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Quoddy Tides
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March 14, 2014     Quoddy Tides
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March 14, 2014
 

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14 March, 2014 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 37 Cell service, healthcare to be discussed by Arlene Benham Grand Manan's village council had a short agenda at the March 3 meeting. Mayor Dennis Greene told listeners, "To- night our agenda appears very light. This doesn't mean council has been inactive." Several meetings in March will address some ongoing concerns. On March 10 a meeting was scheduled involving Grand Manan and Campobello's MLAs and mayors and MP John Williamson regard- ing Charlotte County cell phone service. Greene said MLA Rick Doucet has con- firmed a meeting will be held with the provincial health minister to discuss healthcare issues including air ambulance service. The date and location have not been finalized. Regarding that day's breakdown of the Grand Manan Adventure, Greene said that a request for a contingency plan, first re- quested by Councillor Phil Ells Jr. in 201 l, will be repeated. The village continues to discuss ferry service with provincial trans- portation officials. Councillor" Mark Ingersoll gave an up- date on the development of an unsafe- premises bylaw. Village officials would prefer to create their own rather than hav- ing to use the extensive provincial bylaw. A meeting with the village's solicitor was held, and Ingersoll reported that the solic- itor believes this is possible. The solicitor also suggested a meeting with the owner of a property in question; the village has not received a reply yet. "It is in our solic- itor's hands," Ingersoll said. "People of the island need to understand this isn't something that was thrown aside at the [previous] meeting. We are looking at this." The councillors' preference is to find a policy that will avoid "drastic mea- sures/' Updates will be provided. Councillors voted unanimously to con- tribute $200 to the Bantam Islanders hock- ey team, which placed second among 20 southem New Brunswick teams and qual- ified for the Hockey New Brunswick pro- vincial championship in Neguac at the end of March. Interviews for the recreation coordinator position have been conducted with 19 ap- plicants, including two Grand Mananers. Councillor Ells gave the fire department report. Work on the phase three watershed project should be done this spring, and purchase of a small rescue boat should also be completed in March. The depart- ment is awaiting quotes for a pressure washer and has scheduled a pre-build meeting about the new truck. The depart- ment welcomed one new member and will hold a forest fire training course this month. In February they responded to three flue and structure fires. Councillor Ingersoll read the library manager's report. Performance evalua- tions were held in February, and staff took interactive online training on new web tools. Lego, pre-school and book club groups are continuing. Heritage Week commemorated the 100th and 75th anni- versaries of the start of both world wars. The annual silent auction will be held Sat- urday, April 5. Constable Ken Matheson gave the RCMP report. In February the detachment responded to 70 criminal code calls, one Schedule 8 drugs file and 12 other occur- rences, conducted four checkstops and is- sued 103 tickets and warnings. Council moved into closed session to discuss the selection of a recreation coor- dinator and a property sale offered to the village. The next regular council meeting will be held Monday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the village office. Assembly recognizes students' efforts by Beth Warren Grand Manan Community School (GMCS) held a Way to Go assembly on Monday, March 10. Students were ac- knowledged by teachers for any signifi- cant accomplishments throughout the current semester. They were praised for high marks, excellent projects, communi- ty involvement and exceeding test scores. Those who received a Way to Go were given an award as well as a handshake from their teacher. This assembly showed students that their work both inside and outside of school does not go unnoticed. Volleyball to start With the basketball season over it is time for a new sport to move into GMCS. Boys' volleyball tryouts were held on Feb- ruary 27 and 28, and 10 students were chosen for the new Grand Manan volley- ball team. Matt Jones, who has played for the Breakers volleyball team for two con- secutive years, could not be more excited about the upcoming season. "I can't wait for the season to hurry up and start already," he says. "[Volleyball] is not like most sports. Most team sports are really competitive, but we go out there and just play for fun," he explains. "I could really care less if we win or not, and that's why I play; it's just really fun." Spirit and excitement are high through- out the entire team. Practices are held three times a week, and the first game will be at GMCS on Thursday, March 20. Saint John to expand cruise ship efforts The provincial government is making a three-year investment to help Port Saint John become a home port for cruise ships, including expedition-class vessels. "We have a number of opportunities to take the next step with the cruising sector at Port Saint John,'" says Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. The minister's announcement coincid- ed with the completion of a study by Dil- lon Consulting Ltd. that found that the port is well-suited to become a home port for expedition-class ships in the near fu- ture. "This study has highlighted some real and achievable ways to pursue cruising business opportunities, but it also identi- fies some challenges," Holder says. The study recommends that Port Saint John install erect a special gangway and/ or floating platform to accommodate ex- pedition-class ships during the range of tides in the Bay of Fundy. "Our govern- ment will provide $100,000 to the port each year during the next three years to help address these initial challenges and other requirements associated with home- porting ships," Holder says. Dillon Consulting Ltd. examined the strategic position of the port on the Cana- da-New England itinerary of expedition- class ships. It evaluated tourism offerings of Saint John and what steps the port needs to take to become a home port of expedi- tion-class ships. These are often high-end, niche-market vessels, carrying 50 to 200 passengers plus crew. Expedition cruises are often geared toward adventurers with specific interests such as exploring nature. During a call to Port Saint John, pas- sengers spend an average of $60 to $80. At a home port, passengers spend up to twice as much. Most passengers visiting home ports stay at least one night in a hotel while spending money on meals and other incidentals. The 2014 cruise season at the port will begin on July 5. Anticipated highlights include a record number of double-ship days, seven inaugural calls and the 1,000th ship call. DEPARTING from North Head on March 9 is the Grand Manan V, which was called into service when the Grand Manan Adventure broke down on March 3. Grand Manan V fills in while crews again service Adventure by Arlene Benham Grand Manan was without regular ferry service for a couple of days when the Grand Manan Adventure broke down on its first run of the day on March 3. About 20 minutes out of North Head, an oil line developed a crack, cutting off oil to the starboard engine, which caused the engine to overheat. The crossing was completed with one engine. According to Coastal Transport Presi- dent Murray Ryder, the engine's turbo- charger was damaged and had to be replaced. Although the system was shut down within a couple of minutes, "at 14- 20,000 rpm it doesn't take time to do a lot of damage." This is a different problem from the 2013 clutch malfunction, which also affected a turbocharger. Ryder says a cast metal piece broke, and the manufac- turer had never seen that happen before. "It could be a latent defect in the metal." The turbocharger will be packed up and shipped back to Virginia for the manufac- turer's analysis. While workers disassembled the engine to determine the extent of the damage, others began preparing to bring the Grand Manan V back into service. The backup ferry has been docked in Blacks Harbour, and de-winterizing it was a big job, which Ryder says has taken 48 hours in the past. "It's the first time it's been laid up this cold," he says, explaining that among oth- er winter storage measures "we drain all the water and hope Mother Nature hasn't caused any trouble." All the water pipes had to be inspected, and a number of leaks had to be fixed. All other equipment also has to be serviced, tested and lubricated, the galley must be stocked, and before going back into service the boat must be inspected by a Lloyd's Register surveyor. Some crew members were flown over to work on both boats. Beating the 48-hour goal, Coastal crews had the Grand Manan V running by 5:30 p.m. on March 4. A load of lobsters was able to leave the island that night, and Coastal staff were in contact with truckers to keep them updated. Meanwhile, removing the turbocharger was a nine-hour job; Ryder says it weighs 3,200-3,500 pounds and is about four feet on a side. Without much room to work, "they'd move it an inch this way, an inch that way" and hoisted it out through the hatches. The ferry's warranty has expired, and Coastal was responsible for finding a replacement. "You just don't go to Cana- dian Tire for these parts," Ryder says; they are normally made to order and not kept in stock. The original supplier in Illinois was located, and the equipment was to arrive that weekend. A technician was also flown in from the U.S. The lack of service caused some anxi- ety on the island. A Save-Easy cashier says there was a bit of a run on milk and bread. Meanwhile, some people in Blacks Harbour used social media and island ac- quaintances to offer rooms or couches to sleep on for stranded islanders. With all of the problems the Adventure has had, some questioned why the Grand Manan V is not kept ready to go, rather than put into winter lay-up. Ryder re- sponds, "It would be like keeping your cottage heated and all the lights on all winter. It's just not practical." Without a lay-up on shore power, they would have to keep the engines running with a crew aboard. Despite the new ferry's history of breakdowns, he maintains it's not a lem- on. "I like to say we have a peach," he told a CBC interviewer. "It's a far cry from the other vessel. It's up to us to use our foresight as much as possible to pre- vent these things from happening. But, from time to time, anyone who deals with equipment knows things are going to hap- pen." In an interview, he admits, "We've had our growing pains, certainly." But he praises the boat's maneuverability and sta- bility in rough weather. "From a Grand Mananer's point of view, our customers and captains like it." The cost of repairs since the warranties on both ship and equipment expired has been Coastal's responsibility. As to whether the Adventure is beginning to cost more than they would like, Ryder says, "Well, we're looking at the bigger picture. ... If we had no costs it would be utopia," but he hopes that they will "do better with our other boats and [costs] will balance out." Qn March 10 the Adventure had a test run. Ryder says they spotted "a few other things" to which they decided to apply some preventive maintenance, "looking ahead," since they had the Grand Manan Vrunning and had the time to do so. Some work was done on an oil cooler. On March 11 he said everything was going very well and that he expected the Adventure to be running again within a couple of days. OPTOMETRIST Dr. M. Murphy 6 Queen St. West St. Stephen, N.B. E3L-2J8 (506) 466-1388 Providing all vision care servic- es, including the dispensing of glasses and contact lenses.