Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Calgary

Calgary’s Hidden Valley School’s ‘Hug ‘n Go’ campaign promotes traffic safety

Published

3 minute read

This story recently sent to us from a Calgary reader caught our eye. An effective and ‘low-tech’ way to promote driving safety near the school.

by Sarah Parchewsky – Calgary

Like many schools in Calgary, Hidden Valley School in the NW struggles with traffic congestion in and around its school zone. The day-to-day challenges of time management and six months of cold winter weather make too many parents choose to drive their kids to and from school rather than use an active form of travel like walking or biking.

After years of struggling with parents parking in undesignated parking spots, the Hidden Valley School Council decided it was time to try and change this behavior. The council applied for and was awarded a Traffic Safety Fund grant from the Ministry of Transportation to promote traffic safety, education and awareness to the students, their families and staff members at the school.

Each student at the school was given a pedestrian safety reflector to wear on either their jackets or backpacks so that motorists driving in the community could identify these tiny pedestrians from a distance. To keep traffic moving smoothly and alleviate congestion, the school purchased “Hug N’ Go” banner flags to mark the road in front of the school’s entrance.

The school council co-ordinated parent volunteers and teaching staff to host monthly traffic safety blitz’s in collaboration with the Calgary Police Service’s Traffic Safety Unit. The goal was to coach parents about safe driving and good parking practises in and around the school. Parents seen parking in less congested areas or using active forms of travel instead of driving were rewarded with thank-you cards.

The school continued to promote traffic safety to students and their families with street safe activity booklets and safe cycling checklists. In May 2019, the school hosted a walk/bike week event to encourage students to use an active form of travel either to and from school or in the evenings with their families (for students who travel by bus). To end the school year, the school hosted a traffic safety assembly where students practised how to use a crosswalk safely using the three P’s (Point, Pause, Proceed). The winners of the walk/bike week event were announced by the School’s CPS Liaison Officer, Ward 3 Councillor Jyoti Gondek and AB Transportation.

The school handed out a total of 4 bicycles, 5 scooters and over 30 helmets.

“Hats off to our School Council and the staff at Hidden Valley School who have worked really hard on this traffic safety initiative this year!” stated the School Council’s Traffic Safety Coordinator. “However, we continue to struggle with traffic safety within the community. Not only are their infrastructure issues such as unlighted crosswalks but all drivers in the community need to start thinking about changing their driving behaviours in order to make a real difference.”

Todayville is a digital media and technology company. We profile unique stories and events in our community. Register and promote your community event for free.

Follow Author

Business

Changing of the Tides – How One Alberta Company Is Driving Hydrokinetic Power

Published on

The energy conversation has been a polarized debate for years and continues to hit headlines. The clean energy industry is driven by forward-thinking individuals who have one common goal, transitioning from traditional energy sources to a more sustainable form of energy. Now in 2020, we have more oil than we know what to do with, an unprecedented amount of unused facilities that require cleanup, and jobs being lost daily. We exist in a time where competition drives innovation, demonstrating proof of concept is essential to drive investment and still, unable to see eye to eye for a common approach. Let me ask you this, is it problematic for us as a society to hold onto previous conceptions of clean energy projects, regardless of what type? 

Jupiter Hydro was founded in September 2010 by Co-CEO Ross Sinclaire in Calgary, Alberta. Their main focus is in-stream hydrokinetic power generation. Co-Ceo Bob Knight joined the team later in their development. If you have read into hydropower in the past, you may be aware of this type of power generation. Jupiter Hydro has taken the benefits of traditional hydropower and combined their unique technology to produce a far more cost-effective and sustainable form of hydrokinetic power generation. 

Like any new technology that works to produce power in a non-traditional method, Jupiter Hydro has gone through three phases over a decade that has brought them a unique opportunity in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy scheduled for later in 2020. Beginning with testing their hypothesis, proving the theory of generating rotational power utilizing an Archimedes screw presented to fluid flow at an angle was tested in an irrigation channel. With promise in their theory, they move to test their methodology developed to quantify produced power was developed using a rudimentary test tank and 3D printed screws. Mounting systems were developed and fabrications were created with cost-effective materials. In 2012, testing at the University of Calgary’s test tank began to quantify torque characteristics and confirmed blade pitch and presentation characteristics. Both the horizontal orientation and longitudinal orientation of the screw were tested, giving insight into a highly effective angle for their Archimedes screw.


Open Water Testing

Crucial for any proof of concept in hydrokinetic power generation, Jupiter Hydro began their open water testing in 2013 in the Fraser River in BC. Early tests allowed discrepancies to be addressed with submerged generators and confirmed scalability for the technology for the team. Their second open water test addressed the longitudinal placement of their Archimedes screw while testing a swing arm in open water. With support from the Canadian Hydrokinetic Turbine Test Center, they had their third and fourth test at the facility to demonstrate the technology to identify flow clearances for their swing arm. They recorded nearly 50% efficiency and formed the basis of their current design for the upcoming Bay of Fundy project.

 

Defining In-Stream Hydrokinetics

In-stream hydrokinetics can be defined as harnessing the natural flow of water to provide rotational power. “In-stream” means that no containment or diversions are required, meaning that obstruction of the water flow is not required; be it a river, dam outflow, canal, or tidal flow. No dams or penstocks are required, and water flow is not restricted. If we consider that there are over 8500 named rivers in Canada according to the WWF, with the addition of ocean currents or any source of flowing water, the resources are huge for this technology. 

Key Innovation

If we visit the pros and cons that have been put on traditional hydro, we tend to lie on the outstanding cons that have given the industry a black eye over the last decade. As mentioned previously, competition drives innovation, to which Jupiter Hydro has adapted previous technology with a new methodology to produce a new in-stream power generation. Through multiple test phases and focusing on being cost-effective, they have created patented technology to produce power utilizing the 2,000 year old Archimedes screw with a pitch of 60% of the diameter and angled at 30 degrees to the flow to produce high torque power from the in-stream flow. Traditionally, hydropower would require a permanent infrastructure and there is a risk for large scale remediation. Jupiter Hydro does not require any permanent infrastructure and thus they do not require any remediation from environmental disturbance. 

Environmental Impact

With the majority of power generating technologies, lowering the environmental impact can be one of the prominent challenges even for clean energy. If we address the main environmental concerns with hydropower, it consists of concerns of remediation of land, impacts on fish, sourcing of materials, and noise pollution. Jupiter Hydro has effectively addressed these concerns with mitigating the risk for potential investors and the societal impact of driving clean energy into the future. They have the ability to provide remote sites with dependable power without the need for extensive shore infrastructure or changes to the channel flow. The technology can provide clean power in areas historically powered by diesel generators or bio-mass. Their system in rivers can provide “base line” dispatchable power, one of the key requirements for a 100% renewable energy system. 

Bay of Fundy Project

On July 3, 2019 Jupiter Hydro Inc. was granted a 2 MW demonstration permit and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in the Bay of Fundy by the Nova Scotia Government. This area has seen other tidal power companies like Cape Sharp Tidal and Minas Tidal and have attempted to crack into the Bay of Fundy’s 2,500-megawatt potential. The terms for Jupiter Hydro is for three sets of 5 years, totaling a 15-year project to be launched later in the year. In the image below you can see their in-stream hydrokinetic tidal platform that will be used in the 2 MW project.

Due to issues relating to the ongoing pandemic, the date of this project remains currently unknown. We look forward to future updates from Jupiter Hydro and their success in the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia hit a milestone last year for reaching 30% of its energy produced by renewable sources. They continue to be a key driver for this industry.

“Energy that doesn’t cost the earth”
If you would like to learn more about Jupiter Hydro, check out their website here.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary

(This article was originally published on May 4, 2020.)

Continue Reading

Alberta

How to put ‘found money’ generated from pandemic savings to good use

Published on

CALGARY — An elevator salesman in Calgary says two months of working from his house in the northwest part of the city have convinced him there’s no place like home to conduct business.

Tracey Webb says he plans to make his home base his work base permanently after seeing major savings on daily expenses without hurting his performance as a local sales representative for an international elevator company.

“There’s really no change in my productivity, it might even be better, and my pay’s the same,” he said in an interview, adding he’s sharing the two-storey house with his wife Corinne and daughter Sarah, both working full-time from home as school teachers.

“My wife has a station set up in the basement, my daughter is in her room (on the second floor) and I’m in an office on the main floor, so we’re all on different levels.”

The financial benefits of working from home are adding up for the family at a time when most of the city’s businesses are shut down.

In more normal times, Webb said he would be attending hockey and football games, going out for lunch with coworkers or clients, taking part in Friday pub nights and going to movies with his wife, all adding to his expenses even if some of those costs are covered by his employer.

The family is saving “dramatic money” on fuel for their cars, he said, but shopping bills are about the same — although delivered through Amazon more often now than before. Other than takeout food bills, entertainment expenses are almost nil.

Some of the savings are bittersweet, like the $5,000 he estimates it would have cost for a cancelled vacation to San Francisco and San Diego.

The same goes for the substantial savings realized when 24-year-old Sarah’s wedding celebration at a downtown restaurant this summer had to be scaled back to a small ceremony with a deferred reception.

Financial advisers say it’s important that people review and adjust their financial plans when faced with unexpected savings or costs.

“When we come into found money — and that’s what people have right now if they’re both still working and not paying as much expenses — it’s just super important we make that money work for us for the long-term,” said Mark Kalinowski, financial educator for the Credit Counselling Society.

About half of the people he deals with are still earning their usual income while working from home, he said, while the rest are less fortunate, struggling to make ends meet after being laid off or losing part of their income because of the economic downturn.

Less driving means savings on fuel and possibly auto insurance, said Kalinowski. Not commuting means no need for transit passes, with savings of $100 or more per month.

Hundreds of dollars are being saved by not going out for lunch or coffee or snacks and staying home instead of going to the theatre or other events. Parents are saving hundreds of dollars through refunds on school bus fees and not paying for summer camps or sports for the children.

The suddenness of the lockdowns to try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus serve as a reminder of the importance of having an emergency savings account, he said.

People should look to build such a fund, even if just $1,000 or $2,000, as a first priority for their savings.

The next priority should be making sure there’s money to pay any income taxes owing by the extended Canada Revenue Agency deadline of Sept. 1 to avoid penalties.

Next, pay down debt, starting with the highest interest rate account, usually the credit card. When it’s paid off, put it away for a while, he said.

If there’s still money, top up your tax-free savings account or registered retirement savings plan, he advises.

“During normal times, people are always so busy, right? It takes a lot of discipline to get on top of your finances and budget,” said Jeet Dhillon, vice-president and senior portfolio manager with TD Wealth.

“I always say, if you’re not going to look at it now when you have so much time, when will you?”

When calculating your work-from-home savings, it’s important to separate permanent savings, like foregone haircuts, and deferred savings, like putting off buying a new car, she said.

No one is going to spend money to catch up on their missed barber appointments, but they will probably eventually need to buy that car and should budget for it.

Tracey Webb’s satisfaction in his day-to-day savings over the past two months have been offset by his dismay over the performance of his retirement investment portfolio as the pandemic weighs heavily on markets around the globe.

His investment losses have helped him resist the urge to run out and spend the money he’s saved by working from home.

Still, he admits there’s one area where expenses have unexpectedly been on the rise.

“Because you’re home all the time, you’re looking at things. So I’ve been fixing things and that costs me a little bit of money,” he said.

“We just got new patio furniture.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

Violent protests rock Minneapolis for 2nd straight night


Continue Reading

may, 2020

No Events

Trending

X