Newcomers should play a key role in Resort Municipality’s growth over next 20 years

Story and photo by Jim Brown

Newcomers are being counted on to play a growing role in the future prosperity of the Resort Municipality of Cavendish.

“I’m the new community navigator for Central PEI and we’ve already had some effort in regard with working with the Resort Municipality…I think there is a lot of potential there to help integrate newcomers into the community and in the plan there is also a reference to development of an engagement strategy,” said Peggy Miles, at a two hour public meeting on Aug 18 at the North Rustico Lion’s Club on the municipality’s 20-year strategic plan.

Approximately a dozen people attended the meeting, where masks were handed to participants.

The two consultants leading the presentation were Juniper Littlefield and Ian Watson.

The Resort Municipality is becoming known as a welcoming community for newcomers, including those who are becoming established in the tourism sector.

Newcomers, both international and domestic, will be increasingly needed in a world living under the shadow of a global pandemic.

There were many issues addressed during the session including the impact of climate change, the need to build resilient communities and businesses in the face of a pandemic that has had a devastating impact on the local, national and world economy, the push to extend the tourist season, investing in ‘quality of life’ attributes that make the Resort Municipality a better place to live and raise a family and shortfalls in health care. All told, 54 projects were listed in the draft report.

According to the draft document, “…there is no local walk-in clinic or other physician services within the municipality, although a walk-in clinic has been proposed for consideration in nearby North Rustico.

“The Gulf Shore Medical Board has lobbied to establish an emergency medical service within the community, beginning seasonally. By working with local stakeholders, this addition could make a major difference in the municipality, and remove some strain from fire services.”

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These are the worst of times but they will bring out the best in us

By Nils Ling

If you’re an Islander ‘through and through’ it’s a good bet you know Nils Ling or have heard his name. Mr Ling, who ran for the Green Party in 2015 in the federal riding of Egmont, is an author, playwright, actor, filmmaker, syndicated newspaper columnist and former broadcaster who has served as president of Film PEI.

I miss my grandkids.

I miss seeing them face to face. Tousling my grandson’s hair. Digging my fingers into another’s ribs and tickling. Catching them off guard with a particularly groan-worthy dad (grand-dad?) joke.

And sure, technology helps. FaceTime and the like. But there’s no way to hug or tickle or tousle over the phone.

So sure, I miss them in this dark time of isolation. But I’m as okay with that as I can be. Because the alternative is so much more frightening.

I don’t like being scared. I mean, I know nobody does. But this is a particularly insidious form of anxiety. Waking up every morning and doing an inventory: is the room warm or is that a fever? Is that tickle in my throat something to pay attention to or is it because I yelled so loudly at that idiot of a president they have? I need bread – do I need it enough to risk going to the store? Did that cashier just hand me a toonie crawling with something? (She seems like a lovely person, so of course she wouldn’t do it on purpose but all the danger in the world is invisible now).

And I’m not comforted by people saying “Look, we have it easy: all we have to do is sit in front of our TVs for a few weeks. Think about Ann Frank or the Chilean miners or …”. Yeah, I know. Privilege. I do have it easy.

But it’s hard.

I’m not in physical discomfort. I’m warm and probably too well-fed and I can usually stave off boredom with Netflix or a book or YouTube makeup tutorials (“It’s easy to get that perfect smoky eye look …”). I’m acutely aware that I’ve got it better than 99% of the world’s population and have no right to feel miserable but … here we are.

What keeps me going is the sure and certain knowledge that things will get better. That when we are backed into a corner human beings come out kicking and flailing and doing whatever we need to in order to right the ship. Someone who I might have teased in high school is in a lab right now and they’re discovering this nasty, sub-microscopic splash of protein molecules has an Achilles heel, and they’re on the verge of figuring out how to fight back against it and stomp it out of existence.

These are the worst of times but they will bring out the best in us.

Whenever something bad happened to me as a kid my mom would say, “Look, I know it’s hard right now. But damn, it’s going to be a great story some day.” And she was always – always – right.

So, we’re all in this together. We all feel the same way about it. We hate it. We’re hurting.

But damn, it’s going to be a great story. Someday.

Someday.

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Island woman was a flight attendant on Trump-owned airline

By Jim Brown

Cheryl Maclin

Summerside resident Cheryl Jean Maclin is a Canadian who lived and worked in the US for much of her adult life. She is not a fan of the 45th president of the United States, but for a brief period she worked for Donald Trump as a flight attendant on the so-called ‘Trump Shuttle’
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That was in the late 80s and early 90s, but her memories remain vivid of those exciting times.

Trump had just taken over the bankrupt Eastern Shuttle that she worked at, which flew passengers to New York, Boston and Washington. She had been laid off for three months before she resumed her job under a different and more flamboyant boss.

“We wanted to do the shuttle, which I enjoyed doing because of my kids. I had regular hours on the shuttle,” said Cheryl.

She worked the New York and Washington run and recalls several of the regular passengers were “powerful people”, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and the Kennedy children.

“I was pretty impressed with what he did to the aircraft after he took (Eastern Shuttle) over. He tore them all up inside and put all new leather seats and carpeting and gold sinks in the bathroom, you know the ‘Trump-style,'” said Cheryl of the fleet of 140-seat 727s he acquired.

Cheryl said Trump did a nice thing for the newly acquired flight attendants – allowing them to keep their seniority.
“He also gave all his flight attendants a pearl necklace,” she said, with a laugh.

“Back then he wasn’t the person he is today, that’s for sure.”

Eventually Trump Shuttle and its fleet of 21 Boeing 727s would be grounded when the company went bankrupt and was swallowed up by US Air. Meanwhile Cheryl continued on with her flight attendant job. Her career would end with 35-plus years of service in the airline industry and the seniority she was allowed to carry through from her Trump Shuttle days would boost her pension payout.

With Trump’s election in 2016 the US entered a dark chapter in its history. Things became much worse when the Trump administration badly bungled its response to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving 148,000 Americans dead and millions infected by late July.

“It’s really bad. I have family living there. I have two sons, four grandchildren and two daughter-in-laws. One daughter-in-law last night wrote to me and said she’s just losing all hope (because of the virus)…People are losing hope it’s ever going to be okay,” she said.

“Everything he has tried to do has failed.”

Even when Trump’s purchase of the shuttle service helped save a thousand jobs decades ago, including Cheryl’s, she says had she been an American and able to vote in 2016, Trump would not have received her support.

“Because of the bankruptcy and already knowing bits and pieces what he was like as a person, no, I would never have voted for him.”
Trump Air would lose more than $125 million in just 18 months, before going bankrupt.

Cheryl was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia before moving to the States when her dad, Islander George Stavert, accepted a job as an airplane mechanic for Rolls Royce. She would eventually return to her Maritime roots after giving her green card more than three decades of use.

She and her husband Austin Maclin, a Vietnam war veteran who trained military dogs, left America in 2003 to settle in Darnley, where the couple lived until their recent move to Summerside.

Austin, a permanent resident of Canada, uses his German shepherd Myah to help treat veterans on PEI who have PTSD.
He will be able to vote in the Nov 3 election and, unfortunately for Trump, Biden is his choice.

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Little opposition to Raspberry Point processing plant

Story and photos by Jim Brown

It wasn’t exactly a slam dunk, but it came pretty close to it.

There was little opposition at a July 2 public meeting to Raspberry Point Oyster Company’s plans to build a new 32,000 sq. foot oyster processing facility on 30 acres of land fronting Hope River in Cavendish. The building would replace an existing facility on Cavendish Road at the former Fiddles and Vittles family restaurant.

Raspberry Point’s plan also includes a commercial orchard with 6,000 apple trees on the property and the first harvest is expected in 2023.

Only 12 people showed up at the Tourism Information Centre to hear the plans, which included a request for a major height variance. The total cost is pegged at between $2 to $3 million.

Raspberry Point Oyster Company general manager James Power points to an architectural drawing showing where the proposed new oyster processing plant would be located.

Among the attendees was Resort Municipality Mayor Matthew Jelley and James Power, Raspberry Point’s general manager.

The deadline for submissions on the proposal is July 14.

“We take the oysters out of New London Bay, take them up to the processing plant and basically wash them, grade them, box them and ship them out. So there’s no cooking and shucking of oysters,” said Mr Power.

“The hours would be the same as they are now (five days a week). Right now we’re running 7 am to 4:30 pm. As far as the traffic, at the moment we have about two tractor trailers a day to pick up product, so that possibly could be between two and four (when new building constructed). We also have three and five tonne box trucks and they come two to four times a day as well and they have staff (and their trucks), which would be between 15 and 25 depending on the time of day.”

Mr Power said Raspberry Point was doing about 50 per cent of pre-Covid business.

“We’re hoping in the future that we will actually expand our business and possibly have four trucks instead of two.”

A woman at the meeting asked whether water views would be affected, stressing she doesn’t have a problem with the project herself, but was only asking on behalf of neighbours.

Mr Power reassured her that wouldn’t be a problem with the building.

Don Maynard, Senior Environmental Specialist at Granville Ridge Consulting Inc., presented an overview during the environmental assessment portion of the Resort Municipality meeting.

“Presently the property it is going to be constructed on is under agricultural cultivation” with past crops including soybeans and grains, said Mr Maynard.

Since the apple orchard would require the use of pesticides a 15 metre provincially mandated environment buffer zone will be needed. There would also be wind speed restrictions.

Site preparation for the plant would run through July and August, with the construction phase running from August to October, 2021.

Mr Maynard said the proposed access road to the new facility has already been surveyed and approved by the Department of Transportation, Construction and Energy.

Referring to the orchard part of the proposal (southern end of the property) Mr Maynard noted, “apples are a crop requiring fertilization, physical maintenance, a lot of grass cutting between the rows (and) pruning…”

There are no plans to irrigate the orchard with water from wells.

In the case of the oyster processing facility an exploration permit under the Provincial Groundwater Protection Act is needed to install a well to provide water for two grading/washing machines.

The permit process is needed to ensure water supplies aren’t depleted in the aquifer for other users.
“Our water is very precious, that’s like gold now,” said the woman, a lone member of the public. She stressed she understood the water was needed to wash oysters, but she was concerned about too much usage.

Mayor Jelley noted the old Fiddles and Vittles facility had a similar well to what was being constructed at the new location and confirmed the new well would be about the same capacity. He went on to say a permit for the extraction process has to be approved by the provincial environment department.

“I have two high capacity wells myself and I get an email every month asking for my meter readings and they are monitoring the usage…So it’s pretty well regulated, at least in my own experience.”

Mr Power, in response to a question from a resident on the video link, said there are no plans at the moment for what to do with the old processing facility at the former Fiddles and Vittles site, once the new building is completed.

All told, three phone calls were received at the Resort Municipality office and one in-person visit regarding the Raspberry Point proposal.

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Searching for Gucci, a German Shepherd that is shy around humans

By Jim Brown

It’s been epic adventure for a two-year-old German Shepherd, who has been on the loose for nine days, as of March 19. Gucci was one of dozens of dogs seized from a puppy mill before finding a loving owner, Tawnya Thompson.

Unfortunately, her forever home didn’t hold Gucci for very long.

“She was spooked by a horse in the pasture next door, pawing at the ground,” said Tawnya, who lives in Suffolk, near the Winter River hiking trail.
Gucci filled a void in her life after the death of another beloved dog.

“I had a rotweiller who had passed away a year ago from cancer,” said Tawnya, who is originally from Ontario and has a background in animal psychology.

Since her great escape Gucci’s been seen many times, only to elude her searchers each time. A more recent sighting was in Hunter River.
Tawnya says she is overwhelmed with the support she’s received from Islanders, including many on the PEI Lost Pet Network Facebook page. Tawnya has also created a FB page dedicated to finding her dog called Come Home Gucci.

Her dog travels fast and far, said Tawnya, adding she’s been seen in Brackley, Covehead, Oyster Bed, Hunter River, Winsloe and elsewhere.
“We may have to trap her,” she said. Live traps provided by the PEI Humane Society and the Canadian Kennel Club have been used to catch other skittish dogs on the Island.

Tawnya advises anyone who spots Gucci not to engage her because she will likely run again. She suggests they get a photo of the dog they think is Gucci on a cell phone and sent it to her, so she can confirm it is her dog.

There have been multiple sightings since Gucci’s escape, but she has always managed to slip away.

Tawnya said a neighbour even offered the use of his drone locating her.

In a recent post on Facebook Tawnya wrote:

“Today is Day 9 in our search for Gucci and we had no new sightings since yesterday, in the Darlington/Johnson Road area. You have shown us just how quick you can move and easy you can hide. Please, we ask to spread the word about Gucci to Hunter River and all surrounding communities. Please watch fields, roads and barns. Please remember, do not approach/follow or call out to her. We need eyes out there to help us track where she is.”

Anyone with any information that could help reunite Tawnya with Gucci is asked to call 1-902-316-0939 or 1-902-393-0553. Tawnya says the calls should be made after recent sightings, preferably right after she is spotted. Gucci can cover large distances in a short period of time, so if someone saw her a couple of days earlier she may have long left that area.

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Smash rooms and Trump supporters

By Jim Brown

Smash rooms. Also known as anger rooms or rage rooms. You pay anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars to destroy microwaves, glasses, plates, vases, any number of household items and appliances. Smash them into millions of pieces by swinging a bat or other bludgeoning instrument, maybe releasing a blood-curdling rebel yell while you’re doing it. Your chest heaves with the exertion, sweat pores down your reddening face, soaking your wife-beater shirt. Your neck muscles might bulge grotesquely, your eyes threaten to pop from their sockets. But it feels so good to smash things. Even if it costs a month’s rent.

I’ve come to the conclusion you can define a Trump supporter’s raison de etre in just five words: They like to break things.

That’s it. That’s all they are about. Really, they are not that much different in their motivations from the bandanna clad antifa thugs they are always railing against. Anti fascist protesters get their thrill smashing windows and sometimes heads. Trump supporters get their’s breaking institutions, norms, values, traditions and sometimes heads. That’s why they won’t desert Trump – they see themselves when they look at him. They are reflected in all of his ugly, gross and demeaning qualities. They embrace his racism, his bigotry, his pettiness, his arrogance, his many, many lies. They cleave to him because he shares their addiction to breaking things. It’s an atavistic impulse that doesn’t need or deserve any further explanation.

They break things and he lets them, even encourages them. America is their smash room. And Trump is the crude bludgeoning instrument of their unreasoning rage.

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Message from Mayor Matthew Jelley

As the weather warms up and the summer approaches, I understand only too well some of the challenges that we will all face over the coming weeks and months. Even while the impact of Post Tropical Storm Dorian is still being felt, we must now overcome a season where many of our residents will have difficulty coming home, and many of our businesses face a devastating decline. While there is nothing normal about the current situation, and there is no instruction book on how to plan for the summer, it is important that we keep up the pride we have in our community. The Resort Municipality has always been known as a welcoming community and we must maintain that reputation, even if the numbers will be lower this year. I would encourage all businesses and property owners to continue the clean up from the storm and to continue to invest in their properties. If your neighbour is coming home and must self-isolate, please reach out to help with both preparations and care once they arrive. If they can’t make it home, or a nearby business is having financial trouble, please offer to cut some grass or maintain a flowerbed. We must continue to look after each other and look to the future. While there is a bylaw in place for Unsightly Properties, I would prefer an approach where we all work together to improve the appearance of our community this year and heal some of the wounds of the past year. Please help keep our community beautiful, welcoming and prosperous.

Matthew Jelley, Mayor of the Resort Municipality of Cavendish

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Travelling in the Resort Municipality? Here are some places that are open

R &A Service Station, Stanley Bridge, Phone 902-886-2606
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday, 8:30 am to 5 pm.
Closed Sunday

Robin’s Donuts, North Rustico, Phone 902-963-3578
Store remains closed, but drive-thru hours are daily 5:30 am to 6 pm.

North Rustico Irving, Phone 902-963-2105
Open Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm. Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

Fairways Cottage, Hunter River, Phone 902-963-2843.
Open for the season.

Anderson’s Creek Golf Course, Stanley Bridge, Phone 902-888-2222.
Open daily 8 am to 8 pm.

Eagles Glenn Golf Course, Cavendish, Phone 902-963-3600
Monday to Friday, 10 am to 7 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

Blue Heron Construction Inc., North Rustico, Ph. 902-963-2266
Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5 pm.

Island Style, Cavendish, Phone 902-963-2497
Opening on weekends June 6 Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.
Staring June 26 open daily 10 am to 5 pm.

North Rustico Home Hardware, Phone 902-963-2040
Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm.

Murphy’s Pharmacy, North Rustico, Phone 902-963-2899
Pharmacy hours Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

Ship’s Company Pub & Galley, New Glasgow, Phone 902-388-0118
Opening June 12

Toombs Plumbing and Heating Ltd., Cavendish, Phone 902-963-2301

Pineau’s Bottle Exchange, North Rustico, Phone 902-963-3201
Friday and Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm.

North Rustico Food Market, Phone 902-963-2725
Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Pedro’s Island Eatery, North Rustico, Phone 902-963-3201
Friday and Saturday 9 am to 4 pm

Provincial Credit Union, North Rustico, Phone 902-963-2543
Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 3 pm.

Cavendish Car Wash., open for the season 24 hours a day.

Caption Kidd’s Dairy Bar and Take Out, phone 963-3738,
Monday to Sunday, 12 noon to 7 pm

Cavendish Tourist Mart, Phone 902-963-2370,
Open daily, 8 am to 7 pm. ATM open daily.

Liquor Agency, Phone 902-963-3483
Open Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm
Sunday hours, noon to 7 pm.

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Statement from Watermark Theatre officials on the 2020 season’s cancellation

With the health of our audience members and our theatre company in mind, we have made the painful decision to cancel Watermark Theatre’s 2020 summer season.

We have been spending the past number of weeks trying to find new ways to present great classical theatre for our audience despite the limitations presented. Our dedicated stage crew and designers were scheduled to begin building sets, costumes and props on May 11 and rehearsals with the acting company were scheduled to begin on June 1. With current restrictions in place we can’t even get some of our team to the island! Making this decision is heart breaking for us but until it is safe to assemble in large groups again, we will have to keep the theatre’s doors closed.

That being said, we are a creative organization and we have a number of ideas on how to keep the theatre vital, vibrant and in your hearts and minds. In the months to come, we will explore opportunities to bring art to our community through our on-line presence or in partnership with other arts organizations and we will continue to share those ideas with you.

Rest assured that we will be back in the summer of 2021 with a wonderful slate of plays to entertain, delight, and provoke audiences once again. Theatre artists around the world are recharging their creative energies and reevaluating their place in the world, and will be back on stage with a new sense of purpose. Theatre has been around for 2500 years, through all kinds of world challenges, and will return again. Let us never take the act of assembly for granted ever again!

We look forward to welcoming you back to the theatre!

Robert Tsonos, Artistic Director
Andrea Surich, General Manager

For more information please contact:
Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or
generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

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Information for ticket buyers about refunds, ticket transfers for cancelled CBMF

The cancelation of a major music festival that every year draws tens of thousands of visitors to the Cavendish area was announced by organizers on April 28.

Ticket buyers will be emailed directly with information to request a refund or transfer their ticket to the 2021 festival. 2020 ticket buyers will be offered $30 in festival beach bucks (tokens) should they choose to transfer their ticket to CBMF 2021. All ticket buyers must respond by May 25 or their ticket will be automatically transferred to CBMF 2021. The purchaser of the ticket must submit for the transfer or refund, not the current ticket holder.

Those that purchased a shuttle pass from The Coach Atlantic Group will be contacted directly by Coach Atlantic Group staff to process their refund. Everyone who is booked at the Route 6 Ranch, official campground of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, will be contacted to receive a refund or a campsite transfer offer.

The cancellation was announced after weeks of COVID-19 monitoring and consultation with officials from the provincial government and the Resort Municipality of Cavendish. The safety of the community was a primary consideration.

“We want to thank you for your patience, your optimism and the opportunities you have provided us to help bring 11 years of this amazing festival to Cavendish Beach. We are saddened by this outcome, but we know it is the right decision,” said Jeff Squires, President of Whitecap Entertainment.

“Trust that the 2021 Cavendish Beach Music Festival presented by Bell will be one of the best ones yet and we are working to bring you some of the hottest names in country music. Before you know it, we’ll be announcing the 2021 lineup,” said Squires.

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