Burnt Point Lane on Buck Lake lived up to its name last Sunday afternoon, when a cottage went up in flames and was a total loss. South Frontenac Fire Crews from 5 stations rushed to the site after receiving the call at 2:45pm. They found “the cottage was fully involved and collapsing into itself” said Fire Chief Darcy Knott. The cottage was unoccupied at the time of the fire although people had been there that morning and the previous evening. Crews immediately began to focus on a brush fire that had developed as the result of the structure, and soon had split into two teams. One team worked on containing the 8 acre brush fire that had developed while the other team made sure that the cottage fire was fully out.
Crews from stations 4-8 answered the call. The station 4 and 8 crews stood down relatively quickly but the station 5,6, and 7 crews remained on the scene for several hours, not leaving until after 8pm.
It was the first structure fire in the township since Chief Knott assumed leadership of the department on May 1 and he was impressed by the way the crews handled the situation.
“The crews did a fantastic job and their commitment to the municipality and the fire department is very strong. It gave me a sense of pride and a little bit of peace to see how well everyone handled the fire,” he said, adding that the terrain made containing the brush fire a difficult task.
Because the cottage was completely destroyed, Knott said that the there is no way to determine the cause of the fire. It has been listed as of undetermined cause and no further investigation will be undertaken.
As part of the promotional campaign for third annual First Responders for PTSD fundraising golf tournament next month, a delegation came to Frontenac County Council on Wednesday morning (May 16). Frontenac Paramedic Services is helping to organise the event, and in addition to raising awareness the tournament raises money for K for Paws. K for Paws trains service dogs to help people dealing with various conditions, including autism, people with mobility issues, and people dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) The delegation included Elizabeth Bailey, founder and Executive Director of K for Paws, and Juliane Porritt, an OPP officer from the Napanee detachment.
Porritt has a personal experience with PTSD that she had never spoken about in public before.
Because the Frontenac News goes to press for the week on Tuesday night, before the county meeting takes place we made arrangements to talk to Officer Porritt over the phone on Tuesday night, giving her a chance to tell her story once before appearing in public. The following article is based on that interview.
Juliane joined the OPP in 2010. She was 39, and had worked in social services for 19 years before joining the OPP. She also had a home life. With her partner she had had 5 children, two older children from her first marriage and three from his.
Her social services background was very useful in her work with the Napanee detachment as police deal with many of the same issues as social workers face and she thrived with the department. She also volunteered for Northern Ontario placements in small fly in communities where the OPP and local nurses are the only first responders. She went up north for two week stints about twice a year.
She has faced trauma throughout her 8 years on the force.
"Over six years I had dealt with lots of incidents, car accidents, deaths, violence, I have witnesses many horrific things with the OPP,” she said.
But nothing had the impact on her that a single incident in April of 2016 did during one of her northern postings, while she was on the night shift
“We received a call about a child who had been assaulted by a sniffer [glue or gas sniffer] but you learn quickly in policing that calls rarely turn out to be about what you expect them to be about.”
This call also took an unexpected turn
When she got to the location of the incident she heard a young child, a 6 or 7 year old, screaming. She found a boy who was wrapped in a blanket, and when they pulled off the blanket they could see that he had third degree burns on 40% of his body and there was strong smell of gasoline. He had been doused in gasoline and set on fire. They brought the boy to the nursing station and stayed with him for three hours until the ORNGE helicopter arrived to take the boy to the hospital.
“He was awake the entire time,” Juliane recalls.
She later found at that the boy is alive and has made a recovery from his injuries.
From a policing standpoint, the call had been a success, Juliane received a 23310 for it, which is a positive note on her file for an exemplary job under pressure.
Aside from being a bit teary and not being able to get rid of the smell of gasoline, she thought she was fine, until she got home a few days later.
The first thing that happened was she forgot to fill her own vehicle with gas and had to walk home, “which is something I had never done” she recalls.
Then it all came apart.
“On my first day back on shift, I was working on the 401, and I went to a gas station to fill my cruiser. As soon as I started to fill the tank I went into a complete panic attack. They sent me home right away.”
It’s been about two years since then, time that included a long break from work, and a couple of two week stints in Toronto for intensive sessions at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) doing ‘wraparound’ therapy with s pyschologist, a psychiatrist and an occupational health therapist. That therapy, along with a lot of family support, help from the OPP, a dog named Thunder who was at one point the only reason she left the house because he needed to be walked, all made a difference. Julian has also had to learn to recognise and respond to specific stresses and deal with anger and fear, and it took trip after trip to the ghas station before she could do something as simple as fill up her car.
All of these ups and downs have led her to the point where she is able to share her story.
“This is something I will live with for the rest of my life, it won’t go away, that’s much I know,” she said.
She also said that her journey with PTSD has had some work benefits.
“I think I am more empathetic to people with mental health issues. I realise you don’t always have control over your behaviour.”
She also keeps volunteering to go up north twice a year, and on her own time she made contact with the boy who suffered the burns on that April day two years ago, and has visited him at his grandmothers house.
One of her motivations for going public with her story is to help the public to understand that the public “does not need a scare factor when facing people with PTSD and other mental conditions. With treatment and support, we contribute just like everyone else,” she said,
Her connection to K for Paws and the golf tournament came from a meeting Elizabeth Baily. That meeting led to Juliane offering to adopt and train a yellow lab, Scout, to be a service dog. Scout comes to work with her a couple of times a week and will stay with her until he is ready to be trained.
“It costs $20,000 to train a service dog and they are provided to people who need them for free so K for Paws needs all the fundraised dollars they can get,” she said.
Lanark Frontenac Kingston NDP candidate Ramsey Hart received some unexpected media exposure last week when he was identified by Progressive Conservative Party Leader Doug Ford as an NDP star candidate and said that his candidacy demonstrates that the NDP is beholding to “downtown Toronto” leftists.
Ford noted that Hart worked at Mining Watch Canada for six years before moving to Perth and taking on the Executive Director role at the Table, a community food program, and called him an “extremist environmentalist”.
At Mining Watch, Hart wrote articles about the “Ring of Fire” mining project. The project has been taking longer to come to fruition than politicians, of all stripes, would like.
In his articles, Hart posed questions about some of the financial assumptions within the project, which requires that a highway be built in order to bring the ore south from its location northwest of James Bay. Hart also wrote about indigenous and environmental issues related to the project.
Although none of the delays the project has faced have been associated with Hart’s articles, Ford said that Hart’s nomination demonstrates that, if elected, the NDP cannot be trusted to move the project forward.
"He spent his whole career, his whole career, trying to close down mines. Who does that? Who targets people working at the mines?" said Ford.
And on the PC twitter page, Hart was dubbed a “star” candidate.
When contacted, Hart seemed rather amused by the star candidate assertion, given that the riding is not exactly an NDP stronghold. In the federal election two years ago, a popular candidate, Perth Mayor John Fenick, finished third with 14% of the vote in Lanark Frontenac Kingston.
As to his connection with “downtown Toronto” leftists, Hart admitted to being Toronto raised
“I did grow up near Toronto but haven’t lived there since I was a teenager. I’ve lived in Southwestern Ontario, New Brunswick, Ottawa.”
A stripped down Day of the Pig is set for Sunday at the Seed to Sausage retail store on Road 38 (12821) south of Sharbot Lake.
After moving the popular event to the Sharbot Lake beach, expanding it and charging a $20 admission, Seed to Sausage owner Mike Mckenzie found himself too busy with other projects, in particular a new opportunity at a new high end mall in Newmarket, to turn his attention to organizing the annual event.
In March he decided to cancel, but he recently had a change of heart
“A few weeks ago I realized that people might come anyway, expecting something to be going on, so since we were opening the store as we always do on the Sunday of the Victoria Day weekend, I thought we might as well put something together. I have no expectations about it, it will just be a party for everyone who stops by.”
This year there will be roast suckling pig, the store will be stocked, the Foley Mountain Playboys (Tom Savage, Kevin Davidson, Kevin Bowers, Geoff Chown, and Bonz Bowering) will perform, Big Rig Brewery will be on hand with a selection of their best beers on tap, and their will be other entertainers.
Although there will be no vendors village this year, neither will their be an admission fee.
The Day of the Pig runs from 11-4 on Sunday, May 19. There is no admission fee.
John Macewen of Verona is running as an independent candidate for MPP in Lanark Frontenac Kingston (LFK)
Macewen, who ran for Mayor of South Frontenac in 2014, is an issue-based candidate. He is running in order to bring public attention to, what he says, is a refusal by local building officials to enforce regulations. According to Macewan, enforcing regulations would eliminate the risk of radon contamination in homes throughout the riding.
Macewen is also a vocal opponent of MPP Randy Hillier, and said he will remind voters about some of Hillier’s activities before he entered provincial politics when he was the President of the Lanark Landowners.
While the staff at FACSFLA (Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac Addington) have been working hard for many years to provide the kinds of resources and supports that families in crisis need in order to keep children in the family home wherever possible, the fall back plan of placement in a foster home remains an important option for about 200 children in Kingston, Frontenac Lennox and Addington.
Establishing and maintaining Foster families is always a challenge. To meet that challenge FACSFLA is going to be holding a drop in event at their new Sydenham office on Tuesday May 29 from 7-9pm.
The office is in the former medical centre at 2876 Campbell Road, across from the ambulance station.
“Our catchment area is all of Kingston Frontenac and Lennox and Addington,” said John Suart of the FACSFLA communications department, “which is a large geographic area, the size of Prince Edward Island, so we need to reach out to the communities to try and build up as big and diverse a pool of potential foster families as we can to be able to serve the very specific needs of the children in our care. The number of children in foster care continues to decline, and the need for placement is greatest among the teenage population.”
Becoming a Foster Parent is a major commitment, and Tarra Williamson, the foster family recruitment lead for the agency, stresses that the first step is for interested people to learn about what is involved in fostering.
“The open house in Sydenham will be a low-key, drop in event. We’ll have lots of people there, including some foster families, to answer questions and pass on information and their own stories. We are only looking for a beginning with people who come out. There is no rush since we are looking to establish long term relationships with foster families,” she said.
Steve Woodman, Executive Director of FACSFLA, said “opening a home and heart to a child or youth that [people] do not know is a big request. It isn't for everyone. But some of the people hearing or reading about this would find their lives profoundly enriched by the experience of being a foster parent, of providing a stable loving environment for those who so desperately need it.”
FACSLFA has developed a website for prospective foster families, which spells out the 5 steps to becoming a foster parent. The first step is to contact the agency, which can be done by calling Tarra at 613-545-3227 ext. 5610 or to come out to the open house on May 29.
Open houses have been held in Napanee and Kingston, and this first one in Sydenham will also produce an opportunity for community members to visit the new FACSLFA office, which is being shared with the Maltby Centre (formerly Pathways for Children and Youth).
“Many people who read about this will not be interested, or in the right circumstances to become a foster parent, but we are hoping that they might know someone who is and will pass the information along to them,” said John Suart.
For the Bond family of Godfrey, being involved with the Lake Effects FIRST Robotics team, was kind of like being a hockey family. This winter was filled with after-school working sessions two or three times a week in Kingston, trips to regional competitions across Ontario, and finally to Detroit.
With three of his kids involved (Freja, Torin and Saben), father Damon had little choice but to get involved himself as a mentor/coach/cheerleader.
The grade 9-12 kids on the Lake Effects team were focused on this year’s FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) challenge, which was to build a robot capable of moving and stacking large blocks in order to tip a set of scales in the prescribed direction. Lake Effects worked in partnership with other teams at competitions, and withing the team itself members also brought different skills to the group and took on different tasks.
The whole competition culminated in a final event in Detroit at the Ford Centre in front of 40,000 people. For Lake Effects, it was a historic competition win, and the culmination of a massive effort, lots of and learning and lots of fun. They are world champions.
For Freja Bond, who is in her last year of High School, it was the final chapter in her involvement with FIRST. Her role at the competition was the judge liaison for the team. And it culminated in the above photo when she presented a team had to one of most prominent icons for women in science and technology in Canadian history, former astronaut and current Governor General Julie Payette.
Local candidates ready to campaign in earnest
By the time this paper hits your post box on Thursday morning the Ontario election campaign will have been announced. With Queen’s Park finally shutting down and the election “writ” period under way the candidates in the new provincial riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston (LFK) will be out campaigning in earnest. With a short campaign and the interruption brought on by the Victoria Day Weekend, the Frontenac News was unable to put together two dates for all candidates meetings with all four candidates, so we will be holding only one, in Sydenham on May 28. The exact location will be finalized this week. The meeting, which is co-sponsored by the Frontenac Federation of Agriculture, will run from 7-9pm. Full details will be available at Frontenacnews.ca and in next week’s paper.
The candidates this time around include Randy Hillier (PC) the incumbent in most of the new riding as the member from Lanark Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. He is a former electrician from Perth. Amanda Pulker-Mok, a member of Council in Mississippi Mills, is the Liberal Party candidate. Ramsey Hart, the Executive Director of the The Table in Perth, a community food program, is the NDP candidate. Anita Payne, a retired teacher from Perth, is the Green Party candidate.
The new riding mirrors the federal LFK riding, which was contested for the first time in 2016 when the Conservative Party candidate, Scott Reid won the local election with just under 50% of the vote even as his party was removed from power and relegated to the opposition benches.
As the election call arrives, the PC sit at around 40% according to an aggreagation of recent province-wide opinion polls, with the NDP and the Liberals both polling in the 25%-30% range. This leaves a few questions, such as will the Conservatives under leader Dough Ford maintain or increase that level of popularity, and if they don’t which other party will emerge as the most likely to upend them on June 7? At the News we will be interviewing each of the local candidates for a feature edition on May 31st, our primer to the 2018 election in LFK.
Hurry up and wait
There have not exactly been a flurry of nominations for municipal office in the first couple of weeks since the nomination period opened. With a provincial election now underway and set to gain more and more attention throughout the month May leading up to the June 7 election date, there is no real reason why candidates should be in a hurry.
The only advantage that comes from submitting nomination papers early is the ability to spend money on the campaign, which not a lot of candidates are doing. But still a number of candidates are already in.
Here is the list as of Tuesday, May 8. (In) stands for Incumbent
Addington Highlands - Henry Hogg, (In) Reeve.
Central Frontenac - none
Frontenac Islands - Bruce Higgs, (In) Howe Island
Lanark Highlands - Terry Donaldson, Mayor
North Frontenac - Ron Higgins, (In) Mayor - Gerry Martin (In) Councillor Ward 2
South Frontenac - Ron Vandewal, (In) Mayor - Alan Revill, (In) Bedford councillor - Ross Sutherland, (In) Loughborough Councillor.
Tay Valley - Susan Freeman, Reeve - Barry Crampton, Deputy Reeve – Fred Dobbie, (In) Bathurst ward councillor - Mark Burnham, (In) Sherbrooke ward councillor
In term of their legal role, Reeve and Mayor mean the same thing – both refer to the ‘head of council’ position.
Tickets for the annual Pine Meadow Special Needs Fund raffle are now on sale at various locations. The proceeds from the raffle sales go towards monthly excursions for the residents at Pine Meadow Nursing Home in Northbrook. The prizes are a beautiful quilt funded and constructed by the Land O Lakes Quilting group and hand quilted by the Treadles Quilting Group, and a concrete bench and side table designed by Tuscany Concrete. Tickets are $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00 and will be sold up until the day of the Pine Meadow Charity Golf tournament on June 23rd. The draw will be held at Pine Meadow on that date and results will be announced at the tournament. Only 2,500 tickets were printed so they may not be available for that long. They are available at Pine Meadow, Nowell Motors and other locations. Look for volunteers in front of local grocery stores later this month.
The Special Needs Committee also organises the annual Pine Meadow Classic at Hunter’s Creek golf course. It is the biggest fundraiser they run, netting in excess of $15,000 each year. Tickets for the tournament, which include a BBQ lunch and green fees, are a reasonable $55 per person, and are available through Eleanor Nowell at Nowell motors. Call 613-336-2547.
Laury Hitchcock is a long time volunteer with the special needs committee. She said that both the raffle and the tournament owe a lot of their success to the support of the small business community, and to families, in the surrounding region.
“The tournament has 80 to 100 sponsors, with new ones coming on every year. And there are the players. One family, cottagers in the area, bring two teams every year. They make it a tradition.”
Over its 15 year history the tournament has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all of the money has gone towards extras that are not covered in Pine Meadow’s funding. The home is a community owned not for profit enterprise, under the umbrella of Land O’Lakes Community Services. This year the money raised will go towards: adjustable dining room tables, additional patio furniture, an auto-scope, woodworking materials, slings and replacement lifts.
Was there a bit of excitement in the air on Tuesday morning? Maybe it was the start of the second consecutive day of pleasant weather, or maybe it was the beginning of May (and the end of the misery that was April. Maybe it was the lingering glow of the Pink Moon from April 29, or maybe it was the beginning of the 2018 Municipal election calendar. As of May 1st, the nomination period for this fall’s municipal election is open. It will remain open until July 27th, when the campaign will begin in earnest. Of the local Mayors, all of the incumbents in Frontenac County, save Dennis Doyle of Frontenac Islands, indicated they would be seeking re-election, and are expected to present themselves at their local office sometime soon, with $200 and 25 signatures of residents from their own townships in hand, the price of admission for a Mayor or Reeve.
But none acted as quickly as Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg, who put his papers in on the morning of May 1st. When interviewed in January Hogg said he did not know whether he was going to run again, but old habits die hard. Hogg has been the Reeve of Addington Highlands for 17 of the 20 years that the township has been in existence. He took a break for three years between 2004 and 2006 to focus on his business interests. He was also involved in municipal politics for 15 years before amalgamation, going hack ton 1983 .
When interviewed after the 2014 election he said this was going to be his last term and he was throwing away his election signs., but he may have held on to them, just in case. North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith, and South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal are all expected to submit their nomination paper in the coming days or weeks. Over in Tay Valley, former Deputy Mayor Susan Freeman has already thrown her hat in for Mayor. Many members of Council, from all of the municipalities, have also indicated they are likely to seek re-election. The interesting question is how many current councillors will decide to take a leap into the mayoralty race, or who from outside council will step forward. Candidates can switch from council to mayor or vice versa right until the end of nominations on July 27.
Candidates can start to spend money on their election as soon as their nomination papers are accepted by the returning officer. And the limits are quite generous. Candidates for Mayor can spend $7,500 plus $0.85 for each resident of their township. In South Frontenac that makes for a ceiling of over $22,000. It is closer to $10,000 in some of the smaller townships, still thousands more than any of the candidates will likely spend.
As the campaign gets going, the News will get the word about who is running as soon as we have confirmation from the various townships.
But first there is a provincial election on the horizon. The writ will be dropped next Wednesday, for a vote on June 7