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All In Hand

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

Slight hiccup in posting regularity

Miss Vicky Fri Sep 28, 2007

Miss Vicky begs the indulgence of her faithful legion while she adjusts to the new reality of going to work every day and leaving Wee G in the care of others. She promises a scintillating post soon.... really she does.

Hintonburg AGM tonight!

Miss Vicky Wed Sep 26, 2007

A reminder to Hintonburg residents: your Community Association's Annual General Meeting takes place TONIGHT at 7pm at the community centre. Come early if you need to sign up or renew your membership. They'll be electing a new board of directors, so don't hesitate to get involved!

MMP Info Session in Westboro TONIGHT

Miss Vicky Tue Sep 25, 2007

This comes via the Westboro Community Association Blog:

When Ontarians go to the polls on October 10th, we will have an historic opportunity via referendum to change how we elect our MPPs at Queen’s Park. Come find out why an assembly of ordinary citizens from across the province are recommending a new “Mixed Member Proportional” (MMP) voting system for Ontario and how it would improve our democracy.

When: Tuesday, September 25th
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: All Saints Anglican/First United Church, 347 Richmond Road (just west of Churchill) in Westboro

Also, Miss Vicky is helping organize an Ottawa Women for MMP reception and fundraiser next Wednesday at the Cube Gallery. Come out and find out why MMP will help elect more women to Queen's Park! Or more Janes and less Dicks, as Marilyn Churley has said...

Algonquin Canoe Protest

Miss Vicky Mon Sep 24, 2007

I don't know if Miss Vicky's readers have been following the efforts of the Algonquin nation to protect their traditional land from potential uranium mining. Supporters have launched a protest by canoe to highlight the potential devastation that uranium mining in the proposed location could have on the Mississippi Valley Watershed (and Ottawa's source of drinking water, folks!). Here is the update Miss Vicky received today:

They're off! A large group of supporters came out to the ceremonial launch of the Canoe Protest. Grandfather William Commanda performed a pipe ceremony before several leaders of the First Nations left for Ottawa followed by about 20 canoes filled with supporters.

The Algonquin Alliance will undertake a ceremonial descending of the headwaters of the Mississippi watershed to Parliament Hill. Many other canoes are expected to join them along the way. The First Nations have taken water from their starting point and plan to pour it onto the steps of Parliament Hill, to send the message that the waters of the Mississippi are close at hand. A proclamation demanding a moratorium on uranium mining will be delivered to the Government of canada.

Stop over for Press Conference: Tuesday, September 25th in Carleton Place, 10am

Stop over for Press Conference: Tuesday, September 25th in Almonte, 4pm

Ottawa River Paddle: Tuesday September 25th to 27th paddling from Galetta to Victoria Island (Sacred neutral territory of the Algonquins)


Come at 6pm, for the signing of an official proclamation to the Government of Canada. Pow-wow and potluck feast to follow. (Canoes and Kayaks can be brought to Victoria Island on the 27th and kept securely overnight or early Friday for the Canoe Protest on the morning of Friday, September 28th.)

Grandfather William Commanda has blessed and welcomed us to land at Victoria Island on the afternoon of Thursday, September 27th.


Final Portage starts as 9:30am, Friday, September 28th, to Parliament Hill:
Friday, September 28th at 10-12pm on the Hill for a Rally of the Canoes. Everyone can meet the paddlers with their signs, T-shirts, drums and voices.

For more info about uranium mining issues in Eastern Ontario, see Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium
Mining Watch

Kitchicoo Update

Miss Vicky Sat Sep 22, 2007

One week to opening day. We had a brunchy meeting at Kitchicoo this morning and assessed our situation. I can't believe how far we have come in such a short period of time. After several interviews with some really interesting candidates, we've hired a great caregiver who has the right mix of energy, experience, and commitment to our model. The space is almost ready, and thanks to a neighbourhood woman who's recently shut down her home daycare and gave us an amazing deal on supplies, not to mention generous donations from liss76 and amckay and a few good used ottawa finds, we've got enough high chairs, cots, toys and other stuff. There are still a few things we need to do (kitchen stuff, a change table solution, and a LOT of babyproofing) but we are pretty much good to go.

We have one full time and one half time (afternoons) space still to fill, but we're hoping that now that we have a space to show people and it doesn't require quite the leap of faith it did a month ago, we'll be able to fill the vacant spots in short order. In the meantime, we're pretty excited.

Taking back the night (or not)

Miss Vicky Thu Sep 20, 2007

I'm sad to report that Miss Vicky is taking back the night in spirit this year, rather than marching with her sisters and friends downtown and raising a ruckus to draw the public's attention to the seemingly never-ending problem of violence against women.

There's a lot to be angry about, though - from the recent sexual assaults at Carleton and downtown to the still-unsolved murder of Kelly Morriseau to this summer's regular violent outbursts between a drug-addicted prostitute and her dealer boyfriend, who happen to live a few doors down from the Finishing School. Not to mention today's tragic closure of the National Association of Women and the Law, an organization that has done some amazing research and advocacy for some of Canada's most marginalized women over the years. But Miss Vicky's not sure she could muster up as fine a vitriolic rant as the one her friend pamused wrote today about the so-called equality Canadian women enjoy.

this week's events

Miss Vicky Mon Sep 17, 2007

before I get all a-twitter about tonight's by-elections, I had better quickly post the stuff that's happening this week. Because there is a lot of it.

Tomorrow (Tuesday Sept 18), the new police chief will be at the Hintonburg Community Centre. If you want to check him out, or let him know what's important to your neighbourhood, the event runs from 7-9. Community Police officers will be available for a meet and greet from 6-7.

Wednesday is a big day. Westboro residents should head to the Annual General Meeting of the Westboro Community Association. Folks have been working hard to revitalize the association, but they need help!

With the elections coming up, there are going to be a lot of all-candidates' meetings. The first opportunity to get to know Ottawa Centre candidates will be a debate held by the Somerset West and Centretown community health centres. It takes place at the Bronson Centre, starting at 7:15 with a brief presentation on electoral reform, followed by the debate.

Also on Wednesday Ed Broadbent is hosting a fundraiser for the Mixed Member Proportional Representation campaign at Humphrey's on Bank street, starting at 6:30. Tix are $25 and $15 for students. It should be a fun event!

Kitchissippi schools at risk?

Miss Vicky Mon Sep 17, 2007

This comes from the West Wellington Community Association:

Kitchissippi Ward is undergoing a renaissance of sorts—fueled by young families many with pre-school age children, who’ve moved into the area to enjoy an urban lifestyle supported by local amenities, excellent schools and community engagement. Indeed, the area is rapidly becoming ‘branded’ as the preeminent locale for all things child-centric. In the past 6 months alone, no fewer than 8 businesses have opened children, baby and maternity stores in Wellington Village, Westboro and Hintonburg. The abundance of baby strollers at local coffee shops in our neighbourhoods provides the evidence to support this trend.

All of which makes it ironic that in neighbourhoods revitalized with young families, Kitchissippi Ward faces the very real possibility that it could lose schools that represent the hub of its neighborhoods. In a June 18th meeting of the Business Services Committee of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), OCDSB staff listed several centrally located Ottawa schools that they consider may be “prohibitive to repair” - three of which are located in Kitchissippi Ward—Elmdale, Devonshire, and Nepean. According to OCDSB, a school is “prohibitive to repair” (PTR) where “the cost of repairing or replacing major systems in the schools or making these schools accessible is worth more than the structure’s value”.

While the PTR list is used to identify schools that could benefit from capital funding for the purpose of rebuilding or renewal, according to OCDSB school trustee, Jennifer McKenzie with whom WWCA corresponded, “the Ministry seems to be leaning towards guiding boards towards selecting rural/suburban schools for PTR funding. To date, the Board has requested that PTR funding be made available for only three OCDSB schools and all three are located outside the Greenbelt. Moreover, capital funding is only allocated for the replacement of schools—funding which will not benefit schools like Elmdale that are in dire need of capital funding for purposes of restoration. According to Ms. McKenzie, Kitchissippi Ward has “perhaps the highest need of all wards in the city for upgrades to its schools based on the Board’s Facilities Cost Index”.

Without urgent attention, it seems quite feasible that Kitchissippi Ward residents could face the looming threat of school closures through the neglect of essential school repairs.

OCDSB trustees argue that the current funding model leaves it woefully short of necessary funding to fulfill its mandate, including the maintenance of its aging school infrastructure and the construction of new schools outside the greenbelt. With few exceptions, the current slate of Board trustees have demonstrated strong support for the sell-off of centrally located schools to the highest bidder as a revenue opportunity for the cash strapped Board. The recent sales of Laurentian High School and J.S. Woodsworth alone netted the Board $31.96 M—money which the Board has stated will “go toward school renewal and new school construction in other areas of the district” (Ottawa Citizen, July 19, 2007). However, in 2004 the Board acknowledged that funds raised from its previous sell off of school inventory were placed “into capital reserves for new school construction”, rather than being allocated for the renewal of older school properties (Student Accommodation 2004 and Beyond, OCDSB web site).

In a recent case of another school closure and recommended sell-off, the Board acknowledged that one of the main reasons for its closure of Grant Alternative public school on Richmond Road was “due to a significant deterioration in the physical facility and prohibitive future renewal costs which would have been required in order to keep the building open.” Based on past action, it seems clear that the Board recognizes the potential of selling off the significant assets of established communities to fund projects in newer communities elsewhere. In that same June meeting, OCDSB staff recommended that “the Board develop a strategy to respond to capital opportunities and allow us to establish priorities.”

WWCA is concerned that factors such as the consideration by OCDSB staff of three of our local schools as prohibitive to repair, trustee support for the disposal of aging school inventory and the Board’s planned concentration on investment in other areas of the City do not bode well for the future “renewal” of Kitchissippi Ward schools. With this recent pattern of events in mind, can the sale of Kitchissippi Ward’s schools be far behind? A designation of “prohibitive to repair” with no apparent plan for their renewal, leaves schools like Elmdale, Devonshire and Nepean in a precarious state. The end result of neglect may leave the Board with little choice but to push for their closure.

Kitchissippi Ward residents can no longer be complacent. A community without schools and school yard green spaces in its core areas soon loses its appeal for families with school age children. An urban community such as ours with its school infrastructure crumbling or up for sale may cease to be a magnet for young families who may choose, instead, to relocate to areas where schools are nearby and well-maintained. After all, it is community hubs and local open spaces such as our schools and school yards that make our more densely developed neighbourhoods livable.

Now is the time to express your support for the renewal of the schools in Kitchissippi. The West Wellington Community Association encourages all concerned residents within its boundaries to contact their school trustee, City councilor and provincial candidate on this issue.


Blaze Aid - Saturday Sept 15

Miss Vicky Fri Sep 14, 2007

Local musicians, with the help of the business community, the Hintonburg Economic Development Committee, and the Somerset West CHC, have organized 6 simultaneous open stages at Ottawa bars, to raise money for the victims of the recent massive fire on Somerset West.

The fire left 31 people homeless, and many lost everything.

Blaze Aid takes place tomorrow between 1pm and 7pm. Locations in the 'burg are The Carleton Tavern and Daniel O'Connell's. Other pubs participating are: Irene's on Bank St, The Rainbow in the Market, Baseline Station and Greenfield's Pub and Eatery.

See you there!


Comings and Goings: edition sans soundtrack

Miss Vicky Tue Sep 11, 2007

Miss Vicky hasn't been in much of a blogging mood this week, mostly because she's stll a bit miffed that her CD collection was removed from her car by persons unknown, along with a bunch of change. The change they can have, but what could they possibly get from CDs without cases? Miss Vicky supposes she should have removed the folder from the car after the last road trip, but hindsight is 20/20, isn't it?

Not that Miss Vicky endorses copyright violation, but she will be looking to replace her lost collection, so watch this space for a partial list of the missing CDs. She is grateful they missed Gogol Bordello and her new Spearhead CD, at least.

However, it's probably time for a new update on the happenings in the 'hood.

The former location of Kardish Deli and the short-lived blues bar/smoked meat place is apparently the new home of law firm Beament Green.

Euphoria Hair Concept has closed; they have merged with the Cutting Edge. Those of us pulling for a Bridgehead at that location will be a tad disappointed that it is going to be the new home of A1 Vivante, another hair salon (which has been residing in the location of Chucky's Barber Shop for the last little while). And speaking of hair salons, the former location of Anything Goes and Sueno Salsero is being subdivided and half of it will be the new location of Scissor and Comb, which is currently next door. No word yet on whether that spot will house yet another place to get one's hair cut.

The Bingo Hall is papered over. Miss Vicky has not yet deduced the identity of the new tenant. Any gossip, anyone? Anyone?

The building housing Simply Home designs, Pam's Hair Creek and DOGZ has been sold. There's a for lease sign at Simply Home, and they're clearing out their stock at a big interior designers' garage sale on September 29.

Sherbrooke Grocery has been sold as well, to an architecture firm. They are keeping the apartments upstairs as rental units and will be turning the shop into an office. I believe this is going to the Committee of Adjustment next week.

Speaking of Sherbrooke, the corner lot at Gladstone which has been empty for quite some time, including the lot that was the rooming house recently gutted by fire, has been purchased by a developer who wants to turn it into 3 brick townhouses. You can check out the plans and give your input at a special meeting of the Hintonburg Zoning Committee next Monday, September 17 at 7pm at the Community Centre.

Further down the road, CAA is getting ready to open their travel agency. You might have noticed that every week a couple of picketers spend the morning walking back and forth in front of the building. Apparently CAA's service call centre has been without a contract for quite some time; the striking members of that Teamsters local are rotating picket locations, with no end of the dispute in sight. Something to keep in mind when looking for a travel agent in the 'hood.

Absinthe is open for lunch and dinner. Something called Canvas Resto-Bar-ETC (?) is opening soon in Absinthe's former location.

Ladysieng Couturier (you know, that place with the fading dresses in the window, next to Heavens to Betsy) is relocating to a converted duplex further west on Wellington Street. No word yet on what's going in there, but there is no for lease sign.

Red Velvet is opening a clothing store for women in the building that houses Bridgehead and Three Bakers and a Bike. The store will also feature maternity clothes - which is great, but a little late for Miss Vicky (maybe not a little late for Miss Vicky's wallet). Next door in the other long-vacant space, Booster Juice is moving in.

Miss Vicky, Wee G and the Webgeek had a great time checking out the GCTC during their open house on the weekend. The space is great - it retains the intimacy that we love about the GCTC, but addresses some long-standing problems they had in their other location - sound quality, climate control, dressing room space, etc. They have a great smaller performance space in addition to their main theatre. The gallery in the lobby has wonderful light to show off the Cube's offerings. And we had a great time listening to some of the GCTC staff gush about their new digs. The Props and Wardrobe folk were especially excited to have rooms of their own. We're looking forward to the first show (which opens October 9).

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