Monday 30 May 2011

Summer Project & Moratorium alert

We have engaged two MUN folklore grad students to help gather historical information and people's memories about our community.  You'll probably see them around during the summer and they may knock on your door to introduce themselves.  The plan is to build up an archive of Outer Battery heritage material made up of recorded voices, plus photos and other material.  We hope to make some of it  available to residents as a booklet, and some of it to visitors via a few small signs along the road featuring people's voices telling stories (like the HereSay downtown project).

Their names are Lisa Wilson and Annie McEwen.  The funding to engage them has come from MUN GradSwep and Canada Summer Jobs so thanks to those organisations.

Any time now the engineer Eric Jokinen will be doing a "heritage inventory" of Outer Battery fishing structures - identifying the importance of each stage, twinestore, wharf etc from a heritage point of view.  We'd expected to have that study in hand by now, but Eric has been delayed apparently.  So in a couple of weeks if you see a guy out in a boat taking pictures from the waterline, that will probably be Eric.   Don't worry, he's not working for the city he's working for us (and provincial Heritage Foundation).  For individual owners, this study will give you a measure of the value of your property from a heritage point of view.   And for the community, it  will give us the ammunition we need to talk to the city and province about ways of preserving and restoring the structures.

OBNA board has learned that on May 5th, City Council issued a memorandum to update the Battery Guidelines to consider fishing structures.  This is not something that OBNA asked for, it seems to be entirely a city council initiative.  For some reason the city was initially reluctant to give us any information about it (they said we'd have to file a Freedom of Information request!) but we now have a copy of the memo and you'll find it on this blog's "Documents" tab.

HEADS UP!  The moratorium we asked for on City construction & demolition orders is set to expire mid-June (or - the City's written agreement is contradictory - it may expire in July).  We'll be asking for an extension until we get Eric Jokinen's report in hand, but PLEASE BE AWARE that if they don't grant it they may decide to push more legal action and demolitions again.

There'll be more frequent updates to this blog over the next weeks.  Feel free to add your comments, photos, etc.  (Does anyone know how to add a photo to a comment? If so please let us know)