Ghosts, specters and succubi around the HRM rest a little easier today, safe in the knowledge that their dusk to dawn diddling will again be safe behind the iron curtain of secrecy and denial. This relief, of course, comes in the form of Peter Duffy’s retirement from the “Old Lady of Argyle Street.”

From today’s Chronicle Herald:

After 28 years of stories and columns, it’s farewell to The Chronicle Herald. If you read my piece last Tuesday, you know I was thinking about it. Well, I’ve finished thinking about it.

The catalyst for my decision was a buyout package offered to those of us who are members of the newsroom union. Note that I said “the catalyst” and not “the reason.”

These are difficult economic times and the Old Lady of Argyle Street, as I still affectionately think of The Herald even though we moved shop last year, is not immune. Management is looking to cull the herd and a common way to do that is offer a financial incentive, based on years of service. So we all got the buyout offers.

Unfortunately, there’s more to this difficult story. Two dozen members of the news staff have been given layoff notices — as you also probably know if you read our business pages.

Now here’s the thing: For each of us who takes the buyout, a position will be saved.

So actually, my leaving is a good thing because it’ll save a colleague’s career. But there’s more to it than that. I’m leaving because my heart is telling me to.

Perhaps ChronicleHerald.ca comments section user Stubbs said it best when he said:

Goodbye and good riddance, you irrelevant old fart.

To Your Health and Taxes

Speaking of health, this was announced over the holidays, but I haven’t read much about it locally: Fitness tax breaks encourage activity: Experts | Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA – Just in time for New Year’s resolutions vowing to shed those extra pounds, Nova Scotia this week became the first province in the country to offer a tax credit for the cost of gym memberships and other physical activities.

The Healthy Living Tax Credit was first introduced in 2005 for children’s activities and has now been extended to all Nova Scotians, who can claim up to $500 worth of registration fees for any organized sport or activity including ski passes, dance classes, swimming lessons and gym memberships.

Those who support the idea say the tax credit will encourage more people to be active, which will in turn mean a healthier population, and will save the government millions of dollars in health-care spending.

While Nova Scotia is the first to implement the tax credit for active adults, Alberta is not far behind.

Might as well try and claim my Wii Fit for a tax break. Or would I have to say I was agoraphobic?

Maybe the best part about it is its group potential, for families or friends. Web designer and former Coast contributor Iain MacLeod is a Wii Fit fan, in that it allows him and his partner more flexibility to exercise and have fun together, especially with their two-year-old daughter. “We’re former gym-goers, and we thought this was perfect, a step in the right direction. We like that it gives you a certain amount of activities to do and as you get more involved it ‘unlocks’ more things to do.” MacLeod also likes that it’s less intimidating than a health club, which really isn’t his scene. “It’s a bit more interactive than the gym experience. It’s social in a different way.”

From Halifax indoors: 14 tips to well being | The Coast.

Update: I guess you have to know what you are searching for, when it comes to the government… “fitness” and “tax” isn’t enough. The program is called the Healthly Living Tax Incentive.

Have you heard the news???

Halifax Rocks! on iTunes

Halifax Rocks! on iTunes

Welcome to the weird and wonderful North Atlantic coast — a Nova Scotia melting pot of great bands, best enjoyed with beers and a bellyful of signature Halifax donairs. Even though the city never quite turned out to be the “next Seattle”, as the hype-mongers hoped it would in the mid-’90’s Halifax has always rocked heartily on its own inventive, eclectic, and deliciously salty terms. In various guises, the Halifax Pop Explosion festival has been showcasing the city’s finest for the best part of two decades, but here — in the digital ether — we bring you the rock of Halifax in all its glory, from trailblazers April Wine to global superstar Sarah McLachlan, plus a hot stew of indie/alt groundbreakers including Thrush Hermit and the Trews. Halifaxion guaranteed.

A Comprehensive, Three-prong Approach to Food Safety

According to the Nova Scotia Food Establishment Inspection Report site, the restaurant we met at to conceive this site was inspected by the Department of Agriculture Food Protection and Enforcement on July 23rd and was guilty of the following deficiencies:

  1. Failure to use proper thawing methods for potentially hazardous foods (Corrected during inspection)
  2. Failure to check dishwasher temperatures and/ or sanitizer concentrations (Notice to comply)

Unofficially, they were also guilty of stacking meat in very precarious piles on our plates.