Stoney Creek News
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VOLUME 63 � NO. 15 � 50 CENTS STONEY CREEK NEWS �PROUD TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY� CAR WASH INSIDE & OUT 264 Hwy. 8 (at Green Road) OPEN 24 / 7 THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 Should get what you pay for: Clark Without area rating, Stoney Creek would pay for services not received BY KEVIN WERNER NEWS STAFF inside COMMUNITY H amilton councillors may be talking about compromise to mitigate the effects of a tripling of suburban residents' taxes, but some councillors are prepared to fight to keep the area-rating policy in place. Under at least four scenarios proposed by city staff, first presented to politicians in late 2009, based on an urban-rural geographical split, any changes to the policy would see suburban homeowners' taxes jump anywhere between 6.5 per cent for Ancaster to 16 per cent for Glanbrook, while residents in the former City of Hamilton would see their taxes drop by more than four per cent. Under the Citizens' Forum recommendation for a three-tiered fire service rate, suburban residents would see their taxes rise from between 1.9 per cent for Ancaster to 9.2 per cent for Glanbrook. The forum, which introduced its recommendations about a month ago, also proposed to eliminate Ancaster's sidewalk snow clearing service. City staff said eliminating the service would only mean $4 in savings for each household. Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson has called the recommendation silly and will fight to keep the service. But if councillors eliminate area-rating for transit, fire, culture and recreation, which is what many inner-city politicians want starting this year, suburban taxpayers would see a jump in taxes anywhere from three to four per cent. Hamilton residents would see tax cuts in every scenario proposed by city financial staff. Corporate Services general manager Robert Rossini said any area rating proposal includes ideas to mitigate the tax effects by phasing in the increases over a number of years. "I'm still very nervous where we are going," said Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark. Clark pointed out that if Stoney Creek residents pay the same in taxes as other suburban areas for fire services, for example, they should expect to get the most complete service available. Upper Stoney Creek residents receive a hybrid fire service, which is a combination of full-time and volunteer. See JOHNSON/Page 6 Young activist Seven-year-old Illyria Volcansek is fighting City Hall over the expected removal of a tree from Community Park. Page 3 LIFESTYLES Celebrating 50 years John Knox Christian School is holding a big celebration this weekend to commemorate its 50th birthday Page 15 INDEX Opinion Letters Food Classifieds City Sidelines Sports 8 9 25 30 36 37 www.stoneycreeknews.com JRW MXQN" QHHG D ELQ" PHOTO BY LAURA LENNIE Kicking for Canada Glendale Secondary School Grade 12 student Stefan Vukovic was recently named to Canada's men's U-18 soccer team. For full story, see Page 37. Buy One Buy One SMOOTHIE GET ONE FREE (equal or lesser value) location Only Valid until April 30, 2011 PEANUT BUSTER PARFAIT � at a regular price GET ONE FREE Valid until April 30, 2011 981 Queenston Rd. (across from Fiesta Mall) 905-662-4224 2 WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM � STONEY CREEK NEWS � THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � autiful hererbe ns W ga de grow. . . egin to b EFFECTIVE SPECIALS 18th, 2011 h to APRIL 12t UPPLIES LAST S OR WHILE SPRING TIME! ADD A SPRING TIME FEELING TO YOUR HOME harpersgardencentre.com HARPER'S DOOR CRASHERS! 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FREE WATER GARDEN OPENING SEMINAR This Sunday April 17 at 1 pm SALE $ Hardened off and ready to display outdoors 9.99 99 NEW SPRING ARRIVALS SOLAR POWERED LANDSCAPE LIGHTS ea WICKER SUCCULENT GARDEN Reg $3999 Grow in a sunny window and then place on your patio table in May $ Glows after dark. Beautiful garden accent! 43. SALE $29.99 1039 Wilson St. E., Ancaster � 905-648-2157 | 905-528-6673 Mon to Sun 9am to 6pm | www.harpersgardencentre.com MEMORIAL GARDENS Chapel Hill * 700 Chapel Hill Rd., Stoney Creek * 905-692-9000 White Chapel * 1895 Main St. W., Hamilton * 905-528-1128 Pre-planning your cemetery or cremation arrangements. Get the facts. CALL TODAY FOR YOUR COMPLIMENTARY ESTATE PLANNER & LEGAL WILL KIT! YOUR COMMUNITY TO SUGGEST A STORY FOR THIS PAGE, CALL 905-523-5800, EXT. 338 BY LAURA LENNIE NEWS STAFF 3 � THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � STONEY CREEK NEWS � WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM NATIONAL WATERPROOFING 905-543-8236 Licensed, Insured, All work 100% Guaranteed! Leaky Basement? NEWS D Question candidates on what matters to you Youngster fights to save Community Park tree I llyria Volcansek is on a mission. The seven-yearold hopes to save a large maple tree at Community Park. The tree, located in front of Stoney Creek Arena, is at risk of being torn down to make way for a parking lot for the new lower Stoney Creek recreation centre. "The tree is too big to climb, but it provides good shade," she said. "Children play and people read books under it." Illyria sent a letter to the City of Hamilton urging officials to save the tree. She suggested putting a small piece of green space around the tree and building the parking lot around it. "I know uprooting and moving the tree would cost a lot of money, but just moving the parking lot a little would not cost that much," she said. "That way the tree can still provide shade, continue to grow and there can still be a parking lot." Ward 9 councillor Brad Clark was unavailable for comment by press deadline. But in a letter he sent to Illyria, thanking her for her concern, he stated: "The City of Hamilton tries to protect each and every tree when considering the construction of a facility. As we construct the new recreation centre most of the existing trees will remain but a few trees will be required to be removed. We have tried our best to save as many trees as possible." Clark also stated that 75 trees will be planted in about a year from now in the park. Illyria appreciates that more trees will be planted, but says they can't replace the current tree. "It's a really old tree, which has taken a very long time to grow," she said. "It's too old and important to o you wish you could ask your local federal candidates a question? The Stoney Creek News will be posing reader questions to Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and Niagara West-Glanbrook federal candidates. Don't miss this oportunity to get your questions answered. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (905) 664-8800, ext. 338. NEWSWATCH NewsWatch is back T he Stoney Creek News is bringing back NewsWatch. If there is something in your community you think needs attention � an intersection that should have a stop sign, potholes, vandalism, etc., let us know. Is something broken in your neighbourhood? Please call us at (905) 664-8800, ext. 338 or e-mail email@example.com. COMMUNITY PHOTO BY LAURA LENNIE Tree planting at karst J oin the Hamilton Conservation Foundation, event sponsors and partners for the Second Annual Tree Planting at the Eramosa Karst Conservation Area Saturday April 23, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities will include tree planting, guided hikes, cave clean-ups with karst expert Marcus Buck and the Friends of the Eramosa Karst (FOTEK) and a light lunch for participants. The tree planting has been designed to expand an existing woodlot in the conservation area. Last year, participants planted more than 900 trees and helped build a forest to leave a legacy for the future. Future events will continue to assist natural regeneration in the conservation area. Volunteers are asked to bring work gloves and a shovel, wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather. A welcome tent will be located near the main parking lot. Information about the foundation and its partners will be available at the welcome tent. This event is being held by the Hamilton Conservation Foundation with co-sponsors Stantec Consulting, Newalta and Beswick Tree Service. The Eramosa Karst Conservation Area is on Upper Mountain Albion Road, between Rymal Road East and Highland Road West. Illyria Volcansek, 7, is on a mission to save a large maple tree at Community Park. The tree, located in front of Stoney Creek Arena, is at risk of being torn down to make way for a parking lot for the new lower Stoney Creek recreation centre. PHOTOS BY LAURA LENNIE Walk `n' Roll March of Dimes Canada celebrated its 60th anniversary last Friday at Eastgate Square with a Disability Awareness Fair and the third annual Walk `n' Roll, which raised $1,000 for local support groups and programs. It also included a Hamilton Steel City Wheelers square dance show and celebrity wheelchair obstacle race. Pictured left, Hamilton Steel City Wheelers' Rose Head, back, and Alfreda Arsenault participate in the square dance; above, media personality Mike Fortune fights his way up the obstacle race ramp. EasterTurkey Dinner Sunday April 24th with all the fixings! Annual Mother's Day - Elvis Show, Sunday May 8 MURDER MYSTERY DINNER Sat. May 28th in the Banquet Room! RESERVE NOW! LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Saturday Night In The Pub 1143 Hwy. #8, Stoney Creek � 905-643-1244 � www.innsville.ca THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � STONEY CREEK NEWS � WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM � 4 EASTGATE DENTAL CENTRE Complete Family Dental Care Local candidate sees Green future BY LAURA LENNIE NEWS STAFF e Monday-Friday 9am-9pm � Saturday 9am-5:30pm � Sunday 11am-5pm We'll make a smil . r style a part of you OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK H (905) 560-2714 Kenora St. Entrance of Eastgate Square Mall � www.eastgatedental.701.com =MNX\JJPJSI April 14th - 21st, 2011 Fresh, Potted Herbs Visit our website or call for more details. Scott's BUY 1, GET 1 FREE of equal or lesser value Builder Pro Workshops & Seminars, TurfFertilizer 32-0-4. Lawn Guest Speakers, Garden Covers 99 4,306 sq. ft. Specials & more! 15 the garden store with more 1167 Rymal Rd. E., Ham.,ON � 905.574.8188 www.satellitegardencentre.com amilton East-Stoney Creek federal Green Party candidate David Hart Dyke says party leader Elizabeth May's exclusion from the televised national leaders' debates, which began Monday, was "grossly unfair" and just adds another nail to the voter apathy coffin. "There's a million people that voted Green last election, just barely fewer than the Bloc (Quebecois). It's a significant voting bloc in the country and it's going without a say-so?" he said. "There's no justification for keeping her out and I've had a lot of reaction from that. People, even those that would never vote Green, are generally angry about this." Dyke said the Green Party is "definitely" the party of the future. It is building for the future, he added. "We're trying to put the party on the same footing as the others, where there's more of a presence between elections as well as actually during an election. I actually see more and more votes coming our way," he said. "There's a lot of young people that are right on the cusp of voting. I think we're going to be picking up a lot of those votes." 2011 Dyke said the Green Party's platform is fairly comprehensive. It has a major environmental component, but it also covers points in terms of the economy, social justice and health care, he said. "For example, right now, a major component of healthcare � the one that's really boosting the costs � is prescription drugs. Costs are getting bigger and bigger," he said. "It looks to me very much like the companies that manufacture these drugs have too much to say to the government and the government seems to be listening far too well. These companies seem to be getting away with murder in that respect." On the environmental front, Dyke said he would like to see Hamilton move more toward green manufacturing. "If you look at Germany, pretty much during the time we've been hearing how it can't be done, it has created from nothing, a green energy industry," he said. "It now employs more people than the auto industry and those are good jobs, well-paid jobs. We need to be moving in that direction." Green manufacturing is long-term, sustainable and would also help create more jobs in Hamilton, he said. "If somebody could wave a magic wand and make Elizabeth May the next prime minister, you could bet that U.S. Steel wouldn't be getting away with what it's been getting away with," said Dyke. "That would not be allowed; they'd be forced to live up to the agreement they signed." Dyke said the federal election on May 2 could prove to be the Green Party's day. "I think Elizabeth May is probably our best chance to win a seat," he said. "I think the voters of her riding are ready to make history. I think she's got a wonderful chance to win this time." People are looking for a change, said Dyke. "This country use to be absolutely the world leader in environmental and social justice issues, nobody ever questioned that," he said. "We need to get back our position on the world stage as environmental and social justice leaders. That's really what the Green Party) is all about." CARRIER Soil Mulch Stone Home of the 1 cubic yard SUPER SAC! BIG Bag...Small PRICE! 2-SAC 2-SAC SPECIAL! ONLY $ 185 SPECIAL! ONLY $ 219 FURNACE ale! S& From $ Up to $ 1,275 Manufactures rebate or 10 years parts and labour. Some conditions apply. REBATE! labour warranty and *Includes 10 year par ts and .*Call dealer for details qualifies for rebates 98 AIR CONDITIONING /MONTH OAC* PR E SEA SO N A/C TU NE UP SP EC IAL $ 2009 11 89 + HST We service all makes and models 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE Platinum All Products available in SUPER SACS or by the TRUCKLOAD � RESIDENTIAL � COMMERCIAL � SALES � SERVICE � INSTALLATION � INDOOR AIR QUALITY Fast delivery 7 days a week... Even if you're not home! 905�574�7404 www.satellitegardendepot.com NO INTEREST� NO PAYMENTS FOR 6 MONTHS! OAC + $5 refundable deposit on sac LEARN MORE AT energystar.gov Hamilton toMayor reluctant to million in social services funding absorb $4 `badger' province for more cash after Pan Am payout BY KEVIN WERNER NEWS STAFF 5 � THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � STONEY CREEK NEWS � WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM Hamilton may have to pay the $4 million in social services out of local taxpayers' pockets this year. Mayor Bob Bratina said the provincial government isn't convinced it should help the city after providing Hamilton with over $100 million since 2004 in social services funding. "The province is facing serious deficit issues," said Bratina. "There is a difference of opinion (between the city and province)." Judy Dolbec, Bratina, city managHamilton Product Advisor er Chris Murray and Performance Lexus other finance staff conceded provincial staff 905-923-0232 haven't been swayed by firstname.lastname@example.org arguments that it should cover Hamilton's social services costs. Bratina and corporate services general manager Rob Rossini reiterated they were "surprised" to discover the Ontario Municipal Partnership Grant from the provincial government Call Judy today for a Test Drive! totaled $8.15 million. Rossini said he was expecting a number close to $3 million, similar to what the city received last year. Councillors decided that half of money will be used to pay for some social services costs, while the other half will be put in an unallocated capital fund. Council still has to agree next week to the recommendation. Politicians could also use some of the $14.5 million in 2010 surplus money the city is expected to have to pay for the social services costs. "We're like Oliver Twist, always asking for more, please. It's about fairness. (The money) is a drop in the bucket for the province. They spend that on a coffee break." Coun. Terry Whitehead "We have been given sufficient funds from the province," said Bratina. The mayor remained reluctant to "badger" the Liberals for them to cover the $4 million, especially after the province has already given the city an extra $25 million for the Pan Am Stadium, and millions of dollars for other projects. He said he also believes "more things" will be given to the city in the future. Bratina was ready to approve the city's 2011 budget Thursday, after councillors managed to reduce the average tax increase to about 0.8 per cent, after agreeing to some strategic staffing cuts that will cost about $1 million. "We have been treated well by the province," said Bratina. "We can pass this budget today." Council has also asked the province to pay the $1.5 million in extra emergency medical service expenses Hamilton is expected to incur because of the restructuring Hamilton Health Sciences implemented Monday at McMaster University. Murray suggested councillors pay the $4 million out of the city's tax stabilization fund this year. Still, councillors will continue to meet with provincial officials to pry money from them. Politicians have given them until the end of June to complete the job. The decision didn't sit well with Ward 8 (west Mountain) Coun. Terry Whitehead. He said he believes the province is responsible for providing the money to Hamilton. "We are clearly letting the province off the hook," he said. "We're like Oliver Twist, always asking for more, please. It's about fairness. (The money) is a drop in the bucket for the province. They spend that on a coffee break." Hamilton precipitation up nearly two-thirds in March About 64 per cent more precipitation than normal fell in Hamilton in March. The area normally receives 48.6 millimetres, but last month received a total of 79.4 millimetres. In most parts of the province, the normal trend from earlier in the year continued, with normal temperatures and precipitation amounts recorded. xUpgraded package shown. Complete Lexus Price is $49,135 for a new Lexus 2011 RX 350 Sfx `A'. Upgraded RX 350 package shown: $57,235. Complete Lexus Price includes freight and PDI ($1,950), EHF Tires ($29), EHF Filters ($1), A/C Tax ($100), and OMVIC Fee ($5). Taxes, license, registration (if applicable) and insurance are extra. $4,000 Cash Purchase Incentive may not be combined with special lease and finance rates offered through Lexus Financial Services as part of a low rate interest program. All advertised lease and finance rates are special rates. Cash Purchase Incentive offer takes place at the time of delivery. See your Lexus dealer for whether tax applies before or after the application of Cash Purchase Incentives in your jurisdiction. *Lease and finance offers provided through Lexus Financial Services, on approved credit on new Lexus 2011 RX 350 Sfx `A' models. Lease example based on a 48 month term at an annual rate of 2.5% and Complete Lexus Price of $49,135. Monthly payment is $488 with $7,950 down payment or equivalent trade in, $0 security deposit and fi rst monthly payment due at lease inception. Total lease obligation is $31,375. Taxes, license, registration (if applicable) and insurance are extra. 96,000 kilometre allowance; charge of $0.20/km for excess kilometres. **Finance example includes taxes and is based on 48 month term at annual rate of 2.5% and Complete Lexus Price of $49,135 (excluding taxes). Monthly payment is $1,217. Cost of borrowing is $2,880 for a total obligation of $58,403. License, registration (if applicable) and insurance are extra. ^Lease and purchase APRs include the forgone Cash Purchase Incentive as a cost of borrowing. Lexus Dealers are free to set their own prices. Limited time offers only apply to retail customers. May require factory order. Offers are subject to change without notice. Offers expire at month's end unless extended or revised. See Performance Lexus for complete details. THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � STONEY CREEK NEWS � WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM � 6 Celebrate Mother's Day with a little Jazz at the Rite May 8 E njoy Jazz at the Rite Sunday May 8, dinner, 6 p.m. and show, 8 p.m. Dr. Russ Weil and the Hamilton All Star Jazz Band will perform at the Scottish Rite Club of Hamilton, 4 Queen St. S., Hamilton. Tickets, $65 for dinner and concert or $20 for concert only. Call (905) 648-5894 for tickets. Johnson fearful for Glanbrook hike From Page 1 But deputy fire chief Dave Cunliffe said it would cost about $20 million in salaries to provide full-time fire service for Stoney Creek. That figure does not include money for equipment that also would be needed, he said. "There will be a natural demand for increased services," said Clark, directing his comments to inner-city councillors who want to eliminate area-rating. "Be careful what you wish for." After listening to the nearly five-hour presentation about changes to arearating, councillors needed time to talk among themselves. "I want to bring us together," said Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, who has wanted to eliminate area rating, believing it has benefited the suburban areas since amalgamation. Although he condemned some colleagues for practising "petty politics" with area rating. "Some people are still trying to make this a divisive issue," he said. "We need to get into the back room and have this discussion," said Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who also wants to change area rating for this year. "(Reforming area rating) has dragged on way too long. Hamilton is the only community that hasn't addressed it." But Hamilton remains one of the highest taxed municipalities in the province. "Taxes are just too high," said Mayor Bob Bratina. Flamborough councillor Judi Partridge, whose residents will have to absorb the second highest tax increase if area-rating is eliminated or reformed, said her homeowners can't afford further tax hikes. "We have to get them down in a sustainable fashion," she said. But Brenda Johnson, councillor for Glanbrook, which would have the highest tax hikes if area rating is changed, remained fearful. She would like to see a tax policy that would allow homeowners to pay for what they receive in services. "I'm already dreading the outcome," she said. Councillors are expected to discuss changing area rating this week, with the possibility that it could take effect in the 2011 budget. So far, politicians have whittled the average 2011 tax increase to about 0.8 per cent. If councillors agree to a changed area-rating system and phased it in over five to 10 years, city staff says tax increases this year could be as high as 3.1 per cent for Dundas residents to a low of 0.3 per cent for Hamilton residents. Other politicians believe they should gather more information, including conducting a municipal services delivery review before implementing such a comprehensive tax policy. Such a review could take anywhere from six months to a year. "I'm not married to my previous report," said Rossini, referring to his 2009 area-rating study. "I know the sensitivity of the issue. Nobody wants a head-on collision. Compromise needs to happen." d 250tc SelecteSets only heet each, S $5.00 SIZE! ANY LINEN WAREHOUSE SALE! APRIL SPECIALS! 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Councillors go low for 2011 tax increase BY KEVIN WERNER NEWS STAFF 7 � THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � STONEY CREEK NEWS � WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM D espite temptations to stuff this year's budget with additional spending, council instead looked to its reserves to pay for needed programs, preserving the lowest tax increase in Hamilton's post-amalgamation history. "We are trying to keep to zero as much as we can," said Mayor Bob Bratina. As politicians creep closer to their April 27 budget deadline, they held off on adding $3.5 million to the budget in enhanced spending recommended by city staff, while dropping the proposed average tax increase to 0.8 per cent. Councillors did approve $125,000 for food service workers training at the city's long-term care facilities at Macassa and Wentworth lodges because if they didn't, the city could be fined by the provincial government. And $30,000 was allocated for the annual Re-Enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek. They did agree to spend $350,000 to boost local food banks, but the money was taken out of the tax stabilization reserve. Politicians also agreed to spend $64,000 for the city's rooming strategy and $350,000 for emergency shelters. Again, the funds were paid for through the stabilization reserve. But politicians refused to spend any money for the street-tree trimming program, including $350,000 for this year. Councillor Brian McHattie said with the Emerald Ash Borer threatening trees in Hamilton, it's imperative the program continue. "If we wait a year, we could be in significant trouble in 2012," he said. Councillors also rejected a request to spend nearly $60,000 on the city's art awards program and refused to spend $87,000 to improve the office printing and supplies department. "I'm not here to take the budget north," said Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson. "I'm here to send it south." "This whole process is to find savings," said Flamborough councillor Judi Partridge. "I do support the arts. But this year at the door we all heard it, reduce taxes, create jobs, stop spending." Even though the province rejected Hamilton's initial request for the $4 million in social services funding, the city received $8.1 million from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund. Last year, Hamilton got $3.1 million. The city is also expecting a $14.5 million surplus from the 2010 budget. Bratina and City manager Chris Murray said they remain in contact with provincial officials about the $4 million shortfall. Bratina praised the province for helping Hamilton recently, including providing money for the Pan Am Games stadium, emergency drop-off nurses and education funding. "We have been given sufficient funds from the province," he said. Councillors began this year's budget deliberations at an average tax hike of 2.6 per cent and have slowly whittled it down to 0.08. There remains a few hurdles for them to clear before delivering their historic budget. Councillors have asked the Hamilton Police Services Board to trim its 4.47 per cent budget increase. In addition, politicians are hoping the money city staff have budgeted for this year's labour settlements will be enough. Councillors have also asked the city's senior management team to slice at least $1 million from its non-union staff. Politicians remained behind closed doors April 11 for the majority of the day discussing personnel issues and labour negotiations, which have been difficult this year. And this week, councillors will be debating whether or not to change the city's arearating policy. Suburban councillors argue any tinkering with it right now would mean higher taxes for their residents, while urban councillors say they want something done in this year's budget. Police probe street mugging H amilton police detectives have few leads as they try to identify a group of males who attacked and robbed a 16-year-old boy in upper Stoney Creek on the weekend. Sergeant Terri-Lynn Collings said the boy and a 15-year-old male friend were walking through the St. Mark Catholic Elementary School yard by Whitedeer Road and Highbury Drive at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday when they were accosted by the group. The victim was robbed of his cell phone and wallet, but has been reluctant to provide details on his attackers. SUBMITTED PHOTO Lending support Soroptimist International of Stoney Creek-Niagara honoured Soroptimist award recipients at a recent dinner in Stoney Creek. Lillian Malton-Bradley, pictured above, received the Soroptimist Women's Opptorunity Award, given to a woman who is the primary financial support for her family who is striving to improve her life by attending a post-secondary education program. The club also donated funds to the Women's Resource Centre, Hannah House, McMaster University Children's Hospital, the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre and West Niagara Second Stage Housing. Pictured here, left to right, Ward 10 councillor, Maria Pearson, Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Award winner Lillian Malton-Bradley and former Stoney Creek Citizen of the Year, Anne Bono. Pearson and Bono served as judges for the awards. SPRING THAW FLOOD PREVENTION TIPS As the city experiences milder temperatures heading into spring thaw with the increased possibility of rain over the next few weeks, the Public Works Department offers these precautionary measures that can be taken to avoid or minimize flooding impacts. � Keep catch basins in front of your property free from debris to allow for unobstructed flow. � Consider the installation of protective plumbing devices such as back-flow valves or sump pumps. � Ensure that sewer laterals are functioning properly through regularly scheduled maintenance. � Keep your eavestroughs clean. When your eavestroughs are blocked, the rain will pour over the edges landing on the ground next to your home. If you have cracks in the concrete wall of your basement or problems with your weeping tile, this water could enter your home. � Consider disconnecting roof leaders from the sewer system. Do this only if it is determined that neighbouring properties will not be adversely affected. � Consider installing window well covers to help keep window wells free from debris which can clog drains and cause basement flooding. � When landscaping your property, be sure that you don't change the lot grading. Water should flow away from your home, not towards it. � Remember, gardens, plant material and trees absorb water. � Maintain the swale on your property. The swale is usually located on the property line between properties. A swale is a shallow trough-like depression that carries water during rainstorms or snow melts. www.hamilton.ca/floodaware 905-546-CITY (2489) THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011 � STONEY CREEK NEWS � WWW.HAMILTONNEWS.COM � 8 STONEY CREEK NEWS (est. 1948), is published every Thursday at 333 Arvin Avenue, Stoney Creek, Ontario, L8E 2M6, by Hamilton Community News, a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd., a subsidiary of Torstar Corp. 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EDITORIAL OPINION PAGE 2010 Time to start anew atching the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in recent weeks, we can't help but wince as we witness the rift between elected officials and the public widen with each passing week. With the piling on of reasons for exempting W