| Jun 18, 2009

Back to HomeLetters - June 18, 2009Letters: June 18

Re: Line of sight, Barry Black

Thank You Claire, Norm Landry

PARC Process Flawed, Edith Cairns

Re: Stinsons’ 70th Anniversary, Laura Moss

Re: “Guntensperger chastised over PARC”, Clifford A Cowdy

Re: Line of sight

In Jeff Green's article about the Barrett Xplore plans to offer fixed wireless internet in portions of Frontenac, it appears that several residents are concerned about the visual impact of the towers in cottage country. We used to live in Cary, NC, where the local cell phone company had installed a cell tower in a forested area beside a major 4 lane highway. To avoid disturbing the natural look of the area, this tower was constructed to look like a tall pine tree. It was so well done that you would never notice it unless someone pointed it out to you. It was made of a large tapered steel pole tower with artificial branches and needles. It may have cost a little more but it blended in perfectly. Perhaps Barrett should pay a visit to Cary before they start construction.

Barry Black

Thank You Claire

On behalf of the Relay for Life Committee, all of the sponsors, volunteers, donors and participants in this event, both past and present, I wish to publicly acknowledge and commend our Relay Chair Claire Macfarlane for her intrepid, unstinting and enthusiastic leadership over the past three years. The fact that our small communities have raised over $200,000 since Claire undertook this challenge speaks volumes about her dedication to the cause. Well done, Claire, and many thanks from all of us!

Norm Landry

PARC process is flawed

I moved to this area 31 years ago. Some would say I am still a newcomer and should keep silent. I would argue that. One of the reasons Parham was chosen, and continues to be my home, is its sense of community. I didn’t know that in August, 1978, but I did know it had a school with a wonderful yard, lots of space, a gym and a relatively "new building". Although there are three churches here, it was through the school events I met people and became involved in community life. Through our children and their special events I became aware of the many vibrant threads that, woven together, produced this sense of place: the Firemen, the Women’s Institute, Recreation Committees, Methodists, Anglicans, members of the United Church and many more. The school drew on the strengths and talents of all these groups. It was a place of cooperation with differences subordinate to the enrichment of the whole.

To hear that Mr. Guntensperger was chastised for articulating this same view of the importance of Land O’ Lakes in his community saddens me. This is where I see the flaw with the structured purpose of the PARC committee. The option to maintain smaller schools in the different communities has never been there. The committee is like the parent who asks their child if they want to wear the green pajamas or the striped ones. The option of the child choosing to wear their Batman costume to bed was never on the table. A committee that presents materials that explain that the bringing of a school to code is more expensive than building a new one is looking for support for a certain answer. Is Hinchinbrooke Public School currently a dangerous place to be? Is the roof falling in? Are there moulds and toxic gases escaping from the walls? No, but it doesn’t have an elevator or doors that are wheel chair accessible. So, let’s take the youth of this area and bus ALL of them out of their community because we currently can’t offer this accessibility. Let’s take our four-year-olds to early teens and have them travel for extended periods and distances every school day. Let’s role the dice on fuel costs that will only go up in the future. Let’s join the world of Mega, because that’s what every environmentalist and ‘green thinking’ individual thinks is right? I don’t think so.

A valid question is why I did not volunteer to be a community member on PARC. When I saw the structure of the group, I felt very strongly from the beginning, that they did not come to ask us what we thought was best; they came to present the choices that they would support, but be able to say that this was the community’s choice. I truly respect the individuals who put themselves out there in good faith. That they have been the targets of the locals’ frustrations is unfortunate, but predictable. That was your purpose. Somewhere the numbers have been crunched, the outcome pre-determined. As Mr. Guntensperger was too bold to say, our schools are a "vital hub" of our "areas and communities". I strongly believe we will be the poorer for their closings.

Edith Cairns, Parham

Re: Stinsons’ 70th Anniversary

I am a former Bellrock resident who now lives in Vancouver, B.C. My mother, who still lives in Frontenac County, often forwards me the Frontenac News to keep me informed about what is happening there. This week she sent me the article on Ken and Vera Stinson’s 70th wedding anniversary. I want to congratulate Ken and Vera, whom I don’t know but do admire for their perseverance.  It warms my heart to know that it is even a possibility to be so committed.

Keep up the wonderful local reporting. You have a happy reader on the west coast.

Laura Moss  

Re: “Guntensperger chastised over PARC”

I believe the mayor and council were in full agreement when they appointed him [Guntensperger] to this position knowing that he was a teacher at Land O’ Lakes and that there was personal sentiment attached to the issue. I’m sure he was thinking of the students who are bussed from the forgotten parts of our township, Elm Tree, Bordenwood, Wagerville, and beyond when he chose to support the non-closure of Land O’ Lakes. Who are the mayor and board rep trying to fool? The decision for this has already been made at higher levels and PARC is just a sounding board for parents to vent their views and feel better about themselves, having tried their best but failed. Once again comments from Councillor Smith, “rookie mistake” - easy to say when your district has nothing to lose and a super school to gain. Again the greed and arrogance of Sharbot Lake shines through. To the mayor, I suggest you get up and take a long look in the mirror someday and say to yourself “Am I representing the Township of Central Frontenac in all areas, fairly, and to the best of my abilities?” and hope it doesn’t crack and fall to floor, as that means seven years of bad luck.

Clifford A. Cowdy

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