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WOW, what a scary study on common pesticides used daily during growing season...we're so smarter than this, aren't we ...? "The scientists behind the study said it was both "astonishing" and "alarming" that common pesticides could be so toxic at the doses approved by regulatory authorities, adding to growing criticism of how pesticides are tested."

World Health Organisation report declares everyday chemicals 'a global threat'

 CHEMICALS found in every home may cause breast cancer, asthma, infertility and birth defects, global health chiefs said yesterday.

They warn the compounds used in toys, PVC flooring, car dashboards and credit cards have serious implications  for health "for their disrupting affects on the hormone system".

In a landmark report, the World Health Organisation suggested a ban might be needed to protect future generations.

The report states that it is reasonable to suspect chemical substances called phthalates of harming female fertility and linked them with rising rates of childhood illnesses including leukaemia.

Also under suspicion is bisphenol A, which is found in most daily items including tin cans and sunglasses. The man-made compounds are thought to interfere with the natural hormones that are key to our growth, development and overall health. The WHO said there was "very strong evidence' in animals they can interfere with thyroid hormones - something that can cause brain damage, stunted intelligence, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.

For prostate cancer, "significant evidence' exists of a link with agricultural pesticides.

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Food is Medicine
Flaxseed: The Gentle Cleanser

By RICHARD FIRSHEIN

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A walk outdoors away from gadgets can boost brain power by half

By Nick Mcdermott   December 13, 2012

Researchers found that adults performed much better in a creative test after spending four days outdoors disconnected from modern technology.

It can boost brain power by as much as 50 per cent; Adults in Britain spend an average of 3.5hours watching TV - 15 per cent of their life

Next time you are confronted with a complex problem, don’t worry - the answer could lie at the bottom of your garden.

Leaving your laptop at home, switching off the smartphone and taking a walk in nature can help boost brain power by as much as 50 per cent, a study has revealed.

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 Auto plastics industry linked to breast cancer, new study shows

Jim Morris, Jennifer Quinn, Robert Cribb and Julian Sher

The Toronto Star and the Centre for Public Integrity

WINDSOR, ONT.—It’s been an open secret here for more than three decades.

Women in this city’s plastic automotive parts factories have complained of pungent fumes and dust that caused nosebleeds, headaches, nausea and dizziness. Some spoke of smouldering blobs of plastic dumped directly onto the floor near where they worked.

“People were getting sick, but you never really thought about the plastic itself,” said Gina DeSantis, who has worked at a plant near Windsor for 25 years.

She and others worried — mostly in private — about the prevalence of cancer and other diseases in the poorly ventilated factories that sprawl across the industrialized expanses of southwestern Ontario.

Now, a new academic study appears to confirm their fears, showing profoundly elevated breast cancer risks among workers exposed to toxic chemicals.

The six-year study, to be published Monday online in the journal Environmental Health, draws a striking conclusion: Women employed in the automotive plastics industry were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in a control group.

The implications reach far beyond Windsor factories, said study co-author James Brophy, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Windsor and a former occupational health clinic director.

“These workplace chemicals are now present in our air, water, food and consumer products. If we fail to take heed then we are doing so at our own peril.”

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Breast cancer risk in relation to occupations with exposure to carcinogens and Endocrine disruptors: a Canadian case--control study

Environmental Health 2012, 11:87 - 19 November 2012 

Read Case Study

High Exposure to Food-Borne Toxins:

Preschool Children Particularly

Vulnerable to Compounds Linked to

Cancer, Other Conditions 

ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2012)

 

In a sobering study published in the journal

Environmental Health, researchers at UC Davis and

UCLA measured food-borne toxin exposure in children

and adults by pinpointing foods with high levels of toxic compounds and determining how much of these foods were consumed. The researchers found that family members in the study, and preschool children in

particular, are at high risk for exposure to arsenic,

dieldrin, DDE (a DDT metabolite), dioxins and

acrylamide. These compounds have been linked to

cancer, developmental disabilities, birth defects and

other conditions. However, the study also points to

dietary modifications that could mitigate risk.

 

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PepsiCo unveils bottle made completely from plants

Associated Press

PepsiCo Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a bottle made entirely of plant material, which it says bests the technology of competitor Coca-Cola and reduces its potential carbon footprint.

The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials. Ultimately, Pepsi plans to also use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other leftovers from its food business. 

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Ontario Hydro sprayed Agent Orange to clear corridors

Diana Ziomislic 

Ontario Hydro used Agent Orange to clear power line corridors across the province — through city backyards and thick rural brush.

Hydro’s own records, obtained by the Star, boast that in one 12-year period, the power company dropped enough chemicals in Ontario to cover a 30- metre-wide swath travelling “four-fifths the distance around the world.”

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Ecuadorians Claim American Oil Damages

In what could be the biggest environmental lawsuit in history, a group of Ecuadorians are taking on the oil giant Chevron to demand that the company clean up environmental damage in their country. 

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Car Runs on Thin Air

Meet the Air Pod. Its manufacturers think it could be the future of urban transport.

Watch Video 

 

Igloo-Shaped Devices Eat Sewage and Treat Wastewater

Wastewater Compliance Systems

Inexpensive igloo-shaped, pollution-eating devices nicknamed "Poo-Gloos" can clean up sewage just as effectively as multimillion-dollar treatment facilities for towns outgrowing their waste-treatment lagoons, according to a new study.

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Harrabin's Notes: Population Overload

Roger Harrabin

The world is hurtling towards population overload, placing billions of people at risk of hunger, thirst, lack of energy and slum housing.

But the problems can all be overcome through existing engineering solutions, if politics and economics can only change tack.

This is the message from a group of 70 engineers worldwide whose views have been collated by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK.

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The 'ark' is green, floats and could house 10,000 people

Lorianna De Giorgio 

It looks like a high-tech Slinky straight out of a sci-film. But Russian architect Alexander Remizov believes the prototype design he calls The Ark is the answer to dealing with climate change and natural disasters.

The structure, or biosphere, is designed to withstand floods, earthquakes and tornadoes. 

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Too much fluoride is bad for your teeth, says U.S. study

Mike Stobbe

ATLANTA — U.S. government officials lowered recommended limits for fluoride in water Friday, saying some children may be getting tooth damage from too much.

Fluoride is added to the water supply in most U.S. communities because it can prevent and repair tooth decay. But health and environment officials said Americans get fluoride in so many sources now, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, that it makes sense to lower levels.

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Vermont Law Top Ten Environmental Watch List 2011

Issue at stake: Climate and energy legislation died in the U.S. Senate in 2010. So, what happens now?

In July 2010, the environmental community lost its biggest, most important fight thus far when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the plug on comprehensive climate and energy legislation. Trumpeted by President Obama in the 2008 campaign and subsequently passed by the House of Representatives, cap and trade legislation seemed like an inevitability, but it ended in ashes on the Senate floor.

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Wind farm project funded by city body

Paul Moloney

Toronto Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is calling for a review of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, whose latest initiatives include investing $500,000 in a Lake Simcoe wind park.

The 20-year-old fund, bankrolled with $23 million from the sale of city-owned land, will help build 10 community-scale wind turbines, generating 20 megawatts of power, on Georgina Island, about an hour’s drive north of the city

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8,000 chickens culled after dioxin found in Germany

Associated Press

BERLIN—More than 1,000 chicken farms across Germany have been banned from selling their products and over 8,000 chickens were culled after cancer-causing dioxin was found in chicken chow.

The German news agency DAPD reported on Monday that prosecutors were investigating chicken food producers over having used ingredients contaminated with dioxin.

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Oilsands monitoring woefully inadequate, report finds

Allan Woods

OTTAWA — The Alberta oilsands may be a massive threat to water, wildlife and the atmosphere but no one can tell for sure thanks to the inability of governments to conduct proper environmental checks, a new report says.

Commissioned by the federal environment minister two months ago, an expert panel was asked if there was proper scientific oversight of the effects of oilsands development in northern Alberta.

“Do we have a world-class monitoring system in place? In short, no,” said Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the panel chair and former executive director of the United Nations Environment Program.

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Offshore wind could boost economy: report

Tyler Hamilton

Ontario could create new industries, reinvigorate old ones, and generate thousands of new jobs over the next 15 years by building a vibrant offshore wind market around the Great Lakes, according to a report prepared by the Conference Board of Canada.

The board estimated that the installation of a few hundred offshore wind turbines – or 2,000 megawatts of capacity—would add more than $4.8 billion to Ontario’s GDP and create at least 55,000 person-years of employment between 2013 and 2026

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Canada urged to stop asbestos exports

Andrew Chung

MONTREAL—Jeong-Rim Lee went to high school near a cement factory that used asbestos in its mixtures, in the central South Korean city of Daejeon. Then, a few years later, she took an apartment just a few hundred metres from the same factory.

In 2005 she began having severe pain. A year later she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer usually linked to asbestos exposure.

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Ottawa lacks info to combat climate change: watchdog

Heather Scoffield

OTTAWA—Twenty years’ of weak leadership on the environment means the federal government now has no strategy to deal with the increasing effects of climate change, says Canada’s environmental auditor.

The government also lacks a solid plan to handle major oil spills, says Scott Vaughn, commissioner of the environment and sustainable development.

Nor does it have a grip on who is supposed to be monitoring what, when it comes to federal fresh water resources, he says, pointing specifically to the Athabasca River near the Alberta oilsands.

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Warning Port Hope a toxic time bomb; the only solution? Move

Carola Vyhnak

Port Hope is sitting on a carcinogenic time bomb that residents can only escape by moving out of town, a renowned doctor and anti-nuclear activist warns.

Historic low-level radioactive waste buried in parks, ravines, streets, industrial sites, the harbour and hundreds of backyards poses a “life or death” threat and can’t be safely remediated, according to Dr. Helen Caldicott.

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Food Packaging Leaking Dangerous Chemicals

Joseph Hall

Corn is not the only thing popping in that bag twirling around the microwave.

University of Toronto scientists have found that many paper food packages, like microwave popcorn bags, are popping dangerous chemicals into the products they contain.

And significant levels of those chemicals and the products they break down into are now in human blood, the study’s co-author says.

“We found these food contact paper chemicals in human blood in high concentrations,” says Scott Mabury, an environmental chemist at the U of T.

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After Hungary's sludge, some wonder, what else is out there?

Alison Mutler, George Jahn
Lesley Ciarula Taylor
 

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — Abandoned mines in Romania leach heavy-metal contaminated waters into rivers. A Hungarian chemical plant produces more than 100,000 tonnes of environmental toxins a year. Soil in eastern Slovakia is contaminated with cancer-producing PCBs.

The flood of toxic sludge in Hungary is but one of the ecological horrors that lurk in eastern Europe 20 years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. While the end of communism came with a widespread cleanup, the massive spill of caustic muck serves as a wake-up call for a region dotted with disasters waiting to happen. 

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Scotland to become 100 pct green energy by 2025 

Reuters

"Scotland has unrivalled green energy resources and our new national target to generate 80 percent of electricity needs from renewables by 2020 will be exceeded by delivering current plans for wind, wave and tidal generation," Salmond said.

"I'm confident that by 2025 we will produce at least 100 percent of our electricity needs from renewables alone, and together with other sources it will enable us to become a net exporter of clean, green energy," he said a statement ahead of a renewable energy investment conference. 

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Standford University breakthrough solar cell research 

Ultra-thin solar cells can absorb sunlight more efficiently than the thicker, more expensive-to-make silicon cells used today, because light behaves differently at scales around a nanometer (a billionth of a meter), say Stanford engineers. They calculate that by properly configuring the thicknesses of several thin layers of films, an organic polymer thin film could absorb as much as 10 times more energy from sunlight than was thought possible.

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Deformed fish found in lake downstream from oilsands 

Bob Weber 

EDMONTON—The fish are hard to look at.

One whitefish has a golfball-sized tumour bulging from its side. Another is simply missing part of its spine, its tail growing from a stumpy rear end.

One has no snout. Another is coloured a lurid red instead of a healthy cream. Others are covered with lesions and still others are bent and crooked from deformed vertebrae. 

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Flex U.S. muscle on oilsands, group tells Pelosi

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—A powerful American politician continued making the rounds in Canada’s capital Thursday as she met with environmental groups and First Nations to talk about the oilsands.

The groups told U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressman Ed Markey that the United States can use its buying power to demand cleaner oil.

“I think they understood very clearly what we were saying, that the customer is always right,” said Rick Smith, head of Environmental Defence.

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Some pesticides linked to attention problems in young kids: study

SHERYL UBELACKER

Children exposed to organophosphate pesticides while still in the womb are more likely to exhibit attention and behavioural problems by kindergarten age, researchers suggest.

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Eco-friendly furniture

In this One Simple Thing report, CNN's Randi Kaye talks to a Chicago furniture designer who is going green.

Watch on CNN 

  

Trash or burn?

Vancouver aims to be the world’s greenest city by 2020

Nancy Macdonald
 
What will Canada’s greenest city do with its trash? Bury it in a far-off hole? Burn it in a new $470-million waste-to-energy incinerator? Last week, local politicians inched closer to a decision following a heated, five-hour debate at a Metro Vancouver board meeting. The regional body oversees Vancouver’s 21 municipalities, including Surrey, tony West Vancouver and granola-crunching Bowen Island, and they don’t always agree. The hullabaloo over the region’s 1.4 million tonnes of garbage boiled down to whether or not to build a new incinerator. The hiccup: would it be green enough? 
 

 

Canada's greenhouse gas regulations may have little or no effect

Ottawa - Proposed federal regulations to cut emissions from cars and trucks may have little or no effect, according to the first in-depth analysis of the regulations, conducted by the Pembina Institute. 

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Study finds widespread bisphenol A exposure

 The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - It's found in some plastic bottles and in the linings of tin cans - and probably in your urine, too.

 Most Canadians have low levels of a chemical called bisphenol A in their urine, a new federal study has found.  

The Canadian Health Measures Survey, released Monday by Statistics Canada, found the chemical in 91 per cent of Canadians aged six to 79.

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Solar-powered plane completes 26-hour flight

London, England -- A solar powered aircraft, which a team hopes will one day circle the globe, completed a 26-hour test flight in Switzerland at 9 a.m. (3 a.m. ET) Thursday.

Solar Impulse took off shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday from an airfield in Payerne, 80 miles northeast of Geneva.

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BP 'carpet bombed' Gulf with dispersants

Reynolds Wolf

New documents indicate BP went overboard in using chemicals to break up oil.

Watch it on CNN 

 

At Last! Cosmetics Bill Introduced in the House

Jane Houlihan 

Over the past decade, Environmental Working Group has uncovered either hazardous or untested cosmetics ingredients everywhere our research has taken us — in product tests, in ingredient label surveys and even in people.

In our biomonitoring studies, we sent blood and urine samples from 20 teenage girls from across the country to the laboratory.  It turned out they were tainted with an average of 13 potential hormone-disrupting preservatives, plasticizers and other cosmetic chemicals. In umbilical cord blood from 7 of 10 newborn babies, we found synthetic musk fragrances that had crossed the placenta from mother to infant to pollute the developing child before birth.

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The story behind cosmetics

Your skin is your biggest organ - shouldn't you know what you feed it everyday? 1100 chemicals that are banned in Europe are still allowed in our lotions, diaper rash creams, lipsticks, aftershaves and other personal care products.

Watch on Youtube 

 

Community finds way to shed pounds

An Alabama community 'takes steps' to shed pounds and be more sustainable.  CNN's Martin Savidge reports.

Watch on CNN 

 

Pickering nuclear plant ordered to quit killing fish

Carola Vyhnak

Millions of adults, eggs and larvae perish when sucked into intakes or shocked by cold water

Close to one million fish and 62 million fish eggs and larvae die each year when they’re sucked into the water intake channel in Lake Ontario, which the plant uses to cool steam condensers. 

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 Hot Topics Archive


 

Twin Rivers in the Rouge (Scarborough) - December 14, 2012

It's 10 days to Christmas 'eve and I'm walking, jogging, trotting, even slip sliding my way through the trails of the Rouge (by the end of my 7k outing, I might've been crawling)!  The weather is above zero and the sun is out .. the perfect afternoon to take my huskies (da boys) for an adventure.                     

I'm always amazed at the number of other like minded folks, of all ages, out and about in this natural setting!  And after reading the new study on how powerful such a diversion is a necessary part of our modern day existence, I'm feeling goode!  Now, to figure out how I'm going to fit in about 4 weeks of "stuff" to do in less then two weeks ... I'm remembering to breathe and everything should work out in the end.  Happy Holidays!

Mama G's home made Coffee Liqueur / Kahlua

1.5 l water
3.5 cups of sugar (white/brown - you decide)
    (can substitute for honey, etc.)
.75 cups of coffee (instant works well)
1 tbsp of vanilla (optional) 
2.5 to 3 cups of vodka (26er works well)

Bring water, sugar and coffee to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 2.5 hours, remember to stir at least every hour. Turn heat off and leave on hot element for another 2 hours to cool.

Add vanilla and vodka and stir.

Pour into glass bottles and close cap tight. Yield is about 2.5 l.  Perfect for entertaining and sharing with family and friends over the holidays.  Enjoy!

Fall, 2012

I have a dream and I believe that you can empower me to help me realize my dream.  Here's how:

My dream: To improve the quality of our drinking water.  I know we all believe that there is very little, if nothing, that we can do to initiate change in "the bigger picture" and in this case the bigger picture is our drinking water. Many excuses come to mind, government is not doing their part, industry and corporations are polluting, factories just don't care ...

I want to take a moment here and share with you my experience, before our (meaning the Goode's - me, in particular) chemical revolution, I used chemical products like Mr. (& Mrs.) Clean, bleach, etc. to wash my floors with, then I would unwittingly pour my dirty chemical laden mop water into the toilet and flush it away.  I did occasionally wonder and had pangs of guilt about this.  This was before my chemical revolution - did I mention that?  Yes, of course I did, now, after my chemical revolution, I use natural food grade products to clean my floors and flush it all down the toilet happily knowing that I am doing my part to improve the quality of our tap water, how about you?  Will you join me, support me, in my dream?  I challenge every household to make one simple change, let's start with this.  Let's visualize the profound impact when we see our neighbours to the left and right engaged in this change.  Now let's look at our street, then our community, I know this can be overwhelming so remember to breathe, long easy breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, you can do this with me, just a few more breaths, ok now back to my dream ... let's now visualize our city or town engaged, now connecting our communities together and visualizing our province or state ... are you with me, keep breathing ... now let's expand our vision to our country ... this is my dream, to have every household only flush naturally dirty mop water down the toilet.  Can you now imagine and taste the difference that that one simple change will make to our global community in improving our lives and the health of our families?  We have the power to change the "bigger picture", you and I together, so please join me today.

Here is a simple recipe that I use:

I litre (4 cups) of hot tap water, with a quarter cup of washing soda, if you want to add some natural bleach then throw a tablespoon of borax in the mix. or

you can simply squeeze a bit of your green dish washing soap to the hot water.

Now mop to your heart's content and clean that floor.  Go ahead and flush that dirty mop water down the toilet and feel good about it!

If you want a little polish and scent, you can rinse your mop with fresh hot tap water and just squeeze some lemon juice and/or essential oil of your choice (I personally love using olive oil) and go over the floor lightly and let dry. 

Voila, you have now done your part in helping me realize my dream and for that I thank you!  p.s this is also very good for your pocket book!

with love, always ... MamaG


Mama G's philanthropic work has kept her very busy helping local youth find safe haven from their very difficult personal circumstances.  Below is a story published in the local Scarborough Mirror earlier this year.

Stay tuned for many exciting updates coming your way ... MamaG's back!

Volunteers make a difference for Kennedy Road shelter 

Second Base Youth Shelter needed some heat. Then it needed a makeover. In 2011, it got both, thanks to dozens of handy volunteers.
The Kennedy Road shelter - Toronto's second-largest for youth and the only place they can go for an emergency bed in Scarborough - is on a much better footing now than a year ago, its management says.  The building south of Eglinton Avenue behind the Church of the Epiphany is 20 years old and showing wear and tear, said Beth Cook, chairperson of the Second Base board.  "There was a time last winter where there wasn't heat in some of the rooms and we were actually threatened with closure," she said. "That's not occurring this year."  ...  But the common areas where the young people eat, lounge and try to do their homework also needed help.  They were "plain, cold and institutional," and felt depressing, said Karen Sealy, an interior designer whose work is often featured on the television show CityLine.  "It was like a big industrial gymnasium," Sealy said she concluded after seeing the youth and their environment. She thought they deserved a place that was more like a "big hug" - safe, cozy and nicely furnished.  "These are kids that have had a tough time and these are kids at risk," Sealy, whose company office is in Birch Cliff, said. "We're not giving these kids enough credit."  WINC, or Women In Construction, worked with Sealy for weeks to co-ordinate the project and recruited around 40 volunteers to make "a feel good holiday story" [featured on CityLine] happen last month.  The volunteers put in lighting and half-walls covered with carpeting. They installed seating around windows in the common room, Sealy said, so youth eating their meals would feel more like they were sitting at Starbucks than in some basement cafeteria.  Indigo sent nine boxes of books, she added.  

The makeover has made quite a difference.  Marika Goode, the executive director, "said the kids used to come down in winter jackets and not take them off," said Sealy. "The kids are  taking real ownership."  ... 

The shelter a year ago faced added challenges because it had an all-new board and no executive director, said Cook, who gives a lot of credit for its turnaround to [Marika] Goode, who stepped into the role [after a term as board chair]. "We've come through quite a bit."   ...

"We are working very hard to build the resources necessary to sustain, support and guide our at-risk youth through very complex social issues," [Marika] Goode added in a statement.

"Offering a warm, safe bed, a hot meal, and clean clothing is just the tip of the iceberg, it's often just the beginning of building a relationship on which we can layer some hope and positive outcomes." ...

 Read Full Article

 



 



"Living the Goode Life"

Even without chemicals, she smells nice...

Catherine Porter from the Toronto Star interviewed the Goode family and here's what she had to say.



 

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