Monday, March 16, 2020

COVID19


By Iain McLeod
March 16, 2020

"From a young researcher who had been transferred from Shenzhen to Wuhan to collaborate with the task force that is fighting the coronavirus epidemic, we receive and willingly transmit to all of this clear, simple and accessible information, which describe exactly what it is.  the virus, how it transfers from one person to another and how it can be neutralized in everyday life.
Corona virus infection does not cause a cold with a dripping nose or catarrhal cough, but a dry throat and dry cough: this is the easiest thing to know.
 The virus does not resist heat and dies if exposed to temperatures of 26-27 degrees: therefore often consume hot drinks such as tea, herbal tea and broth during the day, or simply hot water: hot liquids neutralize the virus and it is not difficult to drink them.  Avoid drinking ice water or eating ice cubes or snow for those in the mountains (children)!
 For those who can do it, expose yourself to the sun!
 1. The virus crown is quite large (diameter about 400-500 nanometers), therefore any type of mask can stop it: in normal life, special masks are not needed.
 On the other hand, the situation is different for doctors and health professionals who are exposed to heavy virus loads and have to use special equipment.
 If an infected person sneezes in front of you, three meters away they will drop the virus on the ground and prevent it from landing on you.
 2. When the virus is found on metal surfaces, it survives for about 12 hours.  So when you touch metal surfaces such as handles, doors, appliances, supports on trams, etc., wash your hands well and disinfect them carefully.
 3. The virus can live nested in clothes and fabrics for about 6/12 hours: normal detergents can kill it.  For clothes that cannot be washed every day, if you can expose them to the sun and the virus will die.
 How it manifests itself:
 1. The virus first installs itself in the throat, causing inflammation and a dry throat sensation: this symptom can last for 3/4 days.
 2. the virus travels through the humidity present in the airways, descends into the trachea and installs in the lung, causing pneumonia.  This step takes about 5/6 days.
 3. Pneumonia occurs with high fever and difficulty breathing, it is not accompanied by the classic cold.  But you may have the feeling of drowning.  In this case, contact your doctor immediately.
 How can you avoid it:
 1. Virus transmission occurs mostly by direct contact, touching tissues or materials on which the virus is present: washing hands frequently is essential.
 The virus only survives on your hands for about ten minutes, but in ten minutes many things can happen: rub your eyes or scratch your nose for example, and allow the virus to enter your throat ...
 So, for your own good and for the good of others, wash your hands very often and disinfect them!
 2. You can gargle with a disinfectant solution that eliminates or minimizes the amount of virus that could enter your throat: in doing so, you eliminate it before it goes down into the trachea and then into the lungs.
 3. disinfect the PC keyboard and mobile phones
 The new coronavirus NCP * may not show signs of infection for many days, * before which it cannot be known if a person is infected.  But by the time you have a fever and / or cough and go to the hospital, your lungs are usually already in 50% fibrosis and it's too late!
 Taiwanese experts suggest doing a simple check that we can do on our own every morning:
 Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds.  If you successfully complete it without coughing, without discomfort, a sense of oppression, etc., this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating essentially no infection.
 In such critical times, do this check every morning in a clean air environment!
 These are serious and excellent advice from Japanese doctors who treat COVID-19 cases.  Everyone should make sure that their mouth and throat are moist, never DRY.  Drink a few sips of water at least every 15 minutes.  WHY?  Even if the virus gets into your mouth ... water or other liquids will sweep it away through the esophagus and into the stomach.  Once in the belly ... Gastric acid in the stomach will kill all the virus.  If you don't drink enough water more regularly ... the virus can get into your trumpets and lungs.  It is very dangerous.
 Share this information with your family, friends and acquaintances, for * solidarity and civic sense * !!!!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Go Expansion Update



By Lorne Ross, February 2020

Grade Separations: Info. Sheet 5



Metrolinx is increasing its services as part of the GO Expansion program, which will increase train frequency and the number of trains on the GO rail network. To increase traffic flow and transit capacity, Metrolinx has identified the need to build a number of grade separations.



This Info Sheet describes:



       What is a grade separation?



       Why are grade separations needed? What are the benefits?



       What is involved in designing a grade separation?



       What is involved in building a grade separation?



       How will Metrolinx design, build, and address effects of grade separation?



       Why doesn’t Metrolinx move tracks instead of the road?





What are the benefits of grade separations?



       Improved traffic flow and elimination of the potential for conflicts between trains and vehicles;



       Increased on-time performance and operational reliability;



       Better connections and crossings for pedestrians and cyclists;



       Reduced noise from level crossing signals and train whistles; and



       Air quality benefits from reduced car idling;



       Opportunities to bring roads up to new standards, such as wider lanes and wider walks, separated bike lands, or improved lighting.


What is a grade separation?



A grade separation is a tunnel or a bridge that allows a road or rail line to travel over or under the other, without the need for vehicles travelling on the road to stop. If the road is lowered below the rail line, it is called rail over road, while if it is raised above the rail line, it is called road over rail.



Why are grade separations needed?



Although each rail line is different, trains may run as little as one or two times per hour on some Metrolinx corridors. This means that each road crossing may need to be temporarily closed about once or twice an hour to let the trains pass.



With GO Expansion, all-day 15-minute service could mean that a train will pass every 7.5 minutes – greatly increasing the number of interruptions at each road crossing.



By grade separating crossings, Metrolinx can safely increase travel speed and capacity on our roads and rail lines. Grade separations allow trains to freely pass over or under roads without the need for the road traffic to stop.


What is involved in designing a grade separation?



Road overpasses require a new structure to raise the road above ground level. The structure could be held up by piers or retaining walls. Depending on the width of the road, the rail line would pass under the new structure through a tunnel or under a bridge.



Road underpasses usually involve excavating a trench for the road, that is held by retaining walls on each side. Depending on the crossing, a new rail bridge is usually built to cross the underpass at the lowest point.



In designing grade separations, Metrolinx is guided by a variety of objectives, including:



       maintaining and/or improving connectivity and access to properties and businesses;



       minimizing noise and negative visual impacts;



       minimizing construction and maintenance costs; and



       minimizing the project footprint, including acquiring properties and removing vegetation and trees only when necessary.



What is involved in building a grade separation?



Grade separations are large construction projects, and Metrolinx is committed to managing construction to minimize their effects on communities.



Temporary construction effects are similar to most construction projects, and may include:



       Traffic disruptions, including possible detours or closures around construction areas;



       Nuisance effects such as noise and dust;



       Removal of vegetation or temporary property impacts near construction zones; and



       Possible service disruptions to utilities from relocations.



As part of the GO Expansion program, Metrolinx is planning the following grade separations (also see the Discussion Guide):


1.    Denison St, Road Underpass



2.    Kennedy Rd, Road Underpass



3.    Passmore Ave, Road Underpass



4.    McNicoll Ave Road Underpass



5.    Huntingwood Dr, Road Underpass



6.    Progress Ave, Road Overpass



7.    Danforth Rd, Road Overpass



8.    Wellington St, Road Underpass



9.    McNaughton Rd, Road Overpass


As GO Expansion continues along with population growth in our urban centres, Metrolinx will work with local municipalities to consider the need for more such crossings.


How will Metrolinx design, build, and address the effects of grade separations?



Metrolinx will work closely with local municipalities, stakeholders, and residents to identify and manage the potential effects of grade separations. This process will include:



       Completion of relevant environmental assessment studies to identify effects and appropriate mitigation measures, including specific studies to address key community concerns, such as traffic, tree removal, and effects on adjacent land uses;



       Community consultation related to project design and mitigation;



       Working groups with municipalities and utilities to address conflicts and look for opportunities to coordinate construction work;



       Early engagement with potentially affected property owners to discuss compensation options; and



       Construction management plans to minimize construction effects related to noise, dust, traffic, and other environmental impacts (e.g. keeping two lanes open for local traffic in construction zones).



To learn more about Metrolinx’s new approach to construction management, please read Info Sheet #6.


Why doesn’t Metrolinx move the tracks instead of the road?



Although it may seem simple, even small changes to a rail line can have big challenges, including:



      Stricter standards for trains – trains have stricter standards for curves and slopes to operate safely, meaning that raising or lowering a rail line similar to a road could require up to six times as much space.



      Higher costs – Because of the design and engineering challenges, redesigning and reconstructing a rail line is more expensive than road work.



      Limited options for detours – The ability to detour a rail line is very limited because of the size of the corridor and can affect service along the entire route. Roads on the other hand can be addressed by limiting lanes, building detours, or using adjacent streets.



      Safety risks – Construction within a rail corridor presents safety concerns, so limiting the amount of work next to active trains is always preferred.



This Info Sheet is part of a package of Info Sheets and a Discussion Guide provided by Metrolinx to share updates on system-wide studies and policies. The current set of Info Sheets cover a number of different topics, including: GO Expansion benefits, heritage conservation, vegetation removal and compensation program, electromagnetic fields and electromagnetic interference, and new approach to construction management.


For more information





For more information about GO Expansion and to download other materials, check out our website: MetrolinxEngage.com


Friday, February 14, 2020

Waste Reduction Community Grants




Grants of up to $25,000 are available to support innovative community-based efforts to reduce residential waste and increase participation in the City of Toronto’s waste diversion programs. A priority will be placed on investing in actions that address multi-residential buildings, multi-lingual communities, equity-seeking groups and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.

The grants support the City’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy and reflect its guiding principles:

·  working with community partners to enhance access to waste diversion programs;

·  increasing public engagement; and

·  working together to deliver services.

The strategy puts priority on reducing and encouraging the prevention of waste, maximizing its value before disposal, and supporting the move towards a circular economy. Waste diversion, which minimizes the amount of waste sent to landfill, follows reduction and reuse in order of priority.

For more information, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/environmental-grants-incentives/waste-reduction-community-grants



Or contact staff directly at :



Gowthaman Rajakumar
Waste Reduction Community Grants
Environment & Energy Division
City of Toronto
Metro Hall
55 John Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Telephone: 416-338-8278
Email:
livegreengrants@toronto.ca



Please do kindly note that the application must be completed by resident led groups (e.g. Green Teams, School Parent Councils), not the property management.




Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Minutes of GACA Meeting October 28, 2019



By: Eva D'Ornellas


Glen Andrew Community Association

Minutes of Monday, October 28, 2019



Welcome by Iain McLeod



Guests:          City of Toronto Councillor - Michael Thompson

                        Member of Provincial Parliament – Christina Mitas     



Topic:             Updates on the status of the Scarborough Subway Extension and the plans for dedicated Bus Lanes on Ellesmere Road from McCowan to Military Trail






Metrolinx turned down the GACA’s proposal of widening Ellesmere Road (east of McCowan) to a total of 7 lanes with 3 lanes each way for cars and buses with curb lane being an HOV lane and centre lane for left turns.



The current proposal is 4 lanes with 2 centre lanes of Ellesmere Road dedicated for Durham express buses only. This would leave a single lane each way for cars, trucksand local TTC buses and it will eliminate left turn lanes into the active commercial businesses and industrial units along Ellesmere Road between McCowan and Markham Road.



Community member requested a single page hand out be prepared of these proposals with diagrams available for the next meeting.



v  City Councillor Michael Thompson congratulated Glen Andrew Community Association on being a well run, active and engaged Community Association in the City of Toronto.



v  Councillor Thompson will advocate on behalf of the community and will ask City of Toronto transportation representative to look at GACA’s alternate proposal for the BRT- Bus Rapid Transit and give an analysis of it and see where it can go from there.



Community members raised questions that they would like Michael Thompson to ask about the BRT proposal such as whether saving 5 minutes on a bus ride is worth all the expense and turmoil this BRT proposal is creating.



v  Councillor Thompson supports grade separations, elevations where there are GO train lines. He supports building an under or over pass in such places as on Progress Avenue between Midland and Kennedy Roads.



v  Discussion on bike lanes commenced and that the City of Toronto will be building bike lanes on Lawrence Avenue in the future. Currently Scarborough Centre does not have a safe bicycle network. Councillor Thompson emphasized that in City politics, it is always a delicate balancing act trying to meet the needs and requests of various community members.



v  Discussion of City of Toronto’s Vision Zero program, trying to make changes to traffic that preserves pedestrian safety.45% of occurrences involving pedestrians  were in Scarborough last year. Mid block crossing is a problem.



v  Councillor Michael Thompson supports the 3 stop Scarborough Subway extension. Stops at Lawrence (Scarborough Hospital), Scarborough Town Centre and McCowan and Sheppard. This is supported by Premiere Doug Ford and Metrolinx executive Phil Verster as per recent conversations Councillor Thompson has had with them. The Scarborough Subway is on the agenda of the City of Toronto Council meeting tomorrow morning, October 29, 2019.



v  MPP Christina Mitas was introduced and welcomed. She addressed the GACA for the first time.



v  MPP Mitas is in favour of the 3 stop Scarborough Subway as well.  The next steps challenge is to get all three levels of government, municipal, provincial and federal to work together and provide the required funding support for the subway.

Expected completion date is 2029-2030.

Concern raised that if there is a change in government at any of the levels before the shovel is in the ground that there may not be ongoing support for this project by subsequent governments.



v  There is a meeting on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at Scarborough Civic Centre at 7:00pm about a Farmer’s Market in Albert Campbell Square next year, May 2020. Community members who support this initiative should attend the meeting.



v  Treasurer’s report provided by Tom Bozanis.

Motion to accept report as read made by Jack Law.

Seconded by George Murray.

Motion carried.



v  Motion to adjourn the meeting made by David Jackson

Seconded by Jack Law.

Meeting adjourned.









Minutes by Eva D’Ornellas

Interim Secretary

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Scarborough Subway Update - Starting from Scratch Again

At the recent GACA Meeting on October 28, we were given an update about the status of the Scarborough Subway by Councillor Michael Thompson and MPP Christina Mittas. Most of the information they gave has now been made available in the news media. 
Under the new agreed-upon proposal, the Ontario Government will pay $30 billion for the transit expansion which includes:
Ontario line  - a relief life
Scarborough Subway Extension
Yonge line extension
Eglinton West LRT.

Ontario Line
This revision basically throws out all the previous studies, proposals and analyses which the city had done over the last several years and which cost tax-payers over $200 million. This revised plan which has been approved would cost $10.9 billion for the Ontario line and take a longer, different route from Ontario Place to the Ontario Science Centre. Plans include completion date of 2027.

Scarborough Subway Extension
The three-stop Scarborough Subway extension line is on hold for 2-3 years. So, basically nothing is being done on the subway extension for Scarborough residents.

In our Meeting, many residents understandably expressed dissatisfaction with the plan for Scarborough. Many had worked on this plan, advocating and giving input. Unfortunately, Scarborough has been given low priority by the city and province.