Tagged: Jon Stone

Please whatever your name is – feedback, updated

Jon Stone writes:

Thanks for sharing that wonderful video. It is inspiring to see what creative minds can do when faced with a challenge.

There have been some astonishinglynegativecomments posted on various web sites with respect to the recent generosity of the Fountain family in creating the endowment for Dalhousie’s performing arts program. The gist of much of the derogatory discussion was that there is no value in training people in performance skills.

Well, here is one excellent example of the value of performers to society. I won’t be surprised if this goes viral and breaks all records for fundraising for the Janeway.

[Update] Greg Lukeman points out a New Zealand children’s hospital fundraising video posted  August 27, 2012, that may have provided inspiration for the creators of “Please Whatever Your Name Is” (posted May 15,. 2013).

The Old Mill — pushback from preservationists and poverty advocates

Saturday’s guest post about the closure and pending demolition of The Old Mill, a seedy Wyse Road bar housed in the only surviving part of Dartmouth’s historic Rope Works, criticized peninsular Halifax heritage buffs for not trying to save the building. Our correspondent also said a new Sobeys supermarket on the site would lead to closure of the community Sobeys in Woodside, making life harder for impoverished mothers and seniors.

Beverley Miller, a member of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia board of directors, responds:

Preservationists can only do something if they know about a pending demolition… Until I saw an article on the closing in the Herald late last week… I heard nothing about this. I agree it is very sad and senseless. Surely Sobeys knows what they are destroying. The Sobey’s situation, like that of banks and gas stations that abandon neighbourhoods, goes against all the best principles of urban planning and the ‘densification’ HRM talks about but constantly undermines. This is a sad situation that pervades so much of our community life and disregards the needs of citizens.

Re: attacks on the ‘peninsula’ and whether anything else is of interest…  The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, a provincial body, has both a Communities Committee and a Buildings At Risk Committee. It has taken an active part in attempts to save buildings all over the Province… Issues of planning, such as the Old Mill and  the Sobey’s move, are driven by the communities and neighbourhoods as well as the heritage community.

Somewhat conversely, Phil Pacey, also of the Heritage Trust, responds:

The “protectors of heritage” are not silent on this one. We wrote HRM several weeks ago asking that this building be protected under the proposed HRMbyDesign commercial corridors plan. We did not know of Sobey’s plan. Since the sale was announced, we have written HRM to enquire about the situation.

The redoubtable Bethany Horne of OpenFile Halifax expended some shoe leather following up Contrarian’s post, and turned up many more interesting details. This, in turn, inspired comment from my favorite anti-poverty advocate, Stepping Stone executive director Rene Ross:

I find the comment from Contrarian asking where the anti-poverty advocates on this issue of interest. The Sobeys that is currently in the Primrose location is in extremely poor condition, and the quality of the food there has actually been not up to anyone’s standards, including the women in poverty I work with who live in that area. Yes, we need more grocery stores in low income areas, yet No Frills, which is more central to more surrounding low income areas (i.e. Jelly Bean Square), is much more affordable and of better quality.

Low income areas are wider and more entrenched than just the area close to Primrose. We need to remember areas that do not have any grocery stores nearby for folks on low income with limited transportation. Gottingen Street certainly comes to mind. And indeed, it also unfortunate to see that this old building is being torn down without any consideration for its historical value.

Finally, this note from Jon Stone:

Like the author of that well-written submission, I am a former reporter who once plied my trade amongst a throng of gifted and energetic colleagues who worked for numerous media outlets in what was then called “the twin cities.” The history and culture of my chosen community of Dartmouth was an inexhaustible source of stories linking the past and the present. My employers which included the Herald and subsequently the once mighty Dartmouth Free Press not only encouraged this type of journalism by their scribes but in fact demanded it.

Kudos for raising the flag about the detachment of reporters from the community they are supposed to cover. How can there be any public hue and cry if no one tells the stories? Sadly, we loose our awareness of heritage just as we once gained it through solid, well-supported grass roots journalism which is now absent.