Donald Cuddy | May 29, 2019

I was not surprised to see the Plevna “One Small Town” concept fizzle/fail/go off the rails – pick your metaphor – it was just a question of when. The concept was too akin to some of the 19th century Utopian movements in the USA (which, to the best of my knowledge, all failed) and, more recently, to the 1970’s environmental drift, to which I perhaps paid too much attention. Wrong place, wrong time. I would have thought that Mayor Higgins (of my generation) would have been more astute but perhaps he is just now realising the failed dreams of similar-aged hippies… My god, homes built of used tires? Check out old Harrowsmith magazines and other “environmental” articles, and try to find any such “homes” that are still happily occupied today. Some more recent versions of these “earth–sheltered” homes involve using old school buses and re-cycled steel shipping containers (the only advantage I can see of either is that the latter is usually of a standard size). But I would not want to live underground in either, nor in a hobbit hole, however well provisioned.

The apiary idea really had me going. Total novices are just going to harvest all the honey they “require” and sell the rest for profit? Get real! My wife has kept bees for the past 10 years – last year (2018) she had her first decent honey crop – let’s say a total about 50 lb from about 10 hives. Then all but one of her hives died over the past 2018-19 winter. Bee keeping (my motto is that we keep bees, bees don’t keep us) in our area is not for the faint-of-heart, let alone novices.

While, in general, I prefer to stay away from politics, I will venture that it is good to have a mixture of local-grown councillors and what Newfoundlanders’ would call “the aways” on our council – it provides for bringing fresh (and perhaps sometimes stale) ideas to council while maintaining a locally ingrained pragmatism. Mayor Higgins was required to persuade his council to support his “pet project”. He could not. I think of this as an example of a victory of our municipal political system over “party” politics.

I sympathize with Councillor Inglis’s concern about adverse reflections on NF Council, but the reporting that I have seen has been rather clear that the

proponent was the Mayor and the council was, at worst, neutral. Anyone following this matter should have figured this out.

Donald Cuddy

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