A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Problems with Math?

Many kids and adults struggle with math to a greater or lesser degree and most of us by the time we are out in the working world find strategy’s to work around such difficulties. Some kids who struggle in junior school seem to suddenly 'get it' once in High School but some continue to not be able to perform even simple math functions, like making change, through to adulthood. In many cases the use of a calculator or computerized till hides this problem until the power goes out or the batteries go flat, others may even struggle even with that 'accommodation'.

I have recently become aware that the inability to understand or perform math functions is not necessarily due to failure to learn the basics, poor memory function, laziness or other general leaning or intelligence ability’s. There is in fact a recognized 'disability' that specifically reduces an individuals ability to understand and perform math functions even though they may otherwise be highly intelligent, fully functioning individuals. As with a similar and related 'disability' dyslexia, it varies in one individual from another and often goes undiagnosed with the individual being classed as unintelligent or unable to learn or worse mentally deficient. Unfortunately here in SW Ontario this now well documented problem is largely unknown and unrecognized, particularly in the school system, to the point where that despite there being formal processes to recognize and test such kids in both the U.S. and the U.K. No such accommodations appear to exist in Ontario. In point of fact a researcher of brain functions at the UWO in London, Ontario, a Professor Ansari says that “I do not know of any place in Ontario where you can get a formal diagnosis of Dyscalculia”, this being the scientific name for this affliction.

Once a parent realizes that this may be the problem there is much information available on line as regards the symptoms and ramifications and even resources for “on line” testing to confirm your suspicions. Some such sites as with all such things online may need be approached with care however the most reliable sources appears to be via various university studies in the U.K, a search of such sites will guide you to such 'tests' one being http://www.dyscalculia.me.uk/testing.html where you will also find links to more information about this 'affliction'.

I will not try and explain the reason for this difficulty except to say that is is a glitch in the right hemisphere of the brain which makes numbers and math seem like a foreign language to those afflicted and there seems to be no 'cure' although there may be some ways to reduce the impact and increase the understanding of this math impediment.

If you or your child has exceptional difficulty in understanding or performing simple math look up the word “Dyscalculia” it may well be an “ahhh” moment, just dont expect any assistance or recognition of the problem by your local school board. (at least in the Avon Maitland board and as far as I can see most other Ontario boards!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lost my Poppy

Remembrance Day.....

Lost my new poppy..was pinned on fast

Seems them soldiers have the last laugh
Reminding us,  they are still proud
Looking for "My Poppy"...their jokes allowed.

I pinned it firm over my heart
Taped it, bent it, not we to part
Low and behold...Poppies Gone...
Good name, for a Remembrance Song...!!

I feel bad if my Poppy not seen
This special memory, lost boyhood dreams
Gave their lives for us we know
But Poppies are sold...wherever we go.

So I purchase another..smile goes with
No my friend not really a twit
I accept the game,  old soldiers play
Re-pin "this one" proudly..."it's Remembrance Day."

I am sure poppies don't just fall from clothing, I feel they are letting us know
the gesture sure is appreciated by they that gave it their all on the fields of freedom battles.
So if you lose your Poppy...a soldier is saying "Thanks" for remembering them.
Purchase another....their price paid was greater than a few coins dropped in a box.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rural Youth Engagement Showcase

Today through November 29, 2015, rural communities across Ontario have the opportunity to nominate young leaders for recognition in the Youth Engagement Showcase, the most recent initiative of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI).
The showcase will profile compelling stories of youth taking charge and tackling important issues, highlight the impact youth can have in their communities and demonstrate how different types of rural communities can successfully involve youth in addressing local challenges.
Up to eight final nominees will be profiled through individual video documentaries, each being filmed in their respective hometown. These documentaries will showcase involvements and accomplishments as well as community programs and organizations that are successfully engaging youth.   
Nomination information is available here. Please support the Youth Engagement Showcase by sharing this information within your networks. 

ROI is probably the best and in some cases the only resource for all thing 'rural' in Ontario, I highly recommend their site as an information source and am pleased that they are including our rural youth in their programs.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

That #^*$%* Time Change!

The time change is archaic and disruptive, especially for people who have sensitive internal clocks, such as seniors and children. There are also studies that have found an increase in workplace and road accidents in the weeks following time changes.'
"It's crazy when you look at the impact this has,' There's so many reasons that we shouldn't do it but I don't think there are many reasons why we should.''
So says some in BC who are petitioning for the whole thing to be dropped the same as in Saskatchewan, which is on central standard time year-round. As one of those seniors who's internal clock refuses to reset to the 'new' time I could not agree more, we have no need to save candle power anymore and almost all workplaces are lit up irregardless of daylight hours so hydro saving are minimal at best, particularly with shift work and extended shopping hours.

Lets settle on one setting or the other and then leave the bloody clocks alone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Strategic Voting in Bruce-Grey Owen Sound.

For those who wish to rid ourselves of the would be dictator Stephen Harper and his unelected PMO henchmen and if you put any believe in political polls (and I recognize that they are far from reliable) then you should be aware of the recent numbers given by “Vote Together” in a LOCAL poll commissioned with funds raised by local citizens.

A similar poll taken in mid September showed Liberal Kimberly Love at 29% and Larry Miller at 43%. Now the latest poll shows Kimberly at 40% just one point behind Miller. I do not intend to tell anyone how to vote but if you want to see the end of the destruction of our democracy and the disdain for parliamentary process then the choice is obvious. Even in this supposedly 'safe' Conservative riding there is a move afoot for change and I urge my readers to join me in electing someone other that a conservative in order to have any hope of bringing about a return to a more open and democratic government.

I have nothing against Mr Miller except to say this.....
Any Conservative MP who has not spoken out against the efforts of Harper and the PMO to dictate to those whom we have elected to represent us in the House of Commons not only how they must vote but to speak only the party pre scriped lines is no less guilty than their “Leader” and his unelected PMO enforcers.

Democracy Requires Dialogue not secrecy and refusal to debate and answer questions.

Nationality the average of all the polls as shown at Poll Tracker gives a minority Liberal government but with the Conservatives still withing striking distance of same.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Vote, Vote, Vote - Vote ABC

Are you Registered to Vote?

By this time you should have received your Voter Information Card telling you where your polling station is located, if you have not received one then either you are not on the list or you information on that list is incorrect and you should call or visit your local Election Canada office and get your information added or corrected.

If you did receive a card then check it out and make sure that the name and address matches that on your personal identification, in particular the address. If it does not contact EC and get the electors list corrected or you may be turned away on voting day.
Find your local EC office address and phone number here.......

I am told by someone who recently took poll clerk training that should you turn up at a poll with address information that does not match the listings or when you are not on the list then you will NOT be turned away but added to the list and asked to swear that you have not voted elsewhere.

Its a difficult choice we must make this time around in order to remove the current dictator from power, the choice of which other candidate (and thus the party they represent) is best placed to defeat the incumbent, or new, conservative candidate is not always clear in many ridings. You may be tempted to say I want him gone but I am not sure who else to vote for and therefore not bother. Please don’t do that, if the more that 40% of folks who did not vote last time get out and vote ABC then ANYTHING can happen in any riding.
So make sure you are on the list, your details are correct, and get out and VOTE, dont let Harper steal another election with his unfair election act changes designed to discourage voting and prevent Elections Canada from encouraging voters to vote and hamper investigation of electoral fraud.

Advance voting days
October 9, 10, 11 and 12, noon to 8:00 p.m.

Election Day is Oct 19th
The time polls are open will vary depending upon your time zone but ALL are open a minimum of 12 hours

Other ways to vote
Go to any Elections Canada office by 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13

No card?
Find out where to vote and check out if you are on the voters list here by entering your personal information


More voting wrinkles

Just found an interesting wrinkle in the voting process for those who wish to keep their face covered, despite have all the required documents the same as those who do not have photo ID and are permitted to vote right away those with face covering must swear an oath before they may vote. This does not seem logical or fair.

Those who want to make a protest by accepting a ballot and then refusing to vote will not be counted as refusing but their blank ballot placed in the box and counted as a spoiled ballot. A far better way to make your dislike of the system known would be to vote for a candidate who supports electoral reform. 31,000 people voted for “none of the above” in the last provincial election in Ontario where such an option was available, lets make every vote count..... against the dictatorial and corrupt Harper Regime!

As in all previous elections those that are turned away due to insufficient or incorrect identification or being at the wrong poll are not counted so we will never know how many voters tried to vote but were denied the opportunity. Please be sure you are on the voters list and have matching identification.
This information and more can be found in the polling clerks training manuals available on line on the Elections Canada site.

You should also have received a flyer regarding what to do if you did not receive a card which says you must present ......

1) Show one of these pieces of ID

  • your driver's licence
  • your provincial or territorial ID card
  • any other government card with your photo, name and current address

2) Show two pieces of ID

At least one must have your current address
What it does NOT say that said address much match in large part the address that EC has on file if it does not or if they have no listing you will have a problem.... call EC to ensure you can vote.

Almost 10 million Canadian voters did not vote for one reason or another in 2011, if all these folks make their wished know in this the most important election in years, possibly in Canadian history, then we CAN get rid of this undemocratic regime.............

In the Grey-Bruce Owen Sound riding in 2011 the conservative incumbent won by approximately 20,000 votes over the runner up HOWEVER over 27,000 eligible voters did not vote and there are almost 3,000 more eligible voters in our riding this time around. You CAN make a difference get out and VOTE!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Whos going to fix the copier?

Leaders of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 55,000 education workers in Ontario schools, ramped up the ongoing work-to-rule campaign on Tuesday morning. The union represents early childhood educators, educational assistants, custodians, clerical workers, librarians and other members of Ontario public and Catholic schools. Each category of workers was given an instruction list of approximately 30 to 35 items specific to their daily duties at school.
Some of the items that the union has told their member not to do include.......
Custodial and maintenance workers were advised not to sweep entrances and hallways or clean the offices of principals and vice-principals.
Clerical employees were told not to enter staff absences, complete month-end reports for the Ministry of Education, create or print newsletters or do school bank deposits.
Educational assistants will not complete any learner reports, make photocopies, will not do lunch duty, hall duty or yard duty.
Early childhood educators will not complete learner reports, make photocopies, attend training or do any paperwork.
Library workers will not clear photocopier jams or prepare materials for any classes.
Anyone employed in the information technology field will not clear photocopier jams, attend training or do any paperwork and all requests for work must be submitted in writing.
All instructors will not complete learner reports or submit lesson plans.
My only question is if this is a work to rule and these things are not in their job description, why not? No doubt that if such thing that are clearly part of their normal work routine were to be added to the proposed contract the union would be squealing for even more money. As with the Elementary Teachers I find it difficult to believe that the majority of the folks with a relatively secure and well paid job are so dissatisfied with their job and compensation to disrupt the normal school activities in this manner. Is the union dictating to its members, are they being consulted regularly? I dont know, I just know that those struggling for one reason or another to make ends meet, working part time or at minimum wage or desperately looking for ANY work are sick and tired of hearing this kind of crap from the unions, particularly 'public service' unions.