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Well, you can’t say this is a boring election

Believe it or not, there are some smaller municipalities in Ontario where the municipal election is no big deal. We now have less than a week to vote in what is turning out to be a very interesting election. Despite the ugly and annoying bits, this is still a good thing.

There are 444 municipalities in Ontario, and according to the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO), 120 municipalities have had their head of council (mayor, reeve, etc) acclaimed in this election. These numbers are up from the last municipal election. Of the 3,273 municipal positions up for grabs this election, 536 have been acclaimed. Journalists from several media outlets are fretting the state of democracy itself.

Thankfully — with the exception of the various school board positions — this is not the case in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

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Kawartha Lakes Pride picnic draws hundreds to Victoria Park

in Around Town/Community/Local News by
Kawartha Lakes Pride picnic draws hundreds to Victoria Park
Pride picnic organizers, Carrie Pearson and Matthew Maddox.

A little rain, a little sun gleaming through. It was perfect rainbow conditions for the fourth annual Kawartha Lakes Pride Picnic, held Saturday in Victoria Park, and though no rainbows formed overhead, they were everywhere at the picnic — on banners, clusters of balloons, this year’s t-shirts and even painted onto children’s cheeks.

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Kawartha Lakes Vignette: Kim Wagg

in Around Town by
If you have never met Kim at “The Coach” then there’s at least a good chance you might have seen her dog. Photo: Erin Smith.

Kim Wagg loves her job as a bartender at Lindsay’s Coach and Horses. “I love my customers and coworkers and the owners,” she says of the job she has had for five years.

If you have never met Kim at “The Coach” then there’s at least a good chance you might have seen her dog. Kim produces performance videos of her German Shepard dog, Chevy.

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Spiritualism and the New Age goes mainstream

in Around Town/Community by
Spiritualism and the New Age goes mainstream in Kawartha Lakes

They come from the Toronto area and Durham Region. They come from points north, east and west. In the heart of Bobcaygeon, population 3,500, they’re coming to be a part of the Kawartha Mediums, their Zen Den, and the ‘New Age’ spiritualist beliefs that underpin who they are, and what they stand for.

For anyone who has met the three women of the Zen Den, there is an instant understanding that they do not conduct themselves on the fringes of society, despite their expertise. While there are tarot cards and energy books for sale, readings and reiki, there is also an acute understanding of what some would call ‘the real world.’

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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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‘Friends and Neighbours’: The inspiring story of Stanley Dayton

in Around Town/Community/Just in Time by
'Friends and Neighbours': The inspiring story of Stanley Dayton

I am indebted to fellow Advocate writer, Jamie Morris, for allowing me to borrow the title of his column for this month’s installment of ‘Just In Time.’  As regular readers of the Advocate will know, “Friends & Neighbours” introduces the community to familiar individuals among us who have fascinating stories to share about their life, their culture, or their vocation.

Our past is full of interesting citizens who would have been regarded as friends and neighbours by their contemporaries. Whether it was the keeper of the local general store, the milkman, or the arena manager, small communities across Ontario could once claim a cast of characters who made an indelible impression on a generation of local citizens.

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Olé! Canada’s first-ever bullfight 60 years ago was in Lindsay

in Community/Just in Time by
Olé! Canada’s first-ever bullfight 60 years ago was in Lindsay

A boisterous crowd gathers in the Plaza del Toro in a charming small town, awaiting in rapt anticipation the entrance of the magnificent bull Ferdinand and wonders what might become of Matador Jorge Louis Bernal. Who will win — man or beast?  Will the bull be vanquished? Will the matador survive? A year of planning this ‘ballet in three acts’ by organizers in the small town has come down to these tense few minutes. Our scene is not set in some small Mexican pueblo. This bullring is constructed out of plywood and the setting is old Lindsay fairgrounds where almost 5,000 people have gathered to see Canada’s first bullfight. The year is 1958.

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Free lunches for kids for nine weeks as summer pilot begins

in Around Town/Community/Poverty Reduction by
Free lunches for kids for nine weeks as summer pilot begins
Queen Victoria Public School is one of four locations where families can access a free, nutritious lunch for their kids two days a week. Photo: Erin Smith.

It was a great start to the Summer Outreach Lunch Program yesterday, although even higher numbers are expected once the word gets out about available free lunches for kids.

Nearly 20 elementary age school kids showed up at one of the four locations involved in the pilot. Free lunches are served between 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at St. Mary Catholic Elementary School, Queen Victoria School, Housing Help (Lindsay and Glenelg streets), and Kawartha Lakes Food Source on Wednesdays and Fridays during the summer break.

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Fenelon Falls High, CMHA partner in mental health pilot

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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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Kawartha Lakes makes splash in craft beer scene

in Around Town/Business/Community/Local News by
Kawartha Lakes makes splash in craft beer scene
Scott Nichol, Agatha and Vinh Mac, and Jennifer Boksman with Aaron Young. Beer tourism is about to get serious in Kawartha Lakes.

For a craft beer enthusiast within the Toronto area, names like Steam Whistle, Mill Street, and Black Oak resonate. They – like several others – are all breweries recognized for their great tours in the GTA.

But given their geographic location, none of them can hold a candle to the natural charm and get-away feel of Kawartha Lakes – and at least one craft beer entrepreneur here thinks that’s going to help make this area make a splash in the craft brewery scene.

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See the local TransCanada Trail with fresh eyes this Canada Day

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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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