The 22-year-old Fredericton native and Leo Hayes High
School football product, a fourth round draft choice of the Bombers in the
Canadian college draft in May, is part of the Canadian Football League club’s
46-man roster which was field with the league Friday night. He’ll travel with
the team to Vancouver for Saturday’s season opening game against the reigning
Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions in a rematch of the Grey Cup game.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said the soft-spoken,
six-foot-two inch, 266 pound defensive lineman, who starred with the Acadia
Axemen of the Atlantic University Sport Football Conference, where he achieved
Thomas called the realization of his pro football
ambition “a dream come true.”
“Watching all my brothers always playing football,
it’s something I always wanted to do for life. It’s pretty awesome I can make a
living at it.”
Thomas is the youngest of three Thomas boys. His older
brother Josh was a star at Acadia before Jake followed in his footsteps. Billy
was a running back at Mount Allison University. Thomas will wear number 95 for
the Blue Bombers, the number he wore in high school at Leo Hayes and last year
with Team Canada at the International Federation of American Football
tournament in Vienna, where he helped Canada to a silver medal.
“It was also Josh’s high school number (at Fredericton
High School) so I think that’s probably why I picked it back when I played high
Thomas felt he had “about a 50-50 chance” to make the
Bombers’ roster as a rookie.
“I thought I had an OK chance,” he said. “It wasn’t
going to be a guarantee by any means. But I was just trying to get better every
day...run to the ball and do all the things that didn’t really take skill work
but were more hard work...learn the technique, but always have my motor at 100
It paid off. He played sparingly in the Bombers’ two
exhibition games, starting on specialty teams and briefly on the defensive
line. The Bombers split those games, beating the Montreal Alouettes 22-10 on
June 14 and losing a 26-25 heartbreaker to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last
Wednesday at home.
Thomas compared the step to pro football from
university to the one he made from high school to university ball at Acadia
five years ago.
“It’s kind of like that again,” he said. “You get here
and everything is faster...everyone’s bigger, stronger, faster. But as the
weeks go on, you get used to the tempo. But there’s definitely a learning curve
the first few days.”
Thomas completed his first practice with the final
46-man roster Sunday morning. They’ll practise at home for three more days
before flying to Vancouver Thurday for the Friday night season opener. The
Bombers play their first four games on the road, including a July 6 appointment
in Montreal against the Alouettes.
“I hope to play every game and eventually work my way
onto the field,” said Thomas, listed third on the Bombers’ depth chart at left
defensive tackle in the last exhibition game behind two players who have since
been released, including veteran Dorian Smith and Ryan Lucas, both among the
final cuts. “I want to make an impact on special teams as best I can.”
Thomas expects to be nervous.
“I get nervous before pretty much every game,” he
said. “I think that’s a good thing. I find if I start to get complacent, that’s
when I play badly. But I’ll probably be a little extra nervous for this game.”
Thomas signed a two-year contract with a team option
for a third shortly after being selected by the Bombers in the draft.
Brad Slauenwhite was committed to inclusion of those
with intellectual disabilities and his legacy was marked Thursday night when
the organization he founded renamed its office in his honour.
“Brad was a visionary,” said Abdel Belhadjsalah, the
executive director Jobs Unlimited, in an interview on Friday.
Jobs Unlimited, a non-profit organization with its
office near the intersection of York Street and Priestman Street, was started
by Slauenwhite in 1983 as an employment agency for men and women with intellectual
disabilities. Slauenwhite has since passed away.
Since it was founded, Jobs Unlimited has helped people
with intellectual disabilities to find positions in laboratories, retail
outlets, call centres, warehouses, the hospitality industry, manufacturing,
printing, and government departments in the area.
About 60 people attended the organization’s annual
general meeting on Thursday for a ceremony to rename tHe office on York to the
The Slauenwhite Center.
“We wanted to find a way to honour Brad Slauenwhite’s
legacy. He planted the seeds we are now reaping and we wanted to do something
permanent to recognize his incredible contribution to our city. This is
something our organization, especially our dedicated board of directors, has
worked hard for,” said Belhadjsalah in a press release.
Members of Slauenwhite’s family were on hand for the
“We, his family, are very appreciative of this
recognition bestowed in memory of my husband’s contribution,” said Ruth
Belhadjsalah said the unveiling of the plaque was
emotional for those who attended.
“His work will never be forgotten,” he said.
Belhadjsalah said those with intellectual disabilities
are often hidden, but that’s what Slauenwhite actively worked to change — to
make them a part of the community.
It was a tough day at city hall Monday as four city
workers were given notice they’ll be losing their jobs.
Another two positions will be eliminated through
retirement and one vacant post won’t be filled.
The seven job cuts were part of an organization
shakeup at city hall that was anticipated.
Chief administration officer Chris MacPherson was
appointed to his post with a mandate to take a look at the city’s organization
structure and groom it for the years to come. It’s the first reorganization in
14 years and the first major job loss at city hall since the city’s
amalgamation in 1973.
There was a job cut in the city administrator’s
office, one from legal, two from human resources, one from tourism, one from
community services, and there’s an administration position in the police
department that won’t be filled.
“We felt those positions were surplus to our needs,”
Fredericton Police Chief Barry MacKnight retires at
the end of this week, but his post can’t be left vacant. Under the Police Act,
the municipality must rehire for that job. Deputy police chief Leanne Fitch
will be acting chief until a job competition is held and a candidate is hired.
“The process will be laid out in the next month or two
in terms of how that will progress,” MacPherson said.
“We are in good shape right now, but we’re kind of
looking to the future and we know our growth will slow down somewhat, so we’re
just trying to change structurally to make those changes now before we have to.
This was strictly about restructuring and regrouping,” he said.
MacPherson said he has grouped departments that work
together. Building inspection and bylaw enforcement, for instance, becomes part
of the a public safety department working alongside police and fire
departments. Departments that sell the city and economic development and
quality of life will be grouped together.
The number of city departments will be cut from seven
Human resources director Joe Lumsden retires at the
end of August and some of his workload will be shifted to the finance
department. Services to employees, advice, hiring and training will be a
MacPherson talked to council, the business community
and consulted internally with senior staff.
“A lot of the suggestions came from our own staff that
wanted to see some changes. After 14 years it was time for some change and
people expected some change,” he said.
While he tried to cushion the changes by turning to
retirement and attrition, at the end of the day, four people will lose jobs.
MacPherson said departing employees will be offered
counselling assistance and will receive legislated benefits and any retirement
allowance to which they’re entitled.
“It’s tough. I’d like to think that the city was
compassionate,” he said.
Woodside said MacPherson is fulfilling the mandate he
was given to review and restructure.
“Today was unlike any that I’ve experienced because it
was a good day and a not good day. I believe with all my heart in what Mr.
MacPherson has done. He was hired not to just deliver the status quo ... I
think this municipality has to retool, reorganized, be lean, be efficient.
We’re dealing with taxpayer dollars and we have to give them the best bang for
their buck and that’s precisely what we’re doing ... This is the right thing to
do,” Woodside said.
The restructuring will streamline municipal
government, improve how citizens receive services and meet the city’s needs
into the future, Woodside said.
The city will now have the following departments:
finance and administration;
• engineering and operations;
• community planning and development;
• public safety;
information, improvement and innovation;
• and strategic direction and internal consulting.
The finance and administration department will be
responsible for the city’s pension file. Purchasing, payroll and real estate
divisions will move to the department under director Tina Tapley. Alicia
Keating becomes the new assistant director, with responsibility for the new
financial strategy division.
Fire and police services will now come under the new
department of public safety, which will include the safety and bylaw
enforcement division. Wayne Tallon becomes director of the new department.
Fredericton Transit, parking services, fleet, and
property services will become part of the engineering and operations department
under director Murray Jamer, who was also recently appointed assistant chief
The new department of information, improvement and
innovation will handle information technology, the 9-1-1 communications centre,
internal communications and innovation projects. Maurice Gallant becomes the
director of this department.
Jane Blakely is the director of the new department of strategic direction and internal consulting. The department will include strategic planning and consulting under assistant director Alex Forbes, along with sustainability and labour relations and staffing divisions.
The new department of community planning and development, under director Frank Flanagan, will include recreation and social facilitation; parks and trees; community planning; and building inspection.
The new tourism, economic development and external communications division, under assistant director David Seabrook, will include tourism, sport tourism, culture, economic development, and external communications.
The new structure becomes effective July 15, although MacPherson said it will take several months to fully implement. A transition team will be formed to facilitate the changes.
FREDERICTON – A UNB scientist who has been
instrumental in moving artificial limb technology into the brave new world of
bio-engineering is being recognized with a career achievement award.
Kevin Englehart, associate director of the University
of New Brunswick’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, will be given the award
at the annual conference of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering
Society in Halifax this week.
Englehart described the Outstanding Canadian
Biomedical Engineer award as “a pat on the back” that he will accept on behalf
of his fellow researchers at the university.
“It’s kind of awkward to accept something on an
individual basis because everything we do is as a team,” he said in an
interview at his UNB laboratory on Tuesday.
“I’ve got an amazing group of people I have worked
with for years here, so if I can accept on their behalf, then I’m very
Englehart is internationally recognized for his
pioneering work on bio-prosthetics.
He is at the forefront of researching how the brain
communicates with muscles. He and his research team are developing prosthetic
limbs that use complex computer algorithms to decode information from muscles
to artificial limbs.
The result is prosthetics that are easier and more
natural to use.
He has helped develop a highly dexterous bionic arm,
has partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and, most recently,
collaborated on the development of the UNB prosthetic hand.
“We have really moved to transferring our new
artificial limb technology to clients,” he said. “We are in the process of
actually fitting this next generation bionic hand, first to our own clients,
and then eventually to other clinics.”
Englehart said early reports on the prosthetic hand
from clients are very encouraging.
“It’s still at the point where it looks like a lab
hand but the way it moves is much more natural than anything out there now.”
Englehart said the most exciting development for him
has been the progress in fine-tuning the man-machine connection.
“The way that we decode the information from the
muscles has really progressed from something that has been on the engineering
drawing board for years to something that is being very widely adopted around
the world,” he said.
“For me, personally, that is the really exciting part
because it has gone from being just an engineering curiosity to something that
other clinics and prosthetic companies want. This probably will be the next big
jump in the function of these devices because of this more advanced man-machine
interface that we have developed.”
Englehart said work already is well underway on the
development of bionic legs as well as arms and hands.
He said an important aspect of the work is finding
ways to make advanced artificial limbs more affordable – less than $10,000, for
instance, for the bio-hand.
“Our goal was to develop something that retained as
much function as possible but at a price point where insurance companies could
actually get behind it and make it accessible to anybody who needs it,”
Affordable housing project in Fredericton
helping tenants turn around their lives
21 June 2012
Media Contact(s) Mark Barbour,
communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-3730;
Marian Ngo, Office of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development,
FREDERICTON (GNB) – A
12-unit affordable housing complex operated by the John Howard Society of
Fredericton is helping people who had previously relied on emergency shelters
to become productive members of society. "Investing in affordable housing is a key part to rebuilding New Brunswick
together," said Social Development Minister Sue Stultz, who is also the
minister responsible for seniors, housing and community non-profit
organizations. "These housing units enhance the quality of life of their
tenants. They offer these individuals a safe and comfortable place to call home
while providing them with a chance to take control of their lives."
The $1.02-million development received $660,000 in rent supplements from the
provincial government and $480,000 under the Federal / Provincial Affordable
Rental Housing Program to offset construction costs.
"Our government is investing in affordable housing here and across Canada
to create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it
most," said Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield, speaking on
behalf of Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development as
well as minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. "The
creation of these new units here in Fredericton will provide low-income
individuals access to quality and affordable housing while ensuring that they
can stay close to their families and friends."
The complex offers safe and secure housing to people who were either homeless
or at risk of becoming homeless. Through the housing-first approach, the John
Howard Society of Fredericton is helping people achieve rejoining the community
while decreasing the costs and demand on the health, social and criminal
"This project has been a phenomenal experience," said Valarie
MacCullam, executive director of the John Howard Society of Fredericton.
"We knew, based on research, that such a project had the capacity to improve
people's lives and reduce social-net costs. After one full year of operation,
this project has demonstrated exactly that. Using a housing-first approach
enabled us to provide safe and secure homes for some wonderful people."
Since the complex opened in October 2010, the 12 tenants have worked toward
reducing their use of social programs and improving their ability to succeed.
● 11 tenants paid their rent on time without a reminder;
● eight attended all scheduled appointments and meetings;
● two found full-time employment;
● two registered and attend GED preparation training; and,
● one started an online computer repair business. Under the Canada-New Brunswick Affordable Housing Agreement, funding is
available to private non-profit organizations, co-operatives, and community or
private developers interested in developing projects for low-income families,
seniors, non-elderly single persons, disabled persons and persons with special
This development was built to high energy-efficiency standards and involved
consultation with Efficiency NB. Builders of multi-unit residential buildings
may qualify to receive incentives from Efficiency NB if the building meets
energy efficiency targets.
The former University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds
defenceman hasn’t taken French classes since Grade 11. But he’ll be immersed
again in August when he joins the Ducs d’Angers of France’s Ligue Magnus, the
top league in the country.
Harty signed on as the team’s fifth import, recruited
by head coach Jay Varady, the associate head coach with the Everett Silvertips
of the Western Hockey League, where Harty played his junior hockey before
Harty joined the Kalamazoo K-Wings of the ECHL
following the completion of his season with UNB — he had three fights in two
late regular-season games — but was squeezed out of the lineup for the K-Wings’
playoff run. He’s happy to go to Angers, if you will.
“I trust the coach there ... I’m really excited to go
play with him,” said Harty, who will also “make a little bit of money, pay off
all my school debt and have a little bit of money to live. Plus, I’ll be able
to see Europe. And it’s easier to move up the ranks over there.”
The Ducs play in a league which, to Harty’s
understanding, is roughly the calibre of the ECHL, maybe a little higher, he
said. Teams play a 26-game regular-season schedule, supplemented by two league
tournaments over the course of the season. Another former UNB defenceman,
Justin Dacosta, played a pair of games with Chamonix in the same league.
It will be a bit of a transition for the hard-hitting
Harty to play on Olympic-sized ice surfaces in Europe, but he has some
experience, playing a handful of games in Wolfville, N.S., against the Acadia
Axemen over his UNB career.
Harty first considered the move more than a year ago.
The Varsity Reds had just wrapped up the Canadian Interuniversity Sport
championship on home ice — the second of Harty’s career — and he had earned his
bachelor of business administration. However, he elected to return to campus to
pursue his master’s degree, and another Canadian title on home ice.
He went 1-for-2. He’s finishing up the practical
portion of his MBA in Ottawa, working in sales for the Ottawa Senators. His CIS
season ended a little earlier than anticipated when the Western Mustangs of
London, Ont. upset the powerhouse V-Reds in the Saturday afternoon semifinal of
the tourney. The Mustangs went on to lose the final to the McGill Redmen on the
It did little to mar Harty’s fine season on the UNB
blueline though. He was named the team’s top defenceman, the school’s male
athlete of the year, a first team AUS all-star and second-team all-Canadian, as
well as to the tournament all-star team at the CIS championship tournament.
Harty got a brief taste of pro with Kalamazoo — always
among the most robust of the V-Reds’ blueliners, he fought three times — and
then appeared in a pair of playoff games for the K-Wings, who were eliminated
in the Eastern Conference final by the eventual Kelly Cup champion Florida
“It could have gone a little better,” he said. “I
could have got some ice time and could have proved myself. But I still gained a
positive experience from being there and practising with the players and
working out, and finding out what the pro life is actually like.”
Harty’s going to France with an open mind. He doesn’t
know any of the other four imports on the team roster, speaks a little French,
but is excited for the experience.
“Right now, I’m on a one-year program” he said. “I’ll
go over there, pay off some debt and see where I am at the end of the season.
If I have a really good season and I enjoy myself, maybe I’ll try to move up to
a higher level over there. If the AHL comes knocking and there’s an opportunity
to come back and play in the AHL, I’d take that under consideration.”
The Olympic-sized ice surfaces won’t deter Harty.
“I think the rules are a little more strict on the
hitting,” said the 5-foot-11, 215 pounder who laid many a big open ice hit on
AUS forwards over his career.
“I’m going to play my game, and if I start taking too
many penalties, I’ll have to adjust accordingly,” he said. “But I am who I am,
and I play how I play.”
He’ll look back fondly on his UNB years — four
seasons, during which he totaled 20 goals and 52 assists and 263 PIM in 98
regular season games.
“I hadn’t been back home to New Brunswick in three or
four years when I came back home,” said the 24-year-old who wore the number 40
for the last couple of years of his career in tribute to his Oromocto roots —
the town of four O’s.
“So it was good to get back and get back in touch with
all my friends and make new friends. School-wise, I could get injured my first
game in France and have my MBA to fall back on. I’m set career-wise.
Hockey-wise, I played with the best Canadian university hockey team and won two
national championships, and last year, I came back and got some personal
recognition. It really furthered me in all three aspects of life...personally,
career-wise and hockey-wise.”
A wheelchair tennis coaching clinic was held in
Fredericton on Sunday at Wilmot Tennis Club involving over 15 participants with
one goal on their mind — to coach tennis to people with physical disabilities.
Kai Schrameyer, national development coach with Tennis
Canada was in town showing future coaches how to teach people with a disability
the technique to play wheelchair tennis and have fun doing it.
“It’s great to see how the guys get into it,” said
Schrameyer. “It’s a different coaching and playing experience because it’s
tennis, but it’s from a different position with the difficulties of
coordinating the strokes with the mobility, so you can see on how they’re
finding whole new ways to play.”
Schrameyer made all the participants learn from the
comfort of a wheelchair so they can see the difficulty a person with a physical
disability has hitting the ball and moving around to hit the shot.
“We’re hoping at the end of the day all the future
coaches can learn the techniques and apply them to the beginners they teach,”
Kenzie Vincent from Regina, Ssk., who recently moved
to Fredericton, was one of the coaches who got his certification to coach
“I tried it out last year in a wheelchair when Kai was
in town and I fell in love with it,” said Vincent. “It’s so much fun to wheel
around, spin and move your body like you do — it’s pretty cool.”
Vincent said in two weeks he’ll be taking over the
wheelchair tennis program Tuesdays at Wilmot Park.
“What interests me in the sport so much is it’s really
inclusive everybody can play it,” he said. “To get people out playing tennis
like this is phenomenal, I have so much fun I can’t wait to make them have so
Mark Thibault, executive director of Tennis New
Brunswick, organized Schrameyer to visit and provide the coaching course.
“We started the Tuesday wheelchair tennis program but
unfortunately we didn’t have coaches that were certified to work with the
individuals,” he said. “It’s a huge opportunity to get some coaches in the
sport around the area and when we start up again on Tuesday they will have a
little more knowledge on what kind of drills and things they can do to teach
The participants who took in the course Sunday were
from Moncton, Saint John, Saskatchewan and Fredericton.
Schrameyer, originally from Germany, participated in
three Paralympic Games winning silver in men’s singles and bronze in men’s
doubles at the 1992 Games in Barcelona. He also won bronze in men’s doubles in
Sydney in 2000.
Schrameyer lost his right leg from bone cancer when he
was 15 years old. When he was first introduced to wheelchair tennis after his
injury he didn’t like the sport because he said he wasn’t exposed to the best
wheelchair tennis players at the time.
“I had the moment of enlightenment when I saw the best
wheelchair tennis players in the world make some crazy shots and see how good
he was that is when I got hooked,” he said.
Schrameyer said when one door closes in life so many
“It’s up to you whether you want to step through that
door or if you want to remain standing in front of the door that’s shut and my
choice with the help of sport is my life can be just as good as an able bodied
The organizers of Fredericton’s annual Canada Day
party have booked one of the most popular rock groups in the Maritimes to
headline an outdoor concert in Officers Square.
Joel Plaskett is a Halifax-based singer-songwriter who
has earned multiple East Coast Music Awards, has been shortlisted for the
Polaris Music Prize and has been recognized with awards and nominations from
Canada’s Juno Awards.
He will cap a full day of free musical entertainment
in Fredericton’s downtown green space when he takes the stage at about 9 p.m.
on July 1 with his rock and roll trio, The Emergency.
With help from the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and
presenting sponsor Worrall’s Furniture and La Z Boy Comfort Studio, the
Fredericton Canada Day Committee was able to line up a special performance from
the red-hot rock group, which will unleash its potent mixture of catchy hooks
and grooves leading up to the city’s fireworks spectacle.
“We started working on bringing in Joel for Canada Day
three years ago when he played the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival,” said
Charles Barry, co-chairman of the Fredericton Canada Day Committee.
“He said, ‘I’d love to play. When you’re in a position
to do it, get in touch with my people and we’ll make it happen.’ So, I saved my
pennies for the last few years and this year we felt like we had the right
sponsors willing to help us out. We got in touch with Joel’s people and they
helped us work out the details.”
Because Plaskett and his bandmates were already
scheduled to appear at this year’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the Canada
Day committee had to approach Harvest for permission to feature one of its
headlining acts so close to the fall festival.
Harvest chairman Ken Critchley said the organizers of
Fredericton’s top musical event agreed to modify their performance contract
with Plaskett so he could add the Canada Day showcase.
“Harvest understands the importance of being a good
community partner and doing what we can to help the development of our sister
festivals”, said Critchley in a news release.
“Canada Day is important to the community and we share
the committee’s aspiration of making the event bigger and better, so we altered
the terms of our contract with Joel to allow him to play Canada Day in
“We’re happy to help facilitate the growth of the
Canada Day celebrations in our community. It’s going to be a great Canada Day
and a perfect snapshot of the show he’ll do at Harvest in September.”
While the Joel Plaskett Emergency may be the biggest
draw on the bill for Fredericton’s Canada Day concert, it certainly won’t be
the only talented act to appear.
Barry said the organizing committee makes an effort
each year to provide acts that will appear to a wide variety of music fans.
“We definitely try our best to make sure that we have
a diverse musical spectrum on stage,” he said.
Here’s this year’s lineup:
•12-12:45 - Scotty and the Stars (Children’s)
•1-1:45 - Filipino CommUNITY (World)
•2-2:15 - Opening Ceremonies, ft. Alexander Good
singing O Canada
•2:30-3:15 - Calithumpians (All-ages)
•3:30-4:15 - Jaclyn Reinhart (Pop/Folk)
•4:30-5:15 - The Belle Comedians (Indie-Rock)
•5:30-6:15 - Southern Drive (Country)
•6:30-7:15 - She Roars! (Pop/Rock)
•7:30-8:15 - The Westerbergs (Rock/Folk)
•9:00-10:30 - Joel Plaskett Emergency (Rock)
•10:40-11:00 - Fireworks
Barry said there should be something for everyone. And
though he’s excited about all of the acts slated to take the stage, he thinks
performances by local rock groups The Westerbergs and She Roars!, who played an
energetic, fun-filled set at last year’s Canada Day party, will warm up the
crowd for Plaskett’s headlining set.
The event is made possible thanks to assistance from a
number of community sponsors, from Heritage Canada, a partnership with the
Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and through funding and support from the City
Sarah Macpherson and Adam Gaudes will enjoy a quick
reunion in Calgary later this month.
Emphasis on the quick.
The Fredericton Fast Tracks athletes — a happy couple
for the past three-and-a-half years despite the demands of school and
scheduling that confronts elite track athletes who are each pursuing
biochemistry degrees at separate universities — both met qualifying time
standards for their events and will therefore get to compete at the Canadian
Olympic team trials June 27-30 in Calgary.
MacPherson, the 21-year-old Fredericton native, who
finished her third year at the University of Tulsa this season, lowered her
personal best time in the 1,500 metres to 4:25.86 at a meet in Arkansas in May,
while Gaudes, the outstanding male track athlete in Canada West in his
sophomore season at the University of Victoria, met the Olympic qualifying
standard in the men’s 800 metres.
Macpherson had run a 4:28 at a meet the previous week.
But in one of their daily conversations — “we Skype a lot,” she said — Gaudes
informed Macpherson that the Olympic qualifying time was 4:27.
“He told me that I should hit it so we could both go to
Calgary,” she said.
Inspired by that, and her mom Susan’s desire to visit
a sister who lives in Calgary, Macpherson met the standard with something to
spare at the meet in Arkansas the next week.
The time, the fourth fastest in school history, was
also good enough for her to qualify for the NCAA West Regionals in Austin,
Texas, a personal goal she had set at the start of the outdoor season, and an
ambitious one, considering she had missed the entire indoor season with a
series of nagging injuries.
“My coach didn’t think I would, but I did,” she
That meet happened May 24-26 and delayed her return to
Fredericton until last week. But there’s no rest for the weary: she’s been
training with head coach Greg Allan and the Fast Tracks club pretty much since.
“I find it fun, because he keeps it interesting,” she
After the Olympic trials, both her boyfriend and her
mom have their eyes on the NACAC U23 championships in Mexico in mid-July. She
has to run in the 4:22 range to qualify there, and she’ll get a chance to do
that at a meet in Quebec in a couple of weeks.
“It’s not out of reach,” she said. “I can drop three
or four seconds. That’s the plan.”
You might say she’s right on track — has been since
Grade 3 in fact, when she was the fastest kid in her elementary school class as
“I was winning my races in elementary, so my mom
encouraged me to stay in it,” she said. “But no one would train me because I
was so young. When I was in Grade 8 or Grade 9, Greg started coaching. We had
heard about him and he said he’d train me. I was one of the first ones he
It’s paid off handsomely. Not only has it helped
provide her with a quality education — she chose Tulsa over more than 20 other
schools, including Harvard — but she got a boyfriend too. She and Gaudes push
“He joined Fast Tracks about a year after I did,” she
said. “We had been running together the whole time, and been in meets together
and trained together. I used to be able to run with him when he sprinted. But
then he got a lot faster.”
She was in Grade 12 and he in Grade 11 at Fredericton
High School when they began dating four years ago in October.
“He keeps me focused,” she said. “We push each other,
because we like to work a lot outside of what everyone else does. It keeps us
motivated. We talk about running all the time. We catch ourselves sometimes and
say, ‘Let’s talk about something other than running,’ ” she laughed.
And yet, her goals for next season are already clearly
defined. She wants to crack 4:18 in the 1,500 and be among the top two in
Canada at that distance in order to qualify for the World University Games in
Kazan, Russia, next July and make the NCAA national championship meet next
Macpherson will graduate on schedule next year —
academics have never been a problem — and is being tugged in opposite
directions. Her dad, Bruce, wants her to come back to Fredericton. Her
boyfriend wants her to join him in Victoria. At some point, she’ll write the
MCATS (Medical College Admissions Test) exam and decide whether or not she
wants to go to medical school.
“I still have to figure it out,” she said.
Running will remain a part of the equation.
“If I hit my goals that I’ve set and I’m running well,
I probably won’t stop,” she said. “If I’m running below 4:20, I’ll keep
running. I’ll have to set more goals then. I’m not sure what, but it will
always be important to me.”
The attraction is simple, and yet complicated.
“I like succeeding,” she said. “I like surprising
yourself. Sometimes, you don’t realize you have it in you, and you do. And it’s
nice to hit your goals.”
Fredericton’s city forester and manager of parks and
trees cringes when he sees tinfoil, slathered in Vaseline, wrapped around the
trunks of trees in the city.
The remedy is often used by people trying to ward off
forest tent caterpillars from crawling up a tree to the leafy branches, which
they then defoliate.
“It’s probably something that’s been traditional and
they think it’s preventative maintenance,” said Don Murray. “I have seen one
(forest) tent caterpillar this season. We haven’t seen any damage and we saw
some virus in the population of tent caterpillars last year, so I think we
dodged a bullet there last year and nature kind of looked after itself.
“The problem with wrapping tinfoil or other products
around the stems of the trees is you change the temperature of the bark or you
can actually smother the bark. The bark is a living organism that has to
breathe, so if you smother it with tinfoil and Vaseline or lard or whatever you
put on it, you run a real high risk of killing your tree.”
Murray said he has yet to see a tree die from
caterpillar infestation, but he has seen tries die due to use of tinfoils and
“We ask people to keep their tinfoil for their baked
potatoes,” Murray said.
A bigger pest this year will be the European Chafer
beetle that has landed in Fredericton, probably imported on out-of-province
A mild winter meant the beetle population wasn’t hit
hard. Damaged lawns are appearing around the city again, as they did last year
in Sunshine Gardens.
“This spring a lot of people had lost a lot of their
lawns and they have actually stripped all of the sod off and they’re either
putting new turf down or putting in alternatives,” Murray said.
“If we don’t get a traditional cold winter with deep
frost, we may learn to live with this pest.”
The European Chafer, Rhizotrogus majalis, is a serious
pest of turf, horticulture and field crops in eastern North America. In 2001,
it was found in British Columbia in lawns and boulevards.
The adult beetle is tan-coloured and resembles a small
June beetle. It’s about 12 millimetres long.
According to B.C.’s Department of Agriculture, which
has issued a fact sheet on the insects, eggs hatch around mid-July and the
grubs moult twice over eight weeks. The mature grubs are well adapted to cool,
moist conditions and feed all fall.
During the winter, they dig down during periods of
freezing conditions, but otherwise remain within five centimetres of the
They feed in the spring until April, when they become
pupae. Adults emerge in late May, fly to nearby deciduous trees to mate and
feed, and subsequently females deposit up to 50 eggs each.
The grubs are the damaging stage. They feed on all
types of grass and, if food is scarce, may move into vegetable plantings to
feed on corn, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, conifers and other crops.
Apart from the damage the grubs do themselves by
feeding on the grasses, they tend to attract skunks and birds who will dig up
lawns to feed on larger grubs.
Welcome to my Blog. I am the four term Councillor for beautiful and prosperous Ward 3, having first been elected in 2001, and again in 2004, 2008 and May 14, 2012.
Ward 3 is on the northside of Fredericton (the majestic Saint John River carves the city into equal north/south components). For those familair with our city, the approximate Ward 3 boundaries are: the Saint John River to the south, St. Mary's 1st Nation/Cliffe Street to the east, Brookside Drive to the west and the city limits/Killarney Lake to the north.
In my intial two terms, I was asked to co-chair the massive rewrite and public hearing process for Fredericton's new Municipal Plan. I also served two years as the Citys' Deputy Mayor; two years as Chair of the Development Services Committee, and as the inaugural Chair of the City of Fredericton Affordable Housing Committee.
In the third term, I had the honor of serving as Chair; Finance & Administration Committee for three years, Chair; City of Fredericton Pension Board for three year and continued as Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee
In this fourth term, I have been appointed Chair of Community Services, which encompasses recreation, liesure services, sports & facilites, parks and trees, and senior's issues. I am also serving as Chair of the labour/management contract Negotiaitons Committee, also as Chair of the City Employee's SuperAnnuation (pension) Board, and again, as Affordable Housing Chair
Please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com; or at Fredericton City Hall, PO Box 130, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 4Y7 (506) 460-2020