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Friday, April 30, 2010

Moncton Takes Opener of Presidents Cup Final

(Opening Face-Off of Presidents Cup Game One)
              (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

It's advantage Moncton in the Presidents Cup Final.

A smothering defenceman and three goals by Gabrielle Boruque led the Cats to a 5-1 win over the Seadogs last night to take Game One in the best of seven.

Moncton head Coach and GM Danny Flynn says his team did a lot of things right but is taking nothing away from the Seadogs knowing this is only one game and doesn't expect they are ready to rollover.

Dogs Head Coach Gerard Gallant calls his teams performance flat and give full marks to Moncton for a solid blue-line and winning important face-offs.

Game Two in the series goes tomorrow afternoon at the Coliseum. Game time is four o'clock.

West Side Pulp Mill is Fined

The work week has closed with a hefty fine for the Irving Pulp and Paper mill on the west-side.

The company will pay $71,250 to the Atlantic Coastal Action Program and pay a fine of $3,750.

This after the mill released green liquor (a by-product of the chemical recovery process) into the Saint John River on October 31 of 2007 during the start-up of a new lime kiln.

The company says human error is the reason for the incident.

NB Liquor Approves Liquor Outlet on Kingston Peninsula

The Board of Directors at NB Liquor has given thumbs up to a liquor outlet setting up shop on the Kingston Peninsula.

NB Liquor spokes-person Nora Lacey tells CHSJ News, the next step in the process is to send out written notification, meet with the store owner, set up training dates and then lock up an official opening.

Lacey adds NB Liquor is pleased they are able to bring their product where the demand is.

Store Owner Thrilled With Decision

The news out of Fredericton has put a smile on the face of Steve Gatien.

He is the owner of the Kingston General Merchants store and has been fighting for a liquor outlet for 11 years.
Gatien tells CHSJ News, there is still a lot of work to do in setting up the store before locking up an opening date.

There are some concerns from some residents with a school right across from the store but Gatien says he is ready to prove that liquor will not be sold to minors.

Saint John Energy is raising it's rates

The news is not good for residential, commerical and industrial users of Saint John Energy. The utility has announced that on June.1st, it is raising it's rates by three per cent. This is in conjunction with the three per cent increase that NB Power has applied for. President and CEO Eric Marr tells CHSJ News, those rates represent 85% of the utilities cost and three per cent is large amount of cash and they only way to recover it is through the rate-payers.

Energy Minister Jack Keir has ordered a hearing with the Energy and Utilities Board for NB Power to justify it's rate his proposal but no date has been set.

Weston on the Harbour Bridge

(Saint John MP Rodney Weston)

After Energy Minister Jack Keir told us he came away with a negative vibe, Saint John MP Rodney Weston is weighing in on the meeting in Ottawa this week concerning the future of the Harbour Bridge. Weston tells CHSJ News, the bottom line is Saint John is not getting equal treatment:

Weston again points out, federal funding for repairs the bridge might need in the future are not being pulled off the table. Ottawa's proposal for the Harbour Bridge includes providing $17.5 million toward repairs and in return, the bridge becomes part of Highway One with the province responsible for all future costs and the tolls are removed immediately.

Call Goes Out For More Community Policing

(Saint John Councilor Donnie Snook)
          (File Photo)

Its an area of the city infamous for prostitution and drug use.

Common Councillor Donnie Snook believes the time is right, as part of a poverty reduction strategy, to set up a community policing office in the Waterloo Street area which has become known as the Village.

The final say will be made by the Police Commission which will mull over the request.
Snook maintains the cost could be minimal.

Headstone Mystery Continues

     (Damaged Headstones at St. Josephs Cemetery)
                 (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Fifty dollars is being offered up by a Saint John woman to go toward the reward of finding who is responsible for the damage caused at St. Josephs Cemetery.

Kim Barry tells CHSJ News, a lot of her family is buried in this cemetery and she can't figure out why anyone would do something like this.

Barry is disabled and says she doesn't have a computer but is looking for some help in getting a fund set up on a web-site.
Her number is 652-3923.
Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of one thousand dollars to anyone with information which leads to an arrest.

Commercial Fishery Looking For a Permanent Home

(Saint John MP Rodney Weston (right) at Announcement)
                (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Local fisherman are a step closer to finding a permanent home.

Ottawa has handed over two hundred thousand dollars to look into where the best location is to set up a dock.

John Mcdade is President of the Saint John Community Harbour Authority and says the site they are exploring is Pier 14, just north-west of the Bay Ferries Terminal.

Right now, fisherman are using Long Wharf slip and Peir Three on the West Side which is working for now but is hampering productivity.

The Deadline Is Here To File Your Income Tax Return

If you still haven't filed your 2009 personal income tax return - time is running out -- tonight is the deadline.
Roger Haineault  of Help 4 Taxes tells CHSJ News there's a very good reason for filing your return on time...... if you owe money and don't file by the deadline, you will be subject to a late filing penalty plus interest on money owed. Haineault says if you don't have the money to pay what you owe - at least file and then work on a payment schedule with the Canada Revenue Agency. If you are owed money by the government, it doesen't matter when you file. If you're self employed, the deadline isn't until June.

City Police Chief Wants To Reduce Number Of Assaults Taking Place

(Saint John Police Chief Bill Reid)
            (File Photo)

City Police will be embarking on a campaign to reduce the number of assaults taking place which has led to Saint John getting a reputation of being more violent than other cities. Police Chief Bill Reid says the vast majority of assaults that were reported turned out to be minor but that doesn't mean something shouldn't be done to reduce the numbers.
The Chief says they have identified the areas where more of these assaults seem to be taking place and police will try to take away the opportunities.

Arbour Day To Be Marked In Saint John

This is Arbour Day, the time when we reflect on the need for more trees to be planted to make our environment cleaner and more pleasing to the eye. Researchers claims people behave better in areas where there are more trees. J-D Irving's Geoff Britt says 34 spruce seedlings will be distributed to the grade one class at St. Rose on the west side and two hardwood trees will be planted later this morning on the school property. As well, the company is giving seed cards to every grade one student in School District 8 to be planted later on and a hardwood tree will also be planted on Rev. Lloyd Lake's property to recognise his efforts over the years to save the trees along Manawagonish Road.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Camping season is gearing up

It feels a little cool to be talking about camping season but here is the latest. Eight of the Province's 10 provincial parks will open on Friday, May 21, just in time for the Victoria Day weekend. Mount Carleton will open on Friday, May 14 and Parlee Beach will open on May 29.

Also, the Mactaquac Golf Course opened last Friday as did the Herring Cove Golf Course and both are described as being in excellent condition.

Canaport LNG Terminal is complete

After years of planning and protests in between, the Canaport LNG Terminal in Red Head is fully operational almost four years after the first piece of land was cleared. The company says in a news release, the third storage tank is now finished and the entire terminal has a capacity of 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas. That makes it the largest above ground LNG storage capacity in this country and the U.S. Northeast.

Construction of the third tank began in May of 08. There are 70 employee's working at the terminal now and there were 1600 jobs during peak construction.

More Wildlife fencing in the Province

Wildlife fencing continues to be a priority for the Graham Government. Premier Graham and Transportation Minister Denis Landry announced construction of a new stretch of 29km's between Edmunston and Saint Basile on Highway Two. 
324km's of wildlife fencing are currently in place around the Province.

The province has committed to another 100 km's of new fencing between Oromocto and Saint John as part of the new Route One Gateway Project.
Every year, over 300 drivers in this Province are involved in an accident with a moose with 85% of the crashes between May and October.

Salty Jam set to Celebrate Musical Reunion

(Festival Chairs and Jim Lavigne announce Salty Jam line-up)
                             (Photo by Sherry Aske)

Salty Jam is celebrating its fifth birthday with a musical reunion this summer from July 8th to 10th.

Festival Chair Renea Sleep says people can expect to see lots of fresh faces, as well as some familiar ones.

Shows include jazz and blues performer Matt Anderson, country singer Corb Lund, and Melvin Seales & the Jerry Garcia Band to attract a younger crowd.

Sleep says these are only a smattering of the performances, and hopes to attract a large audience with multiple genres and venues.
Sleep says they have added an entire day to the festival, with the Moosehead Tent on Water Street opening to the public Thursday, July 8th.

Tickets go on sale next week at Harbour Station, Market Square News and Backstreet records.

City Police Taking Part in Rail Safety Week

It's Rail Safety Week and City Police are joining with NB Southern Railway to remind drivers and those walking near them to be careful.

Sargeant Jeff LaFrance is head of the Traffic Unit and says one of the problem area's is the tracks near Ashburn Lake Road and Rothesay Avenue where vehicles line up and get stuck on the tracks with no where to go if a train is coming.

LaFrance says one of the solutions is working with City Hall to synchronize the railway and traffic lights so that when a train is coming, the traffic lights will turn green which enables vehicles to get off the tracks.

Construction Work Starts On Waterfront Condos

(Three Sisters site for waterfront condo project)
           (Photo by Gary MacDonald)

The waterfront is about to undergo yet another change -- work has started on phase one of the Rocca condo project between Water and Prince William Streets.
Developer John Rocca tells CHSJ News the first phase will include 81-units and is scheduled to be completed by next summer. Rocca says no date has been set for construction of phase 2 -- he says that will depend upon demand. The project originally stirred controversy over concerns about restricted views of the harbour.

Gas Prices Up Slightly In City

If you're filling up today you'll find gas prices are just a tad more expensive than they were last night after the weekly setting. Self serve regular is a cent a litre higher at $102.7 while diesel is being sold for $104.7. Heating oil is at 92.1 cents a litre which is a bit higher and propane is a bit lower at $102.9 a litre.

Provincial Conservative Leader Accuses Graham Government Of Financial Mismanagement

(Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward)  
              (Photo by Sherry Aske)

Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward brought his message of building bridges and working together to the Saint John Lancaster nomination meeting last night and vowed to have an energy policy for the next decade in place six months after being elected.
Alward accused the Graham Government of abusing and damaging NB Power by calling the utility a basket case. He charged the Liberals with financial mismanagement saying the deficit will balloon to 800 million dollars and there's no plan in place to reduce or eliminate it. Alward praised local decisionmaking as being the best way to go but would not say whether he would bring back local hospital boards which have been regionalised by the Liberals.

Conservatives On West Side Choose Their Candidate For Provincial Election

(Saint John Lancaster Conservative Nomination Meeting)
                 (Photo by Sherry Aske)

It was described as perhaps the largest turnout ever for a provincial party's nomination meeting in the city. The Branch 69 Legion on the west side was packed as Conservatives in Saint John Lancaster chose Dorothy Shephard as their candidate for the September 27th provincial election.
Shephard won a second ballot victory over Common Councillor Chris Titus. Shephard, who grew up in Randolp, owns the Benjamin Moore Colour Centre. Dean Secord dropped out after the first ballot and threw his support behind Shephard. The actual vote count was not revealed. Shephard says the turning point for her was when the Graham Government cut funding to the Women's Homeless Shelter by 85 per cent forcing it to close and she has little time for cheap and petty politics.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Minister Keir Frustrated With Talks on Harbour Bridge

(Shot of the Harbour Bridge From West Side)
                 (File Photo)

No movement in the on-going battle over the future of the Harbour Bridge.

Energy Minister Jack Keir was in Ottawa this week and came away with a negative vibe from the feds.

Keir tells CHSJ News, even a comment by the ex-deputy minister of Transport Canada suggesting what the Graham Government is looking for is fair and reasonable, didn't go over well.

Keir says he gets the impression that when it comes to the Harbour Bridge file, Ottawa doesn't want to move forward.

Ottawa's proposal for the Harbour Bridge includes providing $17.5 million toward repairs and in return, the bridge becomes part of Highway One with the province responsible for all future costs and the tolls are removed immediately.

Headstone Repairs Are Underway

     (Damaged Headstones at St. Josephs Cemetery)
                    (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

So far, 35 of the close to 500 headstones damaged last weekend at St. Josephs Cemetery have been repaired.

Crews have been lifting and re-sealing the stones to their bases and some may never be put back to their original state.

Manager of the Saint John Diocese Cemeteries Darryl Olsen tells CHSJ News, they have had plenty of offers for help which is welcome but not needed at this point.

Olsen says he can appreciate that many families have put the stones back on their base but asks them not to because they need to be re-sealed.

As for when they might be finished, Olsen expects the work will continue for several weeks. Crime Stoppers is offering a one thousand dollar reward for any information relating to who knocked over the stones.

City Police are Looking For Your Help

A robbery that happened over a month ago is still active and City Police are asking for your help.

It was March.7th at two o'clock in the morning when a person was walking home along Harbour Passage when they were beaten up and robbed by a group of men.

The men were last seen headed north near the LBR. You can get in touch with the City Force at 648-3333 or call Crimestoppers.

Preparing for a Big Birthday Party

More details of Saint John's 225th birthday celebration are being rolled out with only three weeks left to go.

Things kick off on May.18th with plenty of festivities though-out the day including a night of song, dance and fun at Harbour Station.

The show is called ""Making History"" and is being put together by Kate Elman Wilcot who tells CHSJ News, the show will celebrate the history and stories that shaped the city.

Wilcot adds they also have invited 400 children to close out the show by singing and dancing on stage.

Doors open at six and the show, which is free, gets started at seven.

Grand Bay-Westfield appoints new Fire chief

The town of Grand Bay-Westfield Council has a new fire chief.
Troy Gautreau takes on the job as of May 1st.

Gautreau has 19 years of firefighting experience and previously served as Deputy Chief for six years and as the Training Officer for the Grand Bay-Westfield Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department.
He also holds a Certificate in Fire Service Leadership from Dalhousie University.

Play-Off Fever Hits Saint John

(Vehicles Lined Up at the Station)
     (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

If your waiting to get tickets for the Presidents Cup Final, don't wait too long.

Over 100 people showed up this morning when the Harbour Station Box Office opened at ten to secure their seat. Game One between the Seadogs and the Wildcats goes Friday night at the Station.

Most of the fans waiting in line are pumped about how the Dogs are doing but also concerned with how the schedule for the final has come together.
Other people in the line-up also agree that Saint John is getting the short end of the stick after earning home ice advantage by finishing first over-all.

The Coliseum in Moncton is booked for a Trade Show between Monday and Thursday of next week so the league ruled to open in Saint John and then alternate games for the remainder of the series.

Game One on Friday night is sold-out but tickets are still available for game three.

 (Fans Lined Up For Play-Off Tickets)
       (Photo by Jim Hennessy) 

Saint John Seadogs Living with Decision

Knowing that some fans are upset with the schedule, the President of the Seadogs is trying to move past it and focus on the task at hand.

Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, it was a 12-hour meeting yesterday to iron things out and now it's time to concentrate on what they want and that's a championship.

Long adds he is thrilled with the line-up for tickets today and is hoping Game One will be a sell-out on Friday night.

Changes Coming to Westmorland Road

Some changes are coming to improve the traffic flow along Westmorland Road and make it easier for residents who live along their to get out of their driveways.

A set of traffic lights will be installed at McLaughlin Crescent to make it easier for drivers to turn on to Westmorland.

Head of Municipal Operations Paul Groody says the real solution to the traffic congestion would be far more expensive.

Groody says the pedestrian lights at Northumberland and Westmorland will stay and there will be a dedicated left turn lane at Retail Drive.

Ambulance Hits Guardrail

Four people were taken to hospital this morning when an Ambulance New Brunswick ambulance got into a crash.

It happened in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia and the ambulance hit a guardrail.

A patient and a nurse were taken to hospital in Halifax and are going to be alright.
Both paramedics on board were take to hospital in Truro, checked out and are going to be fine.

Reversing Falls Pipeline Project To Be Delayed Two Years

(Mayor Ivan Court)
     (File Photo)

3.8 million dollars in federal stimulus money had been earmarked to construct two water pipelines at the Reversing Falls Bridge. That work will be delayed for two years, in part, because of the repairs to the Harbour Bridge and its felt there would be too much of a traffic disruption if work was being done on two bridges at the same time. Mayor Ivan Court worries the federal funding could be lost and he'll be knocking on the door of M-P Rodney Weston. The Mayor wants to use the money destined for the Reversing Falls on other water projects instead.
Court also says if those two pipelines had been up and flowing, there would have been no need for a bloil water order last week because water would have been sent to the east side from the supply in west Saint John.

Two Youths Arrested In The Valley For Numerous Vehicle Breakins

Rothesay Regional Police picked up a couple of young people for attempting to break into vehicles in the Hammond River area. When they investigated further, police now believe the two may be connected to as many as 20 previous breakins which have taken place over the past several months.

West Side Conservatives To Choose Their Candidate Tonight

The Conservative party faithful on the west side will be out for the Saint John Lancaster nomination meeting tonight.Three people hope to represent the west side riding held since 2003 by Liberal MLA Abel Leblanc when he defeated then provincvial cabinet minister and later Mayor Norm McFarlane. Police officer Dean Secord, business owner Dorothy Shephard and Crown Prosecutor and Common Councillor Chris Titus are vying to be the Conservative candidate in the riding for the September 27th provincial election. Tonight's nominaton meeting at the Branch 69 legion gets underway at 7.

Liberals Courting Candidate To Run In Rothesay

With just under five months to go before the Provincial vote, another name has shown up as a possible candidate. The Deputy Mayor of Rothesay, Blair McDonald tells CHSJ News, the Graham Liberals have asked if he would be interested in carrying it's banner on September.27th. Admitting it is an attractive offer, McDonald tells us he hasn't made up his mind and the party hasn't given him a deadline to do so.
The riding of Rothesay has been a Conservative strong-hold since 1999 when MLA Margaret Ann Blaney was first elected to office. Blaney has already said she will be seeking re-election.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Schedule Announced For Presidents Cup Final

Following a full day of negotiations, the Saint John Seadogs and Moncton Wildcats have drawn up the schedule for the Presidents Cup Final. Game One goes Friday night at the Station at 7:30pm. Game two goes Sunday afternoon in Moncton which is a four o'clock start. Game Three is back at Harbour Station on Tuesday at 7pm. Game four then returns to the Coliseum on Friday, May,7th for a 7:30pm start.

If necessary, Game five is Saturday,May.8th a seven o'clock start at the Station. Game Six also if necessary,goes in Moncton on Monday,May.10th at seven o'clock. Game seven is at Harbour Station, Tuesday,May.11th, a seven o'clock start and again if necessary. The schedule had to be re-worked because the Coliseum is booked for a trade show between Monday and Thursday of next week.

Paramount Theater is Slated for Demolition

(Picture of the Paramount Theater Near King Square)
                (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Saint John is on the verge of losing another one of it's land-marks.

Businessman Paul Daeres owns the former Paramount Theater and tells CHSJ News, after exhausting every possible lead for a new owner or tenant in the past five years, if he can't find someone by next month, the building is coming down.

Daeres says it is becoming too expensive to mantain with plenty of damage being caused by people who know the building is vacant.

Daeres says he would be willing to hang on the building for another year if someone comes forward with a solid proposal with-in the next month.

Tentative Deal for Bell-Aliant

Good news for anyone working for Bell-Aliant.

The company has confirmed that a tentative Collective Agreement has been reached with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Atlantic Communications Council.

It represents close to 3,000 Bell Aliant unionized employees in Atlantic Canada.
The agreement still needs to be voted on which begins next Monday and will finish up on June.11th.

The current contract is set to expire at the end of next year but if ratified, this new contract is solid until New Years Eve of 2014.

Saint John Energy Reacts to Councils Request

Despite a request from Common Council, it isn't looking good that Saint John Energy can absorb any proposed rate increases.

NB Power President Gaetan Thomas says a one-time rate hike is necessary to help pay for cost over-runs for the refurbishment of Point Lepreau.

President Eric Marr tells CHSJ News, rates represent 85% of Saint John Energy's costs of operating it's utility.

The application for the increase won't be submitted until after the reactor comes back on line which is now tentatively scheduled for February.

Illegal Dumping a Growing Problem

(Common Councilor Bruce Court)
             (File Photo)

The Atlantic Coastal Action Programme has pointed out illegal dumping in remote parts of the city is becoming an issue again.

Common Councillor Bruce Court is well aware of the problem on the east side and said more sites continue to pop up.

Mayor Ivan Court is appealing to Saint Johnners to take down licence plates and report any hauler who is illegally dumping trash.

One Councilor Speaks Out About Plan SJ

An all day workshop will be held at Harbourview High in June in the continuing effort to come up with a new municipal plan that will guide the city's future over the next 25 years.

Plan Saint John also wants to shoot a video displaying the positive aspects of living in the city.

If that's the case, Common Councillor Patty Higgins argues including any segments of Council meetings in that video would be a turnoff.

In all seriousness, Higgins says it would be more like a horror movie.

Numbers Are Up at Romero House

Numbers are up at Romero House recently because another community kitchen is having kitchen trouble.

Carolyn McNulty tells CHSJ News they prepare meals for 300 every day at the location on Brunswick Drive.

McNulty says two very successful fundraisers last year and the dedication of their regular donors has put in them in a good financial position right now.

Young Children Not Very Active

In this Province, only seven per cent of children are getting the recommended 90 minutes of physical activity each day.

That staggering fact comes from the latest Active Healthy Kids Canada Report on physical activity.

The numbers from coast to coast show children five and younger are dangerously physically inactive.

Stats show less than half of the children under five are getting regular physical activity as part of their daily routines.

Copper Wire Thief in Norton

Copper wire continues to be a hot item among thieves.

RCMP tell us that sometime between Sunday and Monday, a business in Norton was broken into and five thousand dollars worth of copper wire was stolen.

The thief or thieves got into the building by breaking a lock.

Cemetary Vandalism Sparks Outrage In Community

Outrage is the consensus among our listeners on the vandalism to hundreds of headstones in St. Joseph's cemetery.

We received many comments on our Facebook page, most of them expressing disgust at the actions.
One listener said you would have to be a very sick person to do anything like this and she goes on to say she wouldn't even walk on a grave.
Another listener says "I cannot belive that people can be this cruel."
The cemetery's manager told CHSJ News all of the headstones will be repaired and City Police are investigating and are asking for the public's help in finding those responsible.

Contract To Be Awarded Soon For Repair Work To Harbour Bridge

(The Harbour Bridge)
     (File Photo)

The door is quickly closing for anyone looking to apply to do the repair work on the Harbour Bridge. Authority General Manager Ken Anthony tells CHSJ News, tenders will close on Friday and the contract will be awarded on the 7th of next month.
Anthony expects but nothing confirmed, that they work will get started after or close to the Long Weekend next month. The work on the bridge is expected to finish up in November.

Mayor Makes Appeal In Aftermath of Cemetery Vandalism

(Mayor Ivan Court)

Mayor Ivan Court is pleading for anyone who lives along Micheal Crescent beside St. Joseph's Cemetery to come forward with information about the destruction of gravestones over the weekend. Court is calling the vandalism a stupid and cowardly act saying he feels the pain of those affected families he saw while visiting the cemetery. The Mayor's own parents and late son are all buried in the cemetery. He likens the headstones that were toppled over to fallen soldiers.
Court believes, when caught, the people responsible should be sentenced to work in the graveyard because it will take months for what they did to be fixed. He speculates it will take weeks, if not months, to clean up all the damage and make things right. Court says he saw one headstone dating back to the 1880's that was split in two.

Common Council To Ask Saint John Energy For Rate Freeze

(Common Councillor Bill Farren)

Now that there won't be a five year freeze on electricity rates, Common Council will be asking Saint John Energy whether it can absorb all or some of the 3 per cent rate hike being proposed by NB Power in light of the failed deal with Hydro Quebec. Councillor Bill Farren doesn't mind asking but on the other hand wants to shy away from political meddling saying that kind of interference was what got NB Power into the financial pickle it finds itself in today.
Councillor Bruce Court is not hesitent in saying Saint John Energy should come on board and swallow the whole increase. He points out Saint Johnners are under financial strain these days with a poverty rate of over 20 per cent and rising property assessments.

Common Council Approves Design Work On Trade And Convention Centre Facelift

(Common Councillor Carl Killen)

Common council has given the thumbs up to start design work for renevating the 25-year-old Trade and Convention Centre. The cost is over 600,000 but Councillor Carl Killen says the renovations are necessary if Saint John is to compete for convention business with Moncton and Fredericton. Finance Commissioner Greg Yeomans says the City has no choice but to renew the Trade and Convention Centre because of a contract with the Hilton which states an obligation to maintain it as a first class facility. Both City Manager Pat Woods And Mayor Ivan Court describe the Trade and Convention Centre as looking tired these days.

Common Council Debates A Downsized Spring Cleanup

(Common Councillor Peter McGuire)

Saying dangerous situations are being created, Common Councillor Patty Higgins is proposing a downsized version of spring cleanup be brought back. She would like spring cleanup to take place in a different section of the city each year. But fellow Councillor Peter McGuire says show me the money. The last citywide cleanup cost something like 330 thousand dollars. Council was told Saint John homeowners can call the city and get bulky items hauled away free of charge and there was agreement that service should be promoted better. Councillor Chris Titus maintains having a spring cleanup does very little, if anything, to reduce the incidence of illegal dumping.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Seadogs Close Out Semi-Final Series

Seadogs Punch Their Ticket to the Final

     (Seadogs and Tigres Shake Hands at Center Ice)
                   (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The Saint John Seadogs will take on Moncton in this years Presidents Cup Final after a 7-1 win over Victoriaville to take the semi-final in six.

Marco Couseinau made 31 saves and Mike Hoffman notched a hat-trick in leading the attack.
Head Coach Gerard Gallant says it was the flat game in the series for him but his team took advantage when it had to.
This is the first all Maritime Final since the league was born in 1969.

Tickets for the final go on sale tomorrow at ten at the Harbour Station box office but no word yet on when Game One will be but the series will open in Saint John.

Boil Water Order Has Been Lifted

The news close to 36,000 people east of the Reversing Falls Bridge have been waiting for has arrived........the boil water order has been lifted.

Saint John Water staff have reviewed test results taken since Friday with the Department of Health and all have come back clean.

The boil order was put in place on Friday when a valve was left open at the Latimore Lake Treatment facility and chlorine gas failed to treat water for about 15 minutes with 2.1 million untreated litres entering the system.

Saint John Continues to Map Out It's Future

(Deputy Commissioner of Planning Jacqueline Hamilton)
                  (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

14 recommendations have been laid out as Saint John continues to move ahead with it's new Municipal Plan.

Deputy Commissioner of Planning Jaqueline Hamilton says so far she is very impressed with the feed-back including one to grow the city smarter.

Other recommendations include a priority on urban design, celebrate arts, heritage and culture and improve quality of life.
So far, there have been 400 hits to the Plan SJ website, ten presentations to community groups and over 170 letters have been received.
The next public workshop is scheduled for June.

Red Triangle Awards Gala exceeds expectations

Last week's Red Triangle Gala brought in over $50,000 for the Saint John YM-YWCA.

The gala is the major fundraiser for the Y’s Strong Kids Campaign.

This year’s event last Thursday night at the Trade and Convention Centre and honoured Roly McIntyre and UNB Saint John student leader Leah Richardson.

Premier and Ministers Off to Ottawa

(Premier Shawn Graham)
       (File Photo)

After hearing about it for weeks, Premier Graham and five of his ministers will leave for Ottawa tomorrow to meet with Prime Minister Harper.

Graham says there needs to be better co-operation between this Province and the Nations Capital on several fronts.
A few of the items being brought to the table include cost over-runs during the refurbishment at Point Lepreau and funding for the Harbour Bridge.

Graham has stated Atomic Energy of Canada made a commitment to have the work done at Point Lepreau during a certain time-frame and if necessary, would not hesitate to bring this matter before a judge.

On the trip with Graham is Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, Finance Minister Greg Byrne, Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, Energy Minister Jack Keir and Transportation Minister Denis Landry.

How Many People Work for the Province

The latest numbers have been released by Fredericton on how many people are working for the Provincial Government.
It provides statistical information about key characteristics of the government's workforce, as of the final day of the year.

There were 39,802 full-time permanent employees working on Dec. 31, 2009.
The public service how-ever will experience a significant reduction in the size of its workforce this spring, when about 1,800 Community College employees will be removed from their umbrella to form its own organization as a separate employer.

Sheet Metal Workers Continue Strike

(Sheet Metal Workers Walk the Picket Line)
         (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

The union representing sheet metal workers in Greater Saint John continue their drive for a raise.
A picket line with a dozen people is set up at the Potash Mine in Pennobsquis today.

A member of the Electrical Workers Union 502 tells CHSJ News, he and many of his co-workers are refusing to cross the line.
The sheet metal workers union is 347 and one member told us last week he couldn't get into specifics of what kind of money it is looking for.

Pat Darrah with the Saint John Construction Association says sheet metal workers are making $32.24 an hour and in Moncton, they make $29.25.

Darrah says they want to level the playing field so that contractors can work in both areas and stay competitive.

Cross Country Run To Stomp Out Violence Ends In Saint John

The Stomp Out Violence Cross Country Run comes to Saint John with Dr. Roz Roach completing a 20 kilometer run beginning at Rockwood Park to raise awareness about a problem many people feel is getting worse. Dr. Roach tells CHSJ News violence among young people can be traced, in part, to the breakdown of communities which has done a disservice to the well being of our your people. Dr. Roach says there are all kinds of violence including gun play, child molestation, abuse of women, racism and homophobia. Dr. Roach, who runs Dr. Roz's Healing Place in the Tornto suburb of Scarborough, says too many young people are trying to cope with adolescent conflicts in isolation or within their peer groups which makes joining a gang so alluring.

Police Chief Expresses Outrage Over Cemetery Vandalism

(Saint John Police Chief Bill Reid)

Police Chief Bill Reid says he's disgusted by the damage caused by vandals to headstones at St. Joseph's cemetery. The Chief is promising this will be investigated thoroughly and hopefully brought to a successful conclusion with those responsible charged in court even there can never really be a successful conclusion because the damage has already been done.
Chief Reid condemns the behaviour of those responsible as callous to those people who have loved ones in the cemetery and an embarrassment to the city.

Headstones Vandalized at East Saint John Cemetery

       (Some of the Headstones Damaged)
             (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

It's expected a steady stream of vehicles will make it's way through the St. Joseph's Cemetery on Westmoreland Road.

Sometime over the weekend, vandals knocked over and damaged between three and five hundred headstones.

Irene Mazzerole was there to check on her mother's headstone and was happy to see it was alright but can't believe how many have been damaged.

Darryl Olsen is Manager of the Saint John Diocese Cemeteries and tells us he is to upset to do an interview right now but assures us, all the headstones will be repaired.

Vandals Damage St. Josephs Cemetery

K-V-H-S Shines At Provincial Reach For The Top Competition

Kennebecasis Valley High won both the Intermediate and Senior titles at the Provincial Reach for the Top Championships held over the weekend. This was the school's fifth straight intermediate title and sixth consecutive senior crown. K-V-H-S will be taking part in late May in the national seniors championship in Toronto.

Boil Water Order Could End This Afternoon

If everything goes according to plan, Saint John Water should be able to lift a boil water order by this afternoon. It has been in affect for homes and businesses east of the Rversing Falls Bridge since Friday morning. Dr. Scott Giffen is the District Medical Officer of Health and says the City has done everything by the book. The boil water order is not in place for Millidgeville and had to be implemented after a valve was left open and chlorine gas failed to treat the water for about 15 minutes with 2.1 million litres entering the system.

Call Being Made To Get More Women To Run For Political Office

(Rothesay M-L-A Margaret Ann Blaney)

Equal Voice is issuing a challenge directly to Provincial Party Leaders.....find more female candidates for the election September.27th. Lisa Merrithew is spokes-person and tells CHSJ News, there is no easy answer as to why more women aren't involved.
Merrithew does say there are external barriers within the parties. During the last Provincial Election, 15 of the 48 NDP candidates were women, 10 of the 55 Liberal candidates were women and only 8 off the 55 candidates for the Conservatives were women.
One of the longest serving MLA's in the province is Rothesay Conservative Margaret Ann Blaney. She tells CHSJ News, there has been a sharp decline in the number of women participating in the democratic process period.
She adds there are currently eight women nominated and ready to run in the fall election for the Conservatives which matches the number of women the party had in 2006.

City Looking To Make Building And Land Permits Easier To Get

People looking to get building and land permits approved in Saint John may soon find it a lot easier. The City is holding a public hearing during tonight's meeting of Common Council to discuss possible amendments to the Community Planning Act. The Act currently makes it so any permit requests must go through the provincial Planning Advisory Committee before being approved. Changes would allow minor permits to be passed by the local Development Officer, cutting some time out of the process. Moncton, Frederiction, Miramichi and Rothesay will use the same system.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Boil Water Order Remains in Place

Homes and businesses east of the Reversing Falls bridge are now into day three of a boil water order.

Officials say a valve was left open and chlorine gas failed to treat the water for about 15 minutes on Friday morning.

Tests on the system have been and will continue to be conducted as officials look for the green light to allow home-owners and businesses to turn their taps back on.

The Millidgeville area is the one exception where water doesn't have to be boiled. The earliest the order can be lifted is tomorrow afternoon.

Department of Transportation Sets a New Record

A record will be reached tonight at midnight but it will come and go with very little fan-fare.

Spring weight restrictions for heavy trucks will be lifted from all provincial highways, nearly four weeks ahead of schedule.

This is the earliest removal of the spring weight restriction in the Province's history.

The weight restrictions are put in place to protect highways from damage during the spring thaw by reducing allowable weights.

New Look Coming for Millenium Drive

Quispamsis may soon be the home of a new Pre-Fabricated Homes Sales Lot.

A company is looking to use land located on Millennium Drive that is now an empty Used Car Sales Lot.

Citizens in the area that may be effected can go to a public hearing set by Town Council for May 18 to voice any concerns.

Traffic Flow Near the Gondola Point Ferry

The Gondola Point Ferry Landing will soon have better traffic flow.

Quispamsis Council voted in favor of building a right turning lane at Route 119 and Riverfront Crescent.

Council has agreed to pay for half of the $400,000 project with the Department of Transportation paying the other 50%.

After an email poll Council says it will pay $125,000 of their half this year leaving $75,000 next year.

More Money For New Dog Park in Quispamsis

New funding will give dog walkers in Quispamsis a place to stretch their legs.

The Regional Development Corporation has agreed to give the town $25,000 to help pay for the proposed Dog Park Project.

The park will be located at the Arts and Culture Park with the money covering the cost of dog paths.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

CHSJ Gives Away Brand New Truck Today

  (Cheryl Shillington's Brand New Ford Ranger)

Cheryl Shillington of Grand Bay-Westfield is going to be cruising the streets of Saint John in style.
Shillington is the grand prize winner of a brand new Ford Ranger from Downy Ford.
One-hundred and twenty people were registered for the elimination draw that took place at noon today.

Samuel De Champlain is Celebrating it's Birthday

There is a party in Millidgeville tonight and everyone is invited.

Samuel de Champlain is celebrating is 25th anniversary and Executive Director Michelle Cote tells CHSJ News, it promises to be a big show.

As for the Center turning 25, Cote says he knew there was potential for growth but never iamgined it would happen this fast.

Tonight's celebration gets started at 7:30pm at Samuel de Champlain.

Global Youth Service Day

Events are underway and will continue through-out the weekend in Saint John to celebrate Global Youth Service Days.
100 countries are taking part in events designed to celebrate youth accomplishments over the last year.

Scott Crawford of the Teen Resource Centre tells CHSJ News, sometimes young people don't get the credit they deserve.

Posters are on display at Brunswick Square showcasing the many charity events that local students support.

A Battle of the Bands and concert is scheduled for tomorrow in the parking lot of Harbour Station.