SNOW GLOBE COUCH POTATOES
The Living Snow Globe made its final appearance of the 2016 festive season at The Ashwood Inn on Dec. 17. Sean Henry, Leanne Kavanagh and Jennifer Pate were coach potatoes at the second annual Santa Run. (Photos by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
Business as usual at the Nip N' tuck variety shop
JJ and Anna Oosthuizen, and their children, Werner and Ciska, are the new owners of the Nip N' Tuck Variety Shop in the village. (Submitted photo)
BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
There are a couple new faces behind the counter at the Nip N’ Tuck Variety Shop, on Hwy. 21 in Bayfield, as JJ and Anna Oosthuizen purchased the business on Nov. 1.
JJ noted that customers were surprised to see them at first and were a little uncertain of what the future of this well-established business would be but when they discovered the couple wasn’t planning on changing anything they seemed quite pleased.
“We are not going to change anything, we aren’t going to reinvent the wheel,” said JJ. “We plan to build on the fine foundation that former owners, Deb and Darlene, built here.”
In fact to date the only addition they have made is a rack of prepaid gift cards to enhance the already established items for sale like Tasty Nu baked goods and Metzger’s meats.
Owning and running a convenience store is a big change from what the couple is used to doing but they are looking forward to a new challenge.
In 2012, the couple, and their two children a girl, now aged 14, and a boy, now aged 12, immigrated to Canada from South Africa. Anna’s brother has lived in this country for 20 years.
“We visited in 2008 and saw just what a great country this was and decided we’d like to make a home here. We love being here,” said JJ.
Prior to moving to Canada they had been mixed cash crop farmers in South Africa and were also involved in Poultry processing. Once established here JJ worked for a pig operation in Blyth and Auburn. The family now has a home just a few minutes outside of Goderich on Hwy. 8.
“We are blessed that we are now in a position where we can serve the community,” he said. “We plan on looking after the people here well and in turn the people will look after the store.”
JJ noted that so far everything has been running beautifully and one of the reasons is that they kept the store’s two existing employees.
“They are very nice with the customers. They already know the business and the customers know them. They have been very helpful to us and have allowed us to have a smooth transition,” concluded JJ.
The Nip N’ Tuck Variety Shop is currently open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Hours are longer in the summer months when they stay open until 10 p.m.
Tourism task force being created on interim basis
The Huron County Economic Development Board (HCEDB), along with the County of Huron Economic Development Department is forming the Huron County Tourism, Arts and Culture Enabling Task Force. This group will exist on an interim basis and provide industry intelligence, support and feedback to county staff to ensure innovative and effective programming is developed.
“The County of Huron is committed to growing and developing the tourism, arts and culture sector of the local economy,” said County of Huron Director of Economic Development, Ron Gaudet. “We recognize that the knowledge and experience of entrepreneurs and volunteers working in this sector are critical to the success of this effort.”
Working on behalf of the HCEDB and in coordination with the Economic Development Department, the HCTACETF will:
· Assist with the promotion of the tourism, arts and culture sector as a critical pillar to the county’s overall success.
· Engage and develop sector leadership.
· Work with the Huron County municipalities that have identified tourism, arts and culture as a key sector within their local economic development strategies.
· Assist with the formatting and development of the Ontario West Coast Guide with a view to encourage and utilize current best practices.
· Assist with the assessment of the county’s branding and its future direction.
· Assist with the assessment of social media and its usage to promote the sector and its activities.
· Seek input from industry and develop metrics for the purpose of assessing and measuring outcomes.
· Work with industry leaders to determine the most practical and effective way to ensure the arts, culture and tourism sector is organized and active in its future direction.
· As well as other duties as may be determined by the HCEDB.
“We plan to have this task force up and running early in the New Year,” said Gaudet. “In order to move tourism, arts and culture planning and development forward we need to act quickly.”
The task force will be comprised of no less than two HCEDB members and three to seven sector representatives. Members will be chosen through a competitive process based on business type, geographic location, experience and background. Anyone who is interested in applying is requested to email a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 31.
Level 1 Low water advisory in place for the winter
The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Water Response Team (WRT) has been in place for the 15 years of the Ontario Low Water Response and Drought Program. As in other dry years, the team has decided to keep a Level 1 Low Water Advisory in place over the winter.
A Level 1 Low Water Advisory asks for industries and individuals to voluntarily reduce water use by 10 per cent. Industry demand for water tends to decrease at this time of year but people’s help in reducing stress on the resource can help in the springtime when demand goes back up.
“The Water Response Team is keeping a Level 1 Low Water Advisory in place so people understand that groundwater and surface water in the watershed are stressed,” according to ABCA Land and Water Technologist, Davin Heinbuck. “Unless we get significant rain and snow over the winter, that stress could carry through the winter and into next spring.”
The team’s decision to continue a Level 1 Low Water Advisory is described as proactive and it should not pose any onerous restrictions for water users and watershed residents through the winter, according to the ABCA. Maintaining a Level 1 Low Water Advisory is to serve as a reminder that the watershed is stressed and that the stresses could carry through the winter and into next spring. If this winter does not provide a lot of snowpack, the effects of 2016 could be compounded, according to the Water Response Team. The watershed could enter into the spring of 2017 with a continued impact to water supplies. ABCA staff will be in a better position, when spring arrives, to assess any potential long-term impacts and assist stakeholders with managing those impacts if necessary.
Across the watershed, monthly stream flow values through the previous three months (September to November) have averaged only 10 per cent of the monthly normal.
“Local stream flow for the autumn period is close to the lowest levels we have seen in the 15 years of the low water program,” said Heinbuck.
November rainfall measured at local stations was at 74 per cent of normal (Springbank); 77 per cent of normal (Exeter) and 87 per cent (Varna).
“We have had some rainfall during the first week of December that helped to improve ground conditions but actual groundwater recharge into the aquifers has been minimal,” said Heinbuck. “This minimal recharge is taking place at a time when we would normally see a large percentage of the annual recharge.”
Heinbuck said “with the onset of winter weather, we expect to see little in the way of improvements to the groundwater supply, unless we benefit from mid-winter thaws.”
Individuals can find voluntary water conservation tips on the water quantity page at abca.on.ca at this link: www.abca.on.ca/page.php?page=water-quantity.
The WRT was formed in 2001 in response to low water conditions that year and the team has been active ever since. The WRT includes representatives of major water users (such as aggregate industries; agriculture and vegetable growers; and golf and recreation) and includes local municipal representatives and staff of provincial departments (such as Natural Resources and Forestry; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change).
ABCA staff will continue to monitor rainfall and stream flow data and keep the public informed of any changes in watershed conditions. Visit www.ontario.ca/lowwater for further resources on the Ontario drought and low water response program or ABCA website at abca.on.ca and view the dynamic low-water advisory tool which alerts people to low-water advisories in effect in the watershed.
Rader family sponsors exam room at BAFHT in zurich
Recently, the Rader family visited the new BAFHT facility in town where they met with Fundraising Chairman, Bill Archibald and Fundraising Board member, Julian Bayley for a quick tour of the new building that is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2017. L-r: Jaclyn Rader and her father, Jerry, with Julian Bayley, of the BAFHT Fundraising Committee, and brothers, Cam and Deryk Rader. (Submitted photo)
Jerry Rader’s Homestyle Catering and Market donated $15,000 to the new Bluewater Area Family Health Team facility in Zurich and chose to sponsor one of the new examination rooms with their gift.
The business is a well-known landmark on the east end of Zurich. From small beginnings, Jerry and his late wife, Brenda, grew the business to become a highly popular destination for the rural community and cottagers along Huron County’s West Coast.
On Fridays, a range of hot lunches is available for local residents and trades people working in the area and the news of high quality food and fast service quickly reached nearby towns, so there is a constant stream of trucks, vans and cars heading to the market at lunch hour.
On Saturdays during summer, entertainment is provided for shoppers while they sit in the front garden and enjoy free coffee and homemade pie, and all day Sunday, people visit the bakery department and also replenish their supplies of cold meats, homemade salads and desserts. Staff are kept hopping.
The business is still very much family-owned with Jerry’s daughter, Jaclyn, assisted by her brothers, Deryk and Cam running the show. Jaclyn and Deryk have clearly defined roles at the Zurich market while Cam looks after the branch store in Goderich. Jerry is still often seen in the store helping out during busy times.
BINGO AIDS FOOD BANK
Members of the Bayfield Lions’ Club had two reasons for visiting Bayfield Foodland recently. Lion Bud Langley (second from left) and Lion Bill Rowat (far right) wished to thank the owners of the grocery store, Melissa (far left) and Brad Maidment (centre), for providing turkeys for the club’s Turkey Bingo held on Dec. 5 at the Bayfield Community Centre. At the same time they presented a cheque from the proceeds of the Bingo to Terry Boa-Youmatoff, representing the Bayfield Food Bank (Feed My Sheep). The 2016 Bingo was the best ever attended with close to 200 people attending. (Photo by Jack Pal)
BY KEN LARONE
As reported in the Dec. 14th issue of the Bayfield Breeze, Mayor of Bluewater Tyler Hessel decided to give more time to developers of a contentious apartment plan proposed for Bayfield during a meeting of Huron County Council on Dec. 7. One week earlier his Bluewater Council unanimously agreed with the Bayfield Ratepayers’ Association’s (BRA) request and voted to reject the 120-suite apartment plan.
More than a dozen Bayfield residents who represent several village organizations left the county council meeting upset by the mayor’s vote to defer his decision and not reject the project. The BRA had asked county council to deny the subdivision.
The mayor sent an email to the BRA this past week. The email defended his voting position on county council that had been criticized by some Bayfield ratepayers.
In his email to the BRA, Hessel wrote, “The deferral gives all parties a chance to look at all concerns raised. I believe the developer and planner are aware of the communications that should be done with the community.
“This does relieve any OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) concerns and the ball is in the owner’s court to come back to the table with a more community friendly plan.”
Bluewater Council unanimously rejected the subdivision plan and expected Hessel to fully reject it as a Bluewater representative to county council.
Those Bayfield residents in attendance at the county meeting were disturbed by the fact that the mayor did not try to explain to county council why his Bluewater council wanted the subdivision application denied.
Bayfield Councilor Bill Whetstone said he was “shocked” by Hessel’s vote to support county council’s decision to defer. Whetstone expects more discussion of the issue will take place at a meeting of Councilor’s Corner Thursday night in the Bayfield Community Centre.
Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield will once again host their "The Longest Night" Service tonight (Dec. 21).
Anyone struggling with Christmas is invited to attend a gentle, hopeful Christmas service for all those who want to cope better with the holidays and have an opportunity to light a candle of hope.
Whatever their reason for coming those who do will find a warm welcome from a supportive community starting at 7 p.m.
All are welcome Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. to a Candlelight Service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and a short, casual service on Christmas Day at the regular Sunday time of 11 a.m.
Members of the Lakeview Mennonite Church are planning to hold an impromptu evening of Christmas Carolling at the Bayfield Town Hall on Friday, Dec. 23 starting at 7 p.m.
Anyone who would like to join in the singing, or just listen, are invited to attend.
The local Anglican congregations request the pleasure of your company at their upcoming Christmas services.
On Dec. 24, Trinity Anglican Church will host a Happy Birthday Jesus Party for area children and their families. It will be held in the parish hall starting at 4:30 p.m. After the party all are welcome to attend a Christmas Eve Family Service at 5 p.m. An additional Christmas Eve Service will be held at St. James’ Middleton at 7:30 p.m.
And then on Christmas Day all will be received to herald the birth of the Christ child with a quiet service at Trinity at 10:30 a.m.
The monthly Councilor’s Corner held in the Bayfield Community Centre has been rescheduled until Dec. 22.
Bill Whetstone, Bayfield Ward councilor, generally hosts the evening on the third Thursday of every month. He provides an opportunity for people to hear what council has been up to and voice their opinions. The evening will begin at 7 p.m.
This month’s topics will include an update on the Cameron Street apartment plan, feral cat concerns and the 2017 budget "what's important to you and Bayfield for the coming year and beyond”.
Looking for something fun and active to do with the youngsters between Christmas and New Years? Look no further than the Bayfield Arena.
Free public skating times are available on Dec. 28 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Spotted Cow, on Bayfield’s Main Street, is sponsoring Dec. 28 while Keys Investment Service is supporting the Dec. 29 ice time.
Public Skating will also be offered gratis Jan. 2nd, 4th and 5th from noon to 2 p.m.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Public Skating over the Christmas Break is welcome to contact Ron Keys at email@example.com.
The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) invites everyone to start the New Year off both healthy and happy by participating in the annual Winter Walk along Mavis’ Trail and the Taylor Trail on Jan. 14.
This is a family-friendly, community event that encourages activity in the great outdoors. Weather permitting snowshoes will be available to rent or folks can bring their own or participants can also traipse the trails on foot.
The guided winter walk will begin at 11 a.m. Hotdogs and cider will be served at the Varna Complex at Noon.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will be on hand to provide information about the Main Bayfield Watershed Plan. There will also be displays and information available on the BRVTA, Blue Bayfield and the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy.
Donations to the BRVTA will be welcomed. For more information visit bayfieldtrails.com.
TRIP A MONTH DRAW
Looking for a stocking stuffer idea, a gift for that hard to buy for person or just a treat for oneself?
Then consider purchasing a ticket for “A Trip a Month Draw” to benefit the Bluewater Area Family Health Team Expansion Project.
There are 12 monthly draws for two persons and include trips to Jamaica, Cuba, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Portugal, Alaska, Halifax, Quebec City, Dominican Republic, a Caribbean cruise and two travel gift certificates. Tickets are $135 each. Only 300 tickets will be sold and if a person wins their name goes back into the draw.
Travel arrangements are to be made by Ellison Travel and Tours. Please call Barbara Brown at 519 565-5187 for tickets.
The Bayfield Historical Society Board (BHSB) announces that Ralph Laviolette is retiring as the volunteer archivist.
For the past seven years, they have benefited greatly from his commitment and contributions. These include but are not limited to organizing and indexing much of the historical material, creating summer student job training and researcher positions, overseeing the website upgrade, researching and writing documents, organizing historical tours, responding to the constant stream of queries and representing the BHS throughout Huron County. The Board of Directors would like to thank him for his extensive work in promoting the history of Bayfield.
Although Laviolette has agreed to continue on a reduced hours schedule for the next few months, the BHSB has formally begun its search for a volunteer archivist. The key expectations of this position include collecting, storing, preserving and cataloging books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, newspapers, scrapbooks and other historical material and making this information available for research.
Please contact Doug Brown at 519 565-5187 if you are interested.
EMPTIES FOR ALZHEIMERS
Dianne Brandon, Carrie and Ava Sabourin would like to remind everyone preparing for holiday gatherings that their tradition of collecting empties for Alzheimer's Disease is continuing this year.
The trio will be participating in the Huron County 2017 Walk for Memories in May of 2017 and are now collecting donations for the cause.
It is, of course, hoped that everyone will celebrate responsibly this festive season and when doing so plan to donate the empty beer bottles and cans; wine and liquor bottles to their team, “For the Love of Elane and Doris”. After living with Alzheimer’s, Elane Brandon, Sabourin’s grandmother died in April 2015 while Doris Schilbe, Dianne’s mother died in August of 2014.
Empties of all sorts may be dropped off at Brandon's Hardware in Bayfield, or picked up anytime, just call Brandon’s Hardware at 519 525-8884. Empties may also be dropped off at Bayfield Convenience in their names.
CONSERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR
Ausable Bayfield Conservation has celebrated seven decades of partnerships (1946 to 2016) in its 70th anniversary year. The local conservation authority, for more than 30 of those years, has honored local Conservationists of the Year. The annual award returns in 2017. The nomination deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 31.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has presented the award since 1984. The ABCA is inviting you to nominate a person, farm, business, or organization that does positive work in the local watershed community.
Each award winner is a business, organization, or person residing in the watershed or having done conservation work there.
The nomination form and award guidelines are available on the ABCA website at abca.on.ca. Simply type in ‘award’ in the search box at the top of the home page and then press ‘Search’ to find the page. Or, you can go directly to the page at this link: abca.on.ca/page.php?page=conservation-award.
The award is to be presented on March 16 at Ironwood Golf Club, 70969 Morrison Line, 2 KM east of Exeter.
The Conservationist of the Year receives a framed limited-edition conservation print as a prize and the conservation authority also makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.
Current ABCA staff and directors are not eligible for the award. To learn more please call 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.