In the harbour
1. Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa
The Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa is being sued for $875,000 by a German company that holds a loan to the resort.
That’s neither here nor there, but in 2006 the (supposed) $300 million resort development was celebrated by Peter MacKay and Rodney MacDonald for not taking any government money, but ACOA and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation went on to extend $2 million in financing for the golf resort. That money is apparently lost.
Click here to read “Failed golf resort sued for $875,000.”
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2. Theodore the THUGboat
A Dartmouth woman is suing Murphy Sailing Tours Limited for injuries she says she suffered while boarding Theodore Too, popularly known as Theodore the Tugboat.
According to the lawsuit, on July 24, 2015, Nicole Keating was boarding Theodore via a gangway “when she fell through a faulty board and fell into the Halifax Harbour.”
Keating says she “suffered injuries, including bruising to her right thigh and subsequent infection.” A more detailed account of her injuries will presented at trial, notes the lawsuit.
Keating is represented by lawyer Peter Landry. The lawsuit accuses Murphy, which owns the boat, of failing to maintain the gangway and failing to warn Keating of the perils of boarding the boat.
The allegations contained in the lawsuit have not been tested in court, and Murphy has yet to respond to them.
3. Fight back?
A police release from yesterday:
Halifax Regional Police has charged a man in relation to an assault that occurred on June 7 in Dartmouth.
At approximately 2:20 p.m., a 35-year-old woman was running on a trail in Shubie Park when she was approached by a man not known to her. The man grabbed the woman by the neck and began to choke her. The victim was able to bite the suspect’s forearm, causing him to flee the area in the direction of Waverly Road along Lake Charles. At approximately 3 p.m., a man fitting the suspect description was located nearby and taken into custody.
Thirty-eight-year-old Shawn Howard Timmons of Waterville will appear in Dartmouth Provincial Court this morning to face one charge each of assault, unlawful confinement and overcoming resistance charges (choking).
In 2001, Timmons was charged with the abduction and attempted sexual assault of a four-year-old girl. At the time, his lawyer said Timmons “has the mental capacity of a six-year-old.”
I run on the Shubie Park trail occasionally and I understand its appeal. It follows along the back side of Lake Charles, often within sight of the water, and usually you can’t hear the highway, which is roughly parallel to the trail. Except for one steep hill at the south end, the trail has small rises that aren’t too demanding, and there are two wooden bridges over small creeks. At the north end there’s a trestle over the Subenacadie Canal. It’s a pretty trail. Best of all, it’s away from the more heavily used park trails; you’ll pass another runner or two occasionally, and maybe some mountain bikers, but the trail is usually sparsely populated, which appeals to runners who seek that lonely zen high that comes from running alone. It’s not exactly a wilderness trail, but for being so close to the city it’ll do as an easy substitute.
As Lezlie Lowe said on our joint appearance on The Sheldon MacLeod Show yesterday, anyone who says women shouldn’t run alone on such a trail is contributing to rape culture. Everyone, no matter what gender, has a right to go for a solitary run, wherever they want, without fearing sexual attack.
Today, Yvette d’Entremont, reporting for Metro, notes that Run Nova Scotia “is encouraging runners to remember to be aware of their surroundings and to fight back”:
The non-profit group representing the province’s runners took to social media on Wednesday morning, tweeting: “Many recent daylight attacks, could happen anywhere. Be aware, fight back if need be. It’s your life/body: defend it.”
In the case of the runner who was grabbed from behind at Shubie Park by a man who started to choke her, [Run Nova Scotia vice chair Ian] McGrath said she “did well” by fighting back and biting her attacker on the arm.
“She fought back and I’m sure the teeth marks on her attacker’s arm helped the police identify the man that they took into custody,” he said.
Although they never advocate the use of weapons, a spokeswoman with Halifax Regional Police said they are in complete agreement with Run Nova Scotia’s stance.
“Use as much force as necessary to protect yourself. You do whatever you can to protect yourself and that’s something we support. Anyone who encounters something like that, it’s traumatizing,” said police spokeswoman Carol McIsaac.
“Everybody reacts differently. It’s not to say anybody has done anything wrong or right, but whatever your reaction is at the time, that’s what you need to do to protect yourself.”
I don’t know. I think it’s great when and if a woman can fight off an attacker, but every person will not have the ability or strength to fight off every attacker, and every situation is different. Sometimes fighting back might end with even more harm to the victim. Maybe as a man I shouldn’t weigh in on the issue, but I fear the “fight back” message might be putting too much onus on the victim. Maybe we should start with “don’t attack” as a public message.
4. Tyler Richards and Naricho Clayton investigations
A police release from yesterday:
Investigators in the Homicide Unit of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division are asking for the public’s assistance in connection with the ongoing investigations into the murders of Tyler Richards and Naricho Clayton.
At 7:55 p.m. on April 17, police responded to a report that a deceased man had been located in a home in the 6900 block of Cook Avenue in Halifax. Officers attended and found Tyler Richards deceased inside the residence and immediately treated his death as suspicious. It was later ruled a homicide on April 18.
Evidence related to the Tyler Richards homicide was located in a wooded area at the end of Mountain Avenue in Dartmouth. Investigators are wishing to speak with anyone who may have information about this evidence or who witnessed any suspicious activity in that area between April 17 and 19.
At 10:58 p.m. on April 19, Halifax Regional Police responded to the 2000 block of Gottingen Street in relation to multiple calls of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers encountered two men in a vehicle. Emergency Health Services were immediately called to attend to injuries they had sustained. Naricho Clayton of Dartmouth was pronounced deceased at the scene. A 31-year-old-man originally from Halifax was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Investigators believe the suspect in this homicide fled the scene in an older model dark colored Chrysler that was parked near Falkland Street. The vehicle left towards Creighton and Maynard Streets. Anyone with information in relation to this vehicle is asked to contact the police.
Investigators are looking to speak with possible witnesses who were in the area moments before the shooting. A man who was in the area of the Salvation Army on Gottingen Street is believed to have crossed Gottingen Street in an easterly direction and may have walked past the suspect on Portland Place. There was also a red and white Mini Cooper driving on Falkland Street just moments before the homicide. This same vehicle was parked on Gottingen Street at the time of the shooting but left the scene prior to police arrival. Police would like to speak with the occupant or occupants of this vehicle.
Investigators are asking anyone with information relating to a shoe that was located in close proximity of where the shooting took place on Gottingen Street to contact police.
I understand that police are hesitant to give out details of an ongoing investigation because potential suspects can learn where the investigation is going, but I don’t see how anyone can remember what was going on at Mountain Avenue almost two months ago. If they had asked for the public’s help on, say, April 20, maybe…
Incidentally, the Mountain Avenue woods are about a five-minute drive from where Joseph Cameron was killed, at the corner of Mount Edward Road and Spring Avenue. Police have never indicated that Cameron’s still unsolved homicide is related to any of the other recent acts of violence, so that’s probably just an odd coincidence. In the Dead Wrong series, I’ve come upon dozens of such seemingly connected details that in the end had nothing to do with each other.
5. Free transit and a smart phone bus locator app
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is making great strides in improving its bus service, reports the Cape Breton Post:
Councillors with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality hope that the prospect of two months of free transit will encourage residents to get on board with the service.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the pilot project during its general committee meeting Wednesday. The free trial period during July and August will lead up to the introduction of a monthly pass beginning in September, as well as the anticipated launch of a where’s my bus mobile app that will provide real-time access to transit information.
Part of that effort will include getting CBRM councillors and senior administrators out of their cars and onto transit buses for a day to see how the service runs first-hand.
“Then compare all of our notes about how long it took to get to the location … if you’re going to encourage other people, we have to get on the bus ourselves,” Clarke said.
1. Accessible washrooms
“The Stubborn Goat’s controversial new pub on the Halifax waterfront will operate on provincially owned land without an accessible washroom, in violation of the Nova Scotia Building Code and several other statutes,” writes Parker Donham:
And that’s just fine, said Waterfront Development Corporation (WDC) spokeswoman Kelly Rose in a terse, one-sentence email:
The accessible washroom is located next door at the Visitor Information Centre and meets the requirements for the seasonal Stubborn Goat location.
Tourism Nova Scotia’s Visitor Information Centre is not “next door.” It’s 225 feet away, across a boat slip and beyond the next wharf, along a boardwalk often jammed with people.
The common thread in the failure to provide an accessible washroom at the Stubborn Goat’s waterfront gastropub is the ingrained habit of officials at all levels to ignore the many laws requiring them to enforce accessibility, and to retreat when challenged into narrow technicalities — the logic of which they passive-aggressively refuse to spell out.
Not only that, but in order to get to the accessible washrooms at the Visitors Centre, people using wheelchairs will have to pass Danger Wave.
Donham notes that it’s not clear whether city building codes apply to Waterfront Development land, but I’d point out that they certainly apply to the proposed “Queen’s Marque” project just up the boardwalk — that development must be vetted and approved by the city’s Design Review Committee. It’s hard to see how one private business on the waterfront has to follow city laws, while a second doesn’t.
Also, Bar Stillwell’s waterfront beer garden had an accessible port-a-john last year. Stillwell lost the beer garden contract because they were too innovative, or some such, but if all goes well Stillwell’s newest beer garden, on Spring Garden Road, will open next Tuesday.
2. North Dartmouth Community Food Centre
John DeMont visits the North Dartmouth Community Food Centre:
Making a human connection can be difficult in this gritty neighbourhood. People tend to stick to themselves in any community with its share of low-income residents, seniors and people who live alone — where, in this case, just six per cent of eligible voters went to the ballot box during the last municipal byelection.
But something special is said to be taking root here, at the nexus of an all-but-abandoned commercial building and a mostly vacant lot.
3. Still no sufficiently cranky letters
A reader alerts me to WhatWasThere.com, a interactive map that allows users to post and view historic photos on Google Maps and Streetview. Already there are 16 photos posted in the Halifax area.
Appeals Standing Committee (10am, City Hall) — Ken Anthony, the owner of the building at 169 Wyse Road in Dartmouth that has hosted Little Nashville, the worst strip bar in the world, and the animal hospital, is being issued a notice to appear. I guess that proposal for a 10-storey apartment building on the site has gone nowhere.
Also, Seyed Mirsaeid-Ghazi, a taxi driver who has been charged with sexual assault, is appealing the suspension of his licence.
Environment and Sustainability Committee (1pm, City Hall) — here’s the agenda. Jennifer Watts apparently wants to spend her last few months as councillor working to get some stuff done.
Resources (9am, One Government Place) — the committee will ask about tidal power in the Bay of Fundy and its effects on the fisheries.
President’s Report to the Community (7pm, Recruitment Centre, LeMarchant Place) — Dal prez Richard Florizone “will highlight some of Dalhousie’s significant achievements this year and discuss opportunities for our shared future.” The meeting will be attended by representatives from the Halifax Regional Police and the city of Halifax. Expect to hear words like “vision,” “progress,” and “strategic priorities” bandied about. No one mention the murdered guy.
In the harbour
6am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
6:45: Veendam, cruise ship, arrives at Pier 22 from Sydney with up to 1,350 passengers
7:30am: Vera D, container ship, arrives at Pier 22 from Leixoes, Portugal
7:30am: Etoile, French Navy sail training vessel, arrives at the Tall Ships Quay on the boardwalk from São Vicente, Cape Verde Islands and stays through Sunday
11:30am: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro cargo, moves from Pier 41 to Autoport
3:30pm: Veendam, cruise ship, sails from Pier 22 for Bar Harbor
4:30pm: Zenith Leader, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany
8am: Vera D, container ship, sails from Pier 22 to sea
We’ll be recording Examineradio today.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at the courthouse lately. I was there yesterday primarily to look at case files related to the Dead Wrong series — I spent maybe three hours on that, but I figured since I was there anyway, I may as well look at recent filings. That’s how I got the Theodore and Louisbourg Golf stories posted above. I don’t really think of myself as a court reporter, but here I am doing this stuff… and it strikes me that local reporting ranks are stretched so thin that there’s no longer any reporter dedicated to regularly checking court files.
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Cape Breton Transit
Congratulations to Cape Breton Regional Municipality Councillors on fighting back after the School Board started running its own buses last year, significantly reducing transit ridership and, I think, precipitating a reduction in service frequency on some routes.. The two month free service should do a lot to help increase ridership and perhaps even reestablish service frequency where it was reduced. Let’s hope that the councillors commitment to themselves try the bus sets a good example for Halifax councillors…
Re: fighting back. It’s all well and good to have “don’t attack” as a public message, but the reality is that there are people out there who for whatever reason are not going to heed that message. You don’t need to be big, strong, a martial artist or otherwise out of the ordinary to defend yourself. Biting; clawing, poking and/or raking the eyes; grabbing and twisting someone’s finger if they try to grab you; and screaming and yelling to attract attention all serve as deterrents to an attacker, who will probably not be expecting resistance and who may just take off if they encounter someone who they thought would be nothing more than a pliable victim. Of course if someone demands your money or phone, just give it to them (and run the other way), but if their goal is to quietly drag you off the trail to sexually assault you (or worse), then fighting back any way you can is definitely a viable alternative for most people, and I would argue is far better than just ‘hoping for the best’.
To add to that, the sort of person who rapes a random jogger in what was probably a premeditated attack (not on that specific person, but any lone female jogger) probably isn’t going to respond to public service announcements about not raping people. I don’t think it is victim blaming to point out that ultimately the only person who is ultimately responsible for your own personal safety is you. If you’re worried about it, carry bear spray or stay in groups (just remember that the bear spray is for samsquanch attacks, carrying it to protect you from human-shaped monsters is of course illegal in Canada).
Nice facility and should be useful for crowd sourced photo material.
I note an error in the location of the Argyle St. coffins which is given as the entrance to the Citadel!
Regarding the use of phones to track buses:
Why do we need mobile phones at all? Not everyone can afford a mobile phone. Whatever happened to posting schedules on bus stop signs? That’s the practice around the world. Don’t even suggest erecting electronic displays at every stop that tell you when the next bus is due. (Also common around the world.)
I suspect that tethering a ouija board to the bus stop would be every bit as reliable, and a good bit cheaper than electronic displays.
I’m so glad you didn’t use that other phrase to describe the Etoile. In proper vernacular, she is a “Topsail Schooner.”