With the forecast weather, local water will continue to demonstrate higher and faster flows, in response to the runoff from the melting snowpack and expected precipitation. While no major flooding is anticipated at this time, water accumulation is likely in low-ling areas, road ditches, and areas with poor drainage. Rivers and streams may reach or exceed in some locations, their bankfull conditions.
For more information please visit KawarthaConservation.com
DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Both Uxbridge and Scugog Councils have decided to stick with the vote-by-mail method for the 2018 municipal election.
Scugog Council made the decision at a meeting held on Monday, Feb. 6th.
“It seems to be the proven election method for the Township of Scugog,” said clerk J.P. Newman.
Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back asked CAO Paul Allore what Ajax Council’s experience with internet voting was like in the 2014 election. Before becoming Scugog’s CAO, Mr. Allore had been working for the Town of Ajax as the Director of Planning and Development Services.
“It went very well, it was very well received,” Mr. Allore said. However, he added that it would not be the best system for the Township to use at this time, because of the lack of consistent internet access in the Township.
Uxbridge Council also decided to keep the status quo for how residents will elect their local politicians in the 2018 municipal election, making the decision at a meeting on Monday, Jan. 16th.
A presentation about ranked ballots was made to Uxbridge Council by deputy clerk Michael de Rond a week before the decision was made, however there was no hunger from Council to choose that system.
“The more we heard last week, the more complicated it got, especially when you have more than three people running for the same position.” Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor said. “I want to see how [a place like] Toronto, as an example, or Markham or some of these larger areas are going to deal with this multi ballot, because I can see a ballot being two or three pages long.”
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy agreed that it would be best for the municipality to wait and see how ranked ballots works for other municipalities.
“I am more concerned too with how the residents in the province of Ontario deal with that sort of vote,” he said.
Both Townships decided to keep the first-past-the-post system for the 2018 election, and are looking for a summary report from staff, on how ranked balloting is implemented in the province in 2018, to come before council before the 2022 election.
KAWARTHA LAKES: Retired Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield will be coming to Lindsay in May, to help raise money for the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Col. Hadfield will be the keynote speaker at an event, being held on Thursday, May 11th at Lindsay’s Academy Theatre titled ‘Out of This World with Col. Chris Hadfield.’ The event will begin at 8 p.m.
“I think we are really fortunate, we are excited and we are very grateful to the volunteers that have worked hard to set this up, and to Col. Hadfield for allowing us to book him into a small community,” Penny Barton Dyke, Executive Director of the Kawartha Lakes United Way, told The Standard. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we are very thrilled.”
Ms. Barton Dyke also said this event is the brainchild of the Truax family.
“[They] wanted to do something to mark the 50th anniversary of our United Way, so Barb had this idea to bring a Canadian icon to the area. She dreamed big and thought Chris Hadfield was a big name and we proceeded,” she said.
Barb Truax said, in a press release, that she is excited that Col. Hadfield has decided to come to Lindsay.
“He often speaks to much larger crowds and in much larger venues. We are just thrilled that he will join us here in Lindsay for an intimate evening in our beautiful, historic Academy Theatre,” she said.
As well as speaking at the event, Col. Hadfield will also be speaking to students in the Kawartha Lakes during the day.
“He is extremely inspirational for young people,” said Ms. Barton Dyke.
Col. Hadfield is the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space and is also the only Canadian to ever command a spaceship.
Tickets for the event are currently being sold for $100 each, and can be bought at the Academy Theatre box office, by calling 705-324-9111, or online at academytheatre.ca. Ms. Barton Dyke encourages those interested to buy their tickets quickly as they are expected to sell out fast.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG/KAWARTHA: A 16-year-old girl has died after the snowmobile she was riding drove into open water on Lake Scugog on Thursday, Feb. 16th.
According to Scugog Fire Chief Mark Berney, two snowmobiles were travelling along the ice near Viewlake, when the lead snowmobile hit open water, at about 10:20 p.m. According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the second pair of snowmobile riders were able to stop in time, and helped the male driver of the lead snowmobile get out of the water, but were unsuccessful in rescuing the female passenger.
Members of the Kawartha Lakes OPP, officers from the Durham Regional Police (DRPS), Kawartha Lakes Police, as well as the Scugog and Kawartha Lakes Fire Departments took part in the rescue operation. DRPS’s Air-1 helicopter was also called in to help locate the female passenger.
The victim, identified by police as Sarah Lumsden of Lindsay, was located a short while later, and was taken to Ross Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. According to an anonymous source, the victim was riding with her boyfriend when the incident took place. Police have not released the name of the driver. The incident occurred just off of Maple Crescent.
OPP Const. Sean Hawley wanted to caution people about being safe when going out on the ice.
“We are always cautioning snowmobile operators to be cognizant of the conditions and to never trust the ice,” he said.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: After working nearly 43 years as a member of the Scugog Fire Department, Fire Chief Richard Miller has retired.
Chief Miller first joined the department as a volunteer in 1974. In 1995, he was named the Fire Chief for the Township part time and took on full time duties as chief in 2003. His last day with the department was Friday, January 27th.
Mr. Miller said one part of the job he is going to miss is the camaraderie of the department.
"I think the camaraderie of the firefighters over the years has been exceptional. That's really the big thing, the firefighters really deserve all of the credit for my career. They've made the department, and I've had the opportunity to guide it,” he said.
Mr. Miller was immersed in the fire department lifestyle at a young age. His father was one of the founding members of the Caesarea Fire Department.
“It was a way you helped the community. It wasn't necessarily expected that you would join, but it was an opportunity. My dad at one point was the Fire Chief in Caesarea, from the Caesarea department it became the Cartwright department. When he retired, he was the deputy chief. So I've had it in my blood since I was born, because the department in Caesarea was founded in 1952 and I was born in 1955. My mother had a fire phone and she would call the volunteers to get them to the fire hall. This was before we had pagers.”
Mr. Miller said his favourite memories from his time as a member of the department are of running initiatives in the community.
"You always have the fun times when you are doing car washes and helping out the community that way and raising money, those are the favourite times. Unfortunately with the good times also comes the bad times. The biggest two fires that I have been involved with are the Jerry's Produce fire and the Catholic Church fire. Those were the two real biggest fires,” he said.
However, he added that he feels relief, now that the pressure of running the department is gone.
“It's been basically 40 years of 24/7 service to the community, and it's like the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I sleep better knowing I don't need to get up at 3 a.m. to attend a fire,” he said. “I'm looking forward to traveling, and, when I do get back from my travels, I'll look to serve the community in another way.”
Mr. Miller also wanted to thank everyone in the community for their support over the years.
“All and all, the councils that I have dealt with have been very supportive of me and the department as a whole, and I can't thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to serve the community and move the department forward during my tenure as fire chief,” he said.
In addition, he wanted to remind everyone to routinely check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“I want people to continue to be safe in Scugog whether I am the fire chief or retired,” Mr. Miller said.
Scugog Mayor Tom Rowett wanted to thank Mr. Miller for his years of dedicated service.
“I’m sure I speak for all of council when I say we appreciate his longstanding service,” he said.
Mark Berney was named Scugog’s new fire chief at Council’s meeting on Monday, February 13th.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Council has decided to send a letter to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Energy, after seeing a report that showed the impacts of rising energy costs on the Township.
According to the report, from Township treasurer Donna Condon, the total hydro costs for Public Works were $237,419 in 2015 and $275,256 in 2016. This represents an increase of 16 per cent, according to staff. However, the report also states the electricity usage decreased by 5 per cent from 2015 to 2016. The total hydro costs for Public Works took into account electricity costs for streetlights, the public works garage, and the pumping station.
The arena’s electricity usage increased by 9 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Its electricity costs saw an increase from $187,402 in 2015 to $228,449 in 2016.
“Hydro has gone up enough in Township facilities to equal one per cent of your tax increase,” said Mayor O’Connor.
Council approved a motion made by the Mayor to send a letter as well as the report to the Premier and the Minister of Energy.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: When S.A. Cawker Public School student Oliver Worona turned 10 years old, he decided to use his birthday party to fundraise for the Canadian Cancer Society.
At his party held on Sunday, Jan. 29th, at the Blackstock arena, Oliver raised $277 for the charity.
“The reason I wanted to do the Cancer Society was that I have seen so many commercials about how sick people can get of cancer, and my mom’s cousin actually had lung cancer, so I wanted to help her and so many other people,” Oliver said.
Oliver’s brother Thomas did something similar last year with his birthday party, raising funds for the New Life Centre, inside Lakeridge Health Port Perry. However, for Oliver’s birthday the family decided to try a website called ECHOage.
ECHOage is a birthday party planning website where people can send out paperless invites to their party. Birthday kids are able to choose a charity the party will benefit, and the gift they would like. When people RSVP to the party, they can make a donation online via PayPal. The funds are then split, half of the money going to the child’s chosen charity and half going towards the birthday gift.
“For children that want to get introduced to doing some fundraising, there still is that element of a birthday present that they get to enjoy, but more quality versus quantity, as they get to choose that one special gift,” Susanne Worona, Oliver’s mother, said.
Mrs. Worona explained what she thought when Oliver told her he wanted to use his birthday to give back.
“We were very proud of Oliver for making a decision that is still rather trailblazing in the birthday party world of thought, for thinking of others rather than thinking of himself,” she said.
Over 30 people attended the party. Oliver wanted to thank everyone who made a donation.
“I hope this money can get the Canadian Cancer Society closer to finding a cure for cancer,” he said.
Special to The Standard
The third time was a charm for Uxbridge’s Gwyneth Foster, when the Grade 12 student recently became the third Uxbridge Secondary School student in the past four years to be named a Loran Scholar, and earn the prestigious scholarship.
Valued at $100,000 over four years, the Loran Award includes: tuition; an annual stipend of $10,000; summer internship funding; an orientation expedition, at Algonquin Park; as well as, annual retreats, forums, and mentorship opportunities.
“It was the most exciting phone call that I’ve ever received. There were a lot of ‘thank you’s’ and I was really overwhelmed with excitement, because it’s such an honour,” Ms. Foster told The Standard.
As Ms. Foster explained, in addition to academic excellence, she maintains a 95 average, the Loran Award is focused on leadership and contributions to the community.
“I try to be involved in lots of different things, from sports, to clubs, and leadership, and I think that really stood out during the interview process, that I love to try new things and experience new opportunities,” Ms. Foster explained on her break, at her part-time job as a cashier at Vince’s Market, where she has worked for almost a year.
This year, the Loran Award was given to 33 secondary school students across the country, whittled down from 4,400 initial applications, to 400 regional finalists, to 84 national finalists, before the final selections were made.
“I had no idea how the selection committee was leaning, after my interview (on Feb. 5). The way the interview is set up is in a way that made you feel really good about your accomplishments, and they seemed really interested in getting to know me.”
Ms. Foster plans to study engineering at Waterloo in the fall, noting that “I love science and math. I want to be involved with innovation and new technology. I think space exploration is unbelievably exciting, and I’d love to be a part of a Mars Rover or Canada Arm-type project. I love real world applications for all of that math and science-nerdy stuff.”
Joining Callen Hageman and Braden Braden Lamoureux as recent U.S.S. grads, to earn the prestigious honour, Ms. Foster credited her small-town roots with providing the perfect opportunity to explore different avenues to success.
“I think that there is something to it when you live in a small town, and how successful Uxbridge has been with this award. Living here, if there is something that you want, it’s up to you to go out there and find it. And, if it doesn’t exist, you either have to make it yourself or find new paths to get to where you want to go.”
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Blackstock Winter Festival and Demolition Derby is returning to the Scugog area later this month.
The event, organized by the Blackstock Agricultural Society, will be held on Sunday, February 26th, in the Blackstock Fairgrounds at 3340 Church St. The festival will begin at 11 a.m. and is expected to feature horse drawn rides, as well as a beverage garden and multiple vendors.
The first class for the demolition derby will begin at 1 p.m. Classes for the derby, being run by Impact Motorsports, include youth mini, full size straight stock, full size trucks and pro mini.
Agricultural Society President, Dale Van Camp said the success of last year’s derby was the driving factor in why they decided to bring it back this year.
“There’s no doubt that if last year had been -25 degrees and snow blowing we would not be doing it again,” he said. “It just so happened that we had a good day and we are going to try it again.”
Mr. Van Camp estimated that they had about 2,000 people at the fairgrounds for the event, held on a sunny February day, last year.
Admission into the event is $10 for adults and $5 for children 5 to 12 years of age. Children under 5 get in free.
Mr. Van Camp encourages everyone to come out and cheer on their favourite driver.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG/KAWARTHA LAKES: Room 217 Foundation, a non profit organization based in Port Perry, will be running a six-month music pilot project at three local long term care homes, thanks to a recent Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.
In December, Room 217 was given a seed grant of $56,300 to begin a pilot project titled Music Care Partners at Port Perry Place, Lakeview Manor in Beaverton, and Fenelon Court in Fenelon Falls. The project’s goal is to, first, study how music can be integrated into long-term care, and then to develop an integrated music care model for long-term care. A recognition event was held at Port Perry Place on Friday, Feb. 3rd, to announce the program.
“Science and research today shows that music can actually impact our physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Through this journey together, we are going to be taking some concrete steps to leverage that power of music right here at Port Perry Place,” Bev Foster, Executive Director of Room 217 said.
MPP Granville Anderson said it is always great when he can announce funding which will be used to improve the local community.
“It’s a pleasure on behalf of myself and the government of Ontario and the Trillium Foundation. It’s always nice when we can do things to enhance our community, and to enhance the quality of life for people in the community,” he said.
Port Perry Place Administrator Marva Griffiths was thankful the local care facility was selected as one of the three hosts of this program.
“We feel very fortunate, here at Port Perry Place, to have been chosen as one of the partners in this music care program,” she said.