| May 29, 2008

Letters - May 29, 2008

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Letters - May 29, 2008 Letters: May 29

Zebra Mussels in Big Clear Lake, David Praskey

ATV's On Cataraqui Trail, Pam Redden

Re: $800Bill for Ministry, Dawn King

Re: Second Full Time SF Building Official, John McEwen

Re: John Ball Comes Home, Jack Kenny

Zebra Mussels in Big Clear Lake

It was inevitable - zebra mussels are in Big Clear Lake. Zebra mussels are bivalve mollusks that were introduced into the Great Lakes in the mid 1980s by ships from the Black and Caspian Sea areas of Europe. Since then, they have been invading inland lakes around the Great Lakes. Zebra mussels were possibly introduced to Big Clear Lake around 2005 via a visiting fishing boat, rental jetski or bait bucket. Unfortunately, the conditions in Big Clear Lake may be favourable for zebra mussels because of the lake's alkaline waters (pH around 8.2), moderate to high calcium content and warm summer temperatures. Since it is impossible to rid the lake of zebra mussels, lake residents - human and non-human alike - will now have to learn how to live with them.

Zebra mussels may cause many changes in our lake and may not only be a nuisance to some waterfront owners, but may also cause some significant ecological shifts within the lake. Since these animals like to attach themselves to hard surfaces, you may start to notice them residing on your boat hull, dock, foot valve or rocks along your shoreline. Swimming enjoyment may also be affected since these animals have hard shells that can cut skin when stepped on. Boats and bait buckets from Big Clear are now sources of zebra mussels so it is advisable to clean boats before transporting them to other lakes.

The effect of these animals on the ecology of the lake, however, could be much more insidious. Zebra mussels efficiently filter plankton from the water, so over time the lake may not only become clearer, there will be fewer food resources for zooplankton, and other animals like pickerel, further up the food web. Since light may penetrate deeper due to clearer water, weeds would be able to grow at deeper depths. Also, less habitat for pickerel may result as they prefer lower light conditions. Zebra mussels may also attach themselves to the native clams that live in the bottom sediments in our lake.

If you are concerned about the effects of zebra mussels on your enjoyment of the lake, become an active participant in the Big Clear Lake Association. As a bigger group, we could be more effective in reducing the negative impacts of these animals.

David Praskey, Big Clear Lake

ATV's On Cataraqui Trail

I am writingin reponse to the letter from Bill Cuthill, TrailMaster, Frontenac ATV Club re:A Reminder to ATVers Using Public Roads.

Mr. Cuthill stated in his letter about ATV safety on public roads "that ATV riding is a privilege, not a right" and to keep in mind the OPP Safety Statement:"If you don't know, don't go".

Mr. Cuthill did not mention in his rules for ATVers that ATVs are not allowed on the Cataraqui Trail. There is moreATV and dirt bike traffic on the Cataraqui Trail than on the roads near Harrowsmith.Most often the drivers of the ATVs have a passenger, and are travelling atexcessive speeds.Thishasbeen an ongoing problem despite repeated letters to South Frontenac Councilwho have forwarded our complaints to the OPP and to The Cataraqui Conservation Authority andnothingis ever done about this spring-to-late-fall activity.

The signs on the Cataraqui Trail allow horseback riding, bicycles, walking, skiing and snowmobiles, with no mention of ATVs, dirt bikes or automobiles.The problem must be that the drivers of ATVs and dirt bikes do not understand the pictureson the signs or they are travelling so fast that they can't see the small signs that are posted on the Cataraqui Trail or feel that they have a "privilegeandaright"to be on the Cataraqui Trail.

Pam Redden

Re: $800 bill for Ministry

I read with interest the piece in your paper saying that the $880 bill for cleaning up the protest site at Robertsville had been sent to the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (May 15, Vol 8, No 19). That is ridiculous!

When the snow melted and the mess outside the gates at Robertsville was revealed, I personally called North Frontenac Township and told them I was organizing a work bee to clean up the mess the following Sunday. However, we were prevented from doing this as the OPP informed us that the injunction was still in place and that it was a criminal offence for us to be within 200 metres of the gate.

Now, we would have cleaned it up for FREE. Indeed it was our mess and our responsibility to do so. Instead, the township cleaned it up and now is presenting the bill to Aboriginal Affairs. Are they responsible? It was as much a settlers’ mess as that of the natives. Perhaps the OPP should be held financially responsible as they prevented the free clean-up of the site; but they were only following the orders of Justice Cunningham. Perhaps HE should get the bill, but he was only following the wishes of Frontenac Ventures. Perhaps THEY should get the bill.

Remember, folks, this is how your tax dollars are being spent!

Dawn King, Brooke

Re: Second Full Time SF Building Official

To Councillors John Filion and Larry York:

It is inconceivable to me that there should be any argument over the hiring of a second full-time Building Official, given the municipal responsibilities under the new "Performance Based Code".

The Municipality is entirely responsible for the enforcement of the Ontario Building Code Act. The Municipality is entirely financially liable for failure to enforce the Act. Building Officials must now pass a series of tests, 70 minimum, in order to be qualified to do the job. A Building Official must physically attend the property at key points during construction to ensure the structure conforms to plans.

To think that one man could travel the length and breadth of South Frontenac to view not only new structures, but renovations, additions, pools, decks, complaints of illegal building, issuing of permits - you get the picture. Qualified CBOs are in hot demand, and we should be thankful that Al Revill has put up with the job thus far. He is the kind of "tough, but fair" CBO every municipality should have (but doesn't).

It is not uncommon for me to be involved in lawsuits ranging up to $300,000, simply because a municipality failed in its duty to enforce the Code. Until a saner system is created (i.e. the Province assumes responsibility for enforcement of the rules they create) that's how it works. As such, I consider it a small investment on South Frontenac's part to fund a second Building Official.

John McEwen

Re: John Ball Comes Home

I was impressed to read in the Frontenac News of lives from Vennachar lost at Vimy Ridge. My uncle Frank Levecque was killed in action on April 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge. A sniper got him through the head. A man named Gray, possibly from Vennachar, used to write his letters home for him. He went to Alberta as a young man and enlisted out there. He died at age 30. There is a plaque for him and Earl James in the county courthouse in Kingston.

I wanted to pass this on to the people in Vennachar. Thank you,

Jack Kenny, Enterprise

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