Kawartha Lakes' Finest Magazine

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Kirk Winter - page 3

Kirk Winter has 185 articles published.

Kirk is a retired high school history teacher and coach who has had a lifelong interest in politics at all levels. Since retiring, Kirk has spent the last three years doing freelance writing of all kinds for various platforms. Kirk can often be found sitting in the press gallery at City Hall observing and reporting on the vagaries of local government.

School board trustee wonders why teachers are not a priority for COVID vaccines

in Education/Health by
School board trustee wonders why teachers are not priority for vaccines
"School staff are frontline workers and unfortunately the health units and the ministry do not see it that way."

As far as trustee Gary Brohman is concerned, staff working in Trillium Lakelands District School Board schools are essential workers and he cannot understand why the province has not made the vaccination of teachers, administrators and support staff a priority.

At the recent school board meeting, Brohman advocated forcefully for staff vaccines to be safe against the threat of COVID-19.

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Dunn provides off-road vehicles task force update to council

in Municipal by

Councillor Pat Dunn, who serves as chair of the Off-Road Vehicles Task Force, was asked by Mayor Andy Letham to provide council with an update on the work of the task force at the recent council meeting.

The task force has been asked by council to look at the issues surrounding off-road vehicles accessing municipally owned roads, and what roads, if any, should be opened to the off-road vehicle community.

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Urban design award won by city staff member for Logie Park

in Community/Municipal by

Logie Park continues to impress. Mayor Andy Letham reported that the Ontario Parks Association has recognized city staffer Jenn Johnson for her role in helping spearhead the innovative park’s re-development.

Johnson was feted with an Urban Design Award by the provincial association who look at parks and park design right across Ontario.

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Local firefighter questions flood preparedness decision by city

in Municipal by
Local firefighter questions flood preparedness decision by city
Flooding seen in the Burnt River area in 2019. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

There are few guarantees in life, but once the weather turns warm in Kawartha Lakes, flooding, particularly in the north of the city, is all but a guarantee. For decades, volunteer firefighters went door-to-door from Burnt River to Cameron Lake warning of impending flooding and helping convey to residents the best way to prepare for the wall of water produced by spring melt in Algonquin Park.

For the last two springs, the Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue has apparently discontinued this paid-duty program of personally warning residents of impending flooding, and long-time volunteer firefighter Mark Lowell believes this is a bad decision.

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City to remove parking meters in Bobcaygeon  

in Municipal by
“They confuse the tourists. They are unsightly. They need to go.” Photo: Jess Topfer.

Council voted unanimously to remove the nine remaining parking meters from the downtown core in Bobcaygeon, and local councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan couldn’t be happier.

“The meters have not worked in years,” Seymour-Fagan said. “They confuse the tourists. They are unsightly. They need to go.”

Aaron Sloan, manager of by-law for the city, presented three different options to council: removing the meters by May of 2021 after engaging the Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce and other downtown stakeholders, removing the meters without public consultation, or repairing/replacing the meters.

Sloan told council that since 2015 ideas around parking in the city has completely changed, beginning with the removal of all parking meters in Lindsay. Sloan reminded council that Bobcaygeon is the last location left in the city with meters. Sloan also pointed out that the meters in Bobcaygeon are almost two decades old and their internal components are obsolete and becoming difficult to acquire. Repairs have already been priced at over $9,000, and considering that the meters generate less than $1,000 a year in income, the investment for the city in repairing the units seems unwise.

Seymour-Fagan told fellow councillors that downtown businesses in Bobcaygeon have grown tired of providing change to tourists and answering endless questions about the non-functioning meters and how people can make them work.

Sloan suggested to council the option that would see the removal of the parking meters after community consultation no later than May 2021. That option was selected and meters are expected to be removed before the Victoria day long weekend.

City supports two year trial program for urban chicken coops

in Municipal by

Urban dwellers in Kawartha Lakes who have an interest in raising their own chickens for meat and eggs will soon be getting their opportunity.

Council has approved a recommendation from bylaw enforcement to re-write the existing rules that prohibit this activity and implement a two-year trial program that will license 50 different urban sites across the city. At the end of the two-year pilot, bylaw enforcement will compile data and report to the city about the viability of extending and expanding the program.

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“Aging tsunami” drives paramedic plans for the future

in Community/Health by
Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?
Photo courtesy of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service.

Consultants Todd MacDonald and John Prno gave council a first look at their 10-year master plan for the Kawartha Lakes paramedic service. Their proposed solutions are driven by demographics, and if adopted will see a considerable re-shaping of how and where the service does business from 2022-2031.

MacDonald and Prno suggested that over the next 10 years there will be “steady long-term population growth in Kawartha Lakes” and that the bulk of the growth is going to be in the population cohort above the age of 65.

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Olde Gaol Museum board says funding needed to hire staff or museum can’t open

in Municipal by
Peterborough County provides $645,000 just to cover their museum staffing costs while the museum in Minden receives $63,000 from Haliburton County.

The volunteer board responsible for the Olde Gaol Museum presented to council  a stark future for the city’s largest tourist attraction if it can’t get city funding soon.

Jane Gregory-Gill, a director of the Victoria County Historical Society, told councillors that if $132,000 for the hiring of two full-time staff is not forthcoming from the city, the museum will not be able to re-open for the 2021 tourist season. Currently, there are no salaried positions at the museum.

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Local man excited about possibility of outdoor rinks for hockey, skating

in Community/Municipal by

Allen Irvine grew up in Lindsay playing hockey every opportunity he could. Now, years later with children of his own, Irvine would like to see Kawartha Lakes expand the options for children to get out and play a game of shinny by considering the construction of an outdoor ice rink for community use during the winter months.

“I have played hockey my whole life,” Irvine said. “I have kids of my own now and there is nowhere to play hockey outside in Kawartha Lakes. With this new (COVID) world we are living in I think the rink would be well used and it is something we should do.”

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Weldon’s International Baccalaureate program benefits from structural changes

in Education by
Weldon's International Baccalaureate program benefits from structural changes
Erin Matthew, IB coordinator at I.E. Weldon. Photo: Erin Burrell.

Superintendent of Schools for Trillium Lakelands District School Board, Katherine MacIver, told trustees that structural changes made to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program offered at I.E. Weldon have helped to make the respected enrichment program financially viable.

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