Fifty Years On – Still ‘Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay’

A Brief Memory and Tribute by Doug Draper

Posted December 10th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, sittin’ till the evenin’ comes. Watchin’ the ships roll in, and then I’ll watch them roll away again.”

How many times have you found your mind drifting off to that dock of the bay with that oh, so plaintive, soulful voice of Otis Redding and the understated beauty of Steve Cropper ‘s guitar and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn’s bass riffs serenading away in the background?

It was 50 years ago this December 7th that Otis Redding finished recording that song, which he wrote with a little assistance from Steve Cropper (a friend and producer of his from Booker T. and the MGs fame), and just three days later – on December 10, 1967 – Otis died in a plane crash on his way to a show in Madison, Wisconsin. He was only 26 years old. Continue reading

Advertisements

Vigil Held In Honour Of Slain Brock University Student

A second community vigil in honour of Al-Hasnawi will be held at Hamilton City Hall Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

 News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, OntarioThe mother of slain Brock student Yosif Al-Hasnawi fought back tears and spoke in a hushed voice about her first-born son, as 150 people stood silently listening at a vigil at Brock University on Friday afternoon.

“Yosif had a beautiful soul,” said Amal Alzurufi, “and a smile that would light up any room. His smile was contagious. If he was smiling, you were smiling.

The mother of Yosif Al-Hasnawi, Amal Alzurufi, addressed the crowd alongside her sons Mahdi al-Hasnawi, left, and Ahmed al-Hasnawi, right, during a vigil at Brock University Friday

“He was a bright young man with dreams of becoming a doctor, he hoped one day to make a difference in the world.” Continue reading

Canada-Wide Journalists’ Organizaation Condemns Seizure Of St. Catharines Standard Reporter’s Notes And Laptop

“The actions of Niagara Regional Council members and police are an outrageous assault on media rights, and evidence of a disturbing disregard for the role of the press in a democracy.”

A Statement from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression on the Niagara Regional Government’s Assault on the Rights of the News Media

Re-Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

CJFE is deeply concerned by an incident in the Niagara Regional Council meeting in which city clerk Frank Fabiano seized notes and a computer belonging to St. Catharines Standard reporter Bill Sawchuk, allegedly on the orders of Chief Administrative Officer Carmen D’Angelo.

Niagara regional council in session. File photo by Doug Draper

Sawchuk regularly covers meetings and was in attendance when a regular session was moved in-camera to discuss a code of conduct violation by  Coun. Andy Petrowski. After leaving the chamber, Sawchuk was notified by staff that he was suspected of surreptitiously recording the closed session with his laptop and that his device and notes were being seized.

After the seizure of his device, the reporter was ordered to leave the city hall building and threatened with police action if he failed to comply.  After repeated inquiries by the Standard and their legal counsel, the laptop was eventually retrieved from the staff member’s office and returned.

The actions of Niagara Regional Council members and police are an outrageous assault on media rights, and evidence of a disturbing disregard for the role of the press in a democracy.

A reporter’s notes, sources and electronic devices should never be seized or searched except through enforcement of a court order, and only then under most narrow and rigorously scrutinized circumstances.

It remains unclear under what authority the Region believed it was authorized to seize the belongings of a journalist. Canada dropped to 22nd out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

CJFE calls on Mr. Fabiano and Mr. D’Angelo to provide an immediate and unconditional apology to Mr. Sawchuk.

We furthermore support MPP Cindy Forster’s request to Minister of Municipal Affairs to immediately investigate this attack on press freedom, and if necessary recommend policies to better protect the rights of media workers covering Niagara Regional Council.

About Canadian Journalists for Free Expression – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is a Canadian organization founded in 1981 that works to defend and protect the right to free expression in Canada and around the world.

Our visionTo achieve universal respect for and protection of the right to free expression and access to information.

Our missionCJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others’ free expression rights.

For more about the CJFE, visit its website athttp://www.cjfe.org/about-us .

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

 

Niagara MPP Calls on Ontario’s Minister of Muncipal Affairs, Ombudsman’s Office For Full Investigation of Regional Government’s “Attack on Press”

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster in Ontario legislature. File photo

Niagara, Ontario – Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster has called on Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro and the province’s Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surround the Niagara regional government’s seizure of notes and a lap-top computer belonging to a St. Catharines Standard reporter before ordering the reporter out of the regional headquarters this December 7th. .

“Ms. Forster is asking the Minister of Municipal Affairs to investigate this unwarranted attack on the press by the Regional Municipality of Niagara last night,” says a statement emailed to Niagara At Large in the wake of the incident involving Standard reporter Bill Sawchuk. Continue reading

After Everything St. Catharines Standard Reporter Bill Sawchuk has been through …

An Apology from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

After everything St. Catharines Standard reporter Bill  Sawchuk has been through in the past 20 some odd hours with getting tossed out of the Niagara regional government headquarters, and having his notes and computer seized, the least I could have done is spell his last name properly.

I chalk it up to lack of sleep and my own outrage at being there and witnessing what happened. But at the end of the day, there is not excuse for screwing up a media colleague’s name.

Sorry Bill. It has been corrected.

Here is a link to the corrected article if you wish to click on it now – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/12/08/police-called-in-as-newspaper-report-has-his-notes-and-computer-seized-and-is-ordered-to-leave-niagaras-regional-headquarters-2/

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

 

Open Bethlehem – Watch This Film At Your Own Risk!

A Call-Out from the Niagara Anti-Racism Coalition, Development and Peace and the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara

Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – If you decide to do so, you will feel compelled to join with others, including Jews, Muslims and Christians, in striving for a truly just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel, a peace that has been elusive for 69 years and more.  

Produced and directed by Leila Sansour, a Christian Palestinian,  OPEN BETHLEHEM is “a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town… While personal, it charts the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East”.  Please see the poster for show details. Also visit  http://www.openbethlehem.org/the-film.html 

Open Bethlehem is being promoted by the Niagara Anti-Racism Coalition, Development and Peace and the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara

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

 

Police Called In As Newspaper Report Has His Notes And Computer Seized, And Is Ordered To Leave Niagara’s Regional Headquarters

Lest There Be Any Further Doubt, Fascism Is In Full Force At Niagara Region

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted December 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

It was bizarre and disturbing. And that is the least one can say about what unfolded at Niagara’s regional headquarters during a closed session of Al Caslin’s council this December 7th.

I can and will go further and call it a brazen, reprehensible assault on the democratic values this Canada of ours likes to celebrate and cherish, and on rights and freedoms of news reporters to perform their responsibility as watchdogs for the public.

Veteran St. Catharines Standard reporter Bill Suachuk, at right, being ordered out of Niagara’s regional government headquarters after his notes and computer were seized.

This December 7th, while members of the public and media were asked to leave the regional council chambers so the council could go in to closed session to discuss what to do in the face of code of conduct complaints involving St. Catharines regional councillor Andy Petrowski, Bill Sawchuk, a reporter for The St. Catharines Standard, had his computer and notes seized, while uniformed Niagara Regional Police arrived to see that he complied with an order to leave the regional government headquarters. Continue reading