Monday, 30 November 2009

Jirina gets her GG

Jirina Marton is pictured, right, with Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean at the Governor General's Awards Ceremony in Ottawa last week.

November 26 was presentation day for Colborne artist, Jirina Marton.

Jirina won the coveted Governor General's award for her illustrations in the children's book, Bella's Tree.

The book tells the story of a little girl who overcomes all obstacles in order to have a Christmas tree. Bella lives with her aging Nan who has given up hope of having a tree. Nan feels Bella is too small for the task.

Bella volunteers, and the story tells of her exploits leading to the finding of a tree which meets Nan's approval.

The plot follows a familiar path and one which is metaphoric to the career of the artist.

Despite earning an earlier nomination for a GG, five years ago Jirina was sending off proposals to publishers with little success. Now, through persistence and perseverance, she has won the prestigious award which she received last week.

In a lengthy interview posted in Cramahe Now earlier in November, the illustrator had not considered the parallels with her life, but pointed to the dedication at the front of the book. Jirina beamed as she told of her wonderful 10-year-old granddaughter, Katrina. Only a child, she has transformed the lives of those around her as she has challenged the limits of a genetic deficiency.

Jirina's grew up in Czechoslovakia and in France, before she immigrated to Canada about 30 years ago.

She started work on the book about two years ago after getting a call from her publisher, Groundwood Books, about the story set in the winter. The publisher knew she "knew how to do snow".

Jirina admits it wasn't an easy task to produce the illustrations. Four times Bella went out in search of the perfect tree. Each journey required a different illustration. Jirina feels that the illustrations in a storybook should augment the story line - a difficult task when you're illustrating the same scene repeatedly.

But she must have succeeded. Her efforts were rewarded with the award.

People who have read the book, and know Newfoundland have asked Jirina if she has been there. She hasn't. She visited the Maritimes once, briefly, and she researched thoroughly before embarking on this project.

It took about a year to complete about 23 full-size colour illustrations. She first worked with rough drawings which she showed to Groundwood for approval. When the illustrations were submitted, the publisher chose the 20 which were used in the book.

Jirina credits some of the success of her illustrations to living in Northumberland County where she is a member of the Colborne Art Gallery cooperative. "Living here allows me to see nature and the environment evolving," she remarks. Even elements of her home are entwined in the evocative artwork of the story. She admits she was inspired by the tree she sees from the kitchen window in her century home.

The artist is excited to have won the award. The three-member jury reviews close to 100 children's books before making its final determination

Asked how winning this year's award would affect her career and future earnings, Jirina was reflective. The income from sales of the book are relatively small. She acknowledges that she does the work for the love of it. She has no idea how her life will change; perhaps she will get more work.

An artist works by herself. She does something because she hopes it will please somebody. Jirina smiles as she recounts times when readers were overwhelmed or surprised by the authenticity of the illustrations.

The award is recognition that she is doing something right. "There are lots of good-quality illustrators. It's good to be among them." She chuckles as she says that Goodwood got her in her prime.

Copies of the Governor General's Award-winning Bella's Tree are on sale at the Colborne Art Gallery for $19.95.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Missionary Church hosts tea and sale

If these samples are any indication the food was excellent at the Prospect Missionary Church tea, bake sale and bazaar on November 28. Buyers could get anything from pots and pans to golf clubs - and all at the right price.

Santa sends a message

Santa has sent our Cramahe Now readers a message. Click on the link under the Santa Claus Parade photos.

Thanks, Santa. We know you and your elves are very busy at this time of year!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Was this parade the best ever?

The 2009 Santa Claus Parade may have been the best ever. The floats were colourful and the participants enthusiastic. The bands played, and played, and played.

And the crowds were large and animated.

                                                       It was a great night to be in Cramahe.

To see more Santa Parade Photos

Armed robbery at Mac's Milk

Northumberland O.P.P. is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Mac’s convenience store in Colborne last night just after 11 p.m.

A lone male entered the store brandishing a knife and made off with a small amount of cash. He is described as black, 5’9 slim build wearing a black ski jacket, blue jeans and a green ski mask.

He was last seen on foot westbound on King St. O.P.P. canine and emergency response team members searched the area with negative results.

Anyone with information can call Crime stoppers or Northumberland O.P.P.

Sgt Dale Gear
613 475-1313

Harold adds a nugget

Our good friend, Harold Harnden passed this tidbit on to us, a reminder that we have much better services now, but the sense of community has carried over many generations.

Colborne Ont. 1882; (Special to the Courier)
(Great fire in Colborne)
The Globe Hotel and sheds,Scott's Block,containing Post Office,Telegraph office and two stores. Mrs. Pomeroy's house,Dr. Gould's house and the Methodist Parsonage,all destroyed by fire last night.
Those in the hotel escaped in night clothes. Mr. Keys in shirt and overcoat. The Presbyterian and E.Methodist churches were saved with difficulty. The south side of main street is badly scorched. All the letters and valuables,safe and telegraph instruments were saved from the post Office. There is no provision for extinguishing fires,so the people had to look on and see it burn.

Police identify Brighton murder victim

On November 25 the OPP released a statement regarding a suspicious death in Brighton. The police force is now treating it as a homicide.

The details of the OPP November 27 update can be found below, along with the identity of the deceased woman.


(BRIGHTON, ON) – On November 25, 2009 at approximately 12:58 p.m., members of the Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment were dispatched to a residence on Raglan Street in the town of Brighton.

Upon arrival, a 38 year old female, now identified as Marie France COMEAU, of Brighton was discovered dead.

On November 26, 2009 a post mortem examination was conducted at the Office of the Chief Coroner in Toronto. As a result of this examination the death of the victim has now been ruled a homicide.

No further details on the cause of death will be released at this time in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation as it moves forward.

The investigation being conducted by members of the Northumberland OPP Detachment under the direction of Acting Detective Inspector Paul McCrickard of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch is continuing.

Police investigators are advising area residents that there are presently no issues with regards to public safety.

Police are requesting the assistance of the public and are asking that anyone who might have information in relation to this investigation to please contact the Northumberland OPP at (613) 475-1313 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Friday, 27 November 2009

Wreath making was great fun

A busy group of wreathmakers was hard at it on Thursday at Colborne Community Care. And they were all able to take home the fruit of their labours.

This is how you make it....

And these are the smiles of success...

Township announces light contest

Cramahe Township announced its annual Christmas Lights Contests with the press release below:

It’s that time of year again as the Township of Cramahe launches its annual Christmas in Cramahe Lights Contest.

Residents of Cramahe Township are encouraged to show their Christmas spirit by decorating the exterior of their home in festive lights and Christmas cheer and win!
Houses will then be judged on their best presentation with the winners receiving gift certificates.

For Villages of Castleton and Colborne residents – 1st prize - $50 gift certificate
2nd prize - $30 gift certificate

For Rural Cramahe residents – 1st prize - $50 gift certificate
2nd prize - $30 gift certificate

Judging will take place the week of December 7, 2009 with the winners announced shortly thereafter.

Teddies for Tragedies a gift of love

Cecilia Terpstra (left) knows that every bear she makes will find a good home and be loved. That's because she gives them to June Mallory (right). Mrs. Mallory makes sure they go to orphanages and third-world kids who need something soft to hold and keep.

Helping them hold the bears is Morgan Garland.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

ENSS Music Night approaching

East Northumberland Secondary School Music Night will take place at 7 p.m., December 10 in the Terry Fox Auditorium. Admission is $5; children under 12 are free.

Performances will include Razzmajazz, the Grade 10 Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Eh, the Concert Band, the Junior Band, and the Baby Blues Dragon Jazz Band.

Suspicious death in Brighton

The OPP issued a press release today regarding a suspicious death in Brighton -

On the 25th of November 2009 at approximately 12:58 p.m., members of the Northumberland OPP were dispatched to a residence in Brighton.

Upon arrival, an adult female was discovered to be deceased. The coroner subsequently attended the scene and the death is being treated as suspicious at this time.

An investigation has been commenced by members of the Northumberland OPP under the direction of Acting Detective Inspector Paul McCrickard of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch.

Further information is to follow pending notification of next of kin.

A post mortem is tentatively scheduled to be conducted on the 26th of November at the office of the Chief Coroner in Toronto.

Still not too late to enter a float

Santa Claus Parade organiser, Tracey Loveless sent us this reminder that it's still not too late to enter a float in the parade this Saturday.

Saturday is the parade and if you want to go in it, it's not to late. Just call me at 905-355-3488 or on my cell 905-396-0332.

As well if anyone wants to just help out with a monetary donation it would help out too. We were lucky enough to get a fourth band for our parade this year. So I'm very excited that it will be very musical this year.

I still wish more locate businesses would join us as it really is good advertising for them. They don't have to be grand floats or anything (but that would be good) Just maybe their work trucks cleaned up and decorated.

Of course anyone in Castleton can join in too.

OPP launches RIDE Program

The OPP announced this week that its annual RIDE Program starts this Friday.
The press release is posted below:

(Northumberland County, ON) – The holiday season is approaching fast and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind motorists of the danger of mixing alcohol with driving. This year’s annual OPP Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign will be in effect from Friday November 27, 2009 through to Saturday January 2, 2010.

As of November 22, 2009, 271 people have died on OPP patrolled roadways - 42 of which were alcohol-related collisions. The most effective tool in the reduction of these kinds of senseless deaths on our roads is prevention. While the OPP continues to conduct R.I.D.E. spot checks throughout the year, the Festive R.I.D.E. initiative has proven to be an effective deterrent and an important tool in educating the driving public about the dangers of driving while impaired.

During the 2008 five-week OPP R.I.D.E. initiative, OPP officers stopped 884,729 vehicles at roadside checkpoints. As a result, 319 persons were arrested and charged with criminal code alcohol-related offences. Officers also issued a total of 784 twelve hour suspensions and issued 353 ninety-day Administrative Drivers Licence Suspensions.

Since May, 2009, under the Safe Roads for a Safer Ontario Act, the former 12-hour administrative suspension for drivers whose blood alcohol concentration exceeds .05 milligrams has been replaced with a graded licence suspension period that includes a 3 day suspension for a first offence, a 7-day suspension for a second offence and 30 days for subsequent suspensions.

“Drinking and driving is a serious threat to public safety and remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. The tragic loss of life and the burden on the health care system that results touches every one of us at some point in our lives,” said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.

“Ontario Roads are among the safest in North America;” Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, Commander of the OPP’s Highway Safety Division said. While the OPP continues to conduct R.I.D.E. spot checks throughout the year, the Festive R.I.D.E. initiative has proved to be an effective deterrent and important tool to educate the driving public about the dangers of driving while impaired.”

Visit the OPP website at for regular updates of the results on the 2009 Festive R.I.D.E. program.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

School board seeks public input

In a press release issued last week the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board asked for public input on its operations.

The text is included below, including the contact information:

Along with school board’s from across the province, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board students, parents and community partners have an opportunity online to help the board update its pupil accommodation policy. Specifically, the Board is looking to update the factors that would be important to consider as part of both an elementary or secondary school accommodation review.

“Essentially, we want the people we serve to have their say on what are the broad, general categories that are important to both an elementary or secondary school. Areas such as how many students are within a school, the programs the school can provide, and whether schools can offer a full complement of co-curricular activities like music, arts or sports,” says Diane Lloyd, Chairperson of the Board. “We’ve been asked by the Ministry of Education to update our policy by March, 2010, and we are hoping our education partners will take a brief moment and complete this anonymous survey to help us update our policy.”

In June 2009, the Ministry of Education informed all school Boards that public consultation on school accommodation matters had resulted in the development of revised pupil accommodation review guidelines.

Boards are required to review their current policies, guidelines and procedures related to pupil accommodation to ensure that they align with the new Ministry directions. Boards are to approve revisions to pupil accommodation policies and confirm the approval to the Ministry by March 31, 2010.

The Pupil Accommodation Policy Review Survey is available now on the front page of the board’s website:

For additional information, please call:

Diane Lloyd, Board Chairperson, at 1 866 705 9150

Greg Kidd, Communications Officer - Public & Corporate Affairs, at 705-742-9773 or toll-free at 877-741-4577, ext. 2353

Coinwash suffers break in

On November 24 2009 the Northumberland OPP responded to a break and enter at Colborne Coinwash. Police report that culprits gained entry into the business and stole an unknown quantity of cash in coins.

Owner, Trish Davey reports that she believes the theft occurred late Monday night.

This isn't the first incident of this nature at the store. Ms. Davey says the Remembrance Day donation box and a small amount of cash were stolen on November 7.

The store owner is installing further security measures at the store to assist in the apprehension of the person or people involved.

Parliament Street gets the nod

Residents on Parliament Street will get their street work started this fall and those on Durham Street will have to wait until the spring.

Works Director, Barry Thrasher, confirmed on November 18 that Parliament St. is the project that will go this fall.

Work on Parliament will proceed as far as weather conditions allow, and the outstanding work will be completed in the spring.

There was some question earlier this fall about which street would be done first.

Tom Behan of Behan Construction, the contractor who bid on the work, advised Cramahe Council on October 6 that he could bid on both jobs but would only be able to start one this fall, due to other commitments. It then became a "race" to see which street would get all the necessary approvals first.

Parliament Street won. But perhaps the residents may not think so if the road is not paved until the spring and they drive on dirt all winter.

In October, Mr. Behan commented that Parliament Street will take more time to complete and will only receive one lift of asphalt. It will stand up better if the paving isn’t done until next spring.

The company will resurface the roads and improve the underlying services.
Work on Durham will cost $746,794 plus GST. Parliament Street will cost $707,640 plus GST.

The Durham costs will be paid from water reserves ($202,316), approved funding ($233,333) and construction reserves ($311,144)

Parliament Street costs will be paid from water reserves ($305,740), gas tax ($193,061), municipal levy ($150,893) and construction reserve ($59,732).

Deadline this Friday


A new elementary school for
Cramahe Township is scheduled
to open in the fall 2010. The
Kawartha Pine Ridge District
School Board would like to hear
your suggestions for a name for
the new school.

We encourage students, parents,guardians, staff and community members to send suggested names by Friday, November 27/2009 to:

Cramahe Township New School Naming Committee
Steve Girardi, Superintendent of Education:
c/o Bernice Roberts, Administrative Assistant to the
Superintendent of Education: Northumberland
Northumberland Community Education Centre
335 King Street East, Cobourg K9A1M2
fax: 905-372-1873

Each entry must include the sender’s name, position (student, parent, school council member, etc.), address and phone number.

Please provide background information and rationale, outlining
your reasons for suggesting the name. You may download a suggestion form from or obtain it from your school.

Board policy favours names that are based on people who have made positive contributions to society; the current or historical areas served by the school; the
street on which the school will be located; and the diversity of the school communities served.

Educating For Success!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

ENSS announces spring musical

A Nov 20 press release issued by the Board Office of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board announced the East Northumberland Secondary School musical scheduled for this spring. It states:

The staff advisors at East Northumberland Secondary School are pleased to announce that students and volunteers are already hard at work on the coming spring’s production of Seussical, the Musical. The production, written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, was first presented on Broadway back in 2000.

The story revolves around the characters of Dr. Seuss’ beloved books, in particular Horton, the Elephant, and his relationship with the people of Whoville. In total, the play draws on characters and settings from 17 of Seuss’ books.

Many of the lead characters will be portrayed by veteran actors of E.N.S.S.’ successful production of Beauty and the Beast; Danielle Sanders is undertaking the mischievous Cat in the Hat, Alex Prue takes on the faithful Gertrude, the bird, and Horton himself is being played by Nathan Sharp. The supporting cast of Monkeys, Birds, Who’s and even the Grinch are undertaken by a host of promising young student actors. Seniors, Tegan Lewis and Mallory Morgan, are joined by veteran Kirk McGhee (formerly the Pharaoh Elvis of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat) as the stage managers.

“We wanted to attempt a completely different kind of musical this time. And though Seussical provides some interesting challenges, our people are bursting with ideas about reaching a new summit in high school theatre,” says Phill Kinzinger, the show’s producer. A new choreographer has also joined the production team this year. Anna Gartshore, who has studied animal movement and physical theatre, is adding an extra dimension to the actors’ portrayal of characters.

Bruce Tonkin, the musical director, says, “the score blends a lot of musical styles together. Each character has their own theme; examples are found in the production of soul, pop, and jazz genres.” The pit band, which consists of twelve members, will join the action on stage for the first time in many productions.

The Seuss-locale feel of the production will owe itself to Angela Young, the Art Director. Since the early part of last summer, she has been working on various props and scenery, with the help of Gord Buxton. Both Ms. Young and Mr. Buxton are art teachers at E.N.S.S.

The teacher-director, Paul Hussey, and the producers are getting THINGS (1 and 2) in order for the performances, which will run from Wednesday April 28, 29, 30, May 1 through May 5, 6 , 7 ,8, 2010. This is definitely another E.N.S.S. musical extravaganza not to be missed.

Seussical, the Musical Director Paul Hussey instructs Jojo ( Aaron Robertson) on how to deal with a bathtub overflowing with fish!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Pit operators host public meeting

Pit owners Brice and Michelle Cotter and Mike Voskamp are applying for an extension to the gravel pit they operate on Telephone Rd. in Cramahe Township. As part of the process they hosted a public meeting on November 16 to explain their plans and to hear public opinion.

About 10 neighbours of the pit showed up to hear pit and quarry consultant Bernie Fuhrmann outline the procedures and put detail to the proposal.

Mr. Fuhrmann clearly outlined how any opponent can protest the change.

In the Aggregate Resources licensing process, anyone who opposes the plan has until December 7 to write to the owners and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), stating concerns. Mr. Fuhrmann suggested they could even write to him.

The owners will sit down after the December date, review the concerns, and possibly make adjustments to their plans. They will also reply to all the letters they receive.

Complainants have 20 days to respond to the owners' letters of reply. If they are still opposed they can meet with the owners and/or take the problem to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

If there are no objections at this stage, the owners will apply to the MNR and await a licence.

Residents can also fight the required zoning changes at the OMB. Mr. Furhmann says the Township of Cramahe has had all the required documents for about a month. Township Council simply needs to make a decision about whether to re-zone the land from agricultural to extractive industrial.

If the township approves the change, it must hold a public meeting. Anyone can appeal the decision to the OMB. If the township turns the request down, the owners of the pit can appeal in the same way.

Later in the meeting Mr. Furhmann cast a bit of reality on the prospect of an OMB appeal by residents. "Over 85% of pit material is used by the public and is therefore protected by the province," he stated. The pits fulfill public demand.

Mr. Fuhrmann explained to the audience how the pit owners were doing everything they could to make the pit more palatable. A portable crusher and screener will be allowed on site but there will be no washing done, and forested areas along the boundaries will be retained. The pit will be mined along the sides and then from south to north. Each area will be rehabilitated when the gravel peters out and before a new section is started. All excavation must remain 1.5 metres above the water table. Fences required along the boundaries will be constructed in consultation with the neighbours and accommodate their needs.

Hours of operation will be restricted, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. There will be no Sunday or holiday work without a special permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The consultant reassured the audience that they were much better protected than residents were 50, or even 20 years ago. If the Cotters and Mr. Voskamp break the agreement they have made with the ministry, they could lose their licence to draw gravel out of the site.

Mr. Fuhrmann was certain, under the restrictions of the proposed licence that no wells would be adversely affected by the pit. If it could be proven that the pit had affected wells, the pit owners would be required to rectify the situation.

He could not reassure one neighbour who wondered about restitution for lost property values. That issue has always remained out of the purview of the OMB.

If all goes well for the pit expansion it could be approved by the spring. If it goes to the OMB, the approval or denial of the licence could take up to a year-and-a-half.

There is enough gravel available under the current licence to last about seven-eight years, says Mr. Cotter. The current owners have been operating the pit for four years.

Under the new licence they will be allowed to draw 400,000 tonnes of gravel a year. Trucks vary in size, but that volume will translate into about 2,000 trucks a year if the maximum amount of aggregate is hauled.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Turning tragedy into hope

On August 9, 2008 Abigayle Kempton took her own life; the suffering was over. No longer able to cope with the bullying of her peers, the 14-year-old Baltimore took the ultimate step.

Her family was aware of changes going on in her life, but not the depth of them. Abi suffered silently, tormented by the actions of others who took advantage of her vulnerability and her size. Her parents got counselling for but it was not enough to stem the volume of her pain. The ordeal has left the family wondering how well anyone knows their children.

Her family has gotten beyond the grief and remorse of their loss and have launched a fundraising campaign to honour her memory. It started as a family effort, a scholarship in her name, but has grown in size and scope.

Over $25,000 has been raised and set aside in an account to fund three scholarships for students graduating from Cobourg secondary schools.

One of the family's biggest boosters in its campaign against bullying is Orletta Kernaghan. Never one to stand aside when she believes strongly in something, Orletta has been campaigning to increase the visibility of the problem and to raise funds for the scholarship which will need $75,000 to be fully funded for 20 years.

To date, she has raised $2,500. The vets at Northumberland Veterinary in Colborne were convinced of the merit and made a significant donation to the fund.

Roy says Orletta took up the cause right away. The Kempton and Kernaghan families attend Olde St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Colborne. "She's a wonderful ambassador for the cause," Roy exudes. "She's collaring people on the street. It makes us feel good that someone cares so much."

Area residents are familiar with Orletta's anti-bullying efforts. The Apple Blossom Tyme Festival opened for a couple of years with an anti-bullying ceremony organised by the woman who wins her way with a wonderful blend of charm and conviction.

She was at Northumberland Veterinary last week with Abigayle's grandfather, Roy, to thank the veterinarians for their generosity. It was an appropriate time - it was anti-bullying week. Her Uncle Royster and Aunt Dawn Clapperton were making presentations at the local secondary schools, hoping to make an impact on the lives of young people with Abi's story.

Following the photo, Roy chatted about the past year.

He says the whole idea of the family-led campaign was to raise awareness of bullying. It came together at Christmas. "There is nothing more dramatic than Abi taking her life," he notes. "We want to move on from the tragedy of her death."

The original plan was to set up one scholarship at Cobourg District Collegiate Institute West where she was headed, having completed her studies at Dale Road Public School. Her Uncle Royster, a teacher at the West, suggested the $1,000+ scholarship should be expanded to include all three schools. It will be awarded to students advancing to post-secondary studies who have demonstrated societal compassion and a high level of community involvement.

At the elementary school level the family is encouraging schools to develop anti-bullying programs and are providing gecko pins and certificates. Geckos were Abi's trademark symbol. Roy understands the literature which outlines the importance of getting messages to the kids when they are young. "If we sew enough seeds..."

Roy is surprisingly magnanimous for someone who has recently lost his granddaughter. He acknowledges there are "victims on both sides, including the bullies". He wants everyone who knew her to be involved and take up the torch. You get the feeling he includes the bulliers too.

 Salem Soup Days are here

Next lunch -
Friday, November 27

11:30 - 1:00

Soup, bun, dessert

coffee or tea

$8.00 person or

2 for $15.00

Salem Church

13875 County Rd. 2

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Christmas Comes to Cramahe

Christmas came to Cramahe Township this weekend. Three churches, two businesses and Castleton Town Hall were buzzing with people of all ages sharing some good times and often, spending their money.

There was lots to choose.

At Second Helpings, in its new store across from the gazebo, the staff and family members were modelling clothing which could be purchased in the shop at a fraction of the retail cost.

Castleton United Church was crowded on both levels. Upstairs exhibitors offered a range of gift items. Downstairs food was the main interest - from baking and jams to lunch.

Down the street the Castleton Town Hall was awash in Christmas glitter as Lana and her helpers guided shoppers to the many possibilities.

Hoselton's, hosting its annual pre-Christmas bash, was also helping the Northumberland United Way this year.

If you need it, they had it at the Prospect Missionary Church bake sale and bazaar,

And far off the east, shepherds watched the flocks of shoppers milling through the aisles of Salem Church. In the back with their gifts of pie, cake and muffins were the wise bakers.

If you forgot to go out on Saturday, there is still time to go to the Castleton Town Hall Artisans Show and to Hoselton's. They are open Sunday, too.

To see what you missed .... Christmas Comes to Cramahe

Friday, 20 November 2009

Can you sing? Enter the Country Classic Contest

Can you sing? Do you know a couple of classic country tunes? Then you could finish next summer $1,000 richer.

The Auction Barn Jamboree and the Colborne Rotary Club are joining forces for the first-ever Colborne Country Music Contest.

On August 28, 2010, just before the opening of the Jamboree the top entrants in the contest will perform before a live audience and a panel of professional country music judges, with the winner taking home the $1,000 top prize and possibly some studio time. Backing them will be Doug Deveaux's Sideman Studios.

To qualify you must provide a CD with two songs and a $20 entry fee. Details will follow. Watch for them on Cramahe Now.

The contest is open to non-professionals.

School gives building a boost

The filing of the permit for the new elementary school being built in Castleton gave the township a big boost in its 2009 building total. The school, estimated to cost $6,440,000, has raised this year's total building to $11,489,620.

In her October report, Chief Building Official, Natalie Moroz-Cornell included one new single-family dwelling valued at $250,000 on Concession 7. The total building started in October was just over $6.8 million. The total so far this year is $11,489,620. 2008 had the highest-ever total, with over $13 million in building starts by the end of October.

The October home is the 14th new home in the township this year, compared to 18 last year at this time. The single building start for a new home matches October last year. Discounting the new school, the monthly total is almost identical to last October. Two years ago, in 2007, three homes were started in the same month and 29 had been started by the end of October. That year saw four months with over $1 million in building starts.

2005 was the township/s best-ever year for housing starts when there were about 60.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Castleton Library holds Open House

The Castleton Branch of the Cramahe Township Library was open on November 17 - but only for an hour.

The branch closed last year to accommodate renovations to the Castleton Town Hall where it is located. It is not expected to re-open until the new year.

Cramahe Library Board Chair Ed Greenwood stated in a phone interview on November 19 that there is too much to do before the library opens to expect an earlier opening. Those who attended the open house on Tuesday will have noticed the computers were not set up yet. The wiring is in place for wireless internet service in the library and Jim Robinson has been hired by the board to connect them, but it will take time.

Mr. Greenwood was hoping the signal from the library would be strong enough to allow people to use the internet connection from the parking lot during off hours. But he thinks the current set up won't allow that.

There is no checkout desk. One has been located but it has not been assembled.

Staffing is the main issue.

Another staffer will be needed and there is the question of the CEO position, now held temporarily by former board member Peggy Klem. It is not clear at this time if Ms. Klem is interested in the permanent position and the board may wish to advertise before making any decision on the post.

At the open house on Tuesday the need for better lighting on the south side of the library was discussed. And details about the Heritage Room will need to be worked out.

Mr. Greenwood realises that there is a lot to be done by the six board members. He hopes to see board membership increase as this will help lighten the load. Most of the shelving and preparation for the opening was done by Ms. Klem and Peggy Malcolm, Southern Ontario Library Services Consultant.

More photos from the open house Castleton Library Open House

Welcome to Christmas in Castleton

Lana Taylor-Mills and vendors at the Christmas in Castleton Artisan Show were busy setting up Thursday and Friday for the weekend's activities.

Come in and relax

The theme for some of the diners at the Community Care Diners' Club on November 18 might have been, "Come in and rest those weary hands"> As part of the monthly activity the staff at Community Care try to bring in people who can make people's lives easier.

On November 18 it was Holly Ferguson of Polished Esthetics. Holly was offering a free hand massage to anyone who wanted to try it. The massage is often given as part of a manicure at Holly's downtown business. It was worth the five minutes, as the massage and defoliation removed the sandpapery roughness and relaxed the muscles.

Salem Tea and Bazaar

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, November 21

Salem United Church
13875 County Rd. 2

Sue Laberge presents cheque to library

Sue LaBerge presents a cheque for $659.43 to Cramahe Library Board Chair, Ed Greenwood. The money was raised by the Castleton Corn Roast and Street Fair committee she led. The money is to be used for the Castleton Branch of the Cramahe Library which is slated to open in January.

More photos of the Castleton Branch grand opening will be posted tomorrow.

Township issues progress report

The 2009 Cramahe Township Strategic Plan Progress Report was tabled on November 17 and members of Cramahe Township Council appeared to be quite happy with the contents.

Township Chief Administrative Officer, Christie Alexander, read the lengthy report which cited the accomplishments of the township in the past three years.

One of the highlights of the report was the list of grants received by the municipality, totaling $5,715,011. The biggest single grant, worth $4,250,172, covered the waste water treatment plant, scheduled to be completed by 2011. The township is on the hook for the remaining $1,375,000 to be paid from a recently negotiated low-interest loan.
The most recent grant of $424,932 is being spent on the township industrial park. Construction is currently underway on Purdy Rd. The Apple Blossom Tyme Festival was the recipient of the smallest amount, collecting $1,066 from the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation.

In her report, Ms. Alexander named several roads and bridges which have been repaired or improved. Improvements in the installation and removal of ice at the Keeler Centre were also listed, as well the renovations completed on the Castleton Town Hall.
Gateway and community identifier signs were among the accomplishments of the Community Development Officer, Rebecca Goddard-Sarria. The township claims to have made efforts to improve relations with its downtown merchants and township businesses.
The township also claims to have made progress in “greening” the community and in efficiency of its operations.

For a more detailed summary of the report go to Progress Report 2009

Broadband launch on December 8

The long-awaited arrival of high-speed internet in Cramahe Township is expected early in the new year. Cramahe Township Council announced at its meeting on November 17 that a launch will be held at the Castleton Town Hall on December 8 from 5-7 p.m.

To make it an event, the host, Barrett Xplore, will be giving out door prizes. The company will also be taking orders from potential customers who want high speed.

Most residents in the township now rely on dial-up service. With the new Northumberland County Broadband Project many will be ready to give up their phone service and go wireless.

Seven of the ten towers being erected across the county were complete as of October 31and are accepting customers. The tower serving Cramahe was delayed when Cramahe Council refused to sign off for the developers over a location issue.

This summer residents near the proposed location of the proposed broadband tower at 191 Neil McGregor Rd. in Cramahe Township complained that their concerns had not been acknowledged by Barrett Xplore. The company is required to allow a time for public response and was back at Cramahe Council on August 11, requesting concurrence to build the 30-metre tower. The report from Cramahe Development Officer, Rebecca Goddard-Sarria stated there had been one letter received during the public input period. She recommended that Council consider the request for a letter of concurrence.

Cramahe Council, did not send the letter but instead instructed Barrett to get in touch with the area landowners and consult. They did and the decision to move the tower delayed the process. Council sent its letter of concurrence on October 20.

That problem has been resolved to the satisfaction of most of the neighbours and the tower at Griffis Corners in the west end of the township should be in service by the end of the year.

Community Development Officer issues report

Community Development Officer, Rebecca Goddard-Sarria issued an activity report of her own at the November 17 meeting of Cramahe Council.

In it she lists 37 meetings attended and visits to five companies in the township. The report also includes her meetings regarding the broadband project and staffing for Tim Horton's. Ms. Goddard-Sarria completed the application which resulted in the funding for the industrial park work.

The report summarizes six community events in which she participated. It did not include any work done on behalf of the five Christmas-related events happening this weekend or the Santa Claus Parade next weekend. When asked what support was being given to publicize the inaugural Christmas in Castleton Artisans Show, Hoselton's fundraiser for the United Way, two Christmas bazaars and the Second Helpings grand Opening and fashion show, the Tourism official appeared perplexed and unaware of them.

Mayor Marc Coombs appeared uncertain at first about the events, but stated he thought the township would be waiving the rental fee for the Christmas in Castleton event at the Castleton Town Hall.

Under the topic of Community Development, the gateway signs were revealed last May and two village signs were posted at boundaries of Colborne. Ms. Goddard-Sarria arranged for two flag poles to be installed and prepared the bi-weekly ads the township places in

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Queen's Hotel to get year-round patio

Since 2001, the Queen’s Hotel in Colborne has been allowed by the township to erect a fence on the sidewalk outside its doors. The patio has been a popular addition to the bar, and since 2006 it has been a refuge for smokers who want to take their drinks outside in all weather.

In the 2001 agreement with Cramahe Township the Gilligan family which owns the hotel was granted permission to have the patio on condition that the fence be removed prior to the first snowfall.

In 2006 the fence remained up after the snow arrived and, according to a report filed at Cramahe Council on November 17, 2009, it was only removed after repeated requests by the township.

The report filed by Township Bylaw Officer, Jim Harris states the same problem occurred in 2007.

Prior to a very animated discussion, Tim Gilligan Jr, declared conflict of interest. Stepping out of his council chair, he sat at the delegation table and defended his family’s argument that a permanent fence should be allowed.

Mr. Gilligan Jr. took issue with some of the statements in the Harris report, questioning the dates of discussions referred to in the document and the existence of an agreement which council directed staff to complete in 2008.

Mr. Gilligan Jr. claimed, that Cramahe Council had supported the year-round fenced-in patio on January 15, 2008. His recollection appeared to be confirmed by two of the remaining three voting members of council. Councillor Pat Westrope was the only member who had no understanding that council wanted to approve a year-round fence.

Deputy Mayor Jim Williams felt there had been agreement to allow it but wasn't sure about the duration of the agreement.

Councillor Ed Van Egmond thought there had been agreement to allow it as long as there were no complaints and the snow was removed. He thought it had to be approved every year.

Mr. Gilligan Jr. also sought the dates of discussions alleged to have taken place over the patio. His query was not answered in the discussion but Bylaw Officer, Jim Harris did respond in press question period, referring to a December 21, 2007 meeting mentioned in his written report to council on Tuesday.

Mr. Gilligan Jr. appeared to be answering an allegation in the report that his family had never produced proof of insurance requested in 2001. Mr. Gilligan Jr. asserted that insurance is required by law.

The resolution passed on January 15, 2008 directed staff to prepare an agreement outlining the responsibilities of the Gilligans and the township.

Township Chief Administrative Officer, Christie Alexander was asked who was responsible for writing the agreement, and why it had not been done.

She stated she had passed the request on to Mr. Harris.

Mr. Harris did not complete the agreement, stating that council was requesting something not in keeping with the original (2001) resolution. In his explanation the Bylaw Officer stated he was directed to work out an agreement. "An agreement takes two people," he added. Mr. Harris went on to state that council had not rescinded the 2001 agreement. What council requested in 2008 was "not in keeping with the original resolution".

In his written report to council last Tuesday and in his comments the Bylaw Officer expressed his concerns over entering a long-term agreement giving exclusive rights to one person based on an eight-year-old resolution.

Despite his objections, council approved a resolution requesting the finalization of an agreement which will include responsibilities for snow removal, identify ownership of the property, require annual renewal, and allow year-round use of the contained patio.

It appears that the township will pick up the bill for any legal fees accumulated in an evaluation of the agreement, despite the recommendation of Mr. Harris who stated in his report that consultation with the township lawyer would be for the benefit of the Queen's and should be paid for by the hotel.

Township resident, Ferne Dobson was in attendance for the meeting and declared the discussion a "farce". She wondered about the legitimacy of Mr. Gilligan Jr. leaving his council chair and speaking on behalf of the hotel.

Mayor Marc Coombs replied that the councillor's actions were at his own discretion. "He chose to sit in and discuss the issue."

Mrs. Dobson refused to let the matter go and CAO Alexander re-stated that the actions of a councillor were the responsibility of the councillor, not up to the mayor. He only has to leave the room if it is a closed session (which this was not).

Mrs. Dobson would like to have seen a separate vote on the question of whether the patio should be year round.

This weekend it's Christmas in Cramahe

This is the weekend to make Cramahe Township your place to be, especially if you want to get a jump on that Christmas list.

Christmas in Castleton and Hoselton Studios will both be welcoming customers on Saturday and Sunday.

The Christmas in Castleton Show and Sale is a new venture and holds plenty of promise. Host Lana Taylor-Mills has been rounding up a fine group of creative vendors for this show in the Castleton Town Hall. Painting, photography, pottery & glass, birdhouses & feeders, Christmas wreaths & urns, jewellery, knitting, wood carving, handmade soaps, cards & paper, lavender, placemats, table runners, Christmas crafts & maple products will all be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.

Hoseltons is holding its pre-Christmas half-price sale. Jan Hoselton promises the sale will be an event to remember. Along with the enticing 50% off on showroom items, their environmental Trees for Life Program will be available at 25% off.
The studio has chosen the Northumberland United Way 2009 campaign as its fundraiser.

Limited edition Inuksuks will be sold and one of them will go in a silent auction on Saturday under the supervision of United Way Chair Bill Patchett.
And if you get hungry while you browse the shop, Black Dress Catering is selling pulled pork and hot dogs with the proceeds being donated.

On Saturday only, shoppers will have some tough choices as two local churches are running their annual teas and bazaars. If its home-made or home-grown that you want, or simply a cup of tea and a treat then head to Salem United Church on County Rd. 2 east of Colborne between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., or to Castleton United Church in the north end of the hamlet between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

In Colborne, those with a more modest budget may find that perfect gift at the Colborne Second Helpings grand opening fashion show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The show marks the move to its new Victoria Square location

The doors to the township are open as these enthusiastic entrepreneurs await your arrival.

ENSS trying for massive donation

East Northumberland Secondary School is attempting to qualify for a $250,000 donation from Aviva Insurance to install 210 solar collectors on the school roof.

In a phone interview on Monday, teacher, Gwen McConkey explained that the school becomes eligible if enough people vote for the project on a special Aviva site created for the contest.

If you are interested in supporting the school project titled Let the Sun Shine then go to The project is described and you can vote.

ENSS seeks new 6-lane track

In a November 18 press release posted first in Cramahe Now the committee overseeing the construction of a new community track and field facility has announced its plans -

"A motion to establish a fund-raising committee to raise $850,000 by May 2011 was passed.

This motion was unanimous and will begin the process of seeing a 6-lane, all-weather track facility at the East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton, which will include a new playing field, with lights, that will be used by both the school and community.

The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board is committed to the project to the tune of $140,000 and the Municipality of Brighton (November 17) also announced they have finalized details of a Joint Use agreement with the Board, clearing the final hurdle, enabling this partnership to work together to help this project become a reality."

In a follow up email, teacher, Tim Larry stated, "We have $144,000 now.

The Municipality of Brighton has agreed to write grant applications and we will be asking for money at some point- as we will from neighboring Municipalities.

The fundraising committee will need to decide when and how much to request from each municipality."

Most elementary students from Cramahe Township advance to ENSS for their secondary school education.

More work on Castleton Town Hall

The township continues to spend money on the last remaining work needed for the revamped Castleton Town Hall. Council approved drainage work around the hall worth $3,600 and awarded the contract to Robby's Excavating. The other two tenders came in at $9,000 or more.

This Spring the township approved $40,000 to complete the renovations in the lower level of the building where the Castleton Library is housed.

The work done this summer included removal of all non-supporting walls, and carpet. The sub-floor in the meeting room went. New handrails were installed on the stairs and the floor was tiled with carpet. The Heritage Room had new French doors installed. Existing lighting was replaced by energy-efficient fixtures and cables were installed to allow high-speed internet service. The entire lower level was re-painted with the exception of some historic markings.

A low section of floor discovered during the renovations added another $5,000.

When the walls and floor were pulled out the builder found the floor in one corner had sunk and disintegrated. Moisture had climbed up the wall, ruining the insulation.

Chief Building Official, Natalie Moroz-Cornell was back at Cramahe Council on November 17 asking for a further $3,600 to complete drainage work on the outside of the building to end a seepage problem.

Ms. Moroz-Cornell proposed that the job be paid for, in part, by money accumulated by the end of 2009 in the Castleton Town Hall Reserve. The balance of $600 will come out of the maintenance budget.

The Chief Building Official explained the method being used.

In a method, she described as "foolproof", Ms. Moroz-Cornell stated the ground along the north side and across part of the front and back of the building will be excavated to a depth of 18 inches. Styrofoam, tile drains and gravel will be laid down. Some of the tile will draw the surface water collected to dry wells on the property. The remaining water will be drained off the property.

Ms. Moroz-Cornell felt the work should be done now. It will not be affected by future paving to be done on the parking lot.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Read the exclusive interview with Governor General Award winner

Cramahe Now readers have the Canada-wide exclusive story on Governor General Award winner Jirina Marton. In the story below, based on a recent einterview with the Colborne artist, learn about the creation of the illustrations which earned the highly coveted award and her response to receiving it.

The award was announced moments ago.

Colborne artist wins Governor General's award

Colborne artist, Jirina Marton has won the coveted Governor General' award for her illustrations in the children's book, Bella's Tree.

The book tells the story of a little girl who overcomes all obstacles in order to have a Christmas tree. Bella lives with her aging Nan who has given up hope of having a tree. Nan feels Bella is too small for the task.

Bella volunteers, and the story tells of her exploits leading to the finding of a tree which meets Nan's approval.

The plot follows a familiar path and one which is metaphoric to the career of the artist.

Despite earning an earlier nomination for a GG, five years ago Jirina was sending off proposals to publishers with little success. Now, through persistence and perseverance, she has won the prestigious award which she will receive next week.

In a lengthy interview last week, the illustrator had not considered the parallels with her life, but pointed to the dedication at the front of the book. Jirina beams as she tells of her wonderful 10-year-old granddaughter, Katrina. Only a child, she has transformed the lives of those around her as she has challenged the limits of a genetic deficiency.

Readers of Cramahe Now and the now defunct Colborne Chronicle have read the stories of Jirina's early life in Czechoslovakia and in France, before she immigrated to Canada about 30 years ago.

It was during a trip to the Czech Republic about two years ago that she got a call from her publisher, Groundwood Books. Would she consider illustrating a story for them? It was set in the winter and the publisher knew she "knew how to do snow".

The publishers sent her a copy over the internet, but she couldn't open the file. When they called again to get her reaction she told the company she'd do it if they liked the story. It was the beginning of her journey with the indomitable Bella.

It took several readings for Jirina to grasp the story well enough to begin work. And it wasn't an easy task. Four times Bella went out in search of the perfect tree. Each journey required a different illustration. Jirina feels that the illustrations in a storybook should augment the story line - a difficult task when you're illustrating the same scene repeatedly.

But she must have succeeded. Her efforts were rewarded with the announcement today that she had won the award.

Jirina feels the fact that the story is Canadian helped - the author, Janet Russell, is from Newfoundland.

People who have read the book, and know the province have asked Jirina if she has been there. She hasn't. She visited the Maritimes once, briefly, and she researched thoroughly before embarking on this project.

It took about a year to complete about 23 full-size colour illustrations. She first worked with rough drawings which she showed to Groundwood for approval. When the illustrations were submitted, the publisher chose the 20 which were used in the book.

Jirina credits some of the success of her illustrations to living in Northumberland County where she is a member of the Colborne Art Gallery cooperative. "Living here allows me to see nature and the environment evolving," she remarks. Even elements of her home are entwined in the evocative artwork of the story. She admits she was inspired by the tree she sees from the kitchen window in her century home.

The artist is excited to have won the award. She knows how difficult it is even to be a finalist. Jirina was on a jury last year for the children's illustrations.

The three-member jury started with about 95 books which they reviewed. The first culling left them with 25. That number was pared to 10, then the five finalists, and finally the one winner.

The jury members met in Ottawa three months ahead of the awards to gain consensus on the finalists and the eventual winner.

Asked how winning this year's award would affect her career and future earnings, Jirina was reflective. The income from sales of the book are relatively small. She acknowledges that she does the work for the love of it. She has no idea how her life will change; perhaps she will get more work.

An artist works by herself. She does something because she hopes it will please somebody. Jirina smiles as she recounts times when readers were overwhelmed or surprised by the authenticity of the illustrations.

The award is recognition that she is doing something right. "There are lots of good-quality illustrators. It's good to be among them." She chuckles as she says that Goodwood got her in her prime.

Copies of the Governor General's Award-winning Bella's Tree are on sale at the Colborne Art Gallery for $19.95.

Colborne Second Helpings has grand opening

The Colborne Second Helpings store is celebrating its move
with to Victoria Square with a grand re-opening winter fashion display!

The Northumberland Big Sisters Big Brothers released this press statement announcing the grand opening of the Colborne Second Helpings store in its new location.

After more than a decade at its King Street location, Northumberland Big Sisters Big Brothers’ Colborne Store has moved around the corner to Victoria Square.

We’re celebrating with a grand opening featuring the store’s best winter fashions displayed on Colborne’s first-ever living mannequins! We will also be unveiling our exciting new Second Helpings coupon books, priced right at $5 per book for savings of $100 or more.

Topped off with local hot cider and cookies, this is an event not to be missed! Join us on Saturday, November 21 from 10 to 2 at 18 Victoria Square (just south of the Home Hardware) in Colborne.

Over the past thirty years, Northumberland Big Sisters has operated Second Helpings thrift stores in Brighton, Colborne and Port Hope. These stores have been a mainstay in the agency’s budget: at the same time they offer communities a place to purchase affordable clothing and household goods, as well as a way of recycling their used items.

Although the Brighton store closed five years ago, the Colborne and Port Hope outlets are still going strong, providing jobs for managers, volunteer opportunities and training positions for co-op students.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Gallery artist retires

Alison Seale, one of the founding members of the Colborne Art Gallery, has participated in her last show as a gallery artist.

Mrs. Seale, who is in her late seventies, wants to spend more time developing her craft without the pressures of deadlines.

Changes coming to Eastside Variety

Just as he promised, Kashif is offering more at Colborne Eastside Variety. When he took ownership of the business less than a year ago, Kashif promised to add the coffee bar that his patrons were requesting - a place where they can hang out, chat, read the paper or play a little cribbage.

Now it's happening.

It might be too late, but...

Cramahe Now reader Pat Johnston sent us a last-minute note about the seminar taking place in Codrington on Tuesday. There may still be a couple of places available.

Northumberland County through the Economic Development and Tourism Department is hosting two canning workshops with a Bernardin Chef (the people who make Mason jars and snap lids, pectin and all that other great stuff!). Through these workshops, we are promoting the benefits of local food including easy and delicious recipes using things grown right here in the community.

Pre-Registration is required, along with a payment for each $20 workshop you'd like to attend. Those attending the workshop will receive the Bernardin Home Canning Starter Kit with all the tools you need to start canning. The kit retails for $55 and even if you're a canner from way-back, the workshop could be a great refresher, and the kit may be that holiday gift that keeps giving! This is an ideal opportunity to help the next generation of canners get started! Registration for each workshop is limited to 20 people.

Workshops take place:

7pm, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2009 at the Codrington Community Centre, 2992 County Rd 30 in the Municipality of Brighton.

7pm, Wednesday Nov 25, 2009 at the Baltimore Recreation Centre, 23 Community Centre Road, Baltimore.

To register call 1-800-354-7050 ext 2492, registration can be paid by cash or called in with a credit card. To see the event poster please visit

Agriculture is an important part of our local economy, and through initiatives like this we help people recognize that the "Proudly Northumberland" symbol means that the product was grown or produced, right here at home, in our own communities, by our friends and neighbours. Buying local isn't just good for the economy… local food is part of a healthy lifestyle and in Northumberland County we're lucky to have those choices available to us whether we eat at home, or at any number of our local restaurants. Access to fresh local food is a vital part of our community.

Castleton Street Fair report

The following press release was issued on November 16 by Graham Norcutt:

The Castleton Fair and Corn Roast committee ran a very successful day on Sunday, August 23, 2009. Although the weather was not too co-operative and rain threatened the day several times, attendance showed that it was a good idea to revive the Corn Roast. Added features this year were the street vendors and the Reverend Fast who showed his prowess and his amazing strength to pull a fire engine along the main street.

The Corn Roast Day was revived to raise money for the refurbished Castleton Library. Due to the extremely hard work and thorough organization of Sue LaBerge, it was a great success. Also, many volunteers came to her aid and provided help and back-up all day. The day could not have gone as smoothly without everyone, including the people setting up and taking down tables, the popcorn poppers, the dunk tank operators, the corn huskers and roasters, face painters, clown, candy floss spinner, and so many others in the background.

A special thank you goes to Sunnyside’s Esther and Dave Barth for their jumbo hot dogs. Ian Chapman deserves a round of applause for organizing the Castleton Cruisers who brought out their valuable antique cars on a day that, weather wise, was not too promising.

We would also like to acknowledge the help received from Cramahe Council and its staff which allowed us to use Castleton Town Hall, provided liability coverage, roads closure, loan of tables, help with the dunk tank and permission to use a fire engine; we appreciate their support for this event.

The Castleton Church U.C.W. was one of several donors to the event. Mr. Bob Bellamy and other donors who wished to remain anonymous also gave their help and we thank them.

Draws were held and the winners were:
1st Prize - Janice Wilson, a framed Trish Romance print donated by Rhonda’s Antiques & Framing.
2nd Prize - Conor Gilligan, a ladies necklace and earrings donated by Sue Van de Wyst.
3rd Prize – Jay Robinson, a wireless Lexmark printer donated by the Norcutt family. 4th Prize; Bob Morrison, a three headed electric shaver donated by the Norcutt family.

Although it was a lot of work – just ask Sue – it was great fun and it is hoped that next year the fair and roast can be expanded and made even more successful.

This year the Fundraising initiative was for the Refurbished Castleton Library. Next year we look forward to another local group or organization in Castleton to benefit from the special day.

This year’s effort raised over $600 for the Castleton Library and we hope that this will somehow help to show that the residents of Castleton do care about their local library. Although it was not a large amount it shows what can be done in a small hamlet, north of the 401.

A cheque will be given to the renovated Castleton Library at its evening open house on November 17, 2009.

Again, a big thank you to Sue and her many volunteers.

Ecology Garden vandalized

The Ecology Garden in Rotary Centennial Park has been vandalized. Evidence suggests that the damage was done in an attempt to steal one of the arbors.

The vandals attempted to dig around the poles in an attempt to pull the structure out of the ground. The Cramahe Horticultural Society cemented the poles in when they installed the arbor but were unable to go as deeply as they would like due to subsoil restriction.

Society members were at the park on Saturday getting it ready for the winter. When they returned on Sunday the damage was observed and reported. Two other arbors, benches and decorative items were not touched. The arbor in question was at a low point in the garden, somewhat out of sight. It is difficult to establish whether there were vehicles involved. Ruts in the vicinity could have been created by trucks parked there for the construction of the new bridge which will soon span Colborne Creek.

Community Services Director Dan O'Brien was contacted by the horticultural society and he has taken action.

The director has approached a security firm to get quotes on security cameras.

In a phone interview this morning, Mr. O'Brien noted that he has been receiving complaints about vandalism from various stakeholders who use township facilities. He is asking the security company to provide him with a quote on cameras for all public locations. He hopes the cameras will feed directly back to a central location. Part of the requirement is that the cameras produce photos which the police can use as evidence. He knows the system won't be cheap. He is looking at including the cost in his 2010 budget.

Short of patrolling the parks,which he admits isn't feasible, this is the best option available. He will be asking the Police Services Board for its assistance too.

He admits that now, no one ever sees the vandals. They come in and do $500 to $1,000 damage - not enough to claim on insurance, but enough to "nickel and dime" the township to death.

The OPP has filed a report and is asking for assistance in the matter.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cramahe Now just got better

It has been a busy weekend for Cramahe Now. Much of Friday night and throughout Saturday we were hard at work changing the structure of the blog.

The growing list of prominent Cramahe businesses which have chosen to support this successful community project has encouraged us to improve our format. Those of you who went on the blog on the weekend will have noticed the changes as they progressed.

Now, with three columns, we have been able to keep the editorial section the same size and display our ads down both sides of the blog, giving every advertiser greater prominence. As we have stated from the start, it is the financial support given by these companies which allows the blog to continue. We need you to support them and to thank them for advertising with us.

In the past, when you have wanted to find a story you have had to scroll through the archives. Now, you can go to the search box in the top left corner and type in a few words to pull up every story we have written on the topic.

Cramahe Now continues to grow. We are all part of this venture in community communication. Cramahe is stronger and a better place to work and live because we are communicating and working together to keep ourselves informed. Thanks to your support, we expect to soon have our first 2,000 reader week - a long way from March, when 60 readers a day was a successful day.

How does the Zamboni work?

The Cramahe Minor Hockey IP's got a lesson in icemaking from Arena Manager, Keeley Biron on Sunday - and an early play in the snow.

Christmas art show opens

The Christmas art show, all things bright and beautiful opened at the Colborne Art Gallery on November 14. The show offers artwork to fit any budget.

Christmas in Castleton promises to be a hit

Castleton Town Hall will be beautifully decorated for the season with artworks and crafts on display for the 1st Annual Christmas in Castleton Show and Sale on November 21-2.

Paintings, photographs, wood carving, handmade natural soaps, cards and papers, Christmas decorations, maple syrup and lavender products, birdhouses, knitting, jewellery and beaded accessories are among the items offered for sale by our talented artisans.

The benefit show for the Castleton Library takes place on Saturday, from 10am - 5pm and Sunday from 10am - 3pm.

Admission is free.

Don't miss the 1st Annual Christmas In Castleton!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Get there early for the Christmas cantata

The Christmas cantata in Colborne continues to thrive. Conductor, Gerald Burgess, promises the audience of this year's version will not go away disappointed.

His ecumenical community choir continues to grow and now boasts 23 members singing soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts in the John Turifoy composition Touched by a Child, Touched by a King. The group has been rehearsing all fall, despite fighting this year's flu virus and Gerald says the singers are rounding into form.

In addition to the choir, soloists Jordan Bartley and Bryan Mutton, students of the conductor, will add their voices.

The concert will be on Sunday, December 13 at 3 p.m. at Trinity Anglican Church in Colborne. There is no admission charge but the audience is asked to bring non-perishable food items for the Colborne Food Bank or make a financial contribution. There will be a carol sing before the concert.

If you plan to go, Gerald cautions that you get there early. If last year's crowd was any indication, the sanctuary will be packed.

First Salem lunch a sellout

The first Salem Lunch was a sellout as the last diners finished off the last of the squash soup. The first-day menu included beef vegetable soup, freshly baked buns, coffee, tea and either sex-in-a-pan, apple crisp or walnut cake.

Next of the bi-weekly lunches is Friday, November 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Gallery Christmas show opens Saturday

The Colborne Art Gallery annual Christmas Show opens this weekend.

The gallery at 51 King St. E. in Colborne will be the home of mant Christmas gift ideas from now until December 20.

The show, all things bright and beautiful, opens Saturday at noon.

We were remiss

In posting the Remembrance Day photos we neglected to highlight the significance of an accomplishment of David Turney.

Mr. Turney, second from right in the photo above, has played the Last Post at the past 50 Remembrance Day ceremonies in Castleton - truly an amazing accomplishment and one which should be noted. He was presented with a plaque from the Wilson family. Members of that family have been pivotal in the yearly anniversary.

Congratulations, David.

Local torch committee launches promo campaign

Behind from left - Rebecca Goddard-Sarria, Cramahe Community Development Officer and Colborne Olympic Torch Relay Committee (COTRC)member, Elizabeth Kuschnik (COTRC), Maureen Young (COTRC), Councillor Pat Westrope, Crystal Beaudry (COTRC).
In front - Olympic spirit supporter, Geordie Runciman.

The Colborne Olympic Torch Relay Committee met on Thusrday, November 12. Committee member Rebecca Goddard-Sarria issued the following press release:

On November 12 Colborne’s Olympic Torch Relay Committee launched its promotional campaign for the upcoming leg of the Olympic Torch Relay that will be coming to Colborne on December 15, 2009.

The promotional campaign includes downtown street banners (on display in photo background) for Colborne, posters that have been distributed throughout Cramahe and surrounding communities and hand-held stick flags for public in attendance on the day of the event.

The Cramahe Olympic Torch Relay Committee will hold an additional press conference closer to the event with specific details on the logistics, times, etc.

Masons install new Master

The new Master of the Colborne Masonic Lodge was installed on October 16. Jim Peters is in the center with the different collar.

The two officers with the very ornate collars and aprons are left to right Robert Ough, the District Deputy Grand Master for Ontario District and John Hay from Millbrook who is a member of Grand Lodge and sits on the Board of General Purposes.