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Kitesurfers brave December waters

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One group of brave Manitobans deemed the relatively balmly early December conditions warm enough to kitesurf on Saturday. Neil MacKinnon, 61, was part of a

In Times of Crisis: Natural Disasters and Bottled Water’s Savior/Polluter Complex

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Bottled water may provide necessary relief in the wake of a crisis like the devastating Louisiana floods or Hurricane Hermine, but the industry itself poses

Fishers thrilled with long season on the water

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People who love to fish are thrilled with the warmer temperatures that have graced Manitoba this fall. It means an extended season for those who

Water-and-sewer cost will rise $100 for average Winnipeg household next year

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The average Winnipeg household will spend $100 more on water-and-sewer bills next year thanks to an 8.9 per cent rate hike in 2017. Winnipeg’s 2017

Kitesurfers brave December waters

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One group of brave Manitobans deemed the relatively balmly early December conditions warm enough to kitesurf on Saturday.

Neil MacKinnon, 61, was part of a six-person group that spread out between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg to enjoy the day’s -2 C temperature on the water.

MacKinnon said the date was by far the latest of the calendar year that he’s personally ventured out to enjoy the sport, though no one officially tracks how late Manitobans have kitesurfed in our province in the past.

“It was quite an experience. I wouldn’t recommend it and I wouldn’t have missed it,” said MacKinnon, who stopped kitesurfing on Nov. 6 last year.

On the plus side, MacKinnon said he found each blast of cold water to the face on “exhilarating,” as was a jump that reached 14.9 feet over Lake Winnipeg, according to his measurement app. On the down side, wet and icy gear proved difficult. Read more.

Water-and-sewer cost will rise $100 for average Winnipeg household next year

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The average Winnipeg household will spend $100 more on water-and-sewer bills next year thanks to an 8.9 per cent rate hike in 2017.

Winnipeg’s 2017 budget calls for the hike to help the city’s water and waste department pay for billions worth of major infrastructure projects, such as the upgrades to the North End Water Pollution Control Centre.

The average household cost next year will be $1,216, up from $1,116 in 2016.

Assuming the budget is passed on Dec. 13, this would be the second of three annual water-and-sewer rate increases proposed when the 2016 budget was tabled. Read more.

Fishers thrilled with long season on the water

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People who love to fish are thrilled with the warmer temperatures that have graced Manitoba this fall.

It means an extended season for those who can’t get enough on the water.

Lake Winnipeg and the Red River still haven’t frozen.

Even in late November, Garther Cheung and Lee Nolden are still chasing the feeling of another catch.

“Any time you can be on open water fishing in November it’s phenomenal,” said Cheung.

A former guide in northern Manitoba, Nolden moved from the United States to fish here, over 30 years ago.

Nolden who has picked up nickname of ‘The Godfather’ of Lake Winnipeg, doesn’t recall a fall quite like this.

“Not this nice, no,” Nolden said on Sunday from Cheung’s boat. “Not that I can remember that somebody can get out fish and things,” he added.

On Wednesday, Nolden and Cheung said they reeled in 200 fish from Lake Winnipeg by Pine Falls. Read more.

In Times of Crisis: Natural Disasters and Bottled Water’s Savior/Polluter Complex

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Bottled water may provide necessary relief in the wake of a crisis like the devastating Louisiana floods or Hurricane Hermine, but the industry itself poses serious long term threats to the environment and public access to water that shouldn’t be ignored.

In mid August 2016, a 200 mile swath of southern Louisiana was affected by a devastating flood that’s being called the biggest U.S. natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy. A whopping 60,000 homes have been damaged, 20,000 people had to be rescued from the floodwaters, and more than 12,000 people are sleeping in shelters. In these times of crisis, people lose their homes, their livelihoods, and tragically sometimes even their loved ones. A total of 13 people were killed in Louisiana.

Part of the shock is that this flooding event was largely unprecedented, caused by small individual storms – not a large hurricane – and therefore was harder for meteorologists to predict. Some scientists like Bill Nye don’t hesitate to say climate change is behind the Louisiana flooding and that these kinds of catastrophes are going to happen again — and get worse. Read more.