Thursday, September 15, 2011

Film Night - Sept. 22 @ 7pm - Play Again

Here is a film I think that many parents should watch before purchasing their child the newest video game or before putting a Television in their bedroom.  I hope to make it to this screening and I want to tip my hat to Cinema Politica Fundy for making us think about our choices.  See you outside.

Sept film Play Again

This month Cinema Politica Fundy is pleased to partner with The Fundy Model Forest to bring you a special screening:

Sept. 22
@ 7pm
701 Main Street @ the corner of Magnolia Avenue
Sussex, NB
entrance facing the library


New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. And even grandma loves Wii. But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet?
One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. At a time when children play more behind screens than outside, this documentary explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole?
The film follows six teenagers who, like the "average American child," spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. Play Again unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure - no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality.
Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and geneticist David Suzuki, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future.
Watch the trailer here.
Visit the website here.
Approx. 80 minutes
Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei
Produced by Meg Merrill
Music by Sigur Rós and Kimya Dawson
Original Music by Andreas Hessen Schei
Produced by Ground Productions
Free Admission
visit our website for upcoming films:
Sept. 29 - Vanishing Of The Bees
Oct. 27 - You Don't Like The Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantanamo
Nov. 24 - Garbage Warrior
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dangerous Beauty

Often in nature some of the prettiest things can be harmful.  Apparently this is the case with caterpillars.  Here is an information link from Fredericton I thought I should share on the Hickory Tussock moth

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sussex Fish and Game Hunting and Fishing Expo

So over this summer I have been promoting angling a little bit and have caught a bit of a fly fishing bug.  I haven't got a lot of disposable income so finding a good deal on a fly fishing setup has been difficult.  Hope is not lost though and I hope to hit the Sussex Hunting and Fishing Expo this weekend to maybe inform myself a bit more.  This expo has been growing in popularity since its inception and the Sussex Fish and Game Association should be commended on how they have organized this event and brought it to Sussex.

If you have some time this weekend and your are in the Sussex area you should check it out.  If you have a hunting or fishing need then you should definitely come to Sussex this weekend and take in the Expo.  Maybe I'll see you there.

Tubes to Tires

Below is a column I had published in the September 13th, 2011 edition of the Kings County Record.  It was a great day on the water of a river I take great pride in.  The lower reaches of the Kennebecasis River are a great paddling or floating destination as it has a leisurely pace, and cool, clear water.  I have made a career out of trying to maintain this watershed so it was a great to take some time and enjoy it at a slower pace.  

It has been a wet summer so far and the rivers have been running full throughout most of the season.  These wet spells with their sporadic intermissions of a few hot and sunny days have made it great for enjoying the rivers.  Lucky me, I am able to do this on a regular basis as part of my job with the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee (KWRC). 

Every year, as the summer students the KWRC often hire, get ready to go back to school; they are provided with a recreation and science based field day as a bit of a reward for their hard work through the summer.  This year the students were given a chance to tube down the Kennebecasis River with a mask and snorkel and prepare some notes on what they saw.  The seemingly continuous rains had the water high enough that it promised to be a rapid float from Sussex to Apohaqui.  On the day of the float the weather was surprisingly sunny so the students were eager to go.

With pick up vehicles arranged and a supply of water and snacks, snorkels and masks, the KWRC staff made our way to the water.  I snickered at the various techniques used to get onto the tubes.  Some were graceful and hardly got wet while others had no worries about getting into the cold water and aggressively threw their tube into the water and jumped onto the tube.  Of course the latter just as quickly slid over and off his tube into the water as well.

Tubing is unlike other modes of river transportation.  It is more relaxed, much less active, than say canoeing or kayaking.  That can be true but for me, I can't help but kick and paddle with my arms and legs.  Many times I would leave my tube floating as I would dive to the bottom of a deep pool to see what was there.  It was an active float to say the least.  It was a rush to feel the speed I could get when I swam under water with the current.

The only disappointment of the day was the fact that the water was murky and visibility through the water was minimal, even with the mask and snorkel.  We were able to spot a few trout and almost as many tires.  Speaking of tires in the river and the KWRC, don't forget about the "Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup" being hosted by the KWRC on September 24th from 1-4.   This event will aim at cleaning up 500lbs of waste and litter from the Trout Creek below Maple Avenue in Sussex.  Interested volunteers can meet behind Baird's Plaza, 654 Main Street, Sussex.  Once there you will be appointed to a team and asked to work at cleaning up a section of shoreline.  Refreshments and a small social will be held from 3:30-4 to tally the results.  Come help improve the fish to tire ratio on the Kennebecasis River.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Railroaded at the Tracks

This is a column that I had published in the Kings County Record recently.  There were a number of people fined locally on the same day for the same offense, but there were also a number of people let go with warnings.  There was no bulletin to educate people or let people know that CN would be more strictly be enforcing this law either.  Suddenly what had been accepted practice was no longer accepted and I was not happy to be made an example of.  
It has been in the local news lately that CN Rail has been issuing fines to those who trespass on their right of way.  It has created a bit of controversy, although, most I talked to seem opposed to the manner in which this whole issue of trespassing has been handled by CN.  Now, before I can discuss this any further, I have to make something clear.  According to CN, I am a criminal, or at least that was the way I was made to feel the day they issued me a ticket for $124.50.

The day had been going smoothly and I was in the downtown doing my weekly banking and mail run for work.  I parked my car out behind the bank with the railway tracks behind me.  I walked toward Main Street and the front of the bank whistling a country tune I had been listening to on the drive.  The ladies at the bank were friendly as always and I left carrying my mail that needed some postage.  I went back by my car and over the tracks toward the Post Office on Maple Avenue, like I have done a hundred times or more in my life.  I paid for my postage and sent my reports off to the government departments I answer to.  I come out the door and break into a light jog back across Maple Avenue to build momentum to carry me up and over the hill on the tracks, still whistling, with no criminal intentions on my mind.

Suddenly a car horn beeps and I see a police car with an officer beckoning me to come to him.  Thinking nothing of it I walk to the car, despite the fact that my car was closer.  I thought maybe he wanted some help with something.  To my surprise he greets me with a gruff and abrupt "Do you speak English or French?" without even leaving his car.

"Excuse me?" I ask.  He explains that I was breaking the law by crossing over the tracks and that people who walk along the tracks are often "irresponsible and stupid."  I explain that I have walked the same route a number of times and only to cross and that I never walk parallel to the tracks.  He asks if I had seen a sign stating it was an offence.  Of course I never did because I didn't even look as I didn't feel there was a need to.  The discussion led eventually to me receiving my ticket as I watch two youth cross over the tracks with no action taken against them. 

The whole situation was discomforting and I was a bit frustrated by the way in which the officers treated me.  The passenger railways have been on hard times and if this is the way they treat passengers then I can see why.  I would think instead of taking a confrontational approach to the issue they would work with the public to solve the safety concerns.  My recommendation would be to hold public consultations to develop safe pedestrian crossing areas and establish fences to maintain the right of way.  Currently there are not enough crossings for pedestrians and these could be tunnels under the tracks or bridges over them. 

Personal safety is important and I understand CN's concern about people crossing their right of way.  It is not the respectable people going about their daily business that typically result in accidents on CN's right of way and because I voluntarily approached the officer I feel that I was wrongly made an example of.  I will gladly offer to help CN develop a more public friendly, locally designed solution to the safety issues they face in Sussex and in the process maybe help them increase their client base as opposed to shrink it.  Of course I would have to ask for considerable leniency on my ticket.

Broadening my Horizons

Recently I was encouraged to send some material to another out door based website that was seeking bloggers for some writing.  They asked me to do a top 10 list and so I did.  Check out for my newest endeavor and let me and them know what you think.