Frontenac Islands council passed a resolution at their December meeting supporting changes to the composition of Frontenac County council, one of which includes the appointment of a second member of council to County Council.
“I will support the changes to County Council as long as it is spelled out clearly that the second representative from Frontenac Islands is from the opposite ward than that of the mayor as described in our original amalgamation agreement,” Howe Island’s Councillor Pat Norris said.
The proposed changes to County Council include an increase in membership from 4 to 8 (4 mayors and 1 elected member from each of the 4 councils) appointed for 4 years where each member will have one vote with the exception of the Mayor of South Frontenac who will have 2 votes.
“Councillor Norris has made a valid point, here are two things that have to happen,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “The other representative should be from the opposing ward from where the Mayor is elected and Howe Island residents should know, before they go to the ballot box (November 2010), that the person elected (most votes ?) for 4 years becomes the Deputy Mayor of Frontenac Islands, and becomes the second representative, along with the Mayor, on Frontenac County Council for 4 years. As the only area rated service in the county this representation is a good move for Howe Island. This will clear up some of the confusion that exists now,” he said.
In response to a question from Mrs. Moizer, Mayor Vanden Hoek promised that a newsletter would go out to all residents in advance of the next election explaining the whole process and the implications. (All 4 townships have now supported the changes to the composition of Frontenac County Council. The by-law to take effect on the day the new council is organized following the 2010 regular municipal election.)
In other business:1. Council passed a resolution to close and sell a portion of a road allowance (Lot 1, South of Base Line between Concession 14 & 15) on Wolfe Island. Money from the land sale (price to be determined) will be for community projects. Island residents Norma O’Shea and Neil and Ruth Bryson were on hand to express concerns regarding the property’s closure and sale. Bryson’s concern related to the loss of access to the water while O’Shea was concerned about a new road or creating a road allowance in Lot 1. Bryson expressed irritation that the issue regarding Wolfe Island property was being heard on Howe, a situation that has occurred not for the first time. With clearer information neither resident opposed the closure.
Bryson did add that her friend, Clare Muller, (an ardent canoeist), would like a picnic table, out house etc. at end of 14th line road which, according to the mayor, would require significant work. “But if it is a landing spot Muller is looking for, a separate request could be made to the township. Every municipal road allowance is there. Just because someone puts a fence across it, it has no bearing as to the ownership. The municipality has privilege over that until it goes through this process and closes it,” the mayor said.
2. KFLA Health Unit: An issue of grave concern to the mayor and council was a letter from Scootamatta District Ratepayers Association asking what decisions Frontenac Islands had made regarding a KFLA Health Unit decision under discussion, that it (KFLA) will not perform inspections for septic approvals because they have too much to do and lack personnel. (ref.Addington Highlands Council)
“I wonder what new legislation is coming down the pipe,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “If you think this is a service (KFLA) should be providing, we must deal with it. The fact that some lakefront counties have taken on this responsibility is unfair and threatens to change the nature of the debate,” he said. “Surrounded by water, we are more impacted than other communities and must have the opportunity to study the KFLA decision. Council passed a resolution to ask the KFL&A Board of Health to postpone any decision on vacating the septic approvals process until Frontenac Islands can assess any implications to the municipality. The resolution will be circulated to the other municipalities in KFL&A.
3. Other decisions: 1. Council passed a by law to appoint a Closed Meeting Investigator. The contract is between Frontenac County and Fournier Consulting Services. 2. Adopted an Emergency Plan governing the provision of services during an emergency. 3. Approved the payment voucher ($ 248,379.81) and $50.00 Christmas bonuses for permanent staff, and $25.00 for part time staff. 4. Approved livestock payments for the loss of 5 calves, 9 hens, and 11 pheasants. 4. Accepted the Frank Cowan Company Comprehensive Insurance 2010 proposal.
Correspondence: a. WIRE (WI residents for the Environment) is asking for answers to a list of questions at the next WI meeting. b. A ‘heads up’ from a Wolfe Island family informing council about a suggested commercial (factory) use of rural/agricultural property and their concerns; c. Notification from Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic School Board offering Frontenac Islands a May 31st deadline to determine their interest in the old school house on Howe Island when it will then be put of for sale. A number of Howe residents have expressed interest in saving the school for heritage reasons. But more discussion is required to determine quality of the land, the building, whether to buy it or move it etc. “We must beat the bushes before we let it go,” Councillor Fiene said.
Councillor Concerns: Councillor Doyle is looking for more clarity regarding the road work to be completed on Wolfe Island, and the different ‘pots’ of money available to complete the work, the possibility of bicycle paths, and loose ends regarding the wind farm, all of which will be brought to the township’s budget meetings.
Residents pumping water onto roads in Marysville during heavy rains is a concern for Councillor Grant. “It is a danger particularly during the winter months,” he said. The cost of a drainage plan will be considered. Next meeting. Jan.11th, Wolfe Island.
Around Town: 2009 New Year’s Eve Dine & Dance, Sacred Heart School, Cash bar, Live entertainment with James Kirkham, Disc Jockey, $45.00 Advance tickets only at Megaly’s & Fargo’s. Info: 385-2278.* Euchre WI United Church Hall returns 7 pm, Thurs., Jan. 7th . * Winter Euchre, St. Margaret’s Hall begins 8 pm, Jan. 11th
This week as the Remembrance Day Service on Wolfe Island approaches, I recall once more as I do every year how important the day was to my parents. How, as far back as I can remember, it became a day equally important to my brother and to me. No, not because we lost someone in either of the great wars but because so many young Canadians died defending the country where my parents chose to raise their Canadian born children. We tend to forget that war is about the young.
For many years, as I was growing up in Ottawa, my mother and I, sometimes my brother and sometimes my father (not all schools were let out and not everyone got time off), made our way to the War Memorial and stood quietly as bands played in sombre tones, veterans proudly paraded by, wreaths were laid, prayers were said and hymns and anthems were sung. There is no doubt that it was indeed the pomp and ceremony that caught my attention in those early years. But it was the sights and sounds of the city that drew me in. Trains still chugged into the Union Station close by. At the Peace Tower the carillon played and the guns sounded off Major Hill park, but for much of the ceremony, people were silent, heads bowed, many crying remembering loved ones lost in the First Great War and far too soon thereafter the Second.
Growing up during the Second World War, I said little about my family, about my roots. Indeed, as my mother, born and raised in Germany, regularly signed-in on Parliament Hill as an alien, I tried hard to remain oblivious to the fact that we were considered the enemy, concentrating instead on the fact that my father was Swedish born, a “naturalized British subject” and was working for the Canadian government.
During those war years, censored letters came to mother from her aging parents, (grandparents I never knew) telling of the hardships facing her family, of uncles and cousins of an age to serve their country and younger ones, my age, cold and hungry. The shortwave radio in our home made it hard to be oblivious to the war. I, of course, tried to forget and focussed instead on friends and families whose loved ones were serving in the Canadian military overseas, some of whom were killed or maimed. And the years went by.
Fast Forward. My brother joined the RCAF and served in the Korean War. Later I too joined the military where I met and married my husband, and I learned his brother had joined the RCAF at 17 during the 2nd War.
My father- in-law, born in Dover, England, who had migrated to Canada as a teenager to work on the Great Lakes, was a veteran of the First Word War and among the first Canadians gassed and taken prisoner at the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915. He was 22 years old. The train transporting the prisoners stopped along the way at a small town in Germany’s Ruhr Valley, where my mother, then 20, lived with her parents. She was working at what is similar to Travellers Aid in Canada. On that day, she and her father went together to see the “Canadians” pass by. A brief encounter.
In 1958 my parents- in-law travelled from Port Arthur to Ottawa, to meet my mother and my brother. They toured the city, Parliament Hill, the War Museum and of course, the NationalWar Memorial, a tribute to the fallen of the “Great War.” And it was over a cup of tea that the story emerged about the Canadian prisoners of war and the train station in a small German town as my mother and my father in-law spoke of the war of 1914-18. They realized that their lives had briefly touched those many years before at that station when they were there at the same time, albeit then on different sides. My mother Agnes, and Needham became fast friends, bonded in a special way, perhaps because of their lived war experiences. Perhaps because they could talk about the war as they never had before, and understood each other as no others could. He told my mother that In 1941, too old to enlist (although he tried), he joined the Veterans Guard of Canada with the task of guarding German prisoners sent to Canada. Now that is irony.
This year on Remembrance Day I will remember that Canada does not honour war, but honours its veterans, and mourns for the young men and women who in good faith, have died for their country. And, I will pray for all those serving Canada in the military. Remembrance Day has become Remembrance Week. Please wear a poppy.
Around Town: 1. Road work on Wolfe Island continues with trucks going back and forth from Kingston all day and ferry line ups becoming longer and longer during the day. 2.There is no sign on the Kingston side indicating that the ferry is docking at the winter dock creating a real surprise for people who walk onto the ferry and suddenly realize there is quite a long walk to Marysville. 3. The Deck Hands are packing in the cars with real expertise. It’s fun to watch. 4.Work continues on the WI Community Health Clinic with the ramp now completed.
Coming Events: * Trinty Anglican’s, TURKEY SUPPER, Sat. Nov. 21st, St. Margaret’s Hall, Doors Open at 4:30 pm *WI’s Christmas Market, SUNDAY, November 22nd, St. Margaret’s Hall, 10am to 4pm, Jewellery, art, crafts, bake good and a lot of wonderful merchandise. The 2009 Photo Contest winners will be announced at the Market at 11 am If you or your group are interested in having a table,please contact:Maureen at 385-2540 or Linda at 385-1947 *Friends of Big Sandy Bay AGM, Wed., Nov. 25th, WI United Church Hall. Join us at 6:45 Presentation by Francine MacDonald Invasive Species/Aquatics Biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters .* An Ecumenical Advent Service of Readings & Carols, Trinity Anglican Church Sun. Nov. 29th, 4:00 p.m. A wonderful way to prepare for Christmas. EVERYONE welcome. *The W.I. Volunteer Fire Department invites you to their annual Santa Claus Parade, Sat. Dec. 5th beginning from Fire Hall at 4:30 pm Floats are welcome Hot Dogs & Hot Chocolate at the Fire Hall when it is over.
It is not often that Annual General Meetings draw a huge crowd, but the Wolfe Island Historical Society AGM surely did. Island born and raised, Gene Manion came home to the island and to the meeting to share the stories of his 40 years as a bush pilot in Newfoundland and Labrador, and all that he had been doing there before returning to Ontario and settling down on Howe Island. All of which he describes in exciting detail in his newly published book “Flying on the Edge”.
Following an enthusiastic welcome by society president Brian Johnson, Gene got right into telling his audience about his 7 years as a pilot in the RCAF, leaving frustrated because of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow program, doing bush flying in Baie Comeau and around the St. Lawrence, and asked to come and help out with his plane when Wolfe Island was trapped in heavy snow period, before moving onto Wellons Flying Service. And there began Genes love affair with Newfoundland and its people.
When Wellons was bought out by the Crosby family, Gene went on to form his own company Newfoundland Air Transport (NAT), in a province he described as 40 years behind in economic development in 1960, having only the Trans Canada highway, mail delivered by dog team, an impoverished Labrador, no roads to the interior, ski and float planes a way of life, and wealth and everything else (fish,seals) controlled by a few families.
Manion began slowly, warming up to his audience who sat spellbound listening to him tell one flying story after the other, about the difficulties and threats he faced building his airline business along with his partners, with little or no money,(“I’ll use all my resources to put you out of business and out of Newfoundland,” said Chet Crosby, owner of Eastern Provincial Airlines), the acquiring of (ski-float) planes, engaging skilled pilots and getting contracts to fly into places where float planes had never been before and engaging in services ( fresh food to remote locations, hauling out seal pelts during the commercial seal hunt, wilderness camps, charters, etc.) that helped energize many small Newfoundland communities. And so it went, story after story told to an enthusiastic audience in a conversational manner, just the way the book is written by its author, Gene Manion. Gene remained to sign books available for sale, to meet and greet friends and neighbours and to talk about the photo collage of his adventures that was on display. ‘Flying on the Edge,’ is published by DRC Publishing and is available in Kingston.
An enthusiastic class of grade 4/5 students and their teacher Don Roblin welcomed me into their classroom at Marysville Public School on Wolfe Island. The young students could hardly wait to talk about their hiking experiences at Frontenac Provincial Park, how they had prepared and what they had achieved while there. In fact 3 boys were unaware they would receive the school’s award of excellence for their personal achievement that very afternoon, at the school’s monthly awards ceremony.
The seventeen boys and girls went to Frontenac Park at the height of the park’s autumn beauty and during its annual hiking challenge in October. But not before they made the hiking sticks required for the hike. It is obvious that Mr. Roblin’s class room is a busy place, filled with maps and books, display cases, drawings, and, yes, carpenters tools, saws drills and all. The children eagerly talked to me about choosing the wood, cutting it to the right size, clamping, drilling the hole for the rope handle and shaping and planing the stick from the 4 sided piece of wood into a rounded, smooth and comfortable to hold ‘walking stick.’
They talked about what they took with them, how they packed their backpacks, and the welcome they received at the park’s Trail Centre where they heard about the trails available to hike, their length and level of difficulty and, what they might expect along the way. Even the quietest of the children answered questions about the day, and eagerly raced up to the large map of Frontenac Park hanging in their classroom to trace along the trail they had taken. ‘We got mixed up, and had to backtrack“ one girl commented
After breaking into groups of three, they chose a trail wondering secretly if they could really do it. “I thought I might be able to do 5kms,” Axl Mellon said. Armed with their sticks, and accompanied by their parent supervisors, and Mr. Roblin, the groups hiked at least 15kms while the three boys Axl Mellon, Derek Posthumus and Logan Redpath hiked a record breaking distance of 21kms along the Big Salmon Trail around the park’s largest lake, Big Salmon. “We got to see Big Thor (an ancient abandoned vehicle on the route),” Mellon exclaimed while others hiking the Little Salmon trail talked about snakes, beaver houses and birds. The kids said they were very tired after their hiking experience but happy becaus they realized they were able to accomplish much more than they ever thought they would or could. “They continue excited about their accomplishments,” Mr. Roblin commented before the children trooped into the school hall for the regular monthly school awards ceremony. There Axl, Derek and Logan, were presented with certificates of excellence by Mr. Roblin as well as Frontenac Park hiking crests in recognition of their special feat.
The Limestone Disrict School Board encourages these types of activities through the initiatives of the “DPA” Daily Physical Activities requirements viewing hiking is an excellent extension that all students can do!
All members of Frontenac Islands council supported a resolution put forward at their October meeting by Councillor Denis Doyle to the Honourable Peter Van Loan, and Correction Services Canada, that the 6 prison farms announced for closure by the Federal Government remain open.
“Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan has heard from the public about the farms and will keep the abattoir at the Pittsburg location open and that’s a good thing,” Doyle said, “but there is more to the farms than the abattoir. I believe the costs of running these farms are offset by savings derived from locally grown foods along with many, hard to value, environmental side benefits as well as building up the self worth of inmates helping them reintegrate into society.”
According to Doyle, the future of the Correction Services prison farms has been on the minds of many islanders, particularly those involved in farming and food production, as well as those concerned with the environment and the welfare of inmates. Many see opportunities for diversified work opportunities to be established at the farms. Many others fear the sell off of the land. All of which came to a head at a recent Wolfe Island event.
“I was approached by Ken Keyes, Chris Brown and Trinity Anglican’s Rev.Canon Chris Carr. All three have an interest in the farms and their future,” Doyle said. “Ken, from a strong agricultural background, has worked directly with inmates. Chris Brown believes in the protection of the environment and the sustainability of the farms while Canon Carr, formerly with Corrections Canada understands their full worth to the inmates. I sought their input for the resolution,” he said.
The resolution acknowledges that while not many inmates will end up with farm jobs, their work experience provides transferable skills and teaches punctuality, discipline, responsibility, a good work ethic, and the importance of teamwork. It also suggests that there is evidence that how inmates treat nature (animals and the environment) is reflected in the way they treat people, and vice versa.
“Many prisoners have grown up in abusive situations, ending up abusive themselves. Prison farm work helps develop respect for their surroundings and moves many to seek personal restorative help,” according to Doyle.
The Frontenac Islands resolution has also been sent to Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, Peter Milliken, MP for Kingston and the Islands and all municipalities in Ontario seeking their support.
Wolfe Island’s Historical Society recently hosted the successful launch of Barbara Wall La Rocque’s long awaited book, ‘Wolfe Island - A Legacy in Stone.’ .The book is the result of La Rocque’s personal commitment to her late father, Charles Wall (once a lay pastor to Wolfe Island’s Anglican Parish) to complete a history of Wolfe Island which began to take shape for him in the 1930’s. The recently released book follows the island’s development to the emergence of its own unique identity. Present with the author to greet the many interested visitors, guests, friends and relatives and relatives was the publisher and president of the Dundurn Group, Kirk Howard and Beth Bruder, VP Marketing & Sales.
In his words of welcome, Historical Society President Captain Brian Johnson spoke of the island as a ‘magical place’. He talked about its history of woodlands and farmlands, the peoples who came to its shores and stayed and about Charles Wall “ who heard the whispers of the island’s stories on the wind and wrote them down” and of the daughter Barbara who completed his dream to write a book about the Island.
La Rocque spoke of her father’s love of the island, of her mother Kathleen Kenney an “island daughter” and the encouragement she received from her family and friends to complete and expand upon her father’s project. Collecting material, researching and writing it began in Wall’s retirement years (1964 to mid 1980’s) and when he died he had only completed two thirds of the manuscript. Barbara said “I have done further research, with the hope that readers recognize the importance of Wolfe Island in Canada’s history.” Rev. Canon Chris Carr, pastor at Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican offered some further insight into Charles Wall noting that his daughter Barbara had paid the same attention to detail in her writing as her father had.. As Barbara signed books, refreshments were served and members of the Historical Society mingled with the many guests. Books available at island business, Chapters, Indigo, & Amazon.
Mayor elected to AMO Board: Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek (Frontenac County) was elected to the AMO Board of Directors at the recent 110th Annual Conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). As a member of the Board and the Rural Caucus, Vanden Hoek will help set policy for the Association and serve as a key municipal leader in the Province.
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments. It promotes the value of strong and effective municipal government in the province. It is focused on achieving fiscal sustainability for municipal governments and their legislative authority to advance local economic well being and environmental sustainability.
Thanks to MTO Summer Students. This year, perhaps more than any other in a long time we owe a debt of gratitude to the summer students hired by MTO to direct ferry traffic. They have kept the long ferry lines fair for all, preventing cars from cutting in and keeping them moving. They frequently put their lives at risk on the busy road in Marysville and often were on the receiving end of verbal abuse from frustrated travelers. Through it all they remained pleasant and courteous. This year a couple of them were bilingual. With us this season were: Mark Ottenhoff, Ema Hamilton, Kelsey Hunt and Mike Coté-Di Pietrantonio. As they leave us to return to college and university, we extend A Big Thank-You from a grateful community. Good Luck in your studies.
And speaking of Transportation: The dry docking of the Wolfe Islander III (being done in the off-peak season) is mandated by Transport Canada and can not be delayed. The Wolfe Islander will go in to dry-dock during the week of October 12th. It will be replaced by the Frontenac II (The Amherst Island ferry). Water levels permitting, the Frontenac II will operate from Marysville. Otherwise, it will operate from the Dawson Point dock. As summer draws to a close, water levels have noticeably declined.
‘Priority’ ferry loading for emergency services, doctors, nursing services, and sewage trucks, etc. will remain the same as it is now. All other vehicles are loaded onto the boat from their sequence in line. (Council recently received a request that trucks coming to the island to pick up agricultural product be added to the priority list-.I am unaware at this time if this request has been considered by MTO) The ramp repair slated for the Barrack Street dock will happen when the Wolfe Islander is in dry-dock.
Regarding the WI Transportation Study EA, the ministry is in the process of finalizing an agreement with a consultant (URS Canada Inc.) to examine and measure current operational characteristics of the existing WI Ferry Service, to determine the island’s future transportation needs, and to generate and assess planning alternatives to meet those needs. The study will consider a 20 year span with sensitivity analysis to reveal the impact on the future of the recommendations. It is anticipated to be completed in 2011 .Official notification of when it will start will be published. . And finally, earlier there was concern about the possibility of a strike that might affect provincial ferry workers. Fortunately, an agreement between both parties has averted the threat of a public workers strike.
Around Town: Planning is underway for the Sept. 12th WI ploughing Match at Hultonvale Farm 9th Line Rd. beginning at 10am. Prize money has been increased . Crafter's, market produce people, flea marketers etc. welcome to set up wares or demonstrations at no charge (Bring your own tents & tables) For info: 613 385 2672 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or just show up.* WI’s Anglican Parish summer service held in Phyllis and John Eves Simcoe Island garden included Melanie Campbell singing the Irish Blessing acappella.. Marysville Makeover Garden Contest winners :1st Residential: Joanne & Ray Bornais 1184 Road #96 Business:The Island Grill 2nd prize: Doris MacDonald 27 Going Street . Special Community Appreciation award to David Staley & Sherry Zborovsky for providing the rest stop for walkers and cyclists. Special recognition to the children of Marysville Public School.
Coming events: *Accompanied by the Old Eighteen,Pipes and Drums, Col Britton Smith(ret'd) will unveil a display panel honouring Gen. James Wolfe, (sponsored by WI Historical Society) , Sun.Sept 13th 2:30 PM, WI Town Hall. * Big Sandy Bay Senior’s Day Sept. 16th Info: Ed Kirk 385-8585 * WI Applefest Sept. 19th 11-3pm Horne’s Orchard Road #95 Admission by Donation * BSB Book Sale Sept. 25 & 26th * WI’s 2009 Photo Contest Entries close Oct. 12th (www.wolfeisland.com)
Is it time for a Lion’s Club on Wolfe Island ?
Did they know that Lions Club members carry out vision screening for children at local elementary schools? They have begun to do hearing tests as well? That Lions’ Club members raise funds, hold blood donor clinics, are family oriented, support community projects and offer assistance to other community groups and national organizations. Their motto, “To Serve.”
All this came to light at a recent meeting when Lions Club members from different regions and at different levels within the organization came to talk about setting up a Lion’s Club on the island. Among others coming from Amherstview, Newburg, Nappanee were Lions and Lionesses Bill Rose, Earl Oliver, Dick Smith, Ken Butler, Larry Martin, Victor Smith, Lioness Butler. The members had met with community members beforehand to determine interest.
To get a club started, a number of informational meetings are held to build membership, (a charter requires 20 members) and determine project ideas. Following a video presentation the Lions organization the members offered personal statements, reasons for joining, volunteer time and activity level. A question and answer period followed which included information about club fees. The Lions Club is non-denominational.. They do not interfere but support what others are doing, Fund raising is an important Lions Club function. Once incorporated a club has liability insurance etc. The Amherstview Lions Club would be an island clubs sponsor.
”If we were to develop a club the knee jerk reaction would be we don’t need anymore competition in fund raising, the island’s Keith Walton said, “ but other organizations and churches are getting to a position where the aging populations are having trouble keeping fund raising going because they haven’t go the people power to do it. I think we would have to stress to the community we would be a group of volunteers that would cooperate with other organizations.”
“If islanders were aware of what Lions clubs do, their focus on children and the community, more people would have been here,”Victoria Stewart said. The Grill’s Angela Morin added “a personal invitation is the right way to go with islanders.” It was moved and seconded that the island take further steps to form an island Lions Club supported by the Amherstview Lions. Ken Keys offered a vote of thanks to the visiting Lions and Lionesses. Another Lions club . meeting will be held in September atSt. Margaret’s Hall. Watch for posters.
Yorkshire born Canadian author Peter Robinson (PhD English York University) was presented with the Grant Allen Award for contribution to Canadian crime writing at Wolfe Island’s 9th annual Scene of the Crime Festival. His crime novels featuring Chief Inspector Alan Banks are set in a fictional town in Yorkshire and now number 19 with the next always eagerly hoped for. The first, Gallows View was published in 1987. Many of his highly regarded short stories are set in Canada and interestingly music plays a part in all of his writings. (Grant Allen born on Wolfe Island in 1848, is recognized as Canada’s first crime writer.) Peter Robinson is a man of many talents, and a pioneer of Canadian crime writing.
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 award embellished with Inspector Banks badge, was inside a box that once contained a bottle of Peter’s favourite Scotch and was presented by festival board member Rev. Canon Chris Carr.
During an interview conducted by Therese Green wood, co-founder of the Scene of the Crime Festival, Robinson talked about the evolution of his Inspector Banks character’s through the many stages of life, the difficulties of writing short stories, and his commitment to writing every day. With regard to Banks, “I haven’t finished with him yet,” he said. Regarding short stories, “it’s a matter of doing more with less.”
Featured guest lecturer Robb Tripp, an investigative crime and justice reporter with the Kingston Whig Standard took the audience through a number of grizzly tales of crime that have been part of his 20 year career.
Once again the Island’s librarian Sharon Hogan accept a $500. cheque presented by Festival president Violette Malan for the purchase of more books for the Grant Allen collection.
The library will also receive a donation of books from this year’s visiting authors, Rick Blechta, (Cemetery of the Nameless); Barbara Fradkin (Inspector Michael Green series); David Rotenberg (Zhong Fong series); Sue Pike ( short story writer). Vicki Delany author of suspense novels (Burden of Memory) moderated a panel discussion with the authors. She also presented this year’s workshop on writing character.
Winners in the Scene of the Crime Short Story Contest were announced and included: 1st prize Marianne Miller (Toronto-Kingston); 2nd Lucinda Dopson (Delta, Ont); 3rd Jane Watson (Ottawa). Honourable mention : Keith McBeath, (Perth, ON) & Bill Newman (Ottawa).
Kingston’s ‘As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookshop’ was on hand with book displays throughout the event. For more information on Grant Allen & Scene of the Crime Festival and this year’s authors etc. visit www.sceneofthecrime.ca
Howe Island resident Mike Hart was the recipient of the Frontenac Islands Volunteer of the Year award presented by Deputy Mayor Mat Fiene at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council. Hart is a long time dedicated volunteer (baseball) coach for kids from ages 5 or 6 and well into their teens. “It gives me great pleasure to present this award to my friend Mike. There are people who stand up and do things,” Fiene said. “You stand up for our kids in this community, giving them a place to go, play baseball and have fun. You have been doing so for many years. Thank you and keep up the good work.” Hart, in accepting the award reminded council that the annual baseball closing event at the Howe Island ball park will this year include live entertainment.” I hope to see you there Aug. 26th at 6:30 pm .”
WI Transportation took centre stage. Councillor Grant brought forward a request by Wolfe Island farmers that council support their request to MTO for a special pass for grain trucks to board the ferry. WI farmer Jason Pyke, on hand to speak to the issue, said that the future of (island) agriculture depends on transportation but the problem of getting commodities off the island continues to grow, added to that, will be the ferry being out of service at a most critical time. “It was suggested that a council resolution supporting our request for special boarding passes would be better received by MTO,” Pyke said. “We are open to suggestions on how to do it without disrupting workers on the early morning and evening trips.” (Even with walkers, cyclists and residents parked in the city, most morning /evening trips are overfull.
“There are a number of issues here,” the Mayor said. “We will do what we can to help the farmers but MTO has been really slow with the transportation EA. A really pointed letter needs to go to the Minister of Transportation stating that this service is in desperate need of enhancements. We have been waiting, what, 2 years for the EA? And further this announcement in our agenda package about a provincial grant program promoting cycling, walking, less car use, is somewhat scurrilous. We are going down to a smaller vessel in October. What are they doing? Giving us a smaller boat and saying have a good few months folks? It is going to be utter chaos around here,’ he said. “There has to be a certain level of capacity..” A council resolution supporting the island farmers’ request for permit boarding on the ferry for trucks carrying off farm product will be submitted to MTO. A letter will also be sent to the Minister of Transportation outlining Frontenac Islands concerns about the lack of progress regarding WI’s ferry transportation concerns, (EA, enhancements, under capacity, etc.) copied to MPP John Gerretsen.
In other business: 1.Council dealt with and approved an application for consent including a road closure. “A township road closure is a sensitive issue. Approval doesn’t mean completion, “Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “We are tough (price) negotiators.”
2. Council passed a by law to impose fees and services e.g. tax certificates $30.00, zoning compliance $50.00, record searches $20 per hour, etc. 3. Council needs clarification about who is responsible for what road work, CPL (Canadian Projects Ltd, McIntosh Perry, or the township relating to a payment for road reclamation gravel., 4.Council acknowledged WIBTA’s letter of thanks for a $5000. grant supporting community works,( garden contest, portable toilets, signage, etc.) 5. Council members will respond individually to a Central Frontenac invitation to all county councilors to attend a joint meeting.
Council concerns: Councillor Doyle said that council has received kudos about the purchase of the Tyner- LaRush house (now a museum) and “even more about our support along with WIBTA’s for the portable toilets at the community dock.” But he noted that without ‘no parking’ signs, constant parking makes it impossible to service them. (A bylaw amendment change is required for no parking to apply on both sides of that street.)
Regarding a possible bike path on Reeds Bay Road at least on one side, a concept supported by council, WIBTA’s Linda Thomas is encouraged to continue discussion with the Kingston Cycling group to determine requirements.
Doyle noted inquiries about an ice cream cart along the (island) ferry line. (A local vendor’s son has a cart.) As there is no bylaw or licensing fee council will seek legal advice, consult with local merchants, and constituents before passing a bylaw and bring the topic back for discussion at their September meeting. (City requests have been denied). Concerning the poor condition of Wolfe Island’s road #96, (used extensively during turbine construction) Doyle spoke of public concerns, costs of repairs (cold patching, etc.) to the township, and McIntosh Perry’s responsibilities. According to CAO O’Shea, there is ongoing discussion between CPL and McIntosh Perry with each keeping track of their costs. The mayor added that the community will eventually see the stimulus package money ($476,000) and the Canadian Hydro (CREC) deposit distributed. (Many residents believe a total road rebuild of #96 is required). At the same time Deputy Mayor Fiene noted much preparatory road work on Howe Island but “No Action and people want to see action,” he said. Council will meet with Engineer Steve Archibald and the contractor. Fiene is concerned about development charge updates. “That’s a Tunnock issue.” the mayor said. “How long has he had for this, a year plus? Are we obligated to continue with the 5-year contract or can we re-tender this thing?” he mused
Councillor Grant sees a need for tree removal/trimming and land survey around the Old House Museum. He announced that the municipal works gate will be closed on weekends.
Mayor Vanden Hoek spoke of missed grant opportunities and the need for current figures through an RFP process regarding roof and refrigeration for WI’s rink, 2 (with roof & without) “When opportunities arise we need to be ready to apply.”
In other things Howe Island following a (short) in-camera session council passed a resolution to accept the offer of $225,000 for the sale of a waterfront lot on the island’s North Range. The funds received will be reserved for recreation purposes.
And finally following the council meeting members convened to the Howe Island Fire Hall where keys for a new to Howe vehicle were symbolically handed over to Mayor Vanden Hoek by Chief Mike Quinn . Council meets next: Sept. 14th Wolfe Island
Coming Events:*Euchre Thursday’s 7pm WI United Church.*Howe Island Ratepayers Association annual meeting St. Philomena’s Hall, Aug. 27, 7 pm *Book Launch, Barbara Larocque’s, “Wolfe Island Legacy in Stone” St. Margaret’s Hall, Aug. 23rd 11am-3 pm.*WI Ploughing Match, Sept. 12th 2009, 9am, Hultonvale Farm (9th concession)
New Fire & Rescue Vehicle in Service on Howe Island
At the close of the recent Frontenac Islands council meeting on Howe Island , council members and friends convened to the Fire Hall for a presentation by Chief Mike Quinn.
” On behalf of the Howe Island Fire and Rescue Association I am very pleased to formally present the symbolic handing over of the Keys to Rescue #8 ,”Chief Quinn said. “After much hard work and fundraising over a few years we were able to purchase Resue #8. It will serve the community as a first response vehicle, an incident command Unit and offer a safe protected area for firefighters to get out of the elements when working at large scale emergencies. “
Quinn stated that through the 2009 budget process the township purchased the Cascade/Compressor Air fill station which allowed the Association to purchase the Rescue unit, both priority pieces of equipment. “I wish to extend appreciation to all those who have made this possible,” he said.
Receiving the keys was Mayor Vanden Hoek who commended the Association for their dedication and hard work.
The Rescue # 8 vehicle has been placed in service and requires just a few minor additions. A barbecue followed hosted by the association.
What a busy month July was on Wolfe Island. And it would appear that August will be much the same. Recently the “Old House” Museum in Marysville on Wolfe Island was officially opened and the keys for the building turned over to the WI Historical Society. The building purchased by the township for its heritage value was offered to society for use as a museum. On hand to present the keys was Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle accompanied by Councillor Wayne Grant.
On this occasion (WI ferry) Captain Brian Johnson, Historical Society president welcomed friends and members.”While last spring was the first time I set foot in this house,” Johnson( a story teller) said, “I’ve seen it from the wheel house (of the ferry) with Captain Buck Mullin making the bow swing to the dock just about two points ahead of Tyner’s chimney. A guide we still use today if the radar freezes. It is part of my history.” Johnson gave full credit to Vice President Victoria Stewart for the establishment of the historical society as well as the museum. ”She saw a need for a museum and here we are.” He also acknowledged the hard work of the members and the executive, John O’Shea, Brian MacDonald, Theresa Broeders, Pat Casey and Margaret Pyke
Before formally turning over the keys Councillor Doyle acknowledged the work already accomplished at the museum. “I want you to know that without your encouragement the township would not have had the incentive to close the deal when the property became available. Once we did it was a unanimous decision that you folks should be involved.” Doyle said that it takes the support of the community and its volunteer spirit to get things going citing as examples the Community Centre board, the Medical clinic board, WIBTA, Friends and the many other island organizations. “Without that kind of community enthusiasm nothing would happen.” And as always on WI there was food and an opportunity to mingle, reminisce and to look at the many items in place at “Old House “ museum.
Gone Forever! You Can’t Go Home Anymore!
Jane Craig President of the Lost Villages Historical Society was a recent guest in the WI Historical Society’s speakers series. During the years 1954-59 her home town Moulinette as well as Mille Roche, Dickinson’s Landing, Wales, Farran’s Point and Aultsville and the hamlets of Maple Grove and Santa Cruz disappeared, inundated forever under the waters of the St. Lawrence River. Over 6500 people were displaced. While many buildings were moved to the newly created communities of Ingleside and Long Sault, many more buildings and the were destroyed.
Deepening the waters of the existing St. Lawrence so that bigger ships could travel from Montreal to the Great Lakes and as a source of hydro electric power was a dual project between New York State, the US Federal Government, Canadian Federal Government and the province of Ontario a project that took 48 months and came in on budget.
“ In 1954 my little village had 420 people living there,”Craig said.” The first year 212 workers and families arrived from all over Canada and the USA. The sudden growth was unbelievable for us. An awesome time. My mother never talked about it and died a bitter woman over it. My mother and father owned the hotel in Moulinette and it was the last building to be destroyed. She wouldn’t be too proud of what I’m doing as president of the Lost Villages Historical Society.”
Craig spoke of the experiences of many people, including her own and that of her family, the sadness, pain, loneliness, of what was and lost and about author Maggie Wheeler who has written much about the seaway in her Farran Mackenzie Seaway mystery series. “She lived at Long Sault and never once heard about it from any one of her neighbours,” she said
“In 1977 six former residents of the ‘6 lost villages’ formed the Lost Villages Historical Society to preserve and display only what has come from the Lost Villages. Between 1981 and now we have 11 buildings, some original, arranged in a village setting in Ault Park (near Long Sault) including a general store, log cabin, barber shop, church (where weddings are held) etc. filled with artifacts all intended to educate the public about the Lost Villages history. My main objective at this time is to get our story into the Ontario curriculum,” Craig said.
The Society helps run a variety of activities and events (bus tours, walking tours, ghost nights) and in the schools, maintain the museum and members very seriously fund raise. www.lostvillages.ca
24th Annual Wolfe Island Family Ball Tournament
Once again family members from far and wide came by plane, train, bus, car, in vans, trailers, by boat and perhaps even hitch hiking to participate in the annual Family Ball tournament. And once again the weather did not fail. Sunshine and light winds greeted to 30 teams that played Friday evening and all day Saturday, completing their last games before 9 pm. In the A Division, the Kyle family team was victorious.The Eves Family Team won in the “B” Division. The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team: Hulton Senior team. The Bill Kyle Sportsmanship Memorial Trophy: Bolton Team
Thanks to the Ambulance Service on hand during the event
Around Town: The Corn Maze is now open with many new features. *The hole, the first stage for the WI Community Medical Clinic is complete.*Results of the judging of WI gardens contest will be announced soon. Container judging at a later date.* To see hourly generator Output by facility visit: www.ieso.ca/imoweb/marketdata/genEnergy.asp .*Barbara Wall Laroques’s book, WI Legacy in Stone is now in print. * Big plans anticipated for WI.Emergency Services Building(ambulance-fire) Contestants wanted for WI Queen of the Furrow If interested, contact Dave Woodman 613 385 2682 or Wilma Sjonger 613 385 2672.
Coming Events: * WI Music Festival, Aug. 7th & 8th Program: Friday Aug. 7th;.Town Hall Concert - 8:30pm: Tickets: $20; General Wolfe Hotel 11pm: $15.00,The Island Grill - 6-8pm, 11-1am: Saturday, Aug. 8th: Wolfe Island Community Centre Grounds: Tickets $35.00 email@example.com , *WI Scene of the Crime Festival Sat. Aug 15th Call 613-385-2648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info * Wolfe Island -Legacy in Stone Book Launch, St. Margaret’s Hall Aug. 23rd 11am-3pm *WI Ploughing Match, Sept. 12th 2009, 9am, Hultonvale Farm (9th concession)
The weather has not deterred the youngsters enrolled in a 5-day summer ‘learn to sail camp’ on Wolfe Island offered by the Ontario Sailing Association. The association’s Boom Mobile Program introduces children ages 8-14 to the sport of sailing and gives them the opportunity to develop their sailing skills. Children are taught the basics of sailing using the Canadian Yachting Association’s White Sail Level 1, 2 and 3 standards. The sailing program, arranged for the island by Nicole Clark, is a first in a number of years, although ideally the island affords a great opportunity for sailing programs and events.
Parents and grandparents were on hand to watch the children take off on their first day after what probably seemed like a long time to sit in their Pico Laser boats listening for last minute instruction.
The joy of it all can be summed up in the words of a youngster as he sailed away from the township’s new dock and shouted at the top of his lungs.. “I’m sailing.” The enthusiasm with which the program has been received augers well for its return, (maybe longer) next year.
Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek is excited about green and renewable energy, not just because of the wind towers on Wolfe Island but because of the swirl of activity going on in the city, county and region noting as well the recognition and financial support Queen’s and St. Lawrence College have received from the province for their efforts in alternative energy. “With the wolfe Island wind project virtually complete and aware of the activity (green projects) in Eastern Ontario I started to ask what’s next,” the Mayor said at the July meeting of Frontenac Islands council. “How are we going to take advantage of all that is going on, not just on Wolfe Island?” That resulted in an (interactive ) strategy summit in April where the talk was about research and development, education, training investment, branding and a strategy for creating a centre for alternative renewable energy. “ My question was how do we pull it all together? What has to happen for this area to be recognized? The response to the concept of recognition was overwhelming,” the mayor said .
Anne Marie Young, County Economic Development Officer presented an update on the subject noting that there was representation at the April meeting from Queens, St. Lawrence College, KEDCO, FCFDC, Can. Hydro, all there to talk about an integrated alternative energy vision and a strategy to make it happen. Since then Frontenac County has taken the lead submitting an application to FCFDC with a plan to look for proposals from companies or individuals supporting a strategy for the creation of a green region, and the development of renewable energy and green technologies. In receipt of $60,000 a consultant will be engaged to work with a broad range of stake holders to develop a 5-year business plan to include structure, governance, marketing and branding etc. “ Of course using the WI wind plant on Wolfe Island as a catalyst. So we have to think bold, be creative and execute well,” Young said adding that it is important to get the message out. Further funding of the project will be sought from the Ontario Development Fund. . “We need to partner with some people who are really excited by all this, like Lafarge,” Councillor Fiene added.
In other business there was no objection to Mayor VandenHoek taking on the role of chair of the Community Centre Board (CCB) committee. Before passing a bylaw to appoint a new board the mayor commented that the board membership is new with very little overlap. “Much credit is due to the outgoing board who have done an outstanding job,” he said.”They have raised more funds and shown real leadership. At the same time the new ice rink with refrigeration capability (rare for a community of this size,) a result of the generosity of the suppliers and the work of the board, will become one of the municipality’s largest capital projects. (half a million) in its further planning and implementation. I think there is a broader role for council to play . The CCB (a committee of Council) much like the Medical Clinic Board (not a committee of council) operate somewhat independently but I think there is a responsibility for the municipality to be there more than we are now. I don’t think we should be sitting in the front row but they need our support.” The mayor went on to say that there had been some talk at the council table that perhaps the chair of the Community Centre Board should be a member of council like the chair of the Big Sandy Bay Committee and that the rink project has moved forward without federal of provincial help, lots of fund raising and some taxpayer dollars. Given the size of the project, we have to be there. “This is a little unusual,” Vanden Hoek said. “ For the first time I have put my name forward to sit on a committee and use whatever influence I may have to support not only the committee but the project. I think we need political participation in asking for money.” he concluded. Councillor Grant also acknowledged the work of the outgoing board and gratefulness for materials donated for the project .
Councillor Doyle commented that after some consultation with WIBTA’s Linda Thomas opportunities are there to submit grant applications: eg. Healthy Communities Fund; FCFDC for 3 phase power and the Trillium Foundation.
Community Centre Board appointments: Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek, Councillor Wayne Grant, George Mc Allister, Paul Hogan, Leslie Prevost, Amanda Kyle, Tony Garrido and Clint Broeders.
Councillor Doyle informed council that special matting was placed at Big Sandy Bay by members of the Stewardship committee assisted by the Friends of BSB, which will make it possible for the large tire wheel chair to travel over a sand dune to the beach. He also spoke of the low flow toilets that have been installed using rain water. “Two significant improvements,” he said. Much credit to Frank Van Hal for latter.
KPMG’s Virginia Leakey presented the 2008 Audit and Financial statements. She acknowledged that 2008 was a significant year for the township
Appointment of Howe Island’s Social, Cultural Recreational Activities Committee postponed . Discussion re trailer bylaw was not on the July agenda .
The draft Official Plan has been circulated but the Mayor was not pleased that some items submitted by council to Tunnock Consulting were not included., while other items were there without council approval. All to be reviewed prior to final approval maybe by September? Council meets next July 13th 6:30 pm Howe Island
Around Town: *Recruiting for Ambulance Volunteers now closed.. Very good response says WI’s Sally Kane but training takes time.
*Canadian Hydro held an open house at their Echo Centre on the 5th Line for land owners with towers. Just a pleasant get together, meet the staff, a show and tell and food presented by the WI Women’s Institute.
* No indication yet who placed 86 small plaster hands on the 2nd line. Saying what, I’m not sure.
* Ferry travel is incredibly difficult these days. Long waits.
Coming events:* Medical Clinic Board announces: “Sod Turning” for new Medical Clinic, Sat. July 25th 10 am
* Container ” Model Home”design, Stone Heron Gallery, July 25th , 10am All Day
*WI Historical Society event, Wed. July 29th 7:30 pm WI United Church Hall.
* WI Family Ball Tournament Aug. Long weekend.
*WI Music Festival Aug. 7th and 8th. * Scene of the Crime, Aug. 15 th, Call 613-385-2648 or email@example.com
Plans are well underway for Wolfe Island’s annual Scene of the Crime Festival now in its 8th year to be held on Aug.15th. The event brings together many of Canada’s mystery writers and enthusiastic readers to the island home to Canada’s first Crime writer Grant Allen. Allen was born in 1848 at Ardath Manor, the home, of the Baron de Longueuil family, making the island the right location for “The Scene of the Crime.” (Allen was a friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes)
This year’s Grant Allen Award (inaugurated in 2004) for pioneering work in the field of mystery and crime writing will be presented to Toronto’s Peter Robinson (Inspector Banks, Gallows View). Writers joining Robinson on the island will include: Rosemary Aubert, author of the Ellis Portal mystery series; Rick Blechta brings his musician's viewpoint to crime writing, (When Hell Freezes Over); Barbara Fradkin, a psychologist (Honour Among Men), and David Rotenberg, master acting teacher, (Zhong Fong detective series).
The event will also include a guest lecture with crime reporter Rob Tripp and a full day of programs, panels, short story contest, a writing workshop with mystery author Vicki Delany and, of course, the annual church supper.
The Scene of the Crime Board has an extensive “out reach” program throughout the year including its annual short story contest, a ‘local’ school writing program, and books for Wolfe Island library plus a donation for more books.
For Information about this event call 613-385-2540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(not posted in EMC Kingston)
Perhaps one of the more important meetings held on Wolfe Island recently was the 2nd public information session to present the community with updated material about drinking water supply alternatives. XCG Consultants has undertaken a Marysville Waterworks Class EA on behalf of the township to determine a long- term drinking water supply. A common comment in the questionnaire distributed by XCG at the first meeting held in April was that sewage servicing should considered at the same time or, before water services.
XCG’s Cameron Smith and Julie Runions in their presentation noted that about 30% of KFL&A Public Health “Private Water Samples” records indicate evidence of bacterial contamination. (This data is for all of Wolfe Island, whether raw samples, re-samples, treated samples); that many communities have implemented drinking water systems before sewage systems; that the KFL&A Health unit will be inspecting systems that make drinking water available to the public and determine requirements for its safety as well as the impact on the owners of the systems, whether or not Marysville ends up with a municipal drinking water system. Also that a sewage system costs 1.5 times that of a water system.
As for water supply approaches, the 2 ranked alternatives are: 1.(Alt.7) construction of a distribution system with drinking water supplied by Kingston. 2. (Alt.5) construction of a surface water drinking water supply with distribution system from Lake Ontario/ St. Lawrence.
The first option would consist of a connection to Kingston’s water treatment system, and metering, with a 3 to5 km long pipe from Kingston to Dawson Point and a 3.5km transmission water main to Marysville.
If a mutually amenable arrangement cannot be reached with Kingston then the second alternative could be used which means pipes out into the main channel of the St. Lawrence River off Dawson’s Point, submerged a minimum of 3 metres, building a water treatment facility in that area and a 3.5km transmission water main to Marysville.
The next steps are to: receive comments and establish the preferred alternative; continue consultation with agencies and Kingston and once again present preliminary design concepts to the public. It is interesting to note that the idea of linking with Kingston’s clean water supply was rejected out of hand some months ago as impossible. However, at this time, based on the probable costs presented by XCG for homes, businesses and the township, it appears to be the most cost effective alternative.
Frontenac Islands Passes 2009 budget. As it turns out on both Wolfe Island and Howe Island the value of property assessments increased. For WI the funds to be raised locally are $35,000. lower than the prior year. This means that the combination of a larger assessment base and lower demand gives an 18.7% reduction in the ward tax rate. For Howe Island the funds to be raised locally are $10,000 higher than in 2008. But with the larger assessment base it means a 6.3% reduction in the ward tax rate. However, and a very big however, the county taxes are higher due to their larger demand overall, and it means a 6.4% increase for them. Similarly the education tax demand (from the province) is higher by 9.34%. The end result of these ups and downs is an overall increase in the tax rate for both island wards by 3.25%. It means we all will pay more taxes this year.
Around Town: 1. FYI Councillor Dennis Doyle was one of 3 elected representatives, including Central Frontenac Deputy Mayor Gary Smith and North Frontenac Dep. Mayor Jim Bean to the Frontenac County Trails committee to resign because their version of the draft Trails Master plan (their mandate to develop) which addresses trail management, was not the version presented to County Council and, because of a resolution passed at County Council which Doyle says gives “county staff control of the project.”
At this point, according to Doyle, the elected members on the K & P Trail Committee are trying to resolve the issue of staff taking control of the Trails Master Plan to ensure that the electorate across the county have a voice on what is included, and how the trails are managed and funded.
2. A Heads Up: Recently Thomas Mohr and WIslander Judy Greenwood-Speers presented a concept for home construction using shipping containers with the possibility of opening the new business “WI Canadian Cargotecture Solutions” on the island to number of residents and business leaders. As always, with a little skepticism about something new but at the same time recognizing that the concept might lend itself to a number of situations, there was a request to see a design model of a model home. To that end a design of a (container)” Model Home” will be unveiled at the Stone Heron Gallery on Saturday, July 25th at 10 am and remain on display all day. 3. W.I.’s Dennis Mosier has been named Treasurer of the Canadian Plowing Association. Dennis has been involved as an enthusiastic participant in every aspect of plowing, as a plowman, match organizer and very particularly as a “judge extraordinaire”. Congratulations Dennis. (The WI Plowing Match is Sat. Sept.12th.) 4. Best wishes to Leon Fawcett who recently retired after many years of service as Captain of the Wolfe Islander. 5. The Stone Heron Gallery is now OPEN. Also open Thursday to Sunday is the WI Museum on Leander Street. *The recent ecumenical event in honour of St. Paul held at the WI United Church provided an opportunity for all to learn something new, and offered another occasion to pray together. * Much going on re the Wind Farm these days. Remember Canadian Hydro Comment Line 613-385-2752 E-Mail email@example.com An Incidental Avian and Bird observation form is posted on their website at www.wolfeislandwind.com Post Construction follow up is important
Coming Events:*WI Historical Society presents Jane Craig, President ‘Lost Village Historical Society Wed. July 29th 7:30 pm WI United Church Hall. Her experiences of “The Great Floods of 1958” and the impact of the St. Lawrence Seaway. * WI Family Ball Tournament Aug. Long weekend. *The 11th Annual Wolfe Island Music Festival Friday /Saturday, Aug. 7th and 8th. Main Stage at the Marysville Baseball diamond Sat. 1pm start. Confirmed bands include among others: Sara Harmer, Holy F*k, Busdriver, The Rural Alberta Advantage Woodhands, Ohbijou,… *The Sailing Program is now full. *WI Corn Maze opens Aug.1st .* WI Scene of the Crime, Sat. Aug. 15 th, Call 613-385-2540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on this community event *WI FireDepartment 7th Annual Golf Tournament (Alston Moor Links- WI Riverfront) Sat. Aug. 22nd Contact:385-2541
The Wolfe Island Historical Society has received unanimous approval to establish a museum (July1st-Sept.7th) on the island by Frontenac Islands council following a proposal presented by the Society’s president Captain Brian Johnson for the use of the LaRush house, the island’s oldest building for that purpose at their June meeting.
The house located on the north shore of the island, just east of the ferry dock on Leander Street (Beside The Island Grill) was purchased by the township for its heritage value and its water front location. The date of its construction is estimated to be any time between 1860 or the early 1900’s. While the property was purchased in 1919 by Louis LaRush, a descendent of original island settlers, it is not clear whether the building was standing. Some say it originally was a school moved to its present location.
The Historical Society will use the “Old House” as a summer museum from July 1st to Sept. 7th, opening from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and will take responsibility for the daily operations of the Museum and its’ volunteers as well as the interior of the building and the exterior upkeep of the property. The Society will also seek out information regarding heritage building restoration. As stated in their proposal, “only by actually using the “Old House,” will it be possible to see the potential for permanent versus seasonal museum.” Interest in exhibiting has already come from both Women’s Institutes
In the long term the Society will begin to fund raise, seek out grants for the restoration and maintenance of the structure, exhibit cases, etc. (Other than its ownership and insurance the Township does not intend to financially support any other project).
It was at a public meeting in May to hear what was required to preserve, restore and rehabilitate the “Old House” that the Historical Society’s Vicki Stewart declared the island’s need for a museum and Frontenac Islands Mayor Vanden Hoek said a group could be empowered to take over the municipal property as a museum and asked for a proposal.
Although the idea of Frontenac County structure changes had been set aside for the moment, the issue is not dead. At their June meeting,Frontenac Islands Council recommended that County council membership be increased to 8 members including the mayors of each of the four townships plus a council selected second representative, from each of the lower tier municipalities, and that voting be weighted to allow the Mayor of South Frontenac 2 votes. During the discussion it was noted that changes to the County structure has come up off and on over the last 10 years. (During restructuring, school board and townships numbers were reduced, and the County became the Frontenac Management Board later restored as Frontenac County). The question arises: Does the County serve the township or vice versa.?
It was a happy evening for the WI Historical Society when council approved the society’s proposal, presented by Brian Johnson, for the use of the LaRush house (WI’s oldest house) and property as a seasonal museum (July 1- Sept. 7th) and their plans for fund raising. Also present was Victoria Stewart and Pat Casey. The Society has been looking to establish a museum and anticipate a positive community response because of the increased interest in island history and genealogy. Mayor Vanden Hoek said it might be important to have a township representative on the Historical Society’s board.
In other business Ken Hook, General Manager of the Land O’Lakes Tourist Association presented an overview of the 200 member association and its activities. He referred council to the Land O’Lakes web site, their map (available at Info Centre & Township offices) and visitor guides which are distributed throughout the province. He also spoke of making it possible for everyone to travel if municipalities take advantage of Community Assessment grants to determine accessibility requirements.(ramps, doors etc) and Accessibility grants which offer a 40% refund on material costs.(money must be spent by March 31st).
Council passed resolutions setting fees for building permit and planning applications, as well as a resolution to adopt an Accessible Customer Service Policy. (All worth a read).
Mayor Vanden Hoek acknowledged MPP John Gerretsen’s letter to Minister of Transportation Bradley expressing the townships concerns about the Howe Island ferry service.
Council acknowledged the recent announcement of Federal, Provincial and Municipal stimulus money, $1, 027. million for Lower Side Road & Howe Island Drive Road Rehabilitation and $476,000 for WI Wind Plant Haul Roads Rehabilitation (over & above what CREC is doing).
Although members had in hand material to refresh their memories about the township’s trailer bylaw, its support and enforcement, the discussion was set aside until next month. “We need to enforce it,” the Mayor said.
In what appeared as a surprise announcement Councillor Wayne Grant was appointed Medical Clinic Board representative replacing Councillor Dennis Doyle who recently led the community through the WI Medical needs assessment. Grant was also appointed representative to the WI Volunteer Fire Department and Pat Norris representative to the Howe Island Fire and Rescue.
Council supported WIBTA’s application to FCFDC for Marysville enhancements; made a $75.donation to the WI Plowmen’s Association, will place an ad in the Frontenac County Plowing Match tabloid, and announced Electronic Waste Days for both Wolfe and Howe islands. Notices will be sent out. Trees will be planted at the Howe Island ball diamond. The 2009 Township budget will be adopted at a meeting on Howe Island June 30, 10 am. Council meets next July 13th on Wolfe Island.
Other News FYI: 1. WI Ferry EA: MTO hopes to announce the consultant for the WI Ferry EA at which time, possible dates for Public Information Centres can be established. The contract for work on the Barrack Street ramp has been awarded to Tomlinson Construction. MTO is working with them to identify the project schedule with ramp replacement in the fall. Work is scheduled to start on the ramps at Dawson's Point in mid to late summer followed by the Marysville ramp replacement. And finally, MTO will be re-tendering the dry docking of the WI Ferry before June’s end. Dry docking is scheduled for around October 13th to be completed by December 18, (subject to change).
2. Of interest to Wolfe Island is a $102,000 grant to Frontenac County for WI Volunteer Ambulance Service Accommodation. (A grant application was pushed forward as urgent to retain the service by Mayor Vanden Hoek.)
3. “Electronic Waste Days”, Sat. July 4th & Sun. July 5th at the WI Landfill Site. An area has been set aside to accommodate the Ewaste, all to be collected by the Scott Environmental Group (CD/disk drives, desktop/laptop computers, Fax machines, keyboards, monitors, printers TV’s, terminals etc.) .”So bring it on. We’re ready,” says Eva. The Howe Island EWaste day is Sat. July 4th, 8:30 am to noon.
4. Canadian Hydro (CREC) has set up an email address and telephone number (available June 26th) to receive any comments, complaints, observations residents may have about the Wind Plant project as it nears completion. Tel. 613 385-2752. Email: email@example.com
5. Information about the WI rink was submitted to the “Cross Country Kraft TSN Celebration Tour” in hope of being chosen for one of ten $25,000 prizes for further rink development, according to Joe Taggart.
Around Town: The Marysville Makeover is underway with flower containers and spruced up gardens all over the village. Dave Staley continues to offer a great spot along the highway for visitors to stop and enjoy the island * Response has been good for ambulance service recruits. * Congratulations to all school graduates at all levels and to their ecstatic parents, family and friends delighting in their loved one’s success. Marysville Waterworks Class EA continues with a meeting with XCG Consultants regarding water supply alternatives and preferred option, Thursday, July 25th 4:30 to 7:30 pm Sacred Heart School Presentation at 6pm. (KFLA Health Unit at 4 pm)
Coming Events:* WI’s 1st Lobster Fest Sat. June 27th Sacred Heart School 7 pm. Tickets: Summer, Island Grill, Marine Museum * FOBSB Book Sale June 26th 5-8 pm Sat. June 27th 10-5 pm *Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul Ecumenical Event WI United Church Sunday, June 28th 4 pm. Welcome * WI Classic 5k -10k Road Race Sunday July 5th 9:30 am Info. www.wolfeisland.com Register www.runningroom.com or call Linda Thomas 613 - 385– 1947*WI Farmer’s Market Sunday July 5, 9:00 am-2:00 pm, Library grounds Info: Maureen Lollar 613-385-2540*WI Sailing children 8 to 14. July 20 to July 24, 9am to 4pm each day. For info. 613 385 2641.
Georgetown, a small Prince Edward Island community has issued an appeal for help, “Help a Community - Eat Lobster / Eat Lobster –Help a Community” and Wolfe Island is perhaps is the first community outside of PEI to respond to that appeal.
Angela Morin, manager of the family owned and operated ‘Island Grill’ on Wolfe Island received the letter issued by the Municipality of Georgetown in partnership with the Dept. of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development asking for help, from a friend. “ Perhaps because I am interested in “not for profit” organizations, fund raising and have some familiarity with the Maritimes as a founding member of Kingston’s Maritime Festival,” Angela said in a recent interview at The Grill.
“Because of the recession, Georgetown has an oversupply of lobster at low prices and they are looking for communities across the country prepared to order a supply of lobsters for delivery, and then organize their own “East Coast Style” lobster supper fundraisers,” she said. “This struck me as a lovely grass roots approach to asking for help and it peaked my interest as a creative idea for a small community so I made a call and soon thereafter placed an order. Within a few hours an email arrived with the all the details. Then to my surprise, I heard from Georgetown’s Mayor Peter Llewellyn as well as the CBC and Can West Global. “
She went on to say that during the wind turbine plant construction phase many workers had come from PEI to Wolfe Island to work and while here, spent time at The Grill, so the idea of holding a lobster supper, and helping a Prince Edward Island community seemed a good fit for Wolfe Island, one island helping another. “ Now, everything is falling in place to make it happen. But this is not an Island Grill event,” she said.
“It will be a Wolfe Island community happening with volunteers doing the organization and the work with any revenues from ticket sales, door prizes etc. going back into the community. I can see this Lobster Supper to help another community becoming an annual event on Wolfe Island, Morin Concluded.
The ‘Eat a Lobster- Help a Community’ event will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic School (Hwy 95 Wolfe Island) on June 27th.
Tickets now available at the Kingston Marine Museum and on Wolfe Island at the Information Centre, The Summer Store and The Island Grill
$40.00 - Cash payment preferred
For further information:
Wolfe Island LobsterFest 2009
A capacity crowd was in attendance for the AGM of the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic. Gavel in hand long time Board President Mildred Hawkins-Walton called the meeting to order ” We were extremely fortunate to get the services of a very qualified physician Dr. Deanna Daneshmend (a member of the Kingston Family Health team) this year. We really lucked in,” she said in her annual report noting the effort made by KEDCO’s Geoff Govera and Board Vice President David Colburn to recruit a doctor for the island. She spoke of the fund raising undertaken since the fire which totally destroyed the clinic, the generous donations and the over 669 individual contributions, gifts in kind, contractors, services, as well as gift certificates. “We met our $213,000 goal in November, because under the income tax act the clinic board is an independent not for profit, registered charitable organization must have its money up front before it can consider building. “We could not go to a bank for a mortgage or a loan. And, a “health needs assessment” paid for by the township and undertaken by a committee chaired by Councillor Doyle, while much appreciated, slowed moving on to construction,” she said. Following an in-depth comparison of building proposals for a new clinic, a Guildcrest Energy Star modular plan was chosen. Walton expressed thanks to Jim Hulton and Keith Walton who volunteered expertise for the new clinic oversite. Also to VP David Colburn (who replaced her when she was ill) and to all the directors Catherine Merry, Donna Ivimey, Colleen Woodman, Elise Huffman, Kathy Gilbert and Walter Knott for their efforts during the year.
Walter Knott presented the Secker, Ross & Perry audited financial report noting their ongoing interest in the Medical Clinic. Knott, a member of the building committee presented an overview of what has been going on to date towards new clinic construction. “Times have changed,” he said. “ There are new rules, new regulations and new requirements that must be fulfilled before a building permit is issued. The lot is staked out, a number of components have been ordered, all documents have been submitted to the building inspector and the board must wait for his decision before proceeding.”
VP Colburn clarified the advantages of rostering as a patient with a doctor who is a member of a Health Team and the “fee for service” model. Councillor Doyle provided an overview of the medical needs survey, the ambulance service needs and conveyed the importance of encouraging residents without a physician to roster with W.I.’s doctor.
A vigorous Q&A followed concerning the new building, its construction, uses, annual upkeep and fund raising for the privately owned facility. Concerns were also raised about the island’s ambulance service. Sally Kane reported a good response to the appeal for volunteers.There was a request for a public meeting to meet the new doctor.
It was at this point, when introducing her long time friend Everett Hogan to chair the election process with Councillor Doyle that Mildred Hawkins -Walton announced, to the complete surprise of everyone including fellow board members, that she was not letting her name stand for re-election. “I am retiring,” she said. “ I will be 75 years old next week. I am retiring from everything except my 52 year marriage to Keith.”
A list of nominations came from the floor. Elected to the board: Donna Ivimey, Michael Bromley, Barbara Springay, Kathy Gilbert, Sam Cluff, Liz Crothers, Sally Kane, Walter Knott. Chosen by elected members as officers: President- Kathy Gilbert, Vice Pres.- Barbara Springay, Secretary
Donna Ivimey, Treasurer -Walter Knott. Continuing as council representative to the board Dennis Doyle. (This latter has since been changed)
Around Town: In another in a series offered by the WI Historical Society, Brian MacDonald, chair of the genealogy committee presented an in depth history of Wolfe Island, (Grande Isle, Alexander Grant, etc.) its ownership, early settlers and the interconnectedness of so many of today’s island families as well as his own MacDonald (McDonell) clan. His sister Anne Marie(MacDonald) Benson offered insights into where and how individuals can find and search out archival records (wills, deeds, maps, letters, etc.). and had many books, binders and documents on display, as well a list of resources for those wanting to search out their own ancestry. The president Brian Johnson, took the opportunity to thank the association’s sponsors, encourage membership and to announce that the township has offered the association the opportunity to present their to create a museum at its recently acquired Larush house in Marysville.
2. At a WIBTA (Business & Tourism) meeting Anne Pritchard, executive director of the Frontenac County Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) announced an incredible list of business development opportunities to stimulate the economy for Frontenac County communities, not for profits’(NFP), businesses, entrepreneurs and students to apply for assistance grants to establish internships, new projects, businesses including agricultural or enhance existing ones in areas such as marketing, innovation and communication, local improvement, festivals, skills development . She invited members to contact FCFDC for information and support and to search their website.
3. Thomas Mohr, who hopes to establish a business refurbishing shipping containers for unique, short or long term solutions for housing, schools, multi housing etc. and Judy Greenwood Speers, an enthusiast in the proposed venture presented a case for such a business on Wolfe Island and how it could be accomplished, (land, work force, ferry use etc) Speers indicated the company will be registered with the Province of Ontario.
Councillor Doyle outlined the difficulties confronting the WI volunteer ambulance service (numbers & accommodation) and recruiting progress. Note also that planning for the annual WI Road Race, is underway and the Marysville Makeover Competition has begun.
At a public meeting on WI where Patrick Thompson (Thompson Construction Management)outlined the condition WI Community Hall and the Larush House (both buildings with much history), the consensus was that for continued community use of the hall, the heating and electrical systems including lighting should be upgraded subject to available financing. Its renovation and the future use and rehabilitation of the Larush house would be continuing project.
Coming Events: Kane-Mosier Golf Tournament June 13th .* Creatures 101 June 17th, UC Hall, 7 pm. (live creatures) * Friends of Big Sandy Bay Book Sale Friday June 26th (5-7 pm).Sat. (9-5) June 27th Old Fire Hall * Lobster Fest June 27th, 7pm, Sacred Heart School “Eat Lobster- Help a Community * Barrett’s Bay Regatta, June 21st. Island Grill Dock *Community Euchre now at 7pm Thurs. UC Hall.
Frontenac By-Law Enforcement Officer Ken Gilpen is a man who likes his job. That was clearly evident as he described what he does at the May meeting of Frontenac Island Council. An independent contractor,(22 years experience) his work in bylaw enforcement through much of Eastern Ontario includes trailers, animal control, property standards, traffic ticketing, etc.
According to Gilpen each municipality or town deals differently with safe property standards, parking, trailers or whatever. “Some municipalities are proactive, others- reactive. In a proactive community at the request of the township we go door to door regularly to deal with safe property issues. In a reactive situation we operate on the basis of a written complaint but in these situations there is always concern about repercussions. In fact the complainant is protected under the freedom of information act,” he said. “Orders are issued for a clean up in 30 days, perhaps with an extension and if the order is not carried out it gets done at a cost.”
Regarding trailers Gilpen noted that in some places people pay a $1500 retainer for a trailer during house construction, returned upon completion and the trailer removed. He also commented that since trailers use the same services (roads, landfill, etc) as other residential properties there should be a licensing fee “Why should a person using a trailer for the summer months pay nothing.” (The trailer issue last came up in 2005 when the public presented reasons to council why rules governing trailers in the municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law 28-2003, should be changed..
Mayor Vanden Hoek said he was unaware that a complaint could be held in confidence by the Chief Administrative Officer. He also noted that the residential use of trailers is getting out of hand with people using all township amenities but paying vacant land taxes. with a loss to township revenue. Councillor Norris sees the reactive approach as the better way to go rather than hitting a community all at one time. Regarding trailers he said that even prior to amalgamation licensed trailers on Howe Island paid a monthly fee and were subject to other requirements. He would like the bylaw rewritten to allow trailer parking but not on waterfront property. The Mayor asked about the possibility of a resolution that Frontenac Islands become proactive about trailers. “We have hundreds of trailers. What I was hoping for tonight was a resolution enforcing the existing bylaw related.”
At this time however it seems members of council prefer the reactive approach. CAO O’Shea will put information together related to the amalgamated Official Plan and Zoning bylaw, existing trailer bylaws, legal documents and freedom of information material in advance of June meeting when bylaw enforcement will again be an agenda item.
Heritage Fund: As Frontenac Islands prepares to receive amenities agreement funds, council has begun to consider the best use of those funds. To that end, based on a suggestion from the community, members of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, Diane Kelly, Chris West and Scott Miller were present to discuss what the Community Foundation does and how a Heritage Fund using revenues from the WI Wind Plant Amenities Agreement could be set up. It was determined that further on in the public process about the funds the Community Foundation would be invited back.
Howe islander Heather Lippert ‘s request that council authorize snowplowing of the first 70 metres on Fuller Road, a limited service road, was denied. Canada Post had asked the Lippert’s to move their mailbox from Howe Island Drive to Fuller Road resulting in their request to council.
Wolfe Island Music Festival: Once again the township will allow overnight camping one night only (Aug. 8th) at the WI Community Centre grounds during the annual Music Festival. A vendor’s village will also be allowed for one day. An interesting discussion arose regarding the funds raised from the music festival intended for the township’s Community Centre Board’s ongoing projects. Some ofwhich are used as seed money to organize the annual festival. Councillors Doyle and Grant stated that better controls concerning revenues from all fund raising projects are needed in the future.
According to Mayor Vanden Hoek, “from a tourism perspective , it makes all the sense in the world to have the music festival on the island , but it is the precedents we set now that could lead to trouble down the road.” A further resolution was past to close a portion of Marysville’s main street on Aug. 8th for the festival’s Hootenanny.
Other Business: In response to a letter from the HI Ratepayers Association regarding the Official Plan Review the Township is waiting for a reply from Tunnock Consulting. Some land use issues have yet to be resolved.. A request for re-imbursement for car damage on a WI road has been referred to Canadian Projects Limited. Councilor Doyle outlined a Community Centre Board’s request to bid on a “Zamboni for the rink” available in Kingston. He also noted that Big Sandy Bay is now staffed and open weekends till June 15th then full time until Labour Day. Doyle asked about road work to be completed particularly at the foot as he is in receipt of a lot of complaints. . Councillor Fiene talked about Sustainability noting all kinds of options (40 initiatives) in Kingston . “How can Frontenac Islands get in on the action.” Councillor Grant asked that thanks be extended to WI Business & Tourism for a successful Pitch In Day. In reference to that he said far too much plastic (chairs , toys etc) going over the side at the landfill site… bad .. very bad.. (Plastics will be on June agenda.) Council meets next Howe Island June 8th at 6:30 pm.
Around Town: The WI Community Centre Board issued a newsletter indicating that fundraising for the new rink is ongoing with a “chilling unit” and roof high as priorities.
Frontenac County’s Paul Charbonneau says: there was some response to appeal for new WI ambulance Volunteers. Information meeting ASAP. Training CPR/First Aid over summer(hopefully)with Emergency First Response course in September.
Whirling Wind towers bringing many visitors, by boat, by bus, by car, walking, cycling, hiking.
Coming Events: *Marysville Make Over Garden Competition begins June 1st *6th Kane- Mosier Golf Tournament June 13that the Riverfront. * Big Sandy Bay- OPEN weekends. Fulltime June 15-Sept.7th. *WI Barrett’s Bay Regatta June 21st at Island Grill. *WI Lobster Fest June 27th Watch for details. * Friends of BSB Book Sale June 26TH 5-8 pm. Sat. June 27th 10 a.m.- 5 p.m
Wolfe Island was busy over the last days with meetings that could affect the future of the island . Residents were treated to a first Public Information Centre regarding the Marysville waterworks Class Environmental Assessment undertaken by XCG Consultants. The meeting brought out residents and business owners to talk about water in the village, or not. The community does not have a secure drinking water source and the township is investigating options for a reliable long-term drinking water supply. Most village residents rely on bottled water for drinking
A list of 7 potential alternatives was outlined. The preliminary evaluation ranked alternatives: 1. Construction of surface water drinking water supply with a distribution system. 2.Construction of a distribution system with water coming from Kingston. (Kingston Water is trucked to schools and residences now) 3.Upgrade existing water supplies. The next phase of the EA includes identifying the preferred alternative, continuing consultation with public and review agencies, developing alternative design concepts and future public information centres and, if supported, maybe moving forward. A vigorous question period followed. Why a water system and not sewage system was a concern. Others were about the size of the assessment area which extends out of the village proper, about who pays what is expected to be an exorbitant cost to village residents, and the need for an opting out clause. One resident sees moving forward with water without sewage as ludicrous. “Easy access to water means more pump out costs.” A final comment came from one resident who strongly declared, “ Our problem! deal with polluters first.” For further information or to submit comments contact Kingston’s XCG Consultants.
COUNTY MEETING: Frontenac County held a special public council meeting on Wolfe Island . Its purpose was to look at the makeup of County council and how it could be changed. Present was Warden Janet Gutowski (who is also Central Frontenac Mayor), North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire, South Frontenac Mayor Gary Davison, and Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek Also present County CAO Elizabeth Savill and Treasurer Marian Van Bruinessen . County Council has been holding meetings in all of the townships to seek resident input. Doug Armstrong, of Armstrong Associates, presented his County Council composition report and offered the following recommendation : that the county continue to include the County’s four township mayors but add three members elected from two new county wards. It is County Council’s intention to pass a bylaw to that effect at their next regular meeting. In response to a question whether this approach had been tried before, Armstrong said it is in process in Kawartha. At the same meeting the members considered 3 applications to the Building Canada Fund and the HRDC Enabling Accessibility Fund, a South Frontenac Ambulance Centre with 2 bays, a Fairmount Home auditorium renovation, and a Fairmount Home new entry way. It was at this point that Mayor Vanden Hoek brought forward a request that Director of the county’s Paramedic Services, Paul Charbonneau, submit another application to the Build Canada Fund immediately, for a facility to house WI Ambulance Service volunteers. By resolution, council agreed to adding the application as one of 3 to move forward and to removing the Fairmount Home auditorium project at this time.
CONTAINER HOMES: Intermodal Steel Building Units & Container Homes. WI resident Mrs. Judy Greenwood Speers invited builder Thomas Mohr and his son Shawn Mohr to speak to a number of residents about his desire to find an island location and financial assistance, to establish a manufacturing company that would recycle, restore, and convert, steel containers into homes using green products, systems and insulation techniques for heat and cooling. Mohr, noting that the concept is not new, pointed out that at the outset they would establish a research and development division that would also be responsible for acquiring raw containers. Mohr believes his approach can provide cost effective, safe, secure. housing, buildings and shelters in any number of situations. During the question and answer period Mohr stated that he had no specific plans at this time but is hoping to move forward. (see www.containercity.ca for more information.) AND along with all the above, difficult Township Budget meetings continue.
Around Town: The Canadian Hydro WI Wind Project began commissioning the first of its 86 wind turbines with 7 now turning, and is on target to begin commercial operations by the end of June. All the required infrastructure and testing has been approved. Once operational, the facility will generate landowner and community income through royalties, taxes, and the Amenities Agreement.
To verify the predictions made in the ERR, a comprehensive Post-Construction Follow-up Plan for bird and bat resources (PCFP) is being developed among Environment Canada, CWS, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ducks Unlimited Canada and CREC containing provisions for “adaptive management strategies” should significant adverse environmental effects be identified during the monitoring works. It is the intent of the PCFP, currently in draft form, is to mitigate any such effects so they do not become significant and may be viewed on the project website. Canadian Hydro is also planning to develop a visitor centre at their property on the 5th line. You will note many of the workers, the barge, and much of the equipment has left.. At the same time the number of visitors to the island to view towers is already on the increase.
While on Howe Island, the Garden Buds will design and plant a garden around the new Fire Hall. But sadly on WI, newly planted trees at Big Sandy Bay have been taken. As well, a small Blue Spruce at the end of the 11th Line (planted by a grieving family following a death on the road) had made it through the winter, but now is no longer there.
Tourism took a step forward with new sidewalk pavement put in place along the ferry-line-up route in the village. Plans are underway for a public wash room facility close by. This may seem somewhat trivial but public washrooms are at a premium. WIBTA has purchased directional as well as information signs (with FCFDC assistance) also for the benefit of tourists.
Coming Events:* The Annual ‘FISH FRY” & Plant Sale at the WI United Church Hall, Sat. May 16th Doors Open @ 4:30 pm * WI HORSE SHOW DATES at the Community Centre Grounds all on Saturday’s at 9:30 am, May 23rd, June 6th, June 20th, July 4th, July 11th *WI’s Barrett’s Bay Regatta Sunday, June 21st
Chief B. Branscome, from the Ontario Fire Marshals Office, presented a Certificate of Compliance to Howe Island Chief Mike Quinn and WI Chief James White, at the recent meeting of Frontenac Islands Council meeting on Howe Island.
The Fire Protection Act passed in 1997 included mandatory public education requirements for municipalities with respect to fire safety, and the components of fire prevention; (use of domestic fire extinguishers, CPR and smoke alarm use) to be provided through a fire department or a community fire safety officer or team. Both Howe and Wolfe Island have well trained and active volunteer Fire Departments. In his presentation, Brascome noted that people like himself were appointed to travel the province, visit the municipalities and determine if they were compliant with the regulations. ”You will notice that your certificate is dated Dec. 22, 2008,” he said. “While our respective workloads have delayed presenting this certificate, it is major step which states Frontenac Islands, that is Howe and Wolfe Islands are in compliance. Our numbers show we are winning with regard to fire prevention throughout the province. We have to rely on the fire services, the fire departments, the fire chiefs to get the message out. I would like to thank the township, Chief Quinn and Chief White, and present this certificate of compliance in recognition of what their departments have accomplished.” In response the mayor said that it is acknowledged on the islands “how fortunate we are to have the volunteers and the two Fire Chiefs we have. Our volunteer fire services are held in high regard by islanders and we share their pride.”
Members of the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association (WIBTA), Liz Crothers and Judy Smitten presented their case, including costs as requested in March, for 2 seasonal public washrooms, fencing, cement pad, fencing, maintenance and motion lights, located along the ferry line-up near the community dock, as well as a reminder about sidewalk improvement. “There is a real need for these to further promote tourism,” Crothers said. In receipt of council’s approval they hope to have the facility open in May. WIBTA also presented a request for an increase in their annual grant to initiate new events and respond to ‘First Impression’ recommendations but also because the annual “road race” no longer generates the income they depend on (specifically cash sponsorships). Crothers announced that WIBTA is organizing a two category (annual) Garden Competition for the beautification of Marysville with substantial prizes $500 & $250 for winners in both categories and a $100 Peoples Choice prize for group sponsored containers
Under new business Mayor Vanden Hoek discussed both the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic and the island’s ambulance service. In attendance David Colburn, VP of the clinic board, and Keith Walton as well as David Gemmill, Deputy Chief, Frontenac County Paramedic Services, and Fire Chief White. The mayor said that at one time there were as many as 20 local ambulance service volunteers, while now there are only 4 with the majority of volunteers coming from “off island” and requiring adequate accommodation on the island. “ I bring this up as a Frontenac County Paramedic Services issue and to determine whether the Medical Clinic Board (MCB) would be willing to provide overnight accommodation for the volunteers in their new building proposal. The Mayor reiterated his comments regarding the value of the volunteer service, the importance of maintaining it and the disadvantages of the options if it can’t be maintained. ”The ferry would go the wrong way,” he said. Councillor Doyle said the MCB would like to help and has discussed options, a bi-level, larger facility. Following some discussion it was left to the key players to meet and determine what to do about the issue, how better to accommodate ambulance volunteers. (FYI: A follow-up meeting was held on April 21st at which time the subject was fully discussed with the mayor stating once again that the community expects the volunteer accommodation (plans,funding options) issue to be resolved. The Medical Clinic will proceed with its building but consider county/ township options for some collaboration (extension & land use). In the interim the MCB will provide “ high speed internet” for both itself and the ambulance volunteers. K. Walton was concerned about the independence of the Medical Clinic board.
Under new business: The Township will submit a request to Ministry of Natural Resources for a deer count on both islands and to reduce the deer population on Wolfe Island to acceptable levels.
The Dispute Resolution protocol with regard to the Wolfe Island Wind Plant prepared by McIntosh Perry was accepted. The information will be posted on the township’s web site.
Frontenac County is holding meetings about changing the makeup of the county. Legislated Public meetings: WI Town Hall, Thurs. Apr. 30th,. Howe Island, May 14th. Both 7-8 pm.
P. Thompson of TCMS has completed building condition surveys of the WI Community Hall and the township’s Leander Street property with a number of upgrade options. The WI Historical Society is interested in the latter property. A meeting regarding both will be held at the WI Community Hall Wed. May 13th 7pm. As well ‘Pitch In’ dates have been set for both islands.
Mayor Vanden Hoek has concerns about the how the Community Centre Board can further proceed with the new rink on Wolfe Island and sees the necessity of engaging the province. This will be an agenda item at the May 11th Frontenac Islands Council meeting on Wolfe Island.
Around Town:* Much of the equipment used for wind turbine construction has already left the island. All 86 towers are now in place. A few minor glitches prevented the test start up of a few towers until early in May. It is unclear at the moment when the work on the Barrack Street ramp will happen. *Regulation boards are up around the new island rink. The township is looking for volunteers to serve on the Community Centre Board. It oversees the operations at the Community Centre grounds, coordinates/sponsors a number of fund raising and community events. If interested submit your name to the WI Town Hall. *A contract has been signed for a new medical clinic building.
Coming Events: Sacred Heart School’s Spring Fling Thurs. May 7th 5:30 pm. Tickets $5 *Pitch In Day May 9th Wolfe Island * Mothers Day Walk to Big Sandy May 10th Info: Vicki Johnson 613-385-1521 FISH FRY” & Plant Sale WI United Hall May 16th *Community Euchre UC Hall Thurs. 6:45 pm
OSPREY CHOOSE PRECARIOUS PERCH??
Concern has been raised on Wolfe Island about Osprey which decided to build their nest on one of the hydro lamp standards for a baseball diamond at the Community Centre grounds.
It is not unusual for Osprey to build nests on utility poles. As a matter of fact Osprey have been doing much the same thing at Belle Park in Kingston and in 2008 caused a power outage. The differences between the two situations, however, are rather striking . The nest in Kingston according to news reports was a meter wide and in a fairly isolated area.
The nest under construction on Wolfe Island was in the heart of the community of Marysville and in a much earlier state of development, a first time build, and there were no eggs when the situation was brought to the attention of Frontenac Islands Township. According to information about Osprey, egg laying does not happen until the nest is complete.
MNR granted a one time permit for the nest to come down and it did. While there appears to be no concern on the part of the Osprey over the level of activity presently going on around them, the light pole (one of many) on a ball diamond, and is in close proximity to a school, a children’s playground, a church and a number of homes. People run inside the ball diamond. Children and teachers use it, people walk their dogs and during the summer the community centre grounds buzz with activity, horse shows, the Family Ball tournament and the Music Festival.
The township is looking at ways to safely dissuade the birds from rebuilding on any of the many dangerous light poles and will erect a pole and platform a safe distance from the site as one option, as the Osprey seem determined to rebuild. (Hydro One also added deterants on top all the light poles to prevent attemps at rebuilding)It is important to say that Osprey have safely nested on Wolfe Island for years and their numbers are on the increase. But, the window of opportunity was small. What else to do? Turn off the power to a ball diamond? Close down the Community Centre grounds ?
As the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic Board pursues its objective to build a clinic appropriate for the islands needs, a rumour of the possible demise of the island’s volunteer paramedic ambulance service keeps rearing its ugly head. A terrifying thought for any islander but more particularly perhaps for those at risk of heart attack, stroke and other medical emergencies where time is of the essence. Knowing that there are trained personnel and an ambulance available is for many, what makes it possible to live on the island. Next to the ferry itself, the ambulance is a life line and continues to be a number #1 island priority.
Paul Charbonneau, Frontenac County’s Director of Emergency Services& Transportation Services, Chief of Paramedics is also well aware of the importance of the ambulance service to the island. He said in a recent telephone interview “that the idea that the ambulance service would leave the island is absolutely incorrect. As a matter of fact, a Rural Ambulance Service Review completed by the IBI Group says the WI Service is very efficient and based on the number of calls it receives, there should be no change to its volunteer operation.”
Charbonneau went on to correct a statement that is circulating that the WI Service has only four volunteers. “No, he said, “the service has fourteen volunteers but only four of them reside on the island, and that’s one of the major challenge we are having. We need recruits. Campaigns have been held every year since the County has been operating the Emergency Services. But despite hard recruiting, we have had relatively little success in getting “local Island people” to volunteer.” He noted that the island’s ambulance service has been kept operating because a number of trained volunteers from ‘off the island’, who for a number of reasons, come and spend week nights and week ends at the station. “A teacher from Kingston, a lawyer from Toronto, a MTO employee among others,” he said.
Charbonneau pointed out that the government continues to change the requirements for someone to be a paramedic even at the volunteer level making it more difficult operate a volunteer service. “At one time you could be a volunteer with a drivers license and a first aid certificate and maybe 20 hours of training. Now however the training is almost 200 hours, which is a big commitment. So big in fact, I had someone who is retiring to the island call to volunteer and when he heard about the training etc. he said he was not looking for a part-time job, just a volunteer experience. So, we are challenged, absolutely challenged in trying to keep our volunteer numbers up.”
The cost of the Volunteer Ambulance Service right now is $160,000. Volunteers receive $5. per hour and $50 per call as compared to $35-$40 per hour for permanent staff. To operate the same type of service with paid employees 24/7 would be $1Million, approximately six times more. Some of the costs are picked up by the province and the balance covered by the County and Kingston. Remember that the county recovers all its costs from the townships.
According to Charbonneau the challenges for the Wolfe Island service are two fold, volunteer recruitment and volunteer accommodation since 75 percent of the volunteers come from off the island. The space the volunteers have at the island’s emergency services building is very public and not conducive for sleep because the Fire Hall is often used for community events, training , receptions, etc. “When it was built, all the volunteers lived on the island. They would go to a call, come back, clean up the ambulance and go home. I don’t think we will ever get back to that style, maybe 50/50.” He added that as a short term solution, an office in the building has been made available for the volunteer.
Charbonneau stated that 16 is the optimum number of volunteers required to service Wolfe Island noting the number is presently down to 14. There are two trainees however who may be on the road in May. “ But right now in April we are even more challenged to fill all the shifts on the island. That means there will be days with only one ‘first response’ volunteer with the ambulance, other days it will be fully staffed on the island and days when the island is serviced from Kingston. The County is working with MTO to make sure that the boat is located in the right location in that situation,” he said. “ It is important to state that I see this April staffing problem as temporary ,” Charbonneau said. “Volunteers have taken time off and students are writing exams. Things will improve but those are the challenges that keep coming up because, we are just not recruiting volunteers. So I hope ‘the positive’ from this discussion will be that people will come forward who thus far we have been unable able to find..
Mr. Charbonneau indicated he has held a number of meetings on Wolfe Island about the ambulance service. At one meeting there was a suggestion that the island should only have a first response facility. ” But that is not where we are going. We are committed to ensuring that the volunteer ambulance service continues. And with the help of Mayor Vanden Hoek and members of council we are coming up with some new strategies. The Mayor has come up with some very innovative ideas as to how we can support volunteer training,” Charbonneau said.
“I have spoken to Councillor Doyle, (council representative to the Medical Clinic Board) about possible accommodation/space for ambulance personnel in the new Medical Clinic facility under consideration by Medical Board . (At a recent meeting of the Medical Clinic Board a resolution was passed to consider a proposal from the municipality to provide accommodation for the ambulance service staff in the new medical clinic building.)
Charbonneau is hoping that ‘the positive outcome’ of informing the community about the situation with the ambulance service will be that people, whom thus far they have not been able to find, will recognize the need and come forward. “If I could recruit 20 WI Ambulance Service volunteers, we would have a viable service well into the future. Right now I would be happy with four.”
Around Town: *Busy weekend on Wolfe Island. Cyclists in droves to see wind turbines.
The Mayor Speaks Out!
Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek spoke out today about the difficulties facing the Wolfe Island Volunteer Ambulance Service.” I think that the WI service is most important to the island. We would be a poorer community without it. But the challenges is that 75 %, (8 of 12) of the volunteers are now from the mainland and we have to find a way to have more island volunteers,” he said.
“We met with Paul Charbonneau, Director of the Paramedic Services and Frontenac County staff who are looking at incentives, perhaps changes to the volunteer compensation, pay for training and ways to make conditions more acceptable for volunteers. There are two pieces to this. We have island volunteers and the non-island volunteers and as the number of ‘non-island’ volunteers increased we did not provide better overnight accommodation. As well as accommodating non island volunteers, the key to the success of the island’s service is to have more island volunteers,” the Mayor reiterated. In a recent Ambulance Service review there is no indication on the part of the service provider to take the ambulance service away from the island but it must have more volunteers.
Vanden Hoek believes Wolfe Island is the perfect place for a volunteer service. “We really have no other option if you think about it. We do not want to go to “First Response” because that would mean the ferry is on the wrong side of the river. I know the community wants the service to thrive but the next significant step is to acknowledge the incredible work of our present volunteers and at the same time create a spirit of volunteerism that steers islanders to the Ambulance Service because without that we will be challenged for a long time. I want islanders know that. We absolutely have to have a Volunteer Service . With our call volume there is no other operating model for the island. In the past number of years we have done a number of things to improve the service but we have to do more. The opportunity that exists with the Medical Clinic at this time offers a way to anchor the Ambulance Service for the next 25 years. Let’s take advantage of that opportunity and then do what it takes to get more Wolfe Islander’s to come forward. I am sure we can make it happen. (Medical Clinic board president, Mildred Hawkins-Walton has already indicated the willingness of the board to look at ways to assist with volunteer accommodation as they plan for their own new facility.)
Where to begin… With the wind plant? The rink? The ferry service? The Senior Residence survey? Recently as more and more wind towers go up, 70 of the 86 at last count, the media has begun to take what appears to be a new interest in Wolfe Island. Perhaps it is because, Kingston, locally at least, will be the beneficiary not only of the power generated by the Wolfe Island Wind Plant but much of the spin off in terms of tourism, new environmental program development and the province’s focus on “ going green.”
For island residents the development of the wind plant initially approved in November 2005, has been seen over the last many years as bad by some and a good thing by others, a welcome financial boost for the community as a whole, or a blight on the pastoral landscape and a danger for its natural habitat. At the same time Islanders have welcomed the flow of jobs, the (300 plus) wind plant workers and of course the dollars the project has generated thus far even before the project is operational and the anticipated long term future dollars. And whatever anyone has to say , good or bad, Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. has been not only a good employer but the company has bent over backward to cause the least amount of disruption to the island’s way of life or its life line, the ferry service. This winter the ferry was able to remain in remain in Marysville instead of moving to the winter dock with ice breaking paid for by Canadian Hydro who also paid for extra early morning ferry runs Tuesday’s and Fridays. And of course a barge has carried the bulk of heavy traffic for the project, except of course when the wind, which is what this project is all about, was blowing too hard.
In fact, wind has been the major setback for the entire project, already raising the price from $450 million to $475 million and delaying its completion. None the less within the next couple of weeks a number of the turbines (30 perhaps) will be put in motion and turbine blades, now facing every which way will begin to turn in synch. No doubt many people will be there to watch, to listen, to complain or rejoice that it’s finally happening. And of course at that time the post-construction follow-up process of the many aspects of the project will begin in earnest. But on that day, the project’s hard working, always cheerful, site supervisor Mike Jablonicky, (now a permanent island resident, and he can sing to) will be nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. www.wolfeislandwind.com
Wolfe Island’s Hockey Rink:
With the approval of Frontenac Islands council, and the determination of the township’s Community Centre Board (CCB)along with the $90,000 raised by them, plus the financial assistance ($100,000) from Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry, a long time island resident, and the township’s $70,000 a new hockey rink was born.
A regulation hockey rink has been talked about, dreamed about for years. There have been many plans put forward but nothing that the island could ever hope to pay for. However when the CCBoard realized that it would be just a matter of days before the trucks, the crews, the cement plant, ALL on the island for the Wind Plant project, would be leaving, they scaled back their plan and asked for help by way of material, labour, services, equipment, specialized expertise and for volunteers. They got it all and in abundance and, with only 11 days to complete the major portion of the job, work began immediately. CCB member Danny Hulton a rink mover and shaker, has yet to stop smiling.
Digging happened. Gravel, sand, and trucks to dump it. Concrete came from Lafarge. Specialized equipment appeared to level and roll. Rebar for the pad, and whatever special piping is required for artificial ice was put in place for a time when sufficient funds can be raised for an ice machine and, hopefully a roof. And how about that insulation, plastic and taping! In spite of the cold, many volunteers including young people were all there to help working well into the evenings, and in typical island fashion, food arrived. Rink Champion Don Cherry happily signed autographs delighting in the going’s on. “This is a real community project, “ he said. And indeed it is! The quick response of the CCB and council meant that the township has achieved part of their dream at a significantly reduced cost.
What’s Up with the Ferry refit?
You have seen the note on the ferry, in the post office and else where that the Wolfe Islander 111 will not go into dry dock this spring as announced some weeks ago. According to the Ministry of Transportation only one bid to fulfill the requirements of the refit was received during the tendering process. “The bid received significantly exceeds the amount that we estimated forthe repairs and dry docking of the Wolfe Islander III ferry. We therefore are not awarding the contract at this time.” Recognizing the importance of maintaining the integrity of the tendering process and following the tendering protocol MTO will re-issue the bid in June with the work to be completed in the fall. However the ramp replacement work scheduled for this spring at the Barrack Street dock will proceed
Seniors’ Retirement facility.:
The conclusion drawn from the focus group discussions and from survey results is that there is a strong desire to have a reasonably sized and priced seniors’ residence on the island. However there are many questions to be answered before a shovel can go in the ground. The matter of size, number of units, water supply, sewage handling, location and land, type of structure, safety regulations etc. must be resolved before any discussion about management methods and operation can be worked out. The case for a solid business plan is important whether a facility is developed by a private entrepreneur or by a community not for profit group.
Around Town: *WI’s Jason and Christina Pyke chosen the 2009 Ontario Outstanding Young Farmers will represent Ontario at the National competition and compete for the title of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers. *The WI Post Office has entered the new computerized age according to ‘Diane”our Post Master.
Coming events: *Ham Supper, St. Margaret’s Hull April 18th. Doors Open 4:30 pm. * “Out of the Trunk” Quilt Show, April 24th 6:30 to 9pm, April 25th 10am-4:30 pm Admission $3.00 *Frontenac Islands Council Howe Island Tues April 14th. 6:30 pm.
Wolfe Island’s Community Centre Board (CCB) received approval to move forward with their outdoor ice pad proposal at a special meeting of council held Friday March 13th, In the absence of Mayor Vanden Hoek, the meeting was chaired by Councillor Dennis Doyle. CCB members in attendance included Dan Hulton, George McAllister and Scott Hulton. Both Doyle and Councillor Wayne Grant represent council on the board. The special meeting was a follow up to the many meetings and discussions they have had with the committee members regarding the scope of their plan and the costs involved for the ice pad.
At the outset of the meeting, Councillor Doyle congratulated the members of the board for “all the money you have raised for the community over the last 7 or 8 years. You have done a lot of work and we thank you. We wouldn’t be here today except for your efforts,’ he said. Doyle noted that the committee members had been working extra hard over the last couple of weeks when they realized they had to move quickly with the assistance of the wind plant construction workers while they are still on the island
“You have over the last few years rationalized the scope of the original project proposal and have scaled it down to something we can afford to build and to operate. I think it is time to move forward,” Doyle said. With that, Council approved an expenditure of up to $252,000 by the Community Centre Board for site preparation, concrete, rebar, insulation, tubing and headers, and dasher boards for an the outdoor ice pad.
The ice pad will be located at the site of the old tennis court at the Community Centre grounds. A request will be made to Canadian Hydro to allow the Lafarge Cement plant to remain open 3 extra days beyond their planned closing date. Work has already begun at the site where fencing has been removed and the tennis court has been stripped down to bare rock to be filled with approximately four feet of various sizes of rock and gravel followed by a sand pad, tubing etc. The ice pad when completed will be concrete with the necessary piping for artificial ice in the future. A quick ask around the community indicates much support for the project.
Congratulations to Wolfe Island’s Jason and Christina Pyke who were chosen as the 2009 Ontario Outstanding Young Farmers. They received the top honour at the provincial awards ceremony held recently in London, Ont. Jason and Christina will now represent Ontario at the National competition being held from December 1-6th in Ottawa, where they will compete with other farmers from across Canada for the title of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.
The national competition is sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Bayer Crop Science, CIBC and John Deere.
Wolfe Island’s Business and Tourism Association president Linda Thomas outlined plans at the recent Frontenac Islands March 9th meeting including a number of requests for the island’s tourist season.. In response to a “First Impressions” report presented to the association, WIBTA will host a “Village Garden Competition,” with substantial prizes, as a way for businesses and homeowners to beautify Marysville. Rules for the competition are being drawn up but it will include different categories including window boxes and pots for those with limited space. “We hope to find sponsors,” Thomas said. With regard to another issue WIBTA has applied for students to assist in operating the Tourist Information Centre (10am-8pm) during July and August. She pointed out that a lack of public washrooms particularly in the evening hours is an ongoing complaint by village businesses. “I am asking the township to consider placing two portable toilets (May-Sept.) further down the ferry line at the public dock location beside the “Summer” shop.” She proposed a pad, locks and attractive fencing as well as solar street lamps and picnic tables at this public area for visitors and those attending swim/sail programs. Every municipality struggles with the question of public washrooms according to Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek “There is a reluctance not so much based on cost but because of liability issues and maintenance. You can end up with real problems using portables. I’m looking for a compromise step. The merchants do have some responsibility. This is March,” he said. WIBTA will come back to council with policies and costs(operation, budget dressing up the site, gravel) for a two month trial period.
Ms Thomas asked that since the island is a cycling destination that when roads #95&96 undergo repair that a base for a bicycle paths be included. The Mayor said that to do it right requires “champions”. “Someone needs to grab this expensive project. It won’t happen without ownership.” Councillor Doyle noted that federal money available. Thomas will follow up. She also requested that that parking bylaws are enforced during peak seasons, that waste barrels are emptied on weekends and that sidewalks that are broken or in poor repair on Road 96 from the ferry past Mosier’s Garage be repaired.
Returning once again to council, Trevor Van Allen accompanied by a number of residents from Emma Street was present to discuss his request to have Emma and Elizabeth Streets upgraded and assumed by the municipality. The mayor reminded council that there is no legal obligation to do so, that it would be a political decision, and that the issue would be dealt with by way of resolution. An intense discussion about the roads, size, materials, culverts, turn a round’s, the $6000.road deposit, local improvement, costs etc. followed. Councillor Doyle said that the original $6000.in today’s dollars would be enough to do Emma Street and that it would be up to the residents to complete Elizabeth. Deputy Mayor Fiene supported that concept but in the end the resolution that the Emma portion of the Woodman Development be brought up to standard and taken over by the Township was lost.(3-2). The Mayor said he was unsure how the issue could be brought forward again. A very frustrated Van Allen left the meeting asking, “What happened to the $6000?”
In other business Council received a positive “Annual Report for the Wolfe Island Waste Disposal Site” from Guy Laporte of the firm AECOM. He said closure of the site is slated for 2018 with a possible addition of one year. Some discussion followed regarding the neighbouring property, attenuation zone and ground water monitoring etc. The report will be submitted to Ministry of the Environment and to the property owner.
Frontenac County Treasurer Mrs. Marian. Vanbruinessen presented an update of the Frontenac Islands contract for financial services with the County. She outlined initiatives already in place (pay roll, tax bills) and her aim to provide quarterly reports noting that controls are a big issue. She is looking at ways of using bar codes for scanning tax bills etc. and has met with staff regarding policies and processes.
Council adopted a Tangible Asset Policy, as required by the Public Sector Accounting Board, meaning township accountability for everything township owned , (identification, value, amortization, longevity, disposal, documentation). They also passed a resolution to authorize the purchase of land.
Management of Big Sandy Bay falls to the Township’s BSB Stewardship Committee. Members include Councillor Dennis Doyle, Theresa Quist, Everett Hogan, Nadine Greenwood, Elise Huffman, Craig Hulton, Dan Mosier, Rick Lindgren, Barrie Gibert and a Ont. Ministry of Natural Resources representative as well as a Friends of BSB’s Linda Van Hall (back up Vicki Johnson).
Stone Heron Gallery owner Pat Sanford with the township’s permission will hang the mural depicting installation of the bubble system on the North side of the Community Hall.
Councillor Doyle presented the final Medical Clinic report highlights. He said results indicate there did not appear to be that great a demand for one; that a new facility be small, energy efficient; operating costs should not be a drain for the rest of the community; that it could be a modular factory built structure or constructed as an attachment to the existing Fire Hall. The report will be presented to the Medical Clinic board.
Councillor Grant said that the Townships Community Centre Board (CCB) is “looking to get prices for a cement rink pad” (The wind tower project’s cement plant is still on the island) and wonders if an engineers stamp is required. The Mayor while commending the CCB for raising money for the community reminded council members that the CCB must have council approval by resolution to move forward. “ While this is an opportunity, this is their vision, not ours and it has not been tested in the community,” he said. Councillors Doyle and Grant were to have further meeting with the CCB.
There was a reminder that council committee meetings are open meetings. The initial 2009 Budget meeting is March 30, 10 am on WI. (target date for budget completion May 11th) The Frontenac Islands April meeting will be held on Howe Island.
Around Town: WIBTA is looking for volunteers for the annual road race. Call Linda at: 385-1947.
Coming events: Wolfe Island’s Bruce Horne presents: The History of the Horne’s Ferry Service to the USA, Wednesday, March 25th at 7:30 p.m. Wolfe Island United Church Hall ( a WI Historical Society event.)
The Canadian Hydro Developers Wind Plant Project is moving towards completion in 2009, ending a majority of the hundreds of well paying jobs that opened up during the construction phase, (roads, gravel, cement, trucking, heavy equipment, barge and tug services, etc. etc.). Those, plus the hundreds of spin off jobs for the community makes one wonder what is next in the Greening of Wolfe Island once the road work to complete the project is finished.
It is true that with the towers located on Wolfe Island, the City of Kingston will be the beneficiary of 197.8 MW of renewable energy from the Canadian Hydro Developers Inc.’s EcoPower Centre on the island. It is also true that there will be a number of permanent jobs with Canadian Hydro Developers at the completion of the project (management, tower maintenance, education& training, information sessions) and of course there are any number of tourism projects including tours, combined events etc. that are sure to spin off in the community. But what now?
In 2007 OMAFRA’s Brian Ritchie undertook a community consultation, “Frontenac Islands 2007 and Beyond.” The process identified recreation, (facilities, programs) quality of life for senior’s (residence, programs), land use planning, opportunities for new business development and community improvements were identified as priorities.
Happening now is: An environmental assessment regarding water in Marysville and the Official Plan Review. The Medical Needs survey (supported by council) is nearing completion, and the Seniors Residence Needs Survey is ongoing. Consultations regarding the W.I. Community Hall and the recently acquired Heritage building are underway. The Committees of Council ( Big Sandy Bay, Community Centre Board etc.), Wolfe Island Business and Tourism and other community groups, organizations and businesses are gearing up for the spring and summer tourist season with annual events in the planning stage.
However when it comes to creating new jobs in these unusual times, the Municipality of Frontenac Islands, to my knowledge does not have one “shovel ready” project at this time. But Frontenac Islands has the land and the expertise to grow, produce and develop new green projects.
BIOMASS for Rural Vitality: Howe Island resident Ms. Shelagh McDonald - Executive Director of ELORIN (Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network) was the guest speaker at the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association’s AGM. Her topic Biomass for Rural Vitality and ELORIN’s support for biomass projects, specifically Stonehedge Bio Resources, John Baker’s company which aims to become the production centre for hemp based materials (building materials, palletizing etc), and a source of revenue for farmers who grow hemp. Baker has also ventured into Hemcrete® a blend of a lime based binder and hemp which form a building material (like concrete) that combats climate change and will provides further opportunities for farmers to grow hemp. (Biomass as a renewable energy source for biofuel, fibers, chemicals and heat uses plant material from switch grass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow.)
McDonald said that hemp was grown right across the region to make ship’s sails. Industrial hemp continues to be grown in Europe, is Illegal in the United States and is presently a Canadian advantage because it survives the winters and grows for a much longer season. A lively discussion followed. For more information about ELORIN: www.elorin.ca
The 2009-2010 WIBTA Board of Directors: President Linda Thomas, Vice President Maureen Lollar, Treasurer Walter Knott, Secretary Liz Crothers, Directors: Judy Smitten, Patrick Carter, Marianne Demmer, Brian McDonald.
ARTISAN CHEESE CLUSTER: For years Wolfe Island was known for its cheese. The closure of the Kraft Plant spelled the end of island cheese making. But right now Frontenac County is part of a four-county initiative (Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington and Frontenac) to explore the best ways to stimulate investment in and development of a local cheese cluster. Consultant Kathy Wood has been analysing the value chain for such an industry ––– identifying local assets and resources which could be part of an artisan cheese cluster: from milk and other input suppliers, milk/cheese distributors and people interested in working in artisan cheese to equipment suppliers, financiers, business advisors and retail outlets interested in carrying artisan cheeses made in our area. If you are interested in any aspect of the development of this cluster please let Kathy know: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 613-376-6006 as soon as possible.
Health Needs Survey: The Health needs committee chaired by Councillor Dennis Doyle released the INITIAL results of the WI Medical Needs Survey. Some 23% of the surveys were returned. The results indicate that persons 56 years of age and their family members made up the bulk of the respondents. They and their households have a physician, are satisfied with the care they receive and are not actively looking for a physician. Walk in clinics are most popular for those without a physician. The survey suggests that 6.5 percent of those who responded are potential clients for a clinic. The majority of respondents suggested the clinic should be available 2 half days, and funded by private donations not tax dollars. Respondents are interested in blood pressure testing, foot care, immunization clinics, vision services and occupational therapy. The majority do not participate in exercise or health related classes, or are not interested, too busy or too lazy for exercise. Most are interested in a modular factory built structure or an addition to the Fire Hall. Common feed back suggests that residents who now have doctors in Kingston, are reluctant to switch in case the doctor does not stay. A community meeting to meet the doctor and to hear the Medical Board’s plan for a facility was recommended.
Around Town:1. Congratulations to proud parents WI residents Kim Meathrel and Neil Michelutti on the safe arrival of their daughter Sadie, a sister for Vaughn ”on board” the ferry. Thanks to the island’s Paramedic Service. 2. Congratulations to Regiopolis Notre Dame student Trina Ghiacy, who has been awarded a Chancellor’s scholarship to attend Queens. The Ghiacy family originally from Afghanistan lived on Wolfe Island for five years. 3. Thanks to Lianne Cunningham for bringing David Francey (in concert) to the island. Great music. Great stories. Great venue.
Coming Events:*World Day of Prayer Fri. March 6th, 1pm Trinity Anglican Church. * Seniors Luncheon Sacred Heart School, 12 noon Sat. March 14th. * Hear about Horne’s Ferry Wed. March 25th 7:30 pm WI United Church. *And there is Euchre !
Frontenac Islands Mayor Vanden Hoek invited council members to submit their ideas how the money guaranteed in the wind plant amenities agreement with Canadian Hydro Developers should be spent when it begins flowing. “You have to think that it will begin delivering before this term of council ends and there will be demands on how it is handled,” the mayor said at the February council meeting. For discussion purposes he proposed a 1/3 allocations to a Heritage Fund ( long term needs), property tax reduction and new capital /operating initiatives with business plans and professional advice. The mayor added that he had spoken with an official in Gananoque where four funds were established to deal with casino money and it does not work well. “The council of the day thought they were solving a problem for the next council by allocating money to certain spots without a capital planning process or a public discussion with constituents and ended up with mill rate increases every year because the line up at the door was so long. “I know there is support for a rink, extended living and other facilities but if you want to spend money, first identify and allocate it with the community and set guidelines.We can’t have all this money coming into a municipality that only raises $1.4 million in taxes without a community discussion and a process in place on how to handle it,” the mayor said. “Capital projects are tough and high priced.”
Councillor Doyle suggested a steering committee, consultant services, the Brian Ritchie report ‘Frontenac Islands 2007 & Beyond’ for some direction and capitalizing on the island’s environmental focus to set priorities. Councillor Grant agrees with guidelines and priority and noted tax money would come from the 86 wind tower bases.
Council will begin a consultative process to establish the terms of reference and guidelines to determine community aspirations.
In other business, WI resident Mrs Gail Kenney reiterated concerns about wet lands and work done on the 2nd and 3rd line roads expressed in emails between the Kenney’s, Canadian Hydro Developers and the township. Kenny presented pictures of the road work. ”Did it adhere to the Official Plan?”. She wanted immediate answers to questions related to permits for the road work, its start date and completion, material used from where, its quality and what can be done about it by the township. (The assumption being errors were made by the township.) In response, CAO Terry O’Shea said he met with McIntosh Perry’s Steve Archibald and the township’s roads department regarding her concerns and the letter that would be sent in responce no later than Feb.13th. “My suggestion is get the letter and see what the results are,” the mayor commented.”However in terms of whether we acted inappropriately during some of the road work or without a permit is very subjective and I don’t think the municipality is going to respond to that.”.
Summer Sailing Program: WI resident Nicole Clark presented a proposal for an Ontario Sailing Associations Mobile Boom program “Summer Learn to Sail Camp” for Frontenac Islands on Wolfe Island booked from July 20 to July 24 , 9am-4pm for youngsters 8-14 years of age. It will be offered at the new township dock in Marysville Clark requested $2500 in funding to help reduce the cost per applicant. (The cost of the program is $4,490.) The organizers come with their van, 8 boats, two instructors, and a crash boat and needed equipment. “The program will be advertised in Kingston, and will require volunteer help,” Clark added. Council approved a total of up to $2,500 from the Communities in Action Grant for sports programs (obtained by Peggy Smith) and not yet spent.
MPAC Valuations:Council members engaged in a discussion about property assessments driven by market rates based on a Jan. 1, 2008 valuation and the changes in the present economic climate, and will petition the province to review the assessment system and implement instead one that sets the value of the property at the time of sale, then fixes the assessment, with annual COLA adjustments until the next sale of a property. Council believes the 25 to 100 % increases unfairly impact on seniors, fixed and low income persons and persons less able to absorb such increases.
DEER HUNT:Howe Island resident Gene Manion talked about problems of an increasing deer population on Wolfe Island and possible solutions (cull, shot gun hunt rather than just bow).” How Island has a shot gun hunt.
The mayor said in the past it has always been the municipality putting forth the request for change (shot gun) because of concerns expressed about road kill, crop damage and each time there was a strong push back by the island’s strong bow hunting lobby group and residential property owners as opposed to landowners. It is a council decision and takes about a year for any change, tags etc. following a clear set of MNR guidelines. In the past council made a request but did not make the decision to go ahead. The mayor noted that MNR has said a shot gun will have an impact on deer numbers but that a bow hunt won’t do it. Deputy Mayor Fiene said the shot gun hunt and coyotes’ have done good work on Howe Island. Council will table a resolution to MNR requesting a change (1week shot gun hunt) for the March meeting
The township will petition MTO for subsidy for the operational costs of the Howe Islander and the Simcoe Island ferries as per their ferry agreement. Council adopted the Frontenac Islands 2009 Community Profile prepared by Tunnock Consulting Limited. Council meets next March 9th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island.
Around Town: 1. Councillor W. Grant urges WI residents to complete and return the Seniors Residence Community survey. Participation in both the Medical Needs survey and the Seniors Residence survey will help clarify community needs. 2.Can. Hydro Developers has announced that due to harsher than expected weather the WI Wind Project is expected to achieve a target in-service date of June 30, 2009 (previously March 31stWork continues with 45 towers erected to date. They expect that the first two of six electrical circuits, ( approximately 30 turbines will be providing energy to the provincial grid in April.
Coming Events:* Beat the Winter Blues Feb 21st U C Hall 9am-2pm.* Pancake Supper UC Hall Feb.24th doors open 4:30 pm.*David Francey Concert, Trinity Anglican Feb.27th 8 m. Tickets Fargo’s –Mosier’s ($30. at the door) *World Day of Prayer March 6th 1 pm Trinity Anglican
This year, due to higher than expected water levels, the Wolfe Islander III continues to operate from the Marysville dock. Extra early morning trips remain in place, paid for by Canadian Hydro Developers to help ease traffic loads on the ferry. A tug boat also contracted by Canadian Hydro has been keeping the channel open during severe winter ice. At the same time a jack up ramp on the opposite side of the barrack street terminal is in place to accommodate the huge barge that carries large machinery, trucks, equipment, etc. to the Canadian Hydro Developers Wind Plant project on the island. On the island a system to reduce the number of wind plant related large trucks etc. boarding the ferry to go off the island has been instituted which gives priority to local island traffic and service vehicles. But as we all know any change or disruption to the Wolfe Island ferry service puts worry and fear into the hearts of islanders.
Most recently a short reference to the Barrack Street Ferry Terminal and the Frontenac II in The Heritage (Jan.22nd) did just that. The article outlined some of the work to being undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) over an approximate two month period from late March to May at the Kingston ferry terminal including the replacement of the hydraulic lift system and boarding ramp. In order to reduce traffic disruption MTO has received a 9-day, noise exemption from the city of Kingston to allow work to go on 24 hours a day. Further it stated that the Frontenac II would be put into service loading on the other side of the dock.
MTO spokes person Brandy Duhaime, Regional Communications Coordinator, in an exchange of messages, confirmed much of the above but added that a number of things related to the Wolfe Island ferry service are happening this year.
The Wolfe Islander III will go out of service for its required five year underwater inspection and refit and is expected to remain in dry dock for approximately 2 months. While out of service, the Frontenac II from Amherst Island will provide service to Wolfe Island. And it is while the Wolfe Islander III is gone, that MTO has a contract, expected to take nine days, to replace the ramp system at the Kingston ferry terminal. When completed the Wolfe Island ramps will also be replaced.
The Frontenac II normally will ‘side load’ at the end of the dock during that period of time. It can carry tractor trailers but when side loading, it can only carry straight trucks. However, MTO is in discussion with Canadian Hydro Developers looking at other options and the logistics around these operations. For instance if Canadian Hydro leaves the semi permanent jack-up barge, the Frontenac II loading from it, could possibly be used as roll on, roll off for the 9 days while the ramp is being replaced.
On a longer term issue, according to MTO, the Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe Island ferry services is currently in the tendering process. Their plan is to initiate the study in the spring of 2009. And so it goes..
Two Studies Underway on Wolfe Island - Surveys the Next Step: Two very distinct projects are presently underway on Wolfe Island. With both, surveys are being mailed. The greater the participation, the better the results for both.
The first, a “needs assessment for medical and health services for islanders” is supported by the Township of Frontenac Islands. A team of WI Medical Board directors including Donna Ivimey, Kathy Gilbert, Walter Knott and Councillor Dennis Doyle are working with a consultant to determine needs. The process thus far has included a series of community “focus group” meetings with past members of the WI Medical Clinic Board, a group of mature island citizens, residents with young children and finally the Ambulance Service, all in an effort to understand community concerns, what they see as priorities for medical and health services and their delivery on the island. In order to reach the broader community a survey will be mailed to all island residents for their input into the process so as to ensure that all needs are taken into consideration. On the health services side, the survey will help determine what other kinds could be provided in any future facility On the medical side with the arrival of Dr. Deanna Daneshmend, the survey will help determine her requirements with regard to a facility. The survey results, along with the focus group inputs, will be incorporated into a business plan which will determine how services could be delivered, what kind of a facility is required and how to financially manage it all. Residents are encouraged to fill out the survey and leave it at the town hall or at Fargo’s store.
A second Wolfe Island study regarding the possibility of a retirement facility for seniors was initiated by a small group of islanders some time ago. A steering committee including Councillor Wayne Grant, Councillor Doyle and Walter Knott is now in place to help the group move the study forward. A similar process with a focus group meeting and a resident survey will determine the need and the willingness of islanders to have such a retirement facility. A business plan will be prepared and made available to any group or entrepreneur interested in undertaking the project. The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation has committed to underwriting the cost of the “business plan” with the support of the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association.
Around Town:*WI Business & Tourism Association AGM Feb. 19th . Details Coming.
* Horne’s Ferry History with Bruce Horne, Wed. March 25th. (A WI Historical Society event) * And there is Euchre!
Good News for Wolfe Island
The Wolfe Island Medical Clinic Board was pleased to announce that Dr. Deanna Daneshmend , MD is offering (family) medical services on the island. A practicing physician since 1999, she is a member of the Kingston Family Health Team with offices at 401-800 Princess Street. Her arrival on Wolfe Island brings to an end a very long search for a permanent doctor and affords a new opportunity in medical care for islanders and access to increased services.
Following the departure of a previous physician to Hamilton, Kingston physician Dr. Hans Westenberg began what was supposed to be a temporary position offering a walk-in clinic at WI Medical Clinic Thursday afternoons. The temporary service lasted five years. In May of 2008 the Medical Clinic building burned to the ground and Dr. Westenberg began seeing walk-in patients at the WI Ambulance Hall located next door.
Dr. Daneshmend held her first clinic Tuesday, Jan. 20th and will return to the island every Tuesday beginning at 2:40 pm (except for emergencies) until early evening at this same location. She invites those residents who currently Do Not have a family doctor to join her family practice (with her as their family physician).
The WI clinic will be managed on an appointment basis made by calling the doctor’s secretary Wendy (613) 650-5471. Walk-in patients will be seen at the clinic if necessary. However Dr. Daneshmend strongly encourages patients to see their own doctor for on-going health care.
For the past several months a planning process including a needs assessment has been underway to determine the requirements of the community for medical services. Dr. Daneshmend has indicated her willingness to be involved in this process.
Across the township of Frontenac Islands there is a series of lanes, not roads but lanes that have not been assumed nor are they maintained by the township because they do not meet township standards. For the township to assume responsibility (take over) for them requires that the residents who live along those lanes join forces and bring them up to township standard first. The lanes run like varicose veins travelling here and there wide and narrow with few turnarounds and are the result of the many, many severances granted in the past with not much thought to access. Some are better than others but they are none the less private lanes.
With the Woodman Subdivision however, the developer, as part of the agreement was to bring the streets into the subdivision (Emma& Elizabeth) up to township standard before the municipality would take them over. The agreement has not been honoured and since the late 1990’s a subdivision resident Trevor Van Allen has been asking the township to force the issue and take over the roads. He came again to discuss his ongoing request at the recent Frontenac Islands council meeting “I think the township needs to step forward and do the right thing,” he said.
While the plan of subdivision outlines a standard for the road, the township has been unable to determine if the balance to cover the costs of works ($6000) was ever collected from the developer. Council has sought legal advice many times regarding their obligation, if any, in this situation and each time have been advised that the township is under no legal obligation to assume ownership and maintenance of the road, until it is brought up to standard by the developer. “Whatever we do now in this situation will be a political decision,” Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded council.
Councillor Doyle proposed a compromise solution that would see the road brought up to standard for as far as the money that was to be collected ($6000 in today’s dollars) would go, and that section assumed, the rest cost shared by the developer and residents. Noting the subdivision has a standard Councillor Norris pondered setting a standard for all lanes as essential in the future. Following a spirited exchange of ideas, it was determined that the township and Van Allen will get independent cost estimates to bring the road up to standard for the March council meeting. As Van Allen commented, ”we are not beyond getting involved in this issue.”
Calming the traffic in Marysville: WI resident Rick Reitzel wants traffic in Marysville to slow down and proposed the installation of speed bumps in the village and at both ends of Hwy. #96, straightening the road, courtesy cross walks, the 50km speed reduced to 25km per hour and brighter lighting. He said Canadian Hydro trucks have been advised to set village speed at 25km. “But it is still not enough, I am encouraging a Community Safe Zone in the village where everyone is welcome but at a controlled rate of speed. All I am asking for is a few hunks of cement. Signs don’t work, studies are too expensive and no police,” he said.
Mayor Vanden Hoek said there will be parking enforcement with the bylaw control officer coming on a regular basis. He is also prepared to ask the OPP to monitor the situation. He commented that Marysville has hamlet style speed problems compounded by the ferry line-ups. “There is always a reluctance to hire someone to give the answer. But perhaps we need to.”
Island resident Michelle Murray urged council to come up with a solution sooner than later as a result of a recent car incident in the village. The township will obtain cost estimates to develop a policy for “traffic calming.”
In other business: 1.The township will appoint a temporary Building Inspector.
2. Howe Island garbage contract awarded through 2011.
3.Don Eves to plow Simcoe Island Improved Township Roads
4.Any accumulated 2008 Area rated surplus or deficit is to remain in (area rated) departments and reserves including the $50,000.00 for the HI Roads/Ferry from Frontenac County.
5. The township will draft a letter to MPAC expressing the dissatisfaction of residents regarding property assessments . This relates to WI petition against MPAC assessment’s. Councillor Norris said some people were hit by 100% increases.
6. No Public Meeting dates have been set as yet for the Official Plan Review. 7. Much discussion regarding the Federal Gas tax money, to come through the county to projects defined through the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) meetings in the county. “ Frontenac Islands is somewhat detached from the rest of the county and needs to be present at all of the sessions,” the Mayor said. “We need to look at regional needs but we have to look after ourselves.”
8. Electronic Waste: nothing new on provincial program. No local containers as yet. In the interim, residents will be advised to hang onto E waste. (TV’s, computers, telephones etc.) Don’t toss it.
Councillor Doyle wants the Wolfe Island Ferry EA pushed forward since there is the possibility of government infrastructure money. He also is wondering about the status of the Dispute Resolution Protocol left with (McIntosh Perry), and continues to have concerns about roads including 2nd Line where a section seems to encroach on wetland .This was done by the township not Canadian Hydro. There has been correspondence, and emails etc. about it.)
Mayor Vanden Hoek noted council is into 2nd half of term and everyone is working hard now. With more to come with the Official Plan, further consultations (historical building), committee work etc. “there is a need to balance out the work load.” He recommended that Councillor Grant take over the Big Sandy Bay file from Councillor Doyle. He also wants councillors to write in 50 words for February’s. meeting how they think amenities agreement funds should be used. He is looking for quotes about extra work on Simcoe Island ferry dock; progress regarding a park on Howe Island; the By Law Enforcement Officer to spend more time on Wolfe Island and finally he asks that the Plan for the Township developed with OMAFRA’s Brian Ritchie, be brought back to the February 9th Council Meeting , 6:30 pm, Howe Island
Around Town: *WI Business & Tourism Association AGM Feb. 19th . Details Coming. * Horne’s Ferry History with Bruce Horne, Wed. March 25th. (A WI Historical Society event) * And there is Euchre!
Dr. Erwin Batallia, , an avid birder and field naturalist was the guest speaker at the Friends of Big Sandy Bay (FOBSB) Annual General meeting. Dr. Battalia, RMC professor, has travelled throughout North America to observe raptors and is a frequent visitor to Wolfe Island looking for Snowy Owls and short eared owls. He said Wolfe and Amherst islands have the greatest number of Snowy Owls (aside from an area in Brantford).who come from the North in search of voles. He noted as well the presence of large numbers of Rough Legged and Red Tailed Hawks along with Raptors, Vultures and Hawks and Falcons. An enthusiastic presenter, Dr. Battalia took the group through a series of bird identification slides as well as outlining the results of last year’s Christmas bird Count.
At the same meeting outgoing FOBSB president Linda Van Hal outlined some of the major activities of the organization through the year highlighting work at the site. Presentations were made to members David Clarke and David Field and a slate of officers for election was presented by Ken Keyes that will see island resident, Vicki Johnson take over as president.
Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle,and Chairman of the township’s Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee, took the opportunity to thank Linda Van Hal for her outstanding work with the committee originally chaired then by Councillor Wayne Grant in facilitating the opening of Big Sandy Bay, when she was the township’s Project Coordinator in 200, and her ongoing commitment to Big Sandy Bay through the Friends of Big Sandy Bay Association. “Your work has been outstanding,” he said.
Van Hal had announced that she was stepping down as president of FOBSB after 4-years, (2004-2008) noting that before 2001, like many islanders she had “only rarely been to Big Sandy Bay.” Between then and now, it is well known to islanders that Van Hal has become a force to be reckoned with in her appreciation of, and commitment to Big Sandy Bay.
When the township took over the operation of the management area in 2004, work began in earnest to open it to the public. At the same time Linda along with a dedicated committee formed the ‘Friends’ Association. Some of the current life members donated start-up funds and the Community Foundation of Greater extended a grant for a website. FOBSB was incorporated in 2005 and became a registered charity in 2006. At every opportunity Linda and members of FOBSB are at the site doing something to preserve and protect it, and with every physical addition to it by the township’s Steering Committee (Gatehouse, trails, viewing platform, etc) FOBSB has been there in support. They fund raise through book sales to provide such things as an all-terrain wheel chair, identification plaques, plants, trees etc. There have been annual Mother’s Day Walks, Seniors’ days, visitors tours and through it all, Linda has offered unwavering support. While she will no longer have an executive role in the organization she will continue to play an active part and has undertaken to update and enrich the website. Her commitment to Big Sandy Bay is an inspiration and we thank her.
The Big Sandy Bay property was acquired by the province in 1967 and from 1975 was managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources. A 57- hectare section was added in 2000 through the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture Program. In 2003 the agencies involved (Ducks Unlimited, Canadian Wildlife Service, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) entrusted the day to day management of the entire site to the township under the direction of its Stewardship Committee. Islanders had long been aware of Big Sandy Bay and ventured to its beach by boat, hiked to it up line roads or across private property but there were no public roads opened to the site. In fact there are those who believe “Big Sandy Bay” should never have been opened to the public.
Wolfe Island Wind on National TV. A recent CTV W5 program included a segment devoted to the establishment of wind farms. It highlighted remarks made by the Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman at the Hydro Developers Melacthon Eco Centre promoting wind energy as a source of renewable power and his enthusiasm at the prospect of closing the Nanticoke coal fired generating station by 2014.
The W5 program was reasonable, but incomplete in its coverage and tended to pick up on the negative issues, citing one couple at the Melacthon Project who sold out and moved claiming health issues were caused by the turbines, and another on Wolfe Island who also sold and moved off the island during the construction phase of the island’s project. The program noted that opposition to wind farms is growing with groups forming who believe government regulations are not stringent enough to protect health or the environment, citing Prince Edward County where there are a number of wind farm proposals and a meeting in Scarborough. On the other hand it stated that there are already thousands of turbines in North America and very few complaints. And finally the program turned to Wolfe Island and a short interview with John Keating, the CEO of Canadian Hydro Developers who acknowledged that some people don’t like change while others embrace it. This was followed by statements from residents unhappy with the process which has brought wind towers to the island and who have ongoing personal concerns, as well as concerns related to birds, environment, etc, and with two others, delighted with the project, satisfied with the process and happy with the long term benefits to the whole community.
According to the host of the program Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek declined the request to be interviewed but had instead submitted an email to W5 which spoke of not only the economic benefits of the project to the community, but also of the community’s pride at being involved in providing green power.
Perhaps the most distasteful part of the program was to see the Mayor Vanden Hoek, who had just left WI’s Remembrance Day Service, with a microphone stuck in his face through his car window. This in my view is a very poor form of journalism, tacky TV and not worthy of CTV. But when all is said and done Folks, it’s like Kermit the Frog once said ”It’s tough being green sometimes.”
Around Town: * Frontenac Islands Council Mon. Jan. 12th, ,6:30 pm on Wolfe Island.*Canadian Hydro Developers is holding a monthly photo contest of the wind power project. Submit pictures to their island office or email: email@example.com before February 15th. * Euchre, St. Margaret’s Hall, Monday’s 8pm. * Community Euchre, Thursday’s ,WI United Church Hall, 6:45 pm.