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Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue

Local firefighter questions flood preparedness decision by city

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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 plans for a winter with up to quarter more people than usual

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With snowbirds potentially unable to travel to winter homes and cottagers looking to remain in Kawartha Lakes rather than return to their primary urban residences, CAO Ron Taylor and other senior city staff are trying to plan pro-actively for what could be a very unpredictable winter season.

“We are planning ahead to be proactive,” Taylor said, “in the event that seasonal residents who usually head down south decide to stay in Kawartha Lakes.”

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Out with a whimper, not a bang: Council restricts fireworks to 6 days a year

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“Nuisance fireworks are creating a quality of life and a noise problem in the City of Kawartha Lakes."

Kawartha Lakes City Council unanimously received a vote that would restrict the use of fireworks to just six days a year. The new bylaw will take effect on September 15 should council formally adopt the received bylaw then.

At the committee of the whole meeting, Kawartha Lakes Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst asked council to consider restricting the use of fireworks to a handful of days in the summer season and to implement an outright ban on backyard campfires in Lindsay proper.

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Ring the bells that still can ring

in Community/Just in Time by
Ring the bells that still can ring
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Photo: Roderick Benns.

It’s a warm spring day in London, England. Sunday May 19, 2019, to be precise. My cousin, his girlfriend, and I have just left the famous Globe Theatre where we took in a performance of William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

After walking some distance, we come within sight of Southwark Cathedral, its 13 bells ringing out across the nearby River Thames. (As Charles Dickens, who watched Southwark’s bell-ringers over 150 years ago, reported, “the tenor’s voice becomes louder and louder, the ladder and walls shake more and more, until at last, as we are going to step onto the platform of the bells, we shrink back as from a blow, from the stunning clash of sound with which he greets us.”)

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