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How can Maritime cities get businesses back into the urban core ? Your thoughts on a Nova Scotia hostel's decision to fire its manager / Phone-in: Rosemary Beckett answers questions about antiques or collectibles

Once upon a time, a shopping trip in a Maritime city was a no-brainer : you simply headed to the centre of town and you could find everything you needed within a few blocks.
But the late 20th century saw shopping centres pop up on the edge of towns and many residents moving to the suburbs - nearer to that ring of malls (which acted more like retail walls).
You can see the consequences in the traditional city centres. The only thing displayed in many shop front windows is a "For Lease" sign. Once-bustling streets have taken on a decidedly down-at-the-heels look.
As a sign of the times,the economic development group Downtown Moncton has just announced three roundtables to come up with ideas to reverse the increasing vacancy rate on Main Street.
To get a better idea of what's challenging Maritime urban centres, had a discussion with Daniel Allain (Executive Director of Downtown Moncton), Paul MacKinnon (Executive Director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission) and Peter Asimakos (General Manager of Uptown Saint John).

Friday on Maritime Noon, we brought you the story of the Wentworth hostel. Manager Jonathan Pederson and his wife were fired, for what the board said were cleanliness issues. Then the person who did the report on the hostel was given the manager's job.
That story prompted email and calls from people who heard the interviews.

Look but don't touch ? Some collectibles are only meant to be  admired; you take them down off the shelf only when its time to dust, or you want to appreciate their delicacy from very close range. But others make it to a ripe old age through decades of usefulness, and somehow enhanced by the kind of wear and tear that adds character.
Think about your grandmother's beautiful old wooden spoon - its edges worn down from rubbing against countless bowls. That heavy ball peen hammer that's no good for pulling nails, but can still drive them with the greatest of ease.
Rosemary Beckett returned to celebrate the most rugged and useful of our oldest possessions. She also answered your questions about antiques or collectibles.

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