Tuesday, December 16, 2008

KNA-Pedestrian/Cycling Issues Committee-Update from the Dec 15th meeting

13 people came out to the newly formed KNA-Pedestrian/Cycling Issues Committee.
Discussion focused around working with Strathcona Advisory Council to tackle Main and Dundurn Streets with a plan to influence the format of the next Public Information Centre for Strathcona Master Transportation Plan.

Also, talked about painting pavement at Kent and Herkimer (on hold), speedwatch at Aberdeen, Trinity Development proposal.
They plan to have a meeting that will focus on effective strategizing for mobilizing citizens in January.

Jingle Bell Walk at St Joesph's Catholic School



St. Joseph’s kids take Jingle Bell walk – encouraged to walk to school despite the short days and cold weather


St. Joseph’s Elementary School, 270 Locke St. South, took part in a Jingle Bell Walk on Dec. 16th.
Despite the short days and cold temperatures, children are encouraged to make walking part of their daily school routine.

Each of the 515 students at St. Joseph’s was sent home with a set of bells to attach to their boots or sneakers. The entire school took a group Jingle Bell Walk around the school property.

This was a festive way of expressing the commitment St. Joseph Elementary has made to the Active and Safe Routes to School program. The Jingle Bell Walk was a friendly reminder to parents and students that physical activity, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, air quality and community spirit all benefit from walking to school.

Although social and health benefits are the primary motives for this project, school Principal Flora Nordoff notes traffic congestion is a serious problem around the school in the morning. Buses, bringing French Immersion students from out of catchment, are competing with parents who drive their children for convenience. The morning traffic jam is unsafe and unpleasant for young students walking.
The walk was mentioned on CHML and the Spectator has contacted us about it.
Thanks to Public Health, Sharon Mckinnon and parent Rebekah Jackson who helped with getting this going.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Do Something!









December 12, 2008
The Canadian Press

Canadian Arctic to melt so quickly, the region will have an ice-free season in six years.

Following a 15-month expedition, scientists from Canada and 15 other countries warn an ice-free Arctic for part of the year will have a major impact on wildlife, Inuit communities, and the entire northern ecosystem.

They note only two years ago, a seasonal ice-free Arctic was predicted by 2030.

Dr. David Barber, one of the scientists on the expedition, says `the Arctic is telling us that climate change is coming quicker and stronger.’

Canadian scientists attending this week’s International Arctic Change conference in Quebec City say the call for immediate government action on climate change appears to be falling on deaf ears.

Barber says unless Canada and other nations show the political will and leadership needed to reduce climate change, the consequences will be increasingly difficult to manage in the near future.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

HIke a la Reble


Dec 4th
Our super-volunteer, Richard Reble lead a hike around the grounds of Dundurn Castle, the magnificent home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab, one of Canada's first premiers.
On a freezing cold night, (and despite the fact that the posters I put up around town advertising the event were taken down-who knows why?!!!) 20 brave souls came out and enjoyed a brisk walk together.
Who's up for another one?

Personal Safety workshop

Officer Steve Mahler gave 2 presentations Dec 2nd:
one was with a group of 25 (?) engaging, grade 8 students (Ryerson Sage Quest program). The other evening presentation was at the Ryerson Rec centre. 12 people came out for that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

KNA-Sustainable transportation group- ist meeting

The new Kirkendall Sustainability Committee: First Meeting was attended by 13 people. We discussed problem areas in the Kirkendall area and EH has been invited by residents to help host another meeting that will include the traffic department, the councillor, the MTO (the might have authority over traffic flow decisions at the Main/Dundurn and King/Dundurn intersections).

The meeting is planned for new year.

Contact? Derek - derekh@cogeco.ca

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Update

We had a great turn out for the food tour Nov 15th (24 people).
We will be having another hike with Richard Reble (see side bar) and we are going to have a Personal Safety workshop with Hamilton Police (see side bar).
We will be working with St Joesph's Catholic school and Public Health to deliver active and safe routes to school.
Our Walk there /Kirkendall Walks website is almost ready to be launched so stay tuned for that and for our walk there challenge!

First KNA -sustainable transportation meeting

New Kirkendall Sustainability Committee: First Meeting Please join the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association for the 1st meeting of their new committee focused on pedestrians and cyclists. This group will take action on issues brought up in Environment Hamilton's neighbourhood assessments this fall.

For instance, the safety of crosswalks at Main and Dundurn is a problem. After meeting with management in the City Traffic Department a number of options were examined including: a pedestrian "scramble", taking a crosswalk away from pedestrians, and eliminating or delaying the advanced green turning signal. Get involved with the decision that is made at this corner! Also on the agenda: Painting on Pavement project for Herkimer and Kent intersection, organizing pedestrian events for safety, leisure, fun!

Where? Stanley Ave. Baptist Church. 115 Stanley Ave - please use rear entrance

Time? 7:30pm

Contact? Derek - derekh@cogeco.ca

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pedestrian Scramble


A pedestrian scramble, also known as a Barnes Dance or exclusive pedestrian phase, is a pedestrian crossing system that stops all traffic and allows pedestrians to cross intersections in every direction at the same time. It was first used in Kansas City and Vancouver, Canada in the late 1940s, and has since then been adopted in many other cities and countries. It is most recently adopted in Toronto.

Jarah and I will be meeting with Councillor McHattie Nov 11th to talk about the possibility of a scramble for Dundurn and Main St. Meanwhile, here is an article from today's spec about a scramble at York and MacNab:

Pedestrians may soon scramble to market
Crossing and MacNab and York part of renewal plan


The Hamilton Spectator

(Nov 10, 2008)

Get ready to scramble, Hamilton.

That is, if all goes according to plan on York Boulevard.

City staff have designed three concepts to revamp the streetscape of the road, all of which include a pedestrian scramble at the intersection of MacNab Street and York across from the Hamilton Farmers' Market.

The scramble allows pedestrians to cross the road in any direction, including diagonally, during a designated traffic light.

It's a model used around the world, and Toronto recently launched its own scramble at a downtown intersection.

"The scramble really reflects what I think is the true attitude of pedestrians, which is: 'If it's OK to go, go. And if I need to get across the diagonal, well, I'll go that way,'" said downtown Councillor Bob Bratina.

If implemented, the scramble would be the first of its kind in the city.

David Cuming, acting manager of community planning and design with the city, said creating a scramble would give pedestrians easier access from places like the parking garage to the Hamilton Farmers' Market.

"It goes back to that basic supposition that the pedestrians, in certain areas of the downtown, should take precedence over vehicular traffic," he said.

Cuming said public works staff have advised that the idea may need more analysis, but the designers wanted to get the concept out to stimulate public interest.

The regeneration of York is still in its early stages, with the public only receiving their first glimpse of the three concepts at an information centre last week.

The plan, developed around the two-way conversion of the street, covers the area along York from Bay Street North to James Street North.

Some of the ideas highlighted in the concepts include limiting street parking, creating additional sidewalk in front of the market and library, opening two or more lanes of traffic to vendors and events, or closing the street for special events on weekends or holidays.

Bratina said the street is basically a "highway" and needs to have a human pedestrian element brought back in.

He said if some of the roadway can be used for vendors for special events, while traffic can still get through, "that's a pretty broad and comprehensive way of looking at pedestrians and traffic living together."

Staff will try to finalize a preferred plan by spring.

It's anticipated work would be done at the same time as planned market and and library renovations.

dbrown@thespec.com

905-526-4629


Friday, November 7, 2008

St Joesph's Catholic School

Nov 5th-Attended a parent/teacher council meeting with Sharon Mackinnon, Public health nurse with the City. We were invited to speak to the council about getting kids walking. They were very interested and are keen to start the ball rolling with a jingle bells walk theme (an activity of the Active and safe routes to school program that Sharon promotes). Other activities include Walking Wednesdays, The walking school bus , mapping activities, 'walk across Canada,' walk a block. etc.
I'd like to do a walkabout for kids-maybe grades 8. Will be in touch with SageQuest/Ryerson School to see if they are interested.

Tars Sand Mania

Mon Nov 10 2008 THE 2008 SPIRIT OF RED HILL LECTURE - TAR SANDS MANIA 7:30 PM Please join us for the 4th Annual Spirit of Red Hill Valley Lecture. The guest speaker this year is Tony Clarke, Director of the Polaris Institute and author of the 2008 book entitled Tar Sands Showdown. Clarke will be speaking about the impact of the Alberta Tar Sands on Canada's economy, environment and energy future. He will be introduced by Dr. Brian Baetz, Director of McMaster University's Engineering and Society Program. Location: First Unitarian Church, 170 Dundurn St. S., Hamilton, Region: Hamilton, Sponsor: Friends of Red Hill Valley, MacGreen, Environment Hamilton, the Sierra Youth Coalition, the Hamilton/Burlington KAIROS Committee, and Hamiltonians for Progressive Development Contact Info: Don McLean don.mclean@cogeco.ca (905) 664-8796

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Imagine this, there! (Herkimer at Kent)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association's AGM (October 21st)

We presented Kirkendall Walks to a responsive audience of 90 people or so. Councillor McHattie's presentation and the one taht followed ours-Light rail for Hamilton-with Ryan McGreal all helped bring home the message that alternatives to the car is a very serious concern that Hamilton is ready to deal with.

The Neighbourhood Association has now publically and officially announced it's commitment to active transportation and will be forming a commitee that focuses on sustainability with walking cycling and taking transit to help reduce green house gases andmitigate climate change as a central focus. Congratulations to Derek Hrynyshyn for taking the lead on this!
A petition was also circulated that night concerning the need to rebuild the Poulette pedestrian bridge.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alley Tour of Kirkendall




The alley tour(October 18th) with Emma Cubitt and her partner Graham was another huge success. Over 45 people coming out to walk Kirkendalls many fall-colored,charming back alleyways.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kirkendall Walks: Update

Thank you to those who attended the Kirkendall Walks meeting on Thursday.

Nicholas Kevlahan of the Durand Neighbourhood Association shared his slideshow of revitalized streetscapes in a European community. He highlighted ways of making streets more pedestrian and cycling friendly – and beautiful! He also shared the experience of the Durand community who have been working on pedestrian issues and have seen some improvements there.

Daryl Bender (Alternative Transportation department at the City) attended and heard many of the concerns we have with cycling networks and cycling safety. He is gathering input this fall for the City Cycling Master Plan.

Dale Brown from Councillor McHattie's office attended as well. She made note of our concerns to date and has provided some useful information regarding the area Traffic Management Study. We have already done some follow-up with Councillor McHattie's office regarding crosswalk painting and curb ramps.

NEXT STEPS – We invite you to take any of the following steps to help Kirkendall become more pedestrian and cycling friendly

1) Review recommendations from the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Traffic
Management Study

The City of Hamilton completed a Traffic Management Plan for the Kirkendall Neighbourhood in 2006. This included traffic impacts associated with the redevelopment of the former CAMCO site by McMaster Innovation Park. This document includes collision data (2000-2005), bicycle and pedestrian safety concerns, development-related traffic concerns and much more. It contains general recommendations to address parking, transit, trucking, etc.

Many of these recommendations address the concerns brought up in our neighbourhood assessment. We invite you to go through this document and highlight recommendations you would like to see supported. The report can be found at:

http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/cityandgovernment/citydepartments/public
works/capitalplanning/strategicplanning/strategicenvironmentalplanningprojec
ts/kirkendall+neighbourhood+traffic+management+study.htm


You will also find the West Hamilton Bicycle Network Review. This has recommendations for the bicycle network.


2) Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association AGM

The KNA is holding their AGM on Oct. 21st. Derek Hrynyshyn suggested we try to formalize a committee within the NA that would back projects initiated by Environment Hamilton and residents. The Neighbourhood Association really has their finger on the pulse of what is happening in the community. It communicates frequently with the residents, and will be active for years to come. This would be an ideal channel to continue work in the community.

Here are the details of the AGM. Hope to see you all there.

7 pm, Tuesday, October 21st
Stanley Avenue Baptist Church
Corner of Stanley and Locke Street
Hear About:
Plans for Light Rail Transit in Hamilton,
Making Kirkendall a Walkable neighbourhood,
Big Box Development off Longwood Road

3) Communicate cycling concerns to Daryl Bender, Alternative Transportation, City of Hamilton.

On Thursday, we shared our cycling concerns with Daryl Bender at the City. He now needs to hear from everyone in Kirkendall who couldn't make our meeting.

Add your name to the list of residents concerned with cycling safety and cycling networks – a stronger voice is more likely to be heard! Please be specific with your concerns and requests.

4) There are many other avenues for getting involved. Please contact Beatrice or Jarah for more information. 905-549-0900, environmenthamilton@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kirkendall Walking and Cycling Concerns



Public meeting – all welcome!

Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 7:00pm

Stanley Ave. Baptist Church

115 Stanley Ave.

On Thursday you will:

  • Meet other residents helping to make Kirkendall a walking and cycling-friendly neighbourhood
  • Prioritize concerns and develop ideas for improving the neighbourhood

Environment Hamilton will give a short summary of the concerns brought up through our Kirkendall Walkability study. This volunteer-based, street-by-street canvass has generated a long list of concerns for walkers and cyclists - from problem street crossings to cycling network weaknesses.

As a group, we will discuss ways of improving the neighbourhood. Suggestions might be directed at the city, but there are many exciting things we can do with the local businesses and with our neighbours. Actions might include:

- recommendations for the city cycling masterplan - to be submitted during the public consultation meetings this fall

- traffic calming projects around the entrance to the HAAA grounds through community art projects, a physical roundabout, awareness actions, etc.

- work with the local businesses to make streetscapes around businesses more walker friendly

- recommendations to the city about pedestrian safety issues due to traffic

- a network to better understand and participate in plans for development around your neighbourhood

- work promoting walking and cycling as a healthy alternative to short vehicle trips

We look forward to working with you,

Beatrice and Jarah

Kirkendall Walks Project

Environment Hamilton
905-549-0900

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pearl Bridge Party-24th September


There were close to 50 people who came out to this event. We handed out leaflets concerning the pedestrian bridges situation in Kirkendall. Petitions were signed to have the Poulette bridge rebuilt, hot dogs were cooked by chief organizer, Transportation for Liveable Communities (TLC) Gord Pullar. Food was eaten by the participants! Yum.


Walk Locke Tour











Bill Manson's historical Walk Locke tour was very well attended- a whopping 65 people came out to this event! Our crowd was growing as we went down the street and people splintered into groups after, going for coffee or lunch with friends afterward.
There will be another tour but we will have to take registration due to popularity of the tour!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kirkendall Walks Locke Street

Posted by Picasa

We had a great turn out at the Locke st festival despite the initial setback of rain. Once the sun came out, so did the people. We must have had 10 people sign up for the to do the vehicle log giving away pedometers to those who committed to log their vehicle use for a month.
15 people sign up to be on the Kirkendall Walks list and another 100 or more people stop and take information from our tent. Thanks to the very nice librarian at the Locke st library who photocopied 50 copies of our flyer when I ran out of them all for free.
We had around 14 comments added to our board on what needs to be done to improve walkability and bikeability in Kirkendall.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this day a sucess.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Kirkendall Walks


Kirkendall Walks - Lowering your footprint by making many

Kirkendall Walks is an Environment Hamilton pilot project to evaluate and enhance transportation alternatives in one local neighbourhood and help its residents replace car trips with more sustainable options that also strengthen their community. It is funded by the EcoAction program of Environment Canada.

At the centre of the project will be a website (under development) that shows all local destinations of interest in and near Kirkendall, and responds to entry of a user's address by displaying distances and transportation options. It will include walking paths, bike lanes and signed routes, transit routes and stops, and links to other transportation options such as GO Transit.

It will also provide information on community events, walking clubs, neighbourhood meetings, and other information that enhance community life, as well as where to obtain specific goods and services – nearest skating facility, choices of restaurants, places of worship, etc.

Staff and volunteers (please do!) will conduct walkability assessments, lead cycling and walking tours, map destinations, and lobby for community enhancements that make non-car travel more accessible, enjoyable and frequent.

Planning that assumes car dependence has left our neighbourhoods with an inadequate transit system, obstacles to walking and cycling, and a shortage of local amenities. While we want healthier local communities, old habits die hard and the perception remains that one must drive to reach one's destination.

Popularizing and supporting alternatives to cars improves cardiovascular health, reduces obesity, lowers stress, increases neighbourhood friendships, creates demand for more local businesses and other local destinations, and builds community spirit and quality of life.

As individuals start using alternative modes, even if only initially for very local trips, these advantages will lead them to make more use of these modes for longer trips and begin to reduce car dependency. Benefits tend to accumulate in a positive direction. For example when a community is walkable, studies show that it is easier to implement public transit systems and bike routes.

Our objective is to create a model alternative transportation program that can serve as an example for the whole city and can be easily expanded to other neighbourhoods. To get involved please contact Beatrice beatrice.ekoko@gmail.com or 905 627 2696

or Jarah West.

happyfolks@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Go Google!

I Wonder How to Wander
Google Maps adds walking directions

Taking another step toward complete indispensability, Google Maps on Tuesday became the first service of its kind to add walking directions. In addition to searches for car and transit travel, pedestrians -- and, hell, Segway-ers too -- can now find the most direct and flat route from Point A to Point B. The function works for trips up to 6.2 miles long, and recognizes that one-way streets only apply to the car-encased (suckas!). Searchers are advised to "use caution when walking in unfamiliar areas" as the directions, still in beta form, potentially lack information about pedestrian bridges, roads without sidewalks, or impassable intersections -- but they'll only improve from here. Now if Google would just add biking directions, we'd be set.

[ email | discuss | + digg | + del.icio.us ]

source: Google Lat Long Blog
straight to the walkin': Google Maps
see also, in Grist: An interview with Google's green energy czar

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dave And Cathy Super Energy Efficient House Tours


Very short notice but there are 2 house tours coming up;

TUESDAY July 22nd at 7pm
and SUNDAY 27th July at 2pm

If you are interested in attending email or call me ASAP for details.
Thanks,
Beatrice Ekwa EKoko
Project Manager
905 549 0900
905 627 2696
beatrice.ekoko@gmail.com

Monday, July 7, 2008

New Climate Change Projects

EH continues to expand on it's project delivery with these two latest; the Climate Change Champions project in partnership with Green Venture and the Shrinking Kirkendall's Footprint soon to be renamed as Kirkendall Walks.
Julia Kollek will be managing the Climate Change Champions for EH. Please see our website for details environmenthamilton

I'll be co-managing the Kirkendall Walks with co-worker Jarah West.

Kirkendall Walks is a project focusing on reducing vehicle use permanently in the Kirkendall neighbourhood. We will be doing walkability assessments,street events, neighbourhood walking tours, challenge, promoting the vehicle log ( to log vehicle use), and featuring a website that shows local amenities in the neighbourhood.

A 'CD' challenge (Circle Destination based on a the radius of a music cd) will have users committing to walking/cycling/using transit to get to destinations within 2km of their home address rather than driving there.

We have the support and help of Public Health and other City of Hamilton officials as well as a great number of volunteers and groups.
The project is funded by EcoAction.

If you are interested in joining us please contact me
beatrice.ekoko@gmail.com


Stay tuned for more exciting developments in the upcoming days.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Every Kilowatt Counts Summer Sweepstakes

an energy conservation program called Every Kilowatt Counts Summer Sweepstakes - see information below.
http://www.summersweepstakes.ca/
Using 10% less electricity this summer could make you a winner!

Sign up, as an Early Bird, to participate in the 2008 Every Kilowatt Counts Summer Sweepstakes before June 30, 2008 and you could win a bunch of cool energy efficient, green products like solar chargers for your cell phone, standby power bars or recycling centres!

Once you've registered, let the savings begin! Eligible residential customers who reduce their electricity consumption by 10% from July 1 to August 31, 2008 as compared to the same period last year will be entered into a draw for really cool energy efficient prizes. You could win prizes like ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, an iPod Touch with a solar charger and top-of-the-line mountain bikes. And of course, by using less electricity, you'll save on your electricity bill and help the environment.

You won't want to miss out on these prizes! Register now for a chance to win.

Mark your calendar!

Be sure to register by June 30, 2008 to qualify for the Early Bird draw. Check out the Early Bird prizes!

Get on board! Last day to register for Every Kilowatt Counts Summer Sweepstakes is July 15. Why not take a moment now to sign up? You could be one of the lucky winners taking home one of these fabulous Grand Prizes.

Join the thousands of Ontarians who are taking steps - big and small - to make conservation a natural part of their everyday lifestyle.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New bus route for Hamilton

The Wentworth Bus Route is officially starting on Monday June 23rd - noon start in front of the former Robert Land School. There will be light refreshments for this monumental event.

The route is being labelled 12-Wentworth Route bus and all rides will be free…for the entire week!

No transfers will be given out, so if they are transferring to another bus they have to pay then or use their pass.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crude: The Incredible Journey of Oil


Friday June 13 at 8pm will be another Doc Night, the last one of our 2007-2008 season. The documentary that we will be presenting is "Crude: The Incredible Journey of Oil".

This documentary was made by the Austrailian Broadcasting Corp., it is a very interesting and captivating film, with some cool computer graphics thrown in to depict the time of the dinosaurs.

Please see our website (www.meadowlandsfellowship.ca) for a good synopsis of the film and a list of films that will hopefully be shown in the 2008-2009 season.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Solar PV and Wind power workshop





Come learn more about installing a residential solar and wind power

system at Green Venture’s “Good Start" workshop.

This short free information session takes place on June 21, 2008,

from 10:00-11:30 am at Hamilton’s EcoHouse

(22 Veevers Drive, Hamilton).

It will be presented by Natural Power Products of Kitchener,

a residential contractor who recently installed Green Venture’s

wind and solar power.project,

“A Good Start: Giving Hamilton the Power to Change”.

To participate in the workshop, please RSVP Green Venture

at 905-540-8787, ext 15, or via email

at heritage@greenventure.ca.

When; Sat Jun 21 10am – Sat Jun 21 11:30am

Where; Eco House








Friday, June 6, 2008

Spots available for the Dave and Cathy Off Grid Tour


Free Tour

Building an Environmentally Friendly Home


Environment Hamilton and Dave Braden invite you to learn more about:


An environmentally-friendly home that

can be heated with a hair dryer

comes with its own electricity supply

avoids the use of toxic materials


Dave Braden is a former city councillor and

a member of the Board of Directors of Environment Hamilton
who has been building energy efficient homes for many years,
including homes specifically designed for people with extreme chemical sensitivities.


He is now constructing his own family home near Valens Conservation Area. He will take us through it and explain the techniques that he has used to make this the most environmentally friendly home in Hamilton, and perhaps in the province or the country.


Dave will be happy to answer your questions,
including on how you can reduce the energy costs in your own home.


Sunday, June 29th at 2 pm

(in Flamborough near Valens Conservation Area)


Please pre-register by June 12th

the event is free but Environment Hamilton gratefully accepts donations-suggested donations $10


To register of for more information, contact Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko at
beatrice.ekoko@gmail.com

Or phone (905) 549-0900


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How energy smart is your faith group?

Energy ministry backs faith group project

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy is providing Environment Hamilton with $16,500 to deliver an energy conservation project to Hamilton faith groups. The 8-month project will provide workshops on energy reduction, free energy saving kits, and loans of energy meters that allow individuals to do a self-audit of their home energy use.

The funding allows EH to continue providing tours of Dave Braden’s super energy efficient home, and to encourage some faith groups to investigate energy audits for their religious buildings. On this aspect of the project, we’ll be working with both Hamilton Green Venture and a provincial organization called Faith and the Common Good. We’ll also be encouraging individuals to tour Green Venture’s eco-house on Weever Street and sign up for comprehensive home energy audits.

The project continues EH’s climate change work over the last year with local faith groups. Beatrice Ekoko has led that work and is the coordinator of this new project.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Roll over Henry Ford, Americans are driving less



Roll over Henry Ford, Americans are driving less
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | 03:14 PM ET
By Henry Champ


Personally, I have always assumed nothing could stand between the American commuter and his or her car. But I may have been wrong.

Until recently, though — until gas prices really started to take off — the evidence of America's continued love affair with the car was pretty strong........


For years, municipal governments have tried to wean the American commuter into mass transit. But it hasn't worked.

Nothing could sway the suburban commuter from saddling-up and heading to work in his trusty steel chariot. It is the American benchmark of freedom.

Special lanes for cars with three or more passengers. Free parking at railway and subway stops outside cities. Special rates for frequent transit users. All these efforts have failed to put a dent in the long lines of metal chugging into the core of U.S. cities.

Until now that is. And the reason is simple: $4.00 a gallon gas.
Americans are driving less

For the first time in more than 30 years automobile traffic in the U.S. is down. The federal transportation department reported that in March, Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles than in March a year ago. That's not a typo: It is billions not millions of miles fewer.

Read more here;
http://www.cbc.ca/news/reportsfromabroad/champblog/2008/05/roll_over_henry_ford_americans.html

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rain Barrel Making Workshop May 19th



Volunteer Sean Burak kindly offered a rain barrel making workshop in his back yard to Environment Hamilton friends and members. From all accounts it was highly enjoyable. Sean is offering another this Tuesday 27th.

For more information contact me, Beatrice



Monday, May 5, 2008

HAMILTON COMMUNITY GARDENS; Your Church could do this too!


HAMILTON COMMUNITY GARDENS
Hamilton Community Gardens, a ministry of the West Highland Baptist Church, is pleased to announce that our two-fold garden resumes in May of 2008. The first is our “Victory Garden”, a one-acre plot where vegetables are grown in order to supply fresh produce to those in need in the Hamilton area. The goal for the Victory Garden in 2008 is the distribution of a minimum of 5,000 pounds of produce. The second objective of Hamilton Community Gardens involves our “Community Garden Plots”, which are sections of land (15 ft x 15 ft) made available for use by anyone who wishes to grow their own food and/or flowers. These plots are ploughed, have a water source, and are offered at a very affordable cost for the season. Location: 1605 Garth Street, Hamilton, Between Rymal Road and Stonechurch Road on the east side, behind West Highland Baptist Church Region: Hamilton, Sponsor: West Highland Baptist Church Contact Info: Bill Wilcox bwilcox@packagingservices.ca (905) 575-9439 www.westhighland.org

Ottawa Street Farmers' Market launch


Ottawa Street Farmers' Market launch-May 9th, 9:30am

Eating locally couldn't be easier!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Film Screening; The Fight For True Farming


The Melrose Movie Team presents

The Fight for True Farming


(Eve Lamont, 2005) 90 min.

Friday, May 9, 2008 at 6:30pm

Melrose United Church
Homewood Ave. at Locke St.
Entrance and Parking off Stanley Ave.

Complementary Fair Trade Coffee
Child-minding ages 3-12, $1 per child
Suggested donation of $5!
Everyone Welcome!
n this documentary, crop and animal farmers in Quebec, the Canadian West, the US Northeast and France offer solutions to the social and environmental scourges of factory farming. Driven by the forces of globalization, rampant agribusiness is harming the environmemt and threatening the survival of farms. The proliferation of GMO crops is a further threat to biodiversity as well as to farmers' autonomy. In Europe as well as North America, a current of resistance bringing together farmers and consumers insists that it is possible--indeed imperative--to grow food differently. The Fight for True Farming is a film of grim lucidity but also irrepressible hope.
You can find information about our past and upcoming screenings along with many other events on the revamped and relaunched Melrose United Church website at:
http://www.melroseunited.ca/index.php
And remember, save for this month, movies are the first Friday of every
month that isn't June, July or August!

Emission reduction tool kit tops program agenda

May 03, 2008
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 3, 2008)

Green Venture, Environment Hamilton and the city are getting together to start helping Hamiltonians reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home and at work.

Their Awareness to Action program will begin with a pilot project aimed at helping four businesses, schools and/or institutions develop a tool kit this summer for use by 20 more organizations over the next year.

The project is financed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's Go Green Fund.

Heather Donison, the former head of Green Venture now serving as the city's sustainability manager, says: "We are delighted to be partnering with two of Hamilton's lead environmental organizations to deliver the program. The city intends on playing a crucial role by providing research and development support. In addition, we will develop a corporate action plan as a component of this program and to demonstrate leadership."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Peaked Out? Our Energy Challenge





Thanks to all the groups that made this event such a success.











We had the Mountain Ministry Team, Green Venture, Hamilton Community Gardens (West Highland Baptist Church), Meadowlands Fellowship Geo Thermal church, Recycle Cycles, City of Hamilton Alternative Transportation, plus Union Gas kits to hand out and also Natural Life Magazines courtesy of the editor Wendy Priesnitz.
An estimated 100 people came out and enjoyed free coffee and donuts,while milling around the display tables and learning about ways to make their life styles more sustainable.
At 7pm, Richard Reble screened the film A Crude Awakening and after that, people came out to circulate the tables and pick up information once more before closing time at 9pm.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Braden again

No furnace? No problem
Energy-efficient house full of smart ideas by Peter Gorrie

Check out the Spectator today - full front page of the GO Weekend section is on Dave and Cathy Braden's new energy efficient home, plus a quarter page carryover.
http://www.thespec.com/printArticle/360214

Friday, April 25, 2008

E.U. plows ahead with coal (GRIST)

Coal plant.
Even as it makes plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, the European Union is gearing up to put some 50 coal plants on line in the next five years. Europeans' distaste for nuclear energy and the relative cheap cost of coal -- even when carbon permits are factored in -- have made the black rock attractive for meeting rising demand. E.U. electric companies say they're seeking out "clean" coal, an oxymoron that is unlikely to be feasible anytime soon. Any way you slice it, a slew of new coal plants means another five decades of dirty electricity in the E.U., which environmentalists say is pretty much a death sentence for the climate as we know it. Says ubiquitous NASA climate scientist James Hansen, "Given our knowledge about what needs to be done to stabilize climate, this plan is like barging into a war without having a plan for how it should be conducted, even though information is available."
source: The New York Times

Monday, April 21, 2008

Braden tours on May 3rd - Doors Open Hamilton




Off the Grid House Tour


















Address & Contact Info:
1820 Valens Road, near Regional Road 97, Flamborough
(905) 659-1040
Year Built: 2005-2008
Dates & Hours Open:
Saturday ONLY: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.



From the outside the Braden family home resembles an 1880 log cottage. Inside it is a model for living off the grid
without reliance on traditional energy sources. Green features include solar panels, windmill, tankless hot water
heater, Energy Star appliances and efficient windows.
We have had 3 very successful tours (these are photos from the latest April 13th tour). Don't miss this opportunity because spots fill up fast!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

DOC Nights at Meadowlands Fellowship Church

DOC NIGHTS presents the documentary "Crapshoot".

A hazardous mix of waste is flushed into the sewer every day. The billions of litres of water-combined with unknown quantities of chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, human waste and food-where does it all go?
Filmed in Italy, India, Sweden, the United States and Canada, this bold documentary questions whether the sewer is actually compounding our waste problems. While scientists warn of links between sewage practices and potential health risks, activists, engineers and concerned citizens challenge our fundamental attitudes to waste. Does our need to dispose of waste take precedence over public safety? What are the alternatives?

April 25 at 7:30. Meadowlands Fellowship Church, 211 Stonehenge Dr, Ancaster, free/pay as you can. Questions: Denise 304-1912 or www.meadowlandsfellowship.com.

Peaked Out? Our Energy Challenge

Tuesday Apr 29 2008

PEAKED OUT? OUR ENERGY CHALLENGE

6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
This is a free event to raise awareness around sustainable,renewable energy for the future. Local environmental groups and eco- teams from faith groups will be in attendance to share their resources/ideas with you. We will be screening the film A Crude Awakening; the oil crash. Free energy saving kits, and Natural Life Magazines while supplies last.

Location: Holy Trinity Anglican Church, , 120 Fennell St East Hamilton,


Sponsor: Environment Hamilton and Mountain Ministry Team

Contact Info: Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko beatrice.ekoko@gmail.com 905 627 2696

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Waste Management Tours for Faith Groups

This tour has been canceled due to lack of numbers. Stay tuned for an update.

Concerned about waste reduction? Want to learn more about where your garbage ends up then share the information with members of your congregation?

Waste Management Facilities Tour


Environment Hamilton has made two free tours available for members of your faith group.
2 HRS buses leave Fortinos on the corner of Rymal and Centennial at 8:15am on April 25th. One bus is going to the landfill, the other is going to the compost and recycling depots.

People will be returned at Fortinos (and they make their own way home).

There are 33 spots available for each bus tour. Since this is open invitation to faith groups, we are obliged to restrict the number from each to 4 maximum.

This is an opportunity for representatives of the faith groups to take photos, ask questions and perhaps, create a presentation to share with the rest of the congregation. It could be an idea project for youth members as well!
Since this is a first come first served situation, please have your representatives register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Contact me at 905 549 0900 or email beatrice.ekoko@gmail.com

Beatrice Ekwa EKoko
Project Manager

Look, WHO's Talking


World Health Organization says climate change bad for world health

Officials at the World Health Organization used the occasion of World Health Day today to stress climate change's negative impacts on human health, warning that warming temperatures are already affecting the spread of disease. Increased temperatures have slowly expanded the range of malaria-carrying mosquitoes into new areas, including South Korea and the highlands of Papua New Guinea and Rwanda, and increased flooding of communities with poor sanitation has increased cases of cholera by mixing drinking water with sewage, among other effects. "The core concern is succinctly stated: climate change endangers human health," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. "The warming of the planet will be gradual, but the effects of extreme weather events -- more storms, floods, droughts and heat waves -- will be abrupt and acutely felt. Both trends can affect some of the most fundamental determinants of health: air, water, food, shelter, and freedom from disease."

Daily Grist (April 07)


Sunday, March 30, 2008

And the winner is


Congratulations Barbara Hale for winning the two via rail tickets courtesy of Via Rail Canada. Ms Hale was not in attendance at the Environment Hamilton Annual General Meeting which was however well attended-over 80 people. Thanks to everyone who participated in the vehicle log project. You all did great and we will be contacting you with feed back.

AGM Meeting

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lights Out; FIrst Unitarian Church on Dundurn

What? A Charity Fundraiser
Who? Green Party of Hamilton and First Unitarian's Social Justice Committee
Featuring; Speaker Mike Nickerson, and local musicians
Cost; $10
All proceeds go all proceeds go to local environmental and social justice charities. Food donations are gratefully accepted
After 8:00pm all lights will go out and they will use candles.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Earth Hour Candle Light Vigil


Finding Hope in Darkness

Earth Hour service at St. James Church, 137 Melville, Dundas. We will have an Earth Hour Candlelight vigil on March 29. Doors open at 7:30 for quiet meditation, and the lights go out promptly at 8 pm. and will be turned on again at 9 pm. Wheelchair accessible from the back door.
For more information contact Sheila Russell at 905-627-1424

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Soot Pollution a big Contributor to Climate Change


'Don't Soot': the Messenger
Daily Grist, March 25th 2008

Soot pollution contributes significantly to climate change and is second only to carbon dioxide as a climate-warming factor, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study estimates that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have underestimated soot's role as a climate-warming factor by about three or four times. If the new research is correct, significantly reducing soot pollution with currently available technology could have a dramatic almost-immediate effect on reducing climate change in the short term since soot only lingers in the atmosphere for about a week; carbon dioxide lingers for up to a century. The world's governments already have plenty of incentive to cut soot pollution as it kills over 1.5 million people a year, mostly in developing countries where coal and wood are burned in homes for cooking and heating. "Providing alternative energy-efficient and smoke-free cookers, and introducing transferring technology for reducing soot emissions from coal combustion in small industries could have major impacts," the study said.


sources: The Guardian, Science Daily, Agence France-Presse
see also, in Gristmill: Ordinary soot second-biggest driver of climate change and quickest means of abatement

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Plan to Adapt to climate change

March 11, 2008

The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 11, 2008)

A new national report says Canadians better start planning to adapt to effects of global warming because they're real, happening now and will get worse no matter what we do to limit emission of greenhouse gases.

The study, the first comprehensive cross-Canada look at the impact of climate change in more than a decade, was quietly posted on the Natural Resources Canada website shortly after 5 p.m. Friday. It had been ready for release for several months.

Quentin Chiotto, one of two lead authors of the Ontario chapter, told a Hamilton audience late last month that fighting climate change "calls for an effort equal to dealing with global world war," but said current efforts fall far short.

The tipping point will come in about 15 years, said Chiotto. We should start now to make tough decisions on how to deal with lower levels on the Great Lakes, inland water shortages, heat waves, more smog, intense storms and flooding.

Climate Action Network Canada said the report provides dramatic evidence of the costs of climate change and the need for urgent action.

"This report is yet another wake-up call for a government that has not yet produced a meaningful climate change plan or passed any legislation to protect Canadians from global warming," said the network's Graham Saul.

"Canada is paying the environmental and economic costs of climate change already, and unless the government acts immediately, the future impacts will be catastrophic."

The Ontario chapter contains both good and bad news, and while the authors feel the province has the potential to adapt, they say, "It also is possible that some changes in climate may occur too rapidly for ecosystems, social systems and industry to adapt effectively."

John Bennett of ClimateforChange.ca said in response, "An adaptation strategy that protects Canada's environment and economy must become a government priority."

The report says northern Canada will feel the greatest impacts and is less able to adapt than other regions. But it pulls together data indicating that southern Ontario -- with a burgeoning population -- will also have to scramble to cope.

It foresees lower Great Lakes water levels limiting cargoes ships can carry, making it more expensive to ship coal and iron ore to Hamilton steel mills, reducing hydroelectric power production and drying up wetland fish and water bird habitat.

With water in the lakes warming, toxic blue-green algae and invasive species from warmer climates will flourish, while lake trout will become scarce.

The growing season for grapes and other fruit may be longer, but icewine production could drop. Ice fishing is already in decline, but the golf season could be longer by the 2020s.

To read the full report titled From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007, go to: http://adaptation.nrcan.gc.ca/assess/2007/index_e.php.

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650

Monday, March 10, 2008

Environment Hamilton Annual General Meeting

March 27 Environment Hamilton Annual General Meeting

We will have speaker Mark Mattson Environmental Lawyer and Lake Ontario WaterKeeper; Legally Protecting Our Water Ways

An environmental lawyer, Mark is in the forefront of protecting our lakes and rivers and fighting for real improvements. He has acted as counsel for environmental and public interest groups at some fifty hearings, and is host of the weekly radio show and podcast, Living At the Barricades. Mark is also the supervising attorney with the Clean Water Workshop, a program dedicated to mentoring law students and providing legal tools to citizens fighting for clean water in their
communities. And he closely follows the situation in Hamilton Harbour,


Where; Free Way (FRWY) Cafe 333 King Street East at Wellington
starts at 7pm
Note; to people who took part in the vehicle log pilot, we will be having the Via Rail draw at this meeting. Plan to be there!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Green Faith?


Hamilton faith organizations are on the move; they want green. This weekend EH volunteer Jessica and I attended a workshop on 'creating an eco team in your place of worship' lead by True City's Greg Reader. There was about 25 people in the room all eager for help on how to get things moving in the green direction.

It was revealing to hear many people admit that their places of worship still use Styrofoam cups and still don't recycle. Just a week prior to that I along with 2 other EH staff were invited to help brainstorm ideas for a local church which faced the same problems of waste reduction although they have been at it for years already!
Environment Hamilton is wiling and ready to be of service; we have film screenings with an environmental message, we have workshops that we offer free of charge as a practical response to climate change, we have a newsletter and a monthly column on climate change we can offer your faith group to include in their newsletter, we have resource information and we have partners we work with such as Green Venture and Faith and the Common Good that can be of great assistance if people are interested.
Contact me Beatrice, at environment Hamilton to get more information.
905 549 0900

Peak Oil Screenings for the Month of March



EH volunteer Richard Reble continues to screen the peak oil film A crude Awakening at the following locations;


March

Wed., Mar. 5- Barton Stone United Church, Peak Oil (talk plus DVD)

Wed. Mar. 12- South Gate Presbyterian Church- Peak Oil

Tues., Mar. 18- Binbrook/Blackheath United Churches, Binbrook- Peak Oil

Wed. Mar. 19- Grace Lutheran Church

Wed., Mar. 26- Laidlaw United Church- Peak Oil

Fri., Mar. 28- St. John’s Lutheran- Peak Oil

Sun., Mar. 30- Emmanuel United Church- Peak Oil

Friday, February 1, 2008

PEAK OIL ROAD SHOWS; Month of February

Dates and Places for Environment Crises Presentations in 2008
presented by Richard Reble, retired teacher and Environment Hamilton volunteer



Mon., Jan. 28- Current Affairs Discussion Group (a non-church group)- Peak Oil

February

Fri., Feb. 1- Westdale United Church- Peak Oil

Sat., Feb. 2- Eternal Springs United Church- Peak Oil

Sun., Feb. 3- St Paul’s United Church, Dundas- Climate Change

Wed. Feb. 13- Melrose United Church- Peak Oil

Mon., Feb. 18- First Pilgrim United Church- Peak Oil

Wed. Feb. 20- Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Burlington- Peak Oil

For more information please contact Richard at therebels_rands@mountaincable.net

Dave Braden Tour Jan 2008



By all accounts another successful tour! And for those who couldn't make it this time, there is going to be another one in the spring so get your name on the list soon.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Neighbourhood Rocks

What do you love about your neighbourhood?
One woman writes;


"We rural people have less garbage since we make our own compost and
supervise burning other materials in contained barrels on days that are
not windy.
We perfer to take care of our own needs. We do have city garbage
pick-up and snow plowing but both were better handled in the days when
Glanbrook took care of those services themselves. We do not want urban
amenities like busing, sidewalks, streetlights and sewers etc. Thus, we
should have our taxes lowered.
The one thing we truly miss now is seeing the starts to the north of us,
which are obliverated by the city lights, especially the fog lights on
Rymal Rd intersections.
We, and our neighbours moved to the country because we want to live in
the country. I did hear one new neighbour, on a different road than
ours, say that he couldn't wait for development so that stores, banks
etc. would be closer to him.Well, if he didn't want to be away from
developed areas, he should not have moved to the country. We see
developers' signs saying: Live the country life. Really! - If they
build their houses here, the will be NO country life. Developers should
be in-filling within the Hamilton city boundaries - not in the
amalgamated areas. Everyone needs to eat. Thus everyone needs farmers.
Those of us in this area who are not farmers do grown our own yearly
supply of fruits and vegetables on our large lots. Unlike sod farms, we
add nourishment to the soil, we don't deplete it."


Another writes;
I live in Ainslie Wood North. Things I like about this neighbourhood include heritage trees, close to Cootes (we see deer in our neighbourhood all the time), Rail Trail, McMaster (my husband can walk to work), character homes. Things I don't like: poor walkability; businesses nearby are not ones I frequent ( e.g. 3 paint stores, fast food chains), it's nice having the Fortinos nearby, but its set up for cars as you must walk through massive parking lot to get to front door; too many rental properties that are not well maintained.

A Gent writes about his North End home;
I feel that the North End rocks.
We have Bayfront, Pier 4, Pier 8, and Eastwood parks all within walking distance.
The waterfront trail is exceptional and connects the North End to Westdale.
Transit service could be improved as currently there is only one bus that travels sporadically through the area on Burlington St. Traffic can be heavy at times particularly on Burlington and James St. Our neighbourhood is also close enough to downtown that the Farmer's Market and Central Library are within relatively easy walking distance.

In terms of improvements there is currently numerous studies underway examining commerical, residential, recreational, and transportation development. There is strong pressure from our neighbourhood association to maintain the local feel by utilizing traffic calming measures and limiting large scale development.

The City of Hamilton is heavily focused on waterfront development. It is great to be by the water; the North End Rocks.

And again from a North Ender;
Our neighbourhood (the North End) is definitely walkable - to downtown and the West Harbour (trails and all). Buses are good. Bike paths non-existant (on city streets), but streets are calmer and smaller than above Main, so riding is ok. The kids walk to school and the library is close. We have awalking and biking trail by the water. And it's generally very quiet and very safe.

I do wish the air were cleaner here. Also, there's a suburban rogue attittute down here -they've embraced all the 'conveniences' and have little regard for the effect some behaviours have on others. The garbage on the street is noticable (especially today with this winter thaw!). I wish that there was much more of an urban forest here (more trees!). I wish folks didn't have so many cars and made their front yards into parking 'pads' to accomodate them, hence removing street parking and creating ugly front yards and less permeable ground for storm water to be absorbed into.
I wish there were more 'friendly' commercial venues right within a few blocks... I wish folks didn't use snow blowers or leaf blowers or burn in their backyards and even in their fireplaces, as it pollutes our local air. Idling is also quite prevelent, sigh.