Community Herald: Star Spinner

“Children are very privileged here and the more they can understand it, the greater citizens they will be and the greater they will serve their community.”

To see the world through the eyes of a child is a gift. But to see the world through the eyes of a young girl, granting wishes to terminally ill children in Poland and offering hope to young Canadians who’ve experienced violence, is a lesson in empathy and empowerment.

With plans to beat the Guinness World Record for fastest spin on ice-skates, 11-year-old Olivia Rybicka-Oliver is raising money to grant wishes for terminally ill children., photographed with coach Charleen Cameron. (L-R).
11-year-old Olivia Rybicka-Oliver plans to beat the Guinness World Record for fastest spin on ice-skates, and is raising money to grant wishes for terminally ill children, photographed with coach Charleen Cameron. (L-R).

At 11-years-old, Olivia Rybicka-Oliver knows she can make a difference. She knows she has a talent for spinning on ice-skates and she’s determined to use her talent to fundraise for 100 terminally ill children in Poland and also for LOVE (Leave Out Violence), a Halifax-based charity helping youth who’ve been affected by violence.

The bright-eyed, middle-school girl from Hammonds Plains is fundraising to grant 100 wishes before Christmas and attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest spinner on ice-skates. The record was set in 2006 by Russian-born Natalia Kanounnikova at 308 RPM (rotations-per-minute).

“The first time I ever went (back) to Poland, it was a really good experience for me and I just wanted to keep it up and help these children … to grant their wishes before they pass away and make them as happy as I can.”

Full story here.

Here’s Olivia in a slower practice spin during training: 

To sponsor Olivia Rybicka-Oliver in raising $150,000 for 100 wishes visit www.oliviaoliver.org. More information about Fundacja Dziecieca Fantazja is found at www.f-df.org. LOVE organization is at www.novascotia.leaveoutviolence.org.

Community Herald: Community putting a name on wind energy project in Upper Pockwock

Lennett Anderson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Upper Pockwock signed the 49 metre wind turbine blade with his children, Micah (9), Caleb (6) and Jordan (5) and says the green energy project will, “give back to the community through educational grants, bursaries and scholarships.” (Clockwise)
Lennett Anderson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Upper Pockwock signed the 49 metre wind turbine blade with his children, Micah (9), Caleb (6) and Jordan (5) and says the green energy project will, “give back to the community through educational grants, bursaries and scholarships.” (Clockwise)

Sounds of awestruck children travelled the aisles of two chartered buses, packed with 141 passengers on their way to sign a 49-metre long blade belonging to one of five wind turbines on Sept. 12.

Seven-year-old Linden Stevens asks his father, “how will everyone be able to sign it?”

“He was born the first year I became an investor in Chebucto (Wind Field), this will be the closest he’s been to a windmill,” says Jim Stevens, a board member with Chebucto Wind Field Inc. (CWF), the original company, he says, that brought the Chebucto Pockwock Community Wind Project together. “So much has happened in seven years … it was a time when we needed change with Nova Scotia Power … This is a huge moment for so many people,” says Stevens.

Upper Pockwock community members, shareholders and directors of Chebucto Pockwock Community Wind, Chebucto Wind Field and Halifax Water Commission gathered at the site of five wind turbines, to sign a blade measuring 49 metres, on Sept. 12.
Upper Pockwock community members, shareholders and directors of Chebucto Pockwock Community Wind, Chebucto Wind Field and Halifax Water Commission gathered at the site of five wind turbines, to sign a blade measuring 49 metres, on Sept. 12.

The total cost for the five Vestas V-100 wind turbines is $29 million and they’ll provide about 10 megawatts of local, clean energy to more than 3,200 homes in the Upper Pockwock area.

As a thanks to shareholders and local community members, Terry Norman, president of Chebucto Pockwock Lake Wind Field (CPL) arranged a special trip to the secure site, located on Halifax Regional Water Commission property, to view the turbines and sign their name on a blade.

Full story here.

Community Herald: Assessing watershed policy of Sandy Lake

Coined as the Point Pleasant Park of Hammonds Plains, local residents concerned for Sandy Lake Watershed had an opportunity to hear the final study report and summary of development scenarios for Sandy Lake and Marsh Lake on Sept. 11 at Bedford Hammonds Plains Community Centre.

“There is a trend of increasing phosphorus in Sandy Lake over time,” said Timothy Baschiu, geoscientist with AECOM Consulting.

The study examined areas serviced by water and waste water; measuring water quality objectives based on increasing phosphorus levels due to factors like stormwater runoff, aging septic systems, waste water facilities and urban development.

Baschiu presented four scenarios, from Sandy Lake’s current condition of 12 micrograms-per-litre (ug/L) of phosphorus, to a maximum recommended water quality objective of 18 ug/L, or up to a maximum capacity increase of 50 per cent. The study concluded a “robust water quality monitoring plan be proposed for the Sandy Lake watershed.”herald2

Full story here.

“It’s communities and people who decide what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. We are using science here to help describe what is and what can change … it’s up to you as residents, who are concerned for the lake, to decide what do you want the lake quality to be,” said Cameron Deacoff, an environment officer with HRM and project director on the watershed study.

Once parameters are set, Deacoff said it’s municipality’s responsibility to set standards and policy to achieve these societal objectives.

Have your say

Have a say in policy development and an input in the future of Sandy Lake Watershed: Residents are invited to send their opinions and comments on the draft final study report to HRM or AECOM until 11:59 p.m. on Mon. Oct. 13, to be taken into consideration for the final study report for HRM. The final study report will then be submitted to North West Community Council for approval as background for future community planning around Dec. 15. Cameron Deacoff, Halifax Regional Municipality cameron.deacoff@halifax.ca, 902.490.1926 Timothy Baschiu, AECOM timothy.baschiu@aecom.com, 902.428.2048 A copy of the report can be found on www.halifax.ca.

Community Herald: Etsy Pop-up market coming to Halifax Sept. 27

Gina Comeau of Gina Comeau Jewelry, trimming a bezel setting for a carnelian ring.  Comeau makes handcrafted jewelry using century-old materials and processes.
Gina Comeau of Gina Comeau Jewelry, trimming a bezel setting for a carnelian ring. Comeau makes handcrafted jewelry using century-old materials and processes.

International online uber-giant Etsy, is taking a leap from cyberspace, bringing its Made In Canada pop-up market to Nova Scotia this month.

Local Etsy artisans, crafters, craft suppliers and vintage sellers will be connecting with the local community and showcasing their designs, treasures and unique creations at the Forum Bingo Hall.

Fatema Sidat is a local organizer of the event and lives in Dartmouth. She says the admission is free and throughout the day there will be swag bags to giveaway, raffle prizes and children’s workshops.

“It’s a way to take the handmade movement to the community,” says Sidat, owner of Silver Lily Jewelry on Etsy, selling handcrafted jewelry and watches.  Click for story and details.

Update: since publication, there are now more than 50 vendors showcasing at the pop-up market.

Esty Made In Canada Pop-Up Market takes place Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Forum Bingo Hall.

Community Herald: Community building with new historical sign in Hammonds Plains

Hammonds Plains Historical Society president Dave Haverstock says the new sign beside Uplands Park will be “a direct line to the community,” sharing the areas long and rich history, at a ceremony of gratitude for $5,000 funding from HRM.  Maker of the sign, Greg Veinot pictured with Vernon Kynock, Dave Haverstock, Brian Murray of Blue Barn Farms, Counc. Matt Whitman (Hammonds Plains - St. Margarets Bay), Cathy Munroe, Wayne Shellnutt and Cynthia Simpson. (L-R)
Hammonds Plains Historical Society president Dave Haverstock says the new sign beside Uplands Park will be “a direct line to the community,” sharing the areas long and rich history, at a ceremony of gratitude for $5,000 funding from HRM. Maker of the sign, Greg Veinot pictured with Vernon Kynock, Dave Haverstock, Brian Murray of Blue Barn Farms, Counc. Matt Whitman (Hammonds Plains – St. Margarets Bay), Cathy Munroe, Wayne Shellnutt and Cynthia Simpson. (L-R)

Community Herald: It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’: Internet security experts advise safety in an ‘online virtual environment largely devoid of responsible adult influence’

Ron McLeod, past president of HTCIA Atlantic, wants parents to attend the upcoming cyber safety event and offers advice like keeping a post-it note over a computer’s webcam incase it’s remotely accessed, the webcam will be visibly blocked.
Ron McLeod, past president of HTCIA Atlantic, wants parents to attend the upcoming cyber safety event and offers advice like keeping a post-it note over a computer’s webcam incase it’s remotely accessed, the webcam will be visibly blocked.

Leading internet security experts are meeting in Halifax and offering parents a free education session on cyber safety and cyber bullying.

“It’s especially important for parents of junior high level children to educate themselves because they’re being exposed to a lot more vulnerable applications and peer pressure to fit in,” says Blair MacLellan, president of HTCIA Atlantic Canada and a member of the RCMP tech crime unit Nova Scotia.

High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) is an international organization hosting it’s regional conference in Halifax on Sept. 18 and 19 at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. The Atlantic Canada Chapter was recognized as International Chapter of the Year earlier this month, partly due to their public outreach and education, says Ron McLeod, past president of HTCIA Atlantic Canada and local internet security specialist.

“The threats that exist online to ourselves and our families are evolving everyday. Our children are living their lives inside an online virtual environment largely devoid of responsible adult influence.  And it’s “Lord of the Flies” in there all the time,” says McLeod.

Clickjacking, SnapChat and details of free info night: Click for the complete story and internet safety tips.

“We’re tracking through our platform 500-to-600 posts per day where kids are either saying or showing things of extreme concern or showing very, very poor judgment,” says Darren McLeod, VP and Director of Sales at Social LifeRaft.

The free parent and child (12+ years) evening is Sept. 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water St., Halifax.

Anyone can register for the two day conference, featuring presentations by Symantec, a leading online security company and conference sponsor, along with presentations from other world experts in cyber safety. Information available at www.atlantichtcia.org.

Want more cyber safety tips? Check out:

CYBER SAFETY FOR KIDS: IPHONE APPS FOR THE PARENTAL RADAR

Hammonds Plains ice-skater spins for kids

Apparently, ‘not her fastest spin’ but it is super impressive! I had the pleasure of interviewing inspiring, local ice-skater, Olivia Oliver.

Passionate and determined, she plans to break the Guinness World Record in Warsaw, Poland, spinning to raise money for children who’ve experienced violence.

Find out in Sept. 23 issue of Community Herald, why she’s attempting more than 5 spins-per-second for 300 rotations in a minute, and who else she’s been helping, all while navigating the waters of elementary school and being a tween.