| Apr 09, 2009

Back to HomeLetters - April 9, 2009Letters: April 9

Ambulance Review an Opportunity for NF, Leo Ladouceur

Re: Kudos to John Simcock, Nicki Gowdy

April Fooled, Cory Mann & Eric Nyrhila

Re: Unusual Sightings, Rem & Kees Westland

Ambulance review - An opportunity for North Frontenac

After reading the Frontenac News report on rural ambulance service in Frontenac County, Frontenac News March 26/09, I feel I should speak out as a citizen of North Frontenac Township. Jeff Green’s article said that future service in the north is a big question. That big question arises from two very debatable conclusions, which cause me to doubt the validity and credibility of the IBI Ambulance Review.

First of all, anyone who can read a map knows that moving the 12 hour per day ambulance service to Ardoch makes no sense and has many disadvantages. Considering the types of roads and the distances involved between the towns and hamlets, such a move would increase response times for most of the township. The very reason this rural ambulance service was put into place was to improve response times in the north. We appreciate this service and know that a move to Ardoch would result in a serious deterioration in response times.

Secondly, I have to ask the question “Why would a new building to house this ambulance service cost $750,000?” This is a 12-hour per day service – no sleeping quarters are required and only one vehicle needs to be housed. A reasonable facility would be a one-bay heated garage with one or two attached rooms to accommodate paramedics during the day. Those who wrote this review must think the people in the north have very expensive tastes and money to waste.

There is a simple, reasonable and inexpensive solution to Jeff’s big question about ambulance service in the north. That is a combined fire hall and ambulance base such as the one just down the road in the town of Enterprise. North Frontenac Township Council has been promising a new fire hall for Ompah since it was elected. The site has been selected and the land purchased. Why not combine the fire hall and the ambulance service in the same new building? Fire and ambulance services are a natural combination to be housed together. Ompah is the central township location. A six bay fire hall, actually three bays back to back, complete with offices could be built for under $400,000. One bay and necessary facilities for the ambulance service could be made available in that building. Shared construction and on-going operating costs would be greatly reduced since all utilities would be provided continuously in the fire hall.

Maybe some of those millions being spent to kick start “ready to go projects” could be squeezed out of the Federal and Provincial money bag if the county and township would put together a reasonable proposal. If these two levels of government could stop their constant bickering, they might negotiate an amicable agreement that would see those in the north get something to appreciate for their tax money. Improved ambulance and emergency services would be a good place to start.

Leo L Ladouceur

Re: Kudos to John Simcock

I am writing in response to the submission of the letter “Kudos to John Simcock!”, April 2/09,  I am extremely glad that someone thinks that John is doing a great job! There are not many people that feel this way, myself included! I am also very glad that there is positive change on the roads that can account for the over budgeting John has done since coming to our township. Also I am glad that the area of the township that the 5-Year Road Plan is catering to will see more money spent on it. For those folks who do not realize it, the 5-Year Road Plan proposed by John Simcock basically ignores District 4 yet again! Little money will be spent in this area. As you probably have concluded, I live in the "historically ignored" end of the township. Since amalgamation, District 4 has been pushed aside in many aspects of township time and money. Our councillors may be upset and not have a positive outlook because the area and people that they represent have truly been pushed aside, except at tax bill time. Maybe we could all be more positive if the budget truly showed no favouritism or was spread evenly over the township as a whole, but until then I am truly glad for people like Bill Snyder and Phillip Smith who have no problem in standing up for the people of the south. In closing I would like to say that maybe John is doing a great job in the north but the south has truly been forgotten - yet again. Yes, many do like change, but fair change would be much more appreciated!

- Nicki Gowdy

April Fooled

We are Snow Road cottagers and when we are not there, we read the online edition religiously each week to keep that North Frontenac momentum going.

Your April Fool edition was wonderful this year - you got me twice! Once with the info about the Twilight movie New Moon and again about the name Plevna (if you had been here you would have heard me yell, loudly too, what?!?) 

I only wish that the sad news about Ine Platenius had also been an April Fool. Condolences to her family and to the community she loved so well.

Sincerely, Cory Mann & Eric Nyrhila

Kudos to John Simcock

The "Unusual Sightings" article in the 2 April paper was a relief for me and my son.  Perhaps we were not crazy after all.

About two years ago, just after dusk, we looked up our lane because we heard a curious - very fast - beating of light feet on the road surface.  Heading towards us at an impressive clip was what looked like a very large rabbit.  I estimated its height at about four feet, with large floppy ears streaming behind its head. As observed in the article, the front arms were short, the legs long, the creature bounded on its hind legs, and there was certainly no tail.

We could confirm no tail - at least not a large one - because just as it came close to us (about 10 meters away) the light-sensitive floodlamps of the garage came on and the creature veered off to the right and into the bush...and disappeared without a sound.

My son was about 16 at the time, not yet of drinking age, and I was certainly sober.  We compared notes right away, and have been doing so from time to time every since.

My own conclusion (hope?) was that perhaps we heard the beatings of the wings of a low-flying large bird, such as a grouse or pheasant.  Perhaps the bird's wings looked like long ears.  Perhaps the bird winged off from the road and made no further sound precisely because it was flying, not running.  That, at least, would line our experience up with our known universe. 

The possibility of our having seen something prehistoric (giant hare) or exotic (kangaroo) seemed too far fetched...but your article has restored our confidence in our observations at the time: the truth is we saw a four-foot hare, with very long ears, that ran like the wind. 

Rem and Kees Westland

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