Tag Archives: enerdu

Is Almonte Now Powered by Gnomes?





Last week gazing at the Mississippi River in Almonte I spotted something. No, it couldn’t be! But it was!


There, all my himself was a lone gnome in the middle of the dam looking for a pirate ship to escape in because of all the Enerdu construction. I don’t blame him! It instantly reminded me of my former hometown of Oakland, California where the gnomes took over the town and became a tourist attraction in 2013. Could the same thing be happening to Almonte!?

To those interested in gnomeourism here is how Oakland did it.



There are now over 2,300 gnomes that now populate the hills and flats of Gnome Mans Land, California (Oakland). Until recently, they had pretty much managed to keep their presence a secret but then word got out in 2013 and there were fears that even Gnomeland Security might get into the act.

Word on the street is this population was descended from a shipment of gnomes bound for Oakland’s famous Fairyland in 1928 and escaped when the delivery truck tipped over.  But really, gnobody gnows where they came from. You can find them at the bases of telephone poles and they gnever gather in groups. They hate low altitudes and heavy traffic, and live off the energy found in the telephone wires.



More than a year ago, a mysterious man wanted to do something nice for his neighbours near Lake Merritt in Gnomelandia. He found some scrap wood from old fences and cut them into wooden blocks 6 inches tall, and painted the mythical creatures on them. Then he anonymously screwed (not nailed) the guerrilla installations to wooden utility poles (never trees), at sidewalk level.

The first batch of about two dozen went up in January, 2012. The artist’s greatest joy is walking the streets of Oakland (“tending herd” as he calls it) to make sure none have been removed.

A woman posted on a Facebook page:

“We need some Gnomes in East Oakland around Eastmont Mall!! Magic is something that can grow.”  Her neighborhood?  When one hears about shootings in Oakland, probably 1/3 are within twenty blocks of her home. And there’s an elementary school there with four telephone poles in front of it, two on its side.  They are getting every gnome [in stock].  She deserves them for believing in magic.”



At Fairyroom.com they figured out that “the gnomes on the streets close to the lake’s edge are wearing pants. But as the streets angle up the hill, the gnomes on the telephone poles change their wardrobe to kilts. The gnomes of Oakland’s higher elevations are plainly Highlanders, a bit of dry humor everyone heartily appreciates.”

Then one day San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carolyn Jones blew their cover. PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) spokesman Jason King said he had never noticed them on their utility poles, although he jogs around the lake. Sticking to the company playbook, he told her a crew would be dispatched to remove them from gnome mans land.


His exact words: “We can’t have anything that would compromise the integrity of our equipment. The concern is that the gnomes could inspire additional people to place things on our property.”

A “Save the Lake Merritt Gnomes” Facebook page popped up. Calls poured in. The Twittersphere exploded. Negotiations ensued.

We are holding peace talks for the 2300 gnomes in a secret mushroom patch near the Rose Garden,” said Zac Wald, chief of staff to City Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney, whose district includes the preponderance of the gnome population. “People love the gnomes, and they are District Three residents.”



Carleton Place Library Gnome

At the end of January there was a positive win for the little people:
“We received a great deal of public feedback, so we’re declaring the poles gnome-man’s land. We’re not going to remove them,” PG&E spokesman Jason King said.

I think the gnomes are a sweet reminder that a little magic can go a long way. I’m looking forward to the story spreading beyond Oakland – but for now, the magic remains in Oakland– because– that’s where the Gnomes are.

I have been saying for weeks there must be something wrong with the water as there are so many town shenanigans going on in Carleton Place and Almonte. The proof is in the pudding my friends–the Gnomes are afoot!

Photos by Linda Seccaspina


Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News





Going Once- Going Twice- Carleton Place Sold to the Highest Bidder?



On June 28, during a policy review committee meeting in Carleton Place, council members voted 5-2 against a shared storm water management pond in Roy Brown Park.  The Council votes no pond for the developer on park land and allegedly, staff seems to have rejected that vote.

At that June 28th Town Council meeting Mark Smith and  Jim McCready, a member of the River Corridor/Urban Forest Committee, expressed concern that the Town was permitting the developer who bought Bodner Park, to relocate a storm water management pond from their construction site to that of adjoining Roy Brown Park.

Speakers against the project implied that if it went ahead, the proposed storm water management pond would be built too close to our river and, if it overflows, go into the river which is upstream from our drinking water.  Interesting to learn that Almonte does not allow storm ponds. They have in-ground mechanical devices to separate yucky stuff from the water- my guess is ponds are cheaper to build.

It would be nice to say that we actually thought this issue about a storm pond in the Roy Brown Park was over. Now, it appears they are bringing it up again and we should just accept what is coming. Unfortunately, we really don’t know what is coming. To top that off, further in the agenda, you will also see about a proposed power plant to be built near the town hall.

Town staff are once again recommending  the Storm pond be located on Roy Brown Park. They have fiddled with the details and are suggesting a different location– but in reality, it’s the same nonsense. There is no notice where it is going- actually, there is little information. Basically, it is the same massive pond, just in a different physical location, nothing else has changed.

Mark Smith says it still does not follow the Provincial Recommendations (and everybody else)  of smaller connected trains of Storm Water Facilities which provide a better treatment of this * ‘sewage’ (yes that is how the Province defines it). Read the rest of Mark’s comments here.

There was also no motion of Council directing staff to refuse the developer’s request to locate on Roy Brown Park–only “comments from the public”.  If you read further down the Town of Carleton Place agenda there is another item that states that it is the Town’s intention to use storm ponds as part of the recreation capacity and parks will be built around them.

These are storm waste water management ponds of highly questionable function. They are not play grounds. It would be nice to say it’s time to move on, but unfortunately the reality is that residents of Carleton Place should continue to monitor this project and when needed, advocate for the environment.

How come we are now spending money to fix the one at Stonewater Bay? Why aren’t we waiting for the new pond regulations that are anticipated in September?

Is the subdivision design being shown on Tuesday even desirable? No green space, but the trees along the sidewalk will count as the required greenery. No in-neighbourhood playground. Just packed in houses..

I don’t think we can just sit back and let the “powers to be” do what they want–that kind of attitude leads to the whole disregard for the community to serve a few corporate interests. I am still astounded by the lack of transparency throughout this process and the lack of respect for our conservation.

A mere 38 days after the last attempt to build the pond in Roy Brown Park was defeated by Council, this new committee meeting seems to be timed to get the least amount of public input. Normally, as stated on the town’s own website, the Policy Review Committee meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, yet this time, when a controversial topic is on the agenda that brought out an overflow crowd to the Council meeting on June 28th, they move it to the first Tuesday of the month. Coincidentally, it’s also the day immediately following a long holiday weekend. It seems the town of Carleton Place is bound and determined to use that parkland.

Is the subdivision design being shown on Tuesday even desirable? No green space, but the trees along the sidewalk will count as the required greenery. No in neighbourhood playground. Just packed in houses.  Are we going to give in like Almonte seems to be caving into Enerdu— or do we have a choice?

Come on out to the meeting on Tuesday  at the town hall and let the town know that we are not for sale and need to protect our local environment.

Policy Review Committee Agenda for the August 2nd, 2016 meeting to be held in the Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m

*If you search for sewage (after the Index) it is the 4th one“sewage” includes drainage, storm water, commercial wastes and industrial wastes and such other matter or substance as is specified by the regulations; (“eaux d’égout”)

and while we are on it..


Related reading

The Constipation Blues in Carleton Place




*If you search for sewage (after the Index) it is the 4th one“sewage” includes drainage, storm water, commercial wastes and industrial wastes and such other matter or substance as is specified by the regulations; (“eaux d’égout”)


Related reading

The Constipation Blues in Carleton Place



Carleton Place council votes against shared storm water management pond in Roy Brown Park

Carleton Place resident asks council to reconsider Roy Brown Park use

Is This What You Want Carleton Place?

Are we in Neverland? Concerns from Carleton Place Citizens #1

Bears and Foxes Seen in the Carleton Place Appleton Almonte Area

Oingo Boingo! Bobolink Birds Bothered- Concerns-Carleton Place Citizens #2

We’ve Got the Power! Past and Present!




Dr. A.A. Metcalfe-Almonte Hydro

In 1890 Dr. A.A. Metcalfe and his brothers, James and Robert, built the first hydroelectric generating plant in Almonte.  For the next ten years they operated as the Almonte Electric Light Company and sold the power that they generated.  Mississippi River Power Corp- read the rest here


Clean hydroelectric plants are meant to help the world fight global warming. But what happens when climate change clouds hydro’s own future? In some areas, climate change could really compromise the practicability of using hydropower as an energy source–it’s not a question of an apocalyptic, rivers-are-running-dry scenario, but the tradeoffs with other demands for water could call many projects into question.

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Photo Linda Seccaspina-2015


Photo Linda Seccaspina 2016



Photo Linda Seccaspina-2011



Photo Linda Seccaspina-2016



Carleton Place Hydro Plant- no longer in existance


Same spot on the other side of the river-Photo Linda Seccaspina-2013



Mississippi River at Appleton before the dam- North Lanark Regional Museum


Photo Linda Seccaspina-2015

Related reading

So What Happened Down at the Power Plant One Dark and Stormy Night?

The Day the Hypnotist Came to Carleton Place

I’ve got the Power- H. Brown & Son

And the Power Went Out — A Vintage Flashback

The Power of the Mississippi River Dam in Carleton Place

I am NO Laura Ingalls Wilder — The Power is Out!