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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kids Being Asked For Recreation Ideas

(Leisure Services Commissioner Bernie Morrison - photo by Gary MacDonald)

It's a unique opportunity for kids in the city -- a chance to let planners know what recreation programs they would like to have available.
Leisure Services Commissioner Bernie Morrison says they will be picking the youngsters' brains during sessions at the Rockwood Park interpretive center tomorrow.
The kids are ranging in age between six and twelve and are taking part in the summer playground program.
Morrison says the information gathered will be worked into the recreation portion of the Municipal Plan which is undergoing a major overhaul in the coming year.

New Brunswick Merit Award Winners Announced

The New Brunswick Day Merit Awards for the city are being handed out Friday afternoon.Mayor Ivan Court and Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty will be awarding six Saint John residents with the hardware.The ceremony takes place on Friday at 1 o'clock at the New Brunswick Museum.

Here is the complete list of winners:

ARTS & CULTURE – Greg Hemmings. Established Hemmings House Pictures three years ago in his basement and has become a recognized and successful young entrepreneur in the film industry. .
BUSINESS – Les Dewar. Owner of the Dairy Queen in Saint John. Mr. Dewar has provided, over the years, much support and assistance to many youth sport teams in the greater Saint John area.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP – Margaret (Peggy) Brittain. For her commitment and hard work with MindCare New Brunswick Foundation and organizing the annual Skate-to-Care fundraiser to benefit mental health in our province.
ENVIRONMENT – Rev. Canon Ernest Lloyd Lake. For his dedication towards saving the trees along Manawagonish Road and providing awareness programs for school children in the area.
SPORT, RECREATION & ACTIVE LIVING – David McPherson. For over 25 years of coaching sports and particularly for his work with the Saint John Trojans Rugby Team.
VOLUNTEER SERVICE – Esther Shanks. A founder and long-time serving volunteer with the Community Food Basket of Saint John Inc.

NB Health Coalition Supports Premier Stopping Talks With Private Health Care Providers

The New Brunswick Health Coalition is congratulating Premier Graham on stopping talks with private diagnostic clinics.Co-Chair Debbie Lacelle tells CHSJ News, it's been her groups goal for the past several years to stop the province from allowing private health care providers from setting up shop.Lacelle says everyone in this country deserves the same type of health care.
Lacelle says introducing privatized health clinics would create competition, and would prevent some people from seeing a doctor due to cost.She says if private clinics were introduced the end result would be a transfer of our tax dollars into private hands leaving our public system less able to provide services.

Scam Warning

The RCMP are warning everyone about another email scam making the rounds.The Mounties are currently investigating complaints of someone impersonating Bell Mobility through email requesting social insurance numbers and other personal information.Bell states that for no reason would they request this type of information from their clients through email.The RCMP would like to remind everyone to be cautious of providing credit card, and social insurance information over the phone or the Internet.

Musquash Estuary Gets Donation

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is boosting the amount of estuary habitat and upland forest in Musquash.The NCC received 680 acres of property donated in part by Mabel Fitz-Randolph who is a long time resident of the area.The land donated by the 95 year old Fitz-Randolph contains ecologically important areas such as salt marsh, bog, forest and tidal flats.The Musquash Estuary is the last undeveloped estuary along the Bay of Fundy.

Vandalism to Parking Meters

In their on-going search for quick money, thieves have been targetting stand up parking meters. City Police tell us since April, 96 meters have had the tops pried off but with them being emptied daily, there probuably isn't much if any coins in the machines.
The latest incident last night saw the entire meter ripped right out of the concrete. Total cost for repairs has been $32,000 dollars and City Police ask if you see anyone doing damage to the meters to give them a call.

Union Concerned About Centralization of Jobs

Ottawa is being accused of an attack on small towns and rural communities across the Maritimes by the union representing Service Canada employees. They says services and employee's are all being centralized in Moncton which is putting a drain on that office and taking many good paying jobs out of communities that need them. Deborah Gray is the Vice President for the union in the Maritimes and tells CHSJ News, it just doesn't seem fair.
Gray says at one time....there were 40-plus people working here in Saint John.....that number has been whittled down between 12 and 14. Letters from the union have been sent to all MP's in Atlantic Canada to see if anything can be done.

Minister Goes Above and Beyond

To accommodate some of the people caught in the long line-ups with the ferry down, Fisheries Minister Rick Doucette has been acting as a shuttle service. Using his own vehicle, he has been transporting local residents and tourists to where they need to go. Doucette tells CHSJ News, people seem to really appreciate it.
A new ferry with a capacity for 82 vehicles is under construction and will be ready by 2011.

Grand Manan Five Ferry Down

Those who use the Grand Manan Five Ferry on a daily basis have had their schedule interrupted this week. The vessel has broken down twice and remains dry-docked until a replacement part arrives from Europe. Coastal Transport spokes-person Murray Ryder tells CHSJ News, the first break down happened on Sunday and then the final blow on Monday.
Ryder says some of the parts should be here today with the rest arriving by tomorrow morning. If everything stays on schedule, the 55-vehicle vessel should be back cutting through the water Friday Morning.

Meeting Tonight in Quispamsis

Quispamsis residents with concerns about a youth home for at risk teenagers get the opportunity to meet with Moncton Youth Residences and town officials tonight. Executive Director Mel Kennah tells CHSJ News, generally he would go door to door to speak with neighbours but with the amount of controversy surrounding the home at 186 Vincent Road, he thought this was the better avenue to take.
Kennah says supervision, safety concerns, property assessments and a general outline of what the program consists of will all be up for discussion. The meeting gets underway at 7 o'clock at the Civic Centre in Quispamsis.

Opponents of Youth Home Show Up at Council

They had plenty of questions but found no answers. Residents opposed to the Youth Home for At Risk Teenagers setting up shop at 186 Vincent Road made an appearance before Mayor and Councilors in Quispamsis last night. Two home-owners took the podium and gave their elected representatives plenty to think about on how the process played out with the Planning Advisory Committee awarding the re-zoning of the property. Ken Higgins tells CHSJ News, he wasn't suprised that Mayor and Councilors were silent.

Higgins says he points the finger of blame squarley at the PAC for what he and the residents feel was a back door deal. As for whether the group will appeal the decision, he won't commit 100% but says it is an option they are looking at.

Mayor Driscoll on Youth Home

Before each home-owner spoke, Mayor Murray Driscoll adressed the crowd on hand. He was quick to point out that council could and would not respond to any of their questions or concerns because they decision by PAC had already been handed down. Driscoll adds if the group is planning to appeal the decision, any comments by him or a councilor could jeopardize that.

He points out there may be a small role council can play when the developer's agreement is pursued by the applicant and staff. An open house meeting will be held with the operators of the Youth Home and a member of the PAC at the Civic Center tonight starting at seven o'clock.