Kawartha Lakes, Scugog raising awareness to prevent kitchen fires

KAWARTHA LAKES/SCUGOG: The 2020 edition of Fire Prevention Week runs from Sunday, October 4th until Saturday, October 10th, and local fire departments are preparing to handle the occasion a little bit differently.

The City of Kawartha Lakes is holding scavenger hunts at 13 parks and outdoor spaces in the municipality.

“All you have to do is, visit one of our participating park locations, find the seven secret safety phrases and complete our online form. If you submit the phrases correctly, you’ll be entered into our draw. Find the clue poster, scan the phrase’s QR code and the secret phrase will appear on your phone,” a poster for the event explained.

The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

Kawartha Lakes fire prevention inspector and public educator Alana Erwood told The Standard why they decided to run this type of event.

“We chose the scavenger hunt as a fun social distancing activity that can be completed as a family. Each scavenger hunt clue contains a phrase to be entered online, along with kitchen fire safety tips,” she stated.

Ms. Erwood said the theme of this year’s prevention week is timely because “cooking fires continue to be the leading cause of home fires in Ontario.”

For more information on participating locations, and how to enter the contest, go online to www.kawarthalakes.ca.

Meanwhile, Scugog Township is doing online activities and contests.

Residents are encouraged to go to my.scugog.ca/firesafety to get fire safety tips and enter contests, like the junior fire chief for a day contest and the colouring contest.

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada, and we know that cooking fires can be prevented! Please join us for a week of fun and education to embrace Fire Prevention Week, virtually,” read a statement from Kristy-Lynn Pankhurst, Scugog’s Fire Prevention Officer.



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Trump, White House demand FDA justify tough standards for coronavirus vaccine, raising concerns of political interference

The White House’s involvement appears to go beyond the perfunctory review that agency officials had expected, and is likely to reinforce public concerns that a vaccine may be rushed to benefit the president’s reelection campaign. Polls show that the number of people who say they’re willing to take a coronavirus vaccine if it were available today has nosedived from 72 percent in May to 50 percent as of early this month, according to Pew Research Center, largely because of concerns that politics, rather than science, is driving the process.

Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine would be available by Election Day, or possibly sooner, worrying scientists that he might attempt to intervene in the review process. Companies will begin reporting safety and effectiveness data in coming weeks and months. And in conversations with some advisers, the president has directly tied the vaccine to his reelection chances, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

The White House’s decision to weigh in on the FDA plan was assailed by former FDA commissioners who had served both Republican and Democratic presidents.

“I don’t know of any precedent where the White House asked to adjudicate scientific and clinical guidances, even in past public health emergencies,” said Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s first FDA commissioner. “To build trust among patients and providers, you wanted to leave these matters to the FDA process, which has a lot of rigor and integrity.”

Robert Califf, commissioner under President Barack Obama, said White House officials lack the expertise to assess the FDA’s safety protocols. “For the president to weigh in is not good,” he said, “and it sets a precedent, which is worrisome in many regards, and makes you worry about what he’ll do about the decision itself about individual vaccines.”

The push from the White House comes during a week in which top health administration officials, including FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, vowed there would be no political interference in the vaccine approval process and sought to boost public trust in the process.

So far, the White House has not asked the FDA to withdraw or change the guidance for an emergency authorization of the vaccine — a far quicker process than a formal approval that gives the FDA the flexibility to set a lower bar for safety and effectiveness. The agency expects to use the process because of the urgency of the situation. In a Wednesday phone call, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Hahn the agency had to provide the detailed justification for the guidance, according to two people familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The FDA, which had planned to release the guidance this week, instead has been working on detailed scientific justifications for the questions raised by White House officials, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. White House officials are especially interested in the agency’s recommendation

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Disabled veteran’s only bathroom in disrepair, Builders Care raising money for renovations

A Vietnam veteran and his wife who live on Jacksonville’s northside could use your help. Their only bathroom is in disrepair. They’ve been bathing out of their sink.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Vietnam veteran and his wife who live on Jacksonville’s northside could really use your help. Their only bathroom is in disrepair and they have had to bathe out of their sink.

“This is our shower that’s just falling down,” Brenda Tuten said.

For two years she and her husband Frank Tuten, a disabled veteran, haven’t been able to use the only shower in their house.

“It’s been hard because I’ve been having to wash with a pan at the bathroom sink,” Frank Tuten said. “It’s been a very big struggle washing up.”

“It’s hard for him to get over the tub because he had a stroke on his right side,” Brenda Tuten explained. “If I wash my hair I have to go in the kitchen sink and try to stick my head under the kitchen faucet, and if I lean my head too far I get really dizzy like I’m going to pass out.”

When the nonprofit Builders Care found out about the condition of their bathroom, Executive Director Justin Brown said they felt compelled to help.

“The Fraternal Order of Police ended up contacting us to help with their roof. The police were putting on a new roof, and we built a wheelchair ramp,” Brown said. “I hadn’t even gone in the house. Last month people said you need to go see their bathroom, so I went in and it’s their only bathroom and I said ‘Oh my gosh! We have to rectify this immediately.’ It is so heartbreaking and devastating.”

A large hole above the shower exposes the attic. 

“The ceiling pretty well fell down in the tub and right now the shower is not working. It’s not really safe because you don’t know what’s falling out of that ceiling,” Brenda Tuten explained. “We put this pan into the sink and then use a liquid soap and pour soap in there and stir it and take a wash rag and we wipe with it.”

Builders Care is now trying to raise $10,000 to remodel the Tuten’s bathroom and pay for them to stay in a hotel during the renovations, which the nonprofit plans to start next week.

“I basically said if we get $3,000 we are starting it. It’s probably about a $10,000 job, but we are going to be able to get volunteers to come help us out,” Brown said. “We started an online fundraiser on Facebook and immediately we had $800 within a few hours.”

The Tutens are grateful for the support.

“We really appreciate what they do for us, and it would be a miracle to have a walk-in shower,” Brenda Tuten said.

“It’s the nicest thing we’ve ever had done,” Frank Tuten said.

If you would like to donate to help renovate the Tuten’s bathroom visit Builders Care Facebook page. The nonprofit

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