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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Survey Plane Causes Some Concerns

A plane during a survey along the natural gas pipeline in the Musquash area causing some concern this afternoon -- a motorist saw a plane go below the tree tops in the Five Fathom Hole area.

RCMP tell us checked with Halifax search and rescue along with some airports but failed to turn up any reports of a missing plane -- but -- a helicopter was dispatched from Greenwood to help do a quick check of the area just in case.
It was finally traced back to the plane flying at a low level checking out the pipeline right of way.

Saint John Police Association Accusing City Of Steamrolling Pension Changes Through

(Labour Analyst For Saint John Police Association Bob Davidson)
                   (Photo by Brian McLain)

The Saint John Police Association is accusing the city of not examining all the options with the financially beleaguered municipal pension plan and is appealing to the M-L-A's not to approve the changes.

Retired CUPE Rep Bob Davidson is acting as a labour analyst for the police union. He says Common Council refused to listen to an option that was put together by an actuary commissed by the Police Association. Davidson says that option was presented to the M-L-A's in the Saint John caucus and, in his view, was enthusiastically received.

Peter Haslett of the Police Association accuses City Manager Pat Woods of flying by the seat of his pants with these changes and what they will mean for the bottom line because he doesn't know what the financial ramifications will be.

Davidson says there are several Common Councillors who are on the provincial pension plan which was not cut and he accuses them of being hypocritical in wanting to slice and dice city pensions.

He also warns it will be more difficult to retain and attract new police officers because of the elimination of the disability pension and the fact they will have to work longer to retirement than they do in other cities such as Fredericton.

Councilor Wants Derelict Buildings By-Law Moved Forward

Councillor Peter McGuire wants things sped up when it comes to legislation on dealing with derelict buildings.

According to the latest update from the province, the Department of Local Government plans to hold workshops with municipalities, including one in Saint John, to explore legislation on derelict buildings in early 2011.

McGuire says he wants a more specific and quicker timeline.

He says he will speak with the province in hopes of speeding things up and adds the city built the By-law so all they need is approval from the province.

Saint John Woman Cleared Of All Charges

28 year old Crystal Dawn McKenzie has been found not guilty of 2nd degree murder in the stabbing death of her common law husband, 29 year old Pat Thomas in March on Alma Street just off Waterloo.

A jury of 9 women and 3 men deliberated for 8 hours and asked the judge to define manslaughter before reaching its decision.

Defense lawyer David Kelly describes it as a tragic situation for all concerned.
McKenzie's relationship with Thomas was described as stormy with alot of fighting and abuse.

Eyewitnesses testified to seeing McKenzie pinned against a wall, pulled down to the ground and dragged along the street before she got hold of a knife and stabbed Thomas in the area of his neck and shoulder.

For her part, McKenzie was tearful as she left court saying she wanted to be with her kids.

City Police Speaking Out About Proposed Changes

The Saint John Police Association is responding this morning to the City's pension changes.

City manager Pat Woods says inside workers, fire and police will lose their their disability pension and their benefits will be slashed by nearly 40 percent.

These workers will still get their wage increases.
The news conference gets started at ten.

Local Developer Feels Betrayed By City Hall

A local developer is pulling out of development near Rockwood Park.

Common Council has approved the development of high-rise and apartment buildings near the green-space and developer Darryl Gallant says he won't be building high scale homes because of it.
Gallant says he feels sold out by Council as he has been developing his land for 8 years and has invested about 2 million dollars.

National Housing Week Events Continue

National Housing Week events are focusing on youth homelessness with various events in the city.

Young people from the four Saint John high schools and Rothesay Netherwood are doing outreach with Outflow and serving luch at the Saint John Community Chaplaincy.

Colin McDonald of Vibrant Communities tells CHSJ News, it's about the youth learning from someone who knows what homelessness feels like.

Tomorrow is the Tin Can Challenge where students make sculptures of the food donations they have been collecting for 6 weeks.

After the competition, it will be donated to a variety of local food banks.