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October, 2002

October Edition

How's this for hard news: a bikini chick who was crowned Miss Riverfest 2001 has won a $600+ judgment against the event's organizer after her $500 prize never materialized. She don't shake those money-makers for free, eh?

In far less interesting news, the Town of Bracebridge's building department has released their stats and surprise surprise - this year has witnessed the biggest building boom in the last 10 years! Whodda thought!? I guess that's why my neighbour the contractor drives a Bimmer and my lawyer drives a Honda Accord. The times they have 'a changed.

Ads-Vance headline of the Month: "Four Charged In Drug Take-Down". Okay... so things get a little boring in the typesetting department - I can understand that. But an 'arrest' is to a 'take-down' as 'the flu' is to 'Ebola'. On the bright side, one of the guys 'taken down' was from B.C. That might mean we have some pretty decent bud being planted around here.

You've got to feel sorry for Bracebridge's A&P. First they got totally upstaged by The Independent's bigger and better Wonder Store. Then their complimentary coffee set-up was found to be in violation of some kind of miserly cleanliness code. But the last straw came when their fruit salad was pulled from the shelves after the Health Department decided it was a factor in a slew of people coming down with salmonella-induced turbo-schloops. Ouch! The fruit salad was later cleared but the PR damage had already been done. The owners are currently talking to Rob Lowe's agent about a thorough media image makeover.

How sleepy is it here in Muskoka? In Washington they had a sniper killing people at random. Bracebridge's biggest crime-spree this year has involved a rash of thefts from newspaper boxes. It's even been rumoured that some of the boxes were ritualistically vandalized in the process. The mind reels at the depravity of it all...

Want to decorate your house 'Muskoka Style'? Forget the faux post & beam facade, Step One is gut the basement and turn it into a massive hydroponic dope-growing operation! With the OPP's eye-in-the-sky helicopters combing the woods for pot plantations, a substantial number of renegade horticulturists have brought their hobbies indoors.

The Bracebridge Tennis Club has a new tennis bubble! Well, new to them, anyway. Clublink was throwing it out and they agreed to give it to Bracebridge in return for a measly $96,000 tax receipt. Those Clublink folks just give and give...

Note to the terminally paranoid: Aliens have not... repeat NOT landed in Huntsville. That was an Air Stream trailer convention.

Gravenhurst's beleaguered Snowcrest Riders Snowmobile Club will have to pay more for their trail permits this year. Chaulk that up to the club's failure to file as a stand-alone snowmobile club in time. Independence has its costs.

Muskoka mayors met recently to discuss changes to the property tax system 'round here. Recent reaccessments of lakefront property have meant that most people who inherited their cottages from relatives will have to auction their first-born sons to pay the newly-raised taxes. The up-side is that the new rates will be phased in over the next three years. Maybe you can just pimp the little guy out, then.

Speaking of mayors, Bracebridge mayor Scott Northmore is not keen on the District of Muskoka's idea of a western bypass around Bracebridge. Said bypass would start over by the Royal Muskoka property, head through various wetlands and soon-to-be-expropriated properties, bridge the Muskoka River and then meet up with Hwy. 118W on the other side of town. It sounds ill-advised but the District is going to throw a few hundred grand at the idea just to see what somebody's brother-in-law can come up with.

The folks at Lakeland Power Ltd. are warning local residents that the current strain on the Ontario power grid could lead to blackouts, sky-high hydro prices and torrents of toads raining from the sky. Unless they can expand the High Falls power station, of course. Then we'll all be in living in a beer commercial. Can those guys put a spin on things, or what? All they missed was, "After 9-11 we need all the electricity we can get to further the battle against international terrorism..."

Bracebridge Villa has applied for a land severance. I guess they figure a retirement home doesn't need a ski hill. Now the bad news - this will create a 260-acre property zoned Urban Sprawl that will extend from behind The Villa to Santa's Village Road. Enjoy the 118W approach to Bracebridge while you can, folks.

The teachers at St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School are on strike - just for a change. Their media-savy union spokesperson stated that, "After 9-11 we need the best teachers we can get..."

Five 'yutes have been arrested for robbing Steve's Variety on Taylor Road. I wasn't aware that you could cram five people into that store at once - maybe the robbers took turns going in and demanding money.

The Ads-vance reported the theft of an $800 mountain bike from in front of the Centennial Arena in Gravenhurst with the headline "Teen Thief Rides Off on Mountain Bike". Sorry but that headline should have read, "Teen leaves $800 bike unlocked". Now THAT'S news...

Bracebridge had its own career fair called... get this... Way To Go! The only thing lamer than the name was the logo someone came up with for it. This being Muskoka the best attended seminars included: "Hydroponic Agriculture for Fun and Tax-Free Profit"; "You Say Junk, I Say ANTIQUES!"; and "Working at Home When You've Lost Your Driver's License".

The recycle bins in front of Muskoka Containerized Services have been removed after the company got sick of people using them as a 24-hour dumpsite. Or maybe people honestly think that there is some industry out there that has a use for mouse-ridden Posturpedics.

If you hurry on down to Muskoka Mazda you can get a pretty good deal on a Protege. Sans wheels and rubber, mind you. Someone 'bought' those late one night last week.

Bala's Cranberry festival was pretty soggy this year. Which leads me to wonder about the admission fee in such circumstances. Charging a couple $10 to look at plastic-wrapped booths seems to make very little sense. Maybe it's just the Scotsman in me but they ought to be handing out "Thanks for Coming" loonies to everyone hearty enough to show up on a day like that.

Late October saw the main drag of Bracebridge mature - we now have our very own sex shop. The brilliant yellow facade of the store blends into the general downtown milieu just about as smoothly as the store's wares do. But hey, if you suddenly find yourself in need of coconut flavoured condoms and a strap-on dildo you no longer have to drive to Gravenhurst! If you want to call the store to enquire about inventory or their 30-day we-hope-you-washed-it refund policy you can call the operator and say, "Kiss This, please!"

Late October also brought the opening of moose season. So if you're tall and kinda ugly you'd best stay indoors for a week or so. That or wear nothing but Day-Glo Orange.

The Muskoka Lakes Council has taken after Nancy Regan and just said "NO!" to boathouses with sundecks on top. I know 6 people on Lake Muskoka with sundecks on their boathouses but for some reason... there will be NO MORE of them. Now if you want to build a six bedroom bunkie up there, no probs - just make sure it has cute little window boxes and shutters and maybe some gingerbread trim work under the eaves.

There's been a consolidation in the audio industry around here - David's Sound and Whatever in the Tim Horton's Plaza has eaten Audiotronic in the A&P Plaza. The Audiotronic owner wanted out of the Bracebridge market and made David, "...an offer he couldn't refuse." One can only hope Mr. Audiotronic doesn't fully understand the meaning of that expression - I'd hate to see someone's family processed into carp pellets for the sake of movin' a few more DVD units.

Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School is faced with the same dilemma as I was recently with my '89 Acura: do I pour money into it or dig a large hole and bury it? The school needs $4.1 million in renovations but when they're finished with those they'll still have a three dressed up as a nine. The other option is to build a new school on the Royal Muskoka's proposed Muskoka Community Campus. The only hitch to that idea is that no one really knows what the Muskoka Community Campus really is. Details to follow. Maybe.

The Bracebridge OPP is planning a workshop for retailers on how to spot counterfeit money. Some of their tips include: the $10 bill should feature Sir John A MacDonald, not Red Green; the hundred dollar bill does not read "100 Bucks"; and there is no new $5 coin and if there was it wouldn't look just like an electrical box punch-out.


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