Monthly Archives: April 2008

Mannheim garage sale this Saturday

If you’re looking for a bargain a one-of-a-kind antique, or just a reason to get out for a walk, the place to be this Saturday is Mannheim.

On the first Saturday in May for the last 25 years, Mannheim residents have teamed up to organize one of the largest community garage sales in Waterloo Region. Dozens of homeowners take part in the event that draws yard-sale browsers from across Ontario.

The Mannheim Optimist Club will be offering two food booths during the event, one serving sausage on a bun on Bleams Road, and a breakfast location on Mannheim Road featuring bacon on a bun. All proceeds from the food booths help support the Optimist Club’s efforts to provide money for youth events in the community.

The food booths will be open for the duration of the sale, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Forest Glen students fundraising for AIDS research

Noam Gold-Utting and Callum Clarkehave teamed up
to try to raise four million pennies to
donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Tim Murphy, Independent staff

Four million children have died from AIDS in Africa since 2001.

After learning about the disease first hand, a Forest Glen student has decided to collect a penny for every child who has died.

Noam Gold-Utting, along with friend Callum Clarke, have decided to raise four million pennies to donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Gold-Utting said last summer he went to a hospital with his mother, to visit an old friend of hers. The friend was dying from AIDS.

Touched by the situation, and looking to do a good deed for his upcoming Bar mitzvah, he decided to raise cash.

He selected the Stephen Lewis Foundation while doing Internet research because that was the foundation Gold-Utting said kept coming up. Lewis also spoke to his synagogue, and his father read his book as well.

The students hope to fill water jugs with pennies, coins and bills. Each large water jug holds between 24,000 and 25,000 pennies. To reach their four-million penny goal, they will need to fill approximately 160 jugs.

All of next week, water jugs will be at Forest Glen where students and community members can drop off cash.

The bins will also be in a number of community businesses, which have not yet been confirmed.

Gold-Utting and Clarke will also be going class-to-class, playing a video and putting on a small presentation to explain AIDS.

The cash will be used to help support African orphans with food, schooling and counseling.

“They support a number of different things that help,” he said.

Gold-Utting said through his research he found out 15 to 30 per cent of African children will be orphans by 2010.

Gold-Utting and Clarke said they both learned a number of things about AIDS during their research, along with a number of common misconceptions about the disease.

Forest Glen vice-principal Jan Hansen said this has been entirely a student-run initiative.

He said the school jumped on the idea when the office was approached.

“It is a symbolic thing to show little things do matter,” he said.

Anybody who wants to make a donation can drop by Forest Glen this week. Tax receipts will be issued for donations ten dollars or more.

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Kodaly Festival May 6 and 7

Join parents, friends and relatives as they share in this year’s 21st Annual Kodaly Festival on May 6 and 7. This on-going musical festival, put together by the Waterloo Region District School Board, will feature 600 student singers from grades four through six from 30 different schools.

Included in these 30 local schools will be students from Baden Public School and New Dundee Public School.

Tamara Schmelzle along with Marg Weigel and Marilyn Sararas, have been offering their time since September 2007, to work with approximately 26 young children as they prepare for the festival. “We’re singing 18 songs, all of which are memorized,” Schmelzle said, “And not all of them are in English.” Adding that there are some pieces that will be sung in Italian, French and even an African language. Schmelzle also added that Sararas has been selflessly donating her time to accompany the children as they work through the songs and gear up for this year’s festival, which is chalked full of folk songs, many of which will be Canadian.

As per usual, the festival will be held at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener, however this year two guest choirs will be featured during the performances. The Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute Concert Choir will be featured on May 6 and the Huron Heights Secondary School Concert Choir will perform on May 7.

Both presentations will feature guest conductor, Charles Payette, a former music teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board, who will be set to the task of conducting not only a choir of 600 young people, but he will also be responsible for a full orchestra, which is to accompany the choir in many of its pieces.

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to view a performance that has been in the makings since September 2007.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased through students involved in the festival or through the Centre in the Square box office. To purchase tickets through the box office call 519-578-1570 or 1-800-265-8977.

Students at New Dundee Public School rehearse for the Kodaly Festival.

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Parent workshops approaching

Tim Murphy
Independent staff

Parents will be filling the classrooms of Baden Public School on May 6.

Organizers are working on a number of educational workshops to provide tips and help on raising children.

Rhonda Hazelwood-Smith, co-president of the Baden Public School Council, said the workshops take advantage of the skills some parents have and allow them to share it with others.

“We have this great wealth of knowledge at our school.”

The classes will also help new school parents network with others.

“I’m a new Junior-Kindergarten mom,” she said.

The workshops vary from Internet safety to organization, sexuality, bullying, reading, being home alone, financial planning and eating disorders.

“It empowers parents to be able to approach those issues,” Hazelwood-Smith said.

Class teachers vary from public health nurses, to Waterloo Region District School Board employees and other agencies.

Each half-hour session will consist of a small group of parents, who will rotate between different subjects.

Last year there was an average of five or six parents in each group.

Hazelwood-Smith said she hopes more parents attend this year.

The workshops are free, and food will be served.

Baden principal Joanne Soye flyers are also being sent home this week with students.

“It is an opportunity for people to get info and network with other parents in the community,” she said.

Soye said there will also be books on loan in the library which touch on the various subjects discussed during the classes. They can be signed out under their children’s names.

The workshops take place on May 6, at Baden Public School, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Parents can attend three 30 minute classes during the evening.

Volunteers will offer supervision for children JK to Grade 6 in the gym, as well as games and refreshments.

Childcare for two and three year-olds will be provided as well.

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Goose stops traffic

A reader submitted these photos of a pesky goose stopping traffic in downtown New Hamburg on April 23.

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Wilmot hosting fundraising meeting

Wilmot Township is hosting a free fundraising workshop for Wilmot community groups looking for new ideas for fundraising.

The workshop is being presented by Greg Burns, who is well known in the field of Recreation and is a fantastic speaker.

Burns is the Coordinator of the Recreation and Leisure Services Program at Conestoga College and President of his own consulting firm, Greg Burns and Associates. He has worked in the leisure services field for thirty-seven years, holding a variety of positions including community developer, sports director, program manager, and director of parks and recreation in both small and large municipalities.

Burns has many years of experience working with community groups on fundraising initiative and I’m sure you will find that he would be a great resource for any of our community groups and their projects.

The workshop is April 23, starting at 7 p.m., in the Community Centre at the Wilmot Recreation Complex. Space is limited so those wishing to attend are asked to either phone Vicky Luttenberger at 519-634-8444 or email her at to reserve a spot.

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Fun at Baden Public School

Lukas Winter contemplates a move during a noon-hour chess tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Baden Public School.

Tim Murphy, Independent staff

Cassady Smith, Sydney Knorr and Mare Prober show off some of the colourful butterfly creations they made at Baden Public School.

Tim Murphy, Independent staff

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Donate hair this weekend

Eleven year old Heather decided to cut her hair this past week to help promote the Teddy’s Bakery cancer fundraiser, which is taking place this weekend.

“Last Friday my mom cut my hair (12 inches) so that I could donate it to help make a wig for a child with cancer,” Heather wrote to the Independent.

” I love my long hair and really didn’t like to even have it trimmed but after hearing about my cousin cutting her hair in support and reading about the fundraiser this coming weekend, I decided that cutting my hair was something that I wanted to do.”

Heather said she is already planning to grow her hair out to cut it again for another donation.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone else,” she wrote.

The event is taking place at Teddy’s Bakery on April 19 at 3 p.m. Donations of hair and cash are welcome. All proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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Wellesley budget approved

Tim Murphy
Independent staff

Wellesley has passed its 2008 budget.
Councillors were presented with a proposed 8.3 per cent tax increase by staff a few weeks ago.
During the April 7 meeting, council opted to go with a 5.5 per cent increase.
An eight per cent increase would have added about $56.13 to the average property owners bill, assuming a home value of $203,000. Now the increase amounts to a $37 increase.

The average property bill will now be $716.
The average property tax in Cambridge is $937.80, in Kitchener it is $912.72, and in Waterloo the cost is $866.77.
In Wilmot the cost is $609.14, and in Woolwich the cost is $488.
The other municipalities are looking at tax increases of between 2.3 per cent and 6.08 per cent.
The meeting was only attended by two residents from Wellesley, who dropped by to learn how the budget process works. Seeing as how there were no other residents in attendance with concerns, council spent some time explaining why there are increases, and where the tax dollars go.

Although an informative process for the two men who dropped by, no concerns were expressed and the budget passed.
The tax increase dropped by over three per cent because councilors opted to take $320,000 from tax reserves.
CAO Susan Duke said council is still going to be taking forward a large surplus dating back to 2006.

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Body found in Nith River

Police and firefighters wait by the body until detectives arrived to investigate the scene.

Tim Murphy photo

Police remain tight lipped after two canoeists discovered what they described as the naked body of a 40 to 50-year-old woman around the noon-hour Wednesday. The body was found on the Nith River north of Wilby Road in Wilmot Township.

The canoeists told a neighbour they had stopped for lunch when they made the gruesome discovery.

Police, paramedics and Baden firefighters arrived on the scene shortly before 1 p.m. to assist with the recovery.

Nearby property owner Florence Snyder told the Independent the couple came knocking shortly after noon and asked her to call police. Daughter Christine Snyder said she made the call to 911. Police and firefighters arrived not long after to begin the half-kilometer walk down a wooded embankment on the west side of the river.

At 1:30 p.m., Snyder said efforts were underway to recover the body, pointing to a wooded area where the river bends north of Wilby Road.

Police would not release any details at the scene and the canoeists were prevented from speaking with reporters.

A press release from Waterloo Regional Police stated that after an initial search and preliminary investigation, officers confirmed the discovery. Detectives and forensic identification officers along with the coroner’s office were called to the scene and continue to investigate.

The body of an adult female was removed from the scene to undergo post-mortem examination.

Positive identification of the female will not be available today. No further details will be released at this time.

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New Hamburg residents oppose “big-box” pharmacy proposal

Doug Coxson
Independent staff

Citing concerns about traffic, pollution and the gradual erosion of the town’s character, New Hamburg residents turned out in force to Wilmot council chambers last night to oppose a zone-change application that if approved would see the construction of a “big box” pharmacy at the northwest corner of Peel Street and Highway 7/8.

The public meeting allowed residents to voice concerns about the potential impacts of the proposal in advance of a staff recommendation and council decision on the application, which by all appearances is a long way from reaching the table.

Representatives from the two development firms submitting the application, Goldmanco and Ross-Bay Developments, were there to listen to the delegations but provided no comment.

At this point the application was presented for information only. Wilmot township councilors made no comment on the proposal.

Three separate petitions were presented during the meeting, including letters and delegations from residents and business owners.

Much of their concerns related to impacts of traffic at the intersection, potential impacts to surrounding home values and the loss of the small town character in the area leading into New Hamburg’s historic downtown core.

Three homes on the proposed site of the 17,000 square-foot pharmacy would be demolished to create a parking lot, widen the road and provide access. Neighbours of those properties are among close to 80 signatures on one petition opposing the application. Other neighbours living on Joseph Street signed their own petition in a chorus of opposition citing impacts of traffic, light pollution, environment and property values.

The Ministry of Transportation, which regulates the intersection and a 395 metre radius surrounding it, does not support the application as presented and has told township staff permit applications for grading, access and construction would not be available until it completes its environmental assessment and preliminary design study of the highway corridor.

That study is not expected to be completed until 2010.

The Region of Waterloo is also expected to provide comments since Peel Street is a regional road. Both the region and MTO will likely require the applicant submit detailed traffic and noise studies before they will even consider the application.

The site is already slated for commercial use if the right project comes along. Wilmot Township designated the entire length of Peel Street to the highway as “urban core” during its revision of its official plan in 2003.

Township planning staff is expected to review all comments and studies before it returns to council with a detailed report and recommendation.

The entire planning report as presented last evening can be viewed online in pdf format by clicking this link:

For the full story, pick up next week’s Independent.

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Peter Buehlow finishes second in age group

Athletes dive into the swim portion of the Ironman Triathlon in Tempe, Arizona last Saturday. Of the 2035 athletes who started the swim, 2033 finished in time to start the bike leg.

Bright triathlete Peter Buehlow completed the Ford Ironman Arizona in Tempe, Arizona last Saturday with an overall time of 9 hours, 45 minutes and six seconds, finishing second in his age category.

The 46 year old placed number 37 out of more than 2,000 athletes competing in the grueling race that included a swim leg of 3.9 kilometres, a 180 kilometre bike ride and a 42 kilometre run.

Buehlow completed the swim segment in one hour, five minutes and 59 seconds. His bike leg lasted five hours, five minutes and 38 seconds; and he completed the run in three hours, 27 minutes and nine seconds.

Over the last few years, Buehlow has competed in a number of Ironman races across North America, including Hawaii and Lake Placid.

He also runs annually in the New Hamburg 8K Classic, which returns for its 29th year on June 7.

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Grand River Conservation Authority issues flood advisory in advance of heavy rain Friday

Check radar by clicking HERE

A potent spring storm system will move into southwestern Ontario tonight bringing heavy rain and a risk of thunderstorms through the day on Friday. At this time most of the snow pack has melted from all portions of the watershed.
The combination of rainfall, melting of any remaining snow along with existing spring freshet levels will cause rivers and streams to rise quickly on Friday with high flows continuing through the weekend. Flooding of low lying areas that traditionally flood can be expected with this event. Depending on the volume of rainfall, warning levels may be exceeded through the villages of New Hamburg, Ayr, Grand Valley, Elora and West Montrose.
Major reservoirs have between 20 to 25 percent of their flood control storage available at this time. Reservoirs will be operated to reduce the impacts of flooding.
Flood coordinators have been advised to be ready to reactivate their flood preparedness plans.
Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and when combined with cold, fast-moving water pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses and off any remaining ice sheets at this time.
Conditions will be monitored closely as rain moves into the area. Flood messages will be issued as necessary.
Information on river flows and reservoir levels can be found at the GRCA’s website at in the “River data” section.

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Renowned entertainer coming to Waterloo-Oxford

As featured in last week’s New Hamburg Independent, Waterloo-Oxford DSS is hosting a Relay for Life event for the Canadian Cancer Society on May 23 to 24. To help raise awareness of this event in the community and to raise more funds for the cause the Relay for Life Committee is excited to be hosting renowned entertainer Jerry Enns at W-O on April 15 starting at 7 pm.

Enns is a well-travelled and highly accomplished entertainer with local roots who is excited to be bringing his unique comedy-hypnosis show to Waterloo-Oxford. “We’re thrilled to have someone of Mr. Enns status in his field at our school and we know he is hoping for a large turnout to help the event raise money for this most worthy cause and also to encourage community members to sign up for the event,” says W-O Relay for Life Chair Josh Proksch. Enns not only takes his stage show to prominent venues throughout North America, from Las Vegas resorts to local venues like Guelph’s River Run Centre, but he is also a sought after corporate speaker and personal success trainer.

W-O’s first Relay for Life in 2006 featured 43 teams, raised $51,000 and was the largest fundraising event in the history of the school. That event featured many teams from the community, made up of Crusader alumni, families and friends of cancer survivors, and teams from local businesses and/or service clubs. This year’s Relay for Life event has a goal of 60 teams of 10 people each to participate and a fundraising goal of $75,000.

“We want to make sure the community knows that while Relay for Life is a school-sponsored event it really is for the whole community,” says registration Co-Chair Erika Paling, “and this event will give us a chance to explain better what Relay is all about and how community teams can get registered.” Relay for Life is a 12-hour celebration of life and hope featuring tent city, live entertainment, food, fun, games, survivor’s lap, luminary ceremony and more. This year’s event runs May 23 to May 24.

Tickets for the April 15 Jerry Enns show are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are available at Teddy’s Bakery, in Baden, Riverside Flowers, in New Hamburg, at W-O and at the door.

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Wellesley approves 5.5 per cent tax increase

Wellesley council approved a 5.5 per cent tax increase on Monday night.

Only two citizens of the township stopped by the meeting to learn about the budget before council approved the increase.

When the budget package was first made public, an increase of over 8 per cent was expected. Council lowered those numbers through cuts to department budgets and using money from the tax stabilization reserve.

The increase to the average home owner, with a property value of $203,000, will be an additional $37 a year. The average property tax bill is now $716.

Full details will appear in next week’s Independent.

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