Monthly Archives: January 2016

New Soupmaker At Soup’s On!

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The Lunch Lady, Stephane Menicanin, right, with staff member Tricia Cooper, at Soup’s On! (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Soup’s On! welcomed a new community partner on Friday.

The Lunch Lady, Stephanie Menicanin, joined soup prep teams from Blessed Trinity, Eastdale , Confederation, Lakeshore Catholic and Notre Dame secondary schools and Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute at the serving table, where an array of nine delicious soups awaited diners, some of them self-described soup connoisseurs.

Her local small business is part of a school lunch program based in Canada. It provides “simple and healthy lunches that kids love”, offered both hot and cold. She is also choir director at St. Kevin.

The recipe for her soup, onion, ale and cheddar, is one that will appear on the Soup’s On! Facebook page ( Soup’s On – St. Kevin’s) over the next few days.




Flu Activity in Niagara Region

(Source: Niagara Region public health)

The Flu (Influenza) is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus. It can be a serious illness for some people.

Niagara Region monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses on an on-going basis. During the months of October to May, activity will be reported.

Only laboratory confirmed cases are reported. Most people infected with influenza do not get laboratory testing and so actual infection numbers are likely much higher.

Weekly Flu Activity (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B Total
Jan 24-30 19 1 20

Totals include lab confirmed cases in the community and cases associated with outbreaks in health care facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Total Cases by City/Town
Town/City Influenza A Influenza B Total Five Year Average
Fort Erie 2 0 2 12
Grimsby 3 0 3 21
Lincoln 4 0 4 19
Niagara Falls 4 0 4 29
Niagara-on-the-Lake 0 1 1 19
Pelham 4 1 5 5
Port Colborne 2 0 2 11
St. Catharines 13 1 14 62
Thorold 1 0 1 10
Wainfleet 1 1 2 2
Welland 2 0 2 27
West Lincoln 5 0 5 13
Total 41 4 45 230


Institutional Outbreaks (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B
Jan 24-30 0 0

Ontario and Canada’s Influenza Activity

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings in Welland

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 Weekly Meetings
Feb.1 ’16
4:00 PM – Senior Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.
Feb.1 ’16
5:30 PM – Welland Downtown Business Improvement Area Board of Management Meeting
Room 108/109.
Feb.2 ’16
6:10 PM – Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole In-camera (Closed to the Public), in the Council Ante Room, to discuss the following:

  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.
    – Welland Recreational Canal Corporation update.
  • Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board.
    – Update – Rice Road lease renewal.
Feb.2 ’16
7:00 PM – Council Meeting, in Open Session, in the Council Chambers;

  • Legislated Public Hearing(s) Pursuant to the Planning Act.
Feb.3 ’16
4:30 PM – Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council Meeting
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.
Feb.3 ’16
5:00 PM – City of Welland Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting (formerly, Heritage Welland Committee)
Room 109.

Souper Friday!

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Part of the crowd for the 1 p.m. sitting at Soup’s On! Friday at St. Kevin parish hall. About 400 people attended the 14th annual fundraiser for the St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship. The popular event offered nine soups prepared by students and staff in culinary arts programs at Blessed Trinity High School (Grimsby), Confederation Secondary School and Eastdale Secondary School (Welland), Lakeshore Catholic (Port Colborne), Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Notre Dame (Welland) and new to the program, Stephanie the Lunch Lady (Stephanie Menicanin). a local small business. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)


Tyra Crowthers of Eastdale Secondary School ladles out her school’s offering, roasted tomato soup, at the 14th annual Soup’s On! luncheon Friday at St. Kevin Parish Hall. More coverage to follow.

City Shorts: Try ’em On For Size


See: Tell Me The Truth About Love, below. (Supplied graphic)

city shorts

City Shorts

City Shorts is a compilation, from various sources (government websites, news announcements, press releases, church bulletins, advertisements, community service information and events, bulletin boards, requests, telephone requests, web postings, email requests etc.) of short items (in most cases) about matters of local interest in Welland. Want to submit an item for consideration? Please send to:

Service interruption at library branch January 30

servcice interruptionsWELLAND – Scheduled computer maintenance at Diamond Trail School will be done on Saturday, January 30.

Telephone and WIFI services will be affected until 12pm at the library branch there. If you are unable to reach the Branch Library, please call the Main Library at 905-734-6210. Press 5 for library options.

The library apologizes for any inconvenience

Niagara Counts: Volunteers needed for April 5

niagara-countsTHOROLD – Niagara Counts is part of a national strategy to help determine the extent of homelessness.

About 30 communities across Canada, including Niagara, will be conducting Point-in-Time Counts providing a snapshot of homelessness at a given point in time.

This involves counting and surveying those in the community who experience absolute homelessness (those living outside or in emergency shelters). The Count will help us better understand who is homeless and what their needs are.

A successful count will allow the Niagara community to:

Identify the number of absolute homeless individuals in our community at a given point in time; Identify the characteristics and needs of the homeless; Provide baseline data so we can measure our progress towards ending homelessness; Increase public awareness about homelessness; Enhance our ability to test the effectiveness of programs and services aimed at ending homelessness.

Conducting a successful count will require volunteers who will work together in teams of three to identify and survey individuals who are homeless. Volunteers are needed April 5 from 5 – 8 a.m.

For more information about the program and how to register to be a volunteer, visit the Region’s website.

Tell Me The Truth About Love

RIDGEWAY – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Lyric Niagara announces their second presentation Tell Me the Truth About Love, a love-themed cabaret style presentation featuring Broadway selections, Jazz standards and a hint of opera. Join the soloists of Lyric Niagara as they share through song stories of falling in love, falling out of love, and all the heartache and joy that accompanies adventures in love.

Appearing for the first time at The Sanctuary Centre for the Arts, a former church remade into a multi-use arts space in historic Ridgeway, and also home to Crave Local Fresh restaurant and the Brimstone Brewery. A casual atmosphere and bar will allow the audience to relax while treated to this entertaining music.

Lyric Niagara is a new collaborative organization of classical singers who perform as soloists, teach, and reside in the Niagara Region. The performers seek to make vocal music accessible to new and long-converted music lovers, through innovative and thoughtful programming, inspiring collaboration, and community interaction. Their repertoire interests span a wide range of genres including interests in opera, art song, jazz, Broadway, and folk music.

The soloists of Lyric Niagara include soprano Jennifer Carter, mezzo-soprano Debra Kingsley, soprano Charlotte Knight, and soprano Breanne Rourke. They each perform regularly in opera, oratorio, operetta and sacred music, both locally and regionally. They are joined by pianist Dr. Erika Reiman, an accomplished performer and musicologist, as well as a piano instructor in the Music Department of Brock University.

Tickets for Tell Me the Truth About Love: A Cabaret are available online in advance for $20, under the events page at (follow the Ticket Scene link); or at the door, for $25.  Each ticket includes the first drink from the bar.

Packages including dinner and show or show and stay in a local bed & breakfast are available, please enquire through the venue website as well.

More information about the soloists of Lyric Niagara can be found at

New! Children’s program guide available

WELLAND – The new Children’s Program Guide is now available at Welland Public Library. It features programs scheduled from January to June 2016. The March Break Program Guide will be available mid-February. The program guide is available at both library branches, and on the library website.

 T. Roy Adams award nominations sought


T. Roy Adams

WELLAND – The prestigious T. Roy Adams Humanitarian of the Year is awarded annually by Niagara Region to a current resident of Niagara to honour the memory of the late T. Roy Adams.

This is the fourteenth year of the Award. The recipient will be someone who best exemplifies Roy’s values and dedication to community service; a person who sees volunteerism as an integral part of their life.

T. Roy Adams was well known throughout the Region, Canada, and abroad for his service to God, his country and his fellow citizens. The deadline for receiving nominations is March 31, 2016. For further information and nomination form please visit, or contact Sharon McNames at 905-685-4225 ext 3224, or by email at

February book club selections now available

WELLAND – The Afternoon and Evening Book Club selections are now available at the Circulation desk. Welland library’s Afternoon Book Club will be discussing “Our souls at night” by Kent Haruf on Wednesday, February 17. More information is available here.

The Evening Book Club will be discussing “Away” by Amy Bloom on Tuesday, February 23. More information is available here.

High School Hoops: Ontario Classic Coming to St. Cats

DSC_0106 (6)ST. CATHARINES – Notre Dame will tip off against St. Jean de Brebeuf from Hamilton in the Ontario Catholic Classic Basketball Tournament February 12 – 13 in St. Catharines.

Game venues for the Catholic Classic are Denis Morris and Holy Cross gyms.

Sixteen teams from Catholic high schools around the province are taking part.

The Irish and Brebeuf will play Friday, February 12, 12:30 p.m. at Holy Cross.

The winner advances to the championship side of the bracket and will play Friday 6:30 p.m. at Denis Morris. The loser moves on to the consolation side and will play Friday 6:30 p.m. at Holy Cross.

The two championship games are scheduled for Saturday at Denis Morris, with tip off in the consolation championship at 6 p.m. and the championship game at 7:30 p.m.

 New Professional Activity Day

WELLAND – A new Professional Activity Day has been added to this year’s school calendar.

This new P.A. Day was a part of the agreement reached during the central negotiations in 2015, and affects all elementary and secondary schools in Ontario.

Niagara Catholic’s additional P.A. Day will take place on Friday, April 15, 2016. The Board approved this date during a Special Board Meeting earlier this month.

This information is also being shared on the Board website and social media accounts, and will be published in school newsletters.

If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.

Alumni association seeks registrants for new website

WELLAND – Notre Dame College School Alumni Association is inviting all alumni to register on its new website in order to re-establish the association’s contact list.

Once logged in and registered you will be able to peruse over 65 years of Notre Dame yearbooks online.

Please register at

  (City Shorts is a recurring feature on the blog appearing most often on Wednesdays and Saturdays, or otherwise as circumstances arise. Send submissions to:

Deadline Extended For Committees

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large


Interested in taking a place at the committee table?

Another deadline extension has been made to applying for membership on Welland municipal committees.

The new deadline, according to a posting on the city’s website is Monday, February 8.

The committees still in need of members are:

Accessibility Advisory Committee (3);

Arts and Culture Advisory Committee (1);

Market Square Advisory Committee (3);

Senior Citizens Advisory Committee (2);

Town and Gown Committee (1);

Welland Community Wellness Complex Advisory Committee (3).

The term of the appointments expire November 30, 2018.

An excerpt from the posting: “Your application should describe what assets you feel you can bring to the committee.”

Applications and information is available at the Office of the City Clerk or by clicking here.

SNAPSHOT: Paul Turner, Our Teacher


Paul Turner, left, crossed paths with fellow Class of ’77 member Tim Reich of Ottawa during the Notre Dame 40th anniversary pilgrimage in October. (File photo/Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

I thought about calling the principal, and a teacher or two, and speaking to a student or two for their thoughts about Paul Turner, the Notre Dame College School teacher who is ending his teaching career, retirement bound, after 32 years at the same school. But I decided against it, opting to leave this part of a retirement story to local media to pursue.

I think I know enough about Turner to craft a piece on my own.

I was in the school for a meeting a week or so ago when a support staffer with whom he was engaged in lighthearted conversation happened to say: “I don’t know what we’re going to do without you.”

It wasn’t a lighthearted comment on her part.

The tone of her voice gave that away.

Turner was a walking billboard for Notre Dame and the myriad activities that go on there. More than anyone else, I dare say, he wore themed sweaters or t-shirts for various activities in which he was involved one way or another: pilgrimage, Montreal Massacre awareness, hockey, poverty, fair trade, social climate, the list goes on, too many to remember, too many to mention. But he didn’t just wear them – Turner lived the causes and projects he espoused, he was always an integral part of them and they of him.

Turner was a religion teacher – no stress there, you may want to say. But think of the responsibility there is in being a religion teacher. There’s this old saying many of us are familiar with – keep the faith! That’s only half the story, probably the easy half. The old saying should really be – Don’t just keep the faith, share it! Turner was adept at that. He shared it by living it, practicing it, encouraging it, breathing it, not just inside the classroom or the chapel but outside it too.

He does it in his personal life. A man of many hats, my friend Turner is gifted with – or maybe it’s blessed with – ‘walking the talk’ in whatever he does. We’ve worked together on a few projects and causes over the past few years and he has never failed to amaze me with how he applies faith to what he is doing or involved in. It’s not something that stays in the classroom after the bell rings. It’s portable, and Turner is sure to bring it with him wherever he goes.

I like to think that through our association, I became one of his students, too, because there was always something to be learned. And that’s why I can say without reservation: Thanks Paul, you taught us well.

(Snapshot is a recurring feature on the blog.)

Adam Shoalts To Share Stories From Book

alone against the northWELLAND – Called “Canada’s Indiana Jones” by The Toronto Star, Adam Shoalts is a professional explorer and adventurer whose trail-blazing expeditions into the last unexplored places on the planet have been covered by the BBC, CNN, CTV News, CBC and other media around the world.

Shoalts, who grew up in Fenwick, on Thursday, January 28 at Welland Public Library will share stories from his best-selling book, Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown,  the tale of his adventures alone deep into the heart of polar bear territory, mapping rivers, and finding waterfalls.

The session is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Copies of his book will be available for purchase at the event. Register here.

(Source: Welland Public Library)

Ontario Catholic Classic In St. Catharines

DSC_1025 (5).JPGBy Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

ST. CATHARINES – Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish will tip off against St. Jean de Brebeuf from Hamilton in the opening day of the Ontario Catholic Classic Basketball Tournament February 12 – 13 in St. Catharines.

Game venues are Denis Morris and Holy Cross gyms.

Sixteen teams from Catholic high schools around the province are taking part.

The Irish and Brebeuf will play Friday, February 12, 12:30 p.m. at Holy Cross.

The winner advances to the championship side of the bracket and will play Friday 6:30 p.m. at Denis Morris. The loser moves on to the consolation side and will play Friday 6:30 p.m. at Holy Cross.

The two championship games are scheduled for Saturday at Denis Morris, with tip off in the consolation championship at 6 p.m. and the championship game at 7:30 p.m.

Full bracket to follow