To the Editor,
I am writing in response to a notice of “Winter closure of municipal parking lot #2, Joe Fowler Park”.
It seems the township of Scugog regards the usage of this downtown parking lot unnecessary in winter months.
As an employee in the area I can tell you this is not the case. Many employed in the area use this lot all year long. And the businesses in this area are going to be majorly impacted by this decision as well.
But my biggest concern is the impact this will create on street parking in the area. Not to mention snow mobilers that park their vehicles with trailers on the lot when accessing the lake as well as those who partake in ice fishing. Our lake is a 12 month destination not just summertime.
I feel the closure of this parking lot will simply add to the current congestion of parked vehicles along Water St.
On behalf of the employers and employees living and working in this area as well as it being a tourist destination the municipality has to provide municipal parking to access the downtown and the lake.
I ask that the Public Works department reconsider this action.
After nearly a full year of build-up, the municipal election has passed, and with it, some sweeping changes have come through North Durham.
Without question, the most notable change was the election of Tom Rowett as Mayor in Scugog Township, as the local businessman ousted Chuck Mercier after a single term in office. Likewise, incumbent Scugog Councillors John Hancock and Howard Danson found themselves on the outside looking in on Monday night, defeated by Janna Guido and Jennifer Back respectively.
The winds of change were not as fierce in Uxbridge Township, with Pam Beach emerging as the lone candidate to successfully challenge an incumbent as she wrestled away the position of Ward 1 Councillor from Bev Northeast after 23 years in office.
With councils in Uxbridge and Scugog now made up of a healthy mix of experienced councillors and newcomers, the hard work will now begin for those still basking in the glow of election night victories.
The next four years promise to be filled with challenges as well as opportunities for North Durham, with the expansion of Hwy. 407 looming, as well as potential reforms to the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt Acts, which may open the door for increased development.
Future planning will be at a premium, as councils are tasked with protecting the interests of residents in the short and long-term, and hopefully solutions will be able to be found to the ongoing issue of an increasingly heavy burden on the local residential tax base, without drastic short-term solutions such as borrowing from reserve funds for one-time tax breaks.
It won’t be easy, but hopefully we have elected the best men and women for the job.
To The Editor,
We are pleased to announce that the Uxbridge Music Hall is, once again, fully operational and has begun its fall schedule of events. The Music Hall Advisory Board wishes to take this opportunity to acknowledge and express its appreciation for the manner in which the Township, Council members and all staff along with the Hall’s user groups and audiences, have dealt with the necessity to close the balcony area last spring and to repair some structural problems over the summer.
From first learning of the Board’s concerns, Township Staff and Council responded quickly. They assessed the problem, developed a plan and took the necessary steps to expedite a timely solution, one which would involve the minimum possible inconvenience to the Hall’s users.
The closure of the balcony created many challenging problems, involving everything from juggling schedules to compensating users for reduced seating capacity and even assisting scheduled users to move to other venues. The individuals involved responded to these challenges and developed viable solutions in exemplary fashion.
The accommodation and cooperation of the Music Hall user groups, especially those suffering the greatest inconvenience, were outstanding. Their understanding and support was invaluable and most appreciated.
Finally, we thank our loyal audiences for their patience and understanding in dealing with any inconvenience they may have encountered during this period.
In December, 1901, the official Grand Opening of the Music Hall and the efforts of that community to build this facility were celebrated. It is that same community spirit that drove this project so efficiently and successfully. We can all be proud of these achievements.
Members of the Uxbridge Music Hall Advisory Board
The seemingly endless saga of the municipal election will finally come to a close on Monday, Oct. 27, when Clerk’s Departments across North Durham tally the votes to see just who will represent us locally for the next four years.
As in the past, this election has generally been a cordial affair between candidates with everyone sharing the same goal of providing sound leadership to local municipalities.
Hopefully, everyone reading this will have already taken the time to fill out and return their ballot. After all, this is the time when municipal matters take centre stage, and with any luck, North Durham will continue to lead the way in the province in regards to voter turnout.
The next step will be for the community to stay engaged over the next four years, and ensure that those elected are following through on the pledges they’ve made over these past nine-and-a-half months.
The only real issue with the municipal election we at The Standard have had is, once again, the amount of time the process takes up. After all, if provincial and federal elections can be wrapped up in six weeks, then why does the lowest tier of government need almost the entire calendar year?
It’s been an enjoyable ride, and we would like to thank all of those who voted for taking the time to have their say in the future of their municipality. We would also like to thank all of those who put their names forward for having the courage to stand up in front of their peers and ask for the privilege of representing them.
As regular readers of The Standard will recall, we recently celebrated our 10th anniversary.
In all that time, for reasons that were not clear to our current Editor, we have carefully avoided any mention of some of our competitors, namely those owned by media conglomerate Metroland Media.
That all changes this week, after the Port Perry Star and Uxbridge Times-Journal offered endorsements for incumbent Uxbridge Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor and her Scugog counterpart, Chuck Mercier in their Editorials last week.
If you came here looking for the same, you will be sadly disappointed. Because we at The Standard have always avoided that Costco-sized can of worms and will continue to do so.
Some newspapers make a point of endorsing candidates, and it’s a long-standing practice in this industry that has had great influence on a number of elections. It’s just not one that makes any sense when you are operating a community newspaper. We’re not the Toronto Star, we’re not the Globe and Mail, and we don’t want to be.
Our mission here is to do our best to bring you news that matters locally, not half-hearted attempts to tell you who you should vote for. We trust that our readers are informed and intelligent enough to make that choice on their own. Not to bow to the whims of an Editor based out of Oshawa, in a newspaper that has had next to no election coverage in the first place, so you have to wonder just where they’re getting their election news from. Odds are they aren’t digging through 30 flyers to get to it.
To the Editor,
On Sunday Sept. 21, Uxbridge Historical Centre presented historian Nancy MacLeod’s Victorian Fashion Show as a fundraiser for the Centre.
An enthusiastic crowd at the Uxbridge Seniors’ Centre learned all about Victorian fashions and traditions while enjoying delicious treats and teas from ‘Steeped Tea’.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a success – our volunteer models and dresser, the servers and set-up help from Ladies Lounge, and of course our enthusiastic audience! Thank you to the local businesses and community groups who generously donated prizes for the event - Avon, Curves Uxbridge, Cutie Pies and Cakes, Ladies Lounge, Nancy MacLeod, OnStage Uxbridge, Provincial Beverages of Canada, Quilters’ Cupboard, Scentsy, Steeped Tea, Sugar FX, the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society.
Nancy Marr & Rachel Sutherland
Uxbridge Historical Centre
In just a few short weeks, election season will come to a close, and with it, we will see the results from an extended job interview for several local residents.
For every elected position in North Durham, there have been great and worthy candidates come forward with the goal of representing their neighbours at the council bench, both locally and at Regional Headquarters in Whitby.
Just as the job description for councillors has expanded in recent years, so has their pay. However, it will still take a long time for the pay to catch up with the duties as councillors are still paid less than $30,000 annually for what has become - if done properly, and it’s not always, but that’s why we have elections - a full-time job.
It isn’t without irony that every four years we are asking people to sign up to run for a job that impacts thousands of local residents, and have them dole out millions of dollars in taxpayer money all for less pay than it would take to reasonably expect to be able to afford a home in the municipality they serve.
Compensation for local politicians is always going to be a hot button issue, but until such a time that municipalities can offer more worthwhile pay, aren’t we shortchanging local residents by guaranteeing that many more qualified candidates simply can’t afford to be a full-time councillor?
The pool of candidates is already rich in talented and resourceful people, but it could be so much more.
To the Editor,
Prior to voting on Oct. 27, I urge all residents of Scugog to pay particular attention to what is happening at the Greenbank Airport.
We live in Ward 1, and it is not a matter of NIMBY. The airport has been in operation for years without any concerns.
The airport was sold in 2012 and the new owner/owners are expanding the runway. Take a drive out to see what has happened since then.
They have purchased the adjacent former Hill property and we expect it will also require landfill. This could continue for years. Their answer as to why the runways had to be raised so high was “safety of vehicles on highway 47”.
It has become a great concern that lack of Federal and Provincial Legislation has allowed the site to become a landfill.
One of our greatest concerns is the possible contamination of the entire water system in Scugog and beyond. This could impact all of you.
Imagine living near the following:
- 200 (waiting for approval to increase this to 400) trucks travelling past your home six days a week for 10 to 12 hours a day
- soil piled so high (50 to 70 feet), that it blocks your beautiful view
- noise from tailgates slamming throughout the day
- your home, including the lawn covered in dust
- your vehicle getting covered in dust and mud as you travel the road
- careless truck drivers who frequently do not obey the stop signs
- vegetation and wildlife disappearing
In addition, the above will probably have an effect on our property values. Who would buy a home near an operation such as this?
This is what is happening in our area.
Your Ward may be the next, because this is a lucrative operation for the township.
At your all candidate meetings, please ask your candidates their position on these projects.
In cooperation with the airport, protocols have been put in place. However, many of them are being ignored. It appears the current council cannot or will not enforce these rules with consequences.
The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) does not routinely monitor fill operations in aerodromes/airports. It is up to our municipality to do much more testing than it has done.
The current council and mayor say their hands are tied by lack of Federal and Provincial regulations. They are quick to say that they are leading the Ontario Municipalities in the fill industry. The question is, Is this where Scugog residents want to be lead?
Ray and Liz Perry
To the Editor,
I live in Port Perry... or should I say 10 minutes from town in Scugog Township.
It seems that our town forgets about us out here... that is until it is tax time. We have no city septic, no city water, no natural gas, no fire hydrant! No safe main road to access our properties. Snow removal is sketchy (only down the middle of the road) although in fairness to the snow maintenance driver, you can’t really drive on most of our road anyway. Our school children will tell you that their little bodies get so shook up going to and from school, that they are still vibrating when they get off the bus. I am surprised that we haven’t had a tragedy involving a cyclist I believe that every driver here has had a close call.
Our town council apparently feels that as they have us locked into our taxes that they can take our tax dollars wherever they personally want... downtown, new subdivisions (get more tax dollars locked in). I love our downtown, however, as an example, spending heaven only knows how much to see if they should rebuild a death trap that would cost millions if they did, when they have another lawsuit waiting to happen on our road. Where is logic and responsibility?
Our insurance is at least four times that of a home in town (no fire hydrant). Our property taxes average $1000 a month. It goes on and on.
When our neighbourhood had enough (again) last fall and everyone signed a petition to at least give us a safe road, council said in a nutshell... “OK, how much do you want your taxes to go up?”
Election coming up, is there anyone out there that has any concern for the citizens out of town? There are a lot of us that would love to know!
Ten years and more than 500 issues later, The Standard is still here.
This paper was originally founded to serve Scugog Township as an independent voice for the community, covering the news that mattered locally. Along the way, our coverage area grew to include most of what is commonly referred to as North Durham (Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock Townships) and the surrounding area. But what has not changed since those humble beginnings a decade ago, is the desire of our staff to tell relevant stories that connect with the community around us.
Through the years - as we pledged to do in our very first editorial - we have reported on the news local residents want to hear, the news people need to hear and sometimes the news people in this area may just as soon ignore.
When The Standard began printing in 2004, the world was shouting that newspapers were dying. In 2009, as we celebrated our fifth anniversary that same message was being screamed even louder. Yet we remain, because of the continued support of the community we are so privileged to serve.
Thank you for ten fantastic years. Because of you, there’s more to come!