Friday, December 5, 2014


A Ceremony to Re-Dedicate the Plaque that replaces
 the original one that mysteriously went missing. 
3:00 O'clock in the Afternoon
at Queen's Circle, Crystal Beach
Performance by 
Crystal Beach Public School Choir 
Guest Speakers
Unveiling of Plaque
We invite all to attend. 

I remember well the original dedication of the refurbished Queen's Circle and the plaque that was unveiled on that beautiful June day in 1999.  Then Mayor Wayne Redekop gave a great speech to the schoolchildren who attended.  He urged them all to take care of the circle because it was the birthplace of what we now call Crystal Beach.  A local theater group performed a historical recreation of the sacrifices of the Burd Family which had placed a memorial in the circle close to a hundred years earlier to honour the son who gave his life in WWI.  The Ridgeway Lioness, of which I was a member at the time, provided lemonade and cookies for the event and the service club's name was included on the plaque as a sponsor for the refurbishment of the circle.

On Sunday, Mayor Redekop is expected to be a guest speaker and many of the original sponsors will be in attendance to see the replacement of the plaque that has suffered through years of vandalism.  Too bad that some in the community have no respect for the rich history of the once Chautauqua-style meeting place at the circle, named for then Queen Victoria. From Queen's Circle came the amusement park just south on the shores of Lake Erie.  It is only right that this hallowed ground be celebrated and preserved for all. 


I am encouraged that the Niagara Parks Commission is taking another look at an improved marina on the Niagara River along the Niagara Parkway.  Janice Thomson, chair of the NPC, has set forth a two-pronged approach to the marina that currently stands on NPC property on the river near Fort Erie. In the Bullet Media article, Thomson states that the first priority is to find a company to operate the marina for the 2015 season. The marina contains 135 berths and has a small concession stand and washrooms.  It is definitely in need of a major overall.  The consensus of opinion from a June, 2014 open house into the matter, was that any new marina project should take into consideration the neighbouring residents.  

Homes along the scenic Niagara Parkway pay some of the highest property taxes in the region and many were upset about an earlier planned development that would have taken a large chunk of the parkway to convert into condos and a huge retail area and marina. I got a laugh from the statement by Economic Development Tourism Corporation honcho Jim Thibert that he was unaware of the new direction the NPC is taking with regard to the marina until he was contacted by Bullet Media. Hah! And keep him out of the loop, please.

 Many of us remember his ill-fated attempt to help a developer build a golf course on the Niagara Parkway. That's when he plucked Kimberly Zanko out of a customs brokerage and paraded her before the press in his dog and pony show in favour of the golf course.  Except, Stella Ziff lived on the Parkway and took the developers to the OMB and won. Flash forward and Thibert championed the huge Kuwaiti development for the marina and found out what the people who pay big bucks to live on the Parkway think about "Winston Churchill's Favourite Sunday Drive" being cut to shreds for a commercial development. Another grandiose Thibert dream that failed when the NPC pulled the plug on the development. Add that to Thibert's big idea of buying the horse race track and you might get a clue why I think he should be fired.

It took a lot of effort to stop the Bay Beach Condo Tower on our public beachfront property. The residents along the Niagara Parkway on both above and below the Falls will not take lightly to their magnificent parkway being ruined by a foreign developer's plans.  Keep it local and keep it within proportion and look for the area.  All one needs to do is look across the River to the Buffalo side to see how a community can screw up its waterfront.  Buffalo is slowly reclaiming its waterfront for the public and great strides have been made at the mouth of Lake Erie and the Niagara Rover, but so-called "Riverside" is still a mess. Why would Fort Erie want to copy that?