Author Archives: dougdraper

In this Time of Climate Crisis, We Desperately Need the Kind of Bold Leadership that Took Us to the Moon and Back

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher           Doug Draper

Posted July 20th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

First steps on the moon, July 20th, 1969.

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”                                                          – from an address delivered by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in September of 1962

Kennedy spoke those bold words less than one year after his country sent the first American into space for a mere 15 minutes, and 59 years after the Wright Brothers were the first to successfully make a rickety contraption that passed for an airplane fly without crashing.

And 50 years ago this Saturday, July 20th – a mere six years and 10 months after Kennedy spoke those words about humans walking on the surface of moon before the end of the decade – it actually happened, as more than 500 million people around the world, watched it in awe on our televisions some 230,000 miles (360,000 kilometres) away.

In the world we live in now, where it seems to take forever to upgrade an interchange on the QEW or 406 Highway, or fix a leaky tunnel under the Welland Canal, it is amazing to realize what an accomplish it was to go from the first humans in tiny capsules to barely kiss he heavens in the early 1960s to collecting moon rocks and bringing them back home safely in 1969. Continue reading


Niagara’s Seat Count on NPCA’s Board of Directors Jumps from 12 to 15

Total Board Count Swells to 21 when Haldimand and Hamilton Reps are taken into account, with not one young person or millennial represented

Niagara Region’s Council has chosen West Lincoln’s Dave Bylsma, Lincoln’s Robert Foster and Port Colborne’s Bill Steele to sit on Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority  for remainder of this four year term

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

Posted July 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large (This is a corrected and updated version of this news commentary. Please delete any earlier version you may have.)

As of this July 18th, the number of representatives Niagara will have sitting on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors jumps from 12 to 15.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors at a meeting earlier this year. They are now going to need a bigger table . File photo by Doug Draper

It makes for a total board membership 21 on a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) that is just beginning to get back on a positive track after six or seven years of bad when the two representatives from Haldimand County and four from Hamilton are taken into account. Continue reading

Excessive Heat Alert to go into Effect in Niagara this Friday, July 19th 

Scorching Temperatures Expected to Last Through Saturday and into Sunday Morning

A Message from Niagara Region’s Public Health and Emergency Services 

Posted July 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

An Excessive Heat Alert will be issued tomorrow, July 19, 2019 by Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services, as temperatures are expected to reach 31 Celsius with the humidex approaching 40 Celsius.

The alert will continue until Sunday morning when temperatures are expected to return to normal. Niagara residents are advised to take extra precautions during episodes of extreme heat and humidity. Continue reading

NPCA Board Moves to Support Designations for Protecting Provincially Significant Wetlands in Thundering Waters Forest

Signs like this, held by citizens protesting development plans at Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, became common over the past three years.

-Rich Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario is Target of $1.5-Billion Urban Development Proposal

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

Posted July 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

What a difference a new board of directors at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority can make.

Three years after a former Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) board was so agreeable to a developer using something called “biodiversity offsetting” to potentially build over provincially significant wetlands (PSWs) in Niagara Falls’ Thundering Waters Forest, the Conservation Authority’s current board is taking quite a different tact.

A look at wetlands inside Thundering Waters Niagara Falls, Ontario

Not only is there no mention of biodiversity offsetting in any discussion of these wetlands, the NPCA’s current board has decided to express its support for the PSW designations the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) now has on them. Continue reading

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s Board of Directors Declares a “Climate Emergency”

“Declaring a climate emergency clearly states the NPCA’s intention to address this urgent issue.”

By Doug Draper 

Posted July 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

In the wake of what clearly now looks like a higher frequency of damaging rain, wind, wildfires and other climate-related episodes, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) has joined the cities of St. Catharines and Hamilton, and growing numbers of other public bodies across Canada and around the world in declaring a “climate emergency.”

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) joins a growing number of public bodies around the world in passing a climate emergency declaration.

A motion to make the declaration, tabled by Ed Smith, a community activist recently appointed to the NPCA board by St. Catharines’ city council with the blessing of Niagara’s regional council, received approval at a full meeting of the board this July 17th

In a separate motion this July 17th, the board also approved working with municipal bodies and other parties in Niagara, Hamilton and Haldimand (the three regions sharing a Niagara watershed the NPCA has jurisdiction over, on developing and implementing a “Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan over the remainder of this year and next.  Continue reading

The ‘Rampant Gutlessness and Stupidity’ that comes with Donald J. Trump

God Bless America. Someone Has To!

A Commentary by Linda McKellar

Posted July 17th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Christian Evangelists rest their hands on Saint Donald’s shoulders during a prayer breakfast in the White House.

I will never understand how people can claim to be “Christian Evangelicals”  while at the same time be so racist and so full of hate.

That does not reflect the god that most people believe in. Since Trump’s mother was born in Scotland, the Isle of Lewis, should he go back there? Poor Scotland!!!!!!

He is no further removed from a foreign land than three of these women. Since his current and past wife were immigrants, (the current one working without documentation before her citizenship) should HIS wives go back to where they came from and take Trump’s spawn with them?

He also managed to get Melania’s parents into the country….so much for his hatred of and pledge to stop chain immigration. Of course both were essential to the economy….elderly… the father a car salesman and the mother a factory seamstress. Continue reading

St. Catharines’ Museum is Ready to Celebrate Christmas in July 

Christmas in July takes place at the Museum on Tuesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m., and will include the vintage automobile on display, as well as other special artifacts photos and more from the movie. Santa will be making an appearance, there will be live music and much more.

Ralphie’s family car from the much-beloved holiday classic film “A Christmas Story” is coming to the St. Catharines Museum this July. See more details below

 Thee vintage car from the cult classic A Christmas Story – the Parker family’s 1937 Oldsmobile F37 – will be rolling into the St. Catharines Museum next week. 

An Invite from the City of St. Catharines and the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre 

Posted July 17th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara, Ontario – The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is issuing a triple-dog dare to the community, with an invitation to join them for a festive celebration marking the halfway point to the holidays. 

The museum will celebrate Christmas in July as part of its Open Late series on Tuesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The family friendly event will include some Christmas movie history, including the vintage car from A Christmas Story – the Parker family’s 1937 Oldsmobile F37 – on display for the evening.  Continue reading