As the blessed new year for pagans and neopagans alike fast approaches we take a look at Samhain (Hallowe'en) activities across the Great Canadian Grid.
First, what is Samhain, well it is defined as Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in, is a festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. It is said to be the night when the veil between the living and the dead is lifted and the dead roam the earth. Many people around the RL world, including Winter Silversmith, celebrate the passage to November first as the start of the 'spiritual new year'.
In the Great Canadian Grid it is a time of reflection, ceremonies, parties and of course Trick or Treating.
Samhain Ceremony, Mara Solais, GCG
There will be a ceremony held at the Drum Circle at 2 pm GCG Time on October 30, 2016.
Cedar Point, Kingfisher Bay, GCG
This brings us to our next stop, the Police Station in Cedar Point, Kingfisher Bay 89,214,22
Anna Wright is preparing for another adventure into the RolePlay world for GCG visitors and members who really want to get into the spirit. The house pictured below has been decorated for the holiday by the Stanley children living there, you can find it at Kingfisher Bay 210,148,22.
Beginning at the Police Station a 'trick or treat' walk will take you on a real-life search for fourteen stops around the town of Cedar Point. The route will be from the police station to the cannery , restaurants and shops and then ending in the residential street at the Lavender Dreams.
Runners Paradise, GCG
Before you know it, Hallowe'en is here........and gone again too. So at Juggy's freebie & cheapie shop you can find some Hallowe'en goodies. Some free, some at a low price including a small Halloween Scene, located behind the bridges to the right of the furniture store.
75, 186, 23
50, 188, 89 (TP in front of furniture store)
zun's Refuge of Spooktacular Fun
Your next stop has to be zun's Refuge in Manitou. zun zun has decorated her side yard with all sorts of spooky scenes and they are all free so grab a copy of each today. The entry gate is located at Manitou 43, 53, 21.
Winter Silversmith (Kevin M. Klerks): Thank you for taking a few moments from your busy schedule to answer some of our questions Roddie. Okay, let me begin by asking you about the recent conversations involving commercialization of the Great Canadian Grid. Why is having a commercialized grid bad, is that the business plan that made SecondLife and InWorldz the massive worlds they are today?
Roddie Macchi (Roderick MacDougall) of the Great Canadian Grid: You’re right. The objective of their business plans is to make their developers money, that’s why they put so much expertise and time and effort into what they know… to make money from it. I agree, they should, it is their livelihood, their income, their families’ way of living and putting food on their tables. I will never ever put that down or disrespect that, that is how they make ends meet.
Winter: And with you it's different?
Roddie: I, on the other hand, don’t need to do this for the money. I know that sounds like I’m bragging but the fact is I don’t. I don’t because I have no kids, no wife, nothing that pushes my abilities except one thing. The people. I love people. I love people and our residents because I have no one else. Sounds weird but it’s the truth. I love helping others and making others happy. It’s literally all I have in me to give.
Winter: You recently closed the GCG Freelands. Many grids across the OpenSim offer free land to new members why have you chosen to go against the trends?
Roddie: I closed the Freelands because, bottom line, we need the space. A lot of people who live there aren’t even inworld anymore. We have hundreds of creators looking for free spots to put their stores. So, why not give the creators their space for their stores and new residents can seek out free homes across the grid.
Winter: What about new members who don’t have a lot of money and are looking for a place to call home?
Roddie: We have tonnes of regions offering free homes and free parcels, including you Winter.
Winter: Yes, that’s right, we do on Manitou and I know several other established land developers who offer free parcels for anyone who needs a home.
Roddie: All new members should ask for help in the GCG Chat room, or from one of our staff members or volunteers or from anyone that’s what makes GCG so special… it’s the community feel you get living here.
Winter: You are no longer offering scenic regions on the website, are these no longer available and why the change?
Roddie: The way members purchase regions have changed because it’s time to go back to what and how I started this… as a cottage country escape for friends and family to come to and live here and enjoy. It has gotten so commercialized that even I didn’t like it <laughing> but we’re back and being the grid we once were well known as.
Winter: And what is that?
Roddie: The friendliest and best event grid place going of course <smiles>
Winter: You’ve added a second GCG Marketplace region, why and how much does it cost to set up there?
Roddie: The GCG Marketplace is growing, and many new creators are coming in and setting up. It is free to them, no cost, so if they don’t sell anything it’s no sweat off their backs and all it costs them was the time to set up which isn’t that much. We will be creating as many Marketplace regions as we can as each Marketplace is filled <smiles>.
Winter: This year GCG lost one of its largest music venues, the Dreamland Group when Jen Smith took a break from managing. Is there an opportunity for growth in the entertainment industry or are music venues dying out here?
Roddie: Jen Smith is a hard worker… too hard of a worker… what she does is go crazy on entertaining and then poof she kills herself from working too hard and has to take a break. So she will probably be back again but for now she’s resting.
Winter: I have heard comments about how slow it is on the grid during this past summer and right now, thoughts on that?
Roddie: You have to remember we’re Canadians. Summer time is slow on the grid and winter time is booming. Why? Because we are outside in the summer and inside during the winter <laughing>.
Winter: Why did you create a GCG Communications region and what do you hope is the result of this new region?
Roddie: The GCG News region was created to allow all grids, not just GCG, and their news to be able to say “Hey, this is us” meaning their paper and their news on their grid. I am very proud to have media like that here.
Winter: People come, people go and people come back again. Why do they leave GCG? What brings them back?
Roddie: Well, I didn’t make this grid so others could make money off me and that’s what bothers them because I can say that. But let’s face it when buyers aren’t buying the creators leave and that, to me, is an insult not only to me but to my residents for pay for their regions… who pay to be here… who pay to have things and then suddenly if a creator isn’t making money they leave?
Winter: I can tell that that bothers you.
Roddie: To me, that’s selfish, not thinking of all their customers who bought from them enough to stick around when the economy slows down, it’s like a slap in the face. “Thanks everyone, I sold what I can but now that no one is buying I’m outta here”. That’s disgusting.
Winter: And the solution to that you feel is offering free stores?
Roddie: Yes, so now what I’m doing is giving creators free stores. No gain no loss. In other words, it won’t cost them anything to be here, so plop down your stuff. It is doesn’t sell it shouldn’t matter to you because it didn’t cost you anything for the space to sell.
Winter: What do you think about creators who set up their products for sale and then disappear for months on end, what we call in the business 'parking your prims'?
Roddie: If you put out your stuff for sale and then you are never around even with not having to pay then that’s just them being ignorant and not caring about their customers. What did you go into business for if you don't want to take the time to serve your customers and support them with their purchase.
Winter: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us this evening. Is there anything you would like to add?
Roddie: The GCG is here to stay. I said this before three years ago and I mean it. Why? Everyone thinks that this is all just a business to me <laughing> too funny. No. I created this grid on my own with no devs (developers) or Terry or anyone a long time ago and why well because I knew how to. I knew what people wanted and I know how to run a grid. I did it before. I won’t say where but let’s just say I know what works. I love my creation, it’s me. Everything you see is me, it’s my baby and always will be. I will never let it die no matter what.
The Gypsies Have Landed! Yes a gypsy caravan has begun to arrive in Manitou. Winter Silversmith of Manitou Tourism met with the group this morning in Massey. "They are a peaceful group and we welcome them into our community during the cold winter months" he said. "Gypsies have long sought shelter for the winter in Manitou since the Northgate family settled here in the early nineteenth century. They were offered space on what is now the resident camping grounds located near the Massey Estate." The gypsies have started to occupy 5 Grieg Path, the location for the seasonal Elmwood Park Faire. "The Faire is closed for the winter so this parcel is not being used until April" Winter said. While the gypsies are a friendly people the public should respect their privacy and only visit during the daylight hours. There will be a couple booths set up for fortune telling and the sale of goods to support their lifestyle.
"We had to evict about five more merchants due to inactivity, the shortest one had not been in GCG since September eleventh. We now have a zero tolerance policy on our thirty day active condition unless the member has let us know about RealLife issues that affect their time inworld" Winter Silversmith, Chief Administrative Officer for Manitou Tourism said this morning at a press conference.
"We are also taking steps to help alleviate the pressure felt recently on the housing market by the closure of the GCG Freelands". The Regional Municipality of Manitou has constructed cottages in the empty spaces in the Manitou Mall and they are offering renters three hundred personal prims. "The same rules apply, you can not own a region or other residential land in GCG, you can not be an ALT of someone already living in Manitou and the other covenant conditions apply" Winter said.
"This move is gravitational shift in development I mentioned yesterday. We expect to have only about half a dozen bricks and mortar stores and our kiosk parks left in the retail region. Let me repeat, we are not evicting those merchants who are active in GCG nor those active ones who want to keep their storefronts in Manitou" Mr. Silversmith told the Corran Journal. "This move is eliminating those shops which members just set up and then only check on to collect their Maples every few months. We do not and will not tolerate that activity in Manitou, either you play an active role in the grid or you can go back to SecondLife. Sorry but we are not a parking lot."
New members displaced by the recent closures are welcome to contact Winter Silversmith inworld about one of the low prim cottages now available in Meaford district of Manitou.
"We are making a gravitational shift in our local economy" Winter Silversmith, Chief Administrative Officer of Manitou Tourism announced just a few minutes ago. "To begin I just evicted three more merchants for inactivity from the Manitou Market Mall in Meaford. Last month I evicted two others. The economy is slowing down and we are changing with it." he said.
Manitou Tourism is shifting its focus from big box merchandisers to smaller kiosk market parks. "We are offering, and have been for a couple weeks now, kiosk space to our existing bricks and mortar merchants. Let me make it clear, we are not forcing any of our storefront merchants into kiosks or off of the region. There will be a shift in the appearance of the mall though as shops are replaced with expanded North and South Market Parks" Mr. Silversmith continued. "We are also re-examining bringing housing back into the mall. It won't be pretty, it will be practical with 30 day leases and basic structures. There is about to be another housing crisis in GCG and I want to do our part to help out those in need."
Manitou Tourism has demolished the Sunset Ballroom and Gardens and will be re-zoning the land as commercial or residential. "We haven't decided yet" Winter said "but with the new Music in the Mall pavilion there just is not enough room for two stages that are not being used." Manitou Tourism put out the call for live entertainers last month "only about one or two have sent us their bios" Winter said "and honestly I have heard the other venues are just getting enough business to stay open. For now we will leave the new pavilion but it might have to go in the future".
"Winter Silversmith lay in bed with his eyes closed. It was warm and he was comfortable. Winter could feel the sunlight beaming in the window and onto his face. Nearby the waterfall roared sending water streaming by the ledge Winter called home. Winter listened for the sound of Bear pestering the sheep as his faithful German Shepherd did every morning. Winter heard barking below, but this time it was different somehow, Bear’s bark was more excited than usual..."
"Manitou Tourism has completed the construction of the new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) with support from the GCG Manitou Armed Forces" announced Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Alberta before Manitou municipal council on Saturday evening.
The new EOC is six times the size of the old facility. The concrete and glass structure consists of two storeys plus a sub-level with departments for Fire, Search and Rescue, Police Services, Civil Defense, and Military Services. The nine thousand square metre parcel of approximately fifteen hundred prims includes three buildings and two heli-pads dedicated to emergency services.
A new wind turbine was constructed on the lighthouse island and the older one removed, this turbine combined with solar panel arrays on the roof will provide all of the electricity needed by the new centre. A network of storage containers will store the generated electricity for use in the event of a violent storm or disaster.
"The remains were found in the Silversmith Foothills at 8 Aileas Close. A preliminary investigation of the scene including artifacts found with the body have led us to determine that the body is from the mid 1800s" said Police Sergeant Jonathon Steel of the Manitou Police Services. The skeletal remains were found near some granite aggregate located within walking distance of the ruins on a nearby hill. "Until we know further we are treating this as an crime scene and we have called in experts from the local University to excavate the scene" he said.
"It is unusual for the body to have been buried face down without foul play being involved but it is not unheard of" said Wesley Ferguson of the University of Western Metaversia. "We do not feel this was foul play and the police members I spoke to do not think it is either. We were called in because we have the tools and expertise to properly investigate the scene that the Emergency Services do not have the budget for".
When asked why no one had discovered the remains in over one hundred years Mr. Ferguson explained "The area around the remains used to be higher in elevation, decades of the elements have worn away the earth around the granite piles and eventually declined low enough to expose the skeleton". Mr. Ferguson said it is too early to identify who the skeleton belonged to except that it belonged to a male about six feet in height.
The University will be on site for the next several weeks excavating the remains and the searching the surrounding area for any more artifacts.
The unidentified craft has returned once again to Massey for a third encounter this year and this time observers believe it brought a friend with it to our skies. Security camera footage obtained from the new Midland Park Solarium complex clearly shows the craft hovering above Massey. "What makes this unique is, when the image is enhanced we can clearly see another object behind the bright light of the craft" said Van Eastener of the Midland Park Solarium.
"The Manitou ATC tracked the craft into the region at 8:56 pm this evening. It was traveling on a south-east trajectory and hovered over Massey, at the same location as last February, for approximately seven minutes. It left the region traveling south over Meaford district and out toward the GCG Ocean" said Paul Skies of the Manitou Air Traffic Control Centre. "Unlike the last two times, however, Manitou Emergency Services deployed a helicopter from the Emergency Operations Centre in Midland to intercept the craft." he continued. Several witnesses reported that they could see a dark aircraft that sounded like a helicopter approach the UFO only to have the object disappear when the aircraft attempted to intercept it.
A sonic boom was heard over the South GCG Ocean by patrons of the Sunset Ballroom in Manitou Market Mall, Meaford district. The Ballroom reported several windows were broken on the south-side of the building as a result of the sound however no injuries were reported. The Ballroom closed early this evening for crews to clean up the broken glass and replace the windows.
An unnamed spokesperson from the Manitou E.O.C. stated that "a tactical helicopter was launched from the centre around 2100 hours on flight toward the west" but he declined to comment on the mission of the military aircraft. The Manitou E.O.C. went on Yellow Alert for thirty minutes this evening during the incident, it has since returned to regular operations.
When the Corran Journal pressed for further details Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Alberta of the Manitou Emergency Operations Centre released the following statement. "Our information sharing procedures have changed following the recent threats to our Grid National security and we are unable to discuss missions of our aircraft".
WEATHER ADVISORY ISSUED FOR MANITOU:
Unseasonably cold temperatures last night from the north-west brought snowfall accumulations of four to six centimetres throughout the city. The cold temperatures are expected to continue for several days. Residents are advised to dress in winter attire this week as temperatures will remain below plus five Celcius and drop down at night to minus ten Celcius. Temperatures are expected to recover to season norms of twelve degrees by Saturday.
"We were monitoring a large cold front over the GCG Ocean and the hurricane to our south-east. The two fronts created a void between and drew the cold over our city" said Stormy Waters of Lloydminster Abbey Weather Centre. "Such a generous snowfall was not expected in our region until November but it would appear Mother Nature had other plans again".
"The city was prepared for snowfall and this recent event had little impact on city services" said Winter Silversmith of Manitou Tourism. "It appears we completed the structural work on the Midland Park Solarium just in time. Residents are welcome to use the exclusive park for their gatherings, events, or just to escape the cold". The Midland Park Solarium is located 2 Teasag Trail north of the Paulstone Quarry Park and north-east of Downtown Manitou. "It is nice and warm in here by the fire" Winter said. The park maintains a fairly constant twenty-three degrees Celcius year round thanks to solar and forced air and cooling systems. "It is a dry heat so very little humidity to bother users" said Bill D'Rite of Manitou Public Utilities.
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