Comments on blog posts bring fresh perspectives
and unknown issues to attention.  
Wise, interesting and thoughtful comments come
from people in all walks of life, many of whom would never think of writing a
letter to an editor or calling a political office.
  Not all points of view need to agree either –
an exchange of views can enhance the posting under which they appear and
benefit many readers.
  Comments can also
be a source of considerable disdain for the posting author and many who read
the comments section.

Posts on this blog frequently tackle the huge and
uncomfortable issues facing this province, exploring hard issues that the
mainstream media cannot or will not cover. 
As the Uncle Gnarley blog has become a vital source of information,
analysis and critical opinion, the comments section has steadily become a focal
point in itself.  Given the lack of another
common public forum, the administration policy toward the comment section has
been routinely hands-off except for the most egregious transgressions.
The steady growth of the comments section,
routinely many times the length of the blog post itself, has become a
liability, particularly when many of the comments lack relevant substance or
adopt negative qualities.  While there
may be wheat among the chaff, few readers will find the good stuff when they
are buried in information they consider unnecessary or offensive. 
All regular commenters should be getting the
message by now.  You shall help to clean
it up or you will find your own messages subjected to the most sacred and
important blog rule: the administrator holds exclusive authority to delete
posts and ban commenters as he sees fit. 
If you don’t want the sheriff taking you down, you need to help make a
cleaner, leaner comments section; one that can be appreciated by all.
Here are just a few tips to hopefully reverse the
most obvious habits.
Comments should be brief – like this paragraph.  If you want to write comments as long as the
post and you want to do this over and over again then you are a prime candidate
to get out and start your own blog. 
They’re free – give it a go.  If
we respect what you’re doing, we’ll link with you.
Comments should preferably be on the post or
closely related.  Dredging up old
irrelevant topics and leading readers down long useless rabbit holes is a high-risk
If introducing a new issue, make a good case for
why it deserves attention.  Remember, you
have purposely disrupted the flow, so you had better make it good.
If a comment simply can’t be brief, consider your
quota for the day used up.  If an
exchange runs long and sideways, you should be aware that the entire set has
little value to any but the direct participants.  In that case, you really need to find a chat
forum somewhere.
Comments should not be repetitive.  Repeating the same argument within multiple
comments of a single post or repeating the same argument week after week is a
wrong-headed tactic and savvy readers expect more. 
If you do repeat something, keep that part brief and do so only in the
context of bringing something new at the same time.
Don’t let the blog own you and don’t try to own
the blog.  Things do get warm here and
lots of people have a hard time not having the last word.  Some people want to try to answer all
questions.  Give others space.
That should be enough for now.  The sheriff is on duty.

Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. Good post Mr. Sheriff. Think some has it as a full time, maybe as a paid job. But as for us retirees, well we have lots of time on our hands, so we may over indulge occasionally just to kill time. And I have no intention of starting my own blog, quite happy here. Let's here from others in agreement or disagreement with your rules, says average Joe.

  2. It makes total sense to me. That should shorten comments and make them more relevant.

    Maybe (in an "interim" period) you could just add "suggestions" to some commentators that you judge a specific post as too long, irrelevant, repetitive etc.

    This way, you can educate the UG community on what's acceptable, and what's not.

    Thanks again for maintaining this great informative blog!!


  3. Yes sir. Must respect the power of the sheriff. I for one tend to be too long and comment too often. I could do with a course in refining my comments. I rate me second worse, after Heracles. Will try to do better. Time you showed your badge.

  4. Not sure if it possible here. On some other forums/blogs the comment section automatically cut off the viewable of the longer posts after a few lines, leaving a "expand button" for the reader to click if more verbiage is wanted. This would cut down on the amount of scrolling readers would have to wade through.

    -Just a thought, no harm intended.

  5. Plans for Holyrood shut down: to be or not to be?
    Hydro has an application to the PUB for some upgrades of a couple million to clean components of boiler system. Holyrood has a capacity of 490 MW. This past winter all 3 units have been de-rated, so total now is about 300 MW capacity A prior method to improve performance was not very effective, so try again.
    To justify the spending they propose alternatives.
    One Alternative is the purchase of market electricity and use of recapture energy.
    It states : while Hydro intends to use both recapture and contracted market supply, sufficient available capacity needs to be maintained at Holyrood to ensure a reliable supply of energy is available in case of an interruption. Therefore this alternative is unacceptable.
    Elsewhere it stated that Holyrood supplies up to 40 percent of the island energy.
    Lately Holyrood supplies about 13 % on average, and in the past up to 33%. Maybe 40% on rare occasions?
    System demand is dropping. Also they say Holyrood main units are cheaper for energy than the gas turbines, as to fuel cost.
    But keeping spending on Holyrood in fear of interruption of supply : this rationale will be applicable even with MFs operating. So is this an admission that Holyrood will never be decommissioned? What happened to the PUB investigation into MF power reliability, was it terminated?
    Winston Adams

  6. We are between a rock and a hard place. We need Holyrood to be fully functional until 2021. It's a MW demand problem, not GWh energy. The import can only be counted on for 110 MW and even that is experimental this coming first winter. The repair cost stinks but I don't think we'll find it in any way to be avoidable. The PUB and cohort have a pretty good track record of challenging Hydro thks year so I'm inclined to leave it to them to make the right decision.

    • Wonder if this a reply from Hydro connected people? Good record of challenging Hydro? This ended with the last report from Liberty I suggest. Was there poor maintenance etc involved here?
      To loose approx 200 MW capacity in a short time……what the hell happened. Engineer Jennifer Williams of Hydro, who swore and filed this application did she get a bonus for this power loss, or for keeping this out of the hears of the media? This 200 MW is twice all the Nfld Power generation.Application made June 1, and seems just waiting for PUB to say fine, nothing to see here, just Nfld Hydro pay the PUB for rubber stamping this.
      Winston Adams

    • So confident of a rubber stamp, she has already drafted the consent by the PUB , just needing a rubber stamp. It says WHEREAS, the PUB has recently approved one application foo 171 million, whereas another for 10.3 million, and whereas this only 2.5 million, shut your eyes, do not let the media know, and rubber stamp, pronto. Business as usual.

    • WA – sorry my reply didn't go under your comment. It's easy to click the wrong button. Anyway, believe me I'm no Nalcor/Hydro booster and have nothing to gain except as a ratepayer like you. Like you, I also review the PUB documents and try to make sense of it all.

      The rubber stamp comment is off-base. Pre-written capital approvals ready for signoff are a requirement of submitting the request so don't get alarmed over that. Look, the facility is 40 years old and unanticipated maintenance needs will happen.

      As for the PUB, they nixed the Happy Valley – Muskrat interconnection this year which was a bigger deal than many may realize. They also nixed the deferral account proposal and they've challenged Hydro for more information in a lot of areas through the GRA which is far from over. I think they've been doing their due diligence very well.

      BTW – you might reread the post above from UG and consider lowering the drama and tone. You've now done 5 posts to enflame a topic and paint all involved as enemies of the people. We're all frustrated but don't let it cloud it your normally good judgement. You are the rare person who has actually been before the PUB – you know how an argument should be effectively presented and we need that style here. (fyi – that's a hug)

    • Hatch consultants did a study a few years ago for Nalcor which (if memory serves, and paraphrased) said that Holyrood, because it operates for only part of the year and then mostly not at capacity (Nalcor reports that it operates at capacity for only 1.6% of the year and some years not at capacity at all), that effectively Holyrood is like a facility that is only about 20 years old.

      So has Nalcor overstated/overused that 40 year old argument? I think so.

    • Good point. Let's also not discount that Hydro's planned maintenance was for Muskrat in service 2017. With 3-4 years of Muskrat delay has that plan led to inadequate decisions contributing to the problems snowballing into something nasty. A side effect of the bigger problem that should be added to the informal tab of Muskrat costs along with loads of integration upgrading that could have been avoided.

    • Something nasty? Let me answer the question why a loss of 200 MW of capacity. The fuel used has a small content of Vanadium, which leads to corrosion. To counter this an additive is required:MgO
      In 2015 Hydro gave up using this and de-rating of the units started in 2015, and progressed rapidly last fall and this past winter, all 3 units.
      Add to this, that temperatures of about 230F is required to atomize the fuel. Hydro has been running the units with temperatures as low as 176F. 212 is recommended as the minimum temperature. So this started under Ed Martin's watch, and continued and got much worse under Stan Marshall's watch. Liberty noted many things as to poor operation and the culture of Hydro, but has things really changed?
      And do we need Holyrood at 490MW for island load or, expected non reliability of MFs, or for contract commitments to NS (as questioned before by some on UG)?
      So will we see this repeated going forward: Holyrood full capacity needed. Hope the sheriff sees this as important and gives me a pass, but if not, I can pay a fine, if I have failed to effectively present the argument.
      Anon@ 14;08, I will take hugs, 5 cent and 25 cents ones.

    • 50 cents when you offer this type of info. If the PUB could find that Hydro negligently or deliberately mismanaged the assets, then they could rule the costs are ineligible. The PUB is not muzzled on Holyrood so let's hope they show their teeth by asking lots of questions and denying the cost recovery if improper management is the issue.