Daily News About Aylmer, Ontario and East Elgin


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THURSDAY, May 8 2014

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Thu.-Sat. -EESS Play; Anne of Green Gables, 7 pm

-Thu. -Blood Donor Clinic, EEC Complex; 2:30-7:30 pm

-Thu-Sat. – Channel 5 – EEC Complex Review Meeting; 8pm

 

-Fri. -EESS Hosts Soccer: Girls 2pm, Boys 3:45; vs. CECI

-Fri. -EEC Complex Liason Committee, 2pm, OTHall Theatre

-Sat. -Aylmer Police Drug DropOff; At Library; 10 am-2pm

-Sun. -TriCounty Fastball: Pt.Burwell at Straffordville, 8pm

 

 

OBITUARIES:

 

-Adams, Ralph Stanley of Terrace Lodge Aylmer and formerly of St. Thomas passed away Wednesday in his 87th year. A service will be held at Williams Funeral Home, St.Thomas Saturday at 11 am.

 

-Honsinger, Benjamin F. passed away on Thursday. Survivors: wife Lydia (Lea) (Smitheringale); two daughters etc.. He was a former Police Chief in Petrolia and was a life member of the Aylmer Shrine Club. A private interment will take place at a later date. Arrangements through Kebbels Funeral Home.

 

 

AYLMER FC SOCCER

 

Aylmer FC will again enter a team in the seven team Southwestern Ontario Soccer League. The team list includes: Brandon Aspden, Ian Barrie, Cody Benner, Greg Broer, Eric Buchanan,  Jamie Buchanan, Calvin Buchner, Brent Coehlo, Kyle Defazio, Andrew Ferguson, Ryan Cooreman, Ryan Herries, Adam Hill, Josh Honsinger, Tony Ireullo, Trevor Stewart, Curtis Roloson, Craig VanYmeren, Corey Vanhappen, Cale Vanhappen, and James Weverink. Their first game this week was postponed due to poor field conditions. Next game is Thursday May 15 in Talbotville.

 

 

AYLMER MALAHIDE LIASON COMM: FRIDAY

 

Among agenda considerations at tomorrow afternoons meeting of the Aylmer Malahide Liason committee regarding the EEC Complex Review:

-a recent motion by Malahide Council requesting that the Committee consult with LeisurePlan International Inc. to obtain a quote to complete a business plan for the EECC in regards to having a library as an optional user

-A suggestion by Aylmer and Malahide Administrators which strongly recommends that a comprehensive business plan be in place before action is taken regarding the secondary recommendations in the Final Report, noting that it may be premature to lookat suggestions made in the report for day to day operational changes without understanding how the facility will be governed and where the focus should be in service delivery.

-A sugestion by the Aylmer and Malahide Administrators who have considered the implications of canceling ‘summer ice’ immediately and do not support moving forward to discontinue ‘summer ice’ for this year (2014).

 

 

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WEDNESDAY, May 7 2014

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Wed.-Sat. -EESS Play; Anne of Green Gables, 7 pm

 

-Thu. -Blood Donor Clinic, EEC Complex; 2:30-7:30 pm

-Thu-Sat. – Channel 5 – EEC Complex Review Meeting; 8pm

-Fri. -EESS Hosts Soccer: Girls 2pm, Boys 3:45; vs. CECI

-Fri. -EEC Complex Liason Committee, 2pm, OTHall Theatre

-Sat. -Aylmer Police Drug DropOff; At Library; 10 am-2pm

 

 

EEC COMPLEX VS. STRATHROY SPORTSPLEX

 

(Information on the Strathroy Sportsplex is from Leslie Pommer, Customer Service Co-Ordinator, Strathroy Caradoc Parks and Recreation:)

1.Facilities – The Gemini Sportsplex was built in 2000 and is a twin- pad ice facility, both NHL size, that also offers amenities for meetings, conferences, and special events. The Wescast Room can seat 125 and there is a Kitchenette.

2. Summer Ice Use – This year we took the ice out of both pads at Gemini for dry pad events and maintenance. We will put one pad in starting May 20 for the rest of the summer. The second pad goes back in Gemini for August 11th which is later this year because we lost a big rental to Komoka.

3.Banquet Hall – We don’t really have a banquet hall it’s way too small. It’s normally just used for meetings or birthday parties. We have a gym and lots of groups or families book it for $37 per hour to play volleyball, indoor soccer, indoor baseball etc.

4. Staffing – The arenas are staffed with unionized operators. In the summer we block book so don’t open on Sundays. If I have a rental for 9-1 pm then the next ice sold is 1-2 pm etc. Staff also does sportsfields and parks.

5- Financing – The Gemini is now paid for – it was 5.5 million. The Gemini was totally funded by the taxpayers.

 

 

OTTER VALLEY NATURALISTS MONDAY

 

The Otter Valley Naturalists will hold their monthly meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. at Port Burwell Public School. Speaker is Mike Burrell, Program Coordinator with Bird Studies Canada, who will provide some background on the IBA program in Canada. One of the recent accomplishments of the IBA program is the development of an excellent website (www.ibacanada.org) which allows people to explore maps and data summaries and much more about Canada’s Important Bird Areas.The IBA program is an international initiative to identify, monitor and conserve the world’s most important sites for birds.

 

 

AYLMER FIESTA MEXICANA SAT.

 

(Contributed) – This Saturday Amigos Canada will be presenting their first annual Fiesta Mexicana featuring entertainment from the Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City – the Mariachi Alegria Mexicana band and Cecy Torres. The event runs from 4 pm – 10 pm. with dinner at 5 pm, an authentic Mexican buffet made by “Mennomex” of Aylmer. Advance Tickets: $40.00  Call (519) 773-2002. Tickets at the Door: $55.00. The Fiesta is also being held in Leamington and London.

 

 

NEW AYLMER AUCTIONEER

 

Jacob Wagler of Eden, a native of the Aylmer Amish community, has a new auctioneering business in the area. He said he always enjoyed going to auctions with his father as a child and used to practice at home in the bathtub on Saturday nights. Last year he attended the Canadian Auctioneering College in Barrie and in February won the Novice Auctioneering Award at an Ontario Auction Association event in Mitchell. He has held one auction to date and has another planned for the Aylmer Curling Club.

 

 

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TUESDAY, May 6/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Wed.-Sat. -EESS Play; Anne of Green Gables, 7 pm

-Thu. -Blood Donor Clinic, EEC Complex; 2:30-7:30 pm

-Fri. -EESS Hosts Soccer: Girls 2pm, Boys 3:45; vs. CECI

-Sat. -Aylmer Police Drug DropOff; At Library; 10 am-2pm

 

 

EEC COMPLEX VS. LEAMINGTON COMPLEX

 

(Amanda Smith, Manager of Recreation and Culture of the Leamington Kinsmen Recreational Complex provides the following information:)

1.Facilities? – The Leamington Complex has a Fitness & Aquatics Centre, a 25m pool,  weightrooms, indoor track, gymnasium, squash and racquetball courts and auditorium. In 2000, the twin pad arenas were added – one NHL size and one Olympic size. The Complex also has a private physiotherapy clinic and a youth resource centre. We offer a diverse amount of instructional programs, fitness/aquafitness/indoor cycling programs, facility rentals, special events, etc.

2.Summer IcePad? – We only keep one pad open for ice rentals between May and August.

3.Banquet Hall Use? We do not have a banquet hall; however, the auditorium does accommodate 150 people. There is no kitchen facility.

4.Staffing? 1 manager of culture & recreation services, 1 recreation coordinator, 1 recreation program supervisor, 1 marketing & event supervisor, 1 facilities coordinator, 6 FT facility attendants 2 FT receptionists, 3 Community Services Clerks (who complete clerical duties for the Comm Service Dept., which includes Recreation), and 60-75 parttime staff, depends on the season and grant funding.

5.Financing? -The funding model includes user fees, net revenue (taxes), sponsorship & advertising, rentals and leases and other non-traditional sources (ie: donations, community partnerships, vending,  revenue-sharing models etc).

 

 

WOMAN CHARGED

 

(From Aylmer Police) – A 46 year old St Thomas area woman was recently charged with stealing over $1000 from a charity fundraiser for a former EESS student last year. The fundraiser was a spaghetti dinner in October that was organized by the EESS Leadership program and other students. The woman volunteered to coordinate the event but allegedly kept the cash collected.

 

 

AYLMER POLICE ANNUAL REPORT

 

The annual report of the Aylmer Police was presented by Chief Andre Reymer to Council yesterday. The following is a summary of weapons use in 2013: Weapons Reports -(12) Reports were for destruction of animals and (3) were submitted for suspect arrests; Pistols were deployed for (8) of these occasions for animal destruction; the C8 rifle was deployed (3) times for animal destruction and the shotgun once; Firearms were pointed on (3) occasions to effect the arrest of (4) Armed Robbery suspects after a brief Police Chase that ended in Aylmer. All (4) suspects were arrested by (3) Aylmer Officers; Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) was used in the arrest of one Robbery suspect. The CEW was armed, and pointed at the individual resulting in compliance; and OC, or more commonly referred to as Pepper Spray, was not required or deployed during 2013.

 

 

AYLMER HOSTS ELECTRIC CHARGING SITE

 

Aylmer Council recently passed a motion that the Town provides for an Electric Vehicle charging station in partnership with Erie Thames (and Sun Country), to be located in one of two municipal parking lots at an approximate cost of $2,000.

 

 

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MONDAY, May 5/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Aylmer Council, 7pm

 

-Wed.-Sat.  -EESS Play; Anne of Green Gables, 7 pm

-Thu. -Blood Donor Clinic, EEC Complex; 2:30-7:30 pm

 

 

A READER WRITES:

 

“It is interesting to note that Mr. Bill Murch has announced his intention to seek a seat on council and would appear to have started his campaign by proposing more studies for the EECC. Fresh ideas? More studies? That will certainly get my vote.  Mr. Warnock’s comments go to the heart of the matter. The time for studies is over, now is the time for action.” (Peter Stevens)

 

 

TURN OFF SCREENS RESULTS

 

Penny Hilliker, a McGregor teacher and co-ordinator of last week’s Turn Off The Screens week, noted “good response at all events” with the following attendance figures: Skating – 70 persons, Zumba – 60, Dodgeball – 55, Go Outside & Play – 60, Active Reading – 41, Bowling – 83, Hockey – 70, and Horseshoes – 15.

 

 

A READER WRITES:

 

“Editor, you are not the only one wondering about the the EECC audit; the proof is in the pudding! Are we going to wait and form a committee to take more ideas or get it done?”  (Steve Blankenship)

 

 

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK:

 

“UNEXPLAINED DEATH IN AYLMER”

 

Aylmer Police are calling the discovery of a 35-year old man’s body in the stairwell of a Talbot St. west apartment Thursday, an ‘unexplained death.’  Police have ruled out any criminal factor. The man, who lived alone in the upstairs apartment over Spicer’s Bakery, was found  just inside the outside door by a friend coming to visit around noon Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A Coroner’s investigation revealed no signs of trauma. Police suspect the cause was a ‘medical condition’ as he attempted to go upstairs sometime overnight Wednesday – it is believed he collapsed and fell backwards down a few steps. The victim, who was disabled and was known to have several medical conditions, was actually visited by Police Wednesday evening over an ongoing matter.

 

 

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FRIDAY, May 2/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Fri. – ch. 5 – Aylmer Budget Meeting, 9pm

-Thu.,Fri.,Sat. – Ch. 5 – EEC Complex Review Meeting, 8 pm

-Sat. -Divas, Dudes Day Out Trade Show, 10am-2 pm; Saxonia Hall (see ad)

 

-Mon. -Aylmer Countil, 7pm

-Next Thu. -Blood Donor Clinic, EEC Complex

 

 

OBITUARIES:

 

-Burnham, John Allan “Ted” of St.Thomas passed away on Wednesday in his 81st year. Survivors: wife Marguerite “Jean” (Crocker) Burnham; brother Don Burnham (Beverly) of Aylmer etc.. He was born in Aylmer. The funeral will be Monday at Holy Angels’ Church in St.Thomas at 10 am. Arrangements through Williams Funeral Home, St.Thomas.

 

 

A READER WRITES:

 

“The Professional Consultant’s EECC report provides answers. Aylmer taxpayers cannot simply accept more of the same. In another 10 years at the rate we are going we will have all paid for the Complex twice! The very detailed and in-depth Operational Review has very clearly provided a number of recommendations which if implemented could at least reduce the annual operating deficit to one comparable to other similar two pads facilities. The Professional Recreational Consultant chose the other facilities as they were twin pad arenas most similar to ours. Just as council may retain the professional legal or engineering services when looking to answer questions that they do not have answers or expertise to, the services of a Professional Recreational Consultant were retained to provide some serious answers in this case. The public does not have the expertise to provide answers to the EECC issues nor does council or staff.  Any attempts in the past to obtain information on the EECC operations have been road blocked and thus nothing has changed. The reality is that there needs to be accountability to the taxpayers as we certainly cannot continue to run a $600,000 annual deficit year after year. The times are changing and so must we; however it will take action rather than complacency.” (Bob Warnock)

 

 

BAYHAM GETS ONTARIO FUNDS

 

(Contributed) – “Yesterday Ontario announced it is providing $438,864 through the Rural Economic Development Program to help a variety of rural communities including: Bayham to create an economic development plan to retain young talent, transition towards a knowledge-based economy and attract investment.”

 

 

A READER WRITES:

 

“Re- Yesterday’s ‘Aylmer Muse’: We need to look closely at the pros and cons of any changes being considered. Marketing arena ice time throughout the year is a very competitive business. I would like to see the arenas in East Elgin including Tillsonburg, St. Thomas and Port Stanley work together to market their ice time opportunities. That way they can all go for a bigger piece of the arena business. As to the conference/convention halls, what sorts of packages can we put together for eating out and accommodations so the EECC can host events longer than one day? This is the time for fresh ideas while we are sorting out the governance and operations issues.” (Bill Murch)

 

 

AYLMER COUNCIL MONDAY:

 

Among items for this Monday’s Aylmer Council agenda is the following motion by Deputy-Mayor Gerry Richer – “Whereas there was concern expressed at two recent public meetings as well as through letters and discussions about the cost of building a new library…and about the moving of the library to the EECC…That Council take no turther action on the tenders submitted on March 27 for the building of a library.”

 

 

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THURSDAY, May 1/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Turn Off Screens Week: Thu. -Hockey, Horseshoes (see Apr 24 story)

-All week: Aylmer Yard Waste pickup (In Paper Bags, Day Before Garbage Day)

-Wed., Thu., Fri. – ch. 5 – Aylmer Budget Meeting, 9pm

-Thu.,Fri.,Sat. – Ch. 5 – EEC Complex Review Meeting, 8 pm

-Getty Concert, Christian Reformed Church, 7pm (See April 15 story)

-Thu. -Bayham 7, Malahide 7:30 Councils

 

-Sat. -Divas, Dudes Day Out Trade Show, 10am-2 pm; Saxonia Hall (see ad)

 

 

 OBITUARIES:

 

-Muhlbock Katharina of Waterloo passed away on Tuesday in her 86th year. Predeceased by husband Karl (2002). Survivors: daughter-in-law Betty Laemers of Vienna; brother Peter Bachner and sister Rose (Bob White), both of Springwater etc.. She was born in Romania. They farmed at Straffordville previously.Visitation at Verhoeve Funeral Home, Tillsonburg on Thursday 7-9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be conducted on Friday at 1 p.m. at the funeral home.

 

 

ELGINLICIOUS BACK

 

(Contributed) – “Elgin County is sponsoring ElginLicious again from May 15 – 25. Discover the area’s best food and drink and agri-tourism destinations through limited-time special promotions at participating Savour Elgin businesses. Take advantage of promotions at three great price points – $10, $15 and $25. East Elgin participants include: Heritage Line Herbs and Pinecroft. For a full listing of ElginLicious promotions visit www.savourelgin.ca and click on the Events link or call 1-877-GO-ELGIN ext. 168.

 

 

PT BURWELL AUTHOR NOMINATED AGAIN

 

(Contributed) – “The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award, an annual Canadian award that celebrates traditional, feel-good mysteries, has announced this year’s finalists. The award – the Bony Blithe – is for a “book that makes us smile,” which includes everything from laugh-out-loud to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with little violence or gore. Finalists include Pt. Burwell area author Janet Bolin for ‘Thread and Buried (Berkley Prime Crime).’ It is her third consecutive nomination for this honour. The award will be presented at the Bloody Words Mystery Conference banquet on June 7 in Toronto. The winner will receive a cheque for $1,000.

 

 

THE AYLMER MUSE:

 

“FEW BODY CHECKS AT EEC COMPLEX REVIEW”

A large crowd turned out for last Thursday’s meeting for public input on the recent EEC Complex Review. But I thought we would hear more ‘public input’. About half of those at the microphone spoke on the proposed library relocation to the complex issue (which, as a late fling by Aylmer Council, seemed to dominate the evening), others said “we are users, consult us” and still others  said “there it is, go do your job.” I thought the Liason committee would receive more opinions/direction on what job they should actually do based on the 22 suggestions. Do people want to see staff reduced, an ice pad closed for the summer, the banquet hall eliminated, or a change in the partnership etc? I was hoping some might have raised a few of the following concerns about those issues: 

1-Should the banquet hall be privatized or does it need more marketing? The Review seemed to be saying both. How is it that in other area complexes of a similar size we see municipally supported fitness centres, seniors centres, and banquet halls? How can they do it? The Review suggests not rehiring a Program CoOrdinator but don’t other places have them/or don’t we need one if we wish to keep the hall and use it more?

2-Do we know enough about what other places do in order to change our EECC governance? Are you satisfied with the survey sample? I didn’t think the choices of Caldedonia and St.Thomas were representative so that just leaves the examples of St. Marys and Dorchester. Could more comparable information be obtained from Strathoy, Leamington, Ingersoll, Tillsonburg etc?

3-Can we really reduce staffing or are most of the hours provincially mandated?

 4- Is closing the pad an easy fix? Many other centres do this apparently but there are pros and cons for user groups, longterm contracts, maintenance etc.

At any rate, the committee doesn’t meet again until May 9 if you feel last Thursday’s game was too tame. (kb)

 

 

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WEDNESDAY, April 30/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Turn Off Screens Week: Wed- Library Readings/Bowling (see Thur. story)

-All week: Aylmer Yard Waste pickup (In Paper Bags, Day Before Garbage Day)

-Wed., Thu., Fri. – ch. 5 – Aylmer Budget Meeting, 9pm   -Thu.,Fri.,Sat. – Ch. 5 – EEC Complex Review Meeting, 8 pm

 

-Thu. – Getty Concert, Christian Reformed Church, 7pm (See April 15 story)

-Thu. -Bayham 7, Malahide 7:30 Councils

-Sat. -Divas, Dudes Day Out Trade Show, 10am-2 pm; Saxonia Hall (see ad)

 

 

EEC COMPLEX VS. GODERICH COMPLEX

 

(Information on the Goderich Maitland Centre is from Kathi Lomas-McGee Senior VicePresident Operations:)

1-Facility? – “It was built in 2003. It has a pool, NHL ice pad, walking track, wellness centre, gymnasium, café, group fitness studio and multipurpose rooms 2-Summer Use? -We keep the ice in all year round with summer ice hockey schools, recreation groups and day passes as users

3-Use of other rooms? The multipurpose rooms are all available for rental

4-Staff? – All staff work crosses over into other areas of the facility, there are approximately nine staff plus part time casual

5-Debt? – The municipality has created a financial model that maximizes usage and manages the deficit and they commit to recreation. The facility was paid off within 9 years of operation.”

 

 

NEXT A.C.T. IS MAY 29

 

The next performance of the Aylmer Community Theatre is ‘Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out’, a play by Norman Foster, beginning May 29 at the OTH Theatre. Synopsis: Teresa Parliament’s husband, Chuck, forgets their 32nd anniversary which prompts Mrs. Parliament to pursue other interests.  Director is Ron Sawyer and Stage Manager is Mary Morin. The cast includes: Barbara Warnock, Judy Jacoletti, Peter Leack, Gary Bodkin, Paul Blower, Colleen Sawyer, Katherine Thompson, Jennifer Leack, Rob Verkest, Evan Thompson and Mark Smith. Said Barb Warnock: “While there are 11 actors, there are actually 20 characters in the show as so many of the actors are playing multiple parts. Norm Foster has used this technique before in Bedtime Stories, which ACT produced in 2009. ACT has earned the first amateur rights from Norm Foster for this show.”

 

 

TWO NEW NOMINEES: MALAHIDE ELECTION

 

In Malahide there were two new names added in the past month seeking positions in this fall’s municipal elections. Max Moore of Springfield is running again in Ward 2 and Jake Quiring of Aylmer is contesting Ward 3. Presently Dave Mennill for Mayor, Jim Jenkins and Mike Wolfe for Deputy Mayor and Mark Wales for Ward 4 Councillor and Melissa Schneider for Ward 5 Councillor are the other candidates.  In Bayham, incumbent Councillor Wayne Casier announced his candidacy today. John Faulkner as a Ward 2 Councillor is the only other candidate listed as no others have filed papers yet for Mayor, Deputy Mayor or Council.  In Aylmer, there have been no recent additions. Jack Couckuyt and Calvin Brydges are running for Mayor and Diana Brydges and Bill Murch for Councillor.

 

 

DRUG DROP OFF DAY AT LIBRARY

 

(From Aylmer Police) – “Saturday May 10th is National Drug Drop-off Day. Aylmer Police will be anonymously collecting  unnecessary prescription medication at the Aylmer Library from 10 am-2 pm. Unwanted prescription drugs can be dropped off for safe disposal at local pharmacies at any time but the special drop-off day is designed to focus awareness on the problem of excess, unneeded medications in the home. The goal is to eliminate the potential availability of prescription pharmaceuticals to experimenting youth and to help seniors rid their cabinets of excessive amounts of unused medications. It is not safe or sustainable to dispose of unwanted medications in the garbage or sewer system.”

 

 

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TUESDAY, April 29/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Turn Off Screens Week: Games (Inside if raining)/(see Thur. story)

-All week: Aylmer Yard Waste pickup (In Paper Bags, Day Before Garbage Day)

-EEC Complex Sr. Day Out; 9:30 am; (see Fri. story)

 

-Wed,Thu.Fri. – Ch. 5 – EEC Complex Review Meeting, 9 pm

-Thu. -Bayham, Malahide Councils

 

 

ELGIN BIKE EVENT WED.

 

(Contributed) – The Ontario Bike Network will host a free two-hour workshop in Elgin that will offer tourism businesses and organizations key insights on how to become a certified bicycle-friendly business or business area The workshop is being held tomorrow at St.Thomas Golf Club at Union from 9 am to 11:30 am. The Ontario Bike Network has certified over 800 businesses and locations under the following categories: accommodations, food service providers, tourist attractions, campgrounds and other bicycle-related businesses. Elgin County Economic Development, Railway City Tourism and Elgin St. Thomas Public Health worked in conjunction with the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation to bring this event to Elgin. Participants can RSVP at www.ontariobybikeworkshops.eventbrite.ca

 

 

A READER WRITES:

 

(Re-Monday’s ‘Muse’:) “Both the story and the editorial highlight all the positives we have with the Aylmer Library. We are fortunate to have great people working at the Aylmer Library and with the Elgin County Library. They quietly and respectfully provide the services our community needs even when some some people don’t realize it is happening. Yes we all need to step back from the Aylmer library debate. Although a new building in ‘Bear Park’ would provide the much needed modern space, revisiting an extension off the west side of the Old Town Hall has merit in my eyes. I also like the ‘steam laundry’/Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives/Old Town Hall Theatre idea. To my way of thinking, looking forward is much better than simply saying no or taking things away from our downtown.” (Bill Murch)

 

 

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK:

 

BAYHAM TO REMOVE OJIBWA SANDBAR

“At a special meeting last night, Bayham Council passed a resolution to proceed with the work to remove the east beach sand bar as recommended and that all costs be invoiced to the Elgin Military museum. The sandbar was created by excavation for the movement of the Ojibwa submarine into the harbour here this past fall. The sandbar had not washed away over the winter and it created a pond of some four foot depth adjacent to the beach. Cost of the work is estimated to be a maximum of $15,000 and is to be completed before the May 24th holiday weekend.”

 

 

A READER WRITES:

 

“The recent discussions about comparing property taxes and, in particular, my son Mike’s letter of April 17, aroused my curiosity.  I wrote him for a more in depth explanation and he replied very fully.  I quote my reply to him and his response:

“Thanks for all the info on comparing property taxes.  The bottom line is that it is a very complex procedure that shouldn’t be attempted by a layman. Would I be correct to say, with a great deal of simplistic misunderstanding, that to compare taxes one would want to find reasonably identical homes in reasonably identical communities and compare the taxes the homeowners pay?”

“Yes!  Not easily done but one could come up with fairly reasonable comparisons.  The hardest part would be getting the data you need; however the assessment folks could help you with the assessment part as they did with the newspaper folks.  The tax rates are fairly easy to get.  One would also want to find communities with comparable services and residential/commercial mixes also.  Basically you wouldn’t be able to find a perfect match but close would suffice.”

Mike is a retired property assessor (Fanshawe College trained) who, although having lived in the west for many years, still retains an interest in Aylmer.  Perhaps his comments will provide some guidance for those who are attempting to compare Aylmer’ property taxes to other communities.” (Harold Tuthill)

 

 

MALAHIDE FIRE REPORT:

 

– April 24, 2014, Station #2,  Dingle Street, Medical Assist 

– April 25, 2014, Station #2,  Talbot Line, Alarm Malfunction 

– April 25, 2014, Station #3,  Ron McNeil Line, Medical Assist 

– April 27, 2014, Station #1,  Calton Line, Medical Assist

 

 

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MONDAY, April 28/14

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AYLMER, EAST ELGIN TODAY:

 

-Turn Off Screens: Zumba, Dodgeball (see Thur. story)

-All week: Aylmer Yard Waste pickup (In Paper Bags, Day Before Garbage Day)

 

-Tue. – EEC Complex Sr. Day Out; 9:30 am; (see Fri. story)

-Thu. -Bayham, Malahide Councils

 

 

NEW AYLMER LIBRARY SUPERVISOR

 

Aylmer Library Supervisor Chris Mayhew is retiring this Wednesday. She became Branch Supervisor here in 1983 replacing Eleanor Given (The library moved into the Old Town Hall in 1981). She was a native of Illinois. Growing up her family spent summers at a cottage at Pt. Bruce. She received a Master’s of Library Science from the University of Illinois.

Said Chris: “There are three milestones in my career: In 2004, the Aylmer Library was short listed for the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence for its Growing with Books project. Conceived by Elgin County Library staff , the project delivers a literacy package/book bag to every newborn in Elgin County over the course of three years. As well, in 2005, the Aylmer Library won the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence for its Open the Doors to Learning program. This partnership between the Aylmer Library and Summers’ Corners Public School led to the development of a blueprint for future library tours for school children in all Elgin County branch libraries. And in 2011, the Aylmer Library received the Minister’s Award for Innovation for its Check it in, Check it out radio program for kids. Developed as as a radio broadcast pilot project in partnership with Mennonite Community Services, Check it in, Check it out brings the library, its resources, programs, and services, to the Low German Mennonite immigrant population of East Elgin. I have also been blessed to have been surrounded by a warm and supportive staff and a welcoming community. My future plans include travelling, reading, swimming, sailing etc.”

Elgin County Library announced Friday that Ms. Rachel Charette will be the next Supervisor of the Aylmer Library, the largest branch in the Elgin County system in terms of materials circulated and population served.  Ms. Charette begins her duties on Tuesday. She has 11 years of supervisory experience in public libraries in Michigan as Branch Manager / Head of Children’s Services at Livonia Public Library and Head Librarian at Capital Area District Library in South Lansing. Ms. Charette holds a Master of Library & Information Science degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and a Bachelor or Arts degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology  from DePaul University in Chicago.

 

About seventy five persons attended a retirement event for Aylmer Library Supervisor Chris Mayhew in the OTH theatre Friday night. (kb) (CLICK)

About seventy five persons attended a retirement event for Aylmer Library Supervisor Chris Mayhew in the OTH theatre Friday night. (kb) (CLICK)

 

 

EESS GIRLS SOFTBALL TEAM

 

(Information from Coach/EESS teacher Brandi Geerts:) – “I started the team seven years ago at East Elgin. A number of girls had expressed interest in playing and  I used to play fastball  We have had a team here every year since with the exception of two years. Softball is still considered a club sport since there is not a league currently  in Thames Valley. All our play is done through tournaments and/or exhibition games.  This year we will be playing in two tournaments: One at St. Mary’s High School in Woodstock and the other is the OFSAA Girls Slo-Pitch Tournament held at Slo-Pitch City in Dorchester. It is my hope that a female softball league can be created in Thames Valley where league games are played in addition to tournaments.This year we have a team of 15 exceptional ladies and Ms. Nichole Grayson is helping as coach.”

 

 

BAYHAM FARMERS’ MARKET

 

(Randall Breyer of Vienna sent a note to Bayham Council recently asking for permission to establish a Farmers’ Market in Bayham this summer. Bayham approved the request in principle. Mr. Breyer provides this outline:) “I am owner of Bayham’s Family Table Restaurant in Vienna (former Vienna Hotel). My wife and I operated a Diner in the Guelph area in the past. I have worked for 30 years in the Food Manufacturing Industry.

When we first moved to Port Burwell I became entrapped in the saga of the HMCS Ojibwa and saw the opportunity to assist in the rejuvenation of Bayham. Being an Ambassador for the Elgin Tourist Association I was pleasantly surprised to hear that a survey showed that there was a common thought that more Farmer’s Markets were required in Elgin County. The location I have chosen will give the vendors one of the best exposures in the area with the Provincial Park having 115,000 entries last year alone and Highway 19 through Vienna sees about 80% of the traffic. There is also Sand Hills Park within 10 minutes of Vienna adding a substantial market. The location of the Municipal Park in Vienna is a perfect location for a Farmer’s market promoting the produce of the area and aiding in getting people out to see what else the area has to offer.”

 

 

THE AYLMER MUSE:

 

The Aylmer library renovation needs to make ‘common sense’ as well as have ‘common cents.’ Despite Aylmer Council’s hasty motion – without a study – to move the library to the EEC Complex,  judging by last week’s public meetings a sizable and vocal group is opposed to this. They cite concerns about poor design, too far for user groups ie. children, too little cost savings and the fact that most area communities don’t have a library away from the downtown etc. Common sense. On the other hand a large group it appears is also opposed to the building of a new library downtown due to its cost of two and a half million dollars – despite the Mayor’s ‘attractive’ financial plan – and many like the idea of retaining the green area nearby. Common cents.

The next chapter? Despite the apparent stalemate, let’s not close the book. This renovation discussion has been going on for several years. And why should Aylmer stay underserviced at 3300 square feet while many others in the area have modernized and expanded ie. even Dutton has 5000 square feet and Straffordville has 4500 square feet.  I’m also convinced the ‘library era’ is still popular as technology is fickle and we have many needy local groups who still use its services.

So, is it time to resurrect an original idea which was to keep it where it is – a popular site and certainly the vision of 1981-  and put an addition on the west end. The library would stay downtown – the green space would remain. It would need a connecting walkway so as not to infringe on any Ontario Heritage restrictions. Yes, you would have to tear up a dozen parking spots. But there is room to accommodate the necessary 7,000 square feet in a two storey structure. And it would cost a lot less. Plus down the road a downtown ‘vision’ might incorporate the former Steam Laundry building to the north into a museum and allow for necessary theatre improvements.

Just  looking for a happy ending for an apparently never-ending story that would have elements of both common sense and cents. (KB)

 

 

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