Blogs list

Ken Simmons - Caught in the Act

Two Guitars Clash - Since 2007, when drummer Doug Rowe grabbed a guitar and stepped up to the mike, Two Guitars Clash has been grinding out the kind of six-string salvation the early punks used to such raucous effect. No silly love songs here. TGC tunes touch on world peace and petty crime; the sweatshop economy and international terrorism are laid out on the rock and roll stretcher and eviscerated for the world to see. The latest lineup — lead vox Rowe, Mark Thorne on guitars and vocals, Bob Dicks on bass and vocals and drummer Sean Power driving the works from the throne — released the group's third disc, “Radio Rebelde” on April 26. We were at The Black Sheep in downtown St. John’s to try to catch some of the energy of the release show, and have a chat with Doug about the band and the songs that make up the Two Guitars Clash setlist. Get the podcast here.

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Photo : Ken Simmons May 02, 2016

Julie Brocklehurst - Children's Wish

A Princess Tea Party.. with Heroes! - Sometimes, real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.   This past weekend, The Children's Wish Foundation hosted a Princess Tea Party.. with Heroes! Children were invited to dress up as a princess or superhero and join in a wonderful afternoon at an enchanted castle with some of their favorite Disney Princesses and Comic Superheroes. It was truly a grand affair for both boys and girls. There were fun structured activities for the kids, free massages for parents, an awesome stage show, and lots of surprises!  The Tea Room was decorated in a beautiful fairy princess style that every little girl dreams of. The event organizers concentrated on every detail to make the afternoon perfect for the children and parents in attendance, as well as for the special little Wish Princesses and Wish Superheroes, whose most heartfelt wish will be funded by the event.  All children love to dress up and play make-believe. A witch, a pirate, a police officer or a race car driver - children's imaginations can transform them into whatever they want to be. For many of the children at this magical event, dressing up as a princess or superhero was an escape from their everyday lives, which can be full of medical appointments and hospital visits. Pretending to be a comic book character is a fun way to escape the real world for the afternoon, and let their fantasies and imaginations take flight! When we think of superheroes, we think of people who are stronger than normal,…

Photo : Julie Brocklehurst February 26, 2016

Ashley Fitzpatrick - Of Rock & Sea

Shrimp counts - There’s a little something I haven’t been able to shake, so I’ve decided to drop it in here. It is about the ongoing review of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Last In, First Out (LIFO) approach to shrimp quotas whereby the smaller-boat, inshore harvesters, are currently taking on the majority of continuing quota cuts, versus the factory freezer boats. More to the point, this is about the ongoing review of LIFO and facts-based governance. Up front, I am in no way saying how this LIFO decision should go. What I am saying here is there are questions as to what numbers the province is using to make its case, arguing aggressively for more quota for the inshore fishery. It could very well be the way to go, but the question right now is the numbers. I was at the St. John’s Convention Centre when the all-party committee (Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats assemble!) made a presentation to the members of the minister’s LIFO review panel. I now believe I made an error in judgement in how I reported everything on the day, given only top-sheet numbers were included in the provincial committee’s slides and not a detailed explanation of the numbers. On the day, my focus turned to the harvesters and more personal stories of how they were being affected by a declining shrimp stock, with no clear alternative species where they might side-step and find hope of financial recovery. But first, I did report on the committee’s presentation. On Twitter and at…

Photo : Ashley Fitzpatrick May 28, 2016

Jackie McCann-Scott - Invested Mama

The Rise of the Robo-Advisor - Much has been reported in recent months about the inevitable rise of the “Robo-Advisor.” Defined by Investopedia as an “online service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of humans,” analysts predict the robo-advisor to be a fav among the tech savvy Millennial and Gen Y consumers. As the definition implies, the robo-advisor has mainly set its sights on the investment side of the financial planning equation thus far. More recently, though, it has turned its attention to the insurance market. With adds promising 24/7, non-medical, guaranteed insurance coverage, quick and easy is clearly the sales strategy here.  Anyone who has ever been through the process of applying for traditional life insurance would admit this does have a certain appeal.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to swap peeing in a bottle for keying in an online app?   Surprisingly, quite a few. A study conducted in March by the research group LIMRA, tested eight different marketing messages pertaining to the purchase of life insurance. The “quick and easy” pitch finished dead last.  While everyone agreed there is a need to simplify the purchase of life insurance, there was a definite uneasiness around making that process too easy. Another study conducted by LIMRA in 2015 confirmed that while the robo-advisor does indeed appeal most to younger consumers, it does not replace the desire for human contact. The study found that while the Gen Y’s and Millennials will use robo-advisors to compare products and prices, when it comes time to act, face to face…

Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott April 01, 2016

James McLeod - Briefing Note

Timeline: The Ed Martin Severance Scandal -   The Ed Martin severance affair has been slowly unfolding for more than a month now. Martin was terminated without cause by the Nalcor board of directors shortly after he announced that he was resigning his post. By terminating him, the board made Martin eligible for nearly $1.4 million in severance. Questions continue to swirl around what Premier Dwight Ball knew, when he knew it, and whether he misled the public about the nature of the situation. Here is the timeline of events, to the best of our knowledge, at this point in time. My intention is to update this timeline periodically, as new information becomes available. If there's anything you think I should add, don't hesitate to get in touch.     Sunday, April 17 Ed Martin has a meeting with Premier Dwight Ball to discuss his departure as CEO of Nalcor Energy.    Monday, April 18 Premier Dwight Ball meets with Stan Marshall to discuss the possibility of Marshall becoming CEO of Nalcor Energy.   Tuesday, April 19 Ed Martin and Premier Dwight Ball hold a second meeting to discuss Martin’s departure. At this meeting, Ball and Martin discuss Martin’s contract in general terms, but Ball says that it will be up to the Nalcor board of directors to honour the the contract.   Wednesday, April 20 11 a.m. Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady announce that Ed Martin is resigning. 11: 45ish? Ed Martin speaks to media, and says he is resigning, effective immediately, because he wants to spend…

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Photo : James McLeod May 27, 2016