Letters – Our readers write: Spring 2010

Letters published in the Spring 2010 edition of In The Hills magazine.

March 21, 2010 | | Back Issues | Departments | Letters, Our Readers Write | Spring 2010

Letters published in the Spring 2010 edition of In The Hills magazine.

Local Heroes

As inveterate readers of The Globe and Mail’s “Lives Lived,” we can only think of your second annual coverage of Local Heroes as “Lives Being Lived” and were thrilled to see their return.

Lives lived and being lived are well deserved tributes to the lifelong contributions and passions of each individual, past and present! They deserve to be recognized and thank you for doing just that.
Sheilagh Crandall & Sarah Crandall Haney, Caledon

Jen and I were really honoured to be selected as Local Heroes. We are in such good company – there are some incredible people in our community.

Thanks to Jeff Rollings for writing the series and all the extra work he put into it.

“Local Heroes: Ten Extraordinary People,” by Jeff Rollings (Winter 2009)

It is a really good way to promote all the causes and issues that so many of us care about in the community.

We do know that everybody reads In The Hills because of the comments we hear on different pieces.

On a personal note, I am sure I am going to take a lot of ribbing from my local girlfriends for the “Supperhero” headline, but it will give them a good laugh. Thanks also to photographer Pete Paterson. He is a genius with the camera!
Karen Hutchinson, Caledon

Thank you for the lovely article and kind words Jeff Rollings wrote about my daughter, Jade Scognamillo, in your Local Heroes article. It is an honour for her to be considered a hero – she certainly doesn’t see herself that way!

I enjoy reading In The Hills every season. Keep up the great work! Headwaters is such a wonderful place to live, and we feel blessed to have found it when we moved from England!
Jane Scognamillo, Caledon

What a great magazine. The information about the Local Heroes was amazing. It is so neat to read about people you sort of know. Also, the book reviews and just about everything else were great. We enjoy all the issues, but especially this one.
Deanna Ruple, by email

Editor’s note: We received this additional information from Jane Helie, one of the “Kind Hearted Cat Herders,” featured in Local Heroes: “Anyone wishing to assist one day a week, donate toward the cost (approx. $200/ month) of food, or provide old lawnchair cushions, please contact Jane Helie at [email protected].”

Olympic Fever: The Aftermath

Wow, what an experience! I was lucky enough to be selected as an Olympic torchbearer. My allocated slot for the relay was on the day following Orangeville, Dec 29, in Thornbury.

“Olympic Fever Comes to Orangeville,” by Cecily Ross (Winter 2009)

It was a bitterly cold day with strong winds, road closures and blowing snow hampering our journey north at 4 a.m. (Special wind guards were fitted to the torches to protect the flame.)

I soon realized that all the torchbearers were running far from their home communities, and there was an overwhelming feeling of warmth and friendship. The staff were well organized and great. Our team and the public of Meaford and Thornbury were open-hearted, cheering and smiling and snapping photographs.

It is truly wonderful that ordinary people are given this opportunity. My family came to Canada in 1997, and be came proud Canadians in 2002.

I am not an athletic person now, but my childhood dream was to be a gym teacher. All this changed with an illness when I was 16. Since then I have lived a fast-paced life. I work as collections manager at Dufferin County Museum and Archives. My husband and I give back to the community through our popular What’s On website which we have run entirely on volunteer hours for nearly ten years.

My job now is to share this wonderful experience back with the community.
Alison Hird, Caledon

Editor’s note: Alison’s torch has been acquired by Dufferin County. It can be seen at Dufferin County Museum. See her photos on our Flickr photostream (click here).

I loved your article and pictures on the Orangeville Olympians. However, I was surprised that you failed to mention one of Orangeville’s most successful female Olympians, Janine Rankin. She went to two Olympics, 1988 and 1992, for gymnastics.

She has two world-recognized moves on the balance beam that are named after her (Rankin 1 and Rankin 2) and that have never been duplicated.
Robert Abbott (Janine’s husband),
Proton Station

I used to love the Olympics and found them very moving. But I’ve lost all interest in them, mainly because of the United States’ need to win the most medals and the use of drugs. It’s impossible for me to believe that most winners aren’t cheating – it’s the ones who can hide their use who don’t get caught.

I feel sorry for young athletes who are losing the interest of the public because of this trend.
Gloria Hildebrandt, Halton


In the winter issue, there was an error in the caption accompanying the photograph of Olympian Jay Hayes. He and his family company, Hayes Co, are no long affiliated with the Thornbury Equestrian Park.

The Collingwood Horse Shows moved to the Nepean National Equestrian Park in 2008, running the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments; National Open August 11–15; and National Tournament August 18–22, 2010.

Please visit hayesco.ca for more information.

The Highland Railroad

It is well known that the Highland Rail Group’s anticipated rail line through the Town of Orangeville will be used for transporting trains heavy with aggregate product from the Highland Companies’ proposed and unprecedented 2,400 acres, 200-foot-deep mine in Melancthon Township.

“High Stakes in the High County,” by Tim Shuff (Autumn 2009)

Trains will travel through Orangeville south to Toronto and north to Owen Sound where gravel will presumably go on ships and out of Canada… and the profits will go to a faceless Boston-based hedge fund.

Orangeville citizens need to carefully consider what an active rail line, with a busy schedule, carrying heavy materials through their streets, many of which are residential, will mean to them as residents and business owners, and not get too excited when local papers claim “Victory” for Orangeville.

They might also consider that it is not a victory for their friends and neighbours who will live next door to a 2,400 acre, 200-foot-deep, airpolluting, water-sucking hole that rocks their world daily with explosives.

It is simply one more link in a chain that brings rural Melancthon and the headwaters of Dufferin closer to possible destruction.

For those who think that this rail line needs to go to Highland Companies proposed, giant, gravel mine in Melancthon, because it must be necessary to supply Ontario’s (Toronto’s) insatiable thirst for gravel, think again.

There are 7,000 gravel pits in Ontario, and a recent State of the Aggregate Resource in Ontario Study noted that there are enough pits within 75 kilometres of Toronto to supply their gravel needs for the next 20 years, and then there are all the other thousands of pits outside of the 75-kilometre band.

Twenty years, without a giant pit in Melancthon, will give the Aggregate Industry adequate time and incentive to revamp how it does business. The Toronto Environmental Alliance (www.torontoenvironment.org) strongly encourages the reduction, recycling and reuse of aggregate materials for the greater Toronto area and surrounding municipalities.

Ever wondered what happens to giant skyscrapers and enormous bridges that are torn down? That cement can be recycled. The Aggregate Industry is one of the most financially and politically powerful industries in the country. Check out www.gravelwatch.org.

It is the ethical duty of the industry to invest in the reduction, recycling and reuse of materials rather than continue to devastate non-renewable farm land.
Excerpted from a letter from Marni Walsh, Melancthon
The full text of the letter can be read here.

Endangered Cougars?

The reports of cougar sightings (“We asked and you told us,” Winter ’09) reminded me of the restrictions on endangered species in Ontario.

Seen a Cougar? Tell us your story here.

The federal Species at Risk Act (SARA, 2004) addressed federal lands and authorized provinces and territories to pass similar legislation.

The Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA, 2008) listed 184 species that are now protected by law in Ontario – vegetation, fish, molluscs, animals, etc.

Strangely, while the SARA does not list the cougar, the ESA does; so the cougar may be destroyed to protect you and your livestock in Canada, but not in Ontario.

Has Ontario seceded?
Charles Hooker, Orangeville

Cider House Overruled

I am writing to correct the portrayal of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) published in your story “Homegrown in the Hills: Cider House Rules.”

“Homegrown in the Hills: Cider House Rules,” by Nicola Ross (Autumn 2009)

The piece suggests that the applicants for Spirit Tree Estate Cidery and farm market in Caledon were subjected to inordinate regulatory scrutiny by the NEC, local conservation authority and the Town of Caledon. I regret that the writer did not contact the NEC while preparing the story because the information that was presented was incomplete and unfairly negative.

In fact, the NEC did everything in its capacity to allow Mr. Wilson to proceed with his farm market and cidery and encourages compatible agricultural commerce in the Niagara Escarpment Plan area.
Excerpted from a letter from Don Scott, Chair, Niagara Escarpment Commission

Open letter to the NEC: Re the request that Spirit Tree close their Tasting Room permanently, and close their entire operation for the winter, we must frankly tell you that we are affronted and incensed.

This is entirely the type of operation that is needed throughout the Escarpment and Caledon. Their operation is sustainable, follows good conservation principles, and leaves as small a footprint on the environment as is possible … To shut down the operation now that it is getting established is outrageous.
Excerpted from a letter from John Patcai and Barbara Browerman, Caledon

For the full text of both the above letters, including details of NEC’s objections to the application, see www.inthehills.ca/magazine/homegrown-cider-house-rules. Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is temporarily closed pending compliance with NEC regulations.

The original story included an interview with Caledon councillor and NEC commissioner Richard Paterak.

More on Geothermal

Re: Letter from Colin Lewis, “Value of Geothermal Rebates in Question” (winter ’08).

We had a ground source geothermal system installed at our residence in May 2008, after a thorough research of the value and credibility of such a system.

We experienced that the manufacturers of the geothermal units had a substantial number of certified accredited contractors on their lists. We received five contractors’ quotations, and, although some differences were identified, all the quotes were reasonably close.

Our own observations of this technology are that if you convert from oil, propane or forced-air electric heating, the savings are approximately what the promoters suggest they could be. However, the coming HST and “Smart” meters will diminish some of the potential savings in the future.
June & Terence McGarigle, East Garafraxa

Tractor Wheels

Being a tractor-trailer driver myself, I naturally took an interest in the puzzle called “The Case of the Phony Insurance Claim” (“A Puzzling Conclusion,” winter ’09). After reading it, and reading it, and reading it, and pondering what could possibly be wrong with the claim, I was even more confused when I read the solution.

Above is a photo of the tractor trailer unit that I drive. Look sharp, or you may miss it. Indeed, a photo of a 24-wheeled tractor-trailer.

Until ten years ago, this riddle was correct. However, recent developments in tire rolling resistance, and fuel economics, has led to the development of the “super single” a single tire designed to replace two. Look at the first axle on the trailer, it’s hard to notice! The tire description would be 2, 4, 4, 2, 4, 4, 4.

Otherwise a great issue as always.
Brandon Muir, Grand Valley

(One of several correspondents who kindly pointed out this error.)

Sweet Charity

In your article “Olympic Fever comes to Orangeville” there is a factual error in reference to the June 2010 production of Sweet Charity, directed by Roland Kirouac. Sweet Charity is being produced by Orangeville Music Theatre, not Theatre Orangeville.
Jeff Bathurst
Orangeville Music Theatre

Online In The Hills

We welcome your comments! For more commentary from our readers, or to add your own thoughts on any of the stories, please add a comment at the bottom of any article. You can also send your letters by e-mail to [email protected] or use our handy submission form. Please include your name, address and contact information. In the Hills reserves the right to edit letters for publication.


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