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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers Feb. 18

Along the Viking Trail there are natural wonders to take in. At the Gros Morne National Park, there are the Tablelands, Western Brook Pond and Gros Morne Mountain, for example. Pictured here, off the shores of St. Anthony, is a massive iceberg, sure to leave visitors in awe. On the right, you can see a piece of the berg crashing into the water.
A massive iceberg off the shores of St. Anthony. No word on whether this one was eventually turned into vodka. — Photo courtesy of Viking Trail Tourism Association

Jeers: to the water thieves. So, someone stole 30,000 litres of melted iceberg water, worth $12,000, from a Port Union warehouse. Some immediate questions. Why? What could you do with that much iceberg water anyway? Is the bootleg iceberg water market very big? How many prospective buyers could there possibly be? If you’re the miscreants who took it, how do you prove it’s anything except, well, just plain water? Can you do anything but basically say, “Well, we’re the ones who took it from the water warehouse”? It’s a tanker-truck of water; how do you hide that? Tarpaulin? Swimming pool? The mind boggles.

Jeers: to news releases. It’s on the other side of the country, but here’s an online porn company talking about snow days in a news release they sent us. “Victoria B.C., Canada has completely shut down and cancelled everything because of the non-stop snow fall. In an effort to help, YouPorn has offered residents a free premium membership during the storm to help set the mood for indoor activities. They’ve also offered to help Mayor Lisa buy another snow plow for the island. See the offer letter below. Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks, Alex.” Delightful. Don’t wait for our call.

Cheers: to novel court defences that ultimately fail. Domingo Pernez-Bernal was driving in Eramosa Township, Ont., when he came across an unmarked police car with flashing lights. Pernez-Bernal stopped, waited, and then went on — and was pulled over and issued a ticket for driving on a closed road. Here’s part of his self-represented defence, where he asks questions, and the police officer involved answers. Q. How many controlled traffic, how many traffic control devices did you have in place in order for me to understand the road was closed? A. I was only using my police cruiser, it was a large Tahoe, and it was able to block the entire northbound lane. If I needed to block multiple lanes I could have used something else, but I only needed to block the one lane. So that’s all I used. Q. Could you please clarify for me today that your cruise[sic] is a traffic control device? A. Sorry? Q. Would you clarify, would you please tell me if your cruise[sic] is classified as a traffic control device? A. My cruiser? Q. Yes. A. I was using it as a traffic control device to divert traffic left onto Indian Trail. Q. How would I know in that case if that was a traffic control device?” Pernez-Bernal pointed out he was charged with “Driving on closed highway prohibited — where signs or traffic control devices have been posted or placed under subsection 2, no person shall drive or operate a vehicle on the closed highway or part thereof in intentional disobedience of the signs or traffic control devices.” No signs, no traffic control devices — no crime. (We think he should have won the case.)

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