Although I was originally asked to profile ERA by a staff member, they have been unhappy with the response this post has received. As a result, comments have been closed and I have removed all links to ERA within.
I had the chance recently to fire some questions off to the ERA (Electronic Recycling Association) to find out a bit more about what they do. Joanna Trebon is a Manager at ERA.ca in charge of arranging donations, community roundups, dealing with clients & charities, and she took the time to share the following information.
For some reason this morning Avalon Dairy popped into my head and I figured that having a farm in the middle of a single-family residential neighbourhood in South Vancouver is definitely something worth exploring.
Last year John and I did the Amazing Hunt, a really fun, local version of TV’s The Amazing Race. One of our stops was the Avalon Dairy, just off East 41st at 5805 Wales, and our task was to down several jugs of milk or eat a big tub of yogurt. Neither of us being milk drinkers (or yogurt eaters) we figured the latter was at least the safer way to go. Unfortunately, this expedited experience has been my only with Avalon Dairy although it has very deep Vancouver roots.
Jeremiah Crowley came out from Western Bay, Newfoundland in 1898 for the gold rush. Arriving in Vancouver he found the gold rush over. He was so impressed with Vancouver that he returned to Newfoundland and brought his family with him to settle here in 1906. After purchasing a house on Wales Street, which came with 6 cows, he began to build up Avalon Dairy.
The family of 12 came from Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula in 1906, “their South Vancouver farm delivered milk by dog and wagon, and registered Avalon Dairy before 1915.” [Vancouver History]
“Jeremiah Crowley (in bowler hat) with his sons haying the back field at Avalon, circa 1931.”
Everett Crowley, son of Jeremiah, went to South Vancouver High School and worked at the dairy afterwards and became quite involved in the shaping of the city. “During WWII, opposed poll tax on non-property owners; served three days in jail.” He was also an “elected Vancouver alderman but after six weeks a recount gave opponent Arthur Phillips a 37-vote lead.” Everett would get the Dairy through the depression years and build it up to what it is today.
Crowley also served on the Parks Board from 1961-67 and Everett Crowley Park on SE Marine Drive is named after him, and it was also a stop on our Amazing Hunt tour that day.
“…we ended up on a small hill in Everett Crowley Park in South Vancouver. Looking around at all the deciduous trees and uneven landscape with amazing southern views I actually wondered if the park used to be something else. “Everett Crowley Park is Vancouver’s 5th largest park, but was Vancouver’s main landfill (the Kerr Road dump) from 1944 to 1967.” [ECPC] from [Miss604]
[Everett Crowley] served as a Town Planner and was instrumental in the creation of Killarney Park. His son Lee Crowley is an active member of the committee. The Crowley family donated $20,000 for the enhancement of Avalon Pond. [Evergreen]
Avalon Dairy offers products such as certified organic milk, milk (in those signature glass bottles), butter, mozzarella cheese, yogurt, sour cream and ice cream. They also have VitalaMilk which “is BC’s only natural, healthy and locally produced milk containing DHA Omega-3 plus CLA in addition to all of the natural goodness found in milk.”
Lee Crowley, Everett’s youngest son/Jeremiah’s grandson, now runs Avalon Dairy and although it took several years to develop and perfect the organic products, with the help of Avalon’s CEO Gay Hahn they have expanded due to the great demand. “The dairy bought more cows, and more land in the Fraser Valley. Demand for organic milk outstripped production, so the dairy bought acreage on Barnston Island, and leased more land there, too. Avalon now produces 500,000 litres of milk a month, with 60 per cent of it organic.” [Vancouver Sun]
Being able to provide the classic unhomogenized, rich and creamy bottled milk (that Queen Elizabeth drinks when she’s in town) as well as keeping in step with the growing organic and all-natural movements has kept Avalon going for over 100 years and will see this Vancouver landmark shine well into the future.
The replaced section of the bridge – Photo submitted by Sis604
The Pattullo Bridge will open at 6am, just in time for the Monday morning commute. TransLink says it was a stroke of luck to get it fixed way ahead of schedule.
Crews are putting the final touches on the bridge and are re-paving a significant portion of bridge deck. TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast says it wouldn’t have opened early had it not been for materials from the Canada Line. [News1130]
I’m glad the route will again be open, however I just hope these expedited repairs hold up.
We just got back home and turned on the All Star game. A lot happened this weekend because a few weeks ago my friend Duane made a suggestion about an event while John and I told him to go for it — and we would help make it happen. As such, Whistler, BC hosted its first WordCamp.
WordPress is a blog tool, publishing platform, and content management system with millions of users worldwide. WordCamps are held across the globe to bring together WordPress users and developers to discuss the platform, network, and share stories.
Weâ€™ve decided to host the first Canadian WordCamp of 2009 in Whistler, BC – home of the 2010 Olympic Games as well as a host of world-class hotels, dining experiences and of course, skiing. This will be the first-ever WordCamp held in Whistler and we couldnâ€™t be more excited.
We have been so pleased by the response and especially with the turnout, the venue, everyone who made the trip to attend and the amazing speakers who donated their time and energy:
At several points yesterday #wcw09 was a top trending topic on Twitter, and given that we had about 100 attendees at our modest conference, I think that says a lot about the reach of this platform and the fantastic people that use it.
I know Duane, John, Dale (who was a huge help this weekend) and I worried, stressed, and sent feverish emails (an made numerous calls) several times an hour to make sure that things would actually happen, and I have to say it was all worth it.
We included lunch in the admission price for WordCamp Whistler and I think it was worth it, the Fairmont did not disappoint (although I’m hearing talks that it was just a little too starch-filled… now we know for next year).
Update:Tris is the first talk this afternoon and he’s talking about customizing WordPress in very simple ways, while barely touching any code. He’s also giving us a few helpful SEO tips (make sure to use clean URLS, which are links that contain the title keywords of your post). Tris shares some of his “must-have” plugins: All in one SEO, CForms (which is MORE than just contact forms), Backup, Supercache, Akismet, Google Sitemaps, and WPTouch for mobile.
Side note: The photo above is Raul getting ready for Lorelle’s tattoo contest (to win a copy of her book).
Update: Tris mentions some of his favourite “out of the box” and “tweak free” themes that are available such as, iNove, Azul, deCoder, DeepBlue, Layers, and Monochrome Demo (not free though). You can view many more in the WordPress Themes Directory.
Tris has a few prizes available including a license for the Thesis Theme and two licenses for Revolution. I will be drawing a winner from the list of attendees. Nadia, Michael and Pina’s names have been drawn.
Update: Andy will be speaking out BuddyPress, a social networking platform based on WordPress MU (think Facebook functions and more but on WordPress!). “It is a suite of plugins and components,” said Andy explaining that it’s not something you download. “It’s very modular.” Andy is explaining the many feature, wires, forums and customization options of BuddyPress, “you can use any WordPress theme on the home page as long as it’s module-enabled.” Also, “a WordPress blog theme can be converted to a BuddyPress member theme with a few simple steps.” According to the chatter on Twitter, BuddyPress is “genius” and blowing people away — a very fresh spin on WordPress functions, it’s complex yet so simple and sleek.
Uses for BuddyPress? Internal networks in schools and businesses (as the intranet, none-public), niche social networks (people who love soccer, are from the same town, have the same hobbies etc.), adding social networking features to existing blog networks, interacting with fellow bloggers on WordPress.com (one of the largest blogging networks in the world with millions of users).
Andy’s going through a bit of the code right now and the most appealing to me is clean URLS for profiles, groups and components — making “pretty” urls and links ie. http://domain.com/members/andy/wordcamps/…
Now it’s time for a WordCamp Whistler slideshow while the room breaks for afternoon refreshments.
Update: The WordPress tattoo contest contestants: Morten had a sticker on his foot, Chris and Kris with “show me your WordPress”, Raul had his neck covered, Karen had a W on her belly and April won with “twin” WordPress stickers on her… ladies.
Update: Quentin from 6S Marketing (a major sponsor of WordCamp Whistler) is up now to talk about their company’s transition to WordPress as well as some SEO tips and useful plugins (such as All in One SEO and Google Sitemaps XML). Quentin also recommends the Robots Meta Plugin from Yoast and Xenu Linksleuth, “it’s small, it’s fast and it does what it says on the box.” He also suggests Hyves Hack and Wordtracker.
Update:DaveO is up next and about a dozen people have gathered on the floor between the tables to sit, listen, and take in all he has to say — all campout and hippie style (as he prefers). I think he’s been able to draw the most ‘paparazzi’ as well at the front snapping photos as well. “Today we learned a lot about how to deliver content, and I’m going to talk about what that content is.” Dave says that a real presentation has slides so he pulls out a coiled notebook that contains a few jots and scribbles and say, “bullet point and buzz words,” are usually mandatory as well. “Holistic Publishing Paradigm, there — there’s your buzz words.” Dave’s session is too poignant and captivating to live blog so I’ll post a link to the video (I believe kk is shooting) at the end of the day.
Registration is complete and we’re currently watching a super cool WordPress montage video here at WordCamp Whistler. I have to head up to the podium in a minute but I’ll be updating throughout the day as best I can.
Here’s a quick video from Kris and Duane while setting up this morning.
Update: Lorelle is the first person up and she has very good things to say about Glenda Watson Hyatt right off the bat.
Lorelle is a great speaker with a lot of energy, she introduced herself playfully, “I’m here as a representative of WordPress today – on behalf of Matt since he’s in Toronto today… how dare he!” Although Lorelle the top WordPress evangelist she also works for Woopra.
A few pet peeves of Matt and the WordPress crew is when WordPress does not have an uppercase “P”. Another is the logo, it should be a “tall and graceful W” (I just checked the toques and it looks like Linus got it right for us. By the way, toques were made my Linusco Designs).
Lorelle is sharing a few “power” tips and one is Future Posts (which is something I use often). “I write 3, 4, 5, 6 posts at a time and I schedule them to publish over time. It allows me to have a life.” She also says that those who are not on updated versions are “idiots, and I don’t use the term lightly.”
For her next tip she shows the Firefox logo (YES!). “I’m a tab junkie and here’s why you should be too, especially for WordPress.” Also, “pro bloggers use the HTML editor.” I absolutely agree with all of Lorelle’s points – very useful and helpful for anyone who does a lots of publishing with WP.
Lorelle asks, “how many are winning the SEO game?” she goes on to provide more tips about title tags. “It is the law in some countries — you need to put in your alt tag.”
Lorelle is now going around the room and getting top WordPress tips from the crowd and sharing the top plugins you should be using. Her talk ends successfully and attendees flock to the registration table to purchase copies of her book. We have now bumped up #wcw09 to be one of the top ten trending topics on Twitter right now.
Update: Dale Mugford from Brave New Code is up next with, “An Incovenient Blog — WordPress is going mobile, you should too.” Dale offers suggests mobile plugins and solutions for WordPress, “for a lot of people, mobile internet is the only internet they use.”
Dale gives a quick demo of WPtouch, which allows your website to be optimized for mobile devices and judging by the tweets I’m seeing, it’s a crowd-favourite already.
Update:John Biehler is up next and he seriously has the largest collection of interesting, and flat out wicked-cool tricks and tips for video and photos on websites and blogs. Here’s a quick time lapse he made on his way up to Whistler.
The first plugin John is demoing is FAlbum, for grabbing Flickr albums and images and popping them on your WordPress site.
Up next John shares the pb-embedflash plugin. “Create playlists, embed videos from multiple sources, as well as local files. You can also skin it so there’s not a lot of code hacking.” This plugin offers so many cool features like captions (if you want to transcribe the video) as well as custom logos and images, which I love since sometimes the still image or thumbnail it displays for your video may not be the most flattering or have the best description of the content. Not sure if YouTube does this but Viddler does.
As John is giving the demo of the custom logo thumbnails he adds the WordPress “W” then flips it to an image of bacon coining the term, “baconvision”. Awesome.
Update: Lorelle announces a quick contest before the mic is handed over to Morten (our last presenter before lunch). She has brought some WordPress tattoos and if you win her creative tattoo application and display contest, then you will win the last copy of her book that is here at WordCamp Whistler.
Update: Morten is up with “how to emancipate yourself from the shackles of a ‘blog’” when dealing with WordPress. He goes through what actually defines a blog and how even though WordPress is a blogging platform you don’t have to use it simply for “personal journals”. An example he uses is DeSmogBlog, where even though blog is in the title, it’s more article-driven and breaks the mold when it comes to traditional thinking on blogs. “What defines a blog is not really the content, it’s how the content is presented.” Morten offers up a few amusing and updated definitions Ancient Norwegian Proverb “A blog is only a blog if it looks like a blog.”
He demonstrates how to make a static page your front page (and bump the blog to a specific “blog” page on your site). Steps to ‘Emancipation’ 1. Focus on Pages, 2. Custom Templates, 3. Remove Bloggish Content ie. Sidebars. This is where we get elbow-deep in PH code, which is awesome for the more intermediate and even beginners — just to know what’s possible.
It’s lunch time now – I’ll be back at 2:00pm from the Fairmont in Whistler.
Upon arriving at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort (home of WordCamp Whistler) we ran into Lorelle at the registration desk. It was such a pleasure to finally meet her as she’s definitely someone I look up to in the WordPress realm and moreso the general blogging universe.
After finding out rooms and freshening up we headed out to Beer for Bloggers, presented by Reachd. I must say, they are quite the hosts and even though there was plenty of beer provided, I spent most of the time networking with various individuals from businesses that had come to Whistler, either specifically for WordCamp or just for the Beer for Bloggers event.
“Happy Birthday” was also sung in honor of Chris Briekss of 6S Marketing, who has been an excellent sponsor of WordCamp Whistler.
While decompressing later tonight with Duane and John we reflected on how the heck the three of us have managed to arrange this conference that has attracted over 100 people to this wonderful location.
The true test will come tomorrow when we get to hear the speakers and socialize with many more companies and like-minded folks who use WordPress.
I’ve decided that I will do a “day blog” tomorrow since I’ll probably be too busy to liveblog diligently, yet I will still be updating my site with speaker notes and photos. Please tune in tomorrow morning at 10:00am as Lorelle presents her keynote for WordCamp Whistler.
I was given media passes to the Taste BC event (as well as the contest tickets) although I was planning on staying in last night and preparing for the trip to WordCamp Whistler. I completely forgot that I had arranged to cover Ideas on Tap for Media2O Productions so I raced out for the liveblog. Fortunately, I was able to send two lovely ladies to Taste BC in my place to cover the event for Miss604.com.
Keira and Amy along with Miss604.com contest winners.
The only thing better than enjoying fantastic wines, incredible cheeses and decadent chocolate is indulging in all of the above for charity. Last night the second annual Taste BC welcomed fine food lovers to the grand ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver.
“Vancouver’s largest food and drink tasting featuring everything BC! From wineries to restaurants, cheese to cider and seafood to beer, Taste BC features the best food and drink BC has to offer.”
Attendees were quickly whisked inside, wine glass in hand, and greeted by a number of exhibitors offering everything from fruit-based liqueurs, delicate cheeses, red wine, white wine, oysters, mussels and chocolate truffles. Given that I had three hours to sample all the local fare, I took my time and had a chance to speak with each merchant about their products.
One of the first exhibitors that drew my eye was Forbidden Fruit Winery from Cawston. Their unique organic fruit wines are produced with some of the most beautiful flavours I’ve ever tasted – or smelled – from a glass. The 2007 Crushed Innocence white peach dessert wine was a favourite.
Being that I’m from Vancouver Island, in recent years I’ve watched vineyards start to dot the Island, almost all of which have been producing outstanding wines. I had a chance to talk with Andy Johnston, proprietor of Averill Creek Vineyard near Duncan. He explained to me one of his favourite traditions in winemaking, using the french oak method, which reduces the acidity and brings out fragrant flavour notes – particularly in their 2006 Pinot Gris.
In a room so full of varied and phenomenal vino, keeping the palate clear is important. In between sips, I treated myself to fresh Denman Island oysters courtesy of Rodney’s Oyster House, organic turkey sausage from Whole Foods Market, outstanding tonic water (brewed for over 100 years) from Fentimans and old world breads from Granville Island’s La Baguette.
Before I knew it, my evening was over and, much like Cinderella losing her glass slipper, I left my wine glass behind at the stroke of 7:30 and dashed out the door. My belly full, my point-of-view a little fuzzy from all the great wine but my conscience clear knowing how many children will be helped through the proceeds of this extraordinary evening.
Owned and operated by Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss604.com (since 2004) provides daily information about life in Metro Vancouver, events, community happenings and local history. It also features music, film, and television interviews along with travel features for day-trips and weekend getaways.
Online since 1997, Rebecca also started podcasting RadioZoom in 2005, co-founded sixty4media, a WordPress website development firm, in 2008, and co-authored the book, Blogging to Drive Business in 2010.
Read more about Rebecca »
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Blogging for Business
Eric Butow and Rebecca Bollwitt “If you are looking for a practical guide to show you exactly how to use a blog to drive business, look no further, you've found it. As a practioner myself, I know there are some skills that can only be learning by doing...”