Friday, July 27, 2012

Affordable Housing: The Corner Brook Example

Have you noticed the price of houses in Clarenville.   Prices are bumping into the stratosphere and this s taking a bigger bite out of every new buyer's budget.   If you are of limited financial means this this means that buying a house is becoming next to impossible and renting is becoming a major challenge.

So what are we to do as a community?

That's the question that the Town has posed and has generally it has been answerd by saying that the the market dictates price and if the price is too high there is little that the Town can do.

A role for the Town?

The Town's municipal plan clearly spells out a role of the Town.  Corner Brook  has the workings of a potential model for Clarenville.   That city provides non-profit organization's who are involved in developing affordable housing tax relief....if the Town of Clarenville sees a role for itself, this may be an idea worth pursuing here. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Laundry List of Real Life and Potential

I've been doing a lot of beating around over the summer, walking, running, driving and the like and I have come across a bunch of things that caught my eye that I think add greatly to the value of the town (Potential),  can be improved with minimal effort (Real) and that are downright scary (Life).  Here's what I saw:


Outstanding Community Involvement - The Kraft TSN Celebration Tour.  Clarenville won this competition with over 350,000 votes.  If ever person that voted, voted an average of 100 times that would mean that 3,500 people and businesses were engaged.  In fact Clarenville had the highest vote total in Canada!!  Now, if we can get that many engaged for the opportunity to win $25,000 and an hour of national TV coverage, surely we should be able to get as many involved in other critically important town issues - like voting.

Dog poop on the trails is one of the banes of my, and many others, walking existence.  I was so glad to see this dispenser installed on the Shoal Harbour Causeway trail.  It's a great idea and a good start to solving this problem.

I've been walking up Shoal Harbour drive a few time this summer.  I would not advise it because the road is too narrow and the traffic is just too great.  BUT, a lot of people do it.  It would be easy and relatively inexpensive to create a paved trail up the side of the road for bikers and pedestrians.    

This is Shoal Harbour Dam Pond on the Bare Mountain Trail and just below the water tower.  Most people don't even know it exists but is is one of the prettiest spots in Clarenville.  Development is encroaching on it and it should be protected before houses start going up around it, or worse it gets filled in.

I'm not at all clear why new business on Shoal Harbour drive are laying sod without the provision for a sidewalk.  The highest number of businesses are on this side of the road and there is lots of walking traffic so sidewalks here on this side seem to make the most sense .  Why are the developers not required to install sidewalks as is the case in subdivisions?    Surely we can be more pedestrian friendly.

A big shout out to the Friends of the Shoal Harbour River for keeping this spot next to the Shoal Harbour River looking so great.  It shows what could be in many similar spots in Clarenville!


The Events Centre sign is a great investment in promoting the Centre but the eyesore of the dig-up still exists many months after it was put there and it exists on the Town's busiest street.  How much can a few sods cost and how long could it take to lay them? Surely this can be done soon. 

The Town invested quite a few dollars to upgrade Shoal Harbour drive a couple of years back.  This included the costs of landscaping.  Grass is nice but it needs to be maintained.  The neglect is now showing.   Why do we pay to install grass if we can't seem to make the effort to care for it? 


Residential and Industrial just do not mix.   Surely the large oil companies pride themselves in being social responsibile however it seems as if parking hundreds of litres of flammable liquids next to people's homes and in densely populated single exit subdivisions does not pose a problem for neither them nor the Town.  The Town has clear regulations prohibiting this, however it is obvious that enforcement is lacking.  In the meantime, lets hope there is never an incident.   

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Clarenville Day Kitchen Party & Fireworks

Ahh the Newfoundland Kitchen party was alive and well at the Clarenville Events Centre this week as we began Clarenville Days 2012



Adam Randell

Accordion Time

Bond Peddle

Evelyn Avery

Curtis and Joseph Blackmore

Darryl Duke


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our New Town Logo

Monday marked the beginning of Clarenville Day's here in Clarenville.  Clarenville Days is a week long celebration of what we have in Clarenville.  Last evening we celebrated what could be.

After a year long development process, last night the Town unveiled its new branding strategy and logo - Real - Life - Potential .

Pilot Communications designed the logo, slogan and the marketing material including a new town website ( ) that you will see compliment the branding strategy.  kudos to them for suggesting such a bold move and kudos to the Town Council for buying into it. (The degree to which we see the town buy-in and live up to the "Brand Promise" remains to bee seen - I am watching to see real change - See my previous post on this ).  

The new logo is a complete departure from the traditional wheel and goose logos that we have seen in the past.  Some may argue that the new logo is too generic but there is no doubt what it says: it speaks of something critically important in our town - its future.  The logo, slogan and approach  is professional, clean and future looking - like our town needs to be if it is going to successfully harness its uncommon potential.

Traditionalist and long time residents may lament the loss of familiarity embodied in the old logos but we have to acknowledge the fact that the future success of this town is dependent on the future - the next generation and it's new citizens.   To choose to live here, they will want - demand - a more more professional forward looking approach at all levels in Clarenville.  The new Events Centre, the revamp of Elizabeth Swan Park and the logo embody this professional, forward looking approach.  

Applying a forward looking progressive approach across the spectrum of things that make Clarenville what it is will contribute to the value of the town to its residents and its future residents - many of whom will be our children or grandchildren.  My hope is that we'll move sooner rather than later towards better planning, better enforcement of rules and regulations and refocus our efforts on how things SHOULD BE rather than focus on how things are or how things were.

Mayor Best, Con. Keith Rodway, and Pilot Communication's Carla Foote launching the new Town of Clarenville logo

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



You could feel the tension inside the Clarenville Events Centre tonight.  Over 250 people packed the hall to hear a 3 second announcement. Here's what it looked like:

After an all-nighter of voting and the dedicated support of many-many people and businesses CLARENVILLE won the Kraft Celebration Tour match-up! Final vote count: 385,717 votes for Clarenville to 354,727 for for Canning, NS. For two "small" towns that's a lot of community spirit in both!

Elizabeth Swan Memorial Park will now be awarded $25,000 by Kraft foods to help make improvements.  

TSN SportsCentre will also broadcast live from Clarenville on August 18th! 

This was a huge community building effort that literally extended across the country - thank you all for your active involvement in making it such a success.  If you don't live in Clarenville please visit - and make sure you stop by the park that you will help improve.

Emcee - Councillor Rod Nicholl

Mayor Fred Best

Chair - Jill Monk

There is always more to follow...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vote TODAY for Clarenville!

The day is here!

Today, Clarenville is paired in voting competition with Canning NS for the Kraft/TSN Celebration tour Competition prize of $25,000 for park upgrades. The voting window opens at 1:30 pm NL time for 24 hours. We are asking you to vote and vote often for us. On Wednesday evening the winning announcement will take place on TSN's SportsCentre at 6 pm EST (Wednesday 7:30 pm Newfoundland Time). Clarenville's video will begin running Tuesday at noon EST (1:30 pm Newfoundland time)both both on TV and online.


TSN Video about the Clarenville/Canning Challenge

Here's the voting process (Starting a 1:30 NST Tuesday): 

 1. Go to 

 2. Click the Blue VOTE NOW button at the top of the between the pictures of both communities. 

3. VOTE for Elizabeth Swan Memorial Park Clarenville.

4. You have to read and type the "Captcha" code (It consist of two separate jumbles of letters. If you cannot decipher it click the small red reload "get new challenge". This will renew the captcha. Also be sure to hit space bar between words)

5. Click on the Blue SUBMIT VOTE button.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 as many times as you can in the 24 hour voting window :)

Good Luck!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Cause We Can All Support - VOTE July 10/11


When Jill Monk first sent me an email on her plan to nominate Clarenville‘s Elizabeth Swan Park for the Kraft/TSN Celebration Tour, I have to admit that I knew little to nothing about neither the plan nor the tour.  But it intrigued me.

I did not need to be convinced of the value of Elizabeth Swan Park.  Quite a few years ago, when our children were younger the Moody family and our family proposed to the Town that we upgrade the town’s playgrounds. With a lot of work it happened.  Elizabeth Swan’s playground was renovation #1 and we feel good about the work we had done there to make the park better.  Having been a park user for so many years, and having seen other similar community parks across the country; I am always interested in dreaming up ways to improve our park.  I noted in an earlier blog the opportunity to add a new multipurposechalet.  Jill’s thinking was truly aligned with my way of thinking.  

After a bit of research (anyone can be an expert on any issue in 30 minutes if they know how to use Google ;)) I understood the tour concept.  It worked on the basis of a nomination, which Jill had done and then it was judged based on the level of community support for it.  Jill’s goal was to get that support and boy did she ever –  981 people, most from Clarenville, many away, wrote their support for the nomination on the KRAFT/TSN Celebration Tour Nomination Website (See the nomination and support entries ) If you read the support comments, they are a real testament to the level of buy-in Jill got for the effort that the value people put on the park, the memory of Elizabeth Swan and the Town.

This week, Clarenville was shortlisted among the top 20 of almost 500 other towns.

So now a small group of organizers are bombarding you with emails. Sorry if you think we are spamming you but we feel that with this short window of opportunity if we have a chance at all we need to ensure that 1) People are aware of the vote and most importantly 2) People Vote – a lot.  We are getting a lot of positive feedback and the business community is signing on in droves. It’s a great community building exercise!

So now we need a lot of help to win.  We need you to vote and vote a lot during a 24 hour window starting 1:30 pm Tuesday July 10th.


Backgrounder Information:

Voter Information Release

Clarenville Competing to win Elizabeth Swan Park Makeover and Host TSN Sports Centre Live!
We Need Your Votes!
Clarenville’s goal to win $25,000 for rebuilding Elizabeth Swan Park and hosting TSN Sportscentre Live is within reach. We made the top 20 in the country (out of 418 other towns no less) and we have 24 hours to make it all the way. We are directly competing with one other town (Canning, NS) to see who can get the most votes in 24 hours. That has to be us!

The Rules
  • Voting is open for 24 hours (from 1:30pm Tuesday, July 10 – 1:29pm Wednesday, July 11)
  • People vote online and can be from anywhere in the world and as often as they like.
  • The winner between us and Canning will be announced the night of Wednesday July 11 on TSN.

The Plan:
·                  Get the message out

  • Send this message to as many people as you can via email, Facebook, twitter, phone, face-to-face, sign in your window or on your lawn, chalk drawings; whatever you can think of.

  • It will be set up as an “event” on our facebook page, so invite everyone – it doesn’t matter where they live- and remind them of it

·       Vote.  

  • We think we will need 750,000 votes (based on past winners).  So we need 5,000 people to vote 150 times (at least) in that 24 hour period. How are we going to get that many votes?

o   Clarenville Middle School will be open for the 24 hours – bring a team, a group of friends, a bunch of kids and sit for an hour and vote, vote, vote.  There will be prizes and refreshments!
o   Have a voting party.  Invite people to your house with their phones, iPads, laptops, order a pizza and start voting! Post a picture of your voting party to the Facebook page and you’ll be entered for prizes as well
o   Get together with your co-workers on your lunch and breaks and vote, vote, vote! And yes, post a picture to the Facebook page and you’ll be entered for prizes too
o   Set aside a couple of hours on Tuesday/Wednesday to vote from the computers in your house. YOU CANNOT VOTE TOO MANY TIMES!

The Process
            Vote online at
        Find the link through the Town’s website at .
Let’s work together to help honour the memory of Elizabeth Swan and rebuild a community park that we can proud of for the generation to come! 

Press Release

Top 20 finalist Clarenville bids for Kraft/TSN Celebration tour

Elizabeth Swan Memorial Park – Rebuilding a community park in honour of a community builder

Elizabeth Swan was an outstanding community builder in the Clarenville region.  Elizabeth Swan Memorial Park was built to honour her memory and has served as a community gathering place for close to 30 years. 

30 years of use is showing on the Park and we recognized the need to update and maintain the Park befitting of Ms. Swan’s memory.

With that goal in mind, we submitted a nomination for this year’s Kraft/TSN Celebration tour.  The tour’s 10 winning communities each receive a grand prize consisting of $25,000 from Kraft and TSN will broadcast SportsCentre live from that community.
The people of Clarenville came out in droves to support our submission as we competed against 418 other Canadian towns & cities!  Based on that outstanding level of support, the judges choose Clarenville as one of the top 20 finalist communities!

So now it’s up to Canada to decide the 10 winners via an on-line vote! Canada, we need your help!

We are encouraging everyone, especially people of the Clarenville region, no matter where you live in the province or the country to support Clarenville ‘s bid by voting for us during a 24 hour period starting 1:30pm (NL time) on Tuesday, July 10th.

The voting process will be simple and you can vote as many times as you like. 
link through the Town’s website at .

The completion will be stiff and we will need many hundreds of thousands of votes.  We are encouraging you to share this request with your friends and contacts and we are encouraging everyone to vote and vote often on July 10th & 11th

Let’s work together to help honour the memory of Elizabeth Swan and rebuild a community park that we can be proud of for the generation to come!

Be sure to follow us on facebook (  )

and on Twitter 


Kraft/TSN Celebration Tour -

Town of Clarenville –