UNews: Extra Duty Policing, Rope Bondage, Oh My!

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For the past few weeks I’ve had the great opportunity to work with fellow King’s Journalism students on the UNews site, reporting on news in the Halifax area. I was fortunate enough to be able to cover everything from student workshops to city hall and legislature proceedings. We all had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and think the whole thing ended too soon.

Extra duty policing blurs public, private interests

POLICEHQ

Richard Kohl says he wasn’t at the former Palace nightclub for very long one night in 2012 before the bouncers picked him out.

“We were all dancing at the bar and they must have pinged me for the wrong guy or something,” he says.

Kohl, who says he was sober at the time, was told he was being too rowdy and was escorted out by two bouncers. Outside, he was met by two Halifax Regional Police officers posted there.

“They asked the bouncers if I was causing a problem and then took me and put me in the back of the paddywagon, took me right to the drunk tank,” he says.

What Kohl didn’t know at the time was that those officers weren’t on duty and patrolling a beat, but on their day off working an extra shift.

“[They] didn’t ask me any questions, didn’t issue any sort of sobriety test. [It was] purely based on the word of the bouncers,” he says.

Bondage workshop teaches students the naughtier knots

BONDAGE

Between the trends of new erotic fiction, pop stars such as Nicki Minaj and the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, you can’t seem to crack a whip these days without hitting something BDSM-related.

That could be in part why a few couples and some lone observers, took a break from their exam studying and braved the rain to attend DalOUT’s Rope 101: Basics of Rope Bondage workshop at the McCain Building on Wednesday.

The event, led by DalOUT member Marty Rizzo, gave lessons on proper ways of tying up your partner, safe practices during binding, and how to use certain knots and anchor points.

“Anybody can really try it. It depends if you have an interest in it,” said Rizzo. “You can use it for a sexual purpose or not. Or with intimacy, the way you wrap can be a gentle thing.”

Councillors mull improvements for crosswalks

CROSSWALK

As regional councillors discussed how to improve crosswalk safety, another pedestrian was struck no more than four blocks away.

A 27-year-old woman was crossing at the Cornwallis and Brunswick Street intersection when she was struck by a pickup truck, becoming the sixth person in the past week to be struck by a vehicle at a crosswalk. The total number of pedestrian/vehicle collisions this year is now 197, already eclipsing last year’s total of 176.

Inside city hall, Councillor Matt Whitman (Hammonds Plains St. Margarets) sought to amend language in next year’s budget to improve city crosswalks. He wanted to include language requiring more enforcement by Halifax Regional Police. This could include more ticketing and the creation of a crosswalk enforcement unit within the police.

“We’re not giving enough priority to the pedestrian-getting-hit issue,” said Whitman.

Ethical end-of-life laws are possible, says profUntitled

Legal and medical communities worldwide have proven they can work together to craft ethical laws governing end-of-life choices, an Australian moral philosopher told an audience at Dalhousie University last night.

Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, gave a lecture to a crammed classroom of about two hundred, Friday, at the Dalhousie Weldon Law Building on the topic of assisted dying.

“This is a movement I think is clearly spreading,” said Singer, citing success in countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland influencing states in the U.S. such as Oregon and Washington into passing assisted dying legislation. He believes these case examples, dating back into the ’80s and beyond, refute the argument of a slippery slope which many opponents of assisted dying use, fearing that such policies could lead to the state killing off people who are seen as a burden.

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