Despicable Me 2 will be shown on Friday, August 14 at 8:45 pm. Jumanji will be shown on Friday, August 21 at 8:45 pm.
The Overbrook Community Association, in conjunction with its partners, including the City of Ottawa, the Community Development Framework and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, is pleased to present "Movies in Overbrook Park".
Despicable Me 2 will be shown on Friday, August 14 at 8:45 pm. Jumanji will be shown on Friday, August 21 at 8:45 pm.
Ottawa Police have laid charges against two men after the shooting on Lilas Private last Tuesday in Overbrook. Metro reported my statement that anti-gang initiatives need to continue in order to suppress violent crime in the neighbourhood.
“While there have been successes in terms of arrests, charges and taking guns off the street by the police, more needs to be done on a regular, ongoing basis.”
The community believes that Ottawa police need to conduct more patrols in the neighbourhood and to adopt an exit strategy for gang members.
In the wake of the recent shooting in Overbrook, I told CBC Television: "We understand this summer that the police are understaffed, that's irresponsible. We understand that the anti-gang initiative has been suspended, that's unreasonable." The Ottawa Sun also reprinted statements to that effect.
I also told Radio Canada: "Neighbours are very frustrated and they want action now, so that we can reduce the amount of violence, especially gang-related violence that is in the neighbourhood."
I said to both Ottawa Community News and News 1310 that it is not our expectation that the City act should act as region's largest slumlord.
While incidents like the shooting at Lilas Private add to the reputation of our community being riddled with crime, I told the Ottawa Citizen that the reality is that our neighbourhood, and the Overbrook Community Association, has been working hard over the past year to address such incidents of violent crime.
In the wake of shootings that occurred late last year in Overbrook, the community association convened a meeting in February with a number of partners, including the Ottawa Police Service, the City's anti-crime agency, Crime Prevention Ottawa, and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, along with Ward 13 Councillor Tobi
At that meeting, Central District Acting Inspector Mike Laviolette noted that despite a number of targeted shootings, which he described as “aberrations”, overall crime is down in Overbrook. He noted that due to community vigilance through programs such as Neighbourhood Watch, crime has actually been declining in Overbrook.
Because our community association had been instrumental in reinvigorating Neighbourhood Watch initiatives over the past two years, Overbrook saw a 17 percent reduction in its number of police calls from 2013 to 2014. During that time, residential break and enters in the area decreased by 31 percent, and thefts from vehicles went down 50 percent, according police statistics.
The community also learned that CPO is working to apply some of its new, proposed anti-crime initiatives in Overbrook. Initiatives that the agency are developing include developing a post-incident neighbourhood support protocol. The protocol, according to CPO Business Consultant Sharmaarke Abdullahi, will establish a clear procedure concerning how community resources can be deployed to help people affected by crime.
We were also pleased to have received commitments to improve public safety from Councillor Nussbaum. The Councillor noted that he was personally committed to a youth job fair, along with the development of a gang exit strategy.
Additionally, Yacouba Traoré, the Director of the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, announced a new commitment to develop a youth strategy for the neighbourhood. Previous crime reports noted that “youth not attending school” has been a significant predictor of overall criminal activity in Overbrook. Statistics show that 65 percent of all crime in Ward 13 are committed by youth, which is higher than the city average.
Working in conjunction partners including the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, Ottawa Community Housing and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, the community is exploring new programming for at-youth risk, including the extension of the Students Will All Graduate (SWAG) program to our area.
SWAG provides students with access to mentors, academic support from teachers, peer support and recreation programs. It has been described as a “homework club on steroids” that ensures youth in middle school obtain enough class credits to advance to high school. Research has determined that if enough credits are obtained early, especially if students successfully finish grades 9 and 10, then the chance of them graduating increases significantly. We were happy that community leaders such as OCDSB Zone 6 Trustee Chris Ellis and Geordie Walker, Principal of Rideau High School, were present at the Centre’s youth strategy session and were generally receptive about examining the introduction of such a program to our community.
The community association is also receptive of the current homework club that has been established at our local community centre by Dr. Monjur Chowdhury, that is designed to improve the Math and English skills of children from low-income families. We are also very supportive of theTwice Upon a Time initiative that is bringing free books to kids at the same community centre every Saturday.
In terms of more efforts underway to engage youth, the RRCRC recently facilitating a series of six, two-hour workshops this April and May to teach girls aged 12 to 14 how to start their very own business, through mentorship programming led by a local entrepreneur.
Our association was additionally pleased to learn about the Sens Foundation’s interest in putting one of its next Recreational Investments in Neighbourhood for Kids (RINK) projects in Overbrook Park. The project, a state-of-the-art outdoor rink, promotes physical activity, recreation and social development, along with getting youth more active and engaged. Since greater youth engagement is our goal, your Association is gratified that the Sens Foundation has begun fundraising efforts.
With all of this activity taking place, Overbrook is convinced that progress is being made concerning both crime mitigation and youth engagement. However, in the wake of last week’s shooting, the community association is doubly committed to working to improve incident response and tenant engagement with all of our partners.
Rawlson King, President of the Overbrook Community Association, issued the following statement concerning the shooting that occurred July 14:
"It is up to the Ottawa Police Service to determine whether ending the anti-gang initiative was premature.
But it seems to our community that the police should be working continuously to suppress gang activity, especially during the summer, when gang violence and the number of gang-related shootings typically increase.
While there have been successes in terms of arrests, charges and taking guns off the street by the police, more need to done on a regular, on-going basis.
The community is currently working on a “post-incident neighbourhood protocol” to address violent criminal activity, and develop a youth strategy to provide greater educational and recreational opportunities.
We believe these activities will pay dividends not unlike the community's Neighbourhood Watch program. After the establishment of that program, Overbrook experienced a 17 percent reduction in police calls, along with a 31 percent decrease in residential break and enters and a 50 percent decrease in car theft.
The community also supports the creation of a “gang exit” strategy by the City.
These activities will assist the community to continue to lower crime rates. But the community is also calling upon the City for proper police staffing levels, more patrols in Overbrook, and more investment towards improving community housing conditions in order to improve neighbourhood safety."
Overbrook recently held its Annual Garage Sale and Clean-Up Event on May 9. The clean-up event and garage sale were great examples of how we as a community association have a positive impact on our environment and the beauty of our neighbourhood.
With neighbours donating unwanted items to the community garage sale, we not only benefited the community association through fundraising, but also preventing non-composting materials from ending up in our landfills.
Overbrook's Clean-Up event was also key. Litter is both ugly and bad for the environment , so picking-up litter has both an environmental and a community benefit.
Both these events help remind us that we all have a responsibility to consume resources wisely, including proper disposal of, and recycling of, the items we use in our daily lives.
In an article published in the Ottawa Sun, I noted that the Overbrook Community Association is still torn over the auto shop expansion proposal. The Association supports the auto shop concept and considers Bel-Air to be a good corporate citizen. The company consulted with residents before submitting an application to the city. But, the community association stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the city's planning department in opposing the land use. Association president Rawlson King said it's about sticking up for the city's vision for McArthur Ave. and not allowing spot rezoning.
Every community wants a quaint main street, but even the association questions if McArthur Ave. can be turned into one. "There's that long-term vision and there's reality, and the reality is it's more of an arterial street," King said. "If council decides to do spot planning that goes against the approach that's outlined in the official plan, then what's the point of it being designated a traditional main street?" Still, the community association needs to support the vision described in the planning documents, King said.
The Overbrook Community Association reluctantly opposed the application for the construction of a car repair facility on McArthur Avenue because of the road's designation as a traditional main street.
It was a challenge for us to oppose the application, since we consider Bel-Air Lexus-Toyota a good corporate neighbour who actually wants to work with us.
Ultimately I told the Ottawa Community News that the Association had to agree with staff’s recommendation to uphold the Official Plan, since it seems to happen so rarely.
“We really feel conflicted,” King said in the article. “This is when long-term planning confronts economic development. Do you really want to stop a project that makes jobs, that makes sense? I’m personally not surprised that they would have approved the rezoning. In the interest of economic development they would want to move forward with this type of zoning.”
From 2013 to 2014, Overbrook saw a 17 per cent reduction in the number of police calls. During that time, residential break and enters in the area decreased by 31 per cent, and thefts from vehicles went down 50 per cent, according to Ottawa Police Service stats.
The police said overall crime is down in Overbrook, and the community is doing well in its response to incidents, including the recent shootings which the police believe are not indicative of the neighbourhood.
The Overbrook Community Association meeting held on February 19 also saw the announcement of Crime Prevention Ottawa being set to develop what it calls a "post-incident neighborhood protocol" within Overbrook in conjunction with the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre.
I told Ottawa Community News that: “This will allow for there to be a clear kind of procedure in how community resources can be utilized by people affected by crime."
The Overbrook Community Association will hold a public meeting on February 19 to discuss crime in the area, including recent shootings.
Crime Prevention Ottawa will give a brief presentation on ways the community can reduce violence. Ward 13 Councillor Tobi Nussbaum will highlight what the City is doing to increase public safety.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 at the Overbrook Community Centre on Quill Street. 1310News filed a report about the upcoming meeting.
Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury; Ward 18 Alta Vista Councillor Jean Cloutier; Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson; Overbrook Community Association President Rawlson King; Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum. (Left to Right)
Overbrook residents are applauding the opening of the Coventry Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge this week, which will provide an important new transportation link for the community.
I told Ottawa Community News that it’s a great transportation link to Via train station, the Trainyards shopping district, baseball stadium and the future light rail transit station. I repeated these same opinions to CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.
I told the Ottawa Community News that I was looking forward to engaging more residents as the new President of the Overbrook Community Association with a "people-centric" approach.
I told the Ottawa Sun that there is a perception of a gang problem, but there is not a traditional criminal gang problem in our neighbourhood.
I was proud to be have been elected to the Board of the Overbrook Community Association on November 20 and feel highly honored to be nominated and selected to become its President for 2015 on December 1. As an association, we will continue to work hard on matters of concern to residents!
I told CBC News: Ottawa that fewer incumbents running in Ottawa's 2014 municipal election could potentially improve city council's diversity.