Breaking photos: bust on the corner of Bond and Cathedral

    Posted on: Friday, December 17th, 2010

A bust of some kind went down in the last hour in a house on the corner of Bond and Cathedral. While eating brunch with some friends, one noticed through the window a police officer with a gun in his hand.

“He came around the corner with a gun in his hand. Literally like a guy in a movie.”

We ran to the porch, and from behind the safety of the screen door, watched as the drama unfolded.

To be honest, we didn’t see much, but there were two police cars and several of the unmarked variety flanking the house where officers repeatedly entered and emerged from, eventually putting one cuffed man into the back of a cop car. And that was pretty much it.

In this last photo, you can see the officer putting the suspect (not shown) in the car.

No doubt VOCM will have an update on this shortly.

LOLeo Crockwell

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

This landed in my inbox on this fine foggy day, no by-line attached, to the tune of “Peter Street”.

Come gather all around me, and I’ll tell to you a tale, About Bay
Bulls Leo, that is laughing down in jail.
They didn’t know just what he was at, no one knew if he was alive,
Next thing a gun was fired, he shot the robot – Johnny 5.
Then It happened on a December night , when the Mounties were asleep,
Leo climbed out thru the window, and hitchhiked up the street.
The Mounties got the message and they all started to cry. The store
clerk in Petty Harbour said, “I think I seen your by’ ” .
“He said he went thru the window, While Ye slept and never woke, Now
he’s up to his brudders having a blue star and a smoke !!!!!

The local gossip in Bay Bulls is that Leo got out of his house by dressing up in black, climbing through a window then slowly walking away backwards, aiming his gun at his own house the way the police had been. Then, he kind of “mingled” with the RCMP officers a bit before walking away and up the hill, out of Bay Bulls. They said he has mental stability issues, but no one said he was stupid.

Assumptions made… and you know what they say about ass-u-m-ptions.

Apparently Leo’s stance on water was well known throughout the community, with the general word around Bay Bulls being “sure everyone knows Leo don’t like water”.

Not that keen on 300,000 gallons of water pumped into my own house, I too would probably escape via the window.

I tend to fall in the camp of “I’m glad nobody got hurt”. Despite having the legal right to storm his house like United States Marines, the RCMP’s goal was to end this standoff peacefully. That they did. It was just a short time ago when a similar scenario unfolded in Little Catalina with Norman Reid and an axe. The RCMP used lethal force in that case and Reid is no longer with us. Judging by the outpouring of support for Leo Crockwell, I suspect there’s a few people, nay, a whole community really satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of this incident. Leo’s alive and there’s no funeral this week in Bay Bulls featuring hundreds of mourners. The RCMP are pleased, too, as they are not involved in another standoff resulting in the needless death of a troubled individual.

I’ll agree with people who say there needs to be a serious look into how the police handle people with mental health issues in these scenarios. Someone who is delusional doesn’t perceive things the way a person with a clean bill of mental health does. Imagine how bad things were in that house for Leo: No smokes, no liqour, no power, no heat, no proper food, no TV, no radio, no shower, no one to talk to and oh yeah, no sleep… for several days. I like to think I’m a rational being, but if I could tick just one of those boxes from Leo’s checklist of naughts and then I saw a frigging robot rolling up to my door… I honestly, no seriously, I honestly think I’d lose control of my bowels. I’d assume either aliens had landed or I was asleep having a nightmare. No, I’m not making light of the situation but in those circumstances can you imagine what someone who actually has mental issues would think? Oh… and now the walls are bleeding water. Great.

I think I’d back away slowly, too, stopping the first place I could for a smoke.

That’s a wrap! Doyle’s last day for season two

    Posted on: Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Everyone’s favourite St. John’s based crime dramady, Republic of Doyle, is wrapping up its last day of production on its second season today.

Whether or not the Doylers, a noble breed which includes actors, technicians, artists, organizers and a slew of others, will be called back for a third season will depend on the viewership numbers once season two airs. But the buzz is that they’ve got a hot one on their hands this season, so here’s hoping.

And the show certainly has its following. Just type the letters r-e-p-u into Bing, and Republic of Doyle comes up as the first suggestion. That’s gotta count for something.

Since July 5th, when production began on season two of Doyle, we’ve had star sightings, the occasional road closure, and even an explosion to remind us that there was a TV series playing itself out in our midst. I think I’ll miss that after today, but at least we only have to wait until January to see it all materialize on our TV screens and in our web browsers.

No doubt this is a bittersweet day for the cast and crew of Doyle. A lot of hard work and long hours are finally coming to a close, but a lot of strong bonds and good times are, too.

Then again, The Duke’s not going anywhere, now, is it?

Wha’s Dat Over There?

    Posted on: Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Rumors abound in the Twitterverse about the new developments at Stavanger Drive and the Aberdeen Extension. I was sizing up the map some time ago and noted that the plans for the “Henry Power Centre” include a few small tidbits of information.

I want to stress that this is all subject to change, as these plans often do. In the least, it will give us some idea of the space allotted in the new development and perhaps quell some of the flat out wrong rumor mongering I keep seeing.

Company images overlayed by Signalblog

So what can we see here?

Well for starters, I want to clarify one thing which isn’t exactly on the map. The building on the corner of Torbay Rd. and Stavanger Drive is a Best Buy. I saw one person today say Futureshop were moving because they’re too small. Look, it’s a Best Buy, I can guarantee it. Futureshop could indeed move (that’s beside the point), but that building is a Best Buy. It will also have a pet store attached.

Looking at the map we can determine a couple things. Canadian Tire is moving in. The only other possible companies that could occupy 110,000 sf with a Garden Centre are Home Depot, Walmart and Kent. But, I’ve heard our population isn’t large enough to support two Home Depots, per internal policy, and we’ve already got a Kent and Walmart in the area. So, Canadian Tire is the only one left standing.

Above that we see 20,000 sf for a drug store. Initially I’d assumed this would be a Shoppers Drug Mart, a massive Shoppers Drug Mart but one none the less. 20,000 sf is a lot, a whole lot and it would be the largest Shoppers in town. Add to that, Shoppers just put up a new building in front of their own location in the strip mall at the corner of MacDonald Drive and Torbay Road and frankly, I don’t see Shoppers putting up a newer, bigger building just a few yards up the road. However, Lawton’s actually have a small pharmacy right next to KFC on Torbay Road, across from Stavanger Drive, so who knows?

I will add this, the building that Lawton’s built on Topsail Road near the Village is a big one, too, but it’s not just a pharmacy and front store. It’s entirely possible for both Shoppers and Lawton’s to go here but also have a dentist, physio, clinic, etc.

The 44,000 sf hardware store is a new RONA which will be replacing the older location just down Torbay Road.

The 30,000 sf grocery store is most likely a Sobeys as a) there’s a Dominion right there and b) Sobeys’ buildings are about that size. There’s also a notation for a 5,000 sf grocery store near the exit for White Rose onto Torbay.

We see a few 15 – 25,000 sf clothing or department stores. Your guess is as good as mine on this one. It’s possible we’ll see some of the big name clothing stores (Gap, American Apparel, etc.) move from the mall but I doubt it as they do well from the foot traffic that the malls bring. I’ve been wondering what the 25,000 sf department store could be. Considering there’s already Zeller’s and Wal-mart out there, and 25,000 sf is too small for a Sears, it doesn’t leave much. The term “department store” encompasses a lot however and this could be anything from an XS Cargo type of business to a Hart. It’s also possible, and likely, we’ll see something new such as Liquidation World.

There are plans for not one but two coffee shops. Hooray. One about twice the size of the other. If the plans hold true, the larger one will be a Starbucks and the smaller another Tim’s (completing the Stavanger Triangle of Doom, where in you’ll be sucked into a worm hole if you stand at just the right spot in the Costco parking lot, able to see all three Tim’s without taking a step [editor’s note: shudder]).

Other items of note:

– There’s a smallish fast food joint with a drive-thru lane going in. Possibly Burger King or Wendy’s.

– There’s a marker for “Recreation 4,000 sf”. This is too small for a gym, but “Recreation” also includes things like atv/snowmobile sales, businesses like Wallnuts or even Play It Again Sports.

– There’s a marker for “Restaurant 6,000 sf”. This is slightly larger then the Swiss Chalet, which means it isn’t going to be something we’ve got lots of already, ie: Jungle Jims. Honestly, no idea. I’ve heard rumors of Kelsey’s coming here for a while now, from the same source who told me Best Buy was coming here and where the building was going. They told me that almost two years ago. Part of me is screaming “The Keg!!” but I don’t know, it’s just as likely that it’s an Outback, Applebee’s or another Montana’s as it is to be another Keg. FYI, Halifax has an Applebee’s but there are only four Outback’s in Canada, none in Atlantic Canada.

– There’s a marker for a “Bank 6,000 sf”. Your guess is as good as mine on this one, but I’d put money on CIBC (full disclosure, I actually put money on CIBC). No drive-thru drawn on this mock-up however, which is a strike against the CIBC notion. The new CIBC building in Mount Pearl includes a drive-thru but it is about 6,000 sf, as do most of the new standalone banks being built now. CIBC’s nearest location is in the same strip mall as Shoppers on MacDonald Drive and Torbay Road. BMO’s is a newer venture in the old grocery store across from McDonalds on Newfoundland Drive. RBC has a location already on Aberdeen.

Notice anything we didn’t? Any insider info? Let us know in the comments!

This is what you’re getting your parents for Christmas

    Posted on: Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

And your siblings. And your friends. And your secret santa at work.

Because who, deep down, doesn’t love the Beach Boys? And who, therefor, wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy a concert of their greatest works performed by some of the hottest young talent in St. John’s?

The Beach B’ys, as they’ve brilliantly dubbed themselves, have been on a steady climb ever since their emergence on the scene in May of this year at The Levee as a five-piece a capella group. It wasn’t long before they’d doubled in size, adding guitars, horns, and lots of fun percussion to the mix. Their latest performance at Headquarters last weekend demonstrated that they’ve not only developed a legion of loyal fans, but have mastered their material and really gelled as an ensemble group.

Photo by Elena Anna Fenrick.

Photo by Elena Anna Fenrick

Seriously, the good vibrations at the Headquarters show Friday night were amazing. The crowd was loving it, and the Beach B’ys were loving them right back.

So as far as progressions go, it seems only natural that they’d make their way to the Arts and Culture Centre next.

Mark that one down on your own calendar, and get your tickets fast. They went on sale yesterday and once word really gets out about this they probably won’t last long.

See, the Beach B’ys have penetrated the downtown core, there’s no doubt. With a few posters and some word of mouth, they can pack a venue like The Rockhouse or Headquarters no sweat. The way I see it, with even the tiniest bit of publicity they’ll do the same with a space like the Arts and Culture Centre.

So catch this next wave while you still can. Trust me, if you do you’ll be sittin’ on top of the world.