I'd love to see development on the two vacant blocks but not the costly convention centre--a contractors' dream, a citizen's nightmare.
If I was mayor of this simcity, I would make the upper (former Midtown Tavern) block mid-rise mixed commercial/residential (ground floor retail, underground parking etc.) and turn the lower (former Herald site) block into a park to increase foot traffic and draw people back downtown again, benefiting all in the area, including tax revenues.
There was some sense in amalgamating urban areas (Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford, and maybe the Sackvilles) back in '96. But adding the county that stretches from Ecum Secum to Hubbards was (and IS) ridiculous! Google maps suggests that it is a three hour drive between the two towns!
This is comparable to the driving time between Brussels and Paris!
And the needs of those two small towns are very different than the needs of the residents on Bayers Road or Pleasant Street.
I saw an image of the vigil on Gottingen street, with the caption "Halifax doesn't accept violence." I am happy that so many people showed support at the vigil.
I also wish that I agreed with the caption of that photo. The reality is, Halifax does accept violence. Some steps have been taken to improve things, and I applaud those efforts. But if Halifax really didn't accept violence, it wouldn't rank among highest murder and violent crimes ratings year after year.
This isn't an issue about policing. In spite of criticism that can be made, I firmly believe that the HRP do their best. However I do think that there is something that runs deeper.
Ask yourself: "Do I know anyone who has been assaulted in Halifax?" chances are the answer is yes. One friend of my was attacked on Barrington because of the colour of his skin. Another friend of mine now has metal plates holding his jaw together after having his head placed on a curb last year.
On different occasions, I have been attacked, burglarized, mugged with pepper spray, and assaulted in Halifax. (Not once on Gottingen btw!) To my re-occuring surprise, after each incident I had someone say to me: "who did you piss off?" or another version of blaming the victim, as if the violence was acceptable. As if I should have known better than living where lived, or walking where I walked!
Remember, this unfortunate incident is an assault that went a little further than is "normal" for Halifax. Had I been the victim of a few more blows after being knocked unconscious while walking on the way to a friends house a few years back, it could have been me.
There is no acceptable excuse for violence. But until something changes in the cultural atmosphere in Halifax we will keep hearing about acts of violence like this. I hope something does change. Halifax is too wonderful and vibrant of a city to have her reputation continuously tarnished by such deplorable acts. I hope something changes.
There is no excuse for what happened to Mr. Taavel. My condolences his family and friends.
Scrap the convention centre. It is a waste of public money. Build a park on the lot adjacent Argyle street, and some mid-rise builings on the upper vacant lot. Downtown needs open green spaces to attract residents.
The next mayor will hamstrung to make any real positive change as long as the City and County sit on the same council. The needs of urban and rural are too different. The breakup of HRM back into manageable cities is the only way to prevent another Kelly.
If anything, its the people in favour of HaRM By Design, in its present form, who are the radicals. I don't know anyone cultured who is.
I used to think very much as you do in your last comment. I gotta point out though, that when bouncers exceed "equal force" as you call it, they are very rarely identified and even more rarely charged. Some bouncers aren't acting in self defense. They are there looking for trouble. They will get away with it and many (the bad ones) know it. They take out their life's frustrations on smaller bodies who have been drinking and are unable to defend themselves. I've seen bouncers pick fights and they rarely see any consequences.
Laws only protect folks when people follow them and when they are enforced. Some bouncers are selective about the rules that they respect.
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