Petition opposes tree cutting from South March Highlands

(PHOTO: South March Highlights. Photo by Denise Deby.)

Trees are again being cut down in Ottawa’s South March Highlands. KNL is removing trees from 75-100 hectares of land in the Highlands, one of Ottawa’s most biodiverse areas, in preparation for construction. They’re required to take measures to mitigate against harming species at risk (including Blanding’s turtles, Least bitterns and butternut trees) and other wildlife.

Residents are concerned, though, that destroying the trees now will destroy hibernating wildlife and their habitat, including shelter and food sources. Some have started a petition, available here.

The petition is directed to the owners of Richcraft and Urbandale (the companies behind KNL), the mayor and city councillor, and the Ontario minister of natural resources and forestry. On Monday, January 23, 2017, a group of citizens will take the petition to City Hall (12:30 p.m. at the Lisgar Street entrance–weather permitting–or the information booth in the main atrium).

The Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital has also sent a letter to Mayor Watson, emphasizing the significance of the area, the harm being done to this ecologically important area, and the need to take action to protect the city’s natural spaces.

This tree cutting is happening in the context of a long struggle to protect the area from development. Citizens’ and environmental groups’ actions and support have slowed but not prevented the loss of ecological, geographical and cultural heritage.

(This post originally appeared on Green Living Ottawa.)

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Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson is publishing updates on the tree clearing on her web site. Here’s the latest from January 17:

City environmental and forestry staff visited the KNL worksite last Friday with KNL’s Biologist and Site Supervisor.

At the north end of the site, adjacent to Terry Fox Drive, the remaining portion of the Goulbourn Forced Road realignment was cut last week.  The cutting only took one day, although the trees have yet to be removed from the site.  No issues.  The work was well done.

At the south end of the site, Ottawa Cedar has cut about 20 acres.  They are leaving a buffer of approximately 50 m adjacent to Goulbourn Forced Road as a visual screen.  Processing and removal of the cut trees has not yet begun, nor has installation of the turtle fencing.  Both activities require the construction contractor, Coluatti, to upgrade the access road into the site, which will likely occur this week.  We checked the boundary of the retained natural environment area.  The tree cutters are doing a good job of respecting it.

The tree cutters continue to implement the wildlife protocol.  There have been no issues to date.  Staff will re-visit the site again later this week.


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Fallowfield closed west of Eagleson after collision

UPDATE: Police now say one man is dead following the collision.

Fallowfield Road is closed between Eagleson and Shea after a car crash early Friday evening. Here’s info from the Ottawa Police and Ottawa Fire Services:

Ottawa Police: “The Ottawa Police Service would like to advise that Fallowfield Road is closed at this time  between Eagleson Road and Shea Road due to a two motor vehicle collision that occurred at approximately 7pm this evening. Ottawa Fire is on-scene.”

Ottawa Fire: “Fire fighters received notification from Police at 18:57 that there was an accident at the intersection of Fallowfield Rd and Eagleson Rd. On arrival, a chief officer notified dispatch that one of the vehicles was on it’s side and there was extrication required for victims in both vehicles. Fire fighters are actively working to free the occupants of the vehicles on scene with specialized equipment.”


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Police adjust front desk hours at Huntmar station

(via Ottawa Police)

On January 23, 2017, the Ottawa Police Service will be adjusting the hours at the Elgin, Huntmar, and 10th Line Front Desks so they are the same across the city and more in line with public demand. The new hours for all three Front Desks will be 7:00am-7:30pm, seven days a week.

In addition to the change in hours, some services that were previously offered by the three Front Desks will now be offered exclusively at our 2670 Queensview Drive location, namely copies of police reports and alarm payments. Queensview Drive is opened Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 5:00pm; check ottawapolice.ca<https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/contact-us/find-a-police-station.asp> for various services hours.

The three Front Desks will continue to operate the Collision Reporting Centres, take police reports, accept applications for background checks, process sign-ins, and assist with vehicle releases.

What our changes mean for the public…

On weekends, Huntmar and 10th Line will have extended their service by over 4 hours, while Elgin will be reducing its hours by 1hour and 30 minutes – making our Front Desk services more widely available across the City.

Residents requesting copies of police reports, or to make alarm payments in-person must attend 2670 Queensview for these services. Alarm payments will continue to also be taken by phone.

As we continue to improve our processes, these services will no longer be available at our other Front Desks.

In the coming months, a new online application for police records checks will be available for residents of Ottawa. The application is currently being tested with selected users at Queensview.

After April 19, 2017, in-person background check applications will only be accepted at 2670 Queensview Drive.

Did you know?
Records checks and collision reporting account for over 50% of the requests made by the public at our Front Desks; less than 5% of the requests are related to copies of police reports and alarm payments. Additionally, demands from the public peak between 9:00am-5:00pm.


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Here’s what to expect during construction for Potter’s Key

Councillor Shad Qadri provided this recap of a public information session held earlier this week about construction for Minto’s Potter’s Key subdivision.  Highlights: construction vehicles can only access the site from Hazeldean Road, and blasting starts on Tuesday, January 17.   Tree cutting on the site began in the fall of 2016 and construction of the subdivision is expected to continue until December 2019.

Related: The deadline for comments on the Feedmill Creek rehabilitation plan is Sunday

*** Continue reading


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Splash pad planned for Deer Run Park

Councillor Shad Qadri announced plans for a splash pad for Deer Run Park in his weekly newsletter this week.

The $283,000 project would be funded from Stittsville’s cash-in-lieu of parkland fund. For new developments in the City of Ottawa, developers have the option to either build a park, or pay into the cash-in-lieu fund. The money can be used at the councillor’s discretion towards building and maintaining parks and equipment. This project would eat up just over half of the total that’s currently in the fund. Continue reading


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LINKED: John Brummell retires from the Stittsville News

(I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve run into John Brummell at local events.  The man is everywhere with his big camera. He is a real pro – just watch him in action at a recent photo shoot.   I’ll miss his patience, good humour and meticulous attention to getting every last name correct. Congrats on your retirement John. Hope to keep seeing you around the neighbourhood John! -GG.)

 

John Curry (who else!) wrote a fitting tribute to long-time Stittsville News photographer and reporter John Brummell, who retires on Friday.  Here’s a great piece from this week’s paper:

Community journalism in Stittsville and Goulbourn is losing an avid proponent and advocate.

That’s because long time Stittsville News reporter and photographer John Brummell is retiring as of this Friday, Jan. 13.

And while Friday, the 13th is considered by some as an unlucky day, nothing could be farther from the truth for John Brummell who is looking forward to retirement years in which he will do some of the things which he has not been able to do in a working career going back over 50 years and particularly in the community journalism part of that career, a part featuring lots of weekend and evening work.

So this will mean more time for gardening, one of the great passions in his life, for doing things around the house that he has not had time to do over the years, perhaps for some travel driving in the United States, for walking the dog and for simply enjoying life.

Read the full article…


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Blue Bamboo Yoga to close at the end of March

(Received this note today from the operators of Blue Bamboo Yoga in Jackson Trails. It’s always disappointing to see a local business shutting their doors, especially one that has been involved with local charities and fundraisers in our community. Owner Tina Ferrone also runs Beyond Yoga in Kanata, which will remain open.)

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we will be closing the Blue Bamboo Yoga studio on Sunday, March 26th. This has been a very difficult business decision to make.

We have been so grateful for the support of the Stittsville community since we took over ownership of the studio. A heartfelt thank you for building such a warm and caring community.

We are committed to continue to share the passion of yoga with our Blue Bamboo members through our sister studio Beyond Yoga Studio & Wellness Centre located at 66 Hearst Way in Kanata. A full complement of classes will continue to be offered at Blue Bamboo until March 26th.

We invite you to join us at Blue Bamboo on Sunday, March 26th for tea, treats and memories.

Sincerely,

Tina & The Blue Bamboo Yoga Team


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LETTER: Snowmobilers need to stay off my lawn

Earlier this winter I was sitting in my home office which looks North onto West Ridge Drive. I heard a snowmobile so glanced out the window to see the snowmobile (heading south) go through West Ridge Park and then cut across my lawn (as I live on the corner).

As I looked out the window to try to identify the snowmobile (plates) I saw a police car driving North on West Ridge.  So the police passed the snowmobile as the snowmobile was driving on my lawn.

The incidents of snowmobiles driving on our lawn was much greater when we moved in in 2014 but has seemed to drop.  This was the first incident this year.  Hopefully there isn’t another as I have a young son who often plays in the front yard.

Brad Waterman
West Ridge


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Stittsville’s GoodLife Fitness opens on January 10

(press release)

GoodLife Fitness will open the doors to its new Stittsville 24/7 co-ed on Tuesday morning at 5am, just in time for local residents to get started on their fitness resolutions for 2017. GoodLife Fitness associates and personal trainers will welcome new and prospective members for fitness orientations and consultations throughout opening day.

Continue reading


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Ottawa Police to hold info sessions about new community policing strategy

(via Ottawa Police)

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is hosting a series of public information sessions for residents to learn more about changes to its service delivery model.

These changes are part of a strategy called the Service Initiative (SI) Program, which is designed to improve how the OPS serves the community.

At the information sessions, residents will learn about their Community Police Officers, how to access policing services, where to direct concerns about safety in their neighbourhood, and more.

Three sessions are being hosted across the city. Spaces are limited (100 spots per session) so residents are asked to register online, starting today.

Date

Time

Location

Monday, January 16, 2017

7-8:30 pm

Nepean Sportsplex, Hall C and D

1701 Woodroffe Ave, K2G 1W2

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

7-8:30 pm

Kanata Recreation Complex, Upper Hall A

100 Charlie Rogers Place, K2V 1A2

Thursday, January 19, 2017

7-8:30 pm

Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex, Hiawatha Park Room

1490 Youville Drive, K1C 2X8

 

A number of changes have already been made to the OPS service delivery model – such as a new organizational structure for investigative units and the Strategic Operations Centre, a hub for frontline, day-to-day operations and acts as a virtual back-up for officers on the road.

Effective January 23, 2017, the OPS will be launching the last of the major SI restructurings, the new Frontline Deployment Model, which is aimed at improving community safety by making it easier to move resources across the city to where they are needed. The new model will also have more streamlined processes for partners and the public to access services.

For more information about the SI, visit ottawapolice.ca/serviceinitiative or email serviceinitiative@ottawapolice.ca.


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LINKED: Heartsick couple in their 90s separated by province’s rules

From Bruce Deachman in the Ottawa Citizen:

When Nancy Burgoin spoke to a nurse this week following her father’s first full day at Granite Ridge Care Community, a long-term healthcare facility in Stittsville, she was surprised to hear he’d spent much of his time in his walker, navigating the hallways.

After all, she says, at 94 and legally blind in one eye, Norman Davis typically leans to a more sedentary lifestyle.

But then she discovered exactly why her dad was out on the prowl: he was searching for his 91-year-old wife, Mae. “He couldn’t find her,” the nurse reported.

Norman and Mae Davis married on June 9, 1945, just a month after VE-Day, vowing then that only unto death would they part. He was 22, she was 19, and that end part probably seemed a lifetime away. Yet now, more than 70 years later and for the first time in their married lives, they live apart.

Sadly, the situation will likely worsen before it improves: because of provincial regulations regarding long-term healthcare facilities, Norman and Mae will remain separated for at least three more months, an absence Burgoin fears her heartsick father may not survive.

The reality of the couple’s possible separation came a week before Christmas, when they were living at a seniors’ residence in Stittsville. A room had freed up at Granite Ridge at the same time Mae’s name — but not Norman’s — reached the top of the waiting list.

Upon hearing the news, Norman, sitting at the kitchen table, said only, “Huh. So this is what society has come to. They’re going to separate us.”

Read the full article…


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NOTEBOOK: Business closures, Wiebe in India, Slide fee waived

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

END OF THE LINE FOR TWO LOCAL BUSINESSES
Blumenstudio, the florist/cafe that opened in August, has moved out of their space at the front of Capital Cabinetry on Stittsville Main. Owner Kat Kosk says it was a “business decision” to close. There weren’t enough customers at the store and she didn’t want to keep putting a strain on her existing Parkdale Avenue shop. Blumenstudio opened in August of 2016, and was supposed to share the space with a custom bike shop, but that never happened. Paul Idone, who owns Capital Cabinetry, says he plans to turn the space vacated by Blumenstudio into a showroom for his woodworking business, scheduled to open by the end of this month.

Cactus at blumenstudio
Cacti at blumenstudio

Fresco Bistro has shut down their Hazeldean Road restaurant. They first opened in Stittsville back in the fall of 2012. Their original Elgin Street location closes for good at 10pm tonight. “For us, [closing] was just about a stimulus for some change, and maybe get ourselves into a more profitable situation, in a different location, and under different circumstances,” owner Jim Bickford told CBC about their Elgin Street closure. “Rent’s gone up considerably, utilities are through the roof. I mean Hydro Ottawa is obscene at this time, I think, personally. But … those aren’t necessarily the determining factors in our decision, they’re just part of the decision.”

Fresco Bistro on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville
Fresco Bistro on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
After a pre-Christmas tour that that took her to three Canadian Army bases in Greece, Kuwait, and Ukraine, Stittsville Olympian Erica Wiebe is spending the month in Mumbia, India wrestling in the Indian Professional Wrestling League. She’s been posting some great photos from her travels to Instagram and Twitter.

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HELPING KIDS STRETCH THEIR ALLOWANCE DOLLARS
I don’t remember this as part of the city budget deliberations, but earlier this week Councillor Shad Qadri announced that the Goulbourn Rec Centre would be waiving (ha ha) the extra $1.25 fee to use the water slide.

***

TWEET TWEET TWEET

…plus one pic from Instagram…

***

(Got a story tip? Email us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca)


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Potter’s Key construction info session on January 11

(via Councillor Shad Qadri)

In efforts to continue communication with the neighbouring communities, Minto will be hosting a Potter’s Key Construction Information Session on Wednesday, January 11th.  The session will be at the Johnny Leroux Community Arena, Upper Hall (2nd floor), from 6:00-8:00 p.m. A presentation regarding the blasting program will be initiated by the contractors, providing attendees the opportunity to ask questions to Minto and their experts at the meeting. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Stories we’re watching in 2017

Let’s take out the crystal ball and look ahead at what 2017 may have in store for Stittsville…

CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Earlier this year we should hear from the Ottawa Senators about what they have in mind for Canadian Tire Centre once the Sens leave for Lebreton Flats. Last year, team owner Eugene Melnyk teased that the development would be an “entertainment-driven” transformation.  Whatever it is, any change will have a major impact on Stittsville and Kanata for jobs, transportation and economic development. Continue reading


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AROUND THE RINKS: Jackson Trails & Bryanston Gate skating updates

JACKSON TRAILS
The Jackson Trails Community Association is looking for volunteers to help set up and run a community skating rink.  The City of Ottawa has given the go-ahead for an ice puddle rink in Pioneer Plains Park.  The City provides a hose and the water, but maintenance is up to residents. If you’d like to help out, you can contact the group via Facebook or at jtcastittsville@gmail.com.

BRYANSTON GATE
Meanwhile next door in Bryanston Gate, the community association has launched a petition asking the City to re-open their their community warming hut. According to the petition: “The City of Ottawa has decided that the Bryanston Gate community warming hut needs to be locked unless supervised. Every other ODR in Kanata/ Stittsville is unsupervised. Our ODR used to be open from 9am-10pm unsupervised and we would like that back.” Bryanston Gate residents and rink users can sign the petition here…

(UPDATE JAN 5: Councillor Shad Qadri says that a supervisor has been found for the outdoor changeroom, and it will be open from Monday-Friday 3-8pm and weekends from 2-7pm starting Saturday, January 6.)


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Heritage house on Stittsville Main gets new life as interior design studio

(Photo:Jennifer McGahan in front of the building on Main Street that she has purchased and will renovate for her business. Photo by Barry Gray.)

After over a century as a private home, the old brick house at 1495 Stittsville Main will soon become the home of Jennifer McGahan Interiors.

McGahan made the announcement last week on Facebook: “I am thrilled to announce the next big step for Jennifer McGahan Interiors Inc. We are relocating the office to our new Stittsville Main Street location. We plan to restore this important heritage building to its original, and rightful beauty in the heart of the village. We plan to be respectful and true to the bones of the building, while improving the streetscape by adding our modern design touch. Opening April 2017!”

McGahan says she loves the history of the building and the family story connected to it.  She says that structurally the building is in good shape, and many original features remain. “We’re going to try keep as much as possible while we renovate. We want to keep it intact.”

The house belonged to the Lytle family for over 60 years.  Cathy Lytle told reporter Devyn Barrie about the history of the house in an interview last summer:  “It was built in 1900 from a bachelor and it was sold four years later to a young couple… he was a tinkerer and they raised their daughter, Evelyn. She took cancer and died and then the father died of old age and the mother died after she sold the house to my parents… she lived with my parents for five years, she had herself written into the deed, for one bedroom and three meals a day and they got along fine, until she passed away.”

The house doesn’t have official heritage designation, but it is on the City’s heritage registry, which lists buildings of historical importance.

McGahan takes possession in January, and hopes to have the renovations finished by April.  I’m thrilled to hear that this charming piece of our village history will get the attention and care it deserves. Congrats Jennifer!

1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.
Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.
Ab & Gwen Lytle's house, 1976. Photo from the Goulbourn Township Historical Society archives via Lesley McKay.
Ab & Gwen Lytle’s house, 1976. Photo from the Goulbourn Township Historical Society archives via Lesley McKay.

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