Thursday, May 29, 2014

I WAS ON MY WAY TO THE BEACH WHEN...

I was pulled over by the nicest Niagara Police Officer I have ever encountered.

But, enough of that. I was on my way to see if the Molinaro sign was really down and if they left behind the frame for the sign. (They did.) I was also on my way to attend a "secret meeting" at Shirley Grace's. LOL Those plans were derailed by the fact that I had to take care of the results of procrastination and lack of funds. 

Today, I finally got to see the council meeting where the four rolled over the three to finally give their supporters and many others in town what we wanted all these years: no private development on the south side of the Bay Beach Properties. Whew. It took a lot of work by a lot of people to bring this about. It was an uphill battle to get the town to listen. Petitions, signs, OMB appeals, lawsuits and finally a hotly contested election was still not enough. It took the added insult of Conflict of Interest lawsuits hatched by Mayor Martin and Jim Thibert to push the four councillors over the edge. And they came back with a vengeance. Dispensing with the usual ruled of procedure, they voted and passed a motion:


THAT: No further consideration shall be given to a possible private residential development on the Bay Beach uplands located on the south side of Erie Road, and further

THAT: The Bay Beach uplands located on the south side of Erie Road shall no longer be marketed for sale. 

And certain people around town blew a gasket and the whinging began in earnest. Poor losers that they were, they continued the personal attacks on the councillors and anyone who supported them.  How very typical of them. They are truly the "Mean Girls" of Fort Erie.

Let's not dwell on the negative; too much of that has been done already.  Let's look forward to a happy, healthy and prosperous tourist season for the town.

Wouldn't it be great if Crystal Beach got one of these? Record number of beaches win Blue Flag certification.

MORE GOOD NEWS: Nigh's Chocolate to open summer satellite in Crystal Beach! See Facebook announcement by Phil Smith.



26 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I may have taken literary license with that word, but the four has been under constant pressure since they were duly elected by healthy margins, unlike the mayor-by-five-votes. I use the term in the same manner as the Old Testament God who was often described as vengeful. These guys have shown remarkable restraint. I could use some crude language here but: The four have guts.

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  2. Madam Editor

    Did you forget to post my comment from thee recent past?, Maybe an hour ago? Can, t handle opposing views? Oh that's right, now even a traffic cop is out to destroy you. I am beginning to think you are not who you post as, but just a poor pathetic fool. Maybe THE FOUR can forget about one outing their favourite Monday and Saturday pub, and pay your fines for you. You have been glorifying them. I think you deserve it. You know, a little help from your friends.

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    1. Sorry, but your remark disappeared somewhere. I had to go to the awaiting comments page to find this comment. The system automatically kicks out any replies from "Anonymous." Whatever. I do not blame anyone for my car situation. It was totally my fault. It just seems odd that certain people are fixated on my problem. Perhaps they should seek some counseling for their obsessive behaviour.

      I would like to take a break from all this drama. I am very happy with what has been done by the four to save our public beachfront lands at Bay Beach. That is why I started The Strand and its blog. I have had to defend myself and others from vicious attacks and I have thrown out a few barbs as well to deserving people.

      I am looking forward to writing about the positive things going on in Crystal Beach. I predict great things now that the threat of losing our "parking lot" on the beach is gone. Stay tuned.

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  3. From another thread. Some responses are being misfiled.

    So get this one. Tom the CAO sends me an email saying the town lawyer recommends for council to determine whether to call another public meeting or not, and if so, to pass another by-law. Tom sends me email saying staff is going to go with the lawyers recommendation. Guess what now? The new public meeting "purpose" gives the council an option "not to pass a new by -law". WTF? They call new public meeting, where a by-law must be on the table, and staff says council doesn't have to pass a new by law? Why have another public meeting? I have FOI that proves Gagne and Dube were lobbying Brady and Dolch since early December and the staff never told the people they were considering the plant as an option. It's gets worse. The information given to the people at the public meeting Dec 2nd EXCLUDED the plant as an option as the Towns guideline was calling for 70 meter setback. But on Dce 2nd, at the on

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  4. I wonder what is wrong with those people from Jarvis Street who constantly complain about Crystal Beach but don't get off their backsides to get something, anything for their end of Town. Bridgeburg has had a long history of lost opportunities.going back over 40 years. They had a Bingo hall on Jarvis Street, they bitched and moaned about, that until they pulled up stakes and left, the place is a dead zone,.a place for lawyers to hang out, which to me appears quite fitting , considering the nature of the local yokels.

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    1. I agree, Porgey. I have visited and seen pictures of thriving places that are situated just as Jarvis Street is on the waterfront. There is usually a marina right at the foot of the main street for people to moor their boats and avail themselves of all that the street has to offer. I made this suggestion on a news site where the discussion was about the proposed improvements to the NPC marina further down Niagara Blvd. Of course, I was called out by Peter K and some very angry guy. Peter said I had no right to offer an suggestions. He said that a marina at the Coal Docks would be impossible. With that attitude, it's no wonder nothing gets done about Jarvis Street. Yet they can belittle certain people in Crystal Beach for caring enough about their community to fight to save it from stupid developments. As I said to Peter in my reply, the people at that end of town do not have to worry about any high rises on their waterfront. Sandy Annunziata made sure of that in a motion he put forward when he was on council.

      I forgot about the bingo hall. So true.

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  5. paying attentionMay 31, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    I don't get why the snipers from that area are so hell bent on forcing a private condo development on our tiny uplands when our community wants a Blue Flag beach for EVERYONE to enjoy?
    Take a walk around Ward 5, there isn't a street that doesn't have major home improvements going on and there are lots of areas that developers have new subdivisions in progress, that's also wonderful, JUST KEEP THEM OFF OUR PUBLIC BEACHFRONT!

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    1. Exactly. While others want people to think that we're anti-development, nothing could be further from the truth. We just want Smart Development and the town to stop using our last public beachfront park as a bargaining chip. The big trend in community planning is so-called "Walk-able Communities." Heck, Crystal Beach was designed originally as a walk-able community. Many high resort communities are designed to be walk-able. In Crystal Beach, the infrastructure is already there. As a kid spending the summer in Crystal Beach, I remember that my Dad took our only car to work every day and we walked to the stores and businesses on Erie and Derby and we were able to buy almost everything we needed within a very short walking distance. Those were glorious, care-free days. I wish everyone has the opportunity to experience that joy and comfort in their lives. Of course, the beautiful sand beach was also right there And so it shall remain, open and friendly, not overlooked by a huge tower. We must make sure that future generations have that public area to enjoy.

      (Notice, I didn't mention the amusement park as part of my fond memories. It was always the water and the beach that I remember; the amusement park was merely a bonus, never the reason my family bought a cottage in the Beach.)

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  6. Years ago , when I lived in Maryland, I would take my wife and kids to Ocean City Maryland during the summer, it was great , many similarities to what we envision to happen in the Crystal beach area. Ocean City literally booms during the summer months. Sun, Sand and water , we have all of those ingedients at Ontario's South Coast.!!

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    1. My brother, who lives outside of Baltimore, spent summers at Ocean City with his family. In his youth, he worked on the Crystal Beach boat. Still comes to visit here every summer. He and his wife were very upset the first time they saw what had become of the amusement park (this was before construction began of the CBTYC.) It was a shock for them.

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  7. paying attentionJune 1, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    During last Monday's Council Meeting when Steve Pessaro damned the four to three vote to stop the marketing of the Bay Beach PUBLIC waterfront to any private dwellings, he said they had Special Interest Groups on speed dial.

    Did he refer to groups like Friends of Crystal Beach whose mandate is to "enhance the community for the enjoyment of year round and seasonal residents as well as tourists"?

    I don't see that focb has any self-serving motives, other than to protect the PUBLIC waterfront for future generations.

    Can Steve Pessaro say that he has no self-serving motives? I THINK NOT !

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    1. The Friends of Crystal Beach was started in the early 1990s because the village was devastated by the loss of the amusement park. The FOCb was instrumental in bringing in the prestigious C.A.U.S.E. Study to Crystal Beach. The original Crystal Beach Improvement Area was started to follow the recommendations of the CAUSE Study, one of which was to try to purchase the Rebstock-owned Bay Beach Properties. It was a further recommendation that the north side properties could then be sold in order to purchase more waterfront land. That was the recommendation that the people who care about the future of the beach and the public waterfront areas were trying to follow. So, the property was bought from the Rebstocks in 2001. In 2003, then Mayor Wayne Redekop wanted to sell off the north portions to fund part of the Friendship Trail. That was not the recommendation of the CAUSE group and the people got a petition together and eventually elected Tom Lewis who had worked so hard to take the north side of the Bay Beach Properties off the selling block. The award-winning Neighbourhood Plan of 2005 was passed with the proviso that the Bay Beach Properties, except for one very small plot on the north side would remain public. Waterfront new builds were to be no more than two and a half stories high. Mayor Redekop cast the deciding vote to pass that plan. He now admits that he realized that the will of the people was to keep all the Bay Beach Properties in the public realm. It wasn't until Doug Martin became mayor in 2006 that the property was once again under consideration for sale/trade and key elements of, I shall repeat this: the Award-Winning Crystal Beach Neighbourhood Plan of 2005 were ignored and eventually overturned with the Molinaro Deal.

      It was a slap in the face to all the people who volunteered long hours to put together the plan and the many people who worked so hard to bring the Bay Beach Properties to the people. The people involved in the campaign to save the Bay Beach Properties are not all Americans, that is far from the truth. Canadians who have made Crystal Beach their permanent home settled in the Beach because of low property prices and the public beach. Many of the Canadian permanent residents, here for generations, joined the campaign. It is truly an International effort. It was Canadians who voted in Don Lubberts who promised that he would do all he could to save the Bay Beach Properties from private development. I believe he has delivered on that promise, despite repeated attacks and two lawsuits against him.

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  8. CorruptionFighterJune 1, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Pissero is obviously a close follower of that infamous bully boy website entitled WHILE YOU WERE OUT THE NINJA WERE DESTROYING THE FORT.

    For all I know Stevie is likely one of those infamous self promoting ninja that claim repeatedly that they are pro FE but in reality most are only pro self, as Pissero has demonstrated numerous times. Quick Stevie there is a camera, mug it up! oops dougie got there first. Sucks to be in his limelight all the time does it not....

    That monster mind Bonito, for the uninformed, is always going on about some nebulous CB special interest group, made up of shady Americans meeting after midnight somewhere. What Big Bully Greggers fully realizes but self denies is that this so called special interest group is most of the west end of town that is tired of being screwed over by Dirty Doug and Co. The only special interest group in town is Dirty Doug and his ol boy network(Chamber of Commerce Marina Peter K Leslie Jimmie Dirtbag Kimmie etc etc) that has been screwing the hard working taxpayer for decades. The other 29,900 of us just pay them to do it is all.

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    1. And don't forget their attacks on regular people like myself and Marcia Carlyn. This is when the anti-Americanism comes out. Marcia is a landowner and taxpayer; I am a resident of Canada; have been for over thirty years. I have paid income tax and, when I owned property, I paid taxes to the town. we have just as much a right to express our opinion on a matter that is happening right in our community. I was a Charter Member of the FOCB, participated in the CAUSE Study and was an active member in the original CBIA. The vision was always for the Bay Beach Properties to be bought and then made into a beachfront park for the public. Then the greedy ones took over and we almost lost one of our most valuable assets.

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  9. I have volunteered to assist in running bingos since 1984, except when I came down with a life threatening auto-immune disease similar to Lupus. which requires constant monitoring with chemo drugs. 3 times I have come close to death and recovered, I believe that god has a purpose for me. most of the patrons at the bingo halls are Buffalonians it was their dollars that financed the Town Hall , Liesureplex, and all of the other goodies this Town now has, These attacks on Americans, I take as an affront to all of the visitor's from the US of A. that spent hard cash and time with us, here in our Town.

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    1. How true that is! Worked many bingos over the years and the vast majority of pay-outs were in American dollars. In fact, only if the pay-out was in Canadian did we have to signal to the person on pay-out. The overwhelming majority of tickets and specials sold were to Americans. Same with the race track as if anyone dares mention that. Frankly, Fort Erie would be a whole lot worse off it were not for the Americans and their investments into the town.. I just heard that a large American developer is buying up St. Paul Street in St. Catharines to make major changes there. Doubt if they ever would invest in Fort Erie given the attitude of some in this town. They should be thanking Americans for buying property in Fort Erie and supporting the economy for generations.

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  10. And in Buffalo the hockey gamès are half full of Canadians, the Galleria mall is full of Ontario plates, tens of thousands of dollars per hour are backed up heading across the Peace Bridge and yet we have no say in the way they run their city, nor are we asking for or expecting one.

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    1. Do you own property in the US? Do you pay income tax in the US? I wonder how you'd feel if you did own a nice place in, say Florida and one winter, the local council decided to allow the building of a high rise near your property when there are no high rises allowed by by-law? Wouldn't you be upset? Yes, you would be, so don't thank that going to a hockey game in Buffalo is the same as buying and paying taxes on a property. These people, by the very fact they are property owners, have a vested interest in what happens in their community. I, as a resident of this area for over thirty years and have paid both property and income taxes in this country have a perfect right to express my opinion about what happens in this community. Don't embarrass yourself any further with your stupidity.

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    2. I would expect that the citizens in Florida (in your example) would tell me to take a hike. And they would have every right to do so. It's their country.

      BTW Sharon, ad hominem attacks are generally considered a sign of desperation and are counterproductive in a discussion.

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  11. I really have a problem with all the nonsense that us Canadians can't think for ourselves and are led by American interests.
    Canadians voted in the election, in all wards.

    I enjoy when our American neighbors arrive for the summer, it livens up the area and we respect each other. We have relied on all of their monetary support for many generations.
    Those who resent that a lot of the waterfront property is owned by Americans should remember that our wealthier Canadians in the past headed north for their summers and ignored what was here.

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  12. CorruptionFighterJune 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Like Adolf Hitler, dougie, through his thugs, has chosen to blame all of our problems on a minority that has no voice. Common, old and well used tactic by politicians who want to deflect blame from where it really should be. Not only has our so called leader deeply divided this town into east and west but also permanent and part time residents, all in an effort to hang on to power and thus $$$. This is unless one of the FOUR passes gas or something equally ridiculous then of course they are to blame for dougies decades of mismanagement.

    Well done doug, how un-original. Karma will find you and your cohorts.

    SUPPORT THE FOUR SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS !!

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    1. Dougie was on CKTB this morning talking about the "misinformed" neighbours of the potential marijuana grow-op on Jarvis Street. "Just like Bay Beach," he said. Things don't get done because of such people, according to Hizzoner. When questioned further about Bay Beach, he blamed it all on the current council for obstructing the Molinaros every step of the way. He did have to admit that the Molinaros could not officially take possession of the property because there was still an outstanding title dispute over the land itself.

      Overall, Martin repeated his usual BS. He never takes any responsibility for his actions. He would never admit that, in the last election, he almost had his ass handed to him because of the Bay Beach Issue. And, because of the Bay Beach Issue, lost his majority on council. Of course, it is all total BS that the council did everything in their power to stop the Molinaro Project. The actually voted for everything in favour of the Molinaros. It was the bad sales and the land issue that finally ended their project. Martin still believes that the project will start up again aftyer the next election. He gave the listeners the impression that developers will not come to Fort Erie because of the opposition to the Bay Beach Project. Yeah, right. That's why there is a record number of building permits granted so far this year. New builds and developments all over the place, especially in Crystal Beach. New businesses opening in Crystal Beach and its award-winning beautification mavens have decorated the place with brightly coloured bicycles.

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  13. CorruptionFighterJune 2, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Little dougie has no relatives anymore working at the Times spinning his defeats into victories, finger pointing at everyone else or just blacking out all opposing comments so he has taken to the radio to get his propaganda out.

    I hope CKTB has some background on him and calls BS at the appropriate moments which no doubt are many.

    PS... really nice of him to keep on with his closed for business theme. Even his pals at the Chamber must realize by now he is hurting them. Ooops must be someone else doing all the hurting eh dougie.

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    1. As to the Jarvis Street grow-op, it may be a "done deal" (Geeze, where have we heard that one before?) but it was handled very badly. The people og the neighbourhood were not given proper notice or a chance to express their concerns or get questions answered. It was rushed through. It is a big deal to have a marijuana grow-op in one's neighbourhood. There are problems associated with it being so close to a residential area despite its zoning designation.

      Unfortunately, this scenario has played out many times in Fort Erie and regular folks get rolled over by the moneyed people on the bus.

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  14. CorruptionFighterJune 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Maybe the Jarvis Street residents who have been screwed over should walk down the street and pay a personal visit to the dirty doug house on Highland. At least they will not have their mics shut off. Then they should have a little chat with that up n coming climber, Pissero in a similar venue on his front door as he is supposed to be their elected voice, at least when it suits him. This is what you voted for there Ward 1. Hold him and his master accountable

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