These are just a few special articles
that we thought might be of interest to our readers:
A Tiny Little Creature To Be Causing So Much Commotion
by Robert Kirwan
The Town of Valley East is well-known for a lot of things. However, until
recently, our community wasn’t really recognized by “bird-watching
enthusiasts” of the world. All that changed on or about November 11, 2009, when a tiny little bird called a Western
Tanager showed up in my backyard and was spotted by my wife, Valerie.
Our yard has been registered since March
2004 as a “Backyard Wildlife Habitat” by the Canadian Wildlife
Federation. Over the years, no less than 54 different kinds of birds have
been spotted in our yard. A complete list can be found on a special web
site that can be found atwww.valleyeasttoday.ca/evergreengardens
When my wife spotted “Number
55” early one morning, she took some pictures and contacted one of her “bird
experts” in an attempt to identify the little creature. As it turned
out, this tiny visitor was a male Western Tanager that was thousands of
kilometers from where it should have been. In fact, the Western Tanager
should have been somewhere around Mexico or Southern California at this time of year, not in Northeastern Ontario. During the summer months, the Western Tanager
can be found along the western regions of North America, from the
Mexico-US border to as far north as Alaska. But it seldom is seen east of Alberta.
Once the bird was identified and
word got out about the location of this rare sighting, our backyard
immediately became one of the most popular attractions among bird watchers
from across Ontario. It has captured the attention of professors
from Laurentian University as well as several other local enthusiasts who
have been able to get some excellent photos of the Western Tanager, which
seemed to be quite willing to hang around and have its picture taken.
Two men even drove up all the way from Hamilton one Sunday morning and waited for over five
hours before they finally spotted the little bird perched up in one of our
trees. We’ve had people from North Bay to Massey stopping in for a “look at the
rare bird” and have answered phone calls from as far away as Ottawa and Toronto to talk to people who have heard about our
The next day a couple arrived from Ottawa
after leaving at 6 a.m. Unfortunately, they were unable to spot the bird
while they were here. However, the couple was completely understanding,
explaining that this is something they were accustomed to over their years
of chasing rare birds.
one of the storms that occurred early in November may have originated from
the Colorado region and could be responsible for carrying
this stranger way off course in its migration south. Some experts have
stated that there have been several sightings of other species foreign to Ontario since the storm, leading them to believe this
was the case.
All we know is that serious bird
watchers consider the Western Tanager to be one of the rarest sites you
can witness in Ontario. Very few people can say they have actually
seen the bird. Valerie and I have grown accustomed to seeing our little
visitor picking away at the seed every day. We also know that this
beautiful little bird that has brought us so much joy and pleasure for a
couple of weeks is not likely to enjoy a long and productive life. It is
all alone, in a hostile environment, thousands of kilometers from home.
Mother Nature can indeed be cruel. We can only hope that it somehow finds
its way to a warmer climate before winter arrives.
You Keep A Secret?
No one can keep a secret as well as Pirkko Campbell!
A resident of Hanmer
for over 25 years, she he and her husband, Marc, have raised two boys,
Tyler (21) and Cory (18). Pirkko is currently employed as an Educational
Assistant at PinecrestPublic School where she leads the garden club in their
efforts to improve the schoolyard for both students and the community.
Besides her “day
job” at Pinecrest, Pirkko is a local inventor. This spring she was one
300 contestants chosen from over 4000 auditions held in Sault Ste. Marie,
earning the right to pitch a new invention to the panel on Dragon’s Den
last April. Dragon’s Den, which is about to begin its 4th
season in October on CBC, is a show where budding entrepreneurs get one
chance to pitch their product to five wealthy “Dragons”.. Pirkko is
bound by a confidentiality agreement with the show’s producers to keep
the results a secret and even her husband has no idea of how she fared on
Pirkko’s invention is
called the “Weedcomb”. It is a new innovative garden tool that
cultivates soil and traps weeds in one process. She explained how it came
about. “I love to garden and several years ago I had my husband make me
a tool I thought would be great in the garden. It worked so well that he
made many for family and friends who encouraged me to patent the idea. I
am now at a stage where I want to share this great tool with other
gardeners like myself. “
Besides the excitement
of being part of a national television show, Pirkko is also now gaining
experience in the process of marketing and promoting her product so that
it might be picked up by one or more of the national chains. Locally, the
Weedcomb is available at Hanmer Home Hardware, Holla’s and Ashley’s
Landscaping. The cost of the tool is only $14.99. You can even check out
the web site at www.weedcomb.com.
As for Pirkko’s
secret, she assures that her lips are sealed and the only way you will
find out how she did is to tune in to the Dragon’s Den when the show
begins again in October.
Toe Tappers Put On Dancing Exhibition For Public
The “Trinity Toe Tappers” clogging
group put on a three hour public performance at the Hanmer Valley Shopping
Centre that delighted hundreds of visitors to the mall in June. In the
photo we see five members of the group of dedicated clog dancers who have
evolved from the former “Capreol Cloggers”. From September to May they
meet once a week every Monday evening in the TrinityUnitedChurch (Capreol) hall.
The “Trinity Toe Tappers” consist of a very diverse group of
individuals, most of whom live in Valley East or Capreol. However, one member travels from
Wahnapitae and another is a published choreographer. The dancers perform
regularly on a volunteer basis at various local community functions, at
the area Senior’s Residences and Nursing Homes, and as well at the Irish
Celtic Fair organized annually in March by the Sudbury Irish Arts
Clog dancing is a lively dance with roots in Irish jig, English
country dances, Scottish dances, African steps, and can be traced as far
back as the early 1500’s. One historian has suggested that the dance
originated in the mill towns in England where workers, who commonly wore stout wooden-soled
shoes would go out into the cobblestone streets during their lunch breaks
and hold impromptu dancing contests. If you are interested
in joining the Trinity Toe Tappers, contact Valerie Bainbridge at
100 Horses Take Part In 2nd Annual Ride For The Cure
October 4, 2008 was a very special day in the lives of the people
shown in the photo. From the left, we have Shandi Charette along with her
gelding, Koal. Kim Bishop, April McAllister, and Shandi’s 12 year old
daughter, Karlee, along with her horse, Johnny.
Kim Bishop, owner of
Pine Valley Farms, and April McAllister were the organizers of the 2nd
Annual Ride For The Cure, hosted by Pine Valley Farms in Hanmer. It is a
special fund-raising event for Breast Cancer Research that is held in
conjunction with the Run for the Cure campaign that is sponsored by CNIB.
For Shandi, this day
was especially significant. It was the 4th anniversary of the
day she was told that she was “cancer free”. The 39 year old mother of
three was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Disease at the age of 34 and
underwent over ten months of treatments, including a stem cell transplant.
It took her over two years to fully recover, but she will always remember
October 4, 2004 as the day her doctor told her that she was “cancer
free”. She knew that the next five years would tell the tale, but after
four years of remission she is hopeful that she will be known as a
Karlee has an older
sister, Kaitlin, 15, and a younger brother, Braedyn, 8. Their father is
Randy Charette. Karlee was only seven years old at the time, but the
memory is embedded in her mind. Today she shares in the joy her mother
feels and is herself inspired to do whatever she can to help fight cancer.
Shandi said that it was
a terrible day when she found out she had cancer. It is a feeling she will
always remember. The treatment period was awful, but today Shandi is one
of the most positive persons you will ever come across. Her outlook
towards life has changed as a result of the battle with cancer and she is
passionate about living each day to the fullest. She is also passionate
about fighting cancer and helping raise money for research.
Kim and April wanted to do something to raise money for Breast
Cancer Research, so they came up with the idea of riding horses instead of
running or walking. Last year, in 2007, they put the event together with
very little lead time, attracting over 50 riders and raising $2000 for
Breast Cancer Research. This year, with much more time to prepare, the
Ride for the Cure doubled to include 106 riders raising $4481. The
participants had such a wonderful time that Kim and April are expecting
the total to push the 200 mark next year.
ride was open to all riders of every level and age with prizes awarded to
the most outrageous pink horse and rider and the most raised money.
The ride began at Pine Valley Farms in Hanmer at about where the riders gathered their horses and
then rode as a group down Hydro Road, along Bodson to the trails in behind Loebs,
Val Caron where refreshments and food were available. The ride in total
was about 3-4 hours long.
Kim and April are already planning the 2009 event, “We are going
to try and do something a little bit different next year and are hoping to
raise more money and attract more riders. We would like to make this
an annual event.”
The organizers wished
to express their gratitude to the sponsors, including: Neils Independent
Grocer Hanmer, Food Basics Hanmer, Loebs Val Caron, Tim
Hortons Val Caron, Tim Hortons Hanmer, Leather Works Val
Caron, Parmalat Canada Sudbury, Valley Plaza Pharmacy Hanmer, Dairy Queen
Regent, Sudbury, Greenhawk, Sudbury, Valley Farm and Feed, Blezard Valley,
Equipment North Inc., Dalron Construction, Sudbury Regional Police,
Richard Morris, CIBC Run for the Cure and all our volunteers who made the
Is One Of The Fastest Growing Recreational Sports In The World
Line and Steve Price
are what many would call Sudbury’s most “avid geocachers”.
They were the special guests recently on Robert Kirwan’s radio show, The
Learning Clinic and they spent a full day at the Hanmer Valley Shopping
Centre providing people with information about this increasingly popular
Geocaching is a
worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a
cache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology
and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with
a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
Steve indicated that
there are more than 200 geocache locations in the Sudbury area. In fact, if you walk
among the nature trails and parks in the area, you may have gone right by
one without even knowing it. Many of the caches are hidden in hard to find
places in order to make it more challenging for geocachers. “Sometimes
you get to the location using your GPS and you know that the geocache box
is within ten or twenty feet of where you are, but it may still take you
another twenty or thirty minutes to find it.
When you do find a
geocache, it will contain a logbook with information from the owner of the
cache, notes from visitors and it can also contain valuable, rewarding and
entertaining information and objects. You never know what the owners or
visitors of the cache may have left there for you to enjoy. That is what
makes this sport so great!
Steve and Line indicate
that there are geocachers all over the world. Whenever they go away on a
holiday, they check beforehand to see where the caches are hidden around
the city to which they are heading. Then they try to set aside at least a
couple of days to go “geocaching” to see if they can hunt down the
If you are interested
in finding out more about this new form of recreation go to the web site
Senior’s Display Encourages Older Adults To Stay Active
Debbie Daoust, Parkside Seniors’ Information Line Coordinator,
was at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre recently increasing local
awareness about the important services available at the Parkside Older
Adult Centre Sudbury which is located at the YMCA building at
140 Durham Street
If you or someone you
know requires information on accessing senior services in Greater Sudbury,
you are encouraged to contact the Senior’s Information Line at 673-3636.
Services include housing, home and yard care, government services/pension
plans, respite care, fitness and exercise programs, home health care and
The Senior’s line is
open Monday to Friday from
and is supported by many senior service providers throughout the City of
Visitors to Debbie’s
booth also picked up descriptions about some of the programs offered
through Parkside. Membership is only $35 per year. With the membership you
get access to drop in activities, workshops and the use of the games room.
You also get reduced fees for programs at the Parkside OACS and discounted
fees for the YMCA. The centre is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from
; Wednesday from
and Friday from
The Parkside OACS
believes that programs and services should be available to all older
adults in our community regardless of economic circumstances. The Centre
offers sponsored memberships and programs to assist those individuals who
otherwise would not take part in the activities and services.
For more information
about the winter programs you can call 673-6227.
Writing Enthusiasts Had Chance To Talk To Self-Published Author
Pauline Quenneville, a self-published author whose first
book is now available at Chapters, was in
recently to meet and talk to fellow literary enthusiasts as part of a tour
she is conducting to promote her book entitled VERITE. Pauline
spent a day at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre signing books for
shoppers and then was Robert Kirwan’s special guest on his weekly radio
show, The Learning Clinic, which can be heard on CKLU 96.7 FM every Monday
Pauline, who now
, grew up in
. She moved into the “big city of
” when she was a teenager to get a “decent job”. She worked for
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for 26 years until she retired and
. After she retired, she looked into several different career
opportunities, but decided that she would pursue a passion she had all her
life – writing a novel.
The book, VERITE, is,
as Pauline puts it, “an English book with a French Title”. It is a
book that is a “must read” for young ladies who are planning to leave
their small communities to find employment in a big city.
own personal story is a good example for young people who are starting out
on their journey of discovery in hopes of establishing a satisfying career
or their own. It is also inspirational for older people who are about to
enter the “age of retirement”. They will see that there is no need to
look at your 50’s and 60’s as a time to lay back and watch life pass
on by. Pauline recommends that all retirees take a good hard look at what
it is that excites them about life and then pursue those passions, turning
them into reality.
Her advice to young
people is quite simple – READ! Read everything you can get your hands
on, and then read some more. Pauline is expected to return to
the next time she is in the area – perhaps promoting the second book in
her series – which is currently in the making!