Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers had its 50/50 winning ticket picked on October 15th at Jim Mustard’s Variety store in Iroquois. Jim Mustard has been a supporter of the program since its inception in 1992. The winning ticket for the 50/50 was sold at the Williamstown fair this past August; the winner was Denis Tousignant of Greenfield, North Glengarry Township ($1550.00). The winning ticket was pulled by Nelson Zandbergen in front of Mustard’s Variety store.
Over the past few days, SD&G OPP has received two reports of suspected scams.
The incident consists of a female entering a local store and speaking with the employee at the cash register. After a short time three to four more people come into the store and start asking the employee questions about the merchandise that is for sale.
When the employee is distracted a member of the group goes behind the counter or into a storage area looking for cash or valuables.
SD&G OPP want to remind merchants to be aware of this possible scam and to not to be distracted. If more than one person starts to engage in questions advise them to speak one at a time and be firm as to where they are allowed to go in the store.
If any merchant experiences this type of incident please take note of the description of the criminals and what type of vehicle they are using and call your local police detachment.
Are you one of the many people who drive Laurier Drive to County Road 2 on a daily basis?
On October 13th, Hugh Garlough, Manager of Public Works for South Dundas, gave the Leader an update on where things stand with the patch of road at the north end of Laurier in between Beavers Dental and Ultramar.
The piece in question, which is approximately the length of one car, has been quite bad for a good length of time with its pot holes and uneven pavement.
According to Garlough, “the counties own all intersections along any county road and any culvert that crosses an entrance to (a non-county) road.”
This means that the fate of Laurier Drive lies “in the hands of the counties.” Garlough was told that the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry would be doing an investigation before getting back to him on the road’s future.
The Leader followed up with County Engineer Ben De Haan the same day.
De Haan said he had “been out on site” but couldn’t say much about the state of the road as it was “covered in stone dust.” Ironically, the Township of South Dundas has been spreading stone dust in an attempt to make the road drivable.
He also said he “did look at the culvert (and there was) no significant issue with the culvert.”
In terms of the road itself, De Haan did admit there was “pretty deficient asphalt; deterioration of the asphalt.”
As for repairs or replacements? The outlook doesn’t seem likely. “We (Counties) don’t have it on our plan for this year.”
He did, however, say that the Counties are required to keep the road at a minimum code and, “if (there’s) patching to be done, we’ll (Counties) look after that.”
When questioned about the possibility of the road being put on next year’s budget agenda, De Haan didn’t seem optimistic.
He ventured that “it will be looked at (but that it’s) subject to approval.”
Upon hearing this news, South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds had this to say: “Things are being looked into. Stay tuned.”
News Release – October 18, 2011
CORNWALL – 363 residents in the five Eastern Counties are among the patients who will be receiving registered letters following the investigation into a private Ottawa-area medical clinic.
During the investigation, it was discovered that the clinic did not always follow some infection prevention and cleaning protocols. As a precaution, letters are being sent to approximately 6,800 patients who underwent endoscopic procedures at the clinic between April 2002 and June 2011.
The clinic, operated by Dr. Christiane Farazli, is located at 1081 Carling Avenue, Suite 606. Dr. Farazli has worked with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) during the investigation and has co-signed the letter to her patients. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has been in regular contact with OPH concerning the matter.
“Even though the risk of getting an infection is very low, patients who receive a letter should contact their physician to discuss testing,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
In fact, the risks of associated infections are believed to be less than 1 in 1 million for Hepatitis B, less than 1 in 50 million for Hepatitis C, and less than 1 in 3 billion for HIV.
The letters include information for patients who would like to be tested. These are free blood tests and patients will need to go to a laboratory to have blood taken. If a patient would like to be tested they have several options which are outlined in the letter.
Ottawa Public Health has established a dedicated information line for residents who have questions related to this issue. Any person who underwent endoscopy in the facility during the time period mentioned and who has not received a letter by Tuesday, October 25th should contact Ottawa Public Health.
The OPH dedicated information line’s number is 613-580-2888.
The phone line will be available between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday).
For additional information, please visit www.ottawa.ca/health.
The information line was open until midnight on Tuesday, October 18 and Wednesday, October 19.
Patients are being advised not to go to a hospital emergency department for blood testing. Hospitals will re-direct patients seeking blood tests for this issue to call OPH.
“If everybody gave 100 per cent all the time, most of the problems on this planet could be solved. We need to focus that incredible energy at all times. Give the best you can to the world,” said Mitch Dorge, on October 4, 2011, addressing a very enthusiastic audience of grades 7-8 students at Seaway District High School.
Dorge, who is probably much better known to Canadians as the drummer for the band Crash Test Dummies, presented two assemblies to the intermediate and high school students. The thrust of his dynamic and upbeat discussion was to encourage students to find positive and healthy ways to affect the world.
“If we can stop lies and myths about drugs and alcohol, the door to communications is open,” Dorge said. “I try to tell kids that life is short. Go after your dreams, but make the right choices along the way.”
Dorge made his points through humour and anecdotes tied in to his life as an artist who has performed with the Dummies throughout the world. Personable and outgoing, he brought student volunteers forward, demonstrating the strength of positive energy and a bright outlook on life.
Mitch Dorge appeared at Seaway under the sponsorship of the Co-operators Insurance.
“Co-operators has small town roots itself,” said Brent McKean, an agent with the company, who came to Seaway with Dorge. “Our company has a real desire to make a difference in communities. Head office saw and heard Mitch speaking and working with students, and knew that his is a powerful message concerning drugs and alcohol. Co-operators has been working with him for four years now.
His message is very pro-active, encouraging young people to live life positively.”
While Dorge has successfully addressed audiences of up to 2,000 young people, he enjoys working with smaller crowds like those at Seaway.
“I interact a lot with kids directly. I like to get close and talk directly to them,” Dorge said following his presentation. “Energy and joy should be the focus of a young person’s life. I tell kids to be comfortable in their own skins.”
If you are a cat owner who enjoys holidaying in the sun, and being pampered and fed in a luxurious hotel, but feel a tinge of guilt at leaving your favourite feline behind, then the PussyCat Hotel could be the answer for you.
The PussyCat Hotel, located just east of Glen Stewart on the South Branch Road, is owned and operated by Judy Amo and Ian Leverett. The two have turned a cattle barn into a palatial cat resort that provides luxurious accommodations for our furry friends.
The Hotel, however, doesn’t answer just the needs of those heading off on vacation. Cat owners who travel for business and those who have to be away from home or unable (temporarily) to care for their cat(s) due to health reasons are frequent customers.
Judy and Ian have filled the hotel’s central catwalk with regular home furnishings…a dining room set, couches and chairs, and a television that on most days features all the things a cat is interested in.
“I like to leave it on through the day so they can watch it,” says Judy, who often heads to the hotel to spend the evening watching television with the cats while Ian catches a sports program back at the house.
Off the catwalk are the cat suites, that range from the ‘royal suites’ (up to four cats), to ‘economy’ (one cat). The hotel has 22 rooms. All were filled during the 2010 Christmas holiday, the first holiday the PussyCat Hotel was in operation.
When Ian and Judy first met 20 plus years ago, they owned and bred Persian and Himalayan Cats.
After cleaning homes, Judy took a dog grooming course and worked in that business for a number of years.
Ian has tried his hand at a government position and running a craft business. He built a busy disc jockey business in the Ottawa area, ‘700 dances a year” then a successful snow ploughing operation, “which was worse.”
The couple eventually settled in the Kemptville area where they launched a pet sitting business which developed into their boarding dogs in their own home.
“We went to our first home where there was a dog chained outdoors,” says Ian. “It was 40 below, so we decided to take the dog home, and that’s how it started. We eventually had 500 clients.”
Unfortunately, caring for upwards of 20 dogs in their home at any one time became a health/safety issue for Judy, when she had a knee replacement.
They sold the business and moved to their new home on the South Branch Road in the spring of 2010, with the intent to build a boarding kennel for dogs. However, a clause in the sale of their Kemptville business and municipal regulations led them down a slightly different path…a return to their first love, cats, and the resulting PussyCat Hotel.
“We love it here,” says Judy of the six acre farm. “It’s so quiet and the neighbours are so friendly. When we opened (November 2010) we had an open house and all the neighbours came.”
In designing the PussyCat Motel, Ian says, “we figured cats don’t belong in cages just like dogs, so we designed the rooms. Most places just have cages and the animals are confined to the cages for weeks on end.”
“We spent a lot of money on this. It was a horse and cow stable.”
Ian’s vision included pillars which run the length of the central hallway. Each of the suites opens off the grande hallway with screen doors.
The top room is the (up to four cat) ‘king suite’ which measures a little more than eight by seven feet. Located on the west side of the Hotel, it offers maximum afternoon sunshine which shines onto window perches. There are also climbing ramps, poles and extra large cat trees.
The (up to three cat) ‘queen suites’ catch the morning sun Slightly smaller than the ‘kings’, they too feature ramps and large cat trees. The 40 square foot ‘royal suite’ houses up to two cats as does the 36 square foot ‘presidential’. The 30 square foot ‘economy condo’ has no window and is designed for one cat.
Litter boxes and feeding stations are located in each room.
Prices are per room (not per cat) and range from $30 per day for the ‘king’ down to $14 per day for ‘economy’.
During their stay, the feline guests can roam freely throughout the hotel. Some cats are quite comfortable around the other guests, while others take a couple of days to warm up to the idea. A few choose to remain in their rooms.
The cats are confined to their rooms at night. “Then we know they are safe,” says Judy. “During the day they have their freedom. They don’t get bored. There is always something for them to do. I come in and play with them or watch TV.”
Last Wednesday, there were nine guests and two expected to arrive on Thursday. Two were catnapping on their window ledges, while Smokey and Sheeba (ragdolls) were hiding, like cats do, under the couch. Then there was the very curious Hawkeye who joined Ian and Judy for the interview on the dining table.
Smokey and Sheeba were on an indefinite stay while their owner recuperates from a medical issue. “The lady who owns them phones every day. She misses them,” says Judy.
The beautiful decor, featuring pillars and chandeliers and laminate (wood) flooring that runs down the centre of the PussyCat Hotel are only surpassed by the pristine cleanliness of the entire operation.
With the exception of a few wisps of cat hair (an unavoidable part of the business), the hotel is immaculate.
First time visitors can expect to be ‘wowed’ with what they see.
Judy cleans every day. She says she seldom has problems with the cats and all use their litter boxes.
Judy has also returned to dog grooming which she does in a specially adapted room in the couple’s home well away from the PussyCat.
Ian’s philosophy is, ‘if you offer a service a lot of people need and a lot of people like, then you are going to be successful.”
With reservations now being made for the upcoming Christmas season and winter travel time, Ian and Judy are hoping that indeed the PussyCat Hotel is a service folks and their felines need. It is certainly one that any fuzzy, fur ball can’t help but like. After all, The PussyCat Hotel is billed as ‘Canada’s largest and most luxurious cat hotel’ and it’s located right here in South Dundas.
For more information and pictures or for reservations at the ‘purr’fect kitty getaway contact the PussyCat Hotel at www.thepussycathotel.com or call Ian and Judy at 613-652-9082.
Laura-Lee Cholette, assistant superintendant at the Upper Canada Golf Course, is someone who gives a ‘hoot’.
In May of this year, following a big windstorm, Laura-Lee spotted what she thought was a chunk of paper near the trees north of the par three third green. On closer inspection, the chunk of paper turned out to be a baby bird, later identified as a Great Horned Owl.
So began Laura-Lee’s rescue, which included the Owl’s turn over to the Wild Bird Centre in Ottawa, its summer spent growing up at the Owl Foundation near Niagara Falls and its subsequent release back home on Sunday, October 9 at the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary.
“They estimated it was only two weeks old when I found it and explained to me that at that age it wasn’t at the branch stage yet,” says Laura-Lee. (The branch stage, about six weeks old, is when the young owl is old enough to sit on a branch and wait for its parents to bring food.)
Initially, Laura-Lee left the unidentified bird, but after finishing work and returning home, she couldn’t get if off her mind.
She contacted the Wild Bird Centre in Ottawa and was instructed to return it to the tree and wait for three hours to see if the parents would return.
So back she went, a ladder was located, and she set the baby bird back up on a branch. After three hours, the parents had not showed up, and she returned home.
“The next day it was on the ground again.”
“It could stand up with no problem and its claws were huge. It even hissed at me.”
Fearing it was unlikely the baby would survive, Laura packed it up and took it to the Wild Bird Centre.
“It was neat,” she says. “They actually got four at the time, because of the wind storm.”
It was there that the baby bird was identified as a Great Horned Owl.
From the Wild Bird Centre, the baby was sent to The Owl Foundation, an owl rehabilitation centre located at Vineland Station in the Niagara Peninsula, where it was raised to the age it could survive on its own.
“They had a foster mom who took in six babies,” says Laura-Lee.
When release time came, Laura-Lee was contacted. Also being returned to the area was a Screech Owl that had been found in Cooper’s Marsh in August. Preferred releases are done within a reasonable distance from where the owls are originally found.
“I was supposed to pick her up in Napanee, but luckily Patty Summers from the Wild Bird Centre in Ottawa was in Guelph and she was able to drive them here.”
Laura-Lee says she was totally impressed with the beautiful bird that was returned to her.
“Her wing span was three feet, and she was probably 1.5 feet tall. She was gorgeous.”
The Screech Owl, (later released at the Marsh) was “very tiny. It was the size of my guy’s head.”
In front of family and friends, Laura-Lee released the Horned Owl at the Bird Sanctuary.
Per instructions, the box was opened near trees “so she could look for a perching option. The last I saw of her, she was flying off over the trees.”
“They explained to me that if there is room she will stay, but if there is already a pair around she will move on. I actually wanted to take her home. She was beautiful.”
Describing her feelings as happy “because it is now free” and sad “because it is alone”, Laura-Lee says the rescue was a “wonderful experience”. She says she has certainly learned a lot about owls.
The Great Horned Owl is the most widely distributed true owl in the Americas. It can have a wingspan of 40-60 inches and the females are larger than the males. They have large ear tufts, reddish brown or grey faces, and their irises are yellow.
All mated Great Horned Owls are permanent residents of their territories. After hatching, they move onto tree branches at about six weeks and fly about one week later. They stay with their parents for several months.
As for Laura-Lee, she will now be listening for ho-ho-hoo, hoo, hoo, the call of a Great Horned Owl, and wondering if it is her rescued baby.
Longtime golfer, Mitch Cassell made it a hat trick on Monday when he dropped a hole in one on the par three, 118 yard, 14th hole at the Morrisburg Golf Course. Playing with buddies Gary Breyer, John Vincent and Ray Baker, Cassell recorded his third ace using an eight iron. “I saw it going towards the hole (back centre of the green), but I turned to my golf bag. The guys saw it go in.” Cassell had his other aces on the fifth and second holes. “The old guy can still do the trick,” he said with a grin when asked if that meant he had won all of the day’s money.
For those with something to say, South Dundas council members were all ears on October 17th.
Mayor Steven Byvelds, along with Deputy Mayor Jim Locke opened the “round table” discussion to the public at 7 p.m. in Matilda Hall. Also in attendance were Councillors Evonne Delegarde, Jim Graham, Archie Mellan, and Clerk Brenda Brunt.
In addition to council, 27 members of the South Dundas public showed up to voice their concerns, make requests, or simply say thank you for a job well done. Members of the public also had the opportunity to talk with council members one-on-one before and after the two hour meeting.
Byvelds began the meeting saying, “This is something I thought would be a good idea (for) the public to bring ideas, discuss concerns – it’s a better opportunity (to be heard) than coming to a council meeting.”
“I can’t promise that everything will be acted on, but (we) will listen.”
The first issue of the night came from a resident of Iroquois who requested council’s help in convincing Union Gas to bring natural gas to his home and to the homes of his neighbours.
Jim Graham volunteered to look into it and help out in whatever way possible.
Taxpayers Funding Alcohol
The next issue raised at the meeting took account with the council holding a retirement party paid for by taxpayers that included an open bar.
Byvelds responded: “We did have one recently – a dinner with an open bar at the Legion. (It) cost less than $1,000.”
It was suggested by Carl McIntyre “that this policy should be reviewed” as he did not think it appropriate for taxpayers to be paying for council’s alcohol.
Volunteers in South Dundas
The huge topic of concern for many that night was the status of volunteers in South Dundas. This topic was raised several times covering the expanse of insurance, money, paperwork, and more.
It was suggested by John Gleed that “something has to be done to improve the whole process in dealing with volunteers.”
He was not alone in this as several other members of the public rose to speak on the same issue.
He went on to say that “rather than helping, in a lot of cases roadblocks are being set up.” In this he was referring to the new policy guidelines as well as the abundance of paperwork involved in applications.
In terms of insurance, he said that “the truth of the matter is – the policy of downloading is incredibly negative to any activity that is going on. Staff can tell you it’s a myth, but it’s not.”
David Lapier raised issue with the fact that the insurance for the Williamsburg Harvest Festival, which normally doesn’t ask for monetary help from the township, had gone up more than $500 from last year’s price.
Several other dedicated members of the public were concerned with having their names on the insurance policies for these volunteer-run events.
People inquired as to council’s decision making process in relation to grant applications. They asked about the total amount in the budget and what portion was actually used for volunteer community events.
In the end, Byvelds said that council had “heard it loud and clear.” He acknowledged that people would like council to “make the process as simple as we can make it (and that council) find some funding for it.”
Byvelds and fellow council members also made it clear that they do appreciate the time, hard work, and passion put into these events by dedicated volunteers. Graham said, “nobody wants to deter volunteers in any shape or form because we can’t do it.” Mellan pointed out, “I think council appreciates the value of our volunteers (and our) community groups.”
“We will do what we can. If it (policy) has to be tweaked down the road, it’s tweakable.”
Boat Launch Fees
Roger Coulter raised issue with the fees charged at the launch ramp. He pointed out that the many other township recreational services like the beach, the park or the outdoor rink require no fees whatsoever.
“We have a lot of boaters in this township and it bothers them that they have to pay a launch fee as well,” he said.
There’s “a double launch in Cardinal (that) doesn’t cost a cent. Many (areas) don’t have cost for ramps,” he reported.
Byvelds said that the launch fees “generate a pot of money to (be) put back into infrastructure (like the) deck in Morrisburg.”
Grass Needs Cutting
An Iroquois resident raised issue with the lack of grooming being done on vacant lots. He requested that council mow the lawns of buildings they’re responsible for on a more regular basis. He also suggested that council deal with people who are not caring for their lawns properly.
Another Iroquois resident also brought the issue of overgrown ditches to council’s attention. Most notably, the ditch on Carmen Road heading toward the Lockes.
Parlow Road River Access
A Morrisburg resident was upset by a sign displayed on a property next to a water access point at the base of Parlow Road. The sign infers that the road and access point is private when, in fact, it is not.
Mayor Byvelds said that he was familiar with the property and the water access point in question and would look into the matter. He verified that it is public property.
Tourism in South Dundas
Hanne Rycroft from the Basket Case Cafe in Morrisburg wanted “some insurance that we’re getting a better tourist bureau.”
She pointed out that the bureau is often closed and, when it’s not closed it is often run by someone not trained or not concerned with tourism.
Rycroft also inquired about several tourism brochures that mentioned South Dundas. The one in question had two South Dundas businesses and Rycroft wanted to know what the process was for deciding who made it into the brochure.
Candace Menges of River Rat Treasures in Iroquois agreed that the state of tourism in South Dundas needs some assistance from council.
She brought attention to the lack of communication between the economic development officer and the actual businesses in South Dundas.
Hosaic Creek Beavers
Robert Byvelds, a dairy farmer East of Williamsburg, requested an update on the status of Hosaic Creek.
The Hosaic Creek Committe, along with the South Nation Conservation (SNC), released a report in 2010 calling for a solution to the overpopulation of beavers.
The dams built in the Creek are causing drainage issues for local farms and farmers.
Trevor Tolley pointed out that this is a natural drainage system that has been cut off by the beaver population. He said that while “SNC is staffed with people who are experts on a variety of aspects of Hosaic Creek,” the one thing they aren’t experts on is agriculture and “human beings” in this area.
Byvelds said, “You want drainage there; I don’t know if it’ll ever get to a point where you have drainage there.”
He did say that the issue hadn’t been discussed in a while and that he would look into it further.
Sewage Treatment Plan
An Iroquois resident asked for an update on the Sewage Treatment Plan.
She was told that a tender would be going out shortly.
Councillor Evonne Delegarde reported, “everything is still on schedule” for a March 2014 completion date.
John Devries wanted to talk about snow removal. He asked if it were possible for the service to begin “a little earlier in the morning for school buses and the milk truck.”
Councillor Archie Mellan said that “it will be looked at.”
The question of large item garbage removal was also raised, specifically freezers and fridges.
There is no pick up for these items, but there are drop off places available.
The resident in question was concerned with the lack of “user friendly” scheduling. There is a drop off in Iroquois between 8 a.m. and Noon on Fridays, but many people work during those four hours.
Council agreed to look into the situation.
It was pointed out, at this time, that electronics could be taken to the North Dundas Fire Department or to the House of Lazarus in Winchester.
Inquiry was made as to whether or not South Dundas had indeed hired a bylaw inspector. It was noted that many people park illegally in the Morrisburg Plaza parking lot, but nothing appears to be done about it.
Council confirmed that there is a bylaw officer, but that much of his time is consumed by “big stuff.”
Locke pointed out that “most bylaws are enforced by complaint.”
Old High School
David Lapier wanted to know “how (council was) going to set a limit on cost” in terms of “moving council to the high school in Morrisburg.” More to the point, he wanted to know what the cost would be for taxpayers.
Byvelds outlined the necessity of moving council from Williamsburg to Morrisburg saying “there’s not enough room; (there are) air quality issues; it really doesn’t suit; (and,) in 1998 it was a temporary move, a political move.”
“There’s no way to make that work. I would like to have the entire staff under one roof.” He pointed out that the bylaw officer’s “office” is in the middle of the hall while the fire chief is working in “a building that we’ve condemned.”
In terms of finances, Byvelds believes that the high school is “still going to be the best option in the end.”
He pointed out that it won’t “happen overnight (as it’s) a long-term process.” Right now there are “fairly reasonable rates” available for getting this done.
He suggested that people check out the Prescott Municipal Office if they wanted to get an idea of what things might be like when finished.
When asked if there would be an outdoor rink this winter, Byvelds said, “we’re working on it. It’s a necessity.”
Inquiries as to the status of surplus buildings rendered the following response from Byvelds: they’re “still on our radar.”
He informed the group that Delegarde had recently asked for a tour of the buildings because some of the council members hadn’t yet seen them.
He also said that council was concerned with making balanced decisions about what to do with the surplus buildings in each community.
Thanks for a Great Job
In addition to complaints and requests, the public also wanted to say thank you, acknowledging the work of council.
Carl McIntyre: “I think this council has done a great job. I’ve agreed with every decision you’ve made. I’m only here to talk about what hasn’t been done” yet.
Roger Coulter wanted to thank council for the bike and walking paths in Iroquois.
Seven members of the Riverside Heights Women’s Institute met on October 4, 2011, at the George Jowett Hall at 1 p.m.
The recent yard sale on Saturday was a success despite a cold and windy morning.
Lucie Durivage reported on the District’s one day bus trip to the Mackenzie King estate. Florence McManus mentioned that the bus is filled. It promises to be a nice day, ending with a stop at the Rideau-Carleton Casino.
A thank you was received from Winchester Memorial Hospital for a donation received from our branch.
Florence then showed us some of the jewelry pieces she made from dried potato pieces.
The list for the shut-ins was revised. Pauline Battershill will get the Christmas materials ready for members to deliver in December.
Food items were collected from the members to be donated to our food bank. A light lunch was served by the hostess, Giselle Lavictoire.
Next meeting will be November 1, 2011, at 1 p.m.