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Howald launches exciting new novel set in World War II

 

 “Writing is something you either want to do, or you don’t want to. I have to write. It’s a passion, one that isn’t going away,” said Brian Howald, home in Morrisburg to discuss the launch of his new novel, Inside Looking Out.

Howald, a graduate of Morrisburg Public School, and, in 1982, Seaway District High School in Iroquois, talked about his writing career on October 31. 

He originally studied broadcasting at Loyalist College, then lived for a time in Toronto, working for a casting/modeling agency and taking part in the Toronto music scene. 

A move to Kingston in the late 80s led to work with Theatre 5, and some writing of music and film reviews for a small independent newspaper. He also took a full time writing course at St. Lawrence College, an option he found very valuable. 

Eventually, however, Howald was drawn to writing full time.  In 1993 he formed a company called Bookworm Literary Productions. For him, it was the best of both worlds; publishing books, with  ample time to work on his own writing.

His first book, The Chopper of Lucy Electra, appeared in 1996. 

It was “ a murder mystery which was set in both the Seaway of the 1950s, and partially in modern times.”  

Other articles and books followed since Howald does not restrict his writing to one particular genre. What ever strikes him as interesting, with potential as story material, that is what he will write about.

His 2011 novel, Inside Looking Out, is being launched at Bookworm in Kingston on November 11. Inside Looking Out, is set in the very early years of  World War II.

“I began exploring a lot of historical accounts of World War II, researching military engagements and doing a great deal of reading,” Howald said. “My story and characters grew out of this.”

Inside Looking Out follows two young men, one a civilian pilot contracted to the R.A.F.,  the other a soldier who did not make it out during the hurried evacuation  of stranded British troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in early June of 1940. 

The two men ultimately meet in a German prisoner-of-war camp, eventually taking part in a daring and desperate escape across occupied Europe to Denmark, and then Sweden.

“The characters of Pete and Terry came out of my research. They are as real as I could make them. For young men in their 20s war is a kind of ultimate adventure,”  the author said.

Howald stresses that his German characters are not “stick figures. This is a time when the Germans are at their most triumphant. They expect to win the war. I would call this story a dramatic thriller in the old style meaning of the term.” 

He did not deliberately set out to release the novel on Remembrance Day, but it is perhaps fitting that it will be available starting November 11.

Brian Howald is an old fashioned writer in one way. 

“When I write, I use traditional, spiral notebooks and I write long hand,” he laughed. “I do not like the “box”, my word for the word processor. I have people who are much better at processing my work than I am.”

His preferred writing venue is also a little unusual.

“I am far more comfortable writing in restaurants and coffee shops,” he said. “I actually prefer the noise and music that forms  the background in these places. I think I got used to that kind of ambiance when I was writing in Toronto.”

Howald is currently at work  polishing a new novel called The Spot Marked X, also tied into events of World War II, which should be coming out in 2012.

In the meantime, he continues to devote himself to a challenging but ultimately rewarding career. 

“Writing is not an easy choice in life. There are years spent writing a book, not to mention the endless editing and rewrites. But if this is what you love, you have to write,” he said.

Howald’s original novel Inside Looking Out should soon be available at the Seaway Pharmacy and the Basket Case, Morrisburg. Contact Brian Howald at brianhowald@rocketmail.com.

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Snowmobiling and winter tourism

 

With a new snowmobiling season about to commence, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), thanks the Government of Ontario for its support of winter tourism and snowmobile trails.

Thanks to the McGuinty Government and Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Ontario snowmobilers, along with snowbelt communities, local residents and businesses, will experience the benefits of the many upgrades and improvements to the OFSC trail infrastructure that will help boost winter tourism during the coming season.

With 229 community based clubs and 168,000 family members, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs is a volunteer led not-for-profit association, which through strong leadership, provides a wide range of quality programs and services to, and on behalf of, its member organizations. Our 34,262 kilometre provincial network of organized snowmobile trails connects Ontario communities, providing responsible riding experiences that are safe, enjoyable, and environmentally sustainable.

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Crafts before Christmas

 

Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners was the place to be on Saturday morning.

The Brinston United Church held their 20th Annual Fall Craft Show at Matilda Hall on October 29th.

Organizer, Leslie Disheau, confirmed that “the proceeds from the admission and vendor registration go to the general fund for the church to pay our monthly bills. The luncheon proceeds go directly to the Sunday school for their operational cost.”

The show boasted “lots of new vendors, great gift items and door prize draws” as well as a luncheon. 

Also, for those interested  in shopping whether for themselves or for “early” Christmas gifts, there were lots of handmade  items including clothing, blankets, decorations, and baking.  

As of October 31st, Disheau said, “I don’t have a total yet of how much we made, but I do know we were down by 100 people coming through the doors this year. Last year we were over 300 people (and) this year it was just over 200.” 

She acknowledged that there is “so much going on (and) people can only be in so many places in one day.”

“I do a satisfaction survey with the vendors and all of them were super satisfied with the luncheon and love the fact the kids are servers. They also were satisfied with how the day went,” she added.

“This year I had nine new vendors, so people would have seen some new products.”

As for success, the Craft Show boasted a full parking lot, a full hall, and lots of satisfied visitors.

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Ladies Night Out Update

 

Scotiabank South Mountain generously agreed to match all proceeds raised from Community Living Dundas County’s annual Ladies Night Out on October 13th. CLDC’s Debbie Boardman, Marlene Lewis, and Amber Rothwell accepted a cheque for $4,924 on October 28th from Karen Thompson, Branch Manager along with the Scotiabank ladies who volunteered at the event.  

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Kraft food challenge

 

For most of us, the holiday season is a time of celebration with lots of great food. But for some families it can be a challenging time for the simple reason that there is not enough food to go around.

That’s why Kraft Food for Families is supporting local food banks across Canada this holiday season.

Show your support between November 3, 2011 and January 31, 2012, just add your name. It is as easy as going to www.kraftassists.ca and entering your name to support us.  If we get 1000 names the House of Lazarus will receive $1000, and Kraft Food Canada will donate $1 to your choice of 1 of 30 local food banks.  

With choosing The House of Lazarus you will be helping us to stock our shelves with much needed food.

Together, we can help make the holidays easier for everyone.

Any questions contact Kim or Elaine at the House of Lazarus, 613-989-3830.

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Squashing rumours

 

If you heard about the several police cars pulled over alongside the ramp to Highway 401 with officers and dogs heading into the forest (some with machine guns), then you might be wondering what exactly was happening October 27th.

OPP Constable Pete Robertson explained the situation to the Leader on October 31st.

First off, the machine guns were, in fact, not machine guns at all. They were C8’s with clips, or semi-automatic rifles, which can easily be mistaken for machine guns.

Secondly, the entire event came about due to a tip. Robertson confirmed that “three suspected males were in an area trying to commit a theft.”

“They ran off into the bush,” where OPP officers went in pursuit, but the suspects were “not located.”

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Remembrance Day

 

 It is hard to believe that it has been 1 year since we last celebrated Remembrance Day. 

I wonder how many Veterans we have lost in the past 12 months. Sadly it seems year after year the number of these brave men and woman attending the November 11 ceremonies is falling dramatically. 

It never fails to move me emotionally when I observe the determination of these true Canadian heroes and heroines as they come to attention and salute as the National Anthem is played. 

On a positive note, I have also noticed that the number of citizens attending Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry has increased in recent years. This is a very encouraging development. I believe this is an indication that the general public is realizing the tremendous sacrifices veterans and their families have made to protect our country and its citizens.

This year marks the end of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan. We should pay special tribute to the current members of the Canadian Forces for the enormous contributions they have made during the past decade. We should also recognize and thank their families for their many sacrifices during the same period. And of course we owe a great debt of gratitude to all who continue to support Canada’s non-combat missions throughout the world.

I encourage every constituent of SD&SG to make this Remembrance Day special. 

There are many ways to actively honour and remember our Canadian Veterans. Wear a poppy above your heart. Attend the local Remembrance Day ceremony and vow to never let their memories die. 

Probably the best way we can show the respect and gratitude our Veterans deserve is by spending time getting to know them and listening to their stories.

Lest We Forget!  

Guy Lauzon

Member of Parliament

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

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Getting taxed to visit the States?!

 

If the International Border Caucus is unsuccessful, Canadians will have to pay a fee to visit the United States via “air or sea” beginning November 5th.

Ontario Senator Bob Runciman’s office shared a release from U.S. State Senator Patty Ritchie’s office entitled: “Border Senators oppose ‘visitor tax’ on Canadians.”

According to the release, “New York State Senators who represent districts along the 450-mile US-Canadian border joined together to urge Congress to repeal  a new $5.50 visitor fee that they say will hurt small businesses who rely on Canadian tourists, cost New Yorkers their jobs, and further damage relations between the two nations.”

“The 11 members of the State Senate’s bipartisan International Border Caucus signed a letter to both US Senators from New York, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, urging them to fight for a repeal of the new fee.”

Included in the letter, “We urge you to join us in working together to remove this tax on our Canadian friends that will hurt our economy and cost jobs across New York State.”

Runciman, the Border Caucus’ Canadian co-chair, agreed with the U.S. senators saying, “This fee, depending on how it is implemented, could be extremely damaging. I’m particularly worried about the impact on the boat cruise business if they are not granted an exemption.”

He went on to say that he’s “grateful for the support of the International Border Caucus on this issue. It’s exactly the sort of cross-border cooperation we hoped for when Senators Patty Ritchie, Joseph Griffo and I decided to put together a binational group of legislators who serve border communities.”

The “visitor fee” is actually a clause in the U.S.-Colombia free trade deal which removes exemption from the tariff for travelers from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada and Mexico have been exempt from the tariff since 1997.

The Leader spoke with Senator Runciman’s Executive Assistant, Barry Raison, asking whether Canada has a similar tax for Americans visiting Canada. “I’m not aware that we do,” he said.

Raison confirmed that “the (Canadian) government is working to convince them (U.S.) it’s not the right thing to do.”

As for who is affected by the tax, Raison reported “we’re trying to clarify” that, but it appears that the tax does “not apply to recreational boaters.”

How will this tax situation affect Canada and Canadians? As Raison said, “we’ll have to wait and see.”

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Balancing growth and agricultural land protection

 

Building houses, severing land parcels, creating subdivisions, protecting agricultural lands… these are some of the issues  behind the development of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry’s Comprehensive Settlement Area Boundary Study.

South Dundas council met at a special meeting on October 25th to review and discuss the proposed changes for the areas within South Dundas Township.

The meeting was led by South Dundas Manager for Planning and Enforcement, Don Lewis. Also in attendance to answer questions and note changes were County Planner and Department Head for the Planning Department, Michael Otis, and the GIS/Planning Technician, Jack Sullivan.

In the mayor’s absence, Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke opened the meeting explaining that “because it was apparent that we were looking at some changes,” it was decided that council should meet for a “special meeting” to discuss changes to the study “before (it) comes to (County) council for approval.”

Otis confirmed that the meeting was a “working session (so that) everyone understands what’s being proposed.” He added, “we certainly welcome your input.”

He went on to report that the idea is “to take forward the report to county  council November 21st and get some kind of approval, but before we do so we’d like to hear from each of the townships.”

“Subsequent to hearing from people from the open houses, we’ve made some changes,” informed Otis.

He outlined the reasons behind the study’s development with the most notable being: “provincial policy states (that) if you want to expand a settlement area, you have to have a comprehensive study.”

Further to that point, “a number of development proposals have surfaced which are constrained by current boundaries.”

“Some of these development proposals involve contiguous land holdings located partly within and partly outside of the settlement areas.”

“The Provincial Policy Statement and the County Official Plan strongly encourage the majority of future development to occur in the settlement areas as opposed to the rural areas of the county and as such, it is important to analyze the capacity of the settlement areas to assume this role.”

“The study reports will provide guidance to prospective developers and will provide a tool for economic development as well as land use planning.”

Lewis presented council with the recommended changes to each area with the help of maps. In most cases there were simple changes to boundaries, which acknowledged and delineated exactly where the existing boundaries are located.

The maps also showed where available land for development existed within the settlement boundaries.

The areas discussed at council included Iroquois, Stampville, Morrisburg, Mariatown, Williamsburg, Ault Island, Dunbar, Hulbert, Hainesville, Glen Becker, Glen Stewart, Irena, Brinston, Dundela, Riverside Heights, Dixon’s Corners, Winchester Springs, and Elma.

Otis told council “this study will be updated every five years. The idea is to be proactive. If someone came along and said I have a development in mind, you can’t do it without this study first.”

The following discussions were “informal” and nothing has been approved by County yet.

Iroquois

This discussion revolved mostly around whether or not to include the land that meets up with the West portion of Iroquois in the urban settlement boundary. 

It was pointed out that in a rural settlement area the home/land owner is responsible for their own water and sewer whereas in an urban settlement area the municipality is responsible.

The area southeast of Iroquois was also under consideration for potential settlement zoning. 

The area north of Iroquois, however, may be rezoned, losing its urban settlement status.

Stampville

Existing settlement to the north was acknowledged on the map’s boundaries. 

The land in the south section of Stampville, which faces Highway 401 was discussed in terms of whether it should be zoned as rural or urban settlement. It was revealed that “including it as rural settlement (is) a lot more flexible than urban in what is permitted.”

The biggest point of discussion for Stampville revolved around “West Side versus East Side.” In one area, residents on the east side of the road are zoned for settlement and are permitted severances. On the west side, however, the current zoning is agricultural meaning no severances are permitted. 

Lewis wanted council to include a portion of the land on the west side in the settlement zoning.

As Otis pointed out to council, “what you do on one side of the road you should do on the other, if it’s a similar situation.” 

Mariatown

According to Otis, Mariatown was “never recognized as a settlement area.”

He explained, “what we’re doing is taking the boundary and expanding to County Road 2 and over to Morrisburg’s west boundary and east to Coyle.”

“At this point it’d be a rural settlement,” said Lewis. He suggested that it might be possible to include a clause that allowed for a change if the opportunity for development arose.

Councillor Archie Mellan wanted to know how the designation of rural settlement would affect farmer’s taxes. In response, he was told that taxes are “based on use rather than zoning.”

Williamsburg

There were two large areas, one south of Hess Street and one to the northwest, where it was suggested that the land be zoned urban settlement. 

The discussion centered around the possibilities for additional subdivisions. 

Otis told council “the idea is to provide large areas where this can occur. (They) should be provided with this opportunity.”

Glen Becker

Mellan inquired as to why the settlement boundary wasn’t extended to include the truck stop land near Highway 401. 

Otis implied that there may be plans for that area and said, “we’re going to take a closer look at that on our five year review.”

Elma

Most members of council seemed to have a different opinion of where Elma was actually located. Some thought it was around the former school, while others thought it was west of the school at the four corners.

The proposal would connect these two areas along with the land in between. In addition, the land just east of the old school was included in the settlement area due to the several existing houses.

The major concern, however, seemed to revolve around the “land in between,” which is currently designated agricultural, If the land were to be included in the rural settlement area of Elma, it would allow for severances.

To clarify, the study was done to “protect prime agricultural land” from being severed and sold in disjointed parcels as settlement areas, which leads to the fragmentation of farmland. 

The summary report states: “It is a long standing and widely accepted planning principle that the majority of future development in a municipality should be encouraged to take place in the settlement areas as opposed to the countryside in order to protect rural resources such as prime agricultural land/areas and mineral aggregates and natural heritage systems, to promote economic development and maximize existing investment in public infrastructure expenditures.”

This discussion will resume at the November 1st meeting when council is presented with a list of pros and cons.

All Other Areas 

The remaining areas had either minor changes or no changes at all. Most changes simply reflected the actual current boundaries.

In Irena, the South Nation Conservation area was removed from the settlement boundary because, as Lewis pointed out, “that’s probably never going to be sold.”

Likewise, the Henderson farmland was removed from the settlement boundary in Dundela.

In Brinston there was a parcel of land, with two separate residences, being brought back into the settlement boundary to allow for a severance of the lot.

Due to concerns with the proposed settlement boundary for Dixon’s Corners, this will also be re-examined.

On November 1st, South Dundas council had one last opportunity to review and make changes to the study before the November 8th deadline.

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Jim McDonell appointed consumer services critic

 

An October 25th news release from Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s office revealed that SD&SG MPP Jim McDonell has been appointed the PC’s new consumer services critic.

The consumer services critic is, reportedly, “a valuable role on an Ontario PC team that is focused on bringing forward new ideas on job creation and getting the government’s spending under control.”

It was also suggested that  the people of SD&SG trust McDonell “to change the direction Ontario is headed in. Jim McDonell said he was humbled by the appointment, and eager to get to work to deliver the change families have asked for.”

McDonell stated: “This appointment will allow me to address the issues that matter most to the residents of Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, as well as those of the Province of Ontario.”

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