A special thank you to Mark

As you know, Saturday a week ago was very windy. My husband went out to pick the newspaper up at the end of the driveway and was blown over by the wind.

I ran out in my stocking feet to get him up. He is a big man, and I couldn’t help him up by myself. No one was home at the neighbours.

Next best thing was to wave down a passing car on Canboro Road. Of the dozen or more cars that sped by no one would stop. Finally one gentleman did — Mark—who pulled into our driveway. It was all the two of us could do to get him up and back into the house.

I am speechless about those who chose not to stop and help. My husband is 77, he’s banged-up but mending.

A heartfelt thanks to Mark, the only one who did stop to help.

Karen and Gerry Letford
Fenwick

EDITOR’S NOTE
We are relieved to learn that the newspaper in question was not the Voice!

 

Charlie’s very blessed life

It wasn’t until I read the Dec. 8 edition of the Voice that I found out who all those people were who walked quickly up the driveway at the Pelham Animal Hospital and turned left at the sidewalk. [Protest disrupts Christmas Market, Dec. 8, p.12.]

Charlie the dog.

As I watched them, I had a bad feeling that they were up to no good.

We were at the veterinarian for Charlie the dog’s end-of-life appointment. Charlie had a good life. He was a very lucky dog. Thank you for the condolences from those who knew Charlie.

Horses, dogs, cats, and other animals have care, food, water, and a warm bed. A great life! If all the people in this world had this treatment, they would be so very blessed.

Susan Grimwood
Fonthill

 

Slow down, relax, curb the impatience

I found two items in your latest issue extremely offensive. Does the letter writer actually promote speeding and ignoring traffic laws and insult “geriatric” drivers? [“Modest proposal to increase road safety—fewer oldies,” Letters, Dec. 15, p.5.]

I do agree that the older generation tends to drive slowly and more carefully, and I agree that some of them should not be driving at all. It is, however, “confident” drivers like him that cause more accidents. He likes to Google and if he would Google statistics by the National Safety Council he would see that the majority of people killed in motor vehicle crashes are between 15 and 64 years old. Drivers over 70 could be slow and annoying, but most of them do not drive on the QEW. They do short, necessary local drives for groceries or appointments, trying to be independent and ease the burden on their children, neighbors and relatives.

We always seem to be in a hurry. It leads me to the second item, about “Karen” and “Terry.” [“But the sign says,” Column Six, Dec 15, p.1.] No, my name is not Karen or Terry but I find this insulting for them. I do understand impatience while standing in the long grocery line while somebody is being difficult. I too find it irritating but I do not call anybody derogatory names, not even as a joke. It was meant to be witty but somehow I don’t find it very funny.

As a whole we are an irritable, impatient generation. Always in a hurry to get someplace, to do something, to be better, to be smarter, to be first, and we don’t have time to enjoy good moments in life. Why waste energy on such petty grievances.

We should take a lesson from poet Kahil Gibran: I have learn silence from the talkative / tolerance from intolerant / kindness from the unkind / I shall not be ungrateful to those teachers.

Dana Stefko
Fenwick

The subject title of the letter regarding older drivers suggests a satire is coming in the style of Jonathan Swift (satiric essay, A Modest Proposal), but alas, the writer seems to be straightforward and serious in the letter.

If that is the case, I think I know him: he is the guy who barrels through residential areas, such as Pelham Street, with no regard to the fact that it is a residential area whose residents do not appreciate drivers speeding over the posted limit. I also know his (metaphorical) cousin, the driver who not only speeds in residential areas, but has a loud muffler system announcing their entitlement.

Regarding his inference that only a fool would drive the speed limit on major roadways such as the QEW and that a ticket would never be issued for driving 120 km/h, I thought I would ask my recently retired OPP friend if this is so. His response: “Police get bored too. If there is nothing else to do, they will stop you. Best bet is to be no faster than the tenth person on the road.”

The writer notes that if I am driving 50 km/h around town of course he will tailgate me and angrily pass. Well, well, oh dear. I also used Google (sorry Miss Hall!) to verify Latin phrasing. I think the one you want is Ut de via mea: Get out of my way.  Good luck with that simmering road rage.

Sandra Junkin
Duncan, B.C.

 

Symbolism hard to miss

I’m very happy the stolen Pride benches have been recovered, however, I wish whoever took them told someone their motivation. 

Maybe it’s just me, because I’m gay, but seeing the benches hanging on that fence brought back memories of Matthew Shepard. For those who don’t know, Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old college student who was beaten, tortured, and left tied to a barbed-wire fence to die in Wyoming in 1998, because he was gay.

I hope this was not the intended message but rather an unfortunate coincidence. I don’t want to believe that there are people in the town of Pelham who would want to send this type of message to the LGBTQ+ community.

Trent Crick
Ottawa

 

Disappointed with them all

Each level of government has been a disappointment for different reasons [The Voice Poll, “Satisfaction with governance,” Dec. 15, p.2].

The Federal bunch are spending too much imaginary money. The Provincial bunch are owned by the developers and real estate interests. The Regional bunch tax too much and will not rein-in hiring. The local bunch seem to be at the mercy of our bloated administration and spend too much time bickering and posing. They are taxing us too much as well.

These are trying times for all but I see no government rising above chaos and leading.

Jim Pitt
Voice website

 

COTE’S COMMENTS | Larry Coté

The joys of Christmas should be for everyone

We are quickly closing in on Christmas Day. For many of us it will be a day filled with joy and in the company of family, friends and relatives. However, there are others who will spend their day dispirited and missing the company of those who have been important parts of their lives.

The pandemic will likely diminish the joy for some and worsen feelings of sadness felt by others who suffer some misfortune.

There are many facing the loss of loved ones and no longer feel entitled to the joys of the Christmas season. They recall memories of past Christmases to ease the pain of loss but that does not come close to the feelings of joy they once celebrated. Should you know of such persons it would be generous if you could share some of your joy with them in some way. Perhaps a visit, an invitation or some other token might lift their spirit and ease their pain just a little. To change a grim face to a grin is a remarkable and uniquely human accomplishment.

Perhaps among those who suffer the most are the homeless. Not only are they without shelter but are without food, companionship and good health. Perhaps this year we could make an effort to support those shelters so these poor souls have warmth, comfort and nourishment during this our season of joy.

Due to the pandemic hospital visitations are restricted to very few cases. Those who are hospitalized likely feel downhearted and lonesome due to their confounded medical condition. They very much miss the warmth, assurances and companionship of their partners, family and friends. While you cannot visit them in person, perhaps if you send them some token that demonstrates your caring and admiration, their downtrodden spirits might be lifted for a moment or more. If so, every little bit matters.

Actually, there are a number of convenient ways to contribute to the comfort and joy of those facing a less than joyous season. There are many organizations devoted to helping the downtrodden in our community. Pelham Cares, the Hope Center, many churches, and the Salvation Army are just a few of such charitable entities that can make excellent use of your gift in support of their efforts.

Meanwhile, as the big day arrives many of us will be fortunate enough to experience the true meanings of the joys of Christmas. The tradition of gift-giving and receiving will add moments of delight and feelings of joy more than any other day of the year. We will be among friends and relatives we cherish and admire. We will enjoy special treats and foods that continue the feelings of joy throughout the day.

Hopefully, we will take a moment to appreciate our good circumstances and to wish better fortunes for those who have less. Having contributed to others who may be troubled by misfortune will humbly add to your level of joy this Christmas.

It is well known that making someone happy gives back. It makes you feel good about yourself and gives more meaning to your life.

May you and yours have a joyful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

 

PELHAM AND COVID-19 | Mayor Marvin Junkin

Despite pandemic, the Town held its own in 2021

Wow! Hard to believe that another year has gone by as head of council in Pelham! Year Three of a four-year term was not without its challenges, and yet once again this council has taken many positive steps to improve not only the municipality’s financial health, but also to make our town a better place in which to live.

The departments whose projects the residents would see on a day-to-day basis would most likely be Public Works and the Recreation, Culture and Wellness departments. Two of the biggest Public Works projects were the continued reconstruction of Pelham Street, south of Pt. Robinson Road, and the environmentally challenging road repair project that lead to the re-opening of Sulphur Spring Drive. This road had been closed for over five years due to extreme erosion after a large chunk of the road was wiped out.

The urbanizing of Pelham Street, which involves the addition of curbs, sidewalks, storm drains, and better street lighting, saw its second year of a four-year project this past year. When this project is complete, Pelham Street will be urbanized past the Quaker Road intersection. The Town received $4.2 million dollars in upper government grants for this project. The original projected cost for this project completion was $8.4 million. Unfortunately, with unforeseen additional work required for infrastructure and inflationary pressures, the revised cost is somewhat higher. When completed this road will be a safer commute for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The Sulphur Spring project was unique in a couple of ways. First, before any construction could proceed, work permits had to be obtained from three government agencies, which proved to be no small chore. Second, unlike the Pelham Street project, where, at the height of construction, multiple machines and workers were seen, Sulphur Spring was completed with only two workers ever being on site—construction firm owner Bill Duffin and an employee. Meticulous attention was given to all aspects of this project. The end result? Residents received an extremely well-constructed road with no harm being done to the nearby Twelve Mile Creek. We are pleased to report that the most scenic drive in all of Niagara is once again open as a thoroughfare.

We are pleased to report that the most scenic drive in all of Niagara is once again open as a thoroughfare

Another two very noticeable projects completed under the Recreation, Culture and Wellness banner are two splash pads that will both be completed for the hot summer months of 2022. For many years Pelham councillors have heard from town residents the need for these structures, but due to budgetary restrictions the projects were forever being placed on the back-burner. With the improvement of Town finances, and upper government grants, this council felt that the time for these highly anticipated splash pads was now. With the town’s ever-growing population, I am sure that both of these splash pads will be greatly enjoyed for years to come. Locations for these splash pads are Centennial Park in Fenwick, and in Fonthill near the pool at Marlene Stewart Streit Park.

Council has also been involved in passing many initiatives that are not apparent on a walk around town. Staff efficiency improvements in part due to Covid and lockdowns led to new software being added that lets the staff answer their phone from their computer when not in their office. Council also passed an improved succession management plan policy. This last item should help to ensure that as senior staff members retire, the Town will have qualified people to move into these positions.

An Asset Management Plan that was dictated by the Provincial government will be coming before council on December 20. This plan, when fully implemented, will identify to staff and council what assets owned by the Town are nearing the end of their functional life and must be replaced or repaired to return them to top condition. On the list of assets are Town buildings, equipment, roads, culverts, underground infrastructure, culverts, and storm management ponds.

Working with residents, council updated the Town’s tree policy, which over time will improve our tree canopy. Council also, in conjunction with the Cannabis Control Committee, developed policies and bylaws for the cannabis industry located within the town. Due to Covid the bylaws have not had their day in court. This situation should change as the new year unfolds.

An initiative that I am most pleased with is the Town’s Secondary Dwelling Unit Policy. Yes, it was mandated by the Province, but this council supported it in principle from the get-go. With this policy, a dwelling—either an interior apartment or a completely separate unit—can be created on the same lot as the primary residence. When viewed province-wide, I believe it will make a small dent in the province’s ever- growing housing crisis by providing more rental units and care for our senior loved ones at home.

Both the Region and the Town of Pelham have recently set their levy increase for property taxes for 2022. The Region’s levy increase is 2.8 percent, our increase when blended with the Region’s is below 3 percent as well.

Being head of council has allowed me to meet many of the town’s residents on a one-to-one basis, either to guide them to the right staff member for assistance and problem solving or to guide them to the right agency at the Regional level. Meeting and talking with the residents of the town is the most enjoyable aspect of this job. It continues to amaze me how so many of our residents volunteer their time and their efforts to improve the community for all. I contend that while, yes, we are experiencing growth, the friendly and caring attitude of our own citizenry continues to give the town that small-town feel.

Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year to all!