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Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott April 18, 2014
Photo : Telegram Photographers April 16, 2014

James McLeod - Briefing Note

Adventures with ATIPPA… - Adventures with ATIPPA… Back in late February, I filed a few ATIPPA requests to Nalcor. Some of them are still working their way through the process and you’ll probably hear more about them later, but I just wanted to post a quick note about one weird one. Naively, I requested the following documents from Nalcor: “Text of all signed procurement contracts by Nalcor Energy or subsidiaries related to the Muskrat Falls and/or Labrador Island Link project.” Hoo boy. A couple weeks later I got a call from the access to information co-ordinator for Nalcor. There was a little problem, or rather, a very, very big problem. At the time of my request, there were more than 2,400 procurement contracts related to Muskrat Falls and the island link, totalling a whopping 93,000 pages. As the act is currently structured, at least one person would have to go through all of those pages — paid at a rate of $25/hour — and redact the juicy bits. I told Nalcor that I absolutely did not want to pursue this request; there’s no way The Telegram would pay what would literally amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, I said, I wanted to see the formal cost estimate. I just wanted to see the really, really, really big number out of a perverse sort of curiosity. Last week, I got another email from Nalcor. They were formally refusing to even provide me a cost estimate. In a nutshell, here’s their explanation of why: “Nalcor Energy attempted…

Photo : James McLeod April 11, 2014

Geoff Meeker - Geoff Meeker (Meeker on Media) Blog

No More Stigma-2 - The media generally doesn’t report suicide unless it’s an exceptional situation, such as a murder-suicide or possibly the death of a celebrity.  However, code words are used that sometimes do allow us to read between the lines. For example, if you see the words “died suddenly” and “no criminal activity” in the same paragraph, in many cases it means suicide was involved. You can probably think of other terms that obscure suicide as cause of death.  But when it comes to obituaries in the newspaper, there are seldom any clues at all. It just isn’t mentioned when someone dies from suicide. Early in February, Andy Jones and Mary-Lynn Bernard punched through that paper wall when they announced in The Telegram that their son, Louis, had “passed away by his own hand.” That frank admission began a conversation that continued through Louis’s wake and funeral, and was subsequently picked up by media (see part one of this series). The death notice was prepared by Andy and Mary-Lynn in consultation with Geoff Carnell, of Carnell’s Funeral Home. In an interview, I asked Carnell if this was the first time that suicide was given as the cause of death in an obituary. “It is indeed the first time in my recollection that somebody was so honest,” he said. “Andy and Mary-Lynn asked if they could use the words ‘by his own hand’ in the notice. I said ‘if you wish, yes.’ They came up with that phrase and were very pleased with it. They described the battle that…

Photo : Geoff Meeker April 23, 2014

Kenn Oliver - Kenn Oliver Blog

Herder heresy - Lost in the controversy over where this year’s Herder Memorial Trophy series games will be played is the trophy itself. What people forget is that this trophy does not belong to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. Nor does it belong to the Cataracts or the newly formed Newfoundland Senior Hockey League. It doesn’t belong to this paper, the title sponsor of the provincial senior championship series.  It’s still the rightful property of the Herder clan and knowing how dearly they regard the award — named in honour of their late loved ones — I would imagine this latest controversy has them wondering why they would continue to have their prestigious family name tarnished while half-truths are being thrown around by both sides of this contentious debate. Were I part of the Herder clan, I would approach Hockey NL and the league executive and inform them that they can have their championship series, but the hardware hoisted when the buzzer sounds on the series clinching game won’t be the Herder Memorial Trophy. Instead, the Herder family should take the trophy over to the Eddie Oates and the Avalon East senior league and allow them to play for it in their championship series. As an amateur league, they have more right to it than the semi-professional NSHL and it’s massive payrolls. After all, the award original purpose was an award for the top amateur senior men’s team in the province, not the ones who could spend the most money or put the most fans in the stands. It…

Photo : Kenn Oliver January 19, 2012