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VOL. 5 ISSUE 19 — ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007 — WWW.THEINDEPENDENT.CA — $1.50 HOME DELIVERY (HST included); $2.00 RETAIL (HST included) IN CAMERA 8-9 SPORTS 33 Looking back at province’s biggest battles with Ottawa Here comes the Ultimate (frisbee) long weekend Record demerits Police union president says courts ‘ineffective’ in prosecuting repeat traffic offenders MANDY COOK Top 10 traffic ticket fine defaulters – April 2007 P aul Hennebury of St. John’s has the dubious distinction of owing the most in traffic tickets of any Newfoundlander or Labradorian. Hennebury, who could not be reached by The Independent, owes $45,629 from 93 separate traffic offences. Coming in second place is Mark William Mahar of Conception Bay South, with $35,956 in fines from 42 tickets, followed in third place by Dennis P. Murphy of Paradise, with $34,869 and 91 tickets. The Independent attempted to contact each person on the Top 10 list — together owing a total of $309,655 — but was unsuc- Name Paul Hennebury Mark William Mahar Dennis P. Murphy Sean E. Rosato Trevor James Meehan Robert F. Murphy George Joseph Hickey Christopher G. Lee Philip Wayne Pynn Michael Leo Ivey City/Town St. John’s C.B.S. Paradise St. John’s C.B.S. C.B.S. Benoit’s Cove Corner Brook St. John’s St. John’s Amount owed $45,629 $35,956 $34,869 $32,637 $29,069 $27,889 $27,123 $26,245 $25,137 $25,101 # of tickets 93 42 91 35 25 58 29 77 28 36 — Justice Department See “Generally not,” page 2 FLAG DAY ‘You gotta go on’ Company fined for 2004 death of Bay Bulls diver; victim’s wife decides against further court action BRIAN CALLAHAN I sabel Fleming hallucinated and contemplated suicide in the weeks and months after her husband of 15 years drowned in a diving accident in Bay Bulls harbour. Only the support of family and friends — which included a “24-hour watch” — helped her live to see the company involved, Atlantic Fisheries Ltd., charged and recently fined in connection with the life-altering event. “A million words cannot express my love, my loss and emptiness,” Fleming related in provincial court recently, noting her late husband, Adrian Fleming, “would be very proud of me standing here today, reading out this victim impact statement. “After his death, I was in a very severe state of depression. I was hallucinating, hearing his voice and seeing him in the car by the door. I would go out on the patio shouting for him to come in.” Adrian Fleming, 45, died Aug. 17, 2004 due to a malfunction with the air intake valve on his dry suit, a report by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) concluded. But the “primary or root cause” was described as “the failure of both Fleming and Atlantic Fisheries to ensure compliance with OHS regulations,” specifically Canadian Standards Association (CSA) regulations for diving. It was only in March of this year — two-and-a-half years later — that Atlantic Fisheries was convicted in provincial court and fined $9,200. As an independent contractor, the company was not at fault for problems with the diving suit. But other rules — including the necessity for a crew of three, dive planning and hazard recognition and control — were partly the company’s responsibility, the court found, “and if they had been implemented this fatality may not have occurred.” In fact, CSA standards would have prohibited scuba diving for that job on that day. Instead, using an air Stand Up for Newfoundland and Labrador, billed as a trust and confidence rally, is scheduled to take place in front of the Confederation Building at noon, May 11. Organizers are hoping for a turnout in the thousands. Paul Daly/The Independent SUSAN RENDELL Screed and coke Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone. They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can’t go on. — Leonard Cohen, “The Sisters of Mercy” I ’m at the Bagel Café on Duckworth; it’s 8 p.m. and my sister and I are drinking coffee, bitching about the weather and listening to our waitress, Madonna, spin one of her I’ve-seen-it-all yarns. I decide to go for a smoke; a minute later I’m outside in the drizzling dark, face to face with a hard wind that’s no stranger to pack ice. Whoever said “April is the cruellest month” never spent May in St. John’s. I’m not alone. Marilyn is standing on the opposite sidewalk, underneath a street lamp. Ragged dyed blond hair all gauzy with light and rain, Sally Ann haute couture (fake leopard skin coat) — a homeless, middle-aged schizophrenic Lili Marlene. She calls out “Excuse me! Excuse me!” to two well- dressed men who pass her by as if she doesn’t exist. Her voice sounds panicky. I cross the street: she has tears in her unfocused eyes and she’s shivering. She tells me she’s locked out of her rooming house, that the people who own it have gone away for the night. She says she’ll keep phoning. “One of the other people will probably let me in.” I bend down and put my arms around her, and her body feels like a child’s underneath the sodden coat. I give her a few dollars, to lessen the weight of the guilt I’ll be carrying back to the Bagel. ••• “Homelessness … is much broader than we generally think of it — people out in the street,” Sister Sharon Basha says. Basha is a co-director of the Gathering Place, a community service centre on Military Road, formerly Our Lady of Mercy Academy. The brainchild of the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters, it’s a haven for people like Marilyn, providing them with a hot noon meal and a place to hang out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday. The Gathering Place has been in operation since 1994. “It was a dream of both congrega See “Don’t you believe,” page 10 Doing good More people than ever are showing up weekdays at the Gathering Place. Susan Rendell spends a few hours at the community centre watching staff, volunteers and guests give one another the gift of grace. See “My whole world,” page 2 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “He gives me motivation to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland.” — Dean MacDonald on Gerry Reid. See page 13. GALLERY 18 Dragons of the Avalon by Vicky Northey STYLE 21 Fashionable exhibit and show by textile studies graduates Patrick O’Flaherty Voice from away . Sean Panting . . . Mother’s Day . . . . Shift. . . . . . . . . . . . 11 12 19 22 29 Continued on page 5


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