| Apr 28, 2005

Letters,April 28, 2005

Letters April 28, 2005

LAND O' LAKES NewsWeb Home

Contact Us

Re: North Frontenac Little Theatre

Two weeks ago I attended the production of Guys and Dolls put on by the North Frontenac Little Theatre at the Sharbot Lake High School. It is the first time I have attended one of these plays and I didn't know what to expect. I was born and raised in New York City and attended many Broadway plays over the years. I enjoyed the play so much and couldn't believe what a fantastic job they all did. I may not have been sitting in a big fancy Broadway theatre with fancy velvet seats, but the performance was first class in my eyes. The music, the scenery and the actors were all great. Matter of fact, the actor who played Nathan Detroit (Brian Robertson) had the New York City accent down pat, as they say. After the show I saw the cast members come out in the audience and I sought him out and told him the accent was perfect. I am looking forward to future productions and wish it hadn't taken me so long to go to one. I am sure I missed out on many good plays but won't in the future.

- Lillian Lemke

There are still Good Samaritans around


Last night I was returning my foster daughter from singing practice in Kingston, when my car stopped dead, shortly after turning into Tryon Road. I tried unsuccessfully to start it again. I put the car in gear and pulled the emergency brake and went to find a phone to call a tow truck. I returned to find that the car had rolled down Tryon Road out onto Road 38 and over to a ditch on the other side only four feet from a rock cliff.

The road was very busy but no one came close to hitting it, and the rock did no damage. Two cars stopped right away, and offered me a cell phone. I did not call the CAA at first when I went to the house. I still thought the car could be started. But now I needed a tow just to get out of the ditch. A very nice couple loaned me their phone in order to phone CAA for a tow home, and it took a long time. I had to hang up, and the man of the couple phoned the number and got right in, and got transferred right away, so the tow was

on its way, supposedly in a half an hour.

In the next 30 minutes 17 cars stopped to help me, and five were waved away because help was on the way. After 45 minutes, my neighbour Ken Trafford stopped by, and offered to take Kyle home to supper (it was 6:15 PM), but before he left, he took a look at the engine. A green wire was wrapped around one of the spark plug wires, and Ken said it was power from the modulator. We took it off and he rolled it up and put electrical tape around the end. The car started right away. After Ken left, a court employee stopped to help me drive out. It did not work.

Fifty-five minutes after the tow was called, a van pulled up with six or seven big men who offered to push me out. Unbelievably, it worked and I drove home and to work in Kingston and back the next day.

I want to thank very much all who helped, and say that my faith in humanity is restored. God bless all of you for your generosity and thoughtfulness, as well as the real contributions you made to the whole experience of what could have been a disaster.

Chris Hallgren

ATVs would help firefighters

On April 14, I was standing in my backyard when I saw smoke coming up from the valley behind us. I remembered that we had a fire ban in place and realized the fire was likely unattended.

I went over to the fire station, but no one was there, so I called 911 at 11:24 a.m. I went back and kept an eye on the fire. I started to see our volunteer fire people racing to the station so I walked over to watch them get ready. I then followed them on foot to the fire.

I saw the people in the house next to the fire just coming out and getting their garden hose ready to save their house. The firefighters dragged fire hoses down into the valley and also across the top of the hill to keep the fire from going up the hill toward the houses.

One of the volunteers was trying to drag his hose closer and he was on his own. I went to help him and let me tell you, those hoses are heavy and very hard to pull alone. I would hate to be dressed in fire fighter clothing and be pulling that hose way out into a field. Trees and rocks and rough terrain make their job very difficult.

By 12:05 p.m. the fire was out and the fire fighters were checking out any potential hot spots. I went back home with a new respect for the work these brave souls do behind the scenes; we really don't know how hard it is to fight a brush fire, and this year, those hard-working fire fighters have had their share of them. I was told at that time that there were over 15 in the last couple of weeks.

We need to help these volunteers who seldom get recognized for the hard work and sacrifices they make to keep our property and belongings safe. I believe that they should have the tools necessary to do their job, and from what I've seen first hand, an ATV would have helped them get their hoses into the fire site more quickly and allowed them to save their energy to fight the fires. The backpacks were heavy and if they had an ATV, they could pile them on the rack and take them and heavier tools to the fire fighters.

I went on the Internet to see if ATV's are being used in fire fighting. I was amazed at the John Deere; they have fire ATVs and EMT ATV's. The use of ATV's in fire fighting has already proven invaluable to the men and women who put their lives and time on the line for us every day.

As a homeowner right here Sydenham, I believe that we need to do what we can to help our brave volunteers have any tools that can help them keep our homes safe from unexpected disasters. It is up to us to show we care and support the underdogs that work behind the scenes, keeping us safe and secure.

- Don Wiskin

Our Chance to Speak about CF Roads

The Central Frontenac Roads Committee, as one of its first tasks, is having two public meetings this week: Wednesday in Mountain Grove and Thursday in Sharbot Lake. This is our chance as taxpayers to say what we think about road conditions, improvement needs, and costs. I hope lots of people will come to share their ideas.

Im interested in finding out who supports two ideas that Ive heard several times in the parking lot after Council meetings and after the first Roads Committee meeting on April 6.

The first idea is about reducing the obstacles for taxpayers who want to contribute to discussions about our future. Public meetings are great, but dont come along very often. Members of the public who want to speak at Council/Committee meetings must follow the rules set in the Procedural By-Law, created I think in 2001 and now on the CF web site at http://www.centralfrontenac.com (go to the Council page and scroll to the bottom). The By-Law says, Individuals or groups wishing to appear before Council at a regular meeting shall advise the Clerk-Administrator not later than noon on the Thursday prior to the meeting This notice must be given before anyone even knows what the meeting agenda will be! The public does not have the right to comment directly about topics as they come up at the meetings. At the first Roads Committee meeting, about 10 people turned up and some wanted to speak. However, Mayor MacDonald said the By-Law procedure must be followed.

The By-Law isnt carved in stone and could be amended by Council. In a township with a small population, surely a meeting agenda could allow, for example, 20 or 30 minutes for public comments, each speaker restricted to 5 minutes. Some meetings no one would want to speak, and at others the names might need to be drawn from a hat to decide who could participate. I believe the end result would be more people would come to meetings and become more informed about Township business. Council members would benefit from getting more timely feedback about their decisions.

The second idea is about the Roads Committee taking a hard look at what is the best way to maintain and develop our roads. At the first Committee meeting, it appeared that the initial focus would be to document our present practices, which is necessary, but just a start. Taxpayers want to know our money is being spent as wisely as possible to get the best results we can, and that doesnt just mean following recommended practices about how culverts are put in, for example. One hard question: Do we need a full-service roads department or is the Committee going to look at the relative return on investment of hiring contractors for some services? I hope such questions will be discussed at the public meetings.

Gail Burgess

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.