Brown Bear owner wants a level playing field for private daycares

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tamara Brown (photo above by Barry Gray) owns the three Brown Bear Day Care centres in Stittsville. In Part 1 of our interview, she explained how all-day kindergarten is hurting daycare centres in our area.  

In Part 2, she gives an overview of several other issues affecting her and other local day care facilities, including new provincial licensing standards and different rules for non-profit vs. private centres in how funding and subsidies are allocated.

We’d like to hear from other parents and childcare providers about their experiences with daycare, and how the various issues are affecting you. You can email us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca or add your comments below.

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Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre proposed for West Carleton

Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre wants to build a new facility at 1883 Bradley Side Road.  The City has received new proposals for a zoning by-law amendment and official plan amendment that would allow for a 30-bed facility for youth aged 13 to 21 years of age with substance abuse issues.

Bradley Side Road is just northwest of the intersection of Richardson Side Road and Huntmar Drive, backing onto the Thunderbird soccer domes and golf course. Continue reading


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A message from the principal of Munster Elementary

(The following letter was sent out by the principal of Munster Elementary School today.)

Good afternoon,

Now that our accommodation review for Munster Elementary School is completed, we are pleased to tell you that Munster Elementary school will continue to operate as a Junior Kindergarten through Grade 5 Regular English Program school for the 2015-2016 school year. We continue to welcome new registrations at the school, and we encourage you to register your children as early as possible. Continue reading


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West Ridge mailbox location is dangerous for pedestrians, says resident

City of Ottawa staff acknowledge that a section of West Ridge Drive isn’t up to current pedestrian safety standards, but there are no plans to fix it.

Most of West Ridge has sidewalks on both sides of the road, but one section that doesn’t is a stretch of about 160 metres on the west side between Sable Run Drive and Steggall Crescent. That sidewalk-free stretch is also home neighbourhood’s community mailbox. Continue reading


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An a capella double double at Gaia Java on Friday

Northern Stars Barbershop Chorus and ‘Cuppa Joe’ Vocal Jazz Quartet both play at Gaia Java on Friday, February 27.

So as you may or may not know, the owners of Gaia Java both met singing in an a cappella group (and have on rare occasions performed together in the shop!) As a result we have a very sympathetic ear for other ensembles who enjoy creating chords and songs using only their voices. Continue reading


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Meet the family behind the new An Restaurant

(Photo: Taking a break from last minute preparations is Chef/Owner Cuong Tran (center) flanked by Ann Lu (left) and wife Kim Lu  (right.) Photo by Barry Gray.)

The long-awaited “An” restaurant on the east side of Carp Road near Hazeldean is set to open on Wednesday, February 25, and the family who owns it brings a wealth of restaurant experience to the venture.

Cuong Tran tells StittsvilleCentral.ca that his parents own a restaurant in the city of Dalat in Vietnam.  Tran’s wife Kim Lu’s family has had operated five restaurants in Canada since 2005, including two in Ottawa (Thi Fusion and Pho Mi Bo Ga), Saigon Delights in Carleton Place, and Pho Fusion in Newmarket, Ontario and Vernon, British Columbia.

Cuong’s mother-in-law Ann Lu will be the head chef. She has over 20 years experience in the restaurant business, mostly with the restaurants listed above.

Tran says they chose to open in Stittsville because of family.  They have three young kids (a girl and two boys).

“We have learned that Stittsville is a fast growing community, and best for family,” he says.  They currently live in Barrhaven but are planning a move to Stittsville soon.

“The idea is to bring service to the local community, since our city is getting bigger and bigger. People won’t have to travel far to get what they want,” he says.

“Our menu will feature Vietnamese famous beef noodles which are called Phở, and a variety of other Vietnamese noodle soups, DIY wrap & roll with meats and seafood on the grill, Thai stir fried dishes, and soup.  And a sushi bar as well.”

The licensed restaurant will be open Sundays-Wednesdays from 11:00am to 8:00pm, and Thursday-Saturday from 11:00am-9:0pm.

An restaurant on Carp Road
(Photo by Glen Gower.)

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New community association formed for southwest Stittsville

About 30 people attended a meeting at Stittsville United Church on Monday night to establish a community association for the southwest area Stittsville.

Jillian McKim, one of the organizers, said a formal community association will give more weight to community concerns at an upcoming Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing in April about a disputed development property at 6279 Fernbank Road.

McKim said she also hoped the association would contribute to the community in other ways, for example holding community events or starting a Neighbourhood Watch, and addressing resident concerns such as parking and traffic.

The association’s boundaries are roughly from Fernbank in the South to the Trans Canada Trail in the north, between West Ridge and Stittsville Main.  The residents say that’s roughly the water catchment area affected by development at 6279 Fernbank, along what used to be known as the old Fernbank Creek.

City councillor Shad Qadri said that he opposes the development at 6279 Fernbank as it stands.  He says the City’s planning department has not approved the development because they are not satisfied with the environmental studies and technical information provided by the developer, J.P. Chenier, as part of the plan.

He says it’s now up to the OMB to decide at the hearing whether or not the information they’ve provided is adequate to proceed with the development.

Several volunteers agreed to take on roles in the new association, including Catherine Fafrowicz as secretary, Jennifer De Sa as treasurer. and Sheri Vermette and Jillian McKim who will serve as co-chairs. The group will meet again in the next couple of weeks.

The community association will be a party along with the City of Ottawa in the OMB hearing about 6279 Fernbank that begins on April 20.   The association is hoping to find volunteers with knowledge in engineering, water management, and planning/design who can assist with preparing for the OMB hearing and presenting their case in front of the board.  Keldine FitzGerald is the contact for interested individuals, and can be reached at keldine@keldine.ca.

McKim advised residents to start taking time-stamped photographs of conditions inside and outside their homes, especially water levels.  She says photographic evidence can be presented to the OMB that shows adverse impact of the neighbouring development.

“If your basement backs up when it rains or spring thaw, you need to take a picture,” she says. The group is also looking for any historical photos that residents have on file.

 


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LETTER: Developer’s explanation at odds with previous info

Re: UPDATE: Developer says Fernbank tree clearing needed for accurate testing data

The developer’s lawyer’s response to your query is at variance with what we were told.  When we enquired about the need for such large pads, we were told that they were required to support the drilling equipment and various other ancillary gear, such as generators.  The extensive road network was, of course, required so that the construction equipment could (a) remove the trees; (b) remove the organic matter (i.e., the peat); and (c) move and compact the fill necessary to build those roads and pads.

The original proposal for the hydrogeological “water balance” study submitted to the developer by Golder Associates (engineering firm) was buried in a large packet of affidavits submitted just prior to the OMB pre-hearing conference, and made no mention of the reason for the pads and the extensive road network.  The City’s experts did not question the amount of construction / destruction proposed by the developer, and clearly took the Golder expert proposal at face value.

The “water balance” study the City and the community asked for simply requested the developer to identify the source and quantity of water entering and leaving the site, to obtain a clear picture of the amount of water (storm and otherwise) that needed to be handled by the storm sewer infrastructure.  There was nothing in the request about having to do any construction on the site to get this information.  It’s obvious that the developer’s engineers do not understand that the water that has been observed on the site is flowing water that enters the site from off-site sources at the south, near the McKim’s property on Fernbank and leaves the site by draining into a storm sewer inlet at the Elm Crescent end of the Hemlock road allowance.  The water does not appear to drain into the adjacent Urban Natural Feature, in fact, the opposite seems to be true.

It is also clear that the developer’s experts and engineers have no understanding of the natural function of the wetland on this site.  From many years of observation, the Community has come to understand that the wetland functions as a natural storm water storage area.  Its elevation is significantly lower than that of the surrounding areas, and thus has become a complete storm water management system, constructed by nature instead of by man.  It stores large amounts of water, and gradually releases it into the underlying aquifer, with the excess flowing into Poole Creek.

The community has, on several occasions, including the 2002/2003 OMB hearing, tried to explain this natural function to the developer’s and the City’s experts, only to have these words fall on deaf ears.  This wetland does not fit into the experts’ textbook learning or the Ontario Storm Water Management Design manual, so it obviously can’t possibly be a storm water management system. 

It’s interesting to note that the site was once part of “Fernbank Creek”, and was shown as such on old topographical maps.  Fernbank Creek drained into Poole Creek.  It stopped being a creek when the streets and ditches of Cypress Gardens Phase II were laid out in the early 1960’s.  Until the storm sewer system along Elm Cres. was constructed in the early 1990’s, drainage to Poole Creek was by means of an extensive ditch system that nearly always had water in it.

I am particularly concerned that the City failed to engage the Community when the tree removal permit was applied for, and I am also concerned that the developer has proceeded with site preparation without having obtained the necessary subdivision approvals.  The City is hiding behind the concept of “the owner of a private property can do anything he likes, other than tree removal or building a swimming pool or putting up a building larger than 100 square feet”.  Why is the City unable to enforce the “Protection” part of an EP zoning?  Why does the City’s zoning bylaw allow building in an EP zone at all? 

Gerry Kroll, Stittsville 


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Police RIDE program out on the Trans Canada Trail last night

The Ottawa Police R.I.D.E. program was out on the Trans Canada Trail near Stittsville last night, looking for impaired snowmobile drivers.

Tony Hagan of the Ottawa Police tells StittsvilleCentral.ca that it was a quiet night. Four roadside breath tests were administered but all came back negative with zero alcohol registered.

Eight tickets were issued, all in relation to licensing and documents as required under the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act according to Hagan.


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Bryan Adams stopped in at Quitters on Saturday afternoon

UPDATE, MARCH 15:  Kathleen posted photographic evidence of the visit to her Instagram account. “Yes he did love my vegan carrot loaf.”
Bryan Adams and Kathleen Edwards

 

It’s the biggest celebrity sighting in Stittsville since Rich Little dropped in at the Timmy’s a few weeks back.

Music superstar Bryan Adams stopped by Quitters Coffee on Saturday afternoon, and had a coffee with owner/musician Kathleen Edwards. Continue reading


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EDITORIAL: Good neighbours need to communicate, even developers

(Above: Part of the land cleared recently at 6279 Fernbank Road, south of Elm Crescent. Photo taken February 14, 2015.)

If I’m going to build a new deck in my backyard, or put up a fence, or cut down a tree right next to my neighbour’s property, I’m going to tell them about it first.  We’ll probably have a discussion.  My neighbour will want to know why I’m doing the work, and how it’s going to affect them.

Good neighbours communicate.

And when they don’t, you end up with situations like the one we’re seeing on the development property at 6279 Fernbank Road. Neighbouring residents in the Cypress Gardens area are upset because a huge swath of trees is being cleared so that the developer, J.P. Chenier,  can conduct environmental testing.

To be clear, the developers (J.P. Chenier, along with Cavanagh Construction who is assisting in the process) appear to have done everything by the book. They’ve submitted engineering plans for the testing and received a tree cutting permit from the City of Ottawa. As required under city rules, they notified residents about the work in advance by dropping a letter in their mailbox.

But while they may be fully compliant with all the regulations, they’ve failed to have a meaningful dialogue with residents to address their concerns.

Residents have contacted the developer several times since receiving the tree cutting notice to ask questions and have asked for a meeting. They want an explanation about what work is involved and why it’s being done.  They have safety concerns about the number of trucks coming through the area, the amount of noise the construction work is causing, and potential damage to wildlife habitat.

While they agree that some trees need to be cleared for testing, they believe the area being cleared is far bigger than what’s absolutely necessary.

Even if the work is completely justified, the residents still deserve an explanation. The lack of engagement from the developers is only breeding distrust, stress and anger amongst the neighbours.

“If they would even discuss or advise us of the schedule, it would help,” wrote one neighbour in an email to us earlier this week.

StittsvilleCentral.ca was able to obtain an answer to one of the residents’ questions this week, through a lawyer representing the developer. (Read more here.)

But it shouldn’t take a journalist’s request to get neighbours to talk to one another.

Note: This article was updated to include clarification of Cavanagh’s role in the development.


Residents in the area are planning a meeting on Monday, February 23 to form a community association in advance of the OMB hearing. The meeting is at 7:00pm at Stittsville United Church (corner of Fernbank and Stittsville Main). More info here…

What do you think?  Add your comments below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


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Heritage enthusiasts encouraged to join museum board

(Press release from the Goulbourn Museum.)

Combine a love of heritage with your personal skills and play a role in the success of Goulbourn Museum.

The Museum is governed by an elected Board of Directors which meets in the morning on the second Thursday of every month. The Board currently has two vacancies and is seeking members of the community who share a pride in Goulbourn’s heritage to join the Board, or to nominate someone else for candidacy.

A Call for Nominations explaining the application process and a copy of the Museum’s By-laws have been posted to the Museum’s website (http://goulbournmuseum.ca/connect/volunteer/). The website also contains a list of current Board members.

To apply, candidates are asked to provide a statement describing the skills, knowledge and experience they can offer the Goulbourn Museum. This should be addressed to the attention of the Nominating Committee and submitted to the museum by April 1, 2015. Elections will take place at the Annual General Meeting of the Museum on the evening of Thursday April 23, 2015.

If you would like more information or have any questions about joining the Goulbourn Museum Board of Directors, please feel free to contact Curator-Manager Kathryn Jamieson at 613-831- 2393 or info@goulbournmuseum.ca.

Goulbourn Museum shares the story of Ottawa’s oldest military settlement and early life in the former Goulbourn Township. Located just south of Stittsville in Ottawa’s west end, Goulbourn Museum houses a diverse collection of artefacts and many interactive exhibitions. These include The 100th Regiment of Foot, dedicated to the soldiers who settled Goulbourn Township in 1818; Goulbourn Township’s Pioneers, about early life in the communities; and The Village Store where children can dress in costume to barter or shop for supplies.


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UPDATE: Developer says Fernbank tree clearing needed for accurate testing data

(Above: Some of the land that’s been cleared in preparation for testing.  Photo taken on February 14, 2015.)

For more than a month, residents living near 6279 Fernbank have been asking why such a large area of trees needs to be cleared for environmental testing on the development property. Borehole drilling at other development sites hasn’t required such extensive tree clearing.

StittsvilleCentral.ca received a response from the landowner’s lawyer this week: Continue reading


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