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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Students Have Their Say On How To Improve North End

Grade 12 Students from Saint John High looking into the past, present and future of the Old North End.

Teacher Barry Ogden assigned his Canadian History class into 3 groups to find out how it changed from a vibrant community into a centre of urban poverty.

Carly Galbrith's group was responsible for the history of the area, which they discovered was full of thriving businesses. Her group traced the history of the urban renewal experiment in the 1960's, which demolished buildings and changed the look of the neighborhood.

Student Jonah Uhryniw says there's a lot of great community leaders in the North End who believe it can be something. He points to One Change, who've reduced crime by bringing the community together. Uhryniw adds just cleaning up the area would engender pride and was surprised so many people looked at the area in a negative light.

Meagan Williams believes small changes can make a big difference like bringing in more community events such as tree planting, geocaching and organized sports.

Andre Basque tells CHSJ news getting local artists to paint murals in the area would really add some beauty.   He says not only would that promote local artists, but it wouldn't cost the City more money.

The students have also suggested filling vacant lots, enhancing Fort Howe, and even adding a mall to brighten up the area.


Map of Old North End

Huge Deer Harvest This Year

Great news for hunters, but bad news for deer in the province: the recently completed deer season was the highest harvest since 2008.

The number of deer harvested has gone up by over 6,000 animals, or 26%

Part of the reason for the big numbers is the 550 additional antlerless deer permits were given out this year. The final harvest numbers will be available in early 2013.

Homelessness Hurts The Port City

Living on $500 per month or less would be a major stretch for most of us but, that's the harsh reality for those on social assistance.

Local teens are learning about the importance of affordable housing at a youth conference hosted by the Human Development Council and Safe Harbour. 

Colin McDonald of the HDC tells CHSJ News there are a lot of run-down buildings in this market, which aren't safe or healthy places to live. 
He says home should be a place where you can can recharge and when you're denied that right your overall well-being suffers.

The high school students sat in on sessions on housing for homeless youth and mentally ill individuals and created works of art on the topic.

You Might Be Shocked To Hear How Your Water Is Treated

Clean drinking water is one of the city's top priorities, after all, so you might be interested in knowing exactly why your H20 doesn't taste so great. Commissioner of Environment Bill Edwards describes the not-very sophisticated process water goes through before it comes out of your tap. 

"Currently we take the sticks and debris out of our water and we put in some chlorine that disinfects [it]. Once we add the chlorine there are other disinfectio
n by-products that form as a result. That happens because of the nature of our water, the leaves, the vegetation, the animal remains that are in the surface water, the length of our pipes, we get by-products as a result of the chemicals that we put in. They are a recognized Canadian health hazard. We need to improve the treatment of our water such that the water delivered in your tap doesn't have any of those harmful, or potentially harmful, by-products."

Mayor Mel Norton says it's clear that's not the way you should be treating water in 2013, and we clearly need to do better.

Child Poverty Rate In Province Is Lower

The child poverty rate in the province is dropping but there's still a long way to go according to Randy Hatfield of the Saint John Human Development Council.

In actual numbers, more than 22 thousand children in the province lived in poverty in 2010 according to the annual Child and Poverty Report Card.

Using the Low Income Measure, the rate of child poverty was 16.1% in 2010 which is down from 24.6% in 2006.

Watch Out For Virus Email From Fake Canada Post

If you've recently received an e-mail from Canada Post, you might want to think twice before opening it.

A fake Canada Post e-mail is circulating around the country that's asking you to open a document or to click a link to get tracking information on a package. Canada Post has issued a warning on their website to delete the viral e-mail and that it's no way related to the company. 

They stress if you do need to track your package, to go to their website and enter the tracking number.

Straight Talk From Mayor Mel Norton At State Of The City Address

Saint John is as big hearted as it is two fisted, according to Mayor Mel Norton and we're more than a match for the challenges we face.

The Mayor gave a bird's eye view of the hurdles the Port City is encountering, as well as the victories we have already achieved, before a crowd of about 150 at his first State of the City address. 

Norton freely admits growing the economy and facing our fiscal woes won't be easy. He cites the pension deficit and our current economic rut as the biggest obstacles to our future success as a municipality.

Norton offered some folksy wisdom as a challenge to his constituents. He'd like the people of Saint John to take an opportunity each day to talk about the ways we're succeeding as a city. It is only, the Mayor says, by changing the coffee shop conversation that we are going to see real progress.