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All In Hand

Here you'll find the sum total of Miss Vicky's Remarks thus far.

Weekend happenings

Miss Vicky Fri Sep 29, 2006

Tomorrow (Saturday) is Abbeyfield's annual book sale. Abbeyfield is a small seniors' residence located in a beautiful Victorian home next to the Parkdale United Church. The sale goes from 9 to 3.

On Sunday, McKellar Park hosts its Fall Festival from 11-3. The park is located on Wavell near Byron.

This tip comes from amckay, brewmeister and fan of german cuisine: Just an FYI, but tonight is the first night of an annual 3 week Oktoberfest at JIJ's Schnitzelhaus, kitty-corner across from the Royal Oak here in Hintonburg. Fridays and Saturdays are by reservation only. They alternate nights of live music between an authentic 14 piece German oompa band, and a single accordian player "Eio (Old) George". Either way you are in store for a great time!

They serve excellent authentic German and Bohemian food, and have one of the best selections of beer on tap within a 10 km radius.

1208 Wellington Street
Phone : 613-798-1110


Tonight: Take back the Night

Miss Vicky Thu Sep 28, 2006

It's a soggy day, to be sure. But women are gathering tonight at Minto Park for the annual Take back the Night march. I'm not anxious to revisit Last year's discussion, which took place at a rather explosive time for our community, as we were all reeling from Jennifer Teague's disappearance. Emotions were raw, to be sure. But just this weekend I was speaking with a constituent about local issues and she raised concerns about feeling safe on our streets. According to the Ottawa Police, Crimes of violence are on a downward trend - but we all know that 2006 has seen more murders than previous years, especially in the last couple of weeks. So it's not surprising that women (or anyone, for that matter, especially after the bus stabbing last week) are feeling vulnerable.

Here's the notice I got for the march:

Don't forget, tonight is TAKE BACK THE NIGHT in Ottawa.

We're meeting at the Women's Monument in Minto Park at 6:30. We will begin with an aboriginal drumming group play and sing an Honour Song. We'll then welcome our speakers on the theme: SHINE THE LIGHT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: IN OUR HOMES, ON THE STREETS AND IN OUR WORKPLACES! Our speakers are: Mreama Abdul Soheila Dalvid, Francoise Roy and Senator Nancy Ruth. We're going to get the crowd jazzed up with some Hip Hop performers from the DeCypher Cru who are determined to get the juices flowing.

We then hit the streets bringing our voices and noise makers and demands
that women should be able to walk on our streets free from fear of violence for a loud, enthusiastic march. We're planning to wake this town up. Women will have their signs, banners, drums, and whatever to help get the message out there.

The march will bring women back to the Ottawa City Hall for the information fair at which organizations have been invited to put up their interactive displays. We'll have refreshments and entertainment.

Also at the information fair, there will be a trash can that receives any item that women feel contributes to the gender stereotype. Women are planning to bring magazine articles, posters, aprons, cooking utensils, and anything you feel that subjectifies and/or sexualizes women. We're going to TRASH IT ALL!

It should be fun. We are recognizing that items may mean different
things to different women. While some might consider something like makeup for example, to be a product that is being pushed by the beauty industry, there are other women who enjoy it and feel good wearing it. We're not going to be judgmental but accepting to whatever women want to TRASH!


Wardrobe saviour!

Miss Vicky Wed Sep 27, 2006

I haven't written too much about my pregnancy. I figure you folks don't need to hear all the gory details of bodily adjustments, fun side effects, sleepless nights, anxieties, joys and challenges. I may craft a post one of these days about the process, but for now I'll just say that for a woman of "advanced maternal age" I have been incredibly fortunate. It's been a really smooth pregnancy - no morning sickness, manageable weight gain, plenty of energy. I am very grateful, particularly with everything else on my plate!

I'm 38 weeks now, so the baby could arrive any time (although he doesn't seem to be showing many signs that he's ready). We're more or less ready, psychologically anyway.

One of the biggest challenges for me lately has been wardrobe. I know it seems superficial, but having made the decision to enter public life, I can't exactly get away with wearing yoga pants and my assortment of political t-shirts every day. Even though I feel like a Weeble, I still have to look professional and put-together. The early months weren't bad - I got by with my current work wardrobe and a couple of maternity staples. Summer was fairly manageable, thanks to some nice dresses and cheap tops, but now that the nights are cooler and the mornings crisp I am finding it a bit more of a challenge. It seems ridiculous to go out and supplement my wardrobe with so little time left, but there is also that post-partum "transitional" time to consider as well!

I started my quest at Westboro's Hush consignment shop, where I found a pretty nice skirt and top. I explained my dilemma to them, and they told me about Changes with Style.

Changes with Style is the home business of a brilliant Stittsville woman. She rents maternity wear, including a fabulous selection of professional clothing. The quality is excellent and there is a wide selection of styles and sizes. And her stuff is a lot more interesting and flattering than the clothing I've seen at the (very few) maternity shops here in Ottawa. I went out there today and (with her help) picked out a few pieces which should get me through the rest of the campaign. What a relief!

and I still have my yoga pants for home....

Westboro gem at risk?

Miss Vicky Tue Sep 26, 2006

Time to lend some support to Miss Fish, who has been relentlessly tracking down rumours that a beautiful heritage property in her neighbouhood may be lost to development. She's actually been at this for a while, and once we started making more aggressive inquiries to city officials about whether the property has heritage designation, the rumour was confirmed by the erection of a sign outside the building letting neighbours know that a development application for the property has been received. (it was an interesting coincidence that the sign appeared once the emails to city staff started... but I digress)

The space in question is the Maison Jeanne d'Arc, a former residential school for girls that currently houses an order of nuns. It's located on Kenwood at Edison. I have not seen the inside of the building but the outside is quite distinctive (you can see a pic in Miss Fish's post here, and there is some lovely greenspace on the property. Apparently there is a nice chapel and some other architectural features inside. The numbers of nuns are dwindling, and the building is too much to maintain, hence the sale. The building does not have heritage designation, but this is something the community might look at pursuing. This may call for quick action, though. The development application proposes to "rezone the subject property from minor institutional to a residential R3 zoning that would permit single detached dwellings on lots which are approximately 10 metres in width and semi-detached dwellings on lots that would have an approximate width of 7.2 metres for each unit. The total number of units proposed is twenty." Twenty houses. Seems like a lot to me.... Now, I'd really like to see the proposed design. The architect is Barry Hobin, who has done some stuff I quite like, but it's hard to shake the first impression that whoever is developing this just wants to squeeze as much profit as possible out of the property with not much regard to the character of the surrounding neighbourhood.

If you're interested in getting involved, contact me or Miss Fish. If you want to let the city know how you feel, Miss Fish suggests you contact this person. In the meantime, keep an eye out for news here or in the fishbowl.

Signage Carnage

The Webgeek Sat Sep 23, 2006

There's been a fair bit of discussion lately in the local news about political signs in the ward, specifically ones on public land. Judging from letters to the editor in The Ottawa Citizen to a political cartoon in the latest News EMC, it does appear that most people are none-to-thrilled about them. We have also noticed that a few locations in the ward have had the wholesale removal of signs from places that were previously used to advertise candidacies -- the Parkdale on & off ramps to the highway were cleared almost immediately. There has also been a fair bit of vandalism already. Every morning on our dog walk we notice the signs at Wellington and Parkdale -- all of them -- appear to take a nightly beating. (I must say, the Alex Munter sign there seems capable of withstanding the second coming. It has some surprisingly resilient wooden stakes) Invariably, we quietly put up our one tiny sign and keep going.

Signs are an interesting thing. They are both the most effective and least economical method of getting your name out to potential voters. For many people, lawn signs are the only indicator they get of upcoming elections, let alone of the candidates names who are running. This is especially true in municipal elections, where voter apathy seems to be at it's highest.

They are also one of the few parts of "the message" that a campaign team can control. Web sites only reach the people that seek them out (as you, our dear reader can attest to); media coverage is solely at the discretion of the publishers and editors who also must (hopefully) carefully weigh the coverage amount; public debates are hosted and moderated by (sometimes self) interested third parties -- in our case, the ward's community associations; even pamphlets are just as likely to end up in a recycling bin unread as they are to end up in a voter's hand. Signs though, they're right there in your face: Announcing who's in the race. They can't be avoided. They also cost a tonne of money.

Money is a scarce commodity in a municipal campaign -- and the lion's share of any campaign financing is usually spent on signage. Of course incumbents and returning candidates can mitigate that cost by re-using signs purchased for previous campaigns (a fact that is patently obvious when you notice Chiarelli's sign design) Even then new ones still need to be ordered and added to the mix. This cost is often expounded by Ottawa's propensity for vandalizing and out and out stealing of signs which then need to be replaced. A 'habit" we hope doesn't affect this municipal election too badly -- though early indicators don't bode well.

So the types, amounts, and sizes of signs is a very dicey thing to decide on. We here at "Team Vicky", for various reasons, chose to stick with the "small" lawn signs only. We're also hoping to use most of them on actual supporters lawns, but will -- and have -- put them out (semi-)sparingly on public land as well. We view it as an unfortunate but necessary evil. We can't argue against their effectiveness, but also share many people's aversion to their being plastered on far too many street corners and boulevards throughout in all their garish coloured "glory". We also know that the more you put up, the more you have to replace later on. We'd rather spend our extra money on a nice brochure.

We'd also rather that the Kitchissippi council race remains about the candidates -- their message; their vision; their ideas -- and not about how many signs they can put up.

Wellington LCBO Closing anyways

The Webgeek Thu Sep 21, 2006

Despite our best efforts, the LCBO decided that leaving a astonishingly busy store open "would not result in the best financial return for the government and ultimately taxpayers"


Here's the entire text of the message I got emailed to me on the matter

September 21, 2006
Dear Hintonburg Resident,
Thank you for sharing your views regarding the LCBO's planned closure of it's Wellington Street store and opening of a new, larger outlet on Richmond Road.
After careful consideration of the feedback received from the community, both in the form of written correspondence, comments during the August 16th, 2006 meeting at the Rideau Street store in Ottawa and re-evaluation of the original marketplace strategy, the LCBO has decided to proceed with the plan for serving: this community. This plan includes the closure of the store at 1224 Wellington Street in concert with the opening of a new store at 222 Richmond Road.
The new store will be located along a main retail corridor and will provide an improved level of customer service and expanded product selection to the community which was not possible due to space restrictions at the existing Wellington Street location.
You asked that we consider keeping both locations open. We considered this option as part of the original market study and re-evaluated it carefully more recently. On both occasions we reached the same conclusion, namely .hat maintaining both stores would not be a prudent use of public resources and would not result in the best financial return for the government and ultimately taxpayers. Of course another option would have been to maintain the status quo by not relocating the store.
This option is also not vialble, as the community would continue to be under serviced due to space constraints at the current site.
The LCBO plans to vacate the store at 1224 Wellington when the new Richmond Road store opens, which is scheduled to take place in January of 2007. The vacated premises will be either subleased or returned to the landlord. The landlord has indicated there is interest from other retailers so we do not anticipate that tdh.eproperty will be vacant for any length of time.
During the meeting at the Rideau store, we advised attendees we planned on exploring possible sites for another LCBO store to the east of 1224 Wellington. Three possible locations, including ones proposed by members of the community, have been examined by our Retail development team. To date, however, we have been unable to find a location suitable for a new LCBO store. We continue to look for a suitable site, amd will keep you informed of any developments on this front. As you can appreciate given the natme of the real estate market we cannot be assured that a location will be identified quickly.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact the LCBO and share your views. While we recognize this is likely not the outcome you had hoped for, over time we believe that the quality and range of services at the new Richmond Road LCBO store will help compensate for any additional travel time you may Incur.

Barry O'Brien
Director, Corporate Affairs

Comings and goings

Miss Vicky Thu Sep 21, 2006

so much news in the 'hood!

Last night I attended a Hintonburg Zoning Committee meeting with representatives from the Regional Group of developers. They purchased the old Ecole Sacre-Coeur on Melrose Ave from the french catholic school board, and they intend to convert it into condos. The school is a part of the HCA's Heritage Walking Tour and was designed by architect Francis Sullivan.

Many folks had hoped the building would become a cultural facility of some sort, but there didn't seem to be a buyer interested in that when the school board put it up for sale recently. So... condos it is. The building has heritage designation, so the exterior will be preserved. The proposal (which you can see at next week's HCA AGM) includes 11 units in the main building, and a new structure with 8 stacked townhouses, designed to emulate the look of the main building. They propose to add a storey, but the addition would be set back so it wouldn't be as obvious from the street. It's not a bad plan, although I was surprised to see that the lot extends as far as 4-5 feet from the current sandbox/play structure in Hintonburg Park right behind. It's certainly going to change the look and feel of the park.

I asked them whether the building would meet LEED standards, or have any "green" aspects - nope. They will be bringing in energy efficiency measures, but don't seem to be interested in any kind of certification to help them sell the place to folks looking for sustainable living. There are also a LOT of stairs invovled - all the units are 2-storey and there are steps to get into all of them. So definitely not condos for people with mobility issues!

In other news, I noticed that Ocean, one of the Vietnamese places on my block, has shut down and is being replaced with an Ethiopian place. This will be a great addition to the neighbourhood!

Also, the infamous Peanuts Bar, which has been for sale for quite some time, has sold. Apparently someone who owns several properties in the area bought it, and the plan is to put a take-out pizza place in there.

Hintonburg Community Association AGM

Miss Vicky Wed Sep 20, 2006

The Hintonburg Community Association Annual General Meeting takes place next Wednesday, September 27, 7pm at the Hintonburg Community Centre. In addition to hearing reports of the HCA's activities and discussing important community issues, the HCA will be electing a new Board of Directors. If you are interested in getting involved with your community, this is a great place to start. Send me a note and I'll get you in touch with the folks who are recruiting!

Imagine Ottawa this weekend

Miss Vicky Tue Sep 19, 2006

Here's a notice for a great event this weekend:

Imagine Ottawa – a City Social Forum

Do you live in one place, work in another, shop in another and play in yet another? Been stuck in traffic lately? Starting to worry about the quality of the air in Ottawa? Were one of the 77% of voters in Ottawa who did not vote in the last municipal election? Feeling the $75 million cuts to city services in 2004? Do you wish your neighbourhood was more of a community?

Come to Imagine Ottawa – a City Social Forum September 22nd and 23rd.

Learn from local experts on some of Ottawa’s problems relating to housing, poverty, democracy, environment, arts, culture and community and how you can make a difference. Learn about organizations in
Ottawa working to make a difference – another Ottawa is possible! Reflect with Marion Dewar, previous mayor of Ottawa, on how Ottawa has changed, for the good and the bad.

Share your vision of this city you call home. Meet others in your area to think about what issues you want to see addressed in the November municipal election and beyond.

Imagining a City Without Oil
Friday, September 22nd , 7:00 pm, a talk by James Howard Kunstler, author of the Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere, at the Adult High School, 300 Rochester. This event is co-sponsored with
Councillor Clive Doucet and others. Cost. $10.00

Saturday, September 23rd, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, the City Social Forum, which includes a Community Fair and Marketplace of Ideas, workshops with local experts on the environment, arts and culture,
village-building, democracy, housing and poverty, a talk with former Mayor Marion Dewar, and facilitated discussions on what matters to you. St. Elias Church, 2975
Riverside Drive. Cost: Free!, Lunch provided by the Green Door, child care available.

Imagine Ottawa is being organized by individuals and organizations. Organizations involved include City Repair Ottawa, OPIRG-Ottawa and Council of the Arts and CUPE Local 2204 – child care workers.

For more information: Imagine Ottawa


Thank you, Justice O'Connor

Miss Vicky Tue Sep 19, 2006

Shed a few tears yesterday for Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh. I have had the privilege of working with Monia and was able to get to know the family well. Maher's vindication was a long time coming. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Justice O'Connor for his diligence, and to Maher and Monia for their perseverence. Maher's deportation, incarceration and torture, not to mention the prolonged efforts to get at the truth and the ongoing stigma of being branded a terrorist, have been devastating on that family. I only hope the Harper government implements Justice O'Connor's recommendations so they can begin the long process of recovery.

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