Circle of Hope: Talking about the land between

Circle of Hope: Talking about the land between

Story and photos by Michelle Annette Tremblay
The Land Between is the only area in the province with exposed rock barrens, and also has the highest concentration of lakes. We have an abundance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands; swamps, fens, bogs, and marshes. With all this water and plant diversity comes an explosion of animal and insect diversity. The Land Between hosts flora and fauna from both the north and the south, living side by side. There are also species living here that you won't find anywhere else in the world, including the five-lined skink, Ontario's only native lizard. 

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Still Swinging: Commodores Orchestra celebrates 90 years

Still Swinging: Commodores Orchestra celebrates 90 years

By John Hopkins
It seems like these days longevity in the music business is measured in years, perhaps months, but certainly not decades. Yet in 2018 Belleville’s own Commodores Orchestra will celebrate nine decades of swinging. It is an impressive achievement for any musical collection, but especially for a group that not only grew and thrived through the big band era of the 1940s, but has also managed to keep the music alive through the lean years as well.

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Remembering Vimy Ridge: Preserving Our Military Past

Remembering Vimy Ridge: Preserving Our Military Past

By Barry Penhale
Guardians of Canada’s history warrant a big vote of appreciation for the countless ways our war dead have been remembered. Honouring those men and women in the armed forces who gave their all is evident in the built memorials across Hastings County and by the annual November 11 Remembrance Day services.

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The Village Idiot: Laughing in your face

The Village Idiot: Laughing in your face

By John Hopkins

In his book ‘Sajo and her Beaver People’ the author Grey Owl – widely acknowledged for his appreciation of our First Nations – remarks on the industriousness and intelligence of the beaver. He describes them as “the very wisest” among the creatures of the forest, and “especially respected” by the native Canadians.I find I must also pay them a grudging respect, following the events of last autumn, although I might choose to use words like conniving and devious in my assessment.

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Just Saying: Jumping Jack-o’-lanterns, Fa La La La La

Just Saying: Jumping Jack-o’-lanterns, Fa La La La La

By Shelley Wildgen

I don’t get it. No one loves a seasonal holiday more than me but something has taken a rather wicked turn. The whole Halloween hoopla seems less about trick or treating and more about, well, I’m not sure. Orange light strings deceptively decorate front porches as bodies hang from apple trees, makeshift cemeteries pop up where friendly front yards used to be. I can feel my very soul adjusting uncomfortably while catching a quick glimpse from the corner of my eye as I blithely drive to the grocery store. Last year, the day after Halloween, I spied a girl I went to high school with gathering skulls off her front lawn. Jeepers!

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The Sounds of Stirling: Village Ready to Host Fall Musical Feast

The Sounds of Stirling: Village Ready to Host Fall Musical Feast

By John Hopkins
So picture this. You’ve stepped out on a limb and organized a classical and jazz music festival in the village of Stirling, and during a break in the action Guido Basso appears backstage and asks if he can sit-in with the jazz band, the John Sherwood Trio. Yup, that Guido Basso, internationally-acclaimed horn player and recipient of the Order of Canada.

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Solar’s Bright Future: North Hastings’ Gallo Charts Innovative Energy Path

Solar’s Bright Future: North Hastings’ Gallo Charts Innovative Energy Path

Story and photos by Michelle Annette Tremblay
Through his company, Gallo-Teck, the entrepreneur designs and installs automated renewable energy systems and collaborates with some of the biggest names in the industry. What does all that mean in layman's terms? Basically, Michele got into renewable energy right at the cusp 18 years ago and has been on the cutting edge ever since, constantly upping his game with new skills, knowledge and groovy innovations.Like his solar-powered pontoon boat. As far as he knows, it’s the only one like it in the world.

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Rural Renewal: Live Edge Milling Revives Lumber Trade

Rural Renewal: Live Edge Milling Revives Lumber Trade

Story and photos by Sarah Vance
During live edge milling the bark is left intact and the natural lines of the tree are preserved. Then the wood is sanded and hand polished, so as to highlight every knot and ligament in the cut. Each live edge slab is a unique and artisanal ‘slice in a tree’s life’ - which is then manufactured into functional art and furniture."I can build several tables from the same tree, but no two tables will be the same," says Hennessey.

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Still Standing: Had a Great Time; Wish You’d Been Here

Still Standing: Had a Great Time; Wish You’d Been Here

By Lindi Pierce
In Hastings County communities there are dozens of commercial, civic, religious and residential buildings that were standing on the very day of Confederation. Some are designated heritage structures, carefully preserved as museums. Others are maintained by dedicated volunteers or owners. Yet others are buried under subsequent additions, humble old workhorses who still serve their communities. Perhaps your favourite is on this list...

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The Hermit of Lake St. Peter: “Ol Joe” Goulah Lived on his own Terms

The Hermit of Lake St. Peter: “Ol Joe” Goulah Lived on his own Terms

By Barry Penhale
Established in 1956 and situated on a point of land dividing upper and lower Lake St. Peter Lake, a scenic park whose name is shared with a birch-lined lake and a long-established community has charmed travelers exploring Ontario for many years. Though limited in size, the park’s almost primitive beauty lures many repeat campers back to their favourite location among the inviting campsites.

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The Village Idiot: A fine balance

The Village Idiot: A fine balance

By John Hopkins
Measuring about a foot in diameter and maybe two feet in length, the cleanly cut piece of wood had obviously originated in a woodpile somewhere. It did not belong nestled on the ground among the trees near our riverbank, where Nancy and I discovered it a few days after the rising waters of the Moira River had begun their recession.

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Just Saying: Retirement - Just a Phase?

Just Saying: Retirement - Just a Phase?

By Shelley Wildgen
Cher did it. Oprah did it. George Foreman and Muhammad Ali both did it. They all retired then came back with a vengeance. Lance Armstrong did it too, but we don’t care. Cher’s still “shoop-shooping” it up in Vegas, Oprah went from talk show maven to network mogul and the famous boxers kept returning to the ring until one of them got grilling.

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Everything’s gone green: organic waste facility enjoys sweet smell of success

Everything’s gone green: organic waste facility enjoys sweet smell of success

By Angela Hawn
Waste not, want not. If Astoria Organic Matters Canada were looking for a slogan, this one would fit nicely. Just ask Al Hamilton what his company does and you’ll find his answer rings with similar simplicity. “We’re basically a compost manufacturing facility,” explains the 52-year-old with obvious enthusiasm for his subject. “We take in all kinds of organic waste and raw materials with no additives, blend them and make compost out of it.”

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Gateway to adventure: the magnificent York River continues to inspire

Gateway to adventure: the magnificent York River continues to inspire

Story and photos by Sarah Vance
The York River is a watershed that begins at Baptiste and extends through Bancroft, along New Carlow, into the Ottawa River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. For the cultures who share the shoreline, the river puts food on the table. Morels and fiddleheads are harvested in the Spring; cranberries and wild rice harvested in the Summer; and beavers trapped in the Fall. 

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Low budget beauties: the many highs of upcycling

Low budget beauties: the many highs of upcycling

by Shelley Wildgen
There are countless upcycling sources that will give you the ideas and the methods to put it all together and the end result is equally noble. You will have created something that isn’t exactly what it was but still has purpose. Sort of like an ‘alternative fact’, except that it’s real and better for the environment.

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Come On and Rescue Me: Local rescues save lives with social media

Come On and Rescue Me: Local rescues save lives with social media

By Michelle Annette Tremblay
As hard as she tried, Alison Sabo couldn't sleep. Restless in bed, she kept thinking about a social media post from earlier that day. It had been a photo and brief description of a big friendly dog, likely a Briard, named Kevin. He was a province away, in a Montreal shelter, due to be euthanized within a matter of days because no-one had adopted him...

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