Long time neighbour has passed on

It is with sadness the MHBPNA Blog has learned that long time neighbour Claude Schafer passed away earlier this month. He was 94 which is a remarkable achievement. As some readers will remember, Claude's history in our neighbourhood was featured in the MHBPNA Newsletter back in 2008.

The article was very interesting and revealed a great deal about how our area has changed over the years. Here is a link to the article in case anyone wants to read it and remember Claude and the many businesses he was involved in over the years.


The "mini" School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy is located just outside the perimeter of our neighbourhood association, but it is still very close and has an impact on our area. The MHPBNA has learned they are offering a "mini" school which is open to the public. It costs $100 ($75 for students and seniors) and there is quite a bit to learn.

For details, click this link and you will get a PDF version of the full poster. Then you can post an article to this blog about brain disorders, neurodegenerative diseases or nutraceuticals!

Come Join us in Jane's Walk, May 7, 2011

For the past two years, local neighbourhood folks have led Jane's Walks through our neighbourhood. We've learned about the cemetery (its history, some of the people who are buried there), the water tower, the industrial and commercial history of the neighbourhood including the many local businesses and corner stores. And much more!

Here is a photo from last year.  And a few pictures from our first Jane's walk in 2009.

Do you have a story to tell? We are working to pull together a Jane's Walk for 2011. We will have some of the same stories and a few new ones. If you would like to help out, even with a short presentation, please contact us at mhbpna@gmail.com.

Each year new people attend the walk and we share interests. Come and be a part of it. We will post more information when we have it.


Transit Info sessions

The MHBPNA Blog has faithfully announced the public information sessions regarding the transit plans. Your Blogster even attending the session in downtown Kitchener a couple of weeks back and was welcomed by the following sign:

There was a lot of information, most of which is available on the region's website. Here is an example of their display:

They had a film playing and lots of large engineering diagrams of how the tracks would integrate with the various streets. Cookies and coffee were also present.

Here are some thoughts I had:

--The LRT looks nice and I'm one of its prime candidates. I currently use the iExpress when I travel from my home in downtown Kitchener to my job at the Research Park north of the U of Waterloo. I like the idea of the nice quite, comfortable train where I might be able to get a seat. Currently, the iExpress is often full of students and it is quite noisy.

--On the other hand, why don't they just run more iExpress busses, or get articulated ones that could carry double the load? This simple solution was not addressed at all.

--The current plans for the LRT would drop off people at the edge of Conestoga Mall instead of right next to the door which the current busses do. None of the "planners" sounded like they had really thought about this. I can't see this kind of a system appealing to anyone (except the very young) to leave their car at home when they go to the mall shopping.

--I like the idea of the LRT, but I also think the panic about how many more people we are going to get in our cities, and how they will overwhelm the roads, is a little hyperbolic. If you drive around, the only areas that are constantly crammed with cars are the roads in and out of the city, yet this transit does nothing for that congestion. Widening the road to the 401 helps which is what they are doing.

--I was surprised by how convincing the "planners" were about LRT, yet the actual figures of bus riders were not available.

--I hope everyone reads the material online, or at one of the presentations and lets our representatives know how you feel.


More transit plan info

One day, perhaps twenty or thirty years down the road, some of us will be able to say "I was there during the great transit debate of 2011"! It is certainly an important topic and one I find continually mysterious. One day I'm committed to the LRT because it will get me to work much faster and the next day I'm saddened by how I think it will tear up downtown Waterloo. And just when we were balancing buses versus LRT, the region has thrown a wrench into that simple plan and produced 11 options! I'm not sure if my brain can understand that amount of variety.

But help is here. The King and Ottawa blog has a great article with lots of links to information about the different plans, how much they cost and where they will go.

Here are some links to other blogs of interest: TriTag which hasn't been updated in several months, but has interesting content. This blog has several reasoned and critical posts regarding the many transit plans and has some feisty comments on many of those posts.

It is important for us citizens to read through the region's website with the many documents and diagrams. And the full list of public consultations is posted in an earlier entry on this Blog.

I am happy to make a date with anyone for 2031 for a drink to talk over the "olden days" before the portable transporter industry made public transit obsolete!