The SD&G County Library Board held a public information meeting in Williamsburg May 9, at the Williamsburg Oddfellows Hall.
Over 75 people attended the meeting where Library Staff provided a power point presentation concerning the upcoming consolidation of the Williamsburg and Morrisburg library branches.
Staff and the library board members were focussed on showing the public the plans for the new branch location in Morrisburg.
They spoke about the need for rural libraries, like rural communities, to find creative ways to sustain themselves.
With the opportunity to consolidate at a new high traffic location, the board made the decision to consolidate the two branches.
With the prospect of a new location that will see much higher foot traffic past the door of the library, which will include everyone using the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic or visiting the South Dundas Municipal Centre, the board seized the opportunity.
Using the Kemptville library as a model for a difficult changes that have had a positive outcome, the SD&G Library Board initiated similarly difficult changes.
Eric Duncan, who is a member of the library board, explained that the expansion of the Kemptville library included the closure of small branches in South Gower and Oxford Mills.
“There was a huge outcry from the public and disaster was predicted. People were furious when it happened,” explained Duncan.
But through the change, they moved to a higher profile, higher traffic location and were able to get more usage and increase membership to 62 per cent.
“If we are one fifth as successful as Kemptville that would be huge for South Dundas and County-wide for the library system.”
That one branch in a place with one-quarter the population of the Counties now has more visits than all 18 branches in SD&G combined. That speaks volumes,” said Duncan. “This is not negative. Give it a chance to show it can work.”
“We need to make the library system better,” said board chair Bill McGimpsey.
Presently about 12 percent of the population of South Dundas uses the library. The board aims to double that usage by attracting some of the large majority of the local population who does not presently use the library.
They plan to offer a new, comfortable and inviting space, longer hours, more staff and more programming including children’s programming and one-on-one technical programming aimed at seniors.
While the board sees this decision as a positive one, those on hand at the meeting felt quite the opposite.
“Our library money is going to Morrisburg,” shouted someone from the crowd.
“You live in South Dundas,” said McGimpsey. “South Dundas is getting a better library.”
That was definitely not what the crowd of Williamsburg library supporters wanted to hear.
They expressed their frustration, anger and disappointment with their small town losing yet another service and with having no opportunity to have a say in the decision until after it was already made.
They repeatedly stressed the importance of the Williamsburg branch of the library in their every day lives and its importance for their children.
One of the most important questions asked at the meeting was whether the board would reconsider their decision.
No one would directly answer that question, but most left the meeting with the impression that the decision has been made. “This decision has been made, and our opinions don’t matter,” shouted someone from the crowd.
The library board is hosting a public information session Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m., at the Morrisburg library to show the community what they have planned for the upcoming consolidation.
Winchester District Memorial Hospital announced Friday, February 1, that a new Sleep Lab is being added to the list of clinical services available for local communities.
WDMH has teamed up with Hospital Alliance Group to offer this important service close to home. The Sleep Lab will operate in the Dillabough Building from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Monday to Friday.
Overnight sleep studies will help diagnose a wide range of sleep disorders, from insomnia and sleep apnea, narcolepsy and night movement disorders such as limb movement disorder.
As the demand for service increases, it is expected the service will expand to seven nights a week.
“Hospital Alliance Group is pleased to be working with WDMH. We know that sleep disorders affect 15 to 20 per cent of the population and if left untreated can result in higher risks of diabetes, heart disease, impotence, depression and arrhythmias.
Sleep disorder patients also may have daytime sleepiness which increase motor vehicle accidents, work related accidents, poor job performance and decreased quality of life,” adds Lino Di Nardo, President of Hospital Alliance Group.
“WDMH is continually looking for ways to better serve our communities and the sleep lab will be a great benefit to local residents,” notes Lynn Hall, Vice President, Clinical Service and Chief Nursing Executive.
“We spend about one third of our life sleeping, and sleep is important to help repair and restore our bodies. Our specialists at the Sleep Lab look forward to helping you manage any sleep related ailment and will provide guidance in the treatment of such disorders.”
Patients should speak to their family physician for a referral.
“Do we have the right to take another person’s life,” Arlene Miller plaintively asks her lover, dentist Mitchell Lovell. “Of course not,” he replies impatiently. “That’s why it’s called murder!”
That’s also why audiences can anticipate an evening devoted, in a nicely twisted way, to the theme of homicide as Upper Canada Playhouse stages its second comic production of the summer season, Murder at the Howard Johnsons, which runs until July 20.
Of course, since this is a comedy, and a very funny one at that, Hannibal Lector, Lizzie Borden and Norman Bates these three, Paul Miller, Arlene Miller and Mitchell Lovell, are not. In fact, their approach to homicide has more overtones of Wile E. Coyote than of Jack the Ripper. Not that the characters in Murder don’t try to succeed. You might even say they are positively dying to kill.
The play is completely set in the late 1970s, a time of self actualization work shops, of ‘finding’ yourself, of realizing your full potential. The new motto of the decade was “Me first”, and these characters completely embrace that concept.
Arlene Miller, played by Susan Greefield, is particularly caught up in the whole ‘explore your inner you’ movement. That’s why she has decided to take a lover (the family dentist) and get rid of (literally) her car salesman husband, Paul. “I out grew him…I hadn’t awakened as a person. Now I’ve blossomed.”
Mitchell (Timm Hughes) the dentist, has a closet of clothing that is an “adventure”, and a hankering to find his soul mate as well, although he plans to try out a number of prospects along the way. “I love women. And I especially love Arlene.”
This quest for ‘self’ is all very confusing to Paul Miller (Jamie Willliams) the husband. Life, he is firmly convinced, is out to “shaft you.” He still has both feet firmly entrenched in the 50s, choosing to measure the world in grey suits, dollar bills and particularly expensive watches.
Paul (to Arlene): Name one thing you haven’t got?
Paul: Arlene, you are talking about a very small part of life!
The plot of Murder kicks in immediately, and never slows down.
With bizarre logic, in the early minutes of the play, Arlene and Mitchell decide they must “do in’ her husband so they can be together. Paul, the intended victim, is stunned.
Paul: You’re going to kill me! You two amateurs!
Mitchell: We may be amateurs now, but by the time we leave we’ll be seasoned veterans!
It’s the start of a series of delicious homicides that flavour this classic Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick comedy.
In a fast paced two hours, nothing will go the way constantly shifting combinations of conspirators plan.
Director Jesse Collins demonstrates a sure touch with the timing and characterizations of this show. In spite of the bizarre events on stage, Hughes, Williamson and Greenfield have created fully realized characters. In their own way, why, they almost make the audience nostalgic for the good, old-fashioned selfishness of the 70s!
On stage murder plots gradually become ever more Rube Goldeberg in their nature and design. By the time that a Howard Johnsons window ledge, some July 4th fire works, a large pillow and a pigeon with loose bowels come to figure into the conspiracies, the hysterical crowd hardly knows for whom of the trio they should be rooting.
I may have found myself wondering, more than once, just how this whole plot was going to be resolved. I shouldn’t have worried. It has its own logic.
“Why do we keep trying to kill each other? We’re no good at it,” Paul wearily announces.
His observation stops no one.
How fortunate for the Playhouse audiences!
Be sure to make a reservation at this Howard Johnsons. But better beware. The laughter there may kill you.
Murder at the Howard Johnsons is currently on stage at Upper Canada Playhouse, until July 20. For tickets and information contact the box office at 613-543-3713 or 1-877-550-3650 or www.uppercanadaplayhouse.com