Sunday, January 27, 2013

Highlighting Winter in Clarenville

Winter is GREAT in Clarenville - 

Well it''s the start season in Clarenville.  We're very proud of our witer recreational opportunities and with our community within 2 hours of over 70% of the population in the province we are in an ideal, easily accessible spot for almost everybody.   Over's the winter I'll be adding to this but for now here's a taste of what we have to offer!  

Look for #gottaloveourwinter on Twitter and follow all of the various social media feeds.   As well be sure to like us on Facebook - Our Town Clarenville


Eat the Hill - Clarenville's first cullinary event - Feb. 9 & 10!

Cross Country Skiing

Video Tours:

Our New Ski Groomer

Part 1 - Trail Tour


 Part 2 - Trail Tour

Summit Trail to Bare Pond Trail

Night Skiing
on the lighted Harry's Loop Trail

Down Hill Skiing


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Random Thoughts...: Write a Song for the 2014 NL Winter Games!

Random Thoughts...: Write a Song for the 2014 NL Winter Games!: How difficult can it be to write a song? Well, there's only one way to find out! The 2014 NL Winter Games Clarenville Host Committee is se...

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Plea for Less

It may sound odd, but the time has come for this community to ask for less of a service.  Specifically, we need less garbage collection.  We need action on reducing the amount of garbage that we throw out each week – because our learned wastefulness will soon hit us hard in the pocketbook.
Councillor Rod Nicholl raised the issue of waste reduction during a meeting of Council last Nov 20.  (November 20, 2012 listen beginning at the 2:00 minute mark)  Nichol pointed out that with the reformatting of how garbage is handled in NL, Clarenville taxpayers who have gotten used to twice weekly and unlimited volume of garbage collection, will soon have to pay for collection by the tonne – this will mean big bills if our wasteful habits continue.  (Government is closing dumps and all garbage will be moved to one of three dumps across the island – Clarenville’s will be headed for St. John's/Robin Hood Bay).  Nicholl argued that the Town should develop and communicate a strategy now to make people aware of the new system, and to support recycling, composting and waste reduction efforts.  “There is no reason we can’t take action to look at on how we can deal with our own garbage”   he noted. 

He’s right.  We need to take action now because it is not a matter of “if” it happens,; rather it is a matter of  ‘when” it will happen..and “when” is coming soon. 

In response to Nicholl’s point, Mayor Best preferred to direct his concern to the capacity of the dump rather than the capacity of tax payers to pay for the new waste management system. He seems to have missed the point.   I’m also not convinced that the fellow Councillors were swayed enough for action either – the budget did not reference any operational plan for waste management. 
There needs to be done and and there needs to be done soon
I would argue that we move to a once a week garbage collection beginning this year.  No doubt, this move would be tough on people like me who produce enough garbage to fill a bucket every three days.  It would however force people like me to work harder at reducing waste, do more recycling and consider composting.  
I would also argue that the Town start an educational campaign and pair that with the distribution of “free” large volume Green compost bins to each household.  (This is modelled on Halifax’s Green Cart system).  Compostable organics make up about 1/3 of the things we currently throw away and if we took them out of the waste stream it would substantially reduce volume, weight and ultimately cost. 
These bin contents would be collected every week or two (as your garbage is collected) and brought to a new composting area (ideally adjacent to the existing dump).  The compost could then be sold/given back to the community to support greening our town.  
YES this would be an irritant to people like me who won’t be able to throw out as much as they do now and it will be expensive to get started.   But it would cut our long run costs (taxes) and it would reduce our propensity freely generate and throw out as much garbage as we like.     

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Random Thoughts...: Tea and Pee Clarenville

Random Thoughts...: Tea and Pee Clarenville: The east entrance to Clarenville has always been nondescript. A winding road without curb, gutter or sidewalks between the Irving Gas Statio...

John Pickett - Presentation to Clarenville Chamber

Today, Councillor John Pickett spoke to the monthly meeting of the Clarenville Chamber of Commerce.  His topic dealt with the 2013 Town of Clarenville Budget that he presented to Council this past December. Below is a video of  his presentation. I published the details when the budget was first delivered - see HERE

Have a look at Coun. Pickett's presentation:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Eat the Hill

Eat The Hill is a winter foodabration! 

Eat the Hill will be Clarenville’s first Culinary Festival and is taking place on the weekend of February 9 and 10, 2013 at Clarenville's White Hills Resort as a kick off to our 25th winter carnival . This 2 day foodie weekend will bring local chefs together to create some mouth-watering culinary treats. 
Here's what to expect:
Saturday, February 9th
During the Day
Enjoy the slopes and trails on Saturday with a full day pass for White Hills, eastern Newfoundland’s premier winter destination! As your day of skiing or snowboarding winds down head into the town and enjoy some of Clarenville’s outstanding locally owned shops.
7 Chefs - 6 Courses
​Then get ready as the evening begins... your chefs have been working tirelessly to produce an amazing 6 course meal; each chef will create a course using local ingredients. Dinner will begin at 7:30, the bar will open 30 minutes prior.  Meet the Chefs HERE

After the meal, the evening continues; as Clarenville’s own Slainte takes the stage!! Specializing in the songs of the North Atlantic with a spattering of other genres aimed at keeping the party in high gear!

Sunday, February 10th
Hit the hill again on Sunday with another full day pass, this time with a twist.
Winter Food Trek
Armed with your Culinary Passport, you will find 6 food stations scattered at the base of the hill! Each station operated by one of our local chefs serving up their favorite Apr├Ęs ski food, prepared with local ingredients! Stations will open at 11:30
Tickets (per person)
You can but tickets online by CLICKING HERE.  You and your family have several choices:
2 Day Eat the Hill Pass $169
• Full Day Ski pass for Saturday
• 6 course dinner Saturday evening at White Hills Day Lodge
• Live local Entertainment Saturday night at White Hills Day Lodge
• Full Day Ski pass for Sunday
• Culinary Passport for Sunday Food Stations

2 Day Food Only Eat the Hill Pass $119
• 6 course dinner Saturday evening at White Hills Day Lodge
• Live local Entertainment Saturday night at White Hills Day Lodge
• Culinary Passport for Sunday Food Stations

Saturday All Day Eat the Hill Pass $119
• Full Day Ski pass for Saturday
• 6 course dinner Saturday evening at White Hills Day Lodge
• Live local Entertainment Saturday night at White Hills Day Lodge

Saturday Food Only Eat the Hill Pass $89
​• 6 course dinner Saturday evening at White Hills Day Lodge
• Live local Entertainment Saturday night at White Hills Day Lodge

Sunday All Day Eat the Hill Pass $64
​• Full Day Ski pass for Sunday
• Culinary Passport for Sunday Food Stations

​Sunday Food Only Eat the Hill Pass $39
​• Culinary Passport for Sunday Food Stations

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter's Shaping up in Clarenville! GOTTA LOVE OUR WINTER

Ok, you may be new to Clarenville, or you may be away or you may just not be aware or you may just want to know...This post is for you - read on.

There's a lot of great winter opportunities shaping up in our town this winter and we want you to be part of it.  Let me just speak of a few that I know of so far - in the order of when they are happening:

WHITE HILLS opening this Coming weekend - Click to play information video

No lockout here! Clarenville's beloved hockey is on the ice this coming weekend.  Get your tickets at the Events Centre.  


Snowshoeing is gaining in popularity and some new trails that lead to some breathtaking destinations are being developed.  Just this morning I was involved in breaking a trail to Arron's Lookout.  Arron's Lookout is the bald hill that you can on the 90 degree turn see as you drive into White Hills.  This is a 4 km round trip from the Lee Churchill Chalet and it takes you through woods, across bogs and up to one of the best views around.  If you bring kids and a lunch it makes for a great family hike that will be fun for all.  Regardless of where you go there are plenty of places to go - try it!
View from Arron's Lookout looking towards White Hills Resort


This coming weekend (January 11) the CLARENVILLE NORDIC SKI CLUB is hosting BACK TO SKI WEEKEND.  Come and Find out about the Club and join!  

The BTS weekend begins Friday night with a Cross country ski information/registration at the Clarenville Events Centre (Lobby Outside Theatre) from 6 - 8 p.m. and this will be followed by a waxing demonstration for classic skis. For Club members, new and old:

On Saturday Jan 12 there will be:
at 11 a.m. a Ski Clinic at White Hills (Lee Churchill Chalet) 
After the Commissioning Ceremony - Short Tour around Pete's Trail (Or Other Depending on Conditions)
And there will be SOUP AFTER THE TOUR!

Sunday Jan. 13th - Ski Clinic at 2 p.m.

The Ski Club also has a great kids program called "The Jackrabbit program" It's a weekly fun filled ski session that takes place a 2 p.m. at the Lee Churchill Chalet at White Hills Ski Resort

Information regarding registration and the Club can be found HERE

For Registration and Trail Map information click HERE


It's literally a mouthful! Eat the Hill will be all about celebrating winter and eating well.   You see, on the weekend of February 9th, star chefs from across the province will be at White Hills to offer up a culinary delight!  It will be a great event to be part of - and best of all you can ski/showshoe between meals!  Tickets are on sale this week .

Check out the website for all the details!  or on Twitter  @eatthehill

FOLLOW WHAT's GOING ON!   #GottaLoveOurWinter

I am part of a committee that is helping to move Winter Tourism forward in Clarenville.  Among other things we're trying to be better communicators.  Social media will be a major pipe for two way communicatons between us and's how you can follow, participate and help:

  • Follow OUR TOWN CLARENVILLE both here on this Blog and on OUR TOWN CLARENVILLE Facebook
  • Follow the OFFICIAL Town on Facebook and Twitter
  • Follow WHITE HILLS Resort on Facebook and Twitter
  • Follow CLARENVILLE NORDIC SKI CLUB on Facebook and Twitter
  • Use the #hashtag  #GottaLoveOurWinter on Twitter 
  • Look for the Winter link coming soon to

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fibre-op Technology - Let's not get left behind

(I always find Barbara Dean Simmons Editorials in the Packet though provoking. In this week's Packet see argues that governments should get on-the-ball with new technology (See: To 2013...and Beyond) .  I want to take that a step further in relation to Clarenville)   

Happy New Year everyone!

When I arrived here in Clarenville twenty one years ago, the first person that I met at the College, where I work, was then Principal Steve Quinton.  Steve began to tell me about how he and a group of progressive individuals had lobbied to make Clarenville a hub in the technological revolution.  Shortly after that our campus was hooked to a brand new fibre optic network that connected Clarenville to the world at then’ blazing’ speeds  – through that innovation and initiative we (the Campus and the Town) gained a reputation for practical application of technology.

Today we take it all pretty much for granted – we all connect to the internet and use it without a thought.   Technology has marched on however and the latest wave of technology - fiber connectivity directly to businesses and our homes, is upon us – but not here in Clarenville. 

In recent advertising and press releases, Bell Aliant has touted that they are building a stronger fibre-op network.        

Karen Sheriff, president and CEO of Bell Aliant recently stated in the Telegram
"Fibre-op right now is being built in the St. John's metro area. We're just about half complete with that build in St. John's," she said. "Within Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador is obviously a very important part of our territory, and that's why we are investing in building fibre-to-the-home, and also we are expanding our business Internet network. We call it our next-generation network, which is also an ethernet product. We are investing in that." 

Currently however there are no plans by Bell-Aliant to install this next generation network in Clarenville.   This network could mean much more that better TV and internet.  Local businesses hoping to do work for the information intense oil and gas industry will be at a distinct disadvantage without it.  As well, if Clarenville is to continue to attract new families, it will need this amenity –  our competitor communities in the greater St. John’s, Gander, Grand Falls and Corner Brook area will all have it.   

I admire the vision of the people like Steve Quinton who saw the potential of the early internet.  I hope that I see some of the same vision among the current crop of community leaders to press for the newest and best technology here – I for one am convinced that our future success as a community depends on it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Random Thoughts...: My 2013 Wish For You: The Next Municipal Election

Random Thoughts...: My 2013 Wish For You: The Next Municipal Election: I have a New Year's wish for you. It's 2013 and that means there will be municipal elections in a little over 8 months. Wait! Don't stop r...