Farmer Loses Land Battle; Military Grants One Last Harvest

“Nearly seven years after his fight began—and more than two centuries after his family first moved to the farm—Meyers has no choice but to finally surrender.”

Excerpts, Macleans - (Canada) “In Frank Meyers’s eyes, the view from his dining room window is priceless. Literally. He can see the old wooden house where he lived as a little boy. The family barn, rebuilt with his talented hands. Rows and rows of sweet corn, sprouting from prime Ontario soil. No matter how many federal bureaucrats knocked on his door—or how much cash they offered to pay—the 85-year-old farmer refused, again and again, to sell his beloved land. As he likes to say: “You can’t eat the money.”

But as Frank Meyers learned today—in a heartbreaking moment he’d been dreading for years—you can’t stop the government, either. If the feds want your property (in his case, to build a state-of-the-art training ground for the Canadian military’s elite special forces commandos), fighting back is futile. “In other countries, they’re crushing you with bullets and guns and ammunition and tanks and explosives,” Meyers says. “Not in Canada. It’s pencil and paper here, and then they’ve got control.”

A senior military officer from CFB Trenton—joined, just in case, by members of the Ontario Provincial Police—visited the Meyers farm Tuesday morning to explain the inevitable next step. Effective immediately, for the first time in his life, Meyers has no legal right to step foot on “his” property. First thing Wednesday morning, the Department of National Defence will erect “No Trespassing” signs around the fence line, as contractors begin preliminary work on what will become the new headquarters of Joint Task Force 2. (Those “No Trespassing” signs would have gone up today, a military spokesman says, but the base is doing everything it can to be “sensitive” to Frank Meyers. “We are concerned about his emotions,” says Captain Christopher Daniel. “His condition is our top priority. We want to make sure he’s okay.”)

Meyers, of course, will never be okay. For a man who knows every square centimetre of his farm—and the rich history that defines it—today’s news could not be more devastating. “I’m going on 86 years old, and they’re harassing a man like me?” he says. “I haven’t done anything wrong and I’m not doing anything wrong. They’re just mad at me because I didn’t roll over and say: ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes.’ ”

Since the Harper Conservatives were first elected in 2006, they have proclaimed their plans to bring a specialized army unit to CFB Trenton, the country’s largest and busiest air force base. In 2009, Ottawa revealed that the incoming unit would be none other than JTF 2, Canada’s top-secret special forces squad, currently based on the outskirts of Ottawa. The move is the highlight of a massive base expansion project that will inject millions of dollars into the local economy (not to mention hundreds of heavily trained counterterrorism troops).

But as Maclean’s first reported, the plan didn’t sit well with a few local landowners, whose properties—unbeknownst to them—had been selected for JTF 2’s new 400-hectare home. “Our world has been crushed,” one owner said at the time. “Somebody somewhere has decided they want to move JTF 2, but did they ever take into consideration what that was going to do to other people? They drew a red line around these pieces of property, and ever since then everybody in there has been screwed.”

Angry or not, the 12 landowners were left with only two real options: sell now, or be expropriated later. One by one, they agreed to sell—until there was just one holdout left: Frank Meyers.” Full Story Here On Macleans

Haliburton Sculpture Forest

From the Haliburton Sculpture Forest Website – “The Haliburton Sculpture Forest, in Glebe Park near the village of Haliburton in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario, Canada, is a unique outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists. The trails in the Sculpture Forest—for walking and bike riding in spring, summer and fall and skiing in the winter—provide changing perspectives of the forest and the sculptures in each of the seasons.”

The History – “The official opening of the Sculpture Forest took place in the fall of 2001. The forest resides in a portion of Glebe Park, near the village of Haliburton. The ten acre forest reserve features a series of walking trails that enable visitors to view the installations. In the beginning a trio of sculptures launched this new site. The artistic aim was to provide an art experience that features sculptures that relate to the Haliburton biosphere and the forest in which they reside.

In seven years a remarkable outdoor sculpture gallery has been created. Seventeen sculptures and two sculptured benches, all by Canadian and International artists, are nestled along the trails.

The Haliburton Sculpture Forest began as a project of the Haliburton County Development Corporation’s Arts Committee. Today the project is an ongoing initiative of Haliburton Sculpture Forest et al, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to increase understanding and appreciation of the arts through the development of public art and the engagement of artists with the community.”

 

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University Puppy Rooms Relieve Stress

BBC “Students have been stroking puppies in a bid to calm any exam nerves.

The University of Aberdeen teamed up with Guide Dogs Scotland after a successful similar project in Canada.

Emma Carlén, of the students association, said they had introduced the puppy room after receiving “a huge amount of positive feedback from students regarding a similar initiative”.

Guide Dogs Scotland hope it can be rolled out across the country.

The charity believes the project can raise awareness of its work at the same time as helping students.”

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Monsanto & DuPont Bury The Hatchet

(NASDAQ) – Chemicals giant EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. ( DD ), commonly called DuPont, has reached technology licensing deals with Monsanto Co. ( MON ) on genetically modified seed traits, the two companies said Tuesday. Both the companies also agreed to dismiss their antitrust and patent infringement lawsuits pending against each other in U.S. federal court.

Under the deals reached between the two companies, DuPont will make a total of $1.75 billion in royalty payments to Monsanto for the technology licensing deals, while a $1 billion jury verdict awarded to Monsanto in August 2012 in its patent infringement lawsuit against DuPont will be dismissed. Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company.

The agreements between DuPont and Monsanto include a multi-year, royalty-bearing license for Monsanto’s next-generation soybean technologies in the U.S. and Canada. Through these deals, DuPont’s subsidiary, DuPont Pioneer will be able to offer Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans as early as 2014, and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans as early as 2015, pending regulatory approvals.

DuPont Pioneer also will receive regulatory data rights for the soybean and corn traits previously licensed from Monsanto, enabling it to create a wide array of stacked trait combinations using traits or genetics from DuPont Pioneer or others. Meanwhile, Monsanto will receive access to certain DuPont Pioneer disease resistance and corn defoliation patents.

As part of the deal, DuPont Pioneer will make four annual fixed royalty payments from 2014 to 2017 totaling $802 million for trait technology, associated data, and soybean lines to support commercial introduction.

Additionally, beginning in 2018, DuPont Pioneer will pay royalties on a per-unit basis of Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend for the life of the agreement for continued technology access. Annual minimum payments through 2023 will total $950 million…” Full Story Here

Monsanto Up, DuPont Down After Settlement & Deal (blogs.barrons.com)
Deal Sprouts For Monsanto, DuPont (cen.acs.org)
Monsanto, DuPont bury the lawsuit hatchet, set to make more GMO (rt.com)

Low Risk of Raw Milk

I have never been able to stand the taste of milk and don’t care to drink it raw or otherwise. However, I fully support the basic human right of having a free choice over what to put in our bodies. That something so simple as MILK has become a major political issue really disturbs me. What RIGHT does ANY government have to interfere with what we consume? If the current trends continue, people will have to worry about owning even a single cow and daring to use the milk – even for personal/home use – for fear of officials coming onto their property (with guns), terrorizing them and then penalizing them financially or by loss of freedom…and that is NOT OKAY!

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“The unfortunate truth is that, no matter what we eat, all food has some inherent risk.  The question is of course, comparative risk.  At a conservative estimate, there are at least 10 million raw milk drinkers in the United States (no similar survey was done for Canada), based on a 2006 consumer survey (this estimate does not even take into consideration any increase over the last 7 years, and we all know that consumer demand has vastly increased).  But for these 10 million raw milk drinkers, we do not see thousands or millions of them dying each year. In fact, there have been two raw milk related deaths since 1997, and at least one of these two was actually linked to illegal raw queso fresco cheese.

In its report “Outbreak Alert!  2008. Closing the Gaps in our Federal Food Safety Net, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (2008) published this chart (page 21), showing that when adjusted for consumption, dairy, including the consumption of fluid raw milk, had a lower risk than even produce.” Full Article Here