Well before I became a city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc more than nine years ago I was involved with the annual golf tournament. I believe my association as the emcee of their awards luncheon goes back at least 25 years. Originally, it was a Seniors Golf Outing and the event always attracted good numbers. When I was elected, I began co-chairing the program with Councillor Sam Goldbloom.
Over the years we saw attendance begin to drop. Last year, we had only 42 golfers register. We knew it was time to either cancel the event or recharge the batteries. Sam and I opted for the latter and thanks to the spectacular assistance of Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman at our Parks and Recreation Department the revival began. We renamed the event the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic and made it available to people of all ages. Work on the 2014 event began during a cold winter day when we sat down with Harold and Alvin and drew up a plan to attract foursomes. Together we obtained a title sponsors in Gravel Auto Group, which has a successful dealership on Decarie. Harold and Alvin signed up a few other sponsors, including Casey Cameron from Techsport Inc. "Why not have a celebrity honourary chairman?" I asked, thinking out loud that legendary jazz pianist and CSL resident Oliver Jones would be a good choice. Thanks to our Chief Librarian Janine West and her husband Jim, Jones agreed. He was part of a foursome with the West's and one of their close friends.
When all was said and done, a total of 83 golfers registered. It rained the day before, but as I awoke on Tuesday, July 8 the weather was gorgeous and precipitation was only called for later in the day. This was also a day, once again, to showcase Meadowbrook Golf Course and how beautiful this large greenspace is. For the first time a foursome from Les Amis de Meadowbrook took part and that was wonderful. They lobby and hold meetings throughout the year, but what better thing to do than spend time on the very land they wish to preserve. We all golfed on the back nine. I was part of a foursome with Goldbloom, Police Station 9 Commander Marc Cournoyer and Officer Martin Bourgeois. Louis-Philippe Gravel, director of sales at Gravel Auto Decarie, was on hand as well.
This represents my only golf game of the year, so only when I near the final hole do I find my swing comes around. But this is a great day out and for only $27 a person where else can you find a better bargain.
The golf game is only half the fun. Afterwards everyone convened at our Aquatic and Community Centre for a very enjoyable luncheon coordinated by the team of Cammy and Fishman and their devoted committee: Toby Goldner-Shulman, Faygie Block, Dina Ancel, Naomi Jacobson, Fran Rosen-Miller, Kathy Nasr, Elaine Libman and Maurice Giobbi, Everyone was greeted with some wine and cheese, a few hor d'oeuvres and then a nice buffet of party sandwiches and salads.
Mayor Anthony Housefather provided opening remarks and then helped hand out the trophies.
Closest to the pin on the 16th hole went to Patti Heller for the women and Ivan Kolti for the men. Longest drive at the 17th hole also went to Heller for the women while Steven Wise captured the men's side.
There was a wide array of doorprizes handed out. This included a set of golf irons and a golf bag (valued at $400) from Play It Again Sports on Decarie and a one week scholarship at the TSPA Tennis Academy (valued at $270). Gravel Auto donated a slew of prizes, as did Bench, Bugatti, Pharmaprix Cavendish, CSL Bagel, J & R Kosher, CSL Kosher, Massa Greek Grill, Rockaberry Monkland, The Snowdon Deli, the Range Golf Academy and many more. This was a testament to the tireless efforts of Fishman. Thanks to five year old Jeremy Nashen, who came on stage with his dad - City Councillor Glenn J. Nashen - to help choose the winners. We know Jeremy is honest because his grandfather George lamented later that he did not win anything.
Harold Cammy the Caterer then had one more suprise up his sleeve. On the eve of Oliver Jones' 80th birthday, out came a huge cake designed like a piano. Oliver, who earlier addressed the crowd, was clearly touched. Everyone got a chance to taste this delicious dessert, as well as yogurt cups donated by Yeh! Yogurt at Quartier Cavendish.
We also wish to thank Michael Johnson, club manager at Meadowbrook and his staff. It was a great day to be sure.
Thanks to all. It was a great day. I can't wait until our 36th (Double Chai) event next summer!
The 35th annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic, set for Tuesday, July 8 at Meadowbrook, promises to be a good one. I am co-chairing the event once again with Councillor Sam Goldbloom. After less than 50 golfers participated last year, Sam and I set out to pump up the volume. Thanks to phenomenal staff support from Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman, we will now have the highest number of players and prizes collected and registered over the past five years.
We also have a superb sponsor in Gravel Auto, which will make a brand new car available, and legendary jazz pianist Oliver Jones as our honourary chair. He will also be part of a foursome.
This is also an excellent opportunity to remind people what precious greenspace we have at Meadowbrook. Some members of Les Amis de Meadowbrook will even golf with us this year.
Foursome tee off early and we will all gather at the Aquatic and Community Centre for an awards banquet at 1 p.m.
For David Birnbaum, the newly elected Liberal Member of the National Assembly for D'Arcy McGee, July 1 marked his first Canada Day in Côte Saint-Luc. "What a great show you people put on," he told me, looking out in almost disbelief from the grand stage as a sea of thousands of people gathered for closing ceremonies and fireworks.
A huge hats off to Councillors Mitchell Brownstein and Sam Goldbloom, their committee and our amazing Parks and Recreation team headed by David Taveroff. Special marks to Laura Trihas, Cornelia Ziga, Alvin Fishman, Harold Cammy and cast of others who are part of such a well oiled team that our Canada Day is the envy of other municipalities.
There were activities at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park all day. We formally began proceedings with our traditional Citizenship Ceremony, presided over by Judge Barbara Seal. CJAD's Dan Laxer and Dr. Laurie Betito were terrific emcees. There were 40 new Canadian citizens sworn in from 17 different countries.
Plenty of games for the kids were in place and the pedal boats had a lineup a mile long. Scotiabank Westminster sponsored our always popular Canada Day cupcakes. Their representative, investment and personal banking specialist Yannick Haim Amar, is a relatively new resident of District 2. People lined up at the different concessions and took test drives with some vehicles from Gravel Auto, which donated $10 per test to three local charities.
Airport 77 and Lorraine Klaasen provided superb musical entertainment. The late Nelson Mandela was inducted into our Human Rights Walkway. Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who was one of Mandela's counsels when he was incarcerated in South African prison for 27 years, spoke about how Mandela emerged as a metamorphasis and a message behind the struggle for human rights of our time. Mandela, of course, presided over the dismantling of apartheid and at the age of 75 became his country's president. Cotler attended his funeral last December. Dierdre Viljoen, Minister (Plenipotentiary) of the South African High Commission in Canada, drove into Montreal especially to attend our ceremony.
We honoured former D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman for his stellar 18 years of representation for our community in Quebec City by naming our main chalet at Trudeau Park in his honour. Lawrence was showered with well deserved cheers for his nearly two decades of devoted service to the constituents of D'Arcy McGee. As Mayor Anthony Housefather rightfully said, it was Lawrence who stepped in and saved our Emergency Medical Services from being torn apart by the provincial government. And when we needed the province to take part in funding our $18 million Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC), he stepped up to the plate again.
The evening culminated with Alexandra Cohen singing O Canada and a spectacular fireworks display.
Thanks as well to our invaluable Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs) and our team of EMS volunteers.
We were all very worried about the forecast for throughout most of the day it looked very much like rain might fall. That did not happen. It was an absolutely perfect night at a time when MNA Birnbaum could deliver the message from our new premier, who can declare quite openly: "Happy Canada Day!"
See Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's very comprehensive blog, including audio and video.
We are all in mourning today with the news that former Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Bernard Lang has passed away at the age of 88.
Lang was the mayor of Côte Saint-Luc for 22 years. Prior to that he was a city councillor for 13 year. He attempted a comeback in the 2005 election and ran against Anthony Housefather. I had a long history with “Mayor” Lang. No, he was not the present-day mayor. But just as they refer to President Clinton, President Bush and President Carter in the United States, it was difficult to address someone as “Mr.” Lang when he held the mayoral post for so long.
I go back many years with Lang, notably to my years as the Côte Saint-Luc beat reporter for The Suburban, The Monitor and briefly The Weekly Herald. We never lost contact.
The arrival of Lang's first and only grandchild Dylan some 13 years ago rejuvenated him. He was the youngest and most fit looking 87 year old I know. Soon after his crushing defeat in 2005, Lang began calling me at least once a week as that election coincided with my debut as a city councillor. He was not bitter. It was clear that he chose to run again because of his undying love for the city. He questioned me on various decisions of the city, but out of general interest and concern that the right thing be done. As time went on I sensed a genuine support for the current council. He and Mayor Housefather began to speak. At a VE Day ceremony in the year following that election, Mayor Housefather acknowledged Lang in a very positive way. Afterwards, Lang thanked him warmly.
When we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Côte Saint-Luc Eleanor London Public Library, Lang was profiled prominently in the special edition of our Courier newspaper. He was also brought on stage and saluted by Mayor Housefather at our ceremony. It was on that night it became clear to me that we needed to find a place for him at the committee level. He agreed to sit on our library committee. He and his devoted wife Miriam were cat lovers. And so they joined my Cats Committee.
Bernard Lang was a full-time mayor, spending virtually every weekday at City Hall. He had a successful business which he had his sons run. Lang was an articulate spokesman who brought credibility to the city. He stood up against any wrongs coming to the city and was noted for taking on the City of Montreal and winning after then Mayor Jean Doré reneged on a pledge to extended Kildare Road into CSL. Lang went all the way to Quebec City and came back with a multi-million dollar ruling in favor of our city and the awarding of the North of Hampstead area and Decarie Square to our tax coffers.
Lang bitterly opposed any talk to extend Cavendish Boulevard. "We don't need it, we don't want it, we can't afford it," he would always say.
His feud with then Hampstead Mayor Irving Adessky was legendary.
Under his watch the present-day City Hall and Library Complex was built. When he retired, it was named the Bernard Lang Civic Centre - a fitting honour.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, June 15 (2 p.m.) at Paperman and Sons. Ironically that same afternoon, a demerger celebration concert featuring Bowser and Blue will take place at Trudeau Park - another facility like the arena which came into being under his leadership. Lang was very much part of the demerger issue. And so, there will no doubt be a nice tribute to him.
May you rest in peace Mayor Lang.
On Sunday, June 8 we inaugurated the CSL Library Demonstration Garden and at the same time held our Second Annual Great Tomato Plant Giveaway. The newly constructed demonstration garden is located behind the library. Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of council were on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. A representative from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation was on hand to present a $2,250 grant for the project to our amazing librarian and new grandmother Janine West.
“This garden is an important component of the city-wide urban agriculture initiative launched last year and it is a perfect fit with the library’s mission of discovery and exploration”, says Mayor Housefather. “This vegetable garden is a space where people can learn a variety of gardening techniques through hands on experience.”
As the councillor responsible for the library, I am very proud of this initiative.
Plants were distributed to the first 400 residents to visit the Demonstration Garden (one plant per household and proof of CSL residency required). Residents were able to sign up for gardening classes offered at the library, a space at the community gardens, learn about the seed library and take a tour of the demonstration garden. Kid-friendly activities were also planned.
“After the difficult winter we have just endured, urban agriculture is a wonderful excuse to spend more time outdoors”, said Councillor Allan J. Levine, who is the councillor responsible for urban agriculture. “We are hoping that all residents participate in this activity, in whatever manner suits them. And if someone isn’t sure that urban agriculture is for them, they can start by volunteering to help maintain the demonstration garden. They they can start by volunteering to help maintain the demonstration garden. They will learn all the essentials while helping out their community.”
"The timing is perfect to do so because this past week was Canadian Environment Week, a time for grassroots action to help preserve, protect and restore our environment," said Carmela Lo Dico, the branch manager at the Quartier Cavendish TD Bank. "It is important to remember that every effort counts, big or small. And getting involved is the first step towards preserving our environment. The Côte Saint-Luc demonstration garden proposes ideas and activities that we can do that will make a difference.``
A couple of years ago my colleague, Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, had a dream: to bring musical theatre to Côte Saint-Luc. Obtaining the services of a first class director in Anisa Cameron was the first step to guaranteed success. Rotating between comedy and musicals, we have been treated to two top-notch shows annually. Last year's presentation of Fiddler on the Roof was sensational.
On June 5 I attended a special VIP showing of their latest efforf, Catch Me If You Can The Musical. I saw the movie of the same name at least half a dozen times, but never did catch the Broadway musical. Well the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society now goes into the books as presenting the Canadian premiere. The storyline revolves around Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer - living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank's lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl chases Frank to the end...and finds something he never expected.
By the time the run ends on June 22, there will have been 14 shows.
Cameron assembled an excellent cast, with Brandon Schwartz turning in an outstanding performance in the lead role. "We’ve assembled a wonderfully talented cast including Brandon , a very gifted 17-year-old singer and performer,” Cameron said. “Brandon has a remarkable voice and if he chooses to stay in Montreal, he’s going to be a fixture in the professional theatre scene for years to come.”
Schwartz has been performing since age six and is now studying music with a specialization in jazz voice at Marianopolis College
Hats off as well to Mike Melino, Matthew Mckeown, Marieve Guerin, Megan Magisano, Elvi Dalgaard, Craig Dalley, Alexandre Iannuzzi, Shaun Nishmas, Jason Szwimer, Arielle Buch-Frohlich, Bailey Cohen-Krichevsky, Stefanie Demberg, Raquel Herscovici, Samantha Leibgott, Natasha Lilliman, Einav Ne'Eman, Ilana Nyveen, Noam Shalev, Shy Shalev, Ariel Sterlin, Elyssa Stock , Michael Goldwax, David Taveroff and of course Mitchell Brownstein.
Goldwax, a Hampstead town councillor and director general of Le Waldorf Senior Residence, played a railroad agent, a doctor and show business host. The man has some versatile acting chops.
Musical Direction was handled masterfully by David Terriault, choreography by Alexia Gourd, technical direction and lights by Scott Drysdale and costumes by Elyse Malo. Ariel Sterlin was the assistant choreographer; Alexa Burak the stage manager and Reesa Rosenfeld heading production.
This no small thing to produce. How lucky we are to have a theatrical group of this calibre within our own midst. And now of this would be possible, I might add, without our tremendous staff - notably the likes of Cornelia Ziga, Ryan Nemeroff and Harold "Kid" Cammy.
Tickets are on sale online at CSLDramaticSociety.com or at the Côte Saint-Luc library (5851 Cavendish Blvd.), the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.), or by telephone at 514-485-6800 ext. 2024. Tickets for evening performances are $27 for adults, and $24 for seniors/students. Matinees and preview shows are $18. Taxes are included in the price.
I like to tell the story of my first election campaign more than eight years ago, when I was the candidate for Côte Saint-Luc City Council in District 2. There were a number of objectives on my agenda, but chief among them was the introduction of District meetings, whereby very local issues would be discussed.
These meetings, held once a year (or more often if need be), have been very well received. On June 2, 2014, the most recent such gathering dealt with a number of issues. Mayor Anthony Housefather joined me at the podium along with our point man on traffic, Eric Ibey, and Police Station 9 Sergeant Bryan Cunningham.
Award of Merit - Mathew Stein
For the second year in a row, I handed out a special Award of Merit. It went to 16 year old Mathew Stein, who is completing Grade 10 at Bialik High School. Mathew was recognized for stepping up on his own and cleaning up the neighbourhood – specifically the streets and sidewalks of District 2.
“Every year, as part of our commitment to personal growth, I must do a certain amount of community service hours,” Mathew explained. “In my case I have been very upset at the lack of respect and responsibility that t residents have shown to their community. I walk my dog and have noticed that people think that our city is a personal garbage dump and have acted accordingly. So after having consulted with my dad, I took it upon myself to clean up my city, one piece of garbage at a time. It was difficult during the winter months, but now that the weather is nicer I am getting out with my garbage bags and picking it up. I have been told that even my small effort has made a difference in how our streets look and hopefully people will take notice and stop dumping their trash on the ground. Maybe we can even set up a continuous effort to keep my initiative going, and get more people involved. And if we make it fun, more people will do it.”
Mathew attended the meeting with his parents Steve and Arlene, brother Jessie (a member of the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society) and his grandfather Victor Ades.
I also took the opportunity to announce that Steve Stein has agreed to serve as the acting chair for a special Dog Owners Advisory Committee. As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I am getting a lot of proposals thrown my way. Steve’s group will try and put various objectives in order.
Mayor Housefather spoke glowingly about the growing population in Côte Saint-Luc. He spoke about how blessed we all were with the results of the April provincial election, which saw the divisive PQ minority government go down to defeat. Côte Saint-Luc, he reminded everyone, played a leading role lobbying against proposed laws on language (Bill 14) and secularism (Bill 60).
Developments at the Quartier Cavendish and soon on Parkhaven are welcoming new young families to Côte Saint-Luc. The former project is pretty much sold out. We will be adding integrated green space to the project and building up The Avenue – the appropriately dubbed main road going into Quartier Cavendish – with hopefully some shops and cafes to join Yeh! Yogurt as a reason to stick around our town.
On the extension of Cavendish Boulevard, the mayor maintained his optimism that this will become a reality – an extension that goes from Cavendish in Côte Saint-Luc to Royalmount in TMR and then to St. Laurent. One of the goals of our city, since Bernard Lang left office as mayor in 1998, has been to see Cavendish extended. There is now a committee in place, a mayor of Montreal (Denis Coderre) who favors the move and a Liberal government which we believe will finally make this happen.
On a final note, the mayor reiterated his wish to keep Meadowbrook Golf Course green.
Bryan Cunningham (do not let the name fool you as he is a francophone from Ahuntsic) told us how pleased Police Station 9 is to have their Bike Patrol back in operation. Two police officers are now regularly patrolling our parks on two wheels. I am very pleased to hear this, especially where Rembrandt Park is concerned. We repeatedly get calls of people congregating there during late night hours and creating disturbances. The Bike Patrol should put a dent in this.
We opened the floor to questions. Sergeant Cunningham listened to concerns about streets where speeding occurs and traffic and parking infractions are a problem. Josef Brody of Sir Walter Scott Avenue made a point of saying how a better eye needs to be kept on the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre where cars frequently ignore the no stopping and no parking rules.
Alex Halpern of Merrimac Road asked for the police to better monitor the crosswalks on the Heywood circle. On Saturdays specifically, with people going to and from synagogue, it is very difficult to cross the street as cars zoom by. He asked for adjustments to be made to the crosswalks and sidewalks and for there to be a better police presence. Sergeant Cunningham agreed to assign some officers to observe.
Shirley Rosen said it is time again for the police to crack down on Bialik High School parents who block driveways and go in no parking zones. Sergeant Cunningham said that Police Station 9 does give attention to problematic matters related to Bialik, but they have a fair number of schools to cover in their territory. Tickets are issued and problems exist at all schools. The police are doing their best. I have personally met with successive Bialik administrations and I wish to assure everyone that the situation is vastly improved to what it was years ago.
Steve Acre asked if cars are being ticketed if they rest on the zebra like "no stopping" line in front of the police station parking lot on Kildare Road. He recommended closer attention be paid to the area.
Cavendish and Kildare
We all agree that the corner of Cavendish and Kildare is problematic. Pedestrians complain that there is not enough time to cross the street; motorists insist that the light turns colours too quickly. We have undertaken a number of measures over the years: introducing double left turns on Kildare heading to Cavendish and on Cavendish to Fleet; synchronizing the traffic lights along Cavendish; maintaining a crossing guard there year-round. Can we undertake any additional action? There are some possible solutions, which we have discussed. Not only would they be very costly, but given the changing dynamics of that corner it would only serve as a stop-gap measure and frankly not a good investment at all.
Both Mayor Housefather and Eric Ibey explained that no significant changes are being considered at the present time given the new reality of a Cavendish extension, as well as the developments at Quartier Cavendish and Parkhaven. The mayor added that there is actually less traffic at that corner today than during the glory days of the Cavendish Mall.
When work does begin on an extension, the mayor said, the Cavendish-Kildare intersection will be an important component of the changes made to traffic patterns. At that point something elaborate will occur.
Some people did have suggestions as to how to make some improvements now. He has agreed to do walkabouts with those individuals so they can show him personally what they have in mind.
At a District 2 meeting two years ago, we discussed in great detail the future of Rembrandt Park. Would we redo the tennis courts? Should the basketball courts stay? Follow up consultation was done and it was determined that the true wish was for the courts to be resurfaced, new lighting to be installed and for the status quo to prevail otherwise. Well it was timely for me to announce that the refurbished Rembrandt courts are in operation. Ditto for the new lighting. We even did some repairs to the fencing. Because of the unfriendly spring weather we had, delivery was a bit delayed. But everyone should now be very pleased.
The final word went to Dr. Paul Weinstein, who complained about the state of our sidewalks during the winter. Better effort needs to be made, he said, to break up the ice.
while it is looking very promising for the land once occupied by the Griffith McConnell.
The mayor reminded everyone about the efforts I have made to have a special allocation of $10,000 made these last few years to have the snow dump reduced to rubble, as opposed to the days when a mountain like structure essentially remained intact through the summer months. At the present time we are still working on the procedure, which is not as easy as it looks. Strong machinery is required to chop up what used to be a mixture of snow and dirt and has now evolved into thick mud.
While on our respective vacations last Christmas, both the mayor and I were alerted to excessive noise coming from the snow dump. We spoke each day, communicated with staff and arrived at solutions such as having a barrier of snow to be formed almost like a wall to shield some of the noise and for as much work to occur deep the dump as possible. We closely monitored the trucks making unnecessary noise, even posting our own staff there. It seemed to improve matters. We worked closely with residents of the still relatively new Les Cours Marc Chagall Town Houses.
The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is about a lot more than books. I have been reminded about that constantly since assuming the portfolio of library and culture at the start of my third mandate as a city councillor.
One of the things I wanted to become more involved in programming. We offer some excellent lectures and I was very excited to recommend Bob Benedetti as a potential guest speaker. Bob has lived a most interesting life: airforce pilot, TV broadcaster, mayor of Beaconsfield and now a blogger specializing on matters related to technology.
Well Bob acccepted our invitation and on May 29 he delivered a fabulous "story of my life," complete with a 52 slide powerpoint presentation featuring some great video clips. A surprise member of the audience was legendary sportscaster Dick Irvin, recently presented with the Order of Canada. He is a former colleague of Bob's at CTV Montreal.
Bob started off by sharing with us his special Côte Saint-Luc connection. Pointing to his lovely wife Susan, seated in the second row, he took us back to 1978 when he lived in the area known as the Village - just off Côte Saint-Luc Road near Kingsley. He was doing his grocery shopping at Steinberg's at the CSL Shopping Centre when his cart literally bumped into Susan's. She recognized him from TV and the two got to talking.
"At the cash, I asked if we could see each other," Bob said. "She told me that she was in the phone book. We actually became friends for about five years. After sharing dating experiences, we saw that what we wanted was right under our nose. We have now been together 29 years this coming August."
Bob began his powerpoint and literally began his story with photos of his third birthday, his days as a high school football player (concussions and broken bones galore). His first job was with Bell Telephone, but what he really wanted to do was become a pilot. So he took all the necessary courses and in 1956, for only $300 (with a $100 rebate from the government), he got his pilot's license. That propelled him to pursue a career in the Canadian Airforce.
Bob's claim to fame, of course, were the years he spent as a reporter for the old Pulse News on CFCF (now simply known as CTV Monteal). He shared some great stories of his days in the field, illustrated by a highlight reel compiled by Brian Britt when he retired almost a decade ago. It was not long before he was persuaded to run for mayor of Beaconsfield in 2005. He won and served one term. These days he keeps himself very busy with his excellent blog on new technology.
“Technology has always been a hobby of mine,” Bob was saying. “I remember when I was a little kid going to visit my uncle who worked for Bell I’d head straight for his telephone equipment to play with. I was a pioneer writing about technology long before it became commonplace. For example I was the first reporter ever to write about the original BlackBerry. It looked like a pager back in the late nineties. I used the segment title Tech Talk. Do I ever wish I had registered the name, now everyone uses it. I computerized the newsroom and brought in the first satellite truck called Pulstar. We had a visionary owner who gave us the money to do it.”
Bob is thrilled with the following his Home Technology Montreal blog has achieved, reporting on both personal and car technology. “A lot of my site has reviews,” Bob says. “I get stuff and try it out and I write it in a fun way. People have to deal with technology today, whether it is making a purchase for themselves or as a gift. And there is a lot of technology in cars today. So I take a close look at that as well. I put a particular emphasis on stuff that is available in Montreal.”
Bob has also taken to Twitter. He also designed his own website, spending time getting to know and understand the Wordpress format.
Bob and Susan were happy to make the trip to CSL and escape their home."We are in week four of kitchen renovations," he said.
Here is a video chat I had with Bob last year:
The annual Côte Saint-Luc Mega Garage Sale was another huge success on Sunday, May 25, at the Confederation Annex of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park.
“As residents are always encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle this event couldn't be more appropriate,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We’d rather items find a new use with someone who needs them than be tossed in the garbage.”
There were 60 tables set up under the roof of the Confederation Annex. Prepared food was available on site.
New this year, the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library had a table and sold gently used books. The funds collected by the sale of used books will go towards the purchase of a piano for the library.
I was also pleased to see the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee on site. Bram Eisenthal, our new partner in the Animal Protection area, was there as well to promote his excellent Precious Pets newspaper.
Also, Côte Saint-Luc was accepting old bikes on behalf of SOS Vélo, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged adults learn job skills. SOS Vélo takes used bikes and builds new ones, using about 70 per cent recycled parts.
The event co-chairpersons were Councillor Dida Berku and Councillor Steven Erdelyi. The annual Mega Garage Sale was launched in 2007.
Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers. Members of our Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOP) were there setting up as of 5:30 a.m.
A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 information meeting will take place on Monday, June 2 (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard). I created this initiative when I was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then a number of other councillors have followed suit.
Special guests for this meeting will be Mayor Anthony Housefather, Police Station 9 Lieutenant Bryan Cunningham and Coordinator of Urban Development Eric Ibey. Mathew Stein (pictured), a District 2 resident and student at Bialik High School, will be presented with an Award of Merit for his efforts in cleaning up his neighbourhood.
As the city’s point man for traffic issues, Ibey will be soliciting any ideas citizens may have to improve the situation at Cavendish and Kildare. There will also be information on a planned Hydro-Québec project on Merrimac Road and Rembrandt Avenue, an update on the soon to be unveiled renovated Rembrandt Park tennis court, animal protection and other issues. This is also an opportunity for residents to bring up any other issue they wish. For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott, Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle (between Cavendish and Brandeis), Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, new Town Houses), Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac.
All residents of Côte Saint-Luc are invited to attend.
The Jewish General Hospital Centre for Child Development and Mental Health will hold its annual fundraiser on Wednesday, May 28 (7 p.m.) at the Quartier Cavendish Cineplex Theatre, featuring the Spanish film Tocur Y Luchar (To Play and To Fight). It will be shown with English subtitles.
This film introduces one of the most important and beautiful social phenomena in recent history - an incredible network of youth orchestras, designed to expose poor and rural children (Viva! Sistema) to the wonders of music. It is a movement that has spread worldwide, from its beginning in Venezuela. The wonderful St. Gabriel Elementary School String Ensemble will also perform.
Here is your first look at a press release we will be issuing for our much anticipated golf classic.
Councillors Mike Cohen and Sam Goldloom have announced that Gravel Décarie Chevrolet Buick Cadillac will serve as the title sponsor for the 35th Annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic, which will take place on Tuesday, July 8 at Meadowbrook Golf Club (8370 Côte Saint-Luc Road). Jazz legend Oliver Jones (pictured), a resident of Côte Saint-Luc, will serve as honourary chairman and lead his own foursome on the links.
Adding to the excitement, Jean-Claude and Louis Philippe Gravel are making available a Cadillac ATS 2014 to be won by the first or only golfer to make a hole in one.
For many years this event was called the Senior Men’s Golf Outing. However, it is no longer tied to age and as a result a number of foursomes have already been sold to groups and associations involved or operating within the city. Starting times range from 7 am to 10 am, with the nine hole Classic followed by a lunch buffet at 1 pm complete with trophies, guest speakers and door prizes, all taking place at the Aquatic and Community Centre, 5794 Parkhaven Avenue. There will be plenty of snacks on the course and souvenir packages upon starting your round on the course.
“The Golf Classic will provide an opportunity to have some fun, socialize with others and enjoy a delightful day,” stated Councillor Cohen. “We are thrilled to welcome Gravel Auto on board. Based on their geographic location at the corner of Decarie and Van Horne, they are the community car dealership for our residents.
Added Councillor Goldloom: “We expect all our spots to be sold out very quickly this year so I urge interested parties, be it as individuals or as part of a foursome, to register without delay.”
Councillors Cohen and Goldloom extended their thanks to Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman of the Parks and Recreation Department for their hard work behind the scenes. Registration is only $27 per player. Payment by cheque must be made out to the City of Côte Saint-Luc. People may also pay with cash, Visa, MasterCard or Interac.
Registration will open on Monday June 2 at the Parks and Recreation Department Administration office, 7500 Mackle Road, from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or at the Aquatic and Community Centre daily, from 8 am to 9 pm. There are a limited number of spaces, so interested parties are being urged to register early. In the event of strong rain forcing cancellation, the luncheon will still take place as scheduled and the Tournament will be rescheduled for Tuesday July 15, with the same starting times.
For any further information contact Alvin Fishman at 514-485-6806 ext. 2012 (email@example.com) or Harold Cammy at 514-485-6806 ext. 2011.(firstname.lastname@example.org).
There is a new executive director of Manoire Montefiore, the beautiful seniors residence at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Mackle Road in Côte Saint-Luc's District 2. Cindy Herson (pictured) was recently appointed to the position by Reseau Selection, which also operates Le Waldorf on Côte Saint-Luc Road and where Michael Goldwax has been in the man in charge for a number of years now.
Cindy holds two Master degrees (Social Work and Jewish Studies). She has worked for a number different community organizations, including the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, B’nai Brith Canada and Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation. When I stopped by to see her recently, she was busy having a speed bump installed in the building's sloped entrance way. Bravo Cindy! For years I have been getting complaints from Cindy's predecessors that cars were using this entrance as a shortcut to turn around. Since this is private property, I can only "advise." When Cindy called me soon after her appointment she raised the matter with me and in no time at all the speed bump was order and installed.
Manoire Montefiore is in good hands,
Founded in 1988, Réseau Sélection provides an unparalleled expertise in the area of retirement housing. Theybuild and manage residential rental complexes based on an understanding of the growing needs of people aged 55 and over. With 22 residential buildings throughout Quebec, they offer more than 5,000 housing units
Elliot Lifson, Vice-Chairman of Peerless Clothing, and Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, will co-chair the 2014 Centraide campaign. They will head up a campaign cabinet composed of some thirty influential executives from all sectors of the business community.
Elliot is a resident of District 2 (so is his son) and well known community activist.
Campaign 2014 will be launched on October 2 in downtown Montreal with Centraide’s March of 1,000 Umbrellas. This annual fundraising campaign will make it possible to improve living conditions for families in difficulty (food, housing, budget planning), promote the development of young children, prevent delinquency and encourage academic perseverance among youth, facilitate the integration of newcomers, and break the isolation of seniors and people with disabilities or mental health problems.
Donations to Centraide provide essential funding to over 360 community agencies on the Island of Montreal, in Laval and on the South Shore that offer services and support to alleviate the effects of poverty and exclusion, and to improve living conditions for the most vulnerable.
When McDonald's opened up a new location at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre, I knew owner Pierre Brunet would continue his good work in the community. Pierre owns 15 franchises, including the food court kiosk at Cavendish Mall.
May 7 was McHappy day at 1,400 McDonald`s locations in Canada. A dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meal and hot drink sold is donated to Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities. Over $42 million has been raised to help thousands of Canadian families and their sick kids since 1977.
In 1982, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada was founded to be the everlasting organization that would support Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs in Canada. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for out of town families with sick children being treated at a nearby hospital. We have supported the location next to Ste. Justine`s Hospital for many years.
I joined Councillors Ruth Kovac and Dida Berku at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre location. Upon my arrival they were busy selling special merchandise such as caps and aprons to add to the fundraising opportunities. Managers Don Martin and Jeffrey Ferreira were happily greeting customers, who were being very generous.
As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I was pleased to hold my first forum on the subject at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. It was really the first time that a joint meeting had been held between cat and dog owners.
I was very pleased to welcome our newly elected Liberal Member of the National Assembly for D’Arcy McGee David Birnbaum, who succeeded Lawrence Bergman. David has been named a Parliamentary Secretary to Premier Philippe Couillard. We are thrilled to once again have a local MNA who is part of the government in power.
Lawrence Bergman was a strong supporter of the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC). David told us that he has always been an animal lover, having grown up with pets in his household. He was very pleased to learn about our activities. We asked if he could speak with the new Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Paradis, who has responsibility for Animal Welfare. While we will sit down with David in the near future to brief him on our goals and objectives, we would very much appreciate meeting Mr. Paradis as well.
I have known David for a long time. We are lucky to have him as our new provincial representative.
A number of members of our CSLCC were on hand for the meeting, our two leaders Shelley Schecter and Diane Mendel Liebling. It has been almost four years since I called a meeting at City Hall to talk about what we could do to address the homeless cats situation in our community. Well more than 100 people turned out that evening and the rest is history. We have a small, but devoted, group of volunteers who handle Trap, Neuter, Release and Adoption, community relations, education, fundraising and other matters that come up. Overall we have already saved the lives of hundreds of beautiful cats. The first ever cat licensing bylaw has been passed and we have many more projects at hand.
I was pleased with the turnout for our Forum, particularly among dog owners. There was a clear interest among those on hand to try and launch a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Owners Association. I would indeed support such an initiative, with these individuals serving as the perfect advisory group for my portfolio.
Since being appointed as the councillor responsible for Animal Protection last January, I have already met and spoken with countless dog owners. I will soon be announcing an exciting new partnership with a local pet food store.
Right now we have one dog run in Côte Saint-Luc, on Mackle Road near Caldwell. The city has already received a petition to see a new dog run built at Richard Schwartz Park, located on Westluke and Côte Saint-Luc Road near Meadowbrook Golf Course. We are studying this request seriously to determine whether we can find a suitable section of land at that park or anywhere in the vicinity to suit that purpose. Dog owners near Decarie Square have a similar request.
It was clear from everyone on hand that we need to promote responsible dog ownership. That means keeping your canine on a leash and most importantly picking up after he or she. Never leave the house without a plastic bag to dispose of the dog’s dirty business. We are working towards a project which would have more bag dispensers available, with a trash can at the same location.
One lady told the story of someone in her building who refused to pick up after her dog. “I warned her that if she did not do so, I would put it in a bag and leave it on her doorstep,” she said. “Well right in front of me she let her dog do his business, with no cleanup at all. The next day she did find it on her doorstep.”
Steve Stein said he has been disgusted by some of the actions of irresponsible dog owners. “I have never seen such neglect,” he said. “My 16 year old son finally saw enough and he has taken to cleaning up the mess himself as part of his community service at school.”
Shelley Schecter said that the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough in Monteal now has a bylaw which requires dog owners to carry a bag with them or else they risk a fine.
Bram Eisenthal, the publisher of Precious Pets newspaper, announced a new partnership with the CSLCC. We will be co-sponsoring some of his Grief Counselling meetings for people whose beloved pets have died. He has done a few sessions already on the West Island. They have been very therapeutic for those in attendance. I have personally lost three cats in my lifetime. Only a pet owner can understand what this is like. Absolutely devastating! Bram is giving people a chance to share their feelings with others who have gone through the same thing. A future meeting will take place in CSL.
I look forward to reporting upon developments on the formation of a Dog Owners Association. Louise Chenevert, who has started such a group in Montreal West, was on hand at our meeting and provide some good background on the subject.
When I assumed the portfolios of Library and Culture and Animal Protection last January on Côte Saint-Luc City Council, I knew there was a way to marry the two. For starters, our Director of Library Services Janine West is an animal lover and so are many of her staff. This includes Manager of Children’s Services Valerie Medzalabanleth and Children’s Outreach and School Services Coordinator Bronwen Cathey from the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library.
I was very excited to be part of a new program they launched on May 5 aimed at raising awareness with young Côte Saint-Lucers about cats. Also implicated in the initiative are members of the library’s Teen Advisory Group.
More than 20 adorable children, aged two to seven, came to the library with their parents for a cat-themed storytime, interspersed with interesting cat facts (including cat health and safety information), given by Valerie and Bronwen. This was followed by a cat craft and ended with the children decorating and signing a pledge to be kind to cats. I told the kids about our Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, asked which one of them owned a cat at home (several hands went up) and how many wanted to adopt (several hands went up).
See my small video:
“By having a storytime activity, we combine the library’s mission with the CSLCC’s mission, hopefully ensuring that the future cat owners of Côte Saint-Luc will be responsible and caring friends to felines,” says Bronwen.
Valerie read three books about cats and the kids were glued to her every word. Bronwen asked a question. “What is the biggest cat in the world?” Several youngsters shouted out “a tiger.” They were correct, as in a Siberian tiger.
There were photos of cats taped to the walls on both sides of the room. The kids had to pick a type of cat out of a hat and then go find it on the wall. They liked this.Browwen even sang a song about animals.
Bravo to Valerie and Bronwen for taking such a fabulous initiative. We will be discussing a future such event on dogs and more on cats.
There is nothing like a bunch of trophies, towels with the logo of Canada and pizza to celebrate the end of another successful house league campaign for the Côte Saint-Luc Minor Hockey Association. Victor Waisgrus and his team set up shop at the Aquatic and Community Centre. There was a power point presentation, featuring photos of the young players in their team uniforms.
I joined Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillors Mitchell Brownstein, Allan J. Levine (whose dossiers include hockey), Ruth Kovac and Dida Berku at the short and sweet banquet. See the picture below of us with some of the kids. On this night the Canadiens were beginninh their playoff series against the Boston Bruins so everyone wanted to get home to catch the game.
On Monday, May 5 (7 p.m.) I will host the City of Côte Saint-Luc's first ever Animal Protection Forum in the multi-purpose room of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library.
Since Mayor Anthony Housefather handed me an actual portfolio dealing with Animal Protection in January, I have been working hard on the dossier. I had already been acting as the formal liaison on council to the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, an all volunteer group which rescues homeless cats and tries to find homes for them.
Many dog owners have approached me these last few months, so I felt there should be a forum for them in public to discuss important issues. Therefore on Monday it will literally be raining "cats and dogs." Members of the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee will be on hand to share how we have proceeded over the last few years and what our immediate objectives are. Shelley Schecter, the heart and sole of our committee and head of Educhat, will speak. She is also a dog owner. Bram Eisenthal, the publisher of the very unique Precious Pets Newspaper, will on hand. He recently launched pet grieving sessions. Only a pet owner can understand how devastated you can be when your cherished dog or cat dies. Newly elected D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum has accepted my invitation to attend. Now that the Liberals are back in power, we can share with David important animal welfare issues he can bring to Pierre Paradis, who as Minister of Agriculture, oversee the animal portfolios.
Monday's sessions will be an opportunity to share ideas. The topic of dog runs will no doubt come up, as will responsible pet ownership (i.e. picking up after your pet), licenses, adoption opportunities and other issues.
Please feel free to join us.
Residents of Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West have probably already seen agents Élyanne Caouette and Josée Bergeron from Police Station 9's 2014 Bike Patrol.
Police Commander Marc Cournoyer notes that these agents can intervene just like any other member of his time. But being on bicycles does have it advantages, allowing them to better patrol parks, lanes and small areas.
The agents will also be present at different safety workshops at parks and camps during the summer months. In fact, they have a mandate to actively approach youngsters and seniors to see if they need any help. This includes inscribing bicyles to guard against theft. Call 514 796-7813 to take advantage of this service.
Sunday, April 27 was quite a day in the City of Côte Saint-Luc. In the morning we hosted the annual Victory in Europe (VE Day) program at Veteran’s Park and City Hall. That same evening, well more than 1,000 people packed Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation for the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration.
While Côte Saint-Luc still does mark Remembrance Day on November 11, over the years we have done VE Day in a much bigger way. The weather is generally nicer, an important factor given the age of our surviving veterans, and therefore it makes more sense. Due a number of scheduling conflicts, we held the event a bit earlier this year. There was a good crowd on hand at Veteran’s Park. Frank Levine, the dynamic president of The Brigadier Kish Branch #97 of the Royal Canadian Legion oversaw the ceremony with Councillors Allan J. Levine and Ruth Kovac as co-chairs. Our invaluable communications manager Regine Banon coordinated all of the logistics. The Consul Generals of Israel, Great Britain and the Netherlands (in this case the honourary Consul Michael Polak) laid wreaths as did Mayor Anthony Housefather, newly elected D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, his predecessor Lawrence Bergman, Men’s Club president Sidney Margles and Station 9 Police Commander Marc Cournoyer .
“World War II was fought because of a lust for power and prejudice,” said Frank Levine. “Discrimination based on race, religion or sex is no longer acceptable. Has this new world erased the lust for power and prejudice? The informed citizen would say no.”
Israel Consul General Joel Lion said he knows about wars firsthand only too well. He shared with us the fact that his own son is now serving in an elite unit in the Israeli Army. “I know what it is like to be the father of a child at war,” he said.
The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre once again did an outstanding job with the presentation of Yom Hashoah. The format they have in place does not change year to year, nor should it. We are so fortunate to have survivors of this terrible period in human history with us to share their stories. Following an introduction from event co-chairs Judith Nemes Black Joyce Rappaport and Raizel Candib, Consul General Lion took to the bimah. In a powerful address he provided shocking accounts of 21 incidents of anti-Semitism which have occurred in the last two weeks alone around the world in places like New York City, Ohio, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Franceand the Ukraine. “History told us that only an independent State of Israel will ensure that we do not have another Holocaust,” he stated.
The traditional six candles were lit – symbolizing the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
The ceremony perpetuates the memory of all those who were murdered during the Holocaust and honours those who survived. It reminds us of our collective responsibility to remember the Holocaust and to protect individuals and communities from oppression, hate, racism and discriminatory policies.
This year’s theme, 1944 – and the trains kept going, spoke to the horrific events of 1944 and as a sub-theme, honoured the memory of the Jews of Hungary, most of whom were deported and murdered in the space of a few months during that year. Six Holocaust survivors, symbolizing the six million victims of the genocide of the Jews during World War II, lit memorial candles. They shared their memories of 1944 through short video testimonies.
In these video clips, Agnes Kent recouned how she was saved by Raoul Wallenberg. Charles Akerman spoke about his family and his mother’s courage in leaving him with a Catholic family that would save him in a small French village. Daisy Gross spoke with great emotion of her hidden childhood under the protection of her parents’ cook, while they were murdered by the Nazis. Joe Fellner shared his journey from a ghetto in Hungary, through deportation to Auschwitz and forced labor, and finally survival of a death march. Meier Schlomowitz reflected on his life in the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania, until his deportation to the Landsberg concentration camp, where he was released. Lilly Toth explained how she escaped a shooting by the Arrow Cross in Hungary, pretending she was dead, washing up on the shore of a river and being rescued by German soldiers who did not know she was Jewish.
The commemoration included poems and short readings in English, French, Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as songs performed by the Bialik High School Choir. A song in Ladino was performed by well-known soprano and cantor, Sharon Azrieli Perez.
Yom Hashoah was declared Holocaust Memorial Day in Quebec in 1999 and in Canada in 2005.
I would like to commend several of my constituents from District 2 who were involved with the committee to organize this event:Joseph Fishman, Paula Bultz, Ruth Najman, Marcel Tenenbaum and Renata Zajdman. Another District 2 resident, Natalie Constantine, performed sign language translation and the Bialik High School Choir headed by Lorna Smith did its usual impressive job.
David Birnbaum was on hand, but nobody from the Charter loving Parti-Québecois nor the CAQ. Municipally it was nice to see a city councillor from Rosemount, Guillaume Lavoie, on hand alongside his NDG colleague from Projet Montréal Peter McQueen, NDG-Côte des Neiges Borough Mayor Russell Copeman, Councillor Lionel Perez, municipal reps from other cities and towns and NDP Member of Parliament Tyrone Benskin. During the recitation of names of those who perished during the Holocaust, radio personality Tommy Schnurmacher (the child of survivors) took part.
Congratulations to the committee and coordinator Eszter Andor for a well run event which should be put on full video and shown in schools. About 4,000 survivors still live in Montreal today. A number of them are still involved as volunteers with the Holocaust Memorial Centre, which, together with its Remembrance Committee, organizes the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration.
The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the Holocaust, while sensitizing the public to the universal perils of antisemitism, racism, hate and indifference.
See Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's blog and his excellent video.
The annual Victory in Europe (V-E) Day commemoration will takes place on Sunday, April 27 at 11 am at Veterans Park, next to Côte Saint-Luc City Hall on Cavendish Boulevard. That same evening, Yom Hashoah will be held at the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation on Baily Road in CSL.
This year’s theme, 1944 – and the trains kept going, will speak to the horrific events of 1944 and as a sub-theme, honour the memory of the Jews of Hungary, most of whom were deported and murdered in the space of a few months during that year.