The DRA has received the attached response from the City of Vancouver to our letter regarding advance polls.

Weisman – Dunbar Residents Association – advance voting locations

We appreciate the City’s speedy response, but disagree with its approach and conclusion.  The only response of significance to our concerns is the City’s assertion that many people made use of polling stations some distance from their homes in prior elections.  They did not, notably, indicate whether these were advance polls or election day polls.

There is no surprise in that, but it does not mean that ignoring entire sections of the City is justifiable.  There are many reasons for this.

First, the City has not indicated that the long-distance travelers in prior elections were a significant proportion of voters.

Second, the City does not indicate that the ignored areas were the origin of the traveling voters. Without that data, ignoring large swathes of the City is simply unjustifiable.

Third, the City does not indicate that it understands why advance polls saw some travelers. One would expect, for instance, that commuters are likely to use advance polls near their workplaces.

Fourth, turnout at prior elections suggests disenfranchisement on a widespread basis. The City’s apparent indifference to regional representation in such circumstances is significant.

Fifth, a number of the excluded neighbourhoods have higher-than-average populations of senior citizens, for whom mobility concerns are a serious problem. The City does not indicate that it has investigated the proportion of traveling voters who are senior citizens.

Finally, the City’s history indicates a variety of sites over the years.  There is nothing to indicate that use at these sites was properly assessed in determining what areas had higher demand for voting facilities.

We do not agree with the City’s view that appropriate sites are difficult to find. There are numerous vacant rental spaces throughout the City which could be used in addition to existing public buildings. Elections merit these expenses.

The DRA will likely demand, in partnership with other concerned groups, proper release of the City’s records, so that its assertions can be fairly assessed and recommendations forwarded to prevent the anti-democratic approach taken in this instance from being repeated in future.

The long-dormant development at 41st and Balaclava, originally approved by the City in December 2009, has returned.  The current project proponent, the Hon Group, has asked the City whether they can eliminate the old access route from Balaclava, through the site, to Kerrisdale Elementary School.

At the time of the rezoning application in 2009, Heritage Vancouver demanded that this pathway be maintained.  The developer has suggested that allowing an opening in what will otherwise be a fence will encourage and/or lead to vandalism at the new development.  The DRA considers this prospect neither likely nor serious enough to justify closing off a route walked by children from a quiet, residential area to school for the better part of a century.  Similarly, the pathway provides an alternative route for seniors, including the development’s prospective residents, to the heavily-trafficked West 41st Avenue.

At the City’s request, the DRA has responded to this point, and we have sought to remind the City of the importance of the conditions attached by Council to the development approval.  Our letter is linked below.

LT CoV (Hon Group)

The DRA has written to the City of Vancouver to demand additional advance polling locations to better serve the East side of the City.  The current arrangement dramatically underserves the East side as compared to the West side and downtown core.  We are supporting neighbourhoods and organizations across the City who have done the same.

We hope to encourage equal access to City government for all Vancouver residents.

A copy of our letter is attached.

LT CoV (Advance Polling)

UBC has invited comments from neighbouring communities on its draft transportation plan.  A meeting will be held this Monday, October 6, to discuss the plan.

The draft plan is available here for review:

UBC 2013TransportationStatusReport-DRAFT

If you would like to pass comments regarding this plan along to UBC, please forward them to Wendy Massing, DVIC’s representative to UBC.

Yours Truly,

Jonathan Weisman
President, DRA

and here’s the DRA Fall 2014 Newsletter plus the Dunbar Community Patrol Flyer insert.

Enjoy!

Click image to Enlarge!

First nations in the river have hired big packer boats in Steveston to take in their big Sockeye catches of the last few river openings ! Today at 8 A. M. to 8 A. M.Tues.the Commercial River gillnetters will pound at the Sushwap Sockeye trying to move into the mouth of the River near Steveston ! One low water set , can come up easily with 500 fish !

Its a mad house of tangled nets and boats up on the jetty out there ! Sunken , Abandoned gillnets nets , chock full of fish are common ! The fairly new plastic mono filament gillnets are very efficient at catching huge amounts of Sockeye and some White Sturgeon in the daytime and at night ! The abandoned ,lost and sunken nets become “Ghost Fishers” on the river bottom unless they are retrieved !

This will be the big opening today of the season for the commercial gillnet fleet from Steveston to Mission ! The tides are great ,the Full Moon is up and the Late Run Sockeye are heading home in mass now and its all happening in the main stem of the Fraser River today near Steveston , in Richmond B. C. !

Please free to pass on this email !

Terry

She is a sweet little boat , but made from fibre glass not wood and she has been discarded on the top of a Dumpster , in False Creek ! I am sure she was looking for some one like me , to rescue her in the 1980ies ! I jumped in the bin and had a peek a boo at her hull , looking for all that might be wrong with her and there was lots ! Just loving boats I decided to pulled her out and away from a crushing end at the Delta Landfill !

Once in the truck I found that the little boats fibre glass keel was broken in two places and her chines were worn away , probably from rolling around on top of a submerged B. C. Mountain Top ! Look , I am a wooden boat repair person and i hate the smells of fibre glass , but I kind of liked her in a funny looking moulded kind of way! So into my truck she staid , along with a jogging kids stroller , that in my warped recycling mind , would make a great hand moving boat trailer !

I sold my fishing boat and my moms house and one car garage where I had stored had the fibre glass dingy and a another wooden boat ! After 20 years , they all still needed lots of loving care , before the Big Dunbar Earthquake and flood struck ! Mom always said we were ready for any thing that might come along in Dunbar , with a garage full of not sea worthy boats !

Now I am a man with out a ship and that is not good , so the remaining fibre glass lady is my last hope to get back on the river ! I am sprucing up the “Iona Island African Queen ” thats what I call her now ! So after 20 years of just thinking about fixing this boat and never doing it , the smelly fibre glass work is now taking place in our front yard ! I have a dream , to just rowing on the river once again , like we did in 1949 from Marpole to the Slacks Shacks on the Iona Jetty ! ! The show the African Queen with Bogart and Hepburn are they both still alive , I remember seeing this great show at the Kerrisdale Theatre ! Life is good when you recycle , come over and have a look ! Terry

This little underground stream was once the aquifer water source for the Convent of the Sacred Heart , now Saint Georges Junior School ! The stream was once visible in the late 1800 , coming out of the ground  at its underground source , near the north east side of the Old Convent property !  Before Dunbar received City of Vancouver water ,  wells were dug and this little stream , Lets give this bubbling and dancing through the Ferns stream , a long deserved name ” I love to call it “The Sacred Heart Stream”   !

As years passed by the stream cutting through a forest of the  last big Douglas Fir trees and Meadows of Ferns , just became a trickle and then the trickle seemed to stop and only damp spots near the west side of Wallace could be seen in the 1930ies  !  This is the location where “The Sacred Heart Stream” joined into the bigger “Lake at the Head Creek ”  You say this  is all past history  ,all gone now , no it has not  !  A new home is being built on the west side of Wallace Street , between 27ave and 29ave and in the excavation hole the Sacred Heart stream is back , looking at the sun once again, even if it is only for just a little while !  Take a picture down deep in the excavation , it will be the very last look at Dunbar’s ” Sacred Heart Stream” for it will be going all dark once again and very soon  !

Terry Slack

For over 40 salmon seasons of gillnet fishing on the Fraser River , I enjoyed  the “Great Salmon Privilege” of harvesting the  very early runs of Fraser  Sockeye Salmon ! The F. R.  Sockeye Season historically began around JUNE 15 , with incidental catch of a few sockeye tangled in my large mesh Chinook gillnet ! This first run of historic F. R.  Sockeye disappeared in the 1950ies , never to been seen again !  Yes the word  extinction   comes to mind , reasons  many  fishers at that time did not know that extinction could meant forever   !

It was  June the 25th 1956 and the F. R.  gillnetters were switching now to a smaller mesh Sockeye Net , anticipating the F. R.  Early Stuart Lake Sockeye run to be near the mouth of the river , acclimatizing to brackish water and getting ready to start their very long river migration to their spawning grounds , north of Prince George !

To describe Stuart Lake Sockeye in today’s terms , they are really” Historic Computerised Sockeye Salmon” , learning from  their parents genes  ,  ever thing they need to make it home to the lake and stream where they were born !  This historic Sockeye Run was once the biggest on the Fraser River , it filled the fishers nets and traps to over flowing ,year after year ,  in the late 1800 and early 1900 ! So many were caught locally , the canneries some years told their rental gillnet boats to catch no more , when the run was passing by !

The Great Stuart Sockeye Run historically followed the Northern Gulf of Georgia salt water migration  route to the mouth of the Fraser River ! By July 5th the sockeye were in great schools all along Bowen Island , that turned the sea into a splashing spectacle , you could smell them in the sea air ! They moved pass Siwash Rock into today’s False Creek , looking for a old historic Fraser River Arm or Channel , that silted in hundreds of years ago !

What happened next , well their “inherited sockeye migration computer” went on a “enter the river now program”!   Main Stuart Sockeye run . please historically enter the North Arm , Middle Arm and Main River tonight July 11th . on   a evening full moon big flood tide  ! Out of the  the  brown brackish tide line from Sandheads and Point Grey they all came , pushed along side  each other, some in spawning pairs , into a dark unknowing river !

What is left of the great run of Fraser River Stuart Lake Sockeye this year in the week of July the 11th , will again pass by False Creek and Spanish Banks and will it be only me that remember them ?     Terry Slack

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