NEW GLASGOW – The audited financial statements for the fiscal year 2013-2014 were presented Monday at the regular monthly Council meeting of the Town of New Glasgow.
New Glasgow reported a strong fiscal year with an operating surplus of $262,100.
Mayor Barrie MacMillan described the year as one demonstrating sound business principles, progressive strategies, best practices and a strong financial plan. He also emphasized that council is prepared to make bold changes to help move forward the town, the region of Pictou County and the province.
“On a consolidated basis, the Town of New Glasgow has a surplus of $385,500 as of March 31, 2014. There was an increase in capital assets of $3,029,500, a decrease in fund balances of $333,300, new debt issued for capital in the amount of $1,016,800 and debt repayment totaling $1,561,000,” the mayor said.
“This has been a very good fiscal year for New Glasgow.”
Expenditures which impact the finances of the town but are mandated by the province total $2,051,100. Examples are contributions to Corrections, the Education allocation, Assessment Services and a portion of the deficit of Eastern Mainland Housing Authority.
Expenditures for regional services total $1,934,900 and include: the Pictou County Shared Services Authority’s East River Environmental Control Centre and Solid Waste Management, DEANS, CHAD Transit Service, REMO, the Regional Library and the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The New Glasgow Water Treatment Facility’s Operating Fund for 2013-2014 had a deficit of $637,300. A water rate study is currently being completed to ensure water rates fund the costs associated with providing the service through a user pay formula.
“This study will ensure the facility operates efficiently using national best practices for drinking water treatment and meets or exceeds the ever changing water standards. The water utility spent $501,600 on capital projects and the utilities reserves increased by $161,400.”
During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, capital investments totaled $3,029,500 with Municipal Finance Corporation borrowings in the amount of $673,700. “We have invested $1,160,100 in streets, curbs, and sidewalks. Storm sewer separation upgrades costing $196,000 were completed. New equipment worth $332,100 was purchased for the Engineering & Public Works Department.”
Equipment upgrades for protective services totalled $75,300, building upgrades and equipment for the Fire Department totalled $42,500. “We invested $378,400 in Community Economic Development infrastructure assets such as upgrades to the community centers, upgrades to the New Glasgow Library parking area, upgrades to the Parkdale walking track and completion of the marina expansion.”
Investment in information technology upgrades cost $132,100.
Each year, the Town of New Glasgow set priorities and develop strategies for the betterment and growth of New Glasgow and Pictou County. MacMillan said, “The Town of New Glasgow is excited to be moving forward with the MOU on regional government with the Municipality of the County of Pictou and the Town of Pictou and with the endorsement of the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce regarding our regional approach. We are proud to be one of the stewards of the Pictou County Wellness Centre and a contributor to the Aberdeen Hospital reinvestment project.
“Town Council members and I are firmly committed towards generating development and growth and are committed towards finding best practices for municipal operations. We are also prepared to make bold changes to move forward our town, our region and our province.”
More details regarding the audited financial statements may be viewed on the Town of New Glasgow web site as of September 16, 2014- www.newglasgow.ca.
The photo exhibition ‘Clean Air, a Basic Right’ will open Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the deCoste Centre in Pictou.
In the show are images of a diversity of photographers who all have one thing in common: their concern about the emissions of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou. The show will be opened by Louis Brill, president and CEO of the Lung Association in Nova Scotia.
Organizer Marianne Fraser says the purpose of this show is to raise awareness of the impact that the emissions of the pulp mill have on daily life in Pictou County and beyond.
“It is not only the discomfort of the sulphur smell, that causes sore throats, burning eyes and headaches, but there is great concern among a big part of the population that the air they breathe is toxic and can have grave consequences for their health now and in the future,” she says in a press release.
“This fear is backed by a report that the Canadian Health Organization publicized in 2010, in which it reveals the data of a research into Canadian pulp mills in general. One of the basic principles was that the mills were functioning in accordance with the regulations. As we all know, this is not the case with Northern Pulp.
“The present and previous owners have neglected to install or maintain the necessary equipment to ensure the health of their neighbors and the environment they live in.”
Fraser says the emissions also have a serious impact on the environment.
“Boat Harbour is a prime example of the pollution the mill has caused over the time of its existence.
“Economically, Pictou is dying. It doesn’t only have to cope with the economic downturn, but is also has to deal with the pollution of the paper mill that drives people out of town. Tourists as well as Pictonians and the businesses follow.”
Dr. Gerry Farrell and Fraser, who are co-ordinating this exhibit, are hoping that the raised awareness of the public and the media attention about the effects of Northern Pulp on their community will activate those who are responsible for the emissions to take action.
They say they don’t want the mill to close down.
“It is an appeal to the provincial government to enforce the rules and regulations they created. With due consideration of the livelihood of its employees and the people who work in the sub industries, this exhibition seeks attention to the fact that the people in Pictou County and beyond, can’t live any longer with the unacceptable pollution that destroys their health, environment and community.”
With the 55 Plus Games coming to New Glasgow next year, some Pictou County residents have already taken the spotlight at this year’s games, which took place August 27 to 30 in Strathcona County, Alberta.
Jayne Murphy and Sue Henderson were the two Pictou County residents who were a part of the silver medal winning group, Team Nova Scotia APS.
“It was the first time in history that women got together in the 55 plus games to play hockey,” said Murphy.
As a kid, Murphy never played hockey and only began her career in the sport 11 years ago, when she was 44 years old. She credits her career to Leo and Gus Fahey, her first coaches.
“I love hockey; it makes me feel young at heart and is sooo much fun,” said Murphy.
Henderson agrees. “I grew up playing pickup hockey in Thorburn.” It was a natural fit for her to play for Team Nova Scotia.
The team was made up of women from all over the province including Cape Breton, the Valley, South Shore, the Fundy region, as well as Central Nova Scotia and the Highlands.
“We were the underdogs,” said Murphy about her team, that had only practised together a couple of times before the tournament began.
One of the proudest moments, besides winning the medal, said Murphy, was when the team received a heartfelt compliment from one of the referees.
“I have something to tell you,” he said talking to the team in the locker room after one of their games. “I have refereed for 27 years and I have never come across a team that was put together (from all over the province) and gelled, and played together with your heart.”
Murphy shared that she was touched by this gesture and feels the same way about her team.
“I will always cherish the memories of the ‘nail biting’ hockey, much laughter, dancing at the bus stop, meeting other Canadians, great fun at our meals but most of all my lifetime friendships with my teammates,” Murphy said.
Murphy is also excited to have the games come to New Glasgow next year and hopes that many of the county’s residents that meet the age restriction will participate.
“It is an experience you do not want to miss,” Murphy said, leaving those thinking about it with a little wisdom she has learned through her experience, “You are never too old to try something new for yourself, and you will never know until you try.
Henderson also appreciated the experience. “It was an awesome bunch of women … it was a once in a lifetime experience – a lot of fun.”
Her advice to anyone considering it? “Just enjoy yourself, just go out and have fun.”
PICTOU – Two things come naturally to Steve Goodwin: a love of sports and a love of writing.
Induction into the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame will be a magic moment for the journalist as both passions come together.
Goodwin is being inducted in the media category during ceremonies that will take place starting at 2 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Westville Civic Centre’s auditorium. He will be joined by five athletes and three builders.
“The congratulations I have received since our inductions were announced have been heartfelt and much appreciated,” he said.
“I have been a journalist for 40 years and, while people have felt the honour is overdue, I think the timing is perfect. What a way to mark such a milestone, and I’m even more thrilled to be among the quality cast being inducted this year.”
Born in Amherst, Goodwin grew up in nearby Fort Lawrence, along the New Brunswick border.
“Events while I was growing up pointed me toward two things – journalism and Pictou County,” he said.
Goodwin cited the time when he was 12 and his brother, Charles, was organizing pickup games of football, followed by hockey and baseball.
“It was his idea, but I had the bit in my teeth and ran with it,” Goodwin said.
By then, Goodwin had already spent three of four straight summers he enjoyed at the Big Cove YMCA Camp in Sutherlands River. That’s how he was introduced to Pictou County.
After his first three years in journalism, Goodwin came to Pictou County to work at The Evening News as a sports writer and later succeeded Charlie Stevens as sport editor.
“Charlie was one of the sport columnists Canadian Press bureau chief Ian Donaldson would reference in his weekly review of sports columns and various subjects on CBC Radio in Halifax,” Goodwin said.
“It was a defining point in my life to arrive here 38 years ago. I’ve loved the wide and diverse sports beat – and the news beat – and Pictou County is home.”
While dedicated to sports, Goodwin is also passionate about his community and been involved in a number of community-minded organizations over the years. He past-president of Rotary Club of Pictou; former president of Windsor Elms Village for continuing care; former publicist with United Way of Amherst, N.S.; and former president of Mental Health Cumberland County. He is also a member of Pictou Presbytery, United Church of Canada, and a volunteer with Pictou County Council of Churches.
The local journalist is well-rounded in his other interests as well, listing classical music, classic movies, politics, the environment and travelling as other areas that capture his attention.
Goodwin said the sports celebrities from Pictou County and elsewhere whom he has met over the years are too numerous and significant to risk naming. He said it’s also difficult to highlight sports. But there are some events that stand out.
“I view running as an example of the excellence in sport achievement, not just by the participants but also the organizers, to emphasize what a rich sports heritage we have here,” he said.
“We have Joe Earle Memorial Day road races going back to when Joe founded them in the 1960s, and the Johnny Miles Marathon and related events that go back to 1975 – and I’ll toss in the Melmerby Triathlon that was founded in the early 80s. Nova Scotia has had a lot of great runners, and Pictou County has had more than its share.”
While passionate and knowledgeable about all things sports-related, Goodwin said he has been grateful for the opportunity to have worked both news and sports at The Advocate weekly newspaper for nearly 14 years.
“It has given me a compass, a second chance, and an opportunity to re-invent myself and stay true and relevant to my craft,” he said. “I feel incredibly fortunate.
For Lyons Brook’s Bryson Johnson opportunity knocks.
Formerly of Scotch Hill Road before finishing up his high school basketball career in Waterloo, Johnson moved on to Bucknell University becoming a star of the NCAA with the Bucknell Bison where he scored 323 three-pointers including a record setting 99 as a sophomore.
Following a year of professional ball in Germany – a country he says has really taken to basketball when they’re not distracted by soccer and handball – Johnson will be returning to his alma mater in a new role as assistant coach.
“It was a tough decision,” Johnson said of the choice to give up playing for coaching, “but it’s definitely a better career move long term. It’s very tough to make a living out of playing. This is a move that puts me ahead of the game as a coach. I’d be one of the younger assistant coaches in the country next year, if not the youngest. I’m at my old school and in a familiar place.”
He will keep playing, though, “for my own personal joy.” He said, “Men’s leagues, pickups, all that kind of thing, but coaching is going to be more my career path now. I probably won’t be pursuing professional basketball, just kind of playing to stay in shape and all that stuff.”
Lewisburg, where Bucknell is located, isn’t that different from Pictou, Johnson said, even if he has let the locals down there think so from time to time.
“I’ve been back twice just to visit some friends since I went there,” Johnson said. “They always welcome alumni back with open arms. It’ll be good to help and kind of get back in that basketball scene at the old school. It’s great because you’re familiar with the place and it’s kind of my first full time job really.”
Lewisburg is very much a second home at this point, however, his first home is nothing to sneer at either.
“I’ve always had great support coming from this community,” Johnson said. “Pictou, I love coming back to. They always welcome me whenever I do come back and I hate leaving the place honestly. I think it’s kind of that even people who live here take for granted how special it is. Once you leave you realize you really want to come back.”
Johnson will be leaving for Lewisburg at the end of this month but until then he and his brother Ben are making use of their time by giving support to the next generation of Pictou County athletes, and getting used to a leadership role, with a bit of basketball coaching at the Wellness Centre.
“All I’m trying to do,” Johnson said, “is show the kids what we did as players to get (into the NCAA) so we can establish a workout routine for them so they get used to all the time you have to put in to play at that level. The girls have been more susceptive to it so far. Our plan is for them to go and play in college, whether it’s in Canada or the States, and get a scholarship to help them pay for their education.”
Ken Reid, the talented and enthusiastic young sports anchor on Sportsnet Connected, needs no introduction to sports fans in the Town of Pictou or any nearby communities. He’s already proven to us that he’s one of the brightest new stars in Canadian sportscasting. Watch him on the big screen just once and you’ll be convinced.
Know what I especially like about this young man? He may be going places in his chosen vocation, but he hasn’t lost touch with his Nova Scotia hometown, his Nova Scotia roots. Not for a moment. Even while living and working in the biggest town in the country, his heart is still in Pictou, still with the people he knew and grew up with. A true Pictonian.
I first wrote about him a year and a half ago and, within hours of that week’s Pictou Advocate appearing on the Internet, he sent an email to thank me for my comments. Despite a busy schedule at Sportsnet, he finds time to read The Advocate every Wednesday. He may be focusing on the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs, but he knows what’s happening in the old Shiretown.
Sportscasting is something the Pictou Academy graduate has always wanted to do, all the way back, I suspect, to the days when his nickels and dimes were turned into sports cards at the nearest corner store.
Now Ken is taking another significant step forward in his budding career. He has written a book, Hockey Card Stories, published by ECW Press of Toronto. It will be in book stores Oct. 1, or it can be ordered in advance on amazon.ca.
What a surprise when a complimentary copy arrived in the mailbox this past week. In it, Reid wrote, “Hugh, please enjoy the book.”
I confess I immediately put my latest Sports Illustrated aside to jump right into the book’s content and, yes, I loved it, especially the way he presented his “hockey card stories.” Maybe it was in part because, like Ken, I had a couple periods in my life when I also collected hockey and baseball cards.
I like the introduction of the author on the back cover: “(Ken) has been a sports fan and a sports card freak for as long as he can remember.”
Then I smiled – and felt good – as I read the next sentence: “A portion of the author’s proceeds from this book will be donated to the Hector Arena Commission in Pictou, Nova Scotia.”
No, Ken Reid has not forgotten his hometown, or the rink in which he skated and played hockey in his growing-up years. A class guy, as you can see.
If you watch Ken’s appearances late at night, after Blue Jays games and other events, you’re aware of his attractive co-anchor, Evanka Osmak. So what does Evanka think of the book?
“When Ken is passionate about a topic,” she wrote, “he’s the most knowledgeable individual in the room. That’s why I thought his first book would be about Pictou County or wrestling or Degrassi High. But in this book you’ll quickly appreciate his passion for hockey cards. What a nerd.”
Brief stories about five dozen former NHL players, accompanied by photos of Ken’s old hockey cards, highlight the publication. They’re interesting stories, too. But I’m not about to spoil Reid’s writing by quoting from the tales. That’s what you’ll enjoy when you read the book.
Having covered the Nova Scotia Voyageurs through their 13 years in Halifax, I was pleased to find stories – and cards – on such former Vees as Glenn Goldup, Doug Risebrough, Dave Lumley, Steve Shutt, Mike MacPhee and Chuck Luksa.
There are stories about lesser-known players, as well as yarns about big stars like Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Phil and Tony Esposito. A nice overall collection.
Why did Ken pick hockey cards for his first book?
“For as long as I can remember,” he began in the introduction, “I’ve been obsessed with hockey. For just about as long, I’ve been obsessed with hockey cards.”
He tells how his own card collection began when he was six.
“I remember getting a quarter from my grandfather and walking down Union Street in my hometown of Pictou to Mr. Fraser’s store. For most six-year-olds, the debate between a 25 cent pack of hockey cards or 25 cents worth of candy was a tough one. For me, it was a no-brainer. I took the hockey cards, and not because they came with gum.”
That’s a familiar memory for many of us.
He explains how his card-buying continued as he reached his teenage years, those Saturday nights at the Hector Arena while watching the Pictou Maripacs junior C games.
Even into adulthood, he didn’t forget about his cards.
“Whenever I’d go home,” he adds in his book’s introduction, “I’d rifle through an old box of cards. I couldn’t help but smile at all the memories. And as I got older and the cards got older, the players on the cards got older too.”
One other comment, this one on the cover by Prime Time Sports co-host Stephen Brunt: “My mom threw out my hockey cards, so I couldn’t write this book. But thank god Ken Reid did. It’s a lot like him – bright, funny and filled with a real love of the sport and a genuine affection for its great characters. Pictou County can now add ‘author’ right next to ‘television pretty boy’ on that ‘Home of Ken Reid’ sign they’re putting up.”
So how will the book do?
Just as I was concluding this column, the cleaning lady came into the room to dust around my chaos. She spotted Ken’s book on my desk. “Where’d you get that book?” she asked, adding that she’s “a big hockey fan.”
I have a feeling the book is going to be a winner.
Pictou County cyclist Ryan MacDonald made a strong first appearance at the Challenge Sprint Pro event in Quebec.
The event consists of two one-day races, one taking place in Quebec City while the other takes place in Montreal. Each are 200km events.
The county native represented Team Canada in the tournament, going head to head with members of 18 world tour teams from around the globe. While he did make it through the first round, MacDonald took second in his following heat, losing by just a foot.
“ I held my own,” MacDonald said. “I didn’t get blown out of the water but I would have liked to do a lot better. It was my first time doing that event and it was a good experience. I’d like to do it again next year for sure.”
While he was humbly satisfied with his quarter final placement, his competitive drive means he cannot be fully content with it even if it does mean that he beat two out of three world ranked competitors.
“It wasn’t terrible,” MacDonald offered.
MacDonald qualified to represent Team Canada due to his finishing second in nationals with Team H&R Block. MacDonald has also ranked as top cyclist under 23.
“It’s an honour to be selected and I hope it leads to better things down the road,” MacDonald said.
Road racing, MacDonald said, can be more of a team effort than spectators may realize. While his team may have a number of riders only one or two might be viewed as contenders and the others work towards supporting them.
Aside from the competition in Quebec, MacDonald races about 50 days out of the year, doing full circuits of races in the South-Western US, Vancouver, Quebec, and the North-Western US in a season that runs from March into August. Each week, he said, means anywhere from 15 to 20 hours of practice. Many of the races are a rally style point to point distance run while others are lap based, but both provide their challenges although endurance is the key in either case.
MacDonald has been riding for 10 years, starting out competing in the area as a mountain biker before gradually doing more and more road racing. He said there was a lengthy overlap but he made the switch to road racing in full three years ago.
“I just enjoyed it more,” MacDonald said. “There’s more of a tactical game to road racing.”
Just shy of 22 years old MacDonald figures he still has a few years left before he hits his peak and his self assigned challenges may very well continue.
“In the next year or two my goal would be to turn pro,” MacDonald said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”
NEW GLASGOW – It is that time! Back to school and back to Special Olympics!
Special Olympics Pictou County offers individuals with an intellectual disability the opportunity to make friends take on new challenges and compete in sport programs. Athletes experience joy, strengthen their self-esteem and courage, develop feelings of unity with others, and learn new skills.
Registration day, coming up September 24, is a meeting where people can come and sign up for their favourite sport, or sign up to volunteer. Summer sports are: softball, soccer, athletics, aquatics, power-lifting, basketball, bocce, bowling and golf. Winter sports are: curling, figure skating, floor hockey, cross-country skiing, rhythmic gymnastics and snow shoeing and are offered for people ages 8 and up.
Families with young children can participate in Active Start and FUNdamentals programs, which introduce kids aged 2 to 8 to the basics of physical activity and having fun playing in groups.
The organization is always looking for caring, dedicated individuals to join the team as coaches, volunteers and committee members. It is currently seeking individuals for to sit on a regional committee. Some people volunteer for a couple of hours a week, others help out at one-off events. Anyone interested in making a meaningful contribution is invited to come to registration day and explore the opportunities available.
►WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 24
►WHERE: Summer Street, 72 Park St., New Glasgow
►WHO: Athletes, coaches and volunteers
►TIME: 7-8:30 p.m.
►WHAT TO BRING: Remember to bring with you your Medical Card, a list of current medications you are taking, and your parent(s) or caregiver to assist you with the application process. Bring your completed athlete registration form with you and forms will also be available that night!
Imagine racing through the streets of Pictou County—pot holes and all—going almost 200 m/h at some points.
If you are familiar with the world of rally car racing you have heard of Targa races. These races are almost exactly that, rather than having a race track competitor’s race through streets that are closed down especially for the event.
This year’s Targa Newfoundland event will feature two Pictou County men, who are the only racing team from Nova Scotia to enter this year.
“The race courses are cool because they are on public streets and highways,” said John Robinson, the primary driver out of the pair. Robinson will have his navigator, Norman Lord, with him to help him get through the course safely. They also mentioned that they switch positions sometimes when needed.
“You really are working as a team,” Robinson said.
Targa Newfoundland is one of three Targa races in the world, with the original one beginning in Italy.
“People come from all over North America for this,” said Robinson.
The course max speed is 200 mph (321 km/h), although the pair does not expect to hit that speed as they navigate the course and its twists, turns and potholes.
“This will be our first ever,” said Lord, referring to the race. He has not had the opportunity to compete in rally race before, where as his partner, Robinson competed when he was in his 20s, giving it up after he settled down with his wife and kids.
“Our goal is to have a good time,” said Robinson. The team does not expect to win the race but rather enjoy the thrill of it, as well as taking in a majority of Newfoundland along the way.
“It’ll be a lot of fun, the emphasis they say is having safe fun,” Robinson said about the race co-ordinators.
To go along with the many safety precautions put in place by race officials, the two competitors will be wearing fire proof suits, neck braces and helmets. Robinson said he even has a pair of fire proof socks to wear.
In the car itself, there is a fire extinguisher near the rear view mirror, as well as one on the back of the car. There is also a roll bar, and racing seats complete with five-point harness seatbelts.
The car they will be driving is a 1995 BMW E36 M3 which they have spent the last year preparing for the race, with the help of Campbell’s auto repair.
The race runs from September 14 to 16, beginning and ending in St. John’s Newfoundland.
If your summer plans to travel the world fell through there is good news. The world can come to you. At least part of it.
The 6th Annual Multicultural Fusion Festival will be taking place Saturday, September 27 from noon to 5 p.m. at the NSCC, Pictou Campus.
This year’s Fusion Festival will have eight different food vendors representing seven countries and will, as co-chair Jill MacDonald explained, also have several market vendors selling multicultural items and goods.
While known for food for the plate, this year’s Fusion Festival will also serve food for the soul in the form of the traditional music of Australia in the Aaron Bryant Band, African drumming, a Mi’kmaq performance and a multicultural choir. A multicultural fashion show, meanwhile, should offer a feast for the eyes.
MacDonald said the festival has grown in its six years. It now has a firm digital presence via its website commmapc.wix.com/fusion-festival, a facebook page #mapcfusionfest, as well as a twitter handle @fusionfest2014. The festival now does promotions as well and with it becoming a bit of a fixture on the Pictou County social map MacDonald said they now have organizations in the community coming forward asking to participate or offer sponsorship.
“I believe it is an event people look forward to,” said MacDonald. “There is no admission charge and we offer unique multicultural entertainment and food that you normally can’t access in Pictou County. In fact, we have some people who come just for the food and leave with bags of it.”
The variety of food vendors as well as the entertainment on tap have been the big draws while face painting, book giveaways, bouncy castle, and the dress up area tends to please the kids, she said.
“This year’s festival also offers a sports tent, a demonstration area, and interactive events organized by Creative Pictou County.”
The Fusion Festival is organized by the Multicultural Association of Pictou County and the YMCA Immigration Services. Throughout the year those groups assist newcomers to Pictou County, offer English tutoring and organize ethnic cooking classes.
So if you’re looking to sample a bit of what the world has to offer on a stay-at-home budget, mark your calender and head to the Multicultural Fusion Festival on September 27.
People were given a chance to enjoy the waterfront last Tuesday when the Clean the Air concert came to fruition.
With a stage set up beside the deCoste Centre, as many as 3,000 people came and went throughout the evening with just over 2,000 packed on the grounds at any given time. Many more anchored slightly off shore as a collection of boats took in the event tailgater style.
Each artist was limited to two songs, and many debuted new, original cause-rooted songs and some just well suited for the occasion.
New Glasgow’s Jim Dorie opened the concert and said the cause – that of protesting the emissions from the Northern Pulp mill – is one that has been on his mind for some time.
“I’ve been up and on to the facebook page since its early days,” Dorie said, “shortly after it was formed. I heard it being talked about it in its earlier stages and (Dave Gunning) asked me to do a song tonight and I said ‘yes’. It’s a cause I strongly believe in and if you take a look around there’s an awful lot of other people that believe in it too. The turn out here tonight is wonderful.”
Like many, Dorie underlined that the mission, as such, isn’t to board up the mill but just to get it back in line with regulations. Additionally, the singer said, that if it ever was just an issue for the Town of Pictou it has expanded well beyond that and even from his home in New Glasgow he has had cause for concern.
“The wind blows up the river just as much as it blows this way so I’m not that far away,” Dorie said. “And when you see graphs on the particulate matter I don’t think that seven-mile difference between here and where I live is going to save me.”
Folk singer Dave Gunning was viewed, by public eyes at least, as the mastermind behind the show, although when asked he was quick to give much of the credit to his brother Matt, and credit for building the show to the deCoste’s Troy Greencorn. Gunning said while he may have been late to the facebook group he has since dove in deep into the pool of information surrounding the environmental impact of the mill.
“People don’t like what’s happening,” Gunning said. “I’ve lived here all my life. The mill’s worse now than when I was a kid. There’s days when you can’t see across the road. We never used to get that. They know there’s something wrong over there. I’d like to see them fix (the problem) then ramp back up.”
Gunning said he is concerned that the group’s message of repairing the mill rather than shuttering it for good is becoming “twisted” in some parts of the public discussion and expressed worry that that standpoint may be “creating a divide in the community.”
Troy Greencorn, the creative director for the deCoste, claimed responsibility only for the technical side of the concert and gave Gunning much of the credit for assembling the talent. He said the concert seemed to have synced up well with the times, commenting, “Things are too far along now for the moment to be reserved. It’s an interesting time. It seems to me more than ever that the artists are really getting back to the roots for folk music and activism.”
Of the turnout, Greencorn explained that he and Gunning went into the event seeing 500 people as a successful draw. “To quadruple that is just outstanding.”
Although packed with prime local talent and regional favourites such as Tom Swift, Bruce Guthro, Matt Anderson, J.P. Cormier and Joel Plaskett, also taking the stage was Dr. Dan Reid who explained the health impacts, called for pressure on the mill’s owners, and called for the resignation of former premier John Hamm from the board of Northern Pulp. For his remarks, Reid earned a standing ovation.
Volunteers on site reported that people had come from as far away as Tantallon and Mabou for the concert.
PICTOU – Creative Pictou County (CPC) is being designed right now to support regional artists and it is your turn to speak! Organizers are asking: How can we realize the potential of the entire creative community?
CPC’s steering committee has secured provincial funding for an in-person community consultation event on October 1, and have hired M.E. Luka, an arts facilitator and a former communications chair with Strategic Art Management of Nova Scotia, to build a survey-based assessment of potential members and services that will run until October 12. Elections for a full board of directors will be held at the first AGM later this year, based on the results of this evaluation.
Arts organizations offer support for professional development and services, arts events, publications, discounts on local goods and services, and/or run websites, social media and venues where artistic practices can take place.
The survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey data will be used to:
►Map the strengths, challenges, gaps and opportunities in arts services, events and resources.
►Help determine the timing and community-based priorities for future Creative Pictou County programs, events and services.
►Establish which kind of regional arts council artists are interested in creating.
The survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CreativePictouCountySurvey. There will be a public session at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton at 6 p.m. on October 1 to discuss the results of the survey. You can also follow CPC on Facebook (Creative Pictou County) and Twitter feed (@Creative_P_C). Feel free to forward the survey link to other artists you know to ensure everyone has the opportunity to speak. Whether you work as an artist seven days a week or one hour a week, Creative Pictou County wants to hear from you!
NEW GLASGOW – Nova Scotia’s film industry just took an exciting leap forward with the signing a Memorandum of Understanding for a five-year multi–film production deal between New Glasgow-based Bruised Productions Ltd., 3D International Media partners (Toronto) and Fantasy Media Group (China).
The agreement brings together three companies with a wealth of experience in the film, production and marketing communications industries, from creative concept development, film production and editing, to distribution, financing and sales. Under the terms of the agreement, the primary role of Bruised Productions Ltd. and 3D International Media Partners will be to develop creative concepts and co-produce the features which will be filmed in Nova Scotia, elsewhere in Atlantic Canada and in locations in China.
Fantasy Media Group will pursue and co-ordinate all Chinese and international sales and provide financial oversight of the productions. The partnership currently has 13 productions in development with more expected in the coming months.
Bill White, president and CEO 3D International Media Partners said, “Our agreement with Bruised Productions and Fantasy Media Group provides the opportunity to use the vast panoramic locations and diverse landscapes of Canada and China in developing feature films that respond to the growing demand for quality 3-D films and that help propel the industry’s growth in Nova Scotia.”
Steve Brazil, executive producer and creative director at Bruised Productions Ltd. said, “We have an opportunity to produce world class 3-D feature films that will capture the attention of international audiences, as well as producers and to make Nova Scotia the top-of-mind location for 3-D filming. I’m looking forward to seeing the features on the big screen and to the many benefits that will accrue to the local economy as a result of this exciting collaboration with our international partners.”
PICTOU – Lloyd MacLean will be back on his bike raising money for another cause on Sunday, September 21.
McLean from Lyons Brook, will ride a Fat Tire bike on the Trans Canada Trail from Oxford to Pictou, a distance of approximately 115kms to raise donations for the Pictou County SPCA.
On June 2, 2014, the Pictou County SPCA was advised that the 35-year-old septic system at the Granton facility needed to be replaced. The cost for a new septic system is almost $9,000 and this is a significant challenge for the Pictou County branch to raise sufficient funds to cover this necessary expenditure.
“I am very much looking forward to the Bike Ride and being able to help out the SPCA raise much needed funds for a new septic system at the facility in Granton,” MacLean said.
In 2013, McLean piloted the CraigGivesBack tandem back-to-back recumbent bicycle 8,200 kms from St. John’s, NL to Victoria, BC in 85 days. The SPCA “Tim Run” will be completed in one day, on a 2014 Norco Bigfoot bicycle, which is a mountain bike with motorcycle-sized tires for maximum traction on gravel, mud or sand. It is a perfect match for the trip from Oxford to Pictou on the Trans Canada Trail.
With the assistance of Tim Hortons and Pictou County Cycle, the ride will start at the Tim Hortons in Oxford on Sunday at 7 a.m. and finish at the Tim Hortons in Pictou at 3 p.m. The condition of the trail varies greatly, however including any stops the average travelling speed will be 15km/hr which will see the ride completed in eight hours.
Donations will be accepted along the route with all proceeds going directly to the Pictou County SPCA. By supporting this event, you are helping The SPCA – Pictou Branch to continue their mandate to prevent abuse, neglect and cruelty to vulnerable animals in Nova Scotia.
In 2014, nearly 1,000 homeless, lost and abused animals will be housed by the Pictou County SPCA. With community support, the shelter will be able to continue its mission: To provide education and outreach in the community, medical services for needy animals, humane investigation, safe shelter for homeless animals, and strong adoption programs to ensure that every companion animal lives in a safe, loving and secure home. The shelter also has a volunteer program with seniors, Summer Street Industries and the John Howards Society.
Proceeds raised will go towards the operation of the society including the thousands of dollars spent each and every month to provide the necessary medical care on all animals prior to adoption in Pictou County only.
A candlelight ceremony in Carmichael Park in New Glasgow on Wednesday night helped mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
The 30 or more partakers in the ceremony were encouraged to light and hold a candle either in memory or support of a loved one, as a testament to their own survival, or simply as a statement of solidarity. This was the first year for the ceremony; previous years saw support for the cause in the form of a walk.
The tone of the occasion was to encourage community understanding about suicide and highlight the awareness and prevention of suicide with an aim to reduce the stigma associated with it.
Maureen Jones with the Pictou County Health Authority explained that many in the area are unaware of the crisis services available in the county and that many have the mistaken impression that those in crisis have to seek help in Halifax. Crisis response is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can assist any adult over the age of 16, while persons under that age would be directed to the facilities at the IWK.
With the opening of the new P-8 school in New Glasgow will come a new mental health position in the area to offer in school mental health services.
Michelle Singer, a mental health worker in Elmsdale, was the keynote speaker. Singer lost her brother to suicide when was in the sixth grade. Then just shy of 12 years old, Singer said she wasn’t sure how to process her brother’s death and was hurt by learning the truth of it from an older cousin rather than her mother.
Singer said while her mother did offer her grief counselling, she said didn’t want to speak to a stranger about it. At school, meanwhile, she found her principal supportive and even gave her a book dealing with loss, however, it did not connect with grief related to suicide. Elsewhere, while she appreciated the sentiment behind being told ‘I know how you feel,’ she said the comment “drove me up the wall.”
It wasn’t until two weeks later when she had to write a poem for class that she began to process her loss, writing about her brother in a poem titled “I Am” with the refrain, “I am a bubbly girl who loves her big brother.”
Her own sense of loss plotted out her career into mental health services where she aims to encourage parents of survivors to “acknowledge their loss and to be up front with telling them about suicide because in the long run it will help with the grieving process.”
World Suicide Prevention Day is an globally observed day formed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the World Federation for Mental Health. This year’s theme was “Light a Candle Near a Window”.
NEW GLASGOW – The biggest news to come for Empire Company Limited this year was the acquisition of the Safeway store chain, expanding the company’s reach into the western provinces.
The “Better Food For All” movement was also cited in the company’s annual general meeting held last Thursday at the Cineplex theatres.
Other highlights outlined at the AGM included an increase in sales, which were up $1.63 billion (34.4 per cent.)
The first quarter ended August 2 with the company seeing an increase from $89.7 million last year during the first quarter to this year’s $131.7 million in adjusted net earnings from continuing operations, net of non controlling interest.
“The market is extremely competitive,” said Marc Poulin, president and CEO of Empire Company Limited.
He also noted that there was no big major competition other than the fact that it seems as if everyone wants to sell food nowadays.
The company also introduced a new take on its Sobeys store this year called “Sobeys Extra.” This store is filled with more than your run-of-the-mill grocery brands and is aimed at a high quality in-store experience, and getting customers to try new things.
Poulin revealed that there is a possibility of a Sobeys Extra coming to Nova Scotia in the future, as there are currently only three of the specialty stores operational at the moment.
Empire also saw the launch of its rewards program, Air Miles launch in western provinces on Friday.
In terms of job standing within Pictou County, a few remarks were made.
“We are a Stellarton based company,” said Poulin. “We are committed to Pictou County.”
Dr. Jock Murray, neurologist, medical historian, and Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, is being inducted as President of the Samuel Johnson Society of Lichfield, England.
The induction will take place at the annual ceremony at Johnson’s birthplace in Lichfield on September 20. Dr. Johnson was the author of the first great dictionary of the English language.
Murray, who is a Pictou native, will be the first president of the Samuel Johnson Society of Lichfield, England, who hails from Canada. Other presidents have included Malcolm Muggeridge, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Dame Beryl Bainbridge and Nigel Rees.
Over the last three decades, Murray has published academic articles on the illnesses of Johnson, biographies on many of the physicians involved with Johnson, and medicine in the 18th century. He is also a member of the Johnson Society of London and The Johnsonians of the United States.
A child on the playground is called names.
On the walk home from school, a little boy is pushed around by tormentors.
There are few people who haven’t experienced bullying in some form, whether by being the bully, being bullied or a bystander.
Travis Price’s mission is to change that.
Speaking lightly most times about being a nerd and loving video games, Price managed to hammer in a lasting message that would easily hit the hearts of the middle school-aged kids in Pictou last week: You, too, can make a difference.
“I started to get bullied in Grade 1,” said Price to start off the presentation. He spoke of his friends who helped him through the hard times, and about the other distractions that helped him get by. Music, sports, video games and volunteering were some of the things he used as distractions.
Price also shared a few personal anecdotes as part of his presentation to give the kids a sense of what it feels like to be bullied, as well as the fact that some things can be physically and mentally damaging but with help you can learn to overcome it eventually.
In 2007, Price and his friend DJ Shepherd made headlines, provincially, nationally and eventually internationally for taking a stand against bullying and wearing pink shirts in support of a student who was bullied over the colour of his shirt.
“I wanted the opportunity to help my cause,” Price said. “At least if I get beat up for this it’ll be worth it.”
Walking into school the next morning to see about 800 students and staff wearing pink, he realized how big of an impact one action could have.
“We realized we were doing it for more than just him at this point,” explained Price.
North Nova Education Centre was the first school other than Central King’s Rural High School to hold the event.
“Since that day my life has never been the same,” Price said about speaking in front of a group of students for the first time.
Seven years later with a reach of multiple countries, Price’s message defies language boundaries.
“Not every superhero wears underwear on the outside of their pants,” Price told students. “Rats and these snitches you’re talking about, they’re heroes.”
He ended the talk with a question period, where students asked about music and video games, as well as how it felt to be bullied. He also ended with a challenge: “You, too, can make a difference.”
Spending a lot of time travelling and speaking, Price has heard many stories but there was one that he says shows him the value of what he is doing.
“There’s been different events that made me continue to do what I do, between the kids that take their lives trying to show us this problem is still existent and trying to make some of the higher ups continue to realize that we need to work at this. I do it for them and I try to honour why they did that because they did it to make us realize,” Price said.
“But I think the day for me when I was in Moncton, New Brunswick and I had a kid come up and he said, ‘I was about to take my life and I looked across the room and I seen (Price’s) pink shirt and I said to myself, ‘If I take my life I can’t help Travis do what he’s trying to do and I’ll be a negative stat,’ and it was just really powerful to me to know that Pink Shirt Day is actually making that difference enough that when a kid sees that shirt he’s thinking ‘I shouldn’t self harm, I shouldn’t do this, because there’s other ways to help me with bullying.”
A gazebo built by Pictou Academy students caught fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It was built in 2010 by students in the Options and Opportunities program at the high school, using grant money. “The police have been in contact with us,” said Pictou Academy principal Jim Ryan. The Pictou Fire Department and RCMP were unavailable for comment as of press time. Ryan suspects the fire was lit either accidentally, or on purpose. Any information on this matter can be reported to the Pictou RCMP to aid in the investigation.
Terry Fox Runs took place across the county this past Sunday and Pictou County’s continued support for the cancer fundraiser would be enough to make Fox himself proud.
Although weather was hit and miss, ranging from cozy and sunny to grey and drizzly, folks came out all the same and the show carried on.
Ten or so people participated in Lismore’s Terry Fox Run, which organizer Don Butler indicated was down slightly from last year but the event raised $525 all the same. This was the 19th run in Lismore and it is very likely to continue next year, he said,
“We’re hoping for new interest and working towards getting new people involved,” Butler said.
He suggested the turnout may have been the result of conflicts with school fundraising efforts but was satisfied with the effort.
Edie Green oversaw the Bridgeville Terry Fox Run and said while the turnout was down slightly from last year, many folks from previous years returned and donations were actually up; while 17 people took part at her location, 30 people made donations. One member of the community who recently underwent treatment not only did a full 5km but brought four friends along.
Funds raised totalled $780 which includes monies raised through Terry Fox T-shirt sales and Green said she was “pretty happy with it.”
Kevin MacKay of Stellarton was also happy with how things played out. He and the other staff members at the Medical Hall Pharmasave decided just last week to take part and raised pledges totalling $200.
MacKay’s team last took part in 2000 but he said they’d be quite willing to do it again and help support the cause.
The Town of Pictou had the largest event with close to 225 people getting involved, from children to adults. The Pictou run also formally included runners, walkers, and cyclists.
“We just try to encourage as much participation as possible,” said organizer Shane Hampton. “It didn’t bother (Terry Fox), as long as you were out there and trying to spread the word.”
He said pledges were up this year with $3,800 being raised in total. He suspected the increase was due to online pledges.
Rain did not deter the Pictou crowd and Hampton said they came prepared to take part wet or dry.
The Terry Fox Run in Pictou, along the Jitney Trail, began after a brief welcoming ceremony and words from cancer survivor Donalda McGuire. She was diagnosed in 2009 and credits her recovery to fundraising efforts such as the Terry Fox Run.
The Terry Fox Run was established in 1981 and takes place in communities across the country.
A new business park is being developed in a joint venture.
The Municipality of Pictou County and the Town of New Glasgow announced Friday that there will soon be a new business park coming to New Glasgow.
The two municipal units are coming together to develop a piece of land off of Exit 25 at the end of Terra Cotta Drive in New Glasgow. East River Business Park will connect from Terra Cotta Drive, by the New Glasgow Regional Police station, to East River Road.
“The East River Business Park will compliment the other business parks in the county,” said Frank MacFarlane, the new business development officer for the town and municipality.
The cost of this new venture is approximately $2.7 million for the land and development costs, shared Mayor Barrie MacMillan of New Glasgow.
“Our region must show its strength in location and the transportation networks available as well as showcase the many land development opportunities available. This is about changing the future of Pictou County, working together for the betterment of our citizens and businesses so they can grow and flourish. New Scotland Business Development Inc. will have a strong regional focus as we recognize that strategic growth will move our region forward,” MacMillan said.
“It shows that the municipalities can come together and work together on a project,” said Warden Ron Baillie.
“The partnership between the Town of New Glasgow and the Municipality of the County of Pictou is a further example of a commitment by the two councils to work co-operatively together to move Pictou County forward. (We) have worked cooperatively on a number of projects and initiatives to help grow Pictou County. The Municipality and Town have both agreed to fund an expansion of the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market, the Municipality and Town are in the final stages of completing a storm water separation project on the Westside of New Glasgow, that will enable residential and commercial growth in the Alma Green Hill areas,” he noted.
The piece of land has recently been cleared and they are hoping to have construction under way by this fall. There is also a proposed roundabout for East River Road where the business park will connect.
The two municipalities will be partnering with Weeks Construction to complete the project that will span about 17 acres. It will be serviced by New Glasgow police and fire protection, natural gas, as well as LED lighting and access from Park Street.
The Municipality of Pictou County and the Town of New Glasgow as a result have also become business partners in the new municipal corporation called New Scotland Business Development Inc. The corporation essentially allows the municipalities to sell the land under this corporation name.
“How many times have we heard, ‘You guys have got to get together’?” asked MacMillan. “Well, we’re together.”
Steve Weeks, president, SW Weeks Construction said, “Our company has had a long working history with both municipal units and we are pleased to see them partnering on an investment into the future of Pictou County. We are also happy to see the development of the land that our company started as the New Glasgow Business Park and now transitioning for new growth under the ownership of the New Scotland Business Development group as the East River Business Park. ”
He said Weeks will be starting the pipe work soon which will be followed by road work, curbing and paving.
“Throughout this process and with the recent release of the MOU, we have been impressed with the forward regional vision of New Glasgow and the County – Pictou County can achieve great things when we work together for a common goal.”
In the Northumberland Regional High School parking lot Monday evening, community members gathered to present a petition to MLA Karla MacFarlane asking for the turkey butchering operations of Gordon Fraser to be allowed to continue.
Fraser was forced to turn away his turkey business after a complaint from another turkey producer was lodged to the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board.
The petition will head to the Legislature with MacFarlane when it resumes September 25th with even more than the 916 signatures that were on paper when presented Monday.
“They keep saying it’s a safety issue,” said MacFarlane, who then reminded that if you raise a turkey you are allowed to slaughter it yourself, which is not considered a safety issue.
“I’ve exhausted every level of government,” said MacFarlane who has been speaking with officials such as Elizabeth Crouse, the general manager of the Natural Products Marketing Council and ministers involved with the agriculture industry.
Fraser, who has been in the business for 36 years, is unimpressed by the timing of the matter. “I don’t know what to say, I never expected it,” he said.
He said that some of his customers are so loyal that they are refusing to go elsewhere to have their poultry dealt with.
“They’re needed in this area, these processing plants,” Fraser said. In the province there are currently only seven other turkey processing plants, with a majority located in the Valley.
A decent-size crowd gathered at the petition presentation to hear updates about the cause and share about the upcoming meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, September 23 at the West River Fire Hall, at 7 p.m. The meeting is a call to action about the Fraser situation and to strengthen the local food movement.
“I just can’t owe enough to them for all the support,” said Fraser.
The 2014 Parkinson’s SuperWalk proved to be a power-strut of generosity. The charitable walk raised $17,941.60 Saturday afternoon, beating last year’s walk day tally by $3,000 with contributions coming from more than 100 walkers.
“We’re very pleased, it’s a good increase,” said Josephine Jollymore who, along with Margaret Milne, co-chaired the event.
Jollymore said both she and Milne became involved with Parkinson’s support due to loved ones, with Jollymore herself being involved since 2000. She has been a part of all eight SuperWalks to date as well as the previous annual fundraiser which involved the sale of tulips. The walk, she said, has the benefit of allowing people to get out and get active for the cause.
As in past years, the event had an open invitation to area politicians and Jollymore said she was pleased to see Westville Mayor Roger MacKay, Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane and Central Nova MP Peter MacKay turn out with MacKay also delivering what she felt was “an excellent presentation.”
Political figures aside, 100 folks took part in the walk, donning the event’s signature green T-shirts. Although largely a Pictou County-based turnout, supporters from Antigonish headed west for the occasion and were welcomed. Many of the Antigonish walkers were members of the Pictou County support group but have since formed their own support group, although they fundraised just the same.
“It was wonderful,” Jollymore said, “the response was just wonderful.”
Jollymore was also thankful for media coverage, both here in Pictou County as well as in Antigonish. “When they do an interview and bring (the cause) out front it means so much to the walk because people learn what they’re going through.
As with last year, the walk took place at Northumberland Regional High School in Alma, a location that has proved beneficial in many ways. The school’s grounds are relatively flat and five laps around the building works out to one kilometre, making it an easy to track target. Should weather have turned sour, Jollymore said, the walkers had permission to do laps inside, which is something a past host location was unable to provide.
Prior to setting off for the walk, participants were led through warmup exercises by physiotherapist Stephen Roop who saw to it that everyone was stretched and primed before clocking their laps. Additionally, the walk was supported by volunteers Bob Ballantyne, Lynn Ballantyne, Andrew Milne, Betty Doyle and John Kaulbach.
“Every walk we’re always walking in memory of all our loved one who have gone before us,” Jollymore said. “That was especially true this year.”
Pledges for the SuperWalk can be made at donate.parkinson.ca.
To the Editor:
I’m writing this letter in response to comments written in this paper quoted from those in opposition to a Pictou Ex event such as the horse pull.
I, too, sat on the committee that was raising money for the rink which, from the time it was built was used for events like this, and that’s approaching some 50 years now. If we were able to do it then can’t we do it now? While collecting money I believe we talked about uses of the arena a few times in regards to the Ex, we even sought to order cement two grades stronger than the engineering design plans called for knowing what would happen upon completion as the Agricultural Society owns the building that is run by the arena commission. The committee that was working to raise money stopped meeting once the work started on phase 2 of 3 and hasn’t met since over a year now. We knew the Ex would not run in 2013 from the start because of construction timelines, however, here we are now and we are still trying to eliminate a crowd drawing event by saying we rebuilt something weaker than what was there before.
The building has to be used more, not less. Hockey alone cannot pay the bills and we have to fulfill our commitments to donors, which we haven’t yet, and raise the rest of the money to upgrade the ice making plant equipment and room and use the building much more than what some people call just a rink or on the other side, a barn.
That is why I take exception to some comments that said we wouldn’t have raised money if we knew this was going to happen. It was always in the plans or at least should have been.
I will repeat a quote I have used: “Working together will get things done better and faster.”
To the Editor:
I have recently been researching my paternal family tree and discovered that a branch of the family emigrated to Canada in 1927 on the SS Letitia.
The information I have gained to date is:
– 1911 George Reekie (born 1888) married Elizabeth Brannagh in Scotland.
– 1927 They sailed to Canada on SS Letitia with the following sons and daughters:
James – born 1913
Rose Ann – born 1914 (married Leslie Mason in Pictou County 1932)
George – born 1920 (lived with wife Nan and daughter Dorothy in Halifax)
Donald – born 1921
Elizabeth – born 1922
William – born 1923
I wondered if any of your readers might have some information that could help me fill in the blanks in my research or may even be descendants of the people mentioned.
I should be extremely grateful for any help from your newspaper in this matter.
Thanking you in advance.
I can be contacted at the following address:
Isobel Stewart ( Reekie)
11 Shawfarm Place, Prestwick,
KA9 1JQ, Ayrshire,
Isobel Stewart ( Reekie) Scotland, UKPosted in Opinion | Leave a comment ← Older posts