How to fund the friendly skies

I read with some interest Councillor Wayne Olson’s recent comments about our local airport [“Value alignment—‘The Target for Tonight,’” Commentary, Oct. 27, p. 6]. Since I am a stakeholder at the airport, I understand his confusion—what is getting done and is it viable?

To clarify his confusion, there have been numerous studies, all enthusiastic, about the potential of this small-town airport. I have seen four since I arrived here 20-plus years ago. So no need to waste tax payers dollars on another study. Just get the job started!

The airport now has an advisory committee of stakeholders and pilots. Are they listened to? Not much, but it’s a start.

Being an appointed airport commission member is at best thankless, since none of them really knows a tractor prop from a pusher prop. Every two to three years we pilots go through the painstaking effort of trying to educate them. Some to no avail.

We have asked to have all four municipalities put something in their brochures talking about the airport other than a mark on the map. Nothing yet.

Pilots, at our own expense, put in a 2200-foot grass runway. And we maintain it as well. It gets great use. It took less than a year from discussion to start.

All the studies suggest adding a small restaurant, with a proper administration building, making the airport a destination.

When Niagara Sky Dive operate, the vast majority of their clients are from the Toronto area. They could use a viable restaurant to feed them. (P.S., Only their clients are allowed to use their washrooms. The operator does after all pay for his own water.)

Our volunteer pilot group supplies a van that sees good usage from pilots flying in. (It’s free). Just last weekend a twin-engine plane with four folks from Quebec landed. They stayed over the weekend seeing the sites. Their first stop with the van was a local Italian restaurant they had heard about.

We can assist businesses to build here. Brantford Airport is a great example of growing as a result of DOING and anticipating rather than reacting to change. Many U.S. airports have small, unrelated businesses that operate from the airport property, paying taxes, employing folks and assisting in the profitability of the airport.

There may already be adequate services on the field to supply their needs. After all, this was a military base housing some 400-plus daily during the war years. It may be worth refurbishing.

A rumour was out about building homes accessible to runway access so pilots might live alongside their aircraft. This is typical of numerous U.S. airports.

I think pilots should be allowed to voice our opinions directly to all four councils that contribute to our airport, and dispel the confusion about the little airport that COULD.

Jim Morrison
Hanger 7
Niagara Central Airport

 

“De-traditionalizing” of society harms cohesion

I had an Iroquois friend who helped her uncle raise prize-winning hunting dogs. Having enjoyed venison, she introduced me to groundhog and next up was squirrel stew. So, I find a protest sign claiming to love Indigenous people but not hunters incredibly stupefying. Is there a history class in North America that doesn’t tie native culture to hunting? Our own province’s name is native rooted. What level of arrogance exists to think aboriginal traditions need conform to ever-expanding social sensitivities and truths? Being Indigenous isn’t about denying the old or inventing new meanings to believe in. Their deer meat ceremonies pay tribute to the same god of their forefathers.

All this de-traditionalizing of society and its institutions has left people aggrandized with the individualistic self. And such selves prefer to disable belief systems that do not affirm their personal feelings, meanings or preferences. Killing competing worldviews and ideologies is more target than not. No guns or arrows needed.

While I disagree with many aboriginal beliefs, the cause to maintain a hunting tradition is something this non-native supports.

Need a real threat to address? Try the federal gun buyback and your tax millions not at work.

Janet Gritter
Wellandport

 

Fabulous gratitude for Fish Fry fans

The Fabulous Fenwick Lions Club would like to thank the residents of Fenwick and Pelham area for their support of our 2021 Fish Fry. We had a very successful year considering all the Covid-19 restrictions during the entirety of the Fish Fry season. The net proceeds will go toward donations to a number of local charities and support of the Club itself.

Once again we thank you for your support and are looking forward to seeing you on Good Friday 2022.

Lion Jeff Pickup
President and Secretary
Fabulous Fenwick Lions Club

 

Pothole nightmare

It’s been over two months now, grading, ripping up, more grading, pouring new curbs and filling in the properties along the stretch from Glynn A. Green School to just past the funeral home on Pelham Street in Fonthill. It’s a hard area to avoid if you want to eat at a local restaurant, or do banking, or go to shopping plaza.

We were returning home the other evening after having a bite to eat and hit a humungous pothole in the road. One day later an alarm went off in our car and today my husband ended up spending $146 to have a sensor fixed by our mechanic. When assessed, the mechanic said that the blow to the undercarriage of the car from hitting the pothole caused the “hammock” holding the sensor to come ajar, and it was going to cost the aforementioned price to have it fixed. My husband had to sit for hours to get a spot to have it fixed today and was not very happy. My point is, if this delay is going to happen for whatever reason, than either re-grade that stretch of road or put up detour signs, as I’m sure we’re not the only ones who have experienced car damage.

Dorothy L. Nagy
Welland

 

Hypocritical hunt critique

Katherine Masterson’s letter expresses her reaction to the Haudensosaunee Indigenous People’s Short Hills Deer Hunt [“Treaty doesn’t make deer hunt right,” Letters, Oct. 27, p. 10]. She expresses her opposition to the hunt because the methodology being used offends her sensibilities. She uses several examples like “deer guts all over the park” and “butchering a pregnant does.” Ms. Masterson concludes, “[The hunt] has become nothing more than a killing zone, meant to pacify the First Nations.”

Really? That conclusion is an insult to the Haudensosaunee First Nation people who are doing nothing more that exercising their rights under Canadian Law.

Hunting is never pretty, no matter who does it. Inevitably, during any hunt, animals will suffer. That’s because the kill rate is never 100 percent no matter how skillful the hunters. Wounded animals may end up wandering around until they are found, recover, or die. Hunting abuse would be present if animals were deliberately being made to suffer. Leaving behind remnants of the kill may be disturbing and offensive for some but it is not inhumane. I worked in an abattoir when I was 16 years old. The killing process was ugly and offensive then. It’s more clinical and less painful now but it is still ugly and offensive. The mass slaughtering of animals is largely hidden from public view, so it doesn’t get a lot of attention. Animals suffer as they are corralled and trucked to slaughter destinations. Many are housed in tiny pens or cages as they are being raised. Some get killed as shipping containers occasionally break loose from the truck and crash on to the roadway. Blood and guts are everywhere. All this and more, yet most of us still eat meat.

The purpose of the Haudensosaunee Nation hunt is not to cater to Colonialist-based sensibilities. The sole purpose is to harvest deer for food according to their centuries’ old traditions. Locally, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley has confirmed that Regional Council fully supports all relevant treaty rights related to the deer harvest.

Let’s not express a “we know better” disgust towards Indigenous Canadians’ hunting behaviour. We have imposed our so-called superior ways on Indigenous people for centuries, with disastrous results. For many of us, there is no “acceptable” way to kill an animal even though we kill them by the millions very day. Until we find a different food source, let’s not be hypocrites by singling out one segment of our Canadian society for their approach to hunting and killing animals. It would be more useful if instead we devoted our energies to improving hunting regulations, conditions where animals are being raised, and slaughterhouse procedures.

Ken Robb
Fonthill

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

While the numbers remain good, Covid cases inching up

As Covid restrictions continue to be lowered for residents both leaving and arriving back to Canada, millions of snowbirds are again heading south to warmer destinations. With the regulations changing almost weekly the thought of heading to the States for a one-day trip to visit or shop can still be a daunting task, and should be carefully researched. Covid numbers, both in the Region and the Province, are edging upwards, which authorities predicted would happen with people spending more time indoors along with the loosening of Covid restrictions. As of November 6, the Region had 239 cases, and 100 percent of them were either confirmed or suspected Delta variant. Pelham had four active cases. It is great to see that all of Pelham’s infected residents are self-isolating at home, with no one being hospitalized. Pelham’s fully vaccinated rate continues to remain higher than the Region’s, with the numbers being 81.5 percent and 74.0 percent respectively.

Last Friday, I was honoured to participate in our local Legion’s kick-off event for their annual poppy campaign. Every ear, from the last Friday of October to November 11, tens of millions of Canadians don a poppy as a visual pledge to honour Canada’s veterans and remember those who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today. No doubt residents have noticed the boxes of poppies in our area businesses and although they are “free” the programme depends on donations from those who take one. Donations collected during the poppy campaign are held in trust at the branch level to directly support veterans and their families within their community and to help ensure Canadians “Never Forget.” On a side note, a local programme funded by individuals is behind the display of local veterans photos on banners attached to town street lights. This initiative is in dual partnership between the Legion and the Town of Pelham and is so effective as it puts a face to the name of our veterans. At present, 47 veterans are honoured this way, with the numbers growing each year.

Closing out this week’s column I have a favour to humbly ask of all residents. If you live near a catch basin or if there is one on your street and you are able, please take a minute and, using a rake, clear the surface of all leaves. If these covers get buried/clogged with leaves, then the surface water has no way of getting into the storm sewers. If all residents pitch in a little, it will help our Public Work crews a lot. Thank you!