News

1. Glen Assoun

Despite a justice department lawyer’s opinion that there “may be a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred” in the conviction of Glen Assoun for the murder of Brenda Way, Way’s sister Carol Beals says she’s convinced of Assoun’s guilt. “A couple of days before [Way] was killed and she said, ‘If you guys find me dead, Glen done it,’” Beals told the CBC.

2. Apology

Premier Stephen McNeil will make a formal apology to the former residents of the Home for Colored Children.

3. St. Pat’s

Developer George Armoyan has made a ridiculously low as-is offer of $5 million for the old St. Pat’s high school site. He knows perfectly well the site is worth twice that, at least, but seems to be making his offer to capitalize on public concern about the city’s growing costs for environmental clean-up. As assessor Mike Turner points out, however, the city’s approach to redeveloping the property is sensible, and the increased environmental clean cup costs are minuscule in the scheme of things.

4. McIntosh Run

The McIntosh Run Watershed Association’s proposed network of trails. map: mcintoshrun.ca
The McIntosh Run Watershed Association’s proposed network of trails. map: mcintoshrun.ca

I reported in July:

The McIntosh Run Watershed Association has done an excellent job protecting the stream and building trails along it, and now wants to build a 30km trail reaching from Spryfield to Herring Cove. The trail will be “single track,” meaning not the wide active transportation trails the city builds but rather a narrow trail for hikers and mountain bikers. It will be entirely on city and provincial land, and council [gave] the group permission to construct the portion on city land; it already has permission from the province to build the first stage of the trail on provincial land.

In fact, this trail (or one very near it) already exists, but there’s no doubt the MRWA will improve it, make better and safer water crossings, and generally clean things up. It’s a great project.

The project is gearing up, and the MRWA is holding a meeting next Wednesday, October 15 at 5pm to present it to the public.


Views

1. Stencils

Photo: Stephen Archibald

“You may have gathered that I’m  fond of type and letter forms,” writes Stephen Archibald. “I don’t have any particular knowledge or insights, I just enjoy looking at them. I’m also a fan of stenciling and other low grade methods of creating multiple images ( like rubber stamps). So when I realized in the 1970s that antique  stores sometimes had little piles of apple barrel stencils I would keep my eye out.”

2. Yeah, Armageddon!

The Chronicle Herald writes still another editorial—what is this now, 15?—supporting fracking, and still doesn’t mention “climate change.”

3. Demonstrations

Graham Steele talks about what makes an effective demonstration.

4. Ivany Report

The Chronicle Herald editorial board sat around the big table in the Herald’s conference room with CEO of High Liner Food Henry Demone, deputy minister Bernie Miller, and Communications Nova Scotia lifer Michelle Perry, and everyone drank shots of Jager all day long, drunkenly fantasizing about fracking, says a very hungover Paul Schneidereit.


Government

City

Appeals Standing Committee (10am, City Hall)—Four people are appealing their dangerous and unsightly premises citations, and one taxi driver is appealing his licence suspension. Also, councillor David Hendsbee wants to storm the Citadel and arrest the federal government.

Community Planning & Economic Development Standing Committee (2pm, City Hall)—Councillor Waye Mason will make the following motion: “That the Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee request a staff report regarding the possible development of a heritage management plan, including wayfinding signage, interpretive plaques, site maintenance standards and a long term site plan, and possible partnerships for the Camp Hill Cemetery.”

Province

Legislature sits (2-6pm, Province House)


On Campus

Dalhousie

Today

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Seminar (Thursday, 4pm, Theatre D, CRC Building)—Robert Beiko from the Computer Science department will speak on “Is Microbial Ecology Driven by Roaming Genes?”

ESS Thursday Night Lecture Series (Thursday, 7pm, Ondaatje Auditorium, McCain building)—Ashlee Cunsolo-Willox from Cape Breton University will show her film, “Attutauniujuk Nanami—Lament for the Land,” which documents the effects of climate change on Inuit communities.

Mini Medical School (Thursday, 7pm, Theatre C, Tupper Building)—Mohsin Rashid will talk about “Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic,” and Geoffrey Williams will talk on “Abdominal Moans and Groans, Could It Be Stones?”

Planetarium show (Thursday, 7:15pm, Room 120, Dunn Building)—”Constellations of the Zodiac” by Dan Arsenault. Five bucks at the door.

Science and Society lecture (Thursday, 7:30pm, Potter Auditorium, Rowe Management Building)—Donna Hurlburt from Acadia University will talk on “A Clash in Cultures? Reconciling Aboriginal Perspectives with Conservation in Canada.” Dal explains:

The application of Aboriginal knowledge in environmental decision-making has been the subject of much debate. Some argue that Indigenous knowledges systems are laden with socio-political values and have no place alongside impartial Western science, whereas others beleive that the two bodies of knowledge are complementary. Conservation biologist Donna Hurlburt will highlight the opportunities for reconciling multiple forms of ecological knowledge through her experiences as a Mi’kmaw person with scientific training who has worked extensively on the conservation of Species at Risk in Canada.

Friday

Chemistry (1:30pm, Chemistry 226)—Alan Doucette from the department of Chemistry will talk on “New Strategies for Proteome Analysis.”

Saint Mary’s

Friday

International Development Studies speaker series (Friday, noon, McNally Main 226)—Eduardo Gudynas, a visiting prof from the Latin American Centre of Social Ecology in Montevideo, Uruguay, will talk on “The New Extractivism: Inclusionary State Activism and Sustainable Natural Resource Development in Latin America.”


Noticed

Documentary film maker Errol Morris has an “op-doc” in the New York Times today, “Three Short Films About Peace,” featuring Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, Lech Walesa, and Bob Geldof. I haven’t had time to watch the films this morning, but I’m hesitant to get enthused about the celebritization of peace. But Morris is making me think about war and peace.

Contrary to the trope about age making one more conservative, the older I get the more I’m willing to identify as pacifist. I used to hedge that a bit—when the Russians or whoever come marching up Portland Street, I’ll be out there on the barricades lobbing Molotov cocktails, sure—but I’ve been around long enough to see that war is a cynical game, at best used to advance private agendas, at worst simply to gratify perverse desires. The entire business is damnable.

I’ve known a lot of peace activists. The quiet dignity in which they work, year after year, decade after decade, without acknowledgement, at great expense to their personal lives, commands respect. These are the people sitting in front of trains carrying missiles, the people standing on street corners protesting whichever of the latest bloodfests, the folks who have for 50 years camped along the fences of the nuclear test site.

A friend contemplates the apparent state of never-ending war, and looks back at her life of activism, marching against wars. “What good did it do?” she asks. “Just think how bad things would be now if people had not protested,” I respond, a weak answer, but perhaps in the face of irrevevelancy, all there is is an existential response: You took a stand.

I have another such a friend back in California, Chris, a nurse who has spent her life as a war tax-resister, a presence at the nuclear test site, and an organizer of the local Peace & Justice Centre. Chris’ partner, Mike, recently died from cancer. I didn’t much know Mike, but he was a former green beret who embarked on a life of peace activism. You can read his obituary here.

I don’t know that there’s a point to this, except maybe that the people who should matter most aren’t even known. Maybe that’s the way it has to be.


In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 5:45am Thursday. Map: marinetraffic.com

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)

Arrivals

Ocean Crescent, general cargo, Cape Town to anchor for bunkers
Maasdam, cruise ship, Sydney to Pier 20
Fusion, general cargo, Saint-Pierre to Pier 36
Royal Princess, cruise ship, Saint John to Pier 27
CSL Tacoma, bulker, to National Gypsum
Yantian Express, container ship, Cagliari, Italy to Fairview Cove West

Departures

Maasdam to Bar Harbor
Royal Princess to New York


Footnotes

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is looking to move out of its Summit Place office and find a new 6,629 square foot office somewhere on the peninsula. Lease for the new space would commence on September 1, 2015, but the Commission is making an allowance that, hey, perhaps for some reason, say, ongoing construction, the space may not be ready by then, so they’d be totally open to having temporary space provided for a few months, if the developer, I mean landlord, isn’t ready to provide the permanent space until, oh, say, January 1, 2016. But no siree, this is not a tender written with a specific landlord in mind, because that would be illegal. Nope, in fact, Joe Ramia and the Nova Centre aren’t even mentioned in the tender document, so stop being Mr. Cynical, OK?

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. On peace activism: Here is a clip from a documentary about Howard Zinn, who was a professor and friend, on civil disobedience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oRoQTwac9M

    It’s from his autobiography, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

    For a conversation on the Clamshell Alliance (Seabrook, NH), you might want to talk with Richard Bell, currently located up the road in Musquodoboit Harbour. He has insights.

    Thanks for all you do, Tim.

  2. Interesting thoughts on war and peace. This summer when Russia invaded Ukraine, I suddently could imagine myself going to Latvia to protest and maybe even try to help defend my ancestral homeland and more importantly, my cousins who still live there, if they are next.

    “What good does it do?” rings too true for a lifellong environmentalist – fighitng to protect and preserve the environment often feels like a losing battle. Your response echoes a quotation attributed to Sir Peter Scott, one of the founders of World WIldlife Fund (I worked for WWF for 10 years): “We shan’t save all we should like to, but we shall save a great deal more than if we had never tried.”

    1. I’m of Latvian descent as well and got to visit Latvia (Riga) for the first time this July. The sentiment on the streets of ethnic Latvians is one of terror. They still remember the world wars, multiple invasions and occupations while most of us here in The West have typically only heard stories from elders or read chapters in school texts.

      I’m a strong believer that simple acknowledgement of a problem allows one’s desire for a solution to manifest in everyday life. One’s opening one’s self to, and acceptance of, a problem is a difficult task in itself. Often because we know we can’t do much (if anything) to enact a solution, we avoid even acknowledging problems we can’t solve or don’t like the solutions to. Overcoming this hesitance is in itself activism.

  3. An interesting event tonight, highly relevant in the unceded Mi’kmaw territory known as Nova Scotia:

    A Clash in Cultures? Reconciling Aboriginal Perspectives with Conservation in Canada

    2014 Ransom A. Myers Lecture in Science and Society

    Starts: October 9th, 2014 – 7:30pm
    Where: Potter Auditorium, Rowe Management Building, Dalhousie University

    Speaker: Dr. Donna D. Hurlburt, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

    Synopsis: The application of Aboriginal knowledge in environmental decision-making has been the subject of much debate. Some argue that Indigenous knowledge systems are laden with socio-political values and have no place alongside impartial Western science, whereas other believe that the two bodies of knowledge are complementary. In the 2014 Myers Lecture on Science and Society, conservation biologist Donna Hurlburt will highlight the opportunities for reconciling multiple forms of ecological knowledge through her experiences as a Mi’kmaw person with scientific training who has worked extensively on the conservation of Species at Risk in Canada.

    About the Lecture Series: Ransom Aldrich Myers (1952-2007) was a mathematically gifted, intellectually pugnacious, passionately humane individual committed to the unconstrained communication of science to decision-makers and to society. He was appointed Dalhousie University’s inaugural Killam Chair in Ocean Studies in 1997.
    Predicated by a desire to address questions of fundamental importance, Ram sought general patterns by applying sophisticated modelling techniques to the analysis of regional and global datasets. His articles on worldwide declines of large predatory fishes, and the threats these pose to marine ecosystems, are the best known of his more than 150 publications. Ram’s scientifically-driven provocations reflected a conviction that the protection of marine biodiversity and ocean ecosystems is a responsibility to future generations that humanity can neither afford, nor has the right, to ignore. This Lecture is funded by the Dalhousie Presidents Office and co-sponsored by the Departments of Biology, Statistics, and Oceanography at Dalhousie University.