Monday, March 29, 2010

Zippity do da ... it won't repace the Harbour Bridge

Last year plans for a zip line across Reversing Falls Rapids were introduced; part of a $35 million redevelopment of the long standing tourist attraction.

SJ Waterfront Development is involved in the plan which included  extending Harbour Passage across the Reversing Falls Bridge: it now looks like the City won't be contributing the funds the group had hoped for this year.   Instead of about $3.6 million, they'll get $1.9 million, according to an article in today's Telegraph Journal.

Where that leaves the plans for the zip line - I don't know.   I mention this because just today I saw a story  on LA Times online:
 Putting some zip into Catalina's tourism
The Catalina Zipline Eco-Tour -- a 3,671-foot-long cable ride over cactus-filled canyons -- is part of a plan to transform the struggling harbor town of Avalon into a leading Southland destination.
Watch the accompanying video and read the article. And get this:   "The attraction is made up of five zipline segments averaging 734 feet in length and connected to platforms. One stretch is 300 feet above a canyon floor.   Riders who pay $89 per ticket will get a hawk-eye's view as they swoop down from a mountaintop to the beach. Because the ride is divided into five segments, one full trip would take about 90 minutes ..."

I also learned that the zip line attraction has it roots in the 1970s when scientists used the technology to study the Amazon tropical forest canopies.
Here's a snapshot, above, of the Falls restaurant taken in the summer, and one below from the provincial archives website taken circa 1900.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Really? I did not know that!

You never know what's out there ....

In the fall I took this picture along the Duck Cove path.

Any westsider worth his or her salt will remember the middle / high school years - when heading to the beach for an evening stroll usually meant a dangerous descent over the rocks to the beach below.  Duck Cove had the distinction of providing a staircase - or the remains of a staircase -  to the beach.

I know there's a lot of history around the coast, but I didn't know (if indeed this sign is correct) that a WII Beach Defense Trench was located there.

Dude - where's the snow?

The overnight parking ban makes a lot of sense, especially in the dead of winter when snowfalls are common.  But I think it's time to drop the ban for the season.  HRM (Halifax) lifted their overnight  parking ban three weeks ago; they haven't had much snow this year.

I think Saint John can follow their example.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Public Transit - try it, you'll like it

I stumbled across this story at the LA Times online recently;  a die-hard "private transport" lover describes her transformation from "bus snob" to a bus-riding crusader for public transportation.  Along the way she discovered life has been enriched by being a user of mass transportation.
Her experiences are documented in a blog, Snob on a Bus.

Have I mentioned before that I am a public transportation proponent?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Whatever Happened to Studio 6 Motel?

I see the corner lot on Catherwood Street and Fairville Blvd. is for sale.
Does that mean Studio 6 Motel is a no-go?  It got a lot of press last year; but that was before the cancellation of the Irving HQ  and second refinery.  Folks were a little more optimistic about redevelopment, I guess.

Spring is sweet

Two horses on Ocean Westway enjoy the arrival of spring on Saturday. New housing development can be seen in the background.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fairville Blvd. Deconstruction

Today a building on Fairville Blvd., between Cox Electronics and Canadian Tire, was demolished.  At one time the building housed a bottle exchange / redemption centre, among other businesses.

Wonder if this has anything to do with the much talked about expansion of Canadian Tire? (Yeah it does, saw a sign at CT announcing an expanded store).

Digby Gut?

West siders know that on a clear day,  when you can see Nova Scotia ...  poor weather is only a few days away.

This image was snapped this afternoon from the Duck Cove area, and the view across the bay was incredible.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

World Water Day

City council has proclaimed March 22 World Water Day in Saint John. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Election Fever / Spring Fever

Carl Killen, Ward Three (includes lower west side) councillor,  is indicating interest in seeking the PC nomination for the Saint John Harbour riding for the September provincial election.

I received an email from his team looking for supporters for the nomination convention.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shubee or Kook?

I read about an interesting natural phenomenon, the Severn Bore, in The Times Online.  A combination of spring tides, the shape of the estuary, and water levels in the Atlantic cause a 7 mile tidal bore to run downriver; surfers are stoked!  

The Severn River, for those who don't know, is the longest river in Great Britain.  According to the Severn Bore website, the bore is:
"a large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, being as much as 50 feet (approx. 15.4m)"
Apparently, once every 10 years or so, the bore takes on huge proportions, providing surfers with a spectacular opportunity to work it.

What's this to do with the West Side?   Well, I found it interesting that The Times article cited the Bay of Fundy as the only place in the world having larger tides.