The ship has finally sailed

As shown here, the Titanic exhibit has been taken apart and is on its way to Edmonton where it will be viewed by many lucky people in that western city.

On Friday evening, around 10:30, my family and I visited the museum and wandered through the exhibit. We only had to wait about 15 minutes to get in, but by the time we finished (about 2 hours later) the line-up was longer (in the photo below, taken around midnight, people are lined up on the top and bottom levels).

It was a great exhibit and it is a privilege that "The Museum" is able to provide fascinating exhibits like this for us to enjoy in the comfort of our city. Downtown Kitchener is easy walking distance from our house but since it was -13c we took the car! I enjoyed seeing dishes, shaving equipment and other artefacts taken from miles beneath the ocean. It was amazing that so much paper survived (writing paper, music, cards).

After viewing the exhibit I became temporarily enthused (obsessed?) about Titanic trivia and read several websites full of information (the best source was, of course, Wikipedia). I was willing to share much of this with my family, but for some reason they became strangely distant when I moved on from the Titanic to discuss its sister ship the Olympic! One noteworthy issue that came up on-line, but not in the exhibit itself, was the number of lawsuits that have been filed over the more than five thousand artefacts recovered from the ocean. Although the Titanic was discovered in 1985, there are still cases before the court. Of course there are many travelling exhibits (when I was in Las Vegas a few months ago, the Luxor was hosting a Titanic exhibition).

Next up at The Museum is Tom Thompson who, like the Titanic, ended his life underwater. I hope readers of this Blog support our local events and visit this show.


Environmental Testing around Shanley and Duke Factory site

The Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance (NMA) has formed a sub-committee to work with local politicians and the government and find a resolution to the former Electrohome factory at the corner of Shanley and Duke. We are hoping someone will purchase the building, clean up any contaminants still present, and develop it into condos, offices or some other purpose that will contribute to the neighbourhood. Those of us who have attended the NMA meetings have heard of some positive developments after many years of inaction.

One positive result has been the Ministry of the Environment's agreement to perform indoor air testing of homes in the immediate area. As the Ministry states in their letter, "Previous environmental assessments within the vicinity of the contamination have indicated that unacceptable impacts to indoor air are not anticipated." It will help our community if home owners volunteer for the testing because rumours about contamination will be dispelled.

The Ministry will be delivering notices to the doors of those who live in the area and the MHBPNA Blog is posting the letter here for anyone who wishes to read it.

Please read the Ministry's letter so you can remain informed about your neighbourhood.


Remember the Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance

On the Calendar (to the right) you will see the meeting for this Wednesday advertised. All meetings are in the Conestoga Room at Kitchener City Hall. 

Please come out to meet our new Ward 10 Councillor - Dan Glenn Graham. On the agenda: traffic calming around Margaret Street, graffiti removal, and environmental testing related to the Electrohome Building (Shanley and Duke). Also, updates from the Downtown Advisory Committee and discussion of the widening of Weber Street.

Attending this meeting is a great opportunity to meet your neighbours and find out what is going on around the area.


Breithaupt Centre Closure, Monday January 17, 12-4

On Monday January 17, Breithaupt Centre will be closed from 12-4pm. During this time, the water will be turned off to the entire building for the renovation project. Breithaupt Centre will be closed to patrons and staff will not be on site. Breithaupt will be open until noon on Monday and will re-open again at 4pm when the water is turned back on. 

Information about the closure has been posted throughout the centre and on the City's website. A media advisory is also being prepared. Please inform patrons of this closure over the next few days if you receive any inquiries. Thanks for your assistance with this!


Kitchener declares a "Snow Event", Sounds Exciting!

The MHBPNA Blog thought everyone could benefit from knowing what exactly a "snow event" means. Hint: it's not an invitation for a tailgate party!

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR KITCHENER RESIDENTS: City Declares Snow Event, Effective at 11:59 P.M. On Jan. 12 - Residents to Remove Cars from Streets by Midnight or Risk Being Ticketed and Towed

KITCHENER  -  Based on credible weather forecast information, the City of Kitchener has now declared an official snow event. Residents have until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12 to remove their parked cars from city streets or risk receiving an $80 ticket and being towed at the owner's expense. The parking ban will remain in affect for 24 hours - until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13.

Notification will be given in advance of that time as to whether or not the city will cancel the snow event or extend it for another 24 hours. That decision will be made based on weather conditions and credible forecasts.

Tag-and-Tow Bylaw:

To help city crews clear all streets of snow within 24 hours of the storm ending, under the city's "tag-and-tow" bylaw residents are prohibited from parking their cars on city streets at any time when a snow event has been declared by the city. Snow events are declared when the city anticipates a significant amount of snow to accumulate.

Residents should tune into local media for updates, or visit http://kitchener.ca/en/insidecityhall/Tag_tow_bylaw.asp to join the city's snow event email distribution list. Members of that email distribution list will receive a direct email when the city declares future snow events and when snow events are extended or declared over.

Residents who suspect their car has been towed should call 519-741-2330 to find out where their car has been relocated.

Enforcement of the Tag-and-Tow Bylaw:

During snow events, City of Kitchener bylaw enforcement staff will be asked to attend locations where parked vehicles are impeding snow-removal equipment from clearing the street. Enforcement staff will assess the situation and may ticket and tow some of the vehicles on the street to help the plows remove snow from that street.

Vehicles will not be ticketed and towed based on calls from the public.

Enforcement will only tow the number of vehicles necessary to allow the snow-removal equipment to do its job. It is possible that only a certain number of vehicles on a street will be removed, regardless of how many are actually present and in violation of the bylaw. In the event that some, but not all, vehicles are towed away, the remaining vehicles found in violation will be ticketed.


Ice and snow on sidewalks

The City of Kitchener posted the following information on their Facebook page, and we thought it might be helpful for some of the readers of this Blog. You may wish to share this information with your neighbours who may not have an internet connection:

If you are unable to clear your sidewalk of ice and snow due to health or mobility restrictions, there are agencies that can help: 

Waterloo Home Support Services, 519-579-6930
The Working Centre (Job Cafe), 519-569-7566 x229
House of Friendship, 519-742-8327
Community Support Connections/Meals and Wheels and More, 519-772-8787 
Fees and eligibility requirements may apply - call for details.