DRA Newsletter May 2013


Notes from the Editor

Thanks to DRA member Erika for volunteering to take over management of the DRA website.  It is now up to date and looking great.  Check it out at Victoriadra.ca

On April 23 a DRA subcommittee met to discuss our communications strategy.  We decided to try to send one out at the first of every month starting with May 2013, which means there will be no April issue. 

In the future we would like to have some themed newsletters on issues like homelessness or development in our area, and we solicit your suggestions. Perhaps you have something to say on a DRA issue and would like to submit a short item or comment to be considered for inclusion.  Contact us at info@victoriadra.ca

Any photographers out there?  In past issues, Bryan featured "mystery" photographs of downtown architectural details.  If you have any interesting shots, send them in (identified) and we will use them.

Since the newsletter will be sent out only once a month, like us on Facebook,  follow us on Twitter and check our website Victoriadra.ca for updates and the most current information on up coming events.

Robert Florida, editor pro tem, 28 April 2013

Johnstreet Street Bridge Meeting: Tuesday, 30 April, DRA Sponsored Meeting from 7:00-7:30 pm at Silver Threads, 1728 Douglas Street.  Representatives from the Johnson Street Bridge Committee will be present to discuss construction impacts on local residents. 

Construction of the new Johnson Street Bridge will begin in May. The current bridge will remain open to pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, and marine traffic until the new bridge opens in late 2015.

Equipment will soon arrive at the construction site and crews will begin to clear and grade land in preparation for construction. Visible work will be seen this June when two temporary trestles are built on the north sides of the bridge to support cranes and equipment to build the bridge.

While the existing bridge will remain open throughout construction, some impacts such as traffic delays, detours, and noise will be unavoidable at times.

The project website www.JohnsonStreetBridge.com will be kept up to date with the latest information, including what to expect during construction. You are also invited to join us at a drop-in information session during the first week of May to learn more about construction activity.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Fund Raiser, 4-5 May:  Each spring, COBS Bread and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBS) host a joint promotional campaign to raise funds and awareness for BBBS. This year, BBBS is turning 100; COBS has created a new Carrot Cake Scone and is hosting a fundraising weekend on May 4 and 5 to celebrate.
Celebrate with us!
On May 4 and 5, COBS will donate 50c to local BBBS agencies for every scone purchased as well as Facebook share and retweet of their COBS Bread + Big Brothers Big Sisters image.
You can help raise awareness and funds for BBBS! Here’s how:
1.       Visit a COBS bakery and purchase scones. Many bakeries are joined by Big and Little Brothers and Sisters and offer a wide variety of activities and treats!
2.      Connect with COBS on Facebook and share their COBS + BBBS image.
3.      Connect with COBS on Twitter and retweet their COBS + BBBS image.
4.      Ask your family and friends to do the same!

All Candidates Meeting: Poverty Homelessness and Harm Reduction, Tuesday 7 May
Doors at 6:15 pm
First Metropolitan United Church Hall
932 Balmoral Road
Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Candidates invited, including:
  • Carole James NDP
  • Jane Sterk Green
Members of the Donwtown Service Providers, the sponors of the meeting, will be on hand to provide information about their organisations and services.

Herowork Mustard Seed Makeover, 24 May-2 June:  Herowork is a local volunteer organization which undertakes impressive projects with donated labour, goods, and cash.  Their current project is a $350,000 makeover of the Mustard Seed, a Victoria food bank. 

They are looking for volunteers at many levels.  Have a look at their website herowork.com

Roving Refinery--Later in May 
Imminent announcement for the next Roving Refinery in May - venue and time are being confirmed. Guaranteed to be another delicious event!  Watch the Website, Facebook and Twitter for details when known.
The Roving Refinery is a DRA members' social event where members get a chance to meet other Downtown/Harris Green residents and merchants who operate locally owned businesses in our neighbourhood.
Downtown Public Markets
The large indoor Public Market in the Hudson is now scheduled to open June 22.  It looks like Cowichan Bay Seafood will join the vendors.  Good news! 
 In the interim, a Saturday farmers market will open in May behind the Hudson from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  A Wednesday market will also be set up from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Start dates have not yet been set but they are hoping initially to see 15 vendors.

 Land Use Committee
On 3 April the North Park Residents Association (NPRA) invited the Land Use Committees of nearby Residents Associations to attend a special NPRA board meeting concerning the proposed development on the St Andrews School site, 1002 Pandora Street.  Representatives from James Bay, Fernwood, Hillside Quadra, and four members of the DRA Land Use Committee attended.  NPRA would like joint support.

The North Park people were really unhappy with the proposed development, finding it quite out of scale with the neighborhood.  They are not opposed to the proposed density or basic useage of the site but find the massing oppressive and are very worried about traffic problems that could arise on Mason Street.  Furthermore they found Bosa, the developer, to be very reluctant to make any changes in response to their concerns. 

Some of the details of the proposal can be found on the DRA website http://victoriadra.ca/2012/10/planned-development-on-st-andrews-school-pandora-ave/  Everyone at the meeting agreed that there were problematic aspects to the development and offered some suggestions about how the NPRA might try to influence city council and to get listened to at the various levels of committees involved in making decisions on development.

Also of interest was a general discussion in which all the various resident associations expressed their frustration in trying to breach the parapets of bureaucracy and navigate the treacherous swamps of process that city council has surrounded itself with.  Many present thought influence came down to how much political pressure a residents association could generate.  Good luck to North Park in its endeavours.
Next DRA Board Meeting, 29 May

Remember, all DRA Board Meetings are open to all members.  The next Board
Meeting will be at 7:00 pm Wednesday 29 May 2013 at the Silver Threads Centre, 1728 Douglas street.
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