Energetic two-tired patrollers

2 Comments

vCOP founder Glenn J. Nashen and volunteer supervisor Mitchell Herf

On a warm summer weeknight some like to watch TV, or shop or take a walk. But for Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol members there’s nothing better than patrolling the city on two tires.

Such was the case last week as the evening temperature was a sticky 25C. vCOP supervisor Mitchell Herf and I are frequent patrol partners preferring the option of mountain bikes or electric scooters.

“You can get close to the residents, exchange with them and teach them about our group and city ordinances,” Herf says.

We met up with many residents that night, bumping into Earl, the well-known barefoot jogger along Mackle, neighbours in Shuster Park whom I had never met before and complete strangers to whom we said hi cycling through Rembrandt Park.

We bumped into my hair stylist, Georges, from Intercoupe Monsieur, who was out chatting with a neighbour. He saluted us for our volunteer service. That made us feel good.

Glenn J. Nashen on vCOP Bike Patrol outside Cote Saint-Luc City Hall

You need to be out in the community, meeting people, to truly appreciate the essence of what community really means. That is what Cote Saint-Luc is all about. That’s the real thing that social media will never replace.

If you’d like to have the same great experience why not join vCOP and try it out, even if you’re not the two-tired type.

Advertisements

Happy Birthdays Mom and Dad

1 Comment

Happy Birthdays to two very special role models, friends, parents and active community members. To 120!!

My parents will read all of your good wishes posted in comments on this page and on my Facebook post. Please like and comment.

Creating a future of miracles: Israel Guide Dog Center

Leave a comment

Noah Brown, Consul General David Levy, Eli Yablonek and Glen


I was recently invited to attend a luncheon at the Israel Consul General’s residence to meet three special guests. I knew nothing about them or their organization and I was almost taken aback as I entered the bright, beautiful residence to hear one of the special invitee’ commanding voice: “Glenn, come here! Glenn! Glenn, stay!”.

Now I know Israelis are notoriously direct, to be polite about it, but I thought this was a bit much, no?

What I was about to realize, is that Eli Yablonek was speaking to his Yellow Labrador guide dog, Glen (I hadn’t noticed his commands were to a one N’d Glen, not to Ns!).

Glen and Eli


Eli, 67, is a retired businessman and former tank commander. He is a man of few words, with a no-nonsense attitude. He has excelled in business, hiking, tandem bicycling, swimming and skiing. Wounded in the Yom Kippur war in a tank battle in the Sinai, Eli lost his left arm and became blind.


While the first war ended for him the second war was his rehabilitation. However, for Eli, there are no limits. His guide dog gives him independence.

“There were no guide dogs in Israel,” Eli told us. “So I moved to New York to get my first dog and begin our training. It was very difficult not being home, away from family, with huge expenses.”

When Eli’s first dog passed away he decided it was time to start the Israel Guide Dog Center.

Glen is his first dog from Israel and Eli travels the world with him, promoting the centre.

“It is very important for the guide dog school to be located in Israel,” Eli said. “We can live and stay and train in our own country and train the dogs for their local customs and environment and language. Glen ‘speaks’ English and Hebrew. 

“We give 35 dogs to blind people and 35 more for special needs, every year. This is all free thanks to generosity through worldwide fundraising.”

The guide dog school, the only one of its kind in Israel, needs to replace and retrain its dogs about every eight years. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are the breed of choice given their adaptability.
So far, its clients have received more than 650 dogs.

“With Glenn, I’m not a blind person,” Eli said with great pride.

Eli and Glen were joined by Noah Brown, the founder of the Israel Guide Dog Center, some 35 years ago. “We are not just fundraising but friend-raising too,” Eli told the guests.

“How can you help? Adopt a dog!”

The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind is the only accredited guide dog program serving Israel’s 24,000 blind and visually impaired individuals – and the only such program in the entire Middle East. They serve wounded IDF veterans and victims of terror, provide PTSD dogs trained to ‘watch your back’, help single parents and children at risk, and serve Israelis of various backgrounds and religions, secular, Jewish, Muslim and Christian. They nurture social integration and economic independence.

And why the name Glen, I asked Eli? “You want to name a dog Yacov in Israel? Everyone will turn to look at you!”

For more information call 416–577–3600 or visit www.IsraelGuideDog.ca.

Eli Rubenstein presents a book about the holocaust and the journey of a blind survivor and his dog
Rubenstein highlighted the juxtaposition of how dogs were used to terrorize and dehumanize by the Nazis yet now serve those very survivors as critical companions and guides

On hand for the visit was Canadian March of the Living Director, Eli Rubenstein, who also serves as a Canadian chairman for the centre. Rubenstein was in town to launch The film A Holocaust Journey Through Poland with Man’s Best Friend.

Consul General David Levy and his wife Maya have done a tremendous job of representing Israel across Quebec and throughout the Maritime provinces, since their arrival. They are passionate about their country and dedicated to strengthening the ties between our two countries. I applaud the Consul General’s gusto and zeal and was honoured to have been his invited guest for this fascinating encounter.

Swift and angry backlash against D’Arcy McGee MNA’s vote for Bonjour-Hi resolution

Leave a comment

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban Jun 12, 2019

D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum voted along with fellow Quebec Liberals, the Parti Québécois and the governing CAQ in encouraging Montreal merchants to drop the “Hi” in the now-traditional Bonjour-Hi greeting.

Be sure to read below: In my opinion

The vote, proposed by the PQ, came in advance of Grand Prix weekend, when numerous tourists, including many who do not speak French, visit Montreal.

Liberal MNAs Kathleen Weil and Gregory Kelley were not present for the symbolic vote. Weil told the media she stayed away after receiving numerous complaints from constituents after voting for the same motion in 2017.

Birnbaum provided an extensive explanation for his vote on Facebook. The MNA said the wording of the resolution was acceptable to him, and it passed unanimously in terms of all MNAs present in the Assembly.

“Here is why I chose to rise for the vote….verrrry slowly,” he wrote. “English-speaking Quebecers, whether they live in Snowdon, Sillery or Sherbrooke, have a stake in supporting the protection and promotion of the French language. We are allies, not enemies in that cause— it’s time that this be recognized by all parties, as it is by ours.”

Birnbaum also contended that the CAQ government “has failed to take the slightest concrete measure to truly strengthen the place of French in Quebec — by increasing spending, as our government did, on francisation programs for new immigrants, by supporting English school boards in their constant efforts to improve French-second language programs (the CAQ plans to abolish the board), and in calling for the inclusion of all Quebecers in the legitimate and necessary effort of French-language promotion.”

There was much reaction to Birnbaum’s vote.

Harold Staviss, who with CSL councillor Ruth Kovac has been lobbying businesses to put up bilingual signs and send out bilingual communications to consumers, was very displeased.

“Do our MNAs have nothing better to do?” he wrote on Facebook. “What a joke! Three cheers and kudos to Kathleen Weil and Gregory Kelley for standing up for those that elected them. At least two Liberals stood up for their constituents. But with all due respect to David Birnbaum and Jennifer Maccarone, you let us down big time. I urge you all to show both David and Jennifer your total disgust for what they did. E-mail them, call them, use social media.”

Kovac herself sent a note to Birnbaum, which she shared with The Suburban, announcing that she is withdrawing her Quebec Liberal Party membership as well as her seat on the D’Arcy McGee riding association.

“We have discussed this issue on more than one occasion,” she added. “As an MNA, in my opinion, you are elected by the people and responsible first to them, irrespective of parliamentary duties. The 2017 backlash should have guided your vote this time. This vote was a resolution, not legislation! It is the English and multi- ethnic population that elected you, not a small Francophone town in a rural area.”

Kovac also wrote that Bill 101 and the OQLF “have never been about promoting French, but pushing for a slow and painful death of anything English.

“Having worked in different businesses before becoming a councillor, we know that it is the language of the customer that is paramount. This was an opportunity where you could have easily risen slowly or quickly with true vigour and represented D’Arcy McGee.

“I suspect that I speak for many.”

Former Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen responded to Birnbaum on Facebook

“To be inclusive, forward looking and positive… sure,” he wrote. “To respect, promote and master the French language? Absolutely. To interfere with private conversations between private business and private citizens? Not the role of our parliamentarians. As you rightly point out, French is as healthy as ever in Montreal. No need to suppress the English language.”

CSL council regular Toby Shulman wrote: “I am calling my MNA. He has lost my vote.”

joel@thesuburban.com

More:

In my opinion:

While I an upset about the motion in the National Assembly, I don’t believe that David Birnbaum’s ‘reluctant’ vote in favour makes him unworthy as a representative of the English-speaking community, as expressed by some others. Now I’m no apologist for anyone, however politics isn’t a zero sum game. I believe in measuring a leader by the overall good he or she does for the community. I’m really not pleased with David’s decision to vote in favour of this resolution. I would have preferred that he cast a vote against, as difficult as that would have been for him. It would have sent a much stronger message than rising slowly, in my opinion. But, one cannot erase the many good choices David has made as our MNA. So I do think anyone who’s upset should let him know. It is only through these many contacts that any MNA can better represent us on the next resolution. Too often people are quick to criticize on single issues, disregarding a history of achievement.

Naloxone training coming to CSL First Responders

2 Comments

Cote Saint-Luc EMS

With the opioide overdose crisis sweeping across Canada it was only a matter of time before widespread training of First Responders would take place. Montreal has announced its firefighters have started to receive this training. This leaves the question about Cote Saint-Luc, the only jurisdiction on the Island of Montreal with its own First Responder Service. Montreal firefighters do not respond to medical emergencies in Cote Saint-Luc.

I reached out to find out about CSL Emergency Medical Services training. Public Safety Councillor Oren Sebag confirms that CSL First Responders will indeed be trained to administer Naloxone in the case of opioide overdose.

Read More:

MONTREAL FIRST RESPONDERS TO BE TRAINED IN USE OF NALOXONE AS ‘ADDITIONAL TOOL’

“The real first responders are the people that make the call,” explains Richard Davy, a student of Social Work at McGill University. “When we consider how quickly someone can lose brain function without oxygen, these are the people that still need to be trained on how to use naloxone.”
Global
https://globalnews.ca/news/5388323/montreal-first-responders-naloxone/

West Enders react to CSL Road pothole case

Leave a comment

Many west end residents have been reacting angrily to the recent Suburban report that Quebec Small Claims Court found Montreal at “gross fault” for not dealing with a large pothole on bumpy Côte St. Luc Road near Grand Boulevard in 2017.

CSL resident Eric Choueke was recently awarded $697 plus additional costs for damage to the car he was driving when he hit the pothole. The court found that Montreal was negligent in not dealing with the pothole or warning drivers about it.

Former CSL councillor Glenn Nashen weighed in on his Facebook page, and his posting received numerous responses.

“The sustained negligence of the City of Montreal on this horrible stretch of roadway is a glaring example of incompetence and indifference at every level,” Nashen wrote.

Others were of like mind.

“Every time I’m forced to drive on this miserable stretch of Côte St Luc Road, I really fear for my life and the stability of my car,” wrote Ronnie Roter. “When will we take charge of fixing this?”

Nashen responded that the “we” is the City of Montreal.

“Despite outcries from suburban mayors and residents, not much has been done,” he added. “Residents who continue to point fingers at suburban councils should get down to Montreal City Hall Council meetings and raise the issue there.”

Alisa Clamen wrote that her daughter “blew a tire and a rim on the same stretch. I had to pay to replace both — it was not pleasant.”

Harvey Levine wrote that his office is on Côte St. Luc Road “and since 2017 I have blown two tires and bent two rims. There is absolutely no reasonable excuse for this main road to be in such horrid condition. I pray that there will not be a horrible accident due to drivers constantly swerving to avoid the craters rather than paying attention to other cars, bikes, etc.”

Ruby Deen called the situation “absolutely disgraceful.

“It’s been like this for a very long time! Wake up … City of Montreal and take responsibility!”

Louise Ferland wrote that she “busted a tire and lost a hub cap on the Decarie south underpass between Jean Talon and Vézina on Super Bowl Sunday evening. I filed a complaint and claim with the CDN-NDG borough, and received a letter back that they are not responsible for my damages.

“The road there was just like Côte St. Luc Road.”

Nashen responded that Ferland should take her case to Small Claims Court and cite negligence, as Choueke did in his own case.

CSL council regular Sidney Margles suggested that CSL, CDN-NDG, Hampstead and Montreal West residents get together to demand a solution.

“Let’s invite [CDN-NDG Mayor] Sue Montgomery and [Montreal Mayor] Valerie Plante for a drive.”

Nashen pointed out that CSL Road is to be resurfaced this year, but Margles responded that this is a “stop-gap measure.

“That road needs reconstruction.”

joel@thesuburban.com

New principal takes over JPPS, for one day only

4 Comments

As the school year draws to a close, JPPS elementary school in Cote Saint-Luc found an innovative way to keep spirits and excitement levels at a peak. Beloved Principal Marnie Stein released the reigns for just one day to make room for Grade 4 student Jeremy Nashen to become Principal-for-a-Day.

“Jeremy has a busy day planned,” Stein told us early in the morning. “There are meetings with the Vice-Principal and other members of staff and of course the daily announcements over the PA system.”

Principal Nashen was well-prepared for his day long gig: He amassed agenda items to review with school leadership including suggestions about student council, recess and field trips.

Principals Marnie Stein and Jeremy Nashen

Jeremy showed up early at school in order to welcome students and their parents at drop-off. Dressed in a smart, professorial-looking dark suit and bright-coloured bow tie and carrying his executive red briefcase, Jeremy made his way to the Principal’s office as his schoolmates headed to their classrooms.

After a quick briefing session he was off to the recording booth with Grade 6 students Milo and Isaac to make the morning announcements which began with the joke of the day, supplied by Charlotte in Grade 3: How do bears walk around? With bear feet!

Jeremy advocates for students at the management table

Next he sent off the kindergarten and Grade 2 students on a field trip to the Cosmodome. “You represent our school, so please be on your best behaviour and make us proud,” Jeremy told the kids before departure. He gave them a list of questions about space and astronauts and challenged them to find the answers.

Presenting the Word of the Week to the entire school

He also sent off the Grade 5 class, with their grandparents, on a trip to Old Jewish Montreal. He also reminded these older kids their behaviour should reflect JPPS’ good reputation.

Principal Jeremy supervised the recesses and lunch and even sent one student “to the bench” for a short time out.

He attended two important meetings. At the Weekly Administration Meeting he learned about grants and was able to offer some suggestions of his own. Addressing the school management staff he implored them to install tether-ball in the playground for added fun during recess. On a more serious note he requested that all grades get to have representation and vote for student council, not just the Grade 6 students (that’s my boy!).

Enjoying a coffee break (errr chocolate milk) in the Principal’s Office

JPPS-Bialik President Lee Wise expressed his overall satisfaction with the new principal’s performance today. “Our board of directors sets very high standards and we are so pleased that Jeremy exceeded all of our expectations,” Wise wisely said. “With his leadership around the management table and his commanding voice on the intercom, Jeremy has shown that our elementary school, an International Baccalaureate institution, is the place to be for fast-tracking one’s career and achieving one’s dreams.”

Checking over the school’s invoices and signing off on the expenses

The day ended like all others with Principal Nashen being picked up by his proud mom, Dr. Judy Hagshi. Once at home, the suit came off and the sweats went on: time for a granola bar and some relaxation.

Thank you to the innovative and affable Marnie Stein and the entire team at JPPS for seeking new and fun ways to keep their students motivated and inspired and always learning.

Older Entries