Friday, October 28, 2011

Green Shops medals presented to six city businesses

October 24, 2011 - Six more Green Shops were recognized at City Council this evening, for their efforts to reduce their environmental impact, and conduct business more sustainably.

“The Green Shops members receiving medals tonight are a shining example of how businesses in Fredericton have stepped up efforts around environmental sustainability,” said Mayor Woodside. “By acknowledging that a reduction in environmental footprint is directly correlated to an improved bottom line; these recipients, the owners, employees, customers, and the community all benefit”.

All four of the Fredericton NB Liquor stores joined Green Shops and have achieved silver status, and the ANBL Corporate Headquarters has joined the sister Green Matters Certified program. In addition to their Province-wide plastic bag fee policy, individual stores have stepped up by implementing a number of energy efficiency and waste management actions, and completing between 56% and 67% of the applicable “green” actionable items. These include packaging reuse, paper reduction policies, and discontinuing the use of bottled water.

The Belton Group, a progressive marketing firm, received a gold medal. Belton sent out over 11 million electronic messages last year on behalf of client partners, which saved approximately 1300 trees! They also provide a green ‘hosting’ platform for websites – TBG Green that is wind powered and rain water cooled. Most of the 92% of completed acts of green are related to employee action, such as energy efficient electronics, staff bike racks, along with100% of applicable recycling and waste management acts completed.

Wilson Insurance has made it to gold medal status by reducing office waste by over 25% by implementing a recycling program in both of their Fredericton offices. They have also started a green bin program with the use of an army of red worms to aid in the compost process. People are so intrigued with the workings of red-worm composting, that staff have already had to add more bins to accommodate all of the organic waste. Wilson Insurance received a gold medal for completing 90% of applicable green actions.

Green Shops was created by the City of Fredericton three years ago as a way to encourage the business community to embrace environmental sustainability. It has evolved into a Community Partnership between the City, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Fredericton Inc., and Business Fredericton North. The program currently has more than 80 member businesses

Monday, October 10, 2011

FORMER CITY RESIDENT SING'S CITY'S PRAISES
(excerpts from an article published in the Daily Gleaner on October 10/11)

Great to come home | Man says Fredericton impressive

Fredericton native Chris Murray is enjoying life as the city manager for Hamilton. Ont.

During a recent visit to his hometown, Murray said he's impressed with what he sees in the capital city and its management. The 49-year-old Fredericton High School graduate said every time he returns to Fredericton, he sees something new and impressive that captures his attention.

"Fredericton was a great place to grow up," Murray said. "You can see why raising a family here is fantastic. You drive around and you can't help but notice the infrastructure. It's all in remarkable condition."

Two places that attracted Murray's attention during his visit to Fredericton were the newly completed downtown convention centre and the restored York Street train station. "This is a pretty incredible city within the Canadian context," he said.

On Jan. 1, 2009, Murray became manager for the city of Hamilton.

"I never thought it would happen. I have been lucky in being able to pursue what interests me. The first day I got the job, I figured I had the best job in Hamilton. Rebuilding one of the most historic cities in Canada - now that's an honour."

Murray works with an annual budget of $1.25 billion and oversees 6,000 employees.

He said Hamilton is focused on improving service delivery renewal within the municipality and is being assisted in the process by a Toronto firm.

One city that keeps popping up during the process is Fredericton. He said it's great to hear the praises of his hometown being sung by a high-profile firm.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

York Arena gets reprieve from Council
(as published in the Daily Gleaner on October 04/11)

York Arena will remain open to 2014, city councillors decided Monday night.

That will allow time for ice-sport user groups to have demonstrated their use and the amount of demand for the facility once Scotiabank Park South's Grant*Harvey Centre is open.

The new multimillion-dollar indoor ice-hockey arena at Alison Boulevard will be completed in the spring of 2012.

Coun. Mike O'Brien, who was appointed by Mayor Brad Woodside to head up an ad hoc study committee on the arena, was getting ready to hold public meetings, gather data and hear from the Save the York Arena citizens group and other groups eager to keep the facility open.

"We've had no meetings of the ad hoc committee. We were going to start meeting in a few weeks ... but I had some informal discussions with my council mates a week or so ago, and it was quite clear that the vast majority of council was indicating to me that they were very interested in keeping the York Arena," O'Brien said after the vote Monday evening.

It would have been pointless to go through an unnecessary public consultation exercise with councillors already decided to extend the York Arena's lifespan at least in the short term.

O'Brien said there are no new operating cost implications for the 2012 budget because funding for the York Arena's operations was never deleted from the city's annual spending plan.

The funding has been in place pending the outcome of public appeals and a final vote of council on retaining or demolishing the northside arena.

But O'Brien said there may be capital-cost implications if problems crop up. Earlier this year, the city had to invest money to fix the ice plant at York Arena because it had an ammonia leak and needed repairs.

"We've spent a couple of hundred dollars in capital for things that had to be done ... just to keep it open for this year," he said.

"The issue now is to look at the cost report that ADI presented to us a few years ago and go through that and have staff come back with milestones. Things that have to be done."

Public safety and structural integrity will be the foremost capital-cost issues, O'Brien said.

One of the arguments handed to city councillors by the citizens group that wants to see the arena retained is that there's more ice demand than the city can accommodate, he said.

If that's the case, he said, the city should be able to make that assessment by keeping York Arena running at the same time as Grant*Harvey Centre becomes operational.

Coun. Dan Keenan said having the two arenas open and in use should generate some data and resolve the conflict opinions on whether the city needs to keep an ice surface at York Arena.

Keenan wants to see groups committed to keeping York Arena come up with ideas on how to mitigate the extra costs to the city of keeping the structure open.

Coun. Stephen Kelly said it's a good time to look for partnerships and backers who might help out with capital costs to hold onto the York Arena ice surface.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Green Shops Gold Medals Presented To City Businesses

Photo of Green Shops Gold Medals WinnersFredericton (September 26, 2011) – Seven city businesses were honoured by Mayor Brad Woodside today for achieving gold medals – the highest status possible - in Fredericton’s Green Shops program.

"The Green Shops members being recognized this evening serve as a wonderful example of how the business community in our city have embraced environmental sustainability," said Mayor Woodside as he presented gold medals to Brewbakers Restaurant, Cedar Tree Café, Delta Reservations Call Centre, Delta Fredericton, Fredericton Wellness Clinic, What on Earth Jewellers, and Precision Pilates. "These businesses are being rewarded for their sustainable actions which improve their bottom line and foster e a culture of environmental responsibility here in Fredericton".

Some of the actions taken by the medal recipients include:

  • Brewbakers Restaurant installed energy efficient appliances, and provides compostable takeout containers;
  • Cara Berube at Precision Pilates encourages active transportation, and runs a paperless business;
  • Cedar Tree Café purchases most of their produce, as well as honey, flour, cheese and meat locally;
  • Delta Fredericton Hotel follows the Delta Greens corporate program to implement initiatives such as waste reduction, and water conservation
  • Delta Reservations Call Centre created a recycling centre, and eliminated individual desk waste baskets, thus reducing overall waste;
  • The Fredericton Wellness Clinic practices alternative health management, and promotes natural therapies and products to help restore balance in their clients’ lives; and,
  • What On Earth Jewellers recently moved in to their brand new building, which is highly energy efficient and only takes up 65% of its land plot, keeping the rest as natural forest.

This is just a sample of what the medal recipients have accomplished to earn gold medal status.

Green Shops was created by the City of Fredericton three years ago as a way to encourage the business community to embrace environmental sustainability. It has evolved into a Community Partnership between the City, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Fredericton Inc., and Business Fredericton North. The program currently has more than 80 member businesses.

Four properties added to Local Historic Places Register

Fredericton (September 27, 2011) – A 1950-era diner, a house with a distinctive "widow’s walk", a two-storey Second Empire style dwelling, and a one and a half story Classical Revival inspired dwelling have been added to the City of Fredericton’s Local Historic Places Register.

City Council agreed with the recommendation of the Preservation Review Board to include structures located at 7 Brookmount Street, 63 McKeen Street, 123-125 McKeen Street, and, 206 Odell Avenue on the Register at the regular Council meeting of September 26, 2011. The following summarizes the heritage importance of each property.

SUNSHINE DINER, 7 BROOKMOUNT STREET

Photo of Sunshine Garden, 7 Brookmount StreetThe Sunshine Diner, which opened on May 24, 1950, stands on the west side of Brookmount Street. This single-storey structure is located in the heart of Sunshine Gardens. May 24 was a date which carried considerable significance for Robert H. Simpson, Roy Wallace, and Lawrence Wallace. Serving in the 8th Canadian Hussars Tank Corps of the Canadian Army during World War II, these men made a pact to open a business together if they survived the War. They laid these plans on May 24, 1943 and this date became an important anniversary in the lives of all three men.

After the War and upon their return to Fredericton, these partners purchased the Aula Service Station in Sunshine Gardens, opening for business on May 24, 1946. Two years later, on the same date, they expanded the business to include a grocery line. However, these War veterans made their mark in the commercial industry with the establishment of Vet’s Groceteria, with a grand opening on May 24, 1950. The partners capitalized on the growing groceteria trend, a combination grocery store and cafeteria counter. This business was not only on the cutting edge, but would serve as a model for other groceterias. In 1954, Vet’s Groceteria appeared on the cover of a trade magazine and its exterior design inspired a Vancouver groceteria to adopt a similar exterior style.

63 MCKEEN STREET

Photo of 63 McKeen StreetThis 2-storey house with its distinctive widow’s walk is situated at the river end of McKeen Street. The wood frame dwelling, which was built in 1888, is located on the western side of the street. The significance of this dwelling is grounded both in its ownership and in its unique appearance. William Jaffrey, son of Rev. William Jaffrey, had this house built after his marriage to Helen Elizabeth Wallace in 1888. Born and raised at St. Mary’s Ferry, William Jaffrey received his early education in the village and later he attended the Fredericton Collegiate School. After graduating from UNB in 1879, William Jaffrey operated a furniture making factory located on Douglas (Union) Street.

Jaffrey’s furniture manufacturing plant achieved early success and accumulated considerable local acclaim as one of the leading industrial interests in St. Mary’s. The furniture factory remained in operation for more than a decade, and the continued high volume of orders testified to the great demand for Jaffrey’s production line. Later retiring from the business, and the old factory having become home to a grocery store, William Jaffrey turned to farming. William Jaffrey later ploughed into local politics. With the incorporation of St. Mary’s and Gibson in 1917, William Jaffrey served the Town of Devon in many different capacities, including town clerk, water superintendent, and chief magistrate.

Reflecting the elements of a foursquare, the main living quarters of this 2-storey dwelling is topped by a widow’s walk. Two additional sections once extended from the side wing of this building towards the river. A 2-storey barn with medium pitched gable roof stood between the present wing and an elongated, 1 ½-storey structure, which had perhaps been used as a stable. William and Helen Jaffrey reared three children in this house, and after her father’s death in 1942, Marion C. Jaffrey continued to reside here. Richard Boone Malloy, who had grown up across the street at 66 McKeen, purchased this dwelling during the early 1950s. At present, this house remains in the Malloy family.

123-125 MCKEEN STREET

Photo of 123-125 McKeen StreetThis 2-storey Second Empire style dwelling was erected during the late 19th Century. The structure is located on a substantial lot on the west side of McKeen Street, immediately below the Walking Trail. The heritage value of this dwelling resides not only in its architectural style but in the significance of its ownership. This Second Empire style dwelling had been the first erected on the west side of McKeen Street between Union Street and the CPR tracks. The dwelling is situated on a large, open lot which once sported a tennis court on the southern portion of the property.

Lawyer Whitman A. Haines and his wife, Inez, resided in this house for many decades. Mr. Haines, who served as Town Clerk for Devon, operated his law office out of the former St. Mary’s Departmental Store, located at the foot of Cliffe Street. Mrs. Haines would pen a short history of St. Mary’s Ferry, now known as North Devon on Fredericton’s north side, which she delivered to the York-Sunbury Historical Society in 1933.

206 ODELL AVENUE

Photo of 206 Odell AvenueThis 1½-storey Classical Revival inspired dwelling is situated on the east side of Odell Avenue between Brunswick and Charlotte Streets. Constructed in 1897, this wood frame dwelling is in view of Wilmot Park. The construction of this wood frame dwelling in 1897 testified to the continued development of Odell Avenue (originally known as Park Street) after the establishment of Wilmot Park. By the mid-1890s, settlement and housing development west of Smythe Street was virtually non-existent.

The opening of Wilmot Park in 1895 sparked a building boom in the immediate vicinity of the park grounds. The creation of a new street, coincident with the establishment of the park and therefore known as Park Street, redefined the western boundary of the town plat. The construction of this house expanded settlement beyond what had been considered the traditional city limits.

About the Register

Council approved the establishment of the Local Historic Places Register on July 21, 2003. The Local Historic Places Register is a list of places (buildings, archaeological sites, and areas or spaces) deemed to be of local historical significance and placed on a list with the permission of the property owner. The Local Historic Places Register was established as a result of a Federal Government Program called the "Historic Places Initiative" and designed to raise awareness of historic places and encourage conservation. For more information of the Local Historic Places Register, visit www.fredericton.ca.

Fredericton ranks eighth in the world for clean air

Photo of Fredericton SkylineFredericton (September 27, 2011) – A study released yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the City of Fredericton has some of the cleanest air in the world. The study examined the presence of particles of 10 micrometers or less (PM10) in 1100 cities, across 91 countries, in an effort to measure air quality across the globe.

The City of Fredericton has long promoted its quality of life and its environmental sustainability. Of the top ten cities cited in the study, nine are from Canada, and one is from the United States. The other Canadian cities are in Yukon, British Columbia and Newfoundland. The sole US city is in California.

"We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, and have always worked hard to make sure that we maintain our natural assets that help to give us fresh air," says Mayor Brad Woodside. "Our significant green spaces and urban forest, lack of industrial pollution, and environmental consciousness all contribute to the clean air that we all enjoy."

The WHO study found that "persistently elevated levels of fine particle pollution are common across many urban areas, The great majority of urban populations have an average annual exposure to PM10 particles in excess of the WHO Air Quality guideline recommended maximum level of 20 µg/m³. On average, only a few cities currently meet the WHO guideline values".

"This highlights the importance of monitoring and educating on community and corporate greenhouse gas emissions," says Alycia Morehouse, the City’s Climate Change Coordinator. "One of the largest contributors to poor air quality is motor transport. Reducing our reliance on vehicles, and exploring alternative forms of transportation is very important, as is choosing cleaner forms of energy and electricity."

Over 2 million people die annually from breathing in the tiny particles present indoors, and outdoors, as the microscopic PM10 particles can penetrate lungs and the bloodstream, and can cause asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.

For more information on the study, visit the WHO’s website.