Lawn Bowlers prepare for Provincial Championships – in the Sun

Local lawn bowlers Cindy Higgins (Tiny), Betty Robitaille (Tiny), Lynn Cranch (Barrie) and their teammate Cathy Mills (Ottawa), gathered in Sun City Center Florida to practice in advance of the Provincial Fours Championship to be held in Oshawa, June 13th to 15th .

From here, Cindy, Lynn and Cathy travel to compete in a U.S. open event in Arizona, while Betty, president of the Midland and District Lawn Bowling Club, heads home to help get the Club organized for its 2020 season.

The Midland club helps its members stay active for life. It has programs tailored for recreational and competitive bowlers as well as several social events. For more information, visit


2020 Valley Farm Market Bonspiel - Elmvale Curling Club Women's League

The Elmvale Curling Club was a colourful kaleidoscope of tartans and plaids January 11th in keeping with the 2020 Valley Farm Market Bonspiel’s theme of “150 Shades of Plaid”. The theme honoured the ECC’s 150th birthday this year.

Teams from Coldwater, Midland, Penetanguishene, Alliston, Stayner and Orillia braved the sketchy weather to compete against two Elmvale teams for the top prize. Coldwater prevailed and congratulations go out to Skip Vicki Allison and her team!

Many thanks to Henri and Bernadette of Valley Farm Market for their kind support, sponsorship and delicious dinner complete with both vanilla and chocolate birthday cakes!

Many happy returns ECC!!!


Sports with Patrick Townes

Cheating in sports – Have you done it?  Let’s be clear on this topic.  Stealing signs in the sport of baseball is not cheating; however, utilizing technology to steal signs and to relay pitches to hitters is cheating and illegal.  There is a clear difference between cheating and strategy. 

Major League Baseball recently handed out punishments to the Houston Astros for using video technology in the clubhouse to decipher pitches, and make noises from the dugout to inform the batter which pitch is being delivered.  Technology is not permitted to be used in this manner.  This is cheating and the teams that the Astros defeated during this time period were simply robbed of winning games and even championships.  Amid these allegations, it is probable that other players may come out to confirm the actions of current and former players.   

 There is not a Major League Baseball team that does not steal signs.  If you are not trying to steal signs or predict what pitchers are going to throw, you are not trying hard enough.  The difference between cheating and strategy greatly differs when signs are relayed to players by actions or symbols, and not by technology. 

 The Houston Astros faced stiff punishments as a result of their sign-stealing scandal, but teams around the league do not think it was enough.  The league issued a $5 million fine against the Astros and stripped them of their first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, who were both fired in the aftermath of the punishments, were each suspended for one year.  Suspensions for Alex Cora are pending, the Manager of the Boston Red Sox who was apparently the main culprit of the sign stealing scandal.

 The most recent accusations include Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve using electronic buzzing devices to inform them what pitches were coming.  This is a major advantage when facing a pitcher such as Aroldis Chapman who throws a high velocity fastball and a lower velocity breaking ball.  Knowing the type of pitch that is coming greatly increases the chance of hitting the ball.  Altuve’s statistics are concerning, when comparing his average at home during the playoffs (.472 average in 36 at-bats, 6 homeruns) and away during the playoffs (.143 in 35 at-bats, 1 homerun).  If Bregman and Altuve are found guilty of using this technology, the suspension would have been likely been between one and two years.  Now that they have publically denied these allegations, if they are found guilty, the penalty could be career ending. 

 Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros has been one of the most critical players when it comes to opponents taking steroids and facing suspensions.  He previously stated “I have a problem with cheating” and when speaking about players who were found guilty of steroid use, stated “We’re fighting and clawing for 162 games. You’d hate to see something happen where at the very end, you lose by a game or something and you can look back and say, ‘What if? Well, what if that guy hadn’t been on the field?’” One can only assume comments like these will be avoided in the future by all Astros players, as a cloud will hang over their heads for the remainder of their careers. 

 The Elmvale Global Controls Group is hosting the 19th annual cash spiel, from Thursday, January 23rd to Sunday, January 26th.  Games are scheduled for the Thursday night at 7:30 pm, and are scheduled for 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm on the Friday night.  Games are scheduled all day Saturday and the finals will be played on Sunday.  This event thrives on the generous support of local sponsors.  Teams love playing in this event year after year.  Proceeds from the event are also donated to the Elmvale Food Bank and the Elmvale Curling Club.  There are three local teams competing in the event. 

 The Elmvale LUSH Club hosted their 35th annual curling bonspiel this past weekend.  Representative Tom McGinnis noted that the club was formed 38 years ago when a group of unemployed workers got together for a trip at the Lost Channel.  A great day was had by all, and the winners of the event included John Degroot, Linda Belcourt, Todd Stubbs and Jimmy Ayotte over the Larry McMann team.  Member Ground Hog was reported to make a raise triple take out to score five points.  Photos included. 

 The Toronto Maple Leafs need a defenceman.  Simple as that!  Stay tuned for the next article which will feature an interview with General Manager of the Saginaw Spirt, David Drinkill, following the trade deadline and looming playoffs.