1. Community Outpatient Centre

Left to right: (front row) Lena Diab, MLA Halifax Armdale: Paula Bond, VP, NS Health Authority; (back row) David Bell, urology specialist; Premier Stephen McNeil. Photo: Jennifer Henderson

“The province’s purchase of 15 acres in the Bayers Lake Business Park to build a new Community Outpatient Centre was supposed to be a good news announcement for the McNeil government,” reports Jennifer Henderson for the Examiner:

[Premier Stephen] McNeil was quick to point out that the Centre’s Bayers Lake location — behind Home Outfitters on Chain Lake Drive — is near both Highway 103 and Highway 102.

“We often hear Nova Scotians say traffic and parking are major concerns when travelling to the VG site of the QE2 Health Sciences Centre, and this location will provide convenient access for many people who travel to appointments from out-of-town,” said McNeil.

True. But then the good news announcement took a sharp turn. CBC reporter Jean Laroche asked the Premier what he thought about the fact the province paid $7.5 million for property owned by Besim Halef of Banc Developments. Halef is a successful developer who also contributed $3,000 to the provincial Liberal party in 2013 and  is a board member of the QE2 Health Sciences Centre Foundation, the fundraising arm for the hospital.


It should be pointed out that while Besim Halef and his son Alex ($700) were both contributors to the provincial Liberals in 2013, Besim Halef also donated $2,000 to the Progressive Conservatives in 2006 — Bedford PC candidate Len Goucher got the donation from the senior Halef.

There are several issues related to the announcement.

The first is location. Obviously, government services, including heath care, should be sited to maximize convenience to citizens, and that includes citizens who live in rural and suburban areas. You’ll get no argument from me on that point.

That said, health care services are mostly used by older people, and it’s precisely those older people who are filling up all the new condo and apartment buildings being built in downtown Halifax. (I haven’t checked recently, but as I recall, the average age for a condo buyer on the peninsula is over 60.) We hear the reasons all the time: an older person gives up the hassle of keeping up a house and yard and moves to a downtown condo where they’re close to amenities, restaurants, museums, and the hospital. They don’t have to necessarily drive, and if they can’t walk, getting to the doctor is just a short bus or cab ride away. Recognizing that fact doesn’t mean we should ignore the needs of older people living in the suburbs or out in rural areas; I’m just noting the trend.

Still, we seem to have accepted the argument that this particular health service, even though it’s not known exactly what’s going onto the site, should be placed in the suburbs. Do I detect a certain glee in McNeil’s pronouncement?

“Not every service needs to be offered in downtown Halifax,” said Premier McNeil. “We often hear Nova Scotians say traffic and parking are major concerns when travelling to the VG site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. “

He appears to be consciously baiting the anti-urban sentiment that John DeMont writes about today:

Historically, the urban-rural divide is crystal clear when it comes to Nova Scotia politics.

When John Hamm took control of the legislature in 1999, his Progressive Conservatives only won seven Halifax seats. Most of their support — and the reason they held onto minority governments in the next two elections — was found in towns and rural areas.

The other guys have traditionally depended upon Halifax for their strength. Even so, whether it was the Liberals in 2013 or the NDP four years earlier, the party that ended winning the Nova Scotia countryside also wound up governing.

It is mathematically possible to take political power here without faring well outside of the Halifax city limits. It just seldom happens.

No wonder there’s already a scramble on by the parties to position themselves as the true caretakers of rural Nova Scotia.

But even if we agree that a suburban location is appropriate, is this suburban location the right suburban location? It’s certainly convenient for the residents of cabinet minister and Deputy Premier Diana Whalen’s Clayton Park West riding, who live just the other side of the BiHi from the site. But I can’t see that the site is very convenient for anyone much else: they’ll have to deal with considerable traffic, especially at rush hour, and triply so during the Christmas season. Does Bayers Lake really have any less traffic than the existing QE2 site? I’m not convinced of it.

And what about transit? Bayers Lake is a nightmare to get to on the bus. Yesterday, Jeff Blair of the It’s More Than Buses group created maps showing transit commute times to the existing QE2 site and the new Bayers Lake site:

This especially presents an enormous disservice to workers at the new facility, who must now either purchase cars or add hours to their daily commute.

Even in terms of convenience to suburbanites, there are many other better sites. Henderson, however, reports that:

McNeil said the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal checked out 14 potential sites before narrowing the cabinet’s choice to two options, both at Bayers Lake. Interestingly, McNeil says he was told the other option was the former Rona hardware boxstore and that parking access wasn’t as favourable there as at the blind or unidentified site owned by Halef.

But the province isn’t making that analysis public, so we can’t independently assess it.

The second issue with the purchase is price. As Marieke Walsh reports for Global:

The Nova Scotia government purchased a 15-acre plot of land for nearly 12 times the land’s assessed value, according to real estate insiders.

The land was bought for a new outpatient clinic that will be part of the QEII hospital redevelopment. According to the website ViewPoint, the entire 178-acre plot is worth just under $7.5 million. The Liberals bought 15 acres for $7.5 million.


The land, in the Bayers Lake business park, is assessed at $41,965 according to ViewPoint. The Liberals bought the land for $500,000 per acre. According to ViewPoint, it was purchased in 2013 for $9.3 million which works out to $52,247 per acre.

2. Glyphosate, the Irvings, and Big Agro on campus

“In early 2014, New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources (dnr) was facing a crisis,” writes Bruce Livesey for The Walrus:

Rod Cumberland, former chief deer biologist for the province, had been waging a media and letter-writing campaign to draw attention to an unfolding disaster in the province’s forests — namely, the collapse of the white-tail deer population, which had dropped to 70,000 from a peak of 286,000 in 1985.

Cumberland was convinced that he had identified the culprit: glyphosate, the world’s most popular weed killer, which is sold primarily by Monsanto, an agrochemical multinational. Glyphosate is sprayed on 15,000 hectares of New Brunswick’s Crown land each year, and Cumberland believes the herbicide is wiping out the animal’s food source. “Each white-tail eats about a ton of food a year,” he explains, “so we were basically removing enough food to feed 32,000 of them annually.”

Cumberland’s charges placed the province in a bind. The government uses glyphosate to stunt the growth of hardwood trees — which the deer feed on—making it easier for the forest industry to grow softwood trees that can be turned into lumber. The chemical therefore sits at the very centre of one of the province’s most important industries. Internal emails from 2014 show senior provincial dnr bureaucrats scrambling to respond to Cumberland, at one point sharing damage-control suggestions from J. D. Irving Ltd., New Brunswick’s largest forestry company. Eventually, they hit upon a solution: find scientists who could defend glyphosate to the public.

Livesey goes on to explore the role of industry-funded scientists working at Canadian universities in getting regulatory approval for pesticides and herbicides.

3. Cooper the puppy


“The hunt was on in Mount Hope Thursday for a labradoodle that got lost here after being put on the wrong flight,” reports Molly Hayes for the Hamilton Spectator:

Cooper the puppy was supposed to be headed from Halifax to Deer Lake, N.L. Wednesday afternoon to be dog-sat while his owners — 19-year-old Chelsea Simon and her roommate — vacationed in Jamaica next week.

But there was a mixup with the airline and the dog was mistakenly put on a flight to Hamilton. And then when he arrived, Cooper was let out to pee — and got off his leash.

Simon says she got the bad news late Wednesday night, when a WestJet representative called them in Halifax around midnight.

She and her roommate immediately flew to Hamilton. She says the airline paid for them to travel here to hunt for the dog.

Simon and her roommate are now wandering around Hamilton, a city they don’t know, looking for Cooper, who is “very, very timid” and “very, very scared.”

Update, 10:30am: Cooper has been found!

Update: Cooper has been found.

— 陸曼怡 Mandy Luk (@mandylukcbc) April 21, 2017


1. Cranky letter

To The Coast:

I take exception of the plan to allow Sports and Entertainment Atlantic to take sole possession of the Wanderers Grounds for a pop-up 6,000-seat soccer stadium where people will have to pay admission to see a game. The Wanderers Grounds are part of the Halifax Common, a green space dedicated free of charge to the citizens of Halifax. It is a generic sports field where every sport, from football to baseball, is currently played. I am tired of seeing the encroachment of this cherished green space, in the heart of Halifax, by big business.

The other issue I have with SEA’s proposal is that it includes the parking arcade at the QEll Health Sciences Centre as part of the plan. The ER parking lot is filled to capacity, forcing people to use the parking lot built to service people going to the hospital for treatment and medical clinics. As a patient, I have gone to appointments and had to circle the parkade several times before I found a spot, or waited until I saw a person leaving. If parking is already such an issue, the Wanderers Grounds is not the venue for this soccer stadium.

A new and much larger Halifax Common and public green space was created near Clayton Park. My suggestion is for SEA to pop up their stadium in Clayton Park, and stop looking to take the disappearing Halifax Common as a venue to make their profits. This goes for any other business venture looking to take over what’s left of the Halifax Common that people enjoyed for generations FREE OF CHARGE!

Gary MacLeod, Halifax


“For me,” writes Myles McNutt, a prof at Old Dominion University, “the biggest threat to realism on television is something you may never have considered: the way that coffee cups that are supposedly full of coffee are plainly empty.”

McNutt is so obsessed with the matter that he has made a video about it, published on Slate:

This is excuse enough to mention one of my three greatest pet peeves: the spoon in the coffee cup.



See, I drink my coffee black, without adornment, amendment, discolouration, or dilution, such that the bitter taste matches the bitter depravity of my soul. So sue me: I like my coffee black.

Inevitably in Nova Scotia (I’ve never noticed this elsewhere), I’ll be at a diner or cafe or restaurant, and the server will make the initial contact, ask about drinks, and I’ll say, “I’ll have coffee.” “Milk or cream?” the server will ask. “Black, to match the bitter depravity of my soul,” I respond, “nothing else.”

The server then goes away, and two minutes later returns with a cup of black coffee, as I ordered, but there is a FUCKING SPOON IN THE FUCKING COFFEE CUP. There’s no explanation for this spoon. I have no need for it. There are no liquids to mix in, no sugar or fake sugar to decrystalize, and I’m not inclined to swirl coffee aimlessly and purposelessly with a spoon while I contemplate the mysteries of the universe or whatever, instead of, ya know, drinking the damn coffee. And yet: here’s a spoon.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with this spoon? Obviously, I need to take it out of the cup because otherwise the spoon handle will end up in a nostril or poking out an eye, but where am I supposed to put it? No saucer is provided, so whatever I do with the spoon, it will carry at least some of the liquid from the coffee with it. If I set the spoon on the table in front of me, that spoon-liquid will contaminate the table and anything I might put on the table: my phone, a newspaper, the sleeve of my shirt. I could reach across the table and leave the contaminated spoon in front of my dining partner, but that merely shifts my burden onto them, which hardly seems fair, as they have their own contaminated spoon issues to deal with. I could wipe the spoon on my pants, but I actually try to walk around town without coffee stains on my pants. Sometimes I try to discretely place the spoon on the floor, where it won’t be messing with phones, newspapers, sleeves, pants, or dining partners, but this solution brings stares and bad attitude from the server, who caused the damn problem in the first place.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?

I can’t wrap my head around this spoon thing. Why does the server bring me a spoon when I told them I drink my coffee black? Why is the spoon in the coffee cup, instead of beside the coffee cup so I can make up my own mind about whether I want to contaminate the spoon or not? Why is there no saucer on which I might put a contaminated spoon should I use it, even though I have no reason to use it as I drink my coffee black?

Is this some sort of passive-aggressive server thing? I understand that servers are underpaid, overworked, and generally under-appreciated for the important work they do, but I don’t see why they should take it out on me with their damn spoon.

Anyway, some other time I’ll get into my other two greatest pet peeves: the related issue of the lack of bar coasters and the resulting beer condensation that brings up the same problems as the contaminated coffee spoon, and that other terrible annoyance: pre-soiled napkins.

I’m thinking of starting a Google map to document all this.


No public meetings.

On campus


Thesis Defence, Industrial Engineering (Friday, 9am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Amin Akbari will defend his thesis, “Multi-Criteria Approach to Maritime Search and Rescue Location Analysis.”

Thesis Defence, Biology (Friday, 1pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building) — PhD candidate Joana Augusto will defend her thesis, “Social Structure of the Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas) off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.” I’m going to try to catch this.

Transportation, Logistics, and the Environment (Friday, 2:30pm, MA 310) — Michel Gendreau of Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal will speak.

In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 9:30am Friday. Map:

6am: Brevik Bridge, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Fos Sur Mer, France
7:30am: OOCL Antwerp, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for Cagliari, Italy
8am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 9 to Pier 36
10am: Atlantic Star, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
10:30am: Tosca, car carrier, arrives at Pier 31 from Southampton, England
11am: Brevik Bridge, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove for New York
2pm: Monte Toledo, oil tanker, arrives at Anchorage for bunkers from Saint John
3pm: NYK Daedalus, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from New York  
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre
4:30pm: ZIM Ontario, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Kingston, Jamaica
6pm: CSL Tacoma, bulker, sails from National Gypsum for sea
9:30pm: Monte Toledo, oil tanker, sails from anchorage for sea
Midnight: Tosca, car carrier, moves from Autoport to Pier 31


Examineradio is published today; this week, I speak with Lynn Jones about the collection of memorabilia she has donated to the Saint Mary University library.

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. Somehow this Spoon in the coffee cup rant article came across my screen today. I think re-posting this rant would be a great tool to pull more subscribers in! LOL

  2. Tim,

    Allow me to solve the presoiled-napkin mystery that has vexed you for years: it’s there to minimize food gunk getting stuck to the plate, making the plate easier to clean.

    While I’m being so gorram helpful, let’s put The Great Unnecessary Spoon Thing to rest: the wait staff are on autopilot and serve all coffees with the same mechanical procedure. They’re not paid enough to genuinely give a shit how you take your coffee when you’re customer #107 of the day.

  3. Re today’s “cranky letter”… At the risk of stating the obvious regarding the Wanderers Grounds stadium proposal:

    — Most hospital appointments are in the M-F 7am-3pm window, and there is just never going to be a Halifax FC game at those times, so parking is manifestly a non-issue.

    — The idea that Grounds events have never charged admission is of course completely ahistorical. Many who grew up here in the ’70s and ’80s as I did (not to mention many decades earlier) will have fond memories of going to games at the grounds and paying their way in. Staging ticketed events at the Grounds is a tradition that goes back to the 1880s as anyone who knows their Halifax history will tell you.

    — Unfortunately if the Grounds are a “cherished” space that has not manifested in upkeep of the Grounds. Many will recall that two years ago an international rugby match had to be relocated from there due to the sad condition of the field. The SEA proposal offers a viable way to ensure that the space is adequate to host first-rate sports events.

  4. And how about those empty suitcases, light as a feather, C’mon, continuity people, add some weight (maybe a few dozen of Tim’s soggy spoons).

  5. The average age of condo buyer on the Peninsula is definitely not 60. The fastest growing condo market is millennials and single people. I (and 2 colleagues) listed (and sold) 128 Peninsula condos since 2013 and there might have been four buyers over 60. The demographic was overwhelmingly 30-50, with outliers on either side (not by much).

    Senior condominium purchasers generally prefer larger condos, which are plentiful in the suburbs. We are also seeing a trend of older folks selling the family home and moving into condo-style apartment rentals. Of the 12 buyers I have sold into condos recently, 1 was over 50, and the condo was for their son. Older condos are being purchased and renovated by young people.

    The major issues with location of this facility is distance from the medical school and expensive diagnostic equipment, and lack of transparency surrounding the land deal. There is also not a good explanation, in my opinion, as to why expansion of the Cobequid Centre was not considered.

    1. Dartmouth General is being expanded. The new facility is off peninsula because most of the future population growth will be off peninsula and close to the 100 series highways.
      Families don’t buy condos, they buy homes off the peninsula.
      Seniors are renting because many condo projects ended up as apartments when there were no buyers.

  6. I think the spoon may be for the benefit of the server. It keeps the full cup of coffee from sloshing over while it’s in transit from its source to your table. It actually should be served with a small napkin where you could place your dripping spoon. If it isn’t, just take a sugar pack and rest your spoon on it. I know you don’t like to waste but what choice do you have? And it’s sugar! You’ll be doing a good deed!

  7. Wasn’t the latest hospital expansion suppose to go where The Common Roots farm is located? I recall it being a temporary thing.

    1. There is a not that well known QEII re-development website that lists a timeline and has addition information; but the depth and completeness of the information could use a lot of updates. I could not find the project phase that would affect the Common Roots farm area but I agree with you that this location was discussed as being temporary back when it was allowed to be created. The website is a bit convoluted, so perhaps I missed the details for that area.

      The website is located here:

  8. Levity, whimsy, humour, satire, parody are all welcome in in my little corner of life. Likewise, good reporting, comment, conversation, fact-based critique and dissent. All were prevalent here in the comments since Tim began publishing, yet they’re gradually disappearing, especially voices of those Leona Helmsley contemptuously termed “little people.” Their comments were always identifiable through their up-close-and-personal relationship with life, how issues and legislation impacted them, and importantly, the honesty, genuine emotion and humanity which usually coloured them. I miss all that and them. Well-educated angry flame-throwers who inserted “snowflake” and “SJW” [social justice warriors] into their comments have left us now, one with an angry parting shot, but what remains? Too often pedantic comments that challenge and intimidate civil interaction. My comment responds to nothing specific and everything in general. I fully support Tim and his journalism; did from the beginning, but feel we’re losing something important here, and for me, the enthusiasm that once made me eager to come, read and intellectually engage with comment reaction. Agenda neutrality appears more and more elusive. Maybe I need to heed my son’s instruction after we recently discussed this issue: “Just stop reading the comments, Mom.”

    1. Because discussion of spoons in coffee cups is, you know, a serious subject completely lacking in levity. It’s hard to take it lightly, as few of us have “agenda neutrality” in that regard. There are the spoon people, and then there is the rest of us.

      I’m one of those “well-educated flame-throwers”. I usually get paid to do that, but I’m happy to do it for free in the comments section here at the Examiner.

      I’m far too fat to be one of the “little people”.

    2. I’m back, actually, even though I’m not a fan of people who just use SJW as a slur – not that I have any love for tolerant bullies or radical social constructivists of any stripe.

    3. Well yes. But what can we do? We “educated ones” are trapped in our own feedback loop, aren’t we. Our education is always bound to get in the way. My deep thoughts are deeper than your deep thoughts–and off we go. Mores the pity. Thinking about this paradox brings to mind a poem. (You see, there I did it. I referenced a poem. Snap goes the big brain trap.) Ah well, here is the poem. It is by Philip Levine. You could look it up.


      After driving all night long
      I stopped for coffee and eggs
      at a diner halfway to
      New York City. The waitress
      behind the counter looked up
      from her magazine and said,
      “Look who’s here!” clapped her hands
      together and broke into
      a huge smile. “Have I been here
      before?” I asked. “Beats the shit
      out of me,” she said and put
      a glass of cloudy water
      in front of me. “What’ll it be?”
      One war was closing down
      in Asia to be followed
      by another. No longer
      a kid, I wondered who was
      I that a gray-haired woman
      up all night in a road-side
      hole would greet me like a star.
      “What do you think of Sartre
      and the Existentialists?”
      I asked. “We get the eggs fresh
      from down the road, my old man
      bakes the bread and sweet rolls.
      It’s all good.” It’s not often
      you get the perfect answer
      to such a profound question.
      On the way back to the truck
      I listened to the pebbles
      crunching under my wing-tips,
      watched two huge crows watching me
      from a sad maple, smelled
      the fishy air blowing in
      from Lake Erie, and thought, “Some
      things are too good to be true.”

  9. Your spoon in the coffee cup rant reveals the fact that you drink your coffee black and thus care not for the fact that actual real cream is no longer available for purchase in the province of Nova Scotia. What then, in the name of god, Is your position on fish chowder. Which, of course, Is made with cream. At least in one of it’s iterations. That being the one that’s done here, for the most part.

  10. Almost every time a sitting government makes an announcement for a project, the parties in opposition complain… I guess they feel obligated since they are the opposition, thus they must oppose. This outpatient facility is good news and if Bayers Lake is not the best location, then people should have trotted out their alternatives before this, since discussions concerning this facility have been going on for quite some time. I will agree that the public will be largely unaware, because keeping the public well informed concerning the planning for the facility was not a priority of those planning this or any other project for that matter; but that has been the failing of all governments in power.

    The transit and access issues can be addressed through a municipal and provincial initiative; all it takes is the will to solve the problem and not just criticize it. As for bike lanes; I doubt many seniors or others requiring outpatient treatment actually bike anywhere; but given today’s values, enhancing the public bicycle network should be supported. A dedicated shuttle bus service between the QEII and the new site should not be out of the question.

    As to the facility being located near Deputy Premier Diana Whalen’s Clayton Park West riding, it would be in or near someone’s riding regardless of where it was located. If the best location is near a sitting member’s riding, does that mean that location should be disqualified? I think not. What other location is “actually” better than Bayer’s Lake, is a valid question. The analysis that supports the decision making process should be made public.

    Separating the outpatient site from the existing QEII site makes some sense from a risk management point of view. When catastrophes strike, it is good not to have the majority of one’s resources located at one site… the concerns about all one’s eggs in one basket is a valid concern. Anyone who thinks parking access and related costs are reasonable near the QEII has not had to spend the many hours required at that site to have a medical issue resolved.

    The price paid for the land should be at fair market value… no question about it. All levels of government tend to hide behind closed doors (in camera) when making decisions like land purchases; but the decision making process and analysis should become publicly available once they have made their decision. They are spending taxpayer’s money and transparency and public acceptable must be considered a priority.

    In the end, is this not a good news story?

    1. It is a good news story. The ‘More than Buses’ so called analysis is so far out in left field that is probably in foul territory. Their analysis assumes that everything is dealt with in the VG or the QE2, that has not been the case for several years.
      Earlier this year my colonoscopy exam took place at Cobequid, two prior exams were at the VG. An ultrasound a few months ago was performed at Dartmouth General. I had to go to the Dickson to meet an RN who gave instructions on how to wear a 24 hour heart monitor, a service that could easily be available at a pharmacy, medical practice or Cobequid or Dartmouth General.
      Peninsula Halifax is not the geographic centre of HRM and more seniors live off the peninsula than on it. Many seniors now live in apartments/condos off the peninsula and close to Bayers Lake. In addition 75% of the future population growth will take place outside the area of the Centre Plan and therefore the proposed location makes sense for many people beyond peninsula Halifax.
      Criticism of the Bayers Lake location is uninformed and predominantly political,from NDP supporters in particular.

      1. Because of the increase in the number of home colon cancer testing kits being returned, and the increased sensitivity of the test now being used, there are more positives, requiring more follow-up colonoscopies — a 50% increase in the former Capital Health region. I suspect that’s why yours was at Cobequid. They are probably scheduling them wherever they can rather than making you wait longer.

      2. The QE2 is –arguably– the only tertiary healthcare center in the Atlantic region. It has more capacity than any of the other hospitals you mentioned and provides more services than the other hospitals you mentioned. It’s good to decentralize these services a little, but at the end of the day, the majority of Physicians that are considered ‘Specialists’ want to live in the urban setting of HRM. Thus, mapping the travel time of transit buses to the QE2 is reasonable.

        I agree that placing the new outpatient facility outside of the peninsula is a good thing, but without knowing what other sites were under consideration, none of us can say for sure whether or not the Bayers Lake spot is the best location for this facility. This isn’t as much an issue of politics than it is an issue of access to information.

  11. Reminds of the days when they used to bring glasses of water to your table whether you wanted water or not.

    The spoon is there because outside Tim Horton’s (which I am confident you don’t patronize) the sugar is added by the customer at the table. So you say black, but that doesn’t mean you mightn’t want to add sugar later.

    I take a little cream in my coffee, no sugar, but otherwise just regular dark roast coffee. I wish coffee shops had some kind of express or self-serve line for people who just want a regular coffee,so we don’t have to wait for those who order those elaborate hot caffeinated sundaes that take the server forever to make. Something like the Beer Only line at professional sports venues is needed.

    Starbucks usually has enough staff and system processes in place to get around this bottleneck, but most smaller independent places don’t. They seem to think making people wait in line is part of the artisanal experience. The only small place I saw that offered a solution was a coffee shop in Lunenburg that had a self-serve, honour-pay coffee urn for people like me.

    I feel a Cranky Letter coming on….

  12. You can bet that no one in that announcement photo has ever taken a bus to Bayers Lake.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree, Michael Colborne. I live within walking distance (exercise-type walking) of Bayers Lake but would never walk there. It’s designed for cars. I feel sorry for the employees without cars who work in any of those stores (many or most, I would guess) and who must tackle the roads up towards the side that has Wal Mart…with no sidewalks! On the other side it is just the usual “take your life into your own hands” walking challenge. I almost don’t get angry at this stuff anymore. I’m almost worn out.

  13. The unwanted spoon in the coffee cup struggle is real. I wish I could tie them in knots like Uri Geller would do.