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Niagara Falls New York’s First Gay Wedding

Longtime partners Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd tied the knot in front of Niagara Falls at the stroke of midnight Sunday, becoming the first same-sex couple to be married in New York.

Are you from Canada? Can’t see the video? Continue to see the video from an alternative source… more…

Niagara Parks Commission admits to using Agent Orange

Tim Parent, 610 CKTB News

The Niagara Parks Commission has confirmed it used a herbicide associated with Agent Orange to kill poison ivy on all of its lands.

Robert McIlveen, interim general manager of the NPC, admitted at a commissioners meeting today it used 2,4,5,-T up until 1974.

The NPC intends to hand over all of its records pertaining to the use of the herbicide to the government panel investigating its use in the province.

McIlveen added, the NPC is concerned about the effect the herbicide may have had on former parks employees and the public at large

The NPC has released a statement about the use of 2,4,5,-T.  It can be found here

The province has admitted, the former Ontario Hydro used Agent Orange back in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s to clear land along power line corridors across Ontario.

In March, Niagara Falls mayor Jim Diodati called on city staff to look in to the use of the herbicide by the province in the Falls area. Speaking to 610 CKTB News, Diodati calls the news unsettling but doesn’t want there to be a knee-jerk reaction to it.  What we need now, he says, is more information from the NPC.

Agent Orange was used heavily by the Americans during the Vietnam war to clear away dense jungle foliage and expose the Vietcong. Its use has been linked to several types of cancers, Parkinson’s disease and other health problems. more…

Tourism tug of war

Welcome to the bumpy ride that is regional tourism.

A new body meant to co-ordinate provincial tourism funding for all of Niagara is just getting off the ground. But the fledgling Regional Tourism Organization has already stumbled into a controversy over an untendered marketing contract.

Meanwhile, the much-maligned Niagara Economic Development Corp., the regional government-funded agency that runs a separate Tourism Niagara website, is paralyzed by a political debate over its future.

When the dust settles, Niagara is supposed to have a co-operative, industry-led organization designed to cut through the clutter of competing marketing efforts and help co-ordinate an effective, regional tourism strategy.

But right now, some industry members feel “it’s hard to do our job,” said Susan Morin, community economic development manager for Venture Niagara.

Tourism marketing is still happening, of course. St. Catharines is still promoting the Garden City; Niagara Falls is still a well-oiled marketing machine. Regional co-ordination, however, isn’t as visible.

“It’s tough, trying to understand who is the leader here, who is doing what right at this moment,” said Morin, who is helping organize a meeting next week for concerned tourism industry members. “With all the changes, it’s a little bit like the perfect storm.”

Morin, who is also involved with Tourisme Franco-Niagara, said businesses at the April 6 session will talk about ways to replace a tourism marketing committee formerly run by NEDC.

Those brainstorming committee meetings disappeared following regional council’s recent decision to lop off the tourism arm of the economic development agency. Other agency tourism services no longer receiving regional cash include marketing literature for cycling tourism, the Welland Canal recreational trail and a winter and wine campaign, according to interim NEDC head Alan Teichroeb.

Regional councillors re asoned the new Regional Tourism Organization would be coordinating regional marketing efforts from now on. But it’s unclear what will happen to the remaining NEDC services, like the regional tourism website and the Gateway Niagara information centre.

“Some people think with the (Regional Tourism Organization), the calvary is coming,” Morin said. “But whether it is or not, we can’t afford to wait.”

Morin said if the meeting goes well, attending businesses could form a “tourism network” to help plug the gap left by the exit of the regional agency.

But there are more holes to fill, Grimsby and District Chamber of Commerce president John Dunstall said. more…

Niagara not just a day trip

Niagara Falls may be one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, but many visitors, even those from this country, just want to take a fast look at the water, buy some icewine, and head down the QEW to Toronto.
And that’s a serious problem, says Niagara Parks Commission Chairwoman Fay Booker.
“We have to do a much better job of educating people in our prospective markets,” she said during a Parks Commission meeting Wednesday morning. “We have to tell people there is so much more to do here. We have to keep them here longer.”
That will be crucial to the long-term success of the Parks Commission and the Niagara tourism industry in general. Commissioners heard a report during the meeting about travel trends, and the message was not good.
Visitors to Ontario from the United States, already in freefall over the past 10 years, are predicted to be flat for 2011 as the world still reels from the global recession. In addition, Americans travelling to Ontario will be impacted by the strength of the Canadian dollar and lower taxes in the United States – factors that also entice Canadians to forsake their own country for trips south of the border. more…

Another scandal at the Niagara Parks Commission?

Recent reports in the Globe and Mail and local Niagara Region Newspapers have reported that Corporate Credit card expenses for top executives at the Niagara Parks Commission totaled  $400k between 2006 and 2009.  Among the transactions was a $1,800 nightclub bill, a $199 liquor-store purchase, plane fares worth $9,665 each, and a $10,729 hotel stay in London, England.

I understand that $400k is a lot of money for the average person, but this is not necessarily excessive when traveling on business. Corporations should pay for accommodations, food, and  hotels during business trips. What is your opinion? Is $400k excessive?

Niagara Parks Commission Open House Meeting

The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) is having an Open House Meetings to share a general overview of its operations and its impact as an organization on the local communities and tourism industry. This meeting will address upcoming issues and challenges prior to the Commission undertaking strategic planning later this fall.

WHEN: 6:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 27, 2010
WHERE:  Bridgewater Golf Course, 700 Gilmore Road, Fort Erie, Ontario

For more information call: (905) 371-0837

All Hallow’s Eve Ghost Tours at Old Fort Erie

All Hallow's Eve Ghost Tour Join us for an eeerily good time at Old Fort Erie!

All Hallow’s Eve at Old Fort Erie

October 29 & 30 at 7:30 p.m.

All Hallow’s Eve Ghost Tour

The site of the bloodiest battlefield in the history of Canada conjures up many of its own hair-raising tales.  See the old fort from the perspective of the spirits who still make their presence felt. The past comes to life through story telling and the ancient traditions of Hallowe’en. A fun and frightening evening at the old stone fort will end with refreshments and the annual burning of a Guy Fawkes effigy.

Tours start at 7:30 p.m., followed by the burning of the Guy Fawkes effigy at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12 (prices include taxes); children ages 5 and under are free.

This event is suitable for all ages. Be prepared and dress for any kind of weather, rain, snow or sleet.

Reservations are required; please call (905) 871-7211

Inside the FortInside the Fort

Located at 350 Lakeshore Road in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, Old Fort Erie is approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) or a scenic 20-minute drive south of Niagara Falls and is close to the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York. The grounds and the main floor rooms of the buildings are wheelchair accessible.

Niagara Parks is preparing to celebrate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Plans are being made for special events beginning in 2012, and construction has begun on a brand new Welcome Centre for Old Fort Erie. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting new chapter at the Fort!

Old Fort Erie is one of several heritage sites owned and operated by The Niagara Parks Commission, an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, which has preserved and protected the Niagara River corridor without taxpayers’ dollars since 1885.

This article was originally published here

Niagara Falls Councillor Candidate: Mervyn Senior


Name: Mervyn Senior

Email: mervynsenior@live.ca

Tel: 905-371-1519

Web: mervynsenior.blogspot.com


Platform:
As a City Councillor I know that I will serve my City residents with distinction.
I will be available for you.
I will listen to and act on your concerns.
I will consult with you on important matters that come before City Council.
I will always remember who the City belongs to.
I will as City Councillor ensure all parts of the City participate in the continued growth and success of our great City.
I am a keen observer of the way communities evolve and prosper or stagnate and go into decline.
I will, as the world continues to change, help the City adapt to the changing environment.
One Main Industry Cities need to diversify while continuing to actively promote the existing successful enterprises.
I know that I will add Character, Honesty, Knowledge, Direction and New Ideas to this
new 2010 City Government

If you are a candidate and wish to publish your bio on our blog please contact niagarablog2010@gmail.com

Niagara Falls Elections

Your Niagara Falls Election Candidates are:

Mayor – 1 to be elected

Jim Diodati

Ted Salci

City Councillor – 8 to be elected

Garry V. Beck

Tony Bianco

Sandy Bird

Dennis Bowers

Tony Caruso

Peter T. Dychtiar

Shirley Fisher

Karen Fraser

Wayne Gates

Harvey Gordon

Permod Goyal

Carolynn Ioannoni

James C. Kang

Vince Kerrio

Bart Maves

Rich Merlino

Joyce Morocco

Terry O’Reilly

Victor Pietrangelo

Mervyn Senior

Wayne Thomson

Jeannette Tossounian

Deborah Tredwell

Janice Wing

more…

Parks commission invites bids on boat tour contract

Want to operate a tour boat from the Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River?

Then, the Niagara Parks Commission wants to hear from you and your company.

The parks commission, Friday afternoon, set a Nov. 24 deadline for any company to bid on tour boat operations. The Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. has been running tour boats from both the U.S. and Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River for generations and while its U.S. pact runs for more than three decades, it’s Canadian lease has been under fire for the past year.

Last year, a 25-year extension between the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. and Niagara Parks Commission became a political issue in Southern Ontario as some potential competitors cried foul. The uproar resulted in several commission members resigning and a new regime installed to oversee its operations. more…

Deal Saves Niagara Parks Police
123-YEAR-OLD SERVICE: Niagara Regional Police Services board agrees to five-year extension

Niagara Parks Police have been granted a new lease on life for at least five years. Officers with the 123-year-old service will be able to continue carrying firearms, under terms of an agreement approved Thursday by the Niagara Regional Police Services board.

“We’re pleased with it, based on what we know,” said Fay Booker, chairwoman of the Niagara Parks Commission, which funds and oversees the police service. “We’re very proud of what the Niagara Parks Police do today. They’ve been doing it extremely well.” more…

Legal Action to Obtain $1B Niagara Falls Boat Ride Contract

lawAtlanta-based Alcatraz Media and businessman William M. Windsor are jointly attempting to obtain the billion dollar contract for boat rides under Niagara Falls. The boat rides began in 1846, and there has never been an opportunity for anyone to bid to offer the service until Windsor took legal action against the Province of Ontario and the State of New York. This case is currently being handled by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under case number DC 09-105JR. more…

Niagara Parks Police commendations for Life-saving actions

Two Niagara Parks Police officers credited with saving two lives in 2009 received commendations from Chief Doug Kane and members of the Niagara Parks Commission during the commission’s Apr. 23 meeting. On July 21, last year, Sgt. John Clark plunged into the forebay of the Canadian Niagara Power plant at about 11:24 p.m., to rescue a woman who was “very clearly in distress,” acting chairman Archie Katzman said.

Tourists had discovered the woman in the water, ran to Table Rock House and called 911. When Clark arrived, he threw a rope to the woman, but she was too weak to grab it. He fastened the rope to a wall and entered the water himself. He swam to the woman and held her against a concrete wall for 45 minutes while firefighters and police figured out how to pull them both out of the water.

On March 22, Const. Kim Burke discovered a missing Niagara Falls man, who was the subject of a police search, stranded in bushes at Kingsbridge Park, close to toppling into the Welland River. more…

Category: Local News, Political  Tags:  One Comment
Parks police to stay in business

NPC ‘happy’ to have regional council support for stand-alone status for Niagara Parks Police, Katzman says

The Niagara Parks Police appear to have a new lease on life, less than two months before it would have been forced to disband, after Niagara regional council backed its request to become a stand-alone police force.

Regional councillors voted Thursday in favour of a request from the Niagara Parks Commission to have its 55-member agency given the same status as the Niagara Regional Police, a move the region’s own police board opposes. more…

Carl Paladino’s racist emails

Carl P. Paladino has shifted his campaign for Governor to damage control after wnymedia.net exposed these racist and sexist emails. Warning, may contain inappropriate material. Click Here.

Niagara Parks Land Lease Process Moves Forward

niagara-parks-footer-logoOntario has engaged independent third-party expertise to assist the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) in its competitive process for the land lease related to tour boat operations at Niagara Falls.

Following a competitive process, the province has selected Knowles Consultancy Services Inc. as a procurement specialist and PPI Consulting Limited as fairness commissioner. The government has also engaged Capilano Maritime Design Ltd. as naval architect consultant to the competitive process. The duties of these third-party experts will be as follows:

  • The procurement specialist will assist NPC with activities associated with the design, development, management and control of the process.
  • The fairness commissioner will observe, monitor and oversee the competitive process, and issue a report to the ministry with respect to the fairness of the process.
  • The naval architect consultant will provide technical advice that will assist NPC in drafting the competitive process documents. more…
Easter Flower Display Begins This Weekend

The Niagara Parks Commission’s Floral Showhouse is pleased to once again feature a seasonal favourite – The Easter Flower Display – a Niagara Falls Ontario tradition for over 60 years. Back by popular demand will also be the added feature of real chicks and bunnies, a treat for kids and adults alike.

Easter Lily Cross at the Floral ShowhouseEaster Lily Cross at the Floral Showhouse

The Easter show features a cross display of lilies surrounded by colourful and fragrant spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and azaleas. The warm and serene setting is bursting with gorgeous blooms, orchids and exotic tropical plants as well as beautiful songbirds to get you in the mood for spring. The Floral Showhouse features eight different displays each year, so you can return again and again to discover paradise right in the heart of the city. more…

Niagara Falls USA a place of beauty, peace, and poverty


This documentary was filmed to show that although people think Niagara Falls USA is a beautiful place, not many people know of the problems that lie right outside the falls. Poverty, drugs, crime, prostitution, and many more issues are daily problems. Although all of these problems exist, there are lots of great organizations that are looking to make changes in the area. Places like The Hana House, Community Missions, and Heart Love & Soul as well as many more, are all teaming up to make the city of Niagara Falls a place of peace and serenity. Niagara Falls once was a thriving city full of hope, and these organizations are helping bring that hope back to the city.

Video by: David Wilhelm www.urdezign.com ; Co-producer Mansha Pasha

NiagaraBlog.com

Bob Gale Joins Whistle Blowing Advisory Board
OTTAWA, March 10, 2010 – The Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR), Canada’s whistleblower charity, is pleased to announce the appointment of Niagara Parks Commission whistleblower Bob Gale to its Advisory Board.

“I’m proud to be a part of what FAIR is trying to accomplish.” said Gale. “Employees are often the first to know about wrongdoing that threatens the public interest, but in Canada, as I found out, there is little to protect them if they speak out. We need to correct this absurd situation and I’m confident that we will.” more…

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours Wins Court Appeal

wet_jet_large_10

The Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of the Whirlpool Jet Boat operator,  setting aside a judgment made by a previous judge.  The ruling allows the boat operator to use the Melville Street Dock for the purposes of (1) docking space for the loading and unloading of passengers as required;  (2) refuelling of boats as permitted by the Applicable law; and (3) overnight docking. Docking space was restricted to a maximum of three boats, though a fourth was allowed to dock if circumstances required. more…