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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012
Christmas “Dickens” drops by for hampers will help Scrooge reading
over 150 families
Hampers make for a Merry Christmas.
Page 3 CANTATA
Music for a December evening.
LET IT SNOW
Groomers fine tune slopes.
Page B12 BAND MUSIC
The Reverend Morley Mitchell tells of the sign above the offices of Scrooge and Marley, still unchanged year’s after the latter partner’s death. The presentation of A Christmas Carol was held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Stirling last Sunday. Please see “Scrooge” on page 2
By Richard Turtle
8 Wing donates groceries.
I would think that we are also drawing some people to the location so I imagine the library is also seeing some new faces as well.” Jay went on to say that the store size is slightly smaller so they have stopped selling things like dishes and home décor and they are now staying with clothing and shoes etc. Asked about the food bank he said things are in good shape at the moment but he wanted to remind people that last January was the busiest month of the year for the food bank. He said it was the only month where they had over 60 people apply for food. He said by the end of January there will be a shortage of supplies in the food bank so any donations would be welcome. In addition to the donations made by the community of Tweed toward the toy drive, the Lions Club of Tweed was able to donate $500 to the toy drive through their monthly jamboree. The jamborees usually take place the second Friday of each month and the Lions choose a different non-profit organization to make a donation toward. The next jamboree will take place at the White Building January 11 at 7 p.m. and will feature Cathy Whalen and the original Land O’ Lakes Cruisers along with six special guests who will play along with the band.
left unopened, destined for landfill. Mitz says, unfortunately, that is most of the time. Councillor Shelby Kramp-Neuman suggested the actual figure is close to 100 per cent. “We have source separated recycling,” Mitz ex-
plained, noting it is up to the individual to clean and sort materials in order for the program to work. “It saves us all money, it speeds up the process, but it depends on a knowledgeable, co-operative citizenry.” Reeve Owen Ketcheson
Please see photos on page 3
Downtown recyclables going to the dump
EMC News - Ivanhoe Councillor Larry Mitz admits it’s not a very green program if bags of recyclables are winding up in local landfill sites. But such is the case with much of the packaging disposed of in recycling con-
Better Health Lives Here
EMC News - Tweed - The Tweed Lions Club in partnership with the Tweed Salvation Army have once again finished another successful toy drive and although the amount of toys collected is down a little, the number of families who have applied for a Christmas hamper is the same as last year. Wendy Lamb, of the Tweed Lions, said there were six locations that helped with the toy drive including the Tweed Legion, The Tweed News, Home Hardware, Tweed Motor Car Sales, The Food Company and Bush’s Furniture. Wendy wanted to thank all those who donated for their generosity. Jay Crewson is the general manager of the Tweed Salvation Army and said this will be the first year they will be distributing the Christmas Hampers out of the Hungerford Hall across from the Valu Mart Store in Tweed, which will take place on December 21. Jay said they will be packing the toys early in the week. Jay was asked how the new store location for the Salvation Army on Metcalf Street is working out and he said, “The new store is working out very well and we are seeing a lot of new people we have not seen before in the store. I think it has a lot to do with being beside the new library and this is drawing a lot of people to Metcalf Street.
Quinte Mall Belleville
tainers in Madoc’s downtown. Mitz explained at the most recent meeting of Centre Hastings municipal council that, in response to a query he received regarding clear bags for recycling, he reported that downtown recycling containers are emptied by municipal staff
rather than Quinte Waste Solutions, which handles household recycling, so the rules are slightly different. Bags downtown, he says, are sorted when they contain only clean, recyclable materials. Any “contaminated” bags, most often by food and beverages, are
Please see “Recyclables” on page 3
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Members of the St. Andrew’s Choir, including the Reverend Morley Mitchell (centre) provided the music during last weekend’s presentation of A Christmas Carol, held at the Presbyterian Church in Stirling. By Richard Turtle
EMC Entertainment Stirling - As he stepped to the microphone in top hat and tails, the Reverend Morley Mitchell prepared to tell a story that for many has become a part of the Christmas season. And for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church, the event held last Sunday night has become “a budding tradition,” Mitchell says. “Marley was dead to begin with,” and so started the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, back by popular demand after an inaugural reading at the church last year. And he admits the presentation,
Chief Caddick and all the members of Stirling-Rawdon Fire Department would like to Wish everyone a very Safe and Happy Holiday.
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made complete by period costume provided by Alice Fleming and Ardith Irvine, has been something of a learning experience, requiring a degree of research prior to the reading. About 60 parishioners and guests attended the evening reading that also included the singing of several Christmas carols by the St. Andrew’s Choir. Mitchell also thanked his musical contributors, “Beth Sharp and the Chorus for their embracing of the night’s music.” Author Charles Dickens also fancied himself an orator and actor, Mitchell explained, preparing the reading version of A Christmas Carol for his own purposes. In 1868, the reading text was made available to charitable groups and the story of greed, selfishness and ultimate redemption quickly became a classic. Divided into four staves, or reading sections, Mitchell offered a compelling telling before breaking between each to join the choir for musical interludes of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Good King Wenceslas and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, among others. Following the presentation, which included a good will offering, guests were invited for refreshments, provided by the ladies of St. Andrew’s.
The Reverend Morley Mitchell, in top hat and tails, greets parishioners prior to his reading of A Christmas Carol at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church last weekend. The reading of the Dickens Christmas classic came on the request of parishioners who attended last year.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
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Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
Recyclables going to Christmas hampers will help over 150 families the dump Continued from page 1
The Tweed Lions Club presented a $500 cheque to the Salvation Army Toy drive. Lions President Art Pym (l) and Vice President Christine Ouellette (r) gave the donation to Assistant Supervisor of the Salvation Army Jo-Anne Kirsopp. R0011819957
Continued from page 1
has some serious concerns about regulations governing the installation of solar farms. â€œI have strong feelings about that,â€? Ketcheson said during the meeting, raising comments made by North Stormont Township Mayor Dennis Fife where he called such projects a waste of farmland. â€œThere is no way we should be putting solar or wind farms on Class 1, 2 and 3 agricultural land,â€? Ketcheson says. Council Mike Kerby says Madoc firefighters deserve a tip of the hat following a presentation by officials from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) at a recent Mutual Aid meeting. Fire departments have a history of involvement with the Ontario MDA, he says, participating in annual fund raisers and other events. And Centre Hastings Station 2 has been one of the programâ€™s top donors with a total of just over $87,000 donated. This year Station 2 contributions amounted to $2,800, Kerby
said. As the year wound down, elected officials in Centre Hastings paid tribute to some of their long-serving employees, celebrating their years of service prior to the close of last weekâ€™s regular meeting of council. Reeve Owen Ketcheson commended the municipal staffers for their ongoing efforts before certificates and other gifts were presented by various members of council. Among those recognized were several members of the Centre Hastings Fire Department including Garrett Carleton (five years), Beth McBeath, Steve Clarke, Andrew Wood, Greg Nicholson (15 years), Derek Snider, Doug Wood, Larry Carswell (20 years), Dennis Derry, Chris Papertzian (25 years) and Bill Pollock (30 years). Municipal workers honoured included Christine Jones (15 years), Garry Chapman, Ralph Northey (20 years), Tammy Gardiner (25 years), Tom Piszczek and Doug Parks (30 years).
MUNICIPALITY OF TWEED MUNICIPAL NEWS www.twp.tweed.on.ca
FrEE PUBLIC SKATING There will be free public skating at Tweed Arena during the Christmas break on the following dates: Friday, December 28 - 11 am to 3 pm Wednesday, January 2 -12 pm to 3 pm Friday, January 4 - 11 am to 3 pm Sponsored by Tweed Kiwanis and Tweed Parks & Recreation. Donations to Tweed Food Bank welcome. Wednesday morning Parents & Tots skating on January 2nd only. hOLIDAY hOUrS - MUNICIPAL DEPArTMENTS Municipal Office CLOSED - December 24 at noon CLOSED - December 25 & 26 OPEN - December 27 & 28 - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm CLOSED - December 31 at noon CLOSED - January 1 OPEN - January 2 - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Tweed Public Library OPEN - December 22 - 10:00 am to 3:00 pm CLOSED - December 25, 26 & 27 OPEN - December 28 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm OPEN - December 29 - 10:00 am to 3:00 pm CLOSED - January 1
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Waste Disposal Site OPEN - December 24 - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm CLOSED - December 25 & 26 OPEN - December 29 - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm CLOSED - January 1 OPEN - January 2 - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm OPEN - January 5 - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tweedâ€™s Christmas Toy Drive wrapped at Bushâ€™s Furniture and seen here with the mountain of donated toys are store owner Bob Bush, Lions volunteer Rosy Shiner and Salvation Army General Manager Jay Crewson.
Members of the Centre Hastings Fire Department were presented with long-service awards last week by members of municipal council. Pictured are (back l-r) Greg Nicholson, Garrett Carleton, Andrew Wood, Steve Clarke, (front l-r) Doug Wood, Bill Pollock and Chris Papertzian.
Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
Local Food for Learning program gets a boost
By Judy Backus
EMC News - Marmora Kellie Brace, Food For Learning Co-ordinator for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, arrived at TD Canada Trust on the morning of December 12 where she gladly accepted a $3,000 cheque from Michelle Brown, the Branch Manager
of Customer Services. The corporate donation will be divided equally among the three local schools for use in their very popular breakfast programs. In addition to the donation, TD staff have become involved in the program itself, with a representative arriving weekly at both Sa-
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Siobhan Hughes, representing Sacred Heart School, said, “The school very much appreciates the donation. It’s a worthwhile cause, and at With the Marmora TD Canada Trust’s Christmas Angel Tree and its resulting gifts in the background, some point over the year, Kellie Brace, Food for Learning Co-ordinator for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, accepted a $3,000 every child will participate donation from Michelle Brown, the Branch Manager of Customer Services. The funds will be divided equally in the Food For Learning among the three local schools for use in their breakfast programs. From the left are: Kathi McBride, Janice Storms, Michelle Brown, Kellie Brace, Siobhan Hughes and Brenda Reid. Photo: Judy Backus Program.” It was pointed out by Janice Storms of Earl Prentice School, “The kids love to attend the program and interact with each other, talking and visiting over breakfast. It’s a nice atmosphere and everyone is welcome.” Marmora Senior School’s By Kate Everson three nights. fighter Chuck Naphan. “We Brenda Reid commented, EMC News - Batawa “We picked up food from drove the fire truck by 700 “The programs couldn’t run The 17th annual Santa Tour Glen Miller, Glen Ross, Pine houses.” GT64_ChristmasAd_120712pf.pdf 1 07/12/12 1:58 PM if it wasn’t for community collected an awesome three Acres, Batawa up to FrankHe said other fire stations support.” and a half tons of food in ford,” said Batawa fire- in Quinte West also had food drives, each for their own area. “Our food goes to Stirling Food Bank, Frankford Lions Christmas Sharing and Trenton Care and Share Food Bank,” he added. Santa Claus was on the fire truck giving out candy canes to children and hugging mothers. “Santa is really popular with the kids,” he said with a smile. “Thanks to Smylies Independent who donated the bags and candy canes,” he added. “Last year Sears donated the bags. It’s a big help.” He said the community has been extremely generous with their donations. Wayne Brooks had a frontend loader full of food. In Glen Ross one resident gave them four boxes of food and toys and another lady handed over a $100 cheque and another gave $50. “And one friendly homeowner donated a bottle of Jamaican Rum for the boys,” Chuck said.
Batawa Firefighters collect food and save lives
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It’s a nice atmosphere and everyone is welcome.”
cred Heart and Earl Prentice schools to help prepare breakfast for the children. As Brown commented, “TD prides itself on helping the community through various programs and fund raising such as the breakfast clubs, food bank and the Christmas Angel Tree which provides gifts for local children with the help and support of the community.” Branch Manager Kathi McBride added, “It’s important for us to be involved in the community.”
Continued on page 5
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Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
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Stirling Parade float winners Fine Line Design and the Trent Valley Shriners donated their prizes to the Community Cupboard food bank. Pictured are (from left) Food Bank Chair Heather Bailey, Jim Pollock, Rosanna Clark, Justin Monk and Kim Finkle.
$270 collected from float registration and divided between the winners. Prizes were awarded for the favourite private float (Fine Line Design) and the favourite non-profit float (Trent Valley Shriners) with the winners donating their full prizes to the food bank. Organizers also wish to thank judges Jean Lucas, Nikki Finkle and Judy Sarles.
Doug Buck is the longest serving firefighter in Batawa, there since 1953. Photo: Kate Everson Continued from page 4
Despite the hardships, volunteers love their jobs. “They get a sense of helping their community,” he explains. The Batawa Fire Station started in 1941 by Mr. and Mrs. Bata for the village of Batawa right across from the Bata Shoe Factory. Doug Buck has been a firefighter here the longest, starting in 1953, having worked at the shoe factory since 1946. He is now 86 and still helps out, maintaining the fire trucks. He is a World War II veteran. “He’s the only one who can fix the 1941 truck,” Chuck says. He’s also the only one who can still fit into his original uniform!” “They won’t let me leave!” Doug exclaims. The station has two tankers, a pumper, a rescue van and a four-wheel Gator the firefighters paid for by parking cars at Waterfront. The Gator is handy for getting
into backroads such as the nearby ski hill or Bleasdell Boulder, and also for grass fires or forest fires. Chuck notes that volunteer firefighters get the same training as career firefighters. The 18 firefighters at Batawa are all volunteers, the same as six fire stations in Quinte West. Station One in Trenton has a mix of 18 volunteer and 14 career firefighters. All are part of Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid system involving 19 municipalities and 47 fire stations. The training is difficult but some women have done it, getting equal treatment and pay. “We had one woman here once but she moved away,” Chuck said. He notes that in Coe Hill the chief is a woman and there are four women on the First Responder Medical Team.
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Add to the list of donors the latest winners in the Stirling Santa Claus Parade float contest. Rosanna Clark and Justin Monk from Fine Line Design, along with Shriner Jim Pollock, donated their cash prizes to the local charity just in time for Christmas. Economic Development Officer Elisha Maguire says the BIA sponsored contest was a huge success with
Firefighters collect food and save lives
Collecting food at Christmas is just one thing the firefighters do. Chuck adds that a lot of time is spent training the volunteers, getting familiar with new equipment and techniques needed for fighting fires and responding to medical calls and motor vehicle accidents on the 401. “It’s interesting work,” he said. “I’ve been a firefighter here for 30 years. The hardest part is the training. It’s non-stop. You have to stay current.” He says volunteer firefighters do not get a lot of pay for what they do. In fact, some of them lose money, by the time they sign off at work and pay for their own gas. It’s also very inconvenient. Pagers go off in the middle of the night, or even on Christmas Day. “One time I had to leave my wife in a restaurant,” he said. “I ruined a $500 suit fighting a tire fire.”
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EMC News - Stirling Heather Bailey says things are looking up at the local food bank. A slowdown in donations quickly turned around recently when Community Cupboard officials, including Bailey, the food bank’s chair, made a plea for donations after a long dry spell. Donations dropped drastically early this year as a result of the food bank receiving a cheque for $10,000 as part of the community’s Kraft Hockeyville prize. Most of that money, however, was already spent before the cheque arrived, she says. And a month before Christmas, with frighteningly bare shelves, Bailey says community response has been excellent. “Ever since it was in the paper, it’s been great,” she says, significantly raising the agency’s profile at a critical time. And the community response has been has been significant with several businesses taking part and numerous individuals making valued contributions.
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Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
Letters to the editor Wyley responds to “having been told”! Dear Editor, That was a good letter by Mr. Sayeau responding to Wyley’s failure to appreciate teachers’ unions. It is right to point out the good
that unions have done in the past for workers at all levels. The debate, however, concerns present fiscal realities. When is enough enough, and what should modern
Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
unions be doing for their constituents? To set the record straight I have several degrees, CPA, CA, and HBA (Ivey School of Business). Since
I have chosen to work for, and hang around with, truck drivers, farmers and, yes, many teachers, I don’t choose to broadcast those “qualifications” much. That extensive training, however, would have meant (when I was younger) that I could teach. But I would have been bad at it, probably very bad, thus my admiration for those who are good at it. I have admitted to many teachers that my biggest problem is jealousy, both of their income level and their obvious ability to motivate youngsters. There was one major error in Mr. Sayeau’s letter which puts the whole argument in perspective. Teachers pensions are 50% funded by the Ontario government, not, as he contended, financed solely by teachers themselves. This, of course, means that we, (the great unwashed), have a distinct and very meaningful stake in “the provision of pension security” to our teacher brethren. We DO have a huge voice in “matters’ teacher.” The relevant data can be found at <OTPP. com/documents/10179/98 935Financial+Statement>. This is probably mailed out annually to every teacher, but it’s over forty pages long and is tough slogging even for someone who used to make a living preparing that stuff. Known universally now as “Teachers,” it is a contrib-
utory defined benefit pension plan co-sponsored by the Province of Ontario and Plan members. It is probably the best pension plan in Canada. I wish I could get in on their 9.7 per cent average return since inception in 1989; I would sleep a lot better at night. But, (there’s always a “but” nowadays), the best plan in Canada had a deficit at December 31, 2011, of $45,490,000,000! Wait a minute Wyley, you’re pointing to the audited statements and they show net assets available for benefits of $117.1 billion, but the accrued pension benefits are $162.6 billion! And in spite of stellar investment returns, (13 per cent, 14 per cent and 11 per cent from 2009 to 2011 respectively), the fund has lost ground by a total of 14.8 billion dollars in those three most recent years. Yikes! And the Province of Ontario is a little short right now and is unable to make up the shortfall. It won’t please older retired teachers to hear it but just like everywhere else in society the younger generation are now being asked to make up for “the sins of their fathers.” Young teachers’ contribution levels keep increasing, and so, in lockstep, does ours (Ontario). The youngsters have been told to get out there on the picket line while blissfully unaware of a forty-five and a half billion
dollar deficit being deferred to their detriment because we don’t have any money. Sound familiar? You can blame it on mismanagement, or outside influences, or even my “uninformed opinions,” as Mr. Sayeau chose to do, but there is a harsh reality out there that we all had better heed. Ontario’s mathematical geniuses and education gurus have screwed up big time and their plan is “actuarially” under water. While the first in, first out pension recipients are golden in their retirement ecstasy, the youngsters have to hope investment returns are huge. Or, we could raise their contribution level to 20 per cent and all taxes by 20 per cent; that would solve it too. And finally, I have been writing this stuff for 30 years and I prefer to give people a laugh. Unfortunately, however, laughing is impossible with this one, but that is why my pen name is spelled Wyley, not Wily. I know that even my teacher friends would not denounce me as “someone who is cunning and deceitful.” So there you have it. All those in favour of a 20 per cent tax increase raise their hands. You old teachers at the back there, don’t be ducking your heads! Yours truly, Wyley Canuck, aka Ken Leavens, Stirling
Guns and culture in America Is published weekly by Record News Communications, A division of Performance Printing Limited 244 Ashley Street P.O. Box 155 Foxboro, Ontario K0K 2B0 Local: 613-966-2034 Fax: 613-966-8747 This edition serves the following communities: Comfort Country Land O’Lakes Area Vice President & Regional Publisher Mike Mount Regional General Manager Peter O’ Leary Group Publisher Duncan Weir Publisher John Kearns ext 570 email@example.com Editor Terry Bush ext 510 firstname.lastname@example.org Northeast News Terry Bush ext 510 email@example.com Advertising Consultant Jennet Honey ext 509 firstname.lastname@example.org Classified Heather Naish ext 560 email@example.com 1-888-Word Ads Deadline: Monday 3:00pm Distribution Manager David McAdams ext 513 firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Glenda Pressick ext 520 email@example.com Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? Write the editor firstname.lastname@example.org
EMC Editorial Here’s an interesting statistic: the second-highest rate of gun ownership in the world is in Yemen, a largely tribal, extremely poor country. The highest is in the United States, where there are almost as many guns as people: around 300 million guns
for 311 million people. But here’s another interesting statistic: in the past 25 years, the proportion of Americans who own guns has fallen from about one in three to only one in five. However, the United States, unlike Yemen, is a rich country, and the average American gun owner has four or five firearms. Moreover, he or she is utterly determined to keep them no matter what happens. What has just happened in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, is the seventh massacre this year in which four or more people were killed by a lone gunman. The fact that this time twenty of the victims were little girls and boys six or seven years old has caused a wave of revulsion in the United States, but it is not likely to lead to new laws on gun controls. It’s not even clear that new laws would help. Half the firearms in the entire world are in the United States. The rate of murders by gunfire in the United States is almost twenty times higher than the average rate in 22 other populous, high-income countries where the frequency of other crimes is about the same. There is clearly a connection between these two facts, but it is not necessarily simple cause-and-effect. Here’s one reason to suspect that it’s not that simple: the American rate for murders of all kinds, shooting, strangling, stabbing, poisoning, pushing people under buses, etc., is seven times higher than it is in those other 22 rich countries. It can’t just be guns. And here’s another clue: the rate of firearms homicides in Canada, another mainly English-speaking country in North America with a similar political heritage, is about half the American rate and in England itself it is only one-thirtieth as much. What else is in play here? Steven Pinker, whose book The Better Angels of Our Nature is about the longterm decline in violence of every kind in the world, is well aware that murder rates have not fallen in the United States in the past century. (Most people don’t believe that violence is in decline anywhere, let alone almost everywhere. That’s why he wrote the book.) And Pinker suggests an explanation for the American exception. In medieval Europe, where everybody
Letter to the editor
from warlords to peasants was on his own when it came to defending his property, his rights and his “honour,” the murder rates were astronomically high: 110 people per 100,000 in 14th-century Oxford, for example. It was at least as high in colonial New England in the early 17th century. By the mid-20th century, the murder rate in England had fallen more than a hundredfold: in London, it was less than one person per 100,000 per year. In most Western European countries it was about the same. Whereas the U.S. murder rate is still up around seven people per 100,000 per year. Why? Pinker quotes historian Pieter Spierenburg’s provocative suggestion that “democracy came too early” to America. In European countries, the population was gradually disarmed by the centralised state as it put an end to feudal anarchy. Only much later, after people had already learned to trust the law to defend their property and protect them from violence, did democracy come to these countries. This is also what has happened in most other parts of the world, although in many cases it was the colonial power that disarmed the people and instituted the rule of law. But in the United States, where the democratic revolution came over two centuries ago, the people took over the state before they had been disarmed—and kept their weapons. They also kept their old attitudes. Indeed, large parts of the United States, particularly in the southeast and southwest, still have an “honour” culture in which it is accepted that a private individual may choose to defend his rights and his interests by violence rather than seeking justice through the law. The homicide rate in New England is less than three people per 100,000 per year; in Louisiana it is more than fourteen. None of this explains the specific phenomenon of gun massacres by deranged individuals, who are presumably present at the same rate in every country. It’s just that in the United States, it’s easier for individuals like that to get access to rapid-fire weapons. And, of course, the intense media coverage of every massacre gives many other crazies an incentive to do the same, only more of it. But only one in 300 murders in the United States happens in that kind of massacre. Most are simply the result of quarrels between individuals, often members of the same family. Private acts of violence to obtain “justice,” with or without guns, are deeply entrenched in American culture, and the murder rate would stay extraordinarily high even if there were no guns. Since there are guns everywhere, of course, the murder rate is even higher. But since the popular attitudes to violence have not changed, that is not going to change either.
Fed up with professional hockey politics
Dear Editor, As a somewhat curious bystander to the current toe-totoe battle between the National Hockey League owners and the NHL Players Association, I find it tough to project the maximum dose of yuletide cheer at this time of year while the powers that be systematically trash the most historic professional sports organization on the face of the globe. I admit that in the past decade or so my vested middle-age interest in the NHL on-ice product has dwindled to an occasional glimpse on the television screen during channel surfing routines for a number of personal reasons. Too many dismal southern U.S. franchises who consistently finish each season in the red ink section of league financial ledgers, misguided game officials signaling phantom foul infractions to bloat power-play scoreboard totals and stadium ticket costs higher than most people’s monthly mortgage payment are just a trio of said problems. Third-line NHL skaters earning way more cash than their stick-handling abilities warrant would be another irresponsible predicament which quickly comes to mind. At this frustrated point in time, I am in firm belief that the two sides sitting at opposite ends of the negotiating table are to be equally blamed for the stalemate. Both have accounted for endless moments of legal mumbo jumbo, macho chest-
puffing and have spouted daily mouthfuls of mindless misinformation. Their mutual insistence that the average money-paying ticket holder’s plight is foremost on their minds when staging such lock out travesties is laughable at best. Unfortunately, as in most pro sports whether it is the game staged on the playing surface or in the executive boardroom, “winning” is the sole definitive goal. Meanwhile the cancellation of multiple live events, and possibly even an entire season, continues to mount. My sound advice for the hockey-starved Quinte area resident would include a regular excursion to local arena venues to enjoy the great Canadian game in its most honest simplistic form. The Belleville Bulls, Wellington Dukes, Trenton Golden Hawks and a surrounding cluster of Empire “B” junior clubs all display a solid night of entertainment at a minimal price to patrons; not to mention the hundreds of boys and girls minor hockey associations inside the neighbouring population who play for the absolute love of the game. It is a far better solution than staying glued to the TV monitor while being held hostage by a collection of stalemated, spoiled-rotten millionaires who can not agree on the proper logistics needed to split an annual profit of $3.3 billion. Kevin Solmes, Stirling
My two cents By Terry Bush
EMC Editorial - With teachers and the province’s Bill 115 in the news, one would almost think that religion was being discussed around the water cooler. The battle lines have been drawn; the pickets are out. People have their dander up as they do every time teachers are involved in any sort of protest. This current labour dispute doesn’t really have anything to do with money but why bother letting the facts get in the way of a good rant. This dispute, from the teachers’ point of view, is about their right to negotiate. Because taxpayers pay teachers’ salaries, we always need to put our two cents worth into any labour dispute. The general public has a pretty good idea what teachers earn, how many holidays they receive, and their benefits. Other public servants earn comparable or better wages but most government employees are hidden away in the background unlike teachers, who are front and centre in everyone’s lives at one time or another. Could jealousy for the perks of someone else’s chosen profession sometimes colour a person’s perception of a situation enough to forget the facts and go off on a tangent? Most certainly. It’s only natural to get worked up when someone who is better off than you are complains about anything. Does anyone think a farmer working 70 hours per week, cares one bit that a teacher has to mark papers at home? Does a small business owner working long hours six days a week for less than a teacher’s starting wage, really want to know how tough it is for teachers? Do low wage earners with no benefits or pensions who have to work well into their 60s really feel badly for a teacher who can retire with a pension in their early 50s? Chances are slim. Empathy is hard to muster at times. Past labour disputes always have a way of resurfacing in people’s minds and paying for childcare during a one-day work stoppage doesn’t sit well with parents especially this time of year. But at the same time, most people have a soft spot for teachers who have helped them along the way. A good teacher is worth his or her weight in gold. I look back fondly on many of my teachers from both public and secondary school, who imparted upon me a love of language, geography and art. Here I am today, working at a newspaper, spending my holidays visiting museums around the world and I owe a big thank-you to those who inspired me to achieve my goals in life. Like everyone else, I also had some real duds, especially in high school; educators who couldn’t communicate with students and often didn’t really seem to care. They were just putting in time collecting a salary but why would anyone think that teaching would be different than any other profession. Some people are motivated, some aren’t. Some strive to be the best they can be, others are along for the ride. I have friends and family members who teach and there definitely is no real consensus there about the demands of the job. One friend freely admits he summers on the east coast as soon as his children are out of class. Another takes courses in the summer to stay on top of things because she wants to become a better teacher. Yet another moans and groans about how difficult her part-time teaching job is. Of the three, my sympathies would definitely lean toward the teacher who puts an effort into bettering herself because she will be the one her students remember in the decades to come. My aunt was one of those teachers. She lived for her job and the children she taught at a time when teachers didn’t make much money. She took courses during the summer while finding time to help on the family farm. She was involved in organizing school choirs because she loved music and the sound of children’s voices. Like many teachers today, she loved and was inspired by the children she taught. She passed away last week at the age of 88. It wasn’t a shock as she’d suffered from Alzheimer’s for quite some time. It was a real shame though because she’d gone back to school at Queen’s at the age of 75 to fulfill her goal of attaining the degree she’d started before she went to teacher’s college. She was two courses shy when Alzheimer’s made it impossible to continue. When we got into the limos to head to the cemetery after her service on Wednesday, it was almost as if she’d planned her final hurrah. On one side of St. Paul’s Church in Stirling was the Stirling Intermediate School. On the other side of the church, a few metres down the road sat Stirling Primary School. School and church were mainstays in her life. As the procession started down the street to the cemetery, we all noticed teachers picketing in front of the school. As we approached, the signs dropped one by one until all were down. Many of the male teachers removed their hats. Everyone faced the hearse and limos. The same thing happened farther down the road. Every teacher stopped picketing as the hearse rolled past. All of them showed their respect and our family were definitely touched by their actions. The picketers didn’t know it was one of their own headed to her final resting place but it seemed a fitting sendoff having them there. My Aunt Keitha would have been proud to be among them. We were. Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
Letters to the editor
Writers are missing the point
A donation in your name shall be given to the Memorial War Museum in Ottawa.
r from you . s e comrad
MARMORA LEGION Branch #237
Dear Editor, I am a retired father, union executive, business owner and pensioner. I find it interesting to read the views of enlightened people such as Wyley and Mr. Sayeau. Both are expressing well thought out and partial opinions. However, in my view, both miss the main point. Our government, the people we elect, are fail-
ing miserably in governing our province. They have spent us into a large hole and as Wyley rightly points out the cupboard is bare. Our representatives in the past have negotiated poorly, given in to large demands to avoid strikes and to ensure re-election. Now they are running from a battle by passing Bill 115 hoping the masses will think they are managing well. Instead they are once again running. They prorogued parliament to avoid other issues as well as this one. I believe Mr. Sayeau is correct: most citizens have benefitted from our unions. Unions do negotiate and gain where possible many benefits for their members. The key, though, is where possible. Businessmen negotiate to keep money in their ownerâ€™s pockets and businesses must be profitable. In the past the economy was booming, money was plentiful. Unions took advantage as is their right
and many gains were made. The government was slow in rewarding the public service and militant unions were the order of the day. Our elected representatives caved and many benefits were won. Now the economy has tanked, the tax base has shrunk and there is no money. What has to happen? The unions by definition must protect their members. The government has no money. The civil servants who direct or guide our government are beneficiaries indirectly or directly of the unions. Our representatives are politicians and are there because they avoid conflict. So they run for the hills. Pass laws and keep our/your kids in school. One point that Mr. Sayeau makes is that teachers do all this extra work after hours, i.e. marking papers, doing report cards. I would ask him when he thinks the business owner does his books, the worker studies for his qualification
exams, the builder studies his plans or sharpens his tools? I would suggest it is generally after hours. If the earnings are worth the effort and time you do it, otherwise you get out of the pot. I suggest it is time that our politicians did what we elect them for, govern. Make the hard decisions. I also think that our government employees should face reality and make the concessions needed. The whinging and vitriol is very boring. The public relations are abysmal. Negotiate what is allowed. If teachers feel they must, cut out the extracurricular activities. We did not have them when I was a child. Parents used to volunteer and kids went to Cubs, Scouts, CGIT and participated in local sports. Teachers taught. Now it is time for our leaders to lead responsibly. Jack Pollock, Stirling
The rhetoric continues from Dyer Dear Editor, After reading Gwynne Dyerâ€™s latest epistle, â€œDead, Dead, Dead: The Middle East peace process,â€? I simply had to reply to the typically far left rhetoric. Not once in his â€œenlightenedâ€? broadside about how the Israelis are killing the so-called peace process did Dyer mention the terrorist group Hamas. Must have slipped Dyerâ€™s mind that Hamasâ€™ avowed objective is the annihilation of the entire country of Jews. He must also have forgotten the reckless firing of thousands of rockets ran-
domly into Israeli civilian populations. So much for a balanced editorial. So much for the Palestiniansâ€™ desire to create a two-state solution. Dyer comes across as most of the other proHamas supportersâ€”dedicating their criticism of Israelâ€™s horrifying decision to build homes in East Jerusalem but simply ignoring a terrorist group threatening the extinction of an entire race. Hamas doesnâ€™t want a two-state solution. It wants to exterminate every last Jewish man, woman and child on the planet. If Dyer doesnâ€™t recognize
that fact, why do readers believe anything else he has to say? Rolly Ethier, Campbellford
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Northeast EMC - Thursday, December 20, 2012
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