From the Editor: February 2015

Joe Paraskevas Editor.08.2013By Joe Paraskevas

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

The first weeks of Main Street reconstruction brought change. Let’s acknowledge some of it was surprisingly unwelcome.

Let’s also recognize that we, as a community won’t allow ourselves to succumb to first impressions.

At the Mainstreeter, we heard loud and clear from many people about recent changes to daily life in their neighbourhoods. (You can read the comments we received permission to print. Others that will go unpublished tended to be, ahem, rather abrupt.)

When we set out to put the February newspaper together, it wasn’t difficult to answer our habitual question: what are people talking about?

We see ourselves as the voice of Old Ottawa East, faithfully reporting what’s happening and what people are saying. But there is another side to what we do.

We also want to give readers something to think about, to help them better understand the place they call home. Given the developments of the last two months – and the commotion they appear to be creating – the second part of our job just took on greater importance.

As I look through the stories of the February edition, I think we answered a few questions.

We took people’s anger over drivers cutting through our neighbourhoods directly to city officials. The Ottawa Police Service answered our e-mails, as did Coun David Chernushenko, whose response we include in full.

We also sent questions to Josée Vallée, the city’s senior engineer in charge of Main Street reconstruction.

Finally, we went to Main Street businesses, the people on the front lines, whose livelihoods will depend on how well authorities manage the massive project. In their answers were thoughts the rest of us should keep in mind: as bad and slow and perhaps dangerous (see speeding drivers) as things become, let’s not lose sight of the end result.

Main Street will be a beautiful thing in about three years.

The newspaper also tried to cover other changes on the horizon for Old Ottawa East.

Stuart Inglis provided a clear and detailed account of what will happen this year to improve the treacherous intersection of Clegg Street and Colonel By Drive.

Ian Grabina delivered a portrait of the Children’s Garden in transition.

And Jamie Brougham let us in on an idea that might seem a long way from reality, but that could bring this era of mega-projects in our community to a splendid finish.

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