Council has a steep learning curve

Among the nine members of Kincardine council, Mike Leggett might be the quietest, but that’s not because he has nothing to say.

“I only speak when there’s something that needs to be said,” said Leggett, sitting in the council office following a December meeting.

December marked the two-year anniversary of Kincardine’s current council. As the first group with a four-year term, council has reached the halfway point of its mandate. Leggett, a first time councillor, says the last 24 months have been a learning curve for everyone around the table.

Floating symphony sinks

It looks like the idea of bringing a floating symphony to Kincardine has been sunk by a lack of funding.

Municipal staff told Kincardine council Dec. 17 that no major sponsor could be found to bring the $30,000 music show to the Kincardine harbour this summer.

With budgets expected to be tightened next year, council said it couldn’t support paying for the entire project without outside help.

“It’s a great idea but $30,000 can buy you a lot of things (in the budget),” said deputy mayor Laura Haight. “I just don’t think it’s a good idea (for this year).”

Large companies, including Bruce Power, were contacted to help with the cost and community groups were also asked to contribute.

Smart art

The Grade 4 class at KTTPS welcomed a special guest Wednesday as Bruce Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne presented a pair of awatds to members of the class. Each year, Bruce Power holds an elementary school art contest to design its Christmas card. This year, the winner was KTTPS' Ivah Guy, who earned an art set and $500 for school art supplies. Second place was her classmate Lauren Andrews. Hawthrone, middle posed with Guy, left, and Andrews while holding a framed copy of the winning design. (Kiel Edge photo)

Collecting Christmas cheer

Kincardine was in the Christmas spirit Saturday.

Hundreds of families will have a more enjoyable Christmas season thanks to the 11th annual Christmas Knights campaign and the generosity of the people of Kincardine.

“We don’t know exactly how much has come in,” said Anne Gibson Saturday morning. “But there is an overwhelming amount of food and toys here already. We’re about on pace with other years.”

Gibson, of the Kincardine Food Bank, was co-ordinating the community volunteers who showed up to help sort the donations being unloaded by Kincardine District Secondary School students at St. Anthony’s Church.

Floating symphony grabs council's interest

A $30,000 price tag will determine if a floating symphony performance sinks or swims in Kincardine.

The American Wind Symphony, a symphony orchestra that plays on a barge, has targeted Kincardine as one of its four Canadian stops in 2009. The barge, which includes a performance stage, living quarters and an art gallery, travels the world each summer giving performances in different cities.

The initial plan calls for the symphony to arrive for a five-day stay July 22. Performances would take place in the middle three days. The boat would likely be moored to the north pier, allowing for a large crowd to watch on Station Beach.

De-amalgamation is the agenda

One thing is clear from last Tuesday’s Friends of Kincardine Hospital (FOKH) public meeting: the group wants a change at the top.

Embattled South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) CEO Paul Davies took another verbal lashing from hospital supporters calling for his termination as the head of the hospital group’s decision making team.

“It’s not possible for us to have faith in the future without separating from the hospital and its current CEO,” said meeting co-chair Ian Mitchell.

Kincardine’s physician group brought to light the communication problems surrounding Davies and hospital staff at the Oct. 31 stakeholders meeting. Last Tuesday, Dr. Lisa Roth said the morale of staff has steadily decreased since Davies took over control of the hospital. He was also accused of bullying and secrecy by members of the FOHK committee.

Annual Christmas Knights charity drive Saturday

For the 11th year in a row, KDSS students are trying to help make Christmas brighter for needy local families.

Kincardine’s Christmas Knights campaign takes place on the morning of Dec. 13. More than 100 high school students will take to the streets, collecting food and toys door-to-door across Kincardine.

Community members join with other students and staff to sort through the donations in the basement of St. Anthony’s Church. A staggering amount of donations come in each year, but organizers say they have no goal in mind.

A committee of approximately 20 students has been organizing the event since last year. The charity drive is a lot of work, and means giving up a Saturday, but the students say it’s a chance to have fun while supporting an important cause.

Booze leads to charges

Two teenagers have been charged with liquor-related offences after a late-night arrest in Tiverton.

South Bruce OPP were patrolling King Street at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning when two teens were seen with open alcohol. The first, a 16-year-old Huron Township youth was charged with carrying open alcohol. The second, a 17-year-old from Huron Township, was arrested for public drunkenness.

A third youth was travelling with the teens, but was not carrying any liquor.

Council backs Friends of Hospital

The Friends of Kincardine Hospital’s (FOKH) decision to use its Dec. 9 public meeting to stir up support for de-amalgamation has some Kincardine councillors backing off their initial support for the group.

Last month, council agreed to support the FOKH’s plan to stage a communications meeting to look at options to protect the hospital. Since that time, advertisements for the meeting show it has shifted focus into only supporting a de-amalgamation plan.

“I’m not sure I want to support the objective,” said deputy mayor Laura Haight. “I’m not at the point where I want to be supporting de-amalgamation. It might not actually protect us.”

Developer has big plans for Ripley

An ambitious $10-million plan to turn Ripley’s downtown into a retail and culinary destination has Huron-Kinloss council excited for the future.

“It’s wonderful to see people thinking outside the box,” said councillor Jim Hanna. “I applaud this effort and it’s remarkable what’s been put together. It’ll be wonderful for Ripley’s future.”

Kincardine native David Brown has purchased a number of buildings in Ripley’s downtown since 2003. Recently, he bought the former Glass Hummingbird on Huron Street and purchased the property housing the feed mill.