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Monday, November 23, 2009

Poverty Report Card Released

Even in a pretty good economy, the child poverty rate remains too high.
That from Randy Hatfield of the Human Development Council which released the 4th Annual Child and Family Report Card yesterday.
He is encouraged by the Province's Poverty Reduction Iniative so, now the Federal government should step up.
The report also measures the growing gap between the rich and the poor and cites the stats for the number of families with core housing needs.
Copies of the report can be downloaded from the Human Development Council's website at under the products and services tab.

H1N1 Clinics for Kids Today

Public Health is holding two H1N1 clinics today for children.
The priority group clinics are for kids receiving their first dose aged 6 months to 18 years. The second dose is available for kids aged 6 months to 35 months who received their first dose at least 3 weeks ago.
The second dose of the vaccine is also available for kids aged 3 to 9 who got their first shot 3 weeks ago.
The clinics are underway at Simonds High School on the Hickey Road until 7:30pm tonight and the other is at Belleisle Regional High School in Springfield until 7pm.

Reversing Falls Name Change Still in the Works

The name "Fundy Vortex" is no longer being considered for Reversing Falls---that from President of the Saint John Waterfront Development Corporation Bill MacMackin.

MacMackin tells CHSJ News, changing the name of the site is apart of the Master Plan for redevelopment.
MacMackin says tourists still go to Reversing Falls expecting to see falls moving backwards.
MacMackin says he hopes there will be some capital investment next year to put into the Fallsview Park area, which is where most tourists from the cruise ships go.

Reversing Falls Lookout Officials Open

The Reversing Falls Lookout on the east side of the bridge is officially open.

Saint John Waterfront Development Corporation, the city and the province are collaborating on the revitalization of Reversing Falls, and the opening of this lookout will provide tourists and residents with a unique vantage point of the falls.
Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty says the spot will continue to be a major draw for tourists in the city.
The master plan for the future of the site will act as the blueprint in the redevelopment of Reversing Falls and how usability, education and visitor interaction will be increased.

West Side Wellness Centre Opens

(photo courtesy of Aaron Kennedy)

Health Minister Mary Schryer on hand for the opening of the new Market Place Wellness Centre in the Carleton Community Centre.
The Department of Health invested 125-thousand dollars to help establish the centre
which consists of a clinic and meeting room.
A nurse practitioner from the St. Joseph's Centre will see patients at the facility for a half day each week. The facility is supported through the St. Joseph's Community Health Centre, the Horizon Health Network and the community group-Westside P.A.C.T.

Aids Awareness Week

(Julie Dingwell and Mayor Ivan Court at Flag Ceremony)
                    (Photo By Jim Hennessy)

If your walking or driving by City Hall, you will notice a new flag on the pole outside the building. It's to mark the beginning of Aids Awareness Week leading into World Aids Day. Julie Dingwell is with Aids Saint John and tells CHSJ News, here at home, there are new cases of H.I.V. on a regular basis.

Dingwell says it's important for people to take time to reflect on the terrible toll the disease has had on people young and old.

Joint Operation in Fredericton Nets Charges

A Fredericton man pleaded guilty to drug charges after a joint police investigation.

Gregory Quigg was in Fredericton Provincial Court on charges of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and and marihuana. He previously plead not guilty to the charges.
The charges resulted from "Operation Jellybean"-a joint operation between the RCMP and Fredericton Police following an organized group trafficking several drugs in the province.
Other charges have been laid because of Operation Jellybean and there are more to come.   Quigg will be back in court in January.

Mining Accident Takes a Life

56-year old Vince Mitton of Penobsquis has been killed while working at the Potash Corporation Mine in Sussex yesterday. General Manager Mark Fracchia tells CHSJ News, the area where Mitton was working is closed while an investigation is carried out by Worksafe NB and an internal team on what exactly happened.

Mitton was working underground installing a section of pipe when he was killed.

Atlantic Coastal Action Program Funding

As their current five year funding deal winds down, Atlantic Coastal Action Programs across Atlantic Canada are hoping to speed up the paperwork to get a new deal in place. The ACAP networks need to renew a deal through Environment Canada's Atlantic Priority Ecosystem Initiative. ACAP Saint John spokes-person Tim Vickers tells CHSJ News, they have accomplished plenty over the past 17 years and would hate to see it end now.

ACAP Saint John has been around since 1992.

Getting Ready for Provincial Election

  (Provincial Conservative Leader David Alward)
                (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Not only are they trying to keep the Graham Government's feet to the fire over the proposal to sell NB Power's assets, the provincial Conservatives are also tying to finalize it's line-up for next September's election. David Alward tells CHSJ News, he is pleased with the out-standing community leaders which have been chosen as candidates and they are already involved in the caucus process.

A familiar name that has re-surfaced is former Saint John Deputy Mayor and Conservative candidate in the riding of Saint John Harbour Michelle Hooton

New Magazine Coming to Your Home

You may already have found it in your mailbox or you now have something to look for. INVITE is the name of a new leisure and hospitality magazine that is being published by the City. The premiere issue features an editorial from Mayor Ivan Court who talks about what Saint John has to offer and invites all to come and see the city. It also has plenty of pictures of people enjoying the city night-life, restaurants and what is up and coming in and around the metro area.

No word on what the cost is and whether or not the circulation is province-wide.

Houses Shake in K-Park

There is a mystery in K-Park today. Rothesay Regional Police tell us they received calls from two homes about what sounded and felt like an explosion around seven o'clock last night.

Officer's combed the area but found nothing. No major damage reported to either of the homes that reported the loud bang.

Saint John's Fire Chief Review

After asking him to do a review, then not to, and then getting back on the hook--Common Council will finally hear the results of a review of the Fire Department by Chief Rob Simonds. It's aimed at finding ways the department would be able to save money, without the quality of service being affected. Chief Simonds will present his report to council, and up for discussion will be the utilization of volunteer fire fighters and how to decrease costs without lowering the departments Fire Underwriters Survey grade.

Tonight's meeting gets started at 6:30pm.

Mayor Court Comments on Ipsos Survey

The Ipsos Reid survey of Saint John residents shows the city needs to improve it's communication with the public. Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News, council is aware of the need for better communication, and it's one of their top priorities.

Court adds there is no doubt there is room to improve and that's why the city has established a new communications department to help try and remedy the concerns.

Latest Findings in for Peel Plaza Area

The results are in from the Heritage Development Board as to the historic importance of the buildings in the proposed Peel Plaza area. Common Council will review the facts and figures on the historic buildings around Peel Plaza at tonight's meeting.

The research is to be used in helping determine future developments and the retention of significant heritage landmarks in the area.

East Point Requests More Expansion

East Point Shopping Center keeps getting bigger and is looking to expand more. A request for a new road in the shopping district will be proposed at Council tonight. If approved the road will be added onto the end of the pre-existing Retail Drive. Developers have requested the new road be named, "East Point Way".

The next big opening for the shopping district is Costco in May.

Olympic Fever in Greater Saint John

Olympic Fever is expected to hit a fever pitch by this time tomorrow. The torch begins it’s trek through the Province today, coming through Greater Saint John by tomorrow. Things get started with a huge celebration in Sussex during the noon hour. It will then arrive in Hampton just after three o’clock, make it’s way to Quispamsis and then make a short trek down the old Hampton Highway for a stop and ceremony in Rothesay. This is the only community stop between Sussex and Saint John. It will be glowing in the parking lot of the Rothesay Arena between 4-5:00pm o’clock.

The huge ceremony is set for the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal at seven o’clock tomorrow. Things get started at five with a community type fair and then Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club Debbie Cooper will make her way down Water Street to light a make-shift cauldron followed by a fireworks display at eight o’clock over the Harbour. O n Wednesday, the flame will roll into Grand Bay-Westfield for a short ceremony just before ten near the River-Valley Arena.

Health Care Announcement West

       (Health Minister Mary Schryer)
                (File Photo)

The new work week gets off to a fast start for the Department of Health. Its Minister, Mary Schryer will be joined by Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty for a news conference at eleven this morning.

It will take place at 82 Market Place West and no word on whether cash or new equipment will be rolled out.

Zamboni Sponsorship Unveiled

(Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll)
             (File Photo)

Construction of the facility isn’t done yet, but a sponsorship for the new zamboni that will clean the ice of the Q-Plex is being rolled out. Quispamsis has called a news conference for 12:30pm this afternoon at the town hall to announce the major sponsor of the ice cleaning machine and official vehicle.

Things get started at 12:30pm.