Creating a village in our communities A strong social network makes a difference in living a long, happy life

It’s no secret our society has moved away from face-to-face contact. With the arrival of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, we’ve become accustomed to interacting with people digitally rather than in person.

I’m no different. I work from home and often keep in touch with people through Facebook, texting, and emailing. For the most part, I’m okay with my alone time. But I crave in-person contact and feel more satisfied when I actually see my friends and family.

Continue reading Creating a village in our communities A strong social network makes a difference in living a long, happy life

Know what to do with door-to-door sales Stay smart and informed when a salesperson comes knocking

I have had several unsolicited visits at my house from door-to-door salespeople. You probably have, too.

I have seen salespeople offering energy contracts, newspapers, alarm systems, and even furnaces. While being interrupted during dinner may be annoying, contracts can have lasting implications.

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Creeping bellflower spotted everywhere This pretty purple flower is actually a noxious weed

Letter to the Editor:

On many walks through my neighbourhood (Alberta Avenue), I see an abundance of the creeping bellflower plant, either in clumps in back alleys, or displayed with pride in people’s front yard gardens.

The City of Edmonton has designated this plant as a noxious weed.

Continue reading Creeping bellflower spotted everywhere This pretty purple flower is actually a noxious weed

Alberta Avenue welcomes new grocery store Mama’s Bodega Fresh Food Market offers Filipino foods

As a hub of numerous stores and cultural diversity, 118 Avenue has quickly become a destination for ethnic foods in Edmonton. Now people will have even more to choose from with the addition of Mama’s Bodega Fresh Food Market.

I stopped in to meet owner Charity Durowaa and check out what the store has to offer.

Continue reading Alberta Avenue welcomes new grocery store Mama’s Bodega Fresh Food Market offers Filipino foods

Improve your barbecuing skills this summer Fire up the grill and try these delicious suggestions

One of the best things about summer is firing up the barbecue and eating outdoors.

Bryan Goulet, executive chef at Creative Quality Catering & Bistro, and Sierra Bilton, Rat Creek Press writer, offered some tips and favourite recipes for this barbecuing season.

Continue reading Improve your barbecuing skills this summer Fire up the grill and try these delicious suggestions

Shop Alberta Ave for barbecue supplies Local shops offer plenty of options this grilling season

There is nothing quite like enjoying a good barbecue while the weather is beautiful. Luckily, there is still some time to fire up that grill and plenty of local shops offer everything you need for supplies.

Many people love barbecued meat, and Easyford Meats is the perfect place to buy whatever cuts you prefer. They offer several barbecue packs, which have a variety of steaks, ribs, pork chops, smokies, and sausages. Contact Easyford Meats to order these packs directly.

Continue reading Shop Alberta Ave for barbecue supplies Local shops offer plenty of options this grilling season

Infill growing pains Increasing density in mature neighbourhoods

Growing pains. Children have them. Families too. And so does our city. According to the city census, Edmonton’s population grew by 7.4 per cent between 2012 and 2014. More people means more housing is needed. By 2018, city council wants 25 per cent of new housing to be infill in mature neighbourhoods.

Infill is less expensive as infrastructure and services are already in place. It reduces commutes, saving on transportation infrastructure and pollution. It also saves farmland from being eaten up.

Continue reading Infill growing pains Increasing density in mature neighbourhoods

Reap the benefits of green communities Embracing the healing and restorative power of nature

The West Nile virus worries me. Not because of the one in a million chance I might get infected, but because we don’t need another excuse to demonize the outdoors.

Ours is the first society that spends the majority of its time indoors. According to studies, the average North American spends less than two hours per day outside. Compared to our climate-controlled, sealed and sanitized homes, we have developed the attitude that nature is uncomfortable, disorderly, unsanitized and potentially dangerous. Possibly true.

Continue reading Reap the benefits of green communities Embracing the healing and restorative power of nature

Making a difference to at-risk youth Two men bring different methods when working with youth

Meet Sean Dunster and Sebastian Barrera.

Both help at-risk youth. Dunster’s approach is through wrestling and motivational presentations, Barrera’s through community development and public art.

Dunster’s path into wrestling took many twists and turns. “I was always a misfit because of my size, so I called my pro wrestling character Massive Damage.” He trained for football, then bodybuilding, until a pro wrestler recognized that Dunster’s frame and athleticism was perfect for the ring.

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Supporting inner-city youth for 23 years Crystal Kids has results with mentoring and harm reduction

A basketball game is starting in the Crystal Kids Youth Centre’s gym and a staff member is designating positions with six boys.

The focused and friendly energy highlights a core premise of Crystal Kids: to provide positive mentoring and individual engagement with youth. The centre’s approach is flexible within a programmed structure.

Continue reading Supporting inner-city youth for 23 years Crystal Kids has results with mentoring and harm reduction