Yearly: 2012

04 Jul

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The Name Game

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The Stouffville Free Press “Free Opinion”

This article has be reprinted with permission from the Stouffville Free Press
“Free Opinion” from the July issue of The Stouffville Free Press

THE NAME GAME

The Musselman’s Lake/Musselman Lake name controversy has surfaced again, and the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association (MLRA) is weighing in with an informal online and mail survey for residents, along with some fascinating background information.

The Free Press recently received a letter on this contentious issue from Patti Grand of Cedar, B.C. (see below). In it, she provides a wealth of history about her grandfather, George Davies, who purchased the north shore of the lake from the Musselman family, but retained its original name, Musselman’s Lake.

It is a bit of a mystery why anyone would want to change a name that is part of the community’s heritage, although we suspect the impetus may come from the angst engendered by apostrophes. You’ve only got to think of custom-made cottage signs announcing that you have arrived at the summer residence of, say, The Gilderdale’s, or a roadside sign for grocery’s, open Sunday’s.

We are constantly reminded that change is inevitable and we wouldn’t dream of challenging that assertion, but we do draw the line at changing a proper name, particularly one that is part of a long and proud heritage.

Filed Under: MLRA News

04 Jul

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What’s In A Name? A piece of local history

by

The Stouffville Free Press “Readers Write”

This article has be reprinted with permission from the Stouffville Free Press
“Readers Write” from the July issue of The Stouffville Free Press

WHAT’S IN A NAME? A PIECE OF LOCAL HISTORY

To the Editor:

Re: Proposed name change for Musselman’s Lake

I wanted to give you a bit of history about Musselman’s Lake. My father’s father, George Davies, who was born in England in the late 1800s, purchased the entire northern shore of the lake from the Musselman family prior to my birth in 1941. History shows the anniversary of the Cedar Beach Park opening was in 1929. My grandfather had made his money building most of the huge stone mansions in Toronto, and invested it in the lands along the north side of Musselman’s Lake.

It never crossed his mind to change the name of the lake to Davies’ Lake, and although he wouldn’t bother with such silliness, I do not think he would agree to change it now either. In fact my father and his two younger brothers, Ross and Vern, earned their way as kids working on the huge venture their dad had undertaken in building the pavilion and creating the beach and retaining wall above it, then selling the cottages he built along the north shore beyond the twig gateway that bordered the park.

My grandmother Venetia Helena Hastings, affectionately called Ella by husband George, was constantly at the gatehouse entrance to the beach (when there was a charge for beach access and it was not restricted to residents) and my mom worked in the store until my younger sister Joan was born in 1944, and Vern came home from World War Two with his bride Audrey.

My father Edward John Davies, who was born in 1912, earned his University of Toronto tuition renting rowboats, canoes, bathing suits and lockers in the change rooms in the early 1930s, just as I did in the 1950s until I graduated to the snack bar. Several of my childhood friends served their time on the lifeguards’ tower, and worked in the boathouse. Some of those are Terry and Blair Bateman and K.C. Silcox, another was Peter Takach who was my sister Joan’s third husband, and lastly there was Janet’s ex-husband Peter Jenkin, father of her four amazing children.

My beloved grandfather was sent to Canada in the orphan ships from England when he was a boy along with his only brother – they were about 7 and 9 years old – after his mother died during childbirth just months after their dad had drowned off the coast of England. Their infant sister survived and was wet-nursed by a neighbour, but the boys were shipped away to work on farms in Kenora, Ontario. My grandfather had a respect for the history of the land he owned and I would like to see that respect continued in his memory.

I am sorry it is confusing to keep calling the place that is so significant in our family history Musselman’s Lake, but that has been the name it was always called, and convenience is a sad excuse to change that. So many of our family are now gone and my cousin Janet and her family carry on the legacy of my grandfather.

Patricia Davies-Grand
Cedar, B.C.

Filed Under: MLRA News

28 Jun

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Lake Watch – Water Safety

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Don’t forget the lifejackets. Be Safe And Always Think Water Safety.

As part of the MLRA Lake Watch initiative, the MLRA added a “Water Safety Tips” section on the home page last year. Also as part of that same initiative we are going to be posting articles and information on water safety on the MLRA website to help educate residents and visitors to the Lake about water safety. Please make sure that you read the posting below thoroughly and pass the information along. Also please make sure that any visitors that you may have to the Lake are aware of WATER SAFETY. You may save a life!

Special Summer Rally Clinic, Saturday June 30 from 9:00am - 12:00pm at
                Ballantrae Community Centre - 5592 Aurora Road

Special Summer Rally Clinic, Saturday June 30 from 9:00am - 12:00pm at
                Ballantrae Community Centre - 5592 Aurora Road

Filed Under: MLRA News

26 Jun

3 Comments

The Library Will Be Hitting The Beach!

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Well, at least I’ll be setting up at the Cedar Beach Grill on two occasions over the summer.

By Catherine Sword
Co-ordinator of Public Services
Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library

The library will be hitting the beach! Well, at least I’ll be setting up at the Cedar Beach Grill on two occasions over the summer. If you want to discover some of the things you can do on the library’s website from your own internet access drop in during one of these visits.

Beach BallThursday, July 5th, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Or
Wednesday, August 1st, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

 
I’ll be available with a laptop and internet access to the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library website. Since this past Christmas, every day we’re answering questions about borrowing ebooks from the library, so if this is what you’re curious about, then drop by. Not only do we have downloadable ebooks to read, but there are downloadable audio books to listen to while you enjoy lounging on the sandy beach.

A lot of questions we get at the library involve the variety of devices people use these days. It’s not only the Sony Touch or Kobo, but a myriad of laptops, tablets, phones and blackberry type devices. Although I’m no expert in all of these things, I’ve definitely learned a bit, which I’m happy to share.

I’m also looking forward to sharing some tips about our catalogue. It’s a very easy thing to reserve materials or renew from home, but there’s a neat ‘saved search’ feature that nobody seems to use unless it’s demonstrated, and I can’t tell you how many people have been interested in knowing how to create their own “to be read” lists. Then there are all the databases and I’ve surprised pretty well everyone who has attended my full one hour demos with these resources.

Don’t worry. These visits I’ll have with you this summer are not formal one hour demos. It’s just me, a laptop with the internet and your questions about the library. Drop in. Grab a soda and snack, pull up a chair and let’s talk.

Filed Under: MLRA News

26 Jun

4 Comments

A Long Hot Summer At Musselman’s Lake

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A Bumper Crop of Weeds for the Lake

A long hot summer at Musselman’s Lake always means a bumper crop of weeds for the Lake. This year is no exception and the bumper crop of weeds is not new. Back in the 1920’s a tour boat that operated on Musselman’s Lake was ordered with a weedless prop in order to take tourists around the lake during the summer without getting bogged down in the dense weeds. Every year around this time there is a hue and cry from the residents “What are we going to do about the weeds?” and some even equate weeds with water pollution. The fact is that Cedar Beach has the water tested every week and once more it is passing with flying colours. The weeds in the Lake react the same way flowers or vegetables in a garden do to a good growing season…they flourish.

The problem is that the weeds are a vital part of the ecology of the Lake and make excellent habitat for a variety of wild life.

What to do?

1) Conduct an expensive weed harvest? We have looked at this in the past and the funds and/or equipment were not available at the time. Also it would only be performed on a very small section of the Lake each year requiring permits and equipment each time. This may be an option to revisit later.

2) Apply Phoslock currently being tested by the LSRCA? Again this process is extremely expensive to do and would we be just creating other ecological problems.

The fact remains that Preston Lake and Wilcox Lake, along with other Kettle Lakes on the Oak-Ridges Moraine, have experimented with boat bans, aeration systems and who knows what else with less than stellar results and in some cases have created other problems that didn’t exist before.

Any direct action taken against the weeds could create more harm than good by creating other unforeseen problems or even a chain reaction of problems. In the meantime we have a limited number of power boats cutting paths through the weeds and aerating the lake. Most residents are voluntarily switching to 4-stroke outboard technology which is so environmentally friendly that they are the only motors approved for running on the water reservoirs in California. Also The CUPPEL Project (Control Unwanted Phosphorous and Pollution from Entering the Lake) has been initiated and once it has been fully implemented it will give Mother Nature a helping hand to control the excess amount of weeds naturally, without triggering any imbalance in the ecology of the Lake. Mother Nature given half a chance can really do a wonderful job at looking after herself, and our Lake is a great example of that. She just keeps getting better and better with age.

Filed Under: MLRA News

18 Jun

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Informal Survey for New Signs

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Vote for Musselman’s or Musselman and help us help the Town decide what name goes on our new signs

We Invite You To Weigh In On The Issue

Current Community Sign
Our current community signs

Sign to Be
New signs will look like the one
shown here for Ballantrae

Thank you to those who have voted so far. The more residents that exercise their choice, the more weight the residents’ decision will carry with the town. So whether you vote on-line or by mail, please participate in this informal survey. Voting will be closed Monday July 2nd and the results will be published later that week.

To Vote On-line please select
your choice under “MLRA Community Vote” section that is on the right side of this homepage.

To Vote by Mail please mail in the ballot that you will be receiving in the mail shortly.

ONE VOTE PER RESIDENT

If you vote on-line please do not use the mail-in
ballot that you will receive in the mail.

VOTING CLOSES MONDAY JUNE 2ND. RESULTS
WILL BE PUBLISHED LATER THAT WEEK.

Thank You,
Musselman’s Lake Residents Association

Filed Under: MLRA News

18 Jun

3 Comments

Spring Fish Die Off

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Why does spring sometimes = dead fish?

Phil Bannon Removing Dead Fish
Councillor Phil Bannon removing dead fish
during the Crappie die off in 2009
Phil Bannon and Brian Laing Removing Fish
Councillor Phil Bannon and Dr. Brian Laing
working hard to remove dead fish from the
Lake in 2009
Tyler and Kevin Cleaning Shoreline
Tyler Clair and Kevin Wigmore cleaning
shoreline of dead fish and debris
– Earth Day 2012

By Charlene Jones

Back in the mid to late “90’s it was the Great Wall-Eye die off. This recurred in some areas of southern Ontario in 2005. Since then we have been alerted to the carp crash, a die off of alarming proportions which happened in 2010. That carp corpse caper was the result of one Koi Herpes, according to the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

It stinks. No matter which way you
turn it, dead fish stink.

Who canforget the great Crappie Crash of 2009 when the shoreline seconded as a fish funeral home? The smell permeated everywhere until Councillor Phil Bannon along with Rick Wigmore and several executive members of the MLRA rode around the shoreline on Rick’s Raven, poles in hands, nets available and spent several hours pulling dead fish from their last hiding places.

We have had a strange spring: heat
for at least a week in March,very
early by anyone’s reckoning, followed again by the dives in temperature we who live here expect, back to single digits and below zero. Was that the cause of so many dead fish this spring lining our shoreline once more?

A call to the MOE helped to clear the situation. “No, not temperatures.”
stated Gary Miller, an avid fisherman and watcher of all things fishy. “No doubt, it’s a virus.” Miller reported Lake Simcoe, Rice Lake, Canal Lake, and Lake Scugog have all experienced the same phenomena this season. The dead and dying come from the ranks of Sunfish, Crappie (which died off here in our lake in masses in 2009), small mouth bass.

We are as you know a kettle lake so the question remaining is how did the virus get into our waters? The other waterways noted have connecting streams and river systems such that what affects one lake affects them all. In our case, we sit at a higher elevation than Lake Simcoe and feed into that lake not the other way around.

Miller says the MNR which has a site established at the tip of Lake Simcoe on Sibbald’s Point is in process of getting a still live, but dying fish to the laboratory in Guelph for analysis to discover exactly which virus is the cause.

My husband still wondered, “What about the lack of minnows?” My husband was not satisfied with the absence of one of his favorite spring indicators: tiny shoreline minnows feeding happily around the lakeshore near our house.

Again, Miller’s understanding of things piscine came in handy. “Minnows will leave an area if a large pike, or even a large mouth bass is spawning. Those fish eat the littler minnows, so they vacate.”

Luckily a neighbor reported lots of minnows all around his crib. As for the fish deaths, we have to wait until we know which virus has caused it.

Filed Under: MLRA News

08 Jun

5 Comments

Informal Survey

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Musselman’s Lake or Musselman Lake? Vote for Musselman’s or Musselman and help us help the Town decide.

We Invite You To Weigh In On The Issue

Musselman's Lake Sign
Musselman Lake Sign

Since official versions list our name in an ambivalent, both sides of the coin manner, it must be up to us. Musselman’s Lake or Musselman Lake? To that end we at the MLRA are hosting an informal survey both online and by mail. We invite you to weigh in on the issue and have your say in what name appears on the new signs.

To Vote On-line please select your choice under “MLRA Community Vote” section that is on the right side of this homepage.

To Vote by Mail please mail in the ballot that you will be receiving in the mail shortly.

The more residents that exercise their choice, the more weight the residents’ decision will carry with the town. So whether you vote on-line or by mail, please participate in this informal survey. We hope to publish the results by the end of June.

ONE VOTE PER RESIDENT

If you vote on-line please do not use the mail-in ballot that you will receive in the mail.

Thank You,
Musselman’s Lake Residents Association

Filed Under: MLRA News