In the harbour
Early Saturday morning, a man was killed on Downey Road in North Preston; it was the third of what appear to be related homicides over the past six days. After Saturday’s killing, the RCMP sent out a release:
The death that occurred early this morning in North Preston has been ruled a homicide.
Shortly after 2 a.m., police located a deceased male outside in the Downey Rd. area after responding to reports of gun shots being fired. The victim appeared to have been shot.
Based on today’s autopsy, the Medical Examiner has officially ruled the death a homicide and identified the victim as 20-year-old Daverico Downey of North Preston.
The funeral for Tyler Richards, the man killed last Sunday on Cook Avenue in Halifax, was held Saturday at 2pm.
A few hours later, at around 7pm Saturday, police descended upon an apartment in Uniacke Square. According to a police release:
At approximately 7:15 p.m., Halifax Regional Police officers responded to the area of the 3200 block of Isleville Street in Halifax in response to a report of a man who was carrying a firearm.
The information provided to the responding officers was that the suspect, who was described as a black man, aged late 20’s to early 30’s, bald head, wearing a black suit, glasses, and a slight beard had a firearm in his front pants pocket on right hand side, barrel pointing out. Information was also received that the suspect had left the area in a taxi with another man.
Officers determined that a taxi had dropped off two passengers in the 5400 block of Uniacke Street in Halifax. HRP Patrol and Emergency Response Team officers attended the address and made contact with the occupants who were inside. All occupants exited the residence and the suspects matching the given description were located by police and detained as the investigation was conducted. No firearms were located during this search and the detained suspects were released without charge.
On Sunday, hundreds of people marched against violence.
2. Examineradio, episode #58
This week we speak with Lindell Smith, a North End community activist and a candidate for District 8 in this fall’s municipal election. After sixteen years without an African Nova Scotian on city council, is Halifax finally ready to have a council that reflects the diversity of its citizenry?
Smith launched his campaign website this week.
Also, the provincial government released its annual budget this week and announced plans to demolish the crumbling Victoria General Hospital, though not until 2022. Plus, Halifax communities are reeling from a spate of gun-related violence that’s left two dead and one severely injured.
Finally, the Wooden Monkey’s Lil MacPherson announces she’s running for the mayor’s office. The announcement comes only a day after the beleaguered Nova Star Ferries finally filed for bankruptcy. Are these two stories connected? Well, no, obviously not. Duh.
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(Subscribe via iTunes)
3. McCluskey: Dartmouth is less murder-y than Halifax
The CBC has a short piece up about Kayley Dixon, a 14-year-old North Dartmouthian who said perfectly reasonable and upbeat things about her neighbourhood on Facebook, and whose comments resonated positively in the community. Good for Kayley.
I was struck, however, by councillor Gloria McCluskey’s comments:
Dartmouth Centre Councillor Gloria McCluskey says most of the stigmatization of Dartmouth North is “unfair.”
“When you talk about North Dartmouth, you think about crime,” she said. “But if you look at the list of murders in the city [this year], there’s five. One’s in Dartmouth, and the rest are in Halifax.”
Take that, H/\LIF/\X!
4. O Amherst
“Lynne Welton, a councillor with the Municipality of Cumberland County, put forward a motion to county council on Wednesday to ‘dispense with opening council with O Canada and closing council with God Save the Queen,’” reports the Amherst News:
Welton did some research and found that very few councils sing O Canada or God Save the Queen.
She said the way they sing the anthems are a disgrace.
Other councillors weighed in:
Don Fletcher – “I agree. I don’t think it’s how you sing it or don’t sing it. You listen or watch it on TV and it’s sung in a thousand different ways. I like the tradition.”
Don Smith – “Councillor (Robert) Bird has been in attendance from the Town of Amherst a couple of times and he said our meetings are no more exciting than his but we are way better singers.”
John Kellegrew – “If you watch any sports on TV, you watch the Americans. We’re a damn disgrace compared to the Americans. They’re all singing.
“I go to the hockey games here and you wouldn’t find two people singing in all of Amherst Stadium.
“I can handle it either way. I certainly don’t mind singing it. I’m not the best singer in the world either. I couldn’t carry a tune in a washtub.”
A vote was taken on the motion and it was defeated 6-3.
1. Colour me purple
Evelyn C. White, Alice Walker’s biographer, reflects on Walker and Prince:
Prince’s death also evoked memories of the deluge of criticism that Alice suffered for her purported “negative” depictions of Black men in The Color Purple — namely Mister —as played by Danny Glover, in the film. Many of Alice’s most virulent critics publicly admitted that they’d never read (and did not intend to read) the work in which Mister, by the novel’s end, has undergone a profound transformation.
Having come to understand the generational reach of the abuses he endured as a child, Mister softens. He makes a shift in the book that, unfortunately, Spielberg did not develop in the movie. In an interview, Alice put it this way: “There is a section in my novel where Mister starts to bring Celie seashells. He and Celie sew together. They have long discussions and embrace under the stars. People need to ask themselves why they are blind to that as male behaviour. Why is it that when a man can sit with a woman and interact with her like a human being, he becomes invisible as man?”
Alice’s insights underscore the importance of Prince’s career and the revolutionary shape-shifting of his music, gender expression, fashion, and overall presence in the world. He was a man in full.
This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
2. Nova Scotia — a real white man’s country
“A friend of a friend was trawling through back issues of Punch on when he stumbled upon this gem in the March 13, 1929 edition of the venerable British humour magazine,” writes Parker Donham:
Paul Pross, a Dal prof and member of the Healthy Forests Coaltion, attended a summit sponsored by the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association (NSWOOA) to discuss forest management. Pross commented for South Coast Today:
Lurking in the background to many conversations was awareness that industrial forestry through overharvesting and forest conversion fostered a dependent forest economy that, with the decline of the pulp and paper companies, now faces hard choices between short rotation harvesting of low-quality wood for biomass or chips and the long, slow process of re-creating an Acadian, uneven-aged forest capable of supporting producers of diverse wood products. Just how hard those choices are was demonstrated in a group discussing the possibility of ironing out the barriers producers face in marketing high quality timber. (Yes. There is still some in the woods.) There is a level of interdependence between end users that renders each unit in the string highly vulnerable. If a larger player goes, smaller operations go with it. The forest economy is very fragile.
As Tom Miller says, it’s depressing to realize that ‘sawlogs now have a small end diameter of 4”, pulpwood is 2 ¾” and biomass is 1”-24”’ and that for the foreseeable future, the industry will be dependent on chips.
4. Chronicle Herald
Sunday, I was on a Solidarity Halifax panel discussion about the strike by Chronicle Herald newsroom employees. Here’s the PowerPoint presentation I used to guide my part of the conversation.
The Government and On Campus sections are compiled by Kathleen Munro.
District 7 & 8 Planning and Advisory Committee (4pm, Halifax Hall, City Hall)
Legislature sits (4pm, Province House)
Oceanography Seminar (3pm, Room 1020, Kenneth Rowe Management Building) Kathryn Sullivan will present the 16th Gordon A. Riley Memorial Lecture.
Senate (4pm, Theatre A, Sir Charles Tupper Building) — time to play “hunt for the agenda” again.
Here’s a picture of Supernova Remnant Simeis 147, otherwise known as The Spaghetti Nebula:
It’s easy to get lost following the intricate strands of the Spaghetti Nebula. A supernova remnant cataloged as Simeis 147 and Sh2-240, the glowing gas filaments cover nearly 3 degrees —6 full moons — on the sky. That’s about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud’s estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. This sharp composite includes image data taken through a narrow-band filter to highlight emission from hydrogen atoms tracing the shocked, glowing gas. The supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years, meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth about 40,000 years ago. But the expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star’s core.
Another nebula left over from a supernova 3,000 light years away is the subject of what might be the very best science fiction short story ever written, Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Star.” Go ahead, it’s Monday and you have all week to get work done; take five minutes to read it.
Clarke had long toyed with the idea of artifacts left by passing alien civilization. His 1948 short story, “The Sentinel,” explored the idea that many millions of years ago a super civilization came upon an early Earth, saw its potential for intelligent life, and so left a “sentinel” on the moon, figuring that eventually something like humans would come along, figure out how to travel across space, and discover the thing; then the sentinel would alert the older race. That story languished unappreciated for a couple of decades, and Clarke appears to have reworked the idea into “The Star,” written in 1954, which by my read is the better and more profound story. Regardless, in the late 1960s, “The Sentinel” was discovered by Stanley Kubrick, who used it as the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the harbour
1pm: Vera D, container ship, Lisbon, Portugal to Pier 41
4pm, Kobe Express, container ship, sails from Fairview Cove to sea
5pm: Federal Oshima, bulker, sails from Pier 28 to sea
8:15pm: Ijsselborg, cargo ship, Szczecin, Poland to Pier 27; the ship’s bow thruster is out of order
It’s Monday, too early to think.
^^^^^^^Tomorrow’s cranky letter?
Regarding the singing of O CANADA, there is a very good reason why noone can sing it properly ‚ it’s the DISGRACEFUL attempts at singing it by ««stars»» hired to do it instead of AUDIENCES singing it as they should. Political correctness and school principals’ musical ignorance sees the most atrocious parodies of our National Anthem blasted over school PA systems every morning ad nauseam. There is a CORRECT OFFICIAL version which is easily available, singable, and learnable. However, so long as TRASH versions, both live and recorded are the order of the day we can hardly expect John or Jane Q Public to be able to sing O CANADA properly. Further, at the expense of spoiling the digestion of the Monarchist fringe, it’s PROBABLY time to leave the singing of God Save the Queen to Royal Visits.
African Nova Scotian Graham Downey was first elected to Halifax City Council in 1974 and served for 26 years—the last four as representative for District 12 of HRM. Dawn Marie Sloane defeated him by by 75 votes in 2000. A CBC Television set designed, nightclub owner, baseball coach, and hockey fan, Downey was also the first African-Nova Scotian Deputy Mayor of Halifax.
Lindell Smith may be a fine candidate, and greater diversity in all our representative bodies is a goal to be devoutly sought. But promoting either point with the rhetorical question, “is Halifax finally ready to have a council that reflects the diversity of its citizenry?” diminishes Graham Downey’s historic contribution.
Halifax Examiner readers can learn more about Downey here:
We of course discussed Graham Downey in the podcast.
Party politics makes a difference. It isn’t hard to go through existing and past metro councillors and decide/know which party they belonged to.
Graham Downey and Wayne Adams( Halifax County) were long time councillors and well know as Liberals, they both represented areas with a significant African Nova Scotian population.
The much greater electoral accomplishment was the 1991 election of Douglas Sparks, a 20 something African Nova Scotian who in a field of 22 candidates in Dartmouth won a seat in the city wide school board election. When an all candidates meeting was held in the Dartmouth High gym he stood out as a knowledgeable and thoughtful candidate and one on one he was well ahead of almost all the other candidates. His accomplishment is rarely acknowledged and deserves greater recognition. It is also a credit to the voters of Dartmouth. At the time he had no party affiliation little money.
In lieu of what I’d really like to say, I’d like to wish Gloria a happy retirement. Please don’t feel obliged to stay until the fall.
Agenda has been posted here for Senate this week:
“Hunt the Agenda” is so much fun.