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MAY 30, 2010

Lightning fires today on Lake Temagami

Lightning ignited three fires today on Lake Temagami. All were small and have been extinguished without damaging any buildings, MNR reports.

Thunderheads are rolling through the region.

Two fires were in the Hub and one of these was extinguished by islanders.

The third was on the North Arm, north of Keewaydin, and was put out by a fire-fighting crew on loan to MNR from British Columbia. 

 

Photo: trash from Lower Goose Falls, Sturgeon River, cleanup, 2010

May 28 — Friends of Temagami cleaned Lower Goose Falls, Sturgeon River, on Friday of the long weekend. When they returned on Monday, the popular ATV gathering spot was a mess again. The trashground is inside Sturgeon River Provincial Park. Alex Broadbent, Chris Melanson, Jody Harrison and Bob Olajos took out three five-gallon pails of trash.




MAY 24, 2010

Park permit vendors added in River Valley and Capreol

Camping permits for the backcountry parks are on sale on the west side of Temagami. This will be convenient for people using Sturgeon River Park or heading up to Ishpatina in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park.

Magasin Dupras Store will be selling them in River Valley and Opy's Variety in Capreol.

  COMPLETE VENDOR LIST:   Backcountry Parks Guide 

MAY 21, 2010

"The Canadian currency dived like a loon on Lake Temagami Thursday, dropping 2.12 cents (U.S.) to settle at 93.65 cents."

Toronto Star story yesterday on plummeting loonie  

MAY 20, 2010

Fires banned across northeastern Ontario

Warm temperatures with little precipitation has raised the risk of wildfires over the long weekend, prompting the MNR to ban all open fires, including campfires, across northeastern Ontario.

 The ban, or restricted fire zone, applies to the area north of Lake Nipissing and Lake Huron, and became effective at midnight. Burning permits are suspended.

The hazard is aggravated by the low snowfall over the winter. Fire bans occur periodically, though this is the first for the year.

Backcountry travel is not restricted, but campers must use a portable gas stove for cooking and warmth.

Failure to comply with the ban could result in a fine up to $1,000, financial responsibility for fires caused, and a jail term.

For more information call the Ministry of Natural Resources' North Bay office at 705-475-5550.

Restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.

  EXTERNAL WEBSITE:   MNR's fire information

 

MAY 10, 2010

Highpointers beat a path to Ishpatina

No, it's not some kind of needlework. It’s a new sport. You won’t see it at the Olympics, but you will in Temagami.

Call it a variation on the mountaineers’ Seven Summits quest to every continent’s highest peak. A Canadian highpointer is drooling to stand on the rooftop of the every province and territory. One of these is Temagami’s Ishpatina — Ontario’s highest elevation.  FULL STORY


MAY 6, 2010

Temagami Co-operative:

The Whole Story In A Nutshell

By Don Johnson

The Temagami Co-op grocery store has lost money in nine of its twelve years in business. Whether the loss has been moderate or spectacular has been due to variables in two factors: management and weather.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to attract talented, qualified managers to Temagami. The most experienced managers we've had at the store have all made the same mistake. They've based their business strategy on an assumption that can be made comfortably almost anywhere else: that there is a great floating mass of consumers out there, somewhere, who can be wooed to our store by special discounts, unique products or a beautiful shopping experience.

The truth is that there is no such floating mass in Temagami. In the winter, our population is small, and the local economy is even smaller. People who work out of town also shop out of town, because it is convenient, and because the Co-op cannot compete with cut-price stores such as Giant Tiger, Food Basics, No Frills and Wal-Mart. Seasonal residents are equally set in their ways. There are those who will always prefer to stock up on food on their way up here, turn left at the Mine Road and never come out until it's time to go home again. This reality is reflected in our sales history, which has been consistent at approximately $2,000,000 annually. Between our best sales year and our worst, the range is equal to 10% of our average gross sales.

Our most disastrous business years have been those when the store looked most prosperous and attractive to customers. The first of those was our second year in business, which ended with a cash deficit of $172,000, from which we've never recovered. The second was 2008-2009, which more than doubled that deficit. In both cases, managers were brought in who were sure that what works elsewhere would work here. It didn't. Our best years were those when Norm Lacroix was the manager. We made profits in-year for three consecutive years, the best one equal to 1% of our gross sales for the year.

This is not to say that the only good managers are home-grown. It just points to the fact that a store in Temagami has to be managed for the realities of Temagami. Yes, it's true that ours is not the only small northern town to lose all its large employers in less than ten years. But it must be one of very few that has several large, cut-price grocery stores within an hour's drive in both directions.

We are very fortunate now to have a manager, Kathy Waxl, who lives in Temagami and has extensive experience in the grocery business with A&P stores in Barrie. She and her husband have operated Mountain Home Lodge, in Marten River, successfully for seven years. She is assisted by our Office Manager/Bookkeeper, Cindy Salmond, who has grown up in a lodge-owning family on Lake Temagami (the Browns, at White Gables), and has years of experience as a bookkeeper with Lakeland Airways/Three Buoys and Temagami Marine. This team has been managing our Freshmart franchise store on a cost-recovery basis, and that is where our image problem comes in. Last summer's bare shelves and shortages were due in part to circumstances beyond our control, but more significantly, they were due to the fact that we bought only what we knew we could sell, because we couldn't afford to lose any more money. At the same time, we were paying off a huge amount of our debt to our supplier, Loblaws - a debt that had been incurred under our previous manager, a debt which still has not been fully paid. Over $100,000 of sales revenue last summer went toward that debt.

Throughout the past winter, our management team has continued to run the store on a cost-recovery basis. The current recession, along with two cool, wet summers in a row, have put an end to expectations that we could make sufficient profit in the summer months to carry the rest of the year.  Because the other variable over which we have no control is weather. If the winter brings good conditions for snowmobiling, we will have a little wiggle room in our operation during the "off" season. If we have a warm, dry summer, there will be enough transitory traffic to add a little gravy to our "on" season sales. In several recent years, we've had neither.

On average, the store makes 45% of its annual gross sales between June 1 and the end of the Labour Day weekend. So our ability to stock the store properly for the summer season is critically important.

At a time when we have no reserves to draw on to meet that cost, we are appealing to you for help. Our store is a viable business, but only if we all understand the limits within which it operates. So our appeal to you is not just for cash to help us stock the store this summer, but for your understanding and moral support as well. As you know, what is left of Temagami will disappear if we have to lose the store. We need an estimated $65,000, by the end of April. Please forward this letter to anyone else you know who would be willing to support us.

Don Johnson is a concerned Co-op customer.

 

MAY 1, 2010

New emergency wildfire number: 310-FIRE

MNR has a new, northern Ontario-wide number to call to report a wildlfire: 310-FIRE (3473).

Just like Pizza Hut's well-known 310-1010 province-wide number, no area code is required and it is toll-free.

However, 310-FIRE does not work from satellite phones or outside of northern Ontario (the province north of the French and Mattawa rivers). For that the old number, 888-310-1122, will still work this year, according to Bill Droog of MNR's Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services.

 

 
 

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