Posted: Nov 9, 2007, 6:08 AM
Sarcstic Caper in Exile
Join Date: Mar 2004
Thursday, November 8, 2007 Cape Breton Post
The Coast ready to return to airwaves in early December
Section: Business; Front
By Chris Hayes, Cape Breton Post
Community radio station The Coast plans to be a breath of fresh air on the Cape Breton radio scene when it returns to the airwaves with a stronger signal and new permanent licence.
General manager Bill MacNeil said it looks like The Coast should be back on the air at 89.7 FM by late November or early December with more of the Cape Breton and East Coast music and community programming that is its focus.
"We are really I guess the one station that will stand out as being different because of the Cape Breton component," he said Friday. "I mean, it's 100 per cent locally owned and operated, which is a kind of breath of fresh air and we are really going to key in on what Cape Breton wants to hear."
The Coast, which is operated by the not-for-profit Cape Breton Community Coastal Radio Co-operative, has been off the air but available on the Internet while installing technology for the change from a 50-watt station to a 6,000-watt station.
The Glace Bay-based radio station should be able to reach Sydney, the Northside, New Waterford and most of what MacNeil referred to as metro Cape Breton with its new, stronger signal although the exact reach won't be known until it is broadcasting, he said.
Employee numbers will also increase from four to about 10.
Local programming could include a seniors program produced by seniors and a high-school magazine type show, he suggested.
Newscasts will be broadcast on the hour including weekends and will focus on Cape Breton, said MacNeil.
The Coast told the CRTC it plans to play at least 80 per cent Canadian music.
"Yeah, it's a lot," said MacNeil. "But you know what - when you have great music in Cape Breton and the East Coast, it doesn't make the job difficult."
The radio station will also sell advertising but as a not-for-profit will put any profits back into the operation, he said.
Section: Front; Front
By Erin Pottie, Cape Breton Post
The scenic beauty of Cape Breton Island has once again caught the attention of National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Among the world's 10 best islands, Cape Breton tied for 10th with Corsica, France in the publication's November/December 2007 issue.
A total of 111 islands and archipelagos were ranked in six categories: environmental and ecological quality; social and cultural integrity; condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites; aesthetic appeal; quality of tourism management; and outlook for the future.
The Destinations Rated feature examined islands as appealing places that are often prone to tourism overkill. With 100 being the best score for avoiding that danger, Cape Breton scored 75.
"Let's celebrate where we're from, we're so fortunate, we really are. We're fortunate to live here, we're fortunate to raise our families here. Everyone else recognizes it and we should celebrate it ourselves," said Sandra MacDonald, general manager of Destination Cape Breton.
Quotes from the panel's 522 experts in sustainable tourism and destination were posted anonymously on the magazine's website.
"Aesthetic appeal is very high with small unique fishing villages, Celtic music and dancing, and with beautiful scenic drives," is one of the postings for Cape Breton.
Comments also warn of the island's tendency for outmigration, high unemployment, pollution and short tourist season.
To measure island integrity, National Geographic Traveler and the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destination conducted the fourth annual Destination Scorecard survey, aided by George Washington University and panellists.
Cape Breton is no stranger to tourism accolades from the magazine. It placed second on a scorecard of more than 100 of the world's greatest destinations in 2004, and Highlands National Park placed second of 55 North American national parks in 2005.
Of course this got the usual response of "NS doesn't give us what we deserve, it's time to separate" rant by some random supporter of the provincehood movement.
Sorry, I just had to include this story because of the predictability of it all.
CBRM mayor not impressed with provincial deal on housing, corrections
Section: News; Front
By Chris Shannon, Cape Breton Post
An agreement ensuring cost reductions in housing and corrections shouldered by the province's municipalities will be signed today at the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities annual conference in Halifax.
The mayor of the province's second largest municipality, John Morgan of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, told the Cape Breton Post Wednesday the deal is good in principle but lacks financial gains over the short term.
He said the agreement is nothing more than a "photo-op" for Premier Rodney MacDonald.
"It's a drop in the bucket," said Morgan, who's not attending the conference due to previous commitments.
"It is marginally positive but without making any substantive change for our own region and indeed for most of the municipalities across the province, other than the very wealthiest of them."
The seven-year deal will likely mean $3.2 million for the CBRM in the latter years of the agreement, he said. In comparison, the municipality's annual budget this year is $110 million.
The agreement builds upon a memorandum of understanding between the two levels of government signed in 2005.
The revised memorandum outlines a freeze in mandatory municipal contributions to correctional services at the 2007-08 level, with a five-year phase out beginning in 2010. Municipal contributions to housing of $6.5 million phased out over two years, also begins in 2010.
The cumulative cost savings of these two measures to the province's 55 municipalities over the life of the agreement is about $85 million. The changes take effect in April.
The savings don't correct the fundamental imbalance in equalization funding among the municipalities, specifically CBRM, Morgan said.
"It's changes that do benefit municipalities in some way but often aggravate the disparity between municipalities. And that's what they're doing."
The UNSM takes another view.
"The UNSM is solidly behind all aspects of this memorandum," said UNSM president Russell Walker, a Halifax regional councillor. "The financial package is quite positive and indeed good news for all of our members."
In a release, MacDonald said it is "another important step in building strong vibrant communities across the province."
The memorandum also caps education funding at 2007-08 levels, with annual increases tied to the Nova Scotia consumer price index.
Morgan said the province should have the capacity to solely fund education services, instead of placing some of the burden on the municipal units. Although, Halifax mayor Peter Kelly sees it as a way to finally contain education costs.
"This predictability will certainly help as we set our annual budgets," Kelly said.
The province maintains that property taxpayer contributions to education remain among the lowest in the country.
Department of National Defence listening to clean up demands
Section: News; Front
By Chris Hayes, Cape Breton Post
Department of National Defence officials appear to be listening to demands for a faster cleanup of heating oil contamination at Pine Tree Park, a former radar base which is now owned by New Dawn Enterprises.
Owen Fitzgerald, a spokesperson for the Community Development Advocacy Council which has been making those demands, said Wednesday he was encouraged by recent talks in Halifax that involved a senior DND official, himself representing the community group, and New Dawn.
Fitzgerald said appraisal and testing will be done between now and February and shortly thereafter, a schedule will be developed to clean up the property. He expects the cleanup will get underway in the spring.
"I felt there was great progress there - they have a much better understanding and appreciation of the situation New Dawn is in," said Fitzgerald, who is also president of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce. "There has been significant progress. The problem isn't solved yet but there is a process in place and there are some timelines in place now.
"We were very pleased."
New Dawn Enterprises was forced to abandon a multi-million dollar affordable housing project when it was blocked from getting the financing it needed because some land on the former radar base that it wanted to use as collateral is contaminated with home heating oil.
Board chairman Steve Lilley has said an additional project is also in jeopardy.
DND officials had said the department is moving forward on remediation, but New Dawn and the council have said the cleanup was moving far too slowly.
New Dawn has been trying for four years to get DND to clean up the site, Fitzgerald said.
He said DND officials didn't seem to realize the level of concern about the delayed cleanup until the community took a more aggressive and united approach to the problem.
"They were flabbergasted," he said. "They honestly thought they were doing a fair reasonable job."
DND and New Dawn have agreed to meet again in Sydney in early December and again in February to keep negotiations on track, said Fitzgerald.
Former DND land mentioned
Would be one of two shaded portions.
-Why would a multi-million dollar housing project being blocked be a problem? Sydney doesn't need new houses...it's losing population isn't it?
Too bad our rebound won't be noticed by outsiders until 2011.
Remediation continues on former mine site
By Julie Collins, Cape Breton Post
Work on the washplant area of the former Princess mine site is complete.
Remediation of the mine site for light industrial and recreational use was divided into two sections. The area in Sydney Mines, south of Ocean Street, which is now complete, and about 40 hectares northeast of Ocean Street, referred to as the waste rock area.
"We met with the stakeholder groups and the public this week to update them on the project," said Eric Parsons, project leader for Public Works and Government Services Canada for Devco's site closure program. "Now that the project is underway, it's important to keep people informed and seek any input from them on the various stages as the project proceeds."
The former washplant is now a green area with an interpretive park, walking trails and a pond that can be used for skating in the winter months.
Work on the waste rock pile, the larger portion of the site, is expected to begin next week. This phase includes ditching to improve drainage and grading work to reshape the piles of rock.
"Right now there are clumps and lumps all over the place. It will be reshaped and tapered so we can do the design work and place some form of cover on that waste rock," he said. "The public likes the track we're on and keeping them informed is key. There may be something with the drainage that we aren't aware of because we don't live in the area. It's possible we could incorporate these suggestions into the design work."
It's anticipated the work on the waste rock site will be complete early in the new year.
Devco owns approximately 600 properties covering about 1,000 square kilometres in 35 different communities within Cape Breton. These range from urban lots, forest fields, wetlands and ponds to ocean frontage.
When Devco ceased operation, it turned to Public Works, a federal department with experience in environmental cleanups and project management.
The goal of the remediation program is to leave former mining sites in a stable, safe condition and return them to their former land use or an acceptable alternative.
Last edited by Smevo; Feb 22, 2009 at 8:29 AM.