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.

July 29, 2010
‘Door to door’ fundraiser benefits Wolfe Island family

‘ A door-to-door fundraiser for the Minton and O’Coin families, organized by Wolfe Islanders Sherry Orr, Sharon Kane, and Angie Vaughan ended Sunday evening when a group of islanders gathered outside the home of Daryl Niles where two trailers, located on the property, are housing them since a devastating fire destroyed their home. The islanders came to present Laurie and Scott, daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Ian, and grandchildren Madyson (10) and Mackynzie (8), with the funds collected to assist them.
“On behalf of the community including Simcoe Island and our summer residents we would like to present the entire family with the cash donations collected in the door-to-door visits made by many volunteers,” Sharon Kane said, as Sherry Orr presented an envelope to a very emotional Laurie, and her equally emotional husband Ian Minton.
The donations totalled $8,614.00 and did not include the already presented donations collected at ‘Megalys’ store in Marysville according to Kane,
The presentation of an envelope for daughter Jennifer was repeated when the O’Coin family finally arrived, late due to a ambulance call which delayed the ferry. Missing the presentation was Madyson who was away at camp.
In response, Laurie, a Ministry of Transportation employee, talked about what it is like to live in a community where everyone cares. “And this is not the first time,” she said referring to a time when the community rallied around the family when her grandson was diagnosed with leukemia. (Mackynzie is now cancer free.) “Ours is a small family and we will continue to all live together, for a time at least, after our new (modular home) arrives,” she said. “I rarely show emotion about anything,” her visibly moved husband Ian, added. Daughter Jennifer spoke of things coming in 3’s (Mack’s illness, the fire, a car accident) that are now in the past. “As we look to the future, I am so grateful to this wonderful community we live in,” she said.
There was time then to share stories and anecdotes about island living, travelling on the ferry and the kindnesses of Laurie who is always ready to help anyone in distress. To the many (door-to-door) volunteers, Kane had this to say, “wow, way to go, neighbours and friends.”

2. Tornado-like storm strikes Wolfe Island’s Hickory Lane
Reports of a tornado like storm Wednesday, July 21st around 4 pm striking Gananoque , Howe Island and other environs made the news. The reports made no mention of a storm hitting certain areas of Wolfe Island. However
a ‘phone call Saturday a.m. from Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle alerted me to Hickory Lane where many new homes and cottages are located, and they had been hit hard by a violent storm on the same day, at the approximately the same time. Hickory Lane is at the far east end of Wolfe Island on the south side.
“It was a ferocious storm that came on so quickly, with high winds and hail, year-round Hickory Lane resident Bev Sherman said, as she took me on a tour of area. (She and her husband Doug, long time cottagers there, have been permanent residents for 3 years.)
Very mature oak and hickory trees, torn up by there roots, were everywhere. Remarkably only two or 3 of the houses suffered serious damages from the falling trees. “People have worked so hard to care for their properties,” Bev said. “And just look at the mess. It will take weeks to clean it up,” adding that a tent trailer belonging to friends was demolished. Lamp posts were down, an air conditioner had blown off its foundation, outdoor furniture was broken or had blown off shore. “ The people who suffered the greatest loss of trees are Vic McQueen and Paul and Ed Mika, “ Sherman said. “There was damage to Bev Lloyd’s new home as well as many trees down but some of it was cleaned up yesterday through her insurance when a chipping crew arrived for a day.”
“I was sitting on a swing when it stated to blow, and marble sized hail hit hard,” Vic McQueen said. ” The swing blew into the river, and so many trees came down. I was pretty upset. My heartbeat went funny about 4 o’clock in the morning. I don’t know if it was because of all this. I had a regular doctor’s appointment on Thursday, ended up in hospital and had my heart shocked back to normal. Some mighty storm,’
Dave Scott and Adair Chown had come in from a few days of sailing.” We were ashore when the storm broke,” Dave said . “The wind was so bad we actually grabbed the cat and went to the basement. We didn’t hear any of this happen, just the wind and the hail (2 inches deep on the west side) hitting the house,” he said looking at the fallen trees. “ During the ice storm you could hear the trees snapping, cracking and falling, not this time,” Adair added.
At McLean’s bush further up, at least 12 big oaks fell one on top of another taking down everything underneath according to Dave.
Bev Sherman commented that cottagers and homeowners coming to Hickory Lane for the weekend, knowing nothing of the storm would be devastated by what they see. ” People who were here think it was a tornado but no meteorologist came our way to confirm it,” The WI Fire Department responded to a 911 call about an arcing wire and contacted Hydro One. While Hydro has been restored to the area , telephone service was not so quick. (Cell phones at that end of the island roam to the USA)
Councillor Doyle having visited the area will bring the situation to the attention of council.
Around town: * Wolfe Island weekend traffic at an all time high with walk-on’s, cyclists and cars. Long delays for vehicles leaving the Island. * Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle has decided to run as a Mayoral candidate in the November election. So far he will be running against incumbent, Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek. *On the lighter side, heard Jan Hassellar and Wally Knott ruminating about running for council. Not sure how much truth there is in this.. …
Coming Events:*WI Family Ball tournament July 30-31st *Scene of the Crime Writers Festival, Aug. 14, 2010, * Music Festival, Aug. 6th -7th **Scene of the Crime Writers Festival, Aug. 14, 2010, (

Posted by M Knott at 07:33 AM
July 22, 2010
Simcoe Island’s Nine Mile Point Lighthouse declared surplus

Simcoe Island resident, Yelda Miedema invited interested Simcoe and Wolfe Island permanent and summer residents to a meeting to determine steps they could take to protect the island’s historic Nine Mile Point Lighthouse and to discuss the ramifications of the ‘Heritage Lighthouse protection Act’ unveiled by the government May 29th.
The Nine Mile Point Lighthouse is among the 480 active lighthouses maintained by the Coast Guard and declared surplus to its needs by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Also on the list is the lighthouse in the Main Duck Islands in Lake Ontario.
The Act offers groups, municipalities, or individuals, the opportunity to seek a heritage designation for certain surplus lighthouses and to assume responsibility for their maintenance.
This was not Miedema’s first attempt to seek support for preserving the lighthouse. He recently requested help at a meeting to determine areas for the distribution of Wolfe Island Wind Farm (amenities) funding.
”The government is going to sell off, privatise or offload all light houses declared surplus,” he said at the time. ‘The Nine Mile Point lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes and the thought of it falling into public hands does not sit well… It might be that some of the (Wind Farm) funds, $20 to $30,000 a year, could be spent by the township (Frontenac Islands) to maintain it in perpetuity as a heritage site.” (WI Historical Society president Brian MacDonald offered information regarding the new Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act at that meeting.)
At the Simcoe meeting Miedema presented a brief history of the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse, built in 1833, remote until a regular ferry to Simcoe Island began in 1964, manned until 1978 and automated that year. He spoke of the long time relationship of the Orr and Eves families to the lighthouse as keepers of the light, to its automation and the sell off of the light keepers house. Since then the property has been fenced off and gated with ‘no entry’ signs posted by the Coastguard.
Not always thus, stories were told of the old days when the lighthouse keepers welcomed the public to the site, when school children came with their teachers and were treated to the harrowing stories of ships on the Great Lakes, so much a part of Canada’s Maritime history.
Miedema went on to highlight sections of the Heritage Protection Act focusing on the possibility of a heritage designation of any federally-owned lighthouse property. However according to the act, a surplus lighthouse may only be designated as a heritage site if a municipality, a group or an individual submits a written commitment to acquire the lighthouse and protect its heritage character.
“We have two years to petition the Minister of the Environment to designate our lighthouse,” Yelda said. “What are the pro’s and con’s? Should we do it? Can we do it? How? What about forming a ‘Friends of Nine Mile Point Lighthouse’? The bigger question, as with any venture such as this became, “How do we sustain the lighthouse in the long term without money? “
A vigorous discussion about the lighthouse, its condition, value, restoring public access, residential privacy, tourism, ferry capacity, transportation, parking, were all brought forward and will require further discussion. But in the end, as a first step, everyone who was eligible to do so, was invited to sign a petition requesting the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse be designated as a ‘heritage site’.
The petition will be available in the community for further signatures. There will be further meetings.
Around Town: Visit the Wolfe Island Wind Farm, Thursday, July 22nd,5- 7 p.m. at the Operations Centre, 209 4th Line, across from the Alston Moor Golf Course ; Free Certified CPR Course & Intro to Defibrillator offered by Wolfe Island Volunteer Ambulance Service for seasonal/permanent residents (14 & older), July 24th (am & pm sessions) To register call: Perry Chesney 385-2972 or Nadine Greenwood 385-2227.

Posted by M Knott at 10:17 AM
July 15, 2010
Wolfe Island Wind Farm money again a topic for discussion by residents

“How does this present process tie in with the many priority setting meetings held in the past,” Wolfe Island resident Linda Van Hal asked of Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek. The question came at the outset of a 2nd consultative meeting with facilitator Rob Wood, of 8020Info, regarding possible uses of the WI Wind Farm ‘amenities agreement’ money. “Will we ever get back to establishing priorities for the township as a whole?” The second meeting was held to offer summer residents in particular, and those who were unable to attend the first meeting in January, an opportunity to be involved in the consultative process.
Mayor Vanden Hoek agreed that priority setting had been going on for at least 10 years noting an original list of priorities which included water for Marysville, opening Big Sandy Bay, opening the canal, a community centre. “Three quarters of that list is in play now, which is not a bad record for municipal government, and there have been at least two updates with Brian Ritchie, (OMAFRA) and supplementary work with Patrick Thomson regarding the community hall and the Community Centre board. The mayor added that all the information gathered at this time and over the years will be for the benefit of the next council. “A summary, weaving it all together so that nothing is forgotten, will be part of the report ,” he added.
Facilitator Wood added that that the materials handed out at the January meeting contained the many ideas and priorities weeded out from other meetings. “We got to all this by looking at what we have done in the past,” he said as he began a quick review of the January meeting
The list of priorities handed out at that time, was rated by participants, not as poll or survey but weighted as: not appropriate, OR: could, should, must be considered. “The materials handed out tonight list the top 18 ‘must be considered’ results. My goal with this smaller group meeting is to capture all of your comments about the use of money and any new ideas.”
He pointed out that at the first meeting residents had added ideas about leveraging the money, developing a 5 year plan, avoiding duplication of purpose, short and long term projects, costs and sustainability of projects, governance and overall management of the money. Were there new ideas expressed at this second meeting?.
For starters, Greg Caldwell talked about quick and easy projects (easy to do with a high pay off). Maureen brought forward the idea of a commercial kitchen in a multi purpose community facility. W. Knott suggested that the township consider mitigation for road damage. Keith Walton questioned why the wind farm revenue is described as a special fund. “It is just another lump of money coming into the township to be administered by council,” he said. “That’s their job,” he said. “Could there be a management sub committee regarding the extra funding to provide continuity,” Norma O’Shea asked.
Mixed governance aligned with the township, was another thought. But Walton was adamant that the use of the funds remain with the township (accountability/liability)
There is support for a scholarship fund administered by a foundation. Ken Keyes sees wisdom in a 20 year administered ‘Frontenac Islands Fund’ with the township annually designating one third of the monies received. Sustainability of projects is key he said, noting particularly planning for operating costs.
A concern that monies would be used for normal road work rather than special projects drew an intervention by Mayor Vanden Hoek. He reminded residents that until recently there was not enough tax base (revenue) coming into the municipality to pay for basic infrastructure work creating a fairly severe infra structure deficit “The amount of tax revenue that stayed on Wolfe Island last year was about $750,000 .There are 40 miles of highways and many miles of side roads. There are years ahead of us to bring the roads up to a basic standard,” he said.
Further discussion centered around cultural and heritage projects, light house protection, a vibrant village “as our only cluster” and competitive business centre of the community, supporting needs of seniors and kids, water and sewer…Wi-fi at ferry terminals.
Facilitator Wood in summary noted the new ideas, (commercial kitchen, mitigation of the road damage, light house protection, infrastructure, fleshing out ideas, council’s responsibility to manage funds, cultural /heritage initiatives and a focus on Marysville) and will present his report in the very near future. By the way the top priority continues to be for multi purpose community facility.
The long-term amenities agreement, established that Frontenac Islands will receive $7,500 per year for each of the 86 turbines, $645,000 in total with growth, for the next 20 to 40 years.
Around Town:* August is shaping up to be another busy month on Wolfe Island. Lots of events are planned.* The ferry lines continue long and hot. *Road work underway with Reeds Bay Rd. now’ tembined’. Rd. #96 still a disaster. *With roadwork nearing completion, cyclists are being reminded of the “Taste of Wolfe Island Farm Tour on Sunday Aug. 29th. * There will be an all day Taste of Wolfe Island “ Farmers Market on Sat. July 30th during the annual Family Ball Tournament. Taste of Wolfe Island is a not-for-profit community association formed to promote food grown and produced on Wolfe Island as well as culinary tourism.Regular Friday markets begin at 12:30 pm
Coming Events:Frontenac Islands Open House & Public meeting will be held to consider revisions to the Official Plan. The open house will be held at the St. Philomena Hall, Howe Island from 5-8 pm. On Thurs. July 29th. The Public meeting will be held Thurs. Aug.5th at Sacred Heart school at 6:30 pm. *Friends of Big Sandy Bay Book Sale continues every weekend in July at the WI Old Fire Hall * WI Family Ball Tournament 25th Annual Family Ball Tournament, Aug. long weekend. *Wolfe Island Music Festival Aug, 6th &7th For Info, tickets: * Scene of the Crime writers festival Sat. Aug, 14th for more information (go to Crime Writers Festival).

Posted by M Knott at 10:11 AM
July 05, 2010
Wonderful Day for Island’s 30th Annual Race Event

Wolfe Island was already teeming with activity as 439 runners and walkers began to gather for the 30th annual Wolfe Island Classic 5km-10km road race organized by the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association in conjunction with ‘The Running Room.’ Participants included runners arriving by way of Horne’s Ferry from the USA, the regularly scheduled early morning trips of the Wolfe Islander III from Kingston, as well as dedicated island runners. Registration and kit pickup for the WI Classic was done primarily by the Running Room who had experienced as well as new runners registered.
The WI Classic is the Kingston area’s oldest running race and WI’s Business and Tourism’s major fund raiser. An added highlight of the island event is the Kiddie Kilometre when little ones of every size wearing race numbers run their own race cheered on by parents and spectators. (In its 5th year, the kiddie race numbers are on the increase.)
The 5km-10km course follows a challenging route along the north Shore of Wolfe Island overlooking Kingston ending at the home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent (Acacia Gold Kennels). There, water, drinks, fruit, yogurt and muffins were available. Many of the runners took the opportunity for a swim before prize presentations. Also on hand for the first time from the Frontenac Message Therapy Clinic (island resident) Judy Gerber-van Vliet, RMT offering runners free messages.
Master of Ceremonies Ken Keyes announced the winners in each class and at the same time kept the air filled with island tidbits. Awards were presented by Linda Thomas (WIBTA president) and student employees Celina Walker and Emma Pyke.
Doug Knowles (82) a regular participant over these last thirty years ran 5km in the over 70 class. A mother daughter trio saw the island’s Donna Ivimey receive a first in the 5 km, 40-49 age class while her daughters, Audrey and Emma placed 2nd & 3rd in the 12 & under category. Theresa Kauffman from Wilmington, Delaware was the overall 10 km winner along Wolfe Island’s Charly Allan (19). In the 5km overall winner’s were Kingston runners Evin Andrin and Heather Ostic.
Congratulations to Jim Gore’s RRResults for their timely posting all results on site also available on their website.
Many Thanks for the presence of the Frontenac County Paramedic Service (called out for one runner). The race owes much of its longevity and success to the work of local volunteers who make it work.

Race Results:Overall
Men 10k
1. Charly Allan 34:31 Wolfe Island
2. Shaun Nash 35:20 Kingston
3. Alex Green 35:52 Kingston Yarker
Women 10k
1. Theresa Kauffman 44:48 Wilmington, Delaware
2. Meghan Jaacks 49:13 Watertown
3. Elaine MacKay 49:21 Ottawa.
Men 5k
1. Evin Andrin 16:22 Kingston
2. Dave Ruggles 17:03 Kingston
3. Tim Blackwell 17:18 Kingston
Women 5k
1. Heather Ostic 19:18 Kingston
2. Carla Murphy 19:57 Kingston
3. Jenny Casson 20:05 Kingston
Full results are available at: RRresults , also at www.
Around Town: * The 2nd Frontenac Islands Amenities Money Use, public consultation facilitated by Robert Wood, Sacred Heart school, Thursday July 8th, 6:30 pm. * Free Certified CPR Course & Intro to Defibrillator offered by WI Volunteer Ambulance Service for seasonal/permanent residents (14 & older), July 24th (am & pm sessions) To register call \Perry Chesney 385-2972 or Nadine Greenwood 385-2227

Posted by M Knott at 07:27 AM