Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rex Murphy

With just over a week away from our NL election and i wonder why Rex Murphy has not shown up and made a few comments on it. Murphy once said "governing Newfoundland is a form of licensed insanity." Strange at the time he never said Newfoundland & Labrador! I sort of think an election here without a comment from Rex is something like a middle eastern conflict without Christiane Amanpour. Just not the same, so come on Rex, o great orator, i want to hear that great vocabulary across the NL airwaves soon!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Outside the Avalon i doubt if many from the province would know what the organization is or what it's all about. I hear Ron Fitzpatrick on the news every once in a while discussing the organization and its goals. On the way home last night i hear Mr. Fitzpatrick on Openline Radio saying how much he could do by hiring a new worker. A new worker at the organization could provide much needed support for ex-offenders and the difference could keep them out of our prison system. The cost to the taxpayers was up to $100,000.00 for a male and much higher for a female inmate. The cost to hire a worker at Turnings was just $30,000.00. He said it could save the taxpayers a lot with the investment of just a little. It might also save a few lives in the long run. Not only do i think its time to give more financial aid to programs such as Turnings but it might be a good idea to expand it to other parts of NL.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Attention Mr. Williams !

Manufacturers, NAPE Question Leaders
September 26, 2007

NAPE is using the election to get commitments from the political parties as it relates to home care workers. The union says workers in that industry are paid abysmally low wages, which in turn has created hiring problems for companies. NAPE says the problems will continue as long as government policy relegates pay for home care workers to little more than minimum wage. Union president Carol Furlong says they can find greater benefits working in the fast food industry than caring for the sick and elderly.

Furlong is calling on all three parties to outline their plans to deal with the wage issue.

Probably one of the biggest crisis in the province and no one in Government will acknowledge it. If something drastic happened in the Home Care system tomorrow and someone suffered terribly we would see many champions of the cause. Until that time it'll be just thrown on the back burners and forgotten. Mr Wiliams you can be a champion of the cause in the present and not the future when it might be to late for some. Please help the Home Support Workers in NL have a better life. Those we help, know we care. Let us all know you care also!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Provincial Election 2007

Today our local paper,The Gulf News had a feature called,"Candidates address the issues." An issue on Home Care workers that i had been bringing up with my MHA Kelvin Parsons was addressed by him in that feature. The question was on what he saw as the top three health care issues in the district and how he would like to see them dealt with. Kelvin Parsons (quote* "we must also adequately compensate those support workers who care for our sick,disable and senior residents.Our party has proposed the Prosperity Fund in which a designated percentage of oil and gas revenues will be used to strengthen health care services for people.......") My issues were addressed and my support will be given in the form of a vote for Kelvin Parsons on October 9/2007.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tuesday,September 25,7 pm,Newfoundland time, the three party leaders will be having a debate. It will be hosted by NTV and carried by the CBC in the province.
I see this time around if an ordinary Joe like myself wants to ask a question,i can. Questions can be sent to and it might actually be aired. Of course i couldn't let an opportunity like that go and i sent a question. The chance of having it aired might be nil to slim but at least i can try.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New make work project revealed !

Sometimes i just don't know what to make of it all! The premier has announced the greatest NL make work project of all time ($1000 for any baby adopted or born in NL) and he estimates it'll only cost 4.5 million. Of course at our age the wife and i are disqualified and nothing is being offered for even trying at our age. Actually the wife looked over at me when the announcement was made and said,"don't even think about it!" My mind started racing and i could not help but grin at the whole thing. I wondered in case of twins would it be considered as double billing and would John Noseworthy be checking out such instances. I thought about the expecting mothers outside of the province who would schedule their vacation time around the time the baby is due and come back home to pick up a few Danny dollars. I thought of all the times callers to open line radio who would make statements such as "i was born a PC/liberal, i'll die a PC/liberal" and now it could actually be a little closer to the truth. This financial incentive no doubt might help those who will have children and i'm sure it would be welcomed. The Premier said the province cannot afford to have its population shrink any further. I agree Mr. Williams,so how about a little incentive for those of us living here and thinking about leaving for better pastures. Each day for us moving to Alberta is a possibility because of the low wages we receive as Home Care Workers in this province. So how about an immediate wage increase? A lot of Home Care Workers might not be able to take part in your new program but a wage increase might make a difference in keeping us here to keep the population up a bit.

Monday, September 17, 2007

You don't suppose?

Just looking at some of the news articles on the Auditor Generals report from last week. It shows that a MHA claimed mileage from St. John’s to their district as 700 km, then, in 2004-05 increased this to 800 km and claimed 54 trips, and in 2005-06 increased this to 900 km and claimed 43 trips.” Continental drift i suspect! In 1990 i started in Home Care and could charge 22.5 per kilometer when i had a client in my vehicle. In 2007, my travel allowance is still 22.5 per kilometer and my trips are the same distance.

Mr. Bill Matthews who use to be a provincial MHA before he went federal claimed receipts from restaurants in one location (18 of 19 in St. John’s) which were dated during a period where private vehicle mileage claims submitted by the member indicated he was on travel status in another location (18 of 19 in his Grand Bank district). I suspect that may of been part of the ombudsman syndrome disease that was rampant at that time.

One of our MHA's might of been a cross dresser with thousands spent on ladies clothes and perfumes. If so, i just hope he gets a bit of help before he goes on to become a Transsexual.

Bill Murray if you happen to stumble across my Blog, i would just like to wish you well and don't blame you for what's happen here in NL recently. I suspect it's the criminal element you associated with.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Got out this evening to pick a few Partridge Berries so it looks like i'll be having a muffin for lunch this evening. I suspect it took me less then 45 minutes to go and return with a small container full. The ones in the photo quickly went into my mouth. For those who have never experience the taste of a Partridge Berry it's difficult for me to describe, so i won't. I will say they tasted great! So darn good we have actually written a song or two about them. Here's one from a NL Group called Buddywasisname and the other Fellers.

Partridge berry jam, partridge berry jam,
Best darn food ever known to man;
Smear it knee deep on some homemade bread,
Or eat it right from the jar.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A few weeks ago the letters M -O- U became a part of the new vocabulary around the water coolers and coffee shops. Lately it's Equity. Websters defines it as " justice according to natural law or right; specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism b : something that is equitable."
Equality on the other hand is defined as the quality or state of being equal.

The home care workers in NL have known for quite sometime that equality is not synonymous with equity. Home Support Workers are lower down on the health care hierarchy.They are also the most vulnerable. The majority in NL are women, and a higher than average proportion are older than 40 years of age. The majority of Home Support workers in this province are under paid, have no health benefits, no sick days and no union to represent them in getting a better life. On the other hand Home Support Workers work with the mentally challenged and elderly in our province in most cases in the comfort of their own homes bringing to them a higher quality of life. Their work provides quite a savings for the health care system of this province but yet it goes unnoticed by the present administration and the previous ones. With all our so called new Equity in this province it might be high time to give a bit of equality to those of us who work in the home care sector. Mr. Williams please allow NAPE to represent us and bargain with us fairly. Unlike big oil you'll find that Home Care Workers just want what we deserve.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A guy dropped by my place late last night with a small box of old Newfoundland postal stamps he recently found when tearing down an old home. He knew i was a collector and wanted to know if his recently found treasure was worth money. The majority of the stamps had been on postal covers and some still had the paper around them after being cut out. Several were mint and might of been worth a few dollars and i encouraged him to check them out. Like most in the province he thought all of the old Newfoundland stamps had long disappeared and was surprised that i had accumulated thousands of them over the years. (plenty of duplicates because only about 300 were issued) so today just in case someone might be interested i'll post a bit of Newfoundland Postal History.

Prior to 1809 mail on the island was handled by a few private individuals who would carry it for a fee. Most mail went by ships since overland routes around the island was scarce. Delivery when it occurred depended largely on the integrity of the ships masters or individuals who carried it. Newfoundland's first postmaster was a local watch maker and Jeweller from St. Johns appointedin 1809 by Governor John Holloway. When Simon passed away his son William became postmaster and around that time the first postage stamps were issue but not used by the public here until 1857.

The Dominion of Newfoundland had a few firsts for stamps, one being the first to issue a stamp featuring a dog. Starting in 1919 the Dominion issued its first airmail stamps and they became much sought after by collectors. A 1927 DePinedo airmail can fetch up to $100,000.oo by collectors. A full collection of Newfoundland stamps is hard to come by and i doubt if one exists. When viewing the stamps a person can see Newfoundland history, politics, natural resources and the geography of a nation that no longer exists. The last Newfoundland postage stamp was released on the 450th anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland,June 24/1947. The stamps remained valid and can still be used but very few do so today. On special occasions i have sent them to friends on special covers i make up myself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our province has announced a new energy plan today. The document has been on the drawing boards for at least a decade but now it's finalized. The wording is great prior to an election less than a month away. "achieve self-reliance and prosperity, as well as develop sustainable green energy solutions for the 21st century." Masters of our own house speech again but this time it takes things up a notch. The new document calls for a ten percent equity in all oil/gas projects down our road to being masters of our own house. That's twice as much then our 4.9 percent we recently got from the Hebron deal. The ordinary Joe like myself can only look at it all in awe and agree with the wording we see. Those who do not agree have their own reasons, some may be political but i'm sure they're all not. One sentence in the news release said it all for me. "History reveals the price we have paid for lack of proper planning."
lets hope we get it right this time around. At least we have a plan to start with!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Each season here can connect us closer to the earth's cycles while bringing a bit of joy to our lives. Something simple like a quick excursion to the sand shoals to watch the shorebirds wade and feed for a few hours can be relaxing. To breathe in the last perfumes of summer's flowers or sample a few wild berries straight from the earth is taken for granted here.

The transition from spring to summer to fall to winter here is very noticeable in rural NL.
I sometimes wonder
how people do that in large cities such as New York or other large centers?

Saturday i had a few hours off from work and even though it was not what one would consider a great day weather wise, my granddaughter and i went for a little excursion. She got to try Periwinkles for the first time but didn't quite like the taste when i cooked them for her later.

We sat near the shoals and observed Piping Plovers, a bird on the brink of extension feed. We watched ducks,Sandpipers,Blue Herons and other species that frequent the area. Our little excursion only lasted about two hours and we never saw another person during that time. She started Kindergarten this year and hopefully we'll get a few more days out and around before the birds migrate.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

The Union leaders in our province seem to be optimistic about the future of employees in NL. A recent news release to VOCM shows that Carol Furlong is expecting more and pointing to those in the Home Care sector who she claims are still well underpaid. I suspect the majority of those Home Support workers are going to work today. They receive only six paid holidays each year and working them gives extra money on a paycheck. Hopefully by next Labor Day things will be a bit better for all Home Support Workers.