by Jean Brown Last week a large contingency of our Land O' Lakes Seniors visited two members at the...
Diane Chorney and her husband, Jon Alvarenga, recently relocated to Sharbot Lake after purchasing a ...
North Frontenac tax levy to go up by 3% Most of increase devoted to long-term needs While the levy to ratepayers in North Frontenac is going up by 3% this year, the operating budgets of township departments have been trimmed. As part of the asset management strategy that Council took on late last year, North Frontenac has set aside 2% of the money they raise from taxation to put in a fund to cover replacement costs for all roads, bridges and buildings that the township owns. That left a tax increase for township operations of $53,214 (1.06%), even as a number of fixed costs went up. “There was some new spending, including $15,000 as part of our doctor recruitment commitment for the Lakelands Health Team and $54,000 for playground equipment, which will only be spent if we get a grant that we have applied for,” said township Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson. “In order to keep from a larger increase in the levy each department was asked to find cuts, which they did. There were no cuts to service, but it will be a lean year this year.” The township's draft budget, which will include a total levy of $5.2 million to North Frontenac ratepayers, was approved in principle at a meeting of council on Monday (April 7) and will be presented for public comment at the beginning of the next council meeting on April 28. It is anticipated that the budget document will be approved by bylaw at that time. The two other components of the tax bill that goes to North Frontenac ratepayers, county and education taxes, are each up by about $35,000 this year, for a total increase of $125,000 to be split among all the township's ratepayers. Pine Lake It's been almost eight years since members of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation occupied a piece of public land adjacent to a boat launch at Pine Lake, off Ardoch Road. The small property, which is managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, (MNR) has continued to be used as a boat launch and there is a small road running over it between Ardoch Road and the lake. Back in 2006, the Ardoch Algonquins asserted an Aboriginal claim to the property by cutting trees and putting up a portable metal building. Their stated intention was to establish a band office on the property. But nothing has happened on the property for a number of years, except that brush has grown where the trees had been cleared. The portable building has remained but has not been used at all. In February, the township authorized CAO Cheryl Robson to write the MNR asking that the portable be removed. “Council requests that MNR remove this derelict portable from this property, at your earliest possible convenience,” said Cheryl Robson in a letter to Michael Gatt of the Bancroft ministry office. Last week a letter of response came from Suzy Shalla, Resources Management Supervisor in Bancroft. “I did want to respond to thank you and the Council for bringing forward your concerns regarding the structure located near the boat launch at Pine Lake. MNR is aware of the structure that is located there, however we will not be pursuing removal of the building at this time.” Township office remediation update - Township staff remain housed in portable offices as well as a temporary office in the Clar-Mill fire hall as Service Master and Concord Engineering continue to work on the heating oil spill that took place in early February. Council received a report from Concord Engineering which says that there is no evidence that the ground under the building has been contaminated, but a number of walls and some flooring has been removed as part of ongoing clean-up efforts. There is no time frame for the completion of repairs, which are all covered by the township's insurance policy. Ompah fire hall and community hall back to square one Council soundly rejected two proposals for upgrades to the Ompah fire hall/community hall property. The first proposal, which came in response to a tender for repairs and upgrades, would have cost $360,000. It was supported by Councilor John Inglis and rejected by the rest of Council. The second proposal, which was put forward by Councillor Wayne Good, would have capped spending on upgrades at $50,000, inclusive of a $10,000 accessibility expenditures that is mandated by the Province of Ontario. Although Council has put aside over $200,000 for the project, Good wanted to redirect that money to build a new township office. Good pointed out that there is only one trained firefighter living within a 5 km radius of the hall, and a limited capacity hall would serve the community needs. His proposal was supported by himself, and no one else. Councilor Betty Hunter then proposed that $180,000 be spent on the hall, and that the Ompah fire hall task force, which came up with the proposal that led to the $360,000 tender, be brought back together to figure out how to spend only $180,000 on the building, and do so this year. Her motion was accepted. An additional $50,000 has been pledged by the Ompah volunteers, and there remains an additional $10,000 available for accessibility features.
Septic re-inspection program Ed Gardiner, from Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health, made a proposal to council for a mandatory septic re-inspection program. Until now the township has been contracting with the Mississippi-Rideau Septic System office for a voluntary program. But each of the last two years the number of systems inspected has lagged below the target because a number of landowners have been unresponsive to repeated attempts to engage them in a re-inspection. Changes to Ontario legislation have permitted municipalities to engage in mandatory programs if they choose to do so. One of the stipulations is that the re-inspections be done by the same agency that is responsible for approvals to new septic systems. In the case of North Frontenac that agency is KFL&A Public Health. Gardiner said that it would cost the township $12,000 per year for the health unit to complete 160 inspections, with a focus on inspecting high risk systems, properties with no record of approved sewage systems, or properties with systems that are over 20 years old. He said that the program would be run out of the KFL&A office in Cloyne and that inspection reports would be sent to the landowner and the township. As far as enforcement is concerned Ed Gardiner said that if a report says remedial action is required, “a reasonable amount of time, determined by the township chief building official,” should be given. “If no action is taken the chief building official or the inspector will issue an order to comply,” he said. The township has now received two proposals, one from Mississippi-Rideau and one from KFL&A Public Health. In order to proceed they will have to choose one or the other to do all of their inspection work, on new and old systems. Planner ready to go to the OMB if necessary Joe Gallivan, the planner for Frontenac County, presented the second draft of the Frontenac County Official Plan to Council. Gallivan said the plan, which sets out a policy framework and leaves most of the detailed information to the township plan, has been submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for comment. Based on the response of the ministry to the Renfrew County Official Plan, and the North Frontenac Official Plan, Gallivan said he is concerned about how the ministry will likely respond to the approach the county is taking. “Frankly I'm not that optimistic at this point. It might be that we end up with an OMB challenge on this.” Two issues are of major concern to Gallivan, and to North Frontenac, who are at an impasse with the ministry with their own plan. One is the ministry position that no new development shall be permitted on private roads, even if there are strong rules in place about the quality and width of those roads. The other deals with the ministry's insistence that development be oriented to hamlets and villages, “which is totally contrary to the demand for development on the ground in places like Frontenac County,” Gallivan said. Construction up in 2013 Building permits were issued for over $7.3 million worth of construction in 2013, including six new inland and 20 new waterfront residences. The total for 2012 was $6.3 million. Mayor talks about County Mayor Clayton, who is also the Warden of Frontenac County, said he remains frustrated about the county budget process. “I still feel there is some push back from some of the managers at the county. When we ask them to make cuts they come back with reasons why it is impossible to make any. All we are asking of the two major programs, Fairmount Home and land ambulance, is that they bring costs to the average of costs among services of comparative size, instead of above the average. I think the administration of both programs could be a bit top-heavy,” he said. In summing up a strategic planning session, Clayton said, “There is an expression that goes 'if the people won't change, change the people'. There may be something that needs to happen like that.” War memorial funding frustration Councilor Gerry Martin has been chairing a task force that has been developing a proposal for a war memorial in the township for the past year. The task force was planning to submit an application for funding to the Community War Memorial Program, a five-year granting program administered by Veterans' Affairs Canada that was set to run until 2015. However, when the task force contacted Veterans' Affairs in January, seeking an application form for the program, they received the response that “unfortunately the Community War Memorial Program is no longer accepting funding applications due to higher than anticipated demand.” Martin prepared a letter to MP Scott Reid asking for his assistance in dealing with Veterans' Affairs on the matter. Council approved the letter.
“I don't know yet,” said Bud Clayton when asked if he was planning to seek re-election as mayor of North Frontenac after one four-year term. “If things remain the way they are now, I would say it would be no, but things can change.” Clayton added that he had not planed to run during the last election in 2010, but decided at the last minute to give former Deputy Mayor Jim Beam a run for his money since there were no other candidates coming forward. He ended up winning. “I don't want to hang on past my best-before date,” Clayton said this week, “but I have not made a final decision by any means.” Gutowski leaning towards running in Central Frontenac “In all likelihood I will be running,” two-time incumbent Janet Gutowski said when asked if she was going to run for a third term as mayor of Central Frontenac. “I'm very committed to this township and I think there is still a lot to be accomplished,” she said. Among the issues that Gutowski will be addressing during the election year are seniors’ housing and the future of service delivery in Central Frontenac. “I can see us seeking partnerships with other townships and a continued role for Frontenac County as well,” she said. “Provincial policies are always impacting us as a township, and the City of Kingston has an impact on our residents on a daily basis because they run our social services. It is only through the county that we can even talk to them; there is no other venue.”
North Frontenac pulls back from hall redundancy. After meeting with user groups from the Snow Road, Harlowe, and Clarendon and Miller halls, North Frontenac Council decided to rescind part of a bylaw they passed last July, which stipulated that the halls were to be declared as surplus property in the future. Mayor Clayton had maintained that declaring the halls surplus did not necessarily mean they would be closing, only that they would no longer be in line for re-building at the end of their useful life. However, he has also talked about a township preference for building a single, central hall and township office. Councilors have been hearing from hall users ever since the bylaw was passed in July, and at their meeting the clause about declaring the halls surplus was removed. Asset management plan finalized Vicki Leakey, from KPMG, presented the final version of the North Frontenac Asset Management Plan to council. Municipalities in Ontario are required to have these plans in place if they are to be eligible for provincial infrastructure grants next year. Some municipalities have produced basic documents that were created by sending data to a consulting firm and receiving a template-based document back. In North Frontenac's case, KPMG has met extensively with staff and council and the plan has been under development all year. The North Frontenac plan encompasses paved roads, bridges, equipment, and all township-owned buildings. Next year information about gravel roads will be added. Leakey's report concludes, as she told council last month when presenting a draft, that the township has done a good job of investing in infrastructure needs over the last 10 years, and by parceling off an added 2% in taxation towards infrastructure spending into the future, they will come closer to keeping up with the requirement for rebuilding roads, bridges, equipment, and buildings as they age and need to be replaced. Leakey costed out the rebuilding at $7.5 million. “There is not a municipality in Ontario that is not falling behind, at least to some extent, and North Frontenac is probably doing better than most,” Leakey said. One factor that is not in North Frontenac's favour is its negative growth rate, which among other things, means less money is available from property taxes. The report presented it in stark terms. “While the province's population increased by 19.5% between 1996 and 2011, North Frontenac's population dropped by 3.9%.” And those who remain in North Frontenac are ageing. Thirty-nine percent of the total personal income among township residents is derived from pensions, while the provincial average is 14%. “The greater reliance on fixed income pension reduces the ability of the municipality to raise funds through taxation,” said Leakey's report. OPP billing questions The township supported efforts by other municipalities to scuttle a proposed new billing system for OPP services that would see the township charged on a per household basis, including seasonal as well as permanent residents. Township staff calculate this would bring the North Frontenac bill from $205,000 to $1.15 million - a 458% increase. “It's funny how they bill us for the seasonal residents but when it comes to grants they look only at our permanent residents,” said Mayor Clayton. “They like to play both sides of the coin.”
Central Frontenac Public Works Coordinator Kyle Labbett, and Kevin Hawley of Greer Galloway Engineering in Kingston, led a public meeting at Oso hall in Sharbot Lake on November 20. The meeting was to discuss three options developed by Greer Galloway for the replacement of the bridge on Road 38 that crosses the old CP rail tracks just south of Canon Road. The bridge, which is one of the biggest of the 33 bridge structures in the township, was constructed in 1960 and has been deemed “in immediate need of repair in the next one to five years” following an inspection done by D.M. Wills Associates. A small group of local residents attended the meeting where Labbett and Hawley explained the plans for the three different options. The first option is to remove the existing bridge structure, lower the existing grade profile of the roadway and raise the trail by two metres to create a level crossing. In the report done by Greer Galloway, the benefits of this option are that the overall roadway sight lines would be improved and future bridge inspections and repairs would no longer be needed, which would save the township a lot of money in the long term. The disadvantages are the safety concerns that a level crossing poses to trail users, pedestrians and drivers since trail users would have to cross Road 38. Proper signage and /or other traffic mitigation techniques would be required as well as consultation with the trail authority. Option 2 is to remove the existing bridge and replace it with a pre-cast box culvert. This option would involve lowering the existing roadway by one metre and would be significantly safer than Option 1 as it would keep trail and road traffic completely separate by allowing traffic to continue along Road 38 with no interference from trail users. In addition the sight lines along the roadway would also be improved considerably. The disadvantages are the ongoing costs resulting from regular inspections and maintenance to the box culvert and its inevitable replacement when it surpasses its expected 80-year life span. The estimated costs of both Options 1 & 2 are approximately $600,000 each, and Hawley said that a large part of the expense in both cases results from the fact that while construction is underway, traffic would have to be diverted. Regarding Options 1 and 2 there is a grant that the township has applied for, which would cover 90% of the costs of construction; however, the grant is not available for option 3, which is to repair the existing bridge at a cost of approximately $300,000 -$400,000. A repair would involve regular bi-annual inspections, future repairs as well as an inevitable complete bridge replacement once the repaired bridge is eventually deemed no longer safe. While the expense of traffic diversion for a bridge repair costs less since one lane of the road would always be left open during construction, the long-term costs of a repair that will not last was questioned. Hawley said that option 3 is the least expensive in the short term, but he called it “a band aid solution” with long term costs. Labbett agreed, stating, “Everyone seems to be in agreement that repairing the existing bridge (Option 3) is not smart financially in the long run so we're basically looking at Option 1 or 2 more seriously right now." Most of the residents who attended the meeting seemed to support Option 2, the box culvert option and Sharbot Lake residents Bill and Barb Wilson stressed the safety concerns that Option 1 would pose to motorists, trail users and pedestrians alike. “Safety concerns are paramount and I think that the box culvert seems the safest option,” Bill Wilson said. The majority of the residents I spoke to at the meeting were in agreement. Staff at the township will find out in February 2015 whether their grant is successful and will likely make a final decision when the new council resumes later this year, and no doubt well before the required five-year deadline. If the grant is successful and whether council opts for either the level crossing or the box culvert solution, there is good chance construction could begin in the summer of 2015.
Sharbot Lake and District Lions, l-r Ron Hollywood, Bill Zwier, Coleen Richter and Candy Claessen served up a hearty all-you-can-eat breakfast on November 22 at Oso hall to close to 100 guests. Proceeds from the event will support the Salvation Army's annual Christmas Basket drive, which will benefit and brighten the lives of many local families during this upcoming holiday season. Upcoming for the Lions is their Country Christmas Jamboree, an afternoon of music and dancing that will take place on Sat. Dec. 13 at Land O'Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove beginning at 1pm. The event will be hosted by Fred Brown with musical entertainment featuring Lisa Hart, Mitch Barker, Jessica Wedden, the Old Habits, the Fred Brown band and with special guest Steve Piticco. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by contacting Dave Hansen at 613-375-6318 or Linda Zwier at 613-335-2053.The Lions welcome donations of empty beer and liquor bottles all year long at the Crow Lake dump site on Wemp Road in Sharbot Lake.
Diane Chorney and her husband, Jon Alvarenga, recently relocated to Sharbot Lake after purchasing a home right across from Oso Beach. That is good news for those who enjoy massage and other spa-related treatments as well as for serious students wanting to study massage therapy. Chorney, who hails from Timmins, Ontario, has been offering massage and other holistic treatments and study for over 12 years. Her business is called Aravinda, which means White Lotus in Sanskrit. In her words, it is all about “blooming where you are planted” and “rising above the muck that life can throw your way.” Aravinda offers a wide range of courses and treatments, including a condensed six-month massage therapy certification course, and treatments in massage, aromatherapy, deep tissue relaxation, yoga, meditation, hot stone treatments, Indian head massage, Chinese fire cupping, as well as spa wraps and scrubs and more. Chorney, who for five years ran a retreat centre at her former home in Nellie Lake near Timmins, had been looking for the past year to relocate and said she is thrilled to have landed in Sharbot Lake. She said that the natural beauty of the surroundings makes Sharbot Lake the perfect location for her new family home and business. The business offers beautiful views of Sharbot Lake and the feeling upon entering their bright and spacious living room is one of instantaneous peace and calm. Chorney is a registered holistic nutritionist and studied at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition at Aromatica, a holistic study centre located on the Bruce Peninsula. She is also a honours graduate in English from Carleton University in Ottawa. She did healing work at a number of First Nations communities including Attawapiskat, and in Quebec at Chisasibi and Nemaska. Chorney also offers retreats to smaller groups in her home and will travel to offer her services to larger groups as well. She also sells gift certificates for those wanting a bit of hands on healing and relaxation during the upcoming busy holiday season. Aravinda is located at 1017 Mathew Street in Sharbot Lake beside The Maples restaurant. Appointments can be made by calling 613-464-1183. For more information visit http://aravinda.guru/
A new granting program, the Canada-Ontario Jobs Grant (COJG), provides an opportunity for employers to invest in their workforce. “This granting program is designed to provide new schools for existing workers,” said Karen McGregor of the St. Lawrence College Employment Centre in Sharbot Lake. “The Job Grant will provide direct financial support to employers to purchase training for their existing and new employees with a plan to deliver short term training for up to 52 weeks to cover skills gaps.” The grant will pay up to 2/3 of training costs, up to $10,000 per person, and employers will be required to cover the other 1/3. Small businesses may be eligible for an in-kind contribution to cover their share of the costs. The definition of small business is generous, up to 50 employees. The training must be provided by a qualified, third party trainer. For information, contact Leslie Pickard, employer liaison with the employment centre at 613-549-3949 extension 1686. Online applications are available at www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/eopg/coig/index.html. Other programs that are available at the center include the Youth Employment Fund (YEF) for youth between 15 and 29 to learn on the job skills. The center can provide incentives to employers to help cover the cost of wages and training for new hires in job placements from 4-6 months in duration. As well, the Ontario Self-Employment Benefit is a program to promote the start up of new business ventures. Participants in this program must be in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits and meet eligibility criteria. Second Career is a program for recently laid-off workers for which long term skills training is the most appropriate intervention to transition them into high-demand occupations in the local labour market. EI claimants, EI Reachback or non-EI eligible workers can apply.
Many local growers from the area attended the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI) workshop titled “Planting for the Future: Building Capacity for a Regional Seed System”, which took place at the United Church in Inverary on November 15. The event was organized by KASSI board members Dianne Dowling, Cate Henderson and Kathy Rothermel. The day began with an introduction to KASSI by Cate Henderson, who highlighted the various ways the organization hopes to reach its goal of “ensuring sustainable local food grown from local seed” and by doing so, “increasing local seed and food security in the Kingston and surrounding area by generating a robust regional seed system; growing and distributing heirloom and locally adapted seed; and creating a vibrant network of regional growers.” To meet these goals KASSI plans to establish a local seed bank, host a seed library to facilitate seed sharing and exchange, and encourage local farmers to increase seed production by growing quantities large enough for large farm scale production. The day-long event also included a panel discussion by a number of speakers, including Kathy Rothermel of Wolfe Island, who spoke of the different models of the regional seed businesses she discovered while traveling in England, the United States and in Canada. She spoke of three seed businesses in particular: Stormy Hall Seeds, Hawthorne Farm Organic Seeds and Fruition Seed. She also spoke about recent updates from the Eastern Canada Organic Seed Growers Network (ECOSGN) conference. Aabir Dey of the Ontario Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, a national and regional initiative involving a network of partners working together to preserve seed diversity by promoting ecological seed production and improving the public’s access, while focusing on crops important for nutrition and food security, spoke about Bauta, the organization that funded the workshop and its various initiatives. Last to speak was Mary Britain of Newtonville, who operates her own seed business called the Cottage Gardener. She spoke about her over 20 years in the business and of the “current trends, gaps and opportunities for regional seed producers”. Following the panel discussion there was a question and answer period, after which attendees split into groups and answered three specific questions: 1) How do they see themselves fitting into the regional seed system? 2) What assistance or supports might they need? and 3) What models do they envision to fairly compensate all participants? Following lunch, attendees watched a presentation by local Verona farmers Pat and Kate Joslin of Bear Root Gardens in Verona, who produce over 50 varieties of seeds, which they sell along with their market garden produce at the Frontenac Farmers Market in Verona. The couple, who have been contracted to grow seeds for both Bauta and KASSI, demonstrated two different kinds of home-made seed cleaning devices, which save them hundreds of hours of time. The first was an air column seed separator that was built by students at LaSalle High School in Kingston under the direction of their manufacturing instructor Bob Chambers. The separator runs on a Shop Vac and is best used for separating smaller seeds like lettuce and broccoli. The second was a winnower seed cleaner that the Joslins built themselves, which uses a regular blow dryer to separate larger seeds. Plans for both devices are available on-line. Following the demonstrations, attendees were encouraged to fill in a survey to give feedback to the facilitators. Dowling said that the event's goal was to bring together “people interested in growing, producing or purchasing more locally grown adapted and available seed.” She laid bare her long term hopes for KASSI. “KASSI's dream is that in a few years there might be one or two small seed businesses in the Kingston area.” Her advice to local farmers wanting to produce their own seeds: “While it’s not impossible to integrate seed production with a market garden, it definitely takes a certain amount of planning and organization.” For more information about KASSI visit www.SeedsGrowFood.org
Close to 300 fans bundled up and braved the snow and wind to cheer on Sydenham's senior Golden Eagles, who faced off against the Almonte Thunderbolts at the EOSSA A AA football championship game in Kingston, which was held at CaraCo Home Field on November 14. Both teams were undefeated in their regular seasons and were well matched; they played an exciting back and forth nail biter. Almonte took a 7 point lead with a touchdown near the end of the first quarter. Then, with just seconds left in the first they fumbled the ball in Sydenham's end zone and Golden Eagle Conner O'Brien recovered it for a touch down. A successful conversion tied the game up 7-7. There was no scoring in the second quarter until the very end, when with 30 seconds left on the clock Sydenham's Mike Bashal kicked a 25 yard field goal and Sydenham led at the half, 10-7. Sydenham pushed hard again early in the third and a second three-point field goal by Bashall put the the up 13 - 7. Sydenham drove to the 20 yard line later in third quarter but failed to score, and Almonte responded with three minutes left on a passing touchdown from the 20. After the conversion they took the lead for the firrst time 14-13. Sydenham’s offense worked hard to get a last chance in the third and with 40 seconds left they gained possession after recovering a fumble and had another chance to move ahead with under 20 seconds left but fell short once again. Almonte pushed hard early in the fourth in an effort to increase their one point lead but Sydenham's defense held strong and when the Sydenham offense got possession half way through the fourth, a great long pass to Bashall followed by a hand off to O'Brien, Sydenham was once again within scoring distance at which their coach called a time out. In their next push Sydenham’s Brodie Latimer put the ball across the line and moved the Golden Eagles into first 19-14. A two point conversion attempt missed the mark. With just six minutes left in the game Sydenham fans went wild as their defense succeeded in shutting Almonte down. Then, with just under four minutes remaining and the snow falling Sydenham’s Brodie Latimer moved the ball for a first down deep in the Almont zone and Sam Moyse scored what looked like the clinching touchdown for Sydenham. However, that proved not to be the case as their was a flag on the play and Sydenham took a ten yard penalty. When they missed a field goal attempt, it was left to the Sydenham defense to keep the Thunderbolts at bay. It looked like Sydenham might get a final chance to widen their win when Almonte quarterback was sacked but the fumble was picked up by Almonte again. With a minute left, Sydenham’s Peter Kaiser intercepted a long pass, bringing the Sydenham fans to their feet. Sydenham then ran out the clock, winning 19-14 win, moving on to the National Capital Bowl. Following the game Almonte coach Chris Spratt said that his boys had a couple of hardships but never quit. “We knew it would be close and though our team doesn't have the big size and numbers, they never quit and showed that we can swing with the big boys”. Golden Eagles’ coach Mike Love was thrilled with the win and said that although his team still has work prior to the championship game on Saturday, he was really pleased to see his team moving on to it. “It was a really exciting game right up to the end. The boys just hung in there and played their hearts out and were rewarded with a victory,” Love said. The championship game will take place in Belleville on Saturday November 22 against Crestwood of Peterborough.
Sydenham’s junior girls AA basketball team had a great season this year but their luck ran out at the EOSSAA (Eastern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association) tournament on November 12, which was hosted by Sydenham High School. The Arnprior Redmen defeated the Junior Golden Eagles in the first match, which their coach Janet Sanderson described as a very close and exciting game. The Golden Eagles led by eight points early in the game but turnovers hurt them in the second half and Arnprior capitalized on their chances. Sydenham hung in, though, and got back their focus near the end of the game, sinking a number of threes. “It was the first game the team had lost at home in a long time,” Sanderson said, adding, “The girls played really hard and I am really proud of the effort that they made but we ended up losing by 3 in the end”. You would never know that they had lost their first game by how hard the team played in their second game of the day against the Thousand Islands Pirates, even though they would not move on to the finals. In their last game of the season Sydenham beat the Pirates 41 to 27. Ms. Sanderson, who coaches the juniors along with Mark Richards, said the team came a really long way this season. “We started off the season slowly due to some injuries and sickness but we had a great positive stretch towards the end of the season. I'm really proud of the girls and what they were able to do this year. They were really dedicated and there was almost a kind of a family feeling within the team, which was great,” she said. Photo 2018-
by the Verona and Sydenham District Lions For the past two weeks, Lions volunteers from Sydenham and Verona have conducted the annual vision and hearing screening for approximately 200 senior kindergarten and grade one students at Harrowsmith, Loughborough, and Prince Charles public schools as well as at St. Patrick Catholic School in Harrowsmith For young learners, it is critical that any vision and hearing problems are detected early before a child's performance at school is affected and that is why for the past seven years, the local Lions have conducted the screening program for the youngest students at the start of every school year. It is estimated that one in six children has a vision problem. The vision screening section consists of three stations that help identify children who have trouble seeing things at a distance, up close or who may have difficulty making both eyes focus together. The hearing section of the screening program is comprised of a sound test. The child wears headphones and is asked, at increasingly lower audio levels, to point to various pictures. The results from both screening tests are sent home to the child’s parents/caregivers that same day. If the child's results fall below the prescribed level, a recommendation is also sent home asking that the child have a complete examination by a vision or hearing specialist. The screening results also remind parents that annual eye examinations are recommended and important for school-aged children and are covered by OHIP. The vision and hearing screening program for senior kindergarten and grade one students is provided free by the local Lions Clubs and the expensive equipment used in the testing was purchased through the fund raising efforts of many local Lions clubs. At the start of every school year, local Lions clubs quickly circulate the equipment through more than 50 schools in the local and surroundings community in order to screen as many children as possible in the hopes of identifying as early as possible any vision or hearing problems. While most of the Lions screening volunteers are retired, the younger Lions volunteers work hard to juggle their work and personal schedules so that they can be available for the school day screenings. Many volunteers are grandparents who themselves wear glasses and/or hearing aids and who have personal stories of struggling in school as a result of their own vision and hearing issues. They therefore understand first hand the importance of correcting any vision and hearing problems early so that local students can enjoy maximum learning and have basic everyday life enjoyment.
As the term wound down last week at Frontenac County, the representatives from South Frontenac Council chose not to bring their concerns to the table - at least during open session - about a report from the county planning department on the work they did in 2014 as a contract planner for three of the four Frontenac townships. “All I can say is this does not reflect what John McDougall and I were told was going to happen,” said a frustrated South Frontenac Mayor Gary Davison. At the beginning of the year, North and Central Frontenac entered into a contract with Frontenac County for planning services, which Frontenac Islands had already done two years ago. At the time, South Frontenac Mayor Gary Davison expressed the concern that his ratepayers not be on the hook for providing planning services for the other townships. South Frontenac has its own planning department, and South Frontenac ratepayers also pay 60% of Frontenac County taxation. At the time it was agreed that tracking software would be employed to determine what the two county planners were working on at all times, and armed with that data a user pay model for their time would be worked out. In February, Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said “we would be happy to pay the full cost of the service. It will be a win-win for South Frontenac ratepayers.” However, the report that was presented to Frontenac County Council last week, (November 19) used a different kind of model. In the preamble to the report, the County Planning manager Joe Gallivan wrote: “The County has been using a ‘community benefit model’ in providing planning services to the townships. This model is used by other County planning departments in Eastern Ontario. It recognizes that a regional government has the ability to overcome disparities based on geography and/or tax base and tax assessment in order to provide equitable services. This is particularly relevant to Frontenac County, which has a large physical area with limited fiscal and human resources in local government.” He compared the billing model with the one used by health units and conservation authorities, in which more populated areas subsidise the costs for more rural locations. In line with this, the county has been providing service free of charge to North and Central Frontenac and Frontenac Islands for day-to-day planning work and land use policy work, and charging for work that is generated by privately initiated applications, which the townships charge back to the private applicants. According to the report, 57% of the department's time was spent on county-related planning work, which includes preparing the county Official Plan, developing policy and doing approvals for subdivisions, which is a county responsibility. The remaining 43% of the department's time was spent on work for the three contract townships. A little more than half of that work (23% of the total) was for work generated by the townships themselves, which was not charged back, and the rest (19% of the total) was spent on privately generated planning applications. However, the revenue generated for the county was minimal, only $3,640, significantly less than the $12,000 that was projected. The salary line in the county planning budget for 2014 is over $200,000.
The Remembrance Day services held in North, Central and South Frontenac were all very well attended this year. That was likely due in part to the tragic events that took place in Ottawa and Quebec a few weeks ago, and the fact that 2014 marks the start of both World Wars, the first 100 years ago and the second 75 years ago. In Flinton Pastor Bruce Kellar led the service there on November 9, which was attended by numerous members of the Northbrook Legion as well as various local groups and organizations including members of the Land O'Lakes Cadets. After the laying of the wreaths, those in attendance were invited by Pastor Kellar to lay their poppies at the cenotaph, demonstrating an active way of remembering all of those who have suffered and were lost in the numerous wars that Canada has fought over the last 100 years. In Sydenham hundreds gathered for a service at the cenotaph on November 11 at The Point, which was led by Rev. Giuseppe Gagliano of St. Paul's Anglican Church. President of the Sydenham Legion, Kate Lett, also spoke at the service. The names of local soldiers who lost their lives in WW 1, WW 2 and the Korean War were read aloud. Sydenham High School exchange student Diego Hoya performed the Last Post and Reveille, which was followed by the laying of the wreaths. The service was also attended by students in grades six through eight from Loughborough Public School.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, and also the 120th anniversary of our organization, the Family & Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (formerly the Children’s Aid Society). For this Remembrance Day we decided to do something different - tell the story of one soldier from our area who went to what they called the Great War, and never came back. The result is a series of videos, images and information on Captain Stanley Cunningham, MC of Kingston. We call it “Soldier of the Great War”. Cunningham wasn’t that much different from any of us. He lived on Union Street. He went to Kingston Collegiate and graduated from Queen’s University. He joined the 21st Battalion when the war started and was killed just 75 days before it ended. Today, he rests in a war cemetery in France. And his name is on the Memorial Wall at the Kingston Memorial Centre. This Remembrance Day, join us in remembering his life and his sacrifice. Watch the videos. Share them on social media with your family and friends. Help us bring him home after more than a hundred years by remembering him and all Canada’s war dead. View www.RememberKFLA.ca for videos, images, information, and links. - submitted by the FACSFLA
After 18 months of work, and three formal drafts, the Frontenac County Official Plan was set for approval at a meeting of Frontenac County Council last Wednesday (October 15). However the prospect of a split vote on the plan has forced a delay. The representatives on the council from South Frontenac, Mayor Gary Davison and Councilor John McDougall, both indicated they remain opposed to some of the wording in the plan, and since South Frontenac is where most of the development that is governed by the plan will be taking place, a last-ditch bargaining session of sorts has been set for this week. “Our concern in South Frontenac is that we have a difference of opinion with the county that may not be as large as it seems. We might solve those if we delay this and hold one more meeting,” said John McDougall. The meeting will be attended by the chief administrative officers of all the townships and the county, a representative from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as county planner Joe Gallivan and South Frontenac planner Lindsay Mills. The goal of the meeting will be to bridge the gap between Joe Gallivan's third version of the plan, and Lindsay Mills' desire for a plan that preserves the independence of his own office. Mills has described the county plan as “too prescriptive and amounting to a power grab by the county.” One of the issues that is of concern to South Frontenac is the use of the word “shall” in the plan. Mayor Davison made reference to this in his comments at county council meeting last week, in reference to prescribed setbacks between new construction and the shoreline of lakes and rivers. “The county plan restricts all new construction to 30 metres from the shoreline,” said Davison. “In South Frontenac we were one of the first jurisdictions to bring in the 30 metre setback over 10 years ago, but we built in some leeway, and this allows our Committee of Adjustment to make allowances for circumstances. If the County plan is approved as it is written now, we won't be able to do that.” For his part Joe Gallivan said that the county plan will not affect South Frontenac's ability to make allowances in applying the setback rule. “The plan does not interfere with any municipality's ability to make changes. It will be business as usual,” he said. As far as the extra meeting, Joe Gallivan asked that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs be invited to send a representative. “If that meeting is going forward it is essential that the province be there. If the ministry is there they will tell staff from all the townships which sections of the plan cannot be changed,” Gallivan said. Before leaving the topic, interim county warden Dennis Doyle asked if the County Chief Administrative Officer, Kelly Pender, had anything to say about the matter. “If I remember correctly, you have a background in planning, don't you, Kelly,” Doyle said. “I sometimes describe myself as a recovering planner,” Pender said, before delivering a stern warning. “I certainly don't have a problem having a further meeting, but I want be clear about one thing. If this council recommends changes to the Official Plan that do not reflect the Provincial Policy Statement, which underpins all planning in Ontario, county staff will voice opposition to those changes. They would simply not fly with the province. The ministry will be clear on that point, and I agree they need to be at the meeting as well.” The province has set a target date of March 31 for the adoption of County Official Plans throughout the Province. As it stands, the third draft of the Frontenac County Plan does not conform to a number of demands that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has made. Joe Gallivan has said that he hopes to convince the ministry that the current version of the plan is based on a sound interpretation of the Provincial Policy Statement. If he cannot, the matter could well end up at a hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board, which would provide a final determination of whether the county's or ministry's interpretation of the Provincial Policy Statement is more accurate.
submitted by Joel Hasler For the first time in ten years, North Addington Education Centre is sending a team to OFSAA. The Senior Boys’ Volleyball team, coached by Mr. Hasler, will be travelling to Welland on Wednesday, November 19 to play in the OFSAA Single “A” Volleyball Championship. Our games will be played on Thursday, November 20 and Friday, November 21. The Senior Boys’ Volleyball team qualified for OFSAA after earning a silver medal at COSSA in Port Hope last Thursday. The team’s success demonstrates the nearly three years of dedication from many of the team members and coaches. Not only does this team have a strong group of senior-aged players, the team is privileged to have a great group of grade nine students. The future certainly looks bright for North Addington volleyball teams.
James Norris lives a quiet life. He has lived in a small house in Northbrook for the last 15 years, after moving there with his wife from Oshawa. They both suffered health problems. He has Multiple Sclerosis and was forced to retire from the auto industry after injuring his back, and his wife suffered from lung disease, which ended up taking her life in 2006. Norris lives alone now, trying to make ends meet on a Disability pension from his work, and some support from the Ontario Disability Support Program. He receives $1085 a month, has a $285 mortgage, and he also has hydro, property tax, and phone bills to pay. That leaves only about $400 for food and day-to-day necessities. And then there is heat. “As the weather gets colder this year, I have no oil in my furnace, and no money to buy oil,” he said on a cool, cloudy afternoon, from his candle lit kitchen. He wore a housecoat over his clothes, and I kept my coat on in his kitchen. A small space heater was on in the sitting room. For the past seven years, ever since his wife died, James Norris has slowly built up a balance on his VISA card, to the point where he has to pay $400 each month towards the balance. He has a driver's license but could not keep a car on the road, and now faces the fact that he cannot afford oil this winter. There is a program that he has accessed in the past through the Ontario Works department in Napanee that has covered one tank of oil per winter in the past, but he cannot access that until at least January. Getting to January is a problem, however, and the fact that oil companies have a minimum delivery of $400 worth of oil has him basically out of luck. “It is really tight surviving right now. I only get food that is on sale. I basically shop when I need to. I certainly could eat better,” he said. “I try to get out and volunteer as much as I can. I'd rather be out doing something than sitting at home. Between my back and MS I can't work but when I feel ok I can volunteer, but I always need to be picked up and brought home.” He says that his situation is not unique. “There are many other people like me and worse. Costs go up but benefits don't. At $1085 a month, it doesn't add up for someone like me to get through the winter,” he said. Ann Marie Langan works for the Legal Clinic, which provides legal services for residents of Lanark, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington from an office at Northern Frontenac Community Services in Sharbot Lake. She has been providing legal advice to clients facing financial difficulties as well. “More and more families in the area are facing a lot of financial hardship,” she said, “and it only escalates when winter comes.” Kendra Godfrey lives in Mountain Grove with her husband Sean. Between them they have seven children ranging from five to 20 years of age, and six of them are living at home. Sean receives Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) support and Kelly works at the Maples in Sharbot Lake. They have had financial struggles, and not only do they face the coming winter and the cost of oil for their rental home, Ontario Hydro is threatening to pull the plug on their electricity. “Since we moved here two years ago, ODSP has been paying $240 a month to Hydro from Sean's funds all that time. I have been after Hydro One to send us bills that whole time, and each time gave them our address but the bill never came, so I had no way of knowing if we were paying enough,” she said. On October 2, a letter came to their home by Purolator, saying they owed $6,900 were going to have their power cut us off unless they made arrangements within 10 days to start paying off the debt. Hydro One is looking for $600 per month for service and $240 per month for two and a half years to pay off the debt. Anne Marie Langan is working on the case with Kendra Godfrey, and last week put in a demand for the bills but has not received them. Meanwhile in a subsequent phone call with a representative from Hydro One, Kendra found out that it is no longer $6,900 that Hydro is asking for in back payments. “I talked to someone on October 27 and she said that it is $8,500 that is owing, so I don't know what is going on at all now.” Not only are the potential hydro costs spiralling out of control, oil costs are very high in their home, leading Godfrey to wonder how they will keep the home warm and bright this winter. “We live as carefully as we can, don't leave lights on, and we close off part of the house in the winter to save money, but this hydro mess has made it impossible for us to budget,” she said. Michele Zigman administers a number of emergency funding programs for Frontenac County residents out of her office in Sydenham with Southern Frontenac Community Services. She is also worried about the coming winter. “We are still working with people who are trying to recover from last winter, which was cold and long and particularly hard on those who heat with propane. This coming winter could be really devastating to a lot of people,” she said. Wigman pointed out that most of the money she is able to access to support families struggling with costs is subject to strict conditions, one of them being that the families do not receive social assistance. She also said that the funds she makes use of are provincial dollars administered by the City of Kingston. “Frontenac County, based on its share of the regional population, should receive more funding than it does for these programs,” she said. A new homelessness initiative will bring a change in the supports for families in situations such as those faced by James Norris and Kendra Godfrey's family, but funding remains an issue. “The goal is for people to have sustainable housing in the long term,” said Zigman, “and my fear is that people will be forced to give up their houses if this winter is as bad as last winter was.”
Bonnie George, the administrator at Pine Meadow Nursing Home, has a bit of trouble explaining how the next phase of construction at Pine Meadow will proceed. A couple of weeks ago, residents moved into the newly constructed wings at either end of the v-shaped home. Now that all the new construction is completed, crews are renovating the rooms in the older part of the home that were vacated by those residents. When those renovations are complete, residents will move across the hall, and those rooms will be worked on. Then the administration offices will be changed, the main dining hall and servery will be renovated. “All of this will take place while the home is operating. It's all very complicated. I spent days with the construction supervisor figuring it all out and how it will work,” she said. The construction phase is now 70% complete and is on budget thus far, George added, and the good news is that a number of residents are in new rooms, enjoying the benefits of an upgraded, grade “A” long term care facility. Pine Meadow will have only two-bed or one-bed rooms when construction is complete, and each 32-bed wing will have its own admin hub, nurses' and doctors' rooms, showers and baths, common room and activity room, and dining room. The entire home will be newly finished, and will be up to date in terms of safety and accessibility requirements. Bill Cox, the chair of the management board that oversees the home for Land O'Lakes Community Services, said that the home has developed a reputation as a first class care facility due to the support of the surrounding community through ongoing fund-raising and donation efforts and other engagement with the home. “The renovations include a new staff lounge plus space in what is now the dining room for public use,” said Cox. “Some day we hope to have physiotherapy and dialysis offered here for the general public. The space will be there; it will be up to the LHIN or the ministry if the service ends up being available here,” he said. One thing that Bonnie George is hoping will happen sooner than that is a decision to increase the capacity of the home to 64 residents. The home is licensed for 60 residents, but it has a healthy waiting list, and the ministry approved constructing it to a capacity of 64. “It will be up to the ministry to decide if we should be licensed for 64 residents, but we will certainly be ready once the renovations are complete,” she said The projected end date for the project is February 18, 2015, and George anticipates the construction crews will be close to or spot on that deadline. For members of the management board who began lobbying for the re-build of the home almost 15 years ago, that day can't come soon enough.
Due to the numerous Remembrance Day ceremonies that will be held in Flinton, at Pine Meadow Nursing Home and the local school, and as they will all be led by Rev. Padre Bruce Kellar with the participation of members of the Northbrook Legion, the Denbigh Remembrance Day service was held early, on November 2. The ceremony took place at the Denbigh cenotaph located at the Denbigh United Church and it attracted close to 30 members of the local community. Rev. Padre Kellar led the service, which included members of the Northbrook Legion, Cecil Hawley, Sergeant-at-Arms Ernie Ballar, Mike Powley Junior, Harry Andringa, Wayne Marsh and Robert Wood. Rev. Padre Kellar began the service by speaking about the tragic events that took place over two weeks ago in Ottawa and Quebec, in which two members of the Canadian Forces were killed. He said, “We are able to stand on this free ground because of the men and women who have put their lives in jeopardy.” He prayed for those who have been lost and for those who have lost loved ones and who continue to experience suffering and pain because of that loss. Twelve wreaths were laid by various members of the community including members of the Addington Highlands and North Frontenac councils. Following the ceremony attendees gathered to share a meal.