September 2010 Archives

The Legacy of Possum Lodge: Red Green's Pearls of Wisdom

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

The Legacy of Possum Lodge: Until now no book has been able to combine duct tape and crisis management. "How to Do Everything, From the Man Who Should Know - a Completely Exhaustive Guide to Do It Yourself and Self-Help" does just that. And it could only have been written by Red Green.
It may have started with the fresh wind that began blowing through Possum Lodge after the doors blew off back in '72. The clarity of thought was clearly honed in the hours spent in meditation with men in plaid shirts. And its pearls of wisdom like "Wait until people ask to see your scar" that have made Red Green's contribution to society so meaningful. Whether you were dealing with duct tape or difficult relationships, Mr Green, aka Steve Smith, answered your questions


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Campaign to Ban the Van/Preserving and Pickling Phone In

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Banning the Van:  It was a tragic accident that people in the Maritimes will never forget. Two winters ago, a passenger van carrying members of the Bathurst High School basketball team collided with an on-coming tractor-trailer on a snow and ice covered highway. Seven members of the team died that night, as did the wife of the coach. He was driving the van. The accident sparked an inquest, and led the New Brunswick government to ban the use of 15- seat passenger vans for school trips. Prince Edward Island has enacted a similar ban. In Nova Scotia, it's been illegal to use the vans to transport school students since the mid 1980's. There's a similar ban in Quebec.Two mothers who lost their sons in accidents involving the 15-seat passenger vans want to extend that ban to every province. And they're targetting Canada's ministers of transportation, who are now meeting in Halifax. Isabelle Hain's 17-year-old son Daniel died in the Bathurst crash. Stella Gurr lost her 26-year-old son Michael when the van he was travelling in rolled over near Brandon, Manitoba.

In a Pickle: What better time to focus on pickling? All manner of vegetables are candidates for home canning.There are the usual cucumbers - but also beets, beans, carrots and zucchini, even pumpkin and watermelon rind. Ellie Topp is the co-author of The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving, and she answered your questions about canning and preserving.


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Street Hockey on Ice/ Preparing for Natural Disasters/ The Weather Phone In

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Game Off: Maritimers of all ages love their street hockey, especially this time of year when ice hockey leagues are just gearing up for a new season. But not all the neighbours on every street are fans. For the second time this year, street hockey is front page news. That's because the RCMP has been called in, once again, to break up a game. It happened last spring, and most recently this past weekend on a cul-de-sac in the community of Prospect near Halifax. Bill Estabrooks represents the area. He's also Nova Scotia's Minister of Transportation, and he's responsible for the law that officers are enforcing to clear the streets.

Ready Aye Ready: When it comes to natural disasters like hurricanes everyone should be prepared, no matter what their personal situation. But people who are disabled have a particular challenge. Anne Macrae is the Executive Director of the Disabled Person's Commission in Nova Scotia.

Weather or Not: Few people are as qualified to talk about the weather as David Phillips. He's a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, and the creator of the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar. He answered all your weather-related questions.


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Handicapping the NB Election/ Phone in: Alzheimer's.

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Vote Early, Vote Often: The New Brunswick election campaign has been a tightly fought race. Liberal Leader Shawn Graham is trying to avoid cementing his place in history as leader of the first party since Confederation to be ousted after only one term in office. We were joined by political scientists Don Desserud, who teaches at the University of New Brunwick in Saint John, and Tom Bateman, who's at St.Thomas University in Fredericton, for their analysis of the campaign.

A Crippling Price Tag: But when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer's, there's a lot more at stake than money. There's an emotional and physical toll, for both the patient and their families, and those caregivers need support too.
But it's not all gloom and doom. Doctors have new tools to diagnose signs of trouble, earlier. And researchers are coming up with ways to try to slow down or stave off Alzheimers. Dr. Ken Rockwood is Professor of Geriatric Medicine & Neurology and the Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer Research at Dalhousie University. He answered all your questions about Alzheimer's.


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Can't Hear Yourself Think?/Hurray for Root Cellars/ The Gardening Phone In

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Peace and Quiet: George Prochnik's book "In Pursuit of Silence: listening for meaning in a world of noise" is a rallying cry, of sorts, for more quiet in our noisy world, and an analysis of just how it all got to be so darn loud everywhere - in our workplaces, on buses, in stores and in restaurants. Mr Prochnik was our guest on Tuesday, when we asked you about the importance of silence in your life. Maritime Noon Producer Deborah Woolway joined guest host Jean Laroche with a selection of email responses from listeners.

Sign of the Times?: Decades ago, root cellars used to be commonplace in many homes. The cold storage areas kept food supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity, and kept them from freezing during the winter, and cool during the summer. Collectively, we've long got out of the habit of building root cellars and filling them with vegetables like carrots, potatoes and turnips. But Marla Macleod is on a mission to change that. She's with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, and she's looking for root cellars.

Time to Clean Up: The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. Gardeners are rolling up their sleeves and starting to lay the groundwork for next season. Marjorie Willison joined us to answer all your gardening questions.


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Sprinting to New Delhi/Maritime Software Developer Has Hit on His Hands/ The Science Panel.

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Can't Get There Fast Enough: Canadian authorities have called the unfinished condition of the athletes' village at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi "revolting". Earlier this week, a walkway to the main Olympic Venue collapsed, injuring more than a dozen workers. Two Canadian athletes have pulled out of the Team Canada delegation, citing concerns about health and safety. The Games are scheduled to open on October 3rd, but doubt has been raised about whether they will begin on time. Seven of this region's top athletes are heading to India in the next few weeks. They include world class sprinter Adrienne Power.

A Hit On Their Hands: Remember those old time photo booths that you and your pals used to pile into at the local mall? You'd mug for the camera, and wait for the glossy four-picture strip to slide out of the side of the booth.
No? Oh well.
A small Maritime-based company has hit the big times with an updated version of the photobooth. It's an application called Pocketbooth that they created for a U-S client that you can download it to your Iphone or Ipod touch. Bill Wilson is with Mindsea, the co-creators of Pocketbooth. .

Ghost Hats & Ghost Socks: Of our five senses, touch is the most expansive.A dip in a cool pool on a hot day feels good. But hitting your funny bone isn't all that funny. Touch is also mysterious. Why does a tiled floor feels so much colder than a wooden floor - even though they're side by side in the same house? And why does holding a partner's hand alter ones sense of pain? Our Science Panel of Drs Richard Wassersug and Mary-Anne White answered some of these mysteries, and took all your questions about the Science of Everyday Life.


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Your Experiences with Palliative Care

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Slipping This Mortal Coil: While most of us will not be in much of a position to dictate the terms of our leave taking, most of us would say, if asked, that we want a "good" death. But what does that really mean? Carrying on as normally as possible until you fall off your perch? Dying at home, surrounded by family or friends? Slipping away quietly in a hospital bed on a cloud of pain-killing drugs?
It's been said that what the baby boomers want, the baby boomers will get. And what that aging demographic increasingly wants is access to palliative care to ease the transition from this life into the next. Palliative care can come in many different forms, and is more accessible in some locations that others. And, there's a solid argument to be made that such care would save our health system a lot of money.
Dr Fred Burge is the Research Director at Dalhousie Family Medicine, and has focused his research on end of life issues. Glenna Thornhill is part of a team of seven nurses who deliver palliative care services in the home. Dr Pam Mansfield is the President of the New Brunswick Hospice Palliative Care Association. They were our guests as you shared your experiences with palliative care.


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Shhhhhsh: what's the importance of silence in YOUR life?

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Listen Up: Remember quiet time? Way, way back when your teacher would ask you to lay your little head on your desk for a rest? Do you feel like you could use a little quiet time again? Time to reflect, or simply take a break from all the noise that seems to surround our every waking minute, and permeate our dreams? Author George Prochnik turned his search for a little quiet time into a quest, then turned that quest into a book called "In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise." The book is a rallying cry, of sorts, for the need for more quiet spaces in our lives. Our question: how important is silence in your life?


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Too Much Maganese A Cause for Concern/The Genealogy Phone In

Posted by DEBORAH M WOOLWAY

Too Much of a Good Thing?: The chemical element manganese occurs naturally in food, water and soil. Among other things, our bodies use it to metabolize carbohydrates. If you don't have enough manganese in your body, you can develop dermatitis and high blood cholesterol. But researchers at the Universite de Quebec in Montreal have found that children who drink water that contains higher than normal levels of manganese do less well on I-Q tests. It's the first study of its kind to focus on the potential risks of exposure to manganese. We spoke with Dr Maryse Bouchard,, the lead author of the study.

Look It Up: Looking for a lost sock or a missing receipt can be a frustrating business. But it's nothing compared to the hunt for a vital bit of genealogical information that's buried under a tonne of other facts and figures. Genealogists are always scouring books, documents or online resources in their search for missing links. Terry Punch joined us with some pointers, and he answered all your questions about genealogy.


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The Last Waltz

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

We were so happy to see biologist Bob Bancroft back in fighting form after a bout with a mysterious illness this summer. he answered questions about Wildlife of the Maritimes - from skunks to owls and cougars.

And then, some friends and colleagues joined me - in person and otherwise - for my last show as host.

Thank you all for making this such an enriching 23-year run with a great show.

Next - lunch !  


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The 19th century journals of a man who saved part of aboriginal culture from extinction / Gerry McConnell on running an international mining company from the Maritimes / Phone-in : What qualities do we need in the next generation of Maritime leaders ?

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

From Canoes To Caribou: Tappan Adney isn't the best known name in Maritime history. But he's one of the most extraordinary people ever to hike, paddle, sketch and snowshoe the region. He was home tutored by his father, a college professor who'd been an officer in American Civil War. Adney later attended the Art Students League in New York, and became a skilled writer, artist, illustrator and photographer. His book, The Klondike Stampede chronicled the famous 19th century Gold Rush.
But it was a meeting with a Maliseet canoe builder in Upper Woodstock, New Brunswick that changed his life and turned him into one of the most fascinating figures in our history.
We spoke with Ted Behne of New Jersey, who's researching and writing a biography of Tappan Adney. He's also the editor of The Travel Journals of Tappan Adney, 1887-1890 published by Goose Lane.
Mr Behne will be delivering public lectures this month : at the official book launch in Woodstock on September 23rd at the Carleton County Historical Society (7pm); on Sept. 25th at the York Sunbury Museum in Fredericton (2pm); on September 26th at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John (2pm); on September 28th at the NB Community College in Miramichi (6:30pm), and on September 29th at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax(7pm).

Of All The Places : When you think of Maritime enterprises, one of the least likely might be mining for diamonds and gold in Africa. But that's what Etruscan Resources did for 20 years in Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana , Mali and Niger.It also pursued diamond & gold mining with an ethical approach that was exceptional in an industry whose practices in that continent have frequently been explosed as exploiting people and the environment. In recognition of its approach, Rotary International gave Etruscan's President & CEO, Gerry McConnell, the Paul Harris Award for the company's humanitarian contributions to health and education initiatives in Africa.
Etruscan was recently bought by the Endeavour Mining Corporation. But Gerry McConnell is moving into a new phase of his mining career as President & CEO of Namibia Rare Earths - mining elements that are in growing demand for everything from cellphones and hybrid cars to defence systems.

Yes, You Can : Too often, the discourse in this region has been dominated by missed opportunities, frustration with a lack of visionary action and too many stories of people who see nothing but obstacles. But some men & women take the personal risk of putting their name, reputation or money on the line to help achieve something which contributes to the public good of their community or the region.
Eventually, those leaders become recognizable names - in business or social justice, in cultural activities or environmental activism. They're people who've learned from the past, made a sharp analysis of the present and helped drag us into a better future.
But looking at the challenges you see in the Maritimes today, who will take on that role next ?
Our guests were Katie Emrich of Fusion Saint John, a networking group for civic-minded residents with a vision of the city as a great place to live, work and play, and CBC's Steve Sutherland, host of Information Morning Cape Breton (and former illustrious correspondent for Maritime Noon). He's also the author of "Getting It Done : Conversations With Cape Breton Leaders".
The question : What qualities do we need in the next generation of Maritime leaders ?


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Your reaction to our story about new fees for getting cellphone bills in the mail / Phone-in : Your ideas for genuine Maritime movies

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Pay And Pay Again: Roaming charges; locked phones; inflexible, expensive plans. We covered a lot of ground on Monday's phone-in, when our guests, David & Alexa Lemstra of cellplanexpert.ca  provided advice on navigating your way towards the most economical cell phone strategy for your needs. But in the course of that hour, we heard about the new $2 surcharge for customers who wouldn't or couldn't pay their monthly bill online.
Tuesday, Bruce Cran of the Consumers' Association of Canada told us that Maritimers weren't the only ones not happy about "having to pay to find out how much they have to pay".
Melissa Friedman joined me to share your emails and calls on the issue.

Frankly, We Do Give A Damn : Gone With the Wind is a classic of international cinema. But once you get past the lush, orchestral music, the Hollywood stars and the thousands of extras, it's really a regional film. It illustrates people in a particular place and a particular time.
For film fans in this region, there are long waits between movies that depict life or issues or people or places that are specific to the Maritimes. That doesn't mean such films are only for Maritime viewers. A generation ago, "Goin' Down The Road" followed the misadventures of two guys who left the Maritimes to find work in the big city. That story line could be recognised anywhere in the world where people have too few job opportunities at home.
"Margaret's Museum" - based on Sheldon Currie's story about a tragedy in a Cape Breton coal mining town - touches anyone whose loved ones work in a dangerous industry.
Plenty of films are shot here, but often, Maritime locations are basically body-doubles for New England towns. What we wanted to hear were your ideas for genuinely Maritime films.
Cheryl Wagner is a writer, story editor, actor, and Gemini and Emmy Award-winning producer. She's one of 12 professional filmmakers & producers who've formed The ISLAND FILM FACTORY - determined to make 'screen-based stories' on PEI [i.e. low budget films for different platforms].
Jan Miller is the President of Lowenbe Holdings. She's developed one of the world's top Pitching and Content Development workshops, which she's presented from South Africa to China. Working with the Atlantic Film Festival Association, Jan is Director of Canada's premier international co-production market, Strategic Partners
Jan & Cheryl helped callers fine tune their pitches for authentic Maritime films.


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New fees for receiving bills in the mail / Phone-in : Jim White answers questions about using paint, stain or wallpaper

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Paying To Pay: People used to compain about getting nothing but bills in the mail. But as more of us pay online, there are fewer & fewer bills slipping through the letter slot.
Well, many Maritimers are finding out this month that certain companies have decided you should pay $2 for the privilege of receiving a bill that tells you how much money you owe them.
Tuesday, on our phone-in about cellphone plans with the founders of cellplanexpert.ca , Ruth Brewer of Cavendish called to complain about the $2 fee that Bell is now charging her for choosing to receive a paper copy of her bill (and Bell isn't the only company instituting this fee). We spoke with Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers' Association of Canada.

Serengeti Sand or Buttered Yam ? You might take days to compare colour swatches - holding them up to different lights, comparing them to your sofa - all to make sure you end up with just the right shade of paint for a particular room.
But do you put as much thought and energy into preparing the walls ? Well, if you've been a little lax in that department, Jim White dropped in with advice to ensure your next project is a success. He operates Lake City Paints and XXL Painting in Dartmouth. He answered your questions about using paint, stain or wallpaper.


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David and Alexa Lemstra sort out wireless confusion by answering questions about cellphone plans

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Demystifying Cellphone Plans : Expecting an important call ? You don't have to sit at home waiting beside the phone any more. Neither do you have to boot up your computer to use the internet or turn on the TV to watch certain shows.
If audio or visual information can be digitized, someone is eager to deliver it to your cellphone.
For a price. And that's where it gets tricky.
While there are more than a hundred plans offered in each of the Maritime Provinces, all that does is create what psychologist Barry Schwartz dubbed "The Paradox of Choice".
That is, while it's desirable to have choices, too many choices can paralyze you.
From the cellphone providers, you have data plans, texting options, and call minute packages. Cellphone manufacturers are competing for your loyalty with Blackberries & iPhones. And even those phones have competing platforms.
And with all the players spending millions on slick sales pitches, no matter what you decide, you can end up feeling that you might have made the wrong choice.
David and Alexa Lemstra are trying to help consumers through this jungle. The brother and sister team run cellplanexpert.ca
David & Alexa answered questions about how to make the best choice the next time you're in the market for a cellphone and/or a cellphone plan.


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Early results for the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas / After August highs, Atlantic Coast water temperatures take a dive / Phone-in: Marjorie Willison on gardening and storing the harvest

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Float Like A Butterfly, Observe Like A Zoologist : We learned this summer just how surprisingly controversial a census can become. But in this part of the country, there was one that turned out to be a quiet success.
Earlier this year, we told you about the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas - a 5-year project to systematically survey butterfly populations in our area. It received seed funding from Environment Canada.
With summer winding down and autumn in the air, we decided to see how the volunteer butterfly-counters & photographers & identifiers fared so far. John Klymko is a Zoologist with the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre in Sackville, New Brunswick and the coordinator of the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas.

Too Late For the Bath : In the last week of August, water temperatures off the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia reached 20 and 22 degrees - about 5 degrees above normal for that time of year. It was a tropical dream-come-true for swimmers and surfers. But sadly, the beach-goer's paradise was short-lived. Chris Fogerty - the program supervisor at the Canadian Hurricane Centre - blamed Hurricane Earl for the plummeting water temperatures this week.

Bumper Crop ? You pull your carrots from the ground, cut your squash from the vine - then what ? Chances are you can't - or don't want to - eat your entire harvest right away. There are several ways to prepare and store your vegetables so you can savour the fruits of your summer labour all winter long. Marjorie Willison is familiar with many of those techniques.
She's the author of The East Coast Gardener and had tips on making your freshly-picked vegetables last longer. And, as always she was happy to answer all your questions about shrubs, flowers, vegetables, and just about anything that sprouts.


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Why one Maritime community has been burying its powerlines for decades / Phone-in: What guides you in scheduling your child's extracurricular activities ?

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Underground Power : In the wake of Hurricane Earl's trip through the Maritimes - and outages caused by lightning strikes as recently as last night in parts of Nova Scotia - there's been renewed talk about the possibility of burying electrical lines to prevent power losses caused by falling trees.
Wednesday, we heard from economist Dave Sawyer. He's the co-author of a 2007 study that explored the costs and benefits of overhead versus underground power lines for new subdivisions. He concluded there were long-term financial and environmental benefits. But in the absence of solid policy direction from government, all of the various interests - and that would include the power utility, the developer and the homebuyer - would try to avoid the up-front cost.
We decided to check in with a Maritime town that has provided that kind of policy direction for decades, and as a result, nary a power line can be seen in Oromocto. Fred Hackett is the planning officer for the town.

Enriching Or Conflicting ? This is the month when families with children get back on a "regular" schedule.
Right.
In fact, it's more accurate to say that those households are just beginning to find out what the brand new schedule will mean to everybody's lives.
If you have young people in your house, that schedule could includes your child signing up for basketball, or dance class, or swimming lessons, or band or the school musical...or maybe several of the above.
But as eager as you or your children might be to make these activities part of your lives, how do you figure out whether you're headed for a year of fun and personal growth or a year of stress : impossible turnarounds, a playoff game on the same night as the school concert, no time for homework and, well - no down time for the family to enjoy each other's company.
We asked you to share tips with other parents on how to schedule your child's extracurricular activities.
Our guest was Dr Michael Ungar, a professor of social work at Dalhousie University and author of books such as Too Safe for Their Own Good and The We Generation.


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Who would benefit and who should pay if we want electrical utility wires underground / Phone-in: Jim Lindner with advice on how to preserve your personal audio-visual collection or migrate it to digital form

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Power Up Or Power Down ? Every time there's a forecast of heavy weather in the Maritimes (even well below hurricane level) people in many communities ask themselves two questions : when will the power go out and how long before it comes back on ?
Predictably, the passage of Earl on Saturday left many thousands of Maritimers with perishable foods warming up in refrigerators and the whole range of modern inconveniences - from no hot water to no internet. The most common cause of the outages ? Trees falling across power lines.
Well, nobody is advocating cutting down all the trees.
But what are the costs and benefits of continuing to have power lines held aloft on wooden poles, exposed to ice & extreme weather vs. burying them underground ?
Yesterday, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power, David Rhodenizer, stated the utility's position : that.
Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped someone from starting up a Facebook group with the self-explanatory title "Let's Get NSP To Bury The Lines".
Three years ago, Dave Sawyer co-authored a study entitled "Economic Implications of Buried Electric Utilities" (to read the study, click here). Mr Sawyer is an economist who's currently with Enviroeconomics in Ottawa.

VHS to DVD? Cassette to Digital Audio File ? Ever since humans began scratching images of successful hunts on cave walls, whenever we sense an occasion is important, we try to stop the process of time and capture it.
Over the past century, an explosion of recording media allowed us to capture sights and sounds of significant personal events : weddings, funerals, graduations, family reunions, vacations - anything which we thought at the time we'd like to return to in the future or share with others.
But many have been disappointed to find out that photographs crack and fade, audio tape jams, and video gets flaky. Add to that the fact that the devices to play back certain formats - such as slide projectors - are becoming increasingly hard to find or service.
Jim Lindner to the rescue. He pioneered techniques now commonly used for videotape restoration, and he's overseen the video restoration of such collections as the NBC News Archive, The Library of Congress, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Andy Warhol Foundation. When he's not summering in the Maritimes, he works with Media Matters in New York.
Jim's gave advice on how best to preserve your personal audio-visual collection, and how to migrate it to digital form. To read some of Jim's essays on preservation issues, click here


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Art Irwin on what needs to be checked now to keep your home heating system running smoothly this winter

Posted by Costas HALAVREZOS

Hello, Down There : During last week's heatwave, it was probably the furthest thing from your mind. But you know it's down there, lurking in the basement, covered in dust and cobwebs, ignored for months : your furnace.
Believe it or not, though, we're nearing the time of year when you'll be tweaking the dial on your thermostat again.
But before you do, there are steps you should take to make sure your heating system doesn't leave you chillin'.
Art Irwin is a residential heating consultant based in Halifax. He had tips on preparing your heating system for the cold, dark days of winter and advice on energy conservation.


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Public art

Posted by Jerry West

Kady O'Malley updated us on the last day of the Liberals' summer caucus. And on the phone-in, it can cause us to stop and look, take a picture or just become part of the fabric of our communities. Today on the phone-in we're asking 'What does public art do for our cities and towns'?


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