Friday, August 31, 2007

The first step

Not having done any 12-step programs, but being familiar with the concept it is clear the first step to fixing a problem is to admit that there is one. It doesn't matter if recent events happened so closely as to "skew" what's happening; there have been swarmings reported for years. It's not new, but maybe media scrutiny of these events is. When I moved here from Ontario, I was shocked to see that armed robberies didn't make the newscasts. When I worked in my hometown, an armed robbery was the lead story!! It was because it didn't happen that frequently and keep in mind, this is a city 5 minutes away from Detroit. In Halifax though, even in 2000, they didn't make the news. The media isn't making up these stories or embellishing them. My crime report comes straight from the police blotter they put out every single day. All I did was count. It' s not like Rick, Rodenhiser and myself plan on swarming people when the show ends in order to boost the ratings. We (the media) are not the criminals. This blame game is shameful. Admit there's a problem and focus on fixing it, that's all the media is asking. Rick didn't club a senior, Rick is asking why it happened and trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's his job and Rodenhiser's job to ask questions and it is the politicians job to do something about it. STOP BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE FOR THE PROBLEM!

I loved the e-mail Rick read on the air today about the Premier talking about how he leaves his door open in Mabou, as do others in the area, apparently:

"I was delighted to read in the August 30th addition of the Chronicle Herald that people in Mabou don’t lock their doors. Thank you Mr. Premier, I’ll be sure to give Mabou an honourable mention in my “B and E Guide to the Maritimes."

Ha! He makes it too easy, eh?

So, the 16-year old charged with stabbing the 4 security guards is facing charges of attempted murder now and the dad is saying it's because one of the victim's was Brian Tobin's son. As Rick said, it's bunk. Someone called on Monday's show and asked me off the air why he wasn't facing attempted murder charges and we were wondering the same thing. The dad believes his son is being made an example of and I completely agree with Rodenhiser who told us he hopes that's the case!! Is punishment not supposed to deter others from committing these types of crimes? Giving someone a curfew certainly isn't. Have a trial and if he's guilty - throw away the key.

Okay, completely off topic - I was listening to some Stephane Dion audio clips yesterday for my C100 news at 4 and 5 and I swear his English is getting a lot better! He must be undergoing intense lessons because there is a marked difference. Obviously, they've had their ears to the ground because that's been one complaint on the show: Dion's message is getting lost because people can't understand what he's saying. The Liberals wrapped up their caucus retreat in St. John's yesterday and are saying if there is a snap fall election they will win! Sounds a little optimistic to me...

Let's hope for a quiet, crime-free weekend!!

Enjoy it and don't forget to tune in Tuesday for the start of the 10th season of the Hotline with Rick Howe!



Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bleeding hearts

That's what Earl labelled Steve Murphy and myself in an e-mail to Rick today!! I have something in common with Murph - this is so exciting!! Seriously though, I get Earl's point entirely. He says saying "young offenders" walking around with metal table legs is the same thing as "children" walking around with table legs. This is the curse of being a Libra - I see both sides constantly and I waffle all the time hearing excellent arguments on the Hotline!

Today's first hour was a nice break from the doom and gloom crime issues we've been talking about lately. Mooseheads owner Bobby Smith was in and hopefully the Mooseheads will have a great year. He's great guy and clearly passionate about his job and his team. Moosehead Mike called to say with this interview Rick has eclipsed Yvonne as #1 Hotline host in his eyes. Yvonne was number one because she scored the interview with Ducks star Joe Di Penta. I understand how Mike feels about hockey, because it's how I feel about tennis - completely obsessed!! The fact that the U.S. Open is on right now is pure bliss. Go Rafa, go!

This provincial alcohol strategy is the biggest joke! Don't even waste the money! Nothing makes me angrier than seeing anti-smoking ads, anti-gambling ads and anti-booze ads. If the government is profiting off these enterprises, don't even insult us by telling us to be "responsible" about it, especially when there are these stories about techniques in the liquor store to make us buy more alcohol! It' s such an insult to our intelligence; let's not buy into this smoke and mirror strategy to make the government appear like they care. I like Barry Barnet, but this is not a strategy - it's P.R.

Hey, it's fun stat time on Amber's blog! Guess how many robberies and/or assaults have been committed by 3 or more suspects in the month of August alone?

(insert Jeopardy theme here)



As one of my friends pointed out, yes, changes do need to be made to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. But the federal act covers every city in Canada - it doesn't exactly explain why Halifax is having all these problems. I have friends in a lot of different cities in Canada and I'm not hearing these similar complaints about violent crime. Just saying!

The fog is starting to enjoy the sunshine because it's going to POUR tomorrow.



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Clockwork Orange

Rick referenced the work today in regards to what is happening around Metro. Seemingly random and senseless violence perpetrated by youths for a sole motive described by the Chronicle-Herald as "abject cruelty". Are these teens just doing it for kicks? Is it that simple? If so, they need to be locked up for a long time as no amount of rehabilitation will be able to help them.

It was great to have the one and only Steve Murphy into the studio today to chat with Rick. I thought they were going to chat about CTV, but they delved right into these crazy teen crime issues. The Mayor joined them for a bit and he seems frustrated by the whole thing, especially the lack of support from the Feds, who have promised more cops and who have yet to deliver. Steve brought up the issue of not using the term "Young Offender" (which I think insinuates guilt to a person not yet convicted), and says we have to get used to calling them what they are: children. He says the lexicon needs to be re-vamped in order to go back to strengthening the dynamic between a "parent" and a "child" and not refer to them as "young offenders" and the "courts". It is impersonal and I agree, kind of takes away from the reality of the situation and stereotypes, some of them at least, unnecessarily. At least, I think that was what he was saying! He says he reads the blog, so he can correct me if I'm wrong.

This whole curfew thing is out of control too. As I heard this morning and on CTV news last night, even if you break your curfew, you can't be hauled into custody. The police can bring you back home, but it's not like one of these teens will be hauled back into jail. It's a reason why I'm wary about this ankle-monitoring bracelet thing too. Even if police catch them, with or without the bracelet, they have to bring them home. What's the difference? Bottom line: the Youth Criminal Justice Act needs to be changed, and it needs to be changed NOW. As Steve pointed out, if you have just stabbed someone, you're not really going to have an issue with violating a curfew no one has the resources to enforce.

Did you catch the short interview on CTV with the uncle of one of the teenaged girls who is accused of beating the lady in the Commons? He said she's a good girl and she wouldn't do that kind of thing. I love it when Rick states the obvious on his show. He said "Good girls don't beat senior citizens with metal table legs". It was compelling listening to caller Barb talk about her daughter who got caught up with the wrong crowd and who is now in her 20s -- in jail. She says she asks herself often in tears, "What the hell did I do?" Parents need help, police need help - is it government's responsibility to fix everything or our own job to work on our own sense of personal responsiblity?

Someone mentioned having the Guardian Angels on the streets of Halifax. Here is the website to find out more:

I'm going to be doing a little reading about it this afternoon.

Speaking of personal responsibility on a much different scale, I had an experience the other day walking home from getting groceries. My boyfriend and I were walking down the street (carrying our re-usable grocery bags) when we saw this person biff a coffee cup out of his car while sitting parked in front of a coffee shop. The garbage can was less than 3 feet away from his car, but it was one where you had to actually push the cup through the lid into the garbage. We started staring at him and he realized people had seen him do this. He looked at us and very reluctantly and slowly got out of his car, picked up the cup and put it in the garbage. It must have taken all of 12 seconds. I thought it was a small victory in the fight to convince people to take responsibility for their actions, no matter how small.

It's a gorgeous day, but all this crime and violence has me really feeling uneasy. I'm finding it really hard to want to be outside at all. A few of my friends are feeling the same way. It's no way to live, so what are we going to do about it?

Talk to you tomorrow,


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What the hell?

I like to check my e-mail and check out a few websites as I'm drinking my coffee in the morning trying to wake up. I check the Halifax Daily News website, the Chronicle Herald, CBC etc. Then I check my work e-mail to see what I missed overnight and get the police report. Lately, I've almost become numb to the amount of violence being reported. Today, I was not numb. Today, I was absolutely outraged by the assault against the 65-year old woman in the Commons. 3 girls, two 15-year olds and a 16-year old allegedly beat this woman with baseball bats, for apparently no reason. There was no robbery motive and thank god, they were arrested. I am so sick of these things happening!! It's pretty bad when I think, hey I should go downtown to see a movie, but then second guess it because I don't want to walk through the Commons. I never listen to music in the Commons and I am constantly looking around and behind my back. However, no matter how hard I look, if I come up against 3 people with bats - well, there's not much I can do about that except maybe run.

This Youth Criminal Justice Act is an absolute joke and even Deputy Chief Chris MacNeil wants it changed. He was very interesting to listen to today. I wished he was running for office! (He's Liberal leader Stephen MacNeil's brother). CM made some awesome points today including the fact police don't have the resources to keep tabs on every youth on a curfew and that the world's new terrorists are disenfranchised kids. He is also calling on governments to start addressing the root causes of crime, something I mentioned in the blog yesterday. Nothing will change though. Politics is just about that - politics. The issues don't matter, or else this issue would have been dealt with and not met with empty words after months of hard work by Justice Nunn.

During one of the commercials I asked CM about the police definition of a swarming. He told me they don't like that term. Well, I don't like the term or the act, but in reality, it does happen and it is a problem in Halifax. When I publish my half year crime report right here in this blog this fall, you will be shocked by what you read. Because of August being so violent too, the stats I'm collecting get worse and worse everyday. Rick and I were talking about moving to a safer city, you know, something like Johannesburg.

If you're interested in going to that rally tonight calling on the city to ratify with the bus drivers - it starts at Grand Parade at 7PM. I know a lot of people who would be adversely affected if they did go on strike, so I'm glad they are continuing their contract talks and hope there is a tentative agreement soon.

So...mark your calendars for next year. August 27th is Stan Friedman day!! I love listening to Stan and as Rick said - he's a genius. I hope he comes down to Halifax soon because that would be great to have him in studio. You can check out his website at: As if he named dropped Carl Sagan!

When I was in Munich, my friend Emily mentioned something about Rodney MacDonald's communications person leaving her post and then Deb sent me a Facebook message about it. So...Sasha Irving is leaving? I wonder if this means the Premier will come on the show. I asked Rick if we should send her a card! LOL.

Another great day - enjoy it!

Talk to you tomorrow,


Monday, August 27, 2007

Living in a paranoid world

Are we? Are we a bunch of conspiracy theorists? Rick tried to play devil's advocate when speaking with Rick Clarke and Cliff White about the Security and Prosperity Partnership. He wanted to know if they were making a mountain out of a molehill. I guess since everything has been done so secretively, the questions they are asking are extremely valid!

For more information on what the Council of Canadians says about the controversial S.P.P., you can click on

So, I come back from vacation and was shocked by all the things that happened. More shocking crime including 4 security guards stabbed at the Forum and the woman sexually assaulted at the Ultramar in Dartmouth. It's just sickening. This laundry story at the Q-E-2 was crazy too! Thanks to the Hotline we heard about concerns from patients about people sitting around in dirty laundry (probably not the best thing for sick people to do). Apparently, the company that contracted out the laundry had to take too many breaks and essentially, they fell behind but have assured the public it is entirely fixed. However, someone called me off air and told me they work for Capital Health and ever since they started contracting out laundry in the late 1990s, it has been an issue.

Rick spoke to a woman today who was part of a demonstration calling on government to legislate having 2 people work the backshift. It comes after that vicious assault against the 44-year old woman. For more information on their cause you can e-mail: As much as I think having 2 people working is a good idea, I'm not sure if it's going to eliminate crime against them. Banks get robbed and they have more than 1 person on staff. One of my friends suggested tackling the root causes of crime in order to stop the criminals; I think that's a novel idea that not many politicians are talking about! about this new website about the Mayor? It's I got the e-mail from Bruce DeVenne who says he is not behind it! Check it out...what do you think? It certainly looks professional. Who do you think could be behind it?

It looks like I missed a lot last week, Peter Duffy, the Rodenhiser and Sue Uteck calling the Mayor a liar on the air? Yikes!! It's going to be a great week though. Bobby Smith and Steve Murphy will be guests with Rick this week.

As Rick mentioned, I was in Munich last week and I am feeling very jet lagged today, so forgive any typos!!!!! It was a great time though and maybe I'll post some pics later on.

Have a great day and see you tomorrow!


P.S. To check out the website for the new teen magazine that will be published in December, click on

Friday, August 17, 2007

Good night's sleep??

Did you get one last night? I didn't! At one point, I thought my house had been hit and it was about to topple down on me! In the 7 years I've lived here, I've never experienced a thunderstorm like that. Even in Windsor, ON we get a tonne of storms, and that one last night was one of the fiercest. The sky was illuminated for what seemed like minutes at a time! Yvonne spoke to Environment Canada Meteorologist Chris Fogerty and it turns out during a regular lightning storm you would experience a few hundred lightning strikes (which still seems like a lot!) During last night's storm, between 15-20-thousand strikes happened around the province! Chris also shared the good news that it looks like Hurricane Dean won't be coming up around our area.

So, Yvonne had a special guest in the studio today - Alyse Hand. She's one of Yvonne's students and is going into second year at the Nova Scotia Community College. She was totally pro, asked some amazing questions and I have no doubt she's going to go far in this industry. It's funny, when I first started here I had just turned 23 and I was the baby, the idealistic young woman and now I'm turning 30 this year and being around Alyse who is still idealistic made me feel like an old cynic myself!! It's hard to believe I've been in the biz for 10 years now, time truly does fly by. I felt really old when I was watching Newsworld and saw the CD turned 25 years old today and I remember when they were new in the stores. Don't you hate that?

That was interesting to hear that there never was a resolution in the case of Rick's mom versus the Post Office. It happened last Xmas. Rick and the family sent his mother in Ontario some gift cards in a Christmas card. Well, someone opened up the card, took the gift cards out and even cashed them in! Yvonne mentioned, nothing was ever done about it. Unreal.

Oh, am I alone in thinking I never, ever want to hear the words "Gene" and "Viagra" in the same sentence?

Well, the blog and poll are taking a wee break. I'm leaving for Germany on Sunday and so I'll be back for the last week of the Summer Hotline on August 27th. As per usual, the congenial Austin Price will be in taking your calls. Rick is back too, so be nice to him, okay?

Have an excellent week and I'll chat with you soon!!

Cheers, (or Prost as they say in Deutschland!)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yvonne's advice

Yvonne had some sage advice for the Premier today: Get a new line. She very accurately pointed out that whenever there is the whiff of a scandal or something unpleasant emanating from the provincial government, the Premier says the same thing. This quote deals with the issue of Conserve Nova Scotia needing new furniture.

" Now we can get muddled in issues of furniture and such but I think there's much more important issues that Nova Scotians want to focus on."

Yvonne pointed out he said the exact same thing when the Ernie Fage scandal hit. It's so tired.

Former Hotline producer and now, morning host extraordinaire Debra Smith calls the show sometimes to give her opinion off the air. She mentioned something that I had thought about yesterday. What's the difference between the Ecology Action Centre and Conserve Nova Scotia? The E.A.C. is partially funded by the province and we've had many of their experts on the show - and they are just that - experts. The head of Conserve Nova Scotia told reporters she had no experience with the environment besides turning off lights when she leaves the room.

Plus, all these trips!! 17 in 3 months? At Dal, you have to take a science credit as part of your degree. One of the T.A.s taught us about our "environmental footprint". This guy was really dynamic and he had won this award and he was going to be presented with it in Johannesburg, South Africa. Well, he told our class he probably wasn't going because he felt too guilty about the amount of greenhouse gas created by the flight! So, Conserve Nova Scotia people travelled 17 times at a cost of over 20-thousand dollars? You have to look at the price to the taxpayers and the cost to the environment. The agency would have created less pollution by not even being created! How insane is that?

We did hear one good thing about the environment today. Andrew called and told us the big trucks doing work on Barrington Street with the Harbour Solutions project are not idling their vehicles. That's great to hear and -*memo to Conserve Nova Scotia*- every little bit helps.

Here are some award winning Conserve Nova Scotia energy saving tips taking from their website:

-Open blinds and curtains to allow sunshine in. This natural heat source is free!

-Use area rugs on cold floors – if your feet are cold, your body will feel cold.

-Turn off lights when you aren’t using them, even if it’s just a few minutes. Turning a light on and off as needed uses less energy than leaving it on all the time.

-Keep light fixtures clean – a cleaner bulb is a brighter bulb.

-Every time you open the refrigerator door, the air you paid to cool escapes. Be organized and reduce the number of times you open the door.

I could go on, but I won't. Waste of money? Take the poll question and let me know.

See you tomorrow!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The return of Rick

You'll be excited to know the Rickster was in his office today making a few phone calls to book some guests when he's back on Monday!

The summer Hotline continues until August 31th. Then we have the long weekend and then September 4th - the 10th season of the Rick Howe Hotline. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you tune in, it's going to be another roller coaster until Christmas!

It was a great show with Yvonne today! It was so ironic that Joe Di Penta was in the studio with both of us, probably two of the biggest non-hockey fans on the planet!! He was a super nice guy and not being a hockey fan, I found the questions about his life more interesting to listen to than a detailed examination of the game of hockey. That's just me though. One of the best calls came from David, the dad of Devon who was featured in the Chronicle-Herald last Friday. He thanked Joe for bringing the Stanley cup to the IWK and brightening the spirits of many sick children. Our prayers go out to David, Devon and their family and we hope he feels better soon! Joe doesn't just think about hockey - he's such a realist when it comes to pro sports. He says he wants to finish his degree and maybe become a pharmacist one day. Like Yvonne said, he is a total level-headed, good person and it was a pleasure to welcome him into the studio.

The second hour was a little more serious with 2 women talking about the issue of domestic abuse. I was shocked by the police officer's statistic that at least 1 call per shift is a domestic dispute! I think it's great domestic violence cases are treated with zero tolerance now. That means, if there is an incident and there is evidence, one of the parties will be charged by police. It takes the onus off the victim to press charges, and possibly face more violence when the person is released from custody. We heard two really gripping and sad stories today on the air. If you want to get more information on the Silent Witness program, click on:

What did you think about the cabinet shuffle yesterday? It's being slammed by all parties, no suprise there. I bet the Premier is regretting making the comments about Jim Flaherty now. He told reporters he wouldn't be totally upset if JF was gone from the Finance portfolio. Oops!
Take our newspoll question - is the Prime Minister just setting up Peter MacKay to fail...or is P.M. the right man for the job and on the receiving end of a a well-deserved promotion?

The Conserve Nova Scotia story in the paper today has me shaking my head. Unbelievable. Do as I say, not as I do, I guess. They're looking to rent some offices and get some new office furniture. As Yvonne pointed out, there has to be something used they can use. Are they not supposed to "conserve"? Don't even get me started on who has the contract for the furniture.

For those waiting to speak to the guests about domestic violence - sorry about that! Our power went out throwing everything into chaos around 10:45 and we lost the phone calls.

Anyway...enjoy this partly sunny day!

More tomorrow on the Hotline!



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Extraordinarily Special

Wow. What a show today. The first hour was so incredibly compelling. I was awed by Janice Landry's story about her dad rescuing the baby from the burning house last year and to hear the conclusion to the story today was so gratifying, it brought tears to all of our eyes in the studio!

If you missed it, what Janice's dad did was to save the life of a weeks old baby by performing a miraculous rescue without the help of even a ladder!! The boy's mom, Kim, called the show and she was in tears too, remembering the day she was screaming on her front lawn as her baby was upstairs and no one could help him. She said everyone tried to run up the stairs to get the baby, but the smoke was too thick. It was devestating listening to this mother reveal how she felt when she knew there was a chance her son might die. It was equally as compelling when she told us how she felt when she saw her son and realized he was alive! As Yvonne mentioned, it's pretty obvious Nick was meant to live. A little tiny baby, with small lungs survived a massive house fire and his mom told us he was not injured, he just had some soot in his nose! Lieutenant Landry received a medal of honour from the Governor-General of Canada for his actions. It was so great to hear that because of Janice's plea last year, she found Kim, Nick and the rest of the family and was able to make that connection. Nick's two aunts called too to speak with Janice and Yvonne spoke with Nick's wife after the news. Janice's dad sounded like a wonderful man, who even gave Kim an envelope with a little bit of money afterward and told her to go buy him a lollipop. Nick is now married with a family because of what Janice's dad did. I can't tell you how incredible it was to hear a happy ending on the Hotline. It was also neat to hear the family refer to him as Fireman Landry. It's kind of old school, like when we used to have heroes and people had respect for people in uniform. Landry was, indeed, a hero.

Bill Jessome was in for the first hour too and it was a pleasure to meet him! As Yvonne mentioned, Bill is revered in Cape Breton and after retiring from what was then ATV 8 years ago, started devoting his time to writing. He's written several books including "Maritime Mysteries". If you have a ghost story you want to share you can e-mail him at: He told a compelling story too about his father getting arrested and being hauled off to jail when he was 7 years old. He was thrown in jail for not paying his grocery bill during the depression. As you can imagine, it scarred Bill and he told us how he planned to burn down the grocery store. He had the kerosene and matches and was about to leave the house when his mother asked him where he was going. Instead of screaming at him, she calmly pointed out the consequences of his would-be actions, as there were 3 families living upstairs from the store. As Yvonne pointed out, it was a great lesson and something it seems like kids don't get anymore - understanding the consequences of actions.

I want to thank Janice and Bill for sharing some amazing stories today, ones which really made me think and feel, aka - cry!

We heard another compelling story in the second hour with caller Kim. She told us she was fighting with Workers Compensation after being injured by a special needs student in the classroom as she worked as an E.T.A. She says she's going to lose her house and she's pretty much broke because of this fight. She told us her options are to sue the board, etc. Yvonne says she's going to be delving into this subject a little deeper this week and I'm sure it's something Rick will be bringing up as well. Kim originally called to lament the fact Education Minister Karen Casey cancelled on us for tomorrow. Yvonne is trying to book the Minister with Rick, and that will be the test to see if cabinet ministers have been banned from doing our show along with the Premier.

Tomorrow though - a special treat for those who have been missing the sports hour on Fridays. Joey Di Penta will be in with Yvonne during the first hour! Feel free to call and congratulate him on his win or ask him anything!

It's kind of grey outside right now - let's hope that sun breaks through later on!

Have an excellent day...and I'll be speaking to you tomorrow!



Monday, August 13, 2007

It was a rainy Monday....

It was partly sunny this morning, but now as I'm writing this, it's my part of Halifax anyway. It's kind of a nice warm summer rain, so it's not so bad.

It was quite a busy Monday on the Hotline! It was an open hour for the first hour and then Yvonne had in the principal of the new Dartmouth campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. That generated a lot of great calls from parents talking about their childrens' experience at the college. I think college is great. I have been lucky enough to go to college and university and they both offer completely different, but equally important things! I like college because the courses are shorter and you can achieve your goals quicker, as our guest said, it's applied learning, as opposed to theory based university. They talked about college and how you get more individual attention from your teachers. I agree with that, but I also had that experience at university. I took German Language and Literature at Dalhousie and the department was small, meaning lots of individual attention. The profs were incredible and it was a great, although expensive, experience.

Sidebar - when I was filling in for Deb a few weeks back, Brian picked up the phone and then asked me "Did you study German at Dal?" I was thinking, what the heck is going on, but told him "Yes" and then he said someone wanted to talk to me!! Well, it turns out longtime Hotline listener Wendell is married to Frau Wamboldt, who was the German department secretary for many, many years and a department stalwart. I was so thrilled to speak to her and she just retired this past May. She will be sorely missed, that's for sure. It's great though that I have this connection to her through Wendell.

Anyway, now it looks like the rain is clearing up. I'm feeling kind of scattered today, so I promise things will be back to normal tomorrow!!

Have a great day!



Friday, August 10, 2007

I think it's going to be a great day....

Yvonne started out the Hotline with those words and they proved prophetic. It was a great day on the show with lots of great calls and interesting topics.

Off the top, Yvonne spoke with Lyida Houck. I swear, I am this little girl's biggest fan!! She blew me away yesterday when I used one of her clips on C100 news and hearing her interview with Yvonne today was amazing. There are great kids out there and one of them is named Lydia Houck! So passionate, so eloquent at the age of 9. I'm proud of her and I'm not even related to her. Her issue is so.....antiquated? They designed an all-boys camp to hike, fish and golf and designed an all girls camp called "Glamourous girls" where they go to the spa and get manicures and pedicures?! Lydia simply said she wanted to enjoy the outdoors and not be stuck inside during the best time of the year in Nova Scotia. Fair enough, don't you think? Hey, this is 2007. Some girls like fishing and hello, some guys like manicures!! Segregating the two and assuming only girls like pink and boys like blue is just so completely old-fashioned, you almost have to laugh. So, as Yvonne said, "You go girl!" Lydia Houck for president of the world!!

Then Yvonne had a chat with Peter Stoffer, which was great, as per usual. P.S. is just so knowledgeable and when you combine that with his passion, it's a winning combination for an MP, so you see why he keeps winning his seat of Sackville-Eastern Shore. I can't wait until Joyce Carter goes to Ottawa again to confront the P.M. I know it's kind of sadistic, but it was funny watching this feisty lady make Stephen Harper squirm.

I don't mean to go in chronological order with the callers, but then Ian called! He just got back from vacation, so he was relaxed, but of course one listens to the Hotline and instantly gets fired up. I am totally 100% behind Ian on this one. He's being attacked as an individual. I hope Truro raises the gay pride flag. It's a small move, but such an important one to be inclusive. Even the Truro councillors didn't realize the Mayor's religious beliefs were behind the move, so we'll see what happens. Fly the flag!! Take the poll question today and tell me what you think! I would point you in the direction of this incredible column from David Rodenhiser.

During hour number 2, the ladies of Just Between Us were in and what a great hour it was! We got a tonne of calls, most of them from men! I think we had 3 women call and about 8 men, who all say they loved the show. You can check out their website here:

You can catch the new show tomorrow at 12 on All Oldies, All the time 92 CJCH!! I just found out they have a Just Between Us blog too, so you can check that out too.

Well, that's it from me this week. After hearing Delores' call, let's try to treat each other with respect. We love you Delores and think you are awesome, exactly as you are.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Oh Gene.....

So, Gene has called for the past couple of days...and dare I say...he sounded fairly reasonable both times?


Jim called after and even admitted Gene didn't sound totally outlandish today! I actually liked what he had to say about the Bible! He says we are in need of a moral compass in our society. He believes that compass is God, and Yvonne thinks it's a basic comprehension of personal responsibility. As Yvonne tried not to "diss the bible" today, she said she believes people need to go back to the basic understanding of what's right and what's wrong. I kind of agree with both of them. Gene says we use the bible when it's convenient. Although we've taken prayer out of the schools, he very accurately pointed out we use the bible to swear people in and in courts, etc. Why do we use it there and not in schools? I'm not saying religion is the answer, but maybe using an approach like the 10 commandments to just try and be decent human beings would be a step in the right direction? Am I agreeing with Gene? I think I need another holiday.

The 16 year old boy accused of beating the kitten to death generated a lot of calls today, after it was revealed he had 27 prior convictions. Again, not charges, but CONVICTIONS. His defense lawyer (and it is her job - to defend him) says he suffers from ADHD and Yvonne made the excellent observation that it seems like ADHD is almost the go-to excuse for people.

Didn't the picture on the front of the Chronicle-Herald boggle your mind today? The size of the hole is astounding and the fact no one was hurt in the water main break is an absolute miracle. I felt so bad for the workers yesterday when it was pouring rain last night. What a miserable job. They're hoping to have at least 1 lane of Kearney Lake Road open later this afternoon. Tune into C100 news at 4 and 5 for the latest.

Here's some breaking Hotline news - apparently Karen Casey has pulled out of next week's interview with Yvonne. Do you think someone got wind of it in government and pulled the plug?? Yvonne will give us the scoop tomorrow. That's really sad as people were calling the show and were really excited to have access to a government minister to ask questions. Oh well, if they don't want to talk to the people, the people have no choice but to vote for candidates who actually like to speak to their constituents. See you at the polls!

It's Friday tomorrow - the lovely ladies from the CJCH program "Just Between Us" will be in during hour number 1.

Have a great day,


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pictures from this morning

Here are a few pictures of Yvonne interviewing John Buchanan today on the Hotline!

It's our cake!

So there, Dalton McGuinty!!

John Buchanan completely rebuffed DM's weak argument accusing Nova Scotia of "wanting its cake and eating it too" by saying "it's our cake", meaning why shouldn't we have access and profit from our own resources?

As I mentioned in previous blogs, J.B. is one of the most charming men and he started charming Yvonne and all the girls even before the show started!! Listening to him was great; love him or hate him as a Premier, he's a great person and that's an attribute that cannot be taken away from him. He's 76 and he told us he and his wife Mavis will be celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary on September 1st. He called his wife his "rock of Gibraltar" and gave us a little insight about the toll on the family when one member is in politics. It tied in really nicely to what we heard yesterday from the wives of Geoff Regan and Peter Stoffer.

Little known fact extracted from Yvonne - JB was once elected as the President of a Young Liberals club back in University! He says he was razzed about that while in the legislature. If I have time later, I'm going to try and read the hansard and post what Gerry Regan said to him about that! It was so interesting to hear that John Diefenbaker was the man who suggested politics to him and then he goes on to be one of the longest serving premiers in Canadian history.

When asked about Stephen Harper, I felt he was pretty honest and says he would give the Prime Minister a mark of about 65-70% so far. He didn't say too much about the Premier, but urged MacDonald to "stay the course" in terms of fighting for the Atlantic Accord.

So, did you hear Yvonne drop the hint about Rick Howe Sunday shopping? Not in Boston, not in Toronto, but in HALIFAX. I can't wait to chat with Rick about this when he comes back!!!

A bit of a stunner during Yvonne's last call. One of our regulars, Wade, admitted he carries a 9mm with him when he leaves his house!!! Wow. Isn't that sad that regular citizens feel they have to arm themselves when walking in their own neighbourhoods? Then Wade said something that made me ever sadder - if he did happen to shoot someone, he believes he would just get house arrest and that's probably true. I was saddened because criminals obviously have no fear of the law. If regular citizens don't, criminals certainly don't either. Has it come time where people feel they need to turn to vigilante justice?

As for Yvonne's question if people should be walking around at midnight on the streets of Halifax, that's a tough one. I would say "No", people shouldn't be out because of these crimes, the majority of them taking place after midnight. You are lowering your chances of being a victim by not being out. But that's easy for me to say, as I work 9-5. On the other hand, say someone just finishes working their shift at Tim Horton's or at a convenience store and they're walking home at midnight because taking a taxi would take 2 hours of their pay. Shouldn't they be able to walk home from their jobs without the fear of attack? It's not right that criminals rule the streets after dark and are starting to terrorize people during the day as well.

It's sad, isn't it? How do we change it?

That's why we have the Hotline, I guess. To hopefully try and make sense of this world in which we have to live.

Be sure to give us a call tomorrow - it's an all open show.

Take care,


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

He's a jerk, but....

That was caller Barry's assessment of Prime Minister Harper. His point was that Danny Williams disrespected the PM by calling him Steve and despite the fact he's a "jerk", he deserves respect as the Prime Minister of Canada. I think it's so interesting - no one calls the Hotline defending Harper or Premier Rodney MacDonald. Please, someone call and defend these guys. They are in power for a reason, and I want to hear what those reasons are!

So, it was Yvonne's first day and it was a great show! I found it very interesting to listen to Kelly Regan and Andrea Pottyondy today. It was just nice to hear that other perspective instead of just listening to the politicians. It was kind of neat that before Caroline did her 9am news, in the studio it was all women! Yvonne, myself, Deb, Caroline, Andrea and Kelly! If you missed it, Kelly is married to Geoff Regan and Andrea is married to Peter Stoffer. They are both dynamic women and I enjoyed meeting them very much.

I think Andrea made the best point and it's a point I've made to Rick several times - we are all humans and to "over"classify people as men and women is wrong. What I mean is when Rick says someone is a bad female driver, I don't believe gender should play a role.

Gene was pretty mild-mannered today, eh? He told us the Mayor in Truro isn't wrong for having his beliefs, but wrong for trying to impose them on other people. What do you make about that whole controversy? There's a Facebook group set up to petition the mayor to change his mind. Apparently, Bill Mills is on vacation for 2 weeks; at least that's what they told Yvonne when she tried to call and get him on the show.

Yvonne talked about crime today and what I wouldn't give to come in every morning and have no media report from the police. Sadly though, it was very long this weekend with a tonne of very unfortunate events like swarmings and the death of an innocent kitten. I've been keeping my crime stats since the beginning of the year, so I'm hoping to make some time to write my half year report. Stay tuned!

I'm stunned by the suggestion that people that speed and race their cars on the streets of metro would stop doing it if there was a private track on which they could race. Uh, it's called Scotia
Speedworld, F-1, Nascar - if you're so interested in racing, become a professional. Risk your own life with people who want to do the same. Don't risk the lives of innocent people just because you want to feel cool and race your car. I can't even believe the Chronicle-Herald entertained that idea in an editorial today! How incredibly disrespectful to the family who just lost their daughter!

Anyway...I could go on, but I'll leave it at that today.

Tune into tomorrow and have your say on the Hotline!!

John Buchanan will be in with Yvonne during the first hour.



Friday, August 3, 2007

Long weekend ahead!!

As Councillor Patrick Murphy told us, there is so much to do this long weekend!!

Be sure to log on to: for the complete list of activities.

So far...even the weather looks like it's going to hold. The fireworks are on Saturday night starting at 10 o' clock, with the rain date set for Sunday.

Yvonne came in for a chat about what's she's doing on the Hotline. She's going to have John Buchanan on for Wednesday. As I've blogged about in the past, I was charmed by Mr. Buchanan and am looking forward to being charmed again! Yvonne's really excited about that interview and what she has planned for the rest of the 2 weeks. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Did you hear what Yvonne went through trying to get the Premier on the Hotline? She says Sasha Irving never even called her back. I remember when S.I. told me the Premier would "never be doing Rick's show". Why, I inquired. "Because I've advised him not to." Oh, okay. As Yvonne pointed out, Rick treats every guest with almost reverence! He is so respectful and the Premier should know that, as he has appeared before and I wouldn't say he was battered and beaten afterwards. It was a good hour. I remember meeting the Premier though, he seemed very nervous. I get that vibe from him when I see him on TV too.

Well, I'm going to keep this short and sweet today...but a longer blog on Tuesday, I promise.

Don't forget...we're off Monday but back on Tuesday with Yvonne.

Have a wonderful, safe weekend.



Thursday, August 2, 2007


I forgot...if you have a copy of the Daily News today, check out HFX. You can get a glimpse of yours truly and a few friends taken last Friday night in downtown Halifax.

Sheila Fougere

So, I got to meet Sheila Fougere for the first time today and I'm here to report - she made a very good impression.

She seems driven, intelligent and committed to change at city hall. I hope Rick has her back in the fall. We had some good chats during the commercial breaks about being in politics and what it takes. For have to have a very, VERY thick skin! She says she gets a lot of phone calls where people can be very, um, expressive, but she says e-mails are worse because a lot of people can say some pretty vitriolic stuff when they don't have to look you in the eye. So, we talked about that and how some people look at women in politics differently. It's hard to believe in 2007, there are still some super old-fashioned people who really can't be blind to gender.

Ali's call was quite funny as he was so over the top with his compliments towards the councillor!

During the first hour, it was such a pleasure to welcome one of my favourite Hotline guests - Pat Connelly. Pat Connelly is the epitome of class. I think he has one of the best voices in the business, whenever he cracks his mic, I sit up and pay attention. He is one of the nicest people I've ever met and I have so much respect for P.C. I also got to meet Frank Cameron for the first time. He's got a great voice too, he is natural and doesn't throw it, or put it on. I had no idea Frank would be so hysterical!! When Trina called to say that she missed his voice on the air, he replied, "Doesn't my body count?" It was so funny. Trina also mentioned another one of the funniest people in the planet, Brian Phillips. Apparently, Trina called Brian to tell him about a little bit of repetition in the playlist of oldies and he deadpanned, "Trina, we only have so many". I love BP, he makes me laugh so hard. Remember when Ben said he was laying sod and Philly said, "Remember Ben, green side up this time." LOL.

Frank had a great story about Jerbear, throwing himself out of his wheelchair in front of a group of aghast teenagers and then blaming someone else for it! Jerbear is another person I've been so pleased to meet this summer. The guy oozes personality, but it's authentic, you know?

Well, Friday tomorrow and that's when Yvonne will be in to tee up her Summer Hotline. I'm so interested in what she has planned!

More tomorrow! Enjoy your Thursday!



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August 1st

It's hard to believe we're into the home stretch of 2007. I cannot believe it's August already! I'm actually really looking forward to the fall. It's my favourite time of year, and I like to be busy. It will be the 10th year for Rick hosting the Hotline, and I'm hoping to fill you in soon on some great things planned. Stay tuned!!

That's certainly a shame about the pregnant woman who was stabbed yesterday, isn't it? The Daily News article is absolutely riveting, about how she could have died had that woman not been walking in the neighbourhood. It kind of makes me want to get a cell phone. As annoying as they are, they are important in an emergency! The woman is listed in serious condition, so I hope she recovers and can move on with her life.

Well, it's very steamy outside, which is stunting my motivation to write anything interesting!! Caller Tim and I have this ongoing joke going on that when I go to Germany in 3 weeks, I should probably just stay there! He says when I went to N.B. the weather miraculously got better in N.S.! He says they've taken up a collection and I can imagine some people would love to make a donation!! But, I'll be back. Nothing could tear me away from my beloved Hotline!

So, stay cool, and I'll chat with you tomorrow!

Take care,