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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Student Names New Gangway

Adon Irvine’s Grade 2  class from St. John the Baptist-King Edward School class during their tour of Carnival Glory today.

Adon won a contest to name the new gangway at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal.

He called it Loyalist Landing.

Saint John Idol Starts 10th Season Tonight

As the contestants warm up and get their hair and makeup just right, fans are excited for the 10th year of Saint John Idol.

The summer mainstay kicks off tonight on the Market Square boardwalk.
Tonight also mark the beginning of the 145 hours to 
celebrate Canada's 145th birthday.

A fireworks display will finish the night sometime between 10 and 10:30 tonight.

Saint John Idol kicks off at 8 tonight on the boardwalk.

Provincial Tourism Gets A Boost At Toronto Show

Up to 60,000 visitors a day will be visiting the New Brunswick store at the Toronto Saltscapes Expo.
Tourism Minister Trevor Holder tells CHSJ News a contingent of tourism operators, industry partners and exhibitors will bring a taste of provincial life to the big smoke.

He says it's the first time the province has been in the Toronto event having been in the Halifax version for several years now.

Holder says they will be focusing on the four pillars:  the Bay of Fundy, Acadian Culture, our rivers and beaches.

To learn about the event, click here

Williams Says No Deal - Yet

Transportation Minister Claude Williams says no deal has been reached for a replacement contractor for the multi-million dollar Harbour Bridge and One Mile Interchange projects.
Reports have been circulating today that an agreement was ready to be signed - but - in an email to CHSJ News - the Minister says negotiations are ongoing at this time - and - he will make an announcement if - and - when a signed legal agreement is in place.
Work has been at a standstill since Concreate U-S-L went bankrupt earlier this year - the province has been working with a bonding company to get a replacement contractor for the projects.

40 People Arrested In Major Sting

Thirty men and 10 women have been arrested after a major sting by Saint John City Police. The seven-week investigation, called Operation Crackdown, was aimed at street level crimes, particularly cocaine, prescription drug and marijuana dealers.

The investigation involved undercover buys and seven search warrants being authorized for a number of homes.

Of those arrested, 5 were under the age of 18.  Eight men have been remanded in custody and the others have been released with court dates.

The investigation targeted homes in the North End and West side and seized $13,000 worth of cocaine, $220,000 worth of marijuana and $1,000 in other drugs. 

Operation Crackdown wrapped up on June 15. 

Potholes Not The Top Priority, Says Council

Common councilor Shirley McAlary recently getting vocal about the need to fix potholes and cracks in the city roads--but her motion to prioritize those repairs has been defeated with some saying the spot-jobs shouldn't at the expense of bigger repaving projects.

McAlary had said she wanted the cracks and potholes at the top of the list, even before repaving streets.

Councillor Donnie Snook says he's in favour of better roads, but fixing entire streets, like Somerset, is just as important as isolated potholes.

Word On Bridge & Interchange Projects Expected Soon

A Transportation Department spokesperson says reports of a replacement contractor being found for the Harbour Bridge and One Mile Interchange projects aren't entirely accurate.
The spokesperson tells CHSJ News negotiations continue and nothing has been signed - but - we are promised an official statement later this afternoon.
Work on both projects has been at a standstill since Concreate U-S-L went bankrupt back in the spring -- since then the province has been working with the bonding company to make arrangements for a replacement contractor to finish the projects valued at just over 100-million dollars.

Transit GM Calls Bus Route A Bad Idea

With Common Councillor John Mackenzie motioning for the city to investigate a bus route from Saint John and outlying areas to the Sussex Potash Mine and Point Lepreau. 

Saint John Transit General Manager Frank McCarrey tells CHSJ news he doesn't see such a service making money unless it was subsidized by the companies. With so many drastic cuts to the bus service over the past several months, McCarrey says the last thing they need is to lose more money.

McCarrey says without subsidies the fare would have to be as high as 10 dollars a head.

Saint John Facing Aging Workface Problems

Saint John is not immune from the challenges that come with an aging workforce...a problem facing the entire country.

Enterprise Saint John hosting an event this week featuring speaker Mark Breslin who shares his insight with local employers.

Gina O'Rourke-McKay tells CHSJ News 20 per cent of the city workforce is industrial.

She say the skilled trades are facing many retirements over the next 5 to 10 years so to make sure they have the workers when they need them, Enterprise Saint John has begun an initiative to work with employers, union leaders and educators.

Mark Breslin says Alberta is an example saying it has not shifted its culture to develop people so they are now struggling just trying to find bodies to fill positions.

Partridge Island Is Not Top In List Of Priorities

Restoration of Partridge Island is further on down the list of priorities for development in the city.

The General Manager of Saint John Waterfront Development, Kent McIntyre says the Coast Guard site next to Market Square, the Reversing Falls master plan and upgrading the Trade and Convention Centre supercede Partridge Island.

Talks have been going on with four developers about the Coast Guard site and one very seriously.

CHSJ News has been told an announcement could be made by the end of the summer.

Saint John Has Missed Out On Money For Partridge Island

A Saint John historian says the 5.1 million dollar plan by Saint John Waterfront Development to restore Partridge Island is achievable but there have been lost opportunities in the past.

Harold Wright says back in 1984 then Trudeau cabinet minister Romeo Leblanc was to make a three million dollar announcement for Partridge Island that was cancelled. Then on two separate occasions, the city turned down offers of 9 million dollars.

Wright tells CHSJ News Partridge Island has been neglected for years and the vandalism over the past five years has been worse than during the previous 50.

The money went instead to Pier 21 in Halifax where a museum was built.

Shelter Says Abuse Is Still An Issue

A safe haven for a women living with abuse marking another year of service to the area. At Hestia House's annual general meeting, Executive Director Elaine Northrup telling CHSJ News its services remain vital even 31 years after it was first founded.

Outgoing president Kelly Ferris tells us since 1981, the shelter has sometimes seen three generations of women come through its doors as the cycle of abused is passed down from grandmothers, to mothers, and their children. The women come to them in desperate straits, she says, and need everything from pyjamas, toiletries and toys to help finding work or a more permanent place to live.

Hestia House provides shelter and support for up to 24 women and their children.  It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with ten full-time and three part time staff.

Because the shelter is housed in an aging building, Northrup adds, and needs a lot of repairs to be kept comfortable for the women and children living there. For more information about you can help, visit their website here

Plan Unveiled To Open Up Partridge Island

Saint John Waterfront Development rolling out a 5.1 million dollar plan to restore Partridge Island so people can get there and wander about. 

General Manager Kent McIntyre tells CHSJ News one of the big challenges is to provide access to the island along the breakwater. 

The breakwater would be levelled and covered over with a walkway able to withstand the weight of a half ton truck. McIntyre says people could either walk from the mainland to the island or be taken there in golf cart type buggies.
Once on the island, McIntyre says there would be a series of trails for people to use with interpretive signs detailing what was there at one time.

 Most of the buildings are gone but there are still some military installations still standing which could be restored. 

A local fundraising campaign will be launched and he estimates from 100 to 150 thousand people would visit the island each year.

McIntyre concedes there would have to be some funding help from government and right now budgets are too tight.