Affordable housing — a no-brainer - I volunteer with my church of choice, Gower Street United, at our Wednesdsay outreach lunch, to people in need in St. John's. I'm not there every Wednesday but was there today. I hadn't seen some of our guests since early in the summer.A recent Canadian study looked at the toll of poverty on people's lives and health. The study indicated that, no surprise, people are simply, and profoundly, worn down, and out, by the daily struggle to just survive, in the midst of their poverty. Today, in a few of our guests, I was taken aback by the physical changes I saw. Weight loss, exhausted-looking, empty, sad looks in their eyes. I have seen this before, too often.The common theme that I hear from people there, relates to the need for good quality affordable, social, non-profit housing. It's really a no-brainer. The need in our city is very real, and very big. Building housing is not rocket science, takes money, yes, but the pay-off to business, the city and our people, will be huge.Yet, for decades now the city's housing portfolio has not exceeded 500 units. The other 2 mayoral cnadidates, after the last four years of doing nothing in this regard, are now talking about the need for affordable housing, well at least O'keefe is anyway, O'Leary is promoting something called, 'flourishing neighbourhoods'.What's the best predictor of future behaviour - past behaviour. From O'Keefe, as his campaigns signs boldly say 'expect' leadership, and O'Leary says 'expect more'. If past behaviour predicts future behaviour, expect…
So What's My Take on Public Transit? - Recently, a resident contacted me via my website (http://www.sarahcolbornepenney.com/) inquiring about my position regarding public transit. At his suggestion, I thought it was worth sharing my response: Thank you for your questions.I believe public transportation is essential and must be improved, and in order to achieve this, we should be looking at public transportation from a regional perspective. Thousands of people on the Northeast Avalon do not have access to public transit; however, at the same time, this same area is experiencing unprecedented growth. The status quo is untenable, and the City must engage all stakeholders to come up with solutions. I believe a challenge is an opportunity, and this is clearly an opportunity to do public transit right. The Provincial Government will have to come to the table, as well as other municipalities in order to shift our emphasis from building roads, to improving public transit. I am interested in improving public transit’s efficiency and convenience while still maintaining a cost-effective service. To do this, public transit should be an important part of planning and development – not an afterthought. I am interested in the creation of “neighbourhoods not subdivisions”, in which residents can live, work, and engage in leisure activities without having to drive long distances. We need to engage in “intelligent development” – being mindful of the future environment we are creating today. The extension of infrastructure to accommodate low-density developments is wasteful of tax dollars.“More roads” is not the answer; instead we must try to alleviate our over-reliance on cars by…2
A brief overview of Dave Lane's election platform - Over the past four years or so I have been spending my free time working with various community groups, associations, and my own volunteer organization, Happy City, to understand how our city works and how to make it better for everyone. (Learn more about me here.) Informed by my experience with these organizations, I've developed a set of principles and policy directions. Now that I'm running for councillor at large in St. John's, it's important that I make my views clear to voters so you can make an informed choice. Click here to read my platform. In a nutshell, I believe that our city will be better if we are all given an opportunity to express our views and contribute to decision making. I've shown that there are effective ways to engage the public through the initiatives of Happy City—both online and in public meetings. I intend to bring these approaches with me to City Hall. I believe we can find a balance between development and heritage, as I demonstrated by coordinating a document of shared values between the St. John's Board of Trade, Downtown St. John's, and the Newfoundland Historic Trust. Our traffic and parking issues can be addressed with an intergrated public transit system that sees an improved bus system, better bike and walking trails, and park-and-ride systems that connect popular parts of town. (Read my letter to the Telegram defending public transit.) The cost of living is rising as our economy changes, and we need to…
Our TIME....absolutely free yet nothing as valuable. - Let's take a strictly hypothetical situation. You are a professional painter by trade and you have been successful at providing a comfortable life for yourself and your family. You do excellent work and as such your loving wife or husband or partner wants the living room painted. No sweat right? It's what you do and you are very good at it. You have a can of paint, a paint brush , some drop cloths that all cost money and you have a living room that is desperate for a fresh coat of paint. You have everything that you need to do the job....except the only thing involved with the project that is completely free to you...TIME. You lack the TIME to actually do the job up to your standards. You find that you only have 1 hour to paint the entire living room instead of the required 4 hours but because you have so much other things to get completed today and tomorrow and the day after, you start painting , hoping that you will have enough time to complete the living room and have it be your usual perfect result. You put your head down and get at it ...all the while wishing you had more time. After 1 hour of feverishly painting you stop and take a look at your work. The result is not surprising. There are missed spots, paint wasted everywhere, the ceiling is full of splatters and you realize that you would have been better off having someone else do…5
Cod fodder - The recent pilot project announced by DFO to get fishermen to actually go catch cod on the south coast of Newfoundland got me thinking about how people view cod inside and outside the industry. If you happen to be one of those romantic-minded knuckleheads who believes the return of the mighty cod to the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador would be the great and wonderful saviour of our fishery, please, keep reading. Your foolish and uninformed notions are due for an adjustment. First off, let me say quite clearly that cod, me b’ys, is less saviour and more bloody useless. Not only does cod eat the valuable species we really want to be fishing like crab and shrimp, but it’s not worth anything when we do catch it and we have no market for it. Most fishermen would prefer cod never came back. They are a nuisance! And now we hear that other cod fishing nations are about to swamp us all together in terms of both the available resource and market supply. It turns out they are rotten with high quality and well-marketed cod, and are ready to fully supply the global market with product. A recent report filed by Jason Holland of SeafoodSource in London, England noted that North Sea cod stocks have grown by 250 per cent in the past five years. “This turnaround has been achieved through a series of fishermen/scientist collaborations that have delivered better, more robust evidence upon which effective fisheries management decisions have been made in recent years,”…3
CBC Radio transcripts: Ted Blades and Irene Coleman - CBC Radio transcripts: Ted Blades and Irene Coleman. Here, you could click the attach file that it is acrobat reader. Thanks!
Geoff Stirling - In 1992 I was vice president of the MUN entrepreneur society. It was my job to secure speakers for our monthly meetings. We would usually get a good crowd but on the Sept evening that he spoke the room was over capacity. It was full to the rafters. I met him at the door to the business building and asked him what car he had driven to place a parking pass on it. He put his hand to his head and said Mazerati, Farrari, Porsche, frankly son I don't remember what I drove here in. I went outside saw a large Mercedes and placed the pass on that one. He brought a guy with him who had a video camera and that guy tapped business students on the shoulder and asked for them to speak into the camera about their love of Newfoundland and if they had any business ideas. It took me months to secure him as a speaker and it was filled with all kinds of intrigue. His assistant said he could pull out at a moments notice. I didn't know until he stepped in the door if he would actually show up or not. When he did he did not disappoint. His talk was very well received. It went in many many directions but the room full of business students were in awe that we actually had him there. Incidentally he said to me that I was the first person to ever ask him to speak at Memorial and that is why…1