by Margaret Knott
Recent Entries
Monthly Archives
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003

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

September 30, 2011
New Energy Alive and Well on Wolfe Island

The Wolfe Island wind towers provided a perfect backdrop for Celebrate New Energy on Wolfe Island, offered as a first by (NEP) the New Energy Project. NEP, the initiative of local government- and institutions in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is all about sustainability and offering opportunities to showcase the many new energy opportunities and resources that are available in the region.

“I received a lot of support on Wolfe Island and from Kingston in organizing this (all ages) event,” said NEP project manager Ruth Noordegraaf. ” So many people were more than willing to help and to participate, and I am delighted to see green energy business, green energy kids activities, arts, music come together here today,” she said. “My mandate as the new energy project manager was first of all to know what is going on in the area and in the city, and secondly to see what challenges they have, and how they want to develop in the region. I know all the people who are here. While not a huge event I believe it offers a showcase of new energy initiatives and happenings and is in keeping with NEP's goal to combine economic development information with community awareness.

John Gerretsen, running for re-election for the Liberal Party, and Robert Kiley, a first time candidate running for the Green Party attended the event. Accompanied by Frontenac Island's Mayor Denis Doyle, they visited every area on the site and were enthusiastic in their observations. Gerretsen also took a turn at flying a Trans Alta kite- successfully. Later they joined project manager Ruth Noordegraaf who invited them to cut the cakes celebrating the occasion.

While the weather did not fully cooperate, none the less people came to visit the many different sites providing information and insight into their energy initiatives, technologies and products set up at Wolfe Island's Community Centre grounds in Marysville.

Trans Alta was there offering information about wind power as well as kites for kids ( and adults too) as was OSTAR and SWITCH, Rietzel Brothers Insulation, retro fit products, Tackaberry, CEMENT 2020, New Leaf Homes-Cansolair Solar Heating, Cycle Kingston, VieSSman, Village Water, L&M Solar, among others. There were books and literature on the subject of sustainability and all that entails, as well as children's art activities and music offered by Chris Morris and Justin Bird. And last, but not least, Metal Craft Marine had two “green” boats on display in the water at the Village dock, a 'Kingston 23 Electric Hybrid' and an ” Atkin's Dory Biodiesel', converted to run on vegetable oil.

“This project, Celebrate New Energy, will certainly build on the region's identity as a sustainable and focused green energy community,” NEP chair Anne-Marie Young, commented at the end of the day. Young is Frontenac County's Manager of Economic Development. For more information:

Posted by M Knott at 07:41 AM
September 29, 2011
55th Annual Plowing Match held on Wolfe Island

It was a perfect day for the 55th annual WI Plowing Match held on Wolfe Island. Light winds, sunshine, and soft, moist earth to turn. The Plowing match held this year at the Henry Posthumus-Janine Handforth Morningsight Farms provided great lands for the more than 40 participants, men and women, many arriving off the early morning ferry to show off their skills whether with horses and antique tractors or with more modern equipment. The judges Ross MacGillivray from Dalkeith and Robert Timbers, Uxbridge were ready and eager to begin.

The good weather and blue skies brought out many visitors throughout the day, some to re-acquaint with friends, others keenly interested in the art of turning the furrow and still others interested in seeing the agricultural displays (antique combine etc.) and other exhibits, having a bite to eat and enjoying the warmth of the sun and the beginnings of the changing colours of fall under the wind towers located in the distant fields. Unfortunately, university commitments prevented Lenay Repath W.I. Queen of the Furrow from attending.

W.I's Denis Mosier, an experienced ploughman (national & international judge), was there with his four grandsons Hunter, Cowl, Reed & Orrie Chown with only three competing in this year match. Hunter will also be competing in the International Ploughing match .

” There is a great ploughing history on Wolfe Island, said Everet Hogan long time member of the Wolfe Island Plowmen's Association. “At one time the ploughing match gave farmers an opportunity to show their skills handling their horses and a walking ploughs Now there are many other classes and judges look at depth and consistency of the furrows and straight lines.” A number of new farmers tried their hand at competitive ploughing.

Many participants settled down right where they were in the fields to enjoy lunch provided by KFC (Nat, Kate & Paul Lollar). Tri Heat provided fuel for participants. Twenty-five businesses and individuals sponsored the event. Trophies were donated by businesses, industries & the W.I. Plowmen's Association. Trophies and awards were presented at the end of the day. Unfortunately due to heavy ferry traffic, visiting plough people attempting to get home with their horses and equipment experienced a very long wait.

The Wolfe Island Plowmen's Association was formed in 1956. (Competitions have been held since 1947.) The Association's president is Jason Pyke, ( Secretary: Wilma Sjonger.

Terry Linton, 2. Marwin Antoine, 3. David Gamble

1.Terry Phillips, 2. Elswood Gamble, 3. Kim Hadwen,

(under 14) Hunter Chown,

CLASS 3 - TRACTOR - (under 18)
Jeremy Posthumus, 2. Derek Posthumus

1. Dick Posthumus

1.Ron Stinson, 2. Jeff Dowall, 3. Allan Carkner, 4. George Burns

1.Garry Posthumus,2. Dan Berry, 3.Tom Berry, 4. Henry Posthumus

1.Dave Woodman, 2. Dwayne Woodman, 3.Jack Pyke,

1. Joyce Buckley,

Peter Myers, Craig Hulton, Ben Greenwood,,Jim Hulton, Marvin Dillon,
Ken Carkner, Russell Jones, Robert Dobma, Jack Hutchings, Jack Posthumus.

1.Orie Chown, 2. Reed Chown

Posted by M Knott at 07:23 AM
September 21, 2011
Metal Craft Marine Inc. expands into Cape Vincent, NY

What an exciting day it was in Cape Vincent, NY, where Metal Craft Marine recently signed a 5-year lease with Anchor Marina, owned by Ron Trottier, to set up shop in one of two very large buildings located at the marina site. Metal Craft Marine US Inc. currently has facilities in Clayton, some 15 miles (25 kms) east, that they have outgrown. “We were looking for a larger & more suitable location in the Clayton area but didn't have any luck. We could not find suitable space on the water to launch our larger boats such as the Fire Storm 70 so here we are today, announcing our move from Clayton to Cape Vincent,” said Tom Wroe, President and co-owner of Metal Craft Marine Inc., as he met me coming off Horne's ferry from Wolfe Island and through US customs to hear the announcement.

The open house event held inside the new facility, decorated with a Metal Craft Marine US Inc banner and Canadian and United States flags, was sponsored by the Cape Vincent Local Development Corporation and was attended by a formidable list of local and state officials. This included Metal Craft representatives and about 200 local residents, who see the arrival of Metal Craft Marine as a tremendous asset to their community, i.e. a new beginning.

Dignitaries welcoming Metal Craft into the Community included: New York State Senator Patty Ritchie, State Assembly Woman Addie J. Russell, and Jefferson County Legislator Michael E. Docteur. Local representatives included Glen Kennedy, Cape Vincent Local Development Corporation, Donald Alexander CEO Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, Cape Vincent Mayor Tim Maloney, Town Supervisor Urban Hirschey, and Ron Trottier owner of Anchor Marina, all who in one way or another, are responsible for bringing Metal Craft Marine to Cape Vincent. “An historic moment that could spark all kinds of industry along the river, create jobs, draw people” was the common consensus, Also in attendance was Steve Haul, District Director for US Congressman Owens and Sue Merrill, North Country Director representing US Senator Gillibrand.

Tom Wroe, commenting on the growth of Metal Craft to the US, spoke of the constraints of the Jones Act which says that any vessel that trades in American waters, must be built, owned and crewed by Americans. “I am a boat builder and we are going to build boats here,” Wroe said. General Manager Michael Allen spoke of his pleasure at being part of Metal Craft, its strengths and innovation, while Bob Clark, Contracts Manager. noted that “every year during the recession Metal Craft sales went up, and with continuous improvement every boat that goes out of the shop is better than the last. Every person at Metal Craft never stops every single day to make our company better,” he said.

On a short tour of the Anchor Marina, prior to the announcement, Wroe pointed out the merits of the Anchor Marina location and the buildings “It has a deep water harbour, lots of space, lots of parking and a second very high building that we also hope to lease at a later date,” he said, noting that with the two buildings it would be a 15000 square foot facility. “But we will start with one. Right now we have a pair of 36 footers and a 24 ft. boat as well as a big order for Firestorm 70's (high speed aluminum fireboats) on the horizon,” he said. Once the building renovation is complete, Metal Craft expects to double the present US staff, hiring locally. “There were no grants to bring us here. It just all fits into our expansion plan, and Ron Trottier understood what we are trying to do “, Tom said, noting some of the new contracts include even larger/longer boats. “We expect to train and increase our staff here, and hire aluminum welders and other tradesmen.”

State Assembly Woman Addie J. Russell, who was watching one of the Metal Craft fire boats pull in from Kingston, commented that, “Kingston, Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent have a shared heritage of boating and of water. The guys on this side know how to build boats and the guys on that side know how to build boats because they all came from the same ancestry. It is such a high level of skill.” Russell has visited Metal Craft Kingston which presently has 87 employees.

At the same time, the short notice in the local paper announcing the expansion of Metal Craft Marine into Cape Vincent brought many people to the site, or maybe it was the very distinctive Metal Craft boats they saw and heard coming into Anchor Marina.

Made aware of the event, Kingston's Mayor Mark Gerretsen commented that Metal Craft Marine is a company that has experienced a lot of growth in Kingston and is dealing with customers world wide. “We are so fortunate to have them right here on our waterfront in the downtown. To understand that Metal Craft found it in their best interest to also set up a stone's throw away from where they are located on the Canadian side on the American side is great for the company and is great for Kingston,” the Mayor said . ” We exist so close together we will have to overcome challenges, if they exist, but it is not the first time that a company has set up on the other side of the border and, I am sure, that Metal Craft has deemed whatever the challenges, they will not hinder their opportunity to continue their good business practices on the other side of the border and bring them more competitive opportunities. I think the whole idea of this is fabulous,” Mayor Gerrestsen concluded.

MetalCraft Marine Corporation was formed in 1987, acquiring the Kingston Marina in 1996. It has locations in Clayton, NY, now also in Cape Vincent (Metal Craft Marine U.S. Inc..) and operates a Research and Development arm of Metal Craft Marine on Wolfe Island.

Posted by M Knott at 07:11 AM
September 20, 2011
What's next for Wolfe Island - If access improves?

What's next for Wolfe Island - If access improves?
It has been quite a summer on Wolfe Island filled with any number of events, activities and opportunities for businesses, islanders and visitors. Tourism is up with interest developing in new sectors. Marysville seems to have the best ice cream and a bakery that draws a crowd. Cyclists came in droves most respecting the island roads. (Others, unfortunately, with little regard for traffic.) Kingston views it as a tourist destination with a free ferry, golf courses, Big Sandy Bay etc. Construction is up. The Metal Craft Marine Research & Development Centre is operating full steam at its secondary shop at the Old Kraft plant. Now, as we move into fall, Metal Craft and Trans Alta's wind towers continue to draw interest in broadening the island's green sector initiatives ……. farming, food production, solar panels, bio gas, conservation, etc. as well as green sector activities…walking tours, park and ride, cycling, sailing, rowing, paddling, farm visits, the ploughing match, Pumpkin Fest, special days at BIG Sandy Bay and the Corn Maze, as well as the ” Celebrate New Energy Event” coming up Sept. 24th organized through the New Energy project. ( The New Energy Project is an initiative spearheaded by the local governments in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Area, St. Lawrence College, Queen's University and Private Companies. The project goal is to market and position Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington as the New Energy Region.) And on the island, you can see it happening.

After such a busy summer one would think the island activities would come to a halt…..Far from it. One only has to check the WIBTA web site to dispel that notion, ( Even Horne's ferry to Cape Vincent continues operational 'till late October.

If there downside to any of this, it is of course transportation to our isolated island community, which has been extremely busy with long wait times, and continues so particularly at peak periods. (Kingston seems so close but is very far away if you can't get on the ferry the island's only public mode of transportation.) None the less, visitors, whether walking, cycling or driving continue to come much to the delight of island businesses.

While islanders may find it very trying, perhaps they also experiencing a feeling of optimism in the wake of the coming election, that the URS Canada & MTO's Transportation Plan for a dual ferry system to Wolfe Island is available for a 30 day public review in a number of island and Kingston locations (library, municipal buildings and on line at

The transportation study plan recommends a new, more efficient (75 car) vessel between Barrack Street and Dawson Point (winter dock) year-round, and the Wolfe Islander III between Barrack Street and Marysville moving to Dawson Point through the winter. The plan also considers Travel Demand Management measures such as priority boarding for HOV/green vehicles, implementing a toll regime, dock improvements etc., and recommends a fixed link (bridge) feasibility study in the future. All good news, with some improvements already underway.

And speaking of MTO, a special thank-you is extended for once again employing a wonderful team of students for the summer. They helped make the ferry wait times not only bearable, but honest through the summer months. Honest by keeping the line tight, moving cars forward and always on the watch, as they rode their bikes or walked up and down to see that no car 'snuck' in and informing the Captain if someone did. No matter the weather, hot, wet or breezy, they were approachable, courteous, friendly and cheerful even if some people waiting in line were not friendly and often times angry at “not getting on.” So, to Melissa Lacompte (French /Math) at Laurentian University, Pamela Chesney (History/Sociology) Queens, Ethan Sorenson (Geography) Guelph U, Camille Prior (QECVI) Focus Program, Creative Arts, and Peter Johnson, (Environmental Studies) at Trent, thank you and good luck in your studies. We look forward to your return next spring.

Around Town: In September 2010, Frontenac Islands Council said yes to one big decision agreeing to go ahead with the refrigeration plant, and its required building, for the NHL sized rink on Wolfe Island. The rink was also supported in large measure by the township along with a large donation. It has been a long wait but the refrigeration plant has now arrived and is in its building, and the Hydro lines are also in place. While some rink board changes may be required to accommodate the location of the large blue plant, and the Zamboni, it looks like there will indeed be artificial ICE this winter. Frontenac County engineer, and project manager, Patrick Thompson was on hand during the installation. This year, perhaps, hockey enthusiastic Wolfe Island (note Hockeyville WI) will finally have the ice they need to play the game they love, all winter, and to accommodate others who might want to do the same….

2. The 2nd annual Howe Island Terry Fox Run is planned for Sunday September 18th. This year the island hopes to once again increase both participation and funds raised. For more information, call 613.542.1905.

3. Waldo, a metal crafted figure that identified Waldo's Way, a road on Wolfe Island, disappeared recently. A reward for “finding Waldo” went unheeded. Not to be daunted, using a 'cherry picker', a new replica of WALDO, (or perhaps his twin brother) has been mounted very high up on the road side post. Thanks Mike.

4. The Stone Heron Gallery has closed for the season. Many thanks to Pat Sanford for efforts in providing a place for artisans to show their works.

5. Great new yellow lines on our major roads, The better to see you with…..

6. Wolfe Island's Golf courses Alston Moor and Riverfront are featured in a TV golf series Highways to Fairways .The WI episode airs September17 & 18 on Shaw Direct and Bell ExpressVu . For more information : There is lots happening.

Posted by M Knott at 09:09 PM
September 01, 2011
Frontenac Islands council acknowledges long time Howe Island politician

Frontenac Islands Councillor , Howe Island politician, Patrick Norris was recognized for his many years of service to Howe Island at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands Council. Deputy Mayor Jones in thanking council for their support of the Howe Island's 1st Proclamation Day event in July, brought to their attention that Councillor Norris was the recipient of the 1st Proclamation Day Award and called for council members “Hear,Hear” and a cheer. Norris, a lifetime resident of Howe Island has served the island, Frontenac County and now Frontenac Islands in one capacity or another for over 40 bringing wisdom and experience to the task. At the close of the meeting it was further decided by resolution that the Howe Island Ball Park located on Howe Island Drive be renamed the “Patrick Norris Community Park”.

In new business: 1. Ruth Noordegraaf, Project Manager of the New Energy Project , made a presentation to Council concerning a proposal for a Wolfe Island New Energy Festival, to highlight green energy, an initiative of Frontenac Islands and Kingston represented by KEDCO to market this area as New Energy.(wind, solar, biomass, sustainability, local food, community gardens etc.), “a broad spectrum.” In addressing council she said that private companies, local governments and institutions in Kingston and region have joined forces, as described in her handout, to showcase and to coordinate renewable energy resources and economic opportunities in the New Energy Project. She was in touch with Mayor Doyle to talk about the organization of the day's events on Wolfe Island tentatively scheduled to be held at the WI Community Centre grounds Sept. 24th (dedicated as a Green Energy Field Day). Noordegraaf was seeking ideas and support . She thinks it is doable but would only go ahead if there are people to put the plan in place although she will take the lead. For information contact email:

2. Frontenac County CAO Elizabeth Savill, and Peter Young, Frontenac County Community Planner, made a presentation to provide planning services for the Township of Frontenac Islands. Savill reminded council that County Council wondered if county staff could provide planning services to the townships. “We are able to do it,” she said, “The service would be for our common constituent for whom we can be very responsive. We have a very good track record with face to face reponses to questions. ” (The County's Joe Galivan brought the concept forward in July and had been invited back.) “However he is away,” she said. Along with the Frontenac County Planning proposal contained in the council package of information, there was a letter and outline of the services provided by the present Township Planner, GlennTunnock ,Tunnock Consulting Ltd.

Council members seemed to favour the County proposal and noted delays in the Tunnock Consulting Frontenac Islands Official Plan (2008) review. CAO Terry O'Shea advised council to hold off making a decision for future planning services. “The other municipalities have been invited to do this to. (study the County proposal),” he said. Maybe we should discuss it with them. “I think we are really rushing it to get it done b y Sept. 1. Our procurement bylaw probably says we should get another proposal. Either we go with the by law or not. Maybe October 1st would give us time to look at what other townships are going to do.” It was concluded that some outstanding work with Tunnock would be concluded and the Frontenac County Planning proposal would be considered at the September meeting.

3. Howe Island's Austin Page, Chairman of the Howe Island Schoolhouse Committee, presented a Building Condition Survey and Rehabilitation Proposal for S.S. # 1 St. Mary's or North Side School as prepared by Thompson Construction Management Services. The big question now, according to Page, is determine if the building is of heritage/historical significance. Council authorized the committee to request the Trillium Foundation to transfer already approved funding for an EA review and/or historical value survey and present the study to Frontenac County.

AECOM's Guy Laporte and Darrell Niles (Septic Solutions) made a presentation to Council concerning a proposed commercial sewage disposal system on Wolfe Island. Niles indicated that he is looking at a Bio Filter, a fairly new type for a permanent year round working lined lagoon. Laporte indicated he was working with Darrell “This is a unique situation,” he said. “The island village is dependant upon Darrell. ” Kingston is putting up costs of taking sewerage, 3 & I/2 hours of wait costs, and at least 143 holding tanks. There is a need to do a feasibility study, find land with buffer zone, go to funding authority or bank. Niles is looking for rezoning , for property and consideration from the township for this project.

Councillors' concerns: A tax adjustment for a resident brought up the question of a Trailer By Law, by Councillor Springgay. Its time to look at it again. There are concerns by residents. “How long can a trailer sit on a property before you build,” she said. Also wonders about permit for ice cream cart, and garbage not collected in village during weekend events.
Dep.Mayor Jones had concerns about an oversupply of gravel on Howe Island and complaints of dust on roads seeping into houses.
Councillor Grant's concern is was about very bad drainage on Lawrence Street in Marysville, “Time to fix it,” he said.
And Mayor Doyle has concerns about speeding in the village. Sees a need to lower speed limit.
Frontenac Islands meet next Sept. 12, 2011 on Wolfe Island at 6:30 pm.

Around Town : Welcome to the Wolfe Island Corn Maze Open August through October. A wonderful place to explore.
(Reservations are required for flashlight nights and large group bookings.)
For more information: Please call 613-385-1998 or Email at:
Web Site:

Posted by M Knott at 03:29 PM