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A story of the Rohingya refugee crisis from a Lindsay perspective

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by

The numbers are staggering. Over 700,000 Rohingya refugees, many of them children and women, have taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape wholesale slaughter, rape, and burning of their villages in Myanmar — systematic violence that the United Nations has described as as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

The descriptions of their conditions are moving. Read, for example, this, from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHRC) website: “They have walked for days through jungles and mountains, or braved dangerous sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal . . . Monsoon and cyclone season has arrived . . . Thousands of refugees will face grave risk of landslides and floods.”

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We need public policy for the common good, in common purpose

in Business/Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by
We need public policy for the common good, in common purpose
The economic system abdicated its former role as a system that could take of us. 

Small ‘c’ conservatism runs deeply in Kawartha Lakes. Government is largely seen as something to be wary of, even when setting needed public policy, and not overly beneficial for people’s lives.

There is an abiding faith that it is the economic system – not the political system – that will straighten everything out, if people could just get out of the way and let the ‘free market’ do its thing.

Centre-right politicians – both Liberals and Conservatives — talk like that about the economy, about the market, as if our economic system just happened naturally – as if the rules of the game weren’t written by human beings.

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Little Chefs are back at Community Care

in Columnists/Community/Health by
Little Chefs are back at Community Care

No one has to be told of the importance of healthy eating, but the skills needed to properly prepare and follow a nutritious dietary plan seem to have diminished over the past few generations. All too often, we see individuals and families choosing convenience over quality food when it comes to meal preparation.

This summer, the Community Care Health & Care Network aims to help some local youth gain cooking skills that will benefit them for life – and we just may help to produce the next Jamie Oliver or Emeril Lagasse (but hopefully not any hot-tempered Gordon Ramsays!).

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Fenelon Falls High, CMHA partner in mental health pilot

in Columnists/Community/Health by
Fenelon Falls High School, CMHA partner in recent mental health pilot

We all have mental health. Regardless of our age, life experience or background, it’s something we all live with. Our mental health is like a spectrum, a continuum that can move fluidly between being mentally well, or potentially mentally ill. There are a variety of factors that dictate how we move on that continuum— things such as genetics, our life experiences and even our lifestyles (sleep, diet, exercise etc.). We know that the earlier we can work to build skills and resiliency, the much greater rates of mental wellness we can experience. This begs the question, what is being done in our community to support youth mental health?

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See the local TransCanada Trail with fresh eyes this Canada Day

in Around Town/Columnists/Community by
See the local TransCanada Trail with fresh eyes this Canada Day
The first of three free photography workshops for seniors sponsored by the Kawartha TransCanada Trail Association. Photo: Ruth Tait.

The TransCanada Trail (now officially the ‘Great Trail’) stretches some 24,000 km, winding through all 13 provinces and territories and stitching our country together, ocean to ocean to ocean. But sometimes it pays to think small; within any few metres of our own Kawartha section you’ll find photo opportunities. You just have to slow down and look with fresh eyes. That was the lesson of the first of three free photography workshops for seniors sponsored by the Kawartha TransCanada Trail Association.

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Great to be home in Kawartha Lakes

in Columnists/Community by
Great to be home
Sunset on Sturgeon Lake. (Photo by Alexis Benns.)

In the late 1970s or early 80s, you may have spotted a young boy with red hair and freckles fishing or catching crayfish near Lock 33 in Lindsay. That’s certainly a Norman Rockwell image of my childhood, I have to admit. (And my friend Mike Perry has called Lindsay “the Norman Rockwell town of the North.”)

There was road hockey in the winter near Queen Victoria Public School, summer walks by the river in Rivera Park, and the hourly chimes of St. Andrew’s Church from that 85-foot bell tower — sometimes reminding me that I needed to get home for dinner.

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PSWs love what they do and show leadership by serving

in Columnists/Seniors by
PSWs love what they do and show leadership by serving

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and caregivers are an intricate part of health care for any age, and indeed are overworked and underpaid for the responsibility we hold.

But the decision to serve others should not be taken lightly; it’s a commitment, not only to those you serve, but to those you serve with. If we are to assist 13 seniors out of bed each morning and our fellow PSW calls out sick, then our workload can quickly nearly double, affecting patient care in some settings.

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New Kawartha Lakes Library specialist for outreach and community engagement

in Columnists/Community/Education/Local News by
Lyndsay Bowen: New Kawartha Lakes library specialist for outreach and community engagement
Lyndsay Bowen, Library Specialist, Outreach & Community Engagement.

Let’s imagine the ideal candidate for the newly-created position of ‘Library Specialist, Outreach & Community Engagement’ for the Kawartha Lakes Library system.

There are library branches in 14 communities distributed around the City’s 3,059 sq. km — so lots of communities to reach out to, engage and create programs for, and each community is unique. Our ideal candidate should know the Kawartha Lakes and understand the diverse needs of its communities.

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The crime that few people see in Kawartha Lakes

in Columnists/Community/Seniors by
The crime that few people see in Kawartha Lakes

It’s been called the form of abuse that few see. For something that is unseen to a great degree, elder abuse certainly affects a huge number of people in our community. Experts say that elder abuse could be found in the lives of up to 10 per cent of older adults in our community. That could be close to 1,000 Kawartha Lakes residents. If that isn’t alarming enough, the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse says that only one in 12 cases gets reported. Unseen, yet definitely not insignificant.

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The Lindsay Advocate – serving the area since 1855

in Columnists/Community/Just in Time by
The Lindsay Advocate – serving the area since 1855

Sometimes good ideas are merely a continuation of old ideas. What seems like a unique concept may actually be an echo of history, seized upon once again – perhaps at just the right moment.

While reading Looking for Old Victoria County, edited by Rae Fleming and published just last year, I came upon a chapter called The People of the 1861 Great Fire in Lindsay, by Lois Magahay. Under a section about local journalism, it was there that I found an astonishing fact:

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