This Week In Muskoka - December Edition
December started out with a whack of festive holiday food drives organized by good-hearted folks from various service groups. I applaud their efforts, but is it just me or is this process not flawed? Why ask people to pay retail for their groceries and then donate the groceries to a food drive when if they were asked for cash instead the organizers could go to a wholesaler and by more food from the same donation. Okay... okay... so I'm an overly rational killjoy. It just seems that the main beneficiaries of food drives are food retailers.
December, as everyone knows, is Drinking and Driving month and in honour of that The Advance kicked off the month with more reports of D.W.I. than any town should be able to amass. The weirdest had to be Ryon McGill, 18, of Bracebridge who wasn't really driving, per se, but he was lying in the middle of Hwy 118W passed out cold so that counts for something. A passing motorist called police who were unable to rouse the lad. And what should turn up in his clothes down at the station house where they took him to sober up but 1.6 grams of dope! Talk about being caught holding the bag... But the Pewter Tankard of Impaired Achievement has to go to John Hutt, 38, of Toronto who dropped into town to roll a friend's truck in the ditch by Windermere. John's blood clocked in at 256 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, which means he basically had Sangria coursing through his veins.
Speaking of D.W.I., the O.P.P announced that they would be kicking off their - get this - RIDE Festive Season Initiative November 29th and continuing the fun until January 2nd. Their figures from last year boiled down to one alcohol-related charge for every 350 cars stopped. God help us all when they realize that if they busted down the front doors of 350 randomly chosen houses they'd most likely be able to lay at least one charge for something. But they won't do that, will they? We have rights, don't we? Of course, we do. But keep in mind, they used to need Probable Cause to stop you on a street...
On the brighter side of law enforcement the Hunstville OPP have issued a warning to the ranks of the naive that strangers who distract you in the midst of an ATM transaction are probably up to no good. Several citizens have reported missing ATM cards and found that money had been withdrawn from their accounts. Which means the 'finder' had their P.I.N. So THAT'S why that nice man was leaning over my shoulder at the Instabank machine...
While we're on the topic of naive, keep in mind that we live in Bracebridge, not Bedford Falls. You can't leave your pick-up truck running while you go into Muskoka Movies and expect it to be there when you return. It'll probably be there. But not if Daniel McKinnon is in the neigbourhood. Similarly cars should be locked at night. Otherwise you may come out in the morning and find Kevin Boyce, 30, of North Bay sound asleep in it and drooling all over your armrests.
Golfers rest assured - the Township of Muskoka Lakes council has removed the holding provision on the development of the Lake Rosseau Beach Resort course after the developers crossed their hearts and promised on a stack of Bibles not to turn Bruce Lake into a algae-laden swamp. I see no reason why they'd lie. That nice man at the ATM said the developers were the salt of the earth...
Always read the fine print! Those two little girls at the Centennial Centre last weekend trying to raise money for the Bracebridge Guides were selling crack UP. No wonder it was so cheap. Anybody want to buy 5 bags of the stuff?
The votes are in and new wing at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital will be called "The Frank Miller Wing". Those of you who voted for "The Right Wing", "The Buffalo Wing" or "The Wing & A Prayer" will have to wait for the next expansion.
Utterson has ceased to exist. At least as far as anyone driving northbound on Hwy 11 would know. Highway 141 is now billed as going to Parry Sound and Port Sydney - the Utterson reference was dropped when they made the new sign. Utterson residents have started a petition to have the MTO amend their oversight. But even if they're 100% successful in their neigbourhood canvas, can you get a sign changed with 37 signatures?
An unusually observant Huntsville woman grabbing a coffee at Country Style Donuts noticed that the guy at the next table was apparently in the process of walking a mile in her husbands boots! The boots had been the subject of a hostile takeover at the Huntsville Bowling Alley the night before. Who says foot fetishes don't pay!
What do you do if you're drunk and not getting any action at the local high school dance? Why not pull the fire alarm. Twice! A local student, who cannot be identified under the Shouldn't Be Away From His Mother Act, will be charged with Mischief under the Criminal Code. Being a socially inept isn't a criminal offense. Yet.
And hats off to Gordon Adams who was acclaimed as District of Muskoka Chair for the third straight term. I don't care what anyone says... it is SO an achievement!
Demand from the hipster doofus community being what it is, Bracebridge has a new tattooist! Keith Fulfard is now set up at the Silver Daisy Boutique and ready to turn your hide into the living equivalent of a bridge abutment. Will that be a chain of thorns around your arm or a Chinese character you can't read on your back?
Breaking and entering can be a tough business. Operators have to constantly look for a new angle to keep one step ahead of the law. But when two guys from Scarborough decided to steal a garbage truck and come up north to empty cottages, they crossed that fine line between inventive and stupid. No one is going to notice a York Region garbage truck rumbling along Muskoka's back roads? But hey, you can put a TON of stuff in it - just pull the little lever at the side and the truck practically loads itself!
Bracebridge Yamaha was recently advertising their new EURO-SERIES snowblowers? What the hell is a EURO-SERIES snowblower you ask? I can only assume that they have wider legs and more room in the seat. That or they only throw the snow to the left. Or maybe it just means you rarely have to wash it...
The Bracebridge Centennial Centre is taking submissions as to what the second generation Centre should look like. So far the list is long and diverse - the Sydney Olympic site would fall short of what people have requested. When submitting your request, please try to keep in mind that just because you've taken a sudden interest in blacksmithing doesn't mean your community center needs a forge.
The region's first snowmobile fatality was early this year - Dec. 09th. That's the day that someone from Scarborough (what is it with people from Scarborough?) decided to pass a friend on the trail. On a curve. At night. Boy meets tree. RIP. Look for other classic moments in snowmobiling as the season progresses. Boy meets on-coming traffic. Boy meets street traffic. And the always nasty Boy-Who-Should've-Bought-a-Floater-But-Didn't-Because-They-Didn't-Look-Hip -Enoug h meets open water. Fashion suicide was never so literal.
Speaking of snowmobiling, make sure to give the Trail Officer a hard time if you come across one of their checkpoints this season. They received "Use of Force" training this year thanks to a visiting contingent of Israeli commandos and are dying to try out the new moves. Fortunately their request to be outfitted with Uzis and piano wire was refused.
This month's Home Depot update: the civil suit brought against the Home Depot development by the wrap-yourself-in-the-flag Our Muskoka Committee was thrown out. The same group still has an Ontario Municipal Board appeal pending so don't start standing in line just yet...
Bird Mill Mews (that big stone block place by the falls) has a new tenant - a jazz club! So what's it going to be: Birdland, The Mills Brothers, or The Kit Kat Klub?
Okay I Was Wrong Department: Cranberry Marsh Cove Resort got slapped around like a red-headed step child by the OMB! I figured with the cash they've been spreading around the OMB would pucker up and kiss their butts like everyone else. But alas, their plans to build an eighty foot dock and gazebo across the road in Sunset Bay are off.
The snowmobiling season is off to a flying start but a key 600-foot portion of the trail is still closed to through traffic thanks to a dispute between the land owner and The Happy Wanderers (those aren't Alzeimer's patients, they're snowmobilers). Seems the club did a fair amount of damage to the property in the name of 'trail maintenance' and the owner withdrew his consent to use the land. This cuts Bracebridge off from what is apparently a vital flow of snowmobilers from... wait for it... Minden and means that more than a few kegs of beer will go untapped as a result.
This takes us up to about Dec. 20th, the day I left town to travel abroad. So if you made the headlines in late December or half the main drag burned to the ground on Boxing Day - you'll have to wait for the January installment to read about that. Sorry, folks. Duty calls.
All the best for the New Year. And remember - there's nothing more inspiring than pathetic journalism.
READ ON (Late December-January 2001 Edition)
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