Make Victoria Better: makevictoriabetter.com … New Victoria website links urban agriculture, cycling, public art, urbanism

A new Victoria-based website dedicated to all things innovative, urban, ‘sustainable,’ pedestrian- and cycle-oriented (including urban agriculture!) is now found in the CCC Blogroll to the right under the heading Make Victoria Better: makevictoriabetter.com

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VICTORIA POLICE ‘EDUCATION’ PLAN FOR DEFECATING ADDICTS IN PIONEER SQUARE: Concerned Citizens’ Coalition President Gregory Hartnell, Constable Mike Russell interviewed on A Channel 12, 5:00 pm, Th., Apr. 8

Louise Hartland, a news reporter recently hired by A Channel 12 Victoria, interviewd Gregory Hartnell, President of the Concerned Citizens’ Coalition, and Constable Mike Russell, Community Resource Officer for the Victoria Police Department today for a news story to be broadcast later today on the 5:00 pm news and possibly the 6:00 pm news. 

The subject: the VicPD’s new plan to ‘educate’ active addicts and alcoholics, in the hope of discouraging them from defecating and urinating on graves in Pioneer Square.

Whether this ‘education’ programme will work to also discourage wide open heroin and crack cocaine injections, crack and heroin smoking, and open alcohol drinking parties from continuing to degrade the Pioneer Square will remain to be seen.

Frankly, and I told Louise Hartland this in my interview, it is a desperate situation in that cemetery park, and so one can only hope.

The real issue is the lack of treatment for those addicts who need and want it now.

The policing issue in the  cemetery park is very important but is secondary to that of lack of proper abstinence-based treatment.

– Gregory Hartnell, President

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition

PIONEER SQUARE: Councillors Hunter + Thornton-Joe, 12 Victoria Policemen plan to ‘educate’ addicts that cemetery is not suitable place for shooting heroin, smoking crack or drinking booze

Parks Department will seek extra funds from City Council;

Police should do the same, says Councillor Thornton – Joe

 

Victoria City Councillors Charlayne Thornton – Joe and Lynn Hunter attended a poorly-advertised consciousness raising session for twelve or so members of the Victoria Police Department between about 2:00 and 3:00 p. m. this afternoon in Rockland’s beleaguered Pioneer Square, a heritage cemetery on the west end of the neighbourhood, on the edge of Downtown.

Driving by the park as I do almost every day on my way to my Rockland home, I noticed the dozen police standing in a circle by the east end of the cemetery.

That is a very unusual sight, as the park is usually inhospitable, as it has been allowed by City Council and the Police in recent years to be overtaken by hard-core alcoholics, crack smokers and heroin-injecting addicts. 

A yellow drop box for used syringes is located at the southwest corner of the cemetery, just opposite the front doors of the adjacent Anglican Cathedral.

When I arrived, a policeman was just finishing addressing his fellow officers, the Councillors, ghost story teller John Adams and other rubberneckers like myself.

The gist of what I picked up seemed to be an announcement of a new policy of policing and cosmetic improvements to the park to discourage such anti-social activity.  

Whatever the police intend to do there, it doesn’t sound like a 24 hour presence, as I suggested needed to happen in the last civic election.

My idea then was for the City of Victoria and the Police Department to get serious about  delinquent and criminal carousing in that park, Reeson Park, and on the streets near Streetlink and Our Place, well-known spots for anti-social, unhealthy and illegal hard drug and drinking activity. 

The twelve uniformed police were then addressed briefly by Councillor Thornton – Joe, who made reference to her fellow Councillor Lynn Hunter, also in attendance.

I find it difficult at the best of times to understand anything the good Councillor says, as in her brief political career she has mastered the art of speaking in that baffling bureaucratese language that is designed to make simple concepts sound much more complicated than they actually are.

Nevertheless, I believe I understood her to say that the Parks Department had submitted a budget for improvements to the cemetery-park to the City Council for its approval, and that the Police likely would have to do the same thing, if they wanted to undertake new policing activity there.

I was surprised by that suggestion, as it seems obvious to me that there has been a long-standing problem there, and that it is therefor very troubling that there is not a special budget already allocated for policing this place, if that is what is needed to get action happening.

I asked a constable standing next to me for a card, as I understood he was the point man for a new committee of concerned neighbours.

He smiled and asked me who I was, so I told him, ‘My name is Gregory Hartnell, I am a neighbour, I live on Rockland Avenue, this is my neighbourhood park, and I represent the Concerned Citizens.’

Constable Mike Russell, identified on the business card as a ‘Community Resource Officer’ of the Victoria Police Department, has an email address: mikerussell@vicpd.ca

His office is located at 850 Caledonia Avenue, Victoria BC, V8T 5J8.

VICPD has a website: http://www.vicpd.ca

Phone: 250 995.7209 or Fax: 250 384.5289.

On the back of the card is this legend: “The Victoria Police Department maintains peace, order and public safety through crime prevention and law enforcement.”

Let’s hope that the new Victoria Police Department policy to ‘educate’ addicts and alcoholics that Pioneer Square is a cemetery and therefor not really an appropriate place to get loaded on illegal unhealthy hard drugs, nor is it a good idea to drink booze publicly there, that somehow this message gets through to them.

I am not holding my breathe, however, and still think that six policemen with a van maintaining 24 hour vigils (two policemen in three eight hour shifts) would best help to restore ‘peace, order and public safety’ in Pioneer Square.

 

Gregory Hartnell, Editor

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition Weblog

CCC

Former Premier WILLIAM VANDER ZALM will start 3 month ‘FIGHT HST’ petition canvassing campaign with April 6 rally in Gordo Campbell’s Point Grey riding: Kitsilano Secondary School, Vancouver

William Vander Zalm is officially starting to fight the good fight against the dreaded HATED SALES TAX (HST), otherwise known as ‘the proposed unjust B. C. Liberal Olympics costs overruns tax,‘ with a rally in the present premier’s own Vancouver Point Grey riding, on April 6, 2010, at the Kitsilano Secondary School, 2550 West 10th Avenue, at 7:30 p.m..

Mr. Vander Zalm, the former Social Credit Party premier, and former member, like myself, of the now-defunct B. C. Unity Party, is working with Chris Delaney, former B. C. Unity Leader, on the  90 day campaign to gather signatures of 10% of eligible voters in all British Columbia ridings, in order to have a province-wide referendum on the hugely unpopular tax.

Meanwhile, the hapless New Democratic Party is doing its inefficient best to try to stall the implementation of the enabling legislation which will bring the tax in this summer.

God-willing, with a concerted effort between the Vander Zalm-Delaney-led FIGHT HST petition-gathering forces (which also includes NDP people like ’24 hrs’ online journalist Bill Tieleman, and frankly, members of all parties), and the NDP members in the Ledge with their stalling tactics and other procedural tricks, the damned tax might yet be stopped.

One can only pray, write letters to editors, volunteer to canvas signatures, and sign the petition. 

The FIGHT HST website cautions people to be careful when signing any online petitions, however, as these are not considered valid by ELECTIONS B. C.

The only valid petitions in the ninety day campaign will be those signed in the old-fashioned manner, brought to your door by FIGHT HST volunteers.

[Links to the FIGHT HST and Bill Tieleman’s websites are found in the CCC BLOGROLL to the right, and in the Comments section below.  A photo of Lillian and Bill Vander Zalm with Bill Tieleman below a FIGHT HST banner is found at the latter website, where it is also claimed that Mr. Tieleman has another NO BC HST Facebook website with ‘over 131,000 members.’]

 

– Gregory Hartnell, Editor

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition

Victoria, Holy Saturday 2010

CCC