Calls for a new paradigm

Google says about 4,000 exo-planets have been discovered so far by astronomers. What’s the big picture these discoveries reveal?

Firstly, are we on planet Earth all that special? Actually I believe we are. And here’s why.

There are about 2 x 10(12) stars in our galaxy — lets use 10(12). Each one of these stars generates at least one Type 1 supernova, which produces either a red giant or planetary system. Lets say 50 percent are planetary systems and, of those, only 10 percent are in the habitable zone containing liquid water. That means that there are .05 x 10(12) planets in the habitable zone.

To be conservative, let’s assume this estimate is out by a million. That leaves us with .05 x 10(6) (or 50,000) planets in the habitable zone in the Milky Way. Let’s say half these planets are in the centre of the galaxy and uninhabitable from lethal Type II supernova and quasar explosions due to older stars in that region.

Bottom line: there are only 25,000 habitable planets accessible in the outer arms of our galaxy. They will be highly prized for their climate and rich resources and have probably already been discovered and colonized by the dominant life forms in the galaxy: humanoids, reptilians, and insectoids.

That leaves only about one–third (or 8,000) Earth-like planets for humans. That’s not a lot. We need to realize that our planet is very special and is most likely the object of real competition between dominant life forms.

The obvious new paradigm: Quit fighting among ourselves and secure the planet from other dominant life forms.

James P. Dalton, C.P.A.
Fonthill

 

One word. Just one word: “Plastics”

Must have missed something. Are we not getting rid of one-use plastic? I was upset to find that now Lactantia is bottling their liter-sized milk in plastic bottles? Someone, please explain! I was of the impression Ottawa was getting rid of one-use plastic?

The grocery stores are still using black styrofoam trays for meat and veg? Manufactures are still using 12- strength plastic to wrap a few batteries—they should come with a machete to get to them.

When are they going to get serious and hit the manufactures, or is this just another exercise in frustration for the sheep.

Joan Eby
Fonthill

 

Food Drive thanks from Pelham Cares

On behalf of everyone at Pelham Cares, especially our clients, I wanted to thank Jeff Dam, his team of Pelham firefighters, as well as Food Basics and Sobeys, for the fantastic food drive on Saturday, July 23. The food and monetary donations are extremely appreciated and help us in our efforts to assist those residents of Pelham dealing with food security issues. Summer can be a challenging time to keep our shelves stocked, so this drive couldn’t have come at a better time. If you weren’t able to make it and still want to donate, there are donation bins inside both Sobeys and Food Basics. Monetary donations can be made at pelhamcares.org.

Again, thank you to everyone for an amazing day.

Greg Lewis, President
Pelham Cares Board of Directors

 

This year, elect candidates who support green space

Instead of electing greed-driven politicians in the October municipal elections, switch to those who will save farmlands, green spaces and wetland ecosystems.

Niagara is forever losing the above at a phenomenal rate.

Riverfront Community Thundering Waters, Niagara Falls, got another green light, threatening forests and wetland ecosystems with man-made casinos, hotels, etc.

Forget that environmentalist John Bacher presented warnings at court, because the art of listening to someone with credentials in how exactly nature works was unsurprisingly overlooked for greed.

Niagara is experiencing mental illness, drug addiction, violence, and a shortage of healthcare staff already overworked, while politicians cling to wrong thinking of pave over and increase population.

Welland chose to sell prime canal property—nearly 62 hectares. Why was this not saved for future generations, and allow this naturalized property to combat climate change instead of perpetuating it?

Where do you as a taxpayer fit in on decisions like this?

Question why environmentalists like Bacher did not get to declare whether Riverfront Community or Welland’s last prime canal lands get to remain or not. Why is the power of decision left to the mayors of Welland and Niagara Falls with councillors and judges? Councillors Tony Dimarco, Graham Speck, Bonnie Fokkens and John Chiocchio did see the need to say no.

Question whether a politician is educated on the environment and knowledgeable of consequences of the paving over on every project.

It’s curious why more church people do not speak out against God-given nature being destroyed.

Vote for politicians who respect taxpayers and allow them to participate in the whole process, rather than the typical surprise announcement after the fact.

Think of your children and grandchildren’s futures—will they have the privilege of Canadian food or will our farms be a thing of the past?

Faye Suthons
Wainfleet

 

Regional Council and the “unruly”

Anyone watching the ongoing childish, disrespectful and “unruly” behavior of our federal and provincial politicians in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park? Sadly, this type of political behaviour is already filtering down to regional and municipal political debate.

It only took a single vote from a career politician, Niagara Regional Council’s own Chair, to show that his Regional staff have his full support to shut down any comment his staff decide is to be “gagged.”

Whilst no one can condone any delegate who abuses the opportunity to present to politicians elected by that delegate and to represent their best interests, in an adult world with existing laws and bylaws already in place, any serious Regional Council has the tools already in place to be able to deal with any such situation immediately as it arises. Messy and disruptive maybe, but at least democratic, and aren’t we supposed to live in a democracy?

But by far the most autocratic comment in this entire debate was elected councillors actually debating a senior member of their staff using the word “privilege,” with regard to a voter and/or taxpayer being allowed to address Regional Council. That is truly appalling and certainly not democratic.

Andrew Watts
Wainfleet

 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS | Lincoln Pelham Library

So many options at the library—and free chocolates

BY KELLY SPENCE
Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
Lincoln Pelham Public Library

At Lincoln Pelham Public Library (LPPL), read what you want, the way you want. All you need is your library card.

Print

There’s nothing quite like walking into your local library and seeing shelves full of books waiting to be borrowed. New books arrive at the library every week, as well as materials from other Niagara-area libraries that are part of the Libraries in Niagara Cooperative (LiNC). This is a shared catalogue of physical materials across nine libraries in the Region.

Twice a week, library materials are delivered from neighbouring libraries, stretching from Grimsby to Fort Erie. Fun fact: You can also visit any LiNC library and use your LPPL library card to borrow materials, just like you do at your local branch. If you don’t see a title you’re looking for, let us know. If it’s a good fit for the collection, it may be purchased. Alternatively, you can ask for an interlibrary loan, which is when LPPL borrows a book from another library system, such as Hamilton or Toronto. Forms for suggestions for purchase and interlibrary loan requests are available at LPPL.ca.

Read with your ears

Yes, audiobooks count as reading! Audiobooks offer the advantage of handsfree reading, whether you’re on a road trip, digging in the garden, or going for a walk around the neighbourhood. At LPPL, audiobooks are available on CDs or on a device such as a smartphone or tablet using the Libby or hoopla digital platform.

Read onscreen

When eBooks first arrived, some folks thought they would replace printed books. Luckily for readers, both are available. eBooks have many benefits, including offering a greater range of titles beyond what can fit on library shelves. eBooks also offer flexibility for the needs of different readers. For example, any book can be made large print by increasing the font size. On the Libby app, the font can be changed to Open Dyslexic so any title is accessible to individuals with dyslexia.

Let us bring the library to you

If you’re unable to visit the library due to age, illness, or disability, we’ve got you covered. The Visiting Library Service is a free service for residents of Pelham that brings books to an individual’s home or long-term care facility. Library staff choose materials based on a reader’s interests, then staff or a volunteer drop them off. For more information, please visit the website or contact Melanie: by phone at 905-892-6226 or by email at [email protected]

Celebrate with us

August 9 is Book Lovers Day. Visit any LPPL branch during regular hours for free chocolates and to pick up a homemade bookmark. You can also enter for a chance to win a $20 gift card donated by Thistle Bookshop and Café to stock your bookshelf at home.

Visit LPPL.ca to sign up for a library card and find information on collections, services, and programs. Follow us on social media at @LPPLibrary.ON

 

COTE’S COMMENTS | Larry Coté

The unhealthy shortage of healthcare providers

One can hardly check any of their usual news sources without encountering some additional disturbing news about the shortage of medical practitioners locally and across the country. Statistics Canada estimates 4.5 million Canadians are without a family doctor. Canadian health authorities are actively recruiting overseas doctors with attractive incentives to entice them to come to Canada.

It also needs to be noted that the shortage of medical personnel extends beyond doctors and, in particular, to the shortage of nurses and other healthcare practitioners.

As a result of this shortage, two points among the many troublesome aspects are as follows.

Firstly, without the ability to contact a doctor early in a person’s illness, it is likely their condition will worsen without proper treatment. Not only do many people not have a family physician but also patients are waiting months to see a specialist and others sometimes wait years for surgical procedures. It is likely that this person will become grievously ill and require hospitalization. Many illnesses if caught in their early stages will require less treatment and be less of a burden on the already stressed-out healthcare system.

Secondly, a person requiring hospital treatment then encounters an overcrowded treatment facility that is experiencing a shortage of beds and medical staff. The newscasts report that ambulance attendants are experiencing countless hours waiting to offload very sick people as ERs are overcrowded with people waiting for a hospital bed.

This egregious situation in our healthcare system is not a new issue. However it became even more conspicuous with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. More people became acutely aware of the growing deficiencies in the healthcare system by being directly confronted with its inadequacies.

There is no doubting that the complexities confronting the decline in our healthcare system are deep and difficult to resolve. One of the goals is to make the practice of family medicine more attractive and rewarding. According to the Canadian Medical Association, less than a third of medical graduates choose family medicine. This number is down from almost 40 percent in 2015. The specialty has become less and less attractive to medical graduates. Opening a family practice is much like opening a small business, with issues that take away from the primary intention of treating patients. Issues such as administrative requirements, staffing, clinical equipment, payroll, and the difficulty of managing breaks away from the office.

It would appear that measures need be taken by our political leadership to make this dreadful issue one of the highest of priorities. The electorate should contact their elected representatives to make certain they proclaim this issue as the highest of priorities and, most importantly, do something to overtly demonstrate their efforts to resolve the matter. It is a life and death issue.