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June 2010

Underground aqueduct work on Kildare begins

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is investing $426,000 to replace the underground aqueduct on Kildare Road. between Rembrandt Ave. and Merrimac Road and to repave that stretch of  the street. The work has begun and will  last until approximately August 15, 2010.   A formal letter will be sent to all affected residents shortly.

Pipe replacement and road reconstruction

Normally, Côte Saint-Luc would reline the pipes to prevent leaks, which is a less invasive procedure. However, the state of the pipes under Kildare Rd. requires them to be replaced, which is why we need to open up the road surface. While this will cause traffic on this stretch of road to be disrupted, the work is necessary. Once the work is complete, the pipes should not need to be repaired or replaced for approximately 50 years.  At the same time we will also be reconstructing the road once the pipes have been replaced. The road surface has been damaged due to prior water breaks and while it has been patched the time has come for proper resurfacing.

Water

A temporary above-ground water network has been nstalled to provide water as well as to offer fire protection to buildings and townhouses along Kildare Rd. A specialized firm, Canbec, has been hired to carry out the repairs, and our own Engineering Department will supervise and confirm the quality of the work. Please note that that an employee from Canbec and/or its sub-contractor Colmatec, duly authorized by the city, may have to visit your building or townhouse to check your water connection. Canbec will also distribute additional information directly to  your home.

If you have questions or comments about these repairs, you may call the following numbers:

• Weekdays between 7am and 4pm: Côte Saint-Luc Engineering Department, 514-485-6800 ext. 1501, or info@cotesaintluc.org, for general inquiries.
• After hours (emergencies): Côte Saint-Luc Public Security Department: 514-485-6960.
• At any time (day or night): Colmatec, 450-973-3366 or 514-712-1640.
• Côte Saint-Luc information line regarding water work: 514-485-6800 ext. 5500.

Today, June 28, there were two water breaks on Kildare Rd. which forced  water to be shut off. Fortunately the damage was repaired quickly. Those affected are recommended to boil their drinking water for 48 hours. Stay tuned to www.cotesaintluc.org for more details.


Human Rights Walkway Ceremony July 1: Issues close to my heart

I am very proud to be co-chairing the July 1 Côte Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway ceremony with Councillor Glenn J. Nashen. At 5:30 p.m., immediately following a Canadian Citizenship ceremony and preceding the kickoff of Canada Day celebrations at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, we  will honour those who spoke out and fought for Jews oppressed in the former Soviet Union, Syria, and Ethiopia.


For Glenn and I, this will be a very special moment. I was the national director of communications for Canadian Jewish Congress for 11 years, from 1988 to 1999. When I arrived the Soviet Jewry movement was making the type of progress nobody ever thought possible.  Canadian Jews, and those in Montreal very specifically, had played a critical and influential role in allowing the ‘prisoners of zion” to leave the former USSR. Glenn and I participated in the emotional Simchat Torah rallies where thousands congregated in Phillips Square (“Turn Phillips  Square into Red Square” was our catch phrase). Together we marched to the Soviet Consultate. Leading the way were a group of Dynamic Women calling themselves the Group of 35 and a polished speaker and advocate in Martin Penn. Marty was employed by the CJC for many years as the staff person for the Soviet Jewry dossier. He would ultimately leave that post and go to rabbinical school, remaining very much involved in the movement.


By the late 1980s, the Soviet-Jewish protest movement had achieved far more than its founders had expected. The large majority of Soviet Jews applying to emigrate were being permitted to do so, and inside the Soviet Union, for the first time since the Communist revolution of 1917, a yeshiva was established. In early 1990, more than ten thousand were leaving Russia monthly. I remember being in Israel on CJC missions where we went to Ben Gurion Airport to welcome the  new Israelis as they stepped off the plane.

We owe a lot to individuals like Martin Penn, who sadly suffered a debilitating stroke more than a decade ago. He lost his greatest gift – the ability to speak. We very much hope Marty will be with us on Canada Day.

In addition to Soviet Jewry, we are focusing on two other movements – Ethiopian and Syrian  Jewry. Glenn and I were preoccupied with these dossiers as well. Myself in the role of a staff person and Glenn as a volunteer and staff person at Federation CJA.

The story of Ethiopian Jews is an interesting one and local lawyer Stan Cytrynbaum was a hero on that front. He will be with us July 1. As for Syrian Jewry, Toronto’s Judy Feld Carr was nothing short of a miracle worker. Why someone has not made a movie of how this Montreal born former music teacher and grandmother of 10 was responsible for the rescue of 3,228 Jews from Syria over 28 years, is  beyond me.
 

We have gone beyond the July 1 ceremony thanks to the talents of Darryl Levine, our director of public affairs and communications. Darryl  has produced a 20-minute mini-documentary called “Human Rights Activists for Oppressed Jews in Foreign Lands.” The video features interviews with Irwin Cotler and Stan Cytrynbaum. Professor Cotler, who today is the Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, discusses his involvement, including serving as the legal counsel for political prisoners in the Soviet Union. Stan provides a personal account of how the first learned about Ethiopian Jews and later helped create a movement in Canada to draw attention to their plight and advocate for their rescue. The video is available at CoteSaintLuc.org. 

I would also like to salute the late Alan Rose, who as executive vice-president of Canadian Jewish Congress played a huge role in this movement. The same goes for Jack Silverstone, who as national executive director of CJC hired me when I was only 25 to assume an important role and schooled me on this issue in very quick order. Jack is now an immigration lawyer in Ottawa and remains a close friend.

 Our mini-documentary is meant to educate young people about these events and to inspire them to join or create human rights movements of their own.  

The Human Rights Walkway was inaugurated in 2000 and is dedicated to men and women who, through their actions, have promoted and defended human rights. This will be the tenth plaque unveiled on the walkway.

“Many of the past honourees have been people who put their lives on the line in many parts of the world,” Councillor Nashen said. “By selecting a movement of people—many of them local—we wanted to highlight the fact anyone, anywhere can help those in need, even from the safety and comfort of our suburban homes in Canada. Professor Cotler, Stan Cytrynbaum, and Judy Feld Carr—an unassuming former music teacher and grandmother of 10 who was responsible for the rescue of 3,228 Jews from Syria over 28 years—are three examples of a movement that helped rescue hundreds of thousands of people.”
The public can learn more about the past honourees at www.CoteSaintLuc.org/en/Walkway.

You can view the documentary below:


Consultation results in new plans for Rembrandt Park; introduction of mini-tennis

On May 31,  I held a District 2 Information meeting, with planned changes to Rembrandt Park topping the agenda.  With Harold Cammy, the Manager of Sports and Facilities from our Parks and Recreation Department on hand, we provided an extensive overview of the proposal. Since work is only scheduled to commence in September, I wanted to make sure to get the comments of local residents. I had actually begun this process during my door to door campaign last fall. Prior to my meeting, Bialik High School students Gabriel Alon and Zack Campbell circulated in the area and surveyed individuals.

There were more than 60 people in attendance May 31. I also received a lot of telephone calls and emails prior to and after that meeting. What we shared with those on hand that night were plans rebuild and reposition  the existing two tennis courts, added four more, remove the basketball courts completely, construct a small parking lot on the Merrimac side and begin the process of changing the lighting.

It is important to note that since my election in 2005 there has been a lot of attention devoted to Rembrandt Park. First and foremost we returned its original name after the short lived borough rechristened it Côte Saint-Luc Park. The soccer pit was filled and brought up to street level, alleviating am opportunity for hoodlums to hide out late at night and repeatedly dump benches down the hill. We replaced some of the park equipment and introduced a beautiful water play area.

Why get rid of the basketball courts? For the past number of years seniors have complained that the courts attract young people from outside of the community late at night who are up to no good.  At the May 31 meeting and via other correspondence there were those who came forward suggesting that the courts stay, but perhaps be relocated near the street so that Public Security and the  police can get a better view of things. Many of the residents felt that six tennis courts were too many. As for the parking lot, this was not well received either.

Well this is precisely why I believe in public consultation.  We took the results of what we heard to the Tennis Committee, chaired by Allan J. Levine. Thanks to Mr. Cammy and Director of Parks and Recreation David Taveroff we were able to come up with some excellent alternatives, which I am very pleased to report have now been accepted by council.

-We will build five tennis courts instead of six. The two originals will “not” be rebuilt or repositioned. In fact one will become the city’s very first court for mini-tennis for young children. Mini tennis courts are portable and easy to set up. Playing tennis on a mini court is just like playing on a real court except that the dimensions are smaller and you use a special foam tennis ball designed for playing on a smaller court. Using a mini tennis court is a great way to teach young kids how to play tennis.  Having the smaller court makes it much easier for them to work on their ground strokes and learn the rules of tennis.  They also get to spend more time learning how to hit proper strokes as opposed to chasing down balls all over a full size court. But it’s not just for kids either.  Adults can use a mini tennis court as well to work on their own game and footwork.  Since the court is much smaller it focuses more on hitting well placed shots and require much less running. See the video below.


 


 


 -The basketball court as it stands now will be removed and replaced with a nice section of green space, hopefully with a few benches. However, as a compromise solution we will construct a new half basketball court. This will alleviate the threat of outsiders coming to play pickup games, but enable locals to shoot some hoops. This includes the father or  grandfather who wants to come out with one of their youngsters.
-The half basketball court will be near street level in the spot originally reserved for a parking lot, which we have removed from the plan. 

I am excited about this project and thank everyone for their feedback and cooperation.

 


Ilan Ramon Walkabout 2010 Looks at Traffic Safety and Parking

For the second year in a row Charles Senekal, the city of Côte Saint-Luc’s traffic engineer par excellence, joined me and a number of residents of Ilan Ramon Crescent for a walkabout to examine different traffic safety and parking options.

IlamRamonGroup

Ilan Ramon is almost a community itself, situated off Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott. There are a lot of young families here and I am happy to say we remain in very close contact. I appreciate their interest in city affairs and they are always well represented at my District meetings. Boris Myschkowski and Frank Palucci are two residents in particular who let their different ideas flow.

Charles was good enough to stick around well past the end of his work day to walk the street.  He informed residents that new measures have been taken to prevent parking on curbs.  Some new “No Parking” signs have been added to Ilan Ramon and Sir Walter Scott to create clearer paths for vehicles. As a result of our consultation, Charles will be able to tighten restrictions a bit more in certain cases. Because of construction taking place at the Westwood Apartment Building garage on Kildare Road, many cars from there are parking overnight o n Sir Walter Scott and Ilan  Ramon. This should subside next week when we allow vehicles to park in the snow dump. The Ministry of the Environment has given us permission to do so. Once the need for these additional cars to find spaces subsides, we will limit parking on Sir Walter Scott to one side of the street on alternate days as presently the route is very narrow for large trucks to get through.

 

IlanRamonDiscuss2010

Major construction on Kildare Road, from Rembrandt to Merrimac, will commence on July 5 to replace the pipes. This job will take several weeks. Once completed we will install two stop signs at the corner of Sir Walter Scott and Kildare Road as well as a crosswalk. That is great news for families who cross the street often. This news has been very well received.
There were several other ideas which came forward which I will ask our Traffic Committee to take a look at.


Cavendish Mall Project Moving Forward: See Video of What New Site Will Look Like

City council had a successful Public Consultation meeting Monday, June 14 regarding the planned residential project for the Cavendish Mall. Those seated in the packed hall were impressed with a video which takes on a trip to the future to see what this development might look like.

Please see the video yourself by clicking here.   


Here is your first look at the proposed new Cavendish Mall property

It was standing room only at Côte Saint-Luc City  Hall, as Council held a public information meeting about the proposed plan to demolish 40 percent of the Cavendish Mall and replace it with a housing project: 38 detached single-family homes, 18 semi-detached homes, 55 townhouses, 300 senior residences, connected to the Mall (in two eight storey towers); and 40 condos or offices on top of a mixed use building (commercial at street level). There will be plenty of green space as well. Mall Managing Partner Roy Salomon predicted exciting things for the remaining commerce portion of the property,

Here is a copy of the presentation that was made at the meeting. Just click on it below:

Download Information session, June 7 2010


Is 940 AM about to be ressurrected? Tietolman and Tétreault bid for Corus

For more than four decades my father, Lawrence Frederick Cohen (a.k.a. Larry Fredericks), worked for radio stations CKVL AM and CKOI FM (originally CKVL FM). He began his career as a radio announcer and eventually found himself in the accounting department when CKVL went from an English to a French station. For most of this time CKVL was owned by the Tietolman family. They sold the AM and FM stations to the two Pierres – Arcand and Beland – who eventually purchased a number of other outlets and sold out  to media entertainment giant Corus Entertainment.TietolmanTetreault


Jack Tietolman was the patriarch of the family. Two of his sons, Maurice and Paul, were also involved with the operation. I have seen Paul often over the last few years.  His beautiful daughter married one of my neighbours and she is now a constituent of mine in my city council life.


Whenever we meet, even as he danced at his daughter’s wedding, Paul told that the day would come for him to return to the local radio scene.  On the evening of June 7 I received a telephone call. “Mike, this is Paul Tietolman,” he began. “I told you I would contact you when I had news. Well I have news. Be at the law firm of Fasken Martineau Walker at 10:30 tomorrow morning. I am holding a press conference.”
“Are you going to bring the 940 AM dial back to life?” I asked.


“See you tomorrow Mike,” Paul said softly.


Well Paul did indeed have a blockbuster announcement. Not only has he established Tietolman Tétrault Media with noted entrepreneur and former Montreal city councillor Nicolas Tétrault (above left), but the duo have put together an  offer of $81 million to purchase the 11 Quebec radio stations owned by Corus. These include Q 92.5 FM, CKOI. CHMP 98.5 FM and  CKAC 730 AM in Montreal; CFOM FM  and CFEL FM in Quebec City; CHLN FM in Trois-Rivieres; CIME FM in St. Jérome; CJRC in Gatineau; and CHLT and CKOY FM in Sherbrooke. For an additional sum of money, they have also offered to purchase the Saguenay station (CKRS FM) currently owned by Corus, along with the equipment and facilities that were used for the activities of AM 690 and 940 AM stations before they were shut down in March.
 

Cogeco Media  recently signed   an agreement with   Corus. to acquire its Quebec radio stations for $80 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments and conditions, including approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Tietolman said he and Tétrault have been working on their proposal for a year and a half, including  obtaining the necessary financial backing and partners.  He believes the CRTC has to view his proposal as a superior one to that of Cogeco.

“It preserves the jobs associated with 11 radio stations contemplated by the offer,” Tietolman said. “It ensures the continued operations of the Saguenay station and it will re-launch the activities of AM 690 and 940 AM.”


For me, that was the most significant announcement of the press conference. Even if the CRTC chooses Cogeco over Tietolman Tétrault, it appears almost definite that we will get another English language radio station back on the air. Let’s remember that 940 was originally at the AM 600 dial and know as CFCF Radio as in Canada’s First, Canada’s Finest. Corus let it die a slow death by changing its news and talk f format to oldies.


Tietolman would not confirm what formats he has in mind to revive 940 and 690. “When you hear the concept you will be floored,” he said. “Nobody in the country is doing this and once we get started, you will see it replicated in the top 50 markets in the USA. Right now 940 and 690 look like the weakest chain in the link of stations we intend to own. They will end up being the strongest. Just watch!”
I asked Tietolman if there is hope for us to see the radio voices we so much miss, folks like Peter Anthony Holder, Kevin Holden, Kathy Coulombe, Suzanne Desautels and even Paul “Tasso Patsikakis” Zakabe.  Yes, he said, the format would be amenable to some of these personalities getting back on radio.
But in a statement Tuesday, Corus said the stations are no longer up for grabs: “Corus has entered into a binding agreement with Cogeco which is subject only to the usual regulatory approvals. Therefore we are not in a position to consider any other offers at this time.”
Well let us hope the CRTC says otherwise.


Bravo to Tietolman and Tétrault. Let’s hope they succeed.


Public Information Meeting on the Cavendish Mall Development-- Mon. June 7

Residents are invited to a public information session to learn about the status of the Cavendish Mall redevelopment project on Monday, June 7, 2010 at 7pm at City Hall, 5801 Cavendish Blvd.

Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of the city council will provide an overview and explain the next steps. The public will see maps showing  the new zoning and density levels of the new residential housing project, which will be built on the eastern part of the Cavendish Mall site. Representatives from the developers will show preliminary designs on what the new area may look like. Residents can ask questions and make comments.


Session d'information publique sur le sur redéveloppement du Mail Cavendish
 
Les résidants sont invités à une session d'information publique afin d'en apprendre plus sur le redéveloppement du Mail Cavendish, lundi, le 7 juin 2010 à 19h à l'hôtel de ville, 5801 boulevard Cavendish.

Le maire Anthony Housefather et les membres du conseil offriront un aperçu et expliqueront les étapes suivantes. Le public pourra consulter des cartes qui indiqueront le nouveau zonage ainsi que les niveaux densité du nouveau projet résidentiel, qui sera construit sur le secteur situé à l’est du Mail Cavendish. Des représentants des promoteurs présenteront des ébauches préliminaires, représentant ce à quoi pourrait ressembler le nouveau projet. Les résidants pourront poser des questions et offrir des commentaires.


District 2 Meeting Summary for May 31, 2010

1. Introduction
 

Councillor Mike Cohen welcomed everyone  to this District 2 meeting. More than 60 people were in attendance. Many others called and emailed in advance, asking for a summary to be posted on the mikecohen.ca website. This is always the case.  Councillor Cohen reminded everyone that since he was first elected four and half years ago he has made it a point to have these meetings. He in fact  introduced the concept and several of his colleagues have followed the same lead.

 2. Mayor Housefather
 

Councillor Cohen  was pleased to introduce Mayor Anthony Housefather, he himself a resident of District 2. The mayor provided everyone on hand with a comprehensive breakdown of the Cavendish Mall dossier.  He noted that council finally adopted Plan 44  A, which shows how much negotiating went on between the city and the Mall over a four year period.  The Mall will soon be given permission to demolish part of its building.  In its place, a housing development will take shape. He indicated that our hope is to see town houses and single family homes at affordable prices so that young families will settle there. The mayor encouraged everyone to attend special public meetings about the Mall at City Hall on June 7 (7 p.m.) and June 14 (7 p.m.).


June 2010Anthony

The audience was also updated on the new $17 million Aquatic-Intergenerational Centre we will construct on Parkaven next to the large outdoor pool. We received $11 million in federal and provincial grant money. The facility will have an indoor pool, a fun pool for young children and plenty of meeting space. This will become the new home of our senior groups, saving us $100,000 in annual rental fees at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. We will also be able to have special events there, such as the Volunteer Appreciation Evening, alleviating the need to rent a hall. The mayor encouraged one and all to attend a public information meeting on this project at a date to be announced soon.
 

3.   Rembrandt Park 

Harold Cammy, the Manager of Sports and Facilities with our Parks and Recreation Department, gave an extensive preview of the planned changes for Rembrandt Park. Councillor Cohen noted that work is only scheduled to begin in September. While council has approved a plan, one of the main reasons for holding this meeting now was to consult the public.

Rembrandt Park presently has two courts. They are the only two truly public courts in the city. The Côte Saint-Luc Tennis Club is private and there are fees attached. Rembrandt is free with a CSL Fun Card and has a nominal fee attached without. 
 
 June 2010 Martel
The city has decided to add four more courts at Rembrandt. One of the reasons for this is that the courts on Caldwell, in the parking lot of the old Wagar High School, have been deemed unsafe and cannot be used any longer.
 

Mr. Cammy said that four courts will be built where the present two exist and in place of  the basketball court.  Two other courts will go up on the grass area further along towards Merrimac. This is the spot that was once a soccer pit that we filled a few years ago. Plans also call for a parking lot with enough space for nine cars.
 

Why get rid of the basketball courts? For the past number of years seniors have complained that the courts attract young people from outside of the community late at night that are up to no good. Michel Martel, the CSL chief of Public Security, was on hand at the meeting and confirmed this to be the case. So did Rembrandt Ave. resident Ruby Goodman, who works as an attendant at the park.
 

This is a $900,000 project and it will include new lighting.
 

There was a lot of feedback on this issue. Some, like Rob Leibner, were very passionate about not eliminating the basketball courts. Others like Doug Roseman were not crazy about the need for a parking lot.
 

As Mr. Cammy and Councillor Cohen emphasized, all of the comments were heard and recorded. They will be brought back to the Tennis and Parks and Recreation Committees.
 

4. Work on Kildare Road
 

At the May 10 Côte Saint-Luc City Council meeting the contract to sleeve the aqueduct on Kildare road, between Rembrandt and Merrimac, was awarded to  Les Entreprises Canbec Construction Inc. and authorized a payment of an amount not to exceed $322,191.00 plus applicable taxes. In the winter of 2009 there were several water main breaks on this stretch.  The CSL engineering division did a terrific job containing the problem. We were not able to complete the necessary work last summer, which involves a complete pipe replacement. Fortunately we had a mild  winter and no incidents. Because of the heavy traffic flow  involving Bialik High School we decided to wait until  July when classes are out to do the project.


JUne2010Senekal

Charles Senekal, the city’s traffic engineer, reported that work will begin July 5.  A week prior we will put in temporary pipes for potable water. Work will end mid August.  Mr. Senekal said he will be doing his best not to inconvenience folks as much as possible and for 90 percent of the time he will make sure we have two lanes open on Kildare (one eastbound , one westbound). Only in a very rare circumstance does he foresee us having to completely close Kildare.  He will not be closing Sir Walter Scott Avenue completely at any stage other than an unforeseeable situation that may arise, perhaps for an hour or two during the asphalt work. This would also affect Ilan Ramon Crescent. We will have to close Rembrandt completely at Kildare (only for one day). Motorists can access via Merrimac.
A lot of people asked whether as part of this work, the rough pavement surface between Rembrandt and Cavendish will be redone. Mr. Senekal noted that it is not in the budget of this project. Councillor Cohen said he will work towards it being taken care of.
There were many questions about the traffic lights at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare. It is a familiar situation. Motorists often find the wait at the light is too long. Pedestrians find the crossing signal too brief. Sidney Margles, the new president of the Senior Men’s Club, recommended pedestrians cross on the north side of Cavendish and Kildare.
Mr. Senekal said that he continues to monitor the situation. We have made many modifications and tried to accommodate different needs. There were a number of suggestions made and he will take these to the traffic committee.
 

 5. Sir Walter Scott/Kildare Road /Ilan Ramon  
 

Councillor Cohen was pleased to announce that after many years of discussion, council has finally agreed to place stop signs on both side of Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott, together with a  protected crosswalk. This will be in place after  the piping and repaving is done on Kildare.  Many young families and seniors have complained that this is a busy corner to cover.
 

Ilan Ramon residents complained about the fact so many cars from the Westwood apartments on Kildare are parking on their street overnight and blocking corners.
 

June 2010action

 It was explained that the Westwood is having its garage redone. The city has taken the unprecedented step of getting permission from the  Ministry of the Environment to allow cars to park in the snow dump area. This cannot be done, however, until all car owners sign waiver forms. Chief Martel said his team would keep an eye on any cars violating parking rules.
 

Last year Mr. Senekal and Councillor Cohen took a walkabout on Ilan Ramon with residents to hear concerns. That will be repeated again on June 17.
 

6.  Marc Chagall Ave. Update (Town   Houses, Chabad)
 

When will construction begin on the new Marc Chagall Town Houses? We are awaiting certain information from the developer before a permit can be issued. We hope this will occur soon, as almost all of the 21 units are sold.
 

 Beth Chabad will need a new home when the Cavendish Mall starts demolition, probably in August. Their community centre on Kildare and Marc Chagall is not ready yet, but they will probably have to find a way to move into the facility gradually. Some say they will start operating out of the basement.
 

 7.Bialik Traffic

Councillor Cohen indicated that a lot of progress has been made over the last number of years on this dossier.  The school administration has been cooperative. We have established student traffic committees.  Florian Gaudreau, the head of security and facilties, has been most helpful. Two  Grade 10 students, Gabriel Alon and Zack Campbell, recently earned community service points from their school for doing some traffic analysis.
 

Mr. Gaudreau filed this report prior to the meeting.
 

Subject: Morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups are creating traffic congestion issues along Kildare. Neighbours on both sides of the street are quite upset.
 

Introduction:  In the past several days I have been present for both parts of the day. The following is a partial solution that I hope will ease the congestion so that we could all use the street in a more collaborative way.
 

Morning traffic: This part of the day seems to be the most congested. The flow of traffic is restricted coming from the Meadows condo complex and the Westwood apartment block. Traffic is also affected along Merrimac because school traffic impedes drivers trying to access Kildare.
 

Main problem: The main problem seems to be that parents insist on dropping off their children right at the walkway. This backs traffic all the way up the street. To further aggravate the traffic, there have been cars parked illegally along Kildare; not just once, but several mornings in a row. 
 

Afternoon pick up: The traffic has been less of a problem during the afternoon, but safety seems to be more of an issue. The reason traffic backs up in the afternoon is because of our crossing guard, who has to contend with a flood of children leaving the school.
 

Possible solution to morning drop off: We will try putting a second person out there to encourage parents to move further along the drop off zone. This may ease some of the problem. I would like to ask the city’s permission to paint the curb of the sidewalk in order to signify the presence of drop off zone. I believe this will cement the idea of where to drop off the children.
 

Possible solutions for the afternoon pick up: The only traffic problem that can be addressed is that of parents parking in the Westwood parking area. The complaint that I received was that the parking area was so jammed that one of the tenants couldn’t get out of her assigned parking area. I have been telling parents not to park there, but it may take some time to get the point across. The duration of the afternoon traffic is much shorter and less congested because there are two city buses and two regular school buses to accommodate the flow of children.
 

Conclusion: I hope this report will effect change and that we can come to a satisfactory resolution to this problem. I’m truly sorry that this situation has gotten to the point it has. I totally understand the concerns and frustration of our neighbours. It is my hope that we resolve these problems as soon as possible.
 

8. Digital Signage
 

Councillor Cohen announced that the city’s first ever digital sign will soon go up at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare. We have installed the concrete base and done the electrical for the  digital sign and the frame is being manufactured. We have been in contact with Kazoo Media (provider of sign) and they indicated it should arrive and be installed by end of July the latest.  This sign will not cost the city anything. It will advertise city events and include some commercial material as well.
 

9. Mike’s blog
 

Councillor Cohen asked everyone to read his blog at www.mikecohen.cato really know what is going on in the District and the city. On can also subscribe by filling their email address on the right hand side of the screen.