Tag Archives: HRM

Community Herald: Why not walk to school?

Basinview Drive Community School students Kate, Rory and Gillian participating in the launch of International walk to school month (IWALK) on Oct. 2 and say they enjoy walking to school, “rain or snow.”
Basinview Drive Community School students Kate, Rory and Gillian participating in the launch of International walk to school month (IWALK) on Oct. 2 and say they enjoy walking to school, “rain or snow.”

October is International Walk to School Month and students at Basinview Drive Community School took to the sunny streets of Bedford on Oct. 2 for the official launch.

Amidst morning commuters, yellow buses and early autumn sunshine, students shuffled their way to the LeBrun Centre and Atwood Terrace cul-de-sac, to make the walk along with school principal Ken Marchand and a few teachers.

“We walk to school everyday in any weather … but not hail or lightning storms,” says grade six student Gillian and her sister Rory.  Their friend Kate says her walk usually takes about 20 mins.  “We like walking to school, but not really in the winter because it’s cold,” smiles Gillian.

Kothai Kumanan made a special drive to get her kids to the IWALK launch.  She lives at the other end of Bedford and her children are usually bussed.  “If I could walk more, I would,” says her grade four daughter, Meera O’Neill.

Students from Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford gather to launch International walk to school month (IWALK), including Leah Castel with her children Mitchell and Jane.
Students from Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford gather to launch International walk to school month (IWALK), including Leah Castel with her children Mitchell and Jane.

International Walk to School Month (IWALK) aims to encourage students to walk to school as an active healthy living and sustainable transportation activity. Hosted by Halifax Regional School Board, along with the Halifax Regional Policy, Halifax Municipality, RCMP, the Ecology Action Centre and Child Safety Link, Trish Smith of HRSB says, “it is also an opportunity to promote road safety for both pedestrians and motorists.”

Basinview Drive Community School is one of Ecology Action Centre’s travel planning schools and Janet Barlow says they’ve created an active transportation plan for the school community and have been putting place initiatives to try and get more kids walking and biking to school.

“We try to walk as often as we can and we often bring a couple other children along,” says Leah Castel.  Her children, Jane and Mitchell walk about a kilometre and half everyday.  “It takes about 25 mins.  We bundle up and we go … October is a great month because you’re not overheating and it’s a great way to start the day with fresh air, activity and it gets the brain started … and it gets the dog walked!”

About 400 students, or two-thirds of the student population are walkers, according to Marchand, who joined the event.  “There are routes and pathways throughout the community and parents tend to walk with their kids … they have conversations with their children, find rocks and it provides fond memories for children and their parents,” says Marchand.

Click here for Community Herald story.

Top three mission of IWALK, according to Janet Barlow at Ecology Action Centre:

  1. It’s about the environment: “We care about reducing the amount of cars on the road, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that come from that, and biking and walking is one way to do that.”
  2. It’s about safety: “Pedestrian safety is a big issue in Halifax, especially around crosswalks.  We want to make it safe for kids to do this.”
  3. It’s about physical activity: “Our kids don’t get enough physical activity and the walk to and from school each day can actually provide a large portion of the daily physical activity recommendation, which is about 60 mins.”

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: Will it be safer?

HP road heraldIt wasn’t so much of a road, as a path, or possibly even a corridor. A corridor that’s on the chopping blocks for widening between May and August.

As Hammonds Plains commuters, residents and business owners prepare for another summer of construction, some are saying the end product is merely an intermediate solution and fails to solve the problems of the road.

“Because it’s so hilly, you take your eye off one side for the other, it’s dangerous…we’re dealing with high volume, high-speed traffic that puts everybody on the Hammonds Plains road at risk…to me, that’s unacceptable,” says Mike Blotnicky, Chairman, Greater Hammonds Plains Community Assoc.

Read what’s happening and what people are saying about the road that averaged one accident every two-and-a-half days in 2013.

Community Herald: Ditching the Ditch Tax


Halifax Water Commission has begun billing 15,000 customers in rural and suburban HRM a yearly fee of $33.39 for service of municipal ditches and culverts. The new fee has many Hammonds Plains residents, on private wells and septic systems, frustrated and unhappy.

Here’s the article with shared thoughts and frustrations from local residents and Coun. Matt Whitman (Hammonds Plains – St. Margarets Bay), along with HWC response.

“With this ditch tax, I’m looking at all of these things together and it’s really upsetting because there’s so many negatives and we’re getting absolutely nothing.” Gary Grant, resident Highland Park

Residents set up a Hammonds Plains Ditch Tax on Facebook, which continues to grow in popularity, receiving 328 ‘likes’ as of Apr. 9.



Community Herald: Winning Winter

winter screenshotIt’s been a long winter, regardless of what the groundhog said.

Nova Scotians have battled their fair share of ice, wind, freezing rain, flurries and blizzards. But that’s no reason to cower behind closed doors for the month of March, as three outdoor aficionados share inspiration, inside tips and expert knowledge on their “Winter Beat”, because if you can’t escape it, embrace it.

Check out Winning Winter in the Community Herald.

And for fun around HRM over March Break, check out Make the most of March for entertainment, day-out itineraries and tips to keep the kiddies busy over the break.

Community Herald: Make the most out of March Break

March Bk screenshotKids are electric with excitement as energy pulses through school hallways across the province. It’s T-Minus two days until March Break kick-off. Get ready, get set…for a week of fun and frolicking in and around HRM.

Here’s a few tip-of-the-iceberg scenarios to keep the family charged with quality-time activities and entertainment.  For complete details be sure to read the print version being distributed today.

And for hot-off-the-press advice on outdoor fun and adventure around HRM, check out Winning Winter in the Community Herald.

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Behind the scenes peek at Halifax basketball: All for the love of the game

Herald eye on ball For two local MABO referees, it’s all about the love of the game and inspiring local youth.

From scorekeepers to the refs, all eyes on the ball during the fast-pace MBA 2014 play-offs.

 “It’s been a real eye-opener, you don’t know how hard it is until you do it,” Scorekeeper Dondrae Fells

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