Residents Association Formed

If you go way back in the archives of this blog…way back to the 2006 campaign, I made a point that residents should be more engaged in the political process locally.  There are many ways to accomplish this.  One of them is making sure that residents are informed as much as possible about decisions that affect them directly and indirectly.  I stressed during this campaign that I would make sure I continue to knock on doors in between election campaigns, and not just during them.

If there was a public meeting coming up about an issue that would affect residents, I will do my best to get out there and inform people of that meeting, whats being discussed, how it will affect them and how they can participate.  Not everyone can make every town hall or public meeting, but I will make sure they have a voice around the table.

Another great way is by a residents association or Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).  These groups are usually formed when the local officials aren’t listening to the needs and concerns of residents.  Recently, there was a new association formed in the Hawthorne Village area, which encompasses Ward 6, but it was formed for an entirely different reason.

During the last election campaign, I noticed an increase in awareness of local issues by residents in my ward.  Other councillors and candidates would say the same thing.  The Hawthorne Village Residents Association (HVRA) was formed by several concerned residents to be a part of the process, to stay involved and to work with council when decisions are being made.  I applaud all the members and participants in this process and will do my best to work with them and keep the lines of communication open.

Christina Commisso at the Milton Canadian Champion did an article recently about the formation of the HVRA.  Congratulations to Martin Capper and Andrew Salmons for co-chairing this committee as well as the many people who signed up.  We can only hope this will help enhance the flow of communication from town council to the residents in Milton.

Here is the article from the Champion.

Residents group forms

Christina Commisso, CANADIAN CHAMPION STAFF November 16, 2010

What started as an online discussion following the municipal election has ballooned into a newly-formed residents group that hopes to strengthen the lines of communication between Miltonians and town council.

“We started with a post on the Hawthorne Villager (website), which got 1,600 hits and 60 posts from 20 different people in a matter of days,” said Martin Capper, co-chair of the Hawthorne Village Residents Association (HVRA).

The group isn’t exclusive to Hawthorne Village residents — it’s open to all Miltonains, he said.

CLICK ON THE LINK FOR MORE.

For more information, email HawthorneVillageRA@gmail.com.

Are your kids “street proofed?”

The Champion has an interesting editorial on child safety this week.

There have been a number of attempted abductions of young children in the news the past few weeks, with some of these incidents happening in the Halton region.

Do your kids know what to do if they are approached?  I know I go over this with Anthony many times to make sure he knows what to do if ever confronted with a similar situation.  He knows that if anyone he doesnt know tries to grab or lure him into the car to say “NO”.  If that person continues to press, he knows to start yelling and run to the nearest neighbours house.  We’ve set up a password system so that if someones says they know his Mom or Dad, they have to give them the password or else he wont go.

Its a scary thought for parents.  The idea of someone coming into an area and trying to abduct any child sends shivers up the spines for many of us.   We have to ensure our kids know what to do if or when that situation arises.

This also leads me into the Milton Community Policing Committee and what we are planning to do with several schools in the area.  We are looking to set up a program with Principals to get as much information out to the kids as possible from the Halton Region Police Force.  This might include information sessions inside the school with members of the Halton Police Force, or regular letters to parents including some brochures on road safety, staying safe and street proofing.

There are a couple of schools we will be presenting this information to when they do their open houses in September including Tiger Jeet Singh Elementary School, PL Robertson among others.  If you would like more information on the MCPC visit the website and contact us if you’d like to get involved.

We will be having an information booth at the Downtown Milton Street Festival tomorrow all day long.  Regional Councillor Colin Best, myself and many other volunteers from the committee will be there to answer any questions you might have about local community activism, street proofing your children and road safety.  We will be more than happy to meet with you and discuss how you can get involved and help continue to make Milton a great place to live and grow our families.

Here’s the editorial from the Champion.

Jun 03, 2010 – 12:22 PM

Parents, children — be on guard

Several Halton incidents of children being approached by strangers

If your son or daughter was approached by a complete stranger trying to entice them into a vehicle, do you know how they would react?

Have you ever discussed with your children the possibility of such a scenario happening to them and what they should do if it does? If not, what are you waiting for?

Last week, Halton Regional Police issued separate parental warnings in Burlington and Halton Hills in connection with young people being approached by strangers with what can only be described as bad intentions.

In Acton, three incidents of an older white man, driving a silver four-door car trying to entice youngsters into the vehicle were reported over a five-day period at the end of April and start of May. Police determined that a fourth, more recent complaint by an Acton youth was unfounded.

Meanwhile, in Burlington last week, two teenage girls were approached by a male stranger in separate incidents occurring less than 40 hours apart.

In the first case, a 16-year-old was approached as she walked her dog May 25. A man described as black, with very short hair or bald, 35 to 40 years old and wearing a dark shirt struck up a conversation with the teen and attempted to entice her into his black, older model pick-up truck. When she refused he continued driving.

Then, last Thursday, a 15-year-old female was approached by an unknown man — described as black, in his late 20s or early 30s and driving an older blue pickup truck. He, too, tried to entice her to get inside his vehicle. When she refused, he briefly followed her to a parking lot before he fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Similar incidents have been reported in Milton in the past.

Halton police urge parents to remind their children not to approach anyone that’s not known to them and to always walk with a friend or a known adult.

Keep Your Eyes Open

An alert citizen in Milton is being credited for helping nab a car thief earlier this month.  Here is the story from the Milton Canadian Champion.

This goes to show that keeping your eyes open and reporting anything suspicious can always be helpful.  This also serves as a reminder to everyone to make sure your cars doors are locked and all valuables are stored away out of sight in order to deter these kinds of break ins.

If you would like more information about the Milton Community Policing Committee and how to get involved to learn more about community safety, visit the website http://haltonpolicingcommittees.ca/

Vehicle break-in suspect faces 14 more charges

Fourteen additional charges have been laid against a Milton man arrested earlier this month and charged in connection with a series of thefts from vehicles.

The additional charges follow a continuing two-week investigation by Halton Regional Police and relate to several break-ins and thefts in Oakville and Toronto over the past couple of months, police said.

Early May 8, police were called to a street in south Milton after a man reported seeing a suspicious male wearing dark clothing exit a vehicle. The man observed the suspect attempt to enter vehicles parked in various driveways on the street, police said.

The alert citizen called police, who searched the area along with a member of the canine unit.

An arrest was made after a suspect was located in a vehicle.

A 51-year-old Milton man is now facing a total of 21 criminal charges including break-and-enter and prowl by night and multiple counts of theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property and possession of stolen credit cards. 

It happened again

I was getting ready to go to the last official meeting of the Milton 150th Anniversary committee around 630pm when I heard some weird sounds and then a smash.

Oh no, not again I thought and hoped for the best as I made my way to front porch. So much for hoping.

There was another accident at Yates Drive and March Crossing last night between 2 vehicles…one coming out of March Crossing turning east towards Bennett and the other traveling on Yates towards Bennett. One driver was taking her family to the Hawthorne Village PS Holiday Sing a Long when, according to her, the car came through the stop sign and hit her on the drivers side front wheel, causing some significant damage.

Road conditions were fine at that time with little no snow and the roads were a bit wet.

My neighbour Wally and I did what we could to help them out and thankfully no one was hurt in this case.

We have had several near misses and now 3 accidents in the last year at this intersection and nothing seems to have been done. You might remember an article in the Champion about this intersection and how the town was going to do some further studies.

Its only a matter of time before something worse happens or someone is injured or killed.

Changing rules takes time…I understand that but as I mentioned last night “you cant legislate common sense.”

Its been said so many times here on this blog and in letters to the editor that our residential streets are not raceways and yet still people fly down the street. Just after the cars were moved to the side of the road a car few up our street at way over the speed limit and drove through the stop sign at Bennett. Unfortunately we didnt get the plate number, but from our location I did see that same car go down Irving Terrace just after.

When youre driving towards an intersection, regardless of stop signs or not, you have to approach it with caution and look out for other cars. This was a totally avoidable accident and shouldnt have happened.

I know that the majority of people I have spoken with over the course of the last year after the election have told me they agree with my stand on doing something, whether it be stop signs, speed bumps or reducing speed limits. But something has to be done.

Maybe reducing speed limits wont accomplish much, but if they get nailed by the police doing 60km/h instead of 40km/h, the fine will be a lot more, and MAYBE they might think twice. Sad to say but I feel I’m losing faith that something will change.

If you agree that something has to be done at this or any other location in town, please do your part. Write a letter to the editor of the Milton Canadian Champion and the Halton Compass…write a letter to your councillors and the Town of Milton…take down the plate numbers of people who you feel are not driving safely and send them to the Halton Police department…go to the website www.haltonroadwatch.ca and find out what more we can do to stop this. The more people get away with this the more it will continue.

***NOTE*** The link to Halton Road Watch seems to be down and not working.

Yates Drive and March Crossing

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Just the mere mention of that intersection causes many residents in the area to roll their eyes.

Why? We have seen many near misses of vehicles driving down Yates from Thompson Road with cars coming out of March Crossing. This weekend was no different.

Lets go back in time to this past summer around the dinner hour. Local residents were brought out of their homes with the sounds of screeching tires, loud thumps and a big bang. What had happened was a car traveling north on Yates Drive towards Bennett Blvd. at what witnesses describe as “over the speed limit”, narrowly missing a vehicle coming out on March Crossing into the intersection. This car swerved to miss that car, lost control and jumped the curb on the opposite side of the road and smash into a house. Luckily there was no one hurt, the car sustained some damage and the bay window of the home was damaged.

For those of us who live in the area know, kids are walking up and down the sidewalk heading to their friends homes or to the local parks and thank God no one was there was this happened.

Now, we go back to this past Saturday and the almost exact situation happened again. A car traveling up Yates Drive from Thompson Road heading towards Bennett Blvd. driving up the street, narrowly misses a car coming out from March Crossing, loses control and jumps the curb on the opposite side and hits the same house in almost the identical spot.

Enough is enough. Im not one person who favours putting stop signs at every intersection or reducing speed when there is no justification. Something has to change before any other home or God forbid, someone is injured or killed.

The speed limit on Yates Drive is 50km/hr. During last falls election campaign, I spoke with many people about community safety and what we as citizens can do to make our streets safer. Many of you favoured reducing the speed limit on streets. Is that enough?

Would a 40km/hr speed limit saved this home owner from yet another insurance claim and time away from their lives to repair the damage to their home that someone else caused? Maybe.

If the speed limit was reduced it might be cause for the driver to make sure they slow down. Who really knows.

Would a stop sign have done the trick? Again, who knows. If drivers know there is a stop sign approaching at that intersection, would they reduce their speed before they come to March Crossing?

Possibly. Only if people open their eyes and realize our residential and town roads are not speedways.

It’s frustrating to live in an area such as this with such amazing neighbours and people living in the subdivision to have to deal with this. The only thing we have left is to turn to the town of Milton and see what can be done.

For years now, residents have complained about speeding on our streets. To the town’s credit they have done some studies about excess speed on Yates Drive and have concluded it doesnt warrant a stop sign at this particular intersection.

My message, that I plan on delivering with the help of the local residents, is simply this.

Reduce the speed to 40km/h and / or put a 4 way stop at this intersection. By doing nothing, is simply condoning this behaviour and endorsing what has already happened.

The safety of the people in the area, their homes and our children are more important than worrying about if people will be inconvenienced by an additional stop sign.

Whats more important to you?