Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pride, Commuters and a Real River Runs

No such thing as a free meal (anymore)

Nearly two years after in was unceremoniously closed, the last vestiges of Change Now seem to have been swept away with the discontinuation of the Youth Supper program. The youth supper program, held at Norfolk United Church, is being closed down completely in June, even after is was already scaled back from seven nights to five. Between Monday and Friday, Norfolk has been providing the food, working with other churches to handle prep and using volunteer servers while Wyndham House has been providing the supervisors required by Norfolk. “United Way funding for the supervisors apparently ended in January and Wyndham House will not be providing supervisors once its new shelter opens in late June,” said activist Edward Pickersgill in a Facebook post. “I've been informed of this by Norfolk United Church and asked not to mention it until the official announcement is made.”

Come out for Pride Week

Guelph Pride is currently in full swing starting the past Sunday with a potluck dinner at Harcourt United Church and followed up on Monday with the raising of the rainbow flag over City Hall. Festivities continue tonight with "Pinch This Pride: An Eclectic Queer Circus," a fund-raiser for the AIDS Committee of Guelph and Wellington County at ebar. Friday there’s a "Sex Positivity" Workshop at Incarnate Clothing and on Saturday the Rainbow Chorus sings songs of "Peace Love, Rock n' Roll" back at Harcourt United Church. Pride Week wraps up Sunday with "Human Like Me" featuring trans speaker j wallace at the Guelph Unitarian Congregation and Guelph Pride Brunch at the Red Brick Café. "We want to bring together Guelph's community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited, intersex, queer and questioning people - together with our friends, families and allies in a safe and welcoming environment," says Jerome Chang, a Guelph Pride organizer. "We have many exciting events planned during the week and we welcome everyone to join in our celebration." For more information go to http://

A River Runs through it

Holiday hangover had a whole new meaning for the staff of the River Run Centre following Victoria Day last week when the main stage took water damage after a flood. The main stage was closed for the week as RRC administrators feared for public and performers’ safety and wanted to take enough time to survey the damage and set a repair schedule. As a result, two big shows featuring Cynthia Dale and Jesse Stewart respectively had to be postponed. New dates for last week’s Main Stage shows should be announced shortly, if they haven’t already. The actual cause is still being investigated, but the facts are that on Monday morning, the building's fire suppression system dispersed between 6,000 and 8,000 gallons of water over the front of the Main Stage. Most of the water was removed on Monday by two tanker trucks.

Commuter Challenge accepted

Environment Week begins May 31st and part of the festivities is the Commuter Challenge, a national, annual event that promotes the benefits of sharing rides, taking transit, cycling, walking or working at home instead of driving to work alone. Once again this year, Guelph Transit is opening their doors on Clean Air Day, Wednesday June 3rd, to offer free rides to the people of Guelph in the hours between 5:30 am and 9:15 pm. “The Commuter Challenge encourages people to find and try different, more sustainable, ways to get to work for a week,” says Jennifer McDowell, Guelph’s Transportation Demand Management Coordinator. "Leaving the car at home helps people save money, reduce stress, get active and reduce air pollution in the city." The Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition between workplaces and communities across Canada for the highest participation percentage throughout the week. Individuals, employers and cities register online, and the Commuter Challenge website calculates the greenhouse gas emission reductions for each community. In 2008, 362 participants in Guelph collectively prevented 5.2 tonnes of CO2 gas emissions.

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