1. Khyber sale put on hold
Yesterday, Halifax council voted to take The Khyber off the list of surplus city property pending more staff reports about the building and how it fits into the city’s cultural plan. In all likelihood, this means the building is saved. Later today I’ll publish a council recap, discussing The Khyber and other issues council dealt with.
Ten-year-old Jack Milloy was walking on the beach and found a 1,500-year-old arrowhead. The CBC story is worth checking out just for the photo of glee on Jack’s face.
3. Buzzing ships
I didn’t take the bait of the overblown rhetoric of defence minister Rob Nicholson, who called a Russian fly-by of the Canadian warship HMCS Toronto “unnecessarily provocative.” I mean, come on—is a major power sending a plane over a ship of the junior partner of another major power such a big deal? What if the roles were reversed? If planes from a US aircraft carrier buzzed a Cuban ship, would that be provocative or just business as usual?
Dalhousie defence analyst Ken Hansen, himself a retired Canadian Navy commander, agrees. “Imagine that a Russian warship appeared off our coast,” Hansen tells the Chronicle Herald. “That’s exactly what we would do to them. This is very typical conduct.”
4. Wild Kingdom
Ten Newfoundland ponies are visiting Boylston, en route to the island.
Coldbrook resident Chelsey Robichaud met Grumpy Cat.
Berwickians Judy and Glen Grant have a Poodle/Shih Tzu mix named Roxie; the Register/Advertiser published a photo of Glen Grant and the dog, but the photo somehow manages to mostly not show the dog.
Marilla Stephenson wants to re-fight the Halifax Forum debate, which was settled over the summer. I’m not much interested in that debate, but what I found interesting was this comment from Stephenson:
On the Dartmouth side of the harbour, a four-plex will be built, hopefully with a better design than the BMO Centre in Bedford.
Until they pony up with some of that vault cash—why should I give them free advertising?—I refuse to use a bank’s name for the four-pad arena in Bedford. That aside, this is the first I’ve heard of design problems with the place. I wish she had elaborated.
2. Yarmouth ferry
Roger Taylor yammers on about the ferry without saying anything of substance, then concludes by saying the province should have a “Plan B” should the ferry fail, but doesn’t give any ideas as to what that Plan B might look like. Sometimes I wonder why Taylor even bothers; the five minutes it took me to read the column could’ve been put to much more interesting and productive use, like cleaning the lint out of my navel or alphabetizing the spice jars.
Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee (10am, City Hall)—the committee will deal with a staff recommendation to ditch the city’s participation in Earth Hour.
Transportation Standing Committee (2pm, City Hall)—A review of transit operations for the past two quarters compared to the same quarters last year shows that ridership is down and revenues are up. This should surprise no one: ridership always goes down in the wake of a fare increase. And, as the Examiner reported last week (behind pay wall), the committee will approve a pilot project for a protected bike lane on University Avenue.
Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Special Advisory Committee (3pm, Memorial Bells site, Fort Needham Park)—The committee will stare down the corridor created by a break in the trees and look at the new Irving Shipyard facility that blocks the view of the Explosion site, then walk around Needham Park aimlessly, wondering what they’re supposed to do.
Regional Watersheds Advisory Board (5-7pm, Helen Creighton Room, Alderney Library)—the committee will look at the effects of development in the Sandy Lake and Preston watersheds. The consultant’s report is an interesting read.
Public Accounts (9am, Province House)—the committee is looking at overtime costs.
Pakistan (12:30pm, Lord Dalhousie Room, Henry Hicks A&A)—David Jones, a Halifax historian who has been teaching at a university in Pakistan, will give a talk titled “Pakistan—Failing State or Work in Progress?”
Chemicals (1:30pm, Chemistry Room 226)—Mark Obrovac will present on “New Chemistries for High Energy Density Metal Ion Battery Materials,” with refreshments provided in Room 225 immediately before. The Chemistry Department always has the best refreshments.
A reader sends me Slavery in English NS 1750-1810, a paper presented by Harvey Amani Whitfield before the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society in 2009. Whitfield shows that slavery was widespread, found in every part of Nova Scotia, and that sales of slaves, including children, and notices of runaway slaves were regular features in local newspapers.
Whitfield gives only a preliminary sketch of the extent of slavery, and says while more work is needed, the total number of Nova Scotian slaves will never be known. But Whitfield thinks that historian James Walker’s figure of 1,232 Nova Scotian slaves is far too low.
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
I’ll be on News 95.7 with host Sheldon MacLeod this afternoon, but the time is still up in the air.