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Connecting the Dots - Cultural curiosity and compassion

In honour of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st, The Circle Education is connecting the dots between similarities that blend us together in a shared humanity as well as the differences that allow us to proudly stand out. Adele Mark moved from Los Angeles to Salt Spring Island when she was fifteen years old: from a melting pot of cultures and religions to a small rural island. With her Jewish background, she was a minority on Salt Spring Island and she even encountered antisemitism. In this blog, she writes how curiosity and compassion can lead to understanding and greater cultural awareness despite differences. I grew up in Los Angeles, California in a Jewish household. My family wasn’t religious, but our Jewish faith was a part of our everyday life. My mom prepared traditional Jewish foods made with lots of love (and garlic), we communicated through Jewish humour passed down through the generations, and we called each other Yiddish …
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How to ‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Find an oasis on Galiano Island

The Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’ this spring, encouraging local residents to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are. Because our communities are interconnected, supporting our neighbour islands strengthens our region as a whole. Our next stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Galiano Island: tag along! Known as the gem of the Salish Sea, Galiano Island boasts an impressive list of trails and some of the most creative food west of the mainland. Find cliffside views, views, and more views with a visit to the Bluffs, a hike up Mount Galiano, or by exploring Bodega Ridge Provincial Park. Meander the shoreline at one of the island’s 69 shore access points or with an afternoon at Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, with its white shell beaches, open meadows, and tidal lagoons. Or adventure to an isolated refuge with incredible sandstone formations at Dionisio Point Provincial Park which is access…
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New live cam with views of the Vesuvius Dock and Stuart Channel

Just in time for the long-weekend, and the beginning of typically higher volumes of ferry traffic, the Salt Spring Exchange is pleased to announce the latest addition to our travel planning and local tourism live cam network. This new live cam has a view of the ferry slip at the Vesuvius Dock, the waters of Stuart Channel and a sneak peak of the mill in Crofton thrown in for good measure. Now, in addition to being able to have a view of the traffic in the terminal at Vesuvius with our Vesuvius Terminal cam, you can also have a better sense of where the ferry is at in its travels across the channel, along with real-time wind and water conditions. We also might be able to see a nice view of the sunsets at different times of the year! Special thank you to the good folks at Seaside Restaurant who are generously helping to host this cam. Visit them to enjoy their fantastic fish and chips and more! Support local businesses who support our local community. Thank you for suppo…
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Your input informs Islands Trust bylaw drafting

Land use planning can be equally as boring as a two-sailing wait for a ferry and as fraught with drama as a high school musical. Today I’m writing to help you understand the draft land use bylaw for accessory dwelling units that just had its first reading at the Local Trust Committee. Planners call them ‘accessory dwelling units’, but regular folk call them cottages and suites, and they’re not a new thing here on Salt Spring.  But the bylaw is new, and with it we’re attempting to provide a policy that will grow our on-island compliment of resident landlords -- people with a primary residence who are willing to let either a secondary suite, a suite associated with an accessory building, or a cottage. Your Local Trust Committee (myself, Peter Grove, and Peter Luckham) gave first reading to the draft bylaw at our April 19 meeting.  I supported first reading because I wanted to start the process and I’m serious about increasing the availability of long-term rental housing in …
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$1 million Community Works Fund agreement in principle for Salt Spring Island fire hall

The Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District (SSIFPD) announced today an agreement in principle with the Capital Regional District (CRD) for a $1 million Community Works Fund (gas tax) contribution towards construction of a proposed new fire hall on Salt Spring Island. This arrangement with the CRD is contingent on approval by Fire District ratepayers to build a new fire hall. “Should the referendum pass, the CRD will work with the SSIFPD to facilitate transfer of federal funding to support construction of a new fire hall to replace the current building,” said CRD Director Gary Holman. “This agreement will allow us to reduce the cost for ratepayers of creating a much-needed new fire hall and illustrates how the CRD can work effectively with our fire district in a way that benefits the community.” A referendum is being scheduled for the end of June in which all SSIFPD ratepayers will be asked if they approve the fire department borrowing $9.7 million to build a new fire…
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Salt Spring Insights release Spring survey results: We’re happy, but disgruntled, especially about water and housing

Salt Spring Insights, an online research panel created earlier this year to enhance the quality of conversations taking place on Salt Spring, released highlights from its Spring 2022 research, showing that Salt Spring Islanders are generally happy with their quality of life, but very concerned about the lack of affordable housing as a threat to the community. The Salt Spring Insights online research panel is structured to be representative of Salt Spring residents by key demographics. The 2022 first quarter surveys featured a series of questions about fire facilities and services, as well as questions about quality of life on the island and the perceived value taxpayers receive for different services. The first three Salt Spring Insights panelist winners were also announced: Cathy George, Clare Nuyens and Tanya Stewart will each receive a gift certificate for Country Grocer. Participants who sign up and complete the next survey will also be eligible to win prizes. Qual…
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Police seeking public assistance in identifying graffiti suspect(s)

The Salt Spring Island RCMP is seeking assistance from the public with identifying the person(s) responsible for the most recent rash of graffiti that occurred during nighttime. On May 11, 2022, the Salt Spring Island RCMP were notified that several new graffiti surfaced near Charlesworth Rd and Fulford Ganges Rd. The graffitis expanded further towards Beddis Rd and Bishop’s Walk Rd. Throughout the investigation, it is estimated that over 60 separate locations were tagged using spray paint cans, says Corporal Matthew Crist of the Salt Spring Island RCMP. Evidence from one of the scenes has been seized by police for further forensic examination. If you have any information, please contact the Salt Spring Island RCMP at 250-537-5555
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ASK Salt Spring with North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD) Directors and Manager on election results and more

Sixteen joined this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering focused on North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD). Our special guests were NSSWD Trustees Sandra Ungerson, Gary Gagne, and Chris Dixon. Also joining us was NSSWD Manager, Don Pickle. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, they began by telling us what was on their minds on this lovely spring May day. Gary began by sharing his pleasure that the Board has been re-elected. Although happy with the consistency this offers, he also noted that there had been other good candidates and a lot of interest in the election, a satisfying change from some previous elections. He was pleased with the turnout at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) the evening before, energized by the interested attendees and their good questions and concerns. He left the AGM committed to continue to engage with our community, even citing this and his other recent visit to ASK Salt Spring as an important part of NSSWD’s outreach. Chris echoed Gary’s com…
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