1. Bill 148
The lobster catch is huge, reports Greg Bennett of the Yarmouth Vanguard:
Catches are up. Way up for many boats.
Normally, catches fall precipitously after the first few days of the season, but [lobster buyer Michael] Cotter says fishermen are still bringing lots of lobsters into their home ports almost two weeks in.
“Everyone’s catching them,” he says, noting that offshore, midshore and inshore boats were all reporting a strong harvest in the first few weeks of the season.
If there’s a fly in the ointment, it is in the quality of the lobsters being landed, notes Cotter.
Part of the problem is that water temperatures have remained high as unusually warm weather has settled in over the province.
Cotter thinks the sheer number of lobsters in the water meant a lot of the animals were hungry, affecting their quality when brought to market.
Surprisingly, even with the large catch the price is keeping steady at $6.25/pound, reports Bennett. In the short term, this is good news for the local communities that depend on the catch. But I can’t help but think the ocean’s broken.
3. “High prey drive”
The un-named owners of Bruce, the pit bull that killed Rachelle Coward’s dog Diamond, issued a statement yesterday:
Bruce loves people and gets along with other dogs, but has a high prey drive.
The owners have been charged, reports the CBC:
Brendan Elliott, a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the pit bull owner has been charged with a dog attack, running at large and having an unlicensed dog.
The minimum fine for a dog attack is $300 and carries a maximum of $5,000. If unpaid, the owner could go to jail for up to 60 days.
Presumably it was the dog running at large, not the owner, but who knows, it’s Dartmouth.
Incidentally, there is nothing in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act that says people issued bylaw citations can’t be named. Without such a prohibition, when asked, the city should name the person.
A police report from yesterday:
A man faces an impaired driving charge after a call from a concerned citizen last evening [Wednesday] in Dartmouth.
At 8:45 p.m., police received a call from a witness who observed a vehicle driving while missing a front tire on Highway 111 near Mic Mac Boulevard. The witness followed the vehicle and updated responding officers with its location before losing sight of it near Burnside Drive. An officer observed the vehicle travelling over the MacKay Bridge towards Halifax and stopped the vehicle at the Windsor Street Exchange. A 28-year-old male driver was arrested for impaired driving and is scheduled to appear in Dartmouth Provincial Court on January 26, 2016.
1. Sick box
As a child, Stephen Archibald had a sick box:
The cache actually doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas but was our family “sick box.” When a child was ill in bed this quite nice, old wooden box would materialize.
Items have been added and subtracted but there is a core collection I remember from the early 1950s. These tiny tin trains for example, chugged through many mountain passes of bed spread.
Of course he still has it.
2. Health costs
The real problem with the provincial budget, writes Graham Steele, is the cost of health care:
Each year, the health system represents a larger portion of the overall budget. Health costs are climbing faster than provincial revenue. Unless there are structural changes to health care, that trend will continue.
When health costs are steadily climbing, everything else in the provincial budget has to be squeezed and squeezed and squeezed. Just look at the CBC Nova Scotia news page. The lack of adequate funding is an undercurrent in many of the news stories: higher tuition, crumbling roads and bridges, inadequate mental health care, stresses in the classroom, flooded hospitals … the list goes on an on.
3. Christmas songs
“Am I a Christmas song apologist?” asks Lezlie Lowe. “Am I making excuses because of my privilege? I have wrestled for a week with the legacy of Geldof’s lyrics [of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”] and come to this: his words spell out our very essence. And it’s magnificently complex.”
4. Cranky letter of the day
Twenty horses in the middle of the city, across from a school and a hospital, but no chickens allowed here.
Odd, isn’t it?
Derek Mathers, Halifax
No public meetings.
The Oval — Updates here.
Legislature sits (all day, Province House)
This date in history
On December 18, 1992, federal Fisheries Minister John Crosbie cut groundfish quotas up to 70 per cent, saying there were “too many plants, too many boats, too many people chasing fish.” The same day, National Sea Products closed its plant in Canso.
An emergency bill was tabled at the Maine legislature yesterday; if passed in January, the bill will legalize… roller derby. Reports the Portland Press Herald:
“Can I just clarify that we’re now considering an emergency bill that seeks to promote roller derby?” asked House Republican leader Kenneth Fredette of Newport.
The problem lies within a provision of law that defines the responsibilities of skaters at roller rinks. It says, “A skater attempting to overtake other skaters shall do so in a manner that avoids collision with objects and other skaters in that skater’s field of vision.”
The prohibition was adopted by the Legislature in 1991 in an apparent attempt to limit the liability of rink owners and shift it to skaters.
“Changing this law is going to legalize roller derby in Maine, which has been — technically — illegal,” said Heather Steeves, 28, who skates as Hard Dash for Maine Roller Derby. The timing is important, she said, because Maine Roller Derby has a capital campaign underway to buy a property to grow the sport, in part by creating a junior roller derby for children and young women.
“Derby is such a positive influence in so many women’s lives in Maine, but most people don’t even know about the sport,” said Steeves, who founded Rock Coast Rollers in Rockland. “We have several leagues in rural areas where there are not a lot of options for adult women to exercise and build a community.”
In the harbour
Oceanex Sanderling sails to St. John’s