Wednesday July 27, 2016
Joan Harvey has lived in Toronto’s Moss Park towers for 35 years, and watched as her neighbourhood was slowly infected by drugs, violence and an increasingly bad reputation.
As the head of her building’s tenants association, she spends every Saturday night staked out in a lobby or ground floor community room keeping the “riff-raff,” as she puts, it out of the building.
The three massive towers lie just a 20 minute walk or so from the Eaton Centre, and even closer to Regent Park, an area to the east that has been spectacularly — and controversially — revitalized in recent years.
Now Harvey’s neighbourhood is the next gentrification battleground as a proposal to rebuild the nearby John Innes Community Centre winds its way toward city council. On Wednesday night, another community meeting will debate the plan to revive one of the city’s most dilapidated corners, even as a gourmet sandwich shop is set to open and a farmer’s market has already moved in.
Backed by the 519 — an LGBTQ community organization based on Church Street — and a private donor, the plan is to rebuild the crumbling, yellow community centre and its surrounding park with a combination of fundraising and government cash. Right now, the corner of Queen Street East and Sherbourne is notorious for its drug use, sex workers and the nearby shelters keep the sidewalks crowded and the social services overloaded.
Construction for a bike lanes pilot project on Bloor St. will start next week.
A construction notice from the city says work between Shaw St. and Avenue Rd. will begin Aug. 2 after council approved the pilot this May after years-long advocacy from the cycling community.
The city says all on-street parking will be removed beginning Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. with traffic temporarily reduced to one lane in each direction so workers can install new painted bike lanes and flexi-post bollards. The city will also install new signs with updated parking rules.
Once the bike lanes are installed, parking will be available on at least one side of the street with at one lane of traffic in each direction and dedicated turn lanes at major intersections.
Life for fishermen on Venezuela’s Margarita Island used to be easy, with the sparkling waters of the Caribbean yielding rich catches of grouper, red snapper and octopus for sale to wealthy tourists. Now the island has fallen into poverty and attempts to sell on neighboring islands can lead to a run in with one of the region’s oldest industries -- pirates.
Many fishermen near the El Tirano fish market in the east of the island say costs are so high and prices so low that it isn’t worth taking their boats out. Even the tourists that used to pack local hotels are staying away, forcing some restaurants to close.
“Fishing isn’t profitable anymore in Venezuela,” Jose Diaz, a 40-year-old fisherman, said in an interview. “We have to leave for work at 3 a.m., we risk robbers and we have to sell at low prices, because in Venezuela no one can pay what things really cost.”
The economic slump is reaching every corner of the once oil-rich nation, including the so-called Pearl of the Caribbean that boasts palm-lined beaches backed by tropical jungles. Even as people on the island go hungry and thousands form long lines outside supermarkets and bakeries for the most basic items, fishermen can’t sell their produce.
Iceland’s economy is growing at its fastest pace since the 2008 collapse of its banks, with annual gross domestic product up a whopping 4.2 percent in the first three months of the year.
Latest tourism and spending data suggests the Icelandic summer could be just as good.
Thanks in part to the popularity of Game of Thrones – filming for the seventh series is due to start in Iceland in January – and the exploits of its thunder-clapping soccer team at the Euro 2016 championships, foreigners are flocking to the North Atlantic island nation.
The number of tourists has been growing steadily since the start of the decade and is now a bigger source of foreign sales than traditional exports like fish and aluminium. The Chamber of Commerce once called tourism “the largest recession remedy for the Icelandic economy.”
June data suggests 2016 could smash last year’s record of 1.3 million arrivals.
Work boots aren’t normally thought of as beach attire.
But on Pogey Beach — a fictional soap opera based in a beach on Prince Edward Island’s north shore — it’s not unusual to see an Islander who collects employment insurance sinking their steel toe shoes into the red sand.
After all, they’re looking for work — or so they can claim, should a “pogey narc” come around.
Pogey Beach is a show-within-a-show. It’s beloved by the characters on the web series Just Passing Through, a raunchy comedy based around two small-town Islander cousins, Terry and Parnell Gallant, played by Dennis Trainor and Robbie Moses.
After garnering more than a million views on YouTube, the producers of Just Passing Through are now looking to create a spinoff — a feature-length film about the people who hang out at Pogey Beach drinking Alpine beer and bragging about who has “top stamp,” or the biggest employment insurance cheque.
Of all the ocean views that can take your breath away on the beach of Heart's Content, it's safe to say you wouldn't look twice at the rusty old cables that run across its rocks and out to sea from the small town — population 375 — perched on the shores of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula.
But 150 years ago a single cable forever changed the way the world communicated, as the first successful transatlantic subsea cable, able to send and receive telegraphed information, solidified a link between the old world and the new for the first time.
Prior to July 27, 1866, if you wanted to send a message across the ocean, it would be carried over in a ship's cargo hold. In 1865, the news of Abraham Lincoln's assassination arrived in Europe a week after that deadly shot rang out through Ford's Theatre.
But the subsea cable consigned that level of communication patience to history that July day, as a ship landed on the town's shore, bringing with it a cable that stretched all the way back to Valentia Island, Ireland. With that, the small cable station in Heart's Content became the starting point for all those 21st-century text messages now built into everyday life.
"This is where we truly began. There are some books that dub us the 'Victorian internet,'" said Tara Bishop, an interpreter at the Heart's Content Cable Museum, a small station which has gone from being a hub of communication processing to a provincial historic site, and now thrust back into the spotlight as the epicentre of the town's 150th anniversary celebrations of the event that ushered in a technological revolution.
On Tuesday, July 26th 2016 shortly before midnight, CPS Street Crime Unit with the assistance of the RCMP K9 Unit executed a search warrant under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act at a residence in Charlottetown.
As a result of executing the search warrant, crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, steroids, marijuana and scales were located and seized with a street value of $5700.00. Charges are pending against a 43 year old Charlottetown resident.
On Wednesday, July 27th 2016 just before 2:00 AM, CPS Street Crime Unit with the assistance of the RCMP K9 Unit executed another CDSA search warrant at a residence in Hillsborough Development.
As a result of executing the search warrant, police seized a quantity of cocaine, crack, ecstasy, oxycodone, speed and a sum of cash. The street value of the seized items is valued at $18,297.00. John Robert Long has been charged for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking.
- Bloomberg notes concerns over Northern Ireland's frontiers, looks at how Japanese retailers are hoping to take advantage of Vietnam's young consumers, examines the desperation of Venezuelans shopping in Colombia, looks at Sri Lankan interest in Chinese investment, suggests oil prices need to stay below 40 dollars US a barrel for Russia to reform, observes that Chinese companies are increasingly reluctant to invest, and suggests Frankfurt will gain after Brexit.
- Bloomberg View gives advice for the post-Brexit British economy, looks at how Chinese patterns in migration are harming young Chinese, suggests Hillary should follow Russian-Americans in not making much of Putin's interference, and looks at the Israeli culture wars.
- CBC considers the decolonization of placenames in the Northwest Territories, notes Canada's deployment to Latvia was prompted by French domestic security concerns, and looks at an ad promoting the Albertan oil sands that went badly wrong in trying to be anti-homophobic.
- The Inter Press Service considers the future of Turkey and looks at domestic slavery in Oman.
- MacLean's looks at China's nail house owners, resisting development.
- The National Post reports from the Colombia-Venezuela border.
- Open Democracy considers the nature of work culture in the austerity-era United Kingdom, looks at traditions of migration and slavery in northern Ghana, examines European bigotry against eastern Europeans, and examines the plight of sub-Saharan migrants stuck in Morocco.
- Universe Today notes two nearby potentially habitable rocky worlds, reports that the Moon's Mare Imbrium may have been result of a hit by a dwarf planet, and reports on Ceres' lack of large craters.
My research on the history of time in Prince Edward Island took me to the Government Services Library on Monday.
This little library is one of my favourite branches of the Island’s Public Library Service. It’s tucked away in the basement of the Jones Building in Charlottetown. Woefully, I must report, now behind the iron curtain of security that’s been dropped around public service offices, so you must sign in with photo identification before visiting. But open to the public nonetheless, and staffed by one of the the smartest and most helpful librarians you’ll ever meet, Nichola Cleaveland.
My reason for visiting was to seek help parsing this reference, in the 1947 An Act to Provide for Uniformity of Time Throughout the Province, to Act 3 George VI., Chapter 23:
The first thing I learned was that it’s helpful to know the dates of the reigns of British monarchs if you’re looking for historical laws of the province, for the 3 George VI means “the third year of the reign of George the Sixth.”
These years are called the regnal years, and the run from the actual date of coronation. George VI became king in December 11, 1936 (when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated), meaning that his third regnal year – 3 George VI – ran from December 11, 1938 to December 10, 1939.
Once you’ve figured this out, then it’s a simply matter of looking for the proper year in the bound volumes of the Laws of Prince Edward Island on the shelf and finding the proper chapter
Here’s the volume, for example, that includes 1888 through 1894 (interestingly, it’s from a set that the Government Services Library inherited from the Library of the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada when it was deaccessioned):
And sure enough, in the 1939 bound volume I turned to Chapter 23 and found An Act Respecting the Provincial Statutes, assented to on March 27, 1939, halfway through the 3rd regnal year of King George VI:
You will find the contemporary Interpretation Act, along with the rest of the laws of Prince Edward Island online on the Legislative Counsel Office’s website. They no longer make reference to the monarchs in their organizational scheme, alas. The chapters are alphabetical now, so the Interpretation Act is “Chapter I-8”:
This is far less elegant, and requires no knowledge of monarchical history. Which is a shame.
But if they did, you’d be well-positioned if you knew that we’re currently in 65 Elizabeth II. Which is the highest regnal year that’s ever been reached in the British Monarchy.
- Beyond the Beyond's notes the imminent end of Moore's law.
- Centauri Dreams imagines what a stellified gas giant might look like.
- D-Brief notes Ceres' lack of large craters and looks at how New Zealand is declaring war on invasive fauna.
- The Dragon's Gaze looks at Venus analog Gliese 832d.
- Joe. My. God. notes intensifying scrutiny of Trump's Russian links.
- Language Log looks at the portmanteaux used in the Japanese language.
- The LRB Blog notes Erdogan's many voices.
- Marginal Revolution argues that slow economic growth will not undermine the Chinese system.
- Steve Munro looks at the effects of construction on the 501 Queen.
- The Planetary Society Blog looks at the final landing site of the Rosetta probe.
- pollotenchegg maps wages across Ukraine.
- Savage Minds reports how war can fragment families, looking to Ukraine.
- Transit Toroto notes GO Transit's adding of new double-decker buses.
- The Volokh Conspiracy considers the thesis that Trump is a consequence of the breakdown of traditional political parties.
- Window on Eurasia looks at Daghestan's restriction of movement of "potential" criminals.
- The Yorkshire Ranter searches for a statistical link between austerity and Brexit.
The Daily Specials at Casa Mia Restaurant for Wednesday, July 27, 2016 are:
- Sweet Potato Soup $4.99
- Chimmichurri Chicken Wrap $12.99 Sauteed chicken with chimmchurri, black bean salad, peppers,feta and spring mix in a wrap. Served with house salad.
I could not. The entire building has been closed down indefinitely for much needed repairs, the provincial legislature adjourning for the duration to the Coles Building to the east, and a recreation of the chambers where the Fathers of Confederation met to discuss Canadian unification appearing to the west in a foyer in the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Being in the birthplace of Confederation got me thinking. It's likely that there would have been some general reform of British North America, one leading in the direction of greater unity, simply because the existing colonial polities were just not working. The smaller colonies in the east were fast approaching limits to growth in an increasingly competitive North Atlantic and North American economy, while the western colonies will afterthoughts, and, as I noted back in July 2008, the Province of Canada had become a deadlocked mess riven by ethnopolitical conflict. The different colonies had come to a dead-end politically, and the most obvious way out of this involved the partial fusion of these colonies into a larger entity. Since union with the United States was a non-starter, this would seem to require the colonies to unite with each other.
Is this actually the case, though? If the 1864 discussions had failed, would there have been impetus anywhere to start things up again? Might we have seen, instead of a general union, more partial reforms, perhaps a federalization of the Province of Canada, perhaps a Maritime union? I wonder. How differently could the map of Canada ended up given a point of divergence in the 1860s?
Tuesday July 26, 2016
I leave a wild patch of whatever is blooming on the lawn when I mow the grass. This hawkweed was from more than a month ago. Right now the lawn is cracked and brown from lack of rain.
- Language Log considers the ideologies of digital scholarship.
- Peter Rukavina considers what it means for archival purposes that Prince Edward Island used WordStar 2000.
- The Russian Demographics Blog remaps the country by population and examines opinions in the European Parliament towards Russia.
- Savage Minds considers what it means to be a participant-observer in as an ethnographer in the Ukrainian war.
- Understanding Society's Daniel Little looks at the sociology of accident analysis.
Rated: 14 Accompaniment (Coarse Language, Substance Abuse, Sexual Content)
Runs: 125 minutes
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson
Language: In English and some Italian with English subtitles
There are snakes at the Italian villa where rock star Marianne Lane is recovering from surgery on her vocal chords. They slither onto the property, but are mostly harmless. Marianne's boyfriend, Paul, just tosses them away. Soon, Marianne's ex, Harry and his newly discovered daughter, Penelope, also slip into the villa uninvited. One wonders if they're as harmless as the snakes. A Bigger Splash is one of those sexy European thrillers that lets us think we're miles ahead of the characters, then delights in revealing just how little we really know. It's smart and seductive, with just a hint of menace, as the characters prowl around each other. It's also gorgeously shot, with Instagram-ready close-ups of delectable food and stylish clothes, reveling in a life that looks easy, but only from afar. Tired and recuperating, Marianne is thrilled to be in Italy with her filmmaker boyfriend, Paul. She can't speak much, so they hit the beach or stay huddled in their idyll, usually naked. Then Harry calls and says he's crashing their party with a surprise. That surprise turns out to be Penelope... As for Fiennes, we've never seen him like this before. His music producer Harry is a dervish, spinning from room to room, sucking up all available oxygen. He's a hell of a party, until everyone realizes they can't breathe... What's going on under that roiling surface? And is he the only one with secrets? The mounting tension suggests not. How this love quadrilateral sorts itself out is fascinating, but the film doesn't end there... There aren't that many smart movies made for adults these days, so take time to savor this one. - Alynda Wheat, People Magazine
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