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The last Rangers the best Rangers

If you want to feel a wee bit on the old side, consider this tidbit of Pictou County hockey history: It has been 50 years – yes, half a century – since the last New Glasgow Rangers team took to the ice.
It was also, in my opinion at least, the best Rangers team ever.
I’m talking, of course, about the 1964-65 season when the local club was one of four franchises in the renamed Maritime Senior Hockey League.
That’s when a sports-minded doctor was at the executive head of the New Glasgow club and a former National Hockey League all-star was the playing coach.
For the Rangers, it was quite a year, one that began optimistically in October and ended in March with a Maritime championship and a taste of Allan Cup hockey in Sherbrooke, P.Q.
I remember it well.
Dr. John Hamm, a New Glasgow physician who made house calls and later became Nova Scotia’s premier, was the club president, having succeeded Sobeys store manager Art Mosher.
Fleming Mackell, the old Toronto Maple Leaf and Boston Bruin, was the coach and star player, arguably the best player ever to wear a New Glasgow hockey jersey.
There was enough playing talent, too, to make the Rangers a winning team and an exciting team.
To call it the best Rangers team ever isn’t a stretch of my imagination, and I’m not forgetting about the fact the franchise had memorable championship campaigns in 1951-52 (with goaltending star Jackie Gibson) and in 1954-55 (under coach and goalie Paul LeClerc).
But that 1964-65 lineup had the deepest talent. There was Mackell to lead the way. There was Daryl (Big M) MacMillan and Reggie Asselin. And there was plenty of room for locals like Ralph Cameron, Jim MacNeil, Stew and Johnny Young, and Frank MacDonald. A trade added Ben LeBlanc. On defence there were the likes of Jules (Crash) Bouchard and John Ford.
It should be pointed out that it wasn’t the kind of year that a single club ran away from the pack in the regular schedule. However, New Glasgow did post a fine 34-22-1 record for a first-place finish.
In the offensive department, though, the Rangers did dominate.
Mackell, who had joined the team midway through the previous winter, showed why he had been an NHL star, scoring 49 goals and 124 points to take the scoring title. Asselin was third in the scoring race with 43 goals and 83 points, while MacMillan had 30 goals among his 74 points. LeBlanc scored 25 goals and added 47 assists.
Another noteworthy statistic: Bouchard accumulated more than 400 minutes in penalties, a record in Maritime hockey.
Goaltending got an important upgrade during the year. The team started with Gary Waugh, but he was replaced by Brookfield’s Lyle Carter, a key change. In his first dozen outings with the Rangers, he didn’t allow more than two goals in a game. It was a sign that New Glasgow was ready to rule the league.
Mackell, Carter, Bouchard and Ford all made the league’s all-star team. Mackell was the most valuable player, hands down.
When playoff time arrived, the Rangers faced Windsor-Dartmouth in what was a best-of-nine semi-final. A 9-0 New Glasgow onslaught in the first 40 minutes of the opening contest pretty much showed that Mackell’s club wasn’t going to take anything for granted. They coasted, for sure, winning five games to one.
That brought on Moncton and, though the Hawks proved to be a better opponent, the Rangers still took the round 5-2 in games, giving them a 10-3 playoff mark and the league title.
Next piece of business: a best-of-seven round against the Cape Breton champion Glace Bay Miners. What made this a rather interesting matchup was the fact former New Glasgow coach Leo Amadio was coaching the Miners. That didn’t matter on the ice, however, the Rangers dominating four games to one.
The new Maritime champions had an eye-opening 14-4 playoff mark as they prepared to go on the Allan Cup hunt. The Allan Cup, if you’ve forgotten, was still one of the most cherished hockey trophies anywhere.
The Sherbrooke Beavers were Quebec league champions and their eyes were on just one thing – going all the way to an Allan Cup victory. They were heralded as the best senior team in the country.
Maritime winners were allowed to add players for the Allan Cup trail. The Rangers grabbed Amadio, goalie Don Larin, defenceman Toy Toy Gallant and forward George Gosselin.
And so it was off to Sherbrooke.
My old buddy Sterling Bain and I set out by car and were in the Quebec city when the Rangers arrived, accompanied by Hamm and other team officials.
It was a fun time – off the ice at least. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out on the ice.
Give the Rangers credit, though. Despite a lot of Allan Cup chatter in the community, the Maritime champs pulled an upset in the opening game of the best-of-five round, winning 4-2. The crowd that night seemed stunned.
But Sherbrooke fans got what they wanted the remainder of the series.
The Beavers, who would go all the way and get the national crown and Allan Cup, gave New Glasgow a thorough spanking, posting 8-0, 15-4 and 8-1 wins. Ouch. As I said in a column a few years ago, it was a hard pill to swallow.
A great season had come to a crashing end.
We had no reason to know it when we went home, but that was the last time any of us would see the New Glasgow Rangers in action.
They were actually ready to play again the next season, but nobody else was. The league simply collapsed around them.
The Rangers had played their final game. They would not return.
For those of us who had watched them since 1951, the year the Stadium opened, the curtain had come down.
These 50 years later, I still think of all the games, all the highs and lows, all the guys who wore the uniform, the things that made it a great era in New Glasgow’s hockey history.

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A Reason for Hope continues

On Saturday, November 1, the 7th annual Reason for Hope Fundraising Concert will be held at Glasgow Square Theatre.
This year’s fundraiser, running from 3:30 to 8 p.m., will be held in a casual cabaret format.
Since its inception in 2007, the Reason for Hope Society has raised $40,000 for cancer-related initiatives. Past benefiting groups and organizations include: The Canadian Cancer Society’s Lodge That Gives, Aberdeen Hospital Oncology Department, Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Funds raised at this year’s event will be targeted towards metastatic breast cancer research at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute in Moncton, NB.
This year’s featured performer is Canadian music icon Matt Minglewood who, this year, is celebrating 50 years of entertaining Canadian audiences. Minglewood will be joined by his full band for the New Glasgow show.
Also appearing will be Pictou County’s own Doris Mason who recently released her long awaited CD “Lovesongs & Lullabies.” Mason and Minglewood have shared the stage on numerous occasions as members of the much loved Cape Breton Summertime Review.
Completing the lineup will be Toronto-based New Glasgow native Mary Stewart. She is the daughter of Reason for Hope founder, the late Emma Lee Stewart. This singer is currently in the process of releasing her third CD scheduled for release in 2015.
The event will also feature a silent auction and door prizes. Tickets are $25 in advance and are available at Glasgow Square and H&R Music, New Glasgow. Doors open at 3 p.m.
For more information contact James Stewart, jameshughstewart@gmail.com, 902-752-1650.

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Open mic jam sessions at Legion come to end

To the Editor:
This would be the fourth year that the Friday evening open mic jam session at the Pictou Legion would be bringing in talent from all over the county entertaining all who wish to attend.
Friday evening will now be used for another function and Sunday evening was provided as an alternative.
Due to lack of attendance, the Open Mic is now terminated. I will hopefully find another facility to start the open mic up again which has a more desirable day of the week for those attending.
I would like to extend my appreciation to the Pictou Legion for the use of the lounge up to now.
I have received many compliments from people around the county for providing them the chance to listen to the fantastic talent that sometimes comes from all over the (country) .
What was unique with the Pictou Jam, ALL levels of talent were welcome from beginners to the pros. The audience loved them all, and it was not uncommon to get the audience involved singing with the players.
Alan MacKenzie
Pictou

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Year-round awareness of ticks essential in preventing bites

To the Editor:
Many people think because it is fall and the winter is coming there is no need to be concerned about ticks and Lyme disease.
Adult blacklegged ticks can be active as long as the temperatures are above freezing and fall is a common time to encounter ticks.
Hunting, walking in the woods and yard cleanup activities are all activities that can bring people into contact with ticks. It is still important to wear repellent and to do tick checks. Year-round awareness is essential!
The adult blacklegged ticks prefer larger hosts such as deer, pets and humans and the ticks can be found questing about knee-high on blades of grass and the tips of branches of low growing shrubs.
Once the female tick is fully engorged on her blood meal, she will drop off the host into the leaf litter, where she can over-winter. An engorged female can lay a single egg mass (up to 1,500-2,000 eggs) in mid-to-late May, and then she dies. The larvae emerge from eggs in the spring or early summer.
There is no time of the year where the potential risk of ticks and Lyme can be ignored. We need to educate ourselves about ticks.
Someone with a bite and a rash went to see a doctor and was concerned about ticks and Lyme disease and was told it could not be a tick bite, otherwise the tick would still be there. People need to be educated regarding the tick life cycle.
There was another person who went to a doctor with a bite and was laughed at when they were concerned about a tick bite; they were told it was a spider bite. Ticks and spiders may belong to the same class, the arachnid class, but their bites are easily distinguished.
Many of our health care professionals lack education regarding vector borne/zoonotic illnesses so patients should be willing to ask for a second opinion.
Elizabeth May’s Private Members Bill C-442 will be in the Senate on October 22 and 23 to be reviewed and voted on by the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee of the Senate. The bill will then will go back to the full senate for final reading, debate and vote. Bills that are passed get Royal Assent from the Governor General into law. We need this bill to pass so people with Lyme disease can get help in Canada.
Pictou East MLA Tim Houston re-introduced his Lyme Bill along with a petition from the public on Thursday, October 16. We need to have our provincial government establish guidelines regarding prevention, identification, treatment and proper management of Lyme disease. The MLAs will all be hearing from me asking them to support Tim Houston’s Lyme Bill.
Let us hope 2014 will be the end of a long battle for help with Lyme disease in Canada. There will still be a long way to go. Education is key!
Brenda Sterling-Goodwin
New Glasgow

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Few options for twinning

Every time there is a fatal motor vehicle crash, the call resurfaces to twin more roads.
It illustrates the protracted tug between the ongoing quest for greater road safety and accompanying financial constraints.
Last week, the driver of a pick-up truck died in a collision with a trailer truck in Marshy Hope on Highway 104. More than a dozen fatal crashes have occurred on sections of the highway between Sutherlands River and Antigonish during the past five years or so, and people who ply the road have, at various times, sought to get more of the highway twinned.
It is not easy for governments to comply with those pleas, and they have been working over the years to make 100 Series highways safer by twinning them.
Traffic volume is one measure used to justify twinning a section of highway. The volume of crashes – fatal and otherwise – is another. The ability for the province to get cost-sharing federal funding is another.
That is why the recent funding federal announcement to repave parts of Highway 104 was welcome, despite its unfortunate optics and timing.
The twinned portion between Alma and Salt Springs took years to design and build before it opened in 1999. It bypassed a section of two-lane road where fatal crashes also occurred.
Four-lane highway extends to Sutherlands River and eliminated some especially dangerous intersections, but again, it took years to complete and included entire redesign.
Decisions on where to follow terrain and where to fill in, where to incorporate bridges and where to apply culverts are some of the enormous challenges governments and contractors face to build any road. Those challenges are magnified when twinning is involved.
Where Highway 104 flows from the Barney’s River exit to the Pictou-Antigonish county line will be difficult, time-consuming and expensive to replace. It took 12 years to design, build and open the four-lane bypass around Antigonish. A Marshy Hope option could take at least that long if work started today.
So we need to examine what we can do now to reduce the carnage. We need to somehow ease the trauma inflicted on those who travel between here and Antigonish, those friends and loved ones and emergency responders.
There are factors we have to consider. We can twin Highway 104 all the way to the Strait of Canso and beyond, and Nova Scotia will still have mostly two-lane highway. Drivers need to act accordingly and be especially alert and avoid distractions.
We can call for more law enforcement patrol of the highway. We could also reduce the speed limit in and around Marshy Hope.
We could also sign a petition, organized by Tammy MacLaren of New Glasgow, calling for the twinning of the TCH from Sutherlands River to Antigonish. As of Tuesday noon, more than 3,125 did just that.
Steve Goodwin

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Hayride helpers needed

It will soon be the spookiest time of year, where scary things and costumes become the norm for a few days anyway.
To celebrate Halloween this year, the Friends of Trenton Park Society will be hosting the Haunted Hay Rides for the second time, after having taken it over from other groups that had run the event in the past.
Trenton Parks and Recreation staff are putting a call out for those who might be interested in helping out with the hay rides and playing a part in the frightful act.
“We need upwards of 40 people to pull it off,” said Martin Bates, Trenton Parks and Recreation.
The group already has scenes picked out for the actors who wish to participate; the only challenge now is to get bodies to fill the roles. Help setting up days before the event is also needed to help pull it off.
Some of the scenes that will be played out include, Alice in Wonderland, children of the corn, jeeper’s creepers, as well as Psycho and a few more, including new scenes that were not a part of the event last year.
A Hansel and Gretel scene will also be played out for the smaller children during the afternoon hayrides.
The rides will take place Saturday, Oct. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. for the children’s ride and 6:30 to 10 p.m. for adults.
Participants’ will begin on a horse and wagon ride and will be able to get off and walk through the woods on the way back.
To ensure a fun time for everyone there will be no line ups to wait in.
“We are selling times, you can book them ahead of time,” said Bates. “You don’t have to wait in line.”
Those who do not book a time can also head down to the park and rather than waiting in line for their turn, they will be given a time card for when their group is to come back. In the meantime, those waiting can explore the activities that will be available.
“We’ll have kids’ crafts and games, and those sorts of things, “said Bates.
To book times or if you are interested in volunteering, call Trenton Parks and Recreation at (902) 752-1019, or email robyn.meyer@trenton.ca.
“The volunteers really get a charge out of playing the roles,” said Bates, “they do love it.”

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Strutting their stuff for mental health

Fundraising in Pictou County has never looked so good.
A new fundraiser for mental health will have models of all walks of life strutting their way down the runway in affordable fashions.
Models for Mental Health aims to combat a serious issue with a light hearted night of fun, fashion and some fabulous models.
“Shawna and I had sort of batted the idea of doing a fundraiser,” said Lily DeYoung, one of the organizers of the event. The two-woman team was looking for the right fit though, and in more ways than one, they found it when they caught word that a woman in Tatamagouche had a fashionably different fundraising idea.
Marj Hatherly of Ladies Consignment Shop in Tatamagouche has been hosting fundraiser fashion shows in different parts of the province for different causes. The models for the fashion show are women from all over Pictou County who will be modeling looks from Hatherly’s shop.
The event, to take place Sunday, November 2, from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Glasgow Square will feature Pictou County native Starr Dobson, CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.
“We knew we wanted Starr Dobson once we got certain things in order,” said Shawna Coleman, the other main organizer of the event. To plan the fundraiser the pair had about a month to put it all together and find a date that would work for all the people essential to make the event work.
Tickets for the event will be $15 each and are available at BaKED Food Café, as well as Scotia Bank in Westville as well as at the door. Scotia Bank will also be matching the money taken in from ticket sales at their Westville branch to contribute to the Mental Health Foundation.
“Our models have been really great to work with,” said DeYoung. The models chosen are family, friends and strangers that the pair approached during their hunt for participants. The age range varies from 16 to 70 years old.
“Each of them will be modeling three outfits,” said DeYoung. The categories will be casual and formal.
Clothes that are worn in the fashion show will also be available for purchase afterward with cash or credit card.
The event will also include some light jazz music as well as a 50/50 draw and a cash bar.
In addition to having fun, the pair wants to ensure that people remember the cause they are donating to and have more conversations around the issue.
“Although we think that there are great strides being made in increasing the awareness about mental health issues we still have a lot of room to grow and there is still a lot of secrecy and stigma that mental health is shrouded in. We still have work to do,” said DeYoung. “It’s probably the last major social issue that we have to eradicate.”

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Harvest Time on Saturday at farmers market

NEW GLASGOW – The New Glasgow Farmers Market will host the annual New Glasgow Harvest Time event on Saturday with a great line-up of activities that celebrate the fall harvest season.
New hours for the market will also be introduced, 10 a.m. to
2 p.m., and these hours will be in effect until the end of November. Special events planned include apple cider demonstrations and samples by Danny MacDonald of Little Dan D Farms, pumpkin painting, a colouring contest and wool crafts for children, as well as face painting. Big Cove Foods will be the featured chefs in the community kitchen and there will even be sheep in a penned in area outside the dome from the Lismore Sheep Farm. Musicians will be singer/songwriter Layne Greene and fiddler Hannah Fraser.
“The annual Harvest Time event is the culmination of the fall harvest and there will be outstanding fall produce available as well as meats, eggs, baked goods, art, crafts and much more,” says Melissa Zimmerman, president of the New Glasgow Farmers Market.
“We still see many tourists coming to the province during autumn and an event such as Harvest Time provides an authentic Nova Scotia experience,” says Kim Dickson, New Glasgow director of Marketing & Communications. “There is nothing more genuine and reflective of Nova Scotia than a quality farmers market and ours is one of the best. The New Glasgow Farmers Market is also a celebration of locally grown produce and locally created art, crafts and baked goods as well as a showcase for an abundance of Nova Scotia talent and creativity that we have right here in Pictou County. It is also now a very well established community gathering place and you are sure to find friends and neighbours there enjoying all that the market has to offer.”
The New Glasgow Farmers Market will also be open Saturdays until November 29 which will be the Christmas theme and the last market of the 2014 season. Visit www.ngfarmers.ca or the New Glasgow Farmers Market on Facebook.

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Truck hits train overpass in downtown New Glasgow

NEW GLASGOW – Another truck has hit the overpass downtown.
At approximately 6:15 p.m. on Friday, New Glasgow Regional Police and New Glasgow Fire Department received a 911 call and responded to a single motor vehicle crash where an international transport truck impacted with the train bridge on Dalhousie Street.
Dalhousie Street was closed to traffic for a couple of hours.
The bridge received minor damage while the truck suffered major damage.
No one was injured in the collision.
Maritime Rail and the New Glasgow Public Works also attended and investigated the damage and deemed the bridge structure safe.

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Fatal crash at Marshy Hope

Pictou County and Antigonish County RCMP are currently on scene of a two-motor vehicle crash that has claimed the life of an adult male.
At 5:30 a.m., RCMP responded to a report of a collision in Marshy Hope. Preliminary investigation determined that a collision occurred between a tractor trailer and pick-up, the driver of the pick-up was pronounced dead at the scene.
The highway is blocked in both directions and traffic is being diverted eastbound at exit 29A, and westbound at exit 30.
RCMP Sgt. Alain LeBlanc said the highway could remain closed for another four hours.
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal are also assisting RCMP at the scene.
A collision analyst is en route to the scene while officers continue the investigation. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

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You’re a winner!

If this is you in this photo, you have won two tickets to a Crushers home game at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. Drop in to our office at 21 George Street, Pictou, to claim your tickets!

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Man arrested for assault

New Glasgow Regional Police arrested a 23-year-old man Thursday morning in relation to an assault that took place in the early morning of October 10 on Provost Street, New Glasgow outside the Roseland Cabaret.
The New Glasgow Regional Police Major Crime Unit have charged the man from Pictou County with aggravated assault. He has been remanded into custody and will be appearing at Provincial Court in Pictou on Monday October 20.
On October 14, New Glasgow Regional Police responded to a 911 callat approximately 1:45 a.m. when a man was injured outside the Roseland Cabaret. Police and Emergency Health Services responded and transported the 46 year-old from Pictou County to the Aberdeen Hospital and later transported him to the QE II Health Sciences Hospital with serious life threatening head injuries.

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Albion club to host bouts

TRENTON – Albion Amateur Boxing Club got a lift recently from victories by two of its members.
Dawson Bowes and Dawson Fraser won their bouts during a card on Sept. 27 in Sydney. They were among four Albion boxers on the card.
Bowes defeated Blake Shea of St. John’s, N.L. in their 78-kilogram match.
“Dawson Bowes had a hard-fought win,” Albion head coach Jim Worthen said. “It was a great win for Dawson.”
Fraser won a unanimous decision against Aaron Christenson of Glace Bay in their 60 kg match.
“That was a good, tough bout,” Worthen said.
Cameron MacDonald lost a close decision to Sam Prince of Sydney in their 67 kg tiff, while Cage MacDonald lost to Nick Callaghan of St. John’s when the contest was stopped after MacDonald suffered a nose bleed.
“Cage was pretty disappointed but that’s the way it goes in boxing sometimes,” Worthen said. “We always want to keep the boxers safe.”
Albion is preparing for a card later this month at a site and date yet to be determined.
The club is also getting ready to host a card at Summer Street Industries on Nov. 22 in New Glasgow.
Between now and then, the Albion club is trying to get their boxing ring lowered after discovering the ring appeared to be too high for the main room at Summer Street Industries during the first time the club hosted a card there last spring.
“We’d like to have it lowered by a foot,” Worthen said. “It’s not a safety thing. It’s a visual thing.”

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Local Midget AAAs named Baseball N.S. team of 2014

STELLARTON – The MacGregor Kinsmen Midget AAAs have earned another accolade, having been named Baseball Nova Scotia’s team of the year for 2014.
“It has been quite a year for this ball team, and a lot of hard work by a lot of volunteers,” team spokesman Russell Oehman said.
The locals won the National Elimination Midget AAA Tournament in July to represent Nova Scotia at the Canadian National Midget AAA tournament in Magog, Quebec.
The team followed by winning the Bluenose League and won the 2014 Nova Scotia Midget AAA provincial tournament.
In 2013 they were not winning but learning the game and learning to play unselfishly with each other.
In preparation for the 2014 season, Rick Feehan, treasurer of the team’s board of directors brought in the Eastern Canadian Baseball Academy to help the player continue in their quest to learn fundamental baseball and win more baseball games.
“Hard work by the players and the commitment by head coach Ryan Thibeau, assistant coaches John Russell and Rob MacCallum and manager Scott Fisher really helped this team come together to play great baseball both defensively and offensively,” Oehman said.
The award will be presented to team members on Oct. 25 at the 2014 annual BNS awards dinner in Halifax.
MacGregor Custom Machining and the New Glasgow Kinsmen have been the sponsors of this team since 1995 and they will be fielding their 20th team next summer.

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Well-earned honour for Steve Goodwin

I can’t give the specific year that I met Steve Goodwin for the first time, but it was sometime in the 1970s. I remember that I was sports editor of The Chronicle Herald at the time and we were introduced in the press box prior to a Nova Scotia Voyageurs game in Halifax.
I took a special interest in him right away because this was the new sports editor of The Evening News, the New Glasgow paper where I got my feet wet in the newspaper business a couple decades earlier. He had just succeeded Charlie Stevens, a dear old friend from my Pictou County days.
It would be the first of many occasions that our paths would cross, usually at sports events of one kind or another. He was keen for sure and, I quickly took note, he attended everything that was taking place in the sports world in the county and many places around the province. He was a frequent visitor to events in Halifax-Dartmouth.
In 1998, towards the end of my 48 years with the Halifax paper, I started writing two sports columns a week for the New Glasgow paper. Steve was an established part of the editorial team at the paper in those days.
Six years later, I switched my allegiance to The Advocate and – guess what? — Steve was already a staffer at the Pictou weekly.
Through four decades, our paths have crossed many more times, at hockey, baseball and football games in Halifax, at road races and other events in Pictou County. Wherever there was a story to be found.
Now I’ve gotten a chance to talk about the Amherst native.
I may not recall the year of our introduction those many hockey games ago, but one thing I am sure about – he writes a lot, and he writes well. That’s been especially true since he joined The Advocate.
As any reader of this newspaper is well aware, Steve covers sports across the county and beyond, and he covers them well. And, like myself, he knows what a privilege it is to watch games, interview athletes and sports people, and at the same time love what you’re being paid to do. It’s called finding the right niche in your life.
But hold it a moment. Steve Goodwin isn’t just a sportswriter. No way. He covers news, too, and his byline appears just as often on The Advocate’s front page and elsewhere as it does in the sports section.
I read much of his work every week, for the simple reason that I have never lost my interest in my old stomping grounds, and I still try to keep up with local politics, local police and court matters, and just about everything else that’s happening in the region. And again, he does it all extremely well, too. No question, he’s a major asset to this paper.
So why the sweet talk about a guy I’ve known for so long? It’s simple. Steve Goodwin will be inducted into the media section of the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame during its annual ceremonies in Westville this Saturday afternoon.
And Steve, it’s a day you’ll savour, a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s been 19 years since I was similarly honoured by the Pictou County hall back in 1995 – and I can recall every moment of that occasion.
Welcome aboard, I’m happy our paths are crossing in another way.
As you know, our old pal Charlie Stevens is also there in the media category, a 1990 honouree. As well, Rick Fraser, the other former Evening News sports editor – who gave me my first newspaper job when I was still in high school – was in the class of 2001. Too bad the four of us never got together to talk about sports and old times.
Last month, The Advocate published a story – and great photo – about Goodwin’s thoughts. I couldn’t help but smile out loud when I read that he first got focused on journalism when he was just 12 years old. It was when I was exactly that same age that I started publishing a family newspaper, and never looked back. Just one more thing Steve and I have in common.
It’s a wonderful thing when you reach your goal, to love sports and get to make your living by being around the sports community, every day, every week. Long hours are never a problem.
“I feel incredibly fortunate,” Steve said in the recent article.
And, true to his 40-year experience in the reporting business, he didn’t forget the others being inducted this week. He said he was even more thrilled to be “among the quality cast” that is entering the hall in the class of 2014.
Space won’t allow me to write about all of them – I’m sure Steve will look after that assignment – but I do want to mention that he’s being inducted alongside five athletes and three builders, including Olympic gold medallist hockey coach Lisa Haley of Westville, Special Olympics World Games coach and mission staff member Cathy Mason of Stellarton, and women’s rugby star Courtnay Malcolm of New Glasgow.
I expect Goodwin will always remember those who entered the hall of fame with him.
I can still remember there were something like a dozen inductees at my side at the 1995 ceremony, including old hockey stars Bill Billick, Ducky MacLean, Joe Brown and Jim MacDonald; road race organizer Joe Earle, and Gus Fahey, the guy who contributed to so many sports. You don’t forget who shared the spotlight with you.
And so, Steve, my personal congratulations on your induction, an honour that is deserved for so many, many reasons. If my wife wasn’t seriously ill, I’d be there cheering you on.
Enjoy your moment.

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MacPherson Trio graces Celtic Colours Festival at the deCoste

PICTOU – The deCoste Centre and Celtic Colours Festival are partnering to bring a unique performance to the Centre today, October 15 at 7 p.m.
The Hector Suite is music inspired by the voyage of The Hector and was created by John Sommerville through Feis Rois, a traditional music organization in Scotland. The music will be performed by players from Scotland, Australia and Cape Breton.
Hailing from Scotland’s beautiful and remote highlands and islands, The Mischa Macpherson Trio are a stunning new band. They won the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and the prestigious Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award in January. From a very young age the trio unearthed an enjoyment in creating music. They have grown up surrounded by the culture, music and language rooted in the natural landscape of their home.
Mischa MacPherson (Song and Clarsach), Innes White (Guitar) and Conal McDonagh (Pipes and Whistles) are all graduates of the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. They met through the award-winning ‘Feis Rois’ when they were selected for the International Ceilidh Trail in 2011. Through the organisation, the trio toured top UK Folk Festivals and venues and went on to travel across the world for performances in Germany, Australia, Romania and Ireland.
They will be joined by John Sommerville and Fiona Dalgetty as well as players from Cape Breton and Australia. The performance will be followed by a reception.
Tickets are on sale at the deCoste Centre box office and at the door.

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Next generation of songwriters

It may be getting chillier, and leaves will soon be falling to the ground at an alarming rate but there are still plenty of good reasons to leave the house on a Saturday evening.
Glasgow Square has one such reason on Saturday starting at
8 p.m. with a songwriter’s circle of Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro, and Breagh MacKinnon.
The show is being billed as the Next Generation of Songwriters, but it may be more fair to call it the Current Generation of Songwriters as, not only are they not lying in wait, they are churning out songs and radio hits at a rate only seasonably comparable to leaves falling to the ground, only far more interesting.
Seeing any of the three songwriters together is not a rare occurrence as they regularly pop up in one another’s bands, but this will allow them to showcase their songs and craft upfront. The trio, and others in their fairly tight knit community, frequently co-write with others as well, which is easily confirmed by a quick scan of their collective lyric sheets but things run a bit deeper than credits.
“We all met through the Gordie Sampson song camp four or five years ago,” Stone said. “We’ve been kind of writing together or working together since then but it’s kind really picked up speed in the last few years where we’ll play in each other’s band or write for each other’s projects and stuff. And we’re all best friends too.”
“We’ve co-written together for a long time, separately and together in different groups,” said Guthro. “I’ve got songs that we’ve written together on both of their albums and we all sort of play together in each other’s band. We all just kind of joined forces. Right now it’s more of a songwriter circle, but we do have a bunch of material that we’ve come up with together and we’re going to start showcasing at these shows.”
Both Stone and Guthro said that the songwriting process is different every time. The spark may be a bit of lyric or a musical hook or a “nugget” as Stone referred to them, while Guthro said the experience of co-writing with others has taught him to list and stock pile his lyric or title ideas.
With the creative process being such a delicate thing, the writers are opening and welcoming to one another’s ideas and collaborations and they appear to serve the song rather than ego.
“There’s some ideas that work better for other situations than others,” Guthro said. “I guess the only hard part is figuring out which to bring to the table at the session. Right now I’m only writing with people in my little group that I trust so much that anything at all that I come up with I’d kind of trust to throw at them and know that they’re going to make it better. I don’t hang on to things like that anymore. I’ve figured out that there’s always going to be new ideas, another thing that’ll come to your head. I don’t get too attached to it.”
“I think it’s definitely a process,” said Stone. “It’s kind of like a muscle that you use, that you exercise. Sometimes people can be kind of precious with their own ideas where co-writing you kind of have to leave your ego at the door a little bit. You have to trust the people you’re working with that you’re all making the right decisions in the song. ”
This ease and trust with each other is also what led to the musicians taking part in each other’s band as well. Stone said that while there may be players out there who are technically better at a particular instrument, working within this network has proven to be more beneficial.
“After you tour, spend time with, and see the other side of people’s personalities you kind of figure out that’s best to have your friends in your band,” Stone said.
As for stripping back their finely layered and recorded tracks to near bare acoustic bones the process hasn’t been too problematic and it seems to come down to confidence in the songs.
“Usually if the song is strong enough it can hold up by itself with just an acoustic guitar and a vocal or a piano and a vocal,” Stone said. “The kind of songs I write aren’t built on bells and whistles.”

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Support boosts SPCA fundraiser

To the Editor:
The third Annual Charity Golf Tournament for the Pictou County SPCA took place on a beautiful sunny Sunday, September 21, at the Glen Lovat Golf Club.
A total of 55 players and volunteers from the SPCA participated and raised $4,004 for the SPCA and helped in funding their new septic system.
Organizers and the SPCA staff would like to thank all the generous businesses and individuals in the county who donated items and services to the silent auction and the prize holes, making the tournament a great success.
Also a big thank you to the staff and owners of Glen Lovat for their outstanding hospitality and a first class steak dinner.
There was a tie for first place between Team Rondelet and Team Brannon both at –8 under par. Thank you to all the teams and players who participated. We hope that Year 4 will be an even bigger success, thanks to all our supporters.
Vince Angst
Pleasant Valley

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Pictou County 20/20 team deserves much praise for successful event

To the Editor:
Congratulations to the organizers of the Pictou County 2020 event that was held at the NSCC, Pictou Campus on October 8.
The host team: Jaime Smith, Janice Fraser, Nancy MacConnell-Maxner, Sally O’Neill, and Susan MacConnell did a fantastic job of keeping the evening organized and running smoothly.
The positive energy and open dialogue created an environment where the ideas flowed on how Pictou County can move forward to become a thriving, healthy, and inclusive place to live.
Thank you to the sponsors NSCC, Tim Hortons, Marram Consulting, Advocate Printing & Publishing, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, and Vision Fire Commercial Photography: Your contributions helped make the event a success.
Lastly, thank you to Dave Freckelton for his speech and to the people who took time out of their busy schedules to participate and share their ideas for the future success of our county. Pictou County has so much to offer! It’s time to celebrate where we live and to promote our community for the amazing place that it is.
I will do all I can to support and assist the team that is working together on Pictou County 2020. I look forward to the next meeting where we can take the next step and move forward together.
Karla MacFarlane,
MLA, Pictou West

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Open discussion on MOU would see support from all units

To the Editor:
I have been a strong advocate of regional government for Pictou County for a long time. I believe, as the Ivany Report asserts, that the status quo is simply not sustainable. I believe there is a strong public will to move to a one governance model in Pictou County.
So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that the Memorandum of Understanding developed by New Glasgow, Pictou and the County was geared toward persuing regional government.
With the end goal in mind, I was willing to overlook my frustration that the plan to develop the agreement was devised secretly by the three. I was willing to overlook the fact that all six units were not involved in the discussion to develop the MOU. I was willing to overlook the fact that we had asked to be at the table and were denied the opportunity. I was even prepared to overlook the fact that the three at the table referred to themselves as the “coalition of the willing” and hence by inference indicate that we in Westville, as well as those in Stellarton and Trenton, were unwilling to participate, which I can assure you is not true.
So I would put aside these personal feelings and review the MOU objectively, hoping that I could find something to support.
And then I received my copy and upon reading it my excitement was gone!
It appears to me that it purports to speak of regional government and at the same time suggests maintaining the status quo in each of the areas of the county where the units currently exist. It appears to be doomed to fail before it leaves the gate.
Some say that it is simply an agreement to allow for discussion on the matter of regional government. It is much more than a discussion. By signing, you are committing to regional government if the preconditions listed in the document are met. Any discussion is restricted to a steering committee of mayors/warden and CAOs. Individual councillors are not allowed to take part in the discussion.
Individual councillors are not allowed to comment on the process. Based on population, it even allows for the larger units to expel another unit from the process. This is not open and free discussion.
So I am disappointed more than anything that this is a missed opportunity for us to come together as municipal representatives here in Pictou County in a true collaborative way, on an issue which is vital to the long term future of our region.
The question now is can this be put back on the rails and can we move forward?
I believe a more open and transparent process involving all six units can result in an approach that is fair to everyone and truly has the interests of the whole as its goal. A process similar to that used in the recent public meeting, Pictou County 2020, where everyone had an equal voice and opportunity for input could be the solution.
I want to speak directly to all councillors in all units who have signed on to this agreement. I ask each of you to review the document and ask that you request of your council that you be given an opportunity to discuss this document with your colleagues in the other units.
I believe if councillors from all six units were given an opportunity to meet face to face and have open discussion on this matter we could reach an agreement that would be fair to all parties. It may take more than a few hours to get it done but I, for one, am prepared to pack my overnight bag and stay at it until it is completed.
I remain supportive of a regional government for Pictou County. However, the bottom line is this MOU is flawed to the degree that it will not get us there and I cannot support it as it stands. I hope rational thought will intervene and we can salvage this initiative.
Lennie White
Deputy Mayor
Town of Westville

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Mill closure would wreak havoc on entire area

To the Editor:
To some of the business owners and citizens of Pictou: Take off your blinders.
Tourist season in this area for the most is two to three months. Money from the very few remaining businesses is what sustains you for 12 months a year. Don’t try to push too hard to have immediate change in your time frame or this company will tell you to stick it.
For years, our government has been paying out funds to groups of people to keep peace when this money could have been put to better use, i.e. cleaner air and environment. Unfortunately, this is the way of a lot of large companies when they can access taxpayers’ money.
Over the years, this mill has provided employment to many. I am one. Over these same millions of dollars have been spent in Pictou County and beyond. The mill is still providing good paycheques to employees, has provided good pensions and spinoff jobs to outside contractors.
The only squawking I am hearing is from the smell of the stacks, not the money.
I am all for working together to clean this place up, the sooner the better, but let’s do this in a rational manner. At this point, I have read about retired doctors who have not got a worry in the world where their next dollar is coming from, and a couple of business owners in town who can’t see past tourist season and even a couple of s*** disturbers not even from this area.
These people should open their eyes along with their nose and realize what a closure would do to Pictou, the county and even further.
Let’s come to a compromise for all. I am sure the free concert with the mill in the background was enjoyed by all. Maybe the next concert admission could be charged because if a few have their way they could put the funds toward … welfare, unemployment, or help our kids or grandkids out on a plane ticket to Alberta for work.
PS: Protect the stinking birds. Open your window when you drive by the stillway. Can’t be healthy.
Gary Heighton
Pictou

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Close the mill or fix it for good for a clean Pictou County

To the Editor:
I have listened to all the stories that Northern Pulp have told us about how they are trying to clean up the emissions coming from the mill as well the waste water going to Boat Harbour.
And now, the tests are back and still show that the pollution coming from the mill is still far higher than government regulations.
And then to find out that Northern Pulp took two years to install a monitor station on Green Hill and elsewhere.
And with the two reports from the CBC and ATV news as to their findings that go back over the past three to four governments giving Northern Pulp more or less a free hand to do whatever they wanted.
And put the clean up of Boat Harbour firmly on the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. And the thanks for that goes to the John Hamm Government.
And now with the mill up and running again I, for one, see no difference in the air pollution coming from the mill. So that means I can not no longer walk or go outside for any length of time.
So the time is over due to have the mill closed down and fix it with the right parts to make the living in Pictou County good and clean for every one. Thank you.
Loyd Murray
New Glasgow

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Let Abilities Work continues to make improvements in lives of disabled

To the Editor:
I’d like to tell folks about a couple of very important events happening on Thursday and Friday, October 16 and 17, as well as what our disability organization, Let Abilities Work, has been up to recently which should interest everyone in the county, but especially anyone who has a disability as well as their friends and family members.
I’ll briefly describe the events below but by way of background, I must tell you about how proud the group is of the success we’ve enjoyed while working to advocate on disability issues and to arrange suitable social and recreational activities for people with disabilities in this area. Some of these successes include:
• Obtained private funding for a wheelchair access pad and door at the rear of Christian Fellowship Church basement so we could hold large meetings there;
• Obtained United Way funding for an accessible entrance level washroom to open Pictou curling club to stick curling which can be played by all including people in wheelchairs;
• Succeeded in starting both archery for all and para-archery in Pictou County;
• Obtained provincial funds needed to construct accessible parking spaces at Seeds of Hope Community Garden;
• Successfully advocated to have the electric poles removed that were blocking the Pictou Church Street sidewalk from use by wheelchairs and scooters and then to have a disability access door installed in Pictou West Medical Centre. And when our seed money was not needed for the medical door, we provided what we had for that purpose to help the disabled veterans finish financing their Westville Cenotaph accessibility project;
• Recently, several of our members took a bus trip to try out rowing on Lake Banook in Dartmouth. They loved it and we may be able to get the activity going here locally. We are also looking at developing disability accessible fishing locations with the Rivers Association and possibly at establishing some form of car sharing that would improve access to transportation alternatives for folks.
This past year, we’ve developed relationship with both the Community Health Board and Active Pictou County and we’ve hosted joint sharing and learning meetings with each to expand the type and number of our healthy social and recreational activities. The event Thursday will be a followup to that where we’ll meet at 2 p.m. with the Pictou County Community Health Board for discussions with members of the disability community in the basement of the Christian Fellowship Church, Abercrombie Road, New Glasgow. There is a wheelchair entrance to the basement at the back door of the church. If you have a health or wellness issue or concern that relates to your disability or if you have a related social or health related activity that you would like supported, this is the place you should be to make the Health Board aware of it.
The second event is Let Abilities Work Partnership’s Annual General Meeting the following day, Friday October 17, also at 2 p.m. in the basement of the Christian Fellowship Church. Fruit and veggie tray munchies provided. All interested people are welcome. Please come, join us to share your ideas and let your voice be heard.
Ralph Ferguson, Chair
Let Abilities Work Partnership Society

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Decision to close or shut down turkey butcher has repercussions that reach far and wide

To the Editor:
From time to time, something that is just ‘plain wrong’ happens that has a silver lining, in that it awakens us to a much larger threat, while we may still have time to do something about it. Such is the case with Gordon Fraser’s local butcher shop in Millbrook, Pictou County.
Gordon and his family have provided an excellent service for 35+ years to local farmers and backyard growers by butchering their home grown chicken, turkey, beef, hogs and lambs. He has a large customer base in Pictou Co. and beyond and no one can recall anybody ever getting sick from meat butchered at this small country enterprise. (Doesn’t the Ivany Commission say we need to encourage more entrepreneurs?)
Then along comes a representative of the Turkey Marketing Board and says ‘I’m here to shut you down!’ So one might ask, ‘Why and why now?’
According to our Minister of Agriculture and the Turkey Marketing Board, it is totally for health and safety reasons. They have gone to the point, I believe, to slander Gordon Fraser’s business by leading all to believe that danger lurks if you get your animals butchered there. Why would any new customers think of going near the place? Anybody who has had livestock butchered at Gordon’s shop knows that nothing could be further from the truth.
Another fabrication is that Mr. Fraser could simply get certified and all would be suddenly safe and they won’t even charge him for it. In actuality, to meet the criteria that the Turkey Marketing Board would want would range between $500,000 and a million dollars. This could possibly be two totally new buildings. A small business of this size could never repay even the interest, forcing it into bankruptcy. (More people heading west to work!)
There is a motive here and it appears the Turkey Marketing Board has been sent out to do the dirty work. If they are successful, you can bet chickens are closely behind, followed by ‘tagged’ pigs and other concocted regulations. Eliminate the processors (not just this one shop is under attack) and you go a long way to eliminating the small farmers, the backyard growers and the 4-H members in many parts of our province from raising their own animals to feed themselves and their friends and relatives. How soon does the government commission report on reducing regulations to encourage business growth in this province? – Not soon enough in this case!
This is more than an attack on local butcher shops; it is an attack on a whole way of life. Distance (i.e. cost) to travel to far-away ‘certified’ shops will stop many from continuing a way of life that has existed since the first settlers arrived and kept their own cow, a few pigs, lambs, chickens and turkeys. And no, this is not holding on to old ways, families are moving to Nova Scotia to live this very lifestyle and rural Nova Scotia needs them.
Why is this happening? Marketing boards are the key to the problem. They serve a few large producers very well, along with large corporations that process and sell their products. These marketing boards were set up in the 70s and I believe they were needed at that time. However, they have far outgrown their usefulness unless they change to meet the ‘new agriculture’. They still could have a role to play in food production in Nova Scotia if they can let go of their greed and a bureaucratic nightmare system that squelches new entrepreneurs, those who want to farm small or, God forbid, get larger someday.
If there is not substantial change, then they risk an uprising that could lead to their elimination totally in this province. They may have opened a ‘can of worms’ that they can’t put the lid back on, all for the sake of not being happy with 95 per cent of the sales but wanting them all. (Sounds a bit like NSLC when they wanted all the wine sales, not just 95 per cent of them.)
This is an issue that affects more than a few small growers and processors. It affects a lot of consumers who want to buy ‘real local’ and many small business enterprises across this province that service these producers.
It is time to rally many voices, over 3,500 already on a petition, to let all our MLAs know that nothing less than a thorough review by a committee of all stakeholders (hopefully our local and provincial Federations will step forward and welcome change) and total reform of the Natural Products Marketing Act, will bring peace back to agriculture in Nova Scotia. This must result in a fair and more balanced distribution between Marketing Boards and small producers that will benefit all ‘local’ consumers.
One of the first changes required is to take away the double role of promoter and enforcer held by these marketing boards, so that never again could the promoter of the large turkey growers and processors, march into Gordon Fraser’s shop and say, ‘I’m here to shut you down’.
None of us are against health and safety of our family’s food supply, but let it be enforced under the Meat Inspection Act. Have it done with common sense inspectors (without a conflict of interest), that will allow for the safe, efficient survival of local butchers, the backbone of small agriculture enterprises in Nova Scotia.
Robert Parker
Central West River

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County needs 2020 foresight

PICTOU County 2020 means many things.
It’s the name of a core group. It’s the name of an information session the group led last week in Stellarton.
It is also a reasonable challenge for people in Pictou County to achieve big things, good things, in the next five years.
The Pictou County 2020 meeting last Wednesday in the gymnasium of the Nova Scotia Community College’s Pictou campus reflected the urgency virtually everyone must feel to take action to preserve what Pictou County has going for it and make the place better.
Susan MacConnell, Nancy MacConnell-Maxner, Jamie Smith, Janice Fraser and Sally O’Neill formed a core committee that led the session. It included an opening talk by several of its members – as well as Dave Freckelton who, as principal of the campus and a past chairman of the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, commands a wide and perceptive view of what’s wrong here and how we can fix it, and what’s great here and how we can improve it.
The core committee members have already demonstrated plenty of enthusiasm and passion. While they are not tangible things like bricks and mortar or dollars and cents, we need those things to succeed, and they were vital qualities at work in that gym last week. The response by the more than 200 people who took part confirms that need.
The result was many good ideas about things that can move Pictou County forward. Some of them have been heard before: better infrastructure, tourism promotion, more exports, more opportunities for young people, an advanced service and technology industry. Amalgamation surfaced throughout the process.
Some new things emerged from this discussion. They included a goal to make Pictou County a centre of excellence, or a benchmark for other regions to achieve. A goal was suggested to create 1,500 new jobs by 2020. Inclusion of Pictou Landing First Nation in the process and the progress was also discussed, in the spirit of success stories among other First Nations in Nova Scotia.
There was also a thought to have more meetings like last week’s to act on these ideas and measure them.
The whole process last week had a disturbing undercurrent. The people who attended looking for reform, which is simply defined as change for the better, did not come across as the people who have attended public meetings and either oppose amalgamation, or oppose a dialogue among the six municipalities in the form of the much-debated memorandum of understanding championed by the Municipality of Pictou County and the towns of New Glasgow and Pictou.
For all the mistakes made and flaws in that process, there is one indelible truth. Status quo in Pictou County is not working and will sink it.
Let’s open a “Oneness Centre” in Pictou County.
Steve Goodwin

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