Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Great Ontario House Cleaning

    Ontarians face two major elections in 2018 — on June 7 to elect a new provincial government and on Oct. 22 to elect municipal councils across the province.
    What voters are going to have to decide is, do we want more of the same?
    Some useful questions to ask are:
    Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
    Are you happy with the progress being made on major issues such as public transit?
    Do the politicians who represent you spend their time working on things you care about, or they care about?
    Our view is that after almost 15 years in power, Ontario’s Liberal government is a spent, politically corrupt force that has left the province’s finances in chaos.
    It’s so bad two independent, non-partisan officers of the legislature — the auditor general and Financial Accountability Office — say the books can’t be trusted. That the government of Premier Kathleen Wynne is running a multibillion-dollar deficit, despite claims of a balanced budget.
    Wynne’s solution to massive hydro bills, created in large part by the Liberals’ bungling of the electricity file, is to kick the problem down the road. Which will result in Ontarians paying billions of dollars more than necessary on their electricity bills over the long term, according to auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.
    We know Wynne’s re-election strategy.
    Keep her allies in the big public sector unions happy with generous, already signed, labour contracts.
    Spend millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on politically partisan government advertising that would not have been allowed, according to Lysyk, under a law Wynne scrapped.
     Accuse Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown of being a right-wing ideologue (ridiculous given Brown’s election platform) while warning a vote for the NDP’s Andrea Horwath is a vote for Brown.
    Municipally, the issue isn’t just who will win the mayors’ races, but what kind of councils will they have?
    Even more than in provincial elections, the rules for running municipally massively favour incumbents.
    So without a major voter revolt, doing nothing will mean accepting the status quo. Doing nothing hasn't worked!
    We need politicians who care about what voters care about: Good public services delivered as efficiently as possible.
    But we won’t get it without a major political housecleaning in 2018.

Click the Blue links for Niagara Content

Question: Why reinvent the wheel?

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Welcome to the new Canada!

     While Canadian Citizens face ever increasing prospects of Homelessness predicated on government policies, as can be witness in the video: Niagara Regional Government is busy trying to attack free speech and mowing down Citizen’s constitutional rights.
     It gets no better as you look to higher levels of Government with our Prime minister turninghis back on his Citizens in favor of people elsewhere.
     Our Ontario Premier allowing more and more Ontario Citizens to have their power cut off while enriching the rich and impoverishing the middle class.
     We have politicians weeping and wailing that an increase in minimum wages is a disaster while blindly ignoring the devastation caused by inflated prices. 

     Don't worry Folks the people in charge will spend a night in their cars in sympathy and as a cure for homelessness!

     There is a lot of conversation regarding 'Fake News' but very little is said about 'Fake Government'. Perhaps we should stop castigation of the U.S. President until we have something to brag about!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Veracity of Media

Niagara Falls Regional Councilor Bob Gale warns a resident not to believe news reports, saying senior regional staff are doing a “fine job” and public outrage is being manufactured by online commenters and journalists with an agenda.
     “Sir, don’t always believe the press,” Niagara Falls Regional Councilor Gale wrote in response to a scathing email from a St. Catharines resident, whose view the councilor believes is “tainted by opinions from self-appointed social media crusaders and from press with negative agendas.”
     For Niagara Falls Regional Councilor Bob Gale to be right in his assessment he should at the very least point to the incorrect and/or erroneous articles as “tainted by opinions from self-appointed social media crusaders and from press with negative agendas.”
     In the case of ‘News Alert Niagara’ there are over 250 articles that have yet to be challenged! We challenge anyone to refute the veracity of our stories or even to take advantage of the COMMENT section at the bottom of each and every article!
     Everyone can see for themselves that not one of our authorities has posted comment!
     We would remind Councilor Gale that it was not the media that refused a citizen to speak to the Budget Review Committee of the Whole regarding budget spending!
     It was not the media that can’t account for tens of $Millions in cost overruns and tens of $Millions more just not accounted for!
     It wasn’t the media that cheats Niagara Citizens out of having their say at Council!
     It wasn’t the media that caused so many concerned groups to form such as the Niagara Coalition for Good Governance all in an effort to defend against intransigent Government and Agencies of Government.
       The Fact is such that the media only reacts to what is happening to Niagara Citizens at the hands of Niagara Authorities.
     If Niagara Falls Regional Councilor Gale can’t refute the veracity of the articles posted by a valid source of news as in ‘News Alert Niagara’ he should do the honorable thing and apologize!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Major against Corruption

     Accolades where heaped on Major Ed Smith regarding his integrity and strength for his valiant stance against a 'Corrupt Conservation Authority' and an equally 'Corrupt Niagara Regional Council'. 
     Supporters arranged the rally to show their appreciation for Major Smith's gargantuan effort on behalf of Niagara Citizens. Several Speakers echoed similar statements to the delight of guests.
     However Smith in his low key matter of fact style preferred to thank his supporters for their constant backing throughout his years-long ordeal.
     I can only say that it was heart warming to witness Major Smith's show of appreciation for everything his lovely wife has been put through and what she is still going through.
     Remember folks the ordeal is not over. The Conservation Authority has right of appeal until December 27, 2017.

Merry Christmas


Saturday, 16 December 2017

A Media Roundtable of One!

Predicated on the fact that Preston Haskell of ‘News Alert Niagara’ left his recorder on and recording while using the facilities and the ensuing controversy surrounding council’s tragic reaction, the CAO, Carmen D’ Angelo called for a ‘Media Roundtable’ as some sort of ‘cover my donkey’.

The idea was supposedly to get media feedback on how media should be treated.

So what went wrong?

The first thing that went wrong just happened to be the loss of trust and respect.

The second thing is reluctance by anyone to ‘bail out’ Regional Council’s heavy handed attack on media.

Third is the total and archaic refusal to accept the fact that modern news dissemination is moving more and more online through the likes of Twitter, Blogs and Facebook.

If the Regional Authorities are considering only the mainstream newspapers to be Media as shown by the fact they failed to invite the blogger who was the actual cause of the unfortunate incident that precipitated the need for a ‘Media Roundtable’ is regrettable.

The facts are such that nearly all of Niagara’s mainstream newspapers are now under singleownership and this single owner is closing its smaller papers!

Therefore by not inviting online news you effectively wind up with a single person presenting a common point of view while sitting at a ‘Media Roundtable of One!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Espionage in Niagara

What kind of twisted brain would think that any respected media would have any use of clandestine recording of in-camera information regarding personnel? 
What could media do with such information?
     Perhaps that is a good question to ask Regional Councilor the ultra secretive Mayor of Pelham Dave Augustyn who forbids audio recording in his Council? He also sits directly in front of the media desk and has repeatedly seen the recorder and still insisted on calling the police!

    Regional Councilor and Mayor Dave Augustyn pretended not to know who owned the recorder situated right behind him during the December 7, 2017 Regional Council meeting.

    He knew it belonged to Preston Haskell of ‘News Alert Niagara’ and furthermore he knew why the recorder was necessary as shown in the email correspondence between Haskell and the Pelham Clerk Nancy Bozzato.

    Being aware of all the details Mayor Augustyn still insisted that the police be called!

The whole story is clearly laid out in the article ‘Espionage in Niagara’ where you can see the small Sony recorder on the media desk behind Augustyn at the 1:19Minute Mark of the Regional Council’s meeting Video.
    Mayor Augustyn could have informed his fellow Regional Councilors but chose not to do so! 

This is exactly what Niagara Regional Council thinks of its local media.
It is well known that Preston Haskell of ‘News Alert Niagara’ (NAN) legally takes notes via an audio recording device. 

When NAN left the media desk there was discussion with their lawyer as to whether or not to broach the subject of personnel matters in-camera but who would have thought that in-camera would start mid way through the meeting forcing the entire gallery to be cleared for the duration!

It was at this point that Preston Haskell left the chamber in need of the facilities.

Upon returning the hallway was filled with gallery people and the council was closed.

It turned out that security had my hat, scarf, coat, camera and even the recorder pouch but no recorder. Dangling the recorder pouch in my face security asked if the recorder for the pouch was mine. I answered in the affirmative. He said it was too bad because it was confiscated and I wouldn’t be getting it back. 

Security, that they refer to as staff, was fully  apprised of the situation yet council proceeded to 'contravene the law' by conducting themselves in such a shocking manner!

The Question is; if the Region's CAO (formerly CAO of NPCA) and council were so concerned that a recording device was spotted in plain sight, in my space at the media desk and knowing that I take notes via recorder why did they not send it out with the rest of my belongings. 

Folks there is ample evidence that the 'Hat Trick' being referred too is totally inconsistent with fact. The Recorder can be seen at the1:19 Minute mark of the meeting video. You can also view my empty seat at the 1:35 Minute mark showing that nothing has changed after I left for the facilities. It shows that my hat is still on top of my scarf, my camera is still resting on my hat, even my water glass hasn't moved. The recorder is in the same place!

And who claims that he found the recorder hidden under a hat? Why none other than the NPCA Board Chair Sandy Annunziata! Sandy Annunziata, a man with a motive and "preternatural sense to detect political skullduggery", has a beef with 'News Alert Niagara' because of the article called 'A Study in Corruption' proving beyond doubt that there is a problem with SOME of our Niagara Authorities.

 Disturbing is the fact that they even pretended not to know who the owner of the recorder was or the fact that they had all the facts and details before breaking the law. Why?

The fact is that nobody deliberately set out to break the rules or to record an in-camera meeting! No one hid a recording device under a hat where no one would have seen it without rummaging through personal effects! 

It was an unfortunate incident for which I have and do apologize! I also apologize for getting Bill Sawchuk into trouble! I was the target and Bill got caught up in it. Sorry Mr. Sawchuk.

To categorize this as some ridiculous spy caper and to belittle and demean 'Blogger News' is at the very least suspect especially in light of the fact that so much of the world's news is now garnered through social media. Even the video of Regional Meetings can be viewed on Youtube and Regional public information are posted on-line; no longer in newspapers! These 'Pampered Patricians' would have balked at the 'Standards' first single fold effort.

'News Alert Niagara' is clocking well over 15K page views per month (November19,929K) and is a valid source of news and information. Peruse the stories on 'News Alert Niagara' and its sister publication 'the mirror online' and you will discover why many politicians and bureaucrats hate about our Blog. 
     Their term 'professional' is code for 'manageable'! 
Our blog receives no Tax Payer funded government advertising therefore we are not beholding in any way to government $dollars.

'News Alert Niagara' submitted its history and the required number of news stories to be successfully accepted as a 'professional member' of the 'Online News Association' 

Have we regressed to the point where politicians and bureaucrats determine who is or who is not Media and what is or is not News? 

In the meantime we have replaced our recorder and will continue to propagate the news as best we can!  

     For the sake of informing the public perhaps this is an appropriate time to expose the character of CAO Carmen D’Angelo the man recorded threatening Haskell with legal action without ever contacting either Haskell or 'News Alert Niagara'.

     You can also witness the character of D’Angelo by clicking here!

     By clicking here you can read about D’Angelo’s physical assault on Haskell!  
"I consider myself fortunate considering that during my last fracas with Carmen D'Angelo he slammed my camera against my face, dislodging my glasses and cutting the bridge of my nose!"

Now we have this outstanding gentleman performing his mystical magic as CAO of the Niagara Regional Government.

There is a comment section below just for you!