Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast for Thursday, August 10, 2017

Today – Mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this afternoon. High 28. Humidex 32. UV index 8 or very high.

Tonight – A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness after midnight then 30 percent chance of showers before morning. Risk of a thunderstorm before morning. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 19.

Elizabeth Downey Sunnen (Facebook)

Photo of the day – New United Way chair announced in Chatham-Kent

The United Way of Chatham-Kent announced on Wednesday that Elizabeth Downey-Sunnen will be serving as the volunteer campaign chair and will lead the organization’s annual fundraising effort in 2017.

Elizabeth has been a long-time supporter of the United Way and it started when she was a youth ambassador for CKSS roughly 20 years ago

United Way officials say she is a very positive and highly creative individual, believes strongly in kindness and laughter and she is currently a visual artist in the Municipality.

She has also been a high school English teacher and currently hosting students at AwareHouse. This is a new venture for her, and is aimed at working on mindfulness and self-awareness through art.

She is bilingual, which enabled her to live and work in France after she completed her undergraduate degree at Laurier. Her husband Brian was born in the United States, which enabled her to live and work in Colorado before returning seven years ago to Chatham-Kent.

She has two children, Zadie, 10, and Milo, 6, a couple of dogs, Gemma, almost one, Roxy, almost 3 months old, a couple of turtles, Jelly, 8, and PB, 5, and one guinea pig, Ginger, 3.

More more details about the United Way of Chatham-Kent and their annual campaign, visit: http://uwock.ca/

Mayors and Governors reach agreement to improve water diversion application process

Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope said an agreement to review and strengthen the process by which communities from outside the traditional Great Lakes area can divert water will help ensure that the resource is used in a fashion which will ensure its long-term sustainability.

Mayor Hope is a member of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (Cities Initiative) which opposed a US-based decision last year to divert up to 8.2 million gallons per day for the use of Waukesha, Wisconsin, a city of 70,000 whose water supply is contaminated.

The Cities Initiative ultimately agreed to the diversion (which calls for treated water to be returned to Lake Michigan) in combination with what it calls ‘a rigorous review’ of the process for considering diversions, with extensive stakeholder involvement in determining formal rules and revised guidelines for the future.

“The mayors and other officials on both sides of the border were concerned about opening up the Great Lakes as a water supply source for large parts of the American Midwest,” Hope said in a press release. “We will be reviewing the process to ensure this doesn’t happen and we maintain the level and quality of the Great Lakes.”

Hope said the Great Lakes comprise more than 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water supply and depletion of the resource would bring the North American economy to a halt.

“This is not a backyard pool where you can simply fill it back up if it gets low,” he said. “We’re dealing with a huge and complex ecosystem. We intend to protect it from any exploitation or misuse.”

The agreement includes review of many aspects of the process for evaluating applications for diversion, including the public engagement process, development of the record to support any decisions made by the Compact Council and Regional Body, public hearings in Canada and the United States, consideration of new information that becomes available during the process, changes in the application while under consideration, and much more.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a coalition of 131 U.S. and Canadian cities and mayors representing over 17 million people committed to the long term protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

Leadership change at Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

A produce veteran has moved into a Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers leadership position.

Joe Sbrocchi will assume the General Manager role at the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG), effective Sept 18th, 2017.

Sbrocchi has been active in a number of roles in the greenhouse sector for the last eight years.

Previously he has held management roles with national retailers like Sobeys and Walmart providing a solid body of work throughout the entire value chain.

“We are pleased to have a quality leader join the OGVG at a point where his experience, skills and leadership can significantly support our sector”, commented OGVG Chair George Gilvesy.

“I believe my lifetime in produce and in particular the past eight years in the Greenhouse sector have prepared me well for this role. I am looking forward to representing Ontario greenhouse growers to the very best of my abilities” added Sbrocchi.

OGVG is responsible for licensing all growers, packers and marketers of Ontario greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Currently, OGVG has over 200 growers, representing nearly 2900 acres of high-tech hydroponic greenhouse production.

Jeremy Smith playing Dresden Rotary Summer Concert Series

The Rotary Summer Concert Series continues in Dresden today, and Jeremy Smith will be taking the stage.

A barbecue starts at 6 p.m. and the entertainment runs from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Here is a list of the entertainment throughout the rest of the summer:

World news

If you have a suggestion, story idea, column idea, or if you want to say hello… drop me an e-mail at aaron@sydenhamcurrent.ca.

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