31 December 2009

Top Bond Papers posts of 2009

If you haven’t had your fill of lists, here’s another one.  This time it’s some of the top posts from Bond Papers for 2009.

Now by top,  we are referring to ones that proved popular with readers, ones that led to much bigger stories, ones that broke some news and -  in the case of whistleblower and breast feeding  - posts that made concrete proposals on issues of significant public importance.   Now these 11 aren’t the only great posts from Bond papers for 2009.  There are plenty every month.  These just happen to be particular favourites.

Regular readers will notice some topics have been conspicuously absent from the series of year-end posts on top stories.  Not to fear, gentle and faithful readers.  There is another post to come.  That one will deal with the 10 biggest unreported or underreported stories of the past year.  Now they aren’t ones that have been ignored in this corner of the universe.  Rather they are ones that the conventional media in the province have consciously chosen to ignore – for reasons only those editors and reporters can possible try and rationalise – or ones where the conventional media have only reported on some aspects of a much bigger, juicier story.

Now just to give you a clue, one of the stories below is tied to a larger issue.  The Rhode Island memorandum story is just one aspect of a much larger  tale.

But more on that later.

For now, here are some of the best stories of the past year here at Ye Olde Scribbler’s Shoppe:
  1. Equalization flips, flops and fumbles (January).  This one was topping the traffic counter for weeks in the early part of 2009.  it basically documents the raft of different and often contradictory positions the provincial government has taken on Equalization since 2004.  It’s only when you actually sit down and list things off chronologically you can see the entire convoluted mess.
  2. BP’s draft whistleblower law (January).  The provincial Conservatives might not be able to deliver on their 2007 election promise, but your humble e-scribbler helped them out in January.  Here, in its entirety is a workable, draft law that would protect people who reveal dirty secrets in the public interest.
  3. Uncommon tourism potential (February).  Really one of a series of posts on the idiotic idea of stringing hydro power lines through Gros Morne park.
  4. Enhancing east coast search and rescue (March).  BP’s proposal on improving search and rescue capability offshore without resorting to the knee-jerk townie crap about putting helicopters in St. John’s.
  5. Wheeler deal numbers and stuff (April).  How quickly everyone forgot that the provincial government’s energy corporation  can wheel electricity anywhere it can find a market. The April deal was good news when it happened and it is still good news even if the official version tries to pretend the whole thing doesn’t exist. This post puts some hard numbers on the deal.
  6. Kremlinology (June).  The first post in what has become a running – and successful – series.  In June, your humble e-scribbler pointed out that something was off with Trevor Taylor.  By September, the old boy had thrown in the towel and left politics. Sometimes big stories grow out of the very smallest of clues.
  7. The Wookey Hole Witch (July)  Okay so this one is a bit different.  A post on a search for a new tourism actor in a small English town has turned out to be a popular hit for people searching the Internet.  The witch has replaced Janice Mackey Freyer as the queen of the regular search hits.
  8. Rumpole and the Summer of Discontent (August).  Problems in provincial court in Gander and four vacancies on the bench that still haven’t been filled.  
  9. RI contradicts Dunderdale (September)  Natural resources minister Kathy Dunderdale told the people of Newfoundland and Labrador a bit of a nose-puller about why a memorandum of understanding on Lower Churchill power went nowhere. Your humble e-scribbler got the straight story from Rhode Island.
  10. Unsound financial management (September)  Cabinet minister Paul Oram admits what your humble e-scribbler has been saying for four years:  provincial government spending is unsustainable.  finance minister Tom Marshall and others chime in to agree.
  11. 66 at 6 in 2 (October).  A simple idea:  improve public health by having 66% of new mother’s still breast feeding at the end of six months after delivery, and hit that goal within two years.