Cheers & Jeers

The Telegram
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Cheers: to the fine points. Short, pithy stories have a way of making their way around the globe, especially when there’s some bizarre element to them that could grab the public’s attention. Take the case of the pilot whose prosthetic arm “became detached” during landing, causing his aircraft to come in for a hard landing in Belfast. The story’s gone almost worldwide with headlines like “This pilot managed to land a plane after his arm fell off” and “Pilot’s false arm falls off as he tries to land plane.” But it’s important to note that his arm didn’t actually come off. As the accident report into the case spells out: “Before the approach, the commander checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp which he used to fly the aircraft, with the latching device in place. … As he made the flare manoeuver, with somewhat more than flight idle torque still applied, his prosthetic limb became detached from the yoke clamp, depriving him of control of the aircraft.” Arm still attached, just not to the plane. Not quite the same story, is it?

Jeers: to strange caribou facts. From a major group of documents posted on the province’s access to information site: the provincial government is paying someone at the Toronto Zoo to do analysis on caribou droppings. It’s all for a good cause, though: the study is to determine the pregnancy rate in caribou — the declining percentage of pregnant females is thought to be one small part of the massive decline in the George River caribou herd, which has fallen from over 700,000 animals in the 1990s to just over 14,000 now. Another, even more depressing fact? “Despite the closure of provincial lands to all caribou hunting in Labrador, harvest pressure remained significant in 2013.” The provincial government has carefully blacked out the identities of the groups the government thinks was doing the hunting, citing a clause of the act that blocks the release of information that “could reasonably be expected to interfere with or harm a law enforcement matter.” Does that mean there are charges coming, or that this year will be any different when it comes to hunting pressures? We wait with bated breath.

Jeers: to the Keystone Kouncil. So, let’s see if we’ve got this right: the St. John’s city council overruled its own heritage committee and passed a motion allowing a landlord in a heritage area to use windows that weren’t in keeping with the area. Then, councillors were told by city staff that they didn’t actually have the power to overrule the committee and allow the windows, so now they have to go back, formally rescind the motion they passed and do something else. How … amateur of them. And they’re the ones charged with planning the future of this place? Oh, well: maybe you can understand the mistake if you look at council’s recent history. It already seems to feel that municipal plans and development regulations are merely municipal and development suggestions. Want to build something where you can’t build something? Well, go right ahead. …

Organizations: Toronto Zoo

Geographic location: George River, Labrador

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