News

1. Outsourcing

Conservatives love cops. That’s why they want to outsource policing services, paying those brave defenders of liberty maybe half what they’re making now.

2. Holly Bartlett

Holly Bartlett’s family is angry with police. As I wrote yesterday:

Holly Bartlett

Over the next few days and weeks [after Holly was discovered dying under the MacKay Bridge] more evidence would emerge, but McKinley and other investigators kept to that theory, shoe-horning every new revelation into their theory. They initially thought Holly went through the fence at a hole near a footpath. The next day her cane was discovered 30 feet away from that hole, so they changed her suspected path to account for that. Some of her property was discovered in her driveway, so they said she must’ve tripped over a curb and hit her head there. A cab driver admitted to stealing from Holly, but that was just a bit of extra info that didn’t change their view. People who work with the blind talked about her incredible O&M skills and said it was unlikely Holly would make the multiple mistakes needed for her to travel from her apartment to under the bridge; those experts were ignored.

Holly’s death was ruled an accident, the file closed.

3. Bicycle issues

The local cycling community is quite opposed to Councillor Gloria McCluskey’s desire to license bicycles. McCluskey’s idea reminds me of the satirical This is That piece about the Toronto City councillor who wants to charge for bike parking.

Photo: Halifax Cycle Coalition

Also, the Halifax Cycling Coalition is preparing to weigh in on how the bike lane gets fitted into the Macdonald Bridge rebuild that begins next summer. The bike and pedestrian lanes will be taken off the bridge for the duration of the year+ reconstruction process. My recollection is that the new bridge (it will essentially be a new bridge, save for the towers and big orange cables) will consist of a solid deck that includes the pedestrian lane and bike lane. That is, the lanes won’t be the after-thought they are now, hanging off the edge of the bridge.

The problem with the existing bike lane is that on the Halifax side the lane drops down the hill to Barrington Street instead of up on North Street, so riders have to go all the way down and then back up, a heck of a workout. I see additional problems with the bus turning lane, as already the double buses are backing up onto the bridge, backing up traffic and blocking drivers’ views of pedestrians on the crosswalk.

4. Pedestrian injuries

The Chronicle Herald reports:

Data from the Nova Scotia Trauma Registry also show that pedestrians who suffer serious harm tend to be younger than in previous years.

According to the registry, the number of Halifax-area pedestrians who suffered major trauma has been generally increasing over the past decade, to 27 in fiscal 2013-14 from just 12 in 2004-05.

5. The immortal among us

From the Kings County News:

Used to be, 100 percent of everyone died. No longer, evidently.


Views

1. Blacksmith

Shaina Luck visits a blacksmith, evidently a secret unnamed blacksmith in a dark shed out in the woods.

Perhaps the secreted blacksmith is preparing for the post-electromagnetic pulse world. This week’s podcast of On The Media has a short piece about Rocky Rawlins, who runs the Survivor Library, which is anticipating an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) from a solar flare equal to one that hit the Earth in 1859. Such an event would wipe out the world’s electrical systems and fry your laptop and iPhone. With the idea that we’ll have to rebuild civilization from scratch, Rawlins is collecting books from the pre-electricity 19th century that explain basically everything, from how to raise hogs to canning to plowing your field without a tractor to making clothes to, well, blacksmithing. In other words, the hipster paradise.

2. Language and assisted death

Lezlie Lowe makes the point that language matters, especially when talking about assisted death.

3. Cranky letter of the day

To the Cape Breton Post:

I suggest recognizing Cape Breton as just as distinctive from Nova Scotia as Quebec is from Canada. Cape Breton deserves the same level of recognition that Labrador receives. We say Newfoundland and Labrador. Make it Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, and change the flag to reflect that.

Terrance MacDonald

Howie Centre


Government

City

No public meetings.

The city is conducting a nationwide search for a project director for the Cogswell Interchange Redevelopment project. The job will take from three to five years.

Halifax Regional PD is buying bullets, and lots of them. I don’t know anything at all about ammunition, so maybe a better informed reader can weigh in: Is it an issue that Halifax cops use soft-point bullets? My five-minutes worth of googling around before the coffee has brewed tells me that soft-point bullets are designed to do more harm than conventional bullets by expanding when entering the body, such bullets are outlawed for military use by the Hague Convention, and police in New York City and Britain have been criticized for purchasing them. On the other hand, Mike Waldren provides  a long history of the ammunition and says that concerns raised are “alarmist mythology.”

At the mayor’s office:

What are you going to wear today?” “I don’t know, what are you going to wear?”

Province

No public meetings.


On campus

Dalhousie

Thesis defence, Engineering Mathematics and Internetworking (Friday, 9am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building)—PhD candidate Farzaneh Naghibi will defend her thesis, “Serviceability Limit State Design of Deep Foundations.”

Thesis defence, Chemistry (Friday, 10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building)—PhD candidate Laura Albrecht will defend her thesis, “Local Stability Analysis of Hydrogen Bonding and Other Non-covalent Interactions.”

Brains (Friday, 12:10pm, Room 104, Weldon Law Building)—Jennifer Chandler, from the University of Ottawa, will talk on “Brains on Trial: Neuroscientific Evidence in Canadian Criminal Cases.”

Empty space (7pm, CIBC Auditorium, Goldberg Computer Science Building)—Toronto artist David Rokeby will talk about “The Secret Life of Empty Space.”

Saint Mary’s

Henry Veltmeyer (Friday, noon, Room 227, McNally North)—Veltmeyer will talk on “Natural Resource Extraction as a Model of Development: A Blessing or a Curse—or an Economic Opportunity?”

Randy Newman (Friday, 2:30pm, Sobey Building Room 260)—Newman is from the Department of Psychology at Acadia University.


Noticed

It’s Friday. Your boss won’t mind if you take 10 minutes to read Hannah Waters’ “The Enchanting Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps.”


In the harbour

The seas around Nova Scotia, 7:45am Friday. All the ships indicated are bypassing Nova Scotia ports. Map: marinetraffic.com

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

A very slow day on the harbour.

Fusion, cargo ship, Saint-Pierre to HalTerm


Footnotes

Working for the weekend, when I’ll work for the week.

Tim Bousquet

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

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  1. “Cape Breton deserves the same level of recognition that Labrador receives.”

    So many jokes, so little time…..

  2. I think the soft tip bullets shatter on impact so they cannot ricochet, or hit anything other then what they were aimed at.

  3. The bullet argument, as I understand it is: soilders are honurable and dont deserve to die, and / or, a wounded solider requires he enemy to expend more effort than a dead one. Streacher bearers dont shoot back.

    Police don’t shoot honurable people, or shouldn’t, and if things get bad enough to pull the trigger, the target has abdicated any allowance of respect.

    Or so goes the argument.

    1. Flying in the face of the Constantly Complaining Cycling Commune, I’m with Gloria McCluskey (we don’t always agree, but I digress).

      ALL vehicles operating on public roads MUST be licensed as a means of making their operators RESPONSIBLE for their egregious flaunts of the LAW if not just plain ol’ Common Sense, Courtesy, and Self-Preservation.

      I’ve been too often a victim of unidentifiable kamikaze psychos on bicycles. I suspect THEY are the most vocal amongst the opposition to the plating of bicycles.

      A valuable spinoff is the ability of police to nab bicycle THIEVES and other miscreants. Plateless bikes would immediately tip-off police that something is being hidden. That’s why I fail to understand the opposition. Everyone else who rolls the roads is required (for Very Good Reason) to be licensed. Opposition to the negligible annual cost to cyclists of licensing is a demonstration of the «I’m Special» mindset of the over-privileged and predatory segments of the cycling community who NEED to be reigned-in by being made IDENTIFIABLE and therefore RESPONSIBLE for the anti-social behaviours they so often demonstrate.

      1. By this reasoning, shouldn’t cars being licensed mean car drivers are ALL CAPS RESPONSIBLE for their anti-social behaviours, thus yielding a low accident rate? Yet pedestrians are still being hit by cars at alarming rates.

        How many car drivers and pedestrians have been injured by bike riders? I’m going to guess the number is extremely low.

        Also, cops have never and will never give a damn about finding stolen bikes. They’re too busy busting scary plant growers.

      2. Maybe pedestrians should be licensed too? They can cause havoc too.
        Would children still be able to ride bikes? Or would there be an age limit like with cars? Would they have to renew their licenses every year as they often get a new bike each year?

        Also, bikes without license plates, do you think stolen bikes would be used without a plate? If someone were to steal a bike, don’t you think they would/could steal a plate too?

      3. You know, I’m all for ticketing kamikaze bikers, but it seems to me like the issue of bike licensing/taxation is a) a tax grab and b) a political move intended to please anti-cycling folks.

        Gloria McCluskey is just another aging and irrelevant politician whose only real skill is pandering to boomers. I get it that it would be nicer to drive in Halifax if there were no cyclists (and especially no pedestrians) but that isn’t the reality.