HRM COMMUNITY GRANTS AWARDS
The HRM Community Grants Program awards annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations located within our municipality. The focus of these grants is primarily the provision of modest financial assistance to community-based volunteer initiatives. In 2014, the program received a total of 125 applications with a combined value of $1,285,640.27 in requests. It has been recommended by the HRM Grants Committee that Council approve 53 awards for a combined value of $382,625.00 . In our particular district the following organizations were recommended for grant awards but final approval by HRM Regional Council won’t be done until its meeting in mid-June:

Moser River Wheels and Skis Association:
$1,000 recommended for the purchase of a power tool and signage for local ATV trail work.

St. John’s Church Hall – Necum Teuch:

$1,200 recommended towards foundation repair.

Moser River & Area Historical Society:
$1,500 recommended to up-grade window flashing at the McMann Museum House.

Kinap Athletic Club – Porter’s Lake:
$2,034 recommended for septic system repair.

The Old School Gathering Place – Musquodoboit Harbour:
$3,000 recommended to fund minor roof repairs.

Friends of St. James United Church Heritage Society – Spry Bay:
$4,000 recommended for exterior painting.

Eastern Shore Ground Search & Rescue:
$4,000 recommended for the purchase of navigation and lighting equipment and instrumentation for emergency response boat.

The Deanery Project – Ship Harbour:
$5,000 recommended for installation of attic insulation to improve energy conservation.

Sheet Harbour Rockets:
$10,000 recommended towards repairs to outdoor sports field lighting.

North Ship Harbour Community Hall Auxiliary:
$15,000 recommended towards energy efficiency upgrades to the Ship Harbour Hall.

Lake Charlotte & Area Heritage Society:
$16,000 recommended for electrical upgrades and fire alarm system at Memory Lane Village.

Nature Conservancy of Canada – Halifax:
$25,000 recommended towards the acquisition of Young’s Island in Musquodoboit Harbour.

NS Home for Colored Children – Westphal:
$25,000 recommended towards the Henry G. Bauld Memorial Hall Restoration Project.

L’Acadie de Chezzetcook Association:
$25,000 recommended for the construction of an outdoor deck/stage for the Barn ($16,000) and towards the interior restoration of residential building ($9,000) at the Acadian Museum site.

There were a few other applications by local groups that were not recommended at this time but appeals by these organizations are expected for reconsideration.

2014 STUDENT CITIZENSHIP AWARD
Each year, HRM presents a Citizenship Award to outstanding Grade 9 students throughout the municipality. The recipients are chosen based on qualities of leadership in their school and community, and commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled. In 2014, the following students from our district were bestowed with this honour: Nicole Ackert at Duncan MacMillan High School; Brona Higginbotham at Oyster Pond Academy; Alexandra Carroll at Ross Road School; and Justin Thornhill at Gaetz Brook Junior High School. Great job by these outstanding students!

GRADUATION   CONGRATULATIONS
At this time I wish to congratulate all High School, Community College, and University Students on your achievement of graduating. May each of you have many life successes and best of luck in your future endeavours.  Be sure to have a Safe Grad and a happy life ahead.

UNSM  PROPERTY TAX STUDY DONE
The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM), Association of Municipal Administrators, Nova Scotia (AMANS) and Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) have released the findings of an independent study which examined the property tax system in Nova Scotia. The study’s purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of the current property tax system and suggest improvements. The study was conducted by two experts in the field of property taxation – Dr. Enid Slack and Harry Kitchen. They examined many areas of the municipal tax system, which was informed in part by consultations with stakeholder groups, including: municipalities, provincial departments, taxpayer and ratepayer associations, business, and research and policy groups. The study resulted in 7 recommendations including opportunities within the assessment system and changes to the way in which property tax is collected. The respective Board of Directors for the UNSM, AMANS and PVSC have accepted the proposal to move forward with the recommendations. The full report is available at www.UNSM.ca  , www.AMANS.ca    and www.PVSC.ca   web-sites.

ENVIRONMENT WEEK: JUNE 1st – 7th
The theme for this year Canadian Environment Week (CEW) is “Strengthening Our Environment Today for Tomorrow.” During that same week there will also be the Great Commuter Challenge, World Environment Day (June 5th), Clean Air Day (June 4th) and World Oceans Day (June 8th). For more CEW details visit: www.ec.gc.ca/sce-cew/  or on Twitter – #enviroweek2014  . During CEW and throughout the year, we are urged to reflect on the many ways we can take action to protect and preserve our natural surroundings.  After that it will be “Rivers to Oceans Week“ June 8th -14th  which is an opportunity to work together to create an understanding of watersheds, our connection to fresh and salt-water environments and what everyone can do to protect and keep watersheds healthy for people and wildlife.

CURBSIDE GIVEAWAY: JUNE 7th & 8th
Residents are encouraged to participate in HRM`s Curbside Give Away Weekend – June 7th  & 8th. Help discover the “Hidden Treasures” in your neighbourhood and our communities. HRM is looking for ideas on how to make this event even better! Please take a short survey at www.halifax.ca/surveys/index.html  and your name will be entered into a draw for HRM prize packs, backyard composters and kitchen mini-bins or if you prefer to send comments by e-mail, drop a line at:  WasteLess@Halifax.ca

WEEKLY GREEN CART COLLECTION
Residents across ALL of HRM should be advised of the upcoming summer weekly green cart collection service. Over the summer months of July and August, residents can place their Green Cart out for collection weekly, even if it’s not full.  This additional curb-side collection program will be in effect in all areas of the municipality only for the time period between Wednesday, July 2nd to Friday, August 29th. Upon completion of this summer service, collection will return to the regular bi-weekly green cart/garbage collection schedule.  Residents should refer to their 2014 Organics Green Cart and Garbage Collection Schedule for regular collection information. Residents are reminded to have their materials placed curb-side before 7 a.m. to ensure collection as times may vary. For more information, please visit our website atwww.halifax.ca/recycle  or call 3-1-1.

AT PLAN FOR PORTERS LAKE AREA
As reported last August 2013 – Issue # 189 – an Active Transportation (AT) Plan for the community of Porters Lake and surrounding areas has finally been finished by the consultant – WSP (formerly known as Genivar). The plan is available on-line at the Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA) web-site: www.shoreat.ca/docs/Porters_Lake_AT_Plan_FINAL.pdf  .Hopefully the Province will be onboard to consider options such as paved road shoulders.

FREE SWIMMING LESSONS  BY  HRM
HRM is offering all swimming lessons, and Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, and junior lifeguard programs running at HRM’s supervised outdoor beaches free to the public for the upcoming summer session. Registration is required in order to take part in these classes. Registration will start at 10 AM on June 11th, and will continue until classes are filled. You can register on-line at HRM’s “Rec Connect”: https://eservices2.halifax.ca/recconnect/Activities/ActivitiesAdvSearch.asp . Click on “Beach” for more information or call 490-6666. Lifeguard supervision is from July 2nd to August 31st. HRM has a variety of beaches, lakes and outdoor pools. Our district has six locations: Orenda Beach in Lake Echo, Kinap Beach in West Porters Lake, Pleasant Drive in Gaetz Brook, Old Government Wharf in West Petpeswick / Musquodoboit Harbour, Webber’s Beach in Lake Charlotte / Upper Lakeville and at Malay Falls Beach in Lochaber Mines / Sheet Harbour. All of these have some level of HRM supervision including daily maintenance and weekly water testing. For more information, please call HRM Beach Line 490-5458 or go on-line to www.halifax.ca/rec/Beaches.html  . Have fun in the sun but be safe when in the water.

CEASEFIRE  HALIFAX  COMMUNITIES
CeaseFire is a community-based project funded through the National Crime Prevention Strategy, and sponsored by the NS Department of Justice.  The Project is overseen by the Community Justice Society.  CeaseFire is a project aimed at addressing violence in our communities – in particular gun violence. The project will focus on African Nova Scotian males between the ages of 16-24. CeaseFire will be working in the communities of North Dartmouth, North Preston,  East Preston and North & Central Halifax.   Outreach workers and violence interrupters come from these communities and all have a commitment and a passion to stop the violence-to stop the shootings! CeaseFire is a first in Canada.  It is based on a program called Cure Violence, formerly known as CeaseFire in Chicago.  It is based on a healthcare model which views violence as an epidemic and therefore it should be treated as such – find the source – stop the transmission – change the behaviour. CeaseFire Halifax aims to prevent any killings so we do not have to deal with the level of gun violence. Shootings should not become the norm where we come to expect it and accept it. This project has been more than two years in the making.  In 2011, the HRM Public Safety Office held a discussion table on violence. Later on in 2012, eighty community members and government representatives convened a knowledge exchange event at the NS Black Cultural Centre. It was a powerful event which resulted in a commitment to work together at the community level and to request government representatives to continue to seek resources. Through research, interest coalesced around the Chicago model. Partnerships have been formed with many organizations, agencies and individuals. Operation “CeaseFire Halifax Communities” will be officially launched during the month of June.  There are plans to hold community events which will include barbeques, music and information sharing about CeaseFire. For more details, please contact them at 406-4933 or by e-mail at ceasefirehrm@outlook.com