Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Luckily this sprightly individual was moving steadily and seemed deeply irritated to be interrupted, so I can only assume he/she had not been in there for very long.

Seems like a good time to talk about how to tackle these little monsters. My attempts to "help" turtles advancing across the 148 by applying the toe of my boot to the back of their shell generally results in both of us doing tight circles, risking everyone's lives. One turtle lunged at me so violently it actually flipped onto its back, which was counterproductive to say the least.

The best and fastest way is to get in there and simply lift them up. A few things to note:

1. They hate this.

2. They are very strong and surprisingly heavy.

3. They will try and scratch your hands away with their mighty back legs while also trying to bite you in half, so they are hard to keep hold of. 

4. They can also urinate copiously.

My personal advice is to always travel with gloves, although I have picked up a turtle with two cloth shopping bags. Get in right at the back and jam your fingers into his "back pockets" [as I think of them] so you have a good grip. Tilt the turtle forwards so any urine pours away from you and don't waste time. Get him/her across the road and into the long wet grass on the other side without delay. Don't take a turtle back the way it came or it will have to start all over again. They know where they are going, so it's pointless arguing.

That's better. It takes ages for turtles to mature and reproduce so every one of them counts, as you can imagine. If you do see one on the side of the road, please please please stop and help, if at all possible.

The Carapace Project, part of Nature Conservancy Canada, was created to record turtle sightings, even those of dead ones, across the province. You may have seen the yellow stickers on the backs of cars in the area. The sighting form is easy to fill in; however they do insist that you add at least one picture which helps them identifiy the actual breed of the turtle, as well as its size and condition. Also note the approximate area of the place you saw it, using the civic numbers or the nearest crossroads.

Go to www.carapace.ca for more information, as well as a photo gallery for identification and a lengthy FAQ section with more turtle-helping advice.

Thank you for your help.

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

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by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

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by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

Salon Chez Hélène celebrates 40 years in business

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by: 

Kate Aley

Hélène Belisle, owner of Salon Chez Hélène in Luskville, summarizes her work career as “forty years of doing what I like.”

Born and raised in Luskville, Belisle trained and gained work experience in Hull before opening her own salon in her home in 1978. However, her experience in hairdressing dates back to her childhood.

Pontiac Community Players put on fundraising play

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by: 

Kate Aley

A hilarious one-hour play called Maid to Order was presented in Shawville April 13 and 14 by local theatre troupe, the Pontiac Community Players (PCP). Sold-out on both evenings, the profits will go towards the Pontiac High School restoration project to update lighting, sound and add a 20-foot electronic screen to be used for both school and community movie screenings. Further improvements to seating and ventilation are planned.

Above, hapless police officers Craig Young (left) and Neil MacIntosh (right) ask the slightly-shady Charles Cambin (Richard Armitage) to explain himself.

Another community hub lost: Depanneur Poirier closes down

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by: 

Kate Aley

Depanneur Poirier, at the intersection of the highway and Ch. des Pères-Dominicains, has closed. The last day of business was Thursday 22 but the owners, Janet and Jack Deschenes have been emptying shelves for weeks.

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