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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

12 Hour Arts Fundraiser For SPCA

A new non-stop 12 hour fundraiser is happening this Friday for the SPCA.

From noon until midnight tons of different acts will constantly be performing at the Spotlight Performing Arts Community Centre at 162 Waterloo Street.

Organizer Dustin Melvin tells CHSJ news Big Medicine, Rock Cliff Overdrive and even magicians will be performing. There will also be 50/50 tickets, a coin toss, items for sale and more.

Admission is $10 and $5 for students with the aim of raising $150,000.

Since Saturday over $20,000 has been raised for the SPCA, who hope to get $200,000 by this weekend to keep their doors open.

UNB Saint John Students Fear Acadian Closure

They could take the bus to come to school and they can take it home for Thanksgiving but how will many UNB Saint John students get home for Christmas?  

It's a burning question as the end of the line approaches for Acadian Bus Lines in November.

Student Representative Council President Brad Trecartin tells CHSJ News it becomes difficult when students don't have access to transporation.

He says there is interest in a new service being set up and they hope it happens soon and that it will be sustainable and affordable for students.

It's Super Tuesday at the Tucker Park campus with students taking part in Orientation.
Classes begin on Thursday.

Shock And Sadness Over Plight Of Animal Shelter

Can anyone spare a million to help keep the animal shelter on Bayside Drive open?

 Common Council is getting alot of flak on social media with the SPCA facing closure this weekend unless it can get its hands on a million dollars.

When he was running for Common Council in Ward 4, Ray Strowbridge spoke out publicly in favour of the SPCA being adequately funded.

He tells CHSJ News of being shocked and saddened by the impending closure but what can Council do? Strowbridge concedes a million dollars is an alarming dollar amount when you consider the state of the city's finances.

It's not known if the issue will be discussed tonight when Council meets to hear about how the committee form of city government is working in Fredericton.

Drive Differently During The School Year

Police from Sussex to Saint John will be watching as school kids head back to class tomorrow.

Traffic enforcement will be heightened as police look for drivers that are speeding, talking or texting on their phones or taking chances around school buses.

Sgt. Evan Scott of the Rothesay Regional Police tells CHSJ news drivers should know a lot of kids walk to school.

He says a lot of kids walk instead of taking the bus so drivers have to be mindful of both.

Scott adds motorists should keep a keen eye when driving in school zones and elsewhere because kids can dart out from anywhere.

Romero House Has Heart

A special honour for Romero House as they are the 2012 Board of Trade Big Heart award winner for their efforts to make Saint John a better place to live.

Romero House was established 30 years ago by executive director Carolyn McNulty as a soup kitchen with the aim of serving one hot meal seven days a week to those in need in Greater Saint John. 

It now includes a clothing room and distribution center for donated household goods and furniture, the services of a nurse one day a week, and a mobile service operating five nights a week in winter to provide temporary shelter, warm clothing and hot food to those living on the streets.

Representatives from Romero House will get their hardware at the Board of Trade Outstanding Business Achievement Awards at the Trade and Convention Centre on October 3rd.

City Can't Provide Funds, But Other Ideas For SPCA

As much as they'd like to see the SPCA survive, there's not much the city can do according to Ward 1 Common Councillor Bill Farren.

Farren tells CHSJ news the city can't afford a million dollars to keep the non-profit shelter afloat but does have other ideas in mind to care for the stray animals, such as work with Cherry Brook Zoo or create a new Animal Rescue League.

Saint John SPCA President Melody McElman says they know the city is tight for funds and the only thing the shelter wants is for the city to maintain its $6,600 a month animal contract. She says they're not asking the city for any help or extra money but the zoo is not an appropriate place for a shelter.

The SPCA did approach Common Council this spring looking for more fund, which Councillor Farren says they couldn't afford. 

The shelter is in danger of closing it's doors as early as this Saturday if it doesn't raise a large sum of money. 

Thousands of dollars in donations have been made since word got out over the weekend and a fundraiser yesterday raised almost 3 thousand dollars.

Big Upgrade Plans For Reversing Falls

Although the former coast guard site is top priority for waterfront redevelopment, some big plans are being laid out for recreation by Reversing Falls.

GM for Saint John Development Kent MacIntyre tells CHSJ news they hope to have new walkways, an interpretive centre and extending harbour passage by at least 4 kilometers.

It's all a part of a master 10 year, $35 million dollar project funded by all 3 levels of government back in 2010.

MacIntyre adds he always gets e-mails from tourists asking two key questions about Harbour Passage. One is how long it is, and the other is if they're bike rentals. He'd like to see it extends as far as Rockwood Park in the coming years.

Fire Chief Says They're Getting A Handle On Vacant Buildings

The fire department is doing much more than just putting out fires around town these days. 

Fire Chief Kevin Clifford tells CHSJ News they've been inspecting vacant buildings to measure how dangerous they are if a fire should break out and continue to do so. 

Clifford says, in some of these buildings, the floors have actually been cut out by scavengers looking for anything of value to take and the the fire department has to be aware of that.

The Chief says it's much more dangerous fighting blazes in unoccupied buildings which could be literally falling apart but he stresses not all of the 115 to 120 vacant buildings in the city are in such bad shape, they all have to be demolished.

Students Returning To Class Tomorrow

Unlike previous years, students will not be returning to school the day after Labour Day. They will begin returning tomorrow morning with staggered starts depending on what grade you're in. 

School Districts 6, 8 and 10 have been merged into one which is called the Anglophone South School District stretching all the way from Sussex to St. Stephen. 

The new Superintendent Zoe Watson acknowledges with 74 schools, there's alot of diversity and differences to be worked out. 

Some of the high schools will have over a thousand students each to the smallest school on White Head Island with just 20 students. 

Watson tells CHSJ News as Superintendent in School District 6, she is used to diversity. That school district included Sussex, Belle Isle and the Kennebecasis Valley.