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countylive.ca year in review – photos April 2017

Countylive thanks our readers and advertisers for continued support of community news and we look forward to an interesting and informative new year! Please enjoy exploring the site, and the year-in-review series of photographs from 2017.

The ‘Globe of Unity’ was unveiled at the roundabout of RCAF and Hamilton roads in Trenton marking the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 93rd anniversary. It represents the connection between the men and women of 8 Wing and the world, as the RCAF is an integral part of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) global operations. It also represents strong community bonds 8 Wing has with the greater Quinte area. – 8 Wing/CFB Trenton photo by Master Corporal Mathieu St-Amour.

Five County residents championed their chosen Canadian books in this year’s eighth annual County Reads event. “It’s much like CBC’s annual Canada Reads event, but, of course, is much better,” says Anne Preston, chair of the Arts Council’s County Reads committee, who is stepping down this year and handing the “books” to Barbara Sweet, CEO of the Prince Edward Public Libraries. The County Reads 2017 defenders were Monica Alyea, Dawn Ayer, Bill McMahon, Lenny Epstein and John Burns. Winner this year was Alyea defending Etta and Otto and Russel and James, by Emma Hooper.

Representatives from a dozen local groups and organizations posed for a photograph at the Picton Rotary Club in thanks for grants received in excess of $13,500. Rotarians Barb Proctor and president Marion Hughes with the Picton Rotary Local Community Service 2016/17 grant recipients – Patrick Maloney (Millennium Trail Project); Col. Wayne Pritchett (Salvation Army); Penny Rolinski (Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation); Margaret Werkhoven, (Community Care for Seniors); Debbie Rankin (Veterans’ Day at Glenwood Cemetery); Phil St. Jean (Splash Pad Project); Judy Fraser, Peter Matthewman and Val MacDonald (Hospice Prince Edward); Darlene Thompson (The ROC); Judie McLaughlin (Reaching for Rainbows); Anne Preston (County Kids Read) and Maribeth deSnoo, (Good Back Pack Program). Kellie Brace (Feed the Meter) and Capt. Mike Campbell, 851 Squadron Air Cadets, were also recipients.

Emotions ranged from joy to a tinge of sadness – but mostly great relief – as Royal Canadian Legion President Pat Burrows helped screw in the ‘sold’ sign on the lawn of the branch’s historic Main Street, Picton mansion. He and members of the Legion’s building committee joined listing agent Kevin Gale to make the sale by realtor Elizabeth Crombie public knowledge. Her client, Jonathan Kearns, has lived at Morrison Point since the late 1980s. His firm will be creating an international culinary school at the site. Above, watching Burrows help Gale to put the ‘sold’ sign in place, are building committee members Ted Taylor, Larry Tillings, Bill and Mary Cannons. (member Tom McCaw missing from photo).

A big-hearted Prince Edward County community raised $201,000 to purchase several pieces of medical equipment for Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and marked the successful end of the LIFE SAVER II Campaign. The PECMH Foundation Board of Directors board set its $201,000 goal last April. The funds go toward the purchase of replacement colonoscopes and gastroscopes and updated equipment for the pharmacy department to aid in dispensing medications. Above, a donation from the PEC Marathon participants.

The sun shone on the House of Falconer in Picton for a special performance marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Stark contrast from a century ago when Canadian soldiers captured the strategically important ridge from the Germans in rain and sleet. Among them, one of the youngest soldiers – if not the youngest – from Prince Edward County.
Robert Clarence Thompson, of Hillier, was a 13-year-old student at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute when he enlisted in 1915. PECI students – Cori and Codie Goodman and Maeve Sanderson – helped tell the boy soldier’s story with musicians Suzanne Pasternak and Mark Despault and singer/songwriter Lenni Stewart.

A 737,948 funding announcement from Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, was “impeccable timing” said Mayor Robert Quaiff. Funds will help improve  the Picton Water Treatment Plant. The state of the system, which supplies water to Picton and Bloomfield residents and businesses, has been in the spotlight over the past two weeks when it was shut down as a precaution following the spill of fuel on a barge partially submerged in Picton Bay.

Co-ordinated efforts rescued a 17-year-old man on a makeshift raft in the still frigid water of Lake Ontario. OPP, Fire and Emergency Medical services raced to the scene. The Canadian Coast Guard and Search and Rescue from 8 Wing CFB Trenton were also requested. The Ministry of Natural Resources was in the area and offered assistance, as did a private citizen.
Three County firefighters launched the department’s Fortuna rescue boat and travelled about 2,400 metres (about one and a half miles) from the Point Traverse shore to reach the youth. The rescued the youth from the water and took him to nearby Timber Island. SAR techs landed and treated the youth for hypothermia, then loaded him into the helicopter to be transported to hospital.

Mayor Robert Quaiff officially ended the County’s state of emergency as water sampling results received confirmed that contamination in Picton Bay no longer poses a significant threat to drinking water. The emergency was declared during the salvage operation of a partially submerged barge in Picton Bay. Two five-gallon containers holding diesel and hydraulic oil spilled. Contaminants were approaching the zone of the water intake that serves Picton and Bloomfield.

From the Easter Bunny’s lips to Mother Nature’s ear, were hopes for the rain to hold off for a glorious morning of sunshine as youngsters participated in community Easter Egg Hunts all over Prince Edward County. Following a hiatus of a few years, the Picton Firefighters Association brought Easter fun back to Benson Park with buckets upon buckets of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs spread throughout the playground and field. Milford also had a great turnout at the parade nobody watches, because everybody is a participant.

The final credits came up for Town & Country Video, the County’s last remaining video rental store. After almost 30 years at 130 Main St., in Picton, thousands of movies and video game rentals will be for sale – and when they’re gone, the store will be closed. Owner Gavin Bonham-Carter said “technology has finally beaten us. With the introduction of android boxes, Netflix and just bootlegging in general, the dynamics of a bricks and mortar video store no longer work.”

 

In absence of a final Environmental Review Tribunal Hearing decision, wpd Canada began clearing vegetation north of Royal Road and east of Lighthall Road for its White Pines industrial wind turbine project. There was also activity at a second site south of Hilltop Road, just west of Brewer’s Road.

-James Lowery photo

Coach’s Pub and residents living in an apartment above were evacuated following structural concerns with the east wall of Picton’s Royal Hotel. A failure in the foundation and brick caused a portion to buckle. An ‘Unsafe Building Order’ was issued and engineers were meeting to discuss a recovery plan. Restoration work under way for the historic building, includes the brickwork, wood cornice and installation of new windows. The hotel was constructed circa 1881. It has been vacant for many years, resulting in significant deterioration.

Tight timelines and a flawed review process topped concerns about drastic changes to Prince Edward County schools. More than 100 community members attended the second and final public meeting for the Hastings Prince Edward School Board’s accommodation recommendations meeting at PECI. Accommodation Review Committees (ARC) were set up to discuss the draft plan which outlines combining students from Pinecrest in Bloomfield at Queen Elizabeth in Picton; sending students from Sophiasburgh to PECI in the fall of 2018; and seek funding to consolidate Kente Public in Ameliasburgh with CML Snider in a new school in Wellington for September 2020.

Social media was abuzz with news Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau celebrated her birthday in Prince Edward County. They were spotted cycling, and were photographed visiting Hinterland Wine and County Road Beer and spotted on the Millennium Trail and dining at the Agrarian. They stayed at Angeline’s in Bloomfield. Above, Justin Trudeau with Sophie Trudeau, holding young Madeleine, daughter of Cody Vader and Melanie Fida, shown here with her brother Alex and staff at Angeline’s Restaurant in Bloomfield.

More than 225 participants pitched in to clean up trash along Prince Edward County roadsides, ditches, green spaces and shorelines. Tanya Delaney, the County’s Outdoor Facilities Supervisor, says approximately 250 big bags of garbage were collected along with recycling to fill about seven full-sized big blue bin carts found at the landfills and transfer stations.

Rendering of how turbines six and four would look in Milford.

An Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision removed 18 industrial wind turbines from the Renewable Energy Approval (REA)’s original 29, leaving the wpd Canada project with just nine turbines – mostly in the Milford area. The long-awaited decision follows a 21-day hearing in December 2015, and an order in February 2016 that the project “will cause serious and irreversible harm” to animal life and the natural environment – specifically the endangered Blanding’s turtles and Little Brown Bats.

Prince Edward County volunteers were honoured for outstanding work in the community. The Wellings of Picton honoured Jean Algar, Don Roberts, Esther Prinzen and Lisa Zachariah with Volunteer Recognition Awards during a luncheon at the new adult lifestyle community on Hwy 49. They were awarded $1,000 each to distribute to charities of their choice. Judges were last year’s winners, Fran Renoy, Carlyn Moulton and John Mather.

Following last summer’s drought warnings, the County is dealing with damage from high water levels this spring. A section of the Wellington Channel break wall has been closed to pedestrian access due to portions of the wall being washed out by high waters. Additionally, the southern end of Wellington Main Street Park has been closed due to damage to the Wellington Park sea wall’s foundation.

The high-tech world of robots was put into the hands of students attending a workshop at the Prince Edward County Picton Branch Library. Led by Myke Predco, of Mimetics Digital Education, the students learned to program and code a robot to dance, draw and move about on command.

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