Another weekend, what to do?

Last weekend we had the Waterloo Jazz Festival and the Kitchener Ribfest and Craft Beer in Victoria Park as two events. They were a lot of fun. Of course, we have the Kitchener Blues Festival in just a couple of weeks as well.

There is an ongoing exhibition and events for Building Waterloo Region. Please check out their website.

This weekend there are even more events in downtown Kitchener which is just a short walk from our neighbourhood. Enjoy the summer!

Here is a press release from the city:

KITCHENER – The chrome and motorbikes will be shining on King Street during this year’s Rock and Rumble this weekend, so wear your sunglasses.
Expanded to a two-day festival, the event kicks off on Friday night with The Ring on King.  From 7-10:30 p.m. on Civic Square, check out live boxing under the lights, featuring a full line-up of amateur contenders as they continue their journey toward the Pan Am Games in 2015. From power sports and industry suppliers, to a DJ, and licensed area, interactive exhibits, food vendors and a chance to test your skills on the mechanical bull, there is something for everyone.
The Rock and Rumble Bike Rally will take place on Saturday from 1-8 p.m. and features hundreds of motorcycles from across Canada and the United States. The bikes will line King Street in front of city hall while downtown rocks from the full line-up of bands on the main stage at Civic Square. This year, Trixter will headline, supported by hard rockers Last Bullet, The Keith Hill Project and more up-and-coming local talent.
Band schedule:
1:10-2 p.m.         The Keith Hill Project
2:10-3 p.m.         Three Quarter Stone
3:10-4 p.m.         7T8
4:10-5 p.m.         Drew Leith and the Foundation
5:10-6 p.m.         Last Bullet
6:30-8 p.m           Trixter
There will be a beer garden, food concessions and on-site sponsors.
How else do you top off an awesome weekend in Downtown Kitchener?  By stopping by on Sunday, July 27 for the Outlaw Food Truck Rally of course!  Happening from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. come out and eat your way along King Street with food choices from 14 food trucks!


Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance -- Final Meeting?

The Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance (NMA) has been meeting for about 15 years. It was started when the Mt. Hope - Breithaupt Park area was a little "rougher" than it is now and it has brought together citizens, police, fire department and By-Law officials to talk about neighbourhood problems and issues.

Involvement in this group has risen and fallen as issues come and go. Currently we have a very active Neighborhood Association (NA) and the city of Kitchener has a call center for By-Law complaints and other issues. The police also have a Liaison Officer assigned to our area. 

Fewer people have been coming to the NMA meetings and so a questionnaire was sent to all those on their asking residents how they wished to stay involved in these kinds of issues. As a result of feedback, the meeting this Wednesday, July 16 at 7 pm in the Conestoga Room at Kitchener City Hall will probably be the last meeting of the NMA in this form.

Many things can happen in the future, and if you are interested in participating in the dialog, then please come out.


Neighbourhood Association Meeting, the Roads ahead

MHBPNA had a meeting on Wednesday, July 9th at the Breithaupt Centre. All our meetings are open to the public and we encourage you to come out. The rest of the meetings for 2014 are marked on the calendar to the right side of our Blog. They are usually the first week of each month, either Wednesday evening, or Saturday morning.

Here are some items we discussed:

Street Painting initiative:  

On Monday, June 20, at the Kitchener city council meeting, Lane Burman, on behalf of MHBPNA, presented our idea to paint the intersection of Ahrens and Wilhelm (this topic has been mentioned here and here). City council approved Dan Glenn-Graham's motion to take this idea to staff and have them study it (and communicate with other cities where it has been successful) and bring a report back to council for the August meeting. 

At our MHBPNA meeting we approved a motion to donate up to $500 for the paint for the intersection. We felt this would encourage council to support the idea and we hope that other intersections might be painted in the future out of the city's budget.

Our plan is open this up for ideas and perhaps have people submit illustrations and we can put them on the Blog and have a vote. If everything is approved, we hope to paint the intersection in the spring of 2015. We will also be talking with residents who live near that intersection to get their input.

Last week the Kitchener Post asked a Poll question: are you in favour of painting certain Kitchener intersections. MHBPNA was surprised to see that 55% said "no" and only 45 % said "yes". It is worthwhile for everyone to read about the success this practice has had here, here and elsewhere. We believe it is a great way to build community and slow traffic.

Spur Trail:  

We continue to follow the Spur Trail development (or lack, thereof). This would run from Wilhelm and Weber to downtown Waterloo. The Weber street construction has taken this plan into account and there will be bike/shared trails on both sides of Weber beginning around Wilhelm. 

A mixed use trail has been approved but currently has no funding! We believe part of the problem is jurisdiction. Waterloo Region owns the land but CN maintains it and it runs through two municipalities. Everyone knows the trail is well used (with no paved walkway) and turning into a well maintained and safe bike/pedestrian route benefits everyone. So what is the hold up? MHBPNA continues to talk to the Region and other levels of government about this issue.

Breithaupt Park Rehabilitation and Shade structure: 

There have been several Blog entries over the past year about the city's plans to "rehabilitate" Breithaupt Park. The city's plan for the park is detailed here. Although we had several meetings with citizens and the city, very few of our ideas were implemented in the final plan. For example, we had asked for a clear trail to be created to join the two halves of the park (the trail would run next to the splashpad area so cyclists would not have to ride through the parking lot). It is unclear whether or not this will happen (we are still asking for clarification).

We also asked for a shade structure to be built around the splash pad. Many residents have complained there is no shelter and the sun is harsh on young children's skin. The city has planted a number of trees (which they say cost over $5,800). But these will not offer any shade for another 5 to 10 years (if they survive). We are requesting (through our councillor Dan Glenn-Graham) that they city build a permanent shade structure for families now.

Video Dance:

For the second year, MHBPNA hosted a Much Music Video Dance.  We advertised on the Blog, Facebook, with posters, Twitter and via other means. We made a lot of younger and older kids very happy, but lost several hundred dollars because we did not get the numbers we wanted. But those kids that came had an excellent time! Next year we may not have a dance, or we will look to alternative providers.

Contact Us:

As always, if you would like to be involved in our initiatives, need more information etc. please post to the comments here, or email us at "mhbpna@gmail.com". We are volunteers who live in this great neighbourhood and we'd love your input.


City of Kitchener and its "Partners"

Please tell the City of Kitchener how you feel about selling 'branding' rights to private companies. How does "Woodside Park, sponsored by Ed's Bar and Grill" sound? Or the "Adele's Cheesecake Ice Pad"? It could happen.

Corporate branding can bring in additional funds that can pay for services and infrastructure and save tax dollars. Perhaps Ed's Bar and Grill could pay for the historic interpretors the Federal government abandoned. 

Should we allow the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium to be renamed? Or individual rooms inside it? 

Please fill out the survey and Have your say!


Road Construction in our 'hood

The Weber-Victoria intersection shuts to all traffic Monday, July 7 through Friday, Aug. 15.

Victoria Street opens to traffic on Aug. 15, but Weber remains closed between Victoria and Wellington Street until Sept. 12.   

So, beginning Monday, Weber Street (at Victoria) will be closed for 10 weeks!     

The full story is here.            


Bike Rodeo, Sunday 1-4

The MHBPNA is helping sponsor this fabulous event. Please click on image to enlarge. Even if you do not have children aged 3 - 8 you will want to see the bike polo demonstration!


Building Bridges, Painting Streets and Making a Bike Rodeo

We have had a great deal happening in our neighbourhood over the past week. Summertime seems to be very busy. Here are a few updates:

A small, but influential, delegation from the MHBPNA presented our neighbourhood's position on the different options for the Margaret Avenue Bridge at a Kitchener City Council meeting on Monday, June 30th. We spent almost 5 hours at the meeting to ensure our neighbrouhood was represented and the bridge is built as soon as possible. This 'revisiting' of the issue came up rather suddenly but we believe we have helped the city to move ahead more quickly than they might otherwise have chosen to do. Here is a Record article.

Your Neighbourhood Association also spoke in favour of an initiative for street painting to help with traffic calming. Here is an earlier Blog article about this idea with a link to a great video showing what they did in Halifax. And here is the Record's article on our presentation and Dan Glenn-Graham's motion.

Lane Burman will be interviewed on CBC radio about the traffic calming after the 7 am news, Thursday July 3rd (www.cbc.ca/kw). The interview was written up here.

Finally, reserve time this Sunday (July 6) from 1 - 4 because your NA is involved in hosting a Bike Rodeo on Dekay Street (from Peltz to Deslisle). We will have a poster up soon.