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Cheers & Jeers

Anthony Bourdain, as captured by The Telegram’s K.T.
Anthony Bourdain, as captured by The Telegram’s K.T. — KT Creative

Cheers: to Anthony Bourdain. The chef, author and star of “Parts Unknown” put Newfoundland and Labrador on the culinary map recently (for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure) when he filmed a segment of his CNN show here. He sang our praises, despite the unwarranted slagging he got from some on social media for his pronunciation of the word Newfoundland and for bringing Quebec chefs with him to this province. There were tributes aplenty on social media Friday after the 61-year-old’s death in France was reported, and rightly so. Bourdain brought the world — and the adventurous world of food — to millions through his books and television shows, and did so with his uniquely brash and rugged charm. Godspeed, and safe travels.

Jeers: to unhappy campers. Well, actually, not to the campers themselves, nor to the City of St. John’s for taking action to shut down the privately run Cochrane Pond Family Campground after serious safety hazards were discovered during inspections. The campground, which used to fall under provincial jurisdiction, was closed by the city Thursday after potentially hazardous conditions were discovered (the city assumed jurisdiction a few weeks ago). Campers have been left in limbo, wondering whether they will be able to get a refund of their fees, and the owner of the campground is left wondering whether he’ll be able to get back in business. The situation raises the question: why weren’t the safety infractions acted upon when it was in provincial jurisdiction? The only bright side to the story is that hopefully now the park will be made safe — and thankfully before someone was seriously hurt or worse.

Jeers: to a lack of empathy. When a woman responding to a Telegram story on the concerns of a parent living in subsidized housing waded into the debate on social media last week, she was met with a “who cares” attitude. A tenant had talked to a reporter about her fears that construction debris left on the site could pose a safety hazard to children. A Facebook poster commented on the story, saying perhaps it was a good time for her to get out of social housing. When a sympathetic poster replied, suggesting sometimes there are people who have no choice but to turn to subsidized housing when, for example, fleeing a domestic violence situation, she might as well have been spitting into the wind. Clearly, some people just don’t get it.

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