Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Talking Winter During Summer: The 2014 NL Winter Games Committee

The NL Summer Games just came to a successful conclusion in Carbonear/Harbour Grace.  Hard to believe that the 2014 NL Winter Games Committee has been hard at work for more than eight months now. And while going to meetings to discuss winter sports during 25 degree weather seems somewhat odd, we have been making great progress.

It takes a lot of effort to pull off a provincial games and the committee is very focused on the games being all about the athletes. Over the coming months, there'll be lots of activity and more information will be available about the games.

You can keep apprised of the games at Clarenville2014 on Facebook or on Twitter @nlwg2014. And don't forget, we'll need lots of volunteers. It's never too early to sign up! Clarenville is proud to host these games-it will be a community effort!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Real. Life. Losing Potential: Development on Prince Street

Several months ago, I wrote a post on my blog about development in Clarenville. In the post, I referenced the importance of communication with residents to alleviate any concerns that they might have about a neighbouring development.

The development that I wrote about in February 2011 referenced concerns about flooding and timelines for completion. The development is still ongoing and today there was evidence of concern of potential flooding and impact that the development will have on those people who live on Prince and Viking Streets.  Culverts on those streets are almost full today after last night's rain. In fact, work had to be done early in the morning to divert water away from houses.

While it looks like there are plans in place to divert water, it's not done at the moment and those who live in the area are not aware of future plans. It's very disconcerting, particularly with Hurricane Igor still in peoples' minds and hurricane season upcoming, to see culverts that are full after a night rainfall.

So while plans might be in place to address the issue, what's the timeline for completion? Who's ensuring from the town perspective that the work is being done?

The Town's Development Regulations state that:

A development permit is valid for a period of one (1) year and may be extended for
one (1) additional year if requested by the applicant, up to a maximum of two (2)

So presumably this development will be soon completed. And it will address any potential water issues.  But people don't know that for sure. And that's the problem.

Real. Life. Losing Potential.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Celebration of Community in Clarenville

The Kraft Celebration tour rolled through Clarenville this weekend and you helped make it an outstanding success.

We wanted to show Clarenville at its best - and we did.    This past weekend was a culmination of a summer long effort that under the leadership of Jill Monk, saw the people of greater Clarenville demonstrate the very best in "community".

During the planning meetings that we held for this weekend, the folks from TSN and Kraft wanted to show the scenery and the history - and they did that well.  But we wanted to add to that, we wanted to show something a lot less tangible and a lot more important - Community Spirit.  Thank you all for showing that so well.

The Cheque

The Antics!

CBC Interview: http://www.cbc.ca/video/player.html?clipid=2269515400&position=5758&site=cbc.news.ca

We have a huge selection of photos on our companion Our-Town facebook site

As well you can see the TSN in Clarenville broadcast @ http://watch.tsn.ca/clip730734#clip730734

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Random Thoughts...: Municipal Leaders Eating Their Young

Random Thoughts...: Municipal Leaders Eating Their Young: The Town Council in Bonavista found itself in the news this week . Councillor John Norman spoke to the media regarding the poor shape of som...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Girls and Go Carts!

All this week at the College of the North Atlantic a dozen young girls are building some great go-carts!  The girls are part of GETT - Girls Exploring Trades and Technology hosted each summer at Clarenville Campus.

This Women in Resource Development program is designed to introduce girls to technology and trade careers and encourages them to consider a variety of career choices.  It's a free program that is sponsored by the oil industry and it seeks to reinforces the importance of taking science; advanced math subjects and industrial arts in high school by stressing the impact those subjects have on career decisions.

If you have some time, take the opportunity to come out on Friday afternoon, Aug. 17 at 1:30 in the parking lot of Clarenville Middle School to see what these girls have created and witness just how much they have learned.

To find out more about the camps, go to http://www.wrdc.nf.ca/erc/gett/index.htm.

Here's a look at last year's races:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Than One Clarenville Entrance to Worry About

Last's week's Packet included an article (Overpass Over Time) about the Manitoba Drive/TCH intersection. The Mayor of Clarenville was interviewed regarding the response the town had received from the Minister of Transportation and Works to alter the entrance. Unfortunately, there have been a few deaths at the intersection and consequently, the speed in the area has been reduced to 70 kph. Also unfortunate is the lack of adherence to that speed. At any time of the day or night you can travel that stretch of highway and encounter faster speeds.

As important, however, and more potentially dangerous is the entrance into Clarenville between the Irving and the Clarenville Inn. Unlike the west entrance, the east entrance sight lines are not good. More worrisome is the confusion with turning lanes. Being in the turning lane heading west might mean you're turning into the Irving, Clarenville or the Clarenville Inn.  In a couple of months time it will be worse when the new North Atlantic gas station opens. The plan a few years ago was to align that intersection in preparation for the gas station, however, that does not seem to be happening.

So while the provincial government will be on the hook for any sort of interchange, the town holds responsibility to plan and lobby appropriately. Planning should ensure safety of residents and concern for the environment. Lobbying means using appropriate means, such as budget consultations, to ensure issues are on the table.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Betty's letter

(Normally I try to stick to Clarenville matters here, but Bonavista's health directly affects Clarenville. So here I go...)

How much egg can Bonavista Mayor Betty Fitzgerald and Bonivista MHA Glen Little possibly wear on their faces?  Seems like a lot.

There’s a fuss coming out of Bonivista this week that speaks more to how issues are handled in some municipalities. The issue surrounds the historic Bonavista lighthouse. It seems as if it is slowly rotting, demonstrating that maintenance is lacking and restoration is required. (You can see the story online: Bonavista mayor asked MHA's staff to pen critical letter and see the copy of the letter on the CBC website). 

Unfortunately neither is happening and because of this yet another of Bonavista’s star tourist attractions is being threatened.  For a town that has pinned a lot of its future hopes on tourism this news and news of similar problems with the “Mickbegger Premises” and the “Matthew”pose a definite threat to the Town’s future. 

Enter Bonavista Councillor John Norman.

John is a progressive voice (some say a radical voice) on the Bonavista  council.  Sadly he’s one of a handful of young and progressive voices in rural NL government.  These “type” of people come with new ideas and are not chained by the old status quo philosophy that says (shouts) “that’s not the way we do things around here”.  So he’s outspoken, recognizes that change needs to come quickly rather than slowly and he is sick a tired of ineptitude. ( a Danny Williams type).  I and many others with an interest in seeing their municipalities look to the future -rather than be rooted in the past can relate with his desire and his frustration.

John Norman spoke out last week on a real issue that impacts his community – especially the future of his community.  It’s his right and his obligation as an engaged citizen - and as a councillor.     Mayor Fitzgerald took exception to his comments rationalizing her stance with the old standard “I'm the Mayor and that’s not the way we do things around here”.  Turns out she got MHA, Glen Little to put her concerns in writing for her.  His office penned a letter for her signature that slammed Norman, covered her rear end and expressed her support for the Government & Little - in three paragraphs.  Too bad the letter did not mention the real problems with the lighthouse.    This all become public and the real issue of the lighthouse has been lost in the controversy.   Almost too foolish to talk about!

I hope John Norman can bring the focus back to the real issue – the lighthouse and its importance to his town’s future. Based on the way this was handled by Mayor Fitzgerald and MHA Little they will be spending their time getting the egg of their faces.  Bravo John – Thanks for doing the job and doing it well.

Based on the tone of this letter, Mayor Fitzgerald would like to see you gone before next September's municipal election - Did I ever mention to you that Clarenville is a great place to live? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

There's a CELEBRATION in Clarenville - you're invited!

Clarenville is gearing for the Kraft Celebration Tour coming to our town and our province!  We want to invite everyone to take part in the celebration and the live NL broadcast of SPORTSNET from Clarenville.  (If you can't come we'll have pictures on our companion Facebook page).

So if you live in Clarenville - head down to the SHORELINE MARKET on the waterfront next Saturday (Aug 18). If you are not from Clarenville, here's your opportunity to visit - we'd love to see you!



This Community Celebration is taking place in Clarenville on the Waterfront at the SHORELINE PARK on Marine Drive from 5:30 - 9:00pm. 

It's going to be a great evening featuring the LIVE BROADCAST of TSN Sports Centre, hosted by Jay Onr
ait & Dan O'Toole from 7:30-8:30.

Before the broadcast there will be lots of activities. There will be a FREE Bull's Eye community BBQ sponsored by Clarenville CO-OP and there will be lot's of Kraft Products to sample.

Dustin Russell and the Clarenville Caribous will be signing autographs from 5:45 - 6:45. The Herder trophy will also be there!

The Celebration will be emceed by OZFM Radio personality Stephen Lethbridge and he is bringing the OZ FM Summer Cruiser team! The official Prize presentation will take place at approximately 7:00 pm.

The show will end with spectacular fireworks over the waterfront.

We encourage everyone attending to wear their minor hockey, soccer, softball jerseys -

8:30 - 9:00 pm - Jay & Dan will be in the autograph tent

****People are asked to arrive at the event at or after 5:30 because set up will b taking palce. There will be road closures from Strong's Lane to Yahoos. People attending the event are asked to please park over towards the Ground Search & Rescue /Railway Museum Buildings on Marine Drive east. Please do not park on the west (Thirsty's Bar and Grill) side of Marine Drive because this area will be reserved for parking for a Wedding taking place at Thirsty's.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome to Hell or Opportunity Knocking - The former Clarenville Primary School

This photo is of the former Clarenville Primary School.  You can't quite make out the graffiti on the door which says Welcome to Hell.  Perhaps the artist doesn't realize that it's no longer operating as a school.

As I passed by it today, I wondered about the status of the building. It has been closed for over a year now. I assume it is considered an asset of the provincial government but I wonder about its future. It certainly can't be left to rot or left to be the target of vandals.

While travelling through Ontario recently with the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference, I toured the Rexdale Community Hub. The community of Rexdale is a priority neighbourhood of the City of Toronto.  The Hub is housed in a renovated school. It houses about 11 social agencies, including a women's centre, medical clinic, family resource centre and employment centre. It also includes a gym with hopes to soon include a community kitchen. It was a pricey venture with all levels of government, the United Way and other foundations chipping, led by the City of Toronto with almost $5 million.

Clearly, the Town of Clarenville has little funds available for such an initiative. However, the location of the school, the opportunity to bring many groups together to increase collaboration and efficiency seems almost too good to pass up.  At the very least, engagement of various stakeholders and investigation of similar initiatives could result in this asset viewed as an opportunity and not, after all, the entrance to hell.

Friday, August 3, 2012

An Optimistic Sign….

People dumping trash wherever they choose.

It’s an old story and one that we see evidence of all too often.   Every once in a while such a mindless trashing gets reported to the authorities, and even more rare is that sometimes it is so heinous and so bold that such a blatant offence gets reported in the media.   This latest case of “dumping stupidity” managed to make it through all three stages - I‘m glad it did and I feel that that‘s a very positive sign.  (see the PACKET “In your own backyard” by Ross Mair Aug 2, 2012)

This dumping got noticed, it got reported and it written up in the local paper.  Many people are now aware of it and with any luck the perpetrator is feeling pretty ashamed.

It’s a sign that as a town we are moving forward in developing a stronger notion of community pride.  The the Town too has to be commended for acting so quickly to get the mess cleaned up.

So yes there was bad - but the good that came out of it far outstripped the crime.  It’s a win for Clarenville!

Mindless dumping for the sake of dumping

People see this as no longer acceptable
It got reported
It got cleaned up
Increased Public awareness

Hey Dumpers - you lost!