CA News

April 9, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local Goods Opportunity:
Heart Beet Organics, taking orders until 4PM Friday for Saturday pickup, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, and chocolate; some extras available at their storefront, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street.

The week's edition (April 8th, 2020) of the Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide (pdf link) or page to click link here:
is out online, expanding to 13 pages of listings of getting local food, takeout, beer, fitness opportunities from local outfits now online, and businesses trying new ways of meeting customer needs, such as this listing from The Root Cellar:

The Root Cellar - Delivery & Curbside Pick-Up

Groceries, supplements, personal care products, and more. Open with a limit to 5 people at a time. Filling orders for pickup or delivery ($5 delivery fee). Order by e-mail or phone 902.892.6227,  34 Queen Street


New Skills for New Times:
Making Your Own Cloth Face Masks with Sue Whitacker, Webinar, 5-6PM, hosted by PEI Greens. 

"...Sue will demonstrate different models of masks that she is sewing using primarily up-cycled materials found in most homes, tell us how we can make them ourselves, and answer our questions.
This live webinar will take place using the Zoom videoconferencing platform. To register, please click here:

Face masks are now being recommended by Canadian public health officials as a way to help reduce the risk of spread of the SARS-Cov2 virus - particularly when worn by those who have or may have the virus.
This is the first in a series of "COVIDIY" skill-sharing webinars that we plan to bring you in the weeks to come, with Islanders sharing useful skills that are in high demand as we learn to cope with the health, social and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic...."

Facebook event link


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Daily Briefings are just after 12noon our time, on local CBC and CTV TV stations, and here is a bit of gentle fun at his expense about his comment regarding the public wearing fabric masks and physical distancing and "speaking moistly", from the Huffington Post Tuesday.

Tonight's Simulcast Metropolitan Opera:

Richard Wagner's Parsifal,
7:30PM until Friday afternoon,
"Starring Katarina Dalayman, Jonas Kaufmann, Peter Mattei, Evgeny Nikitin, and René Pape, conducted by Daniele Gatti. From March 2, 2013."   A Holy Grail tail, with the title character as the "fool made wise by compassion"...what could be Wagner's greatest score (that's saying a lot), haunting singing, and a really cool set design,  Long, naturally, and in German with English subtitles.

A poetic and astronomical benediction to keep in mind; thank you, Glenn.

LETTER: Moonlight and starlight - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Glenn Roberts

Published in The Guardian on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

These are anxious and fearful times we live in, with an uncertain future ahead of us. A great many people have already suffered terribly, and, unfortunately, many more will also suffer. The world we have all grown up in is rapidly changing, and people are, understandably, frightened and apprehensive about what will happen when the pandemic passes, and we attempt to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives.

We are all in this together, all of mankind, and the only way we are going to get through it is by working together, not only for ourselves and our families, but also for our friends and neighbours, and for all the other people we share this planet with. I ask that you be respectful, kind, generous and patient with one another, and with the people around you, whether you know them or not. Observe social distancing, stay home (especially if you are sick) unless you absolutely have to be out, and practise good hygiene.

But most of all, I would have you remember that, though there is darkness all around us, there is still moonlight and starlight above us. So, until the sun shines for all of us again (and it will), let the moonlight and starlight brighten your hearts with hope for a better future for all the world.

Glenn K. Roberts,
Atlantic Skies

Today's Global Chorus essayist William Ruddiman, when he wrote the piece in 2013, was making the case for elbowing aside the last of the climate change naysayers and getting on with planning the low-carbon emitting future.  But he is also known as a paleoanthropologist who has the hypothesis that pre-Industrial humans were responsible for methane emissions from agriculuture, enough to change the climate.  Here is the beginning of an article reviewing that as part of the scientific method, with a link to more, for some leisurely reading today between internet surfing and spring cleaning ;-)

William Ruddiman and the Ruddiman Hypothesis

by Richard Blaustein
Published in Minding Nature: Winter 2015, Volume 8, Number 1

Trained as a marine geologist, University of Virginia emeritus professor William Ruddiman for the past fifteen years has worked on a hypothesis that posits that pre-industrial age humans raised greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. Looking back seven thousand years into the Holocene—the current 11,500-year-old geological epoch—Ruddiman has proposed that early agriculture emitted enough methane and carbon dioxide to offset what would have been a global cold cycle. Ruddiman says that in contrast to the familiar view that human-caused greenhouse gases began with the industrial revolution, “the baseline of human effects on climate started earlier and that the total effect is larger.” Ruddiman’s work and “the Ruddiman hypothesis” provide a classic illustration of the working out of a scientific theory, with detractors, new allies, and new technologies and facts that bear on the original idea. <snip>


The Centre for Humans and Nature: Expanding our Natural and Civic Imagination
has many, many essays and areas for conversation on such topics as "What Does it Mean to be a Farmer in the Twenty-First Century


Global Chorus essay for April 9th
William Ruddiman

Nearly all climate scientists (more than 95 per cent) who study modern trends agree that our planet is warming, largely because of greenhouse gases we have been putting in the atmosphere. Even conservative future projections indicate that staying on our current path will cause very large climate changes, harmful both to much of humankind and to many other life forms.

Scientists who deny this prevailing view are far fewer in number, have lesser reputations and are mostly supported by “think tank” money funded by some (not all) energy extraction industries. Unfortunately, this tiny minority view has misled many people. Historically, most people in the U.S. have trusted scientific opinion. But talk radio and many blogs are now filled with angry voices denying any human role in this warming. Astonishingly, many Republican politicians question or reject overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are responsible.

By now, the U.S. should be having an open national debate about ways to act: by reducing our carbon emissions, encouraging new technologies and planning for adaptation. But the flood of dirty money from a few entrenched energy conglomerates has muted this discussion.

Most climate scientists see this deadlock as a national disgrace. The only way to avoid a much warmer and potentially dangerous future is for more of our elected politicians to rediscover their ethical centers and act out of concern for the future of this country and all of humankind.

     — William Ruddiman, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at University of Virginia ---------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 8, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Thanks to Terry Pratt for passing this on:

A handful of local food order deadlines at various times today, Wednesday, April 8th:
until today, 9AM, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, April 10th:
Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers",

Until Noon today, for pickup (today) Wednesday 3-6PM, (order this afternoon until Friday for Saturday pickup):
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, and EASTER CHOCOLATES, 152 Great George Street.

until tonight 11:59PM for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)

Met Opera simulcast:
Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff, available from tonight 7:30PM until Thursday afternoon
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Paolo Fanale, Ambrogio Maestri, and Franco Vassallo, conducted by James Levine. From December 14, 2013.
In Italian with English subtitles, comic opera based on bits from three Shakespeare plays about the old reprobate.
Lots of good articles here at the Global Chorus essay writer Harriet Shugarman's Climate Mama's website:
Also, Jordan Bobar has compiled a frequently updated (and gigantic but readable!) list of resources during the Covid-19 time for Islanders:
COVID-19 times compilation of resources
Even though we are caught up in the new routine and many, many things seem like there are in suspended animation, there are some issues we shouldn't entirely forget about. I am grateful for people like Wayne Carver to remind us about some of them, and to cut through a lot of haze:

Do not rush new sports complex for Charlottetown - The Guardian article  by Wayne Carver

Published on Monday, April 6th, 2020

You may have read the third and final article written by Ian (Tex) MacDonald , a stalwart of the Island community, regarding the development and placement of the Charlottetown multi-purpose sports, culture and entertainment complex at the APM Power Centre.

That such a centre would be good for the Charlottetown area is not in question. Sports, entertainment and cultural events are vital to the well -being of any community. But there are other factors that should be seriously considered before we venture into this $100-million project, the major one being funding.

Experience has shown that, when governments borrow private money or institutional money, the private partners have managed to extract excessive profits from infrastructure agreements by making sweetheart deals. It appears government negotiators fail to deliver reasonable agreements on behalf of the taxpayer and allow private sector partners to dictate the terms and conditions of the agreement. Recently, the terms of arrangements in other jurisdictions leave the citizen to ponder if our government negotiators are incompetent, misinformed or subject to the heavy hand of partisan politics.

Islanders ask our elected officials to be careful about what they agree to in the name of the taxpayer and don’t sign any clauses that allow the contractors or financiers to tie the taxpayer up in knots. It would be beneficial to have the winning contracts brought before city council in order that everyone is fully informed on the expenses being incurred.

Poorly written contracts written to accommodate and protect the vendor and prevent the taxpayer from changing, cancelling or shutting down a project, (should circumstance dictate) are not in the public interest. In other words, we do not want any SNC-Lavalin Ottawa LRT contracts wherein the entire city is held hostage by the irresponsible mismanagement of a project by both the city, the municipality or the feds.

What Charlottetown doesn’t need is a heavily indebted, multi-million-dollar project built with borrowed infrastructure money to satisfy political egos and the partisan distribution of large amounts of borrowed money. Nor do we need a deficit that will be the burden of many generations of taxpayers to come.

Strangely, everyone watching this game of charades unfold knows the interests of the community in this instance will be secondary to the wishes of the power brokers. This is Liberal infrastructure money, plain and simple, and the possibility of it going anywhere other than the APM Power Centre is nil to none. The power brokers had this project in the bag long before it was seen as a remote possibility. The trial balloon was not necessary.

Realistically, it would be prudent at this time to put a hold on the sports complex, given the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inevitable chaos that shall follow. The federal government has announced the federal deficit will be close to $107 billion as we go into the new fiscal year. Neither the city nor the province have shown any interest in selling bonds to the general public to support this initiative in order that it might be considered a public asset. Not much promise of anything other than a huge debt. Not a good base to launch ambitious spending programs.

Wayne Carver lives in Longcreek.


And (forgive me if I reprinted this already), the op-ed piece which instigated Carver's letter:

Charlottetown fourplex panacea to minor hockey ailments - The Guardian article by Ian Tex MacDonald

Published on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

The future for minor hockey facilities today is trending toward the construction of multiplex facilities, which are multiple sheets of ice under the same roof. They would tap into most of the same infrastructure and utilize the common amenities.

Moncton, the fastest-growing city in New Brunswick, has just completed a multiplex arena with all the ice hockey amenities. The complex has greatly alleviated the minor hockey congestion in that city and obviously, it was the way to go.

Over the last few years, Prince Edward Island has experienced substantial growth in minor hockey registrations, especially at the female level. To accommodate the increase, some twinning of ice sheets has occurred and it seems that we are trending in the right direction.

The Charlottetown Minor Hockey Association, of which I was once president, relies heavily on two older buildings that are both over 50 years old and facing likely demolition. After the demise of the Simmons Sports Arena and Cody Banks Arena, the solution to Charlottetown's minor hockey ice time shortage could rest with the construction of a multi-purpose arena preferable for sheets under one roof: The Charlottetown Fourplex. This would be as futuristic as the rest of Canada and would indeed be the panacea for Charlottetown's minor hockey ailments.

Let's consider a hypothetical situation, for the construction of a Charlottetown fourplex. Let's go to the Power Centre, that is the intersection of the Charlottetown bypass and Malpeque Road.

The Power Centre is anchored by Leon's and Kent Building Supplies on opposite corners and Andrews' senior establishment and the cottages opposite the vacant lot where the Charlottetown Four-Plex could be located. The realization of a fourplex would, no doubt, alleviate most of minor hockey's problems. Recreational hockey, minor hockey, figure skating, ringette and public skating could all be accommodated in conjunction with the two ice surfaces on the UPEI campus. Six state-of-the-art rinks in a little over a kilometre is not a bad solution to a minor hockey dilemma.

The location of the fourplex would not be an intrusion into residential areas because of the topography of the land. Accessibility to the venue would not be an issue because of easy access and egress to the main highways. Town planning and purchase of the land for the facility would be city issues that could no doubt be fast-tracked pending demolition of the two older arenas.

The one-kilometre stretch from UPEI to the Power Centre corner contains not only the university amenities but a wide range of restaurants, a nice mixture of accommodations, the largest shopping mall in P.E.I. and the facilities to host any size tournament in Atlantic Canada.

The three scenarios that I have presented are merely options for the rink builders and are fully intended to get tongues wagging.

Ian (Tex) MacDonald is a former mayor of Charlottetown. This is Part 3 of a three-part series on arenas. Part 1 ran Feb. 26 and Part 2 ran March 9 in print.


In addition to the concerns raised by Wayne Carver, I strongly oppose a giant multiplex replacing aging local community rinks, and forcing us into more of a driving culture for recreation for people of all ages.
Global Chorus essay for April 8
Harriet Shugarman

Each morning for a moment as I gaze intently at my sleeping children resting in blissful peace, I am refilled with resolve and hope. I remind myself that it’s my job to secure a safe and livable future for them and to ensure that they have the opportunity to grow into adults, to fight for their future as I now fight for my own and for theirs.

Yet a game of chance is underway, with my children’s future the ultimate prize. The stakes have never been higher, yet humanity is trying to “rig the game” against itself. “The emperor is wearing no clothes,” but by not seeing this, we risk losing the game.

To win, we must teach our children and remind ourselves of three simple life lessons:

Tell the truth. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t be afraid.

1. There is no longer any room for denial around the climate crisis. We humans are causing our climate to change. The science is clear, the evidence is overwhelming. End of story.

2. We must acknowledge and recognize that there is no bridge to a carbon-free future. We need to step bravely into the abyss, trust in science and the evidence and make the leap to a renewable-energy future, through our actions now – individual and collective. This will put people to work, grow the economy and begin to heal our planet.

3. We must look “truth” squarely in the eye and NOT be afraid. Scientists are telling us and our planet is showing us that we need to act. Together with our children, friends, family and all humanity, we need to move quickly and boldly forward to reclaim a livable future.

I am hopeful that the odds are changing, ever so slightly, in humanity’s favour. More and more caring and thoughtful people are seeing the emperor in the full light of day, standing up to him and demanding that others open their eyes and see him clearly too. Together we CAN and must change the collision course we are on; there is no other option.

— Harriet Shugarman, mom, activist, writer, climate reality leader, mentor executive director of ClimateMama
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 7, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local Food Opportunities Deadlines:
until Wednesday, April 8th, 9AM, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, April 10th:

Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers", from their posting:
Receiver Local is now open for orders! All orders placed before Wednesday April 8th will be filled on Friday April 10th!

Thanks again for the love and support shown so far. These days are challenging and sometimes hard to navigate but we are so proud of our Island community! We’re doing what we need to do to be collectively well and that’s pretty awesome.

Until Noon Wednesday, for pickup Wednesday 3-6PM), (Wednesday until Friday for Saturday pickup):
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, and EASTER CHOCOLATES, 152 Great George Street.

until Wednesday 11:59PM for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)
and a reminder to the procrastinators like me that there are limited amounts of some items like the suppers, the chocolates, some greens, etc., so consider placing your order sooner than later.

Other activities (besides procuring food):
East Coast Art Parties live instruction, twice today (11AM, 6:30PM), free but you can purchase supplies from them,

Met Opera, available from 7:30PM until Wednesday afternoon:
Giacomo Puccini's La Fanciulla del West
(The Girl of the West)
Written in 1910, this production was filmed January 8th, 2011. "Puccini’s musical vision of the American West is vividly brought to life... Deborah Voigt is Minnie...the owner of a bar in a Californian mining camp. Marcello Giordani sings Dick Johnson, the bandit-turned-lover hunted by the cynical sheriff Jack Rance (Lucio Gallo)... Complete with whiskey-drinking cowboys, gunplay, a poker game, and a snowstorm, La Fanciulla del West is Puccini at his most colorful." In Italian with English subtitles.


Related to the Global Chorus essay author today, Martin Rutte, who compiled Project Heaven on Earth (the book is available here and if you call The Bookmark, I bet)

There are so many wonderful connections on his website:
...videos, a short course, ways to share in the conversation, etc. 

Project Heaven on Earth –
The New Story of What It Means to Be a Human and What It Means to Be Humanity

by Martin Rutte
About page link

Atlantic Skies

A Queen's Sacrifice for Love - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts

by Glenn K. Roberts
published on Friday, April 3rd, 2020

Coma Berenices (Latin for "Berenice's Hair") is a small, unobtrusive collection of stars north of Virgo, west of Bootes, and east of Leo. In classical Greek and Roman astronomy, it was considered an asterism (a picture), only being designated a constellation in 1602 by the famous Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe.

It was named for Queen Berenice I (246 - 222 BC), wife and co-regent of Ptolemy III, ruler of Egypt. It is the only modern constellation named after a historic person. At the time of the asterism's naming, King Ptolemy III was engaged in a series of long-running wars (the Syrian Wars, fought between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC) with the Seleucid Empire. When Ptolemy left for the third of these wars, Queen Berenice cut off her long, dark tresses, and placed them in the Temple of Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love) as a votive offering (an item, not intended to be used or retrieved, placed in a sacred location) to the goddess for the safe return of her husband from the war. The day after his return, it was discovered that Berenice's shorn locks were missing from the temple. To explain their disappearance (and, more likely, to cover their butts for losing the Queen's hair), the local priests said that Aphrodite, to honour the queen's sacrifice for love, had taken her hair, and placed it in the heavens, pointing to the collection of stars in the night sky that would, thereafter, be referred to as Coma Berenice. Obviously, neither the queen, the priests or anyone else had noticed this particular star grouping in the night sky prior to this.

Coma Berenice is primarily identified by its L-shape, with its three brightest stars, Alpha, Beta and Gamma Comae Berenices, delineating the shape.  The Coma Star Cluster ("Berenice's Hair") is the bright scattering of stars visible diagonally between the two end stars. It also contains one of the night sky's richest galaxy clusters, with over 1,000 nearby galaxies visible to Earth-bound telescopes. Along with the Leo Cluster, the Coma Star Cluster is one of the two major galaxy clusters that make up the Super Cluster. Due to its high position in the northern sky, Coma Berenice sits far from the dust of our galaxy's plane, thus permitting the star cluster ("Berenice's Hair") to be readily seen in binoculars, and just visible to the naked eye, from a dark site on a clear night.

The only bright evening planet this month, Venus, sits just to the upper left of the Pleiades ("the Seven Sisters") star cluster high in the western sky as darkness falls, not setting until around midnight. Look for the Zodiacal Light between Venus and the western horizon as the sky darkens.  Use bright Jupiter (mag. -2.0) high in the pre-dawn SE sky and Saturn (mag. +0.7), sitting to its far, lower left,  to possibly find Mercury. Draw a line from Jupiter thru Saturn, passing by Mars (mag.+0.7), down towards the sunrise point; using binoculars, you may catch a quick glimpse of Mercury (mag. 0.0) just above the SE horizon before it is lost in the glow of the rising Sun.

Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS is rapidly brightening. Currently at mag. +7.6, it is predicted to brighten to naked-eye visibility in April or May, possibly brightening to mag. -1.0. as it nears perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) at the end of May. Consult a good, on-line star-chart to find its current position between the constellations of Lynx and Camelopardalis in the northern night sky.

April's Full Moon on the night of the 7th is the second of a series of three "supermoons" in 2020. The first Full Moon of Spring, it is also at perigee (closest to Earth) on this night, appearing about 7% bigger, and roughly 15% brighter. It is sometimes referred to as the "Full Pink Moon" (after the pink wildflower Phlox that appears throughout eastern North America in April), and also the "Paschal Full Moon", for its role in determining the date of Easter.

Until next week, clear skies.

Events (ADT):

Apr. 7  - Moon at perigee; approx. 8:00 p.m.

           - Full ("Pink") Moon; 11:35 p.m.



finding the balance between social distancing and mental health care in nature; thanks to Maria Pochylski

LETTER: Thank you Dr. Morrison

Dear Dr. Morrison,

Please accept heaps of gratitude and congratulations from myself and my friends. Keeping provincial parks open and providing space for social distancing in Victoria Park will greatly benefit the health of all Islanders.

For your information: in the last two weeks, out of 13 visits to Wrights Creek, Brookvale demo woodlot, Macphail Woods, Brackley Beach and Bubbling Springs, I witnessed only one derogation to social distancing. And I blame the dog.

Islanders can, and will, work with you to keep everyone safe.

Thank you again and best regards,
Maria Pochylski, Charlottetown

Island Nature Trust has produced a reassuring, cheery and helpful guide on "Trail and Protected Area Access During the COVID-19 Outbreak" for viewing, here:

Remember that our hardworking, land and wildlife protecting groups on the Island are facing loss of revenue from cancelled events and such, and consider any donation:

Island Nature Trust



and you can still vote for the Lichen Emblem for P.E.I. on the NaturePEI site!  (here is a related CBC online article)


Here's the best, a local visionary:

Global Chorus essay for April 7

Martin Rutte

We all long to live in a world that works – a world in which we successfully solve our worst problems and move in a direction that nourishes and satisfies the deepest part of our soul.

By re-envisioning and restructuring our collective intention, what we hunger for is now within our reach. We can create a new story that encompasses, inspires and enlivens us.

This new story is the co-creation of Heaven on Earth and it starts, simply, by asking the question, what is Heaven on Earth for you?

Our answers are the basis of our collective and uniquely individual new story. Heaven on Earth already exists within each of us. Recognizing this, acting on it and asking others what it means to them, is how we’re co-creating humanity’s new story.

Some of us believe that Heaven exists after death. Here’s another point of view: co-creating Heaven is something we can act on right here on Earth, today.

As surely as the seasons change and the calendar turns a new page, we are ready for our next chapter. The winds of a new era are being felt in every corner of our world. It is an age in which we discover what it means to be human and what it means to share our humanity.

What is Heaven on Earth for you?

 Martin Rutte, international speaker and consultant, co-author of the New York Times business bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, founder of Project Heaven on Earth


essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 6, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Best wishes to kids and parents starting the official on-line schooling from the Public Schools Branch.

Some free and on-line events today:
East Coast Art Party hosts free Painting Parties, 11AM and 6:30PM, and you can order and have supplies delivered if needed.  Details at East Coast Art Party Facebook page.

Monday, April 6th:
Metropolitan Opera free daily simulcast:
Verdi’s Aida, available from 7:30PM until midafternoon Tuesday
, at this link:   "Starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Quinn Kelsey, Dmitry Belosselskiy, and Ryan Speedo Green, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. From October 6, 2018."  In Italian with English subtitles. 

Background information on the week's operas:
Aida is set in Egypt "during the reign of the Pharoahs", featuring a love triangle between a captured-princess, a priestess and an Army commander.  It ends badly, but such powerhouse singing!  The big Triumphal March is in Act II, Scene 2.

Met Opera is also hosting weekly Student Guides, This week it is Mozart's The Magic Flute with livestream interviews Monday and Tuesday, and access to a kid-friendly opera Wednesday through Friday; geared to students and educators but definitely accessible to all.
Details at:


News from Europe yesterday, thanks to The (Other) Guardian (U.K.):

Monday briefing: Boris Johnson in hospital for 'as long as needed' - The Guardian (UK)

Monday, April 6th, 2020
Top story: Raab to chair government meeting in PM’s place

Morning everyone. This is Martin Farrer bringing you the top stories this Monday morning.

Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital and will stay for treatment “as long as needed” after failing to shake off the coronavirus. The prime minister was diagnosed with the disease 10 days ago and had been continuing to coordinate the government’s response to the crisis while self-isolating in Downing Street. But No 10 said on Sunday night that Johnson had been taken to an NHS hospital in London after days of persistent symptoms, including a fever. Stressing that he was undergoing tests as a “precautionary” measure, No 10 said he would remain in charge of the government. However, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is expected to stand in for the prime minister while he is in hospital and will chair the government’s coronavirus meeting this morning. Our health editor writes that the hospitalisation suggests the PM’s case may have progressed to the risky second stage where the immune system can overreact to the virus and attack the body’s own organs.

The Queen urged Britons to “remain strong” in her address to the nation last night. Speaking from Windsor Castle, she invoked Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime hit “We’ll Meet Again” and urged people to take comfort in the fact that “we will meet again”. Scientists in the UK have warned that the testing kits ordered by the government and described by Johnson as a “game-changer” could be unreliable and might only detect 50-60% of milder cases. Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, has stood down from her role after it emerged that she had twice broken her own lockdown rules to visit her second home in Fife.

In a sign of hope in the struggle against the virus, the European nations most badly affected – Italy, France and Spain – all reported a fall in deaths from the disease. In the US, the surgeon general warned that the country faces its “Pearl Harbor” moment as the coming week shapes up to be the worst yet for fatalities. Donald Trump also admitted it would be difficult and announced he had ordered 29m hydroxychloroquine pills to help treat the disease.

The global death toll from Covid-19 has risen to almost 70,000 and there are now close to 1,275,000 cases. Here is our latest at-a-glance summary and we will have all the developments throughout the day on our coronavirus live blog.



Even though revisiting the Global Chorus essays and seeing what the authors are up to can bring the rare disturbing update (as yesterday with Jean Vanier),
Patrick Holden has done so much, *and so much recent content*, on the Sustainable Food Trust website:

Including this 28-minute podcast with Holden and British environmentalist and columnist George Monbiot, which is at times fiery and fierce, even more interesting considering they are talking about growing food:

Worth listening to, and the site worth poking around.
Global Chorus essay for April 6
Patrick Holden

At this precise moment of our planetary evolution, many millions of mindful citizens are standing in front of a question: what actions, individually and collectively, could bring about the necessary conditions for a fundamental transformation – away from our present resource consuming, exploitative, globalized and materialistic lifestyles, towards a more resilient, sustainable and fulfilling alternative?

In front of a challenge of this magnitude, it is easy for an individual person to doubt their capacity to contribute in any meaningful way to bringing about such a change, especially on the vast scale that will be necessary. In this connection, I have found it hugely strengthening to come to the realization that in life, as in the universe, everything is connected, and the same laws that inform our present state and future possibilities are also operating in the wider world.

This is the philosophy of the microcosm and the macrocosm, with the individual representing the “cell” of the larger organism. Since both are united by the same organizing principle, it follows that their possibilities for future development are connected and informed by exactly the same laws. This idea has enormous potency, because it lawfully follows that if I change, the intelligence and knowledge that is contained within this action not only becomes an external influence on the system as a whole, but also, and as a direct consequence, will enable it to change as well.

We can apply this approach to our food systems. For example, if I make a deep personal commitment to build greater energy self-sufficiency and systems resilience in my hilltop farm in west Wales, or as a consumer I decide to purchase as much sustainable and locally produced food as is practically possible, these simple actions, amplified at community, regional, national and even international levels, can and will bring about the transformation we seek.

This is a message of hope, of empowerment which is always available and has the possibility of enabling positive change. These conditions can often seem hidden from me, but they will always arise when I bring my attention, both metaphorically and literally, into my own body, my own life, and I start from where I am.

       — Patrick Holden, chief executive of Sustainable Food Trust


essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 5, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Tiny Island Concert Series,
Emerging Artist: Josh Carter, 8PM
Established Artist: Tara MacLean Music , 8:30 PM

"The concerts are free to watch, while donations are now being accepted to the Music PEI Crisis Relief Fund for PEI music industry professionals and artists.  Those funds will be distributed to PEI artists not performing and industry professionals in need."
Link to donate:

Tiny Island Concerts Facebook page  for concerts Thursdays and Sundays

Metropolitan Opera HD Simulcast, 7:30PM until Monday afternoon, 

Bellini’s Norma "Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. From October 7, 2017."
In Italian with English subtitles.  A very confusing story set in Gaul in 50BCE, with amazing over-the-top "bel canto" singing and dagger-waving by the titular character.

Met Opera On Demand Series

Essential vs. Non-Essential

The P.E.I. Government has their list here:

but to it I would add one thing that is truly, truly essential:
Access to Nature

And if Access to Nature is essential, than providing it is an Essential Service, and I think the Government -- all levels -- must provide this Essential Service.

Of course, there is the difficulty of keeping people from disregarding the physical distancing guidelines, and enforcing the guidelines, but I think figuring out creative enforcement is better than closing off more and more spaces people have to find some sort of opportunity to connect with nature on some level.

The Municipal government in Charlottetown is trying very hard to find the balance in this, the Province needs to continue to understand the importance of this; but the federal Parks decision to shut down any access now even to roads in the National Park felt oppressive.

Connecting with Nature in tiny spaces suggestions from the David Suzuki Foundation, part one of three weekly newsletters:

from Thursday, April 2nd, 2020:

Connecting with Nature in tiny spaces suggestions from the David Suzuki Foundation, part one of three weekly newsletters:

from Thursday, April 2nd, 2020:



Plant a pollinator patch and bring bees and butterflies back to your neighbourhood! Check out our Pollinators page to learn about planting native plants and other ways you can help attract pollinators unique to your area.









Bring nature inside. Write a love letter to nature and create a gratitude tree! Use sticky notes or construction paper and showcase them in a window for everyone to enjoy. Have your family or friends send you answers to the question, “What do you love most about nature?” For more inspiration, visit The Love Lettering Project.









Calling all young artists! Paint rocks with positive messages or images of love. Place the rocks around a favourite tree or park. Please make sure to use low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint if you are putting your rocks in nature so you don’t harm the environment.




Please share to inspire others!


Inspire others by documenting your activities and sending them to Pictures, drawings, videos and written work will encourage others in Canada to take action.

(signed) Izzy Czerveniak
Organizing and Public Engagement
David Suzuki Foundation
P.S. Not a parent or guardian? Forward this to a family you know. Now more than ever we can build resilient networks and foster a greater sense of community!



Lots of ideas here:


Global Chorus essay for April 5
Jean Vanier

note -- this is tough, as this essay was written in 2013 or so, Vanier died about a year ago, and in late February 2020, revelations about his abuse of female assistants came out.

Here is a sad Globe and Mail opinion piece from Madeline Burghardt written in Februay 2020

Since the discovery of nuclear weapons, the growing greed which can cause serious ecological disequilibrium and a possible breakage of global economy, the question of the future of humanity is put in question. Yet the history of humanity shows the capacity for our societies to rise up from horrible catastrophes. Each new generation seems to have new energies to face and confront – with creativity and lucidity – difficult and seemingly impossible situations. Nature seems to possess an amazing power of resilience. The human heart yearns to live: to live in wisdom and in peace.

Over the years, great men and women philosophers, scientists, artists, psychologists, politicians, people of wisdom, of prayer, of a deep spirituality have risen up as prophets of life and peace to show a road to hope. Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kfar Khan, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, John Paul II, Mother Theresa, Etty Hillesum, Martin Luther King – the list is long and impressive. Millions of people are capable of following and discerning real leaders from dangerous dictators, mafia groups and incompetent politicians. Human hearts can be cowed and paralyzed by fear; but the desire for light, trust and freedom, and the need to live humanely, can break through these fears. I cannot foresee the global future. I do have trust in human wisdom and goodness.

Certainly we shall continue to live through times of pain and destruction. Half the world’s population today live in pain, need and oppression. But our hearts will grow in new energies of love. There is a hidden power of love in the hearts of so many weak, crushed and impoverished people. A time will come when they will rise up to confront those who have power and money and possessions. They will show a new way. Humanity can change from the need of rivalry to the beauty of togetherness: the “I” transformed into the “we.”
     — Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche International


essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 4, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

A few vendors are outside the area of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market today, around 9AM-12noon. Or thereabouts. 
Folks are able to find them and maintain physical distancing between customers, and it obviously helps some Farmers, and some people who maybe didn't order ahead of time.

Heart Beet Organics will have some produce and fermented products at their storefront, 9AM-1PM, the Farmacy, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown,

The Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide was updated and many more vendors (including more places offering take-out food) added their information.  The Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, edition is found on this page:

screenshot of April 1st, 2020, Local Goods Guide
Buy local and consume seasonally as best you can (which is more effort in the past month than before), and minimize "consumption" of sensationalized news about food systems collapse (which is easier to find than in past months).  :-) 

Some great entertainment options today:
"Quarantunes" Concert, 8PM, Facebook Live, with Becca Griffin at her Becca The Witch Facebook page.

Metropolitan Opera
(besides Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, 2PM, CBC Music 104.7FM, which is of course now a recording, not a live opera, and is Gluck's Orfeo et Eudrice)

Verdi’s MacbethFree HD video simulcast recording available from 7:30PM tonight to Sunday afternoon.
"Star soprano Anna Netrebko created a sensation with her riveting performance as the malevolent Lady Macbeth, the central character in Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy. She is joined by Željko Lučić, who brings dramatic intensity and vocal authority to the title role of the honest general driven to murder and deceit by his ambitious wife. The great René Pape is Banquo and Joseph Calleja gives a moving performance as Macduff. Adrian Noble’s powerful production provides an ideal setting for this dark drama, which is masterfully presided over by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi."  In Italian with English subtitles.

City Cinema has two films available for live-streaming, now until Wednesday, April 8th, full details here:

From the organization described below in the Global Chorus section, the Nobel Women's Initiative, here is their website:

and it has an array of articles related to women's rights/human rights.

Here is a resource about Climate Change, published in February of this year:
"Announcing the launch of our brand new report, co-authored by the Equality Fund, “Supporting Women’s Organizations and Movements: A Strategic Approach to Climate Action”

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by climate crisis, yet they are systematically underrepresented in formal talks. This has to change. Canada can play a leadership role in closing this gap. And it starts with funding, listening, building the capacity, and expanding the influence of grassroots women’s organizations and movements.

Read the report to find out how a more integrated, feminist approach to the climate crisis could actually save the planet."



Global Chorus essay for April 4th
Jody Williams

In his masterwork, Don Quixote, Cervantes wrote, “Maybe the greatest madness is to see life as it is rather than what it could be.” Moving beyond the environmental and socio-economic crossroads where humanity stands today requires shaking this madness and giving birth to a common vision of a world of sustainable peace with justice and equality.

But creating sustainable peace, including environmental protection and sustainability, is not attained by contemplating doves flying over rainbows while singing peace ballads. Some of the most basic elements of creating a common vision rest on new conceptions of security built on a strong foundation of human security, not national security. Human security is based on meeting the needs of people and the planet, not one that focuses primarily on the often aggressive framework of the defence of the apparatus of the state – at huge costs to humanity and the environment.

Tackling that outmoded worldview must be the collective action of civil society and governments. No one changes the world alone. Alone, thinking about all of the challenges in today’s world, can be completely overwhelming and, worse, disempowering. But when we choose to work together in coordinated action toward achieving the common goal of sustainable peace on a sustainable planet, there is little we cannot accomplish. Each and every one of us has the power to contribute to lasting change, and when we choose to use that power together in collective action we can make the seemingly impossible possible.

Creating change is hard work; it is not impossible work. It takes all elements of the global community working together in strategic, coordinated action to make a vision reality. Change does not happen simply because we wish it would. It is the result of the hard work of millions of people around the world – every single day.

Building sustainable peace on a sustainable planet is not a utopian dream. It is possible. It is a wondrous adventure that we must all be part of to turn our vision into sustainable reality.

      — Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate,  chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative


essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 3, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Fridays for Future is digital, 3:30PM.

"Quarantunes" Friday Concert online, 8PM,
With Logan Richard. 
Facebook link

Tonight's Metropolitan Opera
Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, available from 7:30PM
tonight until tomorrow afternoon
"Starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 16, 2016." In French with English subtitles.
The Pearl Fishers is not the most memorable of stories, but the end of Act 1 duet "The Friendship Duet" between the tenor and baritone is sublime.
Met Opera on Demand


from an open letter from regarding how we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis:

The Open Letter

The COVID-19 pandemic demands swift and unprecedented action from national governments and the international community.

Choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come.

As decision-makers take steps to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, it is imperative that they consider the interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline – notably the climate crisis, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified.

This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a Just Recovery.

We, the undersigned organisations, call for a global response to COVID-19 to contribute to a just recovery.

Responses at every level must uphold these five principles:

1.   Put people’s health first, no exceptions.

Resource health services everywhere; ensure access for all.

2.   Provide economic relief directly to the people.

Focus on people and workers – particularly those marginalised in existing systems – our short-term needs and long-term conditions.

3.   Help workers and communities, not corporate executives.

Assistance directed at specific industries must be channeled to communities and workers, not shareholders or corporate executives, and never to corporations that don’t commit to tackling the climate crisis.

4.   Create resilience for future crises.

We must create millions of decent jobs that will help power a just recovery and transition for workers and communities to the zero-carbon future we need.

5.   Build solidarity and community across borders – don’t empower authoritarians.

Transfer technology and finance to lower-income countries and communities to allow them to respond using these principles and share solutions across borders and communities. Do not use the crisis as an excuse to trample on human rights, civil liberties, and democracy. 

You can see the list of organizations that have signed this letter, and add your name, here:
Compare that idea of effectively offering immediate assistance and keeping the Climate Crisis in mind, with the fairly scattershot -- but still trying to meet needs in a trying situation, we understand that -- responses from government.

Government info on COVID-19 can be found on the:
P.E.I.'s Government's Facebook page here, with the updates at 1:30 and 4PM

The 1:30PM one tends to be medical with Dr. Heather Morrison, and the later afternoon one with government representatives.
once we have a clear night, anyway....

ATLANTIC SKIES: Perfect time to spot Virgo in the spring sky - The Chronicle Herald column by Glenn K. Roberts

Published on Friday, March 27th, 2020, in  Saltwire publications

Continuing our look at the spring constellations, we move to the southeast (lower left) of Leo - the Lion to locate the constellation of Virgo.

Latin for "virgin", Virgo is visible all night long in March and April, and is the second-largest constellation in the night sky, after Hydra - the Sea Serpent.

To the ancient Babylonians, this constellation represented Shala, their goddess of fertility, and her ear of corn. The ancient Greeks saw it as Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and the harvest. To the Romans, it was Ceres, the virgin goddess of grain, agriculture, fertility, and motherly relationships. Some Romans associated her with Persephone, goddess of spring.

Interestingly, Virgo was, at one point, a much larger constellation, associated with Astraea, the Roman goddess of justice. This constellation depicted Astraea holding a set of scales (of justice) in her hands. Eventually, though, this constellation was divided in two, with Virgo becoming a separate constellation, and the scales forming another - Libra the Scales.

The brightest star in Virgo is Spica (Latin for "ear of grain"), a bright, binary star system about 250 light-years from Earth. Locating Spica is quite easy if you first locate the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) with its long, arcing handle, then "follow the arc to Arcturus (the brightest star in Bootes - the Herdsman) and speed on to Spica."

Spica is thought to have been the star that Hipparchus (a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician) used to determine the precession of the equinoxes.

Spica is one of the three corner stars of the "Spring Triangle" asterism, completing the triangle with Denebola (the bright star in the tail of Leo) and Arcturus in Bootes. With the addition of a fourth star, Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici (the hunting dogs accompanying Bootes), Spica helps form the asterism of the "Great Diamond' or the "Virgin Diamond".

The latter asterism is significant in that, within its pictoral boundaries, one can find many nearby galaxies, the largest cluster of which is named the Virgo Cluster, containing over 1,300 galaxies. The Virgo Cluster forms the heart of a much larger Super Cluster of galaxies, which contains the Local Group of galaxies, of which our Milky Way Galaxy is a member.

Bright Venus (magnitude -4.3) sits a little more than one-third the way up the western sky as darkness falls this coming week. Having just completed its greatest elongation from the sun on March 24 and reaching its highest point in the western evening sky, Venus now begins to drop closer to the western horizon each evening.

Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn remain pre-dawn objects in the southeastern sky. Jupiter (magnitude -2.0) becomes visible around 4 a.m. (by 3:30 a.m. on April 5), remaining so until the eastern sky brightens around 6:30 a.m. Likewise, Saturn (mag. +0.7), visible after 4 a.m. to the lower left of Jupiter, and Mars (mag. +0.8), visible between Jupiter and Saturn around 4:30 a.m., also remain visible until shortly after 6 a.m.

Look for the waxing, crescent moon (nearing first-quarter) on March 30 and 31, sitting inside the "Winter Circle" - a hexagon-shaped asterism of six first magnitude stars composed of Pollux (in Gemini), Capella (in Auriga), Aldebaran (in Tauris), Rigel (in Orion), Sirius (in Canis Major), and Procyon (in Canis Minor).

Next week, I'll talk about the exciting, rapidly brightening Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS (discovered Dec. 28, 2019), which could possibly brighten to naked-eye visibility by the end of April.

Until next week, clear skies.


April 1 - First-quarter moon



Global Chorus essay for April 3
Bob McDonald

It took more than two thousand years to see our planet. How much longer will it take to understand how it works?

An Ancient Greek mathematician made the first measurement of the Earth 2,200 years ago using shadows from the sun and simple geometry. It was the first realization that the whole planet was much larger than the “Known World.” In other words, our ignorance of the Earth was far greater than our knowledge at the time. Today, even though we have seen the planet from afar as a single blue orb floating in the infinite blackness of space, our ignorance of how it behaves is as great as our lack of understanding about geography was 22 centuries ago.

The complexity and interconnectedness of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as well as how they respond to human activity, is a new terra incognita. Despite all our sophisticated instruments and satellites, we cannot predict the weather beyond a week. No one knows where or when the next earthquake or volcano will erupt or tsunami will strike. We know that human activity is changing this dynamic of the planet, often in surprising and usually harmful ways, but exactly how this will play out in the future is still a somewhat inexact science.

To seal our survival in that future, we face three challenges: to more fully understand the dynamics of the Earth, to develop alternative technology and to control our population. The first requires science; the second, engineering. The third and probably most difficult challenge involves making intelligent political and social decisions.

For decades the environmental movement has adopted a warlike strategy against big industry, a white hat–black hat approach that pointed fingers at pollution, demanding new laws to keep the planet clean. But now that we have identified the problems it’s time to get on with a new, co-operative approach, one that produces immediate tangible results. The business community has discovered that going green makes money. Consumers want clean, efficient technology, so it’s a win for the economy and a win for the environment. Now is the time to innovate, to develop more efficient ways to turn wheels, cleaner ways to produce electricity and keep ourselves warm. The challenge is huge but far from impossible, and the economy need not suffer along the way.

Humans are most innovative when faced with a crisis. We have the ability to make tailpipes and smokestacks obsolete. We can control our numbers and reduce our environmental footprint. Ultimately, if we choose correctly, we can turn ourselves into a smoothly turning cog in the superbly complex and ever-changing machinery of our dynamic planet Earth.

      — Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio (Canada), science correspondent on CBC Television, author


essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 2, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Island musicians' "Tiny Concerts", 8PM, on Facebook, all welcome.
Facebook link

Emerging Artist: Brielle Ansems, 8PM
Established Artist: The Royal North, 8:30PM

Also tonight: Metropolitan Opera:
Verdi’s Don Carlo simulcast, available 7:30PM tonight until mid-afternoon Friday:
"Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 11, 2010." 
Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Set in the 1500s, Spanish Inquisition, a bit of a soap opera with a King and son who love the same woman, then there is the cry for Flemish independence, and oh, gorgeous singing.

Friday, April 3rd:
Webinar 1 – #WetsuwetenStrong and the Ethics of LNG, 8PM our time, sponsored by the Council of Canadians.
"In partnership with RAVEN-Trust, we’re happy to bring you this myth-busting webinar series focusing on the fact that Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is not ethical, economical, or ecological." All welcome, more details and to register for webinar link, here:


La voix acadienne, votre journal Francophone de I'lle-du-Prince-Edouard is now publishing ONLY on-line and free for all.
Here is the Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 edition.

If you are like Dr. Morrison and can switch into French pretty easily, great!  If not, then picking through the paper to see what's important to the Acadian community might be good.

Another French language resource:
Duolingo is cute and fun and free

Talking to Islanders and hearing it in the media, it sounds like there is a shortage of baking yeast. 

Yeast geneticist Sudeep Agarwala, who like a Far Side scientist has suddenly realized his previously pooh-poohed life's work is very useful to many now, writes out in this Twitter thread how to grow yeast for bread doughs at home:

The yeast recipe link came as part of the note from creator Rion Nakaya with The Kids Should See This, the weekly roundup of excellent videos and articles with a science bent.  For kids of all ages!

This week's is particularly poignant with the yeast Twitter thread,  and a New York Times article on making cloth facemasks at home, and one of the videos is the exuberant spring-like "Lonely Goatherd" puppet show from 1965's The Sound of Music.
This week's The Kids Should See This page for April 1, 2020

And, tucked in one of the pages but SO gorgeous it bears highlighting, a real suite of musicians and animated animals/letters and symbols remake the telling of Sergey Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.  An amazing 30 minutes.


Global Chorus essay for April 2nd 
Alan Weisman

There’s only one indisputable answer as to whether we can escape today’s global environmental crisis: nobody really knows.

Think of it this way: every day, some people somewhere decide to do something reckless. They have one more drink. Or try some new pill. Or freeclimb mountainsides, or race in cars, or have unprotected sex with someone they can’t be absolutely sure isn’t lethally infected. Or they simply go somewhere or do something they suspect they shouldn’t.

Nevertheless, they do it. Why?

Two reasons: first, there’s an instant payoff. Immediately, you’re drunker, higher, prouder, moving thrillingly faster, or you’re more deliciously aroused, gratified and satisfied. It feels great.

Second, the odds seem on your side. Sure you could get killed, but people do these things all the time and survive. In fact, you’ve done them before, and you’re still here.

So far, anyway.

And so are we. We humans spring from an ongoing process entailing an unfathomably intricate, natural infrastructure – one we’ve spent the past 250 years disrupting or dismantling by trashing countless of its components. So far, we’re still around to relish whatever payoffs we’ve gained. But it’s pretty reckless behaviour.

At some point our luck may run out. Me, I’d prefer we stop taking dumb chances. But I can’t stop us alone. Together, we might.

I just looked: it’s still beautiful out there. I can hear a thrush. Our damage may not be terminal, and much of it may be reparable.

Seems worth trying. Please spread the word.

       — Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World

Background on The World Without Us but maybe not the most reassuring thing to read right now.

Author's website

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 1, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Happy April and Happy April Fool's Day!


Local Food store open today:
Heart Beet Organics Farmacy, Great George Street (next to Timothy's), 3-6PM
Order deadline: Midnight, tonight, for pickup Saturday, April 4th, 4-7PM
Eat Local Food: Online Farmers' Market

This is the reincarnation of some vendors from the Charlottetown Farmers' Market, coordinated by Jordan MacPhee from Maple Bloom Farm, and this week (due to construction at the Farmers' Market), the delivery will be at Van Kampen's Greenhouses on Allen Street.
Met Opera free broadcast today:
John Adams’s Nixon in China, 7:30PM, and available until Thursday afternoon.
"Starring Janis Kelly and James Maddalena, conducted by John Adams. From February 12, 2011."
This one is so cool (and what a strange topic). A modern opera about a couple of days of U.S. President's Richard Nixon's 1972 trip, and the composer is still alive!
More local food!! Aaron has been a stalwart of promoting and providing local food to families on P.E.I.

Organic Veggie Delivery is Delivering Weekly
Charlottetown and Stratford veggie deliveries take place Friday evenings.
Orders are due by Monday Night for Friday eve delivery.
Also delivering to Cornwall and some other areas for a small fee.
Get in touch for more info or to place an order.

Home delivery of fresh local organic veggies and more.
$25 / $40 / $50 Veggie Boxes (substitutions and additions are available)
Custom orders and standing orders also available.

Aaron Koleszar 902-659-2575
A kind word or two from Joe Byrne, leader of the Island New Democrat Party:

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. These are trying times for all Islanders. Terms like self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing are now regular parts of our vocabulary. COVID-19 has dramatically altered so much of our daily routines and we are uncertain what the future holds over the coming weeks. Few of us could have imagined that a virus that we never had heard of a few months ago, could have brought us so quickly to this point. As we move through this pandemic I want to share a few thoughts.

First, let us add our voice of thanks to health care professionals and workers who have risen to the occasion to care for us. We appreciate all that you are doing. Our hope is that you can continue to find the strength and courage required in these trying times. Dr. Heather Morrison’s care, concern and professionalism is a steady voice, and thanks go to those who are working with her as well. The challenge of keeping transmission limited is tough and we encourage everyone to follow their advice.

We are extremely grateful to the many others who are serving us: ie, truckers, grocery store workers, shelter workers, and business owners who are delivering their goods. Additionally, it is heartening to see the numerous acts of kindness and generosity shown by Islanders reaching out to their neighbours.

Our sense of community is changing. A virus that has brought about so much uncertainty is also bringing out strength and resiliency in many. These are the qualities that will be required over the coming months as the depth of the impact of coronavirus becomes clearer.

I encourage everyone to continue to follow the guidelines even as they change from day to day. We will get through this and will be stronger as we rely on each other across the social distances.

As we emerge from this pandemic there will be a greater need than ever to include everyone in the discussion on what was done well, where improvements can be made, and what measures/steps can be adopted so as to be better prepared for a future emergency. Those ideas emerge from our experiences today; and sharing them with each other is the first step in designing alternatives.

I am very interested in hearing your ideas emerging from your experience through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please email your suggestions as to how we may continue to help each other during this stressful time. This is an important first step in designing alternatives for a brighter future for Islanders.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Joe Byrne, Leader
Island New Democrats.

Global Chorus essay for April 1
Ian Wright

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a depressing doom and gloom merchant, and I do believe that humans are the most extraordinary animals that have ever lived – especially when I think about all the unbelievable things we have achieved, all the amazing and inspirational people I have been lucky enough to meet. But when I look at what we have done to this Earth within such a minuscule amount time of being here … we are screwed …

Apart from breeding like rabbits, the world’s population is run by the 1 per cent that mainly seek financial and personal gain and don’t give a monkey’s about any long-term global effect: “as long as the money’s rolling in NOW, why care about the future?” And these evil creatures are never going to give up that kind of power to the likes of you and me …

I feel a fight behind the bike sheds is brewing!

Or come away with me on my homemade space rocket in the backyard …

— Ian Wright, travel television host of Lonely Planet’s Pilot Guides (aka Globe Trekker)

Wikipedia article

Interview from 2014 on The Current
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014