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December 2012 Archives

Celebrating the longest night of the year

We managed to escape those doomsday predictions for today, but Dec. 21 is still a significant date. It's the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and it's being celebrated by many...including the Children's Peace Theatre in the city's east end, and Wonderworks in the Annex. Here and Now spoke with Rochelle Holt, the owner of Wonderworks, a store that focusses on spirituality, and Karen Emerson, Artistic Director of the Children's Peace Theatre. For more information go to:

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Nutcracker Kids

Tonight, dozens of tiny dancers will showcase their version of the Nutcracker. CBC's Dagna Pielaszkiewicz went behind the scenes with students from Pia Bouman's School for Ballet and Creative Movement. Members of the cast talked about what it's like to play a supporting role in a production involving over 90 youth. Listen audio (runs 5:47)

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Reported Cases Of The Flu Are On The Rise

Roll up your sleeve. That's the message from public health, now that we're in the middle of flu season. The number of reported cases are up from the yearly average. Dr. Vinita Dubey, Toronto's associate medical officer of health talked about the need for flu prevention. Listen audio (runs 5:43)

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Recommendations For Children's Books

If you're a parent and you've been to a bookstore lately, you might have noticed a growing trend in issue oriented books for children. These are books that address topics such as global warming, poverty, and food sustainability. Mary Ito looked at what's behind this trend with Dory Cerny, Books for Young People Editor at Quill and Quire.

A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Karen Patkau (Pajama Press, ages 5+). - In this book, a young Ugandan boy embarks, barefoot, on a lengthy journey to get water from the pump located outside of his village. When he receives an unexpected gift from an aid worker who has come to the village square, he devises a meaningful way to say thank you. The message here is clear, but delivered with a soft touch, reminding young readers that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey, illustrated by Soyeon Kim (Owlkids Books, ages 4+). - In her first picture book, scientist and author Elin Kelsey introduces children to the concept of how humans and nature interconnect, explaining in simple, yet effective scientific terms, how our actions impact our environment. Soyeon Kim¹s incredible diorama illustrations add wonder, and the combination of text and images act to capture children¹s attention and imaginations while informing them of important issues.

Gift Days by Kari-Lynn Winters, illustrated by Stephen Taylor (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, ages 8+). - In another story set in Uganda, Nassali longs to go to school, but after her mother¹s AIDs-related death, she must take over the responsibility of running the household. Eventually, Nassali¹s older brother volunteers to do her chores one day a week so that she can learn how to read, as their mother would have wanted.

Really and Truly by Émilie Rivard, illustrated by Anne-Claire Delisle (Owlkids Books, ages 4+). - Charlie¹s grandpa used to tell him the best stories. When Grandpa begins to act differently, becoming forgetful and distant, Charlie takes over storytelling duties to maintain their bond. This is a delicate approach to teaching young children about dementia and Alzheimer¹s Disease, relayed in a manner that is easy for them to understand.

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Food Column: Elton on Christmas Past

Toronto is a city that's constantly evolving. Its food is as well. This week, food columnist Sarah Elton took a look back at what people ate during Christmases past. Listen audio (runs 6:42)

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Industries your RRSP is funding could come as an unpleasant surprise

There's word that anger over the Sandy Hook shootings has prompted a very large New York-based investment firm to unload its stake in the gun-maker Bushmaster. Joining Here and Now to talk about how you can find out what your investments may be funding was Doug Morrow, vice president of research for Corporate Knights Capital. Listen audio (runs 6:31)

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Safety Within Toronto Elementary Schools

Flags at Toronto schools are flying at half-mast today, to honour the lives lost in Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. But parents in Toronto are also asking questions, about school security here. Shari Schwartz-Maltz speaks for the Toronto District School Board. We heard from her about school security plans. Listen audio (runs 5:22)

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Mirella Amato: Canada's First Master Cicerone

Mirella Amato is a well-known beer expert in Toronto. Now, she has a new title to add to her list of achievements. She's Canada's first Master Cicerone, a certified beer expert. She told us what this honour means to her. Listen audio (runs 8:18)

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Why enforcing anti-panhandling law may be more trouble than it's worth

Greg Cook works at a homeless shelter called Sanctuary. He explains why he believes that enforcing the Ontario Safe Streets Act is making life worse for the homeless - and needlessly expensive for the police. Listen audio (runs 6:33)

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Repair may not be the best fix for Gardiner's woes

The best fix for the Gardiner Expressway may be no fix at all. Urban planner and architect Ken Greenberg says highway is too far gone. But the debate over it's future could be the catalyst for some much larger changes in how all of us get from point A to point B in this city. Listen audio (runs 7:18)

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Skiing Venues Open Despite Lack of Snow

It's sunny and mild in Toronto but people are skiing just an hour north of here. In fact, there were seven ski resorts open last weekend and there will be up to ten more open this weekend. Jack Lynch, travel promotion officer for Ontario travel information centres spoke with us about the start of ski season. Listen audio (runs 5:06)

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How to Cope With Cold Season

Watery eyes? Sore nose? Going through Kleenex like it's going out of style? You're not alone. Cold season is upon us. CBC Medical Correspondent Dr. Karl Kabasele shared ideas about how those sick can cope. Listen audio (runs 6:46)

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Toronto Skating Rinks

Curious City columnist Matt Blackett talked about city skating rinks. Here's a list of the rinks he mentioned. - Harbourfront Centre - Lake Devo on Ryerson University's campus. - Nathan Phillips Square - The Brickworks Skating Trail and Grenadier Pond in High Park. - The outdoor rink at Mel Lastman Square. - Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail in South Etobicoke. - Cedarena in Markham and Gage Trail in Brampton. - Gage Trail in Gage Park

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Toronto Skating Rinks

Curious City columnist Matt Blackett talked about city skating rinks. Here's a list of the rinks he mentioned. - Harbourfront Centre - Lake Devo on Ryerson University's campus. - Nathan Phillips Square - The Brickworks Skating Trail and Grenadier Pond in High Park. - The outdoor rink at Mel Lastman Square. - Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail in South Etobicoke. - Cedarena in Markham and Gage Trail in Brampton. - Gage Trail in Gage Park

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Food Column: Elton on Food as Business

Food. It's both necessity and pleasure. However, in Toronto, it's also an important part of our local economy. Our food columnist, Sarah Elton took a closer look at some of the independent stores that are part of Toronto's business scene. Listen audio (runs 6:41)

Chef Bashir Munye sells his dumpings at the Brickworks Farmers' Market, every other week. You can also check out his website for more information.

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Seniors Working Beyond Freedom 55

According to Statistics Canada, a growing number of people close to retirement age are choosing to work, rather than call it quits. Susan Eng, vice-president of advocacy for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons about what this demographic shift will mean for the workplace. Listen audio (runs 6:18)

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Environmental Commissioner Discusses Climate Change

The weather is hardly fightful today. Or is it, since it is December? This afternoon, Gord Miller, Ontario's Environmental Commissioner released his greenhouse gas progress report. He shared the details. Listen audio (runs 6:39)

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OSSTF Discusses Ramping Up Work Action

According to the provincial Education Minister, Laurel Broten, the union leaders are responsible for the impasse in contract negotiations. However, the OSSTF has a different take. We heard from their president, Ken Coran. Listen audio (runs 7:51)

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Project Aspiro: Helping Blind and Partially-Sighted People Find Work

When it comes to developing job-seeking strategies, there's little specific information for people who are blind or partially sighted. That's now changed, thanks to a site developed by the World Blind Union and the CNIB. Penny Hartin is the CEO of the World Blind Union. She talked about Project Aspiro. Listen audio (runs 6:38)

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