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Monday, April 23, 2012

Skate Park In Quispamsis Opens

Tony Hawk and X-games wannabes now have a new place to ply their craft in Quispamsis -- the town has officially opened the Ramps and Wheels Bike and Skate Park.

Skater Avery Theriault pushed to get the park built by presenting a petition with almost 700 signatures to town council over a year ago.

He tells CHSJ News the park was desperately needed and he is amazed how quickly it all came together.
The town of Quispamsis putting up100-thousand dollars while the province gave 50-thousand to the project.

The park is located at the Arts and Culture Park.

MacKinnon Says Condon's Legacy Is Long

A true gentleman, a friend and mentor to many....those words about Dr. Tom Condon who served many years as the Vice President of the UNB Saint John campus and passed away on the weekend.

Current VP-Dr. Robert MacKinnon tells CHSJ News his legacy is growing the Tucker Park campus and leading the charge on getting a residence built there.

He says Condon saw the need for a student centre and when he retired it was named in his honour.

MacKinnon says Condon also served on the board of Symphony New Brunswick and was involved in bringing the 1985 Canada Summer Games to Saint John including getting the stadium built on the University grounds.

A funeral mass for Dr. Condon will be held this Friday just after noonhour at the Cathedral on Waterloo Street.

Penalties For Not Filing Taxes Are Getting Steep

If you plan on skipping out on doing your taxes, you better have your wallet close by.

Brenda Avery with BrenTax tells CHSJ News the penalty for not paying the tax man is 5 percent of what you owe plus additional late penalties.

She says the fees have been on the rise and the reason why people don't file is because they think they will owe the government.

She says thankfully, more and more people are biting the bullet and are filing tax returns from previous years and and the Canada Revenue Agency is willing to work with you to sort everything out.

Warning About Online Scam In Province Targeting Renters

We have a warning from the New Brunswick Real Estate Association about an online scam which has cropped up in the province designed to extract both money and personal information from unsuspecting consumers who are looking for somewhere to rent.

The online scam copies information from legitimate ads, sometimes even with the name of a realtor, asking for you to not only send a deposit but also reveal your personal information.

Real Estate Association Registrar Carolyn Cameron tells CHSJ News there's one way to determine if an ad is on the level........There will be a local person listed to get in contact with.

Cameron says this type of fraud is more successful in cities where there is a low rental vacancy rate or for accommodations that are pet friendly.

Two Key Rezonings Coming Before Common Council

Common Council is being urged by City Staff to approve rezoning of the Coast Guard property. The final acquisition of the property will take place at the end of June.

Kent McIntyre of Saint John Waterfront Development anticipates there will be new developers later this year for what he envisions as a mixed residential-commercial development with 230 condos, a 130 room hotel, 70 thousand square feet for retail and commercial space along with a promenade around the perimeter.
He's also optimistic about things picking up telling the city the site will undergo a phased in redevelopment beginning later this year.
Council is also being asked to approve rezoning for the new "Y" on Churchill Boulevard which is viewed as a key step to revitalising that part of the north end around Crescent Valley..

Music Festival Kicks Off

It's time to face the music--and we mean that literally. The 75th annual New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music is kicking off today (April 23) at venues throughout the city. It's a chance for young performers between the ages of 6 and 20 to compete in singing and playing instruments in a variety of styles and genres.

Organizer Valerie Dingee  the kids get excited about it every year and it's a great galvanizing force for the community.

She says the festival is always looking to boost attendance, as well as for more volunteers.

For more information, click here.

Court Says Pension Reforms Will Bring Back Some Funding

Being re-elected in Saint John's current political climate might seem like a challenge.
Incumbant Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News he was the only person to vote against the budget that features deep cuts to police and fire budgets and the reduction of transit service.

He says he didn't think it was necessary for us to take 7.9 million dollars out of the budget but rather the intention was to lobby the provincial government with regards to the  whole issue with pension disorder.

Court adds if pension relief does come, they hope to reinstate many of those projects and programs.

Our feature on the candidates for Mayor in Saint John continues tomorrow with Matthew Thompson.

Common Council Urged To Slow Down Traffic

Common Council will be receiving a report tonight asking it put into effect a more comprehensive traffic calming policy. 

This comes about after consultations with more than 20 community and neighbourhood organisations as well as the city receiving more than 80 requests from Saint Johnners since early 2008 to either reduce speeds or the volume of traffic through various residential neighbourhoods. 

3 comprehensive traffic calming plans have been implemented in recent years including on Heatherway after a woman was seriously hurt by a speeding car as well as Simpson Drive and Rockwood Park. 

Council is being told some streets should have speed limits of 40 kilometers an hour or even as low as 30 and Police can't enforce speed limits under 50 kilometers an hour

John Ferguson Defamation Trial

Three Well Known Saint Johnners Pass Away

We hear from the City's Cultural Affairs officer Bernard Cormier that Dr. Tom Condon has passed away. Funeral arrangements for him have not been announced yet.

Dr. Condon was in charge of U-N-B Saint John from 1977 to 1988. He began his teaching career as an Assistant Professor of History at U-N-B after receiving a Ph.D from Harvard. He also graduated with degrees from Yale and Boston College. 

Dr. Condon retired from teaching in 1996. He was honoured with the Order of New Brunswick in 2009 and was involved in many cultural activities in the city including the restoration of the Imperial Theatre.

Saint John contractor Billy Chown, the owner of Regency Construction, has also died at the age of 66 from natural causes. A funeral service will be held at 10:00 Wednesday morning in the L-B-R.

Common Councillor Joe Mott has also passed away after a period of failing health.

Two Cars Leave Road In Separate Crashes

One woman was taken to hospital after her car left Route 790 near the South Musquash Road early yesterday morning winding up on its roof.  

It was raining and she was driving around a sharp corner which has been the scene of several similar accidents over the years. 

Another car left Bay Street in South Bay yesterday afternoon and landed in the water. The driver was already out of the car when fire crews arrived and didn't have to be taken to hospital. 

The Environment Department was notified because the car had to be towed out of a pond.

(Photo Courtesy of Lt. Paul Poirier)

Candidate For Rothesay Council Wants To Visit Every Home In Town

One of the candidates running for a seat on Rothesay Council claims to have made over 2 thousand stops to guage the feeling in the town hitting over 150 homes a day.

Miriam Wells wants to visit all of the estimated 35 hundred homes in the town during the campaign. 

Wells tells CHSJ News the town is doing well running its financial affairs but any organisation can use the infusion of new ideas and energy. 

One common concern she hears going door to door is the number of deer roaming about with drainage issues in some parts of the town.

Wells is in favour of co-operating with neighbouring municipalities but she doesn't favour amalgamation.