Friday, July 31, 2009

I'll find water for you my pretty! And your little dog too!

Hi again. I've been in summer vacation mode so this blog has been lacking of late.
In fact, I started this one back on July 19th or 20th but I'm only getting back to it now.
The story is still relevant though.
Do you like the "Wizard of Oz" reference in the title? You'll see how well it fits when you read this.

This story is amusing.
Before you read the newspaper article below let me tell you what happened.

It involves the Village's ongoing search for good capacity wells to maintain the supply for the residents currently on the Village system and possibly consider new development.
We are also reviewing the possibility of adding more of the existing homes in New Maryland onto the system who presently have their own wells.

Last year the Village purchased a piece of property known by many folks as the "Forbes property" on account of the name of the previous owners.

There is a well sitting on the property which was drilled years ago but not brought on-line since it is not potable without proper treatment.
We haven't ruled out the possibility of treating it as needed and using it.

However, Council (on the recommendation of the Water and Wastewater Committee, which I am still a member of) decided to drill to seek other wells on the Forbes property.

The Village has a consulting company who are experts in water exploration.
They examine and review land features and available data to determine where they believe the best spot to hit a gusher will be.

This can't be an easy job. If they had x-ray vision I'm sure they could nail it every time but they don't.
In all honesty no-one knows exactly what's down there and exactly where the water is.
We're talking about millions of years of rock formation and water aquifers forcing their way through the path of least resistance making their winding way through thousands of miles of weaving trails underground.

In my opinion this is not an exact science. It's as close as it can be with what we can determine.

Anyhow, a little while ago this company reviewed the Forbes property and looked at all that they could and told the drilling company where to do their thing.

The result was disappointing and we were not successful in finding a decent flowing spot.

The Village Public Works Supervisor reported the result to the members of the Water and Wastewater committee at our last meeting.

This is where I come into this and it gets interesting.

A long while back I was having a chat with a local guy about the water situation in New Maryland.
He casually mentioned to me that he has a slight knack for being able to get the lay of the land and having pretty good feelings where water may be.
I found that interesting and remarked that we may call him up to have a look at the Forbes property one day.

I mentioned this to the Committee and said that we should buy him a coffee and take him out for a stroll and ask his thoughts.
No pressure, just a stroll to compare his feelings with those of the consultant.
It couldn't hurt could it?
It would most certainly be cheaper.

From what I understand the Public Works Supervisor met our lad out there and walked around the property.

I don't believe the Public Works Supervisor had much faith in what he was told.
I'm not sure why that is.

Oh well, at least he went out there and told us his thoughts and it didn't cost us anything. Right?
No harm, no foul as they say.

Well, this stuff was brought up at the next Council meeting during discussions.
The next thing I know people were asking why we used that guy when there are other guys around who are known for their divining at "witching stick" abilities.
Then it was decided that the Village is going to contact one of these guys and have them look around for water.

I'll let you read the rest of the story here as it appeared in the Gleaner under the heading:

Village turns to water witchery

Published Saturday July 18th, 2009

New Maryland has no luck using conventional methods to find water source for development.

Canadaeast News Service
NEW MARYLAND - The village of New Maryland may try witchery to find a water source on one of its properties.
Mayor Frank Dunn said it might sound silly, but dowsing to find water has been in practice since ancient times and some people put a lot of faith in it. "This all started after we dug for water and were unsuccessful on the old Forbes property we own right on Highway 101," Dunn said.
"A council member made the suggestion that we hire a dowser. It was said in jest, but we figured it might be worth a try. "Dowsing, which is also known as water witchery or divining, is used to locate something underground, including oil, metals or water. A dowser walks with a Y-shaped stick or rod, which points down abruptly when over the right spot.
Some dowsers also use a pendulum or two rods, which cross when over water. There are many skeptics of dowsing because there is no scientific evidence the process works, and Dunn admits he has no idea if it will help, but he said the village has nothing to lose by trying it.
"We have a guy in mind who does dowsing, so we figured we'll contact him and at least give it a chance if he's willing to do it," Dunn said. "In order to continue development in New Maryland in the future, we'll need to find more wells, and so far on this particular property, we haven't been successful in more conventional ways of searching for a water source. "The village is in the process of building a new water tower to improve water distribution, water storage capacity, system operating reliability and firefighting capabilities. Tenders for the elevated reservoir system are expected to be awarded this month, with construction beginning in the fall.
One-third of the village's residents are hooked to the municipal water system, while the rest have wells, and Dunn said the point of finding additional water sources is to have the option of hooking more people to the new system in the future.
"We've been searching for water sources for two years and have been successful in finding three wells, which are currently capped. When we have the funding, those wells will be tied into the new tower in the future," Dunn said.
"We have sufficient water for now. We're just planning ahead for future development." Dunn said a core sample has already been extracted from one area on the property, but it didn't turn up any water. He said two more digs are planned.
"That's the way it is; every time you do a core sample you take a risk that it'll be unsuccessful," Dunn said. "We'll probably drill in two more areas at least, but in the meantime may try contacting a dowser that we have in mind, and give that a try."
Dunn said he won't disclose the name of the dowser the village may use until he's had a chance to talk to him about it.

"Village turns to water witchery"??? What???
Come on. Really...

There's a story about the topic of witchery which I will have to tell you one day.
Let's just say that it isn't a very good word to throw around lightly.

As for the article content it's me that he refers to in the beginning of the article.
But for the record, I did NOT make the suggestion to hire a dowser. I mentioned my pal going for a stroll. That's all.

Nor did I make the suggestion in jest.
I was very serious about getting an opinion, at no cost, to compare with that of the "experts".

Now you know.

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blog? But it's summer!

Forgive me for being away from the blog for so long.
I'll have a new one in the next couple of days.
I have a couple in my head. Now to put them to type...
Where is a speech-to-text program for a BlackBerry?
If I had that I'd blog up a storm.
I'll be back.

Stay Well,
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Waiting and wondering...

A couple of things to update. First of all, remember the CTV interview I was supposed to do the other day about my offer to help Amy Phillips? (See my last blog.)
The reporter contacted me and cancelled saying he had car problems and would reschedule if they decided to pursue the story further.
So far I haven't heard back so I guess they will not be.

This is interesting though.
I heard from 2 different people that they heard Amy Phillips on CBC radio the other morning being interviewed about the missing items from her daughter's grave.
What is interesting is that she mentioned my name as having offered to help replace the items.
I have yet to hear from Amy but at least I now know that she read my letter and knows that I'm here if she ever wants me.
I'm satisfied with that but would prefer that she take me up on my offer.

I had a conversation with my friend at work who stated that this type of thing happens all the time and if we did keep putting items at the grave they would continue to be stolen until we give up.
To that I say bring it on. I'm up for the challenge.

My good friend and fellow rail enthusiast Steve Boyko has now officially packed up his family and are on the road to Winnipeg to start their new life there.
Actually I just read his Facebook update a few minutes ago and Steve said that they are in Bangor, Maine and he has broken the wire connecting his trailer to the van.
Not a very pleasant start to a long trip I'm afraid.
I joked in the comments that perhaps this is a sign that he is meant to abandon the move and turn around to Fredericton?
I wish it was really. I'm going to miss Steve a lot. He was an excellent president for the Fredericton Friends of the Railway when he took over from me.
I admire Steve a lot. He knows this.
He treated me to lunch at Panos Greek Restaurant on Monday.
We kept it light and had a very nice time.
I'll tell you something. When I first started my interest in the history and state of railways in New Brunswick about 6 years ago I hunted for information on the internet.
Steve's site was the first thing I found and kept me busy for hours. I became a fan right away. Have a look.
He also has this wonderful blog
Please have a look when you get a chance. I think you'll enjoy it.

I'll really miss Steve. Even though we didn't get together very often I was comfortable knowing that he was close by.
He told me at lunch that he will still be close. Virtually. I'd I need him he's an email away.
Thanks for that Steve.
Have a safe trip and bright future in the west my friend.
Thirdly, I'm on vacation at this very moment.
The first such vacation since starting my job last year.
My best pal Mike is flying in from Ontario tomorrow evening for his annual dose of New Brunswick week.
We are picking him up at the Saint John airport and staying there for the night.
Perfect really. The Best Western there is quite nice and the boys love the pool.
They love any pool really.

On Sunday we have booked a ride in the Reversing Falls jet boat.
We did this a couple of years ago and it was wild. We loved it.
I wish I could take pictures while doing it but absolutely EVERYTHING we have with us gets completely soaked on the ride.
So no pictures, sorry. I'll try and get a bunch from before and after the ride.

Time for bed.
I'm going to go to my coffee club gathering tomorrow morning even though I'm on holiday and don't want to wake up early.
I'll tell you about my coffee group another time.
Everyone who is anyone or wants to meet or become anyone in Fredericton is there.

And so am I.

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Monday, July 13, 2009

This is a change!

I was contacted by CTV to do an TV interview this afternoon.
I know what you're thinking.

A) It's about the York Street Station
B) Tim's about to stir it up again in New Maryland Council

You would be wrong on both counts.
Surprisingly, this is about a letter to the editor in the Gleaner last Thursday.
I shall push my luck again and copy it here. You need to see it to feel the full emotion that I felt.

Re: Cemetery thieves

I lost my 10-year-old daughter at the first of this year to a courageous battle with cancer.

She was the bravest person I ever knew. I will forever miss that sparkle in her eyes and that beautiful smile she left in so many hearts.

With every day having its own set of struggles and heartaches, I have realized life is a journey and some of us are chosen to take on some of the toughest obstacles of all. But we get through it.

A sweet girl once said, "It's not 'goodbye,' it's just that I haven't arrived yet."

Since it was January and the ground was frozen, her burial wasn't until the end of May. I found it hard during those months not having a place where I felt I could go sit and have some one-on-one time with her.

Now I'm find myself each morning with my coffee beside her grave. It is well decorated with all the things that made her unique. Each gift has its own meaning, given by friends and family who knew her best - sunflowers, dragonflies and a solar butterfly that keeps a statue of an angel lit at night.

But this morning was a devastating one. When I arrived I discovered some cruel, heartless coward had stolen all of those beautiful gifts.

Feeling sick to my stomach, angry and short of breathe, I left quickly, pulling myself together the best I could, but knowing I would have to explain this to my two boys.

The next chance they had to visit, they would ask why Sissy was missing all her gifts. Just how am I to explain why anyone would commit such a shameful act?

Obviously they don't understand the loss of someone special. As frustrating as it is for me, it's you, the coward, I feel sorry for, because it's you that will have to answer for that someday. May God bless you when that time comes.

Amy Jo Phillips


As you can guess this really saddened me and ticked me off.

So me being me sent in my own letter to the editor to try and do something to help.
It was printed on Saturday July 11th.


Re: Letter from Amy Jo Phillips published July 9, called Why would anyone steal from a 10-year-old's grave?

Unless we are in the situation ourselves it's difficult to fully understand the depth of sadness.

Personally, if I was in poor Amy's shoes, I would be at the grave every day for years, let alone six months. No amount of grief counselling can heal the loss of a child.

Amy, I feel horrible for your loss and subsequent indignity. If you read this, please contact me. I'm in the book in New Maryland.

I would like to personally begin replacing the stolen gifts with new ones. We can't let the cowards feel that they have won.

If they steal them again, we will replace them again. I can go on longer than they can and will help you do so too.

Take care.

Tim Scammell

New Maryland, N.B.

I'm not trying to get television interviews. I don't care about media exposure for this.

All I want is to help Amy Phillips feel a little less sad about something after losing her little girl.

It will not take a lot on my part or on anyone else's if they also choose to help.

I'll go on CTV today.

And hope that Amy calls me.

Take Care,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roger that!

I just heard that my favourite boy Roger Federer won Wimbledon today and made history.
I missed it!
I'm at the arena in Oromocto right now. The boys have a hockey game in a few minutes.
Then we zip home for Boo's baseball practice.
I think we need a few more sports to fill in any gaps.
Heaven forbid we find time to think...

Congratulations Roger! I knew you could do it.
And I'm happy that you did.

Stay well,

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry