Friday, September 11, 2009

Escape from Clarenville

I know today is the anniversary of September 11th attacks, but I honestly don't have it in me to write about it again. I honestly do feel bad about that, but I've written about that day and my experience before and after awhile, you just have to move on. It was a horror of a day, but I honestly feel no urge to want to relive what I went through. And what I experienced was the merest fraction of the horror and terror that other went through.

So let's move on to things of a lesser importance and hopefully you'll forgive me for being frivolous.

So, a couple of events in Iqaluit worth mentioning. For those in town and who don't already know about it, Saturday is Mass Registration at the Cadet Hall from 11am to 2pm. It honestly is one of the most important days of the year in Iqaluit. Just about every sports organization, social group or whatever will be there trying to lure the unwary into their group.

I'll be there, manning the curling table and trying to lure a few new people into the sport. Actually, I've done pretty good already. Jordan and Stephanie have expressed an interest in joining and Cathy has convinced several of her co-workers into entering a team. Which would be very cool.

Cathy can't curl on the same team with me. We love each other and really, why murder someone over curling? I think her preference would be to not even curl the same night as me, but as I'm trying to cram as much playing time in as possible between the start of the season and the Dominion at the end of November, that's not a luxury she has, alas.

Also up is the Sealift Sale at Arctic Ventures. It's not as good a deal as if you did your own sealift, but it's a nice way to pick up a few bulk items if you need them. And hell, as our sealift hasn't arrived yet - it was supposed to be here in mid-August - there's actually a few things we could stand to top up on. So that's on the agenda.

We're also in the middle of city council election season. There's the one in Iqaluit which, thanks to some revelations over the past few days of attempted bribery and the punishing of a councillor, has entered high drama. The election isn't until next month, but one gets the feeling that it's going to be an entertaining next month once things get going full tilt.

Then there's the St. John's City Council elections which, so far, I remain pretty uninterested in. Oh sure, I want Simon Lono to win a seat and I'd like to see Mark Wilson win as mayor, but I'm not getting a sense of high drama from that election. I don't see any blood in the water.

No, the municipal election that caught my eye this week? Clarenville.

Bloody Clarenville municipal politics.

It's one of those things that editors don't tell you when you're a reporter. Because if you knew the truth, you would never take the assignment. That once you cover a city or town council, you're locked into them for life. You'll always check back to see what's going on and if they're being as stupid as you remember (in case you're not picking up what I'm saying, Chris, you're fucked). And from 1998 to 2001, I covered Clarenville Town Council.

Let's just say it wasn't always a happy relationship. I had the bad habit of reporting all the stupid things they did, which they never appreciated, but at least didn't take personally. On the other hand Mayor Fred Best, who did volumes of really stupid things, took it very personally and hated me.

OK, granted, dubbing the story where he borrowed city equipment to use his property Fillergate (he was knocking back a load of fill), might have been over the top. But it was funny. And in my defence, I never came up with the name. I believe a certain crown prosecutor acquaintance of mine was first to coin the phrase.

Anyway, Fred was inclined to hate me anyway because he hated The Packet, the paper I worked for. He also didn't care much for the paper's editor, Barbara Dean-Simmons. Which only goes to show the man's judgment as far as I'm concerned. I'd walk through fire for Barb. Easily the best editor I ever worked for, a wicked sense of humour and a hell of a nice woman. You have to have something wrong with you not to like her.

This is all a long preamble to this point - Fred is running for mayor of Clarenville - again. He's been mayor for 27 years and on council for 30. If he was a horse they would have made him into dog food years ago. Now, I haven't lived in Clarenville for years, so I really shouldn't care. But here's the thing...I'm convinced Fred and Barb are in a death match to outlast the other. Barb has been with The Packet for nearly 30 years, 20 of them as editor. I don't think one is going to quit until the other drops dead.

And I like Barb. I don't want her to drop dead. I'd like to see her actually do something other than The Packet, to be honest, because being an editor for 20 years will do things to your brain after awhile. Terrible things. Then again, I can't imagine the damage inflicted after being a mayor for 27 years. I'm surprised he hasn't tried to rename the town after himself.

Mercifully, there's actually a good candidate running against Fred this year - Lisa Browne. I only met Lisa a handful of times when I was there. But she struck me as smart, organized and never lacking good ideas. She also knew how to communicate those ideas, which is a rarer skill than you might think.

So Clarenville could have someone like that...or Fred Best.

I realize I might have exactly three readers from Clarenville on this blog, but on the off-chance they care about my opinion, or others know someone who lives in Clarenville, I endorse Lisa Browne for mayor. Go forth and vote for her.

Last Five
1. Watching the detectives - Elvis Costello*
2. Speaking confidentially - Cowboy Junkies
3. Turn into - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4. Bad kids - Black Lips
5. Film noir - The Gaslight Anthem


Lisa said...

My first high profile endorsement Craig - lol! It's a very interesting, fun experience. Hope you continue to follow it along. S


towniebastard said...

God help you if I'm a high profile endorsement, Lisa...;)

Still, the best of luck in your campaign.

Dave said...

I guess I'm one of your three Clarenville readers. Well... I grew up in Clarenville and left 15-20 years ago, but I think that still counts. This blog post actually came up on a Google search, since I happened upon the ongoing election results tonight.

I've read your blog now and then for a couple of years - interesting stuff.