Opinion: Mixed bag to kick off 2021

By Mike Williscraft

Hat Trick Hockey will do its bit to maintain some level of normalcy in a ridiculous time.
The venerable contest returns for a 26th season in Niagara West with this week’s edition thanks to very understanding sponsors who jumped on board at a moment’s notice.
Normally, it takes 2-3 weeks to get all in order, but with the NHL just getting its schedule in place before Christmas, it was last Wednesday before I had a chance to do anything. All was set up and nailed down by Saturday with details sent off to the NHL players association for approvals…record time!
Some changes:
• The top prize is a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Bob Clark, owner of Grimsby Ford. Bob has always been there to answer the call when I needed help and this year was no different. With no travel possible, the usual hockey game trip is not possible and who could not use $1,000 in their pocket these days?
• There are fewer weekly prize sponsors. This was sheerly due to time constraints. With a shortened season, we needed to get the contest up and running, so I just sought enough sponsors to make it float. That took about three hours with Tim Hortons Grimsby, Canadian Tire, Teddy’s Food, Fun & Spirits and Gino’s PIzza Grimsby all jumping on board almost immediately after being asked. Shout out to Teddy’s, which has been a sponsor every single year since I first started Hat Trick at the old Grimsby Independent in 1995…thanks Teddy and Sandy!
Please note, the FINAL deadline for entry is 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. All entries must be in our NewsNow office at 1 Mountain St. Grimsby or arrive shortly thereafter with a postmark from that date or prior.
Please note: we have a mail slot in our door, so if you have any safety concerns you can simply drop your entry through there any time of day or night (please make sure your $5 entry fee is enclosed). If you come by during business hours, you are welcome to come in and submit it, but putting it in the mail slot while staff are in the office is just as good.
Some families require more than one registration form, so I remind all we drop copies at about 50 locations in Niagara West – depending on if they are open right now – but we do have extra copies at the office so you can stop in and pick up copies there too.
We will print the entry form over three editions, so you could wait for those to come. That said, if you want a crack at our Early Bird prize, sponsored by Grimsby’s Dr. Ches McNeil, of a $200 gift certificate to The Judge & Jester Pub, you need to get your form to us by Saturday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.
Good luck to all and let’s have a little fun!!
* * * * * * *
Lots of letters, comments and feedback on last week’s major story about District School Board of Niagara’s situation regarding the cost overrun on the new super high school to be built on Hwy. 8.
Of note, I think, it is the Letter to The Editor from Brian Jaworsky, who notes several major complications which seem likely significantly higher costs will materialize for several reasons on the site.
Before you get to the building part, anyone who has driven by will see there is still a massive hole there. Just filling it to grade would all be added to what has already weighed in as a $12 million overrun on site remediation.
Someone smarter than I and in the gravel business would be able to estimate the cost of a dump truck load, plus the number of trucks it would take to fill that hole.
Then the very good point made by Mr. Jaworsky…what of heightened cost due to building on a lot which was – purely guessing here – 250-300-feet deep when fully excavated?
If the more-than-triple cost of remediation was not anticipated, how can any taxpayer assume major additional costs to shore up the new building’s foundation on a floating pool of fill would have been built into that $42.5 million construction cost estimate?
As well, none of this anticipates any issues with the underground streams which are known to flow under the site.
I said it during the ARC. I said it a year ago. DSBN would still be better to cut its losses, admit its error, sell off that site, renovate Grimsby Secondary and Beamsville District and likely save $10 million, plus generate revenue from the sale of the Hwy. 8 wading pool.

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