Common, feel the noise

Mike Fleury cowers, locks his door and cries a little.

After an August on the Common that included an armed robbery, a stabbing and this week's disgusting table-leg beating, the Halifax Regional Police are telling officers to pay closer attention to the park-cum-gauntlet.

"I wouldn't so much call it changes to patrols," says HRP constable Jeff Carr. "But officers who are assigned to regular patrol duties in that area...they've been instructed to pay particular attention to the areas of the Commons where some of the incidents have taken place."

The increased attention will be kept up for an undetermined amount of time. Which is mildly reassuring. And then of course comes the only reliable deterrent of violent crime on the Common—the Canadian winter.

But, then what? At this point, does the Common deserve some permanent extra attention? For the time being, the HRP doesn't think so. Carr says there are no concrete plans to change the way the area is monitored.

"I wouldn't say it's appropriate to classify the Commons as a dangerous place to go," he says.

"What has happened there recently, happened. There's no denying that...but I think people have to ask themselves, "Is it intended to be walked across at night?' We tell people, regardless of where you're walking, stay in well-travelled areas, well-lit areas. See a group that makes you uncomfortable, be cautious."

In short, stay diligent, people.

(And when the sun goes down, run like hell.)

Kelly gets e-served

With municipal elections now a mere 414 days away (October 2008, y'all!) the entire town is sweltering in the heat of municipal election fever!

Right? ...hello?

Yeah, not so much. But we did notice the recent launch of the election-inspired website called Dumpkelly.com. The goal? To dump mayor Peter Kelly. Why target P-Kel? The website's creator explains:

"It's not easy to pick out one single event that I could confidently say "motivated' the development of DumpKelly.com, it was more or less a piling up of events," writes the anonymous creator, via email. "The straw that broke the camel's back had to be the offer of the Commons and services to concert promoters for free...Kelly's misleading statements on the offer, which deputy mayor Sue Uteck described as a "lie,' pretty much sealed the deal."

Harsh. But hey, far be it from us to sway your internet tendencies. Perhaps there's an aspiring webmaster out there ready to jump to the mayor's defense? Savekelly.com appears to be unregistered...

Transit update

Sorry, anxious bus riders; not much to report on the transit strike front, save for a public show of support for the union in front of city hall on Tuesday.

On August 19, 98 percent of transit employees voted to reject the city's last contract offer, giving the union a strike mandate.

Local 508 Amalgamated Transit Union president Dan MacDonald says both sides will likely get back to the table in early or mid-September.

"We need to give them an opportunity to take a look at the proposals we gave to them after the last round of talks."

Get on the bus. Email mikef@thecoast.ca.

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