Editor's Musings

I have lost some emails - About a week before Christmas, I called Microsoft to complain about the way my Outlook was working. They took over my computer and for an hour or so, played around with solving my problem.

Afterwards, since my Outlook was synced with my PC, the laptop, the iPad and my iPhone, for days, every time I did anything, the system spent an excessively long time making sure everything was the same on all four devices.

I put up with it until things got so slow that the only way to get emails was to go out of the program, and then back in  when the computer sent and received my emails.

Then it stopped receiving any mail.

To get things back to normal, the IT guy said that he had to reconstruct my mail system which probably has 10,000 or more emails in all the different folders I have created. In doing so, I seem to have lost most all of our communications from about December 18 to January 20-25th. My computer tech tells me it is still there, but when I search, I need to know who sent it. That is a problem but we’ll work through it and gradually, we will have improved and reconstructed my mailing system.

So if you sent me a story, or an ad, and it isn’t here, it is the glory of the modern era when anything can disappear with the blink of an eye.


A couple of issues back, I commented on Solar Panels.

In some follow-up, I had people ask me how we could dispose of them. They wondered if they were recyclable.

I called the County.

It was kind of amusing because the first response was that they didn’t know. There was silence at the other end of the line. When I said I was going to write about it, all of a sudden I seemed to have caught the person off guard. Why are you writing about it? (I am sure their display on the phone would probably have had my number and the name Springwater News but obviously, the person was not interested in going thru the motions.) Anyhow, I was passed on to another department. That gentleman had not had that question before but he would get me something.

A couple of days later, I received an email through the public relations department. They said that the tin around the outside of each panel would be recyclable / no cost. We don’t know if there is any other recyclable part now but in the future, maybe. The rest would be accepted as waste and I would pay the according to the regular garbage rate. I am sure they would have considered whether there was any contaminated waste to deal with. Nothing was mentioned.

We have 38 panels, each weighing less than 50 pounds. In fact I think I read that each weighed 38 pounds and if you google the weight of a solar panel, it says anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds for a 250 watt panel. Mine are 260 watts. At the worse the panels weigh 38 times 50 pounds ... 1900 pounds. They were delivered here in the back of a van. The Simcoe County rate is $155 per tonne for window glass (contaminated soil, stumps, carpet, bulky rigid plastic, pressure treated wood). The $75 per tonne rate covers asphalt shingles and drywall, wood waste, brush and brush chips, etc. Mixed waste, asbestos and difficult wastes cost $310 per tonne.

My conclusion is that after we get them off the roof - not a very hard job - it would probably cost me $150 to dispose of them.


After our local firemen spent all night fighting a fire, rumours have it that they were there for 12 hours, someone wondered about their sustenance.

I asked a couple of firemen how prepared were they for a long night.

Generally, there are contingency plans for hot drinks and food made by the partners of the fire department. Some carry a food pack on one of the trucks. Hydration is important and there is water available for the fire fighters along with medical rehabilitation by paramedics on the scene. I was told that it is not unusual for some thoughtful neighbours to bring out coffee and hot chocolate. In the case of the previous Anten Mills fire, the fire chief tweeted a thanks to McDonalds and Tim Horton’s so I assume he got food for them. 

Most of the Firemen are volunteers. If we see them fighting a fire, it wouldn’t hurt to offer some food and drink.


An article I read mentioned that in days past, when furniture was made of products directly out of our bushes, the quality of material burned slower. Firemen could arrive on a scene in 10 to 15 minutes and the flames may not have advanced too far.

Today, furniture is made much lighter and fossil fuel and other flammable products have been used in the manufacture to make them lighter. When a fire starts today, everything burns much faster and a flash over may happen in only minutes and before the firemen have arrived. That is why some consider the fires to be worse today versus years ago..


Education Minister, the Honourable Lisa Thompson, issued the following statement: 

"We have been clear from the beginning that we are listening to parents and consulting with our education partners to modernize and improve Ontario's education system from kindergarten to Grade 12.

There has been speculation around the issue of full-day kindergarten. Let me be clear, we are absolutely committed to full day learning for four- and five year olds across the province.

We value the experience and perspectives of our education partners and through the consultation we look forward to hearing their feedback."

  1. I can remember the consultations we were involved with re Canada Post a couple of years ago. Because they get some $80,000 a year from me, they invited me to one of their planning meetings. At each session, one in Toronto and the other in Midland, whenever they suggested raising the prices on stamps, it was derided such that at one meeting, the mentioner apologized for suggesting it. When CP announced their changes, and stamp prices went up 30% (20 cents), one of their comments was that they had consulted. Sure, they consulted but no one listened.

Having said that, I do commend Canada Post in some of the other things they have instituted and 99% of the deliveries they do for me are okay.

  1. It always amazes me that we had kindergarten - part-time  either on half day basis or 2 days one week and 3 days the next week. Kids got tired back then.

Then they cancelled Grade 13 and brought in Junior Kindergarten - full days. They are even offering day care for working families.

To me, they have generated a lot of noise but their accomplishment - not so much.

The Federal Liberals are trying the same thing right now. They brag about the Carbon tax by saying everyone on their taxes will get $371. They do not mention that a conservative estimate is that it will cost us more than $1000 each and they plan on raising the tax every year until whenever.

Nothing is said about the 13% tax we pay on most of the stuff we buy. That’s government revenues to be used as they feel the urge.


For a few years, I have been an advocate of allowing ‘Off Road Vehicles’ on our roads. It makes very little sense to me to say it is okay to drive a snowmobile on many of our roads and then not allow a safer vehicle, i.e. ATVs and ORVs on our roads.

I ride a motorcycle and might suggest in a lot of cases, the four wheeled recreation vehicles may have pluses that my two wheeler doesn’t. The Spyder, two wheels in front and one behind, is basically still a motorcycle but the popularity may be because of their stability.

When many municipalities like Wasaga Beach have passed bylaws allowing their use on most of their roads, one must be careful not to pass into another municipality that does not allow it. Then when you have one are saying okay, and another area saying no, we end up with a mishmash of trails that make it difficult to go anywhere.

Then I read our mayor’s columns and find out that Springwater Township is moving forward   ---  The use of off-road vehicles continues to rapidly grow, and more municipalities are permitting their use on local highways. Staff recommended to Council this week that a public consultation process be undertaken and that two public open houses be held to obtain input from Springwater Residents as to whether they support or do not support the use of off-road vehicles on Springwater Highways. The proposed dates are March 27th, Elmvale Community Hall and March 28th, Springwater Administration Centre.

I for one think it is a great idea.


So Charles, if you and me each get one, we can go off roading on the local roads.