from our

I want to thank all readers who have taken time to respond to articles and features that are part of Valley East Today. 

If you would like to send in a comment, or a suggestion, simply send it to the email below and it will be published. Valley East Today is a two-way communication vehicle for the entire community, and your comments are always welcome.

Robert Kirwan
Valley East Today Community Web Site


I thought I would send you a quick email to make a few suggestions. I am moving to the area from Guelph and have really enjoyed you online magazine.

I am moving to Val Therese (hopefully) tomorrow and while I was anticipating the move, I have found a few items that I have struggled with, that maybe you can post on your website.

It would be wonderful if your website could post activities that are going on in the area to help people like us, who don’t know anyone to get the scoop from. Things like camps for kids, daycare, babysitting services, church events, or community events. Posting any social activities that we can participate in would be an excellent way for newcomers to meet people in the community when they first move to the area.

I love your site and found it very helpful on finding business activities but we still struggle on find out things to do with my children. I look forward to getting the Welcome Home Gift Bucket, I think it is a great way to feel a little special during a move that can be very chaotic. 

Thank you for providing such a wonderful services.

Sharon Neelands

Publisher's Comment
Thank you for writing, Sharon. Your points are well taken and will be acted upon.

I really liked this editorial. Isn't it wonderful to know you've touched so many lives in your career as a teacher? I also liked "Every Decision You Make Is About Who You Are," and found that the two sort of parallel each other.

I have a thing for quotations. We had one of those write on/wipe off boards in my office when I worked downstairs, and I used to write a different quote on it every day. I remembered back to when that had all started, and it was when I was in your class. You had us write quotes on those huge sheets of paper to post each day.

Each of my teachers had some impact on my life. I remember them all. Mrs. Nihmey (I hope I spelled that right) would send us to the "thinking chair" when we misbehaved in Kindergarten. Mrs. Wright was so nice to me the day I tried closing a marker with my front teeth in grade 1 and tore the skin on the roof of my mouth. I learned from Miss Didone in grade 2 not to write on the blackboard with short chalk when you have long fingernails. Mrs. Fenton in grade 3 was one of my favorites...she was always so nice and pleasant.  I clearly remember making a pioneer homestead out of popsicle sticks and learning about Australia (I'll get there someday) in Mrs. Labelle's grade 5 class. Several of the songs I sing to my daughter, who will be four years old next month, are songs Mrs. Streitenberger taught us in grade 6. "Peanut Butter and Jelly" will always be my favorite! We also read the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series in her class. In grade 7 we had a number of teachers. Mr. Tag always had a smile on his face. It saddened me to hear of his passing. I took woodshop class in grade 7 with Mr. Patterson, and learned how not to cut my fingers off...my current boss has two fingertips on one hand that were severed when HE took shop class, but all of mine are intact! It's a shame schools don't include shop or home economics anymore.

I guess it's because I spent nine years there with pretty much the same teachers throughout that time that I remember my teachers at St. Anne better than I remember those in high school, especially since I attended three different high schools, in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, and then here in Florida.

"Every Decision You Make..." also made me think of all the "What-Ifs" in life. How would my life have been different if my dad had been hired for the job in Newfoundland when I was in grade 1? What if I hadn't startled the dog the summer between grades 3 and 4, causing him to bite me on the face? What if I hadn't thrown that snowball at the bus stop in grade 5, hitting Laurie instead of the intended target (Bradley), which got me into trouble and I couldn't do my public speaking presentation? What if I had kissed Frank when I had the opportunity to do so in grade 8?

Of course, the biggest "What If" of my life is "What if we hadn't moved to Florida?" Obviously, I would never have had the opportunity to work for a company like Walt Disney World (isn't that every kid's dream?) or to see space shuttles blast off or be an hour's drive from the ocean. But I probably would have attended university right out of high school if we'd stayed in Canada, and I might have found a much better job, and maybe even found "Mr. Right" and started a family when I was a lot younger. (At least I could have had a full year off with each of my pregnancies!)

Then again, who is to say I wouldn't have had a similar path to follow if we had stayed? Who knows what fate would have handed me? Maybe my life would have been worse instead of better. And would I have a wonderful daughter like Katie?? I cannot imagine my life without her! And although I can think to myself that I may have found someone to share my life with long ago had I stayed in Ontario, who's to say he'd be more wonderful than Ron, the man I will marry in less than two weeks?

As you said, though, if one little thing had been different all those years ago, the ripple effect on our lives would have been substantial. Obviously, if my family had moved in the early '70s, I would have never met you, nor would I be writing this right now.

No one knows what tomorrow will bring us except God above, and it's all in His hands. We can only hope that the choices we make today are good ones, and that God will bless us with health and happiness in the future.

Have a wonderful day!


 I think a word of thanks should be given to Val Mazzuca for the opportunity to exercise in the mall. Val has always given to people in need. His shopping centre is also a credit for shopping and the rest areas make it nice to sit and catch up on news which people pass along while they can rest and talk with their friends. On behalf of the entire community I would like to express our appreciation to Val for the many ways he makes it a pleasure to go to the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. Thank you, Val. 
Peter Wagner
Publisher's Reply
Your words say it all, Peter. I am sure Val hears a lot of comments lately, but I can assure you that he appreciates your acknowledgement.
Just looking around and found your site. 
Could have used some advice from anyone earlier this year.
My son is with VEMHA and has gone through the tiering again this year. I even spent 8-10 hours a few weekends helping evaluate players for the tiering. Once the phone call came he was placed on a Tier 2 team. He knows that he out skated, had better position and stopped more pucks than others that made tier 1 teams and was major age. How does a parent explain this to his son?
Through the rumour mill it has come to us that "relatives and friends" were the reason. The convener agreed with him being in tier 1, other coaches were wondering why and some parents were asking why but yet nothing was done. 
He is playing in tier 2 and enjoys his team but still wishes he could have moved to where he belongs. He has had the chance to practice with a tier 1 team on a few occasions and did not look out of place at all.
I guess what I am asking is how do you keep him wanting to try and do his best when what matters is who you know? How do things like this effect his next year? ( moving to peewee ).
And the big one...Is he going to play at all?

Concerned Parent

Publisher's Reply:

There is a lot that I could say about this topic. The fact is that the season is almost over and it appears as if you son is having a good year being one of the best players in the league. I have long been a proponent of the philosophy that it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. In hockey, everything is about confidence. And I would say that your son should be feeling pretty confident about his play in Tier 2.

When it comes to next year, everything begins all over again. Pee Wee is a new level and as a 1st year Pee Wee, it is quite possible that he will again be placed in Tier 2 because of the way the system works in the Valley. Once again, that may be the best thing that could happen to him next year, and believe me, he will have another great year - a much better year than if he "makes" Tier 1 as a first year Pee Wee.

My advice is that you continue to give him the recognition he has earned as a "star player" at the Tier 2 level. Treat him as if he is playing in the best league around and emphasize the "fun" that "you" are having as his father. 

To give you a perfect example, I have had several people tell me that I should try to become a columnist for some of the larger national newspapers like the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. I tell them that even though my weekly editorials only appear in a small paper like The Vision, I get great satisfaction out of the fact that "everyone" in Valley East and Capreol receives the paper and has a chance to read my stories each week. When I am out and about town, people are always coming up to me and complimenting me on my writing. Everyone knows me. And, even though it is only a small town like Valley East, it is nice to have this kind of recognition and appreciation for what I do. I would never experience that level of satisfaction from writing in the Toronto Star where I would be among so many other writers of such great stature. Granted, it would be a higher level for me, but I am quite happy knowing that my "circle of influence" is small enough that I can actually see the results of my work.

You and your son should adopt the same attitude with hockey. Wherever he plays, he will find it so much more enjoyable to be one of the best among his peers, rather than being a higher level and being embarrassed because he is one of the worst.

Enjoy the rest of the year, and simply accept what happens next year.

Thanks for writing.

"CONGRATULTIONS Mr. Kirwan on the opening of your store front office in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre.
"You are right when you say the Valley
is the place to go and grow!
"I'm so thrilled for you and the exposure you will now get. If people thought they were being well served before they are in for a surprise NOW.
 "Keep up the great work...it has just begun. I look forward to continued partnership with you."

Publisher's Reply:

Thank you very much for your comments, Caroline. We are certainly going to do everything in our power to keep the momentum building in Valley East.

I have not had to use the services of Community Living but am wondering as a resident of Valley East how clients will be affected by this move to York Street. Certainly we know that it would mean quite a bus trip into Sudbury with transfer to York St. Who came up with this idea and will it prove beneficial to clients?  Certainly, we don't lack office space here in the valley. Some of these goings on never fail to amaze me.
Genevieve Chaput
Publisher's Reply:
Hi Genevieve:
My understanding is that this was largely an economic decision, but also a move to have the administrative office more central to the region they are serving. It is also my understanding that the clients that are served by Community Living Greater Sudbury will not in any way be affected negatively by this move. In fact, they will have an enhanced level of service. The only people who will be affected by the move are administrators. The clients will not have to travel to Sudbury.
Thank you for your interest.
Thoughts on a True Democratic Vote
    In light of the elections, it's hard to vote when I have no confidence
in the people I'm voting for.  Why should I strategically vote for the
"lesser of evils" or spoil my ballot; in which case, cancels my vote
    What kind of choice is this?
    How about having a chance to vote "none of the above"? When this becomes
the majority, a new ballot, with new names will be issued. (Imagine all the
people who, at present, don't vote due to the lack of trust.)
    Once a candidate is elected, yearly referendums to voice dissatisfaction
will help cement a true democratic system. (so as we wont get screwed for 4
    With this in mind, the politicians will realize what it means to be
voted in & start to respect the voices of the people.
    The potential is there.
A. Hugh Mann
Publisher's Reply:

We welcome all viewpoints on elections at all levels.

I really enjoy your website Robert. I can't wait to read all about Valley East and its people. I have been living here a long time since coming here from Gaspe Quebec as a young girl. I hope to continue living here for a long time. Thank you for bringing my town into my home. Best Wishes for the New Year and keep up the good work.                    

Carmen Kingsley.
Publisher's Reply:
Thank you for your kind comments, Carmen.
I have a section on the web site called, "Memories". It is a section where I would like to post articles from people who have lived in this community for a long time. I am simply looking for thoughts about the "old days" and things that you remember with fondness about living in Valley East. In your case, you could also reflect upon Gaspe Quebec since I am sure there are quite a few people living here who came from the Gaspe area.
If you have time and would like to do something like this, I would love to make a section for you. Just send me the article along with a photo or two or yourself and perhaps your family, and I will put it up.
I hope you take me up on this. I would love to hear what you have to say about Valley East.
Hi Robert
Just want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy and Healthy
New Year and to thank you for sending along Valley East Today - I always
enjoy reading it. I am looking forward to participating as a contributor to your section
on municipal issues. As you know, Robert, I am a "Valley girl" and have
always been proud of it. Much of my family lives in Hanmer and so I am
familiar with the area, as well as the issues. Thank you for making this kind of forum available - it should make for some robust discussion in the months to come.
Hope to run into you in the "field".


Lynne Reynolds, Councillor
City of Greater Sudbury

Publisher's Reply:

I am very glad to hear that you will be participating in our Election Issues Forum, Lynne. We look forward to your contributions.

Dear Mr. Kirwan:

My 8 year old son plays Novice A hockey in Burlington ON. He and a few other kids on his team have been continually benched throughout the year (and throughout the game) for different reasons, ie, not performing - this makes no sense to me as he is trying very hard.  When I ask him if he understands he says he does not.  To me it seems completely unacceptable and goes against everything this year of "development" represents.  I find it extremely upsetting because I know my son is not going to the NHL, however what I want for him is to develop friendships, learn about team play and continue to develop a true love for the game.  The Ontario Minor Hockey Association website states,  "The OMHA is dedicated to providing the player with every opportunity to participate, learn, grow and have fun through the game of hockey."  I do understand during playoff times with a few minutes to go in the final period coaches discretion is understandable.  However my main concern is that the direction of our league is no benching at any level.  So where is the disconnect or breakdown between what is mandated and what is actually happening and how can it be prevented?  I have recently spoken to our Coach Mentor and he has e-mailed the president of the league.

I very much enjoyed your article about equal ice time - this is all new to me!
Alison Solsky
Publisher's Reply:
Thank you for your comments on a very controversial topic.
There is a very big difference between body contact and body checking. However, the common thread is "control of the puck". If a person is in "control of the puck", then body checking to separate the player from the puck is perfectly acceptable. So is body contact to get in the way of the person with the puck. However, neither body contact, nor body checking should be allowed on a player who is no longer in "control of the puck". Finishing a check is something that evolved over time when it was acceptable to hit the last person who touched the puck to prevent him from chasing it. However, that is rightly called interference under the new NHL rules. If a forward is fast enough to skate around a defenseman, so be it.
In football, once a quarterback throws the football, any defensive player who hits him is penalized because he no longer has the ball. That policy should be applied to hockey and most of our problems would disappear.
I am sure you are aware, but the places where I deal with this issue are as follows:
You have a long road ahead of you if your son is only 4 years old. Make sure you enjoy every moment during the next several years. Once he turns 10 years of age, the sport takes on a whole other dimension - especially if he is good!

One last question as you have been most helpful. When a player gets, let's say, severely separated from the puck just as he receives a pass, from a player moving rapidly in the opposite direction, would the first player then be considered to have had control of the puck? Does it become an assumption or an attempt to injure by the second player?

Publisher's Reply:

The best way to answer this is to refer to the following section:

It really depends on how the referee determines intent. Many players take what is called "suicide passes" where they know they are going to get nailed because everyone in the building can see it coming. Football tackles on "receivers" often happen in this manner.
As you can see from the article, the movement of the feet is the critical element in this situation. Are the feet gliding or moving? The other critical element is the disposition of the referee. It takes a great deal of skill to be able to determine the difference between a charge that is intended to injure and a legal act of body checking to take a player off the puck.
When played right with the proper attitude among the players and coaches, hockey can be a wonderful game with plenty of entertainment value. However, it can get ugly pretty quickly.
Good luck to you and your son.
Mr. Kirwan

WE enjoy reading your articles that are published. They have been inspiring and encouraging. This Christmas we are wondering if you know why Jesus came to earth. To bring love, and hope. But this love came in the form of Him being God's only Son, to die on that cross so we might have a way into Heaven. He was sent and died as our Saviour. Only through His shed blood are we able to come before the throne of God. He took upon himself all of our sins. What were and what will ever be. Now we have a mediator. We must ask Jesus to live inside of us and to make Him Lord of our life. There is no other way to enter into Heaven. The Bible say's that the only way to the father is through His son Jesus. It also say's that in order to be saved "We must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead. That sir is what Christmas is all about.. Thank you for your time. Have a blessed CHRISTmas..

Susan Daoust
Publisher's Reply:

Thank you for your comments, Susan. You have a very Merry Christmas.

Dear Mr. Kirwan,
I want to thank you for your sincere and meaningful "Food for Thought" editorials.  I share them with my family and friends by using them as my "signing off" remark at the end of emails.  Personally, they help "remind" me to be Grateful!  Without making a conscious effort to be Grateful for everyone, every"thing", including all those very hard, hard lessons I have had to learn, I know I would just not be "truly" living!   Thank you again for the wonderful "reminders"....
Cheers, Patricia
"An Excellent Life Is Nothing More Than The Sum Of Many Excellent Moments"
Publisher's Reply:

Thank you for your kind words, Patricia. They mean a lot to me.

Hello Robert,

Thanks for the newsletter!  Some of the links are not working, could just be
the computer I'm using.

If I may make some suggestions, maybe adding some pictures or logos would be
more attractive, and have it set up in a pamphlet style would make it easier
to read.  Great information!


Christie Houle

Publisher’s Reply:

Thank you for you comments, Christie.

We will certainly check up on the links.

As for the pictures and logos, we decided to avoid those since many
computers read graphics differently. Also, we wanted to make sure that all
of the people recieving this newsletter felt safe and secure about viruses,
attachments, etc. I know it could look a bit better, but since everything is
included on the main web site in a sort of "magazine" style
(www.valleyeasttoday.ca), we just decided to keep it simple.

The main web site is going to be quite massive, but hopefully, it will
contain everything that you would ever want to find out about Valley East
and people will simply go to the web site when they have a need or just wish
to browse.

Thanks again for your interest. Please feel free to send in some of your own comments and articles in the future.

Just wanted to drop a line and say how I am enjoying this website.

I especially like to read the articles in the special features section.  Having moved away from Hanmer in 1987, I now live in Texas and still long for news from friends and family and the Valley East community.  This is a great website to get local news and hope that it will be maintained going forward.

Best Regards,

Chantal Pellerin (nee Cyr)

Publisher’s Reply:

thank you very much for your comments.

We certainly intend to continue to bring you this newsletter in the future.

The following letter was in response to the article below:
The Root of All Problems In Minor Hockey Today? Coaches Are Too Well Trained!

I was brought up in Scotland where, like kids with hockey, we played for hours at a time always with different teams. We never really knew the score. I never learned to skate but, due to a lack of coaches in the Jane/Finch area in North York , I became a hockey coach. The kids and parents knew that I could not skate but, funnily, I was accepted as a coach. I taught the kids how to do their best, how to be in the right place at the right time and the true meaning of "TEAM". Everyone had equal ice time and everyone got along well. Why? They were appreciated for who they were and for their efforts. Throughout my coaching career, I coached 5 year olds up to 21 year olds. They may have started the season off at the bottom, but always rose to the top. I learned what drills to have them complete and encouraged their individual abilities. It is the kids that make the TEAM not the coach. Is not a coach someone who guides and encourages? The kids had pride in their accomplishments. They may not have made the NHL but they had "FUN". By the way, I would not be able to coach today because I could not be "Certified" but for 15 years no one cared about the piece of paper. It was what was in your heart that counted.

Because you cannot do it yourself does not mean that you cannot encourage another to do it. No matter where the help is needed, go out and volunteer. You may fall on the ice a few times but have fun and the kids will too. The kids need your support and encouragement, not your expertise or "Know It All" attitude. I just feel that we are looking for too much perfection in the kids today. Lets get back to basics.

Best wishes

Rod Harte

Publisher’s Reply:

Thank you for your story, Rod. I couldn’t agree with you more.

Putting the newsletter in an email is a wonderful idea!!  And what perfect timing...I was going to email you anyway.  I wanted to let you know that I've been extremely busy since returning to Florida , but I did take time to write one story.  However, before sending it to you, I submitted it to Canadian Living magazine, and I just received word that it will be PUBLISHED IN THE MAY 2006 ISSUE!!!!  My first PAID published work!!!  (I'm so proud of me!)  And it's about Hanmer...but that's all I can really say for now.  So you guys will have to wait 'til May, but it should be a good boost for the Valley to be in such a spotlight!

Hope you're doing well.  Katie and I enjoyed visiting the Sudbury area, and had the opportunity to see the house I grew up in, which, apparently, Doug Hanson's parents have bought!  Small world.  I visited with my old neighbors, the Heimbeckers (you should see THEIR garden!!) and went to Chenier's store to get a chocolate popsicle. 

It was like heaven being up there, and I hope I can get back up in the next couple of years.  I just made the final payment on my vehicle, but I just started my first night in college in over ten years.  It's an accelerated, adult college ( University of Phoenix ), five-week courses, so I should be finished in 3 years instead of 4 going the traditional way.  Most of the AA degree is online, so that makes it even easier.  I was debating which major I should go for, but after hearing from Canadian Living this evening, I just might go into Journalism!!

Have a wonderful day, Bob.  And my thanks to you and all my other teachers at St. Anne for having given me such a great education!


Publisher’s Reply:

Great news, Wendy!

I can't wait to see the article in Canadian Living.

Good luck with your course. It looks as if life is treating you well.

And I really enjoyed meeting Katie. She is a doll.


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