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The Shoreline Journal is a monthly community newspaper based in Bass River, Nova Scotia, and serving the Fundy Shore/Glooscap Trail from Truro to Parrsboro.   See submission deadlines...

Established in 1994, the paper was originally published as the West Colchester Free Press by Ken Kennedy Publications, and later renamed to The Shoreline Journal.  In January 2008 The Journal changed hands and is now under the management of  the husband and wife team of Maurice & Dorothy Rees.  They initiated a redesign of the paper, with the addition of several colour pages in each issue. Each monthly issue concentrates on the many community events which involve residents of all ages, from the elderly to the very young, and those young at heart.  A primary focus is those activities which involve students, whether it be school or 4-H club activities.

Maurice has extensive experience in the community newspaper & advertising field, and has been running several businesses in Maitland for the past few years.  Dorothy is a lady of many interests who added new features to the Journal; and since November 2008 has operated her own business, Dorothy’s T-shirt Factory, later renamed to “tshirtsrus.ca”.  The energetic couple have a busy schedule as they are also sales agents for Nelson Monuments and also travel frequently to annual Nova Scotian festivals selling t-shirts.

On-line issues:          This Month               Issue Archives - April 2009 to last month


Interested in advertising? Click here to view all the details on our adAtlantic Classified Network Program or email the publisher for more details at maurice@theshorelinejournal.com

The Shoreline Journal is proud to be a member of The Atlantic Community Newspaper Association; let us book your ads for you and customize your campaign!

Click on the image at right to view the Shoreline's advertising rates & deadlines in pdf...


The Shoreline Journal understands that rural communities want to know about news and events in their communities, so that's our focus, the things that directly affect our subscribers, sponsors and customers.  Watch for regular items:

Rees' Pieces (Publishers)               Letters to the Editor            Community Calendar

Heritage Notes                            Sports Events                       Classified Ads

Senior Affairs                               Nature Notes                       Credit Union News

MLA Activity Report                      Community Centres              Fire Brigade

Favourite Pet Photo                      Parish News                        4-H Clubs

Dorothy's Kitchen Korner               Poems & Photos                  Obituaries

Front Page Briefs                         

plus notes from many communities and organizations such:

Bass River, CCJS Student Council, Chiganois, Debert Elementary, Debert Legion, Great Village, Londonderry Council, MacCarell Villa, Masstown, Onslow Belmont, skating clubs & other groups


Rees' Pieces - February 2016

This is ridiculous

In 2007-2008 the economy failed because of a melt-down in the stock market as a result of $-Billions given out in sub-prime mortgages to people who should never have been granted one. Late in the fall of 2015, the real weakness of the economy started to become evident. Sure earlier in the year, the price of oil started to drop bringing a halt to many new construction projects sending many easterners home, or providing a lot of grief to those who moved west to work in Alberta's Oil patch.

Here we are in mid-January with the price of oil is dipping below $30.00 on its way to the low 20's and the CDN$$ dipping below seventy cents for the first time since 2003. When gasoline prices at the pumps were nearly $1.50/ltr, oil was around $120.00 per barrel. At that time, we wanted a lower price for a barrel of oil. Now that oil has dropped nearly $100/barrel, we are not seeing the savings we anticipated.

Read the full editorial...

Obviously it's not only a few councillors who are concerned about the littering issue in our communities. Some concerned citizen felt compelled enough to put this sign up. It's almost directly across from McElmon's Pond on the McElmon Rd going to Debert. This is one of the worst areas in district nine for littering. You have to admit it really gets the message across. (Submitted)


AgSeed Technologies to receive $40,000

By Maurice Rees

AgSeed Technologies (Canada) Inc. operated by Sandra Newbold and Trevor Newbold, located at the Perinna research facility in Bible Hill, is one of fifteen Nova Scotia start-ups who have won $850,000 total, in cash and services, to further develop their knowledge-based companies. AgSeed placed second in the Zone 1 competition ) comprising Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough Counties and will receive $40,000.00 in cash and services.

The award was made as part of the I-3 Technology Start-up Competition winners announced by Innovacorp on January 21st.

It’s website describes AgSeed Technologies as: AgSeed Technologies (Canada) Inc. develops agriculturally-based biochemical and biomaterial products. The company offers high biobased content biocomposite materials for the furniture and green building markets. The technology to make these renewable, sustainable products will be distributed through a licensing model.

AgSeed Technologies (Canada), Inc. is one of a small number of companies focused on research and development, commercialization of plant based polyols (biopolyols) and epoxides (bioepoxides).  Our products can be used in a variety of applications including coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers (CASE) and lubricants.

We have a wide range of biopolyols which are cost competitive, renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly.  Unlike petroleum based polyols, we make our biopolyols from a variety of plant based oils.

Arenas in Trouble

By Maurice Rees

Brookfield's Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex is one of the county's arenas experiencing tough financial times as rink rentals decrease.  Despite reducing wages in the the past three years by $10,000, the arena has lost 449 hours of rentals income.  It's deficit is now $61,000.

Two of three arena's in Colchester County are facing a tough road ahead. How tough the road might be at the North Shore Recreation Centre in Tatamagouche is not known because it's budget for 2016 was not available. The situation came to municipal council's attention during a January 5th presentation by the Colchester Arenas Association.

Brookfield's Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex and West Colchester United Arena, Debert are facing $61,000 and $54,600 deficits according to figures presented during the meeting by Robert Putnam, retired Finance Director, Town of Truro, who sits on the board in Brookfield.

Rising costs have contributed to leaner years, but the major culprit is significant reductions in hours of ice time rental, resulting in significant drops in revenues. During the presentation Councillor Tom Taggart interjected the new ice surface at the Rath Eastlink Civic Community Centre certainly has had an impact on requirements for ice time. Discussion time was also given to mention changes made by Minor Hockey Nova Scotia, which permits players to move to other rinks to join various levels of "rep" teams has also impacted enrolments at smaller rinks.

Deputy Mayor Bill Masters mentioned changing demographics are also playing a role. Using as an example he said, 50 years ago who would have thought there would be discussions about closing churches, now they are many that have closed, or will soon be closed. Similarly, as populations decline in rural areas, there are less children, which all has an impact.

Since 2012 the North Shore Recreation Centre in Tatamagouche faces a reduction of 262 hours of ice time rental from 963 to 701 in 2015, resulting in a reduction of $15,000 - going from $90,000 to $75,000 last year.

Debert's West Colchester United Arena suffered the largest drop in ice rental revenue from $218,000 in 2012 to $146,000 in 2015, when hours of rental dropped 31% from 1646 (in 2012) to 1138 in 2015.

Brookfield's Don Henderson Sportsplex reduced it's wages from $97,000 to $87,000 from 2012 to 2015 as it faced a 26% reduction (449 hours) in the ice time rented from 1702 to 1253 hours, which reduced income by $50,000 from $223,000 to $173,000.

All three facilities have been able to reduce wages by operating the facilities 3-4 weeks less throughout the year. Closures have been made when there was little call for ice time rentals. Adding to the woes of the facilities has been the increase in energy costs for power and heat. An additional $10,000 is being spent in Tatamagouche with energy costs rising from $35,000 to $45,000 in the 2012-2015 period, while Debert's board has been able to reduce energy costs from $56,000 to $51,000 in the same period.

Brookfield's Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex is the largest energy user going from $113,000 up to $128,000 in 2014, but incorporating changes to reduce costs by $6,000 to $122,000 in 2015.

The lessening of demand at each of the three facilities has occurred on days, nights and weekends. With costs continuing to increase, the individual boards are concerned about what lies ahead. In Brookfield annual losses have increased from $11,875 (2012) to an anticipated $61,000 this year; Debert up from $13,871 (2012) to $54,060 for 2016. Meanwhile Tatamagouche has gone from a 2012 loss of $13,757 to a slight profit of $1,241 for 2015. Figures for 2016 were not available for the current year.

The association didn't offer any firm suggestions or make a specific request. Purpose of the presentation was to update council on how things have evolved in recent years. In looking for solutions, the association did suggest council could possibly work with the facilities to cover energy costs, or as an alternate solution, maybe set a rate for each area based on the performance of the local arena.

Boards in Tatamagouche and Brookfield are near to having a full complement of directors, however Debert is suffering from a lack of directors. Currently there are six vacancies in Debert including the 1st and 2nd vice president.  

What is it?"It’s a member of the Wrasse family", Andrew Hebda

By Maurice Rees

Who can identify this creature which was found washed up on the beach in Economy? Photos were taken and supplied by Ron Barkhouse, who while out walking on the beach with his daughter and family came across the remains on a beach walk on New Year’s Day. So far no one in NS Dept of Fisheries has been able to provide an answer. Does any one know what this is? If so, send an email to: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com  (Barkhouse Photos)  

On January 6th, Ron Barkhouse sent several photos he’d taken when his daughter’s Golden Retriever discovered the head of a very unusual looking fish while the family was walking along the beach in Economy.

Later that day, the photos were sent to Andrew Hebda head of Zoology Collections at Nova Scotia’s Museum of Natural History, Halifax and Mr. Barkhouse who had taken the skeleton to HRM with him delivered the skeleton to Mr. Hebda.

On January 7th, Mr. Hebda advised from looking at the photos it looked like a member of the Wrasse species of fish.

On January 19th, Mr. Hebda replied: "Based on what remains, the fish head you submitted for identification is a member of the Wrasse family (Scientific name, Labridae). We have two species which occur here, the Cunner (Tautogolabarus adspersus), which is common across the Atlantic Provinces and the Tautog (Tautoga onitis), which ranges from NS down to South Carolina.

We think that this is a member of the latter species, the Tautog, which has been found as close as Diligent River and Scots Bay, NS. It is a tricky identification because of the state of the head, and the lack of a body.

There was a bit of reluctance to put a species name to it because of that. We do know there are several relic populations where warmer waters have persisted, at Eel Brook Lake, Yarmouth County, Mahoney Bay, St Margaret’s Bay and Petpeswick Inlet".

After a bit more questioning, Mr. Hebda provided the following information as follows: Tautogs (within their normal range) can grow to about 60 cm, with average maximum weight (in Gulf of Maine) of around 4.5 kg (10 lb), although we have little info on Nova Scotia growth rates. Cunners are usually quite smaller, but sizes of 30 cm are not uncommon. 

The issue with teeth is that only the forward ones show readily and you would have noticed that they are somewhat conical, but quite blunt. Both species essentially feed of surfaces (usually the bottom) with a preference for gastropods and bivalve molluscs. (Stomach analyses have also shown consumption of crustaceans, sea urchins marine worms and detritus, although in colder waters, they become quite inactive). The chances of them mistaking a human for a Mollusk are somewhat remote. They are quite inquisitive, but not aggressive.

The specimen that washed ashore could have been carried in from waters to the south (southern Gulf of Maine); we do get occasional mid-summer tropical fish arriving (not unusual to see triggerfish or Mullets in our waters in July and August. 

To provide more information on each species, I went to Wikipedia and downloaded the following information.

Here is the data on the Cunner (Tautogolabarus adspersus): The bergall, also known as the Cunner, Conner or chogset, Tautogolabrus adspersus, is a species of wrasse native to the western Atlantic, where it is found from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland to the Chesapeake Bay. They inhabit inshore waters living near the sea floor at depths from 10 to 128 m (33 to 420 ft), preferring areas with beds of seaweed, shipwrecks, or wharf pilings. They spend the winter months in a state of torpor underneath rocks. They can also be found in the aquarium trade. On May 28, 2015, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has officially certified, and is pleased to announce, the catch of a new state record saltwater fish. The fish weighed in at 3 pounds, 2.4 ounces eclipsing the previous state record by 1.9 ounces. The fish measured 16.5" in length and had a girth of 12.5". Often, bergall is mixed in with blackfish (Tautog), living on or near the same structures. Much of the food eaten by those bergall living among blackfish is the leftovers from the blackfishes prey. They can be distinguished from the Tautog by their pointed snouts. Bergall are generally smaller, so are usually thrown back by anglers who think they caught a "short" Tautog. In past years, they have been important commercial fish, but now are considered pests. They can be confused with black sea bass and other grouper, as well as Tautog, for their ability to change color.

Although he could not be specific as to which species, here is the data on the one, which Mr. Hebda thinks is the one found by the Barkhouse family on January 1st:

The Tautog or blackfishTautoga onitis, is a species of wrasse native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. This species inhabits hard substrate habitats in inshore waters at depths from 1 to 75 m (3.3 to 246.1 ft). It is currently the only known member of its genus. Tautog is brown and dark olive, with white blotches, and has plump, elongated bodies. They have an average weight of 1 to 3 lb (0.45 to 1.36 kg) and reach a maximum size of 3 ft (0.91 m), 25 lb (11 kg).

Tautog has many adaptations to life in and around rocky areas. They have thick, rubbery lips and powerful jaws. The backs of their throats contain a set of teeth resembling molars. Together, these are used to pick and crush prey such as mollusks and crustaceans. Their skin also has a rubbery quality with a heavy slime covering, which helps to protect them when swimming among rocks.  Here’s some additional information on the Tautog:

Cuisine:  "The Tautog has always been a favorite table fish, especially in New York, its flesh being white, dry, and of a delicate flavor." Davidson recommends grilling, baking, and using it in fish chowder.

Sport Fishing: Popular among fishermen, Tautog has a reputation for being a particularly tricky fish to catch. Part of this is because of their tendency to live among rocks and other structures that can cause a fisherman’s line to get snagged. The favorite baits for Tautog include green crabs, Asian shore crabs, fiddler crabs, clamsshrimpmusselssandworms, and lobsters. Tautog fishing may also be difficult due to the tendency of fishermen try to set the hook as soon as they feel a hit, rather than wait for the Tautog to swallow the bait. Rigs with minimal beads, swivels and hooks should be used to prevent entanglement with the rocks, reefs or wrecks that Tautog frequent.

Because they are often found in wrecks, they are often seen by scuba divers. They are also popular with spearfishermen, as they are remarkably calm in the presence of divers and are relatively easy to spear.

Lifecycle: Spawning occurs offshore, in late spring to early summer. The eggs hatch and develop while drifting. All of the young take residence in shallow protected waters and live and hide in seaweed, sea lettuce, or eelgrass beds for protection, and are green in color to camouflage themselves. During the late fall, they move offshore and winter in a state of reduced activity.

Management: Slow reproduction and growth make Tautog more vulnerable to overfishing. The species is managed by focusing on reducing fishing mortality rates, as well as restrictions on gear, size limits, possession limits, and limited fishing seasons. At present, the Blue Ocean Institute recommends that consumers avoid eating this fish because the populations are at low levels that are not considered sustainable. Around 1920, 750 tons were harvested annually off the New England coast.

Page One Briefs - February 2016

Everyone should view this video. Today’s technology has the capability of providing a lot more awareness of the Bay of Fundy shore between Parrsboro and Truro than we ever thought possible a number of years ago. It sure provides lots of publicity to Economy, home of the former Clam Festival. Published on July 1, 2014, "Economy Nova Scotia" written and recorded by Angus Quinn had 4912 views early in January 2016. To give you a great feeling about the area, click onto this link.

Mr. Rob Simonds has been appointed as Colchester's new CAO effective April 4. Council approved his appointment at a special meeting of Council held on January 5th. Originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, Simonds earned a masters degree in leadership and training from Royal Roads University, a chief fire officers’ professional designation from the CAFC and received a Harvard Fellowship to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts to complete the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2010. He brings over 30 years of municipal leadership experience from the City of Saint John and, most recently, with the City of Hamilton in Ontario where he has led over 550 staff and managed an $82m budget as Fire Chief for the past five years. Rob is past president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, past president of the New Brunswick Association of Fire Chiefs, and past president of the Maritime Fire Chiefs Association.

Can Colchester become the cleanest municipality in the province? That’s the type of discussion happening around the council table. With the urging of several councillors, it appears 2016 is the year council will make "Cleaning up Colchester Highways" a major initiative. What action should council take to reduce or eliminate most of the litter along our highways? What will you do to help? If you have ideas and suggestions contact the municipal office or your local councillor.

Councillor Doug MacInnes is tackling the issue of littering head on. On the 17th of January he held a community meeting in Debert to get the comments and interest of residents to discuss a variety of subjects pertaining to District 9. Also discussed was littering and how it is destroying the beauty of the area. He’s encouraging residents, the community centre and fire brigade get involved and get the ball rolling. He’s also pursuing the matter at council by placing the matter on the agenda.

Wilson Fuel Co. Limited completed an internal reorganization by transferring its wholesale and retail gas station business to Cape D’Or Holdings Limited, which is an affiliated company also wholly owned by the Wilson Family. Effective January 1, 2016, the change is intended to better align assets of the companies and will make no material change in ongoing relationships with customers or suppliers.

Margaret Miller, MLA for Hants East was appointed as Minister of Environment on Tuesday, January 12th. Elected to the legislature in 2013, she has held the position of Deputy Speaker. She has worked in agriculture, forestry and small business and served as national president of MADD Canada.

Nova Scotians are invited to recognize outstanding volunteers in their communities by nominating them for a Provincial Volunteer Award. Each year, Provincial Volunteer Awards honour volunteers from across the province with an award for their selfless contributions.

The award recipients are selected by a review committee. The premier, lieutenant-governor and minister of the Voluntary Sector will present the awards at a ceremony in April. The deadline for nominations is 4:30 p.m., Februrary 19. Nomination forms are available online here

January 29th is the deadline for community groups to apply for mental health and additions funding. After that, groups that qualify will be invited to submit a grant application. The grants are a key component of the province's Together We Can mental health and addictions strategy, released in May 2012. These grants support not-for-profit community organizations as they work to improve the lives of individuals and their families who are living with mental health and addiction issues. Groups can apply each year for grants of up to $150,000. With the new process projects valued at more than $30,000 will be evaluated by independent peer reviewers and an independent review board. Information on the grants can be found at http://novascotia.ca/health.

Government officially launched its two new business immigration streams January 1st. The streams will attract international entrepreneurs and retain international graduates of provincial post-secondary institutions. The Entrepreneur Stream aims to attract those who want to start or buy, and actively manage, a business in Nova Scotia. The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream provides an immigration opportunity for students who have graduated from a Nova Scotia university or community college and have started their own business. Once the new streams are fully operational, Nova Scotia expects to nominate 40-50 applicants per year as permanent residents.

More apprentices will find work in Nova Scotia with the provincial government launching a procurement pilot to encourage businesses to hire apprentices in Nova Scotia. The pilot, developed in partnership with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, requires contractors bidding on provincially funded construction projects to take part in the apprenticeship program. The pilot will focus on current school construction projects only and applies to contractors whose portion of the bid equals or exceeds $100,000. Exceptions will be made for smaller companies and those whose work doesn't fall within a designated trade. Contractors must show proof of participation in the apprentice system to perform work on these projects. They can apply for such proof by visiting the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency website at www.nsapprenticeship.ca.

The province's Crown Attorneys contract with the Province of Nova Scotia was ratified on January 9th. The new contract includes an agreement on wages with no increase in the first two years; 1% increase on April 1, 2017; 1.5% on April 1, 2018 and .5% increase on March 31, 2019. The Years of Service credit for the service award is frozen effective April 1, 2015. The amount of the award is based on salary at retirement.

A Letter-writing Workshop hosted by Colchester Adult Learning Association in partnership with the Truro Branch of the Colchester East Hant Public Library welcomes everyone to help celebrate Family Literacy Day at the Truro Library at 754 Prince Street, Truro, Saturday January, 30th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Participants will write and send letters and cards to area seniors and participants in the VON Adult Day Programs in the area just in time for Valentine's Day. Try your hand at cursive hand-writing, calligraphy, and use a variety of art materials to create a beautiful letter or card that will brighten someone's day. There is no cost to attend the event and all are welcome to drop in. For more information email: contactcala@gocala.ca or call: 902-895-2464.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey represented Canada's ministers of education at the World Education Forum in London, U.K. which began January 19. She was part of a panel addressing Education in Areas of Conflict and Crisis: Refugee/ Migrant Education. The Canadian Council of Ministers of Education funded the minister's trip.

Nova Scotians have a chance to honour those who have put themselves at risk to help others. This is the ninth year for the award and nominations are open for Nova Scotia's Medal of Bravery.

Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia centres, offices of members of the legislative assembly and at www.novascotia.ca/bravery. The deadline for nominations is May 1. Only acts of bravery that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2007, will be considered under the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery Act.

The Atlantic Journalism Awards is seeking nominations for its Lifetime Achievement Award. Any individual who has demonstrated a career of journalistic excellence in Atlantic Canada may be nominated up to the closing date of Monday, February 1, 2016. Nominations for this award can be submitted by any interested person. A letter highlighting why the individual should be honoured, accompanied by other supporting material should be included. The award will be presented at a gala dinner and awards show on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. Complete details of the all award categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award entry rules, regulations and the digital entry system can be found at www.ajasonline.org.

The Nova Scotia Government will invest $82.0 million to build and renovate schools to give students modern learning facilities. The ongoing design and construction of eight new schools are included in the plan. This year’s Capital Plan contains an overall investment of $26.5 million in hospitals; $19.6 million for construction, repair and renewal of other medical facilities; $12.3 million to replace equipment; $3.7 million for ambulance replacement, and $3.9 million to improve information technology.

Government of Canada's federal drug plans will join the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). The Alliance negotiates on behalf of provinces and territories to lower prices for Canadians on brand name drugs and works to reduce the cost of generic medications as well.

To date, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance has completed more than 89 negotiations on brand name drugs and achieved price reductions on 14 generic drugs, resulting in combined savings of more than $490 million annually. Through federal health plans, the Government of Canada provides drug benefits to First Nations and Inuit, the RCMP, the Canadian Forces, veterans, federal inmates and refugee protection claimants – for a total of $630 million in drug-related spending in 2014. Canada joins Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon as a participating member of the Alliance.

Cancer Care Nova Scotia is looking for volunteers to serve as public advisors on a committee to develop programs to help cancer patients quit smoking. Advisors may be former or current smokers, who have experienced the cancer system as a patient, family member, friend or caregiver. The committee will also include clinical experts, administrators and community partners. Anyone interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity should visit the website.


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Submission Deadlines 2016

Issue Deadline Published
March 2016 February 23 March 2
April 2016 March 22 March 30
May 2016 April 19 April 27
June 2016 May 24 June 1
July 2016 June 21 June 29
August 2016 July 19 July 27
September 2016 August 23 August 31
October 2016 September 20 September 28
November 2016 October 25 November 2
December 2016 November 22 November 30
January 2017 December 12 December 20

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  The Shoreline Journal

Maurice & Dorothy Rees, Publishers
The Shoreline Journal
Box 41, Bass River, NS B0M 1B0
PH: 902-647-2968; Cell: 902-890-9850
E-mail: maurice@theshorelinejournal.com