Email submissions to email@example.com Facebook :
The Corner Brook Community Band (page 1) A Fair Vote (page 10) Right After All? Marx in the 21st Century (page 9) Slightly off Balance (page 3) For the Students (page 15)
4 O’clock Whistle
Oxfam Grenfell (page 1) The SEA update (page 1) Anti Anti--Capitalism and Occupy (page 12)
Oil and Gas Exploration in the Gulf (page 7) Also in this Issue:
Four O’clock Longboarding: A Longboarder’s look at Corner Brook (page 5)
Bus Stop Blues: How to make Curling and Corner Brook transit more efficient ? (page 14)
Working Towards Unity and Sustainability – Politics and Community: A look at the municipality of Corner Brook (page 4)
Regulating Pesticides: Tordon 101; and our provincial highways
Moroccan Spicy Lentil Soup: This Issue’s Featured Artwork
“Un beau mélange” by Tara Gadoua
4 O’clock Cooking (page 16)
Welcome to The 4 O’clock Whistle
To donate to the 4 O’clock Whistle, submit work, or volunteer
The Bay of Islands’ Free and Independent Magazine We are The 4 O’clock Whistle – The Bay of Islands’ free and independent magazine. We are back for another exciting year and have a lot of fresh new ideas to work with. For those of you who do not know who we are and what we stand for, we are a democratic consensus-based grassroots media platform offering an avenue for the people of Corner Brook, Curling, and The Bay of Islands – the vibrant worker/ student community – to publish their ideas; creative, constructive, or both. We serve the people, rich and poor, student and worker, old and young.
Submissions are open to the whole community (from The Bay of Islands, to Atlantic Canada, and beyond), and if you would like to submit a piece of writing, art, or journalism (or even a comment on something) please email it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org We will do our best to publish submissions (though please be advised, we do not publish pieces that are racist, sexist, LGTBQ phobic, or that promote hatred towards groups of people or individuals, and what we choose to publish remains at our discretion).
Volunteers Wanted We are striving to help build a community of communication. But with that said, it is a lot of work and we are currently seeking out new and interested volunteers! Here is a list of things we are looking for (but of course, don’t let that restrict you, I am sure we will find some task that suits you!)
Visual artists for the production of great cover art, as well as those who have digital/graphic experience for compiling the magazine Creative writers
Contact Us at email@example.com Or send us a Facebook Message. Have feedback on an article you read today? Send it along too, and we’ll try to put it in the next issue.
This Month In History: On October 5th, 1789, during the French Revolution the Women's March on Versailles took place. It was a mass demonstration organized by, and almost exclusively composed of, women, and brought an end to the effective power of the French dictator Louis the XVI. It would also have a lasting impact on early Feminist thought, inspiring some of the first campaigners for women’s rights like the French revolutionary writer Olympe de Gouges. On October 21st, 1905, during the 1905 Russian Revolution, railway workers held a mass strike which soon spread to Saint Petersburg, and led to the short lived Saint Petersburg Soviet of Workers' Deputies. This “Soviet,” a term which translates to “worker’s council,” then organized strikes in another 200 factories. By October 26th, 1905, the striking workers numbered over 2 million. Although short lived, this incident along with others during 1905 would come to be instrumental in the development of the better known 1917 Russian October Revolution - which coincidently also started in in this month. On October 7th, 1936, during the Spanish Civil War the first International Brigades were founded (made of foreign volunteer fighters attempting to defend the “Spanish Republic” from the Fascist backed forces of General Francisco Franco), among their members were many Canadians. Mainly composed of Anarchists and Socialists, the militias defending the Republic (including the International Brigades) were one of the first forces on earth to fight against growing Fascist influence in Europe. Western states, such as Britain and France, would not directly intervene in Europe until 1939; preferring to maintain a positive and economically beneficial relationship with Fascist controlled Germany and Italy, and the countries’ leaders Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Editors People who bake (for our bake sales and fundraisers) Citizen journalists (or any kind of journalist)
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Top: The Women's March on Versailles
Hope to see you at the next meeting! Thank you very much.
1789, Muse Carnavalet, Paris http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Women%27s_March_on_Versailles01.jpg:
The Crew @ The 4 O'clock Whistle
Bottom: Republican International Brigadiers at the Battle of Belchite September 1937, http://upload.wikim edia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/57/
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4 O’clock Whistle
4 O’clock Whistle
A Clarification of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board SEA Update By Paul Blakelock
that they felt most strongly about regarding offshore oil exploration and development. AMEC was contracted out by the CNLOPB to host these public consultations, to gather information about the issues that western Newfoundlanders felt most strongly about. AMEC then takes this information and From my personal observations a handful of students and lo- presents it to the C-NLOPB, who then uses the collected incals came to the public consultation for Canadaformation to update their SEA. The SEA update is then used Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board’s to make informed decisions regarding policies, plans, and proStrategic Environmental Assessment update, that took place at grams associated with offshore oil development. Thus if the Pepsi Centre on October 2, looking to interrogate repreenough people drew attention to one particular issue, then that sentatives of oil companies. People were quick to bombard the issue would be addressed in C-NLOPB’s updated SEA, asrepresentatives of AMEC (an Engineering Consultancy and suming a fair process. For example, if enough people showed Project Management Services company) and C-NLOPB with concern about oil development along the coast of Gros Morne questions and concerns related specifically to project level National Park, then AMEC would pass that information along undertakings. These people quickly found out that the repre- to C-NLOPB who then might develop a policy prohibiting oil sentatives of AMEC and C-NLOPB could not answer all their developments along the coast of Gros Morne National Park. questions, specifically the questions regarding particular oil In conclusion, the public consultations regarding Ccompany projects. NLOPB’s SEA update, was a chance for the residents of A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is an assess- Western Newfoundland to have their voices heard, by providment that assesses policies, plans, and programs, and not pro- ing their concerns associated with offshore oil development in jects. These policies, plans, and programs most often govern Western Newfoundland to AMEC. environmental assessments and particulars associated with (See Our Feature Article “Oil and Gas Exploprojects. That being said, the purpose of the public consultaration in the Gulf A Public Hearing – Not Yet tion about the SEA update was for the residents of Corner Brook to voice their concerns and draw attention to the issues Being Heard” on Page 7 for more) The Corner Brook Community Band is an inter-generational open concert band program providing opportunities for musical skills development for younger players and a continued playing opportunity for musicians who want to keep up their playing skills and socialize with other adult musicians. The Band was established in 1990 by Bob MacLeod and several musicians from the Corner Brook area.
The Corner Brook Community Band
Membership is open to everyone from junior high through to adult years (14-99) who has a love of band music and enjoys the challenge and satisfaction of developing and perfecting musical skills. There are no membership fees and no audition is required, just
At Grenfell College Oxfam Grenfell: Oxfam Grenfell is a student organization which supports Oxfam Canada’s humanitarian work by fundraising, raising awareness about issues of inequality, and ad-
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bring your instrument and your enthusiasm. Our first practice for the year will take place Sunday evening September 23 from 7-9 at Corner Brook High School. We have a Facebook page Corner Brook Concert Band (like us and you are on) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
vocating for change by providing students with the opportunity to sign petitions on these issues. Oxfam’s Grow campaign is all about issues of food security, in particular, how land grabs, food prices, agriculture, climate change, and gender impact peoples’ access to food.
To learn more or get involved, please contact Oxfam Grenfell by email: email@example.com,
Regulating Pesticides and Roadside Spraying By Bob Diamond (writing to us from Stephenville) We have reason to be worried as quoting a referenced encyclopaedia article:
I have received a letter from Terry French, Minister of the Department of Environment and Conservation, responding to my suggestion that, as an alternative to the herbicide Tordon 101, healthier more environmentally sustainable methods be used to remove brush bordering our provincial highways. It appears that in defending the provincial government’s use of Tordon 101 the Environment Minister relies on the same stock response issued by Health Canada: “Before pesticides can be registered under the Pest Control Products Act, a thorough scientific evaluation is conducted to make sure they are acceptable for a specific use and remain acceptable for use on the market. Health Canada registers only those products that provide effective management of pest problems and can be used safely when label directions are followed.” I have responded to Mr. French bringing to his attention that:
“Herbicide manufacturers have at times made false or misleading claims about the safety of their products. Chemical manufacturer Monsanto Company agreed to change its advertising after pressure from New York attorney general Dennis Vacco; Vacco complained about misleading claims that its spray-on glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup, were safer than table salt and "practically non-toxic" to mammals, birds, and fish. The manufacturer of Tordon 101 (Dow AgroSciences, owned by the Dow Chemical Company) has claimed Tordon 101 has no effects on animals and insects, in spite of evidence of strong carcinogenic activity of the active ingredient Picloram in studies on rats.” There are definite negative impacts of herbicides on human health and the environment. Buffer zones and following directions may mitigate some negative effects but such mitigating measures don’t make Tordon 101 safe for use or adequately protect public health and the environment. I therefore take particular exception to the last statement in the Environment’s Minister's Letter: “...the Department of Environment and Conservation maintains human health as our primary responsibility”.
This is not the case pertaining to the provincial government's use of Tordon 101. Provincial governments across Canada, even our own provincial government, in banning 2,4-D herbicides for cosmetic use on lawns and in regulating tobacco, have recognized that you cannot rely solely on Health Canada "Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency to adequately regulate toxic substances. Provincial and mu(PMRA) does not do the testing on pesticides but rather eval- nicipal governments across this country, in order to better prouates the studies and data supplied by the chemical industry tect the public, are increasingly having to regulate or ban subwhich desires to have it’s products registered for sale and use stances which have been approved for use by Health Canada. in Canada. It seems that Health Canada is as much or more about facilitating the interests of the chemical industry, in registering their products for sale and use, than protecting the (See “Slightly Off Balance” on page 3, “Working health of Canadians and their environment." Towards Unity and Sustainability” on page 4, It appears that PMRA is in a conflict of interest in performing two virtually conflicting tasks, approving chemical pesticides as requested by industry and at the same time regulating them in order to protect human health.
and “Oil and Gas Exploration in the Gulf” for more on national and local environmental issues.)
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4 O’clock Whistle
Slightly off Balance By Laura Caruth
4 O’clock Whistle group of individuals that united together in 2007 to start to fight the issue and encourage others to do the same. The Powershift group first lit its spark for growing sustainability awareness through education in our communities in 2007. Around 6,000 people of all ages got together in Washington during the month of November of that year. The people, of all ages, joined together at the University of Maryland for a weekend of action, training and motivation. It was here that environmental justice leaders influenced and inspired a generation with a vision of creating millions of green jobs for the country. After that the people, mainly young, returned to their specific communities to get ready to rally and increase green energy awareness before the 2008 elections. People have continued to join hands and stand together to represent Powershift. With each other’s support, the people of this world have not stepped down, and instead have been stepping up to big events and taking stands against many potential threats to the environment before the decisions are made by the government. In 2009 over 6,000 young people went to Capitol Hill and the demonstration successfully shut down the Capitol’s coal-fired power plant.
Powershift has a vision, and the seed which was planted in 2007 has grown into a powerful community of people with a positive vision for the Whether you wait patiently for the first snow of the year or cross future. This group can be described as a grassroots – driven community your fingers for the day to come where the first green blade of grass will that seeks to encourage, support and serve as a hub for the youth climate appear through the last snow patch – the weather affects you tremendously. movement. Through their online site one can get involved with other people We all have a favorite season, or a favorite way to spend every season, and taking a stand. One can swap stories, share resources and develop this the truth is the climate which drives them is changing. Whether you refer to movement while it fights our common problem which is shared by everyone. this issue as “Global Warming,” “Climate change” or “Some weather thing” People are traveling from all over the country and potentially from the facts are out there that many gases that we are constantly putting into other countries to unite together at Powershift’s 2012 conference being held our atmosphere are creating a very serious imbalance in the earth’s climate. in Ottawa. If you are interested in getting involved, are very passionate Climate change, as I call it, in my words is explained as follows. about the environment and want to meet others and feel inspired by other’s Basically the sun which is constantly radiating onto the earth’s stories, and want to help make a healthier cleaner vision for the future, surface heats up our land, ocean and atmosphere. In order to keep the come join the action in Ottawa from October 26th to 29th. atmosphere’s energy in balance, the warmed earth emits some of that heat You can register at wearepowershift.ca. energy back into space known as long wave radiation (or called infrared To check out their online site here it is: wearepowershift.org. radiation). This long wave radiation goes into the atmosphere; where some Hope to see you there! is absorbed by clouds and other gases that take in the heat, and some completely leaves our atmosphere. This is an example in which we can see and understand how increasing amounts of gas emissions from the human race play a part in the imbalance of the earth. Gases such as methane, CO2, nitrous oxide, and halocarbons, which are released in large amounts from industry, agriculture and rotting landfills (just to name a few) trap in this long wave radiation, causing it to continue to warm the atmosphere. Because of the heating of the atmosphere, and the mixture of chemicals and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, their influence is causing more extreme storms and several changes in the earth’s climate. Many groups across the globe have come together to unite and brainstorm ideas on how to change the way the future is going, and live more sustainably without having to release as many greenhouse gases as the human population is doing presently. This is a tough issue to deal with, as every single individual living on the planet, with completely different life values and styles, is living with the same problem – climate change. “Powershift” is a
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Work cited http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/his-wakes/2011/nov/9/anything-outbalance-falls/ http://www.wearepowershift.org/
Working Towards Unity and Sustainability – Politics and Community By Kile Curlew
recently had the
munity sustainable planning, which according to the government literature is – “ recognizes the interconnected dimensions of environmental, social, cultural, and economic development within a community and/or at the regional level and focuses on integrating these considerations to achieve 20- to 30-year (and beyond) vision for the community” (http:// www.nsinfrastructure.ca/pages/ICSPIntroduction.aspx) .They mean to address our current and future needs where the environment is concerned. I suppose this is a step in the right direction, and it’s not a bad idea to consider the holistic approach to city management- integrating more than just economic needs and woes. A few other notable steps the city has taken are setting green house gas (GHGs) reductions, assessing global climate change (weather and how these changes affect Corner Brook), working to improve our waste management, starting a pilot program to work on water conservation, development of green/recreation spaces, and improvements on waste water treatment. Now, the purpose of this article is not to summarize what the city is doing – for that information, I would suggest marching down to city hall and contacting Rhea Hutchings, the City’s Sustainability Coordinator and probing her with questions. My purpose in this prose is about the community. It is about us. We, the people, and our place in the environmental paradigm that surrounds and affects us every day.
pleasure of attending a public talk about our fine town and our movement toward ‘building a green community’. The talk was given by the mayor – and I have to say that I was walking into this speech feeling very skeptical about what he had to say. I couldn’t help but think that his reign in Corner Brook is almost over, and the advent of another election is just around the corner. It seemed to me that he just wanted to butter up the voting citizens. But I went regardless, carrying my skepticism on my back, a stern and stoic look in my eyes and After the question period, when the mayor went back to his my pen and notebook poised for criticism. personal life and all of us began to rise from our seats and As I watched the mayor and listened to him maneuver work our way to the door, I was still skeptical. But also unthrough his speech - I began to have mixed feelings about the certain. And probably devoid of an opinion at all! So I went city’s work in the environmental sphere of politics and poli- and talked with Simon Jansen, one of the organizers of the cy. There was very little to actually criticize, and I was get- Western Environment Center (WEC). He was able to put it ting the feeling that to even put my hand up during the ques- all into perspective for me. Indeed a very sobering opintion period in order to tease out some kind of argument, ion. One that was entirely holistic in nature. He explained to me that the city is emphasizing community integration - a would be nit-picky and slightly pretentious. working relationship. However, the City, the mayor, the counSo, I suppose I should get into some of the things the cil, the police, or any of its political mechanism cannot stop mayor talked about, but before I do, here is a personal dis- environmental degradation, but as our elected representatives, claimer: I do not support the current mayor of Corner Brook, they take all of the flak when something goes wrong (or nothhowever, I support City Hall and many of its initia- ing gets done). He explained that we the people, the commutives. Some things could be improved, but they are not doing nity, need to work with the government in order to make a horrible job. working solutions. We all need to cooperate. This includes City Hall has been doing a lot of talk and although they you as an individual, the non-government organizations that have moved forward with some policy and planning and have represent us, and the politicians in city hall that we elect to created some targets, they have also gotten tangled up in poli- run our beautiful city. If we don’t work together, worse yet, tics and bureaucracy. But it is a start, as abstract as it might if we continue to bicker over nonsense, we will never get be! One thing that was quite impressive was that we were closer to an integrated sustainable system. one of the first municipalities to incorporate integrated com-
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Four O’clock Longboarding Continued
Four o’clock longboarding I am a longboarder. For those of you who have not seen us or have no clue what that entails, we are usually the ones bending the throttle down a hill at literally break-neck speeds or walking uphill, hopefully with a helmet and carrying an oversized skateboard. There is a few of us on the island rockin’ dreadlocks or long hair hanging out of the back of a helmet. Personally, I’m going for the 1970’s hockey hair look. Although you may even see a clean shaven rider that could easily be mistaken for a half respectable clean-cut member of society. Our boards are longer and bigger. Our wheels are larger and our trucks (those metal contraptions that the wheels are attached to) are wider. This longer and wider wheel base adds a level of stability that is beyond what can be achieved on a regular street sized skateboard. This stability has allowed longboard pilots to accomplish controlled maneuverability at higher speeds and use the terrain that would otherwise be unsafe. The popularity of the “sport” has been growing rapidly over the past few years and it seems to be catching on across the island. Presumably because old washed up skateboarders like I have grown a little wiser and a little more fearful of falling down several times an hour, or simply from seeing four foot tall youngsters doing tricks on skateboards that I don’t have the gall to attempt. For the most part it provides a fun, healthy and fast alternative mode of transportation- dude, it’s obviously groovier than rollerblades, scooters and cycling. Sorry cyclists, I love you, it is just that you probably won’t see a herd of longboarders contributing to a public disservice by donning any spandex that should be withheld for professionals. I am simply unable to resist making fun of the fashion of your sport, I apologize. The riders and pros of my world wear leather. I do love spandex though; I wear it all the time…just never in public…and never without a cape. Anyway, I just wanted to warn any audience I can muster that encounters with longboarders will be increasingly common. For the record, I am not “out of my mind”, I do not
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by “Farmer” have a death wish nor do I feel what I am doing is extremely dangerous. I am not on drugs and to my surprise, I am not drunk. Thankfully those hazy days are behind me. You should be proud Corner Brook, you are home to the only sober crew of riders I have ever encountered. When I was younger I used to drink and it would never stop me from hitting high speeds on my board. The middle of the night, half in the bag, in a strange city or reserve and tearing down a hill faster than the speed limit never scared me. What I am frightened of is cars. I have been in more car accidents than longboarding crashes, and none of which I was the driver. While riding I have been heckled, hollered and honked at repeatedly by strangers in passing cars. “You are crazy!” or “Aren’t you scared you’re going to die/hurt yourself?” seems to be the most popular conclusion of the majority of conversations when I admit or cannot hide the fact that I longboard in Newfoundland. The reason I deny any mental illness to flabbergasted bystanders or hecklers is that my first and primary concern is safety. I want to ride all day, all night, tomorrow, and long into the future. I do not ride recklessly and I try my best to abide by all of the traffic laws…excluding one. The law defines us as a pedestrian because we are propelled by our feet and therefore belong on the sidewalks. Riding on a sidewalk feels like a slalom (zigzag) event with humans for gates- flat out dangerous. I was yelled at one evening to get off the road and onto a sideWalk. They were relatively polite and kept the swearing to a moderate level. I was cruising with some locals in St. John’s and a female friend from Montréal who came to the island to take in some of the best longboarding in the country. To my surprise, there was one local riding with us and he was on the dark sidewalk. He got off the road to adjust the straps on his banjo case. Seconds after we were yelled at, he hit a crack and went into a high speed dance precariously close to a telephone pole. Luckily he and the banjo were unscathed. My friend from Montréal with road rash covered legs I strangely enough find attractive jumped off of her board to check if our banjo player was alright. She looked at him like a mother looks at a
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child and told him he should be riding on the street where it is clearly safer. On sidewalks we become a hazard to other pedestrians, have a harder time controlling our speed and we end up praying no one opens those doors on narrow walkways. More often than not, sidewalks are littered with disgustingly large cracks. These have the ability to swallow up a wheel and send someone into a Superman-esque dive that could result in a lip-stand. Not familiar with the expression? Just imagine a hand-stand without the hands. We also often stay off sidewalks because they hinder our ability stop. Yes buddy, we can stop. I’m not talking about the old-school technique of balancing with one foot on the board and destroying your shoe by dragging the other on the ground Fred Flintstone style. That is what we call footbraking. I’m talking about keeping my feet on the board and screeching to a halt. A majority of the posse of riders on the island can do this because they wear ‘slide gloves’. These strange things have plastic or poly-urethane pucks attached to the palms and/or fingertips. These gloves allow the stuntperson to place his hand on the asphalt to get lower and make sharper turns or even slide their wheels to a stop similar to a snowboarder (except with more style, of course). Being able to stop has changed the game. This is why I deny insanity. Most of the convoy of cowboys I ride with, including Corner Brook, can stop at traffic lights and control their speed. When we ride with rookies we start with a safety talk consisting of selecting safe routes and communication between riders. We often spend hours working on sliding to control speed, drifting around corners, and stopping in the width of one lane. Slide gloves are the first piece of safety gear I take with me when I leave the house. I’ve seen circular rocks with the diameter of a quarter get implanted into the palm of a fellow rider. It did not look like a good time and it made a noise similar to a suction cup when it was removed. Kids, always wear your slide gloves, buy some or make them if you don’t own any. Helmets too, they might help protect your coconut from spilling milk. A doctor told me that my brain will slap the inside of my skull if I fall down at 25km/hr. or faster. Scary stuff because I go that fast coming home from the store with a coffee or eggs in my hand. I make an effort to ride as safely as possible and often wear that cool safety gear like knee pads. I remind other riders to be considerate and respectful on the roads because when they are on a board they are representing me. If some
4 O’clock Whistle clown on a board is cutting off motorists and riding like a fool those motorists will have less respect for me when I am out on my board. We try to go roasting down our favorite hills at times when traffic is at a minimum- often late at night. But in the unlikely event I have a date or the more plausible scenario of classes I should be attending, I am forced to ride with all of those lovely motor vehicles. If any readers do see me on the street cruising around at 20 or even 50km/hr. in traffic, please just pass me. It is not safe to drive right behind me with only a ten foot gap between us. I am confident in my abilities on a board, but in the off chance I fall that ten or five foot gap you gave me while riding my bumper will not be enough. I could end up hitting a crack or a pothole that was not there the day before. That pothole could launch me into my high speed impersonation of a ragdoll attempting cartwheels. Just pretend we are cyclists- pass us and curse those lovely yellow signs all over town asking you nicely to share the road. I also understand that most roads are awfully narrow for two lanes of traffic to be sharing with cars halfway parked on the sidewalk on either side, let alone some unshaven hippie sidewalk surfing ahead of you. I am asking for patience nonetheless. I am a tax payer and a student, which means I am on the borderline of poverty. I cannot afford a car and sold my seductive ’89 Cavalier years ago, but I still feel I have just as much right to use the roads as anyone else. Over the years I have been cut off, I have had drivers with their hand on the horn follow me dangerously close the entire way down a hill, projectiles like beer bottles have come too close for comfort and I have been threatened with violence more than once. I have also been intentionally run off the road once- I went flying, easily cleared the sidewalk, and took a friend with me crashing into a ditch. Gotta love downtown St. John’s! None of this has happened here in Corner Brook and I would be very appreciative if it stayed that way. Which reminds me, I must send out a huge ‘thank you’ to this community. I have yet to encounter hostile or angry drivers. The majority of drivers seem more curious or concerned for my safety than the anger management drop outs I became accustomed to on the mainland. Thank you Corner Brook and all of those drivers out there! Please don’t hit me and remember to check your mirrors before you open your door, all us non-motorized vehicles would prefer to avoid one of those in the face. (See “Bus Stop Blues” on page 14 for more on Community Transport)
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4 O’clock Whistle
Newfoundland Coasts at stake as the latest SEA update nears completion by Tara Gadoua
The recent public consultations over the latest update of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the offshore area of the Western coast of Newfoundland raised as many questions as it answered, leaving many feeling uneasy over their position in the policy making process. The (SEA) is a document designed to act as a reference for Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB)when determining where to issue licenses for drilling off the Western Coast of Newfoundland. Representatives from both AMEC, the company assigned the job of assessment, and the CNLOPB were present to take questions and address the concerns of citizens. While the consultations themselves were well set up, the whole process raised an entirely new set of concerns. The format was different than what some had expected. Instead of a presentation followed by a question period, the two were casually combined in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of an interactive center. This allowed citizens to have a more personal interaction with representatives, and to get answers to questions interesting them. In this sense, the consultations were well done, and the representatives quite knowledgeable. Nevertheless, this arrangement assumed that people were familiar with the issue. Those who had come wanting to learn about the issues fell into silence, trying to piece together information from the various discussions happening at once, simply because they did not know which questions to ask. As a result, sharing information and ideas was more difficult, and there were more than a few that left the consultation feeling just as bewildered as when they had en-
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tered. Yet pros and cons aside, these consultations shone a harsh light on the public’s position in the decision-making process. On the ladder of citizen’s participation, we are teetering somewhere between informing and consultation, which unfortunately awards us no real power. Our concerns might find their way into the already 400pages- long SEA update, but whether or not they are acted on is entirely up to the C-NLOPB.
4 O’clock Whistle
Oil and Gas Exploration in the Gulf Continued
It therefore becomes crucial that we demand greater participation in the proceedings. The gulf is home to a multitude of marine animals. It is a breeding ground for many species, and has the largest krill population in the North Atlantic; thus, it is a leading food source for nearly all marine species. The fishing industry for the whole gulf is worth $1.5 billion, and the tourism industry is just as strong. Any oil spill in this region would have profound and long-lasting effects not only on wildlife, but on fishing and tourism as well. Neither of these industries are in a position to absorb potential lost revenue due to a spill. The BP oil spill two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico devastated the fishing season for that year, and the industry continues to suffer to this day. Oil companies are only liable up to $30million in clean up, yet some costs of the BP spill have run into the tens of billions. Moreover, it is not unheard of for oil companies to shirk responsibility for their messes: Legal battles over the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska played out for decades afterwards. Meanwhile, affected communities, the fishery and tourism continue to suffer. There were many other issues raised at the public consultation that were not squarely addressed by the representatives of AMEC, such as the company’s neutrality. AMEC is an international corporation with close ties to C-NLOPB and has conducted numerous other environmental assessments for oil companies. How can we ensure impartial research and assessments from a company with such clearly defined oil interests? Furthermore, all the expected baseline research and seismic surveys of the proposed area say nothing about the surrounding waters. The Sea update only covers a small portion of the western coast of Newfoundland. If an oil company decided to conduct exploratory drilling in another region of the gulf, they would be required to conduct their own private assessment that would then have to be submitted to the C-NLOPB for approval. Unfortunately, that assessment might not be subject to a
public consultation. It cannot be denied that oil development would generate a substantial sum of revenue, but how much of this gain would stay in Newfoundland and not disappear into the pockets of foreign investors? Is it worth the risk to the fishery and the environment? What takes place on our coasts is a decision that belongs to us as much as it does the C-NLOPB, and we need to ensure transparency. We need to make sure that we are active participants in these decisions, and that our concerns are not falling on deaf ears.
Take the time to write to your MP, Premier, Prime Minister and Federal Party Leaders OR Write to us! If we ever expect to enact change, then it becomes critical that we get a discussion started on this issue. For that to happen we first need your opinions. Whatever your knowledge of the consultations or of offshore drilling, we welcome all thoughts and concerns equally. There is more to this issue than that what we could fit in these pages so if you have any questions, or you require any clarification, please do not hesitate to submit a response. We will address these concerns to the best of our ability.
A few helpful contacts to get you started: Gerry Byrne, MP:firstname.lastname@example.org, 709-637-4540 Scott Andrews, MP: email@example.com, 709-834-3424 Judy Foote, MP: firstname.lastname@example.org, 709-832-1383 Scott Simms, MP: email@example.com, 709-489-8470 Stephen Harper—Prime Minister of Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org Hon. Ksthy Dunderdale—Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador: email@example.com
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Marx in the
arxism’ is generally considered a social, economic and environmental disaster in every society it has been tried in. What is more, many of Marx’s theories about ‘surplus value’ and ‘crises of overproduction’ seem grounded in a dated, 19th century economic discourse. My purpose in this little essay is not to dispute these claims. If Marx is still relevant as a prophet for the 21st century, that means, from his claim, Capitalism as a system is unsustainable: of its very nature it absolutizes the profit motive and the relentless pursuit of profit at all costs must bring the system itself crashing down. Only a system where the means of production are radically democratized is capable of wielding the instruments of modern technology in a way that is sustainable and broadly fair. Marx got many things tragically wrong, but at the beginning of the 21st century, we may wonder if he has gotten this one thing right.
by incrementally chipping away at every aspect of the state that embodies a higher good than the pursuit of individual profit. Since the whole raison d'être of the liberal state has been to make the world safe for capitalism and the
indefinite growth it promises, the political class must more and more cede to these demands. However, man does not live by bread alone: to ensure electoral success corporate interests must align themselves with nationalists, racists, religious zealots and other disaffected groups as these are the one great mass of people outside the corporate sector who regard the post-war state as inherently corrupt. Thus one sees the strange alliance between evangelical Protestants, conservative Catholics and the kleptocrats of the corporate elite: all fundamentally hate the progressive state and wish it dismantled, if for diametrically opposing Not ten years ago this would have seemed a ridiculous ques- reasons. tion. The consensus was surely that the second half of the Anyone who reads the Communist Manifesto will see that 20th century had left Marx’s thoughts far behind. However, Marx understood this dialectic perfectly well: the liberal is it true that current conditions (as so many have claimed) state will always be threatened by an alliance of Capital falsify not only the details of Marx’s account but its spirit? with ethnic, national and religious exclusivism, in a word, The reason for saying so has hitherto been powerful: beginfascism. As the liberal state is, in its essence, aligned with ning with the post-depression era and continuing after the capital anyway, it will inevitably lose this fight, making Second World War, liberal democratic states have been govconcession after concession until it is fundamentally tootherned by a consensus. Markets have been given freedom to less and an object of general contempt. Ironically, given operate on the assumption that in certain key areas GovernMarx’s notion that the state must ultimately wither away, ment will intervene to even out the cruelties and inequities the Liberal state will weaken itself to a point where it simpof the market place, for example with labor laws, social sely becomes expendable. The resultant unfettered pursuit of curity systems, etc. The true answer to Marx has always profit will produce such environmental devastation, such been that democratic states have the power and will to balimmiseration of what was once the middle class, and such a ance the demands of the market with basic social goods to a cheapening of core values in spheres such as education and degree sufficient to prevent revolution. health-care, that it will not be sustainable. The question of Of course, corporations and their apologists have never real- an alternative economic model will present itself whether we ly accepted this consensus and, as the post war intervention- wish it or not. Is this our future? I have no idea. Is this a ist state has been fundamentally secular in outlook, neither possible future? I believe many of you are reading this maghave the people we now call social conservatives. If Marx is azine because you fear it is. If so, I suggest that Marx is right, the post war consensus that has hitherto governed us more relevant a writer than many in the west have supis inherently unstable: corporations who face the imperative posed. (See “Anti-Capitalism and the Occupy Mosaic” of ever improving their bottom line can, indeed must, do so on page 12 for more on Economic Theory)
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e are taught in school that democracy means fairness and an equal voice for everyone. It is the citizens who decide how their country is run, is it not? “True” democracy was one of the reasons we were told to hold our heads up as the national anthem blared; its tinny tune ringing through the public school loudspeakers every morning of my youth. However, we were holding our pride in a fallacy. There is a fundamental problem with democracy in this country. Unfortunately, our archaic system of voting is so terribly unfair that it is possible for a party with little support to gain a majority of the power under the pretext that they are truly representing the population. It may come as a surprise to you, or perhaps it is an accepted fact, that our current government holds 54% of the parliamentary seats in Ottawa, while only 24.2% of eligible Canadian voters marked an ‘X’ beside a conservative name in the 2011 federal elections and the voter turnout was only 61.1% So, not even close to three quarters of the eligible population even approached the ballot boxes. With this in mind, we look to the votes received by the respective parties. The Conservatives won 39.6% of the votes (making that 24.1% of the voting population actually choosing them). One would think that 39.6% would translate into 122 seats (39.6% of the 308 seats in parliament). But this is not the case. Instead, the Conservatives took home 166 seats while the Green Party, who received 3.7% of the votes, did not get their allotted seats. Instead, they were only allotted a measly one. Any kindergartener can tell you that five cookies are worth five cookies and should not be reduced to crumbs during lunchtime trades.
Lack of proportional representation decries need for electoral reform by Stephan Walke ular vote get allotted a portion of what they earned. The 2011 elections are a prime example of this with the Conservatives and NDP raking up an undeserved piece of the pie while the Liberals, Greens and Bloc Quebecois were cheated of their deserved seats. No wonder voter turnout is so low in this country. What incentive could one have to put their choice in the ballot box when, more often than not, they are throwing their democratic right in the garbage? Thousands of people give their support to parties and constituents every election with no return on their choice, and they must witness an increased portion of power given to those parties they didn’t vote for. As a result, those politically active citizens who still choose to vote often have to do so strategically. They don’t vote for the party which best represents their ideas and values, but rather they vote for the next best alternative that might have a better chance at out-competing the least desirable party. The Election turns into childish, convoluted political games with little focus on real issues. ‘Sure’, you may say, ‘the allotted seats don’t quite work out fairly, but what does this mean for the political process and decisions made in this country?’ The repercussions of misrepresenting the public’s choice at the ballot box are numerous and immense. Here, let’s go over just a couple key points:
First and Foremost, a “winner takes all” system means diversity of political views and values in a region are hugely misrepresented. Each political riding is represented by one party, and more than not, that party won by a thin margin, and this is why over seven million Canadians left the ballot boxes in the 2008 federal elections having thrown away their votes. It has become the norm to label particular regions as being “Conservative”, The trend we see in Canadian elections is that the two parties “Liberal”, “NDP” etc., and the existing political diversity never with the most votes receive a higher than justified number of gets expressed. Too many voices are never heard in Ottawa. seats while the parties who have a lower percentage of the pop-
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4 O’clock Whistle In addition, disproportional representation results in government instability because parties become preoccupied with maintaining political power instead of focusing on a long-term vision. When a party can acquire 100% of the power with, say only 32% of the votes (as was the case in this year’s Quebec elections), short-term thinking often prevails with vital issues and a solid platform taking the backburner not only during elections, but when parliament is in session as well.
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A Fair Vote? Continued
Fair Vote Canada is a national organization dedicated to initiating electoral reform and propagating true democracy in Canada. Their website contains valuable information pertaining to the specifics of moving towards a better electoral system.
Leadnow, which is gaining incredible support across Canada, offers a multitude of resources and facts as well as petitions and actions related to Canadian values, wishes and the desire for democratic change and electoral reform. Browse their website So what alternatives are there to the first-past-the-post to find out more: http://www.leadnow.ca/ (FPTP) system? There are many variations on the theme of Let’s get to the root of the problem and build ourselves an proportional representation. Two popular ones are the mixed- electoral system that we can actually call democratic. member-proportional (MMP) and the single transferable vote (STV). MMP is used in Germany and Scotland, among many other countries, and mixes an FPTP system with a proportional allotment of additional seats. These seats are divvied according to voters’ second “party vote” allowing discrepancies in the
and the Occupy Mosaic By Conor Curtis What Has Happened?
Of the 7 billion people who “occupy” our planet, the 3.5 billion people of the lower half own only one percent of the world’s total wealth (NewScientist, July 28th 2012, p. 38). Indeed, it was recently discovered that a total of 21 trillion U.S. dollars, more than the combined GDPs of the U.S. and Japan, had been syphoned off of the economies of North America, the Middle East, and Europe, and placed in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. Of this money approximately 18 trillion dollars alone was owned by only 92,000 people the 0.001% (The Observer, July 21st 2012).
supplies it needs to function, as well as hire some workers to operate the equipment. The workers produce a product that is then sold at a price great enough to pay back the investor. However, the investor also receives an extra sum of moneyinterest off of the investment. In order for this extra sum to be paid to the investor, workers at the company must work for an extra period of time without any increase to their total wages. The extra time is not specifically allotted, but reflected in a somewhat lower wage per hour than the worker should be paid.
In other words, an employee of a company works part of their day to provide for him or herself and works anStill governments continue to act under the delusion other part of their day to provide investors with some extra cash. “Capital” itself is money currently being used to make more money in this way – it is as a result of capital that the wealthiest in society can now live almost exclusively on wealth generated by the labour of others. Delusions
Map showing the Occupy Movement World-Wide
and More Delusions
FPTP vote to be rectified. The STV is more of a ranking system in which voters rank their representatives from most desired to least and once a constituent has enough votes to win a riding, voters’ second choices are then taken into account to assign further seats, and so on. In any case, more and more people are realizing how crippled our democracy is in Canada and voices are rising up to change that. For more information about fair-voting, the myths and facts about proportional representation, and information on what action you can take to bring change to Ottawa, visit http://www.fairvote.ca/
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that the Capitalist economy will simply balance itself out if left to its own devices, while the very process by which “Capital” itself is produced is inherently exploitative. Three main misconceptions stand out in respect to global inequality, and must be addressed for change to occur.
The Problem with Capital
First and foremost, it is important to point to the misconception that in Capitalism greater work equals greater profit. Capitalism is defined by the creation of “Capital,” a process criticised nearly 150 years ago by Karl Marx in his text Das Capital. Capital begins with investment in a company in order that the company may buy the equipment and
The misconception that “work equals profit” has in turn helped to drive other misconceptions about the Capitalist economy as a whole, and these misconceptions are worsening the economic recession. A common outlook of economists and politicians, particularly in Europe, has been that by providing tax breaks to large companies and the wealthy, handing bailouts to corporations, and cutting public spending, the economy will naturally recover as corporations succeed in making more money and governments succeed in avoiding debts. However, handing money to corporations, as opposed to spending it on welfare, throws the money into an unpredictable international monetary market, which is not subject to taxation or any real regulation. In this market corporations often seek not to create new jobs and inject money
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4 O’clock Whistle back into the economies of the world, but to satisfy the interests of their wealthiest investors, which creates a “culture of hoarding” (The Four O’clock Whistle, December 2011, page 8).
positive step towards economic change, and the Occupy Movement, which is only made up partially of AntiCapitalists, takes ideas of open critique and dialogue to its ultimate end as being one of the first world-wide implementations of consensus democracy. (The Occupied Times of LonA related illusion that has become common in the West is don, Sept. 26th 2012, page 17). that welfare creates a society of laziness, and that those who use it are taking advantage of tax payer’s money. For however Occupy unites the broad range of people who seek change many people actually do take advantage of welfare systems, in the world: Feminists, Environmentalists, LGTBQ activists, the money lost is miniscule in contrast to the money lost to human rights campaigners, Anti-Racism organizations and hoards like that of the Cayman Islands, and other havens. Anti-Capitalists are under one concept of “occupation”, and More to the point, money provided to the welfare system –in are leading towards a democratic analysis of common probcontrast to bailouts– is inevitably spent by those who receive lems and a discourse on alternatives These groups, after all, it or placed in a bank. When this money is spent it enters back share a uniting belief that steps must be taken create awareinto the economy and helps to generate wealth and secure jobs ness of global injustices, and so dangerous is this union that at and in a bank it earns interest by being invested by the bank Occupy Wall Street’s one year anniversary celebration last in various enterprises, which also helps the economy. month 180 activists were arrested, along with several news reporters whom the police deemed equally threatening The Anti-Capitalist (Occupy Wall Street, Sept. 23rd 2012, Despite the realities of our economic system, resistance www.occupywallst.org). to change remains strong. One of the main criticisms of AntiShould not the CEO’s and wealthy investors of the world Capitalism is that it does not provide alternatives to what we be required to justify their profits? Should not the 1% have to have now; “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t prove itself to the 99%? When only a handful of individuals bother saying anything at all”, etc. In reality, the term Antican hoard as much as 21 trillion dollars, while half of the Capitalism covers a range of movements with multiple ideas world lives on 0.01% its wealth, is it not time to question Capon what a different economic system may look like. italism? But it is the assumption that there is ‘no point in making a Something to think about. critique without also proposing an alternative’ that is most unfounded. How can any progress start if there is not an un- (See “A Fair Vote” on page 10 for more on democracy in derstanding of what is wrong? How can any alternative be practice, and “Right after all, Marx in the 21st Century” suggested if no one has scientifically looked at what the prob- on page 9 for more on economic thought) lems are in the first place? There must be a dialogue in The Quebec Protest, October 1st, 2012, which people can form and from: http://occupywallst.org/ share critiques before lasting alternatives can be arrived at. Capitalism is constantly changing, and so any critique of it must be agile enough to deal with new factors in its economic makeup as they arise. The Occupy Mosaic of Social Movements The ever growing community of Anti-Capitalists is a
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Anti-Capitalism and the Occupy Mosaic Continued In a commendable action, the City conducted a survey through the summer to assess their knowledge of the system and to determine ways that the system could improve. The top responses were that busses should be more frequent and hours should be extended. In other words, the winter schedule should be extended into the Corner Brook is the most beautiful place I have summer. ever lived. But when summer ends, fall rolls around and the sun goes down, it gets cold in a Moving in the wrong direction hurry. Really cold. This is the time of year when In a strange decision, City Council voted to exthe City becomes even more beautiful for a few tend the summer schedule into the fall, doing the weeks before everyone throws on an extra exact opposite of what the survey proposed. sweater, hunkers down against the wind and Even more counter intuitively, the cut comes at seeks out a sheltered or heated place. This is the the same time that 1,300 students head back to time of year when pedestrians may see a bus school and need to get around town. If the purshelter and decide to use it as a shield against the pose is to get more people on the bus, this is not piercing wind until a heated bus comes along to the way to do it. take them to their destination. Unfortunately, they will likely be waiting a long time. This is not a new problem for residents and visitors of Corner Brook.
Bus Stop Blues
A little over a year ago, Corner Brook City Council planned on resigning the transit contract unchanged and without retendering. Along with the community, students cited several shortcomings of the system and called on the City to make changes. The City was receptive to this, and Grenfell Campus was host to a town hall meeting that filled the largest lecture hall. City Council decided to launch a year-long Transit Improvement Trial that incorporated some of the community/student suggestions.
Students and members of the community have proposed several ideas, most of which seem to have fallen on deaf ears. It is naive to think that one or two things can be changed and ridership will increase by huge numbers. For example, extending hours of operation was a fantastic improvement. However, the times and destinaTrial a success tions which people need to travel vary with the Over the course of the trial, there was an in- time of day. If the bus doesn’t take you where crease of over 12,000 rides compared to the you want to go when you need to go there, exsame time-period the previous year, making for tended hours will not solve that problem. an overall increase of approximately 10%. While What should be done? a bit rocky at first, the number gap continued to widen at an increasing rate towards the end of Corner Brook Transit has remained virtually unthe trial; particularly in student ridership. Seeing changed for approximately fifteen years. As the as how it takes some time for people to catch on city’s demographic changes, new housing develto change, this trend is encouraging. If the pur- opments are built and the society we live in bepose of the trial was to get more people on the comes increasingly rushed, Corner Brook needs a bus (and what else would it be?), then it was a transit system capable of evolving as the city success. does. Due to the increased ridership, the daytime subsidy per rider actually decreased compared to the pre-trial rate. Factoring in the high evening subsidy makes the average subsidy increase, but this is not a fair comparison as the evening service did not exist before.
The trial was a promising start. Several aspects of it were a success. Others, such as NextBus, were not. Part of trying something new is to assess what worked and what didn’t. Data has now been collected to a larger extent than ever before, and this should be used to further tweak the system and build on the success of the trial. A Public Transit Commission could help with the process, as people who actually ride the bus would be able to provide input on what works for them. The commission may suggest changes such as direct routes from the periphery to the downtown core, routes which service high density housing such as Sunnyslope and Dunfield Park, or perhaps accessible service to seniors or persons with disabilities. An effective public transit system will never make a profit, but the social benefits it provides are immeasurable. Increasing ridership gets more cars off the road, which decreases maintenance costs, reduces congestion and cuts down on pollution. More importantly, it provides a means through which non-drivers are able to participate in their community. Without a transit system that works as efficiently as it can, non-drivers are left behind to fend for themselves. Walking is not an option for everyone, and relying on cabs can be too expensive. The transit survey is still open and can be found here: http://www.cornerbrook.com/images/ Policies/Operational%20Services/ TransitSurvey.pdf
A new follow up survey has been posted on the main page which is worth filling out as well. The final decision has not yet been made, so if you think Corner Brook needs a transit system then A Public Transit Commission should be formed take the time to let City Council and staff know that oversees the system and makes recommenwhat would work for you. I for one think that we dations for change. Many places with public can do better than just driving in circles. transit have a similar body. It would include stakeholders such as seniors, students, community groups, business owners, city staff and elected Glen Keeling officials.
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4 O’clock Cooking Moroccan Spicy Lentil Soup By Kelly Keresteci 2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, minced
For the Students, by the Students: Our Bar!
The GCSU Backlot is off to a running start this year with a packed weekly schedule - holding true with Trivia Nights, Open Mic nights, as well as adding a weekly Irish Session and Saturdays with DJ Valentine.
Brennan took the lead next with his Irish Session, inviting all the musically talented or inclined to join in or just enjoy. A kitchen party ensued, the fiddles and drums forging forth with fiery Irish jigs. After that, Nick Hamlyn donned the familiar mantle of Open Mic night host. He brought familiar favorites mixed with new songs, inspiring the crowd to step up and share their voices and talent.
The Paper Lions concert brought us home. ‘Slacker,’ a new band on the Corner Brook scene, surprised the crowd with a spirited set. And then The Paper Lions took to the stage, creating an intimate show by asking crowd members to join them. The band played their new hit ‘Travelling,’ inspiring a feeling of fraternity in the crowd and filling the soul of the bar. ‘Please don’t be a stranger in my place,’ rang out from the house. They closed off the night with the melodious ‘Hands’. It was the band’s first time in Newfoundland and Labrador. We hope they enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed Looking back, the energy flowed this month with Wintersleep their performance. Best of luck to them, to you all and launching us into a new and exciting year. The Backlot had all cheers! See you next time at the GCSU Backlot. hands on deck, as the bar was packed for the most anticipated show to date. Wintersleep launched their tour with ‘Hello Sisu, Hum’ at our bar (the tour that will take them to Europe). Playing on the emotions of the crowd, they began with Matt Brockel ‘Weighty Ghost’, before firing into their encore, ‘Orca’. The Vice-President Executive of the GCSU band put on an amazing show, bringing together the community and the university. We give them our gratitude and wish them the best of luck. The next night, the Backlot didn’t miss a beat as Saturdays with DJ Valentine rocked the house. With jello shooters on special, students danced the night away. Trivia night, with Brittany Noseworthy at the helm, continues to quiz the masses. Black Horse flowed all night as teams answered questions from the obscure to the absolute. Tom
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1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp minced fresh ginger 1 tsp each: paprika & turmeric ¼ tsp cayenne One 3-inch (8cm) cinnamon stick, broken in half 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed, drained 4 to 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Food basket.jpg “Food Basket” by liz west
28-oz (796ml) can diced tomatoes ¼ tsp each: salt & black pepper 1 bay leaf 19-oz (540ml) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice ½ cup plain yogurt (optional)
The English Programme, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University presents: Dionne Brand — reading from her poetry At Jennifer’s Bar Room Monday October 15, 2012 at 8pm 4 O’clock Whistle October 2012 \ 16