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North Frontenac Township met this week and approved a contract that will result in Frontenac County ...
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There were a number of distinguished Frontenac County wardens from the Township of Wolfe Island during the first 133 years of Frontenac County history, and since municipal amalgamation there have been two more from the Township of Frontenac Islands: Jim Vanden Hoek for two years, and the current warden, Denis Doyle. Although Tim O'Shea was only county warden for a single year, the centennial year in 1967, he was a member of the council for 33 consecutive years as the long-serving reeve of Wolfe Island. He retired from politics in 1991 and died in 1996 at the age of 78. His son, Terry, who served as the clerk of Wolfe Island and Frontenac Islands for over 20 years, starting in 1986, described his father as someone who enjoyed people and was able to remain calm in tense situations, which might explain why he was able to win election after election. He worked for most of his life as a hunting and a fishing guide on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and in the evenings he tended to township matters. As well as presiding over Council, he was the welfare officer for the islands as well as the manager of the ferry, all part of the functions of the reeve. Perhaps his most lasting accomplishment was convincing the provincial government to take over the ferry service from Wolfe Island and make it a free service. He also presided over the construction of the first library, medical clinic, ambulance base and fire department on the island. Because of all his accomplishments and longevity, he is still considered to have been the dean of Frontenac County councilors. One hundred and two years before Tim O'Shea served as county warden, another Wolfe Island politician held the post. The first ever Frontenac County warden was Dileno (Dexter) Calvin, the proverbial self-made man. He was orphaned at the age of eight in Rutland, Vermont. When he was 20 he moved to the State of New York where he worked as a labourer until he entered into the lumbering business when he was in his mid-20s. He started in 1825, squaring some timber with a neighbour and transporting it by raft to Quebec City. Slowly, he built up the business, and in 1835 he moved to Clayton, NY, and established a lumber transport business. Soon after, he became involved in a company based on Garden Islands, the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, which was later renamed Calvin, Cook and Counter, and then Calvin and Cook after the men who owned it. In 1844, Dexter Calvin moved to rented land on Garden Island and took control of the company, taking advantage of the island's location, its sheltered port, and the fact that it was within the British rather than the American trading system. Out of its base on Garden Island, the company maintained agencies in Sault St. Marie, Quebec City, Liverpool and Glasgow, operated 12 -15 ships and employed as many as 700 people in its peak years. It became a generalized shipping company, and also operated a large tugboat service. The move to Garden Island took place soon after the death of Calvin's first wife, Harriet Webb, in Clayton, New York, in 1843. the couple had been married for 12 years and had six children. He remarried Marion Breck in 1844. They also had six children between 1844 and her death in 1861. His third wife, Catherine Wilkinson, whom he married in 1861 when he was 63, had two children, and lived until 1911. Of his 14 children, only six lived to adulthood. During the last 40 years of his long life (he died in 1884 at the age of 86) Calvin was a sort of patriarch to the inhabitants of Garden Island. He bought 15 acres of land on the island in 1848 with his partner Hiram Cook, and by 1862 they owned the entire island. Calvin bought Cook’s share in 1880. Garden Island became a model company town, with its own school, library, and post office. Although it was made up of people from different national origins and religions, it was reportedly remarkably peaceful and well managed. It was also a dry community, under the express orders of Calvin himself, who became a prohibitionist at the same time as his conversion to the Baptist Faith about a year before the death of his first wife. Since most of the inhabitants of Garden Island worked for Calvin, he was able to shield them from economic turbulence in two ways. For one thing, since he was more involved in lumber transport than buying and selling, the fluctuations in the price of lumber did not affect the business in a substantial way. He also chose to use the company's reserves to shield his employees during serious downturns, such as one that took place in 1873. At that time he cut wages but did not lay any one off, which was as unusual then as it is now. He was strongly opposed to organized labour, however, and when sailors on his ships started a union drive, he hired replacement workers from Glasgow and eventually sold some of his schooners and bought great lake barges to cut down on the need for labour. His political life, which began when he was in his early 60s, was quite distinguished. He had become a naturalized Canadian within a year of moving to Garden Island. By the time Frontenac County was established in 1865 after the amalgamated County of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington had been disbanded, Calvin was already ensconced as reeve of Wolfe Island and the surrounding islands. He became the first warden of the County, a position he also held the following year and in 1868 as well. He then took a turn at provincial politics, as a Conservative MPP for the riding of Frontenac. He served from 1868 until 1883, with the exception of the years between 1875 and 1877, when he lost favour with the party. In those days, becoming the Conservative candidate in Frontenac was more difficult than winning the election against opposing party candidates. He was also one of the first directors of the K&P Railroad. He was a man who was known for his eccentricities, such as a dislike for short men “for no other reason than that they were short” according to his grandson, as well as men who bit their fingernails (author's note – I'm sure we would have gotten on famously) as well as dogs and people who own them. “When a man's poor,” he said, “he gets a dog. If he's very poor, he gets two.” Dileno Dexter Calvin died in 1884, and despite his great success in Canada, he was buried next to his mother and his first wife in Clayton, NY.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes, within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. In doing so, Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. The first family to be profiled in the book is the Kemp family, who arrived at their farm at Otter Lake, near the west gate of the park, sometime in the 1860s. By the time of the 1871 census, William and Jane Kemp, both 47, had six children living with them. The land they laid claim to, in addition to other properties taken on by their son George, was very good by local standards. Over two decades of work, making use of the efforts of the entire family, 30 acres of the 95 acre property had been cleared. “That might not sound like much to show for 20 years of labour, but in that district most farms worked 15 or 20 cleared acres. In fact the clearing was usually completed in relatively short order. But it was back-breaking work, without mechanical means. It involved cutting down the trees and clearing the brush, then burning the stumps that could not be wrenched from the ground by a team of horses or oxen and hauled away to form a first fence row. In the meantime the job of raising a crop to feed the family over the winter had to go on, and the first seeds were usually sown among the stumps ... it was no wonder that among the first settlers it was axiomatic to hate trees,” wrote Christian Barber in Their Enduring Spirit. The Kemp family prospered, and by 1900 the original log cabin that was built in the early 1870s had disappeared beneath white, painted clapboard, and numerous outbuildings had been constructed as well. There was a root cellar below, and fields that extended right to the front doorway. Still, cash was not easy to come by. A ledger from M.A. Hogan's General Store in Sydenham illustrates this. In late 1912, Mary Shales Kemp, George's wife, who managed the family finances among numerous other tasks, purchased dishes, a pair of overalls for a dollar, and the indulgences of walnuts and a vase, for a total cost of $7.32. Her custom was to pay for her purchases with butter and eggs from the farm. However on this occasion, after the eggs and butter were factored in there was a shortfall of $1.45. Back went the overalls and the extra 45 cents was paid in cash. During the mica mining year in the first decade of the 20th century, George Kemp found a number of small deposits on his farm, and even took on investors to pay the $70 that was needed for drills and blasting powder at one site. However, enough mica was never found to make a profit on the venture. To the extent that there were roads in the area, they were built and maintained by all of the farmers living in there, sometimes as part of their taxation responsibilities, which, in the late 19th century, included putting in some time improving the local roads. While the Kemp family were able to establish a successful farm in what is now Frontenac Park, it was ultimately unsustainable. Mary Kemp lived on the farm after George died, but moved away in 1928 and sold the property in 1941. The last people to occupy it were a family from Wyoming in the late 1940s. By the time Mary Kemp died in Sydenham in 1952 at the age of 93, the property where she had made her life had been abandoned and the house and barns had burned down. When Christian Barber went to the property in the late 1980s as he was preparing his book, it was mostly overgrown with vegetation, and it required effort on his part to find the remnants of what had been a going concern for 60 or 70 years. He notes this at the end of his chapter on the Kemp family of Kemp Road : “... the fields, so painstakingly cleared and planted and harvested by generations of settlers, are overgrown with sumac and birch, locust and juniper. Rusted barbed wire – embedded by years in the centre of the trees that it was originally stapled to the bark of – is stretched to the breaking point by fallen trees, and there is no one to cut them away; no farmer in overalls, with strong, knuckly, barked, and sun-tanned hands to walk the line on a summer day between haying and harvest and maintain a fence.” The Kemp family's story is similar in outcome to others told in the book - struggle and some success followed by a move to better farmland elsewhere in the region or to work off the farm in Sydenham or beyond. Mining and logging were also prevalent in the park. Logging started in the early 19th century and mining later on, with the logging having the greatest impact on the land, as it did elsewhere in the region generally. In the interesting chapter on mining, Barber touches on the story of Antoine Point on Devil Lake. Francis Edward Antoine and his wife, Letitia Whiteduck, built a log cabin on the Point in the mid 19th century and they are buried there. One of their sons, John Antoine, is listed, along with the government, as the owner of Antoine Point in the 1883 Meacham map, one of the best source materials for information about land ownership in those years. John, with his wife Elizabeth Hollywood, had 11 children. According to Antoine family lore, it was John who found mica deposits at Antoine Point, although there are competing accounts about who found the ore at that location, and it seems that the Point became of interest to mining interests in the early 1890s. There is an entry in the land registry indicating that John Antoine sold his interest in the land to William Jones for $50 in 1897, and the Antoines moved to Godfrey, and eventually back to Sharbot Lake, where another branch of the family was already located. The idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated in the 1940s. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park.
When Plevna quilter Debbie Emery won the design contest for the Frontenac County 150th anniversary quilt, she knew she was going to have a lot of work to do to translate her design into a finished quilt. By the time she delivered the quilt to the county in early August, in time for it to be displayed as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, she had put 650 hours of her own labour into the project, turning the $2,000 prize for winning the contest into a $3 an hour part time job for eight months. More importantly, the quilt was front and centre at the opening ceremonies of the celebration event in Harrowsmith, and will be available for display at the county offices for years to come. Using the rail line as a unifying feature, the quilt illustrates the three geographical components of Frontenac County, from the island communities that are surrounded by Lake Ontario, to the farmland in South Frontenac Township and into the Canadian Shield in the north. The quilt also points to the First Nations heritage of the county, and to activities such as logging, homesteading, tourism and the night skies.
Agnes Morrow is 101 years old, and when she was born on March 9, 1914, World War One was still six months away; oil had not yet been discovered in Alberta; and James P Whitney was the Premier of Ontario. When historians look at the 20th century, 1914 is seen as a pivotal year, because it was the start of the war that profoundly changed the political landscape around the world and in Canada, and left millions dead and millions more displaced. But in the community of Donaldson, where Agnes Morrow was born in the farmhouse of Louis and Julia Morrow, the third of eight children, world events had little impact in those years. Donaldson, which is now merely an access road to a small number of properties, was at that time a community made up primarily of Morrow family farms. “There were around 39 Morrows living within five miles of one another. Uncle Neil had a farm; Uncle Louis had a farm; Uncle Henry had a farm; Elmer Morrow had a farm; they were all little farms,” Agnes recalled when interviewed this week from her home near Lavant Station, a few kilometres from where she was born. Among the first things that Agnes remembers, besides the death of her sister at the age of five, six months after an appendicitis operation left an incision that did not heal properly (the rest of the family lived into their 80s and 90s), was the day in 1919 when her father got his first team of horses, greatly expanding the family's prospects. One of the things her father did with the team was clear a swamp on the farm in order to create a small hay field. “But like a lot of the work done to clear land it has gone back to the way it was over the years,” said Agnes. When Agnes was very young, six or seven years old, she started helping to milk the 13 cows that her father, Louis, kept. The cream was delivered to a cheese factory at Lavant Station or the creamery at Snow Road, and in the 1920s there was a bread truck and a meat truck that came around on a weekly basis. Some of the other memories that Agnes has are about the food that her mother, Julia, prepared for the family. “Mum and dad were good providers, and mum was an awful good cook. She could take an old hen and make it taste like a spring chicken, and she made the best apple pie. We had an orchard and we picked berries in season, but the apple pie was the best. I made pies all my life, many pies, but never like she made.” In addition to the orchard, the Morrows grew fields of turnips and beans and other vegetables for fresh eating and for winter storage. “My oldest brother Alfred was very good to us little ones as well,”Agnes recalls, recalling one event in particular. “One day mum and dad were off to Perth and Alfred was home with us. A storm came up and it was a bad one. Hail came with it and was laying on the ground in sheets, there was so much of it. Alfred had the little ones gather it up and he got a ten gallon syrup pail and had them pack it with the hail and added salt to keep it frozen. He put a pail of cream in the middle and I flavoured it with vanilla and we started stirring it and shaking it one way and another. It never quite made it to ice cream but it tasted good all the same. We cleaned up and put everything away and thought that was the end of it. But at supper time my little brother John said he wasn't hungry and mum asked him what was wrong. He said he was still full from the ice cream, and then we had to answer for it.” Agnes attended school at both Mundel's school near Donaldson and at the Lavant School. When she was 17 she met Archie Thomas at an event at the Lavant schoolhouse. There was man who had a bear that did tricks and people had gathered to see his show. Archie was the youngest of a family with 10 children in Ompah. In 1933, when Agnes was 19, the couple married. They both started working on a farm near Agnes' family farm that was owned by the Ferguson family. Two years later the elder Ferguson died of a heart attack while checking on his cattle, and in 1938 the Fergusons offered to sell the farm to Archie and Agnes Thomas. To this day Agnes lives on that farm, in the farmhouse, built in 1840, which she has now looked after for 77 years. In 1938, when they bought the farm, eggs sold for 11 cents a dozen; butter for 15 cents a pound; and syrup went for $2.90 a gallon. While she does not remember World War One, the Second World War had an impact on Agnes' life, and that of the local community. Dozens of local men went to war; a number came back injured and several died overseas. The biggest improvement on the farm took place in May of 1949, when it was hooked up with electricity. “We had all the wiring done for lights in advance, so we were ready for it. The first thing we bought was a washing machine. One of the cottagers sold fridges and he had a second-hand one that he sold to us. I was in hillbilly heaven when we got that washer. Then, when we could afford it, we added a refrigerator. Before that we had an ice box, and had to go to Sunday Lake in the winter to cut blocks of ice, haul it home, and store it in sawdust for the summer. The refrigerator was a big, big improvement.” Archie died a number of years ago, and the children are living away from the farm, although one of Agnes and Archie’s daughters, Shirley Whan, lives in Sharbot Lake. But Agnes has never seriously considered leaving the farm. “I wouldn't have lived here for so long if I didn't like it here,” she said. “I've had a good life in this house.” She has slowed down, of course. In place of the large garden she used to keep she now has a “box garden with cucumbers, beets, tomatoes and carrots” and the house is still surrounded by flowers, including her favourite double impatiens and begonias. She walks with the help of a cane and uses a speaker to help her hear better, but with the help of relatives and friends, and six hours a week of housekeeping help, Agnes says “I thought about leaving but I decided to stay here for another year.” She said that one of the secrets to her long, relatively healthy life, has been the fact that she never drove a car. “I saved all that stress, and here I am,” she said. (note - an earlier version of this story mistakenly said that Agnes' husband name was Charlie in two places. This version has been corrected)
Fred Fowler has worn multiple hats over the years: one as police officer, another as a plater, another as a para-legal fighting traffic tickets, and more; but the one hat that has always remained is that of artist and painter. Fowler has been painting since he was a kid in kindergarten. His home and studio, nestled on the shores of the Mississippi River near Snow Road, is an ideal spot for an artist inspired by nature, and those who popped in for a visit on this year’s North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour on September 26 & 27, likely noticed that landscapes loom large in his repertoire. As a native of Nipigon, Ontario on the north shore of Lake Superior, Fowler said he has always been enchanted by landscapes. Some of his works are huge, with canvases stretching from four to five feet long. They have a commanding presence while transporting the viewer to a place they may have never been before. As a youngster Fowler studied drafting in high school and won many awards, which likely landed him a spot at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He also attended the New School of Art in Toronto and said that his training has allowed him to appreciate and paint in a number of different styles. Fowler is a multi-media artist and paints mostly in oils and acrylics but has also painted in watercolours in the past. He is also a printmaker and in this medium he explores more intimate subject matter. In his monotype print titled “Frantic Pursuit”, two dogs are caught mid-stride chasing a ball. The work is mysterious and possesses a mythical quality. Fowler admits though that because of where he is from and where he now resides, landscapes have become his primary focus. He and his wife Sarah, who is also a painter, make regular trips to the north shore of Lake Superior. They take numerous photographs there and use them as the basis for their paintings. Equally inspired by his local surrounds, Fowler also paints what is close by. One work titled “On the Beaver Pond” was inspired from a scene he found on Brooke Road just south of Highway 7. It shows a winter beaver pond and a stand of cedars on drowned land, and the work is painted from a very low angle with the cedars showing up in dark silhouettes against the snow and the expanse of the late afternoon sky shimmering above in pinks, greys and purples. Fowler recalled being “attracted to the strong shadows that the sunlight was casting through the trees.” With camera in hand he laid down in the snow to capture the low angle he needed to get the shadows he wanted to depict. Other works, like one titled “Mazinaw Reflections”, shows Bon Echo's majestic Mazinaw Rock. Fowler is donating the work to the Friends of Bon Echo upon their request, and it will be raffled off next year at their annual exhibition and sale. Another large piece titled “Calabogie Bridge” is a work that demonstrates Fowler’s love of winter scenery. “This is one of my favorite locations and my goal here was to capture the various planes in the landscape including water, ice, rocks, horizon line and the sky and to try to draw the viewer’s eye into the scene”. Fowler says that winter scenes are what inspire him most. For those who did not make it to Fred’s studio you can see his work on display at the Fall River Restaurant in Maberly, on line at www.fredfowler.ca or you can also make an appointment by calling 613- 699-3686. If you happen to be traveling the back roads near Snow Road you can also drop in by chance. His studio is located at 4005 Elphin-Maberly Road.
Over 350 riders took part in the Fall ATV Run in Ompah, a popular ride for ATVers that was founded by Denis Bedard and Rose Boivin of the Palmerston Lake Marina (formerly the Double S) in Ompah. The event is a fundraiser run by and supporting the Ompah Community Volunteer Association, and the efforts of the group of over 30 dedicated volunteers has put Ompah on the map as a popular destination for riders. The ride has a impressive reputation that keeps riders new and old coming back year after year. With the renovations at the Ompah fire hall and community hall now complete, organizers are hoping to see the proceeds from this year's event go towards purchasing an $8,000 "snowbulance", a heated rescue buggy that can either be pulled by a snow machine or an ATV and would be used for emergency winter bush rescues by local fire fighters in the winter months. The unit can transport one injured person and one emergency responder. Lindy Hay, one of the event organizers, was pleased with the 350 plus riders who took part this year and she said that the new law allowing for two-ups and side by side ATVs was part of the reason why. Another reason is the ride's good reputation. “We are always amazed to see new people attending year after year, which proves that the word is getting out about the ride.” Hay told me that two riders who met at a conference in Vancouver were amazed to find out that both had been at one of the Ompah Fall ATV runs. The route this year was a 105 km loop with riders starting out from the marina and stopping mid-day for a trail lunch put on by a dedicated group of Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Lifers, who directed this year's lunch proceeds to the North Frontenac Food Bank. This year's ride attracted riders from as far afield as Quebec, Sudbury, Windsor, Welland and Lindsay as well as many local riders from across Frontenac and Lanark Counties. The after ride dinner is usually prepared by the Snow Road Volunteer ladies, but this year it was a brisket dinner with all the fixings prepared by Tim and Penny Cota. Kanata Honda donated the big ticket raffle item that was up for grabs by the close to 2000 ticket holders- a 2015 Honda Pioneer 500 side by side ATV with a retail value $11,000. Other prizes included a Sony go cam with a wrist playback, a Garmin GPS unit and six CKX helmets along with 50 other door prizes. Every rider had a chance to win. Also riding and showing off their "indestructible" machines were Braydon Oakley and Kevin Clark of Perth Power Sports. Hay stressed that the annual ride is a great event for the local community since riders will often stay in the area and shop at local businesses. Over the years the run has brought over $350,000 of tourist dollars into the local area.
North Frontenac to go slow on new office project North Frontenac Council has deferred consideration of a report prepared by Councilor Denis Bedard, which presented a number of options to deal with the working conditions in the township office complex on Road 506 between Ardoch and Plevna. The report was the subject of a public meeting on August 31 as well as numerous written responses from constituents that were included in the agenda package for the regular meeting of Council on Monday, September 21. Of five options mentioned in the report, only three are being considered by Council. They range in price from just over $500,000 to renovate the existing building, to $900,000 to renovate and build an addition to the existing building, to $1.63 million to build a new 5,000 square foot office at another site and renovate the existing building for use by the Public Works department. Half of the current building is already used by Public Works as a garage. Although it is the most expensive option, the plan to build at a new site is favoured by the fact that there are water problems at the existing site. A report that was prepared eight years ago indicates that treating the water at the existing site would be an expensive option in the long term. Of four companies contacted, only one was willing to quote on the job. “The water is basically untreatable and there would be no guarantee with any of our systems” said one of the companies. The township has received 50 written comments from members of the public over the past two weeks, most of them expressing opposition to building a new office because of the cost and resulting impact on property taxes. “I was surprised at the very strong opposition to spending $1.5 million. In view of those comments, I am certainly not willing to make a recommendation to go ahead at this meeting,” said Councilor John Inglis. Mayor Ron Higgins said he had not expected Council to move quickly on the project. “At this point all we are looking for is to defer this to the budget,” he said. “The message we need to get to the public is that we are not making a decision at this time.” Deputy Mayor Fred Perry said it might be an idea to look again at treating the water at the existing site. “We did that study eight years ago. Maybe the technology for treating water has improved in that time?” he said. Corey Klatt, the manager of Community Development, prepared the water report eight years ago. He said that he could contact the same companies again to see if there have been any changes. The matter was then deferred to the budget process of 2016, which will get underway sometime this fall. SunEdison comes calling Utilia Amaral, Managing Director, Strategic Affairs, and Jonathan Frank, Director, Business Development, from SunEdison Canada, spoke to Council at the invitation of Mayor Higgins about the potential for a large scale solar farm in the township. SunEdison Canada is a division of SunEdison, which Amala described as the largest solar energy company in the world, with $5 billion in market capitalization, 5,000 employees, and 1 gigawatt of energy in operation at 800 sites worldwide. She said that now that the deadline has passed for the first phase of the Independent Energy Service Operator of Ontario (IESO) Large Renewable Projects procurement, there is time to start looking at projects for the second procurement, which will likely be initiated in the middle of next year. Although Sun Edison has been involved in some of the smaller rooftop or ground mounted solar projects that are common in the region under the Feed in Tariff (FIT) program, Jonathan Frank said, “Our main interest is in the larger projects. We have built one 90 megawatt project and several in the 40 megawatt range. The economies of scale make those projects more viable for us.” Utilia Amali said that one of the advantages she sees in North Frontenac is the access to the electrical grid that has been offered by Hydro One. The hydro corridor, which runs though North Frontenac practically in sight of the township office, has been allotted 170 megawatts in capacity from projects along its path, which has piqued the company's interest. She also said that the amount of sun in the region, although it is less than in the Napanee to Brockville strip just north of the 401 where many solar projects have been built in recent years, is still viable for solar power production. “The problem I see that we need to overcome is the amount of trees on the land and the terrain,” she said. “We were thinking about using some land that was cleared for farming and is no long being used for that purpose,” said Mayor Higgins. “If you could gather some information for us about potential locations, that would be helpful,” said Amali. In terms of the amount of land that is required, Jonathan Frank said it takes about seven acres of solar panels for every megawatt of solar production. Community Hall Governance Based on a change coming from the township's insurance company, council is no longer required to approve the membership of the local committees that handle booking and maintenance of the five community halls, although staff will still keep a list. “If we don't need to be involved, we shouldn't be involved,” said Councilor John Inglis. Since it will be the next meeting before a change can be made, Council was still required to deal with a request from the Snow Road Hall committee. On September 2, at a special meeting at the hall, “it was acknowledged that the president and the board term of office ended” said a letter from Fred Fowler to the township. The letter goes on to say that at the meeting, which was moderated by Alice Gilchrist, the following people were nominated to form an interim board: Fred Fowler and Robert Quigley, Laurie Ryder, and Connie Halliday. A new board will be elected at a meeting of the hall membership on October 21. Council approved the new list of names to manage the operations of the Snow Road Community Centre. By the time the new board is elected in October, they may not have to.
Regular visitors to various branches of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library recently had a chance to strike a pose to help celebrate October as Canadian Library Month. At the Sharbot Lake branch on September 22, Debbie Whan of Mountain Grove, who is a regular visitor to the Sharbot Lake, Parham and Mountain Grove branches, was approached by Meredith Westcott of programming and outreach services with the KFPL. Westcott invited Whan to add her face to the MY KFPL promotional campaign, which aims to celebrate the faces of real people who love to spend time at their local libraries. The photos along with a personal quotation stating why the library user loves to visit their local library, were taken at numerous branches of the KFPL including the Sharbot Lake and Sydenham branches and they will be used for various advertising and promotional publications for the KFPL in the upcoming months. “With stock photography you are not able to get realistic people who best represent your local community. The whole idea with this project is to find the real people who use the libraries and share their reasons why. Our aim is to show that we are a community organization and that we are open to all types of people of all ages and all backgrounds”. Whan said that she visits her local branches regularly not only to quench her love for DVDs, especially those on the topic of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but also because it is “a quiet and peaceful place to visit”. Westcott said that she has photographed various local patrons who each have their own personal reasons for visiting their local branch. “It is the richness of the materials available that attract people. Not only do we have books on all topics, as well as a wide selection of DVDs and CDs but we also have download-able movies and magazines and our online resources are also phenomenal. For people who love music, they can get free music every week and it is all totally free.” Westcott also mentioned the numerous free family programs that are also popular, including story times, P.A. Day and March break programs, and various live musical and theatrical performances by professional artists, which are available through funding by Friends of the Library. This is the second time the KFPL has run the many local faces promotional campaign, the first having taken place in 2013. Westcott said that not only will this new promotion help library staff to update their photos but that the participants and local residents can look forward to seeing a few familiar faces in print and on view at their local branches in the coming weeks.
Northern Frontenac Community Services took a look backwards at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week. Since the agency, which provides services for children, youth, families, and the elderly, is 40 years old, former staff and board members came out to mark the occasion. Marcel Giroux, who was involved in the founding of the agency in the early 1970s, talked about the early days in the basement of the manse of the Anglican Church, pumping out a newsletter on a Gestetner, and holding public meeting after public meeting in order to get some services established. Susan Ablack, who worked for and with NFCS from 1986 until she retired as the rural worker for Providence Care early this year, spoke about the way NFCS developed and maintained a caring service model, and survived attempts by the government of the day to shut it down. Frances Smith talked about the early 1980s, when she was the welfare officer for Oso township and decided it was unwise to continue doing that job out of her own home when a client made a not so veiled threat to her one day. “They found a corner of the basement for me at NFCS, and its was great to have people around who were working with the community, just as we were at the township,” she said Marcie Webster, who has worked as a playgroup leader and Aboriginal programs co-ordinator since the early 1990s, spoke about some of the changes that have come about in Children's Services. “I remember a pickup truck carrying two or three families coming to playgroup one time. There were kids and parents in the front, in the cab, and in the back of the truck there were more. That shows how things have changed,” she said. Aside from the reminiscences, the AGM business was conducted, but before that the annual Life Membership Awards were given out, this year to Vern and June Crawford. The Crawfords are long time volunteers with NFCS, delivering Meals on Wheels to the most remote households in the region. “Vern had a knee replacement last year,” said Community Support Services Co-ordinator Catherine Tysick, “and I had to deliver meals for a few weeks. I kept calling back to the office to say I was lost and they said to keep driving. When the Crawfords were coming back I told the clients not to worry; they would start getting hot meals again the following week.” This was the first AGM for the new NFCS Executive Director Louise Moody. She said she was honoured to be working in an agency with such a history and thanked the staff and board for their support in her first few months on the job.
Check your social calendars to make sure you are free to participate in what promises to be a highlight of the fall season. Community Living-North Frontenac (CL-NF) is sponsoring a Masquerade Ball at St. James Major Church Hall in Sharbot Lake on Saturday night, October 24, starting at 8:00 pm. “We want to share more with the community,” said Dean Walsh, CL-NF Executive Director. “This is a community that is very inclusive. People here love to support each other, and when one of our managers, Marcel Quenneville, said we should try putting on a ball, we thought, why not.” The theme of the evening is late 19th, early 20th century dress, the Edwardian era of ball gowns and formal attire for men. CL-NF will have masks that people can purchase as well. Anne Archer will set the evening with some classical flute music, and Community Living's own Brian Roche will perform as a well, followed by DJ Dave Barr spinning the tunes. It will be a licensed event with Perth Brewing Company supplying beer and wine. The ball will also include a silent auction, which will include boat cruises, art by local artists, and other items, and there will be door prizes and draws throughout the evening. At 11 p.m. a light lunch, supplied by Primitive Catering, will be served and the dance will wind up at midnight. All proceeds from the dance will go to Community Living Programs, including the Treasure Trunk. Tickets are $25 and they are limited in number. They are available at the Community Living office, Sharbot Lake Pharmacy, Gray's Grocery, the Parham General Store, and Burns Jewellers in Perth. For further information, call 613-279-3731.
As the more leaves fall from the trees, the night of Halloween quickly approaches, and soon the dead will again be free to return to the earth for that creepy night of the year. For many this means inventive costumes, spooky decorations, buckets and bags filled to brim with candy and a night of trick-or-treating door to door. But for those craving a more fitting experience, a scare through a haunted house or barn can be just the thrill they need. Located in Sydenham at 2932 on Rutledge Road, just down from the high school. Is the fifth year for a Haunted Barn that has been providing a fright for haunters on the eerie night with a new theme each season. Held Halloween night from 6-9:30 - Previous displays have included a Zombie Wedding, Gates of Hell, and Sloats Landing Asylum. With a cast of up to twenty, and an attendance of around three-hundred, this holidays fright is yet to be witnessed. While not recommended for children under the age of six, monetary or food donations will go to Southern Frontenac SFCSC. You can check it out on facebook @ Haunted Barn Sydenham. Beware of the chainsaw clutching clowns as you try to ignore the screams of the helpless victims. Regrettably, the Haunted Walk hosted by Peter Hollywood and Hazel Lee on Halloween night will not be held in Verona this coming season, but will rather have a grander location in Kingston. Starting small fixed up in a house, creating most of the decorations themselves. The Haunting hosts spent nearly every spare moment investing in their production this fall. Looking for a more ambitious project as they mark the 9th year for the conjoined passion, they invite all those who have braved the feat in the past to seek out their new venue. Titled Peter's Creepers Halloween Scream for those 14 and up, and any of those under the age accompanied by a guardian. An admission of 5 dollars will go to Corus Entertainment's Clothes for Kids, and what's more is an offer to get photographed during the experience. As for the younger crowd, a more imaginative scene titled Witch Hazel's Little Shop of Horrors will rate at 2 dollars whose proceeds will likewise go to Corus Entertainment's Clothes for Kids. With months of preparation, and a stimulus of fears, it is surely a terror to be explored. The haunted hours for the Frontenac Mall are: Saturday, October 24th from 11am to 5pm. Sunday October 25th 11am to 4pm. Wednesday October 28th 4pm to 9pm. Thursday October 29th 4pm to 9pm. Friday October 30th 4pm to 9pm. Saturday October 31st 10am to 5pm
No less than 20 steaming pots of chili were the main attraction for hungry guests who attended the second annual Sydenham Chili Fest fundraiser for St. Paul's Anglican Church on September 19. With names like Melt Your face Off, Walk the Dog, Fire in the Hole, Cocoa Loco, Spine Tingler, Chili Chili Bang Bang and El Scorcho, chili connoisseurs had a field day sampling the various tasty concoctions, each donated either by members of the church congregation or the local community. Each entry strove to win over the taste buds of the five brave people who had volunteered to judge the chilis, including St. Paul's Rev. Guiseppe Gagliano, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal, South Frontenac school trustee Suzanne Ruttan, Deputy Fire Chief Tom Veldman and special guest judge Bill Welychka from CKWS-TV in Kingston. The colourful and lively fundraiser attracted chili lovers of all ages to the outdoor street event, which also offered up free pony rides from Deline Ponies; live music courtesy of the bands Floored and the church's own The Crossing band; face painting and balloon animals courtesy of the Not So Amateur Amateurs; and cotton candy and popcorn. A whole host of local sponsors contributed to help make the event an enjoyable one for all ages. The judges rated the three categories of mild, medium and hot chilis based on criteria that included colour, aroma, consistency, taste and after-taste, and the winners took home Chili Fest aprons donated by Hendrick's and adorned with the official Sydenham Chili Fest logo, which was designed and donated by Paula MacDonald of Just A Tees. Katt Bulch, a member of the St .Paul's congregation, who along with her family regularly attend the church's lively Saturday night service called The Crossing, founded and organized the event. Bulch said she was inspired by the Kingston Chili Fest and wanted to create a similar event in Sydenham that would “ pull the church and Sydenham community together”. New this year was a fan favorite category where attendees had a chance to vote for their favorite batch. The event attracted 150 chili lovers last year, and is steadily growing in popularity. Bulch said she was hoping to surpass that number this year.
(absent: Councillors Robinson, Schjerning, Sleeth, and CAO Orr) By-Law enforcement: Neighbour’s Livestock Trevor Piat of Harrowsmith spoke of his neighbour’s increasing number (currently 6 or 7) of horses on a three-acre residential lot. The horses frequently cross into Piat’s garden, causing damage and posing a danger to his small children. Previous appeals to the Township for enforcement of the livestock by-law have had no result. Council agreed to have the by-law officer look into the problem, and they also discussed the dual responsibility of neighbours to maintain boundary fences. Unassumed Roads In response to a request from Council for a listing of all unassumed roads in the Township and a process that could be used for assuming some of them, Public Works Manager Segsworth said the information was not readily available, for many of the Township’s over 600 private lanes traverse portions of unopened road allowances. To establish a process for identifying all these roads and following through on locating, and having them upgraded then assumed, “would be a significant undertaking for staff, and there would be other initiatives that will be delayed.” Process to Redesignate Land from Rural to Agricultural As requested, Planner (and acting CAO) Mills outlined the somewhat lengthy process to redesignate rural land to agricultural on the land use schedule. He noted that if the subject land is in Soil Class 1, 2 or 3, the redesignation was unlikely to be supported by the province unless the landowner wished to have the change made. Water Access To Canoe Lake from James Wilson Road In August, James Campbell applied for three severances for waterfront lots on Canoe Lake, accessed from James Wilson Road. A number of residents have expressed concern about a beach area that has been in common use for many years. Although the area in question is part of the James Wilson Road allowance, the exact boundaries are a matter of local dispute. Council recommended that the area be surveyed, the road allowance be widened and the boundaries be clearly delineated. Should this not provide adequate public access to the water, the fall-back position would be to ask for designated parkland instead of cash-in-lieu as a condition of severance. Portland Heritage Society Deputy Mayor McDougall reported that the open hours for the new Museum have been irregular, but at Christmas there will be a celebration week, followed by a regular schedule of open hours. Next Meeting There will be no Council meeting Sept 29: Tuesday October 06 will be the next meeting of Council.
At their monthly meeting, members of Frontenac County Council received the Economic Development implementation plan, which came about after workshops that were attended by members of Council as well as business people from across the County. The five-point plan calls for a branding exercise and improved signage; attraction and retention of accommodation facilities; food and beverage retention and expansion; the development of a recreation infrastructure plan; and the contracting of a community development coordinator. It was point 5, the community development coordinator position, that most concerned Council. According to Councilor John McDougall, approving the plan was merely “approval to take the next step. It does not approve any spending but it gives our new sustainability and economic development committee something goals to work towards.” Still, councilors had questions. “Isn't this your job?” Councilor John Inglis asked of Anne Marie Young, the County Manager for Economic Development. “You cannot do economic development sitting behind a desk. Someone has to facilitate the efforts, answer the phone, apply for grants; but someone also has to take these good projects and move them forward. You need boots on the ground sometimes,” she said. That just sounds like a duplication of the Frontenac Community Futures Corporation to me. It sounds like we are trying to do the same thing,” said South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal. “This person will make sure the economic development is not just a fluke, that it is planned and promoted. This is a person that will work with new and potential businesses to make sure they know they are welcome in Frontenac County,” said Planning Co-ordinator Joe Gallivan. Gallivan added that a new Official Plan and the Economic Development Implementation Plan are all going to help draw more funding for economic development projects from provincial sources. “If we pass this motion, is it a green light to hire someone?” asked North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins. “It is a framework for community development,” said Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender. “As long as we are not talking about hiring a person for a three-year appointment,” said Warden Dennis Doyle. In a recorded vote, seven members of Council supported the implementation plan, and Ron Vandewal voted against it, technically making it a 7-2 vote since as the mayor of South Frontenac, Vandewal has two votes.
Attendance reaches target of 10,000 It took the efforts of a committee of volunteers, the Township of South Frontenac, Frontenac County staffers Alison Vandervelde and Anne Marie Young, co-ordinators Pam Morey and Dan Bell, and hundreds of volunteers on the grounds to produce a relaxed, happy, and engaged crowd at the Frontenac County weekend-long 150th Anniversary Celebration. The long range planning that helped make that happen started with the upgrades that were done to Centennial Park to turn it into a mixed-use facility that is as suitable for a soccer tournament or a high school football game as it is for a fair or large exhibition. This involved clearing a swath of land for parking, paving walkways, upgrading the stage/picnic area, etc. All of this work was taken on by the township over the last 18 months, and was done with accessibility needs in mind thanks to the efforts of Neil Allan, who consults with the township and sits on the county accessibility committee as well. The planning for the event itself has been underway for a couple of years, but it was over the last six or seven months that all of the detailed work was done, the musicians booked, the vendors sought and secured, etc. By the time Friday (August 28) rolled around, tents were going up around the grounds; cordoned-off areas had been set up for kids who would be playing on the bouncy castles and for adults at the “saloon”; the re-enactors had set up their camp; and the dignitaries were gathered for the opening ceremonies. Any illusion that the proceedings would be dry and formal were dispelled when Central Frontenac Town Crier Paddy O'Connor enlisted the audience’s participation in calling out “O-yeah”. This was followed by the raising of the Canadian flag and Heather Bell singing O Canada. The MC for the ceremony was Phil Leonard, former mayor of Portland and South Frontenac Townships and County Warden on several occasions as well. Leonard also sat on the 150th anniversary committee. He introduced a number of speakers, including: South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, MPs Scott Reid and Ted Hsu, MPPs Randy Hillier and Sophie Kiwala, North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, culminating in remarks by Dennis Doyle, the Mayor of Frontenac Islands and Warden of the County. The speeches were, for the most part, brief, and in keeping with the tone that had been set early for the event, relatively irreverent. Among the other dignitaries at the event were a number of former wardens of Frontenac County, including 95-year-old Don Lee, Jack Moreland, Bill MacDonald, Bill Lake, Barbara Sproule, Phil Leonard, Ron Sleeth, Janet Gutowski, and Jim Vanden Hoek. The ceremonies having been dispensed with, it was time to let loose, and the saloon was a destination for politicians - a fitting location considering that the county and townships used to hold their meetings in pubs in the 1800s. Following the showing of a family movie, a fireworks spectacle ended the opening night of the festival. Saturday was a busy, busy day. A parade started it off, and with the Frontenac Plowing Match underway across the road, thousands enjoyed the sunshine and a full schedule of events. Over 5,000 people streamed into the park throughout the day, enjoying free admission and entertainment from a host of musicians, a strongman competition, and a short skirmish by the Brockville Infantry Company of 1862. On Saturday night, the Golden Links Hall hosted a Heritage Ball, where about half the audience was dressed in 1860s vintage clothing. This was a challenge because not only did the band Soul Survivors keep the R&B hits coming all night to keep the dance floor full, but the evening was more than a bit warm for wool suits and layered dresses. Sunday, the final day of the event was a bit more low key than Saturday, although the park remained busy. The Brockville Infantry, who had been camping on site throughout the weekend, finally had their chance to put on a full re-enactment. The Fenians, Irish descended former Americans who raided Canada in order to pressure England to pull out of Ireland, lost the battle to a squadron of Red Coats and the Brockville Infantry amid gun and cannon fire. The Fenian raids took place around the time that Frontenac County was founded, and they were the last time any attacks on Canada were launched from US soil. About an hour after the re-enactment, the closing ceremonies got underway. As the public left, the vendors, food trucks, and volunteers began to clean up, leaving Harrowsmith Centennial Park in pristine condition, a fitting legacy project for the 150th anniversary.
Most individuals who camp, hike, or cottage in the Frontenac area have encountered snakes, turtles, and frogs. But there is another group of reptiles and amphibians in the area. These are the salamanders, and seven different kinds of these animals occur within the Frontenac region. However, many people have never seen one of these amphibians due to the fact that salamanders spend much of their lives hidden (either underground or under natural debris in the humid locations of cool forests). They may only emerge on rainy nights, not the time that most people like to go hiking, and this is why so few people encounter salamanders. As with frogs, many salamander populations are in decline; therefore to help contribute to a better understanding of their numbers, I have been out collecting observational records of salamanders. These are sent to the Global Amphibian BioBlitz, which is presented by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Species Survival Commission, the Amphibian Specialist Group and the Amphibian Survival Alliance. As such, I have had numerous opportunities to observe the salamanders that live within the Frontenac area. The most common species in most locations throughout the region is the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). These small, lung-less salamanders are very common in woodland areas. Aside from being prolific, these salamanders have extremely varied morphology in terms of colouration and pattern. The typical “red phased” individuals have a red dorsal stripe. This may be various shades of red, orange, or even yellow. Another colour phase exists in which no dorsal stripe is present and the salamanders are instead a uniform greyish-blue colour. Some even veer on purplish. These are known as Lead-backed Salamanders. Twice, I have had the extreme pleasure of observing rare leucistic (all white) forms. I have also seen a few predominately erythristic forms (all red). Another species of small lungless salamander that I have observed frequently is the Four-Toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum). These salamanders have a brownish to grey background colour, with white bellies speckled with black flecks. I usually encounter these salamanders in forests that are flush with various mosses, or in areas adjacent to bogs or forested ponds. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), considers the Four-toed Salamander to be rare, or at least rarely seen. This makes the numerous sightings that I have had of these salamanders that much more rewarding! Another species of small salamander that is found in the area is the Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens). Most people encounter Eastern Newts during the Red Eft stage (terrestrial juvenile). At this point in their life cycle they are bright orange with red spots. Many of the Newts that I have seen were Efts, often in damp forested areas near wetlands or ponds. Most of the adult Newts that I have encountered were also on land, under cover close to water, although I have frequently encountered them in ponds and wetlands too. The area is also home to several species of Mole Salamanders. Compared to the lungless forms and Newts, these salamanders seem like giants! One of the most commonly encountered of these is the Blue-Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale). These salamanders have a dark background colouration covered with blue speckles. I have encountered Blue-Spotteds legions of times, usually under pieces of bark or fallen logs in cool forests. One campground I visited seemed to be teeming with them. I found them under door mats, tent covers, and in wood piles. Another commonly encountered mole salamander is the Yellow-Spotted (Ambystoma maculatum). This is the largest terrestrial salamander in Ontario, growing up to 20-25 cm long. They have a dark background colouration with bright yellow “polka dots”. These are highly variable in term of the number and size of the spots. I have observed A. maculatum as much as A. laterale. Particularly, under cover (logs & rocks), next to forested ponds and wetlands. The largest salamander species in Ontario is the Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus). These amphibians can reach lengths of close to 20 inches! With large external gills they are adapted to a totally aquatic life. I have observed mudpuppies many times just outside of the Frontenac area. Only once have I seen one within the region. Their preference for cool water means they usually leave the shallows in the summer and again often only emerge from rocky crevices at night. The Frontenac area is home to many interesting salamander species, all of which are helpful to people by either preying on insects, mosquito larva and ticks, or by keeping forests and wetlands healthy. It is important to bring attention to these species as several are in decline, and certainly, people will not be supportive of protecting and conserving animals that they aren't even aware of. Learn how you can help salamanders at: www.savethesalamanders.com
A crowd was gathered outside the Denbigh Hall at 7pm on Monday night as a regular meeting of Addington Highlands Council was getting underway. They had been in the hall earlier for the performance of a new song by the Pickled Chicken String Band about the Wind Turbine Protest. “We came here to show the council that we are not going away,” said Alice Madigan, a member of BEARAT (Bon Echo Area Residents Against Turbines) The protesters remained outside the building as the meeting got underway. The turbine issue was not on the agenda. Weslemkoon building project faces roadblocks Valerie Peverly came to Council to see if a building permit she took out in 2007 could be reinstated. She explained that she and her husband obtained the permit with the intention of having a cottage built on a water access lot they own on the lake. They have an existing cottage on an adjacent lot and intended to build a new one. The project stalled, however, because the sawmill that her husband, Robert Peverly, operates in Peterborough, burned down that summer. As they focused on getting a new sawmill built, Robert also suffered knee problems, and required several operations over five years, culminating in knee replacements. “I only tell you this to explain that we did not intend to delay this building project, but the circumstances did not allow us to do so until now,” she said to Council. “We hear what you are saying and we sympathize,” said Reeve Hogg, “but the regulations have changed since 2006 and the permit is no longer valid.” The circumstances are complicated by the fact that a minor variance that was granted at the time because of the location of the proposed building has also expired. Valerie Peverly said that she has already submitted an application for a new septic permit and officials from Kingston Frontenac Public Health have been out to the property and are satisfied that they can issue one. Doubt was then cast on the Peverlys' chances of obtaining a minor variance and subsequently a building permit when David Munday, a lawyer from Cunningham Swan representing a neighbouring property owner, also appeared before Council as a delegate. He said that when it comes to minimum setbacks from a water body, the key issue in the pending minor variance application is not only setback from the lake but also setback from a lowland/swamp on the Peverly property. “The township's Official Plan talks about a 30-metre setback from any water body. Not to make too fine a point, we expect the township to follow its Official Plan in this case,” Munday said. He also said that Weslemkoon Lake has been designated by the Province of Ontario as a Trout Sensitive Lake, pushing the setback for construction up to 100 metres. Council received the Peverly and Munday presentations for information. Trail or road, Council stays out of it Mark Mieske, from the north shore of Ashby Lake, came to talk about a trail/road on his property that he has blocked off with rocks. At the previous meeting of council on September 7, a delegation came to Council complaining about the blocked road, which they said was a road that has been used for 40 years to access the lake and hunting opportunities. Council did not take any action on Sept. 7. Mieske brought pictures of the road, which he said was built in 1972 and had not had more than $500 worth of gravel applied since then. “There is legal access to the lake through the public road, and this road, which is not a road but a path that can only be crossed by ATVs, is located entirely on my land,” said Mieske. “There is nothing for us to do about this. As far as I can see, it is a civil matter,” said Councilor Bill Cox. ATV bylaw In response to requests from Mark Freeburn and the Napanee and District ATV club, the township will prepare a bylaw for the next meeting to permit 2 seater ATVs access to township roads. “This will not effect Hwy. 41, which is controlled by the MTO, or County Road 29, just Addington Highland's roads,” said Reeve Hogg. Former fire hall not available for storage In response to a request from Andy Anderson to store materials for the Flinton Jamboree in the now abandoned Northbrook fire hall building, Councilor Cox said, “Aren't we trying to get rid of that building? This would be going backward, I think.” Council voted to deny the request.
Close to 100 guests gathered under the outdoor pavilion at the Pine Meadow Nursing Home in Northbrook on September 11 to officially celebrate its long-awaited refurbishing and upgrading from a class B facility into a “new home” rated facility, which is one step above its initial goal of becoming a category A nursing home. Carl Gray, on behalf of the board of directors of the Land O'Lakes Community Services (LOLCS), emceed the event, which included greetings and speeches by various dignitaries, including the Warden of Lennox Addington, Gordon Schermerhorn; Addington Highlands Councilor Bill Cox; North Frontenac Councilor Vernon Hermer; Pine Meadow's current administrator Margaret Palimka and its chair of family council Brenda Martin; and representatives from Extendicare, Sharon Gilmour and Tracey Mulcahey. The road to the facility's redevelopment has indeed been a long one. It began 14 years ago when Kim Harvey, Pine Meadow's then administrator, initiated the process, which was approved by the LOLCS and set in motion with the appointment of a planning committee. Ernest Lapchinski, chair of Pine Meadow’s planning and building committee, has been involved in the project from the start. He also spoke at the ceremony, thanking all of the individuals and parties involved in seeing the project through to completion. These included the LOLCS; the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and Infrastructure Ontario; Georgina Thompson, first chair of the South East LHIN (Local Health Integration Network); the County of Lennox and Addington; Extendicare Canada; project manager Peter McConnachie and architect Gail Lamb; and Brian McMullen and Jamie Broeders of Frecon Construction of Kingston. Also thanked were the various local organizations and groups who supported the project, including the Northbrook Lions and Legion, as well as the staff and residents at Pine Meadow and the local and surrounding communities. Lapchinski ended his thanks by saying that, “Rural communities such as ours without significant political clout have learned that they must work together to get what is needed for our citizens and that takes persistence and passion, both of which have brought us to success”. Other presentations included a plaque in memory of former mayor of North Frontenac, Bud Clayton, which was presented to Bill Cox. Clayton was very involved with the project and Cox said he would have been “very proud.” A presentation was also made by Margaret Anderson on behalf of her partner Brian Lorimer, who gifted a large work he painted, titled “The Weathered Pine” to the facility. The painting depicts a tree located near the facility, one that residents often walk by on their hikes. Anderson said it demonstrates how an old, weathered tree is still beautiful and can still offer an important role in the ongoing circle of life it inhabits. Betty Meeks, president of the residents’ council, also spoke on behalf of the residents and said that despite the refurbishing process, during which residents and staff endured “..lots of dirt, noise and confusion, ongoing changes in routine, we now have a much nicer building - brighter, bigger, and more pleasant with more areas to visit with friends and family.” The upgrades, which cost approximately $5.5 million, were completed at the end of July, 2015. They include two extensions made to each of the two wings of the facility, which each now have 32 beds and an increased number of square footage per resident. There were also upgrades and renovations to the dining room, visiting areas, washroom facilities and outdoor facilities. Emcee Carl Gray especially thanked the staff at Pine Meadow, who he said always, throughout the construction process “maintained a 'residents first' approach”. He also thanked the members of the Pine Meadow Management Committee, past and present, who he said “have worked tirelessly to see this redevelopment become a reality.” Following the ceremony, staff, residents and guests enjoyed cake and refreshments, and staff gave tours of the new upgrades.
There has been persistent opposition from a number of Denbigh residents as well as the group BEARAT (Bon Echo Area Residents Against Turbines) before and after Addington Highlands Council decided to support the bids by RES Canada and NextEra for wind generation contracts. Reeve Henry Hogg, who has expressed his support for the projects ever since they first surfaced in early March of this year, has been the target of much criticism from the opposition groups, including Paul Isaacs, a Denbigh resident who has launched a public call for the Denbigh ward to secede from Addington Highlands entirely. In the end, with Council deadlocked at two, it was Hogg who settled all three votes on the matter, each time by supporting wind power in Addington Highlands. Through it all, Reeve Hogg has said little about his own reasons for supporting the project. “I was in a position of presiding over a process,” he said early this week in a telephone interview, “and not in a position to express my opinion except when I ended up having to vote on the motions that came forward”. At the first presentation to Council in March by NextEra, Hogg was inclined to support the proposal on the spot, which is something he now says “may have been premature.” For one thing, delaying acceptance resulted in a significant increase in the “community vibrancy fund” that the township will receive if either company succeeds in the bidding process and ends up putting up turbines in the township. As well, the township ended up doing research on turbines, talking to other municipalities where both NextEra and RES have constructed and are running projects, attended presentations by the companies, and heard from the public. “None of that has changed my view about the turbines,” said Hogg. “I felt they were good for the township from the start and I still feel that way.” Hogg said that he has not only served as reeve of Addington Highlands for many years, but has lived and worked in Ward 1 of the township for 40 years. "I was the only member of council from Ward 1 who has made his living and raised our family in Ward 1". One of the critiques of the decision to support the turbine companies was that the Ward 2 politicians out-voted the local Ward 1 politicians who opposed them, but Hogg takes exception to that argument, because with him the majority of Council comes from Ward 1, which is slightly less populated than Ward 2. “When you look at Highway 41 north of Bon Echo and see the number of businesses that are boarded up, restaurants that are closed, it tells you that the local economy could not sustain them,” he said. “Even if there are only a few jobs created by this, a few is better than none.” He related that what the research township staff has done and the information he received from other municipalities indicate that turbines don't cause either adverse health effects or a drop in property values and have been of net benefit to the local economies wherever they are located. “We looked at these things; we had our staff do research and this is what they found,” he said. “Some of the people who are against it are saying it will harm our tourism base and the pristine wilderness. We don't have a tourism base; we never have. We do have cottages, of course, and they are crucial to us keeping anything going at all, but that isn't tourism. We also don't have pristine wilderness; everything was logged in what is now Addington Highlands 200 years ago.” He said that most of the opposition is based on people not wanting to see turbines, even at a distance, from their property or their township. “To me, people come up with arguments against them mainly because they don't want to see them. We had the same reaction when we wanted to bring an eco-lodge to Skootamatta Lake a number of years ago. But in this case, they can go ahead even without our approval, and if they do go ahead, I want to be on the inside instead of on the outside looking in.” And far as the process that council went through before passing a motion of support, he said that he never talked to any of the council members before the vote about what they were planning. “I didn't think that was appropriate, but I kind of knew the way four of the five of us were going to vote.” He does admit, however, that the opposition to turbines caught him by surprise. “When RES first came here in 2008, nobody said a word against it, and when we put it in our Official Plan, nobody said anything, so I was not ready for what has happened, but then again there are 4,600 permanent and seasonal residents in the township and we have only heard from 50 to 100 people against this. When I look down the road at the long-term needs of Addington Highlands, I see this as a potential benefit if it goes ahead. Nothing I have heard has made me think any differently about it.”