Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27: A good day for The Moncton times&tramscro[t

At last; the first real coverage of the controversy over shale gas. It really doesn't say much; so the words "Special Report" sound just a touch dramatic. We are left wondering why our two, major parties have not discussed this with us years ago. We are left wondering why exploration has been going on without significant government regulation, and without any information from the T&T. We wonder why Quebec has felt it necessary to impose a moratorium on drilling - and New Brunswick hasn't.

We know nothing about the companies doing the drilling - not wno they are or what their records are. We have know indications whether we will get anything adequate of the profits from these projects - or whether we will simply become the Saudi Arabia of Canada, with all the profits going to the companies and to the royal families of New Brunswick.

Still, it's a start. Let's see what happens.

The Life&Times editor goofed on p. D5 by running a   story on  how men who look brooding are sexy. That's important, of course. But the same story appeared just a few days ago in another section.

The editorial made good sense. Norbert Cunningham wrote an eminently useful article on how to write.  Om fact. I plan to distribute copies to , my writing class.

The only black spot was another piece of soft sell on building a wildly and prohibitvely expensive hockey arean downtown. This gem comes from well-named Nancy Whipp who tries to whip up enthusiasm for this greed-driven idea by adding the usual temptation of an events centre - plus a museum, art gallery, community spaces, farmers' market (she suggests , with "farmer's market" that only one farmer would use it. Doesn't Norrbert edit that page?).

All of this would, of course, would be a public-private ventture - which usually means taxpayers pick up most of the costs, and private business picks up the profits.

She does noot mention how much all the additional spaces, library, museum, art gallery, etc. would cost. That would certainly take us over the already soaring $84,000,000. Amd that does not count the cost of maintaining and bringing up to national standards of the library, museum, art gallery, etc. Nor does she mention who owns the land on which this would be built.

Still, this was a stellar edition for The Moncton Times&Transcript.

Oh, apologies for not giving credit where credit was due yesterday. The op ed page of May 26 had an excellent commentary on corporate child care by Jody Dallaire. This is a first rate warning on a topic of importance to all of us - big business moving in on profits to made out of our children. They're doing it to our public schools, and they've been moving in even on pre-schoolers.

Finally, There is an interesting letter to the editor from Jay Leger "A Shame Spelliing no longer required".  He's quite right. Spelling is getting terrible. But I think it wrong to blame the schools for that. One learns how to spell and to write by reading. We live in a world that, by stages, has been pushing reading into the background for close to a century. Spare time  is given over to increasingly passive amusements - radio, then TV, now computers.

Business leaders think the answer lies in encouraging competition with "how many books can you read in a week" contests. That's because business leaders don't know anything about education. Very few children learn much by competing. As well, reading a book as fast as you can is not likely to engender any love for reading. In graduate school, I had to get through four or five and more books a day, in addition to other work. The joy I'd had for reading through my childhood was pretty much destroyed by that.

As t's not just schools that teach children. It's the example of parents and friends and community. And there ain't much readin' goin' on there, neither, nohow. Them's too busy burnin' up calories by watching Jerry Springer.


  1. One of the best local blogs on the net In my opinion.

  2. damn right, says Graeme.