Cheers & Jeers

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Cheers: to preserving puffins. The curious little birds seem to be doing fine here, but in Scotland and Maine, specialists are worried after a combination of late winter storms and changing water temperatures and food supplies appeared to decimate populations. As Barb Sweet reported last week, however, we shouldn’t get complacent either. According to MUN biologist Bill Montevecchi, concerns about the effects of climate change on seabirds is not to be dismissed. He said there was some worry last summer for gannets, because of the effects of warm waters. The warmth drove fish deeper or to more northerly climates, meaning the gannets had to go further for food.

Jeers: to striking a sour note. Some time overnight last Tuesday, thieves broke into The Music Collection on Torbay Road and made away with 26 electric guitars, including two bass guitars. The brand names of the guitars include G&L, BC Rich, Charvel, Washburn, Hamer, Ibanez, Cort and Jay Turser. “To think someone would do something like this is very upsetting,” Barbara Parsons told The Telegram’s Rosie Gillingham. “It just seems so senseless.” Here’s a tip: if someone’s selling a nice new guitar at a price too good to be true, stop and think first. Then consider phoning the police.

Cheers: to being up front: a panel at last week’s Noia oil and gas conference in St. John’s discussed the importance of keeping the public in the loop about the oil industry. “To get the legitimacy in the classic sense, you’re really talking about engagement, communication with your stakeholders, the local communities … to the extent of having some level of respect and understanding of what their issues and desires are,” said Alex Ferguson, vice-president for policy and environment with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. It’s all good, but at least one presenter at the conference didn’t get the message. Felipe Bayon Pardo of British Petroleum talked about lessons learned from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico three years ago. Problem is, he wasn’t keen on letting those lessons get out there. Before he spoke, reporters in the room were told to shut off their recording devices. And he wouldn’t take questions. There’s speculation it may because of ongoing lawsuits.

Cheers: to summer holidays! School’s out for the summer. Kids are rejoicing. As Alice Cooper put it so many decades ago: “No more pencils/No more books/No more teacher’s dirty looks.” Actually, that’s a terribly negative, backward way of looking at school. Not much of a role model in this day and age of anti-bullying and responsible attitudes. Shame on you, Alice Cooper, along with your top hat, snake and creepy makeup. At least nowadays we have good pop role models like, er … like, say … Anyway, have fun, kiddies!

Organizations: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, British Petroleum

Geographic location: Gulf of Mexico

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