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ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen on environmental, social, health, and economic challenges

Beginning with a touching and gentle Territorial Acknowledgement, this ASK Salt Spring gathering of nineteen welcomed our Adam Olsen and his new constituency advocate, Jake Rees, to a conversation under the apple trees at the United Church Meadow. There was joy to see Adam in person again after so many months of virtual gatherings, but this joy was tempered by the reality of the serious health/mental health, social, economic, and environmental crises buffeting us. Clear indication of the multiple crises looming over us all is that six British Columbians continue to die of an overdose each and every day. In addition, Adam pointed out that 700 British Columbians died during the recent heat wave while the government was celebrating the re-opening from the lockdowns that were a result of the global pandemic. Adam was clear - our government needs to focus on being better prepared rather than bouncing from one crisis to another. Adam spoke of his nine-year old daughter wh…
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COVID Recovery Grants Announced

Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Covid Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund, the Salt Spring Island Foundation announces a grand total $237,548 has been awarded in contribution to the many innovative pandemic relief, recovery and re-start efforts in our community. "The Foundation's Pandemic Impact Survey revealed priority needs among island charities related to re-building volunteer, staffing and fundraising networks in order to thrive during the Public Health phased re-start. In response, the Foundation Board offered Covid Recovery funding as a means for SSI charities, and any non-profits working in partnership with qualified donees, to move through this final phase of the pandemic and to build their community work anew," stated Sandra Heath, the Foundation's Grants Advisory Committee Chair. The Salt Spring Island Foundation made a call for applications for up to fifteen Covid Recovery Grant awards of up to $5,000 per community organization for projects that a…
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Local Salt Spring Island business Dos Amores Tortilleria makes Living Wage a priority

As we move towards a post COVID-19 pandemic world, we have been carefully considering what we can contribute to better both our local and global communities. Racial injustice, environmental collapse, basic human needs unmet for so many across the globe - the list goes on and on. It feels overwhelming. We are reminded in these moments that it is more important than ever to use our skills and platforms to affect positive, tangible change. We have chosen to be small business owners first and foremost to do good. It is painfully clear the traditional ways of doing business that prioritize profits over people must become a thing of the past, and that both reparations and climate justice needs to be at the forefront of every decision we make. Being small business owners we feel intimately connected to our community and our suppliers, and we see the direct impact our businesses makes on our community. Everything we do, every dollar we spend, makes such a beautiful, woven i…
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Are you considering leaving Salt Spring due to the housing crisis?

Are you considering leaving the island due to the stresses involved with finding or staying in a home? Know someone who is leaving or has already left? Please share your story. After festering for years, our workforce housing crisis has only gotten worse, with so many of us finding it harder and harder to stay on Salt Spring. Our musicians, nurses, teachers, restaurant staff, tradespeople and even the very farmers working to feed us are being forced into the heart-breaking decision of saying goodbye to this community because they can't find housing, leaving us all the poorer as a result. To all the people who are considering leaving, we SEE you, and we need to HEAR you. Salt Spring is at a critical point where decisions are being made that will either start to finally address this crisis in our community, or continue to avoid and ignore it. Without action, the Salt Spring we love – the artists, families, young people, activists, counter-culture hippies and weirdos that…
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Lady Minto Hospital Foundation Hires New Executive Director, Roberta Martell

The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Roberta Martell as its new Executive Director. Roberta has a master’s degree from Royal Roads University in leadership and training and a 25-year career in community development, social justice, and sustainability. Roberta honed her community building skills working with foundations like the David Suzuki Foundation, and in consulting assignments on affordable housing strategies for Tofino as well as executive director roles for Kluane First Nation in the Yukon and Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group in Victoria. Many will know her as the successful entrepreneur behind the Twig & Buoy. For that project, she built a restaurant to provide housing for her young family. She has a background in running capital campaigns, undertaking board development, organizational analysis, and has built numerous units of affordable housing. “I’m honoured to have been chosen to lead the Lady Minto Hospital Foundat…
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Salt Spring Island residents and visitors asked to increase water conservation efforts

As the local government as well as the operator of a number of water utilities on Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, the Capital Regional District (CRD) appreciates the efforts made to conserve water to date. However, due to the current high level of sustained drought in the region, the CRD is requesting that residents and visitors increase their efforts to conserve water. Drinking water systems on Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands are especially vulnerable to drought conditions and the levels in most water supply sources are already low with little or no rain to replenish them in the short-term forecast. In an effort to preserve an adequate drinking water supply, all residents and visitors to Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands are encouraged to decrease their indoor water use where possible and stop all outdoor water use with some limited exceptions. These outdoor use guidelines include: No watering of lawns, turf or…
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Mid-summer gardening tips; more winter crops to plant

Some plants are still recovering from the damage done by the extreme heat at the end of June (others, such as cucumbers, corn and sweet potatoes are growing like never before!). It sometimes takes awhile for heat damage to leaf and fruit cells to become visible. A week or two after high temperatures, tan or yellow areas on tomatoes, peppers and tree fruit and blackened or shriveling areas on leaves were still developing and might have been mistaken for disease. Sunscald on a few of my apples and pears is just now showing up as yellowish spots on the side of the fruit facing the sun. Heat injury to raspberries appeared as patches of white or tan drupelets (those little globes that make up the berry) on maturing berries, while younger berries simply shriveled up. Some tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and beans lost the cohort of blossoms present during the heat wave and that loss is now being seen as a period with scant fruit. But blossoms that opened after the heat wave are fine an…
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ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust Trustee, Laura Patrick on the new policy statement, housing, preserve and protect

Eleven gathered to welcome one of our Islands Trust’s Local Trustees, Laura Patrick, to this ASK Salt Spring gathering in the United Church meadow on a cloudy - and, at times, almost chilly - summer Friday. This gathering was so different from last month’s large and energized group who gathered to learn more about the Islands Trust new draft Policy Statement. After a meaningful Territorial Acknowledgement by one of the participants, Laura added that one of the actions from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls for Actions is that each of us should learn about the legacy of residential schools. We all now know now that one of these residential schools operated very near to Salt Spring Island within a system that was, itself, an act against humanity. Speaking briefly of the draft new Trust Policy Statement, Laura reported that, in preparation for an upcoming Trust Council Executive Committee meeting, she had gone back and reviewed the entire Policy Statem…
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