1. Metro Centre to be named after a bank
Banks have the money, after all, right? In this case, Scotiabank is paying $6.3 million over 10 years for naming rights to the arena. (The Halifax Examiner gave details of the deal yesterday.) Which is a much better deal than the city had landed for previous naming rights sales—the name of the four-pad arena in Bedford was sold to BMO for just $100,000. The Metro Centre deal will pay for a series of renovations, including replacing the seats and ice surface in the arena.
2. Ban on bee-killing pesticides supported
An international group of scientists organized as the Task Force on Systematic Pesticides is calling for a ban on two classes of pesticides, called neonicotinoids and fipronil, because they are responsible for killing large numbers of bees and butterflies. The bee issue is especially crucial, as they are essential in agriculture. Chronicle Herald business reporter Bill Power today has a good primer on how the issue plays out in Nova Scotia, where there is a shortage of 14,000 hives and bees are a potential $4 million annual industry.
3. Rally in support of Lyle Howe
About 75 people marched through downtown yesterday and rallied in front of the law courts building in support of Lyle Howe, the black lawyer who last month was convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 2011. Protesters say that there was not a black person on the jury.
4. Bay of Islands Wilderness proposed
The Nature Trust of Nova Scotia is embarking on an ambitious (they’re calling it “bold,” because that’s all the rage) plan to protect over 100 islands off the coast between Clam Harbour Beach and Taylor Head Provincial Park. The area consists of “the most valuable islands that you’ve never heard of,” says the trust—”The unique boreal rainforests, bogs and barrens, and over 300 kilometres of shoreline have been largely undisturbed by humans for over 10,000 years, and a rich diversity of birds find refuge in the islands, from majestic eagles and osprey to over 100 species of seabirds, songbirds and shorebirds.” It’s a worthy project, and the Trust has put together a wonderful website about it.
5. Viola Desmond Day to be announced
Kudos to the Liberals for fulfilling the pledge they made in opposition to bring us a February holiday, but they’re going about this all wrong. Rather than simply declare the holiday, the plan is to make it a sort of rotating holiday, to change the name of it every year, to be decided each year by school kids. No offence, but such weighty matters shouldn’t be left to children, and I believe it was Stephen Kimber who pointed out that adults are stage-managing the selection behind the scenes, omitting such student-produced names like Fart Day before they can be voted on. In any event, it’s an open secret that today the government will announce that next February’s holiday will be called Viola Desmond Day. Which is all well and good, but how do you next year decommission Viola Desmond and move on to celebrating the assistant deputy city administrator of Truro, or whoever? The optics are all wrong. Just keep it Viola Desmond Day forever and leave it at that.
1. South Park Street bike lane
Ben Wedge, co-chair of the Halifax Cycling Coalition, proposes that the South Park Street bike lane, which ends abruptly at University Avenue, be extended to Inglis Street. His plan would place a south-bound bike lane off the street, in what is now a grassy area between the street and sidewalk. The north-bound bike lane would be placed to the right of the parked cars on the street, with a barrier built between. Wedge thinks the paving portion of the scheme would cost about $300,000.
2. Chronicle Herald takes bold stand in support of hockey
Well, why not?
Today with Government
Crosswalk Safety Advisory Committee (10am at City Hall)—Here’s the agenda
Hollis Street Bike Lane Open House (12pm-2pm or 4-6pm at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia)—Two information sessions on the proposed bike lane.
Fenwick Tower Redevelopment Amendments (7pm at the Westin Hotel)—A public information session for proposed changes to the redevelopment. Details here.
Halifax & West Community Council (7:30 at City Hall) — The biggest issues are a development proposal for an eight-storey apartment building on Bilby Street and a 253-unit development near Bayers Lake.
Everyone is partying; no organized events.
In the Harbour
Oakland Express to Fairview Cove (last port of call was Rotterdam)
Veendam to Cruise Terminal Pier 22—A Holland American ship that sails out of New York in the summer (to either Bermuda or Canada) and toddles around South America in our winter months.
Tranquil Ace— Autoport to Sea
Veendam— Cruise Terminal to sea
Oakland Express— Fairview Cove to Sea
Zeelandia— Pier 31 to Sea.
FS Laplace due 27th.
Highlighted Local Site
I’ve explained before that I was inspired to get into the news biz by observing a bunch of old dudes who ran their own newspapers, challenging the powers-that-be in the remote rural communities of far northern California. Now, obviously I’m one of those old dudes, and am revelling in the democratization of the news media via the internet. Yesterday, I gave props to a new Eastern Shore venture called the Eastern Shore Cooperator. Today, I want to point readers to South Coast Today, Timothy Gillespie’s news site covering the south shore. In popular culture the big-name reporters are celebrated, but that’s mostly a bunch of suck-ups on the Washington, DC cocktail weenie circuit. Who needs it? Gillespie is the real deal: an old-school reporter, slogging away against all odds, making it his life’s mission to reveal his community to his community. If there’s any redeeming value in journalism (sometimes I wonder), it’s found in people like Gillespie. It was Gillespie who uncovered the corruption in the South West Shore Development Authority, which ultimately led to a complete re-vamping of every development agency in the province (save Halifax’s, which is for some reason is sacrosanct), and Gillespie regularly covers issues related to off-shore oil production, fisheries, and fish farms. South Coast Today is an essential news source for Nova Scotia.
ICYMI, yesterday the Halifax Examiner published two articles: a recap of Monday and Tuesday’s city council meeting, and the contents of Nova Centre developer Joe Ramia’s lawsuit against Heritage Trust. Council is taking the first of its two summer breaks, and doesn’t meet again until July 22. Things are equally slow over at Province House and the universities. I’m not sure how the Examiner will deal with the slow news months ahead, but I’ll figure something out. Maybe cat videos.