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NCPR News Staff: Lucy Martin

Ottawa Correspondent
Lucy Martin covers regional news and events from her home in rural Ottawa. Her radio roots go back to the early years of Hawaii Public Radio, where she had many roles, including news anchor and station announcer. A family move traded ordinary Honolulu for exotic Canada in 1999. Lucy enjoys village life with her husband, Craig Miller. When not editing sound or text on her laptop, she likes to garden, read, travel and play outdoors. E-mail

Stories filed by Lucy Martin

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Some contemporary and 'challenge' quits at the 2011 show
Some contemporary and 'challenge' quits at the 2011 show

"Quilts on the Tay" with Carole Armstrong

Quilt shows are a pleasant way to dip into a world of creativity and craft.

Non-quilters don't always appreciate the techniques and hundreds of hours that go into many pieces. But the beauty--of color, texture and design--is delightful to behold.

The Lanark County Quilter's Guild main event for 2011 took place in early August at St John Catholic High School, in Perth, Ontario, with well over 200 entries.

Lucy Martin dropped by to soak it up and get some photos. She spoke with guild president Carole Armstrong about the show and the deep appeal of quilting.  Go to full article
Ted and his garlic hat are well-known at garlic festivals (photos by Lucy Martin)
Ted and his garlic hat are well-known at garlic festivals (photos by Lucy Martin)

Ted Maczka the "Fish Lake Garlic Man"

Ted Maczka is known in gardening circles as the "Fish Lake Garlic Man".

Maczka was born in Poland in 1928. He survived World War II and a crippling injury in a slave labor camp before coming to Canada to work as a tool and die machinist in the 1950's. In the 1970's Maczka bought land in Ontario's Prince Edward County where he worked to develop better varieties of garlic for the region. He's been sharing garlic advice ever since.

Maczka was a featured speaker at the Perth Garlic Festival this past August. Lucy Martin caught up with him there.  Go to full article
NDP Leader Jack Layton. Photo: Wikipedia Commons
NDP Leader Jack Layton. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Canada mourns NDP leader Jack Layton

Canadian politician Jack Layton died at home in Toronto early Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends.

Layton's dynamic leadership vaulted the New Democratic Party to unprecedented success this past May. The 61-year-old Layton stepped down as leader of the official opposition in late July to deal with a second bout of cancer. At the time, he said he hoped to be back when Parliament resumed in September.

Canadians from across the political spectrum are saluting Layton's contributions to his party and his country. Lucy Martin has more.  Go to full article
NDP Leader Jack Layton. Photo: Wikipedia Commons
NDP Leader Jack Layton. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

NDP's Jack Layton dies at age 61

Canadian politician Jack Layton died at home in Toronto early this morning, in the company of family and friends. Layton's dynamic leadership vaulted the New Democratic Party to unprecedented success in Canada's most recent election this past May. The 61-year-old Layton stepped down as leader of the official opposition in late July to deal with a second bout of cancer. At the time, he said he hoped to be back when Parliament resumed in September.

Canadians from across the political spectrum are saluting Layton's contributions to his party and his country.

Lucy Martin has more.  Go to full article
Alan Cowan raises garlic on his family's farm near Lake Huron, Ontario
Alan Cowan raises garlic on his family's farm near Lake Huron, Ontario

Alan Cowan on growing and selling garlic in Ontario

Garlic is one of many crops that grow well in northern New York and much of Ontario. It's gaining in popularity thanks to various garlic festivals and a long-established reputation as a flavor enhancer with medicinal qualities.

Alan Cowan's family farm produces garlic, shallots and pumpkins in Ontario's Bruce County, near Lake Huron. For the last dozen years, he's been a vendor at the Perth Garlic Festival. That's a 7-hour-plus drive. But Cowan says it's worthwhile. He estimates 80 percent of his success depends on added-value marketing, which includes reaching customers who appreciate his product.

Cowan spoke with Lucy Martin this past weekend.  Go to full article

Glengarry Highland Games return July 29-30

This summer, for the 64th year, the farming community of Maxville, Ontario will host one of North America's biggest highland games.

The theme for 2011 is: "The Year of the Clans". Those with family tartans are encouraged to come and march. And everyone is welcome to learn more about Scottish culture and heritage.

This year's games will take place on Friday and Saturday (July 29-30). Maxville, Ontario is 45 minutes north of Cornwall, or an hour east of Ottawa.

The old favorites will be back: competition, displays, and day-into-night music, dance and athleticism. This year organizers have added a harp workshop that's open to all. The musical guests include a well-known family group from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia: The Barra MacNeils.

Lucy Martin brings us a sampler from last summer's games (2010).  Go to full article
Fulford Place also features gardens designed by Fredericl Law Olmsted. Photo: Lucy Martin.
Fulford Place also features gardens designed by Fredericl Law Olmsted. Photo: Lucy Martin.

Walking back 100 years in Brockville

There are many sights worth seeing throughout the Thousand Islands, including something called Fulford Place on the Ontario shore of the St. Lawrence.

Completed in 1901, the 35 room, 20,000 square foot Brockville landmark was the summer 'cottage' for a wealthy Canadian family that hosted Prime Ministers and visiting Royalty.

At its peak, the property consisted of 15 manicured acres, with a boat house, a luxury steam yacht and gardens designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Olmsted.

Family descendents eventually donated the house and many original contents to the Ontario Heritage Trust. Dedicated volunteers have been running tours of the period museum since 1993.

Jean Freemantle lives in Brockville and has been one such guide for eleven years. She shared her thoughts about Fulford Place with Lucy Martin for today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article

Canada Day in Ottawa with William and Kate

This is a major holiday weekend, on both side of the border. Today is Canada Day, marking 144 years of national confederation. On Monday, the U.S. celebrates 235 years of independence.

Adding to the party in Ottawa is a visit from Prince William and his bride Catherine. Will and Kate are launching their first official tour since their wedding in late April.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge generate high interest in Canada and abroad. Hotel rooms across Ottawa have reportedly sold out and close to 1400 media press passes have been issued to journalists from over a dozen countries.

So, how to choose? Should you brave the crowds to watch the royals at the lively Parliament Hill party, with music, ceremony and fireworks...or enjoy holiday fun with family, in your own community? Lucy Martin asked around ahead of the big day, to see what Ottawa residents think and where they plan to celebrate.  Go to full article

Back-to-work legislation ends Canada Post labor dispute

Mail service is expected to resume across Canada Tuesday, after back-to-work legislation affecting approximately 48,000 Canada Post employees was passed over the weekend.

Unionized workers began one-day revolving work stoppages in different Canadian cities on June 3. Management responded by locking workers out on June 14.

The ruling Conservatives said intervention was necessary to restore service and protect the Canadian economy. With a solid majority in the House and Senate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had more than enough votes to pass back-to-work legislation. But Parliamentary debate included an unsuccessful filibuster from the New Democratic Party, and signaled further disagreement ahead.

Lucy Martin has more.  Go to full article
Organ grinder Mike Grebler in action at the farmer's market in Metcalfe, Ontario. Photo by Lucy Martin.
Organ grinder Mike Grebler in action at the farmer's market in Metcalfe, Ontario. Photo by Lucy Martin.

Crank organ brightens market days

After a long cool Spring, it's a good feeling when things warm up and the farmer's markets re-open.

Patrons come for local produce, crafts and baked goods. Lucky Ottawa area shoppers often get a unique bonus: jaunty music with a European flair.

Mike Grebler lives in Carlsbad Springs Ontario and takes his crank organ to various local farmer's markets, collecting tips for various charities. He also encourages the young - or the young at heart - to take a turn cranking out the tunes.

Lucy Martin tried it herself at the Metcalfe markert last year, and has this audio postcard. (Lucy spoke with Grebler again recently and learned he and his music will be back - by popular demand - this season.)  Go to full article

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