I was up late last night cutting green tomatoes and onions in order to make pickles this morning. It was a windy night and I could hear the sound of a low, steady engine drone. The noise was unidentifiable when I opened the back door near midnight, but my best guess was that someone was harvesting corn, though it would be highly unusual to be working so late.
A large airplane flew low over our house early this morning, then another an hour later, followed by a search and rescue helicopter. Military exercises have occurred in our area in the past, but I guessed it was what I had hoped it wasn’t late last night.
It turns out three teenage boys from the Alberton area went out in a dory last evening, but only one boy returned to shore by swimming. Fishers, search and rescue volunteers, and military and police services are searching the area for the two boys.
The dories used here are flat bottomed and sturdy, used mostly for inshore fishing of oysters or for sport fishing. They are very stable in rough water, but if you are speeding along and your propeller snags on a hidden rope, you can be instantly thrown from the boat. This has been more of an issue in recent years due to the increase in growing mussels and oysters in cages suspended in the water and anchored to the bottom as the anchor ropes are sometimes mistakenly left behind. A couple of my cousins have had close calls just a few hundred metres from here, it can happen so quickly.
Those three poor boys must have had something unusual and frightening happen. My heart is aching for them.
Another plane went over a few minutes ago, the low drone of engines still off to the north. That’s a good sign, the search goes on, and there is hope for the anguished families. I keep looking out at the river.
We have subscribed to both of PEI’s daily newspapers for as long as I can remember. This morning we only received The Guardian and a letter explaining that the Journal Pioneer has been “combined” with The Guardian. Most of our neighbours only receive the Journal as it has always been the paper for the western end of PEI and The Guardian for eastern areas, so they will be very surprised and possibly upset by this change in routine.
I also found out this morning that I am now a member and not a subscriber, which I suppose is to give me the sense that I was part of this business decision and approve it, rather than being a customer who paid for a service that I’m not going to receive.
In the Saltwire Network CEO’s letter, they say their advertising revenue dropped by nearly two-thirds almost overnight, so they have been forced to temporarily lay off 40% of their workforce, including journalists. Instead of publishing nearly three dozen papers today across Atlantic Canada, they published four.
Other than being quite a thin paper, today’s edition doesn’t really seem much different from recent ones. Both of PEI’s dailies were already carrying heavy amounts of content from the other Saltwire Network papers and the Postmedia Network and were starting to look like each other, save for different local advertising and obituaries (one of the big reasons we kept The Guardian). When you read one, you had almost read the other as much of the local content in each was shared.
We were already seriously considering dropping our subscription to The Guardian this spring because the price for each was closing in on $400 a year. My mother does not use digital technology so receiving the newspaper is a big thing for her, but the content duplication was becoming very obvious and we couldn’t justify spending nearly $800 a year anymore. I think that decision has probably now been made for us, despite the assurance that this is a temporary measure.
When the Journal Pioneer stopped being an afternoon paper many years ago and moved to morning delivery, and since both papers have been owned by the same companies for many decades, I was always amazed they didn’t amalgamate the two publications years ago. This time of crisis could be the time this decision is finally made. I’m sad that other than the concern I feel for those who will lose their jobs, I just don’t care.
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s receptionist, Debbie Muttart, is picking her favourite pieces from the collection for a show this winter. She always has great stories and insights about any exhibit, so I’m sure this will be interesting. Running from January 18 – April 12, 2020. Can’t wait!
We get both of PEI’s daily papers, The Guardian and the Journal Pioneer, both now owned by the Saltwire Network. Yesterday I read the Journal first and a headline on the second page, “Province overtaxed by tens of millions in 2018-19”, made me pause for a minute. Did the Province pay too much tax to the Federal government? Was there a miscalculation of rates that meant tax payers overpaid?
The same story was on the front page of The Guardian, but with a different headline: “P.E.I. is awash in cash.”
I am not great with numbers, to put it mildly (I’m terrible with numbers, to put it strongly!), but words I get. This is not the same message.
Perhaps Saltwire knows that since we Western folks gave up salt cod and salt pork and all the other salty things that kept our blood pressures high, they need to rile us up right good with tales of government stealing our cash. Maybe I should get back on the salt cod and give up the Saltwire.