The candidates were not surprised that the most popular line of questioning at the first all-candidates’ meeting in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington in the current election campaign had to do with power generation and electricity rates. The meeting was held on May 26 at the Kennebec Community Centre in Arden.
“I've seen that at the door throughout the campaign. People want to talk about hydro rates, and where we are going with hydro generation in this province,” said NDP candidate Dave Parkhill after the meeting, an observation that was shared by Liberal Party candidate Bill MacDonald.
The four candidates, MPP Randy Hillier from the Progressive Conservatives and Green Party candidate Cam Mather along with Parkhill and MacDonald, were all happy to advocate for their party’s position on the issues that were brought forward. And the parties certainly have disparate views.
Dave Parkhill said that what is needed is to bring back the past. “The Conservatives made a mess of Hydro by splitting it into three entities; the Liberals made it worse, and here we are. What the NDP will do, and it won't be easy, is bring it back into one company. That way we can all decide what we all need to do in the future, we can build out our own capacity, and we can get the electricity that we need at a price that we can afford,” he said.
Randy Hillier said there were two main causes of problems at Hydro: decisions that the Liberal party made to move two generating plants “at a cost of over $1 billion, and a Green Energy Act that pays way over market value for solar and wind power, making good money for some people by pushing rates up for everyone else.”
Cam Mather said the other parties are all avoiding the most “pressing issue facing all of us, climate change ... the only way to deal with this is to put a tax on carbon. I know no one wants to talk about it but that's what needs to happen; we cannot afford to pretend there is no economic cost to producing carbon.”
Bill MacDonald supported the Green Energy Act, and moving one of the proposed gas plants into the LFL&A riding from Mississauga.
“By the end of this year, there will be no more coal-fired plants in Ontario. That's a promise we made when we were elected in 2003 and we are delivering, and the Green Energy Act has created good jobs in rural Ontario. Why would we apologize for that? As far as the gas plants are concerned, they will be creating construction jobs in this riding over the next two years and 30 to 40 permanent jobs after that.”
The candidates took time during their opening remarks to point to some of their own, and their parties’ key issues.
Dave Parkhill addressed the question of the NDP being targeted for causing the election to come about.
“When the people of Ontario sent a minority government to Queen's Park, they were telling all the parties to work together. The Conservatives said no from the start, and the Liberals responded by saying they could govern as if they had a majority. It is only the NDP who listened. We said we would only support the first budget with changes, and the second as well. But this last time Kathleen Wynne said, this is it, take it or leave it,” he said.
Randy Hillier said, “I have represented this riding for seven years, and in my first campaign I made a few promises. One was that I would represent this riding to Queen's Park and that my allegiance was to the constituents, not the party. I have held to that, and it has caused some problems, but I can say that everyone at Queen's Park respects me for it.”
Bill MacDonald addressed the local audience. “When you wonder why it is there is no long-term care facility in Frontenac County, and why there are other infrastructure deficits here, you might consider that the last time there was an MPP at Queen's Park from Frontenac County was Jack Simonett in 1963. I'm not saying MPs only serve their home county, because I would work for all three, but it might be time to send someone from Frontenac County to Queen's Park.”
Cam Mather stressed climate change from the start.
“All of the issues the other candidates are discussing will come to nothing in the face of climate change. Putting a price on carbon means that energy is going to be more expensive under the Green Party, but we have lots ways to deal with it, especially for those who can't afford it.”
There was something for everyone at the Arden Legion’s all-day fundraiser on March 8. The event, which is one of the Legion’s biggest of the year, included kitchen volunteers serving up three square meals, and a singles and doubles darts tournament that saw 40 players come from as far away as Kingston, Perth, Smiths Falls and Deseronto, all aiming for the bulls-eye from morning till night. The event also included numerous games in the Legion’s main hall, a cake auction and top-notch live musical entertainment courtesy of Denbigh's famed troubadours, Pickled Chicken. Malcolm Sampson, who has been a member of the Legion for 10 years, is the fundraising coordinator at the Legion. He said he was pleased with the turnout and credited the 22 Legion volunteers who helped put on the event. By the end of the day close to $1600 was raised and the proceeds will go towards paying for one of the two new stoves that were recently purchased for the Legion’s kitchen. The rest of the funds will be used to pay back the close to 60 plus shares that were sold last year to raise funds to repair the Legion roof.
One generous donor purchased the carved totem that was donated to the event by chain saw artist Robin Deruchie of the Wolf Creek Studio in Cloyne, and then donated the piece back to the Legion. Sampson said that it will be raffled off again in the near future.
Sampson said he also has plans for another fundraising event this fall, likely in September. He said that people come from so far away to attend these fundraising events because they know they are always guaranteed a good time. He wished to thank all the volunteers who helped to make the event such an overwhelming success.
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge either of two Ontario Provincial Police officers with the Lanark County detachment with a criminal offence in relation to the death of a 45-year-old man in July of 2013.
The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to the incident. As part of the investigation, five witness officers and 10 civilian witnesses were interviewed. One subject officer took part in an SIU interview but did not provide his notes, and the other subject officer declined to provide an interview or his notes to the SIU, as is his legal right.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, July 25, 2013:
• At approximately 4:30 p.m., four officers were dispatched to a home on Arden Road to deal with reports of a suicidal male who had indicated that he intended to burn himself to death. They parked their vehicles at the top of a graveled laneway. The officers were armed with service firearms and other use of force options including an ASP baton. One of the officers was carrying a fire extinguisher and another one of the officers was also equipped with a conducted energy weapon (CEW).
• As the officers descended the laneway toward the man’s trailer, one of the officers called out the man’s name. The man burst out of the front door of the trailer, empty-handed and naked. While screaming and yelling, the man sprinted across to a picnic table, picked up a scoped rifle lying on the table, raised it and pointed it at the officers. The man was ordered to drop his weapon, but would not do so. One of the officers deployed his CEW, but was too far away for it to have any effect. While still holding his rifle, which was pointed at the officers, the man turned around, began walking toward the front porch of his residence, and stopped at the porch stairway. The man did not heed repeated commands to drop his weapon.
• Two of the officers discharged their firearms, striking the man six times. The man underwent surgery for his injuries at Kingston General Hospital. He died the evening of July 28, 2013 of ‘complications from multiple gunshot wounds’.
Director Loparco said, “In light of the information about his suicide threats the police in this case had a duty to apprehend the man under Section 17 of the Mental Health Act. They properly engaged emergency services to assist them if necessary. Because of information they had about the man’s unpredictability and his hatred of police, one of the officers attended with a CEW and another brought a rifle to the scene.
“The moment the man ran naked screaming and yelling to the picnic table in his yard and picked up his air rifle - which appeared to be a lethal high powered scoped rifle with a flared barrel - and pointed it at the officers, he initiated the sequence of actions that led to his death. One of the subject officers who discharged his service pistol indicated he believed that the man intended to kill him. The other witness officers also indicated a fear of death and helplessness or vulnerability. Objectively, factors which informed the reasonableness of this subjective fear included the following: (1) the loud music at the scene and its secluded location, (2) the man’s alleged proclivity for violence and hatred of the police, (3) the man’s mental state, (4) the man’s pronouncements about committing suicide, (5) the pointing of the rifle at the officers and (6) the rapid speed at which the incident occurred.”
Director Loparco concluded, “Having reviewed all the evidence in its totality I am duty bound to ask: ‘Were the subject officers justified in the use of lethal force in these circumstances?’ I am of the view that they were and accordingly, I have no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers committed a criminal offence in relation to this unfortunate death. His actions put him into a position where the officers had no other recourse than to use deadly force. To do otherwise would have been to put their lives or the lives of their partners at risk.”
(The above account was released by the Special Investigations Unit on Tuesday afternoon, February 25. The SIU did not name the victim in their release, and even though the Frontenac News did name the victim in this case shortly after the shooting took place, we are not doing so now, on the request of the victim’s family)
Certain types of art and craft work, when demonstrated live, often draws a big crowd. That was the case outside the Kennebec hall in Arden during this year’s Frontenac Heritage Festival, where chainsaw artist Robin Deruchie of Cloyne spent the weekend sculpting a bear from a piece of solid pine. Onlookers gathered around Deruchie as he bent, crouched and moved around the free-standing piece of pine, etching in lines and cutting away chunks of wood to bring forth a bear that lay hidden inside.
Deruchie, who works out of his Wolf Creek Studio in Cloyne and who travels extensively all year long doing shows and demonstrations, delighted festival-goers, who watched him in amazement. Deruchie has been chainsaw carving professionally for eight years and creates a wide variety of work that includes sculptured owls, bears, turtles and other wildlife as well as totem poles, spirit faces and functional pieces like benches, floor lamps and coffee tables.
A self-taught artist, Deruchie said he “stumbled across the art form” while building his home in Cloyne. “I had a bunch of extra logs lying around so I just picked up the chainsaw and started playing around”, he said, but that is not something he recommends to others. Deruchie is not only a full-time artist but also teaches the craft. Asked if he knows of others making chainsaw art, he said not in the local area but he did say the art form in general is booming. “In the last five years it has become very popular, which is likely due to the internet and the fact that artists are able to share their tricks of the trade.”
Deruchie said he starts each piece with a solid piece of pine, many of which he collects from fallen trees that neighbors want removed from their properties. “Often after a storm, neighbors who know what I do will call me up and ask me to remove a fallen tree from their property for them, which I am more than happy to do.”
His pieces take roughly an hour per foot to carve. After the piece has been carved, he lets it dry out for about two weeks and then adds the finishing touches by burning the surface of the wood to create facial characteristics like eyes, noses and other decorative highlights. Deruchie said the most challenging thing about his work is knowing how to do it safely. “Making a six-foot bear will bring you about 250 kickbacks of the saw. So you really have to know how to handle the saw and make sure that you are using the right side of the blade at all times so that you don't run into problems.”
Deruchie uses a number of different-sized Stihl saws, one being a custom saw specially designed for carving. It has a special bar that prevents kickback.
Asked why his artwork tends to attract so much attention, Deruchie said it is likely the fact that it is unusual to see a chain saw being used to create a piece of art work. “People don't often get a chance to see a big burly chain saw being used to create something intricate, which I think is why people find the demonstrations so interesting.”
Deruchie has donated one of his chain-sawed totem poles to the Arden Legion and it will be raffled off at a later date as a fundraiser for the organization. For information about purchasing tickets call the Arden Legion at 613-335-3727.
To see more of Deruchie's work visit www.wolfcreekcarvings.com or call 613-336-2137 to make an appointment.
This year’s Frontenac Heritage Festival was another success and as it unfolded over the weekend.
At the opening breakfast, guest speaker Eric Wagar highlighted the history of Central Frontenac with a focus on the areas that he knows best. Following his speech Dean Walsh and Janet Barr of Community Living-North Frontenac presented a cheque for $500 to members of the festival committee, Mayor Janet Gutowski and Councilor Tom Dewey. On Friday night the crowds swelled to record numbers for the talent show, which was emceed by Gary Giller and Jim MacPherson. The two presented a diverse line up of local talent and that included many newbies to the Oso Hall stage, including singers Xavier Gomez from Northbrook, Adrian O'Connell from Arden, the comedic hillbilly trio comprised of Megan, Milosh and Mike (photo right), and a impressive selection of young musicians from the area including fiddle virtuoso Jessica Wedden and Lucas and Natalie Reynolds. There were also memorable performances by the Land O'Lakes Cloggers and the St. Pierres.
On Saturday in Arden, sizable crowds turned out for the Fur Traders’ Camp Re-enactment, which was moved this year from the Crow Lake Schoolhouse to the Arden Hall and featured the old time pioneers Mike Procter, Bob Miller and Ray Fletcher. There was also a wide variety of other attractions, including displays by the Kennebec Trappers Association, and the Kennebec Historical Society, miniature horse wagon rides, children’s games, a BBQ lunch, skating and demonstrations. A number of new events were added to the line up in Arden including demonstrations by chain saw sculptor Robin Deruchie of Cloyne, which proved very popular. Those who headed north enjoyed a myriad of winter games and activities courtesy of the Kennebec Lake Association.
The snow sculpture contest was moved this year to the Railway Heritage Park in Sharbot Lake but only drew one entry, as people probably preferred to create their snow sculptures on home turf.
The Polar Bear Plunge, on the other hand was a huge draw as always. Spectators, who were cozy in their own winter gear, enjoyed seeing others bite the bullet and take the icy plunge into the waters of Sharbot Lake. The plungers did not disappoint. They appeared in colorful costumes that delighted the crowd and together raised $10,137 for three local causes including the Child Centre, GREC's school council, and the Alzheimer Society (see the Polar Plunge article). Saturday night events were also well attended. The dinner and dance at the Sharbot Lake Legion and the Slocan Ramblers at the Crossing Pub attracted full houses. The 17 vendors who participated in the craft show, which was moved this year to St. James Major from Oso hall, would have liked a larger turnout, but those who shopped were appreciative and receptive to the diverse range of products for sale by local makers who create in a wide variety of mediums.
Another popular site, the Fall River Road Pioneer Log Home, which has been restored by Dr. Peter Bell, allowed festival-goers to step back in time. Visitors enjoyed being driven to the building in Bill Lee's horse-drawn wagon and were greeted by the strains of a bagpipe, played by local musician Gordon Wright. Once inside the circa 1840 home, which is filled with museum-quality artifacts, visitors were offered mulled cider and home-made scones. Adding to the heritage atmosphere were artisans Jean Clair demonstrating quilting and Beth Abbott demonstrating spinning.
On Monday runners and walkers took part in the Heritage relay, which drew 34 runners.
The festival's photo contest had as its theme "Frontenac Landmarks" and drew many entries. Congratulations to winners: Andrea Dickinson - 1st , Kyle Cryer – 2nd and Taylor Babcock – 3rd. All the entries are posted at sites.google.com/site/frontenacheritagefestival/home/photo-contest/2014
Hats off to the members of the Heritage Festival committee and to the countless volunteers who continue to make Central Frontenac a destination in February.
Feature article February 17, 2005LAND O' LAKES NewsWeb Home
Arden to be the site of Broadband Pilot Project
by Jeff Green
The province of Ontario will be paying $15,000 to put in a satellite-based High Speed Internet service at the Arden Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.
In the next few weeks a satellite receiver will be installed at the Municipal Garage in Arden, and the signal will be sent to a small box on the roof of the Kennebec Community Centre where the Arden Library is located. The library will have high speed internet service available for its patrons and for its own administrative use. The service will also be available in the Arden area and vicinity, to businesses and individuals located within a 6-10 km radius of the municipal garage in Arden.
The project involves many partners. The Land O Lakes Communications Network will act as Community Champion for the project. They were contacted last fall by a consulting firm working for the provincial government. The province has been interested in web- based service delivery and the consultants are looking at this in a rural context, and at developing information about the impact of high speed access on rural economic and community life.
The government was looking for a site that was not likely to be getting high speed Internet any time soon through other means, and one that had a library. We talked about various possibilities in the Land O Lakes and settled on Arden, said Jim MacPherson of the Land O Lakes Communications Network.
RAMTelecom will be providing the satellite backbone for the project and Internet Horizons has come on board as a service provider for the project, which also involved the Township of Central Frontenac and the library.
Land O Lakes Communications Network will be involved in setting up demonstrations of the service at various locations using a wireless radio that will be provided to them by Internet Horizons, and Internet Horizons will be the commercial partner who will put together sales packages and market the service to the public and business community.
The $15,000 necessary to bring this project about will be provided by the Management Board of the provincial government, in cooperation with several other Ministries.
The project was presented to the Central Frontenac Council this Tuesday for approval. The Land O Lakes Communications Network will be considering it at a Board meeting this week, and the Management Board of the Ontario government is expected to approve it within the next few weeks.
The project will be a shot in the arm for the Arden Library, which received much community support last spring when a Library Consultant recommended it be slated for closure.
That aspect of the consultants final report was not accepted as written by the Library Board this fall.
Letters June 23, 2005LAND O' LAKES NewsWeb Home
Contact UsPOLICY BY REFERENDUM When the old Reform Party came to town a few years back my wife and I attended the policy meeting to see if perhaps a real breath of fresh air might indeed be arriving on the Canadian political scene. The meeting that took place in the Northbrook Lions Hall was well attended and quite informative as the prospective candidate laid out the platform that his hopeful party wished to implement if successful. Not to be, so it turned out.
One of the policies tabled at that gathering gave me reason to question this Reform candidate, and it still troubles me today. Is it really in the best interest of a free and democratic society to govern by referendum?
Should the majority opinion always prevail in matters of morals or conscience the result will prove disastrous. "In matters of conscience the majority has no power." It was this premise that guided the trainers of the American Constitution, and hopefully those of the Canadian Charter of Rights. A free society needs to be protected from what could become a well-meaning however misinformed and misguided majority.
There is a real concern here as history has amply proven. In far too many cases the majority opinion has proven disastrous to "liberty of conscience," an entrenched right that was gained over the centuries (Magna Charta, the afore mentioned American Constitution etc.) at a very great cost in blood. "Those who forget are doomed to repeat." The Dark Ages are proof enough that the masses controlled by a misguided religious fervor can do heinous things to the dissenting few. This alone should prove to the informed mind that majority opinion can be very wrong in the area of conscience and morals.
Yes, there are crying abuses that should be corrected, but the sins of the flesh are not going to find even a semblance of solution in a legislated righteousness. Whatever it is that reveals itself in open immoral display had to first be conceived in the heart, that being the case "a mind changed against its will is of the same opinion still." To legislate against perceived wrong will, as proven in the past, only drive it under ground again. The Churches fail, and admit defeat of the power contained within the gospel when they resort to the civil power to correct what the pulpit through proper application of the gospel could and should have done.
This is not intended as a defense of same sex marriage by any means. It is a plea for historic perspective and an acknowledgment that we have "already been there, already done that" and it tragically failed. The Church and the State must remain separate. Christ Himself stated "my Kingdom is not of this world, for the kingdom of God is within you. W. C. McLean Flinton
Seniors and family health The Seniors' Services Advisory Committee of Northern Frontenac Community Services would like to congratulate the Sharbot Lake Medical Centre and its staff for being selected as one of the 52 pilot sites for Family Health Teams across Ontario. As a group that represents seniors throughout Central, North and parts of South Frontenac Townships, this committee is well aware of the wide variety of health needs in relation to the senior population. They also realize that providing health services to our rural setting offers many challenges. We all look forward to the increased options and variety of services that will be made available with this new model of health care. Harriet Riddell On behalf of the N.F.C.S. Seniors' Services Advisory Committee
Litter in Arden
We seniors in town are doing our utmost to keep the road between Highway 7 and the village of Arden as litter-free as possible. We realize we are up against the odds, when on a windy day, the overflow from the dump can undo all our work. However, lately were finding more and more Tim Horton cups, Dairy Queen Cartons, plastic and tin pop containers and french-fry containers, some still with the plastic forks intact, between the highway and the dump. Help a senior, eh? Hold onto your garbage another thirty seconds and you will be at the big refuse container at the mill-pond. Dump it there, and you will be doing your part in making the entrance to Arden more attractive.
Rick Brown Arden.
I cannot understand how North Frontenac Council can charge, with clear faces, money to travel to the lakes on the roads to Middle Branch, Granite etc, under such deplorable conditions where it isnt decent for a horse and buggy. And at a charge of $8.00 a day! Shame, shame.
Gerald Sproule, R.R#1, Denbigh, Ont. K0H 1L0. Phone 333-1273
Black Bears on the increase
Black bears, once only found in northern Ontario, are being seen more and more in our area, and beekeepers are being forced to put electric fences around their hives to keep the bears out. Black bears can outrun a horse, and with little effort can crack bones in their powerful jaws, and also attack human beings. Black bears are no longer fearful of humans, and their population is increasing rapidly, particularly since 1999 when the spring bear hunts were cancelled. Many naturalists are lobbying to have the spring bear hunts resumed as a way to provide a safe and secure environment for all people without worrying about bear attacks.
A 2004 study in Manitoba proved scientifically that a spring black bear hunt is a sustainable wildlife management tool that reduces the potential for human/bear conflicts well before the June/July nuisance bear season. The study, authored by a group of scientists and biologists, showed that having a spring hunt and a fall hunt to reduce the number of black bears is the best method to control ballooning bear populations. However, the Ontario government is promoting an initiative that promotes the policy of living in harmony with black bears, but the harmony idea works better in music and on paper, and when faced with a black bear who can out-run a human, or maul a child to death, harmony just doesnt cut it. Bob McQuay, Chairman, Canadian Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) questioned: Will it take the death of a Toronto child or a young mother to force this government to accept the advice of knowledgeable outdoors people and reinstate the hunt? COHA and its affiliate outdoors organizations and members hope not. So folks, watch out for bears, and make loud clanging noises when out in the bush in hopes of scaring them away. Keep your garbage out of site, and supervise your children at all times, remembering that children under 16 must have an adult with them at all times unless they are on their own property at home.
Rev. E. Jean Brown Henderson
Home | Local Weather | Editorial Policy
Feature ArticleAugust 25, 2005
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2005 Inroads Studio Tour
Just because summer is ending doesn’t have to mean there is no more fun to be had. Labour Day Weekend marks the beginning of the studio tour season in Eastern Ontario with the arrival of the venerable Inroads Studio Tour.Now 13 years old, the tour features a couple of dozen of the finest artist and artisans around, working in media as diverse as oil paint, willow, ceramics, silver, wood, batik, wool, glass, and print. Being a studio tour, the locations where the art is found are major attractions as well. From a renovated mill (the home of Susan and Ron Wulf - glass and silver artists) of Bridesmill Studio, and the historic Bradshaw Shoolhouse (hosting Mavis and Mickie - carvings and paintings) near Tichborne, to the old Frontenac Creamery (studio of painter and photographer Fred Fowler) on the Mississippi River at Snow Road, the studios themselves are as diverse as the artists.There is a third element to the tour, and that is the landscape itself, which both inspires and creates a context for the work of the artists and artisans who make up the Inroads Studio Tour. Arden and Henderson are the western end of the tour, which extends as far east as Maberly, north to Snow Road/Elphin/McDonalds Corners, and South to Parham/Tichborne and Bobs Lake. As tour goers drive the Inroads of the tour, they will experience views of the rocky granite shorelines of dozens of lakes on this southern outcrop of the Canadian Shield.Some of the artistic highlights of the tour this year include a display of batiks from around the world at Arden Batik, the studio of one of the tour’s founders, Sarah Hale. This past June, Sarah, who has been working in batik for 27 years, attended a ten day conference in Boston that featured batik artists from 36 different countries. Sarah is creating an exhibit of batiks and batiking equipment that she acquired at the conference, and some new pieces of her own that have come about in response to the experience. These include some Japanese style indigo batiks, as well as a batik-on-paper book that Sarah is working on. Over in McDonald’s Corners, the Clayworks Potters, a group of very keen apprentice potters, will be showing at MERA, a community arts facility which has developed a ceramics studio. A ploughman’s lunch and the MERA weaving studio make the trip to ‘the corners’ worthwhile.While in that neck of the woods, a stop at Fred Fowlers’ studio will afford an opportunity to see how this versatile painter/printmaker, interpreter of Canadian landscapes, has added the medium of photography to his repertoire. Paul Shuster is a “painterly photographer” whose photographic prints are embedded in canvas, will be showing at the studio of Jack and Carol de Bellefeuille. These are but a few of the 26 artists who will showing at this year’s tour, in 20 studios.The Inroads Studio Tour Brochure, available at tourist kiosks and businesses throughout the region, includes descriptions and pictures from the work of the artists and artisans on the tour, and a map of the main roads and back roads that link them. Information from the brochure, including the studio tour map, is available online at the Inroads Studio Tour website.As an added feature, there will be mystery guests showing at some of the tours stops. Jo Crivellaro will be selling mosaic tile tables at studio 17. The Bradshaw Schoolhouse (Studio 9) will be hosting three new artists, Carol Brazeau, a soapstone carver from Clarence Creek (east of Ottawa), Judy Buchanan of Dogstar Trading Co., who makes beaded jewelry, and Tiny Komendat, a modern painter. On Saturday the 4th of September, the Bedford Fire Dept., next door to the schoolhouse, will be offering a barbeque and safety demonstrations. Catherine Koch is a mixed media based visual arts student. Her recent work has focussed on the meaning that she finds in the patterns of ordinary life. She will be a guest a the studio of printaker Martina Field, #8. The tour is self guided and there is no admission charge; people can start anywhere and follow their own path. It runs from 10-5 throughout Labour Day Weekend, September 3-5. For further information all 335-2073.
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Feature ArticleSeptember 29, 2005
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OPPto organise public meeting on child safety:CentralFrontenac Council Report
In an immediate response to a request from Central Frontenac Council, OPP Detachment Commander Gerry Salisbury will be organizing a meeting for residents of Arden and others to deal with citizens’ concerns over the threat posed by Kelvin John Fischer, a dangerous sexual offender that is living near the village.
Commander Salisbury was in attendance at a Central Frontenac Council meeting, along with Sgt. Jeff McCann of the Sharbot Lake detachment, to give a report on OPP activities in the region over the past nine months. He was asked to remain in order to hear a delegation of citizens from Arden, led by Rhonda MacFarland, who were bringing community concerns about Fischer to Council’s attention.
She had Councillor Jack Nicolson read a letter, signed by nine concerned parents in Arden, outlining the fear and dismay they felt about Mr. Fischer living among them.
“As I drive through town I see the Watch for Children signs and think they should now read GUARD YOUR CHILDREN or PROTECT ALL CHLDREN,” the letter concluded.
Mayor Bill MacDonald said that while he sympathised with Rhonda MacFarland’s concerns, “the matter is not something that as a municipal Council we have any jurisdiction over. I can request that the OPP set up a meeting to deal with this if you like.”
MacFarland said yes, and MacDonald looked over at Gerry Salisbury, who said he would have to arrange for the right people from the OPP to come to the meeting, but that sometime in October it would be done. (Look to the News for details as they become available)
Crow Lake Schoolhouse refurbishment plans – Joe Slater led a delegation that included the entire Board of Directors of the Crow Lake Schoolhouse. Slater informed Council about a Trillium Grant application the Association is planning to submit next month. He also made certain requests to support the application. Since the township owns the building, a written commitment leasing the building to the Crow Lake Association for at least the next five years is required. As well, the Association requested that the normal building permit and debris dump permits be waived. Finally, a commitment of $2,500 for new wiring and the installation of a generator package was sought. The schoolhouse will then be capable of serving as an emergency centre for the township should a major power outage occur in the future.
Council approved all the requests without hesitation.
Free ice time for Grade 5’s – Wes Garrod from the Limestone District School Board came to Council to request that Council endorse a program whereby Grade 5 students will receive a pass for free skating time during public skates at the North Frontenac Arena. Garrod said this was part of a project to encourage active living among students. Grade 5 students have been chosen because the patterns set up at that age are more likely to take hold than at other ages. Mayor MacDonald said Council could endorse the plan but it is really the Arena Board that must make the decision. Councillor Bob Harvey, who chairs the Arena Board, said the Board was already in favour.FEWR seeks leasing deal – Jim MacPherson of the Frontenac E-Waste Recovery Centre (FEWR) brought a four-minute video that was prepared when FEWR was awarded a prize for Community Development Projects by the Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations. MacPherson highlighted the activities of the Computers For Schools Program of FEWR, which has been involved in the establishment of computer refurbishing centres in over 15 countries. MacPherson introduced Mary Kahora, a Network Administrator from Strarehe Boys Centre with Computers For Schools Kenya, who is spending the next two and a half months in Sharbot Lake at FEWR learning new technology. A representative from Computers for Schools Sierra Leone, in Sharbot Lake to pick up a load of computers, was in attendance as well. MacPherson admitted that, in spite of all the endorsements from institutions and government officials, FEWR has been facing a funding crunch. FEWR signed a one-year lease for the use of the former township garage on Wagner Road for $1300 a month. MacPherson is seeking a lease extension, but at a lower rate. Council decided to have staff determine what the maintenance costs to the township of the facility are in order to determine a new rental fee.
Public Works Service Hotline – Township IT Manager Chris Matheson made a presentation to Council on the Service Request Hotline, which is now up and running. Township residents can phone the township office at 279-3935, push 5 when the recorded message comes on, and leave a message with a request for the Public Works department. The message is accessed by the Public Works Department before the start of the next shift. It is designed as a way of allowing the public to access service in the most direct way possible. The township will be presenting public information about the new service soon.
Arden dump to remain in service for two years – At their previous meeting, Council was unable to decide what to do with the Arden dump. It was agreed that the dump would have to close in the near future, and that a waste transfer station would not be set up, but two competing proposals were being considered. One, favoured by a waste management task force made up of three Councillors, called for closing the dump to garbage immediately, and maintaining the site as a recycling centre only, to be open on Saturdays. The other proposal, favoured by Public Works Manager Bill Nicol, would have seen the dump kept open for two or three years as a garbage collection site alone, with recycling being diverted to the Olden site.
Nicol was not present to explain his position at the previous meeting but he did attend this meeting. He explained that in order to get the maximum use of the Arden dump, it would be necessary to use of some of the space now occupied by the recycling bins.
“We developed a closure plan for this dump over a period of time, at great cost to the township, and it is based on the idea that we will max out the facility as a dump site before closing it.”
Nicol then said that it might be possible to move the recycling bins and keep the dump as both a waste disposal and recycling site for the time being, but that eventually the recycling bins would have to be moved to get the entire dumping life out of the site.
Councillor Logan Murray, who favoured turning the site into a recycling centre and entering into other measures designed to encourage recycling, noted that several emails in support of his position had been sent to Council.
Nonetheless, Nicol’s position prevailed. The Arden dump will remain a dump site until it is filled, and will then be closed down entirely.
Plan to Pave Roads - A report from Bill Nicol was presented to council, recommending that Council consider a 7 to 10-year plan to establish a budget to surface treat the township’s more heavily travelled seasonal roads that lead to waterfront properties. If the township continues to budget $400,000 per year for construction, $200,000 could be spent on pavement preservation and $200,000 to upgrade these gravel roads for surface treatment. Roads being considered are: Arden, Burney Point, Clement, Clarke, Eagle Lake, Elm Tree, Fall River, Guigue, Henderson, Kirk’s Cove, Mary Moore, Shibley, Second Depot, Wilkinson, Wagner, White Lake and Zealand.
Councillor Gutowski objected, calling the proposal a knee-jerk reaction to waterfront owners’ perceptions of lack of services. She said a strategic plan was needed and there should be consultation with the public. She also said she has received calls from waterfront property owners who do not want their roads paved because that would increase speed and perhaps bring accidents. Gutowski brought forward a motion to table the proposal, but it was defeated and the debate continued.
Councillor Murray said it was a good idea to pave roads, but a bad idea to pave certain roads just because 58% of CF taxes are generated from waterfront properties. He said the regular taxpayer also needs good roads to go to work.
Councillor Jack Nicolson pointed out that better roads would lead to economic development, and Councillor Frances Smith said that these roads were in the township’s initial plan.
It costs $300/km/yr more to maintain paved roads than gravel roads, but Mayor MacDonald pointed out that the difference might be offset by the cost of replacing some aging township graders at about $200,000 each.
The 7-10 year plan would not begin for a couple of years, and the proposal was accepted.
Truck to Van - The township’s mechanic currently uses a 1 ton diesel township truck, but it is too expensive to operate and council is looking into buying a smaller van. Councillors Murray, Snyder and Gutowski all disagreed with the policy of the mechanic using a township truck, but the motion to buy a smaller van was passed.