Canadian air traffic controllers send pizzas to U.S. counterparts working without pay

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Air traffic controllers from Atlantic Canada directed a fleet of special arrivals into the New York Air Traffic Control Centre on Friday night, as a gesture of solidarity and respect.

And each was covered in a layer of gooey melted cheese.

The Canadian Air Traffic Controller Association units in Gander, N.L., and Moncton, N.B., ordered pizzas for all of their colleagues at the control centre in New York, who have been working without pay since the partial U.S. government shutdown began on Dec. 22.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants $5.7 billion to build a border wall with Mexico, and says he won’t put through a bill to cover the cost of operating parts of the government until he gets it. The Democrats have put forward a funding bill, but don’t support the wall. 

« It’s been so overwhelmingly negative and it’s nice to see that there’s solidarity out there. There’s people out there who are just saying, ‘Hey, I work with you as a friend or a colleague and here’s a nice gesture of friendship, that we care,' » said David Lombardo, a former air traffic controller who lives in Long Island and runs a social media site for people in the industry.

He posted a notice to Reddit ​about the impending pizza arrival seen in the hallways of the New York control centre. 

« Aviation is a really tight-knit group of people, it’s like a family. And plus, it goes against the whole rhetoric here that we’re talking about because it’s an international boundary! »

Sometimes solidarity comes with a soft crust and a layer of melted cheese. (Dave Lombardo/Reddit)

Air traffic controllers provide essential services and are unable to suspend work or take any other job action during the government shutdown, he said. As a result, with no other government services running, they’re working without paycheques.

« They’re worried about their mortgages, their medical bills. It’s one thing to have a date set and say, ‘Hey you’re going to get your back pay in a week or two,’ but they have absolutely no idea when they’re going to get paid, And you can imagine that’s pretty disheartening and pretty scary for many people. »

A Canada-wide effort

The pizza-delivering task force from the Gander and Moncton crews is part of a national effort on behalf of Canadian air traffic controllers to show support for their American counterparts, said Peter Duffey, president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA). 

Duffey said local unions have been asking the national union what they could do to help since the U.S. government shutdown began. On Thursday evening, controllers in Edmonton had the idea to send pizzas across the border to controllers in Alaska.

It snowballed from there. As of Sunday morning, Canadian units have sent pizzas to 35 different units in the U.S.

« This is as grassroots as it gets, with our members just jumping on board this like crazy, » he said. « I couldn’t be more proud of what my members are doing. »

‘We’re all taking care of the skies over North America’

Duffey echoed Lombardo’s sentiment that air traffic controllers keep each other close, even though they don’t work side-by-side and often only hear each other’s voices in headsets.

« We always stand together, especially with our American counterparts, » he said. « Our members just want to reach out to those people that they consider to be co-workers. We’re all taking care of the skies over North America. »

Canadian air traffic controllers have been sending pizzas to control towers and centres in the U.S. to show solidarity with their American colleagues, who are working for free. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The nature of the job also builds a strong bond, he said.

« We always say that we have to be 100 per cent correct, 100 per cent of the time, with zero room for error. That’s the nature of our job. To have somebody have to report to work with the added pressure of knowing they’re now into their second period of work with no paycheque, they don’t need that kind of added stress and pressure. We just want to send them a message that says, ‘Hey we’re with you, we stand with you, and we’re sorry that this is happening to you.' »

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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You Should Send Your Guests Home with Halva

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I don’t know when or where people got the sick notion that the holidays should be about rushing or working until the last minute. Trash. Doing the most for the holidays DURING the holidays isn’t going to get you anything except a headache. This is doubly true when it comes to holiday desserts. Sure it sounds crazy, but here’s a thought: Don’t do it. Heaps of butter and sugar have been following your guests everywhere they’ve gone this past month. Why not offer them something on their way out the door—something rich and delicious they can enjoy on their own time? Why not Andy’s new recipe for salted chocolate halva?

The whole recipe for this sweet-savory dessert is basically a series of dumping things into other things: mixing tahini with salt and sesame seeds; then mixing that with a sugar-water concoction. And then dumping melted chocolate on top of that. But that doesn’t mean it’s effortless. To pull this off, you have to have some finesse, timing, and one very special tool. That said: Don’t even try to do this without a candy thermometer. You know, that metal contraption that attaches to the sides of pots and saucepans and helps ensure that you never burn sugar (and other things) again? As much as we love them, most meat thermometers aren’t built to accurately and consistently read the temperatures of liquids, and this is absolutely required to make this thing work.

Here’s where the finesse and timing come in, so listen up! After you’ve prepared a pan, mixed your tahini-sesame-salt mixture, and brought your sugar water concoction to the perfect temperature, you have to immediately remove it from stove and gradually stream into the savory stuff, mixing constantly with a spatula. Continue to mix just until the halva comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of bowl. This will happen fast—as in, in under a minute fast. So be careful not to overmix or it will become clumpy instead of flaky, and you want that layered, crystalized perfection. Then, working just as quick, dump that bad boy into the pan and let it cool for a bit. You’ll start melting your chocolate, and when it’s ready, pour it over your newly set halva (which you’ve slid out of the pan by now), top with some edible flowers (you can find ‘em at spots like Whole Foods), and high five yourself. After letting the chocolate set for 30 more minutes, you’ll be ready cut and package your holiday halva.

By the time your friends unwrap their party favor at home (however many days later), they’ll be blown away—and probably ready for dessert again.

Get the recipe:

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‘Send her back!’: Woodstock protesters angry killer Terri-Lynne McClintic now at healing lodge

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About 200 people protested outside a courthouse in Woodstock, Ont., on Saturday against the transfer of convicted killer Terri-Lynne McClintic from a federal prison in Ontario to an Indigenous healing lodge in Saskatchewan.

« Send her back! » the protesters chanted at the rally.

McClintic, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tori Stafford, 8, in 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years. Stafford, a Woodstock school girl, was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered in 2009. 

Many of the protesters in her hometown wore purple, which was Stafford’s favourite colour. 

Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father, told the protesters that McClintic doesn’t deserve to serve out her sentence in a healing lodge.

‘It’s not right,’ father says

« A convicted killer was moved somewhere she doesn’t belong and I want do everything I can to put her back because it’s not right. Why should these criminals be able to live a better life than myself, the one going through this issue? »

« Terri-Lynne’s got to go back to max security where she belongs, » he said. « My little girl Victoria deserves so much better and she deserves justice. »

Stafford said, when Tori was born on July 15, 2000, he was sitting in a chair, holding her, and he told her that he would protect her until the day he died.

« You can’t understand the pain and the hurt that goes through you when you realize that one of your bear cubs has been taken, one of your children is gone. It’s tough to deal with every day, » he said.

« On the inside, it’s killing me. But each time I walk past one of you guys, and you guys give me support, that gives me that much more strength to stand here and do what I want to do, and that’s stand up for my daughter, » he told the protesters.

Tori Stafford, 8, was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, murdered and left in a farmer’s field in 2009.

Stafford said he was only one voice against the transfer, but support has grown since he first found out.

« A month and half later, I have a nation of support. It just goes to prove that one person can actually make a difference. »

McClintic moved earlier this year

McClintic was serving time at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a maximum security prison in Kitchener, Ont. After four years, she was moved into the prison’s medium security area.

Earlier this year, Correctional Service Canada moved her to a healing lodge on the Nekaneet First Nation near Maple Creek, Sask., according to Stafford’s grandmother, Doreen Graichen.

McClintic and her boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, grabbed Stafford from a Woodstock street. The girl’s body was found three months later in a wooded area near Mount Forest.

Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in Tori’s death.

Terri-Lynne McClintic received a life sentence after she pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of Tori Stafford in 2010. (Canadian Press)

The protesters said they want the federal government to pass legislation, which they call « Tori’s law, » that would ensure any person convicted of the murder of a child would spend his or her entire sentence in a maximum security prison.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Thursday that a review into the decision to move McClintic​ from the federal prison to the healing lodge will be coming shortly.

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This Beef Stir-Fry Is The Perfect Way to Send Off Summer | Healthyish

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I love to cook, but, after spending a full day in the Bon Appétit test kitchen, the last thing I need to do is start chopping onions all over again when I get home. That means dinners can be a bit scrappy: reheated leftovers from my weekend prep, fridge-dump salads, or just taking whatever I can find and putting a scoop of cottage cheese on it. It’s a tricky time of day, trying to get dinner together while my kids scheme to avoid bedtime, suddenly intensely curious about what I am cooking, how MY day was, and whether Robin Hood and other favorite characters are “real,” all of which would be cute if they didn’t need to be asleep.

This is a beef stir-fry that I can actually handle cooking from start to finish on a weeknight. I can watch our three-year old demonstrate Ninjago spins while I grate the aromatics for the marinade, and I can trim beans while retaining enough brainpower to decide whether our five-year-old will be allowed a real bow and arrow for his Robin Hood Halloween costume (no). I only truly need to pay attention for a minute while slicing the meat, long enough that they might slip past the kitchen, but short enough that they won’t get far.

The key to slicing the short ribs (these may also be labelled Denver steak depending on your butcher) is to cut thinly across the grain. Chicken (thinly sliced) or fish (cut into chunks) would also work just fine. Put it in a bowl and grate the lemongrass, chile, ginger, and garlic right over the top. Add the sesame oil and brown sugar and toss to combine. Let that sit at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prep your veg. I like to slice the green beans in half-ish lengthwise so they cook a bit more quickly. Transfer them to a bowl, and, unless you are into perfection, slice the corn kernels off right into that bowl (a few scatter across the counter, no big deal).

Cook the meat in two batches so each one can get a really good sear, then add the veg, which only need a few minutes to go from raw to vivid and crisp-tender. Add the meat back to the skillet along with the tomatoes and half the basil and cook, tossing everything to let the aromatics in the marinade hit everything in the skillet as they get knocked around.

Serve topped with the rest of the basil, a sprinkle of flakey salt, and lime wedges. It’s a last hurrah of summer flavor with all the bright aromas of lemongrass and ginger on top. Best of all, it doesn’t require a sauce since there is so much flavor in the marinade. My kids know that anyone still awake and skulking around the kitchen has to eat whatever I make, so by the time my wife and I sit down for dinner, they may not be asleep, but they’re definitely in their rooms.

It’s beef stir-fry time:

summery-beef-stir-fry-with-lemongrass.jpg

Olive oil works great in stir-fry recipes; its sharp grassy notes complements flavors like lemongrass and basil.

SEE RECIPE

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