July 2013

July 25, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Conservation Officer Manager Wade MacKinnon wrote yesterday to say:
The Stop Work Directive issued in the area surrounding the Belted Kingfisher nest was lifted as of midnight July 24th, 2013.

The Fish and Wildlife Division biologist Rosemary Curley has determined the young have fledged and left the nest site. The nest has not been active since Saturday, July 20th; the adults have been spotted hunting in the area.
Cheers to the Plan B public environmental monitor Larry Cosgrave for spotting the nest site, the island naturalists who pointed to the right government officials, and to environment and fish and wildlife people who diligently put the nest under protection and communicated with us.
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Open Meeting at UPEI today re: Institute of Island Studies
There has been a lot of concerns about people fired from their jobs at the University of Prince Edward Island, including the director of the Institute of Island Studies (IIS), and the lack of transparency in how UPEI got to this point financially and how and when they reacted.

All of it is dismaying -- these are people in the Island community whose work supported the great things being done at UPEI, affecting students and Islanders alike. 

The particular decision not to renew the position of the director of the IIS, which implies a total lack of support of the Institute, and to have a review after the fact, concerns and rankles many -- how will the IIS work without a director?

The formal review of the IIS has begun and there will be an open meeting to which members of the community are invited today, Thursday, July 25th, from 3-4PM, at the main floor lounge of the Kelley Memorial Building at UPEI.  They want to hear what the IIS means to the university and Island community.

If you cannot make the meeting Thursday, consider dropping a note about the IIS and why it is important to Islanders (I think this is the interim Vice-President of Academic Christian LaCroix):
vpa@upei.ca

The following information is from the Facebook group, "Friends of the Institute of Island Studies":
https://www.facebook.com/groups/657337534281338/

Here are the Terms of Reference for the Review:

The Review Panel will consider the following when reviewing the IIS:
1. Goals of the Institute: How well has the Institute fulfilled its four-point mandate? Are its objectives appropriate? Should the focus be narrowed or broadened? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the IIS, locally, nationally and internationally?
2. Governance of the Institute: What formal governance mechanisms are in place? Are these mechanisms adequate and well suited for the IIS – and, more broadly, for ‘island studies’ at UPEI – to best fulfil their mandate and strengthen their overall governance more broadly?
3. Role and Leadership of the Advisory Council: What role might the Advisory Council of the IIS play in relation to the proposed governance structure? What is the level of engagement of the Advisory Council in fulfilling the mandate of the IIS and in strategic planning?
4. Interconnectivity: What should be the link and relationship between the IIS and UPEI’s Minor and Master of Arts in Island Studies programs, and any other cognate academic programs at UPEI, such as Environmental Studies?
5. Potential for greater IIS engagement related to sustainability, public policy and environmental programs and initiatives: Are synergies possible with other units? Note: Possible collaborations and partnerships were identified in UPEI’s recent Future Directions visioning and Dare to Dream idea generation exercises.
6. Resources of the Institute: Are the facilities, space, personnel and other resources adequate to support the IIS? Are efficiencies and economies attainable in partnership with other units?
7. Operations and Accountability of the Institute: How should IIS operations be managed in future? How is oversight over IIS operations to be established? What steps can UPEI take to nurture and protect relationships with key IIS partners and stakeholders?
8. Provide recommendations and other comments as appropriate.

Background:
Purpose

Recent fiscal challenges at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) resulted in the loss of funding for the position of Director of the Institute of Island Studies (IIS). In response to concerns raised by members of our community, the Vice-President Research and Vice-President Academic provided the following message:

... “Despite concerns to the contrary, this decision does not negate the University’s high level of commitment to the Institute of Island Studies, its programs and community outreach activities. Island Studies remains a vital component of the University’s identity. The University intends to enhance—not diminish—the role that the study of islands plays in curricula, research, and community engagement.

"To advance this intention, the University will undertake an independent assessment of programs and activities related to all aspects of Island Studies. This process will begin next month and will be conducted by two highly respected academics who will seek input from internal and external stakeholders who are or have been involved in Island Studies at UPEI. Of particular interest within the assessment will be interconnectivity between our Minor, Major, and Master of Arts in Island Studies programs, and enhanced community engagement related to sustainability and environmental programs and initiatives. These possible collaborations and synergies were identified in the University’s Strategic Research Plan as well as in our more recent Future Directions visioning and Dare to Dream idea generation exercises.” ...

Background Information
The Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at UPEI was founded in 1985. Its work is governed by a four-point mandate: (1) To encourage deep knowledge, understanding and expression of Prince Edward Island; (2) to serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities; (3) to contribute to the formation of public policy in PEI; and (4) to undertake comparative studies of PEI and other islands: http://www.upei.ca/iis/

IIS governing structure Advisory Council http://www.upei.ca/iis/board
o staff: Director (UPEI funding for this position terminated 30-06-13)

Island Studies Press is the publishing arm of the IIS at UPEI https://store.upei.ca/isp/
o staff: Publications Coordinator (funded by revenues to IIS)

The IIS is the institutional home of Island Studies Journal (ISSN: 1715-2593), now in Web of Science: http://www.islandstudies.ca/journal

UPEI programs related to Island Studies:
o Minor in Island Studies (Faculty of Arts)
http://islandstudies.upei.ca/minor-island-studies
Coordinator: Dr. James Randall, Professor of Island Studies

o Master of Arts in Island Studies (Faculty of Arts)
http://mais.upei.ca/
Coordinator: Dr. James Randall, Professor of Island Studies

o UPEI Canada Research Chair in Island Studies (2003-2013); and Executive Editor of Island Studies Journal(2006- )
Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino http://staff.um.edu.mt/gbal1/

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Guardian article in Monday's paper:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-07-22/article-3323541/Institute-of-Island-Studies-under-review/1

Institute of Island Studies under review

Guardian photo by Ryan Ross


http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/media/photos/unis/2013/05/31/photo_2354602_resize.jpg

UPEI Island studies student Zach Preston, here outside the department's offices, says changes to the university's Institute of Island Studies because of budget cuts will hurt his program.

Published on July 22, 2013

Ryan Ross  RSS                   Feed

Future of Island Studies to be determined by review which begins Thursday

A review of the Institute of Island Studies is about to get underway as UPEI holds a public meeting Thursday.

Godfrey Baldacchino, the Canada research chair in island studies, said he hopes the review becomes an opportunity to look at the work the institute does.

“Look at it also in the context of the way the university wants to go,” he said.

Earlier this year UPEI decided not to renew the contract for the institute’s director as part of the university’s efforts to balance its budget. That decision led to many people who have an interest in island studies contacting the school to voice their concerns about the potential impact of changes to the institute.

On Thursday, review panelist Liette Vasseur of Brock University will visit UPEI to start the process and meet with stakeholders. Her visit will include an open meeting.

Graham Whitelaw of Queen’s University and former MP David MacDonald are the other two members of the review panel.

Under the review’s terms of reference, the panel will consider eight points, including the Island Studies Institute’s goals, the advisory council’s role and the institute’s resources.

Once the review is complete the panel will make recommendations to UPEI.

Baldacchino said he is optimistic because there hasn’t been a review of the institute’s mandate in a long time.

“At this point I think the university has everything to gain by this review,” he said.

The review comes after the university chose not to renew the institute director’s contract. Ann Greyborn, chair of the Institute of Island Studies advisory council, said sometimes that’s the way things happen in educational institutions.

Greyborn said the university had to give the former director Irene Novaczek sufficient notice that her contract was ending and that happened before people were found to conduct the review.

“It would have been the other way around but the way it worked out it wasn’t possible,” she said.

With the review underway, Greyborn said there are a lot of people who have been involved with the institute over the years who are interested in talking to the panel members.

“We’ve been collecting their names and inviting them to come in,” she said.

Greyborn said she has faith the review committee will do its best and since the institute is the home of Island studies worldwide, Islanders should be proud of it.

“We want to make it strong so it continues on,” she said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

July 24, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Yesterday late afternoon and evening the Plan B site got the heaviest rain in a few weeks, and yet again there were mitigation failures:

Crawford's Stream (Hemlock Grove arches) downstream:

Sediment from project overwhelms the sediment pond and gets into Stream:


unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo Sediment running into stream. Crawford's Stream, 11PM, July 23, 2013. 

The hay bales, which replaced inadequate sediment fences, near the closed off Peter's Road (where Larry Cosgrave took such good video in June), were overwhelmed:

unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo Mudslides from fill "hillside" overwhelming hay bales, near old South Peter's Road, Plan B, 11:30PM, July 23, 2013.


unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo Same.

The box culvert over Crawford's Brook has long been a concern for the public monitors about the leakiness of the box sections:

unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo Box culvert sections with sediment-laden water flowing into brook, near midnight July 23, 2013.

The TIR manager was called, who said to call Environment; the cell phone for the Dedicated Environmental Monitor was on voice-mail only.

Take care,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

What Plan B friends do after seeing a theatre production like Forever Plaid, but driving home in the rain saying, "Uh-oh."

unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo Public Environmental Monitor Cindy Richards, near Crawford's Stream, Plan B, 11PM, July 23, 2013.

(The performance was great and the last show is Thursday.)

July 23, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Little updates:

Regarding the Belted Kingfishers babies in the Plan B site, in a nest made in the road cut by the current TCH in New Haven:

From the Conversation Officer:
"The Fish and Wildlife Division has determined the birds are almost fledged. The Fish and Wildlife Division Biologist Rosemary Curley has set 50 meters from the nest for heavy equipment to work until the birds have fledged and left the nest."

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The Guardian posted an article (presumably in today's printed paper) regarding the phone and electricity lines accidents at the Plan B site:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-07-22/article-3323868/Plan-B-accident-knocks-out-phone-service/1

The on-line version is embellished by a picture of a tree harvester from last October (which may come through below):

Plan B accident knocks out phone service

Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

A machine hauls trees out of a clear cut for the highway realignment project known as Plan B in Bonshaw in this Guardian file photo.

·  Published on July 22, 2013

·  Ryan Ross  RSS                 Feed

No one was hurt when a boom truck working on the Trans-Canada Highway realignment tore down a Bell Aliant line in the Bonshaw area Thursday, but 24 customers were without phone and Internet service for about a day.

It was the third accident in less than a month along involving a utility line along the construction route.

Steve Yeo, the Transportation Department's chief engineer, said the department has been in contact with the contractor about the incidents and reports are written every time there is an accident.

"Certainly safety is most important to the contractor and the department but incidents like this happen and we have discussions but we keep moving forward," he said.

On Thursday, a Highfield Construction boom truck pulled into a church parking lot near the Bonshaw Bridge and hit the telephone line, ripping it down.

Several weeks ago a truck knocked over a utility pole and left about 2,500 customers without power for four hours.

Earlier this month a boom truck came in contact with a power line as it worked on the Bonshaw Bridge and knocked out electricity for 10 customers for more than three hours.

Occupational health and safety officials are investigating the accident involving the boom truck and the power line, but a spokesman for the Workers Compensation Board said the contractor hadn't contacted his organization about Thursday's incident.

Employers are only required to contact the Workers Compensation Board if an employee is hurt or in danger.

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The July 15th update on the Plan B construction from The Department of Transportation: 
http://www.gov.pe.ca/tir/index.php3?number=1044551&lang=E

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Have a good day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 22, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Looking down the road:

The road down to Bonshaw, narrowed for bridge construction: Slightly confusing road markings, lots of power and phone lines, continual changes in access to the local buildings, and residents who had no say when Plan A (which did not include Bonshaw at all) became Plan B.  July 19, 2013.
(The road cut digging connecting Plan B is off to the right.)

Take care,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 20, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

It took the better part of Friday, but Bell Aliant repaired the cables providing phone and internet to most residents who lost their phone and DSL internet service Thursday afternoon.
 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo


Repair of phone lines by Bonshaw Bridge construction incident.  Photo July 19, 2013.  (Erosion control of exposed bank could use a little tending to.)

And on the other end of the project, digging resumes but outside of the 100 metre exclusion zone around the kingfisher's nest...


 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo

Plan B looking west from the TCH near the cut for Fairyland, looking west, down across Hemlock Grove, July 19, 2013.
(Nest is in bank of road cut on left outside of photo.)

Though hazy, you can just make out the digging in the Bonshaw end (near CBC tower, not in photo) in the upper left part of photo.

 I'll see if there is an update on the kingfishers. 

Have a good weekend -- stay cool today,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

PS  A reminder that Coro Dolce Choir performs tonight at the Bonshaw Hall, 7PM, admission by donation.

July 19,2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

More inconveniences for residents in the Plan B area:

A couple of weeks ago there were two incidents involving equipment and power wires, and yesterday a boom truck snagged phone lines at the Bonshaw Bridge site and cut off phone and internet service for a good portion of Bonshaw.  (I am on the other side of the highway and somehow spared.)

Unfortunately, Bell Aliant ("Thank you for choosing Bell Aliant!") has chosen not to be able to send a crew to fix it until sometime today.

 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo
 Entrance to little Bonshaw church and parking area by Bonshaw River, with down phone lines, southside of TCH.  The road to the church and river is blocked off.  July 19, 2013.

 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo
 A blurry photo of explaining why phone service is out in parts of Bonshaw this morning, July 19, 2013.

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Some video fun from a resident:
Bulldozer working hard:
YouTube link to bulldozer by CBC tower in Bonshaw

 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo
 Where bulldozer is (but that's a scraper, I am told, in this photo.) From Green Road, looking east, where Plan B cuts deeply around CBC tower into Bonshaw, July 2013.

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And a bit of Truck Dressage:
Four Trucks and Some Dust:
YouTube link to snippet of trucks on Plan B

Have a good weekend,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 18, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Plan B, Bonshaw, July 2013

July 17, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

It appears they are trying hard to stay on the Plan B construction schedule:

 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo

Two excavators load one articulated dump truck while two bulldozer with "rippers" cut and move rock.  Bonshaw, from the western edge of Plan B, TCH at top of the photo. July 16, 2013.

The photo really doesn't do it justice, but the five machines frenetically working down there are *huge*, the largest ones on the whole site.  7AM to 6PM, six days a week, usually.  It's unusual on this project to have two excavators loading one truck.  (The fellows working know their equipment and I am glad they are employed -- too bad it's on such a stupid project, when so much other road work begs doing.)

"TCH Bonshaw Phase 1" will need to merge the high and the low road just east of the Bonshaw Bridge.  The bridge is down to two cramped lanes while the bridge crew works on the railing and deck on the downstream side.

 unable to upload :(  check facebook page for photo

Hope your day goes well,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

www.stopplanb.org

July 16, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

A wonderful gentleman asked:
Do people still carry their "STOP PLAN B" bumper stickers?
We do, but is it reasonable?
We do it now, not to follow the words "to stop what they are doing" but to indicate, that it is the whole name of a movement against costly and destructive government decisions and false and deceiving reasoning behind it.

I responded: 
After the government started building the road in spades, some people removed their bumper stickers, and I have to admit I felt a little conspicuous with mine still on.  But now it doesn't seem embarrassing; it's as you wrote:  it symbolizes a reminder about the movement against costly and destructive government decisions.  Reasonable?  I am not sure.  Is any of this reasonable?  ;-)  
At least we recognize the value of people.


I actually have no idea whose car this is -- it was spotted outside the Murphy Community Centre during the breakfast for NDP MP Libby Davies a couple of weeks ago.  

Have another lovely sunny day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 15, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

The first "phase" of Plan B to be connected to the current TCH is in Bonshaw:


Snippet of Plan B Construction Schedule from TIR's website about Plan B - -with disclaimer it is subject to change.

"TCH Bonshaw Phase 1"  is from the part east of the bridge, the whole new cut west around the CBC tower (truck picture from yesterday's update) and hooking back up by Riverdale Road and Strathgartney (where the power pole got knocked down a couple of weeks ago).

The number "6" in "Station 6+200" refers to the section or Station of the TCH they use for those reliable accident statistics, and the "+200" is the number of metres into the station, I think, west to east.


Here is what the construction currently looks like in Bonshaw just east of the bridge.

Cut of Plan B next to TCH, looking east, bridge is very small and down in center right.  Bonshaw, July 14, 2013.



Truck on current TCH heading down hill into Bonshaw, July 14, 2013.

Snippet of the TIR map of Plan B, from their website. **The white line is an artifact (which with all their skills they didn't correct).  Sorry I didn't transfer the scale, but the width (edge to edge) of the Plan B cut is about 100 metres. The little green squiggle right of centre is a planned cul-de-sac of the current TCH.

This is the TIR map of Plan B, though it is wildly outdated in some parts.  Generally, red cross-hatched means the roadbed needed to be cut or dug. The connector road top right is the new Crosby Road.

It'll be interesting to see how they join this deep cut with the current TCH.  (It's Monday and "interesting" is the best word I can come up with.)

TIR website where I got the schedule and map:

http://www.gov.pe.ca/tir/tchimprovement

Yours truly,

Chris O.,

Bonshaw

www.stopplanb.org

July 12, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Our environment and our democracy are both fragile...why we have to Plan Beyond. **

Last night I was able to attend part of a packed town hall meeting in Stratford, organized by resident and contributor to the blog www.PEICancer.com Maureen Kerr.  Some observations, misinterpretations are my own:

  • There is confusion about a municipality's right to have legislation more stringent than provincial law.
    • This needs to get clarified asap, also taking into account the revisions to the Municipalities Act that may be forthcoming in the next 12 months.
    • If legally allowed, and Stratford passes something like a total cosmetic pesticide ban, it's great for Stratford, but not for people outside of municipalities or in ones which can't enact and enforce by-laws
  • The current Provincial legislation "cosmetic pesticide ban" -- sounds tough but only restricts one chemical from non-professionals --
    • not much of a ban in an Island with a lot of agriculture, lawn service companies, and golf courses.
  • Residents are frustrated by:
    • neighbours who care more about their lawn's look than their right to protect their family from drifting chemicals.
    • how speaking out about pesticide use leads to a reputation as being a "radical" and disrupting community harmony
    • having jumped through hoops for years to show politicians they want action, and to be at a meeting yet again saying this
  • Politicians (generally):
    • seem to walk a fine line, trying to please both residents (who elected them) and corporate interests (which give them more money to be elected).  Stratford's mayor David Dunphy appears to want to move ahead.
    • are saying we need more study
      • which means they may not be quite accurately interpreting the science that is out there -- more on this another day

Three pictures, zooming out and looking west, along Plan B at Crawford's Brook, near the buried box culverts. July 2013.

Guardian coverage:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-07-11/article-3310870/Questions-arise-on-municipal-power-over-pesticides/1
(article printed below)

An easy way to do something right now -- buy locally grown food this weekend, even if it means more work or a bit more expense to get it.  That can only get more people thinking about how to sustain and be sustained by our little island.

Have a great weekend,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw
** with thanks to special people Walter Wilkins and Kathleen Romans for their wordsmith skills.

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Each June the government publishes on-line the list of donors of over $250 to PEI Political Parties.  This year they are dragging their feet and Paul MacNeill of the Eastern Graphic calls them on it.  Comments on "trends" of the donors' lists at a future date, too.
http://peicanada.com/second_opinion_paul_macneill_publisher/columns_opinions/accountability_demands_more_lip_service_0

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Interesting link:
http://peicancer.com/


----------------------------------------------------------

Questions arise on municipal power over pesticides

Published on July 11, 2013 in The Guardian on-line

Approximately 80 individuals from across the province voiced their support for a pesticides ban during a panel at town hall Thursday night.

The four person panel was hosted by Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward and included Erin Taylor, manager of climate change and air management for the province, Roger Gordon, a former dean of science at UPEI, Sharon Labchuk and Stratford resident Maureen Kerr.

The overwhelming message from the crowd was for Stratford to become the first municipality on P.E.I. to enact a ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides, with hopes that other municipalities would follow suit.

However, Erin Taylor, manager of climate change and air management for the province, said Island municipalities currently don't have the authority to create their own pesticide bylaws.

Taylor noted that municipalities in other provinces do have that power.

"If this is something Stratford wants to consider or other residents want to consider, the course of action I would suggest is to talk to your members of legislation," she said. "If, within the Town of Stratford, they want their own bylaw… that requires a change to the municipalities legislation."

That was something that Roger Gordon, a former dean of science at UPEI, didn't agree with.

Gordon cited an article from the David Suzuki Foundation, which referred to a Supreme Court ruling made in 2001.

Gordon said the court ruled any town in Canada can bring in more restrictive regulations to prevent pesticide use in order to protect the interest of its citizens.

"If there is any doubt about this, I would suggest the town take legal advice," he said. "But my reading of this is we do have the ability to be able to do this."

During the meeting, Stratford mayor David Dunphy and Coun. Emile Gallant both said they had previously been told the town doesn't have the power to create its own pesticide bylaws.

However, both said they personally support banning pesticides and would continue to explore the issue.

"As far as I'm aware the province has jurisdiction over pesticides on Prince Edward Island," said Dunphy, adding that the town and Federation of Municipalities have both previously raised the issue to the province. "It is my hope the next municipalities act, which is being drawn up for this fall or next spring, will have something in it that will let municipalities have jurisdiction over cosmetic pesticides."

Many who attended the panel said they would be continuing to organize themselves in an effort to get a ban enacted.

July 11, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Today we'll wander away from the Plan B site for just a bit to remark on some events:

Tonight is the town hall meeting on cosmetic pesticides usage, at 7PM, at the Stratford Town Hall.
https://www.facebook.com/events/132438326960619/
All are invited.
---
Here are some Island theatrical productions with connections to Plan B:

Tonight, the Green Party is hosting a presentation of The Shore Road at the Watermark (formerly the Montgomery Theatre) in North Rustico: from https://www.facebook.com/events/127838400748323/
"Tickets are $25 each for this special presentation. Duncan McIntosh writes and directs this world premiere. A famous, much loved actress, returns to PEI from Montreal to face the loss of her magnificent shore farm after a default on the mortgage. In denial, she has to decide between selling the most precious part of her legacy or losing it all. Inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (Russia, 1904) this play is as funny as it is tragic."
Doors open at 7, play starts at 7:30PM.  It also plays other dates this summer: http://www.watermarktheatre.com/#!the-plays/c3vo

Also:
Victoria Playhouse, Having Hope at Home until August 4th.  Cathy Grant plays the mother in this production, which is poignant and funny.  The issue of family dynamics, aging and homebirth are discussed with sensitivity and humour.
http://www.victoriaplayhouse.com/shows-plays.php

Mack Theatre, Dear Johnny Deere until August 31st. Some of us are going on the 17th, next week.  It is about a couple whose land is about to be bought... for a highway project!  Fiddler Roy Johnstone is in it.
http://www.charlottetownfestival.com/en/25-Dear-Johnny-Deere

Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside, Forever Plaid, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays until July 25th. 
http://www.harbourfronttheatre.com/PLAID.html
Catherine O'Brien directs this, and it sounds like the singing is excellent.  A group is going on Tuesday, July 23rd.

Confed Centre, Evangeline, until the end of summer.
http://www.winstormdp.com/eMercial/view/html5/index.php?client=CCA&projectName=Evangeline&emercialID=55&preview=No&recipient=festival
Beautiful.  Admire the sets, too, if you can think to do that while being awestruck by the music....

Have a great day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 10, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

This letter, from last year, is sobering.

July 4, 2012

To “B” or not to “B” - it’s still a question

printed in The Eastern Graphic

Plan B is a road, not something abstract and prone to invisibility like the PNP, bootleg tourism contracts, or even the flawed process that shackles most Islanders to the HST.  The road will be a constant physical reminder that democracy and truth can be paved over with deceit.  
Like many Islanders, I thought the “old” Liberal government that tried to kill Liberalism by breaking contracts and slashing wages 7.5 per cent had mended its ways.  I believed Mr. Ghiz when he apologized for that flawed process.  So, based on a trust that procedural fairness would be reinstated, I voted for a “Liberal” government.  Now, this moving forward with Plan B just proves my own naiveté.  
Is there any evidence that this government serves the majority of Islanders - that Islanders are truly included in the decision making process?  I hope some wit will christen this section of the Trans Canada Highway with a name that reflects how it came to be.  Then, each time we are forced to drive over the road, it will help Islanders remember what true representation doesn’t look like. 


Walter Wilkins,
Stratford

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from The Guardian's website yesterday:

Workers Compensation Board investigating Plan B accident

Guardian photo (an incredibly blurry photo -- they could ask for better ones from us)

Occupational health and safety officials are investigating an accident at the Trans-Canada Highway realignment construction site after a boom truck hit a power line. (File photo)

Published on July 9, 2013

by Ryan Ross  RSS                 Feed

Topics :

Highfield Construction , Trans-Canada Highway , Maritime Electric , Iceland , Charlottetown , Tignish

Occupational health and safety officials are investigating an accident at the Trans-Canada Highway realignment construction site after a boom truck hit a power line last week.

No one was seriously hurt, but the machine’s operator was taken to hospital and kept overnight for observation.

Bill Reid, director of occupational health and safety with the Workers Compensation Board, said any time there is an accident involving electricity the people involved are asked to go to the hospital.

“The potential is there any time you’re working with high voltage or low voltage in this situation so the fact they are released from the hospital is good news,” he said.

On Friday afternoon, a boom truck for contractor Highfield Construction was lifting barriers into place where construction is underway on the Bonshaw Bridge to widen it as part of the highway realignment known as Plan B.

The truck knocked out power for 10 Maritime Electric customers for more than three hours, although exactly what happened is still under investigation.

Reid said it’s standard practice for occupational health and safety to investigate any time there is an accident that has the potential for serious injury.

“Then we’ll look to see if there’s any violations of the Health and Safety Act or general regulations,” he said.

How long the investigation will take depends on what the investigators find and how complicated it becomes, Reid said.

“It’s hard to say right now where it is.”

Reid said the investigators will look to see if the company involved was complying with health and safety laws and regulations.

Darrel Evans, manager of design and bridge maintenance for the Transportation Department, said it was the second incident along the construction route after an Island Coastal truck backed into a utility pole about a week earlier.

No one was hurt in that incident, but it left about 2,500 customers without power for four hours and knocked the pole onto the road.

Evans said the contractors involved in the construction are responsible for their own on-site safety.

“We will certainly be in communication with them to try and beef that up, in some respects, on their end,” Evans said.

He also said the two incidents that knocked out power were the only accidents he was aware of at the construction site.

Maritime Electric spokeswoman Kim Griffin said the utility has had to deal with two other incidents this year at different sites in what the company calls “public contacts” involving construction equipment.

“We’ve been lucky that no one was killed as a result of these,” she said.

The other incidents involved a truck tearing down a utility pole in Charlottetown that knocked out power for 4,500 customers, while 106 customers lost power after a piece of heavy equipment made contact with a power line in Tignish. Both of those incidents happened May 6.

Griffin said it’s important for people to take the safety issue seriously and be careful when working around power lines.

“We’ve been lucky with a number of these situations this year but we don’t want to see any,” she said.

Highfield Construction was contacted about the accident but the person who answered the phone said the company did not want to comment.
-------------
Link:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-07-09/article-3308377/Workers-Compensation-Board-investigating-Plan-B-accident/1


A couple of comments from Chris O.:
Why does The Guardian  tag the story with "Iceland" -- it's happened the whole 18 months of Plan B.
The worker injured, to my recent clarification, was not the boom truck operator but a worker standing next to the truck, which reminds one how electricity travels.


A slightly less fuzzy picture from Friday, July 5th, 2013.

Take care,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 9, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

This is just a little goofing around....

Some Plan B numbers from last week:

number of kilometres of Plan B covered with about 8 inches (20cm) of gravel: 0.9

number of utility lines accidents, resulting in power outages: 2

number of workers injured on the site: 1

number of mainstream media stories on outages or accidents: 0

number of homes in the Plan B path moved off their original property: 1
 
number of homes in the Plan B path smashed: 3

number of Belted Kingfisher babies (reported, not confirmed): 4

number of pieces of equipment broken down:  5 (estimate)

number of days until the next listed provincial election date (October 5, 2015):   818

number of people who know when the actual provincial election date is going to be: 2 (estimate)

Cliff and apparently broken excavator, Bonshaw end of Plan B, July 2013.  Original TCH culvert in upper left of photo.

Have a great day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 8, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Looking east from the now-top of the hill be Crawford's Brook towards New Haven, Sunday, July 7, 2013.

The Guardian
printed this short but delightfully punchy letter to the editor Saturday; it is not on their website, but I have copied it:
A Different View of Fall Leaves
printed on Saturday, July 7th in The Guardian
Editor:
    Re Paul Acorn's letter in Friday's Guardian.  He is thinking that he will be able to "overlook the leaves of Fall" from the Plan B road when it is finished.  Mr. Acorn is overlooking the reality, that from the depths of the cuts, near New Haven and coming down the hill to Bonshaw, he will be underlooking any leaves he might see.
    Wait! The wind will pile the leaves from a wide area into those cuts, so he may overlook lots of leaves down there, after all, as he drives over them.  This is not the usual attitude for overlooking Fall leaves. 
    In another season, how deep will the snow drift down there?
Carl Mathis,
Charlottetown

Carl is he director of the Coro Dolce classical choir, which is presenting four concerts in July, including one on Saturday, July 20th, at 7PM at the Bonshaw Hall, their "home base", so he sees enough of Plan B.
http://www.buzzon.com/whats-going-on/music/18389-coro-dolce-season

----------

Yesterday was an anniversary, but as far as I know there wasn't a ceremony at Province House, no birthday cakes or nor license plates issued to commemorate it, but July 7th was the 240th anniversary of representative government on Prince Edward Island.

1773 was the first meeting of the first Legislature on PEI, with 18 representatives and a speaker.   This is the second-earliest organization of (Westminster system) representative government in what is now Canada (Nova Scotia) was earlier.**

The group that clarified the important historical event was the Brothers and Sisters of Cornelius Howatt, which is holding a retrospective on who they were and what they did back in 1973, on Thursday evening, August 8th, In Charlottetown.  Looks like it will be an interesting and fun time.

----------
This Thursday, July 11th, is a "town hall meeting" in Stratford to discuss the use of cosmetic pesticides, 7PM, Stratford Town Hall, free and open to the public.
From the Facebook event listing:
"The public is invited to a town hall meeting on cosmetic pesticides. Attendees confirmed include: Stratford Mayor David Dunphy, the PEI Canadian Cancer Society, www.PEICancer.com and many more concerned people."  James Aylward, local MLA, and concerned citizen Maureen Kerr are hosting it.
https://www.facebook.com/events/132438326960619/

Have a good day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 6, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

A little bit more about the workplace accident at the Bonshaw Bridge yesterday: 


Cranes at Bonshaw Bridge, Friday afternoon, July 5th, 2013.  View taken from across River on Green Road, looking east.

There are a variety of cranes being used at the Bonshaw Bridge part of Plan B, at the western end of the project, to expand it by one lane to make a right-hand turning lane onto Green Road.  This work is subcontracted to the Highfield company.  (The expansion was originally scheduled to be an additional lane going east until residents made it clear the *safety* hazard was the westbound land.)

The crane truck that hit the low-voltage wires presumably was this one:

...since the fellow in the green vest is from Occupational Health and Safety.
Crane truck, Bonshaw Bridge, Friday afternoon, July 5, 2013.

It was moving concrete barriers to create the lanes for traffic while they work on the deck and railing of the downstream side of the bridge.  The new upstream side railing is facing the viewer in this picture.  Note the new railing is solid as compared to a more open pipe design of original railing, which has created *another* safety issue of reduced visibility for traffic exiting the little church on the downstream side (church roof is centre left) and folks who use the drive to get to the river with kayaks and canoes and to the trails with mountain bikes.  The road to the church and river is now being rerouted! (pictures later)

I didn't get more information than this about the accident or how the worker is doing, and I am not sure if there was any coverage of CBC yesterday....

--------

In yesterday's garden there was a letter from a person who wrote similar cheerleading letters last year:

A few words on roundabouts

Published on July 5, 2013

Editor:

It's perfect to see the airport roundabout near completion. Mount Edward Road and Belvedere intersection is next, I hope. I believe they are a great advantage to travelling motorists.

I also had a drive up to Plan B. Wow, what progress is being made. It looks great to me. I am sure when the pavement is down and grass growing, it will be a treat to drive on and overlook the leaves of fall.

Congrats to Minister Vessey and all who are making this project become real.

Paul Acorn,
Cornwall

The Bonshaw end of Plan B near Churchill, July 5, 2013.

Anyone who wishes to respond to some of Mr. Acorn's statements or if you think it doesn't look great to you, consider writing:

The Guardian
letters@theguardian.pe.ca

The Eastern (and West Prince)Graphic
editor@peicanada.com

The Journal-Pioneer 

newsroom@journalpioneer.com

and consider cc'ing elected officials
Premier Robert Ghiz
premier@gov.pe.ca

Minister Valerie Docherty, MLA -- District 17
vedocherty@gov.pe.ca

Minister Robert Vessey, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
rsvessey@gov.pe.ca


Have a great day, enjoy the heat, and be careful on the roads!
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 5, 2013

Hello, all,

A sign informing the public about the kingfishers nesting in the Plan B area, July 4th, 2013. 


Kingfisher protection sign on TIR construction sign.  Just off TCH in New Haven, looking west at Plan B, July 4, 2013.  Hemlock Grove is the lowest area of the red strip.  The Kingfishers' nest is in the cliff facing west (not visible in photo).

My photography is barely adequate, and for anyone looking to improve their nature photography, there is a workshop at MacPhail Woods Sunday afternoon, 2PM: from:http://www.macphailwoods.org/event/nature-photography-workshop/

"Island photographer Beth Hoar will show slides on “Taking a Close Look at Nature – The Art of Macro Photography”.  She’ll then lead participants on a walk to discuss techniques and potential subjects.
You can see Beth’s breathtaking work at her website: http://greenthumbphoto.com/
Meet at the Nature Centre at 2pm and bring your camera along."

Her photos are fantastic.
--

Also, on Saturday, some Islanders are planning to go to New Brunswick, near the Elsipogtog First Nation, to show support for those who don't want fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for shale gas.
Event:https://www.facebook.com/events/353005748160769/

To an Islander, the following letter brings up what what happened with Plan B, what's going on in New Brunswick now, and what could possibly happen on PEI in the future.  It is reprinted on the website "The Harbinger: Green Politics and Culture in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia" and is by the New Brunswick Green Party leader. 
http://nbharbinger.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/david-coon-no-consent-to-frack/

David Coon: No Consent to Frack

03 Jul 2013

To The Editor:

How many arrests will it take before Premier David Alward recognizes that he does not have the consent of New Brunswickers to allow the exploitation of shale gas? The people of this province have tried everything to communicate this to the premier. It started with meetings with MLAs, letter-writing to cabinet ministers and the presentation of the largest petition ever tabled in the Legislature. These fell on deaf ears, so there have been rallies, a massive march through Fredericton and weekly protests outside the premier’s office last fall. Associations representing family doctors and seniors have joined their voices with a number of municipal councils, environmental organizations and unions to call for a stop to shale gas exploration. All the political parties, except for the Conservatives, either want a moratorium or an outright ban on shale gas exploitation. Yet Premier Alward refuses to hit the pause button.

Now the thumper trucks have come to Kent County to carry out seismic testing. Everyone knows that if they get promising results the next step will be to drill and frack some wells to determine if they can extract commercial volumes of gas. Some people from Kent County, Elsipogtog First Nation and their allies have made the decision to engage in peaceful civil disobedience — standing in the road to prevent the thumper trucks from moving forward. But make no mistake, they may be standing in front of company trucks, it is their own government they are standing up to. And it is the government’s police force which is arresting them.

The Green Party of New Brunswick (GPNB) says the premier must call a halt to shale gas exploration now, just as premiers have in Nova Scotia and Québec. It’s time to pull the plug on those exploration licenses.

David Coon,
GPNB Leader

-----
Enjoy the heat this weekend,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 4, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

If there weren't such misguided incidents each day at Plan B, it'd be easier to discuss other issues on the Island!

From yesterday, word from the managers is that an operator of a giant dump truck snagged an electric wire and that caused the poll to snap Tuesday afternoon.  It is certain it was a tense time for the operator while he waited for the electricity in the wires to be shut off.  Power for the region was off for about five hours.  To my knowledge our local public broadcaster nor Island-wide newspaper did not report on this the next day, as they usually do with much smaller power outages, or construction-related incidents.
Giant dump truck, near Peter's Road, June 2013.
------

Late Thursday was the last day, apparently, public submissions were accepted regarding the draft report of recommendations from the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee.  The submissions were posted, each one an individual pdf file, on the website. 
Map of Plan B showing parcels listed in Minister Sherry's conditional approval of Plan B.  Used without permission from their website.

The main comments are that Islanders want land protected, would be happy to see the trail system improved in a low-impact method, want the Green Road/Crosby Mill footbridge replaced, and definitely want the public opportunity to comment on the management plan. 

I have opened up and pasted all the submissions here, without permission, and removed identifying information.
Have a great day!
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

____________________________
Final comments on Committee's draft recommendations posted on the BHPLC website:

June 22, 2013
Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
I would like to see Island Nature Trust mange this land. Or the provincial government if it will be protected in perpetuity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?: --------------------------------- Yes. Hiking, snowshoeing, canoeing, being. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
The area should be used for educating. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 24, 2013
Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
I would love for the lands to be incorporated into the existing Bonshaw and Strathgartney Provincial Parks to create a larger park. Secondarily, I think one of the land conservation groups on the Island would be a good choice for managing the lands, whether through a lease or outright ownership.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?:
---------------------------------
Yes. Primarily hiking and bird watching. I think there would be some great opportunities for photography and plant identification as well.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
I liked that there is long term planning and acknowledgement of the financial difficulties associated with managing/conserving ''wild spaces''. I really like the recommendation for loop trails of several kilometres in length to be developed. I think having the various sized loops is a great way to make the trails accessible to a variety of people.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other Comments: ---------------------------------
Great, well rounded recommendations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 26, 2013
Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
With NAPA designation, give ownership to Island Nature Trust &/or Nature Conservancy of Canada, or add to the provincial park areas. Groups such as Central Queens Wildlife Fed, Cycling PEI, Island Trails and Macphail Woods Project could be involved in management, though there''s no harm in leaving that up to nature.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?:
---------------------------------
Yes, our family will continue to hike, bike, canoe and ski in Strathgartney Park, Bonshaw Park, the equestrian park, in between and beyond. And we bring many friends and guests along.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
1. protection of these under NAPA 2. no motorized vehicle access 3. promotion of environmental education 4. community and landowner involvement
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
No details of any investigation of the purchase or trade of adjoining property to join/expand Strathgartney Park to the MacKinnon''s Wharf property along the Tjigaoegatig [jeekow''kateek] River.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other Comments:
---------------------------------
Big thank you to the committee for all their work to promote the protection of what''s left of these special areas.
Designate Peter's Road and Bolger Park Road as heritage roads.
The footbridge should be rebuilt and higher- it was almost washed away this spring. The Bonshaw/Tjigaoegatig River Watershed group could help form a committee to organize this. Doesn't need to cost much- maybe get trusses donated with a plaque for recognition. Consider having a covered, open-sided bridge built by Bluefield High students.
Hold a public meeting and have time for comments on the Management Plan before it is finalized.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 26, 2013 #2
Who should own/manage these lands?:
---------------------------------Public ownership, volunteer stewardship.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?:
---------------------------------X-country skiing, camping, hiking, canoeing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?:
---------------------------------Joining the land at bonshaw bridge to make a bigger park.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?:
---------------------------------Hunting and trapping should not be allowed.Motorized vehicle even motor boats should be banned from this area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other Comments: ---------------------------------
This is a perfect time to make the area above St Catherines bridge a motor free river.This would encourage more canoe kayak traffic.This park could be expanded in the future through land grants from local land owners in the area.The cross country ungroomed winter trails will get alot of use on my part.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 26-#3
-- Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
I am in agreement with the Committee''s Recommendations summarized in section 7 of the drat for public comment,the lands be transferred to non-profit land conservation trusts and/or incorporated into a larger provincial park. All provincial lands should be designated under NAPA. Preservation through committed funding and a long-term conservation management strategy is paramount to maintain the ecological integrity of these lands. Buffer zones should be reviewed and expanded to protect wildlife
and habitat. Any considerations for recreational use should require careful planning to avoid intrusions/disturbances to wildlife and habitat.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?: --------------------------------- We would use the areas for walking, horseback riding,berry-picking and fishing. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
No motorized vehicle access. A long term commitment to land management and strategies to moniter the preservation of the ecolgically sensitive areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
The financial resources and commitments from government are not guaranteed. Governments are notorious for cutting/reducing maintenance budgets.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Comments: ---------------------------------
The highway realignment through Bonshaw/Churchill is a colossal waste of public funds and the provincial government demonstrated its complete disregard of public opinion in order to pursue its own agenda.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 27 -#1
-----------------------------------------------------
Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
I believe the lands should be held in trust by the province so they can be used by everyone for outdoor enjoyment.The land should be protected from development and not allowed to be sold.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?:
---------------------------------We use this land now for hiking, dog walking, cross country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, birdwatching and just to have a quiet place to recharge and enjoy life.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?:
---------------------------------That the land would be protected and reforested where needed.Really like the idea of linking the parks but wouldn't want anyone made to give up their land unless they wanted to.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: --------------------------------- Do not like the idea of hunting and trapping. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Comments:
---------------------------------
I believe motorized vehicles should not be allowed on this land unless for maintaining forests. I would love to see the West River protected more as well. No motorized boats should be allowed between St. Catherine''s Bridge and Bonshaw foot bridge as there are many nesting birds along
shores and they are scared away from their young but these. Also would like to see foot bridge crossing river in Bonshaw fixed before it breaks. The idea of getting public feedback on this issue is huge and if it is successful maybe government will do more of this to protect our island. Sure wish we could have only organic farming in the area as well but maybe that''s wishful thinking. Thanks for all your hard work committee.

June 27-#2
Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------Island Nature Trust should be the managers of the land in conjunction with other Non-government groups for land conservation, protection, and/or multi use where appropriate. U.P.E.I. should sub-lease the hardwood properties to the north of the highway for research and education. Island Trails and P.E.I. Cycling should sub-lease the trail system where they would be responsible for creation and maintenance over a long term (i.e. 10 to 25 years).
Who should not mange the lands: P.E.I. Parks should not be involved. They did not even send a representative to the Bonshaw-New Haven meeting to answer questions. If they cannot show any interest in the committee, then what will happen if the lands are under their management.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?: --------------------------------- My family would use the lands for walking, cycling, canoe and possibly wilderness camping. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other Comments:
--------------------------------- The lands should be enjoyed by all Islanders and be accessible to all, especially handicapped
which at this point in time Strathgartney is not as the gate is never open.
There should be no hunting, trapping except for special circumstances. Motorized bikes and ATV should not be allowed with major fines associated with any violations. There should be a complete inventory of flora and fauna carried out before in activities or leases are started.


June 27-#3
The foot bridge at Green road needs to be replaced. It is important for local recreation and beyond. The replacement does not need to be exorbitantly expensive. It should be functional and built for the future. A second foot bridge off of Bolger Park would be beneficial.
No trapping or hunting at all. Not of any species. A possible exception would be aggressive coyotes. The wildlife populations are stressed enough. Also it is totally unreasonable to be promoting so small an area for both recreation and for hunting and trapping. It also seems many in those sports are rather careless regarding other users of the land.
No where at all should ever be off limits to the public. Hiking and trails should always be given first priority over research or conservation. There needs to be more trails everywhere. They should be run all over the place and made of different difficulties. Mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing could all use the same trail set. All motorized vehicles should be limited to the parking lots and their current trails.
I think buying more land would be a waste of money. There is plenty now owned by government in this area. As to who owns the land there have been no good options yet. Keep the current farm land in production. It is much more valuable in use than as yet more woods. No interpretive centers. They would be a waste of space and money and draw the wrong kind of use to the land. None of this "crown forest management" that happens else where of clear cut, plant monoculture, thin, clear cut.

June 27-#4
Who should own/manage these lands?: --------------------------------- Ownership should be transferred to a non profit organization such as the Island Nature Trust. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------
Protection of the ecologically sensitive areas. Swapping agricultural land for ecologically sensitive land that is currently privately owned. Linking properties with corridors that enhance wildlife habitat. Use for educational and research purposes. Protection under NAPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------Extension of trails into areas such as the top portion of parcel D where the forest cover is mature tolerant hardwood. Many trees have already fallen to accommodate the new highway and every effort should be made to conserve the mature woodlands that remain.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other Comments: ---------------------------------
Public access and recreation is important but should be done without causing further fragmentation of the forested lands in this area. I look forward to seeing the committee''''s thoughtful conservation and protection recommendations implemented.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 27-#5
Dear BHPLC members,
Thanks for asking for input from the public on this first stage. Those who have glimpsed at the report and/or feel some connection to the Plan B area hope something of environmental and social value can be salvaged.
My suggestions:
* Except for the existing provincial parks, the land owned by government should be transferred to organizations like INT or NCC. (Too bad for TIR to have to write off the value of the land -- small, small change in relation to the actual costs of Plan B.)
* Acquisition of new lands, horse-trading with land owners who got land for Plan A or other land owners should be done with caution. That was not necessarily the objective of Minister Sherry's condition, obscure as it is. Many established private land owners have been doing an adequate job with their land management and the current trail system works cheaply and fairly well.
* The idea of a crescent-shaped park with a hub at Strathgartney and at Bonshaw Provincial Park is intriguing, but only if it is very hands-off and not trying to be an interactive tourist destination -- zip-lines, ropes course, pony rides, spas -- please, no.    Trails, trails, a decent footbridge or two, more trails, perhaps a composting toilet and a potable source of water would be great. Those old signs in the current trail from the Bonshaw Park are charming and informative -- a good model.
* Please consider recommending that lighting in public areas be kept to a minimum, be LEDs and with proper downward shielding to accentuate that the Bonshaw Hills are also a decent astronomical viewing area.
* Fix/replace the Green Road/Crosby Road footbridge ASAP so walkers, fishers, cyclists can confidently use it as it connects the Appin Road system with the St. Catherine's Road System. (The mountain bikers are the unsung heroes in maintaining the trails and monitoring them. When you walk the areas you *rarely* find a piece of little like a water bottle, as opposed to Tim's cups and styrofoam worm containers. They need to be able to get their bikes across the river here and at the TCH bridge.)
* Consider a second crossing on the West River from any trails to Bolger Park towards Riverdale. It would increase the active living potential.
* Recognize that decent people in the area ride ATVs and dirt bikes and will continue to do so in various places, despite their stink and noise. New trails should be off-limits for motorized (except obviously some kinds of wheelchairs in some limited places) vehicles and should overwhelming discourage ATVs/dirt bikes from their use of the trails by clever design.
* No hunting, period. Too easy for a kid or dog to put a paw or hand into a snare, and there are plenty of other places on other private lands that hunters seem to find. The only exception would
be a carnivore situation as in an aggressive coyote, when signage and public notice would warn hikers and those bringing their dogs. Let's make this a peaceful place for all living creatures (well, I think fishing is likely integral to the area), so let's say most peaceful birds and mammals.
* The parcels ear-marked for UPEI and Holland College should be available for all educational groups -- school-aged kids, folks from MacPhail Woods, seniors' college, etc. Any specific areas used for surveys and needing not to be disturbed could be labeled as such.
* This report did not mention subdivisions or other intense land use such as shale pits in the area near these parcels. Communication with government officials about filed plans for adjacent lands with regard to these activities could be requested by the committee as it plans the management of the parcels.
* The current committee should participate in the next stage, or at least be kept on the minutes-loop if certain members beg leave of attending. However, some of the members who appeared rather curious appointments and who weren't seen at the public meetings anyway should be excused from continuing.
* The need for public consultation on the actual management plan should most certainly be in this draft recommendations report and guaranteed by government for the next step.

June 27 - #6
------- Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
lands should be managed & owned by an NGO such as the Island Nature Trust but they should receive gov''t funding to offset costs especially the initial ones of clean up and establishment a near "wilderness" concept would be good but the public should be encouraged to use the land responsibly and not have access be overly restricted
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?: --------------------------------- hiking snowshoeing skiing canoeing (not on the land but on the adjacent water of course!) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------loop trails but minimal further development -- a "wilderness" park is a good concept for PEI at this time
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: --------------------------------- I don't want to see the government retain ownership because I do not want the gov''t of the day to
change its mind about the use of this land --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Comments: --------------------------------- all attempts should be made to connect the various parcels by acquiring additional land. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 27 -#7
--------- Who should own/manage these lands?: --------------------------------- The lands should be in the hands of non-profit organizations. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?: ---------------------------------More likely to use the land if minimal trail development (use existing trails for things like nature education and activities such as walking, hiking, birding, skiing, snowshoeing) is done and there are no motorized vehicles permitted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?:---------------------------------Take the agricultural land and trade it for other private lands of high ecological value. Protection of the land under NAPA after the land is transferred to a non-profit organization.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: --------------------------------- Development of more trails that further fragment the forest
Linking of Parks for recreational use. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Comments: ---------------------------------
Protecting wildlife should be the first priority as the land there has been so disturbed that they have already lost a significant amount of habitat. Priority should also be given to protecting the ecologically sensitive areas. Ensure that the increase in recreational use in the area does not have an environmentally negative impact.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 27-#8
------- Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------Island Nature Trust should own/manage the lands. But they need to be given financial help with the cost of establishing hiking trails and educational/interpretive panels (or something like the information system at Trout River Nature Trail in Coleman).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?:
---------------------------------I would, my family and friends would and the many hiker''s which I lead on hikes would. It could become one of the longer ''destination hiking trails'' in the province.
I think some of the land could be used for mountain biking but it would need to be carefully planned and built to a high standard to take a lot of use.
Also, some of the property should be left alone, let nature take its course. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: --------------------------------- That the land be left in perpetuity to Islanders. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other Comments: ---------------------------------
Please establish two or three canoe/kayaking launching areas, which would be easy to use even at low tide. One for sure at the Bonshaw Bridge. Another one on the MacKinnon property and maybe one up by the footbridge.
Also, the footbridge should be replaced. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


June 27-#9
------ Who should own/manage these lands?: ---------------------------------
Island nature Trust or other land preservation group with legislation to provide protection from development in perpetuity. Partner with watershed and cycling and hiking groups as well as consult the public on management plans.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Would you or your family members use these lands? If so, how?: --------------------------------- Definitely. Hiking, cross country skiing, canoeing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like best about the committee's recommendations?: --------------------------------- No motorized vehicles. Join the lands as much as possible. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What did you like least about the committee's recommendations?: ---------------------------------Please add the need to have ongoing public input.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Comments: ---------------------------------
The footbridge from the trail to the Green Road should be replaced. Consider making part of the trail along the river from the Bonshaw provincial park wheelchair accessible. Enhance educational components. Add pit toilets or portapotties in appropriate locations. Have a good balance between public access and environmental protection in sensitive areas. Allow adequate resources for infrastructure. Keep most of the trails as natural as possible. This is a very important aspect of the beauty of the Bonshaw and Strathgartney trails. Make sure trail markings are clear and do not damage the trees (like the current blue markers on the Bonshaw trail). Provide signboards at trailheads that show maps of the trails including distances and difficulty levels. This is an excellent opportunity do do something meaningful and long lasting. Don't compromise it. Make sure to get public comment on the final report before implementation.

-

July 3, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

In the large area of Crapaud to North River, power was off from about 4PM to 9PM last night, as you may have heard.

Here's why:

Broken power pole, going west on TCH, Churchill, Tuesday afternoon, after 4PM.  Thanks to an eagle-eyed traveler who posted this on Facebook first.

Yes, in the very same area we were talking about safety concerns with the digging, little "arrow signs", etc., a few days ago.
Something (presumably large and heavy and having to do with moving dirt for Plan B) broke a power pole, and the broken half was leaning over the highway for a while.  Well, that DID keep people from driving in the lane closest to the ditch.

The CBC "live news feed" said traffic was moving normally by about 5:40PM, which gives traffic a lot of credit, since there was very little warning besides plastic pylons closing a lane.  No flagmen, no signs that the lane was closed ahead or there was utility work, didn't move a flashing programmable sign (though the lane was closed for hours).


Drilling hole for new power pole, next to broken one, looking across from eastbound lane, about 7PM.

Traffic was definitely migrating beyond the double yellow line.  It wasn't rainy at that point, but drivers were driving into the setting sun.

Digging continued during the power pole replacement.  About 7PM, Tuesday.

One wonders what the bill for the five hours work is and who pays it.

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They are *purposely* replacing power poles on the other side, the Strathgartney, side of the road, to be ready for the expansion of the road.

New power pole for lines to be shifted for Plan B, in Strathgartney lookout.  There is no signage or reflective warning on the pole. 
Looking northwest, Churchill, a little east of broken power pole.


Close up of new pole, with surveyor's stake.  Strathgartney overlook parking area.  July 2nd, 2013.


The "cut 0.8" means they will need to dig down 0.8 of a meter (2 feet, 7 inches) at that point. 

Take care,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

July 2, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Framed: The next home to be gotten rid of -- this one is newish enough it's likely to be moved rather than smashed -- in Plan B's inexorable dig from New Haven to Bonshaw:

Plan B, across from little old church in Churchill, between Peter's Road and towards Riverdale Road, June 30, 2013

Hope you had a good holiday,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

PS  Our MLA missed the Bonshaw Canada Day celebration, so didn't have a chance to talk about things with residents.  Granted, her executive assistant called and left a message at suppertime on Sunday night to ask when it was (the time hasn't changed since the WI started it several years ago, and the date, um, doesn't change), but we didn't get the message until late.

July 1, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Happy Canada Day! 
Perhaps on Canada Day we reflect on our responsibilities as citizens, especially in relation to the very finite Island where we live. 
Getting involved -- so many of you were with the Plan B opposition, in many, many ways -- is a way we exercise our rights; and at some point, we will exercise the right to vote in a provincial election (something to think about as MLAs appear at Canada Day functions and other summer events).

This is a 7-minute long "TED" (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk, "The Antidote to Apathy", with Dave Meslin from Toronto, and you may have already seen it.  But if you could possibly afford the time, please watch it, and consider what he is saying in terms of Plan B, the Citizens' Alliance, and a positive future for PEI. 
http://www.ted.com/talks/dave_meslin_the_antidote_to_apathy.html

Have a fun day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw
(with thanks to some wonderful people for raising the flag at Camp Vision)
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