Fabulous food thanks

The Fabulous Fenwick Lions Club would like to thank the residents of Fenwick and surrounding area for supporting the Pelham Food Drive by dropping off food and cash donations at our pop-up location at Centennial Park this last November 20th. We filled two pickup trucks to the gills with everything from canned food, biscuits, personal-care products, paper products, cleaning products and even two very large squash of some type.

Once again we thank you for supporting the 2021 Pelham Cares Food Drive.

Lion Jeff Pickup
President and Secretary

 

Cluck them by their names

While it is an honour to be recognized by Mike Breaton as the creative genius behind the name of “Gregory Pecker” [“Gregory Pecker, the cock tale,” Column Six, Dec.1, p.1], let the public record show that I am most proud of the naming of “Jolene,” a feisty red hen whose beauty is indeed beyond compare.

Andrea Nevin
Fonthill
(The former neighbour who doesn’t even like eggs)

 

Short Hills prematurely opened after Indigenous hunt?

December 1 was a government-sanctioned Indigenous hunting day in Short Hills. According to signs posted, the park is closed the day of the hunt and not open ‘til noon the following day. Supposedly some hunters are allowed back in the morning after for “clean up maintenance.” On Dec. 2, all entrances to the park were open by 10 AM. At 11 AM, I noticed a hunter’s truck parked in the Wiley Rd. parking lot all by itself and a few minutes later an Ontario Parks truck showed up and parked. Another Parks truck parked after that and also a hiker, with two small children. This hiker was not notified by the staff in the two Parks trucks that there were active hunters in the park.

This hiker and his children entered the park and encountered two native hunters in full camo gear carrying unencased crossbows and told the hiker they were looking for lost binoculars. After 30 minutes, I saw another hunter exiting the park, in full gear and carrying a bow. Soon after the hunters left and so did the Parks staff.

The hiker and his sons came out of the park after hiking and told me about the encounter with the hunters. Why is the public being allowed into the park when there are active hunters inside? The park should have been closed until noon but was wide open, barricades down. This is a tragedy waiting to happen and I want to know why the Province’s own safety rules and protocols are being ignored. I have photos of all of the above and have forwarded to the Ministry with no reply. Who is going to keep us safe?

Katherine Masterson
Thorold

 

Want safer streets? Make driver licenses tougher to get

I am of the belief that at least 50 percent of people operating vehicles are not properly qualified to do so. The driver test in North America is so simple that virtually anyone can pass. However, we know this will never change because that would seriously impact vehicle sales which would then present another problem for the prevailing government. Nor do I think that increasing the fines for infractions would change very much. I am sure that the amount of a fine is the last thing on the mind of a vehicle operator rushing to get to their destination while listening to the latest music craze.

Constantly, because I typically abide by the posted speed limits, I am invariably followed by someone so close that, in my rear view mirror, I can almost see the colour of their eyes! Obviously, they are not aware that at 50 kph a vehicle travels almost 14 metres, about 4 car lengths, every second—and it takes almost one second to react to a situation.

One day whilst returning west on Highway 20 and approaching the Welland Canal, I passed a large illuminated sign advising “Bridge up for 5 minutes.” Just after this is a 50 kph sign and the road sweeps gently to the left, then more sharply to the right before coming to the Allanburg Bridge.

Because visibility around these double bends is impossible, a double yellow line identifies the centre of the paved area. Knowing that I had five minutes before I could cross the bridge, notwithstanding any vehicles ahead of me already waiting, I simply took my foot off the gas to allow my vehicle to “cruise.” Needless to say, this infuriated the idiot operating the vehicle behind me, because he sounded his horn and accelerated—crossing the double yellow lines—just to pass me, only to travel a couple of hundred metres before having to heavily apply his brakes to avoid colliding with the line-up of vehicles waiting for the lift bridge to descend. Surprisingly, that vehicle was followed by two more, presumably relatives with the same brain power!

It is difficult for me to imagine how these three idiots were ever given a pass for their driving test. No, I should correct that because as I already said, virtually anyone can pass. Day after day, we hear of crashes or collisions —thankfully they are usually no longer referred to as accidents —which are creating hold-ups on the main arteries around the GTA. Very occasionally, hold-ups are caused by mechanical failure of a vehicle but much more often, they are as a result of the loose nut behind the wheel.

Then of course there are the “rubber-neckers”—but that has to be a whole different story. Travelling on the QEW on a recent Sunday, I caught up with slow-moving traffic and assumed there must have been a crash up ahead. Eventually however, I passed a police cruiser, lights flashing, pulled onto the hard shoulder just behind a stretch limousine, where someone was changing a wheel. After this, the speed of the traffic again increased. I’m thinking I should make a YouTube video of such an incident, I might make a fortune.

So, the answer is not just heavier and more appropriate fines for misdemeanors but much more stringent training and testing, with regular re-tests for anyone wishing to operate a vehicle. Shall we ever see this? Not likely, because more drivers means more cars on the roads, which means continued employment for those employed in manufacturing, more income from license fees, more taxes in gasoline sales, etc. And what’s a few deaths from car crashes? In the overall scheme of things, it’s just collateral damage and not important.

Mike Athay
Fonthill

 

Open letter to Pelham Town Council

I believe it’s time to put to bed of the continued discussion to build a road across the Steve Bauer Trail. It’s been nearly a year since the Pelham Tree Conservation Society brought forward the concerns of the residents of Pelham about this ill-thought-out plan to build unnecessary roads through the beloved path. It would cause significant damage to the natural habitat of our unique walking path. This trail is in constant use year-round.

Last January, the PTCS put together a video of the trail with many people of all ages using this trail on a cold winter day. Steve Bauer, whose name presides on the trail, spoke passionately, asking our Mayor and council not to put a road through his namesake. We had many walkers stop by to record their objections to any roads crossing the trail.

Last January, the elementary school children of Fonthill created positive posters of why they wanted to save the trail as it stood then and still does today. We presented petitions with over a thousand signatures of Pelham residents among the over 5000 signatures to stop the roads and destruction. All this we delivered to council and the Town.

At the January 11 council meeting, a motion by Councillor John Wink and seconded by Councillor Bob Hildebrandt was passed not to allow any more roads to cross any of the Town’s trails.

At the end of January, PTCS did a complete tree count on both sides of the entire trail between Port Robinson and Merritt Road. From early spring and continuing, we have photographed and recorded vegetation, trees, reptiles, mammals, and birds within the trail.

We have learned the value of the trail not only for humans but as a small wildland inside a growing community. We believe this trail must be preserved for future generations.

On July 5, Sterling Developments gave three options to the council about the roads over the trail. Their paid study from S. Kauafmanof Turkstre Mazza Associates proved our point, which they admitted that both of the developments could be constructed without in lieu of any roads crossing the path. Why continue to continue to discuss roads crossing the trail?

The Pelham Tree Conservation Society came up with a viable alternative other than to build a road through the Kunda Park developments’ wetlands. It is to create a low-level bridge over the wetlands. This way, no roads are required to cross the trail and would protect our valuable wetlands.

Our natural infrastructure has great monetary value. On December 1, Regional Council voted unanimously for Option 3C which helps protect our environment.

On September 29, PTCS held a walk along the Steve Bauer Trail to Peace Park. At the park, Steve’s parents and his wife delivered to the Mayor an autographed Friends Of the Steve Bauer Trail T-shirt. PTCS again had Steve’s message not to build any roads across the trail. We must stop destroying this sanctuary of nature. It is natural undivided path that is easily accessible to all citizens.

It’s time to save the trail from road crossing. It also time to stop developments from destroying our wetlands. Kunda Park Developers must build a low-level bridge over the wetlands, not through it.

Mike Jones
PTCS Chair

 

Booster runaround

Several days in a row I called at 8 AM only to be told the closest place to get a booster was in Mississauga. (Nothing in Halton, nothing in Hamilton.) I checked with several local Pelham pharmacies. One staffer told me I was not eligible until mid- December (not true). Most said they were booked, so call back. Is vaccine being offered first to those connected by history? Some sites say walk-in (where?).

I called Niagara Health only to be told kids over five were being vaccinated so go online or phone around.

MPP Oosterhoff’s office told me, “No worries, there is lots of vaccine availability.” She continued with saying that Covid is “no big deal anyway.”

Eroded confidence stems from this lack of organized practices. Covid vaccine delivery implementation has not improved enough. There is not a cohesive message even in Pelham. Surely we deserve better.

L. Morgan
Fonthill

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

16 Days of Activism, Sulphur Spring opens, Santa in town

Last Thursday, I was honoured to attend a flag-raising at Town Hall to recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and to advance awareness of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Speaking was the President of the board of directors of Women’s Place of South Niagara, Teresa Quinlin-Murphy, where she has been a volunteer for the past five years. If her name seems familiar to you it is because Mrs. Quinlin-Murphy is also Town of Pelham’s own Director of Corporate Services and Town Treasurer.

The most tragic statistic concerning gender -based violence is that every 13 days a woman or child is killed by a man they know. To help combat this violence, Women’s Place operates a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week phone line, that last year handled 2,592 calls, which works out to seven calls per day. The flag that was raised, known as the Wrapped in Courage flag, will fly for a week at Town Hall.

On a happier note, I am pleased to announce that the Sulphur Spring Drive road repair project is completed, and for the first time in five years this road is open to through traffic. There is a phase two to this project, which is not nearly as challenging as the first phase, to be completed next year. The Town thanks the contractor for doing such an awesome job in completing this part of the project, under somewhat trying conditions. I believe the paper will carry a detailed story in next week’s edition.

Last Friday evening was The Christmas Market in the Town Square, where local artisans displayed their creations and products for sale. Hot dogs and chili were available at the Fonthill Lions booth. Beverages were available for all. It was perfect weather for this event, live Christmas music played for the enjoyment of shoppers and visitors alike, while horse-drawn carriage rides added to the enjoyment. Of course, the highlight of the evening was the arrival of Santa, with his trusty Elf carrying the naughty or nice book, winding their way through the crowd to Santa’s greeting place. Sources tell me over 150 children met with Santa with their Christmas lists and wishes. It is amazing how this scene never gets old. To see the look of awe and excitement on the faces of the little ones adds to the joy of Christmas for kids and adults alike.

Unfortunately this year, a group protesting the use of horses for carriage rides showed up with their signs and bullhorn. Most of the night they stayed at the Pelham Street entrance to the square, but for about a half- hour they moved down where Santa and the children were visiting. It was disgusting to see and hear these protesters blaring their message at three-to-five-year-old children waiting to see Santa. Niagara Regional Police were informed but, unfortunately had higher priority calls to attend to. If the police had answered the calls the protesters would have been served tickets for using amplified sound at this event, in violation of the Town’s noise bylaw. Like many attendees, my wife and I enjoyed a carriage ride around the town square. Both horses and people were well treated and under no stress.

Finally, don’t forget the Santa Claus Parade this coming Saturday in Fenwick—the fun starts at 1 PM, and this year there will be no activities in Centennial Park, just the parade along its route. Hope to see you there!