Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
"The Highland Companies, which operates potato farms in the area, announced it has stepped back from spearheading the YMCA effort"
Read the entire article:
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Total population in the six municipalities: 29,400 (Source: Stats Canada)
Total phone calls made in the survey: 2,500
Total people who actually answered the phone and took part in the survey: 428
(Source: Steve Boone, YMCA)
That means 1.4% of the population was surveyed and 89% of those overwhelmingly supported a YMCA.
There has been a significant decrease in taxable assessment in Melancthon due to the Highland Companies bulldozing and burning century and heritage houses and outbuildings on 12 properties. They have permits for seven more. To date the combined assessed value on these 12 properties exceeds $2.9 million. When questioned at the October 16, 2009 meeting of Melancthon County Mayor Fawcett confirmed that any loss in taxation from these demolitions will be “shared” by all taxpayers (meaning those of us left).
If these six municipalities felt that a YMCA was needed, why don’t they pursue it themselves? The phone survey was $28,000.00. (Source: Steve Boone, YMCA) Split six ways does not seem out the realm of financial ability of any of the municipalities. If they can’t afford the $4,000 per municipality to do the study, they had better take a cold hard look at what the capital and operating costs of the YMCA itself will be, unless of course Highlands is paying.
If Highlands is in fact paying the whole shot, the next question is: if these municipalities are “partnering” and accepting this kind of cash from Highlands, to benefit their electorate in an election year (or any year for that matter) does that create a pecuniary interest in voting pertaining to Highlands at both the local and County level? One only has to look to Orangeville Council over the rail issue to see how that worked for them. Very, very costly indeed and that is just the legal fees fighting the pecuniary interest in court, both with their tax dollars at the local level AND County level. In effect, Orangeville ratepayers are paying twice (on both sides of the dog fight so to speak).
IF a YMCA is needed, then local Councils need to stand up, justify it to their ratepayers, budget for it and pay for it themselves. Kudos to the one lone Councillor who realized this early on, but who was clearly silenced, I mean outvoted by more “seasoned” politicians.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
“What do we mean by a self-sufficient, sustainable community? It's one that achieves the right mix of economic activity, local government services and quality of life - without having to increase taxes.”
Lets address these statements shall we?
Firstly their statement “without having to increase taxes”
To date they have bulldozed and burnt all structures on 12 properties of which the assessed values is in excess of $2.9 million. They have another 7 permits to burn on properties on which the assessed value is more than $1.4 million for a total of assessment on demolished properties of $4.3 million.
The Township needs a “sustainable” (to use a buzzword) level of funding. Any decrease in that level through reduced taxes due to property now being vacant will be borne by all taxpayers. This was confirmed by Mayor Fawcett at the October 16 meeting of Council, when questioned,
Next statement, “right mix....and quality of life”.
What quality of life is there with blasting, trucking, noise, dust a railway several times a day and no citizens left with which to form a community? Just asking.
Sustainability-how is pumping water until the end of time to keep a massive 2,400 acre 200 foot deep hole in the ground, devoid of soil and rock “SUSTAINABLE”.
Any politician who cannot see through this self serving mantra and does not immediately stand up and voice their concerns against this initiative should be ashamed of themselves and do the right thing and resign.
Friday, November 20, 2009
See the entire article:
The story further states that: “Ken Lucyshyn, a vice-president and general manager with Walker Industries, was not impressed with the report. I’m disappointed but I’m not surprised given their past record with aggregate applications,” he said. “I don’t think they took into consideration all of our findings [technical data that was submitted] or the fact we’re proposing to do a lot of good things with the site – things like tree planting and so forth.”
Wow. What is wrong with the NEC, I mean honestly. This massive aggregate proposal will be offset by planting some trees (and so forth).
Lets see: Walker Industries wants to open a new, 170-acre quarry across the road from its present 116-acre pit and mine below the water table and don’t forget build an asphalt plant at the new site. Surely planting a few (KATRILLION) trees WILL offset the carbon footprint.
And of course in order to reassure their opponents (and gullible politicians) we come to the oft quoted position of ALL aggregate companies who mine below the water table:
This company is of course planning to rehabilitate the land with.....wait for it......a GIANT LAKE!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Makes you think that 2,225 people were in favour of a YMCA (which would be 89% of 2,500).
But hold yer (trojan) horses partners....
What is not mentioned is that while 2,500 calls were made, ONLY 428 people were actually surveyed. The rest were probably not home, trying to avoid the smoke from the demolished and burning houses in Melancthon. (source: Steve Boone, YMCA email dated November 19, 2009).
Stats Canada shows that the population in the six municipalities who are supposedly wet with excitement about this YMCA have a combined population of 29,450 people.
And the YMCA feels that surveying 428 of them is representative of support for a YMCA in the area. I calculate that 428 people is just OVER 1% of the population of the eligible voters.
In a few days I will post, in a very simple short way, why it is important that Highlands NOT be involved in any YMCA proposal for our community. You will be surprised at the linkages and ramifications for local politicians and councils.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Comprehensive list all of organizations:
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
According to a July 24, 2009 letter from Deputy Dog Bill Hill to a ratepayer, a one percent tax increase in Melancthon only generates $12,000.00. According to my math the assessed values on the properties that Highland Companies has destroyed equals a tax rate of 207%.
At the October 15 meeting of Council Mayor Fawcett confirmed that any loss in the tax base due to the demolition of these homes on properties owned by Highlands would be born by all the remaining taxpayers. After all, the municipality has to generate a certain amount of revenue. So Highland gains and we have the pain.
It does not seem fair to me, but Council clearly has NO problem with this. Melancthon Council has the authority to instantly stop the demolition by passing a bylaw under Section 33 of the Planning Act and also to designate these homes under the Heritage Act but have chosen not to.
Don't forget, Lowndes owns another 9 homes which he clearly has no wish in which to reside, so we can expect they will be coming down real soon. Jeez, Melancthon can’t hand these burn permits out fast enough.
AND finally, at NDACT's public meeting in June, Minion Mikey Daniher stated publically that Highlands had plans to demolish homes in numbers of LESS than "double digits".
Now I am not a smart person and math clearly is not my forte, but double digits in my simplistic world starts at 10. They are already up to 12, so I guess this would represent just one more lie in the Highlands Grand Plan for Melancthon.
But then again Mikey also stated at the June 2009 NDACT meeting the homes were demolished because they were condemned and uninsurable.
Investigation revealed that the Chief Building Official (CBO) for the County of Dufferin is the only authorized legislative authority to issue an Unsafe Order under the Building Code. AND the CBO advised in an email dated June 22, 2009, “None of the(se) properties you are asking about have been as you say "condemned" by the County of Dufferin Building Department”
Removing 21 houses from Melancthon equals 2% of the total homes. To remove 2% of the total homes in Toronto equals 20,811 homes. Do you think if some corporation took down 21,000 homes in Toronto in the name of all that is good and right someone wouldn’t notice or put a stop to it?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My grandfather and uncle fought for the right to free speech for all Canadians and the free world.
Canadians should NOT be intimidated from speaking their views at a meeting of Council or in the paper. They should NOT feel afraid because they are standing up for what they feel is good and right.
Remember, if you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Why is it our business? The loss of these homes destroy a community and taxbase. You and I will be making up for the lost revenue and assessment on these homes. Mayor Fawcett confirmed that at the October 15 Council meeting when she was asked.
“Trevor Downey of Downey Farms and John Lowndes both say the intent in Melancthon is merely to have a world-class potato operation.” (Orangeville Citizen, June 27, 2007) See full article attached: http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2007/0607/local_news/011.html
This is on S/R 15 in Melancthon on Lot 16, Concession 4 (Wallace) where trees were clear cut without proper permits. Maybe I am imaging this, but it looks like the EXACT size for a rail bed and train.
This row of more than three hundred 15 year old trees, that served as a windbreak and wildlife corridor was ripped out by Highlands in one day and dumped in the old gravel pit behind Downey's warehouse. Highlands had initially claimed they were transplanting the trees. This tree line used to stretch between the 5th line NE and 4th line NE (dump road).
Friday, November 6, 2009
Here is a little ditty Council might want to amuse themselves with, since they have no intention of stopping the devastation:
(Sung to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down)
Homes and barns are coming down
Homes and barns are coming down
All thanks to John Lowndes
Thousands of trees have been cut down
Been cut down
Been cut down
Thousands of trees have been cut down
All thanks to John Lowndes
We've asked Council to put a stop to this
Stop to this
Stop to this
We've asked Council to put a stop this
But Lowndes’ ass they’d rather kiss
Thursday, November 5, 2009
All it means is can anyone/we/me/I /you/Council keep this up?
I bet you have never heard the phrase: is our sex life sustainable; is our grocery bill sustainable; is our lifestyle sustainable?
So why don't corporations and people just use the plain language phrase instead of a stupid "buzzword".
Highlands is spouting that they envision a "sustainable" community, "sustainable" agricultural practices, "sustainable" and carbon neutral 2,400 acre, 200 foot deep, open pit limestone mine.....
Highlands is offering no "sustainable" solution to keep the BIG hole dry, after they have mined ALL 2,400 acres of their $18 million an acre limestone.
Here is one way to pay for it. Rent the BIG DIG out for movie shoots. The existing Caledon pit, which will look like a groundhog hole compared to what Highlands is proposing to do, is renting to movie shoots, with the quarry serving as the setting for Afghanistan.
Melancthon's hole in the ground could be the setting for the surface of the moon, mars, or life on earth after a nuclear explosion.
I would be more anxious for the movie, if I wasn't living the (rocky) horror show myself.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
they went out immediately, investigated and.....wonders of wonders, laid charges!!
For the full article see: http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/Local/article/555222
Anybody out there from the County of Dufferin?
Politicians? County Forest staff???
Anybody....hello, is this mike on?
Sunday, November 1, 2009