Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Policy Halts Funding Request From YMCA

The town of Bridgewater will not take any action on a funding request by the YMCA Lunenburg County. The group missed council's deadline before the 2013-14 budget process. Council also approved its new grants to organizations policy in May, providing guidelines for awarding money to non-profit organizations or societies. The 'Y' was looking for support to help cover expenses associated with food and activities for an exchange event in mid-July with youth from the Driftpile Cree First Nations in Northern Alberta. Mayor David Walker says with any new policy, situations will pop-up that will make council wonder how they can address the issue.

Council is expected to follow-up with the YMCA to discuss the new policy and deadlines to ask for support.

Grand Opening Planned For New Visitor Information Centre

The new Bridgewater and Lunenburg District Visitor Information Centre will hold its grand opening Friday. The facility opened in May and will hold a meet and greet with speeches from local mayors David Walker and Don Downe. The municipality and the town helped fund the new centre, cost sharing $23,000 for at least the first five years of a 10-year lease. The Municipality of Lunenburg's Economic Development Officer, Dave Waters, says the new location is in a key area to direct tourists.

The event is planned to start at 10am Friday morning at the new facility along the Cornwall Road in Blockhouse.

South Shore: Paramedics Prepare To Picket This Weekend

South Shore paramedics will be out in full force this weekend in an effort to back contract demands. Members of EHS are set to host a picket in Bridgewater at the Canadian Tire on Saturday. Last week, union members voted 73 per cent against a deal with they employer, Emergency Medical Care, that would have given the province's 800 paramedics a defined benefits pension plan. Paramedics say they want better wages, with some saying they are looking for a 15 per cent pay hike over three years rather than the 11.1 per cent over almost five years that was offered in the tentative agreement. The paramedics won't be able to go on strike or be in a legal lockout position until July 5.

Cineplex Makes Big Move Buys 26 Theatres

Big changes are on the way at Empire Theatres. The Nova Scotia-based Empire Company is getting out of the movie-theatre business. The move is being made so the company can focus on Sobeys, the national grocery chain that accounts for most of its revenue. Canada's largest cinema company, Cineplex, will pay 200 million dollars cash to acquire 26 of the theatres. Empire operates the big screens in Bridgewater but it's not clear what the takeover will mean for the local movie theatre. Landmark Cinemas will buy 20 theatres in Ontario and Western Canada for up to 55 million dollars.

Yarmouth: Youth Transition Program Receives Federal Dollars

An outreach support program in the Tri-County area for homeless and at-risk youth has received some encouraging news.  The federal government has extended "Shyft Youth Services" funding for another 9 months to the tune of 130-thousand dollars. Director Bernadette MacDonald says she and her staff are thrilled and see it as an indication the issue of rural homelessness is being taken seriously in Ottawa.

The funding allows Shyft to continue employing outreach workers for Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby Counties and to staff and pay the rent and other bills at the actual homeless shelter in Yarmouth.  It also provides homeless youth with a chance to get their lives back in order, get a job and re-establish themselves in the community.

South Shore Students Awarded RRFB Scholarships

Two South Shore residents are being awarded with scholarships from the province's Resource Recovery Fund Board. The RRFB awarded 14 cash prizes to grade 12 students who submitted essays to the group's Nova Scotia Recycles contest earlier this spring. Both Sebastien Clairmont of Barrington Municipal High School and Julia Goodwin of Yarmouth Consolidated received runner-up prizes of $750. Roughly $55,000 was awarded to students across the province.

Coastline Closed to Shellfish Harvesting

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed a section of coastline to shellfish harvesting after encountering high counts of Paralytic Shellfish Poison. Shellfish harvesting has been banned along the coast from Stonehurst East in Lunenburg County to Cole Harbour. The ban includes all of Mahone Bay, St. Margaret's Bay, Blind Cove, Prospect Bay, and Terence Bay. The harvesting ban includes clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. The news release states shellfish closures can change frequently, and harvesters are encouraged to check with their local DFO offices for a listing of current closures prior to harvesting. Symptoms of PSP include nausea, tingling or burning lips, tongue, hands and feet, and shortness of breath. In more severe situations, PSP can be fatal. More information can be found here .