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Minutes – March 11, 2015

2015 March 13
by Melissa

In attendance: Lorraine Grenier (MAL), David Opper, Agnes Das (DCC Coordinator), Melissa Bowman (Chair), Charlotte  Keeler (Program Coordinator), Eduardo Cejudo (Newslatter Distributor), Gillian Vietch (MAL), Aimee Polevoy (Secretary)

Absent: Cathy Lumb (MAL), Anna Maste (Newsletter Editor), Councillor Frank Etherington (Ward 9), Cheryl Evans (Treasurer)

Frank’s Update: The sharps boxes have been installed in the public washrooms at Victoria Park, as well as several other locations throughout the city.

DCC Updates (Agnes Das):

  • Neighbour day: June 13, 9am-3pm (tentative times).  All City community centers open for neighbourhoods to celebrate. A variety of activities will be held to celebrate our communities.
  • Volunteer appreciation night: May 22 rsvp may 6th. At The Regional Museum. Theme: celebrating a tradition of then and now.
  • Incorporation workshop for Neighbourhood Associations.  Melissa Bowman will be attending.  Questions:  Aimee Polevoy asked if a neighbourhood association does not have a steady stream of income, how can they afford the cost. Gillian Veitch replied that there is only a few of a few hundred dollars to apply.Melissa will look into the cost and the benefits/drawbacks of incorporation for the VPNA.

Lorraine asked Agnes about the deadline for registration for the reduced fee card for seniors and youth. She wanted to know the deadline for sporting programs. Melissa consulted the DCC Program Guide.

  • Salute to Seniors: nominations must be in by April 1, 2015

Agnes reported the community cooking program is a great success and quite popular.  Lorraine asked Agnes if she had looked into a meal program for children after school and the idea is being considered for future events

  • Family Fun Movie Night: Friday, March 27th Flushed Away (OBTNA)
  • The piano in the DCC will be open for people to sign up and play.

Newsletters:

  • New street rep for David St. (David Opper)
  • Street reps needed for new delivery area. (Along Garden, VanCamp, Spadina, and Queen)
  • Street Rep role has changed over the years. It used to be more involved, not just delivering newsletters. Street Reps were more the eyes and the ears of their street and would share their observations and concerns with the Board. We are looking into revisiting that role for reps.
  • A dolly has been purchased for the newsletter distributor.

ACTIVITIES PAST AND PRESENT FOR VPNA:

Skating/Sledding party: A joint event with Theresa St. was held over the Family Day weekend. Neighbours got together for sledding and skating. Despite the harsh weather, there was great attendance.

Bird Watching Event: One date for the Bird Watching Event could coincide with Jane’s Walk . Good and Bad points. Good for publicity but may be bad for bird watching. Too many people could be counterproductive. A big crowd can disrupt birds. The early time might be a deterrent (6 or 7am).This may cut down on attendance. Jane’s Walk  Between May 1st and 3rd.

Charlotte may run activities for children while parents are watching birds if it is held on that weekend.Another date may be considered for the Bird Watching Event.

Apollo Cinema :

Opportunities for the VPNA  to have a movie day at the Cinema

Basic rate for any organization is $299 to rent space plus movie cost.

Movies in The Park . City is looking at changing the restrictions for outdoor movies in Victoria Park (more information will be obtained). The VPNA might consider running movie nights again

Community Garden:  Charlotte and Wayne Keeler – organizers

Layout for community garden was viewed. Approved by all in attendance.  It will now be used to obtain the appropriate permits..

Lorraine brought up City grants and how the money has all been accounted for. Charlotte explained that there is a Greening Grant specific to this project she can apply for.

There was a question about accessibility. Charlotte explained that at this stage it will not be paved but wide enough to get a mobility device through.

Eduardo asked what size the plots would be (likely 4 x 8). Lorraine asked about a charge for one (there will be no charge at this point).

City will remove sod, deliver mulch, black earth, & hook up reservoirs for water.

There is a tentative plan for a seedling sale to raise money for the project.

A knee high fence will have to be installed to delineate the property.

Girls Running Club: registration is happening now. Grace Birmingham is the contact for this program. It is a free program and will run from April 18-June 14 at 11AM. Limit is 6 girls between the ages of 10-14.

Tim Hortons  Earth Day Clean Up:  Victoria Park on Earth Day (on Island) April 25th 10-12pm, we will meet by the Pavilion.

Activities that we might do: Scavenger Hunts, BBQ (?), games that kids can play with string

Prizes: seeds, making pots for the seeds out of newspaper

Community Members reached out with suggestions for community involvement at the AGM:

Remembrance Day signs to be placed near the houses of veterans on Remembrance Day in Victoria Park & Neighbourhood.

Miniature Boat regatta on Victoria Lake

Amazing Race type of event

Pot lucks

Picnic on the Henry Sturm Green

VPNA Movie Night at DCC  April 17TH:  Movie is Chicken Run. Attendance has been low. Maybe in the future we will turn it into a family fun night. Utilize more rooms with varying activities.

Stuff Swap for the neighbourhood (will be discussed at next meeting)

Plant swaps (perennial, houseplants, etc.)

Next Meeting April 15: discussed where to hold the next meeting. Options included:DCC, Bread and Roses CO-OP, David St. CO-Op, The Church of Christian Scientists

Lorraine wants on the agenda for next meeting:

Where has park security gone? She feels that they are absent in the park. Melissa explained that security is shared by community centers all over Kitchener, as well as City Hall and the DCC. The Security team is not specific to the park. Melissa will inquire about security.

Meeting adjourned 8:36 pm

New VPNA program!

2015 March 6
by Melissa

VPNA minutes – January 21, 2015

2015 February 26
by Melissa

VPNA MINUTES   January 14, 2015  7:15-8:45 PM Williams Coffee Pub , City Hall

Attended by : Melissa Bowman (Chair),Lorraine Grenier (MAL) David Opper, Agnes Das (DCC Coordinator) Anna Maste (Newsletter Editor), Aimee Polevoy (Secretary), Frank Etherington (Ward 9 Councillor), Gillian Veitch, Edurdo Cejudo (Newsletter Distributor),Cathy Lumb (MAL)

This was the first meeting of the New Year.

Introductions and welcome to the new members of the board and all attendees.

Agenda Items:

  • An overview of what we will be focusing on in the near future.
  • Developing a social media policy and designating a spokesperson for the VPNA, developing further and reviewing our existing social media policy, reviewing the code of conduct/policies for NAs, discussing what our role is as an NA for the neighbourhood at large.

Councillor’s Update:

  • A  Municipal Election Review is taking place  There were issues with the voters list not being updated, confusion over polling stations, voter cards were late, etc.
  • Capital Budget: public input sessions and presentation to council.  DATES: (taken from the COK website) www.kitchener.ca for more information please contact the City of Kitchener
  • Public Input Session Feb 2. Final budget approval Feb. 23
  • New inclusive playground at Victoria Park should be open in the Spring of 2015.
  • The Boathouse: After a lengthy delay the Boathouse is finally open. We are all looking forward to the new era.
  • Snow and ice removal around the David St. property is being managed. There is a new owner of the property.
  • Washrooms at Victoria Park:

There was flooding at the new washrooms and the issue is being investigated. A new security camera was installed that is monitored at City Hall. The cameras are in the foyer not in the washrooms themselves. There are signs indicating who to call if something needs to be reported.  Secure Sharps boxes will be installed in the washrooms in February. They will be monitored by Public Health and the City of Kitchener.

  • Parks Dept. is looking into planting vegetation behind the building to discourage loitering.

DCC Update: Agnes Das

  • There was an online community centre review. This closed on Jan. 17
  • The DCC is looking into a partnership with the Ontario Early Years Center offering free programs for the community.
  • There will be a community cooking program (no name at this point) starting on Feb. 23

VPNA:

  • Looking into renting spaces at local schools to run programs (children and adult)
  • Recognizing volunteers for the Ontario Service Awards 5+ years.
  • Information about the Ontario Heritage Grant is available
  • Extending the boundaries for the VPNA : The boundaries for the VPNA have been extended.  Our boundaries are Joseph, Queen,Spadina to Van Camp/West Ave, Victoria St.
  • Brock St. had a meeting about the community improvement grant that was won at the festival of neighbourhoods. Brock St. falls within the VPNA boundaries and we are very happy for them.
  • Newsletters: shorter format.  Discussed ideas for newsletter content such as the Earth Day Clean Up, reminders not to feed the wildlife in the park, announcements about neighbourhood events, if they are far enough in advance of printing.
  • Grace Birmingham (former board member of the VPNA) would like to form a Girls Running Club for 10-14 year olds. We discussed how the VPNA can help her as an umbrella organization. Grace was unable to make the meeting but wanted to attend. We discussed questions around the need for police screening etc. we are following up with this.
  • Community Garden:

Still waiting for the city’s go ahead for a community garden on a vacant lot on Jubilee near Theresa.

If it is approved, a perennial/seedling sale hopefully will be held to raise funds for the garden.

  • History talks with local historian rych mills are held every 4 months at the Pavilion.
  • A bird watching club/event is in the works
  • NA Summit wrap up & AGM ideas:

Suggestions of activities that the VPNA can do to foster a closer connection in our boundaries.

  • Stuff Swap (maybe at the pavilion)  bring your gently used items from home and swap them for other things.
  • The Apollo movie theater is opening up at the old Hyland Cinema location. We are thinking about approaching the owners to have a community movie day.
  • A Spring bike repair day
  • A canoe regatta on the lake
  • A picnic on the Henry Sturm Green Space (bring your own everything)
  • A park clean up
  • An education program about not feeding the ducks and geese at the park
  • An amazing race event

Next meeting will be March 11th.

Landscape study survey

2015 February 18
by Melissa

A student at the University of Guelph has contacted neighbourhood associations in the area looking for help with a study she is working on regarding preferences of park landscape management. If you are interested, you can complete the short survey (5 minutes or less) by clicking on the link below.

https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eQmglgP2Z2SNKvP

 

 

Make and Take Community Vegetarian Cooking Group

2015 February 11
by Melissa

We invite you to join in these free sessions to cook together and get to know one another. Feel free to bring a container to take home some of what we create together. The Community Nutrition Worker will focus on different ways to cook vegetarian while maintaining a balanced diet.

This free program is offered at the Downtown
Community Centre 35-B Weber St W Kitchener:

When: Mondays from 10.30 am-12.30pm
Dates : February 23rd, 2015
March 2nd, 2015
March 9th, 2015
March 16th, 2015

**Register weekly the week before the next session date**

Register in person at the Downtown Community Centre or
by calling 519-741-2501

Offered in partnership by:

   

Feb 5/15 Update from Frank: In 2015, LRT could stand for ‘Lots of Raucous Times’

2015 February 5
by Melissa

Prepare for noise, dust and traffic disruption throughout Ward 9 neighbourhoods in the rest of 2015 as the massive LRT project moves down the track.

Kitchener councillors recently approved a noise exemption that will extend from March 1  until December 31 to allow Grandlinq Contractors to complete LRT construction as quickly as possible.

The exemption is for occasional night work between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. that could be necessary Monday through Sunday from March 1 to December 31.

In addition to noise, there is also likely be a mess of traffic disruption on affected and nearby streets as the Region follows an aggressive schedule to complete the LRT by 2017.

Regional staff say every effort will be made to avoid night work as well as shorten potential disruptions for affected residents and businesses.

Adjacent to the Victoria Park, Cherry Park, Cedar Hill and Mill-Courtland neighbourhoods, LRT construction is scheduled to take place on King Street from Union Boulevard to Francis Street and from Duke Street to Charles Street.

On Charles, work will take place from Victoria to Ottawa Street and continue on Ottawa from Charles to Mill Street  before moving on toward Courtland Avenue and Fairview Park Mall.

To communicate information about the work, Grandlinq will send schedules to residents and businesses located within 125 metres of construction zones. The notices will contain a 24-hour telephone hotline where questions or complaints will be handled and Grandlinq will also have a website to provide construction updates.

Let’s hope that as LRT moves through Ward 9, all the 2015 pain will be worth the future transportation gain.

FAMILY DAY WEEKEND SKATING AND SLEDDING PARTY!

2015 February 5
by Melissa
February 14, 2015
1:00 pmto3:00 pm

Winter is long and we all hibernate!  We miss all your lovely faces, so Theresa street and the VPNA  invite you to come out and enjoy some winter fun with neighbours, family and friends!  Williams Fresh Cafe has generously offered to supply us with some hot cocoa and there will be many laughs and sleds to share, but if you have extra sleds, please bring them!

 

Where: The hills and ice pads by the clock tower

When: Sat Feb 14th 1-3

Who: All our fabulous neighbours surrounding Victoria Park and, of course, friends and family.

Hope to see you there!

Kitchener Heritage Grant Program

2015 January 20
by Melissa

Do you live in the Victoria Park Area Heritage Conservation District? If yes, the 2015 City of Kitchener Heritage Grant Program Applications are due on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Designated heritage property owners may be eligible to receive a grant for 50% of the cost of eligible projects up to a maximum of $3000. Eligible projects include: the repair of deteriorated original elements such as doors, windows or masonry; the replacement of original elements that are beyond repair using materials, sizes and details that match the original; and, reintroduction of original elements that have been lost based on documentation of the property. The Administrative Procedures and Operating Guidelines along with the application form are available on the City of Kitchener’s website – http://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkitchener/HeritageFunding.asp. Questions can be directed to Michelle Drake, Heritage Planner (519-741-2200 ext. 7839 or michelle.drake@kitchener.ca).

Renovated Boathouse finally afloat in Victoria Park

2015 January 18
by Melissa

After watching Kitchener council invest about $760,000 in the outside patio and interior of The Boathouse in Victoria Park, I’m delighted to see the final and very overdue opening of the upgraded venue.

And following an advance peek at the newly renovated  restaurant and music facility, I predict it will be an outstanding success and rapidly grow into one of the most attractive venues in Waterloo Region. I also predict it could have parking problems unless more customers walk to the location or park on the other side of the lake near the pavilion.

I’m told The Boathouse will also serve as one of 12 local bar locations providing  music and workshops during the upcoming Blues Festival August 6-9.

Hope to see you there, soon.

Poor families need more city help to enjoy recreation classes

2015 January 18
by Melissa

Up to my rear end in financial reports and budget details, I’m concerned about the 2,338 low-income children, 205 senior citizens and 1,899 adults who can’t afford Kitchener’s recreation-leisure activities.

These are kids, seniors and adults given financial assistance by the city last year so they could afford to participate in recreational activities likely to cost 2.3 per cent more in 2015.

The budget to support the Leisure Access Card (LAC) program and help those living below the poverty line has increased dramatically since 2010 and looks as will continue to increase in 2015.

For that reason, staff are recommending councillors budget an additional $16,000 this year for LAC. And, because that amount is unlikely to meet demand, I have given notice I will again ask for that increase to be hiked $10,000 to a total $26,000.

Staff say that, even when the program runs out of cash, extra funds are found and no one is turned away but, considering the following, I don’t want to take that chance:

· In 2010, we helped 940 children, a number that soared to 2,338 last year.
· In 2010 we helped 140 seniors and, by 2014, the number jumped to 205.
· Five years ago we helped 850 adults and, last year, the number was 1,899.
Overall, we helped 1,930 low-income people in 2010 and 4,442 in 2014 by providing discounts of $250 per child and $215 per adult.

Alarming statistics that merit realistic budgeting.

If you want a chance to speak on this or other budget topics, the public is invited to council on Monday Feb. 2 before councillors  make final budget decisions Feb. 23.

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