Broken News

Don’t Read the news much? We’ll keep you up to date here on Wednesday mornings.

Our Pending Premier is Frank Coleman, and Frank Coleman is Taking Flack for Many Things Already.

After Dunderdale fizzled out and stepped down, Tom Marshall was shoed in as our interim premiere, but had no intention to stick around. There was supposed to be a proper leadership race for a new premier (and PC leader), between the PC Party’s Bill Barry and Frank Coleman, with a vote in July, but Bill Barry shocked many when he abruptly hauled out of the running, citing a lack of support from his party. Without notice, he sent a letter to media stating that the Tory caucus was overwhelmingly not on his side, and he “just chose to recognize that the leader has been selected by the party insiders.” He went on to say, “It’s less than interesting for me to play against a stacked deck. Bottom line: my heart is no longer in this process. I am NOT a status quo guy. Change, renewal, and reality need to be the basis of our future provincial agenda.” Many see this as a real blow to the PC party, because, to quote MUN professor Kelly Blidook, “It’s a party that’s preaching renewal, but it looks like it’s decided not to have any debates about what that means.” It is all a little shady, smelling faintly of a staged process. In fact, Barry’s people lodged complaints to the party about unfair campaigning practices. It’s certainly questionable that Frank Coleman will be our next premier without anyone voting for him.

So, Frank Coleman is poised to be our next premiere, and Frank is taking a lot of flack this week for his anti-abortion views. He’s in fact a regular attendee of anti-abortion rallies, and refuses to apologize for them, since he feels his personal views will not affect his professional actions. In fact, his wife and some of his children and grandchildren were among the mere forty protesters in the province’s most recent anti-abortion protest. “As a leader I believe in the rule of law. It would be weak of me to deny my beliefs and at the same time it is important that people understand I do not intend to impose my personal views.”

All we really know of our pending premier is he’s pro-life. With tensions still high from the pro-abortion bit, a new wave of critique is rolling in: he’s not stating anything of his vision for leading our province.  All we know is he’s from Corner Brook, he runs a chain of grocery stores, and now he wants to run our province. The PCs really ought to have someone leading them that is blowing all of our minds with his vision and charisma, not a guy we know little about and who is telling us nothing of why he wants to be our leader and what his intentions are. Kathy Dunderdale was more or less not a strong leader, who struggled with communication and accountability. And Frank Coleman is the face of renewal the Tories are on about?


Pending Premier, Frank Coleman

City Ain’t Paying Up on Pothole-induced Damage to Citizens’ Vehicles;
Why Are There So Many Un-Patched Potholes, Anyway?

Apparently, your likelihood of getting St. John’s to pay for damages to your car — if you hit a pothole — is 1 in 475. This is based on the fact that the city’s received 950 claims in the last eight or nine years, but only paid up twice. According to the city, their policy for covering pothole-induced damage to a vehicle only states that a pothole should have been fixed “in a reasonable amount of time” for them to feel compelled to pay up. It’s up to them what’s reasonable, because it’s not specified in days, weeks, or hours. You also have to somehow prove that the city knew the pothole was there and did nothing.

A communications person for the city has said, “The ultimate goal would be to respond to and remedy the pothole quickly, but if the pothole cannot be filled (due, for example, to wet weather) then the expectation is that the pothole be marked.” But, there are an awful lot of unmarked potholes around town. As in, several per main road.

So, the question is, Why not get out there and be proactive. Do Monday morning scans, filling in what you find or at least flagging them? In fairness, there’s an absurd number of potholes this year, for whatever reason. City Roads Manager, Phil Hiscock, has said they’ve already repaired close to 2,500 potholes. Which is a lot more than normal.

According to Hiscock, the issue of unfilled potholes is a logistical one. They can either identify serious potholes as “priority 1” and go fill them in one after the other, wherever they may be, or — and they prefer this method — they can send a crew to a specific area to fill in as many as they can find in that particular area. “If we have to go all over the city to pick off our Priority 1s, our production rate just plummets. So you get a few done, but you don’t get them done en masse. We try to get them grouped together as much as possible, pick off the Priority 1s in the grouped area.” Apparently they’re getting reports off about 55 potholes a day.

Salmon Fest Struggling to Find Headliner

The annual Salmon Fest is in July … and there’s still no word on the headliners. Festival organizers, and the mayor, are saying something fell through, and are also saying it’ s not that they don’t have the money to lure someone. In other words, they seem confused. Perhaps word has gotten out about last year’s shitshow of, say, not having enough bottled water on hand for the dehydrated patrons they crammed into their over-sold event. Mayor Hawkins, “It’s probably a combination of things.”
The vast majority of quotes and leads in this post were borrowed from The Telegram. In hindsight, that is a sloppy and unprofessional leeching of their staff and resources. This will be the last of the Broken News posts (or at least the last one to do such a thing), as we work towards hiring a news reporter of our own for the web.