| Mar 08, 2007


Feature Article - March 8, 2007

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Feature Article - March 8, 2007

Letters to the Editor - March 8/07

Zamboni

Thanks, Spencer - When I saw the article in the February 22 issue of the Frontenac News about Spencer Robinson, his Zamboni, and the rinks he had cleared on Sharbot Lake , it reminded me of all the skating we used to do on Sharbot when I was a youngster. I am sure it is at least 69-70 years since I first laced up my skates (maybe it was my Dad who did that) and started skating the whole upper end of the lake with my parents. It seems like there was always a rink at the beach and it was a beehive of activity day and night. Everybody who skated took a turn at keeping the snow cleared from the ice and we burned old tires for warmth. It seems that the ice was a lot better for skating than it has been in recent years.

Local _boys_BMX

After reading the article, I realized that I hadn't skated in 15 - 20 years. I searched and found my skates tucked away in a closet. The blades were sharp and the boots still fit. Frona and I checked out Spencer's rinks behind his parent's home and decided to do the unthinkable after all these years. We went to the rink, I laced up my skates while sitting on a bench supplied by Spencer, I assume, and with Frona's helping arm made my way to the good ice. I was shaky at first but soon got the hang of it again and found myself really enjoying the experience. The first day I skated only about 15 minutes and I left the ice with all my bones intact and no ensuing aches and pains, which was a bonus. It felt great, I have been back twice and I really appreciate the work done by Spencer to make my adventure possible. If the weather and the Zamboni cooperate, perhaps I will be back. I have checked the ice a few times during the day and haven't seen many skaters. I hope that will improve. So, once again, thank you, Spencer, for your time, your work and your sense of community mindedness.

- Francis Dowdall

Thank you, Sharbot Lake !

It takes a whole community to throw a successful event, and thanks to your wonderful community, February Fever was a huge success.

Special thanks to our hosts, Rodger and Sharon MacMunn of T.R. MacMunn & Sons. Hosting a meet involves a huge commitment of time and energy, and they were sogenerous with both. Thanks to Donna and Denis Larocque for sharing fabulous food in your gorgeous home.

And then to everyone else who represented your community so well: Mayor Janet Gutowski; Paddy, the Town Crier; the wonderful people at all the community groups who fed us; the fabulous people who opened their homes to billets; the ladies of the Quilt Show; the friendly folks at the Volunteer Fair; the people who offered snowmachine rides and prepared the skating rink; all the friendly people who stopped by the hall to see our work; and to everyone else we met over the weekend.

Special thanks to Jule Koch Brison for sharing her lovely home with us, and to Marcel and Pam Giroux for being the best neighbours a billet could ask for.

Letterheads may be a hard group to describe, but we were all warmly welcomed.

We are looking forward to our next visit to Sharbot Lake .

- Murray and Debbie MacDonald, OldTime Signs, Kenora , ON

Signs of the Times

To be fair, this rant might have waited until spring, but circumstance has brought the matter to a head, and it’s a situation that’s been bothering me for a long, long time.

It’s about those signs with the moveable letters. You know the ones their rows of blocky black capitals with backwards N’s and S’s line our highways and loom over our shops and schools. Graceless and unsightly though they are, I watch for them every day because at least they are informative. And there’s the rub.

First of all, some information is more permanent than others, and for that information we should be making permanent signs. BINGO EVERY FRIDAY could be posted in a clever design with attractive font that actually serves to enhance the look of the town. So could DAILY LUNCH SPECIAL $4.99 or WE SELL SHOES. Imagine how much more interesting our villages would be if signs like these were creatively designed and hung. Think of the view!

Of course, some information is so changeable that an ugly box sign is really the only good option. So, fine, I can live with that - until the information is no longer useful. Lent is days away, so why am I still driving past signs that read HAPPY NEW YEAR and SALE ENDS DEC 24? This is one step beyond ugly. It screams that the sign owners couldn’t really care less about what information they feed us. Frankly, I’m not very interested in entering a place whose sign is weeks or months out of date.

I know, I know. It’s cold out there. And as someone who has had the unenviable job of rearranging those ugly block letters, I can sympathize with the frostbitten fingers and scraped knuckles. Still, if changing the letters causes too much hardship, just leave the sign blank. Better yet, don’t have the sign at all. Which brings me to why I am forced to write this screed in the coldest part of winter. A few weeks ago I passed Verona RONA Hardware one of our village’s most reliable sign changers, even though its signs are hung high above the store. Posted on the north sign was this message: MY BOSS TOLD ME TO CHANGE THE SIGN. SO I DID.

Inie Platenius

Re: Robert Lovelace’s letter of March 1st, 2007:

I found it very hard to take. He said the Algonquins have a higher level of enlistment than any other group of people in the last two world wars. My father was in World War I and lost his eyesight in both eyes due to the enemy’s gunshot. He was blind all his life. This event happened before Mr. Lovelace was born. I have nothing against the natives, but I pay taxes every year on my property. I think it is time there is one law for everyone over land, hunting, fishing, etc. We all fought both wars for this country, not just one particular group.

- Archie Meeks

Re:PineLake Project

In the March 1st Frontenac News,Lisa Goos andBob Lovelacerestate and clarify their groups' positions on the Pine Lake project. Such clarifications are necessary to help untangle the mess thisissue has become.

However, Mr. Lovelace's use of theterm "mob" just rips apartthat effortand stomps on it. Ifsome people aregoing to be foolish enough tocall "squatters"a term of "racial hatred", then there are plenty of others who will say the same of "mob" in this context. Both are uncalled-for andinsulting, but the first one springs from ignorance of the facts, while thesecondseems to me to besimply malicious. It certainly makes the mess even messier.

On the other hand, Ms. Goos's statement that"this is not about Native rights" shows that there is still plenty of misunderstanding about the basis of the dispute. The crux of the whole thing is the Algonquins' historical right to this land, which has never been ceded to the Crown. In this light, the term "squatter" looks rather different. But the Algonquins are not asking that we give back private land that webought in good faith. They are just pointing out that they have different rights than we doon the unpatented land known as "Crown".

"Equal" does not alwaysmean "the same". Ms Goos wants AAFNA's project to "be governed by the same health and safety regulations to which we are all subject." I disagree. But if she had said the project should "meet standards of health and safety equal to what we are required to meet", I would agree.

And in fact, I believe this is what is now in the works, in the process that the mayor was asked to facilitate. But I admit, it's hard to know. Openness and communication with the publicare not, shall we say,the mayor's strong points. On the other hand, he's not alone. Four of the six councilors sat through the entireFebruary 22nd discussion without uttering a single word about their opinions or feelings on this major issue. Thank goodness for councilors Olmstead and Cole, who, whether peoplelike what they said or not, at least had the courage to do what they were elected to do, and speak up.

Hiding behind a wall of silence doesn't cut it. Where there's talk, there's hope. Thanks to the News for providing a forum for intelligent and respectful discussion towards resolution everyone can live with.

- Helen Forsey

Re:PineLake

After reading Mr. Lovelace's letter to the editor March 1, 2007 I can't help but wonder which AAFNA he speaks for. Is it the AAFNA represented by co-chief Randy Cota who said in the December 16, 2006 Kingston Whig Standard that AAFNA would not agree to an Environmental Assessment at Pine Lake? Is that the same Randy Cota that said on February 18, 2006 (by email) that AAFNA "...will not attend any meeting involving Pine Lake with local Municipal Council, and MNR" and..."This formally ends all communication at this level of Government including Municipal, and Local Ministry of Natural Resources (sic)"? Is it the same AAFNA that said that any attempts by the Pine Lake Association to communicate with it would be seen as harassment? Is that the same AAFNA that sends its email correspondence to the Pine Lake Association to the OPP?

When Mr. Lovelace insists that AAFNA has listened to its neighbours, I have to wonder which AAFNA he is referring to. The AAFNA I'm talking about has refused to meet its neighbours on Pine Lake , and refused to answer our specific questions about safety and environmental concerns.Its only reply to us since the summerhas been nasty, vicious, and distasteful name calling.So, Mr. Lovelace, which AAFNA are you speaking for?

David Rose, Pine Lake Property Owners Association

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