Thursday, 08 December 2005 08:28


Feature Article - December 8, 2005

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December 8, 2005

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enrights

Buy my vote, please

Editorial by Jeff Green

Stephen Harper has been running around the Country over the past week, talking about policy and making promises. As Christmas approaches it seems it is only a matter of time before he dons a Santa suit to accompany all the goodies he is promising to prospective voters.

If Paul Martin seems a bit Grinch-like about all these gifts Harper is bestowing, (last week Martrin was reportedly heard saying “I must stop Harper’s Christmas from coming, but how”), it’s probably because he doled out all his gifts back before the election, spending his billions for Halloween.

You can’t get points at Christmastime for the Hallowe’en present you bought for your kids. Any parent knows that.

It is as a parent, coincidentally, that I have a bone to pick with Stephen Harper’s latest set of goodies, $100 each month for each kid aged 6 and under. Hello, some of us don’t have kids under 6; what do we get out of it? Are we supposed to be happy for our friends and neighbours who have younger children? That’s like telling an older child to be happy for their younger siblings who received more expensive and desirable Christmas presents. It doesn’t really work.

If Mr. Harper would like to buy my vote, he’d better offer me some money.

He did just that last week, with his GST reduction promise, although I don’t think it is as lucrative as he said it was. The average Canadian family is supposed to save $400 per year.

I don’t know about anybody else, but my family can’t afford to buy that much stuff after making mortgage payments and buying food, which don’t have GST on them. For the sake of argument, let’s say the GST promise is worth $200 to me. I don’t count the other 1% of GST that will be deducted in five years because I can’t think that far ahead, and neither can any Canadian politician, as far as I can tell.

So, really, all I’ve been offered so far from Mr. Harper is $200 per year. Then again, $200 is better than nothing.

Now, the Prime Minister’s response to Stephen Harper’s GST promise was like that of a divorced parent who has found out that their former partner has promised a Play Station 2 for their child, and responds by promising the child an Xbox.

Martin didn’t say that voters shouldn’t be bribed with their own money; he said that it is better to give people an income tax break, that would be more valuable.

As a voter I say to Mr. Martin, please spell that out, how much do I get from that income tax break? Is it more than $200, because if it isn’t, well there’s this other guy offering more money than you are.

So far, the money on the table is really peanuts, unless of course there little tykes running around your house, in which case four years of Harper is looking pretty good right now.

But it’s still 6 weeks until Christmas - I mean until the election - plenty of time for Santa Martin or Santa Harper to sweeten the pot.

Maybe Christmas is the ideal time for a Federal election, after all.

Published in 2005 Archives
Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:27


2005 Christmas Edition Home | Local Weather | Editorial Policy


December 15, 2005

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

Thank you, Thank you all

This issue of the Frontenac News marks the end of another year of publication for us. This little paper has now been published for 34 or 35 years. Our masthead says it was founded in 1971 but it might have started in 1970. While a lot has changed in that time - we no longer run the paper off on a Gaestetner and we don’t even use a hot waxer and flats any more - the basic mandate of the enterprise has not changed. Our goal is to provide a tool for communication between the various communities where we have distribute the paper, communities that did not have another venue for talking to each other back in 1970 or 1971.

Whether that is accomplished through Community Columns, Council reports, the Northern Happenings, the Classifieds, or articles or pictures submited by readers or generated by ourselves, we do our best to provide information and enterntainment that is specific to the region we serve.

Just like the founders of the paper back in the early 70’s, we couldn’t put the paper out for 50 weeks a year without the help of a great many people.

The paper is brought to your mailbox each week courtesy of our advertisers. It has always been important to maintain the Frontenac News as a free forum for all permanent residents and this means that it is the local businesses that make putting out the paper possible.

Then there are the volunteers: the Community Columnists, who take on the respnsible to gather information each week of the year and ensure that the comings and goings of all the villages are covered in the paper. With our minimal editorial staff, it would be impossible to adequately cover the territory without our Community Columnists: Evelyn Izzard, Ellanora Meeks, Jean Campbell, Ann Elvins, Rev. Jean Brown, Georgina Wathen, Susan Freeman, Ankaret Dean, Pearl Killingbeck, Maxine Purdon, Rose Marie Turner, Marilyn Meeks, Rhonda Watkins, Wilma Kenny, Doug MacIntyre, and Jean Lewis.

We are also fortunate to have a core of volunteers that help out in the office each week, doing typing, layout, copy editing and proof reading. Without them - well we don’t want to think about what it would be like to put out the paper without the efforts of Dale Ham, Donna Tysic, Marg DesRoche, Morrel Chaisson, Dale and Barb Whan, Martina Field, and Linda Rush.

This year in particular we have relied on our core staff to keep the paper going. Scott Cox, Garry Drew, and Suzanne Tanner have kept the paper running smoothly, day in day out, through another year.

During the summer we were fortunate to get some much-needed extra help from two students - Catherine Koch and Meghan Balogh. Meghan has stayed on as our webmaster and has done a wonderful job of re-designing our website:

We post major articles to our website but are kept too busy by the newspaper to keep with its calendar of events. We are very gateful to Bill Wilson of the Sharbot Lake Property Owners’ Association for taking on the job of posting the Northern Happenings on their website with a link to ours.

Finally our readers, who paticipate in the Frontenac News just by reading it, whether is is cover to cover as some kind people claim they do, or those that pick and choose what interests them. After all, without readers, The Frontenac News is merely mulch, fire starter, or bird cage filler. We don’t mind being put to use for those things, but we prefer to have been read first.

We will now disappear for our annual two week hiatus. We hope you enjoy this Special Christmas Issue. Our office will be closed from Dec 16 to Jan. 3, 2006. We will be back on January 5th to begin 2006, when we will turn our attention to a Federal Election and begin looking towards municipal elections. We wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

-Jeff and Jule

Published in 2005 Archives
Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:27


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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

Whose Christmas is it anyway?by Reverend Art Turnbull

Cash registers tingle. Crowds of shoppers mingle. Families rushto assemble gifts. Friends arrange to give others a lift. "It was the day before Christmas when all through..."

The time of year that is now upon us is a time of celebration and sharing. It is a festive season that so many rush to enjoy. The last days of the year are looked forward to by thousands seeking a holiday. Many have earned this break, having worked madly all year to make ends meet. It is good for folk to get together and enjoy each other’s company. There is nothing out of place in taking the family toa resort location for skiing,or the choice of others is to go to the sunshine and beaches of the south.

This is the season that humans have created. Shaped by marketing music that bids people shop until they drop, a frenzy is added to these days. Beginning in October a steady build up has been developing for people to expect a grand finale. When the time comes it is no wonder that all that is expected is not achieved. The bubble sometimes bursts. Do not fret. The two weeks of "Boxing Day" sales offer a cure for those who are let down. We humans are good at creating our own difficulties.

Whose Christmas is it anyway?

We humans need to realize that God is already in our space. The tingle of the cash registers also announces the presence of God. The mingling crowds are not strangers to the Almighty. Families exchanging gifts are also receivers of the gift of the Son of God, the Messiah. Reaching out a helping hand to give a lift to a stranger is responding to God's desire for us to have compassion. A need or a cause is a response to the love of Jesus.

This is God's Christmas season. In the wonder of the days that are now upon us, do take time to be touched by the mystery of a child born in a manger. Take time out to attend a Christian church service so that you can hear the story, our human story, of God's Incarnation. God is with us.

God's blessing be with you this Christmas.

(The Reverend Art Turnbull is Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Sydenham)

Published in 2005 Archives
Thursday, 01 December 2005 08:28


Feature Article - December 1, 2005

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Feature Article

December 1, 2005

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

Christmas Musings

by Reverend Marilyn Richardson

And Mary gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son – and her son became our Lord and Saviour. This is the most wonderful gift anyone has ever been given! And so we set aside a time each year to celebrate this birth and to give thanks to God.

Jesus didn’t arrive in a beautifully wrapped box with a big red ribbon on it. He arrived in a humble stable with animals and the smell of a barn to welcome him into this world. His first visitors were dirty, unkempt shepherds who came out of curiosity to see what was going on. Mary was exhausted, and Joseph was worried and frustrated because he had to put Mary in such a place to deliver their baby.

But through it all they survived and thrived and the world was changed forever. At least, the world was changed for all who believe in this magnificent, humbling story.

The Christmas season seems to come earlier and earlier each year. Decorations are abundant in all the stores before the Jack-O-Lanterns are put away. We start to panic in mid-November now instead of mid-December. We fill our calendars with social events, business obligations; we buy gifts that most of us don’t need – or want. We decorate, we bake, we wrap. We throw ourselves into the crowded malls to listen to canned music and an artificial Santa Claus saying his “Ho! Ho! Ho’s! It is exciting. It is frustrating. It is tiring.

When all is ready – the turkey bought, the dressing waiting to be stuffed, the presents all wrapped up, the family invited, we finally get to have a little rest – perhaps for at least an hour – and hopefully, we will take stock, once again, of this Christmas past.

Have we left anything unfinished? What didn’t we do that we promised ourselves we would do this year? We look at our Christmas tree with the angel or star sitting on top and perhaps then, we will remember. We forgot the most important thing about this season of the birth of our Lord. We forgot to say thank-you to the One who gave us this gift.

We forgot to take that special gift to Community Services for the Christmas baskets. We forgot to knit that extra pair of mitts for the children whose hands freeze in the winter because they don’t have anything warm! We forgot to go to church and feast on the decorations and the singing and the messages that are in abundance in our places of worship. We forgot that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”.

God takes no pleasure in seeing us work ourselves into a frenzy to celebrate a season where the meaning is so deeply hidden in the tinsel and wrappings that we have forgotten how Christmas came to be. Only each one of us, by ourselves, can change the whole concept of Christmas. Only we can stop buying, buying, buying! Only we can put our money and time into doing good deeds for those who need our help. Only we can fill a Christmas basket for one who is not as fortunate as ourselves.

I believe Christmas is a time for family and friends. It is a time for good food, a thoughtful gift to someone I love. It is a time for sending and receiving good wishes from my family and friends far away. It is a time when I can, and do, wish everyone I meet a “Merry Christmas”; not “Holiday Greetings” or Best Wishes”. No! I refuse to take Christ out of Christmas! Most of all, I believe Christmas is the time to stop! To ponder! To remember! To give thanks! Our churches yearn to welcome all those who desire to be a part of the true meaning of Christmas.

May you have a blessed, safe, peaceful, love-filled Christmas – in Christ’s name.

- The Rev. Marilyn Richardson, Flinton-Cloyne-Harlowe United Churches

The United Churches of Flinton-Cloyne-Harlow are having a Stable Service on December 16at 3 p.m. at the farm of the Blackwell’s on Henderson Road right at the Harlowe four corners. Keep driving ‘till you come to

Sasha’s legacy farm. You are all invited to attend.

Published in 2005 Archives
Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:27


2005 Christmas Edition

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December 15, 2005



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Christmas RecipesMain dishes, desserts, and alcohol-free drinks for theChristmas season

Cranberry Chip Barsby Marilyn Meeks

1 pkg. 18 oz white cake mix cup packed brown sugar2 eggs cup butter, softened cup water1 cup dried cranberries1 cup white chocolate chips1 cup chopped almonds

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, brown sugar, eggs, butter and water. Beat on low speed for one minute or until smooth. Stir in cranberries, chips and nuts. Spread batter in greased 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake 25 - 30 minutes in preheated oven 350o F until set. Cool completely in pan. Cut into bars. May ice.

Mincemeat Christmas Cake by Marilyn Meeks

9-oz tin of mincemeat cup warm water cup candied fruit1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk1 egg1 cup flour sp soda cup glazed cherries (optional) cup walnuts (optional)Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for hour.

Oatmeal CookiesBy Joyce Smith

1 egg cup brown sugar cup white sugar1 cup margarine1 tsp vanilla1 cup flour tsp baking soda tsp salt cup coconut cup nuts cup cherries cup dates tsp nutmeg tsp cinnamon2 cups rolled oats

Mix ingredients in order given. Roll batter into small balls. Press down with floured fork. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 325o F. Do not over bake.

Cranberry Orange Lamb Chops

6 Frenched Lamb Chops or 4 Loin Chops, 1” thick cup sugar 1 cup cranberries cup orange juice 1 tsp grated orange rind 1 tsp Dijon mustard pinch of allspice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cranberries, orange juice, rind, Dijon mustard and allspice. Cook until mixture boils and cranberries pop (about 10 to 12 minutes). Set aside. In a preheated broiler, 4” from heat, broil lamb chops on one side for 6 minutes. Turn chops and broil 4 mins longer. Spoon one generous teaspoonful of sauce over each chop. Broil for 1 minute longer. Serve extra sauce on the side. Serve with parsley potatoes and vegetables julienne

Cranberry Coleslawby Stephanie Stacey

1 cup chopped cranberries cup sugar3 cups finely shredded cabbage cup orange juice2 Tbsp. chopped celery2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper1 cup seeded halved green grapes cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

Mix cranberries with sugar. Moisten cabbage with orange juice. Add sugared cranberries, celery, green peppers and grapes. Toss lightly with the mayonnaise or salad dressing. Chill hour. (6 - 8 servings)

Festive Cheesecake Barsby Deb Stacey

1 cup margarine or butter1 cup firmly packed brown sugar3 cups sifted all-purpose flour1 cups finely chopped walnuts2 cups mincemeat cup white sugar3 8-oz pkgs. cream cheese3 eggs, beaten1/3 cup milk3 Tbsp. lemon juice1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter or margarine with sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and chopped walnuts, creaming with spoon until mixture forms crumbs. Set aside 3 cups mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350o F for 12 - 15 mins. Cool. Combine white sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Add eggs, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat thoroughly. Spread mincemeat evenly over cooled base, then pour cream cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle reserved 3 cups crumbs over top. Bake at 350o F for 25 - 30 mins. or until set. Chill before cutting.

Cranberry stuffingby Marilyn Meeks

1 cup fresh stewed cranberries cup sugar cup chopped celery2 Tbsp. chopped parsley4 Tbsp. butter4 cups stale bread crumbs tsp. sweet marjoram1 tsp. salt

Combine cranberries and sugar. Cook celery and parsley in butter until celery is tender. Blend all together. Stuff your turkey or whatever other meat you might have!

Manitoulin Island Christmas Cake by Rev. Jean Brown

We make gum drop cake at Christmas time- it’s moist and looks cheery on the plate. Too many traditional Christmas cakes are so dry. Give it a taste.

1 lb. Raisins (2 cups)1 lb. Gumdrops (2 cups)- don’t use the black ones.

In one bowl- oak raisins in boiling water to cover and let stand overnight to plump up.

In another bowl, cut gumdrops into pieces with scissors and add them to the soaked up raisins, coating all in a light dusting of flour.

In another bowl, cream together 1 cup white sugar cup butter.

Add 2 well beaten eggs 1 tsp. Soda 1 cup sour milk.

If you don’t have sour milk put 1 tbsp. vinegar in cup and then fill cup with milk, then add soda.

In another bowl sift together 2 cups flour tsp salt 1 tsp. Cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg.

Mix all ingredients together, and bake in a slow oven at 300 F for 1 to 1 hours. This tastes yummy.

Christmas morning Breakfast by Rev. Jean Brown

Get it ready the night before and put in frig, then cook it on Christmas morning while you are opening gifts.

12 slices day old bread lb. Cheddar cheese2 2/3 cup milk4 eggs tsp salt (can use less) tsp pepper1/8 tsp paprika

Trim crusts from bread. Lay 6 slices in bottom of buttered baking dish. Slice cheese and lay it over the bread. Cover with remaining 6 bread slices. Beat the eggs and add milk and seasonings. Pour over bread and cheese. Cover and put in refrigerator overnight. Bake on Christmas morning at 359 F for 45 minutes. Enjoy.

Manitoulin Meat ballsby Rev. Jean Brown

1 lb ground beef cup diced parsley flakes2 tbsp. soya sauce1 tsp garlic powder1 cup corn flake crumbs2 eggs2 tsp pepper1/3 cup ketchup2 tbsp. minced onion

Combine the above ingredients, blend well, make into small meatballs and arrange in a roast pan.

Meanwhile in a saucepan combine

16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce1 cup brown sugar1 scant tsp. Horseradish1 – 12 ounce bottle chilli sauce1 tbsp. lemon juice1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all of these ingredients in the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth and cranberry sauce melted. Pour over raw meatballs. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 F . Serve with toothpicks- enjoy. Have a blast.

Red Rhubarb Saladby Anne Lawrence of Big Gull Lake

3 cups finely cut rhubarb cup sugar1/3 cup water2 (3 oz) pkg. Strawberry Jello1 cup crushed pineapple cup chopped nuts or chopped celery2 cups water

Cook rhubarb, sugar and the 1/3 cup water. Add strawberry jello, crushed pineapple, chopped nuts or celery and 2 cups water. Chill until firm and then serve. The rhubarb gives a tangy taste, and I like to serve this at the lake on a warm summer day, however it would also be good at Christmas time.

Crazy Crunchby Doris Forbes

This was a favourite of my Mother, the late Ethel Forbes and is offered in her memory.

2 quarts popped corn1 1/3 cups pecans2/3 cup almonds1 1/3 cups sugar1 cup margarine1 tsp. Vanilla cup corn syrup or lily white syrup tsp. Salt

Mix popped corn and nuts on cookie sheet. Combine sugar, margarine, salt and corn syrup in 1 quart sauce pan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture turns a light caramel colour. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popped corn and nuts; mix to coat well. Spread to dry. Break apart; store in tightly covered container. Makes about 2 pounds.

Oatmeal shortbread cookiesby Leta Peterson of the Ponderosa in memory of the late Clifford Peterson

1 cup butter cup brown sugar1 cups flour1 cups rolled oatsdash salt

Mix all together and roll in balls. Flatten with fork and bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes.

The Late Leta Blake’s Christmas Thimble cookiesby Lorne Blake and family- in memory of Leta

2 cups soft shortening1 cup brown sugar4 egg yolks4 cups flour2 tsp. Vanilla tsp saltred or green jelly1 thimble- sterilized or covered with saran wrap.

Combine shortening, brown sugar, egg yolks, flour, vanilla and salt. Form into balls, the size of robins eggs. Take the thimble and put a dent in the ball. Cook 5 minutes at 350 F. Remove from oven and cool. Drop red or green jelly into the dent in the cookies. Good for Christmas, or any special event.

Christmas Wreath Cookies by Marilyn Meeks

cup sugar2 cup flour1 cup flour1 cup margarine2 egg yolks tsp salt1 egg, beatenred and green cherries, chopped

In a large bowl, mix sugar and the next five ingredients. Beat with mixer on low. Preheat over at 350. Roll a heaping teaspoonful of dough at a time into a 6-inch rope. Place each rope on cookie sheet in a circle, but cross one end over the other with ” extending at each end. Brush cookies with egg white and sprinkle on some sugar. Press pieces of red and green cherries to make a pretty decoration. Bake until light golden brown. Cool.

No-Bake Refrigerator Squares by Joyce Smith

1 cup brown sugar1 egg cup butter2 cups graham wafer crumbs1 tsp vanilla1 cup coconutchopped nuts

Cook sugar, egg and butter in double boiler until thickened. Remove from heat and add other ingredients. Press into a 9x9 inch pan. Cool. Ice with white or chocolate icing, then cover with chopped walnuts. Refrigerate. Cut into squares.

Unbaked Squares by Joyce Smith

1 can Eagle Brand milk3 cups graham wafer crumbs cup walnuts cup coconut cup mixed fruit1 cups miniature marshmallows

Mix dry ingredients together. Stir in milk and press evenly into a buttered 9-inch square pan. Chill before cutting.

Cranberry Lemon Scones by Marilyn Meeks

2 cups flour1 tbsp. Baking powder tsp. baking soda tsp. salt cup sugar cup cold butter cut into pieces cup dried cranberries2 tsp. grated lemon rind1 cup buttermilk1 egg beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar in a bowl. Add butter and work with your fingertips or fork until mixture is the size of small peas. Mix in cranberries and lemon rind. Gently stir in buttermilk and mix. Do not overmix. Turn onto a floured surface and gently knead until dough just holds together. Roll or pat out in a circle 1” thick. Cut into 8 triangles and place on baking sheet. Brush tops lightly with beaten egg. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until puffed and golden. Makes 8 scones. (I used orange rind instead of lemon.)

Alcohol-free drinks for Christmas

The Sunrise BlendIn a blender, add 1cup ice, 3 oz. fresh orange juice, 3 oz. fresh pineapple juice, 2 fresh strawberries and 1 banana. Blend until slushy and strain into a large tumbler. Garnish with strawberries.

Foaming Dragon Kingston Brewing Co. Ltd.

Into a shaker glass over ice, add 4 oz. cranberry juice, 4 oz. orange juice, 1 tablespoon icing sugar. Shake and strain onto fresh ice in a highball glass and top with 7-Up. Garnish with fresh cranberries on a cocktail pick ...Created by Van-Allen Turner.

Cajun Clamato Cocktail The Hub Bars & Restaurants - Francois

Rim glass with celery salt. Blend: ice, clamato juice, dash of Worcestershire sauce , dash of Tabasco, salt & pepper, fresh horseradish. Garnish with a celery stalk

Baby Bellini Le Chien Noir Chilled Sparkling Cider 2 oz. Peach Nectar 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

Pour the fruit juices into a chilled champagne flute. Stir well. Add cider to the rim. Stir again gently. Bartender: Deidre Tylecki

Yellow Bird The Hub Bars & Restaurants - Francois

1 oz. each of orange juice - pineapple - grapefruit2 oz. Sprite or 7-upicefloat grenadine on top and let it dribble through for effectgarnish with orange or pineapple

The Gentle Breeze

Fill a gobler with ice. Add 4 oz. cranberry juice and 4 oz. grapefruit juice. Garnish with a fresh cranberry and mint leaf.

For more fun alcohol-free drinks visit

Published in 2005 Archives
Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:27


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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

O Tannenbaumby Peter Zorzella

Christmas trees. Many insist that a real tree is the only way to go whether you cut your own or go to the corner lot to buy one. Ontario’s Christmas tree farmers would agree.

Christmas trees take between eight and twelve years to grow from foot-high seedlings into the six-to-seven foot trees that we enjoy at Christmas. Farmers prune and shear the trees annually, to improve density and shape. We grow six varieties of Christmas trees in Ontario: White Pine, White Spruce, Scots Pine, Balsam Fir, Blue Spruce, and Fraser Fir. Farmers plant different species to provide variety for their customers, spread out the pruning work as different varieties are pruned at different times, and make their crops less susceptible to widespread damage by a single pest.

Christmas tree farming is environmentally beneficial. Each acre of trees converts enough carbon dioxide into oxygen to support eighteen people and removes up to thirteen tons of airborne pollutants per year. The trees provide wildlife habitat, and are often grown on land unsuitable for other crops, a good use of marginal land that helps prevent erosion.

Farmers harvest trees beginning in November, wrap them and ship them to distributors or exporters. Ontario farmers export Christmas trees to the US, Mexico, and even the Caribbean, and we have been steadily increasing production and export of Christmas trees. Unlike most other crops, unsold (uncut) trees can be held over until the following season, so careful planning of cutting pays off.

Christmas Tree Care.

It is imperative that your Christmas tree always has a constant water source to keep your tree fresh, hydrated and help aid in needle retention. Once you have your tree home, just prior to set up, remove the bottom inch from your tree to allow for uptake of water. Your tree stand should hold a minimum of 2 gallons of water. Never allow the water line to fall below the bottom of the cut stem, if this is allowed to happen, the bottom cut line will seal over with sap and will be unable to take up water as readily. Week one, add water morning and night to keep water bowl full, after that add water daily and maintain your water level to the top of the water bowl.

This feature was produced with the assistance of the Agricultural Adaptation Council and Kemptville College, University of Guelph

Published in 2005 Archives
Thursday, 05 January 2006 04:40


Feature Article - January 5, 2006

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January 5, 2006

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo EnrightTastes oftheOttawa Valley Courtesy of the Fall RiverPub & Grill, Maberly

Letters to the Editor

Appreciation for Roads Department

I would like to start the New Year on a positive note by commending Central Frontenac Roads Department for their courage and devotion during our holiday season.

It takes excellent operators to manoeuvre the trucks loaded with sand around our roads. Sure, they had a few mishaps, but thankfully no one was injured. In my opinion, we have one of the best crews in the region. People should understand that it takes time and skill to do the roads and streets and remember that these drivers are only human and get tired out also.

How many of us would be willing to risk our necks at 2 or 3 a.m. in an ice storm to take a large vehicle down an ice covered road when you are the only one up at that time and you are alone?

I say to everyone, stop criticizing our roads department – their holiday season was interrupted too.

- Paula Levere

Harper Fan

I’ve got to hand it to Stephen Harper andthe Conservatives -they’ve tuned in to the needs of real Canadian families. We all know that the Conservatives believe in tax cuts, and that we’ll actually get them if we elect Conservatives. But now we are also hearing some really tuned-in family support policies.

The 2% GST reduction will be direct savings on everything I buy, and here’s hoping that there will be further reductions.

The annual $1200 Child Care Allowance will be great because, aside from helpingour familyfundour child care, it also says thatwe aretrusted to know what’s best forour kids.

And now there’s the tax break for sports activities for kids. Obviously Harper knows how important physical activity is for the health and motivation of kids, and how expensive those activities can be.

The choice for my vote could not be any clearer.

- Brent Cameron

North Frontenac Township Services? – An Update!

The majority of North Frontenac Council probably viewed my November 24 Letter to the Editor regarding township services as just another bit of belly-aching from that Ompah guy again. The reaction throughout the township however has been just a little more engaging than that.

More than thirty residents have contacted me either by phone or at various volunteer and holiday functions to say they agreed with the letter, the general comment being that I was 'right on' with all the issues and irritants I had pointed out. I have urged these folks to take further action -- to phone a councilor or phone the township office, or take up a petition, or visit the mayor or even write their own letter to the editor saying the complaints are real and should be dealt with. The truth is that township services are meagre and our citizens want things to change.

I was pleased that, as a response to the letter, two councilors did have the courtesy to discuss it with me. Both felt that my complaints were valid and said they were as frustrated as I am as to why some township services are so poor. I wonder what they will have to say at the next few council meetings or during the next election? Interestingly enough, neither the mayor nor either of the two representative councilors from my own ward bothered to call.

One final and very positive note: Considering the horrid weather conditions, the roads In the Ompah- Snow Road Ward have been well maintained, ploughed and sanded during December. Trucks have been out every day, early and often and we all appreciate it.

- Leo L Ladouceur

Where is Christmas?

Seasons Greetings Canada, Christmas is cancelled. The politics of Christmas have gone askew. The proof is in the vocabulary of December. It's holiday carols and Seasons Greetings for you mom.References to Christmas are becoming non-existent and nativity scenes are rare. Christmas as we know it is dying and soon Jesus will be the holiday infant. Canadians are so accommodating, laid back and politically correct that our culture is disappearing. Happy Holidays Canada. You are a weak pudding, not the magical Merry Christmas hot plum pudding you once were. Is it the end of Merry Christmas in Canada? It is not the downplaying of Merry Christmas that threatens Christmas, it's the apathy. Soon the only place we'll see Christmas is on the calendar. I love you Canada but it's beginning to look very little like Christmas in December in this strange land.

- Dave McCourt

Good news for Seniors!

The Conservative Party has just announced that they will not only protect all our critical retirement security programs (Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan), but that they will double our pension tax deduction. Moreover, and perhaps best of all, they will create a Seniors’ Council, not of their choosing, but made up of individuals from our own seniors’ national organizations. I’ll bet that like me, most seniors have sat on the phone for hours just trying to get to talk to a live government bureaucrat, let alone trying to actually sort out our pensions, or answer some of our questions. Now that is, indeed, good news!

With a Conservative Government, we Seniors will finally have a voice at the table, and we will no longer be just a tax source.

- Val Crandall

Re:Beer and Popcorn

Election after election (since 1993), the Liberals have promised a Child Care Program and failed to deliver. Yet when the Conservatives announced a deliverable Child Care Program, the Liberals attacked it, insulting Canadian parents by saying that they would spend the money on beer and popcorn. The Liberalsbelieve that yet another massive government program (like the Sponsorship program, perhaps), is better able to care for children than their own parents. I disagree vehemently!

Looking back to when I was raising my children, I had good care-givers, but always felt I would have preferred to care for them myself (and take exception to the idea that some-one else – even a professional – could do it better!). Many parents feel they have no choice – other than to work outside the home. I was one of those parents and any, even a small, incentive may have made the decision to stay home easier. Sometimes I feel that it is only by the grace of God, that my children turned out O.K.!

Perhaps Paul Martin cares more about Liberal electoral fortunes, than the real needs of Canadian children and their parents?

- Janice Rheaton

Published in 2006 Archives
Thursday, 05 January 2006 04:40


Feature Article - January 5, 2006

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Feature Article

January 5, 2006

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo EnrightTastes oftheOttawa Valley Courtesy of the Fall RiverPub & Grill, Maberly

Cafe Merea, Coffeehouse in McDonald's Corners

by Les Russett

CafMerea is about the promotion of art in the community. In its sixth month of production, CafMerea has established itself as a popular event in the growing artistic community of McDonalds Corners that features local and regional talent. As part of MERA's arts and recreation programming, the coffeehouse provides an opportunity for performing artists to present their work in a comfortable and intimate setting.

Last Friday’s record snowfall was plowed away for a concert that highlighted Ed Ashton and Les Russett playing original jazz compositions with titles like "Lanark Highland Blues" and "Coffeehouse Rag". Michael "Chip" Petit, a clarinettist from McDonalds Corners, played traditional works by Beethoven and Bach mixed in with seasonal favourites like "Frosty the Snowman" that had the audience singing along. Gene Bassett read a delightful Christmas tale especially written for his cafperformance and stories from his book entitled "Tall Tales/Short Stories". Michelle Larin shared moments from her life expressed in an appealing poetic style that moved the audience. Bob Leviton bravely drove all the way from Ottawa to provide sound engineering and to record the concert for later web broadcast. It was a magical winter evening that sparkled with Christmas lanterns and freshly fallen snow.

Five door prizes were donated by local businesses. During intermission, the audience enjoyed Yogi tea, fresh organic coffee, and cookies prepared by Michelle. Executive producer Les Russett invites all local performers who are interested in playing at CafMerea to call 279-1081 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The next CafMerea will be Friday, January 27, and will feature a dramatization of the life of John Muir performed by Howard Clifford, a writer and actor from Lanark who is deeply concerned about issues involving the conservation of our wilderness.

Published in 2006 Archives
Thursday, 02 February 2006 04:36


Feature Article - February 2, 2006

Feature Article

February 2, 2006

NFCSNotes:Happenings at NorthernFrontenac Community Services

In-Home Respite Program: The Community Support Services Program is pleased to announce that In-Home Respite will soon be available to those families and individuals who are dealing with the heavy burden of caregiving. A qualified respite worker will be able to come into their home to supervise and interact with the family member while the caregiver takes a much-needed break. Please watch our column for further announcements as this service is developed.

Christmas Hamper Thank Yous: Many thanks, Al and Gail Jackson, Ron Hollywood and Peter Brugmans for their assistance in delivering the Christmas hampers in December. Without our many volunteers, our work would very quickly overwhelm us.

Community Drop In Receives Funding: The Community Drop In, a weekly drop in program coordinated by Adult Protective Services, has received $2,500 from the Kingston area office of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Innovation grants are offered periodically to programs in the developmental services that promote integration and benefit the broader community. The Community Drop In has been providing social and recreational opportunities for a large number of people. The money will be used to purchase commercial cookware, a new stove and craft and game supplies.

Income Tax Volunteer Training: On Monday February 6 from 9am to 4pm, a training session will be held at the Child Centre for volunteers willing to complete returns for low-income families and individuals. If interested, please call Joyce, Northern Frontenac Community Services, 279-3151. The training will be provided by Canada Revenue Agency

Published in 2006 Archives
Thursday, 30 November 2006 07:18


Feature Article - November 23, 2006

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Feature Article - November 23, 2006

Loughborough Christmas Committee andEmergencyReliefFund (LCC&ERF)

The name may be long, but then again so is the list of families that need our help.

Although we originally started over 20 years ago to provide food baskets and gifts for needy families at Christmas, we have evolved into Loughborough's year round food bank, as well as being a source of funds for financial emergencies, i.e. overdue utilities or rent,

and disasters like house fires, etc.

Other organizations like Rural Visions may also be contacted in the event of financial

difficulties. Rural Visions refers Loughborough residents back to LCC&ERF for food bank related assistance; however, they are a great resource for many other needs people may have. We operate independently, but we work closely with them to ensure that anyone who is in need of our emergency services doesn't “slip through the cracks”.

We thank the numerous organizations and individuals in the community who provide the

only support LCC&ERF receives in order to be able to distribute more than 60 baskets at

Christmas, and emergency assistance throughout the year. With only a handful of regular volunteer members, along with extra helpers at Christmas, LCC&ERF provides recipients with about a week's worth of groceries, including all the trimmings for a traditional Christmas dinner, a gift and book for each child, gifts for teens, and additional donated items for parents to choose from to put under the Christmas tree for their little ones.

To support LCC&ERF's work, a number of fund-raisers have been planned. Ginny Trousdale will donate 10% of the proceeds from today’s sales (November 23), to our

organization. On December 2 from 10am to 4m, Christmas elves will accept donations of empties at the Sydenham Beer Store. On December 17 at 7:30pm, a Christmas Cantata will take place at the Sydenham Holiness Church with collections being donated to LCC&ERF, A mitten tree located at the Sydenham Library accepts donations of yarn and/or mittens, bats, scarves and slippers, which will be put into the Christmas baskets.

Contributions may be deposited into any of the festively decorated jars in offices and stores of Sydenham Village merchants. Alternatively, please take a moment to mail your cheque made out to LCC&ERF to P.O. Box 450 ; Sydenham , ON ; K0H 2T0 and provide your address so that a tax receipt can be mailed to you in the New Year.

To be considered for a basket, or to recommend someone else who might benefit from one, contact us by leaving a message at 613-376-3532 and Bev will return your call. Thank you for helping us to continue to make Christmas special for many of our neighbours! Merry Christmas from the Loughborough Christmas Committee.

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