Espanola Little Theatre Nominated in Almost All Major Categories

Tom Sasvari

ESPANOLA – The Espanola Little Theatre production �Bonjour, La Bonjour,� was nominated in all major categories except two, at this years� Quonta Drama Festival. As well, six of 8 of its actors received nomination/honourable mentions at the competition, a considerable achievement.

�We are pleased with our showing,� said Sharon Sproule of ELT. She pointed out that the adjudicator, Ken Albanese of the Theatre Ontario Talent Bank, did not agree with the style in which the play was done, but praised it for its consistency and strength in the style that was chosen. The adjudicator pointed out that the four competing companies needed more than 130 people to rehearse and produce the plays.

Bob Sproule of ELT won an adjudicator�s award for creating and performing original violin music, while Walter Maskel won for artistry, considerable risk taking and strong consistent directing. Bob Sproule was nominated for best actor in a supporting role, which was won by Murray Tilson of Timmins Take Two, while Sharon Sproule and Marge Doepker of ELT were nominated for best actress in a supporting role. Mary Bazely of Family Life Theatre �Move Over, Mrs. Markham� won in this category. Dan Lessard of ELT was nominated for best actor in a leading role, with Helen Jantti of ELT was nominated for best actress in a leading role. Walter Maskel was nominated for best director. �Bonjour, La, Bonjour,� was nominated for best production. The winner in the latter category was �The Foreigner,� by Timmins Take Two theatre company.

Sharon Sproule pointed out that nearly half of the ELT company attended the whole festival, held in Elliot Lake last week, with representation at each of the three daily workshops, and at all four post show public adjudications and post strike detailed adjudications. Other company members travelled to Elliot Lake as often as possible to attend the plays and back for work the next day. As well, Zena Ottokar and Hope Jackson of Massey Players trekked to Elliot Lake each night of the festival.

Sproule added, �one and all agree that the festival in Elliot Lake was extremely well run, and that the audience was outstanding. There was a true feeling of celebration of the art of theatre, and the learning experience was invaluable.�

Set The Parameters!

Again we see more changes to the Young Offender’s Act which mean nothing or at least next to nothing. The problem of young offenders does not start after the child has hit the justice system, they begin far sooner than that. Discipline and control have been removed from the hands of parents, guardians, teachers and given to …? No-one that’s who!

Without a measure of discipline, children grow upignorant of the acceptable parameters of society, and that is when the trouble begins. Children grow into teens, young adults and some to responsible adults. But wait — what happens when, along the way, a wrong choice is made and the wrong path followed — what then? At that point, society and the justice system step in and measures are taken to begin correcting the problem. Wouldn’t it be easier to begin the corrective process before the problems begin? If we were able to correct inappropriate behaviour at a very young age without fear of repercussions perhaps there would be fewer “bad children” and more following the path of responsibility.

Don’t get me wrong — I am not advocating beating and abusing children. I am, however, suggesting parents be given tutelage on right and wrong ways to discipline their children. In my mind, children are children and there are really no “good” ones or “bad” ones – they all need to be given a set of guidelines, at a very young age, and expected to abide by them.

How can we expect children who have never been taught the rules at home to enter the world ready to follow the rules of society? It just isn’t going to happen that way. If a child is raised without discipline, he/she will grow into an adult with the same values. And as long as society holds the power to prohibit discipline, more young offenders will be participating in the justice system.

And that is a great disservice to our leaders of tomorrow. All children have the right to follow the path of success but all need to be given the proper tools to make the correct decision. Without discipline in their lives the tools are absent and parents must be held accountable. Parents have an obligation to discipline their children, thereby giving them the opportunity to be the very best they can be.

Council Supports Humane Cormorant Control

MINDEMOYA – She does not want people running around with shotguns shooting cormorants. But Councillor Joyce Varieur indicated she would certainly be in favor of a humane, scientifically sound method of controlling the cormorant problem. Council for the Township of Central Manitoulin met on March 17, at which time it discussed a motion from the United Game and Fish Clubs of Manitoulin asking the provincial government to immediately implement a management program to reduce the number of cormorants to a level which would not negatively impact on sports fishing in the area. Varieur proposed the motion be amended to suggest humane methods be used.

�I do not know how humane you can be about getting rid of cormorants,� commented Councillor Steve Orford, though he admitted he was willing to see the motion amended. Reeve Perry Anglin pointed out that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) both in Espanola and in Sudbury are aware of Manitoulin�s concerns with regards to cormorants. Anglin noted that it is particularly a problem for Central Manitoulin, not only because of the problem it poses to the south shore salmon fishery, but also because the birds have been found to attack the inland lakes.

He indicated how the United Game and Fish Clubs of Manitoulin have recently unearthed information which indicates the problem is still growing, and not levelling off as the MNR suggested it might. Furthermore, suggestions that the bird may be indigenous to the region have also failed to hold ground, as a recent study indicated there is no record of the cormorant in the area before the 1930s. Council agreed to the motion. It also passed a motion requesting Minister of Natural Resources meet with representatives of the United Game and Fish Clubs of Manitoulin.

Ontario Ports Discuss Cruise Ships
Neil Zacharjewicz

HOWLAND – The Island is not the only area looking to take advantage of the cruise ship market. According to Bruce O�Hare, a key player in the Little Current Business Improvement Association�s (BIA) attempt to attract the vessels, a meeting of all of the Ontario ports was held in Toronto to discuss a strategy for the growing industry. O�Hare pointed out that the logic behind the meeting was similar to their decision to approach partners for the feasibility study, only now it is on a province wide scale.

O�Hare was reporting on the status of the cruise ship project to Council for the Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI) at its March 16 meeting. He pointed out that a similar approach is being taken by the state of Michigan, where ports are banding together for the purposes of marketing themselves to cruise ship companies. The Mariport Group, the consultant hired by the stakeholders for the Little Current feasibility study, began work on the project on March 15, O�Hare noted, and already contact has been made with the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association and the Vancouver Tourist Information Board.

�We hope to incorporate some of the expertise available on both coasts, where the cruise business is more mature, into the findings of our study,� he said. O’Hare cited the recent decision to deny access to the coal docks in Little Current by Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) as being a large obstacle to drawing cruise ships to the area. �The reality is, without access to the coal docks, we will likely not be a regular stop for the MS Columbus or other ships of similar size. Having a deep water dock was a definite advantage for our port, and if this business is to grow, this access or ownership issue of the CPR property must be dealt with,� he stated.

He pointed out that salvaging at least one trip from the Columbus was a huge struggle, as the cruise was sold on the North Channel. The route the boat will now take will not make the North Channel passage. �What makes the coal docks so attractive is that most of the investment in their construction has already been done,� O�Hare explained. �When we compare the investment required to upgrade the coal docks to a dual usage facility, which would accommodate both large ships and recreational boaters, to the capital works projects being proposed to the Heritage Board in Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, the required investment is minimal.�

It was further noted that Little Current is doing quite well, considering its investment is tiny as compared to those of other municipalities. O�Hare indicated the Mariport Group will be marketing Little Current as a destination for cruise ships at the Seatrade show in mid-March.

Proposal for Two Flights Per Day to Toronto from Island Airports
Tom Sasvari

MANITOWANING – Discussions are going to be held to look at the possibility of having two daily flights from Pem Air to Toronto from airports on Manitoulin Island. Dave Ham, Reeve of Assiginack Township and chair of the Manitoulin East Airport Commission (MEAC), said that he met last week with Ken Ferguson, Mayor of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI), and Ned Martin, treasurer for NEMI.

MEAC has been negotiating with Pem Air to also have regular scheduled flights to and from Toronto. �We�re kind of reluctant to sign any deal with Pem Air at the moment, if Gore Bay and Elliot Lake decide not to continue because of the reduction in flights,� said Ham. He pointed out that George Farkouh, Mayor of Elliot Lake, is trying to set up a meeting to discuss this with Gore Bay representatives; as well, he is setting up another meeting with the NEMI, Assiginack and Pem Air representatives this week, to discuss the idea of having two flights per day. Farkouh indicated, “they weren�t awful happy to only have one flight per day, and the way it is now, someone can�t get to Toronto do business and get back in one day because of the timing of the flights.�

�Mr. Farkouh said that maybe if the number of passengers would be the same as when Janeway Airlines was providing flights to Toronto, by using the Elliot Lake airport, our airport and the Gore Bay airport maybe Pem Air could put on two flights a day,� said Ham. �Both our councils supported it without a subsidy from the government. Unfortunately, we received no subsidy, thanks to the ONTC.�

�The way the service is going to be now, with one flight per day, it is not going to benefit anyone,� said Ham. Recently, it was announced by Pem Air they would continue services at the Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) Ontario Northland Transportation Commission provided funding of $75,000 to the communities of Gore Bay and Elliot Lake to maintain these air services. The present contract was to run out at the end of May, 1999, but was extended to June 1, 2000.

Subsequently, Pem Air announced it was reducing the number of flights from two round trips a day to Toronto to one trip, with a new plane which would accommodate more passengers. The Turbine Pressurized Beechcraft aircraft holds 13 passengers, an increase of five over the present aircraft. Jason O�Brien of Pem Air had told the Recorder recently the number of flights could be increased in the summer if passenger numbers warrant it. Ham said a meeting with Pem Air was to be set up by Farkouh this week. The Recorder could not reach Farkouh or O�Brien for comments.

Maple Syrup Running on the Island
Neil Zacharjewicz

MANITOULIN – Max Burt has been making maple syrup since he was a little kid over 30 years ago. In the last few days, he has fired up the evaporator once again for the annual run. Burt indicated that it is too early yet to determine how good this year�s run will be, as it often runs on and off again for a month. Last year was not a very good year for maple syrup, he noted.

Burt taps close to 400 trees, and has a fairly rich bush which yields better than average, he indicated. One year, he recalled, he yielded 82 gallons from 230 trees, which was exceptional. Two years ago, Burt designed and built himself a new evaporator, and he is happy with the way it is has been working. Burt utilizes a pipeline system, instead of the traditional bucket gathering method. The maple syrup is pushed through the pipes by gravity. Gathering maple syrup is like farming, he suggested, in that there is more than one task which needs to be done. By having a pipeline system, he said, he is able to look after the boiling of the sap while the syrup is running.

Another reason Burt utilizes the pipeline system, he pointed out, is to preserve the trees. By using the pipeline, there is as minimal impact on the forest floor as possible, he said. Tramping through the bush, especially since the ground is so soft during the syrup season, can damage the roots of the trees. Burt began using the system in the early 1980s. �A tree is a rare resource, where the longer you keep it, the more it is worth to a certain extent,� he explained. He indicated that while he does have more trees he could tap, he would rather let them grow and ensure there will be trees left for his children when they grow older. Furthermore, Burt indicated he will only produce as much syrup as he can sell. He noted that the syrup is also one of the secret ingredients in his smoked hams. He believes maple syrup is one of the two most pure food products, alongside honey, which can be produced. It still fascinates Burt, some 30 years later, that someone can simply bore a hole in a tree and produce maple syrup.

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