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  #61  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 4:28 PM
JET JET is offline
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Someone123 referred to Gloria as being "a councillor in an area that has the most elaborate HRM development constructed in recent years"
You're going to have to enlighten me about what HRM has developed in Dartmouth since "amalgamation". Gloria's very supportive of King's Wharf and most other developments for Dartmouth, that why we elect her. She also keeps an eye on extravagance when basics are being neglected.
The "flipping" reference is related to her reaction to the glossy consultant's report ($400,000 ?). seems like a reasonable reaction. JET
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  #62  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 5:02 PM
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Alderney Landing and the theatre are what I was referring to. It opened in 1999, post-amalgamation. Downtown Dartmouth has also seen some work done on Portland Street.

Similarly the province has built an NSCC campus there and the WDC has been involved in expanding the waterfront.

People in Dartmouth like to complain but I cannot think of comparable public projects for downtown Halifax, which should be getting a higher amount of investment because it is larger and more important.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 5:18 PM
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Alderney Landing was in mid process when almalgamation occured. Once amalgamated, the theatre ended up with plastic chairs in the theatre. The touch ups on Portland Street pale in comparison to the money spent on Barringto improvements. The NSCC is provincial funds on provinial lands;
I could bring up Halifax West and Citadel being built while dartmouth High continues to deteriorate, but heh that's provincial money as well. (any connection to the # of NDP elected in Dartmouth? maybe).
People in dartmouth complain, people in Halifax complain. Halifax needs a library. I fail to see why you need to refer to Dartmouth in such negative terms. JET
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  #64  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 12:32 AM
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Alderney Landing and the theatre are what I was referring to. It opened in 1999, post-amalgamation. Downtown Dartmouth has also seen some work done on Portland Street.
You been in Alderney Landing lately? It is a sad place. Looks half-abandoned and unfinished most of the time. The whole thing just seems ill-conceived.

But you're right in contending there haven't been any recent projects of a civic/public nature in downtown Halifax of late except for the Harbour Cleanup and ongoing stuff at the waterfront like the Boardwalk.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 1:06 AM
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Sure it is, because you are offering the same thing for free that I can rent at Blockbuster or wherever. I'm not arguing against multimedia. And I'm certainly not arguing against audio availability, so let's forget about CDs in this. The library should have the type of DVDs available that are generally not available or hard to find at the rental places. Educational, instructional, cultural, etc. But should they have copies of Seinfeld or Cloverfield or any other sort of mindless pop culture entertainment when the place down the street does the same thing? I think not. Sure it is nice to have that. So are the other things people said they wanted in the report: free parking, free day care, free courses on languages and other areas. But all of those things are already available elsewhere. You just have to buy them. Why should the library be offering them -- not for free, but paid for with taxpayer dollars? The question is, you need to set some limits or otherwise the thing quickly gets way too expensive. The demand for anything "free" quickly becomes infinite. I see few limits in this proposal, and hence a frightening cost number down the road.
By that logic why have a library when we have Chapters?

A library needs to stay relevant and that means not excluding popular choices. It needs to be a mix. Otherwise, to Gloria's dismay no doubt, it truly will be elitist.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 2:48 AM
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The touch ups on Portland Street pale in comparison to the money spent on Barringto improvements.
What Barrington improvements? There's been talk but basically the last real improvements were made in the early-mid 1980s.

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I fail to see why you need to refer to Dartmouth in such negative terms. JET
I'm just being realistic. I constantly hear griping from Dartmouth or Bedford that seems to be based on the assumption that downtown Halifax is getting tons of investment. That just isn't true. There's a lot of talk but little investment on the part of the HRM. No doubt some of the talk is encouraged because it gives the illusion that something is being done when that is not the case.

In reality the disparity runs the other way. Downtown Halifax contributes a disproportionately large number of tax dollars while receiving very little investment because it has relatively few residents (note that it is lumped in with the area north of Cogswell, which also happens to be where Dawn Sloane lives).

I agree that Alderney Gate/Landing was largely ill-conceived but that does not change the fact that it's newer than anything similar on the Halifax side and runs against the conventional "wisdom" in the HRM that everybody is somehow a victim of centralization and downtown streets are paved in gold. The library in downtown Dartmouth is also newer than the one on the Halifax side, tends to be busier, and is perhaps larger. Apparently the Woodlawn branch is also about to be overhauled.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 4:49 AM
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Please do not bring Bedford into this argument. I'm still yet to here a Bedfordian say that we should get everything that DT gets. Our dissatisfaction is simply because we do not have the facilities that other districts our size have. I can't speak officially on behalf of Bedford but i can say many would agree that DT should get more infastructure than us. I think that is one of the reasons behind the fast ferry, to connect the two areas in order to help each other. All I'm saying is yes go ahead and get this library but make sure all other areas have the necessities first.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 7:46 AM
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Where's the accountability? Who is going to be solely responsible for this library? That way, if things go wrong, or money seems light, there is one person to get the answer from. This is a publicly funded, and financed, piece of infrastructure.

I don't believe in the death penalty, but when public money is poured around sometimes like it's bottomless...
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  #69  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 11:41 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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Alderney Landing and the theatre are what I was referring to. It opened in 1999, post-amalgamation. Downtown Dartmouth has also seen some work done on Portland Street.
As was mentioned, Alderney Landing was a project started before amalgamation (interestingly when Gloria was mayor of Dartmouth), and was seriously dumbed down when HRM took over. The rotunda (the 'reception' area in front of the theatre) was decent, the theatre its self was alright, but the area beneath always had a very incomplete and unfinished feel to it. It's only in the last year or so that it's beginning to look better, now that they've installed some new lighting fixtures, put in some plants and repainted. Plus the new businesses, like the NSLC plus a new restaurant that opened in the last 6 months (Olivers), plus the existing restaurant and health food store, and it's finally starting to look decent.

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I agree that Alderney Gate/Landing was largely ill-conceived...
Don't get them confused, Alderney Gate is an excellent building, even if you're not a fan of the pink exterior. Alderney Landing however... not bad, but not great.

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Apparently the Woodlawn branch is also about to be overhauled.
Replaced, actually. I think they're planning on a move to Penhorn, once that's redeveloped.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 11:53 AM
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You ever been in a facility with several meeting rooms? Ever notice how people leave water bottles, papers, etc behind? They quickly become a pig sty if not kept up by someone.
I worked in one, I thought I already went over that...

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The library should have the type of DVDs available that are generally not available or hard to find at the rental places. Educational, instructional, cultural, etc. But should they have copies of Seinfeld or Cloverfield or any other sort of mindless pop culture entertainment when the place down the street does the same thing?
You're right. They should also get rid of their fiction section, including all of the best sellers. Do you know how many Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Danielle Stelle books Alderney Gate has? In fact, they should also get rid of the entire children's section, since the majority of that you can get at the store down the street as well.

Quote:
Why should the library be offering them -- not for free, but paid for with taxpayer dollars?
Because this is what a library is for. I can go out and buy a set of encyclopedias, I can go out and buy a book on the history of Halifax, I can also go buy the Lord of the Rings (which I just did, so that may not be a good example), but the purpose of the library has always been to bring these and other services to those who either cannot afford, or in the case of borrowed materials, people like myself who don't see the logic in buying a book that I'll read once and never touch again. However I really hope I missed your point there...otherwise the way I interpreted that it sounds like you're calling into question the entire purpose of having libraries.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 1:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hfx_chris View Post
Because this is what a library is for. I can go out and buy a set of encyclopedias, I can go out and buy a book on the history of Halifax, I can also go buy the Lord of the Rings (which I just did, so that may not be a good example), but the purpose of the library has always been to bring these and other services to those who either cannot afford, or in the case of borrowed materials, people like myself who don't see the logic in buying a book that I'll read once and never touch again. However I really hope I missed your point there...otherwise the way I interpreted that it sounds like you're calling into question the entire purpose of having libraries.
The problem is that this librarian (and others; I have known a bunch) seems to think that their role is to bring everything to everyone. No limits. That's nuts, but they really do seem to believe that. Personally, I think that nobody should have to buy a set of encyclopedias or reference volumes; libraries should have them in droves. Same way with instructional books, histories and other nonfiction, classic literature, etc. As for Stephen King or Danielle Steele, you want it, you buy it. OK, maybe the library shoud have a limited selection just for a complete view of the culture of the times. But that shouldn't be their prime business. Seems to me the library caters to a large segment who could quite easily pay for what they offer but choose not to because they are cheap or otherwise spending their money on other things. That's why you need to have carefully defined limits on what it should and should not offer.

Hypothetical: let's say that somehow this $42 million (or $60M, or whatever) project gets the green light. 18 months into it comes the inevitable reality: there isn't enough money to pay for everything. What would you do:

(a) scale back the scope of the service offering but keep the architectural quality of the building design and materials (i.e. real stone on the outside), or

(b) keep the services but let the building devolve into precast concrete panels and metal cladding.

I know what I would do, and it isn't option B.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 2:02 PM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Personally, I think that nobody should have to buy a set of encyclopedias or reference volumes; libraries should have them in droves. Same way with instructional books, histories and other nonfiction, classic literature, etc. As for Stephen King or Danielle Steele, you want it, you buy it. OK, maybe the library shoud have a limited selection just for a complete view of the culture of the times. But that shouldn't be their prime business.
I think you would find you are definitely in the minority on that one.

Quote:
Hypothetical: let's say that somehow this $42 million (or $60M, or whatever) project gets the green light. 18 months into it comes the inevitable reality: there isn't enough money to pay for everything. What would you do:
A. But then again, with my limited knowledge of how you think, "scale back the scope of the services" probably means take away everything but the non-fiction reference section and the historical pieces.
I would first start with removing the auditorium, because that isn't really that important to me.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2008, 3:05 AM
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The lands are big enough, why not put the new Library there? Keep the front facade, and build up 4 or 5 stories. Open concept would be the key, and push for LEEDS. It's too much of a cultural hot spot for the area. I don't understand why Buskers didn't perform there, (they might, I just haven't been home for a summer in... well Ghostbusters-was-still-on ago) as it's got great street frontage.

A museum would be cool... but of what? The Maritimes, as in regionally? I was thinking the other day, where's the Halifax Explosion Museum? It would make more sense for it to be North end, near the Hydros. Sorry side tangent.

I say make a tall, dynamic, Library, with a light house on the roof, so you can go up on the 6th floor, which would be a garden, climb into the light house, and look out to the harbour... but then the HT would probably claim sight lines, in 10 years...
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  #74  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Turn the current building into a 6 story building with a lighthouse on top?
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  #75  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2008, 4:40 PM
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Don't give Judith Hare any more grandiose ideas...
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  #76  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2008, 7:58 PM
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Turn the current building into a 6 story building with a lighthouse on top?
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  #77  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 4:46 PM
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In the Herald today:
Quote:
Don’t read too much into downtown library repairs
Building’s future still up in the air
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Tue. Jul 29 - 11:42 AM

More than a quarter of a million dollars is going into the old Spring Garden Road library, just as plans for a new flagship branch are about to be debated at Halifax city hall.

Scaffolding is already in place for the work, which involves restoring stone cladding on the 57-year-old building’s exterior.

The work is important, says Coun. Dawn Sloane (Halifax Downtown), because the building is worth saving.

"It’s still an asset and we still have to maintain it," Ms. Sloane said Monday.

"And if we go to sell it or reuse it in the future, we would probably have to do the work anyway."

The city doesn’t know what it will do if the library moves across the street to a new location on the old Halifax Infirmary site, she said.

"That’s the $64,000 question. I don’t know what we’re going to use it for, but I personally would like to see it as a civic museum."

Many of the city’s artifacts — like handwritten police reports from the night of the Halifax Explosion and a rolltop desk that belonged to former newspaper editor and premier Joseph Howe — are now housed in a Burnside warehouse.

"I think a civic museum is needed downtown, and it just makes sense — it’s even in the monument district," she said, referring to HRM By Design’s recent classification of several downtown precincts.

But many of the merchants along Spring Garden Road would like to see their pedestrian shopping mall extended across Brunswick Street, the executive director of the street’s merchants association said Monday.

"One of the things that the downtown people would like to see is to make that (old library) building retail," Bernie Smith said in an interview Monday.

And while the building could legally be torn down because it’s not a registered heritage property, Mr. Smith would like to see the edifice stay.

"I don’t think the public would stand for that building being demolished," he said of the city landmark. "And I’m on their side."

Over the years, stores like H&M clothing and Chapters books have expressed an interest in the building.

A retail giant like that could work in the 38,000-square-foot building, Mr. Smith said.

The Spring Garden Road library was built in 1951 and enlarged in the early ’70s. Water leaks and mould have increased maintenance needs in recent years, prompting council to talk about a replacement for almost two decades.

"The building has some issues, there’s no doubt about that, but if we could find a user with deep pockets . . . then the problems of the building become less significant," Mr. Smith said.

"And the fact that the exterior cladding has been replaced and repaired where necessary will be taken into account, so hopefully the city will recoup its investment."

Next Tuesday, regional council will continue its debate on plans for a new library.

After months of public consultation, the decision about a proposed new library — housing dozens of computers, a vastly expanded collection, extra seating areas and a 250-seat auditorium — will go before council.

The regional library board is looking for council to approve the library in principle, and to direct city staff to examine funding options for the expected $42-million project.

Council has not voted on any budget for a new library. However, it included $400,000 in this year’s budget to cover an architectural design competition for the new building.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 7:11 PM
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H&M would be soooo awesome in that building!
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  #79  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 7:43 PM
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I think clothing retail in the old library would help complete SGR as a shopping district almost like Bloor, esp. because those involved with the new library seemingly missed the opportunity of funding and possible continued future cash flows from ground-level retail on the new site. I can't believe the people who do not understand that such models enable public services to be delivered at a higher level without costing taxpayers more... and are totally unaccountable for such lack of vision and planning.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Chapters - now that would be an excellent idea!
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