The View from The Niagara Guide

General observations and musings on how we can make Niagara a better place.

What does "Heart Safe" Mean to You?

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I recently read an article on the Welland Tribune website that says Wainfleet is now the first "heart safe" community in Niagara.

Here's the link to the article.

I have no doubt that all those who put together the program have great intentions. What I question is the notion that defibrillators truly make a community "heart safe".

It's kind of like saying cars are safe because of their roll cages and airbags while ignoring the fact that people crash their cars on a regular basis and have to make use of those devices. The fact is that all cars are safe - until they crash - so one might think that avoiding crashes is the safest option and one that should be pursued. Since dealing with the causes of crashes (which in my opinion are 95% the responsibilities of one or more drivers) is harder to deal with than their symptoms (the crash), the focus shifts to the "safety" devices like airbags.

Wainfleet was chosen as the first community in the program because "Wainfleet has much higher instances of cardiac disease than the rest of the region". I hope Wainfleet is being more aggressively targeted for education and awareness campaigns by the Niagara health department. Then again, perhaps that's just me - hoping that the causes of disease will be addressed rather than the symptoms.

What do you think? Is this a good idea on its own? I'm open to hear your perspectives.

Do you like free concerts?

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On September 24th, enjoy a free community concert at Brock University!

The Tuesday [email protected] lunchtime recital series is free and open to the public, featuring Brock's performance faculty, talented students and alumni, as well as special guests.

Enjoy the Guest and Faculty Recital, featuring Austin Hitchock, French horn and Karin Di Bella, piano Held at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.

This is a free community event!

Lying Niagara Jam Makers

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, August 01, 2013

If you've driven to Niagara-on-the-Lake, I'm sure you've seen the sign along the side of Niagara Stone Road with a little cart advertising 27 types of jams.

They're lying.

They make 36 types.

On average, they sell more than 10,000 jars of jam a year.

The guy who makes the jam made six batches of 54 bottles yesterday. By hand. Usually he stops at five batches but yesterday was a good day.

They use a ton of fruit and 1/3 the sugar compared to store-bought jam.

People from Toronto often buy a couple of jars the first time they drive by. Then they come back for a case.

I didn't know this until I stopped by to look at the 27 varieties only to find out how I've been deceived all these years.

Some years, they've made 40 varieties.

So why 27? "Because the owner likes the number 27" said his partner-in-deceipt.

Go figure. I haven't had any of this jam - yet - but I will soon.

What a great story : )

IdeaShare Meeting this Thursday

Mark Kawabe - Monday, January 07, 2013


Looking for good ideas? Have some ideas you'd like to bounce off others? IdeaShare Niagara could be exactly what you're looking for!

IdeaShare is: a place where members actively participate in sharing and feedback to assist each other in growing as a leader and overcoming challenges we face in our business.

Our purpose: As a group of business leaders in Niagara, we educate, challenge, mentor and uplift other leaders in the Niagara Region through the sharing of principles and knowledge we have found to be successful. We encourage and educate each other with business and leadership principles we actively use every day.

Are you a leader in your field? Then IdeaShare is a great place for you to share some of your knowledge with other leaders. Together, we grow and develop into better leaders and people.

The next IdeaShare meeting is this coming Thursday, January 10th at the J.J. Kapps Restaurant, 327 Ontario St., St. Catharines. The start time is 7:30 a.m. There is no cost to attend except for the cost of your meal.

Oh - and one thing IdeaShare is NOT: We are not a networking group. Come with an open mind in the spirit of sharing and not with a business agenda.

Please R.S.V.P. with Mark Kawabe ideashare (at)

Detoxification Specials from A.H.A. Wellness

Mark Kawabe - Sunday, January 06, 2013

Need to detoxify? After the holiday season? Of course you do : )

Check out the detoxification specials from A.H.A. Wellness Services.

Essential oil treatments combined with detoxification footbaths are awesome. You'll be amazed.

Check them out:

Do people want the truth?

Mark Kawabe - Sunday, January 06, 2013

The more I experience, the less I believe people really, deep down, honestly want to know the truth.

As long as information fits the worldview of the person receiving it, that information will be perceived as  truth. That is why there are multiple truths: everyone has a unique perspective based on their own experiences.

One person has a great experience at a restaurant and it's their favourite. Another person gets sick after eating at the same restaurant, attributes the illness to food poisoning and tells everyone they can to stay away.

We are bombarded by advertising that tries to convince us we're not good enough or that our lives are lacking something or that we're going to die if we don't pop the newest pill.

Some people believe this. Others do not. Their truths differ based on their perspective and experience.

Even if you tell the truth, only some will believe it. Others may come to believe it if they change their perspective. Still others will never believe. That's fine, because that's the way it is.

That's why the internet is so wonderful for businesses. It allows people to collect information based on their worldview and their own perceived needs. As a business owner, it's important to remember this so you can keep your focus on the people who are open to needing or wanting your product. There's not much point promoting a butcher shop to vegans or a spiritual retreat to an atheist.

And that's the truth ; )

Something for Nothing

Mark Kawabe - Saturday, January 05, 2013

If you could get something for nothing, would you?

Here's an offer for all small Niagara non-profits: a free enhanced listing. No cost.

Just click for the details:

This offer's been available since we started The Niagara Guide. It's just our way of giving back to the community.

Welcoming A.H.A. Wellness Services to The Niagara Guide

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, October 04, 2012

I'd like to thank Sheri Webber from A.H.A. Wellness services for signing up with The Niagara Health Guide.

Sheri's one of those unique individuals who finds something that works and then sticks with it. Her work with essential oils and ion detoxification has made a difference in people's lives.

We all know we need to live healthier lives. Helping our bodies clean up is important. Detoxification should be more prevalent in our toxified society, but of course, it's not a top of mind topic for many.

You owe it to yourself and your health to check out A.H.A. Wellness Services.

Wanted: Good News in Niagara

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It seems nary a day passes without more crappy news about Niagara.

Whether it's the slots closing in Fort Erie or outbreaks of C. Difficile in hospitals or any number of bad economic stories, there's a paucity of good news about Niagara in the mainstream media.

Well, I have news for you. You don't have to buy into that crap.

Seriously. We've all heard enough bad news that without hearing anymore, we have enough to print a newspaper full of it every day for the rest of our lives. How exactly is that helping us get through life?

You've probably heard the term 'Pollyanna'. It's the name of the lead character of a 1913 book called "Pollyanna". The little girl in the book steadfastly works on finding the good or positive in every situation.

Sometimes calling someone a "Pollyanna" is meant to describe them as a person who refuses to believe the reality of a situation. I'm not saying that bad situations aren't bad. They suck. But there are a number of sayings that speak to the possibilities that surround us every day, whether the circumstances are good or bad. You've probably heard a few of these.

  • For every door that closes another opens.
  • Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

Every day I challenge myself to rise above the mental fog of negativity to where the sun shines. I didn't say it was easy, but I do my best. I'm sure you have your challenges. We all do. I challenge you to add one more: look for the positive in your life.

It's there, if you choose to look for it.

Did you find some? Good. Tell Niagara about it. Comment on this post and shine some light in Niagara.

Let's work together to share the good news that exists in Niagara. Your story of good, no matter how small, can inspire others. If you make even one person feel better, isn't it worth it?

There you go Niagara. There's your challenge. Let's get started.

"KNOW it ALL" Niagara New Linkers & Events

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"KNOW it ALL" Niagara is on the grow!

This is one of the networking groups I belong to. It's run by Carrie Matthews and it's not your average networking group. Carrie does her utmost to refer and recommend members of "KNOW it ALL" Niagara (known as "Linkers) whenever possible. She's another voice to help you market when perhaps you don't have time to do so.

"KNOW it ALL" Niagara is pleased to welcome the following companies as Linkers:

  • Kool Katts - Caribbean Restaurant & Juice Bar, Niagara Falls
  • Roma Zotzman - Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant
  • Passion Parties by Ryan
  • Note for Note Professional Music Productions Inc.
  • Jon Radick - Niagara Health & Home Expo
  • Gasline Pines - trees
  • Organo Gold - coffee

You can find out more about these Linkers at

Also, check out the event calendar for other networking events held by "KNOW it ALL" Niagara.


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