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Jerry Lewis,comedy icon and philanthropist/fund-raiser for the National Muscular Dystrophy Foundation had died yesterday at age 91 after a brief illness.

May you rest in peace and as your ending song after each MD fundraiser states, You Will Never Walk Alone as the angels escort you to the Pearly Gates. I’m sure your comedy team partner Dean Martin will be waiting for you up there to greet you a warm welcome.

Josie

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With Easter Sunday arriving tomorrow,amidst all the impending festivities, I will also be reflecting on the life of a special family(a widow with 3 special-needs,adult sons) who all passed away from smoke inhalation secondary to a house fire just this past Tuesday.

It happened in the town of St. George,New Brunswick,Canada.

Their deaths have been deemed as “non-criminal in nature”. the cause of the fire remains now under the investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal.

The only silver lining here is that all 4 of them left this world together and will be celebrating Easter in their own way wherever they are now.

Here’s today’s news article which gives a synopsis of what had recently happened and the memorial service of all the 4 deceased family members.

Community gathers to remember family killed in house fire—-Sarah Seeley(The Telegraph Journal)

ST.GEORGE–  Fire trucks lined Main Street outside St. George Baptist on Saturday as the community gathered to remember Esther Boyd and her three adult sons,Davey,Billy and Robbie.

The four family members died in a fire at their South Street home on Tuesday.

The public memorial service was held on what would have been Davey’s 56th birthday.

The front of the church was filled with members of the St. George Fire Dept. where Davey was an honorary fire chief who had helped out at the station for more than 40 years.

Firefighters from the departments in Black Harbour,Deer island and St. Stephen were also at the service.

All the pews were filled at the Baptist church with more mourners gathering at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church across the street to hear a broadcast of the service.

Some of the Musquash Fire department took over operations at the St. George Fire Hall so the firefighters could attend the funeral.

Esther,80,was the primary caregiver for her three adult sons with special needs-Billy,59,Davey,55 and Robbie,52.

She was a dedicated member of St. George Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. The songs sung at her funeral were some of Esther’s favorites.

The church’s minister,Rev. Jason Hooper,and Rev. Mary Ann Langmaid from the Anglican Church conducted the service.

Hooper said Esther was known around the community as a kind and loving mother to her boys.

“She was a  person of strong faith,”he said. It was her strong faith that helped her to persevere .”

Premier Brian Gallant and MLA Rick Doucet and St. George mayor Crystal Cook attended the service.

After the service,Gallant told the Telegraph-Journal he was touched by the outpouring of sentiments from the town of 1,500 people.

“It’s very sad anytime that you have a community going through something of this nature.We wanted to be here to support them. We  know all New Brunswickers are thinking of St. George.”

 

My thoughts and prayers for this family as well.

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again,like a broken record, another mass shooting had taken place in the United States(the worst one in that country’s history ) on June 12,2016 at the Pulse Nightclub, a gay nightclub which is located in Orlando,Florida. 50 dead,53 wounded is the current tally. The gunman, a US-born citizen of Afghan descent who  accdg. to his family,reportedly hated gays was killed during the ambush by authorities. He reportedly voiced out Islamic extremist thoughts when he called up 911 before the carnage.

Reflecting on this entire situation which is still evolving in terms of getting more details regarding him, his motive and whether he acted alone or not, it’s sad to see another group of people killed. This time, it’s a  group of people who practices an alternative lifestyle of  gender preferences and living life to the fullest with no intention of hurting anybody .

Even though the rest of us do not practice the lifestyle of the LGBT(Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual and Transgender), it is important to recognize that such a  lifestyle is a civil right to this population , much the same as one practices a different religion,etc. They’re humans like us.

It’s heartening to see around 1,500+  folks in the Orlando area lining up voluntarily to donate their blood when a cry for blood donations came out to help the seriously wounded.

Others are planning to hold vigils and whatever means to honor the memory of the dead as well as praying for the wounded.

Such acts of goodwill holds hope for me that all is not yet lost in this world. These are all silver linings , off-shoots from a despicable tragedy.

My thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their friends/families!

Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday,March 22,2016, will go down as one of those days when anything can happen,good or bad.

First and foremost,the terrorist attacks at Brussels,Belgium. This makes the case that terrorism is the new reality and coping with  it in our daily lives is the new normal. How to live normally yet vigilant is indeed a never-ending balancing act from now on.

While all that news coverage is going on, breaking news  came out here in Canada that 46 y/o  former Toronto mayor Rob Ford passed away in palliative care from pleomorphic liposarcoma which he battled bravely for 18 months. He was quite a character—loud,brash,flamboyant,led a hedonistic lifestyle especially when it came to cocaine use but definitely loved by his followers because he cared about the well-being of Torontonians. His legacy is quite big indeed.

Also in Canadian news, is the presentation of the first federal budget by the Liberal Party in Parliament.

South of the border, there were ongoing primaries in Idaho,Utah and Arizona , the 1st 2 states  which were won by Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders and the last one by Hillary Clinton.Republican hopeful Donald Trump won Arizona and fellow Republican Ted Cruz won Utah.

What a difference a day makes,indeed!

My prayers to the people in Belgium and to the Ford family!!!

With Easter fast approaching,hopefully, it’ll mean a new chapter/renewal for us all as we journey through this life.

Happy Easter! Joyueux  Pacques!

Josie

 

 

 

As per latest news reports in the province of New Brunswick in Canada , an appointed provincial task force released 29 recommendations designed to improve safety governing exotic animals in the province.

All 29 recommendations were accepted by the DNR(Dept. of Natural Resources) and a committee will be established to implement all of them.(No specific timeline has been implemented yet regarding this but hopefully will be in place as soon as possible).

This task force was built up in 2014 after the 2 Barthe brothers(Noah and Connor) were asphyxiated by an African rock python in August 2013.

It also calls for establishment of inspection standards and criteria for all categories of exotic animal keepers.

It also requests a wide public education initiative addressing laws associated dangers, legal species and challenges of owning exotic species.

The New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association members have been requested to be made aware of all approved exotic animals in New Brunswick and to report any prohibited exotic animals as well.

An advisory committee is also requested to periodically review the exempted list(exotic animals allowed without a permit) and make changes accordingly specifically  on turtles and 9 boa constrictor species that are listed. It will be up to ths committee to determine which animals should be on the exempt list.

Recommendations to have law enforcement have the authority to issue tickets in response to incidents or offences related to exotic animals.

It isn’t yet sure at this point what available govt resources would be in place or available to put these recommendations in fruition but that the necessary personnel who will be in place will already have received the additional training or different task distributions.

This report was never intended as the authorities had said to point blame on anyone but to put something positive in place to prevent a future tragedy. They also said that all stakeholders involved will be held accountable to make sure all these recommendations get implemented.

Accdg. to the boys’ grandfather it’ll never  complete the healing process of grief for these 2 boys but hope that all these recommendations do get enforced.

My thoughts exactly! God bless their souls!

Josie

They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice on anyone nor anything.

Then why does another Asian airline get struck twice with 2 airliners missing without a trace in that part of Southeast Asia? It was deja vu once again for me once the saga of Asia Air QZ8501 came about on Dec. 28,2014.

I couldn’t help but remember the still mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 on March 8,2014 which remains unsolved up to now.

With our high-tech world and the ability to track almost anything, I find it quite insane that we couldn’t even find 2 jumbo airliners with an adequate tracking system. GPS on a plane,anyone?

This QZ8501 apparently disappeared in the midst of heavy monsoon weather after an initial request from the pilot to fly to a higher altitude and a route change was rejected at air traffic control in Indonesia from where the plane flew out from.

As of this time, the search for the plane is still ongoing. The chain of events is similar to what had happened in Malaysia last March, that is,search teams, airline officials communicating to the media and the passengers’ families and friends waiting in angst  and despair for any developments.

These events of course bring back the events of what had  happened to MH370.

One thing’s for sure. Nothing has changed in terms of improving the airplane tracking system .Will it have to take a 3rd missing plane to get anything into action at all?

God help us all!

I just hope that QZ8501 will be found and would in a way after learning any details about how it disappeared would also help find MH370 .

In both cases,closure for the families and friends of the passengers would occur whatever the outcome would be.

 

Josie

July 17,2014 will go down in aviation history as the date when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 aka MH17( flying from Amsterdam towards Kuala Lumpur)had flown over Ukrainian air space amidst an ongoing war zone between  eastern Ukraine and Russia. The airline unfortunately became collateral damage when alleged pro-Russian separatists shot the airline down, thinking that it was a Ukrainian plane,resulting in the sudden loss of lives of 295-298 lives(both passengers and crew),all because of politics and secession issues in the Russian/ eastern Ukrainian landscape. In my opinion, such a tragedy is a war crime.

Ongoing bickering and fingerpointing between Ukraine and Russian authorities/politicians naturally came out. This is a Shakespearean tragedy of utmost proportions with ensuing geopolitical implications as well as possible aviation changes in terms of flight rerouting and resulting airline navigational costs which probably will make the ongoing debate of the logic of flying over a war zone feasible/logical worth the cost of saving the airlines some money. Penny wise,pound foolish?

For Vladimir Putin, the tragedy of MH17 will  unfortunately be part of his legacy and it makes me wonder if he’ll ever survive or even talk his way out of this. It reminds me of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Waterloo. His notoriety will only be reinforced especially if he continues to support those pro-Russian rebels for his own political aspirations and survival. With his reputation as a political bully, I wouldn’t be surprised if this former KGB agent remains stubborn and defiant.

For Malaysian Airlines, its future in the aviation world only became more tenous with this current tragedy. It hasn’t solved the mystery of the still missing MH370 since March 8,2014. Being hit twice with 2 high-profile tragedies in the same year is really too much for this airline. Its reputation with a now wary flying public isn’t too good nor promising unless specific rectifying measures have been implemented to ensure future patronage or else,face probable financial demise.

For the families and friends of the deceased, it’s an unfortunate,senseless  and unexpected event which they will carry and mourn forever.

How all the governments of this world (especially for the various passengers of different nationalities and citizenships) will deal with this tragedy,we’ll only know in the coming hours,days,weeks and even months. Just watch out how the United Nations and the diplomatic corp of various countries will deal with Russia in the coming days.

For the European countries who have tight economic ties with Russia, it remains to be seen if they’ll have to reconsider if they’ll follow the United States’ initiative  for economic sanctions with Russia in light of this tragedy especially if it’ll be proven that  pro-Russian  separatists were really involved.

Hopefully, recovery efforts will not be affected in that ongoing war zone so that even the investigators and rescue/recovery team’s lives will not become casualty figures as well. In addition, I hope that no tampering of forensic evidence from the crash site will occur (for purposes of a coverup) since that’s now one hell of a crime scene.

My thoughts and prayers are with the deceased. Hopefully , something good and substantial will come out from this and that they didn’t die in vain. I hope that justice will prevail. They were all just going about their daily lives and have no connection nor desire to get involved with Russian/Ukrainian politics before their lives were unfortunately snuffed out.

Josie