Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Borrowed" from Charles' blog

Actually this is a comment that I left in one of Charles' articles concerning Mark Darcy.
Mark has been told that he is not allowed to address Fredericton City Council about a developer that has been filling in a protected wetland area even though he has been told to discontinue this work and remedy what he has already done.
I have also mentioned that Murray Yeomans was told that he is not allowed to present his petition personally.
Here is Charles' writeup. It's quite well done.

Here is my letter. It should appear on there when Charles has read and approved it. (If he approves it.)

Tim Scammell, Professional Technologist (PTech) said...
Hey Charles. That wasn't a debate between Ivan and Mark. Debates are adversarial.Mark was seeking advice and informing Ivan of what is going on.
On a similar note, I have been in contact with Murray Yeomans here in Fredericton for a couple of weeks now. Murray is the young Leo Hayes student who has started a petition among high school students stating that would like the York Street Station saved.
Yesterday he asked if he should take his petition to Fredericton City Hall to present to the Committee meeting yesterday to discuss it. I recommended he call first to ask to be placed on the agenda. When Murray called he was told that members of the public are not allowed at any committee meetings. This surprised me.
In New Maryland the only meeting that is closed to the public is Council in Committee.Another meeting could be taken "in camera" if specific details of a person or organization are to be discussed. During the regular Council meetings we even have a public input section on the agenda for any member of the public to talk or ask questions.
Prior to my being elected I used to attend the Council meetings and provide a New Maryland Elementary Home and School report to keep Council up to date with school activities. I would tell anyone to take advantage of any opportunity to make themselves heard and have things added into the minutes as public record. If recorded properly, no-one could ever twist your words around or say that you never said anything about something.
It perplexes me that people like Mark and Murray are unable to present their concerns to the very people elected to do what they can to help resolve these concerns.
I know it wouldn't do much good but why doesn't Mark come to New Maryland and present this to us? Perhaps this is something that will affect New Maryland too somehow? Ivan did mention that the others around these areas are often negatively impacted.
Just a thought. A long, rambling thought mind you. :)
1:29 PM, September 30, 2008

Rush Hour

Years ago in Ontario when I worked in my various capacities in road construction we always had rules to follow.

For example, we were forbidden from restricting traffic during "rush hour".

This rule was very specific with times as well as the degree of traffic restriction.

At that time I felt that the rule was a real pain.

I guess that they don't have similar rules here. If they did I don't think I would be spending as much time in my car as I have over the last few weeks.

It's great that the provincial government has decided to spend considerable money making the drive from New Maryland toward Fredericton smoother and quieter.

It would be even greater if they took this road down to one lane for both directions AFTER I have already gone by.

What probably happened in Ontario was that one day the premiere or a mayor or someone else important was on their way to an early meeting when they suddenly found themselves stuck in a traffic jam at 7 o'clock in the morning.

This ticked them off so a new rule was born.

Well, I know that New Maryland mayor Dunn attends meetings in town quite often but I'm betting they are planned for lunchtimes and not breakfast.

I'm not positive but I don't think there are quite as many VIPs driving the New Maryland highway as the Don Valley Parkway or Queen Elizabeth Way into Toronto.

I wonder if I could talk Premiere Graham into moving to New Maryland?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Who was I kidding..

Do you remember what I was saying yesterday about being 18 years old again?

What on earth was I thinking?

Right now I couldn't even keep up with an 80 year old, never mind an 18 year old.

I have never experienced anything like that in my life. I guess I thought it would be like setting up my friends' bands in high school. It was a van or two or a cube van if we had a heavy night.

The Blue Man Group had 6 fully packed tractor trailers of equipment!

I could swear that almost every one of the hundreds of cases had items worth thousands of dollars in them.

Fortunately there was a small army of us streaming in and out like ants gathering food.

Unfortunately there was far more than enough "food" for each and every one of us to go for hours.

Once all of the gear was inside the process of assembling started.

Each part of the setup had its own crew chief who was completely specialized in what he/she did. These were the folks who travelled with the show.

I worked with the guy setting up the huge risers on the stage for the monstrous drum kits.

What was really neat was that I was also able to help with the actual setup of the drums.

The crew chief gave me a set of official Blue Man Group drumsticks for my drummer boy Braydon.

Braydon was ecstatic.

I found several used guitar picks for Tyler but that wasn't quite the same.

We ended up working for about 6 hours setting up and thankfully only 4 taking everything down.

I'm going to end this here so that I can go to bed.

My body is quite angry at me right now for being so foolish and trying to act like a kid.

I'm glad I had the experience but I will think carefully before trying it again too soon.

Geez, I don't like this aging thing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm 18 years old again!

I can dream, can't I?
I won't have much time today to write a decent note so I'm zipping this one out now.
I'm also doing it to brag about something really neat I'm doing.
For our anniversary last week Cheryl got the 4 of us tickets to see the Blue Man Group here in Fredericton tonight.
The lads and I have always loved the Blue chaps and see totally thrilled about this.
One of my recent Facebook pals mentioned in his status that he was getting ready for the show.
I took this to mean that he was getting excited to see them and sent him a note.
It turns out that Ken actually works setting these shows up. I asked if there was anything that I could do, not really expecting a positive reply.
Lo and behold, Ken WAS looking for workers to set up and take down everything and I don't need to be unionized.
Long story short, in 10 minutes I'm starting my shift to set up for several hours.
Tonight I come to the show with the family. 1/2 hour before it ends I have to get my grubbies back on and go backstage to wait for the show to end before taking it all down again.
It may be hard work (Ken said it wasn't but he's probably a young muscleman as opposed to older less muscled me).
Getting out of bed is hard work for me sometimes.
I'm really looking forward to it though.
Back in high school I was a roadie for a bunch of my friends' bands.
That was always very exciting to me. I have missed it.
After today, I won't miss it as much.
Take Care.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Old Gang

I had a surprise email yesterday from someone I had not heard from in a while.
It was my old associate from the province inviting me to a meeting to discuss the York Street Station.
I'll explain.
About a year ago, before I became an elected representative, I was still president of the Fredericton Friends of the Railway.
Somebody said something to the paper about the station which I didn't agree with. I mouthed off in a letter to the editor and got a few people upset with me. In addition I called a public meeting to discuss what could or could not be done about our rapidly deteriorating little building and by whom.
All levels of government were invited along with the owners, our members and the public.
I apologized to the folks I had ired with my letter.
The meeting was very well attended by all and everyone was cordial.
In the beginning I stressed to everyone that the purpose was not to point fingers or lay blame but to try and find a solution to our problem.
I felt awful when my dear friend Dick Rogers was starting to heat up while speaking and I had to stop him.
Dick has been with us from the start. He has supported me at times when I was ready to throw in the towel. I have always had great respect for him since the first time we met more than five years ago.
In fact, Dick was a Councillor here in New Maryland many years before I entered the picture. He continues to be very active in the community to this day.
No group could ask for a more caring and supportive member and if anyone deserved to blow his top it was him.
The next time I saw Dick I apologized (I do a lot of that, don't I?) for shutting him down.
As expected, Dick didn't want any apology from me. That's why he is my friend. He is a true gentleman and I've always been honoured to know him.
Mayor Woodside proposed the formation of a committee made up of representatives of the City, J.D. Irving, Friends of the Railway (me) and federal and provincial representatives.
We did meet a few times but I don't need to tell you that a solution was not reached.
That was back in spring 2008 and I never did hear from anyone in the committee again.
Until yesterday that is. It appears that someone has decided to get our old group back together.
That should be interesting.
I'm not going to speculate on the outcome of the meeting but it will be good to have both Steve and I there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

How convenient!

These Blogs certainly do what they can to make it convenient for us to add entries!
I'm sitting in my car in a parking lot waiting for Cheryl as I type this on my Blackberry.
I think that there will be a visible difference in the mood of Blogs entered from the comfort of a car or one's sofa rather than stuck at the computer.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Before I forget....

I don't have much time to write a long one right now but I do want to share an email reply I had from the Green Party candidate Mary Lou Babineau to my letter the other day.

Here is my original letter:

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 12:29 PM, <friendsoftherailway2004@yahoo.ca> wrote:
Good afternoon Ms. Babineau. My name is Tim Scammell and I am past president of the Fredericton Friends of the Railway Inc.
Our group continues efforts to preserve and refurbish the York Street train station. I noted on the news this morning that if elected, Mr. Ashfield would aggressively pursue federal funding for the station. I was wondering what your position on this is? I look forward to your reply.

Take Care,
Tim Scammell, PTech

Here is her reply:

From: "Mary Lou Babineau" Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 21:43:13 -0300To: Subject: Re: Good afternoon
Hello Tim,

Thank you so much for your e-mail.

I have been following the news on the York Street trains station and, if elected, I would most certainly prioritize fighting for federal funding for its refurbishing.

There are specific clauses in the Green Party platform that support my commitment to the train station. The first is a strong commitment to the refurbishing and maintenance of our heritage sights (which our train station most certainly is), the second is a focus on re-establishing the railroad system in Canada as both an environmentally sound and efficient way of travel AND a pillar of our national identity, and the third are the extensive funds that we would make available for retrofitting old buildings.

Given these commitments, it is difficult for me to imagine a project more worthy of the focus of a Green Party MP than our train station...

I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

Mary Lou Babineau
Federal Green Party Candidate

I admire her letter very much however I am realistic that the Green Party will not get elected in Fredericton, or anywhere else for that matter.
Not yet, but I truly hope that one day society listens to what they are saying. It's an admirable message and they are openly looking out for our future as a species.
I have to get into that frame of mind for when I get around to forming the Sustainability Committee in New Maryland as Mayor Dunn has assigned me to do.

On the topic of the Green Party, please read this letter in Charles' blog that was sent to him. It's not the first time I have seen this sentiment but it's always good to see it in print.


I know Charles means well. He's a kind hearted person and one of a kind. (Too bad more people aren't reading this blog. Saying something like that could stir up some fire :) )

I have to go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plenty About the Station in the News These Days

Look at that! The wave of attention for our poor old York Street station has continued into another day.
This time the Gleaner has cleaned up their research skills and actually spoke to someone involved with the station who MATTERS.
Steve Boyko did a great job in the interview. (Which is more than I will say for my Global television interview. I did fine but what was televised was sad. More about this later.)
Here is the article. http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/front/article/425368
Steve came across very well. Good job sir. The comments section below it is rather harsh today though. That "Mad Ape" person is rather interesting.
I don't pay heed to the comments but they are fun to read.

I missed the Fredericton all-candidates meeting last night due to personal obligations.
Every Tuesday I take Tyler to his piano lesson. This is one time every week that we have guaranteed Tyler-Daddy time. It's not a lot but it's a tradition and it's very important to both of us.
I tell anyone who is scheduling a meeting or session that there is no way that I can attend if it's within Tyler-Daddy Piano Tuesday time. Before or after is fine.

Fortunately, everyone's blogging journalist pal Charles was on hand to nail down the details of the all-candidates meeting.
One thing he mentioned of note which I agree with was the fact that John Carty decided not to run for the NDP party this time.
I know John's brother Brian and he's a wonderful person. He and I were Beaver leaders together several years ago when our sons were members. We had a great time together. If there is one person I wish I could have had leading and inspiring my kids longer, Brian is that person.
I'm quite confident that the warm nature and intelligence runs in that family.
Someone like John could be a reason for even the most staunch Blues and Reds to reconsider their loyalties. At least in Fredericton.
It's a shame John hasn't moved over to a more mainstream party so that he would have a fair chance.
I suppose there is always that chance.
Heck, if Bob Rae could fly over the fence as he did (shudder), anyone can.
I can comment on Robert Rae since I lived in Ontario through his regime and helped Ontario society recover and pick up the pieces afterwards.

I digress.
Have a look at Charles' coverage here. http://charlesotherpersonality.blogspot.com/2008/09/all-federal-fredericton-candidate-met.html
You just have to get past his Green Party babbling to get the details. ;)
Hey, Charles jabs me sometimes so I can jab him.

I am happy to see that Mr. Innes has followed Mr. Ashfield's lead and added his voice of support to the station cause. If elected he will pursue federal funds to restore the station.
Better late than never Mr. Innes, thank-you.
Unfortunately Green party candidate Mary-Lou Babineau and NDP candidate Jesse Travis have not yet commented.
*Note to Ms. Babineau and especially Mr. Travis: Try to do what John Carty would have done. Please add your support. Even if you don't stand a chance of winning it will make me feel more comfortable.

So today's blog won't go on forever, I'll do the last item now.
It's about my Global interview.
I will start by saying that I talked to her for a long time. Longer than the CBC, CTV and Charles. If that's possible.
I touched on so many things and ideas and thoughts.
However, one thing I mentioned was that if no-one is going to come forward and save the station it were be merciful if it was taken down to spare the daily heartache of driving by.
This was one of the minor things I said during the huge interview. I also talked about plenty of good things like great ideas for the building for use.
A new bus station or the new home of the Farmer's Market were just 2 such things.

But Global decided to focus the whole piece the way they wanted it to and stressed the "tear it down" idea.
Can I say I was misquoted? Nope.
Out of context? A little bit.
Why didn't I re-read my own blog about the Forbes property? I know that this is going to happen. I have to stop being so comfortable when talking with the media and watch what I say and how it can be used.

From now on. Really! I'll be careful.

One more thing. I wish that Fredericton Councillor Steve Chase would keep his thoughts to himself. He doesn't even want to try to save the station. He's all for ripping it down.
It's not even in his ward!
Let Jordan Graham talk about it if anyone.
I do know that Jordan shares a similar opinion as Mr. Chase though so perhaps it would be better for us if NOBODY spoke about it.
Stephen and David Kelly used to be on our side. I hope they still are when the city has their meeting about this next week.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back Into the Fray (But I Like It)

When I was elected onto New Maryland Council I decided to step down as President of the Fredericton Friends of the Railway Inc.
I felt it would be better not to appear as an antagonist with Fredericton Council or any other stakeholders involved with the York Street Station.
Mr. Steve Boyko took over the reins and has been doing a fine job of maintaining contact and continually digging to get facts and results.
Last week Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside drew a line in the sand with the station owner J.D. Irving telling them to repair the York Street Station or do something to allow it to be torn down.
Have a look: http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/front/article/420340
That day the emails began coming fast and furious to the friendsoftherailway2004@yahoo.ca email address.
In defense of J.D. Irving who owns the station (I really did say that) they commented that they have no intention to tear the building down or try to get permission to do so. http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/421217
Steve Boyko took over control of the old site I had created http://ca.geocities.com/friendsoftherailway2004/Fredericton.html as well as the email. However, I continue to receive the emails on my personal BlackBerry.
Steve was out of town on Friday so we decided that I would once again become media sweetheart for the station. (To be honest, I have really missed it. The media used to love talking to me until I became a Councillor. Now they ignore me.)
On Friday afternoon I had an appointment to be interviewed by CTV. When I arrived at the scene CBC was also there and asked to talk to me.
Plus, Journalist and Blogger Extraordinaire Charles LeBlanc walked over and recorded a 3 minute interview with me.
I wasn't able to get the CTV or CBC interviews recorded but Mr. LeBlanc posted my interview with himself and was clever enough to record my interview with CBC with his camera at the time they spoke with me. Charles' blog is here http://charlesotherpersonality.blogspot.com/.
He posted the videos on Youtube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrfdwbX2TNI&eurl=http://charlesotherpersonality.blogspot.com/ and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUs5u7YjBE0&feature=related .
Steve has been busy keeping up with everything going on in his blogsite for the station. http://www.frederictonstation.com/ .
Once again our poor old station is in the news but once again I doubt anything will be done. I'm sorry for being a pessimist but this cycle has continued for the last 6 years or so.
The Gleaner came through with a completely lackluster article on Saturday which boggled my mind. http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/search/article/421359
Why the heck are they talking to Peter Pacey about the station?? Just because he is a local "heritage buff"?? Was he sitting beside the reporter at a coffee shop and she wasn't in the mood to do any real research? Mr. Pacey has NEVER been involved in the station efforts. Who cares if he was part of the trails coalition years ago. Any remnants of that group are long gone. They should be calling Steve or I. A real newspaper would.
The article called our group "Friends of the Train Station". Who on earth is that?
Haven't we been around long enough by now to get our name right?
One important note, I heard on the radio this morning that Fredericton Conservative candidate Keith Ashfield would aggressively pursue federal funds to save the station if he is elected in the October election. Hmmmm..this looks interesting.
If we can get Liberal candidate David Innes and Green Party's Mary Lou Babineau to commit to the same we'll be in great shape no matter who wins!
Liberal MP Andy Scott hasn't done much except have us in for a friendly chat several years ago. He didn't even offer us coffee!
Oh yes, look here for a CBC article. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2008/09/22/railway-station.html
I see in the Gleaner today the station has become a "controversial topic". http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/liveit/article/422714 .
Imagine that. After all this time it's finally graduated to controversial status.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


My beautiful little sister Hayley died just over a week ago.
I keep coming here thinking that I am ready to write about my feelings.
Every time I realize when I get here that I am not.
Another day.....