Canaan Connexion ~ Columns 

As seen in the
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~ Canaan Connexion ~
( Canaan columns appearing in the Vision )
By Patrick Meikle
Click here to read columns #67 - 83
Click here to read columns #1 - 66
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#99 - Best of Season’s Greetings to everyone - December 17, 2004
#98 - Volunteers thanked, volunteers needed - December 10, 2004
#97 - Community association - Annual food drive - Nov.26

#96 - Community association meeting - Videotron's new high speed - Nov.12
#95 - October 31 - watch out for ghosts ‘n witches ‘n kids - October 29, 2004
#94 - Refuse pickup a scavenger’s delight - October 15, 2004

#93 - Fall traditions - October 1, 2004
#92 - Fall - a time for renewal - September 17, 2004
#91 - Summer ends, golf centre begins, lights update - September 10, 2004

#90 - Congratulations and kudos - August 27, 2004
#89 - Summertime and the livin’ is easy - August 13, 2004

#88 - Follow-up: Security lax in some area homes - July 30, 2004
#87 - Overnight "gremlins" active in Blue Jay - July 16, 2004

#86 - Election fever will give way to the mundane - June 25, 2004
#99 - December 17 - Best of Season’s Greetings to everyone
As the song says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...” In the many years that we have lived in the area, we can’t remember a more beautiful landscape than what we have experienced in recent weeks. The mixture of generous snow falls and just right humidity gave the trees and bushes long, feathery extensions outdoing even the most ornate cards and paintings.

This week brought on the first official day of winter and with temperatures hovering below minus 30, I was wondering where this global warming was that everyone is talking about. People complain about the cold but here in the south part of Canada we dress for style not for warmth. I spent a year in the Northwest Territories where the joke was that they had eleven months of winter and one month of bad sledding. Nobody complained about the cold because they dressed for it. A favourite expressions was: “No sweat in the arctic!”

We should give awards for terrific light shows
The lights and decorations seem to get more elaborate every year and thanks to newer technologies, the latest LED bulbs take up less energy.

If they were giving awards for the best decor, the first prize would surely go to one of our neighbours on Cardinal Crescent. Joe outdoes himself each year. It’s worth the drive to Blue jay Ridge just to see his dazzling outpouring of Christmas spirit. His offering will be one of the pictures we will be sending to our African foster child.

174: No lights, please!
Not everyone wants lights at the Canaan/174 intersection. Baseline resident Teena King tells us that she has had enough. “I am sick and tired of hearing about the lights that are finally going up.
I live on Baseline Rd, and hearing about the poor people on Canaan Rd has finally caused me to crack. And along with this, they have put 2 count them 2 new sets of lights along Highway 174 in Rockland. We now have 4 sets of lights less than 1 km apart... we have never, at any given time of day, seen more than 3 cars waiting to get out. I don't see the problem. I just thought that people should hear an opinion other than those who live on Canaan Rd.”

Congratulations ultra man Marty Raymond

Cumberland village resident Marty Raymond recently competed in a grueling three-day, 320-mile (515-kilometer) individual ultra-endurance event which takes place on the Big Island of Hawaii.

At 42, he came in sixth overall which is even more remarkable given that the event is limited to 35 participants (from around the world) and is by invitation only. Great show, Marty!

The Neighbour from Kyle Cyr
In case you missed it, our Ward 5 councillor, Kyle Cyr, has sent out his latest “The Neighbour” newsletter. In it he highlights: the 150th Anniversary of Sainte Félicité Parish coming up in 2005; the problem of speeding drivers in Clarence-Rockland and his activity report for the latter half of this year.

Thanks Kyle, for your dedication and commitment to your constituents. You can’t please everyone, but we believe you are pleasing the majority.

Have a cool yule and a frantic first
On behalf of my family I would like to echo Kyle’s sentiments: “my wish for everyone at this time and throughout the year is one of happiness, good health and love. May all of you share in the joy of this season.” And in the words of Tiny Tim, “God Bless Us Everyone!”
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#98 - December 10 - Volunteers thanked, volunteers needed
Thanks to local food drive volunteers
Forest Hill resident Donna Brooks, the area coordinator for the annual Rockland Food Bank drive, wants to extend her thanks and appreciation “to all the people of our community for their generosity. It will be helping many families have a brighter Christmas Season. The last total I heard for amount raised was over 12,000 dollars and counting plus all food donations.”

A special thanks to the people who helped Donna in this area going door to door. They are: Ann, Tony, Dennis and Collin Weir; Peter, Shawna, Alexander and Brandon Hope; Bill and Penny Hanna; Mel and Lenore Dell; Matthew and Jessann Mulligan; Micheal, Brandon and Andre St-onge.

If you missed the crew last week, you can still make a donation to the Rockland Help Centre which administers the local food bank. Their number is: 446-7594.

The power of the Internet
Follow-up: Rockland plate collection - Last month we mentioned how some of us had received an offer in the mail to buy a six-plate collection of “classic” Rockland landmarks? The company, Decobex, offering very little information about itself.

Hume Smith from Chester, Nova Scotia, "just down the Windsor road" found our note on the Internet and says "we got a glossy offer for six plates of Chester landmarks. The one labeled as the Playhouse is actually a garage belonging to Colin MacDonald of Clearwater."
Two Mom's are cleaning up a storm
The initiative of two Forest Hill moms is catching on. Lisa Conrad and Tracy Lesniowski recently started Two Mom's Cleaning and if you are planning on having your home spruced up before Christmas, you are probably too late to book their services.

Their venture has had a successful start with clients from Canaan to Cumberland. Their prices are reasonable and what I like about it is they bring in all of their own equipment to do the job and the supplies they use are all natural, keeping in mind we are on septic systems.

"Our initial clean estimate is based on a walk through of the house and listening to what the client wants," says the pair.

You can call Lisa at 833-1444 or Tracy at 833-0140. They will be happy to set up an appointment with you and discuss your cleaning needs.

Community Association update
When we first wrote about forming a community group over a year ago, several residents expressed an interest in getting involved. In spite of a small number of you getting together at a recent meeting, many of the “interested” parties have not come forward. We need some leadership to keep up the momentum otherwise the idea will fail. Anyone wanting to get involved can call 833-1547 or visit the Community Association page by clicking here.
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#97 - November 26 - Community association - Annual food drive
Community association needs volunteers
If you missed the news last week, several residents from the area met to discuss organizing a local community association. A nucleus has been formed, but volunteers are still needed to make up an active executive who will lead the community. Anyone wanting to get involved can call 833-1547 or visit the Canaan Connexion website at:

At that same meeting local Ward 5 councillor Kyle Cyr used the opportunity to announce the City’s plans to install traffic lights at the intersection of Canaan Road and Highway 174. We’ll update the progress of this venture in future items.

Annual food drive on December 5
Forest Hill resident Donna Brooks is the area coordinator for the annual Rockland Food Bank drive coming up a week Sunday. She tells us that volunteers will be going door to door collecting non perishable food items or cash donations. The volunteers will start knocking on doors around 1:00 p.m. If you won't be home but still would like to donate, please leave your offerings in a bag on your front step and it will be picked up.

Anybody willing to volunteer for door to door collections can contact Donna at 833-1612 or e-mail at After the food drive is completed all volunteers are invited to L'Escale High School for a hot snack.

Dec.4: Free CPR training to our Ottawa neighbours
The Ottawa Paramedic Service is offering Cumberland area residents free CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training on Saturday, December 4 at the R.J. Kennedy Memorial Centre (Cumberland Arena). The four-hour class includes a short lecture on patient assessment, level A, adult CPR and the automated external defibrillator, followed by group break-outs for clinical training.

The morning session will be held in English
and the afternoon session will be in French. Community members who wish to register should call Lee Anne Killeen at 1-866-273-1390. Registration is limited to 50 people, so book early if you are interested. Please check the list of classes for the location nearest you. You can get more information on the City of Ottawa Web site at:

Garbage at street-side mail boxes
Residents are urged to pick up litter accumulating at our local community mailboxes. Some residents are leaving the “junk” mail lying around, or are not picking up material that falls out of the Ad-Bags.

We commend whomever it was who put a garbage can at the mail boxes near Canaan and Oakwood, ostensibly to handle the recyclable. Unfortunately some slugs are using the can to toss their bags of dog poop and other garbage... the very reason why Canada Post will not install receptacles at their mail boxes.

These are not doubt the same people who continue to litter Canaan and other local roads. These reminders to pick up seem to do little good. Perhaps what we need are highway signs reminding offenders that the fine could be up to $500 for littering.

On a related subject, our postal person usually tears off any community notices that you put up, so you may want to consider posting items after she passes on Friday, and take them off before she arrives the following Monday... or here’s a thought. Why not post your community notes for free on our web site.

Cougar sightings anyone?
Someone asked us if we had spotted any cougars in the area recently? Sightings have been reported both east and west of Ottawa, but we don’t think anyone around Clarence-Rockland has seen any. All we have are bears, coyotes, wolves, fishers, deer, moose, and of course pesky neighbour cats that some residents don’t control... Here fisher, fisher, fisher!
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#96 - November 12 - Community association meeting/Videotron speed

November 16 - Community association meeting
Residents bound by Canaan Road, Vinette, Joanisse and Baseline Roads, and including the Blue Jay Ridge and Forest Hill developments please take note! We have organized a meeting for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 16, to be held at the Chamberland Centre, just inside the northern entrance to Parc Simon.

The purpose of this gathering is to restore a community association which was originally started over ten years ago and which petered out in the late 90s.

Many of our “Canaan” residents have expressed concerns about a neighbourhood watch program, a possible block parent program, uncertainty about lights and traffic safety at Highway 174 and developing a strong and united voice when working with the City administration.

It is also important to have a well organized community in terms of communicating current and timely news with each other for the purpose of neighbourhood security, upcoming events (ie the “water project”), and resolving community concerns and disputes that arise from time to time.

For those of you who have been offering to help with a local community association, and for those of you who share in the interests and concerns raised above, this is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor and to help us build a stronger community. Your ideas and assistance will be most welcome.

Again, the Chamberland Centre is just inside the northern entrance to Parc Simon, which is accessible off of Laurier Street, directly opposite Pilon Fuels. That’s just east of the Clarence-Rockland City Hall.

Videotron offers “extreme” high speed Internet
Cheryl, a Forest Hill resident, called this week to let us know that Videotron was now offering "extreme high-speed Internet" which we both agreed knocks the heck out of the “dial-up” turtle speeds that most of us have had to put up with. Blue Jay and Forest Hill do not have fast phone or wireless service available.

But a word of advice. Unless you are going to use your Internet connection to download movies, play heavy-duty online games or do some video conferencing, the regular high-speed Internet connection should do the average household quite nicely. The extreme high-speed is about 20 per cent faster, but I personally could not justify the cost.

While there is an introductory promotion available at this time ($39.85 for the first three months), the price of $59.85 per month kicks in after that. That is about $15 more per month than the current regular high-speed cost of $44.85. And if you sign on for a full year, this price drops down ten per cent to $34.85.

Incidentally, while Videotron offers plenty of download/upload space, 20Gb/10Gb, they are rather chintzy on their hosting service... that is hosting your Web site... only five megabytes compared to up to 15 megabytes by some other Internet providers. The reason? They only want to focus on Commercial clients.

Winter parking in effect next week
You can tell when the cold weather is here. Recreationland (camping/trailer park) on Canaan Road closes its gates for the season. Which is a good reminder to residents that on-street parking restrictions will be in effect starting November 15, to allow for overnight snow clearing.

Rockland plate collection
How many Canaanites got an offer in the mail recently to buy a six-plate collection of “classic” Rockland landmarks? The company, Decobex, offers very little information about itself and is very circumspect about its contact numbers. It may not be a scam, but the building that houses the Vision offices is not exactly heritage material. Our city council has not taken the bait, however more than one community council has voted to buy the collection that depicts their community.
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#95 - October 31 - watch out for ghosts ‘n witches ‘n kids
This Sunday will be Dentists’ Delight Day, when thousands of children all over our area will be spilling out onto our streets, trick or treating and filling their pillow slips and plastic pumpkins with local booty. Some of us call it Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, derived from a pagan festival. It is traditionally the night when ghosts and spirits have the power to roam the world. According to Scotch superstition, is the time when witches, devils, fairies, and other imps of earth and air hold their annual holiday.

We ask our friends and neighbours to be partic- ularly mindful of our children’s safety as they cruise the communities and we ask our parents to inspect their children’s spoils before eating.

The day also holds more significance for me as it is my youngest son’s birthday. Best wishes, Andrew!

'Mr. Rudy' lives on in 63-year-old tractor
Mrlen Reynolds and 'Mr. Rudy'
“People sometimes leave behind more than fond memories for friends and relatives to enjoy. The 1941 Case tractor now owned by retired engineer Morlen Reynolds (Canaan Blueberries), for instance, was bequeathed to him by his neighbour and dear friend, Rudy Proulx.”

This was the opening paragraph of a wonderful tribute to the late Canaan Road resident Rudy Proulx and his vintage tractor, as written by friend and colleague Shannon Lee Mannion in the Citizen. Look for the story and pictures on our Website. (Click here for full story.)

Clarence-Rockland on CFRA
Did anyone catch last Thursday’s Clarence-Rockland broadcast on CFRA Talk Radio? Did anyone record it? Mark Sutcliffe was hosting his show, The World According to Mark, from Soucy Ford in Rockland between three and 6:00 p.m. We only heard about the event just
before the last hour, and caught the interviews with Mayor Lalonde and developer Charles Clément. Out of the hour we heard only around 10 or 12 minutes were interviews, the rest commercials, updates and news.

I would be interested in hearing any feedback you might have. Mayor Lalonde did a good job of promoting our city with its cheaper housing and lower taxes. He also spoke about the success of our daily bus service into Ottawa.

One priority was the need for a four-lane highway from Rockland to Ottawa where currently 25,000 vehicles are traveling daily on the two-lane road. Although one listener took exception to the fact that he said: “We don’t need a median... as long as we have a four-lane highway up to Ottawa.” Hey! Might that not be a little dangerous! (More highlights of the interview are on our Website.)

Cumberland Ferry adds new dock
If you haven’t been down to the Cumberland Ferry lately, you’ll find that they have added a second docking collar on the Ontario side of the river. Business seems to be booming and as it looks like they may not be building a bridge on the east side of Ottawa for a long time to come, Traversiers Bourbonnais will continue to provide safe and efficient service for local commuters.
Cumberland Ferry adds second dock on Ontario side.

Phone book confusion
We found a new phone book in our Canaan area mailboxes this week. At first glance it appeared to be a new and expanded version of one we received earlier in the year. On closer inspection it turned out to be the “Maxitel” version which encompasses all of Prescott-Russell. The “Mini-Plus” phone book covers much of the same area. Now if that isn’t enough, come next year, besides the Bell book, we’ll also receive the Orleans-Cumberland Phone Book, giving us four novels to choose from. Bookends, anyone?
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#94 - Refuse pickup a scavenger’s delight - Oct. 15, 2004
Last week was Annual Fall Pickup for Canaanites and the scavengers were out in full force. The pickin’s were terrific – one leather couch, a tubular living room rocker with matching stool, one bathroom wall cupboard with mirrors, barbecues, exercise bikes – you get the idea.

We welcome the scavengers for two reasons:
First, they take away any useful items that are left out (one person’s trash is another person’s treasure) thereby recycling them – all of this being good for the second reason – the more the scavengers take away, the less there is for the City crews to haul, which in turn cuts down their time, reduces the piles at the landfill site and thereby keeps our taxes down as well.

Scavengers provide useful service
The scavengers also provide another useful service when they remove old furniture and household material. Why? Because as far as we can tell there is currently no such service available to the residents living in the Clarence-Rockland area. We are just outside the limits for Neighbourhood Services and the Salvation Army, which pick up in the Ottawa area.

As we prepared to lighten the storage items in our home (a family room and a garage full), left by departing university children, retiring family members and parents now in long-term care facilities, we realized we had a lot of perfectly good material that we just didn’t have room for, and with not alternatives, could only send it to the dump.

Fortunately, during pick up week we did find two places where you might get someone to pick up your junk throughout the year. The first is an enterprising gentleman from Rockland, whom we met with his son as we were preparing our own pile for pick up. They take away just about anything but steel and were more than happy to relieve us of several good pieces.
Angels Odds & Ends
Another worthwhile service we came across, new to us, but familiar to many around Rockland, is Angels Odds & Ends, a second-hand and discount store operating at 260 Water Street in Plantagenet. The work closely with the local food bank and will pick up anything that can be salvaged. It is run by Dian Steele and Isabe Bowen. You can reach them at (613) 673-2167. They came by this week and loaded a good-sized pickup truck full of resalable items for their store.

Condolences to the Edwards family
Our sincere wishes go out to the family of Ron Edwards, a life long resident of Cumberland Village who passed away unexpectedly while visiting his daughter in B.C.

Remember Bob McNarry?
And speaking of Cumberland Village, many will remember another long-time resident, Bob McNarry who lived on Quigley Hill Road. Bob an I met 20 years ago when we shared an interest in Kaypro computers. Bob was instrumental in setting up the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. He is now living in Calgary and just sent this message:
“I was wandering around the Cumberland Township Historical Society's web site
( and found you! I have finished my 420 page book on my wife's life - full of pictures. I am now doing the chapter on the Museum in my own story (Chapter 8).”
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#93 - Fall traditions - Oct. 1, 2004
The other day about 6:30 a.m. I awoke to the sound of gunshots. After hearing about 10 to 15 volleys, I realized that what I had heard was the reports of shotgun blasts going off, signaling the start of the annual duck and goose hunt. I decided to trek down to the Ottawa River area about four to five clicks north of me on Canaan Road, to locate the source of the shots, but only getting as close as Highway 174 would allow, I did not spot any of the hunters. I learned later that the early morning shooters were taking positions in the middle of the river in and around the marshes. And so another fall tradition had begun.

Riverview Stables annual fall show
During my tour, I drove onto McTeer Road, which parallels the highway for about half a kilometre, where Canaan meets 174. At that point I met morning walker and long-time resident Kathy McHugh, who along with her husband Don ran the Double-D Ranch for many years.

A couple of years ago Don and Kathy passed the torch on to son Craig and his wife Janet. I think Don is supposed to be retired, but you would never know it by all the activities you see him working at. In our "catch up" conversation, Kathy told me that the ranch, which is now known as the Riverview Stables, was hosting the second annual East Ottawa Schooling Show, a horse show that includes dressage, jumping, and hunter class competitions.

Geese fly another tradition
As our conversation continued, another annual fall tradition unfolded before us in the formation of hundreds of flights of Canada Geese that will continue for several weeks, as they continue their southbound migration from their summer nesting grounds in Canada's northern regions.
But don't be mistaken, there are two types of geese flights you will see for a while. If they are flying south at high altitudes then you can be sure that they are the flocks that are passing through from the north. If they are flying at lower levels, these are the flocks that stay around for a while, moving back and forth from the Ottawa River, where they rest at night, to the rich, local cornfields that they feed on during the day. You can see large bunches of geese almost anywhere there is an open field with a good flight path and open view that the geese use as security against predators.

Traditional hunters

My neighbour Todd is an avid duck and geese hunter who was able to fill me in on the local fall hunting season both in terms of duration, times and regulations such as possession limits, licensing and seeking landowner permissions to hunt on private property. He was also able to confirm that the early morning gunshots were indeed the discharging shotguns of break-of-day hunters located along the marshes.

Another Tempra legacy surfaces
For those of you long-time residents who live in one of the many homes that were built by defunct Tempra, you know that I, being a fellow resident, outline some of the legacies that we are faced with from time to time, like falling trees, inadequate drainage, septic fixes, and on and on.

Well another problem is coming to the surface, literally. Dozens of culverts that are located in our driveways and some of our development’s streets, are now heaving with temperature changes, thanks to the lack of any insulation that should have been included when the culverts were laid. Similarly some garage foundations are also heaving. It’s a little late for this season, but let’s keep it in mind for next spring. Maybe some of us can band together and get a group discount on some paving services. À la prochaine.
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#92 - Fall - a time for renewal - Sept. 17, 2004
While many of us make our resolutions after the start of a new year, the month of September is probably when most of us make our biggest transitions. New homes, news schools, new jobs and renewed efforts to take off that weight that summer barbecues have brought on, or a re-motivation to improve ourselves through the many classes and courses that kick off in the fall.

Welcome Wagon new neighbours
Many new families have moved into our communities over the summer. Why not take a moment to welcome them and offer any support or information you can about our great city. For those who have moved in from outside the greater Clarence-Rockland area, we have an active Welcome Wagon service ready to make you feel like part of the community. The local rep is Lucille Lepoutre. Give her a call at: 613-446-7017. Lucille also likes to know if you have a new baby in the house, or if you are planning a marriage in the future.

Neighbourhood Watch: Blue Jay thefts
While we do not have an active Neighbourhood Watch, we have learned through our neighbourhood “telephone tree” that there were at least three thefts from cars earlier in the week. A number of music CDs were taken and judging from the fact that the vehicles were left unlocked and the thefts occurred in one corner of our development, this would indicate that the thieves were local. If you or your children have any knowledge of the thefts, please contact the local OPP at: 446-5124.
Several families have expressed an interest in renewing our Neighbourhood Watch efforts. If you can help, please let us know as we are trying to coordinate a meeting with our local OPP representative.
The deluge from Hurricane Frances
We caught the tail end of Frances about ten days ago. While there were no reports of accidents or injuries in the Clarence-Rockland area, a lot of rain was dumped in a very short time. A number of local roads were overrun with water, some culverts were washed out and a number of streets and yards looked like small lakes. See our pictures on the Web site.

Public Works director Richard Sarazin told us that local ditches were running at full capacity and that about four or five roads were closed. City staff were aware of the impending weather and knowing where the problem spots are, tried to take preventive measures before the rain hit.

A number of calls came into both the City and some councillors as residents complained about backed up ditches and sand/gravel residue left by the water. Think twice about suing though, because this storm was truly an act of god.

Given the large amounts of water that covered the ground, it would be a good idea for residents with wells to have your water tested.

Congratulations St. Margaret Mary Church
The parish members are celebrating their third anniversary of “perpetual adoration” on Friday, September 17. That means that every day, 24 hours a day for the past three years, someone has been present in the chapel to honour and adore the Blessed Sacrament. Congratulations!

More onsite news:
Read our Internet news including: Natural gas pipelines, the golf centre, Hwy 174, and Little House Spa.
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#91 - Summer ends, golf centre begins, lights update - Sept. 10, 2004
Isn’t it amazing how the neighbourhood changes after the long labour Day weekend? Literally overnight we change from summer mode – family barbecues, backyard evening fires, visiting families – to absolute quiet after the first week of school.

On my morning walk around the neighbourhood, there were no cars, no kids, no barking dogs, no one working their yards, only the far off sounds of vehicular traffic somewhere around Joanisse. Where did summer go?

A golf centre for Canaan Road
Residents of Canaan Road, you should have now received an open letter, either in the mail or hand delivered, introducing you to our new (Ottawa side) neighbour Jaret Connolly. Jaret, wife Cathy and two children moved into the area in February, like many of us, to get away from the hustle and bustle of city living. They bought the old family homestead just south of Blue Jay, which was more recently the home of several llamas.

Jaret is a bright, young, hard-working entrepreneur who hopes to develop part of the land around his home into a family-run golf centre where “duffers” can bang around a bucket of balls or chip onto a few greens in hopes of lowering their scores. Custom club building and repairs will be included in the mix and in the second year a mini-putt will be added for kids of all ages.

Personally, I am all for this development because I think it will add interest and value to our community. But what I particularly like about
Jaret’s approach, is his honest efforts to inform us about his intentions and to try and gain the support of his neighbours BEFORE the project is started.

I am also impressed by the fact that Jaret and Cathy are “neither interested in harming the natural environment in our area, nor... willing to compromise the tranquility of the neighbourhood.” They go on to assure us that “operating hours will reflect that philosophy even when we install lighting in the second or third season.”

A copy of Jaret’s letter is posted on the Canaan Connexion Website and I urge all local residents to offer your feedback and comments either to Jaret directly at: 833-0608, or through the web page. Here is your chance to participate in community democracy.

Tragic accident near Canaan lights
Details are sketchy and hardly anyone I have spoken to heard about the September 2 accident that claimed the life of a 28-year-old man when he was hit by an eastbound SUV on Highway 174, just east of Canaan Road. What I can tell you is that the accident did not have a direct bearing on having traffic lights installed at this growingly dangerous intersection.

However as an update, our councillor Kyle Cyr is continuing to lead the initiative to have lights installed at this corner and we hope to bring you an update shortly.

A busy weekend for events
The following events are now up for reading on our Website: The annual Agri-Tour, the Cumberland Village garage and plant sales, as well as more local news and views. Events...
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#90 - Congratulations and kudos - August 27, 2004
We have a few people to congratulate, a few people to remind and one or two to thank, like Louise and Wendy, Diane and Sue and the many others of you who have contributed to our feedback page, as well as to Cst. Diana Hampson, Rockland OPP for including the Canaan Connexion on her police news releases.

The play’s the thing
Was it Shakespeare who said “The play’s the thing”? If you get a chance, check out the Vintage Stock Theatre’s production of “The Politics of Murder”, on this Saturday at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Tickets are available at the museum or at Haddad’s store in Cumberland Village. Go to the Vintage Stock link on our website. Price includes dinner.

Congrats to the “Top Cop”
Over 30 years ago in another life I lived in Chelmsford, just north of Sudbury. Our neighbour was a hardworking hardrock miner and his lovely wife was a terrific couturière. They had two children, a cute little girl and a scrawny, shy eight-year old boy.

Well that boy has grown to be a disciplined, confident, good-natured community leader who just won a “Top Cop” award at the Can-Am Police-Fire games. Congratulations “kid”, Bruce Quevillon!

Backpack Program needs your help
Having helped raise six children and assisting with four grand children I know how expensive it can be for kids going to school, so our own little Canaan Connexion Appreciation Award (CCAA) (for those little acts of random kindness and good deeds that our residents perform) goes out to Diana Kirkwood, chair of the Rockland Backpack Program which provides
underprivileged students grades K-8 with the supplies they need to head back to class. Look for their drop-off boxes at Giant Tiger, Jean Coutu, Grenon Independent Grocer and Canadian Dollar Store.

You can also catch Diana at many of the Ottawa Lynx games where she volunteers as a 50/50 ticket seller to raise money for local minor baseball teams. Good on you.

Schools, daycares and PSAs

And speaking of school, the new season will be starting soon. If you are new to the area you can get a list of the local schools on our website along with a number of local daycares that are available around Canaan Road.

We also offer free community public service announcements and non-profit advertising to local residents who want to sell or trade their trash and treasures.

Reminder to newbies with dogs
Even though we are privileged to live on the edge of farming country, the C-R stoop ‘n scoop bylaws apply to Blue Jay and Forest Hill. So puleeze... don’t let your pooch poop out on us.
More on pets...

Apologies for slow web page updates
For those of you wondering why our website pages have not been updated recently, yours truly took a nasty fall a couple of weeks back. I slammed my head into the floor breaking my glasses and cutting my forehead, injuring both shoulders and knocking the top off my right thumb. The worse part was spending five hours in emergency before I could be seen and released. Things are getting back to normal now that I can type again and the web pages should be updated shortly.
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#89 - Summertime and the livin’ is easy - August 13, 2004
It’s summer and all is quiet on the western front, Canaan Road being the western edge of the Clarence-Rockland area. Many of our neighbours are away on holidays so it is important for those of us staying at home to keep an eye out for their hearths and homes. Even though we don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch program, keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

Many homes have been put up for sale in the Canaan area and it is certainly a seller’s market because most houses are selling within weeks even days. This is also the time of the year when old friends move away and new residents move in. Make your new neighbours feel welcome. Let them know we have a friendly community and offer to show them the ropes. What I find so great about the area is the quietude. Unless a lawn mower is putting about or a plane is flying over, you can hear the birds and the crickets. Sitting on the back deck with a tall cool one and watching the world go by... now that’s summer!

If you are new to the area, check out our “New Residents” Web page, and look at our revamped “sitemap” to find everything we offer on the Canaan Connexion website. We’ll outline more information in September when things get back to a routine after the summer break.

A berry good season
Did you miss the strawberry and blueberry picking on Canaan? The season, alas, is so short and weather dependent, but our berry farming friends tell us that the picking was so popular this year that there was no need to advertise. I sampled the crop several times and can tell you that never have I had such delicious berries.
Plane spotting
Remember a few weeks back I wrote about identifying overhead aircraft. On Monday around 4 p.m. a bright yellow plane was skimming the treetops over Baseline Road, between Canaan and Vinette. At first I thought it was a crop duster because it was so low, and seemed to be swooping down over the fields. The letters were C-FOYD, which according to Transport Canada information is a 1945 Piper aircraft, owned by a gentleman from Pointe Du Lac, Quebec. He must have been showing off to his friends.

Summer - play it safe
There is still lots of good summer weather left. Have fun, but play it safe. We want you back safe and sound. Every year we lose friends and family to preventable accidents, especially on water. Wear a life jacket in smaller craft and use the “buddy” system when out swimming. If you see the OPP around, use the letters to remind you of obedience, patience and prudence. Obey the traffic and water safety rules; be patient when traveling on the busy highways; and above all be prudent in all your summer activities.

Refuse reminder
Finally, a reminder that our refuse is picked up one day later after a long weekend. Try to keep it to the three bag limit and please recycle and compost. You can read more on our website.
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#88 - Follow-up: Security lax in some area homes - July 30, 2004

Last week we wrote about vandalism in the Canaan Road, Blue Jay Ridge and Forest Hill (BJFH) area when over 14 road and property signs were either pulled out or spray painted. We followed up this incident with a related news story, “Signs sacked off Canaan Road area”.

In response to these articles, members of the Clarence-Rockland Community Watch program patrolled the BJFH community on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings last weekend. Generally, things were quiet in the area and team leader Luc Diotte called the Canaan Connexion to give us a brief report and to make several suggestions about the need for better security.

Insecure premises
Diotte’s report included the following information:

  • At least nine homes had garage doors left open after 11 p.m. allowing for easy access to bicycles, barbecues and whatever else was being stored in the garages.
  • On a number of dead end streets many homes were left in darkness and with no lights. Prowlers can easily walk on to a property and gain access to any items lying about.
  • As late as 11:30 p.m. Saturday evening, some residents had left out recycle boxes after the Friday morning pick-up – an indication that people may be gone for the weekend – telling would be thieves that the homes were ripe for picking.

Reduce the big giveaways
The above examples show that people are not security conscious, “big giveaways” says Diotte. Here are some suggestions to make houses safer:

  • Turn on lights, use timers if you are not home, of if you want the lights to come on at different times, or if you want lights turned off after you retire for the night.
  • Close garage doors at night or during the day when you are not home.
  • Remove all evidence of your absence: put away garbage and recycle containers; cancel newspaper deliveries; leave some lights on and alternate lighting with timers.
Summer boredom creates kid concerns
Luc Diotte suggests that many of the problems with vandalism and mischief stem from kids who start getting bored as summer wears on. The average age is between 14 and 17. Recently an eleven-year-old was found bicycling well after 11 p.m. On another recent occasion, the patrol found a number of children who had pilfered beer, an expensive electric drill and other tools from an open garage in the middle of the day.

Volunteers needed
If you are interested in volunteering for the Community Watch program you can contact either Luc Diotte, 446-0116, or Jake Sopiro, 446-2239. You can also contact the local OPP Detachment and fill out an application as a security check is required.

Diotte was unable to provide any further information on the mischief in the Canaan Road area but suggested that an active Neighbourhood Watch would be very beneficial to the area. Hey! Another plug for getting a community association started. We have already had a few people come forward to offer their assistance. Can you help?
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#87 - Overnight "gremlins" active in Blue Jay - July 16, 2004

From Blue jay to Forest Hill...
Were they hyperactive kids or imbibing adults? Was it a gang attack or youth initiation. We don't know, but our regular morning dog walk spotted a little overnight vandalism on Sunday morning July 11.

One vehicle on the east end of Cardinal Crescent had an egg smashed on the front windshield while at the western interesection of Cardinal and Blue Jay Drive, the street sign had been knocked down and stuffed into a nearby culvert.

Over the next two days it was noted that many more signs were uprooted. Over 14 signs between Blue Jay Ridge, Canaan Road and Forest Hill were either pulled out or spray painted. You can read more about this incident in our related news story.

Graffiti signature of a mischief maker...
Do YOU recognize the signature? Call the OPP.

We believe that this gives rise to reviving our Neighbourhood Watch through a participating community association. Do you agree? send us your opinion: )

Fun with overhead aircraft
Next time you see a small plane flying over your
area, see if you can spot the letter markings, then check out the Transport Canada Civil Aircraft Register... (the Web address is on our Web site.)

Last week we spotted C-FKAI, a float plane buzzing over Blue Jay. Turns out the plane is owned by a local chap from Cumberland. Can YOU find the owner, using the hints we gave?
start by clicking here or here.

Recycle crew changes this week
Congratulations to our WSI recycle truck operator, Roger who just got a promotion and is leaving the local domestic delivery route behind to take over a front-fork loading truck. But he will stay in the area, looking after the commercial recycling pick-ups in Rockland.

Meanwhile, our new operator is Zeb, who is back on the job after a two year hiatus. Welcome back!

Dumb and dumber Award
This week’s award goes to the person “driving a fairly new looking red Ford Taurus who took the time to stop on Oakwood in front of my house to dump all the garbage from inside their car onto my front lawn,” reports a furious Forest Hill resident. She would like to send them a bouquet of crap.
“The usual items such as MacDonald’s wrappers, sundae containers and Tim Horton cups were tossed out for me to pick up," she continued. “This is very annoying especially when you and many others, including my son this year, work so hard at keeping the entire Forest Hill/Blue Jay/Canaan Road area clean and tidy.”
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#86 - Election fever will give way to the mundane - June 25, 2004

The biggest news of the week may be the Monday elections and who will be our political masters by the time next week’s paper comes out, but ordinary life goes on and once the dust has settled from the hype we will still have to deal with the reality of day-to-day mundane concerns.
Home safety reminders
Three things hit our household this past month. They are on our Web site and are worth passing on because many of us who enjoy country living have these in common.

  • 1. Water Wells - Anyone outside the city or town limits should have their water tested at least twice a year, spring and fall. It’s still not too late, and water samples can now be dropped off at the local Eastern Ontario Health Unit in Rockland.
  • 2. Septic Tanks - Opinions vary, but septic systems should be pumped on a regular basis. If you are a family of three or four and work from home you probably need to have your tank cleaned once a year. If you have questions, call our friends at Brazeau Sanitation Services (783-8571). Bob, Charlie or Frank will be happy to help you out.
  • 3. Smoke alarms - no argument here. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly. We check ours on the first day of each month along with the salt in our water softeners and the filter on our laundry pumps. But here’s a switch. Our electric smoke alarms (we have three all hooked in series, if one goes off they all do) all went off together recently at about three in the morning. A scary experience when you are asleep. We couldn’t stop the squeals, short of unplugging one of the units.
  • Turns out after over ten years, the accumulation of dust was so great that it actually cut off the air supply to the radio-active agent that reacts to smoke, setting off the safety feature of activating the alarm. Suggestion: when changing batteries, give the entire alarm and cover a good blast from an air can.

Internet safety
Viruses and worms continue to plague local Internet users and as more people get online the team down at Compufix find more and more computers that have lost data. If you do not use an anti-virus software and a firewall, you are asking for trouble. Most of the problems evidently occur when people surf the Net on porn sites or when they exchange music files from unreliable Websites.

Blue Jay’s Gabrielle wins again
Gabrielle Felio is the 12-year-old president of the Clarence-Rockland-based Amphibian Conservation Club and she has just won the 2004 Canadian Wildlife Federation Award for her efforts to relocate frogs, tadpoles and other wildlife from an area on Petrie Island. Congratulations, Gabrielle, well done!

Dumb and dumber Award...
goes to the people who continue to litter our streets and highways with trash. After all the hard work we did to clean up Canaan, tires, T.V’s. and fast food containers continue to pile up. What to say? “A-Retentive” comes to mind.

( Patrick Meikle is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Blue Jay and operates the Canaan Connexion Web site. If you have an opinion or comment, he can be reached at: . )
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