TI Life in June and My High Water Rant...

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 14, Issue 6, June 2019

June, finally some warm days interspersed with heavy rains! Those rains are not welcome as the St. Lawrence River is at an all-time high. The high water results in letters to the editor, government officials scrambling with calls for help and most of all just plain hardship for islanders and businesses up and down the River.

If you can't read this important notice, See the Facebook and Webpage or the International Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Board, it answers the question, "Why wasn't more water released from Lake Ontario in the Winter of 2018?"

Front and center are dozens of articles, letters to the editor and comments on Facebook postings (including TI Life's page) - all blaming Plan 2014. I, like the majority of our readers, was not involved in the years of environmental concerns expressed to get the Plan approved.  However, I am shaking my head when I see so many uninformed individuals (some even elected officials) all ready to blame, blame and blame.  

Note the date, not 2019, but April 27, 2017. Check it out. 

Somehow I wish blaming was the answer because if it was, by now the waters would be receding overnight. Have you read the actual Plan 2014. It is 85 pages.

I live in Ottawa Canada. The Ottawa River drains into the Lake of Two Mountains and the St. Lawrence River at Montreal. The river is 1,271 kilometres (790 mi) long; it drains an area of 146,300 square kilometres (56,500 sq mi), 65 percent in Quebec and the rest in Ontario, with a mean discharge of 1,950 cubic metres per second (69,000 cu ft/s). The River communities flooded in April - weeks before our St. Lawrence. Hundreds of homes and business were flooded out again after 2017 with one result begin the Quebec government offering $250,000 to homeowners to leave and not rebuild their homes for a second time.  Those people blamed officials too, but it did not help.

Yes, the River is too high, and so is Lake Ontario and all the other Great Lakes - plus the many rivers and streams that feed into these bodies of water. In addition, the news of flooding across other parts of North America makes me realize that we are not alone. Google "flooding" any day of the week and you will be kept up-to-date. (google Great Britain and you will find even more)

June 12, 2019 - google "Flooding" news.

This week shipping was in the news too. The St. Lawrence Seaway gave important instructions to Seaway pilots and Captains to not only slow down but in come cases they may need a tug to assist as they get near the Iroquois Locks.

[Note: another excellent piece was online on Friday, June 13, 2019. St. Lawrence River residents debate over flooding, IJC calls emergency meeting. by Emily Russell (Plattsburgh Reporter, Producer) in Gananoque, ON. for NCPR.]

At this time I want to thank the IJC members and all those responsible for helping us cope. I thank them for the time and efforts they are putting forth. Believe it or not, it is appreciated.

Hey, when the waters have subsided and we have a drought come September, I wonder what the comments will be?

Enough of my rant! This month we have 11 articles to help take your mind off your wet boots... and of course the beginning of several important fund raisers for Summer 2019.


First comes the Thousand Islands Playhouse, in Gananoque.  Their A Moonlit Night held on June 6, raised over $150K for the Playhouse. "The evening was sold out and featured food from almost 30 local cuisine partners, live music, a play (of course), and a live auction.

TILT's Zenda Community Picnic was held on Friday, June 14 with over 350 attending. The day was cold, windy with lots of rain... but by 5:00 the sky cleared, the wind subsided and the sun... came out! Hot dogs, Hamburgers with all the trimmings, a dozen visiting non-profit tables plus pony rides, turtles and more...once again a wonderful way to start Summer 2019.

Don't miss the festive "Art For Nature" wine and cheese reception and art sale rain or shine at Cross Island Farms' "Enchanted Edible Forest Garden" June 20  from 4-7 p.m.  Food, wine, art and great music by Rajah to benefit the Friends of the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, Wellesley Island.  Take I-81 exit 51 and follow signs.

Keep July 11 for the 1000 Islands History Museum (new name for Arthur Child Heritage Museum). Originally planned to be on Big White Calf Island, the high water has moved the event to the Museum - but that is not a hardship as their new Hockey Exhibit is outstanding. From 6-9 p.m. mingle, enjoy music by Triola, beverages, hearty appetizers and a silent and live auctions, but most of all ... great company. Tickets are available by calling 613 382-2535.

Thousand Islands Arts Center ~ Home of the Handweaving Museum  (TIAC) held their popular Along the River’s Edge (ATRE),  a juried art exhibition and sale that benefits artists and TIAC. The exhibition opened on June 13th and will run through July 13. "This year’s exhibition features the original photography of landscape photographer Chris Murray as well as the  artwork from over 75 other talented artists. Be sure to visit the TI Art's Center this summer - you will appreciate this reminder.

And check the TI Life EVENTS section often.  Our thanks to Lyne Roberge for volunteering to post new events as we receive them.

Small World Story...

Had the most interesting drive home to Ottawa after a visit to Nyack, NY  - put on some lovely music and was enjoying the Taconic Parkway when I suggested a nice cup of coffee.  We got off at the next exit and went along the road a mile or so. Suddenly the car acted strangely - starting to slow down and turn into a Church Sale and Chicken BBQ.  It was only 10:00 am,  so no chicken, but the treasures looked interesting.  There it was, a book, "Of Time and an Island" by John Keats; I jumped as the book is a classic about the author's life on Pine Island.

Former Clayton resident Connie Ingerson and author, Susie Smith... "I found John Keats book and Connie...imagine."

As I went to pay my $5 I told the lady how important the book was as I lived in the Thousand Islands.  "So did I," said the lady.  "What is your name?" I boldly asked.  "Conny Ingerson, from Clayton, NY, until a couple of years ago." was the answer. "OMG... I knew exactly who she was as her family have been generous over the years to the community.  I immediately hugged her.  Even took her picture.  I am sure the residents around Elizaville, NY, think they are in the center of the world... but I have to say I never in a 1000 years would have expected to meet a fellow Islander at a church sale in the middle of nowhere."  I will no longer get annoyed when my car slows down for every antique and garage sale it passes.

Sad news

The Thousand Islands lost a great champion with the death of Mike Geiss in May. I knew Mike through the Thousand Islands Land Trust.  He spent 36 years working for the NY Parks Office, and also served on the Thousand Islands State Parks Commission. After a vehicle accident in 1994 paralyzed him from the waist down and put him in a wheelchair, Mike was instrumental in helping organizations work on accessibility issues. Certainly TILT's Zenda Farm Trail benefitted by Mike Geiss' ideas and suggestions.  I encourage you to read the link to the WDT May 22 article by Marcus Wolfe to learn more and pay tribute to this fine gentleman.

Mike Geiss as photograph in the Watertown Daily Times article on May 22, 2019 by Marcus Wolfe.

This Issue

TI Life in June and My High Water Rant...,The Rant... small world story - Connie Ingerson; sad news, Michael Geiss, by Susan W. Smith

South Bay, I love South Bay! It was the first section of the River I explored my first year... by Lynn E. McElfresh

September 2017 Article Revisited: High Water is for the Birds, ...writing to convince many of us today, June 2019, that the high water is benefit...by Susan W. Smith, Gerry Smith

Tom Comstock; from Wells Island to History’s Pages, Recounting the memoirs of Thomas Comstock, known as Tom, a well-known oarsman... by Linda Twichell

A New Day at the Old Monticello, The old Monticello turns a historic page before our very eyes as hospital emerge... by Wayne C. Strauss

'59 Forward: An Essay on the St. Lawrence Seaway After 60 Years, The St Lawrence, in its transformation from River to “Seaway”, took on a tone of... by Craig Irwin Stevenson

Prehistoric Fish Receiving Help to Return to the River, Is that a prehistoric fish? Is it really more than 150 years old? Are lake sturgeon...by Kara Lynn Dunn

The Captain's TI Park Lot 214, According to the abstract of title pertaining to our lots, Lot 214, where our co... by Raymond Kowalski

Coast Garden Pizza, The Coast Guard provides in important service to boaters. It is pretty safe to ... by Nicole Hartshorn

Hark! the River Awakens... The River awakens... Like an old man reluctantly relinquishing the peace and...by Richard L. Withington

Sudoku Puzzle #54, Tame the lion! (Using Step 6 will help!)... by Dan LeKander

Please don't forget...

If you have reached this far down in the article... it is time for me to plug our "Support Button." Although we: Authors, Photographers, Proof Readers and Editors – including this one(!) all publish TI Life as Volunteers, there are costs, including our Email Program - our IT and software.  We certainly appreciate when readers Hit our Support Button. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Let's hope the month of July sees lower water and lots of mariners on the River.

Confederation Basin, Kingston, ON. Roger Monahan Photography

I thank those who send photographs for TI Life – they really are better than 1000 words… Always send high resolution photos to info@thousandislandslife.com.

And, this Editor is looking forward to receiving new submissions throughout the year. I bet our readers are too!

Special thanks to editor Bill Stallan and proofreaders Rick Taylor, Georgia Barker, and Dane Zabriskie. What a team!

By Susan W. Smith, Editor, info@thousandislandslife.com

Posted in: Volume 14, Issue 6, June 2019, From the editor

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