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.

December 05, 2006
Some Now Question Wolfe Island Wind Plant

Today two letters arrived in our mail box. One from Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek, and the other from a newly formed ‘Wolfe Island Action Group’ (WAG).

The mayor’s letter to all residents outlines his reasons for supporting the proposed wind plant development on Wolfe Island. The other is based on concerns about setbacks , wetland and transportation with a view “to filing an appeal of the Bylaw 27-2006”, the zoning bylaw approved by council for establishing a wind plant.

The question of island wind plant development has gone on for well over 3 years. The island’s wind brought Ian Banes (CREC), Trade Winds and GAIA Power to the island where the pursuit of optioning land and measuring the wind began.

Both CREC and GAIA submitted bids to the province for island projects. They were denied and it was Canadian Hydro Developers (CHD) who finally moved in earnest to develop a plan for a wind plant, bought CREC as a wholly owned subsidiary, took on the GAIA power options, began a series of public meetings, submitted a bid and received approval from the Ontario Government to pursue their plan for an eighty-six, 2.3 MW wind plant that will generate an estimated 537,000 MW hours/year of renewable electricity.

As stated in the mayor’s letter, a major concern of the township was that the project would not benefit all islanders but only those with optioned land that fits into the stringent environmental screening plan. This concern arose from the capping of the assessment of turbines by the Provincial Government at $40,000 each, which offers little to the township in taxes. Thus the township negotiated and signed a significant amenities agreement with CHD.

I have not been privy to the meetings between individual landowners and CHD regarding remuneration for turbines on their land, but I have attended every meeting of council and every public meeting related to the wind plant development on Wolfe Island. I am aware of the environmental protection measures, the setback concerns that must be addressed and incorporated in the environmental screening process. I have also been to Melancthon and to Maple Ridge (USA) to see wind towers for myself, listened to them and viewed them closeup.

All meetings have been well publicized, open, and transparent. The project has been frequently discussed and any questions have been answered immediately or followed up quickly. Articles by me have been continuous and posted on the internet. The CHD Keating brothers and their team have been available, accessible and open to questions and to solving concerns. They have been at the public meetings, most recently in October where Ross Keating, and John Uliana IBI Group were in attendance to answer questions.

At the same time the township’s planning team, Clark Consulting Services has been there every step of the way refining the Official Plan and the Zoning Bylaw amendments for the project recently signed by Frontenac Islands. For your information Frontenac Islands has full control over the zoning bylaw process. They can approve or disapprove each power siteing as a result.

The environmental screening and siteing process is an attempt by the developer to optimize the wind resources while at the same time minimizing the socio-economic and environmental impact on the island, and is underway by CHD. The environmental impacts being considered include disturbance to terrain, wildlife and their habitat, impact on archaeological, historical and/or cultural resources; noise levels, visual and aesthetic impact among others as part of that screening.

As I understand it, individual land owners with optioned land are being visited by CHD team members to confirm land use for towers and the financial package this will bring. But at the same time they are also rejecting certain optioned land for turbine use because of setbacks, wetlands, or for other environmental reasons. To meet those requirement I am personally surprised at how little of the optioned land can be used for turbines. The team is also out there attempting to allay fears and to satisfy residents concerns regarding setbacks.

At the November council meeting it was clear to me that the issue of setbacks (a concern expressed in the WAG letter) already was of primary concern to the developer who is prepared to make certain changes.

With regard to transportation logistics and ferry use, there are alternatives that may be required but presently CHD is asking to use the winter dock and every attempt will be made to minimize ferry use, never at peak periods, perhaps at night and using barges wherever possible.

I find it difficult to understand the concerns some residents of Wolfe Island have begun to express, and the delay the project might suffer as a result of an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). It is important to note that landowners wanted this project seeing it as a supplement to shrinking farm income and in some cases as retirement income. They also wanted the whole community to benefit which has resulted in the amenities agreement. (see Heritage article Nov. 23rd ). Others see the job opportunities for the island.

I believe CHD has learned many things since its first foray into Ontario to develop a wind plant and have made many changes to the island’s wind plant plan already as a result of new insights and out of respect for Wolfe Island residents. All residents should read the entire amenities agreement, the costs Canadian Hydro Developers are prepared to cover and what this project will mean to the community. After what has been a very honourable process it is disappointing to me that there could be a delay. I believe Frontenac Islands Council has been a good steward thus far, and in the final analysis they will make a final decision on the project based on what is best for Wolfe Island. As an aside, it is interesting that all of those running for council in the recent election were in favour of the project.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:22 AM
November 28, 2006
Frontenac Islands Wind Plant & Quarry Official Plan and Zoning By Laws

Please note the following article was not published in The Heritage but was published in the Frontenac Gazette

Frontenac Islands Council held meetings back to back to complete long standing files before the new council is installed in December.
At the regular November meeting held on Wolfe Island, Mayor Vanden Hoek acknowledged newly elected council members Dennis Doyle (Wolfe Island) and Pat Fiene (Howe Island).

Regarding the Wind Plant, Planner Bob Clark outlined the changes made by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to the Official Plan Amendment requested by CREC. and recommended approval of the modifications including a clarification by CREC planner John Uliana (when natural heritage features or functions are identified in the Official plan, an impact study to describe the feature and the potential impact of a wind turbine may be required), as well as approval of the Zoning By-Law.

Prior to resolutions Mayor Vanden Hoek noted the importance of the issues facing council. Deputy Mayor Hobbs asked whether the burying of power lines can be guaranteed or is it still an issue. (It is well known that the ground is shallow and some optioned properties sit on rock. )

Residents came to the meeting to talk about the zoning by law amendment, questions raised at the Oct. 24th public meeting and unanswered concerns.

Wolfe Island resident Gail Kenney expressed concern over property appearance and values resulting from additional power lines on the current right of way (Road 96 West) and the 350 metre setback from property lines.
Carol Leonard remains concerned about the destruction of birds and wild life on Simcoe Island resulting from towers. Howe resident Heather Lippert suggested the zoning bylaw might need amending to include personal turbines not to do with the Wind Plant.

CREC’s Geoff Carnegie said it was their intent to release the site plan including power line locations and environmental screening at the same time. “We are looking at alternative ways of moving power without using that stretch of the highway 96 West, by burying power lines and/or rerouting to the back of optioned properties and other alternate routes and variables.” Carnegie commented that the average setback of turbines is 600 to 700 metres on #96. He encouraged residents to submit information about birds to web site adding that studies have been going on for two years. Mrs. Kenney thanked council for clarification of issues and asked, “is there still room for negotiation or exceptions?” Mayor Vanden Hoek was satisfied with the process. “We will hold the developer to the fire and no doubt vice versa,” he said.

The Official Plan amendment received council’s endorsement and a supporting resolution to resubmit it to the province for a final decision. Council also accepted the Wolfe Island Wind Plant Zoning By-Law Review. Residents who submitted written comments will receive Clark’s report. Council concluded that the changes recommended for the zoning bylaw are minor and no further public meeting is required. Council passed a bylaw to amend the zoning bylaw to allow the establishment of wind farms.

Following an in camera meeting Council passed the wide sweeping amenities agreement between Frontenac Islands and Canadian Hydro Developers which will bring into the township $7,500 per turbine per year. A further resolution put forward by Pat Norris and Geoff Hobbs that council seek clarification that the amenities agreement revenue is general revenue and as such is to be shared between both islands was carried.

In further business a severance application by Broeders & Sons Ltd. was approved. Another application by Don Bayne to rezone a lot was deferred to allow time to research whether a township road allowance had been closed. Regarding the Fire Chief job description. “There are different aspects of emergency services and we need clarification of the role,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said,
*Signage on Spit head road will go up. *A resolution to pay F. Goodfriend for a long standing livestock claim was defeated. *An application regarding OMAFRA’s Premier ‘s Award for Agri Food Excellence will be submitted naming Wolfe Island’s Jason Pyke.

The Howe Island meeting the following night saw Frontenac Islands council vote for the re-opening of the Keyes Quarry on Howe Island. The meeting was held to review the Clark Consultants report and to hear further public comment.

Prior to the application review the mayor presented Councillor Pat Norris with a plaque acknowledging his long standing service to both the former Township of Howe Island (Reeve ,councillor) and Frontenac Islands (deputy Mayor, councillor). Norris expressed surprise. “It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve. Thanks for 4 more years.”

Council approved amendments to the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law but not before hearing from seven residents. George Thomson thinks quarry should be dealt with by incoming council; onus is on applicant to prove why agricultural designation should be changed; questions applicant’s long term plans. Kathie Piercy presented an additional 200 names to a previously submitted petition indicating strong opposition to the quarry. “I implore you to maintain our quality of life.” Realtor Patti Gray was adamant that a quarry will negatively effect property values and had letters from 18 signing brokers to prove claim. Kevin Reilly questioned the quarry business plan’s for Island use only ( estimating 10,000 tons per year) while Kim Nossal does not believe the plan is in the public interest or for the good of the community. ”Either defer or do appraisal of compatibility.” Gary Hall notes no petition favouring the quarry. “The majority want you to vote no,” he said. Mat Fiene wants council to heed the petition. “I urge you to vote no.” Dennis Bremmer notes that without approval Dan Keyes can blast but not sell product.

Councillor Hobbs had concerns about water issues and wants a peer review of hydrogeology study first and did not vote in favour. Councillor Norris questioned the 10,000 ton figure suggesting it is closer to 20,000 ton. He said as many people favour the quarry as are opposed, a statement which really upset residents.
The applicant Dan Keyes asked council to make a decision stating nothing has changed from the original quarry proposal, size and scope including tonnage.
Residents were there who indicated support for the project and were unhappy with the proceedings.
This was not a happy meeting. Verbal attacks were directed at council members and at each other. But in the end council approved the changes required for the reopening of the quarry. Residents declared they will see the township at the Ontario Municipal Board which suggests their intent to perhaps register an appeal.

Coming Events: * W.I.’s Annual Santa Clause Parade Saturday, Dec. 2nd with the parade beginning from the Fire Hall at 5:45 p.m.
* Sun. Dec. 3rd, at 4 pm Annual Ecumenical Advent Service at Sacred Heart of Mary Church.
* The Christmas Art & Craft Sale at Wolfe Island Community Hall 9 a.m.- 4 p.m Sun. Dec. 3 rd.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:08 AM
November 18, 2006
$13million 20 Year Deal For Frontenac Islands

Wolfe Island: Frontenac Islands Council signed an historic deal to enter into an Amenities Agreement with Canadian Hydro Developers at their November council meeting held on Wolfe Island.

Canadian Hydro Developers, through their fully owned subsidiary CREC, are completing siteing plans and the environmental screening process for the 86 wind turbine plant on Wolfe Island as approved by the province. Once the Wind Plant is operational the township will receive $13million over 20 years, ($7500 per tower per year for 20 years) and the potential for increases.

The amenities agreement arose after the province capped the assessment for each multi-million dollar turbine at $40,000. While good for the province this would leave the township with the equivalent taxes equal to about 18 new houses, and a major impact on the community. The township and the residents were adamant that this Wind Plant must benefit all of Wolfe Island, not just the optioned land holders and thus negotiations were entered into.

The township created a team of staff and consultants, including Howard Allen C.A., Tim Wilkins, lawyer, and Planner Bob Clark, to negotiate the wide ranging amenities agreement including the financial benefits.

The Mayor expressed much satisfaction with this outcome and congratulated the team and council. “A precedent has been set. There has been a good relationship between us all, and I am very pleased,” he said.

Geoff Carnegie, CREC Projects Manager, who was also present, said the amenities agreement is very significant for the community. “I commend the council who had the foresight to make it happen. I look forward to bringing this project to the island.”

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:29 AM
November 17, 2006
Rain Never Dampens Wolfe Island Remembrance Day Service

November 11th saw Wolfe Islanders gathered in the rain to honour the island’s war dead. Flanked by Royal Military College cadets, members of Wolfe Island’s Fire Department, and ambulance and paramedic services MTO”s Captain Brian Johnson, Frontanac Islands CEO Terry O’Shea welcomed all.

Major Randall Comis, an island resident presented an outline of Canada’s Military history from the beginning of the last century to the present. He noted the large numbers in the army, navy and air forces and merchant marine who died or were wounded in the many conflicts.

Major Comis spoke of the military’s roles in fighting, peace keeping, the cold war and Peace Making since the collapse of the USSR. “The United Nations signed an innovative proposal suggested by Canada’s Lester B. Pearson to deploy contingents of soldiers drawn from member states operating under the United Nations flag to come between combatants to keep peace until lasting solutions can be negotiated. Today he said “in our new reality to keep the peace we enjoy here in Canada, we deploy forces abroad to confront threats before they reach our shores. Today we remember the sacrifices of all of our veterans and reflect on the meaning of their service.. It is the very least we can do,” he concluded.

Poems of Remembrance and scripture were read by Fire Chief James White, Major Keith Walton, Lt. Colonel Billy Allen, Brian Scovil and Mrs. Mabel McRae. United Church Pastor Terry Wood offered prayers and reflection. Teachers Tara Beers and Craig Pitts read the names of islanders who lost their lives and those who served during war and in peace keeping.

A special moment included the playing of the Last Post and the Reveille by Ms. Celina Walker.

Laying wreaths were: representing Peace Keeping and Peace Making, veterans Major Keith Walton and Colonel Jim Calvin; Merchant Navy veterans R.F. Fawcett and Vern Yott ; the St Lawrence and the Wolfe Island Women’s Institutes Mrs. C. Fawcett and Mrs. R. White; the schools Mrs. Tara Beers and Craig Pitts.

Missing at this year's event was island resident Lt. Colonel Dave Patterson who is in Ethiopia serving as a military attaché in Addis Ababa. Thanks to Maureen Lollar, organizer of the annual event, and her assistants.
(This article was not published in The Heritage.)

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:23 AM
November 16, 2006
Changes for Frontenac Island

This year was not a Mayoral election for Frontenac Islands. Instead Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek from Wolfe Island was acclaimed in his position and now begins a 4-year, third term as Mayor.

Frontenac Islands is the amalgamated township of Wolfe and Howe Islands and there were races for 2 seats in Wolfe Island’s Ward #1 and in the one hour and two ferry rides away Howe Island’s Ward 2 two seats were also contested.

Denis Doyle and Wayne Grant (incumbent) were elected councillors in Ward 1 representing Wolfe and Simcoe Islands. Also running on Wolfe Island were Dan Hogan, Trevor Van Allen and Mike Bromley.

Matt Fiene and Pat Norris (incumbent) were elected as councillors in Ward 2 representing Howe Island. Carl Lippert also ran on Howe.

Wolfe Island Councillor Jim Calvin and Deputy Mayor Geoff Hobbs (Howe Island) did not let their names stand for re-election.

One issue of concern to Howe Island residents during the campaign was the proposed re-opening of the Keyes Quarry. On Wolfe Island the proposed Wind Plant and its anticipated benefits to the community is on everyone’s mind these days, those for it, land owners with optioned lands and the community as a whole while concerns remain for a number of residents.

There are approximately 1300 full time residents on Wolfe Island and 400 + on Howe Island. Seasonal residents and cottagers raise the number of eligible voters to maybe 2500.

Council meetings are held the second Monday of every month and they alternate between Wolfe Island and Howe Island.

Frontenac Islands - Election Results
Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek – Acclaimed

Councillor Ward 1 Wolfe Island
Dennis Doyle – 453
Wayne Grant – 372
Dan Hogan – 220
Trevor Van Allen - 139
Mike Bromley - 124

Howe Island Ward 2
Matt Fiene – 231
Pat Norris – 230
Carl Lippert - 157

Posted by Margaret Knott at 06:31 PM
November 08, 2006
Candidates Love Wolfe Island But Residents Not All Happy at Candidates Meeting

“ I love Wolfe Island” was the prevailing theme of the four candidates at the Frontenac Islands, Wolfe Island ward all candidates meeting moderated by Peter Millar and sponsored by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourist Association. (Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board candidates, Cathy Turkington and Wilf Garah spoke briefly at the outset).

Denis Doyle, retired business man; Dan Hogan, nurseand young family man, Trevor Van Allen, long time resident, retired RCMP; Mike Bromley, new resident, business man; and Wayne Grant, life long islander and farmer who is seeking re-election; are the candidates for the two council positions.

Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek welcomed the community and quoting said” the prose of government is entirely different from the poetry of the campaign,” as he thanked the packed hall for their support.

In their opening remarks the candidates spoke of their love of the island, why they came and continue to live here and why they wish to serve the community. All four cited transportation as the priority issue. Other concerns were issues surrounding the landfill site, poor road conditions, lack of communication, policing, parking, road conditions, recreation, water in the village and sewerage hauling and the Wind Plant project monies.

Trevor Van Allen regarding transportation, said residents told him what they would like to see happen and he has stored that information for future reference to be dealt with in a fair and just way. Road work, policing with more OPP presence, and the dump are priorities. He sees the wind plant as a legitimate choice for the island.

Dennis Doyle thinks it’s time to re-establish a local lagoon rather than hauling to the city, believes in a systematic approach to road repairs, community recreation as a priority, has ideas about the dump, communication and has time to devote to the community which includes Simcoe Island, also sees revisiting the marriage of Howe and Wolfe islands.

Mike Bromley suggested that being new to the island might be a benefit. He said he has become acquainted with the existing issues of transportation, policing, security and recreation facilities through actual experiences since his arrival which he explained with humour. Sees a real need to draw young families like his to the island and to solve problems of parking and speeding , (speed bumps, neighbourhood watch etc.)

Wayne Grant wants to continue working for esidents of Wolfe and Simcoe Islands on all community issues (noting transportation first), encouraging young people and families, searching out local job opportunities, improving roads, recreation, community policing, and listen to what volunteer groups have to say.

Dan Hogan offered his youth, family history of political service, involvement with Big Sandy Bay Development and cited as major issues transportation, maintaining the island schools, encouraging young families to come, need for recreational facilities, day care, more community development, water in the village and implementation of bylaws re parking etc.

All of the candidates spoke of the Wind Plant amenities agreement and the $645,000 that will flow to the island annually when the plant becomes a reality and what it will mean in terms of dealing with the many costly issues facing the island., providing jobs, etc. Candidate Doyle suggested that a Heritage Fund be established. All reflected on water in the village. Bromley discussed the scoping study results.

A Q& A period followed and at this late date, came those angry and opposed to the Wind Plant and calling for a referendum. One question asked for confirmation that the annual $645,000 is area rated to Wolfe Island. (This was not answered.) Further questions revolved around the future needs of seniors, community supports, retirement home, social services presently non existent, the essential services agreement in the event of another ferry strike; a request for a Simcoe Island bubble system; the need for more tourism or none; representation for Simcoe Island; communication; a recreation facility and day care provisions as essential requirements to keep young families. The candidates attempted to answer all of the questions and remained to talk individually with residents following the meeting.

On Howe Island a meeting sponsored by the Howe Island Ratepayers association moderated by Roger Scott Taggart was held the same evening to meet candidates vying to fill two ward positions. They are, Pat Norris seeking re-election, Carl Lippert and Matt Fiene. The meeting offered the candidates the opportunity to offer their own positions on development, taxes, ferry services, emergency services, as well as municipal and county issues. An open question period followed.
In an as yet unconfirmed report, Councillor Norris apparently said that the Wolfe Island Wind Plant amenities agreement is not Area rated meaning a percentage of the money expected from it can also flow to Howe Island.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:23 AM
November 07, 2006
Wind Power Meeting Good for Some, Raises Concern for Others

The concern that arose at a well attended public meeting was not about the Wind Plant (WP) itself, but about how little land is really available for the proposed 86 towers when setbacks, environmentally sensitive areas, wood lots etc. enter the equation.

The meeting called by Frontenac Islands council was to consider a Zoning bylaw amendment prepared by Clark Consulting for the Wolfe Island Canadian Hydro Developers Wind Plant. Many landowners saw their hope for a turbine(s) on their optioned land diminishing. Present at the table, with all members of council and staff, were Ross Keating, President, Canadian Hydro Developers and John Uliana, IBI Group assisting Canadian Hydro, Bob Clark and Jennifer Current.

Mayor Vanden Hoek said that while there may be more areas of interest, setbacks, nature of the amenities agreement and the size of the project’s footprint on the island are of interest to all. “I hope this meeting helps provide this information.” The agenda included information from Clark Consulting , followed by Canadian Hydro, Q&A session and council members.

Reviewing the process Clark said that the Official Plan Amendment to add wind turbines as a permitted use in the agricultural designation (already permitted rural) was passed by council and is in the hands of the province. Following the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s decision there is an opportunity for appeal on this high level policy document.

The Zoning By Law is very precise bylaw setting out the rights and regulations that affect the ability to get a building permit on any particular land parcel. “In this case the purpose of the meeting is to review an application for a zoning bylaw amendment to the comprehensive zoning bylaw to permit wind turbines as part of a wind plant on lands that have been optioned by CREC. Because it is the municipality’s bylaw, if it is passed, the appeal period begins directly.” Also required is a specific site plan for turbines and accessory facilities, and on a property by property basis for removal of the holding provisions. Ms Current said the setback of a wind turbine is measured to the closest point of the base of the tower with the minimum setback from a dwelling in the wind plant zone is 5metres plus the blade length; setback from a dwelling not in a WP zone is 350 metres and gave further setback figures related to abutting land, village residential, improved streets, unopened road allowances as well as setbacks for accessory facilities. Removal of the holding provision requires the developer to provide a final Environmental Screening report and individual landowners to have an approved site plan.

Comments and questions were accepted until Oct 31st. Notice of council’s decision to approve or deny must be made within 15 days. Once given there is a 20 day appeal period to the OMB.If no appeal the zoning Bylaw will come into effect the day it was passed subject to passing of the Official Plan amendment.

Canadian Hydro’s Ross Keating, an engineer, said that he and his brother John, an accountant started the company in 1990. He gave a brief overview of the company, including the acquisition of CREC and GAIA Power’s land options which were incorporated into the bid to the province to supply 198 megawatts consisting of 86, 2.3 mega watt towers (80 metres high with 93 metre diameter blades).

They are close to finalizing the turbine layout (an area of frustration for all) which must be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment who do their own analysis to see if they are compliant (mostly sound levels) and once approved this goes into the screening report “which is another thing you have been waiting for,” Keating said. “It will take 30 days to review including the community’s review as well,”so assuming we can get approvals by spring we will begin the construction of roads, pads and the underground distribution wiring and sub station to be complete by year end.

Siemens supplies and constructs the turbines coming by ship in 2008 from Denmark landing probably in Oswego, ( Kingston does not have a port) transferred across on another vessel directly to Wolfe Island’s winter dock. Each turbine takes 3 days to assemble and they contracted to be operational in 2008. “Our objective is to minimize any disruption to the ferry service.” The interconnection is to the Gardiner’s sub station and one on the island on the west side of the 4th line.” Keating indicated that the land shown on the map in purple is the envelope in which they can put turbines.

John Uliana said not only is it important to the landowner but to the developer to know what the regulations will be from the municipality before he can finalize where the turbines can go. ”We must come away with a level of comfort that we have your support.”

While most questions were answered to the satisfaction of landowners there was some frustration even anger in the questions by residents not in favour, but more were about the wind plant, the screening report, available work etc. A few were referred to the planning consultant. Most specifically related to the siting of turbine 350 metres from a non participating dwelling, also severed lots ( non participating ownership) with no building. A question from a Howe Island resident asked what portion of amenities agreement money will flow to Howe Island. Clark Consulting will summarize all of the information , questions and concerns for council prior to their next meeting on Wed. Nov. 15th.

Councillor Calvin spoke of the impact of the amenities agreement ($7,500 per tower per year) noting that only one third of property taxes stays with the township. With the agreement $645,000 will come directly every year. “A $300,000 waterfront house pay $3300 taxes with $1100 staying. To get $650,000, we would need maybe 300 houses.”

Deputy Mayor Hobbs (Howe Island) noted that he and Councillor Norris are in the strange position since both Grant and Calvin have optioned land. He will consider all information. Mayor Vanden Hoek closed the meeting with thanks to all.
Council meets Wed. Nov. 15th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:13 AM
November 01, 2006
The Wolfe Islander Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Service to Wolfe Island

The 30th Anniversary of the M.V. Wolfe Islander III, the ferry operating between Kingston and Wolfe Island provided the ideal opportunity for Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, the Honourable Donna Cansfield to visit MTO’s Eastern Region which also includes its Marine Division in Kingston.

Minister Cansfield, looking much like a captain herself, boarded the provincially owned and operated Wolfe Islander III for a regular round trip from Kingston to the island.

Accompanied by MTO Regional Director Ms Cathie Moore and Ferry Supervisor Terry McRae she was welcomed on board by Senior Captain Brian Johnson.. Undeterred by the rain, Minister Cansfield strolled the deck , listening attentively to Captain Johnson’s stories about the inauguration of the Wolfe Islander in 1976, and its Senior Captain R.F. Fawcett, before going below to the engine room.

This was followed by a trip to the wheel house where with Captain Mark Greene she took over the navigation of the ferry for a moment asking questions all the while. Looking out at Wolfe Island from that height she noted the many cars and trucks boarding the

On the upper deck along with invited guests including KEDCO President Jeff Garrah, Wolfe Island Business & Tourism President Pat Sanford and Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek, Minister Cansfield offered an Anniversary wish for the Wolfe Islander III on its “30th anniversary of faithful and uninterrupted service.”

Later the Minister took the opportunity to talk about the importance of the waterways to Ontario’s Highway System. “When you think of highways you think of land,” she said, “but this is the H2O Highway, it moves goods and services, it moves people. The Wolfe Island ferry service is a perfect example of that.”
She mused about the wind plant coming to Wolfe Island and the many trucks that would travel the ferry as a result; how the trucking industry and marine services can be more complementary to one another. Referring to Asia Pacific Gateway Mrs. Cansfield said. “There are many ways we can better utilize all of our transportation system,” noting that there is more external trade from Ontario than from the West Coast. “We think there should be a Southern Gateway and ultimately a National Gateway. When you look at a gateway you look at all forms of transportation including the H2O highways and how to maximize those uses”

About a bridge to Wolfe Island the Minister said she has not had time to think about it. “But I think the people are well served by the ferry. It is reliable and operates many hours a day.” Once on land Minister Cansfield met with the Marine Maintenance staff at the terminal.

At this time MTO, at the request of the Township of Frontenac Islands is looking at ways to increase the capacity of the WI Ferry service based on the 1994 IBI study.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 12:05 PM
October 25, 2006
Petition Indicates Strong Opposition to Proposed Howe Island Quarry Re-Opening

The regular meeting of Frontenac Islands Council was attended by well over 150 Howe Islanders present to protest the possible re-opening and licensing of a quarry on Howe Island. The passage of an Official Plan and a Zoning Bylaw amendment for the quarry made by island business man Dan Keyes was previously deferred at an angry meeting late last month where Deputy Mayor Geoff Hobbs, at its conclusion requested additional stringent conditions be added to any license for the quarry operation.

Jennifer Current of Clark Consulting Services updated council regarding the quarry application including draft MNR conditions, (noise, blasting times, records, aggregate crushing on quarry floor, non transport of aggregate by island ferry etc.) prior to presentations by Howe Island citizens. Mayor Vanden Hoek asked that presentations be directed to council and that there be no interruptions.

Delegations speaking against the quarry included Randy Zarichney (on behalf of Joe de Mora) who said concerns include its future size, lowering of property values, changes to the island, overuse of ferry, no evidence of need, perception that no one wants to live near a quarry. George Thompson outlined similar opposition. “It is not what the applicant wants to do tomorrow but what could ultimately be done in the future that should drive council’s decision. The onus is on the applicant to show that this application is in the interest of a community very much opposed to it,” h e said.
Kathleen Peircy presented council with the petition (250 names) against approving the zoning amendment. “We believe council should give great weight to this petition which indicates a majority of Howe Islanders are opposed based on quality of life issues.”
Kevin Riley spoke about the need for further conditions to rezoning if the quarry (which he opposes ) is approved. David Moizer is concerned about the precedent zoning the quarry would be set seeing it as a major industrial operation leaving a big hole that could be used as a landfill site.
Patti Gray referring to the petition said, “overall opposition is rock solid. A quarry within a half to one kilometre of housing is not good planning, ” leads to declining property values. Just vote no,” she said. Howe Island Ratepayers Association president Austin Page presented some statistics from members for and against.

Because the petition represents new information it was agreed that more time was needed to arrive at a decision. Dealing with the amendments was deferred onceagain. Clark Consulting will further consider residents concerns and report to council. Council anticipates making a decision at a Howe Island meeting prior to the end of the present council’s term of office.

Committee of Adjustment: Tunnock Consulting Ltd. was present to discuss decisions regarding applications for consent referred to them by council. Glenn Tunnock commented that when reviewing an application one must look at the criteria set at the land office and in the Official Plan noting that the Mosier application meets all the criteria except for one item, infilling (a provincial policy to carve out as little as possible of agricultural land). He recommended that the application be denied but suggested that since there is a cluster of houses and Mosier owns the entire piece of property that another piece in that area would meet the criteria of the Official Plan. “I think it is important for a planner to find an alternative in an effort to resolving a problem,” he said. Mr. Mosier in addressing council said that in a rural situation sometimes the official plan doesn’t fit and defended the rural location of the requested lot severance . He also said that the entire property was zoned rural residential. “I would ask council to take into account what your planner has said and look at your Official plan to revise it so that in future a hundred yards does not mean you can or cannot get a lot.” While council members indicated their own reservations at not deferring to the Official Plan, in this instance after some very interesting debate they acknowledged the rational of the request and approved the application.

Further applications were approved as well one with a similar difficulty related to infill and also requiring 20 metre road approved right-of-way; another requiring LSR rezoning and the extension of Ferguson Point Lane to 20 metres wide with a township approved turn-around to the east .

In other business: *The township will obtain a legal opinion, if required, regarding the request by Mr. Gene Manion for an extension for severances approved last year.
*Building permit fees have been waived for the Howe Island Fire Hall now underway under contract with Patrick Thompson, TCMS for construction management.
* A draft Role Description for the Fire Chief and by-law for appointment has been circulated to Fire Chiefs Michael Quinn and James White for comment. Both items will be on the agenda of the November Council meeting.
* A by-law to set a date for an advance poll was passed. Frontenac Islands Council will meet Wed. Nov.15th on Wolfe Island at 6:30 p.m.
Around Town: * Have you been wondering about the road work? The Islands received $69,610. (More Ontario) and $93,981 from the county, splitting the amount 56.88% to Wolfe and 43.12% to Howe.
* W.I. Wind Power Meeting Tue. Oct. 24th, 7 pm at the Community Hall.
* W.I. All candidates meeting Wed. Nov. 1st, 7-9 pm at the Community Hall. W.I. candidates include: Dan Hogan, Mike Bromley, Dennis Doyle, Trevor Van Allen & incumbent Wayne Grant.. Howe Island- Patrick Norris, Carl Lippert, Matt Fiene.
* Municipal Elections Advance Poll Sat. Nov. 4th 10 am-6pm at the W.I. Town Hall & the Howe Island Municipal Office.
* Fr. De Souza’s parents here visiting from Calgary. Welcome
* Successful Terry Fox Run by Marysville Public and Sacred Heart Catholic school students. Congratulations.
*W.I. United Church Turkey Supper Sat. Oct. 28th Doors Open 4:30 pm. *Check for island events.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:09 AM
October 24, 2006
Money is Blowing in the Wind for Wolfe Island

At the close of the Frontenac Islands October council meeting Mayor Vanden Hoek talked about the amenities agreement referred to so often with regard to the proposed Canadian Hydro Developers, 86 turbine, Wind Farm for Wolfe Island.

“Canadian Hydro Developers, the wind farm proponent is prepared to share $7,500 per year per tower (86 towers) with the township, (for Wolfe Island) that is the bare number and changes over time,” he said. “Because it is election time, it is important to be fair to the incumbents and to the challengers so that all are on the same page with this information and that there is some clarity for the public on the issue before the election. The agreement, presently in our solicitors office is virtually ready to be voted on with the final text coming soon, and whatever further information council has available will be presented at the Public Meeting on Oct. 24th.”

In conversation with Mayor Vanden Hoek following the meeting, he said the amenities agreement is a big issue for the community. “The question on Wolfe Island has always been, will the whole community benefit from the wind farm? All Wolfe Islanders respect that there is benefit to those individuals who have leased land to the developer but there was always the expectation that the entire community must benefit as well. The community knows that we have been working on this for some time and I didn’t think it was fair to go through an election without providing Wolfe Islander’s with the MONEY information they are most interested in knowing, but even in the most optimistic scenario the first money won’t arrive until 2009 giving the community time to discuss how to move forward.

The mayor went on to say, there has been agreement for some time on the financial side, that is $7,500 per turbine per year ($645,000), that it is a long term ,comprehensive agreement which includes escalation clauses. He noted that there is a clear understanding between Canadian Hydro Developers and the township with regard to the planning process for the wind farm, its size and so on. “The developer realizes that they are in this for the long haul and there must be a good relationship between themselves and the community,” he said.

“ The amenities agreement that I expect council will endorse is an agreement that doesn’t exist anywhere else in this country. The negotiating team, (Howard Allen CA, Tim Wilkins, Splicitor and Bob Clark, Planner), staff and council members deserve credit for having achieved this on behalf of the Wolfe Island community,” Mayor Vanden Hoek concluded.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:58 AM
October 10, 2006
More About Wind Mills on Wolfe Island

More than 70 delegates from the Ontario East Municipal Conference held recently, toured Wolfe Island prior to a session on Wind Power presented by Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek and John Forrester, liaison officer for Canadian Hydro Developers, the successful applicant for the project planned for the island.

Anne Pritchard , executive director of Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation noted in her intro that when the suggestion to showcase “The Frontenacs” during the OEMC conference was accepted, the proposed Wolfe Island Wind Farm was one place to start.

In his presentation Mayor Vanden Hoek told a brief story of the island, about ferry travel, fewer active farms, missed opportunities, downloading, when CREC came to town, communicating with the community, leased lands, the provincial $40,000 assessment cap on wind turbines, the successful bid by Canadian Hydro, the amenities agreement, council’s role and all that has led the community to this point, what comes next and what it means for the island’s future as a possible leader in the production of alternative energy.

John Forrester spoke of Canadian Hydro’s arrival on Wolfe Island, what has been accomplished by them in other places (Melancthon Wind Plant), the advantages to those communities where projects have been built, the economic boost, the revenue stream, the jobs created and filled locally and the siteing (of towers) process that is underway on the island and required set backs. “There are sound restrictions by MOE in this process,” he said. ”When the siteing is complete on paper we then meet again with landowners.” In his recommendations to the gathered municipal delegates, Forrester said that if a developer comes their way it was important to have free flowing open dialogue. “The worst thing is if the developer thinks everything is okay and a project stalls,” he said. “Try to digest all the information from the developer, and find out about the approval process because everything hinges upon what YOU do.” A spirited question period followed.

And the Following Day: Quarries & Wind Farms
Frontenac Islands council met in a special meeting on Howe Island to further discuss first, the proposed Howe Island Keyes Quarry (deferred following the August council meeting), and the Wolfe Island wind power progress report.

In both instances Bob Clark, Clark Consulting presented updated information regarding the Official plan and zoning by law process for both projects.

Clark noted with regard to the quarry application that the turning lane at the site has been deemed adequate, also that no further hydrological study is required because the risk of well interference is extremely low. He has received written comments and concerns about blasting, possible basement cracks and a request for prior notice of blasting dates, among others.

Residents were present to express concerns about the quarry such as noise, well contamination (what if it happens then what?), the devaluing of adjacent properties, over use of ferry by trucks, dust, water table, quarry size, for island use only and, restrictions on the amount extracted and quality of life issues. They were looking for stringent licensing conditions under the Aggregate Resources Act plus a further public meeting. With few exceptions, they were not happy.

At the request of the applicant Dan Keyes, the official plan amendment and zoning by law resolutions were deferred until the regular meeting of council, Tuesday, Oct.10th on Howe Island.

In the case of the Wolfe Island wind farm Clark said that the Official Plan Amendment was registered on the Environmental bulletin board, and that it won’t come forward as approved until October. He is presently preparing the zoning bylaw amendment.

“What we have been waiting for is the Environmental Screening Report (ESR) and time is moving along. There are 3 options,” he said. “Continue to wait for the ESR making it difficult to schedule a public meeting before the municipal election posing timing concerns for the applicant. Or, set a date for a meeting on the promise that the ESR would be available. If the report is still not available council could go ahead with the meeting or cancel it putting the onus on them for non delivery.” Clark, who favours the 2nd option, noted a 3rd option which allows the applicant to go to the OMB.

The zoning bylaw is a critical document because it sets the ground rules. Clark said the applicant is willing to accept bigger standards than originally asked for but they want a single bylaw to zone all of the optioned lands because of possible site changes, which would each then, require a zoning bylaw. Clark suggests that council can remove zoning on all lands not used.

A vigorous discussion followed. Deputy Mayor Geoff Hobbs favoured option 2 but with information before hand. Councillor Calvin (who has optioned land,) does not like the implication of option 3 noting that the township has to maintain control. ”We have been very proactive in changing the official plan and the problems of this company are of their own doing. We need the documents before we schedule a meeting. This community wants council to maintain control over the magnitude of this project. They are expecting 86 towers not 200. If we zone on a wide scale basis we could lose control. I don’t care if we have to have 86 bylaws.”

Calvin does not favour a meeting without the draft zoning bylaw and the ESR in advance. He also pointed to an awkward position now that two island councillors (Councillor Grant) have optioned land.

Councillors Norris and Grant also agree with option two. Mayor Vanden Hoek believes option 2 maintains council’s control and reduces the risk of undoing the good work that has been done.

With that conclusion staff was directed to schedule a public meeting before the municipal election. A letter will be sent to Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing Mr. John Gerretsen and Canadian Hydro expressing council’s concerns about the ESR, their desire to retain control of the Zoning Bylaw process and that a public meeting will be scheduled.

Take Note that A Public Meeting will be held on Tues. Oct. 24th at the Wolfe Island Community Hall with regard to the Zoning By Law Amendment for the Wolfe Island Wind Farm.

Municipal Election: Frontenac Islands Candidates, Wolfe Island Ward : Wayne Grant, Denis Doyle,, Dan Hogan, Trevor Van Allen, Mike Bromley.
Howe Island Ward: Patrick Norris, Carl Lippert, Matt Fiene.
By acclamation:Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:19 PM
September 18, 2006
Clean Water, Public Safety, Transportation, All in a Days Work for Council Members

Two months and counting before the Nov. 13th Municipal Elections. A time perhaps to look at what it means to be a member of a municipal council, the commitment it requires and the kind of work it involves. I have been attending council meetings and writing about them primarily for this paper for the last 14 years, first about the Township of Wolfe Island and laterally about Frontenac Islands.

Both are small townships, Wolfe Island with its 1300 or 1400 permanent residents and Howe boasting maybe 400 full time residents, both accessed by ferry. Both have a large seasonal population. Both have heavily assessed waterfront properties that belong not only to summer residents but to full time residents and members of the farming community, people who have lived on the land and the water all of their lives and whose livelihoods are in a decline.

Life as a member of council is not easy. It requires dedication, co-operation, stick-to-itivness, fortitude, honesty, a willingness to study the issues, to make decisions, to change one’s mind, to be on call 24 hours a day, to expect no praise, to accept criticism, to relish the good times, face a lot of travel, many meetings, low pay, and to accept the fact that the wheels of change turn very verrrrry slowly.

So what are the issues in island communities such as ours, every day, every year, year after year? First and foremost transportation, taxation, roads, the land fill site, fire& ambulance, policing, recreation and our relationship with Frontenac County (Ambulance, Fairmount Home, Library) and percolating in the back ground wind power (for and against), economic development (for and against), water, sewage in the village (for and against), land use planning (for and against), and always transportation.

A case in point was the September meeting of Frontenac Islands Council where the issue of a Wolfe Island land transfer, first brought forward in February finally ended. There is one happy resident, Larry, who will pay $1000. plus other costs for a small piece of township property which when added to an existing lot will allow for the construction of a home. There is another unhappy resident, Penny, who feels that it was an underhanded deal to sell township property that could have become a park. February to September is a very long time for one issue. For a sliver of land, many words, many hours.

In other business at the same meeting Frontenac Islands will welcome a 3rd year, St. Lawrence College, Business Administration student Heather Lott in a 3-month co-op placement at no cost to the township. “Sometimes we do have an obligation to support youth,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said.

Based on the Livestock valuator’s report, Greg MacDonald will be compensated $507.00 for the loss of a beef calf killed by a coyote. Council also approved, with a few minor changes, the monthly payment voucher in the amount of $158, 315.30.

Guy Laporte of Totten Simms Hubicki Associates met with council to further discuss the annual 2004 and 2005 Wolfe Island Waste Disposal Site reports which indicate certain criteria must be met in the future. Further meetings are required.
Later on in the meeting councillors expressed concern with how quickly “the Wolfe Island dump” appears to be filling. It is their intention to look at tipping fees, what should not be thrown over the side (hard plastics for instance), more intense recycling etc. in an effort to increase its longevity.

A lengthy discussion about drinking water and sewage disposal took place following a final draft water report presentation by Janet Noyes and Paul Cassin, XCG/DCA Consultants, retained to conduct a scoping study to determine suitable and cost effective approaches to dealing with the water needs of Marysville; shore well issues, funding etc.. The scoping study which included a survey came about as a result of the oil line rupture at the Wolfe Island Town Hall which impacted two shore wells, one involving municipal buildings and 4 residences, which requires no further action, and the other, 8 residences. The consultants suggest a proactive role in the second case, meeting with residents regarding management (who takes over, payments). They also proposed long term options for council consideration. Council will sponsor an information meeting with 8 homeowners to discuss management and financing of the system. “They need to know what MOE could roll out and hit them with,” Councillor Calvin said. In November, council assisted by XCG/DCA, will also attempt to move forward with a larger water investigation, (water systems, class EA municipal water and waste water studies, funding etc.

Council was in receipt of a draft County Medical Tiered Response report, (to provide rapid first response quickly,15 minute default time, by whom etc), comments by Howe Island’s Chief Quinn, and a proposed draft agreement between the County and township. Mayor Vanden Hoek recommended a special meeting with Chief Quinn, Chief White, someone from dispatch and land ambulance. “We need to spend the right amount of time on this so that we don’t simply rubber stamp something.” Deputy Mayor Hobbs noted different dispatch criteria resulting in difficulties on Howe Island. Councillor Norris said the chiefs’ also need to iron out some things.

The township will set aside a number of parking spaces for township guests, business people and taxpayers at the W.I. Town Hall parking lot and remove some curb cement to allow an easier turn around.

Hobbs believes council should attempt to come up with an amendment to complete the trailer bylaw.

Mayor Vanden Hoek wonders aloud about community consensus building as was done some years ago on Wolfe Island with Bonnie O’Neil. Council expressed interest in some discussion with Brian Ritchie from OMAFRA about how to engage in community consensus building, strategic planning (water, recycling, transportation etc) at no cost, no commitment.

Council was in receipt of two letters from the Howe Island Ratepayers Association, one in support Fire Chief Quinn, another about their concern for Emergency Response Time and a meeting they are holding on Howe Island Oct. 13th about Public Security. Mayor Vanden Hoek was in invited to speak.

Next Regular Council Meeting : Note change in date due to Thanksgiving , Tuesday,Oct. 10th, Howe Island at 6:30 p.m.

Around Town:*Wolfe Island commuter traffic has not slowed down. * Friends of Big Sandy Bay welcomed island Seniors to the site. Many had not been there ever, others only as children. * WIBTA meets Tues. Sept.19th 7 pm, General Wolfe Hotel. *As this is posted only two candidates have filed for the Nov. 13th Municipal election for Frontenac Islands: The are Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek and Councillor Pat Norris.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:50 AM
September 16, 2006
50th Annual Plowing Match held on Wolfe Island

Wolfe Island: A cool north wind blew over the dry fields at the Henry Postumus farm on Wolfe Island for the 50th Annual Plowing Match held since the formation of the Wolfe Island Plowmen’s Association in 1956. (Competitions have been held since 1947.)

More than 40 plowers were on hand to take up the challenge with horse and plough and on mounted tractor. Friends, neighbours and the island’s Queen of the Furrow Allison Posthumus were there to cheer them on.
Along with the more experienced there were young men and women plowing in a bid to keep up the long tradition of expert plowing on the island. The judges for this year’s match were Keith Davenport and Ken Mosier.

Lunch for participants provided by KFC (Paul Lollar). TRI Heart provided fuel for participants. Twnty-five businesses and individuals sponsored the event.

List of Winners and Runner’s Up: (Trophies donated by businesses, industries & the W.I. Plowmen’s Association)
Class 1 - HORSE - open
1. David Gamble; 2. Kaye Fawcett; 3. Elwood Gamble

Class 2 - tractor (12 & under)
1. Hunter Chown; 2. Derek Posthumus; 3. Jeremy Posthumus

Class 4 - Tractor - mounted - open
1.Everett Hogan; 2. Lee Grant; 3. Dick Posthumus

Class 5 - Tractor - mounted - open
1.George Burns

Class 6 – Tractor – 3 furrows
1. Tom Berry; 2. John Posthumus; 3. Danny Berry

Class 7 –Tractor – mounted-semi
1.Dave Woodman; 2. Rebecca Woodman; 3. Raymond Shannon

Class 8 - Ladies Open Class
1.Wendy Grant; 2. Allison Posthumus; 3. Lois Tisdale

Class 9 - Antique Equipment (12 entries)
Benny Green wood; Peter Myers; Lyle Streight

Class 10 – Novelty
Cole Chown; Reed Chown

Best Dressed Team- Best Plow Team: Dave Gamble
Oldest Plowman:Lyle Streight, 83; Youngest: Reed Chown, 4 years old

Best Effort Under 21: Jeremy Posthumus
Safest Plowmen: Lee & Wendy Grant; Morgan Roy; Allison Posthumus
Best Finish Horse: Kaye Fawcett; Best Finish Tractor: Peter Myers
Best Crown: David Gamble
Champion Land: Benny Greenwood

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:15 PM
September 14, 2006
Long Standing Service Award presented to Pat Norris of Howe Island

Frontenac Islands Councillor Patrick Norris, Howe Island Ward, was awarded a Long Standing Service Recognition Award at the recent Ontario East Municipal Conference (OEMC) held in Kingston.

Councillor Norris was the Mayor of Howe Island prior to the amalgamation of Howe and Wolfe islands bringing to his role, first as Deputy Mayor of Frontenac Islands many years of municipal experience, shrewd decision making skills and now, as a councillor he is a strong representative of the Howe Island ward and the community as a whole. After 30 years he continues to be a strong public servant.
The Honourable John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, there to address the delegates, presented awards to nine Eastern Ontario municipal politicians. This award program was introduced by the Ontario government in 2004 to recognize municipally elected officials celebrating 25-50 years of public service.

OEMC is held annually in September and is hosted in partnership by the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (OEEDC) and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing (MMAH).

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:07 PM
September 08, 2006
Wonderful Events Filled Summer Days on Wolfe Island

It is hard to believe that when you read this, Labour Day has come and gone, the children are back at school, we are preparing for fall events like Terry Fox runs, plowing matches and pumpkin weigh-in’s, thinking about the coming municipal elections, worrying about the future and pondering Remembrance Day in a whole different way and finally perhaps being annoyed with stores that have begun to advertise for Christmas.

Summertime on the other hand has been filled with many memorable events, one happened when:

Many of Canada’s top mystery writers descended on Wolfe Island for the 5th annual Scene of the Crime Festival.

Authors and guests included James Powell, Joan Boswell, Therese Greenwood, Tanya Huff, Jeffrey Miller, Violet Malan, Sue Pike, Peter Sellers, David Skene-Melvin, Roy Bonisteel, David St. Onge and Captain Brian Johnson. The authors were welcomed prior to the event by the Wolfe Island’s Wildlife Association.

This year’s Scene of the Crime Festival which is dedicated to celebrating Wolfe Island's heritage as the birthplace of Canada's first crime writer Grant Allen, began with a beginning writer’s workshop with Violet Malan, writer of mystery and fantasy. Authors and presenters were available for discussion.

Historian David St. Onge, curator of Kingston Penitentiary Museum, followed at the Stone Heron Gallery. St. Onge gave a brief history of the penitentiary, told tales of penitentiary life, and of course the story of a daring 1930 escape across the ice from “the Kingston Penitentiary to Wolfe Island.

Emcee Ken Keyes, reminded the audience that the community hall they were in had been renovated and painted by a team of “residents” of the pen he was instrumental in bringing to the island.

Lawyer, author Jeffrey Miller (Murder at Osgoode Hall, Where There’s Life, There’s Lawsuits, etc.) guest speaker at the luncheon at St. Margaret’s Hall hosted by the Trinity Anglican Women’s Guild regaled the audience with court room stories.

Violet Malan announced the Winners in the Scene of the Crime Short Story contest. In 1st place: Margaret Abela, Scarborough, Ont., “The Strange Case of Camellia Sinensis.” 2nd: Christina Decarie, Kingston, “Dark Coming on Quick.” 3rd: Dave Eves, Harrowsmith, “The Forestvale Grave Robbery.” Honourable mention: Dorothyanne Brown, Kingston, “The Idle Crows.” First prize is $50 and publication in the fall issue of Kingston Life magazine. Second and third prizes are $25 gift certificates from Kingston's Novel Idea bookstore.

A vote of THANKS was extended to Maureen Lollar for all her effort in organizing the

At Trinity Anglican Church Peter Sellers introduced authors Tim Wynne-Jones, Joan Boswell, Tanya Huff and Therese Greenwood who read from their own works.
Rev. Canon Chris Carr, pastor at Trinity introduced writer James Powell, winner of the 3rd annual Grant Allen award as a Canadian writer “of the mysterious and humourous sort whose stories make for a “lively and surprising read”. Powell’s stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Playboy magazine, are reprinted regularly in The Best Detective Stories of the Year and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology series.

During an interview with the author conducted by former broadcaster Roy Bonisteel, the self effacing Powell said that when he began writing, folks would challenge details in his stories, so instead of becoming an expert in every field, he resorted to inventing detail, thus reducing his amount of research. “The greatest fiction writing of all is to make people believe you know what you are talking about,” he said. “The challenge of the short story is having to wind it up tightly using an economy of words but still convey the picture.”

Powell who works as an editor, has written non-fiction and two novels but said his sense of humour is better suited to the short

Mr. Powell was presented with a beautiful kaleidoscope housed in a large box designed to look like his book “A Murder Coming” both created by local artist Linda Sutherland.

Bookseller Brian Fenlon, from As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookshop displayed a wide variety of mystery publications during the day. Scene of the Crime Board members include: Peter Sellers, Violet Malan, Ken Keyes, Chris Carr, Maureen Lollar, Brian Johnson.

Another memorable event was Wolfe Island’s Music Festival: More than 1200 persons turned out for the annual Music Festival held in perfect weather according to Festival Coordinator, the island’s Sarah McDermott.

The festival was established in 1999 and Sarah’s commitment from the beginning has been to bring the best of independent Canadian music to Wolfe Island, certainly a unique venue for local and national talent. Past festivals have featured acts like Joel Plaskett, Sarah Harmer, By Divine Right, and many more.
This year’s line up was no exception and included on opening night, The Hootenany Tour, a rotating review of Canada’s cow-punk scene with Luther Wright, Carolyn Mark, Shuyler Jansen and Jenny Whiteley and R.W.I. The following day the Toronto rock outfit Constantines lead a bill of bands, Wintersleep, Holy F*ck, Great Lake Swimmers, Jon-Rae and the River, Lady Racers, Fat Robot, FembotsChris Brown All Star Band featuring Kate Fenner and Hidden Cameras.


“While we had a great music line-up, and we encountered no problems at the event and ticket prices were reasonable, each year it becomes more difficult to get sponsors according to Sarah. “Makes you wonder if you can do it again because it is a costly event. For the festival to continue we need the ongoing support of the community and we need to support our sponsors, ” she said noting that the Community Centre Board members were wonderful to work with.
Ms. McDermott and the artistic director Virginia Clark worked with the CCB to co-ordinate the licensed charity event. Once expenses are paid, all proceeds will go to the Wolfe Island Community Centre for on-going and future upgrades at the site. No date has been set for next year’s festival.

Around Town:
*Last day to file for Municipal Elections, Sept. 29th. Election Day Nov.13th.
*Howe Island Ratepayers web
* Many thanks to the young men and women who directed ferry traffic this summer. Good Luck in all your endeavours.
*Wolfe Island Schools’ Terry Fox event Sept. 29th
*Friends of Big Sandy Bay, Seniors Day Sept.12th. Check WIBTA web site.
*Howe Islan's Terry Fox Run, Sunday Sept. 17th check

Posted by Margaret Knott at 06:20 PM
August 22, 2006
Concerns Remain About Keyes Quarry on Howe Island

Following an overview by Jennifer Current, Clark’s Consulting Service, of the Howe Island, Keyes Quarry expansion application for an official plan amendment and zoning bylaw, a concerned and sometimes vigorous question period followed.

According to Current while there was an unlicensed quarry on the property before, this new quarry on 12.89 hectares requires both an Official Plan amendment and a zoning bylaw amendment. Until about 15 years ago pits and quarries on Howe Island did not have to be licensed , however the property was zoned to permit a quarry. A portion of it is zoned agricultural only, now requiring an Official Plan amendment. The Keyes application does meet the 2005 provincial policy addressing the protection of mineral and aggregate resources.

The application for a Class B licence is limited 20,000 tons per year, the lowest amount one can apply for. In fact the application states that it would take 50 years to empty the area to be licensed, according to Current. The applicant is also seeking a licence under the aggregate resources act (MNR).
The applicant Dan Keyes and his planning consultant, Greg Minion presided over the question period along with Bob Clark and Ms. Current. The questions to them indicated concerns about elevations, aquifer, water table, ground water, wells, dust, noise, additional ferry use, berms, truck use, road use, etc. Apparently the quarry involves no excavation below the water table; there are existing walls around the exterior; blasting etc. will take place below ground level with equipment on the quarry floor; all aggregate now comes to the island by ferry while this quarry could service local market; berming and landscaping are required; crushing 1-2 weeks per year; remediation is part of the license etc. But significant areas of major concern remain including the lowering of property values and possible well water contamination, both quality of life issues. A special council meeting , already scheduled for another matter, will be held at the Howe Island Municipal Building, Wed. Sept. 13th at 7:30 pm and will include further quarry discussion. (Parish Hall only if numbers warrant).

In Other business: Bob Clark (of Clark Consulting) provided a brief update regarding the Wolfe Island Wind Farm noting that the Official Plan amendment has been submitted to the province for processing and that they met with proponents Geoff Carnegie (CREC)and John Uliani (STANTEC) to discuss a single zoning bylaw for each property and their request to zone all of the optioned land, recognizing not all optioned land will have a turbine. A review of transmission lines relative to zoning is ongoing and the proponents request for an increase to 350 metres for major set backs on non-site plan residences. Clark said that the release of the screening report may happen at the end of September or the beginning of October.

Ferry Report:Council received a Howe Island ferry report regarding operation/safety concerns of both ferries prepared by an island citizens group and presented by Jim Mills. Major concerns include: need to notify 911 if one ferry is down; the need the foot ferry operating all year with an operational bubble system; better emergency signs on the County ferry; fire drills and training for the ferry crews; signs promoting no smoking and no engine idling; more concern for placement of school bus on the ferry.

Wolfe Island Land Transfer: Council members appeared ready to come up with a selling price for the .3 acre of land which according was originally Bolton property that the family wish to acquire, to make up the acre needed for a building lot. Council was unaware of two letters received by the township since its notice was posted indicating the township was considering the sale of the surplus property. The notice did not request expressions of interest.

Penny McAllister, present at the meeting, said she had called the township office indicating her interest in the .3 acre piece and wanted the matter discussed. She is ready to make a bid and wants the sale of the property to go to sealed tender. Maggie Crothers, also present, does not want the .3 acre piece sold but used instead as a village park. The Bolton family was dismayed. After further discussion the matter has been deferred to the September meeting when staff will bring forward a report. Council hopes to conclude the matter at that time.

Howe Island Garden Buds: Council passed a resolution supporting a proposal by Howe Island Garden Buds presented by Shirley Burgess to use township land at the east end of the island adjacent to the foot ferry for a waterside park with a grass area, shade trees and benches and their request to move the Welcome sign into a new garden closer to the foot ferry. Garden Buds is prepared to work with the township to develop a plan and offered financial support to the project.

Driscoll Road: There was a request for grading, gravel and maintenance of a seasonal road on Howe Island by Kitty Samuals who said no maintenance had been done this year. Deputy Mayor Hobbs said that road work had been done to the Baseline but the rest is designated as an unopened road which he said is in the wrong place. The question of opening a road is a bigger challenge which Ms Samuals will look into.

Howe Island Cemetery Fence: Adjoining owners had put in fill and posts. Township will erect the fence.

Limestone Board: Council granted the Limestone board permission to store a new portable on Marysville school property on Wolfe Island to meet a budget date requirement, although new septic work still has to be completed.

Howe Island Fire Chief Storms Out of Meeting
Howe Island’s Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Quinn stormed out of an “in camera “ session, part of a regular Frontenac Islands council meeting on Howe Island and made his way out the door of the township building through a crowd of residents waiting for the session to end. Most were there at the invitation of Chief Quinn to lend their support to his dispute with council over what he calls “a flawed 2006 budget process,” his remuneration as Chief, and the Fire and Rescue Service.

The Howe Island Firefighters Association, the Fire & Rescue Auxiliary and the Howe Island Rate Payers Association received the letter originally sent to council and the fact sheet which included an invitation to attend the council meeting.

While waiting residents worried about Chief Quinn and discussed the pros and cons of the amalgamation of Howe and Wolfe islands, many suggesting it was time to sever the tie that should never have happened. “It’s always 3 against 2 on every issue …Howe Island would be better on its own, etc…..”.

(The Chief’s letter to council spoke of the time and energy put into the budget process, his need to provide the rationale for it with council representatives and no opportunity to do so, council’s concern with the Fire Chief’s hours and honorarium, the passage of the budget with honorarium divisions remaining and the mayor’s suggestion of possible downloading of some fire service work to municipal staff. The letter also speaks of the training required to do the Chief’s job and the insult and disrespect reflected by possible downloading.)

Prior to the first of two “in camera” sessions Mayor Vanden Hoek explained that following a final budget meeting he and acting CAO Carol Dwyre met with Chief Quinn about issues surrounding his compensation as Fire Chief and to try to create a compromise on the differing issues existing at council. Wolfe Island councillors heard the results for the first time in the closed money issue session with Chief Quinn.

Quinn on the other hand said he was at the meeting to discuss a flawed budget process which he had described in his letter to council. “ If you want to talk about money I suppose I can hang around a little longer,” he said.

Prior to the 2nd “in camera” session (which the chief so abruptly left), Quinn said he was not satisfied with the budget process and how it unfolded. He spoke of his effort in preparing the numbers for the Howe Island Fire and Rescue and the excellent meeting with the new Treasurer Chistina Lott. “ I want to thank her publicly,” he said.

According to Quinn there were differences about the budget at the council table but he was not invited to come and clarify the numbers which he found frustrating. Being the lead on the service , he said he expected a little more respect.

Councillor Calvin commented that budget meetings are open to everyone, that every budget gets trimmed a little and is not a Machiavellian process.
Mayor Vanden Hoek said the island communities are small and it was the responsibility of the department heads to stay in tune with the budget process as it moved from island to island. “I am prepared to wear some of the blame but I think it is a two way street.” he said . “In all my time on council I don’t recall any level of disrespect for either paid or volunteer department heads. We strive to be a good employer. I am a little frustrated with the language that came forward in the two documents but we will talk about that in the closed session,” he added.

” Something tells me,” Quinn said in response, “as we move through the budget year, if we have exceeded a budget line, council would be calling right away and inviting me for a discussion. Our budgets are based on what we consider the priorities for the next year, we put those numbers on paper and as a department head I would think that I would have an opportunity to talk about that . Now I am not going to chase you around from island to island,” he said. “Nor I you,” said the mayor…. “Then we have a real problem,” Quinn replied. I would appreciate a call or email to say a meeting is being held and I would be there.”
Comments from the public requested that in the future, department heads be informed of meetings. No information from the “in camera” sessions is available. The regular meeting of council continued.
Next Council Meeting: Monday,Sept. 11th at 6:30 p.m. Wolfe Island.

Around Town: *Well organized Cancer Society Ride’n’Stride fun day event was held on Wolfe Island. Attendance and pledges down.
* Family Ball tournament a great success story.
* Howe Island Terry Fox Run Sept. 17th. *Municipal Elections: Nov. 13th. Last date to file nomination papers: Sept. 29th.
* Mayor Vanden Hoek has filed .

Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:06 PM
August 11, 2006
The 2006 Wolfe Island Family Ball Tournament Another Success Story

Once again the August long weekend saw family members and friends from far and wide return home to Wolfe Island for the annual Family Ball Tournament now in its 22nd year. And it was not easy. Heavy traffic, long line- up’s and a full parking lot, saw people carrying their gear, scramble to get on the ferry to meet their game schedule.

And once again in perfect weather, a record number of twenty-eight teams played in the A & B Divisions beginning Friday evening and throughout Saturday cheered on by family, friends and hundreds of spectators. (It’s a wonder the island didn’t sink under the weight of it all.)

The make up of the teams has changed over the years with grandchildren taking over (the Bolton and the Hulton Junior teams) with an improved model of play according to members of the Community Centre Board, sponsors of the annual event. On the other hand it should be noted that a few 70 year olds ran the bases.

Everywhere interest was high. For instance, Rev. Chris Carr biked up several times during the tournament to check the score board and watch a game. Fr. Stewart Laverty, home from the States, spoke of the importance of families, friends and visitors spending time together in his Sunday homily, and the ball tournament as a unique example of real community, an example to the world.

Winners: In the A Division, the Reitzel/Radtke family team was victorious over the Mattson’s who had earlier defeated defending champions, the White Family Team.

The Eves Family Team won in the “B” Division.

The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team was presented to the Kay Greenwood Team.

Ida’s Reds,( the Lollar family team) received the Bill Kyle Sportsmanship Memorial Trophy.
Teams consist of 9 members each plus back-up. Four women must be in the field at one time. A larger (Melon) ball is used for play.

Thanks to the Ambulance Service and the Fire department, both with personnel and vehicles on hand for a fairly injury free event.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:59 AM
August 10, 2006
16th Annual Acacia Gold Puppy Reunion on Wolfe Island

People came from New Jersey, New York City, Upper New Yor, Toronto, Ottawa, St. Catherine’s and other parts of Ontario to attend the 16th Acacia Gold Puppy reunion on Wolfe Island.
One Hundred well groomed Golden Retrievers and their owners boarded the ferry for the ride to the island for the reunion at the home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent, owners and operators of Acacia Gold Kennels. Driving over was nearly an impossibility, traffic was so heavy.
And of course while the dogs played on the grounds, and swam in the lake, the owners shared stories about life with their pets. For many it was a return visit.
According to Pat, “there was not a bark, growl or snarl from any of the dogs either leashed, on the lawn or loose at the water. It was quite a sight,” she said, “and we have had good weather for these reunions every year since we started having them.”
Acacia Gold, registered with the Canadian Kennel Club has been breeding Goldens since 1991 and was the first home of the visiting dogs and their home for seven weeks after their birth.

Photos: Bill & Karin Gorham

(This article was not published in The Heritage)

Posted by Margaret Knott at 01:14 PM
Howe Island Memorial Honours Veterans

Frontenac Islands Council was the recipient of a unique memorial honouring all Howe Island veterans presented by Mrs. Joan Fawcett, a Howe Island resident at the July council meeting.

The memorial is the result of a project undertaken by Ms. Fawcett during the (2005) Year of the Veteran. to compile a complete list of Howe Island veterans who served or gave up their lives in the defence of Canada during the Great Wars, and as Peace Keepers.

In calling upon Councillor Jim Calvin, ( Colonel retired) to accept the memorial Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek commented that Colonel Calvin had commanded Canadian troops in Bosnia and engaged in the largest conflict (1993.Medak Pocket) before Afghanistan. “Out of respect for the work you have done for the Canadian Armed Forces I would ask you to accept the memorial from Mrs. Fawcett on our behalf,” he said.

Completing the project was a bigger task than anticipated according to Joan, “but as far as I know I was able to find and record all of the veterans from Howe Island, and with the help of Anne Marie Norris, Councillor Pat Norris’s daughter who did the calligraphy, the Veterans Memorial is finally ready to present.”

In accepting it, Councillor Calvin acknowledged that he was overwhelmed. “As the Mayor said, I commanded 500 troops under shell and grenade fire and one of the things that truly allows us to fulfill our duty is knowing we are supported. I congratulate you on your effort and I recognize the contribution made by the small Howe Island community,” he said.

The large framed memorial will hang in the Howe Island Township office.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:50 AM
August 08, 2006
Frontenac Islands Submits Official Plan Amendment for Final Approval

The first orders of business at the Frontenac Islands July council meeting was a report presented by Bob Clark (Clark Consulting services ) with regard to the Official Plan Amendment calling for policies permitting commercial ”Wind Farms” on both agricultural and rural land designations of the municipality. The report includes the text of comments and questions from the public meeting held in May, written agency submissions, a letter from CREC (the applicant) and their detailed response to the report.

“With regard to the Zoning By Law we are waiting for the release of Environmental Study Report and the Siting Diagram from CREC expected August or September,” said Clark who will be meeting with them soon. Clark recommended council approve the Official Plan Amendment.

Following some council discussion, but prior to the vote, Mayor Vanden Hoek left the chair to speak to the issue “In terms of timing we need to be very pragmatic about what will be the end result for the developer and keep October 2008 in mind as well as the many things the township has to deal with like zoning, site plan control, roads,” he said. “The Official Plan Amendment only brings the Official Plan in line with provincial policy. I would have to say that the municipality and its team (legal council, consultants) have demonstrated considerable foresight in the process and scope of this project and I am in support of moving forward.”

Council passed the Official Plan Amendment which will be submitted to the province’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval. Clark’s report is available for review.

Garden Buds: Faye Muller, on behalf of the Howe Island Garden Buds and Residents of Howe Island, submitted a written proposal to council for financial assistance and permission to erect a plexiglass covered Message Board for meeting notices, for sale/lost items, etc. on the North Side of Howe Island Drive in the existing flower beds installed, maintained and partially paid for by the Garden Buds. Another such board was also proposed for the nearly completed landscaped area at the east End of Howe Island near the Township ferry. ( Estimated costs $1000.- $1500.) Council agreed to the plan and will cover half the costs (noting that Wolfe Island also needs such a message board). Since the boards will be on township property all messages, posters etc. must be approved by the township prior to posting.

W.I. Landfill Site: Steve Sexton from Totten Simms Hubicki was present to discuss a legal matter (which required council to go in camera) pertaining to the 2004 annual Landfill Site report, off site concerns and a request for a meeting with the Ministry of the Environment.

Howe Island Fire Hall: The project committee has reviewed the Expression of Interest proposals received for a new Fire Hall. A recommendation will come forward regarding the issuance of an RFP at the August meeting at which time council will also discuss how the project can be funded.

W.I. Ambulance Hall modification: Council accepted the report from Patrick Thompson of Thompson Management Services re proposed modifications to the ambulance hall to cost $24,500. Council will meet with the ambulance management team following their review of the report.

Parking Tickets: In an effort to keep the ferry lanes on Wolfe Island free of cars parked overnite or parked empty during the loading/unloading of the ferry, council will continue to call upon the services of the bylaw enforcement officer from time to time as occurred recently much to the consternation of those who were ticketed.

2006 Budget: The 2006 budget and bylaw to levy taxes for Frontenac Islands was passed. Overall tax rates for Wolfe Island are down 3.43% and 11.26% on Howe. It doesn’t mean taxes are going down as assessment values increased on Wolfe 15% and 34% on Howe. The tax rate for Wolfe Island is 1.149477 % (down from 1.275997) and .799831% for Howe (down from) .976589.

In other business:
1. A public meeting is scheduled prior to the next council meeting on Howe Island, Aug. 14 regarding aggregate and quarries
2. Joan Fawcett presented a Howe Island Veteran’s Memorial to the Township. 3. Council accepted a plaque presented to the municipality by the Canadian Futures Development Corporation in recognition of municipal projects funded by CFDC.
4. Council met the new township planner Glenn Tunnock of Tunnock Consulting Limited . Tunnock sees no conflict with Clark Consulting. “We see our role as a catalyst to people fulfilling dreams, as advisors in what are often complicated processes and as educators.”
5. High speed Internet services will be at both island libraries soon.
6.There was some discussion about the removal of fencing around a cemetery bordered by Lippert property on Howe Island. “We are talking about a cemetery here, a place to dignify our ancestors. I think it was a mean spirited act to take down fence without informing us,” Councillor Calvin said. Councillor Norris suggested a survey of the cemetery property.
7. The emergency vehicle was used at Big Sandy Bay to take an injured person to the gate house.
The Council Meets on Howe Island, Mon. Aug. 14th at 6:30 p.m.

Around Town:
* Sacred Heart of Mary parishioners welcomed their pastor Fr. Ray deSouza at an outdoor gathering recently.
* Beautiful organically grown cut flowers from the gardens of Peggy Smith and Stephanie DeBruin are available at the Summer Dock Studio.
* Big Sandy Bay opens daily 9:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. Guided Tours available Wednesday to Sunday 1:30 p.m. at the gatehouse. Group tours upon request.. * Walter Sepic, Canoe Guide Instructor offers day, overnight and wilderness canoe trips.( 613-544-4451), .
* Wolfe Island’s 21st Annual Family Ball Tournament is the long weekend in August (4-5)
* Wolfe Island’s Annual Summer Music Festival Aug 11th (evening) Town Hall & 12th Community Centre Grounds. Call Sarah McDermott 613-385-1562 /
*For Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Festival, Saturday, August 19th info:, re costs/ registration, Call 613-385-2540 /
* The Canadian Cancer Society’s Wolfe Island Great Ride ‘n’ Stride Aug. 13th Walk, run or ride your bike for a great cause. Register on line For more info: Linda Thomas 613-385-1947.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:46 AM
July 20, 2006
Bike, Run, Walk for Cancer Research at the Great Ride 'n' Stride

The organisers of Wolfe Island’s 2nd annual Great Ride ‘n’ Stride fund raiser for cancer research to be held Sunday August 13th on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society, are hoping to match the number of runners who recently participated in the Wolfe Island Classic Road Race. (Kingston & the Islands has a history of supporting any event related to finding a cancer cure.)

“Most of us have experienced the loss of someone to this dreaded disease,” according to Linda Thomas, Wolfe Island’s Ride 'n' Stride event chair. “We know cancer research has led to many successes but it can only be beaten if we continue to raise funds to find a cure. The Great Ride’n’Stride is one way to do that,” she said. “Runners, walkers, cyclists are invited to take up the challenge. Invite your family members, co-workers, friends and other local groups to participate, pledge or donate.”

The Wolfe Island Great Ride 'n' Stride is a non-competitive family event which this year offers shorter and longer routes: a 15 km or 50 km Ride and a 5 km or 15 km Stride with the 4 routes ending at the island’s Corn Maze on Hwy. # 95 where a barbecue and closing ceremonies will be held at 2 p.m. Hay rides back to the ferry will be provided.

Remember the date Sun. Aug. 13th. Registration begins at 11 am at the Wolfe Island Town Hall where snacks and entertainment will be provided. To be on time means coming from Kingston on the 10:30 a.m. (or earlier) ferry. Better to leave your car behind and walk up to the Town Hall.


For more information or to obtain registration and pledge forms contact the Canadian Cancer Society, 2795 Princess Street (613-384-2361) or call Linda Thomas at 613-385-1947.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:34 AM
July 13, 2006
Wolfe Island Ferry Travel Gets No Easier for Island Residents

What a month it has been on Wolfe Island. With school out for the summer, Canada Day, the 4th of July, Pyke’s Strawberry Season, the spring opening of Big Sandy Bay, the Tourist Information Centre, Stone Heron Gallery, Ferry Lane and the Summer Dock studios, the Wolfe Island Bakery, Horne’s Ferry, the W.I. Day Camp along with golf, fishing, boating, sailing and biking Wolfe Island has been open for business big time.

As well, two major annual events, the 3rd annual W.I. Art in the Garden tour and the WI Classic Road race were successfully completed. And more are slated to happen including a number of specific golf tournaments, the WI Music Festival, the Family Ball tournament, the annual Scene of the Crime Festival and the Cancer Society’s Great Ride & Stride.

Local businesses are booming, bed & breakfast’s are filled and happily, Big Sandy Bay is increasingly becoming a destination point for visitors to the island. All Great for Tourism and the island’s economy.

University students and summer residents have returned more than doubling the island’s 1,350 population. Out of town ferry riders (cars, motorcycles, etc.) on their way to the United States or Kingston frequently stop and stay awhile. Day trippers come by the hundreds.

But at the same time the full time population of the island, a majority of whom work in Kingston, shop in Kingston, seek medical attention, entertainment, theatre, movies etc. in Kingston continue to travel on the Wolfe Islander III and daily they face the problem of not being able to get on (unless of course they sit in line turning a 25 minute trip into 3 hours or more return).

The ferry, already unable to meet the regular transportation needs of the resident population of the island (September-May) is now filled to capacity with cars always left on the dock. Canada ‘s Birthday weekend was a case in point when each ferry trip left at least a load plus on both sides and continues to leave many cars behind. Many more residents are forced to park a car in Marysville, ride the ferry and keep a car at the Kingston dock so that they can get to work etc.

There is no bus service on Wolfe Island nor is there a city bus service to accommodate walk-on travelers from the island at the Kingston dock. Add to this the road work going on in Kingston and the extra time it takes to unload the ferry and the disruption to the ferry schedule as a result.

The Township of Frontenac Islands recently called upon the Minister of Transportation to look at the Wolfe Island ferry service and to determine the best way to increase capacity. According to Frontenac Island’s Mayor VandenHoek MTO is doing just that. Whether it is to complete the EA started by the Township some years ago, whether it is to develop options in the 1994 IBI study or come up with something new, it now rests with MTO. As in the past however MTO will want a consensus from islanders.

The recommended option offered then, and rejected, was lengthening the Wolfe Islander ferry to increase its capacity by 35 cars (supposedly filling the needs of the community until 2001) operating from its present location but doing little to save time. A shorter route option (doubling hourly capacity and saving time) and an expensive bridge option (in the future), although supported by many, were rejected in favour of the ferry remaining in Marysville.

One thing is sure however, with the Island’s focus on TOURISM, developing new businesses, new home and cottage construction and the soon to be developed wind farm on Wolfe Island, both of those (shorter route, future bridge) seem immensely practical.

Does Wolfe Island need increased ferry capacity? Absolutely. What happens if the Wolfe Islander is taken out for lengthening? I hate to think about it. Is there a ferry to replace it in the interim? With ever increasing capacity problems, the Frontenac II is not a solution. Is there an fast solution? I sure hope so.

Around Town * Wolfe Island United Church hosted their Pastor Terry Wood at a pot luck supper following his reception as a Lay Pastoral Minister in Oshawa last May.
* Big Sandy Bay is now open 7 days/week from 9:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. Big Sandy Bay is providing employment for 4 students this season. Guided Tours are available Wednesday to Sunday starting 1:30 p.m. at the gatehouse with group tours upon request.
* Sacred Heart of Mary Parish bid farewell to their pastor, Fr. Ray Vickers at an outdoor gatheing following Sunday Mass recently which was also attended by Pastor Terry Wood & Rev. Canon Chris Carr.

*A service of Thanksgiving for the completion of renovations to Wolfe Island’s Christ Church (15th Line) and Trinity Anglican churches, St. Margaret’s Hall and (on going )at the cemetery vault will be held on Sunday July 23rd beginning at Christ Church at 9:15 a.m., move on to the Marysville dock, on to Trinity Church and the Cemetery vault concluding at St. Margaret’s Hall.
* Tickets for the Anglican Parish Renovation Fund Raiser are available from parish members and local merchants. Draw Aug. 1st, St. Margaret’s Hall at 8 p.m.
* For information regarding W.I.’s Summer Dock Studio’s full-half day July-August pottery classes call Kerryn 613-385-1868.
* Walter Sepic, Outdoor Educator and Canoe Guide Instructor is offering day, overnight and wilderness canoe trips. Call 613-544-4451, .
* Wolfe Island holds its 21st Annual Family Ball Tournament the long weekend in August (4-5)
* Wolfe Island Annual Summer Music Festival Aug 11th (8:30 p.m.) St. Margaret's Hall & 12th (3 p.m.) Community Centre Grounds. Contact: Sarah McDermott 613-385-1562 For detailed information:
* Canadian Cancer Society’s Great Ride ‘n’ Stride fund raising event will be held on Wolfe Island Aug. 13th Walk, run or ride your bike for a great cause. Pledge some one. Volunteer. Get involved. Register on line For more info: Linda Thomas 613-385-1947
* The Wolfe Island Annual Scene of the Crime Festival will be held Saturday, August 19th when Canada’s top mystery writers and readers’ unite on the island where Canada’s first crime writer Grant Allen was born and raised. For information go to: (Captain’s Log) For information regarding costs/registration, Call 613-385-2540 or email

Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:16 AM
July 06, 2006
Hundreds Run in 26th Annual Wolfe Island Classic Road Race.

It was a great day for 26th annual Wolfe Island Classic Road Race 5k and 10k races in spite of the humidity. A remarkable 510 persons registered for the event with more than half of them making their way to Wolfe Island from the US and from many environs in Canada.

The actual race was preceded by light breakfast and some instruction about the event at the Island Grill. And for the second year a successful Kiddy Kilometre (a 250 metre event) for children 2-6 years organized by Peggy Plunkett that included medals, ribbons, freezies, face painting and kites was held at the Community Centre grounds where more than 60 children accompanied by a parent participated.

From Sports Stats, Marc Roy was on site for the main event recording the times of the racers/walkers, many of whom chose to go for a swim in Lake Ontario as they finished. Post-race activities (prizes, medals, food, beverages) were presented near the finish line at the home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent with Ken Keyes as Master of Ceremonies. (One runner Doug Knowles in his 60th year of running has participated in all 26 Wolfe Island Classic’s.)

Race Directors Wolfe Island’s Linda Thomas and Jim Gore from Kingston extend thanks to the many local volunteers and businesses for their time and support. Major sponsors include The Running Room, Whig Standard, K Rock, Mizuno and Scott Environmental Services. Next year. Same time. Same Place.

Bret Burns, Kingston 16:26
Patrick McDermott, Kingston 17:27
Richard Raaflaub, Amherstview 17:49

Christine Coulter Kingston 19:03
Suzette Taggart Kingston 19:45
Helena Fiore Newmarket 20:37

Rob Miller Kingston 38:32
Paul Southwood Brooklin Ontario 39:18
Cody Murray Sydenham 39:31

Suzanne Garrett Kingston 40.:57
Melissa Anthony Roseneath 41:09
Cindy Lewis Kingston 41:29

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:06 AM
June 23, 2006
Planning for New Howe Island Fire Hall Moves Forward

For some months the Township of Frontenac Islands has been considering the construction of a new fire hall for Howe Island. Planning for this moved another step forward at their June council meeting when Howe Island’s Fire Chief Captain Mike Quinn was present with Patrick Thompson, Thompson Construction Management Services to give a status report on the project. Council has entered into a service agreement with Thompson Management Services for this project

“We are now requesting that Patrick begin the next step on our behalf for requests of interest and proposals,” the Chief said. “This is one of the larger capital projects we will be considering,” according to Mayor Vanden Hoek. “By the next meeting in July council will probably be asked to consider issuing an RFP and if the price is right the municipality may very well go down the path of a new service building for Howe Island,” he said.

Chief Quinn said that a site location has been selected and a preliminary sketch has been prepared along with a preliminary cost estimate. Thompson said the next step is the public invitation for Expressions of Interest from Design Build contractors through public advertising for the upcoming construction of a new 5000 square foot Fire Hall based on certain mandatory design elements. Through a committee selection process 3 or 4 companies will then be considered for participation at the RFP stage. Thompson will work with Deputy Clerk Carol Dwyre and Chief Quinn as representatives of the township on this project.

In other business: At the request of Council Patrick Thompson looked at a way of expanding the Wolfe Island Emergency Services building ( perhaps going up) to provide overnight accommodation for ambulance volunteers who come from the Kingston. He informed council that “going up” would be a very expensive option. He suggested instead a ground level addition. Thompson will bring further recommendations to the July meeting.

After many months and much work by Howe Island land owners D. Driscoll and R. Vradenburg the Township has agreed to assume the Baseline Road Extension as a limited service street and to maintain it to the same standard as Fuller Road when the Extension has been built by the owners according to established standards.

The Council moved into the Committee of Adjustment for the hearing of 5 applications for consent, all of which generated much discussion. Three of the applications were deferred until council obtains more information
regarding ‘impact assessments of aggregate’.
The Woodman consent was deferred to determine if it is a request for a 3rd or 4th severance.
The H. McIntyre consent (approved as a limited service residential) in spite of concern over width of access road.
Mayor Vanden Hoek announced that CAO Terry O’Shea will be absent for 4 plus months due to poor health, expressing best wishes for a quick recovery. Councillor Hobbs expressed concern with the work load that will fall to remaining staff as a result. Clark Consulting will provide some insight into staff work load around the wind power project. Council will consider other options if necessary.

Councillor Calvin informed council that the $17, 000 estimate for equipment acquisition for Big Sandy Bay came in at $10,850. He also noted an equipment donation valued at $500. from Cathie Herroun and Roly Jansen, already.generous contributors.
Mayor Vanden Hoek wondered if council members were prepared to re-visit the trailer bylaw which had received significant debate but with no passage of a proposed amendment. Further input by council was requested by CAO O’Shea some time ago.
Budget deliberations are well underway. Councillor Grant’s question regarding “Cash-in-lieu of parkland” recommended for most consent application will be discussed at the next budget meeting. A Frontenac Islands web site update will be prepared for the next regular meeting of Council to be held on Wolfe Island, Monday, July 10th.

Run, Walk, Enjoy! The Wolfe Island Classic 5K-10K Run now in its 26th year will happen, rain or shine on Sunday July 2nd .The run, with categories, prizes and medals for men , women and youth from under 12 years to over 70 years starts at 9:30 a.m. in Marysville and ends 1 km west of the village by the water . (Perfect place to cool off at the end of the race.)
The event sponsored by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association in association with the Kingston Running Room regularly draws runners from the USA and many parts of Canada.

It is a family event beginning with the ferry ride from Kingston or Cape Vincent, a Kiddy Kilometre for children 2-6 years and free light breakfast and pre-race presentations at the Island Grill. For further information contact: or Call Race Director Linda Thomas 613-385-1947
Medical Clinic Annual Meeting: The Wolfe Island Medical Clinic re-elected Mildred Hawkins-Walton as President of the Board of Directors for the year 2006-2007. Dr. Duncan Day is Vice President, Secretary Elise Huffman with Marietta Banting continuing as Treasurer. Directors include Frank Balint, Catherine Merry, David Colbourne and Frontenac Islands Councillor Jim Calvin ex-officio member.
FYI , the Clinic Board is sponsoring a Charity Golf Tournament in support of the Medical Clinic on Sunday Aug 6th at the Alston Moore Golf Links.

Speaking of golf: The Wolfe Island River Front Golf Course is a participating member in the “Take a Kid to the Course Week”, a program held during the 1st week of July (3-9) to encourage children to learn the game of golf. The annual event is sponsored by NGCOA Canada (National Golf Course Owners Association). For details call the River Front at 613-385-2978.

Around Town: * A Potluck Supper to celebrate Fr. Grainger’s 40th Anniversary as a priest and to welcome him to Howe Island was turned instead into a Farewell. Fr. Grainger is taking a sabbatical.
* A Farewell & Thank You will be held for Fr. Ray Vickers at Wolfe Island’s Sacred Heart of Mary Church grounds after the 9:30 Mass, Sunday July 2nd. Fr. Vickers came out of retirement in November 2005 to serve there when once again the parish was without a pastor.
*Take note registration for the WI Fire Dept Gary Bryant Memorial Golf Tournament at the River Front Golf Course is now underway. Teams of 3 only. Call Joe Taggart 613-385-2233.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 12:41 PM
June 12, 2006
Frontenac Islands Calls for Comments About Proposed Wind Farm

Finally, the formal process of establishing a large scale wind farm on Wolfe Island began with a public meeting called by the Township of Frontenac Islands to consider an Official Plan Amendment application and to hear the comments and concerns of the community.

An application for an Official Plan and Zoning bylaw amendment was submitted by CREC, the wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. The Official Plan amendment if approved by council will add a policy to the Official Plan permitting commercial wind turbines throughout Frontenac Islands (Wolfe & Howe) in both rural and agricultural areas. Provincial policy now permits wind farms in agricultural zones.

Chaired by Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek the meeting was attended by all members of Council, CAO Terry O’Shea, township planners Clark Consulting Services Bob Clark, Jennifer Current and Margaret Gordon, and representatives from CREC including IBI consultant John Ulianna, Jeff Carnegie, and John Forrester.

“This meeting is for council to hear comments and concerns from the community for the debate council will have before it makes a final decision for the municipality. There is no resolution to approve or reject the application at this time,” the Mayor said.

Bob Clark reviewed the Planning process required for the Official Plan amendment, while Jennifer Current followed with an outline of what has transpired since the township received the application from CREC who are now completing the Environmental Screening report process for the wind turbine project. The Zoning bylaw amendment will be dealt with at a future Public meeting. A site plan agreement process is also undertaken by the applicant.

Clark Consulting Services has recommended that the differentiation between rural and agricultural lands in the Official Plan be eliminated for the whole township (not just lands optioned by CREC) and the need for a site specific Zoning bylaw be retained. The blanket approach recognizes the possibility of further requests for wind turbines on the islands. John Ulianna offered some comments on behalf of CREC and the benefits of clean renewable energy to the prosperity of the island.

What followed was a comment and question period, that ranged from the expected to the unexpected. All comments were heard. All questions with few exceptions were answered or deferred for further information.

Questions were posed regarding noise; danger to bird and butterfly migratory pathways; local road maintenance during and after construction; heavy traffic (trucks, cars, bicycles); resident transportation problems; over use of the ferry; possibility of more wind towers; height & size of towers; what benefit there is for all islanders; tax agreements with developer; property values; set backs, site plans; tower lighting , loss of night skies; what benefits to eco tourism; disposal of waste during construction; permanent job creation; how much per kilowatt will CREC receive; and more.

A number of residents spoke enthusiastically about the project, and their desire to see it move forward based on there own studies of many of the issues. Indeed some of them had visited Europe and were favourably impressed with the wind farms they had seen.

Generally many of the 80-90 attendees appeared satisfied with the answers they received from Bob Clark, CREC’s Jeff Carnegie and Mayor Vanden Hoek, and pleased with the information put forward. Residents were encouraged to submit written comments to the Wolfe Island Town Hall.

Residents are anxious for the next step when CREC calls a public meeting at which time they will finally see a site plan for the 86 wind towers slated for the island and the all important Environmental Screening Report. That site plan will answer many of thus far unanswered questions about set backs., distances from homes, noise etc.

Art in the Garden Tour Plans are well underway for Wolfe Island’s 3rd Annual Art in the Garden Tour to be held, rain or shine on Sunday, June 25th . The tour offers visitors an opportunity to experience the historic charm of Wolfe Island, to discover hidden gardens and the work of its many multi- talented artists, who will present works in different mediums including watercolour, acrylic and oil painting, pottery and ceramics, wood and stone carving, glass and metal sculpture displayed in those gardens.
Buses will be on hand to greet ticket holding guests coming by ferry from Cape Vincent, NY and Kingston to the island and the gardens shown for the first time on this tour. Guides will provide a running commentary about the history and lore of the islands. Lunch will be provided by the W. I. Volunteer Fire Fighters at the Sanford home by the water where guests can also enjoy the island’s peace and charm. The Art in the Garden Tour is sponsored by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association. For tickets ($25.00) and information call 613- 385-1551 or

Catholic School Debate: The Director of Education Michael Schmitt, staff and members of the Board of the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board met with parents and friends of Sacred Heart school, presented a capital plan, provided a staffing update and announced that in spite of a general decline in numbers within the board and province, Sacred Heart is a viable Catholic school with stable enrolment and will remain open with 3 teachers and a full time teaching vice principal. The Ryan Centre will remain open but the board is looking at different staffing and operating models.

Two organizational charts were presented , one continuing the present arrangement with Limestone District School Board (all JK & SK at Marysville), and the other with the return of the JK and SK children to Sacred Heart. The board, looking for input to determine which way to proceed, received comments for and against change. They were also asked to keep Adam Geris grade 7-8 teacher on staff.

The board will look into the arrangement they presently have with the Public School Board and the request by some parents that Jr.& Sr. Kindergarten return to Sacred Heart School.

Around Town:
* Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic Annual Meeting Wed. June 14th at 7:30 pm at the Medical Clinic
* Rev. Raymond de Souza has been appointed pastor at W.I’s Sacred Heart of Mary Church. * Rev. Shawn Hughes appointed to Gananoque and St. Philomena , Howe Island.
* Congratulations to Des Pitts on his induction into the Queen’s Sports Hall of Fame.
*People are out walking and running in preparation for the W.I. Classic Road Race July 2nd. To register on line:

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:52 AM
May 30, 2006
Wolfe Island Youth Plant Trees for Peace

White Ash, White Spruce, Sand Bar Willow, Easter White Pine, Cedar and Oak were among some of the 500 seedling trees planted recently at Wolfe Island’s Big Sandy Bay by nine Grade 7 &8 students from the island’s Sacred Heart School.
The event, the second of two plantings on the island this spring, was organized through the Trees for Peace program now in its 8th year. The program was inspired by Irish and Canadian youth who together planted 600,000 across Canada. Since it began in the region students have planted over 100,000 throughout Lennox & Addington and Frontenac Counties where Wolfe Island has become one of 90 tree planting sites.

Before going out to plant, the Sacred Heart students along with their teacher Adam Geris participated in a classroom presentation focusing on the importance of trees in the ecosystem, the creation of wildlife habitat, water quality and erosion control given by Trained field supervisors Kevin Hansen and Bret Coleman from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The following day at the Big Sandy Bay site after some instruction in the proper planting method, teacher and students fanned out to plant in areas where in the past trees and vegetation had been damaged and in areas now out of bounds to vehicular traffic.

The day was cool and a gentle breeze kept the bugs away. The young people worked with enthusiasm and were well pleased at the end of the day with what they had done. “It was a good day for all of us,” Mr. Geris said. “It is amazing what can be accomplished by just a few if you really put your heart into it.”

Along with Kevin and Bret Coleman the students were accompanied by Linda Van Hal, Co-chair, Friends of Big Sandy Bay and Member, Frontenac Stewardship Council.

Landowners can apply to Trees for Peace and pay ($.60 per tree) to have sites evaluated and trees planted in the early spring, according to their plans, to prevent soil erosion, provide windbreaks, etc.

Partners in the Trees for Peace program include: Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, Frontenac Stewardship Council, Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Limestone District School Board, MNR, foundations, local companies and service clubs For information contact: Susan Moore 613-379-5958, or visit

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:10 AM
May 29, 2006
Wind Power Project Moves to Next Phase

The amenities agreement between Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. and Frontenac Islands continues to move forward. According to Mayor Vanden Hoek it is 99% complete. “It is beyond what I call the broad brush negotiating stage,” he said. “A confidential draft form prepared by our solicitor Tim Wilkins is in the hands of members of council, half of whom have already commented.” When it becomes a final document it will be received by council (in camera) where a decision will be made whether to sign it or not at which time it will become public.

“ It has been a long negotiating process but I think between members of council and the efforts of our CAO , our consultant Howard Allen and our solicitor we have come a long way,” the mayor said. “We are here to look after, in this instance the residents of Wolfe Island and we have said, well before the province changed the assessment cap to $40,000. per turbine that this wind farm project must benefit the whole community. We have never deviated from that.”

Commenting on the Public Meeting (May 31st) with regard to the proposed Official Plan Amendment, Mayor Vanden Hoek said that the Public Meeting process allows council to hear from those opposed but he noted that there has been very little opposition to the wind farm proposal. “Council has done a fair amount of homework. We are well aware of the tradeoffs and will look at it with our eyes wide open,” he said.

Musing a little the Mayor said that Wolfe Island has been waiting for something to happen noting that the agricultural component of the island had diminished from well over 100 hundred dairy farms to 5 or 6; beef farming is a second income; there are some cash crops and specialties but agriculture no longer supports the number of families it did even 10 years ago. “We don’t have the Kraft Plant or a large commercial fishery - things families earned their living from. But the land is still there, the base is still there, the people are still there,” he said. “From the comments I hear people have been waiting for something to fill the gap, and they believe wind power will do it.”

The Mayor meets the Minister a 2nd Time: Mayor Vanden Hoek and CAO Terry O’Shea were in Toronto for a follow up meeting regarding the Wolfe Island ferry service with the Minister of Transportation to make sure as the Mayor put it, “ that we are still on the same page as when we first met a month ago.”

The Mayor said the key event that has happened is that after 10 years except for one extra ferry trip which happened in 2001, “we are off ‘Status Quo’, a buzz word our residents may have forgotten, and the Ministry staff in Kingston has direction to work on the ferry issue which they haven’t had before. As a matter of fact,” he said, “they may have had direction to the contrary in the past.”

According to the Mayor , MTO will carry out a technical assessment of the 30 year old Wolfe Islander III to determine whether it is capable of a lengthening or not. “Many view her as a new boat but until we know there can be no discussion,” he said. “And after that it is going to take awhile with a lot of process and consultation before we come to a final solution. I believe the next council will have to stay focussed on the fact the community needs transportation improvement and must remain determined to keep the process moving. I think people are saying its time to make a decision.”

Mayor Vanden Howk who declared a few months ago he would not stand for re-election, now says he is reconsidering that option, “With all that is in front Frontenac Islands, the wind power project and MTO indicating they are prepared to re-visit the ferry issue , which is one of the reasons I entered politics in the first place almost 10 years ago, I will reconsider and make a decision by mid summer, “ he said. “But first I must get a sense of what the community wants regarding transportation. I need to talk to neighbours, friends, members of the community to gauge if what I think should happen compares with what the community wants.”

For your information The legislation dealing with the four year term for municipal councils in Ontario was given Royal Ascent last week. The term for the next elected councils beginning on December 1, 2006 will be four years.

Interesting to note that Mayor Vanden Hoek met with Minister Harinder Takhar. Donna Cansfield has been appointed the new Minister of Transportation.

Around Town:
* W.I.’s Fire Chief James White extends thanks to the entire community for their overwhelming assistance and contributions toward the recent funeral of a fallen comrade.
* FYI a van donated by Trudi & Case DeReuiter is now located on Simcoe Island for use by the W.I. Fire Dept and contains pump, fire hoses, fire suits and can be used for Fire Safety programs.
*Don’t you hate receiving unsigned stuff in the mail.
* Barbara Laroque has sent her Wolfe Island book proposal to the publisher. Looking to complete remaining chapters, she will be on the island May 30-June 29th call 385-2358 or 385-2656.
* Howe Island’s Garden Buds 3rd Annual Yard Sale Sat. June 3rd 8:30- 2pm at St. Philemon’s Hall. Rent a Table ($20.00) Come for Lunch. Proceeds for community projects Contact D.Higgs 548-8378
* 3rd Annual Kane/Mosier Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday June 10th, 2006, Riverfront Golf Course. Call Ward McCready @385-9925 or 385-9978 to book your foursome,.
* June 10the Friends of Big Sandy Bay Book Sale , Old Fire Hall 10-5:30 pm. Early Bird Friday 5-8 p.m.
*Plans for Art in Garden Tour June 25th well underway. Contact Liz 385-2173 *Now is the time to plant your Pumpkin seeds for the October Great Pumpkin Weigh In.
* Register now for the July 2nd Wolfe Island Classic Road Race on line @ Click on Island Classic or in person at the The Running Room, 277 Princess St., Kingston. Also looking for Race Day Volunteers Call Linda 385-1947.
* The Cancer Society’s Great Ride & Stride will once again be held on Wolfe Island Aug.13th More to follow. Contact Linda 385-1947

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:08 PM
May 17, 2006
First Canadian Crime Writer Subject of 2nd Historic Mural

Grant Allen, known as Canada’s first crime writer is highlighted in a new mural installed in Marysville on Wolfe Island, the 2nd in a planned series. Grant Allen was born on Wolfe Island on Feb. 24, 1848 in the manor of the Baron de Longueiil family known as Ardath Castle. He was the son of Antisell Allen, the first Anglican minister on Wolfe Island and Catharine Ann (Grant) Allen, daughter of the 5th baron de Longueuil, Charles Wm. Grant. The Scene of the Crime Festival now in its 5th year is a highlight of the summer season on the island and was launched to honour Allen.

The mural was installed on the community Centre buiding beside the island’s Town Hall and Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association’s Information Centre. It was painted collaboratively by local artists Pat Sandford, owner and operator of the island’s Stone Heron Gallery, Kim Woodman, creator of large and spectacular oil paintings of Canada and Linda Sutherland, whose work in both glass and oil is well known.

The sepia coloured mural includes Grant Allen, his hounds, his book case and an outline of his childhood home taken from pictures since the building no longer exists. “ Another exciting day for us, and again a labour of love”” according to Pat Sanford as she, Kim and Linda watched the mural being mounted in the pouring rain and later enjoying the moment over coffee at the General Wolfe Hotel. The artists gave freely of their time talent as a gift to the community.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 01:51 PM
May 16, 2006
Frontenac Islands Township Joins Frontenac County on The Internet

Wolfe Island resident David Colburn was on hand at the May meeting of the Frontenac Islands council to introduce members of council to the Frontenac Islands web site which is now up and running at

Colburn's firm, Island Design Works, under contract with the County, developed both the Frontenac County and Frontenac Islands web sites. During his presentation, he demonstrated the ease of accessibility to the drop down lists for 3 categories: residents (ferries, taxes), visitors (ferries, Big Sandy Bay) and business (application forms and marketing tools), as well as the main sections (Township Council, Emergency Services, Economic Development, Big Sandy Bay, Community Centre Board and various other links).

He suggested that it should be a member of Frontenac Islands staff, with council approval, who authorizes what is added to the site (forms, minutes, application forms etc.). “In the near future as both sites continue to develop, Frontenac Islands may want to put up contracts, bid proposals and share pages with the County,” he concluded. The future long term management of the site will be determined.

Economic Development: Mayor Vanden Hoek welcomed Frontenac County Economic Development Officer, Dianna Brattina to the meeting. “I have heard Dianna’s “Report on the Economy and 3 year Plan for Economic Development for Frontenac County” and wanted members of council to hear it,” he said.

As she started her presentation filled with facts, figures and insights, Ms. Brattina said she had read much and met with many organizations for its preparation. “As the Manager of Economic Development I work on behalf of the County and the four Townships it comprises.”

Her report identifies and profiles the main components of a plan to develop and promote The Frontenacs to attract new business and investment. It includes statistical, a socio-economic and sector profiles plus an assessment of County “investment readiness.” Each section includes goals, objectives and recommended actions resulting in a 3-year plan focusing on 3 economic development priorities: general communications; retaining and expanding existing businesses and industries; attracting new business and investment opportunities. The communications sector looks to raise the County profile and to identify what stops development and propose solutions and opportunities. The plan proposes to identify the needs of existing businesses (agriculture, tourism, forest products, water-based, talent and knowledge based as well as environmental) and assist development and expansion. And finally to attract new business investment, the plan suggests working with partners and networks; promoting County opportunities by the gathering, packaging and distribution of market intelligence to support commercial and industrial development and business planning. The entire report will be made available on the Frontenac County web site in the near future at:

In other business Councillor Calvin presented operating budget projections for Big Sandy Bay. He said that between 2004 and 2005 they saw an increase in revenues (gate fees) of $3000 because of advertising program and believes that will carry on. The BSB Stewardship Committee is forecasting $22,350. in revenues with total costs $21, 255. “That may be a little ambitious, a $4500. hike over last year’s $17,000 but we think we will clear $20,000. There are also donations and permit payments,” he said. He noted a need for maintenance vehicle at the site (lawn mower), T-shirts and other miscellaneous costs and a hoped for CPR course . “ Salaries are the biggest expenditure, and as of July 1st I will receive information regarding salaries going out are revenues coming in and as of August 1st if we are not balancing out we will begin to reduce the hours,” he said. Council approved the budget.

Councillor Calvin’s capital budget for Big Sandy Bay requiring funding from the township includes 2 major purchases, a lawn mower ($1000. used ) and a good quality $16,000. maintenance vehicle (4wheel drive 4 passenger ATV diesel vehicle with a dump box and frame that could potentially bring out an injured person on a stretcher). “I think it is time to bite the bullet. We need something to go and pick up garbage, and keep trails clean and for other uses.” A discussion followed about grants, lease to buy projects, County involvement etc. A resolution approving the $17,000. capital budget was passed and tabled until the first township budget meeting.

The bid for planning consulting services from Tunnock Consulting Limited has been accepted for a 3-year term. However Clark Consulting will retain certain ongoing files, (wind power , quarry, certain severances). A lengthy discussion ensued about severances, costs, $75. + site visits, staff input, consultant advice for both staff and client, and what council can approve.

Once again the request to purchase a small piece of property to add to an existing lot made by L. Bolton has hit a snag. A bylaw regarding the sale of surplus township lands, which requires public notice is now in place. Council declared it surplus and agreed to sell it. The successful bidder then assumes all costs including the required advertising.

1.A request for a road closure was denied. 2. Mayor Vanden Hoek declared June 1-30th Seniors Month. 2. Councillor Grant said the Community Centre Board is looking for money for the play ground. He noted that the water line to the grounds is not finished. 3. A Big Sandy Bay staff training day will be held. 4. A public meeting will be held May 31st at the Wolfe Island Town Hall regarding the Wind Power Official Plan amendment.

The next regular meeting of Frontenac Islands Council will be held on Howe Island June 12, 2006.

Around Town:
* Trinity Anglican Summer Sunday worship hours 9:15 am. Beginning June 11th worship on the 2nd Sunday of the month will be held at Christ Church, 15th Line Road.
* W.I. Tourist Information Centre Opens May 19th Coming events:
* Trinity Anglican Church Bake Sale, St. Margaret’s Hall, Sat. May 20th 11 am.
* Wolfe Island United Church Fish Fry & Plant Sale Sat. May 20th (Doors Open 4:30 p.m.). May 20th W.I. Wildlife Association Golf Tournament, Alston Moor Golf Links, Tee off: 10 am & 1:30 pm ($40.) Contact George McAllister@ 385-2879 or Danny Mosier @ 385-2460m
* Howe Island’s Garden Buds 3rd Annual Yard Sale Sat. June 3rd 8:30- 2pm at St. Philemon’s Hall. Proceeds for community projects Contact D.Higgs 548-8378
*New Wolfe Island Library hours begin June 5th, Mon. 10-1 pm; Tues. 5-8 pm; Thurs. 2-5; 6-8 pm & Sat.9-1 pm. Also Friday’s July 7-Sept.1st, 2-5 pm.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:24 PM
April 28, 2006
Scott Industrial Services, New Owner of former Wolfe Island Kraft Plant

The Factory ( Wolfe Island’s former Kraft Plant on Hwy. 96) will take on a new life. The building and large property (plus the 100 acre spray field adjacent to the 10th line) was sold in December 2005 to Scott Industrial Services, a company founded and owned by George Scott, a Kingston businessman.

Former Factory owner Cindy Day, made this announcement at a recent meeting of the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association where she introduced Scott, an enthusiastic spokesperson for Scott Industrial Services. Scott was present to outline his plans for the property. (Area rug cleaning is already underway at the site.) With him was Kevin Matthews, president Canada Composting Inc and Michael Lavelle. Frontenac Islands Mayor Vanden Hoek was also present. Cindy-and-Scottt.jpg

“About a year ago Cindy and I began discussing some options for The Factory. One of the major issues we had to address was the contamination on the site,” he said “Looking at different technologies to remove it I concluded a cost efficient bio technology using water and infusing contamination-eating micro organisms into the soil was the answer. It’s a process slow to get going but once the colonies grow it proceeds quickly.” Scott anticipates the regularly monitored site will be clean by July or August of this year. A remediation program had been started by the previous owner to deal with contamination left by Kraft Canada.

Scott has a proposal before the City of Kingston to contract with them to pick up and process organic waste, which, if approved, would be the major source for processed materials for the island. They propose to pick up and process organic waste at a bio energy facility at their location in Kingston using what is called a BTA, a biological process of anaerobic digestion which turns the material into biogas, a renewable energy producing electricity and heat (more that 1mw). The high quality compost (the digested material), becomes the natural fertilizer (bi-solids) for application at the proposed commercial sod farm at the island’s spray field. Scott equated the process to a mechanical cow. Scott Industries is open to accepting household waste from other communities including Wolfe Island.

Scott noted that apart from the sod farm and a possible co-operative greenhouse he is interested in pursuing the plans for two service-based businesses, a coin laundry and a small water bottling plant, developed by Cindy Day. He anticipates that there could be 7 full-time and 15 seasonal jobs created on the island.

Scott answered questions about smell, safety of transporting processed digested waste, hazardous waste, licensing, compliance and environmental stewardship and a waste ingestion system at the site.

WIBTA will write the City of Kingston indicating their support of the Scott Industrial Services’ waste management proposal to pick up and process organic waste in the City of Kingston. Scott would welcome all letters of support addressed to the Kingston City council. Mayor Vanden Hoek said that Frontenac County as well as KEDCO has written in support of the project.

Scott Industrial Services is a privately owned Kingston company providing services to industrial, commercial and institutional clients in southern and central Ontario. Their water blasting services, high velocity vacuum loading, and environmental services account for a large portion of business.

Take Note Cyclists: Cycling on Wolfe Island is a popular activity of visitors to the island. From early spring to late fall, they come alone or in groups boarding the ferry in Kingston for a day of cycling. Colour coded route maps are available for sale at the Wolfe Island Information Centre and the island routes are marked with tiny coloured coded bicycle to guide cyclists on their way. Something new has been added with the purchase of a number of bikes, by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association for rent at the Summer Dock Studio, located beside the island’s tourist information Centre. Potter Karryn Graham operator of The Studio and her husband Robert, a local musician, have undertaken the Bicycle Rental service. Check it out.

LOST IN THOUGHT: Wolfe Island artist Debra Krakow held a solo exhibition “Lost in Thought” at Kingston’s Fort Frontenac. Debra a native Montrealer graduated in 1988 from McGill University with a degree in Architecture. She undertook art studies at a number of schools in Montreal, and Nova Scotia as well as the Kingston School of Art.

Krakow now lives on Wolfe Island with her husband Robert and their two children. She works at her profession by day and paints in her spare time. Debra’s watercolours describe, in vivid colour and unique style every aspect of rural life and landscape on the island. “I step out the door and there is something to paint. I look out the window and there is something to see. I walk onto the ferry and something catches my eye. I am encouraged by my husband who urges me on and my children who take pride in what I do,” Debra said at her exhibition. Krakow’s work has been exhibited in both the US and Canada and is displayed at the Summer Dock Studio on Wolfe Island.

Around Town:
*More people participated in this year’s Good Friday Ecumenical Pilgrimage Way of the Cross.
*Winners of the 1st annual W.I. Early Years Trivia night ($600.) was the RWI team of Scott Carter, Darren Divian , Jim Harris, Alec Varken, Janet McRae & Amy Bello.
*David Clark, a YCA certified Instructor will offer skippered sailing charters (daytime) from the General Wolfe Hotel dock. For information call 1-613-385-2929
*Horne’s Ferry to Cape Vincent begins operation May 1st. * Children from both Wolfe Island schools joined in the annual clean-up of the village.
*Howe Islanders undertook their annual roadside clean up as part of Pitch In Canada week.
*Thanks to Marley & Nathan Samson, Ali & Jeff Batley, Nathan Lambert, Graham Balint, Axil Mellon who joined Mrs.Claire Muller cleaning up (18 bags) the pine woods beside the dump “leaving it in pristine condition.
*The W.I. Community Policing Committee continues to look for more volunteers.
*Sacred Heart Schools’s Spring Fling May 10th 5:30- 7 p.m.
*The General Wolfe Hotel was the 2006 recipient of the Golden Fork award.
*Friends of Big Sandy Bay, Mother’s Day Walk ( family event) at Big Sandy Bay 1:30 p.m.
*The Township of Frontenac Island web site: .

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:32 AM
April 27, 2006
Firefighter's Funeral held on Wolfe Island

coffin-arrivesagain.jpgMore than 200 firefighters came from all areas of the province to Wolfe Island to honour a fallen comrade Gary Bryant who died in the line of duty. Bryant 54, collapsed and died of a heart attack after helping extinguish a grass fire behind a row of island houses. He was accorded a full Firefighters funeral service, a show of support and solidarity and a first for the island.

On the island, the firefighters and emergency service workers formed an honour guard into Marysville waiting quietly for the arrival of the ferry and the Island’s pumper truck carrying the helmet and flag draped casket of their brother firefighter. The truck was accompanied by island firefighters in active work dress, island Fire Chief James White, Deputy Tim Hawkins, Howe Island Chief Mike Quinn, family members and friends. Also waiting at the dock were the Mayor and members of Frontenac Island council. councilmembers-wait.jpg

Provincial Ministers John Gerretsen and Monty Kwinter, Ontario Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle, Kingston’s Mayor Harvey Rosen. and many fire chiefs from across the province attended the moving ceremony.

The firefighters came to full attention saluting the casket as it moved on its way through the village, following behind in procession to Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church where Wolfe Island United Church Pastor Terry Wood officiated at the service also attended by Fr. Ray Vickers and Rev, Canon Chris Carr. Waiting at the church were the school children and members of the Wolfe Island fire brigade.
And what a service it was in a beautiful church filled to capacity where the sons of the deceased Josh and Luke McCann-Bryant, Mayor Vanden Hoek, Fire Chief James White and other dignitaries spoke about Bryant as a father, a dedicated citizen, a firefighter who made the supreme sacrifice, “a hero to us”.

leaving-church2.jpgBut in the end it was the members of the Wolfe Volunteer Fire Department who carried their brother Firefighter Gary Bryant to his final place of rest at Point Alexander cemetery. The Wolfe Island community accepted him as one of their own and welcomed him home.

The loss of a Firefighter in the line of duty and the outpouring of respect and ceremony it generates by “the brotherhood” provide a vivid reminder and an opportunity to say thank you to the unsung heroes, firefighters and medical service personnel who work quietly in the background protecting our lives and communities.

A reception was held at the Wolfe Island Fire Hall following the service.

(Wolfe Island United Church was too small to accomodate the large crowd exepected to attend the funeral service and Sacred Heart Church was graciously offered. “We are neighbours,” Fr. Vicker's is quoted as saying.)



Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:19 AM
April 18, 2006
Wind Power, Murals, Fire Hall, Land Fill site. Township Filled with Issues

The April meeting of Frontenac Islands Council was filled with issues that are part of most municipalities but the first order of business was an issue exclusive to Wolfe Island at this time. Council met ‘in camera’ with Howard Allen C.A., and Township solicitor Tim Wilkin and Bob Clark Consulting to discuss the Canadian Hydro Inc. Wind Power Project amenities agreement and other concerns.

Following that, Clark Consulting presented 3 options with regard to the Official Plan amendment. The effect of the 1st amendment would be that commercial wind farms would be permitted in rural and agricultural designations applicable to both Howe and Wolfe Island. The 2nd option would permit commercial wind farms only on agricultural and rural land west of the W.I. canal, requiring other changes to the Official Plan as permitted uses in certain sections. Option 3 relates to the differences between Howe and Wolfe Island and is really Option 1 for Wolfe Island only. Clark Consulting recommended Option #1 and a first Public Meeting regarding a Zoning and Site Plan approach and a second meeting when the official turbine site plan is unveiled. Council favours #1.

In other business Council approved the hanging of a 2nd WIBTA historic mural, “Scene of the Crime” at the W.I. Community Hall. WIBTA president Pat Sanford, owner /operator of the Stone Heron Gallery also received permission to use the Community Hall for the Gallery at the cost of $550. (up $50.) for the summer season. Councillor Grant suggested that the Arts & Crafts group which uses a section of the community hall might also pay a fee, (deferred to next month). Ms. Sanford informed council that WIBTA will pay for the Community Policing signs as requested Community Policing Committee.

Guy Laporte (Totten Simms Hubicki) presented the annual Wolfe Island waste disposal site report. Mr. Laporte noted that in 1993 the site , operating in compliance with the 1994 Certificate of Approval was predicted to close in 2007 but good use of the site, recycling and reduced usage now suggests no closure until 2018. There continues to be groundwater and surface water monitoring. “It would seem that a plume of leachate comes and goes with different water levels but there is no evidence of it in the domestic well,” he said. Council received the report with a copy to be sent to the Ministry of the Environment and to the neighbouring property owner. Some concern was expressed about cost of closing a site and how much should be set aside each year as a budget item.

Laporte predicted that Wolfe Island will end up shipping garbage off the island when the site closes while still paying monitoring costs.

Appreciation was expressed at this time to W.I. resident Clare Muller for her road clean- up efforts.

Krista Vandewal, Frontenac County (CHRP Intern) presented the widely used Human Resources- Employment Assistance Program (EAP) , available to any employee dealing with work or personal issues provided by Kingston Family Services. Vandewal is seeking 2 members to participate in a Joint EAP Committee which meets 1 or 2 times a year. She will follow up with CAO O’Shea.

Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn presented the case for proceeding with the next steps towards the development of Frontenac Islands new Fire Hall on Howe Island. ”In 2005 there has been a fair amount of leg work packaged and brought forward.,” Chief Quinn said.“But we need to take the next step to find a project coordinator.”

‘We need a new building,” Councillor Hobbs said. “With costs constantly going up there is no point in holding off but we do not have the expertise. Council supported a detailed Pre Contract award phase received from (Patrick) Thompson Construction Management Services (TCMS) in the amount of $8928.00.

A “selling of municipal lands” by law deferred till next month. Also deferred and referred to W.I. Wildlife Association Sunday Gun Hunting information from the Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Licence free Family Fishing weekend July 7-9 information referred to Howe and Wolfe Island Fire Chiefs.
Council gave approval and $250.00 to a plan/request submitted by Greg Caldwell to do landscaping work around the W.I. Tourist Information Centre. Labour and some costs will be assumed by WIBTA.

Based on the declared possibility that the Ryan Centre Outdoor education program will cease operation Council, passed a resolution to the Algonquin Lakeshore District Catholic School Board, outlining the importance of the centre and its director and requesting that they reconsider this decision and keep the Centre open.

There will be a discussion next month regarding Kingston raw sewage overflows which affect the islands. “We need to know what the City tells their residents and get information from MOE,” according to the Mayor. Councillor Calvin was adamant that the township know when overflows happen so residents can be immediately informed, posters can go up telling them what they can expect to find on the shores and of course all concerns regarding water quality.

A request by Councillor Hobbs for a Howe ferry issues committee with the county and that staff break times on the County ferry be posted drew the frustration of Mayor Vanden Hoek who said that the tremendous effort made to enhancing Howe ferry service, needs to be conveyed to residents. “This issue suggests the perpetuation of the idea we have done nothing,” he said.

Council passed a resolution in support of PITCH-IN CANADA Week April24-30, 2006

Next meeting of Frontenac Islands Council May 8th ,Wolfe Island.

Around Town:
*Wolfe Island mourns the loss of two of its celebrated citizens. We extend our sympathy to the family of Mrs. Marion O’Shea, wife of the late, long time Wolfe Island Reeve Tim O’Shea and mother of Frontenac Islands CAO Terry O’Shea who died unexpectedly last week. Her presence will be missed.
*Renie Marshall, historian, writer, story teller and animal lover, a village character and friend also died last week.
* Winners of the 1st annual W.I. Early Years Trivia nite the RWI team of Scott Carter, Darren Divian , Jim Harris, Alec Varken,Janet McRae & Amy Bello. The event raised over $600 for Early Years.
* Ham Supper St. Margaret’s Hall, Sat. April 22nd 4:30-7:00 pm. *WIBTA Drop In Business Mixer General Wolfe Hotel April 25th 6-9 pm.
* Three Women Opera MOLLY BRANT, April 30th , St. Margaret’s Hall 2:45 pm.
Tickets $10.00 available at the local stores.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:16 AM
April 17, 2006
Ryan Centre on Wolfe Island Threatened with Closure

The news of the possible termination of the Ryan Centre Outdoor Education program on Wolfe Island as a cost cutting measure by the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board has come as a shock and a surprise, in this era of environmentalconcern, not only to island citizens but to the director of the program Walter Sepic.

While no official statement has yet been received from the Board, news of the proposed program cut, as one of many proposed cost saving measures to avoid a deficit, has filtered down to the region and to the media.

The program at the Ryan Centre offers students outdoor physical education, environmental science and heritage learning with a trained expert in the person of Walter Sepic who devised the ever evolving curriculum even before the centre opened and has been its director since 1989. The development of the Centre was encouraged and approved by the Superintendent at the time, Pat Slack, then Director Ray Doyle and Wolfe Island Trustee Ed Kenny ( at the time) and was a spin off of the Hall-Dennis Report and fills an on-going special educational need.

The location of the Centre is a portable class room which is home for hundreds of collected and donated artefacts. The education area also includes the open grounds, fields, rock cuts, vegitationand water located in the vicinity of Sacred Heart school. The building itself is now solar heated. A garage near by holds the many canoes, snowshoes, buckets for collecting maple syrup bottled on site and other outdoor equipment as well as a small wind tower used to demonstrate alternative energy.

More than 110 times a school year, classes of school children (some more than once annually) from the different schools in region can be seen boarding the Wolfe Island ferry with their teachers, parent volunteers and Walter Sepic for the journey to the island centre. “We begin the day with on-board ferry activities concerning water and historical facts,” Sepic said in a recent conversation. “The hands on program, adaptable in any subject area (science, math, history, social studies music,crafts, music physical education etc.) at any grade level, that goes on during each visit provides knowledge and attitudes in a setting outside the classroom. Countless research shows that students retain more by doing, learn more by hands-on outdoor field activities, as a way of learning which addresses the needs of many children and excites their curiosity,” he said. “They begin to appreciate nature, they connect with the environment and begin to recognize the importance of good stewardship.”

University students have begun coming to the Ryan Centre to fulfill a component in their Outdoor Experience Education degree programs. Presently Sandra Stewart from North Bay’s Nipissing University is at the

If the centre closes, Walter Sepic, a teacher specialized in Physical Education, Geography and Industrial Arts, who is called on to help out in areas of health and physical education at the Board and is the chair person of Hearthmakers Energy Co-operative, would return to the teaching pool.

Parents, teachers, principals, former students, environmentalists, if you believe the Ryan Centre and its Director are important to the education of children, then write, call, e-mail the Algonquin Lakeshore District Catholic School Board and ask them to remove the Ryan Centre from the proposed chopping block of programs.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:26 AM
March 28, 2006
Wind Power Coming To Wolfe Island A Step at a Time

Wolfe Islanders and land owners from near and far came out in droves to a public meeting to hear about the wind farm slated for Wolfe Island. Although they left, still not knowing much morein the way of new information or where the 86 wind turbines are going to erected or if they will even be on their property, there was some nervous apprehension, excitement, and yes, even anticipation in the room about the changing future of the island. As one person so clearly described the moment, ”the will is there to do the right thing for the environment, for the province but it is a huge leap of faith” for a community that has changed little over the years. A $410 Million project which will change the face of the Island.

The recent announcement made by Premier Dalton McGuinty that Ontario, originally slow off the mark, has suddenly become a leader in renewable energy and will pay a 11 cents per kilowatt hour for the next 20 years for wind power and a premium for power generated from other alternative energy sources has added impetus to the whole Wolfe Island project.

There were no presentations but many representatives from Canadian Hydro Developers Inc., and CREC its wholly owned subsidiary, and the managers for this project were everywhere at the open house. They were ready to explain the on going process, the what comes next, the time frame and more importantly to answer the many questions islanders raised.

Information boards circled the gymnasium at Sacred Heart school where the meeting was held. Maps of the island, of optioned lands, designs of the proposed turbines, steps in the process, time line numbers and a board asking for public input and how to go about submitting it.

It was in the late 1980s, Calgary brothers, John and Ross Keating joined forces with geologist Jack McCleary to form an independent, ‘Green’ Power company devoted to generating electricity from renewable, non-polluting resources. John a CA, is Canadian Hydro Developers Chief Executive officer while Ross, an engineer, is its President and Chief Operating officer. Both were at the Public Open House. Both were besieged with questions.

The map that drew the largest crowd clearly identified land optioned by Canadian Hydro Developers filled- in in orange and indicated large swaths on the head of the island not included. Among the significant pieces not under option there were also a few smaller scattered pieces.op-land2.jpg

In response to questions Ross Keating stated that planning is underway to detail specific locations of the towers based on criteria for set backs from housing, barns, roads etc. The next meeting is tentatively set for late June when specific locations (which islanders were looking for) will be identified.
Concurrently CREC is in discussion with the township regarding rezoning and planning issues as well as proceeding with the Environmental Assessment.

There were questions about noise and distance between towers and distance between homes and barns and roads. Wiring from the towers will be underground to the poles. Local roads will require ongoing work, which they will undertake during the construction period. The roads will be brought up to standard. It has been recognized at other sites that the red night time strobe lights on top of the towers can pose a problem and an application has been made to the Federal Dept. of Transport to allow for synchronized perimeter lighting to ease this problem.

There were questions about the risk of declining land values, ability to farm around towers, loss of quiet space and peacefulness and night time skies. And further questions about advantages to the community as a whole or were advantages just for the landowners? How many island jobs will there be during the development stage? How many island jobs will there be when the project is up and running? Will our goods and services be used? Will our ferry travel be compromised? Is there a decommissioning plan in place?

It is clear that most of the answers will become clearer as the work on the project and the EA proceeds. However throughout the evening there was an element of trust in the work that is being done and in what it means to the future of the island. As one enthusiastic landowner put it, “I only have a 100 acres but you can put as many towers on my land as you like. We have missed out on development in the past, we have the wind and is time to get with the program and move on,” she said.

The Wolfe Island project includes 86, 2.3 MW wind turbines that will generate 197.8 MW of electricity with transformers at each turbine, an overhead and underground electrical line collector system, a marine transmission line and direct line tap to the Gardner’s transformer station in Kingston. The island will have an operation and maintenance building.

According to the posted spec sheets, the Siemens Mark II turbines consist of tower foundations, 3 tower sections, a nacelle (gearbox, generator, blade/turbine control equipment, wind speed and direction sensing equipment, and cooling/heating equipment.), three rotor blades, hub and pad-mounted transformer, electrical wiring and grounding The Siemens model Mark II are horizontal-axis turbines with three bladed upwind rotors. The length of each rotor blade will be about 45 m and when coupled with the hub will support a blade diameter of roughly 93 m. The blades are expected to rotate at an average speed of between 6 to 20 revolutions per minute. Each turbine will be approximately 80 m in height to the hub. The design life of the project is 30 years. The public meeting (s) are part of the regulatory federal and provincial process requirements to obtain approvals for the island wind farm.

Around Town:
*Registration for the annual road race can be made on line at the Wolfe Island website There are already 30 registrations.
* With the kind permission of The Heritage, my articles are posted on the website under Island News at
* The Churches of Wolfe Island hold their annual Ecumenical Pilgrimage way of the Cross on Good Friday beginning at the W.I. United Church at 10 a.m. *Council meets on Howe Island Mon. April 10th on Howe Island.
*Next regular meeting of WIBTA April 18th , 7pm at the W.I. United Church Hall.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:40 AM
March 19, 2006
A Toast to Wolfe Island Seniors

It may be the size of the community. It may be its isolation a 30 minute ferry ride from Kingston but Wolfe Island has a way of bringing people together. And this year’s annual Senior’s Social with an Irish flavour was just another example. food-ladies.jpg

The well attended event held at the W.I. United Church hall was hosted by members of the St. Lawrence & Wolfe Island Women’s Institutes who were assisted by Trinity Anglican Women’s Guild, the United Church Women and the Sacred Heart Catholic Women’s League.

The annual Social involves the ‘Younger than the Senior’ members of the community providing a scrumptious meal and serving it to the island’s Seniors on a Saturday closest to St. Patrick’s Day. Each year the hosting alternates between the different island women’s groups

mr-muller.jpgThis year’s entertainment included ninety year old Bernard Muller accompanied on the keyboard by Robert Graham singing a number of Irish songs, a spirited sing song led by Everett Hogan and Ken Keyes with music provided by Pat Barber and Marion Lakins, many Irish jokes and the presentation of wonderful array of gifts.

Islander Ken Keyes, a former Kingston mayor and Ontario MPP was the enthusiastic Master of ceremonies. And as always on Wolfe Island, United Church Pastor Terry Wood, Trinity Anglican’s Rev. Canon Chris Carr and Sacred Heart’s Fr. Ray Vickers (not indicative of their age) were in attendance.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:11 AM
March 16, 2006
Property Issues Always on Frontenac Islands Agenda

Wolfe Island resident Larry Bolton attended the March meeting of Frontenac Islands council to find out if a small piece of property (0.349 of an acre) on his mother’s homestead could be acquired.

Originally a lot on the Bolton farm ( which included this piece) was used for a school, which closed in 1955. It was assumed that the property had reverted to the landowner. Instead the school was torn down and the land expropriated by the Ontario Dept. of Highways. In 1959 a 50ft piece was used for highway widening leaving the pie-shaped 0.349 of an acre. That piece was given to the township as part of the provincial downloading in June 2000. Mrs. Bolton wishes sell a parcel of land to a family member and the inclusion of this 0.349 acre would allow safe entry to the building lot to be severed.

Deputy Mayor Hobbs (chairing the meeting in the absence of Mayor Vanden Hoek) and council members agree in principle to the sale of the piece, but the township does not have a bylaw to dispose of property. A bylaw will be drafted for the April meeting. A 30 day property appraisal period follows. Councillor Calvin suggested there be an assessment of other properties surplus to the township.

Mr. John Weatherall was present, maps in hand, to show council which piece of property (Pt.Lot 4 Concession 8, Wolfe Island) he will transfer to the township provided it becomes a legal extension of Hillcrest Street along with a further piece for snow plough turns. Weatherall laughingly said that it took 5-years to complete a transfer of land he had previously given to the township. “I owned the fire hall for 5 years ,” he said. Council accepted the transfer of the land for the price of $1.00 plus legal and registration costs.

Robert Graham who has a conditional offer on an adjoining Weathweall property wondered about the time line for the transfer noting the whole issue came up as a result of the waterline and who owns it.

Frontenac Islands received a report from Heather Van Bruinessen, Eastertn Ontario Environmental Officer outlining the results of a review of operations at the Howe Island waste and recycling depot. The township will contact an environmental officer to discuss the scope of the present certificate of approval (revoke or amend), areas of non-compliance, hours of operation, storage times, etc. Refrigerators unless tagged with Freon removed will not be accepted. Other unauthorized items will be removed from the site. An information mailbox flyer will go out to Howe residents.

Council will ask Patricia Sanford, WIBTA president and owner and operator of the Stone Heron Gallery to attend the April council meeting to discuss her request to rent the W.I. Community Hall as an art gallery (June 26-Sept. 4, 2006) for a 3rd year. Council would also like to see sketches of the 2nd historic mural “Scene of the Crime” she has asked to mount between the Tourist information Centre and the Town Hall. (some time in May).

In other business:
1. Council will inform Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen that the Township of Frontenac Islands does not favour the proposed legislation to extend the term of municipal councils to 4 years.
2. Council made payments for livestock damage but rejected a claim by Frank Goodfriend for the loss of two cows and two calves because the owner did not report the livestock kill (by dogs) within the required time to the Livestock Valuator. Deputy Mayor Hobbs suggested that all farmers should be made aware of the Livestock valuator process and time lines.
3. Treasurer Christina Lott announced that the ASYST Financial Software package and new computer upgrades recommended for the township will be arriving and in operation very soon.
4. Council will indicate its support for public post offices and opposition to closures to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
5. Council supported a resolution by MPP Runciman calling on the Ontario government to establish an Eastern Ontario Secretariat as well as a resolution from the Town of Halton Hills that the Federal gas tax funding should be a permanent program.
6. Councillor Wayne Grant said that a flyer regarding Community Policing will be issued next week. Funding for shirts, hats and other Community Policing requirements will come the Community Enhancement Fund.

Council did not discuss the letter sent by the Howe Island Rate Payers Association to the Ontario Minister of Transportation Harinder Takar outlining changes made to the original specifications of the new 15 car Howe Island ferry. According to the association the changes “compromised Marine Safety and obliged the ferry to operate at sub optimum levels.” The letter notes that criticism led to some remedial action but they believe the ferry requires major structural and engineering changes. Instead of two below deck powered cables the ferry has two above deck, one powered, resulting in an under powered ferry, with a narrower deck operating at reduced speeds, etc.

The Association is looking for answers. In response to a question, Mayor Hobbs said the association is speaking on a matter of principle about certain issues that they believe may not have not been addressed by MTO. He agreed the ferry did not conform to the design originally presented. Next Council Meeting April 10th, Howe Island.

Around Town:
* After what has probably been the best season in years for Simcoe Islanders, their seasonal ferry went out of service due to heavy ice conditions from Feb.27th-March 9th, when the ice was cut and it resumed service.
* Council was given a preview of the Township of Frontenac Islands web site by David Colburn and authorized CAO O’Shea to activate the site and negotiate a rate with Frontenac County for web page updating services.
*Congratulations to Sacred Heart school’s 11 member Jr. co-ed Basketball team who won the School Board wide B Division Championship.
* Planning is underway for the Ecumenical Good Friday Pilgrimage Way of the Cross
*WIBTA meets at the W.I. United Church March 21st at 7 p.m.
*The Big Sandy Bay Committee meets March 27th at the W.I. Town Hall at 7 pm.
* As announced in The Heritage, the Wolfe Island Wind Project Public Open House is being held at Sacred Heart School, March 22nd from 6-9 p.m.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 06:35 AM
March 02, 2006
According to the Premier, Wolfe Island Has It Right

The Premier of Ontario, the Hon. Dalton McGuinty, spoke of Ontario’s investment in rural communities in his keynote address to the combined conference of Ontario Good Roads and Rural Ontario Municipal Association ( ROMA) which was attended by members of Frontenac Islands council,
“We collaborated on Ontario's first-ever Rural Plan,” the Premier said.

He spoke of revitalization and diversification of economies, retaining businesses and making communities attractive to investors. He spoke of brownfield site redevelopment, the advantages of cultural and heritage opportunities and the possibilities of tie ins and joint ventures with other regions. He spoke of job creation and the almost 216,000 new jobs created over the past 27 months and the challenge to make sure that 4.5 million rural Ontarians get a fair share of the growth. And…. he talked about Wolfe Island.

“They (Wolfe Island) recently completed a strategic planning exercise asking themselves— who are we and where to do we want to be in 10 years?” he said. “Key components of the strategy included developing a wind farm, making Big Sandy Bay a more sustainable, eco-friendly tourist destination and devoting more resources to tourism promotion. Well, so far, Wolfe Island is batting a thousand, he said. “They've opened Big Sandy Bay, revamped their tourism marketing and they'll soon be home to Ontario's largest wind farm.” The Premier concluded by quoting Frontenac Island’s Mayor Vanden Hoek, who said, “Not bad for a community of 1,200 people.”

At the same gathering Premier McGuinty also announced a move before the fall, to 4-year terms for municipal council members and school trustees, and the province’s intention to pay 50% over the next 2 years, up from 38%, for land ambulance costs. At the conference, the premier was reminded with regard to provincial gas tax funding, that rural Ontario’s transits systems are bridges and roads. Somehow ferries were left out of the mix.

Wind Power Definitely on the Minds of Islanders: With the 120 km winds that blew over the island last week and the kite boarders who frequent our wind filled bays, islanders know about wind. Add to that the recommendations posted on the ferry, regarding wind towers, with advice that comes a little too late (except perhaps for those who have yet to sign leases), and the daily comments one hears, here and there about the 86 tower wind farm for Wolfe Island, wind is on the minds of islanders. Perhaps even more on the mind of Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek.

“This is a big project for us and I think we will be successful in coming up with an agreement that will benefit us all. Islanders will have an opportunity to comment when the EA is released in the next month or two and zoning will roll forward in the next 6 months or so. The balance of the present Frontenac council’s agenda will be taken up with permits and approvals and public meetings and it will be the next council who sits through the construction phase,” Vanden Hoek said recently.

“Could the project all fall apart? I think anyone who does business in the community (Canadian Hydro Developers Inc.) wants to do well in that community. At the same time the municipality has to recognize from the pretty significant policy changes the province has made (effective March 1st, 2005, wind turbines are a permissible use on agricultural land) that it wants alternative energy to be successful. It sends a strong message so we have to be reasonable. On the other hand,” the mayor continued,” the developer is going to have a very large footprint on a very small community and we have to come up with a balance between what provincial policy is doing and what’s in the best interest of Wolfe Island. Which is why we have such a strong negotiating team.” (Heritage Feb.21st)

The mayor is confident that the entire community will benefit both from a revenue and job creation standpoint during the construction period as well as in the long term. “However,” he said, “ there is always the aspect of how much development, and how many wind towers do we want on the island. We will have to work through this and respect the different voices that will surface.”

Mayor Vanden Hoek reiterated that the township will have much to say about the EA, set backs, zoning, and Official Plan Amendment in an effort to protect the interests of the community. “I am optimistic that we can work all these things out,” he concluded.

Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association: Pat Sanford in her first official meeting as President of WIBTA outlined a short list of goals for the organization including: building strong community relations; providing financial assistance to local organizations when appropriate; strong committee development and compiling a skills list inventory. WIBTA will continue with main fundraising events including the annual Road Race and the Garden Tour. The photo contest will go ahead. A business directory will be developed. No new brochure but an insert with new businesses etc. will be added to last year’s brochure. There was some discussion about wind power. WIBTA is looking for volunteers for events and, new members.
Next WIBTA Meeting Tues. March 21st , W.I. United Church Hall, 7 p.m.

Around Town: * Winter has finally came. The Wolfe Island ferry is still able to run between Kingston and Marysville, but the bubble system is in operation between Kingston and the Dawson Point winter dock in the event the ferry does have to move.* After what has probably been the best season in years for Simcoe Islanders, their seasonal ferry is out of service due to the fast freeze and heavy ice conditions. It is a difficult period for the Islanders who are now walking, air boating etc. their way back and forth to home. Following winter maintenance the ferry will resume service as early as possible in spring. In 2005 the ferry shut down Jan. 9th.
* W.I.’s Trinity Anglican is holding A 3-day “Lenten Mission” led by Canon Michael Caswell from St. George’s Cathedral March 7, 8 & 9 from 7:45 –9 p.m.
*Wolfe Island’s annual Senior’s Day Social will be held Sat. March 18th at W.I.’s United Church Hall at 12 noon hosted by the St Lawrence and Wolfe Island Women’s Institutes.
* Frontenac Island Council meeting, Mon. March 13th on Wolfe Island at 6:30 pm.


Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:12 PM
February 16, 2006
Wolfe Island's Wind is on Everyone's Mind

Lately, the $410 million (86 turbine) wind farm approved for Wolfe Island has been a topic of conversation on the streets of Kingston, in the local papers and more recently in Queen’s University paper “The Journal.”

And you can be sure wind power is also on the minds of Wolfe Islanders who will not see a turbine erected until 2007 when federal and provincial environmental screening processes are completed and Official Plan amendments, site plan approvals and re-zoning applications are finalized with the Township of Frontenac Islands.

Because the province put in place legislation that caps the municipality’s tax assessment base at $40,000 per turbine per year, which limits the overall tax benefit to the island, the wind power project is also on the minds of municipal councillors. They are working with the developer to make sure all of Wolfe Island benefits. To that end Frontenac Islands Council met (in camera—solicitor/client privilege) to discuss items related to the wind farm project with Howard Allen, Allen Chartered Accountants, Bob Clark, Clark Consulting Services and Tim Wilkin, Cunningham Swan Solicitors, prior to the regular February meeting of council.

At the regular meeting of Council newly hired Ms. Christina Lott was introduced as the new Frontenac Islands Municipal Treasurer. Ms. Lott comes with municipal experience from the City of Kingston and North Frontenac and “we are pleased to have her,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. Carol Dwyre was appointed Deputy Clerk- Deputy Treasurer. Further appointments included James White, Wolfe Islands Volunteer Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief Tim Hawkins and Captains Frank Van Hal, Anthony Greenwood, Glen Hulton and Ben Woodman.

Land use and zoning bylaws took up much of the meeting, in particular a proposed licence agreement to open the Base Line Road westward to Fuller Road on Howe Island. A lengthydiscussion took place between Solicitor Tim Wilkin and Messrs R. Vrandenberg and B. Allison who essentially want to take a public road allowance, improve it by 600 metres and limit its use by others because of certain liability issues during construction and ongoing maintenance.

“We need to have a dialogue on this,” Councillor Calvin said “Its all stated: liability, cost recovery, financial security, hazardous materials and overlay zoning.” The insurance issue will be referred to the township insurance provider, and a meeting arranged between the applicant, solicitor and planner.

Wolfe Island resident Larry Bolton was present to discuss a 0.5 acre of land at the end of a piece of property his mother owns and wishes to sell to a family member. The pie shaped portion was severed in 1873 for a public school operational until 1955, and is in use now as part of the barn yard. Bolton assumed based on statements by his late father, Richard that when schools closed, the land was given back. However Bolton was informed that the property was expropriated by the Ontario Dept. of Highways (1959) (for possible road widening) and turned over to the township in 2000 as part of provincial downloading. He believes the property should be turned back to the original owner or if that can’t happen can it be acquired? It is not uncommon for the township to receive requests for the purchase of township property. Councillor Norris said that all properties used for schools on Howe Island were returned to original owners. This has been deferred till March.

Agent Brian MacDonald and Mrs. Kerryn Graham came to discuss a transfer of land to the township. Kerryn and Robert Graham own a building lot in Lot 5 (original site of Wolfe Island’s first Catholic Church, less the cemetery) only accessible by right of way. Mr. J. Weatherall (Scarthingmoore Farms Ltd.)will transfer a parcel of land between Hillcrest Street and the Graham property provided it becomes a legal extension of Hillcrest along with a further piece for snow plough turns. (Deferred till March).

In other business: 1. Council authorized a Memorandum of Understanding with Frontenac County for the sharing of annual Howe Island ferry fares; 2. accepted a quote from T.R. Excavating ($35,750.00) to install a water line to the W.I. Community Centre. with costs above $27,000.00 assumed by the Community Centre Board; 3. Council will petition MTO for the 2005 subsidies for the Simcoe and Howe Island ferries.4. Treasurer Lott will review and recommend which Frontenac County plan for updating office equipment will best serve Frontenac Islands.6. In a letter to council David Cruickshank described the misuse of Allen Street (beside his home) by gangs of Kingston young people and is looking for help. They leave garbage, including condoms, needles; trespass, have damaged the fence, swear, throw rocks at the dogs and have threatened the use of poison. Councillor Grant who is working with the W.I. Community Policing volunteers will follow up with the Cruickshanks. Council meets March 13th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island.

Correcting an Error. In a recent column I repeated a comment made at a council meeting that General Wolfe left 1000 £’s in his will to Howe Island. I was taken to task for repeating a statement that’s apparently not true, and a distortion of history. General Wolfe who died in 1759 did not leave money to Howe Island. According to my critic, Wolfe never got further west into North America than the Plains of Abraham. Wolfe, Howe and Amherst Islands did not receive those names until 1818, 59 years after General Wolfe’s death, when the British Admiralty made a chart of the region at which time all the 1000 Islands were named. Howe Island was named after General Sir William Howe, the youngest of 3 British military brothers, including Vice Admiral Richard Howe born in 1726, and General George Howe who was killed fighting near Ticonderoga in 1758. No doubt the establishment of the Wolfe Island Historical Society will provide many opportunities to brush up on Canadian history.

Around Town: When Ernie’s Café on Wolfe Island closed it marked the end of an era and came as a complete surprise to long time islanders for whom the place has always been where they go to meet friends and have a coffee * Great Chilifest, beautiful day, skating on the creek, hay rides, kids flying kites, good food with good friends and neighbours. * Feb. 28th Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper W.I. United Church 4:30 pm. * World Day of Prayer March 3rd 1 p.m. at Trinity Anglican Church.* Euchre /Bridge St. Philomena’s Hall, Howe Island March 3 at 7pm.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:25 PM
February 02, 2006
Weather, The Canadian Pastime!

Christmas has come and gone. The new year 2006 is well underway. Winter! What winter ? Winter is playing games with us all. Snow, rain, freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, snow, rain. There is no skating on the river or at the skating rink on Wolfe Island. Island snowmobile owners and cross country skiers have had a day or two or three of decent weather. The February KyteJam scheduled for the island is officially off. Although an alternative March date was set for the event it is doubtful it will happen unless we have a really deep freeze. And finally where is the sunshine my Scandinavian genes yearn for? Makes you wonder what summer will be like this year.

Frontenac Islands Councillor Wayne Grant, an island dairy farmer tells me that consistent ice cover on the fields is really hard on the hay crops.And certainly hay is a big Wolfe Island export. “Its better to have snow although there is very little frost in the ground now,” he said. “I am not worried yet but I will be if we get this kind of weather in April and the plants grow a little bit and then you get a really cold night and it breaks the roots. That’s what kills them.”

Referring to last year’s poor spring hay crop, Grant said it was a cold dry spring noting that plants that didn’t come up with the first crop came up with the second crop. “I don’t think we will have a dry spring this year with all the water that is in the ground right now. It’s been a terrible winter for our roads too,” he added. “Good road work wrecked by the weather. You put stone on the roads, then you get snow and it ends up in the field.

Fortunately there was a carry over from last year’s roads budget which will be a big help this spring.”
No money from the provincial lump sum was used last year although the township did borrow from it for the new grader but this is being paid back with interest.

Wolfe Island’s Community Centre Board received a $30,000 grant from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation for a waterline extension project supported by Frontenac Islands Council
The project involves digging a 4’ deep trench through rock and laying water lines on a street in Marysville leading to the Community Centre grounds and building which presently has a small holding tank for fresh water that is costly to refill. Waterlines were installed to some residences on that street last year with one line designated for the Community Centre but it was capped half way due to lack of funds. With the funding, the project will take about 5 weeks to complete with a pump at the source and a hydrant at the receiving end. Providing a good water supply will make it easier for the CCB to hold its many events and fundraisers. Their immediate goal is to replace an old outdoor rink with an ice pad requiring water for flooding. The long term goal is to build a hall that must include a good water supply.

Wolfe Islander III 30th Anniversary: Wolfe Islander III Captain Brian Johnson, writer and local historian reminded me that the ferry celebrates its 30th Anniversary on Feb.5th. The ferry was inaugurated into service on that date in 1976 by then Minister of Transportation, James Snow. Speakers on that day included the Mayor of Kingston, MPP Keith Norton and Wolfe Island Reeve (the late) Tim O’Shea. Later that night, just two blocks over, the running lights of the old Wolfe Islander were turned off and she joined the already winterized Upper Canada.

The Wolfe Islander is the ferry represented in the first Wolfe Island mural located on the side of Fargo’s Store on Wolfe Island.

February is Heart Month : Wolfe Islands Heart & Stroke campaign will see 23 canvassers cover Wolfe and Simcoe Islands. Last year ever generous islanders contributed $3200. They consistently rank right at the top of the results for Kingston,Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. To help out, canvass or if you have been missed contact Team Captain Linda Thomas at 385 1947.

The Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association recently elected Patricia Sanford (owner of the Stone Heron Gallery) as president of the organization. Joining her as Vice President is Dave Joy; Secretary Cindy Day; Treasurer Linda Thomas and directors Brian MacDonald, George McAllister and Jarda Zborovsky.
Out going president Cindy Day outlined the work accomplished by W.I.B.T.A. during 2005 noting in particular the marketing study, operation of the Information Centre and the many successful events including the Road Race and Art in the Garden Tour. Wolfe Island business owners are encouraged to join WIBTA.

Around Town:
*The Wolfe Islander III continues to operate from the Marysville Dock with little likelihood of it moving at this late date, with the water remaining at a good level (lots of rain) to keep it there and thus far no ice to hinder its travel.
* Two new murals by local artists Kim Woodman, Linda Sutherland and Pat Sanford who work as a team, are slated for completion in May. One based on the Scene of the Crime Festival and Canada’s 1st Crime writer Grant Allen ; the 2nd on the laying of bubble system used to keep the Wolfe Island ferry run open during severe winter conditions. *The Wolfe Island Old Timers hosted the Old Timers Hockey Tournament this year.
* The Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime 2006 short story contest, open to previously unpublished (mystery or crime genre) writers, begins February 24th Entry deadline May 15, 2006. For information contact Violette Malan at 613-272-3591.

  • Howe Island Pot Luck suppers will be held at St. Philomena's Parish Hall Sun, Feb 12th and Sun, Mar 26th. Social hour 5-6 pm. Dinner at 6pm.
  • A potluck breakfast will also be held at St. Philomena's Hall on Sun, Apr 23 at 10am.
  • Also Euchre /Bridge at Parish hall Fri. Feb. 17th, March 3 at 7pm. $3 cover charge.
    *Wolfe Island’s Annual Chilli Fest will be held at the New Fire Hall Sat. Feb. 11th from 1- 4 p.m. Chilli, wolf tails, hay rides are all part of what makes this a fun event, no matter the weather. The Community Centre Board will distribute kites (150) to the children to make and fly at the event.
  • Council meets Feb.13th, Howe Island.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:10 PM
January 19, 2006
Something to Think About

A January editorial by Kingston Heritage reporter Kristina Chryssanthis spoke of the uniqueness & specialness of community news. She said among other things that, “not even a daily newspaper brings a reader as close to their community as a community paper does.” She said that “no other news source is as personal and connected to their audience.” She also said that “the community should take part in its newspapers content.”

For many of the last 30 years I have done just that, choosing to write for community newspapers about the community I was living in at the time. For nearly 16 years I have written about Wolfe Island and the Township of Frontenac Islands for The Kingston Heritage and the communities it serves.

Until very recently “The Kingston Heritage” was distributed to every mail box on Wolfe and Howe islands. Now due to certain financial constraints the paper faces at this time of expansion , it is no longer delivered on Wolfe, Howe and Amherst Islands or South Frontenac.

Instead on Wolfe Island a couple of local island businesses receive a number of copies for distribution, which certainly limits circulation of not only local island news, but the news of the broader Kingston community as well as notice of events, goods, services and municipal advertising.

What Kristina did not say in her editorial was that a community newspaper depends on advertising for its very existence and it is the lack of advertising (not only from the islands) and increased expenses that has led The Kingston Heritage to make this decision.

With major wind power development coming to the island, the on-going concerns about ferry transportation, our location relative to Kingston and the USA, the safety of the water surrounding us, a budding focus on tourism, the artistic community, festivals, recreation, hunting, fishing and wildlife, a developing Big Sandy Bay, as well as the concerns of our farmers, Paramedics, Fire Fighters and Emergency Services, new business development and increased housing on the islands, and the affairs of our ratepayers and Frontenac Islands Council, I will continue writing about the community I live in for the information of my community and the broader Kingston community with the hope, that in time, advertising will increase and/or The Kingston Heritage can reverse its decision.

Frontenac Islands Council Re-Visits Trailer By-Law
The subject of trailers has been on the agenda of Frontenac Islands Council for some months. In October 2005, Council heard reasons why the rules governing trailers, in the municipality (Comprehensive Zoning By-law 28-2003) needed to be clarified and changed when Mrs. Lynne Moore presented a petition to amend the by-law to include trailer use for seasonal recreational and storage purposes on vacant land or residential property. She wanted a clearer definition of trailers, mobile homes etc. and a re-working of the bylaw.

At the time council agreed there is a need for fairness in taxation, property standards and a consistency of position regarding trailers and bylaw enforcement however, they were not keen to change the bylaw.

Again in November 2005 Ms. Moore again to council about By Law 28-2003 and its lack of transparency, which she said results in severe restrictions for trailers and mobile homes. “ You can’t use park or store a trailer. With no trailer licensing you are counting on people to register a complaint to enforce the by law,” she said.

At that time council requested information about licensing, storage of trailers and mobile homes bylaw enforcement etc. from other municipalities.
Councillor Calvin was prepared to look at licensing. Councillor Norris concerned about storage. Deputy Mayor Hobbs suggested a need for a phase-in period.

Trailers and mobile homes were a topic of discussion at Frontenac Islands January 2006 council meeting. “I like what they are doing in South Frontenac,” Councillor Calvin said. “They require a health inspection certificate; a time limit (sun set clause) to 2010 for trailers removal; trailer use while a residence is being built; and licensing fees which allows the township to monitor where they are.”

He suggested the need for further health inspections (sewage inspections) for legally conforming trailers in place for some time. Councillor Norris suggested trailer storage as an accessory use. Presently some trailers on the islands have been “grandfathered” but they cannot be replaced with another.

Council instructed Clerk/CAO O’Shea to draft a Trailer By-Law which would include licensing of existing trailers until Jan. 1, 2010 and would allow trailer use during construction of a residence.

In other business: 1. Council agreed in principle to support a project celebrate the in 2010 the 250th Anniversary of General James Wolfe’s victorious demise at Quebec in 1759. Brian Johnson, Captain of the Wolfe Islander 111, President of the fledgling Wolfe Island Historical Association was present along with Treasurer Ms. Victoria Stewart, who asked for council’s encouragement and support for the project. The Society is presently seeking incorporation . “What is moral support?” Mayor Vanden Hoek asked . “We need encouragement and someone like Councillor Calvin on our board,” Stewart said. Council will provide a letter of encouragement.

Stewart also brought to the attention of council, that way back when, General Wolfe left 1000 £’s to Howe Island in his will. 2. Each Wolfe Island Volunteer Firefighter will receive a $100.00 transportation allowance for 2005. 3. Howard Allan Chartered Accountants, the consultant hired a to guide council to an agreement with the wind power developer Canadian Hydro Inc. will be presenting a draft agreement to council.
Council meets on Howe Island Feb. 13th at 6:30 p.m.

Around Town: Euchre Thursday’s, 7 p.m. W.I. United Church Hall; Monday’s 8 pm at St. Margaret’s Hall. Euchre/Bridge, Howe Island, 7pm Feb.3rd, 17th, March 3rd, St. Philomena's Parish Hall. *Augusta Cecconi-Bates (315) 654-4854 recently announced that “Molly Brant”, a musical narrative based on the life of the 18th century Loyalist Mohawk Clan Matron, is returning to W.I. on April 30th.. * The annual general meeting of Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association will be held Tues. Jan 24 at the W.I. United Church at 7 p.m. * W.I.’s annual Chili Fest 1- 4 p.m., Sat. Feb. 11th, Chili, wolf tails, skating, hay rides, kite festival (weather permitting.) * W.I. Fire Department Calendars are still available. * Have not yet heard of anyone prepared to let their name stand for Mayor of Frontenac Islands since Mayor Vanden Hoek has indicated he will not seek re-election.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 06:47 PM
January 12, 2006
Frustrated Frontenac Islands Council Talks Transportation

After some 5 years of trying, one way or another, to get the ear of the Ministry of Transportation for improvements to the Wolfe Island Ferry Service, Frontenac Islands Council will try again with the assistance of Kingston and the Islands MPP John Gerretsen.

At their December meeting Mayor Vanden Hoek said , “in spite of meetings with different ministers, letters and discussion over the years, the long lingering issue for improved ferry service to Wolfe Island has gone nowhere.”

More recently members of Council met with MPP John Gerretsen who asked for a letter from the Township directly to him, indicating what its residents would accept and that it was time to try again. “John (Gerretsen) is looking for what we would go with, ”Councillor Calvin said. “ We were told, if we don’t give him something council thinks would go through, without polarizing the community, the provincial government is going to ignore the issue as just politically too hot and thet won’t do anything.”

Councillor Calvin suggested a letter to MPP Gerretsen indicating that the Wolfe Island ferry is the only ferry link in the region that has not benefited from any meaningful capacity improvements since the 1994 IBI study, and further suggested that few would find fault with a ferry of increased capacity traversing the existing route.

Councillor Grant, on the other hand, said he would prefer that the ministry be reminded of our need for transportation enhancement but that they (the ministry) say what they are willing to do for us, not the other way around. “That would be my approach,” he said.

Note: The 1994 IBI Report offered three alternatives (one preferred) and also recommended a bridge needs study.

Alternative 1B, a lengthened Wolfe Islander operating between Marysville and Barrack Street which would meet capacity requirements up to 2001 with limited expansion flexibility is the technically preferred option;

Alternative 1C, Operating the Wolfe Islander and the Frontenac II from Marysville to Barrack Street, offered limited expansion flexibility beyond 2001;

and finally the third alternative was the Wolfe Islander III running between Dawson Point and Vimy. This shorter alignment allows future expansion beyond 2001 and ½ hour service.

The report stated that in the long term, the options involving Dawson’s Point to Vimy offered superior flexibility in addressing ferry travel to Wolfe Island. (A further recommendation of the study was to seek, through discussion between MTO and DND, the protection of a transportation corridor at CFB to Wolfe Island.)

“ Locally we think we have 2 options,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “The bigger boat or move the ferry. But the reality is that in the last 9 or 10 years, I haven’t seen anything that would suggest a relocated ferry is on anybody’s radar screen. It’s good talk locally. What I have seen is a determined City of Kingston that sees it (the Wolfe Islander III) as an integral part of their downtown. We may not like it politically, but 500 votes from the middle of the river is not going to sway anything” he said.

Deputy Mayor Hobbs added “but from a political point of view we have to do something. We can’t sit and not get answers.”

“That’s why the bigger boat is the better option,” Councillor Calvin countered. “ People have a hard time shooting at it and, keeping the same route, you avoid the downtown angst. I got the sense John Gerretsen would love to do something for us and that if council gave him a path we were willing to support, he would be prepared to talk to the Minister of Transportation on our behalf. We can go with something or close the file,” he said.

“We can continue to go in circles and the next council will have the same issues,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “That boat (Wolfe Islander III) without some definitive strategy by the municipality will finish its design life on exactly the same route, exactly the way it is today. It is going to take a politically painful decision by the municipality and the politicians to take the next step and actually say what they want, and wear the grief that is going to come from one side or the other,” he said. “ This discussion is not about money. It is about how do you move the province from not wanting to recognize our need for an improved transportation system to acknowledging the problem and doing something about it,.” The Mayor concluded.

The discussion ended in a unanimous resolution that Mayor Vanden Hoek write the Honourable John Gerretsen to request that the Ministry of Transportation implement the recommendations of the 1994 IBI Ferry Study.

In other business council passed resolutions to extend Linda Van Hal’s appointment to the Economic Development Advisory committee for one year; support a cooperative approach to assist and/or direct new investment/ development for benefit of the Frontenacs; set up a reserve account to support economic initiatives and to enter into an MOU with the County and the Frontenacs for Sharing Ontario Road Network (ORN) as requested by County Development Officer Dianna Bratina and GIS Intern Joe Jarbeau
Council accepted the Frank Cowan Company Ltd year 2006, ($62,601.00 plus taxes) municipal insurance proposal. Only 3 companies continue to provide municipal insurance and liability claims go up.
Mr. Brent Burns presented year 2004 Consolidated Financial Statements noting a healthy financial position and a need for a long term capital plan and an Investment Policy.
Council awarded the contract for the replacement of the Howe Island wheel house and engine cover to Metal Craft Marine; accepted the quote of Stark Battams for Howe Island garbage collection; Sydney Eves’ quote for Simcoe Island snow blowing; agreed to work with the Cataraqui Conservation authority (CRCA) to prepare source water protection plans.
Simcoe Islander Carol Leonard again presented her case for township snow removal of Nine Mile Point Road and was advised it is a Limited Service Road and the westerly portion of was never fully serviced for snow removal. Council meets Jan. 9th, Wolfe Island 6:30 pm

Around Town: * W.I.’s first Kite Festival Festival, Feb.11/12th,WEATHER PERMITTING, is timed to coincide with the island’s annual Chili Fest. * Euchre resumes Thursday’s, 7 p.m. W.I. United Church Hall; Monday’s 8 pm at St. Margaret’s Hall.

Coming Events:
1. Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association Annual General Meeting, Tuesday, Jan 24th, 7 pm, W. I. United Church.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:47 AM