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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Asimakos Says This Property Won't Be Idle For Long

When its lease expires, The Bargain Shop at the top of King Street will be closing its doors. At one time when Shirley McAlary was Mayor there was talk of an IMAX theatre going up there. The General Manager of Uptown Saint John Peter Asimakos tells CHSJ News he doesn't anticipate it will lay idle for very long.

He says a property of that value with it's proximity to the park and other uptown assets will remain vacant for long but, it may requires substantial changes.
As for the Paramount Theatre, Asimakos says a business plan has just been completed with the conclusion that the project will be self sustaining.

Norton Ready For Voting Day

Ward 3 candidate Mel Norton is hoping to take his place at the council horseshoe after Monday's byelection to fill the council seat left behind my Carl Killen.

He tells CHSJ News he brings a lot to the table with his law background.
He says in his everyday life he advocates for clients and he can bring the same approach to common council.
Norton says he's being told by citizens that clean drinking water is a huge concern, which means he'll make it his top priority.
If you live in Ward 3, Monday, December 13th is the last day to cast your vote.

A Record Breaking Years For P.R.O. Kids

A great year for Pro Kids locally with over 150 thousand dollars being raised. The money is earmarked to provide a record 900 young people with a chance to be active in various forms of recreation. Mayor Ivan Court coached young people when he was a high school teacher and has spoken out about how expensive taking part in organised sports has become for families, many of whom are struggling financially.

Court says it's unfortunate but when times get hard, it's more often than not recreation budgets getting sliced and diced.

The Province Forming Committee To Study Bullying

The co-founder of an anti-bullying website is happy that his efforts to shine a light on the growing problem are paying off.
The Provincial government is forming a Positive Learning Environment committee that will seek input from students, teachers, parents, educations and other.

Rob Frenette, co-founder of the website Bullying, tells CHSJ News the aim is to create legislation.

He expects the bill that was before the legislature last year will be ammended.
To see the report on the Bullying summit, click here.

West Side Co-Op Closing

28 people will lose their jobs with news the West Side co-op store is closing by the end of the year.
The decision coming out of a membership meeting where declining sales and substantial losses over the last few years are the main factors in the closure.

Of the 28 positions that will be lost, four are full time and we are told a severance package is being offered to each employee along with job counselling.
Co-op Atlantic area manager Ron Montgomery says they regret the timing saying there is never an ideal time to close and put people out of work.

A liquidation sale will begin this week and the gas bar will stay open until stocks have been exhausted. The land and building will go up for sale sometime after the expected closing date of December 31st.

Family Loses Everything In Glen Falls Fires

An East Saint John family has lost everything a little more than two weeks before Christmas.
The family's Glen Falls home on Broadway Avenue home was the site of two fires yesterday.

The first fire claiming the family dog and the second late last night destroying the home.
Donations are being accepted at Bayview Credit Union to assist the family.
The family's daughter is a Saint John High student who at basketball practice when she was told of the fire.
City fire officials tell CHSJ News the cause of both fires is undetermined.

The Great One In Saint John Before Full House To Raise Money

It was a full house at the Trade and Convention Centre to hear from Wayne Gretzky who was in town to help raise money for the Empty Stocking Fund and Romero House.

Gretzky is considered the greatest goal scorer ever in the NHL but even he concedes there was one part of his game that was a bit on the weak side and that was scoring on breakaways when it's best for the goalie to wait and let the shooter make the first move.

Gretzky says his favourite record is scoring 50 goals in 38 or 39 games. His idol growing up was Gordie Howe and toughest player he ever faced in the NHL was Islander defenseman Denis Potvin.

Gretzky says to succeed in the NHL these days requires alot more work and commitment than it did years ago. He advises young people to hang up the skates over the summer and play other sports.
The event a big success bringing in $25,000 which will be split between the two charities.

Tolls On The Harbour Bridge Will Not Increase

You will still be chucking in 50 cents when you cross the Harbour Bridge on January 1st.
Harbour Bridge Authority Chair Bob McDevitt tells CHSJ News the bridge fare will not increase.

He says due to the uncertainty of the issue the board will not be increasing the tolls on the Harbour Bridge from 50 cents to 75 cents as planned for the start of the new years.

McDevitt adds there are still no answers as to what will happen to the 7 full-time employees of the Bridge Authority and the commissionaires.
A deal to remove the tolls by the end of March, cover the debt and transfer responsibility to the Province announced in the City nearly two weeks ago by the Prime Minister.

Gas Prices In City Take Hike

It might have been a good idea to fill up yesterday with prices rising after the weekly setting. Self serve regular is selling in the city for $108.7 a litre, a rise of over 3 cents. Diesel is at $115.1, up almost four cents and heating oil is now at an even $1.00 a litre, an increase of three cents.

Police and Fire Departments Kept Busy Into Early Morning Hours

A robbery early this morning at the Dolan Road Irving. Rothesay Regional Police telling us there were no injuries. City Police are also helping to nab whomever was responsible.

When you have two fires break out at the same house within hours of eachother, it tends to raise suspicion about a cause. That's what happened at 85 Broadway Avenue in Glen Falls. The first fire killed the family pets and District Chief Gerry Morris says the second fire last night destroyed the rest of the home which was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived to put it out.

City Police rescued a 70 year old woman whose van went off the end of Millidge Avenue at the old ferry landing into about 4 feet of water. She was taken to hospital for treatment and police are looking into how it happened.

School District 8 Wants To Spread Pain Of Budget Cut

District 8 officials working hard to keep the impact of cost-cutting away from the classroom.

The Provincial government is looking for 1 per cent savings this year and additional 2 per cent for 2011/2012 school year.

Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News they are looking at every way possible to find savings, everything from photocopying practices to turning down the heat at night. Tipper adds the cost saving measures are being spread throughout the system so no particular department feels the crunch more than another.

 Provincial Education Minister Jody Carr is asking the Districts not to fill existing vacancies but that does not mean teachers.

Plan SJ Open House Told Future Development In City Must Change

A strategy for growth will be presented to Common Council by late February because every city needs one. That message was delivered to the Plan SJ open house which attracted a good turnout.

Urban designer Mark Reid says since the Second World War growth in Saint John has been outward with negative consequences for the core of the city with disinvestment and depopulation. He says there should be a return to the type of development which was taking place pre-war instead of having pockets of isolated residential housing in the rural areas of the city.

Reid advocates what he calls a celebration of the city's many waterfronts with greater access but Gordon Dalzell of the Clean Air Coalition tells CHSJ News he can see a problem with that because the port wants more industrial uses such as the proposed metal shredder on the lower west side.

The plan also calls for retail growth be focused on the McAllister Drive area, north end and Fairville Boulevard with suburban residential growth concentrated in Forest Hills, Lakewood, Millidgeville and Gault Road. The new municipal plan is expected to go before Common Council by the end of next year.

Steve Carson of Enterprise Saint John doesn't think establishing a growth boundary in the the city will inhibit development. Heargues what deters developers is not knowing what the rules are.