April 12, 2018: Councillor’s Corner; News from City Hall.

April 12, 2018: Councillor’s Corner;
News from City Hall.

By Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor.

Welcome to April, Kitchissippi. It’s truly springtime now, and we are excited for all the events and activities that come with this new season. Here’s what’s been keeping our office busy this month:

On March 26th the Environment and Climate Protection Committee received recommendations for an updated contract between the City and Orgaworld, the company that processes our organic waste.

Proposed changes, intended to increase our green bin participation from the current rate of 51%, included the disposal of dog waste and single use plastic bags in the green bin.

Because we were unable to refine the contract language to allow only compostable bags in the green bin, I voted against the changes, but that is the only sticking point for me. Council voted 19-3 to approve these changes; I reiterated my dissent.

Ultimately, I hope residents will use only compostable bags in the green bin so we can minimize the amount of plastics in the landfill.

In transportation-related news, the Harmer Pedestrian Overpass Bridge is due to be replaced, starting in May 2018. The new bridge, which will be completed in 2020, will have improved accessibility features as well as an enclosed roof and lighting. The bridge will be constructed off-site and installed using a rapid bridge replacement technique. In the meantime, there will be a detour along Holland Ave including temporary segregated bike lanes; personally, I’m hoping the bike lanes will be widely used and may be made permanent when the construction is complete.

At its March 28th meeting, City Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion forwarded by Councillor Deans and seconded by Councillor McKenney to establish a Women’s Bureau and Women’s Issues Liaison at City Hall. We absolutely need to do everything possible to include women in the planning and building of our City, and I’m very pleased to see the municipality taking this step.

Coming up this month, we have Pop-Up Office Hours on Friday, April 20th and Thursday, April 26th. On the 20th I’ll be holding a table at the Bridgehead at Richmond Road and Golden from 9 – 12, and on the 26th I’ll be at Hintonburger from 5 – 8 pm; come by and chat all things Kitchissippi. Also upcoming is the Spring Ward Forum, which will feature John Manconi as our special guest speaker to give updates on transit in the City. The Forum will be held at Van Lang Field House from 6 – 8 pm on April 30th.

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April 12, 2018: A West End Garden Legacy; Sherry Clarke’s enduring work.

April 12, 2018: A West End Garden Legacy;
Sherry Clarke’s enduring work.

By Deb Chapman.

When you have three kids under the age of ten and live close to a park, that park becomes like a second home. That was the case for Sherry Clarke who lived just half a block away from the Clare Gardens Park on Evered.

Back in 2008, Shane 3, Alicia 6, and Kayleigh 11, spent most of their free time meeting friends and burning off energy on the play structures, and running around the field. But after 20 years of kids and teens having fun, the play structures were showing their age. The park was in decline.

The wood in the play structures was decaying and pieces were falling off. The park’s pathways had potholes. They didn’t connect. Teens were using the play structures to explore all sorts of more ‘adult behaviours’. The nearby bench was being used after dark for dope deals. The beautiful tree-lined park was showing decay and needed something to make its users respect it again.

Sherry had a great idea to make the park sparkle again. Why not ask owners for permission to remove perennials and shrubs from proposed infill developments, and transplant the plants to Clare Gardens Park? Developers and owners alike whole-heartedly agreed to every donation.

Everyone likes to save plants that add a little beauty in our lives. And so neighbours began guerrilla gardening, giving the plants on death row a reprieve. Garden beds were created where grass refused to grow. Visitors took notice of the landscaping improvements and it seemed like the park was getting a second chance.

The guerrilla gardeners have since gone legit. Now known as the Volunteer Gardeners of Clare Park, the gardeners have adopted the park, and partner with the Westboro Community Association on park clean-ups and special events. Gardens now encircle the park and new, engaging play structures have been added. Ten years on, Clare Gardens Park attracts visitors from neighbourhoods as far away as Chinatown, Ottawa South, and Woodroffe to the west.

Thanks to the vision and creative thinking of Sherry Clark, Clare Gardens Park is a success story. Her approach to recycling plants has made news across the province and the gardeners are often asked for advice by other community groups in Ottawa.

Sherry died last fall after a valiant fight against breast cancer. This community-minded trailblazer never stopped giving back to the community. Two weeks before her death, Sherry helped organize a fundraiser for the Sherrypalooza Run for the Cure team. She believed in giving back. The gardens she imagined, and worked to build, in Clare Park, will continue to bring beauty and a healthier environment for everyone to enjoy.

The Volunteer Gardeners of Clare Park are committed to continuing Sherry’s legacy. If you would like to join the gardeners and spend some time in the park making it pretty, please contact us. If you’re a parent, it’s a great way to be near your kids but give them some independence while they play. For everyone else, it’s a nice way to spend some time in nature. All are welcome. Drop us a line at: volunteergardenersofclarepark@gmail.com .

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Photo Caption: Sherry Clarke is fondly remembered for her generosity of spirit and her energy in making many lasting contributions to the enhancement and growth of her neighbourhood and her community. Clare Park Gardens represent just one facet of her legacy. Photo courtesy the Clark/Rivet family.

April 12, 2018: Rosemount Library’s Future?; A book depot during renovations.

April 12, 2018: Rosemount Library’s Future?;
A book depot during renovations.

By Blaine Marchand, R.E.A.D. Group.

In the upcoming months, the Rosemount branch library will close while renovations take place.

Neither the date nor the length of time of the closure has been specified. The Rosemount Expansion and Development (READ) group contacted the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) for information on the closure and the services that will be available to users in the catchment area.

The OPL indicated that Rosemount will operate as a depot, a model used during other renovations, such as the Beaverbrook branch renovation and expansion, which saw it go from10,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet. READ was informed that there will be a small collection of books, including express material. The automated check-in and return system will be in use. And rather than having desktop computers available for use, Chromebooks will be available.

According to OPL officials, any programming would be off site. The OPL is exploring potential sites within the neighbourhood. Whether this means users will be directed to a community facility, such as the Hintonburg Community Centre or to another facility is not certain. READ hopes that programing will be available at a nearby site that is accessible to primary and secondary students, the physically challenged and the seniors who are regular users.

When READ pressed for information on the design process, the OPL responded that the Request for Proposals (RFP) to engage an architect will be done by the City. No input will be sought on the RFP.

READ was told the engaged architect will be fully aware of Rosemount’s spatial limitations and the limited budget for the project. The current building was built in 1918, expanded in 1933/4 and given a facelift (elevator, more washrooms) in 1982.

Even with these, the library with a square footage of just a shade over 6,000 square feet to serve an estimated catchment population of 40,000 simply does provide enough space. In READ’s view, this renovation, at best, will be a band aid.

In reply to READ asking whether the community will be allowed input, the OPL indicated there will be public engagement prior to the design phase but details of the time and structure of these consultations were not provided.

With regard to Rosemount, the community needs to be on the alert and follow the process attentively. For years, Rosemount was the priority for the OPL Board but somehow other branches across the municipality inexplicably superseded it.

Key questions remain. How long will Rosemount users rely on a temporary depot for their library services? How will the renovation re-configure a building with limited space? In the longer term, does the OPL Board and the City have a concrete plan for library services?

For a comparison of Rosemount library to other OPL branches, please visit http://www.READRosemount.ca .

April 12, 2018: Neilly’s Neighbourhood; Rules of the road apply to all

April 12, 2018: Neilly’s Neighbourhood;
Rules of the road apply to all.

By Cst. Dawn Neilly, O.P.S.

I hope that by the time this edition hits the streets spring will have truly arrived and we can safely put away the shovels and snow blowers for another year. Now it’s time to make the most of the warmer weather and, for many, that means getting out the bicycle for exercise, recreation or transportation.

It’s been a long winter, so I hope the excitement of being once again on the open road, so to speak, won’t keep you from thinking about the rules of the road. Helpful hint: they’re the same rules that you use when driving. Red lights and stop signs are still in effect even if you’re on a bike. Your bicycle may not get up to speeds that will get you stopped for stunt driving but keep in mind that you can still present a grave danger to much slower pedestrians. Be extra careful at crosswalks and avoid the sidewalks.

Staying off the sidewalks means you’re sharing the road with vehicles that far outweigh you, so make sure you’re visible: front and rear lights, reflective tape on your forks, light coloured or reflective clothing. You can’t make yourself too visible. A helmet is a good idea, too, even if you’re over eighteen and not obliged to wear one.

Some of you may be bicycle-riding parents who are keen to have your kids follow in your tire tracks. Of course! Riding a bike is great exercise and a great way to enjoy the outdoors. But kids aren’t born knowing the rules of the road or the best ways to stay safe. In large part, it’s up to you, the parents, to make sure your kids learn to ride safely. It’s a case of “child see, child do” so if you ride your bike right, chances are your child will, too.

Make the most of the fine weather and ride safe!

April 12, 2018: Letters to Newswest; Community design plan needed.

April 12, 2018: Letters to Newswest;
Community design plan needed.

By Bob Huson.

Re: Gary Ludington’s article on Why Westboro, March 15th.

I attended the City meeting Feb 28th with respect to 342 Roosevelt Avenue and left thinking, “What if the owner of a house next to me applied to the City to demolish it and construct a building with 25 residential units with no parking?” I don’t think I would want to live next it.

At the other end of Roosevelt another proposal has been submitted to the City to demolish three residential homes and construct a six storey mixed use building that includes two commercial units and 35 dwelling units.

All of this begs the question, “Is there a long term plan for intensification for residential streets close to the LRT stations in Westboro?.

I asked this question at the Feb. 28th meeting. From what I understood from Councillor Leiper, apparently not. What we have now for our community is what is referred to as “spot” planning with “minor” zoning bylaw amendments.

I would suggest there is an urgent need for some sort community design plan for residential streets close to LRT stations. I understand the requirement for intensification and its link areas close to LRT stations. However, if what is happening on Roosevelt Avenue is the City’s planning vision for other residential streets close to LRT stations what can be expected for other streets in the area?

After the Feb 28th meeting, our councillor Jeff Leiper tweeted “it was the most contentious meeting we have seen this term”.

I wonder why!

April 12, 2018: Photo Inset: Hintonburg & Wellington Village; Spring Cleanup on April 28.

April 12, 2018: Photo Inset: Hintonburg & Wellington Village;
Spring Cleanup on April 28.

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Photo Caption: Event Poster.

Text in image:

Saturday April 28, 2018.
Registration between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.
(Rain Date – Saturday May 5).

Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street West.

Lunch for volunteers hosted by
The Hintonburger at noon.

Yard waste and Garbage bags
will be provided.

Bring your gardening gloves, a rake
or broom to clean up the ‘Burg.

Prizes for all children donated by Giant Tiger.

Coffee will be provided by Cyclelogik
Don’t forget your coffee mug!