Citizens Campaign to save Thundering Waters Forest from bulldozers and buzz saws drives on

Forest defenders planning to take their conservation message to August 22nd Niagara Falls city council meeting

News Commentary

A Update from NAL reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted August 21st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

The week-long campout several Niagara citizens staged in Thundering Waters Forest may be over but their campaign to save the 484 acres of forest, wetlands and savannah grasses from a development plan they fear will forever degrade this place as a natural filter for air and water, and as a haven for wildlife goes on, the citizens say.

One of the many frogs those camping in and visiting Thundering Waters Forest earlier this August spotted in the wetlands. Photo courtesy of Owen Bjorgan

“We have momentum and we have larger and larger numbers of people who have picked up on this issue and what is at stake her for our environment,” Owen Bjorgan, a university graduate in environmental sciences and one of the citizens who spent seven days and nights camping in the Thundering Waters Forest in the south-western end of Niagara Falls, Ontario told Niagara At Large this August 21st. Continue reading

Pelham Mayor and Town Delegation Press Local Interests at Ottawa conference

Town delegation speaks for Fonthill Kame, Ridgeville, Strategic Funding & GO Rail at  Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference

A Column from Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn

Posted August 21st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Town of Pelham Mayor and Niagara regional councilor Dave Augustyn

(A brief foreword note by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – A few of the sentences in the following column by Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn have been highlighted by Niagara At Large to bring attention to the fact that at least some municipal representatives in the Niagara region – in this case representatives from the Town of Pelham – actually went to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference in Ottawa earlier this August with calls to the provincial government to protect what is left of the region’s natural heritage, including lands on the Fonthill Kame, and to discourage any more paving over our the region’s natural area with low-density urban sprawl.)

Now here is the Pelham mayor’s column –

Last week, Pelham Councillor Peter Papp, the Town of Pelham’s chief administrative officer, Darren Ottaway, the town’s treasurer, Teresa Quinlin, and I attended the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference in Ottawa. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Unveils New Pollinator Exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted August 21tth, 2017 on Niagara At Large

 Niagara Falls, Ontario  – This August 18th, The Niagara Parks Commission officially launched its new pollinator exhibit, Saving the Pollinators; Our World Depends on It, at the Butterfly Conservatory with an announcement and unveiling led by Niagara Parks Chair, Janice Thomson.

Niagara area high school students work with Niagara Parks staff in 2016 to create a haven for bees in a pollinator garden behind Niagara Parks’ Butterlly Conservatory. File photo by Doug Draper

At this new bilingual exhibit, visitors can learn more about Ontario’s pollinating species, from bees to hummingbirds, who, despite their small size, play a major role in maintaining our environment.

The exhibit will educate visitors on the different types of pollinators and their habitats, as well as spread awareness regarding the risks of pollination decline and how citizens can make a difference in protecting and preserving natural habitats so that pollinators can flourish and continue their important work. Continue reading

Ontario Company Director Receives Jail Sentence, Fines for Failure to Pay Wages to Convenience Store Employees

News from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour

Posted August 21th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A brief foreword note from NAL publisher Doug Draper – Niagara At Large is posting this piece because there may be some of our readers out there who have found themselves in the position of working for someone who has, for whatever reason, stopped paying them for their work.

Such a problem never seems to have worked out very well for workers who have thought through legal or other means to recover the money owed to them for their work. But here – in the media release drafted below by the Ontario government –  is a rare case, where workers in Ontario won in the courts and, hopefully, it sets a good precedent for others facing the same injustice.

If you or someone you know is fighting for pay you believed you are owed by an employer, you might take some heart from what you read below, and fight on.)

Newmarket, Ontario  – An (Ontaro) employer who failed to pay wages after being ordered to do so by a Ministry of Labour employment standards officer has been given a jail sentence and fines. Continue reading

Goodbye to a Fearless Voice for Peace and Civil Rights  – Dick Gregory

Another one gone when we need people like him the most

A Brief Tribute from Doug Draper, NAL publisher

Posted August 20th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.” – Dick Gregory

“In America, with all of its evils and faults, you can still reach through the forest and see the sun. But we don’t know whether that sun is rising or setting in our country.” – Dick Gregory

When they reported his death on CNN this August 20th, one of the hosts of early morning news program said; “I miss him already.”

Dick Gregory speaking at Ohio University in 1968

Really?

He’s certainly not missed so much that CNN or any of the other corporate networks in Dick Gregory’s home country of the United States would have him on the air very much.

For a country that prides itself in free speech and in being ‘the world’s greatest democracy’, Dick Gregory appeared to be on a fairly long list of individuals and groups that, for as long as anyone can remember going back to Dick Cavett or (believe it or not) Merv Griffin, who would regularly book people like him as guests on their shows, have been conspicuously absent on the mainstream American networks. Continue reading

A Message from the Citizen Campers in Niagara’s Thundering Waters Forest

Posted early Sunday, August 20th 2017 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper,  reporter and publisher of Niagara At Large

I wish to share with all of our NAL readers the following Facebook message and pictures. They were circulated late this August 29th by one of the young people who has been camping out in the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls all this past week in an effort to draw more public attention to controversial plans to buried parts of it under residential and commercial development.

The fact that this development proposal is still on the books after more than a year of heated debate  has less to do with the China-backed developers that purchased the land from Canadians interests for a sizable sum of money, and more to do with the lack of imagination and vision on the part of too many of this region’s municipal leaders when it comes to good planning, and to the lack of care they show for what is left of the natural heritage all of us who live here were blessed with.

At the end of the day, though, the responsibility for this lies not so much in them as it does in all of us of voting age who live and do business here.

We get the government we deserve, which is why it is so important for every one of us  to get more engaged in municipal politics and give maximum thought to who we elect to serve on our local and regional councils in next year’s municipal elections.

Now here is the message from one of the Thundering Waters Forest campers, Niagara citizen Owen Bjorgan

Day 6. A walkabout in the Provincially Significant Wetlands, which cover approximately 235 acres of this 484 acres.

Insanity that a price tag of 1.5 billion could be slapped onto this fragile and ancient ecosystem. Tomorrow is our last day.

“Species come and go, but the Earth stands forever fast…What privilege do we have under the sun, That gives us the right to the throne?”

In Flames, “Embody the Invisble”

Tomorrow (Sunday, August 20th) is our last day- come visit and learn.

The campers will be there this Sunday, August 20th until 5 p.m.

Here are some directions on how to get to the Thundering Waters Forest site –

From the Queen Elizabeth Highway take the McLeod St exit (exit 27), go east on McLeod.  In approximately 550 metres turn right on Dorchester Blvd.   Follow Dorchester until it appears to end (Y in the road) and turn to the right, you will still be on Dorchester Road, continue on Dorchester across the railway tracks, about 75 metres after crossing the tracks you will see a trail going into the woods. It will be marked. 

Visit Owen Bjorgan’s Facebook age where you can learn more about the Thundering Waters Forest and related topics by clicking onhttps://www.facebook.com/owen.bjorgan.7

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One More Day – This Sunday August 20th until 5 p.m. – To Visit Campers in Thundering Waters Forest

Go Visit the  Campers and Show your Support for Saving What is Left of Niagara’s Natural Heritage – Directions to Thundering Waters Camp Below

A Brief One from Doug Draper, reporter, veteran environment writer and publisher of Niagara At Large

Posted August 19th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

A peak at the provincially significant wetlands under the canopy of trees in the Thundering Waters Forest

Niagara, Ontario – This Sunday, August 20th marks the seventh and final day of a   camp out by a group of determined Niagara area citizens working to grow more public support for saving 484 acres of Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario from at least partial urban development.

Numerous Niagara area citizens, including some of our elected representatives on local and regional councils, have already been out to show there support for saving this natural gem and what is left of the forests and wetlands in our region – and there is precious little left, including less than 10 per cent of the wetlands that were originally here.

For more on what is at stake, click on and watch the video below —

And by all means, try to gothis Sunday, August 20th, if you haven’t been up to now, and visit the forest and water defenders in the campe and signing their guest book at the camp in Thundering Waters Forest  in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Here are some directions to the camp:

From the Queen Elizabeth Highway take the McLeod St exit (exit 27), go east on McLeod.  In approximately 550 metres turn right on Dorchester Blvd.   Follow Dorchester until it appears to end (Y in the road) and turn to the right, you will still be on Dorchester Road, continue on Dorchester across the railway tracks, about 75 metres after crossing the tracks you will see a trail going into the woods. It will be marked. 

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders