talent advances to western fair
Youth Talent Search Winners were: Triads, first place; Hannah Thomas, third; Mary Paige and Irelyn St Onge, second. (Photo by Wilhelmina Laurie)
Organizers behind the Rise2Fame Youth Talent Competition at the Bayfield Community Fair, held on Aug. 16, thought all of the acts this time around were fabulous and wish all of the performers going on the best of luck at the Western Fair in September.
There were competitors from the local area as well as Stratford, London and St. Thomas. Three Junior winners and five Youth acts will go on to compete at the Western Fair. The evening was a fun night with trivia between acts related to the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival.
Junior Rise2Fame competitors advancing were: Ava Alcadinho, first place; Cierra Satterley, second; and Emily Ducharme, third. The Youth Talent Search winners were: Triads, first place, Hannah Thomas, third Place, Mary Paige and Irelyn St Onge, second place.
Emily Ducharme performed “Fight Song”. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
Adriana Dorssers singing "Rainbow". (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
gateway summer students shared research results
Gateway’s Research Chair Dr. Al Lauzon (left) and Gateway's President Gwen Devereaux (right) presented gifts to the Gateway Summer Students recently, receiving the gifts were (l-r): Shanna Cardno, Emma Warren and Valerie Steckle. (Submitted photo)
Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) summer students Valerie Steckle, Emma Warren and Shanna Cardno presented the results of their research, study and data compilation to a large group in Goderich on Aug. 23.
Under the tutelage of Dr. Al Lauzon from the University of Guelph, Warren and Steckle did an in-depth study of Food Insecurity in Seniors in Huron, Perth, Grey and Bruce Counties. They highlighted the variety of issues that cause this serious health and economic problem. Their study included interviews with 76 health care providers and local government representatives. This is the first part of a two-year study that will continue between Gateway and Guelph University through 2020.
Dr. Lauzon praised the students' work and their work ethic. Steckle and Warren will be returning to their studies in September, Steckle to do a Master’s degree at McMaster University and Warren to continue her medical studies in Dublin, Ireland. In the mean time they have contributed valuable research into the plight of many seniors in rural areas some with limited income, many no longer drive and often have to make choices between household expenses and food. It is hoped that this study will affect policy in the provision of affordable healthy food for some of this region’s most vulnerable residents.
Dr. Lauzon provided the funding to employ these two students. This fulfills a goal that Gateway has pursued from the outset.
“We have always wanted to have rural health research conducted in our rural area by local students and health practitioners and to have it funded through regional universities,” said Gateway’s President Gwen Devereaux. “The research dollars spent here are a direct benefit to our region and greatly assist the students in funding their education.”
Cardno worked with Devereaux and Sarah Versteeg to do a literature review of mental health issues in the farming community. Studies and data from around the world show that the farm community world wide suffers from aggravated mental stress. These ladies are developing a program to look at the stressors of Huron, Perth, Grey and Bruce County farmers and help develop some coping strategies. Cardno is returning to Western University to continue her studies in Health Sciences.
While Grace Bonnett, a fourth summer student, was unable to be present, her insight into lung clinics for poultry farmers was a valuable piece of work that will lead to more lung function testing and mask fittings in that segment of the farm economy of Huron. Bonnett is returning to University of Toronto to continue her studies in neuroscience.
Gateway was pleased to host these four students this summer. They did remarkable work and contributed significantly to the health of the region. Gateway hopes that by providing a summer research opportunity, that area young people will feel the challenges of rural health and take an interest in returning to the area when they have completed their university education.
aBCA concerned over possible provincial constraints
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has shared the concern, expressed by Conservation Ontario in an Aug. 19 news release, about a letter from the Province of Ontario that “moves to constrain” programs and services provided by conservation authorities. The Honorable Jeff Yurek, Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), issued a letter to conservation authorities on Friday, Aug. 16. The letter was addressed to “whom it may concern.” The letter included a “request” to conservation authorities to “...begin preparations and planning to wind down those activities that fall outside the scope of your core mandate.”
Conservation Ontario is the association which represents Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities. Kim Gavine, General manager of Conservation Ontario, called the content of the letter “extremely disappointing.” The news release said Conservation Ontario and conservation authorities are “stunned” by the Minister’s letter.
“We’ve been caught completely by surprise,” Gavine said. “We’ve been working for months in good faith with the government to make a number of planning and development approvals streamlining changes to support their agenda to eliminate the deficit and implement the Housing Strategy.”
There was no consultation with Conservation Ontario or the CAs about the content of the letter before it was circulated, according to the news release.
Earlier this year, the Province of Ontario proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act through Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019. The Act received third reading and Royal Assent on June 6. The Minister said, in the Aug. 16 letter, that changes to the Conservation Authorities Act will require conservation authorities to “re-focus their efforts” on delivery of programs and services related to their “...core mandate, such as those related to ...” risk of natural hazards; conservation and management of conservation authority owned or controlled lands; drinking water source protection; protection of the Lake Simcoe watershed; (and) other programs or services, as prescribed by regulation.
“Furthermore, over the coming months,” the Minister wrote, “I will be reviewing all of the relevant legislation and regulations that govern Ontario’s conservation authorities to explore even more opportunities to re-focus their efforts and to ensure they are best serving the interests of the people of Ontario.”
The Minister’s letter was issued before discussion of regulations that would go with the legislation, according to Conservation Ontario. Discussions are “…only beginning... about the regulations that go with the legislation which will specify which actual programs and services are mandatory,” Gavine said.
The Province of Ontario cut funding, by about 50 per cent earlier this year, for natural hazards and flood forecasting and warning work by conservation authorities. Ontario provides a minority of the funding conservation authorities receive. Conservation authorities provide a variety of watershed management programs in partnership with all levels of government. These programs help to reduce or prevent costly and devastating damages of flooding, protect water resources, help to reduce pollution from reaching the Great Lakes, and support healthy watersheds, according to Conservation Ontario.
Conservation Ontario’s concern with the content of the Province’s letter is shared by ABCA. General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of ABCA, Brian Horner said he hopes the Province of Ontario will reconsider the approach in the letter and will speak with the conservation authority, local municipalities, and the public before making changes that would negatively impact, water, soil, and the health of the local watershed.
“We would like to have an opportunity to speak with the Minister,” he said. “The community doesn’t even know the effect of these changes yet. People here have not had a chance to provide input and we have not had a chance to speak with our local municipalities. It would be premature, and have a negative effect, to wind down activities that benefit water, soil, and the health of this rural watershed when there are still so many unanswered questions and the regulation is not in place.”
Many local programs, identified by the community as needed, could be threatened if the Province’s approach is too restrictive, he said.
“Traditionally, the mandate for conservation authorities and the successful watershed management model in Ontario has always made it possible for us to respond to local needs, especially in a rural area like ours,” Horner said. “I hope that we can meet with the Province to ensure this will still be possible.”
Great lakes Photo contest deadline extended
A day to celebrate our Great Lakes, called Love Your Greats, took place on Aug. 10. Love Your Greats is held the second Saturday of every August, and promotes education and local action to protect our Great Lakes. This year, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) would like to see that action and invites the community to share their actions in the form of a photo contest.
“Throughout the watershed, homeowners, farmers, businesses, community groups and other organizations have been working to protect Lake Huron, and it is important to recognize and celebrate these efforts,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds specialist with ABCA. “The hope is that you will share with us your photos illustrating what you do to protect Lake Huron.”
The deadline, for the first Love Your Greats photo contest, has been extended to Tuesday, Sept. 3, to give people lots of time to enter their photos of their actions helping to protect Lake Huron and “helping to keep your Great Lake great.” The photos of what you do to protect Lake Huron might include, but are not limited to, photos showing rain barrels, rain gardens, wetlands, natural areas, trees, permeable pavement, cover crops, minimum or no-till fields, berms, grassed waterways, buffers, exclusion fencing, or beach cleanups.
“If your photo has a story to tell, we encourage you to share that as well,” said Brock. “No matter how large or small, we are interested in seeing all the actions you take to protect Lake Huron.”
Often, when people share what they have done on their own properties, it inspires others to take positive actions as well, she said.You may submit your photo to the contest simply by posting a photo showing what you or your family does to protect Lake Huron by replying to the Love Your Greats photo contest post on the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Facebook page, or Twitter feed, with the hashtag #LYGLakeHuron. Or, you may send your photo, by email, with #LYGLakeHuron Photo Contest in the subject of the email, to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be eligible for the contest, photos should be posted or received by Tuesday, Sept. 3 at noon local time. The complete set of contest rules are posted online at abca.ca at this web page: https://www.abca.ca/community/getinvolved/ By using the #LYGLakeHuron hashtag you are agreeing to the rules of the contest. The watershed Twitter feed is at: https://twitter.com/LandWaterNews and the watershed Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/WaterSoilLivingThings/
Three winners of the photo contest will be drawn at random and will receive a Love Your Greats or Great Lakes T-shirt, hat, or similar prize. For more information visit abca.ca or contact Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds technician, at ABCA, by phone at 519 235-2610, Ext. 246, or toll-free at 1-888-286-2610.
To learn more about the Love Your Greats initiative, visit loveyourgreats.com. Visit lakehuroncommunityaction.ca to see what actions are being taken around the Lake Huron basin.
HELPING HURON’S HUNGRY
Southern Huron County’s Art Around Town group, along with some friends, have once again planned an exciting event to raise funds for the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre, on Sept. 5. There will be an Art Show and Sale and a Soup Dinner for $10 at the Christian Reformed Church, 330 Huron Street West in Exeter. The Silent Celebrity Auction that has proved popular at previous fundraisers will be even more exciting this year. Exeter Mayor George Finch and Councilor Aaron Neeb both participated in making signs with local artist George Wilson. The Art Show and Sale will feature work by 20 artists from the surrounding area some of which is currently on display at the Exeter Library. Pottery birds and pottery plant holders for succulents are just a couple of examples of items. Culinary art and wall art will also be in the auction with additional donations from two artists from Goderich. In this photo, Mary Lou and Jim Hyde made pottery items for the silent auction. For tickets call Laura Dykstra at 519 235-2326 or Bonnie Sitter at 519 235-1909. For more information visit artaroundtown.net. (Photo by Bonnie Sitter)
behind the bars
The annual Behind the Bars program wraps up this week at the Huron Historic Gaol.
The final 2019 Behind the Bars will run tonight (Wednesday), and tomorrow (Thursday). The program runs from 7-9 p.m., with last entry at 8 p.m.
Behind the Bars allows visitors to interact with inmates and jail staff. Meet Joseph Griffin, the governor of the jail; Nicholas Melady, infamously known as the last publicly hanged person in Canada; Catherine, who was brought into jail due to homelessness, and many more. Please allow at least 45 minutes for a full tour.
Special admission rates apply to Behind the Bars: $10 for adults, $5 for children, $30 for a family, and free for Museum members and children under five. To purchase tickets, please visit the website, www.huroncountymuseum.ca, or people can buy tickets at the door. For more information, please call 519 524-6971.
Located at 181 Victoria Street North in Goderich, the Huron Historic Gaol was an operating jail from 1841 to 1972. The jail housed criminals, the mentally ill, vagrants, and debtors. The attached Governor’s House is a Victorian style home that was added on in 1901.
On Sept.4, Blue Water Nursing Home in Zurich, in conjunction with the residents Family Support Group, will be hosting a presentation by Jackie Alves of the South West LHIN on Caregiver Support.
This is a free presentation and all are welcome to attend the session that will begin at 1:30 p.m.
For more information please contact 226 222-1282.
Huron Hospice Anniversary
Members of the community are invited to join in marking the 25th Anniversary of Huron Hospice on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the White Carnation in Holmesville with a dinner and celebration followed by the Annual General Meeting.
The evening will be a celebration of agency, volunteers, staff and supporters and a way to recognize
the success of a quarter of a century for Huron Hospice and plan for the next few years.
The evening agenda includes: a light dinner at 5:30 p.m.; speeches and recognition of retiring board members and Executive Director, Shirley Dinsmore at 6:15 p.m.; welcome with coffee or tea and dessert at 7 p.m.; and formal Annual General Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
RSVPs would be appreciated by Sept. 12 through EventBrite at
https://huronhospicecelebrationagm.eventbrite.ca There is no cost to attend the AGM, however there is a $30 fee to attend the dinner and celebration.
For more information contact Michelle Field by email at email@example.com or call 519 482-3440 Ext. 6302.
Thinking of quitting smoking? Why not win some money while you’re at it? The Huron County Health Unit encourages those over the age of 19 who smoke to sign up now for the First Week Challenge Contest.
“Quitting is a process that takes multiple attempts, and September is a popular month for a quit attempt,” said Public Health Nurse, Katie Crocker. “The First Week Challenge Contest provides the motivation to make a quit attempt.”
Organized by the Canadian Cancer Society, the First Week Challenge Contest asks people who smoke to stay tobacco-free for the first seven days of the month for the chance to win $500.
The contest helps give those thinking of quitting smoking that extra nudge to take the first step.If $500 isn’t incentive enough, the health benefits from quitting smoking are a huge win. Those successful in staying tobacco-free during the one week are nine times more likely to quit smoking, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
There are two easy steps to enter: Register before midnight on Aug. 31 at www.FirstWeekChallengeContest.ca to be entered in the September challenge.Remain tobacco-free for the first seven days of September for a chance to win $500.
One winner will be randomly chosen from six provinces across Canada after the September contest ends. This contest is open to those 19 years of age or older.“Start planning for a September quit attempt now,” said Crocker. “Having a plan, along with entering the First Week Challenge Contest, increases your chances of quitting for good.”
To sign up for the First Week Challenge Contest, or for more information, visit www.FirstWeekChallengeContest.ca or call the Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333.
For more information on local quit smoking supports and services available, visit www.huronhealthunit.ca or call the Huron County Health Unit at 519 482-3416 or toll free 1-877-837-6143.
Hockey for hospice
For one fabulous evening in January 2020, former National Hockey League (NHL) All Stars will take to the ice against the Goderich Firefighters to raise funds for the firefighters’ charity of choice: Huron Residential Hospice.
The Goderich Firefighters will face off against a full line-up of former NHL hockey heroes. This fantastic community event will include lots of skill and lots of laughs and promises to be fun and memorable for all ages.
The game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Maitland Recreation Centre, 190 Suncoast Dr. East in Goderich. The doors will open at 2:45 p.m. and the puck will drop at 3:30 p.m.
A residential hospice had been in the plans for over a decade by the Huron Hospice Volunteer Service and the Huron Residential Hospice opened it’s doors in May of 2018. This service provides compassionate care, emotional support and practical assistance to individuals and families who are facing a life-limiting illness, extending through to the bereavement process. This is a place to celebrate life and embrace quality-of-life in the final days, with 24/7 expert care, at no cost to families, in an environment that feels like home.
Even though it is still months away volunteers will start preparing for this fundraiser soon. Solicited phone calls for tickets and sponsorships will be occurring. The calls will be made by Pro Hockey Heroes staff and will come from a 905 area code, 1-800, as well as 1-844, numbers.
For tickets or more information please call 1-888-777-9793 or visit WWW.PROHOCKEYHEROES.COM
A new generation of turtle hatchlings will return to the wild at the Fourth Annual Turtle Hatchling Release east of Exeter on Aug. 29.
This turtle education opportunity, for all ages, attracted hundreds of people last year. The 2019 event will take place at Morrison Dam Conservation Area, at 71108 Morrison Line, south of Highway 83, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The release is free to attend. Event proceeds support conservation of Ontario’s turtles. Organizers encourage attendees to donate to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC). The turtle release has raised thousands of dollars, over three years, in “much-needed funds” for Ontario’s largest turtle hospital.
The Huron Stewardship Council (HSC) will supervise the release of native hatchling turtles. Participants can join staff to observe, as turtles are released, and to take pictures. Turtles are released every half hour from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Cristen Watt, the Species at Risk Technician with HSC, said, “It is incredible to see such strong public interest in turtles and their conservation. Unfortunately, Ontario’s turtle populations are declining, so this event raises awareness about local species-at-risk, and teaches everyone about the many ways they can help.”
The turtle release gives people of all ages a chance to meet local wildlife up close and to learn about local reptiles. Event plans include reptile displays, reptile-themed merchandise, and fun and active learning stations. Staff from Scales Nature Park, of the Oro-Medonte area, are bringing reptile species. Their turtles can be viewed and their snakes can be handled. The HSC will have outreach activities and merchandise, the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation will bring an outreach display, and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will have a geocaching station and other education and outreach. Pinery Provincial Park will have two naturalists at their outreach booth and turtles will be the theme of the Storytime Trail along the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail. There will also be cupcake sales in support of turtle conservation.
Parking at the turtle release will be available in the spillway, as well as on the south side of Morrison Lake (Morrison Dam Reservoir) and at the Woodland Reflection Shelter on the west side of Morrison Line (across from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Administration Centre).
To learn more about protecting turtles, and the release event, visit abca.ca and hsc.huronstewardship.ca or phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
There are still a number of examination room sponsorships available at the Bluewater Area Family Health Team (BAFHT) clinic in Zurich. Families, local businesses, area corporations, associations and service clubs will be recognized for their donation with a plaque on the wall immediately outside the room. All locations are in high traffic areas.
Call Executive Director, Paula Kroll and arrange to have your name displayed prominently at the clinic. Cost is a one-time charge and ranges from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on location.
BAFHT is on a fundraising mission and is looking for volunteers to help organize and run a variety of events to support the clinic and add to the health care services it offers the community. More money means more health care programs can be introduced to benefit the area.
People should not be afraid to suggest fundraising ideas – several heads are better than one - contact Sandra Shaw of the Fundraising Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wondering where the Pole Walkers are meeting or when The Glee Sisters have their next practice?
A new website, www.bayfieldactivities.info, is the place to visit to view current calendars of events for all of the village activities.