Some simple precautions to keep bears away as hibernation ends

(ABOVE: Black bear near Hazeldean Road and Jinkinson Road, June 4, 2015. Photo by Kenny B Images.)

(We haven’t heard of any bear sightings in our area yet this season, but it wouldn’t be unusual for this time of year. Here’s a public advisory release by the Ontario Provincial Police.)

The Ontario government and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding people to take extra care not to attract bears to their neighbourhood.

In some parts of the province, this year’s mild winter means black bears are coming out of hibernation early. Taking simple precautions can help prevent black bears from visiting your community. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Congestion pricing, cell phone tower, patio season

CONGESTION PRICING BACK ON THE RADAR
Looks like the debate over “congestion pricing” might be coming to City Hall in the near future. That’s the idea of using financial incentives (or disincentives) to decrease car use and increase transit ridership, particularly from the suburbs of Ottawa into the downtown core.

The four downtown councillors – Chernushenko, Leiper, McKenney and Nussbaum – commissioned a study that was presented at a symposium last week.

The study looks at the potential effects of four pricing models: highway tolls, “cordon” charges (a toll to enter downtown), parking rate changes and a gas tax increase. The authors conclude that raising the cost of parking downtown would be the most cost-effective tool: “The report concludes that while a cordon charge to enter the Ottawa central area could be more effective at accomplishing the stated objectives, the implementation costs given today’s technology would make it impractical. Tolling the highways was evaluated to be less effective given the possibility of leakage onto parallel arterial roads and the inability to address north-south traffic. The study notes important jurisdictional and other challenges regarding the feasibility of raising the gas tax and concludes that focussing on parking charges would be more useful in addressing congestion and increasing transit ridership. Although high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes were not examined in detail, the report suggests their feasibility could increase in light of provincial highway expansion plans.

“Managing congestion using pricing tools is increasingly recognized by cities worldwide as a way to increase transit ridership, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and address commuting frustration” says Chernushenko. “Our goal in commissioning this research and analysis from CPCS is to contribute to an ongoing conversation about how to best to encourage sustainable transportation and support our significant investment in LRT. This is a very important discussion for Ottawa to have.”

There are no immediate plans to move forward on any recommendations in the study, but it’s a debate that Stittsville commuters will want to keep an eye on in the months to come.

You can read the report here…

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CELL TOWER PROPOSED FOR IBER
Via Councillor Qadri: “Shared Network Canada (SNC) is proposing a 50m tri-pole communication tower to be constructed at 145 Iber Rd. The tower will be used to offer space to multiple cellular carriers to enhance and support their networks. A small fenced area with a walk-in cabinet will be constructed at the base of the installation. A public meeting will be held at the Main Hall of the Goulbourn Recreational Complex (1500 Shea Rd) on Wednesday, April 12th to help answer resident questions and concerns regarding the project.” There’s more info about the meeting here…

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590 HAZELDEAN ROAD ZONING
On April 11, the City’s planning committee will be considering a zoning bylaw amendment for 590 Hazeldean Road.  Currently zoned as agricultural land, the proposed change would allow for a residential development with parks, a school and commercial areas.  The initial consultation for the zoning change happened way back in late 2013 / early 2014, but the item is only now coming in front of councillors.

The staff report prepared for the meeting describes the land as “vacant”, but that’s not really accurate. The word suggests empty, worthless land.  In this case it’s quite the opposite. Until a few years ago it was home to an active farm, and the Bradley-Craig heritage house and barn are still standing along Hazeldean Road.  (The barn is supposed to be relocated soon to Saunders Farm.)

You can read the background documents here…

SIGNS OF SPRING


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Family establishes memorial page for Samuel Evie Marincak

The family of Sacred Heart student Samuel Evie Marincak has set up a memorial Facebook page to pay tribute to the teen, who died last week.  The page can be found at facebook.com/SamEvieMarincak/

“In memory of Samuel Evie Dimitri Marincak who passed away. We welcome the community to post their stories and happy memories. Either name or pronoun is accepted here as they were a genderfluid individual who went by all,” wrote Marincak’s sister Paige on the site. Continue reading


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EXTINGUISHED: Muraca On Fire food truck closes

(Frank Muraca and his two boys, Giovanni (left) and Dante (right) at the Muraca On Fire food truck in the Rona parking lot on Hazeldean Road. Photo Barry Gray.)

Posted this week on Muraca’s Facebook page:

“The Muraca family would like to inform everyone that we will not be serving our food this year. We definitley are going to miss all our customers, we truly enjoyed the experience of serving so many people. My greatest satisfaction was seeing the boys operating the business on their own and the pleasure we had watching people enjoy our food. As some of you know, we will be shifting our efforts towards the food trailer fabrication. Thanks to everyone.”

Frank Muraca owns the food truck, and the name is inspired by his full time profession as a firefighter.  We profiled Muraca and his sons back in July 2017 on StittsvilleCentral.ca…


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Fire on Fowler Street in Richmond displaces family of five

UPDATE: Neighbours have set up a fundraising page to help the family displaced by the fire: “The Purdy family from Richmond ON suffered a devastating loss yesterday when a fire completely destroyed their home. My son attends school with one of their children and I have reached out to the family to see where assistance is most needed. They are extremely appreciative and a little overwhelmed at the outpouring of community spirit. They are currently figuring out the logistics of where they will live, etc so although donations of clothing and furniture are thoughtful, at this point in time the family has nowhere to store anything. This page has been set up so that those who wish to help can provide some financial relief to the family during a very difficult time. There may be other ways to donate/help in the future, this is just a starter so that they can purchase the basic necessities for their family for the time being.”

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(via Ottawa Fire Services)

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) received a call from a resident at 3:02 p.m. indicating that there was thick black smoke coming from their home at 27 Fowler Street in Richmond.  The caller confirmed that there were no persons inside the residence.  Continue reading


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Names for recreation building and parks approved by committee

(press release via City of Ottawa)

The City’s Community and Protective Services Committee approved today a proposal to rename the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to “Cardel Rec – Goulbourn.” The new name is part of a sponsored naming rights agreement with Cardel Homes, a local home building company celebrating its 20th year in Ottawa. Continue reading


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PHOTO: Sunset on Huntley Road

Thanks to Kiera Delgaty-Pak for sending along this photo: "I was driving home from South Carleton H.S. at 7:30pm Tuesday evening and absolutely had to stop and take a picture of this beautiful sunset. Spring is finally here!"

Thanks to Kiera Delgaty-Pak for sending along this photo: “I was driving home from South Carleton H.S. at 7:30pm Tuesday evening and absolutely had to stop and take a picture of this beautiful sunset. Spring is finally here!”

(We love seeing photos from in and around our community. Please send your best pics to us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca)


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UPDATE: Committee approves re-zoning for farmers’ market

Good news: The City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee unanimously approved re-zoning for Village Square Park that will allow for a farmers’ market to operate starting this June.

Leading up to the meeting, city staff received 15 comments from the public about the re-zoning, with all in favour except for one. That may not sound like a lot of feedback, but it’s actually quite high for a relatively benign zoning change. Continue reading


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Sacred Heart adds a new life to Night of the Living Dead

(Photo: From left, lead actor Daniella Atkinson, drama teacher Matt Muirhead and student director Nicholas Rocque.)

If you wanted a story about a zombie apocalypse, you could just watch the Walking Dead. But Sacred Heart’s upcoming school play adds something new to the formula.

Night of the Living Dead, the original ‘60s George Romero classic, is coming to the centre stage of Sacred Heart high school from March 29-31 April 19-21 in a specially adapted version.  Continue reading


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LINKED: Waste Management scraps plan to accept Quebec garbage

CBC reports today that Waste Management is backing away from its plans to accept Quebec waste at the Carp Road landfill facility:

A proposal to allow construction waste from Quebec to be dumped at a processing facility in Carp has been trashed.

Waste Management Canada had sought and won approval from Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal on March 1 to transfer construction and demolition waste from western Quebec to the Ottawa processing and recycling facility at 2301 Carp Rd.

The city announced last week it planned to appeal the decision.

But on Monday Waste Management said after talking with city officials, the company is backing away from the plan.

“After discussing the matter with the city and the ministry, we have decided not to proceed with our proposal to include portions of Quebec within the service area for the West Carleton Environmental Centre and … we will as soon as practicable take such steps as are necessary to amend the [Environmental Compliance Approval] accordingly,” said spokesperson Wayne French in a letter to city councillors and community stakeholders.

During public consultations on the plan last year, members of the public raised concerns about increased truck traffic flowing over the bridge into Ottawa, and worried Ottawa could become a dumping ground for other regions.

Read the full story…


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Planning primer aims to demystify development

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a site plan and a zoning amendment, or tried to decipher acronyms like CDP, CoA and OMB, there’s an event in Stittsville on Thursday, April 6 that will be right up your alley.

Councillor Shad Qadri and City of Ottawa planning staff are hosting a Planning Primer at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (Hall A) from 6:30pm-9:30pm.

The three-hour session will be a condensed version of a two-day workshop that usually runs downtown at City Hall.  (This may actually be the first time that they’ve brought such an event to the suburbs.)

Qadri says planning staff will be explaining a variety of common topics specific to Stittsville including the process behind tree removal, the implementation of the Fernbank Community Design Plan (CDP), and an overview of the Ontario Municipal Board’s appeal process, to name a few. (Here’s an agenda.)

Seating is limited and will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Reserve your spot by emailing Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca before March 31, 2017.


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Cardel Homes seeks naming rights for Goulbourn Rec Complex

(Goulbourn Rec Centre, May 2015. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The GRC could soon be known as the CRG if city councillors approve a $600,000 naming rights deal with Cardel Homes.

Next week, the City of Ottawa’s Community and Protective Services Committee will consider a proposal to change the name of the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to “Cardel Rec – Goulbourn”.  In return, Cardel would pay the City $40,000 for the next 15 years. Continue reading


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Multiple charges and arrests after raids at Magna Terra marijuana shops

(Inside Magna Terra on Iber Road. File photo.)

The owner of the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary chain is among seven arrested and charged after police raids on his two Ottawa dispensaries and a private home on Tuesday.

The raids resulted in the seizure of a loaded .44 calibre Desert Eagle handgun, marijuana and other drugs, cash, documents and computers and cell phones, according to Ottawa Police.   Continue reading


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