Monthly Archives: July 2016

CHAMBERS’ CORNER: Here’s A ‘Fair’ Photo

A Bob Chambers photo taken at the Welland Fair, circa 1962. If you know the names of the teens, we'd like to hear from you! (File photo/Bob Chambers)

A Bob Chambers photo taken at the Welland Fair, circa 1964. If you know the names of the teens, we’d like to hear from you! (File photo/Bob Chambers)

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, presents some of his photographs from that era …… Readers are asked to please comment!

By Bob Chambers

When I heard that the Niagara Regional Exhibition has been cancelled for at least this current year’s edition, I couldn’t believe it. SACRILEGE, I thought.

Calling it the NRE never caught on, lets face it, it’s still Welland Fair. Yes, the NRE was always the Welland Fair to me.

This picture of mine that I took for the Tribune in oh, possibly 1964, is the old fair that I remember. The fair that had its heart crammed into the infield of the race track. The fair that was in what now seems an impossibly small spot, was looked forward to all summer by every student in Welland County ….. because it was the biggest treat they had. It was no big deal even with having to park your car blocks away, as your trek was along friendly, tree-lined streets.

So here are three high-schoolers from (I believe) Fonthill. We’re reasonably sure his name is Barry, and they’re obviously enjoying these bites of cotton candy. The lights on the ferris-wheel are blurred by my camera’s short time exposure.

Hey, maybe some reader / viewer will provide identification of the teenagers.

Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957-1970

Your comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer/author.

City Shorts: Try ’em On For Size

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CITY SHORTS ART: A part of the midway rides at the 2015 Niagara Regional Exhibition. News broke today that the 2016 NRE is cancelled. (File photo Joe Barkovich. Please see City Short, below)

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

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:


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Mayor Campion

WELLAND –Mayor Frank Campion had the following comment about news the 2016 Niagara Regional Exhibition has been cancelled:

“I was surprised and saddened to hear that the NRE would not be happening this year. The news came right out of the blue. The NRE is something that virtually everyone in Welland has attended and it will be missed by young and old alike.

“I remember going to the fair in my youth on Denistoun Street, when it was known as the Welland County Fair. The rides, the people, the games, the food and the art and agricultural contests and displays are important to our community and have become a part of our history.

“This news is a real shame! I hope that the NRE will be back bigger and stronger in 2017.”

The fair, held traditionally in September, goes back 1832.


WELLAND – Don’t forget both Library branches will be closed on Monday, August 1 for the Civic Holiday. Regular library hours resume Tuesday, August 2. Library staff hope everyone has a safe and fun long weekend!


WELLAND – City of Welland Civic Holiday hours (Monday, August 1), have been announced.



WELLAND – The next Healthy Kids Community Pop-Up Challenge Niagara is scheduled Tuesday, August 2 on Merritt Island, along the Recreational Waterway. For kids ‘0 to 12’ years, it will be held from 10am to noon.


NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE – Nothing warms your soul like a bowl of hearty homemade soup. Spend Sunday August 20, 9am to noon with a Canadian Food and Wine Institute Sous Chef preparing a variety of delicious soups and learn the trick to making a good stock. Don’t forget to bring along your take home containers! For more info:


WELLAND – It’s from 4:30pm – 9:00pm or dusk. Welland Supper Market invites you to relax, enjoy, indulge…with the family of course! Brought to you by Silversmith Brewing Company and the Welland Downtown BIA, the Supper Market features food truck vendors, beer, wine, and local musical entertainment. All this summer, sunshine, sunset, and supper is served on Merritt Island


WELLAND – Cameron Lee is the featured performer at Jammin’ at the Market, Saturday, August 6. Showtime is from 9:30am to 10:30am


summer vacationWELLAND – Going on vacation? No problem. Visit Welland library’s circulation desk or call extension 2520 to extend your loan period to cover the time you are away.

No need to miss your holds or lose your position in line either! Simply ask to have your standing holds suspended until after you return. Holds can also be suspended from your account online.


Making Welland Colourful

art wall progress

Welland artist James Takeo applies a coat of white to the letter ‘l’ in ‘Welland’ early this evening, Tuesday, July 26. When finished, its theme will be transportation modes in Welland with images of a laker and locomotive filling in the space. Takeo also painted the visually striking Bridge 13 image that dominates the first ‘l’. Below, the ‘n’ is a project of artist Atom Dellow and it is being dedicated to Welland industry over the years. The letter ‘d’ was painted by Karen Edwards and it pays homage to Welland’s firefighting/infrastructure heritage. The work is expected to be complete by Aug. 27. If you haven’t yet had a close-up look at the Welland Art Wall, it’s certainly worth your while to do so. It is located at the corner of East Main and Hellems.  (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

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College’s Welland Campus Site Of Emergency Training Exercise July 27

WELLAND- As part of ongoing training for emergency response and preparedness, Niagara College and the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) will participate in a joint exercise at the Welland Campus on Wednesday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to noon.

During this time you may see unusual activity on campus, including a response by specialized units of the NRPS. Please note that if actual emergency takes place during this time, we will notify the college community via the Niagara College website, media and our social media sites.

“Niagara College strives to provide a safe and secure learning environment and workplace, and regularly undergoes training and other exercises,” said David Jastrubecki. “These types of activities help us to build response capacity and preparedness, and strengthen our partnerships with agencies like the Nagara Regional Police Service.”

Parking Lot G will be closed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the exercise.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this training exercise, please contact Paula-Marie Jannetta Saric at ext. 6996.

(Source: Niagara College news release)

Niagara College Announces A ‘Honey’ Of A Commercial Beekeeping Program


Environmental Technician student Christine Combe checks out beehives at Niagara College’s new apiary, with the help of Dennis Edell, director of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association.

WELLAND – With a significant and growing demand for highly-trained beekeepers across Canada and around the world, Niagara College has introduced a one-year hands-on Commercial Beekeeping Graduate Certificate program – the first of its kind in Eastern Canada.

The three-semester program will see its first intake of approximately 30 students begin studies at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus in January 2017. With the winter start, the program will run parallel to the normal annual lifecycle of the honey bee, from the winter slumber to honey extraction, to returning the bees to their hives for overwintering.

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Dan Pattterson

“Our commercial Beekeeping program is a shining example of one of Niagara College’s key strengths – our ability to work closely with industry to develop high-quality academic programs that respond to specific needs in our community and beyond,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson.

The program is truly hands-on, with an on-campus apiary – with 30 actively managed hives – serving as the centrepiece of the program.

“The need for a skilled labour force to offset the loss of a natural ecological process is significant,” said Al Unwin, associate dean of Niagara College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “The development of this program aligns with our overall approach to agri-food, where pollinators are an increasingly important part of a vibrant food system. We’ve worked closely with industry to create a hands-on program that will produce graduates that are knowledgeable, highly skilled and experienced.”

The demand for skilled workers to support the pollination services industry is significant. In its most recent agricultural census, Statistics Canada estimates a need for more than 3,600 commercial beekeepers by 2026.

“I commend Niagara College on the launch of the commercial beekeeping program for our province,” said The Hon. Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Training and education are key elements to supporting and improving the health of honey bees in Ontario. Innovative programs like this one play an important role in the future of the apiary sector.”

Niagara College’s program has been in development for four years, in collaboration with the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association (OBA), which represents 80 percent of beekeepers in Ontario.

“The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association is particularly pleased to have partnered with Niagara College on the concept and launch of their new Commercial Beekeeping program,” said Tibor Szabo, president of the OBA. “Today’s commercial beekeeper faces many challenges both locally and globally. This is a great first step for anyone thinking of a career in beekeeping.”

The Commercial Beekeeping Graduate Certificate program is a post-grad program open to students with a diploma or degree from an accredited college or university in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or an acceptable combination of education and experience. Learn more about the program online at

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

(Source: Niagara College news release)

At Last: Heat, Humidity Abating

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Scene outside city hall, taken by downtown webcam, showing heavy downpour shortly before 1030am today.


POSTED: 6:06 PM EDT Monday 25 July 20 16
Heat Warning in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
  • St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region

The hot and humid conditions are gradually abating as a weak cold front crosses the region this evening. The heat warning will likely be ended a little later this evening as slightly cooler conditions set in.

While heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for
– older adults;
– infants and young children;
– people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions or psychiatric illnesses;
– people who work in the heat;
– people who exercise in the heat;
– homeless people; and
– people without access to air conditioning.

Drink plenty of liquids especially water before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

Heat warnings are issued when very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports to #ONStorm.

‘A Welcome Rain After A Historically Dry Start To Summer’

Rob Paola (Supplied photo)

Rob Paola (Supplied photo)













The  extreme dryness that has been plaguing Welland and Niagara region was reaching historic proportions through yesterday.  The drought was about as bad as anything Welland has experienced since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, and was on pace to be Welland’s driest start to summer since records began in 1872.

That all changed in a matter of a few hours this morning as a band of heavy thunderstorms brought some much needed rain across Niagara including Welland. Officially, the storms this morning dumped 27 mm of rain at Welland’s airport (Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport), which is more rain than has fallen in Welland over the entire past 7 weeks. To say this morning’s rainfall was overdue is an understatement. It won’t end the drought, as much more rain is needed to get back to normal.. but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

A few of the numbers: (data from Welland airport weather station)  

Through July 24th, Welland had received only 6.0 mm of rain this month. This was on pace to be Welland’s 2nd driest July ever, behind 1933 when only 5.6 mm fell the entire month. This morning’s rain now puts this July out of a top 10 driest July in Welland.  Welland could see more rain before the month is over.

Through July 24th, Welland had received only 72.7 mm of rain since May 1st. Normal rainfall for the 3 month period of May, June and July is 254 mm. So Welland was running some 29% of normal precipitation since May 1st, an exceedingly low amount.  Welland was on pace to have the driest May-Jul period since records began in 1872, but that is no longer the case after this morning‘s rainfall. May-Jul rainfall is now at 99.8 mm, which would be the 3rd driest May-Jul on record since 1872.  The driest May-Jul period in Welland was in 1934 when only 81.5 mm fell over that 3 month period.

By comparison, last year saw 292 mm of rain in Welland from May 1st to July 31st.  More rain fell in one day last year (85 mm on June 27),  than in the entire period of May 1st to July 24th this year.

Welland’s top 10 driest May – Jul periods (data since 1872.. some years missing)

            2016    99.8 mm (as of noon)

1 1934 81.5
2 1933 97.5
3 1936 112.0
4 1954 115.6
5 1941 118.4
6 1906 120.9
7 1876 124.2
8 1950 128.0
9 1913 131.3
10 1939 135.9

NORMAL           254

LAST YEAR       292

Bottom line.. a welcome rain after a historically dry start to summer!

(Rob Paola, a “Welland boy” as the saying goes, is with Environment Canada and currently works at the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba as a supervisor and severe weather meteorologist. Following Welland’s weather, even from afar, has been a long-time interest.)