Artist's rendering of new CBRL Central Library. 2019.

On the Waterfront Part I

March 27, 2019

I have been trying to determine how, exactly, we decided to locate the new CBRM central library on the Sydney waterfront and as best I can figure, it happened like this:   Architectural & Facility Planning In June 2011, the Cape Breton Regional Library (CBRL) Board initiated a study toRead More

Artist's rendering of new CBRL Central Library. 2019.

On the Waterfront Part I

March 27, 2019

I have been trying to determine how, exactly, we decided to locate the new CBRM central library on the Sydney waterfront and as best I can figure, it happened like this:   Architectural & Facility Planning In June 2011, the Cape Breton Regional Library (CBRL) Board initiated a study toRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

January 18, 2019

Sister City A sharp-eyed Spectator drew my attention to an odd little fact in that terrible story of the Canadian sentenced to death in China. Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a 36-year-old from Abbotsford, BC, was arrested in 2014 and found guilty in 2016 of participating in a drug ring that soughtRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

June 15, 2018

“No leasing land to China even for one day” I heard this story on Democracy Now as I was drifting off to sleep the other night and woke up the next morning thinking I’d dreamt it, but I looked it up and it was real. Here’s the Voice of AmericaRead More

Pope Benedict XVI

No Act of Contrition: Benedict XVI on Sexual Abuse

April 17, 2019

I wonder how Pope Francis feels about having a 92-year-old armchair quarterback living in a neat little cottage somewhere behind the Vatican who suddenly decides to “unpack” the sexual abuse crisis, its causes and solutions? Retired Pope Benedict XVI has decided to share his enlightened version of the worst scandalRead...

Canary. (Photo by Juan Emilio [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Are Students the Canaries in Our Coal Mines?

April 10, 2019

Over the last few decades, universities — or, at least, many university administrators, working in tandem with ministries of education —  have increasingly embraced the idea that the role of the university is to prepare students for jobs that already exist in the marketplace. This has left many traditional universityRead More

Jail is…Great?

Jail is…Great?

April 17, 2019

When I saw the headline “Life in lockup“on the front page of Tuesday’s Cape Breton Post I was impressed — a full, front page story (and two additional pages inside) exploring life in the Cape Breton Correctional Facility? SaltWire actually doing a valuable “deep dive?” Excellent. And then I readRead...

Jail is…Great?

Jail is…Great?

April 17, 2019

When I saw the headline “Life in lockup“on the front page of Tuesday’s Cape Breton Post I was impressed — a full, front page story (and two additional pages inside) exploring life in the Cape Breton Correctional Facility? SaltWire actually doing a valuable “deep dive?” Excellent. And then I readRead...

Farewell Lunch at the Schatzalp at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos,January 2019 ©World Economic Forum / Pascal Bitz

Guess What Just Happened in Davos?

February 20, 2019

I‘m not even going to pretend that I pay serious attention to the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is held annually in Davos, Switzerland and which attracts thousands of the world’s rich and famous — including political, business and cultural leaders — to the tiny ski resort to carry outRead More

Other News

A compost bin in the garden of Feeringbury ManorBy Acabashi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips: Compost, Compost, Compost

April 10, 2019 at 12:15 pm

What to do this week It may seem sometimes like the gardener’s answer to everything is compost. Got sandy, light soil? Add compost to help absorb water and slow the leaching of nutrients. Your soil is heavy, wet, clay? Compost will help the fine, sticky particles clump together and improveRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

April 5, 2019 at 11:25 am

Emera The Cape Breton Post is reporting changes to Nova Scotia legislation that will lift restrictions preventing foreign investors from holding more than 25% of voting shares in Emera, the parent company of Nova Scotia Power Inc (NSPI). The other change “reinforces Emera’s existing commitment to maintain its head officeRead More

Artist's rendering, new CBRL Central Library, Sydney waterfront.

Climate Change & Social Infrastructure

April 3, 2019 at 11:53 am

I have recently read two interesting descriptions of libraries. One is from Michelle Wilson, the executive director of the Sydney Downtown Development Association (formerly the Sydney Waterfront District), who sees the proposed new central library as a “quality product” that can enhance Sydney’s “brand.” In a letter to the editorRead More

Moving Meetings

Moving Meetings

April 3, 2019 at 11:51 am

Back in August 2018, I wrote an article about the CBRM’s fluid monthly council meetings in which I quoted an article I’d written in July 2017 about the CBRM’s fluid monthly council meetings. I’m a little early this year, but given that we’re barely four months into 2019 and twoRead More

Berkhamsted Castle, March 2019. (Photo by Lee-Anne Broadhead)

Brexit Reflection: Letter from a Ruined Castle

April 3, 2019 at 11:49 am

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poison’d… Richard II, Act 3 Scene 2 (‘A Castle in View’)   Dear SpectatorRead More

The Ben Eoin Shuffle (Reprise)

The Ben Eoin Shuffle (Reprise)

April 3, 2019 at 11:47 am

Since last we dropped by Ben Eoin, there have been developments — and not just the ongoing expansion of The Birches Country Inn (to accommodate what I really hope will be called The Birches Country Pro-Shop). That last bulletin detailed ructions over the sale of The Lakes Golf Club toRead More

Gary Stevens [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Gardening Tips: Tomato-Mania

April 3, 2019 at 11:45 am

What to do this week It’s about time to start tomato seedlings inside to have them ready for transplanting at the beginning of June. Each year I agonize over the wide variety of colors, textures and sizes available. I grow more than 50 different varieties for seed on a rotatingRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

March 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

New Liberry I went to that Open House session on the new central library last night and I will have more to say next week but I just had to note that I heard no good explanation for why the public library has been stuffed, like a pimento, in theRead More

Artist's rendering of new CBRL Central Library. 2019.

On the Waterfront Part I

March 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

I have been trying to determine how, exactly, we decided to locate the new CBRM central library on the Sydney waterfront and as best I can figure, it happened like this:   Architectural & Facility Planning In June 2011, the Cape Breton Regional Library (CBRL) Board initiated a study toRead More

A wave hits a rock on Bengtskär, Finnish Gulf.(Pöllö [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

On the Waterfront Part II

March 27, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I need to begin by saying that despite my misgivings about the location of the planned new library and my dislike of the way it’s been tangled up in a private development, I am excited about it. I would just like to ensure that it’s around to excite future generationsRead More