I am pleased to announce that Madelien Lang, a long-time resident of New Edinburgh has replaced me as Chair, Friends of New Edinburgh Park Committee of the New Edinburgh Community Alliance (NECA).
With its creation in June 1999, the Friends Committee adopted a challenging vision statement: To create a worldclass park. I wish to thank the founding members of the Friends Committee for their contributions toward this vision: Catherine Mirsky, Barbara Benoit, Gail Mceachern, Simon Clark, Peter Cock, Jennifer Tolton, Catherine Canning, Daphne Hope, past president of NECA and our current president, Gemma Kerr. I also thank former Councillor Richard Cannings for his support in creating the Friends Committee in 1999. I am most grateful for the continued support from Councillor Jacques Legendre and his staff. Finally, I am grateful for the tremendous support provided by the 500 registered members of the Friends of New Edinburgh Park Committee who continue to improve our park through their diligent efforts.
Not much has changed since my December report, except that winter seems to have arrived at last. While I don’t welcome ice on the roads and piles of city-delivered snow in my driveway, I am glad to see the canal ready for Winterlude, and our own community Winter Carnival go back to being a Skating Party.
An Open and Responsive NECA
I was reflecting recently on how I came to join the NECA Board. I was invited to join after being active with a residents’ group that was set up to protest perceived lack of openness and responsiveness on the part of NECA regarding developments on Stanley Avenue. Perceptions of this nature have periodically been an issue since I joined the Board, and I would like to report to you on three initiatives that we hope will improve matters.
Heritage & Development Committee Mandate
Development continues to be a strong focus of neighbourhood concern, and NECA’s Heritage and Development Committee reviews all development proposals that the City provides us information on (which is virtually all that are submitted). Members of this Committee are knowledgeable and hardworking, and often work to tight deadlines when City information is late in arriving. There have been occasional communication breakdowns, and we are addressing this by developing a mandate for the Committee that should ensure, among other things, that everyone is kept properly informed. More information is provided elsewhere on this page.
Sculpture Selection for Trail
Many of us were thrilled when the first sculpture on the new Ottawa Sculpture Trail (OST) was installed in our park. However, some reservations were expressed about lack of community involvement in selecting the piece displayed. When a new sculpture is chosen for the park in the Spring, the OST organizing committee will put together a shortlist of possible choices, and will showcase them at an Open House. That way, people who are interested can participate in the final selection.
Website Discussion Groups
With the addition in 2006 of a Discussion Groups section, where members of the community can ask questions and post comments on any topic of interest, the New Edinburgh Website has become an even better tool for communication and exchange of information. Webmaster Andrew Kerr is doing a great job, and I encourage anyone who is connected but has not yet visited our website to log on to www.newedinburgh.ca.
New Chair for Traffic Calming Committee
Finally, we welcome Julie Sunday to the position of Chair for the Traffic Calming Committee, and wish her and her Committee success. Traffic is shaping up to be a very important issue in the near future as large developments are implemented in nearby neighbourhoods.
This year’s Rideau River Clean Up marked (pardon the pun) a watershed in the evolution of this annual event, attracting a record number of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, and expanding the clean up effort well beyond our previous boundary at the Cummings Bridge to include stretches of the shoreline as far up river as Hog’s Back. The weather on clean up day was idyllic, with bright sun, a clear sky and a light breeze to entice volunteers to the river banks for a morning of painstaking and often mucky work collecting the accumulated garbage and debris of another long winter.
Aside from the glorious weather which falls into the category of good luck rather than good management, the success of this year’s event was largely the result of many months of preparatory planning by our Project Coordinator Catherine Canning. Catherine worked tirelessly to broaden the base of volunteers to include other communities and interest groups; to prepare both publicity materials and a wonderful assortment of Urban Rideau Conservationists’ paraphernalia such as URC T-shirts, cloth shopping bags and mugs; and to plan and implement the complex logistics of the event itself.
UNESCO established World Philosophy Day to foster independent thought and dialogue through enlightened philosophical reflection. With its report Philosophy: A School of Freedom, released in October 2007, UNESCO confirms that “by training free, reflective minds capable of resisting various forms of propaganda, fanaticism, exclusion and intolerance, philosophical education contributes to peace and prepares everyone to shoulder responsibilities in face of the great challenges of the contemporary world.”
To mark the third UNESCO World Philosophy Day, New Acropolis Ottawa, a local branch of the International Organization New Acropolis, will be organizing an exhibit, talk and video presentation on philosophy as a person-centered training accessible to anyone looking to better understand themselves and the world in which we live. As the Dalai Lama indicated during his recent talk in Ottawa, we can establish peace in our own lives and with those around us through the process of inner disarmament. The person-centered practice of philosophy consists of progressively disarming our inner conflicts, transforming them into harmonized strengths so that we can express ourselves with more authenticity and lead a better life.
Our event will be held at the Crichton Cultural Community Centre on Saturday, December 1, 2007, from 6 to 9 p.m. The centre is located at 200 Crichton (entrance around the back at 13 Avon Lane. Parking available on the street). For more information visit our www.worldphilosophyday.ca website or, to make a reservation, call (613) 265-7904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Bondy Public Relations Officer New Acropolis Ottawa (613) 265-7904
Many of us would not hesitate to pick up the phone if we witnessed a robbery, or an assault. These are obvious scenarios, but there are many others where the public seem to hesitate in calling the Police. There are many reasons why people sometimes refuse to call the police. Some of these are listed here:
The Police will not do anything anyway.
The criminals are far away by now.
It was only a small thing, I don’t want to waste their time.
I don’t have much information, so it won’t make a difference.
Somebody probably called already.
While the majority of crimes in New Edinburgh are not generally very serious, the repetitive type crimes that we do experience such as break and enters, or car thefts, are still very disturbing particularly if you are the victim. Every November through January, New Edinburgh experiences a spike in break and enters. Having precious possessions stolen or your home vandalized is very distressing, and the Police will make every effort possible to find the criminals and to return your possessions. But this is no CSI Miami.
Occasionally the criminals will leave behind fingerprints and footprints, but for the most part what we are dealing with is petty crime, so leave the fiction of CSI behind. What the the Police need are descriptions and patterns of criminal activity. That is why your call is so important.
On a number of occasions in New Edinburgh your calls have helped catch criminals in the act. No call is ignored because every call is important to establish descriptions and patterns. The police are here to help and protect your neighbourhood and city, so help them help the community. Make the call.
The numbers to call are:
For a crime in progress: 911
To report an incident: 613-236-1222
Neighbourhood Watch Notice
The following is a report from a sexual assault on Maple Lane, a neighbouring district. If anyone has any information contact the numbers below:
Ottawa - The Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault Child Abuse Section is investigating a sexual assault that occurred Friday, March 2, 2007. The incident occurred on Maple Lane at approximately 10:30 am as a woman was walking to her workplace. She was grabbed from behind and was sexually assaulted.
The male suspect was described as being approximately 5’7-5’9 in height, wearing a brown winter jacket with a fur-lined hood, dark blue pants and with an average build.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sexual Assault Child Abuse Section at 613-236-1222 ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 233-TIPS (233-8477) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.
November 7, 2007 Committee of Adjustment decision: "This application is granted subject to the variances applying to the existing garage and roof top deck and being restricted to the life of this structure only"