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All In Hand

Municipal workshop this week

Miss Vicky Mon Aug 14, 2006

Family Services Ottawa will be holding a workshop this Thursday, August 17, about the upcoming municipal election. It's taking place at FSO's offices, 312 Parkdale, from 6-8pm. Here's the notice I received:

FSFO is working with Imagine Ottawa to create opportunities for people to participate - meaningfully - in this fall's municipal elections. We've created an issues toolkit that outlines some of the things that people may want to know in order to decide how to vote in November.

On August 17, we're hosting a workshop on the municipal election. People will get a copy of the toolkit, get to meet some of the people who are running for city council in Ward 15 - Shawn Little, Vicky Smallman, Daniel Narwa and Joan Spice have already confirmed their attendance. Come on out and ask lots of questions. Regardless of what ward you live in this information session will be meaningful and clarify the importance of participating in municipal politics!!

They are asking folks to RSVP by Wednesday, August 16 as they'll have refreshments and need to make sure there are enough seats. You can RSVP by calling 613-725-3601 ext.107

The workshop, called "Political Change Starts at the Local Level: Influencing Municipalities &The 2006 Municipal Election", will cover how municipal government works, how citizens can make changes and make Ottawa a better place to live. It's being organized in conjunction with Imagine Ottawa, an ongoing series of workshops, discussions and events about the future of our city.


Fairmont Guerilla Gardener revealed!

Miss Vicky Sun Aug 13, 2006

As you may recall, Miss Vicky is a great fan of Guerilla Gardening. Saturday's Citizen had a great article on the subject, focusing in particular on the wonderful and ever-expanding garden at Fairmont and Young. And they very helpfully revealed the identity of the green samaritan - Michael Mazur, a retired biologist. A little search on his name revealed the identity of a co-conspirator, Riek van den Burg.

So thanks, Michael and Riek. A lot of us really enjoy that space and appreciate the effort.

Apparently Mazur is looking for plant donations, especially shade-growing plants - check the Citizen for his phone number. Have I got some iris bulbs for him!

my name in plastic

Miss Vicky Wed Aug 9, 2006

My signs arrived last night - a big pallet of coroplast lawn signs with metal stakes is now safely stored in my basement, waiting for the all-clear to spread across the ward. We can't put them up earlier than 60 days before the election, but we ordered them early to make sure we were ready and to beat the rush at the printers. And they look great! If you want one, send in the form on the campaign website.

Be vewy vewy quiet...

Miss Vicky Tue Aug 8, 2006

The Webgeek, Chefgeek, Special Patrol Group, Winston and I packed up our much-suffering vehicle and drove to the Eastern Townships this weekend, to visit with the geek brothers' relatives. Their uncle has an organic garlic farm outside of Melbourne, and their aunt has a place down the road that serves as a retreat and studio. We spent the weekend enjoying the fresh air, checking out the local farmer's market (you should taste the buckwheat honey we brought back!), cooling off in the stream-fed swimming hole (bracing!) and hunting for mushrooms.

Turns out there are plenty of choice edible mushrooms in the area, and the rain this summer has really helped. We spent a couple of hours in the woods one day and emerged with a large basket of chanterelles and boletes. We also picked a couple of interesting-looking trumpet-like mushrooms to try and identify. Turns out they are edible too, but not in the same category as the others.

We cooked all three varieties with lots of butter and garlic flowers in tinfoil pouches on the bbq. What a treat! I liked the Chanterelles the best, but the bolets were a close second, even if their purply colour was a little disconcerting. The trumpety things were good too, although we only tried a little bit for fear of the "mild laxative" effect cited by the field guide. The next day we sauteed round 2 of the chanterelles with garic and butter and added them to a salad with shrimp and avocado.

We found a lot of different kinds of mushrooms during our tramp through the forest. Only picked the ones we knew or were pretty sure were edible (I did snap a few photos of others for later identification). It's a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon, made even more fun when you come across something you know will be a tasty treat.

Callout: Art against War

Miss Vicky Tue Aug 8, 2006

Cube Gallery is putting together a non-juried exhibition of anti-war art. Got something to say, and a creative way to say it? Here's the callout for the show:

Say No To Silence and Complicity
Art Against War - Cube Gallery
Aug. 30 - Sept. 3

As artists, it is time to speak out. The violence, bloodshed and war crimes being committed against the civilians of Lebanon, Palestinian and Israel alike -- and Canada's complicity in this conflict is a call to action. War is being waged on the bodies of children, the weak, the elderly and on the environment. The age-old war theatre of cowards. Regardless of sides - we want to stand up for the victims of war. We can stand by and watch or we can protest.

Use your art to denounce Canada's acquiescence to this war. Paint, Scrape, Cut, Paste, Make, Break, Rebuild, Appropriate - but make art that will be a cry against war and a call for peace. Bring or send your anti-war art (one piece only, please) in the medium of your choice to the Cube Gallery 10- 4 pm, Monday, August 28. Be a part of this exhibition and be a voice among artists against war. This is a non- juried event. Please do not send proposals or submissions - just do it! This is our opportunity as artists to be heard, to protest, to send prayers of support to the victims of the bombings in Lebanon.

The only criteria for this show, is that your art is a protest against war - no apologists please. If you are sending from out of town -- please arrange for pick up Sunday Sept. 3 or send it with an SASE. (If you wish to sell your art -- 50% goes to the artist, 25% of the sale will go to Médecins Sans Frontières and 25% to Cube gallery, but your art does not have to be for sale)

A vernissage/fundraiser for Médecins Sans Frontières and their work in Lebanon, with music and poetry (let us know if you want to be in the line-up at the open-mike) will be held on Wednesday, August 30 the art show will run until Sunday Sept. 3


LCBO future

Miss Vicky Thu Aug 3, 2006

So I heard through the grapevine that the LCBO folks haven't heard much from the community on the future of the Wellington St location. So I decided to send in my two cents to the LCBO's director of corporate affairs:

Dear Mr. O'Brien,

For the last several months, rumours have been flying around our commuity about the future of the LCBO on Wellington Street West in Ottawa. In my discussions with Hintonburg and West Wellington residents at various community events, I've heard a lot of anxiety and dissatisfaction about the prospect of losing the store to the new LCBO location on Richmond. Many people who live in these neighbourhoods love the pedestrian feel of our mainstreet - easy access to key shops and services is one of the things that make this area distinct. With its handy location near the Parkdale Market, banks and neighbourhood drug and hardware stores, the liquor store is a vital part of our community. Add to that the nearby grocery, bakeries, butcher and other destinations - the LCBO is a regular stop on many residents' "Wellington Shuffle", allowing many of us to keep our shopping sources local, without having to resort to more big-box options or use our vehicles.

The new location will serve the Westboro and commuter communities well, but the loss of the Wellington West store will leave a huge gap in our community and our mainstreet. I hope you will consider leaving the store open despite the presence of the new location down the road.


Summer Samba Party

Miss Vicky Wed Aug 2, 2006

ok, I made it back in one piece from our family week at the cottage. Why oh why couldn't it have been this week? I could certainly use a thrice-daily dip in the lake with this weather. Now I am confined to the one air-conditioned room in the house, thinking about all the things I could be doing if it weren't so frikkin' hot. Add to this a constant headache and facial pain thanks to some dental issue that popped out of nowhere (visiting dentist tomorrow, so hopefully we'll clear that up).

Needless to say, Miss Vicky is a little cranky.


Tonight, I think I will venture out to McCormick Park for the annual Samba Party. Nothing like fun beats and dancing kids to put you in a good mood on a sticky summer's evening! They'll be selling BBQ, cookies and refreshments, and the proceeds will go towards youth programming in Hintonburg. The fun starts at 7 - Samba Ottawa arrives at 7:45. McCormick Park is behind the Ottawa West Community Support seniors centre on Wellington, between McCormick and Carruthers.

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