by Margaret Knott
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Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

April 28, 2006
Scott Industrial Services, New Owner of former Wolfe Island Kraft Plant

The Factory ( Wolfe Island’s former Kraft Plant on Hwy. 96) will take on a new life. The building and large property (plus the 100 acre spray field adjacent to the 10th line) was sold in December 2005 to Scott Industrial Services, a company founded and owned by George Scott, a Kingston businessman.

Former Factory owner Cindy Day, made this announcement at a recent meeting of the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association where she introduced Scott, an enthusiastic spokesperson for Scott Industrial Services. Scott was present to outline his plans for the property. (Area rug cleaning is already underway at the site.) With him was Kevin Matthews, president Canada Composting Inc and Michael Lavelle. Frontenac Islands Mayor Vanden Hoek was also present. Cindy-and-Scottt.jpg

“About a year ago Cindy and I began discussing some options for The Factory. One of the major issues we had to address was the contamination on the site,” he said “Looking at different technologies to remove it I concluded a cost efficient bio technology using water and infusing contamination-eating micro organisms into the soil was the answer. It’s a process slow to get going but once the colonies grow it proceeds quickly.” Scott anticipates the regularly monitored site will be clean by July or August of this year. A remediation program had been started by the previous owner to deal with contamination left by Kraft Canada.

Scott has a proposal before the City of Kingston to contract with them to pick up and process organic waste, which, if approved, would be the major source for processed materials for the island. They propose to pick up and process organic waste at a bio energy facility at their location in Kingston using what is called a BTA, a biological process of anaerobic digestion which turns the material into biogas, a renewable energy producing electricity and heat (more that 1mw). The high quality compost (the digested material), becomes the natural fertilizer (bi-solids) for application at the proposed commercial sod farm at the island’s spray field. Scott equated the process to a mechanical cow. Scott Industries is open to accepting household waste from other communities including Wolfe Island.

Scott noted that apart from the sod farm and a possible co-operative greenhouse he is interested in pursuing the plans for two service-based businesses, a coin laundry and a small water bottling plant, developed by Cindy Day. He anticipates that there could be 7 full-time and 15 seasonal jobs created on the island.

Scott answered questions about smell, safety of transporting processed digested waste, hazardous waste, licensing, compliance and environmental stewardship and a waste ingestion system at the site.

WIBTA will write the City of Kingston indicating their support of the Scott Industrial Services’ waste management proposal to pick up and process organic waste in the City of Kingston. Scott would welcome all letters of support addressed to the Kingston City council. Mayor Vanden Hoek said that Frontenac County as well as KEDCO has written in support of the project.

Scott Industrial Services is a privately owned Kingston company providing services to industrial, commercial and institutional clients in southern and central Ontario. Their water blasting services, high velocity vacuum loading, and environmental services account for a large portion of business.

Take Note Cyclists: Cycling on Wolfe Island is a popular activity of visitors to the island. From early spring to late fall, they come alone or in groups boarding the ferry in Kingston for a day of cycling. Colour coded route maps are available for sale at the Wolfe Island Information Centre and the island routes are marked with tiny coloured coded bicycle to guide cyclists on their way. Something new has been added with the purchase of a number of bikes, by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association for rent at the Summer Dock Studio, located beside the island’s tourist information Centre. Potter Karryn Graham operator of The Studio and her husband Robert, a local musician, have undertaken the Bicycle Rental service. Check it out.

LOST IN THOUGHT: Wolfe Island artist Debra Krakow held a solo exhibition “Lost in Thought” at Kingston’s Fort Frontenac. Debra a native Montrealer graduated in 1988 from McGill University with a degree in Architecture. She undertook art studies at a number of schools in Montreal, and Nova Scotia as well as the Kingston School of Art.

Krakow now lives on Wolfe Island with her husband Robert and their two children. She works at her profession by day and paints in her spare time. Debra’s watercolours describe, in vivid colour and unique style every aspect of rural life and landscape on the island. “I step out the door and there is something to paint. I look out the window and there is something to see. I walk onto the ferry and something catches my eye. I am encouraged by my husband who urges me on and my children who take pride in what I do,” Debra said at her exhibition. Krakow’s work has been exhibited in both the US and Canada and is displayed at the Summer Dock Studio on Wolfe Island.

Around Town:
*More people participated in this year’s Good Friday Ecumenical Pilgrimage Way of the Cross.
*Winners of the 1st annual W.I. Early Years Trivia night ($600.) was the RWI team of Scott Carter, Darren Divian , Jim Harris, Alec Varken, Janet McRae & Amy Bello.
*David Clark, a YCA certified Instructor will offer skippered sailing charters (daytime) from the General Wolfe Hotel dock. For information call 1-613-385-2929
*Horne’s Ferry to Cape Vincent begins operation May 1st. * Children from both Wolfe Island schools joined in the annual clean-up of the village.
*Howe Islanders undertook their annual roadside clean up as part of Pitch In Canada week.
*Thanks to Marley & Nathan Samson, Ali & Jeff Batley, Nathan Lambert, Graham Balint, Axil Mellon who joined Mrs.Claire Muller cleaning up (18 bags) the pine woods beside the dump “leaving it in pristine condition.
*The W.I. Community Policing Committee continues to look for more volunteers.
*Sacred Heart Schools’s Spring Fling May 10th 5:30- 7 p.m.
*The General Wolfe Hotel was the 2006 recipient of the Golden Fork award.
*Friends of Big Sandy Bay, Mother’s Day Walk ( family event) at Big Sandy Bay 1:30 p.m.
*The Township of Frontenac Island web site: .

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:32 AM
April 27, 2006
Firefighter's Funeral held on Wolfe Island

coffin-arrivesagain.jpgMore than 200 firefighters came from all areas of the province to Wolfe Island to honour a fallen comrade Gary Bryant who died in the line of duty. Bryant 54, collapsed and died of a heart attack after helping extinguish a grass fire behind a row of island houses. He was accorded a full Firefighters funeral service, a show of support and solidarity and a first for the island.

On the island, the firefighters and emergency service workers formed an honour guard into Marysville waiting quietly for the arrival of the ferry and the Island’s pumper truck carrying the helmet and flag draped casket of their brother firefighter. The truck was accompanied by island firefighters in active work dress, island Fire Chief James White, Deputy Tim Hawkins, Howe Island Chief Mike Quinn, family members and friends. Also waiting at the dock were the Mayor and members of Frontenac Island council. councilmembers-wait.jpg

Provincial Ministers John Gerretsen and Monty Kwinter, Ontario Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle, Kingston’s Mayor Harvey Rosen. and many fire chiefs from across the province attended the moving ceremony.

The firefighters came to full attention saluting the casket as it moved on its way through the village, following behind in procession to Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church where Wolfe Island United Church Pastor Terry Wood officiated at the service also attended by Fr. Ray Vickers and Rev, Canon Chris Carr. Waiting at the church were the school children and members of the Wolfe Island fire brigade.
And what a service it was in a beautiful church filled to capacity where the sons of the deceased Josh and Luke McCann-Bryant, Mayor Vanden Hoek, Fire Chief James White and other dignitaries spoke about Bryant as a father, a dedicated citizen, a firefighter who made the supreme sacrifice, “a hero to us”.

leaving-church2.jpgBut in the end it was the members of the Wolfe Volunteer Fire Department who carried their brother Firefighter Gary Bryant to his final place of rest at Point Alexander cemetery. The Wolfe Island community accepted him as one of their own and welcomed him home.

The loss of a Firefighter in the line of duty and the outpouring of respect and ceremony it generates by “the brotherhood” provide a vivid reminder and an opportunity to say thank you to the unsung heroes, firefighters and medical service personnel who work quietly in the background protecting our lives and communities.

A reception was held at the Wolfe Island Fire Hall following the service.

(Wolfe Island United Church was too small to accomodate the large crowd exepected to attend the funeral service and Sacred Heart Church was graciously offered. “We are neighbours,” Fr. Vicker's is quoted as saying.)



Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:19 AM
April 18, 2006
Wind Power, Murals, Fire Hall, Land Fill site. Township Filled with Issues

The April meeting of Frontenac Islands Council was filled with issues that are part of most municipalities but the first order of business was an issue exclusive to Wolfe Island at this time. Council met ‘in camera’ with Howard Allen C.A., and Township solicitor Tim Wilkin and Bob Clark Consulting to discuss the Canadian Hydro Inc. Wind Power Project amenities agreement and other concerns.

Following that, Clark Consulting presented 3 options with regard to the Official Plan amendment. The effect of the 1st amendment would be that commercial wind farms would be permitted in rural and agricultural designations applicable to both Howe and Wolfe Island. The 2nd option would permit commercial wind farms only on agricultural and rural land west of the W.I. canal, requiring other changes to the Official Plan as permitted uses in certain sections. Option 3 relates to the differences between Howe and Wolfe Island and is really Option 1 for Wolfe Island only. Clark Consulting recommended Option #1 and a first Public Meeting regarding a Zoning and Site Plan approach and a second meeting when the official turbine site plan is unveiled. Council favours #1.

In other business Council approved the hanging of a 2nd WIBTA historic mural, “Scene of the Crime” at the W.I. Community Hall. WIBTA president Pat Sanford, owner /operator of the Stone Heron Gallery also received permission to use the Community Hall for the Gallery at the cost of $550. (up $50.) for the summer season. Councillor Grant suggested that the Arts & Crafts group which uses a section of the community hall might also pay a fee, (deferred to next month). Ms. Sanford informed council that WIBTA will pay for the Community Policing signs as requested Community Policing Committee.

Guy Laporte (Totten Simms Hubicki) presented the annual Wolfe Island waste disposal site report. Mr. Laporte noted that in 1993 the site , operating in compliance with the 1994 Certificate of Approval was predicted to close in 2007 but good use of the site, recycling and reduced usage now suggests no closure until 2018. There continues to be groundwater and surface water monitoring. “It would seem that a plume of leachate comes and goes with different water levels but there is no evidence of it in the domestic well,” he said. Council received the report with a copy to be sent to the Ministry of the Environment and to the neighbouring property owner. Some concern was expressed about cost of closing a site and how much should be set aside each year as a budget item.

Laporte predicted that Wolfe Island will end up shipping garbage off the island when the site closes while still paying monitoring costs.

Appreciation was expressed at this time to W.I. resident Clare Muller for her road clean- up efforts.

Krista Vandewal, Frontenac County (CHRP Intern) presented the widely used Human Resources- Employment Assistance Program (EAP) , available to any employee dealing with work or personal issues provided by Kingston Family Services. Vandewal is seeking 2 members to participate in a Joint EAP Committee which meets 1 or 2 times a year. She will follow up with CAO O’Shea.

Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn presented the case for proceeding with the next steps towards the development of Frontenac Islands new Fire Hall on Howe Island. ”In 2005 there has been a fair amount of leg work packaged and brought forward.,” Chief Quinn said.“But we need to take the next step to find a project coordinator.”

‘We need a new building,” Councillor Hobbs said. “With costs constantly going up there is no point in holding off but we do not have the expertise. Council supported a detailed Pre Contract award phase received from (Patrick) Thompson Construction Management Services (TCMS) in the amount of $8928.00.

A “selling of municipal lands” by law deferred till next month. Also deferred and referred to W.I. Wildlife Association Sunday Gun Hunting information from the Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Licence free Family Fishing weekend July 7-9 information referred to Howe and Wolfe Island Fire Chiefs.
Council gave approval and $250.00 to a plan/request submitted by Greg Caldwell to do landscaping work around the W.I. Tourist Information Centre. Labour and some costs will be assumed by WIBTA.

Based on the declared possibility that the Ryan Centre Outdoor education program will cease operation Council, passed a resolution to the Algonquin Lakeshore District Catholic School Board, outlining the importance of the centre and its director and requesting that they reconsider this decision and keep the Centre open.

There will be a discussion next month regarding Kingston raw sewage overflows which affect the islands. “We need to know what the City tells their residents and get information from MOE,” according to the Mayor. Councillor Calvin was adamant that the township know when overflows happen so residents can be immediately informed, posters can go up telling them what they can expect to find on the shores and of course all concerns regarding water quality.

A request by Councillor Hobbs for a Howe ferry issues committee with the county and that staff break times on the County ferry be posted drew the frustration of Mayor Vanden Hoek who said that the tremendous effort made to enhancing Howe ferry service, needs to be conveyed to residents. “This issue suggests the perpetuation of the idea we have done nothing,” he said.

Council passed a resolution in support of PITCH-IN CANADA Week April24-30, 2006

Next meeting of Frontenac Islands Council May 8th ,Wolfe Island.

Around Town:
*Wolfe Island mourns the loss of two of its celebrated citizens. We extend our sympathy to the family of Mrs. Marion O’Shea, wife of the late, long time Wolfe Island Reeve Tim O’Shea and mother of Frontenac Islands CAO Terry O’Shea who died unexpectedly last week. Her presence will be missed.
*Renie Marshall, historian, writer, story teller and animal lover, a village character and friend also died last week.
* Winners of the 1st annual W.I. Early Years Trivia nite the RWI team of Scott Carter, Darren Divian , Jim Harris, Alec Varken,Janet McRae & Amy Bello. The event raised over $600 for Early Years.
* Ham Supper St. Margaret’s Hall, Sat. April 22nd 4:30-7:00 pm. *WIBTA Drop In Business Mixer General Wolfe Hotel April 25th 6-9 pm.
* Three Women Opera MOLLY BRANT, April 30th , St. Margaret’s Hall 2:45 pm.
Tickets $10.00 available at the local stores.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:16 AM
April 17, 2006
Ryan Centre on Wolfe Island Threatened with Closure

The news of the possible termination of the Ryan Centre Outdoor Education program on Wolfe Island as a cost cutting measure by the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board has come as a shock and a surprise, in this era of environmentalconcern, not only to island citizens but to the director of the program Walter Sepic.

While no official statement has yet been received from the Board, news of the proposed program cut, as one of many proposed cost saving measures to avoid a deficit, has filtered down to the region and to the media.

The program at the Ryan Centre offers students outdoor physical education, environmental science and heritage learning with a trained expert in the person of Walter Sepic who devised the ever evolving curriculum even before the centre opened and has been its director since 1989. The development of the Centre was encouraged and approved by the Superintendent at the time, Pat Slack, then Director Ray Doyle and Wolfe Island Trustee Ed Kenny ( at the time) and was a spin off of the Hall-Dennis Report and fills an on-going special educational need.

The location of the Centre is a portable class room which is home for hundreds of collected and donated artefacts. The education area also includes the open grounds, fields, rock cuts, vegitationand water located in the vicinity of Sacred Heart school. The building itself is now solar heated. A garage near by holds the many canoes, snowshoes, buckets for collecting maple syrup bottled on site and other outdoor equipment as well as a small wind tower used to demonstrate alternative energy.

More than 110 times a school year, classes of school children (some more than once annually) from the different schools in region can be seen boarding the Wolfe Island ferry with their teachers, parent volunteers and Walter Sepic for the journey to the island centre. “We begin the day with on-board ferry activities concerning water and historical facts,” Sepic said in a recent conversation. “The hands on program, adaptable in any subject area (science, math, history, social studies music,crafts, music physical education etc.) at any grade level, that goes on during each visit provides knowledge and attitudes in a setting outside the classroom. Countless research shows that students retain more by doing, learn more by hands-on outdoor field activities, as a way of learning which addresses the needs of many children and excites their curiosity,” he said. “They begin to appreciate nature, they connect with the environment and begin to recognize the importance of good stewardship.”

University students have begun coming to the Ryan Centre to fulfill a component in their Outdoor Experience Education degree programs. Presently Sandra Stewart from North Bay’s Nipissing University is at the

If the centre closes, Walter Sepic, a teacher specialized in Physical Education, Geography and Industrial Arts, who is called on to help out in areas of health and physical education at the Board and is the chair person of Hearthmakers Energy Co-operative, would return to the teaching pool.

Parents, teachers, principals, former students, environmentalists, if you believe the Ryan Centre and its Director are important to the education of children, then write, call, e-mail the Algonquin Lakeshore District Catholic School Board and ask them to remove the Ryan Centre from the proposed chopping block of programs.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:26 AM