Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Bill 52, Recall Act, will it strengthen Alberta's weakend democracy?

Great meeting folks on my daily news picket line outside the Alberta Legislature & sharing ideas to (Hon) Kaycee Madu's Bill 52, Recall Act. A bill that's certain to strengthen citizen Democracy. Staying COVID 19 safe, added bonus includes fresh air, exercise, averaging 10 k a day keeps the old man fit and the doctor away...
One evening, in the spring of 2020, in the Alberta Legislature assembly, the Honourable UCP Premier Jason Kenney made a promise to the NDP caucus 'Wait until the fall when we introduce the citizen referendum law.' It was put off till the next spring due to COVID19 pandemic, but since that spring of 2020, I took the initiative to get outside and learn what other Albertans thought anout recall.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

42 years graphic arts craftsman, (retired) printers make good impressions

2020, If it quacks like a magpie, it must be...!

Born 1954, "I started expressing my creative self as a kid with a box of crayons on my parents' basement walls and inside the pages of my grandfather's leather-bound encyclopedia collection. So my parents began to supply me with a steady stream of paper and pencils with which to draw and expand my creativity. In secondary school I studied commercial art and printing, and took extra courses to learn photography and produce short video features. In my twenties I learned to fly, earning a private pilot's licence, and moved to Edmonton from Toronto. In my 40s I hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island 3 times and once to the Rose Spit on Haida Gwaii Island where Haida stories tell of how the first people emerged from a gigantic clamshell on that beach. In my 50s I volunteered at Walterdale Community Theatre, painting sets and doing public relations. Living in Edmonton I continued a career as a graphic arts craftsman operating mostly Goss high speed web offset newspaper printing presses until 2013, first for the Edmonton and Toronto Suns and finally with the Edmonton Journal (video) Now in my 60s, I freely express myself as a Canadian can and should. I share my art with my wife Sarah, family, friends and my community. 
 42 years graphic arts craftsman
July 1972, the newspaper periodical Electrical Business was the first printing job I set up the colour and register for as an apprentice at age 17. Looking back, I am very thankful to my first employer Bob Chittick who was the original owner of Web Offset Publications, Don Mills, Ontario. Mr. Chittick’s accountant, Leo Boucher got some of us boys from our neighbourhood jobs at the newspaper printing plant where his boss Mr. Chittick paid his employees fair wages, excellent benefits, and treated everyone like we were his family with dignity and respect. As an apprentice I earned $5 an hour. Mr. Chittick brought in graphic arts instructors from George Brown College to help with our apprenticeship training and he would often send his pressman away on field trips to pulp and paper plants to experience firsthand how newsprint was produced. After completing my 4 years apprenticeship program I earned a certificate that recognized me as a Graphics Arts Craftsman by the Ontario Government. I became (MIC) man in charge of my own press crew doing shifts, printing newspapers and maintaining and repairing the presses. In the summer of 1979, I took some time off from printing to try my hand with a sign making business and did some art shows on the weekends throughout Ontario inside shopping malls. It didn’t work out so well financially, so I took over my brother Jim’s trucking job he was leaving and drove a 5-ton truck doing deliveries downtown Toronto between printing jobs. My brother Jim, a trucker moved on to bigger dreams with his life driving the big semi-trailer trucks all over North America and Canada. I didn’t do so well as a trucker either, hitting parked cars on sharp turns and one time hitting a bump on the MacDonald Cartier Freeway, dumping creosote oil for miles on to the highway. One day, on my lunch break I answered an ad in the Toronto Sun, where they were looking for newspaper pressmen in Edmonton. I called from a phone booth and was hired over the phone, "how soon do you need me out there in Edmonton" I asked and they answered, "2 weeks ago!" So, I loaded up my 1979 Ford pick-up truck with everything I owned and drove out to Alberta to a job that was waiting for me at the Edmonton Sun. At first some in my family, friends didn’t think I was serious about a move out west but my Irish grandfather Howard Pentland knew I was serious and encouraged me to, "Go west young man", and said Edmonton is the best City in the country to live in." My Grandfather immigrated from poverty in Ireland to Canada alone as a young man and made a life for himself and his family as designer of needle and stitching. While making a life for myself in Edmonton, my former employer Bob Chittick would call me from Toronto from time to time to ask how my family and I were managing in Edmonton and one time he called to offer me a job to work as a head pressman for the North Hill News in Calgary. One of his former employees was now managing his own plant, printing the Globe and Mail, satellite edition on a Goss Community press. Bob Chittick's employees never considered unionizing as Bob always paid his staff fair, competitive wages just as good as any union shop in Toronto. One year there was a miscalculated shortage supply of newsprint because the pulp and paper producers went over it's Canadian allowable quota of tree harvesting. We could not print most of our regular monthly and weekly newspaper editions but had enough paper stored away to print the Toronto Sun daily and Sunday Sun on the night shift. He never laid any of us off during that slowdown, but instead kept us working, painting, cleaning up the pressroom and maintaining the presses while paying us full wages and benefits. The following year when a new pulp and paper quota was set by the Canadian Government, we worked 3 shifts around the clock, seven days a week. During that slowdown in work, I remember Mr. Chittick allowing his staff extended lunch breaks, to play euchre competitions with nickel and dime pots. On Friday nights it was poker night at the accountant Leo's house where drank his beers and sometimes wagered and lost our week's pay. One Christmas party Bob, knowing my interests in painting, gave me a coffee table book titled "Between Friends." A commemorative account of US and Canadian border relations in pictures. From this book I painted my first Alberta foothills scene in oils in 1979, and titled it...

1979, Land is of matter and not of blood

 

Nice artwork on your website. I've been a pressman for over 40 years also. Currently working for Gannett Co USA. Goss colorliner. It's been spinning for 30 years. Talk about a work horse!! 5 daily papers every night. Including The New York Times. Akron Beacon Journal Canton Repository. Ellwood Courier. Beaver County Ledger. Canton Ohio USA. Mike Kuhns • January 7, 2021

Monday, 15 March 2021

Alberta Legislature outdoor winter painting, oils, gift to my grandson

 

2021-3-15. 4 years ago today, painting 'Aaron's reach' with oils on the Alberta Legislature grounds, inspired by my son Aaron's photo showing the aftermath of a wildfire close to Grande Prairie. Warm, 8 C made it easy to paint, enjoying an audience, MLA, students on tour of the Leg., and a man and his son who works in the forestry industry, seemed to appreciate my outdoor painting. Gift to my grandson Thomas, James Gordon Brinkman. 'Don't put labels on yourself, be who you are.' (Hon) Leela Aheer, 2015.

".Death can be experienced once, winning maybe more, but losing can happen all the time. Ron Howard, American film director.

Remember those who serve(d), enjoy your freedoms. Duty, Service...

2021-03-16 My 2020 acrylic painting 'On guard for thee, where is the love?' (Pillar of Strength) was retired today and found a new home with the family of Alberta's Minister of Justice and Solicitor General & Deputy Government House Leader (Hon) QC Kaycee Madu with the help of Sarah a letter of thanks and my gratitude for his public service to Albertans. His staff gave us several books for Sarah and I.
Remember those who serve(d), enjoy your freedoms. 
2020 Alberta Legislature, gift to Teri, #BLM

2016 'On guard for thee', 
Gift to the Alberta Sheriffs. Duty, Service.

"... the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy." John F. Kennedy, Address to the American Newspaper Publishers, delivered 27 April 1961, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York.