1. David Wheeler chairs firm that trains LNG workers
By virtue of his position as president of Cape Breton University, Wheeler, who is chair of the province’s review of fracking, also chairs LearnCorp International, a university-owned company that trains Exxon employees. “A university website adds that it ‘has been meeting the demands of ExxonMobil for technical training,’” reports The Tyee. “Much of the training has directly involved Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities.” The Tyee points out that more LNG facilities in Nova Scotia is one of the desires of the industry, which expects to bring more gas on line through fracking.
2. Two to go to trial for murder of Loretta Saunders
Judge Anne Derrick has ruled that Blake Leggette and Victoria Henneberry will stand trial on first-degree murder charges. There will be a pre-trial hearing on August 28, and then an as-yet-unscheduled six-week trial.
3. Department of Environment embraces culture of secrecy
“If your grandma has an oil spill, we don’t want her name and address posted online,” department spokesperson Lori Errington told Chronicle Herald reporter Selena Ross. Can I ask: Why the hell not? An oil spill is a real threat to the environment that can affect neighbours and future home buyers, so is exactly the sort of information that should be public. This knee-jerk reaction to classify everything, secrecy for secrecy’s sake, is at the heart of Nova Scotia’s horrid record on public access.
4. Yesterday in the Halifax Examiner
We published two articles yesterday. I wrote “Department of Environment fails to provide legally required annual review,” and Chris Benjamin wrote “Stairway to heaven: Free Lab addresses Citadel Hill erosion problem.” Both articles are behind the Examiner’s pay wall, and so available only to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.
5. Robin Wyllie’s tools are for sale
Wyllie died in March, and his family is selling his collection of antique tools.
6. Not kidding around
No, they don’t hate children, honest, but some childless people have formed a group to celebrate their rug rat-free lives.
1. The Liberal honeymoon is over
Have you noticed? Everything in the province is falling apart. Gail Lethbridge has: huge deficit, the Ship of Theseus boondoggle, the Yarmouth ferry cost overruns, the Northern Pulp Mill disaster, and what’s sure to be a gigantic payroll rebate package offered to beg BCE to keep at least some Bell Aliant employees in Halifax (happy birthday!). The blame for the bad news cannot be placed entirely or even mostly on Stephen McNeil, but he wanted to manage the mess, so he gets the glory. I’ll add to Lethbridge’s list the new convention centre, which will open in January 2016, well before McNeil’s mandate expires, and certainly without meeting expectations, even on its grand opening.
2. Health care is where the money goes
Rachel Brighton says we ought figure out a way to make some money on it too, or at least reduce our costs. While she’s right, it’s an awfully vague prescription.
3. CBC doubles down on dumbing down
Bruce Wark says that by appointing Andrew Cochran, the creator of the Theodore Tugboat children’s show, to oversee CBC’s desperate attempt to remake itself, the crown corporation is committing suicide.
4. Sit down and shut up
Bill Black doesn’t like it when people exercise their democratic right to be pissed off.
Trash day—All the people who normally get their garbage, green bins, and recyclables collected on Monday should put them out today, as Monday is a holiday.
It’s Bell Aliant’s birthday—yep, we’ve even sold our city’s celebration of its creation to a corporation. Surely I can’t be the only one who finds this offensive. Anyway, if giving the company $119 a month isn’t enough, and for some reason you want to further reward a multi-billion dollar corporation owned by an even bigger multi-billion dollar corporation based in Toronto, here’s how you do it.
This morning I stumbled upon this 2002 column by David Emery. (Yes, I’ve been bookmarking things for at least a dozen years, sigh.) In it, Emery tracks down the origin of an internet bon mot attributed to Hunter S. Thompson:
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
Through his research, Emery discovered that the quote is incorrect. The actual quote, which Emery found in Thompson’s Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s, and which was originally published in Thompson’s San Francisco Examiner column on November 4, 1985, goes like this:
The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse.
Emery stopped the quote there, but Thompson continued:
Every once in a while, they will toss up a token human like Ed Bradley or Hughes Rudd… and there are others, no doubt, like Studs Terkel in Chicago and the twisted Rev. Gene Scott, who works like a sleepless ferret in the maniac bowels of Southern California…But these are only the exceptions that prove the hideous rule. Mainly we are dealing with a profoundly degenerate world, a living web of foulness, greed and treachery… which is also the biggest real business around and impossible to ignore. You can’t get away from TV. It is everywhere. The hog is in the tunnel.
In the harbour
(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Maersk Palermo, container ship, Montreal to Pier 41
CSL Tacoma, bulker, Baltimore to National Gypsum
Crystal Ace, car carrier, Zeebrugge, Belgium to Autoport
Coho/Penn 92, tug/barge, McAshphalt dock to sea
Maersk Palermo to Rotterdam
Peter Ziobrowski took cool pictures of all the NATO ships in port. I couldn’t help but notice (from the bus) that one of those ships was belching out some ugly black smoke yesterday.
The province is rebuilding and extending the trail network at Dalem Lake Provincial Park.
Morning File doesn’t publish on Sundays or on Bell Aliant’s birthday, but will return on Tuesday. There’s a council meeting Tuesday, so some time before then I’ll publish a council preview.
Curious as to what the pay out for the Natal Day sponsorship was, but couldn’t find it with the goggly goos.
I did find out that Labatts pulled out their sponsorship back in 2012 and were contributing 20 thousand at the time. I don’t ever recall the branding being so prominent though. Common sense would dictate that the pay out would be larger than twenty, but common sense isn’t always common.
Here’s my response to Parker:
I’m all for a bit of back and forth between reporters, or however you describe yourself now. I think it makes for lively reading, and we’re all adults with thick skins, so no problem. But come on…
The headlines on Morning File (which aren’t behind the pay wall, btw), are always a bit silly, usually referring to something in the recap, but often will a self-deprecating twist, meant to be funny. Maybe I don’t succeed with the humour, but I try. I have a little rant about CBC’s unfair labour reporting, and I headline it “Lazy reporting: Morning File…” get it? Or I bitch about self-service baggage at the airport and write “To serve you better: Morning File…” OR I write about the search for exoplanets and write a headline “Out of this world: Morning File…”
I hate having to explain my humour, sigh.
But in this case, I wrote about the INCORRECT ATTRIBUTION of the Hunter S. Thompson’s “thieves and pimps” quote, which wasn’t about the music industry but rather about TV news. Together with Bruce Wark’s criticism of CBC’s TV news, I thought, hey, here’s a headline that can refer to the TV news like Thompson and Wark do, and also be a bit self-deprecating. But then you, ironically, also give an INCORRECT ATTRIBUTION to the quote.
“The Internet has destroyed irony in the world, or at least wounded it considerably.” –Douglas Coupland
1. The fracking panel traipsing around the province is a political tool designed NOT to hear from everyone, but to pretend to hear from everyone – to be perceived as having tried to hear from everyone. When the guy leading the panel isn’t an objective observer (the Tyee has shown his connections to the LNG industry) you can immediately chuck this panel and all of its stated intentions right in the trash. The people who know enough about the dangers of fracking to show up to these meetings and have their voices heard (but not actioned) are a small enough group to ignore come election time. This is especially true if you’ve scooted a panel around the province ostensibly to address these concerns – “they had their say, but it’s just not founded on science.” There’s a report I read by NOFRAC I’m going to add to the bottom of this post as a kind of bibliography – maybe it’s bogus, maybe it’s super slanted, maybe you’ve already seen it, but when there is evidence of radioactive material leaking into the environment from fracking, well, I doubt it’s safe to conduct.
2. The health care industry in this province costs way too much and there should always be eyes on its spending (I like to believe that the bureaucrats who control spending are good people but i’ve seen one too many who like to empire-build for no other reason than to pad their resumes – look good and then get promoted). Are most illnesses caused by one factor? Maybe too much diet coke? Let’s put a tax on junk food. That’d be one way to generate revenue for the gov to pay for people who don’t take care of themselves. Maybe we could limit the number of Tim Horton’s per block. How much does pollution (like the fracking wastewater just hanging out in the valley – or hormone mimicking chemicals like phthalates, which are in almost every household product that has the word “fragrance” on the side of it and which even the Government of Canada says “may adversely affect reproduction and development”) – how much does that kind of chemical pollution impact our health and well-being?
Bonus point 3: It would be neat to tally up all the poorly planned mega-project gambles even in just the last decade (ferry, convention centre, pulp mills x ?, fracking, offshore oil permits, payroll rebates, NSBI loans) take that total and break it out into a yearly rebate for taxpayers. We all know that the consumer is one of the biggest drivers of the economy – I think more money in our pockets to spend on even frivolous things (or maybe even non-frivolous things like better groceries) is a safer bet than these political/industrial longshots that may drive the economy in the short-term but leave us with a hefty bill at the end of the day and pretty much nothing to show for it.
– NOFRAC report: http://nofrac.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/out-of-control-full-report.pdf
– Health Canada on Phthalates: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2011/2011_07fs-eng.php
– More info on Phthalates and other pollution: http://toxintoxout.ca/
Great points.Who’s working on the solutions?
The juxtaposition of the headline and photo is a little jarring this morning. Otherwise, good content as usual. One could write a book about false attributions and fake quotes on the internet.