Sunday, January 18, 2015


Great video about Niagara's South Coast:

The Friends of Crystal Beach Board met Sunday in a special meeting and voted to rescind its application for the Niagara Investment in Culture grant. 

"The decision was based on the Board’s very real concerns that the current application is likely to place FOCB and its members at significant financial risk."
- FOCB President Neil Campbell

CORRECTION: Gary Fraser had been appointed to the board of the CB-BIA. He has since resigned perhaps due to negative publicity

He owns nothing and has a long history of investor fraud for which he served time. One of the corporations he's associated with, Starboard View Homes was previously under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission. As a result, no sales or transfers of property purchased by the corporation can take place. That could include over five properties that were bought under the name of Starboard View Homes. The couple named in the allegation have since left Canada for the Philippines.

Also on the CB-BIA board is Arlene White who, I believe, is angling to get a plum appointment from the "proposal."  She also is a recent appointee to the board despite having no visible business presence in Crystal Beach.

In the meantime, Fraser, as front man for another investment corporation, has attempted to inflate local property prices by offering high-priced homes under construction on Schooley Road.  No, you won't see Fraser's name on any of the many different corporations that have come to Crystal Beach.  He is merely the Music Man, gathering easily convinced people to get in on the "ground floor." (His definition of "ground floor" is surely appropriate as one of the houses on Queen's Circle has been reduced to a dirt lot.)

Those of us who love Crystal Beach, its history and its promise, do not appreciate people coming in who have an agenda driven by greed. Sure, we're all here to make a living and bring Crystal Beach forward in style. I'm afraid these people will gut the beach; take its money; and leave it behind - in worse shape than when they arrived.


I can't help but wonder what the previous four years on council would have been like if Wayne Redekop, or at the very least, someone who knew how to control themselves and a meeting, would have been mayor. An observer would notice the difference between the meetings now and those of the previous four years. It's not just the new councillors; their contribution so far has been minimal; it's the mayor who provides the stark difference in meetings.  Donnie Lubberts still asks his questions. However, this time, he is given the time to ask and receive answers. No interruptions; no threats to cut off his mic; no temper tantrums and childish behaviour.  I even heard Mayor Redekop remark something to the effect of, "I believe Councillor Lubberts, you still have the floor."  OMG. Never heard that once in the previous four years.

A welcome change.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Council voted against three options recommended by staff to replace the late Rick Shular in Fort Erie' Ward 2.  Marina Butler, George McDermott and Chris Knutt spoke in favour of a by-election and rejection of the options, one which included the appointment of John Millicone, the runner up to Shular in the October 27, 2014 Municipal Elections. Nominations open on 27th of January to February 18. Election will be sometime in March. (Here is where Kim Zanko, as Chair of Corporate Services dropped the ball. She did not repeat what was being voted on.)

What a difference in leadership between Martin the Meanie and Wayne Redekop. Redekop was very understanding and asked questions and even put town planner Rick Brady on the hot seat a couple of times. Redekop even agreed with Don Lubberts on a couple of issues.

Marina Butler was ill-prepared to be chairman of any committee.. Hopefully, she'll read her council package a little closer so she knows what is being discussed.

Loved it when Redekop chided the audience for applauding a speech by McDermott. I doubt they (the usual suspects) will do so again.

Don Lubberts suggested that the staff keep very careful records of the by-election as to costs, etc. This will be the first ever by-election to fill a vacant seat on council.  It could cost in excess of $40,000.

UPDATE: Council voted unanimously to go ahead with the by-election. James Culic, in his usual style tried to paint Don Lubberts as the outsider when, in fact, he voted with the others for the by-election.

Friday, January 9, 2015


UPDATE: The case will proceed to trial for unlawful dismissal. No deal was struck.

It appears that the case of former Bridgeburg BIA office manager against the Town of Fort Erie has been settled without a court case.

SC-14-00009661-0000 is the number assigned to the case that was scheduled for a conference room at the Welland Court House on January 9, 2015.The docket called it a "Settlement Conference" which means that the public may never know exactly what happened in the case or whether there was harassment of Ms. Landry by certain Bridgeburg BIA Board members, including then Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Passero.

If the "elimination" of Ms. Landry's job last winter involved any of The Four Councillors (It wasn't!) they would have been the target of much ridicule and possibly another lawsuit. Somehow, Passero gets a pass for his alleged behaviour in this event. Makes one wonder just who is still supporting the losing mayoral candidate. One person who supports Passero is herself a former BIA office manager, Peggy Tedder Thompson who has wreaked havoc in every position she has held, especially her job as the BIA manager where she set up a scenario that caused the ousting of two decent businessmen from the BIA board. Where is she now? 

Monday night's council meeting should be interesting as the new council grapples with the task of replacing the late Rick Shular in Ward 2. It would seem, according to past practice, that the runner-up, John Millicone, should first be considered. We'll see just how political the new councillors are. In a recent news story, Marina Butler showed her lack of knowledge when she opined that no one had run against Rick Shular in the recent municipal election. She's in favour of an expensive by-election. 

Personally, the thought of a return of the Poltergeist (Stephen Passero) to council would be a real tragedy. He screws up everything he's involved in. Hey Stephen: how's that Underwater Recovery take-over of the Kinsmen Pool coming along? You know, the one you tried to ride into the mayor's job. Yeah, really. Go back to your unregistered cupcake job and your sometime wife. Please stay out of local politics. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Cripes, 2015 is already off to a bad start. One of my political heroes, Mario Cuomo died on New Year's Day hours after his son Andrew was sworn in for a second term as governor of New York. Mario had served three terms as governor and would have had a fourth term except that he came out strongly against the death penalty.

Then I read that Niagara Falls potential medical marijuana grow-ops are meeting fierce opposition from residents and, council is backing them up, claiming that city staff misled council. Councillor Ionannoni said: "I feel extremely duped." Applications for the former Redpath Sugar plant and the former Kimberly Clark plant were granted based on the applicants' plan to run a "nursery for trees, plants and shrubs." The public meeting was not attended by many neighbours of the proposed sites since the cultivation of medical marijuana was not mentioned in the public notice. When the true plan came to light, residents showed up in large numbers to a special meeting of council on January 2. 

I can only see how Fort Erie town staff (especially developer-friendly town planner Rino Mostacci) pushed through the Bay Beach proposal despite fierce opposition by the people. Unlike Niagara Falls, Fort Erie council fell in line behind the high-rise crazed Mostacci and ignored those opposed to the rape of publicly owned beachfront property. (I know. Still smarting from that outrage as well as the outrageous lawsuits brought against four councillors.)

In April, we may finally be done with the Conflict of Interest lawsuit against Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard. Sadly, Rick Shular will not be able to recant the lies he told under oath, but he did manage to connect EDTC GM Jim Thibert to the plot to sue the four. A new judge will hear the case which, IMHO, should have been thrown out before it even got started. No word on the separate COI case against Don Lubberts that was filed by conflict-challenged Jim Thibert. The taxpayers may be paying for the case against Lubberts like they paid for the slander suit against me brought forth by thin-skinned Thibert. Some day the truth will come out and everything that was said on my blog about Thibert will be verified.

UPDATE: It appears that there was a murder in Ridgeway over the weekend. No media coverage of a man's body found in his house on Prospect Road. He was a victim of "blunt force trauma." 

Well, it certainly got cold in the past day. By Saturday, Polar Bear dippers will get a real treat in the icy cold weather. No worries though, lots of Chili for everyone at the Chili Cook-off after the dip.

Meanwhile, in Buffalo, the Canalside ice rink is open. Too bad someone doesn't do that here.