Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.
December 22, 2008
What Goes Around Comes Around on Frontenac Islands!
It is not often that anyone who received money from the township repays it.. But that’s what happened at a Frontenac Islands council meeting. Councillor Dennis Doyle chairman of the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship committee presented Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek with a $5000 cheque. “ It’s been 5-years,” Doyle said, “ since the township lent us money ($5000) up front for Big Sandy Bay. At the time there was concern by some residents that Big Sandy Bay should not be opened but it did, and it’s running well and the committee wants to pay back the money.” Doyle also presented a draft of the Land Use Permit for the mayor’s signature to allow the township to continue managing Big Sandy Bay (Dec/08-Dec./2013). Mayor Vanden Hoek commented that it is rare to get back a float (of money) “I have to tell you, community volunteers do great things. We have had strong support for Big Sandy Bay starting out with Councillor Grant , then former councillor Jim Calvin and now Councillor Doyle… It is a success story to open up a public space and have it come in at a break even basis,” he said.
Wolfe Island Road Work: Steve Archibald from McIntosh Perry was present to bring council up to date on municipal road upgrades and maintenance related to the Wolfe Island wind farm project. Also present was Ivan Duffy and Mike Jablonicky, Canadian Hydro Developers wind plant site supervisor. Archchibald noted that there were two agreements with the Township and the developer that address road maintenance, one in 2006 in the amenities agreement and a supplementary one. Prior to the project’s start the Township had all the roads assessed by an independent engineer who said it was hard to assess what would happen to the roads and contemplated that millions of dollars of damage happen.. Originally there was $1million dollars of security registered with the township for work primarily to the north west of the island by Canadian Hydro Developers with further ($250,000)securities as roads were re-assessed and possibly more as work and heavy road use continues. Roads negotiated for upgrading are the Baseline, 4th, 5th, 7th (access to Bennett), part of Reeds Bay, Hwy. #96 to quarry. Much work has already been undertaken by the developer (culverts etc.) with recent hot mix patches on #96. Council members expressed concern about certain road areas, loose gravel on curb out of village, surfacing, insufficient signage etc. . Archibald said that the work is ongoing and when the project is completed there will be a very good road system on Wolfe Island. Jablonicky estimates truck travel to quarry on #96 will be over in 2 months and that the project itself will be completed March 31, 2009.
Marysville Water EA: XCG Consultants Ltd.’s Judy Runions and Cameron Smith updated council regarding the Marysville waterworks environmental assessment now underway, their draft report and to talk about the next steps to moving forward. The Phase 1 draft technical memorandum identifies the issue, the study area involved (which encompasses the potential residential development area of Marysville) and the projected water and storage demands based on population .”The report does consolidate some of the background information previously looked into and develops a problem statement” according to Ms Runions. Council accepted the XCG draft report. XCG will move to the next stage of the EA including establishing a working committee (with council members. Doyle and Grant) to look at project issues, and (water delivery) alternatives.
In other business: Howe Island’s Councillor Matt Fiene has been appointed Deputy Mayor of Frontenac Islands for the remaining two years of council’s 4 year mandate replacing Councillor Pat Norris
Howe Island ‘s Chief Mike Quinn was present to inform council of future plans. ” In a proactive kind of way in 2009 the Fire and Rescue service will be moving toward the recruitment of at least two additional volunteers. We want to undergo a review of our membership as circumstances change for some and retirement faces others. The first year is probationary,” he said. Due to surplus equipment, etc. there is no financial impact.
Howe Island Ferry Fares: Increases include $10. more per yearly pass and 50 cents more for transient fares. (There is a rationalized collection process between the County ferry and the township ferry). There was some discussion concerning the apparent non-collection of fares on the ferry and the impact of that non collection on those who do pay fares and how to further resolve the problem. Initial steps informing township and county staff had already been taken.
Automated External Defibrillators (AED): The Ontario Heart& Stroke Foundation have entered into an agreement with Frontenac County that they will provide the funding for the county to purchase and place AED’s for the Wolfe & Howe municipal offices, Wolfe Island schools ,Sacred Heart and Marysville Public , WI Community Centre & Howe’s St.. Philomena’s Hall . There is also funding available for training and training materials.
Payment Voucher. Much discussion revolved around the Simcoe Island ferry dock bills. It will now cost $70,000. While MTO approved $50,000 that amount did not include the cost of replacing the two ramps. Some of the bill was prepaid. The contractor is looking for the balance.
Further Business: The Mayor thanked W. Knott for a ways and means letter on how to prepare for the monies to come from the amenities agreement. but said that funds had been set aside to have a consultant undertake a study which might include public consultation.
Council accepted Tunnock Consulting Ltd. planning service fees for 2009. Council supported 2 applications for $5000. each to FCFDC for an assessment of the community hall and the recently purchased house on Leander street as well as an application by WIBTA for $2000. for directional signs.
Council approved staff (full and part time) Christmas bonuses.
New Business: Councillor Doyle reported on Electronics Recycling meeting which saw need forcameras, extra bins, repaving of site. Councillor Grant spoke of plastic chipping .
Mayor VandenHoek thanked council for 2008, all the work, all the successes. “It is no surprise that we spent a lot of time on the wind farm project. I hope in 2009 we can lighten up on that a little and look at the many other issues facing the township. I would like to take some time to look Brian Ritchie’s Community Consultation report. In the meantime, I wish everyone the best of the festive season.”
Around Town: * Monday Night Euchre, St. Margaret’s Hall at 8 pm begins. Jan 5th and continues every Monday until the end of March. *Thursday Night Community Euchre. WI United Church Hall at 6:45 pm.
*Frontenac Islands Council Meeting, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 on Wolfe Island at 6:30 pm.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:17 AM
December 15, 2008
Howe Island's Little Ferry to Remain in Service
Many Meetings, Many Events Precede Christmas for Frontenac Islands
Howe Island residents concerned that the Frontenac Islands township’s “little” Howe Island ferry would be taken out of service for the winter months leaving them with only the County operated ‘new’ Howe Island ferry, are heaving a sigh of relief.
At a special meeting to review the service and the subsidy for the continued operation of the Township ferry it was determined that Frontenac Islands council will advise the Ministry of Transportation that the township will continue to operate the Howe Island ferry all year (12 months).
It became apparent to both to the township and MTO not long after the new ferry was put into service that it was not providing the level of service that was originally committed to in the 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the MTO, Frontenac County and the Township of Frontenac Islands. As a result the township continued operating the township ferry through the 2008 winter months. (The MOU included a stipulation that the township ferry would be out of service during the 3 winter months for cost saving reasons.) Since there has been no improvement in the ferry service, the township will continue to do so in 2009, and expect that MTO will subsidize the operation for the full 12 months.
The Howe Island Ratepayers Association (HIRA) sent a note of thanks to council . They also acknowledged that a decision by council last year to keep a supply of parts available for the “little” ferry meant that a recent mechanical problem created only a ‘minimal inconvenience.’
MPAC MEETINGS: (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) information meetings were held in Frontenac Islands. A large, uneasy and questioning crowd gathered on Wolfe Island to hear MPAC’s Lyndon Johnson began his review and explanation of the process and methodology of the recently released 2008-2012 property assessments. These assessments are used by the municipality to set property tax rates and to determine individual property taxes. The mill rate then is calculated by dividing the township budget by the total assessment.
Johnson described how properties are assessed, how to contact MPAC and how to review similar properties. Taxpayers can ask for a correction if there is an error in the assessment. They can make a request for reconsideration or file an appeal with the Assessment Review Board (ARB). Johnson provided names, telephone numbers, web site locations where much of the information can be found and answer questions related to process. However, he was not there to solve assessment problems on the spot. which left a number of people who wanted immediate solutions a little frustrated. A petition is presently being circulated on Wolfe Island asking council to take into question the MPAC process and the 2008 assessments.
Advent on Wolfe Island : The annual W.I. Ecumenical Advent Service was held this year at Sacred Heart of Mary Church. Fr. Raymond de Souza , United Church Pastor Terry Wood, and Trinity Anglican’s Rev. Canon Chris Carr with Deacon Gerry Moore together led the service of readings and carols . The Chown family (Nicole, with her four boys and their Mosier grandparents) came forward for the lighting of the first Advent candle beginning four weeks of ‘watching and waiting’ for Christmas. Pastor Wood in his Advent reflection focused on salt and light as two metaphors for a vibrant life and reminded us that it was Jesus who said on the Mount “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” Scripture was read by Mac Plunkett, Anne Wood, Craig Pitts and Marjorie Bousfield. Luke’s gospel was read by Deacon Moore. Sherry Zborovsky sang Psalm 89 while the Wolfe Island Ecumenical Choir with Murray McNeely at the organ led the singing of a number of lovely Advent hymns. Each year the numbers who come to this simple but meaningful service has increased. They leave the quiet of a church as friends, remembering the words of the lessons and carols and sharing a bond that ties them together in a special way… Christmas. (The barrel for Partners in Mission Food Bank was filled to overflowing.)
Broadband for the Frontenacs: At a recent ‘Sustainability in the Frontenacs’ meeting held on Wolfe Island Frontenac County’s CAO Elizabeth Savill announced that Frontenac County will move forward with plans to build local broadband infrastructure (high-speed internet) projects in the county. The Ontario Government announced the Rural Connections Program in March 2008. The plan submitted by the County in collaboration with Frontenac Islands, South and Central Frontenac was approved and is eligible for $789,078. Mayor Venden Hoek is an enthusiastic supporter of broadband accessibility and hi-speed internet services for Frontenac Islands to enhance business opportunities, generate development and improve access to government services. Rural Connections is led and administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
Sustainability in the Frontenacs: Speaking of the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) meeting, a small but enthusiastic group of people offered a vision for the future of Wolfe Island (water, development, land use, business opportunities, housing, transportation, its focus on agriculture, its relationship with County) . Hosts were Consultant Rob Wood, County CAO Savill and Graham Halsall the County’s Sustainability Coordinator. Also present was Anne ? ,County Development Officer. Halsall described the process and invited Consultant to lead the discussion. At the close of the very engaged meeting Halsall invited all seasonal and year-round Frontenac Islands residents to complete a Sustainability Survey at www.directionsforourfuture.ca and share their insights for a long term vision of the county based on the four pillars of sustainability social, cultural, economic and environmental.
Santa Claus Parade: This year’s WI Fire Department Parade was led by Piper Glen Forbes and enjoyed by an enthusiastic community out in full force to see the wonderful fire engines, the floats, llama, horses, the Grinch and Santa’s helpers who distributed candy along the route. And a beaming Santa Claus, accompanied by Taner White tucked in his arms made the parade a complete success for us all. It ended at the Fire Hall with hot chocolate ,hot dogs and treats accompanied with laughter and camaraderie, Wolfe Island style.
Around Town: * Live Outdoor Christmas Pageant & White Gift Service. W.I. United Church, Sunday, Dec. 14th at 6 p.m. (Food Bank items requested) *CWL Bake Sale, Penny Drive & Bazaar, WI’s Sacred Heart school Saturday, Dec. 13, 1-4 p.m. *WI Community Euchre is now at 6:45 pm Thursday’s at the UC Hall.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 04:19 PM
December 14, 2008
FFA Makes Donation to Medical Clinic
Included in the agenda of the annual banquet and regional meeting of the Frontenac Federation of Agriculture (FFA) held in Inverary was a presentation for the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic.
FFA President Ed Bennett presented Mrs. Mildred Hawkins-Walton, with a cheque for $500. Mrs Walton is the long time President of the Board of Directors the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic. In accepting the cheque Walton talked about the clinic, its beginnings and its importance to the island over the years. She said that within hours of the fire that destroyed the island’s Medical Clinic building, donations (large, small and in-kind) began coming in and continue to do so. (There has been no formal fundraising campaign undertaken by the Board.) Mildred and Keith Walton own and operate the Alston Moore Golf Links on Wolfe Island. Keith Walton is a long time member of the FFA.
The FFA meeting included an very informative presentation by guest speaker Sheila James, Farm Safety Coordinator, remarks by FAA President Ed Bennett; Provincial Representative Dudley Shannon and, of course, a wonderful dinner. Vice President Gary Gorden was the master of ceremonies. In his remarks Bennett spoke about the trend to growing your own food, related programs, and the need for young farmers.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 04:23 PM
November 03, 2008
Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry Service Interruption For Your Information
The Frontenac-Howe Islander (15-car County operated ferry) will be out of service on Monday November 3rd from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accommodate the refitting of piers
The ferry will be leaving for an inspection and will be replaced by the Quinte Loyalist ferry which will operate from 6 am until 10 pm each day.
There will be a weight restriction of 6 tonne per axle or 25 tonne gross. Tandem axle trucks will not be permitted on the replacement ferry.
The Township’s Howe Island ferry will be operating 24 hour per day until the return of the Frontenac-Howe Islander ferry from its mandatory Transport Canada inspection
Posted by Margaret Knott at 12:23 PM
October 21, 2008
Cable Linking Wolfe Island Wind Project to Kingston Grid now in Place
A massive submarine cable, a very important component required to complete the connection to the Canadian Hydro Developer’s Wolfe Island wind power project expected to be operational in early spring, is now in place. The cable will transport the electricity generated by the island’s wind turbines to the provincial electricity grid on mainland Kingston.
Nexans, a Norwegian cable company was contracted by Canadian Hydro Developers to design and manufacture the cable as well as to deliver it. A large team of Norwegian engineers and divers arrived aboard a cable laying barge, the ‘Henry P. Lading’ from Halden, Norway which carried the large spool of cable into the St. Lawrence River docking off Kingston’s Invista Canada property Thanksgiving weekend. Work to lay the cable on the bed of the St. Lawrence in the Lower Gap from Kingston to Wolfe Island took approximately 5 days to complete following a precise route. The link from side to side is 7.3-kilometre long.
The cable approximately 8.0 km long, weighing roughly 736,000 kg and a 235 mm in diametre consists of three high voltage current-carrying copper conductors and one fiber optic cable made up of 36 individual fibers held in place by hollow filler strands which act like wedges between conductor and the outer sheath. The armour is comprised of steel strands that form the protective sheath, wrapped in a water tight covering. On Wolfe Island the cable was pulled into two concrete transition vaults at the end of the 4th Line Road. An underground cable line running from the Invista property to the Gardiner’s Road sub station will complete the connection to the Ontario provincial electricity grid.
At the same time work continues at turbine sites and turbine components continue to arriveby barge fro Ogdensburg. For further information contact Mike Jablonicky, Site Supervisor, Wolfe Island firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:48 AM
October 18, 2008
2008 Beauty of Wolfe Island Photo Contest Winners
Grand prizewinner: David Field
People’s Choice Award (it was a tie)
Avery Walker (Wolfe Island)
Julie Milton (Ottawa)
Category A Beauty of Wolfe Island through the Seasons
First Prize: Nicole Clark Wolfe Island
Second Prize: David Field
Honourable Mention: David Field
Category B: Natural Wild Life on Wolfe Island
First Prize: Marven Ford from Paris Ontario
Second Prize: Ellen Napier Kingston
Honourable Mention: Melody Tomkow
Category C: Wolfe Island at Play (including community events)
First Prize: Jo-Anne Finegan Toronto
Second Prize: Sarah Eves Wolfe Island/ Kingston
Honourable Mention: Natasha Taylor Wolfe Island
Category D: Historic Marysville to honour its 150th Anniversary
First Prize: Marilyn Hawkins
Second Prize: Claire Muller
Honourable Mention: Donna Morton
Youth Category (15years and under)
First Prize: Deanna Walker
Second Prize: Avery Walker
Honourable Mention: Kristina Walker
WATCH FOR THE WINNING PICTURES TO BE POSTED IN THE DISPLAY CABINETS ON THE FERRY A.S.A.P.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:37 AM
October 15, 2008
Frontenac Islands Asked to Set Aside Funds to Assist Those Affected By Wind Plant
In a stirring plea Wolfe Island resident Dean Wallace, accompanied by his wife Dawn, (and supported by a number of island residents) asked council to set aside a portion of the funds from the township’s amenities agreement with Canadian Hydro Developers to help islanders in the short and long term who believe they are being impacted by the island’s wind plant and turbine development.
“There is an unknown about health issues and it is not really fair if people feel they have to leave (the island),” Wallace said.. Dawn affirmed her husband’s concerns and request Wallace had in hand a series of reports about the effects of dust, cement particulates diesel fumes, vibration and their effect on health, as well as a lengthy list of issues he is perusing . He expressed concern about transmission wires, the turbines themselves and the polarization of the community and described what it is like living in a house at the corner of the two main roads (Baseline and 5thLine)with a daily continuous stream of trucks going by. “ “We are at ground zero, our house is ruined, we feel we have to evacuate it and we have health concerns. “We have been hearing short term pain for long term gain ( from the wind project) My wife and I are wondering what the long term gain we might enjoy.”
Mayor Vanden Hoek accepted a copy of Wallace’s list of concerns noting a number of things have been dealt with by Canadian Hydro “ But we will go back to McIntosh Perry to see what has been done and if the responses have been adequate.” The Mayor noted that a lot of the product , (gravel, cement, equipment) has been moved and much of the activity will come to an end with the road program. Regarding a fund the Mayor suggested council needs time to reflect and debate how that could be moved forward perhaps at the November meeting on Wolfe Island. “ (CREC continues to make every effort to mitigate issues as they arise.)
Recycling: Steve Webb from Manco Recycling presented a plan for the recycling of electronic waste (E WASTE) for both Howe and Wolfe Islands including cost, suggested tipping fees (1. specific E waste days when a truck comes to collect waste or, 2. collect on site and have regular pick –ups) Manco has been in the recycling business for 19 years and has recently branched out in electronic waste recycling, “a new market changing all the time and one of the greatest waste creators. (CRT tubes cannot be accepted into a bin and are considered hazardous waste if broken.) Manco has North American markets for everything they receive and everything is recycled completely. Nothing is sent out of country for refurbishing or disposal. At the same time Councillor Doyle distributed a notice from Ministry of Environment (MOE) about a new provincial E-waste diversion Ontario Electronic Stewardship program (computers, tv’s monitors etc) coming on stream as early as next spring. While the mayor has concerns that township do something now, council agreed to wait and see what the new MOE program is all about before moving forward. Councillors Doyle and Fiene will meet with the islands respective landfill and recycling committees.
Mrs. Ruth Bryson’s request for a white/yellow centre line painted on part of Road #96 on Wolfe Island was denied at this time as too late in the season and not budgeted for. The township will complete an offer to purchase 5 Leander Street, historically significant to the community as the first house built in Marysville in the 1800’s.
Council agreed to a request made by Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation to convert a limited section of the Wolfe Island Wind Project’s underground electrical system to an overhead line configuration, and in response to a further request authorized CAO O’Shea to approve extended hours for turbine erection depending on circumstances and extending hours for concrete pours on an individual basis up to a maximum of 5 before going back to council. Turbine erection will be allowed on Sunday’s from 1-7 pm. “There is no problem with cranes but lots with trucks on Sunday,” O’Shea said.
Councillor Doyle reminded council of the First Impressions (OMAFRA} program (different communities. (Bloomfield –Wolfe Island) looking at each other and reporting on what they saw) and the WIBTA meeting where Bloomfield will make their report. Mayor Vanden Hoek sees this as a very important program, particularly for local businesses whom he will urge to attend.
Councillor Doyle asked for $3000 in addition to a previous $2000 budgeted for to assist the WI Medical Clinic Board to undertake a ($8000) Medical Needs survey before a new building is erected, but instead received an extra $2000. (A group of seniors has requested that their needs also be considered in any ‘Needs Survey.’) The mayor would like the island’s ambulance paramedics to be included some how in the undertaking.
FYI the ongoing WI water study has defined the study area as beginning at the local quarry to the 8th line. Treasurer Carol Dwyre referred to the recently mailed MPAC assessment notices (increases spread over 4 years). Council will contact MPAC to present the adjustments at an open house on Howe Island (before the end of November maybe) Much comparative information available at MPAC website.
Councillor Grant commented that he has received complaints about popup trailers no to which the Mayor commented that when ever a severance is approved a trailer appears. Bylaw enforcement is by letter of complaint, but it seems nobody is signing a letter. “ There are no building permits or intention to build. People line up a piece of land to play at on the weekend, pop a trailer and staying forever. . To do nothing means just more of the same.” he said. “It is impacting some of our shore line where nothing is added to a $150,000 lot but the owners are enjoying the community and using the services.” The Mayor suggested that in the spring council could s consider changes to the bylaw, inform the community and move the process along. (Wolfe Island no longer has a trailer park. Council meets next on Wolfe Island Nov. 10th at 5:30 pm.
Around Town: Community Euchre, Thursdays WI United Church Hall 7pm.*Due to WIND, no turbines are completely erected as yet. All recent wind plant photos were taken by Trudy De Ruiter.* Remembrance Day Wolfe Island Town Square 10:45 am..* Anglican Church TURKEY SUPPER Sat. November 15, 2008 Open at 4:30 PM
Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:30 AM
October 08, 2008
What’s Up to Now on Wolfe Island
Everyone knows by now that there was a diesel fuel spill Oct. 1st at Dawson Point on Wolfe Island when fuel was being transferred between tanks on a vessel operated by McKeil / Nadro Marine Services a contractor working for Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) wind project. The first time island residents heard about the spill, the number of litres was 700, the next time it was 7000 litres. The exact numbers of litres has been confirmed by CREC at 1313 litres of diesel fuel.(which I am told does not sink into the water but sits on top) Once detected, 100 feet of boom was installed around the vessel (Sea Hound) in order to contain the spill while the Coast Guard (because the incident involved a ship), Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment and the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans were immediately called. Ontario Water Keeper was also quickly on the scene.
The Canadian Coast Guard arrived and installed a further 800 feet of boom and, in short order the Eastern Canada Response Corporation (ECRC) http://www.simec.ca/, a private company providing marine oil spill response services arrived on-site, taking over management of the containment and clean-up activities on CREC’s behalf. Residents in the Dawson Point area were advised by Public Health of the spill and were advised not to drink water from their shore wells until advised it was safe to do so. CREC arranged for the distribution of potable water to the Dawson Point residents. An investigation was undertaken into the cause of the spill as well as to determine what changes must be implemented to prevent any future incidents.
At the Liaison Committee meeting that same evening representatives from the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada and Ontario Ministry of the Environment answered questions related to the spill while representatives from the project contractors McKeil / Nadro Marine and Eastern Canada Response Corporation (ECRC) responded to containment and clean-up questions. CREC’s Mike Jablonicky who regularly meets with the Community Liaison Committee Group said that the questions appeared to be answered to everyone’s satisfaction noting that at the time 50 to 75 % of the fuel had already evaporated and no fish or wildlife mortality was expected. (The cleanup continues until completed to the satisfaction of the responsible agencies.) As of Oct. 4, water samples contained no detectable levels of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination.
It really is quite amazing if one thinks about it, that with a project of this magnitude there have not been more incidents. Instead there is public concern about dust, blasting, noise, setbacks, etc. etc. There is frustration and anxiety related to trucks and the ferry which has led Canadian Hydro to issue a statement to islanders that says all trucks involved in the project have a Canadian Hydro flag in their windows, that workers are ferried to and from Wolfe Island by barge, and if there is no emergency and the barge is not operating (wind can be a problem), project trucks are allowed to access the Wolfe Island ferry but they cannot displace islanders. At the same time, security has been stepped up in the wake of serious vandalism and theft at Canadian Hydro (CREC) sites on the island. The Community Liaison Committee meets November 5th at 7 pm., WI United Church Hall. Everyone welcome.
Fall Days Are Busy Days on Wolfe Island: As the water in Barrett Bay recedes, and the island is often at its prettiest, Marysville residents begin to concern themselves with when the Wolfe Islander III might be moving to the winter dock.
One of the events that makes the point that summer is over is “Apple Fest, a fund raising event organized by the Island’s Early Years Committee held for the second year at the Horne’s Orchard located on the road to Horne’s Ferry to the USA. The event brought out many families and excited children not only to pick apples, but to enjoy apple crafts, treats and games, and to see a few small animals and chickens. The event included marvellous baked goods and fresh pressed cider on sale to take home. What fun it is to see the little one’s climbing trees (with a little help of course). “ We are really happy with the turnout, “ Peggy Plunkett, an Early Years board member said. ”It did not rain, it is not too cool and the children are having a wonderful time. Who could ask for anything more.”
Around Town: * Linda Thomas , president of WIBTA was appointed to the board of the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation for a 3-year term at their annual general meeting. Liz Crothers is also a member while Linda Van Hal is an outgoing member of the board of directors. FCFDC is a private, non-profit corporation, run by a volunteer board of directors funded by Industry Canada. Wolfe Island has been a recipient of its assistance for a number of projects. * The water delivery service on WI provided by the township through the Fire Dept ends Oct. 31st Randy Rixten will offer a local water delivery service beginning Nov. 1st. Call Randy at 613-385-1277 or 613-572-1277 *The WI Corn Maze, now at its peak, provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a fall day to its fullest. Located on Hwy. 95 the Cornfield Maze is open to late October. It offers a connection of groomed trails that change direction many times . Large groups require a reservation.For information and costs: call 613-385-1998 or visit www.wolfeisland.com *Coming up on Oct. 18th is WI’s 9th Annual Pumkin Weigh-In and Autumn Social, a premier island Family event. The Pumpkin Festival begins at 11a.m. at the Wolfe Island Town Square. COME for afternoon of AUTUMN FUN that includes wagon rides, games for kids and bake tables and a whole lot more.WI Business& Tourism meeting, Tues. Oct. 21st. at the United Church Hall. Watch for details. *The Wolfe Island Historical Society is sponsoring an evening with Kingston Marine historian, Capt. Ron Walsh. He will be taking us back to the Golden Era of Shipping when Kingston was one of Canada’s busiest ports. His presentation will include a slide show with stories of legends and lore. The date is Wed. Oct. 22nd at 7:30 pm at the Wolfe Island Town Hall. For Further information call 613-385-2934. And, You Are Invited! * WI United Church Turkey Supper Sat. October 25th, 4:30-7:00 pm .
Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:56 AM
September 29, 2008
First Wolfe Island Wind Turbine to be Erected in the Coming Weeks
In October 2001 I wrote a first article about wind power on Wolfe Island titled, “WIND…WIND POWER… the New Hybrid Crop” and now, Frontenac Islands council is at the end of the beginning. And Canadian Hydro, is at the beginning of the end. (my thanks to Winston Churchill for the phrasing). At a recent special meeting, council dealt with the request to remove the “H” Holding Symbol on the last of the properties where wind turbines are slated to be constructed, pretty much their LAST official act with regard to the Wind Plant. During the same week Canadian Hydro poured concrete for the FIRST of a total of eighty-six, 2.3 MW wind turbines which will generate an estimated 593,500 MW (hours) per year of renewable electricity.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY CREC (Trudy De Ruiter)
And what a turbulent bunch of years it has been. What started in 1993 as an idea by Ontario Hydro to harness wind energy and to ask for alternative energy suppliers to sell it into the power grid has seen the break up of Ontario Hydro into Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Hydro One and the development of a wind power project on Wolfe Island.
In 2001 Ian Baines then owner of Canadian Renewable Energy, (CREC now a fully owned subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers) began talking about clean electrical power created from sources other than fossil fuels, and was looking for 5 year, paid for options to lease island land and a site to install and operate a test station where, if test results were favourable, CREC would enter into 20 year lease agreements Interest was high at Baines first presentation where he responded to questions about process, about noise, about birds, and about advantages and disadvantages to residents and landowners and proposed a first facility of up to ten 1.8 MW wind turbines. Much has happened since those first heady days.
There followed anemometers to measure the island’s wind, land options, many meetings the Greater Kingston Trade Winds Project feasibility study for a co-operatively owned 36MW island wind farm. In 2004 at the call of the province both CREC and GAIA Power submitted bids for wind projects on Wolfe Island. In January 2005 Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. acquired CREC. In 2005 Canadian Hydro won the contract in the Ontario Government’s second request for proposals (RFP) and will fully own, operate and manage 197.8 MW consisting of 86, 2.3 MW wind turbines.
So here we are. A barge transports equipment, supplies and workers for the wind project to the island from a separate dock in Kingston to a separate dock on Wolfe Island where island access roads have been constructed, the laydown area sees the addition of turbine components arriving every day from Ogdensburg on two barges.There is ongoing road work, improving, widening , cutting for underground wiring, and ongoing excavation for tower bases. The Siemens wind turbine technical crew has arrived. Blasting for tower bases is underway, gravel is being moved from two island quarry’s to turbine sites by FLEETS of trucks. The Lafarge Cement Batch Plant is operational, trucks water the roads for dust control. Cement is being poured at completed turbine bases. There are security services. More Police calls. The Community Liaison group holds monthly meetings with Can Hydro Site Supervisor Mike Jablonicky to get answers to questions and have complaints resolved if possible. And you can imagine there are complaints and concerns about access roads, dust, noise, gravel/ cement trucks, blasting, traffic, hydro poles, ferry service.
And amid all this, along with the regular daily services required for the island, there is ongoing construction of new island homes, renovation and winterizing of others which has led to a massive deliveries of goods and services to the island which of course has led to an ever increasing number of residents using the already overcrowded ferry that must always be available for ambulance calls. People and vehicles are left behind (and of course there are too few washrooms).
On the other hand, many workers from out of town are being accommodated in every available house, B&B’s or cottages all over the island. Many islanders are employed in the project. The stores, restaurants and hotel are busy and there is the amenities agreement. Visitors, cyclists and tourists have discovered the island and come in ever increasing numbers. However, in spite of or maybe because of all of this, the FIRST WOLFE ISLAND WIND TURBINE will be lifted up and put in place within the next few weeks.
Big Sandy Bay Ends another successful season: It has been a good season for Big Sandy Bay in spite of the many days of rain. During the summer members of the Frontenac Islands Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee along with staff members and volunteers, built an observation deck overlooking Black Lake and installed benches near the trail end and along the shore. Funding for materials came from MNR. Seniors who came out to a Seniors Day at BSB (organized by Suzanne Paquette and David Clarke) had a wonderful time (in spite of the wind) riding along the trail to the bay in golf carts provided by Alston Moor Golf Links With all terrain vehicles at the shore (BSB Stewardship Committee & Roly’s Backhoe Service) everyone also was able to visit the observation deck.
Big Sandy Bay has an ‘all terrain wheel chair’. For use in the off season it must be booked in advance with a member of the Stewardship committee or send an e-mail through the updated (FOSB) Friends of Big Sandy Bay web site: www.bigsandybay.ca. Why not consider becoming a member of Friends of Big Sandy Bay.
Around Town: * Frontenac Islands Council Meeting Thursday, Oct. 16th on Howe Island at 6:30 pm.
* Annual Applefest OCTOBER 4th 1 - 4 pm Hornes Orchard Hwy 95 *Thanksgiving Celebration WI’s Christ Church Anglican 104 - 15th line, Sunday 12 October at 9:15 a.m.
* Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association meeting 7pm, October 21st United Church Hall.
* Therese Greenwood’s article commended WI for publishing ‘Growing up on Wolfe Island’ with its stories told by islanders. Hopefully there will be another book.
* Rev. David Higgs ( who fills in at the WI United Church when Pastor Terry Wood must be absent), and his wife Barbara are summer residents.
* Captain RF & Marette Fawcett welcomed family, friends and neighbours at their home on the occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:59 PM
September 12, 2008
Frontenac Islands Council Rejects News Article Discussion
At the outset of Frontenac Islands Council September meeting, the agenda was amended to exclude any discussion regarding a ‘County Gazette’ news article and a ‘The Times’ commentary. Ms. Peggy Smith who was on the agenda to speak about township recreational programs and included in her request were the aforementioned articles. A number of residents, there to support Smith in any discussion were advised by Mayor Vanden Hoek that he would not debate the news items. Any disruption and they would be asked to leave.
Ivan Duffy (McIntosh Perry Consulting) in his regular Canadian Hydro Wind Plant (CREC) construction activity report said that a third of the access roads have been built with ongoing excavation of the tower bases; a grader has been dedicated to maintaining township roads, cables will be buried by ploughing them in on township roads and trenched on the 4th line leading to a possible road closure. He said CREC has permission to haul from the 16th Line quarry to Road #96 and 8th Line to Baseline, complaints about dust , noise, blasting and hours of work are being dealt with by CREC. Councillor Doyle who has received complaints sees advance notice of blasting times, dates and areas to be affected as part of the solution. Duffy’s written notes will be made available to council.
Ms. Peggy Smith presented an update of the Communities In Action program and grant awarded to the municipality in 2007. “The floating dock has put us in a bit of a conundrum. There were requirements attached to $28,000 grant, and the (tendered) $19,000 for a dock. The dock that we have is not the dock we asked for and, the decision to change it was the township’s.,” she said, adding the dock was quite ineffective (too high with two hard to access levels) for boating programs. “We are left with $9,900 for programs, not spent and must still raise $1,700. Ms. Smith requested a time extension for spending the money ( which also requires ministry approval), permission to purchase kayaks and a repaired dock. The Township will undertake the repair of the dock and agreed with kayak purchases.
A proposal for E-waste Collection for Frontenac Islands by Manco Recycling Systems Inc. has been deferred to the October meeting (date to be determined) due to a change in personnel at Manco Inc.
While much of the municipality’s treasury function (payables, receivables) has been transferred to Frontenac County, Carol Dwyre, Deputy Clerk/Deputy Treasurer and Planning Coordinator has been appointed Municipal Treasurer. Council also passed a bylaw to delegate authority to temporarily close roads.
In other business: Howe Island has been notified that the County Ferry goes out of service for a Transport Canada hull inspection in October. Deputy Mayor Norris is very anxious to know what happens if it is out for a longer period of time. Need for meeting ASAP. Councillor Doyle wants new administrative person ( start date Sept. 29th) to take on certain files including CREC and sees a need for more and regular information /reports/notices on big issues. ”We don’t have direct link with Liaison committee,” he said.
Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded council that the Marysville Waterworks Class Environmental Assessment (notice posted in August) to evaluate a full range of water supply options is underway. “There is a good chance that this will be a challenging issue over the next 4/5-years,” he said. He also reminded council that there has been a festering issue regarding a property on Howe Island and Lot 5 township property and a drainage problem that did not exist before. “We must be prepared to do something about it at the October meeting.”
He informed council that Wolfe Island’s water truck will cease delivering water to island residents (certain safety lapses). However a local contractor is considering a commitment to those users. (Community will be informed.) The truck remains in use by the WI Fire Service.
He further announced that CREC has hired a second barge and wishes to extend delivery hours of turbines from the winter dock to the lay down area (not for construction purposes). This will be referred to McIntosh and Perry and followed by a special meeting.
The Township will respond favourably to a DND request to once again use Wolfe Island for training exercises. Due to Thanksgiving/Election, Oct. Council Meeting Date is to be determined.
A Special Meeting of Council was held Sept. 11th where two resolutions were passed. One gives CREC permission to extend the hours of the Pre-Servicing Agreement to transport turbines from the winter dock to the laydown area off highway 96 from 6 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday inclusive and 1pm to 10 pm Sundays. An amendment states, no trucks will travel on highway 96 between 6 and 7 am. because of ferry traffic. The second allows CREC to extend the hours for the construction of a temporary batch plant at WI’s Greenwood Quarry from 6 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday inclusive and Sunday, 1 pm to 10 pm for a period of 7 consecutive days only. (No date was set). Because of concerns expressed to council that there has been insufficient public notice about the blasting program CREC’s Mike Jablonicky was asked to attend. the meeting. He said the blasting schedule will be posted in their next newsletter, at their office, the town hall and the McIntosh Perry office. Depending on the weather, blasting could be completed within 3 weeks. Council allowed no questions from the public.
Around Town: Under the Investing in Ontario Act, Frontenac Islands will receive $87, 000 while the County will receive $1,281 million.
* Marysville Water EA public meeting. Watch for date..* Kingston Life article by Teresa Greenwood praises island’s: ‘Growing Up on Wolfe Island.’
* WI Photo Contest awards at Town Hall Aug.4th. Picture Drop off at Info Centre Sept. 30th or mail to WIBTA before Sept.30th
* Queen’s Triathlon Club’s “DUATHLON” (bike & run) Oct. 26th on Wolfe Island. We’re invited.
*Friends of Big Sandy Book Sale Friday pm Sept. 26th & Sat. all day Sept. 27th 9:30 am-5pm Old Fire Hall.
*Applefest Horne’s Orchard Hwy 95, OCTOBER 4th 1 - 4 pm Family Admission by Donation
*Community Euchre, Thurs. 7 pm WI United Church, everyone welcome. *Howe Island #6 in the Province of Ontario for per capita fundraising in the 2007 Terry Fox run held successful event in 2008.
* The late Fr.E.O’Reilly was remembered at Sacred Heart.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:25 AM
September 06, 2008
Wolfe Islander to Receive Medal for Bravery at Rideau Hall
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will present 46 Medals of Bravery (MB) at Rideau Hall, on Sept. 19th. Included in that number will be John Haney, a resident of Wolfe Island. The Medal of Bravery is awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.
In October 2006, John an experienced diver, sailor and strong swimmer, rescued a woman who had jumped from the Wolfe Island ferry into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario. Unsuccessful attempts with life lines thrown out by the crew to the distraught woman led John to grab a life vest and dive in to rescue her. “I don’t know that she was suicidal but she certainly had issues and time was important,” John said in a recent interview. “She seemed very confused and very cold. Once I got hold of her, the crew pulled us both up to safety.”
“Diving in is not recommended by MTO,” an unidentified crew person commented when asked about it the incident, “but in this instance John’s intervention was much appreciated.” Haney was recommended for the award by a number of citizens including Island resident John O’Shea (Wolfe Islander retired). “Most of us say, when we hear about people doing great things, someone should do something about this, but don’t. This time I did. John Haney saved a life,” he said.
Mr. Haney will be accompanied to Rideau Hall by his wife Danielle, his mother and other family members including his dad from Nova Scotia. John, an employee at Kingston’s Metal Craft , may now add MB to his name. “I promise to provide a picture from the ceremony,” the rather humble but very excited John Haney said. The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:16 AM
September 04, 2008
Canadian Plowing Championships Held on Wolfe Island
An evening of fun, food and laughter, capped a week of hard ploughing at the Canadian Plowing Championships (CPO) held on Wolfe Island. It was an evening led by Ken Keyes where ploughmen and friends were welcomed, informed, recognized and thanked by Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek, CPO President Lynn McDonald World Association Director Bob Brown and others. Dennis Mosier, organizing committee chair, the person behind having the island host the Canadian Championships, thanked the many sponsors, local government, the groups that raised money, generous donors of goods and services and of course committee members with special thanks to Wilma Sjonger, secretary treasurer. The food was prepared by Chef Andy and Kathie Merry. Entertainment was offered by impressionist James Kirkham. It was the evening where the winners in the senior and junior ploughing categories were presented their awards, but first………
Four days earlier, at the opening ceremonies, led by Everett Hogan, excitement was in the air as the ploughs were blessed by Wolfe Island’s Rev. Canon Chris Carr, Pastor Terry Wood and Fr. Raymond de Souza, remarks were offered by CPO’s Lynn McDonald, Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle, Dennis Mosier, WI’s Queen of the Furrow Morgan Roy, Frontenac County Queen Katie Shannon and Ontario Queen Katie Cheesmond.
The elite plowmen, representing Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba, paraded by on their ploughs to their respective lands (identified by name on small steel cut outs of the island) where contestants were to compete in a variety of classes in the conventional and (multi furrow) reversible plough events, and so the competition began.
Competitors, officials, judges to the Canadian Championships were accommodated on the Island and welcomed at a special gathering at the Stone Heron Gallery. A special ladies program that included the Grand’s “Gilbert & Anne” was organized by Betty Doyle.
Held in conjunction with the Canadian Championships were the Wolfe Island Plowmen’s Association and Frontenac County plowing matches. Prize presentations for these matches took place on site at their completion. County Match judges were Barry Timbers and Ross MacGillivary. ALL competitors ploughed on land owned by host farmers Jack Broeders and Henry Posthumus.
The weather throughout the 4-day event cooperated but, in spite of heavy summer rains, the lands were hard, compacted and difficult to plough particularly in the “Horse classes”, which continue to be so much a part of the local matches. None the less ALL competitors ploughed on, hoping to achieve, within a strict time constraint and based on tough criteria, the perfect furrow.
Under canopy were arts and crafts, food and beverages and a silent auction overseen by members of the WI and St. Lawrence Women’s Institutes, special vendor locations, antique cars, ploughs, antique machinery, equipment and business information including a spot for Canadian Hydro Developers.
But PLOUGHING was the major attraction, so BACK TO THE WINNERS…
Junior championship winners: 3rd Place Keenan Fried (only female competitor); 2nd Shawn Timbers, (both from Ontario) and in 1st place Jessie Meyer, (Alberta) recipient of a scholarship to Olds (Alberta) College.
Seniors Conventional Plow: 3rd place Philip Keith (NB) ; 2nd Greg Timbers, (ON); 1st Whaley Mar (Alberta).
Seniors Reversible Plow: 3rd Doug Mar, (Alberta); 2nd Bob Campsall (ON); 1st Bert Beyens (ON).
First place winners in these 2 categories will attend the 2009 World Match in Slovenia. The awards were presented by Lynn McDonald and Gary Keith. Congratulations to ALL.
Around Town: Council meets Mon. Sept.8th , 6:30 pm Wolfe Island. * A group of seniors is wondering if there is an interest in discussing Senior Living accommodation on Wolfe Island. Call Councillor Grant.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:42 AM
August 31, 2008
150th Anniversary Celebration
Wolfe Island recently celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Village of Marysville. Sponsored by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. The day began with a parade led by Kingston’s Town Crier Chris Whyman, consisting of the township’s amazing fleet of fire engines, horses and riders, antique buggies and cars, and an array of wonderful floats: White’s wagons and carriages, one carried a group of Senior Islanders, Rachel Horne,. Elzina King, Christine Kane and Bernard Muller, another Capt. Leith Davis , a great, great, grandson of Mary Hinckley Davis Hitchcock forr whom Marysville is named.
The guest of honour was Mary Hinckley Hamilton, a historian from Cape Vincent, NY, and a distant relative of Mary Hitchcock. The Township was represented by Councillors Wayne Grant and Dennis Doyle. Rev. Canon Chris Carr, pastor at Trinity Anglican along with Fr. Ray De Souza Pastor at Sacred Heart and Rev. David Higgs, WI United walked the route. The Wolfe Island and St. Lawrence Women’s Institutes, Canadian Hydro Developers, the Canadian and WI Ploughing Associations, a piper, drummer, men and women dressed in period costume, the McGlynn plow & trophy, the Riding Club, and many ploughs and plowmen all wended their way from the Fire Hall , past the Farmers Market to the end of the celebrated village.
At St. Margaret’s Hall, a framed copy of the original “Plan 1858” of Marysville was presented to Frontenac Islands by Society President Brian Johnson and Ms. Victoria Stewart and accepted by Councillors Wayne Grant and Dennis Doyle. A copy of “ Plan 1858” was also presented to guest speaker Mary Hamilton by Brian MacDonald.
Mary Hamilton, introduced by Captain. Leath Davis, said that Mary Hinckley Davis Hitchcock was a real person. “She was born in 1789 the year George Washington was inaugurated president and the French Revolution had just started,” she said. “Mary came to the island when she was 9, lived there a few years, went back to Rome, NY, returned to the island when she was 18, and married Thomas Davis. Following his death she remarried becoming Mary Hitchcock. She was the first postmistress from 1845 until her death 32 years later, lived in historic Hitchcock House, and was the island’s midwife and nurse. “
There was music by Robert Graham, a series of contests, an auction sale, historical displays, prizes and food. Guest Mary Hamilton cut the cake with its representation of Hitchcock House (made by Nan Keyes). The village churches were open for visitors. There were games and fun for the children and a walking tour of Marysville and the Anglican Cemetery. A mural of the late Captain Buck Mullin was on display. Thanks to the Historical Society for a memory filled day that ended with music by the Blue Grass band followed by our own Robert Graham.
Thanks to the many, many volunteers who contributed to making this historic event so successful and especially to the Wolfe Island Historical Society for reminding us of our important history.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:59 AM
August 20, 2008
Marysville Founded in 1858 Celebrates 150 Years!
The signs are waving in the breeze announcing the 150th Anniversary of the village of Marysville on Wolfe Island, and, the Wolfe Island Historical Society is completing plans for a wonderful day long anniversary event beginning at 11 am on Saturday , Aug. 23rd with an Old Fashioned Parade.
At noon, across the street from the island’s historic Trinity Anglican Church, there will be fun and games for the children at St. Margaret’s Hall at 12 noon, Food will be available and anyone named MARY is invited to register for a draw. In fact the name may be rented for $5 for the occasion. because Mary is a very important name on the island.
The Village of Marysville, with its vibrant history, is named after Mary Hinckley Davis Hitchcock, born in 1789. She was the first postmistress from 1845 until her death 32 years later, lived in historic Hitchcock House, and was the island’s midwife and nurse. On this occasion, guest of Honour Mary Hinckley Hamilton, Historian from Cape Vincent, will give a talk on Mary Hitchcock at 2 pm. Festivities during the day include a bonnet contest, a pie contest and an auction sale. For your entertainment Robert Graham will play throughout the day.
There will be a tour of Marysville given by local historian Marjorie Bousfield, followed by another of the Anglican cemetery, both beginning from Trinity Anglican Church. As well, the village churches will be open for visitors. And to end the day, the White Pine Blue Grass Band will play at St. Margaret’s Hall (7 pm) followed by Robert Graham’s Band playing 1940s-90s music.
The Historical Society invites you to ride the ferry, visit the island and join in the fun in Marysville. where “all the people are friendly, all the children are well behaved and all the girls are good looking!”.For further information, please call Vicki at 613-385-2934
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:24 AM
August 19, 2008
Author Joy Fielding, Grant Allen Award Recipient
New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding, a native of Toronto was presented with the Grant Allen Award in honour of Canada’s crime writing pioneer, at the 8th annual Scene of the Crime Festival on Wolfe Island. (Grant Allen born on Wolfe Island in 1848, is recognized as Canada’s first crime writer.) Fielding was born Joy Tepperman and changed her name as a young actress. She is the writer of 20 female-focussed mystery and page-turner novels (including her latest ‘Heartstopper’) which have been a real inspiration to Canadian crime writers. She currently lives in Toronto but spends more of her time at her home in Palm Beach, Florida The Grant Allen award individually created in the form of a kaleidoscope by local artist Linda Sutherland is designed to have particular significance to the winner. This year’s jewelled award was nestled inside a book and was presented by festival board member Rev. Canon Chris Carr.
Fielding acknowledged during an interview, conducted by festival director Orland French, (Wallbridge House Publishing, Belleville), that she writes about the conflict in women’s lives that usually comes from men, but her books appeal to men as well as women. Reminded that one of her earliest stories written as a young girl involved a 12 year old girl who murdered her parents she said, “my mother did admit to me many years later that oftentimes when her parents were sitting together, she would turn to my father and say what do you think she is thinking now?” She was quick to add, “ I had a fabulous relationship with my parents.”
Featured guest lecturer Peter Calamai, reporter, editor, foreign correspondent and active Sherlockian gave a brilliant presentation about Arthur Conan Doyle and Grant Allen.
Island librarian Sharon Hogan accepted not only the annual donation of books from this year’s guest authors( including Linwood Barclay, Mary Jane Maffini, José Latour, and Louise Penny) but a $500. cheque presented by Festival president Violette Malan for the purchase of more books for the Grant Allen collection. “Our hope is that Wolfe Island will become the place to look for the finest collection of Canadian crime writing in the country.” The library has a cabinet built to house and display selected works from the Grant Allen collection, including a first edition, donated by literary historian David Skene-Melvin. For more information on Grant Allen & Scene of the Crime Festival: www.sceneofthecrime.ca
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:20 AM
July 29, 2008
Frontenac Islands Meetings Never Dull with Wind Towers on the Agenda
The July meeting was no exception where a full house gathered in the small Wolfe Island Town Hall meeting room for the required public meeting to hear two applications made by Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation. One for a zoning bylaw amendment to By-Law No. 28-2003, to add the Wind Plant Overlay (WP-H ) zone to 4 Wolfe Island properties to permit wind turbines and to remove the WP-H zoning from 2 properties on Simcoe Island. The 2nd Application was to permit the erection of two meteorological towers to be used for the monitoring of the Wolfe Island Wind Plant.
Present to explain the process were Clark Consulting’s Bob Clark and Jennifer Current. Ms. Current outlined the details of the 1st application, draft by-law, and the approval process. She said that originally turbines were indicated for Simcoe Island but that is no longer the case. CREC will have no towers on Simcoe Island. The additional four Wolfe Island properties were not part of the original zoning bylaw application notice but in 2006 CREC realized more property was needed and they optioned additional land, some of which was zoned in a further application in 2006 but without the latter four included. However the White, Scarthingmore Farms, Staley and CREC lands were included in the ERR as potential turbine sites. Current went on to show proposed turbine locations on these 4 properties, one turbine proposed for each property, set backs, etc. on a large map. Mr. John Uliana of the firm IBI Group, agent for the applicant, noted that Ms. Current had represented the facts to date and the 4 properties very well, adding that the 4 properties in question had been contemplated for the WP-8 zone and were part of the settlement with the OMB for CREC’s 86 turbine wind plant. Consultant Bob Clark noted that the Official Plan allows turbines on both Rural and Agriculture land but the bylaw must have the additional WP overlay. No request for a lay down area was made with this application.
Ms. Current explained the purpose of the July 24th site plan review meeting which provides an opportunity to see turbine locations, set backs etc. (some 76 applications thus far). While that meeting is not required by the Planning Act , following the OMB hearing CREC agreed to hold a public Open House to hear and consider comment from the public.
Mayor Vanden Hoek’s skills at controlling the intense, question and answer period that followed were put to the test. The questions and answers concerning both bylaws will be included with the minutes posted on the Frontenac Islands web site (http://municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca/) In the first case, Council a passed a By-Law to amend Schedule “D” of By-Law No. 28-2003
McIntosh Perry’s Ivan Duffy, the townships project consultant will post office hours and have site plan maps available. (613-385-1212), also available at the Canadian Hydro Office. In his report Duffy noted that road construction is underway.
CREC’s second application was a request to take down 3 (60 metre) existing meteorological towers and amend the WP holding zone (which remains in effect for any other development) to permit the construction of two 80 metre meteorological towers, (one on the east, the other one on the west). Council’s decision with this application is subject to appeal only by the applicant. Once again Mayor Vanden Hoek fielded the many questions, concerns, frustration and some anger relating to lighting, perceived lack of studies, alteration of land, set backs, tower technologies, distance from homes, bird kill from existing towers, height, access roads, and a need for more information. In this instance, the resolution put forward to council to allow the two meteorological towers was lost.
In Other Business: Dawn and Dean Wallace presented a compelling case concerning wind plant construction and public health and safety issues. They requested a 50km speed limit , a 4-way stop at 5th and Baseline, (close to where they live) fixed 7am-7 pm working hours including Lafarge, watered roads for dust control, transmission lines on the opposite side of the road, expressed concern about EMF’s (electro magnetic fields) distance from homes, noise pollution (truck vibration)and their care and concern for everyone in the community. Council will call for recommendations from the companies and township departments to deal with the issues. The public is urged to call Ivan Duffy with concerns.
Council amended a bylaw (making it permanent) dealing with the waste disposal assessment area. Development is not permitted within 30 metres of the perimeter of the fill area of the landfill site with the assessment area (500 m) measured from that perimeter.
Property owner Ian Millar asked council to open (to allow access to certain lots), build and maintain certain sections of roads in Marysville . It was concluded that road work would be borne by the developer with possible takeover if construction meets township standards.
The township will install marker buoys at the new public dock to help alleviate waterline concerns (silt, possible cutting) of Victoria Street residents.
Following a presentation by Wolfe Island Historical Society President Brian Johnson and members Ms. Victoria Stewart and Brian MacDonald, about the society’s plans for the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Village of Marysville on Aug. 23, 2008, Council not only will acknowledge the occasion but authorized a $2000. donation in support from the Community Enhancement fund.
Council is generally favourable to a mobile food service (Coffee Truck) to the Wind Plant construction sites proposed by resident Larry Greenwood. Staff will research the legislation and regulations for the venture. Council approved a tile drainage loan application made by Wolfe Island resident H. Posthumus. Council meets on Howe Island, Monday, Aug.11th, 6:30 pm.
Around Town: * A reminder! Community Euchre Thursdays, 7 pm. WI United Church Hall. *The Annual WI Family Ball Tournament will be held the Aug. 1-2, 2008 *A Barn Yard Sale will be held at The Foot, 5344 Hwy. #96 E Sat. Aug. 2nd 9-4 p.m. contact: C. Harroun 613-385-2041 * Howe Island was named #6 in the Province for per capita fundraising in the 2007 Terry Fox Run. Terry Fox Run 2008 Sunday, September 14th. *A sincere apology to Bill Boulter, (donator of the fire truck to Wolfe Island) for the incorrect spelling of his name in a recent paper. * For Events: www.wolfeisland.com
Frontenac Islands “Contracts Out” Financial Services to Frontenac County
The news that Frontenac Islands has requested a contract with Frontenac County to provide financial services has already made it to the front page of the Frontenac Gazette (July 22nd). And the possible transfer of the treasury functions was agenda item # 15 at Frontenac Island’s July 14th council meeting attended by Frontenac County Clerk/CAO Ms. Elizabeth Savill, and Ms. Marian Van Bruinessen, Frontenac County Treasurer.
With the departure of Frontenac Island’s treasurer, the job had been posted when the concept of contracting out began to take shape. It is fair to say, contracting with the County will eliminate the long held position of Treasurer at the local municipal level, a major change for council to grapple with. Councillor Doyle had a first discussion with County treasurer Ms. Van Bruinessen and a further meeting occurred between Frontenac Islands staff and County staff.
At the July Council meeting the discussion was about advantages and disadvantages of contracting out. “We have had one strategy in the past, Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “Shall we stay with it or move on?” Frontenac County CAO Savill outlined what the county can offer and possible requirements to do the job.
While Councillor Grant has some concerns and expressed a cautionary note, Councillor Fiene and Deputy Mayor Norris see many advantages to the county doing the core financials, accounts receivable, taxes, etc., etc. “This provides an opportunity to move forward,” Councillor Doyle observed. Frontenac Islands Deputy Clerk/Deputy Treasurer and Planning Coordinator Carol Dwyre has no huge issue but wonders how it can work on a day to day basis “without both of us doing the work at least initially.” She wonders if residents will have more concerns with what they see as a third office. “We are already separated in many ways.”
“ If the work is going to be transferred to the county then all of it needs to go,” according to Clerk/CAO Terry O’Shea . He is opposed to the administrative person he will be hiring having anything to do with the transition. “Initially you will have to spend more time in the transfer than you think.” He recommended that the County provide a person to help during the transition noting there will be higher costs for equipment and salaries.
While not in complete agreement with CAO O’Shea, the Mayor said the agreement has to be all not half. “If we are going to be accountable it has to be very clear who is responsible for what or we could be losers on both ends. I believe the issue we are dealing with here is a bigger issue than some of the planning issues facing us. This is all about policy.”
Finally after some further discussion, council passed a resolution that directs Frontenac Islands staff to transition the treasury functions to Frontenac County as outlined by County staff at councils request. Other than Taxes the transition is to start immediately. The Tax file will begin by the end of September ensuring a smooth transition effective January 1, 2009.
A formal agreement will be developed by the Mayor and Clerk with the County outlining terms and conditions of this outsourcing. The work being undertaken by the County is on a cost-recovery basis. An Administrative person, as opposed to a Treasury person will be hired for Frontenac Islands. Deputy Mayor Norris requested a recorded vote. Councillor Grant -Nay, Deputy Mayor Norris -Yea, Councillor Doyle-Yea, Councillor Fiene-Yea, Mayor Vanden Hoek-Yea..
Posted by Margaret Knott at 04:31 PM
Well Known Islander Receives Award
In a moving tribute, Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek presented Mr. Everett Hogan with the “Senior of the Year” award on behalf of the township.
“Perhaps the Senior of the Year award is not appropriate for someone so full of life, so energetic, some one who does an incredible job in terms of his passion and his commitment to his community. You are truly someone I rely upon,” the mayor said. He presented a list of Everett’s involvements over the years with the Wolfe Island, Frontenac County and Ontario Plowmen’s associations, the WI Medical Clinic Board, 4-H Club leader, Sacred Heart Parish Council, minor baseball and hockey coach as well as numerous other farm and township organizations. And the mayor reminisced a little. He recalled when he was a member of the 4H Grain Club as a boy and Everett as a 4H leader going to the Vanden Hoek farm and walking through the fields with him telling him about wheat and barley.
“One other experience goes back seven or eight years when Everett was a tower of strength with his quiet guidance for council on the development of the Big Sandy Bay Area.
Mr Hogan accepted his award from Mayor VandenHoek outside on the steps of the Town Hall where his large family and friends had gathered for the occasion. ”I have enjoyed every group I have been associated with,” he said. “And I have enjoyed my community most of all. I hope some of my efforts have made things a little better than had I not been around. Thanks to everyone for choosing me as Senior of the Year. I will cherish this plaque and hang it in a place of honour in my home,” he concluded.
Everett is still actively involved as a member of the Big Sandy Bay Management Committee and as Livestock Valuator and Fence Viewer for the Township and with Sacred Heart Parish.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 04:19 PM
July 14, 2008
Dog Days of Summer Are Busy Days on Wolfe Island
Have you noticed that there is rarely a picture promoting Kingston, particularly during the summer months, that does not include the Wolfe Islander III ferry? As far as tourism is concerned, that’s great for Wolfe Island where the days and weekends are filled with events and activities just looking for people to attend. The Wolfe Islander III as well as Horne’s ferry service to Cape Vincent, NY, welcome visitors, those coming by car, walk-on’s, cyclists and those passing through, coming to play golf, pick strawberries in season, visit Big Sandy Bay or to stay awhile an at any one of a number of B & B’s.
But no matter how hard the crew of the Wolfe Islander III work to get the maximum number of vehicles on to the ferry, more often than not, from “school’s out” in June, to “school’s in,” in September” the ferry is constantly full with the many who walk on simply to enjoy the ferry ride and usually leaves cars behind.
The ‘down side’ of that scenario is traffic congestion in Marysville, parked cars everywhere, ( sometimes even left in the ferry traffic lane.) At the same time islanders who must take vehicles to work in Kingston, are forced to arrive very early if they hope to get on, or have 2 vehicles, one in the city and one on the island. All of which leads to frustration and anxiety and certainly does not work too well for those islanders driving service vehicles.
The ‘upside’ is that people do “Linger Longer” in Marysville where they wander the streets, look at the murals, check out the village gardens, visit the Information Centre, the Stone Heron gallery, the Craft Shop, Fairy Lane Studio, the Summer Dock studio where the WI Historical Society also has a corner, as well as the local stores, (the most recent being “Summer” a shop filled with an array of interesting stuff), restaurants, hotel and bakery, delight in ice cream or perhaps rent a bicycle.
Cottagers and summer residents, for the most part, are content to stay on the island once they get here, and use the ferry sparingly. And Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) has developed a plan for bringing goods and services to the island for the wind farm that involves using two large barges and occasionally the Wolfe Islander III in off –hours. Year round Islanders generally grin and bear it as part of living on an island.
Around Town: The 29th annual Wolfe Island Classic 5k-10k Road race, brought 405 runners to the island. “ It lived up to its motto, tough course, great people.” Race Director Jim Gore said The weather was great, the volunteers and island residents enthusiastic and the runners happy with the race and with what they accomplished. Swimming from Pat and Tom’s shoreline was welcomed as was the hospitality the runners received at their home (fruit, water melon, yogurt, water) where winners were announced by the affable master of ceremonies Ken Keyes, with medals and prizes presented by WIBTA president Linda Thomas , Jim Gore, Linda Sutherland and Emma Pyke. Special prizes were presented to Doug Knowles (78), a participant in every race since its inception by Hank Connell 29 years ago. Runners ranged in age from 12 to 80 years. This year’s Kiddie race saw lots of spunk on the part of the children (2-6) and an increase in numbers. Thanks to the many generous sponsors and to all who contributed to the success of the event. Special Thanks to the “Running Room.”
The next running of the Wolfe Island Classic will be held Sunday July 5, 2009. For full race results : www.rrresults.com While the race was going on and into the afternoon a first “ Island Market” was held with revenues in some instances to support a number of island issues including the Medical Clinic. It is anticipated that with more vendors and with more advertising, the “Island Market” could become a regular event.
The Wolfe Island ‘Wind Farm’ Community Liaison Committee will hold a meeting at the United Church hall Wed. July 16 at 6:30 pm. For information: Canadian Hydro: 613-385-2045. Their hours are 9 am to 4 pm Mon.-Friday & 8 am –2pm Saturday. A new committee member, Leanne Cunningham has had to drop out due to a busy schedule. Anyone coming to the island will notice that road work for the wind project has begun in certain areas. Interesting to note that work is also underway at the Hydro Sub Station behind Home Depot on Gardiner’s Road. Noted recently, many visitors to the island from MTO and Frontenac County.
The Survey for the Wind Turbine Health Study, announce recently has not been distributed as yet. When it is, it will go to every island mailing address, residential and seasonal. Every attempt will also be made to reach those who work on the island but do not live there. The purpose of the survey is to study long-term health impacts, IF ANY, of wind turbines. Data will be collected prior to, during construction of and after the turbines are in operation. Questions to :email@example.com
Wolfe Island Business & Tourism will hold a meeting on Tuesday, July 15th at the United Church Hall at 7 pm. of interest to all Islanders have ever wondered about Community Endowment Funds- a novel idea that helps make good things happen in a community. Guest speaker Glenn Stresman, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Greater Kingston will explain how individuals and organizations can establish their own endowed funds, like the Wolfe Island Fund, to assist their community. He recently commented that “Community Foundations are often called the best kept secret in the charitable sector. And yet, the Community Foundation provided 7 grants totalling over $23,000 to Wolfe Island charities for their work last year and the Wolfe Island Plowmen’s Association and the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute received grants for 2008 projects.” For information: Linda Thomas 613-385-1947.
The WI Historical Society plans are proceeding for the Marysville Celebration, August 23rd. Mary Hinckley Hamilton will participate and give a talk on her ancestor “Aunt Polly”(Mary Hinckley Hitchcock) for whom the Village is named. For information: Victoria Stewart: 613-385-2934.
Rowing lessons at the new village dock. Look for posted signs with Times/Dates. A reminder: Frontenac Islands Council meets the 2nd Monday of every month at 6:30 pm. More Coming events: www.wolfeisland.com Wolfe Island IS a busy place!
Wolfe Island Classic Draws 400 plus Runners to the Island
More than 400 runners ran in the 29 annual Wolfe Island Classic 5km-10km Road Race held on the island on Sunday July 6th. Good wind off the starting gate, tough going on the way back. Swimming at the end for those who cared to.
5km Male 5km Female age
Dylan O’ Sullivan 16, Harrowsmith Meg Casson 20, Kingston
Brant Stachel 17, Kingston Joyce Acton 48, Richmond
Kieran Day 15, Nepean Jenny Yang 18, Kingston
10 km Male 10km Female
Paul Leduc 36, Ajax Christine Coulter 33, Kingston
Jeff Davies 15, Kingston Jane Howe 39, Kingston
Adrian Marshall 16, Kingston Lauren Campbell 24, Kingston.
For complete race results: www.RRResults.com
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:48 AM
July 04, 2008
Wolfe Island Wind Farm Liaison Group to Ensure Two-way Flow of Information
The OMB decision (Oct./07minutes of settlement) regarding CREC, Canadian Hydro Developers Wolfe Island Wind Farm included a recommendation that CREC is to participate in a Community Liaison Group. The Group is to provide a forum for community comments, suggestions and complaints, if any, between the participants and to increase awareness of facts and issues as perceived by each group. If a dispute arises which the parties cannot resolve 3rd party mediation may be required to find a constructive solution. That recommendation was the basis for a recent community meeting sponsored by WIRE (WI residents for the environment) and very ably chaired by Peggy Smith along with CREC’s Mike Jablonicky, Manager of the Wind Project.
Smith said that it was time examine the make up of the Liaison committee and that to bring the community together to break down barriers that have developed. ”Sometimes discussing the wind power project at any public forum, can become a heated debate for and against but the idea tonite is to begin to talk as a community and to start to create a venue where it will be comfortable for every one to bring their concerns,”she said. She spoke of the number of government agencies, the level of frustatrion and anxiety in getting answers to questions and the importance of having Jablonicky on the committee. “It will not be a forum for complaints about the project in general, your legal rights, entitlement, etc. Those belong elsewhere,” she said. “The purpose is to address the broadbased questions and to get answers.“ Immediate concerns include hours of work and dudt control during road construction. She also spoke to the issue of mediation and the legal ramifications, who pays etc.
Smith said they had tried the committee format earlier with Sarah McDemott, Lynne Moore and Jason Pyke but it was her recommendation that there should be a fresh slate because the committee was seen as having two sides, for and against the project. The members will step down. Jason Pyke wondered about the need for the committee with Jablonicky now available. “Mike is the best of both worlds ,” he said. Smith said the Community Liaison group is a venue for everyone.
Mike Jablonicky said CREC “has an open door policy at our island location. I am anxious to work with committee and satisfy concerns and answer questions as they arise.” He noted: Project Operational hours will be Mon.-Sat. 7am- 7 pm. No construction Sunday’s. Working past 7 pm will not be the norm. Dust control: contractor to water (only) down roads regularly. Speed Limit of 30- 40 km will be enforced using a radar gun.(safety a major concern). All materials will arrive at Dawson Point. There will be a two barge system, (one will bring turbines only, the other, workers, trucks etc). two slips, (one at Kingston, another developed at Dawson Point), WI ferry use will be for a short time only, late night , off hours, always available for emergency ambulance calls. Kingston side parking lot will not be for use by project workers.
Comments –questions- concerns that arose: Communication –How? What about Press biasis? Is the group back door to an environmental review? What about delays? Is committee representative of whole community? Why no Council representation? Traffic, line up’s, ferry concerns? Dispute Resolution protocol by council? Environmental issues? Size of project? Industrial model? The role of the cmmittee in the community.
While the meeting was a good first step, it was obvious that anxiety, unease and doubt still remains for those who want the project to proceed and those who want changes. Volunteering for new Liaison Group were Ken White, Barbara Springay, Ruth Woodman, Leanne Cunningham and Chris Brown who will meet in the coming week. They will determine number of meetings, define their objectives and draft a protocol for proceeding, etc. In the mean time call Mike 613-217-7459. Dawn Wallace volunteered multi media services to the committee.
The meeting continued as Ms. Smith, not in her capacity as a lawyer, but based on her procedural knowledge, outlined the wind power project process to date, what has been achieved, outstanding issues, pre construction, appeal process, judicial review, federal process, panel review etc.
(Please note the headline in the June 16th Heritage stated that Canadian Hydro had requested a deferment of the zoning bylaw amendment applications while they detemine whether they will be withdrawn all together.)
Around Town:1. A Gift for the Island. The Wolfe Island Volunteer Fire Department has added another Fire Truck to its fleet. The 1977 American La France was a gift from Bill Boulter owner of Hichcock House. Bill from Webster New York where he is a member of the local Fire Committee bought and refurbished the truck as a gift for Wolfe Island. WI Fire Chief James White met Bill at the International Bridge recently and together they brought vehicle home to Wolfe Island. Clapping and cheers greeted them with siren blaring, driving off the ferry to the Town Hall where Bill formally presented the keys for the vehicle to Chief White. A gracious gift and a great day for the Volunteer Fire Department.
2. The Mosier and Kane famies wish to thank everyone who participated in the 5th annual Kane-Mosier Golf Tournament at the Riverfront Golf Course. The Wolfe Island recreation committee will receive the proceeds from the event.
3. Plans are underway to celebrate the 150 Anniversary of the Village of Marysville on Sat. August 23rd beginning at 11 am with a parade. The community and the many island groups are invited to participate, prepare floats, dress in the 1858 clothing of the day, attend events, enter hat contests, win prizes, attend a barbecue, dance at St. Margaret’s Hall, walking tours, children’s events, market, and so much more. For information and to participate call: Victoria Stewart: 613-385-2934.
4. Interesting to note that singer Sarah Harmer co-hosted a show with island resident Sarah McDermott about the WI Wind Project on CFRC Radio. A Whig article quotes Harmer as saying critics are not opposed to the project but want it downsized (15 towers) in northwest section of the island (environment, birds).
5. July 5th (Town Hall) 10 am Registration for Family Ball Tournament
6. WI Classic Road Race Sunday, July 6th. Island Market the same day. For a list of Wolfe Island events: www.wolfeisland.com
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:06 AM
June 19, 2008
Wolfe Island Temporary Land Use Bylaw Deferred
Many Wolfe Islanders came, (some by bus), to the June meeting of Frontenac Islands council held on Howe Island. They were there primarily to hear the outcome of a request by CREC (Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation) for a Temporary Land Use bylaw involving applications for 3 Wolfe island properties to be used for the storage of turbine components, supplies and construction equipment for use during the construction of the Wolfe Island Wind Plant, allowing the project to move forward.
An earlier special public meeting of council held on May 28th provided the required opportunity for the public to make representation with regard to the proposed bylaw and the use of the properties. At that time, Planner Jennifer Current of Clark Consulting Services presented a draft review of the application by CREC to obtain approval of a temporary use of lands bylaw amendment, which council accepted. CREC had hoped the zoning bylaw amendment would be passed that evening but in the end, following an extensive question and answer period, it was determined that Clark Consulting would review the concerns and the bylaw request would be brought back to the June meeting. However with the arrival of Bob Clark and Jennifer Current at the June meeting, Council passed a resolution that an application to amend by-law No. 28-2003 to allow temporary zoning on certain lands in the Township of Fontana Islands be deferred. Mayor Vanden Hook announced that he had received a call from CREC at 5:15 asking that the bylaw agenda item be deferred. “We really don’t understand this,” he said. “We do know that CREC had received permission to use the three properties in question on a temporary basis.” Planner Clark confirmed that he had also received a late call from CREC requesting a deferment while they considered a withdrawal of the application. Clark said they had studied the comments from the May 28th meeting and were prepared to make certain recommendations but with a withdrawal of the request by CREC, they would focus on the required turbine site plan reviews and providing mechanisms for public input possibly at cluster meetings. This turn of events left the audience with nothing to say. Most left.
On June 4th Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) was informed that based on a decision by the Director of the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch of the Ministry of Environment, confirmed by the Minister that an Individual Environmental Assessment and mediation are not required for the Wolfe Island Wind Project and that the Statement of Completion will be submitted clearing the way for CREC to proceed subject to any other required permits and approvals. (Heritage readers have followed this process over the last 5years.)
In other business:1. Ivan Duffy, (McIntosh Perry Engineers) the Township’s Wind Plant Project coordinator provided an update of activities to date and he or a representative will do so at every council meeting. Duffy has done a preliminary review of the site plans; determined culvert sizes for CREC and apprised CREC of a number of particular approval certificates required. CREC is waiting for the Totten Simms Hubicki road assessment report before beginning any work on the roads and will hold a start-up construction meeting in the near future. Presently Duffy spends part of his time on the island with an office behind the WI Community Hall at 385-1212 and the remainder at the Kingston offices of McIntosh Perry. He will be on the island full time when work on the wind plant begins in earnest.
2. Before passing the By-Law to levy taxes in the Township of Frontenac Islands for the year 2008 council members adjusted some budget detail and discussed a possible cost for moving some functions “back office work” to private sector. Council set the tax levy for Howe Island 3.3% (per 100,000 =$13.00) and for Wolfe Island 1.55% ($13.00 per 100,000). The Mayor announced that Treasurer Chris Lott was moving on and congratulated her on her career change and move to a larger municipality, noting that her success was Frontenac Islands loss.
*Council waived the building permit fee for the construction of a viewing stand at Big Sandy Bay for the Stewardship Committee.
*Frontenac Islands will participate in Partners for Climate Protection five-milestone program. Deputy Mayor Pat Nlorris was appointed as the Elected Official to oversee milestone implementation with Carol Dwyre appointed as the Corporate Staff person both acting as points of contact for the PCP program. *Council also supported the nomination of Mayor Vanden Hoek as the Director of the County Caucus of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
*Dollars from the working capital reserve ($ 66,595.) will be used to clear the 2005 Wolfe Island oil spill liability.
* CEO O’Shea will respond to a letter from Howe Island resident Dave Munroe questioning the governance of the township mentioning in particular the Howe Island quarry and the Wolfe Island wind farm decisions, Howe’s minority position, amalgamation of the two islands etc.
*Council talked about ways to resolve residents fears of damage to water lines at the new township dock location. Councillor Doyle thanked Chris Lott for all her efforts particularly her work on Big Sandy Bay development.
*Mayor Vanden Hoek had a good meeting with the chair of the LHIN about the WI Medical Clinic who is aware the clinic is not the responsibility of the township but does see it as a medical opportunity in their networking.
Council meetson Wolfe Island, July 14th.
Around Town: The Canadian Plowing Championships will be held on Wolfe Island Wed. Aug. 27th to Sat. Aug. 30th. Events Include a Gathering for Canadian Competitors; the Wolfe Island Plowing Match; Opening Ceremonies for the Canadian Plowing Championships, Provincial Flag Raising, Canadian Junior & Senior Plowing Competition, Frontenac County Plowing Match, Silent Auction & BBQ, Canadian Junior & Senior Plowing Competition Aug. 29th. The Canadian Senior Plowing Competition, Closing Ceremonies & Awards Banquet Aug. 30th. There will be Antique Farm Machinery Displays, Arts & Crafts Fair, Antique Auto Displays and local product sales. If you have never been to a plowing match this is the time. For Information contact: Wilma Sjonger 613-385-2672 Wilma.Sjonger@kos.net It is sponsored by the Frontenac County & the Wolfe Island Plowmen’s Associations.
2. The environmental assessment, approved in the budget for water& sewer in Marysville is moving ahead. Two property owners were approached for a donation, (each contributed $25,000) YCG will do the work.
3..Barrett’s Bay Regatta June 22nd Call: Leann 613-453-8438.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 01:57 PM
June 04, 2008
One Step at a Time for Wolfe Island Wind Plant as Community asks Questions
A special public meeting of Frontenac Islands Council was held on Wolfe Island to consider a proposed Zoning bylaw amendment made by Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation (CREC). The purpose of the amendment is to permit the temporary use (3 years) of three island properties for the storage of construction equipment and supplies required for the WI Wind Plant The properties include Corus(now owned by CREC) 0S Lot 12; Scarthing Moor Farm (Lot 5 North of Baseline Con.8) and Scott Industrial (Part of Lots 3& 4, Con.8). An extension of up to a maximum of 3 years can be given.
Clark Consulting’s Jennifer Current and Bob Clark were there to describe the process and what was to happen at the properties. Representing CREC’s application was Stantec’s John Uliana and Scott Hossie who wanted council to approve the zoning bylaw that evening.
Current described the review process to date, noting copies of a draft report are now available at the Town Hall. A road survey by Totten Sims Hubicki has been done. The township has retained a consultant Ivan Duffy (Mackintosh-Perry) to oversee the ongoing process. She also described what was to happen at each site , top soil removal, compact textile installation , gravel and fencing requirements, low impact lighting, and access routes. With regard to the Scarthing Moor property she noted CREC is aware of the Osprey fledglings, nesting close by where nothing will happen until the birds have left the nest or are flying. And finally she spoke of the appeal process on the part of the community or the applicant (20 days from the date of the passage or the denial of the bylaw amendment) plus other appeal opportunities.
Mayor Vanden Hoek’s call for questions about the amendment most of which were answered by Current ,Clark and Uliana related to: natural heritage (birds, wetlands); possible brown fields; soil contamination; who pays for OMB appeal; specificity of what is stored (flammable, dangerous etc); affect of transformers; security; location of the temporary cement batching plant (not part of the zoning bylaw amendment); return of sites to original condition; violations; storage of fuel/oil for vehicles; hours of operation; return of sites to original state; washroom and parking facilities, etc.
Mayor Vanden Hoek called for a motion to accept, reject, or defer and ask appellant for more information. Deputy Mayor Norris was satisfied with the information and prepared to support a motion to move forward. Councillor Doyle felt there was much good information but wants a number of conditions attached to any motion i.e. hours of operation 7am-7pm; hazardous materials; answer for local resident’s concerns about theft/break ins at his business, identification of brown fields, no disturbance of Osprey’s; need for safety officer. Councillor Fiene although happy with information is looking for some specifics and a deferral.
“We have heard from the public, we have heard from members of council. This will be brought back to June 9th meeting on Howe Island,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. The public can send/email their comments to ClarkConsulting.
Around Town:1. Smoke alarms alerted the Kerbal family to an early morning fire in their home at the eastern end of Wolfe Island on Road #96, some 20 miles away from the Wolfe Island Fire Service in Marysville. Roly Jansen, who lives near the Kerbal home, became aware of the fire, and went for the pumper truck he bought and keeps for a number of uses, always full of water in a heated barn to be brought out in situations such as this. Roly was able to contain the fire before the Fire Department arrived, which, according to Chief James White saved the house. He commended Jansen on his efforts. Later Chief White, said that the Staley family was also alerted to a fire in their home through smoke alarms a few days later, and he reminds residents of the importance of WORKING smoke alarms and in the event of fire, fumes, to immediately call 911.
2. Take note, Wolfe Island’s Community Policing group is back on the job for the summer months. If you observe a problem call Councillor Wayne Grant 613-385-2981 or Colleen Woodman 613-385-2001.
3. In spite of a cool entry into spring, Frontenac Islands is gearing up for a busy summer season. Marysville celebrates its 150th birthday while Wolfe Island’s historic Town Hall is 149 . On Howe Island, St. Philomena's Church celebrates its 150th Anniversary in July.
4. Friends of Big Sandy Bay, Semi-Annual Book Sale at the old Fire Hall Sat. June 21st 10-5 pm Early Bird welcome Friday evening from 5-8 pm. Come find your summer reading.
5. 2008 Barrett's Bay Regatta Sunday June 22nd (modern, traditional, paddle, oar) Call: Tom 613-385-2222 or Leann 613-453-8438.
6. June 27th, The Stone Heron Gallery, opens for the summer season at the Wolfe Island Community Hall. Many well known artists will have their work on display. As well, Ferry Lane, a studio gallery is just a 3 minute walk up from the ferry. Call 613-385-9949
7. Wolfe Island’s 29th annual classic 5k-10k road race, Sunday July 6th, “a must do event.” Race Information and Registration form is available on the WIBTA web site. www.wolfeisland.com. Visit the Running Room. Call Race Director Linda Thomas, 613-385–1947.
8. July 6th A Market Day ( historical Island Market ) will be held at the Wolfe Island Library. Anyone interested in offering goods (flowers , produce, honey, etc.) for sale or presentation is to call Linda Thomas 613-385-2436 to reserve a spot. After a very successful “Seedy Saturday” it is clearly evident that people would love to have access to local food and products. Kathy Rothermel, “Vegetables Unplugged” will be on hand with information, some produce for sale. Rumour has it, that if the weather turns warm, and the island’s strawberries turn red, a Strawberry Social to celebrate Marysville’s Birthday might happen. Watch for further info.
9. Reference to a cement plant should come as no surprise. It is identified in the ERR 18.104.22.168 “Temporary Concrete Batching Plant A concrete production plant does not exist on Wolfe Island, therefore, a temporary concrete batching plant will be utilized. There are two possible locations for the plant; the final location will be selected during the detailed design phase. The potential locations are the existing Greenwood Quarry west of Marysville on Highway 96 and the existing Pyke Pit at the south end of Highway 95”
Posted by Margaret Knott at 12:09 PM
May 21, 2008
Growing up on Wolfe Island, a book by Islanders is Launched
So often in tightly knit communities one hears the lament that the wonderful stories of the past are being lost with the deaths of their senior citizens. Such a lament sparked an idea of doing something about it which led to “Growing up on Wolfe Island,” a compilation of oral history interviews with Islanders, some born and raised on the island and with others who have lived there most of their lives.
So it was no surprise when, at the invitation of the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) and the W.I. Women’s Institute, sons, daughters, relatives and friends gathered at the Community Hall to celebrate ‘the launch’ with the authors of “Growing up on Wolfe Island,” their book filled with their memories, their stories of the way island life used to be. The launch provided the perfect occasion to bring many of the story tellers together, John O’Shea, Don MacDonald, Mark and Mable McRae, Arthur Keyes, Chris Kane, Flora Devlin, Everett Hogan, Elaine(Allum) Berry, Elaine (Horne) Hogan, Margaret Fawcett.
And how excited they were to finally see the book, to leaf through the pages, to look at pictures (provided by the WI Historical Society) to recall what they said, and to meet with their editors, Captain Brian Johnson, WI Historical Society president and an author in his own right, and Sarah Sorensen, the primary conductor of the interviews and who compiled the stories (a Queen’s student at the time).
It was like a high school reunion. So much so they were even signing each other's copy of the book. And the books flew off the table quickly purchased by family members and friends. Captain Johnson in his welcome indicated his enthusiasm for the book project. Linda Thomas, Chair of the island’s Heritage Committee and President of WIBTA was presented with a framed copy of the original cover (cover & book designed by Kiley Rider) as a gift by the Women’s Institute for moving the project forward. The WI Women’s Institute prepared the luncheon and served a beautiful cake honouring the occasion.
Not present were story tellers R.F. Fawcett, Vern Yott, Bob Pyke, Anita Janzer, and Anne Deming. Now deceased are Carmel Greenwood and Sydney Eves, Simcoe Island. “Growing Up on Wolfe Island” is available on the island at the local stores,the Tourist Information Centre and Novel Ideas in Kingston.
The project received funding from Human Resources Development Canada, Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, & the Davies Charitable Foundation.
For More Info: L. Thomas 613-385-1947.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:22 PM
May 20, 2008
It Must Be Summer! Frontenac Islands Council Meeting Ends Early
Frontenac Islands Council got together in May with what could be described as a slim agenda. While there was much to talk about, it all moved to a very quick conclusion.
1. The first item of business related to signage on Wolfe Island. Linda Thomas President of the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) was present to discuss a municipal sign policy. Mayor Vanden Hoek was very apologetic about perhaps becoming a little over involved ( “meddling”), he said) in Marysville signage which has been on the townships agenda since last year when money was budgeted in 2007 for that purpose but was not all used. Directional signage to Big Sandy Bay was also under consideration. The mayor said he had gathered together a small group to talk about signage and to review a number of designs prepared by island resident Mike Bromley, later asking Councillor Grant to take over the committee. WIBTA was not at the table at that time. Around the same time WIBTA had been discussing signage as well. Their focus was to develop a standard of signage that would better define Wolfe Island and Marysville, to consider enclosed bulletin boards on the ferry as well as an information sign at the ferry dock in Kingston. Thomas noted that she had applied on behalf of the Township and WIBTA to secure a grant from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) . The request was approved ($8000.) with financial participation from the township($4000.) to install directional signs for Big Sandy Bay, Village of Marysville signs and two covered bulletin boards to be placed on the Wolfe Islander III. WIBTA is hoping to install an information sign somewhere on the ferry dock in Kingston. During the discussion, Councillor Grant reminded council that Marysville is 150 years old this year. Mayor Vanden Hoek extended thanks to WIBTA and to all concerned for their efforts. Thomas will be looking for 3 quotes for the work.
2. Peggy Smith representing the Communities In Action Program was there to discuss the use of the grant ($28,000 ) she applied for and received in 2007 for community recreational activities as well as for the construction of a public (municipal) dock and the purchase of a floating dock. Smith noted that the grant time line had been extended into 2008 because the dock was not fully completed in 2007. Programs during the year included canoeing, yoga, pilates and some broomball activities including the purchase of equipment. Smith paid tribute to Christine Lott (township treasurer) as great to work with and Sacred Heart School as great to partner with. Smith said that they cannot get on with advertising the boating programs until the dock (part of the contract ) is finished “My date is when the dock is finished,” she said. There was a lengthy discussion (with no resolution) regarding the dock and who, or if, anyone can tie up.
3. A letter from S. McAuley to rent Wolfe Island’s community hall (fall/winter yoga classes) led Council to focus on the building’s high heating costs. Contact will be made with the Community Centre board to see if they might partner with the school board for the school rental.
4. The by law Enforcement Officer Ken Gilpin looked at a number of properties on Wolfe Island including the old school house on 9th Line Road. A number will be torn down (under safe buildings by law) but not the school. The owner will be advised to improve/ repair/sell the building or it too will be demolished.
5. Councillor Doyle will be in touch with the County Development Officer Dianna Bratina regarding the Partners in Climate Protection program, a network of municipal governments committed to reducing green house gases and acting on climate change.
6. Councillor Fiene, Cataraqui Source Protection Committee representative, noted items of interest and urgency to any plans for Marysville sewer and water, in the terms of reference for “a clean water act.,” included in their agenda package. For more information : www.cataraquiregion.on.ca/management/sourcewaterprotection.htm
7 Concluding Business: Councillor Grant and members of council extend Thanks to the St. Lawrence Women’s Institute for their successful organization of Pitch-In Day on Wolfe Island
Mayor Vanden Hoek and CAO O’Shea will attend the International Joint Commission meeting at Kingston City Hall, June 24, 2008
May 25-31st declared “Frontenac Islands Conservation Week”.
Budget meeting May 23rd 10 am. (Concerning budget deliberations , a line item has been added to authorize an environmental assessment for municipal water services in Marysville The study will also include a component for long range planning for municipal sewers).
Council also approved the use of the WI Fire Hall by the WI Medical Clinic (1/2 day per week) as a result of the fire which destroyed the clinic.
Council meets next June 9th at 6:30 pm Howe Island
Around Town: * Have you sent your letter of support for the Wolfe Island Wind Farm to Minister of Environment John Gerretsen?
* Geneva Keyes and Linda Hulton extend thanks to the many volunteers who “Pitched In” for the Wolfe Island roadside clean up. It was incredible. And Mrs. Keyes also thanks everyone for their response to the Partners in Mission “Food” Bank Drive.
*The W.I. Tourist Information Centre NOW OPEN weekends (Fri.,Sat.,Sun.) through May & June. Then full time to Labour Day.
* Plans are underway for Sacred Heart School Council’s “Spring Fling. ( I have been informed there will be no Spring Fling this year)
*Sadly, twice in a month, Trinity Anglican, the adjacent cemetery and Sacred Heart school fell victim to a graffiti artist.
* Big Sandy Bay is staffed weekends to June 15th, then full time. Rates posted: www.municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca/
* The Friends of Big Sandy Bay invite you to a talk about “Sand Dunes” withYvette Bree, Park Naturalist and Dune Educator, Thurs. June 5th , St. Margaret’s Hall.
* Kane- Mosier Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday, June 7th, 2008 at the Wolfe Island Riverfront Golf Course. For info. call Robin @ 385-2444 or Ward McCready @385-9925 to book your foursome..
* The 1st W.I. Farmer’s Market Day will be held Sunday July 6th. * Wolfe Island events: www.wolfisland.com
* Howe Island’s St. Philomena's Celebrates 150th Anniversary - Saturday, July 26th at the Church Hall, beginning at 1:00pm –with a non stop series of events including an outdoor Mass with Archbishop O’Brien, dinner, dance etc. Also events on Sunday July 27th. For more information: www.howeisland.org.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:49 AM
May 07, 2008
Every Community has an Identity. Every Citizen has a Place in it.
Two meetings, a week apart, one on Howe Island and the other on Wolfe Island were the first steps in the Frontenac Islands “Official Plan Review.” Their purpose, not only to introduce the process and to identify the community’s involvement in it but to also introduce the township planner Glenn Tunnock and David Sappleton of the firm Tunnock Consulting Ltd who will complete the review on behalf of the township. The review team also includes CAO Terry O’Shea, Carol Dwyre, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer and CGIS (mapping) and provincial ministries, MTO, MOE, MNR & OMAFRA.
At the outset Tunnock engaged the public in a trivia quiz about the the Frontenac Island community. And, on both occasions he spoke of the Official Plan (OP) as a blueprint for growth and development of the community for the next 20 years, “a partnership agreement between the council, the residents and the province of how land (agricultural, wet lands etc.) should be used and how development should be serviced.” The OP process includes a research phase to develop a comprehensive community profile to be used as a marketing tool, develop policies, seek public and agency input, hold open house meetings, a statutory public meeting with a presentation, adoption of the OP amendment submitted to the province, notice of a decision and a 20 day appeal period available for participants. Communication will be through surveys, use of the township’s web site, newsletters, flyers, etc.
Responding to a question about his position Tunnock said he is now the Township Planner taking over from Clark Consulting noting that Clark Consulting continues considerable involvement with Wolfe Island’s Canadian Hydro Development Wind Plant as well as certain quarry files. A resident wanted answers about the MTO’s Transportation EA and dates of public meetings and when there can be resident participation. Tunnock suggested the EA was probably in its first phase with no information at this time and that it is a provincial issue. He did however reiterate that MTO is one of the partners in the OP process and will be consulted from time to time.
Small group discussion and reporting on both islands was based on the same 10 questions related to sustainability, rate of growth, quality of life, viable/marketable uses of agricultural lands as well as shoreline development/ access/ protection; Marysville, limits to growth; Howe Island attributes and disadvantages; suitable/compatible home based businesses; private road development benefits/downfalls; cultural heritage and historical sites and a final question regarding the promotion of alternative energy systems and possible controls.
Howe Island wants its feel, flavour and independence sustained. It wants a community hub, larger (3 acre) lots, a dependable faster (free) ferry; island growth restricted by maintaining resource protection. Attributes two ferries, a low crime rate, non intrusive home based businesses. They believe their identity is diluted by attachment to Wolfe Island, are concerned about the poor farming environment, have health and safety concerns about wind power but wonder what the amenities agreement means for them. They have differing opinions about island roads, they want high speed internet, believe in grow your own food, market days and cultural heritage and citizen participation.
For Wolfe Island sustainability, well managed growth ( people-tax base) and quality of life means considering all ages and needs (health, seniors services, safety, clean water, self sufficiency, environmental protection (Big Sandy Bay) , waste disposal, multiuse community centre, etc.), as well as dependable ferry transportation, public transportation on the island, new businesses through encouraging different land uses (Retirement Community) while islanders see growth for Marysville dependent on municipal services (water-sewer). Tunnock Consulting was asked to consider addition of Grey Highlands Reg. 10 (scales of energy, noise etc)and a compelling request that from this time forward citizens are kept informed on all development issues and that someone is available to hear concerns.
Both communities, Howe and Wolfe, question the appropriateness of the extensive agricultural land use designation and their inability to sever. They see the need for more rural designation and smaller farming land plot sizes (developing food movement, hobby farms etc.) as well as shore line management with public access to the water as important issues.
Residents were encouraged to take home, fill out and return comment sheets . Further meeting dates will be announced. A report of the meetings will be available on the Frontenac Islands website : www.municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca.
Raising Funds for Early Years: Recently The Kingston Community Strings, a group of string players who play for enjoyment came to Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican Church. They offer their services for fund raising to organizations . They came to play a benefit concert on behalf of the island’s Early Year Centre. Trinity’s pastor, Rev. Canon Chris Carr is a member of the Kingston Strings. Angie Vaughn, Chair of the Early Years Committee welcomed the group to the island. And what a concert it was with both conductors James Cole and Robert Clark offering exciting and amusing insights into what we were to hear from the playing of the Suite in F Major, Battalia and a wonderful Wizard of Oz Medley. These musical delights were followed by five fiddle tunes for orchestra featuring fiddle soloist Amy MacDonald and step dancer Jenny Ashbury. The Cello ensemble led by Jennifer Tindale played music by Tchaikowsky and Bach. In closing, well known Bassoon soloist Katie Legere accompanied by the full string ensemble thrilled the audience with her playing of a Concerto for Bassoon & Strings by Vivaldi . And as always on Wolfe Island, the food prepared for intermission was incredible. The event raised through donations $1,400.
Around Town: *You are invited to an “Ecumenical PENTECOST Service of Light” at Trinity Anglican Church, Sat. May 10th 8:30 pm. Everyone welcome.
*The Partners in Mission Food Bank, WI Food Drive is Wed. May 14th. Have bags ready for pickup between 6-9 pm., Or drop off bags at the UC Hall from 6-9 pm. Volunteers needed to sort, pack or canvas. Contact Geneva Keyes : 613-385-2377.
* Friends of Big Sandy Bay “Mother’s Day Walk along the trail to Big Sandy, Sunday, May 11 at 1-3 p.m. Contact Linda Van Hal 613-385-1521.
* Bake Sale, St. Margaret’s Hall, Sat. May 17th 11am. * ‘FISH FRY” & Plant Sale WI United Church Hall Sat. May 17th Doors Open @ 4:30 pm.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:50 AM
April 14, 2008
Proposed Land Sale Causes Councillor Grief
Following an in-camera portion of the April Frontenac Islands Council, council passed a resolution to offer for sale a waterfront lot, Part 5, North Range on Howe Island for an asking price of $225,000. Although Councillor Doyle felt that the sale price should be higher, the resolution was supported by all members except Councillor Matt Fiene. “I am not happy about this,” Fiene said. “There is no further waterfront land at that end of the island. Once sold there is no access to the water. I think the land is a more viable investment than the money we might make from selling it” he continued, “and I do not agree with this.” Deputy Mayor Norris wants the money from the sale placed in a reserve fund for future parks. HIRA ( Howe Island residents Association) will be informed of council’s decision to sell the property.
Councillor Fiene also defended the possibility of retaining the former Catholic school (circa late 1800’s) and property declared surplus by the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic School Board and offered for sale. While Councillor Norris believes the school building is beyond saving with possible mould, etc., Councillor Fiene believes the building and the site may have some historical value. “Many Howe Island residents attended that school and perhaps they should have a say as to what happens to it,” he said. The property is described 364 North Shore Rd, Part of Lot 9, North Range. Council will return to the issue at their June meeting.
In other business:1. Totten Sims Hubicki’s Guy Laporte presented the Wolfe Island Waste Disposal Site annual 2007 report on monitoring and operations. Laporte indicated that the site is operating in compliance with its certificate of approval although it is recommended that site covering operations should be improved and recorded. He noted that the measured usage of the site is about one half of projected; that 21,590 vehicles visited the site in 2007,(the lowest number recorded in 5 years) and 89% of those used the recycling facility. In 1993 the site was predicted to close but reduced usage and recycling has extended its life to 2018. Ongoing current usage levels will extend its life even further. Laporte said that the township and the adjacent property owner negotiated a solution to a non-compliance issue by increasing the size of the leachate attenuation zone, a proposal currently under review by MOE. Laporte said that household hazardous waste (HHW) and special waste including electronic waste is considered a major issue and that KIMCO has set up collection of HHW and perhaps it is time for Wolfe Island to set aside certain hazardous items (batteries, computer parts etc.). report.
2. A discussion took place regarding the location of a public dock in Marysville where water activities for young people will be organized. Peggy Smith, who secured a grant for this purpose will be invited to the May meeting to help resolve certain issues.
3. Once again wind power was on the agenda. Jennifer Current, Clark’s Consulting presented an overview of the Site Plan Review and noise protocol. Wind Plant comments of interest:
A. The firm of McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd. will coordinate the municipal responsibilities related to the approval and construction of the Wind Plant.
B. Applications for site plan approval will be received by McIntosh Perry.
C. Public meetings will be arranged geographically.
D. With approval building permits will be issued.
E. During construction complaints will be received by coordinator and directed to appropriate agencies.
F. Once project is completed and operational, the coordinator will no longer be retained by the township.
G. “Where to direct complaints” information eg. Councillor Doyle’s protocol will be available and a record kept.
H. Most complaints involve noise and natural environment and are better dealt with by MOE.
Before council moved to hear from island resident Lynne Moore they perused the March Council minutes to determine if she was to be on the agenda. deciding she was. In her presentation Moore said, “there never has been closure on my original request that council look at Grey Highlands Official Plan amendment 10 for inclusion in our own municipality or to consider a peer review and protocol to protect against noise and to pass a noise bylaw. That’s what I was asked to bring back this month.”
Rob Miller, CHD Project engineer said that they have enforcement and noise measuring capabilities. He noted that the model in the ERR demonstrates compliance and they will attempt to meet the approved requirements. A motion to develop a noise bylaw had no mover or seconder. Councillor Doyle’s dispute resolution protocol along with Ms. Currents report will be given to the McIntosh Perry consultant for further development. Council passed a resolution to enter into a Pre-Servicing agreement with Canadian Hydro Developers. Pre-servicing generally involves things not requiring a building permit (site clearing, services, etc.) In attendance were representatives of WIRE and CHD.
In further business: *Council will acknowledge with thanks, MPP John Gerretsen for the $652,296. announced for Frontenac Islands roads and bridges. *The search is on for Senior of the Year nominees.
*Council will meet with Ministry of Natural Resources regarding hunting.
*A budget meeting will be held May 6TH,10 am.
* Spring is “Pitch-In” time (community clean-up). Gloves, bags available.
*Frontenac County’s Paul Charbonneau will be asked to review truck protocol for the county ferry. Council meets May 12th, 6:30 pm Wolfe Island.
Around Town:* The April 23rd Official Plan Review meeting is at the WI Community Hall (not the school) at 7 pm.
* The Wolfe Island Women’s Institute & WIBTA “Growing Up On Wolfe Island” book launch is Sat. April 26th 1-4 pm, Wolfe Island Community Hall.
* St. Lawrence Women’s Institute is organizing WI’s, Sat. May 3rd, “Pitch In Day,” roadside clean up from 10 am-12 noon. Gloves and bags available during the week at the Township Garage. Con tact: Geneva Keyes 613-385-2377 to volunteer
* “Seedy Saturday” an opportunity to swap seed, plants, transplants, tree seedlings and sale is Sat. May 3rd, 11 am- 3pm, WI Community Hall with special guest presentations, live entertainment, kids entertainment and a reasonably priced lunch. Admission by donation to the Early Years Centre. Information : Nicole Clark 613-385-2641:
* New information regarding the Wind Plant is available at www.canhydro.com/projects/wolfeislandwind/ under the news/events tab.
* Would a community garden in Marysville be a welcome addition? Any Ideas? *A petition to MPP John Gerretsen requesting an Individual Environmental Assessment for the WI Wind Plant was circulated on Wolfe Island recently.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:54 AM
April 07, 2008
WOLFE - The Green Island !
Wolfe Islanders really do care about the future. That was evident at a Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation economic development consultation held on the island recently.
FCFDC Consultant Rob Woods, who led he meeting, asked residents, some in business, others representing organizations and still other interested citizens to offer their perspective on what they could see as opportunities for future economic development and to suggest personal ideas or projects that they believed the community could or should support.
Also in attendance was FCFDC’s Executive Director Anne Prichard, Jennifer Little, student intern and board member Linda Van Hal.
“Wolfe Island should become a tourist destination, not just a place you come to for a day…. A package deal. We need to work on that,” one person said. Another acknowledged the need for island jobs. “How about Ethanol, not from corn but from switch grass, we have a lot of it..” “Build on the impetus of the Wind Plant and go a little further in becoming a Green Community,” said another and so it went. Wineries. Green industries. Support for existing businesses. More storefront businesses. Market Garden. Focus on agriculture. Support for young families. Attract artists, creative people. “We need better communication between ourselves our businesses, our organizations so we can support one another in our endeavours. High speed as a model for the future. Work from home.”
Kathy Rothermel, local vegetable grower and entrepreneur (Vegetables Unplugged) talked about sustainability and the growing need for organic food, a local market on the island and the spin off’s from such an endeavour, processing capability, cold storage for holding over crop, etc.
One clear focus was that the island should be what it is and not attempt to be what it isn’t; that somehow it must create jobs and become independent and use what is has to its advantage, water, land, wind, natural habitat , agricultural know how, as well as its long and fascinating history and richness.
Wolfe Island is a commuting community for work, education, medical needs, recreation, sports etc., and transportation was clearly identified as the key issue affecting everything the island attempts to do. At the same time, Marysville, the heart of the community needs to deal with issues of water and sewage if it is to grow, attract new businesses, new families as well provide some of the amenities that will keep young people on the island, such as a recreation and community facilities, after school care and concern for seniors.
Mayor Vanden Hoek spoke of some issues, waste management, transportation, infrastructure and the higher financial commitment. “No one can deal with the big issues alone. There should be a collective way of doing things,” he said.
Councillor Doyle, also in attendance believed the island must become a green sustainable community. “ Wind towers will bring people. We should build on that,” he said.
Many ideas for events, activities, signage and communication were noted. It was determined the island must become self sufficient, it must be well advertised and well marketed and finally, there was a consensus that the island should move to, and become identified as, “Wolfe – the Green Island.”
Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. Greet the People: Wolfe Island residents, friends and neighbours were invited to a “meet and greet” event at the Scott Industries Building (formerly Kraft) where CHD Inc. has opened an office. According to Rob Millar, Wind Plant Project Engineer, it was time for CHD to establish a more visible presence on the island. The office will be used to meet the public, contractors, engineers and technicians prior to CHD Inc. constructing and opening their own Operations and Maintenance Building when they move forward with the Wind Plant.
Greeting the public who drifted in and out of the office throughout the afternoon and early evening was CHD CEO, John Keating; John Forster, Landowner Liaison and his wife Jane; Mike Jablonicky, Operations Manager and his wife Samantha; Ed Ma, Corporate Counsel, and Krista Cameron, Office Manager at Melancthon, as well as Rob Miller.
There was no agenda for the occasion other than to meet people and answer questions if asked. And, of course, there was a delicious variety of food organized and prepared by Maureen Lawlor and members and friends of the WI Women’s Institute who were there to replenish it as it quickly disappeared.
Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. (CREC) is waiting for the conclusion of the Environment Review Process, (before the end of March?). CHD remains optimistic.
For Your Information: The Friends of Big Sandy Bay (FOBSB) is not considering a position on wind turbines. Their intention is to be aware of comments and concerns expressed by the partners who own the Big Sandy Bay Management Area. The partners are the Ministry of Natural Resources, Canadian Wildlife Service, NCC and Ducks Unlimited. FOBSB feel employees of these agencies have far more expertise than most of their members and trust that they will act in the best interest of Big Sandy Bay. The membership of FOBSB (most of whom live on Wolfe Island), is ready however, to offer help to these agencies if monitoring is required within the management area.
Around Town:* Frontenac Islands Township announces Official Plan Review meetings: 1. Howe Island , St. Philomena’s Parish Hall, April 16th at 7 pm.; 2. Wolfe Island, Sacred Heart School, April 23rd at 7 pm. As of 2007, an Official Plan Review is an every five year requirement of the Planning Act. Fronteac Island’s was last done in 2003 and since then a number of issues have risen to the forefront. Topics for review/discussion include: growth management, agricultural designation, waterfront development, lot sizes, frontages, water, sewer services (Marysville), conservation of water resources, criteria for consents etc. The Township is looking for your input.. If unable to attend submit comments ,concerns to township’s web site at: www.municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca
* Wolfe Island Community Euchre is held Thursday’s at 7 pm, UC Hall. Great Fun. Everyone welcome. Contact G. Sjonger 613-385-1921
* Frontenac Islands Council April 14th, Howe Island 6:30 pm
*Wolfe Island Business & Tourism meeting Tuesday April 15th, Wolfe Island United Church. Everyone welcome.
* The Kingston Community Strings at Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican Church, April 20th 3-5 pm. www.wolfeisland.com
*The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruled in favour of the Amaranth Township portion (22 wind turbines and a second transformer station) of the Canadian Hydro Developers Melancthon II project..
*Please Take Note: Reported in The Frontenac Gazette-EMC (April 1st) but missed in an article in The Whig (March 29th), MPP John Gerretsen announced Frontenac Islands Township will receive $652,296 for road and bridge repairs under the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 12:02 PM
March 20, 2008
Wolfe Island Wind Plant Regularly on Frontenac Islands Agenda
Once again the level of noise that might be generated by the Canadian Hydro Developers wind plant during its construction and operation was a topic of discussion at the March meeting of Frontenac Islands Council. Representing WIRE (Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment) Lynn Moore returned to council seeking answers to questions she has asked about health issues and noise at a number of other meetings and to ask for a noise by-law, a request she said had not been addressed.
However Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded Ms Moore that on at least one occasion and perhaps twice he asked council if there was a mover and a seconder for a noise bylaw and nothing moved forward.
Ms Moore said council had referred the Grey Highland’s amendment #10 to the Official Plan to Planner Bob Clark for an opinion whether it was good policy to include in the island’s official plan along with a similar resolution regarding noise since there are no provincial guidelines in place .“What came back was that the province was continuing to accept requests for proposals from developers,” in spite of what she said were flawed regulations. Moore said her objective in coming to the meeting was to ensure that a noise bylaw is in place, enforced by the municipality, (no trucks early morning hours etc.) and that noise compliance is adhered to. To do that she asked that Council request that staff establish a committee to research noise issues and bylaws that have been developed by other municipalities and develop their own. Moore referred to the transformer noise problems at the Can. Hydro Melancthon 1 Wind Project and quoted the OMB adjudicator as having little confidence that Can Hydro can resolve the issue. She also reminded council that at the February meeting Councillor Doyle had talked about the need for a dispute resolution protocol.
Jennifer Current, from Clark Consulting, provided information concerning the provincial Ministry of Environment’s review of their existing noise policies and wind turbine bylaws, guidelines and timelines for implementing changes . She indicated this is not a quick and could take months, years.
Rob Miller from Canadian Hydro Developers said it is up to the developer to meet requirements and resolve issues. The lengthy discussion continued.
“Is it fair to say,” Mayor Vanden Hoek asked, “that on a lot of these issues such as noise that the many agencies and ministries inside government dissect the ERR prepared by the developer. The municipality can’t assess the whole thing.” Councillor Doyle noted that Grey Highlands is waiting for provincial guidelines and is also preparing a dispute protocol. Doyle presented council with a document outlining a Dispute Resolution Protocol, that he said would not only cover the noise issues but others that might come along noting that “there is not enough money in the bank to develop a noise bylaw.” While the Mayor acknowledged the council’s authority to pass bylaws and he believes residents know who to call when they have a concern, council will review both Ms. Moore’s noise bylaw request and Councillor Doyle’s proposal and bring the matter to the April meeting.
In other business: Wolfe Island residents Ken Keyes and Dennis Mosier informed council that the Canadian Ploughing Championship will be held on Wolfe Island, Aug. 27-30th along with the Frontenac County and Wolfe Island Ploughing matches.
Normally the championship passes from east to west across the country but the Ontario host community was unable to do it and Wolfe Island’s bid to host it was accepted. Keyes acknowledged that while not at all on the scale of the International Ploughing match, the Canadian Championship will bring provincial ploughing match winners to the island in what should be an exciting event. He acknowledged that local people have been great sponsors in the past but said this is a much bigger event requiring more money to host it. Keyes asked that council consider a request for a $2000 grant. He will be seeking financial assistance from the County, off island businesses, as well as sponsorship, grants and donations for certain events, for major advertising tools and to fulfill certain requirements, etc. Mosier said they need such things as markers and flag poles; they will be looking to all organizations to hold events and they will hold live auction to pay for the Canadian winner to compete in the World Competition.
For further information contact Wilma Sjonger, 613-3852672.
The Stone Heron Gallery will once again open for the summer season in the Wolfe Island Community Hall (June 21-Sept.4) at a fee of $600. and gallery owner Pat Sandford will repair and paint the downstairs interior of the hall. The Craft Shop, operating out of what was the original library in the same building will be asked for a fee of $100. if they wish to use the space this year.
Island resident Don Chisholm was advised that before he submits an application for consent to sever a lot in Marysville and sell it, he should consult with Tunnock Consulting, the Township’s planner
The Township will petition the Ministry of Transportation for 2007 subsidy for the Howe and Simcoe Island ferries in the amount of $ 165,097.09 and $ 184,146.18 respectively.
Councillor Fiene , a member of the Cataraqui Conservation Authority committee, spoke about the discussion paper regarding terms of reference for Drinking Water Source Protection Planning. Mayor Vanden Hoek advised that this material be referred to Tunnock Consulting so that future planning is retained locally.
Council meets next Monday, April 14th 6:30 pm on Howe Island.
Around Town:* Frontenac Islands Council is in the midst of budget deliberations.
* As part of the musical entertainment at the W.I. St. Patrick’s Day Seniors Luncheon, Alex Miller, 12, played a medley of songs on his banjo. By the way, Alex also played at the “Jitka Virag Fundraiser.
*Special thanks to the Road Crews for dealing with all the snow during this rather exceptional winter and to MTO, the Captains and crews of the Wolfe Islander III for keeping the ferry on schedule.
* WI is forming a First Impressions Community Exchange committee, a program of OMAFRA.. For info contact Betty Doyle 385-2763
* WI’s Rick Lindgren has been appointed environmental association representative on the Cataraqui Source Protection Committee.
* March 26th Hear Gene Manion “Ski-Plane Air Services” 7:30 pm WI Town Hall
* April 19th Trinity Anglican Ham Supper 4:30 – 7:00 pm.
* A Blessed Easter to All.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:49 AM
March 10, 2008
It has REALLY Been a Long Winter!
Chilifest was a GO on Wolfe Island this year. And it took place on what was one of winter 2008 most beautiful days, blue sky, sunshine, and not too cold. A day perhaps reminiscent of winters past on the Island. While chili was being served skaters played hockey on a rink equipped with lights (for as long as the ice can be maintained) while others happily skated on another rink that extended well out into Barrett’s Bay at the Marysville ferry dock. There were those on skis, others on snowshoes and still others sitting at the summer dock enjoying the day and the sunshine, while snow mobiles (not seen much over the past few years) flew by. White’s horse drawn wagon rides were a highlight for adults and children alike. And of course while the wonderful outdoor fun was going on, the chili presented by the Island Grill, Wolfe Island Business & Tourism, Riverfront Golf Course, Fargo’s, Stone Heron Gallery, General Wolfe Hotel, Brown’s Bay Inn and a number of other venues was superb. In the final “Taste Test” vote for the BEST chili, The Island Grill won. Always a great hit were Wolfe Tails offered by the Community Centre Board sponsors of Chilifest. It was a great day for all.
Butterfly Migration :Following regular business and elections at Friends of Big Sandy Bay (FOBSB) annual meeting, President, Linda Van Hal introduced guest speaker, Dr.Barrie Frost, Director of the Visual and Auditory Neurosciences Lab at Queen’s University, a man with extensive credentials. His topic was the “how” of the legendary 3500 km migratory journey of Monarch butterflies from Canada to their over-wintering grounds in Central Mexico including information about some of his more recent research findings .
Most exciting about Dr. Frost’s presentation was his incredible enthusiasm for the subject as he shared freely what his many studies have brought to light. Originally Dr. Frost pioneered research into how human brains see and hear. Later using radio transmitters (now GPS) he studied how migrating birds come back year after year. He planned on building a bird flight simulators but chose instead to work with the Monarch butterfly and building smaller simulators using a garbage can with filtered sunlight and a wind tunnel created by a fan that blows the air straight up that the butterfly, with a tiny wire glued to it must navigate. A small camera captured the direction the butterfly would fly if free to do so. Changing the light, etc. did not redirect them. Using a slide presentation, Dr. Frost spoke of the life span of the butterfly (born summer & fall); the milkweed that is their food containing a poison that makes birds sick; butterfly “tagging” programs; their use of the sun as a compass; migratory restlessness; clustering and its importance and the D3 phases of migration: the long distance phase, the funnelling by geography phase and the olfactory and visual (uv) homing phase returning them to the same place. And there was so much more. A complete overview of Dr. Frost’s presentation will become available on the FOBSB website www.bigsandybay.ca at a later date. The annual report, financial statements, gift presentations etc will also be posted.
Wind Power concerns: Before the close of the meeting President Van Hal announced that FOBSB has remained neutral regarding the CREC wind power project, while waiting for the completion of the ERR review. However a member, Dr. Barry Gilbert, has apprised her of letters from the Ministry of the Environment which raise concerns about certain towers proposed for construction near Big Sandy Bay. He suggested a committee be formed to serve as a conduit with MOE to monitor the process. Van Hal needs to know if there is sufficient concern by members for FOBSB to strike a committee. A number of members see the need, including Dr. James Day. The board will study the issue, and stay in touch with the membership. ”We need to build bridges between MNR, MOE and Friends of Big Sandy Bay. We need to understand the issues, the planning and the mitigation process,” Van Hal said . Officers include : President Linda Van Hal, Vice President Nancy Steele, Sec. Leanne Cunningham, Treasurer Linda Thomas. Directors Elise Huffman, Tim Seitz, Vicki Johnson.
Frontenac County Information: I was drawn to a recent article in the Frontenac Gazette EMC (Mar. 4th) as it refers to Frontenac Islands. In the article South Frontenac Deputy Mayor Bill Robinson spoke against the makeup of the County at a joint meeting of councils. He sees a need for more representation. Robinson is also quoted as saying that there are three islands joined as one township, and three mainland townships (North, South, Central). He said the islands have more in common with Kingston than with the north. Another member took the opportunity to register dissatisfaction with Warden. Vanden Hoek’s proposal for an Economic Development Fund .supported by the 4 townships through taxation. The proposal has thus far received little support.
Around Town:* A licensed Daycare will open on Wolfe Island in September (preschool/toddler spaces), owned and operated by Valerie James, an island resident who currently runs the licensed Rubber Duckie Day Care in Kingston. For information contact her at 613-385-2139.
* The Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association has nominated Wolfe Islands John Posthumus for induction into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame. *Canadian Hydro developers, Inc. has established a more visible presence on the island setting up an office in space at the Scott Industrial Services Building on the island’s Highway 95.
*Congratulations to the island’s Mish Millar and Megan Fawcett, members of the 1st place KASSAA championship winning Regi co-ed cheer leading squad. * The annual Seniors Luncheon will be held Sat. March 15th St. Margaret’s Hall at 12 pm.
* Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation invites input from island residents, businesses and organizations regarding local priorities for community economic development. Join FCFDC at the Wolfe Island consultation, Tues. March 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm United Church Hall, Wolfe Island * Do you remember when islanders drove across the ice to Kingston? When the snow was so high they couldn’t? The Wolfe Island Historical Society invites you to hear Gene Manion, who was there, on Wed. March 26th at 7: 30 pm at the WI. Town Hall.
*Sacred Heart school extended thanks to the CWL and to all who contributed to the cost of new play structure.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:08 AM
February 22, 2008
Mayor Promotes County Economic Development Togetherness
Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek speaking in his capacity as Warden of Frontenac County presented his personal plan for economic development for the Frontenacs at the regular February meeting of Frontenac Islands council. It calls for the establishment of a Frontenac Development Fund administered by the county and focusing on creating cultural, community, and financial wealth in the Frontenacs. Vanden Hoek believes the success of individual communities is directly tied to the successes of the region. The plan had a first hearing at his inaugural meeting as County Warden. (Available at www.frontenaccounty.ca )
In addressing council the Mayor commented on the change to 4 single level townships, North, South, Central & Frontenac Islands, not tied together and a very thin County level responsible for Fairmount Home, Ambulance Service and the Howe Island ferry. He spoke of the changes brought about by amalgamation and the downloading of services to the townships, user pay and area rating. He noted that Kingston, while not interested in the islands now, they probably will be in the future. He suggested some changes that could be made for the Frontenacs to achieve success.
Vanden Hoek sees a need for economic development at the county level including an overall county policy but he informed council that at this time there is no appetite for change in the other townships. He has been looking for feedback and will present an amended version of his plan to the Joint Councils (Sharbot Lake, Feb.20th) including a request for a collective commitment to a Frontenac Development Fund administered by the County.
Chief Mike Quinn was present to discuss the development of Municipal Policy regarding the usage of public buildings, specifically the use of the new Howe Island Fire & Rescue Building by outside organizations. Quinn pointed out that there was a misconception that the new facility had a “ Public Meeting Space” which is not the case. He also noted that a letter which served as the kick start component for fund raising, signed by both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, described the new facility as the Emergency Services Building and nothing more. Quinn recommended that the Township not open the Fire & Rescue facility to outside organizations. Council accepted Chief Quinn’s report and adopted his recommendation. The facility can be used for municipal meetings as well as events specifically organized for and supervised by the Fire& Rescue Service.
A piece of land on Howe Island discussed “in camera” at last month’s meeting has (by resolution) been declared surplus ( part of Lot 5, North Range) and will appraised. If sold in the future, the money received would be placed in a Parkland Reserve Fund account for future use. Councillor Fiene was not happy with any decision to sell because the property in question is waterfront property. Council will review the situation at the April Council meeting on Howe Island.
Manco Recycling Systems Inc. will take over recycling for the Howe Island Ward. A second bin will be rented for paper and cardboard. Glass will be collected and disposed of by the Township.
The Township considered the proposals/quotes submitted for the Official Plan Review scheduled for 2008 and have agreed that Tunnock Consulting Ltd. be hired to carry out the review at a cost of $10,000. Some of the significant areas for review are agricultural and aggregate designations, green energy, private roads, Marysville, and transportation. Tunnock wants more input on aggregate and land use by owners. Public involvement in the process will happen during the summer monthsThe review is expected to take 9 months.
Council accepted the Frank Cowan Company 2008 municipal insurance proposal at a cost of $62,012.00 plus taxes. Regarding the automobile fleet insurance Deputy Mayor Norris wants replacement values on trucks covered when they buy a new one. Staff will ensure consistency for replacement and values and clarify the vehicle list.
The Township has petitioned the Ministry of Transportation for a 2007 subsidy for the Howe Island ($165,097.09) and the Simcoe Island ($184,146.18) ferries.
It has also requested an Ontario Infrastructure grant in the amount of $151,450.00 for a number of road projects. The township has the authority to move funds around between the two wards as required. With regard to committee appointments, Councillor Doyle has been appointed as a representative to the Frontenac County Trails Committeee, and member of the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic Board. Dep. Mayor Pat Norris has been named to the Howe Island Fire & Rescue Board and Councillor Grant to the W.I. Volunteer Fire Dept. Board. A committee to deal with the First Impression Program is being formed. A discussion about the appointment of citizens to Township committees will be reviewed at the March meeting on Wolfe Island.
In other business, council members were reminded of the first budget meeting to be held Feb. 28th at 10 am on Wolfe Island. Councillor Grant will refer a request for a new sander to that meeting. He also noted a sign review is underway. Councillor Doyle sees a need for a dispute resolution protocol with regard to the Wolfe Island Wind Plant and other island issues. Who will be responsible to resolve problems, deal with issues and answer questions as they arise once the project is in place and operational? Is another staff person required ? CAO O’Shea will check with Consultant Bob Clark for mechanisms beyond the amenities agreement. Mayor Vanden Hoek announced that the Township lawyer as well as the township planner will be at the March meeting.
And finally at the end of the meeting, a Howe Island resident questioned two Howe Island agenda items that had been dealt with, that of surplus land and the use of the Fire Hall noting that the timing of the agenda precluded residents who might have had an interest in the items from attending and commenting. It was suggested that a Notice of Motion be published in advance to allow for public input. Council meets on Wolfe Island Monday March 10th at 6:30 pm.
Around Town: *WIBTA will be requesting that the Township develop standards for signage on the island.
*The Friends of Big Sandy Bay Annual General Meeting Wed. Feb. 27th 6:45 pm, WI United Church Hall features a Presentation on Monarch Butterfly Migration by Dr. Barrie Frost, Queen’s University. All Welcome.
*World Day of Prayer, W I United Church 1 pm. March 7th
* Seniors Lunch, March 15th 12 pm St. Margaret’s Hall.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:59 AM
February 20, 2008
Islanders & Friends Support Recovery Fund Big Time
Wolfe Islanders and many friends came in large numbers to support the benefit for Jitka Virag, a former resident of the island who was left paralysed by a hit and run accident when she was bicycling near her home in Greenwood, N.C. The event organized by friends, Lori Woodman and Mandy Clark raised more than $10,000 for the “Jitka Virag Recovery Fund” to help cover hospital, home and family expenses for Jitka, who is now a paraplegic.
And what an evening it was. There were over 200 individual donations of time, goods or money before the doors opened . But perhaps it was the entertainment organized by Sherry Zborovsky during the silent auction that was the highlight of the evening. Sherry, herself a wonderfully versatile vocalist belted out a number of popular melodies accompanied by the island’s very talented Robert Graham. Much other local talent included Pat Barber and company (guitar and voice); Murray McNeely, (accordion); the Regiopolis Notre Dame brass band and Tammi Redpath, violinist. Finally Robert on piano key board sang a number of his own exciting compositions accompanied by drummer Pete Bowers, bass Bill Caskey and Corrie Summer, violin. The RWI band were on hand for the dance that ended the evening. Vincent Mosier (RWI) provided the sound system.
Jitka Virag moved to Wolfe Island with her brother Kalid and parents, Mustafa and Eliska Ismail as a teenager. She worked for her grandparents, the late Miro and Hanna Zborovosky at the General Wolfe Hotel throughout high school and university and over those years she made many friends. Further doctoral studies followed in the US where Jitka, a research scientist, is married to Jani and is the mother of two young children. Her parents own the General Wolfe Hotel. Read more: www.jitkavirag.com
Please take note that the January 30, 2008 Annual General Meeting of Friends of Big Sandy Bay was cancelled because of high winds and moving ice that put the Wolfe Islander out of service for a time. The meeting has been re-scheduled to Wed. Feb. 27th at 6:45 pm, Wolfe Island United Church Hall. It will include the presentation by Dr. Barrie Frost (Queen’s University) on Monarch Butterfly Migration.
And speaking of the weather, high winds pushed ice so hard up against the ferry that it actually tipped it to one side at the dock. Before the ferry went out of service for a time, high waves rocked the boat sending water across the deck and into the cabins. Quite a ride…. George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia who had been visiting the island was on that trip.
The Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association Elects new Executive: Linda Thomas was elected President of WBTA at the recent meeting of the organization. Linda brings to the task great administrative skills, grant writing prowess, and a wealth of creative business & tourism ideas. Mike Bromley, owner of Signs from Above is Vice President, Liz Crothers, secretary; Walter Knott, treasurer. Directors are Brian MacDonald, Dave Joy and Maryanne Walker. Linda extended thanks to outgoing president Pat Sanford, owner of Stone Heron Gallery, and director Jarda Zborovsky (PCNet Solutions). She also presented: 2007 A year in Review, outlining the year’s activities, available at www.wolfeisland.com
Anne Prichard, Executive Director Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation outlined what FCFDC can offer the community in the way of business support, loan funds, business directory, workshops, etc. WI’s Liz Crothers is chair and Linda Van Hal Treasurer of FCFDC. www.frontenaccfdc.com
Special Guest Speaker Don Ross, from the Frontenac Arch Biosphere (designated in 2002), explained in his slide presentation that biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems. He said the Frontenac reserve is located between Brockville, Gananoque and Westport, encompasses many protected natural areas and is expanding to include all of South Frontenac Township.
The mission of the Arch is to facilitate co-operative action towards a more sustainable way of life and healthy communities. The Arch is currently developing a national model for the promotion and identification of sustainable tourism opportunities in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation and is conducting a series of related workshops. For more visit: www.fabr.ca
Wolfe Island Wind Plant Update: An article in The Heritage (Feb.6), stated some island citizens remain concerned about the CREC (Can. Hydro Developers) W.I. Wind Plant as outlined in the Environmental Review Report. Counsel Peggy Smith (Eliot Smith) has submitted a request on behalf of Dr. James Day and Ms. Sarah McDermott , this time to the Director of Environmental Assessments and Approvals Branch that the ERR be elevated to an Individual EA. Their request including a number of reports was submitted in advance of the Jan 4th comment deadline period for the ERR.
Their position cites layout and siting of the Wind plant as not taking into account the potential negative impact on the island’s environmental resources particularly on wildlife habitat. They specifically identify the location of more than 5o towers of the proposed 86 as problematic. The Day/McDermott position was supported with a submission. by Mark Mattson, Lake Ontario Water Keepers. They believe not only that there is sufficient concern regarding the project to call on the Province for a ERR “bump up” to Individual EA, they are also seeking a Federal decision to elevate the project to a Panel Review (peer review) with no approval of the project at this time. While outlining their issues with the ERR and the ERR process, essentially the Requesters concerns remain the same, bird species, habitat and delay.
What happens now is that the Director of Environmental Assessments, Ms. Agatha Carcia-Wright must decide whether she agrees with the request for individual EA (bump up) as submitted, Or she does not agree with their opposition and views the ERR as adequate, comprehensive and dealing with all the issues and mitigations and meets the requirements of the environmental screening process. Canadian Hydro and the requesters are waiting for the Director’s decision ……and so we all continue to wait.
Around Town: The Scene of the Crime ( www.sceneofthecrime.ca) 2008 Short Story Contest opens Feb. 24th, the birthday of Grant Allen with a submission deadline of May 15th. The Contest is open to Canadian citizens or those resident in Canada and not previously published in the mystery or crime fiction genre. Previous 1st place winners are ineligible. Send submission as MSWord or RTF attachment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:12 AM
February 10, 2008
Frontenac Islands Council Meetings are Never Boring
Every Frontenac Islands Council meeting generates two or 3 interesting stories and many items of business important to the community. January’s meeting was no exception. A very frustrated Wolfe Island resident, Trevor Van Allen, left the meeting with essentially the same “NO” answer, he has received a number of times to his request that the Township assume responsibility for maintenance of Elizabeth Street and Emma Street in the Woodman subdivision, developed some 20 years ago. (The streets were to be developed to township standards by the developer, before a request could be made by the developer that they be assumed by the township, but the streets never were brought up to township standards.)
In his presentation Van Allen focussed on the words in the agreement specifically the phrase ‘the township engineer finding that the work is not progressing shall cause the work to be completed.’ “It is based on the word shall that I am standing here again. This work should have been completed by the Woodmans but it wasn’t. I am hopefully looking to council to correct this ongoing 20 year problem.” Van Allen said he spent $25,000 on a tractor and snowplough and extended his garage to accommodate the equipment and has paid many years of high taxes to the township.
Council members in general indicated some sympathy for the situation and specifically Van Allen but were quite unanimous in their belief that the township solicitor is correct when he maintains that the municipality can continue to refuse to assume the roads until the original subdivision requirements are fulfilled and, that the problem of upgrading the roads is between the Woodman’s and the residents. Councillor Doyle wants another look at the agreement. At Van Allen’s request, staff will determine if a surety specified in the Subdivision Agreement was received by the Township and if so, its current status.
In other business : Mayor Vanden Hoek welcomed members of the St. Lawrence and Wolfe Island branches of the Women’s Institute and received their banner representing 80 years of service, for display in the town hall. He acknowledged the importance of the Women’s Institute to the community recalling their response to a call for help to hold Country Fest. He said their dedication, records and support helped make it a success.
Linda Van Hal, on behalf of both branches, thanked council for displaying the banner. “The Women’s Institute is proud to be recognized for its years of service to the island.” she said, acknowledging the leadership of such capable women as Joan O’Shea,(50 year member), Ellie De Vette, Maureen Lollar, Theresa Broeders, Eleanor Taggart and Ruby White. St. Lawrence Institute 50 year members are Marette Fawcett, Connie Fawcett, Margaret Fawcett, Doreen Joslin, Audrey Mullins, Pearl Niles. “We are always looking for new ideas and welcome new members”, Val Hal said, adding that both groups work hard to maintain island history through their Tweedsmuir Books. The Institute helps fund community projects and provides educational opportunities. Members present on this occasion included Pearl Niles, Donna Morton, Louise Greenwood, Jeanne White, and Ruby White.
The By-Law to designate the Township of Frontenac Islands as a site plan control area for the development of a wind plant and its accessory facilities, delayed final approval in December, was passed. Bob Clark, Planner and Rob Millar from Canadian Hydro Developers were present. Clark reminded council that the road system evaluation needs to be undertaken. He anticipates that if the wind plant project goes forward, sessions with Can. Hydro and their construction people have to be coordinated and suggested the township identify key people to meet with them initially and perhaps on a regular basis. “It would be most important to anticipate issues as this large project moves forward,” he said.
Mayor Vanden Hoek noted the importance of getting lined up to do a review of the roads, working with a coordinator, the engineer, getting a grid of the roads etc. “There is a role for someone to do this coordination effort so that all the issues that come up are dealt with or we are going to get lost.” The township has to decide who will do the review and when it has to get done,” he said. Rob Millar also confirmed the importance of getting started. Bob Clark will facilitate a ‘Who & What, Which roads (before & after). This is all contingent on ERR outcome.
Mr. Terry Shea, General Manager of the Land O’ Lakes Tourist Association provided a very positive 2007 annual activity and publication overview citing particularly the “Guide to Rural Adventures” (day trips) and outlined proposed activities for 2008. He cited his frustration that their ‘Let’s Go’ theme is now being used by a major company. Wolfe Island is now identified on maps and in other tourism materials.
Mrs. Pat Sanford was present to discuss the the township’s proposal to rent the Community Hall on Wolfe Island for June to September 2008. She won’t agree to the terms offered and outlined the costs she incurs not only operating the Stone Heroin gallery but the costs she has assumed for improvements to the community hall. Following further discussion with the Clerk/CAO a recommendation will be presented at the regular meeting of Council in March 2008.
A first budget 2008 meeting will take place Feb. 22nd at 10 am Wolfe Island. Council meets next Feb.11th at 6:30 pm Howe Island.
Around town important events are scheduled. 1.Friends of Big Sandy Bay Annual General Meeting Wed. January 30th ,6:45 pm Wolfe Island United Church Hall Featuring a Presentation on Monarch Butterfly Migration by Queen’s Dr. Barrie Frost.
2.Wolfe Island hosts the annual hockey tournament February 9th, 10 am at the Community Centre with teams from Toronto, Kitchener and Wolfe Island. Contact Cathy 613 549-1311.
3.On Feb. 12th a Diabetes Awareness Night, St. Margaret’s Hall at 7 pm. A representative of the Diabetes Association and a Dietician will offer insights about the disease and answer questions. Call Sherry at 613-385-2486.
4. Sat. Feb 16th, the Wolfe Island United Church 7th annual Beat the Winter Blues, Garage and Bake Sale 9am-2pm.
5.You heard it here FIRST! Wolfe Island will host the Canadian Ploughing Championships August 24-30. 6. And finally, Chilifest, the island’s premiere winter event WILL happen.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:55 AM
January 31, 2008
The Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association's 2007 Year in Review
by Linda Thomas
GRANTS AND PROJECTS
Bicycle Map Project
With funding received from the Frontenac Community Futures Development
Corporation, FCFDC we were able to redesign our ever-popular Bicycle Map.
The main reason for the redesign was to ad the route to Big Sandy Bay. FCFDC
provided funds to pay for a graphic artist for the map design and to purchase
software which will enable us to produce, in-house the brochure, map and
many other of our publications. The grant also provided for tutorials for Linda
Thomas, and Margaret Knott on the use of the software, purchase of manuals,
and additional metal cut-outs and arrows for the Big Sandy Bay route which
were produced by Metalcraft Marine.
Growing Up on Wolfe Island
This collection of stories has been in the works since the summer of 2004. The
FCFDC again came through for us with funding that allowed us to complete the
editing and formatting of the book. The Davies Charitable Foundation has
given us a grant to cover publishing. This has been a monumental effort on the
part of the WIBTA/WI Women’s Institute Heritage Committee – we look forward
to seeing our finished product very soon.
We are all in awe of the talent and generosity expressed in the donation of the
Heritage Mural project to the community by Island artists, Patricia Sanford,
Linda Sutherland, and Kim Woodman.
Frontenac Community Futures Development Corportion, FCFDC contributed,
through a Local Initiatives Grant, $4,500 of the $5,008 spent this year to
purchase supplies for the next three murals.
Plaques for Murals
The Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, CFGK has provided $2,100
to enable us to provide cast plaques for each of the first 3 murals – the Ferry
Dock in 1907 – Grant Allan – Canada’s First Crime Writer, and the Installation of the Bubble System.
Friends of Big Sandy Bay – Cabinet for the Gatehouse
WIBTA has partnered with Friends of Big Sandy Bay in a grant from CFGK to
build a display cabinet for the side of the gate house at Big Sandy Bay. It will
house site information as well as a map of the management area. Our
contribution was $200.00
Wolfe Island Classic Road Race and the Early Years’ Kiddie Kilometre
The 2007 race took place on July 1st. Our numbers were down a bit from the 2006 record of 503 participants to just under 400. We knew this would be the case as there are so many competing events on July 1st - the Kingston Road Runners Limestone Mile being the main one so we didn’t have a lot of those
participants who had been in the race the year before. In recognition of our loyal and hard-working volunteers we this year provided T-shirts and Caps.
The 2008 race will be held on July 6th and we expect numbers to be back to the 2006 figure.
The Early Year’s Kiddie Kilometre race adds a lot to our event. Through the generosity of Running Room we are able to give each child taking part a medal – they are all winners - and it is a blast to see them giving their all
into getting to the finish line. The Early Year’s staff with some volunteer
assistance has also been providing entertainment for the children at the end of
the race at the Community Centre – face painting and we are still getting great
value out of the kite kits that were provided by CREC a couple of years ago.
Bicycle Poker Runs
We held two poker runs this year – one in May, and a second in October. We
did not have as many participants as we had hoped but those who did come
were enthusiastic and if we decide to repeat it in 2008 the event should grow.
The Garden Tour
The garden tour wasn’t held this year – the main reason for this being a lack of
gardens. It has been done for 3 years the first year covering the head, the
second the foot, and the third the centre of the Island. We may revive it in a
little different format.
Small Business Week Mixer
The General Wolfe was the scene of our Business Mixer in September. A
number of local agencies were represented and it was an excellent opportunity
to network with these people. Dianna Bratina from Frontenac County, Ann
Pritchard and Jennifer Curtis from the FCFDC, Diane Kelly from the CFGK and
Brian Ritchie from OMAFRA were in attendance.
The Photo Contest
After a one year rest the ever popular Photo Contest was back this year. With
assistance from Maureen Lollar and the the W.I. Women’s Institute the awards
were given out in conjunction with PumpkinFest.
Redo of the brochure
This year the Business Brochure was redone and simplified. The response to
the brochure has been good. We produced 20,000 brochures at a cost of
After Wolfe Island, the next largest distribution centre is the Tourist Information
Centres in Kingston – both at Confederation Basin and at Fort Henry. They are
distributed to Gananoque, Brockville, Prescott, Belleville etc. – and to the Bed
and Breakfasts and Hotels in Kingston. We send large quantities to Cape
Vincent Chamber of Commerce, as well as Chambers in Alex Bay, Sackets
Harbour, Clayton, the 1,000 Island Bridge and the youth Hostel at Tibbets Point
Light House. The Bicycle Maps are also sent to appropriate points. Crew on the
Wolfe Islander III and Horne’s ferry also hand out lots of brochures.
The Tourist Information Centre
The season ran very smoothly this year under the management of Betty Doyle
and Linda Bruckmann. We are so lucky to have our great staff of volunteers to
cover so much of the open time of the centre. Mary Broeders picked up some
of the slack in the info centre and helped out with administrative jobs.
Betty and Linda are moving on after having filled this really important function
for two seasons.
1000 Islands International Tourism Council’s Hospitality Expo
In past years Wolfe Island has had representation at the 1000 Islands
International Tourism Council’s Hospitality Expo held in June at Boldt Castle.
This year it was held on June 6th. The Island was represented by Mary Broeders, WIBTA Summer Student, and Denis Doyle, who was also representing the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee. This is a great opportunity to meet and be met by members of other Chambers of Commerce-type organizations, as well as other members of the tourism industry on both sides of the border. It is also a good value – the cost being only $30 which includes a lunch for those manning the booths.
Fort Henry Hospitality Expo
On the Victoria Day weekend Fort Henry also hosted a Hospitality Expo – our
team of Mary and Denis again represented us well to those who attended.
KEDCO Tourism Advisory Committee
We have maintained a membership in KEDCO. President Pat Sanford has been a member of the KEDCO Tourism Advisory Committee for the past 2 years –
bringing Wolfe Island to the attention of area Tourism planners.
Land O’Lakes Membership
We have maintained a membership in Land O’ Lakes Tourism association. Wolfe
Island is now included on the Land O’Lakes Vacation Region Map, with an ad, as
well as a write-up in the Rural Adventures Guide. It also affords the
opportunity of distribution of maps, lure brochures and guidebooks at various
trade shows and at Tourist Information Booths across the province!
Margaret has faithfully kept us up to date again this year!! Many thanks to her
for that. This year she has also made sure that Island events are listed on the
Whig-Standard’s UR Kingston Community events website. This, along with the
Calendar of Events continues to be a great asset for all Island groups.
Three ads were placed on the Community & District Marketplace page of the
Whig-Standard. There was a general “Visit Wolfe Island” that ran for 3
weekends in August, the second one running in September that outlined
upcoming Island Events and the third advertising the Art and Craft sale in late
November. This seems to be a good “bang for the buck” source of advertising
which we will continue to use.
Calendar of Events
Margaret is in the process of collecting information for the 2008 Calendar –
please pass the word around so that it can be as complete as possible.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:54 PM
January 14, 2008
2008 Looms BIG for Frontenac Islands
The December meeting of Frontenac Islands council, the last for the year 2007, held a few surprises that with the busy season of Christmas and the holidays might have been missed by readers, in an earlier report. One was the direct reference to the question of sewer and water in Marysville. Mayor Vanden Hoek said the issue of water must become part of the future game plan for Wolfe Island and that an Environmental Assessment for that purpose must be considered sooner than later in budget talks. “It will be a contentious issue but we have to move on with it. It will never just go away,” he said. (Heritage Dec.18th) Add to that the discussion that took place at the same meeting regarding ferry transportation, and 2008 looms BIG for Frontenac Islands.
Regarding ferry transportation, it was noted that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is proposing to undertake a new study of the ferry service between Wolfe Island and the mainland “to determine appropriate capacity improvements for Wolfe Island access.” Included as part of the December meeting’s agenda package was a report commissioned by the township to fulfill a request made by MTO that Frontenac Islands identify some of the main issues caused by the current level of ferry service for the residents of Wolfe Island. The document, written by Brian Donaldson, developed as a result of a series of meetings with council and staff, etc., is considered a first step in developing a clearer understanding of the key problems to be addressed by the proposed MTO study and outlines environmental, medical, social, cultural and educational issues as well as employment, economic and business concerns.
”In the 10 years that I have been on council we have not been able to advance the municipal initiative regarding ferry service,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “The main driver of the issue is the Wolfe Island service and with this report there is now a creeping initial action to start a Transportation Environmental Assessment, which will also include Howe island.” Deputy Mayor Norris however felt that Howe Island did not receive enough concern in the report.
The mayor noted that MTO has been informed by the township that within an EA one option (a bridge) would impact both islands and that in their overall planning they, (MTO) need to give consideration to a municipal link connecting the two islands. The Township has a commitment from MTO that the EA will begin in 2008 but according to the mayor, his experience with EA’s tells him that it will be a long, slow, and painstaking process followed then by an attempt to find the money required for the preferred solution. “I don’t think we should mislead ourselves or create the impression that there is a short term solution (by any definition) to the Wolfe Island problem.” Relative to the problems facing the Howe Island County ferry, Vanden Hoek commented there are maintenance and repair solutions that are ongoing and can be resolved.
In other business:
1. Because CKLC –FM will replace 4 existing Am towers on Concession 9, Wolfe Island and have a rental agreement for space on the tower with Kingston on Line Service (KOS) who will contract to provide internet service to the islands, the township declined the funding from Community Futures Development Corporation to build communication towers and proposed its use instead in another municipality without broadband.
2. The township will purchase a snow plough/sander to be financed in the 2008 budget.
3. The township will contract with Limestone Marine for the repair of the Simcoe Island ferry dock at a total cost of $ 44, 320.00. 4.Council wants an extra 4:45 am ferry trip from Wolfe Island without any changes to the present schedule. To accommodate a 4:45 am trip, MTO suggested changes to the schedule in order to keep it expense neutral.
5.Once certain information is obtained from the Township Solicitor, Howe Island residents, Gene Manion, Frank Vellone and Jack French will be invited to meet with council to discuss drainage problems affecting their residential properties.
A Word of Thanks: Darryl Mullin on behalf of all crew members of the Wolfe Islander III extends heartfelt thanks to Wolfe Island’s travelling public, friends and neighbours for the many wonderful treats and gifts that arrived on the ferry for them during the Christmas Season. Your thoughtfulness was most appreciated. The staff and crew of the Wolfe Islander extend best wishes to all for a Happy New Year 2008.
An Afterthought: The City of Kingston recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its amalgamation with Pittsburgh & Kingston Townships. Before that however, the townships of Wolfe, and Howe Islands and Pittsburgh were talking about amalgamation with Wolfe Island at one end and Howe at the other. Another scenario was that rural Pittsburgh Township amalgamate with the island townships and only urban Pittsburgh join Kingston. In the end however, both rural and urban Pittsburgh Township determined they were best to stay together and take their chances with Kingston, leaving the islands out there to dry.
Neither Pittsburgh nor Kingston for that matter wanted to take responsibility for any of the ferries and in particular, the Wolfe Island ferry. That left the island reeves of the day, Jan Hasselaar and Pat Norris to determine what to do next. Their decision was to join forces, though separated by two ferry rides and 11 km to become Frontenac Islands, the smallest municipality in Ontario, a left over structure without a clear reason for amalgamating. Perhaps it might have worked to the advantage of both islands, that is until the downloading of highways and services by the province, including the threat of downloading the Wolfe Island Ferry to Frontenac Islands.
Both islands have history, fringe development and ferries, but Wolfe Island has unique issues with its business community, wind power development and Marysville. Does amalgamation really exist other that at the council level, filling out a tax bill, sharing staff and equipment? How much of what happens is area rated? Do Howe or Wolfe Islanders say they come from Frontenac Islands? Is there an alternative? Should there be a bridge between the two communities? Would a bridge create “One Community”? The islands have all the problems of a big city and a population of 1600. Makes you wonder!
Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:14 AM
January 07, 2008
Going Green on Frontenc Islands in 2008.
It is customary at this time of year to wish friends and neighbours a Happy New Year and at the same time to take a look back at the events of the past year.
So with that in mind I begin this column about Frontenac Islands with the Best of Wishes to ALL for a Happy “GREEN” New Year 2008 and reminder that “Going Green” is now on the Radar Screen for Canada, Ontario, the Township of Frontenac Islands and in particular for Wolfe Island where the Environmental Screening Review Report for the Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) Wind Plant is now under scrutiny by the public for any fine tuning that may be required before the project can begin. The Wolfe Island Wind Project has a capacity of 197.8 MW, and will generate an estimated 537,000 MWh per year of renewable energy.
One need only go to the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism website at www.wolfeisland.com to find columns available (with the permission of The Heritage) from 2003 to now about the evolution of the first proposals for wind farms on Wolfe Island by different companies, to the present proposal by Canadian Hydro for 86 wind turbines to get a sense of what has brought us to NOW.
Those columns also provide an abbreviated history of what’s been happening on Howe and Wolfe islands over the past year regarding the municipal affairs of Frontenac Islands as well as stories about events and happenings on both islands.
The November 2006 Municipal election saw a new (4-year term) council elected for Frontenac Islands with Wolfe Island’s Jim Vanden Hoek beginning a third term as mayor. (He is also the warden of Frontenac County.)
The primary issue for both islands is the same- ferry service. In the case of Howe Island, problems with the new county ferry began shortly after its inauguration resulting in delays, shut-downs, long waiting periods, extreme resident frustration and a ferry that operates at a slower speed than the one it replaced. Add to that, a long waiting period for parts to keep the (Howe) Township ferry in service. Of course the very low water level this year is causing a degree of difficulty at the docking facilities.
Good things have happening on Howe including the opening of the new Fire Hall and the community’s financial campaign to help pay for it, the work of the island’s Garden Buds to beautify the island, the involvement and the ongoing development of the Howe Island Residents Association including their web site, bulletin boards, flyers etc. all done to provide better communication for the residents.
On Wolfe Island there have been requests for increased ferry service to meet the needs of a community that increasingly travels to Kingston for the major portion of its needs, hospital, health, education, commercial, retail and WORK. While not a bedroom community per se, many more young families are choosing island living and the closely knit community of Marysville and nearby as their home but work in Kingston. Their enthusiasm has generated new community groups, activities and events that enhance community spirit as well as tourism. They join established groups like Wolfe Island Business & Tourism and Wild Life Associations, the Community Centre Board, the Friends of Big Sandy Bay etc.
All of which puts an added strain on the ferry. The ferry is overfull for the early morning and evening commutes to and from the city. The ferry generally leaves cars from May to October. The many island events and activities, (art, music, suppers, races, festivals, golf, Corn Maze, Big Sandy Bay) draw people to the island, to Horne’s ferry and the USA. Yet tourism is important to Wolfe Island. (Residents are now raising concerns about the extra use of the ferry that the Wind Plant might generate.) Parking in the village is a problem. Parking at the winter dock is also a problem. Low water levels this year are a problem at times, not only for the Wolfe Islander but for the Simcoe Island ferry as well.
But what happens with the Wolfe Islander III ferry transportation system rests in the hands of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Following a number of meetings with council, MTO is presently establishing the criteria for a Transportation Environmental Assessment (including Howe Island). So there you have it.
Makes you wonder What “Going Green” in 2008 will mean for us? After we have done the light bulb thing, and do better recycling, reduced our water consumption, no longer use pesticides that can drain into the water, figure out what to feed livestock that reduces the methane produced by them, grow food on our agricultural land, plant trees everywhere else and don’t succumb to growing crops for fuel instead of food, consider solar panels for our homes, built our wind plant, and undertake a host of other environmentally sound initiatives, what then?
Will the travelling public turn off their vehicles on the ferry, step out of their cars winter and summer, turn off the heat and the air conditioners, with no more idling in the line up? Will the size and age of cars and trucks be recognized as an issue? Will “Park & Ride the Ferry” on a shorter ferry route with public transit on the other side, make more sense now, when its all about reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere? Global warming is for real. Are we ready to bite the bullet? Pay the price ? Walk the Walk in the New Year 2008?
Around Town: Euchre has resumed at the United Church and St. Margaret’s Hall. The snow has melted away, hopefully replenishing what was very dry land. The water level is now at chart datum, a rise of a couple of inches. The Wolfe Islander is maintaining the regular ferry schedule without a glitch. However, one situation on the ferry that bears mentioning is the number of serious medical mishaps that have resulted when pedestrians making their way to the cabins, have tripped over trailer hitches that have not been removed or covered with ‘bright glow in the dark’ material like a tennis ball for instance, and have fallen, or deeply cut and bruised their legs. With the cars packed so tightly, ice on the deck, and the days at their darkest this time of year, every assistance is required to make travel safe for the walking public. Please Help.
Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:42 AM