Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast from Friday, December 8, 2017 to Sunday, December 10, 2017

Today – A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. 40 percent chance of flurries late this afternoon. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High minus 1.

Tonight – Mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light overnight. Low minus 3.

Saturday, December 9 – Cloudy. Periods of snow beginning in the morning. Local amount 2 cm. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the morning. High minus 1.

Saturday night – Cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 6.

Sunday, December 10 – A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries. High minus 2.

Sunday night – Cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 3.

baCK Home for the Holidays

The Community Attraction and Promotion section through its Resident Attraction and Retention area is delighted to once again host the annual ‘baCK to Chatham-Kent’ Home for the Holidays celebration.

Mayor Hope will launch the month-long celebration of people who have chosen to come baCK to Chatham-Kent with a flag raising on Friday, December 8, at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Civic Centre in Chatham.

The baCK initiative was launched in 2013 and aims to encourage those originally from the area to consider returning by sharing stories of people who have made the decision to come baCK to Chatham-Kent and showcasing the opportunities here.

“People and culture is a key pillar in CK Plan 2035 and in order to strengthen our community and position it for the future, it is important that we celebrate, connect with, and welcome those who add to its vibrancy – that is why we celebrate baCK Home for the Holidays,” stated Audrey Ansell, Manager of Community Attraction and Promotion, in a press release.

Those featured in this campaign highlight their reasons for returning and their favourite aspects of living in Chatham-Kent.

“First, my wife and I were both born and raised in Chatham, and we always wanted to start our family in the town we grew up in. Second, from a business perspective, coming back to Chatham made sense. The connections I had made over the years made it a simple decision for me. Chatham-Kent continues to grow and make a name for itself in South-Western Ontario. I look forward to being a part of this great town for years to come,” says Jacob Simpson.

Activities associated with the baCK Home for the Holidays include:

– Flag raising with Mayor Hope at the Civic Centre on December 8, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

– Web content on the Municipal Web Portal –www.chatham-kent.ca/baCK – featuring stories of people who have chosen to come baCK

– Young Professional Business After Hours hosted by the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Sons of Kent

– Home for the Holidays Bad Art Night with Chatham-Kent Public Library on Thursday, December 21, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Chatham Library Branch

– Home for the Holidays “Memories on Ice” sponsored skates at: W.K. Erickson Arena, December 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Dresden Arena, December 29, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

CUPE 12 donates to Farm-to-School program

(Submitted photo)

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 12, made a sizable donation to the Farm-to-School Program in Chatham Kent recently. Following March break, fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced locally, if possible, are prepared by school volunteers and served to all students, each day for eight weeks.

Scott Ferren, vice president, said the membership wanted to make a donation that would support Chatham-Kent.

“Students are coming to school hungry for a variety of reasons and thanks to CUPE Local 12 we are making a difference,” program officials stated.

Regulatory review of housing and room rentals

At the December 11, 2017 council meeting, a report on the Regulatory Review of Housing and Room Rentals will be considered by council.

The full report can be found, here.

Municipal officials say earlier this year council directed that administration undertake a specific review of its current by-laws and regulations regarding housing and room rentals in an effort to harmonize the approach of the requirements with the Zoning By-law, Ontario Building Code, Fire Code and Licensing. For example:

– Entire dwellings, apartment units or secondary units that are rented as a whole, either short or long term (i.e. traditional rentals or internet rentals such as through Airbnb, VRBO, Kijiji, etc.); and

– Rooms within a dwelling unit that are rented on an individual basis that do not have both bathrooms and kitchen facilities for the exclusive use of individual occupants (i.e. Lodging Houses/Boarding Houses).

To assist with the review of this topic, two public consultation sessions were held on September 6, 2017 at the Civic Centre in Chatham and September 7 at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.

In addition, an online survey was conducted from August 14, 2017 to September 15, 2017 to collect feedback from members of the public concerning Lodging Houses and Housing/Room Rentals in Chatham-Kent.

The topic was also discussed at the October 2, 2017 public forum in front of council.

Proposed Regulatory Approach

It is recommended that rental dwelling units be regulated by the number of bedrooms in the dwelling unit.

Bedrooms are a physical characteristic of a building that are the basis of all residential dwelling units.

Administration is proposing a combination of Zoning and Licensing By-law amendments along with amendments to the Municipal Noise By-law and Municipal Public Nuisance By-law.

Rather than trying to distinguish between a whole-unit rental and rental by room scenario, it is proposed to introduce the following definitions to the Zoning By-law and Comprehensive Business Licensing By-law:

“Rental Dwelling Unit, Small” means a dwelling unit containing four bedrooms or less, which is rented either as a single housekeeping unit or where individual bedrooms are offered for rent. None of a bed and breakfast, group home, hotel, lodge, residential care facility or nursing home shall be considered a small rental dwelling unit.

“Rental Dwelling Unit, Large” means a dwelling unit containing five or more bedrooms, which is rented either as a single housekeeping unit or where individual bedrooms are offered for rent. None of a bed and breakfast, group home, hotel, lodge, residential care facility or nursing home shall be considered a large rental dwelling unit.

Zoning By-law – amend the Zoning By-law to introduce the two separate definitions noted above and it is proposed that both Small and Large Rental Dwelling Units be permitted in all Residential Zone categories, Institutional Zone and Commercial Zone categories that permit residential uses. *The proposed Zoning By-law amendments are subject to further public notice and a statutory public meeting before Council at a meeting in the new year.

Business Licensing By-law – amend the Business Licensing By-law to harmonize definitions with the Zoning By-law for consistency and it is recommended that only a Large Rental Dwelling Unit (5 bedrooms or more) be licensed. *Recommending the amendments come forward once a final decision on the Zoning has been made in the new year.

Noise By-law – currently the Noise By-law prohibits the operation of any electronic device that amplifies sound in a residential area from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and at all times on Sunday and Statutory Holidays. The proposed amending By-law would extend the prohibitions from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday to Saturday. The prohibitions on Sunday and Statutory Holidays would remain the same. *Recommending this be approved immediately.

Public Nuisance By-law – amend to provide additional enforcement powers to Police relating to nuisance parties be passed. *Recommending this be approved immediately.

Before any zoning changes could occur, further public notice will need to be provided for a statutory public meeting before council at a planning meeting in the new year.

At that point administration will review all public and council input and prepare a recommendation to be brought before council at a later date.

Should anyone wish to provide any written comments before the Council meeting please send them to the Municipal Clerk at CKclerk@chatham-kent.ca.

A Christmas Miracle at Lambton Mall

(Submitted photo)

Lambton Mall and the Sarnia Police Service joined forces again for the 5th annual Cop Shop event that kicked off yesterday morning.

Armed with Christmas wish lists, volunteer officers paired up with 22 specially chosen children, during which each child received a $200 gift card donated by Lambton Mall.

The officers picked up each child by limousine at their school and brought them to the mall where the well deserving kids shopped with the officers and used their gift cards to purchase winter clothing, toys and Christmas gifts.

The children were also treated to lunch, a magic show, face painting and a surprise visit from Santa.

The students chosen for Cop Shop were recommended by their school and were chosen based on a number considerations including recognition of specific academic or sports achievement, need or because of volunteer efforts that make a difference in our community.

Considerations also included students who displayed leadership, role-modeling or anti-bullying behaviour.

This year, over 300 children across Canada benefited from this year’s event put on by 11 Cushman & Wakefield shopping centers across Canada.

The Sarnia Police Service would like to thank Lambton Mall and all sponsors for this partnership in lending a helping hand to local children.

Police officials say they always look forward to this very rewarding Christmas VIP event for these special kids.

‘Floor Time’ from the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit

Sedentary behaviour is the new term we are hearing lots about. Sedentary behaviour is time spent not moving, like sitting for example. Did you know it impacts babies as well? Canadian Guidelines suggest that babies 0-1 years should limit their sedentary time and should have no screen time.

Movement is important to our health and it starts right from birth. Movement in the early years lays the foundation for our movement for the rest of our life. Babies develop in a certain pattern from head to toe. For example, babies will first hold their heads up, then roll, then sit, and finally walk. When we disrupt this pattern it can have impacts to their health. Two of the most common problems we see in the early years is baby flat head (plagiocephaly) and neck stiffness (torticollis). The chance of a baby experiencing these issues increases when they have a lot of sedentary behaviour.

There are many ways to prevent motor (muscle movement) problems and promote strong development. One way is with tummy time while baby is awake. This allows baby to strengthen neck muscles and muscles of the upper body. Other ways are to allow babies free play. Avoid using infant equipment for longer than 20 minutes a day. Infant equipment like chairs, swings and jumpers can force babies to move in limited ways which prevents them from reaching their full range of motion and strength. Allowing infants free play allows them the opportunity to explore their world in a safe way.

Active play is good for babies in many ways. According to the Canadian Sedentary Guidelines active babies maintain a healthy body weight, develop social skills, behave better, and improve learning, attention and language skills.

Top tips on encouraging infant movement include, limit infant equipment use, keep screens out of bedrooms, start tummy time in the early days, get involved in playtime with your child, and during long car rides stop for active breaks.

If you have concerns about your infant’s development contact Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519-352-7270.

Santa Claus parade and Christmas events tomorrow in Dresden

The Dresden Santa Claus parade, with the theme “A Truly Canadian Christmas” is taking place on Saturday, December 9 at 6 p.m.

It will coincide with Dresden’s ‘Christmas Night Market’ running from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

There will also be ‘Breakfast with Santa’ at the Dresden Legion on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and a Christmas Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

World news

If you have a suggestion, story idea, column idea, or if you want to say hello… drop me an e-mail at aaron@sydenhamcurrent.ca.