President’s Report Spring 2012
This year’s Winter Carnival at Heron Park was another great success. After inaugurating the annual Capital Ward Cup, a shinny tournament between the four Capital Ward Community Associations, five years ago the winter classic returned to Heron Park. The Heron Park Hackers took advantage of the home ice to start the day by chalking up a win, their first of the tournament! Let me state categorically that this win was in no way related to the fact that yours truly was keeping score. Blessed with some keen new talent, the Hackers looked really sharp as they edged the Old Ottawa South team handily. Unfortunately their cutting attack was blunted by the Old Ottawa East squad, an extremely talented and fast team who eventually won the Cup. In every game the Hackers scored goals and their fast-skating blades continued to chip away at the competition throughout the day. Congratulations Hackers on your record-breaking achievement, and congratulations to Old Ottawa East whose talented skaters truly earned their prize.
Despite a frosty day, young and old at the Carnival enjoyed shinny, broomball, and other games at the Carnival. A visit from Dexter the Dinosaur livened up the afternoon, and hotdogs, hamburgers, chili, and desserts were available courtesy of our top-notch culinary talent of Donna, Maritala, Rosella, Kayla, Judy, Ruth, Cathy, Diane, Jason, Heather, two Sarahs, Roselyn, Olita, and Randy. Thanks everyone. Special thanks to Maritala for buying the food and to Colin for organizing the shinny tournament. We are very lucky to have so many dedicated and resourceful neighbours.
During the Carnival, Carleton architecture student Andrew Slade demonstrated his large model of the park and invited participants to share their ideas for a new community centre. Andrew has been coming to the Wednesday Night Program for some weeks to solicit input as well. His efforts on our behalf have been exemplary and we are truly grateful for all his work. He has done a great deal to make the community aware of our needs and to develop a vision that puts the “community” in Community Centre. Thanks Andrew.
Meanwhile, on the Community Centre front, we are in the process of setting up a registered charity. Once this process is complete people wil be able to donate to build a new community centre and to fund programs in it (such as the Wednesday Night Program) and receive a charitable donation tax receipt in return. It will take at least a few months yet to get everything set up but once we do we will be launching a major fundraising initiative. A community centre that encompasses everything we need (large multipurpose room, kitchen, meeting rooms, possible bocce court, etc) will be of course a major expenditure. We don’t need to raise all of the money to build it but the city won’t take us seriously until we are willing to plunk down some bucks. So please stay tuned, and if you have ideas for a big fundraising event please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We not only want to raise money but we want to bring the Heron Park community together and to have some fun. So put your thinking caps on!
A number of residents have had problems with the noise and the number of buses on Clementine since the change to the route 112 in the fall. Together with Councilor Chernushenko’s office we have explored various options for changing the bus service, none of which have been entirely satisfactory. In April there will be a change: the 112 route after about 11:30 at night and before 6:00 in the morning will travel on Bank Street rather than on Belanger and Clementine. We hope this change will be less disruptive for those who live near these streets. I know a lot of residents are dissastisfied with this situation and also with the level of overcrowding on the 112. Please keep in mind that the so-called “optimization” in September was really a massive $20 million cut to OC Transpo and many local routes throughout the city were removed, not just the 115. They can’t restore the 115 because they simply don’t have the money to do it. In fact it took considerable persuasion last spring to maintain what service we have in our neighbourhood – the original plan was to remove service entirely from Heron Park South. It’s not only us that’s been suffering but the whole city. We will continue to lobby to improve this situation along with our fellow community associations but it won’t happen overnight.