I was surprise to see the Premier on television telling New Brunswickers there will be no tolls on the bridges on the U.S. border.
This tactic workers in the late 90s?
The Premier better come out with something different?
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I was surprise to see the Premier on television telling New Brunswickers there will be no tolls on the bridges on the U.S. border.
This just not make any sense. Former students are stepping forward with money to save this building!
Why don't this Billionaire donate some money to save this building?
He might be remembered by future generations of the Billionaire who destroyed history!
Here's the story-
The following is a summary from several sources of the information and lack thereof that the board is feeding us. It has been compiled by Bruce MacDonald, Class of '44 and a former journalist with both the Globe & Mail and the Toronto Star.
Alleged Misinformation from Opponents of Demolishing South House
* In a letter July 5 to all Alumni reachable by e-mail, Elizabeth Meier, Chair, acknowledged at the outset that the Board of Governors had "not been doing the best of job in communicating with you to keep you informed of just what it is we are doing and why." As a result, she contended, "there has been a lot of misinformation circulating, which is having a negative impact on our school and its future."
* While she left no doubt that her criticism was aimed directly at the vast number of people who have registered their opposition to the demolition of South House, in the remaining three pages of her letter, however, Ms. Meier failed to cite a single example of such misinformation, nor did she provide any rebuttal in an effort to offset this alleged negative impact. By contrast, I invite you to consider several cases of misinformation and non-information provided by the Executive Committee of the Board to the many stakeholders involved - possibly including in some instances the majority of non-Executive Governors who make up almost three-quarters of the Board - in support of its grand plan.
"The Board of Governors is open to any reasonable proposal for South House." Ms. Meier's statement to Alumni Meeting, June, '04, as reported by Derek Hamilton, Vice-Chair, in article -The Five-Year Plan and the Future of South House, article in The Head's Letter, Fall, '04.
* "She (Ms. Meier) concluded, however that at this point in time the Board's position is that the retention of South House, desirable as it might be, is simply not affordable." Ibid.
* In fact, before the Executive Committee even began to draw up its strategic plan, it was obvious that it was strongly disposed to raze South House to the ground. In an e-mail to an alumnus on July 8, Ms. Meier said that when the Committee was given authority by the Board to formulate such a plan, "it was made clear ... that part of that plan would probably be the demolition of South House."
* Far from being 'open to any reasonable proposal', the Executive Committee has dismissed out of hand the carefully-crafted plan for refurbishing and restructuring South House developed by the South House Re-use Committee headed by Derek Oland. This Committee commissioned thorough studies by structural engineers and an architect and came to the conclusion on the basis of their reports that South House remained structurally sound and could be restored to serve alternative uses for decades to come at a cost of some $500,000. The Committee pledged to come up with the full amount required to meet the estimated capital cost, a crucial factor that the Board has chosen to ignore or brush aside as best it could. In the process, of course, it has undermined its own argument that saving South House is not affordable.
* By contrast, Jack Hickman, a long-time governor, came up with an unsupported estimate that the "capitalized cost of upkeep combined with the cost of renovations would amount to something in the vicinity of $2,000,000." Ibid. In an e-mail to an alumnus of July 8, Ms. Meier disclosed that the Executive Committee had an opinion from an unnamed architect, based on unknown evidence, that the cost would be a minimum of $800,000, and the building would not be "optimal for use as an administrative centre".(Emphasis added.)
* In reply to an e-mail from alumnus Terry Bryant on July 8th, Ms. Meier reported that "the planning process started years ago with a forum of alumni, governors, faculty, parents and students run by a consultant from the U.S. whose job is strategic planning for independent schools and who consults for hundreds. This was the beginning ... of the start of the path to a new strategic plan." Question: Who is this advisor on strategic planning by independent schools, did he submit a report to the Board or its Executive Committee concerning any aspect of that proposed RNS strategic plan - particularly with respect to South House - and, if so, will the Board provide other stakeholders with a copy of that report, to which they would seem entitled considering the participation of representative groups in that initial forum?
South House: Just Another Building or an Integral Part of the School?
* In an e-mail to Terry Bryant, '59, the Chair left no doubt where she stands: "We need to be focused on our students and what we can offer them. We must be willing to put them first or else the school will not remain in an ascending position long. I am now finding it hard not to question the motives of those who are willing to put a building before all else, including the reputation and well-being of the school." (Italics added.)
* Response by Mr. Bryant: "I know of no person who has a motive to put a building before The School. In fact, it is just the opposite. The building, in this case South House, is THE SCHOOL. It is what the school and its students are all about."
* In an e-mail to many alumni in late June, Mr. Hamilton sought their understanding and support for the "tough choices" the Board had to make and asked for our patience "as we work to find some way to minimize the upset and hurt that all of us feel in the face of change."
* My response by e-mail to the Vice-Chair: "Mr. Hamilton, I am confident that the vast number of alumni fully accept that change is inevitable as time marches on. Indeed, they have strongly supported the huge number of changes evident everywhere where one looks on the campus. So, to suggest that they just have to get over their "upset and hurt" about the proposed demolition of South House makes it clear beyond any doubt that you just don't get it."
"The Board agreed that the vision for the School's future, as expressed in the Five-Year Plan, does not hinge upon the final decision for South House." Mr. Hamilton. Ibid.
* That the plan to demolish South House and the Five-Year Plan are closely interrelated is beyond any doubt.
* While the Executive Committee has repeatedly stressed that the retention of South House was simply not affordable at a time when available funds are limited, it has never revealed the full cost of its Strategic Five-Year Plan, nor any part of it.
* This plan, such as it is, was only disclosed to other stakeholders a year after its completion, and then only after opposition to the Executive Committee's proposal to demolish South House began to gather a momentum that could not be ignored.
* In an e-mail to me on June 29th, the Chair stated that in an insert to The Head's Letter of the Fall, '04, A Vision for Our Future, "we describe in detail all our principles and plans." (Emphasis added.)
* While it is long on rhetoric, the plan as it unfolded is, in fact, very short on detail. It envisioned building of a new Girls' Residence and a new Dining Hall, relocation of the library to where the dining hall is now located, providing additional classroom space, and providing an unspecified amount of additional housing for faculty members. While the Chapel, like the dining room, is already bulging at the seams, no hint was provided about its enlargement/replacement despite plans to further increase student numbers.
* As noted above, no price tag was placed on the cost of any of these plans individually or collectively. Nor have any cost estimates been provided, as one Netherwood graduate pointed out, for demolishing South House, carting away the pieces, landscaping the vacated ground, housing the infirmary (now in South House), nor of maintaining the three new staff houses it has since been revealed are to be built at an estimated cost of more than $300,000. (For that matter, no indication has been provided either as to the increased cost of operating and maintaining these other proposed buildings.) Taken together, the capital costs alone will almost certainly run into the millions of dollar.
* If South House is "simply too expensive... to fix up, and will not perform the functions we need, without jeopardizing our financial future," as the Vice-Chair informed my old classmate, Don Wilkinson, what risk to the school's financial future would be posed by this proposed building program, to say nothing of the increased Endowment Fund referred to below?
The $10,000,000 Endowment Fund
* Almost completely lost in the debate about South House and the Five-year Building Plan , is the further, perhaps much more costly proposal to increase the present modest endowment fund to a total of $10,000,000. The rationale bears all the earmarks of a committee clutching at straws.
* Four different reasons have been advanced for the creation of a fund of this magnitude:
- "So that we can keep down the rising cost of tuition and thus allow the school to remain affordable for Atlantic Canada parents." Derek Hamilton. Harvard in the United States and Upper Canada College in this country both have large endowment funds. Would anyone consider their present fees have been moderated as a result?
- "Increasing our endowment fund to $10 million will enable our school to offer financial aid of $500,000 per year to Atlantic Canada students who could not otherwise afford full school fees." A Vision for our School's Future.
- "With a stable enrolment of 260 to 270 students and an endowment of $10 million, (RNS) will be the first small boarding school in Canada to be defined as financially stable." Ibid.
- "We need, urgently, to have an endowment fund so that we can weather bad enrollment times, keep up with teacher salary increases, and have a proper maintenance program so that our buildings don't run down again." E-mail by Mr. Hamilton to Don Wilkinson, July 8.
The Present State of School Finances
* In her e-mail letter to the Alumni of July 5, Ms. Meier dwelt at length on the demise of the School House heating system this spring, the impending breakdown of the Chapel heating system of the same age, and the need for the installation of a foundation under Bonnycastle House, the Head's residence, to correct a mold problem that adversely affected Mrs. Kitchen severely. "Thankfully," Ms. Meier wrote, "we have had solid surpluses for the past three years as these monies have been entirely needed for the replacement of the heating system and the roof of Mackay House."
* In an e-mail to Don Wilkinson three days later, Mr. Hamilton also referred to these expenses and added another, the high cost of upgrading the School's water system to meet new standards set by the province in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy. The Vice-Chair's assessment was not as rosy as the Chair's. He reported that "all our small surpluses went to pay for Mackay House problems." In addition, he said, the School was faced with the prospect of a small deficit in the next school year because of a decline in the number of borders, which - inexplicably - he considered not unusual in view of the fact that the school has been running at virtually 100 per cent capacity for the past six years!
The Accountability Vacuum
* "The Board has tried hard not to get involved in public debates in an effort to keep focused on our goal, which is to run the school in the best way possible. So we often find ourselves playing catchup, and not terribly successfully." Derek Hamilton in an e-mail to Bruce Macdonald on June 29th.
* While belatedly acknowledging, like Ms. Meier, that the Executive Committee of the Board had been remiss in communicating to the School's stakeholders about the way it in which it carried out its stewardship, it should be clear - as pointed out earlier - it only began to outline in the most general terms its Five-Year Strategic Plan a year after it was drawn up, and then only in response to the controversy over its determination to destroy South House. As noted above, the Chair and Vice-Chair only in recent days have informed stakeholders about heavy expenses they have faced over the past two years as a result of the quite predictable breakdown of ancient heating systems and the need to substantially upgrade the water system. Indeed, one wonders to what extent the non-Executive members of the Board are kept informed by the Executive Committee about relevant developments. Consider the disclosure by Rory Grant in the message he posted on the Save South House web site - namely, that during the many years he served as a member of the Board of Governors, he was never advised about the chronic leaking over several decades of the South House roof.
* For perhaps the first time, and again only in the most hazy of terms, have we been provided with some insight into the state of the School's finances in recent years - with surplus varying from solid to small up to the current year, depending on the observer, and a prospective small deficit in the coming year. Notwithstanding this most belated, tentative and rudimentary accountability - which is the foundation of good governance - the leaders of the Board still call on stakeholders to provide their understanding and support for the Executive Committee's Five-Year Plan. This is despite the fact that the total estimated cost has still not been disclosed, nor has the Board's plan for raising the necessary funds to cover it, including the proportion of the total cost that may go to professional fund raisers.
The Elusive Search for Compromise
* Following a four-hour meeting of the Board of Governors last June (2005)to discuss the report of the South House Re-use Committee chaired by Derek Oland, Ms. Meier reported in her letter to alumni of July 5th that the Vice-Chair moved on behalf of the Executive Committee that they proceed with the demolition of South House. Faced with a lack of consensus, she wrote, the motion was subsequently withdrawn, but an unofficial 'straw poll' led to a vote of 12 governors in favour of immediate demolition, zero governors in favour of the Oland Plan, and 17 governors in favour of seeking a compromise. (Twelve governors were apparently missing or did not vote on this critical issue.)
* The Board authorized the Executive Committee to set up a separate committee to seek a 'compromise solution.' That committee was created on July 4th, with its membership - obviously a matter of key concern - still unknown at the time of writing several days later. It is directed to report its recommendations no later than August 8th. It seems apparent that at least a majority of the Executive Committee remains deadset against accepting any decision short of demolishing South House, notwithstanding the contention of Ms. Meier (in an e-mail to Terry Bryant) that she had "felt for some time that there must be room for some compromise between the two opposite opinions."
That Mr. Hamilton did not seem to share her supposed view was evident in an-email on July 8 to Don Wilkinson, who is not only an alumnus but was also, like the Vice-Chair, a master at the School for some years. "We are trying to achieve some sort of middle way to keep the traditions and feeling of South House without spending money we don't have," Mr. Hamilton wrote. "I don't know what that middle way might be, but we will keep you informed."
* Perhaps the Vice-Chair might like to propose a variation of the pseudo-village scheme, involving the creation of an illusion by erecting only the fronts of buildings, which was adopted a few centuries ago by Russian Minister Grigori Potemkin to impress his Empress (and lover), Catherine the Great: leaving the facade of South House in place and gutting the rest. He might argue that would help "keep the traditions and feeling" alive, all without spending quite as much as already planned to have the whole building destroyed and carted away!
IF PREMIER SHAWN GRAHAM DOESN'T DO A STUDY ON RITALIN? COULD IT TURN INTO THIS??? DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN???
Everyone of us will have their 15 minutes of fame. I must admit that I had a few in my lifetime....for the bad and good reasons...lol
These are photos from 1991, < I believe >
The C.O.R. Party had just elected a few members as MLA’S.
Weeks later, they held a little convention in Saint John.
The C.O.R. Party announced that the Acadian Flag should be removed from the Legislature.
I knew it was one of their policies and for 2 to 3 years, they denied this.
I showed up at their meeting and I believe there were 800 C.O.R. members present.
I spoke out loud and clear of my pride towards the Acadian flag.
It was just like a black person disrupting a meeting of the KKK!
The next thing I knew. These bigots quickly jumped up and attack me.
People from down home in Memramcook were surprise that I didn’t fight back.
They knew that I don’t mind a good old fashion fist fight.
The media were all over the place and the story made the front page of the Irving paper, television and radio news.
The point that I’m making? Lets say that Premier Shawn Graham ignores the issue of Ritalin?
I would quickly join the Liberal Party and show up as a member at their next convention.
I would name every MLA who supported me and quickly denounced the Party.
Would it come down to this?
Would it be like the C.O.R. Party Convention?
I sure hope not but it even scares me just thinking about it!!!
Bernard lord continue to ignore the drugging and the killings of our children but I don't believe Shawn Graham will.
For the record? I do have some good bigot friends.
Yesterday afternoon while walking down Queen street? I noticed this site.
Looks like the situation in this Province is getting out of control.
I'm lucky the pictures turned out. I took some pictures this morning but they never took. Camera is at it last link.
I can't complain. The little toy was good to me.
NOW THE SERPENT WAS MORE CUNNING THAN ANY
BEAST OF THE FIELD WHICH THE LORD HAD MADE.
AND HE SAID TO THE WOMAN, "HAS GOD INDEED
SAID, YOU SHALL NOT EAT OF EVERY TREE OF THE
( GENESIS 3:1 * NKJV )
The serpent (satan) has been tempting mankind since
the beginning of this earth age. Just as he tempted
Adam and Eve, he tempts us as well! Therefore you
must; BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT; BECAUSE YOUR
ADVERSARY THE DEVIL WALKS ABOUT LIKE A
ROARING LION, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR.
( 1 PETER 5:8 )
Now as Childern of God we have added protection for
It is written; NO TEMPTATION HAS OVERTAKEN
YOU EXCEPT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN; BUT
GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO
BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU ARE ABLE, BUT
WITH THE TEMPTATION WILL ALSO MAKE A WAY
OF ESCAPE, THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT.
( 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 )
THEREFORE SUBMIT TO GOD, RESIST THE
DEVIL AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU. For when you;
DRAW NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO
YOU. ( JAMES 4:7-8 )
So Charles, the next time satan tries to tempt you
tell him to take a hike! For Jesus Christ gave you that
power when He said; "BEHOLD, I GIVE YOU THE
AUTHORITY TO TRAMPLE ON SERPENTS AND
SCORPIONS, AND OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE
ENEMY, AND NOTHING SHALL BY ANY MEANS
HURT YOU." Amen ( LUKE 10:19-20 )
With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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