Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Committe Established to Determine York Arena's Fate
(excerpts from article published in the Daily Gleaner, July 16/11)

An ad hoc community on the future of York Arena has been created by Mayor Brad Woodside with Coun. Mike O'Brien at its helm. That's going to divert two groups looking to keep the building in the city's recreation inventory from council to that committee to pitch their case.

The Save The York Arena group, which wants barebones repairs made to keep the rink in the city's sports inventory to accommodate growing demand for ice time, was slated to speak to city council. Meantime, the Fredericton Athletics Association, which represents a group in runners looking for an indoor track, was booked to give a report to the city's community services committee this week.

"Council had asked staff to come back with an updated ADI report on the structure and the costs, and the staff were prepared to do that. Now, a group has come forward that represents the indoor runners club that they wanted to form. They've got what looks on paper like a viable option. The Save the York Arena group has been meeting diligently for the last year and has refined their numbers and research so they have information," O'Brien said.

"I myself had been fairly strong at one time saying, 'We can't afford this,' but have met with that group several times, and I have met with staff and it looks like there may be some untested options at the moment about how to reduce costs of operating that place and still make that a viable operation," the councillor said.

He said there's no rush because the city has already decided the York Arena isn't coming down.
"We'd have to reverse that if we ever did, and the York Arena definitely has to remain open next year," O'Brien said.

When the city rescinded the motion to demolish the arena, it was with the understanding it would be open for the next couple of years and it will be open for at least the next year, he said.

Scott Davis, acting chairman of the recently created Fredericton Athletics Association, said the group will meet and talk with the city on how to best present its information. "We know there's another proposal out there for refurbishment into a rink, but we kind of had this idea going when the Nashwaaksis Arena was demolished after the Willie O'Ree Centre was put up.

"Our thoughts are if the city is looking at two options, either refurbish it as a rink ... or the only other option is to demolish it. We'd like to have it known that we are looking for a facility, and a building this size would meet our needs, and there is an interest from our group to reuse that facility rather than demolish it."

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Paved trails 'accessible to more people' - Transportation | City plans to pave more sections
(excerpt from article published in the Daily Gleaner, July 05/11)

Between walking to and from class, running and biking, Peter Adamson says he spends a lot of time on the trails in Fredericton.
"I'm walking them every night," said Adamson, a third-year geological engineering student at the University of New Brunswick.

In fact, he prefers running on pavement. But while he's heard pavement is hard on the knees, he said hearing the city is planning to pave more sections of the trail doesn't bother him. "I don't know what the long-term effects are but it's better for grip, especially for biking. It's faster," he said. "I'm not 60. My knees are still pretty good."

Although city council's decision last week to spend $105,000 to pave another two kilometres of Fredericton's trail network ignited some complaints from runners, it didn't spark the same kind of reaction it did when plans for paving were announced in 2008.

In about two weeks time, the city will pave two more sections of Fredericton's 85-km trail system - along the Valley Trail on Woodstock Road and along the riverfront from the Lighthouse Adventure Centre to the pedway - bringing the total distance of paved trails in the city to 7.5 km.

Nicholas Larade, manager of the Fredericton Running Room, said when paving plans were revealed in 2008, a lot of people came to his store complaining.
He hasn't seen the same kind of reaction this time, but that could change when the machines roll out.
"Once they start paving more sections, I suspect we'll see more of an outcry and complaints," he said.

But although he understands some people are unhappy with the decision, Don Murray, city forester and acting parks and trees manager, said it's important to pave some sections of the trail because they're not just for recreational use.

But while the role of the trails as a transportation system is important, Murray said paving certain sections allows access to different groups who might not have been able to enjoy the trails before.

He said one particular instance after the first paving project was completed convinced him the city was doing the right thing.
"I was down at the trail visitor centre and I saw a van, I think it was from Pine Grove nursing home," he said.
"They were unloading some of the residents in their wheelchairs and they were driving from the south side over to the north side, the trail visitor centre, and they were taking the seniors from Pine Grove for a walk on that paved section.
"That convinced me right there we were doing the right thing. It made those trails so much more accessible."

To read the full article, click on the following link:

Mayor Accepts fDi American Cities of the Future Award In Washington, D.C.

Photo of Mayor Accepts fDi American Cities of the Future Award In Washington, D.C.Fredericton (July 5, 2011) – Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside was presented with the prestigious 2011-20012 fDi Magazine American Cities of the Future award during a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award is in recognition of the City of Fredericton being named earlier this year as the top city in North, South and Latin America for Best Foreign Direct Investment Strategy in the Micro City Category; a runner-up in the Micro City over-all rankings; and sixth for Best Quality of Life in the Micro City Top Ten.

Mayor Woodside was one of more than 150 mayors and other government officials assembled in the U.S. capital for the awards ceremony.

“I am very pleased to accept this award on behalf of our partners in the Greater Fredericton Area who work tirelessly to make our community stand out on the world stage,” said Mayor Woodside. “We appreciate the recognition of those efforts by fDi Magazine, which shows us we are on the right track with our economic development strategies.”

fDi American Cities of the Future recognizes cities which have the best prospects for inward investment, economic development and business expansion. The results were released in the April / May issue of fDi Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London, England.

"The Americas are home to many of the world's most established investment destinations as well as some of the fastest emerging ones, making it a highly competitive and diverse region for Foreign Direct investment,” said Courtney Fingar, editor of fDi Magazine, commented. “Given the strength of the rankings methodology, large field of competitor cities and sheer scale of such a benchmarking exercise, those cities marked for recognition deserve to be proud of their efforts. fDi Magazine congratulates them."

The ‘American Cities of the Future rankings compared data from 405 cities in six categories: Economic Potential, Human Resources, Cost Effectiveness, Quality of Life, Infrastructure and Business Friendliness. A seventh category was added to the scoring – FDI promotion strategy. In this category, 100 cities submitted details about their promotion strategy and this was judged and scored by an independent judging panel.

The Financial Times Ltd. is one of the world’s leading business news organizations. It is recognized internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Full results are available onwww.fdiintelligence.com/Rankings or in the April/May issue of fDi Magazine