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Monday, April 9, 2012

Candidates To Tweet Up on Friday

With the May 14th election approaching, candidates are turning to Twitter and Facebook to communicate with voters. On Friday April 13th, people will have a chance to meet a number of candidates they may have only corresponded with online.

The so-called Tweet-Up (in case you're clueless, a combination of "tweet" with "meet-up)  is being organized by strategic connector Jeff Roach. He stresses it's vital for politicians to get with the technology. Roach has some criticisms for Mayor Ivan Court, whose executive assistant updates his Twitter account for him. According to Roach, the whole point of social media is to be social--and getting someone else to do it for you defeats the purpose.

Morgan Lanigan, Mel Norton, Graham Steward Robertson, and Ray Strowbridge are just some of the candidates signed up to attend.

The Tweet-Up happens at 4:30pm on Friday, April 13. Don't expect any banners or speeches, says Roach: it's going to be a casual event that simple provides candidates and voters with a chance to connect in a non-virtual environment.

 For details click here. People City is a blog by Jeff Roach and Mark Legere.

Joshua Group Fundraising For Permanent Home

The Joshua Group has just over two months to raise $120 thousand dollars to give the group a permanent home.

They have made a conditional offer on the old Peacock's property currently owned by the SPCA Animal Rescue League.

Treasurer Kathy Urwin tells CHSJ News the location would meet their needs.
 She tells us the location on the Sandy Point Road is ideal since a lot of the kids they serve live in the McLaren Boulevard area and it would help them with transportation costs.

The Joshua Group "Toonie Day" is coming up on April 20th.   Organizers are challenging individuals, groups and schools to collect toonies and they can start now.

For more info on the event and how to get involved, click here

Coastal Transport Calls Ferry Problems "Teething Issues"

Grand Manan Islanders who rely on the ferry, the Grand Manan Adventure, to reach the mainland have been wondering why she seems to be off its run a lot lately.

Gregg Ryder, General Manager of Coastal Transport, tells CHSJ News the problem was a faulty seal and they've been working with the Florida company that built her to fix the problem.

The ferry was out of service from March 30th for 9 days, and was put back in the water yesterday (Sunday). Ryder says he thinks she's a good ship, but a new one--and with any new piece of machinery that big and complex, there are bound to be teething issues. 

At the end of May, Coastal Transportation will have a redesigned website where people can get instantly updated on the status of the ferry. Ryder reminds members of the public the Coastal Office is open 365 days a year and inquiries from the public are welcome.

Vimy Ridge Anniversary Marked

A proud yet tragic moment in Canadian history being marked today. It was 95 years ago today that the battle of Vimy Ridge began. Over the following 3 days nearly 3,600 Canadian soldiers died--but managed to capture a strategically vital piece of ground.

History teacher Barry Ogden says the battle marked a turning point in how Canada was perceived as a military power. The French and English made numerous attempts before Canada--then perceived as a backwoods, rural nation of only a few million people--managed to seize the decisive piece of ground.

At the National War Memorial, the anniversary is being marked as cadets stand vigil and wreaths are laid.

Photo: The Battle of Vimy Ridge, a painting by Richard Jack. Canadian War Museum. Via Wikipedia.

Love Beer? This One's For You

If there's one thing Saint Johners love, it's an ice cold beer. Fans of the suds will soon have a chance to sample over 90 beers at the first annual Saint John Beer Festival. Co-chair and Alehouse owner Peter Stoddart tells CHSJ News the Fest offers a great bang for your buck--because you don't need to buy a whole six pack to try something new. 

Beer geek Craig Phinney will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the latest trends in brewing. The Alehouse, Lemongrass, Grannan's and the valley's Smoking Pig Barbecue are providing beer-themed dishes including pulled pork, mussels, oysters and lamb. Circus performers will be busking throughout the atrium and performing three separate fire shows.

Tickets are available at Harbour Station

Tickets can be phone in order or picked up at the box office $49.50 plus tax and service charge, which works out to $60. 

For more information, click here here.

Police Commission Will Consider Union Recommendations On Saving Money

Chairman of the police commission Chris Waldschutz says he will analyze and consider recent money-saving suggestions made by the police union.

The union wants to see six non-police positions eliminated, like the Chief Administration Officer and the Director of Finance.  It is also recommending the elimination of the Staff Sergeant rank.

Waldschutz tells CHSJ News there are no sacred cows but he does know that some of the suggestions will not fly due to legislation like the Police Act.

The union says the recommendations will save the police force over a million dollars.

As far as the accusations that the Chief of Police does not have open communication with the union or staff, Waldschutz there is always more than meets the eye.

He says he is willing change the paradigm if it becomes necessary.

Snowfall In April Not Out Of The Ordinary

Environment Canada says getting a blast of winter around this time of the year isn't usually out of the norm -- but many were still surprised to see the white stuff on the ground yesterday after weeks of mile weather.

We received about 10 centimetres of snow over the weekend and Environment Canada Meteorologist Darin Borgel tells CHSJ News it wasn't an anomaly as we usually get 22 centimetres of snow during the month of April He says the warm spell in March made it all the more surprising.

Fredericton got about the same amount of snow but Moncton was hit much harder with 22 centimetres.

Borgel says snow is not expected in the long-term forecast.

More Route 1 Work Starts Today

On the drive in today, you may notice more construction work in areas you didn't before relating to the Route 1 Gateway project.

Work begins today on continues until June on the Rothesay Avenue overpass at Exit 129 and on the Riverview Drive overpass near the Harbour Bridge.

Motorists should no experience delays as the most of the work will be completed from the shoulder of the road.

In the Four Corners area of Sussex, work will be conducted on the westbound Smiths Creek Road overpass at Exit 195. 

The westbound overpass will be reduced to one lane until the middle of June.

For more info, call 1-888-Route1NB (1-888-768-8316) or email, or click here

Quispamsis Girl Could be Miss Universe

The next Miss Universe Canada could be the girl next door--Quispamsis native Signa Love is competing against 60 other delegates from all over Canada to take the crown next month. Love is a classically trained singer with a background in performance, which she says will be assets when it comes to strutting her stuff

She tells CHSJ News she's thrilled to be taking part--and especially excited for the charity component of the title. The pageant organizers will send the winner to Nicaragua to do charity work.

Car On Fire At UNB Saint John

City fire crews putting out a car fire at the UNB Saint John parking lot.

A fire erupted in the engine compartment of a parked car around 6 o'clock last night.

No one was hurt but there was extensive damage to the vehicle.

The fire department is looking into the cause.