Other Community News
Craighurst W I November Meeting
We began November’s meeting with our program, a “Cook’s tour of Egypt” – One of our members had visited that famous country in May and shared her slides and stories. She and her husband had a 2 week tour and saw it all, from the Great Pyramids to the 401-like highways around Cairo with no lanes! They marvelled at the grandeur and the scale of the temples and sphinx-lined avenues and the room that had 20 preserved crocodiles. The slides were excellent, and their commentary took us with them up the Nile and down into the Valley of the Kings.
We then held our meeting, begun as usual with the Opening Ode and the Mary Stewart Collect. Our President being away in Florida installing zip lines – yes, zip lines, (it’s true), the Vice President wielded the gavel. Minutes were approved, treasurer’s report received. Correspondence from the Oro-Medonte Township was read, a reply to our concerns about the Park and the Parkette (site of our old town hall, now keeping the Penetang Road Historical sign boards). The Township did not directly answer our concerns, citing “being short staffed” and admitting they “… did not cut back the sumacs”. Members thought this answer lacking. Some even cried “oh oh”.
And now, dear reader, the news you’ve been waiting for, the C P Railway crossing on the Penetang Road is repaired – nay, rebuilt. It’s like the Pharaoh said “Git ‘er done” and they did. A new chunk of track, rubber inserts to hold smooth concrete sections, fitted in oh so carefully between and outside the rails, pavement seamlessly joined to the cement pieces. Now to drive over it is a pleasure. We must thank the Canadian Pacific Railway crossing rebuilding team , and inspired by the Egyptians maybe even put up a cairn or pyramid that will last 4000 years and say “Fixed November 2023 A.D.”
Next meeting December 19 2023 A.D.
Penetanguishene Lions Club Donates to Wendat Community Programs
The Penetanguishene Lions Club generously donated $1,000 to Wendat Community Programs to assist with annual operating costs of the Lorna Tomlinson Residence for Seniors, Seniors’ Support Services and Community Mental Health Services for adults. Since 2015, the Club has donated $6,000 to Wendat.
The Gift of Education
It’s the holiday season and there is one type of gift that will carry a young person through their entire life. It is the gift of education. When high school ends, and young adults look forward to entering a post-secondary institution, the costs of tuition may be surprising. Tuition alone can range $3000-$4000 a semester, before one factors in housing, food, and transportation.
To get ahead of these looming expenses, it’s best to start early to save for post-secondary education. A parent, grandparent, or guardian can make contributions to a Registered Education Savings Plan “RESP” for a child(ren). The contributions can be made monthly, annually or on an ad hoc basis. From birth to 12 months of age, a child has accumulated $2500 worth of contribution room and has a lifetime contribution limit of $50,000. Each year that $2500 is contributed, an education grant of $500 is automatically available and applied for. This grant is a 20% increase on the contributions made by their adult loved one before being invested. If the contributor can’t financially make the entire $2500 amount, any contribution that they do make will receive a 20% grant on their contribution. It’s a win-win for the future student.
We recommend a monthly contribution for any savings plan. This is partially because it’s often easier on the budget for working adults and pensioners. We also believe that the best opportunities come from dollar cost averaging. Dollar cost averaging is just buying an investment on a regular consistent basis, often monthly, allowing the saver to take advantage of the ups and downs of the markets. If someone saved monthly in 2022, they would have picked up great investments at a discount price and then as prices picked up in 2023, they got them at a great price which is advantageous for long term wealth accumulation.
Few are aware that when the student redeems money from their RESP, it is considered taxable income to them. This is generally not a concern because few students earn enough income to pay income tax at all even between part-time jobs and redemptions from the RESP.
Feel free to reach out and ask us a question about finances that you’d like answered. We’re more than happy to answer you personally.
By Taivi Tayler, RRC®, CLU®, Certified Financial Planner®
Country Meadows Community Helps Seniors
Pat Coe of Singhampton (left) was the lucky winner of a beautiful hand stitched quilt which was donated for a worthy cause. The local Food Bank identified a need for seniors who use the food bank for personal hygiene products. A group of ladies spearheaded by Janice Green (right) from the Country Meadows community took on the project of canvassing for products and selling tickets on this beautiful quilt and sewing reusable cloth bags and filled them with toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, razors and shaving cream.
A single generous person donated chocolate bars and Santa signed a Christmas card for every package. Such a happy story, especially for Pat. Thanks to all who bought a ticket!
Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre Celebrates Significant Funding
Nov. 24, 2023 – Penetanguishene, ON: On Friday, MPP Jill Dunlop was at the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre (GBCSC) in Penetanguishene to hear how two grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), totalling $166,200 are making a difference. Joining MPP Dunlop and Eric Walter, Executive Director of the GBCSC, and Vanessa Quesnel, an OTF volunteer.
“I was thrilled to hear of the support provided through OTF for the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre with these two grants,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “The funding will benefit many families in our region who are facing the unknown that comes with a cancer diagnosis and who need support. It has enhanced the ability of GBCSC to continue to maintain vital support, education, and motivation for people living with cancer, their families, and caregivers.”
The first grant awarded was a year ago, a $93,300 Capital grant to make improvements to the Centre’s deck and program areas so that both will be more accessible and useable for the diverse population served by the GBCSC.
The second grant, a year-long, $72,900 Resilient Communities Fund grant that was awarded this spring will help the GBCSC enhance the experience of those who rely on its services, by helping with staffing costs, purchasing software for online registrations and for volunteer management that will help expand the capacity of the Centre’s volunteer program. Funds will also help with some key administrative costs as well as some additional office equipment.
The special event on November 24 coincided with the GBCSC’s popular, bi-weekly Soup for the Soup program. It welcomes those who are fighting cancer, survivors, and caregivers to come for a warm bowl of soup, friendly conversation, and an opportunity to connect with other who are on a similar journey.
By Paul Eichhorn, Manager, Fundraising & Stewardship, Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre
Join Us in the Cherished Tradition of Fiddling!
For generations, fiddling and traditional music has been the golden thread that has bonded local communities. Whether it is the harmonious fusion of Celtic tunes from our early settler ancestors or the rhythmic beats of Indigenous drumming and chanting, traditional music has been the catalyst that fostered community spirit as it creates a harmonious space in which diverse backgrounds unite in a shared passion. There is no greater example of such a tradition than in the Georgian Bay area.
Northern Spirit Music is a new non- profit organization based in the Penetang area. It offers engaging classes in fiddling, incorporating the opportunities to learn other stringed instruments like cello and bass. These classes are proving to be very popular and are held every Thursday evening.
Northern Spirit Community Fiddle program is now being extended to younger students with the hope of creating a youth fiddle group in our area. The program has received valuable support from other local organizations such as The Georgian Bay Metis Council, Huronia Community Foundation and Brookside Music Association.
It has long been established that music lessons benefit youngsters and adults alike. Traditional music promotes a stronger community spirit and gives freedom to explore and repatriate local heritage.
Registration begins January 18th – June 4th 2024. For further details please visit our website: www.northernspiritmusic.com . You can also text or call: 705 209 5850
Please find us on Facebook to see our latest projects!
35K to Waypoint Centre for Mental Health’s Youth Wellness Hub
Once again this year Bob Kafato and his team at LabX Media Group have provided almost $ 35,000 in financial support through the LabX Charity Fund at Huronia Community Foundation. The most recent recipient is Waypoint Centre for Mental Health’s Youth Wellness Hub in Midland.
Reminder: Waste Collection Schedule Changes Take Effect Week of December 4 for Households in Zone 2
Dec. 1, 2023 – Residents are reminded to check the Simcoe County Collects app, visit simcoe.ca/collectionschange, or check other direct communications provided as the County’s curbside waste collection schedule adjusts to new Zones starting the week of December 4, 2023.
Households in Zone 2 only skip a garbage collection week during the week of December 4, and receive two consecutive weeks of recycling collection. There are no impacts to households in Zone 1, and waste collection days of the week stay the same.
The best way to find out if your household is impacted is to download or check the Simcoe County Collects app. Alerts will be sent to all app subscribers throughout the week.
Adjusted Zone 2 Schedule:
- Week of November 27 – Recycling and Organics Collection
- Week of December 4 – Recycling and Organics Collection
- Week of December 11 – Garbage and Organics Collection (one additional untagged garbage bag permitted)
- Week of December 18 – Recycling and Organics Collection
- Week of December 25 – Garbage and Organics Collection
New bi-weekly rotation of cart set out for Zone 2 continues on this schedule/pattern…
Reminder: No change to Zone 1 schedules/rotations, and all collection days of the week stay the same.
How do you determine your Zone?
- The Simcoe County Collects app is updated with new zone information. The App is a helpful and convenient tool for all County of Simcoe Waste programs. App reminders and notifications will also be sent during your collection week. Simply download the app and enter your address and you will receive your upcoming schedule indicating what carts to put out on which dates
- All known addresses in Zone 2 received a direct mailer in early November notifying them of the collection week rotation (note that mailers may have been sent to your landlord if you rent/lease)
- The County’s Waste Collection Calendar was mailed in November to all County households and includes the new Zone information
- Visit simcoe.ca/collectionschange to view our static map or view our interactive GIS mapping system
- Contact the County at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-263-3199
Households may wish to place out all three carts (2 feet apart from each other) during the week of December 4. Our collection vehicles will collect only the correct carts for your Zone that week; this will assist residents in identifying their proper rotation going forward. Organics carts will continue to be collected weekly; however, residents in Zone 2 will notice that their recycling and garbage carts will switch weeks moving forward.
Why is this change in schedule necessary for some households?
With the Ontario Government’s implementation NEW Producer Responsibility legislation, Circular Materials Ontario (CMO), the organization acting on behalf of producers to set up the new blue cart collection system in Simcoe County, has contracted their own transfer facility to transfer blue cart recycling material only. This means that the County’s cart collection trucks will be required to visit two different drop off/transfer locations, one for recycling (managed by CMO) and one for organics (managed by the County). To avoid larger impacts to collections cycles, the County has introduced new zones and altered the cart collection set out rotation for Zone 2 households (as noted above). Moving to standardized Zones will also provide greater consistency for residents and streamlined communications for all waste collection programs.
If you have questions about this change, email our Service Simcoe Contact Centre at email@example.com or call on 1-800-263-3199. We encourage residents to take advantage of our Simcoe County Collects app to have access to a personalized collection calendar and waste notifications.
Local Environmentalist Wins Award for Forest Stewardship
Nov. 27, 2023 – The Huronia Woodlot Owners Association recently held their 43rd White Pine Award meeting, and the 2023 recipient is Oro-Medonte resident Sandy Agnew.
Agnew is a Certified Engineering Technician, a graduate of Niagara College’s Ecosystem Restoration program and a Managed Forest Plan Approver. He has been involved in ecological restoration for over 35 years with such groups as Black Creek Project of Toronto, Trout Unlimited Canada and the Severn Sound Environmental Association.
He is a former councilor in Oro-Medonte Township and former member of the Lake Simcoe and Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authorities boards and the Couchiching Conservancy land trust board.
Sandy holds memberships and has held Board positions in numerous environmental groups including the Ontario Society for Ecological Restoration,
the Ontario Woodlot Association (Huronia Chapter), Forests Ontario and Ontario Nature.
Upon accepting his award, Agnew responded that he has known many of the earlier recipients and has always held them up as “stewardship heroes” and is very proud to be acknowledged in this manner.
The White Pine Award is given to a deserving person to recognise and celebrate their dedication to good forestry practices. Sandy Agnew has written 124 Forest Management Plans for woodlot owners through the Ontario Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), and has operated his own habitat restoration company called EcoMedic.
The guest speaker for this meeting was David Hawke, a well-known naturalist and writer, who spoke of the lumbering history of The Copeland Forest. From 1792 to 1978 this 4,400-acre tract of forested land was at the forefront of lumber production. A series of family dynasties were both made rich and devastated by the ebb and flow of lumber demands around both World Wars.
In 1978 the sole surviving member, John Copeland, sold the property to the Ontario Government to be used as a Resources Management Area.
Should anyone like to learn more about forest stewardship please contact the Huronia Woodland Owners Association (www.huroniawoodlandowners.ca) or the Ontario Woodlot Association (www.ontariowoodlot.com).
By David J. Hawke, Board Member of the Huronia Woodlot Owners Association.
Light and Comfort Delivered on Giving Tuesday
On November 28, 2023, people from across North Simcoe donated $41,655 to bring comfort and light to patients at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH). Thanks to Nick & Marina Boudouris (OPA Catering, World Famous Dock Lunch & Pier 21 Restaurant), and more than 50 other individuals and local businesses, the hospital will have new exam lights and a power procedure table in its busy Ambulatory Care clinic.
“The new exam lights are game-changers in the minor procedures suite,” says Dr. Paige Churchill, chief of surgery, GBGH. “They provide clear, precise illumination, making every operation more accurate and efficient.”
“A new procedure table is so important to help ensure our patients are comfortable during their procedures,” shares Dr. Eileen Sacks, surgeon, GBGH. “It also allows us to accommodate positions that might be more difficult or awkward on a traditional stretcher. It makes things more comfortable for both our patients and our surgeons.”
Nick & Marina Boudouris supported the campaign on Giving Tuesday with a $10,000 match gift, which inspired dozens of individuals and local businesses to make a gift. Seasonal resident Bill Schumacher also had a big impact with a $14,000 gift in loving memory of his wife Arlene.
“The incredible support from Nick & Marina, from Bill and from all those who invested on Giving Tuesday is fueling our mission to empower GBGH,” says Jesse Dees, senior key relationships officer, GBGH Foundation. “Seeing what happens when a community comes together is inspiring, and together, we are shaping a brighter future for patients at GBGH. We are so thankful!”
To learn more about other equipment priorities at Georgian Bay General Hospital, and how you can help, visit: https://gbghf.ca/current-needs/equipment-needs/
Keeping Kids Active is Important as the Days Get Shorter
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – Do colder mornings and darker afternoons have you and your kids wishing you could hibernate until spring? The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) encourages families with kids and teens to stay physically active and to continue with their active school travel routines even when it is cold and snowy.
According to the 2022 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, only 28 percent of kids aged 5 to 17 years are getting the recommended minimum of 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as brisk walking, wheeling and playing sports.
Making time to walk or wheel to and from school is one of the easiest ways for school-aged children to get regular daily physical activity. Being physically active is linked with better overall health for everyone and is important every day of the year. Children and youth who participate in higher levels of physical activity have improved physical and mental health as well as greater mental, emotional and social well-being. Children and youth who are physically active benefit from greater self-esteem, lower levels of anxiety and depression, and are better able to learn when in school.
To keep the journey to school enjoyable during the colder months, prepare by checking the weather forecast and dressing accordingly. Dressing for the weather helps to preserve body heat and keeps you comfortable. A wind/waterproof jacket and snowpants will help kids stay warm and dry when playing outside. When temperatures are colder, add a fleece or wool sweater mid-layer for extra comfort and protection. Top it off with a hat, gloves or mittens (including an extra set for when the first set gets wet), and a tube-shaped neck warmer or a scarf to cover exposed skin. Finally, a pair of winter boots with good treads will keep feet warm and offer stability that can help prevent slips and falls on ice or in slushy and snowy conditions. Check out what boots have the best slip to get in some extra movement.
The December Meteor Shower
The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of Dec 13 into the morning of the 14th. This shower will produce up to 120 meteors per hour with some bright fireballs. Annual meteor showers are produced when Earth crosses debris fields from comets as we orbit the sun, this is why various showers occur at the same time each year. In the case of the Geminids, Earth will encounter tiny sand-sized particles from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon with some gravel size pieces producing bright dramatic fireballs that will light up the sky as well as the ground.
The meteors will harmlessly vaporize some 80 kilometres above the ground at a slow 35 km/sec compared to the Perseids in August at twice that speed. A few meteors can be seen starting at about 7 pm locally when the constellation is low in the northeast. Greater numbers will be seen as the constellation rises higher throughout the night. The moon will not interfere this year. This is a must-see event.
Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker, monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as well as a STEM educator. He has been interviewed on more than 55 Canadian radio stations as well as various television stations across Canada and the U.S. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Facebook and his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com