This Week in Press Releases – March 14-18, 2016

Every week, the City of Guelph and other groups send out notices to announce new events, imperatives, and information that you need to know. Here is this week in press releases.

EcoMarket is a Thing This Saturday
As you may have heard, the Resilience Festival is happening this weekend, and eMERGE and Wellington Water Watchers are teaming up for the ecoMarket / H2O Go Festival, a showcase of green ideas, services, products and technologies for homes and businesses. “The ecoMarket is a great opportunity for those looking to save money by lowering their environmental impact,” said Steve Yessie, EcoMarket Coordinator at eMERGE Guelph. According to a press release, “In its ninth year at the Old Quebec Street Mall the event provides an opportunity to engage in energy and water conservation, local foods, sustainable housing, green transportation, renewable energy and much more. As part of the event attendees will be able to take part in interactive workshops, door prizes and live music.” Plus there will be “fun water activities for kids,” so parents beware. The festivities will run at old Quebec Street Mall 10 am to 3 pm on March 19th and are free to the public. To learn more about the EcoMarket, click here.

Let’s Meet About Getting People on Their Feet
As [another] part of the Resilience Festival, the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation wants to talk about getting more people out walking and pedaling for their daily needs. At St. George’s Church, 99 Woolwich Street, from 11 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, GCAT wants to invite people to come down and “discuss how we can improve the culture, quantity, and safety of biking and walking in Guelph.” The event will be framed by a series of short films that illustrate best practices from around the world, and each film will be followed by a brief discussion about how those practices can be enacted in our community. Transit nerds and bike fans: this one’s for you!

Bowl for Kids’ Sake Back for 41st Year
The annual Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Guelph fundraiser Bowl for Kids’ Sake is coming back to the Woodlawn Bowl on April 15-17, and who doesn’t love bowling for charity. In it’s 41st year now, BBBG of Guelph is looking for help to reach its goal of $55,000. So if you like bowling, and you know 4-6 other people that also like bowling, you can register as a team for free and help raise funds for the 600 children currently enrolled in mentoring programs. For more information about the event, or to register, click here.

Electoral Reform Debate in Kitchener!
This one’s for electoral reform nerds obviously, but it will require a bit of a drive to the west of Guelph. On April 7 at 7 pm, the Waterloo Region division of Fair Vote Canada is bringing together two of Canada’s leading experts on electoral reform to talk about changing our voting system. The venue will be Kitchener City Hall, and the format will be a debate between Barry Kay from Wilfred Laurier University and Dennis Pilon of York University. Kay will endorse Alternative Vote, while Pilon will push Proportional Representation. The pair will also take questions from the audience. It’s not exactly Ali Vs. Holyfield, or Batman Vs Superman, but if you’re looking for a good primer in considering a new form of election here in Canada, this might be a good place to start.

Vote for Elevator Project Projects
Guelph’s Elevator Project is once again trying to rustle up support for great Made-in-Guelph ideas, and voting is now open for this year’s class. There’s the Guelph Young Worker’s Safety Initiative, Ed Video’s The Next 40 Years, the Backyard Bounty Food Bank Project,  the CFRU Mobile StudioThe Golden Bus DIY Album Factory, and the Food Survival Squad. Of course as an Ed Video member, and a CFRU volunteer, I must add that those are the only projects that matter, but by all means, check out all the different endeavours on the Elevator Project website and vote! Cast your ballots soon because the deadline is March 27.

Long Story Short, Pesticides are Making Bees Stupid
According to people that are way smarter than you at the University of Guelph, low levels of pesticides can impact the foraging behaviour of bumblebees on wildflowers, changing their floral preferences and hindering their ability to learn the skills needed to extract nectar and pollen. Those findings, published in the journal Functional Ecology, have kind of scary implications for food security and bio-diversity. “Bees rely on learning to locate flowers, track their profitability and work out how best to efficiently extract nectar and pollen,” said environmental sciences professor Nigel Raine, the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation at U of G and senior author of the paper. “If exposure to low levels of pesticide affects their ability to learn, bees may struggle to collect food and impair the essential pollination services they provide to both crops and wild plants.” Previous studies have found that exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides, the most widely used type of pesticides, can cause changes in the brain of honeybees, more specifically in the areas associated with learning and memory, but this suggests that the damage might be great than we know. And on that happy note….

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