COVID information

Recently there was an article in The Record about Waterloo Region (in the province of Ontario) moving to “yellow” status over the weekend. But what does that mean? It is difficult to understand the various restrictions and how they change.

Health officials say, ‘wash your hands’, ‘avoid meeting in groups, especially indoors’, ‘avoid close contact’, ‘wear a mask whenever you cannot maintain a 6′ distance, or when shopping indoors’ etc. These recommendations have not changed in months.

For a fairly complete and official look at Ontario and COVID, we hope everyone reads this document:

COVID-19 Response Framework

As always, stay safe! And remember our AGM on December 5th.

AGM December 5th, 1 pm: Save the Date!

MHBPNA will be holding our Annual General Meeting on Dec 5th at 1pm. Because of the ongoing “Covid-19 situation” this meeting will be virtual and we’ll be using Zoom. Closer to the date, we will post information about getting the meeting code.

This meeting is open to the public and we appreciate everyone who is interested to attend, ask questions, perhaps even volunteer to be on the board for the upcoming year.

We will have a report from our councillor Sarah Marsh and a ‘special guest’ to discuss some intriguing aspect of our city and neighbourhood. Stay tuned!

Join a Committee for the city of Kitchener

Key points from the city:

The City of Kitchener is looking for a diverse range of volunteers, particularly from those who are traditionally under-represented to lend their unique voices and perspectives to help guide the City’s decision-making by joining various committees and boards. Citizens serving on an advisory committee provide advice and feedback to City Council and standing committees on a variety of areas, including arts and culture, cycling and trails, downtown, and the environment, and boards have the autonomy to make decisions for the good of their organizations.
 
“Serving on a citizen committee or board is an excellent way to make a difference and give back to the Kitchener community. We know that our best work happens when the whole community is represented around these tables,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “This is a great opportunity for Kitchener citizens who are passionate about our community, want to become more involved in the City’s decision-making, and use their skills and experiences to help make Kitchener a place that everyone is proud to call home.”
 
For the first time, a series of demographic questions in the application will be asked to help inform the selection process. Applications are reviewed based on how well they represent the diversity of the community, the candidate’s expertise and interest in an issue or topic area, and the goals of each advisory committee’s terms of reference. Applications for citizen advisory committees will be reviewed by a nominating committee that consists of members appointed by City Council. Once this process is complete, the nominating committee will present council with a list of candidates for each committee. Each board is responsible for its own board member applications and will review applications based on the same criteria as citizen committees as well as skills and experience. Once board candidates are selected, they will also be presented to Council.
 
“Having a diversity of perspectives and opinions on our citizen advisory committees and boards ensures Council can make informed decisions that benefit the Kitchener community as a whole,” said Councillor Paul Singh. “Engaging with residents on a variety of areas that are most important to them positions us well to achieve our community goals.”
 
Applications are now open and will be accepted until Sept. 27. For more information or to apply, visit www.kitchener.ca/citizencommittees. For assistance in completing your application, contact Sarah Coutu at 519-741-2200 ext. 7592.

 

Music, Music, Music

UPDATED!

Sadly, this year we did not have the Duke St. West Music Fest. So much live music was cancelled around the world. But there is still hope for our ‘hood. Saturday, August 29th is the official, world wide, “play music on the porch day“.

We certainly have a few musicians in the Mt. Hope – Breithaupt Neighbourhood and some are joining the world and playing some music on their porches on on Sat. Aug 29. Our list is below! If you send your address and the time you are playing to us, either through messaging our FB page, or emailing mhbpna@gmail.com, we would be happy to add you to the list.

Let’s get out on our porches and make some sound folks! Or walk around our ‘hood and listen to your neighbours play.

Below the poster we have a list of musicians playing in, and around, the MHBP neighbourhood. Check them out!

11 am Paul Schultz (141 Moore St. South)

12 noon Jay Moore (141 Moore St. South)

2 pm Edward Barrington (Dekay, near Guelph)

3 pm Jakki and Wayne (Braun St. near Shanley)

3:30 pm Ted Parkinson (Duke St. West, beside the Duke St. Playground).

Exploring Nature with Children

MHBPNA has purchased licenses for the Journal portion of the Raising Little Shoots program. And we have a 20% discount code for the other material (available on their website). If you would like the journal for your family please contact MHBPNA by emailing us as ‘mhbpna@gmail.com’ or messaging us on our Facebook page.

For easier reading, magnify this page in your browser (e.g. 120% etc.)

Little Library Diversity Initiative

 

Greetings! I am Dinah, a Mount Hope resident, and like many of you, I’m looking for ways to better educate myself on how I can become actively anti-racist. 
 
A couple weeks ago, I came across an Instagram account put together by Sarah Kamya of Arlington, MA. While walking past her neighbourhood Little Free Library recently, she thought to herself, “It would be great if we could fill that with diverse books by Black authors.” Sarah has since received thousands of dollars in donations and thousands of books and has set her sights on filling LFLs across the U.S.
 
I think we can do that here! So I’ve set up a project and I need your help. We are specifically looking for books by BIPOC authors and with BIPOC content (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour). 
 
If you’re on Instagram, you can find me @KWLittleFreeDiverseLibraries for all the details and frequent updates. But here is the quick info on how you can pitch in:

1) Donate money. This option is great because money raised allows me to buy books from Black-owned bookstores in the GTA as well as from Wordsworth Books in Waterloo. Then we can support small biz! Money raised is spent approx 50-50 between one of several Black-owned bookstores and Wordsworth. I’d like to check out some small used bookstores locally, as well. Money can be sent to me at murdochdinah@gmail.com via PayPal or etransfer. 
 
2) Click this link and you get to an Indigo registry I created with about 200 titles. You can click to order and the books are shipped straight to me. If there’s a title you love and it’s not on the list, go for it. 
 
3) You can buy books at small or used bookstores yourself and drop them off chez moi. Contact me at murdochdinah@gmail.com for my address. You can also pass on books (that fit the bill) that you’ve read and enjoyed from your own collection. 
 
My goal is to get books into LFLs all over KW. Especially into diverse neighbourhoods where children and adults may not have enough access to books that reflect their own lives and experiences.
 
Thanks in advance for your interest and your help! Please spread the word! 
 
Dinah

Engaging Art Opportunity in Mt. Hope Neighbourhood

NEED A SUMMER PROJECT? – CALLING ON ALL ARTISTS OR ASPIRING ARTISTS – DUE BY JUNE 25TH

Shannondale has completed the fencing of the Electrohome Site at 152 Shanley.  They are asking us to turn the fencing into a neighbourhood/community art project and have installed 10 panels to display neighbourhood artwork.  We are expecting that you will be so excited to participate that Shannondale has agreed to add 10 more panels if we need them.

Sarah Marsh has pulled together a committee of neighbours (Sarah, Tanya Wright, Cherie Simmons and Catherine Owens) to get the project underway.  We are looking for families/artists/wannabe artists to claim one of the panels.  Shannondale specifically indicated that they want this to be a neighbourhood project and the artwork does not need to be professional. 

Here is what you need to know

  • INVITATION TO SUBMIT IDEAS. If you or your family are interested in designing and painting a panel, let us know by sending a brief overview of your thoughts or ideas. Please submit your response ASAP, by June 25!

 

  • PAINT GOES UP EARLY JULY. In an ideal world we would like to select the first 10 artists by the end of the month. Painting will take place in early July.  The earlier we fill the panels the less likely we will see graffiti on the fence.

 

  • ART FOR OUR NEIGHBOURS, BY OUR NEIGHBOURS. There is no particular theme for the artwork – it could reflect the history of the neighbourhood, of the former building, your personal history in the neighbourhood or simply your personal ideas of what you might want to see on a panel. 

 

  • LOGISTICS. We will work with you on figuring out practical logistics for what works best for you to install your art. You can fill your panel freehand or we can supply you with 4 X 8 sheets of paper if you want to pre-make a stencil – tape it up and spray paint your design. You can choose to paint on the spot, or bring the panels home to paint and then we will arrange to re-install them.

 

  • THANK-YOU SHANNONDALE!  Shannondale has donated funds to help with the purchase of painting supplies.

Next Steps

  • Send your ideas to Sarah Marsh, Cherie Simmons, Tanya Wright or Catherine Owens
  • Let us know what supplies you might need to paint the panel – and if possible, let us know, the major colour scheme (this will help us decide which panel is best for you)

And, if you have unused outdoor paint that you might want to donate, feel free to contact one of the members of the committee.

We look forward to hearing from you! Let’s get creative!!

Sarah Marsh – Sarah.marsh@kitchener.ca

Cherie Simmons – cherworm@yahoo.com

Tanya Wright – sendwordtotanya@gmail.com

Catherine Owens – catherine_owens@sympatico.ca

Covid-19 Testing and the City of Kitchener

If you are experiencing symptoms that might indicate Covid-19, the main information link for the region is here:

https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/community-assessment-centres.aspx

That includes a self-assessment tool and detailed information about further steps you can take.

Today, the Record posted an interesting article on how Grand River Hospital is handling this crisis.

We asked our mayor and councillor about what the city is doing to advocate for better access to Covid-19 testing. It has been reported our region is lagging behind the rest of Ontario. This is the reply from our mayor, Berry Vrbanovic.

“Hi Ted,

Thanks for your email Ted.  I trust you and your family are staying healthy during these challenging times.

This has been a challenging issue, and one we have been advocating on.

The province changed the guidance on testing late last week, and testing is now available throughout the weekend to all symptomatic people, and is no longer limited to those in certain groups like residents of LTC’s, first responders and those who travelled overseas.
 
As a result, appointments are available at the testing centres at all 3 hospitals throughout the weekend for those who want to be tested, as long as the self-assessment is identifying them as being symptomatic and thus should be tested.
 
You can sign up at..
Grand River Hospital…..
 
St. Mary’s General Hospital…..
 
Hope this helps!  Let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Thanks,
BV”
 
 

Program and Event updates

MHBPNA has supported a local soccer program for the past few years. This year we could not hold it because of the Covid-19 situation. It may be possible to offer something in the fall, or it may have to wait until next spring. As we know, everything is in flux so we will announce events when we are sure it is safe to go ahead. 

The Duke St. West Music Fest was being planned for its third year. We have have the local musicians, the space, the equipment but…..it will certainly not go ahead in June as planned. Depending on the official recommendations on events we may plan something for the fall. But everything may have to wait until next year. Who knows, perhaps we can try some kind of ‘virtual’ event.

MHBPNA has been active behind the scenes with our virtual executive meetings and we have a couple of activities we are organizing. We’ll let you know in the next week or so about them.

WATCH THIS SPACE.