Cash registers are the target for a man with long arms - hits two locations in the Region.

Crime 100By Staff

July 19, 2016


It was a cash grab – pure and simple.

On June 17th, 2016, Joseph Hamilton Essibuah walked into the Dollar Tree in the area of Dundas Street and Appleby Line in Burlington. He is reported to have approached the checkout and while the cashier was assisting another customer, the accused reached over the counter and grabbed a quantity of money from the cash register. He then fled in a waiting vehicle.

HRPS crestA short time later the accused attended a Shoppers Drug Mart located in the area of Brant Street and Upper Middle Road in Burlington. Again, the accused proceeded to pay for an item and when the cash register opened the accused reached over the counter and grabbed a quantity of cash. The accused fled in an awaiting motor vehicle.

Police have determined that the accused is responsible for additional occurrences in Halton region and surrounding areas; an investigation is ongoing.


Joseph Hamilton ESSIBUAH,(25 years of Mississauga)
Current Charges:
Theft Under $5000 (6 counts)
Breach of Probation (6 counts)

ESSIBUAH is set to appear in Milton for a bail hearing on July 20th.
The investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact Cst. Jacqueline Ross of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 ext. 2373 or D/Cst. Al MacEwan at ext. 2349 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Region provides $212,500 for 13 community programs to aid in adequate access to food.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 19th, 2015



Earlier this month, Regional Council approved $212,500 in funding for 13 community programs and projects that will support the health and well-being of Halton residents that have inadequate access to food.

The funding is the result of a new stream of funding through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund (HRCIF), which was created to improve access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food in partnership with Halton’s non-profit and community organizations.

Regional chair Gary Carr tasting honey on a farm tour. These days he is tasting the mood of the residents; wants to know rthat they are thinking.

Regional chair Gary Carr tasting honey on a farm tour.

“This funding reflects Halton’s commitment to improve access to food by working closely with our community partners,” said Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr. “Investing in community agencies through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund is another example of how we’re working together with the community to achieve the best possible health and well-being for all and is part of what makes Halton Region such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.”

Funding will help community organizations to increase the amount of fresh and culturally appropriate foods available to clients, strengthen the capacity of agencies to safely store and distribute food and will support other efforts that make food more accessible to residents with inadequate access to food.

The food security grants are part of over $1.4 million in 2016 HRCIF funding that will support a wide range of community health and social service programs that serve Halton residents. The following programs will receive funding through the food security stream of the Halton Region Community Investment Fund:

Acton Foodshare – to increase the amount of fresh food available to clients and to support the development of cooking skills;
ClearView Community Church (Oakville) – to increase cold storage for its food programs, including cooking classes;
The Dar Foundation – to support the purchase of Halal meats for its clients;
Food4kids - bag + appleFood4Kids – to determine the scope of need and plan program expansion;
Food for Life – to hire an additional ‘food raiser’ to source fresh and culturally appropriate food for community programs;
Georgetown Bread Basket – to support new freezer/refrigeration purchases for its food bank;
Halton Food for Thought – to purchase freezers/refrigerators to support student nutrition programs in 11 schools;
Halton Fresh Food Box – to support a pilot project to deliver fresh food boxes to clients with transportation or mobility barriers;
Halton Women’s Place – to provide grocery cards to women exiting the shelter;
Milton Community Resource Centre – to support the organization’s Infant Food Bank program;
North Halton Community Kitchen St. Alban’s Church (Acton) – to support a community kitchen coordinator to develop and expand cooking and dining programs;
Feeding Halton (through Open Doors at St. Christopher’s Church as the lead applicant) – to support a position to coordinate farm fresh markets that provide access to local produce at a reduced cost. The position will also coordinate purchases from local farmers on behalf of several social service agencies; and
St. Luke’s Anglican Church (Oakville) – to purchase a refrigerator that will assist the organization to establish an outreach program.


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Lane Closures for Fairview Street Improvements, July through October, 2016

notices100x100By Staff

July 19th, 2016

The City of Burlington is making improvements to Fairview Street between Guelph Line and Walker’s Line and Commerce Court from Fairview Street to Cul-de-sac.

Fairview road closures map

Fairview Street between Guelph Line and Walker’s Line plus some of Commerce Court will have traffic limitations during road work.

The proposed construction will include:

• Road resurfacing along with traffic island modifications and localized repairs to sidewalks and curbs.
• Proposed Bike Lane on the north side of Fairview Street and Sharrow’s on Fairview Street.

This work will result in single lane closures during off-peak times:

• 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Fairview - road cross section

Fairview profile wen the construction is completed in October.

Road Construction: July to Nov. 2016
Project Budget: $3,200,000

City is beginning to look and feel like Toronto in the summer.

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Business license renewals can now be done on line.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 19th, 2106



At this rate we may not need a city hall.

Another city hall service has gone on line: business licence renewals.

Select businesses in Burlington can now renew their business licences online at

Burlington flags“We need to support our small businesses as much as possible and that means giving them access to services 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “A step in the right direction is that businesses can now renew their licences online whenever they want.”

Business licences available to be renewed online include:

• Automotive
• Pawn brokers
• Personal services
• Public assembly:
o Restaurants/take out/lunch counter
o Movie theatre
o Banquet/public halls
o Pinball or electronic game machine
o Night club
o Sale of foodstuff
o Sale of adult magazines
• Sale of foodstuff
• Sale of tobacco
• Salvage yard
• Tourist/trailer camps

Business licences not listed above are only available for renewal in person.

With 15 bylaws to be enforced and a staff of five Tracy Burrows, Manager Bylaw enforcement gave a council committee report they sent back for more work and a "cleanup".

Tracey Burrows, manager, bylaw enforcement and licensing.

“Business owners needing to renew their licences will need to register an account with their PIN which can be requested online,” said Tracey Burrows, manager, bylaw enforcement and licensing. “We hope this will add to our customer service and meet the needs of our growing business community.”

All new and renewal licences can also be done in person at City Hall, 426 Brant St. For more information, visit, call 905-335-7731 or email

No mention of the fee structure in the media release.

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Secret to success? Open early, sell out quickly, close and go home. Great place for $4 donuts.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2016



What a way to do business.

You open early.

You close when you are sold out

And if that happens to be just three hours after you opened – well that was your lucky day.

Sunshine Donut shop

Tucked in to the west of the Art Gallery – entrance off the Art Gallery parking lot.

With that kind of a schedule no wonder they call themselves the Sunshine Donut Company.

One of the ways you know a product is worth buying is – watch for how many police officers or fire fighters drop buy.

Sunshine Donut shop hours

That SOLD OUT sign has been known to go up within three hours of opening.

The Burlington Cream is not to be missed – but you have to be there early. At $4 bucks apiece that may seem a little extreme – d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!

The margins are obviously fantastic.

getting new - yellowLocation – not the easiest place to find – at the south end of the Art Gallery parking lot.

Run by the same people who operate Son of a Peach – a pizza shop on Pine

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The final Tragically Hip concert will be simulcast on large screen in Spencer Smith Park on August 20th.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2016



Our fair city has decided to join much of Canada on August 20th when, if things work out the way a lot of people would like them to work out – thousands will be able to sit on the grass at Spencer Smith Park and watch a CBC simulcast of the final scheduled concert of The Tragically Hip.

Oh – and it is going to cost the city a cool $12,500 – the Burlington Downtown Business Association will somehow come up with the second $12,500 – for a total cost of $25,000

Council voted to go forward with this one – everyone voted for – except for Councillor Craven. He saw the event as a nice to have – which isn’t quite his cup of tea.

Gorn Downie of the tragically hip

Gord Downie, lead of the Tragically Hip.

CBC has waived its usual licensing fee with some conditions – there can be no sponsorship – so anyone putting up dollars is going to get a thank you.

There are some conditions. No alcohol can be sold. The city does not yet have a no smoking bylaw in public parks on the books.

The Tragically Hip, often referred to simply as The Hip, are a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario, consisting of lead singer Gord Downie, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker (known as Bobby Baker until 1994), bassist Gord Sinclair, and drummer Johnny Fay. Since their formation in 1984 they have released 13 studio albums, two live albums, 1 EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. They have received numerous Canadian Music awards, including 14 Juno awards.

Tragically hip

The night the country sits down in parks and arenas across the country to watch the Tragically Hip put on their final concert knowing that the lead has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer will be a hard evening. Gord Downie is in the centre with, in no particular order, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair, and drummer Johnny Fay.

As the band was getting ready to announce their summer tour they also announced that Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  The out-pouring of public emotion led to CBC deciding to broadcast the final concert that was to be held in Kingston.  CBC then decided to let other municipalities across the country simulcast the program.

Brian Dean, chief at the BDBA, delegated to council and explained what Councillor Marianne Meed Ward had put in front of Council by Memorandum earlier in the day. She pointed out that the idea had come together very quickly and it looked as if cities across the country were going to do what they could to simulcast the event.

Mead Ward is putting $1000 from her Councillor’s budget into the pot. The ad hoc committee is reaching out to the federal and provincial governments (good luck at that level).

Some thought was given to Central Arena as a location – until they realized that the Children’s Festival is going to take place the following day and that stages will have been set up with porta potties in place – Spencer Smith Park became the obvious choice.
Hamilton is in; Kingston is in, Charlottetown is in, New Westminster is in and Halifax is in.

Parking MMW + Brian Dean with head of meter

Brian Dean with ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward the day the city got rid of the old parking meters and installed an expensive replacement that doesn’t provide better service.

Dean, who could sell ice cubes to Eskimo’s, assured council that this was really quite do-able and presented Council with an outline of the costs. When Dean doesn’t want the public to know what he is up to, he limits the information he shares; when he wants the public to know the media is showered with data.

Media were not given a copy of his cost breakdown.

It didn’t matter – the city manager sensed what council wanted and said that staff would provide oversight and that all the invoices would come to the city for payment.

A formal application has been submitted to the Special Events Team (SET) who gave approval in principle. They are also working on getting an exemption from the noise bylaw that requires events to shut down at 11:00 pm. The concert is expected to run until 11:30 pm

Meed Ward who exuded enthusiasm for the event suggested it was going to be the emotional equivalent of the winning goal Paul Henderson scored for Team Canada in 1972

The city manager wanted the cost of staff time that would be involved to be part of what the city has to come up with.

The event is 32 days away. Staff will have to hustle to make it happen and the city manager will make sure that the costs are controlled.

It took a two thirds majority vote to waive the city’s procedural by law and another vote to permit Dean to speak. If Council can do that in one meeting – the rest is a lead pipe cinch.

It has taken some time to figure out what the city manager is and what he isn’t. Observing him for the past 18 months the Gazette has found it difficult to say just what kind of an administrator he is. While he talks the talk of community engagement – he doesn’t really walk that talk. However, what is now very clear is that James Ridge is a very fiscally prudent man. Nothing is going to go seriously wrong on his watch. He may over promise from time to time – he certainly did that with a work plan he once put forward – but when it comes to watching where the dollars go – nothing disastrous is going to happen on his watch. Should that ever happen – the good Army Captain will choose to fall on his sword.

Where was he when the pier fiasco was being managed at city hall?

August 20th – mark that one on your calendar. With Meed Ward back on the BDBA as the Council representative – things like this get done.

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New surgery equipment being installed as hospital re-build stays on target - roads outside a total mess.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 18th, 2106


Construction of the patient tower is moving along nicely. The last window on Level 7 of the new patient tower was installed at the end of June! Soon, two elevators will be up and running on the inside of the building and the man and material hoist will be removed.

The pedestrian bridge structure connects Level 2 of the parking facility to Level 1 of the new tower. Now the construction team is building the metal deck on the floor and on the roof of the bridge and pouring the concrete floor. By the end of July, glass windows will be installed on the bridge and roofing and finishes will follow.

Power will be turned on in late September.

In their latest video, Alean Jackman, Operational Readiness Coordinator and Melanie Burnet, Program Champion for the Surgical Program share the 5 Things You Need to Know about Our New Surgical Suite. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the progress being made inside our future surgical suite and learn more about the new space from our experts!

In the past the hospital has had problems with infectious diseases. The new hospital will have three new washer disinfectors that have greater capacity for cleaning and processing clinical equipment. The machines also have fast and efficient cleaning cycles, larger touch screens, and built-in “cool touch” handles on the racks.

Inside, installation of drywall continues to progress from the Main Level to Level 7 and soon, ceilings will go up. Painting has started and the main lobby staircase will be installed by late summer.

The people who will make the hospital actually work on a day to day basis are involved in critical training programs; much of the equipment is very complex and requires training and practice before nurses roll you into one of the ten new operating rooms – nine of which are reported to be ready for business on opening day.

HOSPITAL - Lakeshore at Maple Ave

A new Lakeshore Road is being constructed that will lead to the new front entrance to the hospital.

The construction and re-development of the hospital takes place while the city re-builds the part of Lakeshore Road that will become the new front entrance to the hospital. Parts of Lakeshore Road are being raised by as much as a metre from their current level. The re-built road will slowly slope towards the parking garage where the rebuild will pause until the hospital is completed in 2018.

Hospital - storm water pipes

Storm water around the hospital has always been an issue – one that hospital media management people don’t like to talk about very much.

Hospital - 20 inch pipe going under road

Big 20 inch pipes being shoved under North Shore Road to connect properties north of Lakeshore to pipes running along Lakeshore right past the hospital to the Waste Water treatment plant.

Traffic in the area has been re-routed in several directions while the construction work takes place. Waste water treatment and storm water facilities are also being upgraded as well.

A 20 inch pipe is being shoved under the Lakeshore Road, North Shore Road intersection from the Brant Museum property to connect waste water pipes to the main trunk line.


These are the detours that are going to be in place until road re-construction is complete – sometime in September.

It is not a pretty place for traffic these days – and it is going to remain that way until late in September.

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Member of Parliament wants to hear what you have to say about climate change - Tansley woods on the 20th.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2016



Damoff with big wide open smiles

MP Pam Damoff will lead a consultation on climate change at Tansley Woods on the 20th

Member of Parliament Pam Damoff is holding a climate change consultation on July 20th at 7pm at Tansley Wood.

Vince Fiorito urges people to “to show up and speak up in support of an ambitious national climate strategy.”

Vince Fitorio

Vince Fiorito. Steward of Sheldon Creek has been a climate change advocate for years.

A number of months ago Fiorito made a very trenchant observation when he said: “The planet it going to survive – there is no certainty that the human race will survive if they keep on behaving the way they do now.”

It is our planet – we actually get to decide what life on this planet is going to be like in the next 50 years.

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MoonGlade gets much needed funding - innovative and culturally significant event to be held in and around the Art Gallery.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2016



Getting community culture funded in Burlington is a tricky business.

Culture and the arts gets managed at the Parks and Recreation level, Burlington has not yet grown to the point where it has a group dedicated to culture – there isn’t yet a full realization that culture is an economic driving force that has to be managed and effectively promoted.

In the past few years a cultural underground that is a lot bigger than most people realize has begun to organize itself – it is more vocal than effective at this point – but it does have potential.

Herding cats is easier than getting artists to sing from the same hymn book. At some point the political leadership or the administrative will come to the surface and changes will take place. In the meantime we muddle our way through a mushy place where most people mutter the right words but not much real change takes place.

Selina xxx Eckersall points to one of the locations for some of the "installation art" that will be on display for less than four hours September 19 - a not to be missed event.

Selina Eckersall chose Village Square as the location for the second No Vacancy vent which they called Cirque.  It was a huge success.

Last week the fissures in the cultural file were evident when ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward put forward a motion to grant a group putting on a significant cultural event for the fourth year. The group had previously been turned down by the Parks and Recreation program because they weren’t a new event.

Meed Ward wanted the group to be given $4000 which members of Council went along with at the Standing committee level – it has yet to be approved by Council.

In her memorandum to city council Meed Ward explained that “No Vacancy is a non profit charitable agency whose mission is to bring contemporary art and culture to Burlington. They have previously sponsored two other art events: Cirque (2014) and Super Nova (2015).”

Meed Ward didn’t mention the first No Vacancy event that was held at the Waterfront Hotel in 2103.

Council provided one-time funding support for SuperNova, as well as funding for the Car- Free Street festivals in wards 4,5 and 6 and a Janes’ Walk in ward 1.

Funding was not sought by the No Vacancy people during this year’s budget for their Moonglade, because they were pretty sure funding would be available under the new Community Investment Fund (CIF). However, that fund turned out to be for new events. Moonglade is new in the sense that it is a different location and theme, although still run at the same time of year by the same organization. As such, the event doesn’t neatly fit the existing criteria of the CIF.


Tomy Bewick intoned in a strong passionate voice while Teresa Seaton spread the stained glass feathers about the ground. The event was one of the strongest features in the 2015 No Vacancy SuoerNova event.

Mead Ward said that “this is an event and an organization we want to support until such time as criteria are developed for ongoing community-delivered events. Currently, staff are working on a revised festivals and events strategy. The issue of ongoing event funding will no doubt be a topic of discussion, given the city currently does fund some existing events year over year (eg Sound of Music), and has funded Car Free Festivals again this year.

Meed Ward trotted out the line we are going to hear for the next five years – “the event aligns well with Burlington’s new Strategic Plan, the direction of an Engaging City.”

The strong point in Meed Wards request that Council contribute funds was the additional partners the event has brought into their tent. The Art Gallery of Burlington and the Burlington Downtown Business Association are very much on board with the No Vacancy initiative.

This year the event will be held in Brock Park behind the Art Gallery and inside the building as well. The city can be a partner as well. The request got past the Standing committee and goes to city council Monday evening.

Selina Eckersall, head of No Vacancy, the group that has put on three events, two of which were unqualified successes, had managed to put together an agreement with the Art Gallery of Burlington to hold the event at that location for their fourth event.

Cirque - belly dancer

Culture – it was in 2014 at the No Vacancy Cirque event.

This has to be looked upon as a marriage made in heaven. The Art Gallery has all kinds of nooks and crannies that are ideal for the kind of event that No Vacancy does. Their first event at the Waterfront Hotel was small but broke new ground in terms of cultural audacity for this city. The second, held at the Village Square broke records in terms of audience attendance and the eclectic mix of participants that ranged from Belly Dancers to Teresa Seaton Stained Glass – and that is a stretch when it comes to art in Burlington. But it worked and the No Vacancy people heightened their ambitions and decided to hold their third event on Old Lakeshore Road. It suffered from overreach and too large a space – and not enough in the way of volunteer help. Lessons were learned.

Robert Steven AGB

Robert Steven is showing the city that he is prepared to do things differently.

Having a CEO at the Art Gallery prepared to reach out and try something new was just what No Vacancy needed. Robert Steven showed the city that he was prepared to do things differently when he sponsored a concert at the Performing Arts Centre where he made better use of the space than the staff over there do.

Inviting the No Vacancy crowd into the AGB was a brilliant move that was aided by the fact that Eckersall, was named the Arts Person of the Year award in the 2014 Burlington Best event now also sits on the Board of the AGB.

With at least some of the core funding they need in place – MoonGlade can now continue with their plans and show the city what they can do in perhaps the best location available in the city.


Lone Garden will again be part of No Vacancy’s MoonGlade this year

Kune Hua, one of the 17 participants, is growing an even bigger Love Garden. There is a man in blue wearing red sneakers that is somehow involved in promoting the event.

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Burlington, Hamilton and Guelph share the games won total in the Intercounty Baseball League - 7 games each

sportsred 100x100By Staff

July 16, 2016


Noelvis Entenza struck out nine batters over seven innings as the Kitchener Panthers beat the Burlington Bandits 7-2 Saturday afternoon.

IBL July 16Both runs Entenza (7-3) allowed were earned and came on two hits. He also walked three.

David Whiteside led the offence with his seventh home run of the season and three RBI. Mike Gordner had two hits and an RBI, and Sean Reilly drove in his 44th run of the season.

For Burlington, Nolan Pettipiece had two hits and an RBI. Julian Johnson doubled and scored, and John Whaley had an RBI.
Branden Kuzyk (0-3) allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings, striking out four and walking five.

The first-place Panthers improved to 22-7 after their second straight victory, and the sixth-place Bandits dropped to 7-20.

In Barrie the Baycats knock off Red Sox Baycats moved within a half game of second place after their 11-6 win over the Brantford Red Sox Saturday night.

Barrie improved to 19-9 and is a half game back of London, which has lost three straight.

Jeff Cowan and Kyle DeGrace each had three hits, two runs and two RBI to lead the offence. Kevin Atkinson went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI, while Glenn Jackson had three hits, an RBI and run. Conner Morro drove in a run, and Ryan Spataro had a hit and scored twice.

Adam Rowe (1-0) picked up the win, giving up six runs (five earned) on 13 hits over five innings. Rowe didn’t have a strikeout or walk.

Ricky Murray had two hits and two RBI for the fourth-place Red Sox, which dropped to 18-12. Chris Dennis had two hits, two runs and an RBI, Wayne Forman singled twice, and Dennon Koziol and Nic Burdett each had two hits and a run. Brandon Dailey and Jeff Hunt each drove in a run, and Tyler Patzalek had two hits.

Matt Martinow (1-2) took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in three innings, without recording a strikeout or walk. Riley Barr started and went three innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits, striking out four and walking one.

In Guelph the Royals scored all of their runs in the fourth inning of a 7-6 win over the Hamilton Cardinals Saturday night.
Guelph had five hits in the inning, including Chandler McLaren’s two-run home run with no out. Santino Silvestri hit a two-run double, and Trevor Nyp had an RBI single.

Nathan Dallas-Blackburn added two hits and a run.

Baseball - player at bat with lights

A summer evening with a baseball game under the lights – hearing the snap of the bat as all the eyes in the stands follow the arc of the ball.

Alberto Rodriguez (3-2) picked up the win, going 6.1 innings and allowing five runs on four hits, striking out 11 and walking five.
AJ Mackey picked up his first save, giving up a run on two hits in an inning, striking out two.

For Hamilton, Dre Celestijn and Tyler Hardie each hit home runs. Hardie finished with three hits and two RBI. TJ Baker drove in two and scored twice, and Lake Molleson had an RBI.

Kyle Adoranti (0-6) gave up five runs (three earned) on six hits over 3.2 innings, striking out five and walking two.

The seventh-place Royals improved to 7-21, and the last-place Cardinals dropped to 7-23.  The Bandits sit atop the two with a 7-20 record.

Future games
Sunday, July 17
London at Toronto, 2 p.m.
Barrie at Hamilton, 2 p.m.
Guelph at Kitchener, 7 p.m.

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Columnist Ray Rivers has taken a deserved vacation - roaring around his farm on a tractor cutting walking trails.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 16th, 2016



Where is Ray?

For many Gazette readers Ray Rivers had become a Friday habit – his views on matters federal, provincial and from time to time international have appeared in the Gazette for more than three years.

I first met Rivers when he was talking to a group of Liberals who used to meet regularly at Artisano’s. I liked what I heard Rivers saying a found a way to strike up a conversation. That led to his writing for the Gazette.

Rivers goes fishing NZ - Jan 2015

Rivers tries to get to New Zealand once a year – relaxes with family and gets in a little fishing. His daughter returned to Canada with he husband and their children. Ray is working on making a good hockey fan out of at least the grandson.

This summer Rivers and I decided that a full break for a month or more was well deserved – and except for one occasion when he had to say something about the Brexit mess in the United Kingdom, Rivers has behaved and worked with tools on his farm in Mountsburg rather than the keyboard on his computer.

There is a tree lot that needs some pruning and a new deck for the hot tub. Grass to be cut with the mower that Rivers treats as something you drive at a NASCAR event and the chicken coop needs a good clean up.

Rivers reading a newspaper Jan 3-15

Rivers is incapable of getting through a day without reading at last one newspaper.

So – for those who wonder where Rivers is – it isn’t quite “gone fishing” but it is a respite from a task that can get onerous. Writing a column every week is demanding.

Rivers and I usually have a short conversation about what he would like to write on – we exchange ideas and I pretty well leave him to his own devices. It is the readers that keep him on his toes.

There are about a dozen that watch what he writes very carefully. It did take a while for Gazette readers to fully appreciate that Rivers was a columnist with a view point. Several complained that he was a Liberal and therefore shouldn’t be writing articles.

He is certainly a Liberal and a liberal as well – and that was the point. The Gazette wanted someone with a clear point of view. We also wanted a strong Conservative and talked to a number of people who could have filled that role – none chose to step up the plate.
Public opinion needs to be informed and the exchange of views is part of what informs people. It took us some time to bleed out the more raucous comments that used to appear in the Gazette.

This is not yet a city with a clear understanding of how important it is to keep the public informed and to do so as transparently as possible.

Rivers, who has consistently written a column with often extensive links to other material that few columnists provide.

Rivers on a beach in NZ

With the New Zealand part of the family now on Canadian soil Rivers can see his grandchildren whenever he wants.

Rivers will be back in the fall – we expect him to have something to say about both the Republican and Democratic conventions taking place in the United States and how our federal and provincial governments are doing in this country.

The Gazette is fortunate to have Rivers as part of the editorial team – Burlington doesn’t yet fully appreciate the contribution he makes – which isn’t about what he actually writes – but about the fact that he does write. The city badly needs a public that is informed and is prepared to speak out.

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Cardinals hammer Bandits - final score - 17-1. Ouch!

sportsred 100x100By Staff

July 16th, 2016


They certainly dropped the Hammer on us.

The Hamilton Cardinals pounded out 14 hits in a 17-1 win over the Burlington Bandits Friday night.

IBL 15thTyler Hardie went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs to lead the seventh-place Cards, who improved to 7-22. Chris Beer singled three times and drove in three and scored once, while Nate Mastervick hit a solo home run and single and scored three times. Dre Celestijn went 2-for-4 with two RBI and four runs, Liam Wilson drove in a pair of runs and scored twice, TJ Baker and Jake Foden each had an RBI, and Marcus Dicenzo added a single, RBI and two runs.

Robert Wilson (2-4) went eight innings for the win, allowing one run on five hits, striking out six and walking two.
Justin Gideon had a solo home run for the sixth-place Bandits, who fell to 7-19. Alex Nolan added a double.
Derek Zwolinski (0-1) took the loss, lasting four innings and giving up eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits, walking three and striking out three.

In Brantford the Red Sox took a 12-2 win over the Guelph Royals all the way to the bank Friday night.

Burdett drilled a three-run blast in the sixth inning and singled three times. Wayne Forman went 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run, Dennon Koziol had two RBI, while Benjamin Bostick and Jeff Hunt each drove in a run. Tyler Patzalek, Ricky Murray and Chris Dennis combined for five hits and five runs.

On the mound, Nathan Forer (6-2) went 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on five hits, striking out six and walking one.
For Guelph, Adam Rossit had the lone RBI. Matt Schmidt went 2-for-2 with a run and walk.

Daniel Marquez (0-2) took the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits in 2.2 innings. Marquez walked seven and didn’t record a strikeout.

The fourth-place Red Sox improved to 18-11, and the last-place Royals dropped to 6-21.

Elsewhere in the league pitcher Deska strikes out 13 in Toronto Leafs win over the London Majors.

Marek Deska went seven scoreless innings and struck out 13 as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the London Majors 5-0 Friday night.
Deska (2-1) scattered six hits and didn’t walk a batter as the fifth-place Leafs improved to 15-14.
Grant Tamane drove in a pair of runs in the win. Connor Lewis, Will Richards and Damon Topolie each had an RBI.
RJ Fuhr had two of London’s seven hits. Carlos Arteaga singled and stole two bases.
Owen Boon (4-1) allowed four runs on five hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking four.

The second-place Majors (20-9) dropped their third straight and trail Kitchener by 1.5 games.

Future games
Saturday, July 16
Kitchener at Burlington, 1 p.m.
Brantford at Barrie, 7 p.m.
Hamilton at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 17
London at Toronto, 2 p.m.
Barrie at Hamilton, 2 p.m.
Guelph at Kitchener, 7 p.m.

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Spelling Bee is a sold out production at the Performing Arts Centre - runs till the 24th

theartsBy Pepper Parr

July 15th, 2016


There is something fun about musicals – they always start with a burst of energy and you know you are going to be entertained.

As the actors and actresses take to the stage you wonder how they are going to portray their character, more than often there is a surprise or two.

Thursday night the KooGle Theatre Company opened “The 25thAnnuual Putnam County Spelling Bee” with a cast of nine supplemented by four members of the audience who volunteered to be part of the spelling bee.

Their names weren’t provided but the woman who was asked to spell “cow” did not expect to be on her knees on the stage with Muscle bound Mitch Mahoney, played by Giovanni Spina, as he comforted her when she failed to spell a word.

The audience didn’t expect to see Jesus in the balcony either as he spoke to one of the players. It was that kind of night.

KooGle cast

The cast on stage taking questions from the audience. First night was SOLD OUT – as are many of the seven day run performances.

Mark Allan, playing Leaf Coneybear, didn’t really know how to spell but had a “divining rod” that took over his mind and his body as he blurted out the letters to words he didn’t even understand. He was the nut case who turned in a funny performance of a whimsical character.

The chair of the Spelling Bee – she was winner in the 3rd Annual Putnam County event, stroked the microphone stand in a way that said much more than she perhaps wanted to convey. Cara Pantalone, playing Rona Lisa Perretti was that busy, supressed personality that runs the show – she sold real estate.

The awkward teenage Boy Scout, played by Daniel Spragge, who had let himself slip into a day dream of some wished for girl in his life that produced an erection he was not able to hide was one of the funnier characters on the stage.

I had the pleasure of sitting between Deb Tymstra and Loretta Bailey in the balcony and will not forget the Bailey laugh, it came from deep in her throat, she was thoroughly enjoying the Boy Scout and his predicament. Baily once played a leading role in Les Miserable in Toronto and will be performing at the Lowville Festival on the 24th of July.

The contest judge, played by Christopher Gray, did explain and apologized for the “unfortunate incident” that required him to bow out of the judge job in a previous spelling bee. He assured his audience that he had worked on his problem.
The performance program describes the cast as six quirky adolescents and the three equally quirky grown up who reveal pasts that are at times hilarious and poignant.

Marcy Park, played by Laura Caswell, was waiting for her Dad who had her contest entrance fee, did a superb performance as she sang in a very plaintive voice the words “Mama – chanti” as the Mother who had been in an ashram in India and the Father who didn’t always show up stood on either side looking away from their child.

Her blossoming affection for William Barfee, played by Niko Combitsis, was tender, touching and for this reviewer, stole the show. Mary Park won the hearts of the audience and the Spelling Bee trophy as well.

Barfee was certainly the strongest character on the stage who did a short tap dance, a skill he began to acquire in January. How his dancing and spelling go together is something you are going to have to see to fully appreciate.

Olive Ostrovsky, who spoke six languages, was played by Shaina Silver-Baird who came to the conclusion that wining was perhaps not all it was cracked up to be and left the stage on the back of muscle bound Mitch.

Koogle volunteers

One of the four volunteer contestants in the Spelling Bee returned to the stage for his bib. They had a lot of fun.

Leslie Kay and Christopher Gray performed well – KooGle is their theatre company and it was their efforts and energy that brought the play to the stage of the Community Studio. Christopher has this capacity to expand the character he is playing with small deft movements that convey much more than the words he speak. There is a tightness to the man that works well; not controlled but very evident. He is to be appreciated.

The Performing Arts Centre is a superb location – we are fortunate to have the place. The Spelling Bee – try it – light summer fare that is worth the time. If you are one of those brave souls with a sense of adventure – sign up to be a contestant – there are four spots available for each performance.

They were sold out their opening night and are sold out for several of the seven day run which is: July 14th to 16th and July 21st to 23rd at 7:30 pm in the Community Theatre. The play also runs at 2:00 pm from July 17th to 24th.

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Rain shuts down the Bandits game against Barrie Baycats - teams were tied.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

July 15th, 2016



Thursday night’s game in Burlington between the Bandits and Barrie Baycats was suspended due to rain. The game was tied 2-2 after Barrie’s Jordan Castaldo and Burlington’s Kevin Hussey traded two-run homers. No completion date has been announced.

IBL July 14-16In Kitchener, there was no rain and the Panthers won the second half of a home-and-home against Toronto, beating the Maple Leafs 14-6 Thursday night.

David Whiteside had two hits and four RBI to lead the first-place Panthers (21-7), who lost in Toronto on Wednesday. Mike Glinka had three hits, two RBI and a run, Sean Reilly singled twice and drove in two, while Mike Andrulis added two hits, two runs and an RBI.

Jonathan Brouse had a double, two RBI and three runs. Tanner Nivins and Ryan Douse each scored twice, and LeJon Baker came around to score three times.
Ian Rendon (5-1) picked up the win, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits over five innings, striking out five and walking five.
Brett van Pelt (1-4) took the loss, going 4.2 innings and giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on 10 hits. Van Pelt walked five and struck out three.

At the plate, Justin Marra hit a two-run home run. Connor Lewis and Ryan White each had two-run singles with the bases loaded, and Dan Marra went 3-for-4 with two runs.

The fifth-place Leafs fell to 14-14.

Future games

Friday, July 15
Burlington at Hamilton, 7:30 p.m.
Toronto at London, 7:35 p.m.
Guelph at Brantford, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 16
Kitchener at Burlington, 1 p.m.
Brantford at Barrie, 7 p.m.
Hamilton at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.

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Emma Roberts, Hayden high school graduate wins the 2016 Art in Action scholarship

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 14, 2016



We are still in the throes of summer – but that doesn’t slow down the people who organize the annual fall Art in Action Studio Tour.

Emma - Art in Action scholarship winner

Darlene Throop the Art in Action Scholarship Chair and Emma Roberts winner of the 2016 scholarship

They get the early word out each year by announcing their scholarship winner. This year Emma Roberts, a graduate of Hayden High school who is going on to do a Bachelor of Design through York University and Sheridan College.

As well as winning the scholarship Emma will be included in this year’s Art in Action Burlington Studio Tour on the first weekend of November.

Darlene Throop the Scholarship Chair and the jurying members found that the number of high quality applications made it very difficult decision.

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Spelling bee takes to the stage at the Performing Arts Centre - opens tonight for a two week run

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 14th, 2016


It’s the day the actors take to the stage – and if they aren’t ready now – they will never be ready.

Spelling Bee sign

A tried and true comedy put on by a production company with significant depth and experience.

The KooGle Theatre Company is mounting their second major piece of summer theatre at the Performing Art Centre – this time if you’re in the audience and you think you are a good speller – you will be invited to leave your seat and join the actors and actresses on the stage in the Community Studio. You will be taking part in a production of  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The first KooGle production was I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, a musical comedy that was the second-longest running Off Broadway musical.

The ‘Spelling Bee’, a long one-act musical comedy, centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups.

Christopher Gray, half of the KooGle artistic team plays the part of the school vice principal – he grew a mustache for the play which runs from July 14th to 16th and July 21st to 23rd at 7:30 pm in the Community Theatre.

The play also runs from July 17th to 24th at 2:00 pm

Joint artistic directors Leslie Kay and Christopher Grey met on a stage and have made the stage the passion in their life. When talking one will glance at the other and be able to complete the sentence.

Leslie Kay Koogle

Leslie Kay

Leslie Kay was born and raised in Burlington and has been singing and dancing through life since she was a little girl. She loved to belt out songs from Annie and A Chorus Line to her mom’s records and put on shows for her family and neighbours. She enrolled in dance classes when she was 10 and auditioned for her first musical (The King and I) at age 13 with the encouragement of her Grandpa Walker (George) who played the bass fiddle in the orchestra at Hamilton Theatre Inc.

Christopher Alan Gray grew up in Chatham, Ontario and began singing at a very young age in his church choir. He then began studying voice and competed in the Kiwanis Music Festival for many years before receiving his Grade 8 Level Singing from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Christopher studied action at Ryerson Theatre School where he received his Honours BFA and worked with many of the greats.

He spent a period of time at Stratford as well.

Leslie runs the company on a day to day basis while Christopher works in client relationship for one of the major banks.

Christopher Gray - Koogle

Christopher Alan Gray

He has co-produced, co-written and performed in KooGle’s first four productions – Couple of Swells: A Movie Musical Revue, Rock Around the Clock, Let the Sun Shine, and Broadway Moments.

Most recently, KooGle teamed with Symphony on the Bay to present An Afternoon of Rodgers and Hammerstein on the main stage of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre. This sold out show was conducted by Denis Mastromonaco and featured not only the incredible sound of the 50 piece Symphony on the Bay but also fifteen local singers who joined Christopher and Leslie.

The name of the company was created to celebrate and remember Leslie’s sister who assed away very young. “There was a game we used to play that we called “koogling” – it seemed fitting to use that word as the name for the theatre company.

Leslie and Christopher at Koogle

Leslie Kay and Christoper Grey – the KooGle Theatre Company.

Leslie and Christopher always seem to be on the go while raising two boys – six and nine and coming with new ideas it improve commercial theatre in Burlington.

Leslie has done some dance outreach with the Performing Arts Centre,

The I love you you’re perfect…” production was basically a sold out event in Burlington that went on to be remounted as a co-production with Angelwalk Theatre in Toronto at The Toronto Centre for the Arts.

These two have their own on stage experience and have developed the skills to mount larger production. The Spelling Bee is an Actor’s Equity production with a large cast.

The Performing Arts Centre is a “road house” operation that brings in shows from whatever is available. They don’t do productions of their own – but Leslie and Christopher are doing something to fill part of that gap.

It will be interesting to watch how Burlington takes to productions of this quality that deserve the Main Stage – it’s all a matter of growing the audience and that is something the KooGle Theatre Company is certainly doing.

The Community Studio is a General Admission House and all you need to do is enter the number of seats you want if you are ordering on line.

There are already several sold out nights.

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Will the Shrew be tamed at Thinkspot? Sunday evening in Lowville.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 14th, 2016


If the heat is more than you can manage – and can anyone actually manage this heat – give some thought to a pleasant evening yards away from Bronte Creek in Lowville on a large shaded lawn while you listen to a Shakespearian classic comedy – The Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the shrewThe play’s apparent misogynistic elements have become the subject of considerable controversy, particularly among modern scholars, audiences and readers.

It is nevertheless wonderful use of the English language in a setting that is hard to beat.

The play is sponsored by Thinkspot, a Lowville based operation that focuses on shifting the way people think and the way they work together.

This is the third year they have sponsored Shakespearian plays done by the Driftwood Theatre Company. The event has become the event that precedes the Lowville Festival which this year begins Friday July 22nd through to Sunday July 24th

The Lowville Festival – for the artist in all of us.

Festival schedule:


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Transit advocate puts his plan for free bus service during off peak hours back in front of council - they don't nibble.

opinionandcommentBy Staff

July 14th, 2016


Jim Young, a 34-year resident of Burlington is an active member of Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee; he represent them on the Integrated Transportation Advisory. Young was delegating on an issue that he is passionate about – how seniors get around the city.

Jim Young

Jim Young – thinks the city should consider letting seniors use buses free during off peak hours.

Council was listening to people who had thoughts on the cycling lanes that city is considering putting in on various parts of New Street.

“I delegate today” said Young “as a private citizen to offer my private thoughts on the issue at hand.”

“You will understand that for many seniors cycling is not an immediate or pressing issue, (for some of us walkability is challenging enough) though for many seniors it is a hobby that we would love to practice in the healthiest and safest manner available to us. To that end I believe most citizens are generally supportive of the concept, that moving forward, the City must look to promoting cycling as a viable transportation alternative that must be encouraged and accommodated safely, in line with its strategic plan as a ”City that Moves”.

“I would however ask that any accommodation for safer cycling be considered in a way that does not impede or reduce improvements to transit services. Transit is the mode of transport which, by the nature of aging and economic necessity, is probably more the transport mode of the future for seniors in Burlington than cycling.

“So when council comes to weigh the alternatives for bicycle lanes on New Street and the relatively high costs of some of them I would ask you to consider these two thoughts:

Accommodating the sixty cyclists identified in the New Street study for approximately ¾ of the year will cost between $121,000.00 and $4,950,000.00 depending on the alternative chosen. The staff recommended alternative is estimated at $210,000.00.

If you have not already received it, council will very soon be asked to consider a position paper from one of your citizen’s advisory committees titled “Improving Transit for Seniors Improves Transit for Everybody”.

Will there be a reduction in the number of people who use the transit service when the new rates hit May 1st? Probably not - the people who use transit for the most part don't have a choice.

Transit advocate would like the city to let seniors use the service free during off peak hours.

“I have worked with many of you” said Young as he addressed members of council “and city management as well preparing the paper that will recommend free transit for seniors during off peak hours between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm, Monday to Friday. The cost for this will be between $48,500.00 and $72,750.00 per year.

Young added that “even Keith Spicer, Director of Transit, will, when his arm is twisted, agree it will probably cost less than $100,000.00. to provide this service.”

“I respectfully submit that as you consider allocating considerable sums of money to make 60 New Street cyclists happy for two thirds of the year that you consider what allocating a fraction of that money to free transit for seniors in off peak hours would do to making 35,000 Burlington seniors happy on every street all year round. (The $4.95 million option would provide free transit for the next 65 years.)”

It was at this point that Committee chairman Rick Craven, councilor for Ward 1, interrupted Young and asked that he no stray too far from the purpose of the meeting – which was cycling lanes.

Related news stories and comment:

Council couldn’t find a majority for free senior’s transit.

Citizen proposes free use of transit service for seniors during off peak hours.

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Bandits idle Wednesday - currently sixth in an eight team league.

sportsgreen 100x100By Staff

July 14th, 2016


The Bandits were idle Wednesday evening – they put a team on the diamond when the Barrie Baycats come to town.

IBL July 13Elsewhere in the league the Toronto Leafs knock off first-place Kitchener Panthers in a 10-7 game and the Brantford Red Sox survived a late London rally and beat the Majors 5-4 Wednesday night.

Toronto (14-13) is in fifth place.
Fourth-place Brantford improved to 17-11.

Future games

Thursday, July 14
Toronto at Kitchener, 7:30 p.m.
Barrie at Burlington, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 15
Burlington at Hamilton, 7:30 p.m.
Toronto at London, 7:35 p.m.
Guelph at Brantford, 8 p.m.

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Burlington extends fire ban to charcoal barbecues in city parks

Newsflash 100By Staff

July 14, 2016


It is getting hotter and drier out there – dry enough for the fire chief to temporarily ban all outside fires—including open air burning, controlled brush burning and recreational burning—as well as banning the use of charcoal barbecues in city parks.


BBQ’s that use charcoal have been banned in city parks.

“To ensure public safety, the ban on charcoal barbecues applies to the picnic areas of three city parks—LaSalle, Lowville and Hidden Valley—where propane barbecues will still be allowed,” said Mary Battaglia, director of roads and parks maintenance with the city.

City parks are available for social and picnic use. Users are encouraged to book a permit in advance of their preferred dates. Request a booking online at, call 905-335-7738 or visit for more information.

If you are unsure if a fire ban is in effect, please contact the Burlington Fire Department at 905-637-8253 or visit for more information about open air burning and safety tips.

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