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.

September 26, 2010
Frontenac Islands- both Islands have issues & problems to solve….…

A chance remark by a Howe Island resident at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council and quoted in the EMC brought Howe Island Fire Chief Mike Quinn to the September council meeting. “The rationale for being here stems from a comment made by the chair of the Old School House restoration committee that did not sit well not only with me as Fire Chief, but as a member of a committee that worked for the building of a new fire hall. The quote was something to the effect that council or someone reneged on the public’s usage of the new facility,” Chief Quinn said.
“I felt there needed to be some effort made to clear any misconception that may be out there and state for the record that it was not members of municipal council and as a member of the (fire hall) committee that that someone was not me.” Quinn then walked council through the process that brought the new Emergency Services building to fruition when former councillor Mike Garrah (also present) and the Chief formed a committee to develop and present a plan ( a dream list) for a building to council in 2004. The proposal included a community room along with a training room and offices attached to the building. That same year debate revolved around eligibility for funding and a federal-provincial funding application submission. After information gathering, many meetings, engineering assessments, consultation and estimates there was very clear direction in April 2006 to scale back submission on the size of their ‘dream’ facility to make it affordable. The committee began the process of scaling back which included removing the community room and reconfiguring the Emergency Services building plan, a plan which was approved by council is pretty much what is there now according to Quinn. Council then began the political process- expressions of interest etc.
Quinn suggested that part of the confusion may have come after a fund raising subcommittee was formed creating much community debate for and against fund raising. Information went out. “I don’t know what promises were made. What I do know is that the building went forward without a public community room as recommended by the committee and endorsed by council because truthfully we couldn’t afford it,” he said, reiterating that council did not renege on anything.
Prior to his update with regard to the activities of the Howe Island ‘Old’ Schoolhouse committee, Mr. Austin Page who was quoted about the Fire Hall, said that it had been made clear early on that to move the Fire Hall project forward, public money was required. “As a member of the fundraising committee chaired by former councillor Geoff Hobbs, I operated using the fact sheet (that included a community room). We were happy to support the fire department and the Chief. We were never told the community room was taken out. Communication needs to improve on this island,” he said.
On the subject that brought him, the Old Schoolhouse, Page said the committee has met often and has submitted a grant application for the assessment of the building to the FCFDC considered necessary before they can present a final report. The Howe Island Historical Society will incorporate as an affiliate of the Ontario Historical Society (which offers experience, information and continuity should there be some difficulty or the local association ceases to function) which requires a public meeting. They have also sent out a survey. (Councillor Norris expressed some reservation with non residents receiving it.) Page will make a further report at the October meeting of council on Howe Island.
MUSIC FEST 2010: Wolfe Island resident Rick Lindgren, accompanied by his wife Laura Lee, made a presentation concerning the lack of policing during the annual Wolfe Island Music Fest. Council had in their agenda package a letter from Lindgren outlining the unacceptable off site behaviour of some visitors to the island.
“We want you to know we are not opposed to the festival, have always supported it and want it to continue but on a safe basis,” he said. “Nor should anything we say be considered a criticism of the organizers of the event who work hard for its success.”
“But we are offended by some of the unlawful activity that happens on private, public and municipal property,” he said, citing binge drinking and driving, drunkenness, vomiting, urinating, belligerence, noise, trespass, etc. He noted that the OPP were not officially present nor did they come although they received a number of requests on the night of the event. Lindgren recommended visible OPP presence at next year’s festival, particularly in Marysville’s residential streets during the critical mid afternoon period on, with costs charged to the event organizers. After discussion and some further input by Community Centre Board chair Paul Hogan, council concluded that the 2011 Music Fest will have OPP presence on the Island during the Saturday event. A meeting will be held with CCB, the event organizers, and neighbourhood representative Rick Lindgren, to work out details including policing costs. As Lindgren said, “It’s time for action.”
WI’s Outdoor Rink: One issue not resolved with CCB chair Paul Hogan, at the special meeting (where the budget was amended to include a $253,000 allocation of funds for a refrigeration plant plus its housing) was the question of township support for a fund raising drive for the arena. A discussion revolved around need for project management (not included in budget amendment, contract signing, extra costs,) and the CCB’s wish to begin a fund raising drive. They will prepare a draft letter of support for discussion at October’s meeting.
In further business:* Council has no objections to lighting improvements/traffic monitoring cameras at the Dawson Point dock. *Approved a payment voucher exceeding $1 million. *Accepted Friendship and Brunsting Roofing $13,574.00 quote to replace the WI Library roof (amount exceeds budget allocation). * Approved name change at the entrance to Goodfriend Drive from the west end of Howe Island’s Base Line Road to Goodfriend Drive West as requested by T. Taugher. * Building Inspector Ernest Tkachuk, hourly rate was amended to $ 50.00. *Allen Street closure to be on January agenda. Council meets next Mon. Oct.11th, Howe Island-6:30 pm
Around Town: Municipal elections Mon. October 25th. Please take note: An Advance Poll will be held for Frontenac Islands, Sat. Oct. 16th 10 am- 6pm * WI Community Euchre, Thursdays 7 pm, United Church Hall. Everyone welcome. *Massage Therapy, WI Medical Clinic. For information: 613-770-1803


Posted by M Knott at 09:01 AM
September 18, 2010
Frontenac Islands says Yes to One Big Decision !

The Township of Frontenac Islands will go ahead with the refrigeration plant and required building for the NHL sized rink on Wolfe Island. Council made the decision at a special meeting held just days before it became a ‘lame duck council’. They will meet the required $438,000 dollar figure to proceed with the refrigeration. Council however, did NOT move forward on the bigger requests made by the (CCB) Community Centre Board’s Paul Hogan made at their August meeting with regard to a Queens business plan for a large community complex, council support to actively fund raise and additional Wind Farm monies.

“I did however make a commitment to Paul and the CCB,,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said, “that if they could put together the numbers from all the work they have done, and the quotes for the chiller and the refrigeration, before we became ‘Lame Duck”, I would call a special meeting. The Township has been committed to the rink’s development, studies, refrigeration etc. and thus far has already committed many dollars for it,” the mayor added.

“The CCB has quotes from Coral Canada Wide and CIMCO Refrigeration for the refrigeration, one including a building quote as well,” Hogan said. “We have further quotes for a 20’ by 40’ building to hold the plant and other equipment…,if we move ahead on this we could have ice before Christmas. The CCB has $ 180, 000 in donations for the rink project, none of it collected through a fund raising campaign and people are anxious to see it go ahead. Many of the donors would like to see the rink roofed as well,” he added.
What followed then, was a very serious financial discussion by council and staff with regard to funding the project, ( grants, gst, pst refunds, taxes, different funds including the wind tower monies and other township funding sources, as well as the CCB’s $180,000) Council had already projected $50,000 in their 2010 budget, and this meeting adjusted the budget for the balance. Following a 5 minute break from the intense discussion, Councillor Norris reminded council of their coming Lame Duck position asking that they focus on what they could do to make up the $483,000.

And they did. It works out this way: CCB Funds-$180,000 +$50,000 budget allocation + $225,000 allocation from the Wind Power reserves + $28,000 from the Community Enhancement reserve = $483,000 confirmed by a bylaw to amend the 2010 Budget. With refrigeration in place the rink would be estimated as a $1.7 million community asset. (Thompson report).
Hogan expressed his pleasure with the outcome of the meeting while the Mayor was satisfied with the process thus far, noting that there is further study ahead for council regarding the CCB project. For Further information contact CAO Terry O’Shea.

Around Town: Frontenac Islands election candidates: For Mayor-Jim Vanden Hoek, Denis Doyle. For Council Ward 1 Wayne Grant, Peggy Smith, Barbara Springgay. Ward 2- Pat Norris, Mat Fiene, David Jones. * Plans are underway to hold a seasonal flu clinic for everyone this fall at the WI Community Medical Clinic. More information to follow. * Please note Horne’s Ferry to the US operates until Oct. 24th .*WI Photo Contest Submit photos until Oct.11th (Fargo’s Info Centre.)

Posted by M Knott at 07:48 PM
September 08, 2010
Busy Summer on Wolfe Island…. A Review!

In the midst of the heat and extreme humidity it was hard for me to get my head around the fact that Labour Day is upon us and summer for most families ends, as the children return to school and a new year, that will include a busy round of extra curricular activities, begins. As summer ends on Wolfe Island a number of things come to an end as well.
The walking tours to visit the island, and specifically the wind towers, have ended. The Stone Heron Art Gallery has closed its doors for the season. Summer jobs have come to an end and most university and college students are on their way. Cottagers are making plans to take their leave. Horne’s ferry shuts down at the end of September. And we are left to contemplate, ‘what a summer it has been’ on Wolfe Island.

Speaking of students, the young men and women hired by MTO to keep the ferry lines in Kingston and Wolfe Island moving have been remarkable. They have had their work cut out for them, walking up and down the line up, filling in gaps before others could sneak in, keeping their cool in the midst of some mighty angry people and enduring the heat as well as carrying out other duties on the mainland. To them we extend our thanks and good wishes. To MTO, thank you. Summer traffic would be impossible without them.

So what has been happening … The traffic keeps coming, service vehicles, cement trucks, water trucks, construction, etc., etc. (Makes you wonder how many houses are going up on the island and how many more cars that will mean for the ferry in the future.) B&B’s are fully booked.
Bus tours, motorcyclists, cyclists and more cyclists are coming our way now that WI roads on are usable. Visitors by the hundreds just keep coming , walking on to enjoy the free ferry ride, enjoy lunch , buy a pastry , have ice cream, rest on a bench, a roadside park, to visit the gallery, the museum , the Corn Maze now at its best, and to look at the towers…. People from every where come on the Wolfe Islander and by way of Horne’s Ferry.
Kids have moved from swimming off the island ferry dock to the public dock in Marysville where sailing lessons were held for a second year. White’s wagons and wedding carriages have been in use locally and Kingston as an tourist asset . (And what a difference the extra Public washrooms have made. We could use more. )
The Wolfe Islander III celebrated a birthday. The annual Scene of the Crime Festival was a success. The Island Grill hosted an exciting array of musicians. Their outdoor patio offering an extra treat. “Summer” Store has been busy. The Wolfie 2 draws a crowd as does the General Wolfe Hotel. The ‘Shanti Yoga Retreat’ relocated from Prince Edward County to Wolfe Island at Brown’s Bay, a wonderful new business with a vegetarian menu that includes Taste of Wolfe Island produce. Taste of WI fruits, vegetables, meats and condiments are featured at island stores/ restaurants and in Kingston while numbers are up at their Friday Market Day.

Historical Society AGM: The WI Historical Society held its AGM with a full house in attendance to hear island resident John Posthumus. John who learned to spin during the war continues to use that skill and had his spinning wheel with him. Board member Grant Pyke, in introducing Posthumus, named most of the Dutch families who settled on WI citing their presence and skills as important to the growth and prosperity of the island.
Posthumus had trouble speaking about his experiences as a Dutch immigrant to Canada after the Second World War, as people were anxious to hear about his time in the underground during the war BEFORE he came to Canada. And he obliged, but quickly returned to his script and the topic at hand , his coming to Canada and his eventual arrival on Wolfe Island among the first wave of Dutch immigrants.
He spoke of the hardship, the lack of money, working in northern Ontario and the variety of jobs he had before settling on the island. By 1958 his brother and two sisters and their families had also become islanders. John was nominated for induction into Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2009 an honour he treasures.

Farm Tours: Taste of Wolfe Island , a community association formed to promote food locally grown, produced , consumed and culinary tourism recently held farm tours. “We worried people might want more of a show,” said Alexandra Ireland of Okee's Farm (Jan Broeders). “But we had over 100 people at our place who just wanted to experience the farm, see what we were doing and how and make the connection between their food and its origin,” she said. “Especially our regular customers.” The Tour included: Pykeview Meadows (Jason & Christina Pyke), Sugar Woods Farm (Hendry Connell),Van Wagner Farm CSA & Market Garden (Zach & Heather Van Wagner),White Lane Farm (Rob & Erin White), Windkeeper Community Farm (Katherine Rothermel), Wolfe Island Bakery, de Ruiter Farms Black Angus Beef (Case & Trudy de Ruiter), Henderson Farms (Robert Henderson), Margaret Pyke- Dahlia tubers.
Their products include seasonal fruit and (organic) produce, bison meat, grass- and corn-fed beef, gourmet preserves, pastured poultry, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, flowers, growing cold climate wine grape varieties, and more… “Taste of Wolfe Island wanted people to see how their food is produced and to go home feeling positive about their choice to support small local farms,” said Ireland, president of the Taste of WI association.

So what’s next :*Fox Trial Sept. 10,11, 12th & Bench Show WI Fire Hall, Sept. 9th.
For Info: Erin Brown 1-613-284-0177 Wolfe Island Ploughing Match, Sept. 11th at the Pothumus’ Farm on Reed’s Bay Rd, * Apple Festival, Early Years Centre Fundraiser! Sunday, Sept. 12th 11am to….at Horne’s Orchard on Hwy 95, Family Admission by Donation $5 minimum *Free Trial Yoga Class at Shanti Retreat, Brown’s Bay Sept. 13 6-730 pm. Seniors' Day at Big Sandy Bay Wed. Sept. 15th 10-12 pm. Golf carts available to take you in. contact Linda 613-385-2463 . * Submit Photo Contest pictures until Oct.11th-Fargo’s or Info Centre. Awards Nov. 21st. For events
Important Reminder: Elections Last date to file or to withdraw papers. Sept. 10th by 2pm (not 5pm)

Posted by M Knott at 07:42 PM