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Welcome to PEI Blogs, a list of weblogs (blogs), podcasts,news feeds and Tweets about or located in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. Use the Add and Change Site buttons to recommend links or changes. Sites with RSS or ATOM syndication will display the last 5 posts. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list of new additions. An aggregation of recent posts to selected sites is displayed on most pages. Click the subject to view the post description, or the blog name to go to it. Click on an entry's podcast graphic to play a podcast.

PEI Blogs is provided as a public service on a non-profit basis. Information comes from individual websites, through syndication, and from Twitter via Twitter Lists, and is displayed automatically by PEI Blogs, who have no control over information posted. Opinions expressed by posters are not those of PEI Blogs. Information posted will not be suitable for all readers, or all age groups. Sites may portray themselves as objective, but present a very biased point of view. Please make your own decisions as to the objectivity of any site.

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Aggregation of selected recently-updated blogs and tweets:

Wednesday October 22, 2014

00:59 [URBAN NOTE] "Buffalo airport courts Toronto travellers" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Toronto Star's Vanessa Lu the continuing successful efforts of Buffalo Niagara International Airport to court Canadian travellers on the basis of lower costs.

With millions of Canadians already flocking to U.S. airports in search of cheaper flights, the Buffalo airport is launching a marketing campaign to woo even more passengers.

While Canadian airports and airlines have complained about the millions in lost revenues when travellers head south of the border to catch flights, the Americans see it differently.

“It’s not a negative thing. We have been serving the Canadian market since forever,” said Pascal Cohen, senior marketing manager for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, who was in Toronto on Tuesday to make his pitch to reporters.

Cohen notes that he, like many other residents of Western New York, will go in the opposite direction, using the Toronto airport to fly to international destinations. “You wouldn’t use the Buffalo airport to go to Abu Dhabi,” he said.

“We’re like conjoined twins,” he argued. “It’s a contiguous marketplace. There just happens to be a border.”

Tuesday October 21, 2014

23:39 [BRIEF NOTE] On what the terrorist attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu will mean »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
I said yesterday that I did not like the news that two Canadian soldiers in the Québec city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu appeared to have been intentionally run down. (One has since died.)

I was right.

What happened yesterday seems to have been a terrorist incident. Martin Couture-Rouleau, who went on Facebook as "Ahmad LeConverti" (Ahmad the convert), appears to be a young convert to Islam who apparently tried to kill people connected to the upcoming intervention against the Islamic State. Reputedly "linked to a terrorist ideology", his passport was seized when in July he tried to leave the country. People around him apparently had no idea that he might do this sort of thing.

Couture-Rouleau, father of a young son, had converted to Islam sometime more than a year ago after his power-washing business faltered, friends said. Though they described him as a caring father, Couture-Rouleau had long ago separated from his child’s mother.

His extremist Facebook postings showed he was considering travelling abroad, and raised a red flag to the Mounties in June. His family had detected a change for the worse in his behaviour, too, and reached out to the RCMP for help.

In July, the RCMP arrested Couture-Rouleau as he was planning to travel to Turkey — a frequent jumping off point for ISIL sympathizers to head into Syria or Iraq to join the battle. Identified as a high-risk traveller, he was questioned about his motivations for making the trip.

But the Mounties did not charge him after consulting prosecutors because they lacked enough evidence of a criminal intent to travel abroad to join a terrorist group or participate in terrorist activity “and there was no real indication he was going to commit a crime in Canada,” Fontaine said.

Commissioner Bob Paulson said the RCMP “seized” his passport and speculated Rouleau may have been frustrated and more dangerous because his travel plan was thwarted. But Fontaine said there was no evidence of a direct link yet.

I quite dislike terrorism and I do not like seeing it occur anywhere in my country. I cannot be any more blunt than this, and need not be. (My support for the intervention in the Middle East makes no difference in my reaction, I think. If Canada was set to go off to a war I disapproved of, I'd still reject attacks like this.)

I am also worried that this lone-nut convert might trigger a situation where anti-Muslim sentiment will become more mainstream. I dislike broad and inaccurate generalizations, but such are likely to occur: This one man's actions may well be used to attack the million-odd Canadian Muslims.

I really do not like this. I am worried about what will come next.
22:17 South Eastern Saskatchewan » - Need peace? Go East!
Found a few BIGS as we started our journey into Saskatchewan
22:11 [URBAN NOTE] On the case for Alex Mazer as councillor for Ward 18, Davenport, Toronto »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
My particular Toronto neighbourhood is located in Toronto's Ward 18, Davenport. Current councillor Ana Bailão, who has appeared here in October 2012 after an impaired-driving charge, and in a 2011 link to a blogTO interview with Bailão that featured heated exchanges in the comments about her views on the future of Toronto, is facing challenges from multiple candidates. The foremost of these challengers is Prince Edward Island-born lawyer Alex Mazer. (Full disclosure: I knew him in high school.)

Sahar Fatima's article in The Globe and Mail takes a look at the contest between the two.

If taxes were to rise in Toronto, you wouldn’t hear any complaints from Beaconsfield resident Rhea Lavery.

Ms. Lavery, who wants to see more separated bike lanes around the city, said, “I want to vote for somebody who’s actually honest enough to say, ‘If you want these things in the city, it’s going to cost money.’ These people who say we can have something for nothing, I’m just so tired of that.”

It’s for that reason Ms. Lavery said she’s supporting Harvard-educated lawyer and policy adviser Alex Mazer in the race against the incumbent councillor, Ana Bailao, in Ward 18, Davenport, which stretches from Dupont Street to Queen Street between Dovercourt Road and the Kitchener GO Train tracks to the west.

Mr. Mazer is among nearly a dozen challengers looking to unseat Ms. Bailao, who took over for former councillor and TTC chair Adam Giambrone after winning by more than 1,300 votes in 2010. He’s racked up endorsements from the Toronto Star, Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner, and his old boss, former Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan. Mr. Mazer and Ms. Bailao’s platforms are similar, with both pledging to improve bus and streetcar service by reducing bunching, increase affordable housing options and provide better access to affordable childcare services.

“City council has become dysfunctional and is in need of new ideas and new leadership,” Mr. Mazer said in an interview. “I feel [Ms. Bailao] has supported the Ford agenda on too many occasions.”

He pointed to her support for the Scarborough subway, elimination of the vehicle registration tax and removal of the Jarvis Street bike lanes as examples of her siding with the Ford administration.

“There’s a difference between being a hard-working councillor who shows up and real leadership,” Mr. Mazer said. “She’s voted for tax cuts and then she’s also said we need better services.”

Sediya Ansari's Toronto Star article also compares the two.

Bailao has lived in the ward since she immigrated to Canada as a teen, entering the municipal arena as assistant to councillor Mario Silva in 1998. Her first run for office against Adam Giambrone was unsuccessful, but her 2010 effort landed her a seat with sway as a centrist on a deeply divided council. Her term was not without controversy — Bailao pleaded guilty to drunk driving after a night out at the Thompson Hotel in October 2012.

While she may be leaning on her track record and name recognition, her main competitor, 35-year-old Alex Mazer, says another four years with the rookie councillor could mean continued support for Ford policies.

“She’s supported the Ford agenda on a lot of instances where I would have voted differently,” said Mazer, citing her vote to scrap the vehicle registration tax as an example.

Mazer, a P.E.I.-raised, Harvard-educated lawyer, has positioned himself as the “progressive alternative” to the incumbent, although their campaign platforms are quite similar. Both promise to improve streetcar service, keep school board-owned land at Bloor and Dufferin in city hands and extend the West Toronto Railpath. Mazer says that might not be a coincidence.

“Her platform came out a month after mine, and frankly, a lot of the ideas sound very familiar because I think they are resonating,” Mazer said.

I don't think that Bailão was a bad city councillor. I do think that Mazer has the potential to be a better one. I'm not alone: Mazer was endorsed by the Toronto Star editorial vote. When I went to the Wallace Emerson Community Centre Sunday evening to cast my vote in the advance polling, I cast my vote for Alex Mazer. I think that you should, too, so long as you're actually qualified to vote in Ward 18.
21:57 Hurricanes ready for national baseball championship »The Guardian - Sports
The next time the Holland College Hurricanes step on the diamond it will be at the national baseball championships.The Hurricanes leave this morning for Montreal where they will compete in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association (CCBA) starting Thursday. In their inaugural season of ...
20:06 Woman rescued from house fire in Mount Stewart »Journal-Pioneer Local
MOUNT STEWART – A passerby rushed into a home on the Mount Stewart Road today to help a woman get out as flames engulfed her home.
20:03 Have you heard this? (17 Words) » | New Topics
I have heard from a friend that there is an MLA being sued because of an accident....
20:03 Ocean Choice plant sale? (162 Words) » | New Topics ... 76?cmp=rss

Roach said the province is working with a number of partners, including the Souris Port Authority, on a deal with new tenants.

Blaine Sullivan of Ocean Choice said they are negotiating with possible tenants and getting close to a deal.

Something does not add up here.

We have Mr.Roach telling us there is a deal in the works.
Then we have Mr.Sullivan telling us he is getting close on a deal.
Also Wyman's have been renting the freezers in this building.Who are they sending the rent checks too?

Now one has to realize that these two parties are counter-suing each other.
Not only this,from what i have read i have come to the understanding that both think they own the building.
This kind of remind me of a deal that happened not too long ago. ":lol:"...
19:56 [ISL:] " »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
My reaction to Edward Johnson's Bloomberg article, given Pitcairn's recent sordid history of pervasive and culturally excused sexual violence against women, is "good." Sometimes, self-rule is a privilege.

By Edward Johnson Oct 20, 2014 2:09 AM ET
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The descendants of Fletcher Christian and the Bounty mutineers face losing control of their South Pacific island home, as Australia considers stripping the bankrupt territory of self rule.

Norfolk Island, a tiny outcrop settled by ancestors of the mutineers in 1856, is increasingly reliant on handouts from the federal government, 1,700 kilometers (1,000 miles) away in Canberra, a parliamentary committee said in a report today.

“Norfolk Island is effectively bankrupt and self-governance does not best serve the residents of the island,” committee Chairman Luke Simpkins said in a statement. “The unfortunate economic reality is that Norfolk Island is now dependent on the Commonwealth for survival” and the model of self-government, established 35 years ago, has failed the population of about 1,800 people, the report said.

Norfolk, 8 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, won’t give up without a fight. Chief Minister Lisle Snell, who heads its nine-person elected assembly, says the island faces a loss of democracy and accuses the federal government of trying to strip away responsibility for education, health and other services without proper consultation.

The sub-tropical island, a former penal settlement famed for its towering pine trees, is steeped in the history of the British Royal Navy mutineers, whose story was immortalized in the 1935 movie starring Clark Gable as Christian.

The sailors set Captain William Bligh adrift in 1789 after his expedition to bring breadfruit back from Tahiti floundered. A handful of the mutineers and their Tahitian wives first found refuge on Pitcairn Island. All but one died, including Christian, within a decade, mostly through infighting or clashes with the Tahitian men who had accompanied them. Their women and children survived and the community grew.

Sea Crossing

When Pitcairn could no longer sustain them, 193 men, women and children in 1856 made the five-week sea crossing to Norfolk Island. Some islanders still speak a blend of 18th-century English and Tahitian. The telephone directory is so crammed with mutineer names such as Christian, Quintal and Adams that people are also listed by nickname, including Lettuce Leaf, Quack and Moose.

The island’s population is now split in roughly equal numbers between Pitcairn descendants and Australian and New Zealand immigrants.

The local government has an annual budget of about A$30 million ($26.3 million), which it raises through a goods and services tax and from enterprises such as telecommunications, the airport and the postal service.

According to today’s report, the island faces a deficit of between A$7.4 million and A$7.8 million a year for the next three years.
19:54 [URBAN NOTE] "Strategic voting: A troubling factor in Toronto’s race for mayor?" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
The Toronto Star's Betsy Powell reports about concerns of some that strategic voting in Toronto's mayoral elections--perhaps most importantly, people voting for John Tory instead of Olivia Chow in fear that a Chow vote might mean Doug Ford's election--is a bad phenomenon. When I went to the advance polls, after much prior thought I ended up voting for Chow. I like the candidate, Ford is behind Tory significantly, and quite frankly if Doug Ford gets elected it will be because a sizable plurality of Toronto's voters want him. Some sort of electoral reform would be nice, here.

Strategic voting in the 2014 Toronto mayoral race has become a hot and contentious topic — one that pundits and partisans suggest is a symptom of a flawed municipal electoral process that needs revamping.

“The last four years have been such a polarizing time for Torontonians, in terms of the Ford factor, that in a way it’s understandable that the issue of strategic voting may be prevalent for a significant number of voters,” Ryerson University politics professor Myer Siemiatycki said Saturday.

Those in the ABF (Anybody But Ford) camp are struggling with two impulses, Semiatycki said: Do I vote for the candidate I most prefer, or do I vote for the person who has the best chance of beating Doug Ford (open Doug Ford's policard)?

“That’s the no-man’s-land in which strategic voting dilemmas start to play out and, potentially, even become agonizing for voters.”

Brian Kelcey, campaign manager for former Toronto mayoralty candidate David Soknacki, said the message they heard knocking on doors was an “overwhelming strategic voting lesson loud and clear.”

“People said to David, ‘We love you, we love your ideas, you’ve got the best platform, but I’ve got to make my choice based on getting rid of Rob or Doug Ford — and maybe talk to me next time,’” Kelcey said Saturday.
19:51 [URBAN NOTE] "In Steeltown, a familiar refrain on light rail transit" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
NOW Toronto's Paul Weinberg reports on political controversies in Hamilton over mass transit, something that he notes is related to downtown/suburban tensions as well as to concern by some at the arrival of an increasingly large contingent of Torontonians. Change in Hamilton comes painfully, it seems.

I moved with my wife to the rust belt city in May 2013 after living in Toronto almost all my life, following other younger Torontonians moving here as well because of the cheaper housing. The local realtors’ association cannot say how many former Torontonians are buying up the reasonably priced building stock. The Transportation Tomorrow Survey offers a clue. It reports that more than a third of working Hamiltonians are commuting daily outside this city by car or GO Transit, with about 82 per cent of them headed directly for the GTA.

The migration to Steeltown has picked up to the point that locals complain of recent arrivals infecting the political culture of working-class Steeltown. The current municipal elections have provided flashpoint for that debate over an issue familiar to Torontonians – the car versus light rail transit (LRT).

Brian McHattie, a planner and local councilor since 2004 who is originally from Etobicoke, is running on a progressive platform and has the support of urban activists who want to see more streets like James North in Hamilton. His slogan: A New Mayor For A New Hamilton. To that end he’s released a four-part plan for improving neighbourhoods that he’s dubbed, wait for it, Transit City.

[. . .]

For local activists who have long been fighting uphill battles for two-way, pedestrian-friendly “complete streets” here, McHattie is a bit of a godsend. They see his LRT plan as an opportunity to transform whole swaths of an economically stagnant lower city into neighbourhoods that will attract smart development.

But there’s a major roadblock: the suburban residents on Hamilton Mountain above the Escarpment who find these lower city roads handy for zipping in, out or around Hamilton in their vehicles. That sentiment is often expressed by their political representatives on council who oppose the LRT even with the province potentially willing to pay for it.
19:47 [LINK] ""Lost" Satellite Photos Reveal Surprising Views of Earth in the 1960s" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
National Geographic's James Thompson reports on two data scientists in the United States who have recovered some of the oldest satellite images of the Earth ever taken. This, among other things, gives scientists a baseline on changes in everything from sea ice cover to the shape of storms.

Scientists have uncovered a cache of satellite images of Earth from the 1960s that had been forgotten in storage for nearly 50 years and that push back the first satellite images of our planet a full 17 years.

The trove includes the first publicly available satellite photos of Europe, the earliest aerial views of Antarctica's ice, and a record of Central Asia's Aral Sea before it dried up. There's also a rare photo of the most powerful storm to hit North America in modern times.

[. . .]

Earth scientists David Gallaher and Garrett Campbell liberated the data from a National Climatic Data Center archive in North Carolina, uncovering 25 boxes of magnetic tapes and photographic film from three Nimbus weather satellites launched in the 1960s and 1970s.

Gallaher had heard about the data at a conference and called the National Climatic Data Center to request access to some pictures of Greenland. "We have no way of figuring out what's Greenland," came the reply.

That's because the data had never been sorted or digitized. So Gallaher and Campbell took on the painstaking process of digitizing hundreds of thousands of photos and making them publicly available.
19:46 House fire in Mount Stewart traps woman »The Guardian - Local News
The Guardian is currently at the scene of a house fire on the Mount Stewart Rd.Preliminary reports say that a couple lived at the house and firefighters rescued a women from inside the structure.More Later.
19:46 Passing stranger saves life of woman in a burning home »The Guardian - Local News
A woman cooking supper in her kitchen Monday owes her life to a passing stranger who refuses to acknowledge he is a hero. Jamie Chowen was driving down Main Street in Mount Stewart when fire and smoke began pouring out of one of the oldest houses in the town. He slammed on his brakes, jumped ...
19:46 UPDATE: Woman escapes house fire in Mount Stewart »The Guardian - Local News
A passerby rushed into a home on the Mount Stewart Road today to help a women get out as flames engulfed her home. Jamie Chowen was driving home just after 6 p.m. when he saw smoke coming from the residence, one of the oldest homes in Mount Stewart. He ran to the door and found a woman in a ...
19:43 [LINK] "Moonshine Runs Through the Veins of Prince Edward Island" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
This article by VICE's Ivy Knight circulated on Facebook. My exposure to moonshine culture was limited, and frankly I'm suspicious of the suggestions contained therein to the effect that it's common. Perhaps my parents did just that superb a job of shielding me from some of the negative elements of Island culture; perhaps the writer is describing the Island of a generation back. Fun read regardless.

I grew up in Prince Edward Island with a guy named Merle.* A few years prior to his wedding, Merle, a seventh-generation islander, got drunk on shine and ended up chasing his future wife around the house with a shotgun.

Shine can do that to a person, though.

The wedding didn’t happen for a few years after the incident, and when it finally did, the traditional moonshine punch was scratched off the menu. Moonshine punch almost always appears at weddings and funerals here—it’s simply a part of life. People make it for their own use and to share with friends and family.

The culture of moonshine is strong in poor, rural Canadian areas where people are used to making everything from scratch, cherish a healthy disrespect for politics and the law, and have plenty of acreage to work in total obscurity.

“Even though Prohibition was in place from 1881 until 1949, people could still access alcohol— either by smuggling it in or making it themselves,” island historian and UPEI professor Ed MacDonald tells me. “For much of that history, it wasn’t that hard to get a drink if they wanted one—it was just illegal. To make shine was a way of thumbing your nose at authority.”

[. . .]

Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province. Nicknamed “Spud Island” for its incredible potatoes, famous blue mussels, and fictional literary heroine, Anne of Green Gables, our beaches and golf courses are some of the best in the country. It also happens to be the last province to repeal Prohibition. Most of Canada turned the taps back on in the 20s, but our island stayed dry until 1948. Keeping alcohol illegal for Islanders almost 20 years longer than the rest of the country became a driving force of dedication to making homemade booze.


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