DAN CEARNS The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: A large fire on Friday, July 22 has destroyed both the McLean’s Auction barn and the Clearing House store in Lindsay.
Kawartha Lakes Fire Services were called to the location, at 2194 Little Britain Rd., around 3 p.m. According to fire officials, the blaze started at the Clearing House, by discarded smoking materials, and then spread to the auction barn next door.
In addition to the two buildings, a shed on the property was also destroyed. The total value of the fire damage estimate is about $3.5 million.
According to District Chief Dave Kish; high winds, heat and the dry conditions made the fire difficult to put out. Five firefighters were sent to hospital for heat exhaustion.
District Chief Kish said everyone that was inside the structures at the time got out, however one Clearing House employee was injured after trying to put out the fire in the area of the loading dock.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office was called in to investigate.
District Chief Kish has a message for all smokers, regarding where they put their cigarettes and other smoking materials.
“Due to the weather conditions we are having, and even without the conditions, people need to be extra careful where they discard smoking materials,” he said.
The Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service has recently increased the Fire Hazard Index to Extreme.
ROB DRAL The Standard
SCUGOG: Willowtree Farm has been a local staple in the community of Scugog since 1969.
This past weekend, the farm celebrated the grand opening of their new farm store. The brand new farm store allows Willowtree Farm to sell farm fresh food all year round.
Willowtree Farm is a family run farm that prides themselves on sharing their families’ passion for fresh, top-quality food. They strive to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the community.
The old market, while full of character and charm, had been “bursting at the seams,” according to Alyson McKay of Willowtree Farm. Last year, the farm decided they needed to upgrade. The new market features everything you could ever want from a farm. They have a wide variety of fresh produce, all grown on the farm or from other farms in Ontario. In addition to produce, Willowtree Farm provides the community with an impressive selection of baked goods, such as, pies, tarts, fritters, and bread. Other products available for purchase are local honey, all kinds of mustards, maple syrup, and apple cider.
One of the more exciting additions to the farm is the new on-site butcher shop.
The butcher shop provides the community with fresh, antibiotic free, naturally-raised, no hormone added meat, including steaks, sausages, lamb chops, and pork. There is truly nothing you can’t buy at Willowtree Farm.
The grand opening event held on Saturday, July 23, was a huge success. The community came out in full support of the farm throughout the day. Willowtree offered a free pig roast, balloon animals, wagon rides, free samples, and a live band to keep the celebration going throughout the day.
Willowtree Farm is owned by the McKay family, starting with Rod McKay. At the age of 19, Rod bought the farm just outside downtown Port Perry. After University, Rod started with cash crops and dairy farming and continued dairy farming for the next 20 years. It was during this time, that Rod met his wife to be, Marlene. She grew up on a strawberry farm, and in 1979; Rod surprised her with four acres of strawberry plants. Marlene sold strawberries from a wagon on the side of the road. The farm continued to grow, so Rod and Marlene built their first farm store in 1990.
Things only grew from there. Rod, his two sons, Jordan and Alex, and their wives, Alyson and Kelty, now maintain Willowtree Farm. The family strives to provide the community with the best, and most fresh food, while also practicing sustainable farming methods, and raise their animals in a happy, and healthy environment.
The family travels to 12 different farmers markets in Ontario, to provide customers with the convenience of getting everything in one place. They also maintain a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which serves over 300 families. To stay on top of the latest farming techniques, Willowtree attends industry workshops and conferences to better maintain healthy, and sustainable crops. Some of the techniques used are: soil and erosion protection, crop rotation, pest management, and limiting sprays to keep the soil as rich as possible. All of their animals are raised humanely and pasture-raised.
They are not fed growth hormones or antibiotics. Willowtree Farm believes a “healthy animal, tastes better.”
Willowtree Farm is open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., except for Saturday, when the farm is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You can find Willowtree Farm at 975 Regional Rd. 21, in Port Perry. For more information, please visit their website at, www.willowtreefarm.ca, or give them a call at, 905-985-4973.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: The Durham Region Police Service (DRPS) will soon be launching a new app.
The announcement was made by Chief Paul Martin at a police services board meeting held on Wednesday, July 13.
"A couple of years ago we redesigned the website to make the access a lot easier for mobile users. This is the next step to that,” Dave Selby, Director of Corporate Communications for DRPS, told The Standard.
He also added it made sense for police to create their own app, seeing that other services in Ontario have already created their own.
“It is still in the early days of police apps. More and more people are going mobile, so it is making more and more sense that we are putting it in a format they can access,” Mr. Selby said.
Some of the features of the app will include advising residents of their rights when approached by a police officer, providing people with information on the new street check legislation, providing direct access to all DRPS social media accounts, as well as access to the police’s media release feed. The app will also have a list of all police buildings and their hours of operation.
In addition, the app will have access to a new feature that police are going to be implementing on their website, called crime mapping. Crime mapping is a service that shows residents the types of crimes that are being reported in their community or their neighbourhood. Police are expecting to implement crime mapping by the end of this month on-line at www.drps.ca.
Mr. Selby said this project is conforming with Chief Martin’s vision of “improving customer service, as well as accessibility of information.”
DRPS is expecting to launch the app before the end of the summer. Once it is launched by the police service, the app will be free for the public to download.
ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: On Monday, July 11, Jennifer O’Connell, Member of Parliament for the riding of Pickering-Uxbridge, stopped by a council meeting, to update councilors and the public about the work she is doing to represent Uxbridge on the Federal level.
MP O’Connell focused a lot of her presentation on being accessible as a Federal politician and representative of Uxbridge, offering better connection with the community.
Jennifer O’Connell mentioned several ideas to bring additional government services to the town of Uxbridge. These ideas include: satellite offices, and passport clinics, to provide residents with a convenient option for government services, instead of having to travel to Pickering.
“If you hear of a real need, whether, it be an issue or like I said, a federal service, please let me know. I am happy to host these clinics or provide these services if there is an overwhelming need here,” said MP O’Connell.
She then updated the township on the “broader strokes” of the Liberal government’s mandate and what they are currently working on. These included, the reinstating of the mandatory long-form census, a greater focus on tax evasion, and infrastructure and transportation funding.
In terms of what specifically affects the residents of Uxbridge, MP O’Connell spoke about Phase 2 of the government’s infrastructure plan, which will open an application process for municipal governments to apply for infrastructure funding. It is in the process of being finalized and an announcement should be made shortly.
MP O’Connell said she spoke to officials from Infrastructure Canada, to reiterate what she thought was best for the municipality. She advocated for; stable allocated funding; and a moving away from the application-based process, which she said “bogs down the municipalities.”
MP O’Connell also advocated for infrastructure studies to be included in the overall project cost, as this was not the case previously.
“I know how much it can cost to get construction up and running,” said MP O’Connell.
One of the more important infrastructure projects in Uxbridge is the Uxbridge Pool project. Jennifer O’Connell said she “pushed that as much as I could,” and said Phase 2 of the Infrastructure Plan is where funding opportunities exist.
She also said multiple grant opportunities are available, and being accepted by one will not exclude the township from being accepted by another grant. “I am looking for any opportunity for grants that we can find,” she assured.
Another area of importance for Uxbridge, MP O’Connell spoke about, was rural internet. Jennifer O’Connell said she has had meetings, with both government officials and service providers, about rural internet opportunities, and mentioned $500 million of the budget has been allocated to rural internet, which is an “important first step.” She said this is something she is working on with government officials.
“Not only for the use and enjoyment of individuals who want to connect through the internet, but frankly, for a small business, home-based business, this is critically important… and I get that,” said MP O’Connell. She also said that this is one of the top priorities of the government.
Uxbridge Mayor, Gerri Lynn O’Connor, thanked MP O’Connell for coming in to update council and said she is, “delighted that she is now representing us in the federal government.”
MP Jennifer O’Connell said she plans to make these updates on a regular basis.
NORTH DURHAM: Kawartha Lakes and the municipalities in North Durham are warning residents about the threat of Giant Hogweed.
Giant Hogweed, an invasive species, is appearing more frequently in local ditches and fields. While impressive to look at, the weed is very toxic.
Three sightings of Giant Hogweed, an invasive plant species, have been reported in the Kawartha Lakes. Two of them are near the intersection of Killarney Bay Rd. and Chamber's Rd. and one on Road 121 near Kinmount.
The plant's toxic, watery sap can cause severe burns, painful blistering and contact between the sap and the eyes can lead to temporary or permanent blindness.
Giant Hogweed resembles some native species such as Angelica, Queen Anne's Lace, and Cow Parsnip. Unlike native plants, Giant Hogweed can grow up to 5 meters tall and has a stem 5 to 10 cm in diameter. The stem and leaf stalks are hollow, covered with coarse hairs, and are often purple-spotted. In summer, Hogweed produces a white umbrella-shaped flower from June to July which will produce large flat oval seeds.
Giant Hogweed is massive, growing up to 5 meters tall (about 16 feet) with leaves that can be over a meter wide.
If residents encounter Giant Hogweed they are asked not to touch it, but rather to report its whereabouts. Giant Hogweed tends to grow in undisturbed sites with abundant light.
To report a Giant Hogweed sighting in Kawartha Lakes, call your local Municipal Service Centre at 705-324-9411 or toll free at 1-888-822-2225. In Uxbridge, e-mail email@example.com or call (905) 852-9181. Elsewhere in Durham, email sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Giant Hogweed go to Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program at www.invadingspecis.com.
Special to The Standard
BROCK: With just over a week to go before the nomination period closes, a pair of candidates have tossed their hats into the ring for this fall's Ward 2 by-election.
The council seat was vacated in June following the resignation of Randy Skinner, amidst an ongoing battle against Parkinson's disease.
To date, Beaverton's George Ranich and Cannington's Dorothy Sanderson - a mayoral challenger in 2014 - have filed nomination papers in the hopes of capturing the seat when Beaverton residents head to the polls on Monday, Sept. 19. As well, an advance polling station will be set up at the Beaverton-Thorah Community Centre on Saturday, Sept. 10, as well as at the Municipal Administration Building in Cannington on Sept. 15.
The by-election is open candidates from all areas of Brock Township, and the deadline to file nomination paperwork is scheduled for 2 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 5.
For further information regarding the Ward 2 by-election, please visit www.townshipofbrock.ca/2016-by-election/.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The annual Lake Scugog Regatta will be returning to Caesarea for its 88th year next weekend.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Pirates of Lake Scugog.’ The action will get underway on Friday, July 29, in Putsey Park, at 6 p.m., with the annual volleyball competition between the Caesarea Firefighters and the ‘TownFolks.’ There will also be a ‘Surf or Turf’ Dinner and Dance at Beacon Marina, from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Tickets to the ‘Surf or Turf’ are $35, and will only be sold to people 19 years of age and up. The meal includes lobster or steak, a potato, vegetable roll, dessert, and tea or coffee. Tickets can be bought by calling 905-447-3865.
There will also be raffle tickets sold, for draws of two Toronto Blue Jays tickets or an aerial flight to Toronto and Niagara Falls. The winners will be drawn on Sunday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, July 30, the annual costume parade will make its way from the fire hall at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., there will be a dog show. The Saturday festivities will also include the annual races, watermelon eating contest, nail driving contest, face painting with Sunflower the Clown and an Erg-a-thon at the marina, put on by the Durham Rowing Club. Evolve Skate Camp will also be offering skateboard and scooter lessons, at the new Caesarea skate park, from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.. Volleyball will take place at Putsey Park starting at 6 p.m. A jumping castle and dunk tank will also be on site.
On Sunday, July 31, there will be a pancake breakfast, at the Caesarea Fire Hall, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. At 9 a.m., the Durham Rowing Club will host a round robin race around 3 buoys. The fishing derby will take place, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. From noon until 1:30 p.m., there will be swimming, and canoe and kayak races at the pier, and at 2 p.m. a championship sailboat race is taking place. Doubles Horseshoe will start at Beacon Marina at 6 p.m., and the volleyball finals will be held in Putsey Park at 6:30 p.m.
Regatta president Shari Bown said it is the people of Scugog that have kept this event going every year.
“This event is believed to be one of the longest running three day events in Ontario, and to see people, when the event was in trouble a couple years ago, actually want to see it succeed and come out of the woodwork to offer their help and assistance and ideas has been incredible,” she said.
Ms. Bown gave numerous reasons for people to come out to this year’s festivities.
“The fact that it is a lot of fun, its all family oriented, and just to support your community,” she said.
ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Township of Uxbridge has honoured a resident who is largely responsible for having the town recognized as the “Trail Capital of Canada.”
John McCutcheon was recognized by the Township, after his vision led to the restoration of the wooden trestle bridge, on Barton Trail. During a presentation on Monday, July 11, Uxbridge Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor presented John McCutcheon with a replica of the street sign named after Mr. McCutcheon, that now welcomes hikers at the entrance of the trestle. The sign reads, “John McCutcheon Way.”
Mr. McCutcheon has always been a fierce protector of the abundant natural landscape. About 15 years ago, John McCutcheon along with Mayor O’Connor, formed a committee to assist in the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine, by the Township of Uxbridge, instead of having to rely on big government to do the right thing. The group became known as ‘Uxbridge Naturally.’
John McCutcheon is also a pioneer of the extensive trail network in Uxbridge, now spanning a whopping 220 kilometers of trails. Many years ago, John McCutcheon, Ingrid Svelnis, Liz Howson, Wynn Walters, and other volunteers came up with the idea, to propose to Council a series of interconnected neighbourhood trails. “That would help people really appreciate what this town is all about; to meet neighbours... and a real connection to our wonderful natural heritage,” said John McCutcheon, speaking to Council during the street sign presentation. The first of the many trails to be developed was, The South Balsam Trail.
Mr. McCutcheon then focused his efforts on the old wooden trestle bridge, that now connects the Trans Canada Trail through Uxbridge. The historic train trestle is one of the last of it’s kind in Ontario, built in 1872. The bridge was restored for $250,000 , with no hit to tax payers, as it was paid for entirely by grants and fundraising. “It is probably one of the best examples of an old wooden trestle bridge, around,” said Mayor O’Connor, during the recognition presentation.
“We wouldn’t be in the position we are in today, with our trails, or with our Heritage Bridge, if it wasn’t for John McCutcheon and his group,” continued Mayor O’Connor.
“Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to re-live what was a wonderful experience in my life and for the recognition given to me today, thank you.” said John McCutcheon.
ROB DRAL The Standard
SCUGOG: Two people are facing charges, after fficers located a marijuana grow operation in Port Perry Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, July 12, officers received a call about marijuana plants located at a Port Perry residence. Officers attended and located 31 marijuana plants with a street value of approximately $31,000. A male was arrested at the residence and a female was later arrested.
Christopher Bray, age 21, of Portview Rd. in Scugog, is charged with Production of a Controlled Substance, times 2, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Cheryl Hurst, age 57, also of Portview Rd in Scugog, is charged with: Production of a Controlled Substance and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. Both suspects were released on an OIC Undertaking, with conditions.
Anyone with new information about this investigation is asked to call Cst. Corner of the Drug Enforcement Unit at. 1-888-579-1520, ext. 5832.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at, 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or sent online at, www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca. Tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.
ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: After 40 years in the auto sales industry, selling vehicles at Willamson GM Uxbridge, Brian Norrish is retiring, and excited to continue a lifelong passion of his and give back to the community that has supported him throughout the years.
After finishing high school in Uxbridge, Brian started out selling steel barns in the early 1970’s. When the recession of 1973 happened, the company Brian was working for went bankrupt, which led to Brian earning his real estate license and selling homes for a living.
Brian did not particularly enjoy selling homes, and during a trip to Stouffville, to buy his wife a used car, Brian was told that Williamson’s Uxbridge was hiring. Brian was initially looked over for more experience, but received a phone call a month later, asking whether or not he was still looking for a job selling cars.
For the first month at Williamson Uxbridge, Brian Norrish found himself working along side Alex Williamson, who he said had an enormous impact on his career, for the last 40 years, and taught him everything he knows. “I was very fortunate to have him as my teacher... I sat and listened to him sell cars for a month or so, and then he threw me out on the floor and away I went,” said Mr. Norrish. “It was a big deal for me to have Alex Williamson give me a start in the car business, it’s been my livelihood for 41 years, and he was the one who gave me the shot at it,” continued Mr. Norrish.
When asked what kept him motivated for the last 40 plus years, Brian Norrish says he simply liked cars. “I had always had nice convertibles... it just made more sense to sell cars. Mr. Norrish recalls spending hours on Friday nights talking with farmers, who would drop into the showroom to talk about the pick up trucks, while their wives were doing grocery shopping in town. It is those relationships with customers that Brian says he will miss the most. “It is very difficult for me to walk away from my customers. That is the hardest part of being retired,” said Mr. Norrish. “seeing the fourth generation of families running through the showroom, that is the kind of loyalty that is hard to walk away from,” continued Mr. Norrish.
Brian is now focusing his time and energy into another passion of his, Karate. Mr. Norrish is a 6th-degree black belt and has been practicing martial arts for the last 40 years. He teaches Shudoken Karate, Judo, and Akido locally in Port Perry, for the last 27 years. “Martial Arts is a way of life,” said Mr. Norrish, and it is that way of life that he wants to pass down to others.
Brian is going to be teaching karate and self defense to a blind man named Shawn. Shawn is going on a group trip in Paraguay and his friends reached out to Brian to see if he could create a lesson plan, specifically designed for the blind, to help Shawn feel safer during his trip, and to show others that disabilities do not limit an individual in life. Brian is looking forward to the challenge, telling The Standard, he has never done something like this before.
The Standard will be following Brian and Shawn on their journey throughout the Summer. Stay tuned to The Standard to learn about Brian and Shawn’s progress.