodgers say that “When Vanessa Mateus, suggested we do something for The Salvation Army’s Food Drive it was absolutely something we wanted to support; we are always happy to help the community. There were challenges posted on our company blog from one team to another. It was pretty heated, but a competition worth winning.”

The team plans to do something for the holiday season, but they are not talking about their ideas yet.

Direct Access Digital, an award-winning digital-performance marketing agency based in Burlington is the two-time winner of The Google Search Excellence Award.

Founded in 2011, DAD has evolved into one of Canada’s leading boutique agencies, and now serve mid-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. Known for their expertise in all digital marketing verticals, from search engine marketing (SEM) to search engine optimization (SEO), local search, social media marketing and more, their true hallmark is building strong partnerships with their clients and working diligently to deliver the tools, data and strategies that drive customer conversions and sales while aiding brand awareness. www.directaccessdigital.com

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Region sets up on line immunization reporting service.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 7, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Regional Health office is making it easier for parents to advise the health office that their children have been properly immunized.

The online immunization reporting form makes it more convenient way to report required immunizations. The form is available at halton.ca/immunize.
While the majority of families in Halton Region immunize their children to protect their health, many are unaware of their legal requirement to notify the Halton Region Health Department about any required immunizations their children have, especially those the province requires for school attendance.
Parents can update their child’s immunization records by going online at halton.ca/immunize, dialing 311 or dropping off an up-to-date record at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville.

flu-shot child

Advising the regional health office that your child has been properly immunized is a requirement. That can now be done on line.

“Halton Region’s Health Department is responsible for enforcing the provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), which outlines the immunizations students need to attend classes, in order to keep our schools and students healthy,” said Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani. “Since students without up-to-date immunization records can face school suspension, it’s critical that parents make sure the Halton Region Health Department has their child’s most recent immunization records on file.”

Immunizations are available through family doctors or at one of Halton Region’s immunization clinics. If children are unable to get immunized, they must have a notarized exemption on file with the Health Department in order to meet school attendance requirements.

To learn more about which immunizations are required to attend school and how to report immunizations, please visit halton.ca/immunize.

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Active transportation: Never heard of it ? You will - a Burlington school board has some ideas she wants to see become policy.

News 100 redBy Walter Byj

October 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Have you heard the term “Active Transportation”? Be prepared to hear the phrase bandied about in the next few months.

Active transportation is defined as human powered transportation such as walking, cycling, wheeling and other methods using mobility devices. This would apply whether going to the store, to work or to school.

It is a buzz phrase at all levels of government. Now how we shop or get to work is for the time being, our decision. However, the Halton District School Board can definitely have some influence as to how children reach school.

Bikes-at-Beaudoin-school

During a ride the bike to school week students at Charles Beaudoin school liked the idea and 200 students stuck with their bikes after the event.

Over the last number of years, vehicular traffic around schools has increased tremendously. There was a time when most students walked to schools. That certainly is my memory. With changing times, many more students are reaching school either through busing or car transportation.

There are many reasons that contribute to increased vehicular traffic, (safety issues, French Immersion) there has been a fundamental change as to how students reach school. Approach any school close to the opening bell and you are in the middle of a traffic jam.

This has resulted in schools needing to use the available land for circular drop off points or expanded parking lots. The HDSB did in fact promote the use of Active Transportation back in September of 2014, to date, there has not been too much traction in this area.

Well, this is about to change.

Grebenc - expressive hands

Burlington school board trustee Andre Grebenc has brought forward a motion for an Active Transportation program

A motion presented by Trustee Andrea Grebenc (Burlington), who is also chair of the Transportation Committee, recommended that the board renew its commitment to Active and Sustainable Transportation and to explore, evaluate and participate in collaboration with other school boards, municipalities, the provincial Government and other potential stakeholders is presenting a workable solution.

So why this concern about active transportation?

Various studies point to the evidence that those students who use some sort of physical activity prior to the commencement of the school day tend to concentrate better and achieve higher results than those who do not get any physical activity prior to school.

Some of the ideas to achieve active transportation?

Walking school bus

Actively promoted – children will take to walking to school on a regular basis.

• Walking Wednesdays
• Walk a Block (A drop off zone at least a block from the school)
• Bike Trains (Group of bikers along a pre-designated route)
• Walking School Bus (Parent volunteers walking a route and picking up students)

Implementation of some of these ideas would not only create a level of physical activity for students, but could also improve the air quality near the schools.

With an interim plan due in December of this year, this initiative is going to get a lot of discussion – the board is expected to initiative some public consultation prior to that date.

Background links:

City is pushing more walking and cycling as part of its draft Master Transportation Plan

If you give students a chance to make more use of their bikes – they will

 

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Hospital construction now at level 4 - live camera lets you look at the work being done any time of day.

jbhhealthBy Pepper Parr

September 26, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

It takes the EllisDon Construction Team an average of three weeks to pour concrete and form the columns for one level of the new patient tower.

JBH construction site Sept 26-15

The view of the construction site as seem from the Earth Cam Saturday September 26th. There is a link to the camera in this story. Bookmark it and drop in to see how the construction is doing,

This means that in just a few months we can expect to see the slab for Level 7 completed, before the winter weather is upon us. The before and after photos show how fast the tower continues to rise.

The construction of the Level 4 deck has started and will continue over the next couple of weeks.

Level 4 is a double-height space there is no Level 3.

Eight elevator shafts from Level 1 to 2 are finished and shafts from Levels 2 to 4 are in the process of being built.

Three main stairways have been completed up to Level 2. The stairways from Level 2 to 4 are being constructed over the next couple of weeks.

The micro piles for the bridge that will connect the parking garage to the main hospital building will be installed by the end of this week. A micro pile is a mini version of a caisson (a structure that is drilled down to bedrock to support the bridge).

A new ramp on the Level 1 balcony in the courtyard area of the hospital has been completed.

Masonry work and roofing continues on the loading dock.

A new bulk oxygen tank arrived last Friday and will be installed in the loading dock area.

JBH old hospital ward

There are many people in this city who remember hospital rooms that looked like this. The move to four patients in a room was seen as a huge advancement.

The hospitals of today are eons away from what a hospital used to look like. People will be taken aback when they see just how attractive and modern looking the new hospital rooms are going to look like.

The hospital administration decided they would create mock-ups of what a Patient Room, Emergency Department Exam Room, Trauma Room, Intensive Care Unit Room and an Operating Room will look like

The mock-up rooms are being built in a warehouse off-site and are nearing completion.

JBH September 10, 2015

This is where the construction crews had gotten to on September 10th.

The construction site has a camera that is live all the team showing the new patient tower as it rises. The photograph shows where the site was on September 10, they are certainly growing.

How are they doing so far – Click here.

 

 

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The North Burlington Rotarians add $20,000 to the $400,000 they have already banked for the hospital redevelopment and expansion fund.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

September 21, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Is it a portent of things to come?

Bed race - side walk crowds

Burlington’s version of NASCAR crowds – waiting for the Amazing Bed Races races to begin

Was the surprise second place finish by Liberal candidate Karina Gould’s team a sign that these people have done their home and their ground work and the Amazing Bed Race is not the only surprise in store for the city?  Or did second place in the race mean second place in the polls on October 18th?

Word is that the pushers were all fireman – that would do it.

Bed race  kid strollers

The strollers are given the once over before the little ones take them out on the race course – they do move along the street at quite a clip.

The sixth Annual Amazing Bed Race to raise funds for the Joseph Brant hospital redevelopment and expansion had everything going for it – including some grudge matches between the auto dealers in town.

For the past two years it has been Mazda and Acura duking it out with Team Acura coming out on top.

With a federal election taking place it was natural to see beds from the candidates – the Greens didn’t make it – but their candidate, Vince Fiorito, had just been “officially” nominated two days prior. The NDP wasn’t in the race and it doesn’t look as if they are a factor on the election in Burlington either.

To the surprise of many – Liberal candidate Karina Gould and her team came in second – Acura took the top spot – again.

Bed race 2015

Mike Wallace leading his team onto the Amazing Bed Race course.

Was the Liberal second place finish a sign, an indicator that Burlington might end up with a Liberal at the provincial legislature and in Ottawa?

Mike Wallace was looking particularly fit and his wife was on the sidelines cheering him on. Wallace told the Gazette that he has completed nine of the ten marathons he wanted to run across the country – one in each province.  The Nunavik marathon might have to be dog sled run.

There were 14 entries, $20,000 was raised. Prior to the Sunday race – $400,000 has been raised by the Amazing Bed Race for the redevelopment and expansion of the Joseph Brant Hospital.

Longos once again provided bottled water, fresh fruit and power bars.

Bed race 2015 Rosie

Eleanor McMahon, Burlington’s MPP has been working on women’s issue lately and decided that her Amazing Bed would celebrate and recognize that time during WW II when women were a major part of the work force

Rosie the Riveter – otherwise known and the bed from the office of the provincial member of parliament.
Denbow Landscaping
Acura on Brant
Board of the Joseph Brant Hospital
Burlington Orthotic Centre
Mike Wallace – Federal member of parliament
Provincial Progressive Conservative Association
RBC Financial
Fun Radio 820
Leggett Mazda
Far Away Greens
Burlington Taxi
Gardener Landscaping
Kia

Bed race 2015 Rotaarian at work

The Amazing Bed Race is put on by the North Burlington Rotary Club

The event was put on by the North Burlington Rotary Club – besides the actual race there was a kids Stroller event and a Best decorated Bed as well.  Were there fewer financial institutions taking part this year?

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Liberal candidate explains the change her party wants to make in pensions - doesn't say how it will be paid for.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 15, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The phony election phase is now behind us. The past few days there have been more promises from the four parties wanting to either ensure they stay in power or want to form the next government and exert the power the public gives them. And remember – the power a government has is power you gave them when you voted.

Burlington has a large seniors’ population; current MP Mile Wallace has courted that cohort very successfully and they have been loyal to him. Say seniors and you have also said pensions, and that has brought out a statement from Liberal candidate Karina Gould who today said: A Trudeau-led Liberal government will make sure that Canadian seniors get the secure and dignified retirement they deserve.

It hasn't reached a fever pitch yet - it might not but he does know how to pull all the heart strings and both his hair and his children get many mentions.  The bold new ideas? - haven't heard those yet.  what he did assure his audience was that he had very solid values - but didn't make much mention of what they were.

These seniors are certainly fans of Justin Trudeau – he draws well when he is on public tour. Many of his policy statements have been strong – knowing how it is all going to be aid for is a concern. It isn’t just the Liberals who aren’t being candid about the costs.

“With record levels of household debt and an economy in recession, it is no wonder why Canadians in Burlington – and across the country – are worried about their retirement,” said Gould. “Right now, on average, a retired person receives just $618 per month from the Canada Pension Plan – hardly enough to live on. Our seniors have worked their entire lives, and should not have to struggle to make ends meet. Justin Trudeau has a plan to ensure that all Canadians get the dignified retirement they have earned.”

“As part of our three-point plan to create jobs, grow the middle class, and help those working hard to join the middle class, a Liberal government will work with the provinces and territories to significantly reform our retirement security system by:

• Restoring the eligibility age for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to 65;
• Lifting hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty by immediately boosting the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single low-income seniors by ten percent;
• Introducing a new Seniors Price Index – in recognition of the fact that many seniors live on fixed incomes – to make sure that Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement keep up with rising costs;
• Beginning discussions with the provinces and territories, workers, employers and others on how to enhance the Canada Pension Plan within our first three months in government;
• Not cutting pension income splitting for seniors;
• Introducing a more flexible and accessible Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit; and
• Prioritizing significant new investment in affordable housing and seniors’ facilities as part of a Liberal government’s commitment to a new, ten-year investment of nearly $20 billion in social infrastructure.

This is good stuff – and as a senior who looks for that pension cheque going into the bank at the end of every month I certainly understand who Gould is talking to – me.

How is my government going to pay for this improvement in my pension? Are they going to have to take money away from something else? Will the much touted federal day care program be lost for another decade? Will the aboriginal communities not get the schools they desperately need so I can get a bigger pension?

Governing is a balancing act – how do you keep everyone happy?

Transit - seniors with Gould

Liberal candidate Karina Gould watches a group of seniors discuss transit policy – getting around the city is critical for these people – just as critical as their pensions.

“I’m proud of the policy my Party announced today for seniors,” added Gould. “It is a product of grassroots discussions, like the town hall I held in January with the Hon. John McCallum, Liberal Critic for Citizenship and Immigration, Multiculturalism, and Seniors. The measures we’re putting forward are born directly out of these conversations. I have been listening to the serious issues that face seniors in our community. ‎I’m proud to stand for a party that will act for all of our seniors and ensure a dignified retirement for everyone in our community.”

I too am proud of the policy – I’d just like to know how it is going to be paid for.

The Liberal candidates are not the only ones a little shy on the details side of the election promises – a voters question should be ; how much?

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She is back - Meed Ward took the summer off to recover from a serious concussion.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 14, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward brought her constituents up to day on the accident she was involved in that resulted in both whiplash and a serious concussion.

One SUV hit her van and forced her into the rear of another SUX.  The driver of the car that hit Meed |Ward was charged with careless driving. The Meed Ward van was written off.

Meed Ward at her old city hall office - the desk is as cluttered in her new space where she tends to fill up her voice mail box and overspend her postage allowance.  She promises to get back to people within 24 hours - and delivers on that promise.  Now she wants to deliver onher promise to keep spening in line with what is in the bank.

Even at 95% recovery from a concussion Meed Ward will keep her council colleagues on their toes.

Meed Ward explained that at the time she thought it was a “relatively minor accident, and I was more annoyed than anything. But the next day, at the urging of friends, I attended a walk-in clinic because I felt something wasn’t right. I learned I had sustained whiplash, and tissue damage in my back.

“Worse, I was diagnosed with concussion. The double impact had snapped my head forward and back with such force my brain hit my skull on both sides – a common injury for this type of motor vehicle accident.

“The result: headache, sensitivity to light and sound, extreme fatigue, nausea. The feeling like your head is full of sawdust.”
Meed Ward said – “There is no permanent damage in my case. And the only cure is rest, lots of it.”

Rest isn’t something Meed Ward is very good at – she was writing her constituency newsletter at 4:30 in the morning. She did however take the doctor’s advice after “she told me I could either rest over the summer and be fully recovered by the fall, or maintain my usual pace and delay my recovery by six months to a year. So I took the summer off.”

“I’m 95% recovered, with a few remaining physiotherapy and concussion appointments. I expect to be fully recovered very soon. The goal is to be symptom free while maintaining my usual work pace”

We will look forward to another of her requests for a recorded vote on an issue – this city council never tells the public how members of Council voted at Standing Committee meetings. They record the vote at a city Council meeting, which is where the actual decision is made but the way each council member actually voted is not recorded – so much for accountability.

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Blistering temperatures - take sensible precautions and avoid heat stroke.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 5, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

It was blistering hot out there today and it isn’t going to be any cooler on Sunday – this heat is expected to stay with us until Monday.

Ship at pier - foggy

The lake is often shrouded in fog = as ship works its way toward the entrance of Hamilton harbour – passing the Burlington pier

Maximum temperatures near or above 30 degrees and minimum temperatures near or above 20 degrees are expected through Monday. Meanwhile, peak humidex values near 40 are forecast for Sunday and Monday. These conditions may produce much discomfort for those who may not have access to a cool or air-conditioned place.

It is expected to remain very humid Tuesday, with maximum temperatures in the high twenties.

While extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for – older adults – infants and young children – people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions or psychiatric illnesses – people who work in the heat – people who exercise in the heat – people without access to air conditioning and – homeless people.

Extreme Heat - drinking waterDrink plenty of liquids especially water before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place. It could be a tree-shaded area, swimming facility or an air-conditioned spot such as a public building, shopping mall, grocery store, place of worship or public library.

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Region medical officer of health reports first probable human case of West Nile virus in Halton

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 4, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

A probable human case of the West Nile virus (WNV) illness has been identified in an adult from the Town of Oakville. This is the first human case for Halton in 2015.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health pointed out that “80 per cent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms, others will have West Nile fever consisting of fever, headache, muscle ache and a rash. If residents are concerned, I’d encourage them to visit their health care professional.”

wev

This is how West Nile Virus is usually transmitted

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

The following are steps that residents can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or icaridin.
• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

As part of its ongoing West Nile prevention program, Halton Region staff continually monitor areas of standing water, eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites and larvicide when mosquito larvae are found. A map showing the locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied is available at halton.ca/wnv.

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Someone has taken their hand off the switch at the Regional office; public health information does get distributed.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

August 25, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Public health is a service that is provided by the Region. Much of the direction for public health comes from the province with the actual service delivered by the Region to people in the different municipalities.

There were two services that the Gazette used to get information from the Region on – the health of the lake water where there are public beaches and reports on the incidence of West Nile Virus.

To date – there have been no reports from the Region – which would suggest there are no problems with the water and no reports of West Nile.

WestNileVirus_transmissionThat didn’t seem quite right so we put a call into the Region and asked if we had missed something. The Region has six, seven or eight communications specialists – people who prepare information for the public which they send out to media – we write up reports letting people know where it is safe to swim and where the Region is treating vegetation for mosquito infestations – which if you recall is a critical part of the food chain for birds – which gets that virus into the public.

The response we got from the Region was – check the web site – all the information is there for anyone who wants it. Whoa – that’s not quite the way the system is supposed to work.

The Region has the information and they have a mandated responsibility to do everything they can to inform and advise the public.

Someone has taken their hand off the switch at the Regional office.

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Hospital redevelopment and expansion on time - a much better flow of public information and a nifty live camera of the construction site.

jbhhealthBy Staff

August 24, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Redevelopment and Expansion of the Joseph Brant Hospital is the biggest redevelopment that Burlington has ever seen. So big that is got a line all of its own on your tax bill – the taxpayers are putting up $60 million to get the hospital built.

The new hospital will be completed in two distinct phases, with an estimated completion date of 2018.

JBH aerial rendering

When completed the orientation for the hospital will have the main entrance on Lakeshore Road facing the lake. The road is being raised by as much as a full metre in places to accommodate the changes.

Phase One is complete. The Halton McMaster Family Health Centre is open and already welcoming patients! Construction still continues on the new parking facility and the administration offices of JBH.

Highlights of our new building include: Halton McMaster Family Health Centre – the Burlington Family Health Team are operating clinics within the centre; Teaching classrooms for McMaster Residents as part of the McMaster University Department of Family Medicine; Administration offices for Joseph Brant Hospital and Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.
The new parking facility with over 820 spaces

Phase Two: The new seven-storey patient tower will be built on the existing parking lot at the back of the existing hospital and will be connected to the parking facility by a foot bridge. The main highlights of the second phase of the project include:

A new Emergency Department
172 acute inpatient beds
9 new Operating Rooms and a new post-anaesthetic care unit
An expanded Diagnostic Imaging department and associated services
Expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services
An expanded cancer clinic
An expanded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and renovated Special Care Nursery – level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
An expanded and modernized laboratory
70 percent of the rooms across the hospital are single-patient rooms.

Hospital main emtrance which will face the lake

The new entrance to the hospital will be on Lakeshore Road facing the lake with the parking garage yards away on the west side. There will be a walking bridge from the garage to the second level of the hospital.

The hospital is being much more proactive with the information they are making available. They have installed a camera that lets you pop in and see what is being done on the construction site – live. Interesting to watch.

There is a video of the project overall – a little on the long side but if you want a full sense of what they are setting out to do and you have three minutes you don’t know what to do with – click to see the project – no popcorn.

Video of the project

The construction cam

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Extreme heat warning for Sunday and the following two days issued by Environment Canada.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 15th. 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Environment Canada reports that extreme heat and humidity expected to start Sunday, August 16 will result in temperatures that will reach at least 31 degrees Celsius with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius for two days along with a humidex of 40 or higher is expected for two days.

Even short periods of exposure to these weather conditions can cause serious health problems. This warning is intended to inform the general public and community agencies, to keep residents safe and healthy during the heat and to recommend that precautions are taken when temperatures are high.

extreme heatAnyone can be affected by extreme heat-related weather conditions. Those especially at risk include: older adults (over the age of 65), infants and young children, people who work and exercise in the heat, people without adequate housing and those without air conditioning. People who have breathing difficulties, heart problems, kidney problems or take heat-sensitive medications are also especially at risk of preventable heat illness. If you or someone in your care experiences rapid breathing, headache, confusion, weakness or fainting, seek medical attention right away.

You can prevent heat-related illness by staying cool; avoiding strenuous outdoor activities; seeking shade from the sun; spending time in air-conditioned places, such as shopping malls and community centres; and drinking plenty of cool liquids, especially water. Call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk and never leave people or pets in your care unattended in a car.

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