1. Muskrat Falls price increases
CBC reports that costs of constructing the Muskrat Falls hydro project have increased 40 percent, from $5 billion to $7 billion. These costs will all be borne by the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador. There’s no immediate indication that there’s similar inflation in the $1.5 billion Maritime Link portion of the project, which consists of an underwater cable bringing power to Nova Scotia; the Maritime Link is being paid for by Emera, Nova Scotia Power’s parent company.
2. Weed on Gottingen Street
Chris Enns and Sherri Reeve have long operated The Compassionate Use Club in Porters Lake, providing pot to registered medical marijuana users. Last year they were arrested in what struck me (and dozens of local supporters who came to their post-arrest press conference) as an absurd use of police resources. But if the po-po thought Ennis and Reeve would simply go away, they were mistaken: the couple have upped the stakes, opening Farm Assists, a bong shop and “vapour lounge” on Gottingen Street. This is an interesting development, as the legal framework around pot in Canada is in flux. We’ll see if and how the Halifax police respond.
3. Weeds in Dartmouth lakes
Lake Banook and Lake Micmac are getting choked with weeds. In 2009, the city dropped the water level in the lakes in order to install a sewage pipe across a portion of Lake Banook, and paddlers started noticing the weed problem soon after. CBC reports that proposed solutions range from digging up the sediment and carting it away ($1 million/year) to buying a underwater mower to cut the weeds each year (a few hundred thousand to buy the thing and $20,000 annually to use it) to going nuclear with pesticides ($119,000 annually). That last proposal raised at least one eyebrow; “I guess I just really don’t want to have to tell my daughter that the lake’s closed because it’s poisoned a week each year for the next five years,” Pam Rubin told a reporter. The zen approach of doing nothing and contemplating the human folly of wanting a controlled natural environment is evidently not on the table.
4. Sobeys to close 50 stores
The Stellarton-based grocery chain has announced it is closing 50 stores, mostly in western Canada, but probably some locally as well. It’s a competitive industry, and Empire, Sobeys’ parent company, has been positioning itself for a drawn-out battle with upstarts like WalMart’s grocery division by selling off unrelated companies like its former theatre company, acquiring Safeway’s Canadian stores, and now streamlining its own operations. It’s doubtful this will have much effect in Nova Scotia; there are recurring rumours that the company will one day move its headquarters to Ontario, but the company continually denies it, and it seems extremely unlikely—the family-directed company isn’t moving anywhere.
5. Homeless man beaten in Victoria Park
A 24-year-old man was arrested yesterday for an unprovoked attack on a 61-year old homeless man in Victoria Park. We should note these incidents with concern, but from the sound of the police department’s press release, it looks like the arrested person has his own issues.
1. De-programming the kids
Lezlie Lowe remembers the good old days when Timmy could wander in the woods all day because if something went wrong (and it always did), Lassie would go get help. [Note to parents: get your kids a smart dog.]
2. Everything you ever wanted to know about concrete
Today with Government
You kidding? It’s a Friday in June; all the government meetings are being held on decks at cottages. You’re not invited.
Dalhousie transit Epass sign-up (11am-1pm in Room 511 of the Central Services Building)— all full and part-time employees of Dal are eligible for a mid-year Epass, which is a discounted bus pass ($58.50/month as opposed to the regular rate of $75/month).
In the Harbour
Zim Monaco, Tarragona Spain to Halterm Pier 42
Beate Oldendorff, Rotterdam to pier 30/31, possibly to load wood pellets.
Mainport Pine, back from BP siesmic Work to Pier 25
FS Laplace to HM Dockyard.
Highlighted Local Site
A few days ago I highlighted David Jones’ Dartmouth History Blog; Woods is a professional historian, and his work shows it. But there are also lots of amateur historians collecting information, doing research, and publishing fun stuff. One of my favourites is Nathaniel Smith, who puts a tremendous amount of work into his The Old North End blog. Take for instance, this post, on the race riots of 1919, when drunken louts attacked Chinese-owned businesses on Gottingen Street. Smith has been out of town for work the last few months, but has recently returned and has published his project list for research, which includes looking at what was at the Armoury site before the Armoury was built, research related to the Gottingen 250 Festival in September, and collecting historic photos of the north end.
I’ve been wanting to comment on the demise of the Cape Breton portion of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, but what’s to say? We spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year constructing highways for trucks; of course the railroads can’t compete.