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Welcome to PEI Blogs, a list of weblogs (blogs), podcasts,news feeds and Tweets about or located in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. Use the Add and Change Site buttons to recommend links or changes. Sites with RSS or ATOM syndication will display the last 5 posts. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list of new additions. An aggregation of recent posts to selected sites is displayed on most pages. Click the subject to view the post description, or the blog name to go to it. Click on an entry's podcast graphic to play a podcast.

PEI Blogs is provided as a public service on a non-profit basis. Information comes from individual websites, through syndication, and from Twitter via Twitter Lists, and is displayed automatically by PEI Blogs, who have no control over information posted. Opinions expressed by posters are not those of PEI Blogs. Information posted will not be suitable for all readers, or all age groups. Sites may portray themselves as objective, but present a very biased point of view. Please make your own decisions as to the objectivity of any site.

- Derek MacEwen, PEI Blogs

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Aggregation of selected recently-updated blogs and tweets:

Tuesday March 3, 2015

07:42 Easter Seals ambassador ready for tour »The Guardian - Local News
Jacob MacNeill eager to attend campaign's fundraising events
07:30 Prince Edward Island schools on a one-hour delay »The Guardian - Local News
Schools in the English and French language school boards across Prince Edward Island are on a one-hour delay this morning, with a further announcement at 8 a.m. While there are no alerts or warnings in the Environment Canada forecast, the temperatures are frigid. There is a cold wind chill ...
07:02 1 hours delay Hunter River Early Learning Centre, further annoucment expected »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
07:02 English Language School Board 1 hour delay further announcement by 8 a.m. »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
07:02 French Language School Board 1 hour delay further announcment at 8 a.m. »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
07:02 Holland College Centres delaying opening until 10, further announcement at 9 »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
07:02 Justice Options workshop scheduled for Summerside postponed to March 11 »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
07:02 PEI career development services in Bloomfield delayed to noon, further at 11 »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
06:25 Sunny with diminishing winds today expected for PEI. »peistormchaser
Tuesday March 3rd 6:25am..  The system that gave the snow to the region yesterday has deepened into a strong low pressure system as it crossed Newfoundland last night and is now located just off the coast near Gander. This system … Continue reading
00:23 Team P.E.I. shows improvements »The Guardian - Sports
Island athletes take steps towards podium in British Columbia
00:23 Team P.E.I. shows improvements »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Island athletes take steps towards podium in British Columbia
00:01 [DM] "The Tragedy of Canada's Census" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
At Demography Matters, I linked to Aarian Marshall's CityLab article examining the consequences and the causes of Canada's census mayhem. Reducing the amount of hard data reduces the ability of governent to deal with issues. That might have been the whole point.

Rosana Pellizzari, the medical officer of health of Peterborough, Ontario, knows a thing or two about bad data. The public health office she oversees is charged with running policy-driven health programs and services for the mid-size city and county, population 123,000, which makes it the 33rd largest metro in Canada, if that country's most recent census is to be believed.

Trouble is, she's not sure it can be. In 2010, with little fanfare or preparation, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s conservative government decided that the next long-form census, completed in Canada every five years, would not be mandatory. As officials told the story, without citing any specific polls, the public had expressed concerns about their privacy when filling out the long-form census, as well as the threat of jail time should they decline to fill it out.

“We were all shocked,” says Marni Cappe, who in 2010 was the president of the Canadian Institute of Planners. “It sent a ripple through the community … They did it on a [June] afternoon when they thought, ‘Who would be paying attention?’”

So in 2011, Statistics Canada, the governmental body responsible for collecting and analyzing all of Canada’s statistics, sent out two versions of the census. The first, a mandatory short-form questionnaire, asked Canadians about their about age, sex, marital status, mother tongue, and the languages spoken at home. The second was the National Household Survey (NHS), a 40-page voluntary survey sent to 30 percent of Canadians. Munir Sheikh, then the head of Statistics Canada, resigned over the change in policy. “I want to take this opportunity to comment on a technical statistical issue which has become the subject of media discussion ... the question of whether a voluntary survey can become a substitute for a mandatory census," he wrote. "It can not.”

Today, four years after Canada’s first voluntary long-form census, and one year away from what looks to be its second, Rosana Pellizzari is still wondering how to deal with the dearth of data. Thirty-six percent of Peterborough residents sent the voluntary survey did not return it, which gave the metro the lowest NHS response rate of all Canadian cities.

Monday March 2, 2015

23:31 Axewomen advance to gold-medal game »Journal-Pioneer Sports
In PEISAA senior AAA basketball championships
22:59 [BLOG] On the death of Leonard Nimoy »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The recent death of Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy was widely noted: Simon Bisson, C.J. Cherryh of Wave Without A Shore, Robert Farley of Lawyers, Guns and Money, Tim Gueguen, Joe. My. God, James Nicoll of More Words, Deeper Hole, Otto Pohl, John Scalzi's Whatever, and Towleroad are just some of the blogs mentioning this.

What else can I add but express my appreciation for the entertainment that Nimoy provided so well for so long? We're the worse off for his departure, but we'd be worse off style if he had never taken up the role of Spock in the first place.
22:29 Squash teams set new bar »The Guardian - Sports
Prince Edward Island teams finish fifth at Canada Games
22:29 Squash teams set new bar »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Prince Edward Island teams finish fifth at Canada Games
22:29 Hammer shot decides Quebec-P.E.I. game at Brier »Journal-Pioneer Sports
CALGARY – Team P.E.I. found itself in another close game at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier on Monday.
22:04 Premier Maclaughlan Demonstrates He Will Be Worse Than Ghiz For Sure »
Transparency and accountability in PEI, forget it, newly appointed Premier stepped up to repeat the same shallow promises that Robert Ghiz offered 8 years ago. Maclaughlan is responding to the Globe and Mail articles on PEI corruption which only published the first instalment so far. PEI and Ghiz look really bad. Maclaughlan makes no complaint … Continue reading Premier Maclaughlan Demonstrates He Will Be Worse Than Ghiz For Sure
21:00 Valentines Day Storm 2015 6 »justpictureit
photo - Valentines Day Storm 2015  6

I read the snow statistics in the newspaper and thought I would share. The average snowfall for February on Prince Edward Island is 58.3 cm. The Valentine Day storm brought 86 cm. and the total snowfall from Feb 1 to Feb 25 was a whopping 222.8 cm. The previous record was in Feb 1992 with 154.6 cm. I remember that year well. We had no snow till Feb. first (the same as this year) and on that first weekend of Feb. a memorable storm blew through the Maritimes that brought 75 cm to PEI. During that storm we had lost our electricity. It became quite a chore as I was raising ducks then and had to carry water from the pond for them. I am bringing an end to this series with a few more shots that show the beauty of snow. I wish I'd had more time to get out and about as I have seen some great photos of the storm. Work cuts in a lot on life time.

19:09 Summeride wins bid to host pre-Olympic curling trials »Journal-Pioneer Local
SUMMERSIDE - The City of Summerside has been selected as host of the Road to the Roar, Canadian Curling Pre-Trials.
18:29 [URBAN NOTE] "The Tabor Hill Ossuary" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Torontoist's David Wencer explained over the weekend the complex story of the Tabor Hill ossuary, found in the 1950s in the course of suburban construction in what is now north Toronto.

On August 17, 1956, while levelling land to make way for a new subdivision, a power shovel ripped into the side of Tabor Hill, northeast of the intersection of Lawrence Avenue and Bellamy Road. According to the next day’s Globe and Mail, “about 100 feet of earth were sliced from the hill before the shovel gouged out a pocket about four feet below the surface. The hole, about seven feet wide and one foot deep, was crammed with bones.” The shovel had uncovered a centuries-old burial pit, one of the earliest ossuary sites in Ontario.

It was immediately apparent that the site contained bones from many burials; initial reports suggested there were at least 50. Gus Harris, then the reeve of Scarborough Township, initially dismissed suggestions that the site might be a First Nations burial ground on the basis that no corresponding artifacts were present. One theory he suggested to the press was that the bones belonged to victims of a late 19th-century cholera epidemic. The Star printed a further theory of Harris’s: that the site at Tabor Hill “might be a disposal spot for some medical school, where they could put human remains after students were through with using them in the laboratories.”

“We should have charged admission,” one workman told reporters as Scarborough residents were crowding the site to see the unexpected discovery. Local children reportedly began digging in the surrounding area, finding additional bones buried only a few inches below the surface.

The next day, archaeological experts visited the site and identified it as a First Nations burial pit, likely several centuries old. James Lovekin, a graduate student and history teacher at R. H. King Collegiate Institute, told the Globe and Mail that he thought it was an Iroquois site from the 17th or 18th century, and suggested it was likely linked to a specific ceremony, wherein “bodies were allowed to decompose for seven years on platforms, scraped clean, and then buried during a Feast of the Dead ritual.”

Over the next few days, Walter A. Kenyon, an archaeologist and assistant curator of ethnology at the Royal Ontario Museum, conducted a preliminary examination of Tabor Hill, in the process discovering a second burial pit at the site that was somewhat smaller than the first. Noting the large number of total burials at the site and the excellent condition of the bones, Kenyon wrote a letter to Gus Harris, suggesting action to preserve the ossuary and to have Tabor Hill declared a historic site. Harris took on this project with considerable enthusiasm, immediately announcing plans to form a committee with representatives from the provincial and federal governments, telling the Star, “We need financial help and we need it fast. Otherwise we could lose a national historical site.”
18:26 [LINK] Abraham Riesman in the Vulture on the Success of Harley Quinn »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
"The Hidden Story of Harley Quinn and How She Became the Superhero World’s Most Successful Woman" describes how, from humble origins as an intended throw-away character on the Batman animated series of the early 1990s, Harley Quinn has become one of the biggest characters in the world of American comics.

Writer Paul Dini is credited as the creator of Harley, and that's technically true. He came up with the character while he was writing for the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series in the early '90s. But the true origins of Harley Quinn lie years earlier, in the mind of the actress who voiced her on the cartoon: Arleen Sorkin.

In 1987, Sorkin was a regular on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, playing the show's comic relief: the ditzy, leggy, Noo Yawk–accented Calliope Jones. But unlike her flighty character, Sorkin was a skilled and experienced comedy writer. "I could never just come in and run my lines," she told Vulture. "I was forever suggesting stuff, probably out of boredom!" So when she went to a screening of the faux-medieval The Princess Bride, an idea struck her: Why not do a fairy-tale dream sequence on Days? The producers were into it and aired an episode in which Calliope acts as a court jester, roller-skating into a throne room and doing some hackneyed borscht belt gags for a royal family.

Dini and Sorkin were college friends, and one day, she gave him a VHS tape of her favorite Days moments — including her jester bit. The tape sat idle for years. But in mid 1991, Dini was sick as a dog and popped the tape into his VCR. He was a budding television writer at the time, cranking out freelance scripts for the as-yet-unaired Batman: The Animated Series. He'd been struggling to come up with a female character to use as a one-off in an episode about Batman's archnemesis, the Joker.

"I thought, Maybe there should be a girl there," he said. "And I thought, Should the girl be like a tough street thug? Or like a hench-person or something? And then suddenly the idea of someone funny kind of struck me." When he saw Sorkin in clown makeup, the pieces fell into place, and he came up with a silly little sidekick. He gave her the comic-book-y name of Harley Quinn, sketched out an idea for her look, and brought the sketch to the cartoon's lead artist, Bruce Timm.

"He did do a rough design for her, which was, frankly, not very good," Timm recalled. "It had a weird '60s kind of vibe to it. It was just odd. Charming, but odd. I thought we could improve on that. So I immediately started researching traditional harlequin gear and did kind of a simplified super-villain version of that. It was always intended to be just a one-off." Nevertheless, Timm was — and is — a perfectionist and labored to give this cameo character a distinctive look: a red-and-black full-body jumpsuit adorned with playing-card diamonds, ruffled cuffs, and a dual-pronged jester's cap.

It's a long read, and a good one.
18:23 [LINK] "The 1977 Tablet Computer That Took Up an Entire Room" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Wired's Greg Miller observes how the very first tablet computer produced was actually not very portable at all. The progress between then and now is remarkable.

In the late ’70s, researchers at MIT built a tablet that filled an entire room, and there it is in the images above and the video below. It was called the Spatial Data Management System, and although it was enormous, it was an awful lot like a modern tablet or smartphone. It had a touch screen, voice recognition, and multiple apps. It could even make phone calls.

The idea behind the system is simple: We humans are inherently spatial thinkers. “People are really natural explorers of space and manipulators of space,” says William Donelson, who created the system as part of his masters thesis in MIT’s Machine Architecture Group, the predecessor to today’s Media Lab. “If you wander around your city or your neighborhood, you’ll remember where things are, and I wanted to incorporate that concept into a database.”

Donelson says the team wanted to build a user interface that could mimic the way people organize files on a physical desktop. They weren’t the only ones working on this idea at the time: engineers at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto developed an experimental computer with a desktop interface in the mid-70s and released a commercial version in 1981.

But Donelson’s Spatial Data Management System had a certain grandeur that those clunky boxes lacked. The user sat in a large armchair dubbed the “Captain Kirk Chair,” with dual touchpads and joysticks built into each arm. Two touchscreens—boxy Tektronix color monitors on rolling carts—were positioned on either side, just within reach. One presented what we’d now call the homescreen, an assortment of brightly-colored boxes that opened up different programs when poked by the user. The apps included a calculator, maps, a book reader, and photo and video viewers.

The brains behind all this was network of four minicomputers, packing up to 640KB of combined processing power and 640MB of memory in the original version (more on the tech specs here). The display was a 6 by 8 foot television screen directly in front of the user, and 8 speakers positioned around the room provided surround sound.
18:18 [LINK] "Real Paleo Diet: Early Hominids Ate Just About Everything" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
At IFL Science, Ken Sayers notes that, far from cleaving to the paleo diet in vogue now, early hominids have a diverse omnivorous diet.

Reconstructions of human evolution are prone to simple, overly-tidy scenarios. Our ancestors, for example, stood on two legs to look over tall grass, or began to speak because, well, they finally had something to say. Like much of our understanding of early hominid behavior, the imagined diet of our ancestors has also been over-simplified.

Take the trendy Paleo Diet which draws inspiration from how people lived during the Paleolithic or Stone Age that ran from roughly 2.6 million to 10,000 years ago. It encourages practitioners to give up the fruits of modern culinary progress – such as dairy, agricultural products and processed foods – and start living a pseudo-hunter-gatherer lifestyle, something like Lon Chaney Jr. in the film One Million BC. Adherents recommend a very specific “ancestral” menu, replete with certain percentages of energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and suggested levels of physical activity. These prescriptions are drawn mainly from observations of modern humans who live at least a partial hunter-gatherer existence.

But from a scientific standpoint, these kinds of simple characterizations of our ancestors' behavior generally don’t add up. Recently, fellow anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy and I took a close look at this crucial question in human behavioral evolution: the origins of hominid diet. We focused on the earliest phase of hominid evolution from roughly 6 to 1.6 million years ago, both before and after the first use of modified stone tools. This time frame includes, in order of appearance, the hominids Ardipithecus and Australopithecus, and the earliest members of our own genus, the comparatively brainy Homo. None of these were modern humans, which appeared much later, but rather our distant forerunners.

We examined the fossil, chemical and archaeological evidence, and also closely considered the foraging behavior of living animals. Why is this crucial? Observing animals in nature for even an hour will provide a ready answer: almost all of what an organism does on a daily basis is simply related to staying alive; that includes activities such as feeding, avoiding predators and setting itself up to reproduce. That’s the evolutionary way.

[. . .]

Researchers Tom Hatley and John Kappelman noted in 1980 that hominids have bunodont – low, with rounded cusps – back teeth that show much in common with bears and pigs. If you’ve watched these animals forage, you know they’ll eat just about anything: tubers, fruits, leafy materials and twigs, invertebrates, honey and vertebrate animals, whether scavenged or hunted. The percentage contribution of each food type to the diet will depend (you guessed it) on the energetic value of specific foods in specific habitats, at specific times of year. Evidence from the entirety of human evolution suggests that our ancestors, and even we as modern humans, are just as omnivorous.
18:16 P.E.I. man accused of threatening Premier Wade MacLauchlan sent for 30-day psychiatric assessment »The Guardian - Local News
Richard Leonard Wright had a history of "bizarre behavior", the Crown says, telling police Prince Charles was a “shape-shifting reptile” during the Royals visit to the Island.
18:16 Bedeque rink making big improvements thanks to capital campaign »Journal-Pioneer Local
BEDEQUE AND AREA – Kevin Schurman was sitting in the stands at the Bedeque and Area Recreation Centre recently when a thought struck him.
18:16 [LINK] "Is Weibo on the way out?" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
BBC's Celia Hatton notes concerns that China's Weibo social networking platform might be on the way out thanks to state policies on anonymity.

China's internet watchdogs have threatened to enforce real-name registration before. But this time, they're adamant all Chinese citizens must provide their real names and identification numbers before using social media sites starting on 1 March.

Nicknames can be used on the sites, but only after users hand over their personal details to the government.

The new rule will stifle one of the few venues for free speech in China, many fear. Specifically, real-name registration could hasten the slow death of Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

Once the only place to find vibrant sources of debate on the Chinese internet, Weibo is quickly losing momentum.

Fifty-six million people in China stopped using Weibo accounts last year, according to China's state internet regulator, registering a drop from 331 million accounts to 275 million accounts. Several internet companies operate Weibo services in China, though all function in a similar manner.

Those with Weibo accounts don't seem to be using them very much. Ninety-four per cent of the messages on Weibo are generated by just 5% of its users, or 10 million people, according to one study published last April by the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre. The same study found that almost 60% of accounts had never posted a message.
18:13 [LINK] Edwin Lyngar of Salon on the problems of libertarianism in Honduras »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Edwin Lyngar at Salon has written a widely-shared travelogue of how, in his view, his visit to Honduras where a libertarian city-state is set to be established demonstrates the terrible weaknesses of that ideology on the ground.

Is this fair? It could be argued that, given a predatory state, a libertarian hands-off policy might be better. (Might.)

People better than I have analyzed the specific political moves that have created this modern day libertarian dystopia. Mike LaSusa recently wrote a detailed analysis of such, laying out how the bad ideas of libertarian politics have been pursued as government policy.

In America, libertarian ideas are attractive to mostly young, white men with high ideals and no life experience that live off of the previous generation’s investments and sacrifice. I know this because as a young, white idiot, I subscribed to this system of discredited ideas: Selfishness is good, government is bad. Take what you want, when you want and however you can. Poor people deserve what they get, and the smartest, hardworking people always win. So get yours before someone else does. I read the books by Charles Murray and have an autographed copy of Ron Paul’s “The Revolution.” The thread that links all the disparate books and ideas is that they fail in practice. Eliminate all taxes, privatize everything, load a country up with guns and oppose all public expenditures, you end up with Honduras.

In Honduras, the police ride around in pickup trucks with machine guns, but they aren’t there to protect most people. They are scary to locals and travelers alike. For individual protection there’s an army of private, armed security guards who are found in front of not only banks, but also restaurants, ATM machines, grocery stores and at any building that holds anything of value whatsoever. Some guards have uniforms and long guns but just as many are dressed in street clothes with cheap pistols thrust into waistbands. The country has a handful of really rich people, a small group of middle-class, some security guards who seem to be getting by and a massive group of people who are starving to death and living in slums. You can see the evidence of previous decades of infrastructure investment in roads and bridges, but it’s all in slow-motion decay.

I took a van trip across the country, starting in Copan (where there are must-see Mayan ruins), across to the Caribbean Sea to a ferry that took my family to Roatan Island. The trip from Copan to the coast took a full six hours, and we had two flat tires. The word “treacherous” is inadequate—a better description is “post-apocalyptic.” We did not see one speed limit sign in hundreds of kilometers. Not one. People drive around each other on the right and left and in every manner possible. The road was clogged with horses, scooters and bicycles. People traveled in every conceivable manner along the crumbling arterial. Few cars have license plates, and one taxi driver told me that the private company responsible for making them went bankrupt. Instead of traffic stops, there are military check points every so often. The roads seemed more dangerous to me than the gang violence.

The greatest examples of libertarianism in action are the hundreds of men, women and children standing alongside the roads all over Honduras. The government won’t fix the roads, so these desperate entrepreneurs fill in potholes with shovels of dirt or debris. They then stand next to the filled-in pothole soliciting tips from grateful motorists. That is the wet dream of libertarian private sector innovation.
17:58 Motorcycle retailers pleased with SummerRide's prospects »Journal-Pioneer Local
SUMMERSIDE – Summerside’s bid to replace Atlanticade is getting thumbs up from some people in the P.E.I. motorcycle industry.
17:35 Capitals head coach out for rest of regular season »Journal-Pioneer Sports
SUMMERSIDE – Summerside Western Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan has been suspended by the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) for the remainder of the regular season.
17:19 P.E.I. Midget AAA Female Hockey League Playoffs »Journal-Pioneer Sports
17:17 P.E.I. Bantam AAA Hockey League Playoffs »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Warriors take 2-0 lead into Game 3 on Tuesday
17:02 Confederation Bridge Wind Warning Advisory »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
The site-specific weather forecast received from Scotia Weather Services today, indicates wind conditions on March 02, 2015 that may result in restrictions of traffic on the Confederation Bridge.Commencing approximately 20:00hrs, March 02, 2015 winds are projected in the 70-80KM range...
17:02 District # 7 Women's Institute Convention scheduled tonight at South Shore United Church has been postponed until next Monday, March 9th »CBC Storm Centre - PEI
16:51 Peewee Caps win final home game »Journal-Pioneer Sports
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Peewee AAA Capitals improved their impressive home record to 14 wins and one loss on Saturday at the Plex, by defeatinG the Kings County Kings 4-3.
16:26 Wade MacLauchlan pledges new conflict of interest guidelines »The Guardian - Local News
New conflict of interest guidelines are coming for some Island civil servants as part of an emphasis on openness and transparency in government, says Premier Wade MacLauchlan. He made the announcement Monday during a meeting with senior public servants in Charlottetown. “New conflict of ...
16:20 The acid effect on our oceans and economies »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Early last week, a study from a group of universities, research centres and environmental groups in the United States pointed out a broadening danger for commercial fisheries in 15 states, 14 of them on the Atlantic coast.
16:04 Host Capitals claim “The EDD” »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Summerside Capitals defeat Charlottetown Abbies in 17th annual tournament
15:58 Canada raising world tensions »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Editor, I believe the sanctions that the Stephen Harper Conservatives placed on Russia raises tensions in the world. I really think it's pretty sinister that our government in Ottawa appears to be trying to ruin the economy of Russia through sanctions. I don't think it's a good way to bring ...
15:56 Where can I feed my infant? »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
Editor, A week or so after giving birth to my beautiful baby, real life eventually had to begin again. Groceries had to be bought, errands had to be run all while my week-old baby was in tow.
15:33 In Memoriam - Leonard Weatherbie »Charlottetown Police Public Announcements
Last week Charlottetown Police Services lost 25 year veteran Cst. Leonard Weatherbie to a lengthy battle with cancer. Leonard, or Lenny, will be missed by those who knew him as a devoted police officer and considerate friend. Leonard, all of 50 years old, devoted half of his life protecting and serving the citizens of Charlottetown. Leonard will be remembered as a fair and empathetic police officer; two traits respected by all.
15:33 Bob Dylan’s Film Noir Video The Night We Called It A Day »NJN Network
Dylan's new video from Shadows in the Night features movie director Nash Edgerton and Bob Dylan
15:33 Something to smile about on P.E.i. »The Guardian - Living
Breanna Ching of Souris, 18, spearheads third annual toy drive to bring enjoyment to hospitalized children
15:13 [URBAN NOTE] "Mystery tunnel built by two young guys ‘to hang out,’ police say" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Toronto Star's Diana Hall notes that the diggers of the mysterious tunnel found this January by York University have been found, and that their motives for doing so were not criminal at all.

It wasn’t Al Qaeda. It wasn’t future Pan Am Games spectators eager to get closer to the action. According to Toronto Police, the mysterious tunnel discovered in January near York University and the Rexall Centre, a site of the upcoming Pan Am Games, was simply built as a place for a couple of guys to hang out.

“There was nothing nefarious, there was nothing criminal, it was literally them doing it for a place to hang out,” Const. Victor Kwong said of the two builders who have no background in engineering.

[. . .]

Police were able to identify two men in their 20s who “built the tunnel for personal reasons” and confirmed that there was never any “criminal intent nor any threat to the people or city of Toronto,” according to a statement.

After significant media attention generated “enormous interest” in the case, police received information on Feb. 27, which led them to identifying the two men who built the tunnel.

Police aren’t releasing any more information about the builders, who are not facing any criminal charges.

I wonder if these two might later come out and identify themselves, or if they might be identified by someone else.
14:55 Smaller parties making inroads »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
In Monday’s editorial we suggested that the New Democratic Party is chasing down, albeit slowly, the province’s two main political powerhouses in the Liberals and Conservatives while making little mention of the past growth of the Island Green Party.
14:51 Impaired driving charges laid across P.E.I. over the weekend »The Guardian - Local News
Two teens arrested in early morning hours in unrelated impaired driving incidents
14:36 Summerside police seek info after parked car hit at Wendy's »The Guardian - Local News
Summerside police are looking for information after a parked car was struck at a parking lot on Granville Street recently. The vehicle that was hit was a grey GMC truck, which was stuck while parked behind Wendy’s restauranton Friday, Feb. 20. The collision occurred around 4 to 4:30 p.m. Police ...
14:19 The Joe Schmo Comic Show Ep 20 – Women in Comics »Misfortune Cookie

  On this very special episode Jared and Lucas talk about some new castings, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, a potential CW Super-Hero team show, and the new more adult Batman: Arkham Knight. Then we have not one, not two, but THREE amazing interviews with co-host of The Talking Comics podcast Stephanie Cooke, Writer and Artist of […]

The post The Joe Schmo Comic Show Ep 20 – Women in Comics appeared first on Stephanie Cooke.

13:05 I'm praying too................. (1561 Words) » | New Topics
Well not really - I don't think praying will help.

What we can do, however, is read the following article, encourage others to read it. Then, try to 'educate' your federal representatives about the issue, and ask them to pressure the federal government to end their policy of unconditional support for the Israeli government's policies.


'The Demise Ahead
10 Reasons To Pray for AIPAC’s Decline
March 02, 2015

As a secular Jew, I don’t do much praying. But this week, as the powerful pro-Israeli government lobby AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) holds its annual policy meeting in Washington DC, I’m praying that this year marks the beginning of the end of the lobby’s grip on US foreign policy.

From March 1-3, over 10,000 AIPAC supporters will descend on the nation’s capital. The meeting comes at a time when the relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at an all-time low. Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress right after he speaks at the AIPAC conference is seen by the White House as a direct attempt to undermine the president and his administration’s nuclear talks with Iran. In an unprecedented move, over 50 brave congresspeople have decided to skip Netanyahu’s Congressional address.

AIPAC’s support of the Israeli prime minister over the US president is turning AIPAC into a Republican-biased lobby that could hopefully prove fatal to its future influence in Washington. Here are ten reasons why this would be good for world peace:

1. AIPAC wants to sabotage nuclear talks with Iran. AIPAC – like the Israeli government –has no faith in the complex negotiations under way between Iran and the US (along with its five partners) to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. It pushes for greater sanctions on Iran knowing that—as Secretary of State John Kerry has said—additional sanctions would threaten the diplomatic path. AIPAC, which has successfully lobbied the US government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran in the past, is ignoring White House warnings and its lobby day this year will push for the Kirk-Menendez sanctions bill, a bill the President has vowed to veto. If the nuclear talks fail, the violence that has engulfed the Middle East will only get worse and will put the US on a dangerous path to more war.

2. AIPAC promotes Israeli settlements in direct opposition to international law. As of this past year, approximately 350,000 Israelis are recorded as living in illegal Israeli settlements, a record high. Despite the fact that United Nations Human Rights Council requested the removal of all of the West Bank’s settlers and cessation of all settlement activities without preconditions, settlement construction has increased by 40% under Prime Minister Netanyahu. Israeli settlements violate the Geneva Conventions and can be prosecuted within the International Criminal Court as “gross violations of human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law.” No wonder AIPAC doesn’t wait Palestine to become a member of the ICC…

3. AIPAC supports the horrific Israeli invasions and siege of Gaza. Claiming Israel was forced to defend itself against Hamas, AIPAC supported the Israeli offensive during the summer of 2014 called “Operation Protective Edge.” The attack resulted in thousands of deaths (including over 500 children), 6 UN schools and hospitals flattened, 18,000 housing units destroyed, 108,000 people displaced from their homes. Robert Cohen, the president of AIPAC, justified the Israeli offensive in a meeting with Congress on July 23rd. AIPAC also supported the prior two invasions of Gaza and the siege that has left the 1.8 million residents of Gaza living lives of intense poverty and misery.

4. AIPAC’s call for unconditional support for the Israeli government threatens our national security. The United States’ one-sided support of Israel, demanded by AIPAC, has significantly increased anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East, sowing the seeds of more possible terrorist attacks against us. Now disgraced Gen. David Petraeus admitted that the US/Palestine conflict “foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel.” Iran, for example, could be a vital ally for the US in the Middle East in the fight to control ISIL. But because of Israel’s hatred toward Iran and its strong influence (read: money) on our politicians, our foreign policies reflect Israel’s perceived interests more than ours.

5. AIPAC makes the US a pariah at the UN. AIPAC describes the UN as a body hostile to the State of Israel and has pressured the US government to oppose resolutions calling Israel to account. Since 1972, the US has vetoed at least 45 UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. In 2011, AIPAC helped persuade 446 members of Congress to co-sponsor resolutions opposing Palestine petitioning to obtain statehood in the UN. Overriding US (and AIPAC) objections, in 2012 the UN General Assembly passed a motion granting Palestine “non-member observer state” by a vote of 138 to 9. More recently, in response to Palestine seeking membership at the International Criminal Court (ICC), AIPAC pushed the Obama administration to pull funding from the Palestinian Authority. Despite US opposition, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon assured that Palestine will become a member of the ICC on April 1, 2015, a highly controversial move that will allow Palestine to press charges against Israel for war crimes.

6. AIPAC feeds US government officials a distorted view of the Israel/Palestine conflict. AIPAC takes US representatives on sugar-coated trips to Israel, trips considered almost obligatory for every new member of Congress. AIPAC hosts members of Congress—and many of their spouses—on a free junket to Israel to see precisely what the Israeli government wants them to see. It is illegal for lobby groups to take Congresspeople on trips, but AIPAC gets around the law with a bogus educational group, AIEF (American Israel Education Foundation), to “organize” the trips for them. AIEF has the same office address as AIPAC and the same staff. These trips help cement the ties between AIPAC and Congress, furthering their undue influence.

To prove most of Congress is in the pocket of AIPAC, look no further than what AIPAC boats about its policy conference, which is that it will “be attended by more members of Congress than almost any other event, except for a joint session of Congress or a State of the Union address.”

7. AIPAC attacks politicians who question unconditional support of Israel. AIPAC demands that Congress rubber stamp legislation drafted by AIPAC staff. It keeps a record of how members of Congress vote and this record is used by donors to make contributions to the politicians who score well. Members of Congress who fail to support AIPAC legislation have been targeted for defeat in re-election bids. These include Senators Adlai Stevenson III and Charles H. Percy, and Representatives Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, Cynthia McKinney, and Earl F. Hilliard. More recently, many Democrats who have publicly refused to attend Netanyahu’s speech in March have been directly targeted by AIPAC’s largest supporters. Representative of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson said that “If these Democrats would rather put partisan politics ahead of principle and walk out on the prime minister of Israel, then we have an obligation to make that known.” Adelson and Netanyahu’s other powerful, right-wing supporters vow to use their wealth and extensive resources to punish Democrats who skip the speech.

8. AIPAC attempts to silence all criticism of Israel by labeling critics as “anti-Semitic,” “de-legitimizers” or “self-hating Jews.” Journalists, think tanks, students and professors have been accused of anti-Semitism for merely taking stands critical of Israeli government policies. These attacks stifle the critical discussions and debates that are at the heart of democratic policy-making.

9. AIPAC lobbies for billions of US taxdollars to go to Israel instead of rebuilding America. With communities across the nation slashing budgets for teachers, firefighters and police, AIPAC pushes for over $3 billion a year to Israel. This money goes to the Israeli military to maintain, in high-tech fashion, the apartheid system of oppressing Palestinians.

10. Money to Israel takes funds from world’s poor. Israel has the 24th largest economy in the world, but thanks to AIPAC, it gets more US taxdollars than any other country. At a time when the foreign aid budget is being slashed, keeping the lion’s share of foreign assistance for Israel meaning taking funds from critical programs to feed, provide shelter and offer emergency assistance to the world’s poorest people.

The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has influence on US policy out of all proportion to the number of Americans who support its policies. When a small group like this has disproportionate power, it hurts everyone—including Israelis and American Jews.

From stopping a catastrophic war with Iran to finally solving the Israel/Palestine conflict, an essential starting point is breaking AIPAC’s grip on U.S. policy. That’s why I’m praying that this time, by snubbing President Obama and offending Democratic members of Congress, AIPAC is careening towards its own demise.

[i]Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights organization Global Exchange. She is one of the organizers of #ShutDownAIPAC, which will take place February 28-March 3 in Washington DC.[/i]...
13:05 Prince County Teachers: Piping Plover Education Opportunity (107 Words) » | New Topics
This winter, Island Nature Trust is offering a FREE and fun game-based learning experience to Grade 4 and 6 classes in Prince County!

Through play and discussion, students will discover hands-on what it is like to be an endangered species on a PEI beach!

We will bring the game materials. Teachers will need to
arrange for a large open space (i.e. gym or resource room).

A few links from local media about the program: ... -1.2955977 ... -plovers/1...
13:05 Prince County Teachers: Piping Plover Education Opportunity (107 Words) » | New Topics
This winter, Island Nature Trust is offering a FREE and fun game-based learning experience to Grade 4 and 6 classes in Prince County!

Through play and discussion, students will discover hands-on what it is like to be an endangered species on a PEI beach!

We will bring the game materials. Teachers will need to
arrange for a large open space (i.e. gym or resource room).

A few links from local media about the program: ... -1.2955977 ... -plovers/1...
12:56 West Prince man charged after St. Peter and St. Paul collision »The Guardian - Local News
A West Prince man is accused of impaired driving after a two-vehicle crash in St. Peter and St. Paul last week. The man faces criminal charges of impaired driving and refusing to provide a breath sample following the crash, which occurred on Route 2 in St. Peter and St. Paul in the late evening ...
12:49 Rob Lantz heading up revived PC party »The Guardian - Opinion
Successful leadership campaign just what the doctor ordered for Island Conservatives
12:42 Two women arrested in connection with Needs robberies »The Guardian - Local News
Two women have been arrested for their involvement in a robbery at a Charlottetown Needs convenience store in August. The two people were arrested this weekend after a lengthy investigation by Charlottetown police into the robbery, which occurred Aug. 25 at the Brackley Point Road Needs ...
12:41 Heat pumps used as fall guy »The Guardian - Opinion
Islanders being penalized for trying to save energy
12:39 The myth of school grade levels »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: School grade levels are an administrative convenience and nothing more; Grade 9 math is a myth — but so also is college or university math, and the same may be said for other subjects. That’s not to say that there aren’t different levels of a subject, it’s just that a level has nothing ...
12:37 Basketball Wonder Women »Summer Savoury
A few takeaways particularly for PEI fans from what is always the best basketball tournament in Canada, eclipsing the national championships in emotion and passion: The long overdue inclusion of the AUS women’s championships with the men’s tournament at the legendary Metro (now ScotiaBank) Centre was a huge success. The final numbers aren’t in yet, […]
12:35 Judicial inquiry needed into 'secret, five-year e-gambling scheme’: NDP leader »The Guardian - Local News
Mike Redmond also wants that inquiry to examine the provincial nominee program and the full range of government grants and loans over the last decade
12:35 Bevan-Baker cries for P.E.I. »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: It was the first time I ever saw a speaker cry with emotion at a public meeting as he explained how he feels P.E.I. can be made greater than it is.When it comes to crying, the public usually sees that happen much longer after an election, with the realization a politician couldn’t ...
12:33 Lot of surveys, few firm answers »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: If the latest survey tells you that something you really like is very bad for you, don’t sweat it.There will be another survey, likely within a month or so. And whatever was supposed to be killing you will be good for you again.Jon B. Kane, Covehead Road
12:31 Snowy times from our past »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: I have been transcribing family letters from as far back as 1864, and came across this one that might be of interest to your readers, given your current weather conditions. It was written by my great-uncle, Lt.-Col. Sidney Seymour Weatherbie of Bellevue, P.E.I., to his nephew Sidney ...
12:27 Shorter letters is good idea »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: Managing editor Gary MacDougall’s column in Saturday’s paper (“A word to correspondents”) announces a change to shorter letter length in letters submitted to your paper. A good idea, in my opinion, as it may allow more letters and shorter letters are more likely to be read.You might ...
11:44 Police called to two weekend MVAs »Journal-Pioneer Local
SUMMERSIDE - Summerside police are investigating a collision, Friday, involving a grey GMC truck that was stuck while parked in a parking lot behind Wendy’s restaurant on Granville Street.
11:38 Just under half million dollars announced to grow North Rustico as tourist destination »The Guardian - Local News
NORTH RUSTICO — The Town of North Rustico is hoping to attract many more visitors to its idyllic location.
 This morning, it was given445,500 to do just that. The provincial and federal governments took part in the funding announcement today at the North Rustico Lions Club that will see steps ...
11:31 Casey rink wins second straight »The Guardian - Sports
CALGARY – The Adam Casey rink is proving the P.E.I. representative can play with the best teams in Canada. Casey, third stone Josh Barry, second stone Anson Carmody and lead Robbie Doherty held on for a 6-5 win over British Columbia’s Jim Cotter in Sunday night’s late draw to improve to 2-1 at ...
11:18 Stratford’s Build-a-Birdfeeder event proves popular »The Guardian - Local News
Kim Dudley was excited to take her two sons to build a birdfeeder. “It was fantastic ... we had a great time,” she said. They went to build one at the recent Build-a-Birdfeeder event at Stratford Town Hall. This was the first event in a three-part series called “Building Better Backyards for ...
11:07 Study says green crabs and lobster bad mix »The Guardian - Local News
A study published last week suggesting the use of green crab for lobster bait could be harmful to the lobster fishery has caught the attention of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association.President Craig Avery said he doesn’t think there is much green crab being used for bait in the Island’s lobster ...
10:13 Celebrating Women, Activism and Advocacy / Célébrons les femmes, l’activisme et la revendication »Women's Equality PEI
Le texte français suit l’anglais. Celebrating Women, Activism and Advocacy Charlottetown, February 27, 2015 – “Advocacy, Activism, and Agitation” is the theme of PEI’s 2015 International Women’s Day celebrations. Events will kick off on Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. with an IWD Coffee House at St. Peter’s Church Hall, entrance at the corner of […]
09:36 Females Arrested For Robbery and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services have arrested two females for their involvement in a robbery at Needs Convenience Store, 180 Brackley Pt. Rd., on the 25th day of August 2014. Both females were arrested the this weekend after a lengthy investigation by police. One of the accused females, age 22, was charged with robbery and indictable theft, and the other female, age 20, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Both females will be appearing in Provincial Court at a later date.
09:09 Steven Myers staying on as Opposition leader »Journal-Pioneer Local
He might have a new boss in the PC Party, but MLA Steven Myers will hold on to one of his old jobs for a little longer.
09:05 CBC Charlottetown Continue to Ignore Ghiz Gaming Corruption »
The investigation into Robert Ghiz gaming corruption was done by one of the respected investigators of Canada, Bruce MacDonald of Halifax. It evidences criminal behaviour in the Premiers office and fraudulent statements by Scotiabank, Scotia McLeod executives Eddie Curran and Yousef Hashmi. The Charlottetown Guardian did a whitewash review of the corruption and joined CBC … Continue reading CBC Charlottetown Continue to Ignore Ghiz Gaming Corruption
09:04 Parks Canada gets out of trail grooming »Journal-Pioneer Local
For the past few winters, Islanders have needed to blaze their own trail to cross-country ski, hike or snowshoe in the Prince Edward Island National Park.
09:04 EEOC Sues Sims Recycling and All-Star Personnel for Disability Discrimination »NJN Network
International Recycling Company and Staffing Agency Refused to Assign Employee With Hearing Loss, Federal Agency Charges
08:59 Young Prince Edward Island parliamentarians »The Guardian - Local News
High school students get taste of politics during Rotary Youth Parliament
08:56 Fire destroys number of vintage cars in Brackley »Journal-Pioneer Local
BRACKLEY - The past couple of days have been some of the more trying ones for area farmer Barry Cudmore.
08:54 Nature Conservancy promotes land donations »The Guardian - Local News
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation’s leading land conservation organization, working to protect natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. The Nature ...
08:52 P.E.I. fuel prices continue upward climp »Journal-Pioneer Local
Fuel prices continue their steady climb upwards on Prince Edward island with another round of hikes announced over night.
08:39 P.E.I. premier unfazed by death threat, says chief of staff »Journal-Pioneer Local
News of an alleged death threat failed to disrupt Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s busy itinerary, says his chief of staff.
08:36 Toronto The Great »NJN Network
Everything She Could by Thomas Hawk from his album CN Tower Toronto.
08:25 Vehicle Stuck in Snowbank - Arrested For Impaired Driving »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services were conducting routine patrols early Sunday morning at 5:11am on Riverside Dr., when they observed a vehicle stuck in a snow bank. Police stopped to check occupants, and determined that the operator of the vehicle was impaired. Police arrested a 40 Charlottetown area male for impaired driving. Accused male had approximately three times the legal amount of alcohol in his blood, and will be appearing in Provincial Court at a later date.
08:10 Man Arrested For Impaired Driving »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services received a complaint early Saturday morning at 2:41am, regarding a possible impaired driver on Euston St., near Weymouth St.. Police patrolled area and arrested a 19 year old Pleasant grove PE area male for impaired driving. Accused male was jailed at the Provincial Correctional Centre, and will be appearing in Provincial Court at a later date. Charlottetown Police Services encourage the public to report any instances of impaired driving...Call 911.
07:44 Island athletes return home from Prince George »The Guardian - Sports
Team P.E.I. arrived at the Charlottetown Airport early Monday morning from the Canada Games in Prince George, B.C. Family were waiting at the arrival area when the flight came in around 5:40 a.m. It concludes two weeks of competition for Island athletes at the multi-sport event.
07:44 Island athletes return home from Prince George »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Team P.E.I. arrived at the Charlottetown Airport early Monday morning from the Canada Games in Prince George, B.C. Family were waiting at the arrival area when the flight came in around 5:40 a.m. It concludes two weeks of competition for Island athletes at the multi-sport event.
07:34 Parks Canada gets out of trail grooming »The Guardian - Local News
For the past few winters, Islanders have needed to blaze their own trail to cross-country ski, hike or snowshoe in the Prince Edward Island National Park.Winter-loving volunteers have been clearing ski trails in national parks on their own time, stepping into the vacuum left by federal ...
07:31 Steven Myers staying on as Opposition leader »The Guardian - Local News
He might have a new boss in the PC Party, but MLA Steven Myers will hold on to one of his old jobs for a little longer.Soon after taking to the stage for his victory speech, new party leader Rob Lantz announced he wanted Myers to stay on as opposition leader.“He has been a key member of our PC ...
07:28 Casey wins second straight »Journal-Pioneer Sports
CALGARY – The Adam Casey rink is proving the P.E.I. representative can play with the best teams in Canada.


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