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Vol. 3, No. 8

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Grand Bend W W W




Thursday, September 24, 2009


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BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE Cassidy Chiarella, 5, of Dashwood waits for the soap box racing to start on Bronson Line Saturday. More on p. 6. INSIDE: A FIRST IMPRESSION OF GRAND BEND, LAWNMOWER RACING, AND LOTS OF PHOTOS



Go beyond the snapshot Learn how with Casey Lessard’s photography classes. Now planning for fall session, including beginner photography and Photoshop classes.

To register, call 519-614-3614 or visit

Strip at the Races

2 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rob Arnel of Thedford races in the outlaw category. He’s been active in lawnmower racing for two years. The track hosts races three times a year, with the next one at Victoria Day. Forest Fair hosts a race this weekend.

Get your mower running What do you do without demolition derbies? Race lawn tractors, of course. Photos and story by Casey Lessard Most people don’t get a rush of adrenaline from hopping on a lawnmower, so it’s easy to be surprised by the idea of challenging a few friends to a lawnmower race. It’s something a group of guys in Thedford thought would be a good alternative to the demolition derbies so often seen at local fairs. “We couldn’t get the insurance or location for a demolition derby,” says Rob Anderson, president of the Thedford

Spirit Club. “Four or five of us decided to get a bunch of guys together and make some lawnmowers go fast.” The first race was at Thedford Funion Days two years ago, and the feedback was positive. “There was a good crowd,” Anderson says. “Everyone seemed to like it, cheering for all the local racers.” It was a novel idea to the Thedford gang, but they soon discovered it was not a new one. A town in Indiana has been running an annual lawnmower race since 1963. There are

Zack Wright, 14, of Wheatley races in the stock and econo classes.

clubs across the United States and in the United Kingdom, and the Thedford group has been active in forming Western Ontario Outlaws (, which now has 60+ members ranging in ages from six to 61. “I try to tell people what we do, and they think I’m a redneck,” says Brittnee Kerr, whose family is actively involved, including her five-year-old son who is hoping to start racing next year. “He saw his uncle do it and saw him going fast. Now he’s got fuel in his blood.”

Barry Rawlings, Kevin Rumford and Steve Ross inspect their ride; Casey Vanhooydonk watches a race.

Strip at the Races

Zander Kerr, 5, of Petrolia is hoping to start racing next year. His uncle races each week, and Zander is a member of his pit crew.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 3

Tate O’Leary, 7, of Port Lambton races in the stock class.

Brittnee Kerr: “I try to tell people what we do, and they think I’m a redneck.” Kerr doesn’t race herself, and so far there are only a few female racers including one woman and several girls. But the sport draws a diverse crowd of men and women. “Speed,” says outlaw class racer Rob Arnel, is the attraction to driving one of Thedford’s 14 tractors. “It’s like a go-kart with a lawnmower motor in it.” “It’s exciting,” says racer Shane Ross of Thedford. “Just another sport to get together with friends and have fun. And you get trophies.” The group travels together to venues around the province, and tends to race the same people each week. Not to say that

each week is the same, though. “You never know what you’re going to find for a track,” Anderson says. “We raced today (Sunday) on grass, so it was a bumpy track. It brings the different driving styles out.” Regardless of the conditions, safety is always a concern because the riders ride roll-cage free lawnmowers packing up to 22 horsepower; the outlaw class tractors even use racing fuel. Tractors are fitted with safety equipment to kill the engine if a rider falls off, and riders have plenty of protective gear. Luckily, organizers realized from the beginning that the best way to keep riders safe is to remove the mower blades.

“We’re always changing our safety rules,” Anderson says, “and we are 100 times safer than when we started. “(Lawnmower racing) has all the same aspects as racing a car, say at Delaware. It has the build and set up, the thrill of racing and the adrenaline. It’s more than just putting a lawnmower out and going around a track.” “Everyone laughs and thinks it’s crazy,” says Brittnee Kerr, “and then they come and see what it’s about.” To see for yourself what it’s all about, the next race is Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m. at the Forest fair.

Strip on the Road

4 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

From Shores to Shores What Grand Bend can learn from a visit to Southampton and Port Elgin Story and photos by Casey Lessard What is the first thing a visitor notices about Grand Bend? The answer to that question will soon be delivered by a delegation from Saugeen Shores as part of an exchange program organized by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The program, called the First Impressions Community Exchange, involves a diverse group of business owners and residents traveling to a community similar to theirs but a few hours away. This week, Grand Bend Strip publisher Casey Lessard was among the group organized by Grand Bend Chamber of Commerce manager Chris Bregman on a Lambton Shores sponsored trip to Southampton and Port Elgin to assess the first impressions of the communities. “The first impression is an invaluable marker for communities to decide which things they need to work on first,” Bregman says. “That could be signage, or working on infrastructure. It provides guidance to the community to know which projects to move ahead with.” Captain’s Cottages owner Dinah Taylor joined the trip to assess retail and business services in Southampton, a beach town similar in size to Grand Bend. “Our observations on Highway 21 were not terribly positive, but my view of Highway 21 going into Grand Bend isn’t all that positive, either,” Taylor says. “But once we got onto the high street, which is the main retail area, we were very impressed. What they have there is very much the sort of thing we’d like to see on main street Grand Bend. “There was a huge mix of stores and services. They had a kitchen store that has everything you could want. They had a 100 mile grocery store that was like going back in time. The store had whole wheat pasta grown and manufactured in Ontario. I didn’t know you could get that stuff. They had a lingerie store that you might find in London somewhere. A sporting goods store that had kayaks for rent, lifejackets for rent, and really interesting gear for sale like snowshoes and surfboards. “Talking to people there, they said they had no drop in business this summer, and sales were actually up at the lingerie store during rainy weather.” While concerned about the lack of wheelchair access consistent throughout the town, and a lack of activities for children, Taylor came away from the experience envious.

Where’s the beach? Well, if you can read the sign, you’ll know. Chris Bregman thinks Grand Bend needs better signage saying how to get to the lake.

“They had exactly what we want, and at the right level. They gave the feeling of a comfortable year-round community where it would be nice to raise a family.” A commercial and residential property owner, chamber treasurer George Appel assessed recreational activities and was impressed, returning to Grand Bend with a sense of where village needs work. “(Saugeen Shores) presents much better. Our main street doesn’t have the look it should. The buildings need a lot of work. I don’t know how to do it, but part of the problem is the tax rate businesses have to pay and the fact that we have such a short season. The businesses don’t have the revenue to pay for remodeling.

Life’s a mess? I can help. Bob Dietrich Life’s not always perfect. Sometimes you need a helping hand to fix what’s broken. I’m a therapist, and there’s no need to be afraid. We’ll sort this out together.

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“We have the attractions they do,” he says. “We have the Pinery Park, the Playhouse, the Motorplex and the drive-in. But they don’t drive people downtown.” Appel noticed excellent signage in Port Elgin pointing visitors to the beach, which is not immediately visible the way it is in Southampton. A group of British visitors at the beach in Southampton said they stopped simply because they could see the “sea” from the highway. It’s something Chris Bregman would like to see mimicked here. “If there was a way we could make the visible from Highway 21, it would capture more first time visitors,” she says. “Whether that’s possible or not, I don’t know. Maybe clearer signage saying ‘Beach This Way’ would help.”

Strip on the Road

Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 5

You’re going to need a bigger harbour Chris Bregman would like to see Grand Bend’s harbour expand to resemble Port Elgin’s. Peter Puddicombe of Kitchener likes it. “This is quite a nice harbour,” he says. “It has all the goodies.”

And once the people are drawn in, Dinah Taylor thinks it would be nice to explain what’s significant about the area. “I think what’s missing here are the historic plaques explaining the history of our area,” she says. “Grand Bend is a historic place, and many of the people who come here don’t know the first thing about Grand Bend.” One of the key successes for Saugeen Shores is a business centre that is focused principally on local residents, with tourism – and yes, even the beach itself – secondary to local traffic; it’s almost the opposite approach to that taken in Grand Bend. “I hope the Main Street project is going to encourage a different kind of retail business,” Taylor says. “In Southampton, there was a very comfortable feeling. It was clean. The downtown was well maintained and there is a sense of pride in the community. I’m not saying that’s lacking in Grand Bend. They have a tradition of a year-round population. Our downtown doesn’t reflect that yet.” It will take some time, says Appel. “Maybe we’re being unfair comparing Grand Bend with

Saugeen Shores with the higher population and high-paid people. Retired people don’t spend as much money as people making a living with children. “They’ve got the Bruce nuclear plant with high paid people who are living there year round,” he says. “The solution is more year round people in the area. Then we have to get stores downtown that people want to go to year round. There just isn’t enough traffic downtown.” Chamber manager Chris Bregman learned a lot from the trip, and will be pushing for one change to mimic what is done in Saugeen Shores. “Their chamber takes charge of events and promoting them, and the municipality provides funds for the tourist information centre. (Seeing) the very close relationship the chamber of commerce has with the municipality; I think we could make a real difference to the economic development if we had that kind of relationship.” Bregman hopes to exchange thoughts in person with the Saugeen Shores delegation; she’s inviting them to the chamber’s annual general meeting November 12 at Hessenland.

My own private police force

Way brings Patsy to town Leisa Way returns to Grand Bend as Patsy Cline in a tribute show September 25 at the Grand Bend Legion. The performance, part of a Smile Canada tour, will raise money for the West Coast Lions Club. Way has family in the area, and met her husband while performing as Queen Guenevere opposite his King Arthur in a 1990s Huron Country Playhouse production of Camelot. Drayton Entertainment executive producer Alex Mustakas asked Way to play Patsy Cline in A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, which led to a own one-woman show that continues to tour North America. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased by calling Marg (519-238-5154) or Agnes (519-238-6267).

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Saugeen Shores has its own police force; George Appel thinks there may be a financial benefit to the idea.


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Paul Szostak Broker of Record/Owner

Office: 905-648-8002

6 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

Strip at the Races

Twenty-four competitors raced in the annual Dashwood Optimist soap box derby on Bronson Line Saturday. Above, Emily Denomme races her Herbie the Love Bug against Matt Knight-Bedour.

Dashwood’s daring downhill derby Photos by Casey Lessard

One round of races over, and the drivers (and crew) have to climb back to the top to take advantage of gravity again.

Scott Campbell of Centralia hurtles toward the finish line.

Strip Outside

Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 7

Cliff’s memory shines at Red Dog Classic Chris Gingerich (left) rejoices after winning the third annual Red Dog Classic, a three-game tournament in honour of his father Cliff. Chris has won the tournament every year, with a different partner each time. The three games are horseshoes, kubb, and holey-board, which he’s playing here. Proceeds from the tournament are split between Hockey Ministries International and the Cliff Gingerich Memorial Fund for Bluewater Community Development Foundation recreation projects. Above: David Seiling of Elmira moves to the finals with his partner Shannon. “We won bronze last year,” he says, “and we’ve been training all year for this. “No we have not!” Shannon says. “Don’t listen to him!” Right: Lee-Anne Ramer plays holey-board for bronze after dropping a horseshoe match.

Photos by Casey Lessard

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Strip in the Barn

8 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

Photos by Casey Lessard

A taste of Huron’s best A Taste of Huron culminated in a barn party at the Bayleys’ in Hensall. The event was one of the last after a week of celebrating local food and food producers. Top, Jack McLachlan of Kippen and Grace Dolmage of Winthrop dance with the Clinton Wheel ‘n’ Dealers. Left, Andrea Carpenter of London, Jamie Reis of Milverton, Vanessa Brown of Goderich, Emily Stecca of London and John Stright of Goderich enjoy the food, wine and atmosphere. Right, Mandy Mathonia of Hensall serves Len Muegge of Clinton.

Go beyond the snapshot Learn how with Casey Lessard’s photography classes. Now planning for fall session, including beginner photography and Photoshop classes.

To register, call 519-614-3614 or visit

Strip Events

Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 9

Indulging in Hollywood’s glamour Guests at the Rotary club’s sixth annual Autumn Indulgence came dressed as their favourite Hollywood character. Tickets for the event, held at the Huron Country Playhouse, sold out. And the winner is: (left) Heather Klopp as Marilyn Monroe; (above left) Norm and Myra Harris for their turn as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, and (above right) Kyle Hamilton for his Mr. Incredible.

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Strip Thoughts

10 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lessons from Saugeen Shores Milking sacred cows View from the Strip By Casey Lessard I had the pleasure of driving up the coast a few kilometers with Chris Bregman of the chamber of commerce, business owner George Appel, and Lakeshore Advance editor Lynda Hillman-Rapley Friday. We took Chris’ van to Saugeen Shores to see what we thought they were doing right and wrong. It was an eye opener, more than anything, to see how it compares to Grand Bend. That was my main focus. After spending the day in two communities, it was clear that Saugeen Shores - although a beach town, too - is more interested in the locals than the tourists. Sure, tourists come, and people I spoke with said they fill the beach, but there is no beach house, no splash pad, and no paid parking. You read that correctly. They’ve built their town around the beach, but it’s a side salad to the main course: the business centre. And there are no t-shirt or tattoo shops (nothing against them), but plenty of restaurants (not fry shacks) and bars. Just like a normal small town. Not a beach town. Think Exeter with a lake where the river is. So, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

It seems like a shame not to embrace the beach and its tourism opportunities. But they have a beach and still bring tourists. How? Big events. International tourist events. Pumpkinfest vegetables have set world records in the past. Plus their Wikipedia site says National Geographic selected the town as one of the world’s prettiest sunsets (sound familiar?). For people there, at least it seems by looking at the thriving locally focused businesses, the tourists are secondary to year-round residents. Sound good? Easier said than done. Grand Bend is a beach town, and it is a tourist draw. We don’t have a major employer like the nuclear power plant, and I doubt we want one of those here. We’re too close to London to have key year-round businesses like bookstores and movie theatres. So, what do we do? If I had my way, I’d see every downtown building owned locally with residential features to all of them. George Appel thinks main street living year-round will breed main street businesses year-round. I think he’s right. Let’s bring the tax base down low enough that people will see a profit, and let’s put by-laws into place that give the municipality some control over the appearance of main street facades. I’ve heard that Stratford does it, and look at their businesses. If it’s going to work, it will take cooperation between businesses, building owners and the municipality. Is that possible?

Submitted by Brad Harness Leader, Reform Ontario First it was the scandal at eHealth Ontario over misspent public dollars, misallocated expenses monies, and inflated contracts. This resulted in resignations and firings. Next up was the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG). More wrongdoing by the leadership with contracts and expense accounts, and that was after last year’s big blow-up over the unusually high winning ratio among the OLG’s lottery merchants. More firings and resignations. Now we hear this week of questionable contracts at yet another Ontario agency, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which has earned the disdain of many Ontario property owners due to incorrect property valuations that have lead to significant property tax hikes and liabilities. To stop these complaints, MPAC has been busy hiring consultants, it seems, which is all right. But they have been renewing and extending contracts well beyond what MPAC’s own regulations allow. In a report in the Globe & Mail, MPAC’s VP of corporate services acknowledged that its own draft audit report dated May 2009 uncovered problems with the agency’s procurement practices in 2005 and 2006. He went on to insist the report – the latest – is already out of date and such practices it pinpointed have been rectified. Maybe so.

The missteps included violating the rules for consulting work, which say that contracts can only be extended from their initial term by no more than twice the value of the original contract. The audit found that agency had extended contracts from 5 to 14 times their original value. It is good that the report in question was MPAC’s own internal audit. It is bad that MPAC is merely the latest Ontario agency to exhibit a lack of respect for taxpayers’ dollars. Government is supposed to treat such monies as sacred trusts, not sacred cows to be milked for everything from coffee to car washes, from meals on the town to dry cleaning. While ministers of the crown need to be called to account for such extensive and ongoing problems, it is clearly our premier, Dalton McGuinty, who is the one to be held to account overall. Ontario has over 600 agencies, boards and commissions, each one provided with budgets from tax coffers. True, they also provide revenues back to the government: just under five per cent of provincial government revenues annually. It is only a matter of time before more such scandals are revealed. And it is a matter that seems to be important to every voter, unless you are on an agency board or in a McGuinty cabinet post.

Mike and Bryan’s legacy lives on The annual Bryan Wiersma and Mike Franjkovic golf tournament, held June 20, saw 157 golfers raise $16,000 for various health care initiatives in the area. The money was split four ways between the North Middlesex Medical Centre, the Strathroy Memorial General Hospital Foundation for diagnostic imaging, the London Health Sciences Foundation for regional cancer research programs, and the North Middlesex Arena and Fitness Centre building fund. From left: Danielle Bruce (SMGH), Juanita St. Croix, Anne Wiersma, Peter Wiersma, Les Drury (NMAFC), Bob Scrimgeour (NMCMC), Lesley Hailstone, Maria Van Bommel (MPP), Lisa Smith (NMCMC), Erin Mitchell (LHSC), and Julie Simpson (LHSC). Publisher/Editor: Casey Lessard Advertising Sales: Casey Lessard Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 218 Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 CANADA Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781

Distribution: Joan McCullough, Rita Lessard and Casey Lessard Contributors: Rita Lessard - my mom Tom Lessard - my dad Anjhela Michielsen - social justice Jenipher Appleton - nature/birding Lance Crossley - national affairs James Eddington - fine dining Lorette Mawson - interior design Yvonne Passmore - pet training

Advertising is accepted on condition that, in the event of an error, the portion of the ad occupied by the error will not be charged for, but the balance will be paid at the usual rate. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to check their ads on first publication, and the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors in multiple insertions. The Grand Bend Strip reserves the right to reject or edit any advertisement likely to offend community standards and/or the law. All material herein, including advertising design, is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form.

Grand Bend Strip is printed every other Wednesday in the summer and monthly in the winter. For this edition, 1000 were printed with more than 600 sent directly to subscribers in the Grand Bend area, and across North America. To subscribe, use PayPal online or send a cheque: $24/year, $12 July-Oct/Nov-June Alert the Grand Bend Strip of any address changes, and to let us know if you should be but are not receiving your copy of the paper.

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2nd place Feature Series 3rd place Rural Reporting Business Writing Arts Coverage In House Ad Campaign

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Strip Thoughts

Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 11

To health and happiness Tom makes a splash Advice from Mom

Keeping the Peace

By Rita Lessard

By Tom Lessard, C.D.

Did you know that happy people are healthier than people who are always ticked off or negative? Maybe that’s why I’m so healthy. The happiest - and healthiest - time of my young life was when I was in school, so it must be true. Some of my teachers didn’t appear all that healthy. Take, for instance, my Grade 10 history teacher Miss Carter. Now there was a case of unhappiness if I ever saw one. I’m not sure what her problem was, but I assume her students were at the root of her unhealthiness. Seeing as history was a study course, and a bit of a boring one at that, most of the students weren’t too ambitious. I recall the one day after we got our test results that Miss Carter was quite upset because most of the test results were pretty bad. I’m not bragging here, but my score was the highest in the class: 65 per cent. The next highest was 50 per cent, so I can understand why she was frazzled. That day must have brought her to the end of her rope because she said we all drove her nuts and if we didn’t smarten up, she was going to jump out the classroom window. Being the class clown, I jumped up and opened the window. She was too stressed to notice my offer, but my classmates got a chuckle out of it. That’s one case where humour can save your life. Casey’s advice last week suggesting students should attend every class was right on the money, but sometimes I think teachers would prefer parents kept their children at home. My friend Diane had two sons who

Not long after Crediton’s bridge repair was finished and traffic resumed (but not back to the amount we had before the bridge was condemned), tenders were requested from all companies vying for contracts involved in the sewer project. Finally, the shovels hit the ground. No financial aid was available with no prospects of any in the future; once you start to dig, no grants are available and you are on your own. Slowly, the main drag was excavated, leaving the town a mess and traffic delayed and rerouted. “It’ll all be completed in a year,” we were told; fortunately for them, they didn’t stress which year that would be. There were plenty of engineers, foremen, heavy equipment operators, and even some labourers on the job from morning until night. Daily, they ran into unforeseen snags: underground springs, sinkholes, and unknown pipes and wires were among the surprises. By the time they were halfway through town, Centralia was almost completed (by a different company). As the project continued up to my area, as I was sitting on my porch reading a book and resting my feet and legs on cushions, I was suddenly pelted by rocks and water hurtling toward my house. I had to scramble to get my shoes on, pick up the cushions and chair and The Sunday school teacher was describing my book, open the door and squeeze inside. It how Lot’s wife looked back and was suddenly turned into a pillar of salt. “My mother looked back once while she was driving,” little Jamie contributed, “and she turned into a telephone pole.” she admitted were kids from hell; they never gave her any rest. We all lived in the same apartment building in London, and Joey and Junior were always doing something that drove everyone nuts. Joey enjoyed hanging off the third floor balcony, which always gave us heart attacks. Junior wasn’t a daredevil, but he must have had a bladder problem because he was always peeing in the apartment stairwell. The boys were in school for about a week, and I asked Diane how the boys liked it. “Not too bad,” she said, “but I’m a little upset today.” “How so,” I asked. “I’d think you’d be overjoyed to get a bit of a reprieve.” “Well, I am,” she replied, “but I just got a call from Joey’s teacher complaining about his behaviour in class. Can you imagine the gall she has? He’s only been back to school and already she’s whining.” I asked why that surprised her. “It doesn’t surprise me,” she said, “but what annoys me is that I had Joey all summer and I never called her once to complain that he was misbehaving.” The poor woman had a point. Teachers, hang in there and keep smiling. Some days have to be better than others. Stay happy and healthy.

was quite a chore and damp to boot. I looked out my window to see what happened, and saw five people laughing at my stumbling efforts while standing over a hole on the north side, watching the eruption from the water line. Someone told me they didn’t realize there was a line at that location. It just so happened that I was the only one on the street sitting outside watching the entertainment, which led me to suspect that the break was planned. What goes around, comes around. Later that year, they were working on a manhole in front of my sidewalk and the men needed some water. One of the crew went to the side of my house, took down my hose, brought it to the hole and tried to turn it on. Nothing happened. So, back he went to turn the tap up to full blast. Still nothing. I watched him return to the hole and hollered to Rita to run downstairs and turn the water on. You should have heard the hollering from the hole - no one was holding the hose! My turn to laugh. To be continued... Did you know that Exeter’s new radio station, MyFM 90.5 is on the air? Rita and I have listened for a couple of days and so far found it pleasurable. Easy listening music, local news, and talented DJs. Keep up the good work, MyFM.



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Strip Outside

12 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

Derik’s 9 do him proud

31 Carriage Lane, $589,888

Derik’s 9 took this game at the Derik Whiting tournament held this weekend in Grand Bend. Whiting died three years ago; he would have turned 28 this month. Top left, Amy Jeffrey of Grand Bend pitches for the 9. Above left, Jen Morley heads for home. Above right, Wasted Talent’s Dean Van Raay of St. Thomas makes the slide.


Homes International presents “The New Haven,” 2150 sq. ft. in prestigious Carriage Lane, Bayfield. A newly developed residential subdivision paved w/ cobblestone streets, minutes away from amenities & recreational activity. Purchase lot alone ($108,888), build to drywall stage (starting @ $199,999 $274,900) or finished starting at $398,888 (1390-2345 sq ft of quality finish) Customer chooses all finishes, flooring, kitchen, etc. All units have double car garage. Lots back onto treed creek.

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Strip Outside

Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 13

Autumn’s cavalcade explained Living in Balance By Jenipher Appleton The leaves are beginning to change with in our trees and forests? It all gets down to each passing day. It brings to mind some lines two key components: pigments and chlorophyll. of poetry from my youth. We associate autumn with reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. All of these pigments Now by the brook the maple leans exist within the deciduous leaves. However, In all his glory spread. they remain unseen because of the presence of And all the sumachs on the hills chlorophyll, which is green. Have turned their green to red. Excerpt by Wilfred Campbell of Kitchener

How it works

The nights are chilly and the misty mornings bring the sounds of migrating geese and the barbwire fence screeching of Mr. Blue Jay. The sugar maple in our back yard is quickly turning its foliage to a glorious crimson. What is the cause of all this colour change

Leaves are food factories for trees. The leaves take on water from the roots of the tree, and also carbon dioxide from the air. The tree then uses sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose, or sugar, through photosynthesis. Chlorophyll helps make photo-

synthesis happen. As long as it is present, the leaves remain green. In autumn, as the days grow shorter and the temperature begins to drop, mother nature helps the trees to take time out for a rest. As the trees begin to shut down their food factories, the green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. This in turn allows the other coloured pigments to shine through and give us our beautiful autumn palette. If the weather is cold and rainy, the colours tend to show mainly yellow and brown hues. On the other hand, if it is warm and sunny with crisp nights, the brilliant reds and oranges are more prevalent.

Evergreens and the like In autumn you may notice changes in our coniferous (evergreen) trees as well. If needles have been on the pines or spruces for two to three years, they no longer receive as much light. The tree will withdraw the chlorophyll from the needles, which in turn will change to a yellowish hue and eventually be shed from the tree. The remaining needles will stay on the tree through the winter. New needles will grow in spring. Some trees like the tamarack and European larch will shed their needles every fall and are not a true evergreen. So, get out for a walk in the autumn vistas. It will undoubtedly calm your nerves and lift your spirits!

You’ve come a long way, baby! Fido... Come... Sit By Yvonne Passmore A puppy was born. She was the smallest of the litter and, for that reason, she was named Chiclet. Cute and adorable? Not Chiclet. She was restless, busy, a scrapper for food, and would strike at your face like a cobra. This little girl seemed not to understand the meaning of no or can’t. She was independent while the other puppies were snuggly and sweet. Chiclet would lunge at your face, snag clothes with her claws, bite too hard, bully the other puppies and she thought she was the best of the best. She easily was the worst puppy I ever had and for that reason we decided to keep her. During her first year, there were many times my husband and I regretted keeping her and wondered why we chose to punish ourselves this way. My other dogs, including her mother, also seemed to have their patience pushed to their limits with her antics. I always make it a point to take a new dog to as many different homes as I can to help with that dog’s socialization. My

Miss Pia Jane

in the Port

parents usually welcomed my visits, with or without man’s best friend, until I started bringing Chiclet. Chiclet was a tornado if given the chance. She ravaged my mom’s beautiful gardens. She chased and pounced on their Bichon’s tail. Before Chiclet, my parents welcomed a visit. Begrudgingly, and I’m sure with lots of eye rolling, they allowed me to bring that tornado over in my quest to make this lunatic puppy into a well-rounded dog. Fast-forward three years. My husband and I wanted to take a mini-vacation a few weeks ago. Arrangements were made with family to care for the easy-going Great Dane and Golden Retriever. I assumed we would take Chiclet with us because her reputation preceded her. I just didn’t believe anyone would want to deal with her exercise needs and her goofiness. Amazingly my wonderful parents offered to take her so we could enjoy our time away. I was so grateful to have some time alone without dogs. As it turns out, my parents had a great time with Chiclet. My father enjoyed their walks together and my mother enjoyed spending time on the beach playing fetch. Even Moppy (the terrorized Bichon) enjoys Chiclet’s company. Chiclet was well behaved and affectionate.

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The years of work with Chiclet, while still allowing her to be who she is, had finally paid off. I didn’t do this work alone. Never giving up on her, finding ways to work with her instead of against her, redirecting her bad behaviour towards good, and having a patient and willing family have all helped to make that chaotic puppy the best dog we’ve ever had, no question. Suggestions, comments, questions, book info? Go to

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To Do List

14 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

Community/Charity Grand Bend Nurser y School is now offering five sessions a week of the Early Learning Program, a FREE high quality program designed to help prepare young children for school. Lambton County residents witih children 2.5 to 4 years old can call G.B. Nursery School at 519-238-8514

Hessenland speaking on the Taste of Huron event. New members welcome!


11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - GB CHC Octoberfest Lunch. Drop in and enjoy turkey sausage on the bun, sauerkraut, dessert and drink. $6. Entertainment featuring “Rambling Rose” Take out available if ordered by Oct. 5. Contact Tammy at 519238-6289 for details or to order lunch in TUESDAYS 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Pt Franks Comm Ctr. advance. Kids Matter every Tuesday. Join us as we crochet sleeping mats out of milk bags to Arts & Entertainment send to the children in Africa and South America. Bring your lunch, scissors and a #7 WEDNESDAYS crochet hook. Call Peggy Smith at 519-29610 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - GB Legion 5834 for details. Line Dancing 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Bingo

FRIDAYS 5 to 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Meat Draw

FRIDAYS 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. - GB Youth Centre Grand Bend Drum Circle. Contact Anita at the Youth Centre or call 519-238-8759.


3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music with The Undecided 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Horticultural Society. Brenda Campbell from Cozyns Gallery SATURDAY, OCT. 3 presents “Fall Décor Inside and Out” 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music with Cactus Jam

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion SATURDAY, OCT. 10 Sweet Dreams: A Tribute to Patsy Cline. 3 to 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Tickets $10. Call Marg 519-238-5154 or Live Music with Bob FInlay Agnes 238-6267.Everyone welcome!

Health & Fitness

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 8 to 11 a.m. - Grand Bend Legion Annual Legion Breakfast

Think you’re missing something? If you aren’t a subscriber, you will be.


Grand Bend






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MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS 8 to 9 a.m. - Lion’s Pavilion, by BMO Workout for Your Life. $8/class; $5 spouses/students. Beth Sweeney, (519) 238-5555.

3:30 p.m. - Trivitt Church, Exeter Thanksgiving Celebration. Fish fry at 5 p.m., adults $15 and children 5-12 $7. Choir MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS and orchestra: Bach cantata. Proceeds to Yoga and Pilates with Anne Chute Lioness Club. Phone 519-235-4156. 519-243-3552,



10 a.m. - GB Catholic Church 9 a.m. – Port Franks Comm. Centre Tai Chi Open House. Refreshments Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Program. served. Everyone welcome. Contact Elaine Program includes warm up, low impact aerat 238-6312 for details. obic workout, strength work and stretching. Sponsored in part by Healthy Living Lambton. Cost: Free!! Everyone welcome. 12:30 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Golden Agers Luncheon. $4 per person. Contact Cindy Maxfield, Health Promoter Speaker Molly Russell. Memberships now at the GBACHC, 519-238-1556 ext 6 to register. due. New members welcome! 7 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS Sunset Cinema (Social Film Club) pres6 to 7 p.m. - McNaughton Park ents Noel Coward film “Easy Virtue”. pavilion, Exeter Workout for Your Life. $8/class; $5 spouses/students. Beth Sweeney, (519) 238-5555. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Pinery park Grand Bend CHC visitor centre Red Cross First Aid and CPR Courses. Art in the Park.  Artwork by local artists will be on display.  For more information Contact Steve Clemens 519-238-2035 please call 519-243-1521. Monday, September 28 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC TUESDAY, OCT. 13 Mental Health Support Group. New 9:30 a.m. - Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Women’s Probus Club. Time! Contact Social Worker Lise Callahan Guest speaker is Frank I hr ig from at 519-238-1556 ext 230 for more info.

Grand Bend Strip

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 • 15

Advertise Across Ontario or Across the Country!

For more information contact Your local (519) newspaper Casey Lessard: 614-3614






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Strip in the Kitchen

16 • Thursday, September 24, 2009

A perfect pair of pear dishes Recipes by James Eddington Eddington’s of Exeter 527 Main Street, Exeter, 519-235-3030

Photos by Casey Lessard For more of James’ recipes, look for In The Kitchen under Lifestyle at: With fall’s arrival, it’s a good time to celebrate the food that falls from the trees in your backyard: pears. Here, James presents two delicious recipes that take advantage of a fruit you can easily f ind in Ontario, and possibly right at home; if you don’t have a pear tree, perhaps a friend does. The season is short, so enjoy these recipes soon!

Pear and Brie tart Puff pastry Cream cheese Brie cheese Fresh Ontario pears Butter Brown sugar Heavy cream Cut puff pastry into triangle sized pieces. Spread out triangles, leaving at least one inch between triangles. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-15 minutes until light golden in colour. Pastry will have tripled in size. Let cool for ~10 minutes. Cut or peel apart triangles horizontally along the centre of the pastry. Set aside top piece. Spread cream cheese on bottom piece. In sauté pan on medium to low heat, add 2 tsp of butter and 3 tsp of brown sugar. Thinly slice pears and add to pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes until pears are relatively softened. Remove pears and layer over cream cheese covered pastry. Add a splash of heavy cream to sauté pan to create a sauce from sugar, butter and cooked pear juices. On top of pears, add a wedge of brie. Transfer back to oven until Brie has softened 5-7 minutes. When ready to serve, place bottom pastry piece (with layers of cheese and pears) on plate. Put top piece of puff pastry on the angle opposite of bottom piece. Quickly reheat sauce in sauté pan and drizzle over top piece. Ice cream and fresh berries make a wonderful garnish.

Parsnip and Pear Soup 1 1/2 3 lb. 2 lb.

onion, diced stalk of celery, diced parsnip, diced fresh Ontario pears, diced garlic, minced white wine heavy cream 8 cups chicken stock fresh herbs (basil, thyme and bay leaf ) honey or sugar 35% cream butter In large stock pot, add 1/4 lb. of butter, then add onions and celery. Sauté over medium heat until soft (10 min), stirring periodically. Add parsnips, pears, minced garlic and 8 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour. After the hour, add basil and thyme to liking. Bring soup back to boil and add 1 cup of 35% cream and blend with hand mixer until smooth. At this point, taste soup; if it needs more seasoning do so. If it’s bland, add a little salt. If not sweet enough, this is the time to add honey and or sugar. Once added, bring soup back to boil and reblend. Then add bay leaf and let rest or serve immediately. Soup can be refrigerated for up to three days. Freezing this soup: if you plan on making a large batch and freezing, omit the heavy cream and add when reheating.

Simple, easy and tasty, the joy of Ontario’s pears.

Indulge today Ontario’s pear season is short, so take advantage of it, and indulge in these treats this week. Left: James added fried parsnip chips to the mix, and they are amazing.

Vol. 3 #8 - September 24, 2009 Grand Bend Strip  

Award winning journalism from Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada. Inside: Lawnmower racing, soap box derby, and a first impression of Saugeen Shore...

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