Fonthill Lions thanks

On behalf of the Fonthill Lions Club, I would like to thank the Voice for its generous support of the Fonthill Lions’ inaugural “Breakfast with a Side of Santa” Drive-Thru meal event. This was a pilot event for our club’s future drive-thru fundraisers to raise money for our community service during COVID-19. Your support will go a long way towards raising awareness for the Fonthill Lions’ continuing community work.

Our next meal will be on Sunday, January 17, 4:30 – 6:30 PM, and will be a half chicken dinner with potato, coleslaw, gravy and dessert. Details will be soon posted on our website, www.fonthilllions.ca.

We cannot thank you enough for the outstanding front-page placement of our story. We were all touched by your generosity of spirit. Wishing the best of 2020 holiday season and a happier, safer 2021.

Steve Pellerin
President

Police still seeking vehicle in Clapp case

It has been two months since October 2. Two months since I lost my partner of 58 years to violence. Just under two months since two men were charged with second-degree murder, each with a criminal history and one associated with another murder. Two criminals for whom the prospect of jail time must have been weighed against stopping and untangling my husband from their vehicle. And for my husband, their decision had horrific consequences. I cannot express how unfathomable it is, in our ordinary Fenwick world, to go to bed one night after hearing my husband tell me good night, to what was announced to us by the police the next morning.

Together, the perpetrators caused horrible pain. Pain all around: to a community which was violated and made anxious, to their own families, and rightfully, to themselves—for one usually reaps what one sows. And immeasurable pain to us, who have been robbed forever of a husband, father, grandfather and friend. And to Earl, who has suffered the greatest loss: his twilight years with his loved ones destroyed within minutes. Earl was a hardworking, honest man who cherished those he loved. Yet the perpetrators did not allow him to reap what he had sown.

As I’ve said to others, I rarely think of the accused. I easily keep their dark world far from my consciousness. I concentrate on the good in my life: my family, my friends and the memories of the husband I was fortunate to meet on my high school bus 58 years ago. I was fortunate to have that time with him, and those memories must be my focus. Still, not a day goes by that I don’t wake hoping vainly that it was in fact a nightmare, or that we might turn back the clock.

Now my family must look to my grandchildren’s sparkling eyes for any experience of joy, as they prepare for and anticipate Santa’s visit. For they are too young to take a measure of what has been stolen from them. And Santa, as magical as he is, can never replace what they have lost.

In the words of the NRPS, “The Niagara Regional Police Service are still investigating this incident and are attempting to find the vehicle involved in this incident, a 2007-2014 FORD EXPEDITION, black in colour. If you have any information regarding this vehicle, please contact the police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can also provide the information to CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).”

Perhaps you saw something suspicious in your neighbourhood on or after the early hours of Friday, October 2? Anywhere in Niagara, the greater Hamilton area, Brantford or beyond? Perhaps the vehicle is hidden in a rural area? Perhaps it was burnt, and you noticed smoke in early October? The littlest piece of information can take the police a long way. Finding the vehicle would be very helpful. An example of a 2010 model is shown above. Please share this as much as possible.

Tillie Clapp
Fenwick

Open letter to the DSBN

Canadians everywhere have been awakened to our history as it relates to the mistreatment of our Black and Indigenous citizens. It is reassuring that students in our schools will now have the benefit of studying these past mistakes so as to never repeat them. Vilma Moretti, a local Pelham resident, has raised with the school board the issue of the renaming of the former E. W. Farr Memorial school. In support of her appeal for the DSBN to reconsider the name of Wellington Heights, we also request that the superintendent, the director and the trustees revisit this matter by placing this request in the official correspondence of the next meeting of the board.

The Waterloo Region District Board recently adopted a motion to re-examine the names of all board schools and buildings in view of the reconciliation wanted by Canadians and implemented by our government. We understand the board is establishing a new committee focusing on inclusion and other equity issues. Now is the time to reconsider the decision to use the Wellington name on the Fenwick school. We will not go over, yet again, all the arguments against this inappropriate name. Instead, we ask that you fulfill your committment to “work towards the elimination of discrimination with the purpose of enhancing public confidence in the DSBN response to claims of discrimination of any kind.” You can do this by revisiting the school name.

The board has an opportunity to set a fine example for its students by reconsidering its position and righting a misguided decision..We are confident the DSBN will do so.

Keith and Marilyn Ebert
Fenwick

 

Kudos to Fonthill post office staff

Since COVID took over, my family has ordered many goods online that have been delivered via Canada Post. This has necessitated frequent trips from our post office box on the side of the building, into the service area of the Fonthill post office. Every time I need service (typically to pick up parcels, but sometimes to buy stamps or mail my own packages), the post office staff have been friendly and efficient. I would like to take this opportunity to thank these men and women for their hard work and professionalism.

Craig Hyatt
Fonthill

 

Appreciates public library workers

Thank you to the amazing staff at the Pelham Public Library! Even under COVID-19 conditions, they have quickly innovated and continued to provide responsive service to the public of all ages. At the same time, they have faced the personal cost of cutbacks to their work hours. I urge Town Council to remember the crucial role that the libraries play for all citizens when it comes time to consider budget proposals.

Joan McCurdy-Myers
Ridgeville

 

Enjoyed story about Don Smith

I’d like to thank Don Rickers for the article about Don Smith and his World War II heroics [Two heroes crossed paths at Buckingham Palace, Nov. 25, p.12]. I am quite familiar with them, since I, as well as several others in this area, knew Don very well, having worked with or for him at Union Carbide, in Welland.

While working under Don, he asked me if I was interested in joining the Air Cadets to help him. This wasn’t something that necessarily fit me at the time so I respectfully declined. This was also a way of Don saying he liked me and had respect for the effort I was putting forth.

At some point Don gave me a copy of his exploits after the crash in Denmark. It was called First Out of Denmark (he was the first allied flyer to escape occupied Denmark). It is a great read and a prized possession of mine. I have let various workmates and friends read it over the years, but Don said he never wanted it published.

I recall a couple conversations with Don’ s son Brian, whom I knew, and one story was the interment of his ashes with his crew. Brian said it was such an emotional and gratifying time for the family.

I recalled this when I read Don Rickers’ story, and I too became emotional (as usual around Remembrance Day) as I saw those pictures and realized Don Smith was so accomplished as a war hero and veteran.

Jim Stokes
Fonthill

 

Legion thanks

Thank you to the citizens, businesses and organizations of Pelham! Just prior to the kick-off of our annual Poppy campaign, we asked for your support so that we can continue to do the necessary work on behalf of our veterans and their families. Despite the year of the COVID-19 pandemic in which we were unable to actively canvas, you responded to our request in a record fashion. Through your generosity, Poppy Campaign revenues for 2020 have exceeded $20,000, and for that our members and especially our veterans say, thank you.

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion
Branch 613 Fonthill

 

New members sought to defend trees

Do you remember the last time you walked the Steve Bauer Trail between Port Robinson Road and Merritt Road? Now it’s in face of imminent development which would destroy the natural beauty and serenity of the trail.

The trail will have new developments on both sides with an extension of Station Street on the east. There will be developments on the east and west sides and with two roadways through the trail to join the developments. If we don’t fight to preserve, we will lose the last undivided path of the Steve Bauer Trail System. Imagine the traffic destroying our last undisturbed natural walkway in old Fonthill. There is also a large drainage system proposed to be built along the east side of the paved walkway. This destruction of our natural greenbelt will mean it will never be the same.

We need as many people as possible to get involved to help stop the destruction of this precious gem. This trail contains a large variety of natural habitats for song birds, small mammals, frogs, foliage, trees and shrubs, etc. It also provides a natural corridor for wildlife.

We are looking for anyone who is interested in helping. There is much work to be done and little time. We need interested people to help with the preservation of the most significant and used part of Steve Bauer trail in Pelham.

Don’t delay—we only have approximately until early 2021 to unite! Please spread this to friends, family and neighbours. We know that with this pandemic it will be hard to gather together, but there is much work we can do collectively in our own homes. What can you do from home? Phone your councillors, the Mayor, inform your family, friends and neighbours. Let them know of your objections of dividing up the trail and the drainage plan that will alter the trail for future generations.

If interested, please contact Mike, at (905) 658-3330, the Facebook group page “The Pelham Tree Conservation Society,” or email [email protected]

Mike Jones
Fonthill

 

Welland floating pool—good idea?

The City of Welland wants to add another swimming pool for people to enjoy. Council has discussed the idea of a swimming pool that rests on the Welland Canal. Before I support building this pool, I have one question: how much will it cost for each taxpayer to run this each summer?

First, I suspect there will be a cost to this new swimming facility. If the City of Welland want to build this new pool, then they should consider closing some of their outdoor pools. There are three public swimming pools that are open each summer. With the COVID-19 pandemic that began this year, only one of them was open last summer. When the pandemic is brought under control, then council can consider building this floating pool next spring and possibly consider closing one of the other pools.

There is a question that some of you might also consider. That is why not just get rid of the closed pools? I’m against demolishing the pools because this would come at a cost, and I feel that the City of Welland doesn’t need to incur the costs of this at the present time.

In conclusion, Welland plans on having a floating swimming pool. This will be the only one in Canada if it is approved by the city council, but as I stated earlier, I will only support it if it doesn’t increase property taxes for residents of the rose city.

Brendan Young
Fonthill

 

Like it or not, Canada Post delivers everything

In response to the letter “Why is Canada Post delivering propaganda” [Oct. 28, p.6]—so you received an unsolicited copy of “The Epoch Times” in your mailbox, and claim that other Canadians including yourself, are being targeted with this newspaper.

For the record, hardworking employees of Canada Post are paid and tasked with depositing countless unwanted and unsolicited items in our mailboxes on a frequent basis. Items of use to some, junk mail to others.

We as individuals have a right to our opinions, beliefs, and to seek information from a vast array of sources, thus enabling us to conclude what we believe to be truth. The critical and negative views expressed in the letter do not reflect the views of all, and appear to be based on information gathered from mainstream media and Google, both of which lean toward the political narrative. Media regulated, controlled and funded by government with our hard- earned tax dollars. Content which is not without misinformation, untruths, and yes, propaganda. And Google, who implements a ranking order placing select searches top of the list. Independent media, on the other hand, do not receive government funding and are therefore free and unrestricted, enabling them to investigate and report truths which would otherwise be suppressed and hidden from public view. And yet it is the independent media who are labelled “conspiracy laden.”

I agree with having accurate facts regarding the confusion surrounding COVID-19, however to follow the norm, accept things at face value, and never question, does not necessarily mean you are being provided with accurate facts, all or in part. To limit one’s self to knowledge is to walk through life with blinders on. A wealth of information awaits. One only needs the desire to seek it out.

In closing, I would suggest to you, Mr. Mitchell, that you simply throw “The Epoch Times” in the trash bin. What you find offensive and unappealing, others may find it well worth the read.

Anita Sutcliffe
Fenwick

 

COMMENTARY / OP-ED | Jase Graves

A Christmas (cellphone) Miracle

I’ve always taken great pride in the tender care I give to my cellphone. Until recently, I could boast that with all of the various cellular devices I’ve possessed through the years (dating back to the first Motorola bag phone my dad gave me during the Early Iron Age), I’d never once had so much as a bent antenna.

While my three teen daughters seem to enjoy competing to see how high they can bounce their iPhones off of parking lot pavement, my trusty phone case keeps my device safe and secure on the rare occasions when I drop it while fumbling with my wallet to pay for their multiple repairs. Ironically, my sturdy and practical phone case is an object of derision from my daughters, who insist on enveloping their phones in flimsy, fashionable covers whose main protective feature is an over-abundance of glitter.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I spent my Friday evening trying to decide whether to place my middle daughter on emergency life support due to acute Snapchat-deficient syndrome, or race around town trying to find a cell phone repair shop that was still open and could (for the second time) replace her entire screen, which had become dislodged in an incident involving the school cafeteria’s tile floor and a corn dog.

While my credit card was still in shock over this costly repair, I suddenly found myself the victim of cruel irony.

I spent a solid weekend assembling a Christmas lighting display to rival that of Clark W. Griswold. My neighbors could only gaze on with incredulous envy as I festooned my roofline and front lawn with multiple strings of C9 bulbs (some of them actually working).

Unfortunately, my triumph was short-lived. When I reached for my phone to commemorate this achievement with a photo, I realized that it had become wedged in my pocket against a pair of rarely used needle-nose pliers, and the unresponsive screen was now streaked with random bars of light. Even my fail-safe troubleshooting technique of turning off the phone and turning it back on again was ineffective.

Suddenly, I panicked! How could I check Facebook every five minutes, or play that game with the little jetpack man? What if one of my daughters tried to text me requesting more cash? As I began to hyperventilate, I remembered the phone repair shop. I could simply take it there the next day and return to happily allowing this wireless device to control my very existence.

After a fitful night’s sleep, I arrived at the shop early the next morning, only to sit in the car a full 15 minutes past the posted opening time. Apparently, the teenager in charge of the place was still in a drive-thru somewhere waiting for his breakfast burrito.

Unable to tolerate further delay, I drove across the road to another repair shop/tobacco emporium where the technician invited me to peruse his selection of hookah pipes and flavored rolling papers while he dissected my iPhone. After twenty minutes of waiting (and learning all I ever wanted to know about herb grinders) I was informed that the screen I needed was out of stock.

In full freak-out mode, I drove back to the first shop I had visited and found it open—finally! The young technician, having just finished his burrito, no doubt, was able to replace my screen, subtly scoff at my bulky phone case, and send me on my way in about ten minutes.

I’m still a bit embarrassed about the relief I felt having my iPhone working again. As I often tell my eye-rolling daughters, I managed to survive for over 20 years without the luxury of a cell phone—and now I depend on it like a vital appendage. I guess I’m not that different from my girls, after all.

Jase Graves is an award-winning columnist and a regular contributor to the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop.

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19  Mayor Marvin Junkin

Vaccine news step in right direction

What great news! Several companies have completed testing of their vaccines and have either gotten approval of their product for large- scale human use or this approval is imminent.

Britain will reportedly receive 800,000 doses of vaccine shortly from Biotech/Pfizer and will start to administer the vaccine immediately to its citizens.

Canadian health authorities could approve Biotech/Pfizer for Canadian use within the next week, thereby allowing distribution to start in early 2021. If this timetable stays in effect, then Canada should receive some 6 million doses in the first quarter of 2021, enough for 3 million of Canada’s 38 million population.

Officials have said healthcare workers and the elderly will receive vaccines first, with complete guidelines on who else will be first in line. This information will be forthcoming in the near future.

In a country such as ours that has such a large geographical area, the rollout of the vaccines will be one of the most complex logistical undertakings in Canada’s history. The distribution of Pfizer’s vaccine is made much more complex because they need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, that being at -80°C. Canada has had to go to the marketplace for 26 ultra-cold freezers, with the capacity for each freezer holding 280,000 doses. It is not public knowledge if these freezers are all situated throughout the country or not.

On the local scene, Niagara Region continues to keep its designation of Orange-Restrict, even though our number of new cases has been consistently above 20 for the last week. Our reproductive number being at 1, is also inching upwards. The relatively better news is that the number of COVID-19 cases that test positive is at 1.7 percent, while the province’s average is over 5 percent.

Pelham has six current cases with all of these individuals practicing home isolation. Some 93 percent of the Region’s cases are also practicing home isolation with the remaining 6.5 percent being hospitalized with a very small number being admitted to ICUs. It is with only a very small number being hospitalized that has kept us in our present designation. The Region continues to test between 8,000 to 9,000 residents weekly.

Please help out our volunteer firefighters at Station 1 who are having a toy drive taking place between December 5 through to December 13. Also requested besides toys for children, are cans of pet food for our furry companions. Items can be dropped off during the week and also on the weekend until 7 PM. Station 1 is located at 177 Highway 20 West in Fonthill, across from the Lookout Ridge apartments.