miercuri, 29 aprilie 2009

Pe cai diferite

O mica poveste – calificarea Moncton-ului ( am mai scris despre el AICI) intre primele 7 orase din lume pentru titlul „ Intelligent Community” - mi-a rascolit cateva amintiri si m-a facut sa revin pe blog. Ma gandesc ca astfel de povesti ar putea servi la ceva.

Dar hai sa vedem despre ce este vorba. La inceputul anilor 2000’ am reusit sa-i conving pe edilii orasului Moncton sa isi deschida inima si „punga” spre un oras din Romania. Am mers pe Resita, odata, pentru ca "mi-s gugulan”, cu radacini in Banatul montan, a doua oara, si, in special, pentru ca cele doua orase, cu o istorie asemanatoare, au fost afectate in timp de crize economice serioase. Gandeam atunci si mentin si acum ca, experienta canadienilor dobandita in anii 80’ si materializata astazi in bunastarea comunitatii, ar putea servi resitenilor, si, nu numai lor.

Asadar, o prima vizita in 2002 a resitenilor la Moncton (primar si 3 consilieri), urmata, in 2003, de cea a monctonienilor la Resita ( primar si 3 specialisti in domeniul economic) si de parafarea infratirii celor doua orase. Ma asteptam la continuitate si in special la folosirea -de catre resiteni- know how-ului, oferit generos de canadieni. Din pacate, n-a fost sa fie, s-au schimbat primarii, s-a instalat indiferenta si iata ca fiecare oras isi vede de drumul sau, unul pe calea prosperitatii, celallat...!?. Dar mai bine cititi AICI povestea Moncton-ului.

sâmbătă, 18 aprilie 2009

duminică, 12 aprilie 2009

Motiunea Comunitatii Romano-Americane adresata Administratiei Statelor Unite ale Americii

Ca cetateni americani de origine romana, suntem extrem de peocupati in legatura cu actiunile pe care politia secreta le-a luat impotriva populatiei din Republica Moldova, dupa demonstratiile impotriva regimului comunist care a fraudat alegerile parlamentare de curind incheiate.

Sute de oameni au fost arestati si batuti, tinere au fost abuzate sexual, reporterii autohtoni au fost sechestrati, iar colegii lor romani au fost de asemenea detinuti si expulzati dincolo de frontiere fara aviz, fara motivatii si impotriva legii internationale a presei.

Ambasadorul Romaniei, o tara care este un aliat important al Statelor Unite in regiune si un important membru NATO, a fost de asemeni expulzat pe false acuzatii de implicare a tarii in instigarea populatiei la demonstratie si revolta.

In pofida acestor fapte, Ambasadorul Statelor Unite in Moldova l-a felicitat pe Presedintele Vladimir Voronin pentru asa numita “reactie adecvata” la evenimente, fara sa ia o pozitie puternica si clara, ca reprezentant al poporului american practicant al unei democratii reale, in legatura atit cu incalcarea drepturilor omului la libera exprimare si demonstratie pasnica cit si fata de teroarea instituita dupa ce revolta a incetat.

De asemenea, Dl. Ambasador Asif J. Chaudry nu a avut nici o reactie in legatura cu expulzarea colegului sau, Ambasadorul Romaniei in Moldova.

Noi, ca cetateni ai Statelor Unite, suntem socati de pozitia pe care a luat-o oficialul american si consideram ca aceasta a cauzat prejudicii credibilitatii noastre in regiune. In consecinta, cerem fie demiterea din functie, fie rechemarea din post de catre Departamentul de Stat al Statelor Unite al Ambasadorului Asif J. Chaudry.

Statele Unite trebuie sa ia in aceasta situatie deosebita o pozitie puternica in sustinerea Romaniei, aliatul sau important, in momentul in care aceasta tara este tinta unor acuze false exprimate de ultimul regim comunist din lume, cel de la Chisinau, ostil democratiei si libertatii reale.

Statele Unite, ca adevarat campion al democratiei trebuie sa condamne provocarile, maltratarile, tortura, arestarile tinerilor si ale altor segmente ale populatiei din Republica Moldova, care si-au exercitat dreptul de a demonstra liber. Cei arestati trebuie sa fie eliberati de indata.

Orice demers din partea tarii noastre va demonstra ca America nu este de acord cu abuzarea unui popor de catre un guvern comunist vetust care poate crea o destabilizare in zona, cu grave urmari in Europa.

Comunitatea Romano-Americana
11 Aprilie 2009

sâmbătă, 11 aprilie 2009

Basarabia = Putin's Playground



New York Post, April 11, 2009

DON'T feel bad if you can't find Moldova on a map. Our president can't find it, either.

Our befuddled secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, could find Moldova, if she wanted to. But she doesn't want to. Because that would mean facing up to Russian mischief.

And everybody knows the Russians are going to be our bestest-bestest friends, like forever, dude. They really mean it this time.

Anyway, why should we care about an impoverished state the size of a cattle ranch where a population of barely 4 million survives on a per- capita income of $2,500?

Why should the Obama administration care about people struggling to regain their snatched-away freedom and to unseat a Communist government that came to power in murky elections -- then blatantly rigged recent voting to keep control?

Why care about hundreds of pro-freedom demonstrators beaten in the streets and jailed in cells once run by the KGB? Obama's congressional intimates are busy flying to Havana to adore the Castro brothers. (So much for the pro-democracy Cubans rotting in Fidel's prisons: Guantanamo bad; Cuban torture chambers? Viva la revolucion!).

A smudge at the edge of Europe, Moldova is a victim of history. Stalin hacked most of its territory from Romania (most Moldovans long to rejoin their motherland) and the rest from Ukraine. The Soviets then used it as an agricultural fief, unwilling to industrialize a border region.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, Moscow's security services saw Moldova as a crucial outpost that must not be relinquished: It marked the USSR's border with Europe, which the likes of Vladimir Putin would resurrect.

So the KGB and its successors armed and guided a separatist movement in eastern Moldova, on the left bank of the strategic Dniester River. "Transnistria" would serve as a future Russian bridgehead (and a goldmine of corruption in the interim).

Moldova's post-independence lot was tough in other ways, too. Its humble agricultural exports were produced on land poisoned by Soviet farming methods. Its wine, although prized back in the USSR, won't threaten Napa Valley.

Under Putin, Moldova's top exports were banned from the vital Russian market, devastating the economy. Electricity, supplied through breakaway Transnistria, was disconnected repeatedly.

Russian natural-gas supplies were cut off in the dead of winter. And the Communists who returned to power in Chisinau, the threadbare capital city, in 2001? Amid wild corruption, government officials have been accused of white-slaving Moldovan women to the Middle East.

So much for national pride.

The people of Moldova want to be part of the West, to join the European Union. The population's over 80 percent Romanian and fiercely anti-Russian. (The region once hosted a wonderful Jewish culture, but we all know what Hitler and Stalin did to that.)

Communist "President" Vladimir Voronin blames Romania, not Russia, for all Moldova's suffering. The people know better and want Vononin gone. But Russia's new czar, Vladimir Putin, backs Voronin. So the Obama administration ignores the demonstrations, the brutality and the unlawful imprisonments.

After all, if we don't give a damn about Putin's thugs murdering Russian dissidents at home and abroad, why should we care about Moldovans getting beaten or raped by their government? Repeat after me: "The Russians are our friends. And friends have to overlook each other's little quirks."

A quarter of Moldova's workforce labors abroad. Families survive on remittances. Russian policies impoverish those who can't leave. Democracy's in ruins. Crime thrives. And now Russia's stooges are clubbing the last dreams of freedom out of the population.

Today, Moldova. Tomorrow, Georgia and Ukraine.

And then our president will go to Moscow and apologize for America's role in defeating the Soviet Union.

Freedom is so last week.

N M R Pozitia Washington-ului se regaseste si in declaratia ambasadorului sau de la Chisinau, Asif J. Chaudhry, citez: "reactia autoritatilor Republicii Moldova a fost adecvata evenimentelor care s-au desfasurat"


sâmbătă, 4 aprilie 2009

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Adeseori sunt intrebat cum de pot trai, intr'un "colt de lume", departe de marile metropole si de atractiile pe care acestea le ofera! Mai jos, un jurnalist si un sondaj raspund pentru mine.

Metro enjoys great quality of life
City Think poll finds 87 per cent of Metro residents enjoy great quality of life
By Brent Mazerolle

Craig Wight, vice-president research for Bristol, delivers the survey’s findings during a breakfast meeting yesterday.

The results of Bristol Omnifacts' fourth annual City Think survey are in and, for the fourth year in a row, the residents of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview have declared themselves happy with the lives they lead here.

A whopping 87 per cent of respondents rated their quality of life as either good or excellent in this year's polling, while only 11 per cent ranked it as fair, and just two per cent reported a poor quality of life.

More than half of all the respondents rated life as good in Metro, and an impressive third of those surveyed were willing to rank their lives as excellent.

An interesting part of the responses was how consistent they were across the board. When the survey's margin of error is taken into account, the results are largely indistinguishable between men and women, old and young, and among the three communities.

While the Bristol Omnifacts poll speaks eloquently of what people living here think, former Metro Monctonian Eugene Duke spoke from Toronto yesterday to validate all that from a whole new perspective.

He and his wife Michelle lived here for five-and-a-half years after she transferred from Vancouver with RBC Royal Bank. She eventually ran RBC's Royal Direct contact centre here in Moncton and Eugene went to work for Moncton success story Spielo.
Michelle's job has since seen them relocate to Toronto, but the east coast home they had adopted isn't far from their minds.

Though Vancouver and Toronto are, of course, both among the world's great cities, the Dukes say they will retire back to our neck of the woods.

"Absolutely," says Eugene. "If not Moncton, then at least Atlantic Canada. We learned a lot about living in the east."

The first thing they had learned when they came to Metro was how affordable housing can so greatly improve the quality of your life. They quickly settled into a grand home on Lavoie Street in Dieppe and, as they picked up some French, discovered the lovely irony that their grand maison was built by local developer Valdo Grandmaison.

"It was beautiful and enormous but, for us (coming from Vancouver's housing prices), it was on sale," Eugene said.

He can also regale anyone with a grimly funny tale of trying to fit their half decade of Dieppe life into a new Toronto home on a lot that with 25 foot frontage is, "not as wide as my garage used to be."

The mover who had packed them up in Dieppe and met Eugene two days later in Toronto said it all when he pulled up out front. "Oh, that's two houses."

After a long painful day of trying to fit their belongings into the house, about half of it went back into the moving truck and into storage. The Dukes then spent many months selling off possessions they didn't have room for. That allowed them to make room in the house to bring their other possessions out of storage long enough to sell them off too.

Meanwhile, Eugene said, "my wife now enjoys an hour-and-15-minute to an hour-and-a-half commute each day."

"Round trip?" a reporter asked.

"Oh no, Each way."

Of course, there must be some excitement and wonder to Toronto that Moncton just can't compete with, the reporter ventured.

"Sure, there's a great amount of entertainment, but my wife and I hopped on a plane to Moncton to go see Elton John."

While the Dukes' experience is an eye-opener and a worthy reminder for all of us, it is refreshing to think the residents of Metro Moncton do already appreciate what they have.

"Survey says," as the late Richard Dawson used to put it.

In addition to rating their overall quality of life, respondents to the 2009 City Think survey were asked to weigh in on whether Metro Moncton is, "a great place to raise a family; a city where you feel safe; and a community committed to maintaining and developing green spaces.

Where the tri-community's perception of itself is constantly improving is in public safety. Metro residents' feelings of safety and security climbed for the fourth straight year. In 2006, just 64 per cent felt strongly that Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview were safe communities. Today, that figure stands at almost 80 per cent.

Supt. Wayne Gallant, the Codiac Regional RCMP's officer in charge, said the high number is reflective of the reality of the community. He noted that the survey was done around the time when a murder in nearby Shediac and related home invasion in Moncton were front page news, but people were able to see that even violent crimes are usually isolated incidents. Gallant said recent public meetings have shown that crimes involving youth and illegal drugs are a concern and his force will continue working to find a solution.

People's happiness with their sports and recreation facilities remains very high as well, with more than six out of 10 of us giving them the thumbs up, even as the aging Moncton Coliseum becomes a growing concern.

However, Dieppe has an aquatic centre in the works that, controversial or not, is bound to be a jaw-dropper. Our area's slo-pitch facilities have been improved, a world-class track stadium is in the works, the splash park at Centennial Park is a gem and the new Crossman Community Centre-Kay Arena has opened.

One surprise, especially given Moncton's push to accelerate the Millennium Trail system, is the low public opinion of our community's commitment to green spaces.
Respondents to the annual random phone surveys began ranking green space commitment at just over an uninspiring 50 per cent in 2006, and that has dropped each year. Now only about 46 per cent of citizens are satisfied with this aspect of their local lifestyles.

"I take it as sign that people want us to do better," Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc said of the latest slight decline in people's ranking of green space. He was quick to add that in Moncton, at least, there was "something interesting coming at this Monday's council meeting."

While he floated that hint out there, Moncton's mayor said overall, "I think we have to turn our good intentions into action now."

Perhaps the greatest endorsement of the community by the community, however, is Metro Moncton's response to the question of whether or not this is a great place to raise a family. The response has stayed virtually identical ever since the annual Bristol Omnifacts survey began in 2006. Fully 80 per cent of us believe this a great place to engage in this most important aspect of our lives.