| May 10, 2007

Feature Article - May 10, 2007

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Feature Article - May 10, 2007


Alarming number of toxins in use today

My wife and I have chemical sensitivities. Our lives are changed. The world is now a hostile place. Effects of exposures can vary from disabling flu-like symptoms to life-threatening (asthma). These sensitivities are the results of previous repeated exposures. (It may happen to you, too.)

Over the course of the Easter long weekend, a major renovation took place at our local Royal Bank branch – a complete makeover. New floors, counters, etc. greeted me on my arrival the following Tuesday morning. Also there to welcome me was the overwhelming atmosphere of toxic, solvent-laden fumes; the result of the off-gassing of the various materials used during the renovation process. By the time I was able to leave, my head was pounding, heart racing, lips were numb; I was light-headed, and had a sharp, metallic taste in my mouth. In short, I was very ill for the rest of the day.


Now, I am not uninformed regarding the make-up of some of the materials used, and they do indeed contain various acknowledged hazardous chemicals. There are government-mandated MSDS (Manufacturers Safety Data Sheets) for these products, and these instructions for safe usage should be adhered to. High on the list is good ventilation and the use of an appropriate breathing apparatus. The information is there; unfortunately, it is often ignored.

When I registered my concern, I was asked “Is anyone else complaining? Are the employees?” Great! I can see it now. “Well, the canary died…but the miners still seem okay.”

There are an alarming number of hazardous, toxic, and carcinogenic chemicals in use today, incorporated into many commonly-used products. We avoid them in our home, and I resent being involuntarily exposed, especially in public spaces. Had I walked into the bank and lit a cigarette there would have been an outcry. Why is it acceptable to expose customers and employees to other toxins with impunity?

April is “Cancer” month. Isn’t it ironic that we can “Walk for the Cure”, all the while coming up with new ways to give it ourselves?

- Bob Miller, Activist in the making!

Food Down The Road – a Local Reality

The article by Jeff Green, “Food down the Road – towards a local food system” (Frontenac News, May 3), is both encouraging and timely. In the article, Jeff states that the National Farmers’ Union local 316 project is aimed at “developing a sustainable local food system in the region.”

While “North of Seven” may be a little beyond the perimeter of the Food Down The Road Project (defined as a 100 km radius around Kingston), a small group of highly enthusiastic community people in the Northbrook area is taking one small step along the road to making the aim of the sustainable local food system project a practical reality.

Saturday morning (May 12 – 9:00 am – noon) they plan to construct several raised garden plots next to Pine Meadows Nursing Home using donated lumber, top-soil, and organic compost. Once constructed, the garden plots will be made available to interested individuals, families, or groups for the purpose of either (a) growing their own fruit and vegetables (and flowers, if they so choose), or (b) growing produce to share with others.

The hope and intention of the initiators of the community garden is that this project will provide a model and an incentive for others to start their own community gardens.

Whether your interest is in caring well for the Earth, learning more about gardening, sharing your accumulated gardening wisdom, eating delicious, nutritious produce, or making new friends, put one foot in front of the other and…

If you happen to be out and about the Northbrook area this Saturday morning,

May 12th, take a drive around Pine Meadows Nursing Home. Say hello to the work crew who will be constructing the raised garden plots for this area’s first community garden. Better yet, bring your gardening tools with you and join the party.

Eleanor Belfry-Lyttle

Wildfire in North Frontenac

On Saturday, May 5, a brush fire started on the northeast corner of our property at the Wintergreen road in Barrie Township. At this location the high voltage power lines run west towards Northbrook. We smelled smoke, discovered the fire, and called 911. No more than 10 minutes later the fire department was on site and setting up to fight this wild fire. Since there was a strong wind out of the east and everything was very dry, the fire moved across the property and down the power line easement with great speed.

The MNR was contacted and within an hour a helicopter with a firefighting crew was on the way from Pembroke and water bomber airplanes dispatched from Gravenhurst. The fire was finally brought under control by 7PM after two extra water bombers were brought in from Quebec. It was stopped just 100 metres from our neighbour's cabin.

No cause has been determined as yet, but it looks like it could well have been started by a discarded cigarette. In total, approximately 60 acres were burned and crews were still working to put out hotspots on Monday afternoon. We owe our local firefighters, the MNR fire crew, and the MNR a great “Thank You”. They worked without stopping from dawn till dusk each day in very rugged conditions. It is very important to realize that if they had not been able to control the fire when they did, it would have been on its way to Northbrook, less than 5km away.

This fire cost tens of thousands of dollars to fight. One water bomber costs over $2,000 per hour.

Please be careful with all sources of fire at all times.

Thanks, firefighters, you did a great job.

- Frank McEvoy

Editor’s Note: As of Tuesday morning May 8, firefighters were still struggling to contain this fire. A complete fire ban is now in effect in Addington Highlands, North, Central and South Frontenac Townships.-

Re: K&P Trails

I wish to lend my support to the efforts of the mayor and council of Central Frontenac in attempting to acquire the old K&P rail line. Recreation trails are now important and will become, in my opinion, even more important in years to come. What a shame that a track bed that would have cost millions of dollars to construct in another time could be lost forever. This acquisition is well within the mandate of a municipal council and I hope all the various parties will co-operate to have the trail run from Kingston to Sharbot Lake and then beyond.

I hope ratepayers from all the municipalities will support the efforts of their councils to purchase and develop this link so that the trails will be available to all recreation users in the future.

Keep up the good work.

- Wayne Robinson

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