June is Bike Month … and there’s safety in numbers

by Steven Beck

A recent spate of widely publicized cycling injuries and accidents – from six cyclists on a rural highway in Quebec being hit by a pickup truck, leaving three dead, to Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs being hit by a car while riding on a neighbourhood bikeway – makes the safety theme of this year’s Bike Month timely and appropriate. Watch for “June is Bike Month: Look out for Cyclists” ads in transit shelters, on buses and online throughout the month. This part of the campaign is aimed primarily at motorists, but cyclists don’t have to be dependent on motorists for their safety. Primary responsibility rests with us riders and additional safety tips for both cyclists and motorists will be issued daily from the Bike Month website, which also hosts safety information and links to other resources. One of the best ways cyclists can increase their own safety is simply to get out and ride.

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Ordinary yet compelling

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead

America Ferrera is a long way from the territory of hit comedy television series Ugly Betty in her latest cinematic venture The Dry Land, which Ferrara stars in and also produced. The film dramatizes the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as James, a working class soldier, returns to his family after serving in Iraq. The setting is ordinary, working class, small town Texas and the dialogue could almost have been cut and pasted from similar films, such is its ordinariness.

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Species loss a silent epidemic

SCIENCE MATTERS by David Suzuki with Faisal Moola

Scientists warn that the twin threats of climate change and wildlife extinction threaten our planet’s life-support systems, including clean air, clean water and productive soil. Awareness about the causes and consequences of climate change is growing, leading some governments to look for solutions in areas such as clean energy. Species extinction, however, has gone largely unnoticed by government leaders.

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Biofuels Backfire – hasty approach will impact environment, food production

by Lucy Sharratt

If the new “Renewable Fuels Regulations” are implemented this year as planned, all of our fuel will soon contain a mandatory amount of biofuels. The period for the public to comment on the regulations ended in early June and despite serious questions about the real costs and impacts, which have gone unanswered, the regulations could be published this summer.

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Decadence – A meandering walk on the wild side

by Geoff Olson

Just after receiving her Academy Award for best actress this past March, Sandra Bullock discovered her husband, Jesse James, had been cheating on her with multiple partners. The scandal was like a weird mix of Harlequin romance and an Outer Limits episode, with a dash of monster truck show. A Hollywood starlet weds a guy named after a western gunslinger and steals the crown of America’s sweetheart from Julia Roberts, only to discover her man’s cheating heart splattered across the national media. Worse yet, the principal target of hubbie’s horndog hobbyism turns out to be a heavily tattooed stripper and model named Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, whose life story reads like a bad-trip inversion of Bullock’s.

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