Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Town supports disabled teen despite denied request

Carroll Publicover
The Town of Bridgewater says it backs the efforts of a disabled teen who is trying to add an accessible suite onto his mothers home. Dylan Robar and Bonnie Meisner are hoping to access funds through a $50,000 provincial grant but a town bylaw requires her to apply to rezone her property in order to meet the grants requirements. Council turned down a request to waive an $800 fee attached with rezoning their property earlier this month. However, Mayor Carroll Publicover says that doesn't mean the town's planning department didn't try and help.
"They've sought information on their behalf, went to other levels of government to understand what sort of funding arrangements were in place for them and how our Land Use by-law dovetailed or didn't dovetail with them, what changes we might need to make to accommodate their needs to other levels of government for grants and so on. It was eminently fair and above and beyond the call of duty."
Meisner now has to apply to either have her property rezoned at her own cost or have the province revise wording in the grant. Publicover hopes she will take the necessary action soon and resolve the matter.

"Twin Schooners" Near Completion in Lunenburg

The Town of Lunenburg will turn the clocks back this weekend and re-visit its historic shipbuilding past. The last plank will be fitted onto the hulls of the "Twin Schooners" on Saturday afternoon. Known as a shutter or whiskey plank, the occasion is traditionally marked by the captain or builders pouring a glass of their favourite drink over the plank. Construction of the two 48 foot wooden schooners began in December of 2009. At the time, it marked the first large scale boat building on the Lunenburg waterfront in 30 years. The ceremony get underway outside the historic Lunenburg Dory Shop on Saturday at 2PM. Actor Billy Campbell of AMC's "The Killing" will own one of the schooners and will be in attendence

Town Hall Meeting on 2014 Health Accord

Kyle Buott
A town hall meeting will be held in Bridgewater Thursday night to talk about health care. The Nova Scotia Citizens' Health Network and CUPE 1933 are giving the public a chance to learn more about the 2014 Health Accord. The coordinator, Kyle Buott, says the meeting will allow residents to give feedback on what public health care should look like.
"We'll hear from some speakers about what's happening in health care, but we'll also want to hear other peoples opinions on how to build a peoples agenda for public health care and what citizens want their public health care system to look like in the future, so that's kind of the next step is to work on that vision."
Buott says the time is now for people to get engaged and spark change in the way health care is provided. The meeting will be held Thursday night at the Girl Guide Cabin at 93 Dominion Street, beginning at 6:30pm.

Power restored in Bridgewater Area

Roughly 200 people have their power back after an outage Wednesday morning in the Bridgewater area. Dayspring and District Fire Department and Nova Scotia Power responded to a call shortly after 10am about sparks flying from a power pole on Highway 3 in Upper LaHave. Nova Scotia Power spokesman David Rhodenhizer says it was a minor incident and has been cleaned up.
"A tree branch had fallen across the lines in Upper LaHave. It would have impacted about 199 customers, so just under 200 customers lost power and we had the electricity restored in less than an hour."
The outage affected parts of Upper LaHave, Oak Hill, Dayspring and Rhodes Corner.

UPDATED: Woman Faces Fraud Charges

A Lunenburg County woman facing charges of fraud totalling more than $80,000 will appear in court next month. Forty-seven-year-old Sandra Skinner was scheduled to appear in provincial court in Bridgewater today to enter a plea on five counts of fraud over $5,000. She was charged after police were called in by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness to investigate reimbursement claims for capital works projects at Harbour View Haven Nursing Home in Lunenburg. Police alleged that in each instance the work was either not completed, the goods not purchased or the goods purchased were not approved. The case is back in court on February 29th.

SchoolsPlus trying to expand to other South Shore Schools

Scott Patterson
Bridgewater town council is writing a letter of support to the NDP government to try and sway some South Shore Schools to gain much needed programming. Council heard during their January 9th meeting all about kids at risk at Park View, Bridgewater and New Germany High and their feeder schools. The Chair of SchoolsPlus service, Scott Patterson, says there were 692 suspensions last year out of 4,554 students at those schools. Patterson says SchoolsPlus could influence kids to change the way they think.
"What if we could figure out a way to establish relationships with them, build a bridge with them, match them up with programming developers, get some programming in to help them? What if we had support right in the schools? What if we could do that? Empower these kids to be all they can be."
The SchoolsPlus program costs $150-thousand to incorporate into the schools. The NDP government is expected to award four more schools with SchoolsPlus this spring. Six schools in Eastern-Lunenburg County are involved in South Shore SchoolsPlus including Chester Area Middle School, New Ross Consolidated and Forest Heights Community School.