Friday, March 16, 2012

Homeless Youth Shelter Facing Possible Shutdown

Photo: Zach Churchill
Yarmouth MLA: Zach Churchill
A shelter for homeless youth in the Yarmouth area may have to shutdown within a few weeks if the province stops financially covering its monthly operations.  The government has been picking up a 25-thousand dollar monthly deficit at the Supportive Housing Youth Focus Team.  A shelter official says though, that will stop after this month. Yarmouth Liberal MLA Zach Churchill tells us, he's appalled.
He says: "Its unbelievable that the government is willing to funnel clients into the shelter, that there's a lineup of homeless youth waiting to get in and we have a model service thats actually working and the government refuses to fund it. Its absolutely mind-blowing!"  Churchill says the government will essentially be putting kids back on the street.  However, Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse says providing beds around the clock is not sustainable.

Yarmouth Man Fit To Stand Trial

Gordon Frank Nickerson
A Yarmouth-area man charged in an alleged abduction of two women last month in Wedgeport has been deemed fit to stand trial. Gordon Frank Nickerson faces charges including kidnapping with a firearm, sexual assault with a weapon and break and enter. The 35-year-old made an appearance yesterday in Kentville provincial court. The case returns to court on April 5th.

Lobster Fishery Could Be Hurt By Careless Fishermen: DFO Official

Lobster Vessels Tied-Up In Port
A 35-hundred dollar fine has been handed a South Shore lobster fisherman. Elmer Leon Jollymore of Little Tancook Island pleaded guilty in Bridgewater court this week to a charge of having undersized and egg-bearing lobsters in his catch. DFO officers were carrying out a routine inspection at the government wharf in Blandford last November, when they found six undersized lobsters in an initial inspection of Jollymore's catch. A more detailed search of 14 crates uncovered 12 undersized lobsters and two bearing eggs in more than 576 kilograms of lobster. DFO conservation officer Bill Wolfe of Liverpool says the charges are serious and the consequences dangerous to the fishery.
He says: "You can imagine if there's anywhere between three and six thousand eggs or more on one single egg-bearing lobster, if that lobster is not left in the water, those eggs are not going to survive."  By the way, as for Jollymore, he has already paid the 35-hundred dollar fine.

Queens Museum Plans Expansion with Acadia First Naion

The Queens County Museum plans to expand its operation in a unique partnership with the Acadia First Nation. The expansion will nearly double the size of the exhibition gallery and cost $3.5 million dollars. Nearly all of the exhibits would be refurbished in addition to creating a new wing dedicated to first nation artifacts. Museum Director Linda Rafuse says part of their goal is to showcase the rich history in Queens. "We've been able to remain so positive about the project and the partnership even though we've had such an economical turn down in this community. You know, that hasn't scared us away, we're still hoping to play our part. We want to play a major role in bringing people back to Queens county," Rafuse says the expansion project has the support of the Region of Queens but organizers have yet to officially make a funding request. The museum will have to fundraise around $350,000 for the project - which could be completed in two or three years.

LaHave Manor to look for new home in Bridgewater

The chair of the LaHave Manor Corporation says they aren't deterred by the unavailability of a certain home in Bridgewater. Elmer Garber says the Evergreen Road location is ideal for a group home because it is one level, has a built-in wheelchair ramp and is in a quiet residential neighbourhood. Garber says whether the home is residential or institutional should be open for interpretation.
"We're trying to integrate disabled people into the community, we're set up for that purpose. So, we really didn't think that this was an institutional setting, it's trying to make sure that the disabled are integrated in society into the least restrictive environment."
Bridgewater's planning director, Eric Shaw, says Evergreen Road is classified as low density residential and cannot accommodate any institutional-type development. Garber says they aren't deterred by the bad news.
"We can certainly work within the parameters of the zoning by-laws of the town of Bridgewater. Now that we know that we're not regarded as being residential, that it's institutional, we realize that we have to move to an institutional zone or commercial zone or some other zone that isn't low density housing."
Garber says the potential home in Bridgewater would house five clients. He's hoping to find a new location and setup the home in the next few months.