Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where is everyone??

I've been watching the championship hockey game for the Canadian universities this afternoon.
The final game is our beloved University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds versus the Western University Mustangs.
Our boys just won it 4 to 2 with Lachlin MacIntosh getting his third goal of the game on an empty net in the last 2 minutes of the game.
We are so proud of these boys!
Our family went to a whole bunch of games this year and these lads put on one heck of a show.
I lived in Toronto my whole life up to 6 years ago and I never saw the calibre of hockey and energy level from the Toronto Maple Leafs that we are from these university boys.
A few weeks ago at the Midget Triple A game in Fredericton I saw the UNB coach and asked him how he felt about the Reds' chances.
He told me they were going to win it all.
What do you know?
He was absolutely right!
The lads just got the trophy a minute ago and see they ever excited!
That's such a great thing to see.
The Western team are understandably upset.
I wish I could talk to them and tell them how proud they should be for doing so well.
They have nothing to be ashamed of at all.
They'll understand that eventually I hope.

One thing that really struck me was the large number of empty seats! Where are the fans??
Doesn't anyone appreciate the quality and drive of these boys?
That's sad.

You don't get this in the NHL very often.

Stay Well,
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Friday, March 20, 2009

Well, Well, Well (get it? water? get it?)

Oooo, THAT was a surprise!
All right. I knew what the big press conference was for. Nobody told me before going in but it was easy to figure out.
Our local Member of Parliament and Minister of State for ACOA Keith Ashfield was there as was our Member of the Legislative Assembly Jack Carr and the provincial moneyman and Minister of Business New Brunswick, MLA Greg Byrne. And a few of us Councillors standing at the back.

I don't know if I'm scooping the mainstream media or not but it became official today that "Governments of Canada and New Brunswick invest in New Maryland infrastructure upgrades".
The document provided indicates that each of the three levels of government - federal, provincial and municipal(us) - will all kick in $1,555,333 each for the planned upgrades.

Here it is in its entirety;
New Maryland, New Brunswick
Residents of New Maryland will benefit from upgrades to the Village water and wastewater systems, thanks to joint federal and provincial funding of more than $3 million. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), and the Honourable Greg Byrne, Minister of Business New Brunswick.

This project is just one example of the commitment of both governments to work together to strengthen the New Brunswick economy and improve the quality of life for its residents. It will create local jobs and enhance local services at a time when the need for economic stimulus is greatest.

The governments of Canada and New Brunswick will each invest up to $1,555,333 in the project, with the Village of New Maryland contributing an equal amount.

“In these challenging economic times, the Government of Canada is working with our partners to create jobs and build stronger and brighter futures for New Brunswick communities,” said Minister Ashfield. “Our federal investment of more than $1.5 million will result in modern, greener, world-class infrastructure which is the foundation of sustainable, long-term economic growth”

“Green infrastructure projects and the funding of this project for the Village of New Maryland are very important to New Brunswick’s self-sufficiency agenda,” said Byrne. “These projects help provide safe and reliable drinking water and increase environmental protection through improved wastewater collection and treatment. Overall these investments contribute to the sustainability of our communities and provide capacity for future community growth. Byrne spoke on behalf of Environment Minister Roland Haché.

The project involves upgrades to the water system in the Springwater Place, Applewood Acres, Pineridge Estates and Forbes subdivisions and the installation of water/sanitary sewer services to ten homes in the Baker Brook Courtand the decommissioning of the aging Baker Brook Court wastewater treatment facility. These improvements will enhance water distribution, increase water storage capacity, and increase the water system’s reliability as well as improve the wastewater collection treatment for the community. Funding for the project is contingent on completion of all contractual agreements, including pending Environmental Impact Assessments with municipalities.

“The Building Canada Fund – Communities Component is an outstanding example of partnerships between the two levels of government and small municipalities, said Dunn. We would like to thank the provincial and federal governments for their support, with special thanks to our MP Keith Ashfield. The improvements and enhancements to our municipal water system are crucial and we thank the government for their funding support of this project. Working together, we are able to provide our citizens with programs and services that we could not do alone.”

This project is one of 32 projects across the province that will get underway quickly thanks to a joint federal- provincial investment of more than $38 million. Together with municipal contributions, more than $57 million will be invested in local infrastructure improvements in New Brunswick. The governments of Canada and New Brunswick are working together to provide long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across the country and to support stronger, safer and better communities.


Residents of New Maryland will benefit from an improved water system, thanks to joint federal and provincial funding of more than $3 million. The announcement was made today by Keith Ashfield, Minister of State for ACOA and Greg Byrne, Minister of Business New Brunswick.

The $4.6 million project, which is also funded by the Village of New Maryland, will improve water distribution, increase water storage capacity, and enhance the system’s reliability. It is just one example of the commitment of both governments to strengthening the New Brunswick economy and improving the quality of life for its residents.

Funding for this project is contingent on completion of all contractual agreements, including pending Environmental Impact Assessments with the municipalities. - 30 –


Bruce MacFarlane, Managing Director
Communications New Brunswick

Richard Roik, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Jennifer Graham, Communications Officer
New Brunswick Department of Environment

It was nice to see former Councillor and past Chair of the Water and Wastewater Committee Bill O'Donnell there and be recognized by the mayor in his speech. (I'm also past Chair of the Committee but I didn't get a special mention :(. I'm kidding of course.) Bill was on Council since the birth of New Maryland and Council didn't even know it was a Council.
He was Committee Chair for 14 or so years and started this whole water tower thing. Darn right he should have been recognized!
I was on the Committee as a public member when he was Chair and saw how much work he put into everything he did.
I honestly felt bad when Bill was not re-elected last time. When I was campaigning if anyone asked about the others I always gave Bill a good word. He truly is a nice guy too.

One thing that one of my fellow Councillors picked up on right away was the line "installation of water/sanitary sewer services to ten homes in the Baker Brook".

You see, we didn't recall anything about adding water to Baker Brook Court in all of the discussions we had. Maybe I'm merely forgetting that but my colleague is pretty good at remembering these things. We'll have to review our stuff.
If we DON'T have the money earmarked in our plans and someone who lives on Baker Brook Court sees this press release we could be in a bit of trouble making good on it.
That could be rather expensive and perhaps those few homes aren't in the mood to cough up for water while on their own wells.

I'm probably mistaken though and everything will be marvellous.

It was good seeing Jack, Keith and Greg again. They are nice guys.
I was somewhat sheepish and apologetic with Jack as I had totally missed the breakfast he put on a few weeks ago, after offering to help out.
Jack told me he forgives me. I'm happy about that.
I'll make it up to him somehow.

Okay, NOW I'm ready to head to Halifax soon.

Ta Ta For Now,

I'm so excited!

The mayor has called a press conference for 10 o'clock and wants the Councillors to be there.
So I've left my real job to go and do something for my play job.
I've even put my suit on to look respectable.

I wonder what it's about?
I'll bet it's something to do with water.
Maybe we have discovered a huge underground lake of pure water capable of supplying an enormous city!
That would be neat!

I'll let you know shortly.

Are you excited too?

Stay well (get it? Well? Water?) ,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Little Bit of Housekeeping

I just wanted to mention a couple of things before heading off to Halifax tomorrow.
I am very happy that my tattoos are all done now. They will be wonderful when the healing is done. For now they're a wee bit red and tender but doing very well.
When I went in there I honestly didn't know what Joey was going to do. I was trying to casually press him for details of his intentions.
I wouldn't say he was evasive but seemed to be a tiny bit amused at my concern.
I should have known already to just trust him. He's a professional and takes much pride in his work.
Even though it only took a couple of hours Joey took no chances and cleared his afternoon for me. He fully intended to take his time and make absolutely sure that my tattoos were going to be perfect.
If only everyone was as serious and took this much pride in their work.
This young man could teach the world a lot about work ethic.
The pictures have already been put on my Facebook for my wonderful friends there.
As usual the comments started right away and as usual I feel so much love from my friends who love me.
It was funny. As I was walking back to my car from White Lotus I ran into the world's second best blogger, Charles LeBlanc.
I hadn't seen Charles in person for quite a while and it was great to see my good friend as it always is.
Of everyone I know in this place Charles is one that I would trust with my life to guard my back. I would do the same for him too.
He knows that.

It's funny, the other day I told someone that there are many people that I would give my life for and they may never ever know it.
Charles knows this though. I've told him.

On Tuesday night I received a copy. Of the Water and Wastewater Committee meeting minutes from the last meeting.
There was something unusual about them.
At the top where it says who was at the meeting it had the mayor's name with Chairman beside it, Councillor Paul Co-Chair and my name with Chairman beside it!
Wow! Was I being promoted? What a lovely surprise! And my birthday isn't until June.
At the Council meeting last night the mayor have the water and Wastewater committee report.
Before accepting the report and voting on it the Deputy Mayor pointed out that it said Chairman beside my name.
I was so excited that the mayor was going to make the big announcement that I was going to be a real Councillor again!
But I'm afraid it was a typographical error...
The person typing it had not been feeling well and was obviously delirious when she put that there. Everyone made sure that was duly noted to fix right away!

I think I was already a little grumpy already last night anyway.
Earlier I had spoken my mind about something and my feelings of manipulation by someone who wants so badly to get their way that they will make the rest of Council appear as heartless by not supporting their motion.
If anything I hope that the grumpiness got the point across that I'm not in the mood for that and won't put up with it anymore.
It was fun really.
I felt pretty good afterwards.
I think I really need to get a punching bag.

Have a great weekend.
I love you all and some a little more than the others.

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's in the air

Spring is in the air. I can certainly see and feel it this morning.
It is still rather brisk out there and I still need my hat, the bald guy's best friend on days like this.
Still, every day the snow melts a little more and more of the world becomes visible. It's been a very long time since I have seen the world that's coming into view.
I realize that much of it will be the same world that I knew before the big cold darkness came.
I'm looking very carefully though for what I may have missed before everything was covered by the big cold darkness.

Can I tell you something though?
There is change coming.
There is a lot of change coming that is covered right now.

It's true.
I feel it.
I welcome it.
I will embrace it.

Many people don't like change. They see it as a threat to the tiny little place they consider their world.
Even if their little world is a miserable sad little place it becomes all that they know.
Wonderful things could come knocking at their door but they are too scared to even look out the peephole and see it.

I'm not going to be one of those scared little people.
I'm ready to throw my door wide open and completely redecorate my little area.

Spring is for renewal isn't it?
Spring is rebirth. Spring is rejuvenation.
Most of all, spring is when we are supposed to clean out all of the dust and garbage that has made the dark season even more darker and sad than it already was.

I truly believe it is time.

I feel it in the air.

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where did THIS come from??

Holy mackerel! I turn around for a minute and the world realigns itself!
This article was on the front page of today's Daily Gleaner.
I had heard nothing about this prior to seeing the article.
I'm darn proud of Shawn Berry for breaking the story.
Shawn is a wonderful guy and an excellent journalist.
If it wasn't for Shawn the station may have faded from the public memory a long time ago.
I have a pretty decent relationship with the media in Fredericton but Shawn has always been my favourite.
He puts his heart and passion behind what he does and draws the same from his subjects.
I hope that he goes far. He deserves it.
Here is a link to the story.

A funny thing about this is that Charles must have bought his Gleaner early today since he blogged it so quickly.
Charles scooped by the Gleaner...
It's a world gone mad, isn't it Charles? :)

Good job though pal. Seriously.

One thing that bugs me a little but is that after all of the work that Steve Boyko and I have done fighting for the station, Liz Burge and The Fredericton Heritage Trust have happily jumped into the spotlight to throw in their 3 cents worth.
The Fredericton Heritage Trust usually stays silent about anything until some good news is on the horizon. Then they jump onto the good news bandwagon.
I hesitate to criticize them too much since Bill Thorpe was such a large part of what they used to be right up to his passing.
We know I loved Bill like family. His outspokenness and optimism was an inspiration to this City.
The City wisely renamed the old railway bridge the William Thorpe walking bridge in his honour.
A wonderful decision.

It's quite unfortunate that Ms. Burge and crew are so timid.
Their heart is in the right spot but their courage can't keep up.
When they were considering purchasing the station from Irving not a sound was made about it anywhere.
I offered to assist in any way I could but was told nicely over lunch to stay out of it.
So I did.

Well I'm happy that someone is ready to wave the flag of victory.
I don't think that Steve or I have the energy left to do it.
Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I almost forgot to mention this.

I should mention this before I forget again.
I apologize in advance because it is political and not overly exciting.

I do have to say something though for those who may be wondering where I am while the Water and Wastewater meetings are going on.
I'm there! I swear I am!

A little background for those just tuning in.

When I was in Ontario over the Christmas holidays I sent a letter to Council that I did not support the proposed water rate amount for the Village residents on the Village water system.
At the time I was Chair of the Water and Wastewater Committee.
I had presented the first reading of the new rate prior to leaving for Ontario.
The rate amount chosen was based on data presented to the committee and appeared to be in order.
During discussions at Council another member indicated that our data was not entirely correct.
I should also mention that I had not been comfortable as Chair of the Committee as a first term Councillor and the delicate and complicated nature of what we have to deal with.
It would be so much easier if everyone in the Village was on the system but less than half of the households are.
The rest of us are on our own wells for now, and likely to be for a few more years to come.
I had been on the Committee as a public member prior to being elected. However, there is much that the public may not be privy to information that the elected representatives are.

While in Ontario I re-examined the figures and came to complete agreement with my associate on Council.

I sent my e-mail to Council concerning the rates and that I did not support them. I also added in a few things about my displeasure at being chair of the only Committee that I had asked not to be.
For whatever reason came over me, I plopped the same email up on my blog for everyone to see.
To my surprise the Fredericton newspaper, the Daily Gleaner caught wind of the blog and it made headlines. (Slow news day I guess.)
The next thing I knew people were contacting me to offer support me and others that they didn't support me.
Keep in mind I was with mom at the time.

Just over a week after my return to New Brunswick the Mayor wanted to get together for a chat.
As I had expected he was not too thrilled with my media coverage.
As a form of punishment I was taken off as Chair of Water and Wastewater and turned into a regular committee member.

That's okay, I knew that I deserved it. I most likely would have done the same to a little bugger like me.

As I have also mentioned in my second blog ever to be taken down (the last time that will happen), the punishment was fine.
The problem was that nobody was ever told of it.
It became a little embarrassing when I had to tell someone that did not know about my demotion.
I didn't take this very well.

The Village office did send a letter out to Councillors that I was not Chair anymore.
The public wasn't told though.
This didn't seem like a problem to me until our last open Council meeting.

The Mayor is the current committee chair so he presents the Committee report during open Council.
It occurred to me as he was giving the report that anyone paying attention would have absolutely no idea that I was going to the committee meetings unless my name was specifically mentioned.

During our swearing in the Mayor announced to all present who would chair what committees.
Nobody knew that things have changed since then as no official announcement was made. .
An outsider may think that I don't even go to the meetings even though I certainly do.
I participate quite a bit too!

So I brought this up at the meeting to go on the record.
The media in attendance wasn't too interested but at least I said it.

So I'm the co-chair of the Recreation Committee and the no-chair of the Water and Wastewater Committee now.

Take Care,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Illustrated Man and the Surprising Facebook Friends

Those who know my blogs you'll know that if I mention someone in a positive light it means that I admire them very much.
Ray Bradbury was one of those people that I admired. To me he was a great author. I loved his work like I loved Robert Heinlein's and Douglas Adams'.

Stay with me here. This blog will take a very roundabout way to get to a specific point.
I'm just in that kind of mood. I like to give plenty of background.
It drives Charles crazy. :)
I discovered at an early age that I loved Science Fiction.
I think that I was the original Star Wars geek.
On the day that it opened in 1977 my friend and I were at the cinema at Fairview Mall in North York when it opened and sat through Star Wars for the entire day. We were alone for most of that.

In 1951 Mr. Bradbury published the classic "The Illustrated Man". This book consists of eighteen science fiction short stories exploring the nature of mankind.
The stories aren't connected with each other except for the recurring theme of the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people.
The reason I refer to this book is that the unrelated stories are tied together by "the Illustrated Man", a man who the narrator meets with tattoos covering his body.
These tattoos tell the stories contained in the book.
The man's tattoos are supposedly created by a woman from the future and come to life to tell stories to the person looking at them.
The tattoos all have a meaning.

When my sister passed away I wanted to honour her in a way that would be with me to the end of my days.
I mentioned to mom that I wanted to get a tattoo for her. Mom didn't seem too enthusiastic about the idea so I didn't pursue it.
When mom passed away I started to think about the tattoos again.
This time my thoughts were to have a pair of angel wings on each arm with "Mom" in one and "Hayley" on the other.
I mentioned this to a couple of my friends just to see what they thought.
I did get a couple of questioning looks.
About a month ago I walked into White Lotus in Fredericton to have a serious talk.
I met a very nice young man named Joey who is a tattoo artist.
We sat down and I explained what I wanted to do and the reason behind it.
I knew that Joey understood how important this was to me.
We scheduled an appointment for the first stage of my tattoos. Joey told me that it would be too much work to do all in one sitting.
On March 4th I had the outlines done for both of them.
The outlines are very nice. Some people don't realize that there is more to be done to finish them since they look so nice already.
On March 18th I will return so Joey can fill them in with whites and grays.

The reason that I make reference to The Illustrated Man is not that I intend to cover my body with tattoos. (Although my mind is on possibly getting something related to Dr. Seuss. Joey has said he's up for it.)

My point is that like the Illustrated Man, my tattoos tell a story.
The one on my left arm tells the story that I loved my mom very much and that after knowing her for my whole life and having her taken away I miss her very very much.
My tattoo on the right arm tells the story that Hayley was the best little sister anyone could ever ask for.
She was so smart, kind and beautiful and I was always so proud to be her big brother. And I miss her very very much.

Anyone seeing the tattoos will see these stories. Just like the Illustrated Man.

I wanted my friends and family to know about them but was very cautious of how to approach it.
They may seem to be a little out of character for Councillor Scammell, or are they?
I decided that I would post two pictures on Facebook and only have a small number of my friends see them.
There was no real method of picking who. I just wanted a few.
I wondered what my friends would say.
Yes, I was nervous.

The result was amazing!
I was amazed at how many people I know also have tattoos.
Many of them have a special meaning attached, some don't.

Everyone who contacted me understood and felt that this is a wonderful to pay tribute to two beautiful people in my life.
Everybody that contacted me likes them very much.
Well, almost everyone. One friend hates them. But she hates all tattoos. Don't worry RM. I won't mention that you are female and live in Ontario and used to live in my old neighbourhood and went to school with me. I won't say any of those things. :)
She told me that if my mother could she would probably reach down and slap me on the head.
I replied that I would give anything to feel her do anything. Even a slap.
I told someone else the other day that Hayley and Mom may not like me getting tattoos but would always understand if I explained what is in my heart.

Another very close friend told me that the needle part made him uncomfortable but said "I wish you lots of love and luck with this endeavour Tim, as I know that this decision came from a place of love, your heart."

That's something only a true friend would say.

I have now opened up the pictures to all of my Facebook friends to see.
I will post pictures here when the tattoos are complete and have healed up a bit.
Until then you'll just have to go to my Facebook to see them.

What I realize is that no matter what you do or how unusual and out of character something may seem, if you believe something in your heart your friends will support you.
That's why they are friends.

Another friend and I were chatting recently and she said something to me that was so powerful and beautiful that I have to mention it here. She doesn't mind.
She lost her only sister to cancer in January.
"...people around me said part of me died with her. that isn't true, but the part that she occupied is now guarded, it didn't die just closed off and protected."

About my tattoos and showing them to the world she said " you are opening your heart just a little but your show of affection will allow you to open your heart much more..".

What an amazing and wonderful way to look at such a terrible thing!
Without her as a friend I may never have considered these things.
Her wisdom and beautifully positive outlook are helping me look at difficult circumstances in a different way.

This is one of the greatest reasons that people become your friends and stay there. We understand them and they usually understand us.
Never, ever underestimate the healing power of them.

Stay Well,


Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Sir!

I want to thank my friend Gary for telling me about the Google nameplate today. (Please don't sue me Mr. Google for using the picture.)

The usual Google letters are made up of some of his best known characters including the Cat in the Hat as the "G", the Grinch as the "L" and Fox in Socks as the "E".

How truly cool is that.

The Greatest Doctor Who Ever Lived would have been 105 today.

He hasn't aged a day to me.

It's a coincidence I'm sure but Cheryl brought home a DVD of The Lorax yesterday which she borrowed from a friend.

The Lorax has a message which you know is close to my heart.

The Doctor published it in 1971. I haven't the time right now to go into it fully but will say that The Lorax was Dr. Seuss' way to speak out against the destruction of the environment.

And he does it so well.

It's not a happy story and gets the point across in a blunt way.

Tell you what. I will talk about The Lorax in The Greatest Doctor Who Ever Lived - Part 4.

For now, let's go have some cake and a party for the 105th birthday of one of my favourite people ever.