Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011

I resolve to continue working with the Waste Management Department in ensuring bulk garbage is picked up in a timely manor in the North End of Winnipeg, and any other area where it is considered a fire hazzard.

I resolve to continue working with the Community By-Laws Department to ensure the By-Laws are properly upheld with regards to Illegal Dumpers of Garbage and Construction Materials, and for that matter, any other By-Law that affects my neighbourhood.

I resolve to continue educating myself on the working of City Hall and Winnipeg Municipal Government.

I resolve to seek out like minded residents of the North End who are already working at making our City a better place, as well as others who would like to start making a difference, to share successful strategies.

I resolve to continue seeking out and working with like minded Community Organizations in the North End in an effort to make my neighborhood a better and safer place.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year In Reflection - From A North End Perspective

I would have to say that this has been an interesting year for me. Since I started writing this blog, in August of this year, I got a call from the Mayor, became a member of the Stakeholders Committee for the Garbage Master Plan at City Hall, joined and was elected Vice-Chair of the St Johns Residents Associate, started attending meetings at City Hall, and met a lot of interesting people.
The folks at 311 have gotten to know me through my emails to them, with 44 bulky item removal requests, 3 requests for dumpsters to be sanitized, 3 illegal dumping reports, 3 reports of litter around dumpsters, 1 request to have a new dumpster delivered, 3 reports of untended yard litter, and several requests for information.
I have been talking with the people at Waste Management, adding my two cents worth into the mix as they negotiate a new contract for garbage removal. I have been told that the trucks sent to pick up bulky items in the back lanes of the North End will now be picking up all bulky items in the lane instead of the items listed on their one specific ticket. This is a major victory in my eyes. The bulky items are fire hazards and homes to rodents. The quicker they get picked up, the cleaner and safer our back lanes and our neighbourhood will be.
During this last year, my husband and I have been getting to know the landlords on our street. We managed to change the behaviour of one landlord, who emptied a residence into the back lane, filling 6 dumpsters with rodent and bug infested items. He now trucks his garbage out of the area. We also managed to rid the street of a few bad tenants. The party house is no longer partying, and a few bad eggs from another house were evicted as well.
On the illegal dumping front, we have seen many instances of illegal dumping, and reported three specific instances. Of those three, one had sufficient evidence to proceed. My husband and I made a statement against that illegal dumper, and the person has been served. I do not know the status of the issue right now, but I will go to court if needed, in order to ensure this person is fined for his actions. So far nobody has ever been fined for illegal dumping, so again, this is huge.
I was published in the Free Press in an article written by Gordon Sinclair Jr (, and the Community Newspaper, The Times in an article written by Rob Brown ( Scott Price at The University of Winnipeg radio station also did an interview with me for his People of Interest show, which aired Dec 14 (
Marty Gold often mentioned my blog during his Great Canadian Talk Show from the Red River College Radio Station. He would read from the blog during the show, and often had a segment on Mondays called "A Weekend In The Hood". Unfortunately that show has disappeared from the Winnipeg airways and will be sorely missed.
I would like to thank the Winnipeg Bloggers who have added me to their blog lists. I get many people coming from Winnipeg Love Hate, Slurpees And Murder, and One Man Committee. Thanks Guys :)
That's it for now. See you in the new year.

Thursday is Garbage Day, Even After Christmas

It was garbage day in my back lane today. The Christmas Holidays have not affected the weekly removal of trash from my dumpster. I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
I had noticed a few of the dumpsters were overfull in the past few days, with the remains of presents and wrappings, and was curious how the lane faired after the garbage truck emptied the dumpsters. So, I took my first walk down my lane since Christmas.
What I noticed most along my walk today were the number of black garbage bags lining the lane. Most of them were deposited beside recycling boxes. I found it odd, because I normally do not see garbage bags on my walks at all, not even in the dumpsters. Most people in the area just dump garbage in the dumpsters. Some of the garbage is contained in small plastic grocery bags, but very rarely is there a large black garbage bag. In my experience, the black garbage bags are a sign of someone dumping garbage from outside the neighbourhood.
I found myself wondering where these newly deposited garbage bags came from? Did my neighbours purchase garbage bags for the Christmas holidays? Were they preparing for the extra trash they would have during these days? Or did the bags come from somewhere else. It wasn't only the presence of so many black garbage bags that was so odd, but their locations as well. These garbage bags were not piled next to dumpsters. They were up against fences, meters away from the nearest dumpster. And they were next to recycling boxes. Are the garbage bags filled with recycling, resting in the lane in hopes that they would be taken by the recycling truck to be sorted and turned into lawn furniture? Or maybe, like always, the black garbage bags came from outside the neighbourhood. I cannot say how many garbage bags were in the lane before the garbage truck arrived this morning, as I had not done a back lane walk for a while. But there is definitely a presence of black garbage bags in the lane now.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Spent Away

My husband and I were asked to house sit for family this Christmas. When we were first asked, I looked forward to the idea of getting out of the North End for a week. I looked forward to the peace and quiet of country living. There would be no sirens, no traffic, no noise coming from the neighbours. We could spend some quality time in the country, enjoying the lack of drama of the North End.
During the week of house sitting, we dropped in to the North End every few days to check on our own home. We made sure the walk was shovelled, and mail was brought in. I took quick trips to the back lane as well, making sure all was well. It felt good to drive down my street and park among the familiar cars, and walk down my familiar street, and up my sidewalk to my house. Any time I have gone away on a holiday, it has always felt good to come home, and these short trips into town were no different.
Then back to our temporary home, on the outskirts of town, we would go. Back to the quiet and serenity of the country.
I found myself missing my routine of walks down the back lanes, and missing the familiar noises of the neighbourhood. As crazy as my street gets from time to time, it is still my home. And I missed it.
As much as we love to hate Winnipeg, we love to come home to it as well.
Here is a link to Youtube - Weakerthans - One Great City (I hate Winnipeg)