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Dec 4 Meeting and Social Mixer, Winter Craft Sale, Red Fox needs a Van and more

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hello, Strathcona friends and neighbours.

As we're easing into the holiday season and the nights are getting darker and colder, we thought it would be nice to turn our next meeting into something more of a social - and we're inviting folk to bring some snacks to share and have an opportunity to meet and chat with neighbours, afterwards, we'll be heading to the (new) nearby Emerald at 555 Gore for some drinks (the Emerald is a restaurant, so kids are welcome) .

There will be an abbreviated meeting agenda for the first few minutes of wednesday, and we'll touch on some of the ongoing issues mentioned below, including the DTES LAPP and Adanac Bikepath.

Speaking of announcements, this coming Saturday is the Strathcona Winter Craft Sale and a great chance to score some unique gifts, they've expanded the market this year and it will be held in the gymn. For another unique gift from around the nieghbourhood, friendly street vendors are out selling 2014 Hope in Shadows calendars - this community based project features products from a local low-income photo contest and provides opportunities for residents to earn an income, gain and practice skills, and act as ambassadors for their community. Lastly, Red Fox, is fundraising to buy a van and could use our help - Red Fox Healthy Living Society serves Aboriginal and inner-city youth with recreation, food and cultural programs right here in our community. Details below.

- Pete Fry, SRA Chair

In this newsletter:
  1. Community Announcements:
    • Strathcona Winter Craft Fair
    • Red Fox needs a Van!
  2. Updates on LAPP
  3. Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods
  4. Updates on Union Street / Adanac Bikepath
  5. Announcements from the Floor
  6. Socialize!

* we'll be keeping items 1 through 5 pretty brief in order to take full advantage of 6

7:15, Wednesday December 4, at Strathcona Community Centre pre-school room, 601 Keefer Street

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Community Announcements

Strathcona Winter Craft Fair
Mark your Calendars! The Strathcona Winter Craft Fair is back and better than ever!
Highlights include: 50 vendors, Crafts area for kids, Live Music, Door Prizes, And.... Food Trucks!!!
Saturday November 30, 2013 from 10 – 5pm
Facebook Page

Red Fox Needs a Van
Award-winning Red Fox Healthy Living Society gets 20,000 children and youth active each year, and trains Aboriginal youth to work in recreation and childcare. Red Fox is always free to the community, and delivers the training and active fun to schools and community centres at no cost —  all WITHOUT a VEHICLE! Red Fox have launched an Indiegogo campaign and hope to raise $30,000 to purchase an 8-seat Toyota Sienna minivan to transport equipment and meet growing community demand.
The Indiegogo campaign runs from now until Dec 31st
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-fox-needs-a-van

* As always, the latest news and events can be found on our website.

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Updates on Local Area Plan

Unfortunately, there is still no timeline on the Strathcona / DTES Local Area Plan - as of today, there have been no new communications from the city regarding when we can expect the plan on housing and built form. The issue of housing in the DEOD specifically was the hot issue at a recent SFU City Conversations, where former City Planner Ray Spaxman and former NPA Candidate, CMHC official, architect-developer Michael Geller debated and discussed the merits of the LAPP Emerging Directions first floated in the summer. The Courier covered the event pretty well, you can read that coverage here: Plans for new Downtown Eastside housing debated. We'll discuss what we do know of the plan and proposed heights upzoning for the area, as well as how the Local Area Plan played out in the West End last week, much to the consternation of some of the neighbourhood groups there, many of whom felt the plan was rushed and lacked adequate consultation.

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

The Coalition, of which the SRA is a member, have launched a website at coalitionvan.org. With a mandate to fix the planning mess and seek better consultation with the City of Vancouver, the Coalition continues to grow. Beyond our own Strathcona issues like viaducts removal traffic management, local area planning or the Adanac Bikepath, planning issues are causing consternation throughout the City. One of the biggest issues is how the City densifies, land upzoning and how that effects community sustainability*. We'll be updating on recent developments and the Coalition's Dec 1 meeting.

*The CBC produced an interesting documentary The Condo Game last week, which is viewable online. Ostensibly about Toronto, the lessons could be be well applied here and speak to issues surrounding upzoning and condo development as a commodities play rather than a solution for affordable housing; the looming social crisis and some of the new directions in community planning Toronto is exploring, including low to mid rise densification for sustainable communities.

Union Street Closures, Adanac Bikepath

We'll update on the Adanac Bikepath, which yet promises to deliver changes to Union Street east of Gore, at some point after the 2014 civic elections. At issue has been the lack of community consultation, which might have mitigated many of the problems we are seeing with Adanac Bikepath today, by designing the route with all users and stakeholders in mind to provide benefits and improvements for locals, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Indeed, one of our chief concerns over thoughtless planning and pedestrian safety is now being realized as Seniors fearful of upgraded Chinatown bike lane.

The SRA's concerns over community consultation seem to be borne out in the City's own consultation report, which we've posted to the website. The report indicated a dearth of local input, and amusingly the itemized Communication Product: Media Articles almost exclusively reports community concerns and response to the lack of community consultation.

We'll discuss where we are at with our F.O.I., and how we are reaching out to the Chinese senior's community to address some of their concerns over pedestrian safety.

Announcements from the floor

Socialize

Hopefully, we'll knock through all of the above in a timely manner and have a chance to socialize. Please bring some seasonal snack to share, bring your kids, meet and greet. Afterwards, we'll head to The Emerald (555 Gore) for anyone interested in having an adult beverage or two. Please note, we'll be meeting in the pre-school room (upstairs) rather than our usual Activity Room.

SRA General Meeting
7:15, Wednesday December 4, at Strathcona Community Centre pre-school room, 601 Keefer Street