DRA February Newsletter

A Message from the editor

17 February 2013

As a newly returning member of the Board, I have agreed to edit the newsletter on an interim basis.  We are avidly seeking a more permanent editor, so if any members have the e-skills or wish to learn, please let us know at info@victoriadra.ca

Big thanks to Bryan Alonzo who did so much work to improve our web communications and who edited the Newsletter in 2012.

Robert Florida, Interim Editor

Chinese New Year Celbrations Continue

Last Sunday Chinatown was very busy with the big year of the snake celebration.  The streets were jam-packed with spectators, lion dancers, and Chinese percussion players.  It was a lively afternoon with firecrackers going off and the restaurants full.  It is still not too late to celebrate the New Year with a good Chinese feast.  One of advantages of living downtown is being able to walk to so many good places to eat.

Roving Refinery News
The latest Roving Refinery event was held at Chorizo & Co on Jan 16th. Chorizo is a newly opened Spanish deli located at 807 Fort St. 18 DRA members enjoyed a wonderful assortment of sausages, meatballs with romesco sauce, fig bread, an assortment of cheeses and many other delicious nibbles. Wine and beer were available for purchase. Three attendees each won a $25.00 gift certificate. It was a really fun event with lots of time to talk and mingle with owners Tomas & chef Antonio and also other downtown residents. Two residents signed up to become members following the RR event. Building a community is one of our goals, sign up to become a member and keep informed on current issues and events.  Participants donated money and foodstuffs for the food bank.

The next Roving Refinery event will take place in late Spring.  We have some interesting restaurant visits in mind.  Check your twitter or facebook for details as they are fixed.

Downtown Public Markets

Ongoing Public Market schedule at Market Square

First and third Sat of each month 11 am - 3 pm
2nd & 16th Feb
2nd & 16th Mar

New Public Market scheduled for the Hudson in April
Phillippe Lucas spoke at the AGM on January 7, outlining the ambitious plans for a new public market that is being planned for an opening in April.  This market, along with Olive the Senses, the gourmet olive oil emporium already open, will make the Hudson a major destination for Victoria foodies and will be a real boon to Downtown Residents.  We wish them the best and hope to see the public market open soon.
Preliminary list of vendors for Hudson Market:
Silk Road
Salt Spring Island Cheese 
Wildfire Bakery
food outlet: George Szasz 
Hot and Cold Cafe: Cosmo Means
Island Spice Trade
Tortilleria Monterrey
Bounty Seafood
For more info see: http://victoriapublicmarket.com/

Board News

Currently the most important item before the Land Use Committee (LUC) of the DRA is the complex issue of how best to integrate the eastern approaches to the new bridge with the public green space, the Janion development, and the Northern Junk project.  Our Committee has been very concerned that this important public space is not being well designed in a coordinated way.   We have communicated our concerns several times with the Johnson Street Bridge Project team, who have been very good about responding quickly.  However, it seems that they really are not taking care to see that the combined projects will be harmoniously integrated.  If that space is utilized well, Victoria could have a real gem of a public plaza, but we fear that the opportunity to do something extraordinary and beautiful might be frittered away. 

Other business that the board has recently dealt with includes ongoing concerns about noisy motorcycles.  The laws concerning effective mufflers seem not to be well enforced at all.  We hope to conduct a survey on this issue in the spring or summer and to petition the city and province to deal effectively with this very annoying noise pollution.

The next board meeting will be held in April.

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