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Monday, June 3, 2013

Port Saint John Receives AAPA Awards

The local Port's makeover is proving worthwhile in more ways than one.

Port Saint John being recognized by the American Association of Port Authorities for it's rebranding campaign,  it's video produced by Hemming House Pictures and its effective use of social media.

The rebranding campaign began early this year and Port Saint John developed a new logo and strategy that removed  the word "authority" from their printed materials. 

Port Saint John is considered a more approachable title for community members to identify with.

Port Saint John will receive 4 awards at the AAPA conference this fall.

To see the video, click here

Accused At Murder Trial Seen Sobbing On Police Video

The jury saw the rest of a police video of 29 year old Crystal Dawn MacKenzie being questioned in the stabbing death of her common law partner, 29 year old Patrick Thomas in March of 2010. MacKenzie is being retried for 2nd degree murder.

The video shows MacKenzie doubled over, rocking back and forth while sobbing. MacKenzie tells lead investigator Sergeant Dan Oram she didn't mean to kill Thomas but didn't want him in the apartment on Alma Street that night because she didn't want her kids to see them fighting. 

She tells Oram of stabbing Thomas in the shoulder after thinking he was coming after her. Sergeant Oram told the court he took that to mean MacKenzie was the aggressor after becoming so enraged. 

Defense lawyer David Kelly suggested she wasn't giving an academy award performance during the interrogation but Oram told the court, in his view, she was more upset at her own predicament than what had happened to Thomas.  

Kelly got into evidence Thomas' past criminal record for assaults including an order, at one point, to not have contact with MacKenzie.

Irving & Virmani To Receive Red Cross Humanitarian Awards

The 2013 Red Cross Humanitarian Award recipients are Arthur Irving and Alisha Virmani.

Irving is known as a strong supporter of youth establishing many scholarships, mentorships and tutoring programs all while supporting Junior Achievement throughout the province.

Alisha Virmani is the 2013 Young Humanitarian Award winner for the province.   She has experienced bullying and decided to share her story in the hopes of creating change among people and in government.

Virmani is a graduate of Fredericton High who is studying Life Sciences at Queen's in Kingston.

Irving and Virmani will receive their awards in a dinner in November at the Trade and Convention Centre.

Saint Johners Will Get To See The Best In Figure Skating

Saint John will welcome the best figure skaters in the world with the 2013 Skate Canada International event from Oct 25 to the 27th. 

Competitors include Patrick Chan, Yuna Kim, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.   60 Olympic and world competitors from 15 countries will be converging on the city. Tickets go on sale on June 14th. 

The event, which is expected to inject about 4 million dollars into the local economy, has 16 and a half hours of tv coverage. In Japan, 10 million viewers will watch 4 hrs of 

The competition will be the last major event before the next Olympics and many of the skaters will use the same routines.

Skate Canada International was last here in 1999.

 For the volunteer application form, click here

Combo Of Virtual Conversations And Real-Life Meetings Key To Keeping True Growth 2.0 On Track

With so many players participating in the city's revamped growth strategy, texting and e-mailing alone is not enough to keep everybody on the same page. 

Saint John mayor Mel Norton tells CHSJ News when it comes to True Growth 2.0 they'll depend on a combination of virtual conversations and behind the scenes, face-to-face meetings to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction. 

Norton says that the heads of organizations including the Port, the Airport or Discover Saint John need to be in the same room on a regular basis, so they can talk in real time about what they're working on and share their next set of goals. 

He says part of the new mandate and mission the board of Enterprise Saint John has been given is to make sure the collaboration continues.

A Warning For Municipalities About The Weather

The Insurance Bureau is warning municipalities to upgrade their stormwater and sewer systems because of climate change and extreme weather conditions. It estimates shich upgrades would cost 69 million dollars.

Former Mayor and now Councillor at Large Shirley McAlary calls it a fair warning and tells CHSJ News the city is well aware of how much rain we can get in a short period of time which is why successive Common Councils have been allocating money through the years for that purpose. She says the key is devoting enough resources for maintenance.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities also coming out in support of a proposal made by Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair to allocate another cent of the federal gas tax to public transit which would be worth something like 420 million dollars a year.

Big Seniors Complex Comes Before Common Council

Despite some opposition, both the Planning Advisory Committee and City Staff are recommending the Shannex proposal for a campus style seniors development on Millidge Avenue at University be approved by Common Council. 

There has been concern over the cutting down of trees and possibility of flooding because the land is wet and details have not been finalised about the need for a stormwater pond. 

The developers, who want to construct five buildings. have suggested a meeting be held to answer local concerns. The development, if approved, would house an estimated 330 seniors in addition to 130 staffers.

Shannex wanted one of the buildings to be six stories high but the P-A-C is recommending that height be limited to five stories.

Chickens In The City

Common Council will be getting a recommendation tonight to allow for the keeping of backyard chickens in most parts of the city. 

If the councillors approve, you would be allowed to keep a minimum of two and maximum of six chickens but no roosters and they would have to be housed in a coop. 

The chickens would be for personal use only and the sale of eggs produced by the chickens would be banned. 

City staff telling Council, 6 chickens were kept in a backyard on John T. McMillan Drive for a year in 2011 with only minimal concern. The city has received a large number of letters in support of the proposal.