Newsletter 2013-02-06


BHCA Newsletter for February 2013

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February 2013


Hockey Day in Ottawa

Our fifth annual Hockey Day in Ottawa is scheduled for Saturday, February 9th, 2013 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. The key objective of Hockey Day in Ottawa is to celebrate a sport that has defined our nation and united Canadians time and time again. The concept is simple; we want to have as many people as possible grab their skates, hockey sticks and helmets and hit their local rink at 1:00pm on Saturday afternoon. This event is all about participation, inclusion and being active outdoors in our local parks.

And as an added bonus, we’re providing free Hot Chocolate (donated by Tim Horton’s) and Hot Dogs (provided by Jeff Adams Mortgage Broker, www.JeffAdams.ca). While supplies last, so head on out and have a great time at the following rinks:

Jasmine @ 2040 Jasmine Cres

Fairfield @ 49 Appleford St

Eastvale @ 740 Eastvale Dr **

**(tentatively scheduled to be open by Saturday)


 

Transit Oriented Development Plan

The city’s Transit Oriented Development Plan is available from our website. Click here to download/view the PDF.


 

Scam to Watch For

(from CBC News, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/01/17/marketplace-duct-cleaners.html)

Offshore telemarketers sell ripoff duct cleaning, expert says – Canada – CBC News

Canadians are getting ripped off by some air duct cleaning services sold by offshore telemarketers, a CBC investigation has revealed.

In a recent report, Marketplace found many Canadians are facing harassment from foreign telemarketing firms who defy Canada’s do-not-call list. One of the most common services for sale is cheap air duct cleaning.

But Marketplace found that, even with the low price, Canadians aren’t getting what they’re paying for.

“Customers have to be really very careful,” said air duct cleaning expert Gino Meranda. “Many, many people are getting ripped off in this business in so many different ways.”

Marketplace hired multiple Toronto duct cleaning companies from telemarketers using fake, or “spoofed” phone numbers to conceal their locations. It’s a common trick used by some call centres to avoid CRTC penalties for calling numbers on the do-not-call list.

Meranda took part in the Marketplace investigation, which used hidden cameras to monitor the techniques and the overall effectiveness of the discount duct cleaners.

In one house, Meranda estimated one duct contained almost four centimetres of dust before the cleaners arrived, with very little change afterward.

“(The dust) hasn’t been moved at all,” Meranda said inspecting the same duct after cleaning. “It hasn’t moved, not even an inch.”

Work raises red flagsIn two cases, the cleaners completed the job in approximately one hour and charged $115 and $99 before tax, respectively.

That’s a red flag, Meranda says, since a proper job should take at least two hours and cost more than $300, depending on the size of the home.

One cleaner said they don’t have time to do a proper job, because the telemarketers schedule too many jobs — as many as eight in one day.

“My boss gives me hour (for every) job,” said one employee who gave his name as Kassim. “He wanted me to run to one job and then go to other job.”

Meranda agreed that’s not enough time.

“It’s really ridiculous,” he said. “There’s no way you can do a proper job, (cleaning) eight to nine houses a day.”

Despite the tight time constraint, the cleaners don’t spend all their time working. Hidden cameras captured one man blowing compressed air onto his pants while his co-worker sat and watched. Meranda guessed the worker was “just making noise” to appear busy.

Watch Marketplace’s episode, When The Repairman Knocks, Friday at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador).

Kassim also admitted that some homeowners don’t want their ducts cleaned: they hire the cleaners in order to confront them face-to-face about the telemarketing calls.

It’s a problem Kassim understands, since he also gets calls selling duct cleaning services.

Upselling a common scamDebate exists about the necessity of cleaning home air ducts. A November 2012 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that dusty ducts aren’t a health hazard and don’t conclusively increase dust levels in a home.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association argues that dirty air ducts can recirculate contaminants and create or aggravate respiratory problems, allergies and other illnesses.

The EPA and NADCA both suggest that clean ducts can increase household energy efficiency. Both also agree that if homeowners choose to get the work done, they should hire qualified companies.

Meranda and NADCA also warned that aside from just doing a poor job, the dodgier duct cleaners sometimes pull another scam: upselling.

Homeowners in Canada and the U.S. have reported duct cleaners who do the work, then claim to discover problems that will cost more money to fix — including full furnace replacement.

Meranda says homeowners can avoid the ripoffs just by doing their homework.

“You need to research,” he warns. “Ask (the company) how long they’ve been in business, ask them if they’re a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, and most importantly, have the companies show you before and after the cleaning is performed, so [you] know that [you] had a good job done.”


 

Bridge Update

Bridge corridor selection will be presented Spring 2013.

The Evaluation Committee (EC) will conduct the evaluation of the three corridors in the New Year. The committee is made up of technical experts with relevant and broad knowledge of the corridors to ensure there is a balanced and informed evaluation. These experts have senior-level experience in one or more of the fields related to the Evaluation Factors, such as natural environment, cultural environment, water use and resources, social environment, land use and property, economic environment, traffic and transportation and cost. Each corridor will be subject to a comparative analysis process identified in the Study Design Report to determine the preferred corridor.

Following public and expert comments received during Round 2 of public consultations held last summer, the consultant has worked on refining the technically preferred alignments within each of the three corridors.

Subsequently, the evaluation is scheduled for winter 2013 to allow the consultant to also refine the various technical reports that will provide information to the members of the EC in preparation for the evaluation. The transportation and human health reports, for example, have been refined to ensure that the most complete and up-to-date information and methodologies, and that the most robust set of findings are made available for the evaluation activities that will follow.

Round 3 Public Consultations are scheduled to take place this spring.

The preferred corridor will be brought forward for public consultation and feedback in spring 2013. As usual, as they become available, details of Round 3 Public Consultation will be announced in advance.

The results of the evaluation will also be presented for information to the National Capital Commission Board, the City of Ottawa Transportation Committee and the Ville de Gatineau Comité Plénier.


 

The No-Nonsense, Non-Alarmist, Essential Guide to the Flu

(from GoKicker.com, http://gokicker.com/2013/01/11/the-no-nonsense-non-alarmist-essential-guide-to-the-flu/)

The flu is here.

Flu season came early this year, and it’s not only worse than expected, but it’s also the worst flu season in years. The mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency in the city due to the high number of cases – over 700 – there. And dozens of cases across the country have been fatal. In fact, the outbreak is more intense in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world right now. So, it’s serious.

There are actually several different kinds of sicknesses affecting the country – seasonal flu, norovirus, whooping cough, and strep throat among them, not even counting Bieber fever (although there is a cure for that).

What is the flu? Has it hit your neighborhood? How worried should you be? How can you avoid getting it? What should you do if you do get sick?

Read on to find out.

What is the flu?

Let’s get this straight first… Flu is the respiratory sickness caused by the influenza virus that threatens the functions of your nose, throat and lungs.

Flu is a virus that spreads by injecting its genetic information into the nuclei of your cells. In other words, it hijacks the good cells and controls their function to turn them against you. And you get it simply by breathing it in.

After the virus moves into the bloodstream, it causes those symptoms we all know and love:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Body aches and chills
  • Runny nose and/or congestion
  • Tiredness
  • Some of the harsher symptoms include dehydration and sinus/ear infections.

Hopefully you don’t have norovirus, a stomach flu that is quite painful to go through (it usually involves vomiting, back pain and diarrhea).

How is the flu different from a bad cold or strep?

There are four big telltale signs that can help you distinguish among a cold, a flu, norovirus and whooping cough:

  1. Fever equals flu. You might get a slight temperature from a cold, but if you’re really heating up, it’s probably the flu.
  2. Colds are mild and long lasting. Colds usually start with a sore throat, then progress to symptoms like a runny nose and congestion, followed by a cough that won’t go away. And they don’t usually cause fevers. Sometimes it can take up to 3 weeks to get rid of a cold entirely. The flu, though, tends to come on quickly all at once and be more intense, but it doesn’t linger. If you’re running a fever and your body aches and you can’t get out of bed and don’t feel like eating anything, it’s flu time.
  3. Pink swollen tonsils are the strep red flag. Strep throat also comes on quickly and starts with a sore throat and headache. So how do you know what’s what? Tonsils that look red or inflamed (sometimes with white yellow patches of pus on them – ugh), with an absolutely killer sore throat, separates strep – a bacteria that usually takes antibiotics to cure – from flu (against which antibiotics are useless). Show a doctor if you think it’s strep. No Instagram photos please.
  4. Diarrhea can be a sign of norovirus or whooping cough. Whooping cough, or pertussis, a strong cough that ends with a “whoop” noise, takes effect 10-12 days after a common cold sets in. It’s caused by bacteria and can be fatal for infants. You might also experience stomach issues from what’s called the stomach flu but is a totally different thing from the seasonal flu. This year norovirus is the stomach flu variety that’s sweeping the country.

What’s up with this year’s epidemic?

National Institutes of Allergy and Infections Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci announced on CNN, “We are into what would classically be described as a flu epidemic.”

How can I avoid the flu?

If only it were as simple as more cowbell.

Or swathing yourself in plastic.

The main thing you can do is take care of yourself. Which is obviously easier said than done with habits and busy schedules.

Your body really does do much better at fighting off the flu if you are:

  • Getting enough sleep. (Most people need 7-8 hrs.)
  • Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables and non-processed foods.
  • Drinking the amount of water you need.
  • Exercising. When you work out you enhance your body’s immunity.
  • Washing your hands and keeping clean. The norovirus spreads through contact. Hand sanitizer helps kill any germs you might have after touching an infected area.
  • Taking vitamins, avoiding sick people and using hand sanitizer are just a few other ways to keep from getting sick.

You should also cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.

To take prevention to another level, get vaccinated – especially if you are particularly at risk.

Problem is, suppliers are reporting shortages of the main flu vaccine. Still, you might be able to get a shot, or maybe get the version known as FluMist, which is inhaled instead of injected.

What should I do if I get sick?

One thing that can help is the prescription medication Tamiflu – but there’s a shortage of that too. Another medicine is Relenza. Both need to be taken soon after the disease rears its ugly head, so be ready to call the doctor.

Kids and the elderly are more at risk than many others, and it’s especially important for them to see a doctor if they think they have the flu. And definitely go to the doctor if you experience any acute symptoms like the inability to keep fluids down, chest pain, fever and constant vomiting.

Healthy adults might want to consult a doctor but will probably mostly just have to wait it out.

No matter what, if you have the flu, stay hydrated, get a lot of rest, and stay home – both to get better and to avoid infecting others.


 

Fun Stuff


 

14 wonderful words with no English equivalent:

 

1. Shemomedjamo (Georgian)

You know when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it? The Georgians feel your pain. This word means, “I accidentally ate the whole thing.”

2. Pelinti (Buli, Ghana)

Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an “aaaarrrahh” noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means “to move hot food around in your mouth.”

3. Layogenic (Tagalog)

Remember in Clueless when Cher describes someone as “a full-on Monet… from far away, it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess”? That’s exactly what this word means.

4. Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa)

College kids, relax. There’s actually a word for “to sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked.”

5. Zeg (Georgian)

It means “the day after tomorrow.” Seriously, why don’t we have a word for that in English?

6. Pålegg (Norweigian)

Sandwich Artists unite! The Norwegians have a non-specific descriptor for anything — ham, cheese, jam, Nutella, mustard, herring, pickles, Doritos, you name it — you might consider putting into a sandwich.

7. Lagom (Swedish)

Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right.”

8. Tartle (Scots)

The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.

9. Koi No Yokan (Japanese)

The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.

10. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego)

This word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do.

11. Fremdschämen (German); Myötähäpeä (Finnish)

The kinder, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to “vicarious embarrassment.” Or, in other words, that-feeling-you-get-when-you-watch-Meet the Parents.

12. Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)

Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for “tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.”

13. Greng-jai (Thai)

That feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.

14. Kaelling (Danish)

You know that woman who stands on her doorstep (or in line at the supermarket, or at the park, or in a restaurant) cursing at her children? The Danes know her, too.


This newsletter also sponsored in part by:

 


 

This Newsletter also sponsored in part by Councillor Tim Tierney


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