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Academy staff quits ‘stressful’ environment; Board pushes back against early meeting

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Photo: Sienna Frost.

The Academy Theatre’s long-time manager of administrative services, Loretta Kingston, has quit, as has box office support staff member, Penny Hainer, amidst a trying time for the theatre.

Kingston, the long-time administrator, has been under more stress of late after dealing with the loss of former General Manager Helen Nestor, who was turfed by the board in August after only four months at the helm. Many of Nestor’s duties fell to Kingston to try to manage.

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Pat O’Reilly new deputy mayor as voted by Council

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New Deputy Mayor Pat O'Reilly with outgoing Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie.

Pat O’Reilly, councillor for Ward 7 was elected as the Deputy Mayor of Kawartha Lakes for the 2020 term, effective January 1. Doug Elmslie ended his one year term as Deputy Mayor and made the nomination for Pat O’Reilly.

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David Morrison: The sound of band music

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David Morrison: The sound of band music
David Morrison. Photo: Jamie Morris

In its first year in existence the Kawartha Lakes Concert Band performed two concerts. The first happened just three months after it formed; the second was for a sold-out audience at the Academy Theatre. “When the band participated in the Peterborough Kiwanis Music Festival, it earned a mark of 93 per cent and went on to win top prize for community bands in province-wide competition. So, as the band prepares for “To All a Good Night,” the Dec. 14 concert that will kick off its second year, the question is, what’s responsible for this success?

Some good fortune for sure: Who knew 74 musicians would answer a call to join, or that there’d be such a good balance of brass, woodwind, and percussion players? (Show me another community band that has 14 clarinets — a core component, clarinets are the violins of a concert band — and two bass clarinets, or three tubas and six trombones).

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Affordable rural housing a challenge to find in nearby Haliburton County

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Low wages, seasonal work, inadequate social assistance rates and higher living costs are all factors.

“Apartment for rent $1,600.00 per month, no kids, no pets, no smokers.”

This ad sums up the difficulty facing many renters in Haliburton County.  Working full-time at minimum wage, one would have approximately $500 for all other expenses after paying rent.

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Taxes to increase 3.5 per cent under pressure from provincial cuts, winter control costs

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Taxes to increase 3.5 per cent under pressure from provincial cuts, winter control costs
Winter control costs have gone up for the City.

At the Special Council meeting on December 3, Council approved the 2020 Operating Budget. There will be a 3.5% increase to the tax levy, slightly below the forecasted increase in the long term financial plan.

Council received a presentation from Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services. Stover noted that the Operating Budget is $205 million of a total municipal budget of $305 million. The Capital, Water and Wastewater and Special Project Budgets were adopted by Council on November 26 totalling $100 million.

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Poor quality labour market has sparked more food bank use: Report

in Community/Poverty Reduction by

The sweeping changes to the labour market in Canada over the past 20 years is sparking an unprecedented use of food banks. Heather Kirby, general manager of Kawartha Lakes Food Source says, “The road to the door of a food bank is as different as there are stars in the sky.  Housing, child care and transportation are expenses that must be a priority which moves food to the bottom of the list.  These choices are nearly impossible to make.”

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More children than adults at A Place Called Home this Christmas

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
APCH Board Chair Karen Round.

The sound of children’s voices during the holidays typically conjures feelings of warmth and sentimentality – unless, of course, those voices are in a homeless shelter.

It’s a jarring mental image but one that A Place Called Home in Lindsay is being forced to contemplate.

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Plastic shock: Tonnes of waste destined for landfill from old Northern Plastic plant

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Plastic shock: Tonnes of waste destined for landfill from old Northern Plastic plant
Inside the 50,000 sq. ft building, the sight was shocking. Photos: Jamie Morris.

The former Northern Plastic Lumber plant in Lindsay was sold in 2014 to a U.S. company but its corporate legacy lives on – in the form of what may be up to 40,000 tonnes of abandoned plastic waste still to be disposed of.

Almost six years ago the plant was bought by a U.S. firm and all the equipment was moved to Pennsylvania. All the plastic raw material was left behind for disposal by the new owners.

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Former BOB FM morning show team moves to seek damages from Bell Media

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Former BOB FM morning show team moves to seek damages from Bell Media
Jason Ward of Wards Lawyers, Lindsay.

Dave Illman and Julie Corlett are seeking damages against Bell Media for their “wrongful dismissal,” according to their lawyer, Jason Ward.

Saying this was “not a ‘lay off,’” Ward. of Wards Lawyers in Lindsay, says in an email interview that both Dave and Julie were terminated by Bell Media.

“They allege, among other things, their terminations were abrupt, without proper notice and, therefore, wrongful. They were asked to leave BOB FM on the same day they were unfairly dismissed,” Ward notes.

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Academy Theatre struggles with direction, leadership

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Academy Theatre struggles with direction, leadership
The Academy has been a cultural fixture in our area since 1893. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Ray Marshall served as general manager of Lindsay’s storied Academy Theatre from 1985 to 2006 — 21 consecutive years of service. After Marshall moved on, there have been at least nine general managers, and currently there is no general manager at all.

This revolving door — and the erosion of good will associated with it — is not only threatening the theatre’s reputation but its continued operation.

The Academy, said to be the most technically perfect theatre in Canada, is the crown cultural jewel of Lindsay. It was once led and nurtured by Dennis Sweeting, the founder of Kawartha Summer Theatre (KST), who was also the first president of the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA). His wife, Maggie Sweeting, was the administrator.

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