Sunday, July 26, 2015

A PERFECT DAY


It all came together beautifully. The first Circle of Art event, held on Saturday, July 25, was a another great success for the Friends of Crystal Beach.

The setting for the art show was Queen's Circle on Derby Road in Crystal Beach. It was a triumphant return to the heart of the village, where it all began. For it was in the late 1800s that Crystal Beach became a meeting place for artists, educators, musicians and speakers as part of the Chautauqua Movement, named after the town in New York State where it began. Once again, artists, musicians, educators and people gathered in the shady, idyllic circle to enjoy art, food and conversation. It was a true example of what can be achieved by dedicated community volunteers.



Visitors were impressed by the recently refurbished gazebo that has been in Queen's Circle since the late 1990s.  Now painted a light silvery green, it blends in with the trees and plantings that adorn the lush circle. Shade trees protected the artists and their works from the summer sun and a breeze kept things cool and comfortable. The work on the gazebo was moved ahead at the request of the Friends of Crystal Beach, along with a generous donation to the project so that visitors and residents alike would enjoy the park even more this summer.

 Circle of Art creator and coordinator, Gayle Martineau worked tirelessly for months on the project. She got a lot of help from other Friends of Crystal members, especially Karen Davis-Matthews, who also took Second Place in the visitor poll. Paul Lewis took First and Stacey Thomas came in Third. Artists were very impressed by the treatment they received and the sales they made of their artwork. All have indicated they will be back next year on July 23, 2016 for the second Circle of Art exhibition. Local students were also represented and awarded ribbons for their efforts.

Bob Steckley provided food along with his fabled Crystal Beach Waffles and Suckers. Nothing better than sharing a blooming onion in the shade while visiting with friends and neighbours. Hot dogs and all the other great food he serves up were washed down with Crystal Beach Loganberry. Other soft drinks were offered by The Friends of Crystal Beach along with their popular tee shirts and special tote bags with the Circle of Art logo. Even palette-shaped homemade shortbread cookies made by Gayle and her friend Mel were available.

A great assortment of door prizes was raffled off, provided by a number of local businesses. Buskers offered ambient music and even visiting canines were provided drinking water, treats and clean-up bags.

As an observer and a volunteer for this event, I must say that this is what I have always envisioned for Crystal Beach and Queen's Circle. It has taken years for Crystal Beach to come back from the devastation of the closing of the amusement park. At least a dozen new people to the area introduced themselves and told why they chose to relocate to Crystal Beach. One couple said they had been trying for several years to find the right place to buy. The tortured Era of the Condo was never mentioned; people were just too happy at what they saw yesterday in Crystal Beach. Meanwhile, that morning was the annual Crystal Beach Drive/Terrace Lane garage Sale. Another long-standing tradition that draws people from all over.

There was another very important event going that day in Waverly Beach: the dedication of a plaque commemorating the Niagara Movement, the forerunner of the NAACP which is the leader in the civil rights movement in the United States. A representative of Barack Obama, President of the United States was on hand as well as a number of local and national dignitaries. As many know, Fort Erie was an important stop on the fabled Underground Railway for runaway slaves from the US in the years preceding the American Civil War in 1861. It was a natural setting for a meeting of civil rights advocates; it is now recognized as a birthplace for the movement.

To sum this all up, I have to recount a statement made by a visitor to the Friends of Crystal Beach tent:

"Thank you for all you do."

Amen to that.

32 comments:

  1. view_from_the_beachJuly 26, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    That's COOL !

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    1. When I listed myself as a "volunteer," I was exaggerating. I sat on a lawn chair in the shade and handed out ballots for the favourite artist contest. Honestly, it was a dream job. Took a few spins around the displays on my way to the Johnny. (Of course.) Otherwise, I was like a slug all day. Loved every minute of it!

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  2. Great weather too! Some might take that little detail for granted but memorys of the weekend at Mathers and the Rainship...er..Friendship festival are still fresh. Never heard about the yard sale though, but thats a great add on to a great event. Same time next month? Once a year really isnt enough. Summer art series? Hmmmm..

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  3. I think the people who live in Queens Circle live in a beautiful piece of Crystal Beach real estate, to be able to look out on that park, with a terrific cool looking gazebo, a ring of beautiful shaped shade trees, a delicate breeze washing the area with coolness, those people are living within a paradise setting.an enclave to feel protected and reflect, a gem to protect and enjoy. I will return.

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  4. Good restaurants nearby, large shade trees, convenience stores, and parkland in the centre of it. Real parkland, not a bald sportsfield. Not that many neighborhoods in this town can say that much. Oh yah, and a fine piece of waterfront beach to walk to, with a lot of visitors to make it a more interesting place to be part of. Now if the towns neighborhood planners would just look up from their screens and see what a liveable community looks like we might not have such a predominance of row housing developments. Remember when a community could be layed out to promote social interaction with the features that make it possible? Services that promote walking and local business's that help that along? Look no further than CB., or whats left of it. The arts circle is a great reminder of what is possible. The homes layout may be from a time almost 100 years ago, but, it seems developers might just want to try to learn something from the past when considering another boring underserviced strip of off the shelf box houses .where the predominant feature of the place is a garage door. Nice touch painting that gazebo too. That stark white they had used is just too cold, plain, and boring. South Derby road and the colours used there add to the fun as well.

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    1. Isn't it interesting that a new trend in development is for so-called "walkable" communities where houses have front porches and stores are integrated into the neighbourhood, rather than placed in strip malls on a highway.

      I remember reading in the C.A.U.S.E. Study that the experts thought the lay-out of Crystal Beach was unique and wonderful, especially the streets radiating from Queen's Circle. As a summer kid, I loved that everything was within walking distance. we had only one car and Dad had to use it to drive to work, so we were on our own. No problem. There were grocery stores, restaurants, a drug store, a bank and lots of other stores all within a short walk from the cottage. I hope that we will see even more stores and restaurants open in Crystal Beach. A walk-in clinic would be a big help as well. Too bad the bus service from Buffalo and other parts of Niagara to Crystal Beach is no longer available. Maybe someday...

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  5. CorruptionFighterJuly 27, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    It was very nice!!!..............can the circle not be used for other small venues ?? An under used gem imho

    On another topic. There was talk of selling off the north Bay Beach parking lots for a "return of investment" (absolute BS!! it was bingo money there Pissboy). No need to waste another 100 grand on yet another study. Just have any official not on the take, do a quick drive by. It was mobbed with parking hard to find. Total cost to the taxpayer 10$ in gas and a Timmies...... End of study.

    The Beach is on the rebound as long as it can be protected from insiders/political lackeys/ dirty developers and corrupt town officials. AKA the ol boys and cronies. It aint over yet good people. The asswipes are biding their time is all. So why is the local councillor not on this latest study board?? and why are the local papers not all over just that small fact??

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    1. It was kind of ironic that three of the notorious Four were in attendance at the Circle of Art. Ward 5 Councillor Don Lubberts was part of the set-up/break-down crew and served as emcee for the event. Bob Steckley was there with his food truck, etc. and John Hill and his wife Karen spent quite a while enjoying the event.

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  6. Is the Kinsmen Pool going to generate money back to the Town, Pessaro?

    Does the Friendship Trail give a "return on investment", Pessaro?

    Has the Skateboard Park generated money back either, Pessaro?

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    1. All valid questions, Observer. Public parkland's primary function is not to "return the investment." Except if the public land is the Bay Beach Properties. That operates under different rules, set out by a former town planner who had a dream of high rises all along the shoreline. He's gone (not far enough away) but his like-thinking "friends" are still around, living off the taxpayers, ready to sell off one of our greatest public assets to a private developer.

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  7. It looked a little like some of the town paid insiders themselves might have been eyeing the 12 story monument as a potential place to live for themselves considering the money they are paid, and the prices that were being asked. We know of at least 2 people that were all in favor of the sellout so they might in future move there themselves. Talk about self serving. If the list of the people that paid into the presales were ever known, it would be a shock to many. They got their dough back. Too bad. A lawsuit to recover down payments would have been just too revealing in mia opinion.

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    1. As well as side contracts for various services.That list would be interesting too. There were a number of people "in on it" and they did not like the results of the 2010 election, so they got together and formulated a plan to eliminate The Four councillors. It may have worked but, in doing so, they exposed themselves. Soon, they may have to actually shell out money for their involvement in the conflict of interest lawsuit. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of people.

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  8. Friday will be a telling day. It is amazing that the east fort erie people make many nasty comments about CB but they seem to be real interested in Bay Beach. I find it curious when certain folk slam CB & yet there are many good things happening.
    We have a great beach & lots of new people living here full time but yet the nay sayers still call it a down trodden area. I guess there must be a toll booth at crescent park & they refuse to pay to pass & really take a look at both Ridgeway & Cb & how things have changed. Too bad the councillors are so pre occupied with destroying the beach because the old boys have an agenda.

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  9. I hope that the judge tomorrow considers the malicious intent of the Conflict of Interest charges against the four ELECTED Councillors. Elected by wide margins, not just by five votes.
    It is on record that the mayor initiated the charges against his own Councillors.

    Can this kind of undemocratic behaviour be allowed to be repeated? Shouldn't this sort of behaviour be punished?

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  10. There are many sinners in this unjust persecution because the four would not play nice with Dougies relentless pursuit to give away Bay Beach lands. Justice would only be served if the financial backers of this lawsuit paid HUGE sums of money for their support. The biggest sinner of all along with Dougie the orchestrater is the Butt ler who financed this lawsuit to smear John Hill and take his seat on Council. Turf her Butt OUT.

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  11. It IS on record the mayor initiated legal action against elected councillors, but used T Nitfield as his patsy. That was after the time limit for such action had run out. To try to get legal recourse against anyone involved will just stack suit over suit and so on. Shouldnt this sort of behavior be punished? Of course. Actions show these were not the mayors own councillors. Thank god, as if they were,who knows what might have happened if the old pale white jewelery dude had complete control of the agenda. In by 5 votes. Could have been a contender. Still got his $60,000 plus and his wife kept her seat in the rotunda as the well paid "how can I help you" sour face of FE (when she actually showed up for "work"). The mom and pop face of inbred Fort Erie town hall employment practices that continue to this day. (check out summer hiring practices). Old Doug set a new low in the towns political history. And so it goes with further protracted expencive legal actions. Lawers are laughing, they get paid no matter what. What a fool. He could have done some really great things for this town. With his experience it looked possible. Must have smelled all that money, and like a dog on a short leash tipped over the garbage before his dinner was ready. Now we get to see how it all gets all cleaned up.

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  12. Old garbage can Doug probly thinks he really earned his paycheck putting up with the riff raff that would cause such a disruption in the on going effort to sell the last large parcel of beachfront to some slick out of towners. To cover his self serving approach,and subsequent failure he has to support an effort to discredit councilors who were elected to look out for the interest of the wards they were elected to represent. Now it comes to some court room. He should be ashamed, and probly is. But its put into motion. Any judge worth his position will see through this nonsense for what it is. Old Doug couldnt stop it if he wanted to. What a puppet. Where do inteligent guys like this get so far off the track. Track? What track.?

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  13. Dougie , did well for a one time clock fixer,$60,000 , + $25,000 Region and another $12,000 from the Niagara Parks, for a part time job, his spouse picked up an extra $50,000 to round out the welfare payments, What did this Town ever got for electing him to office?? Nada, Zilch, nothing but hindrance to progress , he along with Mayor Heinz Hummel killed the Toyota Automobile factory efforts to set up shop here, today the Federal government is giving Toyota $400 million to expand and hire more Canadians, We had first chance at this company , We don't want any lousy union jobs in our town, that pay $48 dollars per hour including benefits .instead we get low wage Race track jobs for the short summer. Vision that is what they talk about, what we get is the deep hole to throw our tax dollars down into. Dougies legacy , a Town that is owned by the Trojan horse Jamie Tibird and the Chamber of Horrors that protect him from the rabble.

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  14. Just saw on Facebook that 16 of the 20 homes that the Marz Development have sold at the corner of Erie Road will be full time Crystal Beach residents. That's exactly the kind of Smart Development that we need, not a condo on our public waterfront!

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  15. CorruptionFighterJuly 31, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    ol boy extrordinaire Dirty Doug isn't done yet. He may not have the title anymore but he is still VERY much in the picture working his "magic" and trying to cash in. He made a career out of screwing this town and will never fully retire until he is too old or sick to continue.

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  16. Next Friday is the date when the lawyers in the dismissed conflict of interest case present their requests for damages. The time has come for the instigators of the lawsuit to pay up. I hope that the judge hits them very hard in the pocketbook as an example and a warning to anyone who uses the court system to interfere with the democratic process. There is ample evidence that the lawsuit was the culmination of a well-organized and funded campaign to unseat four duly elected representatives of the people. It was clearly a revenge move, designed to thwart the voters' choices. In Marina Butler's case, it could be said that she set out to unseat John Hill (Compliance Audit and the lawsuit) so that she could run and defeat him - which she did in 2014. Could this be a good example of corruption?

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  17. The contributers of the law suit need to pay handsomely for their vindictive behaviour. They funded $100,000 fully expecting to get their money back. Hopefully, the court will take that & even more from this group of mis guided fools.
    Maybe the next time someone tries to talks them into a frivolous law suit they will thin twice. If I were them I would be really pissed off & want the instigators to pay (Dougie can afford it) & the other co conspirator needs to open his wallet. Butler seems to have the financial resources as she spent $10,000 of her OWN money to run for council . Should be interesting to see the final legal bill & I wonder if Hurren is going to be paid by this sorry group of Town movers & shakers?

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  18. Well Ninjas aka Greggie is predicting the upcoming meeting of Council will summarily dismiss any thought that the EDTC should come under the Town Hall roof to make the promise of One Stop Shopping possible. The safest bet ever made is that the five will continue to support the CofC and JT's wishes to be independent to party on at taxpayers expense.
    Making predictions continued
    The Mayor will continue to sweat cause he knows factually that squeezing 2 million for the Theater out of this poverty Town is impossible and voters will hold him responsible for his passionate support.More tax money flushed.
    JT will be back with arrogance demanding half a million again next year and his 5 bagged Councillors will accede/More tax money flushed
    When the pool finally gets some water in it the filtration system wont handle it and down it goes again. But good headlines Stevie.
    When the Fab four are awarded bags of money ,the Whitfield supporters will go underground and since Tim was not smart nuff to get a written guarantee for funding he will start squealing like a piggy. Hope Culic and Dube are close by to get his story in print.
    The courts will soon agree there are road allowances on Bay Beach vindicating Donnie...but few will acknowledge ,,,especially the nay sayers from the east end.
    Salter really should have done a better job for her Town but Doug was pulling her strings.
    Marina Butler should /but wont ever admit how she smeared a sitting Councillor with the result of obtaining his seat. She should/but wont resign for conflict of interest until the Ombudsman exposes her role.
    The race track should be looking at attractions for five available days to help become self sufficient...but wont.
    Unless the current FF manager takes a hike, next year will be the last Festival. New leadership is the only thing to save it.
    Our beaches will continue to be posted frequently the rest of the summer and the stench of Waverley will continue.
    Our Town will never progress as long as our money is being pissed away.

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    1. CorruptionFighterAugust 2, 2015 at 1:13 PM

      about hits the nail squarely on the head there Howie.............!!!

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  19. Can anyone explain what Jimmy T has done with the half million he gets every year? Is is just going towards rent and payroll? How much of that chunk does he take home?

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    1. Because his is a separate corporation, and he is not considered a town employee, his salary is not listed on the Sunshine List. I'm sure he draws at least $120,000. for his "efforts."

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    2. view_from_the_beachAugust 2, 2015 at 1:16 PM

      So based on that calculus we should be able to get a least 4 "Jimmy T's" for Councils 500k donation.

      Comforting thought eh?

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  20. Several years ago Anne Marie Knoyes tried to find out exactly what does our de-facto Mayor "James of the Track" spend up to $750 thousand dollars of taxpayers money on? He would not tell council, he did his stonewalling act on them and told council it was none of their darn business, Anne Marie made a submission to the Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin , after much delving, he said as an agency of the Town of Fort Erie he has to divulge where the money goes, by that time Anne Marie was out of Council and running for Mayor, we know what happened there, the Russ Wilson found a bunch of secret ballots, the reserve ballots and screwed her out of the election. she lost by 5 votes, the new council demanded an accounting of "JT," Mayor Doug Martin backed up "JT" and stonewalled the 4 new "clean as a whistle" councillors, so that information was not forthcoming. meanwhile "JT" with a little help from the phalanx of Chamber of Commerce member's which he had appointed, to the board of the EDTC. waged a vicious and libelous campaign against the 4 upstanding members of council, bill boards , "Pants on Fire " and the Molinaro Condoms on Bay Beach giveaway. Two examples,This new council elected through this awful and foul campaign , are all, except Don Lubberts are members of the C of C ,2 were past Vice-Presidents, the obtuse and confused voters put these scum bags in control of our money, so we still do not know what "JT" spends our money on, he "JT"did donate $750 dollars to the Stephen Passero for Mayor , war chest.

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  21. My best guess is he earns over $200,000 to compensate for running the track.
    If this is incorrect then open the books fully so the taxpayers know what the hell they are spending their money on!! OH & by the way how much has he speny on legal fees ?

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    1. Apparently he's stalling on his case against Don Lubberts. Seems that he is finding out how wrong he was to sue Donnie for conflict of interest. As to who is paying for the suit, I would guess it is the taxpayers, just like they paid for his lawsuit against me. That cost the taxpayers over $20,000. Sure taught me a lesson.

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  22. Anne Marie Noyes got the decision she was after in the court case against Thibert and the EDTC, as I understand he was to divulge his expenses. He never did. I think Anne Marie should have pressed on. It may have cost her more money, but I think she could have won the election as mayor second time around if she had been more persistent.

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    1. view_from_the_beachAugust 3, 2015 at 6:29 AM

      2 things come to mind.

      1) It would appear Noyes simply dropped the ball. If that's true it is probably best she wasn't successful in her re-run as mayor.

      2) If Thibert was ordered to reveal his budget how then did he wiggle out of doing so and why is it tolerated?

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