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Opinion

Watch your speed

I’ve been accused of being “heavy-footed” when it comes to the gas pedal in my trusty little car. 

After all, it’s so very easy to let that speedometer needle creep up, to come to that perfect rolling stop at a rural sign, to convince yourself that arriving at your destination 4.5 seconds sooner really justifies that extra 20 kph over the limit. 

I’ve never received a ticket; I may have deserved one.

If you are an habitual speeder, however, you’d be advised to rethink that habit next time you travel through Williamsburg on County Road 31. Apparently, according to OPP Constable Lalonde ( the Standard-Freeholder, Nov. 11, 2011) Williamsburg has one of the highest rates of speeding in SD&G. A recent traffic survey indicates that the “prevailing speed through Williamsburg is between 60-70 kph even though the (clearly posted) maximum speed is 50 kph.” 

This is dangerous and reckless driving in the heart of a small town and it has to stop.

That is the view of the County Roads Department, the OPP, the Township of South Dundas and a number of community members. It is also the view of the council for the United Counties of SD&G.       

The council has decided to establish its first Community Safety Zone on County Road 31. Under the Highway Traffic Act, this designation allows the OPP to double the fines for anyone, day or night, 365 days a year, who speeds through the community of Williamsburg.  It means that going 20 kph over the speed limit will result in a fine, not of $95, as it currently is, but rather of $180. The higher your speed, the more the fine doubles. 

The Safety Zone designation comes into effect the moment new signs indicating the change are put in place; within three weeks according to the council press release. 

The highway is very close to homes in Williamsburg; there are hard to see intersections cutting across the road (despite flashing lights); pedestrians are difficult to spot at all times.

So slow down. Speeding in Williamsburg won’t be cheap.

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Sports

Junior B Lions fall short in must-win weekend

The Morrisburg Junior B Lions got off to a bad start in their weekend St. Lawrence Division action Friday night against the CharLan Rebels, and then, just barely managed to cross the finish line ahead of the Akwesasne Wolves on Sunday.

Friday night the Lions lost 7-3 to the Rebels in front of their hometown fans. Sunday they eked out a 5-4 win against the Wolves after giving up a 5-0 lead held early in the second period.

“Friday night was our biggest game of the year, and we just didn’t respond,” said coach Thom Racine. “CharLan has had their team together since the start of the year and the fact that they are all on the ice to practice makes a big difference. They were able to show us what hard work is. That combined with our inability to convert a goal was the difference.”

Friday night in Morrisburg, the Rebels went up 2-0 in the first period. The Lions charged back to win the second period 3-2, but that would be it.

The Rebels beat Lions’ goaltender Mikael Dion for another three in the third for the 7-3 win.

Patrick Bzdyl, with help from Michael Poapst and Brayden Girard, put the Lions on the scoreboard at 1:21 of the second.

That was followed by a pair of Rebel tallies that gave them a 4-1 edge. The Lions charged back for another two to end the second period down 4-3.

Lance Hodgson got it started at 15:57 with Taylor Wilson and Marc Antoine Kamel providing the assists. Then it was over to Alex Steingruber at 17:35 for what would end up being the Lions final counter.

Ryan Ward and Clarke Veenstra provided the set up on the Steingruber marker.

The Rebels counted one power play marker in four opportunities while the Lions were zero for three.

Sunday, the Lions were on Cornwall Island where they quickly took command of the game against the Akwesasne Wolves. 

They went up 4-0 in the first period on goals by Kamel (from Brayden Girard), Michael Poapst (short-handed from Kamel), Steingruber (from Ward and Paquette) and Clarke Veenstra, (unassisted).

Their power play, just over a minute into the second period pushed them to a 5-0 advantage with Matt Ouimet finding the net and Kamel and Bzdyl providing the help.

“We needed a win to keep pace with the Rebels,” said Racine. “The first period was good. We had a 4-0 lead in the first period, but we got in there and got fat.”

“After 20 minutes of play, the dressing room was light. You figure you got the game won.”

“But you have to respect the other team. Ryan (Winter) is one of those coaches with a never say ‘die’ attitude. They just weren’t going to quit.”

And indeed they didn’t as they got it started with 1:58 left on the second period clock with a goal from Matthew Bouroassa.

Then in the third period the Wolves took charge for three goals, the first on their power play from Pat Gendron, the second from Keith Sloan with 6:34 left and the fourth, which had them nipping at the Lions’ heels, from Ryan Leckie with 1:58 left on the game clock.

“A credit to the kids though, in the last  minute, the Wolves had their goalie out and they were never in our zone.”

That allowed the Lions to hold on for the 5-4 win, their  sixth of the season which, combined with the loss Friday night leaves them tied with the Rebels for the St. Lawrence Division’s fourth spot.

Coming up this Friday night, November 25, the Lions travel to Winchester to take on the first place Hawks at 8:15 p.m. Sunday they are on the road to Cardinal for a 2:30 p.m. match against the Rideau Division’s fourth place South Grenville Rangers.

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News

Students welcome Spartacat

The student body at Iroquois Public School reaped the rewards of Mary Wilson’s grade 3-4 class reading skills last Wednesday, when, the Ottawa Senators Spartacat stopped in at the school for a visit.

Registered by their teacher in the Sens at School Program, the students read 10 minutes per night, and when they were done they had amassed 5,100 minutes of reading.

Their effort was rewarded when they were notified that they had won a school visit from Spartacat.

It was a big day at the school, with excitement running at fever pitch in anticipation of the special visitor who would first participate in a school assembly and then visit the grade 3-4s in their classroom.

In the gym, Sparty and Emily Knight who is the coordinator, Fan & Community Development for the Ottawa Senators and Scotiabank Place, led the students in a number of activities and games  all geared towards reading, with a  little hockey trivia thrown in.

“It was really fun,” said Wilson following the assembly “This has been a huge boost for these kids. Today they were really wired. They must have asked me 1,500 times ‘when is he coming’.”

It was an extra big day for the grade 3-4s when they were presented two tickets per student to the Sens’ Sunday night game against the Carolina Hurricanes, a reward given to only one (lucky) winning class per month.

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News

Morrisburg Legion News

Another stirring Remembrance Day at Branch #48. Fraser Hall was filled with wreaths, crosses and people. Morrisburg and area does remember. The walls were decorated with many entries in the poster campaign. Thank you to our Ladies Auxiliary for the delicious lunch.

Business arising from the meetings on the 7th and 9th involved donations to the Santa Claus Parade in the amount of $500, a $200 donation to Camp Sheldrick, $100 to the War Museum and $500 for a new memorial being build at R.C.A.F. base Trenton. This memorial will honour the veterans from the Afghanistan conflict. There were several other business items which will be covered at a later date. 

On November 16, the Ladies Auxiliary will cater the Canadian Club dinner. Bingo resumes on November 17 and from November 18-20, Fraser Hall will be filled with the crafts from the Morrisburg and District Show. 

November 25 will once again be barbecue night and on November 26, Zone cribbage will take place with 160 guests expected. There is one Saturday left open in Fraser Hall before Christmas.

There will be a New Year’s party at Branch #48. More details on that later. 

On a sadder note, Branch #48 offers our sympathy to the family of Ladies Auxiliary member Elva Baker. Yes, we do remember.

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News

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

 

Does South Dundas have too many traffic signs or not enough?

At the November 1st council meeting, Deputy Mayor Jim Locke introduced an issue with traffic signs in South Dundas.

“It’s been brought to my attention there are a couple of roads that don’t have any signage.”

“I’ve been looking around,” Locke continued, “I think we need to address our signage policy.”

“We have a number of intersections without any signage. We have more yield signs than I realized.”

Hugh Garlough, Manager of Public Works, spoke up saying, “I don’t think we have a signage policy as such. We can’t just put a yield sign up without a by-law. If we change a yield to a stop, we have to have a by-law.”

“I can look at the whole situation,” he offered.

“I have a map that shows all those yield and stop signs,” Garlough continued, “We’ve gone through that process.”

Mayor Steven Byvelds weighed in saying he’d like staff to come back with some sort of report on how much it would cost to have a thorough review of all our intersections.

“I’d like to hear what the villages think,” he added.

Garlough said, “I’d like to get a comment from Brenda (Brunt, Clerk) and the insurance people about taking stop signs away where they’re used to having them.”

“We don’t want to be pounding a post in and hit a Bell line or a gas line,” he added.

Byvelds thought that staff should “at least look at it.”

In the end, it was decided that the issue would be added to unfinished business as it doesn’t need to be done immediately.

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News

Police issue safety reminders

 

On November 4th the SD&G OPP sent out the following reminders:

Road Condition Enquiries

With winter related driving conditions approaching and for your safety, SD&G OPP is reminding the public not to call OPP Communication Centres for road conditions and closures.  These calls tie up emergency lines.

This is a time of year when the weather directly affects driving and road conditions, resulting in a significantly larger volume of callers reporting motor vehicle collisions to the Communication Centres.  These are emergency calls.

At the same time, OPP Communication Centres are being swamped with phone calls from people looking for general road condition information.  OPP Communication Centre call takers have reported that some people are even dialling the 9-1-1 emergency only number to obtain information about road conditions.  The public is reminded that these phone numbers are not intended for this use.

The public is asked to call the Ministry of Transportation province-wide toll-free inquiry line at 1-800-268-4686 to obtain information about road conditions and closures.  You can also visit their website at www.mto.gov.on.ca.

Furthermore, cooler temperatures cause frost to form on vehicle windows. Please ensure your vehicle is fully defrosted (and clear of snow if the case) prior to departure for your destination. Driving while looking through a small opening on the windshield is not only dangerous, it’s against the law (Section 74-Highway Traffic Act-No clear view=$110.00 fine).

Safety on our roadways is everyone’s responsibility…be ready this coming winter!

Drivers: Watch for Wildlife

SD&G OPP wish to remind motorists of the dangers of wildlife on roadways this time of year. More movement in the deer population results in the creatures being near and crossing roadways in rural areas. 

Following simple driving techniques will reduce the chance of being involved in a collision.

Be extra vigilant during morning (dawn) and evening (dusk) commutes as visibility is reduced and wildlife are more active. Reduce your speed accordingly.

Be aware of signage in areas known for deer crossing. Deer seldom run alone, if you see one, chances are there will be more.

When safe to do so, use high beams when driving at night and scan the ditch area.

If you need to avoid deer on roadways, do not swerve, brake firmly and stay in your lane so as not to lose control of your vehicle.

If you are in a collision with a deer, report same to police.

By being a safe and cautious driver, fewer collisions occur, resulting in a reduction of injuries and lives saved.

Hunter Safety

With the hunting season upon us, SD&G OPP, in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) wish to remind those engaged in the popular pastime to exercise caution. 

Proper handling of firearms and ensuring safety should be a main priority. Hunters should follow rules and regulations pertaining to current legislation and be respectful of property owners in getting approval to hunt on their land.

It is everyone’s responsibility to practice safety and report any incidents observed. SD&G OPP and MNR officers will be out conducting joint patrol. 

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News

Getting community involved in helping local hospital

 

Release – November 14, 2011

After having her two children and receiving chemotherapy treatment at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital, Christina Enright has turned her passion for healthy communities into her day job.  

Enright began working at the WDMH Foundation as the Manager of Community Engagement on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and is a welcome addition to the team.  

Foundation Executive Director, Troy Cross stated, “Christina has been working tirelessly for years to support the WDMH Foundation in its mission to serve the needs of the Winchester District Memorial Hospital and its catchment area – and now, she will be able to focus those same energies in a professional capacity.”

The role of Manager, Community Engagement is a very broad position in which Christina will be working closely with key community members and organizations to deepen their relationship with the WDMH Foundation and the Winchester District Memorial Hospital.  

She is also responsible for developing and delivering all events, both those managed by the Foundation (Signature), and community organized events (Third Party). 

Enright is very excited about her recent shift in careers and how it will enable her to continue building relationships and furthering support for local cancer care, and healthy communities in general.  

“We all need a hospital at some point and to have such a precious, high tech and high quality local resource in our backyard is truly a thing to be treasured and cared for.  I plan on supporting community members and organizations in finding creative ways to support our hospital.  We all think of giving in terms of money, but there are lots of ways to give that don’t rely on writing a cheque.”

This positive outlook and creative nature is one of many of Christina’s attributes that qualifies her for this new position at the WDMH Foundation.  Her attitude shares many qualities that the dozens of community What’s Your Story event organizers possess.  

This year, almost two dozen different community members will raise over $30,000 for the WDMH foundation to support programs and services at WDMH.  So many of these dollars are raised by volunteers who work to get donations of goods or services for auctions and door prizes for their events or by local businesses that continue to support the WDMH Foundation by sponsoring these events.  

When communities come together to create a healthy and sustainable future, they are showing that they are making an investment in quality care, close to home.

Troy Cross, the WDMH Foundation Executive Director shared that the “…funds raised for WDMH comprise so many individual efforts, that we are thrilled to have Christina join our team in celebrating those stories and sharing them with the community”. 

To find out more, go online to wdmh.on.ca/foundation or facebook.com/wdmhfoundation.

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News

South Dundas to buy tractor

 

South Dundas Manager for Public Works, Hugh Garlough asked council to allow him the leeway to purchase a “used farm tractor for road side mowing, to an upset limit of $50,000.”

The $50,000 limit was already passed by council for this purpose in the 2011 budget, however, council would, normally, still have to approve the final purchase.

Backing Garlough’s request, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald explained to council that, “whenever a good used tractor becomes available we don’t have time to go back to council” for additional consent before purchasing it.

In addition, Garlough asked that the money be carried over to the new budget should he fail to find an adequate tractor before 2012.

When asked about the possibility of purchasing a brand new tractor, Garlough explained that it is “impossible to get a new one for that amount,” which means that the purchase will not be tendered.

As for the used tractor, he promised, “I will not go over the $50,000, but if I do it will come back to council.” 

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News

Arts and Crafts Show This Weekend

 

There will be some familiar, some not so familiar faces and some brand new faces at this weekend’s three-day Morrisburg and District Arts and Crafts Association’s annual Christmas Show.

Association president Linda Schenck is excited about this year’s show, which, along with the works of the local artists and crafters we have all come to know for their beautiful work, are some new artists with some very interesting products.

“Dianna Davies has been with us a long time, but this year she is going to bring her twig furniture, which everyone is going to love,” says Schenck. “Her pieces make perfect gifts for people who love the outdoors and enjoy something unique in their gardens.”

“We have another talented lady who takes old and antique jewellery and turns it into something new and funky that people wear today. Absolutely, gorgeous work. People will also enjoy the work of a mosaic artist who has some great pieces.”

“We have Steve Henderson and his iron works returning for his second year, and a crafter who carves old/antique cabinets and makes them something new.”

Schenck is pleased to have a ‘lifetime members’ table which this year will have for sale the last few remaining leather pieces made by Pat Stewart and some items provided by Catherine Scott.

The annual Arts and Crafts Association’s show will run this weekend at the Morrisburg Legion from Friday to Sunday. It will open Friday at noon and run until 7 p.m. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20.

As usual the Presbyterian Church will run its always popular bake sale and serve a light menu.

The Arts and Crafts Association will continue its tradition of supporting the community with its annual donation to Winchester Hospital and the Dundas County Hospice to be made Friday afternoon at the show.

The Association also presented a $200 bursary to Allison Harbers the Seaway District High School graduation in early October.

“We have some really interesting new artists lined up this year, and of course everyone’s favourites are returning,” says Schenck. “We are looking forward to a lot of shoppers. We have a lot of great gift selections.”

 

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News

Seaway celebrates undergrads

 

“This was an evening of accomplishments, an evening about you, the students,” said Seaway District High School vice principal, Karen Bryant, in her remarks to students, parents and friends gathered to honour the academic achievements of Seaway’s young undergraduate students. “Tonight is about you, but we also need to acknowledge the support of teachers and parents in helping you to reach these goals.”

The ceremony honouring the undergraduates was held the evening of November 9 in the high school gym, and drew a large and appreciative crowd. Students at all levels in the 2010 school year were honoured for their efforts in all subject areas with diplomas and trophies. 

Several Seaway students in grades 9-11 achieved over 80 per cent in all their subjects, while Samantha Venema, Gregory Bolton and Lesley-Ann Tupper  each scored over 90 percent. 

Grade 9 proficiency awards were 1st, Samantha Venema, 2nd, Massar Hamadi, 3rd, Shannon van Moorsel. Grade 10 proficiency awards were 1st, Lesley-Ann Tupper, 2nd, Gregory Bolton and 3rd, Olivia Currier. Grade 11 proficiency awards were 1st, Devin Fraser, 2nd, Beverley Fowler and 3rd, Stephen Tibben.

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