With the sudden appearance of winter Simcoe Islanders must be wondering how soon they will be stranded on one side or the other of the Boat Channel either because of low water levels causing ferry ramp problems, or the weather. They wonder if and when it happens when will the ice be thick enough to walk across or use to other means to get back and forth; will Don Eves will be able to plow and keep the roads open to the dock or will the weather ease up and the ferry stay in service all winter?
Much of this was brought to the attention of Frontenac Islands council at their November meeting when Simcoe’s Don Eves outlined last year’s winter difficulties in fulfilling his snow plowing contract due to the ice, snow, heavy drifting, size of the roads and the resulting equipment difficulties he encountered.
Eves said that a larger blower and tractor are needed but if he was to purchase something bigger he would require a long term contract commitment from the township.
Mayor Doyle agreed. “Maybe the township should get a larger tractor with blower/plough ( for use during t winter contract with Eves and grass cutter for township use on Simcoe in the summer,” he suggested. After some discussion township staff was directed to provide a costing for an 80-100 hp. tractor and a double auger eight foot wide snow blower. They will search out auctions etc, for used equipment
It was noted that the provisions of ‘ice eaters’ might keep the ferry open through the winter. With regard to ramp difficulties the township will seek the advice of MTO before undertaking the work that needs to be done.
2. MTO to Assures Howe Islanders a Better than Ever Bubble System
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has announced that the bubble system for The Frontenac-Howe Islander ferry is being fully tested Wed. Nov 26 from 830 am to 930 am. During the testing period MTO will have staff available to answer any questions interested residents and the public may have about the system. The fifteen-car ferry operates on demand, 24 hours a day, from the mainland to Howe Island including the winter months. Difficulties that arose with the ferry throughout last winter with a non functioning bubble system and a bad winter resulted in ferry trip cancellations, long line ups, frustrated and angry residents, concerned not only about transportation issues but the effect transportation issues might have on property values.
“While we had an issue in January 2014,” Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said, “MTO, the Township, the Province and the Frontenac County Ferry Operations group have worked diligently to restore the bubbler system to better than new. It is important to spread the word that last winter’s issues with the bubbler system are behind us and MTO’s very public testing of the system on the 26th should restore confidence in the system’s reliability.”
Scott Marshall Past President of Spithead Association acknowledged the importance of the bubbler system testing on Nov. 26th as positive news as well. “It is one way a way for residents to know the system is fixed and working.We can expect normalferry service this winter. If anyone can be at the bubbler testing on the 26th, that would show our
satisfaction the system is fixed,” he said. The date: Nov. 26th, the time:8:30-9:30 am, Frontenac Howe Islander Ferry dock.(Howe Island)
3. Grow your Forest Workshop on Wolfe Island
Join Trees Ontario and its partners at a free landowner ‘grow your own forest’ workshop on December 10 on Wolfe Island The workshop will offer advice on forest management, tree planting subsidies – including the 50 Million Tree Program - and other financial incentives for establishing and managing a forest. All that’s required is idle land and trees to plant.
Tim Gray will lead the workshops. Tim Gray who has spent many years with the Ministry of Natural Resources providing forest management and tree planting advice to landowners will lead the workshop. He is currently a Trees
Ontario Field Advisor.
According to the information, Trees Ontario administers the Ontario government’s 50 Million Tree Program by 2025 designed to significantly reduce the costs to landowners of large-scale tree planting; in most cases, 75 percent (or more) of the costs will be borne by the program. Landowners with a productive area of one hectare or larger may be eligible. Wolfe Island has many trees planted on vacant land under this program and others. This workshop offers an opportunity for more.
Local program agents will be there. The workshop is on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 (7:00 to 9:00 pm) at the Wolfe Island United Church. Pre-registration is encouraged; please visit www.treesontario.ca/landownerworkshops. For more information, contact Shelley McKay, Trees Ontario at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-646-1193, ext. 232.
Around Town: **Lights are up and working at the WI Community Rink. Watch for the rink’s official opening, rink schedule and bookings ,Winter programming will start in the new year. Hockey sign up sheets in stores mid December. Make sure to sign up.*** The WI United Church will hold their Christmas Pageant . Watch for date…
Coming events: ** Lunch Bunch -11:30 am WI United Church Hall **Wellness Clinic Dec. 5th at WI Medical Clinic; **Christmas Fair, Marysville Public School , Dec. 6th. 11am-3pm.. ** WI Christmas Parade from Fire Hall, 1pm Dec. 6th ; ***Advent Lessons & Carols Dec. 12th Sacred Heart Church 7:30 pm, . *** “Trees Ontario” workshop. Dec. 10th 7 pm, WI United **Check www. wolfeisland.com
Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor David Jones publicly offered a series of unusual apologies to constituents, particularly Howe Islanders whom he represents, and to fellow members of council at the end of their November meeting. Jones is noted for his aggressive and outspoken approach to dealing with issues and demanding answers.
At the outset of his presentation it was obvious council members were taken aback but said nothing as Jones concluded his apologies and said, he would not to return to Council for his next term.
He referenced many areas in his apologies, local Howe Island issues, Frontenac County services (council-ferry- paramedic) as well as things personal.
The recent municipal election and all that surrounded it, including the all candidates meeting, campaigning in the community, specific references to the Frontenac County Paramedic Services, and including certain accusations that he said were made against him personally, apparently brought him to this moment where he was driven to sarcasm in his rhetoric.. The Howe Island election voting results found him in a second place finish for council resulting in his loss of the position as Deputy Mayor of Frontenac Islands as well as a place at the Frontenac County Council table with Mayor Denis Doyle for the next term.
As a member of council Jones was a force for improved financial management and information, up grading staffing levels and a focus on Federal Gas Tax monies as well as a on ferry services to Howe Island.
Members of council were quiet as Deputy Mayor Jones shook hands around the table before he rushed off to catch the ferry as the meeting ended. What was there to say to someone who is angry with a situation, and has made up his mind to step away. Perhaps a simple Thank You for your service was all that could be said.
Remembrance Day on Wolfe Island
by Margaret Knott
Heritage- This years’ Remembrance Day Observance on Wolfe Island saw an ever increasing number of residents, friends and visitors in attendance amid the sea of brilliant red uniforms worn by a large contingent of young men and women from Kingston’s Royal Military College who come annually to participate with us.
The formal Wolfe Island observance of Remembrance Day on Wolfe Island began in 1994 when a plaque proposed by resident (then Deputy Reeve) John O’Shea to recognize Islanders who had served Canada in the military was put in place by the Township. Every year since then a Remembrance Day Service has been held, in front of the Wolfe Island Town Hall, this year organized once again by Pat Sanford.
The quiet crowd including the Marysville Public and Sacred Heart school children along with the little ones from the Early Years program were welcomed by Ken Keyes followed by ‘In Flanders Fields’ by OCdt. Lauren Van Veen. offered a prayer Rev. Gerry Moore (Trinity Anglican) offered a prayer. Walter Knott ( Sacred Heart) read from the Book of Wisdom. The Reflection was offered by Rev. Mike Bohler (WI United).
Island residents Hugh Cowan and Ed Kirk presented the list of known islanders who lost their lives and those who had served Canada and our allies during war, Peace Keeping and peacemaking missions, many of whom were present wearing their decorations. The Act of Remembrance was offered by Lt. Col. (Retd) Billy Allan. Poems and readings were presented on this occasion by students Brady Fawcett (Marysville) and Will Mullin (Sacred Heart school), and island resident Chad Hulton. A Canadian Moment was read by Liz Crothers. Musician Nancy Mabee played the Last Post and the Reveille.
For the second year a Fly Past of four single engine small planes from the Kingston Flying Club piloted by Avery Wagg, Gord Lendrum and Dave Barton and islander Tony Tiefenbach flew overhead.
Wreaths were presented by Merchant Navy Veteran Vern Yott; Peace Keeping, Peace Making Veteran Col.(Retd) Jim Calvin and Canadian Forces member Sgt. Jamie Sanford as well by Mayor Denis Doyle, and members of the community representing community organizations and services. Perhaps the most touching presentation was that of the Early Years children coming forward with their wreath accompanied by RMC escorts. Rev. Canon Chris Carr closed the event with prayer and a final blessing. A community reception followed in the WI community Hall where Music was provided by Jen Varga and Nancy Maybee.
Around Town: **Call Claire 385-1552 to include your bird feeder birds in the December 14th (WI) bird census **The ‘swearing in’ Frontenac Islands Council meeting . Mon. Dec.8th , Howe Island at 6:30 pm. .. **WI’s Christmas Elves have been busy decorating around Marysville.
Coming events: Coming ** Lunch Bunch Series Wednesdays -11:30 am WI United Church Hall ** Athletic Therapy WIMC Tuesday& Thursday Contact Colleen at 613-888-3080 ** Turkey Supper , St. Margaret’s Hall, Nov.22nd Doors open 4:30pm*** WI’s Christmas Market Nov. 23rd WI Community Hall. **Wellness Clinic Dec. 5th at WI Medical Clinic; Christmas Fair at Marysville Public School , Dec. 6th. 11am-3pm. Vendors invited. contact email@example.com. ** WI Christmas Parade beginning from Fire Hall, 1pm Dec. 6th ; Advent Lessons & Carols Friday, Dec. 12th Sacred Heart Church at 7:30 pm Free will offering to Food Bank. **WI Bird Count Sun. Dec. 14th.
Will the Ferry Move or Not ?
Can you believe it ! After what seemed to be a very short summer, winter is upon us. We have arrived at that time of year when a waiting game begins on Wolfe Island. Will the ferry be moving to the winter dock any time soon? Or will it stay in Marysville? Will the water remain high enough to keep it there? Coming into Marysville, whether from the head or foot each day, islanders wonder if the sign will be up that directs them to the fact that: “The Wolfe Islander III is now operating from the Winter Dock at Dawson Point.” As I write the ferry remains in the village.
And while we wait for what ever is to happen, happens, some village businesses have closed for the season, the bakery, the coffee shop, The Grill, Vinnie’s. Horne’s Ferry season ended last week. The boats at the Boat Club are put away and stored. At the same time the harvest continues with giant trucks taking away the fruits of the island’s agricultural community’s labour. And it is Fargo’s, The WIPP and the General Wolfe that stay open and Islanders take time to gather after a busy spring, summer and fall.
Personally I find this a difficult time of year. Perhaps it is the return to regular time from Day Light Saving. I get up in the dark and it seems that until winter really arrives there are far too few days with lots of light and sunshine. Although I love the beauty and sounds of winter when it comes, and delight in the birds that return to our feeders, the ice boats that skim by on occasion, the colours of winter, I experience some anxiety none the less. Will we manage all that winter entails? Will we stay healthy? Will the services we might need be available? Will the ferry be operational? And I can’t help wondering if other Islanders at times have similar concerns..
With the many services offered through the WI Medical Clinic, the Frontenac County Paramedicine Wellness Clinics, and the possible broadening of that service, the Paramedic Service itself , WI Emergency Services & people visiting people, as well as the social opportunities offered by the churches and community organizations, the Community Centre Board, there is little need to worry. But enough of that. As my dear grandson would say, “Its all good, grandma.”
Around Town: **Wanted: If you have a Bird Feeder, please call Claire Muller at 385-1552 . The WI Christmas Bird Count is coming and she would like to include” feeder birds” in the census to be held Sunday, December 14th at “first light.”(KFN). ** Frontenac Paramedic Services Wellness Clinics held at the WI Medical Centre on the first Friday of every month are back on track (after shutting down for a time) through to the end of 2015. Paramedics perform basic assessments, checking vital signs such as: blood pressure, pulse, respiration, oxygen saturation, temperature, blood glucose levels and body weight assisting physicians in ongoing care of patients. **The ‘swearing in’ of the members of council takes place at the Frontenac Islands Council meeting . Mon. Dec.8th , Howe Island at 6:30 pm. Regular Council meetings are the second Monday of every month and alternate between islands.
Coming events: Coming ** Lunch Bunch Series Wednesdays -11:30 am WI United Church Hall ** Athletic Therapy WIMC Tuesday& Thursday Contact Colleen at 613-888-3080 ** WI’s Remembrance Day Service at WI Town Square Nov. 11th at 10:45 am.** Turkey Supper , St. Margaret’s Hall, Nov.22nd Doors open 4:30pm*** WI’s Christmas Market Nov. 23rd WI Community Hall. Vendor space call Linda: 613-385-1947. Wellness Clinic Dec. 5th at WI Medical Clinic; Christmas Fair at Marysville Public School , Dec. 6th. 11am-3pm. Vendors invited. contact firstname.lastname@example.org. ** WI Christmas Parade beginning from Fire Hall, 1pm Dec. 6th ; Advent Lessons & Carols Friday, Dec. 12th Sacred Heart Church at 7:30 pm (sponsored by 3 island churches) Free will offering to Food Bank. **WI Bird Count Sun. Dec. 14th.