Cheers & Jeers

Published on June 19, 2017

Cheers: to the big burn. St. John’s is marking the anniversary of the Great Fire of 1892, which razed great swaths of the city, with a weekend (July 8-9) of photo exhibits, historical walks, stories and song. A city news release describes the fire as “the worst disaster to befall the city. It left thousands homeless and wiped out the downtown commercial district.” But, hey — let’s celebrate, right? Here’s hoping they don’t have a big cake with lots of candles.

Jeers: to overkill. How many politicians does it take to mark the opening of a new RCMP detachment? Four, representing three levels of government, if it’s the dog days of (almost) summer. The Whitbourne RCMP detachment hosts the official opening of new digs today and MP Judy Foote, Justice Minister Andrew Parsons, cabinet minister and area MHA Sherry Gambin-Walsh and Whitbourne Mayor Hilda Whelan are expected to attend the ribbon-cutting. We’re sure it’s a red-letter day for the police, but seriously — it makes you wonder how many politicians would show up if an IKEA store popped up in these parts.

 

Cheers: to mercury creep. This week is the first one this year where double-digit highs are forecast for all seven days. Not a lot of sun expected, mind you, but we’ll take the heat.

 

Cheers: to rate increases. Wait — not cheers to rate increases per se, but to rate increases that are not as high as they might have been. Newfoundland Power announced Friday that electricity rates are increasing by an average of 8.5 per cent on July 1. Given that the initial proposal was 18 per cent, 8.5 is a little easier to take — in July…

 

Jeers: To the latest Muskrat Falls oversight committee report. You might argue cheers are in order, given a report is finally out; the last quarterly dates back 18 months. But the format of the report has changed. A news release said the change makes more information available, but it also breaks the consistency of the reports, using more text and complex graphics instead of simple progress bars. A simple thing, but just enough to make it irritating to the casual observer interested in seeing just how far off-track we are. Meanwhile, all eyes and ears are on Nalcor Energy’s next project update — due by the end of this month, according to Stan the Man.

 

Zenit’s soccer player Aleksandr Kerzhakov holds a five-year-old cat, Achilles, at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 15.
Irina Titova/The Associated Press

Cheers: to psychic cats. A white feline at St. Petersburg’s famed Hermitage Museum has been tapped to pick the winner of the Confederations Cup international football tournament. Achilles will be given two different plates of food before each game, and his choice of dish will foretell the winning team. There’s been no word on whether Achilles has divulged any state secrets to the Trump administration.