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Monday, March 15, 2010

Remembering a Friend and a Colleague

Greater Saint John continues to be in shock over the loss of Gary Mittelholtz. 
The former CBC reporter and owner of the River Valley News passed away over the weekend. Good friend and Energy Minister Jack Keir tells CHSJ News, it is sort of fitting that he passed away doing something he loved....cross country skiing.
The funeral for MIttelholtz will be held on Thursday at St. Mathews Church at eleven o'clock.

JD Irving Excited About This Project and Others

(Jim Irving Speaks at a News Conference at Pulp and Paper Mill)
                       (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

J.D. Irving says since 2008 and up until next year, the company will spend $69 million dollars on energy efficiency projects. 
Jim Irving says they are working on a project that could benefit their neighbours on the West Side as well. 
It's a possible district heating operation where surplus heat from the mill will help keep it's tissue plant warm.
The pipe is already underground and could also provide surplus heat to Mooseheads Breweries and the T.S. Simms Brush Company as well.

Premier's Popularity Plummets

Premier Graham now has the distinction of having the worst approval rating of any premier in the country.
A new Angus Reid survey puts Graham at the bottom of the heap with only 15-percent of those surveyed in the province approving of his performance.
The ranking comes days after the latest Corporate Research poll showed Graham's Liberals losing ground to the Conservatives.
By comparison -- Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams is on top with 80-percent of those asked on the "Rock" giving top marks to his performance -- the survey doesn't include Prince Edward Island.

Provincal Cash For Energy Efficiency Projects

(Environment Minister Rick Miles -photo by Jim Hennessy)

The Irving Pulp and Paper Mill provided the back-drop for an announcement from the Provincial Government. 
$3.5 million dollars will be spread out through 16 new projects to the Industrial Energy Efficiency Implementation program.
Environment Minister Rick Miles says this program will help remove over 155,000 tonnes of GHG emissions every year.
That is the equivalent of taking close to 30,000 vehicles off the road every year. 
A few of the companies receiving the funding are J.D. Irving, McCain Foods, Fraser Papers and Marwood Ltd.

Update on Uptown Stabbing

(Police at the Scene of Stabbing on Alma Street - photo by Andrew Sanojca)

A man who was stabbed this morning in the uptown is dead.
City Police have not yet released the name of the 29-year old who was found with a knife wound just after two o'clock.
One person is in custody but no word yet on any charges.

Letter of Intent Signed Between Ports

                (Port Authority Captain Al Soppitt - photo by Jim Hennessy)

A new relationship between the Ports of Saint John and Argentina is slowly growing. 
A letter of intent between the two was signed over the weekend with further discussions to take place next month in Brazil. 
Captain Al Soppitt says there is no indication on how much new business this set-up could bring.
Right now, the Port of Saint John deals with over 26 tonnes of cargo every year, most of that petroleum.

City Still Exploring Water Meters

Even after years of debate, Common Council has not decided whether or not it wants to implement city wide water metering. 
A study is being conducted by the city to give Council members a better idea what effect they would have on families. 
Brent McGovern of Saint John Water is happy with what the study is showing.
Mayor Ivan Court has resisted water meters believing they would financially penalise larger families but the head of Municipal Operations Paul Groody argues the flat rate charged for water results in too much being wasted because you're not charged for how much you use.

Board of Trade on Harbour Bridge

The Saint John Board of Trade is keeping up the pressure for repairs to the Harbour Bidge. 
A letter has been penned for Federal Transport Minister John Baird from the Board of Trade, Enterprise Saint John, Atlantic Trucking Association and Access Atlantica. 
It requests a meeting sooner rather than later to discuss the needed repairs for the Harbour Bridge. 
BOT President Imelda Gilman tells CHSJ News, time is of the essence.
Gilman says the same letter has been sent to Transportation Minister Denis Landry.

What Does the Future Hold for Long Wharf

(Cruise ship docked at Long Wharf)

When will Long Wharf be restored to it's original state?
That is the question on the minds of many now that Irving Oil's plan for development on the site have been scrapped. 
Spokesperson for the International Longshoremans Association Pat Riley CHSJ News, the sooner it's open for business......the better.
Riley adds a final time line on when the site will be restored is a decision to be made between the Saint John Port Authority and Irving Oil.

Millidgeville Ferry Undergoing Repairs

(Peninsula Princess Ferry - DOT photo)
Repairs and plenty of them are being carried out on the Peninsula Princess Ferry in Millidgeville.
The work is taking place in Lunenberg at a cost of half a million dollars. 
Some of the work includes a new propeller, sand blasting and paint.
Spokesperson with the Department of Transportation Andrew Holland tells CHSJ News, the 24 vehicle ferry is 20-years old and this work is necessary to keep her in running order. 
Holland adds depending on the weather, the vessel could be back in the water by early May.

East Side Councillor Wants Study Done On Traffic With Costco

An east side councillor is concerned with what traffic implications the grand opening of the new Costco store will have.
Bruce Court is asking the city manager to conduct a traffic study on Retail drive, Westmoreland Road and other streets in the vicinity of Costco.
Court says in a letter to Council, residents will likely have a hard time getting access to their homes when the big box store opens on May 27th.
Common Council will  get together for its regular meeting starting at 5 o'clock this afternoon.

New Housing Development Awaiting Approval From Province

A controversial housing development that surfaced over a year ago is back on the horizon. The Kingston Cliffs is located roughly 5 kilometers left of the Gondola Point Ferry past the legion and fire hall. 
David Peacock is spokesperson for the proposal and tells CHSJ News, at this point, there is a preliminary road lay-out with water tests complete but still awaiting approval from the Province.
Peacock adds they are roughly two weeks away from finding out if the proposal will be approved and points out the developers are not in a hurry.

Plans For New School In K-Park Move Forward

(District 6 School Superintendent Zoe Watson)

It's full steam ahead with plans to build a new school that will be larger to replace K-Park Elementary. 
District Six Superintendent Zoe Watson tells CHSJ News, the first meeting with the Department of Education is in the books. 
K-Park elementary has fallen below code in many areas over the years and several mobile class-rooms are being used as well. 
The planning stage will continue this and next year with construction to get started the year after.

No Talk Of Raising Bus Fares

If you use Saint John Transit to get will be happy to hear this. 
There are no discussions going on about a fare increase at this time. 
General Manager Frank McCarey tells CHSJ News that could change depending on what is happening with the cost of fuel.
McCarey adds one thing they are working on is new Park and Go set-ups which allow you to leave your vehicle, jump on a bus to do your shopping and it will then take you back. 
The new lots will be on the Loch Lomond Road, Spruce Lake, Golden Grove and Latimore Lake Roads.

More Wildlife Fencing Being Erected

Wildlife fencing and plenty of it will be going up around the Province during this construction season. 
Between Campbellton and Oromocto, over 70 kilometers will be erected with over 100 kilometers to be in place between St. Stephen and Saint John. 
Provincial Transportation Minister Denis Landry tells CHSJ News, depending on the area, the new fencing will be up this spring summer and fall.  
Landry adds when all this work is complete, there will be over 400 kilometers of wildlife fencing in place around the Province.