Friday, September 9, 2016


I have been very distracted of late. As an American who still votes in US elections, I am concerned over the possibility of a racist, sexist con man being elected to represent the United States. I probably will not be able to relax until after November 8.

In the meantime, there are things going on that should be noted as the local media sources are hamstrung by their need to keep their advertisers happy, so the truth seldom makes its way to the pages of local papers.

Like the death of a local "character" which, if one reads Facebook and other sources, was just a guy with a beard who was often seen bicycling around Ridgeway and Crystal Beach. Truth: he was a very troubled well-known local drug dealer. Just about everyone knew about him: when he was "carrying" he braided his beard; had regular "business hours" in various places around town and was known to the police who allowed him to function unchecked. His presence in our community was troubling to many and an example of the failures of our mental health system. He joins a number of other lost souls who have come and gone in our community like the so-called Psycho Santa who wondered around town yelling incomprehensibly or "Queen Victoria" who once assaulted a local pharmacist.

Gary Fraser's presence is still being felt in the area. Another big development looms in Crystal Beach piloted by one of the Fraser-involved companies. Some of his properties have been sold, or so it appears. Still waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding this convicted fraudster.

There has been some discussion (I will reprint the remarks) regarding a possible charge for the use of the public Bay Beach. At this point, there is no charge except for the parking in the town-owned parking lots. Years ago, when the town first took possession of the beach, there was a small yearly charge for local residents resulting in a card used for free admission; everyone else had to pay a nominal amount to enter the beach. That plan was abandoned after a short time. Since then, the beach is free. It could be a good revenue source for the town but it has many problems, the first being theft by those collecting the fee. Sorry, it happens all too often in this town. Remember the old bingo days and the charge booth at the Waterfront Park boat launch? It may be more trouble than it's worth.

Another great year of events sponsored by the Friends of Crystal Beach, but there is one coming up in October that brings Crystal Beach major international attention - the 5K Run/Walk over the Thanksgiving Weekend (Columbus Day Weekend to Americans.) Every year it gets bigger and it is already shaping up to be a big, fun event. BTW, the next Friends of Crystal Beach meeting is on Thursday, September 29 at the Crystal-Ridge Library at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome.  Always looking for people who want to make a difference in their community.

I'll close for now with this:

Thanks to a brilliant presentation executed by Sally from the FOCB, Old Man Summer was memorialized  in true Trumpian style at the End of Summer Parade. held on Saturday, September 3/(Photo by Rick Doan)


  1. Do residents NOT have to pay to enter the Bay Beach? What do you have to show that youre a resident? A really ugly tatoo? Local I.D.? What?

  2. Mayor Redekop told a group last week that town taxpayers would also pay to enter the Bay Beach property. He said it was the same as taxpayers paying for the arena and then having to pay to use it.

    Apparently he is softening that plan since there has already been negative feedback.

    Studies have already been done on this subject. The consensus was to allow residents and their families plus cottage renters to have passes issued for free access.

  3. Me thinks residents do have to pay to use the arena although their tax money paid for it. What has Wayne been smoking? On that note lets also point out use of public transit,(or is that "free" to ride?), vendor space at the public market, resident or not, even the we smell a little mistake here? Wayne??

  4. So Carl, are you saying that Fort Erie residents should pay to go onto the Bay Beach property?

  5. OMG, if Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, could Doug Ford also become Prime Minister of Canada?

    Deplorable indeed!

  6. Entrance to the beach should be FREE !!! period.

    There is no reason anyone should pay to enter publicly owned property. Toronto or Buffalo beach goers(nor locals) should not have to financially prop up the TOFE coffers after the decades long mismanagement of this town usually for some insider's bank account. Tear all the fences down, have the security company do a roving patrol on the busy weekends, with cell phones and cameras available to most, the police are a quick call away the rest of the time. Install more garbage cans and have signage encouraging people to use them. If the money is not available for the extra trash pick up, have the TOFE tighten it's belt a notch. Take 10% off the top dozen or so sunshine lister's there and it should easily be paid for.

    Besides fences on a beach fly in the face of the Shorewalk's mandate and I believe the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or at least British Common Law and centuries of practice. Must put Stephen Pissaro in a dilemma as a former Shorewalk president. Which way to vote?? the ol boys bank accounts or for the greater good. Unfortunately for this town to have a dilemma one needs a proper moral compass to start........

    Tourism brings money so let's not piss off the tourists, idiots....

  7. Asking Stephen Passero to have a moral compass is mission impossible, not giving the public an accounting of the thousands of dollars he collected, the 5 years he managed funds to pay for Municipal pool improvements, being on board with giving away a huge chunk of our beach property to a Burlington developer to build a condominium, this baker of cup cakes and crème puffs feels he should run our Town as the next Mayor.!!

  8. There should be no admission fee for ANYONE just wanting to go to the beach for a few hours. The whole idea is typical of the mindset of the present council. At best, place a donation box at the entrances with a stated notice "for the upkeep and security of your visit". People would be very surprised at the amount of money that is given when visitors are not squeezed. We have all seen examples of that lately in town. Eliminates the need for "ticket takers" and related costs. It sure would be nice to see this town show a little class when it comes to fund raising. Pay a dollar or two if you feel like it to go to the beach. If you live here and dont agree with paying to go to a place paid for with your tax dollars, so be it. Problem solved. Or is that too simple. Give em a twenty and youre good for a season. But to nick every beach visitor over and over is just plain greed. Not what we or the Mayor should be supporting.

    1. Of course that works! The Waterfront Park concerts are free, funded by the Friends of Crystal Beach. There is a "bucket brigade" that collects donations during intermission and the audiences have been very generous as they appreciate all the hard work and great choices in performers. There is no obligation to donate at all, yet it is very much appreciated. Same with the public beach, I would imagine. I still worry about theft though. Town should be grateful that thousands spend their time at our beach. Make sure that there is plenty of opportunity for tourists to spend their money in the community. It's a building process, sometimes slow and difficult, especially after the devastating blow that the closing of the amusement park did to the community as well as the struggle to save the public beachfront lands from a high-rise development. Crystal Beach is on the right track and will be just fine as long as people make wise decisions for its future.

  9. Interesting to note the Conservative party in Canada is the equal of the Repub party stateside. Similar approaches to a number of issues. To bring up the name of Rob Ford, (a staunch Conservative) is appropriate to say the least. Him and that orange faced windbag swim in the same pool. Or would if Rob had not passed away. Who do many of the "insiders" support, (including our "paper") in politics? Why of course, the "Con"servatives. Does it show? You be the judge.

  10. The Town this week has an advert calling for bids to extend a sewage line along Stevensville Road, The Ontario Municipal Board ruled that there will not be any extensions to our sewage system, OMB rulings are binding, not in the Republic of Fort Erie.I am objecting to any extensions to our system again, as we already have a ruling.

  11. This past week Doug Ford announced on CTV that he will soon be releasing a "tell all book" written by him and his late brother Rob. It is suppose to expose political corruption and crooked journalists.
    Does that sound familiar?

    Ford then said he would likely have another announcement in November.

    I am dreading that if Trump wins, Ford will figure that's a sign that he can be our Prime Minister.

    1. I wouldn't say we have crooked journalists round these parts but they are very willing to regurgitate the worst of the horse manure the local ruling elite are willing to serve up and far too many of them are corrupt.

      Makes local journalism a big part of the problem though doesn't it when they completely ignore their mandate as the watch dogs of a free society and aid those who abuse it for their own profit.

    2. less than a week later James Culic is making me eat my words with his piece on the local politico's claiming the rained out taste of FE a resounding success....

      well done James. Keep this up and they will run you out of town or barring that line up to wash your car lest you expose them.....Now you just have to purge yourself of the EDTC blindspot and many will be really impressed.

  12. After that ass kickin the Cons got in that last federal election, a Ford, especially from Toronto, is the last ghost they would want to see in a federal leadership position. They are working it out right now who will stand up for the top job at their meeting soon. By the way is it Rob N. from NOTL has expressed interest? Should be interesting to see which log floats to the top.

  13. trump is still doing well though, unbelievable! If that con gets elected, who's to say that ford won't be our Con?

  14. amazing how quiet it is these days with almost no one posting anything. The FE ninja, having done their worst are gone for now, their usefulness over. I'm still dumbfounded how so many here were so adamant about supporting the ol boys status quo that has done nothing but line certain pockets at the expense of the majority and the future of this town. Unless you're blind a quick look around shows that we're still a depressed area with drugs and welfare checks the norm for many while the connected 1% do very well. The proposed welcome sign should say You are now entering Fort Stupid where the majority happily vote to screw themselves so a few can stay slurping away at the well paid public trough. Population a few hundred or so doing well and 30,000 paying for it......

    How's that 10 million $$$$ lawsuit going one has to wonder?? Thank god we ran those 4 good men of conscience/common sense/morals out of office they were upsetting the insider ruling elite and with the help of the local press have returned to cash in once again.

    1. Since The Four and others have been punished for their work to wake up the people to the problems in Fort Erie, the Ole Boys are free to get back to screwing the people over.

      Crystal Beach is still suffering from the curse of certain pie-in-the-sky promising developers who have been caught before, aided and abetted by some local fools who think they will walk away very rich. Problem is that innocent people will be hurt by these grifters.

      Of course, some members of the local press are still on board with the Ole Boys. What is happening to journalism anyway? I have been very depressed about this turn of events. We see it being played out in the US presidential election. I cannot wait until November 9 when it should be over. Until then, I try to stay positive and hopeful.

    2. Even the Repubs are surprised at what has happened to what untill now was a pretty closed system. Who would have thought a big mouthed self centred developer could make it to the party much less to the top of the party. As usual it depends on who is or was the competition. You can be sure some other rich well mannered people are thinking they might have run for the nomination if THAT is what was going to come down the pipe. In Canada they dont vote directly for the PM, (president). True, the present leader only got in with about 35% of the popular vote. With the system they have in place a kook like the Trumpet would never have got the nomination egh? What a low point in the already lousy opinion most of the world has of us Yanks. Thanks Don.

    3. I had a new post just about ready to publish and then some events have changed that. I am now watching AM Joy on MSNBC. She is my favourite news host. The latest Trump outrage is not surprising to anyone who has paid attention. It is just verification of what a racist, sexist pig that Trump has always been.

      I cannot wait until this election is over and I hope that people all over the world learn from it.

  15. Personally, I don't think the town should charge an admission fee to get on the beach. Imagine the havoc that people looking to get onto the beach for free would cause homeowners along the shoreline. Hundreds of people a day would be trespassing through their properties looking to circumvent the money takers, then what? The town would have to fence off the beach along it's entire length. It would make our beautiful beach look like an old Soviet Union concentration camp. Nice….lol. Keep the beach free, don't sell any land purchased from the Rebstocks, maximize parking and charge $20/car to park. Bicycle's can park free.

    Think about it: every tent, every blanket, every couple of beach chairs represents one car. If 7000 people per weekend day come to the beach, that's over 1700 cars. There is no hope the proposed 112 car lot is going to work. Kill the parking = kill day tourism.

    And while we're talking about it, why does the Master Plan for Bay Beach even have a grassed park - complete with pavilion, kids playground and the like? We already have all that a few blocks away at the Palmwood park. IMHO all the town needs is a huge parking lot, bathrooms, snack bar and the beach, oh, and parking - lots of parking!

    Speaking of parking, what's with all the "No Parking" signs up and down all the streets? People coming to town used to park along the streets. Instead of the no parking signs, how about "Pay to Park" ticket dispensers earning more money for the town?

    Not that anyone asked, but I am truly embarrassed at the state of the Bay Beach property. Can you believe it's been 15 years since the town purchased the property and all we have to show for it is a bunch of graffiti covered foundations and a few jewellery tables. I'm sure old George is spinning in his grave.

    I cannot believe that we taxpayers have been spending $75k a year for fifteen years to maintain a beach that should be earning $100k a year. Do the math - 75k x 15 years = 1.125 million dollars, added to the purchase price is approximately 3.3 million dollars. If, on the other hand, the town were earning $100k/year for 15 years = 1.5 million dollars, or only 700k shy of the purchase price. Selling any of the Bay Beach lands is a mistake - paid parking will be the goose that lays the egg for generations to come, and would be the least expensive and give the best ROI of all proposals so far.

    Looking to expand town ownership of what is now private beach? Easy. Let developers buy the properties on the private beach one or two at a time. As part of the development, the town can insist the beach portion of the property be given to the town, and the developer is to provide 50 or so parking spots for the public and access to the new public beach. Then let the developer build his condos or whatever on what's left.

    Crystal Beach/Bay Beach is becoming the most expensive real estate in Fort Erie, not because of all the wonderful things the town has done for the area, but despite the fact that the councillors have their heads so far up their culos they can't see the light of day or offer an insightful opinion on Bay Beach.

    Kill the parking = kill day tourism.

    Think small = be small. The beach has the potential to elevate the entire town of Fort Erie if done right!

  16. …one last item on my wish list:

    Construct a 10 foot wide boardwalk along Erie Rd. from the pubic beaches all the way down to Bertie Bay Boat club. Install nautical lighting and park benches along the path. Anyone who drives a car on that stretch of Erie Rd. knows how treacherous it is for the bikers, walkers and joggers forced to share the narrow road with cars.

    That's all I have for now….

  17. The boardwalk would be on the street side, along Erie Rd., not the beach side…my bad.


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