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  • 🎄 Christmas Tree Collection Details | Whitby's 2024 Budget Decision | Honoring Fred Martin | Local Crime Updates

🎄 Christmas Tree Collection Details | Whitby's 2024 Budget Decision | Honoring Fred Martin | Local Crime Updates

Issue #021

Issue #021 - December 21, 2023

In this issue of Whitby Thrive…

☀️ Today’s Weather in Whitby 

 🎄 Upcoming Christmas Tree Collection: Schedule and Preparation Tips

💰 Whitby Council Debates 2024 Budget Increase, Settles on 5%

🧑🏼‍🎓 Off-Duty Officer Assaulted in Clarington Vandalism Incident

🚔 Teen Arrested, Two at Large in Oshawa Pharmacy Robberies

 🥇 Fred Martin Honoured with Peter Perry Award for Decades of Community Service in Whitby

🏆 Whitby Area Trivia

 🔔 Got a Favourite Whitby Business? Nominate Them for a Feature in Our Community Newsletter!

 🏀 Ridgebacks Women's Basketball Welcomes Towering Talent Grace Dixon

 📅 Whitby Events

Upcoming Christmas Tree Collection: Schedule and Preparation Tips

Residents in different zones of the community are advised to prepare for the upcoming Christmas tree collection. Those living in blue collection areas can expect tree pickup from January 15 to 19, while residents in yellow collection areas should set their trees out from January 22 to 26.

To ensure a smooth collection process, residents should first confirm their color zone and specific pickup day. This information can be found on the waste collection calendar, by downloading the Whitby Waste Buddy app from Google Play or the App Store, or by visiting the official website at whitby.ca/Waste.

Important preparation tips include:

  • Removing any plastic bags from the trees.

  • Adhering to the 7 a.m. set out time for collection.

  • Placing Christmas trees on a cleared portion of the driveway.

  • Cutting trees longer than 3 meters (10 feet) in half.

  • Removing all tinsel, decorations, wires, stands, and bags from the trees.

  • Note that trees frozen or buried in snowbanks will not be collected.

These steps will help ensure that the tree collection process is efficient and effective for all involved. Read more.

Whitby Council Debates 2024 Budget Increase, Settles on 5%

At the last council meeting of 2023 in the Town of Whitby, held on December 18, the focus was on the budget increase for 2024. Initially, a 5% increase was agreed upon during a committee meeting on December 4, following a reduction from the 6.5% suggested by finance staff. However, this proposed increase sparked debate among council members.

Councillors Steve Yamada and Matt Cardwell voiced strong opposition to the 5% increase. Citing the burden of rising costs on residents, Yamada highlighted soaring rent inflation, food affordability issues, and housing affordability reaching its worst level in over forty years. Cardwell echoed these concerns, emphasizing the struggles of the people and his reluctance to support such a high increase.

Mayor Elizabeth Roy and CAO Matt Gaskell warned that reducing the target below 5% would necessitate cuts in services. East Ward Coun. Victoria Bozinovski inquired about the feasibility of a 2% increase, to which Gaskell responded that achieving such a target would lead to significant reductions in service levels.

Finance Commissioner Fuwing Wong reminded the council of the town's own inflationary pressures, comparable to those faced by households. He emphasized that even maintaining current operations would require more than a 2% increase.

Despite the concerns raised, the council ultimately voted 7-2 to accept the 5% budget increase target, with Yamada and Cardwell opposing. The proposed 2024 budget will be open for public comment from January 22, with feedback accepted until February 7, and is set to be approved at a special council meeting on February 15. Source: Durhamregion.com

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Off-Duty Officer Assaulted in Clarington Vandalism Incident

In Clarington, a late-night episode of vandalism escalated into an assault on an off-duty police officer. This incident took place in the vicinity of Mill Street and Millson Hill Drive around 2:40 a.m. on December 15, 2023. The off-duty officer, affiliated with a different police service, spotted two young individuals damaging a vehicle. He intervened, announcing his police status and attempted to detain them until the arrival of the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS).

However, the situation quickly turned volatile when the suspects resisted and assaulted the officer. They managed to flee the scene but were soon located by the DRPS, with assistance from the K9 Unit. The two were found hiding in a trailer near the scene of the crime. They were subsequently arrested without further issues.

Both suspects, 15-year-old males from Clarington, face charges of assaulting a peace officer and causing mischief under $5000. They were released on undertakings. DRPS encourages anyone with additional information to contact Cst. Longo of East Division. Meanwhile, Durham Regional Crime Stoppers offers a potential $2,000 reward for anonymous tips leading to further insights into the incident. Read more.

Teen Arrested, Two at Large in Oshawa Pharmacy Robberies

A series of armed robberies at Oshawa pharmacies has led to the arrest of a young male, while two additional suspects remain at large. The first incident occurred at the Guardian Pharmacy on King Street West at around 1:00 p.m. on November 8, 2023, where two individuals brandished a firearm and stole narcotics. They escaped in a vehicle driven by a third accomplice.

A similar crime unfolded shortly afterward at the Custom Care Pharmacy on Coldstream Drive. The same duo, armed and masked, robbed the pharmacy of narcotics and cash, fleeing again in a stolen vehicle.

The investigation, led by the Major Crime Robbery Unit with support from the Offender Management Unit, culminated in the apprehension of one suspect in Toronto on December 13, 2023. The arrested individual, a 14-year-old male, faces multiple charges including robbery with a firearm and disguise with intent. He was detained for a bail hearing.

However, two suspects involved in these robberies remain unapprehended. The Durham Regional Police Service is actively seeking additional information and encourages the public to share any relevant surveillance or dash cam footage. Durham Regional Crime Stoppers is also offering a $2,000 reward for anonymous tips that could lead to further arrests in this case. Read more.

Fred Martin Honored with Peter Perry Award for Decades of Community Service in Whitby

In Whitby, Ontario, the community celebrated the remarkable contributions of Fred Martin, who was honored with the 2023 Peter Perry Award. Mayor Liz Roy announced the award at a special event, recognizing Martin's 35-year legacy of bringing joy and strengthening the town's community spirit. Fred Martin, known for his distinctive tricorn hat and military coat, has been a beloved figure in Whitby, often mistaken for a pirate by children due to his attire. In a symbolic gesture, he rang the Town Crier's bell at the event, surrounded by his family.

The ceremony was also a platform for the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC) to recognize local business excellence through the Business Achievement Awards. These awards were presented in six different categories, highlighting the diverse and vibrant business community in Whitby. The event underscored the town's commitment to acknowledging individuals and businesses that contribute significantly to its cultural and economic vitality. Read more.

Whitby Area Trivia

Trivia GIF by Quiz Meisters

What notable World War II facility was located in Whitby, Ontario, and served as a secret spy training facility?

  • A) Whitby Harbour

  • B) Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway

  • C) Camp X

  • D) Trafalgar Castle School

Answer posted below

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Got a Favourite Whitby Business? Nominate Them to be Featured in Whitby Thrive!

Whitby Thrive, your local community newsletter, is on the lookout for remarkable businesses to feature in our upcoming editions! We're calling on our readers to help us in this endeavour. If you know a local business in Whitby that deserves some recognition, we would love to hear from you. Nominate your favourite local business by sending us an email. This is a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on those businesses that make our community special. Don't miss the chance to help a local business get the spotlight it deserves!

Ridgebacks Women's Basketball Welcomes Towering Talent Grace Dixon

The Ridgebacks women's basketball team is set to strengthen its lineup with the addition of a promising new player, Grace Dixon, to their 2024-25 recruiting class. Grace, who stands at an impressive six-foot-two, is now tied as the tallest recruit for the team. Her basketball journey includes playing for Team Garcia U19 in the OBL, participation in the 2023 Pine Ridge Varsity Girls Basketball team that competed in OFSAA, and her involvement in both the U19 Girls Basketball in the OBL and the G-Elite League.

Grace's arrival on campus this fall is also marked by her academic pursuit, as she will be enrolling in the Kinesiology program. Megan Grant, the head coach of the Ridgebacks, expressed excitement about Grace joining the team. She highlighted Grace's significant physical presence, which is expected to greatly enhance the team's rebounding capabilities. Coach Grant also noted Grace's explosive power, which the team is eager to develop further. Read more.

December 21st

December 22nd

December 23rd

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Correct Answer: C) Camp X

Camp X was a secret spy training facility established during the Second World War by Sir William Stephenson, known as the "Man Called Intrepid". Although the buildings have since been demolished, a monument was unveiled on the site of Camp X in 1984​