Highway 12 bridge in Midland getting rehabilitated

While Penetanguishene dollars are going into the overhaul of Main Street, and Midland is using funds to tear up Norene Street, it is the provincial government that is funding the full rehabilitation of the bridge on .

JUST THE FACTS:

• The work is taking place to the east of Wye Valley Road and west of the entrance to the Martyrs’ Shrine.

• The contract was awarded to Clearwater Structures at a value of $3.5 million and also includes the rehabilitation of the Highway 12 bridge over the Coldwater River in Coldwater.

• Crews started work this spring, and the project is expected to be completed by fall 2019.

• The work on the top of the bridge is being completed in two stages — one half at a time — to minimize the impact on traffic and allow for efficient construction operations.

• One lane in each direction will be maintained and open to the traffic at all times.

• No full closures of that section of Highway 12 are anticipated during the duration of the project.

• The Ministry of Transportation owns approximately 2,800 bridges. General maintenance inspections are conducted on all bridges at least twice a year, with a full detailed inspection mandated every two years.

• The Ontario government is funding repairs and rehabilitation work on 221 bridges across the province, between 2016 and 2020.

• In 2014-15 the Ontario government committed to spending $190 billion over 13 years to expand and renew Ontario’s infrastructure.

Glenn Spriggs — Ramara Ward 1

I will create more partnerships between business, organizations and their communities and exhibit the positive attributes synonymous with living in rural Ontario. As a result of a collaborative approach we can demonstrate a quality of life second to none for the next generation and become a municipal leader.

I proudly call Ramara Township home for many reasons: you can’t ask for better neighbours who are willing to lend a hand in time of need, the family values shared by folks are with strong morals and the belief to be kind to your neighbour. I take joy in living where so many people want to come visit because of our lakes, rivers and streams and the overflowing amount of outdoor experiences right at our door step.  

I will be your voice as a concerned neighbour, councillor and friend (i.e. quarry development/expansion, noise bylaw, municipal services, roads, fire rescue services, high speed internet access and so on). I look forward to representing you at council, bringing your concerns before council and letting them know about the wonderful families at the north end in Ramara Township Ward 1. We will not just stand by — as we all know, north is not just a direction in our township … North is a place we call home!

Biographical details:

Has lived in Ramara Township for over 24 years

Successful career in tourism industry for more than 30 years

Proud father who happily raised a family in Ramara Township

Ramona Hall — longstanding board director and executive (president 2005 to 2010)

Ramara Fire Services — Station No. 3 (firefighter and captain — 12 years of service)

Ramara disaster relief committee (2013)

Graduate of Georgian College-Barrie (School of hospitality — marketing and business scholar)

“I came to know Glenn Spriggs during my years in the resort business on Sparrow Lake. He impressed me as a hard working resort manager with great integrity and a keen ability to listen to his customers and staff. ” Bruce Stanton, Coldwater — Simcoe County  

Contact information:

Glenn Spriggs

Telephone and text:

Email:

Address: 7609 Cronk Siderd., Washago

Visit my Facebook page.

Paul Mitchell — Blue Mountains Deputy Mayor

I was born in Owen Sound, My great grandparents settled in Grey County in 1853. I have lived in Thornbury 23 years. I retired with over 40 years of business experience in the Automotive After Market and later my wife and I operated Lights Plus on Bruce Street.

My wife Carole and I have been married for close to 53 years. with two sons and five grandchildren.

I have attended most council meetings over the past 20 years so I am well aware of how municipal government works.

I know what is required of a Town and County Councillor.

TEAM PLAYER

WITH COUNCIL KNOWLEDGE

Challenges for the next Council

• Better Value from the County

• Affordable Housing

• Transportation

• Tax Fairness

• Openness and Accountability

• Community Values in Planning

• Fewer Closed Meetings

• Environmentally Responsible

I have the time to devote to Town and County Business

www.paulmitchellfordeputy.com

519-599-7793

[email protected]

In cottage country, cyclists are clashing with ‘blue collar’ locals — and the police

COLLINGWOOD — After decades of promoting itself as a top destination for winter activities, South Georgian Bay’s rolling hills, escarpment views and network of bike paths have turned the area into a summer hot spot for cyclists.

But surging cycling tourism — along with an influx of wealthy retirees bringing their money and bicycles to the area — has stirred resentment, and even surprise police action, including at least one case where cyclists say Ontario Provincial Police used aerial surveillance to ticket a group of riders.

The Bike Wars have come to Ontario’s playground.

“Bikes! Love ’em’ or hate ’em, we all have to put up with them,” Robert Burcher, a self-described cycling pioneer, wrote in an article published in , a community newsletter mailed throughout the Blue Mountains.

“But I too am getting outraged at the insolence and arrogance of some of the riders.” He noted that the area’s hilly terrain — a magnet for cyclists — is also a safety hazard for cars “forced into the oncoming traffic on blind hilltops as they try to manoeuvre around the slower bikes.”

Some speculate rancour toward cyclists has led to the defacing of several “Share the Road” signs in the area. A posting on a Facebook cycling site suggested the culprit is “an overweight, middle age, white male smoker” in a pickup truck.

Some members of the Collingwood Cycling Club (CCC) believe that rather than trying to ease tensions, the OPP’s local detachment is picking sides by targeting cyclists for not following the letter of the law, while giving drivers a pass for similar infractions.

“They’re certainly harassing us for whatever reason, and I don’t think it is safety. I think it’s more they may be reflecting a segment of the community’s opinion,” Pete Bailey, 74, said after a recent early morning ride.

The Star asked the OPP if the Collingwood detachment is targeting cyclists, particularly CCC members, for enhanced enforcement. “The OPP regularly uses education, awareness and enforcement campaigns to ensure the safety of all road users in OPP jurisdictions, including cyclists,” Const. Martin Hachey wrote in email.

“It is the shared responsibility of all road users to stay safe and operate within the bounds of the (Highway Traffic Act.) Those who don’t can be charged with moving violations under the HTA.”

Bailey, a retired IBM manager, and his wife, Clare O’Brien, 68, a radiologist who worked in hospitals in Collingwood and Toronto, were on a return 80-kilometre cycling club ride to Creemore last month when an OPP Const. John Gee signalled for their group to stop.

Gee told the seven cyclists, wearing the CCC’s high-visibility yellow jerseys, that aerial surveillance had observed them failing to stop at two rural stop signs, the cyclists said, adding that the constable asked for their identification so he could issue tickets.

Among the riders was a retired Toronto police officer, who said he refused to provide his name and challenged the OPP officer to show him the relevant section under the Highway Traffic Act that required him to produce identification.

The next thing he knew, he was being handcuffed.

The retired officer agreed to be interviewed on the condition the Star not identify him because he was “humiliated” and doesn’t want his family to know what happened.

“He had not seen us committing an offence. If you go to Google, it’s (the stop sign) at least 23 minutes away where this alleged offence took place,” he said in between sips of coffee at a Tim Hortons outlet. “I don’t know if cyclists went through there but it wasn’t me … I stopped.”

He said the handcuffing caught him by surprise.

“If you’re transporting a prisoner, sure, but you don’t, as I see it, handcuff a 70-year-old in Lycra … with cleats on,” he said.

“Something is amiss here. Taxpayer money? Was there no missing kids that weekend they could have used the plane for?”

O’Brien recorded the encounter on her phone and shared the video with the Star. It shows Gee handcuffing the retired officer, as the other cyclists look on. The ex-cop says he was released a short time later after providing his name to Gee. On Friday, while sitting in a black SUV outside the OPP’s Blue Mountains detachment, Gee declined to comment to the Star.

The OPP would also not confirm if air surveillance was used on June 10, 2018. “Information regarding the OPP’s use of aviation equipment is operational in nature,” Hachey wrote in email.

As for the CCC members stopped June 10, “it appears that the cyclists were not charged at the scene and given the length of time since the stop took place, it is unlikely that they will be,” Hachey wrote in an email to the Star last week.

Cindy Boyd, 55, another cyclist in the stopped group, said it felt as if the officer wanted to send a message that “this is our turf, this is a message to all you cyclists … beware.” The retired broadcast professional is a native of this turf after recently moving back from Markham to be close to her parents, who she calls “hard-working farmers.”

Decades after riding the roads as a teenager, Boyd has been shocked by the aggression demonstrated by some drivers toward cyclists, such as the trucker whose rig narrowly passed her on a steep descent last week — “his mirror was this far from my shoulder” — before she watched him cut in front of another rider and hit the ditch, apparently “to spray dust him.”

What’s causing all this conflict? Boyd has a theory.

“Collingwood is a blue-collar town, underneath all of it. I grew up here, I know. I’m from Redneckville,” Boyd said this past week after powering her new bike up a hill to the Ravenna Country Market, a popular destination for cyclists and butter tart fans.

“It is the (cycling) culture that this area is not ready for,” she said. “They want to sell their modest little wartime houses, they want to see the money come to the area, but they don’t want to embrace what else it brings.” In addition, leisure-seekers gobbling up real estate is pricing locals out of the market, fuelling resentment.

Len Goodman, a 62-year-old scientist with the federal government who rides with the CCC, senses some locals see cyclists as “entitled” interlopers who represent a different socio-economic class.

“They’re the rich cottagers who come up here and play in our backyard, and we’re working, driving our trucks as contractors, and you guys are playing on your fancy carbon bikes and your fancy Lycra clothing, and getting in the frigging way,” Goodman said.

He’s been heckled, sworn at and told to get off the road and finds it “mystifying” that drivers — and he’s one of them — get so irate over being forced to slow down for what is a “temporary” inconvenience.

What hasn’t helped is that the negative attitudes have been reinforced by the OPP, said Bailey and O’Brien, who say they plan to file a complaint to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director about the OPP stop.

Enforcing the “letter of the law” does not make much sense in a lot of situations for cyclists, clipped into their pedals, riding on quiet rural roads surrounded by open farmland, O’Brien said.

“Obviously, cyclists should always stop at red lights, and cyclists do have to realize they have to stop at stop signs if there is anybody else there,” she said.

“But if you have a clear vision that there is nobody at a four-way stop, you’re the only person, it really doesn’t make too much sense to have to completely stop and get both feet on the ground.”

She wonders how often drivers are ticketed for failing to come to a complete stop — or ensuring there is at least one metre between their vehicle and cyclists. The latter became an offence in Ontario in September 2015.

Steve Varga and Noelle Wansbrough are CCC board members who prefer to focus on the safety record of the club, which has more than 450 members.

“We’re a simple cycling club. I’m guessing 80 per cent of us are retired or semi-retired. Most of us are in a 60s and 70s, and we just want to have an active retirement and enjoy life and what fitness we have,” Varga said with a laugh. “We don’t have an agenda other than safe cycling.”

Varga has been riding for more than 30 years and drafted the club’s riding etiquette and safety guidelines. The club has a “ride leaders” program, and other clubs throughout the province have adopted the CCC’s defensive cycling campaign.

The OPP has even ticketed cyclists for riding side-by-side, Varga said. That’s not illegal under the Highway Traffic Act and, in fact, is an accepted around the world as a safe biking practice, he added.

Varga also insists CCC members ride in single file on busy roads and, when they double up on less travelled routes, move “tight to the right” when vehicles approach from behind.

Wansbrough said the club wants to work with the OPP to come up with a shared interpretation of the Highway Traffic Act, because there are some “very grey areas” that are interpreted differently by different jurisdictions.

Rick Bagg, a retired Crown attorney and CCC member, said several people have told him they have been ticketed for riding side-by-side.

“Police are charging people just riding two abreast when there’s no traffic, no hills, no curves,” Bagg said. Anecdotally, these tickets are being withdrawn when they get to court, which is a waste of everyone’s time and resources, he added.

“What we really need to do is to try to force one of these (tickets) to go to trial, whether we’re convicted or acquitted, then appeal and get a precedent — either tell us we can’t ride that way, or we can say to the police the courts say it’s proper.”

Bentley’s serves up classic sandwiches in Collingwood

Have a hankering for a veal sandwich or a corn dog?

There is now a place to go in Collingwood.

Bentley’s Sandwiches & Poutinerie is open to serve the community at , with a menu of classic sandwiches.

The menu includes veal, Philly cheese steak, eggplant, pork schnitzel and smoked back bacon sandwiches as well as the popular corn dogs. You can add toppings such as jalapeno peppers and mushrooms to make it your own.

They also have several poutines on the menu including pulled pork, bacon and cheeseburger.


Barrie’s south-end East Side Mario’s closes, lease terminated

Hey, budda boom budda … broke?

The longtime East Side Mario’s location in Barrie’s south-end has closed — at least temporarily. Simcoe.com has obtained a letter from Recipe Unlimited (Cara Operations) addressed to restaurant staff and dated Aug. 2.

The document includes an apology from Recipe, the parent company for East Side and several other well-known chain restaurants including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Montana’s and Kelseys, and concedes the franchise owner “ignored appeals from the building landlord to pay the rent, which is severely overdue.”

A notice of termination of lease from the landlord to franchisee Hiren Patel, dated Aug. 2, was recently posted to the front door of the Bryne Drive restaurant.

“We tried to work with Mr. Patel to ensure operations were maintained as required under our franchise agreement, but he was unable or unwilling to do so,” Recipe said in the letter. “We know this has been a frustrating and upsetting time … we are sorry for what you had to endure over the past few months.”

The letter said Patel has been “unresponsive” to Recipe.

Simcoe.com was told by a former employee that restaurant conditions deteriorated significantly since Patel took over more than a year ago. Some staffers weren’t compensated for several pay cycles, the kitchen was understocked and the restaurant was often understaffed.

Recipe is helping employees find jobs at other company-owned restaurants in the area.

However, the franchise owner is responsible for compensation. So Recipe is asking employees to reach out to the Ministry of Labour to seek assistance in recovering lost wages.

“The situation … is very unfortunate,” Recipe senior communications director Maureen Hart said in an email. “Helping impacted employees is our main priority. We have worked directly with all team members to support finding new employment in other restaurants. We’re happy to say that several people have already been hired.”

Recipe hopes to “refranchise” the location, she said.

“We’re working toward a resolution with this specific location and hope to resume business quickly,” Hart said.

Patel could not be reached by Simcoe.com.

Napier Bailiffs, which is managing the case on behalf of the landlord, declined to comment.

Ann-Marie Kungl – Barrie Ward 1

I live in the East End, cherish my home and, like you, want to age well where I live.  Great things are happening in Barrie and important decisions will be made over the next four years.  

People of Ward 1 have shared that they care about how city growth will impact their neighbourhoods and want to see their tax dollars supporting programs and services that are important to them.  They are informed and active.

I believe that with strong council representation, Ward 1 can drive positive change.  What I offer is a full-time, committed representative.  No hidden agendas.  No surprises.  I do not regard this responsibility as part-time or ‘on-the-side’.  

My ‘CARE’ pledge:

Committed as your representative.

Accountable to you and open to your feedback.  

Respectful of the range of residents’ interests and issues and responsive to concerns.

Effective in getting positive attention and change to our Ward.

What’s unique about me?  I have nearly 20 years of experience in the health system, spanning provincial, not-for-profit and academic institutions.  I have a master’s degree in public health and a certification in health law (Osgoode), as well as training in ethics, conflict resolution and public engagement.  All of this experience has been geared toward making positive change happen.

It is my pleasure to serve as the Alzheimer Society Simcoe County board chair for a second term.  I have been a long-time volunteer meal maker with the Barrie Out of the Cold program and have built strong connections within our city and the County of Simcoe.

I will facilitate positive change through municipal service in support of building a Barrie where all may thrive and an East End that is cared for.

We can expect more and do better in engaging, communicating and designing our cityscape with residents while supporting strong business and job growth.

I believe better has no limit.

Let’s build a strong council together.  A council that cares.   

Vote Kungl on Oct. 22.

Campaign Office: 62 Oakley Park Sq.

Website:

Phone:

Email:

Twitter: #KunglCares #KunglforWard1

Facebook Page:

Instagram: annmariekungl

Gene Haas Foundation donates $40,000 for Georgian College students

Georgian College students in the mechanical technician and precision skills program could soon benefit from a generous donation.

Dan Ferko, President of Sirco Machinery Co. Ltd., a Canadian Haas Factory Outlet, visited the college recently to present a cheque for $40,000 US to senior staff and faculty. The money will support the Gene Haas Scholarship for students in the mechanical technician and precision skills program who achieve an average of 75 per cent or higher in their third semester.

“We are committed to helping Georgian College students achieve their goals of pursuing a career in the trades,” said Ferko.

Since 2014, the Gene Haas Foundation has donated over $134,000 and more than 100 students have benefited from the scholarship. This year 32 students each received $1,717 in awards and scholarships courtesy of the foundation.


Steve Trotter — Barrie Ward 6

Like many of you, I moved to Barrie and bought a new home in Ward 6. I have been a 20-year resident of Ward 6. My education is in economics with a master’s degree in finance, as well as continuing education in municipal administration. My professional experience has been in both the private and public sectors, and currently I am the director of credit for an international computer distribution company.  

I would like to say it has been an honour to return to Barrie city council and represent the residents of Ward 6. As your member of council, I bring extensive municipal experience to the position of councillor, having represented Ward 6 for a total of 10 years. During my time on council I focused on being a community builder for our area. I championed the preservation of our natural environment, with over 500 acres throughout Ward 6, including the Ardagh Bluffs now in public ownership and accessible for us to enjoy. And I chaired the building committee for the Holly Recreation Centre. These are examples of my community building.

The future brings new challenges and new priorities.  My No. 1 priority is to ensure we maintain safe, livable and affordable communities.  I want to see a new “community-driven” official plan that better reflects changing community attitudes so we can better manage the impact of intensification on existing communities.  I want to expand traffic-calming measures to ensure our neighbourhoods are safe. We need to address the increasing traffic issues in the area, I want to keep the Harvie Road-Big Bay Point overpass on schedule.  I am going to manage the city’s finances in a responsible manner and ensure we are getting value for our hard-earned money. Good fiscal management starts with a positive environment for economic growth to ensure quality jobs, so more who live here can work here and relieve pressure on the residential taxpayer.

We live in an area with tremendous potential and a wonderful city. Together we can build a better Barrie. I ask for your support. My campaign phone number is .

Five things happening at the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce

1. Win $5,000 — Every registered player in its Sept. 14 golf tournament at Tangle Creek has a chance to win a prize valued at $5,000 from Turkish Airlines, regardless of their golfing abilities. The prize will be awarded at the tourney. To play or be a sponsor, call the BCC at 705-721-5000 or visit

2. Amazon Project — BCC members have access to an invite-only pilot project with one-on-one interactions with Amazon’s direct sales team, free of charge, to help you evaluate and use the right tools for your business. A webinar takes place Aug. 15; sign up here:

3. Know Your Power — Join the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Barrie Chamber for a free breakfast seminar on Thursday, Aug. 23 to learn about practical energy cost-saving programs that are available for businesses in Ontario. Register at

4. Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) — BCC is offering free access to the acclaimed Trade Accelerator Program to its members. TAP is designed to help you develop a market entry/export strategy to get the best global exposure for your business’s products or services. Session start as early as Aug. 28. For more information, visit: 

5.  Israel Consul General — BCC is hosting the Israel Consul General on Aug. 27 to brief its membership and community on the benefits of engaging in trade with the Israel. Sign up at or call the chamber at to find out more.