Friday News Clippings 8 June 2012

Things have been really busy around here, and writing has caught the brunt of it, truly falling off the side of the desk. I’m not going to make any promises here, but I hope to pick things up a bit again over the coming weeks. To kick this off, I thought I’d share some links […]

Post 1000 – and Some News

From an idea that formed back in the winter of 2006 while pondering the world from a coffee shop window, downtown Newcastle, Australia; I started the website Today we’ve reached another milestone along the journey, this is officially our one-thousandth post. This has been achieved in 4 years, 6 months and 24 days, or […]

July 2008 Update

It’s been a couple of months since the last update from UrbanWorkbench, it’s been a busy summer with work, gardening and parenting. I’ve posted much of the stuff that has been going on outside of work, so here are some of our favourite articles.

As always, drop us an email if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the site, I’ve got a big series coming up on water, and of course, I’ll be featuring more about chickens and goats!

  • Pair go green as world watches
  • Locally Safeway – Part 2
  • BC Living Water Smart
  • Ootischenia Abattoir
  • Low Flush Toilets
  • Creston Grain CSA
  • Goat Talk About Town
  • We’ll be around the Kootenays for most of the Summer, if you’re in the area, let’s catch up. If you’re not – how about a visit to this great part of British Columbia!

    April 2008

    Welcome to the April edition of the UrbanWorkbench update. In this issue we explore some of the current issues in sustainability, Civil Engineering, and of course the Kootenay region and our lives here.


    IMG_2133This month is a busy one for us, with lots of meetings to discuss the big issues in Rossland and the Kootenays, many of them surrounding development in the watershed and the long term picture of Rossland. For those of you who don’t know what I do for a day job, I’m the manager of Engineering for the City of Rossland, and as such, I try to avoid editorializing all that goes on in this small City nestled in the mountains above the Columbia River, just north of the US/Canada border.

    Rossland has, over the past couple of years gone through a community engagement and planning process known as Visions to Action, with a Strategic Sustainability Plan looking at a vision of Rossland in 2025. Following this process, (and this is where the City is up to now), the Official Community Plan will be rewritten to take in much of the community input gained through the Visions to Action process.

    In addition to this, we have a consultant assisting in the rewriting of the Development Cost Charge Bylaw, a controversial document in many communities, as it has to balance the needs of the community against those of future citizens, and distributing the costs associated with these across the potential future developments.

    And if that’s not enough, the development continues, existing infrastructure needs upgrading and it’s an election year!

    BCWWA Conference

    IMG_2095Robyn and I are happy to be attending the BCWWA (British Columbia Water and Wastewater Association) conference starting next week in Whistler, BC. This conference will focus on many of the issues facing the community of Rossland and others in the Kootenays, with discussions on Climate Change, sustainable water supply, water treatment, water pricing and many other talks.

    I’ve never been to Whistler, so I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about. We’re leaving this Friday, heading down to Vancouver for a couple of nights, then up to Whistler. We’ll probably return through the Okanagan.


    Meanwhile, all this talk of global warming is pretty confusion when it’s the middle of April and we’ve got a couple of centimetres of snow in our yard.


    I’m still waiting on APEGBC to accept my application for Professional Engineer status, but it shouldn’t be too long now.
    We’ve undertaken some minor home improvements, the most exciting is the installation of an outdoor clothesline, of course the day after I put it up it rained!

    On the UrbanWorkbench blog, it’s been pretty quiet, but here are some recent articles that you might find interesting. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, drop me an email.

    Thanks, Mike and Robyn.

    March 2008 – Newsletter

    March is shaping up to be a busy month, with plenty of action in Rossland at work, the snow melting rapidly, and a couple of big events.

    One of the big themes at the moment in my life is Emergency Preparedness. As one of the managers in the City, I am responsible for part of the coordination during an emergency. On the 6th of March, I am observing a scenario being run by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, in Nelson. I hope this is a good opportunity to see how things are done differently in this part of the world.

    Family Happenings

    On the 8th of March, I have three big events on, and it’s lucky that they are all close to each other. Firstly, I am judging at the regional science fair. I judged at the School District level last year and really enjoyed interacting with the kids and teaching them something about science in the real world.

    After this, as it is Engineering Week, the local APEGBC branch is holding a popsicle stick bridge competition. At this stage it looks like Robyn and I will submit a bridge, and we’re hoping that Eden can use her creative genius to compete in the junior category.

    While the judging of the bridge competition is on, I’ll have to duck across to the airport to pick my mum up. She’s visiting us for almost a month from Australia, so we’re hoping for  some good weather to be able to show her around.

    Development News

    On the development front around the Kootenays, Red Resort has applied for Preliminary Design Review on an 18 lot subdivision (the first phase of approximately 70 lots), at the base of the ski hill. With some innovative trail and lift arrangements, this development should grow into a pleasant neighbourhood in the next couple of years.

    February 2008 Newsletter

    Welcome to the February Issue of the UrbanWorkbench Newsletter – keeping you informed on sustainability issues in the Kootenays. If you’ve got a moment, please check out our survey here, (powered by Google Docs).

    It’s been over a year since we made the move from the beaches of Newcastle, Australia to the Mountains of the Kootenays in Canada; and in that year we’ve met some great people and had some amazing adventures. To list a few of the highlights…