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1
Defence Watch / Blow stop signs? Run reds? It's deadly and expensive
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:00:22 PM »
Blow stop signs? Run reds? It's deadly and expensive

Ottawa and Gatineau police traffic officers will be stepping up enforcement at red lights and stop signs this month. It’s a potentially deadly practice, note members of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) and costly, too. Between 2012 and 2016, the 3,759 collisions involving running a red resulted in 1,562 people get hurt and killed four, […]

Ottawa and Gatineau police traffic officers will be stepping up enforcement at red lights and stop signs this month.


It’s a potentially deadly practice, note members of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) and costly, too.


Between 2012 and 2016, the 3,759 collisions involving running a red resulted in 1,562 people get hurt and killed four, police report. Meanwhile, the 3,129 collisions caused by failing to stop at a stop sign caused 995 injuries and three deaths.


A ticket for running a red will cost you $325 and failing to stop for a stop sign is $110 plus a penalty for both of three demerits.


Source: Blow stop signs? Run reds? It's deadly and expensive

2
Ottawa's urban farming leverages appetite for locally grown food

The modern face of farming in this region is changing. In a multi-part series, this paper looks at the evolution underway in agriculture and how it’s changing our rural and urban communities. ••• Neither heat-scorched drought nor record rainfall could dry up or dampen David Mazur-Goulet’s enthusiasm to be a successful urban farmer in Ottawa. […]

The modern face of farming in this region is changing. In a multi-part series, this paper looks at the evolution underway in agriculture and how it’s changing our rural and urban communities.


•••


Neither heat-scorched drought nor record rainfall could dry up or dampen David Mazur-Goulet’s enthusiasm to be a successful urban farmer in Ottawa.


BeetBox, a one-acre co-operative farm he and two other eco-centric, sustainable-food-producing enthusiasts established last year on Davidson’s Side Road in Nepean, defied weather challenges to produce a bountiful crop of about 30 soon-to-be, certified-organic vegetables for 106 customers who paid in advance to receive weekly or biweekly baskets of fresh produce.


The urban micro-farm’s VegBox CSA (community-supported agriculture) program sold out this year, and earned Mazur-Goulet and his business partners, Jeremy Colbeck and Lise-Anne Léveillé, $38,000 in revenue in its first year of operation.


It is a modest return, considering that the trio draw income from sales, and have to pay the National Capital Commission, which owns the 1,100-acre Greenbelt property on which the farm is located, $2,400 in monthly rent.


For now, the three BeetBoxers, who also work on the vegetable farm, earn a minimum wage. But Mazur-Goulet has high hopes that the business seed the co-op has planted on an acreage situated between Carling Avenue and the Ottawa River will soon reap rewards.


“We expect to be profitable by the end of our second year,” he says.


David Mazur-Goulet and his business partners, Jeremy Colbeck and Lise-Anne Leveille, earned $38,000 in revenue in their first year of operation.


BeetBox is among about 25 small-scale vegetable farms that lease land from the NCC. The farm also reflects a demographic trend, according to the NCC’s chief of agricultural and residential property management.


Geoff Frigon says that demand for urban farmland is increasing, particularly from prospective tenants in and around the millennial age-range of between 28 and 40 years old.


“What I’m hearing is that they don’t want to work in an office anymore and want to reconnect with the land,” he explains. “Some are done with their careers and want to try something different.”


Frigon says that he and members of his team receive “dozens of calls a week” from current and new urban farmers looking for land.


With less than a one per cent vacancy rate, competition for space is tight and the NCC screens applicants based on their farming knowledge and intent.


One with considerable experience that recently signed a 25-year lease with the NCC is Gourmet Acres, which, Frigon highlights, is one of Canada’s largest producers of cauliflower and broccoli. It relocated from Greely to a 660-acre parcel of land located at the intersection of Russell Road and Anderson Road in Ottawa’s east end.


Other NCC tenants include non-profit group Just Food, which runs a 150-acre farm on the west side of Blackburn Hamlet and offers a start-up program for budding farmers in the Ottawa region, and Youth Now Farm, which engages teenagers facing challenges in raising livestock and growing vegetables on a 70-acre plot of land on Russell Road in Carlsbad Springs.


Then there’s BeetBox, which is sowing the seeds for future growth.


BeetBox, a one-acre co-operative farm started last year on Davidson’s Side Road in Nepean, produces certified-organic vegetables.


Incorporated as a workers’ co-op in 2017, the vegetable farm has sold preference shares to nine other investors, excluding the three founders, which will provide a three per cent annual return starting in January 2019 for five years. The $32,500 raised will allow the farm to invest in equipment to expand to three acres next year and hire two more workers.


BeetBox bought the greenhouse on the land from the previous farm on the property known as Riverglen, and Mazur-Goulet, Colbeck and Léveillé live in the more than century-old, four-bedroom farmhouse. (Mazur-Goulet’s life partner, Kate Garvie, who runs her own one-acre organic vegetable farm called Heartbeet in Woodlawn, is also a resident.)


Lise-Anne Leveille of BeetBox manages international programs at USC Canada, which promotes sustainable small-scale farming globally.


“With our low margins, we have to be careful where we spend money to grow the business,” Mazur-Goulet says.


“We are also learning about the characteristics of the land, such as understanding the soil and what we need to add to it, and knowing where water may accumulate and where there is drainage.”


The 30-year-old Ottawa native, who was raised in Hintonburg, is a fourth generation branch of a family tree that leans toward agricultural.


His maternal great-grandfather, Louis Goulet, was a market-gardener in the Vanleek Hill area, and his paternal great-grandfather, Alexander Cottick, grew wheat in Dauphin, Man., home to many Ukrainian-Canadian immigrants.


Mazur-Goulet also briefly worked on a farm in Vermont in 2012 when he was pursuing a certificate in sustainable vegetable production from the University of Vermont.


But the idea for launching an urban farm sprouted from a market garden he started in 2014 in L’Ange-Gardien, near Buckingham, Que.


Mazur-Goulet called it The BeetBox, and grew and sold 25 different types of certified organic vegetables — from heirloom tomatoes and peppers to beets, cabbage and carrots — that are on the current BeetBox’s list of veggies for sale.



He got a sense of the appetite Outaouais residents have for locally grown vegetables and encountered an opportunity to advance his foray into farming at an eastern Ontario mixer for new farmers two years ago where he met Colbeck, who has a diploma in aerospace engineering from Carleton University and had previously worked at three market-garden farms, and Léveillé, who manages international programs at USC Canada, which promotes sustainable small-scale farming globally.


The three became fast friends, and recognized a chance to establish a farm co-op based on the changing agricultural landscape.


“We realized that the concept of the family farm was dying, and many people don’t have the money to purchase a large farm to keep that tradition going,” explains Mazur-Goulet, who earned diplomas in entrepreneurship and green business management from Algonquin College. “But we also knew that more and more people want local and fresh food, and thought that we could start something small in the city and grow the business little by little.”


David Mazur-Goulet.


The trio visited about 30 properties in the Ottawa-Gatineau region before settling on their current digs, based largely on the ability to live on the farm along with the bonus feature that it is also accessible by public transit.


They then prepared their business model. Rather than selling their vegetables at farmers’ markets, or to grocery stores and restaurants, BeetBox’s founders decided to pre-sell their VegBoxes through two options. From December to June, customers either pay $530 to receive 16 boxes a week from late June to early October, or $280 for eight boxes every two weeks during the same period, and pick them up either at the farm or at the Kanata North Community Hub at 400 March Rd.


“The idea behind our approach to community-supported agriculture is simple yet elegant,” Mazur-Goulet explains. “Members of the community want fresh vegetables in the summer, and pay in advance for that privilege and to support us purchasing the materials and supplies that we need to grow the food and pay ourselves a fair wage.”


There are some restrictions and risks associated with the VegBox program. Customers don’t get to choose which vegetables are included in their baskets. And if crops get damaged by flooding, drought or hail, there also may be fewer greens and legumes in the VegBox.


“We hope that our clients support us through the tough times,” says Mazur-Goulet. “They share the bounty and share the risk.”


However, it may not be as much of a gamble in the future.


Signs all around the large NCC plot of land note that farmers have arrived.


BeetBox plans to add raspberries and strawberries to its basket, and diversify its offerings.


“We’re looking at selling eggs, chicken and beef in the future,” Mazur-Goulet says.


Bringing the farm to the city reflects the desire of people to both produce their own food and be close to the people that do, says the NCC’s Frigon, who was raised in a family that ran greenhouses in Leamington, Ont.


“The family farm started changing in the early ’60s, when big farms started buying out small farms for the sheer reason of feeding as many people as possible. What we’re now seeing is a response to that; we’ve lost that relationship with our food producers and now want to go back to where people in the community can get to know farmers and their techniques and feel comfortable that their food is being produced in a sustainable, environmentally friendly and financially viable way,” he explains.


“We’re in a unique situation with the Greenbelt. Within a 30-kilometre radius, there are over 100 farms and over a million people who have access to them. Between 15 and 20 minutes, you can drive to almost every farm the NCC has.”


BeetBox in brief


• BeetBox’s growing season runs from March, when the planting of beets, lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots and green onions begins in the greenhouse. In May, the farming shifts to the field where sugar snap peas, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, green beans, winter squash, butternut squash, basil, cilantro and dill are grown. (The butternut squash is grown as part of a plant-breeding program to develop a squash specific to the Ottawa region.)


• VegBoxes sell for $530 for 16 weekly boxes or $280 for 8 boxes every two weeks


• In its first year of operation, BeetBox earned $38,000 in revenue and raised $32,500 in preferred shares from investors


Source: Ottawa's urban farming leverages appetite for locally grown food

3
Glass in Ottawa's LRT stations could lead to more bird deaths, activist says

The extensive amount of clear glass surrounding the city’s new Light Rail Transit stations poses a serious threat to the city’s bird population, says an Ottawa activist. Anouk Hoedeman, founder of Safe Wings Ottawa, which lobbies to make structures in the city safe for birds, says Ottawa sees more than 250,000 bird deaths annually as […]

The extensive amount of clear glass surrounding the city’s new Light Rail Transit stations poses a serious threat to the city’s bird population, says an Ottawa activist.


Anouk Hoedeman, founder of Safe Wings Ottawa, which lobbies to make structures in the city safe for birds, says Ottawa sees more than 250,000 bird deaths annually as a result of clear glass on buildings.


“What we have in these stations is an awful lot of glass,” said Hoedeman. “We already have a big issue with birds colliding with buildings. These stations will pose a huge additional hazard to birds. There is no pattern on the glass, there is nothing to make them bird-friendly.”


Hoedeman also said the bright light levels inside the buildings at night will compound the problem. The bright lights will lure birds to the area, leading many to slam into the glass.


“Birds either see reflections of habitats in glass or they see through glass,” said Hoedeman. “They just don’t understand glass. If they see a reflection of a tree, they just think that is a tree.”


Hoedeman criticized the National Arts Centre expansion, saying that it also used plain clear glass that is detrimental to birds downtown.


However she warned, after watching the construction of several LRT stations, that the stations could be even worse for bird deaths because they are located in areas where there are high populations of birds.


Some buildings, such as a second-storey overpass at City Hall, have been forced to implement additional safeguards after a rising bird death toll.


In 2016, following a large number of bird deaths, city hall staff were forced to cover the overpass glass with paper to make it more visible to birds. The city later covered the glass with stickers, increasing visibility.


Other structures, such as the Place Bell at 160 Elgin St., includes lines through the glass that birds can see and avoid the building.


The City of Ottawa said Thursday that measures were being taken at the new LRT stations to mitigate bird deaths.


“With the high number of birds killed every year in Ottawa in collisions with glass and glass-like structures, the City of Ottawa felt it was important to try and address this in its LRT planning,” the city said in an email attributed to Steve Cripps, director of O-Train construction. He is quoted as saying that builder Rideau Transit Group’s architects and planners “are well aware of the serious threat (and) took several steps to incorporate this knowledge into their designs.”


He said the stations will work to lower lighting levels, employ overhangs and limit reflective glass. Vegetation around the stations will also be limited in a bid to keep birds further away from the train stops.


But Hoedeman was not convinced.


“I have not been reassured by anything that they have told me,” said Hoedeman. “From what I’ve see in the stations downtown, they all look pretty lethal to me. I’m looking at all that glass and it is not bird-friendly glass. I’m still quite concerned that this is going to be a big problem.”





Source: Glass in Ottawa's LRT stations could lead to more bird deaths, activist says

4
Defence Watch / Suspect sought in sexual assault at Algonquin College
« on: October 24, 2018, 03:18:20 AM »
Suspect sought in sexual assault at Algonquin College

A woman in her 20s was sexually assaulted as she slept in an Algonquin College lounge early on Oct. 14. Police are now asking the public to help them identify a suspect who was captured on surveillance cameras coming from a nearby OC Transpo station and walking the hallways of the building. Patrol officers were […]

A woman in her 20s was sexually assaulted as she slept in an Algonquin College lounge early on Oct. 14.


Police are now asking the public to help them identify a suspect who was captured on surveillance cameras coming from a nearby OC Transpo station and walking the hallways of the building.


Patrol officers were called to the Woodroffe Avenue campus at 3:40 a.m.


The suspect is described as white, in his late 20s or early 30s with a slim, fit build. He was wearing an orange baseball cap with a small black logo on the front, a dark jacket, white T-shirt and light blue jeans.


Ruth Dunley, a spokeswoman for Algonquin College, said the school routinely has “security patrols in that area and security has increased their vigilance in this area since the incident.”


Students, however, were not notified of the reported sexual assault by the school itself, she said. The college only informs students when it believes there is an “imminent threat” to the school population or campus. The college is co-operating with the police investigation and is taking direction from police.


Related



Anyone with information is asked to call West Criminal Investigations at 613-236-1222 ext. 2666. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.


Source: Suspect sought in sexual assault at Algonquin College

5
Focus Afghanistan / Alim Qasimov Ensemble
« on: October 23, 2018, 02:11:50 AM »
Alim Qasimov Ensemble

Alim Qasimov and his daughter Fargana exemplify the explosive artistic energy that results when a powerful musical model ignites the spark of young talent. Fargana Qasimova’s talent gravitated toward the music she heard from her father: Azerbaijani classical music, known as mugham, and the repertoire of bardic songs sung by ashiqs, modern-day troubadours and singer-songwriters.


The Qasimovs are accompanied by a quartet of young musicians whose talent was shaped both by formal music education and immersion in Azerbaijani oral tradition.


Alim Qasimov vocal, daf | Fargana Qasimova vocal, daf | Rauf Islamov kamanche | Zaki Valiyev tar | Rafael Asgarov balaban, clarinette | Javidan Nabiyev naghara


Alim Qasimov and his daughter Fragana
Alim Qasimov Ensemble
Name of AKMI School/Country: 
Azerbaijan

Source: Alim Qasimov Ensemble

6
Focus Afghanistan / Aga Khan Development Network brochure
« on: October 22, 2018, 02:00:31 PM »
Aga Khan Development Network brochure

The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, international, non-denominational agencies working to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in specific regions of the developing world. The Network’s organisations have individual mandates that range from the fi elds of health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise. Together they collaborate in working towards a common goal – to build institutions and programmes that can respond to the challenges of social, economic and cultural change on an ongoing basis. This brochure introduces the Network’s principal agencies and provides an overview of their activities and goals. This publication is also available in French, Arabic and Portuguese.



Source: Aga Khan Development Network brochure

7
Forecast: Chance of flurries and gusty winds, flurries and showers for Monday

The good news is that the oppressive heat of the summer has left the building for good, it seems. The only humidity will be in the form of showers, and possible flurries over the next few days. Environment Canada is saying that Sunday will be mainly cloudy, with a 30 per cent chance of flurries […]

The good news is that the oppressive heat of the summer has left the building for good, it seems. The only humidity will be in the form of showers, and possible flurries over the next few days.


Environment Canada is saying that Sunday will be mainly cloudy, with a 30 per cent chance of flurries in the morning. The strong winds of the past few days will continue to be out of the northwest at 30 km/h gusting to 50. The high of 3 C is quite a bit under the average for this date of 11 C.  The wind chill will feel like -8 C in the morning, and a low UV index of 2.


This evening will be partly cloudy, becoming cloudy near midnight. The low should be -1 C, with a windchill of -5.


The prediction for Monday, election day,  is for a 70 per cent chance of flurries changing to a 70 per cent chance of showers in the afternoon in a high of 6 C.


If you’re noticing diminishing daylight, you’d be right. The sunrise is 7:26 a.m. and the sun sets at 6:08 p.m. today.


 


Source: Forecast: Chance of flurries and gusty winds, flurries and showers for Monday

8
Defence Watch / Police seek help finding bank holdup suspect
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:14:11 PM »
Police seek help finding bank holdup suspect

Ottawa police are seeking public assistance in locating a suspect in an Oct. 9 bank holdup. In a news release Friday, police said the suspect entered a bank in the 2400 block of Bank Street, near South Keys Shopping Centre, and presented a teller with a note demanding cash. The suspect is described as a […]

Ottawa police are seeking public assistance in locating a suspect in an Oct. 9 bank holdup.


In a news release Friday, police said the suspect entered a bank in the 2400 block of Bank Street, near South Keys Shopping Centre, and presented a teller with a note demanding cash.


The suspect is described as a light-skinned black man 18-20 years of age, about five feet eight inches (173 cm) tall and with a thin build.


At the time of the holdup, he wore a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled tightly around his face, dark pants and black running shoes.


Anyone with information is asked to call Ottawa police robbery unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5116. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa police app.


Source: Police seek help finding bank holdup suspect

9
One arrest as Gatineau police recover property stolen in post-tornado break-ins

Gatineau police have recovered a number of items that are believed to have been looted from homes hit by the tornadoes that touched down on September 21. Police began the investigation after a resident lodged a complaint Oct. 13, claiming they had been the victim of a break-in at 35 Tassé St. In the following […]

Gatineau police have recovered a number of items that are believed to have been looted from homes hit by the tornadoes that touched down on September 21.


Police began the investigation after a resident lodged a complaint Oct. 13, claiming they had been the victim of a break-in at 35 Tassé St. In the following days, the complainant called back and reported that they had found many of the items that were allegedly stolen on an web-based classified site.


Police raided a residence on Lucien-Brault Street where they found some of the items from the original complainant, as well as a variety of items that they believe were stolen from the Mont Bleu area affected by the tornado.


Three people were taken into custody but two were released without charges.


The third individual was released with a promise to appear in court and will face charges.


Police also seized several items and are warning people who may have had items stolen during the tornado, that they may be contacted by police in the coming days to identify property that was reported stolen.


An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.


Police ask anyone with information to contact them at 819-246-0222.


Source: One arrest as Gatineau police recover property stolen in post-tornado break-ins

10
More than 56,000 people in Ottawa have voted ahead of the Oct. 22 municipal election

More than 56,000 people have voted in special polls and the traditional advance poll ahead of the Ottawa municipal election next Monday, providing some optimism for a better voter turnout than 2014. According to the city’s elections office, 41,163 people cast ballots on the advance voting day last Friday. Combined with the 15,754 people who […]

More than 56,000 people have voted in special polls and the traditional advance poll ahead of the Ottawa municipal election next Monday, providing some optimism for a better voter turnout than 2014.


According to the city’s elections office, 41,163 people cast ballots on the advance voting day last Friday.


Combined with the 15,754 people who voted over four days of special advance polls, there have been 56,917 people who have cast ballots so far in Ottawa’s municipal election.


A week before the 2014 election, 46,971 people had voted at special polls or the advance poll. There were three days of special advanced voting in 2014, in addition to the traditional advance voting.


The total voter turnout for the 2014 municipal election was 39.92 per cent.


The city has tried to increase opportunities for residents to vote in the municipal election by adding more advance polls in recent elections.


In one week, voters will go to the polls to elect a mayor and 23 councillors for a four-year term. People can also vote for a school board trustee for a four-year term.


On voting day Monday, polls will be open between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Anyone who doesn’t know where to vote can check on the city’s online Where Do I Vote? tool.


The winning candidates will take office on Dec. 1, 2018. The term ends on Nov. 14, 2022.


jwilling@postmedia.com


twitter.com/JonathanWilling


Source: More than 56,000 people in Ottawa have voted ahead of the Oct. 22 municipal election

11
Manotick couple's dog falls ill from suspected pot toxicity

A Manotick couple is warning other dog owners after their Golden Retriever fell ill with frightening symptoms that fit the warning signs of cannabis exposure. Jeff and Margaret Rowe were walking Annie in the area of Bracken Field at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when Annie seemed to nose and then eat something before they could […]

A Manotick couple is warning other dog owners after their Golden Retriever fell ill with frightening symptoms that fit the warning signs of cannabis exposure.


Jeff and Margaret Rowe were walking Annie in the area of Bracken Field at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when Annie seemed to nose and then eat something before they could stop her.


By 6:15 p.m. Rowe and his wife, a physician, could tell that something was wrong with the dog they’ve had since she was a 10-week-old puppy. When she couldn’t stand or respond, the couple rushed Annie to an emergency veterinary hospital.


Vets kept for the dog for observation and monitored her vital signs until late Sunday night. By Monday morning, Annie ran in circles as if being chased before collapsing. She wasn’t back to normal until later that afternoon.


Rowe wonders if a smaller breed would have survived the episode, which he links to a wad of a tar-like substance with plant matter in it he says he later found in the park and turned over to authorities.


With recreational marijuana being made legal starting Wednesday and “edibles” on the horizon, Rowe says he wants other pet owners to be cautious and for users to safely consume and dispose of substances.


Earlier this month, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association issued a warning that “the likelihood of your pet becoming exposed will increase as cannabis becomes more widely available.”


This week, the association issued a primer for pet owners outlining the signs of exposure, including wobbling, agitation, dilated pupils and inappropriate urination, salivating, vomiting, fast or slow heart rates and low body temperatures. They start within an hour or two of ingestion and may resolve within a day.


At high doses, seizures, comas and death can occur.


Since the scare with Annie, Rowe has written to city officials and alerted nearby dog owners and residents.


“The message is that this stuff is dangerous to animals,” he said. “With using it comes the responsibility of handling (it) in an intelligent way.”


In a media release Wednesday, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association pointed to a 2012 study showing a four-fold increase in cannabis toxicities in dogs between 2010 and 2015 in Colorado, where a 2012 referendum legalized pot.


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ poison control centre reported that there were more cases of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) poisoning even in states where it was illegal as cannabis use became more acceptable.


Decades-old studies show that dogs are proportionately more sensitive to THC than humans with small dogs most susceptible. Cats aren’t immune, but, as the vets note, they don’t typically scavenge and lack a sweet tooth like dogs.


Tim Arthur, an Ottawa vet with a background in emergency medicine and the Ontario representative for the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Council, says experienced vets have likely already treated dogs for cannabis toxicity.


“It’s out there, it’s not new,” Arthur said. “Our worry is it’s going to get more common as, theoretically, the substance becomes more available.


“What, hopefully, will come up, is people will be forthcoming to say this is what it is.”


If you suspect your pet has consumed cannabis, call ahead to warn the vet that you’re coming in and explain why so they can prepare, Arthur said.


While treatment is most often “wait and see,” vets can, in some instances, induce vomiting, pump an animal’s stomach or even use injections to bind THC in the bloodstream.


The veterinary association acknowledges that dog deaths from cannabis have been rarely reported, citing only a 2012 report of two dogs dying from eating butter containing medical-grade THC.


For concerned pet owners, home cannabis safety is simple: keep it out of reach, just like chocolate or medications, Arthur said. Pet owners who smoke cannabis should do so outside, he said.


For dog owners, keeping pets safe outside is trickier.


“Unfortunately, you’re the owner of a scavenger, a scrounger, and something with a really, really good sense of smell,” Arthur said. “Your ability to stop them from consuming this sort of thing is the same as your ability to stop them from taking in the pizza crust…


“If you’re out and suspicious something has happened, off to the veterinarian.”


Source: Manotick couple's dog falls ill from suspected pot toxicity

12
Defence Watch / ARMCHAIR MAYOR: One way to rediscover Sparks Street
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:18:21 AM »
ARMCHAIR MAYOR: One way to rediscover Sparks Street

On Oct. 22, citizens of Ottawa elect a new city council. To help guide discussion, we’ve asked people for ONE idea that would make the city a better place – without necessarily breaking the bank. Today, musician Thomas Brawn, a flute busker on Sparks Street since 1978, touts an informative app for visitors to the city’s […]

On Oct. 22, citizens of Ottawa elect a new city council. To help guide discussion, we’ve asked people for ONE idea that would make the city a better place – without necessarily breaking the bank. Today, musician Thomas Brawn, a flute busker on Sparks Street since 1978, touts an informative app for visitors to the city’s most historic thoroughfare.



Perhaps it is some deep inner connection with history that drew me into the world of classical music performance, but from my childhood’s musical beginnings in Port Colborne and Sarnia, I landed at the University Ottawa to study concert flute in the mid-1970s. I wanted to play in an orchestra.


I tried busking on Ottawa’s famous Sparks Street on a lark one hot summer’s day in 1978 – a gem of a discovery. I could actually practise my art and earn some serious coin. I also made valuable contacts, some which continue to pay off to this day. Further, I was now free to relax and enjoy this city. I have “always found” the old buildings with their carved stone accents interesting.


As a classical flute student and now a professional flutist who has played in opera, symphony, recording and recital (as well as literally thousands of casual chamber music jobs), I have been immersed daily in the histories left by the likes of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and others. No surprise that, busking on Sparks Street, I would also be constantly curious about its architectural and social history too.


For instance, Nicholas Sparks: Like, who was that guy? And what about J.L. Orme & Sons, on Sparks in the 1860s? I own a vintage wooden flute and two piccolos sold at their store in 1867. Walking down Sparks today, you’d not find out about these people.


Meanwhile, look up, way up, to the carved stone gargoyles, lions, panels, statues, medallions and busts to be seen on many buildings on Ottawa’s oldest business street. 


The fierce lions that guard the entrance to Canada Post at Elgin and Sparks: Who were their craftsmen? Who commissioned them? And, by the way, just who were Metcalfe and O’Connor?


Riding the crest of 63 Sparks is a stone sculpture of a woman with an anchor at her feet. I have no idea what’s she’s about, but I’d like to know. Now pan down a floor …”Bible House”: What’s the story there?


65 Sparks is a vintage painted brick building with original street level facings with beautifully arched windows higher up, but of different styles and designs as you go up in floors. Were they built at the same time? And what was the original colour of the now hidden brick?


At the northwest corner of Sparks at Metcalfe, an edifice boasts stone carving galore. There are, for instance, five busts of bearded men. Two of them, one smiling and one not, are missing their moustaches. Story, please, story!


As we stroll west on Sparks to O’Connor, we gaze up at a world of banks with Greek columns and carved sculptures, panels and medallions depicting I know not what. And across from the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Hardy Arcade … former home of “Le Groupe de la Place Royale” and “Morrow’s Nut House” and the world’s best maple walnut ice cream. Who was Hardy?


I really want to know, and my four decades of tooting and interacting with the world’s tourists tell me they would like to know as well.


So, I propose that the City of Ottawa create an app for tablets and smartphones which would relate, detail and animate the architectural, historical and social history of any Sparks Street address you might enter. This information and animation would come courtesy of The Ottawa Historical Society, Public Archives, The Museum of Canadian History and the former Ottawa Journal and current Ottawa Citizen.


The app would be multilingual, to serve the myriad of countries our tourists come from. Fund the app with pop-up ads featuring stores and services nearby. List nearby information kiosks, public potties, telephones, defibrillators. The app would not only help in tourism before, during and following trips, but would be an educational platform for schools. It might also remind you of other gems nearby.


The “Ottawapp” would be a translatable platform; next, we could work on an app for the ByWard Market, whose grand old buildings also suffer from ground-level modernist muffling. Ottawapp could be franchised to jurisdictions everywhere.



Source: ARMCHAIR MAYOR: One way to rediscover Sparks Street


13
Defence Watch / Warm but cloudy for the next few days
« on: October 09, 2018, 07:12:44 AM »
Warm but cloudy for the next few days

Today will be mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms. Moderate winds will taper off towards the evening. The high will be a seasonal 13 C. For Tuesday, there will only be a 30% chance of showers with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon, but it will be unseasonably warm with […]

Today will be mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms.


Moderate winds will taper off towards the evening.


The high will be a seasonal 13 C.


For Tuesday, there will only be a 30% chance of showers with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon, but it will be unseasonably warm with a forecast high of 26 C.


On Wednesday, the mixed bag of weather continues with sun and cloud wrestling over ownership of the sky, 40% chance of rain and a high of 20 C.


The overnight low will be a cool 5 C.


Source: Warm but cloudy for the next few days

14
Defence Watch / Brockville police seize weapons, drugs in biker gang raid
« on: October 07, 2018, 04:40:34 AM »
Brockville police seize weapons, drugs in biker gang raid

BROCKVILLE — Police have arrested two men and are looking for four other people in connection with drug and weapons offences with biker gang links following a raid last week. In a news release Friday, police said officers from Brockville, Kingston and the OPP’s biker enforcement unit raided a Brockville residence Sept. 27. They found […]

BROCKVILLE — Police have arrested two men and are looking for four other people in connection with drug and weapons offences with biker gang links following a raid last week.


In a news release Friday, police said officers from Brockville, Kingston and the OPP’s biker enforcement unit raided a Brockville residence Sept. 27.


They found firearms, other weapons, controlled substances and vests belonging to “Dead Eyes MC” which police described as “a support club to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.”


Police also seized a vest belonging to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.


Police did not identify the nature or quantity of the “controlled substances.”


Kyle Justin Thomas Gard, 23, and Adam James Sayeau, 27, both of Brockville, were held for a bail hearing scheduled for Friday, while four other people remained at large as of Friday afternoon.


Police said arrest warrants have been issued for Joshua Leonardo Dominguez, 36, of Ottawa; Allan Michael Eldon Neal, 24, of Brockville; Brooklyn Ann Lachappelle, 18, of Brockville; and Sarah Melissa Buttle, 25, also of Brockville.


All are jointly charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance; possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a firearm; unauthorized possession of a prohibited device; knowledge of unauthorized possession of a firearm; possession of a firearm obtained by crime; careless storage of a firearm; and possession of property obtained by crime.


 


Source: Brockville police seize weapons, drugs in biker gang raid

15
Months after house destroyed, Barrhaven fire victim 'just wants to go home'

From the window of her rental unit, Vicky Earl can almost see the burnt-out shell of her home. It’s a daily reminder of the frustrating effort to rebuild after a devastating fire this past summer. The 63-year-old Barrhaven resident had to flee her townhouse in July when a neighbouring unit caught fire. She’s now renting a […]

From the window of her rental unit, Vicky Earl can almost see the burnt-out shell of her home. It’s a daily reminder of the frustrating effort to rebuild after a devastating fire this past summer.


The 63-year-old Barrhaven resident had to flee her townhouse in July when a neighbouring unit caught fire. She’s now renting a place about two blocks away and says while the fire was traumatic, the months-long uncertainty about when she can rebuild is arguably worse.


At the root of the problem is a dispute between her neighbour and his insurance company that has so far stymied plans to rebuild.


“I just want to go home,” Earl said. “They could have started rebuilding three-and-a-half weeks ago. But, until they get the house beside us dealt with, nothing will be done. I could have been home by Christmas.”


Earl’s home is Unit B of a four-unit row of townhouses on Claridge Drive. On July 12, a fire in Unit A caused about $1 million in damage and displaced 15 people living in the rowhouses. Three of the units, including Earl’s, are unfit to live in.


Fortunately, no one was hurt as a result of the fire.


The unit next door to Earl’s — where the fire is believed to have originated — was occupied by a pair of people who were renting the property. Earl has been told the pair did not have renters’ insurance and have walked away from the property to find another home.


The owner of the property has insurance but, according to Earl, there seems to be some question about whether the policy permitted the property to be rented.


“Rebuilding after an unexpected event such as this can certainly be a stressful and difficult time, that is why CAA Insurance is dedicated to handling claims with compassion, honesty, and fairness,” said Kaitlyn Furse, a spokeswoman for CAA, the insurance company that holds the policy on the home. “We cannot speak to the specifics … for privacy reasons, but I can tell you that it is currently under investigation and we are working diligently to come to a determination.”


The investigation by CAA is the main reason Earl, and a family in an adjoining unit, can’t begin to rebuild their homes and get on with their lives. While their insurance companies have come forward with assistance, including paying Earl’s rent while she remains displaced, they can’t begin construction until all of the residents’ insurance companies are on side.


The delay is causing further issues.


“Think about the amount of water that was poured in there by the fire crews. All that stuff is now rotting and creating mould,” Earl said. “The roofs have to be replaced. The back half of my house was a write off due to smoke and other damage. My home is gutted. There have been raccoons in there … I can’t do anything. I can’t go home until I get some help, and no one seems to want to help us.”


Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder said she has held numerous discussions about the property with city staff to get things moving, but there is a process that must be followed so, as with any delays caused by insurance company investigations, all parties involved are playing a waiting game.


“I don’t blame any of them for being upset,” said Harder. “We are very aware of it and have handed it over to those who can effect change. I have total empathy for the people living on either side (of the unit in dispute).”


Frank Bidin, chief building official for the City of Ottawa, said the city cannot compel anyone to begin a rebuild following a fire. Bidin said city officials have been in contact with both the homeowner and CAA to expedite the process, but so far it hasn’t helped.


“While the City cannot comment on a specific case, in the case of a building comprised of multiple property owners that has been directly affected by a fire, the property owners often have different underwriters and are at different levels of readiness to rebuild. Building Code Services communicates with the underwriters in an effort to expedite reconstruction of the exterior elements of the building and all individual dwelling units,” he said in an emailed statement. “The city cannot compel or require the property owners to rebuild.”


Harder used the issue to highlight a bigger concern. With more builders turning to high density, multiple dwelling units, like townhouses and semi-detached buildings, in a bid to make houses more affordable, issues like this pose a problem that needs to be addressed.


“As we move into issues like affordable housing, a lot of affordable housing will be affordable because of the density,” said Harder. “You don’t know when you’re going to have a fire in your home. People need to have some autonomy over their property when it may be closely attached. There is more work to be done.”


Source: Months after house destroyed, Barrhaven fire victim 'just wants to go home'

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