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ASK Salt Spring Welcomes Local Community Commissioner Chair Earl Rook

July 12 While a small gathering, our time together offered a fascinating exploration of governance issues with our special guest, Local Community Commission (LCC) Chair, Earl Rook, backed up by Local Commissioner Gayle Baker, also notetaker and report-writer. We began with our Territorial Acknowledgement during which Earl lamented all the First Nations sites that have been disturbed, hopeful that we are better-protecting these unique monuments of the centuries that Salt Spring served as an Indigenous homeland to so many bands. When asked what “excited and delighted” him by facilitator Grant Fredrickson, Earl replied that he was thrilled by the positive forward motion of the LCC. He cited the conclusion of the LCC Strategic Plan which is expected to be released in August. He also spoke briefly about progress reviewing and revising the Five-Year Capital Plans for each of the services under the authority of the LCC, most notably a long, complicated, and outdated Transportati…
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Linda's List July 14: Wasps, Bees, Winter Crop Planting Continues

For the rest of July and through August, your mission is to fill up any spaces in your garden with hardy vegetables for harvest from late fall through winter. With garlic and onions grown from sets maturing this month, that leaves some larger spaces for winter crops. Early peas, lettuce, radishes and other salad greens are likely finished by now, leaving more space to plant winter crops. Have a look at everything growing in your garden now to decide what to ‘edit’: are there plants that are doing poorly? that no one in the house likes? that are producing too much to use? For example, this week I removed a patch of lettuce that will never get eaten, the last radishes that were getting too woody and what I realized was going to be 2 too many zucchini plants. From now until early August, sow leafy greens from seed (arugula, winter lettuce, mizuna, collars, kale, leaf mustards and mustard spinach/Komatsuna, Bok choi and other Chinese cabbage, spinach, broccoli raab). You can als…
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Tragedies on B.C. Highways Prompt Coroners’ Safety Reminder

This week has been marked by several fatal motor vehicle incidents on highways throughout British Columbia. Between Friday, July 5, and Wednesday, July 10, 2024, there were 19 accidental motor-vehicle-related deaths reported to the BC Coroners Service (BCCS). Twelve of those deaths occurred during three incidents reported in the Interior Health Authority. Collisions reported to the Coroners Service include single-vehicle incidents, as well as multi-vehicle crashes. In the wake of these incidents, BCCS is urging residents and visitors to take extra care while planning road trips. “We extend our condolences to all affected by these tragedies. We know there are far-reaching impacts, as family and friends across the province, and beyond, mourn the loss of their loved ones,” said John McNamee, acting chief coroner. “While so many of us look forward to summer trips, unfortunately, statistics show the risk of deadly motor-vehicle crashes is much greater in July, August and Se…
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Notice: Cycle of Life Tour is coming to Salt Spring Island - July 20-21

The annual Cycle of Life Tour, is happening on July 20-21 and will see 95 riders cycling from Victoria, through the Cowichan Valley, over to Salt Spring Island and back to Victoria. On Saturday, July 20, the cyclists will be on the 2:20 p.m. ferry from Crofton – Vesuvius Bay and will be riding two different routes to their overnight venue on Rainbow Rd., arriving by 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, July 21, cyclists will leave the venue on Rainbow Rd. at 8:00 a.m. and will ride to the Fulford ferry terminal where they will catch the 11:10 a.m. ferry to Swartz Bay. There will also be a few support vehicles on the road with the riders on both days. This fundraising event supports Vancouver Island hospices and Salt Spring Island Hospice. Riders are from up and down the island and are currently at a fundraising total of more than $230,000 in support of compassionate end-of-life care. We are grateful for the continued support of residents and businesses on Salt Spring Island and we thank…
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Royal Roads Receives Largest Gift in University’s History to Expand Programming to Salt Spring Island

Royal Roads University is proud to announce we have received a generous and transformative gift valued at $9.93M from the Bloom Canadian Alter Ego Trust 2020 which will yield expansive programming for the Salt Spring Island community and beyond. This gift represents the largest donation in the university’s history. The gift includes two exceptional acreages on Salt Spring Island featuring waterfront gardens, an orchard of heritage fruit trees, an architecturally significant house, outbuildings, and a foreshore lease, located near Beddis Beach. The property will benefit the Salt Spring Island community, RRU students, faculty, and staff and the broader academic community. The gift also includes significant financial resources: $5.268 million in funds ($4.6 million of which will be endowed) for the ongoing maintenance and immediate improvement of the lands, and its activation through programming and events. This contribution was made possible through the generosit…
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Obituary: Robert James Kelly

Robert James Kelly left us far too soon, passing away May 27, 2024, after a brief illness. A familiar face in the Salt Spring community, Robert drew people to him with the gentle warmth of his smile, which embodied his innate generosity of spirit as well as the curiosity, humour and intelligence of a vibrant mind. Ever a quiet adventurer, lover of birds and beasts, follower of storytellers and poets, genuine friend, and devoted lover, Robert was a rarity among men. Predeceased by his partner of many years and many adventures, Sally Cole, Robert leaves behind his daughter Soleil Aellen, sisters Linda Osborne and Cheryl Ann Kelly, and his loving partner of later years, Tannice McKillop. His uncommon strength of character inspired unquestioning confidence and trust in these and so many others, and to the end he weathered the storms of life with stoicism and grace. Robert, Bobby, Big R, you are sorely missed. We love you.
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Exchange Spotlight on SSI Mead Co. : Is Mead as Magical as they say?

Have you ever wondered what the mighty Vikings, the Druids or Oldworld Pagans sipped from their goblets? Or guzzled perhaps! It was likely mead, a fermented honey alcohol that seems to be making a big come-back. There is a belief among many historians that mead is the ancestor of all alcohol, likely over 20,000 years old. The understanding is that mead crossed all classes from pirates to royalty to the peasants that worked the fields. Each sip is filled with thousands of years of lore and history. Some even claim that it’s magical to consume the intoxicating flavors of the fermented honey, and that imbibing mead brings one to a level of intoxication unlike any other alcoholic beverage. Mead is thought to be an aphrodisiac, a medicinal potion, and a fertility aid. Wow, It’s no wonder that in our modern era we are witnessing a resurgence of popularity with this ancient bevie, and luckily for us we have an awesome Meadery right here on Salt Spring! SSI Mead Co. also just …
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ASK Salt Spring Bids a Sad Farewell to MLA Adam Olsen

July 5 Twenty-six joined this ASK Salt Spring gathering to welcome Laura Parker, Outreach Coordinator, and to bid a sad farewell to MLA Adam Olsen who has decided not to run again. The clear message throughout our time together was our support for his decision to focus his attention on family and personal opportunities as well as heartfelt appreciation of the terrific job he has done representing us over the years. We began our conversation with Adam’s Territorial Acknowledgement , reminding us of the uniqueness of our islands and that it should be our privilege to belong to them rather than owning or dominating them. When asked what “excites and delights “ him by facilitator Grant Fredrickson, Adam explained that he was thrilled to be able to speak openly about feelings that had been growing for him. At 48 with 16 years of elected service behind him, he began to think that it was time for him to move into his next phase. Not retiring - he has plenty of work yet to do! -…
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Join an In-person or Virtual Ocean Wise Whale Blitz in Your Community!

Free land-based whale spotting events coming to Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Howe Sound, and West Vancouver from July 13th to –17th Do you love whales? So do we! Join Ocean Wise for a series of in-person and virtual land-based whale spotting events this July 13-17 at locations in West Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Howe Sound, and the Gulf Islands. These events are open to the public and completely free! The third annual Ocean Wise Whale Blitz runs from July 13-17 to coincide with the anniversary of northern resident killer whale A73 “Springer” being re-released back to her pod after rehabilitation and World Orca Day on July 14. Each Whale Blitz event is hosted at a recognized prime location for spotting whales and other wildlife from land. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about marine life, learn species ID skills, take part in citizen science, talk to Ocean Wise whale experts – and maybe even spot a whale or two. This year, Ocean Wise is ple…
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Celebrating 25 Years of the Gulf Islands International Student Program

Celebrating 25 Years of the Gulf Islands International Student Program (GIISP) by Steve Dawson In 1999, Gulf Island Secondary School had a problem. Unlike the colourful mosaics and stained-glass windows in the building’s modern design, GISS students had little diversity and came largely from the same ethnic backgrounds. While global awareness and cultural understanding were key values held by the school, they were not exactly reflected in reality. To address this, Scott Bergstrome, then Vice Principal, developed the Gulf Islands International Student Program (GIISP). Bergstrome led the program as Director and brought Sheri Wakefield on board as Homestay and Student Services Coordinator. They launched GIISP by welcoming 118 students from Kobe, Japan, for a 10-day visit to the island and school. This initial challenge ended up being a glowing success. The team soon followed up with a second achievement: the first full-time international student at GISS. And with each foll…
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