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Ground breaking begins on playground

The excitement is definitely mounting. On Monday morning, September 12, volunteers began the initial excavation work around the site of the new kids’ playground. They will be on site all this week.

Trucks, a back-hoe, an excavator and folks carrying picks and shovels began clearing top soil and preparing Earl Baker Park for the arrival of the highly anticipated new playground equipment, which is being shipped in on September 22.

The actual construction date is September 24.

“The excavator is digging out the area on a grade to ensure drainage,” said Jack Barkley, member of the Playground Committee. “Once that is done, we must dig holes for each of the poles which will support the play equipment. Cement is poured into the 12 inch sauna tubes to firmly anchor the poles which hold up the projects. The equipment will be firmly supported and safe.”

Barkley had much praise for all the volunteers turning out to help with the ground clearing, and especially for Les Cruickshank who “was instrumental in arranging for the equipment and digging.”

The old playground equipment had to be completely dismantled and will be reassembled north of the site later on.

Barkley, whom Les describes as site “manager” for the dig, had about seven volunteers with him.

“We are also going to need strong volunteers on September 22 to unload the new equipment, but each volunteer must be able to lift 100 pounds of weight to work that day,” Barkley said.

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Maritime history comes alive at Doran Bay Model Ship Museum

Doran Bay Model Ship Museum, located on County Road #2 east of Iroquois, opened its doors on September 9th.

Among those welcomed to the new museum by Burt and Simla Cunningham were Max Keeping, former MPP Jim Brownell, MP Guy Lauzon, Mayor Steven Byvelds, Deputy Mayor Jim Locke, Councillor Evonne Delegarde, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Brian Cox.

The ceremony began with Keeping  who claimed that “the time couldn’t be better” for the opening of the maritime museum. The anniversary of the War of 1812 is next year and included in the exhibit are models of both Canadian and American ships.

Keeping went on to say that this is an “opportunity not to go back to war, but to celebrate the two countries and how their friendship has developed.”

Brownell complimented the detail in the design of the models, which were built from original plans using exotic woods.

He ventured that the museum will have a beneficial effect on tourism and infrastructure in the area.

In Lauzon’s address, he said that he “welcomed to South Dundas, this expansion of business. This is a jewel in our riding. The community is so supportive.”

Byvelds agreed with Lauzon, saying that the museum “certainly is going to be another jewel in South Dundas’s coffers.”

Cox thanked the Cunninghams for their contribution, declaring that he was “really looking forward to the [museum] bringing in the tourism and bringing in the people.”

Cunningham claims that “Doran Bay Model Ship Museum contains one of the finest collections of historic model ships in the world.”

Remarking on the genesis of the project, he shared a little bit about his life leading up to this point.
He “spent the last few years on paradise island” where he met his wife, Simla.

The island in question is the Mauritius. It was there that Cunningham “discovered a small group of people who had this craft” for building model ships.

He “befriended these artisans (and later) employed them to do these ships.”

“As I was doing a lot of research,” stated Cunningham, “a lot of this history seems to have been lost.”

Earlier in the ceremony, Keeping pointed out that “Canada is a great maritime nation.”

And, what better way to honour that then with a ship museum whose collection, according to Cunningham, “traces the history of sail around the world with emphasis on famous Canadian and U.S. ships.”

Cunningham continued, saying that his family “had this house sitting here idle,” giving the perfect opportunity to display the model ships.

Currently the museum occupies the ground floor of the house. At the moment, only about half of the ships in Cunningham’s collection are on display.

Cunningham plans to monitor the response from the public and,  if substantial, he will expand, allowing for more of the collection to be seen.

He went on to say that this has “been a family project (and that) it’s a private collection, but we’re opening it up to the public.”

Cunningham invites: “see maritime history come to life.”

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New CEO Boland excited about WDMH

September 8th marked Cholly Boland’s third day as Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Boland took time to introduce himself to local press late that afternoon where he confirmed that he “couldn’t be more excited to be here.”

Boland admitted that his professional background, while definitely in healthcare, has not been all about hospitals.

During a placement in British Columbia, Boland worked at bringing homecare, long-term care and in-house care together. He said that the “focus has always been on integration.”

Boland has worn several different hats in the healthcare system, his most recent being CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ontario.

WDMH’s reputation is one of the main inspirations for Boland’s move to the area. He referred to the hospital as a “centre of excellence” and remarked on its being at the “forefront of senior care, education and research in this area.”

In addition to providing the best senior care possible, Boland also affirms that WDMH is focussed on “developing best practices” and answering the question of “how do you best provide care in a rural environment?”

With respect to his predecessor, Trudy Reid, Boland said that he is “fortunate to be taking over from someone whose done such great work.”

He went on to say that his plans include “taking that work and moving it forward.”

In terms of the upcoming election, Boland stated: “I can’t foresee any type of future that would not see this hospital in full operation.”

He believes that any government would have to recognize “the investment that’s been made – the good work that’s been done here and will continue to be done.”

CEO of WDMH is a “great opportunity” for Boland not only because of its “track record in senior care” and its “leading edge research,” but also because of its geographical location.

In addition to his history in Eastern Ontario, he also has senior family members in the area.
Boland was CEO of Arnprior and District Hospital for almost 5 years, between 2003 and 2008. He also spent time in Kingston and Ottawa.

He received a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from Queen’s University in 1984. From the University of Ottawa, he received a Masters in Health Administration in 1992 and a Masters in Business Aministration in 2000.

He got started in his career at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

The new CEO is married with two children, a 13 year old son and 9 year old daughter.

His wife and children are still living in Orangeville, but they will be joining him. They are presently looking for a new home in the area. On that note, he stated: “we’re not moving anymore.”

In meeting Boland, his positive energy, strong commitment and seemingly limitless enthusiasm for WDMH come through loud and clear.

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PP reports on charges for Labour Day long weekend

The Ontario Provincial Police Eastern Region Headquarters, in coordination with the OPP ERHET – (East Region Highway Enforcement Team), HSD-Long Sault (Highway Safety Division) as well as SD&G, Grenville and Leeds OPP detachments, were on the look-out for aggressive drivers Labour Day weekend.

“Our dedicated officers working together over the long weekend focused on aggressive drivers and held them accountable. Keeping our highways safe is everyone’s responsibility and we will continue to be there to remind those that have forgotten,” said Inspector Chris Lungstrass.

Officers laid over 496 charges:

  • Speeding: 332
  • Seatbelt or Child restraint: 48
  • Cell/Phone Texting: 5
  • Impaired Operation: 2
  • Move Over Law: 2
  • Suspended Operator: 11

Help keep our communities safe! Obey the law, be respectful of others and report suspicious activity.

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The Kitchen Witches, serves a funny ending at Upper Canada Playhouse

Folks heading to the Playhouse for the final show of the 2011 summer season are in for a delightfully, ‘delicious’ evening out as the Playhouse dishes up, The Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith which opened Thursday night, September 8 and runs through October 2.

The Kitchen Witches places the audience at a live television ‘cooking’ show and drags everyone kicking and laughing, mostly laughing, into the venue.

Directed by Canadian theatre veteran, Walter Learning, it’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s funny and it’s a wonderful play to end this year’s summer season.

As was expected the very talented Linda Goranson and Jocelyn Zucco deliver. They are backed by a solid performance from Parris Greaves who plays Dolly’s son Stephen.

Goranson gives us Dolly Biddle, a character you like immediately. She’s short, a bit frumpy, the ‘vonderful, vonderful’, lovable grandmotherly type but with a fake Ukranian accent.

On the other hand, you don’t immediately take to Isobel, “Izzy” Lomax played by Zucco. In fact, she is quite un-likeable when she first hits the stage. She’s loud, professional to the point of being cold, and not about to let anyone forget that ‘I am Cordon Bleu’ trained.

She became a bit more endearing, however when she ended up as Mammy to Dolly’s Scarlett O’Hara in the deep south cooking segment of The Kitchen Witches show and by the end of the night we had actually come to like her.

The play is about Dolly and Isobel, who grew up in the same town, loved the same man and both ended up with television cooking shows, ‘Baking with Babcha’ and ‘Busy with Izzy’ both of which have coincidentally been cancelled. “It’s last show and Bobcha wants to go out with a bang,” says Dolly as she prepares her Ukranian Bosch.

When Izzy shows up on the Babcha set, old ‘personal’ problems bubble up. “Dolly Biddle you have publicly insulted me for the last time,” yells Izzy. The grease sizzles and the cooking show producers love all the digs and pokes as the two old friends air old grievances, live, on stage. As a result, a new show, The Kitchen Witches is born and becomes an immediate hit.

When Izzy reveals the family’s ‘secret’ recipe at the end of the first act, the stage is set for some real fun…and an eventual happy ending.

Adding to the play’s charm is the localization and the interaction with the audience. The Kitchen Witches show is sponsored by Morrisburg and area businesses and the two cooking divas receive fan mail from such far-away places as Chesterville and Ingleside. A Playhouse audience member is even called to centre stage.

Also called to the stage for this one is Upper Canada Playhouse’s Production Assistant, Stéphanie Souillé, who plays the camera person who captures all of the great cooking show moments.

The two cooks do offer some cooking advice and enter into a well-timed two minute cooking challenge. Dolly prepares “melt in your mouth bourbon balls” and Izzie makes a “stand em up Izzie Banana Parfait”. Keep an eye on the stand-up banana

The Kitchen Witches is a fun show, with an outstanding cast and an excellent ending for another successful season at the Playhouse.

If you don’t have your tickets yet call the Playhouse at 613-543-3713 or book online at uppercanadaplayhouse.com. This is one ‘yummy’ serving you don’t want to miss.

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Tribeck Inflatables, Canadian Tire Get Behind New Playground

“It was really a great idea to have this event. It’s important to raise money for our community. Community is everything,” said Don Denneny.
Denneny, with his daughter Nicole, seven, was just one of the many parents, children and supporters who came out to enjoy the fund raiser, featuring Tribeck Inflatables, Saturday, September 10, on behalf of the new children’s playground scheduled for con-struction in Earl Baker Park on September 24.

Michel Proulx, owner of the Morrisburg Canadian Tire, provided “a location and manpower” for the Tribeck Inflatables, as well as “doing some fund raising in the store.”

“I have been behind this kids’ park since day one,” Proulx said. “My store manager, Brian Shaver, is one of the executive on the playground committee. This is an important event for the community, and it’s great that we can fund raise in a fun venue.”
Trevor Beckstead and Rebecca Cooper, owners of Tribeck Inflatables, are also strong supporters of the community playground. They provided all their equipment free of charge for the entire day.

“I’ve got three girls myself,” Trevor Beckstead said. “My kids will have the chance to play in that park, and we hope as a family to picnic there. I wanted to show that Tribeck Inflatables has grown as a South Dundas business and that we can serve this and surrounding communities. This new kids’ park is very important to my whole family.”

Playground committee mem-bers, including Jack Barkley and Rosemary Laurin, were thrilled with the generosity of Tribeck and Canadian Tire.

“Tribeck Inflatables is providing all this equipment for us free of charge,” Laurin and Barkley said, “and Canadian Tire has given us a wonderful site. We are very grateful.”

Visitors attending the fund raiser on September 10 were asked to make a donation to the playground as their admission.

Candy apples and candy floss were available, with part of the sales coming back to the playground. Mark Staughton, a volunteer with Family Mission, in the guise of Zany the Clown, produced incredible balloon creatures for kids, and then donated proceeds to the playground as well.

“It’s just amazing how this community has come together to support us through events like this one today,” said Jack Barkley.

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Extra, extra, read all about it: movie being filmed at UCV this September!

Upper Canada Village is opening its doors to Siloam Entertainment from September 10th to the 14th.

Brian Lutes, writer, director and actor, needs 150 to 200 extras for  his movie, Percy Harris.

According to Lutes, the movie, a period western, “is a film about a confederate soldier apprehended while returning home from the war and is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He’s sentenced to hang.”

“With several twists and turns (sort of a combination of Wizard of Oz meets Rambo), we follow Percy on his quest for freedom, struggling against bounty hunters, brutal terrain and a legion of inner demons.”

To view some of the scene captures, Lutes suggests going to the Facebook page for “Percy Harris the movie.”

So, what about those extras?

Lutes predicts that the biggest number of extras will be needed on Sunday the 11th and Monday the 12th. Shooting happens between 8:00 and 5:30.

“Unfortunately, wardrobe is in limited supply with that many extras… So, we’re asking people to go through their closets and bring the most “period” friendly clothing they have.”

“They could dress as a farmer, cowboy, or townspeople.”

If you are interested in being an extra, email Brian Lutes at blutes@storm.ca or Anik Rompre at nykkytta@gmail.com.

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New principal for MPS

Children at Morrisburg Public School (MPS) will be seeing a new face in the hallways and around the schoolyard this year.

Beverley Bethune, MPS’s new principal, is making the 75km commute from South Lancaster, a town east of Cornwall.

The new principal at MPS brings a strong background in special education as well as in steering a school in a positive direction.

In 1975, Bethune received a Bachelor of Physical Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Geography, both from McMaster.

Bethune received her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Ottawa in 1992, qualifying her to teach intermediate and secondary in the areas of physical education and geography.

Bethune added computers and special education to her teaching credentials in the 1990’s. Qualifications for junior division were added in 2005.

Also in 2005 Bethune also began  working to complete the requirements to become an Ontario school principal. This she achieved in 2006.

The position with MPS is Bethune’s first time serving as principal. To back her in her new position she brings extensive  experience as a vice-principal.

Bethune comes directly to MPS from her position as Vice-Principal of T. R. Leger’s Eastern Region where she worked with at risk students.

Prior to that Bethune served as Vice-Principal at Rothwell Osnabruck K-13 School in Ingleside.

Her first stint as a vice-principal lasted for five years at Cornwall’s General Vanier Intermediate School.

Before becoming a vice-principal, Bethune taught at General Vanier when it was a secondary school and continued to teach there when it became an Intermediate School in 2002.

Principal Bethune believes that  students are “all teachable” and she wants to see “that each individual student reach their own potential.”

In terms of plans for the school, Principal Bethune said that her “focus is [on] student learning.”

She went on to say that her “passion in education is the at risk student.”

When asked what she’d like to say to readers of the Leader, Bethune said that she is a “strong believer in community partnerships and community focus on schools.”

She ended the interview with an invitation to the community: “I welcome anyone who wants to volunteer.”

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Green Party joins race for SD&SG’s next MPP

Justin Reist, a Toronto area native entering his third year at Carleton University, is hoping to become Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry’s next MPP.

Reist is joining the race as a member of the Green Party and has chosen this riding because of its close proximity to the Ottawa campus as well as its need for a Green Party candidate.

While Reist will be busy with school, he maintains that he will still be available to the people of his riding via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

Reist is currently pursuing an Honours degree in Political Science with a minor in Communications.

In a recent e-mail interview, Reist was questioned about his priorities and how they will affect the small towns and communities of SD&SG.

In reply, Reist revealed: “I think my priorities and those of the Green Party of Ontario are ones shared by most Ontarians.”

“I am deeply committed to improving standards of living for all residents in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry in a way that is economically and environmentally sound. I should clarify what I mean when I say the environment is a priority for me.”

“In developing our environmental policies, the Green Party doesn’t just look at traditional environmentalism. We look further than the simple or immediate solution, and work to lessen our environmental impact in a way that boosts the economy and improves residents’ standards of living.”

“By investing in green technology and shifting to a less carbon-intensive economy, we create jobs not just for the next three years, but jobs that will be around for the next 15 or 30 years and contribute to healthy communities.”

Reist had the following to say about SD&SG’s voter priorities: “I believe residents of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry are focused on job creation, improving our health care system, and keeping their communities healthy and vibrant for years to come.”

“I am very much committed to addressing the needs of residents of my riding, and I’m looking forward to speaking with them and finding other areas where I can represent their needs.”

Reinforcing his commitment, he said, “I can really be the voice for the people in my riding. Above all, that is any MPP’s job, and one that I aspire to.”

Finally, Reist, who is 19 years old, addressed the issue of whether voters might think he was too young to be an MPP: “To those voters that may say I’m too young, and I’m sure there are many who think that, I would say that being young is one of the greatest assets I bring to the table.”

“My age gives me a different approach to politics – one that is based on sound policy rather than entrenched ideological views. It gives me the flexibility to learn and grow in this position, and makes me more open to other voices.”

“Even more importantly, being this young means I have much more invested in the future than those older than me. Every issue this province is facing right now is one I will be facing for twice as long.”

In conclusion, “I feel a great sense of duty in making sure that Ontario and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry have a sound economic and environmental future for myself and the generations after me.”

Will readers vote Green Party on October 6th? We will have to wait and see.

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Will SD&SG’s next MPP be from the Libertarian Party?

Darcy Neal Donnelly of Fournier, Ontario has added his name to the ballot to become Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry’s next MPP.

Donnelly, a member of the Libertarian Party, believes that voters are not being given enough freedom in terms of money, taxes, and politics.

On the topic of money, Donnelly had this to say: “please note that within our MONETARY POLICY, We would grant individuals and corporations the freedom to issue their own currencies. Your money would compete (in a free market) with Canadian Tire money or with Bitcoin or with Canadian government loonies.”

He continued by asking, “Now how would that affect our average voters, non-voters and small towns within our community?”

Donnelly then answered his own question: “They will experience greater economic freedom and have the ability to reduce poverty. Since I have been voting; We get the same policies. We get more and more government regulations, rules and taxes.”

“Businesses are forced to be TAX Collectors. Business is leaving for less fascist government controls. Jobs are disappearing. Poverty is increasing.”

“People who want to reduce poverty believe that government controls are the solutions. Take a look at the government results. Fascist regulations. Endless deficits and growing debts. Countries going bankrupt. Poverty rising everywhere. People revolting. We want another option.”

This is where the Libertarian Party enters the picture. Donnelly claims, “We are offering [voters] another choice. We are the Party of Choice. Our vision is communities  of freedom, harmony and abundance.”

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