Archive for: ‘June 2019’

Bylaw looks to restrict where restaurants can establish on Notre-Dame Street West

24/06/2019 Posted by admin

A recent bylaw that has been enforced since September on Notre-Dame Street West is limiting the location of new restaurants and forcing them to set up shop 25 metres from another restaurant.

The bylaw looks to tackle the issue of having too many restaurants on one street, which could drive up rent prices.

“We want to make sure that there’s services for the citizens,” Craig Sauvé, city councillor, said. “We want restaurants to come, but that’s all we’re seeing right now.”

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    “That’s a problem because retail and services often don’t have the same liquidity to pay those high rents.”

    Already established restaurants agree with the borough’s plan that will effect restaurants looking to establish between Saint-Rémi and the Autoroute 10 access ramp.

    “At a certain point that bubble’s going to burst,” Shayne Gryn, Sokolow Deli owner, said. “Then we’re going to be left with a bunch of empty restaurants with rents that are too high for anybody to build anything new.”

    Not everyone sees the bylaw as something positive.

    “There’s a lot of restrictions in this city on a lot of things,” Lawrence Shatilla, who works nearby, said. “I think it’s very anti-business and I just wish they would loosen up.”

    The bylaw will be facing a final vote Tuesday where it could then be confirmed.

    “We had to act,” Sauvé said. “That’s why we’re acting now.”

Alberta teen makes miraculous recovery after crash causes serious brain damage

24/06/2019 Posted by admin

A teenager from Lacombe, Alta. is overcoming the odds after a car crash nearly ended her life.

In August 2015, Amanda Burt was 16 years old when her car was crushed by a truck doing highway speed on a country road – or at least that’s what people tell her. She has zero memory of the crash.

“Me and my friends, we went shopping and we were driving back to Lacombe. But then I got lost I guess, and we were trying to find Lacombe. Then we got hit.”

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    Her two friends suffered serious physical injuries but would both live.

    Amanda’s injuries were more internal. The whiplash from the crash was so severe, it caused brain damage.

    “I hurt my brain stem, which is the part that’s there to help you do all the things you don’t think about – like breathing,” she explained.

    From the time first responders arrived on scene, Amanda was unconscious. She was flown by STARS air ambulance to Calgary, where she remained in a coma for weeks.

    “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and ever want to go through.”

    Her right side was paralyzed, her lungs collapsed – she couldn’t even lift her own head.

    “I went from being a 16-year-old girl to basically an infant. I had to wear diapers and people had to keep wiping my mouth because I drooled all the time.”

    “To see your baby like that – it doesn’t matter if they’re 16, 17 or 25, they’re still your kid,” Amanda’s mom, Nicole Burt, said. “It’s hard to see them going through that – the pain they’re going through.”

    Amanda didn’t just lose her memory of the crash, she lost the nine months leading up to it. Now, when people as her about the year she was 16, she doesn’t know if it’s really a memory or something someone told her.

    She spent 13 months in hospital, much of it at the Children’s Hospital in Calgary. There, she was surrounded by children undergoing chemotherapy. At night, she’d forget what happened and ask her parents if she too had cancer.

    Doctors didn’t know if Amanda would ever recover. She spent 13 months in hospital undergoing intense rehabilitation. Her parents captured it all on camera.

    It’s been 15 months since the crash – and she’s defying the odds, making a miraculous recovery.

    “If we didn’t take those pictures, she wouldn’t have believed us. It’s so hard for anybody to understand where they were, to where they are now.” said Nicole.

    Amanda is still relearning the basics, like how to move her fingers to give a thumbs-up.

    “I still have problems walking. My whole right side was paralyzed, but now it’s coming back to life,” she said.

    “I don’t even know how to tie my own shoes. I forgot how to do a bow.”

    Despite the hurdles, she refuses to give up. Every day is a new obstacle to overcome.

    “When people tell me, ‘Oh you can’t do this’ – in my mind, that’s like a challenge. So it’s like, ‘OK, watch me then.’”

    Her life will never be the same but it’s far from over. The crash stole so much from her but she’s still optimistic.

    “It honestly just put it all into perspective for me. Everything that I used to think was important, like the boys and the makeup and the clothes I was wearing – it all became non-existent.”

    She credits the support of her family and friends with her astonishing recovery.

    “I would probably still be in the hospital, unable to move, unable to walk. I don’t even know if I would be able to talk at this point. They are everything to me.”

    Her parents have been her biggest supporters.

    “My comments were, ‘She is going to make a full recovery,’” her mom recalled. “There was no doubt, ever, in my mind.”

    “She was going to do whatever she needed to do to get to where she wanted to go and she’s done that, everyday,” her dad, Randy Burt, said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”

    Amanda’s goal now, is to run a marathon. Her dad will be training right alongside her.

    “I could have done so many things before that I can’t now but I wish I could.”

    She hopes people can learn from her sharing her experience – that life should never be taken for granted.

    “It sucks to see people who are like, ‘My life sucks.’ But I would have given anything to be where they were, where they are.”

    It’s something Randy certainly learned from his daughter.

    “It could have been way worse, it could always be worse. Be thankful for what you’ve got and be optimistic, you’ll move forward.”

    Amanda has one message for anyone having a rough go at it.

    “Brush yourself off and keep fighting. And remember, you are wanted. You are beautiful. You are needed. You are an individual. You are you.”

    Follow @SarahNKraus

Halifax virtual reality team works on Nova Scotia content

24/06/2019 Posted by admin

The team behind a virtual reality (VR) arcade that opened in Halifax this month is working on developing Nova Scotia content.

For example: a battle taking place at Citadel Hill.

“We could begin to create demos where you can fire a cannon, see what it’s like to shoot a ship out in the harbour – that sort of stuff,” Aaron Hannam, president of 902 Entertainment Studios, said.

Partners of the Halifax VR Room, located in the Ardmore Convenience Store near the intersection of Edinburgh and Oxford Streets, said it’s believed to be the first business of its kind in the Maritimes.

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The one headset available to use in the room is an HTC Vive.

The experiences offered include virtual archery and a Star Wars game in which players use a virtual lightsaber. One session costs $11.99, among other options.

READ MORE: New VR technology takes skiers on virtual reality tour of Whistler

“To me, it’s a look into the future,” Dan Baldwin, a partner of the business, said.

“There’s a price break point there that makes it difficult for everyone just to invest and set up at home, so this is an opportunity for people to come in and try it and experience it.”

Several major companies have started developing VR content and software in recent years, and experts say VR is supposed to be next big thing in technology.

READ MORE: This is what it’s like to experience virtual reality for the first time

“Right now, it is a niche,” Tino Klironomos, director of IT for PC Medic, said. “The technology, I think, has a lot to mature but in special cases, yes, it will be very beneficial.”

Islamic State using human shields in Mosul: UN

24/06/2019 Posted by admin

The Islamic State group is using tens of thousands of people as “human shields” in and around Mosul while the Iraqi forces are waging a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking the country’s second-largest city, the U.N. human rights office said Friday.

Here is a look at the main developments on the 12th day of the Mosul offensive.

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READ MORE: US military says Iraq forces have retaken 40 villages from ISIS in Mosul

New Mosul horrors

The extremist group has massacred perceived opponents on several occasions, and is widely believed to be rooting out anyone who could potentially rise up against it, focusing on Iraqis with military training or past links to security forces.

The U.N. office said civilians from across the region south of Mosul were being herded into Hamam al-Alil, a militant-held town where the population has more than doubled to 60,000 since the forced displacement began.

There, the militants separated former members of the security forces from women and children, and took both groups onward to Mosul. They killed 190 former security forces in a military base on the southern edge of the city and killed 42 civilians at another base for refusing to join the extremists. Another 24 people were reportedly shot dead on Tuesday.

WATCH: Iraqis flee as offensive to retake Mosul intensifies

US steps in

The U.S. military, which is providing airstrikes and ground support for the operation, said it tried to disrupt the forced displacement of civilians south of Mosul earlier this week by striking militant vehicles being used in the forced push.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew C. Isler said the U.S.-led coalition conducted “precision strikes” on vehicles that were unoccupied and far enough away from civilians to avoid harming them.

The U.S. is providing airstrikes and ground support for the Mosul offensive. More than 100 American soldiers are embedded with Iraqi units and hundreds more are based in staging areas. An American soldier was killed by a roadside bomb last week.

READ MORE: Iraqi forces uncover ISIS bomb factory, network of tunnels near Mosul 

Consolidating gains

Isler said Iraqi forces have retaken 40 villages from IS near Mosul since the operation began. But most of the fighting has taken place in a belt of sparsely-populated farming communities outside the city.

Isler said Iraqi troops were consolidating gains made east and south of the city earlier this week, but insisted “momentum” was still on their side. He said the U.S.-led coalition has stepped up airstrikes against the militants, and is carrying out three times as many as it did during previous campaigns to drive IS from other Iraqi cities.

Iraqi forces are within 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the edge of Mosul on the eastern front, where the elite special forces are leading the charge. But progress has been slower in the south, where Iraqi forces are still 20 miles (35 kilometers) from the city.

Bobbette & Belle make scary treats

24/06/2019 Posted by admin

COOKIE  DOUGH

3 cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

METHOD

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

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2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture, mixing until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap fully in the plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

4. Put oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. (If it starts to crack, let it rest for a few minutes  to warm up slightly.) Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 36 rounds. Arrange the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving a little space between each round.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch and they have minimal colouring. For even baking, rotate the sheets  front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. If you would like to decorate your cookies with a simple royal icing finish; follow the Royal Icing recipe on page 238, including the instructions for turning  the royal icing into flood for dipping cookies. If you would like to try the piped flower decoration,  turn  half the batch  of royal icing into flood and follow the steps to the dip the cookies. Use the remaining half to follow the steps on page 219 to create flowers.

ROYAL ICING:

4 cups icing sugar

4 large egg whites (½ cup)

METHOD:

1. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer.

2. Place the bowl on the mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 of the egg whites. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until combined. Add the remaining 2 egg whites and mix on medium speed for 10 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once.

3. Cover the  bowl with  plastic  wrap  or  transfer to  an  airtight  container.  The royal icing will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and then beat.

To make the royal icing a suitable consistency  for dipping sugar cookies, water has to be added.

1. In order to dip the tops of the cookies and achieve a smooth surface, water has to be added to the Royal Icing (above) to create a “flood” consistency. Add water

1 teaspoon at a time, stirring after each addition until well combined. The royal icing will have reached the flood stage when, if you lift some with a spoon and drizzle it back into the bowl, it smooths out in 8 to 10 seconds. You want the icing to be thin enough that it will even out once dipped, but thick enough that it will hold its shape and not run off the sides of the cookie as it dries.

2. Hold a cookie upside down and dip the top, but not the sides, in the icing. Pull it out and hold it over the bowl, still upside down, for about 5 sections so that any excess can drip off. Turn the cookie upright and place it on a wire rack or clean baking sheet to dry. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Set them aside for a full 24 hours to dry. If it is not very humid, it may only take 12 hours. Royal icing dries to a very hard consistency, so it is easy to tell when they are ready. The decorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.