Three days left to support the Toy Factory

    Posted on: Thursday, December 18th, 2008

There are only three days left to throw your support behind the Toy Factory, an initiative taken by The Idea Factory that is bringing toys to children in single parent families this Christmas. The Idea Factory have donated $10,000 in new toys to the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland (SPAN) and are challenging the rest of St. John’s and it’s business community to come together to do the same.

All the information you need is on the Toy Factory’s website, along with a list of people, businesses and organizations that have contributed so far. You can be on that list, too! If you’d like you can buy the gifts yourself, or simply donate money and let the Toy Factory’s elves take care of the rest. Either way, they’ll swing round and collect what you have to offer at your convenience. It’s that easy.

SPAN also has a Christmas Supports program in place wherein you can sponsor a single parent family and help ease the burden of toys and groceries this Christmas. If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved with that program, just give Melanie Escott a call at (709) 738-3405. She’s awesome.

Are there any other ways that you know of for people to get involved in helping others over the holidays? Something you like to do that we should know about? Let us know in the comments!

Place your bets on a white Christmas

    Posted on: Thursday, December 18th, 2008

We’re all facing our first major snowfall of the month on the sidewalks and streets this morning, which for December 18th is tough to complain about. According to Environment Canada’s senior climatologist Dave Phillips, who recently spoke with Jeff Gilhooly on Radio One’s Morning Show, Old Man Winter’s been staved off in these parts by an unusually mild end to Fall. Our temperatures so far this December have been six degrees higher than usual. Works for me!

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas this year, or have considered placing a bet or two, Phillips reminds us that St. John’s is a city with pretty good odds. On average we see snow on December 25th a sturdy two out of every three years.

Those odds are significantly better than what you’d get with a coin toss, so the bet looks pretty safe. But for me the real question is, how are we looking for the rest of the Winter? Are we going to be buried all the way up to our heads, or merely to our tails?

Place your bets in the comments!

The Once, tonight on Radio 2

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

The Once, a Newfoundland folk trio of haunting voices, with infusions of guitar, mandolin and bodhrán, will be performing a Christmas Special live tonight on CBC Radio 2. From their Facebook Group, 598 members stong:

Canada Live on Radio 2 Presents a one hour broadcast of ‘The Once’ Upon a Christmas with Special guest Greg Walsh on Wednesday December 17th, 08 at 8:30pm.

The re-broadcast times are as follows:
December 21st on Musicraft (Radio One) at 4:35pm
December 24th on Radio Two at 11pm
December 25th on Radio Once at Midnight and on Sirius 137 at 11pm

Francesca Swann is the Host of CBC Radio’s Musicraft and is the Producer of ‘The Once’ Upon a Christmas in St. John’s

AND…Listeners anywhere in Canada can tune into ‘The Once’ Upon a Christmas live streaming on the web at

I’ve experienced The Once live at The Ship. This will definitely be worth the listen.

Mayors to give the poop on Phase Two tomorrow

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

The mayors of St. John’s, Mount Pearl and Paradise, who shall henceforth be known as the triad, will be dropping some knowledge on we city folk about funding for the St. John’s Harbour Clean-up tomorrow in the form of a press conference, according to VOCM. While it may not be completely obvious, Mount Pearl and Paradise flush their toilets into our harbour, too, which is why they’re on board to help make the madness stop.

The project is being done in two phases, the first of which The City tells us is complete. That inolved:

• collection, redirecting and screening sewage flows from the Waterford Valley drainage basin
• a diffused outfall on the south side of the Harbour
• construction of the pumping station on Southside Road

The second phase has us all looking forward to:

• construction of the primary treatment plant on Southside Road
• expansion of the pumping station
• construction of the harbour interceptor sewer from Temperance Street to the Southside Road treatment plant
• additions to the existing diffused outfall

So be sure to tune in to your local news station at noon tomorrow to get the latest and greatest on the situation from Mayors Dennis O’Keefe, Randy Simms and Ralph Wiseman. To learn more about the project, check out The City’s Harbour Clean-up page here.

Signal begins – in beta!

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Welcome to our humble beginnings. This is Signal: the St. John’s blog. You can read the About page to get a sense of what we’re… about. But the tag line pretty much says it all. We’re about St. John’s. Because we are St. John’s.

We’re in beta right now, which basically means we’re still in the process of getting ready. First and foremost, we want to get the blogging ball rolling. We’ve got an awesome team of writers who will be gradually introduced here as we continue to pick up speed. Photographers and videographers are standing by. And a fresh layout and design await to bring us out of beta.

And hey, let us know you’re here! The comments field is up and running, so don’t be shy. A Contact Us page is coming soon, too. Did I mention we were in beta?