“It’s just for nature to do what nature does,” Vicki Schmolka of the Land Conserva...
Brian Lipsin is surprised by the outpouring of community support after his record store was flooded ...
Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth said he’s confident the Township’s three major proje...
I’m a programmer. I love the challenge, and I especially love how a few lines of code can save...
Fiddlers and Friends return for their yearly concert in Ompah on Thursday, August 9. The band loves to share their joy of music and zany sense of fun. They play a cheerful set of old-time fiddle tunes that has the audience clapping, toe-tapping and singing along. The fiddlers are accompanied by friends playing keyboard, bass, viola, cello, guitar, etc. Lois Webster is an unforgettable crowd favourite with her many homemade instruments and wacky costumes; one never quite knows what she will do next, and even keeps the band guessing. Fiddlers and Friends are delighted to entertain the Ompah audiences, who readily join in to become a real part of the concert. Folks often comment that it is such a fun concert that it feels like a kitchen party. Audiences are always left wanting more. The Fiddlers and Friends concert on Thursday, August 9 at 7pm is a fundraiser for the Ompah Community Centre. Admission is $10 at the door. Following the concert, musicians and audience can mingle over refreshments. For further information, contact Marily Seitz (613-479-2855).
CMCA plans to undertake a comprehensive study of the 15 cemeteries in North Frontenac. The research work is planned to begin in the summer of 2019. CMCA will be looking for a partnership with the township for this extensive project and to many community members who have knowledge of specific cemeteries. Training of CMCA members and the North Frontenac Township staff, Sonia McLuckie, began on June 29. The Ontario Genealogical Society Cemetery Committee Chair, Joe Wilson, did an amazing job sharing the steps and process required to complete a cemetery study. Topics such as GIS mapping, websites to use, resource books to access, checklists to complete, and transcribing data were covered. The work session included a visit to a local cemetery, where participants learned how to detect unmarked graves, and learned about a cleaning process for tombstones, which was remarkable. More information will be shared with the public as this project gets underway. CMCA also received training from the Ontario Historical Society in July to address the handling and storage of archival material. We hope to preserve collected/donated materials for future generations in a manner recommended by the OHS.
The Ompah Community Association is in good shape financially, even after buying liability insurance and paying $5,000 to the Township for renovations to the kitchen, the Association heard at its Annual General Meeting Saturday morning in Ompah. The cash balance as of July 21, 2018 is $8,127.76 “We decided not to incorporate because that only protects the membership, not the executive,” said President Rob Harris. “So we’re an unregistered association. “But we needed the insurance, which includes some legal advice because all it takes is for someone to trip over a loose cord for us to get sued.” He said recent projects of the association have been a move-in package for new residents, addressing the “noticeable decline in attendance” at events (a recent dance was cancelled because only two tickets were sold) and approaching North Frontenac Council for help in refurbishing the floor at the Hall. “We were told there’s no budget for that,” he said. They also formed a committee, chaired by Janet Arther, to look into a beach on Palmerston Lake, discussed communication strategies including a new FaceBook Page, announced that there is $334.40 in the Birthday Bash Benevolent Fund and asked for more contributions to the Memory Wall. Harris also noted that the Hall has been opened as an official cooling off spot when temperatures warrant. Two spots on the executive were open. Rob Harris and Dave Young were elected to fill them. What positions they will take will have to wait for the executive meeting. “We elect people to the executive and decide at the first executive committee meeting what hats they will wear,” said Harris. After the meeting, the Canada 150 mural by Gleva Lemke was unveiled. Marily Seitz and John Walters unveil the Canada 150 mural at the Ompah Community Centre. The mural, painted by local artist Gleva Lemke, features the names of many area residents. “The names just kept on coming,” said Seitz. Photo/Craig Bakay
When the sun went down and the stars started to come out, at least 40 people were treated to a spectacular view of Saturn and its rings at the North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve near Plevna Saturday night. Also in the frame was the likelihood of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, but there was some discussion as to whether this was actually a star in the background and couldn’t be confirmed by press time. Saturday night was the third star party at the observation pad this summer (subsequent parties include (Aug. 11, 12 and 13, the Perseid meteor showers), Sept.1, seven planets, Oct. 6 featuring the autumn constellations) and also featured Jupiter and its four Galilean moons. The banding on Jupiter was also visible. While many of the stargazers were locals and regulars, a considerable number were from out of town and first-timers. “I wanted my family to see how pure the sky is,” said Rong Hui Yang from Ottawa. “In Ottawa, there is too much light pollution.” Paul Thiel of the North Frontenac Economic Development Task Force said that the Yang family are typical visitors to the sky pad, coming in for the evening. But, he said, they do get a lot of inquires from people who would like to come and stay longer. The problem is that the lodges and campgrounds are pretty much booked solid with seasonals and there’s no place for would be stargazers to stay. That almost happened to Lloyd and Francine Kresic from Rockford, ON, but they managed to luck out. “We wanted to come down for this when we found out about it, but we phoned around and nothing was available,” said Lloyd while setting up his telescope. “Luckily, Ferleigh Lodge had a cancellation and we found out about it Wednesday. “It’s our first time and we’d like to come back.” Thiel said accommodation (or lack thereof) is something the task force has been looking at in detail. “The campgrounds and lodges are booked full-time from mid-June,” he said. “We just finished a survey to see that’s changed since six years ago. “It hasn’t.” Thiel said he’d like to see the property to the west of the pad purchased and turned into a campground, but with the caveat of a seven-day maximum stay. That could be especially important once the campaign to build an observatory to house the donation of a 16-inch telescope from the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Astronomical Society becomes a reality. And speaking of the observatory, there’s a Go-Fund-Me page dedicated to the project if you’d like to contribute. Verona’s Tim Trentadue, a frequent visitor, said he’s met people from all over at the pad and many have expressed the same frustration with finding a place to stay. “I’m here on most clear nights and I’m rarely alone,” he said. “One night in April, a moose came through.”
Organizer Wanda Harrison described the annual Arden Seniors yard sale and barbecue as “remarkable” as she was totaling up the receipts. “This is the annual fundraiser that the seniors do,” she said. “We’ve been doing it for around 25 years or so. “It all gets donated back to the community, be it to the fire department, the food bank — we’re big, big supporters of the food bank — Rural Frontenac Community Services and the schools.” For the record, the barbecue sold out and the peameal bacon sandwiches sold out. “Thank you to all the volunteers.” The next event in Arden will be the Arden Family Field Day at Recreation Park on Aug. 18 from 10am-4pm. The official opening will be at 11am with Town Crier Paddy O’Connor. Harrison said there will be plenty of games and many community members have donated goods and/or services.
In its 23rd year, the annual Art Exhibition and Show put on by the Friends of Bon Echo was down a few exhibitors (to 25), but still managed to bring together a tidy little show that focused more on the “fine” art of painting than many shows of this nature. Co-chair Sue Whyte (along with Debbie Alger) said this year’s show likely reflects a changing of the guard, as many of those involved have been doing so for 23 years, but she’s optimistic about future shows. “There have been a few glitches but hopefully nobody will notice,” she said. “We’re looking ahead to next year. “I’m really looking forward to the artists’ feedback.” Long-time organizer Ernest Lapchinski said Whyte was the most instrumental person in getting this show off the ground, but lamented the fact that, like just about every other volunteer organization around, they are having difficulty replacing aging volunteers. “I hope that young people might think about volunteering more,” he said. Whyte also noted that there are a lot more summer art festivals these days (as opposed to when they started), but given the setting of Bon Echo Park, she believes they will remain competitive for artists for years to come. “We’re unique in our setting,” she said. “And we keep to our core mission statement of Art in the Park. “And Rick Guthrie has been a big help.” One veteran of the Bon Echo show is watercolor artist Dave Gordon. He does about 25 shows a year and has been in this show 20 times. He plans on coming back. “We love it,” said his wife, Linda. “We come and camp here for the week.” One of the things Gordon likes is that his work fits in to the theme of this show. “Fall colors have always impressed me,” he said. “I think nothing of taking leaves from trees into the studio. “I also like to see how they shrivel up and try to paint that too.” He said this show fits in with his “cottage life” subject matter. “I won’t allow myself to do portraits,” he said. “Except for my grandchildren.” Gordon is rather unique himself in his approach to painting. He uses watercolors exclusively, but unlike most practitioners of the medium, he uses very little wet-on-wet technique, opting for an opaque style that at first glance could very easily be mistaken for acrylics. “I only dip the brush in the water once,” he said. Also, unlike many watercolorists, he eschews the use of glass as part of the framing and presentation process, opting for three or more coats of preservative. This tends to add depth to his works as well. Gordon has retired to his painting, which he learned “by my own mistakes. I only ever took night school classes.” But he has learned one lesson that he’d like to pass along to budding artists. “Have a spot where you can leave all the mess out,” he said. “If I get an idea, I might try it right away.” Anyone wishing to get involved with the art show or any of their other activities is asked to call the Friends of Bon Echo at 613-336-0830.
As a fundraising arm for Community Living, North Frontenac, The Treasure Trunk can’t really afford much in the way of staff. With the move to Road 38 south of Sharbot Lake, they’ve become more of a regional operation, drawing from as far south as Harrowsmith and Verona for both donations and customers. But let’s face it, it’s essentially a charity operation. They do take advantage, however, of whatever programs become available, such as co-op students. One such co-op student was Caden Stephenson, who came from Granite Ridge. So, when the KEYS program in Kingston came up with some money for a summer student, they jumped at the chance. “We don’t have the funds for a summer student,” said Janet Barr, the Treasure Trunk’s director. “But we get a lot busier in the summer with cottagers since moving out here, and we can sure use the help. “And since we had Caden in co-op, we already had him all trained up.” “I’ve learned a lot and I’m getting better with my customer service skills,” said Stephenson, who hails from ‘downtown’ Maberly. “I love it, it’s great. “And, I’m feeling a lot more responsibility now.” And he does do a lot around there, such as moving furniture (both from the car and from homes), answering the phone, sorting clothing and other store items, garbage and recycling, emptying donation boxes in the hamlets and even taking orders and delivering for The Cardinal Cafe in Sharbot Lake. “It’s been a busy summer so far,” he said. Stephenson plans to attend St. Lawrence College in the fall, taking personal health and fitness, culinary arts and general arts & sciences. He’s not sure where he’d like to end up, but he’s sure the skills he’s picked up at The Treasure Trunk will serve him well. “I’ve enjoyed working with customers and helping them out,” he said. “I think eventually I’d like to work in a fitness gym.” The Treasure Trunk is located on Road 38, south of Sharbot Lake, by Seed to Sausage. Its hours are Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 3pm. Photo/Craig Bakay
Since 2013, Verona’s Art in the Sawmill has hosted an eclectic summer show of quilters, crafters, image-makers and artists, and this year was no exception. From the jewelry of Carolyn Boyle and Bill Anderson to the animal depictions of Lisa Ferguson and Katie Ohlke (loved the bear), there was a wide range of visual interpretations on display last Saturday and Sunday in the old converted mill house. One of the more intriguing entries this year is newcomer Elaine Farragher, whose acrylic landscapes often feature scenes of the K & P Trail, many featuring water. But as interesting as her above-water scenes are, perhaps her most fascinating works are those that take place below the water’s surface, featuring what’s going on with the area’s fish population. “I’ve begun snorkeling where we live on Hambly Lake,” she said. “When you look under the water, there are so many fish. “And I actually do like painting fish.” She said there are lots of fishermen on her lake and her paintings lead to discussions. Her fish paintings also include a lot of bubbles, understated, but still a fascinating inclusion. “I also love painting bubbles,” she said. “And maybe the underwater scenes are an excuse to paint them, but it’s mostly the fish. “Especially the perch — they’re so pretty.” Farragher started painting in her 20s but stopped for about 30 years while living in Toronto. “I took some night courses in Toronto, but that was about it,” she said. “When we moved to this area about 12 years ago, well, I couldn’t not paint. “This is a very inspiring area.” Farragher works in acrylics from photos downloaded to her laptop. “I don’t have a lot of room where I work,” she said. “Just enough for an easel and the laptop. “But I did get an underwater camera.”
Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth said he’s confident the Township’s three major projects for this summer will be completed by Labour Day. Segsworth was responding to a question from Coun. Mark Schjerning at South Frontenac Council’s regular meeting Tuesday night (the only Council meeting scheduled for August). Segsworth said asphalt is scheduled for this week and next on the Harrowsmith intersection, Harrowsmith-Rutledge Road and Bedford Road projects. “Weather permitting we should have everything completed, including the line painting, by Labour Day,” Segsworth said. “This has been a stifling hot summer and I can’t say enough about how well our staff has done in it. “There’s not much chance you can go full out in this heat but we’ve got everything done, including a few of our other projects,” he said. And Segsworth expects the traffic lights to be working at the Harrowsmith intersection as well, however, he cautioned that they will take some adjusting. “It is going to take a while to get the timing right on the lights,” he said. “There will be some adjustments to be made according to traffic density, rush hour, etc. “We’re not going to get that right right off the bat.” Johnston’s PointCoun. Ross Sutherland’s attempt to get Johnston Point Condominium project back on the table has failed. Sutherland argued that Bylaw 2018-34 passed at the June 5 Council meeting should be reconsidered on the grounds that the developer has yet to sign the condominium agreement. “We passed that bylaw on the assumption that the Township would be able to go in and investigate complaints such as tree cutting and blasting,” Sutherland said. “But we can’t do that until the developer signs the agreement. “And there has been a complaint subsequent to our passing the bylaw.” His Council colleagues disagreed however. Bringing the bylaw back to the table for debate required a two-thirds majority vote of Council (ie six votes). The motion was defeated 7-1 with Sutherland being the lone ‘yes’ vote. Stone Buildings capture Heritage Commitee’s attentionA report from the Heritage Committee suggesting future plans with respect to heritage buildings led Deputy Mayor Alan Revill to wonder aloud “are we changing the focus of the committee, which up to this point has been rather passive?” “The committee has been revising its priorities by looking at buildings of interest,” said CAO Wayne Orr. “But it’s still functioning within its terms of reference.” Of note has been David Jefferies’ Stone House Heritage Route Project but Coun. Ross Sutherland suggested there were “some really fascinating wood structures still intact like Fermoy Hall.” “The committee has had discussions on that but decided the stone buildings would be a good starting point,” said Orr. “The stone buildings do catch the eye,” said Coun. Pat Barr, who is on the committee. “If we do get this registry of fascinating buildings nobody knows about completed, we could start tours for events like the ATV rally,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “It’s a step in the right direction.” Phone company to expand fibre networkCouncil voted to enter into an agreement with North Frontenac Telephone Company for the installation of fibre optic cable for high-speed internet connection along the length of the K & P Trail from Tichborne to Orser Road. Council agreed to the waving of $1,750 in license of occupation fees. High mark for building permitsIn the second quarter of 2018, $13,050,191 worth of building permits were issued in the township, the first time in the last four years that over $13 million in permits were issued in one quarter. For the first six months of 2018, over $16 million in permits have been issued, up from just under $15 million in 2017, $14 million in 2016, and $10 million in 2015. Overall the value of permits has been trending upwards over the last 4 years, as annual values have risen from $27 million to $32 million in the three year period between 2015 and 2017 and it appears that will only go up this year The number of permits for new homes in the first half of the years is 31, 26 permanent dwellings and 5 seasonal dwellings.
The Inverary Youth Activities Group, which runs Ken Garrett Park in Inverary, has run into an unexpected financial snag this year, and is hoping to cover a shortfall through a fundraising drive. Registration fees, earnings from the canteen, and sponsorship revenue usually cover the annual maintenance costs to run the park. But there are a number of one time capital costs that have come up this year, including the need for a new fridge, fencing costs, repair of field nets and new foul ball nets. But the largest costs was for a replacement mowing machine. “With ten acres to maintain, and a mower that could no longer be counted on, we had to look for a new one. We got a good deal on one, but it still has created a shortfall,” said Judy Borovski, of the committee. The park is seeking the public support to help cover the shortfall. So, during ball tournaments at the park on August 18 and 25, there will be a bottle drive. Members of the public are invited to bring beer, wine, and liquor bottles and cans to the canteen, where volunteers will be on hand to collect them. Proceeds from returning the containers to the Beer Store for rebate will all be donated to Youth Activities Group. For those who are unable to attend the tournaments, there is a trailer set up for bottle and can drop off, at 3950 Round Lake Road. It will stay up until the end of August. Organizers of the drive are hoping to be able to make and announcement about further sponsorship which could make donations of bottles more beneficial to the local community who have supported the park over the years. “For now, all we can say is every little bit helps,” said Borovski.
When the Fantasy in the Forest Art Show and Sale began, there were six artists. This year, the show’s 24th season, that’s grown to 63 exhibitors in 57 booths. They’ve even grown to the point where they can provide space to some charities such as Sheba’s Haven, a lady raising money for school children in Nepal and school construction in Haiti. It’s a two-day show on Draper Road west of Perth Road Village and on Sunday morning, founder, king and fellow exhibitor Jamie Brick almost welcomed the dark clouds off in the distance. “Yesterday (Saturday) was so overwhelming with people, parking and traffic,” Brick said. “When it’s all over, I’ll be happy again and ready to do it all over next year.” He wasn’t sure there would be a ‘next year’ when he first started this. “But we said, if nothing else, we’ll have a party,” he said. “We still have that, the Mad Hatter’s Pot Luck supper and we had it last night.” For those unfamiliar with this particular art show, it seems a bit of an understatement to say it’s unique. To be sure there are a variety of painters, sculptors, jewelry makers and some crafters that simply defy definition, the vast majority of which feature fantasy elements. And it’s in the woods. But it’s safe to say it’s the attitude of everybody there that sets it apart. Much of the fantasy aspect is mediaeval, Tolkienesque, with a healthy dose of steampunk mixed in. Many of the artists and artisans are in costume, and . . . in character. When one such character was questioned about being an anachronism because he was wearing a tricorn hat, without missing a beat he quickly replied “I got caught in a damn time loop.” Another aspect of the show is that they’ve taken to giving a space to a younger artist or two so that they can gain experience. And what an experience for Kate Sanchez and Kate Woods, Ryerson art students who grew up in Mississauga and whose minds were definitely blown. “It’s a new world here,” said Sanchez. This was their first art show for the best friends who grew up as neighbours, went to high school together, Ryerson together and who are now starting their own art business, Kate & Kate Co. They collaborate on all their art pieces. They had no idea what to expect “when Jamie invited us” and were definitely blown away in the beginning but after settling in, they’ve managed to keep things in some sort of perspective. “We sold our first piece here, and that was the goal,” said Woods.
This is the final version of an article originally written on July 24, reflecting the status as of the close of nominations on July 27 Phil Archambault, an Inverary resident who ran for the Liberal Party in the 2016 Federal election, finishing second to long time Conservative MP Scott Reid, is making the move to municipal politics. “I think it is time for a change,” Archambault said moments after submitting his nomination papers on Tuesday afternoon (July 23) There are now three candidates for Mayor of South Frontenac, incumbent Ron Vandewal, and current Loughborough Councilor Mark Schjerning. In other locations,there is less of a contest. In Addington Highlands (AH), there is a single contested position, that of Reeve. Alice Madigan has jumped into the race this week, preenting long term incumbent Henry Hogg from being acclaimed to the position once again. There are two candidates for two positions in both ward 1 (Kirby Thompson and Royce Rosenblath) and ward 2 (Bill Cox and Helen Yanch), and a single candidate for all of the relevant school board councils in the towsnhip In neighbouring North Frontenac, the only contested position as of early this week was one of the ward 3 (Palmerston-Canonoto) spots, but then incumbent Denis Bedard withdrew. If the nominiations are ratified next week, the new council will be same as the old one, except Fred Fowler will be one of the Palmerston Canonto councillors in place of Bedard, In Central Frontenac there will be a contest in ward 4 (Hinchinbrooke) as incumbents Brent Cameron and Philip Smith are being challenged by Niki Gowdy. There are also contests In ward 2 (Olden) where Victor Heese, Elwyn Burke, Dan Cunningham, and Bill Everett are all running. In ward 3 (Kennebec) Tom Dewey, Cindy Kelsey and newcomer Isaac Hale are running. Elsewhere in Central, no one is challenging Mayor Frances Smith thus far, and in ward 3 (Oso) incumbents Bill MacDonald and Sherry Whan are the only ones running. In South Frontenac, aside from the race for Mayor, in both Storrington and Bedford wards acclamations are looking pretty likely at this point. The incumbents, Alan Revill and Pat Barr (Bedford) and Norm Roberts and Ron Sleeth (Storrington), may see themselves declared elected next week. The other two South Frontenac Districts are being contested, however. In Loughborough incumbent Ross Sutherland is running again, as are Fran Willes, Randy Ruttan and Farrah Soaft. And there is a crowded field in Portland District, which is essentially an open contest. Brad Barbeau, who finished third in 2014 but was appointed to council when Bill Robinson died, is running again. Four others, (Ray Leonard, Doug Morey, Bruno Albani, and Tom Bruce) are also seeking election. Incumbant Councilor John McDougall is not running. There are also numerous trustee races taking place.. Our readers in the Maberly area of Tay Valley Township will be inundated with electioneering in comparison to everyone else. There are three candidates for Reeve, incumbent Kieth Kerr, Susan Freeman, and Brian Campbell , two candidates for the Deputy Reeve position, Barry Crampton and Judy Farrell, and three candidates for the two South Sherbrooke ward position, incumbents Mark Burnham and Roxanne Darling as well as Rob Rainer.
It might seem like an elaborate sleight of hand manoeuvre, but Frontenac County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender is asking members of Frontenac County Council to consider setting up a county roads system, on paper only. And the payoff could be some heavy virtual paper money, as much as $5.7 million in grant money, every second year. Over time, the Federal and Provincial governments have developed different funding programs aimed at helping cash strapped municipalities pay for expensive infrastructure maintenance and upgrades on roads, bridges and other assets. The source of funding that has been available for this for the last 10 years is the Federal Gas Tax program, which provides $840,000 each year that is split among the townships on the basis of the amount of property assessment they each have, with another $840,000 going to Frontenac County. Since all the roads and bridges in Frontenac County are owned by the local township, for the past 5 years the counties’ $840,000 has been transferred to the townships “The County has been informed that, starting next year, the federal gas tax program will bring less money to Frontenac,” said Kelly Pender. “It will be tied to population and since population growth in Ontario is under the national average and rural Ontario population growth is lower still, we project a decrease in our funding.” A new program, the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, (OCIF) is now on stream as well. It is split between upper tier (County Level) and Lower Tier (Township level) funding in a similar way as the gas tax is. However it differs in two significant ways. While the gas tax can be used for a more broad range of infrastructure purposes, including trails, the OCIF is more narrow. It can only be used for roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects. The second difference is that only jurisdictions which are in possession of these kinds of assets can apply for the funds. That’s where the need for a Frontenac County virtual roads department comes in. “In order for Frontenac County to be eligible for OCIF funding, we need to have ownership of eligible infrastructure assets,” said Pender. The easiest way for Frontenac County to do this would be to assume arterial roads from the townships, and the contract back the maintenance on them to the township roads departments. That way nothing changes on the ground or in staffing at the roads departments, but extra money would come to the county to cover major repairs and upgrades to those roads every two years. In order for this to happen, Pender is presenting a path forward to Frontenac County Council this week. His proposal is to explore setting up a virtual roads system and report back in January to the new council, which takes office after the upcoming municipal election. The most likely scenario would be for the county to assume the former provincially owned roads that were downloaded in 1998 (Road 38, Perth Road, Road 506/509, Road 96 on Wolfe Island, and Road 22 on Howe Island) The Public Works Managers from all four townships meet with each other regularly to foster communication and co-operation and if the road plan goes through the managers group will take on a more decisive role. Another part of the proposal would be for the townships to re-flow some of the federal gas tax money back to the county to help fund county-wide initiatives that gas tax money can be used for but OCIF money cannot be used for. These initiatives, including trails and investments in plugging gaps in cell coverage, are already in the county spending plans and will need to financed through direct taxation of borrowing otherwise, according to Pender. The proposal provides for an option for each township to opt in or out of the virtual roads system, and can only go forward if at least two townships opt in. It also carries a guarantee that the benefit of OCIF funding to the local townships will be greater than any loss of gas tax funds. (The meeting where this matter is being raised takes place on Wednesday, July 18 and council’s decision will be posted on Frontenacnews.ca) OCIF, which is also based on federal and provincial funds, is a $100 million fund, and is slated to grow to $300 million, although that will need to be confirmed as the result of the recent change in government in Ontario. If the fund remains at $100 million, Pender projects it will be worth about $950,000 per year to Frontenac County, and that figure would triple to $2.85 million per year if the new Ontario follows through with an increased commitment to bring the fund to $300 million per year after 3 years.
Until late last week, The Wintergreen Energy Co-op (WGC) had thirteen 250 kilowatt solar energy projects ready to proceed in South and Central Frontenac and rural Kingston under the Feed-in-Tariff (5) program. Not anymore. The WGC projects are among the 758 green energy projects that were cancelled this week by the new Ontario government. WGC President David Hahn said on Tuesday that the solar projects had been waiting for the final go ahead from Ontario’s Independent Electricity Service Operator (IESO), which was to come in the form a Notice to Proceed (NTP). “My understanding is that all of the projects waiting for the NTP have been cancelled,” he said when contacted at his farm on Canoe Lake Road, “which would include our projects”. Hahn said that Wintergreen itself was not facing a large financial loss as the result of the cancellations. “We invested time and effort in it, and some money, but the way these work we don’t take ownership until the project is up and running. Our partner, SolarShare, and the contractor we work with, Soventix, as well as the landowners who will not be getting any benefit from the land leases, are all out of pocket for all the work and costs associated with getting approvals and arranging for the tie-in to the grid. They are all worse off than the co-op itself from these cancellations.” Hahn said that projects were all set to create jobs locally and regionally, but “that is all gone by the wayside now. For the WGC, the future is unclear as until now they had been promoting community based renewable projects under the soon to be scrapped Green Energy Act, but Hahn thinks it will continue to have a role to play. “We will discuss this at our Annual General Meeting in the Fall, but I am hopeful that net metering projects will still be viable, and maybe we can do some of those on a community basis. Net metering refers to small scale projects that feed energy back into the electricity grid, lowering or eliminating hydro charges to the customer who produces the power, “If we can pool groups of homeowners to feed energy back into the system, hopefully that will still be something that will be acceptable to the new government,” he said. The Wintergreen Energy Co-op was set up in 2012 to promote community based green energy projects in Kingston Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. “We envision a region where our energy needs are met through renewable and clean energy technologies. Community ownership and participation provide the foundation for all Wintergreen Energy Co-op projects” is how its mission is described on its website.
Landlords in Frontenac County are encouraged to connect with Amanda Pantrey, new Rural Housing Liaison Worker, to find out about the incentives and perks that come with working with the rural Housing and Homelessness Collaborative Team, based out of Southern Frontenac Community Services in Sydenham. The Housing and Homelessness program in the County of Frontenac aims to serve high-needs, low-income families in need of assistance to secure and maintain safe, appropriate, and affordable housing. Landlords are a key partner in the success of the program, and in return for working with the Collaborative Team, landlords gain access to supports and incentives. “There are benefits for rural landlords to work with the Collaborative Team,” says Pantrey. “First, landlords will have an advantage because their units will be entered into our database, which our staff can use to successfully match clients with appropriate properties. As well, landlords can be confident knowing eligible tenants can access on-going support, such as funding to help them get and stay on their feet, or to cover unexpected costs such as utilities arrears.” “Landlords working with our team are also included in our information-sharing networks and will get insight to incentive programs, such as Kingston-Frontenac Renovates Program – Accessibility Enhancement Program.” Pantrey adds, “This program is exciting. Landlords could be eligible for a forgivable loan up to $20,000 to assist in accessibility upgrades. The deadline for that program is August 31, so landlords are encouraged to call me as soon as possible to get started.” Southern Frontenac Community Services is one of three agencies working together in the Housing and Homelessness Collaborative that serves the County of Frontenac, administered by the City of Kingston’s 10-year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Plan. Rural Frontenac Community Services and Addiction Mental Health Services, KFL&A make up the rest of team. “Homelessness and housing insecurity in Frontenac County is very real,” says SFCSC Executive Director, David Townsend. “The demand for services keeps growing. Building relationships with local landlords will not only benefit our clients, but the community as a whole. When families who want to live here are able to stay, everybody wins.” For more information on the Housing and Homelessness Program in the County of Frontenac, and how we can help you, call Amanda Pantrey, at SFCSC, at 613-376-6477 ext. 208.
Last Friday, (July 27) the Limestone District School Board joined with other boards in Ontario who are urging the new Ford government to reconsider its decision to pull the health and physical education curriculum that was instituted in 2015 from Ontario schools. In a letter to Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, , Board Chair Paula Murray and Director of Education Debra Rantz ask for clarity around recent direction to revert to the what they called an “antiquated 1998 curriculum which does not support today’s students or families.” The Board is asking the Ministry to “maintain the 2015 documents so educators may continue to support our students on important topics such as gay marriage, gender identity, sexting and sexual consent.” In their letter, Murray and Rantz referred to the Ontario Equity Action Plan (2017) to illustrate the role that the curriculum plays in the healthy development of the students in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington region who attend Limestone schools. The Act says that the “the success of our graduates necessitates building their confidence in who they are and their resilience in the face of adversity and ensuring they feel accepted and included … Students must also experience teaching and learning that is reflective of their needs and of who they are.” In the Limestone context, the letter says “in Limestone, we know firsthand the importance of this work. We know that our students must see themselves reflected in our curriculum, in our buildings, in our culture, to feel safe and supported, and to ensure their well-being. Our staff has used this curriculum to help empower our students to reach their full potential while supporting their emotional, mental and physical needs. Reverting to an outdated curriculum flies in the face of this progressive work and the Board does not support such a move.” Within the City of Kingston there was a 53% increase in reports of sexual assault in 2017. Rantz and Murray say the increase may by in part due to the #MeToo movement giving confidence and support to Kingston residents to come forward. “Our students need to learn about the concept of consent and the vocabulary of body parts so that they can speak clearly to police, and we can all work together as a community to prevent sexual abuse and ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students. This partnership is well supported by dedicated and experienced educators who have been professionally trained on how to respond and support students in need,” they wrote. Finally, they referred to the “three pillars of Wellness, Innovation, and Collaboration” that the board adopted as core priorities several years ago. “We are fiercely committed to those priorities, which include inclusion and equity for all,” they wrote, saying that the 2015 Health and Phys Ed curriculum plays a significant role in making the “board responsive to our students’ needs and ensuring they have the learning opportunities they deserve in 2018. “We want everyone to see themselves in Limestone and this curriculum is key to helping achieve that goal.” As of Tuesday (July 31) 20 Ontario Boards have sent similar letters to the Minister, including the Toronto District School Board, Durham District School Board, Kawartha Pine Ridge, Thames Valley, Ottawa Carleton, Simcoe County and Lambton Kent. Opponents of the change in curriculum point out that the old curriculum, which is slated to be re-instituted this year, had been in place since 1998, when the impact of the Internet and Social Media on students was not yet a factor. For her part, Minister Thompson referred only to the recent past in defending the old curriculum. “Teachers are going to be going back to what they taught in 2014, and they’re familiar with that curriculum,” she told the Toronto Star
A big part of the Flinton Community Jamboree the past two years has been the induction ceremony for the Land O’ Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame and the 2018 edition will be no exception. The ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Flinton Recreation Park. (Admission is free for the ceremony.) HOF founder Bob Taylor said there are eight inductees this year, seven of whom are still living. “Doreen Black is 81 years old and played with Country 4 years ago,” Taylor said. “She played bass and sang on the radio. “Walter Cameron is originally from Snow Road but lives in McDonalds Corners now,” Taylor said. “He played bass for Ron McMunn for years.” “Ernie Smith has been playing professionally since he was 15,” he said. “He’s 78 now. “He was a drummer on Country Hoedown, in the Country Hoppers in 1958 and also played with Wildwood, Miner’s Bay, Heartland and he’s still going strong.” “Ralph (Curley) Taylor, from Madoc, is pushing 80 and primarily plays only in nursing homes for seniors now,” he said. “But he’s a noted songwriter and will be going into the Hall in the songwriter category. “He wrote the lyrics for Going Home, which was a hit for Acadian Ellie Kelly.” “Neil Perry is being inducted in the posthumous category,” Taylor said. “Neil played fiddle with his brother Harold and sister Flora. “If you hadn’t played with Neil Perry, you weren’t a musician. Neil’s daughter Gail will be receiving his award.” “Dean Northey was originally from the area but now lives in Kingston,” he said. “In the ’70s and ’80s, he brought bluegrass bands to play along the Cataraqui River.” “Howard Northey, an octogenarian, is a mandolin player and will be inducted in the lifetime achievement category.” Previous inductees include Floyd Lloyd, Reg Weber, Cathy Whalen, George York, Charlie Pringle and Harold Perry (2016) and Bill White, Neville Wells, Lionel Grimard, Bob Goodberry, Sheila Calthorpe and Ross Clow (2017).