This Seattle non-profit wants to compost dead people

There are a million different ways to die, but only three ways to (legally) dispose of a body. You can be cremated, you can be buried, or you can donate your corpse to a medical school (the school will eventually cremate you, FYI).

Meet the menstruators fighting Canada’s ‘tampon tax’

It’s an uncomfortable conversation at first, but once a tax exemption on menstrual products is in place, you won’t even notice it’s there.

That’s the tongue-in-cheek messaging Jill Piebiak and Kathleen Fraser have packed into a petition calling for Canadian tax law to reclassify tampons as “essential” medical devices like contact lenses or adult diapers.

Victoria’s Secret: Dumping raw sewage like it’s 1915

When friends of mine recently got norovirus from eating foraged Gulf Island oysters, my first instinct was a strange one. I blamed Victoria.

More specifically, I blamed Victoria’s raw sewage, which is pumped out to the Juan de Fuca Strait at a rate of 130 million litres per day.

2015 will be a terrible year for Alberta oil

Less investment, less drilling, and possibly a recession: I’m no financial expert, but based on several reports from Canada’s leading oil-industry stakeholders, there’s no good news coming for Alberta’s economy in 2015.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has declared war on Kinder Morgan

​”This is going to be a war.” In the context of recent clashes between police and protesters on Burnaby Mountain over a proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, you might guess this was said by one of the 73 people who were arrested over the weekend.

Reporting from the First Nations resistance camp that’s evicting Imperial Metals

After a man-made lake full of mining waste spilled in British Columbia in early August, locals have been up in arms about the residual damage caused. We visited an active First Nations mining resistance camp that sits eight kilometres away from the spill zone.

Women-only recovery experi­ment: did it work or not?

For Sherri Johnstone, resident at the Rainier Women’s Treatment Centre in the Downtown Eastside, the last two weeks have brought on some tearful goodbyes. As Health Canada funding for the four-year pilot project ceased Dec. 1, Johnstone and the Rainier’s 37 current residents are adjusting to immediate cuts in staff and programming.

“It’s been hard,” says Johnstone, who struggled with crack addiction and failed at traditional treatment programs before she was referred to the Rainier in 2011. “We started to open up to these women and now they’re not here… Now we have to do that again with somebody else — it makes me feel like I’m almost back at day one again.”

Occupy Wall Street’s new job: disaster relief

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, many New Yorkers are struggling to understand why parts of the city are still in crisis. By the time the lights in my East Village apartment returned, the citywide death toll had crept north of 40, thousands were still displaced and hundreds of thousands remained without basic utilities like electricity, water and heat.

Amid this darkness and uncertainty, a once-familiar movement reignited. Long before the first subway tunnels were pumped dry, members of Occupy Wall Street sprang into action, assessing the needs of people who lost everything in the storm.

Schooled in the rodeo

In her first semester at the University of Saskatchewan, Katie Dutchak missed barrel racing with her horse Rootbeer Kazanova. A competitive cowgirl throughout high school, she missed the type of community the rodeo had offered her.

Not anymore. Last January, the first-year arts and science student teamed up with fellow student and racer Shelby Clemens and brought competitive rodeo back to U of S.

Ban billboards, fund jour­nalism!

Scanning Monday’s headlines, you may have spotted Postmedia’s announcement that it will cancel its wire service and cut 25 jobs. The news comes less than a month after the Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen introduced online paywalls to combat a steep decline in print ad revenue.

We’ve known the financial picture for Canadian journalism has been in decline for a while. But one quick-and-dirty answer that has yet to be considered in Canada comes courtesy of a documentary called This Space Available, which is showing in Toronto for the first time today.

Indie theatres weather the liquor license storm

Following months of struggle with British Columbia’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver will gradually return to the mixed programming it cultivated before 2012. For most of this year, the Rio operated under an imposed liquor licensing condition that prevented the venue from showing films.

Although the single-screen venue expects to make a full recovery, owner Corinne Lea says her company is not out of the woods yet. “Because our finances got depleted so badly, our biggest challenge is just digging ourselves out of the hole,” Lea says. “Now we’re creeping back.”