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Council eyes tear-down of east-side historical properties to allow for apartment building

in Community/Just in Time/Municipal/Opinion by
The historically significant land overlooks the river, right on the Rotary Trail. Photo: Roderick Benns.

It’s a property with a now well-documented past but an uncertain future. There are competing interests and City Council and its Planning Advisory Committee have some decisions to make.

You can see the property for yourself if you turn off King Street onto St. David, towards Logie Road. Number 3 St. David, one of the property’s two houses, will be on your right. It’s a large red-brick, gable-front Victorian with a wrap-around porch, set back from the road on a well-treed lot (there’s a towering walnut, some maples and others).

Take the first right onto the extension of Riverview and past a line of mature pine trees you’ll find 4 Riverview, the second, smaller house — a typical Ontario Gothic cottage.

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Remember your rural neighbours

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When summer brings day after day of rain, do you think of your fields, your construction contract, your weekend plans or your lawn? The answer to that question probably depends to a large extent on whether you live in town or in the country.

While we tend to think of all of Kawartha Lakes as rural, if you live in Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, or even some of the smaller villages, you might be surprised to know that many things you can take for granted just aren’t the same for those of us who live in the country. And if you came here from the GTA, no doubt you’re in for an even bigger surprise.

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Mike Puffer a big part of our caring, supportive community

in Community/Opinion by

Think about what contributes to a caring, supportive community. Any list would include the service clubs and the churches. Arguably, the press belong there. Near the top would be agencies like United Way and Community Care.

For decades Mike Puffer has played key roles in all of these.

Later this month, after 11 years as Executive-Director of the United Way and 14 years as Communications Officer with Community Care, Mike is “retiring” (more about the quotation marks later).

When I sit down with him it’s to hear some reflections on his professional and volunteer services. We meet upstairs at Remedy’s RX on Kent, the independent pharmacy owned and operated by his wife, Cathy.

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Benns’ Belief: This land is our land — and we must protect it

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Miles Canyon, Yukon. Photo: Roderick Benns.

“We no longer see the world as a single entity. We’ve moved to cities and we think the economy is what gives us our life …without regard to what it does to the rest of the world.” – David Suzuki

It’s a privilege to be able to drive across Canada, not the least of which is because it helps one understand the essence of the country better than dropping in on big cities by plane. However, the cost of lodging, gasoline, and time away from jobs makes it next to impossible for too many Canadians.

So, it was indeed a privilege for us to be able to travel over 12,500 kilometres to the Yukon and back a few years ago for over a month, seeing this great country in a way that few of us do.

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Quitting a job: What if you want to take it all back?

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New study shows major job and income challenges for Kawartha Lakes

Quitting is a normal part of any employment relationship. Any employee contemplating doing so will have hopefully made the right decision without feeling the sting of regret. Regret is a common consideration as resignations will often prompt questions related to “are you sure about this?” from an employer, and it turns out the response to that question could be critical.

At law a resignation must be ‘clear and unequivocal’ in consideration of all the contextual factors surrounding the resignation. This would make most employers feel confident that a resignation given in writing would be firm and enforceable. But a recent case from the Ontario Court of Appeal draws some uncertainty into such a situation.

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Worker cooperatives: A path to equality

in Opinion by
Worker cooperatives: A path to equality

Quickly. Can you name five cooperatives? La Siembra Cooperative sells delicious Fair Trade chocolate bars, my bank is the Waterloo Education Credit Union and I buy outdoor equipment at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Over 20 organizations are part of the Haliburton County Community Co-operative and Huntsville recently launched the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op. How did you do with your list?

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Our shared destiny: Understanding life in small towns

in Opinion by
Lindsay at dawn. Photo: Michael LaRiviere.

People who reside in small towns, much more than in large cities, have a shared destiny.

We are not lost in the shuffle of faceless people and endless possibilities. We are each others’ possibilities; we are each other’s best chance.

The ache of a factory or business closing is felt not only by the people who work there, their lives scarred by uncertain days ahead, but by everyone in the town. That includes our small businesses who may then not see as much support. It could include your neighbour or a family member whose life has irrevocably changed.

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Nobody needs my opinion on this

in Opinion by
There has been much discussion on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report.

There has been a lot of hand-wringing in some quarters over the release of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report, specifically with the report’s use of the word genocide. Here’s my take on it: my opinion isn’t really needed right now.

See, I’m a white dude. A white dude that’s lucky enough to get to share my opinion sometimes. But now is not the time for me to speak. It’s the time for me, and people like me, to listen. And hopefully learn.

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Worker cooperatives: More resilience, productivity, and equality

in Business/Community/Opinion by
Kawartha Credit Union began in 1952 by General Electric employees, an example of a successful cooperative.

Quickly. Can you name five cooperatives? La Siembra Cooperative sells delicious Fair Trade chocolate bars, my bank is the Waterloo Education Credit Union and I buy outdoor equipment at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Over 20 organizations are part of the Haliburton County Community Co-operative and Huntsville recently launched the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op. How did you do with your list?

In Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy, author Nathan Schneider describes a key development in the cooperative movement. In 1843 in Rochdale, England, a group of textile workers established a small store where they could buy groceries, clothing and other goods at reasonable prices.

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Problems are solved by ideas, not memes

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Local federal candidates square off with different visions for riding, country
A federal election is looming in the fall.

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield once quipped “The way my luck is going, if I were a politician I would be honest.”

Dangerfield was following a long tradition of commentators using humour or satire or even political theatre to challenge the ruling class, a tradition that goes back past Plato, who said “one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

We are supposed to doubt, challenge and question our politicians. It’s part of our democratic DNA, every bit as essential as a vibrant free press and open access to the information that the state uses to rule us. We are often wise to be cynical of the powers that be.

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