Editor’s note: Every morning, excepting Sundays and holidays, the Halifax Examiner will publish “Morning File,” a quick review of the daily news and opinion, with a look at what’s happening around town. Additionally, we’ll throw in some quirky info you won’t find elsewhere. The aim is to have Morning File published by 7:30am, so it can be your first stop for local news and information. Morning File will be free to everyone, and not behind the Examiner paywall. To receive an email notification of Morning File, simply fill out the “sign up for email notification” form to the right.
1. Downtown festivities
2. Bloomfield redevelopment
The first public consultation for the Bloomfield redevelopment was held Sunday. The Chronicle Herald stresses the importance of sticky notes to the consult, which is simply how these things go nowadays. That’s not to ridicule. There’s an energetic citizens group called Imagine Bloomfield which first saved the site from near-certain demolition, and then stewarded the process into a more worthy plan to save the historic buildings, bring some community centres to the area, as well as a mix of affordable and market-based housing. One worry, however, is that the city’s tender for the project was won by Housing Nova Scotia; some people close to the process worry that the provincial agency may not have the expertise or understanding of the community to pull the project off, at least as compared to some of the alternative proposals that lost out in the bidding process.
Incidentally, Metro incorrectly states that the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia is leading the project. The Housing Trust of Nova Scotia is a non-profit agency started by development consultant Ross Cantwell, which last week won city approval for two Gottingen Street developments that include affordable units. The Housing Trust of Nova Scotia is unrelated to Housing Nova Scotia. They are two separate entities.
3. Stabbing at the Dartmouth jail
This space will not often report crime news, but an alarming number of incidents at the Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth warrants our attention. Most recently, a 39-year-old inmate was stabbed by another inmate Saturday. (CBC identifies the victim as accused murderer Thomas Barrett.) Earlier this month, Randy Riley, another accused murderer held at the jail, was stabbed. This sort of jailhouse justice might be normal practice in US prisons, but there’s no place for it in a civilized country, and a properly run jail should be able to prevent these incidents.
4. Red swing (non)controversy
Hoping to encourage people to get out and enjoy public spaces, in early June, the 20-something networking group Fusion hung a dozen red swings around the city. People seemed to enjoy the swings, which garnered no controversy until a CBC story Friday revealed that unnamed “[l]awyers with the municipality” were “worried someone will get hurt and sue the city; crews have been told to take the swings down if they spot them on city land.”
But Sunday, Halifax’s chief bureaucrat Richard Butts and city lawyer John Traves went to the Hydrostone Park and plopped some random girl from the neighbourhood (Ashley Morton’s daughter Gwen) on a red swing, tweeting a picture of the event approvingly. Saturday, CBC followed up on its Friday article, updating readers that the supposed swing-hating city lawyers had been overruled by saner superiors.
Commenting on a Facebook discussion about the swings, councillor Waye Mason said the entire controversy was manufactured by CBC. “I suspect this was just an in passing remark turned into a story,” wrote Mason, “and it was ‘too fun’ to run with it and ruin it by emailing Waye or Jennifer and having us say ‘no one has actually decided anything, no one has asked they stay either.’”
5. Quinpool Road PR job
Metro this morning uncritically recounts a Saturday ceremony celebrating a “face lift” for Quinpool Road. Let’s recall that the international paint store Benjamin Moore had cynically created a “Main Street Matters” campaign, in which six major shopping areas in HRM vied with each other via social media to convince residents their streets were the most run down in and in need of a new paint job. It’s bad enough that thousands of people jumped on board the campaign, giving Benjamin Moore their twitter handles and IP addresses on the company’s website, and giving the company free advertising. But the city itself promoted the campaign on its website, apparently in violation of city rules about promoting private businesses. In the end, of course the one “Main Street” in HRM with a Benjamin Moore store “won” the contest, and for the cost of just 20 cans of paint the company continues to get free media coverage. The other, losing, five Main Streets? They just went through a negative PR campaign announcing themselves as crappy and run down.
1. Lyle Howe, David Sparks and the race question.
2. First things first, don’t alienate the voters
Chronicle Herald provincial reporter takes the Liberals to task for their failure to take control of the Bluenose II restoration.
Today with government
1. City Hall
Executive standing committee (10am at City Hall)— Paul Bennett, chair of the library board, will address the committee, presumably about the library’s search for a new director.
Board of Police Commissioners (12:30pm at City Hall)— Not much is on the agenda, but the Examiner will be present in hope that there will be an update on the status of the police blotter, and in hope that the investigation into the investigation of the death of Holly Bartlett will be released. Neither seems likely, however.
Public information meeting (7pm at Riverview United Church)—a 525-unit trailer park is proposed for Elmsdale.
2. Province House
No meetings today
1. Dalhousie University:
PhD defence (9am, Room 3107, The Mona Campbell Building, 1459 LeMarchant Street) —PhD defences are open to the public but because they are not well-publicized, rarely does anyone attend. This one sounds interesting. Nursing PhD candidate Adele Vukic is presenting on her thesis, “Mental Health of Rural Mi’kmaw Youth: Community Based Participatory Research”
endMS Knowledge Exchange (11am at the Clinical Research Centre, 5849 University Avenue)—Heinz Wiendl from the University of Munster is presenting on “Translating Insights from Neuroimmunology into MS Therapeutics.” No, we don’t understand that either, but the lecture is open to the public, if you want to find out what it’s about.
Faculty Senate (4pm at University Hall, MacDonald building)
Today’s highlighted local blog
Dartmouth History Blog, produced by historian David Jones, is a fresh look at old stuff in the Brooklyn of the North. A recent post, for example, looks at the Dartmouth North Ferry, which ran between Tufts Cove and a dock at the foot of Russell Street in Halifax, about where the Irving Shipyard is now. Jones seems to be newly aware of the ferry, and is asking readers if they have any details about it.
I’m calling these morning posts “Morning File” as tribute to similarly named posts from the now-defunct OpenFile, a local news site that did a lot of things right, but which lacked a workable business model. As this is the first Morning File in the Examiner, it’s still something of a work in progress. I still have another feature to join the above, and this “footnotes” section will include random observations and commentary. If you have any suggestions, please pass them along to firstname.lastname@example.org.