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Will election bring about change in food with PCHA?

To the Editor:
Well, we are being informed that the 28-day assessment for food quality at the Northumberland Veterans Wing in Pictou has concluded and the decision to remain with the frozen foods is final.
However, a bigger and better oven will be used to keep the foods hotter, table cloths will be provided and music will be piped into the dining area when meals are served. Isn’t that nice?
Are we to assume that this will surely help our veterans determine what they are actually eating?
Prior to the 28-day assessment, I had been informed that a conversation was overheard at one of our local restaurants. An aging member of the Pictou Legion who, by the way, favours the frozen foods, stated that these veterans are all well into their 90s and half of them have dementia so they have no idea what they are eating anyway.
Now it takes a person with a lot of mentality to make a statement like that. I would encourage this member to take all his meals with our veterans from here on in.
Now I am again informed that when PCHA met with the families last week to give them their decision, a distinguished member of the PCHA stated that this $70,000 saving will provide four hip replacements.
Isn’t that just a great way to save for medical procedures? Take from those who have suffered and fought for what we have today?
Now having said that, I wonder what these veterans would have to do to get a bed in our new Pictou County jail where locally grown, warm, home cooked meals will be provided daily by professional chefs. A place where they would get continual supervision 24/7 around the clock with daily recreation and a warm bed with their own TV in their bedroom. A place where they would have full dental and medical benefits, etc, etc, etc.
Our local Pictou West MLA Charlie Parker, Pictou East MLA Clarrie MacKinnon and Justice Minister Ross Landry are all aware of this present situation. So I ask them again: Where is the justification in all of this when, at the same time, their premier is giving hundreds of millions of our tax dollars away to large industries?
Couldn’t this $70,000 have been found somewhere among those millions instead of taking it from the daily needs of our aging veterans?
A provincial election is drawing near and I have taken these concerns to both the Liberal and Conservative candidates. It will be interesting to see what support, if any, will be given to the veterans at Northumberland Veterans Wing with a change of government?
The question remains. Where are we heading in the future? God help us all.

Jim Turple
Councillor Pictou County Municipality

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Halting process prolongs agony

Asking school boards to suspend closures has the look and feel of a quagmire.
But that’s what Education Minister Ramona Jennex would like Nova Scotia’s school boards to do. She has requested Chignecto-Central Regional School Board to halt the outright closure of one school in Bass River and put on hold the reprieve the board has given schools in Maitland, Wentworth and River John.
But asking isn’t getting.
It also begs the questions: Why this and why now?
If the reason for the request is all about punting the school closure process beyond the next provincial election, the tactic may backfire.
School board members have already expressed their shock and frustration with the decision. The province has asked school boards to cut costs. One option boards have to achieve that goal is reducing square footage by closing or replacing schools.
In some cases, the school boards may not be able to make the clock tick backwards. Nor should they try. Closing the elementary school in Bass River makes sense because a school nearby can accommodate the students. That’s the option stakeholders at East Pictou Middle School presented during their assessment process, and one that the board was compelled to defer due to provisions in the Education Act and reconsider over the next year.
The other three schools in the region have been given time – River John Consolidated being one of those given two years – to produce a viable community hub model to fill space and reduce costs.
That will be a daunting task for River John’s school and the area it serves.
Ron Marks, who chairs Chignecto-Central’s financial services committee, pointed to the nearly $600,000 in deferred maintenance costs for the school in River John, as well as the $7 million in deferred repairs in the region. He also said filling space at the River John school won’t necessarily save money if operating costs climb due to increased use.
All that said, River John and area deserve the chance to try. They have opened the door on new ways for schools to serve communities.
One interesting idea has surfaced for money to come from Economic and Rural Development to cover part of the gap between what it costs to operate the school and what the province gives the board under the current funding formula.
Wise people will see the opportunity.
Steve Goodwin

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Town bans boat owner access to launching site

NEW GLASGOW – A local entrepreneur is concerned for his business and boaters if a ramp onto the East River doesn’t open soon.
Karl Crawford, who owns Adventure Motors in town, maintains the ramp should keep the public access it has enjoyed over the years and opposes the Town of New Glasgow’s decision to lock it and charge boat owners who don’t own a docking spot at its marina to access the ramp.
Crawford has operated various businesses on the property that he purchased in 1979. He allowed the town to take several feet of his property along the riverfront in the mid-1990s to build the ramp. But part of the deal was access to the ramp for boats he retails and repairs.
If it doesn’t open soon, he says his only option is to use a ramp in Pictou. “That’s the difference between 20 or 30 minutes and four hours,” he said. “We don’t have time for this.”
Crawford said Adventure Motors has employed 22 people for 22 years without layoffs and generates $7 million to $10 million a year, most of it outside the county. He said doesn’t understand the town’s behaviour.
Calls and emails to the town office regarding the matter have not been returned.
Meanwhile, a member of the Bombers Club says he is also puzzled why a battle has ensued over where people can launch boats on the East River.
Colin MacDonald said he understands why Crawford is upset.
The issue only marginally concerns the Bombers Club, which is located on the other side of the boat ramp from Crawford’s property.
MacDonald said only a few of the club’s members use the ramp, so it has not contemplated establishing its own dock.
“We never had enough members to warrant a dock,” he said.
But MacDonald said he has always understood the ramp was for public use because, in his mind, it’s an extension of John Street. The club’s civic address is 167 John Street.
“I believed it was public access, that everyone could use it,” he said. “We weren’t opposed when the town came in to build the ramp, but our thought was the ramp was part of John Street and that it’s public access.”
Crawford said the town has not responded to his request for a key to the gate and where he can pay for using the ramp and is incredulous that the impasse has occurred after the town previously got permission from him to establish the launch.
He said the town won’t restore his access to the ramp until he allows the town to put docks along the 465 feet of his shoreline.
“If someone wants to put docks in front of your property, you’d think they’d ask,” he said. My rights are the same as anyone’s in Nova Scotia who owns waterfront property.”

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Teen knows value of organ donation

Rebecca Gillis was only eight months old when she and her family learned the importance of donating.
Gillis, now 15, was diagnosed with a complex congenital heart disease and at age 5, was assessed and determined not to be a candidate for a heart transplant.
“When Rebecca was 13, she was approved as a candidate for a heart transplant,” explains her mother Jennifer Gillis.
On August 10, 2011, Gillis’ name was placed on the transplant list and by August 11, their bags were packed waiting for word. Then on June 16, after a grueling wait, Gillis received her new heart.
“Without the transplant, Rebecca wouldn’t have made it through her 20s,” says Jennifer Gillis. “It was very rough and scary waiting for word. Every time the phone would ring and it would say blocked call we would jump.”
Gillis admits her daughter was extremely lucky to receive a heart.
In order to receive the transplant, Gillis had to be within two hours of the transplant site, a hospital in Toronto.
“There is a five hour window with a beating heart to be transplanted,” explains Cathy Timmons, RN, Organ and Tissue Donation Resource Nurse and OR nurse.
So in August 2011, Jennifer and Rebecca moved to Toronto, prepared to stay for at least a year. They stayed until October 2012 at the Ronald McDonald House.
“They were amazing,” says Gillis. “We wouldn’t have made it without them. They are a part of our family now.”
The first time Jennifer and Rebecca travelled outside of the two-hour radius is when the call came in that a heart was ready. They were on a camping trip with friends.
“We weren’t ready,” laughs Gillis. “We started jumping and celebrating. It was a crazy night of ambulances and police escorts but we got there in two and a half hours.”
This June will mark the one-year anniversary of Rebecca’s transplant. “There was some rejection at first,” explains Gillis. “But she just had biopsy number seven and there was only a small trace of rejection. That means we may be able to start cutting back on her steroids.”
This has been a difficult school year for Rebecca, having to be out of school until October and travelling to the doctor every three months. Steroids have caused Rebecca to develop diabetes and gain weight, which doctors hope will fix itself once the steroids are stopped.
“Her heart is doing great, but the diabetes is challenging and Rebecca is trying to fit back into a large school (Northumberland Regional High School) after attending school at the Ronald McDonald House,” says Gillis
Now, doctors encourage Rebecca to do everything she can without limitations.
“Before we were told that she would never be able to have children, now she can,” says Gillis with a tear in her eye. “I never thought I was going to see her graduate high school. She was always so blue in colour. It’s amazing, after the transplant her fingers were pink. When she was released from the hospital she was off and running where before she could barely tie her shoes.”
Rebecca has a whole new life ahead of her, one she never thought possible.
April 21-27 is Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week and Gillis says, “This is the best gift you could ever give in your life.”
Timmons adds, “It’s such a wonderful gift to come out of tragedy.” All you have to do is make sure you sign your MSI health card and make sure your family knows your wishes.
“About 98 per cent of families who have had a loved one’s organs and tissue donated are so happy after the transplant, because in such a time of devastating loss, there is hope and compassion.”
Timmons is in charge of educating the staff at the hospital as well as the community on the benefits of organ and tissue donation. Last year the Pictou County Health Authority had eight tissue donors which can help up to 401 recipients.
“My father was paralyzed and donated bone was surgically implanted in his neck and now he is able to walk again,” says Timmons. “If not for the donation, he would still be in a wheelchair.”
Timmons was one of the committee members who helped found Legacy of Life and since 2002 when it began, donation statistics have been steadily increasing.
“If you are on the fence about donating organs or tissue,” says Timmons, “talk to an organ and tissue donation resource nurse face to face. Once people realize what they can and cannot do, they have the freedom to make that choice, but it is important to let your family know your wishes.”

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Day of Mourning to be observed Sunday in Trenton

NEW GLASGOW – The annual National Day of Mourning Ceremony for those killed or injured as the result of workplace accidents will be held Sunday at 6 p.m. at Trenton Steeltown Park.
Representatives from organizations and municipalities across Pictou County will be in attendance and all are welcome.
Guest speaker will be Kyle Buott, secretary-treasurer of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, president of the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council and an activist for the Canadian Auto Workers Union. According to the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, 32 workplace fatalities took place in Nova Scotia in 2012. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada states that one in every 68 employed workers in 2010 was injured or harmed on the job and received workers compensation as a result.

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Mother, son celebrate victory

PICTOU LANDING – Victory and celebration were two words heard loud and often Saturday at the Pictou Landing First Nation.
Jeremy Meawasige, a severely disabled 18-year-old, appeared with his mother Maurina Beadle at the Jordan’s Principle Victory celebration in the school gym before more than 100 people that included three drum groups and dancers.
“It’s been a long, hard battle, but we won it,” Beadle said while holding hands with two people who helped her cause: human rights and labour lawyer Paul Champ and Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
Chief Andrea Paul likened the victory to a David and Goliath-type scenario as she opened proceedings.
“This is a huge celebration,” she said.
The event followed a landmark ruling by the Federal Court of Canada on April 4 that sided with Meawasige and his mother that Jordan’s Principle was binding on the Government of Canada and order the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to reimburse the Pictou Landing Band for costs associated with caring for Meawasige on the reserve.
Beadle cared for her son until she suffered a stroke in 2010. The band responded by providing home care health officials so he could remain at home and asked the federal government to reimburse the costs for home care services to the level he would have received from the province if he lived off reserve.
The band and Beadle challenged Aboriginal Affairs’ original refusal by invoking Jordan’s Principle, which received unanimous Commons approval in 2007.
The principle refers to Jordan Anderson, an acutely disabled child in Manitoba who was five years old when he died while having been denied a family environment. The court cited compelling similarities between Jordan and Jeremy, who has a myriad of ailments and receives full-time care in Pictou Landing.
“Our victory was confirmed on April 4,” Beadle said. “This is the celebration.”
Dr. Cathy Felderhof, who provides medical care at the Pictou Landing First Nation, praised the band’s capacity to care for Jeremy with the help of caregivers.
“This is a strong community – we have a good health team,” she said. “Winning this shows how strong this team is.”
Blackstock said the court’s decision opens the door for other First Nations to apply Jordan’s Principle for children who need similar care.
“I can’t think of anyone who should uphold Jordan’s memory than Maurina, Jeremy and Pictou Landing,” she said.
“There’s a long history of First Nations being treated differently,” Champ said. “Still today, First Nations children don’t have equality. This celebration is about giving Jeremy the right to grow up among you.”
In conjunction with the celebration, another young band resident, Dennis Francis, who has physical challenges, got a big boost when he was presented with a special tricycle.
Gym and resources teacher Jeremy Walker led a campaign to conduct fundraisers to fund the tricycle’s purchase.

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Woman feels blessed after cross appears on tree

Etta Hirtle never fancied herself a deeply religious woman. She attended church like everyone else, but felt she was what she calls ordinary.
Just before Easter, her son was walking the dog in Hirtle’s yard with his girlfriend when they spotted something odd in a tree.
When Hirtle went out to see it, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There was what appeared to be a Celtic cross etched into the trunk.
“The cross is about 10 feet off of the ground and it had snowed; there was about two feet down, and no tracks anywhere near the tree,” explains Hirtle.
At first Hirtle thought perhaps it was a porcupine, however, they don’t chew on hardwood and there are no signs it was a woodpecker either, she says.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “I was scared to go down on Easter Monday because I thought it might be gone.”
Hirtle brought a photo of the cross to her minister who said “What do you expect? It’s Easter.”
“Someone told me I must be blessed,” says Hirtle. “That’s why the cross is still there.”
Hirtle lives on Foxbrook Road in Hopewell, a low traffic area, and there are no branches near the tree that could have possibly done this.
“No one can understand it,” she says. “It’s just there; no one seems to know what it is.”
Hirtle knows it means something, but can’t quite express in words how she feels.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” she says. “Whether it means I am blessed, I don’t know what to think.”
Hirtle says there has never been anything like this before on her property.
“It’s such a mystery or a strange happening. I’m hoping maybe someone might be able to explain to me what did this or why it is there because someone would have had to take a ladder to do this and there were no tracks.”

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Under your skin

Showing support for a cause can mean many things to many people. For George Smith, it means a constant reminder etched into his skin that he can look at every day and be reminded.
Smith is the owner/operator of Two Face Tattoos in Stellarton and is a close family friend of Chelsey Livingstone-Rector, a young girl suffering with Lyme disease.
Smith wanted to use his talents to do something to help Livingstone-Rector’s cause, so he is preparing to host his second annual tattoo-a-thon fundraiser.
“Chelsey came in and chose five tattoos that we will be tattooing for $40 each and all of the funds will go to Chelsey,” explains Smith.
The tattoos are Japanese characters for believe, courage, miracle, faith and strength as well as the lime green ribbon.
“We are also holding a barbecue and all of the funds from that will go toward Chelsey as well,” he says.
Typically, Smith has a minimum tattoo fee of $50, but he is hoping with the reduced cost and the cause, it will bring more people in.
“This is the second year we have held this and I am hoping to continue it even after Chelsey has had her treatment,” explains Smith, “because at that point we might be able to donate the funds to the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation.”
For someone on the outside looking in, it may seem strange for Smith to have such a vested interest in the cause. But he says he has been a close friend of the family going back to high school days and he wanted to do what he could to help out.
“It’s a kid,” he says. “Nothing hits closer to home than that. I’m a sucker, especially if I know the kid.”
Last year the fundraiser brought in approximately $1,000 and the hope is that they can grow on that this year.
“We started to plan earlier this year and get the word out that this is taking place,” says Smith. “We want to raise as much money as we can.”
The funds raised will go toward Livingstone-Rector’s treatment in the US for Lyme.
“After that, if there are positive results with the treatment, perhaps we can continue and maybe help someone else.”
According to Smith, the family figures Livingstone-Rector has been living with Lyme disease since birth. “She had two strands, very powerful strands, one she was born with and the other she got when she was around 2 years old. Her mother, Ang, has had Lyme for that long and she just found out after an operation in the fall.”
The tattoos take approximately 30 minutes each between set up, tear down and sanitation. There will be two stations set up, prepped by Smith’s apprentice, so that Smith can immediately start another tattoo to maximize his time.
“From what I have heard so far, we are going to have some first-timers out,” he laughs. “I heard rumours that one of Chelsey’s teachers is coming out for her first tattoo.”
The fundraiser will take place at Two Face Tattoos on Foord Street from 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. or later if need be, on May 3.
“The family will be coming out for part of the day,” says Smith. “Last year I tattooed a lime green ribbon on my leg and I wanted Chelsey to do it, but she was too squeamish.”
Smith’s hope is that not only will the event raise funds, but he is hoping to bring more awareness to the disease.
“Chelsey’s doctor had to drop her because he was treating her for Lyme and if he didn’t stop he would lose his licence because it’s not considered a disease. He was the only doctor in Nova Scotia who would treat her, now she has to go to the States to get treatment.”
Smith says there is not enough research done on Lyme disease and if more funds can be raised and more research done, then perhaps more lives can be changed.
“And if you don’t want a tattoo, come in and buy a hot dog or just donate,” says Smith.

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Boston Marathoner relives triumph, tragedy of the day

The culmination of a year’s worth of training ended in tragedy and heart break.
Vernon MacIntosh was running the Boston Marathon for the third time. And at 67, this year was by far his worst.
“It was quite traumatic,” he recalls. “I am very lucky.”
MacIntosh crossed the finish line 30 minutes before two bombs exploded at the finish line.
“I ran right by it,” says MacIntosh. “I was coming in expecting to meet my girlfriend there so I kept to that side of the road.”
After finishing the race, MacIntosh circled around and went back past the garbage cans, a mere two minutes before the bombs detonated. He was standing about 50 feet from the first explosion.
“I saw quite a bit,” he says.
Runners were still coming in and it was sheer chaos at the finish line.
“The whole area was hard to see,” says MacIntosh. “I felt the blast and saw the smoke fill the air and the shrapnel flying through the area. I saw a woman with her legs blown off.”
Ambulances were coming in and police were cordoning off the area.
“It felt like a war zone,” he says. “The responders were very quick but it was panic all around like you see on TV in Afghanistan where bombs explode… it wasn’t nice.”
After the bomb went off, MacIntosh was still frantically searching for his girlfriend.
“I couldn’t find her,” he says. “Police wouldn’t let me go back in the area to look for her and we were supposed to meet around where the bombs went off, so I had no idea if she was OK.”
Cellular service had been disrupted because it was thought the bombs were detonated through a cellular device and all transportation had been shut down.
After searching for five hours, MacIntosh located his girlfriend who was forced from the scene to safety.
“The people of Boston were so good to me,” says MacIntosh. “It was cold outside after the marathon and I was near hypothermia so a restaurant gave me a table cloth to wrap around myself and a hotel took me in to get warm; they let me have a hot shower and something to eat. A man I didn’t know drove me 25 miles out of the city to get to my car.”
MacIntosh says it was a harrowing experience. He had parked his vehicle at the train station near the start of the marathon and his girlfriend took the train in to the finish line to watch him come across.
After running for 3:40 – MacIntosh’s best time in three years – his elation turned to utter despair and fear.
“I’m one of the lucky ones,” he says. “It was a devastatingly terrible thing to have happened and so unexpected. It’s just so incomprehensible, to destroy something so good.”
For most runners, the Boston Marathon is the big time; not everyone can qualify and when you do it is a big deal.
“People from all over the world, different races and different stories, have all come to take part in this event and raise money for charity. It’s just amazing to see that and then go through the whole route with bands playing and people encouraging you the whole way. And then to finish and have this happen… I just can’t get it out of my mind.”
The Boston Marathon is the “ultimate course with the crowds and the people and the stories. It’s amazing what people can do and accomplish with this race.”
That certainly isn’t stopping MacIntosh from returning, however.
“I wasn’t going to do the Boston Marathon next year, but I have to now. It will be a memorial run, they’re not going to stop me.”
This bombing has made running that much more important to MacIntosh.
“I will train with more vigor and more dedication this year,” he says. “We can’t let evil run our lives, our love of sports.”
MacIntosh is still humbled by the amount of assistance and giving he received from the people of Boston.
“I emailed my friend, the one who drove me to my car, and told him I am coming back next year.”
MacIntosh plans to keep in touch with the people who helped him during this tragedy.
“I called the hotel where we stayed and left a message in case my girlfriend got back and then she got that message and met me at the train station.”
He was even amazed by a police officer he met.
“The runners were all taken to The Commons to gather and as soon as we got there, they told us we had to leave because there was another bomb threat I believe, and I had no money or anything on me and an officer gave me $20.”
MacIntosh can’t say enough good about the people of Boston. “It seems more traumatic now than when I was there,” he says. “I keep reliving it. It’s such a great event with great people that are so enthusiastic, some people doing the Boston Marathon for the first time and they come in and get their legs blown off…”
MacIntosh feels lucky. “I walked by that bomb two minutes before it went off. It could have been me.”
This has made him more determined than ever to return and run the race for all those who were injured or lost their lives.

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Lt.-Gov. Grant hails importance of annual Culloden ceremony

KNOYDART – Those with Scottish heritage and an adherence for it gathered once again on Saturday for the annual Battle of Culloden anniversary service at the shoreline cairn that commemorates it.
Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant was among dignitaries who were welcomed to this year’s event by emcee Troy MacCulloch, president of the Federation of Scottish Culture in Nova Scotia.
Grant replaced a wreath at the cairn and later shared some remarks and had lunch at the community hall in nearby Lismore.
“Occasions such as these allow us to come together and celebrate these events,” he said.
Grant drew on the connection between Scots and Nova Scotians through everyday customs, music and dance, culture and military.
“They deepen our relationship with the land and the people,” he said.
Pictou East MLA Clarrie MacKinnon laid a wreath on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia and announced the others who laid wreaths.
The Battle of Culloden took place on April 16, 1746 when the heavily armed British crushed the Jacobite army in a matter of minutes. About 1,000 Scots died during the battle while the British were then ordered to kill the remaining wounded.
Tartans and bagpipes were banned, the Gaelic language was spoken less, and Scots’ land was confiscated.
Relaxed enforcement at home and the pervading Scottish migration throughout the world allowed its culture to recover and flourish.
“Here on the same north shore, we still protect and celebrate this culture via New Scotland days, Antigonish Highland Games and the Festival of the Tartans, not to mention all the ceilidhs and kitchen parties that take place between Loch Broom and Lochaber,” MacCulloch said.
“These Scottish events bring our communities together, uniting all the people that participate creating a true identity.”
Cpl. Kenzie Nicholson piped in the gathering of more than 200 people that included a colour guard bearing the flags of Canada, Nova Scotia and Scotland, as well as the Lord Lion and Glen Finnan flags.
Due to Easter Sunday falling on April 20, next year’s Culloden anniversary will be observed on April 26.

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‘Strong Song’ kids to change the world

NEW GLASGOW – Youth leaders will be coming on strong on May 24 when the YMCA of Pictou County presents Strong Song: A Celebration of Youth and Change.
Approximately 1,200 middle and junior high school students in Pictou County will take their seats and raise the roof of the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Strong Song will feature Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children and the Me to We Foundation, as well as Me to We speakers, Spencer West and Molly Burke.
The event will celebrate the launch of the new YMCA youth leadership initiatives in this community.
“For the last several years, our Y has been very focused on the building and opening of the wellness centre. We have a responsibility to sustain the Y in our community and to extend meaningful programming that will benefit children, youth, families and seniors living in Pictou County. While there are a number of program areas we would like to enhance, our focus now is the creation of some significant youth leadership initiatives,” says Dave MacIntyre, CEO of the YMCA of Pictou County.
McIntyre says the Strong Song Event, named for the Y Strong Kids program that provides health and wellness opportunities for children and youth, will be a pivotal moment creating a new awareness of the real meaning of the Y and its role in the community.
“Strong Song creates a captive audience to share the Y story and inspire the youth to be engaged and to help affect positive change,” he says.
Strong Song will welcome Craig Kielburger back to Pictou County. Last year, the Y hosted a fundraising dinner to support the development of the Strong Song event. Kielburger addressed members of the corporate and non-profit community as well as representatives of the school board and local educators.
“Craig and his brother Mark have made an enormous impact on the way youth now perceive their power in creating positive change. Never before have young people made such an impact on our society. They are an extremely informed generation and they have the knowledge and energy to make a real difference in our local and global communities,” says Crystal Murray, Y board member.
“There is a lot of discussion and effort directed towards the sustainability of our rural communities. Investing in our youth is a very important piece of this mission as we endeavor to create vibrant, peaceful, healthy communities.”
Planning for the event has been in close collaboration with each of the participating schools.
“The event on May 24 has the potential to have a huge impact on our students. They will hear testimonies from individuals who have made and are making a difference in the lives of others.
Our students will learn that, they, too, can make a difference by getting positively involved in their community,” says Lynn MacLean, supervisor of Schools for the Chignecto Central Regional School Board.
“Having the Y help with the development of youth leadership initiatives in collaboration with other agencies in Pictou County is terrific. Having organizations, like the Y, providing additional opportunities for youth development will assist in building a stronger community.”
Murray adds, “Beyond the co-operation with the school board with these initiatives, it is very important that the Y connects with other like-minded agencies in our community. We need to work together to elevate youth programming.”
“CCRSB and in particular, the Celtic Family, has a long history of working with community-based organizations. In fact, the Celtic Family is one of the founding members of Pictou County Partners for Children and Youth organized in 2006,” MacLean says. This group consists of government and non-government departments and organizations who work with children and youth up to age 21. Celtic Family has partnered with many of the members to create new services and improve others. This partnership with the Y is another avenue to help support youth, MacLean notes.
“Strong Song is more than a one-day event,” says Murray. “We want the message to last long after the students have left the building. It is just the beginning. We want everyone to know that Strong Kids will change the world.”

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Currie, Lee to appear before Vets Affairs group

PICTOU – Two people with opposing views regarding food served to local veterans will appear Thursday before the province’s Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Pictou County Health Authority CEO Pat Lee and Pictou resident Bernie Currie, who is listed as an advocate for the families of veterans who reside at the Northumberland Veterans Unit, are scheduled to appear before the committee regarding food service there.
Currie said he will stress to the committee how other jurisdictions have abandoned the service after having tried it. “I have the full support of the families to do what I can,” he said. “Other provinces have overturned serving these meals. This can be done.”
Lee will be sharing the report with the committee.
The health authority is responsible for the food served at the Veterans Unit.
The health authority released results on April 11 of a 12-page report evaluating food at the unit that was completed on March 20.
It began mostly serving what it calls “re-thermalized” meals for dinner and supper last May at the Veterans Unit and the Aberdeen Hospital. The change saved the health authority $70,000 at each hospital as its board of directors tried to absorb a $3 million budget shortfall.
Concerns over the food prompted the health authority to conduct a meal evaluation during a 28-day cycle between Jan. 2 and Feb. 6 as part of a six-month process that started last November and included nine meetings. The 15-member task force evaluating the food identified 12 recommendations, including eight of them in four areas pertaining to food temperature, food choices, meal preparation and personal preferences.
►Regarding food temperature the task force recommended that breakfast, lunch and dinner meals be plated from a hot cart and served directly to the veterans.
►Regarding food choices it had three recommendations: veterans choose from two options for both the lunchtime and suppertime meal, that the main meal of the day be served at supper rather than lunchtime for a trial period and that meals at the Veterans Unit would be a combination of increased fresh product and minimally prepared (frozen) items based on vet’s preferences.
With regard to meal preparation and presentation, it was recommended to enhance the veterans’ mealtime experience by using table cloths and regular table settings instead of trays and obtain personalized mugs for each veteran, provide music during meals, install a menu board which is updated daily with menu options, provide a fresh fruit basket daily in the dining room, buy local and in-season produce, provide sauces and dressings on the side, provide a condiments caddy on each table at each meal and have meals available hot and served for a longer timeframe.
Among personal preferences three recommendations included a pamphlet on the food services at the Veterans Units to be given to veterans and their families on admission, information on food preferences be collected on admission to the unit and be reviewed with residents regularly at least once a year and that food items that are not tolerated, eaten or liked be removed from the menu.
The task force had four other recommendations: consultation with stakeholders prior to the implementation of major changes to the delivery of services at the Veterans Unit, regular audits including satisfaction surveys be conducted at the unit on the food program, improved communication among unit staff, kitchen staff, veterans and families and regular taste testing sessions be conducted with veterans when introducing new menu items and to conduct quality assessments.

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Great Big lineup for Jubilee

NEW GLASGOW – The New Glasgow Jubilee will be rockin’ the river August 2-4 with a lineup that features Great Big Sea, Matt Mays, Sheepdogs, The Stanfields, Dave Gunning, Gloryhound and more.
The Jubilee kicks off August 2 with prairie-proud rockers The Sheepdogs who came to international attention in 2011 when they won a massive contest, landing them on the cover of Rolling Stone and a deal with Atlantic Records. Since then, The Sheepdogs earned three Junos in 2012, and mashed out their “meat-and-potatoes” rock sound that everyone knows them for now.
East Coast rocker, multi ECMA winner, and JUNO nominee Matt Mays will headline Saturday. He is currently touring Coyote, his fifth album, which emerged from a hunt of sorts that took him across North and Central America in search of just the right sound for his next album. And it worked; Coyote was named the 2013 ECMA Album of the Year.
The three-day event will come to close on Sunday when Great Big Sea takes to the stage. Arguably the top act to come out of the East Coast, the band is marking its 20th anniversary in 2013. It will be the only chance for fans to see Great Big Sea this summer in Nova Scotia.
Returning the Jubilee stage, after a rousing finale performance in 2012, is multiple ECMA and Music Nova Scotia award winners The Stanfields. Also on stage will be master songwriter, performer and storyteller Dave Gunning, whose career continues to grow with his first Juno nomination in 2012 and two Canadian Folk Music Awards under his belt.
New to the Jubie stage are a number of must-see acts that span the musical spectrum. Gloryhound is three guitars and a drum kit that churns out a sound that oozes hard rock crunch. The band has received multiple ECMA and Music Nova Scotia award nominations and their single Electric Dusk gained Top 20 status on the national Mediabase Active Rock charts and Top 40 on the Billboard/BDS Canadian Rock charts.
Cyndi Cain will take to the Jubilee stage with her sultry, soulful vocals. Cain grew up singing gospel music in church and pursuing that early passion has brought her to a career in musical theatre, and performing on stage with the likes of Michael Buble. Cain was recognized with African Nova Scotian Music Award for Best R&B (2000).
Sprag Session has developed a unique style somewhere amidst the rich, soulful roots of traditional Cape Breton music and the grooves rock and funk; they are creating a kind of Celtic fusion and carving out a spot on the East Coast music scene.
Andrew Hunter & The Gatherers is a power trio with a singer-songwriter at heart. These boys know how to rock, but they also know how to write. The lead single “One Good Reason” from 2011′s critically acclaimed album Warhorses, cracked the top 30 charts nationally. Their single “Remember” is about to be featured on an upcoming episode of the television drama Rookie Blue.
The Divorcees are the self-proclaimed Great White North’s original honky tonk heroes. With their rough and ready country sound, the band was named the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year (2010) and won Music New Brunswick’s award for Country Album Of The Year for their album, Last Of The Free Men. They are currently touring in support of their third album Four Chapters.
Main stage line up:
Friday, August 2: ReverbNation Artist TBA, Cyndi Cain, Gloryhound, Sheepdogs and Alert the Medic.
Saturday, August 4: Levy Step, Andrew Hunter & The Gatherers, The Stanfields, Matt Mays and Bigger Brighter Lights.
Sunday, August 5: Fleur Mainville, Sprag Session, Dave Gunning, Great Big Sea, and The Divorcees.
The August long weekend event is a staple for music lovers who want an outdoor festival experience with the chance to get up close to the action, and three days of music for one unbeatable price.
Weekend Early Bird passes will go on sale April 26th, and are $70 (including tax and surcharge). The Jubilee is also offering a very limited number VIP Early Bird Weekend Passes for $120 (including tax and surcharge). This pricing is in effect for a limited time only until May 10th so get them early as attendance will be capped at 5,000 per night for 2013.
Tickets for Great Big Sea (Sunday night) are $40 in advance and will go on sale April 23 through April 25 exclusively via the artist’s website
Daily and Youth passes will go on sale May 11, ticket prices are variable; visit the website for details.
The New Glasgow Music Jubilee is an all-ages event. Children 12 and under are FREE and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
There will be a licensed area available for those 19 and over (ID’s are required). Gates open at 6 pm each night.
Tickets are available by visiting:

The New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee is a three-day music festival August 2-4th. This award-winning festival is celebrating its 18th year in 2013.
The Jubilee acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage: Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program.
For more information on the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee, visit:

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RCMP charge driver with stunting

LINACY – RCMP charged a male driver with stunting following an incident that took place Wednesday in Linacy.
On Wednesday at approximately 2 p.m., Eastern Traffic Services were conducting speed enforcement on Highway 104 and observed a vehicle travelling at 159 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. A 22-year-old male from Port Hawkesbury was charged under the Motor Vehicle Act for stunting.
The driver has been immediately suspended from driving for a minimum period of one week. His car was also seized for one week. Upon conviction, the driver also faces a fine of $2,412.41 and an automatic six points will be assigned to his driver’s record.
“H” Division Traffic Services supports RCMP detachments and police agencies throughout Nova Scotia in the advancement of the road safety program with initiatives that focus on the four main causal factors of fatal and serious injury motor vehicle collisions: impaired driving, unbelted occupants, speeding and aggressive driving, driver inattention and distraction.

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Power of Facebook boosts pizza sales and shipping

Acropole Pizza is on the move, thanks to help from UPS in New Glasgow.
With a number of Pictou County residents moving outside of the province for work, UPS and Acropole have devised a way to allow people to bring a little piece of home with them.
The familiar spicy brown sauce with spicy pepperoni imbedded in a thick layer of cheese melted to perfection, has become a taste of home unobtainable outside of Pictou County.
“We ordered pizza here at UPS one day,” explains Milton Gallant, owner/operator, “and I had a couple of signs made up that said ‘We ship Acropole Pizza’ and asked if they might hang a few signs in their window.”
Gallant says the day after the first sign went up, there had been 14 messages inquiring about shipping the Pictou County delicacy.
“Someone took a picture of the sign and it hit Facebook and went viral,” says Gallant.
He says, most of the time the pizza is shipped to Alberta, but it has also gone to various parts of Canada and the US.
“We did a little bit of shipping pizza before, but now the amount of phone calls we get is incredible.”
Gallant recalls a woman from Lethbridge, Alta., who was having a pizza party and wanted pizza from Acropole.
“The shipping alone was $250 for the amount of pizzas she ordered, but she was very happy with that,” laughs Gallant.
The best time to ship the pizza is Monday to Wednesday, Gallant says, to ensure it will be guaranteed to arrive within a day or two, leaving time open if there is any kind of weather.
“We ship it anywhere in Canada, but that’s not all we ship,” says Gallant. “We have a lot of people coming in and shipping things like all dressed chips to the US because they can’t get them there and Kit Kat bars. We even ship peanut butter and red licorice, odd stuff like that people can’t get anywhere else.”
Gallant remembers the first person to bring in a pizza to ship.
“I couldn’t believe they wanted to ship a pizza,” he says. “But people really like their Pictou County pizza and it is worth every penny to them because it is a real taste of home.”

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Gallant, athletes honoured

Two athletes and a scholar with Pictou County roots have been cited for their contributions to St. FX.
Stellarton native Peggy Gallant, a member of the faculty at St. Francis Xavier University, is among renowned coaches receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in recognition of their contributions to coaching development and coach education.
“I was absolutely surprised,” said Gallant on April 8 during the 2013 athletic awards presentations at the Charles V. Keating Millennium Centre.
Devon Martell of New Glasgow was named the men’s track field team’s coach’s award winner for his exploits during his first year of eligibility, while Zach MacDonald of Ardness was cited as a member of St. FX’s male cross-country team that won an Atlantic university conference championship.
Emma Taylor of Lyons Brook earned several awards as a member of St. FX’s women’s rugby team that won both the 2012 conference and national titles that the team hosted at the university.
Gallant is among eight Nova Scotian coaches who were awarded the Jubilee medal for their work with the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).
She is among coaches who will receive their medals at the Atlantic Coaching Conference taking place on April 26 and 27 in Halifax.
“We are very excited to honour these individuals who have made that level of achievement possible,” Coaching Association of Canada CEO John Bales said. “The quality of the program can be seen in over a million NCCP trained and certified coaches across the country, and in the outstanding athletes they coach every day.”
Gallant has taught coaching since 1974. She gained profile for women’s athletics at St. FX when she coached a team to the school’s first Atlantic championship in women’s soccer in 1986, after students approached her about forming a team, and at a time when the team did not get funding from the school as a recognized varsity sport.
The team was inducted into the St. FX Sports Hall of Fame. The school has since profited from an endowment fund in memory of former athletic director Rev. George Kehoe to help fund both men’s and women’s sports.
MacDonald is graduating this year and has considered a medical physics program next year at the University of Alberta.
He was among members of the men’s cross-country team who received the famed wooden ‘X’s for their conference championship last fall.
MacDonald limited his athletic pursuits to cross-country and passed on track and field to devote more time to his studies.
“Cross country was a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s been a great four years.”
A fourth year arts student, Martell completed his first year of eligibility with the X-Men’s track and field team this year and earned the coach’s award for his achievements.
They included sixth at the AUS championships in 60 metre hurdles and high jump, seventh in long jump and fifth in triple jump. He was also fourth in the AUS pentathlon competition.
Meanwhile, Taylor was honoured in absentia due to her participation in a national training camp in Victoria, B.C.
Members of the team at last week’s awards received their national championship rings and were celebrated with a video tribute to their triumph before more than 5,000 fans at Oland Stadium.
Taylor was a conference all-star and a CIS tournament all-star

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Sports broadcasting in very good hands

The one and only time I met and talked to sports broadcasting icon Johnny Esaw was during a beautiful and memorable afternoon in 1976.
We were in Montreal to cover the Summer Olympics and, the day before the opening ceremonies, some 200 members of the international media were invited aboard H.M. Yacht Britannia for a reception given by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.
When I stepped into the receiving line to meet the Royal couple, I was joined by Esaw, then the vice-president of CTV Sports. As the line edged forward, he and I chatted about our careers, the Olympics and sports in general. Meeting the Queen and Duke that day was clearly a major highlight of my Olympic experience, but meeting Esaw was another high point.
I thought of that afternoon on the Britannia last week when I read of Esaw’s death in Toronto. The award-winning sportscaster was one of the great ones, known around the world for his innovation in covering sports. His work in the industry for 40-plus years resulted in numerous awards, including induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada.
When any profession loses a person of Esaw’s stature, there are questions about the future of that business. In this case, it’s easy to suggest sports broadcasting in this country remains in good hands.
The evolution of two major sports networks, TSN and Sportsnet, has provided great television coverage for Canadian sports fans over the last couple of decades. I’m sure I don’t have to go into detail because sports addicts are well aware of that. But I can suggest that the two channels will continue to do a super job because both seem to attract some of the finest sportscasters in the country.
That brings me to an interesting development in that field, to the fact that both networks have added bright young sportscasters from Nova Scotia. Both are well versed in sports, have easy-to-watch deliveries as in-studio anchors, and appear headed for fine futures in the business.
I’m referring to, as you may have guessed, Sportsnet’s Ken Reid, a Pictou native no less, and TSN’s Paul Hollingsworth, who grew up in Dartmouth.
I can easily relate to Ken and Paul when it comes to their chosen careers. I always wanted to write sports for a living, ever since my school days in New Glasgow. Ken, a graduate of Pictou Academy, has been quoted as saying sportscasting was something he always wanted to do. Paul’s career goals were very similar.
Last summer, when Reid was assigned to the Summer Olympics in London, The Advocate’s Steve Goodwin profiled the young Pictonian. The article explained how Ken’s career began in Dartmouth, thanks to the late Charlie Keating, a sports-loving radio and television executive who initiated what is now EastLink.
Hollingsworth, meantime, was getting started in broadcasting in metro, also influenced by Keating’s presence in the business and sports communities. For Paul, it was only natural that he would get into the sports media because his dad, Al Hollingsworth, was a long-time, highly-respected journalist in radio, television and newspapers. I can remember Paul being around sports well before he was old enough to be working.
Even though we’re both from the county, I don’t know Reid personally. We’ve never met. But I’ve liked his delivery and appearance on the Sportsnet desk from day one. As good as he was initially, he’s improving steadily in front of the camera. His professionalism fits right in with the demands of his job.
On the other hand, I’ve known Hollingsworth for many years and took an early interest in him because I’ve always had a great admiration for his father. Al was the kind of man you couldn’t help but like. Personable to the nth degree, he was in the right niche, too, a person who always loved sports and was involved directly in several capacities. Paul stepped into his father’s shoes with ease.
Since his own career started, Paul and I covered many events together and, in the last few years, we’ve been serving together on the selection committee for the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. Despite his young age, his knowledge of Nova Scotia sports is easily detected. If you watch CTV news out of Halifax, you’re familiar with him as a news anchor. He executes that task well, but it’s great to see him getting more and more exposure on TSN.
Oh, I mustn’t forget, Paul was a die-hard Montreal Expos fan and, to this day, he and I have had some hot debates, thanks to my own love for the Toronto Blue Jays. But you know what? If and when Montreal gets back into major league baseball, Paul would be an ideal choice for TSN to put in the broadcast booth. I’m certain he would handle the assignment superbly and be a happy man behind the mike.
Sports broadcasting in Canada has come a long way. I remember the days before television, when the only coverage was on radio. You had to imagine in your mind what was happening as you listened to NHL games or World Series action.
Then, in the mid-1950s, along came television. But even then, coverage wasn`t great. Hockey broadcasts on Saturday nights – on CBC, the only available channel – left much to be desired.
Games didn`t come on until halfway through the second period because owners of NHL teams believed showing all the action would keep people away from their arenas. For years, television was black and white, quite a contrast to what we enjoy now.
As the industry grew, as technology advanced, one thing remained constant. Outstanding broadcasters like Foster Hewitt and Danny Gallivan – and yes, Johnny Esaw – drew Canadians to their TV sets.
And as long as young broadcasters like Ken Reid and Paul Hollingsworth keep coming along, the specialized sports channels will keep us watching.

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Aucoin, McLean’s training passing into Saskatchewan

PICTOU – Craig Aucoin and Lloyd McLean are poised to enter Saskachewan during their virtual Cross Canada Bicycle Tour as they keep training for the real event.
The pair pedal in the lobby each Sunday morning at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, although their session was moved to Saturday last weekend due to the Walk For Reese on Sunday.
Aucoin and McLean started a virtual tour last August and have been on the bike for nearly 40 weeks, including the time since the centre opened in November.
Each spin session lasts five hours and on Saturday they will have logged more than 6,000 kms, allowing them to reach Saskatchewan.
The two will depart from St. John’s, NL on Aug. 4, this time for real, following the same route as the virtual tour and stopping in nearly 60 CNIB and YMCA locations as well as the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind in Ottawa.
Craig Aucoin who is blind is hoping to raise awareness and donations for these three charities that had a positive impact on his life.
Those interested can go to for more information.

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Gryphons eye season-opening tilts

NEW GLASGOW – The North Nova Gryphons have begun their high school rugby schedules with hopes of recapturing provincial banners.
Both the male and female sides have turned over a number of players but hope their rosters can gel in time to compete for top honours.
“It’s all about how fast we can pick it up and play as a unit,” said Joe MacDonald, the male team’s head coach. “We have 14 players returning. We lost 12, including some quality players, but we have a good core left and some good young talent.”
Kings-Edgehill is hosting the 2013 male and female rugby championships in Windsor, a place of past glory for both the male and female sides at North Nova.
The boys won at Kings-Edgehill in 2006 and at Avonview in 2009. The female side also won in 2009.
“We’re hoping history repeats itself, but it’s always hard to tell how the other teams are doing,” MacDonald said.
Both of North Nova’s sides were set to host their counterparts from Hants East on Tuesday, while the North Nova girls are also slated to host the new Dr. J.H. Gillis Royals entry on Thursday at 4 p.m.
North Nova’s teams will host their opponents from Cobequid Education Centre in Truro on April 23 and visit Hants East on April 25.
Northumberland’s teams will visit North Nova on April 30, while North Nova’s teams will be participating in the Three Oaks tournament on P.E.I. in early May.
The North Nova female team will be without 11 players from last year’s roster, but head coach Dougal MacInnis expects a good effort and result this year.
“I think we’ll be competitive,” he said. “It’s such a short season so it’s hard to get ready. We’re always dealing with players who have never played rugby before, so it’s really critical to get the fundamentals of the game down and work as a team.”
After the Island tournament, North Nova is not scheduled to play again until they visit CEC on May 9.
North Nova’s girls will visit the Royals on May 13, and both of North Nova’s teams will visit Northumberland on May 16 to complete their schedule.
Regional championships must be declared by May 25, while the provincial championships are a week later on May 31 and June 1.

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Mason, MacMillan helping shape music at Celtic Circle

The third installment of the Music Shapes New Glasgow series will be getting underway this Friday at the Celtic Circle.
Taking the reins this week will be Pictou County native Doris Mason and Halifax-based Scott MacMillan.
Mason said the two have a long shared musical history, having known each other since her days in the Mason Chapman Band. When that group dissolved and Mason went solo it was MacMillan she enlisted to produce her first album.
Although Mason has performed at the Celtic Circle before (including a show with Matt Minglewood), this is her first time performing as part of Music Shapes New Glasgow, which is a series she respects.
“I think it’s wonderful. And it’s very clever with the Circle and the Square. It’s great because you’re focusing on Nova Scotian talent as well as the local.”
Mason noted that the natural acoustic qualities of the Celtic Circle make the venue a great fit for both herself as well as MacMillan’s sound.
“I thought that Scott MacMillan and I would be perfect at the Celtic Circle because it’s such a wonderful and intimate sound in that building. He can play electric guitar, but he’s a mean picker! Scott has been a wonderful musician friend for many years and I thought it perfect to have him share the stage.”
Mason said she will open the show while Scott MacMillan will join her midway and the two will co-perform a mix of his and her songs ranging from Celtic to blues, rock, and jazz. As for the eclectic mix of styles, Mason said that for her it comes down to her unique musical upbringing.
“I started playing piano and played Celtic with my dad. My dad played the fiddle so I played with him. Then I started writing music and melodies of my own. I studied 10 years of classical and then I got into rock and roll and blues when I got a little older. I always played by ear in addition to reading music and I grew up listening to Carole King, Neil Young and Elton John,” Mason said.
“I love any kind of music as long as it’s well done. I get to enjoy the many influences I grew up with.”
Doris Mason and Scott MacMillan will be performing a wide range of songs and styles this Friday at 8 p.m. at the Celtic Circle in New Glasgow.

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Silver returns with new CD

Chris Silver spends his days in River John tending to a farm and volunteering on the local fire department.
This time last year, half of Silver’s farm burned to the ground, and Silver and his family were left wondering what now?
But Silver’s past time as a musician helped him see the way and he is now in the process of releasing his latest album after a five-year gap as Addison Locke.
“I’m a country/folk singer/songwriter and this is my second album, and the biggest to date,” explains Silver.
The album, entitled ‘I am a lot like you’ is a 10-track CD named after one of the songs on the album.
“It was produced in Halifax by Cecil MacDougall,” says Silver. “I was in the studio for about nine months and another two months was spent on the graphic art.”
Silver says he wrote about half of the songs before going into the studio and the remaining while recording the album.
Born and raised in Lunenburg, Silver moved to River John 10 years ago.
“This album is a way to use my talents and skills to rebuild and get back on track,” he says.
Silver will be hosting two CD release parties – one in nearby Wallce, the second in Lunenburg.
“I always try out my new material at an open mic in Wallace at the community centre so I wanted to give back and hold my release there because they have been so good to me.”
Joining Silver at the release will be Cecil MacDougall.
“Cecil toured North America as a classic country artist for 23 years. He semi-retired for about 15 years but is now back on stage,” explains Silver.
The CD release will include performances by both artists as well as prizes, food and both of Silver’s albums will be for sale along with a song book.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” he says. “It’s such a wonderful exercise in self discovery. Once I noticed when the songs I played received more than I felt I deserved from the audience I wanted to do better and I hope to take it to the next level. I’m taking music more seriously now.”
The seriousness comes from the additional time Silver has after the fire with the smaller farm.
“I want to be a singer/songwriter whose music is heard,” he says. “My concerts are a mix of song and storytelling and my songs lay out a picture of rural Nova Scotia. I’m at a range now where I have similar experiences with my audience because they are mostly in their 40s and older, so we have those shared experiences which creates a tighter bond. I have a unique and different style of music and it’s like a throw-back style revisiting the hay day of country and folk.”
Silver has been playing and writing for 28 years now and says the first half of his writing was based on personal experiences and characters from his own life, but now he has moved on to more general experiences that more people can relate to.
“The past five years I have started to move beyond myself and create songs and music that resonate with people. I love what I do and I love the gift I offer and I hope people enjoy it. Anyone who comes to the release will walk away from the show feeling like we know each other a little better now.”
Silver will be holding his release party April 28 at the community hall in Wallace at 2 p.m.

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Lyme info session on May 15

To the Editor:
The One Health Initiative is a world-wide movement to develop collaborations between physicians, osteopaths, veterinarians, dentists, nurses and other scientific-health and environmentally related disciplines.
One Health is dedicated to improving the lives of all species – human and animal – through the integration of human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental science.
There are more than 700 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians worldwide that have endorsed this initiative.
The One Health concept is a strategic framework for reducing risks of infectious diseases at the animal-human-ecosystems interface.
The interaction achieved with these groups will advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing changes in public health, expand the scientific knowledge base, and improving medical education and clinical care.
This work will help protect and save untold millions of lives in our present and future generations. It has been found that 70 per cent of the emerging and re-emerging infections are vector borne or zoonotic.
Medical doctors need to change/expand their view when looking at conditions of little known/unknown origin.
Lyme disease is one of the vector borne infections that is now endemic in many areas. I had an infectious disease doctor tell me he knew nothing about Lyme; he also said veterinarians ‘knew nothing’. I think there is a problem when doctors tell you they do not know much or do not know anything about Lyme or other conditions.
It is time we all increased our knowledge of other species we share the world with as well as our environment. Global warming is real yet there are many who would like to ignore this change. The only thing constant in life is ‘change’ so we may as well get ready for the ride.
On Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Center there will be a free Lyme disease information meeting with guest speaker Dr. E. Murakami, president and founder of the Murakami Center for Lyme Research, Education and Assistance Society.
Education is key!
Brenda Sterling Goodwin
New Glasgow

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Justice system needs overhaul

To the Editor:
Rehtaeh Parsons was a victim, by those who violated her, and the society which should have protected her. If the RCMP and the justice department had taken appropriate action and dealt with the offenders in a timely manner, she would still be alive.
We are under the false impression that we have a just society; unfortunately our system protects the powerful and ignores those without power. In this case we have a young girl who, under the influence of alcohol, was violently assaulted; this assault was photographed and then displayed online. What clearer evidence of wrongdoing is hard to imagine.
The investigation which was prematurely terminated should be rigorously pursued and the offenders charged and prosecuted. All those who participated in online harassment should also be brought to justice. There should be an immediate all-party task force convened to review every issue in this matter and bring forth recommendations to ensure that this type of victimization does not happen again.
The RCMP have an abysmal record in dealing with sexual harassment and assaults in its own ranks, and this gives further evidence that there needs to be a complete overhaul of our justice system.
The double standards that for too long have pervaded our society should be eliminated. We were recently outraged at accounts from India of rape and victimization of women and yet we are condoning it by our own actions.
Michael Pierce
Three Brooks Road

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NDP using jobs as excuse for inaction

Dear Charlie Parker
and Darrell Dexter:
The 2009 article from “The Coast” ( about the appalling history of Boat Harbour seems to be yet again relevant, as another government pours money into this plant. It’s all the more disappointing that it’s an NDP government, for which many of us had such high hopes.
Unfortunately for all Nova Scotians, your government seems determined to support the dinosaur industries that once were considered hopeful for the Nova Scotian economy.
This mill has needed (and gotten) repeated government support over the 40-some years of its existence. I’m keenly aware of how poverty impacted Pictou County in the early 60s when Scott Paper and Michelin arrived.
However, I’m also keenly aware of how much damage has been done to this county over those years to our environment, to people’s health, to how we view ourselves in our world. To use jobs as an excuse for any action is unconscionable.
To refuse to consider other alternatives, alternatives that would be economically and environmentally viable, is a failure on your government’s part.
It is your job to look for economic alternatives for the citizens, not to blindly continue in the same damaging direction.
I don’t know if there is a political party in Nova Scotia that will do the intelligent thing. I do know that the NDP’s continued support of industry to the detriment of the people is a terrible disappointment.

Rita Wilson
Caribou River

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Roots for Youth says thanks for support

To the Editor:
On behalf of the Roots for Youth Society’s Board, staff, and the youth who access our services, we would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers, artists, donors, sponsors, media and everyone who attended this year’s A Heart and Home for Youth fundraiser.
Through this event we have raised over $8,000. which will directly help the youth of our county who are struggling with issues around homelessness.
Scott Smith
Executive Director

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