Have a Community-Based Idea? We’ll Pay You!

Every year, the LCA allocates a certain amount of money for community-based grants. However, much to our dissapointment, these grants often go unused. So every year we end up sitting on a mound (well, maybye not a mound but at the very least a decent-sized pile) of cash that nobody uses!

This is where you come in. The LCA is looking for people with ideas to help benefit our community. An idea can be something as simple as planting a tree, or organizing a class. One of our board members, Lily, is looking into getting a nice picnic table installed in our community gardens on Queen street. This is the perfect example of something simple that takes little effort to organized and benefits the community.

If you have an idea that you would like to carry out, simply read our grant policy, then fill out an application. If the LCA board likes the idea, then we dole out the cash and you get to start your project! Your idea must be implemented within Lakeview and must be availible to all citizens, free of charge. Other then those few restrictions, your options are limitless. Be creative, and send us your idea!

 

Photo Cred: kfjmiller on flikr 

The Lakeview Community Association- Now With Yoga!

We are pleased to announce that yoga will be offered as an addition to our list of fine programs starting this January.  The programs will be as follows:

Multi-Level Yoga for Seniors

This class is for Seniors with varying Yoga experience and ability.  Poses will be taught with a number of variations and supports, enabling students with balance, joint and mobility challenges to take part at their own pace.  This is a gentle yoga class, focused on building strength, stability and joint integrity.

Multi-Level Yoga for Adults

This class is for Adults with varying Yoga experience and ability.  Poses will be taught with a number of variations, allowing students to work at their own level.  Each week the class focus will change, incorporating standing poses, forward bending, gentle twisting, and restorative postures.

In case you did not know, Yoga originated in India and is a “physical, mental and spiritual discipline” , meant for “the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.” Sounds intense. But, my 40-some year old mother does it, so how hard can it really be? Sign up and see for yourself.

For more information, see the yoga page.

New Schools Needed

 

In case you were not aware, in June the Lakeview area lost one of its elementary schools.  Athabasca School closed this past June, dispersing the leftover students to Lakeview and Argyle schools.  Athabasca, a school with a low population was one of several other schools that have closed under the Regina Public School Board’s “ten year renewal program.” Unfortunately, the program is not properly titled. Rather, it should be known as the “ten year school closure program.”

Schools in Regina are being closed on a yearly basis. And there are no new schools being built. The student projections for the end of the renewal plan are alarming. It is projected that over thirteen elementary schools in Regina will exceed 400 kids by 2018. The highest projected population is Hawrylak School, where it is estimated some 923 students will be attending school by the year 2018. Two more schools are cited for closure at the end of this school year, and who knows how many more are coming after that.

Lakeview and other neighbourhoods are full of young children that will be attending elementary school in the next few years. Supposedly, our city is growing and yet for some reason schools are closing. Instead of building additional schools to support a growing population, kids are being crammed into schools that are already full, and temporary classrooms (like the trailers you see on construction sites) are being slapped onto the backs of schools as a weak attempt to solve the problem.

As a city, Regina seems to be behind in the times when it comes to debates on school closures. Larger cities such as Edmonton have put a moratorium on school closures for the next few years in order to “explore a number of programs to support schools rather then close them”. In Vancouver, “specialty programs have been introduced in order to give struggling schools the chance to survive.” There has been loads of  research done has to show the benefits of multiple small schools rather then few large schools. So then why is Regina closing the doors of so many small, community schools?

One of the reasons probably has to do with finances. Schools are expensive. Buildings need to be maintained, and that costs money. It is easy to close a school when one looks at all of the money that will be saved. The only thing that seems to be overlooked is what is best for the kids. A local group called RealRenewal has some great ideas on how to shape the future of education in Regina. They envision small schools that kids can walk and bike to.  They see elementary schools as a hub for local community activities, such as adult education and daycare. Imagine having schools that aren’t just schools, but community centers that get used after school hours. Communities would be brought together! Neighbours would get to know each other! The benefits would be enormous.

A city’s education system is its most important service. This is why such a large portion of our taxes is allocated to the school boards. Schools are more important then garbage removal. Schools are more important then street sweeping. Schools are even, dare I say it, more important then building a new stadium for our beloved roughriders. The school board should be looking out for what is best for our community, not what is best for their accounting ledgers.

If you wish to express your concern about the future of Regina’s public schools, feel free email our ward’s school Board Trustee, Dale West

 

The above views expressed are those of the authour and not necessarily those of the Lakeview Community Association.

A “Pedestrians Only” City Square

I must say that I was quite happy with city council’s decision to keep the newly built city square vehicle free. One might say I was everjoyed. Tickled pink, even. According to the city’s website, council voted last night to keep the square vehicle free, at least until “a study of downtown traffic can be completed next spring.” The idea of allowing vehicles to pass through the new city square plaza seems to defeat the purpose of having a city square. Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on cobblestone roads with decorative lights buildt into them if they are just going to be trampled over and damaged by cars? Futhermore, the city square is supposed to be an area for the public to gather and listen to live music or speeches. How is this supposed to be done when Hyundais and f-150s are in the way? The city is on the right page with the idea of the square being pedestrians only. Some of the many benefits city hall points out are :

· Full-time access for events and activities

· All of the space can be used, instead of a part.

· Less conflict between motorists and pedestrians

· Less damage from vehicles to the plaza itself

I hope the city will decide in June to keep the square vehicle-free. The city square should be a place for citizens, not their vehicles.

 

photo cred: Prairie Dog Magazine

LCA Member Receives Prestigious Award

The LCA is proud to announce that our treasurer, Amy Mader was the recipient of one of the South Zone Recreation Board’s Volunteer of the year awards! Amy joined the LCA back when we were in dark times. The association was in a bit of a transition period, and had many vacant spots open on our executive. This in turn made Amy a jack-of-all-trades, as she learned most of the responsibilities of other positions. This came in handy when the LCA started growing in members this past year. Amy (who is a seasoned LCA veteran with four years under her belt) was able to give guidance to  new members including Bob and Carrie, our chairspeople.

Amy was honoured at a swanky reception in the multi-purpose room at the West Harvest Inn. It was buffet fare with a cash bar and there was a jazz musician to entertain. Celebrity guest Gerry Fincati, of the South Zone Recreation Board hosted the event and members of all four south end community associations were in attendance that evening. Amy was more then happy to accept an award for all of her hard work but in her true selfless fashion, spent more time acknowleding the hard work of other LCA members during her speech then recognizing the work she does herself. Unfortunately a certain website editor forgot to bring his camera, so a photo of Amy accepting the award is not availible. However, I have posted the above internet photo which is pretty close to what Amy accepting the award looked like.

Amy, the Lakeview Community Association is ever so thankful for all of the hard work that you do for us. We truly would be lost without you.

Lakeview’s Best Businesses

      The Newly Renovated River Heights Mall at the Corner of Regina Ave and Montague St.

As a person who is tired of big box stores and chains clogging up the retail sector of this wonderful city, I am a big advocate of the small business. We are fortunate in Lakeview to have a number of awesome small businesses which offer a wide enough variety that one can find almost all they need without having to leave the neighbourood. Here are some of the businesses that are my favourite:

1)Lakeview Fine Foods

3404 Hill Avenue

 586-5221

This is probably the last small grocery store you will find in this city. While it is not as big or as fancy as the newly renovated Safeway Stores, this place is good as it has everything you need in about the same amount of shelving that Wal-Mart has reserved  for party hats. The people are super friendly, and actually know where things are located when you ask. For a fee, Lakeview fine foods will even select and deliver your groceries, right to your door! Just try and name one other grocery store in town that does that. You can’t, because they are the only ones that do so.

2) The Chimney Restaurant and Lounge

2710 Montague Street

 584-7777

The Chimney is probably one of my favorite local restaurants. The menu is typical of Regina Greek restaurants, Souvlaki, steak, seafood, pizza, etc., but you get so much food! Dinner meals come with soup, salad and garlic toast, followed by the gigantic main course. The atmosphere is very cozy and relaxing and the service is exceptional. The lounge is on the other side of the restaurant and is a good place to meet with friends and relax over a beer or three. The Chimney in my opinion trumps Lakeview’s other greek restaurant, Houston Pizza  in terms of atmosphere, food quality and service.

3) River Heights Drycleaners

2750 Montague Street

 584-7499

Okay so I will admit that I am a tad biased towards this place, as I was employed there for most of my high school career, but this store is great. The prices are reasonable and the clothes are always ready to be picked up in a timely manner. Vern, the owner, is a great guy who likes a good conversation and will actually remember your name. They also are a Sears catalogue sales merchant and  rent carpet cleaners. Awesome!

4) John’s Barber Shop

The Basement of the River Heights Mall

  584-7822

For those of you who have lived in Lakeview for a long period of time you will probably recall Ivan, the barber in the basement of the River Heights mall. Well, Ivan retired this past year and John was his replacement. John is a friendly, charismatic individual and one hell of a good barber. As he tells me every time I go there to get my hair cut he will “cut all styles.” John is also probably the most reasonably priced barber in town. Where else can you get your hair cut for under $20? Another plus about John is that he will give you an old-timey shave! Barbers like John are definitely becoming more and more of a rarity as more and more of them are retiring and forcing us guys to have to go fancy salons and pay $30 for the exact same haircut.

5) Kuntz’s Automotive

3435 Hill Avenue

 586-4637

When I was a teenager I drove a crappy car. It broke down sometimes. Actually it broke down quite often. And when it broke down, I could always trust the guys at Kuntz’s to give it the quickest fix at the most reasonable price. The guys at Kuntz’s do everything from installing a new mirror to  doing complete engine rebuilds.

6)Orange Boot Bakery

 3904 Gordon Road

  584-BOOT 

 http://orangeboot.ca

     Technically this business is in Albert Park, but the owners live in Lakeview and it is still relatively close by so I will recommend it. The Orange boot bakery, believe it or not, actually started when Mark and Cindy Dyck (who are both former LCA exec’s) started baking delicious bread in a brick oven in their back yard. Mark and Cindy started selling the bread to friends, and eventually it became so popular they had to stop the backyard business and set up plans to open up a store. A while later, Mark and Cindy were back, this time in a store on Gordon Road. The bread is just as good as when it was baked in their backyard oven, and they now offer amazing other bakery items such as cookies and muffins. Definitely check this place out if you haven’t already.

So, the next time you require require a service, try one of these amazing small businesses instead of heading out to a gigantic box store. You will probably be happy that you did.

Our AGM is Monday, October 17th!

Every October, the LCA holds its famous Annual General Meeting. This year, the meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 22 , 7:00 PM at Lakeview School. This is a great opportunity to come and find out about all of the things we have been up to over the past year, and also meet the people who run the programs in your community. If you are thinking “Oh, great a long and  boring meeting full of snobby executive board members” you could not be more wrong. Our meetings are informal and are full of fun and friendly community-minded people. We also probably hold a world record for “fastest annual general meeting.” Bring your friends, bring your neighbours, bring anyone who has an idea they would like to share! Also, For only $5 you can purchase a membership and are eligible to vote for stuff. Will refreshments be provided? Come and find out!

photo by sunergos on flickr