Monday, December 29, 2008

Google Street View - 102nd and Lexington

102nd and Lexington New York City
Here's why I love this Google Street View so much. First a nice steep hill with mexican laundry.Lavanderia - roll down to the corner of E. 103rd to the the teens on bikes and then hang a right under the cool shade of the trees. Continue till you find the wall mural for animals and turn right again onto 3rd avenue. Continue straight till you hit 102nd and one more right. Check out the street parking (its the cop shop of course)and then when you hit lexington one more time you will have toured 1 square NYC block
View Larger Map

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Lucky Nigerian Christmas

From: Mr Mike Martins
Managing Director
Zenith Bank of Nigeria

Attention: Beneficiary

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract inheritance file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to yourlack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract /inheritance payment.

Secondly, you are hereby advice to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately. After the board meeting held at our headquarters, we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem, and as you may know, we have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER in Europe, America and Asia Pacific, which is then instruction given by our president, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar Adua (GCFR)Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This card center will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in an ATM MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum is ($1000.00) One Thousand Us Dollars per transaction. So, if you like to receive your fund this way, $300 usd for you to withdraw for a day and each transaction is $1000 usd minimum which you have to withdraw $1000 usd for one working day also be informed that the total amount in the SWIFT ATM CARD is $14.6 million usd.

(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Your Address where you want the payment center to send your ATM CARD:
(3) Phone And Fax Number:
(4) Age and Occupation:
(5) Your Nearest International Air Port in your City of residence:

Below you will find my contact details:

Name: Mr. Mike Martins
Phone: +234-805-228-4232

We shall be expecting to receive your information you have stop any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do not hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and also please do update me with any new development.
Thanks for your co-operation.

Best Regards,
Mr Mike Martins
Remittance Manager
Zenith Bank of javascript:void(0)Nigeria

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Google Street View Melbourne Australia

Another great Google street view I found of this grafittied van in Melbourne Australia. These are addictive maps

View Larger Map

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Canada's Conservative Senatorial Appointments

Meet Chief Patrick Brazeau Canada's newest National Indigenous Senator, also known as the brazman. The Self titled head of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples for off reserve 'stand alone Aboriginal persons' and appointed by Steve Harper with unqualified support of Canadian unity and in opposition to a coalition Government.

Pat likes to refer to himself as a National Chief and can now add the Honourable Senator as another feather in his cap.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Vale INCO Letter - These are Difficult Times

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past number of weeks we have updated you on how the global economic crisis is affecting us at Vale Inco. We have responded to the situation by implementing several immediate, aggressive measures to secure the long term viability of the Company. To date, these actions have included a hiring freeze, reductions in discretionary spending and scaling back high cost, low margin production.

Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear that more is required for us to operate competitively and efficiently in this fiscal climate, without compromising our long-term growth potential. With these objectives in mind we have taken a comprehensive look at all elements of our business. Based on that assessment, today we are announcing the following measures:

As a means of reducing our workforce, we are offering a voluntary retirement program to eligible staff employees. Further reductions will come through efficiencies in corporate functions – largely among our contract, temporary, casual and probationary employees. Corporate functions include the following departments: Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Corporate Affairs, Strategic Planning, Procurement, Legal, Security, Sustainability and Marketing.

Employees affected by today’s announcement are being contacted individually by their direct managers. We will be offering transitional support including financial and career counseling – and will do everything we can to ensure all concerned are treated with empathy and respect.

From a production standpoint, we are suspending operations for a minimum of one year at our Copper Cliff South Mine in Sudbury, Ontario and moving it into care and maintenance mode. The Sudbury leadership team will be speaking to employees today and in the days and weeks ahead. They will be working closely with employees, unions, and our supply and service providers at the mine as this process unfolds and will continue to provide updates as details become available.

We are also suspending the US$814 million Copper Cliff Deep Project in Sudbury for a period of 12 months. These measures follow previously announced reductions in production at PT Inco in Indonesia and a slower than expected ramp-up of operations at Goro Nickel in New Caledonia.

Production at our Voisey’s Bay mine and mill in Newfoundland and Labrador will be reduced by a one-month production shutdown in July 2009. Employees there will be asked to take their annual vacation during this period. Regularly scheduled 2009 maintenance shutdowns in Ontario (Spring/Summer) and Manitoba (August) will proceed as planned.

We are continuing to study whether other measures are necessary to adapt our production profile to market conditions.

These kinds of decisions are never easy and we certainly don’t take them lightly. Unfortunately, they are necessary. Today’s announcement speaks to uncertainties in the near future – but no one can predict how the markets will shift in 2009. Having said that, the analyst community is expressing faith in the future of the minerals and metals market — and the long-term fundamentals of our Company remain solid. We will continue to monitor the evolving global economic situation and inform you of any additional measures that may be required.

We appreciate that it’s hard to stay focused in such a challenging environment, but we must continue providing the quality of service our clients expect and we consistently deliver. Most importantly, we remind you to be particularly attentive to workplace safety and not be distracted from your own safety or that of your colleagues.

The Vale Inco leadership, including your own Manager, is available as always to answer any questions you may have and to discuss individual situations. These are difficult times, but we are confident that with your commitment and professionalism we will come through this economic slowdown and realize our long-term goals. We thank you for all your support.


The Management Committee

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sudbury Featured in CBC's One Million Acts of Green

Check out the mini doc on Sudbury's Regreening efforts at CBC's 1 Million Acts of Green Portal

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Houston plans for entire sustainable block

Building on the liveable street movement, Houston Texas is moving forward on the 'urban city block' as an ideal frame for sustainable development

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

1980's Ski Sudbury Photograph by Alfred boyd

It's that time of the season to consider some healthy outdoor activities - like skiing in Sudbury!
This fantastic photo is from local Alfred Boyd and was a hit postcard in Sudbury in the 1980's.
It reappeared in the local Sudbury Transit advertising space a s Sudbury Public Library heritage photo tour that turned the inside ad space of the Cambrian College bus into a photo retrospective. Cool

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CBC Newsworld to feature My Green Sudbury segment

Hi Folks:

It is Cathy Orlando , a Climate Project volunteer Sudbury. I hope all is well with you. I have exciting news for Sudbury and Climate Change. The airing of the three minute mini-documentary, My Green Sudbury, on CBC television's Newsworld will air this Monday morning at approximately 6:38 am and 8:38 am.

I blogged on the GreenNexxus - One Million Acts of Green Website about how Sudbury's regreening inspires me to believe that we will overcome climate change. A TV producer liked it and sent a film crew to my house, interviewed me and I toured them around Sudbury to show them My Green Sudbury. After five hours of hanging out together, they left with the footage. I have not seen the any of the footage let alone any of the edited versions including the final version.

It is not an original story. It is a Canadian success story. It is our story. I have retold the story of Sudbury's healing journey during many of my TCP presentations. I was told numerous times that it is one the best parts of my Sudbury version of the TCP presentation.

I hope that people feel inspired.

Merry Christmas and merci, miigwech and thank you for being on this incredible journey to help humans deal effectively with the climate change .Cathy

"If you want to be incrementally better: be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: be cooperative." Unknown source.

Cathy Orlando MSc, BEd
Science Outreach Coordinator
Let's Talk Science Partnership Program Coordinator
Office of the Dean of Science and Engineering
Laurentian University

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Ubuntu - Video on Compassion

Ubuntu, a traditional African philosophy, recognizes how we are inextricably bound in each other’s humanity. Translated as, “I am because you are,” Ubuntu describes a sense of unity between people through which we each discover our own strengths and virtues. Featuring healer Credo Mutwa, GreenHouse Project director Dorah Lebelo, and former Deputy Minister of Health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, this glimpse of South Africa shows compassion as a way of life.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

North Bay's Sweetman Urban Garden Wins Victory

The Friends of Sweetmans Garden in North Bay welcome the city's announcement that a proposed hydro sub-station will not be placed at the site of this historic and unique enighbourhood garden, immediately adjacent to a number of homes.

This outcome is a reminder of the value of different parties working collaboratively to achieve a healthy outcome. There were many facets to this challenging matter.

Technical questions had to be taken into account. Concerns about the serious risk of an exposed sub-station in a residential area were expressed. Threats to neighbourhood values such as those stated in the City’s UPlan were described. Fears of compromising an historic civic treasure were stated.

We wish to offer our thanks to North Bay Hydro, City Council, City Staff and countless others who have engaged in this community act of shared problem-solving. Our group looks forward to assisting in the continuing effort to resolve the still outstanding issues regarding this beautiful garden’s future.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

350 Climate Change

Great site and great video's on the Campaign for Action on Global Warming.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eat Local Sudbury Co-op Store Opens

The wait is over!

The Eat Local Sudbury Co-op Store
(28 Durham Street in downtown Sudbury – just down the hill from Records on Wheels)

Will be open for business this Saturday December 6th at 9:00am!

Regular store hours are as follows:

Wednesday: 11:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday: 11:00am - 6:00pm
Friday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm

*Cash sales only for now. Debit and credit card purchases to come.
*Free parking for 3 hours in the municipal lot beside Christ the King Church.

Alternatively, 3 hours free parking is available in the upper lot of the Rainbow Mall.

“The one-stop-shop for all your local food needs!”
Beef – Bison – Pork – Lamb – Quail – Elk – Venison – Fish – Dairy – Flour – Maple Syrup – Honey – Prepared Foods – Preserves – Body Care Products

Spread the word!!

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Houston HyperMiling -Learn to Drive Again

Little newscast on a 2 way trip between 2 drivers. One driver using hypermiling techniques and the other not. What is the difference in trip time and gas costs?

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Monday, November 24, 2008

What Would Jesus Drive

The Evangelical Environmental Network asks some serious biblical questions on Christian responsibility and climate change - specifically around a responsibility to care for creation - Earth the original Garden.

Now that the Pope has named pollution as a sin it makes sense to consider
what would Jesus drive?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rainbow Routes Adresses Sudbury's addiction to cars

Rainbow Routes AGM looked at Sudbury's unhealthy and polluting auto addiction and suggest that city planners encourage walking, biking and outdoor lifestyles.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunday November 30th 7 pm.-- Sudbury Soils: What’s the Risk?

photo by: wessexarchaeology

Sunday November 30th 7 pm.-- Sudbury Soils: What’s the Risk?

Health of Sudburians Focus of Public Forum
Dr. Kapil Katter to Speak in Council Chambers November 30th

Dr. Kapil Katter's is the author of a report that found that Sudburians
health may be at risk as a result of soil contamination in the Sudbury
area. The forum will include presentations and a question and answer

Dr. Kapil Katter's report was released by the Community Committee on
the Sudbury Soils Study last month. The report said that the Sudbury
Soil Study Human Health Risk Assessment Report (HHRA) underestimates
the degree of risk to local people and inappropriately makes
decisions about that risk that should be made by the community.

Dr. Katter will present his report in a public forum in the City of
Greater Sudbury Council Chambers in Tom Davies Square at 7 pm. on
Sunday November 30th. The forum will include presentations and a
question and answer session.

The review of the HHRA was commissioned by Mine Mill 598 and Local
6500 of the Steelworkers this summer and was released on October 22.
The Community Committee on the Sudbury Soil Study has been organized
in response to the soils studies and related risk assessments.

For more information, contact:
Rick Grylls, 705-673-3661

Sponsored by the Community Committee on the Sudbury Soils Study.
For more information email or call 673-3661

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Barak Obama on Climate Change - Delay is no longer an option!

President elect Barak Obama posts to You Tube from the California's Governers Conference on Climate Change

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Economic Engine For Sudbury

Part of the 2003 Greater Sudbury Development Corporations Strategy for 2015. Dr. Dave Pearson on Green economic activity. Why does 2003 seem so far away?

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friends of Sweetman’s Garden

photo by: Stephen Downes

Friends of Sweetman’s Garden

For Immediate release: Friday, 14 November 2008

In September, 2007, North Bay City Council authorized conversations with representatives of Sweetman’s Garden to purchase this beautiful west end neighbourhood property. Many in our community breathed a sigh of relief that this special place had been “saved.” Not so. City residents learned on November 5, 2008 that a significant portion of the garden is slated for a new North Bay Hydro Sub-Station.

This Council decision will destroy the garden’s unique character. Although The Nugget reported the Sub-Station would be on land adjacent to this “beloved neighbourhood garden,” the Mayor indicated on his Cogeco TV call-in show on November 7 that it will intrude into the garden, more than 20 feet as it turns out. The project means the removal of all trees as well as the stone wall on the North/West boundary, and the destruction of several perennial gardens running parallel to that line. A lovely view that frames the whole end of the site will be gutted.

The result is a profound loss of the garden’s historic significance and the beauty and sanctuary that help make this particular neighbourhood so special to so many.

Friends of Sweetman’s Garden have made every effort to encourage a positive resolution in this matter. An agreement seemed close. We were therefore stunned to discover - through the media - that negotiations entered into in good faith were now suddenly being ignored by the City.

Our hope is that we can continue to work cooperatively with Hydro and the City to find a better way for everyone’s interests. We have always shared with City Council many of its stated hopes for this community. From the City website, for example: “The combination of lush forests, spring-fed water and clean air creates a healthy environment for working, living and raising a family. Safe, friendly, well-planned neighbourhoods also make coming home a pleasure in North Bay.” We also affirm the City’s efforts to put North Bay on a firm financial basis. But we have difficulty when the principles of healthy neighbourhoods that the City advocates in its Official Plan and the emerging uPlan are ignored in this instance.

The Hydro project proposed for the garden deeply, negatively, transforms it. A recent (draft) Parks Plan noted that the city’s west end is under-serviced in terms of parks. This garden, historically unique in Northern Ontario, is an obvious “green” asset. But steel structures, high-voltage lines and a chain link fence replacing what is now a treed, quiet residential area around the site will compromise the beauty cherished by dozens of school classes, bus tours, weddings and individuals, by the many volunteers who help Murray Sweetman maintain it, and by the children who play in what they call “the secret garden.”

This whole matter will be of a wider concern in a city which publicly expresses its desire to preserve all its beautiful neighbourhoods. In recent months some major companies in our city have stated their efforts to recruit and retain employees are enhanced by the quality of life here. Our hope is that North Bay neighbourhoods, including Pinewood where this garden is a special feature, one that is beloved by many around it and beyond, will be treated as places of great beauty, and not just as intersections and industrial sites.

For further info, and images from the garden:

Jim Sinclair, Spokesperson
(705) 472-5849

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sudbury backs out of windfarm in 2004

photo by: rasmithuk

COPYRIGHT 2004 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.

The City of Greater Sudbury has backed out of a joint-venture partnership with Northland Power Inc. to develop a wind farm on Manitoulin Island.

The proposed 54-megawatt MacLean Mountain site just south of Little Current is one of the most advanced wind power projects in Ontario, but Sudbury Mayor Dave Courtemanche believes the city can make better headway in the wind energy market with projects closer to home.

"This particular initiative fell outside our boundaries and council was not comfortable making that kind of investment in a project outside city boundaries."

Council reached the decision during this past spring's budget talks in a closed-door session.

The $97-million Little Current project, which is currently undergoing a provincial environmental assessment, is expected to be operational by summer 2005.

The project's details were slated to be laid out during a June 30 public information session in Little Current.

Sudbury's financial commitment in the project was to have included grant money secured from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities green energy fund.

Courtemanche says the funds could be better spent on other eco-industry initiatives such as the biodiesel program and a Sudbury-based wind farm.

"I think the wind capacity here is good enough that it's worth exploring and looking for partners who want to pursue that locally," says Courtemanche, adding it is a "great opportunity" to explore possibilities with local industry, such as mining giants Inco and Falconbridge "who could really benefit from this type of project."

In October 2002 Sudbury selected Northland Power from 20 proposals submitted from some major electricity generation and wind-power developers in North America and Europe.

"Council will work on other energy projects and certainly feeling it is likely to be a different outcome for projects within our political boundaries," adds Paul Graham, the city's plant engineer and a project lead in the Earthcare Sudbury green energy initiative.

Graham says the city remains in a partnership with Northland Power, looking at opportunities within Sudbury's political boundaries. Sudbury continues to work with Northland on a wind assessment study, comparing data from the city's monitoring sites with other "surrogate sites" such as the Sudbury Airport, which has wind records dating back to 1954, to allow them to do a better job in long-range forecasting.

The city is looking for possible land arrangements for a wind farm, and is finalizing the business plan to identify what is needed from a power-purchase point of view.

Graham would not confirm if the City of Ottawa has swooped in and signed a partnership agreement with Northland to develop the MacLean Mountain site.


Northern Ontario Business

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Monday, November 10, 2008

A open letter to local food producers and gardeners

A open letter to local food producers and gardeners


The Community Committee on the Sudbury Soils Study

Tuesday, November 11th 2008

The Community Committee on the Sudbury Soils Study is writing to clarify some misconceptions regarding our position on the production and consumption of local food.

All our members strongly support growing a strong and vibrant local food economy in the Greater Sudbury area. There are many benefits to eating locally:

  • · Consumers can develop a relationship with local producers that we can’t with foods imported from outside the region
  • · That relationship allows us to inform ourselves about the way the food is grown
  • · The ecological footprint of local producers is much smaller than that of multinational corporations
  • · We are supporting local jobs and contributing to the local economy
  • · We are enhancing our ability to feed ourselves, and to decrease our dependence on outside food sources.

We would rather eat food grown safely by local producers than supermarket foods. When food comes from the supermarket, we rarely know the conditions under which it has been grown, how far it has traveled, or how the people growing and harvesting it have been treated. From an environmental perspective, supermarkets often have the additional environmental burdens of extra packaging and the increased use of fossil fuels for long distance shipping.

When the results of food-based studies that formed part of the Sudbury Soil Study were released (the Market Basket Daily Intake and the Vegetable Garden Survey) , we discovered that the levels of some metals in the supermarket foods most of us buy were sometimes high enough to put the health of our families at risk.

However, the report on vegetable gardens in the Sudbury area showed that for some gardens, these metal levels were also high, most likely due to smelter emissions. Although only 70 samples were taken, and usually only one sample per property, there was enough evidence to warrant more sampling and analysis being done.

When it came to commercial food operations in the region, only 20 samples were taken from a total of 15 properties.

We don’t think that is enough testing to draw any conclusions. It can’t reassure those of us who produce food for our families and others, nor those who eat it. We support the desire of local food producers to have their food and soil tested.

Dr. Khatter felt that there was enough evidence when it came to vegetable gardens in some parts of the City that real caution should be exercised.

The Committee agrees with him, and wants to work with local producers and gardeners to find out if there are some places that will need remediation before health-giving fruits and vegetables can be grown. We think the costs of that remediation should be borne by the mining companies and by the government that allowed this to happen. In the event that remediation should not be possible, fair compensation should be paid.

The Community Committee on the Sudbury Soils Study came together this summer as result of public concerns with the process and findings of the Sudbury Soil Study Human Health Risk Assessment.

The purposes of the Committee are:

* To ensure that the Sudbury public has access to the necessary information to determine whether they wish to give their informed consent to the risks to the environment and human health from historic and current mining and smelter activities, and can determine effective responses to these risks.

* To move the Ontario Government and its agencies to respond effectively to the Sudbury Soil Study findings. This response must ensure that contamination from mines and smelters in the Sudbury region is properly identified, remediated and (where it cannot be remediated) contained, and that those whose health might be affected (or may be affected) by contamination are provided with diagnosis, treatment and (where this is not possible) with compensation.

Our concerns with the Human Health Risk Assessment, and with the Sudbury Soils Study in general, focus primarily on the fact that there has been little opportunity for the public to educate itself on or to provide input into the research process. Nor has there been opportunity for our community to decide for ourselves the risk we are willing to live –those decisions have been made for us.

We regret that, while the community committee has been working on ensuring Sudburian’s health and safety, the headlines in the local media last week drifted off the key points addressed in the Environmental Defence Report, (, and placed local food producers in the eye of the storm .

The focus needs to shift back to where it belongs, which is on the Soils Study and on the need for open public debate on the concerns that our community might have.

Let’s work together to build a local food system we can rely on in the Greater Sudbury Area.


Joan Kuyek, Chair

On behalf of the

Community Committee on the Soils Study

c/o Rick Grylls, 19 Regent Street, Sudbury ON P3B 4B7

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Meet the Mother of the Environmental Movement -Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson wrote was is considered to be the first Green manifesto entitled Silent Spring in 1962 and helped launch eco-feminist thought into the mainstream. The book quickly became a huge bestseller on the effects of the pesticide spraying of DDT by farmers and Govt. agencies in the U.S

She began writing on water issues after working for the U.S. Dept. of Fisheries and helped to bring together conservationists, naturalists and scientists long before an ecology movement had a name.

Eventually, Rachel Carson, the biologist brought her zoology and genetic scientific research skills to the documenting and investigation of bird populations and the effects of man made chemicals in the environment to a public anxiously in the midst of above ground nuclear testing.

Her book Silent Spring was met with concerted industry attacks and was quoted in the Congress and by Presidents. The book helped to ban domestic use of DDT and she is credited with the creation of the E.P.A. , Environmental Defence Fund.

For a longer bio read the Wikipedia entry

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pennsylvania Playground Stormwater Project

A short video on the Pennsylvania Environmental Council Stormwater project design and construction for a local playground park

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VALE/INCO applies for permit to take 1 million liters of water a day for 10 years

I know the Ministry of Environment application says this Vale/Inco application for permit to take water is for groundwater remediation but that's still a lot of water. What is being remediated anyways? and for 10 years how will this effect aquifers and water tables etc.

I think GroundWater remediation sounds like a really good thing but following so close to the SARA (Sudbury Soils Study Assessment) response and the recent public meeting on INCO's application for an exception to the 2010 pollution guidelines I though asking for 800,000 liters of water was a bit much. Perhaps this is cause for another public consultation? or at least more information

Here is the Ontario Government info on the Permits to take water process including Green Facts classification system and water conservation requirements etc.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

GreenDrinks Tuesday Nov 21st

Another installment of the local chapter of GreenDrinks occurs this Tuesday Nov 21st at 7:30 at the Little Montreal Cafe on Elgin street Come on out for a social evening of ideas, group updates and networking to help Get Charged for the next big Green Thing.

What the next big Green Thing is up to all of us but here is one idea to chew over a GreenSalon!

Engaging panel discussion/debate with Q and A focusing on our local smarties and Green Groups with maybe some music/art/food etc. Kind of like GreenDrinks with more discussion and set topics and speakers? Like an ideafactory or brainbank!

Here's some links to what I mean

Ignite . 10 speakers @ 5 minutes with powerpoints.

IDEACITY -Canada's Premier Meeting of The Minds

TED conference ( Idea's worth spreading)

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Myths and MIrrors A community history

Myths and Mirrors Community Arts

Myths and Mirrors Community Arts is a non profit multi-media arts organization based in Sudbury, Ontario. We believe that people should have meaningful opportunities to contribute to the creation of justice, beauty and health in their communities collectively through art. Our mandate is to develop art projects with community members who who wish to explore issues or ideas with each other, challenge assumptions, collectively and transform their inspiration into art works and have something to say.

The shaping and building mediums we have used include: murals, sculpture, theatre, photography, video, booklets, promotional, documentation, and innovative educational models, toolkits and materials including research around our local evolving community and publishing key community arts theory and practice materials internationally. Many of our projects result in public art works, such as ‘A Show of Hands’, a permanent installation in the main lobby of the Sudbury Public Library, the Youth ‘Respect’ mural between the YMCA and Memorial Park, the ‘Water’ mural in the Elgin Street pedestrian underpass and the 'Earthly Matters' mural blanketing the four walls of our community arts home in honour of all the families who work for safe and healthy mining practices in our community, located in the Donovan neighbourhood playground.

We are committed to our community of Sudbury, a northern Ontario mining town struggling to understand its place in this brave new world. Since 1996, we’ve been based in two of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, the Flour Mill and the Donovan. Under the shadow of the world’s highest smoke stack. We are committed to planting seeds of creativity and hope in the slag heaps of burnt and crushed rock, to join with others in the creation of our common future.

Northern Mining Community, The City of Greater Sudbury
The Sudbury area encompasses one of the largest known nickel ore bodies on Earth. This, along with a mining history of more than 125 years, continues to earn Sudbury international recognition as “The Nickel Capital of the World”. Nickel and copper production in the Sudbury area have provided tremendous social and economic benefits to the region and to all of Canada, however, there are devastating environmental consequences associated with smelting and refining operations and enormous impacts from all stages of the industries activities over the past century.

Greater Sudbury to Scale
The region of the Sudbury basin was built in an elliptical depression stretching out an area much wider and larger in scale than the GTA, housing approximately 158,000 people. It is the largest population Northern Ontario, and the 24th largest metropolitan area in Canada. In land area, it is the largest city in Ontario, the seventh largest municipality in Canada. The city's Census Metropolitan Area consists of the city proper and the including a large population in and , and with a population of 158,258 in the 2006 census. The area also includes Falconbridge, Garson, Coniston, Minnow Lake, New Sudbury, Central Sudbury, The Donovan, Flour Mill, The West End, Gatchell Copper Cliff, Azilda, Rayside Balfour, and some residence consider the towns of Markstay-Warren, the French River and St.Charles, a region commonly known as , as well Sudbury East, as well as the outlying unincorporated communities of Estaire, and Cartier as part of Greater Sudbury.

Youth Opportunities
Within this high populated area there are minimal opportunities for youth engagement. Families and youth have not much more than the extracurricular activities in the educational system and few institutional programming offering expensive membership such as the YMCA, sports teams, and high art programs also at minimal enrollment space. These do not reflect realistic opportunities for the larger population of high risk pre-teens, and youth. Aside the opportunities Myths and Mirrors Community Arts has been able to offer thanks to the generous funding we have received over the past number of years, these alternatives for young people have been few for the many needing guides and shaping constructs for many who travel from these regions to participate in projects and events.

In this large community, youth involvement is crucial in inclusive decision and policy making for the future. Inclusivity in these processes ensures young people the right to know and participate in issues impacting their communities, to explore, and advocate in realistic terms by physically doing something about the issues we face, under the constructs of an open, intergenerational, family friendly, inspiring structure with award winning practices.

Building on solutions into long term realistic developmental stages involved in these important decisions and policies ensures exciting learning, building, and shaping opportunities, builds youth inclusive social frameworks for respect and responsibility in youth led non-hierarchical loose and open structure.

Creating this platform includes essentials models Myths and Mirrors Community Arts has spent many years developing through the process of trying and doing.

The skills and tools utilized by this not-for profit grassroots organizations include; Popular education, facilitation, network sharing and building, community events, meeting and conference organizing, opportunities for public speaking and organizing press releases and launches, democratic decision making using consensus and feminist based models for engagement and community activities, the allowance and enabling of opportunity taking that encourages activities that foster stepping outside of mainstream socio frameworks, challenging oneself, pushing and expanding personal thought boundaries, self- identifying and defining, togetherness, collectivity, creation, visioning, and the building of hope.

These models also create encouraging, stimulating pro-activity, collective engagement and inclusivity offering exciting opportunities as to connect with others, relationship, community and solution building through multi-disciplinary artistic forms. Our role in the community is crucial and necessary as one of the youth avenues ensuring young people a place for participation under the constructs of, an open, welcoming, intergenerational, family friendly, joyful, inspiring, attractive structure and award winning practices and models. These models have been a strengthening backbone for our and tens of thousands of other young people's guidance and role modeling throughout Sudbury, Ontario and surrounding areas.

It is mandatory that we recognize the availability of time and opportunities for youth within our geographic area, and funding alloted for young culturally diverse groups to advance their experiences within a cross-cultural and intergenerational housing that allows for challenging, collective, self determination and reflection that explores tomorrow’s functions and encourages articulating our voices actively in the shaping our lives. If rules are to exist they need to be shaped in flexible dynamic ways and be responsive to the needs of vulnerable population who may feel emotional challenges around the community issues we theme our work around. Positive accessible artistic movements are our attempts to bring about important changes promoting open dialogue, creating a space for critical thinking within life's epidemics, sharing a sense of spirit or tradition, healing and educational creations in attempts to prevent future injustices, valuing youth's experiencing as vital keys for building youths' own non-commercial heart and soul. These projects have been key landmarks for a great population of youth in the form of something permanent, temporary or in experience kept in memory.

The project entitled, “Conversations with the Earth”, has involved youth, young parents and children in participatory research and public dialogue events on how mining has affected Sudbury’s environment. The research and discussions have led to youth’s collective creation of public multi-disciplinary art forms about Sudburian's environmental challenges, as well as strategy build for awareness and action.
The Mining and the Environment projects explore possibilities for our future engaging young residents in discussion, response, reflection and solution building, strategizing, planning and management, fostering engagement, and the physically doing in making things work realistically in the community, suiting the response and demand of citizens on all stages.

Summary of Funding

Conversations with the Earth
How does a population deal with knowing that their air, water and earth are poisoned by the very industry that employs them? The answers to this global question are crucial to our survival. Unfortunately, throughout our history, humans have a lousy track record in this regard. The recent best-selling book, Ronald Wright’s ; Jared Diamond’ both look at civilizations that self-destructed due to their inability to adapt and change their short-sighted behaviour. These human tendencies are a complicated mix of denial, fear and hopelessness; and in the longer term they are obviously very dangerous to our species and the planet. In the shorter term, our refusal to engage with the reality of our poisoned environment is killing us.

Sudbury, Ontario is a prime example of this human quandary: over a century of mining activity has radically affected the air, water and earth of a city that would not exist without the mines. The scarred landscape features blackened rock bare of trees, miles of slag heaps, and the everpresent swath of sulfurous smoke in the sky. Many studies have shown that Sudburians have higher rates of cancer and heart disease than the national average. Those same studies also show higher rates of smoking, obesity and drinking. Many resources are expended in promoting a ‘healthy lifestyle’, with little mention of the environmental hazards that surround us.

This two year project was based on the premise that promotion and commercials designed by health care professionals focusing solely on lifestyle changes are not enough. Unless the population are actively engaged with their environment, particularly when it may be posing a threat to their health, the stress of the denial itself is enough to drive them to drink, smoke and eat more. Sudburians internalize the ill health that is reflected around them, and feel as hopeless about changing their lifestyle as they do about the arsenic levels in their backyard garden soil.

Ideally, we had hoped to launch Conversations with the Earth as a three year project coinciding with the release of the soil study, which in tern, was not released until this past June, 2008. Little public reaction was noted until the release of another expert study showing loopholed information that was used throughout the study and the misinterpreted (whitewashed) when presented to the public by the media. Emphasis is put on specific recommendations the HHRA must take to ensure our safety and how the community should be involved in decision making within Environmental Defence expert study, released October 2008.

The goal of the project was to engage Sudburians in the maintaining the health of the environment as a natural extension of maintaining the health of their families. We have not pretended to have any magic answers on how to overcome the complicated forms of denial that are shaped just as much by politics and economics as by fear and apathy. However, we do have years of experience in organizing forums where people can figure out those answers for themselves. To do this properly, and to have a lasting effect on policy, infrastructure and public engagement, time is needed.

In 2001, the Soil Study in the City of Greater Sudbury began, addressing the public's questions and concerns regarding the health risks posed by 125 years of mining activity. The Human Health Risk Assessment, (HHRA) began concurrently with this project.

The comprehensive 2001 documentation concentrated on 20 inorganic elements found in soils in the Sudbury regions' soil. These elements are aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, strontium, vanadium, and zinc. In at least 5% of the samples, the concentrations exceeded WHO guidelines, often by considerable amounts. This data provides the foundation for the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments to be carried out essential for the City of Greater Sudbury and surrounding region.

In 2006, one of the young parents involved in the Myths and Mirrors Community Arts youth projects, was concerned about Greater Sudbury's environment, and soon became quickly involved, searching for public awareness materials to assure our childrens' living conditions were healthy and safe. This parent also began looking over public reports to ease her health concerns.
Report on Projects


In early 2007, Myths and Mirrors was given funding by the Laidlaw Foundation to partner with the Canary Research Institute to provide expertise in our collective “Conversations with the Earth”, community projects. This opened up a platform for young people to be involved, come together and design projects based on the theme "Mining and the Environment". This gave many youth the opportunity to participate, ask questions and a forum to respond to many of these issues.

The environmental art projects explore Sudbury’s environmental challenges, including possible risks to our health from 125 years of mining activity in our local environment. This gives the community a place to participate, actively engaging young community members in discussions about responsible, safe, and healthy mining practices. The projects have been funded and backed up by solid partnerships in expertise using specific, clear information delivered in easy language around the many touchy environmental issues to aid community discussions regarding the impacts of industrial pollution, remediation and land reclamation across our Northern Ontario Communities.

In the Winter of 2007 Myths and Mirrors was honored with the opportunity to move into its own Community Arts Space with the support of Better Beginnings, Better Futures Association and the City of Greater Sudbury. Sitting aside the same neighbourhood from which it was birthed, founded and developed in, this now opened a whole new world of possibilities. Sitting at the cross roads of the Donovan, Flour Mill and Downtown neighbourhoods where young working class families (including many miners) live and raise their families. The site stands across from a successful re- greening project, but just a bit further down the road are the devastating remains of land scarred by the functioning Frood mine, one of the oldest mines in Sudbury. This location allows us to keep the issues front and center.

Making a Home- Community Design Project
The community design project began in the winter of 2007, re-inviting youth from previous projects and welcoming residents from the two sister communities to the neighbourhood, creating strength through a new union. This opened up new relationships with grassroots not-for-profit community organizations for uncharted future possibilities. Cleaning, painting and moving the communities' art treasures brought back memories while celebration of the possibilities and opportunities afforded by this new union was cause for optimism. Many stories were shared regarding the impacts of our history on the lives of young people both today and in the past.
The opening featured a smudging and blessing by Elder and former board member, Winnie Pitawanakwat. It also included a young group performing drum honour songs. Joan Kuyak, from Mining Watch Canada, made a presentation regarding her experiences with pollution and the Canadian mining industry. Other presenters included two representatives from local mineworkers’ unions, a local business owner, and residents of the neighbourhood.
People shared their stories and experiences of their time spent in and around Sudbury, and how mining has touched their lives and their environment. It attracted over 100 people from the community and good media coverage. The celebration included lots of food, music and performances. A hopeful sense of energy and emotion filled the air giving breath to the new residency and the relationships that would be built from within.
The beginning stages of the “Conversations with the Earth” community projects began with outreach and public consultation of youths by community organizer, artist and coordinator, Tanya Ball. Open public meetings and information sessions featuring educational toolkits were held by Joan Kuyak and by the Canary Research Institute's Marilyn Crawford. Miners, environmentalists, and residents' experiences and stories soon led to the beginning stages of art projects.

In March 2007, Myths and Mirrors under the guidance of young people in our community, began exploring various public responses to industrial pollution, waste and contaminations effecting our air, earth, and water. This included the feelings and emotions residents feel around the issues, from denial, to apathy and fear, encouraging the public to be involved in asking questions and exercising our rights to know what is in the environments we live in. Our goal has been to engage young people in collective community art creations emphasizing shaping towards reclamation and remediative solution building, inclusive to all community members. Youth in particular, felt it necessary to consult the public on their interests in building answers to a few main questions; “Where do we go from here?” and “What are we going to do about it”?, starting right here in our backyards, playgrounds, schoolyards, and neighbourhoods.

Myths and Mirrors Relationship to the HHRA, our Role and Responsibility to Young Citizens

The purpose of the "Conversations with the Earth" projects was to give citizens a place to ask questions about, be involved with and respond to the large scale risk assessment. It was created to enable residents to do something about the conditions they were about to be told they are living in. We believe together can make great changes for our quality of life and improvements to our standards of living.

Before the artistic creations come into play, the extensive process we undergo begins with consulting residents to explore possible themes. We then move to the phases involving project strategizing; raising community interest; outreach; research; and partnership and network building. These tasks are carried out in developmental stages inclusive to young people who are interested in taking on leadership roles and to feed thorough, current information into our community arts projects.

We have also been able to monitor related and upcoming issues, host discussions and community meetings and pass on and circulate information from our networks. This enables the movement of information, and gathers people together when it has been necessary for residents to voice their say in issues related to the HHRA. This ensures the young public that someone is out there to encourage them in participating in public meetings, consultation processes and policy changes related to our themes.
“Earthly Matters” Community Mural Project
The “Earthly Matters” mural was created at our new site, Victory Playground on Frood Road, blanketing the four walls of our new home. Over 60 young people designed and created the mural over a five month period which comprised community consultation, development and creation prior to it’s public unveiling and media launch. The youth project took advantage of the new bare walls to include and initiate a larger group of young people in the neighbourhood. The permanent outdoor mural encourages the public to participate in asking questions concerning our environment's contaminations, exercise our rights to know what is in our backyards and watersheds, explores possible solutions, and includes imagery of utopian dreamscapes and visions for a better world. The mural's broad exploration of issues stands in the center of a large Northern population and region, impacting many lives with it's powerful indentation. Caressing the four walls of the community space are the deepened thought and emotions that birthed its warmth and wonder. The youth's images and words speak; Mother, Sacred, Creation, Making, Together, Rest, Revive, Impacts, Assessment, Policy, Protect, Land, Rights, Decisions, Policies, Safe, Healthy Mining Practices, Children, Backyards, Playgrounds, Schoolyards, Toxins, Pollution, Contaminations, Soil, Air, Water, Tailings, Slag, Uranium, Waste, Vegetable Gardens, Food, Seeds, Security, Toxic Soup, Families, Nutrition, Health, Honor, Put Back, Respect, Relationships, History, Stories, Land, Oppression, Truth, Denial, Struggles, Justice, Change, Recovery, Dream, Hope. The project is “dedicated to all the children who live in mining communities, and to the adults who work for safe, clean mining practices.”
Young Families
Weekly family potlucks helped spark the beginning stages of written draft stories and theatre skits developed by young families, neighbourhood children and youth. Children were encouraged to partake in theatrical drama involving silly costuming, with themes centered around their responses to industrial pollution. This allowed them to become more comfortable talking about environmental issues. In the beginning stages, the group focused their conversations and creativity on global warming.
As ideas emerged, the construction of a small public playhouse was created made from natural materials found in the immediate environment constructed by and for the kids and families of the immediate and sistering neighbourhoods.
The idea of the Earth Castle was envisioned by the youth of the neighbourhood. Their ideas emerged from their memories of their small size as toddlers on ground level building sand castles and those memories' relationship to what was exposed to them at that height and age (i.e. cars, cigarettes, garbage, etc). The young parents and kids, aged two to ten, took the lead, designing and creating a performance and puppet stage, writing and directing their own shows and performances about The Fate of the Earth to be played and performed at the Earth Castle. Many of their activities have been documented in photographs and video footage.
Cob Earth Castle

In July 2007, four youth were hired by Human Resources Development of Canada for the purposes of strategizing, planning, and building skills for the coming projects. The hired youth students, all of whom were volunteers in the previous months, were a dynamic team. They led a diverse group of youth and young families through the project.

By June, neighbourhood youth and students were gathered to discuss and begin developing the environmental art projects that would incorporate the earth as a main ingredient in its building recipe.
The youth role models and staff led the cob project under the direction of natural building and earth construction expert, Gino Cacciotti, a local stonemason from the Natural Building Institute of Ontario.
The powerful stories about hope for using alternative methods and materials to build our futures rippled across the City of Greater Sudbury and throughout neighboring Northern Ontario communities. Sifted earth, clay and straw were prepared by young people, side by side, mixing by foot. Built by hand, the intensive three weeks were composed of hard labour, interwoven earth techniques and discussions. Topics touched on included sustainability, building alternatives, soil contamination solutions and food, farming, agriculture and guerrilla and community gardening. Many discussions about earth, air, and water quality took place, introducing solid subjects the younger kids used in the creation of story and music for the unveiling of the project.
The cooperative kitchen was run daily throughout the projects to feed the families and youth and open discussions related to food. Specific topics discussed included seed, the food on our plates, human nutrition, food security, with a focus on these issues' impact on human health and determining the future of our health.
Discussions and workshops were held sharing information and activities about heritage seeds, land remediation and reclamation, and the sharing of cultural ceremony, tradition, and indigenous traditional foods.
The construction attracted the attention of many of the neighbours, some of whom visited from the ‘old country’. They remember creating homes of earth in Croatia, Ukraine and Russia. They were delighted by this project and eager to share their stories of building with earth.
For many of us, this project also opened up possibilities for how we could engage a larger population of citizens to be involved in participating in public policy creation and ammendement for the future of our province. Our participation began to expand when we began to realize our work was making an impact in the bigger picture, and began to plateau as the group became familiar with the industrial pollution issues Ontarians face province wide.

Theory and Practice
In the fall of 2007, Laurie McGauley was the keynote speaker on Community Art for a National Conference in Vancouver and another provincial conference in Thunder Bay. Sheis now president of the Board of Community Arts Ontario, and has been awarded a Chalmer’s Fellowship to pursue her writing on our work and Community Arts.
Great Grants Award
One of the big highlights in November 2007 was being honoured with the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Great Grant Award for Arts and Culture for the moving work and incredible impacts Myths and Mirrors performed with all nations, ages, and genders of the Greater Sudbury community.

The Ontario Mining Action Network (OMAN), 2007
The Ontario Mining Action Network “promotes responsible mining practices through mutual support founded on common interests taking into account the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of mining in Ontario”.
In November 2007, Myths and Mirrors Community Arts hosted the annual Ontario Mining Action Network meeting held in Sudbury, Ontario, bringing participants on a tour of projects and installations they have carried out with the community over the years.
OMAN members support the concept of sharing benefits from the mining sector with the local and regional economy and are committed to ensuring the vitality of ecological systems. As such, members work to protect and balance all interests.
The Focus topics included in the three day agenda were:
>Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (K.I.);
>The Ardoch Algonquin's uranium stand-off in North Frontenac
>Uranium exploration and mining;
>The Sudbury Soil Study & Human Health Risk Assessment;
>The relationship between protected areas and mineral staking;
>Getting mines in Ontario under Environmental Assessment; and
>A tour of 125 years of mining history in Greater Sudbury and the Myths and Mirrors community arts projects.


In Early 2008, Myths and Mirrors Community Arts partnered with the Centre de Santé Communautaire funded by the Laidlaw Foundation, led by Monique Beaudoin and Céline Maltais under the direction, guidance and support of Myths and Mirrors Community Arts. This began a series of community consults, public meetings and community arts projects based on the environmental challenges Sudburians face. An strong effort was made to involve Francophone families, children and pre-teens in the Azilda area of Greater Sudbury to begin environmental community art projects.

Mining and the Environment
Throughout our projects, Myths and Mirrors Community arts has been learning about the international mining industry, taking in as much knowledge and experience as possible. Accommodating a great number of people from the public who have needed a place to respond and asking the larger population to participate has been difficult to accomplish, as we have found that a great number of people simply do not want to know about their environment.
Of the many years Myths and Mirrors has explored themes with citizens in it's community building, the theme 'Mining and the Environment' was one of the most difficult boundaries to work within. It has taken many years to build fundamental relationships and understanding of environmental issues to the present day, building up a strong base that excites people to be involved in building a brighter community. How do we inform the general public so that they respond and participate?
The issue is often too sad for people to engage because it is about their lives their future, their employers, and about future of children so it's important to focus on remedies, rather than casting blame, causing denial. The shared knowledge, information, and experience we have had together has been built through exploring different mechanisms and experimentations in trial and error through our community creations.
By January 2008, we worked alongside a core group of informed youth, the base of whom have had interest and involvement in collective art and understand some of the issues faced here and abroad. As no one in the youth group had expertise in the field of scientific data, we set out to research the community for available material for residents who wanted to know more about the studies.
Together, we wanted to create something to share with the public containing information on a range of issues, reflections and responses we had learned about. The goal was to publicly distribute our collective creation, attracting in a larger group of youth for the involvement in the artistic projects in their developing stages.
Collective Pollution|Pollution Collective
A youth led collective for Youth magazine entitled, “Pollution Collective|Collective Pollution" was created over the winter and spring of 2008, beginning with a new partnership with local artist-run gallery space and media arts network, “TAG and Film”. This incredible work came together into a dense and creative 60 page booklet. The booklet is a mixture of youth self-expression describing the reflections and responses to mining and it's impact on human health and the environmental challenges Northern Ontarians face. In writing, visual artwork and poetry, expressions of the youths' emotions, responses, reflections and questions allowed the sharing of information. Discussions on environmental issues and solution building were also included.
This soon became something that embodied the type of work we envisioned sharing with the public as it covered the range of issues we had learned about with the goal of encouraging public response, discourse and attracting other youth in engaging in upcoming art adventures.
The community art projects that followed focused on positive remedial solution building projects, creating hope with and for young people in the Greater City of Sudbury and our neighbouring Northern communities.

Northern Landscapes
In the Northern Landscapes project, the core collective of youth explored man-made landscapes throughout the region. Weekly outdoor winter adventures were accompanied by a collection of stories and testimonials we received along the way from residents, miners and former industry employees from all over the region of Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas. The enthralling stories caught many of us off-guard with their honesty and the story-tellers' enthusiasm.

Our photography, film and video perfectly represents our total engrossment in the raw cold landscapes that surrounded us. Its passion, fierce and powerful imagery and dialogues, allowed us to stockpile a huge amount of photographs and footage. The group met and discussed mining and the environment subjects weekly, met with environmentalists, Environmental Not-for-profit Grassroots Organization (ENGOs), and scientific experts to discuss, learn and answer some of their questions while facing our own personal quandaries.

Earth Day Slag Jewelery Event
On April 21st, Myths and Mirrors was invited to join environmental groups to celebrate Earth Day to showcase our environmental youth art community group. A small group of young people came together to plan the event, pulling together materials and meeting with local natural jeweler and artist Paula Jonhson for the slag jewelery-making workshop.

At the Earth Day event, industry representatives informed the artists and participating parents and kids about the long term effects of water on slag, which creates an acidic substance not safe for human exposure, and other acid rain drainage precautions to be aware of in areas where slag has been used for fill. In the Greater Sudbury Region, Slag is the most commonly used fill in the foundation of most of the population's homes and business.

The Kids of Shevkencho Lane Present:
An Environmental Theatre Production from A Little Hockey Shack, by the Children of Miners, in a Northern Ontario Mining Town neighbourhood.
In late June 2008, two local youth artists were hired under funding aid from Human Resources and Development Canada. These two Francophone and Aboriginal youths along with lead artist Tanya Ball, created a dynamic team to lead the summer youth community projects of 2008.
The group consulted the community in the project's developing stages, while reaching out to young people in the Donovan. This summer project was the stabilization the core youth group in the Donovan neighbourhood.
The group, most of whom were growing up in the immediate neighbourhood, began thinking about Sudbury's environment using theatre games to warm up, build, and get comfortable with the subject and each other. After this, they began writing stories and scripts together. By Late June, a draft script for a play was in the works while the group built character and created props and installation art to be permanently installed as conversation pieces throughout the playground. 'The kids of Shevchenko Lane' planned their environmental theatre performance for late August, about pollution and dreaming solutions, from a little hockey shack in a Northern Mining Town Neighbourhood.
By the last week of August, a youth-led day long communal art event under the partnership and guidance of local youth artists Clayton Drake, Jonathan Danyliw, Cameron Drake, and Carter Drake showcased the Donovan kids' neighbourhood environmental theatre and installation art. The Kids of Sheckencho Lane were able to perform their play for an audience of about 70 people.

The event also featured seven local youth bands, food, prizes donated by local clothing retailer Aila Galleri, games both impromtu and organized, Slip & Slide, Trampoline, Frisbee, Soccer games, face-painting, chalk art, spoken word and acoustic sets set up around the playground throughout the day, bringing out over 200 residents and youth from all over the Greater Sudbury Area.

Workshops, Activities and Events
In the relationship building between the young people of the new neighbourhood and the two sistering, downtown and the Flour Mill neighbourhoods, Myths and Mirrors continually offers a variety of workshops, activities and youth events in and outside of our community space, acquainting and familiarizing the organization and all of it's functions and purpose under it's mandate and funding themes with the community.

This funding helps the continual organizing of regular youth-led music shows, featuring local punk, indy, acoustic, bluegrass, hip-hop, and culturally traditional music, it gives them a venue at which to host their events and gives them an outlet for their art and talents. Some of the youth art groups that have partnered with our two youth group organizers or workshops in conjunction with Myths and Mirrors project events and activities include: Elle Q Dance Factory/Earth dancers, The Doers, usaisamonster, Varge!, the Statues, Jean Wells, LAME, the Saltcoats, Lightmares, BOT, Bunnies in Berlin, The Birthday Cakes, Meadowlark Lemons, DD/MM/YY, Be bad, Ctrl Alt Del, UV Ray, Run Chico Run, Prus Propre, All Purpose Voltage Heroes, One Candle Power, Newport Trophy Wives, Hello Marx, spoken word, beat poetry and acoustic benefit shows.

As well, we have been able to host a broad range of regular multi-disciplinary art workshops including; screen printing, recycled fabric and bags sewing and weaving workshops, clay and sculpture art, tee-shirt and poster art making, photography and video, the sculpting, creation and movement giant puppets in theatre productions touring all over Northern Ontario, and stilting extending out into the community at secondary and post secondary level education, and with other art organizations, NGOs and ENGOs.

The Ontario Mining Action Network (OMAN)2008
In October 2008, Mining Watch Canada and Myths and Mirrors hosted a great cross-cultural core group of people working in different sectors of Ontario's mining issues, impacted by mining issues in communities and/or facing tough process and decisions around the industry across Ontario. These included key members from aboriginal reserves in Ontario, NGOs and ENGOs, top Canadian Pollution Watchdogs, and Legal and Environmental defence, meeting for the annual Ontario Mining Action Network meeting held in Sudbury Ontario.

Topics of Discussion at the 2008 OMAN Conference included:
> National and International Mining Issues;
> Ontario Mining Act Consultation: Free Entry;
> Perils and Pitfalls of Risk Management, making a model;
> Community Land Use Planning and Mining
> Challenges to Environmental Assessment of Mining Projects; and
> In the Shadow of the Super Stack: The Sudbury Soils Study & the HHRA.

Reseau Canadien de L'Environment/Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN)

In October 2008, Myths and Mirrors Community Art Coordinator was selected as one of 10 national delegates to attend the National, Annual RCEN Mining Caucus Steering Committee Meeting held in Vancouver to be exposed to various multi-party discussions and workshops. The purpose of this Meeting was to help identify and map out post-consultation positions, monitor developments and ensure that we continue to lobby the pertinent decision makers/parties so that we are on the same page as the mining industry and government.

The result of these talks was to help the RCEN identify ways in which the Mining Caucus can work on issues including; CEPA – Toxics and Domestic Substances exemption for disposal to waste rock and tailings from mining in the NPRI; Priority Substance List: Study Reports on Radionuclides; Mining and Mineral Effluent Regulations; Mine Environment Neutral Drainage Program; Mining Sector Sustainability; Environmental Code of Practice for Mining; and National Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI).
The National Orpaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI)
In October 2008, Myths and Mirrors Community Art Coordinator was invited to attend a National Conference exploring perspectives on Risk Assessment for Orphaned and Abandoned Mines under the National Orphaned Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI) in Vancouver. This workshop is designed “to explore and understand the different perspectives relating to the process of assessing risk associated with orphaned and abandoned mines.”

The concept of risk, risk assessment and risk management for abandoned mines is complex, and raises issues around public health and safety, environmental protection and related liability. Managing risk requires an understanding of those potential adverse impacts, but also takes into consideration other factors such as legislation, regulations, economics, community concerns, politics and technical feasibility. By understanding different perspectives related to risk assessment, the process may be improved and the health and safety of the public and environment may be better protected.

This workshop will provide Myths and Mirrors the opportunity to learn, explore, share and discuss risk assessment processes and management in order to gain insight into the multi-faceted process and share with the community. It is important to note that the attendance of these meetings will provide a stable base of knowledge and expertise for Myths and Mirrors when dealing with the emotional end of the precautions the community will face and undergo from a grassroots community organization perspective, as well as during the actual construction of our collective art projects.

Planning for the future

Currently, Myths and Mirrors is undertaking projects which challenge youth in Sudbury to be involved in making our northern mining town a cleaner, safer place to live focusing on the airborne pollution coming off the sites which is the main source of contact for human exposure and insist the workers be over and above the study of current and past workers and their families. A community meeting or series of them will follow suggesting other ways of looking at the situation, what needs to be done and discuss ways in which the community can be involved.

Recently, an Environmental Defense report recently released to the public as an external review of the Soil Study Assessing undertaken by industry, reveals specific findings and results and realistic proposals and recommendations for further inclusion into the Sudbury Soil Study and the public to make decisions on. The Environmental Defense study was commissioned by both unions, Mine mill local 598 / C.A.W., and the Steelworkers local 6500, who are entrusted the care of all the mining industries workers and responsibilities to their families.

Government needs to take a responsible role in creating solutions for protecting our health. A media pole was taken involving Citizens of the Greater Sudbury area with results indicating 60% of people did not trust the study. This is an statistic gives us a little insight into the attitudes that Sudburians have towards information that is presented to them on their environment, and can be used to help Myths and Mirrors tailor it's message to the Sudbury community at large. The creation of poilicies, regulations and standards will be based from the outcome of community's participation.

The assessment
The Sudbury Human Health Risk Assessment was undertaken by the Sudbury Area Risk
Assessment Group (SARA) starting in 2003. It was based on soil sampling data from the
Sudbury Soils Study funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and local
mining companies. The metals chosen for the human health assessment were those found
to be contaminating the entire Greater Sudbury Area, to be above MOE soil guidelines, and
those that at least in part come the local mining and smelting operations.

Myths and Mirrors has been able to accomplish community-based participation where it has been entirely essential to the future of Greater Sudbury area's understanding of these issues and how they may impact us. At this point, an even greater widespread need for a place for community involvement and young people to participate, think positively, ask questions, respond and have opportunities to be involved in forward thinking remedial environmental art projects at it's peak for our environment's essential remediation, reclamation and healthy future.

The Bigger Picture: Greater Sudbury Youth's Involvement Province-Wide:
Another major imprint and landmark we have been honored to participate in with young people, was building strong networks with experts throughout our projects who work directly in seperate environmental sectors and regard our challenges with industrial pollution.
Including all of the issues pertaining to the projects, we have been participating alongside these new networks on a grassroots community level in engaging the public in participating in change on specific issues included in recommendations for amending the Ontario Mining Act.

Our projects create emotional, transforming, experiences that shape the direction and interests not only of the people who participate but in the lives of others who are close to them. Over the past two years, thousands of youth have been exposed to, experienced and been impacted by our work whether it be participating, coming to an event or reading about or viewing the public works. The shared experiences, words and collaborative thought put into our creations is always knowingly respected, and greatly valued among everyone involved in putting them together. It is our hope that we have been able to touch the lives of others, creating change at least locally and possibly globally.

Why Our Role is Vital to our Community
Grassroots community organizing has provided an encouraging base of opportunity for young people to explore, learn, share, discuss, debate, expand, analyze, and self-express together through the process of trying and doing. Myths and Mirrors houses public involvement, actively engaging young members of the community to participate in inspiring and challenging projects that step outside of social frameworks, driven by the challenges we face, cultivating personal interaction and the creation of a better future.

We identify youth as essential assets, publicly and socially engaging in democratic decision-making capacities. Myths and Mirrors dedicates time in aiding youth to develop individually, based on their unique interests, identities and differences. It is our hope that these youth can strengthen and empower each other to their full potential and capacity, taking hold of their own futures and become civicly engaged as strong community leaders.

Myths and Mirrors lives for anything that suggests solution building, being socially inclusive and diverse, building brave new standards of living, redefining healthy values and raising new heights for our quality of life. We encourage environments that sustain experiences, explore and challenge assumptions, advocate for change, and that nurture hope for the well-being of all.

Currently Myths and Mirrors Community Arts is situated in the heart of a working class neighbourhood filled with a great flooding of needs and demands by children, preteens, young parents and youth. The period of time Myths and Mirrors has been honoured funding has only enabled us to scratch the surface of initial beginning stages and start to an open relationship with the young people of the Donovan community. A broad understanding of the environmental issues and their related local ENGOs has only recently been established.

These kids, ages 7 to 19, of mixed aboriginal, francophone and anglophone are at a critical point in the environmental interests of many of these kids. These pre-teens and youth without continued funding and positive community art projects, we fear, the inevitable abandonment will shift the lives of this young population we have spent years building relationships with. We also fear this will be devastating to the entire neighbourhood and the two sistering surrounding communities. Like many Northern communities, the ‘youth out-migration’ problem will continue to grow without the existing NGO and ENGO's presence leaving young people out and hopeless as more young people may leave our community for the big cities.
After two years spent identifying the enormous environmental challenges threatening environmental devastation, the initiation of diologue on industrial impacts on our community has only just begun. Environmental networks in the Greater Sudbury Area are also beginning to build relationships with us in our projects as an alternative avenue to openly discuss pollution issues. It is thus not hard to make a case for the importance and great need for their vital organizations, as well as our presence, which has been acting as a common mediator between the community, industry, and the environment.
Although the majority of ENGOs have minimal funding opportunities for their vital work, many of them have accepted their vital funding source from the industry that pollutes us as they have had no other means of funding support. This has been a way to work with the companies in ensuring reclamation and remediation throughout Sudbury. However, many sudburians feel this has created censorship of these organizations and resulted in lack of presence and essential voices in the community.
The interest from the networks throughout the duration of our projects was to discuss their funding and why their specific roles are fundamental to our communities. This was held in the form of a public conference and was hosted by the Greater Sudbury Environment Network this past June.
The public was invited to join in the discussions with ENGOs about Corporate Sponsorship. The goal of this panel discussion was to provide environmental non-profits the opportunity to hear and discuss issues to consider when developing corporate sponsorships. Some of the questions included, “Should corporate sponsorships be in line with our vision, mission and values?”, “How can we advance our environmental vision for the community through our relationships with the corporate sector?”, and “What are the key ingredients of successful partnerships with the corporate sector, and issues to consider when developing corporate sponsorships?”. A synthesis of the presentations, as well as opportunity for questions in French, consisted of a panel discussion with the following speakers: Brennain Lloyd – Coordinator, Northwatch, Franco Mariotti – Co-Chair, Junction Creek Stewardship Committee, Deb McIntosh – Coordinator, Rainbow Routes, Laurie McGauley – Artistic Director, Myths and Mirrors Community Arts, moderated by François Depelteaux, Department of Sociology at Laurentien University.

The Greater Sudbury Community and Youth: The next Step

In the time frame we have been generously funded we have built a base for understanding the broad spectrum of issues related to mining and the environment, building necessary networks, strengthening relationships with vital ENGOs and learning through community arts practices. With this base we are situated at a crucial stepping stone which could greatly impact change in our community. As mentioned previously, in the time we have been alloted funding for these projects we have only begun to skim the surface of these issues and understand the importance and need for environmental change. We feel it is necessary for continuity in funding for our environmental community arts projects to undergo it's vital work throughout the Greater Sudbury Area, for the lives of the young people involved, the public at large, and with them, help in any way possible in shaping a healthy, vibrant community.
What does the risk management plan involve after the public comment period is over on November 1st, 2008? How will the committee create a place for community members who want to be involved in doing something about the industrial pollution impacting our health and environments?

With denial, apathy and fear playing a fierce role, most citizens simply did not want to know until it's crucial stages for their involvement this past month. Using our multi-disciplinary shaped organization's models is essential in loosening up the subjects, accommodating our new relationships, we have been able to help strengthen our community at large and cushion space and time for the young people's responses.
After two years of trial and error, experimenting in projects with partners and young people in the community, we would like to develop a plan focusing on positive remedial art projects to ensure this public involvement throughout the building of sustainable risk management. The inclusion the youth at these stages is absolutely essential.

The experiences we have undergone, partnerships we have made and concrete reports like that prepared by Environmental Defence Canada, and written by risk assessment expert Kapil Khatter can be used to create a sense of hope in our community and give direction to many who will need a place to discuss and respond to its disruptive information. It will also determine the inclusion of measures that can be taken in a model for risk assessment used in other communities facing similar industrial impacts.
We propose our community arts projects begin to include all stages, from beginning to end, of the Risk Management Planning for the HHRA to go alongside projects fed by the challenging Ecological Assessment. This will assure seats in the management plan for our soil's remediation and the Ecological study's development for youth involvement.

We predict this will be a much broader subject to engage young people with since the subject is less complex for young people to dive into and improve decision making for the protection of our nonhuman inhabitants. With the ecological testing of the release of chemicals, the study of the adverse effects on human activities on our natural environment, our interactions with water, insects, fisheries, plants and animals, an exciting adventure of creativity will be offered to young people in prioritizing what risks they will choose to accept, be involved with decision making, and environmental remediation. We are hopeful, the community will feel a call to protect and respect their environments, leaving their artistic attributes as landmarks of their beautiful works in building a brighter future.

Granting Opportunities for Greater Sudbury Youth
Myths and Mirrors Community Arts funding is currently drying up. This poses an enormous threat to continouance with our work not only in the neighbourhood where we are situated, but also in the surounding areas where we undertake projects throughout the Fall to Spring Seasons. This will effect over 2000 youth currently involved from areas all over the Greater Sudbury Area.
We are currently searching for granting opportunities to continue our community art projects with young people in our community that fall under our mandate. With our project at an incredible climax built up over two years, we feel it is absolutely fundamental to continue in respect to the relationships and futures vulnerable residents will face and what available constructs exist for their involvement. Engaged youth have participated in environmental meetings and conferences, partnering projects with ENGOs from across Northern Ontario to pursue the insurance of responsible and better regulated mining practices in their community, and health and safety in our own community. We feel at this crucial poing of environmental assessing, it is vital to offer young people forward thinking, remedial solution building art projects offering young people a place with others in making a brighter healtier future.
We are requesting for letters of support in aiding our efforts to continue creating engaging projects which build and develop our communities.

For a copy of our 2009 proposed projects, or to include your own ideas for community art projects, please feel free to email Tanya at
Myths and Mirrors Community Arts

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