The new Wolfe Island Medical Clinic opened it doors recently, two years after a devastating fire destroyed the trailer that since 1976 had served that purpose.
Due to rain, the opening ceremony was held inside the building where, flanked by members of the board of directors and Dr. Deanna Daneshmend, a member of the Kingston Family Health Team, who serves the clinic where President Kathy Gilbert and Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek, officially cut the ribbon. The room was filled with special guests, donors, media and island residents.
“At the time of the fire, there was a tremendous outpouring of support for rebuilding in the form of money, material, services and labour which helped guide us in our decision to rebuild,” Gilbert said in her words of welcome. “A survey, and group meetings, to determine what sort of building and it’s future use for the community, led us to the Energy Star rated Guildcrest modular building requiring a foundation, septic system along with services for plumbing, electrical work and a heating system,” she said, acknowledging the work of Tony Rego, George Whitmarsh, Jamie Cochrane and Gordon Greenwood, “who provided the critical services and installation for us.” Noting many hundreds of hours of volunteer labour, she thanked project manager Walter Knott “who coordinated all this and Denis Doyle who not only gave of his labour but guided the process and John Van Strien who worked with keeping costs down .
“I want to thank Mildred Hawkins-Walton and David Colbourne for working with the Kingston recruiter to find the doctor who is such a good match for us and we thank her for her patience in waiting for the clinic,” she said of Dr. Daneshmend, who began coming to the island a little more than a year ago, beginning her practice in an office at the ambulance centre.
Gibert also expressed appreciation to Dr. Hans Westenberg who came to the island for many years,
Dr. Daneshmend acknowledged her pleasure not only with the building, the universal access ramp and examining rooms “much bigger than those in Kingston.” On with being on the island, “I am happy to come to the island and look forward to meeting more of you,” she said.
Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded guests of earlier times, the trailer in Dr. George Merry’s yard, the many doctors who had served the community, the differences in providing medical care then as opposed to now and the overall value of the new clinic building to the community.
It should be noted that the new building was designed to meet both the doctor’s needs as well as providing space to accommodate other possible health and community services.
Members of the Board include Barbara Springay, Vice President; Walter Knott, Treasurer; Donna Ivimey, Secretary; Sally Kane, Keith Walton, Liz Crothers and Council representative Wayne Grant.
A reception followed along with tours of the building for residents. To enroll with the doctor or for more information contact Kathy Gilbert at 613-561-8824. All inquiries are confidential.
Finally the rain that usually arrives in March has come to the region but not soon enough to prevent a grassfire at the head of the island. This was a cause of real concern, not only to fire Chief James White, but very particularly to Mike Jablonicky, Site Supervisor of the Wolfe Island Wind Farm, when it threatened turbines # 2 and 5. Both Mike and the Chief attended the Township of Frontenac Islands’ April meeting on Howe Island.
” Last month there was a controlled fire that got out of control pretty quickly,” Jablonicky said. “By 3 o’clock we lost visual sight of one turbine and another turbine shut down. They have built in detectors, and the fire got pretty large. Our guys called the fire department and to their credit James’ crew arrived and dealt with the fire pretty quickly,” Mike said. “ If we had men up in those towers, it could have been disastrous. I believe the Fire Department has to issue fire permits for burning and maybe we need to know and where they are. I am not looking for a ban on burning but when a ban is in place, it must have some teeth, some consequence like fines, if it is violated. We need to protect our people, our turbines and our investment in the community.
Chief White also expressed much frustration with the fact that field burns are started without permits and no apparent concern for the winds or dry conditions.” If a land owner wants to burn off land, there is no safe way of doing it. Think of what could have happened if men had been in those towers and had to rappel down. A fire ban is now in place until further notice,” he said, “but we need a Wolfe Island bylaw, something with consequences.” Mayor Vanden Hoek moved the discussion forward and members determined that a simple, but all inclusive, Wolfe Island bylaw be presented at a special budget meeting. (that meeting happened and so did the by law) In general terms the only open air burnings allowed now in the Wolfe Island ward are an Approved Brush/Yard Waste Fire, an Approved Incinerator Fire, a Camping Fire and an Outdoor Fireplace. The chief must be notified if a brush/yard/waste fire is to take place. The burning of buildings, hay, straw, open fields, tires or anything restricted by the Ministry of the Environment is prohibited and there are fines. The entire bylaw is posted at: www.municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca Note also that burning is not permitted during high winds, dry conditions or when smoke is a nuisance to neighbouring properties.
Wolfe Island Music Fest: At the request of council, organizers of the Wolfe Island Music Festival Virginia Clark, Anne Tait and festival supporter Mark Mattson, along with Paul Hogan from the WI Community Centre board, attended the meeting. Council’s original intent was to determine with them what needs to be done to improve certain aspects of the event, particularly security, and to design a plan mutually satisfactory to the township and the music Festival organizers. Should problems arise, the Township is libel.
Council had received verbal reports of alleged unacceptable behaviour in Marysville, no security of the 2009 festival site after midnight, much noise and people wandering around, etc.
Mattson commented that the festival (which can’t get much bigger) is the second largest source of funds for the Community Centre Board and he has encouraged Virginia to keep it going and would like to see a member of council working with her
Ms Clark takes much of what happens very personally and believes there is a good partnership between the township and the festival organizers already. With regard to security she said the OPP was on duty, and later, 2 off duty policemen. Quality Paramedic services were available throughout the festival.
“I understand success and the size off the festival,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said “but we have risk management issues to consider . Collectively we have worked well, which is an ideal time for a plan outline. We recognize the stature of the festival nationally and want to stay ahead of the issues.” The 2010 WI Music Festival will be held Aug. 6th &7th
In other business:1. Acting as Land Division Committee and Committee of Adjustment Council approved an applications for consent. 2. Passed a bylaw to adopt an Emergency Management Program. 3. Made payments for livestock damage. 4. After some discussion approved the payment voucher in the amount of $ 631,235.25. 5. Approved the submission by WIBTA to FCFDC Youth Intern program. 6. At the request of the WI Bakery amended a parking bylaw to stop parking on one side of Leander St. and allowing it on the other side instead. 7. Granted an easement for installation under the supervision of the Township of a water line under Carpenter’s Point Road with all costs to be paid by the resident. 8. Approved Community Hall rental to Pat Sandford for the gallery operation June 19th- Sept.6th. 9. Council will transfer revenue received from Can Hydro/TransAlta in 2009 creating a Wind Revenue Reserve.
In further business Councillor Doyle brought forward concerns re: burned signs, collecting money at Big Sandy Bay from boaters, enforcement, posting signs and fee structure. Council will seek a legal opinion. Doyle also anxious to see McIntosh report re patching. culverts etc.
Councillor Grant sees need for extra e-waste container. He said an ECG Water study update is coming soon.
Mayor Vanden Hoek commented that the waste sight is looking great. He also has some concerns about the County Trails and is looking for an update. Council meets next on Wolfe Island May 10th at 6:30 pm
Around Town: Well in advance of Pitch In Day Larry Bolton was out and about on Wolfe Island picking up. *KFL&A will continue conducting septic system inspections but at a higher price. *Fund raising for the Tanya Greenwood family is ongoing. For further information contact LynnBrown. *David Staley’s gardens are beginning to take shape as are Ken Keyes’. The beautiful tree planted by Sarah Balant beside the bakery is coming into bud. *The water remains low. (George, you told me it comes up in spring and goes down in the fall).*Noticing young people coming over on the ferry with no apparent place to go.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who lives on Wolfe Island that engineer Ian Baines, continues to have wind power on his mind. His wind power initiative with CREC was the basis for the Trans Alta Inc. “ Wolfe Island Wind Farm” developed by Canadian Hydro Developers.
Baines new initiative “Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc.”, a subsidiary of his company Windstream Energy was awarded the largest and the only approved ‘offshore’ wind power project, by the Ontario Power Authority, (feed-in-tariff) FIT program, a 300 mega watt power-purchase contract initiative in Lake Ontario. While not clear as to the number of kilometres off shore, the OPA maps suggest the location is directly west of Big Sandy Bay and in line with Main Duck Island.
In order to participate in FIT Windstream Energy was required to submit security deposits. While there are no specific guidelines for the offshore wind power project and requires no signed land owners agreements, it is subject to all environmental reviews. However one can assume that Windstream Energy is confident with the wind energy information and study data they have collected to date and is ready to pursue what will be a 3-4 year project to provide off shore energy to the Lennox Thermal Station. Baines always said Wolfe Island is one of the windiest areas in the province. How the project will be received by the public remains to be seen. For more information visit: www.windstreamenergy.ca
Around Town: 1. A fundraising drive is underway to help Wolfe Island resident Tanya Greenwood and her family, Peter, Jack 10, Isabelle 12, take a trip to Disney World. Tanya is battling the return of cancer after a first bout of breast cancer. Inspired by islander, and co-worker Lynn Brown, Tanya’s fellow workers at Unity Savings & Credit Union have initiated the fund raiser which includes a walk and barbecue on April 24th at Unity Savings, 775 Strand Blvd. The walk will begin at 9:00 am and the barbecue around 11 am. The organizers are also holding a raffle for various prizes including a Ducks Unlimited print, hot stone massage and much more. Tickets are $2/each or 3 for $5. Donations are being accepted at various island business as well as all Kingston branches of Unity Savings. Please contact Lynn Brown for more information, 613-385-1285.
Another fund raiser for Tanya, a Prime Rib at the General Wolfe Hotel, April 23rd at 7 pm followed by an auction and entertainement organized by Linda and James Kirkham. For more information contact them at: 613 385-2278.
2. Musher Hank De Bruin who competed in the recent Alaska, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, says the race consumed his dreams for a very long time. Unfortunately he was unable to complete the race, (not his decision), and is seeking clarification of that decision. “What I can guarantee is that the Winterdance huskies have not run their last great adventure,” De Bruin said. ”Whenever or wherever we go next, we would be honoured to have you along for the journey. Thank you for your support.”
Coming Event: The Official opening of the new Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic takes place Sat. April 17th from 10-12. Ribbon cutting at 10:30 am
Public Information Centres for the Wolfe Island Transportation Study were held on the island as well as in Kingston.The purpose of the PIC’s was to present study background about existing transportation conditions and the need for improved access to Wolfe Island, the screening process, criteria and evaluation of alternatives based on technical and environmental factors very importantly to gather pubic opinion.
Members of the Project Team from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and URS Canada were available to discuss and answer questions. The purpose of the transportation study itself is to determine a sustainable transportation plan for access between Wolfe Island and the mainland. Everyone is aware that the Wolfe Island ferry cannot meet demand during peak periods and particularly during summer months.
“Our objective is to be open and transparent about the whole ferry study process. Anyone who wants to reach us can do so,” according to Heather Roebuck, MTO Regional Operations Officer. “Each of the alternatives and their criteria is listed and we want public opinion and comments about the them,” she said. “The surveys are also very important. We have done a winter one and will do a spring shoulder season survey as well as summer one so we can get a good idea about who is using the ferry and what their purposes are rather than speculating. Surveys are fundamental to what is going on,” she added. At the present time the study team is also looking for response to the surveys sent to all island commercial businesses. “We also expect to hear comments from the farming community at gatherings such as this, but we did not send out a specific farm survey. (Frontenac Islands) Councillor Grant has been our contact.”
Roebuck went on to say that the study team has reviewed the information from the Environmental Assessment process carried out in 1994, that was never filed as an EA. “Some people have suggested we just go ahead and lengthen the ferry as recommended at that time. You can appreciate things change a lot. Numbers change, criteria changes and we have to go with the full study again, “ she said. “The important thing now is that, everyone who wants to say something have the opportunity to do so. As I understand it, the last time some people felt they had not been heard and were left out of the process. We don’t want that to happen this time.”
The material handed out at the PIC’s included all the information contained on the viewing boards including a very long list of alternatives, those carried forward etc. which are all on the website at: www.wolfeislandtransportationstudy.ca Among those carried forward were 2 fixed link ( or tunnel)/2 ferry options from a wide list. As well there is a long list of possible improvements like public transit access, expand marshalling areas, dual vessel, faster vessel, and incentives such as carpooling, fares etc. Interesting to note that a fixed link option to Howe Island, (the other half of Frontenac Islands) was not carried forward.
“There are no easy solutions,” Roebuck said. “There is a variety of viewpoints and opinions and some of them very strongly held. We are anxious to hear what people have to say. We do not wish to miss anyone.”
Attendance at the island’s PIC fell short of what was expected but it is not to late to have your say before the next time. Check the website. Write, call, email….
Around Town: Take note that an OPEN FIRE BAN (to remain in place until further notice) has been declared for Wolfe Island by Fire Chief James White.
At the invitation of the Wolfe Island Historical Society, and welcomed by Captain Brian Johnson, islanders and guests, the young and not so young filled the WI United Church Hall to hear Mrs Alzina (nee MacDonald) King, (born 1916), share her memories of growing up on “The Foot” of the island east of the 18th Line Road.
She was introduced by Ken Keyes who provided a run down of Mrs. King’s distinguished career as a teacher, on and off the island, in Petawawa meeting and marrying her husband, and her return to the Wolfe Island in 1981.
“I thank you for inviting me to share my memories of what it was like growing up on the foot of Wolfe Island,” Mrs. King said, graciously seated before an eager audience and reading from a prepared text. “For these precious memories I thank God, my wonderful parents, family and neighbours. She paid tribute to Dr. Spankie, “who came down in what was a 2 hour trip to deliver me,” she said. “As the first born I was spoiled by my parents and paternal grandparents who lived up on the next farm. At 6 I lost my greatest friend, my grandpa on Feb. 6, 1923.” Alzina related a tale of strange events that took place at the time, spoke of the funeral at Sacred Heart church and the vault where the coffin was held until spring when a grave was hand dug.
She started school in SS#8 (built in 1863) with her younger brother Henry recalling that everyone was so kind to them. She added that her grandmother and her father had both attended the school which is still standing on line 17 as part of a lovely house. She went on to describe the make up of schools (school levels, trustees, size, events, Christmas concerts, Arbour day inspector visit, etc.) and showed the books used at the time. She said she was one of the lucky ones who went on to high school as a border at Notre Dame convent on Johnson Street (now the public library) then onto Normal School in Ottawa. She returned to begin her career at SS#7 then #8 (grades 1-10) teaching 5 of her siblings as well many with whom she had grown up. “I loved blustery winter days at school because no one stayed in the outdoor privy too long.” Alzina’s clear recall of island life and times was filled with many such tales. “My students taught me to ride a bicycle one year,” she said.
Alzina spoke about everyday life at the foot, with no furnace, no hydro, no telephone, a coal burning stove and woodstove in the kitchen. “Come spring one great help was the arrival every Wednesday of the Wolfe Islander at Breakey’s Bay where it docked. Next morning everyone around who wanted to go to Kingston boarded, many taking produce to market,” she said adding that the ferry went to Walker’s Dock on Howe, then to the village dock in Marysville, on to Garden Island and across to Kingston. Nowadays that trip might be considered an excursion, but then it was a necessary convenience,” she said adding that “if both parents went to Kingston we spent the day with grandma who took us down the hill to the water where she sat on a rock and took out her tatting…”
And so it went, story after story about the cheese factory on the 17th line, school, bluebirds, beautiful horses, sleigh rides with dad to school and home in winter, farm life, dairy cattle for meat, milk , cream and butter, maple syrup, potatoes, vegetable gardens, berry picking, threshing, harvesting and of course stories about her mother’s work which was never done, (carrying water, laundry, making bread, hand churning butter, knitting and sewing clothes, all by an oil lamp).
“We sat around the table at night, doing homework. Mother read us stories, taught us our prayers and played the piano for us. As children we had a wonderful time. We swam every day. We had a row boat and a skiff and Dad had a Sea Bird motor boat that took us many places. As we got older, Christmas included a hockey game on Breakeys Bay. While we couldn’t get to church we knew what we were celebrating.”
There were memories about the history she learned from her father, trips home from Kingston by buggy and ‘Tricky’ McDermott taping the ice for safety all the way. There were memories of her teen years, skating to USA, summer dances at the Flat Rocks, riding in a buggy to Confirmation classes with mother, dad buying a car in the 1930’s for $500. “But our happy family life ended in 1937 when Dad died in hospital, leaving mother on June 8th,, the date of my parents 22nd wedding anniversary. My mother was left to support the family and mind the farm. My brother Henry at 19 became the man of the family, and my younger brother John at 13 passed entrance that year and joined them on the farm. My grandma died 2 years later,” she said.
“I hope from what I have told you have learned a little about life at The Foot in the 20’s and 30’s,” she concluded. Stories during the question period about island incidents, her teaching career, her married life were equally delightful.
Grant Pyke, WI Historical Society Board member , whose mother Alzina taught, thanked Mrs King urging her to continue writing her stories for a future publication. “So much history can’t be lost,” he said.
Members of the Historical Society were on hand encouraging membership, offering books for sale. Refreshments followed.
Around Town: *The World Day of Prayer held at WI’s Sacred Heart Church, included the participation of the children from Sacred Heart school. The music (set up by Dan Hogan) and the artefacts representative of Cameroon came from Kingston's Ten Thousand Villages. *Recently Mayor Vanden Hoek said that Dave Staley should be commended for providing such a great rest stop for visitors and so close to Marysville * Over looked in an article celebrating local food event was the Island Grill’s Certified Red Seal Chef, Christina Warren who, sporting her Chef’s hat and jacket was involved in the event
Coming Events: 1. Council meeting Howe Island April 12th 6:30 pm. 2. WIBTA meeting April 21st a B&B information session .WI United Church Hall 7 pm. 3. Not Ham but Spaghetti & Salad, Sat. April 24th, St. Margaret’s Hall,