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Around the Township.

Tomorrow, Thursday, October 6, we go to the polls to elect our provincial government. For some, it seems to have been an election that has garnered little interest…although some sources indicate it has been heating up in the last couple of days. Be sure to exercise your right to vote and choose the person you most feel will represent us the best. What is that term the kids use in their chats…oh yeah…lol. It stands for something like ‘laughing out loud’.

My gosh the days are getting shorter, aren’t they. Monday, the alarm went, and I was sure (completely and positively sure) something had gone wrong with the clock. In fact, with eyes still closed and curled up in the warmth of the comforter, I informed the hubby “there had to be something wrong with the clock.” It was still dark outside and there was no way it was time to get up. A quick trip to the kitchen to check the clock there finally convinced us. Why even the animals weren’t yet up and going, and for sure the cat is always ready for her breakfast as soon as the first alarm sounds. If we don’t move fast enough, she usually hits the bed and perches impatiently on a pillow above our heads until we do get going.

This weekend many of our young folks return home for Thanksgiving, (generally their first good meal since they left for school way back at the start of September) and for the graduation exercises  at ‘dear old’ Seaway High on Friday night.

That being said, it’s time to talk turkey. Roast turkey with all the fixings. Better yet, roast turkey with all the fixins and some pumpkin pie. Just a few thousand calories, but who’s counting. Following Thanksgiving, we have 74 days to work off a few pounds before the next big turkey time, with all the fixins, that takes place in late December. That’s right just 74 days until Christmas. Can you believe it?

That means we have to get going…squeeze in those last few games of golf, clear out the flower beds, put away the garden furniture, complete the fall house cleaning and re-hang the Christmas lights. And for some of us there is a lot of juggling as we are knee-deep in hockey and curling and all of our favourite winter activities.

Where does the time go. Any wonder we don’t believe the alarm clock when it sounds off to tell us it is time to get up. lol…..


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Novice B Lions open pre-season with wins

The South Dundas “Pizza Hut” Novice B Lions kicked off the 2011/12 hockey season with back-to-back 5-4 and 4-2 wins against the South Stormont Selects.

Here on Thursday night, the Lions opened the season with a 5-4 win over the South Stormont Selects as they held on tightly to their one goal lead late in the third period. With their net emty, the Selects pressed to get the equalizer before the final buzzer but were turned away the Lions defense. 

Lions goaltender Brendan Shaver was tested in the last couple of minutes but stood his ground and kept the puck in front of the goal line.    

The Selects opened the scoring at the 3:30 minute mark of the first period and that score held with saves by goalies Keaton Woodside (Selects) and Brendan Shaver (Lions). 

With 1:04 left in the period, the Lions got on the board when Kayne McCadden grabbed the puck in the offensive zone and made a few moves around the Selects defenders before burying the puck behind Woodside. 

The Selects re-claimed the lead with 10 seconds left in the second when the Lion defence were caught up ice leaving Joshua Broad the lonely Lion to try and stop the Selects charge.     

Throughout the second and third period, the Lions offense carried the play as defenders Emytt Fetterly, Cassidy Bilmer and Spencer Barclay kept the play alive many times at the offensive blue line. 

At 6:26 the Selects took a 3-1 lead when a shot by Chase Duchesne squeaked a puck by Brendan Shaver. 

With the game closing in on only a few minutes left the Lions offense went to work. 

At 9:24 Joshua Broad passed the puck around a Select defender to Ben Lapier who went in on the Selects goalie and beat him glove side. At 11:23 Nolan Henry took a pass form Trent Rae at the Selects blue line and broke in on Woodside to beat him with another great shot. 

On the very next shift Ben Lapier went to work scoring two goals in eight seconds to record the first three goal performance of the year. Owen Fetterly picked up the lone assist on the goals.

In the rematch and resulting 4-2 win, Ben Lapier (from Kolby Latulippe) opened the scoring for the Lions on the power play with 19 seconds left in the first period. 

Early in the second, Lions goalie Brendan Shaver kept the Selects off the board with a huge glove save on a Selects shot from the slot. 

Owen Fetterly gave the Lions a 2-0 lead when he carried the puck down the right wing and wristed a shot just as he approached the slot.

The Selects finally got on the board when Owen Carter banged in his own rebound when he pounced on a loose puck by the Lions net. 

The Lions regained their two goal lead when Kayne McCadden got the puck from Latulippe in the right wing corner and flipped the puck over the goalie to Nolan Henry who was standing all alone in front of the net. 

To his surprise the puck landed flat on the ice, right on his stick. The puck bounced away, but Henry quickly regained control and shot the puck off the Selects goalie’s right pad into the net. 

Kayne McCadden scored with 1:31 left in the second period unassisted.

In the third period, Lions defenseman Spencer Barclay used his head (literally) in taking a scoring chance away from Selects Owen Carter. 

It started when Carter crossed over the Lions blue line, cut into the middle of the ice and let a wrist shot go. The puck hit Barclay on the helmet and deflected out of play. 

The South Dundas “Pizza Hut” Lions open their regular season to-night in Kemptville and travel to Westport on Saturday.


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Celebrating nature and wildlife

Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary’s Nature & Wildlife Day on October 2nd.

The yearly event, hosted by the Friends of the Sanctuary, offered an array of informative, educational and entertaining  options.

Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo brought a few residents from their home in Ottawa. The lucky reptiles and amphibians in attendance were able to enjoy the warmth of being inside the Interpretive Centre.

Outside, despite the cold and mist, everyone seemed to enjoy the various exhibits.

“The Roasting Man” filled the autumn air with the delicious smell of summertime barbecue.

Under the shelter of tents, visitors could browse the tables filled with various items for the silent auction, arts and crafts, baking, and used books. They could also try their luck with some raffles. 

Visitors were given the opportunity to build a birdhouse or sift through samples of water for various bugs and other living things.

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority and the South Nation Conservation (SNC) were in attendance to answer questions. 

In fact, the SNC was also hoping for some votes. They were recently “awarded $10,000 in funding from the SHELL Environmental Fund.” By voting online for SNC, the $10,000 could turn into $25,000. Shell will choose the top eight programs. If interested in voting, the link is where South Nation is listed in the project profiles.

The Canadian Carp Club was also available with their freshly caught carp. For those who were curious, “petting” the carp or more precisely “toughing” the carp was also possible. The club was there to bring awareness to the “sport” of carp fishing. It was pointed out that the majority of all carp caught are again returned to their habitats, including the visitors to Nature & Wildlife Day.

For those looking to pet wildlife with fur, there were a number of opportunities. The Monalea Petting Zoo’s llamas and goats were more than eager to say hello. Also there were rabbits and ducks.

The Muskoka Wildlife Centre’s demonstration included an introduction to a skunk, a grey fox, an opposum, a porcupine, and a groundhog. For those who wished, the groundhog welcomed a friendly pat.

Falcon Environmental Services provided the airborne wildlife who couldn’t be touched, but could definitely be admired and appreciated.  Among the guests present were the Harris Hawk, the Peregrine Falcon, the  American Kestral, the Barn Owl, and the Great Horned Owl.

The proceeds from the event will “assist in the promotion of educational, resource management, recreational and interpretive programs at the Sanctuary.”

The free-to-use walking trails are open year round.


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High School development leaves Helping Hand mission ‘homeless’

The final notice has been received and the Helping Hand, a mission of the Pentecostal Church, has until October 17th to vacate its location in the old Morrisburg High School, where it has been a source of clothing for those in need for the past 11 years.

Unfortunate, but true, the Helping Hand used clothing depot, answers a very big need in South Dundas and the surrounding area with an average of 2000-2,500 visitors benefiting from it each year.

The fact that the Helping Hand has to vacate is not a surprise as they were put on notice way back in 2009, that they were in their location on a monthly basis. With the upcoming renovation to the historic high school building to house an expansion to the St. Lawrence Medical and the South Dundas Municipal offices, the monthly basis has ended and the Helping Hand is closing.

The problem is that since they were put on notice of the eventual loss of their location they have been unable to find a new location that would be rent-free, or at the very least, very cheap.

“We have a lot of people not happy about it,” says Pentecostal minister, Rev. Duncan Perry.  “But we can’t afford to go somewhere else. We have a couple thousand dollars (donations) a year coming in, but that is not enough to rent.”

“We don’t want to locate in the mall, and the only other building in town is the former St. Lawrence Parks building.”

According to Rev. Perry, that building is in such poor shape it is no longer an option, and he understands the Food Bank will replace the County Library in its lower level arena location should the library move to the high school, once renovated.

“I was really hoping they (municipality) would give us half of the bottom of the arena,” says Rev. Perry. “But I understand that it is going to the arena staff for a workshop/storage. It would have been a perfect fit for us.”

“We’ve been open for 11 years, and we are averaging 2,000 to 2,500 people a year. The $2,000 we receive in donations (goodwill donations from those who benefit from the Helping Hand, and donations from the community) is put back into the community.”

Recently, money was donated to the Breakfast Programs at Seaway High and Morrisburg Public Schools. “We’ve also given a lot to the Food Bank over the years.”

“People have come to us and told us that if we weren’t (Helping Hand) here, they didn’t know what they would do. The clothing donated to us is top notch and we made a decision at the start, that if we wouldn’t wear it, it wouldn’t be used.”

“One lady has been using it over and over through the years to clothe her children.”

“Those are the kind of stories we hear every week.”

“It is really amazing what we have done locally, and we’ve sent truckloads of clothes overseas when we couldn’t handle it all.”

The Helping Hand is run by volunteers and there is no charge for the clothing, although visitors can make goodwill donations.

“We have helped people from all over. We wish we could keep it open, we really do. It’s too bad, and I understand the town doesn’t have the money for a building.”

“I do believe the number of working poor is getting larger. It’s unfortunate we need a place like this but we do. If there was a place found, we wouldn’t even think about shutting it down. If they would reconsider letting us share with the Food Bank that would be ideal.”

That, however, according to Rev. Perry, is not an option at this time, and the Helping Hand is preparing to close by the October 17 deadline. Arrangements have been made for representatives from Agape in Cornwall to visit the facility, with the hope that they will be able to take the clothing.

Located at 40, Fifth Street West in Cornwall, the Agape Centre runs a Food Bank, Soup Kitchen and Thrift Shoppe.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds says he is appreciative of the service the Helping Hand provides to the community. “It’s unfortunate, but hopefully they will find somewhere in the community.”

Byvelds confirmed that the long-term plan is for removal of the former Parks building. “That building is done, and we are only spending what we have to, to keep it going.”

He says there has been some discussion of moving the Food Bank to the arena location, but the discussions are very preliminary and nothing is decided and nothing can or will be decided until the final plans are in place for the high school.

Those plans, are for the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic to occupy the first floor (ground level) and the municipal offices to occupy some or all (if necessary) of the second floor. Once these two entities are accommodated then the remaining space, including the third floor, will be considered.


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Junior B Lions split games

Morrisburg Junior B Lions coach Thom Racine sees the St. Lawrence Division as one that could develop into two tiers and to keep that from happening he says his Lions have to get tougher.

After a weekend that saw the Lions start strong with a 7-2 win over the Char-Lan Rebels on home ice Friday night, and then fall victim to the Glens in Alexandria, 7-1, Sunday, Racine says “I think we were a little intimidated by them (Glens). They are a big physical team, and we didn’t have the match for them.”

“We have to get tougher, and I have to find a way to motivate them on the physical side of things. They have to learn to play tough, and they have to have each other’s back. They talk about how the game has changed, but intimidation is still there.”

Friday night, the 7-2 win gave the Lions a good start to the weekend.

They scored their first goal, on the first shot of their first shift in the first 10 seconds of the match when Ryan Ward (from Clarke Veenstra) put the puck past Rebels goaltender Robbie Chapman.

“Scoring nine seconds into a game usually works well,” said Racine and work well it did.

Clarke Veenstra gave the Lions a two-goal lead at 9:02 of the frame with help from Alex Steingruber and Ward, and Ryan Dunbar made it 3-0 with help from Marc Antoine Kamel at 12:18.

The Rebels got one back from Quinlin MacDonell at 14:08 to cut the gap to 3-1.

In the second period “Michael Poapst (from Sylvester Bzdyl) got his first goal of the season to get the monkey off his back,” said Racine.

The 4-1 Lions lead carried well into the third period until Tyler Filion counted for the Rebels at 9:10.

“When they made it 4-2, that old nervousness started to come back,” said Racine recalling the number of times last year, the Lions collapsed to give up a lead and settle for a disappointing loss.

This time out however, the Lions held on, and an unassisted Brayden Girard goal at 15:58 ended the jitters and put them back on track.

“Brayden is a great skater, and he doesn’t score many goals. So when he goes in and scores a goal it is huge,” said Racine.

Seeing his first full game, was rookie goaltender Ryan Cooper. “Ryan played well,” said Racine. “He was promised that game as a start and he played well.”

Charged up by the Girard goal, the Lions finished it off with goals from Clarke Veenstra (from Steingruber) and Lance Hodgson (from Michael Paquette) for the 7-2 win, their second of the young season.

Then on Sunday, the Lions were on the road to Alexandria where they managed only one goal against the Glens from Lance Hodgson (Brayden Girard and Zach Seguin) early in the second period.

They held the Glens to a 1-0 first period lead, but fell behind 2-0, 2:38 into the second period. Hodgson’s goal at 3:15 kept it close at 2-1. Just over a minute later, the Glens upped it to 3-1, and they stretched it with a short-handed goal at 18:27 of the frame.

Three unanswered third period goals gave them the 7-1 win. 

“We were hanging in,” says Racine. “We were 2-1 in the second period, then a mistake and before you know it you are down a couple of goals.”

“The three goals, in three minutes, in the third period put us away.”

Also hurting in the effort was a short bench. The Veenstras were unable to make the game, and Michel Thurler was sitting out his second game of a six game suspension.

Racine was relieved that Steingruber was in the lineup after he was injured the week before.

Racine is looking forward to playing at full strength, sooner rather than later.

“We are trying to be a skilled team with four lines, but we haven’t been able to ice that (full) team yet.”

Coming up this weekend, the Lions are in Winchester against the Hawks Friday night, October 7 for an 8:15 p.m. start. Sunday, October 9, they host the Alexandria Glens at 2:30 p.m.

The Casselman Vikings and the Glens are currently tied for the St. Lawrence Division top spot with 12 points each, both with six wins and one loss. 

The Winchester Hawks have nine points on four wins, one loss and one tie, and the Lions have four points on a pair of wins. 

Akwesasne has one tie and Char-Lan is still looking for their first point of the season.


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Quality of South Dundas water

Since the August 19th boil water advisory, Mayor Steven Byvelds has been working to discover what caused the initial reading.

He explained, at the September 6th South Dundas council meeting, that there were two issues to be dealt with in this situation. 

First, council needed expert reports on what actually happened. 

Secondly, council would need to review the reports to determine what, if anything, needed to be done to update emergency procedures should a similar situation occur in the future.

At that time, Byvelds had received two reports on the situation. One, unfortunately, hadn’t arrived until late on September 6th so there hadn’t been time to review and report to council.

At the September 20th meeting, Byvelds stated: “I apologize. I do not have that report today.”

He said that he’d “finally had time to put all involved in a meeting yesterday (September 19th). We had a really good discussion and we’re working on a report that should be ready within the week.”

Byvelds stated that upon completion of this report, work would begin on development of a protocol for future emergency situations.

On September 29th the Leader received two press releases concerning the boil water advisory: one from Mayor Byvelds and one from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU).

Byvelds: “As promised on August 19th, 2011, I have had discussions with the Medical Officer of Health, representatives of the Ministry of Environment Safe Drinking Water Branch, Caneau Water and Sewage Operations Inc., and Township staff regarding the events leading up to the issuance of the boil water advisory.”

EOHU: “On August 17, 2011, the (EOHU) issued a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory for those served by the South Dundas Regional Drinking Water System treatment plant.”

“The decision to issue the advisory came after receiving an initial report of “overgrown” results from the laboratory. “Overgrown” is a situation where the test may have been contaminated with bacteria found in the environment.”

“Although all other routine water testing results that day were normal, this condition may have interfered with the detection of coliforms or E. coli that may have been present in the sample. In this instance, further testing was required in order to rule out the presence of harmful bacteria.”

EOHU continued: “One day following the advisory, subsequent results fell within acceptable parameters.”

“When there is an “overgrown” situation, as a precaution, the public will be asked to boil water. This is in fact a usual course of action taken by public health officials, even if there is no obvious cause for the adverse results.”

EOHU concluded, explaining that “it is important to note that the (EOHU) and the Ministry of Environment oversee and inspect hundreds of water systems, including municipal water treatment plants. At times, it is not unusual to see inexplicable adverse results. This type of situation does occur and does not mean that a system is unsafe.”

Mayor Byvelds stated: “I am satisfied that all proper protocols were followed and that the quality assurance and quality control procedures in place are acceptable.”

He continued, saying, “The plant’s quality control parameters that measure chlorine residual and turbidity continuously displayed that the water quality leaving the plant was as good as it has been since the day that the South Dundas water plant was first put into operation.”

He emphasized the main point of EOHU’s findings: “It can only be concluded that external factors, such as contamination or inadequate sterilization of the sample bottle caused the overgrown result.”

“While the precautionary boil water advisory caused angst and inconvenience it is comforting to know that there never was an issue with the quality of the water produced by the South Dundas Regional Drinking Water System.”

Now that the first issue  in the boil water advisory situation has been addressed, Mayor Byvelds has, as promised, taken up the second issue: “Staff has now been tasked with drafting a protocol detailing how we would deal with a similar situation in the future. Once complete we will share this with you.”