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Annual Thresher Reunion Draws Over 5000 People - Sept. 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:09
Despite some hot, windy and wild weather the 53rd annual reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association was a hit according to Secretary Jackie Lantinga.
“The whole thing was great,” she said. “Camping is up. I would say we were pretty much full and gate entries were up as well.”
While Lantinga said that the gate numbers were down on Friday, over the entire week she estimates that 5,000 people came through, up from 4,200 last year.
“The heat on Friday and, of course the rain all around us definitely affected the number of people who came in,” she said. “But by Saturday morning, the grounds were pretty much dried up and the only thing that the rain affected was the tractor pull which was cancelled on Saturday.”
Outside vendors were slightly down, however crafters and the flea market vendors were more populous than in past years, Lantinga said.
“There were a lot of great comments about the flea market,” she said. “It’s expanding and people are really happy with how it’s being made new again.”
As far as big winners, the Wayne Houston Memorial Award winner, which becomes the feature engine for the next year, was a 1918 Waterloo owned by Mr. and Mrs. Dave Wood of Simcoe.
The feature car for 2015 will be a 1961 Thunderbird Convertible owned by Dean Thompson.
The fiddle competition brought out many competitors according to organizer Gladys Van Egmond. Winners were as follows:
• 70+: Alex Aldcorn of Badjeros
• 50-69: Ken Cook of Dorchester
• 19-49: Ashley Giles of St. Marys
• 18 and under: Brooklyn Hewton of Miller Lake
• 12 and under: Kelly Guy of Stratford
• Duet: Sabrina Rankin of Sarnia and Ashley Giles of St. Marys
• Open: Jerry Smith of Exeter.
There were approximately 30 entries for the step dancing competition and results are as follows:
• Open group: Fully Charged of the Stratford and Mitchell area
• Junior group: Snap, Crackle and Pop of the Stratford area
• Open: Katie Taradis of Milverton
• 18 and under: Katie Luckhardt of Milverton
• 12 and under: Leo Simon Stock of Stratford
• Nine and under: Sophia Rosedale of Ilderton
Van Egmond also said that the weeknight events leading up to the reunion were also very well attended.
“On Wednesday we had the oldtyme dancing which was well attended,” she said. “Thursday we had 30 out for the fiddle workshop with Doug McNaughton, it went very well.”
Bill Andrews, left, along with Bill Vincent, right, were kept busy on Saturday, as Andrews’ steam engine was the power behind the threshing demonstration at the annual reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association, which saw over 5,000 people pass through Blyth. Vincent made sure the steam engine was running well, while Andrews kept an eye on the threshing machine. With the Blyth Festival staging its final shows of the season last weekend, and the thousands of reunion visitors back home, Blyth became a very quiet community on Monday, seemingly overnight; a gentle reminder that summer is drawing to a close. To see more pictures from the weekend, cllick here. (Shawn Loughlin photo)
Despite some hot, windy and wild weather the 53rd annual reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association was a hit according to Secretary Jackie Lantinga.
“The whole thing was great,” she said. “Camping is up. I would say we were pretty much full and gate entries were up as well.”
While Lantinga said that the gate numbers were down on Friday, over the entire week she estimates that 5,000 people came through, up from 4,200 last year.
“The heat on Friday and, of course the rain all around us definitely affected the number of people who came in,” she said. “But by Saturday morning, the grounds were pretty much dried up and the only thing that the rain affected was the tractor pull which was cancelled on Saturday.”
Outside vendors were slightly down, however crafters and the flea market vendors were more populous than in past years, Lantinga said.
“There were a lot of great comments about the flea market,” she said. “It’s expanding and people are really happy with how it’s being made new again.”
As far as big winners, the Wayne Houston Memorial Award winner, which becomes the feature engine for the next year, was a 1918 Waterloo owned by Mr. and Mrs. Dave Wood of Simcoe.
The feature car for 2015 will be a 1961 Thunderbird Convertible owned by Dean Thompson.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:44
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Budget Grows for Memorial Hall Renovations - Sept. 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:03
North Huron Township Council has supported an extensive renovation plan for Memorial Hall put forward by Allan Avis, a Goderich architect, and endorsed by Campaign 14/19.
During North Huron Township Council’s Sept. 2 meeting, Avis, alongside North Huron Recreation and Facilities Director Pat Newson, explained to council that the changes are coming at a larger price than anticipated, however, the hall will have new life breathed into it as a result of the changes.
Avis was selected by the Memorial Hall renovations committee which consists of members of the Blyth Festival, representatives of North Huron Township and Campaign 14/19 members, the major financial backer of the renovations.
A lengthy selection process including reviews of work and interviews resulted in Avis being given the job earlier this year. He then set to work identifying the necessary changes for the building.
The proposed renovations will see everything from the courtyard to the ground floor to the bell tower of the hall, which is a living cenotaph, changed to make it more useful, not only for the Blyth Festival, its primary user, but also for more off-season usage as well and drastically increased opportunities to use the lower hall for everything from meetings to fully catered meals.
The specific budget of the project isn’t being released to the general public until the construction documents, which will constitute the request for proposals (RFP), are finalized, however, a general overview of the budget, alongside architect’s drawings and potential material pallettes were presented to council. The budget is estimated to come in at approximately $3.2 million which is $1.2 million more than what was originally estimated.
The project, according to Newson, is split into three phases, phase one which produced the documents presented to council, phase two which is the creation of the aforementioned construction documents and the actual construction and renovation phase. Phase two, which council supported moving forward on immediately, is estimated to run until April 2015, just prior to the beginning of the 2015 Blyth Festival season. Phase three is set to start in September of 2015 after the Festival season and span to April 2016. Council approved the construction phase for several reasons, including helping the renovation committee set hard dates for the construction documents.
Avis took council through a tour of the changed grounds and hall highlighting the major changes.
He explained that with the help of Jim Vafiades, an engineer who works for Stantec and designed a courtyard redevelopment for Memorial Hall as part of the Blyth Streetscape Plan proposed last year, the courtyard was redesigned to address several issues it currently faces.
“The first thing is that the sidewalk grid is rotated by 45 degrees [from the roadside sidewalk],” he said, stating it would help draw patrons of the hall to the entrances. “It really helps draw people into the site and takes into account the desire for green space by creating areas where there will be gardens, lawn areas and several mature trees.”
The big change for the courtyard, however, will be levelling.
While there is now a gradual slope towards Memorial Hall and a large grassy knoll in front of the Blyth Festival Bainton Art Gallery and Blyth Festival box office, the proposed redesign will see that land flattened.
The flattened landscape will result in all the entrances to the building being on the same plane and require stairs to be installed for the front entry to Memorial Hall and major changes to be made for other entrances.
“The front entrance will be revamped significantly so there is more of a presence for the entry into the hall,” he said. “It will also better address the issues of crowd and crush space with a deeper stairway and a mid-landing.
“The gardens, especially the dedicated ones, are still there,” he said. “Those gardens will both be honoured and carried forward after the courtyard is levelled out.”
Another noticeable change will be what Avis called “the porch” of the existing lobby, or the space between the outside windows and the stairwell and art gallery.
“The wall will be expanded to the backside of the outdoor columns,” he said. “It will meet the wall that’s already in the box office.”
The gallery is set to be revamped and the stairway from the lobby adjacent to the gallery will also see some changes, as it is rotated to exit to the east instead of the north. Avis said this should solve some traffic problems. The lobby will also be widened near the entrance to the new bathrooms to ensure there is sufficient space for the increased traffic resulting from other changes.
The most notable changes for the entire project will likely be those made to the lower hall and associated rooms.
The washrooms, for example, are being consolidated. Instead of having two washrooms in the lobby and two smaller ones in the hall, all the washrooms will be relocated to the lobby.
“[We will be removing] the little corner washrooms to create a more rational space overall,” Avis said. “We’re going to be incorporating the existing windows in the washrooms to bring more natural light into the building from the street and the courtyard and provide more of a view back out on to the street.
Avis said that the main thrust of many of the changes is to dispel the illusion that the lower hall is subterranean.
“The main issue is that the lower hall feels very much like a basement even though it’s street level,” he said. “These changes will really help to create that atmosphere.”
Other changes listed for the hall include the supports, which will be replaced with less bulky, more attractive, but still up-to-fire-code models, a new bar section and storage for chairs and tables.
New flooring and ceiling will be implemented to help dispel the ‘basement’ feel, as well as deadening sound so activities in either hall won’t impact activities in the other. In-floor heating is also being considered.
The north wing will also see some significant changes. The kitchen will be moved there and the former library meeting room will be done away with. The stairs to the upper hall from the northern wing will also be removed and one single set of stairs fronting onto the courtyard into the north end of the hall will be used.
The changes to the kitchen will make it more user friendly for community groups, Avis said. He also added that those groups, as well as a commercial kitchen consultant, were called in to help determine how the final kitchen should look.
“The new kitchen will be handy as it will have grade-level access for deliveries and for barbecue access,” he said.
The upper hall will see many cosmetic changes including paint, new flooring and the potential for in-floor lighting alongside some utilitarian changes.
A new lighting grid, which will feature static lights for public or private events alongside the lighting options needed by the Blyth Festival will be installed. New larger theatre seating will be installed as well.
Avis explained that the existing theatre seats range from 19” to 22” in width while the new chairs will range from 20” to 22”. Two new motifs for the seating have also been suggested, a modern look and a wrought-iron-style made of aluminum. Examples of the motifs are on display at Memorial Hall right now. The new larger seats will unfortunately reduce the total number of seats in the hall by approximately 30 making for a total of 408 seats.
The balcony in the upper hall will see similar changes as well as a redesigned technical booth for theatre technicians. New consistent-sized risers will also be installed.
The memorial part of Memorial Hall, the plaques that name those who made the ultimate sacrifice from Blyth and the surrounding area in World Wars I and II, will also be part of the renovation. While the plaques themselves won’t be changed, Avis said there are plans to make them more prominent.
“We have strategies to deal with the memorial plaques in a very respectful way,” he said. “We want to try and increase their visibility and the ability for people to really appreciate those plaques and also deal with other issues, such as how names can be added ongoing as local people are still serving in the military.”
Aside from the renovations, there will also be major maintenance started on the site including a new roof to fix existing leaks and new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units.
The bell tower and gable of the front of the hall will also see some significant changes and be restored to how they appeared in years gone by.
“We want to bring back some of the original character of Memorial Hall with the hexagonal bell tower and the treatment of the gable at the east stairway,” Avis said.
He went on to describe the existing set-up when Councillor Brock Vodden interjected his personal opinion on the current tower and gable in one word: ugly.
Avis said that as a way of taking advantage of the rest of the momentum of the project, these exterior changes would give back to the street and restore some of the original streetscape of Blyth.
The budget for the project breaks down as follows:
• Backstage and technical changes: $330,200
• Upper hall and balcony: $209,000, plus $70,000 for optional seating upgrades
• Lobby, lower hall and auditorium upgrades: $745,100, plus $18,000 for optional kitchen and box office upgrades
• Art Gallery: $52,500, plus $7,500 for optional mobile plinth, new countertops, storage shelving and millwork
• East stairway: $60,500
• HVAC replacements and upgrades: $197,000
• Roofing and attic: $188,800
• Life-safety upgrades: $60,000
• Barrier-free upgrades: $18,500
• Electrical system upgrades: $32,500
• Courtyard and landscaping: $338,000
• Other upgrades: $25,000
The above expenses, plus permits, design and construction contingency, and contractor costs comes to a grand total of $3 million.
Vodden asked if Campaign 14/19 was prepared to take on the extra costs of the project and Campaign Chair David Peacock confirmed that they were.
“We think this project has a lot of potential,” he said. “We stand behind it unanimously.”
Council approved the design.
North Huron Township Council approved some significant changes to the outside and inside of Memorial Hall, the surrounding grounds and buildings. Shown above is the proposed changes for the facade of the hall, featuring a new cupola and changed eastern gable, as well as the courtyard which will be brought down to street grade and see the green space changed with the placement of several mature trees. The changes are funded in part by Campaign 14/19 and designed by Goderich architect Allan Avis. (Photo submitted)
North Huron Township Council has supported an extensive renovation plan for Memorial Hall put forward by Allan Avis, a Goderich architect, and endorsed by Campaign 14/19.
During North Huron Township Council’s Sept. 2 meeting, Avis, alongside North Huron Recreation and Facilities Director Pat Newson, explained to council that the changes are coming at a larger price than anticipated, however, the hall will have new life breathed into it as a result of the changes.
Avis was selected by the Memorial Hall renovations committee which consists of members of the Blyth Festival, representatives of North Huron Township and Campaign 14/19 members, the major financial backer of the renovations.
A lengthy selection process including reviews of work and interviews resulted in Avis being given the job earlier this year. He then set to work identifying the necessary changes for the building.
The proposed renovations will see everything from the courtyard to the ground floor to the bell tower of the hall, which is a living cenotaph, changed to make it more useful, not only for the Blyth Festival, its primary user, but also for more off-season usage as well and drastically increased opportunities to use the lower hall for everything from meetings to fully catered meals.
The specific budget of the project isn’t being released to the general public until the construction documents, which will constitute the request for proposals (RFP), are finalized, however, a general overview of the budget, alongside architect’s drawings and potential material pallettes were presented to council. The budget is estimated to come in at approximately $3.2 million which is $1.2 million more than what was originally estimated.
The project, according to Newson, is split into three phases, phase one which produced the documents presented to council, phase two which is the creation of the aforementioned construction documents and the actual construction and renovation phase. Phase two, which council supported moving forward on immediately, is estimated to run until April 2015, just prior to the beginning of the 2015 Blyth Festival season. Phase three is set to start in September of 2015 after the Festival season and span to April 2016. Council approved the construction phase for several reasons, including helping the renovation committee set hard dates for the construction documents.
Avis took council through a tour of the changed grounds and hall highlighting the major changes.
The Blyth Community Memorial Hall will have significant changes both outside and inside as part of a redesign made possible by funding from Campaign 14/19. The design, which was drafted by Goderich architect Allan Avis, includes a significantly different lower hall, shown above from the western-most wall of the room. Changes will see a new bar installed and a moved and completely new kitchen, both on the north side of the hall and having the two smaller washrooms removed from the hall and consolidated with the washrooms in the lobby. (Photo submitted)
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:48
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Doors Open in Huron County This Weekend - Sept. 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 15:00
Some of Huron County’s most historic and interesting buildings will be open to the public for two days, Sept. 13 and 14. This year’s theme is “Re-imagine Huron: Step into our Stories”.
From Brussels in the north to Hensall in the south, 38 sites will be throwing open their doors for visitors during Doors Open,  the Huron County edition of the province-wide program to let people know more of their heritage.
The most northerly building on the tour is The Old Shop, at 199 Turnberry Street (main street) in the northern end of Brussels. There are two kinds of history to learn about here. The building originally housed one of Brussels’s early industries. Today it’s used by collector Don McNeil as home for his collection of everything from street lamps to sleighs, each with its own story. The collection began with Don McNeil’s father James who ran an automotive business in the building for 32 years.
This stop is open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Farther south at 401 Turnberry Street Cinnamon Jim’s Café and Upper Deck will be open for visitors. This striking flatiron building in the Italianate style was built in 1879 and once housed the town's post office and newspaper, The Brussels Post. Today, the place is a popular restaurant featuring delicious home cooking, while its Upper Deck regularly hosts great rhythm and blues acts that draw audiences from near and far.
Cinnamon Jim’s is open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this tour.
Next in the southward trek is Blyth Memorial Community Hall, 423 Queen Street (main street) in Blyth. The community came together beginning in 1919 to raise money for a “living cenotaph” to those who gave their lives in World War I. The cornerstone for the Edwardian-style building designed by London architect W. Murray was laid on June 3, 1920. A year later on Sunday, June 5, 1921, the $20,000 building was opened with a crowd of 1,500 people overflowing onto the lawn outside.
Today the building’s main use is as home to the Blyth Festival, a professional theatre that this year celebrates its 40th season.
Tours of Memorial Hall are available Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to Memorial Hall, there are eight more sites open to the public in Blyth: the Emergency Services Training Centre, Blyth Farm Cheese, the newly-opened Wonky Frog Studio, The Old Mill, the Blyth 14/19 initiative, Masonic Lodge 303 and the Van Amersfoort residence.
Two historic county-owned buildings are opened for tours in Goderich.
The Huron County Museum partly housed in a former school built in 1856 at 110 North Street, is the location that captures Huron County’s history more than any other. On a tour of the museum you can learn about the early pioneers of the county, the early industries, the marine, social, political and artistic history of the county, even see a replica of a typical main street, built around a 60-foot-long Canadian Pacific Railway steam locomotive.
The Huron Historic Gaol, 181 Victoria Street North, is one of the oldest buildings in the county. Built in 1841, this unique design was then regarded as a model of a humanitarian prison – though you might find that hard to believe. As well as a prison the building also housed the county courthouse, the council chambers for county council and a house of refuge. The court house and council chambers were soon moved elsewhere because of the smell and noise.
Both the Huron County Museum and the Huron Historic Gaol are open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also in the centre of the county another of the county’s most historic buildings will be open for tours.
Van Egmond House is a beautiful Georgian manor, built in 1846 by magistrate Constant Van Egmond, son of Colonel Anthony Van Egmond and his wife, Madame Susanna. The home is now a museum dedicated to the Van Egmond family and particularly to Col. Van Egmond who was in charge of building the Huron Road from Guelph to Goderich through Stratford and later died in jail in Toronto after leading the army of William Lyon Mackenzie in the unsuccessful 1837 Rebellion against the Family Compact, the small group that ruled Ontario.
A tour of this stately heritage residence will reveal the remnants of a basement jail cell, a large farm kitchen, Madame’s room and the lovely salon where much entertaining took place.
Tours of Van Egmond House are available Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Sunday only from noon to 4 p.m. you can tour the 1882 Gothic Revival Bayfield Town Hall at 11 The Square, Bayfield.
Set beside Clan Gregor Square in its own beautiful landscaped grounds, the Bayfield Town Hall – a historical local landmark and once the site of village government – is now the cornerstone of village life, hosting cultural, artistic and community events.
Farthest south of the participating buildings is the Hensall Town Hall with its upstairs Hensall Opera House which this year is 100 years old.
This Italianate building, designed by H. Reynolds, is in the midst of a revival. Built in 1914, the hall became the area’s civic and cultural centre, drawing crowds to dances, concerts and minstrel shows in the second-floor opera house.
Outside on the front lawn is the community cenotaph, remembering the area’s war dead.
Hensall Town Hall and Opera House is open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
While most sites should be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, to be sure, check
www.creativehuron.ca
Some of Huron County’s most historic and interesting buildings will be open to the public for two days, Sept. 13 and 14. This year’s theme is “Re-imagine Huron: Step into our Stories”.
From Brussels in the north to Hensall in the south, 38 sites will be throwing open their doors for visitors during Doors Open,  the Huron County edition of the province-wide program to let people know more of their heritage.
The most northerly building on the tour is The Old Shop, at 199 Turnberry Street (main street) in the northern end of Brussels. There are two kinds of history to learn about here. The building originally housed one of Brussels’s early industries. Today it’s used by collector Don McNeil as home for his collection of everything from street lamps to sleighs, each with its own story. The collection began with Don McNeil’s father James who ran an automotive business in the building for 32 years.
This stop is open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Farther south at 401 Turnberry Street Cinnamon Jim’s Café and Upper Deck will be open for visitors. This striking flatiron building in the Italianate style was built in 1879 and once housed the town's post office and newspaper, The Brussels Post. Today, the place is a popular restaurant featuring delicious home cooking, while its Upper Deck regularly hosts great rhythm and blues acts that draw audiences from near and far.
Cinnamon Jim’s is open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this tour.
Next in the southward trek is Blyth Memorial Community Hall, 423 Queen Street (main street) in Blyth. The community came together beginning in 1919 to raise money for a “living cenotaph” to those who gave their lives in World War I. The cornerstone for the Edwardian-style building designed by London architect W. Murray was laid on June 3, 1920. A year later on Sunday, June 5, 1921, the $20,000 building was opened with a crowd of 1,500 people overflowing onto the lawn outside.
Today the building’s main use is as home to the Blyth Festival, a professional theatre that this year celebrates its 40th season.
Tours of Memorial Hall are available Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to Memorial Hall, there are eight more sites open to the public in Blyth: the Emergency Services Training Centre, Blyth Farm Cheese, the newly-opened Wonky Frog Studio, The Old Mill, the Blyth 14/19 initiative, Masonic Lodge 303 and the Van Amersfoort residence.
Two historic county-owned buildings are opened for tours in Goderich.
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Candidates File in Local Wards - Sept. 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 14:57
With the deadline to file nomination papers for this year’s municipal election just one day away, those on the fence still have time to decide whether or not they want to try and help shape their community from the inside out as a municipal councillor, mayor or deputy-mayor.
The deadline to file nomination papers is 2 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 12, but many people in the five municipalities The Citizen serves have already made their intentions known.
Here is the list of candidates that have filed nomination papers in those five municipalities as of Tuesday morning.
In Huron East, only one ward, Grey, stands to host an election.
Incumbents Dianne Diehl and Alvin McLellan are both running again, while newcomer Dennis Mueller has also thrown his hat into the ring for one of the two Grey Ward spots up for grabs.
A new face also may be elected in the McKillop Ward, as Kevin Wilbee has let his name stand alongside incumbent Andy Flowers, for the two spots available in that ward.
The remaining Huron East wards feature many familiar faces.
Incumbent David Blaney has let his name stand once again in the Brussels Ward, as has newcomer John Lowe, currently the two names in the mix for two Brussels Ward positions.
Incumbents Bob Fisher and Nathan Marshall have both filed for the Seaforth Ward, while Les Falconer and Larry McGrath have filed to return to the represent the Tuckersmith Ward.
Seaforth’s Joe Steffler, incumbent, is currently the only person to enter into the race for the deputy-mayor position after Flowers withdrew his intention to run for the position in favour of a councillor position.
Current Huron East Mayor Bernie MacLellan is also the only person to express interest in the position once again.
North Huron Council may look a little different after the municipal election, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 27 with a number of new candidates nominated.
Current Reeve Neil Vincent will be running again, taking on current Wingham Ward Councillor Bernie Bailey and newcomer Steve Hill for the title of reeve.
Four people will be vying for two councillor positions in East Wawanosh. Incumbent James Campbell will be challenged by three newcomers: James Woodley, Terry Brake and James Taylor.
In Blyth, only two names currently stand for the two councillor positions, including incumbent Brock Vodden and Bill Knott, who recently stepped in to fill the vacancy left by Deputy-Reeve Dave Riach. Two new faces are running in Wingham: Trevor Seip and Yolanda Ritsema-Teeninga.
In Central Huron, incumbents Jim Ginn and Dave Jewitt are the only names currently standing for the positions of mayor and deputy-mayor, respectively.
Three people, incumbents Alison Lobb and Burkhard Metzger, as well as newcomer Genny Smith, have filed for three councillor positions in the municipality’s West Ward. Five people have filed for the East Ward’s three positions: incumbents Marg Anderson of Londesborough and Dan Colquhoun of Clinton, as well as newcomers Patrick Nagle, Kaushik Patel and Adam Robinson, all of Clinton.
In Morris-Turnberry there are just seven applicants filed for six positions.
The only nomination filed for the position of mayor is incumbent Paul Gowing. Six people have let their names stand for five councillors positions, which will all be elected at large for the first time in Morris-Turnberry: incumbents Jamie Heffer and John Smuck and newcomers Terry Brighton, Carolyn O’Neil, Brian Schlosser and Jennifer Wick.
In Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, a familiar face is running for the position of reeve once again, multi-term incumbent Ben Van Diepenbeek.
In the Wawanosh Ward, two people are seeking to fill two councillors spots: incumbent Doug Miller and newcomer Arden Eddie.
Both incumbents of the Ashfield Ward, Murray Curran and Roger Watt, hope to return to their two spots, while Bill Vanstone, Glen McNeil and Michael Leitch, all new faces, will vie for the two councillor positions in the Colborne Ward.
There is still time to run for municipal council if nomination papers are filled out before 2 p.m. Friday to let your name stand for this year’s upcoming municipal election.
Incumbent Colleen Schenk has filed to become the Avon Maitland District School Board trustee for northeast Huron, Howick and Morris-Turnberry, as has incumbent Robert Hunking for central east Huron.
Incumbent Amy Cronin hopes to return as the Huron-Perth trustee for the Huron Perth Roman Catholic Separate School Board, while Marc Allard has filed to represent the area on the French Separate District School Board, while Denis Trudel has filed to represent the area on the French Public District School Board.
With the deadline to file nomination papers for this year’s municipal election just one day away, those on the fence still have time to decide whether or not they want to try and help shape their community from the inside out as a municipal councillor, mayor or deputy-mayor.
The deadline to file nomination papers is 2 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 12, but many people in the five municipalities The Citizen serves have already made their intentions known.
Here is the list of candidates that have filed nomination papers in those five municipalities as of Tuesday morning.
In Huron East, only one ward, Grey, stands to host an election.
Incumbents Dianne Diehl and Alvin McLellan are both running again, while newcomer Dennis Mueller has also thrown his hat into the ring for one of the two Grey Ward spots up for grabs.
A new face also may be elected in the McKillop Ward, as Kevin Wilbee has let his name stand alongside incumbent Andy Flowers, for the two spots available in that ward.
The remaining Huron East wards feature many familiar faces.
Incumbent David Blaney has let his name stand once again in the Brussels Ward, as has newcomer John Lowe, currently the two names in the mix for two Brussels Ward positions.
Incumbents Bob Fisher and Nathan Marshall have both filed for the Seaforth Ward, while Les Falconer and Larry McGrath have filed to return to the represent the Tuckersmith Ward.
Seaforth’s Joe Steffler, incumbent, is currently the only person to enter into the race for the deputy-mayor position after Flowers withdrew his intention to run for the position in favour of a councillor position.
Current Huron East Mayor Bernie MacLellan is also the only person to express interest in the position once again.
North Huron Council may look a little different after the municipal election, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 27 with a number of new candidates nominated.
Current Reeve Neil Vincent will be running again, taking on current Wingham Ward Councillor Bernie Bailey and newcomer Steve Hill for the title of reeve.
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Morris-Turnberry Protests Service Demands - Sept. 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 14:53
North Huron’s demand for a share of taxes on properties in nearby municipalities to which it provides water and sewer services will stall economic development in the area, Morris-Turnberry plans to tell its neighbour.
At its Sept. 2 meeting, Morris-Turnberry Council learned that North Huron Council, at its Aug. 5 meeting, had rescinded a moratorium it had put in place on Dec. 16, 2013 against providing servicing to new developments across the border in other municipalities, but only under the terms of its new cross-border servicing policy.
That policy continues the practice of charging 1.5 times the rate for North Huron users to those outside the municipal boundaries, but also requires the neighbouring municipality to turn over 30 per cent of the taxes collected from those properties. The policy not only applies to properties in Morris-Turnberry but also to those in Central Huron, south of Blyth, including the proposed Tim Hortons development.
The cross-border issue had previously been the subject of a negotiations through a facilitator. Mayor Paul Gowing said North Huron’s requirement for a share of taxes is “exactly what won’t work in this community”.
He compared the situation to the agreement between West Grey and Hanover where Hanover provides services to new West Grey developments, but West Grey gets the taxes. “This [North Huron’s policy] in my view is not workable.”
“Not only is it not workable,” said Councillor Jamie Heffer, “it’s detrimental to business development.” Noting that North Huron wants both 1.5 times the monthly water and sewer charge from out-of-municipality customers and 30 per cent of the taxes, he said he had no trouble with being fair but  “When you pull from both ends you end up with nothing in the middle.”
Gowing said that while it’s understandable that North Huron was concerned about using up water and sewer capacity that its taxpayers had put in place it’s also true that much of that infrastructure was paid for with 80 per cent grants from senior governments.
It was Councillor Neil Warwick who made the motion to send a letter to North Huron and issue a press release pointing out Morris-Turnberry’s position that the policy is counter-productive to economic development, preventing development from happening in areas near Wingham and Blyth.
The motion passed.
Meanwhile council did pass a bylaw that Nancy Michie, administrator clerk-treasurer termed a “housekeeping” item which will update rates on properties in Morris-Turnberry that already receive water and sewer service from North Huron.
North Huron’s demand for a share of taxes on properties in nearby municipalities to which it provides water and sewer services will stall economic development in the area, Morris-Turnberry plans to tell its neighbour.
At its Sept. 2 meeting, Morris-Turnberry Council learned that North Huron Council, at its Aug. 5 meeting, had rescinded a moratorium it had put in place on Dec. 16, 2013 against providing servicing to new developments across the border in other municipalities, but only under the terms of its new cross-border servicing policy.
That policy continues the practice of charging 1.5 times the rate for North Huron users to those outside the municipal boundaries, but also requires the neighbouring municipality to turn over 30 per cent of the taxes collected from those properties. The policy not only applies to properties in Morris-Turnberry but also to those in Central Huron, south of Blyth, including the proposed Tim Hortons development.
The cross-border issue had previously been the subject of a negotiations through a facilitator. Mayor Paul Gowing said North Huron’s requirement for a share of taxes is “exactly what won’t work in this community”.
He compared the situation to the agreement between West Grey and Hanover where Hanover provides services to new West Grey developments, but West Grey gets the taxes. “This [North Huron’s policy] in my view is not workable.”
“Not only is it not workable,” said Councillor Jamie Heffer, “it’s detrimental to business development.” Noting that North Huron wants both 1.5 times the monthly water and sewer charge from out-of-municipality customers and 30 per cent of the taxes, he said he had no trouble with being fair but  “When you pull from both ends you end up with nothing in the middle.”
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Radio :30 Impresses Blyth Festival Audiences - Sept. 11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shawn Loughlin   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 14:49
Blyth audiences were treated to a Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning experience last week when Radio :30 was at the Blyth Festival’s Phillips Studio for five intimate shows.
Radio :30 premiered in 1999 and has been produced in a number of theatres and at a number of festivals in the 15 years since its first hit the stage.
Written by Chris Earle, also the play’s star, Ron, Radio :30 tells the story of a radio actor who specializes in 30-second advertising spots.
Ron, he explains throughout the play, has perfected the nice guy approach to advertising. He is less of a “pitch man” and more of a friend, telling you about a great product and suggesting that you buy it, as it would make your life better, which is all he cares about.
Ron spends the entire hour-long play with the audience, frequently breaking the fourth wall, speaking to those in the seats in front of him. He splits his time between speaking into the microphone attempting to record a 30-second commercial for a restaurant, or speaking to Mike, the sound technician, and speaking to the audience about a variety of topics, including life in advertising and his personal life.
Mike is played off-screen by Sam Earle, Chris’s real-life son. He is cheery and reassuring with Ron, with whom he has often worked.
“Ever have one of those days?” Ron begins his spot. Mike insists that Ron has nailed the reading of the script on the first take. However, small requests and changes, like a new price or a phrasing alteration, result in additional takes, lengthening Ron’s time in the booth.
Ron doesn’t mind, however, as he begins to share stories with the audience. He talks about his past in acting, which he says was too difficult (having to lie with your entire body, rather than just your voice), and his life in advertising.
He tells a story about watching an announcer “die” in the booth. The man’s professional death was swift, Ron explains, as all it took was one pointed comment from a client to shake the announcer’s confidence. He was never the same after that, Ron says.
Chris Earle perfectly embodies the persona of a radio pitch man, right down to the smooth, velvetly voice. Earle’s voice is reminiscent of Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman in American Psycho: perfect enunciation, clearly taught well, but with something dark brewing just below its surface.
Ron recounts stories of past loves and past friendships all the while scratching the surface of a story he wants to tell, something that has greatly shaped his life; something deep and dark. This all happens while “One-Take Ron” slowly descends into professional madness, narrating for the audience along the way.
Chris is no stranger to the Blyth Festival, as he performed in John Roby’s The Old Man’s Band: neither is director Shari Hollett, who was in Blyth just a few years ago directing Kate Lynch’s Early August.
The Phillips Studio was the perfect setting for such a production, an intimate setting for a conversation between Ron and his friends in the audience.
Radio :30 wrapped up its five-show run on Saturday, Sept. 6, the final day of Blyth Festival productions for the season.
Radio :30, starring Chris Earle, above, and his son Sam, opened on Thursday, Sept. 4 at the Phillips Studio and drew a standing ovation from the opening night crowd. (Photo submitted)
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Blyth audiences were treated to a Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning experience last week when Radio :30 was at the Blyth Festival’s Phillips Studio for five intimate shows.
Radio :30 premiered in 1999 and has been produced in a number of theatres and at a number of festivals in the 15 years since its first hit the stage.
Written by Chris Earle, also the play’s star, Ron, Radio :30 tells the story of a radio actor who specializes in 30-second advertising spots.
Ron, he explains throughout the play, has perfected the nice guy approach to advertising. He is less of a “pitch man” and more of a friend, telling you about a great product and suggesting that you buy it, as it would make your life better, which is all he cares about.
Ron spends the entire hour-long play with the audience, frequently breaking the fourth wall, speaking to those in the seats in front of him. He splits his time between speaking into the microphone attempting to record a 30-second commercial for a restaurant, or speaking to Mike, the sound technician, and speaking to the audience about a variety of topics, including life in advertising and his personal life.
Mike is played off-screen by Sam Earle, Chris’s real-life son. He is cheery and reassuring with Ron, with whom he has often worked.
“Ever have one of those days?” Ron begins his spot. Mike insists that Ron has nailed the reading of the script on the first take. However, small requests and changes, like a new price or a phrasing alteration, result in additional takes, lengthening Ron’s time in the booth.
Ron doesn’t mind, however, as he begins to share stories with the audience. He talks about his past in acting, which he says was too difficult (having to lie with your entire body, rather than just your voice), and his life in advertising.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:43
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