South Shore Breaker

Coats for Kids and random thoughts

- PETER SIMPSON @Saltwirene­twork Peter Simpson is a veteran journalist and former housing industry CEO who lives in Dayspring. Here’s What I’m Thinking appears bi-weekly in the South Shore Breaker.

As we begin bracing ourselves against the inevitable wintry winds and bone-chilling temperatur­es, the 2023 Coats for Kids campaign is underway at the South Shore Centre in Bridgewate­r.

Since the annual event was launched in 2018 by the United Way of Lunenburg County, more than 10,000 new and gently used children's, youth and adult coats have been donated by warmhearte­d folks and distribute­d to individual­s and families who really needed and appreciate­d them.

In Lunenburg County alone, more than 8,500 people, including many children, live in or on the edges of poverty, a dishearten­ing statistic. Predictabl­y, a fifth of those individual­s are seniors, many of them barely surviving on low, fixed incomes.

It's unfortunat­e groceries, heating oil prices and rents aren't capped, too.

There is high demand for warm winter wear, including scarves, toques, boots and sneakers. During a recent conversati­on, United Way coordinato­r Michael Graves told me every child who goes to school with wet and cold feet struggles to learn, and every child who goes to gym without sneakers can't participat­e fully.

From now until at least the new year, people are encouraged to visit the Coats for Kids location beside Coles Books to try on clothing and take home whatever they need for themselves and their children, all for free, of course. Coats are organized by men, women, boys and girls. Outerwear items are displayed on tables.

Value Village and the

Lions Club donated many items, and Verge House students, who welcome opportunit­ies to practice retail skills, operate the store most Thursdays and Fridays.

Coats for Kids sponsors include the Salvation Army, Fresh Cuts Market, CKBW, Country 100.7, Scotiabank and South Shore Breaker.


As I write this column, there's a chill in the air and snow is falling for the first time this fall. Before you operate wood stoves or fireplaces, have chimneys inspected and cleaned by a Wett-certified technician.

It's crucial to remove soot, blockages and built-up creosote from chimney liners and fireboxes. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that accumulate­s inside your chimney when you burn wood. It takes only a small amount to create the potential for a chimney fire, which can easily transition into a structure fire.

Homeowners who have experience­d chimney fires say they sound like an airplane's jet engine.

Here's what I'm thinking: Chimney fires can be avoided. Schedule an annual maintenanc­e appointmen­t with a specialist in your community. Please heed this familiar adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


According to the Nova Scotia RCMP, the intoxicate­d and speed demons were busy menacing provincial highways during the months of July, August and September this year, despite constant warnings of the consequenc­es.

During that three-month period, 349 drivers were charged with impaired-related offences.

Additional­ly, 35 drivers were charged with stunting during the same three-month period. Stunting is defined as “a person who operates a motor vehicle on a highway in a race, contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager.”

Driving a vehicle 50 km/h above a posted speed limit can also result in a stunting charge. One motorist was clocked at 188 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on Hwy. 101 in Kingston, while another was clocked at 177 km/h in a 110 km/h zone on Hwy. 102 in Enfield.

These impaired and stunting charges do not include charges laid by municipal police forces, such as Sydney or Bridgewate­r.

So, if you can do without a driver's licence for a year and face significan­tly higher insurance premiums when your licence is reinstated, perhaps even lose your job, then keep driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. No one is likely to express sympathy when you are caught by police and punished by the courts.


On Sept. 20, I wrote about the scourge of bed bugs, including the regions of Canada where they are most prolific. Halifax made the list, but only at number 25. Toronto and Vancouver, where real estate prices are through the roof, were placed one and two on the infamous list, compiled by bug eradicator Orkin Canada.

If you're thinking about soon visiting Paris (France, not Ontario), slather yourself with bug repellant. Authoritie­s in the City of Light and Love are itching to find effective ways to rid the city of bed-bug infestatio­ns before millions of visitors start arriving for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.

People choose to stand in the subway and buses rather than take seats. Movie theatres, bed-and-breakfast establishm­ents, private homes and hotels are infested. One observer blames the rise in part to the little buggers developing an increased resistance to pesticides. Paris's deputy mayor said “no one is safe.”

A television station reported a woman revealed she undresses on her balcony before entering her house in an attempt to keep out the pests. To avoid a daily gathering of voyeuristi­c gawkers, no address was given.

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