His name is Rio, and he prances by the sea

Mike Fleury trots out your news

A hearty welcome goes out this week to Rio, the new Halifax police horse who will be formally sworn in on Canada Day. The CBC is currently running a contest to rename Rio, so as of Friday, our pithy Duran Duran-inspired headline will be officially out of date. Rio will replace Halifax’s current lone police horse, Justice the Protector, who will be retiring to the Annapolis Valley. (Whatever they choose to rename Rio, we hope it’s as gnarly as “Justice the Protector.” Pardon our French, but that’s one seriously badass name.)

Taking back Sunday

We didn’t want to mention Sunday shopping again this week—it got substantial coverage in last week’s Reality Bites, and it’s always good to spread the love—but premier MacDonald left us little choice. In a fantastic example of a retroactive smackdown, the premier announced that the loophole allowing Sobeys, Atlantic Superstore and Pete’s Frootique to skirt the Sunday shopping ban (subdividing their large grocery stores to satisfy the square footage requirement of the law) would no longer be acceptable. Unless you’re Pete’s Frootique. Wait, what? MacDonald attached what would appear to be an arbitrary retroactive deadline of June 1 to his decree—arbitrary, except that it takes dead aim at Sobeys and Atlantic Superstore, both of which started subdividing their stores after June 1. There have been rumblings that Sobeys and Superstore may try to open this Sunday despite the premier’s announcement, so keep your shopping bags at the ready. From an ineffective law that applies to everyone, to an inconsistent law that only applies to some. Confused? Fear not—all will be cleared up (yeah, right) with another Sunday shopping plebiscite, which will coincide with municipal elections in 2008.

Will the circle be un-broken?

After years of public confusion, the province has announced new rules to govern the Armdale Rotary. The new system, which (theoretically) has already taken effect, is a significant change from the old system, where drivers took turns letting cars into the rotary in a one-for-one format. Now, any car entering the rotary must yield to cars that are already travelling within the circle. While the policy itself isn’t overly complicated, the transition period—while some drivers will inevitably be unaware of the new rules—could make the rotary even more dangerous and confusing than normal. In other words, god help you if you run into a driver who hasn’t read this blurb. And we do mean “run into.”

Not wavering

Early on Monday morning, a car travelling down Sackville crossed Lower Water and drove down part of a pedestrian walkway near the waterfront, eventually “coming to rest upon “The Wave” monument,” according to a report released by the Halifax Regional Police. The sculpture is placed so far from any legitimate roadway, the “accident” almost seems like an intentional Wave-whacking attack. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt in the accident, including the indomitable Wave, which has now withstood years of graffiti-related abuse, hoards of climbing children and a car crash. In honour of The Wave’s incredible perseverance, we’ve created a new riddle: “Where is the wave that never breaks?” Go ahead. Use it. Confuse your friends.

Wave to me. Email: mikef@thecoast.ca

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