UK doctors will soon prescribe cooking classes to combat loneliness

Associated Press, October 15, 2018

LONDON — Doctors in England will be able to write prescriptions for cooking classes and walking groups by 2023 as part of the government’s effort to combat loneliness.

Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday described loneliness as “one of the greatest public health challenges of our time,” saying it is linked with a range of illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

The government says around 200,000 older people across the country haven’t had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.

The government’s anti-loneliness strategy calls for “social prescribing,” which will allow doctors to recommend group activities such as cooking classes, walking groups and art clubs, instead of medication. About $2.4 million has been earmarked for the initiative.

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Fresh-food wholesalers and community groups argue about how to keep Produce Row in Strathcona

JOANNE LEE-YOUNG, September 27, 2018 | Vancouver Sun

Fresh-food wholesalers along Malkin Drive in Strathcona, unofficially known as Produce Row, are worried about their future.

Some are running businesses with roots tied to the early days of Chinatown and farms across the Lower Mainland and in the Fraser Valley. There are also owners and workers who trace family migration routes to southern China’s Sze Yup and Zhongshan counties.

Now, it’s also an area of sharply rising property values with the city planning to take down the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and Providence Health Care to build a new St. Paul’s Hospital.

All of this has made for an ongoing and heated debate in this East Vancouver community about who gets to decide where new roadways will go. Read more…

BC WANTS TO HONOUR VANCOUVER’S CHINATOWN AS UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Hamed Amiri, September 17, 2018 | 604NOW

The Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver are joining together to have Vancouver’s Chinatown designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site.

Both parties believe the area has outstanding universal value.

“Vancouver’s Chinatown is a powerful symbol of the resilience, determination and courage of generations of the Chinese community and people who have helped build this province,” said Premier John Horgan.

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Photo: HappyBarbers / 604 Now Flickr Pool

Narrow 10-storey residential building proposed for Vancouver’s Chinatown

Kenneth Chan, Daily Hive, May 30, 2018

A narrow site in Vancouver’s Chinatown wedged between the Keefer Bar and the site of the controversial proposed project by Beedie Development could become a 10-storey mixed-use building.

James Schouw and Associates have applied for a development application for the vacant site at 129 Keefer Street, which has a street frontage of just 49 ft. in width.

The 88-ft-tall proposal calls for 5,713 sq. ft. of commercial space split into three units on the ground floor, with two units fronting Keefer Street and a third unit fronting the laneway. Read more…

Site of the redevelopment for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

YOUR KEY TO Vancouver’s Trendy Chinatown

Shelley Hayashi

Vancouver’s Chinatown is undergoing a transition – a crossroad where the past meets the present and tradition intersects modernity. As many old businesses retire or move out to the suburbs, new businesses bring refreshing and exciting opportunities to this area. It’s a favourite neighbourhood of mine to explore, as I always come across new shops and discover new experiences.
A Settlement of Chinese Labourers
Vancouver’s Chinatown, with its rich and colourful history, grew out of a settlement of Chinese labourers brought over by the CP Rail Company in the late 1800’s to complete the final treacherous part of building the railroad across western Canada. Chinatown was the only place in those days where these sojourners could find housing and community support. As the years passed, this rough and tumble neighbourhood expanded and evolved into a prosperous, vibrant gathering place for Vancouver’s ever growing Chinese population. Chinatown was jammed with shops, restaurants and nightclubs from the 1940’s to the 1970’s, and the neighbourhood continued to be a community hub until well into the late 1980’s. Read more…

Heritage Vancouver releases 2018 top 10 watch list

Naoibh O’Connor, Vancouver Courier, MAY 17, 2018

The discussion around heritage is becoming increasingly complicated and perhaps nowhere is that better reflected than among some of the top finishers on Heritage Vancouver Society’s annual watch list that was released this week.

Heather Street Lands and the Fairmont Academy, a historic building that sits on the 21-acre property, earned the No. 1 spot, followed by Chinatown in second place. Neighbourhood businesses, meanwhile, landed in fifth position.

All three represent heritage values beyond just buildings.

Bill Yuen, the society’s executive director, says the organization wants to encourage the wider public to think beyond the traditional definition of heritage, which at one point focused largely on architecturally significant buildings, and to consider a fuller vision of heritage that includes aspects such as social and cultural history – areas that may have been under-represented in the past. Read more…

As Heritage Vancouver Society releases its annual Top 10 endangered sites list, executive director Bill Yuen says the organization encourages a wider view of heritage that includes social and cultural history like that found in Chinatown. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Disappearing Act: How Chinatowns in the US are being erased

Ty Lawson, China Global Television Network ,2018-06-04

A hunger strike is underway in New York City where people who were forced out of their crumbling Chinatown apartment building are protesting.

About 100 tenants were evacuated from their homes in January after a court-ordered inspection deemed the building uninhabitable. Other community members have joined them in their effort to return to their homes.

The tenants claim their landlord has let the building fall apart – so he could make repairs and then charge higher rent, in turn attracting more affluent residents. Read more…

Food is a powerful community builder

United Way

Food is a powerful community-builder. It brings people together, bridging cultural and generational divides. It shapes our understanding of the world.

“Food is about dignity,” says Kevin Huang, co-founder of the Hua Foundation, a youth-driven non-profit organization based in Vancouver’s Chinatown. “Food keeps us alive. It connects us socially and culturally to our families and the places we call home.” Read more…

Photo credit: Christina Lee

No more tall buildings in Chinatown suggested by Vancouver city planners

Carlito Pablo, The Georgia Straight, May 30th, 2018

Vancouver city staff are recommending in a report that tall buildings should no longer be allowed in Chinatown.

Staff have proposed a height limit of 90 feet on new developments in order to preserve the character of the historic neighbourhood.

This could mean that council has to revoke its 2011 decision that permitted developers to seek approval of rezoning applications for towers in areas south of Pender Street. Read more…

The City of Vancouver is taking action to calm speculation in Chinatown.

Vancouver should slow down and talk to community about zoning changes, says Chinatown group

KEVIN GRIFFIN, Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2018

A group representing Chinatown property and business owners as well as residents wants the city to put the brakes on proposed zoning and design changes.

Vancouver city council plans to vote Tuesday on changes that would, the group believes, amount to downzoning the neighbourhood when that’s exactly what they don’t want. Downzoning results in less density.

“We’re happy with the zoning we have right now,” said Steve Lee, spokesperson for Chinatown Voices, referring to the Chinatown Neighbourhood Plan of 2012. “The zoning that we have reflects a well thought-out plan.” Read more…

Steve Lee, spokesperson for Chinatown Voices, at a news conference Monday, June 4 at Dollar Meat Store, Chinatown. Photo: Kevin Griffin [PNG Merlin Archive] PNG