Saturday, June 28, 2014


Busy morning in Ridgeway/Crystal Beach. Lots of garage sales. Went to the annual one at the Crystal Beach Tennins and Yacht Club and it did not disappoint.  Hot though. Sat in the car waiting for my Garage Sale Buddy and saw what looked to me like Steve Boyd cleaning up his parking lot along Erie Road. From what has been rumoured, it looks as though the lot has been bought by the CBTYC and the Hill Cottage Association.  Doubt it it will remain a parking lot for beach goers. Looks like Steve will be out of another job.

Lately, I have been harassed by Royal Greer (you know him; everyone has a Royal Greer story of this local crazyman.)  He follows me and may even be responsible for vandalism to my car.  I confronted him in Joe's the other day and he ran out like a scared little girl. Very satisfying.

The Letter to the Editor in the Fort Erie Times (still shocked that it was printed) was enlightening, yet sad and predictable.  There's that name again: Ed Lenchyshyn, who has openly bragged that he can get "anything he wants in Fort Erie, if .... (fill in the blank)," going against an OMB ruling and the will of the neighbours down by the Old Fort. Mayor Martin told her there was nothing he could do. Such a leader! How can he go against a loyal campaign donor like Lenchyshyn? Problems again in the Planning Department.  Starting to sound like a familiar refrain lately? And here we thought we were rid of an incompetent town planner. Shular is the lady's councillor. That "grizzled veteran" Rick Shular is looked upon by bootlicking writer James Culic as the voice of reason on Council. Sure, once Rick can get past the Malapropisms and tired old cliches, he's a real master debater. Oy Veh.

Meanwhile, I sit on some explosive stories, such as Jim Thibert's manipulation and orchestration of the lawsuits against the four councillors and the other one against Don Lubberts.  Of course, the hope is that the decision will not come through until after the election but the damage done to their reputations will ruin their chances for re-election.  Too bad that the grizzled veteran and Eddie Haskell served up Jim Thibert in their cross-examinations in the case. Under oath, they admitted that Jim Thibert put the whole lawsuit together and told them what to do, which included revealing information about what happened in closed door meetings.

Editor's Note:  I look forward to Jim Thibert suing me again with public tax dollars. Then he will be forced to enter the testimony in court and he certainly doesn't want that to happen.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


No big surprise. It has been rumoured for months that former Fort Erie mayor Wayne Redekop was going to return to local politics for an encore performance. And Doug Martin has announced that he will not seek re-election.

It's fun to read through Martin's Retirement Press Release to see all his great "accomplishments" over the past thirty or so years.  He is so proud that he was able to remove the reliance on slot revenues even though it caused a substantial tax increase. He also brags about removing the funding from gaming revenue for the EDTC.  Yeah, now they're just dipping into the reserve fund to fund the race track now that slots are gone.  That reserve fund has grown due to the efforts of staff and council to curb spending. It was this council that kept the tax hike to the lowest in several years, all the while building up the reserve fund to over a million dollars.

He talks about the polarization on council beginning in the latter part of his first term. Funny, that was when the whole Bay Beach Saga began and the threat of losing public beachfront property to a high rise developer sent many citizens into overdrive.  He talks about social media and blogs where people can hide behind pseudonyms and lies. Who could he be talking about? Me? I put my name out there from the beginning and I was sued with taxpayer money by Jim Thibert. He also tried to sue Google to get the identity of a person who commented on my blog anonymously for fear of losing her job.  Meanwhile, the mayor's own fanboys have a blog and they all use aliases, yet everyone knows who they are anyways because it is always easy to pick out the "tells" of poorly written rants on their blog.

So, Martin is riding off into the sunset with an empty saddlebag. Don't worry though. He'll be fine. He had thirty years at the trough and he took extra portions and stashed them away for his golden years.  Integrity? Yeah, that is a laugh since he was behind the lawsuit against four councillors who elected by a lot more than he got.

Happy Trails to you, Dougie.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Well it's official.  Martin will not seek reelection.  Someone owes me a cup of coffee.

Wayne Redekop will announce his intention to run for mayor on Tuesday.  He was mayor for two terms just prior to Martin who served for eight years.
Redekop has come firmly against the development of the South side of the Bay Beach Properties. He remembers how the people united in 2003 to put a stop to a potential sale of the North portion to fund a part of the Friendship Trail.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014



Judge in Conflict of Interest case against the four councillors dies. Superior Court Judge Barry Matheson died Monday following complications from heart surgery.  

Despite Rick Shular and Stephen Passero heaping praise on town staff for the advances made, it was this council that has made a big difference in this town. Let's start with the almost $1 million in the reserve fund. Staff certainly was efficient, but they were directed by council. The result: a good, healthy reserve fund, so healthy that the town gave $500,000 to the struggling race track.

Monday night's council provided a great example of what happens when a council listens to the will of the people. Three delegations, one carrying a petition, appeared at council regarding the potential donation of public land by the town to the District School Board of Niagara. The parcel of land in question sits on Rebstock Road and is part of a larger piece of land donated to the Kinsmen by a Mrs. Hebert way back in 1967.  Her only wish was that it be used for "recreational purposes only."  The Kinsmen re-iterated that promise when the property was taken over by the then Bertie Township and Crystal Beach in 1972. Following amalgamation, it was absorbed by the new Town of Fort Erie, but the promise remained and the land was used for an ice rink, a new library, community centre, football field and baseball diamond. Plans have been in the making for other recreational uses of the land. Then the DSBN decided to amalgamate its primary schools. Instead of using existing sites, it chose  to look to the part of the property that fronts on Rebstock for its future new school. That choice would have entailed the town donating a portion of the property and the other needed acreage would be bought from nearby property owners.  When the donation  was first passed as a resolution; residents were not fully aware of the implications of the donation.  Soon, they discovered that the new school on that parcel of land went against everything that the original donor requested. If the new build would have gone ahead on Rebstock, the DSBN would have three empty schools, two in Ridgeway and one in Crystal Beach. So, the people, represented by a parent, a neighbour and a well-known community volunteer came before council and pled their case. 

And, in the end, they convinced council to change its stance on the property and to withdraw its previous offer. Council decided in closed session that the DSBN should employ its second option: to build the new elementary school on the present site of Ridgeway Elementary on Ridge Road just down the block from the library, etc. 

Now that's how a council is supposed to react to the people's request.

Also, in closed session, the contentious purchase of "industrial lands" from the owner of the Fort Erie Race Track was deferred once again. This one stinks of "bonusing." Apparently some councillors are withholding support. Hard to say exactly because of the privacy of the closed session.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Hot Dog Alley alive with people once again. How great is that?

Thanks to the efforts of Phil Smith and others, the Crystal Beach Bicycle Festival was a major success. People are catching on to the fact that Crystal Beach is a great place to visit. While new traditions are being formed, the beach is still the centre of the universe for Crystal Beach. Hence its name.

Story about the Bicycle Festival and welcoming new owners to The Beach Store on Erie. Niagara Falls Review 

Weather cooperating, this summer could be one for the books. The Bicycle Festival got things rolling. This weekend, Marz Homes opened their model home on Ridgeway Road. Just right for the community and the people support the type of housing offered in the Marz Plan. Just not a twelve story condo like the Molinaros planned on public waterfront property.  Coming up next month will be the Crystal Beach Memories Days, back to its original site. Should be a great chance for people to finally put the amusement park in the past, a magical place, not to be forgotten but revered as one would an old departed friend.

And the Waterfront Concerts begin anew with the appearance of the popular Toronto All Star Big Band.  Once again the Waterfront Park will be alive with the free concerts sponsored by the Friends of Crystal Beach and the Crystal Beach Business Improvement Area.


Crystal Beach Volleyball Tournaments!


June 28, July 12, Aug 2

Coed Recreational 6's,
Coed Intermediate 5's,
Coed Competitive 2's

Register your team online at:

Who says that Crystal Beach is failing?

People with no hope and those who thought that a twelve story building was the key to Crystal Beach's future.

They were so wrong.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


You've seen the bicycles as you enter Crystal Beach. Now, become part of a new tradition:

This weekend Celebrate FATHER's day early...Bring Dad 

down June 13, 14 to the Crystal Beach Bicycle Festival...

Friday June 13th 

-6:00PM Crystal Beach Business Poker Run (ride your bicycles to each participating business and build the best poker hand to WIN!) 

- Lino's Pizza
- Exiles
- Crystal Chandelier
- South Coast Cookhouse (home base - Poker hands turned in here by 10:30 PM, PRIZES awarded at 11 PM)
- Sneakers
- Paddy Wagon
- Sub King

-9:00 PM Live Music / street party at South Coast Cookhouse with Redline

Sat June 14

10:00 AM - noon - Family bicycle ride from Waterfront Park to Bertie Boat Club

12:30 - 1:30 PM - Crystal Beach Firefighters Bicycle Safety Rodeo on Derby Rd.

1:30 - 2:30 PM Children's Tricycle Race on Derby Rd

Join us and bring your family and friends. See you there!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Now that long ago, my home town, Buffalo, was mired in corruption, nepotism and graft. The city went steadily downward for several decades. It was one of the reasons I left. Very discouraging to see your home town fall into blight and disrepair. In contrast, I always enjoyed coming to the family summer home in Bay Beach. It was a wonderful place to enjoy the beach and the laid-back lifestyle. At that time, Fort Erie had a healthy economy.

Flash forward twenty years and it was apparent that Buffalo was on the brink of total collapse. Crystal Beach was following suit with the loss of the amusement park. Fort Erie was floundering, losing businesses and manufacturing plants.

Flash forward another twenty years and Buffalo began its long, slow climb out of its economic depression. A new mayor had a vision and he has largely seen that vision materialize. Community groups had become powerful forces for change and grants were applied for and received from state and federal agencies. The focus for Buffalo became its waterfront which had been allowed to become derelict except for a few bright spots.

Today, came the announcement on our local radio station: More Companies Moving to Buffalo.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has given Buffalo a great tool to enhance and attract local businesses:

The governor stopped in Buffalo on Wednesday to plant eight more seeds in his quest to rebuild the Buffalo Niagara economy, announcing the first eight companies picked to be part of the state’s Start-Up NY tax-free zones for new businesses.

Later in the article, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown offered his philosophy that the mayor of Fort Erie might take note of:

“For a community to grow in a healthy way, you want economic diversity,” Brown said. “You don’t want to put all of your seeds in one basket.”

How true that is. At this point, Fort Erie's Economic Development and Tourism Corporation is focused on one thing only: propping up the failing Fort Erie Race Track. In Crystal Beach, a few people think that a twelve story condo building on public beachfront is the answer for the village's woes.

Wise planners and those whose job it is to spur the economy know otherwise. It's time for Fort Erie to take down the "Closed for Business" and the anti-Liberal banner at town hall and work with all levels of government to bring Fort Erie out of its economic depression. It takes someone with a vision and an understanding of what does not work and what will work.  Most of all, it takes an honest, courageous commitment to make Fort Erie a better place. The Four Councillors: Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard got that message, yet they have been thwarted, sued, stalked, and harassed by those who want to keep Fort Erie as an example of backward thinking - the same type of thinking that nearly destroyed Buffalo. 

To borrow the phase at the end of the Buffalo News article:

After a half century of decline, that would be a welcome change.

Monday, June 2, 2014


UPDATE: Steve Boyd has registered as a candidate in the Ward 5 Councillor's race. Great news! Mr. Boyd now has the opportunity to back up his opinions on the future of Crystal Beach.  Also, a Mark Wilkie has also registered to run in Ward 5. 

This is interesting: Seniors Given Wrong Voting Information. Sure hope that doesn't happen here.

My remarks to potential Ward 5 candidate Steve Boyd did not go unnoticed. Now that "it" is out there, those who read the other site will probably end asking the same questions I have for Steve about his "parking lot" on Erie Road in Crystal Beach. For the past several years, Steve has leased the property of CBTYC developer Tiburzi, then newer owners, a Molinaro and a DiCenzo that runs along Erie Road in Crystal Beach. In the summer, he charges for parking in that lot, anywhere from $3.00 to $5.00 per car. The lot is often filled to capacity. Nice little side gig for Steve. It becomes a problem if he chooses to run for office. And, you, dear reader, know why. 

I merely pointed this out to Steve because, as we can all guess, the coming municipal election in Fort Erie is going to very nasty. The mayor was already on local radio this morning blaming "his council" for all the woes of Fort Erie and the reason that investors are not coming to Fort Erie. (Like they were lined up at town hall in his previous administration.) Steve has taken a page out of certain blogger's playbook and made a video of Crystal Beach showing the derelict and empty storefronts. Steve blames the fact that the people didn't want the Molinaro Project as the cause of the empty storefronts.  Like many, he is offering a simplistic approach to a complicated issue. He seems to forget that Crystal Beach was "red-lined" for several years. No one could get a mortgage through normal channels. The town engaged in "Engineered Blight" as to the public beach properties and a former councillor sold out her ward to a developer. All these years of fighting to save our public beachfront land have taken a toll on the community. With the threat of a high rise temporarily gone, volunteers are already planning to make the summer of 2014 memorable. With a renewed feeling of hope, ideas are being tossed about for Crystal Beach's future by those who nearly despaired at the loss of the beachfront land to a high rise developer. A couple of new businesses have already opened and the news that Nigh's Chocolates will open a shop on Erie Road is very sweet indeed.

But Steve is locked into the notion that the only hope for Crystal Beach is the Molinaro high rise. He is entitled to his opinion of course, but he had better be ready to defend it and himself if he decides to run for council. As I once said to a candidate (who lost an election) "Be careful, politics is a blood sport." As a veteran of many campaigns in the States, I can attest to that fact.  I was mentored by one of the best campaign organizers in the States. I worked on several presidential campaigns and numerous local and state elections. I am also a local volunteer for the very large and powerful Democrats Abroad. Canada, especially Ontario, has adopted American campaign strategies.  Even Tim Hudak, currently running for premier for the Tories, took a crash course in electioneering from Republicans in Washington, D.C. 

So, with that in mind, I am going to be very active in the upcoming election. I will soon apply for my Canadian citizenship and might be able to vote in the election. But this time, I will not be quiet. There is too much at stake. Mayor Martin already declared recently that "things will change with a new council," meaning: these guys are getting too close to the truth; we need to get rid of them.

Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy flight.