The Shelburne Freelancer
                     Shelburne's Online Newspaper Since 2015 

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The Shelburne Freelancer
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The Shelburne Freelancer           Thursday, October 13, 2016

Actress Robin McLeavy (Below)Plays Eva In The Wildly Popular Series, Hell On Wheels, On AMC. This Character Is Based On A Real Woman Who's Relatives Have Ties To Family Right Here In Shelburne!

Photo (L) from AMC Hell On Wheel's Q&A With Robin McLeavy Who Plays Eva. Click on image above to go to the website. 

The feisty chin tattooed Eva character played by talented actress, Robin McLeavy is like most Urban Legends, based in reality upon the very real, Olive Oatman.

When looking back in history and noting remarkable women, Olive Oatman is definitely among those at the top of the list. 

Olive Oatman lived during the 1800's in Illinois. Born in 1837, Olive was one of seven siblings and much like Eva in the Hell On Wheels series, was in fact Mormon. By 1850, Roys and Mary Oatman, Olive's parents, joined a wagon train led by a James C. Brewster headed for California after having disagreements with the established Mormon Leaders in Utah. The Brewsterites, just under 100 members in total experienced dissension and shortly after leaving Independence, Missouri, separated into two groups for a second time near Sante Fe, New Mexico Territory, Brewster taking the northern route to California and the second group lead by Roys Oatman taking a southern route. 

At this time in American history, Native Americans, referred to as Indians were reputed to be very hostile and the rugged nature of the environment demanded knowledge and understanding of what could be involved in a dangerous,cross country trek.

(Photo below taken from Wikipedia)

Click image for short video documentary on Youtube.

In 1851 when Roys finally reached New Mexico Territory, it became clear to the group very quickly that the the environment was not going to suit them and decided to not try to reach the Colorado River. When they reached Maricopa Wells, the party members were forced with the dangerous decision of facing an encounter with Indians or staying put. Roys and his family carried on alone.

That decision resulted in one of the worst and most memorable massacres that became news world wide. The Oatman Massacre took place only 90 miles away from Yuma which is now known as Arizona, practically annihilated the Oatman family during an encounter with Tonto Apaches butchering the family and stealing away Olive then 14, and her younger sister Mary Ann then only 7 years old. The girl's brother, Lorenzo Oatman, 17 at the time who had been left for dead, somehow survived and would spend many years in search of his sisters. 

The girls spent a year as slaves, mistreated and often beaten until the day they were traded for blankets and horse to the Mohave Indians. While taken in by the leaders of this group, the girls were treated more like family members forming deep and caring relationships with their new family. In keeping with Mohave tradition, the girls chins were tattooed in the belief they could easily be recognized in the afterlife. Olive Oatman was given her Mohave name of Oach. Sadly in 1855 Olive's younger sister died of hunger along with many Mohave during a drought that was barely survivable. Olive remained with the Mohave and never tried to escape even if white traders were close by. At this point, Olive believed her family had died and she had assimilated into her new family. 

When Olive was just nineteen, her life changed dramatically when an Indian Messenger reported having heard rumors of a white girl living among the Mohave. It didn't take long for Lorenzo to get the news he had been hoping for for years. Under threat of being destroyed, the Mohaves were forced to give Oatman back despite Olive's reluctance to leave. Eventually Olive was traded for a white horse, blankets and promise to spare the Mohaves lives. 

Olive arrived for the trade along side her Mohave best friend, Topeka, both traditionally dressed, bare breasted only wearing a skirt, and was immediately dressed in Western clothing. The event was marked by happy cheers from the public and Olive was uncomfortably thrusted into the celebrity limelight.

A very complicated time in Olive's life resulted in a depression, headaches and the appearance of a grieving of sorts. Though Olive denied any sexual abuse of any kind while in captivity, it is suspected that Olive actually had a Mohave husband and gave birth to two son's. Caught between two worlds became a very lonely and isolating place to exist for Olive as the society she had been forced to return to demanded propriety of women, while the family she left had accepted her completely, she could not return to. Today, Olive could have diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and been treated, but then, there was nothing to be done but suffer mentally and carry on. 

In 1957, Pastor Royal B Stratton wrote a book about Olive called, Life Among The Indians which was a best seller of 30,000 copies and earned enough royalties for both she and Lorenzo to afford an education. 

Olive Oatman later married John B. Fairchild, a cattleman from Sherman,Texas and they had an adopted daughter, Mamie. 

Olive Oatman Fairchild died fairly young at the age of 65 of a heart attack in 1903 on March 20th and is buried at West hill Cemetery in Sherman, Texas. The Town Of Oatman in Arizona is named in her honour and is still visited by tourists. 

Olive Oatman is a wonderful example of resilience and strength revealing what the human spirit can endure and also happens to be a distant relative of Shelburne's Oatman family, Owners of Oatman's Classic Car Restoration and are also responsible for Oatman's Classic Car Show held each summer.



Shelburnite Josh Oatman and 

Distant Relative to Olive Oatman! 

Click on image (L) and Visit Josh Oatman's Facebook Page.

Click image (L) to Visit Oatman's Webpage. 

The Shelburne Freelancer           Thursday, August 18, 2016

What Does Your DNA Say About You And More Importantly, What Does Your DNA Reveal To Others?

In today's world of technological advances, more and more people are choosing to take advantage of DNA testing offered by a variety of companies, like Ancestry.

But what is really happening in addition to someone finding out about their surprising ethnicity, or the fact that their DNA revealed a sensitivity to gluten, or the knowledge they are prone to liver or kidney failure, possibly even developing colon cancer? Quietly under the radar of suspicion, DNA has been collected for decades, and now millions of people have made the leap, purchasing a DNA Testing Kits, providing a sample for Colon Cancer Testing, DNA Ancestry Testing, DNA Health Testing, Parental Testing, Sibling Testing, and would it surprise you to know that some countries are now demanding Immigration DNA Testing? People All over the world simply purchasing the test kits, and shipping their DNA information with UPS providing companies with more information about them then any bank, identity theft, home invasion,doctor, wallet theft, passport theft, even fingerprints or a computer hack could ever provide. People then receive their reports verifying their ancestry, confirming parenthood, revealing health issues, but does the process really end there?

What happens to all that tested and stored information about you? Why would an insurance company like to have that information? Could you be denied an insurance policy if the company got hold of your DNA file and discovered a stream of costly medical issues you are likely to face in the future?

The acquisition of information is not new. Sales and marketing companies rely on such information daily in order to target neighbourhoods with particular flyers, discover what you are most likely to purchase online, where you are going to travel, if you travel, if you don't travel,... the list of facts on demand is endless. 

But can this seemingly innocent act of DNA Testing become a nefarious effort to regulate populations? Should the Canadian Government be able to demand DNA testing for immigrants to prove they are actually related to an already established Canadian? Or is this an effort to police and protect from terrorists? How would that work? 

What if someone trying to immigrate into Canada, following all the rules, including immigrant DNA testing, was discovered to be related to a known terrorist already in the system? What would it mean to discover you are related to a mass murderer and that gene, that one instruction in your DNA, will one day let loose and send you on a shooting spree? Does it work that way? Probably not, but maybe..

The situation begs the philosophical question of just how much should be known about you, should it be stored, shared, purchased, stolen perhaps, and what does it all mean going forward?

According to The Free Thought Project, an online media source, was allegedly caught sharing their customer's private information including DNA Data with Police. Perfect, right? Catch the bad guy? But what happens when it works the other way round? Could you be hauled in for questioning because your DNA matched a criminal police are looking for and being a relative, you must know something? These are very frightening times when so much information can be collected and replicated but how accurate can it all be?

A woman in the US, Lydia Fairchild, was proven to not be the mother of two of her children. It was later discovered that when she herself was a fetus, she had a fraternal twin sister who didn't develop and that fetus' DNA became absorbed into the surviving fetus and rested securely hidden in and among vital organs while everywhere else in her body's blood stored her own DNA. It's estimated that 20%-30% of all pregnancies result in an unknown twin being absorbed. This particular case is actually not uncommon. Several people are walking around with two sets of DNA. DNA testing from other vital organs did indeed prove the woman was in fact the mother of her children. That being said, one can only imagine the colossal amount of mistakes that could be made when making decisions based on DNA information. Technically and scientifically speaking, the above mentioned woman's sister was the mother of the children based on DNA, having been diagnosed with Chimera.(person born with two sets of DNA) In theory, a person could commit a crime and the DNA evidence could result in the identical twin who was never born being held accountable! How many people will get released from prison because their DNA doesn't match the DNA collected at a crime scene? Mystery sibling strikes again? Oh, the conundrums humans make for ourselves...

GeneTrack BioLabs a Canadian Company, offer an assortment of DNA Testing Services including tracking your Ancestry to different parts of the world throughout history. Take the mystery out of discovering about your relationship, just order #25 Question of the DNA Relationship flyer of the future! Hopefully the world will not come to that, but for those who thought getting their computer hacked was a serious concern, giving away your DNA could prove to be far more serious. 

Visit and for even more information. 

See Lydia Fairchild's (L) story mentioned above. 
Click image (L) to see ABC's report. 

Will you think twice before getting your DNA tested? Perhaps two kits are better than one!

By Alex Sher

The Shelburne Freelancer            Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Is The Humane Society, Humane To People?
Attention Pet Owners: Could This Happen To You?

Thanks to social media,society often gets a first hand look at life events in real time. Researching this article, a facebook image (L) popped up that caught the attention of The Shelburne Freelancer. 

What to do if you have just relocated in the last few months, had a new baby, getting settled in and your beloved feline of five years goes missing? 

For a Timmins, Ontario resident, the harrowing experience was far more than stressful. Could you even imagine a neighbour picking the cat up, and driving it fifteen minutes into the country to the Timmins Humane Society where the cat would remain over night because the owner could not afford the $150 fee to release the cat? That is more expensive than some hotels for people with their pets! 

After much work and collaborative efforts this true story had a happy ending with the reunification of the cat and it's owner at a more affordable price but the experience sheds light on a much needed area of discussion involving Humane Societies, and other charitable organizations. Click image above to visit The Timmins & District Humane Society and be sure to take a look at the "About Us " section for Pound Fees and Bylaws. 

Would it surprise you to know these societies are not subject to government regulations? As charitable organizations they are bound to produce Charity Organization Registration Numbers where they usually produce annual figures, but are not required necessarily to release this information to the public. The City of Timmins for example has reported all the money for licences and fines and charges related to animal control go to the Humane Society. The City of Timmins contract with the Humane Society for Animal Control Services for 2016 is $ 180,000.00. As the Humane Society actually has a facility, a pound, they like other pound facilities have "Pound Contracts" with towns and cities they are associated with. 

Humane Society Fees are ratified by individual Towns/City Bylaws, so basically the Town can decide which fees exist and what the amounts of those fees will be. As a result,fees vary from community to community.  What most citizens do not know is that each Town/City/ Township set of Bylaws can lead to huge decision making on the part of homeowners who have not looked at the set of bylaws. For example, Bylaws can determine how many pets a homeowner can have and which type of animals may be permitted within the Town's jurisdiction which may result in a new homeowner faced with the painful decision of having to give away a beloved dog or relocate to a new area that allows certain numbers of dogs on one property. 

The Orangeville SPCA and other SPCA's are separate entities from Humane Societies (although they are associated and often work collaboratively) have a lot to offer in the way of advice for pet owners. First recommendation is to look at the Town's set of bylaws for pets before a pet owner moves into a new area. Find out if your pet needs a licence. Bylaws are different for dogs and cats. Be sure to check to see if your pet's identifying tattoo or micro-chip has accurate updated information.

Calla Spencer, Animal Centre Manager at Orangeville SPCA recommends calling to inquire about any situation that could concern a pet owner and their pets, even offering group tours of their facility to get a close look at the organization. Visit their website at for more information. 

It's important to state the obvious when overseeing a story like the one mentioned above and remind readers of the ongoing struggle to keep pets safe in communities and remember the hard work that goes into running Humane Societies and SPCA' s and while pound fees can vastly vary from community to community, it's a pet owners responsibility to find out all information involving pet care. 

In the Town of Shelburne, Ontario, there is no such entity as a Shelburne Humane Society as of yet. Shelburne does offer the wonderful Feral Cat Rescue under the excellent care of Sharon Morden. Contact the Town of Shelburne for concerns about bylaws involving dogs to find more.

The Shelburne Freelancer                 Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Very Curious In Deed.

Always follow the money when in Journalism and Reporting 101. Normally I do not follow such controversial issues but when news like autism cutbacks comes along and is so backward a move on part of the Canadian Government, people get curious. when following the money doesn't make any sense, which leads to rule 2-who benefits-which came up dry- not children with Autism, not the government, so then, who benefits either politically or financially? Rule 3, round back, look again, rule 4-find the link, love, money & politics, maybe it's personal, ..Voila! Love and money, then politics, leads me the spouse of Kathleen Wynne, Jane Rounwaithe and JR's long time affiliation with autism Via Kinark Child and Family Services, etc.
Eureka! Money and love MAY HAVE- NOT REPORTING DEFINITELY- but may have to do with how Autism was targeted at all! While Wynne's been together with her partner over twenty years, and although the Autism cutbacks finally came to fruition, the situation has been brewing for as long as the Premier's relationship at least! Having a "HMMM,..." moment?
Without actual proof, the issue is almost moot except for the fact that the above does not mention the actual parents and children faced with a bleak outcome as Government officials move pieces of their lives around as they would on a chess board, without care, without compassion, without acknowledgement and especially without accountability.
I have emailed Rounthwaite, and Autism Ontario (large promoter of new policies) and am waiting on a response. Below is an article discovered on the internet by Accessibility News in 2013 is very helpful in looking back on issues and facts that seem to get forgotten over time.
Side Note: Professional Politicians, the caliber of Kathleen Wynne and partner Jane Rounthwaite, professional problem solver extraordinaire, wouldn't have to blink an eye or raise a sweat moving a population of overwhelmed, exhausted, parents of Autistic children who are struggling to cope daily, through a cavalcade of hurdles, distractions, and barriers of government policies. 
Still working on it, Alex Sher.

The Shelburne Freelancer                Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Provincial Government Cutbacks In Autism Care Brought Parents To Queen's Park To Fight
For Intensive Behaviour Intervention(IBI) To Be Re-Instated. 
But Did Anything change? Parents Speak Out!

Click above for exclusive video interview with Parents who attended Queen's Park April 5, 2016.

Parents living with children on the spectrum of Autism will have to unite and buckle up for a bumpy ride in the fight to have IBI (Intensive Behaviour Intervention) re-instated into the newly announced Autism Health Care Programs by the Provinical Government. 

Already an established fact that children with Autism can thrive with IBI, parents are in shock over the cutbacks that will restrict children over five years of age from receiving IBI care, bluntly deciding there is no evidence children over five years of age are even capable to benefit from IBI at that point in an Autistic child's learning curve.   A crushing blow to Ontario parents who have inundated social media with video evidence to the contrary. 

The cutbacks to Autism care came with what many would call a $333 million dollar "smoke screen" Government announcement delivered by Child and Youth Services Minister, Tracy McCharles, who was brought to tears when confronted by MPP Sylvia Jones during a session at Queen's Park as Charles stated through her tears, "I know what it's like to have a special needs child!" 

Sadly, if that is true, it does not seem to evoke compassion for the thousands of families impacted by the lack of IBI services especially after waiting so long to make the list of recipients, only to discover there is no hope for their child to receive care. McCharles' tears only seemed to create more anger and frustration for those parents in attendance as she continued to repeat $333 million dollars is a lot of money. While that may be true, after dispersing such money to the many hospitals and institutions in line to receive funding, the very sad truth is $333 million dollars actually doesn't go very far when taking into account many families have bankrupted themselves trying to get help for their child while they sat idle on wait-lists. 

FRUSTRATED, ANGRY & DESPERATE FOR HELP AND HOPE, parents with children on the spectrum left Queen's Park  without answers, stripped of dignity, exhausted and with a new perspective: Government Is A Business And It's All About The Money!  

Even with MPP Slyvia Jones' swift, harsh and accurate criticism of McCharles' ignorant view on what life is like for these family's reaching out for help, families feel betrayed, lied to, and abandoned by the very same government they voted for, who promised change, and had no idea the harsh changes coming for them.

"For us, as parents, IBI therapy was the difference in our daughter only saying the word "juice" to telling us recently and for the first time that she loved us," explained Kelly McDowell, parent with a child on the Spectrum of Autism. 

"I am hoping to bring more attention to the changes to Autism funding and what it is doing to local families. At the local treatment Centre for Dufferin, which is located in Orangeville for all Dufferin families, every child that is currently receiving IBI will be losing service. Our daughter is part of this group. She has just turned 5 and waited 3.5 years for this treatment which she started in October and will be cut from in May because of the changes. Over 3500 children across Ontario are being affected. This intensive therapy is vital for autistic children. For some, it is the difference in learning to go to the bathroom or not.. For some it gives them their first words. It provides coping mechanisms so they may attend a regular school with their peers, "commented Kelly McDowell,(L) mother of a child on the Spectrum Of Autism.

Following the visitation at Queen's Park, families with children on the spectrum are now faced with a grim future and an even sadder outlook for their child's future thanks to McCarthy's cutbacks. All Canadains can only sit back and wonder what health care will look like in Ontario's future as those children on the spectrum will undoubtedly suffer as once they reach adulthood will require an even larger strain on financial Government Assistance.

By Alex Sher

The Shelburne Freelancer                  Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Click on image above to visit MPP Sylvia Jones' Website. Click here for video at Queen's Park.

MPP Sylvia Jones' Swift Response To Autism Care Cutbacks!
This Press Released April 12, 2016


(Queen’s Park) – Today, Sylvia Jones MPP Dufferin-Caledon urged the Minister of Children and Youth Services to reverse her to decision to remove children with Autism over 5 years old from receiving IBI therapy. 

The wait-list for IBI therapy has increased because of years of inaction by the Liberal government. In 2014-2015 there were 16,158 children with Autism on the wait-list for IBI and Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) therapy. “Now the Liberal government has decided to stop providing IBI therapy to children over 5 years old,” Jones commented adding, “Since the Minister’s announcement I have heard from parents, family members and friends of individuals with children with Autism that are devastated by the Minister’s decision. One concerned parent contacted me and spoke of the outcry that would occur if this government chose not to help cancer patients because of their age. We would never push aside a cancer patient based on age, but that is exactly what the Minister is doing to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism doesn’t end at 5 and children across the province are actually benefitting from IBI therapy even past the age of 5. The Minister has ignored numerous calls from parents, MPPs, and experts for a reversal of her decision that will abandon children over 5. The Minister was clearly upset with my question which I hope means she is concerned about the many families who will be left behind because of her decision. I again call on the Minister to do the right thing and allow children over five years old access to IBI therapy,”Jones said. 

To read more about what Jones is doing in the Legislature please visit: 

For more information, contact Legislative Assistant for MPP Sylvia Jones, Christopher Dacunha at

 416-325-1898 or s[email protected]

The Shelburne Freelancer                     Monday, April 11, 2016

Monique Talyor MPP NDP Critic for Children & Youth Services (L) to hold Press Conference.

Autism Special Feature:

 Government Cutbacks Synonymous With $333 Million Investment 

Find Out Why Parents With Autistic Children Somewhere On The Spectrum 

Are Exasperated, Exhausted, And Irate 

With Proposed Cutbacks To IBI, ( Intensive Behavioral Intervention)

Click on MPP Monique Taylor to visit her webpage and on the image L() to visit the Ontario Autism Coalition' webpage.

Get Local Mom's Perspective 
On Provincial Government Cutbacks
 To Autistic Care In Ontario
"The catch is you can only have your child tested and diagnosed at 2 years of age, but as you know Doctor wait times aren't always the easiest and have lengthy timelines of their own. Can you imagine an autism specialist who is experiencing rising numbers of children being diagnosed but is only permitted by our government to see "X" many!?!?! 
(Totally messed up right?!)Then you go on "wait-lists"  for IBI (Intensive Behavioral Intervention) therapy as well as ABA( Applied Behavioral Analysis Services). 
IBI has quite the lengthy timeline and people who get called upon on said wait-lists feel like they won the lotto!! Everyone describes it like that. 
The wait times are between 2-3 years. Well, let's do the math! That would bring our child to the age of 4-5. I haven't heard any families get a call before age 5. 
Well personally I have seen the way it helped our son, Paul Jr. within days and now to be threatened to have it taken breaks my heart .It was that glimmer of hope for Paul Sr. and I.  The passed few days have been hard. But, we are Paul Jr.'s voice for now so roar we shall!" explained Nicole Taylor, mother of a child with ASD, (Autism Spectrum Disorder) very upset and disappointed with Government cutbacks.  

And what does the Minister of Children & Services have to say?

" This investment will go towards helping more children receive the critical services that they need, earlier and with services that are better tailored to meet their individual needs. The changes to how we deliver autism services will help more young people participate fully at home, at school, in the community and as they prepare to achieve their goals for adulthood," commented, (L)Tracy MacCharles,
Minister of Children and Youth Services. 

Back In The "Real World" Life Is Very Different From MacCharles' Perspective.
What Are Real People With Real Situations
Supposed To Do Now? 

"My family and I are very hurt by the decision the government has made.
All children on the spectrum should be able to do IBI. My son is on the wait list. He will be 5 next month, IBI was suppose to start in September, and now I'm hearing that he's not eligible for the funding anymore? I'm a stay at home mom, my son has a lot of needs. I can't work full time because of his needs. So on one income in my home, we can't afford to pay thousands of dollars for 2 years of therapy. I'm angry. I'm hurt. My son deserves to have a bright future with endless possibilities just like any other child. Now what are we suppose to do?" commented Dundalk resident, and single Mom, Maddy Mitchell. 

Click above or right to help Dante.

The Following Press Release Was Issued On March 29, 2016: 

  Ontario Investing $333 Million to Improve Autism Service        

    New Autism Program to Reduce Waitlists and Provide Better Services for Families  

As part of the 2016 Budget, Ontario is investing $333 million over the next five years to launch the new Ontario Autism Program, which will provide children and youth with critical interventions faster, and provide services that are better matched to their needs.

The newly expanded children's autism program will make it easier for families to access services for their children by reducing wait times, providing more flexible services based on children's needs, and serving more children and youth. It will also help children receive intensive therapy services during the key early developmental years.

Within two years, provincial wait times for children's autism services are projected to drop by more than half, on average.

The new approach is informed by advice from families, clinical experts and the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Expert Committee. It is consistent with scientific evidence and will provide a more responsive continuum of supports. The transition to the new Ontario Autism Program will happen over the next two years.

Highlights of the new program include:

  • Reducing wait times so children can access services sooner
  • Transitioning to the new integrated autism program by:
    • Focusing Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) services to children in the appropriate developmental window: ages two to four
    • Gradually transitioning children five years and older currently receiving IBI to more clinically appropriate Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) services
    • Providing families with children five years and older on the IBI waitlist with $8,000 in one-time funding to immediately purchase community services or supports based on their children's specific needs as they transition off the IBI waitlist
    • Increasing the duration and intensity of ABA services over four years, starting in 2017, so that services are more flexible and based on children's individual needs.

To ensure a successful transition from the current program to the future program, the government will establish an advisory group of service providers, parents and other experts to provide strategic advice.

Giving every child the opportunity to thrive and have the best possible start in life is part of the government's plan to support families and provide services that allow all children and youth to reach their full potential. 


" This investment will go towards helping more children receive the critical services that they need, earlier and with services that are better tailored to meet their individual needs. The changes to how we deliver autism services will help more young people participate fully at home, at school, in the community and as they prepare to achieve their goals for adulthood."
- Tracy MacCharles
Minister of Children and Youth Services

" Families raising children with autism have been waiting a long time for this announcement. Providing early, evidence-based intervention, when it matters most, will set children with autism on the best path forward. This investment will set the stage for continuous learning for years to come."
- Margaret Spoelstra
Executive Director, Autism Ontario

" This announcement is very good news for the ASD community. Based on scientific evidence, the new plan strongly supports the continuum of care for all children with ASD, expanding intervention services to earlier in a child’s development, which is critical for improved outcomes. I am proud and excited to support the new program based on the advice of the Expert Panel."
- Dr. Wendy Roberts
Vice-Chair, ASD Clinical Expert Committee 

  • Beginning in April, Ontario will host online sessions, in partnership with Autism Ontario, for families to learn more about the transition to the new Ontario Autism Program.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong, complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction and repetitive patterns of behaviour.
  • There are an estimated 40,000 children and youth in Ontario with ASD. Prevalence rates have risen 123 per cent in the last decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, in 2002, one in 150 children was diagnosed with autism. By 2010, that number had risen‎ to one in 68 children.




AND THE PROBLEM IS?!?!?!  Click on the underlined link(R)

 Five Year Old's With ASD Will Suffer


The Shelburne Freelancer                   Friday, October 16, 2015

Orangeville Angel Concert Oct 18, 

Fundraiser for Syrian Refugees and KAMI
The Orangeville Angel Concert - Art, Music and Authors - features performers with both roots in the Orangeville area and international exposure.  They include Jeff Bird, Cowboy Junkies accompanist and inductee to the Music Hall of Fame, Sue Smith,  international tenor Mark Dubois, Elisabeth DuBois, Julia Obermeyer, Nancy Claridge, Pam Claridge, Melyssa Kerr, John Green, Dolores Daly, Serge Gagnon, Sylvie Gravelle. The music will range from classical to modern to folk, to native drumming.  

Local artists are donating their work to be sold for the cause.  Three authors, whose  writings represent environmental, metaphysical and residential school perspectives, will be present for book signings and sales. They are Liz Armstrong (A Handbook on Climate Action for Baby Boomers), Jill Michelle (Angelic Awakenings) and Cliff Standingready or Standing Buffalo Warrior (Children of the Creator).

A community based group, the Headwaters Refugee Sponsorship Group, is working to bring a Syrian refugee family to our area and to support them during their first year in the community. The family of four (husband, wife and two small children - a son and daughter) fled Syria due to heavy aerial bombing of their town and are now in Jordan.  They are not allowed to work.  Safety remains an issue for them. Their applications and related paperwork are in process and we are waiting for their arrival.

The Headwaters Group successfully sponsored an Iraqi family 5 years ago, supporting them throughout their first year in Canada. The group operates under the authority of AURA (Anglican United Refugee Assistance) and is co-sponsored by Westminster United Church in Orangeville.  Participation is open to all members of the community.

The KAMI Foundation was locally founded by Michel and Kathleen Jobin. Its focus is to create sustainable business development and employment in the Terrier Rouge area of Haiti, by producing kerosene stoves, carriages and fuel tanks in Terrier Rouge for use by local residents.  Haiti is 98% deforested and much of the wood is used for cooking with charcoal. Not only does the project reduce deforestation, it has significantly improved people's lives, especially those of women, who can now reduce their cooking time by 4-5 hours per day. The next phase of the project is underway, which is to fuel the stoves on Jatropha, an inedible plant which is being grown locally for that purpose. An extruder has been purchased for community use to extract the oil, have easy access to alternative fuel and will make use of the stoves even more environmentally friendly.

All proceeds will go directly to the cause.

The Orangeville Angel Concert, "Art, Music and Authors",  will be held on Sunday, 18th October at 4.p.m. at St. Mark's Church, Orangeville. Tickets are $25 each (including refreshments) and are available at Booklore or at the door.

The above kindly provided by Sheila Flattery Solution Focused Life Coach 519-731-1911

The Shelburne Freelancer                         Friday, October 9, 2015

Just Look At That Face! 
But what if you need help with a troubled Raccoon?

Recently three separate Shelburnite families placed calls to the Shelburne Police Department complaining about a raccoon behaving oddly causing worry and suspicion the raccoon might be rabid. 

According to Shelburne Police Media Relations Officer, Constable Paul Neumann, when police arrived and assessed the situation, they did indeed believe there was something wrong with the animal. 

The raccoon was pacing, was off balance, and the police couldn't tell if the animal was actually rabid but absolutely ascertained there was indeed something very wrong with the animal. The decision was made to shoot the raccoon in an effort to keep the community safe. The raccoon was removed from the scene and appropriate authorities were notified of the incident. Upon further inquiry, it was discovered that in all likeliness, the raccoon suffered from Distemper which is also serious. 
According to Constable Neumann, Police are responsible to asses a situation and act accordingly in the interest of community safety. Police are not Ministry of Natural Resources, nor experts in the rabid raccoon. Noteworthy, a veterinarian is always consulted, the Ministry of Natural Resources are notified and in the event a person had been attacked,(resulting in broken skin) a public issue of alert would have been set into play. To date, there is no known  live-trap and relocate program in place for healthy raccoons in Shelburne neighbourhoods.
Distemper is a virus and can be contagious especially if your pet has not received proper shots and is common in raccoon populations. Symptoms include stumbling when walking, odd chewing fits, mucous around the eyes, confusions, can become aggressive, appear blind, and may loose inhibitions, confronting humans. There is very little hope for recovery and those who have been seen to recover, suffer neurological damage. Skunks contract Distemper as well.
With regards to this particular incident, Shelburne residents can set their mind at ease knowing this particular raccoon was actually not healthy, police acted accordingly and as alarming and sad as it may be to have witnessed the shooting of the raccoon, the animal would have otherwise greatly suffered. 

The Shelburne Freelancer                   Monday, October 5, 2015

Closing The Cottage? 


 It’s autumn and the time has arrived for all property owners to start considering the closure and winterizing of their cottages.

Cottages and summer homes are most vulnerable to thieves from the week following Thanksgiving to the weeks prior to Victoria Day, especially if the owners are not using them for fall, winter or spring getaways.

Remember, if there is no one living at it or checking it regularly, the cost of owning a cottage or summer property includes the frustration and irritation of repairing damage and replacing stolen property.

Tips to Consider

  • Pack up all food and alcohol.
  • Don’t leave firearms or weapons at the cottage.
  • If you are leaving vehicles, make sure they’re winterized, secure and disabled – for snow machines remove track and hide keys; ensure boats are covered and locked; outboard motors locked and slightly disassembled; ATVs disabled – leave nothing on trailers unless it is locked or disabled.
  • Leave no valuables at cottage – electronics, personal items, tools etc. unless you are prepared to lose them.
  • Who is your contact (key holder) for: alarms, thefts, weather damage or animal problems?  Do you have their contact information numbers?  Are they paid to check your cottage regularly or are they friends/neighbours?
  • Your insurance company may give you a deduction if you have one.
  • Secure your windows and doors - close window curtains or blinds and put up shutters to protect interior from marauders (both animals and human).
  • Record serial numbers of anything of value left behind.
  • Sporting goods – fishing rods & equipment, water skis, toys etc. – if they’re not secured, locked up, hidden or both, don’t expect them to be there next spring –

Lock them up or be prepared to lose them!

  • Make a list of  where everything is and make copies – store one copy on your home computer and put a copy with property that will go back up to the cottage on the first or next trip (use your phone to take pictures).
  • Know which police force patrols your cottage area (which OPP Detachment and the phone number).
Safe travels on this long weekend.
This message provided by: 

Contact: A/Sgt Lynda Cranney #7916

Central Region Media/CSO Coordinator

Phone: 705 330-3738

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the OPP at 705-789-5551 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). You can submit your information online at if you have any information on this crime or any other crime. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.00

The Shelburne Freelancer           Monday, September 28, 2015

The Township of Mulmur's Town Hall Meeting
 Included Many Important Speakers

(LtoR) Mulmur Township's Town Hall Meeting on September 28, 2015, welcomed several speakers. Dufferin County's Emergency Manager and Co-ordinator, Steve Murphy, GFL (Green For Life) Environmental Inc, District Manager, Craig Nelson, Fire Department Chief For Mulmur Township, Fire Chief Jim Clayton, Chair of the Economic Development Committee Task Force MaryAnn Lowry, Mulmur Mayor, Paul Mills, Mulmur Deputy Mayor, Heather Hayes, and Town Councillor's Earl Hawkins and Keith Lowry. Note: Provincial Constabel Paul Nancekivell also attended but was called to duty before The Shelburne Freelancer arrived. Scroll down to find out what he spoke about.

During Mulmur's Town Hall Meeting, Mulmur Mayor Paul Mills Presented Prestigious Certificate To Local Artist, Ken Hall

In recognition of local Artist, Ken Hall's achievement in the Arts and recent honor of winning both 2014 Artisan of the Year Award by The Hills Of Headwaters and 2014 Artist of the Year from the Orangeville Arts and Culture Awards, Mulmur Mayor Paul Mills presented Ken Hall with a certificate of recognition on behalf of Mulmur Township on Saturday, September 25, 2015. 

Most notably for many who will remember Hall for his Legacy Presentation which was wildly successful at  Dufferin County Museum and Archives featuring a huge wooden replica of an actual killer whale named Hope which hung from the ceiling for display. The presentation raised awareness regarding poisons and toxic chemicals as Hope had died testing positive for the highest levels of PCB's and DDT ever recorded in a killer whale.  For More information on this talented Artist, visit his website at www.kenhallarLtoR)Mayor of Mulmur, Paul Mills presented local Artist Ken Hall With Prestigeous Award. 

Mulmur Town Hall Meeting Welcomed Guest Speakers

Contact MaryAnn Lowry at 705-466-9971or email [email protected] 

Mary Ann Lowry, Chair of Mulmur Townships Economic Development Task Force discussed many strategic opportunities marketing Mulmur's growth combined with maintaining Mulmur values. "Attracting investors, encouraging community involvement, putting together a business directory, holding Focus Groups, are all things to consider moving forward while maintaining the respect of our heritage, " commented Lowry as she presented her strategic plan to Mulmur residents. 

the motto of the task force as presented on the literature reads, " Mulmur Township needs clear direction for a thriving future that balances rural life with responsible and sustainable economic and social development for all residents."

(Green For Life)GFL Environmentals Inc.'s District Manager Craig Nelson, reviewed the many services offered to residents and discussed costs and concerns followed by answering questions. For more information Contact Craig Nelson at 

1-888-941-3345 X 205 or email [email protected]

Dufferin County Emergency Co-ordinator, Steve Murphy discussed the many challenges involved with rural living during an emergency recommending residents take advantage of electronic storage, ie The Cloud or memory sticks, for all important documentation and treasured photographs. 

Murphy also recommended having a traditional landline phone service accessible and warned against trusting cell phones when help is needed. For more information contact Dufferin County Emergency Services  at 1-877-941-2816 or email [email protected]

Contact the Mulmur Melancthon Fire Station at 706116 County Road 21, Honeywood, ON L0N 1H0
Phone:(519) 925-6481

Fire Chief of Mulmur Township, Jim Clayton, informed Mulmur residents that they must have a driveway accessible to a fire truck that is 14 X14 ! Small driveways create difficulties when emergency vehicles are required to enter. Residents also discovered that Smoke Alarms have a life expectancy of ten years and must be replaced in order to be trusted and effective while fire extinguishers can be taken to most hardware stores to be tested after five years.  An extinguisher might be new to you, but it may have sat on the shelf for a couple of years before being purchased, just a fact to consider when trying to keep your home safety ready. Clayton also took questions and revealed that residents can always call the fire department and arrange an appointment to see if you home is safe for a fee. Pictured below: This new Fire Rescue truck needs a gape of 14X14  in order to reach your house in an emergency! 

If you have questions or suspect you might have been scammed, contact Dufferin OPP via OPP Com-Centre‎ at 1-888-310-1122 or *677 in your cellphone.                                    
Contact: Provincial Cst. Paul Nancekivell, Media Officer

(L)Ontario Provincial Police Constable Paul Nancekivell in Media Relations, provided information on three scams that are running rampant and cautioned people to be aware.

The first very popular scam involves grandparents who are telephoned and informed they need to bail out a family member and must do it immediately. Nancekivell informed people that no cash changes hands in such cases and people should contact the loved one being referenced immediately. 

The second scam mentioned often scares the socks off people and involves the government threatening to arrest people for not paying their taxes. Nancekivell reminds people that the government doesn't typically arrest people unless pay immediately. 

The third topic involving scams is a cautionary topic involving the internet and Nancekivell reminds people to only post on FaceBook vacation photos once returned from vacation. Scammers troll the internet and Facebook looking for any sort of personal information they can grab and use to their advantage. That being said, photos of young children should also be only posted on secure pages as Nancekivell notified that Facebook Security updates every 60 days and private security settings could be lost. " Just be mindful as to what personal information you are putting on the internet. The internet is an amazing research tool, but we have to be careful how it's used so private information is not used against you in a negative manner, " commented Nancekivell. 

If you suspect you just encounterred a scammer or wonder if you have been scammed contact police immediately,  ask questions and stay safe! 


Mulmur resident and former ward for Dufferin County, John Franklin, added to MaryAnn Lowry's presentation commenting, " Former Reeve, and owner of Orangeville Furniture,  Arnold Patterson, once told me, there are 5 factors in attracting a business. Ask yourself, do we have healthcare facilities, a sound educational system all the way up to university level, good transportation system that links communities, and finally you need land. I can't remember the fifth one at the moment but these are all very important things to consider when trying to attract business."  

Mulmur Resident, John Franklin poignantly contributing during Mulmur Town Hall presentation by EDC Task Force Chair, MaryAnn Lowry.

The Shelburne Freelancer       Wednesday, September 16, 2015

70 Years Of Wedded Bliss! 
Harry & Catherine Milley & family
 four generations strong!

Having met during the war, a young Canadian Soldier, Harry Milley found himself in Scotland where his eyes met the eyes of the bonny Scottish young woman, Catherine Ramsay. That moment in 1942 lead the couple to marry in 1945. Technically, Catherine could be referred to as a "War Bride". 

(L)A short video marking the 70th  Wedding Anniversary of Harry and Catherine Milley.

Shelburne Mayor Ken Bennington was on hand, Sunday, September 13, 2015 to mark a momentous occasion presenting Harry and Catherine Milley with a Certificate from the Town Of Shelburne acknowledging their wonderful accomplishment. 

The Honorable MP, David Tilson also payed a visit with a certificate he presented on behalf of the Province of Ontario. 

This photograph generously provided by Sydnee Belford.

Fast forward to the year 2015 and the thriving Milley clan are four generations stronger than ever! "We had two boys and two girls," Harry Milley commented," and the family just grew." When asked the secret to his marital success, very candidly, Milley commented, " No secret to success, only secret- just getting old!"

Clearly the love that binds these two lovebirds together is so true, their love stands the test of time. 

Congratulations to Harry & Catherine Milley
 on their 70th Wedding Anniversary

Infinite Play's Grand Opening Success!

This ribbon was tough!

Town Councillor Dan Sample and helpers at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Infinite Play.(indoor child play facility. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015 marked the grand opening of Shelburne's first indoor child play facility of this kind as Infinite Play opened it's doors for the first time to a welcomed and excited public. Virginia Millar , owner of Infinite play was very pleased with both the turn out and the level of support from the community grateful for yet another activity to offer local children. 

(L)Six year old, Hailey Stevenson was thoroughly enjoying the kittens on hand raising awareness for Shelburne's local Feral Cat Rescue organization owned by Sharon Morden. " When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian!" commented Stevenson appropriately donning a tiger face painting. 

For more information on Shelburne's Feral Cat Rescue Organization call 519-278-0707 or email [email protected] 

Vendors and Face Painters Attended the Grand Opening which included bbq!

And the inside is a child's dream place to play, run around, learn, and most of all, HAVE FUN!

Arts and Crafts                                          Chalk Drawing                       Climbing Indoor Jungle                                                                                                                                  Gym

Located at the corner of Victoria St and 30th Sideroad
 (County Road 11) in Shelburne, Ontario. 519-925-3535 


Canada's British Home Children 

Shelburne Public Library's CEO, Rose Dotten welcomed Author , Researcher Lori Oschefski to speak on her newly published book, The Bleating of the Lambs which reveals the history and personal stories of many who came to Canada in the early 1900's to become child workers through philanthropist, Dr. Bernardo's Program, British Home Children. Ironic the program which later became exposed as a migrant scheme, was called "home" in any regard as a home life was never provided. More often than not, children from ages two and upwards were ripped from their families, shipped to Canada and were forced to face abuse, hardship and conditions so unfathomable, many did  not survive the experience. The Shelburne Freelancer was granted permission from Oschefski to video her live presentation of explanation of Canada's British Home Children for those unfamiliar with the topic. Enlightening, sad, and often heart wrenching, this blemish on Canadian history has never been addressed by the Canadian Government. Neither acknowledgement or an apology of any kind has ever been issued. 

Article coming soon.

The Shelburne Freelancer                           Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Historic Thank You " 
Honouring Our 
WWII Female Veterans

June 23, 2015 marked a momentous occasion in the history of Shelburne and will be remembered as both a proud and emotional event as Dufferin Oaks, Long Term Home Care Facility was honored to be the backdrop for a very special, "Thank You" Ceremony honoring three WWII Female Veterans and one NAAFI (Navy,Army, Air Force Institute) member. 

In addition to Pastor Gord Horsley, WWII Veterans, Veterans and Shelburne Legion 220 Branch members, former Shelburne Mayor, Ed Crewson, former Dufferin County Museum & Archives Curator, Wayne Townsend,  Laura Camilleri, DCMA Archivist, Quilts of Valour representatives, Judy MacLeod,Diane Johnson, Carol Thompson, Ione Smith, Ida Cunningham, the Dufferin Oaks Entrance was filled with admirers, family and friends. 

Shelburne Mayor, Ken Bennington, unable to attend, did not allow the occasion to pass unnoticed providing the following comment," On behalf of the Town of Shelburne, I would like to thank our local ladies who so bravely served their country during World War II. This acknowledgement is long overdue, and will serve to educate generations to come, that the service of women during the war, was just as important as the roles of the service men. I am so proud to have grown up in a community surrounded by these great women. Thank you."

An emotional sentiment which echoed around the room as Quilts of Valour gave each female veteran their quilts in keeping with the Quilts of Valour mandate of providing every WWII Veteran with a quilt in honor of their service in defending our Country. 

(Lto R) Quilts of Valour Representatives, Diane Johnson, Judy MacLeod held up the quilts for all to see in a proud moment of honoring our Veterans. WWII Veteran Joyce Bell enlisted in the Army at the tender age of 16 in England, she, like Princess Elizabeth, was part of The Motor Pool, responsible for transporting dignitaries and officials. This responsibility meant Bell was responsible for maintaining her own Jeep. Impressive to say the least, and yet Bell's talent was not to be underestimated as she was awarded a Third Class Mechanics Licence! 

(LtoR) Quilts of Valour Representative Diane Johnson, Judy MacLeod, WWII Veteran Allison Corbett(affectionately known as Cookie Corbett) enlisted in the very first women's division of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Trained in Trenton, Cookie then became secretary to a wing commander in Ottawa . Cookie's daughter stands behind her.

(LtoR) Quilts of Valour Representatives, Judy MacLeod and Diane Johnson display the Quilt given to WWII Veteran,Victoria Coulter. Coulter spent two years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, achieving rank of Leading Air Women. As Coulter was discovered to excel in Mathematics skill and ability to keep secrets, for several years, she was trusted with the very important task of of decoding messages from Japan and relaying coded messages to England. This Centenarian recently celebrated her 102 birthday and has truly lived a remarkable life.

(Lto R)Quilts of Valour Representatives, Diane Johnson, Judy MacLeod, NAFFI ( Navy, Army, & Air Force Institute) Member, Lil Norris and WWII Royal Canadian Air Force Veteran, David Barr.  A Shelburne resident, Norris is a long time member of the Shelburne Legion 220 Branch, and is affectionately known as Legion member's Wild Irish Rose. NAFFI was created by the British Government in 1921 providing solace, refreshments, amenitiesm and hospitality services to all branches of the British forces.

According to information provided by Veteran and Legion Member, Merv Parker, it was in 1949 that the British Government offered female volunteer members the option to transfer and become members of the Royal Army Service Corps. Even though Norris did not qualify to accept that option, The Dufferin Vets Association voted, deciding Norris more than deserved a Quilts of Valour quilt recognizing her support for Vets and the Legion over many years. 

In a speech given during Norris' recieving her quilt, Parker commented," The quilt will remind Lil that she is appreciated and respected by her vet comrades for her volunteer serviceat home and abroad. Thank you Lil, for all you do." 

Couldn't make it to the Ceremony? No problem, watch it here on the Shelburne Freelancer's YouTube channel. 
Sharing Shelburne With The World! 

Special Thanks To

Sharon Holmes 

for all her hard work 

to make 

this momentous occasion 


Go to 'more' in the option bar and choose Photo Gallery June 2015 for more Photographic Coverage.

The Shelburne Freelancer                               Monday, June 15, 2015 

In Celebration of 90th Anniversary, 
Trinity UnitedChurch In Shelburne, 
Rang The Church Bell 90 times!

United Churches across Canada rang their church bells 90 times at exactly the same time in celebration of their 90th 'Birthday' on June 10 at precisely 10:30 am. Shelburnites gathered at Trinity United Church to participate in this widely anticipated event that connects people from across the country and expresses a presence in their community. 

Photos generously provided by  Mary Hawthorne, a special thank you to Jean Cheyne for contacting The Shelburne Freelancer regarding this special day.

(LtoR) Helen Lyon,90, Rev. David Howes, Audrey Jones,90 (Front) Autumn Lilian Ingham 

(LtoR)Former Shelburne Mayor, Ed Crewson, Church council chair Jennifer Crewson-Poynter ringing indoor bell , and Helen Lyon 

The Shelburne Freelancer                               Monday, May 25, 2015

Shelburne's Senior Expo 2015 Success!

(LtoR) Story Lines' talented Nora-Zylstra- Savage, Royal Bank Financial Planner, Nancy Hoffman, Melanie Seeds, CW, CCAC, MP David Tilson, John Caballes, CBI Home Health, Jennifer Abel, CBI Home Health, Jennifer Rowe, CBI Home Health and Shelburne Public Library's CEO/Head Librarian, Rose Dotten were very appreciated guest speakers at Senior Expo 2015, in it's 5th Annual Event held at the Mel Llyod Centre in conjunction with The New Horizons Senior Club on Friday, May 22, 2015.

New Horizons Club Seniors were able to try out a few exercises that increase mobility and circulation.

One of the speakers at Senior Expo 2015, hosted by MP David Tilson& The New Horizon's Seniors Club, was the very talented, Nora Zylstra-Savage, creator of Storylines, a program designed to encourage "Capturing Stories & Connecting Generations" as stated on her business card. 

Zylstra- Savage was able to grab the entire room, filled with New Horizon Club Members and walk them through an exercise in memories that brought out emotions of humor, anxiety, joy, and in explaining the relevance of documenting the important experiences, the realization that every life is an incredible story. 

What a wonderful experience for generations to come to be able to experience and value the lives of seniors by looking through a scrapbook, reading a journal or watching a video. Contact information for Storylines is located below the photograph to the right.  

(Above)Contact Nora Zylstra-Savage at 519-853-1187, [email protected], and for more information.


Lunch generously provided by 

Peter Walton of

Egan Funeral Homes.

(L)New Horizon's Club President, Pat Batchelor was very pleased with this year's turnout commenting, " Over 68 people attended this year and it's greatly appreciated by our club. This year's topics were, Financial Planning, Information about the Public Library, Fitness, and Storylines, Caprtuing Memories. It's just excellent for our club and we look forward to it."

For more information go to

The Shelburne Freelancer                                Monday, May 11, 2015

Shelburne, A Community Connected

In addition to the fact Shelburne is a very caring community, resources like The Shelburne Freelancer website, facebook pages like The Shelburne Freelancer's Facebook Page and  Shelburne Q& A Resource Hub Facebook page, information is flowing at the speed of light. Just a few more ways to help  Shelburnites stay informed, but also are now recognized as invaluable and indispensable forms of communication. 
So invaluable, today's society has truly become dependent on technology, captivating a demographic who have become antiquated in their own time, a phenomena that has never happened so fast before, affecting so many aspects of lifestyle.
Music tastes have long been blamed on creating generation gaps but for those 50 year olds' who remember tape decks, even record players, actually listened to different music, but on the same device as their grandparents. The way we listen to music today is completely changed. Forced to learn how to navigate on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagrams, Youtube,and so many other forms of communication just to keep track of 
our kids is now a way of life all generations must not only learn, but will soon become addicted to as well.
Good or bad for society? Definitely "greener", but what the heck would we do without our cell phones. People speed dial never remembering a phone number, we listen to our phones navigate us from place to place, we place phone calls over facebook, and even skype. We take video's with our phones and tweet, youtube,facebook around the world in seconds!  
Parenting is greatly aided by our cell phone use, getting texts on game cancellations, school closures, resulting in on the go emails, scheduling and saving time. 
This topic is definitely worth the chatter. 

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The Shelburne Freelancer                                Thursday, May 7, 2015

Great News For Horse Lovers! 

The Greater Dufferin Saddle Club is Coming To Shelburne!

(Below)Vendors and Crafters at the Greater Dufferin Saddle Club Fundraiser held on May 2nd at Shelburne's Agricultural Centre.

The Greater Dufferin Saddle Club is gearing up to come to Shelburne. President of the saddle Club, Afton Bishop explains in the exclusive video interview (L) about the Club and what they hope to offer. The Club recently held a Tack Swap and Vendor Sale at Shelburne's Agricultural Centre on May 2nd hoping to raise necessary funds required to make the Club a success. 

The Club is planning to hold shows and events throughout the summer of 2015 providing the greater Dufferin area residents an arena with which to showcase their skills. Adding to the festivities surrounding the Fall Fair, Shelburne will be THE place to for summer activities and entertainment. 

Go to the Greater Dufferin Saddle Club Facebook Page for more information.

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The Shelburne Freelancer                                   Friday, April 24, 2014

           Vandyk                     Summerhill Update

Homeowners Experience A Series of                Unfortunate Events

Homeowners, Cassie Eichhorn and Paul Walsh are just one couple waiting to move in to their new Townhome located in The Neighbourhoods of Summerhill under construction by VANDYK Group of Companies, Construction Company.

The Neighbourhoods of Summerhill can be called by all accounts a daunting task with a very rewarding endgame. Conveniently located off Highway 10 & Susan Street, the Neighbourhoods of Summerhill, when completed will be a spectacular community, family oriented environment complete with green space and all at affordable prices.

VANDYK, Executive Vice President, Domenic Zita, in an exclusive telephone interview commented, “ We’re loyal contributors to the Shelburne economy. We try to put our best foot forward every time. We are trying to put Shelburne on the map for residents, commuters and with the development of Wrigglesworth Plaza, we’re trying to give people a reason to stop and with the arrival of Tim Horton’s, we’re off to a good start. ”

And yet, with all of VANDYK’s good intentions, Eichhorn and Walsh are frustrated, exhausted and fed up with continuous delays pushing their move-in date continually forward, costing them money and time. Eichhorn and Walsh are young, new, first time, home buyers and echoes frustrations VANDYK have been experiencing themselves.

In a series of unfortunate events, both homeowners and builders are forced by nature to stick in their heels and wait until conditions improve.For the last two years, Shelburne has experienced winters some haven’t seen the likes of in thirty years. Two years ago, Shelburne could barely dig ourselves out long enough to see the light of day and this most recent winter, even as recent as April 2015 refuses to let up. Horrendous winds coupled with freezing temperatures were conditions that slowed construction and in many cases, brought construction to a complete hault. For on-site builders, this meant the same as it did for the rest of the community, a lot of home time, frustration and waiting for mother nature to offer a reprieve allowing everyone to get back to work. With the conditions previously stated, VANDYK, for obvious safety issues could not allow building to continue until accommodating weather conditions surfaced.

This weather consideration alone resulted in many homeowners having their move-in dates pushed ahead.

Zita explains, “ As developers, we have experienced two winters, back to back that have been very bad. In 2014, there was a severe ice storm, and February 2015 was the coldest month in recorded history. Frost is difficult to work with and plays havoc on schedules. Getting foundations poured in a timely manner had a ripple effect and productivity slows down. It’s hard to get crews out there. We will not compromise safety when winds are strong creating an unsafe environment. As a result of the weather, closing dates were affected. We’re there for the community and purchasers. We provide the highest quality and can’t rush it.”

According to Zita, Eastern Canada experienced a labour shortage like the country hadn’t seen before. In 2014, the framing industry faced 1,1/2% of their entire work force retiring. That fact in addition to Western Canada expressing a huge demand for framers created an additional shortage and insult to injury where VANDYK resourcefully found a second crew of framers.

At first glance the situation doesn’t sound like much inconvenience, but for VANDYK and new homeowners alike, delays on both sides can be psychologically painful, frustrating, eventually creating a resolve with the age old expressions that go something like this, “ It is what is it,” and like Lemony Snicket's wildy popular children’s novels, “A Series Of Unfortunate Events,” are the only way to describe the situation. Unfortunate but not forever!

VANDYK are governed by Tarion, a private corporation who administers the Ontario New Homeowners Plan Act and standards, which include time lines for homeowners and VANDYK are proud to say they are within Tarion guidelines for closing dates even when considering their unfortunate delays.

Perhaps when Shelburnites take a step back and look at the big picture, they will realize the home they are waiting on is actually making them money even before they move in, and that fact pleases Eichhorn and Walsh easing their minds, ensuring the fact they have made a great investment with VANDYK.

On the upside, unless Mother Nature has something else in store for VANDYK and their new homeowners, eventually Spring will arrive and actually stay, hopefully escorting summer along to follow.

And at last, a question on the minds of so many Shelburnites, “What’s going on at Wrigglesworth Plaza?”

Zita expresses VANDYK’s continued commitment in their search for just the right perspective tenants and are presently seeking out sustainable businesses such as a Family Restaurant.

Rest assured, VANDYK is invested in the community of Shelburne and will do everything they can to work towards Shelburne’s growing and continued success.

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 Embryo Adoption, In Vitro Fertilization, is a growing trend many couples are turning to make their dreams of parenthood come true,but has science gone too far?

Dolce And Gabbana vs Elton Jon vs 

“Why Are We Here?”

                                                                        Editorial By Alex Sher

Recently fashion designers, Dolce and Gabbana made headlines when expressing a personal opinion regarding Invitro Fertilization reportedly referring to the children created by this process as synthetic and chemically induced. Famous singer, songwriter, Elton John took issue with this comment and began a banning movement creating a hashtag of #bandolcegabbana in defense of his own beautiful children who arrived by this process. Harsh response when considering the big picture.

Seems a very complicated and volatile issue, politically charged and socially compromised, to some offensive, to others a miracle producing children for child-less couples.

Regardless of our own personal 'feelings' there are a few facts to explore.

Enter Snowflake Children

Why go through the lengthy process of adopting a child already on the planet when you can simply adopt a stranger’s frozen embryos and grow a baby yourself?

Featured in a CBS news article in 2005, the term ‘Snowflake’ when referring to children born who were once frozen embryos was invented by the first agency to provide embryo adoption in 1997, Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

Today there are an estimated 600,000 frozen embryos being stored in the United States and Canada is not far behind. According to the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center, the annual storage costs of embryos is $600 per family, and 120,000 families paying $600 a year means that Americans spend $72,000.000 a year. Also, the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center states that 7.3 million women are infertile and that is 12% of the females of reproductive age in today’s U.S population.

Though the entire concept is foreign to many of us as we seem to be standing on a dangerous precipice mixing 80% science with 20% religious and moral beliefs creating a recipe for controversy, disaster and the actual frightening possibility of twins existing born twenty years apart.

What began as a family’s moral and ethical dilemma involving the decision of what to do with remaining embryos following successful in vitro fertilization resulted in the idea of sharing the birth experience with another couple who were unable to conceive but could still carry a child. While few can dispute the heart wrenching decision especially while looking into the eyes of other children from the same ‘batch’ so to speak, of destroying left over embryos or turning them over for stem cell research where the embryos are first experimented on and later destroyed, the decision to store embryos and for what length of time is also allowing people to plan exactly when they are having their children like never before. Not to make light of a situation but rephrased, “Honey what do we do with the other potential kids we do not plan on having? Let’s give our potential children away?”

For many, this has been a very viable cost effective answer as embryo adoption costs far less than 'old fashioned' adoption methods being only $10,000 to $15,000 where regular adoption can cost upwards $50,000, according the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center.  In some cases where open embryo adoption is conducted, there is no cost involved at all.

 In 1998, Hannah Strege was the very first Snowflake Baby born. She can now be seen on Youtube telling her story and by her account, she is the most fortunate child. She reveals in her very candid videos that she understands the process and has no problems with it.

But has science gone too far? An embryo frozen for twenty years was born in 2011 and the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center proudly states, there is no ‘shelf life’ for human embryos, which is an uncomfortable statement for most. Controversy and questions surround the new population of Snowflake children. Will the children want to know where their other potential siblings ended up? Some will be implanted, some will be lost during the process, some used for stem cell research, and some will remain frozen while some may be going to the same school as their biological sibling and never know it.

What about health issues? Does a family simply take an embryo out of the freezer if someone in the family requires a liver? What about Snowflake children yearning for their biological maternal connection? Will Snowflake children ever harbour grief over being stuffed into a woman who was not their biological mother? Imagine meeting your soul mate only discover you have more in common than humor, taste, likes and dislikes, but in fact have met your twin? Remember when a blood test before marriage was required? Now everyone will have to consider a DNA test, just to be certain all is in order!

Some may argue that it is the selfish need of women, childless couples, gay couples, to actually experience giving birth that is motivating this movement, creating potential children they will never bring to actual life. Some believe embryo adoption is a way of bonding with the adopted child even though the child is not biologically theirs. Some believe the concept of in vitro fertilization is causing more long term negative repercussions than good. Some find the whole idea completely bizarre but indisputably, the Snowflake population is growing and growing.

In addition to the Snowflake population growing, so is the Evangelical community as many of the first embryo adoption agencies were Evangelically based. Interesting to many is the obvious and perhaps bizarre science fiction aspect embraced by devout Evangelicals now actively promoting embryo adoption. Nobody seems able to find a passage in any bible making specific reference to Snowflake children or the process involved in creating, freezing, storing, and transplanting potential life. So against abortion, yet this particular group makes no mention of the usual losses as inevitably not all embryos transplanted actually take.

Whispered by extremists and believers in conspiracy theories is the idea the Evangelic (Christian)community in finding adoptive parents for their precious little snowflakes would likely choose a family of their same religious beliefs and similar lifestyle, after all, those who donate eggs are choosing a lifestyle for their own children and in that are intentionally expanding the Evangelical(Christian) population.

Nightlight Christian Adoptions can be found at  and state that since its inception, they have successfully completed more than 2000 domestic adoptions, 1,700 international adoptions, 550 embryo adoptions and these numbers grow daily.

Of course a back story also embraced by conspiracy theorists, fiction writers, and those opposed to embryo adoptions involves governments. While some see potential families in embryo adoptions, there are those who see massive potential armies or human products of the expendable kind.

Is it right? Is it wrong? We may never know, but it is happening. We’ve all heard the expression that everyone has a twin in the world somewhere but to coin another expression, some things in life really are ‘stranger than fiction.’

And so whichever side of the fence you may find yourself on with regards to Dolce and Gabbana and Elton John, there is still the nagging question that everyone has forgotten to ask, that being, “ How did humans really get here?” For all we know, there is a alien child somewhere staring at his/hers/its science experiment called earth,  wondering what the point of it all is! 

By Alex Sher


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Beards 2015 FYI alert

The Bold Beard: Fashion 

FYI Fashion Alert

In light of the expression, “Philosophum non facit barba” which means, "A beard does not make a man a philosopher," the fashion trend at present especially amongst celebrity sport athletes seems to suggest the beard’s popularity is on the rise and clearly philosophy is nowhere to be found except taking a back seat to fashion.

A quick look at and it’s plain to see the beard has been growing its way in society since the beginning of man. In all shapes and sizes, and with a variety of names, the beard has managed to become a form of supplying protection and warmth to the face, fashion statement, a silent yet ‘in your face’ indication of supposed virility and stamina, even an imagined indication of philosophical intelligence as many of our greatest thinkers paraded beards. Note worthy is the well known fact that some of our greatest thinkers were also some of the physically, laziest people on the planet so it’s not earth- shattering nor surprising to imagine they didn’t muster the energy to shave!

Egyptians are probably responsible for taking the beard to dizzying heights of fashion popularity having false beards in a variety of different colors, different lengths, some braided with gold thread, to be tied to their heads with string they then covered with their hats. This false beard did indeed have a name, a pastiche.

India and Turkey during ancient times were also guilty of braiding, crimping and dying their breads and tribes of Israel grew beards accented by a long curly lock of hair around the ear called a peyote which can be seen today amongst Orthodox Jews.

Greeks managed to curl their beards into many ringlets framing their face while Romans were neat and kept their beards trimmed short to the face, inventing the process of going to the barber. Eventually those who did not shave became known as barbarous(beard-wearing) which was assumed synonymous with poverty and vulgarity, except of course in the case of, philosophers, which were held in high esteem and allowed to keep their beards.

Tudors managed a style of beard all their own, and even though throughout history the beard was all but eradicated for hygienic reasons, its resurgence was never questioned. Whether a man dawned an Imperial, named for Napoleon III, or the Franz Josef named for the Emperor of Austria or the very popular 1800’s styles of "mutton chops" or "Piccadilly weepers”, the beard has transformed fashion throughout time, repeated itself, mutated and morphed.

Today’s resurgence of the beard doesn’t seem to be given a name, but closely resembles the Islamic signature and highly coveted beard shape and style. The beard is becoming so popular, it is even making its fashion statement on the animal kingdom! From goats to catfish, walrus’ to dogs and even gecko’s, the beard seems unstoppable!

As for today’s celebrity athletes dawning their newest bearded fashion trend, sorry fellas, it’s a repeat; it’s not new except to you. It would seem, “Philosophum non facit barba” is just as true today as it was hundreds of years ago and predictably, the popularity of beards continues to grow!

Go to to see animals with amazing facial hair.

By Alex Sher

Cut Line: This collage of photographs borrowed from the internet clearly depicts the ever resilient historical and fashionable beard is ever popular amongst men and beast alike!

Photo Sources:,,, and