All the News Tuesdays

A round-up of local business, arts, and political news from the last week.

News

McCurdy is Unsurprisingly the New Leader of the NL NDP Party

Newfoundland & Labrador’s NDP leadership convention was held on Saturday, and even if you combined Chris Bruce and Mike Goosney’s votes, they still wouldn’t have beaten Earle McCurdy, the new leader of our province’s NDP party. McCurdy is saying the process of a change in leadership has reinvigorated the local NDP party – referring to some serious infighting during 2013 that saw MHAs like Dale Kirby jump ship to the Liberals. Earle spent two decades as the president of a union (The Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union) and feels this has equipped him for this gig in politics. It’s as good a set of training wheels as any, one could suppose. Here is a snippet from his leadership-win speech. “We’ve seen there is precious little to choose between the Liberals and the Conservatives … if you want real change, you vote for the NDP in the next election … shake off the shackles of same-old, same-old and do something that is going to make a difference around here.” Time will tell if this coming election will be another case of “I love the NDP’s values, and yet I don’t vote for them.” It’s generally presumed that Liberal leader Dwight Ball will win the forthcoming election, despite no one being clear on his vision and values as our pending provincial leader. Earle has been openly referring to his opponents as “Tweedle Dwight and Tweedle Davis,” as his way of saying they’re interchangeable, same-old, same-old politicians. So his game plan seems clear: convince the masses that there’s only one road to change for the province: the orange brick road. Such is always the message of the NDPs though, and it’s historically, for whatever reason, not enough.

Bras and Pubs and Stuff: A Few New Businesses Approved

A few new retail outfits are coming to the city, and include the lingerie chain, La Vie en Rose, on Aberdeen Avenue, Black Dog Pub on Water Street, and something called “State of Mind Inc” on Austin Street. The Avalon Mall will also soon have a store called Sephora. According to the mall’s website, “Sephora is a visionary beauty-retail concept founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970.”

Eastern Edge Gallery Needs a New Gallery Director

After a solid stint of making Eastern Edge the booming cultural hub it is, the incomparable Mary MacDonald has decided to move on, mainly to focus on her own artistic work. Job applications to be submitted by March 31st.

The Monday of Mysterious Traffic

Was it a slow news day on the 9th, or a case for Scully and Moulder? The skies were full of uncommon, closely spaced jet streams (indicating what? We missed some UFO activity or a military airshow?). Meanwhile, on the ground in Western Newfoundland, a driverless snowmobile went for a cruise along the highway, and had to be wrangled by perplexed RCMP officers. The snowmobile’s throttle “somehow got stuck,” and took off without its driver. The police had a very hard time subduing the snowmobile. Cue this Maximum Overdrive movie trailer.

Canning Wins an Award Big Enough to Help Fund Another Feature

Local filmmaker Jordan Canning’s feature film We Were Wolves enjoyed a great year last year. Big news broke this month that she’s the latest winner of a massive award: the WIDC Feature Film Award. It’s a $120,000 “in-kind prize designed to encourage more feature films directed by women.” The award will support Canning as she completes her feature-length follow up to We Were Wolves – a comedy-drama called Suck It Up. It’s “about two best friends in mourning who take off on a debaucherous weekend in the mountains in hopes of getting over the man they both loved.” Not unlike We Were Wolves, then, in many ways. And sure to be a gem.

Premier Talking about Privatizing Certain Government Services

“What’s your view on how we provide services and programs right now … are there things the government is providing that it shouldn’t?” That’s what the premier was asking this week, mainly in response to a lull in provincial wealth, which seems to have the government considering the perks of privatizing certain government services.  “There’s many aspects of government that very likely could be delivered more efficiently and effectively … by the public service.” Areas like long-term care came up in these conversations, with the premier explaining how the private sector already plays a significant role there. Farming out long term care entirely to private business would certainly save the province money. Are we going there, Paul? No word yet. If so, it wouldn’t be any time soon.

John Fogerty to Headline Salmon Fest 2015

As part of a year-long tour, John will headline Salmon Fest, playing the songs of his former band, Creedance Clearwater Revival. Let this booking be another reminder to new bands that Newfoundland only loves you if you’re old. For example, Rod Stewart is also playing in St. John’s on that very same day at Mile One. Meanwhile, more modern visiting bands – Polaris Music Prize Nominees – continue to play small bar shows on Water Street.

Why Beat 1 World Record When You Could Beat 4?

MUN’s Josh Hancott powerlifted his way to 4 world records this week, and one of the ones he beat was his own world record, set at this summer’s International Powerlifting Federation World Championships in Africa. Hancott was in recently in Ohio for the Arnold Sports Festival, representing not only this province, but Canada. He did a bang-up job, taking Best Overall Junior Lifter, and breaking two world records with one squat lift of 573 pounds (this broke both open and junior world records). His 374 pound bench press was another world record. This fourth was for the sum total of 1520 pounds lifted in all three required lifts (squat, bench press and deadlift). In addition to the 4 world records, there was some sweet revenge thrown in. At the ripe young age of 19, Hancott lost a similar competition to a 4-time Russian champ … whom he destroyed this time around.

Why’d the Province Enjoy a Brief #DarkNL 2 Last Week?

Root cause: a “lubricating oil leak” had to be fixed, so a Holyrood generating unit was taken offline to fix this. It hadn’t been brought back online yet, when another generator tripped and went offline. The newly installed backup generator couldn’t react as quickly and effectively as it needed to to prevent the massive, widespread outage. At one point 80,000 people had no power, and for some, it was 5 or 6 hours in the dark and cold … without the internet.

Downey Ditches His Band Due to Financial Constraints of Touring

Sherman shall be a solo artist here on in. A professional musician must be a touring one, it’s where all the money comes from in a world where no one buys music anymore, and it’s just too expensive to tour with a band.

There Will Be a Movie Made of the Leo Crockwell Standoff

Here’s the trailer, which implies a comedic bent on the affair:

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