DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Councillors were greeted with the first wave of opposition to a proposed cellular communications tower near Sandford at their meeting on the morning of Monday, June 3.
The tower, which is proposed to be located at 8699 Conc. 3 near Sandford was panned by Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy during a presentation from Duane Lovelace, a consultant with the Altus Group working on behalf of Bell Mobility.
"Residents vehemently oppose this tower, it is the worst location you could have chosen," Councillor Molloy said. "In my opinion it will negatively affect property values and residents may choose not to use Bell as their carrier if this tower goes in. This tower is only 3.5 kilometres from another tower near Zephyr, and this appears to be an abuse of the process."
Later in their meeting, councillors heard a presentation from local resident Wayne Welsh whose property sits adjacent to the proposed location. If approved, the tower will sit just 10 feet from his property line. "What's being proposed is a 60 metre lattice tower, which is the ugliest tower you can find. I don't think there's anyone in this room that wouldn't see red in my position," commented Mr. Welsh.
During his presentation, Mr. Welsh added that he had collected a petition with more than 90 signatures from concerned residents in the area.
Mr. Welsh also noted the recent influx of cellular communications towers in the rural areas between his Uxbridge home and Markham where he works.
"The green zone is becoming the red light district," added Mr. Welsh, noting the distinctive red lights that dot the rural landscape during nighttime hours.
Ward 3 Councillor Pat Mikuse agreed that the current proposal appears far too close to Mr. Welsh's property when taking into account the 100 acre property the tower will sit on.
"If there's 100 acres there has to be a better area for the tower than 10 feet from your property line," said Councillor Mikuse.
Meanwhile, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet, whose ward was at the centre of a controversial tower proposal last year near Quaker Village, explained the township's
frustration with Industry Canada guidelines that ultimately decide where towers can be located. "I agree that the notification process for these things stink," opined Councillor Highet. "We find it frustrating that we are the land use authority, but have virtually no say if the Industry Canada guidelines are followed." Councillor Molloy ended the discussion by vowing to fight the proposed tower alongside the residents of his ward.
"There are so many other areas this could've gone and residents are prepared to fight this," Councillor Molloy said. "We'll be back and we'll fill the room."
No date has been set for a public meeting regarding the project at this time, but once the project moves further along it will be part of the approval process.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Responding to the concerns of residents, the township is set to introduce a 'No Parking' zone on Albert St.
A report from Public Works Director Ben Kester, included in council's agenda for their meeting on the morning of Monday, June 3, outlined the rationale for the decision to implement No Parking on the north side of Albert St. west of Toronto St. North to Railway St.
"The original plan was to have no parking on the south side, and we heard differently from business owners that are there all day everyday," explained Mr. Kester.
Prior to making the decision, letters were received from both Urban Pantry and the Whimsical Lion that sit at the corner of Albert St. and Toronto St. North.
However, no parking was not the only Albert St. related matter discussed by councillors, as they also took time to once again bring up the long standing issue of a delivery truck from Home Hardware blocking the street while receiving deliveries.
"We've always done that, and the township put up signs saying that the street may be blocked," Mr. Kester explained.
The explanation did not sit well with Ward 1 Councillor Bev Northeast, who added that the move can cause delays for township residents travelling by GO bus.
"I don't care if that's the way it's always been, it's illegal," commented Councillor Northeast. "Now that bus service is there, it needs to be addressed. It's not fair to those bound by the bus schedule to have to wait for a truck to move."
Township staff will now work to investigate solutions for the delivery issues at Home Hardware, with results to be presented to council at a later date.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: North Durham residents will be lacing up their sneakers for an all-night fundraiser this weekend, when Relay for Life returns to Uxbridge's Elgin Park.
The popular event returns to Uxbridge for a second consecutive year on Friday, June 7, starting at 7 p.m. and running through the night until 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 8.
Last year, when the event returned to Uxbridge after a three-year stay in Sunderland, North Durham's Relay for Life event raised more than $50,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Uxbridge Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger, who sits on the Relay for Life organizing committee, recently told The Standard that he expects an even greater responce by the community this year before the event shifts to Port Perry in 2014.
"We had a great event last year. But, with Uxbridge handing the event off to Scugog for next year, we really want to have a great turnout and raise a lot of money," Councillor Ballinger said. "Ideally, we'd like to see 75 teams taking part to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Cancer Society."
Those wishing to get involved can visit www.relayforlife.ca/northdurham for important information on starting a team for the event or making a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: With public voting for the new name for the Kennedy House recreation complex set to open on Monday, June 10, some councillors remained underwhelmed by the choices.
"I'm still really unhappy with these names," commented Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy. "I'd like to go back to the residents and ask for more names. They're not significant names and I don't think anyone is really happy with the proposed names."
When public voting opens on Monday, four names will by vying to become the new moniker at the recreation complex, located at the corner of Ball Rd. and Main St. North: Uxbridge Activity Park, The Fields of Uxbridge, Uxbridge Commons and Uxbridge Athletic and Recreation Common, also known as "The ARC."
The final name underwent a slight reworking at council's meeting on the morning of Monday, June 3, following a report from Township Manager of Recreation and Culture Amanda Ferraro.
In her report, Ms. Ferraro detailed the change from the original 'Uxbridge Activity and Recreation Common' to 'Uxbridge Athletic and Recreation Common.'
"The committee wanted activity, but after seeing that there was already another choice with activity in the name, it was decided to change it back to athletic as was originally submitted," explained Ms. Ferraro.
Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet again defended the choices made by the re-naming committee as he did when the four names were originally presented.
"This committee was struck to create the formula and council has had many opportunities to revisit that process. But, let's move forward with the process we've started and not change course because some of us aren't satisfied with the names," said Councillor Highet.
However, Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle argued that the process was already changed when the committee was directed to move away from potentially having a person's name attached to the facility.
"The process was changed halfway through and we should change it to no restrictions," added Councillor Mantle. "I think there are some names that would be before us if the process hadn't changed halfway through."
Later, after Councillor Molloy asked how he would go about blocking the names from going to the public, Deputy Mayor Bev Northeast weighed in on the matter.
"I don't think we should add more names. The original intent was to bring forward four names to the public," said Councillor Northeast.
Still, Councillor Mantle remained steadfast in his commitment to bring forward all possible choices for the complex.
"We are already in the process by saying that we can't include a person's name," commented Councillor Mantle. "Which is all the more reason to reconsider it. Ultimately, any name could be chosen by council, we never voted that we would accept the name voted by the public."
Despite the protests from Councillors Molloy and Mantle, the voting is still set to open next week.
"Let's put it to the public and see what happens," said Councillor Northeast.
Voting for the new name for the Kennedy House complex will take place on the townships web site, www.town.uxbridge.on.ca starting on Monday, June 10.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
SCUGOG: On Monday, June 3, Mr. Subs Port Perry will once again be hosting their 'Subs for Seniors' promotion, with a portion of all sandwiches sold that day going towards the activity fund at the Community Nursing Home.
Although they have raised $20,175.52 over the past four years of the event, brothers Spiros and Dimos Vovos told The Standard that it's not just the money that makes the event so rewarding.
"From the start we've said that it doesn't matter if we raise $20 or $20,000 because it all makes a difference," Spiros said.
On Monday, June 3, Mr. Sub will be donating one dollar from every 12-inch sub sold, and 50 cents from every six-inch sub sold towards the activity fund at the Port Perry Community Nursing Home.
As they are quick to point out, this is not just a Mr. Sub event, as they are greatly assisted by their numerous sponsors in making the annual event so successful.
"Our sponsors are at the heart of this fundraiser because they start things off with a monetary donation, and allow us to really hit the ground running," explained Spiros.
Sponsors for 'Subs for Seniors' include: The Window Store, Mister Convenience, Monte Carlo Hair Fashion, Oak Ridge Gold Club, Captain George's, Scott Property Services, Weisflock Contracting, HMC Roofing, Global Pet Foods, Pro-Finish Floors, Engage Construction Group, RG Mechanical, BJ Short at ReMax, Fill-Up Fuels. You're So Country, M&M Meats, Port Perry Denture Clinic, Marcelle's Kitchen, Tiki Hut Tanning, Smoke Shack, Shagg's Hair and Body Works and Fitzgerald's Auto Service, with Ontario Graphic Solutions providing graphics and artwork for the promotion.
According to Spiros, aside from the great sponsors, 'Subs for Seniors' has also received great support from the community at-large since its launch in 2009.
"Part of me is surprised at how much it's grown, but not really surprised at the same time," Spiros said. "Because it's such a great, tight-knit community with great fundraising. We really believe in what we are doing, and people are already contacting us about being involved next year."
The outpouring of support makes it all worthwhile for the Vovos brothers.
"Words can't describe how great that feels. That others want to get involved and be a part of 'Subs for Seniors,'" added Spiros.
The brothers had first-hand knowledge of having a loved one living in a nursing home, when their mother spent four years in a home in Whitby.
"We saw first-hand the necessities these nursing homes need, so we decided to start a fundraiser for the activity fund at the nursing home to provide more opportunities for residents," Spiros explained. "Plus, June is Seniors Month, so it's a perfect way to kick it off."
In addition to the 'Subs for Seniors' promotion, local residents can also aid the fundraiser by participating in a donation draw until Tuesday, June 4 at 10 a.m.
There are several great prizes to be won this year, including Blue Jays tickets when they take on the New York Yankees in August, a PS3, 2013-14 Leafs tickets donated by Steven Fox of Port Perry, a round of golf for four at Oakridge Gold Club donated by the Anderson family, as well as a total of three Sony MP3 players.
For Susan Smith, Program Director at Community Nursing Home Port Perry, the fundraiser is a tremendous boost for the residents.
"Thanks to Mr. Sub, we can bring in more people to entertain residents and provide more bus trips, and really increase what we do here which then increases the quality of life here at the Nursing Home," Ms. Smith told The Standard.
Ms. Smith added that, in past years, special programs have included a visit from Zoo to You, boat cruises, bus trips and special outings, such as treks to Windreach Farm.
"The residents and I can't express our appreciation enough for what Mr. Subs does, because without these funds we wouldn't be able to do as many things that make the Community Nursing Home so special," said Ms. Smith.
Businesses that wish to make June 3 a 'sub day' and wish to pre-order subs for their company or staff are encouraged to call ahead at 905-985-1090.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The students at Uxbridge Public School had an out-of-this-world experience last week as they joined in a national sing-a-long with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
The school was celebrating Music Monday on May 6 when they joined with other schools across the country to participate in an on-line sing-a-long broadcast via the internet from the International Space Station.
An avid amateur musician, Hadfield co-wrote the song 'Is Somebody Singing?' with Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies.
The entire student body at UPS gathered in the gymnasium to take part in the event, which was streamed live over the internet.
"It was a wonderful experience, and really turned out well with all of our students, from kindergarten to Grade 8 taking part," UPS Vice Principal Marg Snider-McGrath told The Standard.
"We were thrilled that he was singing from space, and we were singing right along in our gym."
In the lead up to the event, UPS music teachers Lisa West and Carol White had the task of teaching the song to the students, which became infectious amongst the students leading up to Music Monday.
"Every time you walked down the hall, everyone was singing the song, trying to learn it for the big day. Everyone was really into it," added Mrs. Snider-McGrath.
The school's art department also got into the spirit, as Wanda Dickson helped with students as they created a large rocket ship that was displayed in the gym during the event.
Following the intergalactic sing-a-long, an assembly was held at UPS as they celebrated the richness of musical talent within the school.
The school's bands, choirs and drummers all took part in the celebration of music.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The process to rename the Kennedy House property will now be turned over to the public, following council's meeting on the morning of Monday, May 13.
Despite initial misgivings from councillors regarding the four potential names for the site put forward by the Kennedy House Renaming Committee - Uxbridge Activity Park, Uxbridge Commons, The Fields of Uxbridge and Uxbridge Activity and Recreation Commons (or short form 'The ARC') - councillors voted by a slim margin to adopt the recommendation in a report by Recreation, Tourism and Culture Manager Amanda Ferraro, and turn the matter over to public voting via the township's web site.
Prior to any discussion on the matter, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet voiced the opinion that since Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor was absent, discussion on the matter should be tabled for the second consecutive meeting in order to have all council members present.
"This is going to be a council decision so all of council should be here," proposed Councillor Highet.
Ultimately, councillors would decide to proceed with discussion, and the possible names were met with criticism from Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy and Ward 3 Councillor Pat Mikuse, who argued that the submissions lacked any historical references to Uxbridge.
"I don't think that we've looked at historical value, and haven't seen any submissions that speak to that," said Councillor Mikuse.
Councillor Molloy also expressed concern that only 19 possible names were submitted. However, Ms. Ferraro clarified that while the committee only received 19 submissions initially, a second round of submissions pushed the total to between 40 and 50 possible choices.
"Quaker was looked at, but the committee thought it would be confusing," added Ms. Ferraro, who noted that the western portion of Uxbridge is already home to Quaker Hill as well as Quaker Village and Quaker Commons.
Later, Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger asked about the inclusion of 'Uxbridge' in every potential name, as it appeared to limit the scope of the choices.
"Why do we have to have to have Uxbridge in there? It makes it tough, why did it come about this way?" inquired Councillor Ballinger.
Ms. Ferraro noted potential corporate sponsorship of facilities at the site as part of the rationale for including 'Uxbridge' in the possible names for the site.
"The committee had a long discussion about that. If you have Uxbridge in the name, it could be confusing," said Ms. Ferraro. "We already have the Rotary Skate Park, and could have the Canadian Tire Aquatic Centre, for instance. And we thought it'd be good to have Uxbridge in the proper name because the facilities might have sponsored names."
However, once the matter of Uxbridge's inclusion in the name was clarified, new reservations were voiced by councillors after it appeared that the guidelines for the naming process had changed without council being notified.
"After we had the first 19 submissions, the CAO (Ingrid Svelnis) joined us and we were directed that the library may end up there so we thought about having culture in the name," explained committee member Brock Clark. "We were guided to have Uxbridge in there and not have a person's name."
Mr. Clark later added that he did suggest using a person's name, but that idea was met with little enthusiasm from other committee members.
Ward 4 Jacob Mantle then proposed widening the pool of possible choices.
"Council set guidelines initially and if those guidelines changed, it should've come back to council," said Councillor Mantle. "Let's see some other names. I like the idea of putting it to a vote, but maybe we can have ten instead of four."
Councillor Molloy would go one step further, and proposed that the public be allowed another opportunity to submit names for the site, which is located at the corner of Main St. North and Ball Rd.
"The names seem clichéd, and I know our community can do better," opined Councillor Molloy. "It's not something that has to be done today, and needs to go back to the public and we need a push to get more submissions with no strings or criteria. This is going to be there for a long time and we need to get it right."
In response, Councillor Highet defended the committee, and the submissions it produced.
"Why have a committee if we're going to override the submissions they came back with? It should be the committee choosing the name, not members of council," said Councillor Highet. "We need to create a name that will be timeless and goes in a new direction. There are a lot of people that have moved to town recently, and have no idea what Kennedy House or former St. John's lands even means."
After a motion from Councillor Molloy to go back to the public for more input was defeated, a motion to approve the four submitted names and post them on the township's web site for public voting was passed with Councillors Ballinger, Highet and Mikuse voting in favour.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: A new residential development could become a reality in the near-future pending an agreement to bring 1,000 truckloads of fill onto the site.
Prominent local real estate developer Fabio Furlan appeared before council on the morning of Monday, May 13 to outline his plans for the development at the corner of Reach St. and Coral Creek Dr., also known as phase five of the Estates of Avonlea.
"The land is like a soup bowl, and needs 9,000 to 10,000 metres of fill, about 1,000 truckloads to level it out," Mr. Furlan told the members of council.
Tentative plans call for the one-month program to start this summer, and Mr. Furlan has already been in contact with Uxbridge's Brook Acton about supplying clean fill for the project.
Mr. Acton added that details of the project, including the source of the fill, monitoring as well as traffic and truck routing will hopefully be taken care of shortly, adding that they expect between six or seven deliveries per hour, for a total of between 60 and 70 trucks per day.
"We're going to do everything we can to limit the amount of truck traffic," said Mr. Acton.
Wishing to avoid the stagnant state of other developments around Uxbridge, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet inquired as to how quickly fill will be dealt with once it is brought onto the site.
"It'll be dealt with right away. I want to get started on building infrastructure and getting a draft plan of approval so I can start selling to the public," explained Mr. Furlan.
Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle then asked the pair if they would be paid for fill coming onto the site, and if that meant the project fell into the category of commercial fill operation.
"Yes, we will be paid, but only to cover trucking costs," said Mr. Acton. "We could be bringing gravel from a pit, and it'd be the exact same thing, but this presents a more economical option."
Councillor Mantle and Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger later expressed concern over the amount of trucks considering that there is a school crossing in close proximity to the site.
"I have some concerns about the school crossing. We dealt with similar issues with the co-op project (the since stalled construction of the First Leaside building in downtown Uxbridge) and they didn't go through when the crossings were used in the morning and the afternoon," said Councillor Ballinger.
According to Township Clerk Debbie Leroux, the next step in the development will be a meeting between the township and the developer to finalize the details of an agreement on the project.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Playground equipment was badly damaged during a weekend vandalism incident in the Testa Heights area of Uxbridge.
According to Township CAO Ingrid Svelnis, damage from the incident - which included a playground slide badly melted due to fire - is between $7,000 and $8,000.
Councillors were split on how to remedy the situation at their meeting on the morning of Monday, May 6.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor first motioned not to replace the damaged pieces of playground equipment this year, citing increased insurance costs.
"A substantial piece of the equipment is still there, and every time we make an insurance claim, our insurance goes up. Furthermore, our deductible is almost as much as the equipment costs to replace," explained Mayor O'Connor.
However, not all members of council agreed with the mayor's sentiments, as they thought not replacing the equipment would be unfairly penalizing the community at large.
"We need to be proactive and get after the culprits, not penalize the residents who regularly use this equipment," added Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet.
Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle sided with Councillor Highet, and proposed that funding to replace the equipment come from the municipality's Future Capital Reserve as a way of circumventing a possibly costly insurance claim.
Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger also spoke up in favour of replacing the
"We have to replace that. Just like with graffiti, if you leave it there, it goes
up all over," said Councillor Ballinger. "It looks bad for the town, and I don't
want kids to see something that's been burned. I also don't want those responsible
to be able to walk by and look at it and get satisfaction from it."
Public Works Director Ben Kester later clarified that the damaged equipment had been removed by township staff over the weekend.
After Mayor O'Connor's motion not to replace the equipment in 2013 was defeated, she closed the discussion by taking aim at those ultimately responsible for the vandals.
"I don't blame the kids as much as I blame the parents," added Mayor O'Connor. "Where are the parents in all of this? These incidents are not happening at 10 p.m. after all, they are happening much later in the night."
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Later this year, Uxbridge Secondary School will be hosting a party that's been 90 years in the making.
Several events have been planned between Friday, June 21 and Sunday, June 23 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Uxbridge Secondary School.
Since October 2011, a committee made up of former staff and students, as well as current staff has been meeting monthly in preparation for the celebration in the hopes of providing a memorable experience to all former students at USS.
The official kick-off for the event occurs with opening ceremonies, which will be held in the USS gym on Saturday, June 22 at 10:30 a.m.
"We are planning to showcase current student talent at the opening ceremonies," said Peter Morris, a former teacher and principal at USS, currently serving as Chair of the Reunion Committee, to The Standard. "We plan to have dance, drama and bands perform as well as unveiling our athletes of the decade and our Athletic Wall of Fame."
Events continue during the day on Saturday with a staff luncheon and golf tournament.
On Saturday night, there will be a pub night at Uxbridge Arena, with organizers expecting almost 2,000 people to attend. Those interested in attending the Pub Night as well as other 90th anniversary events will have to pre-register at www.USS90.com and purchase tickets in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
"In 1998 at the 75th anniversary, we had people coming to the door buying tickets, and we ended up exceeding capacity," explained Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger, who also sits on the reunion committee.
"So we put in a control that you have to pre-register to attend. We've had people register from as far away as Australia and British Columbia and over 2,000 people are expected to attend."
The dance will be split into two areas - the vacant ice pad and the Arena Hall - in order to provide a comfortable experience for all in attendance.
"The committee has learned from past experiences, and the reason for the two rooms, is that the Arena can be very loud with the music playing. So, the other side will be more of a quiet room where people can catch up with former acquaintances without having to raise their voice," explained Mr. Ballinger.
Sunday will see many more events around town to commemorate USS' 90th anniversary, including a pancake breakfast at the Legion, family events at Elgin Park and sports in the school's gym.
The Committee has crafted a web site, www.USS90.com, which to date has been visited more than 20,000 times.
With so many visitors travelling from great distances to attend the event, Councillor Ballinger expects a great turnout for the event, and great stories from former classmates.
"It will be a great opportunity to meet some people you haven't seen in awhile. For instance, one of the gentlemen registered on the site is a former classmate of mine now working as a women's wrestling manager in the United States," said Councillor Ballinger.
"And, this is a guy who originally came from a chicken farm outside of Uxbridge. I expect a lot more stories like that to come out of the weekend. It'll be a great time and hopefully we have a lot of former students come and share in a great experience."