On the Grapevine

We’ve mentioned the Grapevine a number of times before on Ww. We wish the articles were more punchy but not everyone is a pugilist. The submissions they choose to print are meant to appeal to a certain segment of Wolfville’s population and for the most part are very useful and informative.

In this issue, [#324, 12 pages long!!]  there is an update on the AVRSB review [link is PDF!] submitted by Lisa from the Wolfville Home and School giving the 2 recommendations that affect Wolfville School:

Recommendation # 6
It is recommended that effective September 1, 2011 the grade 9 classes currently served at Hantsport School and Wolfville School attend  Horton High School.

Recommendation # 7
It is recommended that effective September 1, 2011 the grade 6 classes currently served at Gaspereau Valley Elementary School and L. E. Shaw Elementary School be served at Wolfville School and Hantsport School.

Lisa didn’t include the rationale for the recommendations given in the AVRSB doc linked  above so we will share it here.

Although these recommendations do not result in a consolidation of the middle level students in this area the arguments in support of retaining the middle level in both communities were supported and well articulated on both an academic and community level. The  implementation of these two recommendations will not result in increased bussing of students and will allow the significant number of walking students currently residing in Wolfville and Hantsport to avoid daily bussing until grade 9. The Board currently operates middle level programs in P to 8, 6 to 8 and 6 to 12 configurations and will be able to support these two P to 8 configurations. The inclusion of the grade 6 classes from GVES and LESES will provide for uniform program delivery at the middle level in this area. The challenge of program delivery in small elementary and middle schools is a growing situation across the entire Board operation and new strategies are continuously being investigated to address student needs as effectively as possible. [emph ours]

It seems the argument about increased busing had impact. The recommendations have to be approved yet so we are all asked to got to the meeting May 5th Wolfville School Gym 7 pm to look everyone in the eye.

On page 3 there’s a blurb to highlight the new video rental shop on Main St, Cinematopia. We always welcome new businesses to Town [we do it quite often] but we are too often sorry to see them go again. We could use fewer new businesses and more venerable businesses, but in any case we wish Megan Haliburton well in the new endeavor.

On page 10 there is a submission from Dick Groot on the Wolfville Community Fund which is of interest to us [We wonder why he didn’t submit it to Ww?] It reviews the findings of the Vital Signs report, then Dick gives readers his insights on the challenges of poverty [bet he never had to borrow a pair of shoes to go to work, but we digress] and then, the best part, he tells us what the plans are for the money the WCF  has been given. Here’s what he says:

What is the WCF Doing?

Poverty is clearly the issue that needs our granting priority and we are soliciting proposals for projects that address poverty in the longer term. The process will be as follows.

1. We make investments into projects that have a lasting positive impact on reducing poverty, especially on our children.

2. There are two grants of $ 500 and one of $ 1,000 available at this point. [Odd amount – we thought they were given $5,000 each from the WBDC and from the Town – not to mention office space and supplies.Does the other 80% go to administration?]

3. There will be a request for project proposals in early May 2010 [like now?]

4. The request for project proposals will be advertised widely. [here too?]

5. Projects will be evaluated in terms that will be published [why not give us the terms now?]

6. We will publish project progress reports at least annually [We’ll hold you to that Dick. Since you have public money now you are accountable to us taxpayers!]

7. There will be ongoing consultation with the Sounding Board [what’s that?] and agencies relevant to poverty mitigation [such as?] to assure continuing relevance and co-ordination of efforts.

We note that Bob Stead is still listed as Board Chair of the Community Fund of Nova Scotia. We expect he recused himself from all decisions concerning Vital Signs and the WCF.

Perhaps we can think of a proposal.

Going back to page 3 we noticed this Editor’s update which we commend. We hope Jeremy doesn’t mind us quoting parts of it.

We drop 180 copies of the Grapevine at the Wolfville post office every two-weeks. It’s by far our biggest distribution point and I know some people schedule their week to pick up a Thursday copy. Our post office is an important place to gather all sorts of written and verbal local information …

To me respecting the norm means respecting the area. I don’t mind sorting and re-stacking other brochures on the counter because I hope others will do the same if the Grapevines are in a messy condition. Respect goes deeper than this however. There’s another publication in town called The Mud Creek News. The two fellas [sic] who run it are incredibly engaged on a civic level and, like them or not, they are putting in a commendable amount of work with their efforts. When I heard this week that their publication often ends up being removed or in the garbage I was disgusted. If you don’t agree with their points, don’t pick it up. If you wish to make your points be known, submit an article or start your own paper. That’s what they did. Jeremy Novak

To which we say hear, hear.

Here’s a link to the Grapevie on line.

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7 responses to “On the Grapevine

  1. Also in the Grapevine,

    “Hopefully most of us have invested in compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs for the majority of our incandescent fixtures in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint…” (Green Scene by Laura MacNutt)

    Yawn…. Ever noticed how some people never see the elephant in the room?

    I’m pleased to report that some of Aussie-types are not hamstrung by political correctness, see:

    http://www.population.org.au/index.php/about-us/spa-branches/spaact-branch/483-dick-smith-on-population-all-seven-youtube-videos

  2. It can be difficult to keep track of $5000 here and there especially when Town budgets aggregate sums under broad headings without explanation. As best I can recall, the Town gave WCF $5,000 directly. The Town also gave WBDC a wad of cash and then WBDC passed a $5,000 portion on to WCF.

    So that means that the Town transferred $10,000 from ratepayers pockets to the WCF. OK, that’s what politicians do — curry favor by giving away other peoples money. To what end, I ask?

    Presumably, some of that $10,000 was used to produce the report “Wolfville Vital Signs 2009”. I guess that they had $1500 left in the pot and hence the two grants that Mr Groot mentions in his article.

    One way out of poverty is to get a good-paying job. In its report, WCF documents the fact that Wolfville does not have a diverse range of employment opportunities. I wish Mr Groot every success in his efforts to broaden the Wolfville economy so that those presently living in poverty can both prosper and have the satisfaction of making their own way in the world.

    I am, however, more than a little concerned about the way that ratepayer money has been used to date — without clear and appropriate acknowledgment of the ratepayer. In particular, I fear that WCF might become a front for yet another ratepayer-funded social welfare program.

    It is abundantly clear that a majority on Council prefer to create economic dependency rather than economic opportunity. Your typical politician likes nothing more than to have a subclass of dependent voters in his/her pocket. (OK, I know, I know… there are no “her” politicians on Wofville Council.) Once politician’s have made the majority dependent, well that’s called being Greek.

    • That wad of cash that the Town gives to the WBDC is actually a voluntary levy which the WBDC asks of businesses in Town, collected BY the Town administration ( for which effort they charge the WBDC a fee). We are not sure businesses in town are fully aware of this. We think some thought should be given to whether businesses are getting value for money from this levy. The only significant benefit I see is coordination of advertising but it might be that the WBDC would do better to run a more independent ship. They are too entwined at the moment with the administration to be a good voice for enterprise in Wolfville, in our humble view.

      • Thanks for the correction!

        Talking about “entwined”, reminds me of that famous line from Animal Farm:

        “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      • Speaking of the “voluntary levy for advertising”, I was amused to read the big advertisement on page A10 of Chronicle herald (Tuesday 4 May 2010).

        It seems that Porter’s are going “Tax Free”! Three cheers for Porter’s! May Porter’s lead our Grandiose Municipal Authorities to the path of righteousness!

        Then, right at the bottom of the page we read: “Buy Local ~ Shop Wolfville”. I hope all those unfortunate souls who live out of Town don’t take the apparent contradiction too seriously….

    • Of course it isn’t really free. Porter’s has to pay it for his customers, unlike certain other merchants in the marketplace.

      I meant to add that the WBDC levy is only voluntary in the sense that the organisation chooses to charge the businesses in Town. I don’t believe that individual businesses can opt out. If I am wrong I hope someone corrects me.

  3. judoth aro

    I appreciate the info that the grapevine is on-line and the WW link… I do not always get a chance to pick it up in town….. furthermore, I know WW has also mentioned about the throwing of Mud Creek News in the garbage… I am glad to see that the grapevine mentioned it in their publication as well (Jeremy Novak stating that he was “disgusted”)… of course throwing the newsletter out is a childish reaction… we know someone(s) has taken a tantrum of sorts… but I do not know which is worse… this type of immature reaction or “indifference” by other Wolfville residents as to what is happening within the realm of OUR local municipal government.