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SALES REPRESENTATIVE 905.892.0222 SELL phone: 905-321-2261

Niagara Real Estate Center, Brokerage Independently Owned & Operated

Vol.20 No.49


Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Residents blast Mayor, DSBN over school Packed house sends message: Leave school, park alone BY NATE SMELLE


A standing-room -only crowd of 200-plus residents packed the Fenwick Fire Hall last Wednesday evening to ask questions and voice their opposition to the District School Board of Niagara’s controversial renaming of E.W. Farr Public School. Before a single word was spoken, the message from residents to the school board was loud and clear — names matter to the people of Pelham. Mayor Dave Augustyn was the first to speak at the meeting, addressing questions regarding an email he sent to DSBN Chair Dale Robinson about the name change in June 2016, an email that some found to be written in an apologetic tone. Augustyn asserted that the letter was not an apology, because Council unanimously requested the Board to reconsider the naming and provide them with a presentation explaining their decision. “This discussion occurred in public at our Council meeting and the media could be there and report on it — it was very late in the evening so I don’t blame them if they weren’t there, but it was public so it’s known,” said Augustyn. “We were also preparing for Council highlights for the website reporting what See BLASTED back page

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Column Six Curiosity and the common good Uwe Brand is optimistic on humanity BY NATE SMELLE



Grade 7 student Tye Phillbrick offers his opinion at the Fenwick Fire Hall on Wednesday night.


Nuke juice via Niagara a go BY NATE SMELLE



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Thanks to the lobbying of the American Department of Energy, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and a U.S. court, the drive between the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Laboratories in Chalk River and the Savannah River disposal site in South Carolina has become the ultimate experience for thrill-seeking commuters. Failing to see the greater threat of contamination posed by transporting liquid




nuclear waste, as to opposed to transporting or storing it as a solid, a U.S. judge sided with the DOE and approved 150 shipments to make the 1,700 kilometre journey south. The transport of 23,000 litres of some of the most dangerous material on the planet had been delayed by a lawsuit filed against the DOE in federal court by a coalition of seven environmental and nuclear watchdog organizations. See NUKED Page 6

AVING SPENT three terms on Pelham Town Council, Dr. Uwe Brand is known by many in Pelham as the Ward 2 Councillor who represented their best interests between 1997 and 2006. However, as an active member of the scientific community for four decades, his devotion to serving others extends far beyond his nine years as a politician. An accomplished scientist and academic, Brand has been part of the faculty in the department of Earth Sciences at Brock University since 1980. While his work as a professor keeps him busy teaching three classes on Geochemistry a week, it is Brand’s commitment to his research that really keeps him hopping. An insatiable desire to know more has driven him in his pursuit of knowledge since he was a child, Brand said he has always been a scientist at heart. “I always needed to know how things worked,” he said. “I thought I might be an engineer when I was younger, but it wasn’t really my See BRAND Page 6

NIAGARA REAL ESTATE CENTER, Brokerage 1815 Merritville, Hwy 1 FONTHILL, ON SELL phone: 905-321-2261

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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017



No matter how you slice it...Count on any excuse to revive the Mossimo's v. Volcano debate. In her widely read Column Six essay last week, Julie Mannell cited Mossimo's as pizza nirvana, when sentiment reaching the Voice suggested that Volcano's would have been the more appropriate choice. Sheesh. For the record, this paper is pizza-man-neutral, though possibly just slightly leaning toward the Buffalo Chicken... Staying stable..."I think when Julie Mannell gets up in age and needs a little help being propped up they should deny her a cane," went a more serious message from a local business owner. As you'll see in this week's issue, there is no shortage of reaction on all sides. It's our policy to run every letter that's fit to print, and this week's total of 15 is a new record. It's not just the Comfort Maple drawing attention, but last week's community meeting on the E. W. Farr renaming debacle and newly discovered DSBN land-grab attempt. On that topic, we're keeping our survey on the Cherry Ridge Park issue going for another week. Find it at cherry. Sweet revenge...For our occasional "Day in the Life of..." series, I recently tried and failed to cajole Sobey's owner and champion fundraiser Ron Kore into being profiled. Ron is famously reluctant even to appear in those grip-and-grin, giant

Free fishing

cheque photos that newspapers run. He'll pretend that he'll do it, then at the last second grab an employee for the honour. So our first reaction on hearing news of the Kinsmens' decision to name Kore as Citizen of the Year was, finally! Now he'll have to sit down and spill the beans. Mission accomplished—and then some. Industrial horror show... My wife and I spent some time in Hamilton last week, driving there via the elevated Burlington Street (now Nikola Tesla Blvd.) between that complete hellscape of belching factories. Getting back home never felt so good. We try to see the forest through the trees in Pelham, recognizing that while no place is perfect we all have it pretty damned good here. Possibly unexpected to some are the signs visible in this Fonthill home's window: "I Love My Muslim Neighbor," and "Black Lives Matter." We look forward to the Oosterhoff-Mannell debate.

This Family Day weekend, you can go ice fishing without a licence. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry advises anglers to follow the rules for ice fishing in Ontario and stick to the daily fishing limits to help protect the province's fish populations. Recent mild weather may have made ice on many bodies of water unsafe, so be sure to check with local ice hut operators before venturing out and make safety a priority.

Trillium grants

MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s office has announced that three organizations serving the residents of Niagara West-Glanbrook have received Ontario Trillium Foundation grants to enhance their programs. The Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region, the Niagara Restoration Council and Land Care Niagara have each been given a sizeable award under the Ontario150 Community Capital Program. These grants have a special significance coming as they do at the beginning of Ontario’s 150th anniversary as a province. The Alzheimer Society of

Type your pithy letter to the Voice right this minute!

Fatal Lincoln collision

Niagara Region has been awarded a grant of $38,300 in order to re- shingle the organization’s roof and install more environmentally-friendly HVAC equipment. “I had the privilege of meeting with the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region to learn about their impressive work and to see what could be done to improve their reach,” said Oosterhoff. “I am very pleased that they are receiving this grant so they may improve their facilities and in doing so, better serve our community.” Land Care Niagara in Grimsby will receive $137,100 in order to increase the community’s urban canopy through education and engagement. The Niagara Restoration Council will receive $159,400 to improve fish habitat, watershed health and ecosystem education.

Last Friday, at approximately 4:40 p.m., members of the Niagara Regional Police Service, Niagara Emergency Medical Service and the Lincoln Fire Service responded to reports of a two-vehicle collision that occurred on Fly Road just west of Spiece Road in Lincoln. Police say that investigators have determined that a 22-year-old female from Grimsby, was driving west on Fly Road near Spiece Road when she lost control of her 2002 Volkswagen Golf and crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic. At the same time, a 44 -yearold female from Lincoln was driving her 2013 Ford Explorer east on Fly Road toward Spiece Road. The Volkswagen entered into her path and the vehicles were involved in a significant collision. The 22-yearold driver was transported to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The 44-year-old driver was not injured. This collision remains under investigation by Detectives of the Niagara Regional Police - Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Ontario Coroner's Office.Any witnesses to the collision are asked to contact detectives at (905) 688-4111.




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NRPS impaired driving charges In an effort to bring further attention and deterrence to driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, the Niagara Regional Police Service reports the names of those people who are charged with an alleged criminal impaired driving offence in the Region. None of the following charges have been proved in court. In addition to being charged, these individuals are also bound by a Ministry of Transportation 90-Day Administrative Driver’s License Suspension and are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle on a roadway. The public is encouraged to contact the Niagara Regional Police Service Traffic Safety Hotline or Crime Stoppers to report those who are driving in contravention of the suspension. The following individuals have been charged criminally with impaired driving by alcohol or drugs, driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 80 mgs of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, or refusing to provide a breath / blood sample. Joseph T. W. LIEDER, 29, Fort Erie Christine A. MCBRIDE, 26, Buffalo, NY James D. DAVISON, 33, Simcoe Brent S. PORTER, 36, Fort Erie McCalla C. HENDERSON, 24, Lloydminster, AB Denis G. LEVASSEUR, 46, Niagara Falls Kyle J. PUNCH, 25, Niagara Falls Andrzej C. BURY, 37, Welland Kyle L. SAGE, 29, Niagara Falls Brian M. WILLSHER, 28, Niagara Falls The Niagara Regional Police Service is committed to reducing impaired driving offences through education and the apprehension of offenders through enforcement programs like RIDE. Impaired driving is still the leading cause of criminal deaths in Canada and destroys thousands of lives every year.


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Fonthill Gardens seeking variance to sign bylaw

Council considered Fonthill Gardens request for a variance to the sign bylaw for the commercial buildings under construction at 130 Hwy 20 East in Fonthill. Fire Chief Bob Lymburner says the current sign bylaw is too restrictive, limiting the size and number of signs allowed per tenant. “The trouble we are having with the bylaw the way it is written is that it says 107 square feet or 10 per cent of the face of the building,” Lymburner said. “None of these signs are close to 107 square feet, but when they wrote the bylaw years ago, they really didn’t anticipate all of this development.” Lymburner added that because many of the older commercial buildings in Town are so small, it doesn’t take that big of a sign to exceed the 10 per cent limit imposed under the current bylaw. “This new strip mall is somewhat unique to Fonthill in that the main entrance to the businesses face inward towards the parking lot area, and the rear of the buildings appear as fronting on Hwy 20. The limitation to sign size in our current by-law is also not in-line with some of the requirements of the tenants that have larger store fronts.” Councilor John Durley said the size of signage needs to be taken into consideration, but the aesthetics of how the sign looks are even more important. “We are trying to add some class to this whole development,” said Durley. “It’s going in as a really classy feature, so let’s not ruin it with something that looks like a big dandelion sticking out in a nice lawn.” Council asked Neil Soberman, who was representing Fonthill Gardens at the Feb. 6 meeting, to present them with a clearer interpretation of what the signage will look like at their next meeting.

Council wants new Heritage Committee

A conversation about the Town’s need for a Heritage committee was sparked by a letter written to Council by Carolyn Botari, calling attention to mistakes found in a recent resolution passed by Council regarding heritage. Pointing out that Council has been spending a lot of time discussing heritage-related issues lately, Councilor Marvin Junkin said he hopes the Town will re-establish a Heritage committee sooner than later.

“I can’t help but think with all of the development that we have going on in this town, that maybe if we had a committee they could be doing some of the research that the Planning Department has been doing to free-up some of their time,” Junkin said. “I think it is something this town is missing, and its guidance would certainly help this Council with some of the decisions to be made that are coming down the road.” Director of Planning Barbara Wiens said the Planning department has been working on heritage issues such as creating a list of non-designated heritage buildings throughout the community, however she had not been involved in any discussions in regards to bringing the committee back. Mayor Augustyn said, “There was an expectation from the community that the when the committee was disbanded and we were looking at the bylaw that they would come back into service.” In relation to another heritage matter, Wiens confirmed that the report requested by Council on the plaques for local heritage sites would be ready for the next Policies and Priorities meeting.

Niagara Peninsula Orthodontics receives funds to fix façade Council approved a grant application by Niagara Peninsula Orthodontics to improve the façade of the building at 31 Pelham Town Square. According to Director of Planning Barbara Wiens, the new owners of the former LCBO building are considering plans to add a second story to the facility, however they are waiting for the new comprehensive zoning bylaw to be set in place. For now, she said, they are going to focus on upgrading the exterior of the building visible from the road. The Town approved funding in the amount of $17,250 for the improvements to the facility.

The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

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Atomic Services Medal to vet BY VOICE STAFF Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 613 in Fonthill gathered to celebrate the latest achievement of Chief Master James C. Davis on Friday, Feb. 10. One of only 18 recipients selected from thousands of personnel assigned to the Air Force Technical Applications Centre (AFTAC), Davis recently traveled south to Florida, where he was awarded the prestigious Atomic Services Medal. “It’s incredibly exciting and humbling, both at the same time,” said Davis. “It’s hard for me to believe. It has been an incredible experience and I’m honoured to be among some really great men.” Davis began his military career with the Air Force in 1946, serving as a weather equipment operator with the 373rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Kindley AFB in Bermuda. Shortly after being re-assigned to the 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at McClellan AFB, he transferred to the 1009th Special Weapons Squadron to train as a Special Equipment Operator (SEO). Learning the position quickly, he soon became a skilled SEO, and was then re-assigned again — this time to the Yokota AFB in Japan, where he served in the airborne sampling unit. “We had many different techniques that we would use,” he said. “We would fly airplanes and drag paper filters and then particles would be collected and we would determine what the particles were by doing a chemical analysis.”

After his time in Japan, he moved to Denver, Colorado to teach airborne sampling techniques at the Long Range Detection School at Lowry AFB. Retraining in seismic systems, he returned to the McClellan AFB.

I'm honoured to be among some really great men

Joining the experimental LRD team, he participated in nuclear tests in Nevada. There he supervised key installations of the long- period seismic equipment at several locations as part of the Atomic Energy Detection System. In the 1960s, Davis played a leading role in fielding new operational detection techniques. He was then transferred to Fairbanks, Alaska to serve as the superintendent of seismic and hydro-acoustic testing for Detachment 204. Traveling to Washington, DC next, he became part of the staff at AFTAC headquarters to oversee four new techniques used by the AEDS. Leaving Washington in 1967 to begin an oversees duty, he served as the station chief for Detachment 517 on Easter Island, where AFTAC operated the Earth Current Hydro-acoustic and Atmospheric Florescence Detec-

Chief Master James C. Davis. tion systems. Davis said his time on Easter Island was one of the most interesting and exciting experiences in his life. “Easter Island was the most isolated and one of the most beautiful places I have ever been,” he said. “It’s a unique place. When I went there, they didn’t have a monetary system. They used the barter system to exist. They lived off fish and chicken and the bananas that grew there. They were subsidized by the Chilean government, who would bring commodities in


to the huge commissary they had there. That was in 1967. They converted to the Chilean currency. You could take your shirt and go down and get cigarettes, chocolate bars or whatever. I’ve got statues that were carved out of wood.” When AFTAC closed Detachment 517 in 1968, he traveled back to Washington, where he was assigned to the Prompt Data Analysis section and then the NCOIC as the Operations Evaluation Unit. Davis remained in Washington until his retirement in 1973.

Legion receives grant

During their meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, Council granted the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 613 in Fonthill $4,000. The funds will be used to offset expenses incurred by the Branch from operating the kitchen during community events. It will also help to improve the quality of the food being served. Serving the community since it first opened its doors in 1966, the Legion provides community space and support for veterans, seniors, and youth organizations.

ON THURSDAY, FEB. 1, the Fabulous Fenwick Lions attended the graduation of the 18th guide dog— “Odin”—that the Club has sponsored. Michelle Woolfrey, a young lady who became blind at 16, has been partnered with Odin. From left: Lions Bill Malaschenko, Jeff Pickup; Michelle Woolfrey and Odin; Lions Steve Schilstra, Larry Robertson. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Fonthill business owners host essay contest to honour women BY NATE SMELLE


The owner/operators from four local businesses — Fashion U-Turn, Studio Twenty, Moku’s Restaurant and Mike the Barber — have teamed up to create the Fabulous February:

A Day of Pampering contest. Designed to honour local women who inspire others, contest organizers invite people to write an original essay about a deserving woman in the community. “We would like to honour one deserving woman in appreciation of the life they

live,” said contest co-organizer Nykki Dechellis. “Tell us what makes this woman inspiring, what she has done to improve or enhance the lives of her family, children or community, what type of adversity she is overcoming, the courage she has exhibited to carry

on, and why you think this woman deserves a day of pampering.” The winners will receive an outfit donated by Fashion U-Turn, and a hairstyle and makeover donated by M Barber Shop. The winners will also receive a before-and-after photo shoot.

Studio Twenty will provide a certificate for a one-hour massage, plus 10 hours in their facility. Moku’s Restaurant has donated a gift card. Entrants are asked to submit an original essay describing a woman who inspires them. Essays must

include in the author’s name, the name of the nominee and the contact information of both the nominee and the author. Submissions are to be no longer than a single page and are to be submitted to fashionuturn@ no later than Friday, Feb. 24.

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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017


The opinions expressed in submitted commentary and letters to the editor are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Voice of Pelham.

The Voice of Pelham is a 1211858 Ontario Limited publication David Burket, Publisher 2-1428 Pelham St., P.O. Box 1489, Fonthill, ON L0S1E0

COMMENTARY / OP-ED Nick Saltarelli MPP Oosterhoff accidentally provides insight


S I READ Sam Oosterhoff's online reaction [printed on this page] to Julie Mannell's Column Six essay from last week, I had to wonder if he and I had read the same piece. So I re-read it, enjoying it almost as thoroughly the second time as I did the first, but remaining perplexingly unable to detect the ill-will—to which Mr. Oosterhoff repeatedly refers — toward either the region or its residents. On the contrary, it's clear from her writing that Ms. Mannell harbours an abiding fondness and heartfelt appreciation toward Niagara and its people, citing in particular the generous outpouring of support and comfort from the townspeople of Pelham during an especially difficult time  in her life. I detect no sneer in her words, no condemnation, no tossing of brickbats. What on earth is young Sam going on about? His response stands in clear contrast to the article it disparages. Fundamentally Ms. Mannell writes well, Mr. Oosterhoff does not. This is to be expected. Ms. Mannell is one of Canada's foremost up-and-coming young authors. Mr. Oosterhoff's mod-

est literary merit is a reflection of his meager formal education and worldly inexperience.

His response stands in clear contrast to the article it disparages Quality aside, the most conspicuous difference between the two is tone. The Mannell essay exudes warmth, nostalgia, pathos and a longing for better things. The Oosterhoff  letter fairly oozes spite, personal pique, contempt, backsliding, division and diversion. If Ms. Mannell's writing seeks to elevate the reader's awareness of an alltoo-real political and social regressiveness creeping into our reality, Mr. Oosterhoff's  bids  this Mannell woman to sit down and shut up. Our rookie MPP confuses arrogance with intelligence, while threads of arrogance spun within his own words

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weave a fabric of youthful hubris and disdain. There is much irony here. Sam Oosterhoff has done us a service. Through his letter he provides formerly hidden insights to his character. His skin is thin. He is irked by criticism of his social conservatism and callowness, which he subsequently makes no attempt to defend. His want of humility is striking. He reflects not on how others perceive him, nor is he aware that he lacks the support and approval of elements within the constituency he professes to represent. He fails to perceive, let alone acknowledge, that there are many who view his elevation to high office by a minority of the like-minded as a travesty, that expectations of what a naiive teenager can possibly do to benefit Niagara-West Glanbrook are low. Indeed, many worry what he and his ilk may do in an attempt to turn back the clock. Mr. Oosterhoff attacks the messenger rather than the message. He is unable to see himself, blinded by an overfed sense of self-esteem, and contempt for those who don't share his worldview. He embodies the very regressiveness Ms. Mannell laments, and regrettably, and entirely, misses her point.

1428 Pelham Street, P.O. Box 1489, Fonthill, ON L0S 1E0 Office open: Monday - Thursday 8 AM - 2 PM


Pelham no regressive dystopia—Sam Oosterhoff (EDITOR'S NOTE: MPP Oosterhoff submitted this statement late last week in reaction to Julie Mannell's Column Six essay, The Comfort Maple myth [Feb. 8]. We appended the statement to the online version of the essay so that it might be given commensurate exposure. We print it here, along with Ms. Mannell's response.) I felt impelled to respond to the special column from Ms. Julie Mannell [The Comfort Maple myth, Feb. 8] in last


Electoral District: Niagara West

Dean Allison, MP 4994 King Street Beamsville, ON L0R 1B0 877-563-7900 Member of Provincial Parliament

Electoral District: Niagara West-Glanbrook

The Voice


Sam Oosterhoff, MPP 4961 King St. East, Unit M1 Beamsville, ON L0R 1B0 905-563-1755

Members of Niagara Regional Council Councillor David Augustyn 905-892-2607 Ext 317 Councillor Brian Baty 742 Memorial Dr. Fenwick, ON L0S 1C0 905-892-5317 Town of Pelham 20 Pelham Town Square P.O. Box 400 Fonthill, ON L0S 1E0 905-892-2607

Mayor of Pelham David Augustyn 905-892-2607 Ext 317 Members of Pelham Town Council Ward 1 Councillor Richard Rybiak 905-892-2105 Councillor Marvin Junkin 905-684-4870 Ward 2 Councillor Catherine King 905-658-8599 Councillor Gary Accursi 905-892-5528 Ward 3 Councillor John Durley 905-892-5388 Councillor Peter Papp 905-328-6008

week’s issue of The Voice. The unsubstantiated claims Ms. Mannell made about me and the residents, families, and voters of Pelham were not only in poor taste. They would be outright offensive if they were not so ridiculous and misinformed. I grasp the difficulty Ms. Mannell may have in understanding the fine people of Pelham, since she lives in Montreal. However, I find it remarkable that she so condescendingly reprimands the very place she grew up in. [Ed. Note: Mannell lives in Toronto.] The picture she paints of a grimly intolerant, backwards, and discriminatory town bears no resemblance to the Pelham I know, or its people. I grew up in Lincoln, and often visited Pelham. During the campaign last fall, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with many of the residents, students, and business owners of Pelham. What I found was completely different than the regressive dystopia depicted by Ms. Mannell. The people and town of Pelham are warm, welcoming, and inclusive. They are neighborly, generous, and community-minded. They are open to those of all backgrounds, and care deeply for the marginalized and persecuted. [Responding to the Voice’s request for comment] I had the opportunity to congratulate Ron Kore for being honored as the Fonthill and District Kinsmen’s Pelham Citizen of the Year 2016. Ron’s deep commit-

Jill C. Anthony Law Office

ment and love for his community, and all the people in it, serve as an inspiration to many of us. Ron characterizes the unique and won-

I find it remarkable that she so condescendingly reprimands the very place she grew up in derful nature of the people of Pelham. From his working with our senior citizens, to his involvement with the Special Olympics, and his fundraising for Nutrition Partners, Ron is a caring and compassionate man who wants what is best for his community and the people in it. I have never met Ms. Mannell. Nor have I made any statements that support her claims. I was and remain disturbed that without basis she would write such blatantly false and arrogant prose about me and the town I love, and seek to serve. I hope to meet her one day, when she comes back to Pelham. If she would allow it, I would like to take her to the churches where members welcome refugees regardSee NO DYSTOPIA next page

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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

Page 5


View from atop soapbox not clear enough

Assumptions no substitute for direct conversation

Julie Mannell is a gifted writer and I was drawn in by the title and beginning of The Comfort Maple myth. Then it turns out Julie was just using the Comfort Maple as a hook (along with other local references to Mossimo’s and Niagara grapes) to draw us in to a “Social Justice Warrior”-scolding on what’s wrong with us people in Pelham. How could we have elected Sam Oosterhoff? I’m guessing the fair and free election, in a modern Western democracy, by an undeniable majority of people in this riding, of a very conservative figure is somehow wrong to her. Apparently we are being lumped in with the people who voted for Donald Trump. We made a mistake and we have to be gently (and not so-gently) admonished on our limited understanding of what’s really important in this world. And so with the words, “Nice. We did that,” she gets to the real reason she is writing this article. We are now an ugly community where something is awry. We are failing to change, hurting people, lying to ourselves, unable to let go of “manufactured philosophies,” and

we had better be sorry for what we did. Perhaps the writer might get down off her soapbox and really ask herself why we voted for Oosterhoff.

It is sad but interesting that writer Julie Mannell is compassionate to all except Sam Oosterhoff because she makes assumptions about his beliefs without actually talking to him. At least I will assume that she has not talked to him as she has him pegged by modern stereotypes, which are still stereotypes. Why cannot Julie have compassion for one of the least accepted groups in our society, people who believe like Sam? Is he anti-anything? How do we know? We only know from talking to an individual. I believe Sam might shock her as a very compassionate person. Just because someone may disagree with someone else does not make them wrong nor does it make them evil. And yet Julie has proclaimed him as such. Maybe taking a positive approach


book users to share it. Oosterhoff also has bragged online about working with the Association for Reformed Political Action. ARPA Canada is an organization that works to oppose abortion, multiculturalism, and same-sex marriage. My issue is not with the town (which includes, by the way, LGBTQ people, women, and people of colour). It is with Oosterhoff serving as its representative. The best way for Oosterhoff to support his constituents is to stop lying to them. His letter is a deliberate and pointed misreading of my writing. Oosterhoff is trying to pass off lies as truths—rather ironic, considering the central theme of the essay. The goal of his letter is to create a false mythology around the essay in order to curry voter approval. I did not say Pelham is ugly. I said intolerance is ugly. Since Oosterhoff is interested in meeting me, I would like to invite him to participate in a oneon-one public debate. We will invite the audience to contribute pay-what-you-can donations to Pelham’s Special Olympics Day. Then I will happily visit churches and organizations with him—especially if he will agree to go for a walk around St. John’s Conservation Area and hear my experiences working with atrisk youth, and in children’s AIDS wards, and about growing up as a young activist in Pelham. Julie Mannell Toronto

continued from previous page less of faith or background, and introduce her to people at the Legion and Community Care who dedicate themselves to helping those less fortunate. Perhaps we would run into Ron, or the thousands of people like him in this community. I hope that this would give her a deep appreciation for those who have spent their lives in this community, improving it, and making it a home for all who come here. Ms. Mannell seems to fear there is something ugly about Pelham and its people. I couldn’t disagree more. Pelham is beautiful. MPP Sam Oosterhoff Beamsville In the same paragraph MPP Sam Oosterhoff accuses me of being misinformed and making unsubstantiated claims, he incorrectly states that I live in Montreal. On the subject of Oosterhoff’s homophobia, on April 11, 2015, he posted a link on his Facebook page to a Christian evangelical website that promotes anti-gay sentiment through such articles as, "So-Called Same-Sex Marriage: Lamenting the New Calamity," and, "Why Homosexuality is Not Like Other Sins." He encouraged other Face-

We are not a community of racist, homophobic, backwards idiots We are not a community of racist, homophobic, backwards idiots just because we voted for a conservative. The divide between the left and right will not be overcome by calling the other side names—it will be bridged through respect for where each side is coming from. From what I see in this article, the writer is not interested in a dialogue but a diatribe against people she disagrees with politically. Trish Greydanus Fonthill

would be more compassionate. What is he for? Doesn’t he have any redeeming qualities? Julie, it really is time that you are compassionate for all, even those you disagree with. Selective compassion is not compassion at all. It is just making choices in our beliefs as to who we should care about. Your choices are not any more correct than anyone else’s. Assumptions we should realize lead to beliefs that are false and judgmental, not objective and true. The very heart of liberalism used to be an acceptance of all. I guess that day is past just like the Comfort Maple is passing as well. Charles G. Pedley Fonthill

Gratitude from gay teen I am a student at E. L. Crossley. I play sports, and I am involved in many activities. But no one knows who I am, I mean they don’t know who I really am. My fingers feel numb just to type this but the truth is that I am gay. No one knows this at ALL, they would never guess in a million years. I have a girlfriend but since my family is very religious

it has been okay for me to say no sex before marriage so all we do is kiss and [it] is not nice at all. I can’t wait to leave this place. People talk like it is easy now to come out of the closet but my parents would lose it, my friends would be totally shocked, I would probaSee GRATITUDE Page 7


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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

BRAND continued from Page 1 cup of tea. I liked the sciences of chemistry and geochemistry because they deal with numbers. If you are dealing with words and somebody says, ‘It’s sunny out,’ well, you need to ask how sunny. If you use a light meter and you put a number to how sunny it is, well you can’t argue with that.” Serving him well in his research, this same curiosity and compulsion to uncover the facts would sometimes make his fellow politicians uncomfortable during his time on Council. “You have to read a lot of reports that are very detailed, that deal with engineering and other aspects of development, so I asked a lot questions and some people didn’t like that,” Brand said, smiling. “But that’s in my nature, I’m a scientist. I need to know, because if you don’t have all the answers you are going to make a bad decision. It’s the same with the research I am doing now, if there is a question we need to answer it.” Considering that few politicians are scientists, Brand said it can be difficult for a lot of them to understand the true nature of science. Referring to the attack on science taking place in the United States under newly elected President Donald Trump, Brand said he is not all that concerned. Because

NUKED continued from Page 1 Though the truckloads could already be traveling among the daily traffic flow on public roads, the fight to stop the transport is far from over says Gracia Janes,

science is essentially a communal endeavour, he believes the scientific community will continue striving to attain understanding with its sights set on progress and the common good. “We have a check and balance system in science, so it is self-correcting. Unfortunately, we don’t have this in politics. It just bull-dozes ahead.” As much as he enjoyed his time on Council, Brand said his days in politics are over. Now a grandfather, he said he would not have enough time between his family life and his research. Often skipping his lunch and breaks in between classes, Brand takes every opportunity he can to squeeze in a little extra time for his research. Teaching three of the four sessions during the school year, Brand dedicates the fourth session to his research. Brand said he uses this time of year away from campus to spend as much time in the field as possible. Exploring new places and collecting samples is a good way to re-energize, he said. “There is a nice balance between the field, the lab and the office.” The decades of time Brand has invested into his research recently paid off by proving that the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere near the end of the Permian geological period, some 250 million years ago, was the result of a huge release of methane gas. “This was the biggest mass

Environment Convener for the National Council of Women of Canada. As a resident of the Niagara Region she’s concerned about the impact a spill could have on the health of people and the environment. “This is completely unnecessary,” she said.


I asked a lot of questions, and some people didn't like that...

extinction that life on Earth has ever experienced, and we came close to getting wiped out.” Working alongside his colleague Dr. Nigel Blamey, and a dedicated team of graduate and undergraduate students, Brand said, “It’s never a single effort in science, it’s a huge effort by many people.” Having conducted research in the Arctic, Brand has a deep understanding of permafrost. Like concrete or stone, it possesses the potential to trap gases within it. When the climate warms and the permafrost begins to melt, methane gas is released. With a significantly higher global warming potential, 80 times higher than that of carbon dioxide, Brand and Blamey’s team considered how the combination of the gases contributed to the catastrophic climate change. “If you have one molecule of carbon dioxide, and you have one-eightieth of a molecule of methane, it will

“Indonesia is down-blending the same kind of material and solidifying it and keeping it there. They are not sending it back to the U.S. There are far too many risks involved and no benefits for us to ship it to the States.” Janes explained that the down-blending of nuclear waste reduces the danger of the material by 98 percent. That so many communities

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Dr. Uwe Brand. NATE SMELLE PHOTO create the same amount of warming,” he explained. Occasionally, he said deniers of man-made climate change will try and use their findings regarding the Permian extinction to refute humanity’s current role in accelerating climate change. Brand says that asserting the human species does not share in the responsibility for the present-day climate crisis, because it wasn’t the cause of climate change during the Permian period, is far too simple an argument. “We can do very good measurements these days, and we can see what we are doing and how much of an

impact we have and what the biomass produces,” Brand said. “So, we can look at all the different compartments and how much they contribute, and the answer is yes, we are the problem, but we are also the solution.” When people say to him that they are only one person so what can they do, Brand responds “It starts with one person.” Turning his optimism into action, Brand and some of his students will be presenting members of regional council with a Niagara-wide tree-planting strategy. “Currently of climate

change and global warming, trees are the lungs of our planet,” he said. “They take up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Every municipality in the region should have a policy that says if you take one tree you need to replace it with two, because we know how many trees it takes to reduce carbon dioxide. If you plant 100 trees, you have just taken out one ton of carbon dioxide out of the equation.” Having helped to implement a similar policy when he was a member of Council in Pelham, Brand is hopeful the policy will be adopted throughout the region.

in Ontario and the U.S. are put at risk by the transport of radioactive liquid does not make sense. She says another potential problem with the shipments being overlooked by governments at all levels, and on both sides of the border, is emergency preparedness. “We are unprepared and our emergency-measures people are very concerned,” said Janes.

“We don’t even know when the trucks will be traveling through Niagara, so how can we be prepared. What bothers me most is that accidents can and do happen.” Janes is hoping that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will step up and prevent the shipments in the interest of public safety. So far, he has remained silent. The National Council of Women has sent Trudeau a letter and contacted Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, but there has yet to be any action from the federal government. Hopeful, but not holding her breath, Janes says the

trucks could be stopped by politicians on the other side of the border, in the name of national security. The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017, put forth by Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally, could stop, or at least delay, the shipments, according to Janes. The legislation would make it mandatory for nuclear materials to undergo a risk assessment before being transported. Shipping liquid nuclear waste across the Niagara River via the Peace Bridge is certainly a big risk, she says.


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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

Page 7


Niagara's regressive tendencies need addressing

Live and let live with open minds

Julie Mannell has been a friend of mine since we went to high school together in Welland and is, in my somewhat biased opinion, one of the most wonderful people to ever blossom from the Niagara’s verdant fields. Julie is someone who left Niagara physically yet who returns often, and remains deeply concerned with the growth and development of the region. She has written eloquently about it both within Niagara-based media, as well as in external media, bringing much-needed attention to a region whose residents do not have the same access to resources or to mythologies and narratives about themselves that residents of large Ontario cities like Toronto enjoy in greater abundance. At this volatile juncture in North America's political history, it is also especially timely to address the regressive tendencies prev-

I think you have done a great service by publishing The Comfort Maple myth. Canadians, rural or urban, are very diverse, and are actually pretty accepting people as long as no one tries to shame them out of their natural tolerance. My great uncle Cephus was sustained through one terrible winter out west by neighbours who were what he called "Galatians" and would now more likely be called Jews. I remember when two fellows bought a good farm in Hastings County. "Why yes, they're queer," I remember someone saying, "But they're good farmers." Local farmers supported a lot of Dutch immigrants when they arrived in Hastings County and the general Belleville area just after World War II, and learned to say something that sounded like “Hoya Morgan” when greeting the new arrivals in the forenoon. I hope the famed Dutch tolerance for what's a little different and the rural practicality of assessment on the basis of ability, will be part of this conversation Mannell has

Living in a small town can often make a person feel that they are living in a very small world, in a closed ecosystem

alent in the Niagara region. We cannot pretend that the same political tensions that animate America are wholly unexpressed in Canada, or in the very streets we grew up on. Julie’s essay was both literal and symbolic—a way of speaking about the whole of a thing by speaking about one part. Living in a small town can often make a person feel that they are living in a very small world, in a closed

ecosystem. It is essential to have media that forces us to reflect on how our personal lives do contribute daily to the political world. I look forward to further articles like this that showcase the serious and important potential of local news and that challenge our notions of what Niagara is and what it can become. Jade Wallace Toronto

The fact that a 19-yearold kid, who grew up within the confines of a highly religious and limited homeschooled worldview is now an elected leader of our community, and has such strong opinions about reproductive, women’s and LGBT rights is quite troubling to myself and many members of our community.

All-in-all, my main objective is to share with you that I stand in solidarity with Julie Mannell and many residents and former residents would like to promote a culture of progress, inclusivity and tolerance within this community. Avalon Ressler St. Catharines

Gratitude for recognition continued from Page 5 bly lose everything. I heard about [The Comfort Maple myth] that my parents were talking about it like it was the work of the devil so I read it later.

I think the Comfort Maple is very very matter what happens it keeps surviving Everything about my family’s life is decided by our church and it is horrible. Of course they were happy when Sam Oosterhoff was elected and said they couldn’t believe it really happened and now things were going to change with the gays and the abortions and there would be no more sex ed for kids because they are too young (but every kid starts talking about sex non stop anyway in Grade 5). When I was 13 I did think about killing myself but then found some other guys online to talk to and they convinced me to stay alive and keep going until I could be on my own. So I just want to say to the writer of this article that she

is 1000% right about people like me getting no respect and not even the right to live by the way so many people especially in the country think. I say keep up telling the truth. But I think the Comfort

started, and that your readers will respond with the same generosity that I think of as part of rural Canada. We always left the keys in our vehicles, because they might be needed by some neighbour with an emergency. We should keep our minds open, in the same way, out of concern for our neighbours. Helen Brown Toronto

Unchristian Christianity no inspiration

Stuck within the nostalgia of the past I read Julie Mannell's article about Sam Oosterhoff and his election and the insularity of the region. I would like to share with you that I completely agree with the main points of her piece and believe that this region in general is stuck within the nostalgia of the past, which is stunting our overall progress.

"Why yes, they're queer... But they're good farmers"

Maple is very very appealing to me because it’s like no matter what happens it keeps surviving so you could also look at it that way. Thank you. Name withheld Pelham

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I was so pleased to see Julie Mannell's article in the Voice of Pelham this week. Sam Oosterhoff's election was disheartening for me, as his distinctly unchristian “Christian” values mirror a certain American autocrat's. Right now it is so important for Canada, and the Canadian government, to champion generosity over fear and to support those

who need support more than ever. Reminding residents of Pelham of the myths that surround our pleasant existence here is a sobering memorandum that “pleasant” is not always so for everyone. Who is being excluded from this narrative? What can we do individually and as a municipality to make things better for marginalized individuals

and families? I truly hope that other readers had similar sentiments. After reading this piece I hope to be a more mindful citizen of Pelham, and I hope it will inspire others, especially those in positions of power (Hi, Mayor Dave!) to do the same. Josie Teed Fenwick




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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

"I would rather have a million friends than have a million dollars" Community reaction to Kinsmen selection instant and overwhelming Following many years of association with Ron, I can honestly say that, while Ron is not an "in your face" kind of guy, he quietly has contributed more to Pelham than most may realize. He has given generously to support those in need, opened his doors and his heart to support social programs and kindly contributed to Town events to ensure attendees experience the best of life in Pelham! Councillor Catherine King

of others. I am continually amazed at his energetic passion in supporting this town and its citizens! A heartfelt congratulations goes out to Ron and his family from the Rotary Club. Paul Allen, President 2016-2017 Rotary Club of Fonthill Congratulations to Ron Kore on being awarded the 2016 Pelham Citizen of the Year! Ron's ongoing generosity and care for those less fortunate and for so many community initiatives is definitely ample reason for his award. He truly embodies the Kinsmen motto of "serving the community's greatest need." Mayor Dave Augustyn

Do you have an idea that would benefit your organization and the community of Pelham? Don't know who to ask?  Go to Ron Kore. In the early fall of 2016, the Pelham Seniors Advisory Committee decided to hold six Conversation Cafes.  The intent was to provide an opportunity for health and social service organizations, primarily those who do not have a venue in Pelham, to meet with interested residents.  But where to go?  To Ron and Sobey's coffee corner, of course.  Within three minutes (maybe two) of presenting this idea to Ron, it was done.  There was room for displays, in-store television, sweet treats for all and coffee.  Ron came to make the presenters welcome, always with "do you need anything else?".  No sooner were the Cafes over, than, typical of Ron, came the question, "When will the next ones be held?"  Ron cares and we all say "thank you and we are proud of you.” Gail Hilyer, Chair Pelham Seniors Advisory Committee

Ron has shown his deep commitment and passion for the community of Pelham countless times over the years, and there is no one more worthy of this honor. Ron has volunteered countless hours and resources to many organizations in Niagara and Pelham over the years, from acting as ambassador for the community, his active involvement with the Fonthill Band Shell, to working with our senior citizens, supporting minor sports and the Special Olympics, and raising significant funds for Nutrition Partners. His achievements exemplify the spirit of giving, sacrifice, and community that characterizes Pelham, and I am pleased to offer him my hearty thanks, and congratulations for his contributions. MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Congratulations to Ron Kore from the board of directors, volunteers and staff of Pelham Cares. There is no one more deserving of this award. Ron has been a supporter and advocate of Pelham Cares for several years, his dedication and commitment to the community of Pelham Cares is seen over and over again through his generosity. Pelham should be proud to have Ron as a member of their community. Tracy Holmwood, President Pelham Cares

I celebrate, with the Town of Pelham, the recognition of Ron Kore as Citizen of the Year. His interaction with customers at Sobey’s is professional and gives new meaning to “customer service.” I am also impressed with his respect for the store employees as he does not hesitate to assist anyone at peak times. What other owner would help push buggies in the parking lot? During several past fundraising events for Pelham Cares I have learned of the generosity of Ron and Sobey’s in working and contributing to the clients of Pelham Cares. He is an “all-star” joining the team of past Citizens of the Year!” Brian Baty Regional Councillor

I have met Ron, of course, but I don't know him well. What I do know is his reputation, which is a good one, a man who supports the community in many ways including allowing his premises for fundraisers and community outreach activities, as a supporter of local agriculture, as an excellent and honourable businessman, and as a generous donor.  As usual, the Kinsmen have it right. Councillor Richard Rybiak

I have know Ron for a long period of time and have watched with great admiration his devotion and dedication to this community. He has worked very hard over the years to achieve his business success and deserves all that has come his way. Despite his success, he has never forgotten his humble roots and has always given back. He selflessly gives of his time, energy and funds to support the endeavours of many groups in this community. He is especially committed to giving to those less fortunate then himself. I am very pleased that he has been chosen, proud that he is a member of this community and proud to call him friend. Councillor Gary Accursi

Ron does a lot for our community, much deserving recognition for all he does. Sobey's under his leadership is a tremendous corporate citizen of Pelham. Councillor John Durley We are really lucky to have someone like Ron in the community, who really cares so much for others. When it comes to volunteering, there is no task he won't do. He truly has a heart of gold. Judy Reid Pelham Seniors Advisory Committee

A fine selection that is very worthy of this honour. Justin O’Donnell, President Pelham Business Association

Like many others I relocated to Pelham a few years ago. I was immediately impressed by initially meeting Ron at Sobey’s. You could quickly tell that here is a citizen who loves and embraces this town and its people. As a Rotarian, I have witnessed Ron's generosity of spirit as he has supported our Club's fundraising events, especially our annual Mudfest charity run. I have also seen firsthand him being actively engaged in other community building opportunities, in support of Pelham Cares and the Bandshell summer concerts. Ron is a selfless champion for doing what is right but also what is needed, his passion, humanity and caring for us all are exemplary! In recognition, he was honoured by our Club for his community supporting efforts in 2014, when selected as a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship recipient. This prestigious Fellowship recognizes those individuals who have contributed significantly to their own and to the communities

Once again, by naming Ron Kore their Citizen of the Year, the Kinsmen have hit the proverbial nail right on the head. Ron is always very upbeat about what is happening in his community, and all service clubs, and community organizations will tell you that when you go to Ron for a donation, whether it be financial or food, you will always walk away with more than you anticipated. Ron is the type of guy that if he got struck by a truck while crossing a street, he would jump up and run to the truck and make sure that the driver was all right. Congratulations, Ron, for being awarded this honour, you have certainly earned it. Councillor Marvin Junkin

Hat firmly on his head for years, a sudden appearance in the ring BY DAVE BURKET



PENING THE DOOR to his modest suburban home in Fonthill, Ron Kore ushers his visitor into the kitchen and demands to know what kind of tea he’d like before the camera comes out and the pictures are snapped. The Kore home is solid, stylish without being flashy. Wood and leather, earth-tones. It’s a comfortable, and comforting space, and incredibly tidy. Mugs of tea poured, photos taken, there’s time to relax for a few minutes before Kore hustles back to the Sobey’s he owns in Fonthill. Kore’s approach at work is a classic example of “management by walking around,” the unscheduled, free-style supervision made famous in an early-‘80s business management book. He’s on the floor so often that legions of customers have come to consider him

a friend. It’s a reciprocal feeling. “I love it. I love the customers, I love the interaction.” Kore says that he’s often asked whether he’d consider running for office, given how well-known he is in town. His past response has been to smile and give a dismissive wave, and talk of being too busy. Today, though, he turns serious and pauses before offering his stock answer—and then offers a different answer. Yes, he says. He’s planning a run for Pelham Town Council at the next election, in 2018. “I’m serious about it. I’m really looking at it.” When asked if he'd thought about a run for Mayor instead, the smile returns. “Four years on Council, then we’ll see.” The 60-year-old says that by then he’ll be retired, with more time to devote to the office, should

the voters see fit to put him in it. Asked what the biggest issues are facing the town now, he laments the lack of strategic planning to promote local businesses. “I honestly think what they need to do is look at a [Business Improvement Area]. If we paid two or three percent more in taxes, as an owner I wouldn’t mind paying that, to help other people.” “Business is good for business,” he says. “It always has been. I think the problem is they’re not focusing on the downtown. They’re focusing on arenas.” Kore says he supports the new Community Centre in principle, but not the design. “I don’t believe in a twin rink. What they should have done is put in a swimming pool or a track, with an option of putting in the extra rink. Who’s going to be using that rink? I’ll tell you who—people from

...the problem is they're not focusing on the downtown. They're focusing on arenas. the north end of Welland, people from St Catharines, where it might be a little bit cheaper [in Pelham]." He muses whether even out-of-town demand will be there. "When you talk about hockey and head injuries, maybe parents don’t want their kids to play as much now.” He’s also concerned that some of the new development doesn’t properly reflect the town’s character or its history. He cites the

new LCBO on Highway 20 as an example. “I remember seeing pictures of that building five years ago. That could have been a lot softer. All of a sudden the Town says, oh, we didn’t know. What do you mean you didn’t know? You stamped it and you approved it and you built it. What you should have done was kept a little softer lines, and it didn’t have to be that high. That building is downtown Toronto, where all the buildings look the same. If you go to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the LCBO doesn’t look like that.” The smile returns, along with a look at his watch. He needs to get back to walking around among his staff and customers. “The resources in this community aren’t being promoted well enough. I’m not saying it should be what Niagara-on-the-Lake is, but it should be a quaint little town.”


ITH MORE nomi choose from tha before, the Fonth District Kinsmen selected com volunteer, and ow Sobey’s in Fonthill, Ron Kore, as Pe Citizen of the Year for 2016. For the past 19 years, the club has a ed the honour to the individual who unteerism and generosity best embod spirit of the community. Public Re Director for the club, Kevin Twome the decision was especially difficu year due to the variety of nominees running for the prestigious award. H Kore’s consistent contributions to th munity earned him the honour. “Ron’s an all-around amazing guy Twomey. “We had some great candidates th but Ron’s cheerful nature and enth to help others is what this award a community is all about.” The Voice posted the Kinsmen ann ment online late last week, promp torrent of public praise. The story ge ed the most page views of any artic posted to the paper's website and Fa page. Kore can be found on almost any day out on the floor, interacting w customers and working alongside hi He is best known throughout the co nity, however, for his volunteer wor Pelham Cares, Niagara Nutrition Pa Special Olympics and the Pelham Advisory committee. He is also activ the Fonthill Bandshell Concert Series nizing committee, and last year he Syrian refugee family adjust to life agara.

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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

Fonthill and District Kinsmen Citizen of the Year 2016:

Ron Kore

“It’s truly an honour to be among so many people who did so much for this community,” says Kore. “It’s very humbling.” Twomey says it was Kore’s extraordinary generosity and his commitment to making the community a better place for everyone, that earned him his place among this crowd. As Kore spoke to his visitor at his store last week, his attention was easily split among at least three targets—the Voice, his staff, and his customers. He kidded with a steady stream of well-wishers as they left with their groceries, calling many by name. For Kore, giving back to others in need is always naturally the best thing to do. He said that over the years he has learned that success is not about what you can attain, it is about doing what you can to help others. Growing up in Welland in a family of seven, Kore said his parents always taught them the importance of giving back. He has fond memories of picking cherries as a child in Pelham with his parents Elizabeth and John and his siblings, identical-twin Bob, John, Steve and Grace. Being part of such a large family, he said selfishness never really

made any sense. “I would rather have a million friends than have a million dollars,” he says. Kore grew up only a stone’s-throw from Welland Hospital, and he and his pals on the street were “King Street Boys,” a neighbourhood distinction going back to the early 20th century. “Every generation had their group,” he says. “We still get together every once in awhile at the Rex Hotel.” Kore attended Notre Dame High School and went on to Fanshaw College. Twin-brother Bob is in the rubber recycling business, and on shopping trips to Sobeys routinely fools customers who are unaware that Ron has a twin. When asked whether they can still fool people who know them well, Ron says yes. “His hair’s shorter, and he has the stubble. But we can do it.” Now 60, Kore has worked virtually his entire career in the grocery business. He started in 1971 as a bag boy at Food City on Welland’s Main Street, eventually going on to work for three decades at Loblaws. Kore and his wife, Tammy, have done

their best to instill communal values in their sons, Brad and Greg. He lights up when speaking of his “boys,” now in their 20s and off pursuing their own careers. Brad is a teacher, working in Hamilton after a five-year-stint in the U.K.. Greg is an industrial designer who graduated from Carleton University in 2016. Kore said at the end of the day it comes down to looking at yourself in the mirror and asking if you are doing the best you can to improve the lives of the people in your life. When big box stores such as Walmart disrespect their workers, and take advantage of government programs, he believes it is a form of corporate welfare. People just want to be treated properly, he said. “I personally think the world is too greedy. When we talk about these ‘one-percenters,’ we have to ask ourselves whether anyone really needs that much money. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great companies out there too. Look at Costco, they pay their employees respectful wages and provide them with benefits.” When Kore decided to leave Loblaws after working for the company for 30 years, he

Page 9

said it had nothing to do with an ambition to make more money. Instead, the decision came from his dream to operate a grocery store in the community he knows as home. He bought the Fonthill Sobey’s franchise in 2009. His charity involvement began in earnest when he heard from his wife, a teacher, and other friends teaching in Niagara, that children were going to school hungry, Kore recognized the need within the community and decided to get involved with Niagara Nutrition Partners. As an operator, Kore could have simply made a donation, however he saw an opportunity to raise more funds. By pooling his resources, Kore and his team at Sobey’s started an annual charity Golf Tournament. “This year is our fifth year and we are hoping to have raised over $50,000 in the past five years,” said Kore. “With so much help from so many great volunteers, like Judy Reid, we are able to raise about $11,000 in about six hours. Everyone always has a lot of fun.” On Tuesday, March 7, at the Old Pelham Town Hall, Kore will be presented with the award at the Kinsmens annual Citizen of the Year dinner. Tickets cost $20, and are available at the Sun Life office in Fonthill, located at 165 Hwy 20 W. “Mansfield Farm,” he says suddenly. “Where we picked cherries when I was twelve. It’s less than a mile from where the dinner will be.” He smiles and shakes his head. “Who would have thought.” By Nate Smelle, with additional reporting by Dave Burket. Bob Loblaw photo.

Page 10

The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

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Listen to those who disagree, too

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Mr. Oosterhoff's tone-deaf response to Julie Mannell's essay reveals, in one swoop, both his poor reading comprehension and lack of intellectual maturity. The love and tenderness Mannell feels for her hometown and its people is clear in her writing. Her plea towards Pelham's citizens could not be more gentle and graceful. It is possible to love something and have critical dialogue about its faults; that is, to acknowledge it is less than perfect. Conversely, Oosterhoff has a track record of refusing to engage in public discussion about critical social issues. He charges Mannell with arrogance even as he erroneously cites her living elsewhere, and claims she has no basis to comment on the culture of a town she and her family grew up in, while in the next breath mentioning his experience with the town is in "visits." Of all people, I would hope our members of Parliament would understand that measured criticism— of our leaders, our municipal structures, our communities— is not an act of betrayal. As Theodore Roosevelt wrote, "To announce that there must be no not only unpatriotic and servile, but morally treasonable...." And finally: Mr. Oosterhoff, not everyone in our community has the same experiences, and if they are negative, that does not make them less valid. Your job is not only to represent those that agree with you. It is especially to listen to those that disagree, and integrate their experiences, too. Hannah Hackney Toronto

I am a Grade 8 student at Pelham Centre School. When I was in Grade 7 we were told we had to pick a new name for the school and write a paragraph about why you wanted that name. Wellington Heights was on the list that we had to pick from. No one told us we could keep the name E. W. Farr or Pelham Centre. We were told the name had to change. We were also told that whoever chose the new name would get the credit for it, but we were never told who chose the name. Even though I am going to E. L. Crossley next year I still don’t think the name should change and I still think of my school as Pelham Centre and so do other kids I go to school with. I am not happy that our Panther was covered over with a poster of a Husky.

Alive and shining, with help

Thank you from E. L. Crossley rowers

Julie Mannell visited the Comfort Maple in the 1990s and feels that the tree wanted to die because it had “issues.” I visit this tree many times each year. I know it has rot, missing limbs and we really don't know how old it is. However it still produces an abundance of seeds every other year. It still provides shade, shelter, food and home to the many insects and animals that live around it. It can be an inspiration to the people who visit it. I have a missing limb (left leg) and am bald on top. A tight cable helps to keep my artificial leg on. Is my life over just because I need help and support? Does the Comfort Maple want to die if it is still producing seeds? I see it as a vibrant tree. It shines with life. John Pruyn Ridgeville

From the parents volunteers who worked hard to make the pasta dinner event that was held on February 4th we would like to thank our community supporters without whose generous donations we would not have had this fundraiser. And also thank you to all the friends and families of the crew who came out and supported us. Without you this night would of not been a great success. Thank you so much! Sherry Rusin and all the Parent Volunteers Pelham

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No one told us we could keep the name E.W. Farr or Pelham Centre

It would have been nice if we were told we could have kept the name instead of saying it had to change, and to find out all this time later that it didn’t have to change. We are kids and were just doing as we were told. I would like to graduate as a Pelham Centre Panther. Luke Morris Fenwick


The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

Page 11


Cherry Ridge Park proposal is inappropriate I received a survey regarding a proposed change to the soccer field located at Wellington Heights Public School. Regarding the survey letter itself: Why was there no email address or contact information from the Town of Pelham provided within the letter? Given the tight timeframe to respond and the fact that the proposal involves municipally-owned land, this was a negligent oversight. While I believe in partnerships, I find this particular proposal unconventional and inappropriate.

The residents of Cherry Hill were promised and provided with a public park. I do not believe that the original intended use(s) included over-use by any group, agency, association or school. Does the Town’s official plan allow for the proposed changes to Cherry Ridge Park? The existing quiet space is enjoyed and appreciated by all that visit. The local taxpayers in and around the subdivision not only use the park, we paid for it. I am concerned about the potential for future development possibilities and

The existing quiet space is enjoyed and appreciated by all that visit

uses. These could include large crowds in attendance for competitive events (for

which there would be insufficient parking), excessive noise from a PA or music system, lighting for evening games and the installation of portable (or permanent) toilets. Further, homeowners which back onto the park paid a premium for their lots and are likely assessed at higher property taxes by MPAC as a result. I am opposed to having ‘our’ park used by a special interest groups, public or private school systems or similar. David Goodhue Fenwick

Pelham taxpayers being manipulated and bled I was reading the news last week and came across three articles that stuck in my craw. I have never before penned a letter to any paper's editor, but I am getting more and more upset at how our town is being run and we, the taxpayers and stakeholders, are being manipulated and bled. The first article stated that Pelham's 2017 operating costs are up 4.69%, meaning that the average residential assessment of $316,400 will mean a Pelham-only tax increase of $69.60, according to Treasurer Cari Pupo.

Now, as a retiree, I am one of the lucky ones in that I have a pension with an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). This reflects the change in the cost of living as measured by the Canadian Consumer Price Index and, as such, my pension for 2017 is being increased by 1.45%, and yet we all know that this figure doesn't reflect the actual rise in costs to us. And, as I said, I am one of the lucky ones. My wife, like many in the private sector, has not seen a raise in close to a decade. The math is elementary and will drive people out of

The math is elementary and will drive many people out of Pelham

Pelham to find more affordable living if it not reinedin. The second article dove-

tailed perfectly with the first. It had to do with Pelham Transit services and that the Town of Pelham has agreed to spend $83,920 this year to continue operating a single, 16-seat bus after April 1, when the Province's funding of the pilot project ends. Further in this article, we’re told that Recreation Director Vickie van Ravenswaay said monthly ridership has doubled in the past year to 232 riders a month. WHAT? I thought, so I spun around and retrieved my calculator and found

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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

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Taxpayers deserve better leadership continued from previous page that this means, assuming the Town of Pelham's funding is for a full twelvemonth fiscal period, that we, the taxpayers, will be paying $6,993 per month for this highest-ever number of 232 monthly passengers, or $27.14 for each ride after you credit the Town with the $3 paid by the passenger. What is even more galling

is that this service is being continued for just 7.7 riders a day (based on a 30-day month). Paying cab fare for this number of passengers would be far cheaper than maintaining this service. These numbers do not sufficiently support the adage “Build it and they will come.” There is no value per-dollar in this and it should be immediately stopped.




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And then there is the article by Dave Augustyn, our vaunted mayor, in which he lays out the chronology of how the land grab by the DSBN for a healthy chunk of Cherry Ridge Park in Fenwick came to be. As many of your readers may already know, there was a hastily called meeting of Town residents last Wednesday, February 8, at the Fenwick Fire Hall in response to a mail-out by the DSBN, dated January 30, 2017, received by only the residents of Cherry Ridge. Mayor Augustyn was in

attendance and spoke about this matter, as well as about the DSBN changing the name of E.W. Farr Memorial Public School. He left most if not all of us believing he supports the DBSN's proposed soccer field on a good portion of our park, all for an unspecified Memorandum of Understanding— oh, wait, he said maybe some "ZUMBA classes" could be held at the renovated school. Augustyn laid out the chronology, and said he had been transparent in this because he had written an ar-

NEWSFLASH Tell us your story Introducing Column Six, presenting tales of personal triumph, adventure, strange-but-true stories, life-changing events, and looks-back at our past. Did you conquer Everest or kick a bad habit? Did you meet your spouse-to-be in jail or on an African safari? Do you know where Hoffa’s buried? Write it down, send it in: (You won’t get rich, but you will get paid.)

The only thing that has disheartened me is how our Town Council, chaired by Mayor Augustyn, has continually shown disdain for the taxpayers of Pelham

ticle in a paper addressing this. I could not recall reading any such article, but then I received another newspaper on Thursday, and— wait for it—there it was, dated Thursday, February 9, one day AFTER the public meeting, and over a week after the DSBN letter was sent. Interesting. How can one not become a cynic of our Mayor. I have only been a Pelham resident for five years but I love it here. It is peaceful and quiet, and the people are down-to-earth and friendly. The only thing that has disheartened me is how our Town Council, chaired by Mayor Augustyn, has con-

tinually shown disdain for the taxpayers of Pelham. I have nothing against growth, but it must be sustainable and reasonable and always respect the taxpayers. And growth does not have to be in the form of urban sprawl where people are put in big houses on postagestamp-sized lots. I realize that this can greatly increase the tax base so as to pay for Pelham's mounting debt or mitigate the increases to our tax rates, but rather it should better reflect what Pelham is before it is lost forever. That is why my wife and I left the GTA and why we are so happy here. Bjorn Walter Fenwick

The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

Page 13


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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

Pampered Sweet The Fonthill and District Kinettes held their annual Pamper Me Sweet Valentine’s Day event last Saturday at the Fonthill United Church.Clockwise from left: Jessica Hunik, left, checks out some of Margot Peekstock’s homegrown, homemade lavender based products from the Farm on Pancake Lane; Kaitlin Bronn’s After Hours Fudge Project; shoppers browse Designs by Dar. VOICE PHOTOS



P. S. If I may be allowed a P.S... I love the Comfort Maple.

It is especially glorious in colours. This past fall it was

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See DSBN Page 9

Pelham’sPelham’s Health Food Store

BALLOONING INTEREST Grade 6 student Jinja Shepherd explains her experiment on static electricity at the Glynn A. Green Public School's annual science fair last Friday. See story, page 3. NATE SMELLE PHOTO

Public meeting tonight on school issues BY VOICE STAFF As questions continue to mount regarding an email that Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn quietly sent to a District School Board of Niagara trustee last summer, Augustyn has agreed to address the issue at a public meeting scheduled for this evening, Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Fenwick. Nancy Beamer, speaking for “Names Matter,” a Pelham citizens group lobbying the DSBN to reverse its decision to rename a local public school, confirms that the meeting will be held at Fire Station #2, known locally as the Fenwick Fire Hall, starting at 7:00 PM. While the Mayor has agreed to ap-

Under pressure, Mayor to address email revelation, other E. W. Farr matters pear, says Beamer, DSBN officials associated with the school-naming process have either declined to attend or have not yet responded to the group’s invitation. DSBN Chair, Dale Robinson, to whom Augustyn’s email was addressed last June, has declined to appear, says Beamer, asserting that she would be

“on holidays.” The Voice was unable to independently confirm Robinsion’s intentions. She did not respond to repeated requests for comment on E.W. Farr-related matters before presstime. Beamer, whose group maintains an email list of some 580 residents, says that all members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting. “We would especially welcome parents and children who are unhappy with the name change,” she says, referring to the contentious decision by the DSBN to consolidate two Pelham See MEETING back page

HEN I WAS young, my father and I would go for long drives along the rural routes of Pelham. We’d blast George Thurgood and roll down the windows because we loved the smell of the breeze, the sensation of crisp Niagara wind beating our cheeks and tangling our hair against our summer-kissed skin. My father was not a sentimental man. He worked in factories and had a Gordon Lightfoot mustache and never shed tears over injuries. Yet something about the Pelham landscape, the hilly backdrop to his childhood and the childhoods of our ancestors, drew him in. He’d stop by a farm or a gathering of woods and, surrendering his manly veneer, tell me a story about the town. This place is precious. This is the earth that granted us life. Here is the place where we happened upon love or here is a site of devastation. On one particular drive sometime in the late ‘90s we stopped at a tree with a plaque. “This tree looks dead,” I said to my father. “It sure is getting there, Julie.” The Comfort Maple is supposedly Canada’s oldest See COLUMN SIX Page 14


Vol.20 No.39


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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Special to the VOICE


Repair measures underway last week to correct a construction error in the chicane. truck or an ambulance?” he said. While waiting for the contractor to return to fix

the mistake, the Town has taken measures to temporarily allow passage for vehicles through the neigh-


bourhood in the short-term. Manager of Public Works Ryan Cook said that after discovering the issue with

the chicane the morning it first opened, the Town See CHICANE Page 5

Petition-inspired changes coming to 2017 Summerfest BY NATE SMELLE


Representatives from the Pelham Summerfest committee Candy Ashbee and Bill Gibson presented council with a final report on the 2016 Summerfest at the Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 21. Prompted by a story in the Voice in August about a merchant petition to move Summerfest from Pelham Street, in September Town staff met with various stakeholders to hear their complaints, promising at the time that changes in the way Summerfest was mounted would be con-

sidered. The main concerns identified during the community engagement process were security, parking, ensuring customer can access all businesses in town, and liability for damages. How to get all Pelham Street businesses to participate and finding ways to make it beneficial for them to set up a booth were also determined to be of high priority for the committee as they plan for next year’s event. Gibson told Council that the committee is addressing these concerns in a variety of ways. To improve parking, they intend to create bet-

ter signage for out-of-town visitors to designated parking areas and shuttle services. To make participation in Summerfest more enticing to local businesses, they plan to implement a tiered-charge for booths. Under the new system, Pelham Street business owners will be charged the least, other local businesses will pay a slightly higher fee, and vendors from outside Pelham will pay the most. In response to more specific issues for individual businesses, they will also slightly alter the footprint of the event and make adjustments to security. Another way the committee plans

Pine Debbie


to improve the 2017 Summerfest is by sponsoring and working with the organizers of the Thursday Night Bandshell Concert series to select the artist performing on the first night of Summefest. They also intend to make more use of the smartphone app they launched in 2016. "We are really going to push it this year," Ashbee said. “It really helps to get people to see what events there are so they can plan out where they are going. We will be able to actually help the merchants and local businesses ad-


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Growing up British

Haist Street traffic-calming measure a little too effective

Debbie Pine

Mon-Wed 9:30-6:00pm ◆ Thur-Fri 9:30-7:00pm Sat 9:30-5:00pm

Column Six

BY VOICE STAFF A construction error was discovered following the opening of a traffic calming chicane on Haist Street north of Hwy 20 last Monday that prevented large vehicles from passing through. One resident living in the neighbourhood said he contacted the Town after seeing a small schoolbus get stuck as it tried to get through the new traffic calming measure. Later that day while driving behind a cement truck, he said that he became concerned for the public’s safety when the truck had to turn around because it couldn’t get through. “If a small school bus and a cement truck can’t make it through what about a fire


Pineld -So


Oops: No fire trucks for you

Column Six

Request made of community still peeved at name change The District School Board of Niagara is requesting that the Town of Pelham cede a portion of Cherry Ridge Park for use as a soccer field to serve the students of the new Wellington Heights Public School, formerly the E. W. Farr Memorial Public School, in Fenwick. Currently under renovation and expansion, the new school will combine students and staff from the previous school and Pelham Centre, where classes are being held while construction continues. Two letters, containing virtually identical text but signed by different authorities, were sent last week to nearby residents of the park, as well as to parents of Pelham Centre students. “The DSBN is currently building onto Wellington Heights Public School on Alsop Drive,” states the letter. “The size of the school's addition means the existing small soccer field will be eliminated. The Town and the Board have been discussing the possibility of working together to create a field for both the school and the


Pineld -So

FTER LUNCH ON Saturday, Mum and Dad had my afternoon cut out for me. Mum had more brass than anyone I knew, and it had to be cleaned. In addition there was the set of silver fish-knives and forks which were never used, but which had to be cleaned and put back in their velvetlined box. Next was a walk to the newsagents to pay for the daily delivery of the Daily Mirror. As I said, Dad was a printer, but when he was 37 he had been rejected for a job, as being too old, by the printers of the Beano. For that reason, my favourite comic was not allowed in the house, but while I was paying the papers, the newsagent let me have a 'shoofty' at the Beano. I'd explained my predicament and he understood completely. Sundays were different again. Dad would play golf on summer mornings and billiards in winter. Then he'd stop for a 'refresher' at the local and would pick up the prawns, cockles, winkles or whelks we'd be having for tea later. Meanwhile, Mum was roasting the 'joint' and potatoes. I got to make the Yorkshire pud, and mint See COLUMN SIX Page 14

See CHANGES Page 5


Vol.20 No.32


Wednesday October 12, 2016


Apple Day comes to Fonthill Longtime Scouting tradition dates to 1932 While shopping in Fonthill between Friday and Sunday, keep an eye out for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts in front of local stores with bushels of apples. As part of the annual Apple Day campaign, Scouting youth of all ages will be trading apples for donations. The yearly fundraising drive is an important way for young Scouts to connect with the communities they are serving, says Leah Marie of Scouts Canada. “The Apple Day campaign holds a great tradition of being able to have youth interacting within the communities they live in,” she says. “All of the Apple Day donations stay directly within the group that re-

The goal is to have these youth develop into confident and well-rounded individuals ceives them, enabling youth to have experiences that build character, challenge them, and allow them to try new things. The goal is to have these youth develop into confident and wellrounded individuals, better prepared for success. Apple Day helps to achieve that.”


Joining their principal, Karen Simpson, at the Sept. 19 Council meeting as part of a delegation from EL Crossley Secondary School, students Abby Loewen and Neenah Williams presented Council with a list of reasons that they should immediately approve the construction of the new sidewalk proposed along Hwy. 20. The asphalt side-

walk/trail is slated to be built between the south side of the road from Timmsdale Crescent to the high school. Because of the large volume of motor vehicle traffic travelling at high speeds through this area, and because of the necessity for students to tread this path on a daily basis, many residents would like to see the sidewalk go in sooner than later. After delivering to Council a petition containing



VOICE Correspondent

A longtime Canadian tradition, Apple Day began in 1932 in Saint John, New Brunswick, when Scouts handed out 21,000 apples as a way to say thank you to the community. In return for their generosity, many people offered them donations. From then on Scouts have reached out through Apple Day to raise funds for their programs.

“Any money raised during Apple Day goes towards improving the Scouting program by providing more outdoor adventures for youth, camping equipment, canoes and paddles, training and many other endeavours that the youth want to experience,” says Marie. Scouts Canada has some 100,000 members across Canada, and carries out programs for boys, girls

and youth ages 5-25. This year the 3rd Fonthill Group, which includes Beavers to Ventures (youth ages 5- 25) will be hitting the streets to drum-up support. Over the weekend, Scouts will be set up in Fonthill outside Sobeys, Tim Hortons, Target Gas station, Fonthill Shopping Plaza and the Pioneer Gas station at the corner of Hwys 20 and 24.

Town Council approves sidewalk to serve E. L. Crossley BY NATE SMELLE

Cell 905.933.3049

T Second year Beaver with the 3rd Fonthill Group, Russell Letford offers a fresh apple to shoppers in Pelham during the 2015 Apple Day campaign. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Many residents would like to see the sidewalk go in sooner than later the names of 450 students calling for a safer walk to school, Simpson handed the

podium over to Loewen and Williams to plead their case. Loewen told Council that because there are a lot of students who have work placements and coop placements during the school year, this is the only route for many of them to travel. As one of the students facing this predicament, Williams said she has had no other option but to walk along the dangerous highway.

“I start work at 2:30 PM and school lets out at 2:15 PM so I can’t take any other route,” Williams explained. “I have had friends, family, teachers and other community members reach out to me in the past about how this is unsafe and how there should be another alternative for us.” Looking ahead to winter, when she will need to walk this path three or four times

HERE IS NO BETTER time to cycle than Fall. It matters not whether you’re new to the sport, a seasoned recreational cyclist, racer, touring rider or mountain biker; we all have reason to look forward to autumn. Summer’s heat has faded, and the streams of sweat that ran from soggy helmets into our eyes are now just slight perspiration. Fitness is peaking from lots of saddle time, making those tough climbs of Spring a breeze in Autumn. It’s hard to beat the feeling of beginning a crisp, cool Fall ride with a slight shiver, knowing your efforts will soon warm you perfectly. The hues of Autumn are outstanding. A Pelham route as simple as following our southern boundary is one that would make most Toronto cyclists jealous, especially when our forests and fields are ablaze with colour. Begin from Harold Black Park, and zig-zag south along Effingham Rd toward the Welland River. If you’re new to cycling, it’s important to know south is the direction away from any hills. If you avoid the morning and evening weekday rush hours caused by those travelling through Pelham between Wainfleet


See AUTUMN Page 3

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Glad Tidings Church of God 1 Pancake Lane, Fonthill Holy Trinity Anglican Church 1557 Pelham Street, Fonthill

Fenwick Church of Christ 765 Welland Rd., Fenwick

Kirk on the Hill Presbyterian Church 1344 Haist St., Fonthill

Fenwick United Church 1050 Church St., Fenwick

Pelham Community Church 461 Canboro Rd., Fenwick

First Presbyterian Church 602 Metler Rd., Fenwick

Pelham Evangelical Friends Church 940 Haist St., Fonthill

Fonthill Baptist Church 1414 Pelham St., Fonthill

Ridgeville Bible Chapel 418 Canboro Rd., Ridgeville

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses 1369 Rice Rd., Fonthill

St. Alexander’s Roman Catholic Church 50 Pelham Town Sq., Fonthill

Fonthill United Church 42 Church Hill, Fonthill

St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church 834 Canboro Rd., Fenwick

Office 905.892.1702

Column Six It doesn’t get better than Autumn


and want some kind of justice. The Mayor and Council appear to have rolled over on this issue and have probably already agreed to the land request for the school's soccer field. Citizens should

Places of Worship and Events

The paper that Pelham reads.


Forestry. I love trees about as much as Joyce Kilmer. But the old girl's going to go someday, despite our gallant efforts to keep her with us. My vote is a hundred years from now, but I'm obviously being selfish. Ms. Mannell used the

tree as a literary vehicle. We love it because we are more comfortable with consistency than we are with change. The tree is not the point. Nick Saltarelli BScF Past President of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association

Don't forget the bigger picture

then it isn’t being seen.


matter of routine. The great tree is a stone's throw from our farm property in North Pelham. It looms big and beautiful from the back yard. It would be a sad day to see the old girl finally go. My undergrad degree is in

Centennial Secondary School, Thorold Road, Welland, Ontario


Door proceeds in support of Special Olympics and Pathstone Mental Health

know that a public meeting is meant to inform them of an already agreed upon course of action. Look at the result of last year's public meeting over the new arena. Meanwhile larger issues are being ignored. The Town passed a 4.69% tax increase. That's a lot more than the inflation rate. They say we need improvements to the Public Works yard to the tune of $227,000. They say we need to spend $365,800 for ever more staff and raises for everyone. How many readers have had a raise lately? They want to expand the transit system— you know, the little white bus that drives around empty most of the time. There is still $25,000,000, yes, that's $25 million, that needs to be raised for the arena. I have heard nothing about that, yet it is being built right now. If the funding arrangements for the arena don’t materialize, as promised by the mayor, a 4.69% tax increase will feel like a fond memory. Little things are important. Sometimes people need to focus on a little problem, like a school re-naming, to realize that much bigger issues need to be looked at just as carefully, such as the way the Mayor and this Council do business. Jim Pitt Fonthill

The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017


Page 15

Transforming Pelham Library

Commentary by Pastor Mathew Bradbury


Road trip decisions: Travelling with loved ones


E HAVE ALL been there – the long Road Trip. The travel schedule is tight and you are not alone. With all your research, planning, and preparation – you have crafted the route of dreams (whether super-efficient or loaded with fun stops) and you are ready for the journey, and of course, arriving at your destination. It’s classic, you are on the road with a full tank, but only twenty minutes down the highway, you hear a small voice from behind – and the questions begin. You knew this already, that the kids and some of the ‘bigger’ kids would soon be expressing their interest and musings, “How much longer til..? Can we get something to eat?” Every parent, every traveller has been there, every journey to a destination includes them: questions from the backseat - and we come to expect them. On a trip last fall with my adult daughter, taking a ‘missional sabbatical’ to Nepal and Romania, we found ourselves asking, and overhearing a load of other travelers asking as well – especially when our landing in Kathmandu was diverted after five circles over the city, only to land for the night like a covert operation, in Kolkata, India. Let me come clean, some of my asking was real-

ly complaining, or rather, grumbling. On any trip, especially on a Road Trip, there are a load of questions – and so many decisions to make. The same is true for the journey – the road trip of faith with God – a loving God I add. Noting that yesterday was Valentine’s, check out part of His Valentine’s Card in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 31. Just like kids (or any traveler who doesn’t know all the details about the road ahead), we get tired of the travel, weary of the journey. We want to know when we can stop – take a break. We get tired of serving, tired of waiting, tired of the people we are traveling with (exception here – my daughter, Sophia, is an amazing travel partner, no complaints). We grumble, it’s part of our heritage. All people – including those who identify themselves as ‘God followers’ come by it naturally, the Israelites did too, so long ago. The driver was a guy names Moses, and his clan in the ‘back seat’ complained about the route, the food, and about the driving (Maybe he had a 1-800-‘how’s my driving’ #). Grumbling just doesn’t excite God, in fact it’s corrosive to our relationship with Him, and with our fellow travelers, plus it’s tough for the driver(s). I have been reading through God’s big-picture

story, noting the interaction with His super-loved creatures… people. God is so patient, and he gives us many

Just like kids... we get tired of the travel, weary of the journey

opportunities to make ‘journey-changing’ decisions along the way – like the time the Israelites stopped at Qadesh (Kadesh). They were so close to their destination, you could say they could almost ‘taste it’, because they took some time to check it out, before they made the final leg of the journey into the ‘promised land’. This is where I can so identify.. they were already tired from a long trip and had had some challenges getting that far already – so when they took a closer look at the final stretch – they saw both incredible beauty & blessing, but also major challenges ahead.

Here is where I am challenged on my journey: God had made big promises to those travelers – to help them, provide and keep them safe, and had given them the map and encouragement to finish the trip – BUT – upon further consideration, they made a life changing decision – the wrong one in fact. They focused on the obstacles, not on the proven reality of God’s loving help – and they turned right when their GPS (God Positioning Satellite) was telling them, ‘turn left here!’ They abandoned God’s leading and help, and began ‘wandering’, lacking purpose and feeling discouraged at the core. The thing is, it wasn’t the ‘kids in the back’ who made the decision where to turn – it was the ‘drivers’ of each family on the trip – and their decision impacted their family, and those around them, for 40 years. The decisions you make affect those around you, so be careful and take hope at your next Qadesh layover. You can decide to be grateful rather than grumble, you can decide to turn away from God – or better, turn toward Him, he knows the road ahead. Please just remember, don’t forget those in the ‘back seat’, as they (we) will be affected by your decisions.



CEO Pelham Library

These past few months have been exciting times for us at the Library. Finishing the physical transformation of the Maple Acre Branch and establishing more service hours there, has been a primary focus of our energy. Completion of this project is the result of the long term vision of past Library Boards and active community members. Having a strategic plan in place is perhaps not as exciting as renovating a facility. However, without that plan the exciting projects will likely struggle to get off the ground. With that in mind, the Library Board recently adopted a new plan that sets out some direction for the next four years. The plan did not happen overnight. Throughout the past year a series of consultations with many community members, staff, and other stakeholders took place. The Board reviewed all of the input along with information about the changing role of public libraries and held a strategy session last fall. The new plan contains five major themes: Engagement, Enrichment, Financial Sustainability, Facility Improvement, and Workplace Development. Within each theme a series of priorities has been identified. Each year the Board will review the plan and set more

specific objectives for the year. For example, in 2017 our objectives include expanding partnerships with other libraries to improve access to materials and service, examining our facility needs in Fonthill, and de-

Board and staff decisions will be directly related to fulfilling our mandates veloping a marketing plan to better communicate what we offer. So what will this mean for you as a library user? Perhaps you won’t notice any immediate change. Over time there will be shift in how we deliver our programs and services. Board and staff decisions will be directly related to fulfilling our mandates to be actively engaged in the community, enrich individuals, improve our facilities, invest in our staff and, to do all this in a financially sustainable way. We look forward to seeing what exciting new projects emerge from this plan!

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The Voice of Pelham, February 15, 2017

The Voice of Pelham

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Resident Rob Foster holds up a copy of the DSBN's proposal NATE SMELLE PHOTO

BLASTED continued from Page 1 happened at the meeting for anyone who wants them, and I knew that this was public, and it was going to go out, so as a heads-up to the Chair — and I had already been communicating with the Chair on Friday, June 2 — I sent the email that I sent.” Although the officials from the DSBN’s school-naming committee were invited to explain their position at the meeting, they did not attend. The school board’s absence angered many in attendance who wanted to understand why the DSBN has refused to reverse their position. Dale Robinson was also invited, however she declined, saying

that she would be “on holidays.” Nancy Beamer spoke on behalf of the citizen group Names Matter. Beamer opposes the DSBN’s decision to rename the school to “Wellington Heights” for many reasons. For one, she asserts that the DSBN chose the name based on flawed research regarding the first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, found online. For another, she said is that the name has no historical significance, since Wellesley never set foot in Pelham, or Canada for that matter. Furthermore, it is documented extensively that Wellesley was an anti-Semite, anti-Catholic philanderer who perpetuated the marginalization of Indigenous people.

In fact, he was the sitting prime minister at the time residential schools were established throughout Canada. “The fact that he was a racist should be offensive to everyone,” said Beamer. “This is the main reason we do not want Wellington Heights as a name for our school. It’s offensive, it’s not inclusive and it goes against what the Ministry of Education is supposed to stand for.” She believes that choosing the name of a known racist and a misogynist without any connection to the community, over a well-respected and adored local educator such as E.W. Farr sends the wrong message to children. As Grade 7 students currently attending E. W. Farr Public School, Tye Phillbrick and Laura Phillips are disturbed by the DSBN’s decision to rename their school Wellington Heights. Phillbrick shared his thoughts on the contentious issue first, describing to the assembly how his hockey teammates reacted when he told them he went to Wellington Heights Public School. “They said that sounds like a private, rich kids school,” said Phillbrick. “We also chose the mascot, and some of us wanted the Wellington Heights Warriors, because it went well with the school name. They said it was too violent, yet they chose ‘Wellington Heights’ for the First Duke of

Wellington, who was much worse.” For two generations, the Phillips family have attended E.W. Farr. Hoping that she could carry on the tradition, Laura Phillips said she was very disappointed with the new name because she could no longer follow in her parents’ and grandparents’ footsteps. “It means a lot to me and my family, because my grandma and my mom went there, and I would like to grow up with the school as E.W. Farr,” she said. Augustyn also faced tough questions regarding the proposed changes to Cherry Ridge Park and E.W. Farr Public School’s soccer field. Because the school’s expansion ate up the land previously designated as a soccer field, the DSBN pitched the idea of forming a partnership with the Town to build a new one. After residents in Fenwick’s Cherry Ridge subdivision received a survey and draft plan from the DSBN last week, highlighting their intentions, many in the neighbourhood became outraged at the thought of losing the beloved greenspace. “We haven’t agreed to it, what we are doing is getting your feedback on it,” explained Augustyn. “E.W. Farr had a quasi-soccer field, but they’re smaller kids, right, [and] there was a baseball diamond that wasn’t being used. It’s essentially replacing what

You will be cutting old-growth trees down for no reason whatsoever

was at Pelham Centre and making it available. From the Town’s perspective, it’s not like we are trying to program it or put tournaments there or anything else, it’s more for the school and the community.” After receiving a report on the DSBN’s proposed redesign for the park in June 2016, Council ordered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate an appropriate agreement between the Town and the school board. In November 2016, Council received a draft of the proposed redesign. The new soccer field would be situated partially on school board property and partially on public park lands. Fenwick resident Rob Foster expressed his concerns about the DSBN’s redesign of Cherry Ridge Park. Having worked in municipal planning and public works throughout his career, he said they couldn’t have picked a worse location for

a soccer field. Foster is not against the kids having a place to play, however living adjacent to the park, he does not see a need for a soccer field. He said that once the school bell rings, the kids disappear and there is no one playing in the playground. “A needs analysis should have been done,” said Foster. “I think you’re short-changing the kids as well as the residents. By building a sub-standard place — that hill is right in the centre of that property line and they are building right on top of it. Not only does it affect how we use the park, it will also have an environmental impact. You will be cutting old-growth trees down for no reason whatsoever.” Others took issue with the survey letter itself, given the tight timeframe in which the public must respond, and the fact that it did not have any contact information for a response to be made to the Town. The fact it came from the DSBN — the institution proposing the development of public land — also ruffled more than a few feathers. Though the DSBN was not present for the meeting, the sheer magnitude of the gathering sent a message seemingly impossible for the school board to ignore — a community standing united against the renaming of a school and encroachment onto a public park.

The Voice of Pelham, February 15 2017  
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