Friday, June 29, 2012


I have been trying to keep up on tickets sales and stuff and trying to promote the sale of tickets. I am careful to advise people to go to the Mile One Box Office to buy them in person in order to save money. We have seen that tickets sales have not been that brisk and we only have about a month left to the concert.


Seriously people, don't you think people would be likely to buy tickets at the drug store as apposed to driving all the way downtown?

District Drugs Price $41.75 all taxes and fees included, the cheapest price you can get.

Public Transportation in Torbay?

The other night at Council I was surprised to hear Deputy Mayor Gallant bring up the topic of public transportation in Torbay. He was referring to having some kind of study and possibly a pilot project to take place in the town.

I got the study right won't work and we can't afford it.

Let me qualify that statement first. Public Transportation systems through out this country are heavily subsidized by the levels of government that is operating it. It is very difficult for a public transit system to be totally self sufficient.

The point on public transit is to be able to move large numbers of people quickly and cheaply. Now when you look at a city like Toronto or Ottawa where you are dealing with over a million people in a densely populated area public transit makes sense, more than makes sense it is essential to the operation of the city. But even in those cities where ridership is booming there are still significant pressure on their budgets.

Then just think about how often you are driving around St. John's and see Metro Busses buzzing all around with mostly empty seats. How would that work in Torbay? I remember years ago I think John Evans used to run a bus from Pouch Cove to St. John's that picked people up along the main road. I don't remember what it cost, might have been 2 bucks or something like that.

The point is that the only way you could have a bus systems would be to go along the main road so people would have to walk to get the bus. Who is going to do that? How much would it cost, certainly more that 2 bucks for a run anywhere....then how do you get back? How often would a bus run? How much would it cost council to pay a bus company for a bus to drive back and forth from where ever all day long? $500 a day maybe, I am just guessing by what it cost to rent a bus to bring a bunch of people from Torbay to St. John's and back.

The point is that it would never pay for itself, it would be our most expensive public service and quite simply would not work. I think that we should not even bother with the study, just give our heads a collective shake and the answer should be clear.....forget it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Was a Great Kitchen Party Until The Idiots Took Over

Well it was a great night at the annual Kitchen Party at Liddy's last night. Although I was late getting there around 12:45 I still had to pay 10 bucks cover for my wife and I, that sucked but what ever.

Anyway the entertainment was great and I saw a lot of people I don't get to see very much, I guess that is the point of the whole thing. So all was well and everyone was partying and having a good time then the idiots took over. A fight seemed to be started by a young fellow in the bar who looked about 20 and he had a face on him like he was going to kill someone. You know the face, we have seen then hundreds of times on the playground or at daycare when someone takes the other kids dinky. That was the exact look and my God he looked really scary with his browned off look.... at least I think that was the intent, he just looked like a sooky child to me.

So another guy takes a swing at him and another fellow jumps in and we are off to the races, next thing I know all kinds of people are running into the street and there are people fighting everywhere. There were boys fighting with boys, girls with girls, girls with boys, what a sight.

So after all the fighting was initially over this one young girl seemed to be stirring things up again and then the donnybrook was on again, fists flying and boots kicking and blood shedding....Holy Shit What a Time I heard someone yell out. What a time? That is what they call having a time fighting in the middle of the street, punching women and children, that is what I would call them children.

So when all the fighting stops the idiots on the door at Liddy's let a bunch of the guys back in the bar who were just fighting outside. What the hell is up with that? Used to be when someone got into a fight in a bar they were shown the door and the patrons were kept inside so as not to add to the mess. So you know what is going to happen, sure enough the one idiot who seemed to be in the middle of the whole thing from the beginning starts up again. He is covered in blood from punches and scratches from the girl he was fighting with and then the other kid who started it....hang on now...I need to put this in context. The two guys who initially started the whole thing are the same two guys who are still going at it in the bar after all the fighting was over. So we have bloody face and sooky face still inside the bar after all the shit they caused in the beginning. The cops are outside so why didn't the door person at Liddy's point out the offenders to the cops so they could be taken to the lockup where they belonged.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Torbay 250 - Kitchen Party Tonight at Liddy's

It is time again for the annual Torbay Kitchen Party that is held at Liddy's. I am sure it will be a good time had by all so don't hesitate to come out. Liddy's has undergone some renovations in the past year and you will be pleasantly surprised by how nice it looks.

I look forward to being there tonight and seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones, so come on out even if you have never been to Liddy's before you won't be disappointed in this party tonight.

Entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m.  Emcee:  Derrick Dymond.  Local Entertainment featuring Chris Bemister.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekly Update on Great Big Sea Tickets Sales

Last week I wrote about how we need to get out and get our GBS tickets in order to try and make this event a success. The update I gave on the amount of ticket sales was an estimate but I have more accurate numbers now and hopefully I will be getting a weekly update as to how the sales are going.

When I made my inquiry at the town about how many tickets were sold I also asked some questions that were being tossed around by some concerned Torbay residents.

I asked if I could get an update on the tickets sales and what strategies are in place to try and increase sales. This is the information I have received as of this morning from the Town.

As of June 13 there were 915 tickets sold
As of June 20 there were 998 tickets sold

I have been told there is an expectation for there to be 2000 tickets sold in the next month and marketing efforts are on going. Included in those are ads in the herald, a tv commercial, radio ads, the digital sign at Stavanger, posters throughout the region and ads in the scope. I would also add that there is a push on the internet via Facebook to promote ticket sales.

The town has been advised that tickets sales are on par with the Great Big Sea concert at the George Street Festival last year and we can expect to see 2000 tickets in the last month. There is also a probability of a good few walk up ticket sales at the gate. This is not surprising since a lot of people wait until the last minute and to see what the weather is going to be like.

The Town has been receiving a lot of inquiries about the location of the concert from other parts of the province as well as from outside the province. People are indicating that they are planning to attend but have not purchased their tickets yet.

Considering there are just about 1000 tickets sold right now and expecting 2000 more in the next month then 2000 in the last month the goal of 5000 should be in reach. Also when you add in what ever is sold the day of the concert it looks like it can be viable. Of course all this is depending on people actually going out and getting the tickets and not running out of time. Seems to me that it is starting to get a little late in the game.

Lets get out and support the town and get those numbers up so that we can help put off the biggest show in our 250 year history. I will hopefully be making weekly updates on the progress of tickets sales so stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peter The Pariah Penashue

Normally I don't comment on Federal Politics too much in this space but I saw this story on CBC today and I thought I would like to talk about it. I am not sure why I felt the need, maybe it is because I spent some time with a bunch of NDP'ers last Saturday night and they put some kind of Vulcan mind meld on me or some other kind of tactic. Maybe it was a version of the Left Wing Lock commonly employed by the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL where the Left Winger positions himself in such a way to force the opponent into a particular area of the ice. Well in reality it works by forcing the opponent down the right side but for the purposes of this analogy Left Wing Lock fits nicely.

Anyway, enough about that, before you read any farther for the benefit of those like myself who din't know exactly what a Pariah is but for some reason I thought it fit here I took the liberty of looking up a definition.

Pariah - Noun - a person driven out of a group or community; an outcast - example: Because of his political beliefs he became a pariah in the district. 

That definition fits nicely into the image I have of him so I will go with it.

Peter Penashue MP
So, I was reading earlier on CBC that our fearless Conservative Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, Peter Penashue has been raising a ruckus in the House of Commons. It is over an issue that has him incapacitated and not able to do his job for the good people of Newfoundland and Labrador. In a Point of Privilege he attacked Liberal Leader Bob Rae because Todd Russell's website was still active. Who is Todd Russell you ask, why he is the former Liberal MP for Labrador who Pariah Pete ousted in the last election. Apparently that website which has been dormant could be causing confusion for the Pariah's constituents and they may not know that he is actually their MP. And here I thought the reason he couldn't do his job was that he was simply useless, what a relief to know that isn't the case. For those of you who don't know what Peter looks like because he has been missing in action since the election here is an image of him that I found on the internet.

Well last week in a Facebook comment I referred to our glorious Cabinet Minister as Pied Peter Penashue. This was a reference to the Pied Piper of Hamelin a character from German legend. The earliest references go back to the Middle Ages and describe a piper dressed in multicolored clothing leading the children away from town never to return.

I compared this to how our very own Pied Peter would be coming to Newfoundland and Labrador to pipe up about the amazing achievements of the Harper Conservative Government. You know the closure of the Rescue Centres, the Closure of Radio Outpost throughout the island, the recent changes to the EI Program, the broken promise on Goose Bay. I am sure there are many other wonderful and exciting plans for us on the horizon but you get the idea. Well you know all these changes are designed to create jobs for the people of Canada and I guess especially the good people of Newfoundland and Labrador. So have no fear everyone, now that he has that pesky impediment of Todd Russell's website out of the way we should be hearing more and more from our stalwart MP.

I have no doubt that in the next few weeks if he can ever find his way out from under his desk in Ottawa or maybe it is Harper's desk he is hiding under.....makes no difference. He will be down here piping his song to the masses and leading all us poor unfortunate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to the promised land of jobs and prosperity. Some he will be leading as per the new EI regulations "up to an hours drive away" for a job, and others he will undoubtedly be taking on a great Canadian adventure to far off lands in Ontario and Alberta to find our fortunes. Never to return just like those poor children were led from Hamelin so many years ago.

In so many ways the comparison between the Pied Piper and Pied Peter the Pariah are uncanny. The Pied Piper of Hamelin was actually from the Middle Ages and Pied Peter and his cohorts govern like they are from or want to push Canada back to the Middle Ages

How regressive is that?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Get Out and Get Your Great Big Sea Tickets

There are plenty of tickets left for the Great Big Sea concert and hopefully the residents of Torbay will step up and support this event. As of this morning there have been about 1000 tickets sold and 100 of them since Monday so the sales seem to be picking up.

However we are a long way from the 5000 or so we need to sell to break even on this concert but there is still lots of time left between now and August 4th. Many people seem to wait until the last minute to buy tickets for things like this and I guess this concert will be no exception.

I know the people in Torbay get a bad rap sometimes for not supporting our own events. I have often said myself that if you want to see a person from Torbay at a festival or community event you need to go to Flatrock or Outer Cove.

Don't forget to get the best value for your money you need to go to the box office at Mile One and pick them up in person....don't order them online you will pay more, unless you don't care about the price then by all means fill your boots.

We have already had two Community events either cancelled or postponed..I am not sure about the reason but in my opinion it could be lack of interest. I am talking about the Fathers Day Pancake Breakfast and the Canada Day Masterless Men concert. Regardless of the reason if there was overwhelming interest from the community I don't think they would be cancelled.

So if you are planning on attending maybe you might wan to get your tickets sooner rather than later. One way or the other we are all going to pay for this concert, either by purchasing tickets or the inevitable tax increase that will accompany a loss of revenue. Personally I think that if you are going to pay you may as well enjoy the show.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Whats With All the Recent Cancellations and Postponements?

Looks like some of the anticipated events that were to take place in Torbay this summer are being cancelled or postponed.

Canada Day Concert POSTPONED June 07, 2012
Please be advised that the Canada Day Concert featuring the Masterless Men is postponed. 
A new date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Father's Day Pancake Breakfast Cancelled May 28, 2012
Please be advised that Father's Day Pancake Breakfast, scheduled for Sunday, June 17th, is cancelled.

The BBQ that was supposed to take place after the Great Torbay Pick Me Up was simply forgotten about.

What is on the go, I wonder do all these cancellations and postponements have to do with the fact that they are having staff turnover issues at the town? Hopefully they get this stuff straightened out because I think they are either on the second or third person who is supposed to be responsible for all the planning for the Great Big Sea concert. I hope these recent hiccups are not a bad omen for the summer celebrations.

With so many activities planned for the 250 Celebrations there must be a tremendous amount of planning and logistics involved. Lets hope that every thing gets worked out and we have a great summer.

For all recent public notices go here

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

World Ocean Day - Except in Torbay

Why do the Torbay Sparks group have to go and clean Middle Cove Beach on June 7 for World Ocean Day instead of doing the clean up on our own beach? Well it is pretty simple, our beach is a shit hole.....literally.

That is the reason that was given for the fact that the group is going to go to Middle Cove instead of Torbay Beach because Torbay has a sewer problem. I am so sick of this issue and it doesn't seem like it is ever going to go away.

If you read all the notices and fancy colorful pamphlets that the town sends out you would think we are living in the green capitol of Newfoundland. They talk about green communications, greening council chambers, recycling, robo calls. How about we stop pumping raw sewage into our beach so that we can go down there and use the damn thing.

It boggles my mind how so much attention can be given to a friggin building lot in Motion or Whitty's Ridge or where ever but hardly a mention is ever made about our beach. How can any town have the nerve to call them selves green or leaders on the environment when you can drive down by Torbay Beach any day of the week and watch the Sea Gulls doing the backstroke through a bubbling cesspool.

This is just another example of the facade being perpetrated on the resident of our town with regards to how family friendly we are. I guess the residents of Torbay have all the amenities we can handle as long as we are prepared to go somewhere else to use them.

I guess when we see huge tax increases in conjunction with huge spending increases and not a thing being done to make our beach usable for the residents then we know where our priorities lie.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 East Coast Trail Tely Hike - HUGE Success!

On Saturday June 2nd the 2012 East Coast Trail Tely Hike was held in Pouch Cove and it was a huge success. They had over 350 hikers registered and raised a tremendous amount of money with just over $124,000.

A special mention and congratulations to Torbay's own TETC Coyotes who finished 3rd in the fundraising event with an impressive $5305 towards a goal of $3000 easily surpassing it.

What makes this even more impressive is last year the Coyotes won the event with the highest amount raised with $3500. This shows that the popularity of the event and the level of support for the East Coast Trail are on the rise.

Congratulations to the members of the TETC Coyotes, too see how they did individually or find out more about the fundraising effort visit their fundraising page.

Danny Spencer
Don Spencer
Georges Dagenais
Helen Spencer
Madeleine Florent
Marina Cheeseman
Michael Gardiner
Myra Maynard
Patricia E. Lacey
Robbie Hicks

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten - Blair Michael Tapper

It has been a pretty rough year and in particular few days for those of us who have been involved in Blair Tappers life, especially his family. Over the past two days it has been humbling to see how many lives Blair touched and the respect being shown to him and his family while we mourn him.

Today at the funeral home we were having a service for Blair and there was an opportunity for people to speak and tell some stories about Blair and I really wanted to, but I didn't know how to put it into words at the time. I am a pretty emotional person and the numerous tears I have shed thinking about this and the ones that will surely flow before I am done writing will attest to that fact. I decided that it would be best to wait and express myself in a way that I feel more comfortable and in a manner that would give it the proper respect he deserves.

Over the past year while Blair had been getting his cancer treatments I never once saw him let cancer get the better of him. I used to go visit him at the hospital when he was getting treatments and he was always positive and upbeat, despite the fact that he knew he was in for a tough fight. He refused to give up and I think that anyone who has seen him with his children will know why. Giving up was not an option for him, he was determined to fight to the end so that he could be there for his family.

This was especially evident in the fact that he continued to work when he could to look after his family even when he should have possibly been taking it easy. However taking it easy is something Blair didn't know how to do so I worked with Blair when I could to try and help him out. Being new to the roofing business I was grateful for the patience he showed me and the time he took to teach me about that particular craft. I wanted to do what I could for him and his family which is my family too.

I didn't have the pleasure to know Blair since his youth like many of his friends but I think through our common family I got to know the best of him. We have been friends for the last 5 or 6 years and over that time I have come to have tremendous respect for him as a hard worker, a true friend who would give you the shirt off his back and most of all a father who I would be proud to emulate.

People have asked me a lot over the past few weeks why Blair would go all the way to Denmark for treatment that was for all intensive purposes a leap of faith. I have thought about that myself over the past few weeks but the answer was so clear it was staring me right in the face. Literally, they were staring me in the face and that would be his children who were staying at my house on the weekends while they were gone.

I can honestly say right now that when I look at his babies I understand why Blair would fight as hard as he did, to him there was no other choice. They were his life and last Monday night, when we got the call telling us that Blair had passed away, my first thought went to those children. I was devastated when I heard but I was overcome with the thoughts of those little babies and how they would manage.

As a father myself I understand what lengths a man would go to for his children and I can honestly say that Blair could not have done more. This is the picture at the funeral home of Blair with something between a smile and a satisfied smirk on his face. When they put Blair in the coffin to take him from the hospital room he had that exact same expression on his face. I can only imagine that in his final moments that the last thought that came to his mind would have been his babies and to me that is fitting for a man who was consumed by his children.

I pray that in the years to come that those of us who are still here make an effort to at least try and provide a fraction of the love towards Blair's family that he would have. We can never replace him but I think we also own him for all the great moments he provided us with through his life. I know that I am going to try as an uncle to his children to keep his memory alive. It is the least I can do to hopefully be able to give his youngest children a sense of who their dad was and what they meant to him.

Until we meet again, Rest in Peace Blair, your friend Craig.