Monthly Archives: January 2017

Pond Hockey, Family Fun Are Goals Of Julia’s Hope Cup Tourney Planners

dsc_0557-2By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – There’s no ice breaker like pond hockey when it comes to having a good time.

Planners of Julia’s Hope Cup hope the weather will co-operate so they can build the one-day fundraiser around “good old Canadian pond hockey.”

The 6th annual tournament is at Chippawa Park, Saturday, February 4.

If the pond is frozen over, as purists say it should be if our Canadian winter weather comes through, “pond hockey” will be played on the popular outdoor rink.

If it isn’t the games will go on but as ball hockey in the parking lot.


Paul Turner, in this file photo, hoists Julia’s Hope Cup.

Paul Turner stickhandles through an interview with memories of playing pond hockey as a kid growing up near Chippawa Park.

He and his pals would play for hours, then wind down with cups of hot chocolate at one or another of their homes.

“Nothing like Canadian pond hockey in the cold of winter,” he recalled over – yep, you got it – a cup of hot chocolate at a local Timmy’s.

The tournament is named after Julia Turner, Paul and wife Tina’s daughter, who died of cancer in December, 2011. She was 15.

She had a soft spot in her heart for people who are vulnerable, especially children who have to cope with social issues like homelessness and hunger.

Turner said the event combines fun and raising awareness about homelessness. Funds raised go to Welland’s Hope Centre.

Because it is geared to appealing to families, it has a “carnival-like” atmosphere focusing on family fun, Turner said.

That includes children’s games and activities, a silent auction and, weather permitting, tobogganing on the park hill overlooking First Avenue.

Julia’s Hope Cup receives an outpouring of support from local residents, businesses and community groups, Turner said.

Breakfast and lunch are free. The well-known chefs, Anna and Mike Olson, will prepare gourmet hot chocolate; Niagara College students will serve up chili; M.T. Bellies owner John Clark will provide pea-meal bacon sandwiches. Club Richelieu members will have the club’s baked beans in good supply; there will be a pig roast by Chuck Simpson and plenty of Tim Horton’s coffee will be served.

Turner said City of Welland staff “do great work for us” grooming the ice if it’s available and in providing Chippawa Park Community Centre especially if it is cold and folks need a place to get warm.

Cost to play in the hockey tournament is $100 per adult or $50 per student. It sounds costly, but players can get pledges from friends and family to lighten the cost.

“It doesn’t have to be $100 out of your pocket. Get friends to throw in a few bucks, then get them to come to the park, watch you play and share in the fun,” Turner said.

To make the tournament as competitive as possible, teams are put together by choosing names from a hat.

High Marks For Irish In Test With Reds

bb-logoWELLAND – Notre Dame’s senior boys beat Denis Morris Reds on Tuesday of this week, the final game on the hoops schedule before the break for exams.

The Irish outplayed DM on their own court to leave St. Catharines with a 74-48 win.

The Irish, who improved to 17-7, were without starter Kyle Cooper who missed the game because he was sick.

Irish coach Mark Gallagher said Jason Rochard, who started in place of Cooper, came up big for ND and played a key role in the win.

Gallagher said Rochard “did an outstanding job” on DM big man the 6’8” Sympho Ilunga, holding him to 14 points.

“The whole team did a great job concentrating on rebounding against the bigger DM team,” Gallagher said.

DM sat in a zone early but ND got strong shooting performances from Jonah Gruarin (23 points including 6 three-pointers), Alex Root (17 points), Rovenston Jean-Baptiste (14 points) and Braidon Moore (12 points).

The play of Notre Dame’s guards was the difference in the match, according to coach Gallagher.

“Our guards defended the DM guards all game and controlled the pace of the game.”

All ND’s players saw action in the game.

After exams, the Irish have games in Lockport, N.Y.(February 2) and Niagara Falls, N.Y. (February 4).

Here is the balance of the schedule for the Irish:

Feb 7                                Holy Cross @ ND                         Welland


Feb 10-12                               All Catholic                             Denis Morris HS

Feb 13                                    League Semi- Finals              TBA

Feb 15                                    NCAA Championship            TBA

Feb 27-18                              SOSSA                                    MacNab HS, Hamilton

Gallagher said the Friday, February 10 games in the All Catholic are scheduled for Notre Dame.

Flu Activity In Niagara Region

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
January 23 – January 27 259 15 274

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 Municipality
Municipality Influenza A Influenza B Total Five Year Average
Fort Erie 13 0 13 12
Grimsby 13 0 13 21
Lincoln 17 0 17 19
Niagara Falls 33 0 33 29
Niagara-on-the-Lake 11 0 11 19
Pelham 17 1 18 5
Port Colborne 8 3 11 11
St. Catharines 97 3 100 62
Thorold 18 0 18 10
Wainfleet 2 1 3 2
Welland 22 2 24 27
West Lincoln 8 5 13 13
Total 259 15 274 230


Institutional Outbreaks (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B
January 23 – January 27 46

Ontario and Canada’s Influenza Activity

Meetings In Welland: The Week Ahead

Meeting Calendar

Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

Canada’s 150th in Welland Committee Meeting  ≫

5:30 PM Monday Jan. 30  2017 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.

Ontario Energy Board (OEB) Community Meeting  ≫

6:30 PM Tuesday Jan. 31  2017 – re: Welland Hydro-Electric Systems Corp.’s rate application and the OEB’s distribution rate decision making process
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.

Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council Meeting  ≫

4:30 PM Wednesday Feb. 1  2017 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

City of Welland Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting  ≫

5:00 PM Wednesday Feb. 1  2017 –
– Civic Square, Room 109

Welland Community Wellness Complex Advisory Committee Meeting  ≫

3:00 PM Thursday Feb. 2  2017 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

Hands On Experience


Chef instructors Mathieu Cyr of Confederation Secondary School, left, and Chris Begin of Notre Dame College share a handshake in the kitchen at Friday’s Soup’s On! fundraiser. The camaraderie typifies the behind the scenes friendship enjoyed by chefs and students. In the background, chef instructors and students prepare a garnish for one of the soups. The event, attended by close to 400 soup lovers, was held at St. Kevin parish hall, Welland. It raises funds for a social justice scholarship. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

For City’s Parking, By-law Division, 2016 Was ‘Exceptionally Active’


Ignore posted parking prohibitions at your own peril! This is Cabot Street, off First Avenue. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

WELLAND – The City of Welland Parking and By-law Division had an exceptionally active 2016 year, with 1,120 investigations conducted on public and private properties.  The officers also addressed approximately 3,000 phone call inquiries. A team of three by-law officers provide citizens of Welland with a variety of services related to compliance with clean yards, graffiti, property standards, and zoning.

The city’s by-law team works on a reactive, complaint-driven, basis. By-law officers investigate and enforce compliance with private and public property to ensure a level of public safety and neighbourhood integrity. The team of officers also administrate over 400 business licenses every year. Last year the by-law division invoiced a total of $130,544.50 to public and private property owners in order to bring derelict properties up to standard. This is almost $55,000 more than the $76,579.39 that was generated in 2015.

Parking enforcement is also a significant function within the division. A team of four parking enforcement officers work with a pro-active approach in responding to parking infractions throughout the city to provide safer streets and better traffic flow. The officers issued 11,150 parking infraction tickets in 2016, which is a considerable increase from the 9,549 tickets issued in 2015.

Ali Khan says the Parking and By-Law Division has improved customer service delivery and will continue to develop best practices.

“Staff had a busy year with parking enforcement and addressing by-law complaints that were officially filed with the city,” said Khan. “An online parking ticket payment system was also introduced in 2016 to simplify the process of payment.”

Gary Long, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Welland feels that enhancing online services and providing clear communication with the public is part of the Parking and By-law Division’s success.

“We want to work with residents and businesses to maintain a better quality of life, and keep our neighbourhoods safe and enjoyable for everyone,” said Long. “This can be achieved through co-operative compliance and enforcement of the city’s by-laws.”

The city’s Parking and By-law Division operates 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday; however, City of Welland parking enforcement operates 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. For more information on the Parking and By-law Division, or other City of Welland services and programs visit

(Source: City of Welland news release)

City Working With Community Partners On Off-Campus Housing Issues


First Avenue near Woodlawn, part of which is pictured here, has been a  high density student housing area over the years. (Photoby Joe Barkovich)

WELLAND – The City of Welland and its Town and Gown Committee are working together to review current programs and by-laws regarding off-campus student housing. The committee—comprised of representatives from City Council, city staff, Niagara College, Niagara College’s Student Administrative Council, Niagara Region, Niagara Regional Police Services (NRPS), and local residents—is a forum for dialogue to assist in developing and enhancing community relationships. The committee values communications and is taking a collaborative approach to creating new policies and ensuring harmony in Welland’s college-friendly neighbourhoods.

Niagara College educates over 10,000 full-time students within three campuses.  With the college’s main campus located in Welland, many neighbourhoods around the campus are dense with student housing. To better integrate and monitor student housing in Welland neighbourhoods, and further address resident concerns, the City of Welland has taken the following actions:

  • City staff are monitoring residential areas with student housing more frequently, and are enforcing city by-laws for infractions pertaining to noise, parking, and property standards.
  • The By-law Enforcement Division received 37 complaints in 2016 regarding refuse/ garbage within the 6 block area, all of which have been addressed and closed.
  • 49% of all parking infractions issued last year in the City of Welland were issued within a 6 block area surrounding the college. This area is bordered by Quaker Road, Clare Avenue, Thorold Road and Niagara Street.
  • The city’s Town and Gown Committee has recently formed a Housing Sub-committee. Part of the committee’s mandate is to review best practices and identify improvements that could be made to improve the relationship between student houses and existing neighbourhoods, and provide recommendations to the Town and Gown Committee.
  • The city is currently working on a new Comprehensive Zoning By-law. Recommendations from the Town and Gown Committee and the Housing Sub-committee on ways to better regulate rental housing will be considered for inclusion in the final document.
  • The city’s sign by-law has been amended to better regulate property management signs and reduce sign pollution.

Councillor Mark Carl, chair of the Town and Gown Committee says the committee intends to improve the quality of life in student-dense neighbourhoods and maintain positive relationships with all stakeholders.

“City of Welland Council, staff, and the Town and Gown Committee are committed to working with local residents, the community, and landlords to address any concerns within Welland’s student-friendly neighbourhoods,” said Carl. “We’re grateful and proud that Niagara College is a part of this amazing city.”

Ali Khan, the City’s Supervisor of Traffic, Parking and By-laws says the city relies on residents to be the department’s “eyes and ears” and letting staff know when a property has some deficiencies.

“We welcome open communication from residents and their concerns pertaining to student compliance,” said Khan.

“Niagara College has undertaken a number of initiatives over the years to enhance strategies that promote positive relations with our neighbours,” said Susan McConnell, college spokesperson. “We look forward to continuing our participation on the committee and working collaboratively with our partners.”

For more information on the city’s property standards, parking by-laws, or to view the Town and Gown Committee’s Good Neighbour Guide, please visit

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Canada’s Aboriginal Warriors Topic of Address

museumWELLAND – Far too often the accomplishments of First Nations, Inuit and Metis in the military are neglected. The Welland Museum is pleased to welcome guest speaker and proud warrior WO Sheldon Quinn of the PPCLI, who will comment on Canadian Aboriginal military involvement from the War of 1812 to the present day.  Quinn is a serving Warrant Officer and a member of Saddle Cree Nation in the Treaty Six Territory of Alberta, who saw action in several key military operations including Afghanistan.

With the possible exception of the highly decorated WWII and Korean War vet Tommy Prince, we recognize precious few Aboriginal heroes. Prince, an Ojibwa, was raised on the Brokenhead Reserve in Manitoba, honoured by King George VI at Buckingham Palace, served with the famed and feared Devil’s Brigade and was awarded eleven medals for his military service including the Military Medal during a battle in Italy, and the Silver Star, an American award for gallantry.

First Nations soldier Francis Pegahmagabow was the most effective sniper of World War I, three times awarded the Military Medal.  He saw action during the Second Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele, Upton Wood and was seriously wounded at the Somme.  He was an expert marksman and scout, credited with killing 378 Germans and capturing 300 more. John Shiwak was an Inuk born in Labrador and killed at Masnieres, France when a German shell exploded, taking him and six of his fellow soldiers during the First World War.

The public is welcome to learn more about Canada’s Aboriginal Warriors on Wednesday, February 15th from 3:30 – 5 pm at the Welland Museum.  Admission is free.  Seating is limited. Advance registration is required. Please call 905-732-2215.   For more information on the Museum and its programs and exhibitions, please visit The Museum is located at 140 King St and is open from 10 am– 4 pm.

(Source: Welland Museum news release)

Irish Have Their Work Cut Out For Them


Notre Dame coach Mark Gallagher, kneeling, watches the Irish in action during a recent game. (File photo)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND  – You know the old saying: No rest for the wicked.

Well, in basketball usage it can be modified to: No rest for the Irish!

Notre Dame’s senior boys hoops team is certainly being put to the test.

The Irish stole a come-from-behind win over Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs in a semi-final matchup in the Tribune Tournament earlier this month, then next evening won a hard-fought, thrilling game with Centennial Cougars to capture the tournament championship.

This was an impressive debut for new coach and Mike Rao-successor, Mark Gallagher. His team withstood almost unrelenting pressure from the Cougars in the game’s second half and maintained its composure even as a healthy lead was whittled away. It was a win all could be proud of, especially the coach.

Then, last week, the Irish met St. Paul Patriots in the friendly confines of Dillon Hall, a storied  high school basketball shrine here in Niagara. Both teams went into the matchup with undefeated records and as Gallagher said, it was a clash for first place in the new Catholic league.

The Patriots left Welland with a 58-54 win.

The Irish now meet Denis Morris Reds  Tuesday, January 24, in  St. Catharines, the final game on the schedule prior to the start of exams. It’s a double header, with the Junior Irish tipping off at 3:30pm followed by the seniors at 5.

Cross-border shopping won’t be on the minds of Gallagher’s lads next month but cross-border shooting will.

They will play Lockport High School in Lockport, N.Y., February 2, with the juniors also seeing action against Lockport juniors. Then on February 4, the senior Irish visit Niagara Falls High School also across the international border.

This should be good preparation for the upcoming Catholic Classic or All-Catholic on February 10-11.

Gallagher said the tournament draw isn’t available yet, but he does know that Notre Dame will play host to Friday, February 10 games.

The Catholic Classic can’t be underestimated when it comes to the grand scheme of things, the freshman coach explained in e-mail correspondence.

It’s important because “ND is one of the original six Catholic high schools in the province.”

Gallagher is a graduate of one of them, Cathedral in Hamilton. The others are St. Mike’s, Toronto, St. John’s, Brantford, St. Pius X, Ottawa, and St. Pat’s, Sarnia.

“The All-Catholic started long before full funding as a celebration of Catholic education and teams came together to compete and celebrate Catholic education,” wrote Gallagher. “In the days when we were not sure if Catholic education would continue (it) was a celebration of our schools and their excellence. People should know this! It is an honour for us to play in this tournament.”

Watch for more Notre Dame senior basketball coverage here on the blog!