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All In Hand

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

'Tis the season...for craft fairs

Miss Vicky Thu Nov 30, 2006

There was a time when Miss Vicky made her own holiday gifts... herbed oils and vinegars, massage oil and lavender glycerine soaps, hand painted papier mache bowls, cinnamon stick candles.... Alas, it's been a while since we had time for a Crafternoon(TM) here at the Finishing School. And it's unlikely there'll be much crafting here any time soon. Not until Gordon is older, anyway.

Fortunately, there is lots of crafty goodness in the 'hood this Weekend! Miss Vicky is hoping to scratch a few folks off her list....

Friday, December 1, 2pm to 8pm; and Saturday 2 December, 10am to 5pm
Hintonburg Community Association's annual Artisan and Craft Fair
Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington near Fairmont

This is where I get my Christmas puddings and fruit cakes every year (yes, Miss Vicky likes fruit cake. Wanna make something of it? ). Oh, and there's crafty stuff, too.

Saturday, December 2
14th Annual Christmas Craft Show and Sale
Fisher Park Community Centre
More than 120 artisans plus local church groups and charities will participate. Admission is free and there will be a barbecue and refreshments.

9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fisher Park Community Centre, 250 Holland Ave.

(Free parking at the front & back of the school - access off Harmer Ave. N.)

Not in the 'hood, but worth checking out:
Saturday, December 2
Not your Grandma's Holiday Craft Sale (brought to you by those fine folks at Ladyfest. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.at Jack Purcell Community Center, 320 Elgin St (at Lewis). This is a great place to get unique, funky gifts... like the 50s pinup toilet seat we picked up at one of these shows last year. Or toys from Fabricawakuwaku, the stuffed animal collective... I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, I should also note that Cube'sannual Great Big Smalls show starts this week. Opening party is Friday, December 1. This show was fantastic last year!

Shopping for a cause

Miss Vicky Thu Nov 30, 2006

Ravensara, one of my favourite gift shops on Wellington West, is marking World Aids Day by donating 25% of its sales to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Ravensara has unique art, essential oils and aromatherapy and other interesting gifty items. It's a great place to pick up Christmas ornaments, and they carry the most adorable hand-knit puppets and finger puppets (supplied by a local artisan). Definitely check it out!

Lend your voice to Jeanne d'Arc campaign!

Miss Vicky Thu Nov 23, 2006

Westboro blogger Miss Fish is stepping up her campaign to save the Maison Jeanne d'Arc from demolition. She and another Miss Vicky's reader have started a petition to have the former school designated a heritage building, which wouldn't necessarily stop development, but would likely require the design preserve the exterior of the building, so the neighbourhood doesn't lose its heritage architecture. They have collected 160 signatures by going door-to-door in the immediate neighbourhood and by catching folks on their way to the polling stations during the election.

Now they've written a letter to Westboro residents asking for individual letters and emails to the powers-that-be. If you live in the area (or if you don't, but you believe in the importance of preserving architectural heritage in Ottawa), do consider sending some supportive words. The campaign stands a better chance at success if there is a clear desire on the part of residents to make sure that development reflects and enhaces the character of the neighbourhood.

In my correspondence with the architect, he claimed that "The overwhelming position of neighbors who live in the immediate area is that the introduction of a an apartment use, stacked town house use or even plain townhouses was a non starter. The immediate zoning is strictly singles and semi's and there seemed to be a strong desire to keep it that way. " Since we haven't been able to find anyone who actually attended the public meetings, which were apparently earlier this summer, we're skeptical they truly reflect the perspective of the neighbourhood. I should also add that I asked Barry Hobin to put up the designs for his proposed development on his website, but I haven't seen anything there yet. He did say he was open to another public meeting after the election.

Upcoming events

Miss Vicky Tue Nov 21, 2006

Lots going on!

Wednesday, November 22
Newswest AGM

Churchill Seniors Centre, 345 Richmond Road

Did you know you can become a member of Kitchissippi's only community-run newspaper? It's affordable - $5 - and lets you vote at the AGM and stand for the board of directors. Plus it's a great way to support this great publication - one of the few ways community groups have to get the word out about activities and issues important to our neighbourhoods.

Thursday, November 23
Equal Voice National Capital Region Chapter AGM

5pm at the National Press Club

The AGM will be followed by a reception at 6pm with special guest Donna Dasko, Senior Vice President, Environics Research Group Ltd. RSVP to EqualVOICE by email evottawa@yahoo.ca. The reception is free for members and $30.00 for non-members.

And looking ahead.....

Hintonburg Artisan and Craft Fair
Friday 1 December, 2pm to 8pm; Saturday 2 December, 10am to 5pm
Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington near Fairmont

More announcements to come....

Rest in Peace, Lucille

Miss Vicky Sat Nov 18, 2006

Lucille Broadbent, Ed's wife, passed away yesterday at their home downtown. She fought a lengthy and difficult battle with cancer.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Lucille when I worked with Ed on his re-entry into federal politics a few years ago. She was one of those truly beautiful people - warm, compassionate, smart, strong, and very giving. I loved watching Lucille and Ed together. They really had something special; you could see it in their eyes when they looked at each other. It was the kind of relationship one always hopes to find.

I feel just heartbroken for him right now.

According to the email I received, a public celebration of Lucille's life will be held on Monday, November 27th at 3:30pm at the Unitarian Church, 20 Cleary Ave. in Ottawa. Details on the family's wishes regarding flowers and donations are not yet available. Notices will appear in the Globe, the Citizen, the Vancouver Sun, Le Droit and La Presse.

Comings and goings

Miss Vicky Thu Nov 16, 2006

Today I popped in to Red Chair Kids, the new kids' furniture store on Wellington Street West, in the former location of the post office. It's a pretty high end store - nice furniture, bedding, unique stuffed toys, funky diaper bags and other knicknacks. Nice stuff. Really nice stuff. ... stuff I had actually scoped out on the 'net when we were looking for bedding for Gordon's room (we actually went for some bright funky stuff we found at Barb's Touch of Elegance in Westboro). I did pick up a onesie for Gordon (can you guess which one? How could I possibly resist?). The owners are really nice Kitchissippi folks, excited about being in the 'hood. Definitely worth checking out!

In other news, the former Nearly New Shop on Rosemount is now the home of a beading and jewellery supplies store. Haven't checked it out - just noticed it as I drove by today.

The bad news.... Christie's Antiques on Wellington, near Carruthers, is closing for real this time. She just can't afford the overhead, apparently. She says she'll be gone in a couple weeks. That is a loss; I enjoyed poking around in there.

Je ne regrette rien

Miss Vicky Wed Nov 15, 2006

Wow, after a year or so of campaigning, it's hard to believe it's over. Of course, I am disappointed in Monday's results. But looking at the outcome of the elections across the city, and particularly the Mayor's race, it's clear the climate was not right for the kind of message we were bringing forward. "Let's manage growth responsibly and sustainably and build a smart, compassionate city" just didn't win out over "Freeze property taxes". Ah, well.

I'm proud of the campaign we ran, and have no regrets about running, or even about staying in the race once we found out about Gordon's impending arrival. It's given me a great opportunity to think hard about what I value about my community, and how I'd like to make it better. I've learned a lot about a huge range of issues, about how the city works (and how it isn't working).

Perhaps the best part of the process was getting out and talking to folks in neighbourhoods across the ward. Each area has its own unique issues, its assets and its challenges. But we're all struggling with a climate of rapid change, growth and development. I was encouraged to find people all over Kitchissippi who share my approach and values - people who have great ideas and a drive to engage in positive discussion about where we're headed as a community. It bodes well for a different approach to growth and planning, if the city is indeed ready for it. And this has fueled my commitment to work with Creative Neighbourhoods and the city to make the Neighbourhood Planning Initiative an open and productive process.

I was also blown away by the help I received. There were a few people who spent a lot of time volunteering on the campaign. There were folks who gave generous donations - yet I've never met them. It was an energetic, exciting, engaging campaign, mostly because of the wonderful supporters and volunteers we had. It's quite humbling.

I'll miss feeling like the King of Kensington (or Queen of Wellington, rather), having people I don't know wave or give a thumbs up or come over to meet Gordon as we take our morning stroll. That was really fun. Of course, now I do know a lot more people in the area than I did before!

So, no regrets. In fact, I'm looking forward to being more involved in what will be a new community for me as I spend this first year with Gordon. And we'll be back to our regular Offhand Remarks schedule of announcements, analysis and ad hoc ramblings before you know it. Thanks to everyone for their ideas and support!

One more sleep

Miss Vicky Sun Nov 12, 2006

By "sleep" I am speaking in relative terms... our sleeps are rather choppy these days, thanks to Gordon's feeding schedule. But it's what is known in electoral circles as "E minus One". We've visited the doorsteps, made the phone calls, put up the signs, attended more community events than I can count, sent out the leaflets and talked to as many people as we can. Now it's the voters' turn.

Of course, we'll be out there tomorrow reminding folks to vote and making sure they get to the polls. I'll be exercising my democratic right at 10am at the St. Francois D'Assise polling station. If you vote there, come on out and join me!

Otherwise, vote early, talk to your friends and neighbours and share our positive message. This is Kitchissippi's chance to elect a councillor who will be an advocate for the ward, who will bring new ideas and new energy to city hall.... We've worked hard to convince voters that I am that candidate. Hopefully, they'll agree.

We'll be celebrating tomorrow night at the Urban Element, 424 Parkdale (right next to our campaign office). Since the counting process is electronic, we'll be expecting results shortly after the polls close at 8pm.

A Cozy Remembrance

Miss Vicky Sat Nov 11, 2006

Earlier this week my cousin Heather sent around a copy of a video by Nova Scotia singer/songwriter Terry Kelly. She said it reminded her of our grandfather(that would be the Brigadier), and my grandpa Smallman, and how lucky we are they came home safely from the wars they fought, and that we had a chance to know and love them. Not everyone from a military family is that lucky, as we are reminded far too often these days when we hear the news from Afghanistan.

This morning we went to Cozy's for breakfast. At 11 the Last Post rang through the restaurant as the workers turned up the volume. The whole place (and it was pretty full) went silent for the bugle call and for the two minutes of silence that followed. I've never seen anything like it - although most years I go to services or am home watching them on TV. It was very much like the scene in the video - except everyone was silent (even Gordon).

This afternoon we're planning to attend the ceremony at the Westboro Cenotaph. It starts at 2, and will be followed by a social at the Richmond Road Legion. Please come out and show your support and thanks to our veterans.

Second debate online, and voter information

The Webgeek Sat Nov 11, 2006

If, by some stretch of the imagination, some of our Kitchissippi readers are still undicided as to how they will vote, perhaps watching the second all candidates debate will help. It was filmed in the St. Francois d'Assise Church, so the acoustics are pretty cavernous. Also, I have to apologize for the battery running out in the second video -- we missed the final 10 minutes or so.

Once you're done doing that, head over to the campaign's voter information page to find out the particulars about what to do this Monday. The Smallman/Denny household will be out at St. François D'Assise Church (1060 Wellington Street) right at 10 AM to cast our ballots. If you happen to vote there too (or even if you don't) why don't you come on out as well. We can all revel in fulfilling our civic duty together.

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