While I've followed the news accounts of the battling neighbours in Herring Cove, and have read the court decision, it's hard to know who is "right" on the issue (I'm talking only the permitting issue, not the subsequent vandalism, of course). People have certain expectations when they buy property, and that includes both expecting that the "feel" of the neighbourhood will remain relatively stable, and on the other hand that you can do what the law allows with your property. Throw in some subjective interpretation of zoning rules, and you end up with a very unsettled situation. My guess is that this problem could have been avoided had the rules been written more tightly, leaving less room for bureaucratic judgement calls.

But that's neither here nor there. After all this time, I only just now realized that one of the disputants is the whale guy at Dalhousie. It has no bearing whatsoever on his domestic situation, but a couple of years ago I attended a lecture he gave on the language and migration of whales. The males and females have different calls, and migrate independently, and we humans can't begin to make sense of it. Utterly fascinating stuff.

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