Asks what happened to pot odour enforcement

I would have thought I would have seen a story about the high smell of weed here. It used to be driving down Pelham Street that you didn’t get the full whiff until halfway to Webber Road. Now it is all over the town.

What can be done about it? I heard last year that the Town— after allowing all these grow-ops in— had made a rule that the odour was to be kept down. But that has not happened.

It is really a sick smell, and unfair to subject everyone to it. How is our community benefiting from this encroachment on its citizens. Why is this being allowed? What does the Town do for its citizens for putting up with this? How much money do these grow-ops pay us? Will this smell get so bad that it decreases property values?

Come on Town Council, we call upon you to do something about this awful smell.

Fern Bell
Fonthill

Evolution or creation

Last week, Pastor Weatherby posed the question, “Do you exist by accident or by design,” [Faith Lift, March 10, p.21]. A rather ambiguous question. Many people exist because they are the product of an accidental surprise. However, I believe an implicit question was intended. Do you exist because of an evolutionary process driven by natural selection, or are you the product of an “intelligent designer,” variously described as God, Creator, Heavenly Father, the Eternal One, and so on.

Pastor Weatherby describes the size and complexity of the DNA present in the cells of all living organisms and correctly suggests that “DNA contains the instructions that are needed for every living organism to develop, survive and reproduce.” However, he then concludes that such complexity requires the intervention of an “intelligent designer,” implicitly suggesting that this is not the product of a biological, evolutionary process.

However, Pastor Weatherby does not mention that during cell division DNA is replicated in order that each daughter cell receives a full complement of DNA. During this process of replication mistakes occur, and as a consequence the instructions encoded in DNA are altered. These accidental mistakes are called mutations or variants. Mutations can result in inherited positive or negative consequences. Negative consequences include numerous inherited diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, Down’s Syndrome, hemophilia, Huntington’s Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, etc.. Is an omnipotent intelligent designer responsible for these accidents?

Nor does Pastor Weatherby mention that the geological record demonstrates that simple microbial organisms existed on the earth approximately 3 billion years ago. Resistance to the concept of biological evolution producing more complex forms of life results from the idea that evolution must involve a number of improbable accidental events. However, improbable events become probable when millions of years are involved. If you buy a lottery ticket the chance of winning is minimal. If you were able to buy a ticket every week for 10,000 years the chance of a winning ticket would be very high.

Accidental useful mutations over millions of years provide the context required for biological evolution to occur.

The Oxford English Dictionary nicely encapsulates the concept of biological evolution, namely, “gradual evolution over a long period by the natural selection of those varieties of an organism slightly better adapted to the environment and hence more likely to produce descendants.”

Alan Bown
Fonthill

 

Supports Feeley

I commend Mr. Frank Feeley for the many hours of work that he has put into trying to motivate the Town to develop a gypsy moth spraying program to protect our trees that we all benefit from. G. K. Chesterton said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” That quote sums up Mr. Feeley as he battles to address the gypsy moth infestation problem.

To have the Town’s CAO say, “Overall, this was a successful program,” would be more accurate if he was referring to the program that Mr. Feeley had worked so long and hard on creating and presenting to council.

I have seen firsthand the devastation of the gypsy moths here in Pelham. My young grandson developed a very itchy rash on his shoulder from gypsy moth feces landing on him while playing outside. The kids could no longer play under the trees even in their own yard. The gypsy moths were eating the leaves of birch and other tree varieties after they had almost completely defoliated the maple trees. The late Town Councillor Mike Ciolfi was there twice because of the large number of moths flying everywhere, and his heartfelt concern for those constituents that lived in his ward. My thanks to Mr. Feeley and Mr. Ashdown for being strong advocates for our community.

P. Bryant
Fenwick

 

Get your input in now

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is reviewing policy A-09, which deals with the naming/renaming of schools. If you would like to submit your input and have any suggestions for policy changes, go to policy.dsbn.org/A-09, by April 22.

The Board of Governance and Administration recognizes that the naming/renaming of a school is important for employees and students as well as to the surrounding community.

Our community deserves a chance to see how decisions on such important issues are made and have some say in that decision making.

Vilma Moretti
Fonthill

 

Some thoughts about TD Bank

I’ve been a customer of the Pelham TD Canada Trust branch for over 30 years, and like many, was shocked, surprised and disappointed to learn of its scheduled closure. I definitely had some questions raised by the article in last week’s Voice on the closure [Pelham fumes at TD Bank departure, March 10, p.15]. Fonthill Branch Manager Mitch McIntosh noted he couldn’t comment specifically on the closure. Really? The Branch Manager can’t comment on the closing of the branch? But he observed that the Welland branch is only an “eight-minute drive” away. Interesting, but my wife and I walk to the branch. Perhaps Mitch could take a walk to the Welland branch and report back on how long it takes?

Of course, as we found out during the temporary closing of the Fonthill branch last year due to COVID, you’d have to add to that time the 40-minute wait outside the Welland branch just to get in to do your five minutes of banking business!

Naturally, we can all sympathize with TD corporate’s need to save money during the tough times of the pandemic—oh, wait—actually their earnings increased by 80 percent, year-over-year, during that time! Then we come to the explanation—the numbers didn’t support keeping the Fonthill location open. So I wonder when those “numbers” were collected? Could it have been shortly before customers were notified that the branch was temporarily closing last year?—oh, wait—we weren’t notified—we had to find that out by going to the branch and finding it shuttered. Or perhaps it was shortly after customers were notified that the branch was re-opened?—oh, wait—we weren’t notified of that, either—again had to discover it by walking by the branch to find it opened again.

So apparently traffic was down a bit after the branch closed without notice and then reopened without notice—there’s a surprise! Yet while Fonthill is experiencing a building growth spurt like never before in its history, a bank making extraordinarily high profits decides the “right thing to do” is to close that branch—interesting logic. Guess we’ll have to look elsewhere in Fonthill for our future needs.

In closing, I do have to say that the Fonthill TD branch has absolutely amazing associates, some of whom have been there the entire time I’ve banked there, and who have provided exceptionally personalized and invaluable service to me and my family. A sincere and heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. We will certainly miss you!

Ralph Connelly
Fonthill

 

Just throwing cash doesn’t work

So our Prime Minister wants to make Canada safer for us. He wants to ban thousands of firearms that he and his safety officer Bill Blair do not think law-abiding, licensed and RCMP-vetted Canadians have any need to own. He also wants to prohibit these same Canadians from even possessing handguns in our municipalities, which can only be used at licensed ranges. This is a pretty smart move on his part, as he will get the municipal government to do his dirty work for him. I do suspect that most gun-packing criminals will not move to Kapuskasing because Toronto banned them from possessing handguns in their homes in Toronto!

In his next move he proposes that the criminal penalties for the use of firearms should be reduced because certain ethnic or social classes have a high proportion of convictions from illegal criminal use of firearms. His reasoning is that it is not their fault as Canadian society has cheated them out of a sense of moral goodness. He identifies these groups as people of colour and Aboriginal as well as others.

I do not argue this point at all and somehow we have to get these people some help but throwing words and a few million dollars at the problem is not going to change anything fast. At least fast enough for someone to see a result and recognize that the government has actually done anything.

When problem-solving we should always go to the ROOT CAUSE and work from there. That cause can not easily be identified and removed as it has been part of these societies for generations and it is hard to pin down. As a result no government can just say that they are going to eliminate it, as they have no idea what the problem really is or how to deal with it. They need the help and more importantly the trust of the affected people and that is a hard thing to achieve.

In the past and still in some cases today, if a body of people were a problem to the majority of our citizens they were outlawed, persecuted and punished. We still do this actively with hate groups. This persecution has led to the resentment and distrust that has resulted. If we are going to make changes then we need cooperation on both sides of the fence.

When we get that honest co-operation then things will change although as I said it will be slow.

Bill McLeod
Welland

 

COTE’S COMMENTS | Larry Coté

An ounce of respect

Perhaps Rodney Dangerfield best introduced this topic with his line “I don’t get no respect.” Sadly, one of the things in short supply in our society today is respect. Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, what has caused the dramatic decline in the notion “to love thy neighbour?”

The decline in the application of this crucial societal construct ultimately leads to a lack of respect for one another, and sometimes even worse outcomes.

The recent attacks on the very seat of democracy in the US could well be symptomatic of this decline. Not only did this mob of rioters disrespect the physical symbolism but also the very essence of democracy itself. This calamitous activity was not the legitimate workings of democracy but clearly disrespected every notion of that political convention.

Sadly, there are many instances and examples of disrespect from which to choose. At the national level and even at the civic level, the disunity and open dislike for colleagues is as palpable as it is sad.

When such divisive behaviors creep into operations at the local level, it is even more disconcerting and discomforting to local residents. Such disunity is seen to unnecessarily impede progress and delay improvements too close to home.

All too often, legitimate debate gives way to personal attacks. Such desensitization is the direct result of losing respect for others of a different opinion, gender, race, or citizenship.

It is a slippery slope when legitimate debate turns into disrespecting others holding a different opinion or some other perceived or real differences.

For example, on the nightly newscasts, one can frequently observe a proponent of one party personally attack counterparts of another persuasion. Ideally, differences should be resolved through legitimate debate and not by slandering an opponent’s politics, policies, practices, or personality.

Such unbecoming and unproductive practices, particularly in the realm of politics, has brought about an increasing level of disrespect for politicians. Such open demonstrations of disrespect may well serve to lead others in leadership capacities to adopt such malevolent tactics.

As a result of the decline in respect, many governments and other organizations have resorted to adopting written codes of conduct to clearly state what at one time were unwritten, but clearly understood, appropriate behaviours. Many organizations now employ an ombudsman to referee behaviors in the workplace, and other venues, to ensure that specific inappropriate proceedings are discouraged.

Lamentably, disrespect is like a viral contagion and when openly practiced without regard to its perils, can lead to mischievous behaviors of pandemic-like proportions becoming commonplace.

Hopefully, the younger set of our population will learn that respect for others is a human value that requires careful practice and leads to a more meaningful and peaceful life. One would hope that the current leadership operatives will make every effort to avoid disrespecting one and other and work toward a more unified and constructive atmosphere.

Perhaps someday, one might see more wooing than wounding in the chambers of politics and other venues at all levels. Wishful thinking or an improbable prospect? One will have to wait and see.

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

Vaccinations coming to MCC in April—for over-80s

When trying to discover details as to how the vaccination clinics will operate in the Niagara Region, one soon realizes that the situation is very fluid, with times and dates changing almost daily, for the simple reason that no area—be it the Region or any other part of Canada—has any idea how many doses they’re getting or when they will arrive.

As of Friday afternoon, this is how the situation sat: Niagara Region Public Health recently launched an online pre-registration website for COVID-19 vaccination priority groups. This online booking system is the fastest way to register for a vaccine appointment. If you need help with this process, Pelham Public Library is here to help you for the pre-registration process. Residents can use a computer at their local branch to complete the online registration themselves, or library staff can complete the registration for them. If a resident cannot come into the branch and they have an email address and cellphone, the library is also offering the same services over the telephone. Please phone (905) 892-6443, and you will need the following info to pre-register online: your contact information including address, a cellphone number, an email address, and your health card number.

If you do not have an email address or a cellphone, or a family member to assist, you may call the Region’s COVID-19 info line at (905) 688-8248 and press 7 for assistance. Call volumes may be high, so please be patient and expect delays.

The first date that a clinic will be held is April 8, at the community centre—this clinic will be only for those residents 80-years-plus. Please get updates either from the Town of Pelham website or niagararegion health.ca

As of last Friday, 1 million people have received at least one vaccine dose in Ontario, with some 30,000 high-risk seniors living in care homes being vaccinated. With the vaccine manufactures promising ever-larger shipments of doses to Canada, vaccination timelines are shifting on a weekly, if not daily basis.

On the economic front: there were 259,000 jobs created in Canada in February. It is a general feeling among economists that there is a huge pent-up demand for services to be delivered, once a sizable portion of the population has been vaccinated.

Until next time…