Niagara Gazette — Sampson contends that reform of the outdated law is long overdue.
ON THE MOVE: A London, Ont.,-based promoter and motor coach tour operator who once played a key role in the success of A Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, N.Y., is still searching for a venue.
Robert van Kleek, president of Pathway Tours, ended his business ties to Niagara Falls, N.Y., in 2000 when the light festival folded. For nearly 20 years, Van Kleek brought scores of chartered buses to the opening weekend at the former Convention and Civic Center (now the Seneca Niagara Casino).
Subsequently, he looked to develop a similar link with the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights at the Scotiabank Convention Centre that opened nearly three years ago in Niagara Falls, Ont. For various reasons, that plan to stage concerts there has not come to fruition so Van Kleek was forced to seek other potential sites. At present, he has plans to sponsor events in early December at the new Meridan Center in St. Catharines. The multipurpose facility, set to open by September, will have a capacity of 6,000 spectators for concerts and 4,500 for hockey games.
HELPING HANDS DEPT.: Plans are under way for the “Walk for Niagara,” an event to raise awareness and funds for the Community Missions’ Crisis Services programs. Participants will assemble at 10:30 a.m. May 3 at Whirlpool State Park. Proceeds also will benefit the Community Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry and Emergency Housing Shelter. The Mission’s facilities last year provided more than 75,000 meals and more than 10,000 shelter nights to those in need. Support services and residential assistance also was made available to spme 1,000 individuals with mental illness.
BACK ON SCHEDULE: The Local History Department at the Niagara Falls Public Library will restore its normal operating hours, starting in March.
Library Director Michelle Petrazzoulo said the department will be open again from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday; 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Due to recent budget cuts and the retirement of a staffer, the department had been open only on Tuesdays.
TRIVIA QUIZ: Who was the first entertainer to perform at the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center when the building opened in 1974? (Answer Sunday)
Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.