You’re listening to CKMS 100.3 Sound FM in Waterloo Region. Robyn is with you this afternoon, and here’s the weekly news round-up for Friday, July 29.
1. Pressure for inquest for Beau Baker; SIU under pressure
The SIU’s silence when it comes to police killings is coming under scrutiny again this week. As the SIU–the body that investigates death and injury associated with police action–refused to release the names of the officers involved in killing Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa, pressure is mounting for transparency and accountability in this and similar cases. Locally, the SIU has refused to release the name of the officer who fatally shot Beau Baker, a 20 year old Kitchener man who was threatening self-harm. While parts of the SIU’s report into Baker’s death have been made public, much is still hidden. Calls for an inquest have been renewed this week as Baker’s family and the public continue to seek answers and justice.
2. Redesign and Improvements for Waterloo Park
This week, Waterloo city council decided to move ahead with a 1.4 million dollar redesign to the walkway that runs right through the Waterloo Park’s core.
This nearly one kilometer long trail has been vigorously used by the public within the region. The plan of this redesign hopes to reduce conflict among cars, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The redesign will consist of widening and repaving of the trail, designating dedicated cycling lanes, replacing of lighting along with improving tree canopies and installing light crossings on rail transit tracks.
Improvements for the trail have been suggested in previous years but have experienced delays due to uncertainty over possible routes and layouts to coincide with the LRT.
Announced back in April, the total budget set for the redesign is about 1.4 million dollars including 325,000 provided by the provincial government.
The city hopes to start construction by early next year.
3. Zimbabwean community demonstrates
On Saturday, July 23, local Zimbabwean community members demonstrated in Kitchener in protest against the corruption of the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. Demonstrations were held around the world to condemn the Mugabe government’s practices of corruption, staggering unemployment, and police brutality. Using the hashtag #thisflag, local demonstrators called for a return to positive values for Zimbabwe of integrity, dignity, diversity, and nonviolence.
4. Condo Concerns and City Council’s request for defining bedrooms
What makes a bedroom a bedroom? A new definition has been agreed upon by a condo developer and Waterloo, defining what a bedroom is by defining it by what it is not, according to planner for the University Avenue development, Laura Dewer.
The recent zoning by-law came with aim to avoid overcrowding in apartment units. Controversy grew over the debate after recent condo development proposals within the region.
A bedroom is not a living room, a dining room or any other open areas that are used for sanitary or cooking purposes, including areas with electrical equipment for housing laundry and furnace appliances, nor is it hallways or staircases or rooms without a window.
Dewer was further quoted as saying, “This definition will enable the zoning bylaw to do its job, which is to regulate minimum and maximum population density on a site-by-site basis across the city.” Dewer argued to city council last monday that the definition will help ensure consistency and predictability for all who are involved with the planning of the development .
Chief building official Ralph Kaminiski informed council members that “The new definition ensures that developers disguising dens as bedrooms no longer be an issue.”
The builder for the development, Prica Group, has confirmed the removal of all den designs from their previous floor plan.
5. Waterloo Region District School board agrees to limit students online access
Starting next Fall, after years of debate on the matter, the Waterloo Region’s Public School Board will increase the ability to filter the content students can access via public schools’ Wi-Fi.
The School Board approved the implementation of a stricter internet filtering system that will restrict the content allowed to be accessed by students after a number of concerns about the inappropriate material surfacing on elementary online computers.
Many advocates for tougher internet surfing measures for children say the battle for improving online safety has been a lengthy endeavor but one that has been worth pursuing.
Although the filtering decision was passed earlier this June, the policy to govern these digital resources will be discussed further when the board meets again in September.
Any requirements that come with additional filtering is said to be able to be accommodated by the board’s budget.
Improved internet safety will require some teachers and subs in order to properly use these new safeguards.
6. Woolwich councillor summoned to court on alleged Elections Act violations
Woolwich City Councillor Scott Hahn has been summoned to attend provincial court on August 31, to answer to a private citizen’s charges that suggest violations of the Municipal Elections Act.
On last Friday a summons was issued for Scott Hahn after a local resident, Alan Marshall, convinced the Justice of the Peace to accept his private application to the courts against Hahn.
This comes amidst a recent flood of accusations against Woolwich politicians in regards to election finance issues dating back from October 2014 that initiated the push for a forensic audit.
Woolwich Township’s Council was under scrutiny last year after making errors in failing to file elections expenses.
The first complaint to be filed to the audit committee was filed by one of Hahn’s electoral opponents, Dan Holt.
Holts commented on the issue, saying, “I think anytime anybody breaks the law they should account for that.”
Other accusations made against Hahn include providing false or misleading information on his 2014 municipal financial elections return.
Scott Hahn has yet to comment on the court case.
7. Kool-FM lays off staff in advance of format change
Have a holly jolly Christmas? The waterloo-based station, Kool FM, has been playing christmas music for a couple of days now this week after a format change issued by the owners, Bell Media. The station has re-launched as Virgin Radio, branded under the banner of the telecommunications giant company. One on-air personality along with other Kool FM staff were laid off amidst the format change.
The launch of Virgin Radio was advertised at noon today outside Kitchener City Hall.
8. Events taking place in the K-W area this weekend include Grassroots Powwow Fundraiser
The second annual K-W Grassroots Powwow will be having a yard sale this Saturday, July 31. The yard sale is taking place on 298 Frederick Street from 9 am to 2pm to raise funds for the Grassroots Powwow coming later this October. All proceeds from the event will go towards this year’s Powwow for charity at Bingemans Marshall hall.
It is advertised on their website with the slogan that “One man’s trash is another
man’s treasure”. So come shop for some fabulous finds and support your local 2016 KW Grassroots Powwow!
9. Food & Festivities This Weekend
There’s lots to do in Kitchener-Waterloo this weekend! The annual KW Serbian Food Festival is this Saturday and Sunday July 30-31st from 10am-11pm, both days. It will be held across from the Sunrise shopping plaza on 700 Fischer Hallman Rd. in Kitchener. This event invites the public to share with them a little taste of Serbian food and culture.
There will be live music, dancing, face painting and an ice cream truck will be on site, activities for both children and adults alike.
Admission is free.
And starting this evening, July 29, and running through the weekend is the Mill Race Festival in downtown Cambridge. The festival showcases roots music on multiple stages throughout the downtown core. It’s free to attend, but donations (which will get you a festival program) are welcome. Visit millracefolksociety.com for a list of performers.
And the Afro Festival is happening this Saturday, July 30 from 12-8pm in Waterloo Park, described on its website as “a festival of dance, music, drama, Henna, art and African cuisine celebrating the rich cultural heritage of all of the 56 countries that comprise the African continent.” This year’s festival is particularly celebrating the memory of Sadia Gassim, the founder of African Women’s Alliance of Waterloo Region.
And that wraps up the news for this week July 29, 2016 . Thank you for listening to CKMS Sound FM
From:: Grand River Community News