Monthly Archives: October 2009

Murder at Castle Kilbride!

Here are a few images from the recent theatrical production at Castle Kilbride, Where there is Smoke, There is Murder. The production, written by local playwright Teresa Brown, was performed last weekend.

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Tavistock holds mock emergency exercise

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Tractor fire

A tractor caught fire at about 2 p.m. on Oct. 20, destroying the farm implement. No word was available on the cause or if anyone was injured.


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Book detailing the life of New Hamburg founder William Scott released


First-time author Marie Voisin signs copies of her biography of William Scott and his Extended Family during a book launch party last week at her New Hamburg-area home. The home, known as Campfield, is the former country home of William Scott, a pioneering businessman credited with being the founder of New Hamburg. His other former home is The Waterlot.

Voisin became fascinated with the history of Campfield shortly after moving there 14 years ago.

A wealthy man in his native Scotland, William Scott, Lord Campfield, had immigrated to Canada around 1832. Following the tragic death of his wife, Scott and his family moved to New Zealand in 1867 to start new lives.

Marie and her husband Greg travelled to New Zealand and Scotland to complete research for the book and have since been in touch with several of Scott’s descendants in Canada and New Zealand.

William Scott and his Extended Family was self-published through Volumes Publishing in Kitchener. It is available at Upper Case Books in New Hamburg.

New Hamburg historian Ernie Ritz, who helped Voisin with her research, spoke during the book launch.

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A hefty pumpkin

NEWS - Big Pumpkin (col)This pumpkin is the smaller sibling to an 800-pound pumpkin that was entered in the Rockton’s World Fair this past weekend. Grown just outside of New Hamburg, this pumpkin was a labour of love for grower John Matessa. For more details, see next week’s issue of the Independent.

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Accident on Highway 7/8

An SUV rolled over on Oct. 7 around 9 a.m., blocking the east-bound portion of Highway 7/8 near Queen Street.

Air ambulance responded to the scene, along with Baden fire fighters, OPP and ambulance.

The SUV rolled and landed on its side in the east-bound lane.

The male and female occupants were trapped. After an air-ambulance arrived police reported that one person was without vital signs.

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Vital Signs report sheds light on quality of life in Waterloo Region

baden picnic

The third annual Waterloo Region’s Vital Signs report, issued today by The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation and the Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation, shines a light on our progress as a community.

We are one of the safest communities in the country, we use less water, we recycle, and more of us are now using the transit system, to highlight a few.
However, much like the past two years, there’s more to the story than meets the casual eye.

Waterloo Region’s Vital Signs also describes a community that, while surrounded by cultural opportunities, does not attend events or visit museums or galleries nor does it invest as much in the arts in comparison to creative communities like Toronto, Ottawa, or Hamilton.

And, Health and Wellness continues to be an area of concern for the Region. Obesity is on the rise, our activity levels are declining, we are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and we don’t have sufficient doctors for the number of people living here.

This year’s report found that while overall our poverty rates are declining (yet trending toward provincial and national numbers), our poverty rate for the elderly is on the rise. In addition, the report highlights that we have fewer child care spaces available for our families and that we lag behind the province with our investment in child care overall.

The report also suggests that Waterloo Region is well on its way to becoming a large, urban centre. While still faring better than Ontario and Canada, we are slowly trending toward provincial and national averages and experiencing more of the challenges associated with urban living.

Waterloo Region’s Vital Signs is part of a nation-wide community foundation initiative coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada and based on Toronto’s Vital Signs® developed by the Toronto Community Foundation and first published in 2001. Today, 16 community foundations are releasing their own local Vital Signs report cards.

Waterloo Region’s Vital Signs report highlights success and opportunity for Waterloo Region on several fronts:

· We divert more waste through recycling, composting, e-waste, and re-using building supplies in comparison to Ontario.

· The amount of treated water used in Waterloo Region was only 73 per cent of the median amount used in Ontario – which shows us that we are cutting back on our water use.

· We have more people giving to the causes they care about the most than seen across Ontario and Canada. And those donations tend to be larger.

· After falling behind for years, more of us are taking the bus to get to our destinations.

· Although it went down between 2007 and 2008, the Composite Learning Index score for the Region was still higher than both Ontario’s and Canada’s scores.

· Violent crimes and hate crime are well below the provincial and national percentages and the Crime Severity Index – the index that measures the level of personal impact of crimes committed – is also lower.

· Our employment rate is higher here.

· And, more of our residents are actively working or looking for a job as noted by the participation rate.

But the report also shows us that we have a number of areas in which we need to improve:

  • We have fewer people employed in cultural industries.
  • Investment in arts and culture is lower in Waterloo Region than in other creative communities.
  • The income gap between our richest and our poorest is getting larger.
  • Health and Wellness continues to be an area of concern as noted by our rising obesity rates, declining activity levels, the fact that we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and we don’t seem to have enough doctors to service our growing community.
  • While overall poverty rates are declining, there are still a number of seniors in the Region feeling the affects of poverty in contrast to the trend seen across Ontario and Canada.
  • Child care investment is lower here and we have fewer child care spaces than seen across the province and country.
  • We have slightly fewer high school graduates here.
  • And fewer of our residents have completed post secondary education.

“The release of our third Waterloo Region’s Vital Signs report continues to be both a celebration and a reality check,” says Jane Neath, Executive Director of the Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation. “Our hope is that it will continue to raise awareness of important issues and stimulate debate so that we can all work together to improve the lives of our families, neighbours, and friends and make Waterloo Region an even better place to live, work, play, and grow.”

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Bright’s Walters Family Band plays Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium tonight

The Walters Family Promo Pic with Schyler

The Walters Family Band, whose dinner show in Bright has been a hugely popular attraction for fans of country music for over seven years, will step onto a stage tonight that many of their idols have walked on before them. The Walters Family will perform at Nashville’s premiere performance hall the Ryman Auditorium.

About 300 local fans will be bused down to see the Walters perform in Nashville.

“It’s a dream come true!”, says Kimberly Walters, one of the Walters members. “We have realized a lot of dreams in our career, but this is one of the biggest. We are truly honoured to have the opportunity to grace the stage of The Ryman.”

The Walters Family performance at the Ryman parallels the 84th Birthday Celebration of The Grand Ole Opry. The historic Ryman Auditorium is Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall. With the coming of the Grand Ole Opry show in 1943, the Ryman found its identity as the Mother Church of Country Music.

Built in 1892 by riverboat captain and Nashville businessman Thomas G. Ryman, the Ryman Auditorium has been hosting the world’s most celebrated artists and entertainers for over a century, incuding pioneering performers such as Bill Monroe, Hank Williams and Patsy Cline.

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MeMe’s earns Eat Smart Award of Excellence


Owner of New Hamburg’s MeMe’s Café Meredith Hagen, left, was presented with an Eat Smart Award of Excellence by Waterloo Region public health planner Alana Bowering on Friday morning. MeMe’s is one of only seven restaurants in the region to earn the award for providing a menu of healthy options and to have a spotless food safety inspection record.

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Living Water’s fun carnival came to New Hamburg

Rain failed to keep people away from Living Water Church’s first annual Fun Day Carnival on Sept. 26. The carnival was held in the church parking lot and offered a free event to residents of New Hamburg. Some of the highlights included bouncy castles, a dunk tank, cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones.
Even when the rain came, people stayed around, so everyone was quickly moved inside the church where we had the children’s games and food.
The raffle was a success thanks to the many local sponsors.
Everything was amusing and entertaining which would not have been possible without the support from the community.

submitted by Melissa Smith

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