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SRA News 25 February 2012

Hi, Strathcona friends and neighbours. Here are a few interesting pieces of information for you:

-- Open House regarding Trillium Park plans

-- Sign a petition to retain funding for special needs preschool at RayCam

-- Donate towels to the shelter at First United Church

-- Union Gospel Mission is changing its women's programs

-- Union Market recycles plastic bags

-- Info on controversial Mount Pleasant development


Details below.


See you around the neighbourhood.






Wednesday, 29 February

5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Strathcona Community Centre


The Vancouver Park Board is planning for a neighbourhood park at the corner of Malkin Avenue and Thornton Street (about one block south of Prior and Jackson). Park Board staff have prepared a "preliminary concept plan" for the park based on input received from Strathcona residents. On Wednesday the 29th, staff will present this preliminary plan to residents for more feedback.


For more info, call 604-257-8402 OR email steve.wong@vancouver.ca, OR check out vancouverparks.ca.






I am writing to ask you to take the time to read about this very serious issue and to sign this petition online by clicking the link below and following the steps indicated. If you feel more comfortable signing a hard copy, I have hard copies ofthe petition that will be collected by members of Aboriginal life In Vancouver Enhancement Society (ALIVE) to be sent to Mary McNeil, Minister responsible for Children and Family Development. The background story is noted below the link. You can make a difference,. Please sign this petition and circulate to your contacts, neighbours and friends.


James Johnstone

Chair, Strathcona Residents' Association




At the end of March, 2012, 77 vulnerable children will lose out on their chance for the kind of care and early learning that often means the difference between a life on the streets and the ability to earn a living wage. The research shows that children who start behind, stay behind.


These kids drop out school and join the cycle of poverty that has plagued inner-city neighbourhoods such as Strathcona. Funding from the province has enabled Ray-Cam Community Centre to provide early learning and care for inner-city children and their families. This money has meant that even children who require extra staff supports can benefit from a positive child care experience. Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, and a multitude of other health and social challenges can learn and grow in a supported and caring neighbourhood environment.


Judy McGuire of the Ray Cam Board of Directors reports that “Our Board of Directors contacted the minister back on November 5th, 2011, when we were notified that our contract would not be renewed. After months of waiting for a response, Minister McNeil still hasn’t responded. This is a crisis. We need help now.”


See the CBC news story here:



See the CKNW news story here:



See our video of the press conference here




We the undersigned are requesting Minister Mary McNeil of the Ministry of Children and Family Development to prevent the unilateral restructuring of the Supported Child Development contract held by Vancouver Native Health Society. 


We are requesting the Ministry to order a full financial disclosure, a comprehensive review of the governance practices, release the information used to make this unilateral decision and implement a community engagement process before to get informed consent before any restructuring of the program. 


As we understand it, this restructuring has the potential to eliminate at least 68 special needs childcare seats, mostly urban Aboriginal children and other impoverished children, who reside in the Inner City of Vancouver.








(Thanks to Karen Knights for this)


First United is in urgent need of towels for the shelter. I'm hoping Strathcona residents can help out.

If you have spare towels, you can either:


Take them directly to the First United Thrift Store, 340 East Hastings Street between 10am and 2:30pm. You can also book another time at 604 569-1117.




Drop them at my house and I'll take them over for you. Just knock or leave them on our front doorstep: 708 Hawks Avenue at East Georgia.


Thanks everyone. Your donation will be greatly appreciated!







(Thanks to Derek Weiss for this info)


UGM's Women and Families Program at 616 Cordova has moved from a drop-in model serving over 80 women every afternoon to providing focused help and space (a "day shelter") for 12 homeless women from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be a smaller service for other women in the community.


These 12 will include homeless women who have left unsafe living environments, homeless elderly women who need a place to rest during the day, and women recently released from hospital who need a place to stay during the day.


UGM will still provide small life-skills groups and lunch to other women in the community. However, they expect there will be far fewer visitors to their facility at 616 Cordova.  


These changes will not have an impact on UGM’s kids programs which include camp and the Eastsiders afterschool program for Lord Strathcona Children.


For more info, contact Derek Weiss, UGM's Manager of Community Engagement, at 604-215-5456 or dweiss@ugm.ca.







Reduce the amount you send to the landfill. You can now take all kinds of flexible plastic to the Union Market for recycling. Thanks, Dave, Maria and Andy!







(Thanks to Ned Jacobs for this info)


Here is some information from the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant (RAMP) concerning the proposed “Rize Alliance” development, a project utterly out of scale and character with the neighbourhood, the existing zoning, discretionary design guidelines and the recently approved Mount Pleasant Community Plan.  It has been decisively rejected by the community at planning workshops and open houses.


In terms of urban design, livability, respect for existing neighbourhood assets and “place-making” the Rize is the pits. It would plunge the sidewalks, shops and windows on the north side of Broadway into shadow much of the time. Trucks and cars would create traffic mayhem accessing the huge project from narrow Watson Street, an important bikeway and pedestrian route. http://www.rampvancouver.com/item/143/traffic-impact/  The towering overhang on Broadway would cramp the sidewalk, resulting in an unpleasant pedestrian zone. This proposal has nothing to offer in terms of affordability—not even market rentals. There will be no public amenities on this major site. City staff are proposing a paltry Community Amenity Contribution of less than $7million to be used somewhere in the Mount Pleasant area for purposes to be determined sometime in the future by staff and council.


One of the most distressing aspects of this proposal has been the dishonest public process. The developer provided erroneous and deceptive figures, renderings and 3-D models that drastically misrepresent building height and proportions. Shockingly, CoV planners accepted these, and even used the most blatantly false rendering in their Report to Council (see attached jpg). The possibility that highly trained CoV planners and senior designers would not have quickly spotted these deceptions is extremely remote. Detailed analyses of these attempted deceptions can be seen at: http://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/rize-proposal-staff-report-and-the-ethics-of-visualization/ and http://www.rampvancouver.com/item/624/funny-math/