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Jackie McCann-Scott - Invested Mama

Charlene’s Budget versus Danny’s Bucks - Watching Finance Minister Johnson pose with her pre-school daughter for pre-Budget pics, I was struck by an obvious revelation: she’s an Invested Mama too! Contributing to her community, her province and society at large. Living her best life. Letting her light shine. Setting an example for her child and serving as a role model for women everywhere. Of course this budget would have an Invested Mama touch … duh! In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this year’s provincial budget was downright maternal. Let me explain. One of the main reasons couples cite for waiting to start a family is lack of financial readiness. Let’s face it. Nothing kills the romance like $30,000 of student debt. However, the government predicts that the proposed change to the student loan program – in particular the phasing in of non-repayable grants – will save new grads (and potentially future parents) $5,000-$12,000. I don’t know about you, but just writing that got me in the mood. The other part of this year’s budget that could boost the birthrate: full day Kindergarten. Can I hear an “Amen” to that? I cannot imagine how much of a financial blessing one less year of full-time daycare would be to a family. Actually, I can imagine it. I’ve lived it. About five years after graduating from MUN – and with the end of our student loan debt in sight – hubby and I got the baby itch. We got it bad. We’d finished the basement in our renovated bungalow, added…

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Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott April 02, 2014

Telegram Photographers - Worth a thousand words

The Winter of Discontent By Rhonda Hayward - I know I am not the only one fed up with the weather. I bet it would be difficult to find anyone who isn't. I just want to share a little about how shooting for the paper out in the elements every day has been these past few months. We had our first snowfall back in November, so we are now — in April — into our unofficial sixth month of winter. Not that I hate winter, especially, but after a few months your typical snow shot ideas are all but used up. There are standard shots that come with every wintery season, and they come to mind pretty automatically when the first real amount of snow falls. Of course you have your blizzard photos, snowclearing and car accidents (unfortunately), sliding, skiing, snow boarding, snowshoeing, shovelling, salting, scraping, snowmen, snow angels, skating, shinny on the pond, ice fishing, ice climbing.  Then there's your pretty snow blanketing the trees and silver thaw coating branches and icicles lining the eaves of homes and businesses.I even shot a horse-drawn sleigh ride this year. So, there's lots of things to shoot in winter, but by the the third month or so you get a bit tired of being out in the bitter cold, day in and day out. Your mind starts to want to shoot beautiful spring flowers and people enjoying warm weather for a change. It must be just around the corner, right? Like in previous years? Adding to the perils of this long and cold winter, The…

Photo : Telegram Photographers April 11, 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…

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Photo : James McLeod April 11, 2014

Geoff Meeker - Geoff Meeker (Meeker on Media) Blog

More on Metering - A few days back, a Facebook friend posted a status update that caught my eye and prompted me to post a response. I could identify this person, I suppose, because the discussion was visible to our many friends and was already semi-public. However, he wasn’t commenting with that in mind and the ensuing discussion changed his original position to the point that he subsequently deleted the thread altogether. So what I will do is paraphrase his comments by changing the wording and post them without attribution, because I think he was articulating how some people feel about The Telegram’s recent move to a metering system, in which readers pay a $9 monthly fee to read seven or more articles. Here is the comment: “The Telegram should know that charging people to read articles online is a quick way to lose 90 percent of your readership and advertisers.” There was a healthy debate underway when I joined the fray and someone had already asked why we assume that everything on the Internet has to be free. Again, here is my friend’s paraphrased response: “I think it’s incorrect to view an online newspaper as a single thing – it’s really a collection of links that are found, read and shared at random, wouldn’t you say? … I wouldn’t pay to read one link. Instead, I would go to CBC or VOCM for the same story. The idea that the Internet is free and about the sharing of information applies to most of my generation… For example, if…

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Photo : Geoff Meeker April 11, 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…

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Photo : Kenn Oliver January 19, 2012