A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for August 2016

[PHOTO] Eleven photos of Cavendish Beach, towards evening

Cavendish Beach was populated in the early evening when we visited, full of humans and birds all out playing under the vast horizon.

Marram grass before the Gulf #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #marramgrass

In the dunes #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #dunes

People at play #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #gulfofstlawrence

People at play, 2 #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #gulfofstlawrence

Setting #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #gulfofstlawrence

Bird tracks #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #birds #sand

Lifeguard station #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #gulfofstlawrence

Incoming #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #gulfofstlawrence

Foam #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #waves #gulfofstlawrence

Venturing in #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #beach

Gap #pei #peinationalpark #cavendish #cavendishbeach #latergram #dunes #marramgrass

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 9:59 pm

[ISL] On the effort of Farmer’s Daughter to recruit people to live in Cape Breton

CBC News’ Jennifer MacMillan reported about a Cape Breton company, The Farmer’s Daughter Country Market, that has gained quite a lot of attention with its offer of free land and a job to Canadians willing to relocate to work there.

A family-run business is trying a unique approach to recruit people to live and work year-round in rural Cape Breton by offering two free acres of land to people who are willing to relocate.

Farmer’s Daughter is a general store and bakery in Whycocomagh, N.S., which has a population of about 800. Sisters Sandee MacLean and Heather Coulombe took over the business earlier this year from their dairy farmer parents, who started it nearly 25 years ago.

MacLean told CBC News that the store has great employees — but it needs more of them to expand their operations.

[. . .]

The business would like to increase the number of year-round employees from 12 to at least 15, but hasn’t gotten much response to traditional “help wanted” ads. Many young people have left the community to work in places like Halifax or Alberta.

MacLean and Coulombe came up with the idea of offering two free acres of land to people who are willing to relocate to Whycocomagh.

CTV News also carried the news, among others.

CBC News’ notes that MacLean, for one, is trying to reverse Cape Breton’s steady depopulation, as people head out to wealthier destinations elsewhere.

MacLean says she thinks it’s great Cape Breton is growing as a tourism destination, but worries about what would happen if it’s only inhabited by summertime tourists in the future.

“It won’t be populated by Cape Bretoners — meaning people who want to live here all the time and continue the culture, the music, the lifestyle.”

Is this goal achievable? I honestly have my doubts. I do compliment the owners for trying. Perhaps, if enough people try, something noteworthy might happen?

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 7:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Why are Toronto’s Queer-Inclusive Shops Shutting Down?”

Jeremy Willard writes at Torontoist about the many problems facing Toronto’s queer businesses. I did not know that Come As Your Are had closed down.

From the outside, Come As You Are appeared like any other storefront on Queen West. But get a little closer, and the shop slowly revealed itself to passersby: vibrators sat in the front window, and lime green interior walls reflected the bright and adventurous toys sold inside. The shop was unabashedly sexy—and for years, it had been considered one of the most sex-positive and LGBTQ-friendly sex stores in the city.

But, that has come to an end. Come As You Are is now closed, reverting to an online-only store–and another one of Toronto’s queerer businesses has been forced to shut its doors.

The store gave no warning that its final day of business would be Sunday, August 28. Anyone passing by the following morning would have been surprised to see signs in the windows reading, “Goodbye Queen West.”

“We wanted to close quietly,” says Jack Lamon, one of the co-op’s worker-owners. “I guess we didn’t want to spend the last month doing a lot of emotional processing on the [sales] floor.”

Queer businesses are struggling now more than ever. This summer alone has seen the closure of the bar Zipperz—known for its drag king nights and thriving lesbian club scene—and the martini bar and restaurant Byzantium. Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest surviving LGBTQ bookshop, is moving to a new location in the hope that expansion will save the struggling business.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 5:45 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Pride Toronto to decide future of police parade floats through review panel”

CBC News’ Nicole Brockbank reports on the continuing controversies over police and race and Pride Toronto.

Pride Toronto has accepted, and plans to review an official complaint from Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) about the inclusion of police floats in the city’s annual pride parade.

The LGBTQ organization clarified its stance on the hot topic issue at a Tuesday evening townhall event hosted at Ada Slaight Hall on Dundas Street East.

“We signed the agreement with a commitment to work with Blackness Yes!, Black Queer Youth and Black Lives Matter and our communities to strengthen our relationship,” said Pride Toronto board co-chair Alica Hall.

In July, the Pride parade was temporarily blocked by a Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) protest. The event resumed 30 minutes later after top Pride executives agreed to a list of demands for next year’s festival, including a ban on police floats in the festival’s penultimate march.

The next day, Pride Toronto’s former leader, Mathieu Chantelois, said the organization never agreed to exclude police from its events, but would have discussions with the force about what its future involvement would look like.

On Tuesday night, Pride Toronto representatives distanced themselves from that statement, saying the comments made “in the media suggesting we had no intention of meeting these demands … misrepresented our organization’s position.”

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “CNE Youth Day in jeopardy after fights, crowds force shutdown”

CBC News reports on last night’s crying shame at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Youth Day could be scrapped at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) after a series of fights forced the popular event to abruptly shut down, setting off what some called “sheer chaos” in the crowds.

Virginia Ludy, the CNE’s general manager, said she was forced to shut down the event due to a dangerous “crowd dynamic,” among a few groups of teenagers in the midway area. Video of the fights show swarms of people surrounding the fighters, while others rush away from the scene.

Ludy said some 70,000 people were at the Exhibition grounds, a large area of downtown land near the city’s lake shore, so organizers who were monitoring the crowds had to power down rides and call in police around 9:30 p.m.

“You don’t want to create panic and you don’t want to create chaos,” Ludy told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

But, she said, organizers could not hesitate to close with patrons’ safety at risk.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 4:45 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “After fight at City Hall, artists get their first road mural at Kensington Market”

The Toronto Star‘s Oliver Sachgau reports, with plenty of photos, about the new road murals which will soon be covering the streets of Kensington Market.

You wouldn’t think the colourful paint that was being slathered on Baldwin St. would be controversial in any way.

But the road mural painted in Kensington Market on Sunday is the first of its kind in the city, and comes after a long fight between community activists and city staff.

Five streets will be allowed to be painted between now and October as part of a pilot project.

The mural is part of a pilot project whereby the city is tentatively allowing five streets to be painted between now and October. The Kensington Market mural is the first, and a collaboration between artists, activists and the Kensington Market BIA.

The theme of the Kensington mural is fresh food — something organizer Stas Ukhanov said represents the market’s roots.

“We really wanted to reinforce fresh produce and groceries in Kensington Market. It’s what makes the market this great place,” he said.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 4:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Ryerson students make Toronto residence their new home”

The Toronto Star‘s Laurie Monsebraaten reports on the move-in day of new students at Ryerson University’s downtown dorms, the relatively few who did.

It was a potent mix of nervous excitement, swallowed tears and sheer exhaustion.

As police directed traffic and a music boom box blared, hundreds of students and parents pushing trolleys packed with pillows, printers and the odd teddy bear converged on Ryerson University’s downtown campus for residence move-in day Sunday.

Mia Croney of Barbados, who has visited family in Toronto many times, still can’t believe she will be living here.

“I’m pretty excited,” said the 18-year-old arts major as she unpacked a mountain of clothes in the apartment-style residence she will be sharing with three other first-year students. “Ryerson was my number one choice.”

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2016 at 4:15 pm