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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

D.A.R.E. Brings In A Unique Motivational Speaker For Simonds Students

In an effort to keep high school kids on the right track, the local D.A.R.E program bringing in a motivational speaker to tell Simonds High students about the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol.

Retro Bill tells us he was bullied and he lost some friends but he tell kids to treat others with respect.

He says what you put out in this world comes back to you and every day isn't easy but like the incline on a hula hoop you have to work through stuff.

Retro Bill's presentation will make its way through many regional schools this week between Saint John and Grand Manan and beyond.

 For more info, click here

Norton And Others Made Case for Crude To Come To New Brunswick While Out West

Politicians from all levels of government touched down in Calgary to convince oil and gas producers to ship their black gold to the Port City. 

Mayor Mel Norton was joined by Energy Minister Craig Leonard, MP Rodney Weston and more, and Norton tells CHSJ News that it's rare that you see municipal, provincial and federal politicians working together towards the same goal.

He tells us they pitched Saint John to the producers, saying that we have Canada's largest oil refinery, a deep water port and we are the closest of any Canadian port to markets in the U.S., Europe and India. And while producers can't come out and say what their decision will be, he says reception has be 'wonderful'.

Norton tells us they didn't shy away from telling oil and gas producers why they want this; he says that it's no secret that many workers in the province leave for Alberta and never return, and they want to retain a workforce

Man Charged In Beating Diagnosed With Schizophrenia

A man charged with aggravated assault for a March 16th beating in an uptown rooming house has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Judge Henrik Tonning told the couty he's looked over the psychiatric report prepared on 35-year-old Nicholas Logan at Restigouche, and he may not have been criminally
responsible for the death of 66 year old Duncan MacDonald.

A hearing to decide Logan's level of responsibility will be held on June 18th.

Controversy Over Rothesay Common

It's a picturesque space in the centre of Rothesay, and some residents believe that it's under threat. 

Margaret Leahey Bailey saying that changes to the common will destroy the heart of the community, with Jim Crosby echoing that sentiment, saying that the common should be left alone. 

Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News that that they're only looking into general maintenance, which will include updating the drainage, the outdoor skating rink and the already-existing rink-house.

Bishop says their primarily concern seems to be that council will break the covenant, which says there's to be no building on the common, and he says council respects that.

Common Council Offers Congrats To Lowe

The mayor and council are extending their congratulations to newly-minted Ward 3 councillor Gerry Lowe.

Councillor at large Shirley McAlary tells CHSJ News Lowe has been an asset to the Planning and Advisory Committee and she has very confidence in his abilities.

While voter turnout was low as usual, 8 people is a lot to run in a by-election--and McAlary says everyone ran an excellent campaign.

City Market Seniors May Not Be Left Out In The Cold

There may be no city money available for the City Market Seniors to pursue their project of an age friendly Saint John but provincial money may be a different story.

Councillor at Large Shirley McAlary says that's the indication given to the Cities of New Brunswick by Dorothy Sheppard, the M-L-A for Saint John Lancaster, who's also in charge of healthy and inclusive communities for the provincial government.

Some type of public engagement is supposed to happen on June 4th according to the city which is being organised by the province. The City's Recreation Manager Kevin Watson says there will be more public engagement to follow.

Spring Spike In Illegal Dumping

Doing some spring cleaning? Don't clean your house by fouling up our woods and waterways.

The Department of Natural Resources is warning the public illegal dumping carries fines from $500 to $20,500 for individuals and from $1,000 to $1 million for companies.

They say there tends to be a spike in illegal dumping at this time of year. 

If you see someone dumping illegally, contact police or Crime Stoppers.

A New Focus At City Hall On Seeing Things Get Done

The city budget is no longer just about how much money is being spent.......It's more about whether the money is being spent to actually get things done with targets being met. That's the focus of the service based budget City Manager Pat Woods is talking about.

He says this new budget approach will give members of Common Council a better idea about whether taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely because they'll be able to tell Saint Johnners exactly what their dollars were spent on.

Woods says every organisation needs a strategic plan because if you don't know your destination, how do you know when you gewt there.

Traffic Disruptions

Bayside Drive between Mount Pleasant and Courtney Avenue will be down to one lane north bound as you make your way towards Thorne Avenue for sewer repairs. Work is expected to begin at 7:30 this morning and continue until 5 this afternoon.

The Department of Transportation telling us the Evandale ferry will be off its run at 10 this morning for engine maintenance.

Most Community Groups Get the Grant Money They Asked For

152 thousand dollars in neighbourhood grants have been approved by Common Council for community groups including One Change in the Old North End, the Teen Resource Centre and the Around the Block newspaper.

West Side Councillor Greg Norton makes note the report states, at times, it's difficult to measure the return on investment of tax dollars.

North end Councillor John MacKenzie says he has no doubt how valuable these organisations are in the priority neighbourhoods.

Norton, who's a principal in the north end at Lorne School, adds he has no doubt about the social return on investment in these neighbourhoods.

The City Market Seniors who requested 25 thousand dollars for a project called "Toward an age friendly Saint John" were turned down and told to approach the province.

Re-zoning Proposal Passed By Rothesay Council, Town Will See Duplexes And New Road

Flooding, noise and tree cutting were the main concerns raised by a handful of people who spoke up at a public hearing against rezoning an area in Rothesay so that duplexes and a road can be built on Gibbon Road. One resident in favour of the project saying it's a classic case of 'not in my backyard' syndrome. 

The proposal passed after a council vote, six to one, with councillor Pat Gallagher Jette opposed. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News that their decision to rezone the area isn't an indication that the municipal plan is breaking down; he says they look at these projects on their own merit so precendents won't have much sway in the town of Rothesay.

Jeff Harriman, who is the director of Cachal Property investments and lives in Rothesay, tells us whether they build single or double family dwellings, they'll be contending with the same issues and working with the town to address them. 

He says this will be the first new construction in the area in a long time and that it's important for the town to develop.

Reasoning Behind Rejection Of New Sunday Shopping Hours Being Called Not Pro-Business

Business decisions should be made by business owners, not by the government.

That's according to Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada in reaction to the Board of Trade's rejection of their recommendation to change Sunday shopping hours.

He tells CHSJ News that what his organization is asking for governments to stop dictating to retailers the hours they choose for opening on a Sunday. Cormier says, they're saying that you cannot open during hours that may be best for your business.

The Board of Trade's argument is that that possible consumer demand for more business hours would put pressure on small retailers to stay open beyond what they can afford.

Flemming Hopeful The Province & Its Doctors Can Work Things Out

Provincial Health Minister Ted Flemming doesn't think there is a conflict between the government and the doctors.

CHSJ News asked the minister about the response to his open letter to doctors following word of the Medical society's plan to sue the province over a
medicare billing cap.

He thinks if they get together and have some discussions this thing can be fixed up.

Flemming says he's been low key on the matter lately but still giving it a lot of thought and he does expect to have some discussions on this matter as the week rolls on.

Police Investigate Possible Child Luring

Details of a possible child-luring incident involving a 12 year old girl in Oromocto have been released by the RCMP.

They say the girl reported being approached by a stranger in a dark-coloured vehicle in Mazerolle Settlement Friday afternoon at about 5:00.

Police have been told the man offered to give her a drive but she ran home and told her parents.

The man is described as being between 50 and 70 years old, with a thin build, reddish-coloured skin and was driving a four door vehicle with tinted windows and a grey interior.