The first burn ban of 2015 was declared by South Frontenac Fire Chief, Rick Cheseborough, late last ...
Alita Battey-Pratt moved to a historic home on Latimer Road in the 1960s, with her husband, who taught at Queen's University. They were trying to “get back to the land, to use a phrase from the 60's, grow our own food and all that,” she recalls. After having twin daughters in 1969 and a son several years later, Alita still had had enough time to do some writing, and had taken an interest in the history of the area. She began writing for the Triangle newspaper, which served Storrington, Loughborough and Portland townships at the time. When the project to create the book, County of 1000 Lakes, started up in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Alita was approached by Ethel Beedell, who came from Battersea, and Jenny Cousineau from Sunbury to work on the Storrington chapter of the book. Alita also ended up writing the Architecture chapter as well. The book is a 550-page people's history of Frontenac County from 1673 - 1973 and was published in 1983, “I was raising young children and couldn't take a full-time job. It was fun to do and having a group of people who were so committed coming from all over Frontenac County to do it was a great thing. We met probably once a month. Each district doing a chapter would send a representative, and we got to know each other pretty well. Of course there was no Internet or email, so we communicated by phone and even then it was long distance. Unfortunately the manuscripts are only on paper; there is no digital version of anything, and only a fraction of what was written ended up in the book,” she said, when interviewed from her immaculately restored Heritage Home on Latimer Road on a cold, clear, blustery February morning. All the research for the Storrington chapter gave her an insight into the history, not only of the former village of Latimer, but also of Battersea, Inverary and Sunbury. One of the many interesting stories of the development of the area in the mid 19th Century was the development of Perth Road and the bridge over Loughborough Lake, which was necessary in order to bring development to Loughborough and Storrington Townships. Development in the 1830s in the area between Kingston and Loughborough Lake was hampered by a lack of good roads. In fact there are accounts of the requirement that landowners were required to put in a certain amount of time working on public roadways as a form of taxation. “In 1853, every landowner in Storrington whose assessed property was less than £50 had to perform two days labour on the roads, and this increased to 12 days for wealthier landowners,” said Battey-Pratt in her manuscript. When it came time to build the major north-south arterial roads, Perth Road through Inverary and Montreal Road through Battersea, the Province of Upper Canada was not interested in paying the entire cost, so “joint committees were formed from county councilors and citizen shareholders." The Kingston and Storrington and Kingston Mills Road Company was formed in 1852. In 1854, the first 12 mile stretch of road from Kingston to Loughborough Lake was paved, and two toll booths were installed, which brought in £200 in revenue the first year. It cost £7,293 to build the road, including £615 for the bridge over the north shore of Loughborough Lake. By the winter of 1855, a winter road had been built all the way up to Big Rideau Lake, where Perth Road still ends today. The rights to the road were sold in 1860 to “a triumvirate of three men, A.J. Macdonell, Samuel Smith and Sir J. A. MacDonald” James Campbell built the first subdivision in what would become Frontenac County in 1855, subdividing his farm to form 2 acre lots along Perth Road in what was subsequently renamed Inverary from the original name, which was Storrington. The toll on Perth Road remained in place for decades, much to the consternation of many people who made use of it on a regular basis. Jabez Stoness, who carried the mail for 35 years over the Perth Road, paid $3,000 in tolls over that time. In one celebrated case, “The wives of men working in the stone quarry north of Inverary refused to pay the toll because 'they were just taking lunches to their husbands'. They raced through the gate, [tollmaster] Charles Gibson went to get the bailiff ... and warrants were made out for the women's arrest. They were summoned to appear in court, held in Osborne's tavern, and the court fined them $16.50,” a hefty fine considering the toll was only 4 cents each way. Even a toll road can deteriorate, however, and in 1890, Jabez Stoness, no doubt angered by a lifetime of paying fees, refused to pay any further tolls because of the condition of the road. Noting that the county engineer had deemed the road was “dangerous and impeding Her Majesty's travel” Stoness argued that tolls could not be charged until the road was improved and he won the case. In 1907 the county offered R. H. Fair, who had purchased the road in 1899, $3,000 for the road. An arbitration board set the price at $7,000 and in June of 1907 the purchase was completed. The tolls were removed from Perth Road once and for all, and a steel bridge was constructed over Loughborough Lake, putting an end to decades of difficult crossings over rickety bridges (and ferries when the bridges would collapse every 10 years or so) One of Alita's interests during the writing of the book was the history of Latimer and the history of her own property, which was originally granted in 1799. During the research phase for County of 1000 Lakes, a neighbour who was living on the property that at one time had been John Woolf's store, found a sack full of papers which, when inspected, yielded a very clear picture of how the store and the Village of Latimer functioned in the mid 19th Century. At one time Latimer, which was the first settlement north of Kingston in what would become Storrington, had a post office, two cheese factories (including one that was turned into a fire station in the 1970s) a store and other amenities. John Woolf came to Latimer from Thorold in 1820 or '21, settled and opened a black smith shop, which became a trading post. Alita is still excited by what those old documents said about life in Latimer almost 200 years ago. “What I found was that he kept scrupulous records of everybody who came and went from his trading post, because people didn't have cash. If you came in with homespun - the Campbell ladies made a lot of homespun, that has been documented - they would trade that for wheat or flour or scantling [small timbers]. “So you had a document that ran for 50 years, of everything that went on in the community, every family, every trade, recorded in pounds, shilling and pence, until it became dollars and cents after 1850.” The documents also tell when houses were built and who built them “Captain Everett, who was a wealthy man and an owner of the toll road, would buy flooring for a full house in one go, and you would get to know when he took on construction projects. The Ansley family who lived on the farm where Alita lives, were in the lumber business, and most of their trading was done in terms of flooring, scantling and cedar shingles and they would trade for ground flour and ground peas, etc. Her research also revealed details about the history of her own house and the families that owned and operated it and the surrounding 200 acres of farmland. “It was built by Amos Ansley, who was a United Empire Loyalist and a well known master builder. It became interesting to me partly because when my husband and I purchased the house it was in a derelict state and we spent years restoring it so we learned a lot about how it was built in the process. But I also happen to be from a Loyalist family myself, and it occurs to me that a master builder such as Ansley would either have crossed paths with my family or at least they would have known about him.” Amos Ansley Jr. ended up owning a mill in what would eventually become the Village of Battersea. Ansley sold the mill in 1830 to another Loyalist who moved into the area, Henry Vanluven. Vanluven and his sons became an economic force in what became know as Vanluven's Mills until the name was changed to Battersea in 1857. He was also the first reeve of Storrington Township when it was incorporated in 1850. “Battersea had a larger population in 1850 than it does now,” said Alita, “and it had a gristmill [which burned down] a number of sawmills in and around the village and a large tannery. It was a thriving industrial centre in its day.”
The story of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) actually started five years before the corporation was formally established in March of 1975. In November 1970, a group of citizens met in the Anglican Rectory at Sharbot Lake to discuss problems shared by residents in the eight northern townships of Frontenac County - problems such as decreasing population, economic difficulties, lack of social services and limited community spirit. The group hosted a public meeting at Sharbot Lake High School on February 2, 1971. Agreement was reached that the ‘sense of community’ had to be revitalized. In earlier years, the railroads had provided a link between hamlets, villages and small rural settlements, and the passing of that era contributed to residents’ isolation. A "Communication Group" was formed and in March 1971 the first edition of the North Frontenac News - a mimeographed, single sheet paper - was printed and distributed free of charge. During that year, a Local Initiatives Program Grant was obtained to develop office space and room for any public group to hold meetings in the rectory basement. In 1972 another grant was received for assistance in development of community initiatives. Continuing their efforts as facilitators who assisted community members in taking responsibility for community problems, the group developed a proposal for multi-service centre funding. Two workers were hired to analyse organizational and social service issues in North Frontenac. The first of many senior citizens’ clubs was organized; the Children’s Aid Society was encouraged to work at the facility; and a part-time federally funded employment office opened. In response to the results of a questionnaire, the Communications Group facilitated the development of a summer swim program that was co-sponsored by the townships and the Sharbot Lake and District Lions Club. With Ministry of Community and Social Services’ funding approval in 1973, the members established a Management Council and opened office space in the refurbished former rectory. During the winter of 1973-74, a group of citizens, including some Management Council members, was brought together to discuss another vital concern. St. Lawrence College funded a worker to conduct the study, which ultimately resulted in the formation of the North Frontenac Association for the Mentally Handicapped, now known as Community Living - North Frontenac. Finally, on March 20, 1975, North Frontenac Community Services became incorporated. It was the first multi-service centre in the province. Its stated aims were that: (1) the residents of North Frontenac have ready access to a full array of social services and that these be coordinated, appropriate and effective; and that (2) citizens be encouraged and assisted to participate in community development and the solving of common problems.” From 1976 to 1982, several new services and positions were created, including the Senior Citizens’ Home Support Program, the Adult Protective Services Program, and the first Coordinator of Volunteers. During that same period, under the guidance of Queen’s University law students, a community legal worker provided services that included summary advice, advocacy, and information for residents of North Frontenac. Identification of the need for these and more extensive legal services resulted in the establishment of Rural Legal Services, which is now known as the Legal Clinic-Sharbot Lake. The position of family counsellor was started in 1979 to provide assistance for individuals and families. A small group of women began to advocate for local services to enhance the lives of children and their parents in 1983. With community support, they started a drop-in centre and toy library at Sharbot Lake the following year. Then, after acceptance of their proposal for funding, they opened a Child Care Resource Centre, with the program administered by NFCS. They purchased a van, some supplies and equipment, hired two workers, then began outreach programs at township halls. Eventually, as service requests increased and survey results were tabulated, they developed a proposal for funding of a multi-service child care centre that would be the hub for services in the North Frontenac area. The committee members actively participated in all aspects of planning for the Child Centre and celebrated its grand opening on March 21, 1991 during a heavy snowstorm. In 1995, provincial government philosophy changed and moved away from support of multi-service agencies. Administrative funding was removed from NFCS and a letter from the Ministry of Community and Social Services provided advice as to how to close down the agency in an orderly fashion. In spite of the extreme challenges presented by this action, the agency's demise never came about. Twenty years later, Northern Frontenac Community Services (the name was changed after municipal amalgamation in 1998, when North Frontenac no longer meant 'north of Verona') is stronger than ever. Even with the ups and downs caused by the advent of all-day kindergarten in the last couple of years, the day care centre, located on the bottom floor of the Child Centre building continues to thrive, and provides care for a number of children and families with particular physical and social needs. For the last 10 years, the Child Centre has carried out the role of an Ontario Early Years Centre, providing parent and early childhood education, including playgroups in communities throughout Frontenac County. A youth program has been up and running for five years, and it is also active throughout the county. The nature of the service delivery has changed over the past 20 years as well, in the children's and adult services wings of NFCS. A number of services are offered by the agency in collaboration with affiliates who have office space in the NFCS Adult Services building, such as Ontario Works, Frontenac and Addington Children and Family Service, Frontenac Community Mental Health Services, Pathways for Children and Youth, and others. The United Way has come on board as the funder of family and youth services, and the Local Health Integration Network funds community support services such as Meals on Wheels, etc. “We like to describe ourselves as a cradle to grave organization,” said long-time board member and current Board Chair Linda Chappel. “Whatever the age group, we provide services, either with our own programs or in collaboration with others.” While there are many funders behind the NFCS banner, from government ministries and departments to charitable foundations, community groups and individual donors, from the point of view of the residents of Frontenac County, the services are all provided by caring individuals, and the community activism that brought NFCS about 40 or 45 years ago keeps it going to this day. If people need service and don't know who to call, they can call the Child Centre at 613-279-3260 or Adult Services at 613-279-3151
Shirley was born and raised in Sharbot Lake, and although her family moved to Perth when she was nine, in 1935, it was her first school principal at Sharbot Lake Public School who introduced her to naturalist pursuits. “He took us outside and introduced all sorts of vegetation and birds, showed us Blue Herons. It certainly caught my attention,” she said, Shirley always returned to Sharbot Lake on weekends to visit her grandmother. In 1988, she had a small house built on the lake, on a lot in the village that was still in her family, to serve as her winter home. It was difficult to talk to Shirley on Tuesday, because the phone kept ringing as friends from all over were calling to congratulate her as news of her appointment to the Order circulated around the province. “I’ve known for three weeks, but I wasn’t to tell anyone except for family until it was officially announced,” she said, but since Shirley is not exactly prone to self-promotion it is likely she wouldn’t have told anyone about it at all if it hadn’t already been publicized. After being raised in eastern Ontario, Shirley said, “I wanted to know what it was like to live in different parts of the province.” That led her and her husband, who was a teacher, to move to Kenora. In 1956 a road was built joining Quetico with the rest of Ontario, and it wasn’t long after that that Shirley made her first trip to the park. Fifty-four years later, her story has become synonymous with that of Quetico Park. Marie Nelson, who has worked as a ranger in the park with her husband Jon, is the person who put the application for the Order of Ontario togethe Shirley Peruniak was born at Sharbot Lake in 1926, and she can trace her family roots back at least two generations further to a grandfather who lived south of the village near the Tryon Road. She attended Sharbot Lake Public School until she reached grade 7. Her father, who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, was then transferred to Perth to work in the office of CPR Express, a postal mail and parcel service. Although Shirley did not live full time in Sharbot Lake for over 50 years (1935 until 1988) she always came back to visit her grandparents and other relatives for Christmas and summer holidays. They who owned a number of cottages on the lake, and rented some out during the summer tourist season. Shirley, whose maiden name was Walroth, has always been a history buff, and attended Queen's on a sholarship to study history. She lived with her husband in Kenora for many years where they were teachers, adn where she formed an association with Quetico Park in northwestern Ontario (Onear Dryden). In 2010 was honoured by being named to the Order of Ontario for her work as a historian and naturalist in the Park. When she returned to Sharbot Lake in 1988 after her husband had died, she torn down one of the two remaining cottages that she owned herself byt that time and had a small house built on the lake, on Walroth Lane (her maiden name was Walroth) She quickly established herself as a historian in Sharbot Lake at that time, working with then librarian Michael Dawber (who late wrote a book about he history of Central Frontenac called Back of Sunset) she founded the Oso Historical Society. In the early years of the society, descendants of some of the long standing families in the township spoke at public events that were organised for that purpose, and although much of the energy of those years has slipped away, Shirley has kept an archive of material, with files about each family kept neatly in alphabetic order at her home, and in a series of file cabinets that are housed at the Sharbot Lake Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. Her own memories of life in Sharbot Lake in the 1920's and 30's are consistent with other accounts, and the material she has gathered about life in the preceding 50 years are consistent with other sources, including the chapter on Oso township in County of 1000 Lakes, which was written by Peggy Cohoe, Evelyn Johnson, and Doris and R.D. Ayers. “I know that farming was particularly difficult all through those years,” she said. Based on census data and accounts or people such as Thomas Gibbs, the surveyer who completed a Survey in 1860, County of 1000 lakes says that the entire population of the township was 138 in 1860, but that number rose steadily over the next 40 years. By 1900, 60% of the land in Oso was listed as agricultural, but even then the life blood of the town was the railway, since the CPR and K&P rail lines crossed at Sharbot Lake. In 1900 there were five lumber mills in the vicinity of the village, employing 150 people, and an apatite mine employed 40 more. All of this was based on the ability to ship product to markets in all directions. Over the next 20 years most of the mills closed, a discovery of large quantities of apetite (which was used int the fertiliser industry) in Florida led to the mine being shut done, the population dropped by 25% and farming became less and less popular. By 1911 there were 160 farms in Oso, and by 1961 there were 31, which is still a lot more than there are today. Shirley Peruniak remembers the railway as central to the town in the 1920's. “The K&P would come in first, and it would wait for the CPR to arrive. People and goods were transferred, and the trains would be on their way,” she recalls. One of Shirley's regrets is that in those years she took many trips on the K&P to Kingston, even when she was only a summer visitor to Sharbot Lake, but never took the train north the Snow road, or Flower Station, or to where it ended, at Calabogie.
Long before Mary Howes had established herself as a major force in local and regional organisations, she was a young girl from Tichborne who had been raised in a great aunt and uncle's house, near the rail station. After high school she went to Toronto to work, living at another aunt's house, but she did not like it very much. “I didn't like it because I was a country girl, not a city girl,” she recalls now, from the house in Parham that she has lived in since 1952. She would take the train home every weekend from Toronto, but her days in Toronto ended when one evening at the Parham Fair, she met the man she would end up marrying. “I met Glen for the first time at the dance at the Parham Fair in 1950. We knew of each other of course, but that was our first meeting,” she said. The dances at the fair were held in the Palace, where all the fair entries are set out during the day. She does not recall who the band was led by that night, although she remembers that the band that played at her wedding was led by Bill Hannah. There was one problem in the romance between Glen Howes and Mary Sweetman, however. She was from Tichborne and he was from Parham. Tichborne and Parham were opponents in those days, both in hockey and in baseball, and there was always a question of where Mary's loyalties lay. “Nobody in Parham wanted me to marry Glen; they were rival towns,” she said, although she did add that it was not that intense a rivalry, “Nothing like Romeo and Juliet, but it was something people talked about.” Tichborne was founded in the late 1860s or early 1870s. The K&P rail line came in 1872. It is thought that the name Tichborne was brought by a Mr. Lunscombe, who was an engineer with Canadian Pacific. Later there was a mine in the vicinity, the Eagle Lake Iron Mine, which at one time employed 100 people. The mine closed in 1902. (information courtesy of County of 1000 Lakes) When Mary Howes was growing up in Tichborne in the 1930s, it was very much a railway town, as the K&P rail station, known as Parham Station at one time and later Tichborne Junction, was located there, as well as the “main line” station for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Located on the same piece of land that the CPR still uses just east of Road 38, the CPR had a full station in Tichborne in the 1930s, which handled passenger and freight traffic. Mary remembers that the CPR building was always very well maintained, and “there were flowers planted along the walkways where people came off the train.” Mary was raised within metres of the train tracks, and her family ran the coal loading operation at Tichborne. “The coal was being brought in on coal cars loading into the chutes near the station, and the coal would be dumped into the hoppers of the trains,” she said. As far as Mary knows, the Tichborne station was the only coal loading depot between Toronto and Montreal. “The men would always come home covered in coal dust. It was quite a job for my great aunt to wash the clothes out each day,” she said. Although she was very young, Mary remembers the people who rode the rails in the 1900s, trying to get to somewhere better than where they came from. “We didn't call them hobos or anything back then; they were just people who were looking for some help, and we always had enough to share with one or two." In the '40s, she remembers handing out apples to the people who were on the trains that were headed towards Fort Henry, filled with immigrants who were being interred because they had the bad fortune to come from one of the countries that was on the other side of the conflict. “We didn't know who they were or where they were going, but they asked for apples and we gave them apples,” she recalls. When she was young, Tichborne boasted three stores, two hotels, a bank, as well as a school, and there were a number of cheese factories in the vicinity. When Mary married Glen Howes in 1952 and moved to Parham, she was moving to a larger town, the agricultural hub of Hinchinbrooke Township. “It had three garages, a blacksmith, hotels, stores, and was a very busy place,” she recalls. Glen worked in one of the garages, Simonett's, which later moved to Sharbot Lake. He and Mary had five children, four boys and a girl, with the youngest two being twin boys. When the children were grown she worked in maintenance for the school board, first in Parham and later on at Sharbot Lake High School, where she worked for 20 years. As well, she became very, very active as a volunteer, where she has made a mark. Not only was she the president of the Women's Institute on several occasions, but also of the United Church Women as well as being involved with the Parham Happy Travelers and the Parham Fair. She is perhaps best known, however, for 20 years of work with the Cancer Society. “The cancer society was very good to me when my brother was dying and I knew I had to volunteer with them” she said. Her first job was as a canvasser during the door-to-door campaign each April. That progressed to being a canvass organiser in the villages around her home. “I used to run 100 canvassers in the region,” she said, “which kept me busy for three months, getting ready in February and March and canvassing month in April.” The trick to keeping canvassers happy was to limit their responsibility to 10 houses or so. “People were happy to do their family and neighbours, I never had a lot of trouble finding canvassers.” Eventually, Mary became involved with the executive of the Cancer Society Regional office based in Kingston, serving in a number of roles, including that of president. The region extends from Trenton to Prescott and includes the rural areas to the north of the 401 throughout that vast territory. “I spent a lot of time on the road, to Kingston all the time and further yet quite often,” she said. In recognition of her high standard of volunteer effort, she was one of the first recipients of the Central Frontenac Volunteer of the Year award for Hinchinbrooke District and she also received a Jubilee award a couple of years ago. Although she says she has turned lazy in her old age, she has been actively involved in the push to turn the former Hinchinbrooke School into a community centre for Central Frontenac. “We do need some place to gather in this part of the township, and the school is sitting there empty,” she said. If she can help bring that about, maybe she will finally be accepted in Parham after living there for 63 years, even if she is a Tichborne girl.
Over 170 diners attended the most recent Saturday morning breakfast fundraiser on April 4 at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club (SRSC). Following the meal, the club’s president, Ruth Wark, presented two cheques of $433.50 each to representatives from the Lanark and the Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Alzheimer societies. The annual fundraiser was started years ago when a member of the community, the late Colonial St. Pierre, whose wife had passed away from the disease, asked if club members would be interested in raising money for the Alzheimer Society. The SRSC has been fundraising for the Society ever since. Wark said that the fundraisers have become a focus for the club due to the fact that so many members of the club have had loved ones with Alzheimer’s. “All of us here have had people in our lives who have been diagnosed with the disease and this is our way of giving back to the community.” Vicki Poffley, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of KFL&A, who was present at the club to receive one of the cheques, said that she and her staff very much appreciate the donation and that community fundraisers are a big part of how they are able to support those affected by the disease in the local community. “About 75% of our budget is raised through events such as this as well as from other fundraisers and donations by members of the community. These funds are used not only for the services and supports we provide but also to raise awareness that the society is here in the neighbourhood to help support individuals and their families.” Following a diagnosis, the Alzheimer’s Society offers education and supports to individuals and their families to enhance their quality of life and to encourage their continued social interactions. Poffley explained that the Alzheimer's Society's satellite office, which was up and running in Sharbot Lake from 2008 to 2011, was closed down due to cost concerns. However, the Kingston office continues to service the area. “We found that a lot of the support that we were providing in the community here was home-based so we are continuing with that support even though the office has been closed.” The Kingston office continues to offer a community Alzheimer support group at the United Church in Sharbot Lake, which takes place regularly on the first Tuesday of the month at 1PM. The support group was discontinued for a while but has now started up again. Those looking for more information about the supports that the Alzheimer’s Society provides can call 613-544-3078 or visit www.alzheimer.ca/kfl&a Cheryl Bingley, a board member with the Alzheimer Society of Lanark County, also attended the fundraiser and received a cheque and was equally thankful for the donation. She stressed the importance of having funds available to spread awareness and support the existing services available at her office. “There is a significant aging population in this area and it is very important that people are made aware of the services that are available to them.” Lanark residents wanting more information about the supports offered at the Lanark office can contact Louise Noble at 613-264-5060.
CFDC presents ideas and options to North Frontenac Council Anne Prichard from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) made a presentation to North Frontenac Council at their meeting on Tuesday, April 7 explaining how the non-profit organization operates and how the services they provide can benefit the residents of North Frontenac. She also pointed out that both Mayor Ron Higgins and Councilor John Inglis have served on the FCFDC board in the past. The FCFDC offers many different tools to help the local business owner, from grants and low-interest loans, to workshops and mentoring. Prichard outlined a few of the key focus points of the FCFDC: encouraging local business growth, attracting small scale food and beverage businesses, and expanding the supply of tourism accommodations. She also explained that the organization aims to “stimulate the community and economic development throughout the Frontenacs” and has recently helped attract Back Forty, an artisanal cheese maker, to the area. Back Forty is currently setting up their operation and will soon be making their award-winning cheeses in North Frontenac. Mariclaro, a design company that makes high-end bags and fashion accessories out of recycled material in Snow Road, has also benefited from support from the FCFDC. As of a few months ago, approximately 25% of FCFDC loans went to the tourism and accommodation industry, 23% to the retail industry, 14% to the service industry, and 14% to the food production industry. The food production sector is expected to grow and represent a larger portion in future. Prichard encouraged the council members to point local business owners, or people looking to start their own businesses in North Frontenac, towards the FCFDC. For more information visit frontenaccfdc.com. In Case Of Emergency Lisa Harvey, a field officer from the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management (OFMEM), spoke about the province's emergency management plan and North Frontenac's emergency protocol. She explained the intricacies of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), which states that every municipality and every ministry in Ontario must develop an emergency management program. She assured the Council that North Frontenac has a “really good emergency management program...and a very good Community Emergency Management Coordinator (Fire Chief Steve Riddell).” The EMCPA requires that the municipalities have a series of tools in place to assist them in a time of need. These include, among others: forming an emergency program committee; doing a hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA); creating a report on critical infrastructure; designating an emergency operations centre (EOC); annual training; and public awareness. Certain aspects of the program, like the HIRA and the critical infrastructure report, influence how North Frontenac's emergency services would respond in the case of an actual emergency. Harvey explained that when there is an emergency and 911 is called, some combination of first responders, be it fire, police, and/or ambulance, are dispatched. In the case of severe emergencies, the EOC is alerted, and subsequently brings the mayor and other emergency and administrative personnel into the process. At this point, only the mayor can decide whether to declare a state of emergency to the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (POEC), a command centre that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, out of Toronto. Harvey explained how the EMCPA can help facilitate and expedite decision-making by council and how the EMCPA allows the head of council (Mayor Higgins) to make executive decisions. Language in the EMCPA defends council decisions, made during an emergency, as being the best they could make based on “the information that the group had at the time” she said. The EMCPA also gives the municipality the power to circumvent their normal by-laws, as long as they're not in violation of the law. Harvey explained how this might expedite an emergency response. For instance, in a situation where “you don't have time to get three quotes to purchase a piece of equipment that might save a life”. Mayor Higgins asked Harvey in what situation he should declare an emergency. “If you're ever asking yourself, 'should we declare?', do it,” Harvey said.
The community hall in Harlowe has seen an upsurge in activity this past year thanks to the efforts of a few community-minded music enthusiasts. The regular Harlowe Open Mic/Music Jam/Community Potluck, which takes place on the last Saturday of each month, along with the Olde Tyme Fiddlers who play there every third Friday of the month, have been attracting close to 50 guests at each event. These musical happenings came about thanks to the efforts of members of the Harlowe Rec Club, three of whom I had a chance to meet at the hall on March 28 while the Saturday Open Mic/Music Jam was in full swing. Marie White said that the new regular events came about after the Saturday evening dances, which had been taking place there for 13 years, since 1997, started to wane. “The dances started to sour”, Marie said, “and because we had to pay the band and pay for the advertising for the dances, well... it just wasn't worth it anymore.” In an effort to keep some kind of regular musical events happening at the hall, Marie who loves music and just so happens to be the president of the Olde Tyme Fiddlers' Association in Harlowe, with the help of other members of the Rec committee, who include Marie's husband George White, Terry Good, Pat and David Cuddy and Jannette, initiated the Open Mic/Music Jam and Olde Tyme Fiddlers events. These now keep locals and other music lovers from further afield coming back to Harlowe regularly every month. Admission is free and guests are invited to make a donation to the hall to help pay for its upkeep. Marie pointed out one couple from Enterprise, Al and Louise Taylor who were up dancing. “They come every month all the way from Enterprise and never miss a week”. Music lovers from Harlowe, Hendersen, Enterprise, Northbrook and other hamlets in the area as well as one couple from Ottawa also regularly attend. On the day of my visit the musical entertainers included Jimmy Dix, Mary O'Donnell, Arnold Miller, Kevin O'Donnell, Ray Whitelock, Dave Johnston, Mary Johnston and Doreen Black. Like most former two room schoolhouses that have been converted into local community centers, the Harlowe hall has become a hub for the local community. Its hard wood floors and ample hall space plus its updated kitchen and washroom facilities make it the perfect place for entertaining large groups. While I was there, committee members along with volunteers Fay and Ray White were busy setting up the potluck buffet table in an adjacent room with loads of home made desserts and savory dishes. Committee member Terry Good spoke of the history of the hall, which opened in 1948/49 and was run as a school until 1971/72. At that time it was taken over by the Rec hall committee and in 1986 a $60,000 Wintario grant that was matched (and then some) by funds raised by the hall committee group, allowed for some significant renovations These included moving and updating the kitchen and washroom facilities and the addition of a new roof. While Harlowe over the years has lost its post office and general store (it used to boast three stores), Good said that he is thankful to still have the hall in the community. The Rec hall club members welcome new visitors to come out to Harlowe, where they stress, “All are welcome”. I would bet that the friendly atmosphere, great music and wonderful food will ensure that one visit to Harlowe is not enough.
The idea of sharing services between North and Central Frontenac moved from theory to practice pretty quickly when the two councils met together last week. At a first joint session of the councils in North Frontenac last week, the fact that North Frontenac is without a chief building officer was raised as a potential area of co-operation. George Gorrie, the former chief building officer for North Frontenac, ceased to be a township employee after an in camera session at the February 20 meeting of North Frontenac Council. “I can only say that he is no longer an employee of the township, nothing more,” said Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson when asked whether Gorrie had left voluntarily or been forced out. As a result of the meeting on March 19, it was decided that the Central Frontenac Chief Building Official (CBO), Jeremy Nevens, would oversee operations in both townships. Instead of hiring a CBO, the two townships are getting together to hire a building inspector to report to Nevens. “Each Council approved an individual resolution, approving in principle a Joint Services Agreement to the building departments of Central and North Frontenac Townships (i.e. one chief building official and one building inspector)” said a joint press release that came out on Monday, March 24. The mayors of the two townships were also quoted in the press release about the potential for co-operation and general feeling of good-will between the two townships. “This meeting is a great opportunity to look at reducing costs and promoting working together for the better good of service delivery, satisfaction of our residents and good fiscal responsibility,” said North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins “I totally agree with Mayor Higgins. This is our first brainstorming session, looking at partnerships for our communities and there are no hidden agendas,” said Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith. “Both councils feel that the townships cannot accomplish all that needs to be done without working together and agreed to meet again in May,” the release concluded. The combining of building departments between the two townships comes on the heels of an agreement to sign a three-township contract (North, Central and South Frontenac) for environmental monitoring of waste sites in all three townships (see Frontenac County report).
Students in grades four through eight at Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake were taken on a wild ride thanks to a special presentation in the school gym on April 20. The dramatic production titled “Spirit Horse” is a professional traveling show put on by Roseneath Theatre in partnership with the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. Currently in its fourth week of touring, it will be presented to a total of 100 schools in Ontario. The production is a highly energetic tale about an Aboriginal family who have lost their mother and are faced with a number of real life challenges as they try to exist in an urban setting. The tale involves a horse called Wild Wind, who appears thanks to a vision of the children’s grandfather as the family struggles with issues of racism, poverty, illiteracy and the death of a loved one in an urban setting, all of which deal them a number of challenging blows. The production aims to teach students through dramatic story telling about a number of difficult social issues while giving students a chance to explore a different aspect of life that they might be unfamiliar with. The plot centers around two First Nations youth struggling in a single parent home and trying to find a balance between their traditional ways and the urban world. The play is a Native American adaptation by Drew Hayden Taylor of the Irish play Tir Na N' Og by Greg Banks and is based on a re-telling of the Stoney Nakoda Nation legend about Spirit Horses. The four-member cast had their work cut out for them as they aptly brought to life 65 different characters in the play, which lasted just under one hour and was performed at break neck speed. With the help of a small but inventive set that included an old car seat and a dramatic piece of scaffolding that the actors climbed in, over and on top of, the actors used a combination of inventive dramatic styles and music to bring this energetic and cathartic tale to life. Musician Alex Lamoureux played a number of instruments including drums, jaw harp, accordion, fiddle, flutes and his own boot-clad feet to add a musical dimension to the piece, which kept the action rolling along. Tim Hill, who played the main roles of the children’s father and grandfather as well as the very proud, spirited and sure-footed horse, Wild Wind, was both comedic and emotionally engaging and covered a broad swath of dramatic ground in the play. Equally engaging were Brianne Tucker and Dakota Hebert who played the other two main roles, daughters Jessie and Angie respectively. Both showed depth in their portrayals of the young daughters who were faced with the challenges of trying to live life with a grieving single father while grieving themselves and facing the struggles and engaging adventures that come their way. The story ends on a positive note as the family comes together to accept their mother’s death while demonstrating how perseverance and team work can enable them to overcome the obstacles that they are presented with. The GREC students appeared mesmerized by the tale and their questions following the performance showed how story telling through the dramatic arts can engage youngsters in a number of difficult real life issues. The cast, who are representatives of Canada's Métis, Inuit, and First Nations communities, should be commended on their performances. Prior to the show at GREC they, along with behind the scenes stage manager Dana Paul, were interviewed on CBC's Ontario Morning with Wei Chen. Following their performance the cast and crew packed the set into their pick up truck and headed off to Lombardy, where they performed the play again that afternoon. For teachers wanting to bring attention to a number of important social issues that face youngsters today, Spirit Horse offers a creative outlook on the challenges that face us all as we struggle to maintain balance in what can often be a difficult, challenging and sometimes dangerous world. For more information visit Spirithorse.ca
By Andrea Dickinson Spring has finally sprung and in Frontenac County that means another big production is in the works. North Frontenac Little Theatre’s 2015 spring production is “The Music Man” – a large musical production with a cast of over 40 local actors, including 15 local children and youth. Once again, I’ve had the privilege of watching this production come together during the cold winter months. Set in 1912, this play includes an entertaining storyline, fun choreography and music that everyone will recognize and enjoy. Being part of a theatre production requires commitment and for a community as small as ours, it’s remarkable to see so many volunteers come out, including the parents of youngsters – to help get this play off the ground. Some of the children participating have been in past productions and for many it’s their first time. It’s never too late to start! It’s a fantastic creative outlet for children and youth and I’ve witnessed children evolve from being terribly shy to extremely confident over the course of the rehearsal schedule. I volunteer in the capacity of guiding and supervising the children in the play and I find the theatre program to be an important and worthwhile component of our community. The children and youth participating learn all about how a production comes together, how to work within a team and how to express themselves creatively. When interviewed, the most common response I received to the question, “What’s the best part about being part of this production?”, the answer was consistently, “the friends I have made.” In my experience, that’s what really matters to kids – having friends, being creative and keeping busy. After all their hard work and commitment, a big audience and loud applause is the payoff! Don’t miss “The Music Man” – being presented at Granite Ridge Education Centre, over the course of two weekends – Friday & Saturday, May 1 & 2 at 7 pm, Friday & Saturday, May 8 & 9 at 7 pm as well as a Mother’s Day matinee on Sunday May 10 at 2 pm. Tickets: students $10, adults $14, are available at Sharbot Lake Pharmacy or by calling Nina Jenkins at 613-279-2945.
by Dawn Morden Mountain Grove Seed Company and the North Frontenac Food Bank would like you to “share your fare” this year. Keep the food bank in mind when planning and planting your garden. Add a few extra plants and share some of your harvest once or twice throughout the season. Communities have the capacity to grow a large portion of the food they consume. Take your passion for growing food as an opportunity to contribute to your community. This initiative is based on the Kingston “grow a row” campaign, and business challenge, sponsored by the Loving Spoonful. We would also like to challenge local businesses to participate. Grow one plant in a container, and donate the harvest. A free tomato plant will be offered to businesses from Mountain Grove Seed Company, upon request. Some small 12" plants will be available. Suggested vegetables include but are not limited to peas, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, potatoes, cucumbers and watermelon. Berries from your berry patch, or apples from your trees are also welcome. Bring donations to the food bank on Tuesdays or Fridays between 9:30 and 10am. Produce will be distributed soon after, for maximum freshness. Share your fare! Also, the food bank would like to start a small garden in Sharbot Lake. We would like to hear from you if you have some appropriate space that could be used, or if you would like to volunteer to assist with care of the garden. For more information, contact Kim Cucoch, North Frontenac Food Bank, at 613-532-8855, or Dawn, Mountain Grove Seed Company, 613-876-8383.
Over 125 volunteers and a number of guests packed St. James Church Hall in Sharbot Lake on Monday night (April 13) for the 35th annual volunteer appreciation event put on by the staff of Northern Frontenac Community Services. The suppertime event, which included a Lasagne dinner, cooked by Pat Rhyno and Jan MacPherson, was capped off by the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year Awards. Karen Burke was honoured for her weekly contributions to the agency's Meals on Wheels Program. She helps run the kitchen where the fresh made meals are prepared before they are whisked across the expanse of North and Central Frontenac by volunteer drivers. One of the longest serving meals on wheels driving couples, Tom and Eileen Christenson, were singled out this year as they have finally decided to retire after delivering meals on wheels for longer than anyone can remember. The couple has been so dedicated that they continued to deliver meals even after moving to Perth a couple of years ago. A second, surprise Volunteer of the Year award was given to Board of Directors Chair, Linda Chappel. The board had to meet in secret so Chappel would not know the award was coming. It was given to her in recognition of the extra work that she has been saddled with this winter, carrying out a search for a new executive director after the departure of Don Amos for a job in Kingston in late December of 2014. Not only did she have over 60 resumes to filter through and send out to the other members of the search committee, she has also been the go-to person for the two interim directors of the corporation, Maribeth Scott (Children's Services) and Catherine Tysick (Adult Services) over the past four months. Upon receiving the award, Linda Chappel said she is “pleased to announce that the search committee has had great success and we will be making an announcement very shortly”. As Catherine Tysick pointed out, “The work of the volunteers and staff of the agency has carried on in exactly the same way it always has. Hardly anyone knew there was no Executive Director in place for the last four months. That is a tribute to the dedication of all of you who are here tonight and the many others who could not make it.” After the award presentations, The Sage Age Players, an Almonte-based senior's comedy troupe, performed a 45 minute long set of skits, to an enthusiastic response.
The new kings of old-time music. The Grace Centre in Sydenham is presenting the olde tyme music and modern showmanship of Sheesham and Lotus and Son this Saturday. The trio are just back from touring Denmark and the UK to rave reviews. They are described as “dynamic and entertaining, a surprise and a delight; one of the most popular old-time and roots acts in North America”. They began as a fiddle and banjo duo, but soon added a variety of instruments and touches of vaudeville and old-time music hall to their performances. The core duo of the band, Teilhard Frost (Sheesham), and Sam Allison (Lotus), first got together as part of a band called Flapjack. During tours with Flapjack they found they had a common love of Appalachian tunes and vaudeville, and by the time the band was winding down, they were ready to form Sheesham and Lotus. They have played all across Canada, including at the Blues Skies Music Festival, Millrace Festival of Traditional Folk Music, Summerfolk, Mariposa, Northern Lights Festival Boreal, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Barrie Folk, Little Slocan Valley Fest, Cree Fest (Kasheshawan, On), Champlain Valley Folk Fest, (V.T.), Shelter Valley Folk Fest, and the Winnipeg Folk Fest. They have acted as host to the main stage at both Peterborough Folk festival and Shelter Valley. In January 2010 they held a two-week residence at Queens University Faculty of Education, teaching harmonica, step dance, and square dance to teacher candidates. They have played theatres and concert venues all across Canada, coast to coast. The newcomer to the band is Son Sanderson, who fills out the banjo and fiddle sound with the sousaphone and occasionally the French Horn. This is a show not to be missed by lovers of music in the Sydenham area and beyond. The show will take place on Saturday April 25, 7:30 pm at the Grace Hall, Stagecoach Road, Sydenham; $12 advance, $15 at door. For information call the Grace Centre at 613-376-6477. Grace Centre is a fully accessible venue.
The regular meeting convened slightly late, due to a closed session with the Township solicitor, re the Johnston Point developer’s appeal to OMB. Auditor’s Report In his spoken report to Council, auditor Howard Allan softened what seemed to be a somewhat critical report, describing most of the issues addressed in detail as ‘housekeeping’. These included comments about adherence to the township's procurement policy. In two cases, the purchase of gravel and an equipment rental contract, more than $25,000 was spent on an item that was 'sole sourced' and the transactoin was not then recorded in the minutes of a council meeting, which Allan said should always happen in the future. He expressed concern over reconciliation of items such as bag tag sales, building permit and development charges and tonnage charges at landfills. As well, he pointed to long standing un-funded cost of $471,000 for Sydenham that the township is hoping to cover with future development within the village. Allan recommends that since this will likely not be settled within this term of Council, it should be financed in some way as the township looks at water rates and long term capital plans for the water system. Allan said that, despite the issues he highlighted, over all 2014 had been a good year for the Township; “We believe the financial management at the township is very good: operations are breaking even and revenues are coming in for capital projects.” However, the province is introducing a new indicator called ‘asset consumption ratio’ which advises a municipality to be setting aside sufficient capital reserves to be able to comfortably address the accumulated amortization of infrastructure as it ages. South Frontenac’s capital reserves for this purpose presently are almost 9% (slightly lower than the previous three years), while 20% is suggested to be a more appropriate figure. To address this, Allan recommended drawing up a ten-year financial plan, something the township is much closer to having now than ever before. He praised Treasurer Fragnito and CAO Orr for their excellent work. Mayor Vandewal agreed that the Township “has been very well served by its staff.” Larcon Rezoning Application Planner Mills recommended rezoning in the southern edge of Harrowsmith, which would combine two applications dealing with the same property: a lot addition which would enlarge an existing industrial lot where a storage business is located, and a severance to create a residential lot with reduced frontage. Pat LaLonde, a resident who lives across the road from the property in question, expressed concern that the expansion of the industrial property would result in the filling of a drainage ditch, and would lower her property value by introducing storage lockers right across the road from her home. Mills explained that there was a 20 metre setback from the front property line, and emphasized that the Official Plan encouraged industrial development in hamlet areas. Later in the meeting, Councillor Revill requested the final reading of the rezoning by-law be deferred until the planner had an opportunity to make recommendations about berms or plantings to shield industrial activities on the property. Mills said he would meet with Ms LaLonde to discuss what combination of set-back and berm might allay some of her concerns. The motion was deferred. Johnston Point Councillor Sleeth brought back his notice of motion to have an independent peer review of the environmental study on the Johnson Point subdivision, but asked to remove the requirement that the developer cover the cost of this. At Mayor Vandewal’s suggestion, he replaced it with the requirement that if the cost of the peer review came above $3.000 it should come back to Council for approval. The motion passed. Councillor Sutherland’s information report about Johnson Point which had been distributed to councillors April 14, was included in the Agenda material, to go on record. It includes a county map that chractersizes the entire bay which is next to Johnston Point as a wetland, and quotes section 5-2-10 from the OP which quite clearly requires a Lake Impact Assessment, and makes no mention of trout lakes. Light from Communication Towers Councillor Robinson said he had had complaints from Colebrook Road residents about the bright flashes of light from the new tower on Highway 38. Orr said this was outside Township control: these lights are mandated by the Province for aviation safety. Death and Taxes Treasurer Fragnito sought Council’s approval to cover the Cemetery 2013 & 14 deficits of $28,427 from Township’s cemetery lot addition reserves. When asked why cemetery rates could not be raised instead of using taxes to subsidize the cemeteries, CAO Orr said the deficit is as high as it is, because sales of burial plots dropped off when the rates were raised two years ago. “Eventually, people will have to start purchasing plots again, and the situation will begin to rectify itself,” he said.
Delegations to CouncilNew Leaf Link (NeLL)Dr Karin Steiner, Executive Director of NeLL, introduced several participants, parents and volunteers from this nonprofit program which provides continuing education, lifeskills and socialization to adults with developmental disabilities. Steiner pointed out that once these young people have graduated from the school system there are no ongoing program resources for them in South Frontenac outside their homes.Since 2009, NeLL has provided activities and education two days a week, drawing on support from volunteers,service clubs, individual donors and participant fees. They would like to be able to have sufficient finances to run three days a week for 34 weeks, and have two week-long summer programs.At Mayor Vandewal’s request, Steiner agreed to provide Council more concrete numbers concerning program costs.Solar Farm ProposalTwo representatives from SunEdison returned to discuss their intent to submit an RFP application to the provincial government this September. They are proposing a solar project on the Groenewegen property fronting on Florida Road, south of Harrowsmith, and need to be able to show municipal support. Two main concerns of Council are that the public meeting about the project should be widely advertised, should include a take-home information package, and that a reserve fund needs to be established to cover the cost of decommissioning the project after its projected twenty-year lifespanPerth Road Fire HallCEO Orr reported on behalf of Fire Chief Chesebrough about the recent tours of three neighbouring fire halls, and three primary design points related to equipment bays: how many, how long should they be, and should these bays be drive-through? Opinions varied, but there seemed general agreement that two bays should be sufficient. Some said that while drive-through bays might be safest in theory, some of the firehalls they visited were clogging the drive-throughs with storage items.Councillor Revill spoke of the importance of taking a longer view of the whole Township’s fire system: perhaps plan for one larger central station which would house administration and provide facilities for training of all township firefighters, with two or three mid-sized stations, their locations determined by call-out history, and the rest of the stations could be smaller, with minimal training facilities. He suggested that storage might be provided less expensively by secondary buildings adjacent to the main firehall.Revill emphasized that immediate needs are not the same as wish lists, and budget restraints combined with “a lot to do ahead of us” mean that reserves would need to be developed to accompany long-range planning. He also strongly recommended engaging an architect to draw up the final plans for the firehalls.Planner’s Response re Johnson PointPlanner Lindsay Mills’ response to Councillor Sutherland’s ten questions met a lukewarm response from Council. Sutherland said that although an argument could be made to have no development on Johnson Point it would not be reasonable to do so, and was not what the Loughborough Lake Association had asked for.“It’s better to move on,” he said, adding that there still needed to be an environmental assessment on the neighbouring wetlands, for even though this was not a trout lake, an EA would be a “reasonable and responsible condition”, which would address the importance of preserving water quality and fish habitat. He suggested establishing a ten-meter buffer zone between the lot boundaries and the wetlands and using the lot on the southwest corner as common property with docking facilities for all residents.Mills had said there already were docks in the wetlands around the bay: Sutherland countered that these docks may have been the result of bad planning decisions, and should not be held up as standards to follow. Mayor Vandewal said that creating the buffer might not be possible in this case, as it would be changing the rules in the middle of the process: however, it might be a good idea going forward. Councillor Mark Schjerning agreed with Sutherland, saying he would like a lake impact assessment, regardless of how that section of the planning act has been interpreted in the past.Councillor Ron Sleeth said he’d like a legal opinion on the interpretation of that section (5.2.10) of the planning act, and Sutherland asked whether someone from the MOE or MNR could give Council a definition of “protected wetland”.Mayor Vandewal said the issue would be coming to next week’s Council meeting for decisions.Trailers (for sale or rent) … again …The time period for compliance with the prohibition of the use of trailers on private residential property expires on December 31, 2105. This by-law has been haunting Council ever since it was established ten years ago.Originally intended as a means of addressing the inequality of trailer residents paying no taxes, but using Township services: roads, waste disposal, fire and emergency, etc, it has been dragged out and extended, largely due to the difficulty of enforcement. A lively discussion offered CAO Orr no clear direction: the question of “what next?” will come to Council next week.Where Would You Like to Live?How about on a lane called: Abbey Road; Copperhead Road; Coronation St; Lannister; Mockingjay; Pivo; Bacon; Stark; Tamarak (sic); Warp Dr; Weevil; Gator or Bedbug? (I added the last one: has a nice rhythm. W)These are some of the 127 possibilities that Planner Mills offered Council for consideration and approval. The final list will be provided to residents of newly developed lanes, to expedite the choice of names. The list is intended to be nonoffensive, and should not duplicate those of neighbouring Townships, or reference any living person.
Susan Billinghurst, owner of Litsie, a home-based eco-bag business, is a self-confessed “fabric junky” who has been sewing since she was a youngster. “I remember making clothes for my Barbie dolls when I was a kid and later making a lot of my own clothes as a teenager” she said when I interviewed her at her home in Perth Road last week. Serious sewing stopped for her decades ago as she raised her three sons and worked as a consumer and family studies teacher. Later she worked as the cooking school coordinator at the Midland Avenue Loblaws in Kingston. Billinghurst returned to sewing full time two years ago after leaving her Loblaws job due to health reasons. She started up her business designing and creating a line of eco-friendly safe, re-useable snack, lunch and wet bags. Since that time her business has taken off. The idea for the business came about after she visited her daughter-in-law, a new mom who was using cloth diapers at the time and who longed for a re-useable bag for the diapers. “I made my first 'Litsie' bag then and was encouraged by my family to keep pursuing the business idea," she said. The name of the business came from her granddaughter Sophia, a toddler who was unable at that age to pronounce her name and called herself Litsie. Susan decided on that as the name for her business. “It could have been Sue Sews or Sue's Sacks but Litsie seemed unique; I liked it and it seemed the perfect fit”. Her daughter-in-law also designed the Litsie logo, which includes a humming bird and Susan said is also the perfect fit. Sue's bags come in various sizes. She uses designer fabrics in 100% cotton or organic cotton, which come in a wide range of colorful prints that are perfectly matched to a youngster's aesthetic. Her snack bags are food safe, and their interior linings are made from Procare, which is lead, BPA and phthalate-free and meet the current FDA and CPSIA requirements. Her wet bags are waterproof and lined with PUL, a polyurethane laminate perfect for storing wet swimsuits, gym clothes and cloth diapers. Their large tab zippers allow for easy opening and closing. All Litsie bags are hand sewn by Susan herself. They boast what seems to be an endless number of colourful, elegant and playful patterns that include lady bugs, elephants, birds, helicopters, alligators and more. They are sold separately as well as in sets. Susan is a big fan of the designers Charlie Harper and Amy Butler, as well as Parson Gray and Michael Miller, the latter of whom design with older buyers in mind. A grant that Susan recently acquired through the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation in Harrowsmith allowed her to purchase a brand new Bernina Quilting Edition sewing machine, which has enabled her to add baby quilts and quilted Christmas stockings to her inventory. A year ago and with the help of her son, Susan opened up Litsie's online Etsy store and also launched her own website where she sells her bags and other products. She also sells at a number of local craft shows and her creations are also available locally at Nicole's Gifts in Verona and Go Green Baby in Kingston. Like most artisans, one of the challenges of running a successful business for Susan is finding enough time to actually sit down and sew. Working from home does make things easier but still she said, “Finding the time to sew is a constant challenge. At one show I sold out on the Saturday and had to rush home and sew pretty much all night long to have enough inventory for the next day.” Some of the things she enjoys most about owning and operating her own business are shopping for fabrics and meeting her customers and other artisans both on line and in person. Her products range in price from $8 to $150. To see more of Susan's Litsie creations visit her on Etsy or at www.litsie.ca
The first burn ban of 2015 was declared by South Frontenac Fire Chief, Rick Cheseborough, late last week, but was lifted after the rains on Monday. Spring burn bans come into place because as the snow recedes, the dead grasses, leaves and other vegetation from the previous year can easily catch fire and spread. Until new growth takes hold, there are considerable fire risks. Meanwhile, concerns were already being raised about the potential for low water levels for the coming recreation season, but significant rains on Monday have made a difference. According to readings after Monday's rain, Mazinaw Lake, the headwaters of the Mississippi River system, had climbed to within 14 centimetres of normal levels, from 34 centimetres (13 inches) under normal a day earlier. Other lakes further down the watershed are at lower levels relative to normal. Big Gull is 27 centimetres below average. Crotch Lake, which is used as a reservoir lake for the lower lakes in the system, remained 57 centimetres below average levels for this time of year even after the rain. Meanwhile within the Rideau system, Bobs Lake, which is used as a water source for the Rideau Canal, is 25 centimetres below normal, although it is only 15 centimetres below the target level set by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
Frontenac County is holding meetings at each of the four townships over the spring and summer months. The first of these meetings took place last Wednesday (April 15) at the North Frontenac Council Chamber in the mezzanine of the Plevna Fire Hall. At the start of the meeting, an in-camera session concerning wages was held, after which in open session, council approved two separate agreements. The first was with CUPE Local 2290. An Interest Arbitration Award report, which is binding on the two parties, settled terms for 2013 and 2014 retroactively. The wage settlements are 1.75% in 2013 and 1.5% for 2014. With the settlement, the parties will be able to begin negotiations for 2015 and beyond. A negotiated settlement has been reached between the county and CUPE Local 109, which represents the operators of ferry services for Frontenac County. The three-year agreement runs until 2017 and includes wage increases of 1.5% in 2015 and 2016 and 2% in 2017. No funding for coffee table book on Frontenac County Orland French and his publishing company, Wallbridge Books of Belleville, produce hard cover books about Eastern Ontario Counties. These include a book on Lennox and Addington that was reviewed in the Frontenac News several years ago, and most recently Wind, Water, Barley and Wine: the Nature of Prince Edward County. The books include geological and historical information, natural history, aerial photography, and statistical information. They are designed as collectors' items and promotional material for the local counties. French appeared before Frontenac County Council in March, proposing to produce a book about the County to mark the 150th anniversary. He was seeking a commitment of $70,000, the cost to be split between the county and its four constituent townships. In return he would produce 2,800 copies for the use of the townships and the county. The books could be sold for $40 to return a profit to the investors in the long run. The 150th Anniversary Celebration Committee took a look at the proposal and recommended that the county invest. However, in a staff report, CAO Kelly Pender pointed out that the task of selling the books would be saddled on county staff, who are already busy and would have to take time away from other duties. As well, the potential exists that the selling will not be entirely successful. His recommendation, which was not taken up by the 150th anniversary committee, was that since “the historical book project as presented by Mr. Orland French requires a prohibitively high initial investment and, given the extremely labour-intensive nature of selling the books, the potential for the County of Frontenac to recover its cost is low, and the project holds relatively low value as a marketing tool for the region, be it resolved that the County of Frontenac not provide financial support for the historical book project as presented by Mr. Orland French.” Pender also pointed out that the county's procurement policy says that unsolicited proposals for financial investment are not to be considered by the county. “You can, as a council, suspend your procurement policy and consider this, but that is the policy,” he said. Councilor John Inglis from North Frontenac said that he thought that, given Mr. French's track record, “there is no problem of credibility. There is certainly room for this. I would propose that we support it to some extent.” His position was the opposite of Ron Higgins, the Mayor of North Frontenac, who said, “I do not want to support this in any way.” In the end Higgins' view represented that of the rest of Council, and the proposal to support the book was defeated by a vote of 8-1. County to look at 68 areas of service delivery with a view towards collaboration A report from the so-called CAOs group on shared service delivery was presented to Council. The group is made up of the Chief Administrative Officers of the county and its four member townships, who were all on hand at the meeting. Since the meeting took place in North Frontenac, the CAO from Frontenac Islands, Darlene Plumley, had to board a ferry at 6:00 am to make the 10 o'clock start time in Plevna. The report starts with the premise that two long-held beliefs about the relationship between the townships and the county needs to come to an end. “Holding to the traditional characterization of upper tiers [counties] as out of touch, or the lower tiers [townships] as not up to the task, only guarantees a limited future for the County,” the report said. The report identified 68 different items of service delivery, under eight headings: human resources, municipal planning, corporate communications, council co-ordination, finance, economic development, emergency planning, and Information Technology & GIS/mapping. It suggests that each of the 68 services be analysed according to a matrix where the ease of implementing change is considered as well as the expected cost savings/service improvement. Those areas that are both easy to change and liable to improve service and save money will be pursued first, and others will be pursued later on or left off entirely. While there are a large number of services to be considered, in the short term planning and information technology services are the focus. “At this time we are looking for support for this process in principle, and we will bring back a further report in the fall," said CAO Pender. “Any item that we identify for change will be brought to council on its own, and the costs and benefits for all involved will be put before Council." “I think this is definitely a positive venture,” said South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal. “I certainly welcome this and the role that the CAOs are playing," said South Frontenac Councilor John McDougall.
Prior to their regular board meeting on April 8 at the Limestone District School Board offices in Kingston, school trustees handed out their annual Outstanding Service Awards. Among the recipients were three local residents who were honored for their dedicated service. The first is Cheryl Allen of Sharbot Lake, who has served on the school councils at the former Sharbot Lake public, intermediate and high schools, and at the new Granite Ridge Education Centre in various roles, including many years as council chair. Allen began her service on school council in 1994 when her eldest daughter became a student at Sharbot Lake Public School. Since that time she has served on various councils and spearheaded the purchase of a number of requests presented to the council, which have included the school's score clocks, playground equipment, and more. The citation honoring Allen stated that over the years she has continually “set a mood on council supportive of providing a safe and caring environment for all students”. As a active participant in the PARC (Program and Accommodation Review Committee) she was a tireless supporter of the new Granite Ridge school, recognizing the benefits that a new school could provide for future students in the area. In the past Allen has successfully nominated several other people for LDSB awards and when I interviewed her by phone earlier this week she said that she was shocked and honored to be on the receiving end this time around. Asked what made her get and stay involved in her local school councils over the years, she said, “I, as a parent, felt it was important to get involved and to offer my help wherever it was needed.” Allen, who is currently the school council's vice chair, said that with the upcoming graduation this June of her youngest daughter, she will be taking a break from council and will be looking at other possible ways to continue to offer her services as a volunteer in the community. Andrea Woogh, a grade 2/3 teacher at Loughborough Public School in Sydenham, was also honored with an award. In her citation Woogh was recognized as a “distinguished leader amongst her peers and someone who promotes each student's uniqueness while ensuring she has the training and skill sets needed to offer her students a nurturing, learning environment.“ Woogh, who has undertaken training in Aboriginal education, dispute resolution, literacy and technology, has introduced students to a number of innovative learning experiences, which have included the Yellowknife pen-pal program, and through a partnership with local high schools, woodworking and computer programming opportunities. She has helped co-create the LPS Green Team in an effort to certify LPS as an “eco-school. As an active athlete herself, Woogh recognizes that students' “growth and development can also occur outside the classroom”. She has coached soccer, track and field, volleyball and basketball at LPS as well as hockey and soccer in her local community. Sharon Isbell, a long-time teacher at Loughborough Public School, was also honored with an Outstanding Service Award. Isbell was cited by Kim Deline, who wrote that she is “an effective educator, leader and communicator" whose positive teaching style and compassionate interactions with students demonstrate her love of teaching on a daily basis. In her dedication to being the best teacher she can be, Isbell pursues her own personal professional development and was cited as “inspiring her students and fellow colleagues by offering extra programming through various school clubs while also acting as a liaison for the school's drama and arts programming.” Isbell is also involved in championing the school's Green Team in their effort to gain eco-school status and is an active member of the school's 100th anniversary committee. I spoke with Sharon Isbell by phone earlier this week and she said, on behalf of herself and Ms Woogh, that they were extremely honored to have received the award. "We both feel so humbled. There are so many teachers who go above and beyond their daily requirements and we are just grateful and feel privileged to be able to work in this school community with so many committed staff members, parents, students and administrators.” Helen Peterson, principal at LPS, was thrilled that two of her staff members received awards and said “Sharon Isbell and Andrea Woogh represent the epitome of excellence in teaching. They focus on quality education for all students. They are both examples of the reality that it is just as much about who you are as what you teach. They lead students and other staff by example. Sharon and Andrea are part of the outstanding staff at Loughborough that put the needs of our students, our future, first!" Heather Highet, principal at Granite Ridge, was equally pleased with Cheryl Allen's award and said she was “thrilled that the LDSB has recognized Cheryl for her unwavering support and decades-long contributions to our school councils."
by Jonathan Davies There has been a lot of focus recently on the crisis faced by honeybees, but for people outside of the conservationist loop, tallgrass is probably not a top-of-mind issue. Where pollinators, as well as birds and a host of other animals are concerned, grasslands are a vital habitat, one whose preservation requires more than passing attention. Kyle Breault, former coordinator with Tallgrass Ontario, and currently involved in tallgrass planting projects throughout Ontario, was in Marysville on March 26 to talk about the importance of preserving what little native tallgrass habitat is left, while introducing news tracts, including in places where tallgrass may not be native to the landscape. Wolfe Island is one such place, and Breault has being working on projects there for the past three years. The presentation was the first in the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation's 2015 seminar series. The foundation has been engaged on a number of issues since its founding in 2008, including watershed preservation, invasive species management, and habitat preservation and restoration. Breault focused on the importance of both birds and bees, and on the misconception that creating habitat for one ignores the other. "Bird habitat and bee habitat are actually the same," he explained to a group of about 30 gathered at Wolfe Island United Church. And while he noted the importance of the Ontario government's plans to curb neonicotinoid use (pesticides in this category have been linked to bee deaths, and where they were previously used as a seed treatment for isolated use by farmers, they have now become a standard coating on the vast majority of corn and soybean seed) he stressed that this was only one part of the solution - the other being that bees simply need more habitat. In the past two years, working with Ducks Unlimited as the organization's go-to for tallgrass planting, Breault has put about 600 acres back on the ground in the province. While this sounds impressive, he lamented that he is engaged in an uphill battle. "About 100 times as much habitat is ruined in a week as all our efforts combined have put back,” he said. Breault noted that in Chatham-Kent, where he resides, abundant Carolinian forest is being cut down at such a rate that the forest cover has been reduced to around 2%. To put that in perspective, Environment Canada considers 30% to be the minimum forest cover threshold to ensure marginal species richness and adequate aquatic system health. As for tallgrass, some of the best in the province would have been found in parts of western Ontario, where one could ride horseback almost unseen because the grasses were so tall. But because these grasses were easier to plow than woodlands, they were the first to go to agriculture, a little under a century ago. Development accelerated as agriculture became industrialized in the 1950s. There was no concerted effort to preserve grassland in Ontario until the 1990s, when Ontario conservationist Allen Woodliffe recognized their importance and began working to keep them alive. Most of the tallgrass that remains today, according to Breault, are on steep, unworkable land or along railway lines. "We're basically at nothing now." Breault said. There are a few spots, particularly on First Nations, where grassland management - which includes periodic burning - have been a cultural practice. But there are also little fragments that will keep disappearing, regardless of efforts to preserve them, because they have become so brittle. This is where the next best thing to a natural, native grassland is created. "We mimic. That's all we can do," said Breault. In southern Ontario, most land is privately owned, and when space is made available for a planting, usually by a landowner, Breault is ready to seed it and begin transforming it into habitat. "You can't turn that down. You either replace it here, or you don't replace it anywhere," he said. All of the three projects on Wolfe Island that Breault has so far planted were paid for by private companies. The Endangered Species Act in Ontario stipulates that development projects, such as solar or wind farms, have to replace habitat that they have displaced. "The companies that I've dealt with, they're happy to do it, " he said. Breault's concern is that the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is responsible for enforcing these policies, pushed hard early on to ensure that companies carried through with their responsibilities, but has become slack more recently. This means habitat is being removed but not replaced in a timely manner. Breault noted, "We went from having a dozen projects a year three years ago, to this year where we're still waiting to hear if we're going to have our first one."
Presentation to members of Denbigh Abinger, and Ashby Fire department. The formation of the Denbigh, Abinger and Ashby (DAA) fire department came about as the result of two things. First, in the mid 1960s the township council requested that the Ontario Fire Marshall's Office conduct a fire protection survey for the township. When the survey was completed and provided to the municipality it came with a number of recommendations, mainly that a fire department be set up and what it would need. At the same time the DAA Centennial Committee was doing fundraising for anniversary projects and the volunteer fire department was one of those projects. Money was raised to purchase a portable building from a Belleville trucking company and was moved to the township for use as a fire hall and roads department building. More money was raised to buy a truck, and a used milk tanker truck was purchased and refurbished. The township purchased some equipment and other equipment was donated. It was sometime after 1967 that all of the equipment was finally in place, the volunteers were trained and the department was formally established, with William Scott Senior, who had been a firefighter in Toronto, serving as the first fire chief. The service was entirely made up of volunteers, and a fire phone system was set up so that when the emergency number was dialed it rang in designated homes. The volunteers in those homes each had a list of firefighters to call. With municipal amalgamation at the beginning of 1998, the service was amalgamated with the Addington Highlands Fire Service. A plaque commemorating all those who served between 1967 and 1997 was commissioned by Addington Highlands Township, and on Monday night, April 20, the plaque and certificates of appreciation were presented to volunteers from those years who were able to attend. A number of the volunteers were on hand in person to receive their certificates, but a larger number were not, as there are many who have died or left the area since being fire department members back in the 1970s and 80s. “This is just a small token of appreciation for all of the service provided over those 30 years by the Denbigh, Abinger and Ashby Fire department and all its members,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. After receiving their certificates, the firefighters who were on hand posed for a picture with the commemorative plaque, which will go on permanent display at the Addington Highlands Community Centre in Denbigh. Notes from Council meeting Fees waived for community wind power meeting - Paul Isaacs has organized a meeting concerning the NextEra proposed wind farm in Addington Highlands this Saturday (April 25) and he was asking for the use of the Denbigh Hall for free. The meeting will concern itself with creating three lists: a list of benefits from wind turbines, a list of detriments from wind turbines, and a list of questions to ask concerning wind turbines. Council approved the request for waiving the fee. The idea of holding a public meeting sponsored by the township in ward 1, was also raised at the meeting and council will be considering setting one up. NextEra, as part of their public process, is going to be setting up an information Open House in Denbigh in late May. The Open House will be part of NextEra's push for council support for the project. A motion of support from the local township is one of the elements in the bid that NextEra will be submitting to Ontario Power Generation (OPG). A competitive bidding process is being used by OPG to determine which company they will sign a 20 year contract with for the purchase of 300 megawatts of wind power. As an incentive to Addington Highlands Council, NextEra is offering a $350,000 annual payment for the life of the contract. Those payments are contingent on two things happening: NextEra needs to the be successful bidder, and Addington Highlands Council needs to have supported the bid. Support for a private members bill - Sylvia Jones, Progressive Conservative MPP for Dufferin-Caledon, is sponsoring Bill 36, the Respecting Private Property Act, which if enacted will increase the fines for trespass on private property. The bill would establish a minimum fine of $500 for trespassing and would increase the limit for compensation to the landowner to $25,000 from the current limit of $1,000. Council passed a motion supporting Bill 36. Water levels low in Mississippi Valley Councilor Kirby Thompson, who represents AH on the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority Board, reported that Gord Mountenay, who has been monitoring water levels in the watershed for 35 years, said that the lake levels are at historic lows this spring. The MVCA controls the flow of water within the system by using flow control dams, but the options are limited when water levels are low. (see "Rain brings some relief from low lake water levels - burn ban conditions")
Barry Smith is lucky to be alive following a vicious attack that took place at Land O' Lakes Rescue/ Petting Farm in February and left him with eight broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken pelvis and five broken vertebrae. Smith, who along with his wife Donna operates the farm on Road 506 near Cloyne, was attacked by the family's nine-year-old bull, a Holstein that Barry himself rescued when it was just three days old. Donna said that the bull, known as Mickey Moo, had up until that day “been a very friendly animal”. After Barry rescued the bull nine years ago, he bottle fed it himself until it was able to eat on his own. The attack occurred at approximately 4:30 pm on Family Day, February 16, when Barry as usual was putting the farm animals to bed for the night. Donna said that while he was opening the gate to let the bull into the barn, a nearby truck back-fired, startling the horses located in an adjacent enclosure, which likely in turn agitated the bull, causing it to crash into the electric fence. This sent it charging into the same area where Barry, who had his back turned at the time, was located. He was struck down to the ground by the bull, which then repeatedly tossed and flipped him into the air, after which time, using its head, it continued to ram him into the ground. Eventually Barry was able to pull himself under a nearby truck for cover. According to Donna, the bull also attempted to lift the truck off the ground while Barry was still lying underneath it, unable to move. “I don't know what happened to that animal but it seemed at the time like it really wanted to see my husband dead.” Barry's 15-year-old daughter Darian, who had been in the barn at the time of the attack, heard her father's screams and ran out. She tried to get the bull off him by repeatedly hitting it with a stick but to no avail. Thinking her father had been killed, she ran to the house and called 911. Donna said it took about an hour's time and many frantic attempts to get the bull safely enclosed, which she was finally able to do with the help of her children. It was only after that that the emergency responders could finally reach Barry, who by then was not only seriously injured, but also hypothermic. According to Donna he said that he “could not feel his legs”. Barry was then rushed to the Lennox and Addington County Hospital, where his condition was eventually stabilized. He was then transferred to Kingston General Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair his broken pelvis. He remained there in ICU for a week, and two weeks later was transferred back to the Lennox and Addington hospital, where currently he is undergoing physiotherapy and is in a wheelchair. He is still unable to walk since he is not allowed to put any weight on his left side while his pelvis heals. The bull has been removed from the farm. The incident has obviously left the entire family shaken and while Barry is now able to visit his home on the weekends, it will no doubt be a long while until he is back on his feet. In the meantime Donna said that she, her children and a number of neighbors are working extra hard to keep the farm going. They are still planning to open it up as usual for the May long weekend. Prior to that time they are asking any interested volunteers to help assist them with the annual clean up of the farm grounds in preparation for the busy upcoming season. The clean up will take place on Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3. Anyone interested in helping can contact Donna at 613-336-0330.
by Valerie Allan On April 8, NAEC students and staff once again celebrated the International Day of Pink. An assembly was held, in which the whole school participated, and it was a sea of pink. Students wore pink clothes, accessories, and/or pins. The assembly was led by Madi Lemki, Cassandra Parks, Lucas Parks and Selena Pelicos. These students had recently returned from the “Dare to Stand Out” conference in Kingston, and were eager to share their message with their peers and the staff. The group outlined the origins of the Day of Pink, and then stressed that “A pink shirt doesn’t stop bullying – you do!” Their message was that a bystander is contributing to bullying, if they don’t stand up for their fellow students. At lunchtime, the Grade 8 class joined Secondary students to play “Pop the stigma”. Pink balloons were attached to the wall with common stigmas or stereotypes taped to them. A student would read the stigma, then pop the balloon and read the answer which was inside. It was a fun, if noisy, activity. Students also signed posters which had the pledge “A pink shirt doesn’t stop bullying – I do!” This is the fourth year in a row that NAEC has observed the International Day of Pink.
On Thursday April 9, local townspeople filled the Denbigh hall to the rafters for a presentation by Nextera Energy, the American-owned company that is making a bid to install 100 wind turbines near Vennachar in Addington Highlands. Nextera is owned by Florida Power & Light, one of the largest U.S. electric utilities, with 4.7 million customer accounts in the United States. They operate wind, solar, oil, and nuclear energy generating sites across North America. Ben Faiella, a member of the development team at Nextera, made the initial presentation Thursday night, explaining how the bidding process would go for the Florida-based company. Nextera will submit their bid to Ontario Power Authority (OPA), as part of their Large Rate Procurement (LRP) plan, at the end of August of this year. The OPA have set a target to purchase 300MW's of wind power, and Nextera has proposed 100 wind turbines in Addington Highlands, as well as 50 turbines in North Frontenac, for a potential total generation of 300MW of electricity. There is an incentive, applied as a discount to their proposed price, for applicants to gain support from the local municipality and/or a local Aboriginal group. Part of the incentive also includes seeking support from adjacent landowners. Nextera is offering Addington Highlands a annual payment of $350,000, which they call the “Community Vibrancy Fund”. Once installed, the land the turbines are on would also add approximately $450,000 to the Municipality's MPAC assessment annually. It's a significant chunk of change for a small community, but when the question and answer period was opened up to the audience hands shot into the air. Nextera's employees were kept busy for the next two hours answering questions about environmental impact, land leases, timelines for the project, and above all exactly where the proposed locations of the turbines are. Faiella explained that Nextera had been studying wind data for over 12 months to help guide that decision but wasn't able to say yet where individual towers would be located. Local resident Terry Boucher, from Lake Weslemkoon, asked Reeve Henry Hogg whether the township has any plan to “engage any sort of consultant to talk about the technical or environmental issues that other [similar] projects within the province have experienced?” “We haven't had much discussion on it yet” Reeve Hogg said but agreed that it would be wise to do so. He suggested that they wait for Nextera to provide them with more information before possibly looking for help from a consulting firm. He did point out that they had been seeking legal help with the process. Diane Isaacs from Denbigh was seeking clarity on the municipality's role in the decision process. “If... the community doesn't want this done is there anything that council can say or do...and us as citizens in this community? Have we got anything we can say or do?” Reeve Hogg explained that the Green Energy Act “supersedes most of the regulations that council has in place...they don't need our approval.” Isaacs continued “this community is really at the whim of the province and there is nothing that council can say or do”. Councillor Tony Fritsch stated that the biggest impact they could have would be to support or not support the application. Pam Boucher, from Lake Weslemkoon, wondered what process is in place for decommissioning the towers once they reach the end of their life cycle, which is approximately 20-25 years. Ben Greenhouse, a developer with Nextera, explained that they were legally obligated to remove the towers, following the guidelines set out by the Environmental Protection Act. Greenhouse explained that if Nextera went out of business there would still be great value in the windmills. He suggested that “80-90% of the cost [of the windmill] is paid at the beginning...in a bankruptcy this asset would be one of the more valuable assets.” He also said that the cost of bringing the towers down is “significantly less than the value of the materials”. Denbigh resident, John Williams, asked the Nextera representatives whether they had “any experience with building projects in forested landscapes in Ontario?” Greenhouse explained how they had no similar experience in Ontario but that they had done similar builds in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. John Keeble, from Lake Weslemkoon, inquired about setbacks and distances from residents, asking Nextera if they've looked into “keeping them away from where people can see them from their cottages?” Greenhouse told Keeble that they “haven't, to date, taken it into consideration.. it's something we can work with the community to attempt to take into consideration...” but pointed out the difficulties in trying to juggle all the different limitations like setbacks from cottages, rivers, lakes and other features on the land. Reeve Hogg explained that approximately 50% of the tax base in Addington Highlands are seasonal residents and cottagers. Nextera are planning to make another presentation later in the spring with the intent of reaching this demographic. The distance setback from a turbine depends on the situation. For example, the minimum distance that a turbine can be placed to a non-participating neighbour's property line, that is, a property that hasn't signed a lease agreement with Nextera, is blade length, plus 10 metres, if the property has no dwelling on it. Greenhouse explained that they recently had been installing turbines with a 50 metre blade, so that would mean a 60m setback. A recreational property owner in Addington Highlands spoke out about his concerns over the project and his worries about property values and quality of life. “I don't come here and pay the high rate of taxes...to sit here and look at wind turbines...I come here for the serenity, the natural beauty, and that is why I will advocate for every cottage person in this area to stop this...it's about where I come to get my peace and quiet”. The Denbigh hall exploded in applause.