March 15, 2018: OCSB Trustee’s Report; New support for outdoor learning.

March 15, 2018: OCSB Trustee’s Report;
New support for outdoor learning.

By Jeremy Wittet, OCSB Trustee, Zone 7.

Notre Dame High School Information Night.
On February 8, Notre Dame High School hosted their annual orientation night for new students. Parents and prospective students had the opportunity to view displays from various departments, learn about programming and meet the teachers. Notre Dame has experienced a steady increase in enrollment over the last couple of years and we look forward to seeing that number climb even higher.

Catholic Teachers’ Association Dinner:
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association hosted their annual Silver Celebration recognizing teachers who have achieved 25 years of teaching excellence in the Ottawa Catholic School Board. It was a privilege to join Fiona Fahey, teacher from St. George School who was recognized and who has been a tremendous asset to the St. George school community. Congratulations Ms. Fahey!

St. George School Council Meeting:
On February 20, St. George School held their monthly school council meeting. Whenever possible I try to attend school council meetings to listen to parents and better understand individual school needs. Topics at the meeting included, school fund raising initiatives, hot lunches and the need for more outdoor education items such as benches and gardens.

More Support For Outdoor Education:
At the regular board meeting of February 27, trustees discussed how to spend some surplus funds from previous budgets. The board looked at flexible classroom seating/lighting, playground equipment for schools in need and boosting technology for teachers in the classroom. One notable item that was missing was support for outdoor classrooms and educational experiences. After listening to school councils and principals, I put forward a motion, which the board of trustees unanimously passed, calling for a one-time expenditure of $200,000 toward outdoor classrooms. We look forward to seeing what creative ideas schools have to enhance outdoor learning experiences for students.

Contact Jeremy Wittet by telephone at (613) 721-2376, by e-mail at Jeremy.Wittet@ocsb.ca, and via Twitter @OCSBWittet.

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March 15, 2018: Why Westboro?; Rezoning Rochester Park.

March 15, 2018: Why Westboro?;
Rezoning Rochester Park.

By Gary Ludington, Westboro Community Association.

We know most of Kitchissippi has been invaded. Yes, by the Emerald Ash Borer, but also by developers. In February City Council ruined Rochester Park by rezoning it to allow two mixed-use buildings to be built along Richmond Road from the Keg Manor, west to the lot line of the homes on Fraser Avenue.

A representative for the NCC said this was necessary because the Federal Government wasn’t providing them with enough funding to carry out their mandate.

Also in February, four meetings were scheduled to inform residents of rezoning applications in our community. On February 20th at the Churchill Seniors Centre, we were presented with a Domicile proposal for a six storey mixed-use building which would replace the first three houses on the west side of Roosevelt behind Starbucks. This is an R3 zone where single homes are zoned for a height of 8M not six storeys as proposed by Domicile.

On February 22 we met at the Superstore to hear about a six storey proposal for 403 Tweedsmuir known as the Richmond Plaza Motel. One of the things the zoning is seeking is approval for a boutique hotel.

A third meeting was scheduled for February 26th for the corner of Churchill Ave and Byron Place but was cancelled at the last moment. The fourth meeting was held at the Churchill Seniors Centre on February 28th.

This meeting is for a four storey building with 25 rental units and no parking to be located at 342 Roosevelt next to the transitway. The rational for the 25 unit building is a need for rentals. However just in Westboro on McRae there are three buildings (one already built) that provide rental units; at Tweedsmuir and Richmond is a nine storey building of rental units; there are also a large number of triplexes that have been, or are being, built on Tweedsmuir, Clare, Athlone, Tillbury and Ravenhill – all rentals. So why do we need another on a short dead end street that already has vehicle issues.

Controversy about the two developments on Roosevelt centers around the fact that this section of Roosevelt is a dead end at the transitway and has just about zero on-street parking. Also, the street up to this point consists of single family homes.

The Domicile rezoning, if successful, would be to change that part of Roosevelt to Traditional Mainstreet similar to Richmond Road. We have heard support from the private sector that our Secondary Plan needs changing but they still come forward with these proposals and the City keeps supporting them.
Why? Let us know what you think.

[Ed: For more details on the developments on Roosevelt meeting visit kitchissippi.com and look for the March 1st 2018 issue of Kitchissippi Times, pg. 3, Streets “Crumbling” Under Development, by Bradley Turcotte.]

March 15, 2018: Neilly’s Neighbourhood; Springtime challenges.

March 15, 2018: Neilly’s Neighbourhood;
Springtime challenges.

By Dawn Neilly, OPS.

February is long gone and March is showing signs of spring. Barring any unexpected weather events, roads are clear, days are longer and there’s a real incentive to come out of hibernation and be more active.

Maybe you’ve resumed activities that were put on hold because of winter, like jogging, bicycle riding or just walking more. Or maybe, if you’re driving, you’re inclined to put your foot down a bit harder on the gas pedal to take advantage of those clear roads. My advice: don’t do it. Resist the temptation.

Some of you may know that every month the Ottawa Police Service traffic enforcement officers focus on a specific infraction or two, not just to write tickets, but to draw attention to the need for safer driving habits, including not speeding.

The selected infractions are posted at the beginning of every month and this information is available on the Ottawa Police web site at http://ottawapolice.ca or you can sign up to receive a Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin which includes this information and more about staying safe. Just send an email to wellingtoncpc@gmail.com asking to be added to the list.

The approach of spring is certainly reason to celebrate, but if the improving weather isn’t enough of a reason to hold a party, I see that we’re just about to hit St. Patrick’s Day, a long-standing invitation to party hearty.

Go ahead. Enjoy yourself. Just don’t spoil the party by drinking and driving, a potentially deadly combination. Do yourself and your friends and colleagues a favour by offering to be a designated driver. Drink close to home. Use public transit. Anything but drinking and driving.

Enjoy the spring. Have a happy, fun St. Patrick’s Day and a great March 18!
mar15-2018-pg-17
Photo Caption: Cst Neilly appreciates a celebration and suggests moderation and caution to ensure a safe, happy party with a cheerful day after. Photo by T. Hairbac.

March 15, 2018: Happy Birthday Judy; Party dresses and bow ties.

March 15, 2018: Happy Birthday Judy;
Party dresses and bow ties.

By Anna Borris.

One day when the mail was delivered, to my surprise there was a little envelope addressed to me.
At ten years old, the only mail I had ever received besides Christmas cards from distant aunts and uncles, was my monthly copy of “Calling All Girls” magazine.

With great excitement I tore open the envelope to find a birthday party invitation in honour of a girl who had recently moved in down the street. The card said “It’s a surprise.” I was just getting to know Judy, who was in my class, and wondered if my friend Karen would be invited too. As it turned out, she was.

After school the next day my mom and I walked up to the United Store on Wellington Street to look for a birthday gift. We found paint by number sets, paper dolls and India rubber balls, but nothing that really caught my fancy.

Our next destination was Beamish’s, quite a few blocks further west on Wellington Street just past Holland Avenue. Some of the toys were the same but I found one I liked, Wooly Willy. Willy was a magnetic drawing toy. He had a hairless face and a bald head under a clear plastic cover. Metal filings were moved about with a magnetic wand to add hair, eyebrows, a beard or moustache. I loved Willy right away and insisted that that was the perfect gift. We picked up some wrapping paper and a card all for under two dollars, and headed home to wrap him up.

Finally the big day arrived. Wearing our party dresses, Karen and I walked over to Judy’s house. Her mother told us that Judy was out with her dad, and showed us to the basement playroom where a number of kids of various ages were gathered. Some were cousins and a few were neighbours.

All were aware of the social importance of birthdays and were dressed accordingly, the girls in fancy party dresses and boys wearing bow ties. Suddenly Judy’s mom appeared in the doorway hissing “Shh, they’re here!”

In the silence we could hear Judy and her dad coming in and heading downstairs. As she came through the door to a loud “Surprise!” she stopped short and stared. Then she burst into tears, covering her face with her hands.

“What’s the matter?” asked one little boy cousin.

“I’m just surprised that you’re all here,” Judy started to laugh.

“Let’s have some games, then we’ll open your gifts” suggested her mom. We played pin the tail on the donkey as we did at every birthday party, drop the clothespin in the milk bottle, and musical chairs.

Everyone was hot and flushed after all the activity. Judy sat in a chair surrounded by her gifts which she began to open slowly and teasingly. The guests watched with anticipation and envy as cards were read and papers were strewn about the floor to reveal each new burst of excitement and anticipation.

Obviously several people had been shopping at the United Store, both the paper dolls and paint sets appeared. Along with the India rubber ball there was a Bobbsey Twins book and another called “The Water Babies”. Finally she opened Wooly Willy. She was delighted, and everyone wanted to try drawing some hair for Willy.

We trooped upstairs to the dining room where the table was loaded with glasses of orange Freshie, and three kinds of sandwiches made of egg, peanut butter and jam, and cheese. Judy blew out the candles on her cake and we were all served a piece with chocolate ripple ice cream.

Everyone found at least a nickel or dime wrapped in wax paper in their cake, and Karen found a quarter in hers. It was getting late, and some of the little ones were overexcited and starting to cry and fight. Little plastic baskets full of candy were handed out as we went out the door yelling “Happy Birthday” to Judy one last time.

It’s safe to say that a fine time was had by all and that Wooly Willy was a hit.

March 15, 2018: Photo Inset: Quicker than Boiling an Egg; 2 weeks of short skywatching.

March 15, 2018: Photo Inset: Quicker than Boiling an Egg;
2 weeks of short skywatching, with a Newswest Night Sky Scorecard.
Chart courtesy of Mark Narwa.
mar15-2018-pg-18
Photo Caption: Because the ISS passes over Ottawa so rarely at convenient times, and in suitable weather conditions for viewing, Newswest is celebrating this month’s 7 consecutive evenings of early fly-overs with this handy schedule and score card. Now, you can keep track of your sightings and let us know about what you expected to see, and what you actually saw. Send an email to editor.newswest@gmail.com or join us on Facebook or Twitter @NewswestOttawa – Chart courtesy of Mark Narwa.
Text version for the first image.
Newswest Night Sky Score Card.
Chart courtesy of Mark Narwa.
March 17 – 31, 2018.

Date. Time. Event. Did you see it?.
March 17, 2018. 30 minutes after sunset. New Moon.
March 18, 2018. 30 minutes after sunset. Moon close to Venus in west horizon.
March 20, 2018. 12:15 p.m. Vernal Equinox – Spring Begins – Equal Day and Night.
March 24, 2018. 11:35 a.m. First Quarter Moon.
March 24, 2018. 8:42 – 8:48 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from SW horizon.
March 25, 2018. 7:50 – 7:58 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from SSW horizon.
March 26, 2018. 8:33 – 8:41 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from SW horizon.
March 27, 2018. 7:40 – 7:50 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from SW horizon.
March 28, 2018. 8:24 – 8:32 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from WSW horizon.
March 29, 2018. 7:31 – 7:42 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from WSW horizon.
March 30, 2018. 8:15 – 8:24 ;p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from West horizon.
March 31, 2018. 8:37 a.m. Full Moon – *Second Blue Moon of 2018.
March 31, 2018. 8:59 – 9:06 p.m. ISS passes over Kitchissippi from WNW horizon.

Web-extra:

mar15-2018-pg-18_WE
Photo Caption:The second table is of satellite predictions from March 16 to March 30 for the Kitchissippi area. Chart courtesy of Mark Narwa.

Text version for the second image.

DATE TIME EVENT
March 16, 2018 9:44pm – 9:48pm SEASAT 1 passes over Kitchissippi from NNE – NNW
March 17, 2018 9:24pm – 9:29pm H-2A R/B passes over Kitchissippi from ENE – North
March 18, 2018 8:06pm – 8:13pm ERS-2 passes over Kitchissippi from SSE – NNW
March 20, 2018 9:31pm – 9:36pm H-2A R/B passes over Kitchissippi from ENE – North
March 21, 2018 8:16pm – 8:25pm SL-16 R/B passes over Kitchissippi from SE – North
March 23, 2018 8:03pm – 8:10pm RESURS-DK1 passes over Kitchissippi from South – NE
March 24, 2018 9:37pm – 9:42pm COSMOS 1953 passes over Kitchissippi from SW – North
March 27, 2018 8:20pm – 8:27pm ERS-2 passes over Kitchissippi from South – NNW
March 29, 2018 9:52pm – 9:57pm ARIANE 40 R/B passes over Kitchissippi from East – North
March 30, 2018 9:36pm – 9:41pm COSMOS 2242 passes over Kitchissippi from SSE – NNE

March 15, 2018: Community Calendar Plus

March 15, 2018: Community Calendar Plus

DRAFT UPDATED March 16th. See bottom for late additions.

++++ => extra/notices not in print issue.

Newswest Volunteers. ++++
Newswest is seeking volunteers to help with its monthly digital on-line content. Experience with Facebook or WordPress ideal, but eager learners welcome. Email editor@newswest.org or come to a board meeting. (Next meeting is Tuesday February 27, 2018 at 7p.m. in the Hintonburg Community Centre.)

March 10 (and onward) – Urban Organic Gardening Seminars.
The Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers is hosting a series of urban organic gardening seminars at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington St W.) Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 10, April 14, and May 12. Seed sale to follow at 1:30 p.m. One day passes are available, which includes three full seminars. Discounts are available with registration for full package passes; nine seminars in all. Student discounts are available too! March topics include: Growing Organic Vegetables; Herbs & Edible Flowers; Container, Small Space, and Labour Saving Urban Garden; Starting Seeds Indoors and Out. For more information and to sign up go to http://cog.ca .

March 18 – Ottawa Orchid Society meeting.
The Ottawa Orchid Society welcomes guest speaker Leslie Ee from the “Southern Ontario Orchid Society” Toronto. Leslie’s presentation will be on Phalaenopsis Violacea variety Indigo. Also on the program will be a show table for members bringing in their flowering orchids to be shown and judged. Plants will be offered for sale from Flora Peculia which specializes in Neofinetia (Vanda) Falcata (the Samurai orchid). Starting 1:30 p.m. at Tom Brown Arena (141 Bayview Rd.). Visitors welcome, $5 at the door. For information please call 613-729-0175 .

March 15 – St Patrick’s Friendship Luncheon.
At the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre (345 Richmond Rd.) on Thursday March 15 from 11:50 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Featuring the Sue Fay Healy Irish Dancers. Catered sandwiches, salads, desserts, tea or coffee Cost: $12.50 (over 65) or $13.75 ( under 65). Deadline to register is March 6. For more information, please call 613-798-8927 .

March 21 – Afternoon Tea Dance.
At the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre (345 Richmond Rd.) on Wednesday March 21, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ballroom, line, and Latin dance in a social setting on large wood spring floor. No partner required. Cost: $3.75. For more information, please call 613-798-8927 .

March 24 – Westboro Legion Dance with live music.
Please join us at the Westboro Legion Saturday Night Dance with live music performed by “The Divas” in the upstairs lounge at 391 Richmond Rd. from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Everyone is welcome, you do not need to be a member to join. Cost for admission is $2 for Legion Members and $5 for the public. For more information please visit our website at http://www.rcl480.com . Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

March 25 – Ukrainian Easter Bazaar.
Join our regular bazaar patrons who have shown exceptional skills as they refine the art of designing beautiful pysanky (Easter eggs) every year. Pysanka decorating supplies including traditional dyes and beeswax will be available along with beautifully illustrated books. The Ukrainian Women’s Association hosts its bazaar from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral hall (1000 Byron) on Sunday, March 25. Admission is free with parking on Byron and the church parking lot. Enjoy your Ukrainian lunch with your friends, then stock up on varenyky, holubtsti and borscht for your freezer. New arrivals from Ukrainian include richly embroidered handicrafts, blouses, modern apparel and ceramics. Local raw honey and knitted goods are favourites along with the Easter breads and popular goodies like lemon poppy-seed and carrot cakes. For more information call Doreen Keir at 613-826-0353 .

March 26 – Media Streaming 101.
Broadband internet has significantly transformed the delivery of media content to our households. With more content readily available, a growing number of Canadians are cutting the traditional cable and satellite umbilical cord and opting for online alternatives. Jeff Dubois, Publicity Chair, Ottawa PC Users’ Group, examines some of the alternatives, restrictions and solutions used to maximize your streaming experience. Happening at the Carlingwood Library on Monday March 26 at 6 p.m. Registration is required. For more information go to https://biblioottawalibrary.ca .

March 29 – Carlingwood Film Club.
Watch and discuss a good film in a relaxed, book-club-style chat about film and cinematography! Last Thursday of the month until May. Happening at the Carlingwood Library on Monday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. Drop-in. For more information go to: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/event/carlingwood-film-club .

March 31 – Westboro Legion Dance with live music.
Please join us at the Westboro Legion Saturday Night Dance with live music performed by “Country Mile” in the upstairs lounge at 391 Richmond Rd. from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Everyone is welcome, you do not need to be a member to join. Cost for admission is $2 for Legion members and $5 for the public. For more information please visit our website at rcl480.com. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

April 10 – Friends of the Farm Master Gardener Lecture. ++++
from 7 to 9p.m. “Gardening with Wildlife” with Rebecca Last. Learn plant and garden design to create a wildlife-friendly garden. FCEF members $12, non-members $15, Bldg 72 CEF Arboretum, east exit off Prince of Wales roundabout. 613-230-3276 http://friendsofthefarm.ca/master-gardener-lectures-2018/ .

April 11 – Annual General Meeting for Hampton Iona Community Group.
The Annual General Meeting for Hampton Iona Community Group will be taking place April 11 at 7 p.m. in the second floor Teaching Kitchen of Loblaw’s Superstore on Richmond Road. The Agenda will include: A review of the past year’s events; upcoming June gardening and park events; election of officers and proposed constitutional amendments. For more information contact webmaster@hamptoniona.ca . If anyone is considering putting their names forward for the position of President, Vice President, Treasurer or Secretary, they are required to submit their names by March 28 so we can plan for any potential board elections. Please contact Ken Hoffman at khoffman@web.ca .

April 14 (and onward) – Urban Organic Gardening Seminars.
The Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers hosts a series of urban organic gardening seminars at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington St W.) Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 10, April 14, and May 12. Seed sale to follow at 1:30 p.m. One day passes are available, which includes three full seminars. For more information and to sign up go to http://cog.ca .

April 18 – Friends of the Farm Annual General Meeting. ++++
From 7 to 9 p.m. Public welcome, membership not required. Free event. Guest speaker is Dr. Paul Villeneuve, presenting “Environmental Impacts of the Farm.” Meeting and presentation at K.W. Neatby Bldg with free parking. Registration is required, 613-230-3276 or http://friendsofthefarm.ca/event/annual-general-meeting-2018/ .

April 21 – Introduction to Hiking. ++++
Saturday, April 21st, a full-day course for new hikers and those interested in tips to make hiking safe and enjoyable. Topics include hike planning, preparation, packing, outfitting and on-trail procedures, plus an orientation to hiking with a guided group. The day includes a short hike to practice your new skills. Nepean Sportsplex, $85 (includes one-year RTA membership). (RTA means The Rideau Trail Association, a volunteer-based hiking club active in Eastern Ontario). To register or for information: e-mail introtohiking@rideautrail.org .

April 24 – Friends of the Farm Master Gardener Lecture. ++++
From 7 to 9p.m. “Flowers and Vegetables ” with Judith Cox. Add beauty to your vegetable garden and reap the rewards. FCEF members $12, non-members $15, Bldg 72 CEF Arboretum, east exit off Prince of Wales roundabout. 613-230-3276 or http://friendsofthefarm.ca/master-gardener-lectures-2018/ .

May 8 Friends of the Farm Master Gardener Lecture. ++++
From 7 to 9p.m. “Unusual Edibles” with Esther Bryan. Come and learn about all sorts of weird and wonderful edibles. FCEF members $12, non-members $15, Bldg 72 CEF Arboretum, east exit off Prince of Wales roundabout. 613-230-3276 or http://friendsofthefarm.ca/master-gardener-lectures-2018/ .

May 12 – Urban Organic Gardening Seminars.
The Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers hosts a final series of urban organic gardening seminars at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington St W.) Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 10, April 14, and May 12. Seed sale to follow at 1:30 p.m. One day passes are available, which includes three full seminars. For more information and to sign up go to http://cog.ca .

May 22 – Friends of the Farm Master Gardener Lecture. ++++
From 7 to 9p.m. “A Garden for the Bees” with Julianne Labreche. Learn how to attract bees and why they are necessary for pollination. FCEF members $12, non-members $15, Bldg 72 CEF Arboretum, east exit off Prince of Wales roundabout. 613-230-3276 or http://friendsofthefarm.ca/master-gardener-lectures-2018/ .

Westboro Legion’s Bingo and Leagues.
Bingo every Wednesday night at the Westboro Legion. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for Café 480 and games begin at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Join us with your friends, or come and meet new friends. Funds raised are donated back to community organizations. We also have bid euchre, darts, pool and sandbag leagues on a weekly basis. For more information visit http://www.rcl480.com or call 613-725-2778 .

Westboro Legion’s Saturday Pool.
Free Pool from noon to closing upstairs at the Westboro Legion. Everyone is welcome. For more information visit http://www.rcl480.com or call 613-725-2778 .

Toastmasters.
Learn confidence and hone your leadership skills. Above and Beyond Toastmasters will help you get there. We meet every Monday at 7 p.m. except holidays at the Civic campus of The Ottawa Hospital in the Bickell Room on the main floor (across from Tim Hortons). Our next guest night is January 22. Everyone is welcome. For more information, please see abottawa.toastmastersclubs.org or contact toastmasters.iwona.bm@gmail.com .

Churchill Seniors Centre.
Drop- in bridge and mahjong at the Churchill Seniors Centre (345 Richmond Rd.) every Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. Come and play. No partner required in either of these games Cost: $1.75. For more information, please call 613-798-8927 .

Drop-in Ukulele.
at the Churchill Seniors Centre on the last Wednesday of the month from
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bring your own ukulele. This is a beginner drop-in but all players welcome! Cost: $1.75 .

The OWCS Grocery Bus. ++++
For Seniors in Hintonburg, Carlington and Westboro who need assistance with grocery shopping. For only $6 Ottawa West Community Support (OWCS) provides door to door transportation and help with bagging and carrying of purchases. Each Tuesday and Wednesday, the bus departs OWCS at 9am, picks up seniors from their homes and takes them shopping at local supermarkets. For more information about the Grocery Bus and other OWCS programs, please contact the office at 613-728-6016 ( and look for their September 1st article here in Newswest On-line ).

Ottawa Tool Library – Shop Night. ++++
Every first Wednesday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. come book our benches to grind away at your projects with tools from our library. Book on line at http://www.ottawatoollibrary.com and then come to your bench for the might in Makerspace North, 250 City Centre Avenue, Bay 216 (upper level). Just $5 for members and free for members 55 or older, with lots of parking.

Ottawa Tool Library – Community and Demo night. ++++
Connect and chat with other makers around Ottawa at our tool library. Learn and observe with live demonstrations starting at 6 p.m. on topics such as Bikes, Gardening, Carpentry, Painting, Canning, Wiring etc. We are a volunteer-run nonprofit providing endless opportunities to create, garden and cook. Located in Makerspace north, 250 City Centre Avenue in Bay 216 (upper level), we are open Mondays 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesdays 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find us on Twitter and Facebook, @yowtoollibrary.

Bytown Swing. ++++
Come dance Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing with us on Saturday nights in Ottawa. Grab a pair of indoor shoes and get ready to hit the dance floor. Non-profit, holds a dance every Saturday at Studio X, 122-250 City Center Avenue ( 3 minute walk from the Bayview Transitway stop ). Parking available. Beginner lessons start at 8:15 p.m., DJ’d social dancing starts at 9:00 p.m. Cost is just $7 cash at the door and $5 for students and seniors.
Starting in 2017 there will be no more bi-weekly dances: we’re moving to one-off Lindy Hop events like bar nights, pop-up dances, and special live band events. The Westie Underground will be hosting bi-weekly WCS dances under a new name. Stay tuned for future announcements on dates and details! See http://bytownswing.com or https://www.facebook.com/bytownswing/ .

Friends of the Farm’s new book ‘Blooms’ ++++
Is about the Ornamental Gardens at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm A wonderful gift for anyone who loves gardens and flowers, as well as a treat for those interested in Canadian history. Friends of the Farm has several books now available for purchase highlighting Ottawa’s Farm, Ornamental Gardens, and Arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm. By local authors, they are for anyone who loves gardens and flowers, as well as a treat for those interested in Canadian horticultural history. Available at http://friendsofthefarm.ca/ and local bookstores.

Friends of the Farm’s “Join Us”. ++++
Join the Friends of the Farm to influence decision-makers to preserve the integrity of this cherished National Historic Site and its exceptional setting in the heart of Ottawa.
The future of the Farm as we know it is more important than ever. While the core research areas remain, the Farm lands, Dominion Arboretum, Ornamental Gardens and historical buildings still need constant care and protection. If lost, this jewel can never be replaced.
Become a member today and support the Friends’ mission to bring the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens to their full potential. Membership benefits include free admission to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, a quarterly newsletter, discounted events, and more. http://friendsofthefarm.ca/

Your Community Associations.
For up-to-date news on your neighbourhood, stay in touch with your community association. Information about events, traffic changes, development, neighbourhood clubs, volunteer opportunities and board meetings is available from the following Community Association websites.

Champlain Park Community Association
champlainpark.org

Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association
Chnaottawa.ca

Friends of Churchill Seniors Centre
friendsofchurchill.com

Hintonburg Community Association
hintonburg.com

Hampton-Iona Community Group
hamptoniona.wordpress.com

Island Park Community Association
islandpark.wordpress.com

McKellar Park Community Association
mckellarparkcommunity.wordpress.com

Mechanicsville Community Association
facebook.com/MechanicsvilleCA

Wellington Village Community Association
wvca.ca

Westboro Beach Community Association
westborobeach.ca

Westboro Community Association
lovewestboro.wordpress.com


Late Additions:

March 17 – A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration for the family! ++++
On Saturday March 17th at 2 p.m. The Ottawa Family Cinema, presents an Oscar nominated animated feature from Ireland! “SONG OF THE SEA” (rated G) in Dolby Digital plus a Cartoon (G) and Door Prizes, Also Irish Music and free Gift if you are wearing Green to the show. Notre Dame Auditorium 710 Broadview Avenue (north of Carling) Ottawa 613-722-8218 . http://www.familycinema.ca

February 15, 2018: Being a Mystery Bird in Ottawa; Area authority identifies Hintonburg hawk.

February 15, 2018: Being a Mystery Bird in Ottawa;
Area authority identifies Hintonburg hawk.

By T Thibeault.

Early February saw several reports of an unfamiliar and unidentified hawk in at least two area neighbourhoods. Resident Paulette Dozois, started the ball rolling in a note to Newswest, “Two of my colleagues saw hawks in their yards here in Hintonburg and in Little Italy.”

From there, word travelled and the mystery deepened until photos were offered up to help with the identification, and Paulette Dozois “flipped the question to Robert Alvo – local birder and bird author…”

The hawk was first spotted in late January or early February in the neighbourhood of Gladstone and Breezehill Avenue North. At least one other report placed the hawk in Little Italy around the same time.

Andrew Horrall noted that it had been coming to a tree at the end of their garden on Breezehill North regularly over the past couple of weeks, “Sometimes to eat its prey. Other times alone” After mentioning the sighting on the Bayswater/Breezehill email list, he learned that the bird had visited several other neighbourhood gardens as well.

A few photos have since turned up, and offered definite evidence to the identity of the Hintonburg Hawk. Asked to share his considerable expertise, biologist and conservationist author Robert Alvo looked at the images and solved the mystery with the following observation:

“The bird in question is a Cooper’s Hawk. There have been a number of sightings in Ottawa this year, though none have been documented on eBird yet. It is observed in Ottawa every year. It is known to nest in at least a few places in Ottawa, but I don’t know about Hintonburg. It won’t start nesting until March or April.”

Alvo’s recently launched book, “Being A Bird in North America – North of Mexico” devotes several pages to Cooper’s Hawk and others in its family. The book is an up-to-date account of over 200 bird species, including ranges throughout the year, Conservation Status information, and individual species photos as well as the original artwork of 15 cartoonists and illustrators.

The information provided in “Being a Bird in North America” includes a detailed description of the hawk in the photograph, and some pointers that allow a positive identification. “Cooper’s Hawk has a long tail as do other accipiters (compared to Buteos like the Broad-winged Hawk, and has rufous barring across the chest. Compared to the smaller Sharp-shinned Hawk, it has a pale nape and a rounded tip of the tail compared to the Sharpie’s squared off tail.” Compare these points to Bruce Jackson’s photo above and you will agree that it is indeed a Cooper’s Hawk that stalks the ‘hood.

The Cooper’s Hawk sighted in Hintonburg has a range the stretches from Mexico, across the United States and into southern Canada. Ottawa seems to be just on the northern edge of its range. Of particular interest in Alvo’s book are world maps for the various species showing not only their range in North America, but also around the globe. We don’t often think that “our” birds might be quite common in other parts of the planet, but there they are.

And sometimes they are in danger. Alvo’s book further documents the Conservation Status of birds in Canada, USA, Mexico and globally. Categories such as Secure, Vulnerable, Imperiled, Critically Imperilled and even Presumed Extirpated, indicate that the light-hearted approach in “Being a Bird In North America” actually offsets the much darker shadow of the effects of environmental degradation and their threats to humankind’s collective future.

A casual look at the figures is a reminder of the fragility and vulnerability of bird populations worldwide, and of the threats and stresses a human population places on every creature interlocked in the bonds of biodiversity.

This meticulously researched book promises to be only the first of several in a “series of books describing the Earth’s elements of biodiversity.” For its vast educational value and light-hearted introduction to serious ecological thinking, follow-up volumes will make a welcome addition to any library.

In a series of emails, related to the Hintonburg Mystery Bird, Robert Alvo mentioned other sources of information including the website, http://AllAboutBirds.org – another resource for those seeking to positively identify a winter visitor or two.

Another site brought up by Alvo is ebird.org , the website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This, “the world’s largest birding community”, offers a variety of advantages to persons interested in finding and identifying birds from around the world.

With a good book, and the resources of the Internet at hand, visiting mystery birds won’t be able to guard their mystery for long.
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Photo Caption: Neighbours on both sides of the O-Train corridor reported recent unusual sightings of an apparently urban hawk. Robert Alvo, author of “Being a Bird in North America”, identified the bird and provided additional information and expertise. Photo by Bruce Jackson.