Monday, 6 August 2012

They're driving me batty!

Look what Buster caught!
No, not the bat Buster caught, plucked out of the air at 3:50 a.m., but the loud music that went from 4 p.m. until at least 12:15 a.m., when I popped in my iPod ear buds. The Otty Lake BLues Cruise, with tourists on the lake having a loud party with an amplifier system.
I caught the bat with our butterfly net to get the screaming, scared, little creature in the net. Wish I could capture the noise makers as easily!

This morning I was listening to On the Dock, with Megan Thomas in Sudbury: summer long-weekend radio.
They interviewed three cottage country politicians:
Kawartha Lakes: Ric McGee
-75,000 permanent; 40,000 seasonal residents.
Haliburton/ Algonquin Highlands Councillor: Carol Moffat
-16,000 residents; 40,000 seasonal
Camden County in SW Ontario: Bill DeLoughy
-11,000 residents; up to 40,000 on a visiting weekend
Muskoka, where I used to live, would get nearly a million people up on a long weekend.

Charlie Green Road - very remote!
Beautiful cottage country
They spoke of the difficulties of meeting the municipal wants and needs of seasonal visitors. They spoke of gravel roads, remotely going around the lake, with poor EMS access.
Local Taxes Pay for Local Services
With waterfront properties having higher taxes, they demand better services, yet delivering firefighting crews to an island, for example, is difficult. Volunteer firefighters need jetskis, as well as snowmobiles as tourist season is no longer confined to summer, or the shoulder seasons.
Milford Bay , Ontario,Volunteer Crew Equipment

Lanark County
While the interviews with mayors of cottage towns are illuminating, they leave out the conflicts between summer residents, renters and permanent residents. We moved from a lovely retirement home on a lake, where we had cottaged for 50 years, to a lovely rural piece of land.

Renters have no love for the land, for peace and quiet, nor respect for land, lake and environmental laws. Fireworks every night for two weeks in a row. Children driving jetskis, 40-something jetskis drivers doing figure eights for hours, teens racing their powerful machines, some running alongside water skiers. Bonfires during fire bans. I have a photo of a man urinating off of his boat into the water while we sat with our afternoon coffee.
Adult children, or teens, will take over the cottage on a weekend, and bring booze and ATVs, and loud partying into the night. I praise our EMS crews, the OPP that I call in the wee hours as the drunks loudly party on the lake, and our volunteer firefighters who work tirelessly. Critical Incident Management is a whole new level of training for hard-working crews who respond to these tragic situations.

The near-misses of 2011 were frightening. But 2009 was the worst. More drownings in Muskoka

Drowning statistics for Muskoka are appalling (2009) 
Bonfires can so easily go wrong,
this one on a property with boat-only access.
Our Ontario Provincial Police (OPP): 25% policing calls are related to crime; 75% mental health, escort mentally ill, noise violations, handling nuisance bears, they do it all!
Bonfire on a hot summer day

Unfortunately, the maximum fine for illegal brush burning is $300. A pittance.

Fire destroys Muskoka Lakes boathouse

We see bonfires all around the area. Brushfires, bonfires, burning of wet leaves


Anonymous said...

great photos, that was one thing we don't miss about our home on the lake was the summer residents and the noise and mess they made, we always longed for Fall when they would all go home.They weren't all like that but too many were, so sad.
I cannot believe how many drownings this year already, we live in Sault ontario and we haven't had any but all around us, so sad,so sad,

Olga said...

The bat population is a concern around here, but there do seem to be signs of recovery.

Our home abuts a large tract of public recreation land. Don't get me started! No lake, though, so at least the noise is not so uch of an issue. People don't realize just how well sound carries over water. That, and there is no ruleabut packing up common sense and courtesy for a vacation trip.

Linda said...

For some reason, when people are on vacation, they apparently think it means a vacation from common sense and manners too! I would hate to live where they were going to be congregating in large numbers!