The Manitou Farm once guarded the back entrance to Eternity Isle and is said to be the oldest surviving farm in Manitou. A while back part of the farm was annexed and a modern stone house was constructed on former pastureland. While the farm footprint was declared a historic landmark part of the property remained identified as 'Development Land' so the deal could not be blocked at the time.
In the summer of 2016 a proposal was brought forth to develop a larger home on the parcel which meant that the farm would lose even more land. The Northgate Conservation Group filed an injunction with the court to block the expansion noting the nearby marshlands would be negatively impacted by any further development west.
After negotiating with the renters a deal was agreed upon to move them to another location in Manitou. The municipality has purchased the developed land back and will restore the original farm property as a historic landmark and tourist attraction for the community. The stone house will be removed and be replaced with a replica of the old farmhouse that once stood on the property and pastureland will be designated east of the barn. The farmland parcel will be expanded to include the protected marshland and a footbridge will be constructed to allow visitors to see the marsh without entering it.
The Northgate family still keeps sheep on the property in the summer and moves them to the winter grazing fields in south-east Manitou in the winter. The barn includes vendors offering a wide variety of free animals both wild and domestic.
New footbridge now links Manitou Market Mall, Meaford to the region of Manitou through the Paulstone Quarry. The bridge will increase traffic to the regions and make it easier for residents to get around Manitou without ever having to leave the ground. The raised bridge allows for water traffic to flow from the northern entry in Minesing all the way down next to the Information area in Meaford.
Manitou Tourism is currently discussing whether or not Phase 5 will be postponed until September 21st after the offices re-open from vacation.
Phase 5 is a utilities project which involves the complete updating of all utilities in Manitou - fire hydrants, electrical poles and transformers, windmills, solar panels, and more. The plan is to create a comprehensive listing of all utilities and ensure that all services are accounted for in Manitou.
The Corran Journal office will be closed for vacation from:
Is Podex Exchange going to close soon?
Absolutely, no. I love my job and virtual life is part of my real life so there is no reason to close. You can be sure that exchange service will continue in GCG as long as GCG exists and in case of unpredictable accidents my co-workers can run Podex without me. I do hope that 10 years of uninterrupted work can be a proof.
Is it possible to make CAD main currency of Great Canadian Grid?
From technical point of view it is a little problem but of course it is possible.
However…let’s have a look at the statistics. Although GCG names suggests that it is national grid it is so nice and welcoming that it attracts users from all over the world. Only 23% of purchases and 11% of cash-outs are done in CAD while the most preferable currency is still USD. GCG avatars simply prefer USD in general.
Next problem is currency transfer between grids. All grids serviced by Podex are calculated on the base of USD. If only GCG was based on CAD and the rest of grids on USD the inter-grid exchange rate when sending coins to or from GCG would change every hour and calculation would be so complicated that users would never know how many coins they would receive.
And the last, the most important case – price. Now, the price of GCG coins is based on CAD/USD exchange rate. That is why sometimes you pay more and sometimes less CAD for GCG coins. I have just checked the rate and let me show it to you. ( I know that we all hate Maths but sometimes there is no escapeJ
If you want to buy 1000 MCS by Paypal you pay 4,40 USD. If you decide to pay for the same amount with CAD you will pay 4,69 CAD. If you check official Google rate for 4,40 USD you will see 5,22 CAD.
What does it mean? It means that Podex usually has more friendly exchange rate than Google, not mentioning PayPal who charges much higher. Of course, it depends on official exchange rates but usually avatars save on exchange in Podex, not lose.
Why sometimes the card is charged more than official rate?
It can happen when you do not have enough money on your Paypal account. In such situation Paypal transfers money from your sub-account in other currency or charges your credit card. In both cases Paypal uses its own rate which is always much worse than official one.
Who makes the profit from higher exchange rate?
It is Paypal or credit card issuer, as Podex receives only the amount of money declared in payment form.
The third phase of the Manitou Big Dig Re-Development Project has been completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The construction time was hastened by the removal of an old drainage system which, when removed, created large pockets of space underground. Removal of the surface by bulldozers and the dredging crews and the new river channel was completed.
"We are taking a day off to rest before we begin Phase Four. The next project involves the construction of another footbridge. This will link the sidewalk in front of the GCG Hunt Information Centre near Meaford to the old Paulstone Quarry grounds in Manitou. Until now pedestrians had to walk through Midland to reach Manitou." said Bill D'Rite, Manitou P.U.C. Construction Foreman. The bridge will allow Manitou residents from Manitou and Midland quick access by foot to the Manitou Market Mall and services.
"It is all about making it easier for our residents to walkabout the city without having to fly anywhere" Manitou CAO Winter Silversmith told the Corran Journal. "We want residents and visitors to be immersed in a near-to-real-life experience here in Manitou. Safe, friendly, convenient."
Phase Four should be completed by late week.
"The new dock, river access and footbridge are now completed", Bill D'Rite of Manitou P.U.C. reported this morning. "We have installed all of the new street lighting and sewer services and re-opened most of the sidewalks to pedestrians."
"I am very pleased with how the development has progressed" said Winter Silversmith, CEO Silversmith Estates, "while the project will come in over budget I feel that this new district will better serve our community." The balance of the work in the first two phases has been completed with only aesthetic additions of benches, plants and other similar features remaining.
Manitou Economic Development told the Corran Journal that MC$ 1,250 was spent on the dock while an additional MC $ 1,500 went into the footbridge, river access construction and dredging the harbour to allow for larger watercraft. The library demolition was only MC$ 500 as the demolition company was permitted to recycle the old stone and wood components of the building for the domestic market. The budget for Phase One and Two was MC$ 2,000. Bill D'Rite stated that MC$ 3,250 has already been spent on the project. The entire re-development of Manitou expected to be approximately MC$ 10,000, Manitou Tourism and Silversmith Estates are covering seventy-five percent of the bill for the re-development while donations have helped pay for approximately twenty-five percent of the cost.
"This is Phase One and Two of the projects we have planned for Manitou" Winter said "the next will be another river corridor and footbridge at the south entrance to Massey. This change will connect Manitou, Midland and Massey together for small personal wearable watercraft." The budget for Phase Three is MC$ 2,000 however recent assessments by consultants report that the cost may be closer to MC$ 4,000 due to the proximity of nearby buildings, utilities and additional dredging service.
The Footbridge across the new river channel is now open and sidewalks have been opened across Massey. The medieval faire has moved into a new park constructed just south of the Marina with entry from the dock. Residents and visitors are encouraged to walk about the new facilities and offer comments to Winter Silversmith.
"It's a pretty bridge but we expected the erection to be higher" said Bo Atley of the Manitou Marina committee early this morning, "the bridge is not high enough for sail boats to get underneath to the south river". The footbridge was erected this week over the recently expanded waterway connecting the harbour district to the south river. "That is as big as this erection will get" chuckled Bill D'rite PUC construction foreman, "we can not please everyone but we will do okay I think".
The footbridge is part of a large re-construction project announced this week which will see significant changes to the Harbour District. The changes to the river area mean more waterway access and bridges further downstream in the near future. The objective is to modernize the facilities at the harbour and increase waterway access to residents.
"Manitou Tourism announced today that it will be re-developing the historic Harbour District to update the facilities. The current medieval faire will be relocated further south on a former residential lot and the dock area will be modernized. The old library was assessed for preservation unfortunately the structure is too deteriorated and will have to be demolished. The project is expected to take two to three days to complete at a cost of over MC$2,000 including demolition. One unoccupied residence has already been removed to allow for the expansion of the faire into a separate area of the district.
"This will be the largest of several projects we will be completing in Manitou", said Bill D'rite of Manitou Public Utilities and Development. "The next will be in the mall district later this coming week". In total Manitou Tourism is expected to spend up to MC$10,000 on upgrades and projects throughout the city over the next two weeks before offices will be closed in September for two weeks holiday.
"When the Northgate Meta-National Park closed it forced out the grizzly bears from their largest Great Canadian Grid habitat. Four of them were rescued and transferred to other regions, for example The Shadowlands tRL, but two of them eluded capture." said Idalo VanImals, Conservationist.
This mature grizzly was spotted earlier today by a commercial helicopter flying in to Manitou for business. The Northgate Conservation Group identified the grizzly bear as 'Manitou Grizzly Two' or 'Zeus' as he is more affectionately known as to local conservationists. This grizzly is grazing on the south ridge of Muskoka just north-west of the Manitou North Conservation Marshland in Midland. "Grizzly population has been negatively impacted by avatar development and climate change. There were six living in the meta-national park" Idalo told the Corran Journal.
An organization in the Real Life United States known as Vital Ground is working to preserve the grizzly bear habitats in the lower 48. The Vital Ground non-profit foundation is a premier private sector organization ensuring the recovery and long-term survival of grizzly bears. Everyone living in the United States that can afford to give are encouraged to donate or become a member of this worthy cause. "Unfortunately the possibility of preserving them here is a question of finance, not too many people want to invest the money in parkland or scenic regions just to hold bears and squirrels" Idalo said.
"With an abundance of fish and other game in Manitou the grizzly, and the other one still unseen in months, do not pose any threat to avatars. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone" Idalo assured readers.
The Corran Journal has recently learned that the Shadowlands tRL will be closing soon due to financial reasons which will eliminate yet another habitat for the endangered grizzly in the GCG.
CEO Silversmith was asked what Manitou is doing to preserve the grizzly bear habitats in the continent of Manitou. "We have tried to preserve our green-spaces and even demolished a few homes to increase parkland on Manitou, Massey and Midland regions. I spoke to Ms. VanImals this afternoon and she believes that 'Zeus' will remain on Muskoka now that he has found an abundance of food."
Manitou Grizzly One, known as Ford, remains at large and has not been seen since early 2016, unfortunately the Northgate group believes that he may have succumb to despair, and perished deep in the forest, at being only one of two bears left in Manitou.
The calendar displays week after week of blank dates on Manitou Tourism's website. The donation boards in several locations throughout Manitou have been unceremoniously removed. It has been that way since May 2016 when the CEO of Silversmith Estates Winter Silversmith declared that his company was boycotting Podex, LLC, the Great Canadian Grid's monetary system.
The announcement came following an article published by Winter, in the Corran Journal, on May 2, 2016. The story "Biting from the wallet up" which explained to readers the recent decline in exchange for Canadian Real Life dollars to Maple dollars paid by Podex, LLC to Canadian members of GCG. At the same time Podex changed the affiliation fees awarded to ATM hosts and basically eliminated the need for ATMs with the introduction of the Podex HUD.
Mr. Silversmith has been a significant supporter of the GCG and community with assets and contributions totalling over MC$ 125,000 in two years (that's about $650 CDN at the old rate). Winter has purchased and paid out inworld much through donations to events such as the Christmas Spectacular, over MC$ 65,000 in 2015, and over MC$ 45,000 so far in 2016. "The Christmas Spectacular was a great opportunity for us to give back to the community" said Winter regarding the MC$ 7,500 donation to the event which highlighted the talents of over two dozen performers in just two days. "Every Maple I buy stays in the GCG, I never cash out for Real Life currency - ever."
"The reason for the boycott is simple" Mr. Silversmith told the Corran Journal this evening. "I purchase Canadian Maples with my Canadian Paypal using Canadian money and for that Podex claims that I must pay a 20% US exchange rate. Yes, I said 'US' as in United States. I know you are wondering what the US has to do with Canada, well, that's a very good question and one that Podex failed to answer to my satisfaction."
It has recently been discussed how Podex charges a fee every time you cash out Maples into Real Life currency, it would appear they charge you a fee you when you buy it as well, resulting in a double fee or 'double tax'. "It would appear that Podex can make around twenty to forty percent in fees from you just for buying and selling your Canadian Maples regardless of where you live", Winter pointed out with a sour look on his face. "Yes, I have spoken to Roddie (Macchi, Owner of GCG) about it, there's not much he can do right now because members voted in using Podex and everyone is subject to their terms and conditions. How much is forty percent you ask, well, it's about MC$ 70 out of every MC$ 173 at today's rate."
The end result, Manitou Tourism and Silversmith Estates have cancelled all events and fundraisers for the remainder of 2016 or until Podex, LLC returns the Canadian Dollar to Canadian Maples rate back to $1 equals MC$193 as it was introduced at in 2015. "The US dollar should not be a standard for this or any currency for that matter except those in the US" said Winter "especially when my purchase has nothing to do with the US".
Currently there are a limited number of monetary systems available for OpenSim virtual grids. A grid can create its' own internal currency (an example would be the very successful Kitely Credits offered by Kitely, subject to laws and regulations of the country it belongs to, or it can sign up with one of the better known OpenSim / Hypergrid compatible companies.
The first, Austrian based Virwox offers Open Metaverse Currency (OMC) currently serves about "241 regions" according to its website but we found that many of the ones listed, including the Great Canadian Grid, are not members of the OMC network.
The second, Podex LLC, a UK based company owned by the parent Aexea located in Poland. Podex's website claims "we manage the economies of several dozen virtual worlds inhabited by hundreds of thousands users creating virtual content and exchanging items and services between grids." Their website includes the logos of twenty-seven OpenSim grids included several listed on the Virwox website.
Gloebits, a company and currency was created by former members of Linden Labs (SecondLife). It has not been heard from much this year. They introduced Gloebits to the metaverse in February 2016 by offering the new currency to members of the Dreamland Metaverse. The Dreamland Metaverse website, however, does not have any references or search articles found concerning Gloebits and instead talks about Virwox and Paypal as possible currency choices.
Lastly, Game Tokens, created by Frank Corsi of 3D Virtual Web, Inc. appears to be limited to those grids owned or hosted by the company and has not expanded beyond their borders in the last year.
When asked what Winter hopes to achieve by the boycott he had this comment to our readers "I hope that the news of my boycott will prompt discussion of Podex's rates and lack of customer service to GCG members. We voted in Podex as our currency over a year ago and I would like members to re-examine our options and consider expanding into a second currency such as Paypal or our own GCG money. Perhaps we can create a hybrid system between Podex and GCG's own money? I don't know, I just want it to be a topic 'back on the table' so to speak."
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Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)