April 2003 Edition
|Muskoka: Come for the scenery... but try not
to get sick. Council recently had a choice of extending funding to Muskoka
Tourism or giving more money to South Muskoka Memorial Hospital. Their
decision - Houston, we have brochures!! Hopefully they'll include directions
to adequately funded hospitals...
Note to those renting appliances: You can't SELL it... it's not YOURS. A local man was charged with theft under $5000 when he sold his rented TV for food money. Ouch! The TV, worth over $2000, fetched a measly $200 from the discriminating appraisers at The Swap Shop. Said entre-manures later unloaded it to someone for $1800. But who's in jail? The chump with $200 worth of Mac & Cheese, that's who. Ain't justice grand?
What do you do if trucks from a local towing operation constantly block access to your business? If you own a fork lift you pick up said illegally parked tow truck and move it yourself. Then you can pretty much punch the time clock - you're going downtown for mischief over $5000. Ya gotta be more careful with those forks...
What's worse than being arrested for Break and Enter? How about being arrested for B&E and trafficking! You're doing time for all that dope you stole and the guy who packaged it all for sale is filing an insurance claim for the window and wiping his brow. Fun? Wow!
The folks at Muskoka Sands' Taboo Sex Course are on cloud nine - Mike
Weir's U.S. Masters victory in Augusta, Georgia can't help but give them
some time in the sun. It must sound strange when he's interviewed, though.
Bracebridge is now a one donut-shop town! The Country Style donut shop on Manitoba Street has folded, due to rise from the ashes soon as some kind of coffee house. Meanwhile the influx of Country Style refugees has created a very strange atmosphere down at Timmies - the two shops had very different clienteles. Picture the Antiques Roadshow crowd sitting down for coffee with the Jerry Springer crowd.
Hold the phones on that announcement of a Kelsey's coming to Bracebridge - the building application is being objected to on the grounds that the Sleep Inn site isn't zoned for retail or for the traffic it will attract. They have a point about the traffic - Sleep Inn has a bizarre parking lot exit that only allows you to turn right towards town as you leave the lot - not left towards Port Carling. Those wanting to head to Port have to cut behind the Dairy Queen and use the Bracebridge Plaza light to make their escape.
One local woman took the deer-collision thing to a whole new level when an overly-refreshed ruminant jumped off a rock cut and landed on the hood of her Kia. Both deer and car suffered extensive damage. The car's in the shop. The deer is in the freezer.
Port Carling's Blue Box is rising from the ashes with noticeable changes. Wise to the community-wide slagging that the flat-roofed two-storey Blue Box received, the owners have decided to go single-storey, peaked roofy, post and beamy/ windowy. It's funny - the Blue Box that everyone hated looked very much like the rest of Port Carling's old-style waterfront (note the Duke Boat Works). The new version, which everyone will love, looks like the L.C.B.O.
Plans are underway to kick-start Muskoka's Adopt-A-Place program. Under the program people volunteer to keep designated areas of our community free from trash and litter. I would like to take this opportunity to volunteer to keep the change room area at The Bikini Lodge clean - stepping on an errant pin could be painful!
What's worse than rear-ending traffic that has slowed down for road construction? Having that last vehicle be a police Excursion pulling an O.P.P. boat on a trailer, that's what.
Muskoka's clamp-down on cigarettes continues - now extending to cigarette boats. The off-shore racers are now required to have a muffler or an expansion chamber on the exhaust - otherwise it's going to be an expensive summer. But hey, if you're zipping around in a cigarette boat you're probably in a position to have an expensive summer anyway, right?
Here's a gift that will keep on giving - an inmate at Fenbrook was patted down after guards noticed a visitor had slipped him something (not the way an inmate would slip something to him, mind you). Sparky got two more years as a guest of the Crown for possession and his generous friend will probably be joining him, too!
Heads continue to roll at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital - so far we've lost the CEO, the CFO and the Chief Nursing Officer. Apparently the hospital will be saving a lot of money this way. By the same reasoning you can lose 20 pounds instantly if you cut off your head. Oh yeah, and the gal in charge of counting the cash from the parking meters has left her job to be a guest of the Crown after being caught with $275 in coins in her purse. All I have to say is - that's a hell of a purse strap!
Provincial Minister of Education Elizabeth Witmer dropped by St. Domenic Catholic Secondary School and managed to say absolutely nothing of any importance or substance. She made the crowd happy by saying that she would 'consider' a new school - probably in much the same way that she's 'considered' leaving politics to become a professional taxidermist.
When I was a kid people who broke into cottages might steal a radio
or some cash left in a drawer. Now people break into cottages and steal
50-inch Zenith TVs and leather couches. Cottages ain't what they used
Trick or Treaters are getting a little older: two people canvassing parts of Bracebridge on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society weren't actually working for the CCS. They didn't really 'forget' their receipt books. So that's Inventive Weasels 6, Trusting Locals 0.
The debate still rages as to whether Bracebridge should continue to fork over $4600+ a year to employ a Town Crier. Some council members felt it inappropriate that said Crier uses a picture of himself dressed in town-provided duds in the brochure for his Bed & Breakfast. Meanwhile council has approved the continued employment of the Town Hangman, the Town Wizard and the Town Dragonslayer.
As bizarre as it may seem we still have a Town Lug Nut Loosener out
Speaking of deep thinking, the Town is still working on a plan to screw-up the main drag. Apparently the Town Wizard is going to be called upon to change the dead-straight Manitoba Street into a 'winding, serpentine route... flanked by pedestrian walkways and decorative landscaping'. This I gotta see - the town already has so many roads-rethought that Bracebridge is home to more dead end streets than West Berlin.
The expansion of the High Falls generating station is under appeal by those trying to remind council that we have a Festival of the Falls, not a Festival of the Spillways. Bracebridge Generating says the falls wouldn't be noticeably hurt by the expansion - they'd be sure to turn the water back on every weekend from May until October for that 'untouched wilderness' look so popular at places like Disneyland...
Building starts in the first quarter of 2003 were up 45% over 2002!
Late April is pancake breakfast time in Muskoka. If it's not the Windermere Lions Club its the Milford Bay Firefighters or the Ullswater Marlin Fishing Club.
Muskoka had no cases of SARS reported but there are fears that West Nile Virus may make it here this year. In response to this threat council has decided to argue endlessly over the wording of the funding proposal they'll be submitting to the Province. The debate should be wrapped up sometime next month. Then the Province will consider the request, offer a counter proposal, and we'll have our cash to fight West Nile sometime around October. 2004. Actually the Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit has the matter well in hand - they're going to hire a summer student to monitor the situation.
Weak Ender headline of the month: "Chef with beef gets discharge
in food theft". Well done! Apparently a newly laid-off chef felt
that the company owed him more than 2 weeks pay - they owed him a hip
of beef, too. All would have gone well if the friend he was car-pooling
with hadn't turned him in to the boss the next day. Car pools - they'll
do you in every time.
A boil water warning has been issued for lake-side residents after the Lake Joseph Club accidentally discharged 30 cubic meters of raw sewage into the lake. Note: theirs DOES stink..
A local couple won a zoning change to allow them to build a cottage
on a area zoned as a flood plain. Who would want to build in a place
If your cottage is in Lake of Bays Township you're safe - there will be no tax increase there. If your cottage is in The Township of Muskoka Lakes... you may envy the portability of a finely crafted double-wide.
The District of Muskoka wants to do something about the lack of affordable housing in the area. The biggest hurdle here: it's pretty hard to entice builders away from mega-profit, million-dollar, cottages for B-list celebrities to build low profit, low end housing for nameless everyday schmucks like us.
How busy are Bracebridge's Town councillors? Not too busy to spend time worrying about the legal, environmental and sociological impacts of releasing balloons at wedding ceremonies! One councillor was especially worried that the balloons could cause a plane crash. It's true, too - recently-released spy satellite photos have revealed that the cause of the space shuttle Columbia's demise was actually a balloon strike over a Colorado Chuckie Cheese franchise!
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