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Volume 4, No. 4 December 2013

• Kevin Jackson Everybody’s in sales • Dorothy Gebert Chestnuts roasting • Duncan Watterworth Imitations of a Guy’s Guy

Page 6 Page 20-21 Page 30

Dan Muscat The hardest working volunteer downtown Cover story: Page 3


Re-DiscoveR ouR st thomas Downtown

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 2


Perspiration and inspiration make a successful downtown Volunteer chair Dan Muscat dedicates many hours a week to the DDB

by Terry Carroll

Downtown St. Thomas has had its ups and downs. Over the years, many things have buffeted the downtown core, some of them common to similar downtowns in Ontario. The decline in the railway economy following the Second World War, the rise of the automobile, the closeness to London shopping, urban malls, big box stores and, most recently, online shopping have all had an impact. However, downtown St. Thomas is not only surviving; in many ways, it is thriving. The explanation for this is as complicated as the businesses that make up the downtown. But successful downtowns do have several things in common. In 2001, a St. Cloud State University professor called Kent Robertson wrote a piece called, “Downtown Development Principles for Small Cities.” He identified eight principles for successful downtown development. 1. There needs to be a strong private/public partnership. 2. A vision/strategic plan for downtown needs to be developed. 3. Downtown should be multi-functional, embracing many different uses. 4. Downtowns must take advantage of their own particular heritage. 5. Downtowns should be linked to the city waterfront, wherever possible. 6. Downtowns should be pedestrian friendly and walkable. 7. Downtowns should have established design guidelines. 8. The importance of parking cannot be overstated. Obviously, downtown St. Thomas doesn’t have a waterfront, and its design guidelines are less formal than some. But otherwise, it has embraced many of these principles for a successful downtown. Take the first principle, the need for a “strong private/public partnership.” In the case of St. Thomas, that primarily means the City of St. Thomas and the Business Improvement Area (BIA) operated by the Downtown Development Board (DDB), although the province and the feds assisted with the recent L&PS Corridor development. While the two main parties in the partnership do not always agree with each other, both the municipality and

the downtown business organization continue to improve life in the downtown core. In a 2005 report called “Characteristics of Successful Downtowns: Shared Attributes of Outstanding Small and Mid-Sized Downtowns,” Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Ithaca Downtown Partnership writes, “Contrary to expectations, there is no single way cities with great downtowns deliver their downtown services ... Each model reflects the institutional strengths present in the community.” Dan Muscat has been chairing the DDB for three years, and his commitment is unsurpassed. He volunteers 15 to 20 hours a week to that building process, a big time commitment for a man who owns his own business, Muscat Jewellers on Talbot Street. “If you build it, they will come,” Dan says.

A Christmas setting for the new St. Thomas Downtown Development Board clock. The footprint of the DDB extends from the west end of Talbot Street to Talbot and First. It includes the north side of Centre Street and the south side of Curtis plus the properties in between. The area is home to all sorts of businesses and organizations, from independent retailers to corporate owners, from government offices to services. Owners and managers have a wide range of opinions, a potentially divisive situation. To avoid that as much as possible, Dan Muscat and his volunteer Board of Directors stay focussed on the big picture and make sure the DDB keeps moving forward. Their accomplishments include:

Elgin This Month General Manager Terry Carroll Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Regional Sales Manager Nelson Parreira

- new snow flake Christmas decorations for Talbot Street - banners in the downtown directing people to Horton Market - summer students to keep the downtown clean and give information to tourists, and the hiring of Jason McComb to keep the area clean - a revitalized Downtown Dollars program - Art In The Park, hosted three times per year - an award-winning wrap program ... weatherproof historical photographs of heritage building produced by McBain Signs and affixed to utility boxes - an atomic clock outside the recently opened L&PS Station / tourism office at Moore and Talbot Streets Two new entrance signs to downtown are in the works and may be in place by the time this magazine is published. “Most of our merchants feel that our volunteer Board has done a tremendous job of getting the downtown in shape,” Dan said. The BIA concept was the brainchild of Toronto business owner Alex Ling, who proposed the idea to Toronto City Council when he feared businesses would be hurt by the opening of the Yorkedale Mall, Dan said. The first BIA legislation was created in 1970 in a partnership with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (the Government of Ontario), Bloor West Village and the City of Toronto. There are now over 75 BIAs in Toronto, and 55,000 businesses represented within Ontario's over 280 BIAs. The St. Thomas Business Improvement Area was approved in 1974. The organization is funded through a business levy by the municipality to all property owners within the footprint of the organization. Thinking of the future, the DDB has been accumulating a reserve fund of about $200,000. When the City is in a position to reconstruct sidewalks and curbing, Board members want to have funds available to improve the streetscape. The DDB’s wish list includes items such as vintage-looking street lamps, bicycle stands and planters. It’s a logical step in ongoing development, fulfilling the main objectives of the DDB: to keep the downtown safe, make it look good and promote it. Front cover photo by Philip Bell, Shutter Studios

Graphic Design / Production Metroland Media Group Sales Representative Greg Minnema

Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.

Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm December, 2013

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 3


INNES As I See It

A chaotic Christmas wish by Jim Innes

We work so very hard on the carefully planned But that’s not easy. The often stressful act of tasks of Christmas. And the stress of it has me staying ordered is habitual, and the system has a processing our human propensity to keep things way of sucking us in. For example, imagine the so wretchedly ordered. backlash of choosing to do considerably less this Our tendency to organize can be ill fated; creat- Christmas! ing an unfortunate lacklustre experience that easTo counter our propensity to over-organize, we ily disappoints or fails. We can be our own worst need to unpack our anxious desire to ‘do things enemies sometimes. well.’ Then second, and less obWho doesn’t remember viously, we must acknowledge ...to help ward the Christmas meal that was our natural dislike of chaos. Both planned to the nth degree, these precepts prompt one to oroff the chaotic, blandly received because ganize past the point of aggravawe create boxes... tion. guests were either full, tired, distracted, or in some miserAnxiety is the product of our able mood; or the inspired age but this fear of the chaotic gift, that was difficult to find, goes way back in our evolution as received with only an obligaa people. In regards the chaotic, tory appreciation? we have a natural proclivity for the safety inherent Preachers (from all walks of life) often remind us in a well-ordered lifestyle. A few stray from this to slow down and breathe deeply, especially dur- (for one reason or another). However, generally ing the holiday season. speaking, chaos is often the stuff of nightmares.

To help ward off the chaotic, we create ‘boxes.’ We live in them, we sleep in them, we work in them, and eventually we are laid to rest in them. We often move between boxes, using some other form of box (on wheels) – trying as best we can to stay fed, clean, warm and comfortable. We eat from boxes, and we drink from them. And in our age, innovative boxes are continuously created to brilliantly organize our important pictures, music and documents. We spend much energy maintaining these boxes, and the safeguarding of them frequently becomes a measure of success. To paraphrase Alan Watts (a contemporary theologian/philosopher): “wherever humans have been, we find triangles and rectangles because we are always trying to straighten things up [to create order from chaos].” I’d like to suggest that disorganization and the chaos it represents have gotten a bad rep. If we don’t allow some chaos in our lives, we wither as creative and constantly evolving human beings. Chaos is the stuff out of which new life emerges. Chaos is the womb of renewal. From chaos emerged the heavens and the earth and all therein. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “One must have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” I like this quote because the ‘dancing star’ is what gave direction to the three wise Kings as they sought baby Jesus (in the Christmas story). And where did they find that triumph … in a messy manger! How symbolically chaotic is that! Indeed the entire ministry of Jesus challenged the well organized religious order. His powerful but insecure enemies couldn’t ‘box’ in the chaos he provoked. As I see it, chaos has been, and always will be, a disorderly energy which promotes new life. We must make friends with it. And acceptance begins with an unsteady alliance to its creative potential. Perhaps, if we allow the Christmas holidays to include a little more chaos, we might find a change for the better. Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and a priest at St. John’s Anglican Church

Remember the meaning of Christmas

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1207 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-633-0240 E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 4


Business & Community Managing Money

Managing children’s expectations at Christmas When financial means don’t match children’s gift requests

by Stephanie Farrow

If you have ever had your child ask for a Christ- expectations in check? As a financial professional, mas gift that is simply unrealistic you are not I think it is never too early to start teaching kids about the value of money and how it works. In alone. Most parents do a good job at keeping kids elementary terms, it is simple to explain to them expectations realistic, but sometimes certain big that every family has a pool of money from their jobs to pay for home, food, ticket items make their way to clothes etc. In a simple way, the forefront on their Christcan understand there are mas list. The look in their “how do parents resist kids different buckets for different eyes says they will be so disappointed if they don’t get it. these holiday expectations?” things. In this sense, each family has a Christmas bucket. And who wants a disappointUsing the Christmas bucket ed kid at Christmas? Christmas can bring with it some high expecta- analogy can be an easy way to help kids get a grasp tions, and parents feel the pressure. Lots of kids of a limited resource, yet still understand it has a work hard to convince their parents that life is just fun purpose for buying a few special gifts. It is a miserable without the latest ‘hot’ item ... oh, and good thing for kids to pay attention to the price did you know that “ALL of their friends have it tag on the items on their Christmas list with some guidance from mom and dad. They are never too and they are the ONLY ones who don’t?” So how do parents resist these holiday expecta- young to learn to appreciate the value of things – tions? How do parents keep kids realistic with- even if it is just in bite size pieces. So here’s where it gets a bit more complicated. out disappointing, and yet provide a memorable Christmas? The reality is, if parent’s give in, and What happens when different families and friends spend beyond their means, it can be a tough down- have different amounts they spend at Christmas? ward spiral Adults get it, but it’s very tough for Johnny to unof not so derstand why his friend Bobby got an iPad and happy New why he got a Hot Wheels set. The Christmas bucket Year bills, and often analogy can help here months of too. It is a good way to cost cutting explain that different measures to families have different make your amounts they put in way back to their Christmas buckeven. From ets. Often by choice, a financial different families may perspective choose to put differit’s just not ent amounts in their different buckets. For worth it. So what example, “Well, right tools can we now mommy and daduse as par- dy are putting more ents to help money into the bucket keep our to save for Disney, or a c h i l d r e n’s new family TV, and less

into the Christmas bucket this year. Every family is different.” This can really help them appreciate the bigger picture. It helps them get a grasp on the concept that nothing is unlimited. They also understand your family unit is a little team working to share the money in the best way possible. Without crushing their little dreams of ever getting this item, you can help them understand this type of thing is something you simply have to work for and save up for yourself. There is nothing wrong with that; in fact, much good can come from this strategy for sure. Christmas doesn’t need to be a time to throw away the budget, go all out, and pay the price later. Parents should feel confident in doing what’s right for their family. It can be a time to refocus and enjoy the simpler things. Not to mention the spirit of giving rather than receiving, and the true meaning of Christmas. Stephanie Farrow, B.A., C.F.P., is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Farrow Financial Services Inc., in Belmont

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 5


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY MARKETING

Selling yourself “I mean this in a good way” by Kevin Jackson

Whatever walk of life ... we all have one thing in common and that is the need to SELL ourselves. Whether we’re small business entrepreneurs, faithful employees or retired golfaholics, we are all engaged in the act of selling. It’s an intelligent personal activity that allows us to gain the “know, like and trust” required to truly connect with other people. This builds the kind of relationships that enhance business endeavours as well as our personal lives. Simply put, selling is: two people (or more) having an intelligent “connected” conversation about needs and solutions with the result being a mutually beneficial outcome. So, how do we make sure that we are connected and engaged with others? How do you make them “know, like and trust” you? How do you sell yourself? Eight keys to having engaged, connected conversations: 1. Eye contact. Make it a habit to know the eye colour of the person you’re speaking with. 2. Smile. A smile says two things; I’m happy and I’m confident. 3. Show empathy. People like to engage/buy from people that they think understand them. 4. Concentrate on your personal packaging and presentation. (Tone,

December, 2013

body language). be truly curious, like a child, 5. Social congruence; when everything was interesting. make sure that your body Don’t forget to use your imagi“practice being language, tone and content nation. It’s a magnificent tool pleasantly persuasive” when trying to communicate. all reflect the same message. (You wouldn’t use a silly upFinally, when you speak, speak in beat demeanour if you had colour. Use anecdotes and interjust run over the family pet). esting phrases. The most memorable speakers are 6. Concentrate on just how effective you are at those that spoke in colour such as John F Kendelivering ideas. Practice being pleasantly persua- nedy, Pierre Trudeau, Muhammad Ali and othsive. ers. When asked why kazillionaire Warren Buffet 7. How do I make them like me? A positive atti- still went to work each day, his answer was: “I tude will help you create trust which will in turn tap dance to work.” Certainly that beats “I like help to build a strong relationship. my job.” 8. Remember ... Failure doesn’t really exist, only The need to “sell” ourselves, our business, and feedback. Use constructive feedback to effectively our concepts is all important. Without soft sellcommunicate. Listen! ing skills, we can’t fully connect with others. If Many of these are relatively easy to accomplish, we can’t connect or engage others, then our ideas others take some practice, but they all are im- will fall flat. The most successful people are those portant in selling. Ad- that are very good at building relationships. ditional areas to conI know you, I like you, I trust you = connected sider would include: conversation = relationship established = success. enthusiasm, curiosity Connecting with others is the key to success in and imagination. En- ALL aspects of your personal and business life. thusiasm has been described as “Knowledge Kevin Jackson is on Fire.” Rekindle your OSEB Program Coordinator at curiosity; try to rememElgin Business Resource Centre. ber what it was like to

ELGIN THIS MONTH

6


Healthy Living Self Discovery

Community

The importance of connecting

by Anouschka Van den Bosch

A light rain is falling as I walk through the pasture greeting the horses. Some come to greet me, others continue to graze as I touch their soft necks and feel their wet skin. Nial a beautiful draft horse is further away from the rest of the herd and as I touch his nose and say hello he moves his head into my belly, nudging me to move on, telling me to go and get ready for my party. I smile and give him a scratch behind his ears and walk back to the arena and community room where I will be celebrating my 50th birthday with family and friends. I chose “Spirit Whisper,” an Equine Facilitated Learning Oasis just outside of Straffordville, to celebrate this milestone event because I love being around horses and having my family and friends together with the horses is just icing on the cake or birthday cup cakes in my case. The afternoon flows with friends and family enjoying conversations, nibbling on snacks and hanging out with the horses that Kristi brought into the arena for everyone to get close to. I watch friends who I worked with 20 years ago mingle with friends I have met over the last few years. My parents are chatting with my new friends that they only knew by name. My nieces are glued to the horses and come in to the community room only to grab a snack and back to the horses they go. And as I look around I feel the community, in this cozy community room, I can feel that we are all connected. My friends and family have me in common and here they are, connecting with each other and new friendships are formed over a birthday cupcake. It makes me smile. Outside the herd is grazing closer to the fence, and I realize the herd came together because of Kristi. They came to her for different reasons and at different times of their lives and yet there they are, the herd, a community of their own. The dictionary describes community as “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common,” and that is very clear as I watch my little community around me. Over the years, I have been in several communities, my coaching community, my human resources community, my yoga community, and more recently my horse community. They all have provided me with new insights, camaraderie, support and lots of laughs! There are times that I can be found alone, just comfortable in my own space, and then there are times like this afternoon where I need to connect. There are thousands of communities around us in our own world and beyond. We often don’t realize it or even stop to think about it. Whether we realize it or not doesn’t matter; it does matter that we feel part of a community, a connection with others who have similar interests or attitudes. As you go into the holiday season, I wish you happiness and joy as you connect with people (or horses) that make up your community. Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach. December, 2013

DundeeWealth becomes HollisWealth™ On November 1, 2013, the DundeeWealth independent advisor network adopted a new brand identity – HollisWealth. Scotiabank acquired DundeeWealth in 2011 at which time The Bank of Nova Scotia and Dundee Corporation entered into several agreements regarding the trademarks used by the businesses. One of these agreements licensed the use of the DundeeWealth trademark to the Bank and this license expires on February 1, 2014. The new brand name HollisWealth replaced the DundeeWealth brand on November 1, 2013. The name HollisWealth recognizes Scotiabank’s first head office building which was constructed in 1837 at 188 Hollis Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Including “Hollis” in the name is a reference to the Bank’s history, while the term “Wealth” identifies our core business. As a brand, HollisWealth embraces our entrepreneurial spirit and acknowledges the Kim Dotzert, Assistant, Ellen Luft, Investment Advisor, stability that comes from being part Steven Knipe, Investment Advisor, of Scotiabank, one of Canada’s Cynthia Howald, Assistant leading banks. As independent advisors of HollisWealth, we will continue to have maximum flexibility to choose the right financial products and services for our clients from across the industry, including those offered by Scotiabank.

HollisWealth 130 Centre Str., St. Thomas (519) 631-4088

DundeeWealth, now part of Scotiabank, has become HollisWealth. Yes, we have a new identity. But our commitment to success will never change. We still provide our advisors the tools to offer independent advice. but now they are backed by Canada’s most international bank. It’s this perfect combination of flexibility and stability that proves HollisWealth is more than just a new name. Experience holliswealth.com

HollisWealth is a a trade name of Scotia Capital Inc., HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd. and HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc. Scotia Capital Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc. is a member of the Mutual Fund Dealer Association of Canada and the MFDA Investor Protection Corporation. ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license. ™ Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license.

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 7


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Get more from your current resources and efforts Ask yourself more and better questions by Brian Vine

As a CEO, you need to elevate your mindset and obsess about getting more from your current resources and efforts. You must ask yourself and others better questions. You must start to ask yourself, “How can our business get greater results from every action we take, every expenditure we make, every effort we expend, every relationship we have”? Avoid status quo like a deadly virus. You must embrace fully the philosophies that, “good enough never is” and “we can always do better”. Optimization (also known as leverage) is a mindset of maximizing your results while simultaneously minimizing the amount of time, effort, risk, money, and energy you expend. It’s all about getting greater productivity, performance, profitability and payback from your ideas, assets, knowledge, systems, processes, practices, people and opportunities. Overlook nothing; leverage opportunities are everywhere. Optimization is all about using your mind and limited business resources in new and better ways. It’s about using your creative intelligence as an incredible force to increase your sales, customer satisfaction, profits, quality, etc. Optimization is about freeing yourself and your organization from limiting beliefs, the “we’ve always done it this way”

attitudes, and established industry practices. Optimization is searching for opportunities within and without your company where the application of focus or force will yield substantially multiplied results. For example, if you start using telephone calls to follow-up your direct mail campaigns, you may multiply your sales results by staggering amounts. Just as a tire jack can lift the tremendous weight of a car for a tire change, so too can the strategy of optimization help you significantly lift your company’s revenues, improve operations, and lighten your daily load. A lever, fulcrum and slight force

...which strategies will give us super-sized results?... can lift significant weight if you know how to use these tools. Learn about leverage so you can begin to elevate and optimize your business results. To master the art of optimization, you need to adopt an opportunity mindset. To leave the status quo behind, you need to ask continually the following types of questions:

• Which strategies will give us super-sized results? • What processes or departments within our business are under-performing? • What past or current relationships could we more fully leverage (i.e. customers, employees, vendors, suppliers, advisers, etc.)? • What other industries could provide us with some innovative best practices? • Where are the hidden opportunities within our business, our employees, our suppliers/vendors, our business partners, our customer base, our competitors, and our business processes? • How can we get a greater return/payoff using the least amount of money, time, risk, etc? • How can we be more effective, more productive? • How can we get better every day in every way? • What suggestions from our customers should we pursue first? Expand your mind and your leadership potential and your business and opportunities expand exponentially. The more you grow as a leader, the more your business grows as a market leader. Think optimization, not status quo. This would be a great New Year’s Resolution.

• What is the best and highest use of our time, talent, and treasures? • What resources are we underutilizing? • How can we maximize our returns/output and minimize our input? • How can we work smarter, not harder?

Bryan Vine is the owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas and Southwestern Ontario.

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• December 2013 • Wednesday December 4

St. Anne’s Centre, 20 Morrison Drive Our annual Holiday Season event emphasizes the spirit of the Season!

Wednesday January 15

CASO Railway Station, 750 Talbot Street Come see the commercial and special event capacities within this beautiful and historic local treasure. Doors open for all BAF’s at 5:00 p.m. Social Mixer to 6:15, followed by sponsor remarks and door prize draws. Bring your business cards to enter the draws! Free admission to all personnel from any business or organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.

Uncorked is sold-out! With all 120 tickets sold in November, we’re betting some folks will see Uncorked tickets as Christmas gifts and/or stocking stuffers. Matter of fact, we know they will because the Chamber staff have some special “don’t call – it’s a surprise” instructions from a few people who ordered them. In case you missed it, our 2nd annual “St. Thomas Uncorked” event on January 25 is billed as a ‘Big Night with Big Wines.’ It combines wine sampling with 20 local / regional / national / international wines plus foods that are paired to complement. Mix in the comfortable visual environment of the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre, and our recipe for a memorable evening is complete.

The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff take this opportunity to say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” to our Members and our community.

Business Beat Table of Contents H&S – Don’t slip! ...... Page 10 E-commerce solutions ...Page 11 Christmas insurance .. Page 12 Mayors’ luncheon ..... Page 13 Will power ................ Page 14 Back from China........ Page 15 New Members........... Page 16 December, 2013

For those who ask why we can’t just add “a few more” seats, we’re sorry to say that the risk isn’t something we can take. Insurance, alcohol and occupancy regulations

are considerations we cannot ignore. Given that “Uncorked” is a complete and early sell-out for the second consecutive year, there’s no doubt that our Member Services Committee volunteers will look at all site and size options when they map what’s guaranteed to be our 3rd annual event for 2015. The Chamber thanks everyone for strong support on this event, and extends very special thanks to our sponsors and suppliers: TD Canada Trust; P.J. Smith & Associates Appraisers and Property Tax Consultants; the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre; the Real Canadian Superstore; and myFM 94.1 Radio.

Healthy Lifestyles for the New Year A special feature in the January edition of Elgin This Month To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities like this, give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22) Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales

or email me at gregthismonth@theweeklynews.ca January Edition Advertising Deadline is December 10th

ELGIN THIS MONTH

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Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members

Six tips for identifying your workplace hazards Members of the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce who have the knowledge and skills to conduct a thorough, three-step hazard assessment enjoy several business advantages: they manage the hazards before injuries or even fatalities can occur, they understand costly risks to their people and business, and they have a clear line of sight to improvements that will help workers stay healthy, safe and productive. According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, a hazard is anything in the workplace that could hurt someone: it can be a practice, behaviour, tool or equipment, substance, condition, or combination of these. Hazard assessments are made up of three phases: 1. Identifying the hazards 2. Assessing the level of risk that might be posed by the hazard, such as likelihood and severity of injury 3. Ranking the risks based on the severity and likelihood of harm 4. Developing an action plan to eliminate or control the hazards Typical hazards for St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce Members include: 1. Repeating the same movements over and over, especially if you are in an awkward position or you use a lot of force. Think of someone who bends down all day, or someone who lifts heavy things over and over again, especially above the shoulders or below the

knees. 2. Slipping, tripping or falling. Think of something as simple as spilled coffee on the floor, a cluttered work area, or a raised platform with no guardrails. 3. Working near motorized vehicles. Think of being hit by a dump truck that is backing up on a construction site ... or someone getting hit by a forklift truck in a warehouse or on a loading dock. Six triggers for a hazard assessment It’s always a good time to assess your hazards, but you’ll particularly want to undertake this activity in response to • the introduction of new equipment, processes, or tasks • an injury or illness to someone on your staff or within the industry • employee concerns or complaints regarding a particular issue • the introduction of a new regulation or guideline • a Ministry of Labour order or alert • your ongoing review and renewal of your health and safety program Six tips to improve your hazard-spotting skills Identifying hazards is the first step of three, which means getting this step right will set you up for success when you tackle the next two. Here are six tips to consider. 1. Know why the hazard assessment is needed. Employers and supervisors have obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to inform workOur Member ers of hazards so that the Benefits Bundle workers can perform their Is Growing duties safely. Employers of and supervisors can’t meet these obligations without conducting hazard assessments, and eliminating or Quantum RBS has joined us with a special offer for controlling the risks. all businesses and organizations that are Members 2. Form an assessment team of at least two peoof the Chamber! ple (two will notice more than one). Include a manTry Quantum’s reliable and affordable ager or supervisor; they are required by law to know off-site data back-up services FREE! what the hazards are. Also include a fresh pair of eyes

St. Thomas & District Chamber Commerce

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on the team—perhaps an employee from another work area, a colleague from another company, or an outside consultant. People familiar with the work often stop seeing hazards over time. Fresh eyes may catch something you miss, or bring complementary experience to the process. 3. Determine an approach. Will you identify hazards by season, work area, steps within the work flow, or equipment? What makes the most sense for your organization? Look for all types of hazards: musculoskeletal, slips, trips and falls, contact with machinery, driving, violence, chemical, cuts, burns, and psychological. 4. Do plenty of homework. Prepare for the assessment by collecting and reviewing existing information. Start by touring your workplace and talking with staff. Look for activities, equipment, tools, materials, chemicals and situations that could potentially result in an injury. Ask yourself “what if” for each situation. If you have records of hazardous materials, previous inspections, hazard or injury reports, review them as well. 5. Keep an open mind. Don’t assume any task, procedure or process is safe, just because no one has been injured yet. 6. Involve your workers. Ask staff for input on hazards and how they may be controlled. As they walk you through tasks step by step, ask questions like, “What’s happened in the past? What could potentially happen? If someone wasn’t trained, what could go wrong? If I were doing it, what could hurt me, and how badly could I be hurt?” Reducing risks serves the well-being of everyone in the organization, including owners and employers. Involving staff and taking visible action to protect their health and safety shows you care and will win their buy-in and support. For more information Look for simple, easy-to-use resources to help you assess your workplace hazards, provided at no cost by our trusted health and safety advisor, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS). Search on “hazards” at www.wsps.ca, and click on each tab for a full spectrum of support. Also, stay informed with timely information about occupational health and safety by connecting with WSPS on Twitter at twitter.com/wsps_news.

St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce

2013 Board of Directors

Acting Chair: Laura Woermke

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December, 2013

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 10


Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

E-commerce sales solutions If your business is looking to build online sales and service, mark your calendar to join us on Thursday January 30. The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and the Elgin Business Resource Centre join to present a full-day seminar designed to improve your business's bottom line using e-commerce sales solutions. Our event is titled “Moving Your Business Forward,” and we will welcome expert presenter/trainer Syd Bolton as our leader for the day in an information-packed agenda covering topics on website utilization, options to accept/handle electronic payments, understanding electronic coupons, use of QR codes, promo ideas and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics.

January 30, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Reserved seating only, and advance registration is required. $25 per person Meet Our Facilitator (lunch included) + HST.   The program Syd Bolton started in business at the age of 17 and has always runs Thursday January 30, 2014 from kept up the entrepreneurial spirit while working with major 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the St. Thomas Seniors Recreation Centre, 225 Chestnut companies like Microsoft, EDS, and even Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. He has been speaking at small business events since Street.   To register contact Sharen Symondson at 1998 and has helped thousands of individuals get a good grip on technology through easy-to-understand examples tempered with the Elgin Business Resource Centre by callhumour. Bolton is currently the Curator of the Personal Computer ing 519-633-7597 Extension 324 or email Museum in Brantford, is Canada's top video game collector, and her directly at ssymondson@elgincfdc.ca can be heard and seen weekly in newspaper, radio, and television broadcasts covering the latest technology.

We can do this faster!

Beginning this month with our December 4 Business After 5 event, we're making changes that will speed the admission process to the event, and reduce the potential for long line-ups. Bring your business cards!   Over the next few events, we will make a tran-

sition away from asking people to fill-out door prize draw entries at the door by switching to use only your pre-printed business cards. As we make the switch, we will still have blank cards that can be filled-in by hand but we're working to eliminate the time and space required as Members en-

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our Partners and Staff Kee, Perry & Lassam offers a full range of public accounting services. Our chartered professional accountants and staff have the experience, training and skills to deal with your business needs. Accounting Auditing • Tax Services

Management Consulting Small Business Services • Bookkeeping Services

At Kee, Perry & Lassam we ensure our clients recieve the service and expertise they need to succeed. Please make a call to our office your first step on the road to success.

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15 Barrie Boulevard St. Thomas, ON Canada N5P 4B9 519-631-6360 519-631-2198 fax

ter our event. Nothing else changes … admission will still be free and open to anyone and everyone from any business or organization that is a Chamber Member, and participation in the door prize draws is completely voluntary.

Our Residents and Staff would like to wish you

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Don’tt get weather bound this Don’ winter. Spend the Winter inter with us. Metcalfe Gardens dens offers offers short term winter stays. At Me Metcal tcalffe Gar Gar arde dens de ns,, ns It ’s About About Li Livin ingg , It ’s About About Lif Lif ife. e.

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 11


Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members

Insurance tips for a Merry Christmas season by Dan Reith With Christmas approaching and the start of winter social season upon us we have lots to do and so little time remaining as holiday stress sets in. Before you become a victim of your own holiday misfortune here are a few personal insurance tips to consider: Prevent a loss on your auto insurance policy by; • When shopping, place valuables in the trunk and keep seats, drink holders and open trays clear of anything of value. In the absence of a trunk, hatch-backs and mini vans, place items in a covered container or cover with a blanket. • Park in a well-lit area of any parking lot. • Lock your car. Whether at home, work, the mall, downtown or even in your own garage, make sure your car is locked at all times. This will reduce the risk of it being stolen and the loss of any personal property stored in your car. • Do not leave your wallet or personal information in the car when unattended. Even a locked car cannot guarantee thieves will be kept out.

www.chambers.ca December, 2013

• Drive with due care and control no matter the weather or how rushed you are! Black ice, too much snow, not enough salt on the road or the driver in front of you who suddenly slammed on their brakes are not excuses for you to avoid being charged for an at fault loss and/or a conviction under the highway traffic act. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination to ensure your safe arrival. • Be prepared to stop and be alert! Just because you are obeying the rules of the road does not mean everyone else around you is. • Take a moment, and ensure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving before the snow hits. Ensure it is mechanically ready for winter, that you have equipped your vehicle with a winter safety kit and the snow tires that you have installed are in sound condition. • Stop texting, stop talking on the phone, set that coffee cup down and put your snack away! Driving requires attention, especially more so in the winter’s adverse conditions. More than ample studies have proved driver distraction is the root cause of many fatal accidents. • While it should go without saying, but too many still forget, the holiday season or not, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! If you drink, take a cab, stay over-night or find a ride home with a sober driver. Prevent a loss on your home insurance by; If you are • celebrating the season with a real tree ensure it is kept well watered and not placed in front of a heat source. Shut off the lights and electronic ornaments when not at home or out of the room for a prolonged period. Drying trees can lead to a total fire loss of your home in less than 5 minutes! While can• dles do lend a seasonal scent to air and help to remove cooking odors, they are still a leading cause of house fires. Do not leave candles unattended or place them close to flammable fabrics. Always extinguish them when leaving a room for a prolonged period or leaving the house. • Do not leave items on the stove or in the oven unattended. It is not

uncommon to find yourself short of an ingredient and making a quick trip to the grocery store without properly turning off your appliances. Keep a residential fire extinguisher near the stove, along with baking soda. Either can be used should a small fire flare up on the element. • Lock your home. When not at home, ensure all doors and windows are locked. Do not display wrapped or unwrapped gifts near open windows. When goods are visible, the home can be a greater target. Use your alarm if your home is equipped with one. • Take steps to secure windows and doors so they cannot be pried open from the outside. • Keep exterior lights on to illuminate walkways and doors. • If traveling: have your drive way and pathways shoveled to appear as though someone is home. Place your lights on timers; rotate throughout the house to mimic your usual pattern of light usage throughout the day and evening. This includes festive outdoor light displays. Be sure to cancel newspaper subscriptions, to avoid build up of papers at the front doors, a clear sign that no one is home. Maintain the heat of your home at a minimum and drain water from all lines/pipes before you leave. Have a neighbour, friend or family member collect mail on a daily basis again to prevent build up during your absence. Whoever is checking in on your home, leave them with your contact information but also the contact numbers for your insurance provider should a claim need to be reported. It is best it be reported sooner rather than later. This will allow for any damage to be taken care of immediately mitigating the possibility of further loss. • Last, protect yourself! When shopping, ladies, make certain your hand bag is zipped closed and cell phones secured in your hand bag or on your hip. Gentlemen, if you must carry a wallet put it in your front pants pocket not your back pocket. It is much easier for someone to steal it from the back. Keep track of all credit card and debit card receipts, and shred using a cross cut shredder. To maintain control of your personal information, restrict all gift purchases to only one credit card and reconcile your charges against your receipts. These tips are just a few things you and your family can employ to make your holiday experiences safe, happy and memorable and to reduce your chance for loss. For more detailed information and specific tactics contact your insurance provider, the St. Thomas City Police, OPP and/or your local fire department. Merry Christmas! This column appears regularly in Business Beat and has been submitted by Dan Reith BA(Hons) CAIB, Principal Broker, Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Questions and comments on this column are welcomed by the writer at 519-6313862 or via e-mail: info@reithandassociates.com

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 12


Member NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members

Chamber to host area Mayors The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce will host St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman, Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters, and Southwold Mayor Jim McIntyre in our annual “State of the Municipalities” luncheon on Wednesday February 19. The fall of 2014 brings the next municipal election, and this popular event will be our fourth. Our first event was held 100 days after the last local election and has continued each year since. Post-event evaluations with Members have proven the value of this event, along with a parallel version later in the spring that brings our Elgin-Middlesex-London MP & MPP together in a similar luncheon forum. Our February 19 event will be held at St. Anne’s Centre, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available by advance sale only from the

“this popular event will be our fourth”

Chamber office at $30 per person. Reserved seating will be provided for anyone placing a single order of four tickets or more. Until February 5, tickets to this event will be available exclusively to people from businesses and organizations that are Members of the St. Thomas & District Chamber. Remaining tickets, if any, will be available to the public February 6 to 17. Each Mayor will have 10 minutes of individual speaking time to comment on plans and projects in their municipality for the year ahead. Once their remarks conclude, the focus turns to questions from the audience. Anyone purchasing a ticket to attend will be welcome to submit questions to the Chamber office in advance of the event and we will also entertain questions from the floor as the event proceeds. The State of the Municipalities luncheon is made possible through the generous support of local sponsors including the Workforce Planning and Development Board. Ticket orders can be made now by phone to the Chamber at 519-631-1981 or via email to: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca

The next EmployerOne survey will be open for employers January 2 to January 31. Organized by the Workforce Planning & Development Board, the goal is to attract 500 area employers as participants, including 100 from St. Thomas & Elgin County.

“The next survey is open January 2 to January 31” The results of the survey are well worth the time investment needed to answer the 52 questions in it. The collective result for our region will be local information that is an accurate snapshot of the workforce plus accurate insight into local skill and labour needs. The Chamber will promote the survey and provide paths for employer access from now to the end of the project at January 31. If you have specific questions, contact Martin at the Workforce Planning Board office by calling 519-672-3499 or email: martin@workforcedevelopment.ca

Season’ss Season’ Greetings and all the Best for the New Year

Fordham & Brightling Associates • Lawyers Practising in Association

Wide Range of Legal and Advisory Services • Real Estate Sales and Purchases • Mortgages • Business/Commercial Matters & Incorporations • Wills, Estate Planning & Administration Monty F. Fordham B.A., LLB montyfordham@4elgin.ca

Michael J.E. Brightling B.A., J.D. michaelbrightling@4elgin.ca

4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519) 633-4000 December, 2013

ELGIN THIS MONTH

13


Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members

Will power At the time of Ann’s death, it seems that, by anyone’s Last month we considered assessment, she would not the rather somber topic of teslikely have had the capactamentary capacity to make a ity to draw a will. However, last will and testament and, as the judge stated, the reldespite the allure of the more evant time is when the will histrionic exploits of the Red Monty Fordham is signed. He placed “little Chamber three and Mayor weight on the evidence of Rob Ford, as promised, what follows is a sum- her behaviour several years mary of a recent case out of Manitoba, which, before or several years after I believe gives everyone a little relief around the that date.” subject of capacity. As well, we’ve provided some Of considerable imporsuggestions in order to avoid the issue altogether. tance in the case was the The case Hoffman v. Heinrichs involved the es- fact that Ann had given instructions to, and tate of a lady, Ann Ogilvie, who, although she signed the will in the presence of, a lawyer and an died at the age of 89, had made her will some 29 independent witness, both of whom testified as to years earlier. She, by all accounts, suffered from her competence, and who required access to their schizophrenia all her life. Although her estate was notes prepared some 30 years previous. The fact rather modest at the time her will was drawn, by that the lawyer had prepared an estate planning the time she passed away it was worth north of information sheet before the signing of the will $1 million. Ann’s husband died some 2 years be- and a memorandum to the file afterwards, was fore she made her will and they had no children. persuasive in dispelling the assertion that there Although Ann had seven siblings, she decided to were “suspicious circumstances” in the preparaleave her estate to her twin brother Jake, and, if tion of the will. he died before her, to his son Warren. A nephew Although Ann did not have a clear appreciation made application to the court to have the will of the value of her assets, it was found she knew declared invalid, on the grounds of, among other the nature of them. As for the fact she left noththings, Ann’s incapacity. ing to several of her siblings, it was equally clear she shared a close and trusting relationship with her twin brother and had very little contact with the others. These facts were evident from the evidence of the lawyer and the witness, and their notes. Finally, although medical evidence was introduced which challenged Ann’s capacity, the judge more weight on From all the staff at Yarmouth Mutual Insurance placed the observations of the lawyer at the time of signing. Her will was declared to be valid. Now for some sugges by Monty Fordham

Happy Holidays and our Warmest and Best Wishes for 2014 For all Your Insurance Needs

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tions in order to avoid this situation: 1. Have your will prepared and signed before YOUR lawyer, with whom you should always meet privately. 2. Take time to prepare for your appointment. Regard the process as an opportunity to take stock of your assets, as well as your personal relationships. Provide your lawyer with a full inventory of your assets, with values, if possible. 3. Be forthright and candid with your lawyer regarding any medical issues which might impact at a later date upon your capacity. 4. If there are special circumstances which compel you to exclude any family members, discuss the reasons fully with your lawyer. The lawyer will document such information. It is confidential. 5. Relax – it’s your personal plan. It’s up to your executor to carry it out to the letter many years hence. You will have made it easier for him or her. Over the holidays you might want to pick up John Grisham’s latest page turner “Sycamore Row” for a more exciting look at testamentary capacity. Meanwhile, on behalf of Michael, myself and our staff, I would like to wish all a safe Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by Monty at his office: Fordham & Brightling Associates - Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or e-mail: montyfordham@4elgin.ca

Season’s Greetings Best Wishes for the Holiday Season From all the staff at Bowsher and Bowsher

“Neighbour Helping Neighbour”

We take great pride in our friendly, straightforward legal advice and support. We are here to help you.

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112 Centre Street, St. Thomas, Ontario • (519) 633-3301 www.bowsherandbowsher.com E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 14


Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

We’re back from China!

On November 2, forty eight weary local travellers arrived safely in their homes from a lifechanging journey to the other side of the world. Their trip was organized by the Chamber offices in Strathroy and St. Thomas – one of hundreds of groups and over 20,000 passengers to make the journey this year, thanks to a unique opportunity exclusive to the Chambers of Commerce in Canada and the US. Representing the St. Thomas & District Chamber, Member Services Representative Jeff Sheridan and Heather Sheridan completed the 11-day tour. Jeff has summarized part of his experience here. As the plane slowly taxied to a halt I scanned the faces of my fellow world travellers, ensuring they were ready for the final leg of our journey. Many spoke of their desire to feel the effects of "jet lag" fade and an even stronger desire that their memories of this trip last forever. Most of these individuals departed as strangers. All of us arrived home as family. After landing in Beijing, we found a clean, warm, sunny metropolis that could have been easily mistaken for a much larger City of Toronto. It was at this point that our group knew many misconceptions of this foreign land were about to be laid to rest. Our group was immediately greeted by our friendly, knowledgeable tour guide, "Richard." Richard spent the next few days educating our group on China, its people and their customs. One of the first orders of business was to ensure

we all stayed extremely close together like "Sticky Rice." As the trip progressed, a rallying cry of "Sticky Rice" could be heard at nearly every tourist destination. China and its people’s history dates back several thousand years. With the assistance of tour guides, translators and friendly locals, we gained an insight into both the modern and the old. The colonial influence of France and BritThis section of Shanghai, known as The Bund, is a visual example of ain were evident not only in rapid growth and modern architecture in China. Shanghai but many other Fifteen years ago, this area was a rice field! stops on our southern tour. The tour included a visit to a Editor’s Note: region Marco Polo referred to The wish to return to China will come true! Inas the "Venice" of the east. Suzhou is built along a series of canals winding their way through a city terest in having the Chamber organize another that even features its own "leaning tower" erected trip in 2014 is very strong and plans are now being made to host another 11-day tour departing over 1,000 years ago. Many of us knew very little about China prior October 22 from Toronto, returning Saturday to departure. Heather and I, and I suspect all oth- November 1. Details will be released early in the ers in our new 48-person family, have been left new year, and the Chamber will host information with a strong interest to see, learn and experience sessions for interested travellers. Look for details in the Chamber’s “Green Mail” weekly newsletter even more. and here in the Business Beat section of Elgin This Month Magazine.

Happy Holidays Our Partners and Staff would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, filled with the warmth of friends and loved ones, and with the promise of a prosperous new year.

Bill Graham John Scott

Al Enns Mike Stover

Garth Howes Rob Foster

Bill Luyks Betty Gropp

We appreciate your business and thank you for your ongoing support!

Jim Frederick Mike MacKinnon

Depend on

St.Thomas 519-633-0700 Aylmer 519-773-9265 www.grahamscottenns.com

December, 2013

116 Edward Street, St. Thomas 519-631-7960 www.disbrowe.com

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 15


Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Meet your new Members The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome the following businesses and individuals as our newest Members. Those listed joined us and were approved as registered as Members October 16 to November 15, 2013. CirrusLab 41 Mondamin Street Unit 4, Upper Level St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V4 Phone: 226-448-3060 or toll Free: 1-888-392-7001 Email: info@cirruslab.com Web: www.cirruslab.com Contact: Abram Fehr, Owner Buyers Guide Categories: Web Design Services; Computers - Custom Programming; Computers – Networking; Information Technology Services Products & Services: At CirrusLab they use the power of cloud technology to help your business build, manage and promote your online presence. Their goal is to provide your business with

customized services designed to save time and allow you to focus on what you do best "grow your business". They offer managed websites, mobile and web apps, custom development, online marketing services and other technology solutions. Now serving businesses in the St. Thomas & surrounding communities. Jackpot City Gaming Entertainment 140 Edward Street St. Thomas, ON N5P 1Z3 Phone: 519-633-1984 Email: hilary.jackpotcity@gmail.com Web: www.jackpot-city-gaming.com Contacts: Hilary McFadden, Marketing Manager; D'Arcy Stuart, Owner; Tony Di Maria, Hall Manager Buyers Guide Category: Entertainment Products & Services: "Jackpot City" is an immersive gaming entertainment experience, now in St. Thomas! They offer 4 full sessions of Bingo daily and tens of thousands of dollars in prizes to be won. Visit "Jackpot City" and experience play-on-demand gaming machines, great diner

food and HDTV Sports all in an exciting new environment. Gear Up Drivers Education Academy Ltd. 300 South Edgeware Road St. Thomas, ON N5P 4L1 Phone: 519-317-8940 Email: suzanne@gearupacademy.com Contact: Suzanne Parkins, President & CEO Website: tba Buyers Guide Category: Driver Training Products & Services: Gear Up Driver Education Academy Ltd. proudly offers the only driver training curriculum that exceeds the MTO minimum standard under the new curriculum guidelines. Students will receive skid pad training and learn defensive driving techniques designed to minimize collisions, save money and more importantly lives. Now serving the St.Thomas area. Gear Up before you start up! RT-Signs 215 Sunset Drive St. Thomas, ON N5R 3C2 Phone: 519-614-1812 Email: rt-signs@live.com Contact: Ron Wright Website: www.rt-signs.ca Buyers Guide Categories: Advertising/Promotion; Marketing; Signs/ Screen Printing Products & Services: RT-Signs is a local, family-owned and run business. They believe through hard work, dedication and quick response times, that they will meet your advertising needs. RT-Signs offers affordable advertising with mobile signs to reach your customers with friendly, efficient service and a quality product. Customer satisfaction is their ultimate goal. You can trust the reliable service of RT-Signs!

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December, 2013

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 16


Give the Gift of Comfort The Revitive Circulation Booster is a medical device designed to increase leg circulation. It uses Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) to stimulate the muscles in your feet and lower legs to help counteract stasis and help maintain healthy legs.

Glittering Gifts Our Collection of Jewellery for Christmas is beautifully unique. Come and see our fabulous selection now.

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Historic Photo Reprints of St. Thomas & Elgin From the Elgin County Archives, thousands of images spanning nearly a century including numerous selections from the renowned Scott-Sefton Collection. Categories include Agriculture, Military History, Businesses, Sports and Family Portraits. See the samples on our website or drop in at the archives. Various sizes available, priced from...

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CHRISTMAS Gifts of Distinction Looking for something unique for a special person on your Christmas list? Consider some of these wonderful possibilities...

Give the gifts that celebrate the local experience!

The Beer Sampler Tours Available Daily

+HST

also available: Tilley Winter Hats (available in autumn, tweed and charcoal), Tilley Endurable Socks and Briefs.

For more great travel accessories and gifts visit

CAA Store - St. Thomas 25 First Ave. • 519-631-6490 All prices are subject to applicable taxes. Available while quantities last. ®CAA and CAA logo trademarksowned by, and ase is granted by, theCanadian Automobile Association.Life-side Assistance is a registered trademark of CAA South Central Ontario. TM-192

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of Give the gift Y COMED

Great Gifts for

The History Buff

Elgin’s History Through A Photographer’s Lens

Volume One: The Scott-Sefton Collection

200 photos of St.Thomas & Area from 1900 to 1950.

$15*

Tremaine’s Map ofThe County of Elgin,1864

$20*

A pictorial tour of Elgin County,feat aturing ing people,events and historic buildings. Including previous International Plowing Matches in Elgin County

Historic footage of the great moments in the region’s history.

130 Edward St., St. Thomas • (519) 631-1881

www.railwaycitybrewing.com Railway City Brewing uses local ingredients from local suppliers ELGIN THIS MONTH

$10*

Harvest of Memories

Volume Two:

Ontario Visual History Project - Elgin County

www.elgin.ca

Open Tues. - Fri. 10am - 4pm 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas 519-631-1460 (ext. 154)

December, 2013

1-24 First Avenue, St. Thomas

A Selection of Our Finest Beer

Elgin County Archives

Tilley Camouflage Hats

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All Books & DVDs are available at Branches of The Elgin County Library and the County Museum, 450 Sunset Drive, St.Thomas (4th Floor) *All prices shown include HST

17


W Wishes of Good Health to all! H Thank You for your generous support of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation.

Your gifts have a significant impact on patient care excellence. In turn, they also help to reduce wait times, improve infection control and, perhaps best of all, provide our nurses with more time at the bedside.

Wishing you and your family good health this holiday season. STEGH Foundation Board of Directors and Staff

St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation 189 Elm Street, St. Thomas, ON N5R 5C4 • 519.631.2030 ext. 2246

December, 2013

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 18


Annual Program, including: • Special Events • In Memoriam and Tribute Gifts • HEARTbeat Newsletter

Planned Giving, such as:

• Bequest in a Will • Gift of Stock • Gift of Life Insurance

What greater gift could there be than the gift of health? For more information on how you can support patient care excellence close to home, please contact the STEGH Foundation.

December, 2013

E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 19


LIFESTYLE IN THE GARDEN

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire … by Dorothy Gebert

Sally’s Chestnut Stuffing

Who doesn’t recognize that famous opening line from “The Christmas Song?” It evokes sentiments of hearth and home, warmth and goodwill. But to most of us chestnuts are strictly nostalgic. Even in 1944, when Mel Torme and Bob Wells wrote the song, chestnuts were not a common eating nut, so what happened to them? According to chestnut grower Sally Martyn, a blight in the 1920s killed off most of the native sweet chestnut trees in North America. American chestnut trees were then crossbred with Chinese chestnut trees to resist the blight, but many growers never replanted them, leaving chestnuts as a rare, uncommon nut for most people. However, Sally has been enjoying them for the last 40 years, ever since she and her husband John bought Ridgeview Farm in Sparta from her father, who had planted an orchard of the crossbred trees in the 1960s. She harvests the nuts in September and October when they fall from the trees. “The nuts are encased in spiky burrs,” she says. “The burrs split open and drop the nuts onto the ground.” She retrieves them by hand, but sometimes uses a small automatic harvester to collect them. They last a whole year when stored in a cool place in aerated plastic bags. continued on page 21...

• 12 cups crumbled dry bread • ½ cup melted butter • 1 cup chopped onion • 1 cup chopped, peeled apples • 3 cups peel, chopped raw chestnuts • 1 tsp each salt, sage and thyme Combine all ingredients and use to stuff a turkey or goose. Sally Martyn has grown chestnuts on her farm in Sparta for over 40 years. (Dorothy Gebert photo)

Merry Christmas from all the staff at Ron’s Auto 225 Edward Street, St. Thomas 519-633-6130

December, 2013

ELGIN THIS MONTH

20


LIFESTYLE In The Garden

On the tree, chestnuts are encased in spiky burrs. (Sally Martyn photo) popcorn basket. After roasting, just peel and enjoy. So the next time you see chestnuts for sale, why not buy some and roast them. It may conjure up a little of that Christmas warmth of yesteryear.

American sweet chestnut trees have been crossbred with Chinese chestnut trees to resist blight. (Sally Martyn photo)

Dorothy Gebert is a writer and garden enthusiast in St. Thomas

continued from page 20... She sells them at her farm and at the local farmers’ market, but says people can obtain chestnuts at the grocery store, although those nuts are often from Italy. Sweet chestnuts are not to be confused with horse chestnuts, which are bitter and have a natural toxin that will give eaters an upset stomach. Sweet chestnuts when eaten fresh have a crunchy, sweet taste similar to cashews; when they’re roasted, they have a mealy texture like potatoes and are often pureed. You can eat chestnuts straight from the shell, but the most common way to enjoy them is by roasting them. Sally suggests cutting a gash in the flat side of each chestnut to allow steam to escape. You can place the chestnuts on a cookie sheet or in a Dutch oven and heat them in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. You can also cook them on the stove in a cast iron frying pan with a lid, on low heat, shaking occasionally to prevent burning. If you want to roast them over an open fire, the easiest way to do so is to use a

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 21


BUSINESS & COMMUNITY MEDIATION

What are interests and why are they so important? by Neil Ambrose

Consider two sisters arguing over who should get the last orange in the refrigerator. The girls approached their mother each arguing that they needed the orange more than the other. The mother, trying to be fair, cut the orange in two and gave each sister half the orange. The sisters walked away unhappy with their mother’s solution to the problem. Mom, while taking a fair approach, created a lose-lose solution. Had the mother asked why each sister wanted the orange, she would have found out that one

sister wanted the juice to drink, and the other sis- ing there but demands a $10 per hour raise. Her ter wanted the orange peel as an ingredient for a employer, while recognizing the employee’s skills cake mix. If Mom had asked “Why?” a creative and value to the company, offers a $2 per hour solution could have been found where there was raise as his position. A mediator may ask each side a win-win for both siswhy they have taken those positions ters. Asking “why” gets to and find out that the employee has people’s interests and is a increased child care costs after 3:00 “the mediator often in the afternoon, and the employer very important part of the interest-based negotiation asks why questions” has had a decline in sales and cannot or mediation process. afford such a pay raise. Whenever a mediator With this new information, the is brought into a dispute, it is mediator could look at interests that could meet important to have both sides both sides and working with the parties to conspeak about the reasons and is- sider options such as flexible work arrangements sues that brought them to the where the employee could leave by 3:00 and not mediation session. The me- incur additional child care costs. This solution diator pays close attention and would also satisfy the common interest that the often asks “why questions” to employee likes working there, and the employer help him or her determine the wants to keep a good employee. interests of each party to the Finding creative solutions to problems and credispute. ating win-win situations can be as simple as askIn many cases, parties will ing “Why?” come into a negotiation or meIt can also work at home with spouses and kids! diation with a position. Take the example of an employee at a non-union company, in dispute Neal Ambrose is a Mediator over her rate of pay. She comes with Elgin Counselling and into the discussions with her Mediation Centre. position that she loves work-

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Business & Community Employment

Childcare solutions for parents Business can help

by Lindsay Rice

With a significant increase in the number of working parents and women in the workforce, the importance of reliable, licensed childcare has grown significantly. The proportion of Ontario families with two parents working full time has increased steadily over the past decades up to 63% in 2011. With over 2 million children under the age of six in Canada, two-thirds of these children have a mother in the labour force. (Statistics Canada) Working parents require reliable, safe and high quality care for their children, whether it is centre-based care, home-based care or school-based before and after school programs. Many times the demands of work spill over into family life and vice versa. Working parents are in need of solutions to manage these demands. Employers can help by providing family-friendly initiatives. How family friendly is your workplace? • Does your organization support time off work to care for ill children or childhood emergencies? • Does your organization offer direct childcare subsidies such as assistance with childcare expenses or provide childcare vouchers?

• Does your organization provide information self employed or enrolled in school during the to new employees about provincial childcare sub- hours when the child would be in childcare. You may be surprised as to your eligibility for such sidies? childcare subsidies. Eligible fami• Does management suplies may receive a full subsidy or port family responsibilities partial subsidy for their licensed with leading by example? childcare. For more information • Does your organization “enhanced on childcare subsidies and eligisupport flex time and alterproductivity, employee bility, contact 519-631-9350 at native work schedules? satisfaction and cost the City of St. Thomas Children's • Does your organization Services office or visit provide childcare resources savings” stthomas.ca/content/child-care. and referral services? Childcare is essential for working parents – boosting the local When employees can be at work without feeling stressed or guilty about economy while ensuring greater economic securitheir family obligations, they will be more fo- ty for their families. Local employers have the opcused and engaged at work and less likely to be portunity to be progressive and responsive to emabsent due to childcare duties. This can result in ployees' childcare needs. Let's prosper together! enhanced productivity, employee satisfaction and cost savings for employers. In Elgin County from 2005 to 2013, we have Lindsay Rice is Manager of Community Programseen a tremendous increase of licensed childcare ming, YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin spaces from 465 to 1,749 encompassing children birth to 12 years.(St. Thomas-Elgin Best Start Transition Plan). This impressive increase shows the dramatic need for childcare in our community. With the rollout of Full Day Kindergarten, school age childcare is offered at the majority of schools in Elgin County by a recognized, licensed childcare provider. Characteristics of a quality childcare setting include: license issued by the Ministry of Education displayed clearly with the inspection summary, caregivers are Early Childhood Educator s, the centre or home is clean and well maintained, a variety of age appropriate toys and activities are available and parents are kept informed by postings, newsletters, websites etc. Provincial childAYLMER ST.THOMAS PORT STANLEY TILLSONBURG care subsidies are 75 Talbot Street East 991 Talbot Street 289 Bridge Street 128 Broadway available to parents T: 519-773-8471 T: 519-637-1230 T: 519-782-3327 T: 519-842-8999 who are working,

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 23


Dining & Entertainment FOOD & WINE

Wine fraud, part one

In China, up to 70% may be mislabelled by Jamie Quai

For years, wines that were being faked would information age where a winery’s production return up at auction selling for hundreds or thou- cords were spotty. The proprietor of one of the sands of dollars. However, it seemed like a prob- most prized chateaux in France has said that there lem of the super rich, so who cared? The whole are more bottles of their legendary 1945 wine for idea of faking wine just seemed innocuous to the sale at auction then were likely ever bottled! average person. The other big why is profit pure and simple – But in the last two decades, there has been a new passing off a $25 bottle of wine as a (different) wave of counterfeiting and it is trickling down to $100 bottle is not as difficult to do as one would the mass consumer. This is going to be the first of suspect. There is actually an expression in the a two-part article on wine fraud. This month will wine world that the only difference between a $30 be some of the whys and the hows. Next month bottle of Cabernet and a $100 bottle is a decent I’m going to talk about what is being done to review and a better marketing team. For some bring this issue under control. fraudsters, the allure of a huge illegal profit is just The whys of wine fraud too good to pass up. are rather straightforward The how of wine fraud – because wine is a prodis where the really in...consumers may uct that is so varied in teresting tales emerge. actually become brand style, region, vintage and Only in the last few character, it is very diffiyears have high-end loyal to the fakes... cult to prove tampering. restaurants and tasting If the wine was suspected events begun to physiof being an imposter, the cally destroy empty seller could merely claim bottles after a tasting, so that it was vintage variation, result of poor stor- they couldn’t be refilled. In my lifetime, a fraudage, or simply an off bottle. A lot of the older ster could dumpster dive for bottles that, when wines that have been faked benefit from a pre- refilled, would sell for thousands at auction. The digital age made it easier than ever before to make convincing fake labels and seals. And as the cost of the equipment to fake a bottle goes down, so does the type of wine that is ideal for forgery. It has been estimated that almost 70% of the bottles sold in China are not authentic. These are not expensive wines – most are everyday drinking wines. It is not news that copyright enforcement in China needs to improve, and the consumer market is

Mayor Heather Jackson & the members of St. Thomas City Council would like to take this opportunity to extend warm greetings for the season, and wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year

so new to wine that they have no framework for what the true wine is supposed to taste like or what the bottle is supposed to look like. The wine (if it is actually made from fruit) can come from anywhere. Fakers will find a winery name online, copy the bottle, create a fake drink and begin selling. The problem is so bad that the legitimate wineries trying to break into the Chinese market are rightly concerned that consumers may actually become brand loyal to the fakes. Recently, a very popular wine brand in North America was taken to task when it was discovered that one of its wines was a fake. This company was looking for Pinot Noir they could retail for under ten dollars to capitalize on a craze in the mid-2000s. They found a supplier in the south of France, and over 18 million bottles worth of wine was purchased over three years. By 2010, French wine authorities got suspicious when they determined there was not enough Pinot Noir in the south of France to meet just this producers’ need. The seller was blending Merlot and Syrah to imitate Pinot Noir. Over a dozen people went to jail over this scam, and in addition to being sued by retailers, the huge wine brand became the centre of a lot of jokes. A company this big not being able to recognize Merlot from Pinot is like a world-class baker not being able to tell the difference between oatmeal and peanut butter cookies. Next month: How the wine world is dealing with fraud. Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County

Jeff Yurek, Jenn and Maggie wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. JEFF YUREK, MPP

ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON

City Hall will close on Monday, December 23 at 4:30p.m. and re-open January 2 at 8:30a.m.

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday 10am-4:30pm 750 Talbot St., (CASO Station Suite 201) St. Thomas, ON N5P 1E2 519-631-0666 email: jeff.yurekco@pc.ola.org www.jeffyurekmpp.com

545 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-1680 December, 2013

ELGIN THIS MONTH

24


RubyEyes Kraftwerks

Lifestyles Elgin Arts Trail

A modern twist on glass art

by Katherine Thompson

A marine engineer by trade, Cheryl Garrett-Jenkins became interested in glass art 30 years ago when she welded metal frames for other glass artists. Since that time, she has transformed this interest into an award-winning passion and never tires of finding new and different ways to make glass into beautiful artwork. She sells her art at craft shows and art sales across the region as well as at her studio RubyEyes Kraftwerks in the village of Port Stanley. Garrett-Jenkins specializes in creating truly unique, one-of-a-kind art, never producing the same piece twice. She designs all her own patterns, inspired by what she sees in life and in her vivid imagination. She is skilled in fusing, casting, foiling, glass painting and sandblasting techniques. Expertly hand-crafted windows, panels, dishware, decorative 3-D pieces and jewellery items are available in an assortment of nature,

The Elgin Arts Trail is a program with a goal to promote and enhance arts tourism in Elgin County and St. Thomas. The trail is a route through Elgin County that visits some of the best galleries, studios and artisans in Elgin and St. Thomas. For full trail information visit www.elginartstrail. ca or find us on Facebook December, 2013

Celtic, sci-fi and fantasy themes. Garrett-Jenkins’s particular interest in dragons can be seen in a variety of stunning pieces in the showroom. She often works directly with a client, and no request is too unusual or different for her. Some of her more popular requests are favourite photos reproduced in glass, pet portraits and business logo signs. "I very much enjoy the creativity of working with a client to produce their vision in glass, and I will give any type of creative project a try,” says Garrett-Jenkins who has done custom work for churches, businesses and individual clients. In addition to Garrett-Jenkins’ own exquisite work, RubyEyes Kraftwerks also carries the glass art of four other local artists who make a variety of blown glass items, lamp work beads, crystal jewellery and metal art. Visit RubyEyes Kraftwerks to delight in an array of masterpieces, and if you are feeling inspired take one of the artist’s classes and learn both ancient and modern glass art techniques. For more information about RubyEyes Kraftwerks or to sign up for a glass art class visit rubyeyes.com or call 519-782-7443.

Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 25


Healthy Living Everyday Health

How chiropractic saved Christmas Part IV

by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.

Many of you know that over the past several and extent of Santa’s injuries. In summary, Santa presented with a very years Santa has had several situations that have threatened to interfere with his ability to make stiff and sore neck. He was experiencing some his appointed run around the world on Christmas headache phenomena but other than that all Eve. Thankfully, through the benefit of receiving other neurological testing was within normal chiropractic treatment Christmas has been saved. limits. Santa also had some lower back pain Well, this year was no exception. Unfortunately but he explained that it wasn’t as much of a for Santa, he was involved in an accident with his concern as the neck symptoms. Since there sleigh and suffered some injuries that again threat- was an element of trauma involved, and due to Santa’s advanced age, ened to interfere with his work I decided to perform an unless he was properly treated. x-ray examination and Apparently, Santa was stopped “thankfully, Santa thankfully it was within at a red light when another drivnormal limits with no er failed to stop and ran into the responded well to fractures, or other seriback of Santa’s sleigh. Santa sustreatment” ous injuries seen. tained a whiplash injury to his Santa’s neck signs and neck and a sprain/strain injury of symptoms were conhis lower back. Santa contacted his insurance company and informing them of sistent with a diagnosis of “Whiplash Associthe accident. He was instructed to seek out treat- ated Disorder” grade II (WAD II). This is the ment for his injuries. Santa asked the insurance most common diagnosis with regard to MVAs. adjuster if he could receive treatment from his Santa’s back signs and symptoms were consisregular chiropractor (that would be me) as he tent with a diagnosis of “lumbar sprain/strain.” had experienced great success in the past. Santa This is also a very commonly sustained injury was pleased to learn that he could attend my of- in an MVA. These injuries put Santa into a catfice directly as chiropractors are recognized by the egory of injuries identified by the automobile automobile insurance industry as appropriate pri- insurance industry as “minor injury” and as mary contact practitioners for injuries sustained such made Santa eligible for treatment under the “minor injury guideline.” These definitions in automobile accidents. When Santa presented to my office, we had are defined by law in Ontario and described him fill out the appropriate motor vehicle acci- under the “Statutory Accident Benefits Scheddent (MVA) paperwork. This paperwork includes ule (SABS)” under Ontario’s Insurance Act. information about the particulars about the ac- The other categories of injuries include “noncident, the type of injuries sustained, as well as minor” and “catastrophic”. Under the minor injury guideline (MIG), insurance contact information. This information helps me to complete the forms and reports that Santa was entitled to $3500.00 worth of treatthe insurance industry requires. It is important ment over approximately 12 weeks if necessary. that I have this information and complete these Because Santa had extended healthcare benefits, forms properly and in a timely fashion to insure the law required him to use those benefits first that my patient is eligible to receive all the ben- before his automobile insurance coverage was obefits that he or she is entitled. We then proceeded ligated to pay for treatment. Thankfully, Santa to take a careful case history and perform thor- responded well to treatment and he was back to ough physical examination to determine the type his old elf … I mean self … by Christmas Eve and

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was able to make his toy run as usual. Once again chiropractic managed to save Christmas! Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas

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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 26


LIFESTYLE THAT’S LIFE

Searching for sole mates by Elizabeth VanHooren

I dangled the handful of unmatched socks over the garbage in hesitation. Was it really safe to throw them out? After all there was still a chance that I would find their sole mates someday. Every month or two, I sort through a box of mismatched socks that I keep in my closet. It’s where I toss the partnerless socks that are left in the laundry basket after all the other socks have been matched off, the singleton that surfaces under or in one of the boys’ beds, and the mysterious ones that I find between the cushions in the couch and buried in the toy box. There’s a ritual to the sorting of that hapless box. I place the orphans into piles of colour and height and then begin to pair them off. And when I find a match I

have to admit to feeling a sense of accomplishment. Something is right in the universe when you find a sole mate. As I paired off the socks, I realized that the six or seven socks that I was left with were the same matchless souls that had been there last month. Two were so similar you would have thought they were a match. Both the same colour brown, both cotton, but one was about an inch higher than the other, suggesting that either they were indeed different or that possibly one had been stretched. One sock I knew had definitely lost its mate. A few weeks back I noticed my husband’s big toe sticking out of “ready, this time, for his left work sock. He took the ofsure, to toss them in the fending sock off and threw it in the garbage and tossed the other one in garbage” the wash.

“Why not throw both in the garbage?” I queried. “Because,” he said. “All my work socks are the same. If I keep this good one, and another pair gets a hole in one then I’ll have a matching set.” Yet another sock was the lonely partner of a pair of my good trouser socks: too expensive to throw in the garbage. And the last three were too cute … little blue baby socks just big enough to cover my fingers and remind me how fast the boys are growing. So, there I stood with that handful of mismatched, useless socks, ready, this time, for sure, to toss them in the garbage. Then my youngest son came scampering by to find one of his pairs of socks in the partnered pile. “Wow, Mom! You found my missing socks!” And I lost my nerve. I can wait another month to find those missing sole mates. Elizabeth VanHooren is General Manager of Kettle Creek Conservation Authority

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ELGIN THIS MONTH

27


HOMESTYLE DECORATING

Guest bedroom comfort by Renée Carpenter

When creating a guest bedroom that is remem- Do they spell fresh and fluffy enough to bered by your guests long after they are gone and sink into yet full enough to lean back on makes them feel as if they truly were on vacation, for support to read? Offer your guests a remember these three words … pamper, pamper, choice of synthetic or natural fillings, as pamper! some are allergic to down. Think of how you like to be treated when stayThe sheets and pillow cases do not have ing at a five-star hotel or your favorite B&B, and to be of the highest quality or thread count then recreate that experience for your guests. To but they do need to be smooth and freshly make them feel welcome, the essentials are to clean. Place an extra quilt or blanket in the provide the amenities that will let them make closet should the temperature turn cool the space their own during their stay. But take it and your guests need more layers for sleepthat next step further, and ask ing comfort. yourself what are the things that Clear space for their would make them feel luxuritoiletries in the guest “good lamps beside bath, or make space ously comfortable? A luggage rack or bench on a vanity or dresser. the bed for reading to place their suitcases keeps There’s nothing worse are essential” things from being scattered all than having to pack and over the floor. Space in the closunpack all your makeet to hang a few things for the up, creams, hair spray, duration of their stay helps them to feel unpacked lotions, razors, tooth paste, hair brush, etc. and settled in. every single time you need to use them. Good lamps beside the bed for reading are es- Their own private guest bathroom is ideal, sential as many people like to read before going to but if that isn’t a luxury that can be providsleep. Are the pillows of the best quality and cov- ed, at least allow room for their use whethered in a clean protective sleeve before placed into er they choose to leave items out or not. the freshly cleaned, ironed (yes, ironed and probHow many times have I been in someably even starched if at my house!) pillow cases? one’s home and there is not a clock in the guest room!? Not good. Make sure there is a clock that a) can easbeen seen while in Rev. Jim Innes BA, MDiv. ily bed, b) is properly set to the right time, and Advanced Pastoral Counselling c) has an alarm clock option – that actually professional, affordable, and works! Remember, they do not have the specialized service for many option of a wake-up issues affecting individuals, call in your home! A chair, even if couples and families small, somewhere in Reasonable Prices the room to sit on is a must. It’s a private spot to land if need be, St Thomas Ontario plus a place to put on 519-280-7795 their socks, lay their

clothes overnight, or put the pillows on from the bed when turning it all down. And last but not least, large, absorbent, fluffy bath towels with extra hand towels and washcloths are a must! Make a point of having special guest towels that are not worn or stained and have them neatly rolled or stacked in the guest bedroom or bath so that it is clearly available for use. Truly make it a restful time for your guests to remember. Your hospitality and the comfort of their stay will remain with them for years to come.

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HEALTHY LIVING EVERYDAY HEALTH

Food Bank donations this holiday season Include nutritious items in the mix by Courtney-Brooke Laurie

Food bank use is on the rise. The Hunger Count clude: school lunch items, canned fruit & veg2012 report from the Canadian Association of etables, low sodium canned soup, low sugar Food Banks reveals some shocking facts about breakfast cereals, and baby items (food, diapers). food bank use in Ontario. When choosing items to donate, include nutri• Almost 40% of people who access the food tious choices that fit with Canada’s Food Guide to bank are children Healthy Eating: • Over 10% of people who ac• Grain Products – whole grain cess the food bank have jobs bread, brown rice, whole wheat “everyone has the crackers, bagels, hot & cold cereals, Findings released by the Elgin St. Thomas Public Health Unit’s right to and need for granola bars 2013 Nutritious Food Basket • Vegetables & Fruit – canned fruit nourishing foods” (NFB) Report highlight that in water or light syrup, low sodium some families and individuals canned vegetables, 100% fruit juice, in our communities cannot afford a healthy diet tomato sauce, fresh fruits and veggies (if storage once rent and other fixed costs are paid. In Elgin available) St. Thomas, over 10% of households worry about • Milk Products – dry milk powder, milk pudnot having enough to eat due to lack of money. dings, tetra pack milk & fortified soy milk, fresh Make your donations count milk, yogurt, & cheese (if accepted) To make ends meet, families and individuals • Meat & Alternatives – canned tuna, salmon, may seek assistance from food banks. Unfortu- ham or chicken, peanut butter, canned baked nately there are often challenges related to the beans in tomato sauce, dried or canned beans and food on hand at food banks. Lack of variety, short lentils time to expiry date, lack of storage for healthy Everyone has the right to and need for nourishperishable items, and low nutrient content of pro- ing foods. The food donation guidelines mencessed foods are all factors that limit the variety of tioned above help to nourish people with healthy food available at food banks. foods. Food banks will also use donated money to Items in need at the Food Bank buy foods packed with good nutrition. We know Foods in short supply at local food banks in- the quality and quantity of food intake can have

an impact on health so next time you consider donating food keep in mind some healthier alternatives. When you donate healthy food items you are investing in the health of people in your community. For more information local food bank locations, contact the Elgin St. Thomas Public Health at 519-631-9900 and ask to speak to a Registered Dietitian. Courtney-Brooke Laurie is a Registered Dietitian with Elgin St. Thomas Public Health. How to target your Food Bank donations Meal kit – fill a shoe box with items needed for a complete meal – for example, diced tomatoes, tomato paste,

kidney beans, canned mushrooms, canned corn, and chili powder can make great chili. A recipe would be fun to include! School lunches & snacks – tetra pack boxed milk/ fortified soy beverage, fruit cups packed in juice or water, peanut-free whole grain cereal bars, 100% juice boxes, unsweetened applesauce cups Grow-a-row! - Plant an extra row of your favourite vegetables, and give the extra harvest to your local food bank. Check with your local food bank first to see if they have storage available before donating perishable foods.

Have YOU Had THE CONVERSATION?

519-631-9900 December, 2013

www.elginhealth.on.ca ELGIN THIS MONTH

29


LIFESTYLE TIME ON MY HANDS

Guy tries to be Guy’s Guy at “Guys’ Night” Why can’t I remember the lesson of Dirty Harry? by Duncan Watterworth

I’m a Guy. No question. But I’ve never been a Guy’s Guy, a real Man’s Man. Of this I was reminded once again at a recent “Guys’ Night” held by my friend Mark in Cambridge. I’ll get to that. But the evidence starts way, way back. As for sports, my mother put me into figure skating, rather than hockey. The only thing I’ve ever scored on ice was the role of the skunk in the Snow White Pageant. As for toughness, I’ve never been in a fight in my life. I’ve only thrown one good punch, but at least it bruised her cheek. Grade eight, I think, and two boys pinned me down while she tried to kiss me. My arms were flailing as she moved in, and Kapow! Solid hit, but not really a triumph of manliness. With the ladies, I was just too shy. In high school I took out a girl that I really fancied, and on Monday she blabbed around the school that I hadn’t tried anything. My ego was bruised. On the second date I tried to overcompensate. That didn’t go well either. There was no third date. Let’s scroll past 40 years of undistinguished man- “Guitars.” I kept quiet about the mandolins. But Pete had the perfect sugliness and get to the Guys’ gestions: extra old cheddar “that Night. Mark’s invitation ...hollering, bites back,” and a cloth-bagged promised barbequed steak, summer sausage he called “meat stomping, arm wrestling, hollering, candy.” That’s what he always stomping, lying, smoklying, smoking took to his Guys’ Night card ing and drinking. But regames. With smoked oysters and ally the evening would be and drinking... a vintage hunting knife on the about making some music platter, I was all set. Simple, punwith guitars and a mangent, manly. dolin or two. Picking up The big night arrived, and the guys were assemon Mark’s humour, I promised to bring a robust, protein-intensive appetizer tray. We exchanged a bling. Then Mark’s son James, 27, and his buddy series of witty emails. In hindsight, I suppose a Jonathan burst through the door, loaded with guireal man would have just hopped in the truck and tar cases and brown paper bags. They chattered excitedly about ”Jagermeister Shots”, and started shown up. I went to my go-to butcher at Charlton’s Qual- lining up glasses on the table. The rest of us, a ity Meats. “Pete,” I said, “I need some manly ap- little older, were about to get schooled. Fill a tumbler half way with Red Bull. Fill a shot petizers. I’m going to a Guys’ Night.” glass with Jagermeister liqueur. Now the tricky “What is it?” he asked, “Cards? Hunting?” Suddenly, I was backpedalling. “Music.” I said, part: lower the shot glass into the Red Bull until it floats. And then – you

guessed it – knock it back. The two liquids collide in your mouth and roil down your throat. Don’t let the upended shot glass drop and crack your teeth. Done! Who wants another! The Guys’ Night was off to a roaring start. So how did it end? Well … I don’t know. This Guy couldn’t go the distance. I was the first to close my eyes, to crawl off to sleep. For me, it was the perfect storm of running eight miles in the morning, the Jagermeister shots, not being 27, and forgetting once again the advice of Clint Eastwood, playing Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Duncan Watterworth is a retired lawyer whose mind tends to wander.

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