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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Irving Oil Seeking Amendments For New Office Complex

(Cruise ship docked at Long Wharf where Irving Oil wants to build new headquarters complex - file photo)
The proposed 30-million dollar Irving Oil office complex on Long Wharf is taking another step forward.
There is a public presentation at common council this evening dealing with an amendment to clear the way for the development.
Irving says surveys show the majority of residents in the Saint John area support the development -- the company is also suggesting it could spur other development if the Smythe Street power substation is relocated.
The development still needs the blessing of the federal government to allow a land swap between the Port Authority and Irving clearing the way for the complex.

Jackson Painting Marks Moon Landing Anniversary

(Norm Jackson with his "In This Decade" painting - photo by Gary MacDonald)
As the world celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon -- local artist Norm Jackson is also celebrating an anniversary.
It's the 40th anniversary of his painting "In This Decade" -- a painting of President John F Kennedy looking down at Neil Armstrong taking his historical step onto the moon's surface.
Jackson gained attention on both sides of the border when he presented the painting to Armstrong.
The original of the painting now hangs in the Neil Armstrong museum while a print hangs in the John F Kennedy library in Boston.

Blood Agency Not Blinking On Distribution Center Move

(Canadian Blood Services on University Avenue - file photo)

It's back to the drawing board for the provincial task force trying to reverse a decision by the Canadian Blood Services Agency to move the blood distribution center from Saint John to Halifax.
Co-chair Stuart Jamieson tells CHSJ News a bid by some non-political members of the group during an Agency board meeting fell on deaf ears.
Jamieson says the task force will be meeting within the next couple of weeks to discuss other options -- then review those options with the provincial Health Department.

Port Expansion Funding May Be Coming Soon

Saint John Conservative M-P Rodney Weston says he thinks word on funding for a port expansion is coming soon. Weston tells CHSJ News there were some questions which arose during the environmental impact assessment process.
The Port Authority wants to expand berthing space in the area of the former Lantic Sugar property for cruise ships -- meantime -- Weston also remains optimistic there will be some good news soon on government funding for the city's water treatment plans and the upgrade of the Canada Games Stadium.

Civic Pension Plan Shortfall Having Serious Implications For City's Bottom Line

A financial dark cloud continues to hang over city hall -- the chair of council's finance committee - Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase - tells CHSJ News the civic pension fund's shortfall continues to have serious implications for the city's bottom line.
Chase says the taxpayers have no appetite for that kind of tax increase - so - council is looking for savings in all departments while trying to maintain the level of services to meet public expectations. Council is working with its pension consultants and will be meeting with employees and retirees to look at a number of recommendations to deal with the shortfall.

The Y Helping Out Immigrants

The YM-YWCA is offering programs to new immigrants to help them adapt to living in a new region. The Settlement Services offers orientation, counseling, referral and English language training.
The programs are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada which is aimed specifically for government sponsered refugee clients. The services are free and for more information contact the Y.

RCMP Helping Out Hampton Community Programs

Two community groups in Hampton are sharing $85 hundred dollars to spend on youth initiatives. The Community Club is getting 5 grand to relocate and upgrade an existing playground while the Norton Youth Drop In Centre will use their 35 hundred on youth breakfasts, movie nights and dances.
The money is coming from the RCMP Foundation which raises cash to give to community programs.

Applications To Carry Olympic Torch

Applications are still being accepted for the chance to carry the olympic torch through the town of Quispamsis. The Olympic Flame will be making it's way through the Ken Valley on November 24th and as the only torchbearing spot in New Brunswick, there are 16 spots guaranteed for local teens.
For the chance to carry the flame sign up at triple W dot

Weather Slowing Down Work in Rothesay

Along with vacations, barbeques and other summer out-door activities, work in the town of Rothesay has been slowed down by all of the rain recently. Officials hope to have four or five contractors on site in the next week or so to get started on a long list of project. Director of Operations Scott Hatcher tells CHSJ News, all of the work should be finished by September.
Hatcher admits that sometimes just getting the work started has been a chore but they are making headway.

Un-sightly Premises By-Law Passed in Rothesay

With Provincial backing......the Town of Rothesay has passed first and second reading on a new un-sightly premises by-law. Sporting more teeth than the current document, this will allow the town to deal with rental properties to name just one type of situation. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News, they don't have alot of offenders in the town
Bishop adds this isn't a by-law to have all properties look the same but one that shows respect for your neighbours and your neighbourhood.

Board of Trade Concerned Over Amount of Doctors

With so many projects planned for the city that will bring more people here, the Saint John Board of Trade is concerned about the amount of family doctors available. President Imelda Gilman says health care is a major concern for the board of trade.
Gilman says if the projects do go ahead as planned, people will be concerned about whether there will be enough doctors around to meet the demand.