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Monday, July 20, 2009

Council Backs Away From Improvement Area Decision

A decision on moving ahead with a West Side Business Improvement Area has been tabled by common council.
Councilors want to wait until the Common Clerk has an opportunity to verify the number of businesses -- she also says 35-percent of those contacted so far object to the B-I-A proposal and resulting levy -- leaving supporter Blaine Harris frustrated because his group doesn't have access to the objections so it can't address those concerns.
Some of those objecting say they don't have enough information the organization's plans for the funds collected through the Business Improvement levy.

Council Side Steps Stompin' Tom Way

(Rendition of Stompin' Tom Way - photo courtesy Jason MacLean)

He has captured the hearts of fans across the country -- but -- Saint John native Tom Conners has failed to stir common council into action.
Councilors have received and filed a request from Jason MacLean to rename the Chipman Hill pedway "Stompin' Tom Way" in time for his Harbour Station concert August 8th.
The proposal also included non-permanent pictures and posters of Stompin' Tom on the exterior and the interior of the pedway.

Public Process Underway For Long Wharf Development

The ball is now rolling to deal with a municipal plan amendment which will clear the way for the construction of the Irving Oil headquarters on Long Wharf.
Planning Commissioner Ken Forrest gave official notice of the proposed amendment during tonight's common council meeting.
The process allows anyone with objections to the change to submit those objections in writing to the Common Clerk at city hall no later than August 19th.
Irving is proposing a 30-million dollar complex which will include a second cruise terminal for the port.
The proposal also involves a land swap between Irving and the Port Authority which is awaiting federal approval.

V-O-N Flu Shot Clinics

It's the time of year the Victorian Order of Nurses begins its annual Workplace Flu Immunization campaign.Spokesperson Suzanne D'Entremont tells CHSJ News, so far it's not known if the sudden influx of H1N1 cases will increase the response for seasonal flu shots.
V-O-N has sent out a letter informing businesses about its flu shot clinics, and D'Entremont says public sessions will be held as well.She says research shows people who receive annual flu shots generally perform better in the workforce, because they are not missing as much time.

Conference For Improving Methods of Teaching High School Students

Teachers from around the province are attending a conference to discuss methods of teaching high school students.From the city, Simonds High School is participating in the project, which is a part of the 21st Century Learning initiative.The initiative is trying to introduce methods of teaching where students need to use math, science, or literacy skills in real life situations.The goal of the project is to have an assignment relating to the community, using knowledge learned in school outside of the classroom setting.

Health Minister Says Billing Number Restrictions Not An Issue

[Health Minister Mary Schryer----File Photo]

Contrary to doctors at the Saint John Medical Society Meeting last week, Health Minister Mary Schryer tells CHSJ News, billing number restrictions are not the biggest problem.
Schryer says billing numbers are not the issue, and is a tool to help bring doctors to rural parts of the province. She says it's hard to get doctors to accept positions in Grand Manan or Shippigan.
Late last week President of the Saint John Medical Society Dr. Mary Jarratt said along with non-competitive pay scale nationally and regionally, billing number restrictions hurts the province recruit and retain doctors.

Second LNG Tanker Has Arrived

Unlike the first vessel which was delayed several times due to the weather, the second massive LNG Tanker arrived at the Canaport Terminal today under blue skies and sunshine. This is the second in as many months and should take less than 24 hours to off-load it's cargo.

The first shipment of gas started flowing through the Brunswick Pipeline last week to it's destination. Canaport officials report everything is working the way it should.

Seniors Concerned About Aging Population

With the population in the Province getting older, the President of the New Brunswick Seniors Federation says a greater demand for medical services is going to present itself. Ralph Smith says in a few years, there will be a high percentage of seniors making up the population.

Smith says his group will do anything it can to help the Saint John Medical Society try and recruit more doctors adding seniors use medical services more than any other group of people.

Chief of Geriatrics Knows the Concerns

Doctor shortages and restrictions on billing numbers are not the only major concerns facing the provinces medical is the aging population. Chief of Geriatrics at the Regional Hospital Dr. Pam Jarratt says right now there are over a hundred people waiting for a long term care facility spot.

Dr. Jarratt adds she generally deals with patients over the age of 85, which is a vulnerable age group because they require the most care.

Open House in Rothesay Wednesday Night

An open house will be held at the Town Hall in Rothesay on Wednesday between four and eight with officials from the Department of Transportation. They will have a preliminary plan on display to upgrade Route One and the Route Seven Interchange and Mackay Highway. A developer or contrator will construct 55 km of new, four-lane highway between Murray Road near Waweig and Lepreau.

The Province is also looking for someone to be responsible for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of 235 km's of Route 1 from St. Stephen to River Glade for a 30-year period, starting June 2011.

Green Party Predicts Federal Vote

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says voter's don't want to hear it but the chances are real good that a Federal Election is coming in the fall. The House of Commons Fall sitting gets started September.21st and the first chance for a confidence vote is a week later. There is also plenty of speculation about a Provincial Election possibly this fall. May tells CHSJ News, the Green Party in New Brunswick is making strides.

May says given the current statements about taking down the Harper Government from Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe.....there is very little wiggle room.

Seadog Front Office Gearing up for Season

The front office of the Saint John Seadogs wants to lock up 2300 season tickets before the puck drops. Already at 70% renewal that number appears to be attainable and there is plenty of optimism it wll be. President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News, there are still a few pieces of the puzzle to try and put in place but they like where they are on and off the ice.

Long admits alot of people may still be on the fence about the team with so many new faces but is confident, fans will like the product on the ice.

Province Set to Unveil New License Plates

Appropriately, a newly designed provincial licence plate will be unveiled on New Brunswick Day. Conservation plates with three new designs will be available for $32 and regular plates with the new design will be $25.

Also new, owners of seasonal or antique vehicles will now have a single licence plate for their vehicles. The new plates will be available starting on the 4th of next month but getting one is optional.

Plenty for City Council to Discuss

A new soccer field, new homes for the West-Side and putting a name on the pedway. Just a few of the items on the agenda at Common Council tonight. Councilor Carl Killen thinks it would be a great idea to convert a vacant field near the Carelton Community Center on the Lower West Side into a soccer field. Just up the hill, Councilor Peter McGuire wants to talk about future construction on the former DVA Site on Lancaster Avenue.

Also on the agenda......there is a letter to council to name the pedway Stompin Tom Way. The artist of course was born in the North End before moving to Prince Edward Island when he was just a young boy. All these items and plenty more will be up for debate starting at six in the council chamber.

Man Jumps to His Death

No name has yet been released after a 44-year old man jumped off an over-pass on the weeked and fell to his death. On Friday night, there was a two vehicle crash around 9:30pm at the Grand Bay Westfield Exit.

Police say the dead man was the driver of a vehicle heading north that left the road after it collided with a second vehicle with four people in it. Officers say the man got out of his vehicle, ran past the other one and jumped over a guardrail.