Buy Niagara, buy fresh—but buyer beware

Just over a week ago I purchased apples from the local Sobeys store believing my purchase would be crisp, fresh produce locally grown. How wrong I was. The apples I purchased were grown in New Zealand, which meant they had to be at least six months old, and they were what you would expect, dry and tasteless. (Other descriptions come to mind but I doubt the paper would print them!)

I contacted Sobeys to ask them what act of corporate greed justified such action, and why they would not promote Ontario grown product. To date have not received a reply. I do realize that I could have avoided this product if I had paid more attention to the labeling, however I did not think it necessary in the height of the growing season in Ontario. How wrong I was.

One would like to believe that this action is limited to the large multinational chains, but alas not. Several weeks earlier, I had purchased from a locally owned fruit stand, on Highway 20, apples which, believe it or not, were nearly 12 months old. When I contacted the owner, they kindly sent me a copy of the Ontario guide for storing apples in order to assure me the apples were fit for human consumption.

You can draw your own conclusions. Needless to say, when someone tells me they are selling fresh product, I for one will be looking twice.

Len Wright

Do developers have to destroy the Steve Bauer Trail to save it?

Did anyone really think this last little jewel of nature, last little bit of the Carolinian forest running through Fonthill, would be preserved? The first clue was arbitrarily cutting down trees along the length of the Steve Bauer Trail and destroying the canopy that was created by those trees that also ran the length of the trail. The second clue was paving it, and removing the benches along the trail so those who use it won’t linger. I walk the trail daily and have talked with many who are not happy with the trail having been paved or the benches being removed. They have rooted out the wildlife that lived along the trail. Two weeks ago during the paving, I had a bewildered deer run past my house toward Pelham St. with people chasing it trying to have it go back to the trail area. I’m not sure what the outcome was for the deer but I saw an OSPCA vehicle in the parking area at the trail later in the day. I’m hoping it wasn’t euthanized because humans are destroying its home. There are/were two deer that call(ed) that area home, and they had crossed the path many times when I walked it. I haven’t seen them recently.

The developer who is building on the east side of the trail is now wanting to put the storm drains and sewers onto the land that actually belongs to the trail, and not under the future Station St. road allowance, because it will not allow them to build as many cookie cutter houses on postage stamp-sized lots, as they had planned. God forbid they put it under the road and leave the trail alone.

The drawings that I saw in this paper show the developer who is building on the west side of the trail planning to cut right through the trail with roads and ultimately sewers. The trail will be reduced to nothing more than a right of way with a few trees planted to try and artificially reproduce the original environment of the trail, something humans are not good at.

It befuddles me as to why developers need to clear cut and flatten everything in sight before they can develop anything. Do they not have the skill any more to leave things alone that were not meant to be developed (were to be preserved), such as the area surrounding the Bauer trail? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. It can never be replaced. Nothing humans create has the natural beauty of what nature has created.

Guido Mueller

Why is Canada Post delivering “propaganda”

This week I received an unsolicited copy of the “Epoch Times” in my mailbox. Curious, I checked Mother Google to find a CBC story from April this year about who the publishers are and how other Canadians are being targeted with the same unsolicited newspaper.

For the record, I do not wish Canada Post to be paid for, or tasked with, spreading what the CBC report suggested was conspiracy-laden, anti-Chinese Communist Party “news” at a time when there is so much confusion around COVID-19 and just about everything else in the media. To me, it’s important to have accurate science, medicine, research, and policy information, and not an oppressed group from China directing anyone’s opinions here.

I may be sympathetic to the publishers’ concerns (identified by the CBC as the religious organization Falun Gong), and I have read they are being targeted in their own country unfairly, and perhaps even violently. However, here in this neighborhood it’s important our press remains as free from propaganda as humanly possible, and that clear science-based decision-making is being communicated by media, politicians, business people and other citizens.

This stuff belongs on YouTube, and not delivered by hard working employees from Canada Post.

Richard Mitchell

EDITOR’S NOTE: Coincidentally, on Sunday the New York Times published an in-depth examination of The Epoch Times, saying, “Embracing Mr. Trump and Facebook has made The Epoch Times a partisan powerhouse. But it has also created a global-scale misinformation machine that has repeatedly pushed fringe narratives into the mainstream,” including several baseless conspiracy theories. The NYT investigation is well worth a read.


NEWS FROM THE STACKS | Amy Guilmette, Acting Library CEO

Missing smiles and books? Try the Library!

In case you didn’t know, your local Pelham library is open for business and we would love to see you! In order to follow safety protocols we have reduced hours, but we are open five days a week at the Fonthill Branch and three days a week at the Maple Acre Branch. You can come in the building and browse for materials, use our public computers, or use our copying/printing services.

Borrowing items from the library just got easier. If you choose to use our curbside pick-up, we will bring the items you’ve requested right to our front doors. As the weather gets colder we will extend this service to having library staff bring the materials to your vehicle. Borrowing items through LiNC (a cooperative of several Niagara libraries) and through interlibrary loan are both options.

Since we’ve been back we’ve had many of you visit us and we appreciate all the positive comments about how important library services are to you at this crucial time. To help bring the community together, Pelham Public Library has two ongoing projects we’d like you to know about: Smile Behind the Mask, and PenPals for Seniors.

For our Smile Behind the Mask campaign, anyone in the community who would like a button can send in a photo of themselves, and the library will put it on a button for free. We are hoping it helps people recognize others in the community and makes everyone’s day a little bit brighter during difficult circumstances. If you would like to request to have a button made, please contact Brynley at [email protected]

PenPals for Seniors is a program that will match up seniors to one of our teen volunteers for correspondence. This is a fantastic way to bring generations together. Handwritten letters will help ease the sense of isolation, while at the same time allowing young and old to continue sharing stories and skills. If you are a senior, or know of any seniors, who would like to receive letters from one of our teen volunteers, please contact Melanie at the library to set this up.

For those not yet comfortable coming into the library, we will continue to challenge you on our reading app —Beanstack — and offer books and more through both Hoopla and OverDrive. For teachers, or parents who are homeschooling, we offer curriculum resource advisement through our experienced children’s staff — let us help you pick the correct books for your children’s learning abilities. And, if you haven’t been by our library lately, we have weekly Take & Make crafts for the kids, and Boredom Busters Kits for the adults. Both of these are free and can be picked up curbside.

We have a few programs starting up in November that will be conducted when the library is closed to browsing and will offer plenty of room for physical spacing:

November 7: Meditation Morning (adults)
November 18: Bouncing Babies Storytime (birth – 1 year)
November 19: Chapter Chat Bookclub (grades 3 & 4)
November 19: Festive Gnomes Craft (adults)

All programs are free, require registration ahead of time, and follow safety protocols set up during COVID.

We would like to remind everyone that as they return library materials, all returns go through a 96-hour quarantining before being checked in. However, fines are waived at the point of check-in, so when you return an item, please be patient.

If you have any questions about any of our services, please call the library at (905) 892-6443.

Current Pelham Public Library Hours: Fonthill Branch: Mondays 11 AM – 4 PM, Tuesday 2 PM – 8 PM, Thursdays 2 – 8 PM, Fridays 11 AM – 4 PM, and Saturdays 11 AM – 4 PM. Maple Acre Branch: Mondays 1 PM – 8 PM, Thursdays 1 PM – 6 PM, and Fridays 1 PM – 6 PM.


PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

On Sunday, Ontario cases top 1000 per day, Niagara sees 23

Realizing that this is getting to sound repetitive, which is a good thing, the Region’s COVID-19 numbers continue to shine. For the week of October 11-17, Pelham had an increase of two cases, bringing us up to three. All of these cases are practicing home isolation. At the Regional level, for the week there were 56 new cases (plus 36 more cases over the weekend), with 89 percent recovering at home, eight percent were hospitalized, and 2.3% were in intensive care. Also last week, Public Health estimated 5000 to 6000 tests were completed, with positive results found in fewer than five percent of the total number tested.

As a point of interest, just to the west of us, the City of Hamilton has 668 hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 patients, and at the time of this writing, only eight were occupied. That there is that much of a cushion is great news, and it shows us that individual behaviour is working to achieve these results.

On the very good news front, there were two studies published last week, both peer-reviewed, so therefore deemed creditable, stating that ICU mortality levels for COVID-19 patients has fallen dramatically. They found that, back in March, the mortality rate for any COVID-19 patient was 25 percent—i.e., the patient had a one in four chance of dying.

As of August 7, the mortality rate for this same type of patient was then 7.1 percent, a decrease of 18 percent. This huge decrease in such a relatively short amount of time is a credit to doctors having a better idea of what method of treatment works the best, along with the best pharmaceuticals to use in any given instance.

This is one of many factors that, even though the number of cases is rising, lead to the mortality numbers remaining relatively low.

I have always been a firm believer in modern science, and once again this discipline is at the forefront of our battle with this virus. Although a vaccine may not be imminent, with all the people and companies, and with the resources they represent, in search of a viable vaccine, many experts assert that this goal will be achieved early in the new year. Following its discovery, when it does happen, the next problem is the logistics of deployment.

Oh well, one step at a time…

On the Town front, with the rainy days of last week, the indoor walking track at the community centre was in high demand. Staff are allowing 24 residents at a time on the track, with would-be users having to phone ahead to reserve their spot. Of course, face masks must be worn while using the track.

Until next time…