Thursday, November 21, 2013

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WEST LONDON

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Theresa Handrigan demonstrates some of her karate moves on the steps of her high school, St. Thomas Aquinas. The 16-year-old flew to Italy in October to represent Canada in the 5th annual World Kickboxing Council World Championship.

Driven by passion
Our community is filled with people who care. A world renowned CEO, a collection of hardworking parents, and a school trustee committed to building a thriving education system for students, are just some of the dedicated community members LFP Neighbours caught up with this week. We stopped by Clara Brenton public school for a milestone celebration. This year marks the school’s 50th anniversary. While none of the students who packed into the school’s gymna-

■ THIS ISSUE

NEIGHBOURS

ALEX WEBER

sium for the party were around back in 1963 when the school first opened its doors, that didn’t stop them from having a blast. The Clara Brenton Home and School Association has

events planned all year. Check out Page 4 for a quick Clara Brenton history lesson and some details about the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations. This issue also features a candid interview with Goodlife Fitness founder David Patchell-Evans, known affectionately by most as simply “Patch.” While over the past 30 years, Goodlife has grown into Canada’s largest fitness chain, Patch has kept the company’s roots in London. The head office is downtown on King St., and Patch splits his time between British Columbia and the Oakridge home he’s lived in for the past 15 years. Patch opened up to LFP Neighbours

about the accident that inspired his fitness career, Goodlife’s early days and why he says the company will always be based in London. Find out what he had to say on Page 3. This issue also features a conversation with London District Catholic school board trustee Linda Steel. Elected as trustee for Wards 8,9 and 10 in 2010, Steel is no newbie when it comes to education. She’s an outspoken parent who’s passionate about making sure our local schools are safe and fun learning environments for kids. She opened up to LFP Neighbours about the two new Catholic schools in west London and why parents should be hands-on when it

comes to their kid’s education. Her interview can be found on Page 8. As always, our goal each week with LFP Neighbours is to keep readers involved and engaged in their community. West London is changing rapidly. As new businesses open and residential developments spring up, we want to make sure our readers know what’s happening in the neighbourhoods they call home. To do this we need your help. If you’re hosting a community event, have a great story idea, or know a neighbour worth recognizing, reach out. We want to hear from you. Send us an e-mail at lfp.neighbours@sunmedia.ca

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS

W NE TION A C LO

BUSINESS PROFILE

Community Office
240 Commissioners Rd W (at Knights Hill Rd), Unit 106 London, ON N6J 1Y1 Phone: 519-657-3120 | Fax: 519-657-0368 Email: psattler-co@ndp.on.ca
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RANDY MACLEOD
Family Pryde
Pryde Furniture stocks merchandise for London's diverse and vibrant multicultural community
BRENT BOLES Neighbours
Winding his way between the rows of sofas and cabinets that dot the floor at Pryde Furniture, owner Randy MacLeod doesn’t hesitate to point out all of the stock he personally enjoys. That’s one of the dangers of being in the furniture business. “Sometimes it’s hard because you see something you like, but you can’t have everything,” MacLeod joked. So instead he puts them on his showroom floor for other homeowners to buy and cherish. It’s a task he’s undertaken since March 2010, when the store, bearing his wife’s maiden name, was launched. MacLeod works behind the scenes but leaves the day-to-day operations to his wife, Darla. “We felt London didn’t have a store like ours,” said MacLeod. MacLeod said that London was already home to well-established venues that serve clientele looking for either high or low-end merchandise. He saw a gap in serving the middle market that he thought he could fill and opened up shop at Hyde Park and Fanshawe Park roads. “Our goal for marketing was to be one of three stores that people shop at.” But 2010 wasn’t an easy time to break into the furniture business. MacLeod said the last good year for furniture in Ontario was 2008. That’s true for many industries that have taken a beating in the tough economic climate, but MacLeod said it’s taken a particular toll on his trade. “(People) don’t want to spend money on furniture,” he said. “Furniture is below getting a car in people’s lives.” It was a challenge MacLeod tackled head on, despite not having a retail background. He came to the business having worked in marketing and life sciences and doing a lot of analytic work. Still, while other businesses have faltered and closed shop, Pryde Furniture has become a mainstay despite the difficult industry conditions. “We’re doing something right,” he said. Pinpointing the reason why is difficult, but MacLeod said that it’s in part because of their emphasis on customer service. “I mean, (customers) aren’t pressured when they walk in the store,” he said. “If they have questions and want to walk down a pathway, we help them out” That means navigating styles that range from traditional to contemporary and everything in between. In one corner of the store sits a collection called “Old World,” with heavy wooden chairs, rich dark rugs and a bed that sits under a canopy. The collection wouldn’t look out of place in a coastal villa. MacLeod said that London has a diverse and vibrant multicultural community and he tries to stock a selection that reflects that and appeals to people with any number of backgrounds. “They learned to like

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News you and your neighbours want to know.
Finding its way into more than 17,000 homes in Byron, Riverbend, Oakridge and Hyde Park, LFP Neighbours connects the community to the news, businesses and issues affecting daily life in London’s northwest. Blending local news stories with regular business features, lifestyle content and community sports coverage, LFP Neighbours delivers the news that hits close to home. ■ Neighbours in Business ■ Neighbours in Schools ■ Neighbours in Sports ■ Your Neighbour ■ Neighbour Homes ■ Around the Neighbourhood ■ Neighbours Politics

TO PLACe AN ADVeRtiseMeNt Toll free: (from 519) 1-800-265-4105, ext. 5480 Email: lfp.adinfo@sunmedia.ca Display Advertising: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday Phone: 519-667-5480 Fax: 519-667-4523

Randy MacLeod has led Pryde Furniture through tough economic times by emphasizing customer service.

Community Event? Story idea? Interesting Neighbour?
News, tips & press releases lfp.neighbours@sunmedia.ca DIRECTORS:
Publisher and CEO, Digital and Print: Susan Muszak, 519-667-4625 susan.muszak@sunmedia.ca

Director of Advertising: Lisa Catania, 519-667-5480 lisa.catania@sunmedia.ca

Special Section & Project Manager Chris Kubinski, 519-667-4631 chris.kubinski@sunmedia.ca

something,” he said of the customers. “The point is, we’re focused on London.” But a challenge of being in the business of dishing out love seats, chesterfields and cabinets is that the store is only one step in a chain that puts the product in the customer’s hands. It also has to be shipped from the manufacturer and delivered to the customer’s living room. If any part of that chain goes wrong, it reflects on the store. “If it goes really well, they blame us. If it goes really poorly they

blame us,” he said. MacLeod said all of the products are inspected before being sent out and he’s worked hard to find movers that are careful with the merchandise. Fortunately for MacLeod, he said he’s heard lots of positive feedback. “I get letters, I get e-mails from customers that say, ‘I love your store.’”

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS 3

YOUR NEIGHBOUR

Crash fuelled gym founder's dream
It started with an accident. A young business student at Western University, David Patchell-Evans was whizzing down Windermere Rd. on his Honda 350 when a driver signaled left, but turned right, smashing into his motorcycle. His upper body was torn apart. His bones were broken. His muscles seriously damaged. The insurance company told Patchell-Evans he’d be disabled for the rest of his life. But, while receiving physiotherapy treatment at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic, Patchell-Evans had a wake up call. He became enthralled with the elite athletes who worked out at the centre. Watching them train was inspiring and Patchell-Evans became deeply fascinated with the mechanics and resilience of the human body. “I asked the trainer if I went harder and longer would it make a difference? He looked at me like I had two heads,” PatchellEvans said. The trainer said of course, so Patchell-Evans upped his exercise regiment. Soon he was working out at Fowler for four to five hours each day. After seven months he was back to normal. When his insurance company told Patchell-Evans he qualified for disability, he told them he didn’t need it. “I said I’m not really disabled any more. Then I got a job as a lumber jack that summer, I figured it would really shape me right up.” To help heal his shoulder Patchell-Evans also started rowing. He has fond memories rowing along the Thames River with Western University and eventually with the Canadian National Rowing Team with whom he won five championships. “It requires you to combine your intellect with your body,” Patchell-Evans said about rowing. “It’s hyper aggressive, but still subtle. It’s beautiful.” To keep in rowing shape, Patchell-Evans bought a gym membership at one of London’s only fitness clubs. It was at the corner of Cheapside St and Adelaide St. In 1979, he took a risk and bought the gym with money saved from a snowplowing business he started in university. Patchell-Evans based his gym on a totally new concept: Getting people in shape. “What I was selling was fitness. I was getting you in shape. Most of the other gyms were spas,” he said. “I said I’m going to solve your problems. I’m going to help you look better. I’m going to help you live longer. I’m going to make you strong. I’m going to make you healthy. I saw myself as the health care system.” The first GoodLife Fitness club was born. Over thirty years later, Patchell-Evans’ workout kick hasn’t slowed down one bit. He’s made it his life’s goal to inspire all Canadians to live healthy and active lives, and he’s well on his way to achieving it. Today, there are more than 300 GoodLife Fitness clubs across Canada, with one in every 45 Canadians a GoodLife member. During the recent economic downtown, GoodLife thrived, growing by a remarkable 60% in 2009 alone. Its been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies, has been named one of Canada’s most admired corporate cultures and has been the recipient of numerous consumer choice awards across the country. “It feels strange and scary,” Patchell-Evans said about the company’s success. “You don’t trust your good fortune. You’re only good if you keep people happy so that keeps me motivated.” Patchell-Evans also runs two charities: The GoodLife Kids Foundation, which was created to help kids stay health and active; and the Kilee PatchellEvans Austism Research Group, which promotes and funds autism research and education all over the world. The charity is named after Patchell-Evans' teenage daughter, Kilee, who was born autistic. In 2007, he was awarded the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour, for his support of autism education and research. Despite the company’s unprecedented national success, GoodLife still calls London home. Its national headquarters is downtown on King St. and Patchell-Evans splits his time between his homes in Oakridge and Victoria, B.C., where he lives with his partner, Olympic rower Silken Laumann, and their children. Keeping GoodLife’s roots in London is important to PatchellEvans. He sees the city has an incubator for small businesses and credits it with allowing GoodLife to grow and flourish over the past three decades. “Goodlife is proud to be a part of the community, as am I. It was those smaller city values that helped us expand across the country,” he said. ““We started here and I’ve never thought about taking it anywhere else.”

■ ACHIEVEMENT: London-based GoodLife Fitness has more than 300 clubs across Canada

Patchell-Evans running with the Olympic Torch prior to the Vancouver Olympics on Christmas Eve 2009.

Bliss, d his St. Bernard, Patchell-Evans an idge. kr at their home in Oa
RIGHT: Patchell-Evans greets guests at the 2010 Grand Opening of the GoodLife Talbot Village on Southdale Rd.

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS

YOUR SCHOOLS
■ MILESTONE: Pupils at Clara Brenton public school treated to surprise party for 50th anniversary

A half century
of making learning

fun...

The Western Mustangs marching band treat students at Clara Brenton public school to a special performance to mark the school’s 50th anniversary. Top right: The cake prepared for Clara Brenton public school’s 50th birthday party.

Clara Brenton public school is turning the big 5-0 this year.
And what better way to celebrate a milestone anniversary than with a surprise birthday party on the 50th day of school. Pupils from kindergarten through Gr. 8 gathered in the gym on Nov. 13 thinking they were attending an average school assembly. When they arrived, they learned it was a party complete with cake, music and short history lesson into the school’s past. The event was organized by the Clara Brenton Home and School Association as part of a yearlong line up of events designed to celebrate the public school’s 50th anniversary. “We really just wanted to get the kids excited about their school’s birthday,” said Richard Tetreault, a member of the Clara Brenton Home and School Association. “Without actually paying attention to these things, they fall by the wayside and get forgotten.” Each year the Clara Brenton Home and School Association picks a fundraising project at the school. Last year they upgraded all of the classroom electronics. This year they’re raising money to install a new playground to accommodate the growing number of full-day kindergarteners at the school. The birthday party is a kick-off to a variety of fundraising events the school is holding all year culminating in a silent auction and gala dinner on May 10. They’re also putting together a yearbook for alumni filled with school history and anecdotes. During the birthday party pupils learned about Clara Brenton’s history, did 50 exercises as a group and were treated to surprise performance by the Western Mustangs marching band. And of course, there were cake and cupcakes for all. The school’s former principal, Les Horwath, attended the birthday party and was tasked with cutting the big yellow and blue cake. The Clara Brenton Home and School Association is asking for any alumni interested in partaking in this year’s celebrations or who want to contribute to the 50th anniversary yearbook to email info@clarabrentonhomeandschool.com

Les Horwath, principal at Clara Brenton from 2001 until 2011, helps the Cougar cut the birthday cake. The Cougar, Clara Brenton’s mascot, gets bombarded by hugs as pupils gather in the gym for the public school’s 50th birthday party.

FACTS
The school opened its doors in 1963. In 1973, Mrs. Geddes’ Gr. 5 class raised 12 ducklings before giving them to Storybook Gardens. The class also had 28 guppies, five kangaroo rats, a frog and a toad as pets. In 1981, Gr. 1 teacher Reba Normille brought a bath tub to the school’s library as a unique place for her pupils to curl up and read. For years it was called “The Tub of Knowledge”

fun

about Clara Brenton
The land the school sits on was purchased in 1962 for only $250,000.

Portraits of past students line the halls at Clara Brenton public school.

Astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Dave Williams have visited the school, as has Olympic decathlete Damian Warner.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS 5

YOUR SPORTS
■ SPORTS: Theresa Handrigan recently competed in World Kickboxing Council World Championships in Italy

Karate kidis
S
he might be a sweet 16-year-old student at St. Thomas Aquinas secondary school, but Theresa Handrigan packs a mighty punch. Armed with her second-degree black belt, Handrigan represented Canada on the karate world stage in Italy last month. She spent 10 days in Taranto, Italy, at the 5th annual World Kickboxing Council World Championships as one of 100 members from Team Canada. “It was really exciting,” Handrigan said. “It was pretty awesome because I’d never been to Europe before.” It was the first international competition for the karate veteran. She’s been competing and practising locally for 11 years. Her style of karate is called Shorin Ryo, which Handrigan said stands for “little pine forest.” It focuses on natural breathing and stances, as opposed to direct movements.

athlete of the week

THERESA HAN AGE: 16 GRaD DRIGAN E: TW

growing up
Theresa Handrigan launches into a karate pose, blackbelt securely fastened around her waist, at St. Thomas Aquinas secondary school.

the quote
I love seeing the potential in kids and helping them get better at karate."

ST. THOMAS AQ ELVE UINAS SPORT: KARA TE

She spends six to seven days training each week at the Family Karate Centre on Wharncliffe Rd. In May, she finished in the top four at the Canadian national competition, qualifying for the worlds in Italy. Her father, Norman, also qualified and joined his daughter on the trip. He was inspired to take up the art after watching both his son and daughter compete. In Italy, Handrigan nabbed one second-place finish and two third-place finishes, one in the creative weapons category for her work with the bow staff. “You just really have to focus,” Handrigan said about competing. She also left Italy with a group of international friends. Through the competition she met people from all over the world, and even found some tight knit pals from Ontario.

When she’s not studying or practising her karate, Handrigan is teaching young children the ancient artform. She works at the Family Karate Centre teaching a “little dragons” class for kids aged four and up. “I love seeing the potential in kids and helping them get better at karate,” she said. Handrigan’s karate journey has sparked an interest in health and fitness. When she graduates in June, Handrigan plans to attend Brescia College at Western University in London to become a dietitian. While she knows it will be difficult to keep up with her strenuous competition schedule in university, Handrigan says there will always be a place for karate in her life.

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS

YOUR HOMES
■ HOMES: Smart use of light can cut down utility bill and boost spirits

Let there

be

Natural light has the power to make a person feel energized. It can also buoy spirits and prevent the winter blues."

A dark home can be dreary and draining. Thanks to daylight savings the days are darker and shorter now, meaning less natural light in the home. Natural light has the power to make a person feel energized. It can also buoy spirits and prevent the winter blues. Some people experience serious mood changes in the winter months. Dubbed Season Affective Disorder (SAD) this condition can be effectively treated with light therapy. Light can alleviate fatigue, sadness and anxiety. Not to mention it reduces reliance on interior lights, bringing down energy bills and lowering you home’s carbon footprint. Here are some ways to maximize the natural light your home gets during the winter months. ■ Bigger is better. Steve Watson, owner of Cameron Window and Door, says the best way to boost natural light is to install large windows. “The bigger the window, the more natural light you’re going to get,” he said. ■ Invest in skylights or solar tubes. Skylights or solar tubes both enable light to enter a home from above. According to Watson, bathrooms and kitchens are popular places for skylights and solar tubes, as depending on the size, it’s generally hard to keep them bright. Skylights are larger and require considerably more work to install, while solar tubes are more low-profile and can be put into rooms that do not abut the roofline, such as those obstructed by attic space. The tubular cylinders are installed between the roof and the ceiling and carry light through a reflective tube to the room below. Diffusers on tubular day-lighting devices scatter the rays so the light doesn't cast harsh shadows, and UV filters can help protect furniture from discoloring. ■ Keep the drapes open. Opening blinds and curtains as far as they

will go allows as much light to shine in without having to do major home renovations or spend any money at all. Homeowners concerned about privacy can install a window film that allows viewing from the inside only. ■ Clean the windows. Dirty windows obstruct sunlight from entering the home. They also can make a home appear unkempt. Spend a free day cleaning the windows so that they'll let ample light in. ■ Install seamless or low-profile windows and doors. Seamless sliding doors enable a large amount of light to enter the home. Such doors can replace an entire wall to brighten up a dark area of a home. The more windows and doors a home has, the brighter it will be. ■ Take inventory of dark spots. A room may be dark because it simply does not have a layout conducive to brightness. Is a wall blocking light from reaching a portion of the room? Think about changing the room's layout or even making structural changes to improve light distribution. The addition of a small window on a south- or west-facing wall can greatly improve natural light. Using mirrors can also reflect light where it is needed. ■ Trim shrubs and trees. If trees and bushes are blocking light from entering your home, trim them to enable dappled light to come through. Deciduous trees that will naturally lose their leaves come autumn can be planted on sunny areas of the property. This way in the summer months they will shade the house and keep it cooler, while in winter more sun will stream in when the leaves are shed. ■ Create a three-season room. Make a spot in the home where sun will be at a premium. A solarium or greenhouse attached to the home can be a warm and sunny spot.

Large windows create a wall of light. Install them to brighten your home on even the chilliest of winter days.

■ REAL ESTATE: Housing prices soar, making 2013 a banner year in Byron

Byron’s booming, but is it sustainable?
It’s been a banner year for real estate in Byron. But that could mean a flat year is around the corner, real estate experts warn. The average housing price in Byron this October was $300,300 up from an average of $259,210 in October 2012, representing a 16% increase in one year. The prices of residential homes increased 18% to $337,278 from $284,919. Condominium prices were up 8% from $207,790 to $224,944. October was a good month in what has been a great year for real estate in Byron. “Prices are typically at their lowest at the start of the year, rise to their highest in the spring, fall off again in the summer and rise again in the fall, but not as high as in the spring,” said Steve Baarda, sales representative with Royal LePage Triland. “You would have done best had you sold in the spring.” When compared to the rest of the city Byron is booming. Overall prices were up by 14% when comparing January to October 2013 with January to October 2012. In 2013, the average price of a Byron home is $322,583 compared to $282,921 in 2012. That’s a huge jump when taking into account the fact that house prices throughout London increased only 2.64% during the same period. But, Baarda warns such large increases are not sustainable. “I would expect next year to be flat, and would not be shocked if prices pulled back a bit in Byron next year,” he said. “I would expect buyers to be seeing better value in other neighbourhoods.”
A bird’s eye view of Byron as seen from Lookout Crt.

One of the homes for sale in Byron along Griffith St.

By the numbers:
*includes residential and condominium.

AVerage Homes Prices*
Oct 2013: $300,300 Oct 2012: $259,210

Units Sold

Year-by-Year Comparison

15.85%

30
2012

2013

27

BYRON

Average Homes Prices*

Jan-Oct 2013: $322,583 Jan-Oct 2012: $282,921

LONDON

14.02%

Average Homes Prices*

Jan-Oct 2013: $247,467 Jan-Oct 2012: $241,112

2.64%

Statistics Courtesy of Steve Baarda, sales representative at Royal LePage Triland. He can be reached at 519-878-5566.

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS 7

Soggy fall flood risk
Fall Precipitation Levels

YOUR RIVER

poses

It's not catastrophic flooding, but the kind that can get into basements and parks."

Mark Helston ~ Water Resources Engineer UTRCA

Measurements in milometres

SEPTEMber

Average 2013

Average 2013

October

Water levels are up by 50 cm all along the Thames River, including at the Springbank Dam.

■ WEATHER: Upper Thames River Conservation Authority posts regular water level updates online
A wet, rainy fall means water levels along the Thames River are up. The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) has issued a handful of safety bulletins this fall warning people to stay away from the river due to its high water level and swift current. Heavy rains in September and October, coupled with November rain and some snow, means the water level is up by 50 cm in the Thames, said Mark Helston, a water resources engineer with UTRCA. While London hasn’t seen a bad flood since its worst in 1937, each year there is a 1% chance the city could flood again. In April 1937 nearly 15 cm of rain fell on Southwestern Ontario in five days. Five people were killed, 1,100 homes were ruined, and $3 million worth of damage occurred in London because of the flood, which saw water levels in the Thames rise over seven metres. While it’s unlikely the city will ever see a flood like that again, wet weather means minor floods are more common. “It’s not catastrophic flooding, but the kind that can get into basements and parks,” Helston said. The lower paths in Springbank Park and along the Thames near Wonderland Rd. are at risk of flooding during heavy rains. And because the ground is already holding so much moisture from earlier rains and the November snowfall, any more precipitation could cause a spike in water levels. People who live along the Thames or who walk along the paths regularly should make sure they check the UTRCA website for the latest water level postings. The conservation group publishes a warning any time water levels pose a threat. High water levels often go hand in hand with fast moving, swift currents making fishing and other water activities dangerous. Even standing near the river can be a risk. “You shouldn’t be standing near the banks,” Helston said. For up to date safety bulletins and water level data visit www.thamesriver.on.ca

THEN

NOW

Thames Valley Golf Course

Today, it’s a golf green, bu Photos courtesy of t of Riverside Dr. was home more than 120 years ago the 17th hole at the Th local historian Ken McTaggart ames Val to the Ward’s Hotel. Mike Ward north bank of the Thames built the summer hotel in ley Golf Course Riv er. It 1880 on the wa s hu b for summer sports and a boats chugging up and do regular port of call for ste wn the Thames. The city amwas torn down in 1923. purchased the property in 1896 and the hotel Ward's Hotel, 1880.

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8

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS

YOUR POLITICS

LDCSB trustee for Wards 8, 9 and 10

LiNda Steel

a parent’s perspective

Steel brings

St. Andre Bissette secondary school opened on Fanshawe Park Rd this September.

■ EDUCATION: LDCSB trustee Linda Steel is an advocate of parent engagement
At last month's board meeting, London District Catholic school board trustees heard the board's plan to tackle declining enrolment in area Catholic schools. It was discovered that enrolment is down by 2,531 students across the board. What do you think accounts for the declining enrolment? A: Enrolment in almost every school board across the province is declining: French, English, public and Catholic. The baby boomers are now largely grandparents and the world their adult children now live in has changed greatly. In most families today both parents work. We see very few large families. Economics play an active role in the planned family size and marriage life-style . . . We live in a world where it is acceptable/ appropriate to have (short) quality time with our children. Couples are encouraged to set date nights to keep their relationships alive. The average citizen is constantly concerned about what they can afford daily, how they can save for the future, and how they can meet the immediate needs of their family – including extended. As a feminist, I feel women are particularly affected, primarily responsible for their children, primarily responsible for their aging (and often ill) parents, running the home and earning an income. Quite simply, with all those challenges, we are not having as many children. Despite a decline in numbers, the LDCSB opened St. Andre Bessette Catholic secondary school in the northwest and is expected to open a new Catholic elementary school in River Bend next September. All while the board considers closing three elementary schools in the east end. Why are new schools going up while other schools are closing their doors? A: Funding for new schools follows a very strict Ministry of Education approval process and criteria. Boards must demonstrate a clear need for a new school. The money does not come out of board’s operating funds, it comes through as a separate capital grant designated specifically for each project from the ministry. Our new schools have opened (and) will open based upon existing over enrollment in those neighbourhoods and the need to eliminate portables. Students are supposed to be taught in their school – not in isolated temporary buildings. At the elementary level, the board must also provide new accommodation for the full-day kindergarten program, which could not be accommodated in existing schools. Similarly, St. Andre Bessette was constructed due to overcrowding of existing London high schools and the large number of portables that had been in use for many years. As a result of this new construction, the use of portables has been significantly reduced in London. We were also pleased to see that St. Andre Bessette enrolment has exceeded our original estimates. No board wants to close schools. Unfortunately, one of the areas we have seen declining enrolment in is in our rural areas. In part this is due to the rural to urban shift in population along with overall demographic declines. In some schools we have classes where the enrolment ranges per grade within the school go from zero students to eight – sometimes less than 50 students in a building that holds over 110. The Ministry of Education has financially penalized boards that do not review underutilized schools and close them. If we do not, our entire board and all students will suffer. It is also important to note that the board did not accept administration’s recommendation to begin an ARC (school closure review) process in London, at this time. We, as a board, are very concerned with the number of The soon-to-be-named River Bend elementary school is set to open in September very important enrollment and 2014 on Shore Rd. accommodation issues that the board will have to deal with over A: No adult would place a child A: For me, it is a question of changthe next few years. Therefore, this ing system-wide attitudes on what alone in the middle of the Hwy. 401. past Monday night we approved the parent engagement means, the So they shouldn’t be sending them establishment of a planning and active role of parents within the alone on the information highway. property committee, as a standing educational system. I see many The old question on late-night TV committee of the board, to address improvements. For example, we still rings true, ‘Do you know where these very issues. have more parent representation on your children are?’ board committees and their input is When you were elected Our children learn their behaviours actively pursued and valued. Cathotrustee in 2010 you were from us adults. And we must step up. lic school councils are more focused one of four fresh faces I hear parents all too often tell me, in the school climate, safe schools, ‘Oh, my child would never let me do replacing longtime trustees. and student success – as opposed that.’ And I wonder who is in charge, What do you think your to fundraising. Our district council who is the adult, who is setting the perspective as a longtime and parent involvement committee example? Regardless of what level of parent representative presents to the board at least twice technical ability a parent may have has brought to the school a year and has worked jointly with there are several things parents can board? senior administration and commudo: No computers in the bedroom, A: As a mother of three children I nity partners to prepare and provide no closing screens when you come into the room, arrange an agreement approach every situation as a parent many successful system-wide and with your child about computer use and ask myself, ‘How would I feel regional events and initiatives for (including times) and have both of if this were my child or children?’ I parents annually. Committee repreyou sign it, no cell phones during am outspoken and ask many, many sentation is particularly important questions on the information preas parents are now able to give input meals and family time, make sure you plan family time, absolutely no cell sented to us. If I do not understand at the front end during the developphones at night in their room. Apart the information I receive, cannot ment process, as equal partners in from cyberbullying concerns, children explain it to my constituents, and improving our educational system. need down-time and sleep, ask your cannot provide a rationale for the The area I see as still needing imchildren every day, starting when decisions I participate in, I do not provement is communication. How they are young and right through high believe I am doing my job as their do we most effectively get informaschool, ‘What was the best thing that happened to you today? What was elected representative. tion directly into the hands of all the worst?’ parents? With the environmental Parents are, and always will be, the When running for trustee move to go paperless and constantly primary guardians and advocates for you highlighted parental changing technologies, I suspect their children. So we all need to know involvement as one of the this will be an ongoing challenge. where our children are, online, physikey areas you hoped would cally, socially and emotionally. If we be improved. You've said Cyber bullying continues to are unaware of a problem how do we that parents need to be be a concerning phenomhelp fix or avoid it? equal partners within the enon for parents, teachers Catholic education system. and administrators alike. In what ways has parental What advice do you have for involvement improved over parents and teachers when the past three years? What it comes to keeping kids and can be done to continue to teens safe online? improve it?

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS 9

YOUR COMMUNITY
■ CHARITY: Used boots can be dropped off at eight Hyde Park businesses

Those boots are made for donating
The Hyde Park Business Association is asking people to dig into their closets and dust off the old boxes in their basements this holiday season for its third annual boot drive. The HPBA is collecting new and gently used boots all month for the Mission Services Family Store. Boots can be dropped at participating Hyde Park businesses or at the Hyde Park Santa Clause Parade on Nov. 30. “It makes you feel good if you can recycle old boots instead of throwing them in the trash,” said Christine Buchanan, manager of Featherfields on Hyde Park Rd. “You hate to see people with cold, wet feet this time of year, especially children.” Featherfields is one of eight businesses collecting boots this month. Last year, they had more than 100 pairs donated, Buchanan said. She’s hoping the open house Featherfields is hosting on Nov. 23 and 24 will boost this year’s collection. Community members are invited to come and check out Featherfields Christmas stock, including their beloved Christmas card collection, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Community members are also invited to bring their boots to the Hyde Park Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 30. The HPBA will be driving along the parade route in its “Boots Are Made For Walking” themed float accepting donations. ■ About the Mission Store: Located at 300 William St., downtown London, the Mission Store provides families and individuals with free clothing and household articles by way of a voucher system used by more than 60 referring community agencies. It also provides quality clothing, linens and housewares and small appliances at nominal prices.

Drop-off Locations:
Remark Fresh Market 1190 Oxford St. West Moffat & Powell / Rona 1282 Hyde Park Rd.

Van Horik Greenhouses 930 Gainsborough Rd. Featherfields the Bird and Garden Store 1570 Hyde Park Rd. Optometry on Hyde Park 1900 Hyde Park Rd., suite 5

Wendy’s 1980 Hyde Park Rd. North PostNet 665 Fanshawe Park Rd. West London French Day Care Centre 1050 Kipps Lane, Kipps Lane Plaza - Unit #13

Christine Buchanan, manager of Featherfields on Hyde Park Rd., holds this year’s HPBA Boot Drive collection box. Residents are welcome to drop off their new or gently used boots at Featherfields between now and the end of the month.

■ FUNDRAISER: Hundreds come out to Byron Legion dinner for 10-year-old hit-and-run victim

Community rallies for their “little ray of sunshine”
BRENT BOLES Neighbours
At an occasion that had every excuse to be somber, the sounds of laughter and chitchat filled the Byron Legion Hall in support of Tyler Brooks-Szabo on November 16. The ten-year-old boy was riding his bike in East London when a car jumped the curb and hit the youngster late last month. Tyler’s still in critical condition and to raise money to help his family out, the Legion held a spaghetti dinner, silent auction and dance with proceeds going to the cause. “Dollars and cents are something in life that one needs to have but when you see people sitting back and enjoying themselves, that really does make my day,” said chapter president Jim Campbell at the event. As of press time, the cash hadn’t been counted but those in attendance say the event was a resounding success. Volunteers estimate that at least 125 people came in for the $10 spaghetti dinner, with more joining for the dance and the silent auction. “It’s great. It really makes you feel good about mankind again,” said Campbell. Tyler’s grandmother Marilyn Brooks has been a bartender at the hall for the past fifteen years so the community was looking for a way to lend a hand. Two of her coworkers took her shift on the bar on Saturday night while donating the proceeds back to the cause. “It makes me feel wonderful because I’ve worked with Marilyn for so long,” said fellow longtime Legion member Dorathy Cochrane who was slaving over spaghetti in the kitchen for much of the night. But it wasn’t just those with a personal connection to Tyler that helped make the night a success. Many members of the London community came out to show support who had never even met the family. One anonymous donor walked in and dropped off an envelope filled with $2500 dollars. Steve Seppala raised $260 dollars with his coworkers when he told them about the story. “Nobody knew him at all and they were throwing 10’s, 20’s. Many of the employees have children themselves so it’s a heartfelt cause,” he said. The outpouring of support struck a chord with Campbell. “The fact that the community, and London at large came together, it really does speak volumes,” he said. It was even more important to Tyler’s family. “It’s shocking at how people can just get together,” said his father Louis Szabo. “I just want to make sure that I thank everybody that helped us out.” “He’s really brought a nation together,” added his stepmother Hillary Szabo. “He’s literally just a little ray of sunshine. His smile would captivate anybody. He’s got a warm heart, a warm soul.”

A picture of Tyler sits on a table with a hockey stick and other items donated that are up for auction. Proceeds from the Byron Legion event are going to help Tyler and his family.

■ FOOD: A delicious and filling soup... an excellent addition to any recipe box

RECIPE
of the week Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
from AllRecipes.com

In a Sifton home.
Sifton Standards Sifton Service Sifton Satisfaction

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Ready in 1 hour, 10 minutes I Serves 6 Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup, a great soup you can add just about anything too. ■ Ingredients
• 1 (3.5 ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed • 1 cup chopped onions • 2 cloves garlic, minced •
5 cups beef stock • 1/3 cup water • 1/2 cup red wine • 4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped • 1 cup chopped carrots • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano • 1 cup tomato sauce • 1 zucchini, chopped • 8 ounces cheese tortellini • 1 green bell pepper, chopped • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping

■ Preparation Instructions
1. Place the sausage in a large pot over medium high heat and saute for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Drain the fat except for about 1 tablespoon, add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes. 2. Next add the beef stock, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat that may surface. 3. Add the zucchini, tortellini, green bell pepper and parsley to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tortellini is fully cooked. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with the cheese.

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10

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS 11

AROUND the‘hood

From left to right: Emma Purvis, Renee White, Laurenne Tetreault, Sonja Knezic, Lucy Collier, Ally Hogg, Claire Allencurry, Clayton Thornburrow, Alana Pawlaszyk and Emily Thornburrow pose with the Clara Brenton Cougar at the school’s 50th birthday celebration.

Mary Roes, principal, and Richard Tetreault, a member of the Clara Brenton Home and School Association pose in the gym during Clara Brenton public school’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Pam Andress proceeds going is flanked by Steve Seppala as to care for the injured Tyler Br the two enjoy a spaghetti di nner with ooks-Szabo.

Merilee and Michael Olney are joined by Vicki Grents enjoying a spaghetti dinner in support of Tyler Brooks-Szabo. Fran Gorbasew and the Clara Brenton Cougar cut the school’s 50th birthday cake at the celebration assembly Nov 13.

Linda Deons, Louise and Jamie Hughes enjoy a fundraiser for 10-year-old Tyler Brooks-Szabo at the Byron Legion hall.

rprise students at nd gets ready to su lebration. ba ing ch ar m gs an The Western Must hool during its 50th anniversary ce ic sc Clara Brenton publ

Mike and Donna Hamilton supported Tyler Brooks-Szabo at a dinner and silent auction for Tyler Brooks-Szabo at the Byron Legion.

12

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 • NEIGHBOURS

YOUR LEASING CENTRE!! YOUR LEASING CENTRE!!

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FIRST MONTH’S PAYMENT, ELIGIBLE E IT’S ON US†

FIRST MONTH’S PAYMENT, IT’S ON US†

BI-WEEKLY LEASING ON 2014 MODELS WE ELIGIBLE OWNERS RECEIVE UP T0 $2000 BONUS ON 2014 MODELS E N
2014 Chevy Cruze 1LT
• Automatic Transmission • Connectivity package with Bluetooth • Remote vehicle starter • Id#63028

$0
48

$0

DOWN PAYMENT

OWNERS RECEIVE UP T0 $2000 BONUS ON 2014 MODELS

DOWN PAYMENT

$0
$0
Due At Signing

$0

SECURITY DEPOSIT

SECURITY DEPOSIT

$0

$0
0.0

DUE AT DELIVERY

DUE AT DELIVERY

0%

0%

LEASING ON SELECT MODELS

LEASING ON SELECT MODELS

BI-WEEKLY LEASING ON 2014 MODELS
• Power Convenience Package, sunroof • Bluetooth, rear vision camera • MyLink radio with bluetooth • Id#64275

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188

48

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LEASE BI-WEEKLY 2014FOR Buick Verano

• Rear vision camera, 18” alloy First Months Down Security wheels Lease Payment Payment Deposit • IntelliLink radio with Bi-Weekly payment Bluetooth is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, 0.5% interest with total of $312.96 •a Remote vehicle interest starter paid over term and a $9855.60 residual value. OAC. • Id#63936

$

11688 @ 0.5% FOR 48 MONTHS

$0

$0

$0

$0
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LEASEChevy BI-WEEKLY FOR LS 2014 Impala

• Bluetooth for phone MONTHS First Months @ FOR Down Security • Power drivers seat Lease Payment Payment Deposit • AM/FM/XM/CD player, Bi-Weekly payment is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, OnStar 0.0% interest with a total of $0 interest paid over term and a $11856.65 residual value. OAC. • Id#63294

$

18848 0.0%

48

$0

$0

$0

$0
Due At Signing

$ 52 MONTHS First Months @ alloy % FOR • Rear vision camera, 18” Down Security Lease Payment Payment Deposit wheels Bi-Weekly payment is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, • IntelliLink radio withwith a total of $1898.88 interest paid over term and a $11403.60 residual value. OAC. 2.5% interest Bluetooth • Remote vehicle starter • Id#63936

LEASE BI-WEEKLY FOR 2014 Buick Verano

165

2.5

48

$0

$0

$0

$0
Due At Signing

2014 Cadillac ATS 2.5L

MONTHS First Months • Bluetooth@ for phoneFOR Down Security Lease Payment Payment Deposit • Power drivers Bi-Weekly payment is plus seat HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, 3.99% interest with a total of $3270.24 interest paid over term and a $10852.20 residual value. OAC • AM/FM/XM/CD player, OnStar • Id#63294

LEASE BI-WEEKLY FOR Impala LS 2014 Chevy

$

21702 3.99%

48

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$0

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LEASE

$

165

• Power sunroof BI-WEEKLY FOR tri-coat • White diamond • 6 speed automatic •@ Id#63397 FOR

52

2.5

%

48

MONTHS $0 First Months

$0
Down Payment

$0
Security Deposit

$0
Due At Signing

Lease Payment

Bi-Weekly payment is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, 2.5% interest with a total of $1898.88 interest LEASE BI-WEEKLY FOR paid over term and a $11403.60 residual value. OAC.

LEASE BI-WEEKLY FOR • Automatic Transmission • Bluetooth for phone @ • 16” aluminum wheels • Id#63878

2014 Chevy Trax 1LT FWD
$

217

02

3.99

% FOR

48

MONTHS $0 First Months

$0
Down Payment

$0
Security Deposit

$0
Due At Signing

Lease Payment

87 @ % FOR 48 MONTHS 195 1.9 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.5L $
• Power sunroof • White diamond tri-coat • 6 speed automatic • Id#63397

$0

$0

$0

$0
Due At Signing

Bi-Weekly payment is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, 3.99% with a total LEASEinterest BI-WEEKLY FOR of $3270.24 interest paid over term and a $10852.20 residual value. OAC

First Months Lease Payment

Down Payment

Security Deposit

$

Bi-Weekly payment is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, 1.9% interest with a total of $2276.64 interest paid over term and a $21033.05 residual value. OAC.

Bi-Weekly payment is plus HST and licensing only. Lease based on a 48 month lease, 20000kms a year, 1.9% interest with a total of $1336.80 interest paid over term and a $9781.20 residual value. OAC.

76 @ % FOR 48 MONTHS 164 1.9 2014 Chevy Trax 1LT

$0

$0

$0

$0

First Months Lease Payment

Down Payment

Security Deposit

Due At Signing

FWD

2014 Chevy Equinox LS

LEASE

$

$0 lease, $0 $0 $is plus HST 88 Bi-Weekly payment and only. Lease based on a 48 month 20000kms a year, MONTHS @licensing% FOR First Months Down Security Lease Payment Payment value. Deposit 1.9% interest with a total of $2276.64 interest paid over term and a $21033.05 residual OAC.

48 MONTHS 195 LEASE 1.9 BI-WEEKLY FOR
87 @ % FOR

• Automatic Transmission • Bluetooth for phone, OnStar • Climate controlled air BI-WEEKLY FOR • Id#63887

$0
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$0
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$0
Security Deposit

$0
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• MyLink radio with Bluetooth •for Id#63878 phone • Climate controlled air • Trailering package LEASE BI-WEEKLY FOR • Id#63944

• Automatic Transmission 2014 Chevy Silverado • Bluetooth for phone 2WT Doublewheels Cab 2WD • 16” aluminum

163

0.0

48

$0

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$0 $0 $0 a year, $ 58 @ is plus % Bi-Weekly payment HST and licensing only. Lease based on $0 a 48 month lease, 20000kms MONTHS FOR First Months Down Security Due At Lease Payment Payment Deposit Signing 1.9% interest with a total of $1336.80 interest paid over term and a $9781.20 residual value. OAC.

LEASE BI-WEEKLY FOR

$

209

164

76 @

2.5

1.9

% FOR

48

48 MONTHS

$0
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$0
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Security Deposit

$0
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MAIN ST. EXETER • Automatic Transmission
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