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Lacombe County Releases State Of Environment Report

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By Sheldon Spackman

It’s described as a glimpse into the current conditions of the environment in Lacombe County.

During it’s regular meeting last week, Council learned more about the 2016 State of the Environment Report, a document that offers insight into the various pressures impacting Lacombe County.

In a release, Lacombe County Environmental Coordinator Monica Boudreault says “We have worked hard to capture trends and assess changes over time by examining to social norms and behaviours that are impacting our environment,” adding “There are a lot of positives found in the report but we still have some work to do, especially in terms of air quality for Lacombe County.”

With the aim of being a responsible steward of the land, some of the County’s Environmental work includes Transforming Crooker Pit from an old gravel pit into a natural habitat and wetland, including the creation of breeding beaches throughout the wetland area by County Operations staff.

Opening remote shops in the west and east sides of the County to improve service and maintenance of those areas, while reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by County equipment.

Building an OHV trail for community use at McLaurin Beach on Gull Lake to decrease unauthorized access in sensitive areas surrounding the Lake.

Reducing contaminants going into the water system by implementing a Stormwater Management plan for South Aspelund, The Slopes, Sandy Point, and Iron Rail.

Supporting community groups through the Environmental Improvement Grant Program and partnering with local groups on initiatives like the Take it Off Program with the Sylvan Lake Management Committee, to ensure ice fishing huts are removed from the lake to protect the water quality.

Also, the Idle Reduction Initiative, in partnership with the Parkland Management Zone, to reduce vehicle emissions.

Lacombe County’s 2016 State of the Environment Report can be accessed at the County office or online on the County’s website:

https://lacombecounty.com/index.php/news-releases/2016/1299-state-of-the-environment-report-released

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‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich expected to have bail hearing today

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OTTAWA — Tamara Lich, an organizer of the “Freedom Convoy,” is set to appear in an Ottawa court today for a bail hearing after being arrested last week for allegedly breaching one of her bail conditions.

She was arrested in Medicine Hat, Alta., where she lives, on a Canada-wide arrest warrant sought by the Ottawa police.

Police transported her to the capital and she briefly appeared before an Ottawa judge on Thursday before remaining in custody over the weekend.

Lich was a key figurehead of the massive protest that overtook the capital’s downtown streets for more than three weeks in February.

She and fellow protest organizer Chris Barber are jointly accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

She was released with a long list of conditions, including a ban from all social media and an order not to support anything related to the “Freedom Convoy.”

Police have not said which condition she’s accused of breaching.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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Science

NASA satellite breaks from orbit around Earth, heads to moon

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A satellite the size of a microwave oven successfully broke free from its orbit around Earth on Monday and is headed toward the moon, the latest step in NASA’s plan to land astronauts on the lunar surface again.

It’s been an unusual journey already for the Capstone satellite. It was launched six days ago from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula by the company Rocket Lab in one of their small Electron rockets. It will take another four months for the satellite to reach the moon, as it cruises along using minimal energy.

Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck told The Associated Press it was hard to put his excitement into words.

“It’s probably going to take a while to sink in. It’s been a project that has taken us two, two-and-a-half years and is just incredibly, incredibly difficult to execute,” he said. “So to see it all come together tonight and see that spacecraft on its way to the moon, it’s just absolutely epic.”

Beck said the relatively low cost of the mission — NASA put it at $32.7 million — marked the beginning of a new era for space exploration.

“For some tens of millions of dollars, there is now a rocket and a spacecraft that can take you to the moon, to asteroids, to Venus, to Mars,” Beck said. “It’s an insane capability that’s never existed before.”

If the rest of the mission is successful, the Capstone satellite will send back vital information for months as the first to take a new orbit around the moon called a near-rectilinear halo orbit: a stretched-out egg shape with one end of the orbit passing close to the moon and the other far from it.

Eventually, NASA plans to put a space station called Gateway into the orbital path, from which astronauts can descend to the moon’s surface as part of its Artemis program.

Beck said the advantage of the new orbit is that it minimizes fuel use and allows the satellite — or a space station — to stay in constant contact with Earth.

The Electron rocket that launched June 28 from New Zealand was carrying a second spacecraft called Photon, which separated after nine minutes. The satellite was carried for six days in Photon, with the spacecraft’s engines firing periodically to raise its orbit farther and farther from Earth.

A final engine burst Monday allowed Photon to break from Earth’s gravitational pull and send the satellite on its way. The plan now is for the 25-kilogram (55-pound) satellite to far overshoot the moon before falling back into the new lunar orbit Nov. 13. The satellite will use tiny amounts of fuel to make a few planned trajectory course corrections along the way.

Beck said they would decide over the coming days what to do with Photon, which had completed its tasks and still had a bit of fuel left in the tank.

“There’s a number of really cool missions that we can actually do with it,” Beck said.

For the mission, NASA teamed up with two commercial companies: California-based Rocket Lab and Colorado-based Advanced Space, which owns and operates the Capstone satellite.

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Find more AP Science coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/science

Nick Perry, The Associated Press

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july, 2022

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