All the News Tuesdays

A recap of news that broke in the last week.

News

Hard Fought Coffee Shop Approval Finally Gets Approval

With all this talk in town of creating Whole Neighbourhoods, and a city where people needn’t rely on cars to grab things like a coffee, you’d think a cafe in Georgestown would be well-embraced and quickly approved no brainer. Instead, two residents, fearing a disruption to their neighbourhood via increased traffic, took banning the baristas from their neighbourhood as far as supreme court (City Council was okay with the cafe, so the appellant said council were ignoring their own rules and took the case to supreme court). Anyway, a court ruling this week has finally cleared the way for the coffeeshop. The decision was met with astounding community support. Georgestown Cafe is full stream ahead.

Cabinet Shuffle Shuffles Out Judy Manning; Leaves Fewer Minister with More Duties

Poor Judy: just as she was done justifying her unelected appointment as justice minister, the man who put her in power took her out. Judy was among three ministers shuffled out of cabinet this week, despite the praise Paul Davis offers of her performance as Minister of Justice. Kevin O’Brien and Tony Cornect were the other two shuffled out of cabinet – O’Brien of his own accord (he’s looking for a federal seat) and Cornect took one for the team and volunteered to leave. As a result, Darrin King took on Judy’s former role, and his new title is ridiculously long: Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation, Minister of Justice and Public Safety, Minister Responsible for Fire and Emergency Services Newfoundland and Labrador, and Government House Leader. That’s too long to fit on a business card, and he’s not the only one burdened by a bigger  workload. The number of cabinet members has been reduced, resulting in fewer cabinet ministers now having to carry the burden of additional titles. In these tough times Davis keeps citing, it was either keep all the pre-existing cabinet members and cut salaries, or remove a few members entirely. Parliamentary Secretaries have been cited as how these ministers are expected to cope with their increased workload. Meanwhile, Liberal leader Dwight Ball has told media he’d have liked the Premier to keep trimming beyond cabinet members to Parliamentary Secretaries. NDP leader Earle McCurdy had a better-sounding stance: the size of the cabinet – or any decisions pertaining to it – should be based on how we can best serve the province, not save it a buck. In other words, the cabinet ought to be as effective as it is cost efficient.

Local Film The Grand Seduction Still Bagging Accolades

The Grand Seduction recently received 3 nominations for the 2015 Jutra Awards: Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and The Film with the Most Success Outside of Canada. However, Xavier Dolan’s film Mommy basically went on to win every category at the 2015 Jutras Sunday evening.

Renos at Confederation Building More than Double Projection

What’s your guess at how much Confederation Building renovations have cost to date? Because the answer is more than $50 million. Initial projections were in the $20 million ballpark.  “Major structural problems” and decay have been cited as the sources of bleeding tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The Man Behind Mt. Pearl’s Sprung Greenhouse Has Passed Away

In the late 1980s, many Mt. Pearlians lost a little sleep to the permanent glow of hydroponic cucumber greenhouses, dubbed The Sprung Greenhouse, after its creator, Philip Sprung. Sprung passed away this week in Calgary. The Sprung Greenhouses sprung up as a way to make the island of Newfoundland more self-sufficient in our production of produce, and to help diversify our economy. But it all fell apart, and cost the province $20 million, leaving many angry at then premier Brian Peckford for the wasted tax dollars. But what was a disaster for Peckford was a mere blip on Philip Sprung’s career: he’s credited for inventing and designing things for places as grand as NASA, and was a humanitarian to boot. He provided shelter to many, for example, after the Rwandan genocide and Hurricane Katrina, as well as during the 9/11 attack on America.

RNC Lady Who Tipped off Drug Dealers Sentenced 9 Months

A former RNC staffer, Angela Marie McCarthy, was sentenced this week for tipping off two drug dealers that the RNC and RCMP were investigating them. Those people were her cousins. She wasn’t in on it, she just wanted to protect them and scare them straight. It’s a scenario any fan of Bruce Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman” might relate to.

Multiple Local Lotto Winners This Week

Jay and Heather Griffin from Paradise recently won a million, but that’s 5 times less than what the owner of Hotel Corner Brook collected this week. Since winning the 5 million, Martin House put his hotel up for sale, and is hitting the road to travel, with first stops in Hawaii and Australia. He’d bought $20 worth of lotto tickets that day, but it was a free-play ticket he’d won that landed him the 5 million. (A third local couple won $25,000 as well.)

MUN is Finally Getting a New Science Building

MUN’s current Science Building does not connote cutting edge the way a science building should. In fact, it’s one of a handful of buildings at MUN that look ready to wither from old age and turn to dust. It is well known that many of the buildings at MUN are in need of more than a hundred million in maintenance and repair work, and that the Science Building is infested with asbestos. Building a new one makes more sense than renovating the existing one, and that’s precisely what’s going to happen, to the tune of $325 million dollars. The building will go where the parking lot beside the University Centre is now. So, that’s what’s going on if you see the area being fenced off later this year. Fun fact: the main atrium in the new Science Building will house the skeleton of the blue whale that washed ashore, rotted, and nearly exploded this summer in Rocky Harbour.

The IceCaps are Going and the Bulldogs are Coming

The Montreal Canadiens’ farm team, the Bulldogs, will be calling St. John’s home ice at the start of the next season. The IceCaps are leaving St. John’s for Winnipeg. Danny Williams, current president and CEO of the St. John’s IceCaps confirmed this rumour last Thursday. The Bulldogs – formerly out of Hamilton – will be here for at least two years, and they will ditch their name, The Bulldogs, replacing it with the IceCaps … to either not confuse people, or to totally confuse them: Different team, same name?

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