View all Articles & Archives

Brought to you by Add to Technorati Favorites

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ice fishing tourney organizers optimistic breakthrough

Ice fishing tourney organizers optimistic breakthrough
The Canadian Ice Fishing Championship's new organizers are optimistic changes this year will result in the breakthrough that has eluded the tourney since its inception 11 years ago. Several major sports angling companies have signed on and more are expected next year because news of the changes hadn't reached them in time for sponsorship, Rocky Madsen said. Sportswear giant Sorel has come on board, he said. "The marketing went very well. It's now the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship presented by Sorel. As far as meeting the target for sponsors this year, we met that," Mr. Madsen said. Marketing is a key condition in council's decision to provide $10,000 in funding for the CIFC. The new promotion includes a $500 shopping spree at Bass Pro Shops, he said. Changes include moving the two-day tourney to Saturday and Sunday; partners being able to fish together; a change in perch scoring from two points to three points, as well as making perch the only small species that will be scored. "Before, they were

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Rescue takes 3 hours

The Georgina Fire Department's marine rescue unit took about 90 minutes searching through thick fog on Lake Simcoe early Saturday morning for a snowmobile accident victim. Two snowmobiles hit head-on off Port Bolster just before 5 a.m., Fire Chief Bill O'Neill said. The second snowmobiler went ashore to call for help, then instead of waiting for rescue crews to lead them to the scene, left to be with his friend. As a result, "something that could have taken about half an hour took three", Chief O'Neill said. Firefighters searched the lake in a marine air boat, ATVs and snowmobiles. Once located, the unidentified Virginia man was transported by boat to shore and then by ambulance to hospital. He is suspected of having a broken leg and other undisclosed injuries.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Kempenfelt ice study shows that our climate is warming

Kempenfelt Bay is one of Barrie's greatest amenities. Not only is it heavily used for recreation in all seasons, but it is also a defining feature of the city's landscape. Twice each year, its surface is transformed. When the deep freeze hits in early winter, it freezes over, usually on a quiet night with no wind. Out go the fishing huts and snowmobiles, and, if there is a break in snowfall, out go the skaters too. In April, after days of warming sunshine, the ice breaks up, often during a day of strong winds. Migrating waterfowl arrive immediately, and shortly after, Barrie's boaters are again on the water. Doubtless, some of Barrie's residents have always measured the passage of the seasons by reference to events on the bay. Natives, too, dependent upon natural waterways for travel and food, must have had a keen interest in these transformations, in days gone by. Since 1852, Kempenfelt Bay's freeze and thaw dates have been recorded, and through good luck, I have the assembled record. Local residents,

Winterfest promises big sports buffet

Winterfest promises big sports buffet
Sports fans in the Midland area will be in their glory, Feb. 4 and 5 when the 2004 edition of Winterfest takes place in the region. Highlighted by an appearance by the Buffalo Sabres Alumni at a fund-raising hockey game, sports fans will have a chance to get their fill of sports activities, including hockey, basketball, slo-pitch and public skating. The Buffalo Sabres Alumni will battle the Midland Community Stars in the fund-raising game, set Saturday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre. Proceeds from the game will be turned over to the Midland and Area Reading Council. Simcoe North MP Paul DeVillers is among those expected to lace up their skates and play for the Midland squad. Tickets on game night are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 & under. Meanwhile, a two-day Ontario Basketball Association girls invitational tournament gets under way Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. Bantam, midget and juvenile teams will participate in the tournament, with games being played at St. Theresa

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Georgina Island Wind Farm

A 60-foot metal pole from Denmark will be driven over Lake Simcoe's ice road to Georgina Island in early spring.

The pole will rise on the island's northern tip, where instruments attached to the top will send wind-speed measurements to a three-foot-square box at its base.

This is the next step in the "Island Wind" project, which the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation hope will become a $16-million wind farm of four to seven turbines generating enough electricity for 3,300 homes.

The band's partnership with a local wind energy co-operative is the first of its kind in Canada.

Chief William McCue and his council believe it's a model for other aboriginal communities, Brent Kopperson, executive director of Newmarket's Windfall Ecology Centre told a York Region wind energy summit this week.

Changing provincial regulations could make turbines a common sight in the region, dotting farm fields as they do in some European countries and contributing to a rural revival, Mr. Kopperson and other wind devotees say.

Experts say the last decade greatly improved wind energy's competitive position with bigger, more reliable and more efficient turbines that cost less.

But Mr. Kopperson said whether wind projects fly in York will depend on power prices and the ease with which farmers or co-operatives such as his can connect to the grid and guarantee themselves a profit.

Instead of offering tax credits, the Ontario government should offer potential small producers fixed-price contracts or advanced renewable tariffs for their power, said author Paul Gipe, an expert on wind energy development from California.

A farmer with such a contract could pay off a one-megawatt turbine in 10 years and -- at 10 cents a kilowatt hour -- would be guaranteed $150,000 a year for the next 10, he said.

Another stumbling block in York is the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the proposed provincial Greenbelt legislation, which currently don't permit turbines.

The region last week asked the province to modify both plans, Tracey Forrest, York's energy program manager said.

Ontario is 20 years behind European countries in wind energy but it's not too late for a big leap forward, Mr. Gipe added.