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Other Interesting Community Stories

Port Rowan, Ontario was put on the map by this extraordinary teacher from Valley Heights High School back in 2005.
In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Valley Heights High School in Port Rowan, Ontario , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks. ‘Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?
She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’
They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’ ‘No,’ she said.
‘Maybe it’s our behaviour.’ She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behaviour.’
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period.
Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom. Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.
Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.’
By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW.
Let us always remember the men and women of our military and the rights they have given us.

Springwater purchasing land for new community hub
Township of Springwater / November 4, 2020 – Springwater Council has voted in favour of purchasing a 50 acre parcel of land from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at a cost of $3,884,846 plus HST. The subject land, known as the Hasty Tract, is located at 1132 Snow Valley Road and will be used for the establishment of a community hub.
Immediate plans for the land include the construction of a new fire station to service the Midhurst area. The remainder of the proposed development will be phased in to meet community needs and includes a new multi-use recreation centre, featuring an arena, library and meeting/activity space, as well as active and passive recreation opportunities.
In 2015, the Township began searching for a new site along the Bayfield corridor to relocate the existing Fire Station 2. In 2018, the Township announced its intentions to acquire land at 1132 Snow Valley Road for the development of a community hub. An Environmental Assessment, including a traffic management study, stormwater management study, environmental impact study, soil and groundwater investigation, archaeological investigation and consultations with First Nations, commenced shortly after and was completed in April 2020.
“The site is strategically located within the Bayfield Corridor Study area and will serve as a multi-purpose community hub. It will allow us to continually ensure the safety of our residents through the creation of a new fire station and also expand on our recreational offerings to the community,” says Mayor Don Allen. “A special thank you to Minister John Yakabuski, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and MPP Doug Downey for their assistance in moving this project forward.” To learn more about this project visit www.springwater.ca/hastytract.

Annie’s Journal
November. It’s a time to remember the sacrifice made by thousands of men and women so that, here in Canada, we can be free of the war and devastation that exists in so many parts of the world. November is when we pause to thank God for each one who gave all that they had.
My Dad was a Wireless Air Gunner in a Lancaster bomber fighting World War 2 in the skies over Britain. Having seen the Lancaster at the War Museum in Hamilton, I can only imagine what he felt as he watched, from his glass enclosure, the enemy’s planes fly towards him. Barely out of his teen years: kill or be killed. He survived the war without a scratch only to die of a brain aneurysm in his 51st year.
I live close to Angus. When I shop there, I often see men and women in uniform, and I remember my Dad. I can’t thank him anymore, but I can thank them, and I do. Remembering isn’t just something to do on November 11. Every day, we can remember to be grateful that war hasn’t come to our cities and towns; to remember and pray for the men and women who, at this moment, are standing guard for Canada and other places in the world.
My Dad’s gone, but I am so grateful that our heavenly Father is alive; His love is available to each of us. Certainly, when it comes to Him, we have lots to remember.
He never leaves us, nor forsakes us.
He draws us to Him; He never pushes us away.
He speaks to us gently, calmly.
He lovingly touches us through the beauty of His creation, and through those He has created.
He leads and guides us.
He encourages us to use the spiritual gifts He has given to us.
He longs for us to be who He created us to be, because His plans for us bring joy!
Jesus died to save us. This means that we have value.
In Step Three of Elizabeth L.’s Overeaters Anonymous Book, she writes about being in tune with God.
“When we’re in tune with God, we’re living in the present instead of fretting over the past or fantasizing about the future. God is now. God gives us strength for what actually is happening right this minute. … We can’t know what tomorrow will bring … Amazingly, when we stay tuned to God today, whatever comes up tomorrow turns out to be okay. Often it’s even better than okay – a lot better. It stands to reason that God has access to information you and I do not have. If we insist on acting only according to our limited vision, we restrict ourselves. Turning our lives over to the care of God frees us from our own limitations.”
In this time of trouble, let’s remember to live in the freedom purchased by the spilled blood of so many. Let’s remember, be grateful and express our thanks.
I’d be glad to hear what you think. Please write to me at ann.donnelly@takingthenextstep.ca
Taking the Next Step Corp. (TNSC)
www.takingthenextstep.ca
Read the TNSC Blog at www.takingthenextstep.ca/blog

E-Bikes and Other Alternative Transportation – Know the Laws
(ORILLIA, ON) – The Orillia detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is urging all drivers of e-bikes, mobility devices, mopeds, electric scooters and other alternative forms of transportation, to know the laws before heading out on Ontario roads. With the emerging popularity of these smaller, more economical forms of transportation, it is vital that users understand the rules and regulations governing their use as well as all safety requirements.
The most common type, the e-bike, is defined under the Highway Traffic Act and the Motor Vehicle Safety Act Regulations as a power-assisted bicycle. These vehicles can only have an electric motor and come in two varieties, the e-bike which looks similar to a standard bicycle and the e-scooter which looks similar to a motor scooter. Vehicles in the e-bike category must:
• have a label affixed by the manufacturer that the vehicle complies with these regulations
• Have steering handlebars
• Be fitted at all times with pedals that are operable to propel the bicycle
• Be designed to travel on no more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground
• Not be capable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/hr
• The laws governing their use on roadways include:
• Operator (and any passenger) must be 16 years of age
• Operator (and any passenger) must wear a helmet (may be a bicycle or motorcycle helmet)
• must be equipped with safety devices accordingly (e.g. bell, white front light, red rear light)
• May carry a passenger only if the e-bike is equipped with a second seat and foot rests
• Does not require driver’s license, permit, license plate or insurance
• Operator must follow all rules of the road that apply to any vehicle or bicycle
• Cannot be operated on a sidewalk
• Are not permitted on controlled access highways (such as 400-series and others)
• Cannot be operated by anyone under a Criminal Code driving prohibition
• Another common vehicle is the motor-assisted bicycle (moped). These are bicycles manufactured with either an attached motor driven electrically or having a piston displacement of not more than 50 cubic centimetres. In addition, these vehicles must:
• Have pedals that are operable at all times
• Weigh no more than 55 kilograms
• Not have sufficient power to attain a speed greater than 50 km/hr
• The laws governing their use on roadways include:
• Operator must be at least 16 years of age
• Operator must wear an approved motorcycle helmet
• must be equipped with safety devices accordingly (e.g. bell, white front light, red rear light)
• Operator must have a valid driver’s licence (M1, M2 or M, or restricted M2 or M with L endorsement)
• Must have a permit and Moped plate
• Must have insurance
• No passenger allowed
• Are not permitted on controlled access highways (such as 400-series and others)
Another category of vehicle that is common is the motor scooter or limited speed motorcycle. These vehicles are self-propelled and are designed to travel on no more than three wheels in contact with the ground. These vehicles must:
• Not be equipped with pedals
• Have a maximum engine displacement of 50 cubic centimetres
• Have a maximum speed of 70 km/hr
• Be step-through design with handlebar steering
• Have a manufacturer’s plate indicating vehicle conforms to federal standards and will have a VIN number
The laws governing their use on roadways include:
• Operator must be at least 16 years of age
• Operator must wear an approved motorcycle helmet
must be equipped with safety devices accordingly (e.g. bell, white front light, red rear light)
• Operator must have a valid driver’s licence (M1, M2 or M, or restricted M2 or M with L endorsement)
• Must have a permit and “Limited Speed Motorcycle” plate
• Must have insurance
• A passenger is allowed but must be wearing an approved motorcycle helmet
• Are not permitted on controlled access highways (such as 400-series and others)
Another familiar category of conveyance is the personal mobility device, or wheelchair. Under the Highway Traffic Act, a wheelchair is defined as “a chair mounted on wheels driven by muscular or any other kind of power that is designed for and used by a person whose mobility is limited by one or more conditions or functional impairments.” These devices do not require registration, licence plates, a driver’s licence, or insurance and people utilizing them are considered pedestrians and, as such, must follow all rules of the road that apply to pedestrians. Wheelchairs and mobility devices are allowed on sidewalks unless restricted by municipal by-laws.
Many of these conveyances are similar in appearance and it may not be immediately obvious which category they fall under. Before purchasing/operating a new type of vehicle, OPP recommends researching requirements for equipment and licensing under the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario and permitted uses in the municipality in which you intend to operate it. If the gas or electric powered vehicle you are considering does not fall under one of the above mentioned categories, it will likely be considered a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic act and will be subject to all applicable laws and regulations including the requirement for registration, licencing and insurance.
All of the above noted vehicles have one thing in common. They are all defined as motor vehicles under the Criminal Code of Canada and it is a criminal offence to operate any of them while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Driving any of these conveyances while impaired carries the same consequences as driving a motor vehicle impaired including the possibility of a jail sentence, losing your licence, having your vehicle impounded, a monetary fine and ending up with a criminal record. If you suspect that someone is driving or about to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs, it is important to call 9-1-1 to report it.