Cel­e­brat­ing birth­days, new bus ser­vice

South Shore Breaker - - Local - PETER SIMP­SON HERE’S WHAT I’M THINK­ING pe­ter_simp­son@hot­mail.com

A new bus ser­vice that will con­nect Lunen­burg County com­mu­ni­ties to each other, and the county as a whole to Hal­i­fax and points be­yond, was an­nounced ear­lier last month in Bridge­wa­ter by pro­vin­cial Com­mu­ni­ties, Cul­ture and Her­itage Min­is­ter Leo Glavine.

$385,000 will be used by the Nova Sco­tia Com­mu­nity Trans­porta­tion Net­work to pro­vide pas­sen­ger and par­cel bus ser­vice from Hal­i­fax to Lunen­burg County from now un­til Feb. 29, 2020.

Dur­ing his an­nounce­ment, Glavine said ac­cess to af­ford­able, ac­ces­si­ble and re­li­able trans­porta­tion is “im­por­tant for Nova Sco­tians, es­pe­cially older adults and our most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens who rely on com­mu­nity trans­porta­tion to help them stay con­nected to jobs, health care and so­cial events.”

Call­ing the an­nounce­ment a “great day for com­mu­nity trans­porta­tion in Nova Sco­tia,” net­work chair Reg John­son said his group is thrilled to be part of this sig­nif­i­cant pi­lot project, which “will serve as a tem­plate to de­velop sim­i­lar op­tions in other com­mu­ni­ties where a need ex­ists.”

Bridge­wa­ter Mayor David Mitchell said his town’s bus sys­tem, launched last year, has been a “great en­abler for cul­tural and so­cial in­clu­sion, ac­ces­si­bil­ity and com­mu­nity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.”

Mitchell said the Mar­itime

Bus ser­vice will con­nect housebound peo­ple, who, un­til now, had to rely heav­ily on oth­ers to sat­isfy their trans­porta­tion needs.

“It helps peo­ple who need to travel to the city for med­i­cal ap­point­ments. Some peo­ple have to ask fam­ily, friends or neigh­bours if they can drive them to the city, wait a cou­ple hours while they see med­i­cal peo­ple, then drive them home again. This bus ser­vice changes things for them,” he said.

Mar­itime Bus pres­i­dent Mike Cas­sidy told me he is ex­cited about the new ser­vice, but af­ter a six-year ab­sence, it takes time to build up user con­fi­dence so he is com­mit­ted to work­ing hard to make this pi­lot project hap­pen over the next 18 months. He as­sured me it would not be ter­mi­nated sooner.

“This area has been with­out bus ser­vice for close to six years, so when you come back and start to pro­vide that con­nec­tive­ness that is so im­por­tant for the com­mu­ni­ties, it’s grat­i­fy­ing,” said Cas­sidy.

In ad­di­tion to Bridge­wa­ter, stops are sched­uled for Lunen­burg, Ma­hone Bay, Ch­ester and Hub­bards, and the bus will con­nect to Liver­pool’s tran­sit sys­tem. There are three de­par­tures and ar­rivals daily.

Mar­itime Bus of­fers same-day, round-trip fares for se­niors, adults and stu­dents and monthly passes.

For in­for­ma­tion on sched­ules and fares, call 1-800-575-1807 or visit www.mar­itime­bus.com.

Pub­lic pool pee prob­lem

With all the hul­la­baloo re­lated to the ex­is­tence and re­place­ment of straight pipes along the La­have River and else­where on the South Shore, here’s a fun fact to pon­der the next time you are squirt­ing wa­ter out of your mouth at a pub­lic pool.

Ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian re­searchers whose work was pub­lished in the En­vi­ron­men­tal Science and Let­ters jour­nal, a 25-me­tre pub­lic swim­ming pool con­tains an es­ti­mated urine vol­ume of 75 litres.

Re­searchers col­lected sam­ples from 31 pools and hot tubs from two un­named Cana­dian cities.

The chem­i­cal marker used for urine de­tec­tion in pools — a syn­thetic sweet­ener used in many foods — can­not be me­tab­o­lized by the hu­man body and is ex­creted ex­clu­sively in urine. The study found that con­cen­tra­tions of this sweet­ener from one pool tested was 570 times greater than or­di­nary tap wa­ter.

Holy Speedo, here’s what I’m think­ing: Given that odi­ous news about pub­lic pools, splash­ing around in the La­have seems down­right re­fresh­ing.

Tale of two birth­days

We ac­knowl­edged two birth­days at our Dayspring home re­cently — a sweet 16 and a ter­ri­ble two.

The for­mer was a trib­ute to my rel­a­tively trusty wheels, a 16-year-old Fron­tier pickup truck.

The lat­ter was the damna­tion of a pair of two-year-old holes at the edge of the as­phalt on our road.

Despite two calls to our MLA and a cou­ple more to the folks in charge of road main­te­nance and re­pair, Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal (TIR), the holes got deeper and more prob­lem­atic.

There have been blowouts, dam­aged wheel rims, al­tered wheel align­ments and end­less loud bangs as ve­hi­cles and trail­ers of all shapes and sizes have fallen vic­tim to the cav­ernous dropoffs.

We worry about mo­tor­cy­cles and bi­cy­cles hit­ting the holes. Should that hap­pen, the rider would likely be pro­pelled right into the un­for­giv­ing rock gabion wall that runs the width of the prop­erty.

But there is good news to share, thanks to a chance en­counter with Ruth Wawin, con­stituency as­sis­tant to MLA Suzanne Lohnes-croft. Wawin promised to con­tact a su­per­vi­sor at

TIR

Well, two days later, the larger of the two holes was patched, although it ap­pears to be a tem­po­rary so­lu­tion, and heavy trucks will likely pound out the large Class C gravel in no time.

Hope­fully a more per­ma­nent fix is planned, not just for our stretch, but for many other lo­ca­tions along the road.

For now, at least, I won’t have to plan a third birth­day party for my men­ac­ing heavy-hit­ter pot­hole.

Good rid­dance, big fella.

If you have any press­ing is­sues with your road, con­tact the TIR Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre at 1-844-696-7737 or email tirocc@no­vas­co­tia.ca.

On­tar­i­ans East Coast bound

I don’t know what this year’s num­bers re­veal about tourists vis­it­ing the Mar­itimes, but it ap­pears large num­bers of tourists from Up­per Canada ex­pe­ri­enced some good old East Coast hos­pi­tal­ity.

My wife and I vis­ited the beau­ti­ful prov­ince of Prince Ed­ward Is­land re­cently and it seemed ev­ery third ve­hi­cle there sported an On­tario li­cence plate. It was a sim­i­lar ob­ser­va­tion on the South Shore.

Per­haps some of those vis­i­tors to Nova Sco­tia were doc­tors who fell in love with the re­gion and just can’t wait to move here and set up a thriv­ing fam­ily prac­tice. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

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Con­trib­uted

Mar­itime Bus has started a three-times-a- day pas­sen­ger and par­cel bus ser­vice be­tween the South Shore and Hal­i­fax. The Nova Sco­tia Com­mu­nity Trans­porta­tion Net­work is re­ceiv­ing $385,000 from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to fund the 18-month pi­lot project, which is part of a larger multi-year plan to strengthen com­mu­nity trans­porta­tion links across the prov­ince, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral ar­eas.

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