Author Archives: dougdraper

Remembering Rush Drummer Extraordinaire Neil Peart

He Grew Up in Port Dalhousie, Niagara and went on to become a brilliant song lyricist and one of the highest-ranked drummers in the history of popular music

Drummer, Song Lyricist, Book Author and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Peart Died January 7th, 2020 at Age 67

Neil Peart at the drums where few in the world of music could match him

A Brief Tribute from one of Neil Peart’s big fans, Samuel McAdorey

Posted January 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

In the 2003 film School Of Rock, Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn finagled his way into a job as a private school teacher.

Finding that some of his students had real musical talent, Finn started moulding them into a rock band. To inspire the drummer, Finn gave him a copy of the album 2112 by Rush, with orders to listen to Neil Peart’s drumming technique.

Such was the stature of Peart, who went from growing up in St. Catharines to becoming the most influential rock drummer of his and following generations. To other drummers he was known as The Professor, in honour of his inventive and intricate drumming style.

To his legions of fans around the world, he showed that drumming was about much more than simply establishing the tempo.

His fills in the music of Rush filled the spaces that lead guitarists normally would fill in other bands, and his song lyrics captured the imagination of so many fans who were looking for more than reminders of the banality of everyday life.

A true visionary has passed.

Rest in Peace, Neil.

Samuel (Uel) McAdorey is a Niagara, Ontario resident and a serious follower of good music who is also a big fan of the band Rush

On the Late Show with David Letterman in 2011, showing the world why he was already ranked by music critics as one of the best drummers in the world –

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

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 .

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Needs A Chair That Takes Climate Change Seriously

In 2020, Niagara’s Conservation Authority needs leadership that has a firm understanding of and unwavering determination to address one of the most serious threats  our ecosystem faces in the 21st Century

It’s Time for David Bylsma to Hang Up his Hat as the Conservation Authority’s Chair

Parent’s citizens group for climate action says it is time for David Bylsma to say goodbye to his seat as Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors

A  Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher          Doug Draper

Posted January 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large 

A new Niagara-based group of young people and their parents, calling themselves ‘For Our Kids Niagara’ and flagging a tagline; ‘Connecting Parents to Climate Change’, has publicly put out a call (along with a petition you can click on below) to members of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s (NPCA’s) board of director to not  re-appoint West Lincoln Mayor David Bylsma as the board’s Chair.

NPCA board chair David Bylsma’s Christian Heritage Party calls the the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary on climate change, produced by former U.S. vice-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner and climate action activist Al Gore, an example of “seriously distorted propaganda campaigns.”

The key reason the group gives for making this call is that Bylsma, who is also president of Canada’s Christian Heritage Party (CHP), a fringe political party that openly discards any idea that human activities play a significant role in climate change, and that goes on to accuse those who make a case for human activities playing a role in climate change of perpetuating a  “phoney crisis.” 

“As party member and national president of the Christian Heritage Party (CHP),” states the group For Our Kids in its petition calling on the NPCA board to elect a new Chair, “Bylsma has stated publicly that CO2 emissions do not pose a threat to the environment, and that the science of the (United Nations’) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (the largest global collaboration of climate scientists) is illegitimate.”

In a world facing a  climate emergency that needs to be taken seriously by all of us, says the group. the NPCA and its board need a Chair “who is in touch with the realities of a changing climate. … We have no time left to play host to politicians who delay action on climate change,” insists the group. “We need leadership now!” Continue reading

Niagara College Appoints a New President – the College’s V.P. of Student and External Relations, Sean Kennedy

Kennedy Will Be Niagara College’s Sixth President, Succeeding Long-Time President Dan Patterson

A News Release from Niagara College in Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara College Board of Governors announced this January 10th  that it has selected Sean Kennedy, an experienced post-secondary leader with 20 years of experience leading teams in several areas of higher education, as Niagara College’s sixth president.

Niagara College has a new President, the Sixth in its history- Sean Kennedy

Currently Niagara College’s senior vice president, International, Kennedy has been a part of the College’s senior leadership team since 2006.

“Sean is student-focused, and embodies the Niagara College DNA – the welcoming, passionate and trailblazing qualities that set Niagara College apart and form the foundation of its success,” said John F.T. Scott, chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors. Continue reading

Demanding to Know ‘True Cost’ of Ford Government’s War on Wind Energy

Ontario Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Ontario’s NDP Leader  calls on Ford to let province’s Auditor General probe cost, justification for ripping down wind farm

“Ontarians deserve to know the truth. And we need it quickly. Doug Ford’s war on the environment is putting us all in danger, and everyday Ontarians are footing a massive bill for it.”                                         – Ontario’s NDP and Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea  Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s Official Opposition Party

Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Ontario  — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the province’s Official Opposition New Democrats, is calling on Doug Ford to allow Ontario’s Auditor General to examine the true costs and justification for his government’s decision to tear down the Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont.

Peter Tabuns, NDP critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, wrote to the Auditor General requesting an urgent investigation into all the costs associated with the decision to scrap the Nation Rise project that was just months from completion.

The Auditor General confirmed that she will audit the costs of cancelling the wind farm in her annual report. But she also confirmed that she is willing to conduct a special investigation into the Nation Rise cancellation, and cannot proceed without a mandate from the government. Continue reading

What Happened to 63 Canadians in the Skies above Iran?

If They Were Shot Down Deliberately or Accidentally, Then Someone South of the Border has Blood on his Hands

Trump plays the strong man this January 8th, 2020 in his showdown with Iran. Look at the  holy man, Mike Pence, on the right who has been helping Trump lie his way through this. Is that what he learned in church?

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Three of the 63 Canadians, Bahareh Hajesfandiari, his wife Mehdi Sadeghi and their daughter Anisa, who perished when a Ukrainian jetliner went down in Iran.

There may be at least a few out there who look at this and ask why is he commenting on this mess in Iran again, when he should be focusing on issues closer to home.

Fair enough.

Yet when I was out and about in Niagara this January 8th, stopping off at a few stores, one of our public libraries and at an auto-care centre, getting a minor repair done to my car, just about everyone I crossed paths with had what has been going down with the U.S. Trump administration and Iran on the top of their minds.

Many went out of their way to express their concern and even some of the anger they were feeling about circumstances that a number of experts on foreign affairs fear could lead to a catastrophic war.

A field of burning debris, leftover from down jet that carried 176 people, including 63Canadians, to their death in Iran

And one part of this whole affair people I crossed paths with mentioned the most was the crash of the Ukrainian jetliner in the early morning hours (Middle East time) inside the borders of Iran that ended the lives of all 176 people aboard, including 63 Canadian men, women and children. Continue reading

This Year, Niagara’s Town of Lincoln is Celebrating its 50th Anniversary

To Learn a Little More about the History of Lincoln and the Celebratory Activities to come, Read On

A News Release from the Town of Lincoln

Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the the Town of Lincoln. In 1970, three communities came together to form Lincoln – Louth Township, Clinton Township, & Beamsville. Since then, we have become a community of communities to include Jordan, Vineland, Beamsville, Campden, Tintern & Rockway.

This year, to mark this important occasion, the Town is excited to celebrate & showcase our community through our many upcoming community events, culture & arts activities & beautification of our common spaces. It’s our year-long birthday and we invite you to join!

In every community, its history, its sense of belonging, is its people. To kick off this year’s celebrations at the New Year’s Levee, we launched a video of residents who shared various stories of what made them come to Lincoln, made them stay in Lincoln, made them do business in Lincoln. Enjoy!

To stay up to date on this year’s activities, follow us on social media, subscribe to our digital newsletters ([uuid-link:node:2d352848-f26f-4fff-ad3b-3a7d4da596de]) , or keep checking back to our celebration web page ([uuid-link:node:bd6d8214-36be-466c-b2fb-9f1b6c5eead6]) .

For businesses or community organizations interested in using the celebratory logo, wanting to promote a 50^th^ anniversary community event, or find out how to get involved, please contact our planning committee via email ( .

Grow, Prosper, Belong – Celebrating 50 Years of Lincoln!

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

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 .

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

St. Catharines Citizens Coalition Calls for Long Overdue Cleanup of Abandoned General Motors Site

‘Directly adjacent to downtown St Catharines, the former GM manufacturing site is an embarrassment to the city (and)  a dangerous situation that must be cleaned up immediately.’            – Citizens Coalition Spokesperson Dennis Van Meer

The abandoned General Moters site off Ontario Street in St. Catharines, Niagara – a rotting eyesore near residential neighbourhoods and the city’s downtown

Sign the Petitiion and Attend a Public Meeting this coming Saturday, January 11th at 3 p.m. at the Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines

A Call-Out from the Coalition for a Better St. Catharines, a city-based citizens group in Niagara

Posted January 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A look inside the abandoned industrial mess near downtown St. Catharines

On Saturday, January 11, the Coalition for a Better St. Catharines (CBSC), an ad hoc group of concerned citizens, will hold a public meeting to provide community members with an update on the status of the former General Motors (GM) property on Ontario Street and efforts to make the site safe and secure.

The meeting will begin at 3:00 pm and will be held in the Community Room of the Mahtay Café (on 241 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines).

Though demolition of the buildings on the GM site began more than four years ago, the demolition and clean-up plan was never completed.

In its current state, the site is a safety and health hazard. Broken fences and deteriorating sheets of plywood have allowed people to shelter in unsafe structures, exposing them and the surrounding neighbourhood to potential health hazards from mold and toxic materials such as asbestos. Continue reading