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Me-owch

Mike Fleury lights a candle for Ziggy.

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We promise not to go on at length about the provincial election. Honest. Everybody knows the results by now anyway; the Conservatives won another minority, R-Mac still presides. Yeah, yeah, fine. But still, we feel the need to mention: of all the stories to emerge on election night, you gotta feel for former Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank incumbent Gary Hines—and you really gotta feel for Ziggy. In the run-up to the election, Hines invited CBC radio reporter Jack Julian to his home, so that Julian could observe Hines on his ATV and record sound for an upcoming story. Unfortunately, while backing up his ATV for the demonstration, the Progressive Conservative candidate ran over one of his own kittens, a very young and very unfortunate feline named Ziggy. Against all odds, Ziggy managed to survive his run-in with the ATV. Although he needed hip surgery, Ziggy is now recovering from his ordeal. Unfortunately for Hines, he’s also been left licking his wounds—he lost his Waverly-Fall River seat in Tuesday’s election to NDP candidate Percy Paris. We’re not sure if the two incidents are at all connected, but still, aspiring politicians should take note: Running over kittens on the campaign trail, never a good idea.

Big-box bonanza

Details emerged this past week about the large-scale development rising from the swamp in Dartmouth Crossing near highway 118 and highway 111. Billed as a similar concept to the Bayers Lake car-clogged circle of hell (oops, we mean business park), the Dartmouth Crossing project is scheduled to open its first store (you guessed it—a 133,000-square-foot WalMart) by October. The 202-hectare development has a projected price tag of $280 million, and will also feature a 120,000-square-foot Canadian Tire, a 12-screen Empire Theatre multiplex and a number of other big-box retailers and restaurants yet-to-be confirmed. Despite public concerns about the environmental impact of the project (Dartmouth Crossing was basically stripped to accommodate the development, and there have been criticisms about runoff from the site ending up in local waterways), developers now claim to be working responsibly, even taking steps to clean up the swampy Grassy Brook, which runs through the property. The massive construction site is being managed by North American Development Group. If the company’s name is any indication of their creativity, don’t expect anything too innovative—expect something more like Bayers Lake, the sequel.

Route uprooted

The Halifax pride parade has a new route. The annual parade, this year on July 22, has traditionally wound through the downtown area (including Barrington Street) and ended up at Sackville Landing on the waterfront. This year, the route will almost entirely avoid the downtown core, and end up instead at the Halifax Common. Once there, organizers are planning a free concert and other festivities for parade-goers. The change comes after concerns about the amount of space available on the waterfront—the parade has consistently grown since its official inception in 1999. Estimates for the 2005 parade put the number of pride-marchers at 6,000 and the number of spectators at 15,000. This year, according to the Halifax Pride website, organizers are hoping for at least 7,000 participants. That’s one serious pride stride.

March your butt over to a computer. Email: mikef@thecoast.ca

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