Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cooling down the once. +2 this morning and the wind has died down.

In between other duties I am slowly getting back into the lobbying front [some may call in shit stirring].
I have inquired locally of the situation re the food by mail issue as it pertains to Labrador. None of the retailers know anything, or if they do they are not saying, but my instincts tell me they are not privy to any advanced information. There employers know nothing except that they are to discuss the issue some time in the future.

So not content I took a stab in the dark and sent an e mail to a casual contact I had that was at one time doing some internal contract work on the food mail issue.

I received a prompt reply and whoop-de-doo the contact is now the ‘acting director “Nutrition North”.

The contact did not have much to say, “in meetings all day”, I was given a link to the INAC latest information on the switch over and assurances that INAC will soon be “engaging with retailers and wholesalers in Labrador and elsewhere to discuss implementation issues”.

Slow moving, it is government, but it would be nice to know a little in advance how Labrador is going to be impacted. We are after all the mouse besides the elephant [rest of the north] and things that work in the rest of the north may not necessarily work for the consumer in Labrador.

Speaking of things that don’t work:

CBC is reporting another booze and drug haul confiscated that was headed for Natuashish. This time the shipment was taken off the Northern Ranger. Previous hauls have been taken off airplanes and the Ranger. The police were acting on “a tip” just like the previous occasion.

That is the part that is working. To the layperson it seems strange that no arrests have been made or charges laid in any of the booze and drug hauls [at least none that are made public]; that seems to be the part that is not working.

Oh no: Not a very good year for ships that ply the arctic. Oil tankers and cruise ships running aground and now the darling of the Inuit run cruise business is under arrest in St. John's for monies owed and unpaid crew salaries.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It is unfortunate that the fire in the belly subsided so quickly. Complacency is the bane of many communities, as the saying goes ‘we get the government [in this case community government] we deserve.

From CKOK: In Nain, Sarah Leo, George Lyall, Duane Dicker, Margie Fox and Beni Andersen will serve as councilors for the Nain ICG.

Jacob Larkin will serve as councilor in the non-beneficiary seat.

They all got in by acclamation.

With one exception I have never had a conversation with any of the new/old councilors on policy or planning or community governance or anything else pertaining to community government.

Ditto for the new mayor.

I don’t know anyone else who has any conversations mentioned above with those mentioned above.

So I raise the question; who has the onus in making people aware of what policies and objectives all the councilors have for the future advancement of the community.

Is the onus on the councilors to provide or on the public at large to seek out this information?

Three overdue hunters from Nain were found holed up in a cabin on Okak Island at 3 am this morning.

The three had left Nain on 21st of this moth to hunt for caribou in the Mugfords area just north of Okak Bay.

They were due home last Sunday, when they had not arrived home family notified the local RCMP.

The local SAR and RCMP did a fly over of the route the hunters would have taken without noticing them.

The coordinated search center in Halifax was then notified and a cormorant helicopter from Gander was dispatched to the area via Nain.

After finding the hunters boat ashore the chopper landed at a near by cabin where the hunters were located safe and sound with lots of food.

The hunters were delayed with all this windy weather we are having and indicated they would continue on with the hunt.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am finding it difficult to find the words to describe the present state of the fresh food or food by mail or food security or whatever the present moniker for it is.

One word keeps popping into my head-Blargh.

After putting more than a little effort and time [along with a few others] lobbying on improving the quality, choice and delivery of fresh perishable foods to the coast it seems things have regressed back to the old days.

We have returned to the times of late [days late] delivery, delivery at the end of the store opening hours, less choice of produce, produce in poor state when delivered.

Even when you factor in the logistics of delivering produce from the south into Goose Bay then to the coast the product and variety served up of late is way below what it should be.

What bugs me somewhat is that no one [and I mean no one] in positions of authority able to do something on improving food security in Nunatsiavut are actively involved in doing just that. It is not on their radar for some unknown reason.

With the two larger stores managers leaving within weeks I have not bothered them with the issue. Both have been very helpful over the past years, their hands are tied somewhat but both took the food security issue seriously.

The position of the fresh food coolers in BigLand does nothing to encourage people to buy the product. The one small cooler is shuffled right at the back of the store with three smaller freezers almost blocking the way. Only two to three people can access the produce at any one time.

Northern still has the large cooler area but the variety has dropped, plus they are much slower than BigLand getting the latest deliveries out for sale.

On the distribution front; the delivery into Nain from Goose Bay has gone back to the old days of sporadic delivery, why all the fresh produce is not delivered on the one plane on the one day is difficult to understand.

The problem may not be the airline but the wholesalers, who knows, when one asks about these things one gets the old finger pointing excuses making it very difficult to pin point the problem areas.

So Blargh it is for the moment.

Lots of warm air being sucked up our way, 12 degrees most of last night, 8 the night before. Looking back at the historical readings that is about 11 degrees above the average lows for September.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Windy kind of weather still, calms down and then picks up, unseasonable temperatures though, only down to +8 last night.
Speaking of weather: the local station is reporting Light Rain Showers the past four hours, must very very local as it is dry as a bone outside our house.

Nain hosted the annual schools sports meet this weekend. The participants were supposed to arrive Thursday but high winds prevented that. Friday’s winds were not much lower but planes came in all day bringing the teams. As usual with late starts it must play havoc with scheduling, makes life busy and hectic for all involved but some how all was completed in time for the departure yesterday.

I am not privy to all the results but Hopedale won the overall event, Hopedale girls won the volleyball with Nain winning the boys event.

I have not mentioned the fresh food issue for some time. That does not mean that all is copacetic, it just means that most people that used to give a darn about food security have been quiet and or quietened leaving just me, as far as I know, to keep an eye on things. I have been keeping an eye, just not bothering to do or say anything about what is, or is not, going on.

Back later ta ta.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Windy and clear again Thursday, gusts up to 91 K did not prevent the two ships leaving port early in the morn. One report of a tree down in a back yard is the only damage I have heard about, more damage caused by habitual criminals doing B&E’s this week.

Speaking of vegetables; I think I have finely concocted the ultimate relish recipe. The full ingredients and amounts will remain my little secrete, patented pending and all you know.

I had a small amount of rhubarb and was wondering aloud about what to do with them. Fran says “some relish would be nice”.

After some googleing and checking out recipe books I finely decided to put my own variations to an English recipe for rhubarb raspberry relish.

The main ingredients are: rhubarb, red berries and raisins. Result was a sweet tasting fruity concoction with spicy bitter overtones.

It was very very good accompanying an Angus Beef hot dog [from Northern] on fresh home made multi grain bread, home made coleslaw and home made dressing.

The drumstick was for variation of taste.

I’m thinking one of my favorite vegetables will soon be in short supply going by this story. I never did fancy carrying those pepper spray thingy’s while walking the hills, now if I feel the need for protection all I need is a trusty courgette.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not to belittle or down play areas of the island that have been hit hard by hurricane Igor, but I found some of the reporting and other coverage a little bizzaro.

On Here & Now: Lee Pitts was reporting live from one of the towns hit hard. The host asked Lee what was the scene like where he was. I’m paraphrasing here, Lee says “it is total devastation, I was just talking to a house owner up the street, his shed moved, the deck dropped, his lawn mover is covered in mud and the BBQ tipped over”.

Fortunately for Lee following video and other coverage of road and bridge wash outs, basements flooded revealed the true devastation he mentioned.

The prize for the most absurd rant goes to the Prince of absurd rants Bill Rowe on VOCM Talk back.

A caller was on the line talking about the state of the roads in one of the National Parks in the Province. The caller’s town was cut off with no indication when any work would be undertaken to alleviate the situation.

This sent Bill off and a rant attaching the Federal Government for having responsibility of roads in national parks.

The feds do not do roads very well Bill said, they should hand over the roads in the parks to the Province who know how to do roads very well.

Will someone tell Bill that the majority of the devastation to roads, bridges, flooded towns and washed away homes comes under the purview of the Province.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The tail end of Igor brought sunshine and wind to our shores Wednesday.

While waiting for a batch of bread to rise we took a run up the hills to pick some red berries take some pictures and what not.

Winds then were up to 65 clicks. They increased later in the day and last night were up to 95 clicks.

As you can see the m/v Orlova is still at anchor, not sure if it is weather related but the Northern Ranger is falling behind schedule again, it's hold up here, and the Astron is storm bound in Rigolet on its way north.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

m/v Orlova in town Tuesday.

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The Orlova is heading south on it's annual clean up [repositioning] cruise. This year it stopped in many spots in Northern Labrador, mainly the Torngat Park cleaning up rubbish and drums left by irresponsible people and companies.

I am told two hundred and seventy 45 gallon drums plus other garbage was picked up from shore in zodiacs and brought aboard.
There is still enough garbage left up there for another four such trips.

The pictures could be better, I was shooting into the sun for the most part, occasional clouds would cover it. Still the breeze was a blessing keeping the flies away.

Had some left over pastry from a quiche and some left over mince meat. I added some red and blue berries to the mince meat and came up with this delicious Danish type of concoction.

Nominations open today for six seats on the Nain Inuit Community Government [NICG], in old parlance the Town Council. Nominations close on the 27th.

Five of the seats are open to class A voters within Nunatsiavut [beneficiaries] and one seat is reserved for class B voters [non beneficiaries].

If past history is an indicator then complacency will play a big role.

Then again maybe some of the anger and frustration with the handling of the- not that long ago plebiscite- on making Nain a dry community will resonate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great grandson Enrique is three today. We attended a party for a very excited boy at the resource center yesterday. Many friends and relatives there with some very good food.
Thanks to Louisa, Don and others who did a great job with the party.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It was up to the hills and down to the brook Saturday.
Did some water gathering, berry picking and sight seeing, love this time of year [except for the bloody flies] with the different colors.

The larger of the towers is going up for Canadian Coast Guard, bit of a way yet to go too. The other tower is Aliants microwave tower.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Foggy Friday

It was late morning before we took off for a walk; Siutik was hankering for a free run and once off the leash she made the best of it zipping around like crazy and playing chicken with us.

The fog started to lift as we made our way down to the wharf where the crew of ‘What’s Happening' were giving away muktuk and meat from 5 jumpers [white sided dolphins]. Nothing was going to waist this day with a constant stream of people making their way down to the dock, some with wheelbarrows but most content with a plastic bag of meat or muktuk.

Friday, September 17, 2010

After a good run of nice sunrises fog greeted the eyes at the opening of the curtains this morning.

Not complaining as with nice sunrises and warm windless days come the flies and the road dust was starting to get a bit annoying.

The colors are changing on the hills too; nothing stops the march of fall.

A few weeks ago it was leaned that Albert, the manager at BigLand, was leaving, he is moving back to Goose Bay.

Then this week it was learned that Boyd, the manager of Northern, is also leaving to return to St. Anthony.

Both will leave town within a week of each other, some time next month I believe.

Both will [or should be] missed, they have been a boon to their employers with their high energy and ability to work long hours.

Both have been a boon to the community with their caring and helping attitudes.

Big shoes to fill me thinks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My brief synopsis of the Nain Inuit Community Governments recent election for AngajukKak: We will rue the day.

My synopsis in a little more detail: I think the results showed a distinct backlash from the citizens directed at the present council for their badly planed and handled rush to have a plebiscite on turning Nain into a dry community.

Then to make matters worse; at the public meeting after the plebiscite the council refused to take the dry community option off the table.

Rightly or wrongly the outgoing AngajukKak paid the price for the rest of the councils actions.

Overall Sarah Leo carried out her role as AngajukKak with dignity, decorum and integrity.

Sarah publicly backed up the council during the alcohol debate and backed up their actions, now we have an AngajukKak with none of Sarah s attributes, and I state this categorically.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Below are the results of the AngajukKak elections for the communities in Nunatsiavut.

Nain- Tony Andersen.

Hopedale-Wayne Piercy.

Makkovik- Herb Jacque.

Postville- not sure yet. Later update, best I have at moment is, it is either Diane Gear or Keith Decker, or it could be a recount. Later Later update. Concerned informs me that Diane Gear won the race so I will go with that.
Much later update. There is indeed a recount, only 3 votes separated the two mentioned above, the recount will take place tomorrow.

Rigolet- Charlotte Wolfrrey.

The chairpersons of the two corporations in Labrador are, Upper Lake Melville-Jenifer Hefler and North West River-Ed Tuttauk.

As an aside. CBC HV-GB embarrassingly admitted this morning that they did not know there were elections going on.Seems some people phoned in and asked for some results, they had to go on air with the embarrassing admittance. shows just where their heads are vis a vis Northern Labrador.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunrise. September 14, 2010.

At right is the sunrise reflected in the
front open storm widow.

Below is series of shots of the sun rising.

Click on the pictures to embiggen.
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Today is voting day in Nunatsiavut. People can go to the polls to elect the [mayors] AngajukKaks in each of the five communities in Nunatsiavut.

There are slew of candidates in each town, in Nain the incumbent Sarah Leo and two others are running for the job.

Harking back to the recent unfortunate "break in' at a home and theft of a number of items of a friend. The good news is that the majority of the items have been 'returned'.
Lap top, guitar, small hand held recording device, two packets of fags [out of a carton taken] as well as on an earlier occasion a seal skin and a couple of chocolate bars [out of a carton taken] which were left on the front porch one morning.

The more expensive items may not have been recovered if not for the tenacity of the victim who canvased the streets talking to people and offering a reward with no retribution.

This approach resulted in the items being returned but leaves an awful lot of questions unanswered. Also it does little to nothing in deterring this type of crime. But what can ya do?

No word yet as to how the authorities are doing in their part of the investigation.

Man that blueberry buckle I knocked up is good.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's not Ches's but the taste was to die for.

Beer battered cod as well as with scrunsions, served with mashed potato n turnip with green onion n peas.

The news on the stolen lap top is, it has been returned and it is still working, the expensive guitar and other smaller items are still on the missing list as of last evening.

We, meaning Fran, broke down and purchased one and a half gallons of blue berries yesterday, those pesky flies you know.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A frosty one this morning, -3 and quite white all over. Sun is nice now though.

I have been busy with one thing or the other; continuing on with some furniture restoration, then my new lap top arrived yesterday putting pressure on my priorities.

Then a friend and close neighbor had quite a lot of his stuff stolen on Friday night, he had asked me to assist in a search of an area around town some of the goods was likely located.
After searching in the dark last night and then again at first light this morning with no luck it was back to the drawing board on information supplied.

I sure hope things take a turn for the better, lot of information on his lap top and the acoustic guitar is a top of the line job.

Speaking of lap tops, I was only kidding about having a new one.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful clear blue sky, nary a breath of wind, 16 degree temperatures, perfect for all but being outside, the back fly's you know.
Heading for the same today it seems. I have some fly dope that just seems to keep the fly's about an inch from my face. Me thinks I will do some pottering around in the workshop for a change.

Updated in the arvo: Wrong about the temperatures today, battling to get up to 10, even have the heater on in the workshop to dry the staining.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

+3 official this morning but -.05 at the house. Still nice day time temperatures for this time of year.

I have linked to a private weather site at right:

I bit too much information for me but others could find it interesting.

Lot of berries on the go, constant telephone calls and knocks on the door asking if we want any blue berries or black berries or bakeapples and the kicker, any red berries, like the bloody red berries are not ripe yet.
It can be annoying, but have to give people a break, they are trying to make a buck, it's not like the people selling the berries have good paying government jobs. Not that we buy much anyway, if we had the spare cash would buy more.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Yesterday was a busy one: doing some much needed purchases, Fran deciding that the fall is a good time to start spring cleaning, over to get water from a brook and pick blue berries.
Later I was over near the brook and took this shot of the original section of town, the more recent sections are behind the hill at left.

Looks like it is clearing up today, just in time for the return of the GD slash only pilot in the family. The blue berries we picked are for GD, grandma spoils her sure.

Artsy stuff with the camera, no touch ups or photo shop, just low light and large iso.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Well that was a yucky wet ol long weekend.

Saturday was the best of them with Sundays light drizzle and yesterdays light drizzle to light rain and fog most of the day making it not that pleasant to be doing outdoorsy stuff. We did manage to pick some blue berries Saturday, not much action Sunday but we did a walk and a wet bike ride Monday.

Still the weather did not deter the sickos and the pyromaniacs.

Some time late Saturday evening early Sunday morning several garbage boxes were set afire, the one just down from us was scorched inside but not totaled. A couple of local lads attended to the fire before the fire brigade came up and finished it off with an extinguisher.

Then we discover that a larger and potentiality disastrous fire was lit behind Big Land grocery.

Out the back of the concrete and steel building there is a a large 25 thousand liter above ground enviro oil storage tank.
Stacked up against the tank was a pile of wooden pallets. The pallets have been reduced to just ashes and the rear of the metal tank was scorched.

Good thing a truck load of pallets were removed from the area and returned by boat earlier this week or things may have gotten out of control.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

We have come a long way in the satellite TV business for sure.

Fran has been going through the filing cabinet and cleaning out, not wanting to feel like a lazy bugger I got to it shredding and checking out old stuff.

Included in the lot was quite a file on correspondence between myself, CRTC and the then cable company based in Goose Bay. One of the owners was a real piece of work, still is but he is a different business now.

I put in a lot of work in to prove to the CRTC that the cable reception in those days was very poor quility mainly due to low quality equipment and shoddy attitude by the company. Unfortunately the CRTC usually supported the business side of the argument, when overwhelming evidence to the contrary is offered up they just ‘put it to file’ for future consideration.

The piece of work tried his usual bluffing and accusatory way without any shred of truth, he got what for from me, and events since those days prove me correct.

Any way I priced the satellite dishes and receivers of the day, below is some scans of the size and cost involved. Needless to say I waited until ExVu and Star Choice came out, for a couple hundred bucks of we had all that we wanted.

Old Earl has puffed himself out before he arrived here, fog, bit of wind and rain is all that is left.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

There is a tale to be told about Amaruk, the pup in this mosaic.

Just over two weeks ago I was unexpectedly asked if I would look after her for what I took to be 6 days at most.

It turned out that Amaruks owner had left for a trip to Hopedale, the dog sitter the owner had arranged had not shown up and the interim dog sitter had to leave town for a couple of weeks or so.

So I agreed to go over and feed and water and clean up. Needles to say it was not as straight forward as that.

Amaruks tethering was not ideal resulting in her becoming entangled, I sorted that out after awhile.

On the fourth morning I go over and Amaruks has slipped [or been released] her collar and is nowhere to be found.

Just then the dog catcher happened past and I wave him over. After some explaining of the situation it was revealed that indeed the dog catcher had apprehended the free running Amaruk the evening before.

I asked if I could retrieve her: out of luck. I was informed that the paper work had already been done and I would need to go the council office. Translation; I would have to pay any fees owing.

Down I go the council office [which incidentally was woefully understaffed for one reason or another] and explain my situation to the interim town manager. My situation being that it was not my dog, I was just the looker after blar blar blar and I could not afford the 125 bucks to bail her out.

My little secrete was, the cheque book was in the old back pocket trick.

Bottom line, no one was available to make any decision on releasing Amaruk unless the fees owing were paid.

The decision maker, the mayor, was out of town until the following Thursday, this was Tuesday. I received assurances that Amaruk would not be put down before the mayor returned.

So some anxious days past, me checking twice a day with the council office, then the mayor did not arrive back in town until the Friday adding to my anxiousness.

Second bottom line is; I had an amicable and fruitful talk with the mayor on her return, Amaruk was returned to my custody, this time I tethered her over at the front of our house.

She is quite the pup and with good care and training should turn out to be a great adult dog.

For the first days of our caring Siutik did not pay much attention to her, and then a couple of days before Amaruks owner was due back Siutik started to interact and play a little. That’s when I took these shots below.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Magnetometer as art.

Located here in Nain sits a Magnetometer that runs parallel with the more elaborate Nutron monitor.

Monday morning I received an e mail asking me to check the Magnetometer computer as the data flow had stopped.

On visiting the site and after checking the computer I decided to walk around and inspect the actual magnetometer.

The pictures blow is what I found. The magnetometer itself usually has a strong wooden box positioned over it. The box had been removed and someone took great care and not a little imagination to crate this art piece.

Quite bizzaro really, all sorts of trash consisting of metal, wood, mushroom, bits of cloth and rock and plastic.

I reported the breach of the security fence and vandalism to the appropriate authorities.

After some time passed and some adjustments to software and such by the scientists down in Minnesota it was determined that no real damage was done to the magnetometer, this time.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Oh my; now Nunatsiavut is announcing that the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has been relieved of his duties because of an going and long standing addiction issue.

The President of NG has some answering to do on this file as he was the one who put the minister back into the minister portfolio knowing full well the former minister had not done a darn thing in seeking treatment.

It also confirms rumors that have been floating around for some time that the former minister was sent home from work more than once due to being intoxicated at work.

What happened to the zero tolerance rules??????????????

It sure does not look good, more fuel on the fire of divisions between beneficiaries on the coast and Lake Melville and the rest of Canada.

Also little wonder of NG silence on the alcohol issues that the Nain Inuit Community Government has been saddled with. Saddled with and no authority to deal with it from a social and justic perspective, shame on NG.

Berries moss rock as art.

I took these three pictures the other day, despite battling the ferocious flies, and superimposed them on top of each other to get the picture below.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Looks like payback time.

On CBC Labrador Morning this morning the deputy speaker of the Nunatsiavut assembly spoke about a disciplinary hearing held recently into the alleged conduct of the speaker of the assembly.

From what was revealed it would seem like maybe it is payback time for some, the speaker led the disciplinary hearing into one of the assembly members recently resulting in some recommended sanctions.

If the speaker was on annual leave and the two complainants filled their complaint under section 4.1 of the assembly code of conduct then it would seem rather frivolous. Section 4.1 clearly states that ‘while conducting government business’ one has to be on ones best behavior.

It just goes to show the divisions within NG and how too many people do not do their research. All this in fighting and the clear division between many ‘beneficiaries’ who live outside Nunatsiavut and those who live inside do not help in dealing with the core social issues that will only get worse before they get better.

Any way the upshot of it all was the disciplinary committee saw no validity in the complaints against the speaker and the deputy speaker said there will be no more comments on the subject until the findings are presented to the NG Assembly.