Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

Confessions of a bad reporter I forgot about Ports Day — Port Days? Ports Days? — whatever it is, I forgot about it. I know, right? How does that happen? How does the most port-obsessed person in Sydney forget Port-a-palooza? I can only plead temporary sanity. This week, I was apparentlyRead More

Western lowland gorilla. (Photo By Jackhynes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, cropped)

Equalization: The 800-Pound Gorilla in This Election

May 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Scratch any problem in almost any municipality in Nova Scotia and you will likely uncover the same root cause: the province’s underfunded equalization program. I see you over there, covering your ears and singing. And you, pretending you’re engrossed in that hardware store flyer you just fished out of aRead More

Winking Jersey cow, Netherlands. (Photo by By BartLaridon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Bean There: The Price of Milk

May 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm

It’s fair to say that a user-friendly discussion of the dairy industry in Canada would be in order right about now. With the current upheaval in trade talks, the media is over-run with pundits beating the drum for and against our present system of supply management, but the average personRead More

Canadian flag. (Photo by By Makaristos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Celebrating in Song: Cape Breton Chorale Salutes Canada

May 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

What are your plans for the celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday? Do you even have any plans? Well, here’s a wonderful idea. Why not attend the Cape Breton Chorale’s Salute to Canada Concert on Sunday, May 28th at Sydney’s Highland Arts Theatre? Directed by Rosemary McGhee with Paula Jane Francis asRead More

Dr StrangeJob: Election Seasons Are Dangerous Times

Dr StrangeJob: Election Seasons Are Dangerous Times

May 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Elections are dangerous times. Don’t sit on your front yard or you may get skewered by a campaign sign. Don’t let your family pets near the street, lest they be spray-painted or asphalted over by zealous provincial road workers.  Fortunately for you, you are not alone during this perilous period: Dr. StrangeJobRead More

Lilacs (Spectator photo)

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 19

May 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

What to do this week This is the time for tending to bushes and shrubs, or perhaps dividing them, so let’s talk about that. If you have lilac, or elderberry, currants of course, rose bushes very often (especially the rugosa roses) or anything that is sending up little clones ofRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

Inspiration Village Great news, guys! Sydney is finally going to ship a sea container to Central Canada! Okay, strictly speaking, we’re not “shipping” it. According to its press release, Destination Cape Breton Association will “transform” a sea container “into a life-size depiction of the many unforgettable experiences Cape Breton Island has toRead More

Mayor Clarke And The Incredible Disappearing HST Issue

Mayor Clarke And The Incredible Disappearing HST Issue

May 10, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Economic development is the word on the street in the CBRM these days — CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke popped up on CBC Cape Breton’s Information Morning on May 4 to speak to host Steve Sutherland about it and CBRM Regional Council has vowed to meet once a month to discussRead More

Property Taxes: Why NS Needs to Doff Its CAP

Property Taxes: Why NS Needs to Doff Its CAP

May 10, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Nova Scotia’s Capped Assessment Program (CAP) is a hot mess. The motivation behind it is laudable: no one should lose their house because its assessed value has skyrocketed and they can no longer afford the taxes. If you own a modest home along the Mira River, for example, and Ritchie McRitchfaceRead More

CBNS railway, Sydney. (Photo via Scotia Rail Development Society

Province Studying High Railway Fees

May 10, 2017 at 12:15 pm

The Sydney Subdivision of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS) must be the most studied stretch of unused track in the country. The Subdivision was the subject of three different reports (with a total price tag of $152,600) in 2015. It’s to be the subject of a $460,000 studyRead More