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All In Hand
Here you'll find the sum total of Miss Vicky's Remarks thus far.
Yep, it's soggy out. We have a tent up but decided to pack it in. Some of us are still huddled on our porches here on Sherbrooke, but we're talking contingency plans. Kitchicoo Daycare Co-op families have a lot of stuff to sell, so we'll be rescheduling for June 7 or 14. Watch this space for updates, and if you're rescheduling your sale, add it here as well!
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Apparently the Catholic school board has voted to close St. Mary's. English catholic students in Hintonburg will now be bussed to St. George's school in Champlain Park. Parents are, understandably, disappointed - after all, if you take a walk around the neighbourhood on any day you are guaranteed to pass by multiple strollers, baby carriers, wagons and other evidence that this area is a magnet for young families who want an urban lifestyle. And in Miss Vicky's mind, an urban lifestyle includes having a school within walking distance. So she can understand why parents are now considering abandoning the Catholic School Board so they can send their kids to Devonshire, where they can a) get French Immersion programming and b) walk to school.
Apparently parents are considering launching an appeal, although they are not optimistic. Miss Vicky would love to hear more from those involved.
It is pretty clear that Ottawa's school system is having a hard time figuring out how best to accommodate the diverse needs of our community (demand for schooling in both languages in both systems) with a funding formula that is, clearly, inadequate. Catholic parents who want English education now have to bus their kids out of the 'hood - Francophone parents in the Public System have to send their little ones even further afield, to a school that is consistently at the bottom of the provincial rankings. It's a lose-lose situation for a lot of families.
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So the word is spreading and it looks like a lot of streets are in: Sherbrooke, Rosemount, Melrose, Bayswater, Irving, Pinehurst, Hamiton Ave N, Laurel.... I will post a full list later this week, but it should be fun! Rain or shine, come on out!
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So WeeG has a well-developed obsession with vehicles. He is learning all the words and screams them out whenever he sees a wheeled item go by. Next to the front-end loader we see every morning on our coffee stroll, his favourite vehicle is the motorcycle. Or "otorcycle" in WeeGspeak.
For the last year or so, WeeG and the Webgeek have been Sunday morning regulars at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre's Kindergym classes. It's a great parent-and-toddler activity - they get to run and move and bend and stretch and flip and jump, parents get a bit of a workout running after them, and there's a blissful four-hour nap that usually follows. OCG is a great facility - teeming with kids on the weekends, and parents gabbing in the observation area while their kids are in class. The coaches are great, and they have even sent some athletes over to the Olympics.
The facility is showing the signs of age, though. Miss Vicky can imagine that a space that big is difficult to heat, cool and maintain. She's told that as recently as last Friday, OGC had to close the facility as they had no water - for the 2nd time this year. The equipment is also showing some wear and clearly needs updating.
The club is run as a non-profit, and the classes need to be affordable, so they rely on regular fundraising to keep the place going. The latest initiative is a big-ticket raffle with a custom Motorcycle as the grand prize (you wondered how Miss Vicky was going to tie vehicles and gymnastics together, didn't you?) The makers of the custom cycle are parents of OGC athletes and enthusiastic supporters of the club. Quite a generous donation, that's for sure.
Tickets are $100, and they need to sell 1000. Apparently tickets are not going as quickly as they had hoped - not surprising, as it's a lot for a raffle and the grand prize is not for everyone. But it is a great cause and Miss Vicky hopes that if any of her readers are 'otorcycle enthusiasts they will consider picking up a ticket. Who knows - you could be cruising through the 'hood on this before you know it!
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In lieu of an update on Kitchicoo, I will simply offer this photo (taken by Kitchicoo mom Sarah) of WeeG and his pal, Elliot, toasting the spirit of co-operation. One half-spot still available! And come on out to our fundraising garage sale on May 31!
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A PSA from Miss Vicky's inbox:
Demand broadband access, and choice for all Canadians
join the rally to save the open Internet
We need to protect innovation, competition, free speech, and Canadian culture, by protecting the principle of Net Neutrality and the Internet's level playing field.
Our Internet freedom of choice is under attack!
If we don't stand up now our Internet freedoms could be up for grabs by the highest bidder, or worse, simply taken away!
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Tuesday May 27th
Event starts at 11:30 am
Speakers for the Rally include: Charlie Angus - NDP MP, Mauril Béllanger - Liberal MP, James Clancy - NUPGE, Philippa Lawson - CIPPIC, Meera Karunananthan - Council of Canadians, Tom Copeland - CAIP, John Selwyn - National Capital Freenet, Steve Anderson - Campaign for Democratic Media, Rocky Gaudrault - TekSavvy Solutions Inc.
To learn more about Net Neutrality and why we need to save the open Internet, visit:SaveTheNet.ca
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Apparently at least one block of Merton was the target of vandals last night. Recently-planted gardens along the street were ripped up, almost every car was damaged in some way, and homes were a target as well. This is nasty. And apparently it's not the first time. As Miss Vicky understands it, some of the residents are feeling quite helpless and discouraged.
Surely someone on that street or in the area has a clue about who the vandals are. Miss Vicky can only hope that they have seen enough and are ready to get in touch with the police (613-236-1222, ext 7300, by the way... or Constable Tim Senack at the Wellington Community Police Centre, located in the Hintonburg Community Centre, el: 613-236-1222, ext. 5870).
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Folks here in the 'burg will know that efforts to secure space for a community garden have been going on for several years now. Community developers with the Somerset West Community Health Centre, the fine folks at Just Food and others have been working hard on multiple angles, scoping out potential sites, talking to owners and so on. Well, it looks like we are this closeto establishing a community garden in the ward. They have applied to the City's Green Partnership Fund for a space in Laroche Park, which would furnish about 25 plots for local gardeners. They expect to hear by Tuesday, but in the meantime, Miss Vicky would like to encourage you to write our councillor to let her know you think it's a good idea. And if you want to be notified of the first planning meeting, call Fauza at 613-238-8210.
Now, aside from all of this there is some talk among green thumbs in the 'hood of some guerilla gardening projects in certain empty lots along the strip (*ahem* Victoria Pharmacy *ahem*). Any interest out there?
And of course all of this has Miss Vicky dreaming of community ovens and musing about whether we could get such a thing going here. In Laroche Park? Hintonburg Park? Parkdale Park? Imagine the possibilities... and all that yummy bread!
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Lots going on this week... and probably lots I am missing as well. But a few events of note:
Tonight (Tuesday) there's a workshop on organic gardening at the Hintonburg Community Centre . It runs from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. You can call Fauza at 613-238-8210 x2322 to reserve your spot. (Additional note: Fauza works for Somerset West Community Health Centre and has been working hard on trying to get a community garden for Hintonburg. She may have news to share about a potential location at Laroche Park).
Also at the HCC tonight is a Town Hall hosted by our Councillor, MP, and MPP on the issue of Transit, Greenspace and Infrastructure. It takes place from 7 to 9pm.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 21), Miss Vicky's friends at Straight Goods are holding a reception down at Darcy McGee's on Sparks and Elgin.
Says the invite:
This will be a chance for Ottawa-area readers to meet at least two of our illustrious Board members - Heather-jane Robertson and Mel Watkins - and four StraightGoods.ca production staff including award-winning editor Penney Kome, who will be in the nation's capital that day, on a visit from Calgary. It's part of our Spring Drive and also a way meet friends, colleagues, and readers.
The bash takes place from 4 to 7pm. Miss Vicky is always happy to hang out with her favourite economist, Mel Watkins, and other straightgoods pals, so will likely pop by for a pint (sadly, they don't serve Beau's there... straightgoods should really consider this the next time they select an Ottawa watering hole for an event).
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Miss Vicky is late to the party... a few bloggers have already pointed to the mayor's long-awaited blog.
Now that the initial shock at the talking, golf-shirted Larry popup has worn off, Miss Vicky is... well.... underwhelmed. Any thoughts, faithful legion?
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