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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Graham Government Helping Local Soup Kitchen

The Graham government is coming to the aid of the financially strapped Romero House soup kitchen -- Premier Graham made a stop at the soup kitchen this afternoon along with Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock and Saint John area M-L-A's to present a ten thousand dollar cheque. Romero House executive director Carolyn McNulty says the donation will help to provide a financial buffer.
Premier Graham says he's hoping the provincial contribution will help to provide an incentive to Saint Johners to rally around the soup kitchen. Meantime -- a finance committee has been formed and is meeting Thursday to draw up a fund raising plan.

Paul Zed Applaudes Liberal Donation to Romero House

Former Saint John M-P Paul Zed tells CHSJ News, the liberals have stepped up to the plate donating $10 thousand dollars to Romero House.
Zed is the chair of the committee fighting to replenish the bank account at the soup kitchen.Romero House is expected to lay off all of it's full time staff August the 7th due to a $20 thousand dollar short fall.Zed says the goal is to raise $30 thousand, and is optimistic the amount can be met.He says this is an important project for a facility that serves 400 meals a day, and says a meeting is scheduled for Thursday with community activists to figure out how to keep the lights on at Romero House.

Attempted Robber To Appear In Court Again

After a day in court the man arrested for attempting to rob Duck Food Mini Mart will be facing a judge next week.City police tell us he will be in court again on July 27th after a five day psychiatric exam.The man entered the store at the corner of Duke and Charlotte just before nine o'clock and demanded money. The people working refused and chased the man out of the store and caught up with him in Queens Square. Still no word on if there is any connection to the sudden rash of armed robbery's occurring in the city.

District 8 Getting Close to $300K From the Province

District 8 can't confirm the exact number of dollars they are getting from the province for support staff, but say it's in the $300 thousand dollar ballpark.Superintendent Susan Tipper tells CHSJ News, it's wonderful news for the district because they will be able to reinstate many programs.
Tipper says the money will help the district reinstate positive learning environments, and if need be hire more behaviour experts, and teacher assistants.Education Minister Roland Hache announced previously that money will be taken from the Innovative Learning Fund to help reverse many of the proposed cuts to school districts.

Rogers Gets Nod For City's Wireless Services

The city is switching carriers for its vast array of Blackberries - cell phones - pagers - and - data cards.
Common council has approved a new contract with Rogers Communications which staff indicates will save about 100-thousand dollars a year compared to the existing seven year old contract with the former Aliant Mobility.
Rogers - Bell Mobility - and - Telus all submitted bids with Rogers and Bell shortlisted.

New Standard Adopted For City Streets

(Hillcrest Drive listed as serious under new standard - photo courtesy City of Saint John)

We should see an improvement in the condition of city streets over the next four years.
Common council has approved a new pavement policy which will see up to 15-million dollars being spent over the next four years to upgrade streets to a newly adopted pavement condition index.
Council is also being asked to increase its street maintenance budget in the coming year -- something Municipal Operations Commissioner Paul Groody admits is a significant financial investment -- but -- it is an investment in assets.A survey of streets based on the newly adopted standard shows almost 20-percent of them are either in very poor or poor condition.
The standard is based on new software developed by the U-S Army Corps of Engineers.

Wage Gap Action Plan Scholarships Awarded

Fifty three students are getting their first year of tuition at the New Brunwick Community College paid for by the provincial government.As apart of the Wage Gap Action Plan Scholarship nine students heading to the Saint John campus will be getting $26 hundred dollars to put towards their first year of school.The scholarship aims to encourage men and women to examine careers where the other gender is the majority, such as women studying welding, or carpentry.

Brunswicker About To Get New Lease On Life

The historical old Brunswicker building is in line for a make over -- Ocean Capital Investments has purchased the building on the lower end of Sydney Street and wants to convert it to office space.
The company has applied to have the property rezoned from park area to general business -- common council will deal with the rezoning next month.
The building currently houses the Atlantica Center for the Arts which will be moving to a new location.
Written objections to the rezoning will be received by the Common Clerk's office in City Hall until August 19th.

Attempted Robbery in the Uptown

One man is locked up and being questioned after an attempted robbery in the uptown last night. A man walked into the Duck Food Mini-Mart at the corner of Duke and Charlotte just before nine o'clock and demanded money. The people working refused and chased the man out of the store and caught up with hime in Queens Square.

Police arrived a short time later and took him to City Hall for questioning. No word if this man is related to four other armed and two attempted robberies in East Saint John and the West Side over the past three weeks.

Council Wants Westgate Flooding Fixed

Westgate Park residents plagued by flooding problems may be getting some relief -- common council has tabled a zoning request to clear the way for development of four townhouses on Downsview Drive until the city and developer can find a solution to the flooding issue.
Councilor Peter McGuire says it's a quality of life issue and residents must be protected.
Ellerdale Investments wants to use the townhouses as a sales office for its Water Street condo development for a year -- the company says it needs to move the current sales office off the Water Street site so construction can get started.
Planning Commissioner Ken Forrest says the land is currently zoned for commercial development -- so -- the developer could nix the townhouse proposal and proceed with a commercial complex without additional approval but Councilor Chris Titus says no building permits should be issued in the subdivision until the flooding has been resolved.