Thursday, April 23, 2015


WHAT WILL CHANGING INVESTIGATING POLICE FORCES CHANGE?

The daughter of a man killed by a member of Premier Paul Davis's security detail is demanding that an independent police force investigate the shooting.

Donald Dunphy's daughter speaking through her lawyer - has lost faith in the ongoing investigation being carried out by the RCMP. 

The Provincial Government has refused to comment on calls for a public inquiry into the April 5th shooting.  Justice and Public Safety Minister, Darin King has stated that he wants to "see the current, ongoing investigation unfold and see what the results are".

 NDP leader Earle McCurdy has publicly called for a public inquiry and Liberal Leader Dwight Ball says he would support one.

The Dunphy families concerns about tunnel vision and a lack of objectivity will only ignite more suspicion about the events leading up to the shooting, the shooting itself and the aftermath.

Abandoning the ongoing investigation would be wrong. Lets see what the RCMP investigation states before truncating the process.  I doubt any process is going to meet the expectations of many considering the political "undertones", reliance on forensics and the shooter being the only witness.

I just think that that the RCMP, with the participation of Justice Riche , will produce a professional, through and unbiased investigation. 

Will involving another police force change anything from an investigative point of view - probably not, but this tragedy has been marred by perception issues since it occurred.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BONDING WITH STAR WARS OVER THE GENERATIONS

It seems all things Star Wars are cool at the moment.

 From games, to books, comics and the upcoming movie. The latest trailer has been views 100 million times over  a few days.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on December 18.

An older Harrison Ford and Chewie revs up the fans when they appear  on the screen and Han Solo declares "Chewie, we're home!" 

I wonder if Carrie Fisher will be wearing her metal bikini?
 It struck all the right emotional chords for fans who have grown up with the Star Wars Saga.  As a kid, I played Star Wars with my brothers reenacting scenes like battles on the Death Star - on the government wharf.

In my early twenties my brother and I got absorbed by First person Star Wars video games that allowed us to have light saber battles and utilize the force. 

The attraction to the force, the balance between good and bad, the grey, the generations that have played make believe as Jedi and Sith have all come together in an emotional link that crosses time and expected behaviors. 

I love getting to relive being a kid as a parent and bond over Star Wars.

It is even better now that being a geek is cool, especially when you were a geek when it was not cool. 







VANDALISM: COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR KIDS

What possess folks to vandalize, to destroy and damage others property.

Is it hate, jealousy, boredom..revenge, anger, peer pressure or defiance. Why do some participate in the systematic desecration of holy places. Is it because they are bored, does it give teens something to do? Is it the adrenaline rush of committing an act with out getting caught?

Vandals caused in excess of $10,000 damage to Our Lady of Fatima Church early last evening. They busted 17 windows with rocks. As a former Parish Council co-chair, I know how difficult it is to raise money to maintain and repair churches. 

At St. Paul's we used to have a lot of difficulty with vandalism, particularly in the back which does not face Newfoundland Drive. Removing graffiti and an occasional broken window was a nuisance.  

The concept of vandalizing  churches and graveyards is not new.  The old graveyard in St. Bernard's located next to the church is a field where only a few headstones remain. Time, erosion, snow, frost, neglect has taken a toll. Dozens of cracked headstones are piled next to the side of the church. Apparently, in the 1960's (perhaps earlier) a couple of residents got on a tear and went on a spree, pretty much destroying the old white headstones. Senseless vandalism. and destruction. 

I was no goody two shoes as a kid. I never felt the need, or the desire to beat the crap out of something for the sake of doing it. We might throw a bottle in the water and throw rocks at it until it sank; we spent hours shooting at cans and bottles with BB guns and .22s. We were trusted and we took that seriously seriously.

My  parents raised me good, raised me right. Sure, I questioned authority, challenged the status-quo, but I  never destroyed other peoples property. It was not a fear of getting caught, it was knowing it was wrong. You do not vandalize, steal, bully or disrespect your elders. 

This past weekend, I had a bit of "vandalism issue" to content with. My oldest guy had been hanging out with a group of buddies who thought it might be funny to throw a few eggs at some homes for a gag. I suppose it was an in the moment bonding/acceptance activity where a group of peers were the vandalism offers and opportunity for a teen gets to prove his allegiance or bravery, regardless of if he is a "good kid" or not. It was irrelevant that he did not throw and egg.

Fitting in is like a tractor beam for kids, an inescapable pull.  How does a levelheaded teen compromise their morals to part of their peer group. They may be more likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, or commit other criminal activities, all for the sake of ‘fitting in’.

Even seemingly harmless pranks like egging and toilet papering homes are considered vandalism. There can be legal consequences. 

I have striven to keep an open dialogue with the boys about schedules and friends. I expect to know who there are with are where they are. A  kid that that knows his parents care is more likely to avoid mischievous behaviors in the first place.

When I learned of the egging incident, I made it clear that  any act of vandalism- big or small- is wrong!  It is not a victimless crime. I used the incident as an opportunity to explain just how wrong vandalism can be. I did not accept "but nobody got hurt". 

I explained the real costs. The waste of food, the time it took police to investigate of be preoccupied from other services, the cost of cleaning-up and that time is money. 

Sure I am disappointed. I expect that he has the personal strength to walk away from a situation like that. 

The end result is those cherished Friday and Saturday nights out with the boys will be fewer, he is on the job hunt, a littler earlier than he had expected.

We have a responsibility to ensure we communicate with our children, that we arm them with the tools and self-assurance to become pillars of our community. If we do not teach them the difference between right and wrong, who will?

If we do not teach them that there are consequences, whom will and will it be too late?



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