Monday, October 29, 2012

Greenlight To Sir John A Office Building

City Council is giving the green light to Nordmin Engineering to set up a technical office in the old Sir John A MacDonald School.  Council ratified the decision at it's meeting last night.  The project will be allowed to go ahead if the project undergoes a traffic study and the property keeps an open green space.

Council Talks City Lean

Talk about how the City is doing financially turned into a blame game around the council table last night.  Council received a report showing several departments combined were over a million dollars over budget.
Councillor Trevor Giertuga says it's not fair to ask City Manager Tim Commisso to find savings and then not follow through on his recommendations. Councillor Iain Angus defended council's decision to go against the City Manager's suggestions in regards to the Botanical Conservatory and Municipal Golf Course.

Council Goes Behind Closed Doors

Thunder Bay City Council is spending some time behind closed doors.  Council met behind closed doors before it's regular meeting and started the main meeting late.  After debating several topics council decided to reconvene their private discussion.  They spent two hours behind closed doors Monday night.   Items discussed included property, and an update on the Horizon Wind lawsuit.

Council Hears Low Income Housing Request

Habib Enterprises wants to create an affordable housing unit on Victoria Avenue.  Ahsanul Habib asked City Council Monday night to either reduce the property tax on the property or provide a grant towards the project.  The vacant building has room for 21 units.  Habib says the project has Social Services Board approval and can only receive funding from the Provincial Government's Affordable Housing Program if the City helps.

Leaf & Yard Waste Collection

It's time to put your raked leaves and yard waste out on the curb for city pick up.  The collection will take place from Thursday until Wednesday November 14th.  Spokesperson Jason Sherband says you can put out your waste on your regular recycling day.  Clear plastic and Halloween leaf bags are also acceptable.

Porter Cancels Toronto Flights

Hurricane Sandy is forcing Porter Airlines to cancel their flights in and out of Toronto.  For Thunder Bay flights that means seven flights are affected, four from Toronto to Thunder Bay and three leaving Thunder Bay for Toronto.  If your flight has been cancelled you can reschedule without paying the fees or get a full rebate for a later flight.

Novartis Flu Vaccines Suspended

Thunder Bay's Health Unit is reassuring the public after Canada suspended the distribution of flu vaccine made by the company Novartis.  Spokesperson Darlene Binette says they are no longer using Fluad and Agriful because tiny clumps of virus particles can be found in some of the shots.  Flu shot clinics are still open and the Health Unit is using other unaffected vaccines. Binette says they did offer Fluad and Agriflu earlier in the season but are putting that on hold for now and no unexpected adverse side effects from the shot have been reported.

Pepper Spray Sends Family To Hospital

A scary incident on Cumming Street this past weekend. A family of 5 was sent to the hospital after three people standing outside of a Cumming Street house attacked the homeowners after being asked to leave their property. Police say the homeowners were attacked physically and with pepper spray. The suspects are described as a 20 to 25 year old woman with long hair, a 20 something man with dark short hair, and a teenage male.

Another Murder For Thunder Bay

Police are now calling the death on Belton Street last week a murder.  They say that the body of 52 year old Salvatore Larizza was found by family members in a house on Thursday morning.   The cause of his death is not being released. Police spokesperson Chris Adams says the victim was known to them and that the house was the subject of a previous investigation but he would not elaborate.  Police say they have set up a dedicated tip line for his case, it's 684-1330.

Be Seen Campaign Kicks Off

The District Health Unit is trying to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe when it's dark outside. Public Health Nurse Marita Campbell says it's the second year for the "Safe and Be Seen" campaign. She's hoping people pick up one of the reflective arm bands being distributed for free. The arm bands are available at various local outlets which include: The District Health Unit, the Parking Authority, Eco-Superior, Westfort Foods, George's Market, Fresh Air Experiences, Petries Cycle and Cycle Path.

Credit Card Policy On Council Agenda

City lawmakers get back to business tonight and on their to do list is updating their credit card and travel expense policies. City Manager Tim Commisso says up until now councillors had been operating under credit card guidelines and this will allow it to be formalized into a policy. Commisso says the changes were not prompted by any sort of misuse of credit card or travel abuse.

Wawa Still Recovering From Flood

Wawa is still reeling from last week's massive flood. Two lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway south of Wawa have reopened after they were washed out last week. Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki says the sections of highway that were washed out on the north side of town should be reopened by Wednesday. In the meantime the town is housing residents from a nearby First Nations community who have been displaced by the flood. Nowicky says they are also keeping an eye on superstorm Sandy, hoping it will not bring more precipitation to the area already affected by the flooding.

Local Resident Remembers The Bounty

The tall ship HMS Bounty is no more. The crew members abandoned ship after they were caught in the middle of  Hurricane Sandy  off the coast of North Carolina.  At last word 14 crew members were rescued, but 2 are reported missing.    Thunder Bay's Rochelle Smith sailed with the Bounty over the summer as a volunteer and she says she's in shock and says it's a sad day in the tall ship community.  Smith says the captain has sailed in hurricanes before and may have believed he it was safer at sea rather than at port.   Thousands of local residents got a chance to board the Bounty when it visited our port in 2010.