Ottawa Valley-based singer songwriter Craig Cardiff not is only a gifted performer but he also has a...
Over 100 local kindergarten students along with youngsters from the local community took part in the...
Two recent grants from the Limestone Learning Foundation (LLF) have resulted in some interesting pro...
The 11th annual Buck Lake Boatilla to raise funds for Easter Seals Camp Merrywood commences at 2 p.m...
The puppet show that was presented by The Flying Box Theatre from Montreal last weekend in Sharbot L...
There are people who know why former CAO/Public Works Manager Jim Zimmerman is no longer working for...
Don Lee says that he is not as sharp as he used to be, his memory is not as good, he can't hear that well, can't see out of one eye, and he has been slowed down by a stroke several years ago. At 95 he still remembers a lot of stories from the past, “but I can't really tell you what happened yesterday,” he says. Since we were interested in the past, that wasn't much of a problem. We also found out after the interview, which took place in midwinter, that Don still operates a chainsaw, and can even use up two full tanks of gas before putting down the saw. Don was born in 1920, in the house where he still lives, on the Ball Road, on a farm that fronts St. Andrews Lake. His father bought the next property over in 1879 and lived in a house there, but this property had the advantage of road access, and after purchasing it and extending the farm to 200 acres, he built a house in 1912. Don was the youngest child in the family, and he attended school at Kennedy school near the family home until he graduated grade 8 at the age of 12. In the midst of the depression there was never a thought of him going on to high school, which would have involved boarding in Sydenham throughout the week. “There was too much to do on the farm and besides money was not easy then,” he recalls. The land in the vicinity of his farm is still covered in open fields, even though there are few operating farms left. “Every farm had cattle when I was young. You could look out the window and see cattle across the lake, the place was clean, there was no brush at all. If land could be worked at all, it was cleared and used. Our whole ambition was to get grass for cattle. Although all the land in the region had been covered in White Pine, which had been cleared for the most part 50 or so years before Don Lee was born, he does remember there were some of the majestic trees left when he was a boy. Mostly it was hard work on the farm in the 20s and 30s. “We had cattle, and sheep and we always had a few pigs,” but they rarely if ever ate beef or lamb. “My dad would slaughter a sow in the fall, and we would preserve the meat in brine. We ate salt pork all winter, which I was not really partial to, I can remember that.” They ate potatoes as well, which they grew in a large garden that was overseen by his mother. “We would put by 25 to 40 bags of potatoes each year, Green Mountains or cobblers, not the small bags but the 100 pound bags, and we grew turnips and carrots and everything else.” They also grew corn, and in the fall they removed the kernels from the heads onto old sheets or old bags and “mother would set them out near the stove for a day or two until they were good and dry and then we would hang them in bags off the rafters for the winter. We did the same with apples.” The day always began with milking and delivering the milk to the cheese factory a few miles away on White Lake Road in a horse drawn wagon. “The milk had to be there by 8, we had to get an early start. But we never got much money for it, just pennies really. My dad used to say that if, when the fall came and he had the money he needed for taxes, and we had four bags of flour for bread and a bag of sugar, he was happy because he knew we would be able to get through the winter all right.” One thing that Don remembers fondly, beyond all the hard work and hardship, was the way people looked after each other back then. “People are pretty good now, I can tell you, but back then we were together all the time. If someone was injured, the neighbours showed up with food, we went out to cut wood, we did whatever had to be done and never thought anything of it at all.” An example of the co-operative economy was the way wood splitting was done. “There was always someone who had some sort of machine to saw up wood. Everyone would bring in wood all fall and winter and pile it up in lengths. In the spring the guy with the machine would come by and say he could make it for a week at some time. Everyone would get together at one farm and work for 6 or 8 hours. They would haul the logs up on a platform where the saw was set up, and they would throw the pieces off it afterwards. Some of the women would gather in the house and put a meal on at noon for everyone. Then we would move to the next farm, and the next, until everyone had their wood cut up, ready for splitting.” In 1934, two things happened to Don Lee. He got his first job, and his first glimpse of a curly, dark haired girl. The job he got was plowing a field for a neighbour, although he had to convince his father that working for someone was a good idea. “When my father was young, his family went through hard times, and he was sent to work on a farm when he was 8. They fed him, but not too well. He told me he used to get ahold of a clean piece of straw and keep it in this pocket. When he milked the cows in the morning he would pull out the straw and sip some milk from the pail when the farmer wasn't looking. So he wasn't keen on me working, but when I told him I was going to be paid 50 cents a day, he said that was all right.” As far as that curly haired girl is concerned, families used to ask Don's father if they could come on to the farm to have picnics on St. Andrews Lake, and he always said yes. One day, as he was fishing with another girl from a nearby farm, he saw a family from Bellrock out on the lake having a picnic. “There was a girl there, she was only 12, but she was a pretty girl, with dark hair just as curly as you can believe.” It took another two years for Don Lee to get to know Gladys Reynolds, but it turned out that she remembered that summer picnic. “I saw you out there,” she told me, “you had another girl with you. What happened to her?” (to be continued)
Although congregants gathered last year to mark the 170th birthday of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Railton, the Catholic community in Southern Frontenac County has been anchored by St. Patrick's since 1832. At that time, Lawrence Raile sold 6 acres off of the 200 acre property he had purchased in 1824 to the Right Reverend Alexander MacDonnell, the Very Reverend William P. McDonald, and V.G and Walter Mcunniffe, all of Kingston, who acted as Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church of Loughborough, for the sum of 8 pounds. A stone church was built at that location, and became the place of worship for the Irish Catholic immigrants who were beginning to establish farms in the surrounding region. The church has always served the communities of Sydenham and Harrowsmith, and it was common for Catholic Churches to be located a few miles away from Village Centres, to avoid potential conflicts with other denominations, it is unclear why the location in Railton was chosen, although it's location on the 'Nine Mile Road' – the County Road between Kingston and Sydenham now known as Sydenham Road, would have been a factor. Although there are no existing descriptions of the first church at Railton, it's location was between the present church and the parish house that is located a few metres to the south. The original cemetery was located to the rear, and was eventually after the new Cathedral was built in the 1850's, partly because the soil was not deep enough. In 1845 Father Pendergast, who had begun his association with “Loborough, Camden, Mill Creek (Odessa), Portland, and Sheffield” in 1844, presided over the blessing and erection of the Stations of the Cross on Sunday March 23rd, and that is the date that was celebrated as the anniversary of the church. A number of Reverend's were appointed as pastor over the next 12 years. The Reverend Michael Clune came on in 1855, and it was during his tenure that the present church was built. “A receipt dated dated November 17, 1857, was issued for a consideration of 500 pounds, a stone church 40 feet wide and 60 feet long and 26 feet high, to be complete according to plans and specifications of the Catholic Church, the church to be completed by November 1st, 1858.” - Built on a Rock, The story of the Roman Catholic Church in Kingston, 1826 – 1976. It was in the late 1840's that the mass migration of Irish Catholics took place, during what is known as the potato famine. A number of families who survived the deadly passage to Canada, made their way somehow to South Frontenac, and began to build their lives in Loughborough.
Long before it officially became a provincial park in 1965, the flavor of Bon Echo Park had begun to take shape decades earlier, thanks to the influence of three distinct personalities. In a presentation titled "The Dentist, the Feminist and The Writer", local historian Margaret Axford spoke of the influence these three people had on the park, which continues to draw visitors from across the country and from all over the world. The first was the dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price, who was born in Newburgh, Ontario, but who lived and worked in Cleveland, Ohio. Price's wife was from Brampton, Ont. and she taught in Ardoch. In 1898 Price began renting land in what is now Bon Echo in the summer months from a farmer named David Weese. In 1899 the couple acquired land in the area and Price decided to build an inn modeled on the tourist hotels of the Adirondacks. Axford stated, “He [Price] knew that the setting of the Mazinaw Rock would be a natural draw and it was the Prices who gave the name 'Bon Echo' to the area, and who gave birth to tourism in the region.” Price, who was described by one observer at the time as a “wiry man, always rushing somewhere with a hammer in his hand” used local labor to build the inn, which consisted of the main building, five cottages, a separate staff house, a boat house, a laundry house, an ice house, numerous docks and a bridge across the Narrows. By the end of Price's second summer after purchasing the land, the Bon Echo Inn was complete. In 1901 a telephone line that originated at the Kaladar train station and ran along the old Addington Road became the first telephone line in the area. Price hoped to attract like-minded nature lovers to the area, and because he was a teetotaler and a religious man, the inn was dry until Merrill Denison took it over decades later. In 1901, Flora MacDonald Denison arrived on the scene at Bon Echo with her husband Howard and son Merrill, first as guests in the tower room suite of the inn. Axford said that “she would have bought the place at that time if Price had been selling it” but instead she bought a lot south of the Narrows, where she built a summer cottage. Flora and her family would spend the next nine summers there. Flora MacDonald Denison was born in 1867 in Actinolite, worked as a teacher near Actinolite, and as a dressmaker in Toronto. She later was a writer on women's rights and the suffrage movement. It was on her annual trip to Bob Echo in 1910 that Flora learned that Dr. Price wanted to sell the inn. Differing reasons are given for Price's reason for selling. One was that his 10-year-old son Donald was ill at the time; he later died either of spinal meningitis or from a diving accident. Flora paid Dr. Price $13,000 for the inn, Big Bear Island and numerous acres of land, and Flora's husband Howard ran the Inn from 1911-1913 until the two separated and their marriage ended. Flora then took it over and her intent was to create “a haven for artists and philosophers in an inspiring natural landscape with an incredible view of Mazinaw Rock, where visitors could renew their souls, their energies and their creative instincts.” Flora also celebrated the teachings and writings of Walt Whitman, the famed 19th century American poet. According to Axford, Flora “was caught up in his [Whitman's] democratic ideals and she saw Bon Echo as being a symbol of democratic freedom...that would always be enhanced by the spirit of Walt Whitman.” It was Flora who had a large rock face on the lake inscribed with a dedication to “Old Walt”. As a practicing spiritualist and part of a group whose members claimed they could communicate with the dead, Flora held numerous séances at Bon Echo. One observer at the time recalled that guests at Bon Echo “often preferred a séance at midnight to a Sunday morning church service.” Under Flora's command the inn housed many notable guests, including James Thurber, Morley Callahan, Frank Lloyd Wright and the painters from the Group of Seven; the latter would often be guests when Flora's son Merrill took over ownership. Financially the inn ran at a loss, with “Flora's dreams always outstretching her financial capabilities”. Flora died at 54 years of age on May 23, 1921 and a bronze urn holding her ashes was deposited in Mazinaw Lake just below the Whitman inscription. Her son, Merrill Denison, a writer and later a well-known radio personality, inherited the inn and its 10 square miles of property, and began some much-needed repairs. His contacts at Hart House and the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto put him in touch with many famous Canadians artists of the time, many of whom would become regular visitors to Bon Echo. Merrill's partner, Muriel Goggin, whom he would marry in 1926, ran the inn from 1923-1928 “like a general”, and it prospered during this time until the stock market crash of 1929. From then until 1934 it was closed to the public at large and became Camp Mazinaw, a boys' camp for Trinity College School in Port Hope. In 1936 the inn burned down after being struck by lightning. A Toronto woman who was working at the inn at that time, when she was 16 years old, sadly recalled watching it burn. Though the inn was never rebuilt, Merrill and Muriel continued to spend the summers at Bon Echo after selling off some of the land. They kept less than 100 acres for themselves. Merrill's aim still was to preserve the area as “a meeting place as it was for the Alonquins, a center to which people would come to learn and discuss ideas in an inspiring natural surrounding.” In 1959 he turned over the buildings and land to the provincial government to be used as a provincial park. The official ceremony did not take place until 1965. Merrill died in 1975 at the age of 81. Axford ended her presentation defining the legacy that these three personalities left behind for all who continue to visit and enjoy Bon Echo Park. “The legacy they left was that the democratic spirit should prevail and the ordinary person must continue to have access to this wonderful place.” For those wanting a more detailed account of the history of Bon Echo and the personalities who helped to create it, a number of books on the subject are available at the Cloyne Pioneer Museum. They include "The Oxen and The Axe" (Brown, Brumell and Snider), "The Mazinaw Experience: Bon Echo and Beyond" (John Campbell), "Sunset of Bon Echo" (Flora MacDonald Denison), and "Bon Echo: The Denison Years" (Mary Savigny).
In the copy of the "County of a Thousand Lakes" at the Sharbot Lake branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, there is a hand-written note underneath the dedication at the front of the book. The dedication says “This account of the history of Frontenac County is dedicated to the people of the county, to those of past generations who developed a new and empty land ...” and the note says “It wasn't empty – it was invaded by another people searching for wealth, your heritage is theft". The book, which was put together in the late 1970s as a massive community project the likes of which has not been seen in Frontenac County before or since, is certainly scant in its treatment of the Algonquin heritage of Frontenac County. There is a section at the beginning by Ron Vastokas of Trent University that talks about the Algonkians, but it includes a proviso that says, “Since very little archaeology has been done in Frontenac County, ... , a brief outline of the larger area will provide the background for a later consideration of a few specific sites within the county.” He then goes on to talk about the Algonkian speakers who inhabited the Canadian Shield, only considering the pictographs at Mazinaw Rock “as one of the most spectacular” examples of paintings that are attributed to Algonkian shamans. The conclusion that Vastokas draws at the end of his piece is that “at the time of the arrival of European settlers, therefore, the Algonkian hunters and gatherers lived in the harsh environment of the Shield.” Neither the section of the book that is dedicated to settlement nor the section dedicated to Bedford Township make any reference to Algonquins living in the region or reserve lands being set aside for the use of Algonquin families in the vicinity of Crow and Bobs Lake in 1844. The section of the book that concerns Oso district starts with a description of the photo that hangs in the Oso Hall to this day. “Tradition supports the words on the back of the picture which say 'Mr and Mrs Francis Sharbot came up from the Fall River and pitched their tepee on the shores in the year 1830 and gave the lake its name.' They were full blooded Indians of the Mohawk tribe and were considered the best family of Indians in the County of Frontenac, honest and reliable,” says the County of 1000 Lakes in the only direct reference to an Aboriginal family in its 572 pages. In retrospect, it is not a total surprise that a book written at that time would ignore the fact that there were people living in Frontenac County before it was formally 'settled'. Since the County of 1000 Lakes was published, the profile, certainly of the Algonquin people who have roots in the Rideau and Mississippi Valleys, which take up the northern two-thirds of the county, has risen. Events such as the wild rice dispute in the early 1980s, the establishment of community organisations and later First Nations structures such as the Ardoch and later the Sharbot Lake Algonquins, the Algonquin Land Claim process, as well as court rulings about inherent rights and the duty to consult, have changed the politics of Frontenac County. Much of Frontenac County, is now recognised as being part of the Algonquin Land claim, which has been slowly progressing since 1994. The personal history of Doreen Davis, who has been chief of the Shabot Obaadjiwan (formerly Sharbot Lake Algonquins) ever since 1999 and the regional Algonquin Nation Representative at the land claim table, has taken many twists and turns just as her community has. Chief Doreen (no one seems to call her Chief Davis) is a born and raised Frontenac County resident who attended Sydenham High School, lived on Desert Lake Road and raised a family. Hers is also the story of an Algonquin who was born on the shores of Sharbot Lake, a direct descendant of Francis and Mary Sharbot who talks about hunting and fishing all her life just as her ancestors have for centuries and centuries. “We have archaeological records from Bobs and Sharbot Lakes of a presence going back to 3000 to 1000 BC and 900 to 1500 AD, over 30 sites at Bob's Lake alone, that establish our presence. The only time we scattered was during the Iroquois wars prior to 1701". While there is little written history of Algonquin presence in the region prior to the settlement era of the mid 19th century, what little there is, including a map of the 3,700 acre Bedford tract, bears out her version of events. She has records from the Benjamin Tett trading post at Battersea in the 1840s and 1850s with entries about trades for furs with Algonquin trappers from Frontenac County. “Benjamin Tett had a trading post for the Algonquins. John Antoine, Joe Mitchell, all members of this community took in stuff and traded there. It shows that we were in Battersea; it shows you that we were there. I even have, in storage, some of the slips from the store." There is reference in records dated as early as 1817 to Peter Shawanapinessi, also known as Peter Stephens, who was identified as a chief who used land in the South Sherbrooke, Oso and Bedford area as winter hunting grounds, and petitioned for and was granted the Bedford tract. Other families included the Michels, Clemos (Clement) Antwins (Antoine), Buckshots and Whiteducks from Cross or Crotch Lake. A document from Joan Holmes, a genealogist who works with the Algonquins of Ontario – the umbrella group negotiating the Algonquin Land Claim, comes to the following conclusion: “In summary, correspondence, church and census records covering the period from 1842 to 1863 indicate that the ancestors of the Ardoch Algonquins were leading a semi-nomadic life in the townships of Bedford, Oso, South Sherbrooke and Palmerston ... they had license of occupation to a tract of land in Bedford Township where they attempted rudimentary agriculture. However their occupation of that land was made untenable by lumber cutting. Their main source of support was gained from the traditional pursuits of hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering, which they carried out in remote areas north of the Rideau River system.” According to Doreen Davis, while the records are stronger for the Bedford Algonquins, “there were other families throughout, in Oso, in Ardoch, in Lanark, in Renfrew, all over. We knew about it, but it was never written down. Even though Francis and Mary Sharbot were born at Oka, that is true, she was a Nicik, and there are records of the Niciks in Frontenac going back to the 1700s,” she said. Doreen Davis lives with her husband on a property that is close to where she was born, perched between Sharbot Lake and the Fall River. She presides over a large extended family of children and grandchildren. She spends a lot of her time in the Shabot Obaadjiwan office at the Snell Complex on Highway 7, when she is not in Pembroke at the Algonquin Nation Office or in meetings throughout the Ottawa Valley. Her grandmother Margaret, who was Mary and Francis Sharbot's grand-daughter, lived on the farm where Doreen lived when she was a child. “I grew up knowing that I was Algonquin. My grandmother said to say I was a Blackfoot or to say nothing. The reason was that we did not want to be known as Mohawks, because that was dangerous, and no one knew about the Algoquins, so it was best to keep quiet. We moved to Joyceville and then Harrowsmith, where I went to school. I used to come back each weekend, to spend the weekend back here, where we hunted and fished. We farmed and hunted and fished, just like everyone else in those days.” If she has a regret about those years it was that she did not pay as much attention as she would have liked to all the knowledge about the use of herbs that her grandmother showed. “I did what she told, gathered herbs and bottled things and all that but I never paid enough attention.” The Algonquin connections that have characterized her life were all extended family connections. “We have always been connected, through marriage and everything else, and when we gathered as family those were Algonquin gatherings. We may not have talked about it, and it was never something that made life easier for us, but that was the way it was,” she said. “The more people knew you were native, and this was true for the Badour's and all of us, the more shit-kicking you took. It wasn't smart to make a big deal about it; it still isn't today. That was the way it was.” In the 1980s when Algonquin politics started to ramp up she was involved, but not in a leadership role. That all changed in 1994. “I had a nervous breakdown, two breakdowns actually in 1992 and 1993, from a lot of things. In 1994 I went to one of the first land claim meetings, and I was very nervous to be there because I had not been out of my house for a very long time. There was a mask, it was of a face made out of leather and it was pulled back like the wind. It was made by a woman I never met before and never saw again, and it was raffled off. I couldn't take my eyes off the mask and I bought one ticket for 25 cents and I won it. She then sat with me and asked me if I had any idea what this mask represents and I said no. She said it's pulling you from your past and you can still see the future. I said okay, not really knowing what that meant either at the time, and she said, now you have a responsibility. She said you have to lead your people. I said I can't get up in the morning by myself; there is no way I can lead people. She said, 'Well you will, you will dear'”. That fall she was elected to the Sharbot Lake committee for the land claim. “It totally changed my life. I don't know how and I don't know why but I don't even question it anymore,” she said. In 1999 she went on to become Chief of the Shabot Obaadjiwan and has remained in that position ever since. She has been twice selected as Algonquin Nation Representative to the land claim. As the land claim progresses, and Algonquins gain back rights that have been long lost, there are two important issues about those rights that she talks about. “Rights come with responsibilities. That's the first thing, and there are no individual rights, they are collective rights. To say I have rights to take that deer or take that fish, I don't. I have the right to sustain my life, but I only have Aboriginal rights as part of a community, not for myself. This is what we have to tell ourselves and communicate to everyone else, and this is what the land claim settlement is all about.” There are a lot of politics connected to the land claim, including opposition from both Algonquins and other groups with an interest in the land. Internal to the claim itself, an appeal has removed a number of Shabot Obaadjiwan members from the land claim approval voting list, but Chief Doreen said that those people have never stopped being members of the Shabot Obaadjiwan. “That appeal changed nothing in our community, and it does not mean they will not be on the beneficiary list, that has not been determined yet. You can't change who someone is, their identity, because a piece of paper from 200 years ago is unclear. We know who we are, we always have,” she said. The Shabot Obaadjiwan are moving their office soon to a property they own on Hwy. 7 west of Arden, and are building a community centre on some property on White Lake near the MNR fish hatchery. Chief Doreen continues to work on the Algonquin Land Claim.
The 11th annual Buck Lake Boatilla to raise funds for Easter Seals Camp Merrywood commences at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, at the culvert on the south branch of Buck Lake. All forms of watercraft are welcome. The event will feature a tour of the lake, followed by a complementary barbeque at Hidden Valley Campground at 3 p.m., and a checque presentation to Easter Seals. What began as an attempt to raise enough money to send one child with physical disabilities to camp quickly became a large event within the community involving local, regional, and even international contributions. Buck Lake resident, Pat Haggerty said, “Our Community Watch organization wanted to give something charitable back to the community, so we decided to work with Easter Seals, specifically for Camp Merrywood. We wanted to provide an opportunity for children and youth with physical disabilities to do the things that we do here at Buck Lake – sailing, fishing, canoeing, and having campfires.” During their first event in 2005, the Buck Lake community raised over $3700, and was able to send one child to camp. Over 10 years later, the Boatilla continues, and it has raised over $135,000 to date, sending 64 children to camp. Last year along, $2,700 was raised, enough to send 10 kids to camp. “The dedication and enthusiasm of the Buck Lake community is really extraordinary,” said Jessica Kostuck, Fundraising Specialist for Easter Seals Ontario. “Camp Merrywood’s programs and activities help kids develop a strong sense of self-esteem, achievement, and confidence. The annual Buck Lake Boatilla exemplifies the spirit of Camp Merrywood, and is a delight for local Easter Seals families and supporters alike.” “Our success wouldn’t be possible without the outstanding support of the community,” stated Don Hopkins, Buck Lake resident and event organizer. “We are a small community, but we extend well beyond the lake. We’ve had fundraising efforts come in from as far as Lancaster and Toronto, the event even reaches out internationally to Pennsylvania. Over the years, donations have come in from local businesses, in areas such as Kingston, Belleville, Verona, Westport and Glenburnie, to mention a few”. “Sending children with physical disabilities to Camp Merrywood has always been our objective, and all of the funds raised go towards meeting that goal,” said community member Duncan Sinclair. “The event also helps to develop our community as well, and really gets our members involved and contributing to a great cause.”
What a difference a week makes. Ben Greenhouse, from NextEra said this week that the company is considering changes to its North Point 2 project as the result of the unequivocal statement by North Frontenac that they are an “unwilling host” for wind power projects. While he would not say that North Point 2, which is now set for Addington Highlands and North Frontenac, will be adjusted in order to bypass North Frontenac entirely, he said it is a possibility. As of early this week, North Point 1, which is entirely based in North Frontenac, is still a project that NextEra is planning to submit, along with North Point 2, to the Independent Energy Service Operator (IESO) under a call for proposal for renewable energy procurement in. When Greenhouse, along with his colleague Ben Faiella, appeared at a special meeting of Addington Highlands Council a week earlier, they answered questions about the companies financial offer to the township, which included a Community Vibrancy of $1,750 per megawatt of power produced by them in the township. Maps were available at thT meeting and are now posted at nexteraenergycanada.com under the “Proposed Projects” tab in the middle of the home. Councilor Tony Fritsch asked why the vibrancy fund offer is is contingent on the township passing a motion expressing support for the project. “When we calculate our bid, the value of municipal support is weighed in, and if we don't have that, our calculations change. If we win the contract without municipal support, we can come back to council and talk about a different vibrancy fund, but for now it is contingent on the motion of support,” said Greenhouse. Fritsch also pointed out that for other projects, the value of community vibrancy funds paid out by NextEra has been as high as $3,500 per MW, double what is being offered to Addington Highlands Greenhouse said that the larger payments took place under earlier procurements for wind power, when the amount paid to the producer of the power was much higher. “This time it is a competitive process, the upper limit is $115.00 per MW/hr,” said Greenhouse, “and the winner will have to come in somewhere under that, so there is not as much financial room left.” The township will be making a formal counter offer to NextEra's initial community vibrancy fund offer on June 29th. Tony Fritsch made a motion that the counter offer include a community vibrancy fund of $3,500 per MW, double what NextEra is offering. Council unanimously supported Fritsch's motion. “If we don't ask for more, we'll never get more,” said Councillor Bill Cox) (Note – a front page photo in last week's edition incorrectly identified Ben Faiella as Ben Greenhouse)
(Note - this article was editerd on June 11 to reflect a decision made by North Frontenac Council on June 10th) On June 10th, North Frontenac Council passed a resolution declaring the township an "unwilling host" for the NextEra wind power projects, nothPoint 1 and Northpoint 2. It was a unanimous vote among the 7 member Council. The company had offered a sweetener for municipal support for the project, in the form of a community vibrancy fund that would have been worth as much as $200,000 per year for 20 years, in addition to a projected increase in tax revenue of more than $100,000 per year. The money was available under two conditions: the township needed to pass a motion supporting the project; and NextEra’s bid for the project needs to be a winner in the procurement process that has been set out by Ontario’s Independent Energy Service Operator (IESO). The motion that was proposed to Council at a Special meeting on Wednesday night (June 10) was crafted by Mayor Ron Higgins, and when contacted on Tuesday he said that he has been talking to members of Council about the NextEra proposal and is confident his stance will be endorsed by the entire Council. “There were many red flags about this proposal as far as North Frontenac is concerned, starting with the fact that instead of being approached by the company we initially read about it in the newspaper in early March. It also involves major construction and conflicts with the entirely different economic development strategy we have been developing,” he said. “and beyond that our residents have voiced their opposition in large numbers.” The NextEra bid to IESO can proceed without municipal support; however the statement that North Frontenac is not a willing host will cost NextEra valuable ranking points in the procurement process, which will make it difficult for them to compete with bidders in “willing” townships While the municipal support provision was included in the latest wind energy procurement process to provide for some local input, it does not go as far as granting municipalities any authority to approve or reject proposals. In spite of Council's decision, NextEra could still submit a winning bid, and the turbines would be built in North Frontenac. In that case all that North Frontenac Council will have accomplished by stating they were “not a willing host” will be to lose up to $10 million in revenue over 20 years. It is this fact that led North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins to write a letter of complaint to Premier Wynne. “Ultimately it is the way the province set up this process that has put us in this position. I thought it was important to explain our position to them and to add our voice to those municipalities who oppose the way the Green Energy Act has been formulated and implemented,” said Higgins about the letter. The letter asks the Premier and the Minister of Energy to change course and begin to work with local municipalities more directly. In the conclusion to the letter, Higgins wrote, “We implore the Minister of Energy to take this resolution and similar resolutions from other municipalities very seriously. Like us, you were elected to office to set policy and support the people who put you in these positions. If the policy is flawed, as it is in this case, then fix it. The Government of Ontario has stated they are going to provide more focused support for rural municipalities. The support you can give us now is by supporting our resolution, which would help us stay focussed on our strategic direction and our vision. It may take us longer to accomplish our goals rather than accepting this temptation put in front of us today, but we will be a much better and sustainable community long into the future.” (For more detail in the wind power projects thata re proposed in North Frontenac and Addington Highlands - http://www.frontenacnews.ca/north-frontenac-news/item/9482-councils-job-no-breeze-questions-for-nextera
Rev. Karen Hincke led the 130th Anniversary service of the Snow Road Presbyterian Church on June 7 and spoke to a capacity crowd. The service included special musical guests, the Abrams Family, with Wayne, Mary and their son Brian Abrams performing their top notch brand of musical ministry, which delighted the congregation. Rev. Hincke made many references to family histories in the service, first in her conversation with the children where she spoke of her own personal history with the church and specifically of her great grandfather, a Methodist circuit rider who rode a horse in South-western Ontario, preaching to a number of different communities there. Regarding the Snow Road church's 130th anniversary, Hincke said, “As a church we are born and are identified by our history... and the meaning of that history will be determined by the future, and by where our history is leading us.” In her sermon, the theme of genealogy continued and Hincke said that the purpose of the anniversary “is to look back at the130 years of this congregation’s life, which will give us courage and hope for the decades to come.” She chose to read the opening 17 verses from the Gospel of Matthew, which are seldom read at a worship service. They speak of the genealogy of Jesus Christ and the 42 generations that led to his birth. She cited the reading as “a genealogy that is the proper beginning of the story of Jesus for two main purposes, since first, it tells the reader who Jesus was and how he fits both into the history of the Jews and the Christian church” and secondly she said that it “shows Matthew's readers at that time, the beginning of their own history.” The history of the Snow Road church has been celebrated and chronicled in a publication titled “The First Hundred Years - Snow Road Presbyterian Church”, which was put together by Max Millar, Hilda Geddes and Don St. Pierre in celebration of the church's 100-year anniversary in 1985. I have included here some highlights from that publication here. The church was built in 1885 at the cost of $1600 by Mr. Snowden, a contractor and builder, on a lot donated by Mrs. James (“Granny”) Millar. The church was opened and dedicated on November 28, 1885. Prior to its construction services were held in a no longer existing schoolhouse in the village. John Allan, who moved to Snow Road from the Perth area, is the individual credited with instigating the building of the church and was its first elder. He also organized its first Sunday school. A year after its construction, the churches of McDonalds Corners and Elphin were transferred to the Kingston Presbytery since the new church was a member and the three remained in the Kingston Presbytery until 1927, when they became a part of the Presbytery of Lanark and Renfrew. Rev. Alexander McAuley was the church's first minister. The church organ that was played at Sunday's service by organist Lynda Russell was purchased in 1936, replacing an older hand pump organ and in 1968 it was electrified. The church was originally heated by a single box stove, and a second stove was later added. They were replaced first by one and then a second wood-burning furnace, which were installed in the church’s basement. Because the heating system proved insufficient, in 1968 the family of John A. and Blanche Geddes (Hilda, Ralph, Katharine, Eileen and Jim) paid to install electric heating, which was dedicated in memory of their parents. The church was originally lit with kerosene lamps, which were replaced in 1934 by gas lamps. These in turn were replaced by electric lights in 1938. Many additions occurred at the church over the years. In 1952 an entrance over the basement door was built and in 1956 a vestry was built at the front of the building. New windows were installed in 1962 and in 1967 a privy was built outside at the rear of the church. It has just recently been updated. In 1975 new front windows were acquired and a green steel roof was purchased and installed. In 1980 a sound system was installed. Over the years numerous gifts were donated to the church, allowing for the purchase of building and other materials. When the church congregation celebrated their 100-year anniversary in 1985, the building was repainted inside and out for the celebrations, which were led by Reverend Linda Bell and took place there on August 4, 1985. Rev. Hincke concluded the service by saying that this anniversary was an important opportunity for congregants to look both to the past and to the future. “During this anniversary celebration we look to our history...remembering who we are and where we have been as we look to the future remembering what we have been put here to do and where we are going.” Upcoming will be the 169th anniversary celebration and service at the Elphin Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 28 at 11 a.m. and on Sunday July 19 the Knox Presbyterian Church in McDonalds Corners will be holding a special 170th celebration and service at 11 a.m.
Ottawa Valley-based singer songwriter Craig Cardiff not is only a gifted performer but he also has a unique ability to encourage and inspire youngsters. The singer/songwriter was invited to perform and hold workshops at Land O'Lakes Public School on June 23 by Kathy Bateman, the student support teacher at the school. The event was made possible thanks in part to a grant the school received from Blue Skies in the Community, whose mandate is to bring music appreciation and opportunities to students in North and Central Frontenac. Cardiff, who performs regularly across Canada and the United States, engaged the students by showing them how they too can write their own songs. “I remember as a youngster being inspired by musicians who visited my school and my goal with this workshop and performance is to help inspire students; to get them to write a song so they can realize that it's not hard and to hopefully spark a musical interest in them”, he said when I interviewed him as he was setting up his gear in the school gym. Cardiff, who has been playing since he was very young, began by performing a number of his own original songs, tunes like “Safe Here” and “Love is Louder”. At just 38 years old he has 20 albums under his belt and he easily captured the attention of the appreciative audience. First he spoke about what inspires his own lyrics and next he taught them the choruses of his tunes, inviting them to raise their hands and sway in time to the music as they sang. Next he invited a student, five-year-old Keegan to the stage, who helped Cardiff write a song about the latter's love for trucks and cars, which included lyrics like, “I love jacking up trucks and taking the tires off, installing roll bars”, and another that told of how “monster truck drivers are safely strapped in under six seat belts”. Cardiff invited a second student, five-year-old Keeley to the stage and together they composed a song on a topic close to her heart - princesses. The song included lyrics offered up by Keeley, one line about Bambi, the prince of the forest, and another about Cinderella's two very rude sisters. Between the songs the students had a chance to question Cardiff and he answered a wide range of questions with “Yes, I like cheese and no, I am not rich,” though he did mention that his craft does pay the bills and feed his family. He answered many more questions on the topic of music, including what inspires him, who his favorite singer is (Paul Simon), and his thoughts about fame and when and how he got started. To wrap up the performance and prior to working one on one with the students, Cardiff sang a medley of some of his favorite tunes from Paul Simon's Graceland. The students were no doubt inspired by Cardiff's performance and you can bet that many family members were treated to a few original compositions before the day was out. For more information and to sample some of Craig's music visit his website at www.craigcardiff.com.
Max Sedmihradsky is a bright and funny four-year-old boy who loves to laugh. His parents, Kerry and Andrew, love him to bits. Max was born in Australia and the family later moved to Hamilton, where Andrew had been raised. A couple of years ago, they noticed that although Max was very active and had high energy, he seemed to have trouble jumping and was a little awkward on his feet. Doctors confirmed there was a problem and it was worse than Kerry and Andrew could imagine. Max has Duchenne Muscular Distrophy (DMD), a disorder that afflicts about one in 3,600 males. A degenerative genetic disorder, DMD continually restricts movement in people who have it, limiting their life span to about 25 years. There is no cure, so research is the only answer. The news of his son's condition was understandably devastating to Andrew, but about a year later, he learned about another father who was facing the same circumstance, John Davidson. Some 20 years ago Davidson pushed his son Jessie across Ontario and began “Jessie's Journey” a non-stop fund raising campaign that has now raised $6 million for research into DMD. One quote from John Davidson struck a chord with Andrew: “You can roll over and play dead, or you can roll up your sleeves and get busy.” Max's Ride is Andrew and Kerry's way of “getting busy”. The ride started in Ottawa on Sunday. Andrew is riding a bike that is fitted with a front cargo container on wheels. Max is the cargo. Andrew is riding along the Trans-Canada Trail from Ottawa to Hamilton and is bound and determined to get there by Canada Day. As for Kerry, she is providing all the necessary logistical support, driving ahead in a van, arranging food and lodging, contacting media along the way and helping Max's Ride make some money for research. On Tuesday, June 23, that meant waiting at the Caboose in the Central Frontenac Railroad Park at noon, only to find out that the trail had washed out between Maberly and Sharbot Lake and Andrew was turning back and heading along Hwy, 7 until he could get past the washout. She headed out in the van to find her two men, and helped them figure out how to get to Sharbot Lake and get back on schedule as they were set to push on to Arden by the end of the day. Just before 2pm they arrived at Sharbot Lake, in time for a photograph or two and a bite of lunch before heading off again. “The best way for people to learn more about the ride is to go to Maxsbigride.com,” said Kerry. “It explains what we are doing and includes a map that shows their progress and talks about the journey.” There is also a donation button on the site. All proceeds are going to Jessie's Journey, and will automatically generate a charitable tax receipt. The money has been used for some promising efforts using cutting edge medical science to seek treatments for DMD.
The sounds of the Arden Glee Club at the Oso Hall on a week day in late June can only mean one thing: it is the day of the Seniors of the Year presentation. This was the 17th edition of the ceremony, and the Glee Club has performed in at least the last 10. This year, as has also happened in the past, one of their members was among the honourees. The first person recognized was Reverend Jean Brown from Henderson. Jean is well known locally for a number of reasons. She is an ordained United Church minister who originally came to the area to serve as minister in Arden, Mountain Grove and Henderson between 1992 and 1999. Later she served congregations elsewhere in Eastern Ontario from her home base in Henderson, where she met Alan Gurnsey. The couple married in 1999. More recently she has been filling in where needed at local churches and is currently serving at Sharbot Lake, Maberly and Parham United Churches. As Frontenac News readers are aware, Jean keeps the community informed as our Henderson reporter and always contributes a seasonal recipe or two from Manitoulin Island, where she was born and still visits each summer. She may be best known however, for her love of the colour pink, which has adorned her clothes, vehicles and even her home. Her license plate reads “PINKJEAN”. As Mayor Frances Smith said in presenting the award, “Jean is a real 'hoot'”. Bill Powers, the Glee Club member among this year's recipients, moved to Mountain Grove 10 years ago with his wife Sylvia. They both joined the Glee Club, which is a major commitment, and Bill joined the fire department, where he brings the kind of background in emergency services that is hard to come by. In his previous life in Ottawa, where he taught high school, Powers joined a volunteer organization called International Rescue. They have developed expertise in dealing with global scale natural disasters that has led to them being called in first when a disaster strikes anywhere around the world. Through International Rescue, Powers provided assistance in Galveston, Texas after Hurricane Mitch, and in Gulfport, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. He was called to Indonesia after the tsunami, and most recently to Haiti after the devastating earthquake. By that time he was 70. As Councillor Victor Heese said in presenting the award, “There is no retirement for Bill Powers.” In presenting the award to Ron Hollywood, Councilor Bill MacDonald deferred to his neighbour Skip Moyse. “Ron is as old as dirt,” Moyse said to start, but then grew more complimentary as he went along. He described how Hollywood is a tireless volunteer for the Lions Club, the Railway Heritage Society, and the Silver Lake Pow Wow, which granted him their highest honour, the Eagle Feather, two years ago. “Ron is the quiet guy you always see setting up or tearing down at just about any community event,” said Skip Moyse, who added that perhaps Ron's most enduring volunteer work is done informally. He has been known to cut, split and deliver wood to neighbours who need it, or help fix a roof, or shovel a driveway. “I cannot think of a more unassuming person who has done so much for so many,” Moyse concluded. Finally, it was the turn of Hinchinbrooke Councilor Brent Cameron to present the award to a couple he has known all his life, Joan and Roy Shepherd. Again, as readers will know, the Shepherds were the founders and driving forces behind the monthly Piccadilly Jam sessions, which over the years have become known as the “Bedford Jam” at the Glendower Hall. “These weekend sessions not only showcase local talent and provide an opportunity to share and collaborate, but they offer audience members with a cultural gift. They provide us with performances in a genre that connects us with our rural traditions and heritage,” said Cameron. The Shepherds have successfully transitioned a new couple, the Card's, to the helm of the Bedfod Jam, ensuring its continued success.
The puppet show that was presented by The Flying Box Theatre from Montreal last weekend in Sharbot Lake, Perth and McDonalds Corners features a related set of German Fairy Tales. The show is called Hans Dudeldee and Other Forgotten Fairy Tales and the story behind the story is quite interesting. We’ve all heard of the Grimm brothers who collected children’s stories and passed them out to the masses. Cinderella ring any bells? I doubt as many of you have heard of Xaver Von Scönwerth however. The eighteenth century historian spent much of his life collecting folklore in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz. Despite their overshadowing success, the Grimm brothers felt inferior to Scönwerth’s method of collection and told King Maximilian II of Bavaria that the only person who could replace them was Von Schönwerth. This was because, unlike the Grimm brothers, Schönwerth did not doctor the tales in any way. Due to this among other factors, the complete 500-story collection had been long lost and forgotten for 150 years. Last year, the cultural curator of Oberpfalz, Erika Eichenseer, published a selection of fairy tales from The Scönwerth Collection that she had discovered while leafing through archives in Reegensburg, Germany, where they had been left dormant. In 2008, Eichenseer helped to found the Franz Xaver Von Schönwerth Society, an interdisciplinary committee devoted to analysing his work and publicizing it. It is Eichenseer’s goal to translate the 500-some tales into English with the help of Munich-based English Translator, Dan Szabo. The Flying Box theatre has taken on the mission of presenting these tales for the very first time in English, and boy do they do it well.
Genevieve L’Abbe, a 17-year-old Sydenham Lake Canoe Club sprint paddler and Junior National Team Member, successfully competed in Montreal at the National Team Trials regatta last weekend for one of five positions on the Junior World’s Women’s Kayaking Team. L’Abbe will be on her way to Portugal this summer to compete in the ICF Canoe Sprint Junior & U23 World Championships Regatta, which will be held in Montemor-O-Velho, Portugal on July 24-26. “I feel very fortunate to have made the team as it was a real battle to make the 5th spot on the team. When the points were added up after the National Team Trial qualifying event last Saturday, I ended up beating my competitor by one point. It was my faster time in the 500m race that got me on the World Junior Team”. It is going to be a busy summer for L’Abbe. who will be graduating from Grade 12 this week. She will be spending a month in Montreal training with her new five teammates who are all from different regions of Canada. “I am looking forward to getting to know them and learning to work as a team” says L’Abbe. An Ottawa paddler will compete in the individual K1 races and K2 races, and she, and her other three teammates, will compete in the K4 events”. “My family and friends have been very supportive in helping me get to this level. If my family hadn’t become involved in the Sydenham Lake Canoe Club, I wouldn’t have been introduced to the wonderful sport of sprint kayaking. Knowing previous Olympian, George Jones, from the Canoe Club for the last seven years really helped me keep my eye my goal. I had heard him tell stories about the comradery that he had experienced paddling back in the 80’s and it made me think that I wanted to do that too. I guess, for lack of a better word, you could call him my hero. My biggest challenge in the next month will be the cost of traveling to Portugal as Canoe Kayak Canada only partially covers the fees. I may have to pass around the hat this summer and ask for a bit of help. I feel fortunate that I am a part of a good community”.
Over 100 local kindergarten students along with youngsters from the local community took part in the eighth annual Strawberry Moon festival at St. James Major Catholic School on June 17. The event was in celebration of National Aboriginal Day (on June 21) and it also marked the wrap up of “First You Plant the Seed”, an Aboriginal educational program for kindergarten students based on the Algonquin full moons, which is run through Northern Frontenac Community Services and aims to bring First Nations culture to youngsters in local schools. Marcie Asselstine, who headed up the festival, also ran the program this school year, and throughout the year she visited various junior and senior kindergarten classrooms at four local area schools, including Clarendon Central in Plevna, Land O'Lakes in Mountain Grove, and St. James Major and Granite Ridge in Sharbot Lake. Those students attended the festival, as did other youngsters involved in other early learning programs that are offered at the Child Centre in Sharbot Lake. At the event, the children visited four areas, including a craft table where Lily Davis showed students how to make their own totem poles using recycled materials. Just outside in a traditional tee pee typically used by First Nations people from the plains, Grandmother Danka Brewer, local member of the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, told the children the story of the race between the fox and the frog, as a way to teach them about peer support and cooperation. Also outside, a men's drumming circle headed up by Josh St. Pierre, Leslie St. Pierre and Joe Wilson with the help of the Kokumis Women's Drum group, taught the children numerous songs, and traditional dancers Alesha Mercier and Madison and Logan St. Pierre wore their traditional regalia and demonstrated traditional dancing. Lastly, Bonnie Murphy assisted the children at a traditional foods section where the youngsters made their own edible strawberry treat and enjoyed traditional bannock. The Strawberry Moon Festival is based on the Algonquin peoples naming the June full moon as the strawberry moon and the festival is funded through the Limestone School Board, the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area, and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB). Shawn McDonald, assignment teacher for Aboriginal education with the ALCDSB, was present at the event and explained that it signifies a coming together and celebration of all the traditional knowledge and learning that has been taking place at the schools throughout the year. “This is a perfect time to celebrate the traditional learning that has been taking place in the classrooms with these younger students and it is also a wonderful learning experience for their teachers as well. By bringing in a number of local Aboriginal people who know first hand about traditional Aboriginal culture, everyone here today is learning and sharing and that is what makes this event so exciting and worthwhile.”
Two recent grants from the Limestone Learning Foundation (LLF) have resulted in some interesting projects that have been completed by students at Harrowsmith Public School. Thanks to one of the grants, students in Ms. Vogelzang's grade six class recently held an exhibition of the wooden waterfowl they created for a special project. The students researched and studied various species of waterfowl using SMART Ideas and each produced a finished piece of text that they published in a format of their choice. The students also designed and made the wooden waterfowl using rasps. They painted them and also painted wetland scenes as backdrops to their creations. Upon completion of the project, parents and families of the students were invited to a special exhibition of their work at the school on June 22. The second project involved students from Ms. Thayer's and Jane Ranson's grade 4/5 classes, who recently completed a project using 22 new iPads the school acquired through a separate grant from the Limestone Learning Foundation. The project, in which the students designed a virtual resort for the Harrowsmith area, also covered specific curriculum requirements including Social Studies, Science, Math, French, and English. The students, who worked in groups, first used Google Earth to find an actual location for their resort and explained why it was suitable. Next they used Survey Monkey to develop surveys to collect data about what people wanted at a resort, and based on that information they further developed the resort's plans, creating maps, posters and pamphlets to explain its special features and services. Thayer said that to meet the needs of the special learners in the two classes, the teachers applied for the grant to acquire the iPads in an effort to make the project more accessible to all of the students in the class. “The iPads are very visual and have different apps that allow the students to tailor the work to their own special talents and needs. For example the iPad has a voice-to-text app that allows students who may be less skilled at reading and writing to create a higher quality work, which they might otherwise not be able to produce. They also give the students appropriate choices when they are searching for resources on the web.” Grade five students Andrew Johnston and Kate Livie each completed a project and showed me their finished work. Andrew made a presentation about a virtual resort called the MUG Hotel, in which he and his group created a video presentation using green screen technology. Kate likes to use the scratch app on the iPad to create her very own video games. When not hovering over their new iPads, students and staff at HPS also know how to have a good time on a hot sunny June day. The held an annual Water Fun Day on June 19 that involved over 150 students at the school, with the older grade 4/5 students taking the lead and organizing and running a number of water-based activities for the younger students at the school.
A total of 13 locations opened their doors to curious history buffs at the special Doors Open event, which took place on June 13 to celebrate 150 years in Frontenac County. At the Railway Heritage Park in Sharbot Lake, members of the Central Frontenac Railway Heritage Society greeted visitors to the caboose, which offers visual and written information about the area’s unique railway history. They served guests lunch and refreshments and want to get the word out that they are looking for new members and volunteers to assist them with their many ongoing projects. For information please call 613-279-2777 At the Bradshaw Schoolhouse near Tichborne, guests had a chance to meet former teachers and their relatives at the quaint and lovingly preserved one-room schoolhouse where Richard Webster greeted guests. Visitors included Marilyn Meeks, who supply taught at the school for one year in the late 1960s, filling in for a teacher taking maternity leave. She remembers the school with fondness and recalled how the older students assisted the teachers by minding the younger students while the teacher did her best to cover school curriculum for all ages. Also visiting was Daniel Hayes, whose grandmother Daisy (Margaret) Hayes taught at the school between 1916 and 1919, prior to marrying Edward Hayes, who at the time was a telegraph operator at the CP Station in Tichborne. Daisy trained as a teacher at Sharbot Lake's Normal School (teachers’ college) prior to taking the post at Bradshaw. Other locations included in the Doors Open event included sites in and around North, Central, and South Frontenac and the Islands.
Taylor Salmond has been a quiet leader at North Addington Education Centre, but when things need doing the students and staff at the school know who to look to. She has used her skills in Volleyball to set up lunchtime mentoring sessions with elementary panel students in the school and ran clinics in her spare periods. She was the treasurer of the Student Council last year and president this year, and organised fundraisers, charity events and more. She is also an active community volunteer and her grades have been very high as well. She has maintained a 90% average over her entire high school career and won numerous proficiency awards. Austin Fuller is a guitarist, an A student, a volunteer firefighter, and is good at fabrication. At NAEC he was a music teacher for younger students all through high school, has supervised summer students at Bon Echo, performed at the Denbigh Music Fest, and met his obligations to the Ward 1 fire department - all while attaining a Special Skills Major in Construction with an 86% overall average. This year he has been participating in a dual credit program in Automotive techniques at Loyalist, where he is planning to attend college next year in the Welding and Fabrication Program Last year, Taylor Meeks won the award as the best all around student at Granite Ridge. He has also played varsity basketball, soccer, volleyball and track, and he won the coaches award for Basketball in 2014. He has coached in the Northern Area Basketball League for elementary-aged students, was one of the student guides when Granite Ridge was introduced to the community last year, and has been an important member of the Student Council for the last two years. His voice is known to the entire school community because he is one of the morning announcment team at Granite Ridge.
This Saturday June 13, at 14 locations throughout Frontenac County, community and historical groups will be participating in a Doors Open event to showcase their communities' history and mark the 150th Anniversary of the county. Among those locations is the community of Arden, where the Kennebec Hall will be the focal point of events. The Kennebec Historical Society will be spreading their materials out in the hall. There are artifacts, documents, and an interesting display of historic photos. One new item that has come the historical society's way by virtue of the growing co-operation between groups in Central Frontenac is a binder that was given to them by the Railway Heritage Committee in Sharbot Lake, which will have its caboose open for Open Doors as well. The binder contains photos and documents about the closing of the Ardendale station. Among the features of the day, which runs from 10-4, will be a performance by Adrian O'Connell from 1 to 1:30pm. He will be singing historical ballads to entertain the audience. The Frontenac Trappers Federation as well as The Friends of Arden will also have a display and the canteen will be open. Just across from the community hall, the Arden Legion has put together a historical display as well. Also the Arden Artisans: Arden Batik, Arden Pottery and Gallery on the Bay will all be open. As mentioned, Arden is but one of 14 communities from the top to bottom of the vast County who will be hosting Doors Open events. From the Pioneer Museum in Cloyne to the historic Vanluven House (now a fishing lodge) in Battersea, there will be a lot to see in Frontenac County this Saturday. Look to the ad on page 3 of this paper or to the complete list and descriptions at Frontenaccounty.ca (click on June 13: Discover Frontenac's history during Doors Open)
Steady rains over the last week have had an impact on lake levels, but three lakes in the Mississippi watershed system remain very low. Gord Mountenay of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority has been monitoring the water levels for years, and he said this week that although recent rains have helped, Big Gull, Mississagagon and Crotch Lake remain well below the normal levels for this time of year. Big Gull Lake, which is 28 centimetres below normal, and Mississagagon, which is 16 centimetres low, are of concern because they are popular cottage and recreational lakes. In the case of Big Gull, which is a spring fed headwater lake, the concern has been mounting since early March. There was virtually no spring runoff because all the snow “either sublimated into the air or infiltrated the ground but never made it to the lake,” Mountenay said, and with little or no rain in April and May, Big Gull has only lost water to evaporation since that time. Moutenay said that MVCA drew down the lake in the late fall to bring it to within a range that they have used for a number of years, and the lake has been dammed up ever since then. “No water has been released from that lake by us since March 1, and before that it was frozen solid all winter so it did not move at all” said Mountenay. The story is similar at Mississagagon. “There are things we can try to do to mitigate against too much water, but one thing we can't do is find water where there isn't any. The water level at Crotch Lake is extremely low, 80 centimetres below where MVCA would like it to be. Since there are no cottages on Crotch Lake, its level has not resulted in complaints to the MVCA office as Crotch and Big Gull have, but since Crotch Lake is used by MVCA as a reservoir lake for the lower end of the watershed, there is a potential problem for the prime recreational part of the summer, particularly if the summer is hot and dry. “It's pretty simple, we need more rain, a fair bit more, or we will continue to have a problem,” said Montenay. On the Rideau system, the story is not as grim, at least as far as Bobs Lake is concerned. Bobs, the reservoir lake for the Tay River, and ultimately, the Rideau Canal, was sitting at 162.7 metres, almost 10 centimetres above the historic average. In late April, Bobs was as much as 40 centimetre below the average, so its recovery is a relief to officials from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
Close to 200 visitors attended the third annual Touch-A-Truck event that took place at the Flinton Recreation Club, where a wide assortment of township and other vehicles were on hand for youngsters to explore. These included transport trucks, a Hydro One vehicle, various trucks from the local township and the local fire department as well race cars, ATVs, a hearse, a school bus, motorcycles and more. Sparky and Smokey the Bear were also on hand to entertain youngsters. The event, which is put on by Lennox and Addington Resources for Children, (LARC), part of the Ontario Early Years programming, aims to make youngsters comfortable with the vehicles and staff who operate them and to teach them about safety issues. I spoke to Becky Kavanaugh, a parent educator with LARC, who said the fun-based event is to give children a chance to explore and learn. “Young children rarely have an opportunity to get up close to these vehicles and understand what they do and the event also offers an educational component where we also talk about safety, which helps them to understand how the staff who operate them are there to help them.” Kavanaugh thanked all the people involved who volunteer their time for the event, including members of the Flinton Recreation Club, who offer up the hall and provide all of the food that was available on site. A wide variety of door prizes and safety memorabilia were also handed out by the various organizations who attended.
URCA is an acronym that stands for United, Roman Catholic, Anglican in recognition of the three churches in the Village of Flinton that worked collectively to establish low cost housing for residents of Kaladar/ Barrie Township who needed it. It's no coincidence that the project, which was needed in the North of 7 region back in the late 1980s as much as it is today because of economic and social conditions, ended up happening in Flinton. If it was left to bureaucrats to decide, the project would have undoubtedly been built on Hwy. 41 in Kaladar, Northbrook or Cloyne. Who would build social housing away from the transportation and economic corridor that is the lifeblood of the region? It is partly the three churches in Flinton that made the difference, partly the close-knit nature of the community and partly the Freeburns, Rieta and Art. They ran the store in town, and got involved in the project in 1987. The first thing that needed to be done was to survey the need for housing, and Art spearheaded a door-to-door survey so everyone in town was contacted. In the August 25, 1987 edition of the North Frontenac News, the headline announced “Flinton Housing Proposal Accepted” and the lead paragraph said, “On Monday, August 17, a housing corporation in Flinton received confirmation that its preliminary proposal had been accepted by the Ministry of Housing.” 8,700 proposals had been submitted by Ontario communities for funding, which only a small number received. The optimistic committee, of which Art Freeburn was chair, expected to begin construction on 30 units of seniors' housing in short order, with the expectation that the project should be in its completion stages in 1988. It did not happen like that. After dealing with government delays that put off the project time and time again, things came to a head about five years later. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultants, architects, well drilling, and lawyers, the government was on the verge of cutting loose from the project. That was when Art Freeburn made his most important contribution. Furious that all his and the community's efforts were about to come to nothing, he demanded and received a meeting with government officials in Ottawa. He came home that evening with a promise that he could proceed with 16 units. But then he had more work to do convince a reluctant community that the units would be a mix of seniors' and family dwellings, when the community had all along been adamant that only seniors' housing be built. Knowing that the government was not going to back down, Freeburn told the community that both kinds of housing were going to built, and that is what happened. The project was completed in the mid 1990s, and Art Freeburn remained as Chair on the URCA Board of Directors until his death in 2007. A memorial to him is featured in the URCA office. The current Board Chair of URCA, Linda Hume, took on the role at the urging of Art Freeburn. “His greatest concern was that URCA continue to be governed by the people of Flinton,” said Linda Hume. She was interviewed at the URCA office as she was preparing for this year's AGM along with property manager Larry Pick and board member Christa Sheridan. “He felt that if local interest waned the units would be taken over by the County of Lennox and Addington and they might start to deteriorate if that happens,” she said. Larry Pick has been the property manager at URCA for a number of years. “We have a very good relationship with the County staff who manage our waiting list and provide funding for us,” he said, “and they appreciate the need and value of local oversight.” “We really need to make sure that we have a strong membership in our organisation,” said Linda Hume, “and we hope to get a good showing at our AGM this year to increase those numbers. The business end of the meeting takes 15 minutes and then there is a potluck. All people have to do is show up and register as members. It is not a big commitment but it will give us more to work with,” Linda Hume added. With statistics showing that there are 20,000 low income people in Lennox and Addington according to the 2013 sector, agencies like URCA will be more and more important, especially north of 7, in the coming years. “We hope for a good turnout on June 24,” said Linda Hume, “it should be a good night for a BBQ.”
Addington Highlands accepts offer from BEARAT to run survey Addington Highlands Council has unanimously agreed to receive information gleaned from an online survey of residents to be conducted by a group that opposes wind power production in the township, with the reeve saying the results will “be one piece of information we will consider” when deciding whether to endorse wind projects in the township. Bon Echo Area Residents Against Wind Turbines (BEARAT) will conduct the survey through Survey Monkey, a free service widely used to gather information from the public. Participants will be required to enter their Addington Highlands tax roll number in order to participate, and only one vote per tax number will be permitted. Addington Highlands residents can access the survey from the township’s website, addingstonhighlands.ca; or from BEARAT.org The group’s co-chair, Bob Haynes, is the president of the Buckshot Lake Cottagers Association, whose own survey of association members was identified by North Frontenac Council as one of the reasons that they decided to declare itself an “unwilling host” for wind projects last week. It was standing room only at the Denbigh Hall on Monday night when the proposal by BEARAT was considered by Council, and there were some protestors outside the building as well, waving signs and wearing “No Wind Turbines” buttons. The same image can be seen on some houses and businesses on Hwy. 41 near Denbigh. In addition to the predominantly anti-wind crowd, representatives from NextEra, the company whose North Point 1 and 2 proposals in North Frontenac and Addington Highlands have sparked all the opposition, were on hand. Before the decision regarding the survey monkey proposal was made, Stephen Cookson from another company, RES Canada, presented details from his company’s proposal for a wind project. It is to be located entirely in Addington Highlands, mostly on Crown Land north of Denbigh, with a transmission corridor that runs along road 41 and then tracks south and west. It will linki with a Hydro transmission corridor to the west of Flinton at the township’s border with the Municipality of Tweed. Cookson said that details about the RES project, including maps and other information, will be posted this week at the website Denbighwind.com. The company is sponsoring a public community meeting on July 2, from 6-9 pm, at the Denbigh Hall. Cookson said his company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of RES-America, is dedicated to ensuring minimal impact on landowners within the vicinity of its projects. He also said that while they are planning to construct “most or all” of their turbines and transmission lines on Crown Land, they have approached a number of property owners seeking easements, mostly for “transmission or road corridors but also as potential locations for a small number of turbines. The RES proposal includes 57 turbines, and is slated to produce up to 170 MW of power. In their submission regarding a Community Enhancement Fund, RES has upped the ante from the proposal made by NextEra. They are offering $2,000 per MW per year as well as a scholarship fund and extra money during the construction phase. For the purposes of the fund, Cookson used an estimate of 150 MW for the project, which would yield $300,000 per year for the township. Cookson said that if the township is able to provide “support in principle” for the project at their meeting in early July, RES would be willing to negotiate the final terms of the compensation agreement over the summer, as long as a vote on final approval could be taken before September, when the project bid must be submitted to the Independent Electircal Service Operator (IESO) Later this fall, the IESO will be approving 300 MW of renewable power production from one or more of the projects that will be submitted to them from across Ontario. Council decided it was best to conduct negotiations with RES regarding compensation before they meet on July 6, and will hold a special council meeting on June 29 at 9 am in Denbigh. Concerns over potential impact of wind on Elks Reg Genge, a seasonal resident on Ashby Lake and former Ministry of the Environment employee who studied water quality in lakes, has been involved in the fundraising arm of a group that is dedicated to the reintroduction of the Rocky Mountain Elk in Eastern Ontario. He said that he has heard that wind turbines can have an impact on the population of undulates, the general category of mammals that includes Deer, moose, and elk. “By my calculation these projects will involve the clearing of a total of 540 acres of land, which end up being turned essentially into gravel and concrete. Would the township support clear cutting 540 acres and turning it into a parking lot? I don't think so,” he said. “At the very least the elk habitat will be diminished.” (See note on ungulates) Staff report on wind turbines In response to a request made by Council at their meeting on June 1, Patricia Gray presented the results of research she has done into the impact of wind projects on property values, and into the perspective of Ontario municipalities where NextEra and RES-Canada have established or are developing wind projects. As to the impact on property values, Gray presented a study that was conducted by MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation), which evaluates all properties in Ontario for the use of municipal tax departments. The MPAC study concludes, “There is no significant impact on sale prices in these market areas resulting from proximity to an IWT [Industrial Wind Turbine], when analyzing sale prices.” In the detail of the report, however, there is an indication that sales of rural properties within one kilometre of an IWT were impacted. They sold for about 2.5% lower than their assessed value, which fits within the MPAC parameters for accurate assessment, but is a lower figure than those within 2 kilometres, 5 kilometres, or more than 5 kilometres, which tended to sell for 1 or 2% above their assessed value. Of those properties within 1 km, having a full view of the IWT tended to lower the sale price as compared to those having a partial view or no view at all. None of these impacts have affected the way MPAC does business however. In a letter to the township, Michel Contant from MPAC said, “So far we have not seen any decrease in assessment due to wind turbines. In fact, we have defended that in court as well. That is not to say that down the road we could see an adjustment ... I can just state that currently we do not make any assessed value adjustments if you are living near a wind turbine.” Patricia Gray reported that of the nine municipalities she approached regarding NextEra and the three she has approached regarding RES-Canada, she has received four preliminary responses from staff, three over the phone and one via email. All of the four responses have been related to NextEra projects. Of those, two were wholly favourable, one was favourable with some reservations, and one was negative. The negative response, from Grey West Township, was delivered by a staff member who said the NextEra project in their municipality was completed when there was no municipal input into the decision to approve the project. The municipality spent $100,000 fighting the project in court, but lost. NextEra had initially offered a community vibrancy agreement, but the offer was pulled after the legal proceedings were initiated. The township has been able to obtain some more money from NextEra for security but remains reluctant to deal with the company, An attempt by NextEra to sponsor local projects has been rebuffed by Council “because they do not want NexEra's name on a rink or soccer field because there was so much controversy.” Another municipality said the relationship with NextEra was difficult at the start because the company did not bring forward enough information, but that things have improved and they are working well together now. Two others said they would not be reluctant to enter into any future enterprises with NextEra. Finally, Gray reported that in terms of construction permitting, turbines are valued at about $950,000 each, meaning the fees would be approximately $7,000 per turbine. When Councilor Cox asked if the township’s permit fee holiday for commercial construction would apply, Reeve Hogg quickly responded, “This is industrial, the holiday does not apply.” In terms of scale, a 50-turbine project would be a $47.5 million project. The average value of construction in Addington Highlands between 2011 and 2013 was $6 million. Although the turbines may cost almost $1 million to build, the MPAC report said they are assessed at $40,000 per megawatt. If that is the case, a 150 MW project would generate $6 million in assessment, netting the township about $36,000 per year in additional tax revenue. Ungulates and turbines Scientific studies that have been published in recent years about the effect of wind turbines on ungulates (moose, deer and elk) have not shown any significant impact on behaviour, health or migratory patterns. A study published in the American Midland Naturalist in 2006 concluded - “Although disturbance and loss of some grassland habitat was apparent, elk were not adversely affected by wind-power development as determined by home range and dietary quality.” A controlled study was conducted using reindeer in an enclosed area with wind turbines in Sweden. It concluded that “The reindeer showed no systematic differences in the measured behaviour patterns ... that could indicate fright or stress as a consequence of the wind turbine or rotor movement.” A study published in Ecology Letter analyzing the literature on the impact of wind turbines on wildlife concluded “Ungulates in these studies have shown no behavioural responses to wind energy.” One article, however, published in 2013 in the journal Applied Energy said that not enough study has been done into the potential impacts of industrial wind turbines on terrestrial animals to draw any conclusions - “We conclude that more empirical data are currently needed to fully assess the impact of utility-scale wind energy development and operation on non-volant [flightless] wildlife.” There are a number of large studies into the acknowledged impacts of turbines on bat and bird populations, including some that consider possible means of limiting mortality rates.
On June 10, NAEC was fortunate to welcome Tammy and Bernard Nelson to teach workshops. The workshops were attended by Mrs. Pelow’s Grade 6 class, Mr. Hill’s Grade 8 class, Mr. Pelow’s Restart class, Ms. Cuddy’s Grade 2 class, and Mr. Rewbotham’s Grade 5 class. Prior to the workshops, Tammy and Bernard set up a sacred altar, with a buffalo rug, decorated buffalo skull, and various other sacred objects, including different coloured squares of material. Each workshop started with an opening prayer done in the Oji-Cree language. Bernard then explained the sacred pipe, and translated his prayer. Tammy explained the four clan animals Bernard works with, the four sacred medicines and their purpose, and the four directions. Each student made a prayer tie. This consisted of a red square of felt, into which sacred tobacco was put, and the square was tied off with red wool, to create a little, sealed bag. Students were told to think of family members or friends for whom they would like prayers for healing or other concerns, while making the tie. Bernard and Tammy collected the prayer ties, and will take them to the Sundance Ceremony they are attending this summer to include them in the prayers that will be offered. The Nelsons also provided drum teaching and finished the workshop with the students drumming, which was an activity the students clearly enjoyed, and then students were given the opportunity to ask questions. Students and staff said they really enjoyed the workshops. The Grade 6 class was very engaged. Olivia Douglas said, “Something that I learned was that they pray for animals they kill, and that’s good.” Edison McGarvey agreed, saying, “I enjoyed learning about how they kill animals. First they pray and then they put tobacco on the ground and ask to take an animal’s life.” Diana Weichenthal remarked, “It was very interesting and I thought they did a good job describing their culture. It was a fun and very informative morning.” Jaydin Reid added, “I would love to do it again!” Grade 8 students were equally enthusiastic. “It was cool because the guy was a survivor of residential schools,” commented Alex McInnis. Kayla Newman said, “It was interesting to learn about their culture.” As well as travelling the province, teaching people about First Nations culture, Tammy and Bernard host sweat lodges at their home in Inverary, and are traditional sundancers. Bernard is also an Elder at RMC, acting as a mentor for First Nations and Metis people at the college.