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Monday, October 17, 2011

Geophones Still Dotting Parts of Highway 1

If you notice little boxes along Highway 1 between Sussex and Hampton, don't be alarmed.

It's further seismic testing being done by Windsor Energy.

The geophones previously dotted the highway between Quispamsis and Hampton.

Last week, about 50 protesters lined up outside of Hampton to protest the possibility of testing in the town.

Town council voted down the proposition unanimously.

Provincial Securities Commissions Raises Concerns Over Possible Federal Regulator

The federal government could play a role in securities regulation - so says the Chair of the New Brunswick Securities Commission.

But David Barry tells CHSJ News the provincial commissions do have concerns about the effect a national regulator would have.

He says one of the most important issue is maintaining the ability to develop our own capitol markets. 
Other issues include enforcement, investment protection, and education.

He believes provincial commissions are ideal to deliver key services.

The Supreme Court of Canada will be deciding in the coming weeks as to whether the federal government can be involved in securities regulation.

Students Back In Class At NBCC After Evacuation

A Level 2 Hazmat alert forcing the evacuation of the New Brunswick Community College after a gas smell in the facility.
Saint John District Fire Chief Eric Garland tells CHSJ News fire crews and Hazmat 1 responded after the call in about 11:40 this morning.

He says on arrival the NBCC building personnel told them that smells were noticed in parts of the building and that alarms were pulled in a couple places to get people out.

No smells were detected by the equipment although fire crews could smell something in different parts of the college.
Students and staff are allowed back in the building at 1:30.

Parents Ready To Make The Case For Morna Heights School

Parents in Morna Heights vow they will fight tooth and nail to keep their local school open. 

School District 8 has a proposal supported by its staff to close Morna Heights School Grand Bay Primary and Inglewood. They would be replaced by a brand new school in Grand Bay-Westfield.

Christian Goldie is one of the parents opposed to closing Morna Heights School. He tells CHSJ News the students test extremely high and the teachers have a high job satisfaction rate.

Three public meetings will be held this week with the first one tomorrow night, 7:30 at Morna Heights School.

Drunk Drivers Nabbed In Hampton Region

The RCMP in the Hampton district which stretches from Sussex to Grand Bay-Westfield have been nailing alot of drunk drivers.

Police report they have carried out 251 spotchecks resulting in close to 2000 tickets being written up and nearly 3000 warnings in writing.
42 people have been charged with impaired driving and 20 others have been given week long suspensions. Police say if you see someone driving erratically to give them a shout.

International Day For The Eradication Of Poverty Is Marked In Province

Some may find the timing ironic........The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is happening just after the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to cities in this country including Saint John.

Jean-Claude Basque of the Common Front for Social Justice is hoping the protests might help to stop people blaming the poor for being in poverty. 

Basque also points out minimum wage workers have received, in the last six years, an hourly wage below all of the other Atlantic provinces. 

In September 2011, there were more than 25,000 households in the province and almost 41 thousand people on social assistance. The provincial caseload increased by 28 hundred cases since the 2008 economic meltdown.

In July 2011, the Common Front surveyed 22 grocery stores in the province and found between 2010 and 2011, there had been a 5 and three-quarters per cent increase in the cost of a nutritious food basket. A similar study last year discovered between 2006 and 2010 there had been a 21% increase in the price of basic foods.

Bus Route Change Due To Road Work

Saint John Transit Bus Routes 3 & 4 can't access Kilburn Avenue due to construction.

In the meantime, they will be using Valley street.

Former Y CEO Dies

A bittersweet moment for the YM-YWCA in the wake of their land and funding announcement as former Y CEO Pat Davis passed away over the weekend.

Chair of the Capital Campaign Dale Knox says he wouldn't be surprised if a dedication took place once the new facilty is built.

He says it's early days but, she will be honoured in some ways after being such a big part of this project.

Davis was the CEO of the Y for about 6 years.

Irving Advocates Mediation Over Litigation In Divorce

"Mediation Not Litigation"--that is what Toronto mediator Dr. Howard Irving advocates.
Irving is the guest speaker at a family mediation conference in Saint John today.
He tells CHSJ News the biggest misconception is that people believe mediators are advocating separation and divorce.

He says the first thing mediators do is see if there is a chance for mediation and he says in 10 per cent of the cases, couples do reconcile.

In Quebec, mediation is mandatory with separating couples receiving 6 hours to resolve some of the issues before resorting to litigation.

The YM-YWCA Gets A New Home

The YM-YWCA will be moving to the north end in Crescent Valley -- the provincial government is handing over a parcel of land for $1 on the north side of Churchill Boulevard along with funding the design work.

Acting Chief Executive Shiloh Bouché says the location is very accessible and the trend across the country is that once a Y facility is built, it makes the community a more active and vibrant place.

The Regional Development Corporation is also giving $300,000 for the design costs of the proposed 69,000 square foot facility, which will include a 25-metre pool, pre-school centre, a day care area, and a computer lab.

The Y will be ramping up its fundraising efforts for the 20-million dollar building, with an opening date planned for January of 2014.

Supervisor Appointed for St. Martins

Sandra J. Roy, former clerk of the Village of St. Martins, has been appointed supervisor for the municipality after the deaths of Mayor Jim Huttges and Councillor Mike Gillcrist until new elections are held in May.

After the two elected representatives died, there weren't enough members on the village council to make their meetings legal.

Public Meetings On School Closures To Be Held This Week

The controversial proposal of closing down Morna Heights, Grand Bay Primary, and Inglewood School in order to build a super-school will in the spotlight once again.

School District 8 will be holding 3 public meetings to discuss the issue and Chair of the District 8 Education Council Rob Fowler tells CHSJ News nothing is set in stone.

He says any closures, if they were approved, would not occur for about 5 years.

Parents against the closures are concerned about longer bus rides and larger class sizes for their children.

The first meeting will be held a Morna Heights School tomorrow at 7:30pm, with meetings on Wednesday and Thursday at Grand Bay Primary and Inglewood respectively.

Fasting For Food Donations A Big Success

Tammy Calvin with ONE Change now has both a trailer and a belly full of food.

She and Andrea Richards were taking part in a fast since Thursday until they had a trailer full of food donations for the North End Food Bank.

She tells CHSJ News they ended up filling the trailer 3 feet high and 53 feet deep with product.
She says they hit their goal Saturday night.

New Chief Of Staff At Regional Hospital Warns Against Further Cuts

Provincial Health Minister Madelaine Dube has not concealed the fact the cost of health care must be brought down but at what cost? She has indicated more efficiencies may not be enough to achieve the kinds of savings required. 

The new Chief of Staff at the Regional Hospital Dr. John Dornan acknowledges the financial plight facing the provincial government these days which finds itself saddled with a huge budget deficit but he tells CHSJ News further cuts would be , in his words, "painful in terms of patient care".
The Horizon Health Network, so far this fiscal year, is reporting a balanced budget with a small surplus of over 30 thousand dollars.
Dr. Dornan, took over from Dr. Brian Wheelock as the new Chief of Staff, at the beginning of September.

Does The North End Still Beckon For The "Y"?

The YM-YWCA is still looking north despite turning thumbs down on the old Zellers store in Lansdowne Plaza as being too expensive to tear down and rebuild. 

What is being called an important community announcement will be made this morning about the "Y" by Saint John North M-L-A and provincial cabinet minister Trevor Holder along with Social Development Minister Sue Stultz.

Holder tells CHSJ News there has been an ongoing effort to revitalise both Crescent Valley and the old north end and he believes it's only a matter of time before it starts to pay off. 

Holder also tells us the proximity of the north end to the uptown core of the city will, over time, attract private investment.