Sunday, 31 May 2009
Ray Kelly, long known as a municipal politician in Colborne and Cramahe Township passed away on Sunday, May 31 in Kingston.
The former Reeve of Colborne had been in hospital for several weeks at the time of his death.
Long time friend, colleague and political adversary, George Boycott, praised Mr. Kelly.
"He was a nice guy. I always appreciated him," stated Mr. Boycott, himself a former Reeve of Colborne. "Ray always had a story; he loved horses and old cars and was a staunch Liberal," remembers his friend. "Ray may not always have agreed with you but he was honest," recalled Mr. Boycott.
Another former Colborne Reeve, Walter Rutherford recalls that Ray Kelly joined Colborne Council in the 70's.
"Ray was always very much concerned about the welfare of the ratepayers of the community," stated Mr. Rutherford. "He wanted to make sure council got a good deal for the people of Colborne." It was Ray's feeling that council shouldn't get "carried away and spend a whole lot of money" if it didn't have to.
Cramahe Mayor Marc Coombs expressed his upsettedness about the news, noting the former reeve had given a lot to the community and will be sorely missed. Township flags will be flown at half mast in his honour.
Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi released the following statement: "It is with deep sorrow that I received the news today of the passing of Ray Kelly. In October of 2007, Ray opened his home to host the Premier of the Province of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty and over 400 McGuinty/Rinaldi supporters for a rally just days before the Liberals took a second majority government in October of 2007. I know how proud Ray was to be a liberal, to host his liberal friends and to share in this victory.
I'm proud to have known Ray Kelly, not only as a Liberal and a municipal representative, but as a good friend. On behalf of my wife, Diane, and on behalf of the Northumberland-Quinte West Liberals, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the entire Kelly family".
There will be a celebration of Ray Kelly's life at the Keeler Centre in Colborne from 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4.
Ray Kelly will be buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Grafton following a private graveside ceremony.
He leaves behind his son Shawn, his daughter, Raeann Rideout and her husband Jeff, and grandchildren Abigail and Carmen. He was predeceased by his wife, Patricia Ann Harnden, and son Mark.
He was 71 at the time of his death.
Saturday, 30 May 2009
Jennine Boyce, left, and Jessica Kuipers won an Honourable Mention at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Winnipeg this month.
When Jessica Kuipers and her partner, Jennine Boyce started their science fair project in January, 2009, Jessica had no idea it would even win a prize. She definitely never expected it would take her to Africa.
But the project, and a convincing letter to the adjudicators at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Winnipeg, has earned the grade 12 student a trip to Tunisia this summer to an international science fair promoting peace and international development.
In an interview following the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Winnipeg, Jessica explained the basics of their project.
The goal was simple - to break down organic material using pyrolysis. The result is pure carbon charcoal.
Pyrolysis is the burning of a substance and breaking it down without oxygen. Jessica adds that it can't happen naturally.
The 17-year-olds studied the effects of the resultant biochar on soil quality and found it consistently made plants stronger. They found an added side effect - it acted as a carbon sink.
They created the biochar in the snow. As the experiment unfolded gases were released; gases, like hydrogen, could be trapped and used. Every bit of the substance can be used when it is broken down this way.
They used wood in their experiment but Jessica says you could use any material with a carbon backbone. Straw, sewage and other materials could be used, and the young scientist says it could be made commercially viable.
"In an ideal world Canada could adopt the process as its own and use it to meet the Kyoto goals. It's green renewable energy," she says.
Jessica credits science teacher Liz Payette for getting them headed in the right direction. They came to her looking for ideas and she made a couple of suggestions. They were off.
Earlier in the year they took it to the Peterborough Regional Science Fair as a Chemistry Independent Study Unit in the Senior Biological Life Sciences Division. Jessica never thought it would entitle them to a trip to the 48th Canada-Wide Fair on May 9-17 - after all, only five qualified.
Their regional win earned them the trip to Winnipeg and scholarships from the University of Ottawa - a package valued at $3,500.
In the fall both young women plan to attend the University of Ottawa. Jessica is headed into nursing, while Jennine is off to study International Development.
Thousands enter the regional fairs. Only the best get to the national contest, the premier event of the Youth Science Council National Science Fair Program.
About 450 top young scientists in grades 7-12 are chosen from approximately 25,000 competitors at over one hundred regional science and technology fairs across the country. These elite participants compete in nine divisions and three age categories for medals and other prizes worth over $360,000. Judges include top scientists and industry experts.
An important goal of the event is to promote youth education as well as the passion and excitement of science. "We believe that young Canadian scientists are the next generation of innovators and this is an amazing event to encourage and support their interest" says Reni Barlow, Executive Director of Youth Science Fairs.
The girls were understandably excited to earn an honourable mention on the national stage.
Jessica, left, and Jennine become the first award winners to cross the stage at a Canada-Wide Science Fair in bare feet. Jessica had injured her foot the night before and Jennine took her shoes off in solidarity.
With the Canada-Wide experience behind her, Jessica launched her application to attend the Peace and Development Science Fair in Tunisia, July 22-9.
To get there she needed a project promoting peace and development, and an essay to demonstrate that she would be a good ambassador for Canada.
Excerpts from the essay are included below. In it she points out the values of community and the strong roles played by the women in her family.
"Community has always been a very important part of my life, and has had a major influence on who I am. My hometown of Brighton is a wonderful place, with a small-town, happy nature, and a strong sense of togetherness. Growing up in Brighton acquainted me with these ways, and it made me want to mirror these attributes in myself, and in my relationships with others.
Another strong influence in my life has been my family community, and in particular, all of the women of my family. My Oma always enforced a strong sense of faith in all of her children and grandchildren. My Grandmother was always involved in city councils, and firmly believed that if you didn't like something, you should work to change it. Lastly, my mother, Sherry, showed me how important an active family life is. I have adopted all of these traits and qualities as my own, and I know that wherever life takes me, I will always have these roots engrained into the person I am.
In her interview with Cramahe Now Jessica also pointed to the strengths of the men in her family. Opa Kuipers has maintained a strong religious commitment and always encouraged her. Grandpa Hopkins showed her the value of having someone to rely on. And her dad, Lou, is the hardest working person she has ever known.
She goes on in her Tunisia application to tell of her secondary school experiences.
"For the past three years, I have been involved in the Student Government of ENSS, two of which were spent as Prime Minister. I have really enjoyed this role, and have learned so much from everyone I had the opportunity to meet in this role.
For the past two years, I was also able to be a part of the Northumberland Chamber of Commerce, as the Student Representative for ENSS, and met many members of the community, all of whom were very proud of their community, volunteering many hours of their time to build it up. Through my involvement, I have met many amazing people, and I really learned there is much greater dimension to them than you might guess. If you just take the time to listen, you will learn things; some of which may be of a nature that you could not have imagined beforehand.
I have been to Africa once, undertaking relief work in the impoverished country of Zambia. This experience was very much an eye-opener, seeing the many who owned nothing, and had none of their family members left.
It was even harder yet to come back to Canada, and see people concerned about what they would wear or eat the next day, when, in Zambia, many people were considered lucky to have more than one outfit, and never even knew if they would eat the next day.
This experience gave me optimism, teaching me to appreciate everything I have, and treat every day as a gift.
I hold true to a very strong Canadian background, and next year I plan to begin my career in the Canadian military, wherein I will complete four years of schooling to become a nurse, all the while training with the military during summers.
After these years of schooling are complete, I will become a regular member of the military, in my chosen profession of nursing. During my unsuing years of service, I will be an ambassador of Canada in areas abroad and unknown, dependant on whichever area they call me to. I am fully prepared to follow wherever I am called to go in this military duty, and am very excited for the opportunities it presents to me.
Everyone is an ambassador. Whether they know it or not, every single person is representing their nation, race, generation, belief, or gender. There are many good ambassadors and there are many bad ambassadors.
I believe that I will be a good ambassador for my country and my peers, representing my generation in Canada to those from different cultures."For more photos from the science fair click on Jessica Kuipers
The new gates will be activated in the main visitor lot on Wednesday, June 3 and in the
ED lot on Friday, June 5. The change marks the latest in a multi-phase project to
improve the parking payment process at the Hospital.
With the move to the new gates, NHH will introduce the option of credit card payments
and, further, permit people to instantly receive hard copy receipts for use for tax or other
The entry gate to the front visitor lot will remain in the same location, but the exit gate will
move from the north side of the front visitor lot to the west.
When the new gate mechanism goes live, visitors will be required to pay for parking
inside the Hospital, at one of two on-foot pay stations. One will be located in the ED. The second will be located at the front door of the hospital, beside the Inquiry Desk. Payment will no longer be accepted at the gate. Pay stations will accept cash or (newwith the new system) credit cards.
Effective June 5, parking tokens will be discontinued for all Northumberland Hills
Hospital parking lots.
There will be no change to the current $5 flat fee price for visitor parking at NHH at this
time. The hospital will review the traffic data the new system will generate and, from
there, determine how best to price parking rates going forward.
The press release reiterates that NHH is committed to offering reduced rates for short-term use. It is expected that at least two months will be required before sufficient data can be gathered to determine exactly what that new visitor pricing will be.
Questions or suggestions regarding the parking process at NHH should be directed to
Elizabeth Vosburgh, Vice President, Human Resources and Quality, at
email@example.com or 905-377-7759.
The Blue Dragons Senior Captain David Quinn will compete in two events, the Senior Boys 1500 metres and 3000 metres based on his 4th and 2nd place finishes. Rookie Rueben Meens will compete in two individual events, the Midget Boys 100 metre hurdles and the 300 metre hurdles. He also was a part of a Midget Boys 4 x 100m relay team that qualified by finishing 4th in their race. other members of the relay team include Kyle Tilley, Josh Field and Darrin Morgan.
Jordan Langridge was the only Blue Dragon to win an event, as he won his specialty, the 800 metres for Senior Boys in a time of 1:55.85. Langridge should be one of the favourites in what will be a marvellous Sr boys 800 metre final next week.
Other athletes to qualify were:
Wei Wei Yan Jr Boys 300 metre hurdles
Jake Maynard Jr Boys 100 metre hurdles
Rachel Windsor Open girls 1500 metre Steeplechase
Julian Rhebergen Sr boys 3000 metres
Blue Dragons also had a number of 5th place finishes and numerous personal and season best performances!
The University of Toronto will be the site of the OFSAA Championships, a showcase event for the best of high school track and field. This is the largest high school meet in all of Canada!
Friday, 29 May 2009
Admission is only $10 and you can dance the night away. Doors open at 8pm with the show starting at 9pm – 1pm.
All proceeds for the door and bar will go to the Colborne Cramahe Figure Skating Club!
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Thursday, 28 May 2009
In less than two months over 3,600 readers have read over 7,300 pages. This week we hit new highs with over 600 readers in the past seven days and 140 on Thursday alone. Those readers read over 260 pages.
The 3,600 readers more than doubles our readership in the last month.
Thank you for making Cramahe Now your first choice for local news and events. Tell your friends.
At its meeting last week the committee advanced several new ideas for the August 1-2 weekend.
Norm Hawley is working on a committee to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists at Adolphustown. Mr. Hawley presented some possibilities for Colborne's 150th. A Fife and Drum Corps, a re-enactment, settlers, and an encampment of Loyalists and Yanks were mentioned. Norm will follow up these possibilities.
All supported the presence of these historical events as part of the Colborne weekend celebration. The emphasis would be for Saturday events, but if some could stay and be part of the Gospel Hour and bell dedication on Sunday, that would be welcomed.
Diane Patterson reported on a number of old-fashioned children’s events such as hoola hoop contests,3 legged races, egg-on-a-spoon etc. The preferred location is the south end of Victoria Square. Help from high school students and other volunteers is needed. Prizes will need to be purchased or donated.
The three area United churches are proceeding with ahistoric tea, and Cathy Galt is adding a quiltshow, bot to be located at Colborne United with the Salem and Eden churchesassisting.
A 4x8 sign worth $200 will be produced.
Community Services Director Dan O'Brien reported that a larger gazebo had been ordered. The new 14x24 model will be completed by July 17. It will cost $3000 more than the original model because of the increased size but is still within the budgeted amount. A landscape architect will advise the location and landscaping of the new additions to the park including the bell.
Janice McKnight advised that the geocaching event is Saturday only from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. An end-of-day gathering for all geocachers will take place at the Legion.
Brochures for the golf tournament have been prepared.
The town crier will be invited to attend the 150th weekend and announce the kick-off of the weekend events.
The Eagle band from Trenton has been booked for the Gospel Hour on Sun. 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Permission has been granted to use the corner of King and Elgin for the Friday night movie. “Transformers” will start at 8:30 p.m.. Cramahe Minor Hockey has been contacted to provide “munchies.” Liability insurance will be provided by the township. One portable toilet will be ordered.
The Legion is having a BBQ at 6 the same evening.
The parade route was discussed. It will start at the Keeler Centre, going north to North St., up Victoria St to King, then west to Victoria Square. After it reaches the Square it will run along
Church St. West, down Toronto Rd. east along King to Division and back to the Keeler Centre.
Tim Post has agreed to be the commentator for the parade.
Rose Sheldrick has formed a sub-committee to choose the Colborne Ambassador. Posters will be made and specific criteria will be developed. Males and females are eligible. Fred Drehlich will design a medallion for the winner and other prizes may be considered.
Committee Chair, Pat Westrope, reported that the afternoon entertainment may include : Mitzi Barth, the Fetching Wenches, Mandy Inglis, Cheryl Casselman, The Fife and Drum band, and Alderville First Nations Drummers. and Ernie Stoneman’s group. Diane Patterson will host.
Next meeting :Monday, June 8. at the Keeler Centre. 7 p.m.
We often learn the value of teamwork, make lifelong friends and realize the benefits of physical activity through participating in sport and recreation. Wouldn't it be great if every kid could feel that same excitement? Jump Start wants you to help give kids a sporting chance.
Research has indicated that 1 in 3 Canadian families cannot afford to place their children in sport and recreation activities because of financial barriers.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart helps kids in financial need across Canada participate in organized sport and recreational activities of their choice. Canadian Tire Jumpstart has helped over 151 000 kids play.
In 2008 it helped pay for swimming, hockey, gymnastics, dancing, curling, cheerleading, baseball and skting programs for 58 local kids.
National in scope but local in focus, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program is delivered through 279 community chapters across Canada. Chapters are made up of Canadian Tire Dealers and community partners who identify children who could benefit from the program.
In Cobourg, the chapter works very closely with organizations such as The Salvation Army and others to ensure Canadian Tire Jumpstart funding gets right to children who need it most.
During the weekend of May 30 and 31, Canadian Tire will donate $1 on behalf of all customers that shop the store so that over 20 000 kids in financial need will be given the opportunity to play!
Also on the May 30, your local Canadian Tire store will be hosting a Sports Spectacular in the parking lot to generate increased awareness of the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program. The event will take place between 9:00 and 3:00 on Saturday, starting with breakfast.
Wheatabix has generously donated cereal for 300+ kids and Metro has partnered with us to provide milk and other treats. Breakfast will be followed by games and chances for kids and their families to win prizes from energizer and other generously donated items.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Ms. Kerr traveled to Pakistan in January 2007 with her Pakastani common-law-husband for a three week visit. She was at the airport on February 1, 2007, waiting to board her flight for the trip back to Canada. She had passed all security checks, had her passport stamped, and was relaxing at a table in the pre-boarding lounge, awaiting her boarding announcement.
In accounts to friends, the woman told of a stranger coming to sit across from her at the lounge table. After sitting for approximately 10 minutes, the stranger arose and moved away from the table. Ms. Kerr noticed that he had left a travel bag beside his chair next to the table and thought that he was planning to return to pickup the bag.
When her flight was called for boarding, she was surrounded by a team of Narcotics Force officers. The unattended bag contained 6.22 kilos of heroine. Ms. Kerr was detained, arrested and charged as a drug trafficer.
After being imprisoned for close to a year in Islamabad she went to trial in Feb. 2008, was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail.
The other three defendants, all Pakistanis, were acquitted last August. One of the three, 61-year-old Saleem .Ahmed Khan, was her common-law partner and the father of two of her three children. They are now aged five and six. Saleem now lives in Pickering.
Her supporters always maintained there had been a miscarriage of justice.
Back in Canada it wasn't any simpler. Her children ended up in the care of relatives in the Belleville area.
With the assistance of former Liberal MP, Paul Macklin, Cramahe resident, Joan Byrnes, took up Ms. Kerr's cause. She established a website ( http://www.helpdebkerr.com/) and a trust fund through the CIBC to raise money for Ms. Kerr's legal appeal and for basic needs in prison where conditions are atrocious.
Tap water for drinking and bathing is rationed, the prison food was inedible and prisoners rely heavily on help from outside.
The sitting MP for Northumberland-Quinte West, Rick Norlock, has been assisting Ms. Kerr's family since 2007 when she was first arrested, working with her parents and children and getting the kids the kind of help they need. In addition, Canadian consular officials in Pakistan have been in touch with Ms. Kerr since February 2007.
Ms. Byrnes stated recently that Ms. Kerr told her she is in poor health. "She's very sick, she's very thin, she's very tired," Byrnes said. " She ingested a parasite from the food."
Ms. Byrnes also said Kerr told her she won't move back to Brighton and will settle elsewhere.
On May 26 he replied, accepting the agreement. Johnston Motors' direct affiliation with GM will end by the end of this year.
But the owner of the Colborne/Brighton based dealership has not been sitting still.
His company, Johnston Motors, will continue, in the short term at least, with its current employees selling new stock and used vehicles as it changes its focus. Ultimately the company will sell used vehicles and service new and used vehicles.
To his many customers it will appear to be business as usual.
Future plans include Dana working as a sales representative for one of the surviving GM dealerships in the area which should offer his customers more choice.
Having had some time to reflect on his options and the coming changes, Dana is somewhat philosophical about the whole thing.
He admits he's had more time than many to get used to the possibilities. Johnston Motors has been selling new GM vehicles for 54 years. Despite the obvious disappointment, "That's a pretty good run," he reflects.
"I do feel greatful about what has gone on in the past. People thought we were doing it right. We have good and loyal customers and I look forward to continuing to meet their needs."
Dana feels he will be representing a stronger company in the future.
To read the whole history of Johnston Motors in the community click on Johnston Motors history
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Quotes were sought in order to get the work done before baseball season starts.
Two written quotes which Community Services Director Dan O'Brien got ranged from $29,910 to $36,708.
With an $18,000 shortfall, Mr. O'Brien proposed the money be pulled from other budgets.
He suggested that $9,000 budgetted for a fence to separate Division Street properties from Rotary Centennial Park was not an "effective or practical solution to citizens' concerns". Neighbours had felt that the people creating the problems would simply go around a fence.
He picked up another two grand which had been set aside for a building sign for the Keeler Centre. It is not enough and the signage problem is being resolved in another way.
There was another $5,000 in the 2009 budget for wheelchair access to the side door of the Keeler Centre. The township has applied for grant funding to pave the parking lot. The access issues could be addressed in that work if the money is granted and the parking lot project goes ahead.
Fence and backstop repairs were estimated to cost $20,000 but will cost only $18,000 - another $2,000 found.
All other budgetted work will continue.
Mr. O'Brien faced one more obstacle.
According to township regulations any work worth over $20,000 must go out to tender. Mr. O'Brien asked that council waive the rule for this situation and accept the two written quotes he had gotten.
The Community Services Director assured council he was confident the two quotes he received were reasonable after talking to people in Brighton. Later in public question period he explained that he "went to the marketplace" to get the names of companies which had done this kind of work. He had received two written quotes.
He had taken the low quote but was not sure of the name of the company when asked at the meeting on May 19.
Council voted to go ahead with the work and to waive the necessity for tenders.
Township Chief Administrative Officer Christie Alexander promised to get the name when asked on May 26.
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Monday, 25 May 2009
ELVIS IS COMING TO THE COLBORNE LEGION!!!
On Friday, June 5, the Colborne Legion will be having a roast beef supper from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. for a cost of $10.00. This will include a delicious roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, dessert, tea and coffee.
Then, from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. the “ultimate “Elvis” performer Gary Wesley and his wife “Patsy Cline” will be back. And I have just been advised that their friend “Roy Orbison” will also be performing.
Prepare to get “all shook up” for just $15.00 per person.
If you want to come for dinner the cost is just $10.00 and if you want to stay for the wonderful performance the cost is only $15.00 per person. Where in the world can you go to dinner and be entertained by Elvis, Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison for only $25.00 for 3 hours of amazing music??
Tickets are available at the Colborne Legion bar and I’ll bet they will go quickly.
Flyers have been placed around the Colborne area for quite a while and I will be putting a real advertising blitz on in the next week.
The Colborne Legion is open every day at 1 p.m. and I would suggest you get your tickets in the next couple of days to ensure you get a seat for this performance. I had the pleasure of hearing Elvis and Patsy perform back in February and they were so good that I intend to get my tickets this afternoon for their upcoming performance.
To give you some idea of just how talented they are, I was talking to their promoter this morning and he advised me that they are currently in Las Vegas and will be there until just before their Colborne performance. Wow!
Hope to see you on June 5.
Also, just a reminder that The Colborne Legion has been asked by the Apple Blossom Tyme Committee to put on one of our “famous” dinners for Saturday, May 30. We, of course, readily agreed.
This dinner will be from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. and will cost just $9.00. We plan to serve stuffed pork tenderloin with apple cinnamon gravy, potatoes, vegetables, and a couple of “apple” themed desserts. Everyone is very welcome.
We plan to provide music in the Club Room from 4:30 until 7:00 p.m. and I would like to invite everyone to come on over to the Colborne Legion and enjoy the Club Room and our great patio deck before, during and after dinner.
One more thing! On Saturday, July 25 The Colborne Legion will be having a mixed golf tournament. This will be 9 holes of golf at Salt Creek Golf Course with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
$45.00 per person includes a golf cart, a meal and lots and lots of prizes. The first 44 people who sign up and pay are in!!! This is for men and women and you don’t have to be a Legion member to play. For more information please call Judith at 905-355-2279.
Most of the crowd planting the Cramahe Ecology Garden were members of the Cramahe Horticultural Society. Their goal was to give a healthy start to the new garden in Rotary Centennial Park.
On May 25, after much planning and hard work the Ecology Garden was dedicated in a brief ceremony headed by President Shirley Stalford.
Cramahe Mayor Marc Coombs was there, putting in some sweat equity and offering his congratulations. Mayor Coombs praised the society members for continuing to do more in the community, adding that the garden was a "fantastic project".
Some of the early records are sketchy, but the church's current organist Dik Habermehl has pieced the history together.
Thirty years after Colborne's founder Joseph Keeler arrived with 40 settlers in 1793, a Methodist Church was formed in the village.
Seven years later, in 1830 or 31, the congregation set about the first of several expansions. In 1862, 1875, 1890 and again in 1968 the building grew.
The first record of the presence of an organ is in 1910. It is possible a pump organ was used before that date. This would seem to be verified by the mention of an organist in the 1890's.
By 1900 the congregation had swollen to 400 and 10 years later the records show there were 200 children registered in the Sunday school. A larger organ was needed to accompany the singing.
In 1909 Daniel and Eliza Simmons initiated a committee to explore the options. Three companies were considered, but the committee members realised they were out of their depth. The final choice was left to the organist of the Metropolitan Church in Toronto.
That organ cost $1,900. The cost was covered by a $2,000 donation made by Mr. and Mrs. Simmons - twice a minister's salary at the time. The Simmons also paid the salary of an organist an an organ blower for a year.
The two-manual, 16-stop instrument had almost 900 pipes. An organist from Toronto nwas brought in for the June 6, 1910 dedication service.
The organ was pneumatic. Pressing a key would force air up a pipe and open a valve to produce sound. This system was relatively new but it was challenging for the organist who had to be a note ahead of the singers due to the delay in sound production.
Within 18 months the organ was malfunctioning and a repairman was brought in from Toronto.
When he opened up the organ he found a nest of rats which had been eating through the leather pipes. The repair cost $800.
But it was not the organist's salary that became the problem, nor was it repair costs.
The church could find no one to pump the air into the organ for the organist for the two services a week, choir practices and the organist's weekly preparation for services.
Finding no takers, the church handed the task to its caretaker. He did it for a year, then resigned in anger.
The ensuing solution was not satisfactory either.
The manufacturer suggested the church purchase a two-horsepower blower. The recommendation was ignored and they bought one half the size -with predictable limitations in sound.
The organ was removed in 1968 and replaced 11 years later with a Baldwin electronic organ.
It was replaced earleir this year by the current digital model built in the Netherlands.
The organ was purchased with money received from two estates. Dr. Frank and Marion Pember and Annabel Cleverly beqeathed money for the purchase of the virtual pipe organ which filled the sanctuary with sound on May 24.
The organ produces the equivalent sound of a 3,000 pipe organ.
Gone are the rats, the organ blower and the many pipes - but the magnificent sound remains.
If you want a sneak preview, click on "Castleton holy rollers" below.
Castleton holy rollers
Any if you want to buy one of the $3.50 meat pies, you might still be able to reserve one by calling Marion at 905 344-7601.
Saturday’s clinic will be located in the vacant store beside Northern Reflections in the Cobourg Mall. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The cost of photos will be $15.00. The cost of passports are $87.00 for adults, $37.00 for children ages 3-15, $22.00 for children under three years of age. If an adult’s passport has been expired for less than one year, then the individual is eligible for the simplified passport renewal. For further information contact the Cobourg Constituency Office at 905-372-8757 or Trenton Constituency Office 613-392-3382.
Sunday, 24 May 2009
Noted organist Ian Morton played works from five centuries. The pieces showed the many facets of the new instrument which the church was able to purchase through donations from two estates.
Dave Chapman recognised the contributions from the estates of Dr. Frank and Marion Pember and from Annabel Cleverly in memory of her parents Gilles and Mable McKay.
To see more photos of the dedication click on "Colborne United organ dedication"
Colborne United organ dedication
Saturday, 23 May 2009
The TRG letter written by President Allan Lafontaine argues that municipalities shouldn't have to pay taxes to the province. The tax of one government by another is a hidden cost that the group would like to eliminate.
TRG supports the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), stating that the tax is visible and governed by clear rules. TRG states the HST "should provide an additional much-needed cost reduction for Ontario business.
The TRG letter asks the province to fix the problem by July, 2010.
The township currently is rebated the 5% it pays to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Friday, 22 May 2009
This year the bikers on the 2nd annual ride will be in the village between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on July 7.
Last year, when the riders arrived in the afternoon, volunteers fed them strawberry shortcake. Tonwship Community Development Officer, Rebecca Goddard-Sarria advised Cramahe Council on May 19 that there are many things which can be done to make the riders welcome.
The Waterfront Trail Adventure is an eight-day, 740 km recreational ride from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Quebec. The anticipated 200 riders travel through 41 waterfront communities as they survey the changes and ongoing improvements being made to the trail.
Colborne is on day four which starts in Port Hope and ends in Trenton.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Their silver tabby, "Bill", was lying on the road near their Victoria St. home and a good Samaritan stopped to check on him. The cat was dying or dead and the unknown stranger scrounged up a box from a neighbour and took the animal to Northumberland Veterinary Services.
He was dead, but Rebeccah wants to thank the stranger for treating Bill with respect during the last few moments of his life
The reason Rebeccah is interested in finding this man is because he should be recognized for being so kind and taking time from his day to care for a cat he didn't even know. "I know that if my kids, who were playing outside at the time, had seen their beloved cat lying dead on the road they would have been devastated. My husband and I were at work and the kids were with a babysitter which would have made it even more traumatic for them. I don't know who hit Bill, but I don't even care about that since I have to believe it was an accident. All I'm hoping for is a chance to thank this kind man in person for being so considerate," says the cat owner.
"We have since buried Bill and he is resting peacefully with the butterflies and birds out on our property! It will take some time to get used to living without him but knowing he was well cared for in his last minutes and treated with respect makes it a little easier."
Anyone who can put Rebeccah in touch with the good Samaritan can contact her at 905-355-3192 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday, May 19, Northumberland United Way Executive Director Lynda Kay, with municipal, provincial and federal elected representatives on hand, officially launched 211, the free three-digit telephone number that gives callers access to information about a full range of government programs, social and health services, legal and financial assistance, food and shelter, and child, youth and senior services and programs.
Northumberland residents can now find the location of food banks, where to find help for an elderly parent or how to fill out government forms, said Pam Hillier, executive director of Community Connection, part of the national 211 system.
For many people, finding information about about services is very confusing, said Ms. Hillier. And many times, tracking down numbers in a phone book is a daunting task.
“If you’re looking for a food bank, it’s not listed under ‘F’ in the White Pages,” she said. “And in order to find Ontario Works, you need to look in the Blue Pages.”
The 211 service coordinates all the information in one place and is available 24/7. Each call is “live answered” confidential and multilingual. Through a three-way calling feature, 211 service is offered in 150 languages. Call centre employees are paid staff, not volunteers, and each is a trained information specialist.
With the launch of the Northumberland service, another 80,000 Ontarions now have access to 211. It is hoped the service will be province-wide by 2012.
The provincial government has committed $13.5 million to extend 211 across the province, commented Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi.
Statistics gathered in 2008 in the 211 Central East Ontario Region (southern Georgian Bay) recorded 15,000 calls to the service. The top five queries were about government information, health services/doctors, financial assistance, community support services, and mental health services. About 10 per cent of the calls dealt with information about basic needs – housing, emergency shelter, utilities assistance, rent arrears and transportation.
The 211 service will help track the needs of the community to determine service gaps.
It’s taken four years and many partners – start-up and infrastructure funding from the provincial government, community support from Northumberland United Way, dedication of service organizations such as info Northumberland and Community Connections Collingwood – to get the phone information service up and running, said Ms. Kay.
“If you need an ambulance or police, call 911. If you need a number for Pepe’s Pizza, call 411. But if you need information about services in your community, call 211,” added Ms. Hillier.
The 211 information service is also available toll-free at 1-866-743-7818 and online at 211Northumberland.ca.
Eleven town and country garden retreats in Brighton and Salem will be open to the public on Sunday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased locally at the Colborne Second Helpings Store on King St. E. and at the Clan Shoppe in Brighton.
For more information call 1-888-278-2484 or 905-373-4427 on weekends and evenings.
To view photos of the fling go to the right column and clickk on "Photo Galleries" then click on "Probus Spring Fling".
Cramahe Township Mayor Marc Coombs advised his Council on May 19 that the changes do not affect Cramahe. He's not sure that is a good thing.
Currently, when the 401 is closed, all traffic wends its way through downtown Colborne, jamming County Rd. 2 and disrupting commercial activities. The mayor wondered aloud about the possibility of having the trafiic routed north to Morganston and then east to Codrington.
The Northumberland proposal has traffic using current routes south of 401, but adds a northern alrternate route which travels along County Rd. 22 before heading south at Castleton and then through Colborne.
To create this split route the county would have to rehabilitate County Rd. 22 so that it could withstand the transport traffic. The county proposal is dependant on obtaining money from the Build Canada funding program. An application has been made.
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
East Northumberland Secondary School held the official ground breaking for a new 50-foot wind turbine which will be erected in the next three weeks.
The project was spearheaded and led by teacher Gwen McConkey, who with a small band of devoted students and staff and the support of the community, raised the $26,250 needed to pay for the environmental project which leads the way for the province.
Everyone present was all praise for Ms. McConkey.
School Principal, Jeff Kawzenuk quickly acknowledged the teacher's leadership role and the work of the students in her environmental club.
Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Chair, Sylvia Terpstra commented, "I can't help but be proud of them (the organizing group). Look at what the kids are learning, led by the teacher who has gone beyond her responsibilities. She has been fully supported by her kids and doing the right thing for the environment."
Cyndi Dickson is the area trustee. She thanked the teacher and students for having taken a leadership role and congratulated them for making a difference going into the future.
Brighton Councillor Dave Cutler spoke on behalf of the municipality, adding, "This is just another example of how ENSS is a great member of the community, leading us forward into the next generation with students leading the way.
Ms. McConkey says it's about leadership in education.
Through dances and various fundraisers the club members each year have added to the total. Community members, companies and 15 community groups have also pitched in.
Their contributions will be recognized in a two-wall mural created by the Art Club under the direction of retired art teacher, Gerald Banting.
Surprisingly, the project is virtually unaltered from the one presented to a handful of people on a blustery December day just over two years ago.
The wind turbine, which is expected to power all the school computers and is connected to the grid, is the first of three phases in the environmental venture.
Next up are solar panels, followed by an interactive computer learning centre which will be able to track the energy generation second by second. When it is finally completed, over $65,000 will have been spent.
Teacher, Wally Alderdice, is the project manager and will oversee the efforts of the numerous area contractors who have donated time and equipment to the project.
The Art Club works on the mural.
To view more photos click on Wind Turbine Gallery
Codrington Women’s Institute, the Kinsmen Club of Brighton, Knights of Columbus,
Lions Club of Brighton, Masonic United Lodge No. 29, Order of Eastern Star Colborne Chapter #82, Order of The Royal Purple, Presqu’ile Yacht Club, Rotary Club of Brighton, Colborne Rotary Club, Royal Canadian Legion Brighton Branch 100, Smithfield Coffee Club, Wooler Women’s Institute, and Northumberland Business Development Assistance Corp. and Northumberland Community Futures Development Corp.
We obtained $5,000 worth of gifts in kind including:
Cole’s Tim- Br, Electro- Cables Inc, Fledderus Concrete, Quinte Mobile Concrete Service, Rowley Electric, Indewey Excavating, MODU-LOC Fence, and Lou Kuipers Concrete.
We also received several donations from local businesses and the students of ENSS held countless fund-raisers.
It's the 12th annual event and this year is being played on the prestigious 200-acre Timber Ridge Golf Club north of Brighton.
Golfers paying the $125 fee will get 18 holes of best ball/scramble, a barbeque lunch, steak dinner, a gift, green fees, a power cart and range balls one hour prior to the start at 1 p.m.
There are prizes for top teams.
Sponsorships can also be purchased.
Just for the fun of it there will be a putting contest, silent auction, and wine tasting of Oak Heights wines.
For more information, or to register call 1-866-514-5774 or email email@example.com.
Money raised at the tournament will be shared by the Community Care offices throughout the County of Northumberland, including the one in Colborne.
Community Care provides a variety of programs in the community, including home help and maintenance, Meals on Wheels, friendly visiting and caregiver support.
The Colborne office can be reached by phone at 905 355-2989.
Earlier this month the governments of Ontario and Canada released the information about new grant money for recreation.
Community Services Director, Dan O'Brien asked council to allow him to request money for three projects estimated to cost $165,000.
Revitalization of the Earl St. tennis courts topped his list.
The $50,000 project would bring the courts to an acceptable standard and encourage accredited tennis programs, noted the director on his written report. In the opinion of the director the courts are now unusable for tennis.
The director would also like to see $45,000 spent on the basketball courts on Victoria St. The hoped-for work would be lined and allow the area to be used for basketball and road hockey.
If all his requests are approved by RinC the Durham St. skateboard park will be transformed into a children's playground to meet the needs of the kids in east Colborne. Cost of that is an estimated $70,000.
If all three projects are approved and the costs are accurate, then Cramahe will be on the hook for $55,000.
Mayor Marc Coombs asked Mr. O'Brien of the application was an "all-or-nothing" deal.
The director replied that the RinC evaluators could grant one or all of the projects and asked that the municipality priorize their requests. If approved, the projects should be done this year.
Deputy Mayor Jim Williams was quick to support the grant application, citing vandalism at Rotary Centennial Park. The deputy mayor expressed the hope that upgraded facilities would change the focus of some young people in the community so that they become involved in "positive recreational activities".
Councillor Ed Van Egmond had reservations and when it came time to vote, was the sole dissenting member.
He had concerns about embarking on projects which have not been discussed or planned. "We're putting the cart before the horse." he added.
To do it without planning just because it's free doesn't make sense to the councillor.
Mayor Coombs offered that somme of the ideas had been mentioned in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Councillor Pat Westrope was willing to throw her support behind the application of it could be tied into the township's Strategic Plan and the Parks and Rec Master Plan.
Council approved the contract worth $59,735 with the township paying $44,735 of the money. TDL Group, which is completing the Tim Horton's project, will pay the remaining $15,000.
Mayor Marc Coombs asserted that the township normally pays for a portion of this kind of expenditure. Couoncil agreed at its March 17, 2009 meeting to the cost sharing agreement.
Four companies bid on the work.
Cobourg Development Services bid $69,146. Dekeyser Excavating bid $80,505, and Balterre Contracting submitted a bid of $117,401.
Work will begin once TDL Group has signed the paperwork.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
MBC is launching stations in Exeter in June and Kincardine in July
Focus on getting new customers, focus on getting more for current customers, stop losing customers, and cut costs or expenses which don’t affect your ability to get and maintain customers.
Customer service is number one. Using Wal-Mart as an example, he pointed out that the giant store has a greeter when you arrive and numerous identifiable clerks who will help you find what you want. When you check out the cashier asks if you found everything you want.
At the bottom of his list was the value of offering a variety of products and keeping them in stock.
Monday, 18 May 2009
ENSS, has invited the news media, donors and dignitaries to the 9 a.m. ground breaking ceremony for the school's new wind turbine.
The "green" event will celebrate the next steps in the school's efforts towards environmental sustainability.
The ambitious environmental plan that will reduce the school's consumption of energy and lead the way for others was unveiled Dec. 13, 2007.
If all goes according to the original plan, the school will soon have its own 1,800-watt, grid-tied wind generator and 3,000 watt solar array valued two years ago at $65,000.
If installed according to the original plan, the solar array will be located on the south roof or south wall of the gymnasium. It will be tied to the school's electricity supply and produce usable power.
A wind generator will be installed on a 50-foot, free-standing monopole tower on the south lawn of the school just outside the gymnasium. It will be connected through a direct grid tie inverter which synchronizes the wind energy with the utility power being used in the school.
The goals of the plan are three-pronged - to reduce the schools ecological footprint, to teach the students and sponsors about renewable energy technologies and how they are implemented, and to provide a starting point from which other schools in the province can work.
The project will be implemented from the ground level, with students carrying much of the load. They will fundraise to pay for the equipment, assist in the installation and participate in the maintenance of the wind generator under the direction of a local contractor.
From the start the project was organized as a community venture. It will require community support and will be a beacon which exemplifies the community's commitment to reducing energy consumption.
The 2007 plan called for the system to be tied to an interactive and analytic computer
When it was launched over a year ago the organizers stated, “Students will have an increased sense of responsibility towards the environment through understanding and practice; there will be increased awareness of the sustainable power technologies available to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions; the school will have a reduced ecological footprint; there will be enough energy produced to power 236 computers each year (5,800 kilowatt hours); carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 2,500 kilograms per year. ENSS will set an example for other schools to follow and lead the way for home and business owners. The savings will be $820 per year using today's electricity rates.”
Staff supervisor Gwen McConkey related that seeds were planted for the project over seven years ago at a school sustainability conference in Ottawa. She and a group of students returned from the conference and wrote a sustainability plan for ENSS.
The wind generator and solar array are integral to the three-pronged energy sustainability portion of the plan.
The members of the Environmental Club at the school have been tracking and encouraging energy conservation through a program called Lights Off Computers Off (LOCO). It involves asking everyone in the school to turn off their lights and computers when not in use. The students have been checking classrooms after school at various times tracking 'wasted energy' - any electrical device left on when not in use.
From this data they have demonstrated that there would be a considerable cost savings, if 'LOCO' was fully implemented. The savings could be as much as $10,000 by simply shutting off all of the lights at the school when not in use.
The second prong has involved increasing the carbon sink - any natural mechanism that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on a temporary basis.
The students have worked for many years with the Northumberland Stewardship Council planting native trees at numerous locations. This year they have taken a new approach. Thanks to the generosity of the Stewardship Council, the students have been given permission to sell the trees themselves at the same low prices.
Trees have been sold at Applefest, Parent's Night and in the school during lunch hour. The response has been extremely positive. They have sold thousands of trees.
The school also manages a wetland restoration project. The students have been working for many years to increase the size of the wetland beside the school. Restoration activities have included annual staking of the area, planting native trees, regular clean-ups, and removing purple loosestrife. All this has resulted in a five-fold increase in the area of the wetland.
The third phase of the energy plan is the renewable energy section which includes the power generation.
As Ms. McConkey noted in her presentation Dec. 11, 2007 "The future is one where science and alternative technology will be the key to innovation and innovative technology is the key to our future."
Under her direction, the students of ENSS are getting a head start.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
The recent letter from Ms Ross touched on a burr that's been in my seat for a while.
Starting with the New Logo and Signage. While I must admit they are quite fetching, and the "In Our Nature" seems a proper fit as your driving through of our beautiful township, but the cost to implement this would probably be a good years salary to anyone not working in Cramahe.
Designing a new logo(twice) and all the tender confusion with the signs, not to mention changing our letterhead and public vehicles, and whatever else needs re branding, Cramahe council is putting the cart before the horse.
What I'm getting at is that it all seems to be a tourism grab, which is fine, but you have to get some steak with the sauce!! You'd think that anyone visiting Cramahe would easily find a place to go and actually enjoy "Our Nature". But you can't.
Is Cramahe Forest open to the Public? It sure looks well used. Why isn't there decent parking, a few picnic tables, a big map with walking or cross country ski loops? What about Lone Pine Marsh or Red Cloud Cemetery? I bet they'd like one of those new eco garbage cans that are all over town? Or maybe give them some free publicity on the big cupola at the 401.
And could we not have signs directing folks through our township to all the other nature venues around us, Goodrich-Loomis, Peter's Woods, Wicklow Beach? And I'm sure I heard that some of us live in that new Greenbelt area the tree huggers are trying to save and the government's pouring money into. How come we haven't cashed in on that?
Our own patch of water at Little Lake could use some attention. It's the only public place that I know of in the township for residents to swim, and more could be done with it. With the loss of the Rural Ramble, the real people that live closest to nature are again taken it in the teeth. This event brought hundreds of people to our countryside.
Why hasn't Cramahe done more to promote our local farms? The Northumberland Farm Gate Guide has a few listed but I'm sure there's more out here. And now thanks to another non enforceable By-law, they have to put up with ATV's cutting through their property or ripping up fields and cutting fence. Why has our council bowed to the city-ots who come out here and buy an acre and think they can drive where ever they want!
It just seems to me that so much attention has gone into Colborne's needs and the ongoing, much needed, repairs to Castleton's Town Hall that we've forgotten about all the natural little pockets of Cramahe that could be used to draw in tourists or be enjoyed by the good people that live here.
Some money needs to be spent on what we already have. Our township is way more than just Colborne and Castleton, and our current council has done many good things for those community's, but we still need more rural representation and there's and election coming up.
P.S. A gazebo would be nice in Victoria Square, and a way under $40,000 if it was made from cedar or pine from our forest, sawed at a local mill, and built by our local guys.
Friday, 15 May 2009
His May 4 press release is printed below:
PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS TO LOANS ACT WILL GIVE FARMERS BETTER ACCESS TO CREDIT
Canadian farmers who are finding it difficult to obtain loans due to the tightening of global credit markets can count on the Government of Canada. Today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz introduced new legislation to guarantee an estimated $1 billion in loans over the next five years to Canadian farm families and cooperatives, most of which will go to farmers and cooperatives who were previously ineligible.
“Canada’s farmers have always made such an important contribution, both to our society and our economy,” said Minister Ritz. “That is why we continue to work hard to ensure farming remains a viable career choice. These amendments will give new farmers, more agricultural co-operatives, and farmers taking over the family farm, easier access to credit to establish and improve farms.”
“Since being elected in 2006 our government has understood the challenges that face our farmers and have committed to working with them to find common ground concerning solutions,” said Northumberland Quinte West M.P. Rick Norlock. “This announcement will help the long term success of family owned farms, and that means success for all of Northumberland Quinte West.”
On Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper followed up on his commitment in Canada’s Economic Action Plan by announcing the introduction of legislation that would expand the scope of the Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperative Loans Act.
The proposed amendments would ensure that:
Farmers would be eligible for new loan guarantee limits of up to $500,000, which doubles the current limit of $250,000.
New farmers would be eligible for loans under the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act (CALA). Currently they are not eligible under the FIMCLA.
Agricultural co-operatives with a majority farmer membership (50% + 1 farmer members) would be eligible for loans of up to $3 million for the processing, marketing or distribution of farm products. Loans are currently limited to co-operatives owned 100% by farm members.
Loans of up to $500,000 would be available to help inter-generational farmers taking over their family farm. These loans are currently not available under the FIMCLA.
The name of FIMCLA would be changed to CALA to reflect its new focus.
To ensure the new program remains responsive to producers’ needs, a full review of the program will be done in five years.
The FIMCLA program remains in place while the amended Act goes through Parliament.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
The evening did not go entirely as planned though; the scheduled speaker had come down with a bad case of laryngitis and could not shake it in time for our meeting. In her place Ian Kennedy of Brighton arrived to show beautiful slides of his native South Africa. It is a shame that we could not have advertised his video tour better. We had a full house but everyone should see them.
For the draw, Shirley Stalford donated an arrangement of spring flowers and Lenna Broatch donated a wreath of spring flowers. The winners were guest Joan Wilde and member Nina Cockburn
Members being honoured this year for their years volunteering to our society included: Cicely Scroggs, Isobel Gummow and Gayle Barrett (all with 40 years of service in various capacities) and Doug and Cathy Galt (with over 15 years of service). All still passionate gardeners, they each spoke of getting involved in gardening at a very early age.
But the star of the meeting was the display of beautiful daffodils. The best of the blooms were decided by members as a People’s Choice and the winners were: Gayle Barrett for Trumpet, Cicely Scroggs for Trumpet-large, Sandra Compton for Trumpet –small, Mary Jackson for double, and Shirley Ross for triple.
Members look forward to seeing the community at the annual spring PLANT SALE, Saturday, May 9. Watch for our new banner and tents on King Street in front of Old St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Colborne.
There will be many tables of items for community members to browse. All proceeds go to cancer research. Organizer is Robin Lance. Phone number is 613 475-0540 during office hours
The organizing committee was informed at its meeting on April 30 that the township has allocated $4,000. Further money may be available through a heritage grant.
All businesses in the Cramahe Industrial Park have received notice of the event and asked to participate. Walter Rutherford will be asked to be Grand Marshall.
The township has money in its tourism budget for an outdoor movie. It was decided to proceed- site and name TBA. Brian Herley will look after low-level security and provide an adult presence.
The concensus of the committee was that we proceed with the construction of a gazebo. Council is in favour, also, Heritage will support the decision of council. Funds are available through a specific reserve account carried over from pre-amalgamation. A building permit will be issued.
Cramahe actor, Pat Patterson, has agreed to be the Town Crier and that the installation of the bell will proceed with the Community Services Dept. looking after the installation.
There are 70 registrations for the Colborne High School reunion being held the same weekend with an open house at the Municipal Office upstairs, a catered dinner and entertainment.
The geo-caching event is moving forward. Some locations have been decided.
The Colborne Band and Baton Corps is using the VBJ Centre and serving drinks/donuts. Displaying memorabilia. They will go in the parade. Doris Ring and Doris Turner and two daughters will attend.
A display booth at the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival on May 30-31 will promote the 150th. events.
This month the club is holding its meeting at the fledgling Ecology Garden at Rotary Centennial Drive.
Monday, May 25 is dedication night at the garden and the club will meet outside for the occasion.
Members are asked to please bring a plant or shrub to be planted in the garden that evening.
There will be refreshments available and don't forget to dress for the weather.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi wrote a lengthy letter in response.
We have included the initial segment below. The rest of the letter can be accessed by clicking on "Budget Letter".
April 5th, 2009
I thank you for taking the time to contact my office and share your views on the budget. I received calls before and after Budget 2009 was presented and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Firstly let me say that I think it is important and healthy to hear from my constituents it helps with the work I do on your behalf.
During a recession, business competitiveness and economic renewal are extremely important. Given the stark reality of the current economic situation the province had little choice but to make tax reform a priority. “A single sales tax in combination with other tax reform measures including reduced corporate and personal tax cuts will put Ontario on a path towards increased competitiveness, productivity and economic recovery that will benefit every Ontario resident and every business operator in the province.” A quote from Mr. Len Crispino, president of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. He went on to say “These are smart, but politically difficult choices, and are exactly the kind of leadership decisions we need to position us for recovery form these difficult economic times.
The income tax cuts along with the sales tax credits are both initiatives to help Ontarians while the single sales tax is implemented. Statistics show in other provinces that the single sales tax has brought savings to consumers in the first year and a further savings within 3 years.
You will find enclosed a copy of my press release which I hope you will take the time to read. To help families adjust to the new single sales tax we have made provision for more than $10.6 million in permanent tax relief and direct payments to families and individuals. This budget includes decreased income tax rates for 93 per cent of Ontario taxpayers.
Under the Build Canada Fund – Community Component it is applying for $250,000. for the Keeler Centre Revitalization – including parking lot rehabilitation/paving, portable indoor/outdoor stage and energy efficient lighting
Under the Infrastructure Stimulus it is applying for the following 3 projects:
Elgin Street Bridge Rehabilitation $400,000
Industrial Park Drive Extension $350,000
Durham Road North $350,000
The above projects have not been budgeted for by the township and therefore, work is conditional on receiving the requested funding.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
So Cramahe Council is proceeding with an unbudgeted item, a GAZEBO for Victoria Square.
Yes, Council has some money set aside in a reserve for this item (about $25,000). In my memory, it had been set aside because the community is conflicted about the location for the GAZEBO.
So, at a private, unpublicized meeting to finalize the budget (the meeting was not noted on the Township website and when I phoned on the Tuesday afternoon I was told that Council was not meeting that night), this Council brought the item to the top of the pile and attached some Investing in Ontario (CBJO) Funds to bring the total money to be spent to $40,000.
By way of explanation at the next Council meeting, Council said that they “always saw it in Victoria Square” and it was timely to help the 150th Committee celebrations. This confirmed what I’d heard ie, that Council had always intended to do what they wanted, not what the community wanted.
Later, Council said the Heritage Committee supported the proposal and that the previous objection was from the LACAC Committee and LACAC no longer exists – inferring that, therefore, all the objections had disappeared. And here I thought the Local Architectural Conservancy Advisory Committee had simply changed its name to Heritage Committee retaining their same purpose.
Then I read that it was Ted Pedlar who brought it forward. Was he at the budget meeting?
At the last Council meeting the Director of Community Services presented a source and picture of a 12’x24’ vinyl gazebo. The inside measurements might be 10’x22’ but with attached benches and the corners angled in, the usable square footage will be less than 220. Some details were to be verified ie, are the pillars a minimum of 6”x6” so that its construction will meet the local building code.
My questions are:
What is the purpose of this Gazebo?
If so, it is a pretty short-term and very expensive stage.
Is it to copy Brighton or Campbellford?
We have been told that Cramahe does not have a mission statement because it would only read the same as the others. Why not copy the pavilion at Cobourg’s Victoria Park?
Where will Council find the money to hire the entertainment? Will Council tap the pockets of the small businesses in the Village? Council should ask the companies and small businesses out of the Village where they now send their business.
For other uses?
The Community Care summer lunches will certainly not fit, they will have to continue to get a tent.
Why is Council creating yet another centre of activity?
The Keeler Centre is not yet finished – among many things, it needs signage, a name on the building, a covered entry, a paved and drained parking lot, lighting, landscaping etc and none of this was considered in the budget……
The Rotary Centennial Park needs signage, low voltage or solar lighting for security, sports equipment for the kids to play hockey or basketball etc, a paved parking lot, repairs to broken concrete, entry stairs to the concession storage area, a covered picnic area attached to the concession, barriers at the washroom entry doors and money requested for some of these items was removed in last years budget and not even considered in this one……
The natural area south of the Victoria St ball diamonds between Victoria Street and Elgin needs repairs to the drainage tiles – they have been stolen – the area is so wet it is no longer walkable and there is no money budgeted to make these necessary repairs…..
The Cramahe Forest has a partly cleared area for parking with no money budgeted to finish the project and it too needs signage as half of this community does not even know it exists…… and yet Council is building a gazebo
Council tells us they have no money to repair our roads; no money to conduct a train whistle noise study to allow the one percent of the Cramahe population near to the train lines a restful night of sleep; no money to complete Council’s job and responsibly install signs where Council has now allowed, by bylaw, the less than one percent population ATV riders, use of Township roads north of the 401, etc, etc, etc, etc... and yet Council is building a gazebo.
Does Council have any idea how many Cramahe residents are being financially affected by what is happening in the auto industry? …but Council will have a gazebo.
Just what gives?
If you must build a gazebo at this time of great financial concern, why not build it in the Keeler Centre location as a small outdoor event venue where washrooms, water and parking are already available at the arena building.
Another possibility is at Rotary Centennial Park where a covered patio area would be useful for the whole community and washrooms, water and parking are available.
Do not rush this.
Construction of this sort of structure can be a project that builds this community. It can be a project that defines the proclaimed policies of this community.
In fact, does Council even have a policy to ensure we are all represented? Will the structure be wheelchair accessible or will we taxpayers once again be required to spend great sums of money to modify it once the government funders learn how we spend their money?
Does this structure comply with Council’s proclamation that Cramahe is a “green community”?
When the issue of sludge spreading came to Council, Cramahe proclaimed it was a “green community” and did nothing to convey this proclamation to this community or to Northumberland Council or to the Provincial Government and sludge is still being spread.
A “green structure” would not be made of vinyl.
Shirley Ross, May 12, 2009