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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Local Real Estate Board President not alarmed over scrapped Long Wharf plans

The President of the Saint John Real Estate Board is not sounding the alarm over the Fort Reliance's decision to scrap its plans for Long Wharf.

Peter Pappas tells CHSJ News that last year's news from Irving Oil was more impactful.
He says it's a disappointment but, he says the cancellation of plans for a second refinery
was worse news for the local real estate market.
Pappas adds he hopes this decision doesn't negatively impact any future development on the waterfront.

Plenty of People Continuing Their Educations

A new study shows plenty of people are thirsting for knowledge. Released by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, it shows close to eighty percent of Maritime students remain enrolled at the same university a year after admission and almost 60 per cent graduate within six years.
The study also finds three per cent of students who began studies in 2001 were still enrolled six years later and 39 per cent had left the university without completing a degree.

Holder is Acclaimed in Saint John Portland

(Saint John Portland MLA Trevor Holder)
               (File Photo)

Trevor Holder will again fly the banner for the Conservative Party in the riding of Saint John Portland. He will be officially nominated when delegates gather tonight in the North End as no other candidates have come forward. Holder tells CHSJ News, he is pleased the party has lots of faith in his abilities.
A Provincial Election is scheduled for September.27th and tonight's nomination gets started at six o'clock at the Fort Howe Hotel.

Provincial Cash for Schools in District Six

(Superintendent Zoe Watson)
         (File Photo)

Schools in District Six received a gift from Premier Graham in Hampton today. Shawn Graham brought a cheque worth over $1.2 million to be spent to replace aging infrastructure at several schools including Apohaqui, Hammond River, Norton, Quispamsis, Rothesay and Sussex. Sprinkler systems and bus loading areas are just a few of the projects at the buildings and Hampton Elementary is getting a new roof and repairs to it's ventilation system.

No word on when work will get started or finish.

23 Irving Oil Gas Stations are Closed

South of the border today, more bad news for Irving Oil. A day after announcing the Long Wharf Headquarters deal was being scrapped. A dealer running 23 Irving Gas Stations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire has decided to temporarily close their locations. Irving spokesperson Liza Dube tells CHSJ News, financial difficulties is the reason given for the decision.
Dube adds the stations are owned by C.K. Smith and there is always a possibility they might re-open.

Home Raided in the North End

Weapons offences are the charges a 53-year old man will answer to in court at a later date. This after City Police raided a home on Victoria Street in the North End yesterday afternoon.

Once inside, officers found several guns.

Bay of Fundy Gets a Boost

A signifigant boost for the campaign to have the Bay of Fundy declared one of the global New7Wonders of Nature. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through Tourism Atlantic, is contributing $45,000 to the campaign. In 2007, the Bay of Fundy was one of 440 entries from over 220 countries to be considered in the contest.

The Bay of Fundy is one of 28 finalists and the countries only entry remaining in the campaign. Voting will continue until next year when a winner is announced in the fall of next year.

Surplus Office Space Played Into Long Wharf Decision

A surplus of commercial office space in the Saint John area is being cited as one of the reason Fort Reliance has nixed its proposed new headquarters office complex at Long Wharf.
In a letter hand delivered to uptown merchants -- the company says the development could have negatively impacted the local commercial real estate market.
The company also re-affirms its commitment to return Long Wharf to its original state after driving steel foundation support beams at the site last summer.

Former Mayor Speaks Out On Long Wharf

Former Mayor Norm McFarlane says the decision by Fort Reliance not to go ahead with construction of its corporate headquarters at Long Wharf cannot be lightly dismissed. McFarlane tells CHSJ News this also sends out the wrong message about Saint John in the wake of the second oil refinery being shelved and there being no second reactor built at Point Lepreau. He predicts there will be ripple effects and they won't be good. McFarlane says he wonders where the city would be without the L-N-G development, which he concedes cost him re-election.

Saint John Longshoremen On Long Wharf Decision

(Long Wharf Development)
(File Photo)

Longshoremen in Saint John who opposed the construction of Irving Oil's Corporate headquarters at Long Wharf say they feel no elation about the deal falling apart. The Business Agent for I-L-A local 273 Pat Riley still believes the agreement violated the Canada Marine Act and was not in the best interests of the taxpayer or the port but would like the company to build its corporate headquarters elsewhere on the waterfront or uptown. Riley adds he bears the Irvings no ill will.

Board of Directors At Port Authority Called On To Resign

(Saint John Lancaster M-L-A Abel Leblanc)
(File Photo)

Saint John Lancaster M-L-A Abel Leblanc is calling on the Board of Directors at the Saint John Port Authority along with its chair Stephen Campbell to resign over how the Long Wharf deal with Fort Reliance was carried out. Leblanc, a retired longshoreman, was an outspoken opponent of the plan to build Irving Oil's new Corporate headquarters at Long Wharf. He says Long Wharf has not been promoted by the port.

St. Stephen Area Woman Sentenced In Death of Her Baby

A 30 month prison term handed a St. Stephen area woman in the slaying of her newly born son. Sarah Russell will get 4 months of that sentence for criminal negligence causing death reduced for the time already served behind bars. A judge determined Russell could have sought help on or before the birth last January.
Russell's boyfriend, Rodney Miller, pleaded guilty in September to first-degree murder for fatally stabbing the baby moments after he was born. Psychological reports determined Russell is naive and has a lower than normal intelligence level.

New Chair Of Police Commission Sworn In

(Police Commission Chair ChrisWaldschutz being sworn in by Judge William McCarroll)
(photo by Tamara Steele)

For the first time, A chair of the Saint John Police Commission was sworn in. In a ceremony at City Hall, Judge Bill McCarroll made Chris Waldschutz the new chair. Police Chief Bill Reid says Waldschutz, a former Common Councillor, brings vast experience and community involvement to the job.
Chief Reid says the ceremony shows the importance of the commission to the community.

Police Commission Hears About Crime Scene Investigations

The Saint John Police Commission has learned that processing evidence from crime scenes is not as pretty as it looks on television.
Sergeant Mark Smith of the Forensic Identification Unit gave a presentation involving a mock armed robbery from gathering evidence at the crime scene to presenting it in court.
The current offices are cramped and some of the technolgy is outdated but those problems will be solved when the Police move into their new headquarters at Peel Plaza in 2012.

Daycare In Quispamsis Gets Support At Town Council

(Town of Quispamsis Crest)
(File Photo)

The plan to rezone a property on Sugarmaple Lane in Quispamsis to house a daycare is almost nearing an end. The issue stems from one resident opposing the rezoning due to increased traffic.
Nearly 70 people came to support Janie Stewart, with children and customers speaking on her behalf to council. The application has been ongoing since July and since then, Stewart has paved the road and had several engineering studies conducted over drainage concerns. Final reading of the application is set to go February 16th.