For those looking for a fun way to celebrate this upcoming Valentine's Day, the Larocque, Noonan and...
From early May until late October, Bon Echo Provincial Park is a magnet for visitors to the Hwy. 41 ...
Good news, not so good news, and a pending lawsuit – NF Council gets down to business. Members of the new North Frontenac Council had already spent a fair bit of time together since New Year's before they met for their first business meeting of 2015. Last week, they spent two days looking at their strategic plan and strategic directions, topics that are well within the comfort zone of their new mayor, Ron Higgins, who is a consultant by trade. At their regular meeting on Monday, January 12, a number of long-standing matters needed to be addressed. The most pleasant task was to receive good news about the Ompah fire hall, which had been plagued by problems in the past. First there was an unsuccessful attempt to build a new fire hall in a newly purchased site across the road in conjunction with an ambulance base. This was followed at least two thwarted attempts to hire a contractor to fix up the existing fire hall, which is attached to a community and a local library. Finally, a year ago council decided to trust in a community-run group to take a piece by piece approach to the job. The work was overseen by a community volunteer, Steve Sunderland, and at the time a cost of $300,000 was estimated for completion of all the small jobs, which when taken together would lead to a fully refurbished multi-use facility. In a presentation that was delivered by Ompah resident Marily Seitz, it was reported that at this point the project is mostly complete and the estimated total cost upon completion will be $273,000 - 10% under budget. Seitz then presented a proposal to do some extra work to brighten up and modernize the inside of the community hall. “We are delighted with the improvements to the exterior of the fire hall and community centre. The old hall was grimy, aged, and a bit ragged. Now it is a beautiful building on a clean, neat site. Inside, the community centre is in need of attention now and the committee has agreed on a number of improvements,” Marily Seitz said. The proposals include the installation of new windows and skylights, replacing the ageing fluorescent lights with LED pot lights, constructing a closet and fixing up the front hallway. In order to complete these improvements, which have been costed at about $22,000, the committee is asking that the township re-invest $10,000 of the savings that have been realized in the overall project towards the new work. The committee will provide about $4,000 in volunteer labour and will endeavour to fundraise for the rest, about $8,000. Councilor John Inglis, who has long been a supporter of the project, said, “What happened here is a great success story. By all indications we got some real value out of this. I suggest we allocate $15,000 to the indoor improvements, and let the committee get on with finishing their work. That would leave us $10,000 to put towards some future project.” Councilors Denis Bedard and Deputy Mayor Fred Perry expressed support for Inglis' proposal, but Councilor Wayne Good was reluctant. “With the increase in policing costs this year we know we are going to have to raise taxes. If we keep giving this money away we are going to have to raise taxes more,” he said, “maybe we can do the $10,000 but no more than that.” “The request is $10,000; my recommendation is we stick to that,” agreed Mayor Ron Higgins. Council did just that. Voluntary septic inspection program falls short again Out of a planned 100 inspections of septic and grey water systems on waterfront properties, only 37 were completed in 2014. The reason for the shortfall, according to Eric Kohlsmith of the Mississippi-Rideau Septic System Office, is that for the last two years the program has been focussing on inspecting properties whose owners have ignored inspection requests in the past. After receiving a very poor response to a mailout in June, well under 10%, the township agreed to expand the program to include properties whose owners had never been approached. Even though it was late in the summer before those property owners were approached, the response was still better. Of the 37 systems that were inspected, just under 50% required some remediation, mostly at only a minor cost, and two systems needed to replaced. The good news for the property owners is that the two that need replacing are not full blown septic systems, which can cost $10,000 in some cases; they were grey water systems for shower or sink water and the replacement cost is not nearly as high. Council decided to contract Mississippi-Rideau to run a voluntary program again in 2015, approaching mostly property owners who have never been approached, in anticipation of a mandatory inspection system to be implemented in 2016. The mandatory system would force the 350 property owners on some of the larger lakes who have ignored requests in the past to undergo inspections. To that end, the township will invite Councilor Mark Burnham from Tay Valley Township to discuss the mandatory program for waterfront properties in that township. Norcan Lake Property owners present ultimatum to Council A group of property owners from a controversial property development on Norcan Lake, which borders Greater Madawaska Township to the northeast of Ompah, came to Council. For the last three years the property owners have been asking council to force the developer, David Hill, to live up to the requirements of the plan of subdivision that was approved for the development. This time the presentation was made by Paul Martin, one of the property owners. Martin said he did not want to go over ground that has already been covered, but he briefly pointed to a number of facts that have brought the property owners to a point of extreme frustration, not only with the developer but with the township as well. The crux of the matter is that a road that the developer had committed to completing to provide water access to the property owners as part of the agreement has not been completed. The township held back a deposit as part of the agreement, pending completion of all the terms of the agreement, but released most of those funds before the road had been completed and approved by their public works department. Last fall the township attempted one more time to engage the developer in the hopes that an acceptable roadway could be completed, to no avail, and decided to enforce the subdivision agreement. One of the issues that Paul Martin raised was that the law firm that represents the township, Cunningham Swan, also represents David Hill, a situation that should never have occurred and one that the property owners are raising with the Law Society of Upper Canada. The property owners sent a letter to the township on December 15. The letter outlines their grievances over the situation, and provides two options for resolving their concerns. The first option is for the township to “complete the subdivision requirements as per the subdivision agreement 100%, using whatever means they feel necessary to do so.” The second option would accept a proposal by the township for an alternative route to the water, but since the roadway would be less than what the property owners originally agreed to, they demand that they be released from their obligations under the subdivision agreement: “We the landowners are to be removed from any liability for and obligations” with respect to the agreement. One of the many peculiarities about this particular subdivision agreement is that at the end of the day the township was never planning to assume responsibility for the road, as is normally the case with plans of subdivision in Ontario. The letter concludes by saying that if the township does not agree to either proposal by January 15, the property owners will be seeking a legal remedy. After Paul Martin had completed his statement to Council, Mayor Higgins said that he “must caution members of Council not to respond to what has just been said.” He then read in a motion that he had prepared before the meeting. Among other things the motion instructs the public works manager to proceed to complete the road using the alternate route, but says nothing about whether the township will then release the landowners from their responsibilities under the subdivision agreement. Anticipating that this may lead to court action by the property owners, the motion also imposes a gag order on members of council on the matter. When interviewed outside the meeting, the angry group of property owners said they are not prepared to leave this alone. “They have let the developer dictate the terms to them for long enough,” said property owner David Milloy. “We are completely fed up, and everything - I mean everything - that we have found out over three years will likely come out in court.”
It was in late August that I went to interview Lee-Anne White at her home on Road 506 at Fernleigh, which at one time was a full-fledged hamlet with a post office, a store and a school, but is now only a clutch of houses around a crossroad. I was accompanied by Jesse Mills, the videographer for the Frontenac County 150th anniversary project, and when we arrived Lee-Anne had a bandage on her leg and was limping when she opened the door for us. “The nurse was just here this morning,” she said, “to change the dressing on my leg.” She had hurt her leg by dropping a piece of wood on it as she was feeding the box stove in her basement to take off the morning chill a few days earlier. But though her leg was slowing her down, she still had a basin overflowing with bread dough in the kitchen and was de-frosting five pounds of ground beef to make meatballs for a family reunion that was coming up on the weekend. Aside from her leg, something else was bothering her. Her car, a 2010 model, was in need of some work. “They tell me that I don't drive it enough. That's why the linkage needs to be fixed and it needs new tires. I haven't told my son yet but I think I'll trade it in on a new one rather than bother with it,” she said. Lee-Anne Kelford was born at Ompah on January 9, 1915, and this week she turns 100. She remembers the kinds of efforts that were required to survive on the Canadian shield farmland in the days before electricity, cars and other modern conveniences. What money her family made came from her father shoeing horses or milling wood, but most of the food they ate they had either grown, gathered or slaughtered from their own herds of cattle, sheep and pigs. For chairs they used burlap bags stuffed with straw or hay. They went barefoot in the summer and in the winter wore gumboots with homespun yarn straight off the sheep wrapped around them for warmth. When she was coming home from school with her brothers and sisters her mother would meet them with baskets and they had to fill the baskets with wild strawberries or raspberries on the way home. In the spring they would catch hundreds of suckers and salt them for winter eating. In the summer they picked blueberries and apples, worked in the garden and helped harvest hay and grain. While the large 17-member Kelford family, seven brothers and seven sisters, father and mother and hard-bitten grandmother Jane Kelford, never had a lot of money, they were certainly not the poorest family around “We were better off than those that were further down the line, I'd say. We always had enough to eat; we had cows and sheep and a big garden and a root cellar and mother was always baking biscuits or something, so we had no complaints,” said Lee Anne. She still talks about her father's capacity to build things and make things work on their property. Although he could not read or write, he managed to build a steam-powered sawmill, a smithy and whatever the family needed to get by. However, he may have taken on a bit much when it came to orthopedics. When Lee-Anne was seven years old she fell out of an apple tree in an old orchard where she was picking apples with her mother. Of course there was no 911 to call. As she recalls it, she had driven the horse-drawn wagon to the orchard while her mother held her baby sister Elsie. Since her arm was broken and the bone was sticking out, her mother popped Elsie on Lee-Anne's lap and tied the baby to her so she wouldn't fall off. Her mother then drove home. When they got back to Lee-Anne's father's wood and smith shop back at Ompah, he looked at her arm quickly and decided it needed to be set. So, “he took an old cedar block, about 6 inches long, that was lying around,” in Lee-Anne's words, cut it and augured out the centre, then cut it again and split it to fit her small arm. He put her arm in and tied it together snugly with string, forcing the bone back into place at the same time. The next day her brother Sam got into a fight with another brother, Wyman, and Sam's wrist ended up being broken. Their father set that wrist as well. The children then had to immerse their arms in a barrel of ice water repeatedly over the next two days, presumably to keep the swelling down. The treatment was successful in both cases - to a point. Lee-Anne was able to use her arm afterwards, but could not raise it all the way up to the top of her head, and her brother developed growths on his wrist. At the time and to this day, after 93 years have passed, Lee White supports everything her father did that day. “A neighbour said he should take us to a doctor but there was no doctor close by and we didn't have money to pay for a doctor anyway,” she said. Her father lived a long life as well. He died at the age of 97 in 1977. When Lee-Anne was older she took a job at a new lodge on Kashwakamak Lake that was opened up by an Ahr family from the United States. The lodge, which became known as the Fernleigh Lodge, is open to this day. She worked there for seven years, cooking and cleaning for over 100 guests at a time, and in the winters she worked at the Trout Lake Hotel in Ompah. It was at Fernleigh Lodge that she met her husband, Melvin White, who was a guide in the summer and fall and trapped in the winter time. Melvin was from Plevna, and although he ran away from home at age 16, when the couple got married, Lee-Anne ended up living at Melvin's taking care of Melvin's parents and their farm for at least one winter during the 1930s, when she wasn't drawn back to Ompah to help her own family get by. Eventually, Melvin was given a one acre piece of land on what is now Road 506 and the Whites built a 23 x 14 foot shack for themselves. Afterwards they built the house where Lee-Anne still lives on the same property (Melvin died in 2009). “We scratched I tell you, but we never borrowed a cent in our lives. When we were building our house, with help from his half brother and uncle, I said to Melvin I'd rather eat one meal a day than go into debt.” The couple had three sons, George, Andy and Danny. Lee-Anne ended up taking a job drawing mail from Fernleigh to Cloyne, a job she kept for 38 years. At her 100th birthday party at the Clar-Mill Hall last Saturday, her sons were all there, as were her grandchildren, daughters-in-law, nieces and nephews and long-time friends. Sitting at the front with her, among the certificates from the governments of Ontario and Canada and one from Queen Elizabeth, was her aunt Agnes, who is 101 and still lives near Ompah. When it came time to take a family picture, both women pulled themselves out of their chairs, even though Agnes recently had an operation, and they walked over to be in the picture. Back in the summer, we left some of our equipment at Lee-Anne's house when we recorded the interview. When I dropped back to collect it a few days later, I found her leaning into the back seat of her car, reaching over, with a vacuum cleaner going. “I'm tying to get it ready for sale,” she said. One thing that Lee White did not do was drive to her own 100th birthday party. The weather was pretty stormy that day so she took a ride from one of her sons. But she insisted that they take her brand new red truck, which they parked just out from the front door of the hall. It's a nice looking truck - paid in full, to be sure. There is a video below, and there is also a second video on Youyube. Click to broken arm video the clip tells the whole story of Lee-Anne's broken arm.
Perry returned as North Frontenac Deputy Mayor The first item of business for North Frontenac Council this week, once the ceremonial swearing in was taken care of, was to choose a deputy mayor from among the six men who were elected to Council along with Mayor Ron Higgins. Fred Perry was the first one nominated, by Wayne Good. The nomination was seconded by Micky Hermer. Gerry Martin was also nominated, by Denis Bedard, seconded by John Inglis. The way the voting was handled was to make a motion in favour of the first nominee, Fred Perry, and if that motion were defeated a motion in favour of Gerry Martin would have been brought forward. That ended up not being necessary. Three hands were raised in favour of Fred Perry, those of Wayne Good, Micky Hermer and Perry himself, and by declaring the motion passed Mayor Higgins indicated that he was voting the same way. Perry not only served as deputy mayor for the last four years, he was also the acting mayor ever since the death of former mayor, Bud Clayton, in early September. Councilors' salaries frozen for 2015 The consumer price index for October indicated a year over year increase in the cost of living of 2.4%, and in line with township policy a proposal was made to increase the total amount paid to township staff by that amount. In North Frontenac the total increase is calculated and then divided by the number of employees, who then all receive the same increase. This differs from the way COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) are normally paid out in institutional settings. Normally each employee receives the same percentage increase, so the dollar value of the increase is greater for the higher paid employees. In North Frontenac the increase is averaged so that every employee receives the same salary dollar value increase. “As Bud Clayton used to explain it,” said Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson, “a loaf of bread costs the same for me, the highest paid township employee, as it does the lowest paid township employee, and since the increase is all about the cost of living increase, that's the key issue.” Members of Council, however, will not share in the increase. Councilor Inglis produced a table he has put together, which shows that North Frontenac Council members receive more pay than those in neighbouring townships. The remuneration for a council member in North Frontenac is $15,067 per year. In Lanark Highlands they receive $12,225; in Central Frontenac $12,557; and in Addington Highlands $12,504. “The question is,” Inglis said “do we want to remain at the top of the heap by taking what would be about a $500 raise for each of us next year?” Even though Inglis' chart included mileage payments that are made in other townships as part of his calculations, Councilor Wayne Good said there were other payments that Inglis did not include. “This chart does not compare apples to apples,” he said. “The mileage is not accurate, but I still support freezing our salaries next year.” Mayor Higgins said that with the township facing budget challenges and “looking at increases in 2015 to deal with policing and other costs, we might well consider sending a message of restraint in terms of our own pay. Council agreed to increase staff salaries but freeze the pay for council members. The deputy mayor received $18,746 in 2014, and the mayor $22,425. Those who sit on County Council receive another $5,000 and mileage to county functions. Council also decided to keep the mileage rate at 48 cents per kilometre in 2015. Building blues The township office has been re-opened and is now fully occupied by administrative staff for the first time since it was hit with an oil leak last February, but the celebrations have been short-lived. Even before the leak happened, Council was looking at the long term viability of the building, a process that was halted by the leak and the damage it caused. In order for the insurance company to cover the repairs, the building has been bought back to the state it was in before the accident. Now that the staff has moved back in, an immediate problem has surfaced. A long-standing issue with water and either mildew or mold damage on the exterior wall to two offices has gotten worse. A staff report recommended a stop gap measure for health and safety reasons to replace half the wall and insulate. Council discussed the issue, and whether it pays to put any more money into a building that might not be viable in the medium term. They decided to replace the entire wall and use foam insulation for the immediate fix. A report from the consulting engineering company Greer Galloway estimated the cost of bringing the building up to standard for long-term use as a township office at nearly $1.9 million One of the issues that will be high on the agenda when the new council looks at its long term objectives in the new year will be the future of the township's administrative offices. A bit of good news The township will be receiving $89,000 per year for at least three years under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. The money is targeted at replacing or repairing ageing infrastructure in rural Ontario. Busy time ahead Council will meet again on January 6 for a special meeting devoted to strategic planning, forming committees and preparing for the budget process. More meetings are already scheduled for later in January.
Join the “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” make the Fire Marshal’s wish come true for the most fire-safe December ever. Day 1 Water Fresh Trees Daily. Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters or candles. Day 2 Check all lights before decorating. Before you put up lights check the cords closely. Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged. Never plug more than 3 strings of lights together. Never connect LED to conventional lights. This is likely to wear out LED bulbs more rapidly and could pose a fire or electrical hazard. Day 3 Make sure you have working smoke alarms. It’s the law to have one working smoke alarm on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace smoke alarms as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace batteries once per year or chose models with 10 year sealed batteries that never need changing. Day 4 Protect your family with carbon monoxide alarms: it’s the law in Ontario. If your home has a fuel fired appliance or an attached garage, you must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home. For added protection, install one on every storey of your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which also identify when CO alarms need to be replaced. Day 5 Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely. Develop and practice a home escape plan with everyone in your home, as well as guess over the holidays. Once outside stay outside and call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s house. Determine who will be responsible for helping anyone who may need assistance. Day 6 Use extension cords wisely. Avoid overloading circuits and plugs with extension cords, as this can create overheating that could result in a fire. Never put cords under rugs. Day 7: Give space heaters space. If you are using space heaters to help take the chill off, remember to keep them at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations. Day 8 When you go out, blow out! Candles can set the perfect mood for a holiday celebration, but remember to always blow out candles before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn, such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations. Be candle safe! Day 9 Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children. People often keep matches and lighters handy to light holiday candles. But matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. If you smoke, have only one lighter or book of matches and keep them with you at all times. Day 10 Watch what you heat! The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, which means it's easy to get distracted from what we are doing. Cooking fires most commonly occur when cooking is left unattended. Always stay in the kitchen when cooking; especially if using oil or high temperatures. If a pot catches fire, carefully slide a tight-fitting lid over the pot to smother the flames and then turn off the heat. Day 11 Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires. If you do allow smoking indoors use large, deep ashtrays that can't be knocked over and make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished. Day 12 There’s more to responsible drinking than taking a cab home. With all the festive cheer this time of year, keep a close eye on anyone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is all too often a common factor in many fatal fires.
At the kick off event for this year's 2015 North and Central Frontenac Relay for Life, which took place at the Sharbot Lake Legion on January 23, long-time chair Lesley Merrigan announced that it would be her final year heading up the event. Merrigan, who has been part of the relay for eight years and chair for the last four, said that it is time for a change in leadership. “Every good thing needs to be refreshed and people in the community here need an opportunity to take the event to a new height. For that reason I think that it's time for a new leader to step in.” Merrigan credited her long-time leadership team for making the event such a success, which over its eight-year history has raised close to half a million dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society. “As chair you get all of the glory but it is the leadership team, which has changed very little over my four years as chair, that have made the event such a success.” Merrigan stressed that her stepping down is no way a sad thing and she looks forward to seeing a new, fresh face take up the cause. Nine new teams signed up at the kick off on Friday night, making a total of 13 committed teams for this year's relay. Organizers are hoping for 20 teams to participate. Merrigan admitted that that will be a challenge since a number of survivors who have relayed for years unfortunately lost their battles with cancer this past year. With that in mind Merrigan added that the event is the perfect place to be for those who have lost loved ones to the disease. “Cancer and the loss of loved ones is often not an easy thing to come to terms with but it is often the sadness, the anger and the frustration that that drives us and so many others to take part.” Merrigan is putting out the call to past relayers, especially in the north, to join up this year and said that she may be able to arrange transportation for them. Though this will be Merrigan's last year as chair, she is putting as much into this relay as she has in the past and has already announced some interesting changes for the 2015. Instead of commencing on Friday night and running straight through until Saturday morning, the relay will begin in Parham on Saturday, June 20 at noon and run until midnight that same day. A lot of participants have found that relaying overnight is difficult, can interfere with work and can be exhausting, and Merigan said, "The hope is that more relayers will take part and we believe that the time change will make it easier for youngsters and older participants.” Merrigan said that more daylight hours at the event will also allow for more activities to take place that otherwise might not have been possible. The luminary ceremony, which is one of the most emotional and visually beautiful happenings at the Relay will continue, and as one of the final events of the evening will make for a very emotional ending. Also new this year will be a great line up of local bands, and new activities, which will be announced as plans unfold. Merrigan said that she is stepping down as chair with no regrets at all and she plans to continue volunteering in the community. As far as her advice to a new leader, she said that they should have no fear. “When you are doing something community based in this community you cannot fail. This is an important cause and because of that there will always be people who want to support you.” Merrigan will be available to mentor the incoming chair and she stressed that the role presents a great opportunity to fulfill the need to give back to the community. “I have seen so many people come to Relay as a way to express all of the mixed feelings that go along with experiencing cancer. The event gives permission to people to demonstrate and experience their emotions in ways that normally they would not and to do so with people who are experiencing the same feelings. I feel very privileged to have been a part of that over the years.” For more information about the relay or if you are interested in chairing next year's event contact Lesley Merrigan at 613-279-3144 or Christine Teal at 613-375-6525. You can also visit www.relayforlife.ca
Thanks to professional drum facilitator and instructor, Leo Brooks, and a grant from Blue Skies in the Community, grade 7 and 8 students at Granite Ridge Educational Centre in Sharbot Lake are now able to keep the beat on their very own hand made drums. The students just completed a four-week art/music project they began with Brooks early in January where each student built a hand drum using a section of sonotube that the students first primed and painted in a design of their own making. Once the tubes were completed Brooks returned to the school to show the students how to stretch a piece of wet goat skin over one end of the tube, which was then stapled in place and left to dry and tighten overnight. The drums were ready to play the very next day. The long-term project gave these intermediate students the opportunity to spend many hours on a single project, and their perseverance and determination really paid off. Their drums are as nice to look at as they sound – and they sound just great. The project culminated in a drum workshop on January 27 led by Brooks, where the close to 50 students learned how to play their drums. Brooks began by teaching the students basic drum care, for the short and long term. He then showed the students the many different ways to create various sounds on the drum either first by using their hands which depending on their placement and delivery can greatly affect the sound produced. Similarly he demonstrated how the drum can be struck with a small stick either on the skin or its side to give different sounds as well. He spoke of the history and origins of various rhythms, many originating from African countries, and taught the students how to create them first by giving the individual beats words and then by inviting the students to play the beat while saying their corresponding words. Once the students were able to memorize and play one distinctive rhythmic pattern, Brooks would add his own different beat under their unified rhythm, showing how a multi-layered rhythmic effect can be created. The students were transfixed. The musical element of drumming is a real draw for students who seem to delight in being able to come together in one single rhythmic whole. “When the students are drumming in time and creating one strong single rhythmic pattern you can really see the delight on their faces. Playing perfectly in time with one another can really help bring the students together as a group,” Teacher Julia Schall said following the workshop. “Learning to drum as a group is not only about being able to play yourself but it also depends on really listening to one another”. Student drumming at GREC will not end with the workshop and Ms. Schall said she would be incorporating the drums into her bucket drumming music class at the school. “The beauty of now having these drums here is that we will be able to take them out any time, learn new rhythms and play together.” Perhaps as the weather warms up, passers-by might hear the magical unified beat of the drum thanks to these GREC students and their fearless drum guru, Leo Brooks, who showed these students not only how to build their own drums but also how to keep the beat.
The Central Frontenac Volunteer Fire Department often provides bartending services for public events at the Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake. They provide a selection of two or three brands of beer, rum, vodka, rye whiskey and mixes, soft drinks, water, etc and the profits all go to the department. Last Saturday night, Jan. 24 it was the same story, except this time there was a number of large bottles of single Malt Scotch Whiskey on the front counter; smooth, sweet Highland Glenmorangie and Singleton, and smokey, peaty Islay Laphroig Quarter Cask among them. That, along with the preponderance of kilts and tuxedos, as well as the odd bit of Scottish brogue flowing off the tongue in some cases but clearly put on in others, testified to the fact that the celebration of Burns night was on. The local Masonic Lodge were the hosts for the evening, which was dedicated to Keith Hawley, who became both a Freemason and a volunteer fireman in 1951, and has served both organizations with distinction for almost 64 years. A number of Masons from further afield also attended. If everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day it seems, even those of Irish descent, as is common in Frontenac County, declared themselves Scottish for the evening. The ceremonial start came with the arrival of the Haggis, which was piped in by Jeff Donnelly. Bill Robertson delivered Burns' “Address to a Haggis” with considerable flourish. I can't say I caught much of the meaning of the invocation, but the spectacle of the steam rising from the Haggis after it was sliced open, which was then followed by a toast and a sip of whiskey from a silver chalice, struck the chord of tradition in much the way ceremonies do in ancient cultures. While the meal was being finalised, Ross Morton performed the famous Burns poem Tam O'Shanter, with much aplomb. Again, I cannot say what the plot was all about, nor its resolution, but I could say with some confidence that Tam O'Shanter drank a bit too much and paid the price. In fact he ends up being chased home by witches and only escapes because the witches cannot cross the River Doon - at least that’s what the Wikipedia entry on the poem says. The joy of Burns poetry comes from the rhythm and the rhyme and the sense that his poems invoke, that there is always a battle or a party - or both - around the corner. Tam O'Shanter was followed by a roast pork dinner, served with the usual fixings as well as the haggis, of course, and then the Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra performed a set of mostly Celtic tunes as an after-dinner treat. The toast to the Lassies was delivered by Ian Reid and the toast to the Laddies by Janet Gutowski, who delivered a poem herself in her best brogue, which sounded a bit like her imitation of Queen Elizabeth and was well received by the audience, some of whom were by then a bit into their cups of single malt. It was all good fun for the Masons and all their guests, and with care everyone was returned home safely through a clear and cold winter's night.
A number of the professional staff members of the up and coming website Fisherman.ca spent three days braving some cold weather on local lakes last week. They were fishing and filming on Kennebec, Big Gull and Sharbot Lake, among others, with a camera crew in tow, preparing a series of videos that will debut on their site and on the Youtube channel FisherManCanada starting in early February. “This is a hugely attractive part of the country for fishing, said Fisherman.ca founder Brian Ineson after spending time on the lakes, “and the fishing, as you will see in the videos, is particularly good around here. Of course it helps that we have some experts along for the ride.” Ineson was referring to the fact that he brought along some of the site's pro staff contributors with him, and they were hosted by the local member of the Fisherman.ca team, Cezar Spirala of Springwood Cottages on Kennebec Lake (located within 500 metres of the junction of Hwy. 7 and Henderson Road near Arden). Springwood is one of the few lodges in the region that remain open year round, and Spirala's enthusiasm for fishing not only on Kennebec Lake but on all the lakes nearby became a catalyst for the rest of the Fisherman.ca crew to come to the Land O'Lakes. The appeal of fishing for a new generation and for women is part of the theme of the videos that were being made in the Land O'Lakes, and Cezar Spirala's wife, Jola Nowakowska as well as a teenager from Arden, Christina Blackburn, who are avid fishing enthusiasts (are they fishermen? are they fishers? - we leave it to readers to settle the fishing gender question), were more concerned about catching fish than worrying about the cold. The videos being filmed, which will be released as 10 - 20 minute episodes in the coming weeks, are designed to bring a higher profile to both the website and the Land O'Lakes region. “It is all about creating a higher profile for the region as a destination for tourists, showing all that the Land O'Lakes has to offer, both in winter and in summer; that's what this is all about. When more people know about the fishing and everything else there is, the trails and the accommodations that are available, more people will come and enjoy it,” said Brian Ineson. “There is really great fishing on these lakes, and you will see that in the videos” said Cezar Spirala, Aside from showing the surrounding area and the ice huts and equipment that was supplied by the supplier Rapala for promotional considerations, the filming also included underwater video of fish by virtue of some fancy tracking equipment that fisherman.ca has acquired. “Land of Lakes was a great adventure and we plan on coming back soon,” said Brian Ineson. He added that a spring visit to film future episodes is a distinct possibility.
by Julie Druker Snowshoe racing, which has been popular in the U.S. for years, is fast becoming a popular winter activity in Canada as well, both for fitness lovers and more competitive types. Many snowshoe racers are road runners in the fair weather months, who have taken up the sport as a way to keep fit and / or stay competitive at a time when winter snow and ice can make for dangerous running conditions. Others are competitive athletes who use the activity as way to cross train in the winter months. Over 70 of these varying types gathered at Frontenac Provincial Park, located just north of Sydenham on January 18 to take part in the Dion Frontenac Park Snow Shoe race, one of six races in a series that is being put on by Derrick Spafford of Spafford Health and Adventure. The first race in the series took place in Morrisburg at Upper Canada Village on January 10 and attracted over 140 racers, which was up from the previous year. The Frontenac Park race attracted snowshoe racers and enthusiasts from all over Ontario, including from Whitby, Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Cornwall, Montreal, Inverary, and Sydenham, as well as competitors from New York state. Derrick Spafford, who is the race coordinator for the Dion Series and the race director at Frontenac Park, said that both he and his wife Sara compete. They have been organizing the race at Frontenac Park for the last six years. Derrick said that the Frontenac Park race is a favorite for racers in the area. “This course is a challenging, rolling course and it offers racers a little bit of everything. There are fast sections and a number of climbing sections but both veterans and beginners always really enjoy it,” he said. Asked if there is a special technique required for snowshoe racing he replied, “If you can run, you can snowshoe run.” The racing snowshoes, which are 21 inches long and 7 inches wide, are incredibly light weight and only require a small step, not the huge wide stance that people often associate with the traditional wooden frame snow shoes. Spafford said he believes that the sport is continually growing but a lot of people are still unaware of it. “We're trying to promote the sport as a really great way to get out and enjoy the winter while also avoiding having to run on roads or treadmills.” In an effort to attract novices, Spafford at each race offers a rental fleet of snow shoes at a cost of just $5 per day. “We have a lot of people who come out to these races who have never had snowshoes on their feet before.” Corey Turnbull of Smiths Falls, one of the participants at the race, started up a snowshoe racing team called The Snow Squalls, which to date boasts 15 members, many of whom were competing at the park. Turnbull came third overall in the series last year. He has been racing for the last four years and credits Spafford for getting him started in the sport. He said that the Frontenac Park race is one of his favorites. “The park is gorgeous and the atmosphere here is always incredibly friendly as well.” Also among the participants were 16 members of a team from Paul Smiths College in northern New York state. This was the third year that members of the team have traveled to Frontenac Park to compete in the race and the coach, Jim Tucker, said that the team has been racing in Canada for the past 25 years. “Frontenac Park is a great facility and is a lot like where we run at home. For some of these racers it is their first time visiting Canada.” I also spoke with three local participants who love the sport for the fitness opportunity it offers in the winter months. Basia Farnell of Inverary said she loves to get out in the winter and she runs at the park regularly. Here are the race results as found on the Spafford Health and Adventure website (healthand adventure.com): Nick Best of Ottawa posted the fastest time of the day in the men’s race in a time of 28:32 for the 6.6km course. Jesse Bruce of Toronto followed in 29:51, with Charley Murphy of Toronto in third in 30:46. Alan Cushman of Paul Smith’s College in New York was the top masters in the men's race in 32:42. In the women’s race, Celine Best of Gatineau, QC finished first in a time of 35:57. Chloe Mattilio of Paul Smith’s College, NY was second in 39:06, followed by Deborah Berry of Kingston in third in 42:30. Jenn Ross of Merrickville was the top female master in 47:26 The top male and female performers, who are required to run in at least three of the six races in the series, will be declared the series champions and will each receive a free pair of Dion snowshoes. The next race in the Dion Series will take place in Brighton ON on January 31 at 10am inside the Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Centre, which is located adjacent to the parking lot. Race day registration is from 8:30 – 9:45am. For more information visit healthandadventure.com
Lori Hamilton and her staff had their work cut out for them earlier this week as they were busy preparing for the unofficial opening of the Country Cafe and Bakery, which opened its doors to the public on January 10. In November of 2014, Hamilton, who is a long-time resident of Harrowsmith, took over the lease of the business space located next door to the Harrowsmith Variety Store, just north of the intersection of Road 38 and Rutledge Road. Since then she and her husband Orville have been busy renovating the new space. The renovations have included brand new men’s and women’s washrooms, new glass display cabinets, new electrical and plumbing, and of course a fresh new coat of paint. When I visited earlier this week, Lori and her staff were busy baking up a wide assortment of the daily fare that they will be offering their customers, including fresh-baked muffins, cookies, bars, cinnamon buns, and also a wide variety of pies and fresh-baked breads. Hamilton said that a big part of her business will be her specialty: made to order cakes, which are perfect for weddings, anniversaries and other special events, including Valentine's Day coming up in February. The bakery that formerly occupied the space was only a take out establishment, but the new Country Cafe and Bakery is a totally separate entity from the convenience store. It offers customers five comfortable tables where they can sit down, relax and “dine in”, choosing from a full menu of breakfast and lunch entrees, all prepared fresh on site. They include hot daily soups, and a wide selection of sandwiches (roast beef, pastrami, turkey and smoked ham, to name a few), each of which comes with a choice of fresh vegetable toppings and condiments. A daily selection of home-made hot entrees including chili, lasagne, cabbage rolls, meat stews and casseroles will also be available as well. Hamilton, who worked for over three decades in the dietary departments of various nursing and retirement homes as both a cook and a server, said that she has ample experience in the fields of food preparation and customer service, which have prepared her well for this new undertaking. “I have always enjoyed cooking and baking and entertaining people and this kind of business offers me a chance to do what I love right here in the community. I am hoping that local residents will appreciate having a friendly place to enjoy a meal, and/or snack while socializing with friends, family and neighbours.” Hamilton is planning an official grand opening celebration on Saturday, February 7 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on that day she and her staff will be offering guests free sample goodies, beverages and door prizes from 11 a.m. –1 p.m. Hamilton, who will be cooking and serving at the bakery while also running the business, said that the challenges of opening a new business, especially the long hours, will be tough but she stressed that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. “This is a new adventure for me and a new chapter in my life and it is something that I have dreamed of doing for years so I am really excited about it.” The Country Cafe and Bakery is located at 4937 Road 38 in Harrowsmith and is open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m.- 5 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. For more information call 613-372-5883.
Dave Linton, a long time volunteer with Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS), not only talks the talk but also walks the walk - and in this case, skis the lopp. At 75 years of age Linton knows first hand the benefits to seniors of regular daily exercise, its positive impact on mental and physical health and its ability to help them live in their homes independently and with dignity for as long as possible. It is with those ideas in mind that Linton will be skiing the Gatineau Loppett, a 51 km international cross-country ski marathon, the largest of its kind in Canada, which will take place on February 14 in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec. Linton will be participating this year, not as he has done in the past, to raise funds for the SFCSC (he also has another idea about fundraising that I will mention later), but to raise awareness of the importance of daily exercise while also promoting the seniors programming offered at SFCSC. Linton began volunteering with SFCSC 36 years ago when he and his wife Jennifer, who is the coordinator of the SFCSC food bank, first moved to the area. He currently volunteers as a fundraiser and driver and highly recommends the organization as “a place to hang your volunteer hat.” For Linton volunteering has become a way of life and fulfills an important need. “It gives me an intrinsic satisfaction and makes me feel connected to the community.” SFCSC runs a number of Adult Day programs at the Grace Centre in Sydenham that are geared to seniors, many of whom are physically frail and socially isolated. Some may have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and may also be survivors of other illnesses. The programs offer participants a plethora of physical, social and cognitive activities under the direction of trained personnel and staff members, which help to stimulate brain and body function while offering clients a chance to socialize and interact with their peers. The programming at SFCSC has expanded in recent years from three days a week to five and from a capacity of eight clients per day to 12. Participants in the program are provided with snacks and lunch, and trained PSWs also provide any assistance they might require while in attendance. Referrals to the program are typically made by the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) or by self-referral and are followed up with an in-office visit, after which clients receive a free one trial visit to the program. The cost is $20 per day and transportation can also be provided at an additional cost. Dave Linton understands that skiing a 51 km marathon is definitely not for everyone, and stressed that it is the daily training leading up to the event that is most important. “It is the daily exercise required to prepare for a marathon and not the marathon itself that is most beneficial. My training equipment is not sophisticated: a chainsaw, an axe, a wood pile plus regular walking with a set of weighted poles…no running, jogging or any other high impact exercises is how I prepare for the race.” Linton is an incredibly fit 75-year-old and is perhaps not a standard that other seniors can aspire to. He knows this but still he says regular daily exercise is key to overall health. “Daily physical activity changed my life (maybe even saved it on occasions). It is a life-enhancing tool for me and I strongly believe that it can be for others … If we seniors can stay out of nursing homes and long term care facilities, we will not only save tax payer dollars, but will enable ourselves to live healthier, happier, more independent lives in the long term”. Now back to Linton’s idea about fundraising. He suggests that, given the fact that most seniors usually have everything they need in life, when families are celebrating a milestone event like a birthday or anniversary, they could invite guests to make a donation to the SFCSC in lieu of gifts. For more information about seniors’ programming at the SFCSC and/or to make a donation call 613-376-6477 or visit www.sfcsc.ca
At the inaugural meeting of the new Frontenac County Council, Frontenac Islands mayor, Dennis Doyle, took on the job of warden for 2015, the first year of a new four-year term. The meeting took place on December 17, the day after the last 2014 edition of the Frontenac News went to press. The ceremonial first meeting, which was attended by Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington MP Scott Reid and MPP Randy Hillier, MP Ted Hsu from Kingston and the Islands, and newly elected Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, took place in the comfortable confines of the newly refurbished Rotary Club Fairmount Home auditorium, which is located on the same property as the Frontenac County Administrative Office. Doyle, the only returning mayor in the County, was acclaimed to the post of warden, and Central Frontenac mayor, Frances Smith, herself a former warden from pre-amalgamation days, was also acclaimed to the post of deputy warden. It is expected that she will be the warden in 2016. The process of choosing the warden this time around was reminiscent of the clubby atmosphere that prevailed among members of council before the increase to eight members in the most recent term of Council. Unlike in other counties, only the mayors from the four townships can become the warden. The second representatives from each township are not eligible. Warden Doyle has been the acting warden since the death of the sitting warden, Bud Clayton, in September. After the election of officers, Doyle spoke. He urged his fellow councilors to “provide thoughtful instructions to staff, making sure every dollar we spend of our constituents’ money is used very well. We have to build a sustainable and resilient community to put up with whatever comes, including whatever the feds or the province download to us.” He also said that he expects the new council will set a cordial tone in their dealings with each other and county staff. “Let's be civil in these chambers. We must be respectful of staff, must respect the other levels of government. Finally we must have respect for the political process itself,” he said. He stressed the three specific goals that were identified in the Strategic Plan that council completed last year. “The plan calls for us to prepare for the ageing tsunami of seniors, address waste management going forward by seeking a regional solution with our partners from the City of Kingston and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, and look at other means of revenue through economic development. Once we have these three underway we can look at a fourth, but we found that the more items we try to address at once the less successful we were at any of them,” he said. In response to Doyle's remarks, MP Ted Hsu said he was impressed by the specific nature of the goals identified by Dennis Doyle. “We hear from a lot of experts in Ottawa and a lot about process and planning, but there is nothing that gives me more confidence than someone who knows what they want to accomplish in their own community ... this council has a good idea of what needs to be done, and we're in good hands,” he said. MP Scott Reid talked about the changes in riding boundaries that are coming, and said he was happy to work with the county to create the new Frontenac Lanark riding that will be in place for the federal election next fall. MPP Randy Hillier said, “It's a pleasure to be here welcoming the new council. Thanks and congratulations to Dennis and Fran. This term of council is a wonderful opportunity to really shine through co-operation and collaboration. A bit of harmony will also help us look forward when the province throws some curveballs at you. I don't mind helping you throw some back.” Council also made appointments to various boards. Dennis Doyle will sit on the KFL&A Public Health Board for four years; John Inglis remains on the Municipal Advisory Committee for the Algonquin Land Claim for a second four years; Natalie Nossal will sit on the Youth Advisory Committee; Frances Smith on the Kingston Frontenac Housing Board; and John McDougall on the Rideau Corridor Parkland Board. South Frontenac mayor, Ron Vandewal, will be the county rep on the Kingston Frontenac Library Board. In the only contested selection, there were three candidates for two positions as public appointees to the Library Board. John Purdon received the most votes and there was a tie between Ann Peace-Fast and Wilma Kenny (the current vice-chair of the Board). By lot, Anne Peace-Fast was chosen as the second public appointee.
A number of bus companies that serve students in Frontenac County are joining with other members of the Independent School Bus Operators Association (ISBOA) in taking Tri-Board Transportation to court. Tri-Board, which handles busing for students in the Limestone, and the Hastings and Prince Edward public school boards, and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Separate School Board, was ordered to negotiate contracts with the operators by Justice Scott of the Ontario Superior Court in 2012. Over two years later a deal has not been signed and now 29 operators are seeking damages for breach of contract in excess of $2 million, and punitive damages of $500,000, in addition to other costs. The operators, which include Dunham, Cox and the larger Martin's Bus lines, filed their statement of claim on December 1. A response from Tri-Board is due by the end of January, and a court date will follow. When Justice Scott issued his order in 2012 there were eight months remaining in the contract between the drivers and Tri-Board, but in their statement of claim the bus companies allege that Tri-Board stopped making payments for capital payments that were called for in that contract soon after the order was issued. Negotiations stalled, and the contract ran out, but the buses kept running. Negotiations began in earnest in the fall of 2013 and a draft contract was being considered at a meeting in early February of 2014. “Tri-Board represented to the Plaintiffs through the negotiating committee that Tri-Board generally agreed with the terms and that the draft would form the basis for a multi-year contract with the Plaintiffs” says the statement of claim. Two weeks later, everything had changed. “At the outset of the [next] meeting,” the statement goes on to say, “Tri-Board completely reversed its position. It said it refused to consider a multi-year contract despite its earlier representations and instead would only sign a contract for the 2013-14 school year, which by that time was only three months from finishing. “When asked why a multi-year contract was no longer being considered, the CEO of Tri-Board, Gord Taylor, explained that the Ministry of Education (“Ministry”) had directed Tri-Board to take this position.” (item 89) Negotiations have continued since then, and the bus companies presented a proposed contract on October 10, 2014, by which time they were in their second year without a contract. Again, according to the bus companies' statement of claim, “Tri-Board responded on November 7, 2014, by presenting a brief document outlining general changes to the contract, but again without providing any of the underlying detail on the amount stipulated for fixed and variable rates (including driver wages, capital costs, maintenance, etc.). Without this information, it was impossible for the Plaintiffs to assess Tri-Board’s proposal and it certainly could not form the basis for a contract between the parties. Tri-Board presented this to the Plaintiffs in a 'take it or leave it' letter.” Karen Cameron, the President of ISBOA, sees the hand of the province in the way Tri-Board has been handling the negotiations. “Part of the problem for these small operators all the way along is that the Ontario government says they are not involved in this, but now three judges have independently come to the conclusion that the province is directing this. The issue is really with them, with Tri-Board as their proxy,” she said when interviewed by phone this week. Under the ISBOA umbrella, independent operators have had success in court in recent years, as they have been resisting a province-wide initiative to put all busing contracts onto the open market, a move they say favours large national and international busing companies.
For many it is the local Santa Claus parades that mark the start of the Christmas season in these parts and the numerous parades that took place in North, South and Central Frontenac are always welcome and exciting events, especially for youngsters and the young at heart. This year's parades seemed especially festive with a plethora of colourful floats courtesy of the numerous businesses, organizations, service clubs and individuals, who despite the bustle of the holiday season took the time to put together their unique parade offerings. This year it seemed there were more colourfully clad youngsters, more live animals and more live music than in parades past. Whatever the reason, here are just a few snap shot memories from the parades that took place in Sydenham, Harrowsmith, Sharbot Lake, Tichborne/Parham, Northbrook and North Frontenac. Sharbot Lake Elsa waves from the Northern Frontenac Community Services' Disney inspired “Frozen” float Denbigh It was a crisp evening for the Santa Claus Parade in the village; even still, a good number enjoyed the lights and sights. Mr & Mrs Claus had a warm welcome for everyone at the hall, as hotdogs, hot drinks and goodies were gobbled up. The children took their turn making their requests to the Man in Red, followed by a festive program presented by the Rec. Committee. Congratulations to the LCBO on winning people's choice for favourite float with their entry decorated in gingerbread and sweets. North Frontenac The North Frontenac Christmas parade took place on November 29, starting at the township offices in Plavna and finishing at the Ompah hall. Photos courtesy of Michelle Ross. At right: the Plevna Pioneer Club’s float proclaims “Jesus is the sweetest gift”. ton Cottages float
In an effort to preserve local history that otherwise might end up in the landfills, Margaret Axford, curator of the Pioneer Museum and Archives in Cloyne, gave a presentation titled “History in a Box”, at the Cloyne & District Historical Society’s meeting on January 19. Axford’s basic message was: don’t give that old dusty attic shoe box the old heave-ho; it deserves a second look. Even if history is not your personal cup of tea, then passing the box on to a member of a historical society or a local museum makes much better sense than simply tossing it out. Axford opened up one such box that came her way over a year ago via one local resident who had the wherewithal to know that the artifacts might be of interest to members of the Cloyne and District Society (CDHS). At the meeting, Axford unveiled the contents of the box, and step by step pieced together what she found. The box contained over 150 artifacts that included numerous photographs, news clippings magazines, calendars and other documents, which tell a somewhat spotty story of one Dylan Francis, who came from Culloden, ON but also spent time in North Frontenac. An RCAF photo shows that Francis joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at some point as a young man and likely trained near Windsor Mills, Quebec, since photos found in the box showing men fixing airplanes were printed at a pharmacy in that town. The box also contained numerous clippings from the Toronto Star telling of the fates of various WW2 soldiers, likely Dylan's buddies. We find out that Dylan played hockey in Toronto at Humberside Collegiate from another photo and that he likely married Marjorie Francis. There were numerous old photos circa the 1880s or 1890s of people that may have been his grandparents and one especially delightful photo of two young boys. Axford spoke about the fun and excitement she feels delving into these artifacts. “It is like trying to solve a puzzle and what we are always trying to do is find out more about the local history in the area here.” She said that one Aha! moment came to her when she discovered a card from the Culloden Literary Society dated January 31, 1905, which led her to the understanding that Dylan Francis was likely the son of Viola Dylan and George Francis. A claims map of Denbigh dated 1955 places Dylan Francis in the local area though it remains unclear why that was or in what capacity he spent time here. This discovery was made thanks to a number of envelopes and Legion magazines that were mailed to Francis in the 1970s to RR2 Cloyne. Axford said she might try to contact other historical societies in south western Ontario to see if anyone there might be interested in these artifacts. She said that if not, they will likely remain as a collection at the Pioneer Museum. The point of the presentation was aptly summed up by CDHS member Ian Brumell. “The point here is not so much about this fellow Dylan Francis in particular but more about what it takes to put all of the separate pieces of information together to try to get the story right. That, and most importantly, encouraging people to look into those old dusty boxes they might find when cleaning out a home. If you have stuff, think first before you just go ahead and chuck it out. I remember watching and was almost in tears when one house in this area was completely demolished and everything inside was completely destroyed. When that happens you can only imagine all of the history that is being lost.” Anyone who has such a box but holds no use for it can contact their local historical society.
by Valerie Allan On Jan. 16, 24 students from Grades 3-7 presented projects in a Science Fair held in the library of NAEC. Preparations started in June, when Ms. Randle (a Secondary Science teacher) collaborated with Elementary teachers (Ms. Beeg, Mr. Rewbotham, Mr. Pelow, Mr. Hill and Ms. Cuthill) to design a Science Fair modeled after the regional Science Fair (FLASF). The purpose of the fair was to provide students with a unique opportunity to engage in scientific investigation. Ms. Randle remarked, “Science Fairs are a great way to promote critical thinking skills. Science Fairs allow students to explore and investigate things they are interested in, process information using critical thinking skills, and create something they are proud of. It allows them to learn about the scientific method in a hands-on way.” Students chose experiments, studies or innovations as a basis for their projects, and were judged by a panel of judges for Top Project, and by visitors for Fan Favourite. The top project for Mrs. Beeg’s class went to Abbi Woods and the Fan Favourites for Mrs. Beeg’s class went to Bella DeSa and Owen Bright. The top project for Mr. Rewbotham’s class went to Sarah Reed and the Fan Favourites for Mr. Rewbotham’s class went to Hayden Riley and Ryan Kay. The top project for Mrs. Pelow’s class went to Josie Heyman and the Fan Favourites for Mrs. Pelow’s class went to Amanda Clancy and Beth Shiner. The top project for Ms. Cuthill’s class went to Sierra Baldacchin and Fan Favourites for Ms. Cuthill’s class went to Jessie Cumming and Riley Kay. According to Youth Science Canada, which is a big supporter of science fairs, “Every year, over 500,000 young Canadians participate in project-based science…encouraging them to get their hands dirty and develop scientific and technological knowledge and skills through project-based science.”
AH to go it alone on transportation After attending meetings with members of L&A County Council as well as staff from Seniors Outreach Services (SOS) in Napanee, Addington Highlands Council and Land O'Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) have decided to submit their own application for funding from a Ministry of Transportation Grant program for rural transportation services. Susan Andrew-Allen and Marlene Dacuk from LOLCS were both on hand at a council meeting in Denbigh on Monday night (January 19). LOLCS intends to seek $54,000 in funding over two years to provide dispatch services for volunteer rides to medical appointments and other services for people who are under 60 years old in the township. LOLCS already offers rides for those over 60 using funding from the Local Health Integration Network. Although it would be desirable for there to be only one funding application from Lennox and Addington County, a number of factors, including the $100,000 upper limit for the grant, have made a joint application between LOLCS and SOS unworkable. “It is unclear how the funds would be divided up even if we were able to get the maximum $100,000 funding in a combined application with Seniors Outreach Services,” said Andrew-Allen. There was talk, at the county meeting, Andrew-Allen said, of only 10% of the funding, or $10,000 going to LOLCS. “You wouldn't be able to really do anything with $10,000 over two years,” said Councilor Bill Cox. Council members also questioned whether the Napanee-based organization SOS and the County itself are committed to services in the rural parts of L&A. “SOS kept saying that Arden is in Addington Highlands, to give you an idea where they are coming from,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. Bill Cox moved that the township prepare its own application for $54,000, and council agreed. Saving the Flinton Jamboree Andy Anderson appeared before Council in the wake of a decision by the Flinton Recreation Club and the Thibault family not to continue with the Flinton Jamboree this summer. Anderson, a long-time member of the Addington Highlands Economic Development Committee, said that the Jamboree is an important event for local businesses and that the August long weekend is also a very important anchor for the summer season. “We need to act immediately to stop this from slipping away for a year, because if it does we will never get that weekend back,” he said. He added that he has been talking to people about getting involved ever since he heard that the Recreation Club wants to step back, and feels he can put a steering committee together to save the event provided he can contact people who attended the Jamboree in the past as quickly as possible to reassure them that it will be going on again. “What do you need from us, because as you know we are not about to run it,” said Reeve Hogg. “All I need now is free use of the site and for the township to cover the insurance,” said Anderson. Council was reluctant to commit to covering the insurance since the new group that Anderson hopes to put together in the coming days does not have a legal status, such as a not-for-profit corporation or a committee of council would. A motion to support the Jamboree in principle and look into the matter with the township's insurer was proposed and passed. One convention per councilor A draft bylaw to approve the township covering the cost for one convention/conference (such as the Good Roads Convention in February or the Ontario Municipal Association conference in August) was opposed by Bill Cox, who said he finds it helpful to attend two conferences. “There is a lot of worthwhile information passed out at those conventions,” he said. Reeve Hogg said he put the number one in the bylaw in order to get it on the table, and Council could change the number if it wants to. No one spoke up and the one conference rule was approved with one dissenting vote. AHCC – Denbigh – Septic woes It will cost thousands to pump out and repair the septic system at the Addington Highlands Community Centre-Denbigh. Councilor Tony Fritsch said that the system was backed up week. Part of the problem is that the system has two tanks and the channel between them is blocked and needs clearing. It will require two pump trucks at several hundred dollars each as well as a repair to the opening, which requires someone to go inside. “Any volunteers from Council?” asked Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath, who was waiting to give his own report. The entire job will cost “thousands”, said Fritsch. “It needs to be done,” said Reeve Hogg. You can't please all the people ... Royce Rosenblath said that crews have been busy with winter maintenance and that he receives service complaints on occasion from township residents. “Some of them say we plow too early and some say we plow too late. I even heard both of those complaints from people living on the same road, not far from each other,” said Rosenblath.
by Marcella Neely Fair fa'your honest, sonsie face: These words come from the poem, "To a Haggis" which is a central feature of the Burns Supper. Traditionally, the Haggis is brought out in a procession led by a piper and the poem is recited. Some years after Burns' death in 1796, the Burns supper was developed as a means of celebrating his poetic genius on the anniversary of his birth. Recitation of his poem "To a Haggis" became a central feature of these suppers, which included the consumption of this traditional Scottish dish along with neeps (turnip) and tatties (mashed potato). On January 24, the Cloyne and District Historical Society is putting on a Burns Supper at the Northbrook Lions Hall. Following supper there will be readings of Burns' poems and singing of Burns' songs. His writings are in Scots, the traditional language of lowland Scotland. It uses many words that are close to English but others that are quite distinct (e.g. burn = brook, bairn = children). Those attending will be provided with written translations of the poems being presented.