Craig Bakay

Craig Bakay

When you’re a young fiddler from Tichborne, you never know where you’re going to be playing.

Take 16-year-old Jessica Wedden for instance.

Last Thursday night, she was playing in her home-town pub, The Crossing, with Turpin’s Trail, a group of guys she’s known and played with for years. She opened the show with guitarist Jon McLurg, who has been her prime performance collaborator since she was 13.

Midway through Turpin’s Trail’s first set, Wedden and mom Valerie took off for Toronto, arriving about 12:30 a.m. as Jess was scheduled to be on Breakfast Television Toronto’s St. Patrick’s Day show with the RNT Irish Dance League.

“It was exciting,” she said. “We drove in at night and there were all the buildings and lights downtown.

“I didn’t sleep that much, maybe one or two hours but I wasn’t nervous — OK, maybe a little nervous when I got to the CITY TV studio at 7:15 a.m. — but it was a good nervous.

“Once I got playing, I was fine.”

The segment was for St. Patrick’s Day and despite only getting a little bit of rehearsal that day before the segment, Wedden was pleased with the way it went.

“I did a little bit of (the song) Pressed For Time and then a bridge I wrote that lead into the track the dancers had practised with,” she said. “I could be a little more flexible than they could because it’s just me.”

Wedden said she really didn’t know what to expect because this was her first time on TV in Toronto.

“I have had the pleasure of being interviewed twice on CKWS TV in Kingston,” she said. “But this was different.”

She said Duet Public Relations had found her on her website and booked her to do this show.

“A member of the company met us at the studio and brought us to the right place,” she said. “It was amazing.

“And they said they want me back next year.

“Everybody was super, super nice to me.”

This TV thing is getting to be a regular occurrence for Wedden. On April 8, she’ll be on Rogers Daytime TV in Ottawa at 1 p.m.

The Frontenac Flyers Pee Wee rep team is in the driver’s seat in their Ontario Hockey League final series against the Ilderton Jets following identical 4-1 victories at the Frontenac Community Arena Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s definitely great to have a lead heading up to Ilderton,” said Flyers coach Al Pixley. “And only needing one more win is a big one.”

In the OMHA Playdown format, six points are needed to win a series, which heads to Ilderton March 23 and 24. If a fifth game is necessary (because of ties) it would be played March 30 in Ilderton and in the unlikely event of a sixth game being necessary, it would shift back to Frontenac March 31.

Pixley said he’s unlikely to change anything for this weekend’s matchup.

“You don’t fix what ain’t broke,” he said. “We’ve been moving the puck well and we’ll continue to do that.”

Sunday’s game was actually closer in game play than the score might suggest. The first period was scoreless with plenty of back and forth.

Kaleb Baldwin opened the scoring with 12:37 left in the second. Vann Thomas got his first of two goals on the night in the dying seconds of the period followed Jack Pixley shortly thereafter.

But it could have just as easily gone the other way but for the play of Flyers goalie Severing Steele and his defensive corps.

Steele managed to keep the biscuit out of the basket on three goal-mouth scrambles and turn aside three one-on-nones. The Flyers managed to get the puck out of the zone quickly each time.

“He (Steele) definitely kept us in there during that second period,” Pixley said. “It was very important to maintain momentum.

Beau Reade, Jack Pixley, Mason Joynt and Kaleb Baldwin scored for Frontenac in Saturday’s game.

On the Atom side, things didn’t go so rosily as the Flyers fell 5-1 Sunday after going down 6-4 Saturday.

“That certainly didn’t go as we’d hoped,” said coach Jamie Craig. “We have to come and play three periods.

“I just hope that when we get on the road, they come to life.

“There have been a lot of people at these last two games and maybe in Ilderton’s building, things will be different.

“But we’ve still got lots left in the tank.”

Rhett Colson scored Frontenac’s lone goal Sunday. Saturday’s scorers were unavailable.

When the dust cleared at the end of a long day in Plevna, North Frontenac Council did what they came to do last Friday — hammer out a budget that came in at a 2.8 per cent increase (consumer price index) over the amount to be raised by taxation over 2018. They started out the day looking at a 5.9 per cent increase.

The budget will now come forward in a public meeting before the regular Council meeting April 12 at 9 a.m. in Plevna.

“This shows we’re in control and able to meet a target,” said Coun. John Inglis.

“A lot of our residents are seniors on fixed incomes (so) we have to keep the increase at the cost of living,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer.

In total, North Frontenac will raise $6,011,535 in taxation for 2019. This represents an increase of $2.23 more per $100,000 of property assessment.

In the past year, North Frontenac experienced 0.5 per cent growth and a 2.0 per cent increase in MPAC property assessment.

Much of the budget focuses on the assets management plan and much of that is devoted to roads, gravel roads in particular.

Public works manager Darwyn Sproule told Council that he’d like to put more into asphalt but the recommendation from a consultant’s study of $100,000 per year just wasn’t feasible.

“We’re trying to maximize the number of kilometres we’re treating,” he said.

But that didn’t sit well with Coun. Wayne Good, who argued for more roads money and Mayor Ron Higgins came up with an albeit temporary solution for this year.

“The roads sustainability reserve is at $2 million,” Higgins said. “Take $100,000 from that this year and put in on roads and we’ll budget for it next year.”

They did, and it brought a smile to Sproule’s face as he said they’d have no problem getting some more resurfacing done this summer as it goes out to independent contractors anyways.

Sproule also got something else he asked for — a ‘thumb’ for the excavator.

“If you’ve ever chased a rock across a field, you’ll know why we need one,” he said. “They’re also useful for picking up loads of brush.”

“I have chased rocks across a field,” said Good. “They need this.”

Council also approved a jaws of life for Clarendon-Miller Firehall.

Signage warning about Eurasian milfoil for Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes was denied, as was streetlighting for community mailboxes.

However, Council did approve $3,125 for a volunteer appreciation dinner and $1,600 for volunteer appreciations vests.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:36

Repair Cafe under way for Frontenac County

For the past few months, Wagarville Road resident Peter de Bassecourt has been making a monthly trek to Kingston to fix things.

Not things like what’s-wrong-with-the-world things; lamps and chairs and toasters type things.

He’s become part of a growing movement, called Repair Cafe, in which people bring in belongings that need fixing and other people fix them for them.

“We meet at the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship building on Concession Street,” he said. “It’s one of the 1,778 Repair Cafes worldwide.”

And now, de Bassecourt is in the process of setting up Frontenac Repair Cafe, a similar operation under the Repair Cafe banner that he sees as a roving operation — Sharbot Lake one month, Sydenham the next, then Verona, then Ompah, etc.

He’s got enthusiasm, and a Repair Cafe charter. What he needs now is some volunteers and more importantly, some locations that would be willing to host a Cafe.

Volunteers consist of people who like to (and can) fix things (could be just about anything if you have the right gear and “sewing is really huge, especially zippers”) as well as people who like to organize (ie, take names, make waiting lists, connect fixers with those needing things fixed) and people who simply like to make the coffee and bring the goodies.

“Repair Cafe gives you a ‘starter kit’ with all the information and forms you need to get started,” de Bassecourt said. “But we really need is somebody or organization to host.

“The problem is insurance. We couldn’t get the insurance we have to have on our own.”

He said church basements are common within the organization but he said there’s no reason why a business, say a hardware store, couldn’t host one. And a cafe for a particular month could be tailored towards a particular business. Cafes regularly hold ‘workshops’ on everything from fixing chairs to darning socks.

About the only no go is anything with gasoline engines, for insurance reasons.

De Bassecourt got interested when plans for a re-purpose operation at Central Frontenac waste sites went south. To him, the re-use aspect of the Repair Cafe is a big attraction.

“We’re not replacing commercial ventures,” he said. “We’re keeping things out of landfills.”

And, there’s a couple of other aspects he likes.

“It’s free, and people are really appreciative,” he said. “But we also get a lot of kids to the workshops.

“This is good because we’re losing older fixers and this is a way to pass skills on to kids.”

Anyone interested in joining up, especially groups or businesses who might be willing to host a cafe for one month or more, is asked to contact Peter de Bassecourt email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You can also look up the Kingston Repair Cafe on FaceBook.

South Frontenac Council will likely have two of its members sit on the board of Southern Frontenac Community Services following a one-hour meeting between the two bodies that preceded the regular Council meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham.

During the regular Council meeting, Coun. Norm Roberts gave a notice of motion to make the recommendation for councilors to join the SFCS board part of Council’s next regular meeting.

“This meeting (before Council) was more about having the dialogue as to how Council and SFCS can come together more to meet the needs of South Frontenac citizens,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal.

“We’d both like to determine what services are needed and how best to provide them,” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth. “I’d also like to point out that they were only asking for input.

“They didn’t ask us for any money.”


• • •

Council amended the Township Trailer Licence bylaw, as it pertains to single trailers on private lots, increasing the fee $35 per month from $35 effective Jan. 1, 2020. The bylaw changes also further extend the compliance date for prohibition of the use licensed trailers on private residential property to Dec. 31, 2023.

Bylaw services will inspect each property to ensure that the trailer currently on site matches the one licensed at the time the bylaw was established (and) continue to enforce the removal of unlicensed trailers, should complaints be filed about new trailers or if they are discovered during Bylaw Service’s inspection.

“I wanted to enquire from the CAO if there is any assurance that the number of trailers is dropping,” said Coun. Alan Revill. “I know the number of licensed trailers is dropping.”

“When reported, we do act on it but I can’t tell you how many appear under the cover of darkness,” said CAO Wayne Orr. “We don’t go down every lane seeking them out.”

Revill wondered if raising fees might act as a deterrent to people actually licensing trailers.

“One of the reasons for raising costs is to be able to enforce the bylaw proactively,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal.


• • •

Council voted to support a request from South Stormont Township asking the provincial government to heed its concerns about the potential reduction and/or loss of Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding.

“I think this is still worth supporting, although we heard from the government that we’d be getting $40,000 more than we got last year,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “And that they will be consulting with us in the future.”

“By ‘consulting,’ does that mean ‘telling’?” said Coun. Doug Morey.

The Atom Frontenac Flyers certainly have a flair for the dramatic, notching the winner for a 5-4 win in Game 3 of their Ontario Minor Hockey Association CC semi-final against the Shelburne Wolves with 5.9 seconds left on the clock.

Following the sweep of the Wolves, the Atoms now go on to face the Ilderton Jets in the final that begins Saturday at Frontenac Community Arena at 6 p.m.

“We’ve been a third period team all year,” said coach Jamie Craig. “The boys dug down deep.

“There’s no quit in them.”

The Wolves opened the scoring with 6:30 of the first period, capitalizing on a bit of a Flyers defensive miscue. At 12:29 of the second, the Wolves scored again, this time on a power play. They added a third goal on a wild scramble at 6:10

But as the period was coming to a close, Flyers forward Mason Norgaard lifted a wrister into the Wolves net and when the ice resurfacer came out between periods, the Flyers looked to be gaining moment.

That momentum was shelved momentarily in the opening seconds of the third as the Wolves went up 4-1.

“They’re (the Wolves) a good team,” said Craig. “They have a lot of big guys.”

But then things started to shift the Flyers’ way.

Drake Thomas started things off as the Flyers scored four unanswered to the delight of the standing-room only crowd.

Thomas’s marker was followed by tallies from Jack Craig and Luke Reid, setting the stage for Thomas’s second of the game — this time with only 5.9 seconds left in the game.

“Believe it or not, that wasn’t the latest we’ve scored to win a game this year,” said Craig. “We got one with 1.2 seconds left.

“I’ve tried to tell them not to depend on the third period because this could run out.”

However, Craig has coached some of these players for three years and he knows how they can rise to an occasion.

“We have an excellent leadership group here, with Drake, Jack, Mason and Rhett Colson,” he said. “You saw it towards the end tonight.”

Craig also credited Flyers organization President Al Pixley with the team’s success.

“Mr. Pixley is the backbone here,” Craig said.

Craig wasn’t making any predictions of a repeat championship as his team now takes on Ilderton in the finals.

“They’ll be strong,” he said. “And, it’ll be good hockey.”

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 11:58

Gorr’s Maple Syrup of Harrowsmith

“They don’t always have a tree where you want to put the line,” says Gary Gorr, maple syrup producer and philosopher who’s been tapping 45 acres (“pretty much all hardwood”) on the family farm since 1985.

He says “the weather is unpredictable” so he focuses on what he can control, keeping his lines “straight, tight and downhill. (His operation is all gravity fed.)

“Besides, the summer before is when the sugar is made for next spring.”

His dad started tapping the trees in 1972.

“I just watched then,” he said. “But in 1985, his knees were bothering him.

“He said ‘everything is there’ and it was time for me to take it over.”

He’s 75 now and it’s still a one-man operation.

“When I started out, I was still doing some renovation-construction work but in 1986, it was a slack time,” he said. “Then more and more people started wanting our syrup, so we gradually started adding more and more.”

For example, in 1991, the County and Township paid to send 58 four-litre cans of syrup to Canadian Forces fighting in the Gulf War.

He’s seen a lot of changes, mostly to equipment as regulations change.

“In 1995, we had to get rid of all the old lead stuff,” he said. “All the metal, milk tins, sap buckets.”

But, of course, the biggest changes tend to be in the weather.

“Twenty-five years ago, I had syrup made in April,” he said. “Any more, you have to be tapped by the second week in February.”

He said he started looking through his records and in 1988, he started boiling March 19 and that ran through til April. In 1995, he started March 8 and that ran to March 22.

“In 2001, we started later, March 19 and through to April 8,” he said. “But it ran everyday.

“In 2002 and 2004, it was March 2 to April 8.”

Regardless, he soldiers on, and still enjoys when people come to the house at 3596 Quinn Road E. to buy syrup in bottles featuring the logo his daughter designed. “I added a few trees around it,” he said.

His syrup is also available at the Foodlands in Verona and Sydenham, Wilton Cheese and the Limestone Creamery as well as Pan Chancho Bakery and Cafe in Kingston. (Call 613-329-4252 or 613-372-2601 for information.)

He has no ideas about giving it up, enjoying the exercise and being out in the bush.

“You have to become a woodlot manager, doing this,” he said. “Some of the old trees are dying but I don’t cut green trees.

“The other day, a couple of wolves came through and there are lots of squirrels, chipmunks and red squirrels.

“We have a red-breasted woodpecker and a pair of cardinals.”

As for predictions for this season, Gorr is pretty non-committal. But when pressed, he grinned and said: “I thought it was going to open up there. But I think it’s going to be a long season.”

The idea of South Frontenac Township, Frontenac County and the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority sharing an administration building isn’t looking too likely, at least in the short term, following a discussion at South Frontenac’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham.

“It’s been pointed out that we really haven’t had that discussion here at this table,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal.

Well, Tuesday night they had that discussion and while there was general consensus that a new facility would be nice from several angles, South really doesn’t need it and there isn’t much of an appetite for it.

“There’s a need to be cautious,” Vandewal said. “I don’t see this building as being at its breaking point yet.”

Vandewal said he needed some pretty clear direction soon as he and CAO Wayne Orr were to meet with the other two stakeholders this month. He said he didn’t want to string them on only to “send a terse email later on saying ‘we’re out.’”

Virtually no one on Council argued for a new joint facility and some, like Coun. Ray Leonard, said: “I’m not really in agreement with this new building.”

“How would we repurpose this facility were we to be in on this?” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth.

Coun. Ross Sutherland said: “I do think we’re overcrowded here but I don’t think we need 130 per cent more office space (as suggested in some of the architectural drawings.

“I think we need to look at other options (such as a new building for South or expansion of the existing facility).”

“Is there room where we could add on to this building?” asked Coun. Norm Roberts.

“There is land but I just don’t know if we could build on it,” said Orr.

There were suggestions that space now used for records storage might be used for expected staff increases as the demand for services increases (Orr cited projections that staff could grow by as many as eight people in the long term) but Coun. Alan Revill pointed out that proximity to records is important to the planning, building and financial departments.

“We should look at getting those records digitized,” said Sutherland.

Vandewal suggested some staff (for example public works and fire) could be accommodated in other facilities the Township owns but in any event, that’s way in the future.

“There are a lot of challenges to spending $5 million on a new building right now,” he said. “For example somebody might want a new firehall and Road 38 is always going to be there.”

Frontenac County Strategic Plan

Geography certainly plays a big roll when it comes to what townships’ expectations for Frontenac County’s priorities should be.

Consultant Rob Wood was at Committee of the Whole Tuesday night to complete a process where each of the four member townships of Frontenac County were asked for their thoughts.

For example, in the two northern townships, wifi and cell phone coverage are high on the list, as is waste disposal.

In South Frontenac, the No. 1 priority seems to be planning. Of the four, South is the only Township that has its own planning department while the other three use County planners.

“We’ve talked about South Frontenac being the planning authority for South Frontenac rather than have a separate body do it,” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth. “Those individuals at County who vote on the decisions are so far removed from what we think is important — both positively and negatively.”

“The devolution of planning powers to South Frontenac,” said Coun. Ross Sutherland. “The goal should be for them to work with us.”

And like all municipalities, economic development is something the politicians like to trumpet. And tourism is a huge component of that.

However, things are a little different in South Frontenac as pointed out by Sleeth.

“There is a market of 140,000 people just to the south of us that likes to make day trips,” he said. “In the north, it’s about coming to a lodge or renting a cabin but here, we need to create ways to entice people to drive out of the city for the day to spend $100 on things.”

One thing all of the townships seem to agree on is the need for the County to create a roads department — not to fix potholes and remove snow but to access upper tier roads money from the Province in much the same manner that Lennox & Addington County operates.

Mayor Ron Vandewal had an additional priority of his own.

“Do we need five CAOs?” he said. “The County CAO is very good outside of the County with the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus and regional groups, but what is provided for the County I don’t know.

“The paramedic service has a manager; Fairmount Home has a manager. Do we need an extra layer of management over them?”

“I agree with the mayor,” said Coun. Norm Roberts. “What do we get for our money.”

March break or not, it is always busy at the Rural Frontenac Community Services Child Centre.

The EarlyON Centre for young children has programs in Sharbot Lake four days a week, Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30am -2:30pm, Wednesdays from 8:30am – noon, and Saturdays from 10am – 1pm. Programs are offered on Tuesdays in Mountain Grove at the Olden Hall and Fridays in Arden at the Kennebec Hall, both from 9am-2:30pm. Clarendon Central School in Plevna hosts the program on Mondays from 9:30am – 2pm. EarlyOn is in Harrowsmith at the Free Methodist Church from 9:30am - noon on Wednesdays, at the Bedford Hall on Fridays from 9:30-noon, at the Storrington Fire Hall from 9:30am - 3pm on Mondays, and at Trinity United Church in Verona on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am – 3pm. In Sydenham at the EarlyOn Centre at 4635 Mill Street, the program runs 6 days a week: 9am – 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9am-noon on Wednesdays, noon-6:30 on Thursdays, and 10am -1pm on Saturdays

“About 95 per cent of my 35 hours a week are spent front line with families and their kids,” said Marcie Webster, who runs a lot of the northern programs. “We try to accommodate parents wishes for programming in the five learning domains of physical, emotional, cognitive, social and language.

“We have more kids over March break, but we have more parents who also bring older siblings and we welcome them too.”

For Youth Program Coordinator Martha Johnston, things do tend to change during March break as many of her programs tend to be of the after-school variety.

“We have set up a one-day, day camp and we’ve got 10 kids signed up for that,” she said. “And we’re also running the baby-sitting course on Thursday.

“But we also get to do some extra little things that we don’t normally get to do and we do have ongoing programs like snow-shoeing.”

“It’s mostly business as usual with extra little fun things that they’re not normally getting.”

Earlier this year, Lisa Matson and a few others were wondering what they could do to fix up the rink in Arden. They’d noticed that just about every night, kids were coming from all over, starting about 5:30 till 9pm or so and the ice surface wasn’t in the best of shape. After all, the original rink was built in 1967.

They came up with an all-night skate-a-thon to raise some funds and when it was all over, they’d raised $2,450 along with a few other donations of materials.

“We were just tossing around ideas,” she said. “We didn’t realize we’d get such a big response.

“It’s March weather, so if you get a warm day, the ice could be a little soft,” said co-organizer Jeff Matson. “It takes a lot of work to maintain the rink as the ground is not level and water can run down the hill and get under the ice, creating soft spots.”

So, they made a plan and people started getting on board, including people from outside the community making donations and prizes to raffle off.

“Karen Knight used to live here and now she works at Lifestyle Sunrooms in Peterborough,” Lisa said. “The owner, former NHLer Billy Carroll, donated a door and four windows for the canteen.

“DA Integrated in Ottawa, donated two tickets to the Senators-Toronto game, Play It Again Sports donated two Frontenacs tickets and Upper Canada Office Supply in Belleville donated two tickets to a Belleville Senators game.”

“And Crains donated crusher dust to resurface the base,” Jeff said.

“We’ve got a good group of kids who are using the rink,” Lisa said. “Them helping raise funds like this gives them pride and a sense of self-ownership.”

“A group of us will be going to Council on March 12 to solicit a little something,” said Jeff. “It’ll be good to show them we’ve done something to contribute.”

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