We’ve been deluged with comments and letters from our readers about the demise of the Stittsville News. Here is a sample of what you’ve been saying. The last edition will be published January 12, 2018.
I have fond memories of the paper as a young resident and personally. My first memories of the paper was having my picture taken by John Curry performing in baton, figure skating and tap dance, starting in pre-K era. Also, I can remember being in Kindergarten and Grade 1, seeing John C. come onto Stittsville Public grounds, wearing his typical, dress pants, dress shirt, tie and Mr. Dressup cardigan. I’d run up … “Hello Mr. Curry!” Continue reading →
“That daily experience of seeing your local places, names and events creates a kind of resonance and connection and investment with where you live. Canadians pay a lot of lip service to the importance of telling Canadian stories. We are so used to seeing American references that just watching a movie, for example, set in a Canadian place will “charge us up” with local feeling. A sense of seeing “ourselves” portrayed.
That’s the daily charge of a local paper. Investing you with news and culture of YOUR PLACE. Take that away and you genuinely diminish that feeling in a community. That is a real loss. Especially in a world where people are increasingly living in a central abstract space. A ‘no place.'”
–Seth, on the role of local newspapers. From the Globe & Mail, January 2016.
After decades being one of the only constants in our community, the Stittsville News wound up being just another line item on a big corporation’s balance sheet.
Stittsville will lose an institution that has been publishing for 60 years. The first edition was published on December 12, 1957 by founder Howard Maguire, who was also Goulbourn’s first full-time fire chief.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve run into current reporters John Curry and Brian Dryden and the now-retired John Brummell at local events. They are everywhere in our community. They are the reporters who sit through hours of community association meetings and cover local hockey games. They are the photographers who chronicle school graduations and neighbourhood picnics and music recitals.
I feel for Curry the most. He bought the paper as a young newspaperman in 1975 for $6,000, and stuck with it as a reporter and editor for more than four decades, some of it under various corporate overlords after he sold the paper in 2001.
“It was a tough gig,” reported Devyn Barrie in a profile of Curry published in the Algonquin Times. “The hours were long and the pay was low. The newspaper served a small community and barely broke even. But Curry wasn’t in it for the money. He wanted to do good journalism, report for the community and have fun doing it.”
I feel for the dozens of community groups like the Legion, the Lions, the Rotary Club who rely on the Stittsville News to get their info out into the community. And I feel for the army of kids (and few adults) who earn a bit of pocket money delivering the paper to our doorstep each week.
New companies will step up to try to provide some semblance of the coverage that the Stittsville News and others like it provided. And to be sure, there are still a few independent papers left in the Ottawa area.
But in Stittsville we’ve lost an institution that has reflected us, has connected us, has shaped us for six decades.
This is such terrible news for communities and journalists. A media conglomerate citing costs as reason for closures is BS. Alex Munter started the Kanata paper when he was a damn kid. We’ve had these great publications for decades. Thanks, Postmedia.
So saddened….The Stittsville News (Mary & John Curry) and Kanata Kourier Standard have been our go to weekly papers for important local news. Area politicians will also lose their community voice. #BigBusinssPoorDecisions
These are the papers that tell the story of our activities and events that make us a caring, fun and inclusive community. No sensationalism – just pictures and stories of your neighbours and friends. This is sad news about an old friend for #Kanata https://t.co/gMFeBCNjnr
1/2 People read about themselves and learn about their neighbours+community in local newspapers. Truly sorry to hear that these vehicles for building community connection are being shut down.https://t.co/Lw8EGC71YP
2/2 Personally, much of what I've achieved in my life traces its roots back to the things I learned after I started the Kanata Kourier. Thank you to everyone who supported a kid with a dream in 1982 and who then kept that dream alive for 35 years. pic.twitter.com/1Nf2Zxcf7m
1/2 @@glengower since moving to #stittsville, both John & John have been constants at our nursery schools, elementary schools, art shows, concerts, community events, even Elemenopaint workshops. The kids eyes would light up when seeing their names, or better yet, their pictures https://t.co/1iaVqBR9bl
Nine Ottawa-area newspapers will be shuttered after a trade between Canada’s two largest newspaper chains.
The swap, announced Monday, saw Postmedia Network Canada Corp. acquire the local newspapers from Torstar Corp. In the deal, Postmedia acquired from Torstar 22 community papers and two commuter dailies and Torstar received from Postmedia 15 community papers and two commuter dailies. Continue reading →
Witches are being added to the haunting brew at Saunders Farm this fall.
“The Coven,” a Salem witch-themed indoor and outdoor haunt, is the largest new haunt added at Saunders Farm at Munster in the past five years.
Open during the daytime as a Witches Village and at night as a full-blown haunt, the Coven features a swamp, a forest and an old witch’s house that features a maze of rooms. And since a coven traditionally refers to a gathering of witches, you can bet just from the name of this haunt that you are going to run into numerous witches as you make your way through the house.
Mark Saunders explains that the Coven marks a return by Saunders Farm to a classic traditional Halloween haunt, this one related to the famous Salem witch trials in colonial Massachusetts in the 1690s when 20 people were actually executed for witchcraft.
The idea of the Coven came from Mark’s conversations with a friend of his in the United Kingdom who developed a witch-themed haunt with a swamp concept. Saunders Farm has been able to add a forest setting to such a haunt idea. The Coven at Saunders Farm has been totally constructed on the site by Saunders Farm’s own carpenters and staff.
(Updated from an earlier post / media advisory via the City of Ottawa.)
Mayor Jim Watson, Stittsville Ward Councillor Shad Qadri and Rideau-Goulbourn Ward Councillor Scott Moffatt presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to John Brummell at today’s City Council meeting. Continue reading →
(I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve run into John Brummell at local events. The man is everywhere with his big camera. He is a real pro – just watch him in action at a recent photo shoot. I’ll miss his patience, good humour and meticulous attention to getting every last name correct. Congrats on your retirement John. Hope to keep seeing you around the neighbourhood John! -GG.)
John Curry (who else!) wrote a fitting tribute to long-time Stittsville News photographer and reporter John Brummell, who retires on Friday. Here’s a great piece from this week’s paper:
Community journalism in Stittsville and Goulbourn is losing an avid proponent and advocate.
That’s because long time Stittsville News reporter and photographer John Brummell is retiring as of this Friday, Jan. 13.
And while Friday, the 13th is considered by some as an unlucky day, nothing could be farther from the truth for John Brummell who is looking forward to retirement years in which he will do some of the things which he has not been able to do in a working career going back over 50 years and particularly in the community journalism part of that career, a part featuring lots of weekend and evening work.
So this will mean more time for gardening, one of the great passions in his life, for doing things around the house that he has not had time to do over the years, perhaps for some travel driving in the United States, for walking the dog and for simply enjoying life.
They’ve taken over a 2,000-square foot space at the mall across from The Source, where they’ll be accepting donations and then sorting and packing the stockings. Organizer Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) says the response so far has been incredible, with 200 volunteers helping out and enough gifts already to fill about 200 stockings — that’s all thanks to word of mouth, email and Facebook posts over the past couple of weeks.
You can drop off donations at the mall during regular business hours. To get involved as a volunteer, or for more information visit their Facebook page.
In recognition of Howard A. Maguire’s demonstrated excellence, courage and exceptional service, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name a future park at 560 Parade Drive, within the new residential development at 1921 Stittsville Main Street, “Howard A. Maguire Park”. Continue reading →