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April 2012 Please Take One

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April 2012 Please Take One

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Brownfield sites exist in a city's industrial section on locations with abandoned factories or commercial buildings or other previously polluting operations. ~ Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Tia Robinson Photography

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January 2013

Its tough not to yell


Its tough not to yell. After years of living in a community that has be hard hit by the decline in manufacturing both in the 1980s and in the last five years, I get why people feel the need. Even if you and yours have survived the economic turmoil that has repeatedly pounded the people of Brant, there has been plenty of misery to go around. Growing up in 1980s Brantford in a house run by two high school teachers, I never felt the impact of the losses of industries like Massey-Ferguson. I was too young to understand that something was wrong, too young to care that so many had been hurt by job losses. The 1990s brought the years of teenage angst. I often looked at my friends and with the most gruesome tone of discontent I whined that there was never current skills to good use and try to get better. I went down to Rogers TV and truly began my career in broadcasting. Learning about the community from behind the camera made me quickly realize two very important things. The good I saw in the community was actually great, and the bad I saw in the community was actually horrific. A few months in to my career at Rogers TV Brantford I was faced with two elections: municipal and provincial. During both campaigns the loudest of the loud, the angriest of the angry, and the most devastated of the utterly devastated lined up for the opportunity to be heard. Leading up to both campaigns, people kept yelling. As the campaigns drew nearer to election day, people kept yelling even louder. I spent years following those campaigns trying to

Editorial by Andrew Macklin

In case you hadnt noticed, this whole yelling thing isnt working for anyone. Progress is not being made, and we have to have progress. Nothing is changing, but it needs to change. No one is listening, but they need to listen. This month, in the Advocate, we begin to show you that the time for yelling and screaming is officially over. Now is the time for education, inspiration, and real, thoughtful debate. Now is when those who used to yell begin to find a better way to help us understand why they have been so angry for so long. It starts with a man named Stephen Morris. A welleducated, thoughtful, and intelligent man who, up until now, has chosen to yell and scream out of frustration as his ideas got shot down one by one. When he spoke, others spoke over him. So he got louder, and louder, and louder. A few months ago during former NDP leadership hopeful Romeo Saganashs trip to the Woodland Cultural Centre, Stephen approached me to discuss participating in the Advocate. I knew Stephen, and I understood the basics of the information that he wanted to present. I didnt know how he was going to pull it off. I simply looked at him and said educate me. He had similar conversations with Advocate co-owners Lucas and Marc and both had a similar message. I was really hoping that Stephen would take what we had said under advisement and produce an article for this publication, but weeks went by with no response. Then suddenly there was a Facebook message, and an article was produced. I was excited, and yet, scared. Yes, I have turned down submissions to this publication. People have written toxic material and it has been rejected. I was hoping that Stephen would be the exception. He was. In this months edition, we present a story by Stephen Morris that looks at the science behind brownfield remediation. It examines how we may be able to use nature to clean up the toxins found in the Greenwich-Mohawk site in Brantford. Read the article. You dont have to agree, you just have to try and understand. The time to yell in Brantford, Brant, and Six Nations is over. Now is the time to speak with a voice that educates. One voice to promote understanding and acceptance. One voice that makes our community great. -----------------------------------------------------------Special thanks to Bethany Schultz, Evan Champagne, and Juno award nominee Craig Cardiff. I wrote this editorial while being inspired by the sounds of their live performance presented by the Advocate. Thank you.

Photo courtesy of Tia Robinson Photography

anything to do here. It felt as if this community was so boring; that the bright lights of the big city would have so much more to offer. When I moved back here in 2002 after finishing university in London, I looked around this community and saw the same wretched features that I had walked away from years earlier. In spite of the growing number of smiling faces that were beginning to don the streets of Brantford, the pathetic images of a depressed city still stood out among the happiness. I pounded the depressed pavement looking for work. Angry, upset, frustrated looking at a town that reflected the same. I wanted to bitch, yell, scream, and shout, blasting anyone and everyone about the disgusting site I saw in front of my face. Instead, I chose to volunteer. I decided to put my

find a way to make the yelling stop. But it didnt matter what the issue was. It didnt make a difference if some people thought a decision was for the best. No matter how great something was for Brantford, Brant County, or Six Nations, the yelling never stopped. They wouldnt stop They couldnt stop I began to wonder if anyone understood what they were yelling about. Passion for a point of view on an issue shouldnt have to lead to yelling. At least not all the time. At least not when you are trying to make a point. At least not when you are trying to make someone understand. But I was wrong. The voices of discontent in this community just kept yelling But the time has come to stop.

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January 2013

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Sunflowers were famously used after the Chernobyl nuclear incident to successfully pull radioactive isotopes out of the ground. People are living there now.
As we walk around Brantford, let us open ourselves to the ways of nature around us. Many living things make a stand, and live or die in a relationship with their environment. They do not have the luxury to move away: they feed us, clothe us, and provide us with fuel and shelter. Plants and living organisms in the soil reach out for their sustenance to the soil, the sun, the rain, the air, and everything they can draw from these four elements that surround them. From the sun they take energy in abundance, and with an efficiency that we would love to copy. From the rain they take their main ingredient, H2O. From the air they take nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes pure oxygen, to build their cells. From the soil they vacuum water, and everything in the water, at a molecular level. Osmosis allows all of this to pass through a plant's root's semi-permeable membrane by diffusion. Plants do not discriminate much about what they take on board. To a degree they regulate the uptake of electrically charged (ionized) atoms to protect against excessive potassium ion uptake. That is all. Still they uptake all ions, just in a more regulated way. Chelating agents can be added to the soil, if wanted, to aid in the uptake by plants of heavy metal ions faster. These chelators are not poisonous. They cost about fifty cents a pound. The chelator agent product, EDTA, is made of only the main three elements in air: hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. It is harmless. As water transpires from the upper part of a plant in the heat of the sun, the water keeps flowing upwards from the roots, and with it, the molecules and atoms that entered the root system with the water. These molecules could be fertilizer or calcium or other minerals, or they could be cutting oil thrown out the back door of Massey's every Friday afternoon on the ground. These molecules can be diesel fuel, PCB's, heavy metals, and any other of over one hundred contaminants that might be found on our brownfields in Brantford. Scientists call this process phytoextraction. Usually plants degrade these contaminant molecules into harmless constituents by breaking covalent and divalent bonds to provide energy and building materials for the plant. Scientists call this process phytodegradation. Phyto is Greek for plant. What a plant cannot use, including heavy metal, gets sequestered in nodes and vacuoles in the green part of the plant. Scientists call this phytosequestration. We can call it Fixing Brantford. Sunflowers were famously used after the Chernobyl nuclear incident to successfully pull radioactive isotopes out of the ground. People are living there now. Scientists have now identified over 400

Brownfield sites exist in a city's industrial section on locations with abandoned factories or commercial buildings or other previously polluting operations. ~ Wikipedia

Environment Canada, the Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA, the United Nations, and all kinds of other organizations and professors. Plants can harmlessly sequester the lead and mercury from the battery and ammunition companies of Greenwich-Mohawk brownfields. Heavy metal is corrosive. It sticks to the Myelin sheath of their brain and nerve cells. It corrodes a hole and the electrical impulses leak out to the side and do not make it to the next cell. This causes brain and central nervous system damage that is permanent and accumulative. It is also carcinogenic. White Farm has been down for 23 years now, yet all the ground is sealed up with cement. Sternson's has been down for about 10 years now. Most of that ground remains sealed in cement. The rainwater goes through the cracks and under the cement and pushes the pollution plumes along, underground, under the cement. Scientists call using plants to stabilize pollution plumes, by reducing water flow, phytostabilization. Some people say that natural soil remediation would take too long. It would take 8 -10 years to do a great job with chelating agents to speed up the uptake of metal ions. Professor Greenberg of the University of Waterloo has documented cases where it has taken 6 years. It would be thorough, effective, and cheap. Where plants did not thrive, a small city backhoe could excavate and the hot spot could be dispersed to lower concentrations, so plants could work. Artificial soil remediation is well over one hundred times more expensive then practicing

natural soil remediation for 8 10 years with chelation. Nature works for free, but we have to have a little patience. I want to see a solution for the Greenwich-Mohawk that is safe for future generations, and is also cost- effective. If we practice natural soil remediation at Greenwich-Mohawk brownfield the resulting development will be better, less dense and less contaminated then it would otherwise be. After we have taken down the buildings, I hope we finally take up all the cement and asphalt and let in the air and the sun. This decision is ours to make. I believe that we should take it upon ourselves to raise our own awareness, and our friends awareness, of the choice ahead of us. No one can take this decision away from us. We have to give it away or keep it. I believe that if we give this decision away to other people then the people who make this decision for us, will make it based on other factors then we would use, in our thoughts on the subject. I believe in the benefits of natural soil remediation, to the soil, to our own bank accounts, to house values, to the future development there, to our carbon footprint for Global Warming and most importantly, to the lives of the children who will live there.
Top photos courtesy of Empirical Photographic Arts Bottom photo courtesy of Tia Robinson Photography

Scientists call this phytosequestration. We can call it fixing Brantford.


species of plants that will thrive in contaminated soil and pull up the contaminants, including PCBs, and heavy metal like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and all the rest of these nasty chemicals. Scientists call these plants hyperaccumulators. Phytoremediation comes highly recommended by

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January 2013

My baseball glove
The sun was shining Easter morning of 1987. As a 10 year old, I faked my way through being surprised by where that darn Easter Bunny had hidden the same cracked plastic eggs for my sibling's sake. When it was over, my parents sat my brother and I down and told us there was something else they'd like to give us. They presented us with 2 objects that would change our lives: matching, tan, Rawlings baseball gloves brandishing the bold "The Finest in the field" statement. Rawlings was the glove we saw our favourite Toronto Blue Jays using, and now it was right there... in our living room. Putting the mitt on my left hand was a spiritual experience. It made my spirit leap and breathed hope into my major league dreams. I became a Blue Jays fan in the fall of 1985 as George Bell dropped to his knees celebrating their first ever pennant. In '86, Jesse Barfield took the majors by storm, not only by hitting 40 home runs, but by his cannon-arm reaching its pinnacle. I began examining my brand new highly-treasured object. I saw HIS name on MY glove. The man who made diving catches then threw out those damn fools who dared to take an extra base... Jesse Barfield. George Bell would hit 47 homeruns that season and become my favourite player. But Jesse's name was forever on my weapon. We played baseball daily. We played it as soon as the sun came up, before the heat of the day in our schoolyard tennis court. We played it in backyards. We played Brantford Minor Baseball too. We played it in the sun and we played it in the rain.

By Dave Carrol

My parents would holler at us about getting our leather wet, but it was no use. There were so many benefits of the rain! It worked it in better, it made our hands smell like leather so we could continue smelling like the game we loved later, and hey... why stop playing baseball just because of a little water. The ball was just a bit heavier. Today, the insides are torn and worn from those rain games but it still fits like a glove. In 1991, I took a baseball road trip to watch the Blue Jays at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium with my good friend. We followed the Jays around malls and tracked them down in hotels to get autographs on our home white hats. We waved those hats around tauntingly, much to the chagrin of the O's fans whose team was HORRID in the long summer of '91 before they moved to Camden Yards the next year. My hat was ink-loaded, but I held out my glove autograph for one man. Kelly Gruber. I was playing 3rd base that year and I loved how that chiselled Texan attacked balls, springing to life like a fox terrier and launching the sphere to John Olerud as if it was shot from a bazooka. After game 2 of 3, we waited outside of the visitors gate until we saw his blond locks dancing out of the tunnel. He said nothing, barely looking at us on his way to the waiting bus, but he DID sign my glove. That season, I looked down at his name before every pitch. It reminded me to get down low in my crouch and have my glove touching the dirt. The felt blue marker is still VERY faintly visible to the eye, but I don't have to SEE it to know what it looks like.

In 2000, as a young married man, I traveled to Ghana with visions of becoming to West African Baseball what Cool Runnings was to Jamaican Bobsledding. I had the amazing opportunity to combine sharing God's love for mankind with being a part of the National spark of what is now an active Ghanaian baseball program. During one of my rural baseball exhibitions, my then 13-yearold glove's leather laces broke for the first time. No other glove would do for me, so I asked some of the ex-professional Japanese ballplayers that were being paid handsomely to coach baseball in the wealthier Accra schools what to do. One, who was a friend of Hideo Nomo (who had become the

first Japanese player to reach the major leagues 5 years prior) took my glove and me off to the busy market and bought some local leather. He cut it into small strips, and fixed my worn Rawlings up. It wasn't perfect surgery, but each time I pull the African leather additions tight, I remember the purpose and passion of my equatorial adventures. My baseball glove is now 25 years old. I cant wait to play catch with my son this spring, using the only glove I've called mine in a quarter century. It hangs in my den near my desk. When I need to escape from the world for a minute, I'll put it over my face, lay on the couch and inhale its history.

Thirty-six hours
Thirty six hours is what stands between two worlds. These two worlds have their beauty and their misery, and their own struggles and triumphs. These two worlds are connected more than you would think thirty six hours would allow. 36 hours is what it took for me to travel to East Africa in January.

By Carrie Sinkowski

My mother, my sister, and I were fortunate enough to be able to participate in a safari that gave us a taste, perhaps a glimpse, into that area of the world to witness its hardships, as well as its resilience and beauty. This trip was so overwhelming in a number of ways. I have been struggling to write this piece since I returned in February. But I think I needed

some distance to be able to sift through my feelings and my thoughts in order to translate my experience into words. This was truly, as the clich says, a trip of a lifetime. How can you ever recreate the dazzle of walking beside zebras, or the witnessing of a birth of a wildebeest and its first steps, or how we were held to our seats completely mesmerized by elephants grazing ten feet away from us? My mind often replays the snow cap of Mount Kilimanjaro as it peeked out of the clouds, and the cascading waters of Ndoro Falls. It gives me chills just remembering those moments. By far my favourite memory had to be falling asleep out in the open at the Ngorogoro Crater listening to a lion roaring in the distance. I struggled with a lot of guilt for taking such an extravagant winter holiday. Some of this guilt was eased by the idea of ethical travel. The company we booked with supports community projects through their tourism. All of the campgrounds we stayed at used the camping fees to fund their initiatives. For example, Snake Park operates a free health clinic, and the campground in Tango runs a Sea Turtle egg observation project.

Look up the Mnarani Sea Turtle conservation pond in Zanzibar that we visited on one of our last days, so you can be inspired by a small step that has made a big impact on local wildlife.

How can you ever recreate the dazzle of walking beside zebras, or the witnessing of a birth of a wildebeest.
The beauty, the resilience, the compassion and the strength of East Africa is overwhelming. As we are aware there are many struggles there, and many ways we can support them even though we are 36 hours away. You can buy fair trade tea and coffee, or purchase from 10,000 Villages who purchases from several collectives in Kenya. Fair Trade can be, but it is not always, more expensive, but it does make a life of difference. Even a simple act of listening or watching BBC World news or following global news on the internet sites, so that you are aware of the struggles and triumphs of that piece of the world, is an act of solidarity and understanding because it can create opportunities for you to give support by donation or letter writing through non-governmental organizations such as Doctors without Borders, Oxfam or conservation projects. 36 hours is a very short distance. It is four hours short of a pay cheque. It is driving to Ottawa and back three times. 36 hours is not enough hours for us to think we are in two different worlds and not connected. I would love for everyone to be able to travel 36 hours so they could feel their heart race watching lions basking in the sun or feeling the Indian Ocean rolling on the shore over their feet. Or to feel weak by acknowledging the timeless history of footsteps on the same piece of Earth you are walking on and to not even begin to comprehend the number of stories that have taken place. 36 hours is a privilege that I will forever been thankful for having had in my life.

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Travel really does widen our world. I am extremely thankful for the privileges I have had in my life to be able to see what I have seen, and I am fully aware that these are not experiences afforded to everyone. What traveling always brings home for me is that this world is extremely small, which is an important lesson in compassion and consumerism. The second campsite we stayed at houses a womens weaving cooperative. They spin their own wool and dye it with vegetables. It employs 725 women. This initiative pays the women a fair price for their labour and it allows the women to work at home with their children. We tried to purchase our gifts for people back home at this place because we knew the money was going to the workers and not some foreign owned company. One of my most excited moments of the trip was when I learned that I have been buying from this co-op for two years at our local soap store in Port Dover. 36 hours away and here I was buying what I buy at home. There are so many stories I could share that happened 36 hours away from here. It is hard to know where to start and where to end. There are so many stories that need to be heard here in southern Ontario because of our thread in that story. I encourage you to find out about the slave market in Stonetown in Zanzibar and how that space has been reclaimed so that the merchants of the enslaved are not the only ones to own that history.

January 2013

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When I was 5 years old I used to carry around my ghetto blaster and interview everyone in my family, including my cat Ming. I have fond memories of interviewing family members and the family cat thinking one day Im going to be on TV. Its actually quite surprising that I knew so early on what I wanted to do with my life. In elementary school I was outgoing and ready to get involved in everything. It was in Grade 8 that I was given the opportunity to take an Enrichment Class in Media at Farringdon School. Mr. Hagey led the program and took the time to work with me to learn as much as I could during the week that I was there. At the end of the session he to me, said Kiddo, you need to take my class when you come to PJ. I want to see you there in a few years. Youre a natural. When I started high-school at PJ I became shy. I was not outgoing and was weary of getting involved in any extracurricular activities. I studied and achieved good grades and

students and college interns. We show students exactly what its like to work in TV. We provide free training, and volunteers and students can learn anything from reporting and writing to videography, editing and directing. The opportunities for learning are endless. We produce a daily talk show called Inside Brant which is a place where organizations can come on and talk about local fundraisers, issues and events. Our Talk Local is produced in partnership with the Brant News and Sean Allen is the host. This program offers an in-depth look at issues in Brant. One of the more exciting things that I work on is what we call Access Programs. Access Programs are ideas that come directly from the community. Local people pitch their show ideas and essentially become the host of the show. During the past year, we have focused on these growing programs and I have had the opportunity to work on an Early Learning and Development Series, two series on local seniors and the issues that they face, and a program that

The faculty and staff of the Advocate would like to thank all of the businesses and organizations across Brantford, Brant and Six Nations that generously support us by distributing our publication every month. At the request of our readers, and as a thank you to those who support us, here is a list of all of the locations where you can pick up a copy of the Advocate each and every month. WEST BRANT Mac's Milk, Goo's, Sammy's Rec Room, Kingswood Diner, Mr. Chips , Doug's Donuts, West Brant Coin Laundry, Happy Variety, Duey's, Maria's Pizza, Pet Crazy Express, Pita Pit, Pizzaville, Twighlight Tanning Salon, Cathy's Nails, Starbucks PARIS / TOLLGATE Happy Days Mini-Mart, Sonia's Variety, Happy Nails, Tito's Pizza, Girls Den, Olde School House CHARING CROSS / ST. PAUL Euro Convenience, Pizza Roma, Don Warrener's Martial Arts, St. George & Grand Mart, Empirical Photo, Nova Vita, Metro, My Thai, Shaks Shwarma, Jammit Music, Meatsauce Pizza, McGonagall's EAGLE PLACE Stan's Confectionary, Emilie's Mini Mart, Crystal's Hair Care, Sun Milk Convenience, Used Appliances, Used Clothing, Wingmaster, Eagle Place Laundry, Dozer's, Over Easy, The Hair Salon - Salon 81, Joe's Variety, Bain's Max Mart, In Season Living, Woodland Cultural Centre, Carolyn's Home Baking, Simply Soy Candles, Unique Peace Home Furn., Hill's Computer Service, Mac's Convenience, Family Pizza, Big Top Submarine, Eagle Place Variety, Eagle Place Video and Con., Doug Snooks Community Centre, Petro Canada, Clarence St. Dental, Workforce Planning Board GE ECHO PLACE / COLBORNE EAST Kreative Khaos, Tip Top Health Shoppe, Palace Submarine, La Bella Donna Hair Stylists, Grand River CHC, Why Not, Maple Convenience, Mohawk College, Liberty Cleaning Services, Brantford Music Centre, Maria`s Pizza, Bouncing Buddah Tattoo, H and S Discount, Pet Valu, The Dutch Shop, Army, Navy, Air Force , Sital Hairstyling , Natural Nail Care , Bismillah Daily Basket , Mario's Pizza, Mohawk Convenience , Addison's, Quality Inn & Suites, Rock Universe , Medichair Cowell, Just Friends, Big Bear Food Mart, Echo Place Coin Laundry, Telly's Convenience, Echo Place Family Rest., Seniors Resource Centre, Mario and Sam's Auto Service, Maple Convenience 2000, Pizza Spot, Sherwood Motel, Sherwood Restaurant, Nicol Florist, Colborne Auto Detailling, Bell City Motel, Scott Veterinary Clinic, Shanghai Restaurant, H&H Tackle, Husky, Pencar, Mrs. Fries, Crossroads Flea Market, Toki Loft, Brooks Signs FAIRVIEW / WEST Skin Care Essentials, Station Coffee House, Rogers TV, Fairview Drive Pet Hospital, Dundas Variety, Enterprise Brant, Dorsey Group, Strodes DOWNTOWN Tropical Paradise Tanning, Harry's , Admiral's Submarine, Brant Communications, Crazy Bill`s, City Taxi, Al's Shoes, Brant Art Shoe, The Habit, King Laundry, The Queen's Closet, Dr. Vic Schacher, Dolphin Variety, Contact Brant, Imperial Submarine, Cesars Barber Shop, Custom Colour T Shirts, Manifest Yoga, Sanderson Centre, Piston Broke, Williams Downtown, Business Resource Centre, Pita Plus, Cobby`s, University Pharmacy, Hamachi Sushi, Grand River Employment, Urban Hookup/Wright's, Tait Quartermain Optical, Caesar's Place, Brostock, SACAP, Brant Ass. Comm. Treat, Cdn. Mental Health, Stylo Family Hair, Brantford Public Library, City of Brantford, Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, Just Like New, Inity Fashions, Essential Physiotherapy, MP Dave Levac's Office, Aboriginal Health Centre, Warmington's Bistro, Tooun Salon, Children's Aid Society, Laurier Brantford, The Ring, Brant Native Housing, Jebbo's Computer, Pasquale`s Meat & Deli, Bob`s Tobacco and Magazine, Brant Stereo, Lonnie`s Restaurant, Market St. Dental, Brando's, Two Doors Down, Express Submarine, Oriental Restaurant, Alexanders Tavern, Stormy`s Variety, Mario's Pizza, Brant Mini Mart, The Mixdown, Harmony Grill, Coffee Culture, Brantford Arts Block, Strodes Express, Freedom House, Dr. Sokoloski STANLEY / GREY Lucky's Coin Laundry, Lucky's Variety, BYO Breweries, Super Cycle Coin Laundromat, Daisy Mart, Goodfellas, Mr. Paws, Kneaded Care, Rawdon Automotive, Cormier's Confectinery, Steelworkers Action Centre, Brant Taxi, Rossini Lodge, Marconi's Diner, Alternate Icons CASINO / FARMER'S MARKET Just 4 You Nails, Jumbo Dragon, First Choice, Action Medical Home Health, Subway, Ontario March of Dimes, Legal Clinic, Brantford and District Labour Centre, Brantford Food Bank, Community Resource Services, Swan's Produce, Brantford Farmer's Market, Brantford and District Civic Centre HOLMEDALE / BRANT AVE. Daisy Mart, Vic's Variety, Holmedale Coin Laundry, Holmedale Mini-Mart, The Brantford Bookworm, Serenity Country Candles, Indecks Skateboards & Clothing, Total Convenience, Viet Thai Basil, Brantford Collegiate, Blue Dog Coffee Roasters, Sexual Assault Centre, Hair Dresser on Fire, Arthur's By The Grand KING GEORGE ROAD Stan's Variety, Toppers Pizza, Casey's Bar and Grill, Blessings Eatery, Pita Pit, Microplay, Global Pet Foods, Williams Caf , S & H Health Foods , Williams Caf , Al Dente, Lexton's Tap and Grill, Shawarma King NORTH END Digital Duck Inc., Culligan Water, Brantford Tourism Centre, Big Ben's Family Diner, The Sugar House, Woodview Childrens Centre, Broasters Chicken, Tito's Pizza, Duey's, Carmen's Homestyle Pizza, The Perch and Wing Eatery, Frankie's, Luciani's Pizza, New City Church, The Print Shoppe, Silver Dragon PARIS

The Impact of Community Television


By Patti Berardi

in Grade 10, I took the Grade 11 English Media Class. I had just turned 15 and I remember walking into the room that was filled with 17-20 year olds and feeling like I was going to die. I was painfully shy but I really wanted to be in this media class. Mr. Hagey was thrilled when he came into the classroom and saw me sitting there shaking. Amazingly, this class of older kids welcomed me and I became the person that never had a problem finding a group to work in. It was near the end of the term when Mr. Hagey pulled me aside and said, Are you going to take a co-op for this? I had no clue what a co-op was and he explained that I could go to Rogers TV and do a placement to learn more about TV. I looked up to Mr. Hagey and he gave me the confidence to apply for a co-op. I was accepted and started my placement in February of 1993. My placement went well and I was hired part-time in September of 1993, and here it is, 2012, and Im still at Rogers TV as a Producer. My experiences here have changed my outlook on our community. I have been in the position of reporting on a variety of community stories that ranged in happy stories to disturbing stories. I have covered local events, news, politics and the list goes on. The most exciting part of my job has been working with local people and organizations that are doing what they can to make BrantfordBrant an amazing place to live, work and raise a family. I have personally become involved as a volunteer with organizations that accessed Rogers TV. Over the years, I have been particularly proud of the access that Rogers TV gives to local causes. We offer everyone the opportunity to promote their charity, cause or tell their stories. We also produce programs that are completely created by community members. Every day Im working with new volunteers from our community, as well as veteran volunteers that have been with us for many years. Rogers TV is also a training ground for co-op

focuses on political issues. I continue to work within the community to encourage people that have stories to share, or ideas for programs, to come forward and propose a program. I have to say that every day is fun and exciting and there are not a lot of dull moments. Having the opportunity to be on the front-line in the community offers me a chance to meet many wonderful people, hear a lot of amazing stories but most importantly I get the chance to produce programs that evoke emotion in our audience. From heart-warming stories to political issues; it changes every day. Im looking forward to continuing my journey here at Rogers TV. Hundreds of volunteers, co-ops and interns have been through our doors and many have gone on to get jobs in TV. Having a role in teaching these students is by far one of the most rewarding parts of my work. Im often called the Mom of the office and I wear that badge with pride! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have ever wondered what its like to work in TV or if you have a show idea, please get in touch with me! I would love to hear from our community about shows that they would like to be a part of. Visit our website at rogerstv.com to propose a show or to book an appearance on a current show. If youre feeling the TV calling, then Rogers TV is the place to be. We are continuing to look for new show ideas and recruit new volunteers all year. You could be the next local TV star!

If you, or someone you know has been diagnosed with Celiac disease or a sensitivity to Gluten we can help. Always fresh. From our table to yours. 100% Gluten-Free. Sophias Bakery & Caf. Coming soon to the corner of King & Colborne, downtown Brantford.

Sobey's, Pharma Plus, Paris Library, Divalicious, County of Brant Office, Paris Realty, Remax Heritage, Chocolate Sensations, Three Blind Mice Cheese Shop, Wendy's General Store, Jade's of Paris, 2 Rivers Restaurant, Green Heron Book Shop, Brown Dog Coffee, Paris Bakery, Steve's Place, The Cedar House, The Canadian House, Paris Variety, Camp 31 Bar-B-Q, Paris By The Grand, Home Hardware, Caf Europa, Amelia Biscuit Company, Friendly Untied Discount Variety, Cobblestone's Public House BURFORD Burford Bakery, Godfather's Pizza, Burford Market, Foodland, Esso ST. GEORGE Richi Milk, The Rustic Mug, Brown Dog Coffee Shop, St. George Arms, Foodland SIX NATIONS Grand River Enterprises, Iroqcrafts, IC Supercomputers, Lone Wolf Pit Stop, Lee's Variety, KT's, Route 54 Variety and Gas, Riverbend Restaurant, Porter E Law Office, Oasis Gas and Variety, Village Caf, Six Nations Tourism, Red Indian Gas Bar, Bright Feather Coin Laundry, T 'n' T Pizza, Erlind's Restaurant, CKRZ, Al's Variety, Little Buffalo, Grand River Employment Training, 6 Nations Trading Post

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January 2013

Showcasing Local Talent


Part of being an Advocate for Brantford is the ability to look past the obvious. To see the beauty of the city we live in and the potential of the people and the places that surround us. The same can be said for my friend Paul Smith. Look past the obvious fact that he's young and see what he sees in our community. There is no truer phrase for a photographer than in the eye of the beholder. But in Paul's case it means something a little different. At 25, Paul is an active member of the Board for the Brantford Arts Block and enjoys contributing to some great causes throughout our region with and without his camera. Some of Paul's greatest photographic acheivements are a photo shoot with the Brantford Symphony Orchestra at W. Ross MacDonald School, as well as the beautiful book BCI Forever" commemorating

by Laura Duguid have a broad perspective of the photographic medium from a young age. After gaining a formal education in photographic arts, I worked for a brief time in the industry before opening my own studio here in Brantford. To me, behind every awful cliched photography quote is a sincere sentiment about our universal desire to understand the world around us. Photography as a medium is my way of understanding that unique human experience. If you want to get to know Paul visit him at his website: www.photohouse.ca

the 100 year anniversary of the school. If you look, you will see something a little unexpected for a young photographer. You'll see a professional who has been inside some of Brantford's most prestigious clubs and concert halls, trusted by some of the city's most influential people to take some of the most classically beautiful shots you've ever seen of our home. In his own words: I started taking photographs when I was 13 with my grandfather's camera. The poetry of simply creating something was what drove my curiosity, and holding something I made was a true affirmation of self. Although I found myself fascinated with famous fashion photographers like Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn, my first big photography book was James Nachtwey's Inferno, so I was fortunate to

Li ghti ngB l i nd s Wa l l p a p erD ra p ery Pa i nt 4 0 5 S t. Pa ul Av enue, B ra ntford .

January 2013

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Page 7

Showcasing Local Talent


by Lucas Duguid I'd like to introduce you to some very creative and talented friends of mine: D'Arcy Elliott McNeil of Empirical Photographic Arts and Lynda Vanderstelt of Serenity Candles. The first time I set foot in Serenity Candles it felt like I'd walked into a scene from a Harry Potter film. I spent the first five minutes standing in the middle of the room turning slowly; trying to take in not only all the things to look at but also the amazing sounds and smells. My friend Lynda, the owner, handed me a hot cup of flavoured coffee and the experience was complete. As a graphic designer, I love being reminded that creativity has many faces. My creative projects are almost exclusively visual, whereas with Lynda, it's an experience that requires all five senses. As I sat amongst all the hand-made treasures, listening to the music and nature sounds and enjoying my coffee, I realized this was Lynda's version of graphic design and I was enjoying the results of her creative process. Now, it's one thing for me to use words to describe my experiences at Lynda's store but there is no substitute for seeing it for yourself. Take it from me; there is no better way to appreciate beauty than through the eye of a photographic artist. This brings me to my friend D'Arcy. I've had the pleasure of working with D'Arcy for the last three years. He is a second generation photographer who has been in the business for almost 20 years. After our numerous discussions on the subject of photography the one thing that stands out to me is the subject of intent. D'Arcy's philosophy is that photography is less about the equipment you use, or the settings on your camera, and more about the intent behind the photograph. "You can take a photograph, then hand someone the camera and have them shoot the same picture with the same settings. What's different? Intent. Late last fall after a visit to Lynda's store, D'Arcy decided to embark on a personal project. After experiencing her place much in the same way I had done months earlier, DArcy decided to capture Lyndas artistry with his own. Some of the results of that work are showcased here in the pages of the Advocate. As we move forward with this publication, we will continue to find ways to show the artistic talents of people from throughout this community. With Lynda, and DArcy, it was an opportunity to show two very different abilities in one forum. To find out more about the incredible work done by these two artists, visit DArcys personal website at www.darcyelliott.ca, or his professional website at www.empiricalphotographicarts.com, and Lyndas website at www.serenitycountrycandles.ca.

S A R A H S T. A M A N D
INTERIOR DESIGN

stamanddesign.com | st.amand@rogers.com 519.752.4123: studio | 519.802.6328: mobile

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January 2013

All Aboard
"Canadians won't work those jobs. They're too {insert your preferred adjective here} for that." It's a common phrase, one I heard a lot growing up. There's some truth to it too. There absolutely are many Canadians who won't work those jobs we instead see employing migrant workers in our region; farming, field work, picking tobacco and other kinds of work like it. Its back-breaking stuff, but good honest work for a good honest day's pay. While there is a bit of truth to it the phrase always struck me as a bit off too. Frankly, there are some able-bodied folks who just won't work any job no matter how cushy it might be. Yes, there are lazy people out there and I'm sure everyone reading this could point out an example of someone they know who cheated the system, who scammed the government, who lives on our dime. Having done extensive anti-poverty work both nationally and locally, I've heard that common frustration. "Those welfare bums are the reason my taxes keep increasing." "I have to work every damn day while they sit at home." "Why don't they just get a damn job?" On the other hand, there are many unemployed people in our region who would work those jobs. Then why aren't they? What barriers might they face? I've heard the stories of those families who genuinely struggle, faced with barriers of generational poverty, lack of education and opportunity. One of the most common obstacles? Transportation. We live in a spread out, car-filled part of the world. There are definite issues with our public transportation system in the city but at least

By Marc Laferriere

there is public transportation. If you live in the County, Six Nations or New Credit, its non-existent. Further, we dont have public transportation that effectively and cheaply links our communities. During an educational trip to Niagara a few years ago, I learned about a program there that I think would work very well here. In Niagara at the time there were 12 municipalities in the region and very poor links between the communities in regards to public transportation. At the same time there were a large number of people who were undergoing long-term unemployment. In parts of the region there were jobs to be had at the wineries, at the floral nurseries and in tourism sector, but these jobs werent accessible to the people in the region who needed them. A fragmented transportation system wasnt doing anyone any favours. Businesses were having to employ, transport, house and feed migrant workers at great cost to meet the needs of their various enterprises, while local residents were on the Ontario Works program.

Fragmented transportation systems. Long-term unemployment. Extra costs for employers. Vast distances between where the jobs were and where the people who needed them lived. How did Niagara achieve employment outcomes for local people in need? How did they save businesses and taxpayers money? How did they overcome this barrier? They created The Job Bus. In 2005, Port Colborne was selected as a target community. They held Job Fairs in the areas of highest need, and they created agreements with employers and employees to share the costs of providing a from bus Port Colborne and Wellend to Niagara Falls. They targeted single adults, families and youth and, in six months, saved a quarter of a million dollars from the Ontario Works budget. The program spread. I went on a tour of a floral nursery whose employees were made up of many who were happy to use the Job Bus to get off of Ontario Works. I spoke to one employee who told me he had been unemployed for 3 years before the program enabled him to have access to this, and that he couldnt access the job if the regular public transit system was his only option. He was now making more money than

he ever could have on assistance and was looking at getting a vehicle so he could take some overtime shifts. Another employee talked about how it wasnt only better for him because he had more money for his family, but because he also made friends he wouldnt have made otherwise. Later, I spoke to a manager who told me they had been able to cut down on costs by paying for a share of the Job Bus instead of housing, feeding and transporting migrant workers. I spoke to a municipal councillor who told me the investment in the Job Bus saved the municipality lots of money because it was just a fraction of the cost of keeping people on a public welfare system. In Brantford, we have to think of new ways to get people employed. I would have worked at a farm growing up but would have needed a car to do so; but I needed the job to afford a vehicle. These systems can get us stuck and keep us stuck. But creative solutions like a job bus can be a win, win, win scenario for all involved. Think about it, talk to your government representatives. Turn them on to an idea like this where Brantford, the County of Brant, Six Nations and New Credit can work together with businesses and job-seekers to find paths to greater employment and reduced costs. When youre thinking that theres got to be a better way, sometimes there is. They found that in Niagara. Could Brantford and the surrounding area adapt an idea like this one to meet our needs? Lets hope.

It takes a community to raise a theatre


If youve ever wondered who the guy is that is accountable for everything that happens at the Sanderson Centre, its me. My name is Kevin Magee and Im the current Chairman of the Management Board of the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts. Its a volunteer gig so the pay is lousy, the hours are long, the workload is overwhelming, the challenges sometime seem insurmountable, the accolades are wanting and yet, to me, its the best job Ive ever had. There are few places in this world more important to me than the Sanderson Centre. I grew up there. Many of you reading this probably did too. To those of us that did, its not just a majestic old building, its a time machine. Its a place where dreams come true; where memories live and stories come to life. Its an integral part of our past and an essential part of our future. And for those of us who love her, its our responsibility to both ensure and enable that future. I can tell you first hand its a big responsibility. Making a 1,125 seat historic theatre work in a city the size of Brantford is not easy. Yet when I stand in the darkness at the side of the theatre and watch an audience enjoy a performance, greet patrons in the lobby and see they are just as swept up in the experience as I am, meet the volunteers and staff who truly make the magic happen and they smile because they thoroughly enjoy their work, and see my own children catching the theatre bug and growing up there too, I know that my time and energy is well invested, not spent. There are, of course, plenty of naysayers. As Chairman Ive heard it all. Ive heard no many more times than yes. Ive heard the word impossible more times than lets do it, and Ive heard every imaginable permutation of why and how we cant be successful. How I respond is always the same: I listen and learn first, and then I place the onus on fixing the problem squarely where it belongs; on all of us. Here is a small sample of the most common objections I hear, and also how I generally respond: No one at the Sanderson Centre will ever listen! Im listening right now. I want to hear what you have to say; uncensored, unvarnished. Give it to me straight up. I can handle it. Theres never anything good to see there. So lets create something awesome and go see it together. Its too big and expensive for local groups to perform there. Then lets seek partnerships and collaborations that will overcome these obstacles together. They only put on the shows that they want to see. We need to stop thinking in terms of them and us. Anything can happen if WE work together. So whats my vision for success? We need to create it. Together. And its working A great friend of both the theatre and mine, Bob MacLean, defined what many of us have been trying to express for quite some time now. At a Board meeting last year he summed it up when he said: Its our theatre. It belongs to every one of us. In the spirit of our newly adopted motto of Our theatre, we have taken steps over the past year to make the Sanderson Centre a more open, transparent, collaborative and inviting organization. We are focused on creating a culture of innovation, co-operation and inclusiveness. Weve thrown open the doors and invited in individuals and groups, from all walks of life, to share their dreams, visions and also grievances. Why? Because I believe that trust is earned over time. Partnerships are not just created. they evolve through commitment and that culture eats strategy for breakfast. Those are the values with which I lead by and that I hope become my legacy as Chair.

By Kevin Magee

productions in the Sanderson Centre. Derek Bond, Bob Wyatt and Bob MacLean from our board led this initiative and I could not be more appreciative and proud of their efforts in doing so. The problem we seek to solve with this program is that often for local groups its only a few thousand dollars that stand in the way of developing and presenting performances on our stage. With this pilot grant program we have an opportunity to demonstrate the power of partnerships to solve problems, and also to create opportunities. In this case, the private sector, not-for-profits and the theatre partnered together to overcome these obstacles and enable local performances that otherwise would not be possible. And the timing could not be better. As the Sanderson Centre approaches its 100th anniversary, this milestone represents a great opportunity to think long term. Im excited at the prospect of what we can learn from this project and how it can be applied to create a permanent and lasting fund, organization or further partnerships to continue this work well into our next hundred years. Thats right, were almost a hundred years old and were only just getting started! So come visit and lets talk. Online or in person, whatever works best for you is fine. Its our theatre. Its our responsibility. Its our future to create together. Your ideas and opinions do matter and your voice will be heard. You have my word on it.

I can tell you first hand its a big responsibility. Making a 1,125 seat historic theatre work in a city the size of Brantford is not easy.
Yet values only become real when we live them. To that end, this month the Sanderson Centre announced a pilot program that I feel best expresses and demonstrates these core values in action. With a generous donation from the private sector, we are announcing a pilot grant program for our upcoming season that will enable local performing arts groups to successfully mount

EXCAVATION BOBCAT SERVICES HAULAGE

January 2013

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Page 9

How should municipal corporations act?


People ask: what should municipal governments do? It's a difficult question to answer because of the variety of business services that municipal corporations provide. All municipalities, effectively, are holding companies with a selection of business units. Brantford, I was told once, has 82 different business service units in its corporation, offering everything from social services, policing, library service, residential care, water treatment and electrical power. This certainly is one way to see municipal government, in corporate terms. But because municipalities are a unique kind of corporation, instead of asking what municipal governments should do, it's better to ask how they should act. People are concerned about how all governments act. We understand that government actions affect us. We feel we should be able to affect the process of decision making most, and protect our interests best, when decisions are made locally. Because local government is closest to us, we feel that municipal corporations have the greater responsibility to act to secure the common good and increase our sense of well-being, to keep our homes free of worry. People have a specific interest in how municipal corporations act financially. We feel we should have an effect in managing our common wealth; the community chest. We're affected by the amount of individual wealth each of us contributes to that fund and how it is spent. Ultimately, we're concerned because municipal government, like any government, involves the democratic management of the common good and the common wealth. When a community decides what their common good and common wealth should be, they look to their corporation to see how its going to act on that decision. It's not surprising then that this is where the discussion of municipal corporate finance becomes most political. It's important in these discussions to remember that each community owns its municipal corporation. We fund the services, we benefit from them. They wouldn't exist if we weren't here. As shareholders in these corporations, we exercise our ownership rights regularly, through election of the directors, at public meetings of the corporation, and even when we express privately our feeling that we're not getting the same dividend that we used to. If politics focuses on who gets what, where and how, then democratic politics demands that the people who are affected, the people who own these municipal corporations and their business units, have an equal say in deciding how their corporation should act. Of course, given that there are many different interests to balance in making a decision on how, and in whose interests, the municipal corporation should act, the politics of local decision-making can get messy and confusing. But because municipal corporations are founded on democratic principles, everyone knows we should all have an equal share in setting the balance of a decision. And we also know that from time to time people have to act to make sure that the balance is equitable. The discussion on how to change that balance has been happening everywhere in municipalities around the world. Locally, these discussions have been taking place within a smaller circle of corporate staff and among the corporate directors. That circle is widening. It's important now to have an effect in framing discussions around how our municipalities act financially. It's time to reframe the debate. The discussion of costs has dominated the discussion of municipal corporate finance since at least the 1980s. This is not to say that it hasn't been an effective or necessary discussion, but it is only one way of apportioning value in municipal corporate services. In any case, it's now clear that the underlying premise in the cost argument (that municipal corporations and all of their affiliates exist to increase shareholder value) is insufficient. This cost-based value argument fails because it cannot actually deal with the rising costs of governance. The causes of rising costs are beyond a municipality's area of control. It's a fact that's frequently ignored in local politics everywhere, but the inescapable truth is that the local costs of governance will always rise. A much more important and fruitful political discussion would focus instead on the way that municipalities act to grow and raise revenue. This discussion will include decisions on who gets what, where and how, and can occur in a manner where everyone has an equal say in those kinds of decisions. At the moment, this discussion does not take place nearly enough. Part of the reason for this is that not everyone has an interest in having that discussion. For example, Ontario municipalities are tied to a property tax system where the amount of land you own and what you intend to do with it trumps the democratic principle that everyone owns an equal share in decisions. But because there's more shareholders than specific interests in a municipal corporation, we can have this important and fruitful discussion now. We can begin that discussion by talking about how municipalities should act, and in whose interests they have been acting. It's important to keep in mind that it's a democratic principle that's ultimately at issue in discussions of municipal corporate finance. Too often people forget that municipalities are more than commercial corporations, perhaps because we're so used to seeing our relationship to a municipality in terms of a service/client arrangement. We forget that a municipal corporation's power to pass laws comes from a different understanding of what's common, and what's good. Elected directors need to be reminded of that by the shareholders when discussions of municipal corporate finance take place. Where municipal corporations are truly open to discussing public spending, this is more than just another effort to help people let off steam without really having an effect on how decisions are made. Where there is an underlying commitment to value and understand municipal corporate finance as the management of the common wealth, better efforts at change can take root before things have a chance to go back to the way they've always been. Communities that have truly embraced the principle of a common wealth and a common good have acted to make it clear that if it's public, it's ours. It asks a lot of a

By James Calnan

community to do that, but it has happened, mostly where people resist efforts to limit the public's inalienable right to affect change. Typically, this hasn't been the tradition in Ontario. We've had a different tradition here, perhaps a relic of our colonial past, where access to decision-making has been limited and hierarchical. In other places, there's a tradition where the bylaws of the corporation are presented by the people for ratification by their elected directors. Because of recent changes in the management of municipal corporations in Ontario, there's much to recommend such an approach. Our failure to set the agenda for municipal corporate finance in the face of downloaded change has been profound. Downloading changed not only the way in which decisions about who gets what, where and how, are made locally, but also how those discussions occur between municipalities and the provincial government that creates, regulates and still funds them. The lesson is clear. Unless a community asserts its ownership of a municipal corporation, they will lose their ability to affect how that corporation acts. Fortunately, it is possible for any municipality in Ontario to adopt practices in its bylaws to promote this, consistent with the legislation that governs them all. Because public corporations are owned by their communities, if the community sees the need for reform they can set the tone and agenda for that reform whenever they want.

Mindfulness
I recently went to a workshop hosted by the Grand River Community Healthcare Centre on Mindfulness. It was an opportunity to network with other people in the people-business discussing mindfulness, and the therapeutic applications based of the concept. We discussed how we can use certain techniques in order to better help the people we deal with every single day. It was definitely eye-opening for me, but in a way I did not plan on. During the workshop we discussed what mindfulness can do for us. Even doing some exercises in how to use some of those techniques to help centre ourselves allowing us to be more engaged and focused when dealing with people in high stress situations. However, it was after the workshop that the wheels and cogs in my brain really kicked into gear. Mindfulness as a technique is so helpful. But where does it come from and where has it been all my life? As usual, I consulted my

ByTina Draycott

favourite expert Google and in typing mindfulness into the search engine I received a mere thirteen million nine hundred hits. This wasnt going to be easy.

It was definitely eyeopening for me, but in a way I did not plan on.
So what I have learned so far is that mindfulness is a Buddhist practice that had become quite popular in the Western world over the last 35 years or so. It is an invitation to observe what is happening around you in a way that allows complete engagement and awareness. Learning to be in the moment is a technique that, through practice, urges the mindful person to become part of what is happening around them in a serene, patient, open manner. And mindfulness isnt just for those who spent time at ashrams in the sixties. It has some heavy-

weight professionals singing its praises. Psychology Today recognizes it as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Closer to home Dr. Zindel Segal, Head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Clinic at Torontos Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, has been quoted saying that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was just as effective as anti-depressants when it came to preventing depression relapse. Okay then. So if mindfulness is so natural and free, why is mindfulness so foreign to so many of us? I think its because weve forgotten where we came from. In a world where technology rules supreme, we live in a time where being paper-based could lose a lucrative contract to a company where paper-less is the goal for productivity. Technology comes to us as a

helper and a friend, but psychologically, if we let it, can be no better than an albatross around our necks - a heavy, plastic, and silicone one at that. So we have to break free of being wired-in 24/7. We have to unplug and open our minds to what is happening inside our heads and bodies. It is okay to be technologically advanced, as long as we remember where we REALLY need to plug into on a daily basis; the world around us, and ourselves. We must remind ourselves that we are a part of nature. To (as a very smart woman said recently) be gentle with our own selves. Mindfulness, as a concept, has rather blown my mind in a very good way. I am on my very first, very tentative, steps of my own mindfulness path now. One in which I hope to find serenity and peace. A path I hope to be on for the rest of my life. And when I find even the smallest level of mindfulness and serenity, I will be sure to tweet you and let you know.

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January 2013

The klout of social media


Stephen King once said that he gets paid to write about his nightmares. I awoke on a cold morning from a nightmare myself and it spawned this article. It was not a nightmare about ghouls, demons or zombies. It was a nightmare about celebrity status and cursed egos. In the nightmare, the production team was waiting with growing anxiety. The writers were making last minute changes to the script. The lighting crew was casting the perfect light. Everybody was eager to make this celebrity shine under their professional gaze. The celebrity, however, was outside having a smoke simply to make a point. They can wait, he said, I am the real star of this show, let them wait. On March 2, 2012, I attended the Canadian premiere of a new documentary about Twitter called Twittamentary. The screening was hosted by the Personal Computer Museum at the Wilfrid Laurier Research & Academic Centre. The PC Museum made history on February 20, 2010 by sending a Tweet using a vintage Commodore VIC-20. The Twitter documentary explored the lives and bonds of the interconnected community that make up this real-time social network. After the show, I was invited to have a few beers with some of the local tweeps (folks on twitter) that make up the social media landscape of the area. As we were walking to the bar, one jokingly said that the one with the highest klout score had to buy the first round. To many, klout still remains an inside baseball term. For those within the twitter community, klout is perceived as a measure of influence on the social media landscape. Having a high klout score is supposed to come with social influence (klout), and in this case, social responsibility (beer). As we compared our klout scores, many in the group already knew I had the highest klout score in the city. Being a recent immigrant to Brantford from Toronto, that was not necessarily a hard thing for me to achieve. Toronto is rather large and it can be easier there to plug into social networks. However, in our midst was another out-of-towner with fifteen times (+40,000) more followers than I have. He would clearly have a higher klout score than mine and the contents of my wallet would be safe. To our surprise he did not have a higher score than me and a lengthy debate over the merits of the klout algorithms and connected network activity ensued. You can check it for yourself at Klout.com. When all is said and done, my high klout score has given me plenty of perks. I have been invited to attend media night premieres of theatre releases and stage productions. I have been given complimentary passes to major event launch parties and sporting events. I have partied hard, ate bacon, and drank Jack and Coke with the cast of Epic Meal Time. I have been to conferences to see the likes of Seth Godin, Mitch Joel, Guy Kawasaki and many other notables for the price of a blog entry. I have also recently been asked to be a panel speaker at Tweetstock 007 mostly based on my social influence. But what does all that klout matter? I am writing this post in my minimally heated basement studio. It is the tail end of a Canadian winter and it is cold. The wind outside is howling from the tornadoes

By Robert Lavigne

currently flattening farm land south of me in the United States. I live in a city with a high unemployment rate, a high poverty rate, and a high homelessness rate. It is cold, windy and did I mention a Canadian winter. All I wanted this morning was a warm shower without thinking about the increase to my hydro bill.

My story has been more of a riches-to-rags story of humility than a rags-toriches promise of wealth
All the klout and celebrity status in the world means nothing. NADA! Many may use it as an excuse to flaunt their perceived power over others. Many renowned singers have gone from touring with the greats to living in a car. Many A-list celebrities have lost it all in the search for the new high and quick fix. Many high-falutin business folks have seen their $50 burgers and $200 steaks being replaced by a Big Mac they can only afford with a coupon in this economy. Status is an illusion that can disappear as quickly as a new influence algorithm is coded. I gave up all the big lights and big money of the big city. My story has been more of a riches-torags experience in humility than a rags-to-riches promise of wealth. I moved to this city because I knew I could do social good by bringing my knowledge and experience to a city that needed it. While I may have brought along a high klout score with me in the process, it is not my klout score than matters to those in need of a better life and economy. Those with real power and influence have a responsibility to leave their egos at the door and focus on those who wish to work with them for a better tomorrow. I recently drove into Toronto for an executive meeting in a fancy boardroom with expensive artwork and impressive accolades adorning their

walls. The high rise view was stellar and it left a lasting impression for all the wrong reasons. You see, they laughed out loud when I informed them that I drove in from Brantford for this faceto-face meeting. I was reminded that many still perceive this city for all the negative sentiments associated with it. They still see Brantford as the Telephone City of wires, steel, and retired hockey greats. I recently read a tweet that described Brantford as the skid mark of Ontario. Well I see this city for what it truly is and what it is destined to become. I often refer to this vision for Brantford as Telephone City 2.0. In a world plagued with two hour commutes and escalating fuel costs, the future of Brantford is clear. This city is destined to become the hub for telecommuting in Southern Ontario. What better place than Brantford, which made history with the first distance telephone phone call to Paris, Ontario. What better place than Brantford to shine as a cost-effective solution for financial prosperity in the modern social economy. In a world where every tool you need to operate your business is available on the Internet often for free. In a world where a single tweet can land you a six figure contract. In a world where your collaborators span the globe. In a world where projects start off in Paris, France and finish in San Diego, California without leaving your basement studio in Brantford, Ontario. The future is clear. Those who embrace the community lifestyle of Brantford and telecommute to the world will have the last laugh. As the high rises crumble under the weight of bureaucracy, office politics and excessive costs, the future of Brantford will shine as an example to the world. My friends with their high klout score shook their heads when I made the decision to move to Brantford. We shall collectively remind them that Telephone City 2.0 is where the puck is going to be.

Finding success as an entrepreneur


I recently dropped by Tik-Tok Media to discuss a project with Trevor Cherewka who owns the business along with his partner Kevin Wynne. As I sat across from Trevor, I could not help but notice how busy he was multi-tasking. As we talked, he was busy answering the phone, responding to e-mails and making adjustments to his printing machine. Two thoughts crossed my mind. Trevor is not unlike many of the other small business owners and entrepreneurs I have encountered here in Brant and how much I admire their work ethic. Being a small business owner is not easy and chances of success are difficult. During the past year, the Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre reported that 231 master business licenses were registered at the BRC through Service Ontario. Of these, 55% were in the service sector, 18% retail, and 23% construction. According to the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, nearly 50% of these firms will be out of business in three years, and 70% will have disappeared within six years. The majority of the people who start-up small businesses would be between 35 and 54 years, have a postsecondary education, want to be their own boss, and are interested in developing a business that will provide them and their families with a comfortable income. The majority would have had experience in the sector they have established their business and many would have undertaken the enterprise as an alternative to unemployment or because it has a low cost of entry. They are, however, the backbone of our economy, and small business, firms with fewer than 100 employees, account for 97.8% of all firms in Canada. Trevor and Kevin established Tik-Tok Media in 2009. Trevor, who is 40, was a graduate of the Toronto Business Schools Restaurant and Hotel Management Program. After six years working for a furniture rental company and eight years with Ball Media where he was involved with the business-to-business media sector, he decided he wanted to be his own boss. Since then, he says that it has been an on-going learning experience in which he could afford few mistakes. One of the things I learnt very quickly is that it is not about being your boss, he recently told me. In fact, you end up replacing one boss with a whole bunch bosses who have expectations that you will meet their requirements on time and at a price that they can afford. I quickly learnt that you can over-stretch yourself and that that you have to work smarter. Your focus has to be on how you can make a profit while meeting customer expectations. Trevor points out that there are many pressures on the independent small business owner. In the case of Tik-Tok, the partners are the marketing and sales department, they order the supplies they need, price the jobs, carry out the production, deliver the end product and even take out the garbage. At the same time, he says that it is important to balance family responsibilities. His wife, Tabitha, is also a small business owner and they have four children. His family is very supportive and he feels that Tabitha provides him with balance both with respect to his family and his business responsibilities. By helping to keep him the straight and narrow, he says that it has forced him to work smarter. When he first started his business, Trevor did everything which meant that he worked long hours and was very focused on providing his clients with what they needed. Part of the learning curve he pointed out. Over the past four years, he has established a network of self-employed media professionals who have expertise that he can draw from. This means that Tik-Tok can be more flexible in the services that it offers its

By Michael St. Amant

clients and can meant their demands for quick turnaround on projects. It also allows Trevor time to do what he does well, market and provide creative input. It also allows him an opportunity to experiment with other projects such as Tweetstock and Grandelicious, both of which benefit Brantford. Tweetstock promotes the use of social media and Grandelicious is an upcoming food and wine fair that promotes restaurants, wineries and microbreweries from the communities along the Grand River. In many respects, Trevor reflects the thriving small business community in Brantford. It is built on talent and a capacity for hard work. It is also community oriented. So, as I watch Trevor, I believe that he will beat the statistical odds. I suspect that he knew what the odds were because the printing and media sector is very competitive. I also believe that he has enough confidence in his own abilities to ignore the odds and march on success.

- Stephen Dostal Mortgage Agent

MORTGAGES PURCHASES REFINANCES LOW INTEREST RATES

519.304.5480
www.mortgagesinbrantford.com LICENCE #10907

January 2013

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Page 11

Student refugee program


Im warning you right now that this story will tug on your heart strings. Im serious, Im about to give a voice to a program that gives young people a chance: a chance to do something great, a chance to get a post secondary education and a chance to become a part of a community. Our community. When I started high school at Brantfords own North Park Collegiate, I tried extremely hard to get involved in as much as I could. This led me to join the Students Council and work with a group of other students to plan dances, themed days and any other events we could think of. But once I attended post secondary school, I didnt feel like I would have enough time to join a committee on top of my studies, volunteering and social life. However, I recently met a group of Laurier Brantford students who not only put me to shame but, do all of that and more, to better their school and our community. WUSC stands for World University Service of Canada and the Brantford Chapter was kickstarted about four years ago. There are currently sixteen active members who all do their part organizing and volunteering at fundraisers and information booths. WUSCs main goal is promoting diversity and international development awareness throughout their school. This past year, the group took on their biggest challenge yet bringing a Kenyan refugee student to Brantford. Many Canadian universities have been involved in the Student Refugee Program, but the students of WUSC werent able to make it a reality for Brantford until just last year. Fast forward through a campus-wide referendum and countless paperwork and you have Laurier Brantfords newest and first student refugee undergrad: Abdikarim Hussein Osman. Many schools will offer the student one year at the university. Laurier Brantford sponsors the student for the full four years. To be eligible, the students must meet the English language requirements, go through rigorous health testing and be at the top of their class. A lot of them work for this opportunity their entire lives and cant wait to become a part of our society so that they can give back to their new hometown. To learn more about the program, I talked with

By Meagan Porter

Kasey Furry, the president of WUSC. Shes extremely enthusiastic about the success of this years student and proud to be the first coordinator of the Student Refugee Program. Anyone can donate, but this you can visually see happening and its a lot more exciting, she said during our conversation last month. Kasey explained how interesting it is to work with the students in the programs because theyre extremely bright and independent individuals. However, they need to be shown how to go about what we view as simple, daily tasks. They have to learn how to adapt to our public transit system and how to maneuver through one of our grocery stores. When Abdi arrived in Brantford in August, he was taken to the Gretzky Centre so he could touch snow for the first time! Its the small things that make him feel like hes settling into Brantford. He loves the Grand River especially because it reminds him of the river back home. Helping Abdi integrate into the school and the city has really been a community effort. He works with the Brantford Immigrant Settlement Services and volunteers with English Language

Services. Kasey stated that most people actually know him before he meets them and he was welcomed by everyone in the residence. So what is the future of the Student Refugee Program? Well, next year it will be hosting two new students. The students will continue to live in the residence to get the full college experience, and because its a fantastic way to meet new students. When students move here with the program, they come here for life. I think Brantford is the perfect place for them to continue to learn and grow. It will be exciting for us all to continue seeing new students become a part of the Brantford family. In preparation for writing this story I attended a meeting for WUSC where one of their ideas was to organize a trip for the group to go play laser tag together. Seeing each and every one of the members try to explain what laser tag is to Abdi really was the highlight of this whole experience for me. The atmosphere of the meeting completely changed. Suddenly they werent overly stressed university students trying to get through yet another meeting, but a group of friends. And to me, thats what we can all offer to a newcomer in our community friendship.

Saying goodbye to student life


By Becca Vandekemp
I fear the era of ripped jeans and mens sweatpants is passing. Im graduating from university, but it means far more than the discontinuation of lectures. Ill be celebrating my achievement, but at the same time, my identity is being redefined, and it is simply a weird process. Student has been my label for the last nineteen years, and I have virtually no recollection of my own existence before then. If I am not a student, who am I? What am I? Being a student has lumped me into a social group marked by generalizations, some of which are convenient, and some decently insulting. Aside from the discounts and the lowered standards for professional dress, it is assumed that most students are impoverished, binge-drinking, promiscuous, practically starving, right-wing, stressed-out night owls who retain the right to loiter in any location offering coffee and WiFi. Glorious. While I am excited to shed this label and its implications in favour of being recognized as an autonomous young adult, I am apprehensive about what being a non-student will really mean. I recognize that some of these fears are petty, but I cant help but feel disconcerted when I ask myself the following questions: 1. Will I still be allowed to wear ripped jeans or mens sweat pants in public? 2. Can I go to Admirals at 3am if I just really need some french fries? 3. How am I supposed to maintain my impressive procrastination skills if I dont have assignments? 4. What will replace the group homework dates that have speckled my schedule throughout the past five years? 5. How will I cope with the drastic decrease in places I can access WiFi for free? Labels are powerful. When I was volunteering in a Maasai village in Embakasi, Kenya this past summer, some of the village leaders approached me and said, We think your name should be Nashipae. It means: person who is happy all the time. A number of my Kenyan friends made a point of calling me Nashipae for the next few months. It was great because there were numerous times when I was dealing with discouragement, homesickness, and fatigue, all of which had the power to bring me down. However, as soon as someone would call my name, I would remember to enjoy the moment and smile. Being Nashipae was a legitimate contributor to my day-to-day disposition. One thing that has crossed my mind is that Ill always be Becca, even if my label changes. I wonder if Im right about that. During my student teaching placements, Im not Becca. Im Miss V. (I like peace, and peace makes a V, and thats how you can remember). Theres a whole lot of Becca underneath that professionalism, but shes not really allowed out all the way. My Miss V. label clothes me in dress pants and flats and forces me to keep students from telling inappropriate jokes as I inform them through various means about things like mechanical advantage and theoretical probability. Being a student makes me feel intelligent, that I am going somewhere, and that I am excused and/or assisted in a number of different areas. This whole graduating thing is scary because I am not just graduating from a school, but from an identity. How will being a [fill in the blank] affect me? The title of my personal blog is Little Lady in a Big World. Thats what Ill become on April 14th: just a little lady in a big world trying to figure out how to support herself and pursue her goals. Transition is tough. What I did not expect out of this identity shift is to empathize with recent divorcees, new parents, people who have been laid off, or folks who suddenly face a debilitating illness or injury. When these things happen, we adjust, but are we still the same people? If your label changes from husband to bachelor, girl to mom, factory worker to unemployed, healthy to dependent, or student to adult, what happens? In January, I wrote about creating changes in our own lives as comparable to the changes that are inflicted upon us. In the end, we adjust. We make things work. Its time to swallow my words. I can do this. (Hoo hoo hee, hoo hoo hee) Telling you that shedding my student label doesnt freak me out would be a lie, but like it or not, the moment is coming, and quickly at that! Nonstudenthood, here I come!

Woodland Cultural Centre / Residential School c.1973. Photograph courtesy of Woodland Cultural Centre. Wampum Bead photograph courtesy of The Photohouse, c/o Paul Smith.

Tradition, Heritage & Culture.


Woodland Cultural Centre is a First Nations educational and cultural facility. It was established in 1972 to protect, promote, interpret and present the history, language, intellect and cultural heritage of the Anishinaabe and Onkwehon:we. With over 35,000 artifacts Woodland Cultural Centre represents one of the largest sums of living indigenous history in North America and the world. We invite you to visit us at the centre and enjoy a guided tour of the museum and gallery or particpate in one of our many classes, seminars and events. To learn more please visit our new website at www.woodland-centre.on.ca

www.woodland-centre.on.ca 519.759.2650 184 Mohawk Street, Brantford ON, N3T 5V6