Editor's Notebook

A communication problem

Following a meeting of Huron-Bruce mayors Friday morning, I chatted with MPP Carol Mitchell and Huron-Kinloss mayor Mitch Twolan.

One of the subjects that came up was the Friday afternoon meeting to discuss the future of health care in Kincardine.

Mitchell mentioned that there are eight hospitals in Huron-Bruce, but all the complaints seem to come from here.

She believes there is a communication problem.

She’s correct in that assessment.

At that meeting Friday afternoon, the doctors asked the hospital board for CEO Paul Davies’ head, on a platter no doubt.

Under attack, Davies and the board representatives left the meeting after making their presentation.

I doubt if the meeting was the time and place to call for Davies’ head. However, the doctors made one thing very clear - there is a communication problem.


Keep an eye on that sow

From the Middle Ages until the early 1800s in Europe, animals were often charged with criminal offences such as murder and ended up in court.

Indeed, there were lawyers who made a living in Europe defending animals, says Dr. Jacqueline Faubert, a professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University.

There are two theories as to why animals were charged. The Bible, for example, says that animals can be possessed. The other explanation is that charging a person’s animal is society’s way of sending a message to the animal’s owner. Hanging a man’s pig, for example, would be quite onerous to his family as the pig would provide food for the winter.

Although animals could end up in court, they likely had more rights then they have today, says Faubert who moved to Kincardine last year.

Faubert, who has always been interested in history was the guest speaker at the Walker House Tuesday of last week.


How about a smile?

How about a smile?

Are you tired of all the doom and the gloom in the world?

Lori Smith of Jerome Flowers and Gifts is.

She phoned last week to say she will provide a large, beautiful bouquet on a regular basis to someone in the community who makes others feel better.

So, let’s see if we can find such a person for the month of October.

It could be your neighbour, a store clerk, someone you meet on the street. If you meet someone who makes you smile or feel better, tell us why in a maximum of two sentences. Drop off you letter at The Independent office or send us an e-mail with the title "flowers". The deadline is Oct. 31.

You have no doubt all heard of people who commit random acts of kindness. Perhaps we should all make that a habit.


Life is a cabaret

In the musical Cabaret, you notice that Berlin, Germany is a wide open place in 1929. It’s a society where people seem blind to race, religion, sexual preferences, whatever.

It’s also the year of the great stock market collapse.

But in Cabaret, things start to change in 1930. The Nazi Party, while still not in power, starts targeting people – Jews in particular. If you know your history, you’ll know that the misfits in the musical Cabaret are the type of people the Nazi Party eliminated once in power.

The economic chaos in Germany, caused in most part by its losing the First World War, allowed the Nazi Party to get a foothold in Germany and eventually to gain power. The result was the Holocaust and the Second World War.


Warnings

Two years ago I interviewed Ernie Marshall and two of his neighbours who were having trouble with the wind turbines constructed near their homes just north of Goderich.

After the turbines went on line, Marshall started having health problems and his hackney horses and Jack Russell terriers started behaving strangely.

Marshall has since moved from  his small acreage to get away from the turbines.

Sunday evening,  Marshall was on the CTV National News. I guess we scooped CTV by 23 months, to be exact.

Although it hasn’t been in the newspaper, it’s no secret that a few home owners are also having turbine problems in Huron Township


Scaring babies

Do you ever wonder from whence all the e-mails come?

Our service provider removes the "spam" on a regular basis and we try to check it regularly, just in case there is the odd important message.

No one checked it for eight days last week, so I took a look – there were more than 1,050 messages. From the title of the messages, most are trying to con people into buying sex products, cheap prescription drugs, mortgage deals, blah, blah. We’ll receive messages from 15 people in a row with exactly the same title – hardly obvious that the message is some kind of gimmick.

Every once in a while, some sucker must bite and so the e-mails keep coming.

Of those more than 1,000 messages, I opened one. On Sept. 21, a local person reported seeing a one- to two-year-old black bear run into the bush on the east side of Highway 21, across from the gravel access road to the south end of Hunter Street.


Newer not always better

In the last few years,  the playground equipment at schools and parks has had to be replaced by new, “safer” equipment. The Kincardine Lions Club is going to replace the equipment at the park at the Davidson Centre.

The playground equipment at Tiny Tot Park in Kincardine  meets the current code, says Fire Chief Jamie MacKinnon. However, that didn’t prevent a young girl from getting stuck in a child’s swing set a couple of weeks ago.

The child’s leg became stuck and firemen had to cut her out of the plastic seat.

If you take your children to the park, be sure they don’t get on a piece of equipment that they are maybe a bit too big for.

Maybe the modern equipment isn’t quite as good as the experts would have us believe.


Better late than never

I keep hearing about the deteriorating condition of area beaches so Dana and I took a short tour of some of those in Huron-Kinloss a week ago Sunday.

First stop was Boiler Beach, the place to be back in the 1960s. The boiler is now high and dry. Although the water is low, there was no sign of any dry sand and the beach just looked tired and in places, weedy. At the south end, water from a spring or culvert was full of algae.

At one time, we used to take the kids down to a stretch of sandy beach between the 12th and the 10th concessions. Now it seems to be grown over.

Finally, we took a stroll along Amberley beach at the foot of old Highway 86. There was algae along the shore in both directions as far as we could see.


Spin, spin and more spin

Times have certainly changed.
A reader brought in a page from a February, 1875, Kincardine newspaper.
One of the notices read something like this: Trustees of Knox Presbyterian Church, Kincardine, request that all who have remains of friends interred in the old burying ground belonging to the congregation to remove them by May 1, 1875, as the trustees require the ground for a new church.
Try moving a body today and you would likely end up in the slammer.


The red flag

The South Bruce Grey Health Centre board certainly knows how to wave the red flag.

As you know, there has been a fair bit of controversy concerning the board's decision to replace the physiotherapy department in Kincardine with a private company.

Much of the physio equipment at the hospital was donated by people from the community. It was removed before Aug. 18 to allow for the private company to set up shop.

Sources tell me the plaques, etc. that said, "this piece of equipment donated by John Doe" were found in the garbage. Fortunately, they were rescued and are now in a safe keeping.
Such sloppiness is not a way to win friends and influence people.