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February 2019

January 2019

Felling of Trees behind the Library commences

The City of Côte Saint-Luc must fell approximately 250 trees in the wooded area behind Ashkelon Gardens in District 2. The work began on January 28. It  is expected to end by February 20, 2019.

The ash trees must be felled because they have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Although these trees are still standing, they are unstable and must be felled for the safety the population.

During the work, residents in the area will hear the sounds of trucks, chainsaws, and wood chippers. The workday will run from approximately 8am to 5pm. No work will be done on weekends.

Much of the chipped wood will remain in the woodland area. Wood that cannot be chipped will be temporarily placed at Veterans Park and will be collected from that area in February 2019. Part of the parking lot behind the Bernard Lang Civic Centre will be used to chip wood.

Starting in May 2019, the city will clear 21,000 buckthorn from the area, which is necessary to give new trees a chance to thrive. In early fall, 750 new trees will be planted, as will bushes and grasses. The trees are indigenous to the area and were selected because tend to grow quickly. They include the following varieties: Silver Maple, Eastern Cottonwood Poplar, Northern White, Cedar, Common Hackberry, American Linden/Basswood, Eastern Hemlock, Bur Oak, Shagbark, Hickory and Bitternut Hickory. The city will also be planting approximately 500 shrubs, which include the following six varieties: Alder, Willow, Elderberry, Dogwood and Honeysuckle.

 
We sent out t calls to property owners near the library for something I held two public information meetings about.
 
Here is what the message said: 
 
We’re calling to let you know that work has started to fell 250 sick trees in the forested area behind Ashkelon Garden. The work is expected to end by February 20. During the work, residents in the area will hear the sounds of trucks, chainsaws, and wood chippers. The workday will run from approximately 8am to 5pm. No work will be done on weekends. The ash trees must be felled because they have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Although these trees are still standing, they are unstable and must be felled for the safety the population. View the announcement on CoteSaintLuc.org for more information about the project, including which types of trees will be planted.
 
Nous vous appelons pour vous informer que des travaux d’abatage de 250 arbres ont débuté dans la zone boisée derrière le jardin Ashkelon. Les travaux se poursuivront jusqu’au 20 février. Pendant les travaux, les résidants du secteur entendront les bruits des camions, des tronçonneuses et des déchiqueteuses à bois. Les travaux seront effectués exclusivement du lundi au vendredi entre environ 8h et 17h. Les frênes doivent être abattus parce qu'ils ont été infectés par l'agrile du frêne. Bien que ces arbres soient encore debout, ils sont instables et doivent être abattus pour assurer la sécurité de la population.
Pour en savoir plus sur cette annonce, y compris le genre d’arbres qui seront plantés, consultez CoteSaintLuc.org.
 

Noise from the Equinoxe generator

Last week the owners of the Equinoxe built a noise reducing enclosure aimed at  reduce the noise when their generator is needed. This generator continues to cause sleepless nights for residents of the Rothchild I whose  units face this area.

I thank our Urban Development Manager Jeff Davey for working overtime on this dossier. This latest effort does not appear to have resolved  the situation.

I dropped by the area myself.

Click here or below to see my short video.

Update. Here is the noise from Monday night.

 

 

 


Remembering Cody Vigderhous

A few weeks ago Cody, the beloved dog of Car Vigderhous and family was brutally run over by a car. This was pure and simply a hit and run. With the support of Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Public Works Director Beatrice Newman instructed her team  to install a wreath on a pole at the median of Cavendish Blvd near Fleet and Merton where Cody was killed.It is facing the northbound traffic close to the traffic lights so that it can be seen by those who are slowing down. Thanks to Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson for his coordination role.

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The wreath

 

"We understand how traumatic this event must have been for the whole family and we wish to extend our deepest condolences to Cody's family for their loss," said Ms. Newman.

Commented Cheryl Roth Vigderhous:" I also hope that in the short time it's there it will serve as a reminder that speed can kill, and to slow down for the safety of all our residents, on two legs and four."

 

Cody
Cody

 


Excavation work begins on second Equinoxe Tower but ventilation system noise is unacceptable

Excavation work has begun for the second tower of the Equinoxe highrise apartment complex.  Phase 1 is fully complete and occupied.

Permitted construction hours are 7 am to 7 pm   weekdays. Unlike Phase 1, no  work will be permitted on weekends. Our Public Security will do regular inspections to ensure these hours are being respected.

IMG_4497
The construction site for Phase 2 of the Equinoxe.

Residents of the Rothchild I Condominium  on Mackle Road whose units face the Equinoxe have had to endure unacceptable noise from a large generator. I went there last night and recorded  the noise myself. Click here. It sounds like a loud moving truck parked just outside your bedroom window.

 

The developers are still waiting their permanent power supply for the first building and have been using their generator all winter, which is becoming a nuisance for the neighbourhood. Today, our senior management were tasked to communicating with Hydro Quebec officials to expedite this work. We cannor order that the ventilation system  be shut off, because as the temperature dips even lower, they need the supplemental power to provide heat to the Equinoxe residents. We will be asking them to build a “baffling” box around it on the Rothchild side immediately while we sort out the Hydro problem. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I are committed to getting a resolution to this serious problem as soon as possible.

We are also working with the developers on where the construction vehicles will park so please stay tuned for more information on that.

There are a lot of things to work out and I want to assure residents that our staff is working diligently on this file. The Mayor will also resume his monthly meetings with the developer and a committee of residents of the neighbouring condos.

It is estimated that work will continue for as long as 18 months until this project concludes.

UPDATE: Thanks to our Urban Development Department. The Equinoxe  has modified its internal power distribution priorities, so, according to them, the generator should not be on at all outside peak hours going forward.  In the event it does go on, it would only be in times of extreme cold outdoor temperatures and during hours where there is extremely high strain on the power grid (early morning and/or evening - at times when many people are cooking, showering, doing laundry, etc. at the same time). In other words, there is a chance it goes on, but only for short periods during the day and never in the middle of the night. They were on site January 16 evaluating an appropriate temporary screen for the Rothchild side of the generator. Public Security will do inspections overnight

Le bruit inacceptable

Les travaux d'excavation de la deuxième tour de l'immeuble d'appartements Equinoxe ont commencé.  Les heures de construction permises sont de 7 h à 19 h en semaine. Contrairement à la phase 1, aucun travail ne sera permis les fins de semaine. Notre Sécurité publique fera des inspections régulières pour s'assurer que ces heures sont respectées.
Le site de construction de la phase 2 de l'Equinoxe : les résidents de la copropriété Rothchild I sur Mackle Road, dont les unités font face à l'Equinoxe, ont dû supporter le bruit inacceptable d'un gros générateur. J'y suis allé hier soir et j'ai enregistré le bruit moi-même. Cliquez ici.

Les promoteurs attendent toujours leur alimentation électrique permanente pour le premier bâtiment et ont utilisé leur génératrice tout l'hiver, ce qui devient une nuisance pour le quartier. Aujourd'hui, notre haute direction a été chargée de communiquer avec les représentants d'Hydro-Québec afin d'accélérer ce travail. Nous pouvons ordonner l'arrêt du système de ventilation, car à mesure que la température descend encore plus bas, ils ont besoin de l'énergie supplémentaire pour fournir de la chaleur aux résidents d'Equinoxe.

Nous leur demanderons de construire une boîte "déconcertante" autour du côté de Rothchild immédiatement pendant que nous réglerons le problème de l'électricité. Le maire Mitchell Brownstein et moi nous sommes engagés à trouver une solution à ce grave problème le plus rapidement possible et nous travaillons également avec les promoteurs sur les endroits où les véhicules de construction seront stationnés, alors restez à l'écoute pour en savoir plus à ce sujet. Le maire reprendra également ses rencontres mensuelles avec le promoteur et un comité de résidants des condos avoisinants et on estime que les travaux se poursuivront pendant 18 mois jusqu'à la fin de ce projet.

Traduit avec www.DeepL.com/Translator

 

 


First focus group on Rembrandt/Kildare Road stop sign attracts different viewpoints

Last September we added a new stop sign at the corner of Rembrandt Avenue and Kildare Road. We did so to address the concerns of Rembrandt residents who have often been stranded at their stop sign often endlessly.

Mapcorner

Due to the high volume of cars turning onto Kildare eastbound from Cavendish, we want to avoid a potential back-up onto Cavendish as a consequence of cars stopping at Rembrandt. In addition, Ministry of Transport requirements for adding a stop sign on this approach are not met.

Soon after the 2017 election I asked our Traffic Committee staffed by two engineers and chaired by Councillor David Tordjman, also an engineer, to study the request put forward by Rembrandt    residents for a stop sign.

It was agreed that we would review this measure within the first year of implementation. Thus far residents of Rembrandt are quite pleased.  The response is mixed from those on other streets.

IMG_4483
At the table as we discuss the issues.

In order to get a better handle on how people feel I called a focus group meeting at City Hall on January 7. Councillor Tordjman was present. We had representation from all five condo high rise building on Rembrandt as well as people residing on Kildare Road, Merrimac, Ilan Ramon, Sir Walter Scott and Marc Chagall.

“The solution implemented simply doesn’t fit the problem,” commented Mark Sadegursky, a resident of Ilan Ramon for the last 15 years who, among other things, recommends Rembrandt and Merrimac be turned  into a one way street.

Stop Warning - Rembrandt and Kildare (2)

We have recently added a standard illustration on Rembrandt which informs the people leaving the street that there is only a stop on the right side of the intersection. 

“I've spent time at the intersection since the additions and I have seen the pros and cons,” reports our traffic engineer, Spyro Yotis. “Cars from Rembrandt are not waiting as long to get onto Kildare, but there was indeed a danger. Since we added the illustration cars seemed to have gotten used to the configuration.”

Mark Sidloi, the president of the Meadows Condominium on Merrimac and Kildare, feels the stop sign is a fair measure.” It's not a huge inconvenience, certainly not over and above the traffic that is on that corridor on some days during the time prior to the stop,” he said. “And it can be a lifesaver to the people on Rembrandt.”

Jason Ullman of Marc Chagall believes it has created gridlock for motorists such as himself when they leave for work during the busy JPPS-Bialik drop off period. Among things he suggested was for the extended sidewalk on Kildare Road to  be modified and three-lane traffic   introduced, remove one of the other stop signs on Kildare (at Merrimac or Sir Walter Scott) and to make Rembrandt/Merrimac a one way.

Mikemeeting
David Tordjman responds to questions.

Councillor Tordjman explained the process we have followed thus far. He recognized that there been a traffic flow issue at certain times in the morning and promised that Kildare Road (between Marc Chagall and Cavendish) will be part of a closer analysis which will include all of the stop signs presently in place. Phil Troy, who lives on Kildare Road, strongly urged our Urban Development team to undertake some simulations. 

Martin Bogante said that he has resided on Marc Chagall for 18 years. “This stop sign has, for the first time, enabled me to make a left turn without taking my life into my own hands,” he said. “There is a big difference between inconvenience and safety."

Ilan Ramon resident Howard Liebman said in an email: “We simply can’t regulate every hundred meters of road surface with bumps, bollards, stops and other measures. Safety is paramount and we need to teach driving skills and courtesy at the provincial level.”

Finally some residents cited that the Montreal Transit Commission (MTC) bus stop at Rembrandt and Kildare represents a danger and they suggested it be moved or eliminated.  It just so happened that one member of our group that night works at the MTC and he has already connected us with someone who can look into the issue.

I was glad to have Gregory Libman as part of our group. A bright young CEGEP student who drives to school each weekday morning, he provided a valuable youth perspective.

I must mention that with excavation work about to begin on the second Equinoxe highrise on Marc Chagall, there will be many more trucks coming down Kildare over the next 18 months or so. This would certainly impact the accuracy of any simulations.

This was a good exercise and provided us with some valuable input for future deliberations.


Top CIUSS official responds to CSLC René Cassin Test Center concerns and provides hope for improvements

A senior official from the CIUSSS Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal  was kind enough to respond to my recent blog regarding the closure of the CLSC René-Cassin Blood Test Center over the Christmas holidays, long lineups upon the return of operations and misinformation emanating from the answering service.

Dupuis
Francine Dupuis

Deputy Director General Francine Dupuis  was personally responsible for the opening of this service a few years ago when she served as  Director General of the CSSS Cavendish. "I felt sorry for the elderly who had to wait so long at the hospital for tests that could be taken care of by their CLSC," she noted. "The ministry never funded this activity and we had to squeeze money from other programs to open the Test Center, which tells you how much of a priority it was."

Mr. Dupuis said that when she read about my unpleasant experience, it saddened her. However, at the same time, it   allowed her to look into what was done and how the service can be improved.

I had raised the fact that the  notice on the window stated that the Test Center was closed from December 24 to January 2 inclusively. It was unclear for many if that meant it would reopen January 3.  "The word 'inclusively'  means that this day is included. The confusion rose from the fact that the other CLSC services were offered,  but the posting did not make the difference, hence the confusion. It could have read:  'This is a reminder that the CLSC will be open at 8:00 on Wednesday January 3  for general services, but not the Test Center. The Test Center will resume its activities on Thursday January 4 at the usual time, 7:30.' On the telephone, the person who answered should have made the difference very clearly. I am looking into this, so that our messages leave no place to confusion next year, both verbally and in writing."

Bloodtest
Hours could change next Christmas.

Ms. Dupuis also shared some promising news. The CIUSSS plans to open more days next year. "As you pointed out, the Jewish General Hospital is not the best place to have your blood tests done," she said. "We have started with more limited days because the attendance was much less important in the first few years and also because we were not budgeted for the staff. Seeing that it is getting more popular, which is good news, we want to increase the staff and the hours of services. Moreover, we will try to offer the service every day,  but on December 24 and 25 and January 1 and 2. This is not an official promise,  but I am trying to see how we could budget it, knowing that it is of increasing importance for the population we serve. The new  GMFs  - family medicine groups - will also offer the service, which will give more than one option in the community."

Regarding my suggestion that benches be installed for those waiting to get into the Test  Center, Ms. Dupuis said those requests should be addressed to the management of the Quartier Cavendish since the Ministry of Health’s lease does not include space outside the clinic on that floor.

I want to thank Ms. Dupuis for taking the time to send me such a detailed response.

 

 


Blood boils over as CLSC René Cassin Test Centre finally reopens

It was Groundhog Day for me and many others today at the CLSC René Cassin Test Centre.

 

The noticeFor the third day in a row I showed up at the Quartier Cavendish location for a blood test that required a 12 hour fast. On Tuesday, I read the sign in the window which said that the Test Centre would be closed from December 24 to January 2 inclusive. I called the CLSC hotline. Someone from the service responded and assured me it would be open on Wednesday. From the way the notice was written, it was difficult to tell. So again I woke up at 6:15 am while on holiday from work and headed over there. I was not the only one. At least 15 people joined me. Several us called the CLSC hotline. We were all told the same thing. It would open at 8 am. Test Centre hours are 7:30 am to 9:30 am weekdays so I found that odd. We all waited and at 7:50 am the lights went on.  There was hope until 10 minutes later a young lady opened the door and said blood tests would only resume Thursday.

650am
The line started early. Please install a bench here.

The CLSC René Cassin is a more attractive option for early morning blood tests than going to the madhouse at the Jewish General Hospital at that time. But it is hardly the novelty it used to be. I was there at 6:50 am. At this time there were six people ahead of me, mostly elderly. Fifteen minutes in one man, a constituent, could stand no longer and took a seat on the floor. By 7:25 am the lineup snaked up the hallway like a rock concert. We all shared the same comments. Why did the Test Centre have to be closed for such a long period of time? "Do they think just because it is the Christmas holidays we can all skip mandatory blood tests?" one lady asked.

Old friend Harvey Hershenkopf,a Registered Nurse by profession and all-round great guy, was the volunteer

Harvey
Harvey Hershenkopf has the magic touch with frustrated clients.

on duty making sure people got the numbers. All of us were so happy to sit down.

A memo to the CLSC or the Quartier Cavendish administration --could you not install some benches  or chairs in the outdoor waiting area where that nice big paid advertisement for Air Transat hangs on the wall? And here is a tip for some business people out there. The Idolem Hot Yoga studio next to the CLSC closed recently. A coffee shop open from 6:30 am in that spot would have made a bundle this morning for those not fasting or folks like me who had to walk  all the way to Maxies or Cafe de L'Avenue for a muffin or something similar after the test.

I did not count but there had to be at least 100 people in the waiting room, many standing. There were two people behind the counter processing the requisitions and two technicians drawing the blood.

With Gaetan Barrette no longer in office destroying our health system, perhaps the new CAQ government will give agencies like our own CIUSSS West-Central Montreal the budgets necessary to expand the hours  of these test centres and ideally have some afternoon hours.

Testcentrecrowd
Standing room only.

I was taken by 8 am and out soon after. The technician had already heard complaints from people who had lined up the day before. She asked me what they should do next year. "For starters," I said, "have your answering service properly briefed. Secondly, clearly spell out the date you reopen on the notice."

Why did I write this story? I was recognized as a city councillor pretty quickly  and as the crowd grew a de facto Town Hall meeting evolved. I tried  to read my newspaper and explain to everyone that the CLSC was not under the umbrella or the city, nor was the management of the Mall. I did finally make a promise to share their concerns in writing.

The staff were wonderful and kudos to Harvey for keeping the clientele in check.

Groundhog Day at the CLSC is finally over for me.