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SRA News, 22 November 2010



Guest speaker for this month’s meeting of the Strathcona Residents Associaiton will be Joji Kumagai, Acting Executive Director of the Strathcona Business Improvement Association. She will speak about the SBIA’s recent initiatives, including its many green initiatives. (For more info on one of those green initiatives, see the article below.) A detailed agenda will be available soon for the meeting at 7:15, p.m., December 1, at the Strathcona Community Centre.






(Thanks to Wesley Kenzie for this item)


The Strathcona Community Centre’s Youth Council has put together a grant application for the SCC to start a weekly music program to mentor new players and do some jamming. They are hoping to receive over $5000 from the Aviva Community Fund.


Help them reach their goal by voting for the project (before November 26!) at:http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf7380.


With this grant, we would like to update our sound systems and musical instruments. We would like to expand our ability to provide different types of music and opportunities to our community. We are proposing to start a weekly community jam that invites people of all cultures, ages, and different talents to musically express themselves as well as educate and mentor the younger generation with lessons.


With the instruments, we hope to give the opportunity for younger players as well as veteran players, who may not have the chance, to experience, express, and learn more about music. It allows people in our community to develop their musical talents and community bonds. The new equipment will also help the community centre in its many year-round projects for the community.






(Thanks to Sophie Agbonkhese for this item)


The Strathcona Business Improvement Association has applied for a $90,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund to help us build 20-30 micro-gardens throughout the Strathcona neighbourhood primarily on business properties in high visibility areas such as those adjacent to sidewalks. Sites would be selected based on areas that show obvious disrepair or that would significantly improve the quality of the streetscape. 


The gardens would be installed by qualified landscapers of Mission Possible Enterprises, a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for individuals with job readiness barriers and assists them to break the cycles of poverty, homelessness and addiction. Local youth would also be employed as partners with the landscapers to learn valuable food production and community development skills as well as help maintain the gardens. 


The grant winners are determined through an online voting contest. We've already made it through the first round, so now we need you to vote for our idea (at http://www.strathconagreenzone.com/microgardens) 10 times – that’s once per day – between December 2 and December 15 as we compete in the semi-final round against 29 other projects across Canada.


In the lead up to the semi-final round, we are coordinating our efforts and assembling an online army of supporters.  Our goal is to generate 1000 votes a day when voting begins on December 2nd, then maintain this pace until voting closes on December 15th. For more info, contact Sophie, the SBIA’s Sustainability Coordinator, at sustainabilitysbia@telus.net.)







(Thanks to Pete Fry for this suggestion)


In light of this summer’s spike in crime in our neighbourhood, and the recent assault and robbery of a local senior, it would be a good idea for all of us in Strathcona to look at the Vancouver Police Department’s "Strategic Plan Survey" (find it at http://vancouver.ca/police/about/strategic-planning/index.html) and then voice your concerns and priorities by responding to the online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SMKM8N3.


In spite of the crime wave and the request by several Strathcona groups to revive the gone-but-not-forgotten Strathcona Community Police Office, the VPD say (in a recent letter from VPD Chief Jim Chu to Mayor and Council) that they can deal with crime “within the current policing model and that a separate Strathcona community policing centre is not required.”


The bottom line for us in all of this is that, if we see crime or “potential crime,” we should phone 911. An unreported crime does not make it onto the VPD’s statistics, and won’t indicate the need for more policing in our neighbourhood.






The UGM, one of the largest religious-based social services in the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona, now has an email “Neighbourhood Newsletter.” Sign up to receive it at http://www.ugm.ca/email/ or contact Leah Gregg, UGM’s Community Relations Coordinator, at lgregg@ugm.ca. The first issue was a 2.3 megabyte PDF document.