Saturday, July 5, 2014

ANOTHER THING PEOPLE OF FORT ERIE DON'T TALK ABOUT

I'm getting tired of a small minority blaming everything that is wrong with Fort Erie on four councilors. These uninformed zombies of the internet take their talking points from a couple of local scoundrels and pass them along with all the authority they can muster from their basement command centres.


I have spent a lifetime educating myself about politics and trends. There is obviously a lot more to Fort Erie's woes than the fight to save a public beachfront property from development. It became an issue because Rino Mostacci mistakenly thought that the people of the area would roll over to his vision of a condo parade on Bay Beach. He managed to convince the mayor and a foolish councilor or two that his great idea would be a catalyst for change and improvement over Crystal Beach's and the town's economic future.  Too bad he didn't take into account the demographics and the trends going on in Crystal Beach before he unveiled his dream and roped the Molinaros into an untenable project.


So, let's talk about what's going on in Crystal Beach and elsewhere in Fort Erie.  The one that no one talks about: what's really happening to many of our young people in Fort Erie.  We've heard it before, the ads and the pronouncements that we're losing our young people because they move away to get educated and then they find jobs elsewhere. What does anyone expect when there are so many young people choosing a life on the dole rather than to make the effort to become self-sufficient?  I can bet that everyone reading this knows of at least one "teen mom" living in Fort Erie.  It's pretty predictable what will happen: the young women will probably not finish high school; will not marry; will not find a job or will end up in a low-paying job; or they will have at least one more out-of-wedlock child. One thing is that they will remain supported by the taxpayers while they grapple with the realization that having a baby is not such a fun thing to do.  The Baby-Daddies usually fare no better as they are often cast aside or lose interest as time goes on and they realize that they must be a part of their child's life for the next several years. Many choose not to get "real" jobs as they will then be financially responsible for the baby. I have seen this up close and personal where I now live and it literally keeps me up at night.


Far be it from me to put down social assistance. I was on it a couple of times myself. Out of work or laid off, it is a life-saver.  I was briefly on disability but chose to get a job and get off it as soon as I was able.  I hated the fact that it was necessary for me to accept welfare. Never in my life thought it would happen to me.  I am grateful for the help I received. I also see many who abuse the system. It seems like a "career choice" for some in the area. For a while Crystal Beach was a dumping ground for those on social assistance, many sent down from Toronto to live in the cheap cottages that were snapped up by slum landlords after the amusement park closed. No wonder Crystal Beach went into a tail spin. Redlined and home to welfare recipients, what chance did Crystal Beach have?  If it weren't for the remaining summer residents, the Beach would have been a ghost town, inhabited by the poor and the disadvantaged. 


Then something happened: people started hearing about the cheap houses in Crystal Beach and started buying and fixing up the run-down buildings. People from Toronto came down, not as welfare recipients, but as retired or near-retired people looking for a cheap getaway place.  Soon the Beach started to come back to life; the beautification committee worked hard to make the streetscape more welcoming and colourful; Bay Beach Properties were bought by the town with the thought that it would serve as a public park on the public beach for the future; and developments began to spring up in the area.  The one glaring mistake was the gated community built on the property where the amusement park once stood. It was a slap in the face to the whole community, grabbed away by a dodgy developer and gated off. Right in the middle of the village.


But we still have the remains of the previous Beach - the place where teen moms go to live and be supported by the taxpayers because, it seems that mistakes are forgiven and encouraged in Ontario.  Look at what's happened recently in politics: gross mismanagement of funds and drunken, drug-addled behavior are celebrated as the perpetrators of these excesses are celebrated and win elections. If a community can forgive Rob Ford, then it surely will not shame those teen moms on Mothers' Allowance. 


And that is the real problem.  Everyone is expected to accept and welcome this new generation of young people and wish for their success, even though they are statistically doomed to failure. I'm sure there are many who know the exceptions to the statistics, but I'm also fairly sure that they also know that most such situations do not end well for the mother or the child(ren.) 


So, what can be done?  Perhaps parents of teenagers are afraid to lay down the law and place high expectations on their children.  I admit that I was raised in a different era, one where teen-aged pregnancy was not tolerated and those who did get pregnant were either forced into marriage or sent away to have their babies and give them up for adoption. Back then, we also did not have access to birth control or legal abortions. Although I am personally against abortion, I do feel that it should be the choice of the woman to determine if she has an abortion. I am inclined to think that teenaged pregnancies are a matter of choice these days. The casual acceptance of a teen pregnancy is also problematic. Add a reality show highlighting teen moms and one comes away with the impression that it's the thing to do to be cool.


So this is what has been bothering me lately while I observe the local political scene. How are we to expect that people will make reasonable choices in their voting when the entire social fabric is ass-backwards? Until we can keep children from making foolish, life-altering choices, we will be no better off.  The ones who go away to university are the ones who decided that education was more important than having babies. They took precautions if they were sexually active; they placed a higher value on themselves; and they planned for their future.  It's unfortunate that they had to escape Fort Erie, sometimes permanently, to achieve their dreams. What we have left is a lot of people without dreams and pride, who are hostages to their prejudices and lack of critical thinking. These people resent those who move to the area and have new ideas.


This is Fort Erie's present and future. I hope I'm wrong.

Editor's Note: I offered this opinion piece because it is a real issue in Fort Erie as it is in places all over.  I did read the study referenced by a reader and found it very interesting, although it seems to have been done about ten years ago.  The problems brought up in various information sessions conducted seem to be still with us, certainly not a good sign.  Teenagers themselves want better access to alcohol and drug counselling; birth control advice and mental health services.  The on-going lack of transit options is still a major problem, although it has improved in the past couple of years. One thing that they all asked for was a movie theatre in Fort Erie. Too bad that the one movie theatre in Ridgeway, The Boutique Theatre has closed.  I suspect this was not the kind of movie theatre the youth wanted.  Too bad the one in the mall in Fort Erie closed years ago.  (I do wish that every young person in town had a theatre like we had when I was growing up in Buffalo.  The North Park Theater was the place where the kids spent their Saturdays in the school year. Wonderful place that has now been restored to its original elegance.)  Makes me think that somehow the former Gypsy Theatre location would have been a perfect place for a movie theatre that could be enjoyed by all ages.  Those surveyed said that the beach is one of the good things about Fort Erie, along with the safety and decent neighbourhoods. However, they all agreed that drugs were a big issue all over Fort Erie and it was mentioned that teen pregnancy is a big problem.  Most did not want to move away and hoped to return to jobs after university. 

So, the same problems were discussed over a decade ago and few positive improvements came as a result of the study.  There is a skateboard park, so those who enjoy that activity have a place to go - if they can get there.  No one mentioned the Kinsmen Pool which was in operation at the time. For socializing, it was the beach (no particular beach was pointed out, just "the beach.")  Too bad for the kids in Stevensville; there is still no transit available to them.  What is the Youth Advisory Committee doing anyway? 





33 comments:

  1. It seems to me that the only one prejudice towards Fort Erie teens is the writer. Last week you and your posters slammed dunked a teen concerned about gaining summer employment at the library.

    " I have seen this up close and personal where I now live and it literally keeps me up at night." So move. Personally unlike you suggested, I know of NO "teen mom" living in Fort Erie .... so I'll take that bet.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

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    1. Bonnie: you really missed the point entirely. The library opinion was written by only one poster. I did not agree but I published it anyway. A writer who claimed her daughter was trying to get a summer job at the library was upset with the comment. Her opinion. She's welcome to it but some thought the mother was not legitimate. Who knows and who really cares? I am not prejudiced against teen moms,just very disappointed.

      Bonnie: is that how you solve problems? By moving? I can't, so I guess I'll have to live with it and do or say nothing.

      Delete
    2. Very interesting post there Sharon. You posted " Yeah, that comment from "Tammy" stunk to high heaven ".

      I am Tammy's aunt, and you hypocrites shut her down and don't even know her. I suspect she will graduate next year as an Ontario Scholar or at least on the honour roll.

      I find it extremely interesting that you say " but some thought the mother was not legitimate."

      But I don't see any posts on your blog from her mother. I know she posted at least two defending her daughter from you hypocrites, but I guess you chose not to post them just like you will note likely post this one. Because that is how you and your little group work, hypocrites, rude, vulgar, and self serving. If you don't agree with someones opinion, you either tear them apart, even a youth, or censor them. Communism at it's best. Thank God our children have more decency than the lot of you.

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  2. Lets not forget to add that the more children the Welfare receiver has the more money they recieve. Its the system. (not unlike the system in the USA). So of course acts as an incentive to "grow" as a family. When people see the waste of tax money, the sweet perks and extras the politicians recieve the idea is "hey, wheres mine!!" Pensions, that would make your eyes water, if people really knew how much was going out each month to people to most would consider already wealthy. They would also say, "hey, its the system". It sets a pretty clear example to those considering getting on the Welfare gravy train. Lots of those work "under the table,"too, and I dont mean cleaning a floor.

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  3. Bonnies comments are so cryptic. (if Bonnie has been maybe drinking before typeing, I respectually ,sic, ask her to rerespond and expand a little), It looks like a valid thread, unlike that funny letter about being employed in our library system, in that bizarre mix of quotes(?) there seemed to be the hint of a point that should be discussed a little further. And, no drinks before typeing this time, OK?, maybe after.

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  4. enter your commentJuly 6, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Ray Murray running for regional council makes me laugh out loud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no opinion about Ray Murray because I know next to nothing about this guy. Let's see what he's got to say. Couldn't be any worse than John Teal, the empty suit in an empty chair at Regional Council. Just like he was as mayor of Fort Erie.

      Delete
    2. enter your commentJuly 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      His reputation preceeds him, surprised you know nothing about him. Ask around, you'll get an eye opener.

      Delete
  5. You've identified problems that are well known and wide spread. Certainly nothing unique to our community. But I see no solutions offered. Blaming the problems of this town (and society generally) on the misguided youth is rather simplistic, I think. Teen pregnancy is not a cause of poverty, it is a result.

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    1. I disagree about poverty being the cause of teen pregnancy. It is ignorance in my mind. The problem is widespread in the States, especially in areas where sex education and easy access to birth control is not allowed. I don't know what is taught or not taught in sex ed classes, but I do know that there is information and birth control options available through the region at their health office near DMH.

      What disturbs me is that some young women look upon having a baby and going on mothers' allowance as a career option.

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    2. I didn't say that it was a cause. I said that is a result (or a a symptom)

      Delete
  6. I've given "Bonnie" a pass as she adds nothing to the conversation except her limited world view. What I write here is my opinion, based on observation and many years of research into politics and social trends. The Teen Mom phenomenon is not exclusive to Fort Erie. It just happens to be more noticeable in smaller communities. I wish I could get the actual stats on teen pregnancy in Fort Erie to look for patterns and perhaps offer some suggestions.

    I was one of many who fought for women's rights back in the 1970s and it annoys me that some young women are throwing away the opportunities so hard fought for to become teenaged moms. Birth control, legal abortions, jobs traditionally held by men only and equal pay are the result of a lot of hard work on behalf of women's rights. Maybe classes in school should include the history of women's rights. I took such an enlightening course from Cornell several years ago.

    Canada has been ahead of the US in this regard, another reason I chose to live here.

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  7. No one ever mentions the huge debt load our Town is carrying, it doubled since Mayor Martin took office, we could have started off with a clean slate if we had used our slot revenues to pay that off, we only pay the interest . never paid one dime on the debt in over 44 years. The day will come when the Ontario government puts in an Administrator to run our finance dept, for many years Doug Martins Father in-law and Doug Martin ran our Finance Dept, that to me is why we are in dire straights, Redekop is useless in handling our problems. We need a councillor with back bone,and read the riot act to these dimwits ASAP.

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  8. that is the most ridiculous broad statement ever. Teen pregnancy happens all over the world, not just Crystal Beach and Fort Erie, wow give your head a shake on this one.

    You want to know what young people think about CB, it is pretty evident when you actually talk to them and I will take from a post I recently read that sums it up pretty well

    "trust me when I tell you that you aren't attracting young families except the few like me looking for big house for cheap cash. And cb is a joke as a young person you know what cb is known for?? Drugs drugs and more drugs every teen stealing there grandmas meds and selling them, its sad. A friend purchased a home there and trust me when your young cb is a shithole, the older folk just don't see through the same glasses. And that's not to be offensive, he is already trying to sell cause he has a young son and hates it....wants to be in FE proper like myself , which is actually a nice town.

    Right from the mouths of your future generation! You want CB to grow, then clean up your neighbourhood.

    Bonnie good luck to your Niece. We all do not share the same opinions posted on here, especially this last bunch of bologna, and I happen to know many CB youth who have gone on to be well educated and have well paying jobs, some of which even had children young

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  9. Not sure how you say insinuate you cant find stats on teenage pregnancy in fort erie. Perhaps your making a statement you simply are making for the sake of hearing yourself speak.

    You said yourself " I wish I could get the actual stats on teen pregnancy in Fort Erie to look for patterns and perhaps offer some suggestions."

    They have this thing called Google..and if you search Fort Erie Teen pregnancy stats you get multiple sources to refer to

    For example ..

    http://www.town.forterie.ca/WebSite/tofeweb.nsf/0/681efd389352f5ce8525700500737a03/$FILE/YouthAdolescent%20Study%20in%20Fort%20Erie%20%234.pdf

    Right from the town website no less

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link. Will check it out.

      Delete
  10. 4 Fort Erie as many posts show read a little of the content, make a few broad stroke observations, and generally support the view they thought they were opposing. To get back to the subject, teen girls have children. The system will pay a girl like that a lot, the more they have, with the right paperwork the more money they get. Its that simple. Crystal meth beach as its known among some is no example of the system gone wrong. If its any comfort, there are places much worse for that type of dependence on the system. To try to suggest living a few miles east of Ridge road makes life sweeter might be true. Check out some of the rental propertys above the storefronts on the MAIN STREET of town, Jarvis I think they call it. Drive slowly through that back alley on a cold winter night, and look up at those rentals. The rentals in the top floors of the buildings, lining the main street of what used to be the down town, before strip malls and Walmart became your new downtown, along the "number 3 ". The garbage, hungry angry dogs on chains barking at friends and strangers alike, potholes, abandoned cars, like some movie set, except it isnt. Its the back of the downtown. Clean and friendly along the front, strange, forbidding, and broken in the back. Not unlike the political system here.

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  11. CorruptionFighterJuly 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    ``Clean and friendly along the front, strange forbidding broken along the back. Not unlike the political system here``.......

    EXACTLY !!!.....thank you Eric C.

    This town needs a huge shake up from 1 end to the other. No more dirty dougies screwing us for himself and his like minded cronies at the Chamber,. No more status quo and overspending like Wayne.

    The next mayor and council start off by just cleaning up dirty dougies doings (massive pile of crap actually) and repairing the rip down the middle as evidenced by people like ``4 FortErie`` with his hatred of CB, likely because he wasnt allowed to profit by the attempted Great Rape of Bay Beach.

    So much for those oh so civic minded Molinaro`s there Peter K,. Did they even give the town a chance to purchase the CB parking lot. I doubt it. You can remove your lips from their a$$ anytime. You are not allowed to bugger us all for your bank account, no matter how low you stoop.

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  12. A very very good question! Who was asleep at the switch to allow a parking asset to the beach to slip away. Was it a deliberate fare thee well slap in the face. Where was the voice of Councillors ,staff and Mayor when this property became available.

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    1. The answer is actually quite simple. The owner of the property sold it, as is their right. If you are suggesting that the Town should have stepped in to block the sale, well we have enough lawsuits in this town already. The reason for the sale ("slap in the face") is immaterial. They owned it and had the right to sell it. Any business person would have been crazy not to given the circumstances.

      Delete
  13. @enter your comment
    What exactly is the " reputation " of Ray Murray ??

    Let's get the facts out there!

    And don't forget your real name when bashing someone

    ReplyDelete
  14. Speedway NeighbourJuly 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Editor's Note: This comment was sent in earlier by Speedway Neighbour:

    Sharon, as to your point about Fort Erie children moving away, I recall when that was used as a sales point for approving the Canadian Motor Speedway. They painted a rosy picture of hundreds of Fort Erie young people making careers at home out of great full-time research jobs. Unfortunately it ain't gonna happen, even if CMS does eventually get built. Despite the promises of a McMaster satellite campus at CMS, there is no current evidence that this is in the works. Instead, like every other motor racing facility in North America, CMS will have about a dozen full-time employees, tops. the young people might pick up the occasional gig parking cars or flipping hot dogs.

    Further to that:

    Announced today: Speedway Plans to Partner with Niagara College

    At least the kids flipping burgers will be college students.

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    Replies
    1. CorruptionFighterJuly 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Speedway Neighbour.....do you remember dirty dougies full page ad in the then Dube propaganda Times, claiming FOUR THOUSAND jobs between the Not4Nascar and the proposed Miller Creek project.....

      Thats right FOUR THOUSAND !!

      WTF doesnt even begin to describe this massive self serving LIE.

      If built, the CMS will alter life here to our collective detriments forever( noise , pollution, trash, etc), will cost huge tax $$ in local incentives( like the cost sharing of the Bowen Rd overpass ETC) All of which will be within a couple miles of most of the town. And for what....... for a hand full of mostly part time jobs and very temporary bragging rights for our 2 idiots er leaders of business and politics.

      OUTSTANDING JOB DOUGIE n JIMMIE !! nothing gives me more pleasure than giving my hard earned tax $$$ to you 2 wastes of space.

      Truly YOUR messed up self serving FOCUS is destroying all of OUR FUTURE!! (gotta love that town motto, someone has a very dry sense of humour)

      Delete
    2. Speedway NeighbourJuly 8, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Thank you, Corruption Fighter, for mentioning the cost sharing of the Bowen Road overpass. Efforts were made over a year ago to convince Councillor Hill that this was coming, and that support for this should be accompanied by a LOT of questions; unfortunately Hill has bought into the R&D propaganda. The news about Niagara College was interesting, and provides some cover for CMS when the McMaster connection was proving to be very thin. Still, there weren't really any promises of jobs there, and any activity by Niagara College students at the track other than the "hospitality" functions is going to have to stay out of the way of the daily track rentals to the Corvette club, Mustang club, Porsche club, Ducati motorcycle club and the "Driver Experience" venture (drive around the oval track in a race car pretending to be your favourite NASCAR driver).
      To be fair, there would certainly be a number of construction jobs, perhaps a thousand or so, but absolutely temporary. The same number of construction jobs on that site could be generated by building a solar generating farm.
      The last point I always try to get in is that the several names that have been announced over the years as the financiers for the project have been Islamic banks with strict policies that their investments should be compliant with sharia law, which means among a lot of other things that there would be no alcohol or tobacco allowed anywhere on site, including the large campgrounds. How that fits in with any established North American motor racing activities is completely beyond me.

      Delete
    3. The number of jobs is debatabe. The 4000 figure sounds like perhaps something Tim Hudak's mathematician came up with. But certainly jobs will in fact be created. More importantly though, many thousands of people will be drawn to our area which will provide opportunities. It's up to entrepreneurs to take advantage pf it. The job of government is not to provide jobs but to create opportunities and that is exactly what the CMS is.

      Delete
    4. Speedway NeighbourJuly 8, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Che, if, indeed, CMS manages to hook up with a major sanctioning body, something they do not have at all right now, then a few times a year we will get a lot of people showing up with fully stocked coolers and generators for their campsites, or just staying in Niagara Falls hotels. The Fort Erie gas stations might get a bit of extra business from those who do not know cheaper gas is available right across the border. Other than that, not much for the town besides a lot of congestion and noise. Even this is a lot less likely since CMS quietly downsized the plans for the oval from one mile to 3/4 mile, taking it out of the major leagues. The only things that are currently sure to happen are the same sort of non-spectator events that happen every day of the week at places like Mosport and Calabogie, which generate a full dose of noise but virtually no economic activity. I'm not even sure the local Saturday Night stock car drivers would want to use this track, because it would require different gearing and tuning from the Humberstones of the area.
      By the way, I forgot to mention before re sharia law that there will be no pork products allowed on site either.
      I can't get a handle on what the business plan actually is, unless it is a land assembly for some other purpose. This whole thing was approved by the Town on a combination fantasy of NASCAR and McMaster, both of which are right now out of the picture.

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    5. I have a friend who lives in the small town of Brooklyn, Michigan, the home of a real NASCAR speedway. She says that on race days, the town is in gridlock. Locals stay off the roads on race day if they're not involved with the track. Can we expect that here?

      Delete
  15. So Sharon, tell me please

    Are you not allowing my last post on your site because you have inadvertently missed it or is it true where I have read on FB that you only allow posts that are in agreement with what you have to say and as such makes this stie bias

    I read this because I am trying to educate myself on what is happening in our town and I find SOME of your commenters to be of worth, others, nt
    ot so much. However by not allowing my last post it says to me that your site is defiantly bias and I would really like to not believe it

    I did have a different perspective on some of your commenters posts but in no way was I so outlandish or vulgar as this corruption fighter person.

    So what gives ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you put this up but not my last one, so the question still remains the same.

      Delete
    2. I could not find your previous post. Try sending it again.

      Delete
  16. Let's not overlook the fact that this CMS development will cost the taxpayers plenty to get those "precious" seasonal jobs. The council has already set aside a lot of the development fees and qualified the CMS location for the Community Improvement Plan (CIP), which effectively sets aside a large portion of the increased commercial tax rate that would be payable by CMS when the zoning changes from the current agricultural rate for up to 10 years. Include the installment of a trunk water main irresistibly close to the speedway site a few years ago.

    CMS just wants to set the stage, with this new MOU with NC, to show the provincial, local and regional governments that CMS's ask for 60 million for infrastructure upgrades to build this fabulous project should be granted.

    And it won't stop there. The Town could provide a lot of comparable seasonal, low wage jobs for years for the cash CMS wants from taxpayers.

    I have been to Watkins Glen on car club day--no one is admitted except club members, no concessions are open, no tourists come, few staff are required, only noise is made.

    Remember CMS's flashy presentation at Town Hall? The one were they told us they had pots of cash? OOPS they forgot to tell us they expected we, the taxpayers, to keep digging in our not so deep pockets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sppedway NeighbourJuly 9, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Amen, Taxpayer, amen.

      A question for you; when you went to Watkins Glen (one of the oldest and most famous motor racing facilities in North America, original site of the U. S. Formula 1 Grand Prix) on a club day, roughly how many track employees could you count?

      Delete
    2. Sppedway Neighbour, I met the old guy at the gate that would not admit me through the gates. A few people were cutting grass. He told me there was a seasonal staff between 70-100 depending on the event running. I could however go to their town hall and get a permit for $25 to drive my own car on the track after 5pm (Mon-Fri) while following a pace car. WOW!!!!

      Delete

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