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

Keeping ratepayer assistance at the top of the agenda - Back in March, I wrote a story on rising power bills, focused on affordability of power for homeowners and cabin owners and honest-to-goodness small-businesses owners. The story was rooted in documents filed with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) in fall 2015, stating the corporation expected residential customers would be paying 19.8 cents per kilowatt hour for power when Muskrat Falls came online. No mention of a boondoggle at that point. Hardly a word, in fact, from the government. I did receive a statement, saying it is the PUB’s job to ensure rates are “just and reasonable” and that rates will be decided by the PUB at a future date, under a general rate review. “As part of government’s mandate, we are committed to selling surplus power generated from Muskrat Falls and to use that revenue to mitigate increases in electricity rates. After the rate application has been filed, government will review the proposed rates and determine the level of mitigation required,” it read. Fastforward to Friday, June 24, to updated projections from Nalcor Energy on provincial power rates. The estimate is at about 21 cents per kilowatt hour in 2022. And now the premier, the Natural Resources minister and the head of the province’s energy corporation are all at a table to take questions. Horror now, but not in March. Not in the fall of 2015. No great urgency to address the weight on ratepayers when the last increase in the Muskrat Falls project was announced, or when Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro was filing for…

Photo : Ashley Fitzpatrick June 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

Premier Ball Angry - Ok, I’m writing this really quickly because it’s been (another) crazy day, but I wanted to post the full audio of today’s scrum with Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady. It’s worth a listen, not just because the Ed Martin severance affair is still very much unfolding. I can also say that in more than four years I’ve been covering Ball, this is the angriest I’ve ever seen him. If you’re trying to get caught up on the still unfolding Ed Martin severance scandal, you can catch up with this handy dandy timeline I posted here: http://www.thetelegram.com/Blog-Article/b/27980/Timeline-The-Ed-Martin-Severance-Scandal You can also read yesterday’s story, which is here: http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2016-05-30/article-4544002/Premier-OKd-severance,-Martin-says/1 And when Ball says that there’s some sort of huge payout to Martin that hasn’t been discussed yet, I suspect that’s what I discussed here: http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2016-05-30/article-4543916/Ed-Martin-will-get-two-pensions/1 Ok, now then, on to the main event. Sorry for the intermittent sound quality, and the sound of my camera shutter. I was moving around a bit and shooting photos while the premier was speaking — along with asking questions. Anyway, here’s the audio of today’s scrum: https://soundcloud.com/telegramjames/20160531dwightballangry    

Photo : James McLeod May 31, 2016