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Freezer wanted!

Hello! Wondering if anyone has an extra freezer kickin around that they are not using?? Mine is getting too full from garden harvests. Would even […]

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Last Sowing, Thinning, Summer Fruit Pruning

This month we are coming to the end of the seeding season for winter harvest vegetables. With the cooler temperatures this week, conditions are ideal for sowing lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens (leaf mustard, leaf radish, Chinese cabbage) as well as winter radishes and daikon. For sowing this month, choose frost hardy lettuce varieties to extend your harvest all winter. There are some excellent hardy lettuce varieties, including ‘Winter Density’, ‘Rouge d’ Hiver’, ‘Arctic King’, ‘Continuity’ (AKA ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’). These can be sown up until the end of this month, along with arugula and corn salad, which is a super-hardy lettuce substitute for winter months. The leaves are small (so grow lots), but the plant is indestructible in winter ice, snow and below freezing weather. If you haven’t sown kale, collards, leaf beet or Swiss chard before this, try to find seedlings to transplant as it is getting too late to start these larger plants from seed. If you a…
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New Live Cam at Vesuvius Ferry Terminal

One of the locations for which we get the most requests to install a travel planning cam for Salt Spring Island is now finally live on the Salt Spring Exchange! The Vesuvius-Crofton Ferry is one of the most notoriously difficult locations to plan travel through on the island. Over the last many years, the run schedule has changed, there have been numerous ship changes, then there are the occasional mechanical and weather delays. Mix in seasonal tourism, hazardous cargo sailings and now, COVID-19 uncertainties, and you have a perfect storm of not having much sense about when, or if, you should travel through the Vesuvius terminal. Our team at the Exchange hope this new cam helps with some of those uncertainties and becomes another great travel and tourism resource for locals and visitors like the other cams already in our network. The new Exchange Live Cam at the Vesuvius Ferry Terminal is generously hosted courtesy of the wonderful team at the Seaside Restaurant who of…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay the Course

First, a big thank you to the community for trying so hard over the long weekend to follow the rules, even though the rules can definitely put a damper on having fun. Unfortunately, nothing changes: we need to stay the course with washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks when we can not maintain a 6-ft distance. This is the way we all need to function for the foreseeable future. Messages about school reopening in just a few short weeks are causing both anxiety and relief. There is still much to sort out to make school a safe environment for students and staff, and we will need to be patient as our education and health leaders work together to sort this out. Family physician offices and our Lady Minto emergency department are currently very busy, in part due to the accommodations in place for COVID. Please be advised that patients with non-urgent issues might have to wait to be seen.
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On Salt Spring, Solutions for Environment Must Include People

A recent commentary might make Times Colonist readers think the beautiful and protected Gulf Islands are about to be destroyed by an unlikely villain — affordable housing advocates. “Development has put Gulf Islands in death spiral” wasn’t a very subtle headline. The writer is well-known on our idyllic but argumentative Salt Spring, and his favourite target of late is the affordable housing “lobby” that is set to ruin his little slice of paradise. I am one of those housing advocates, so allow me to provide a more complex picture of the pressures impacting both the island’s population and its ecology. Frants Attorp and I, like most Gulf Islanders, share great concern for the twin crises in biodiversity and climate change. Where we differ greatly is on the local issues making things worse, and who gets to benefit from the solutions proposed. Our volunteer advocacy group, Salt Spring Solutions, was formed three years ago when we saw multiple non-profit affordable housi…
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COVID-19: BC Transit to Mandate Use of Face Coverings

BC Transit, in alignment with TransLink and other transportation agencies, will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the Province as of August 24. Accommodations will be permitted for children under the age of 5 and those that cannot wear a face covering for health reasons. We recognize the advice from health professionals, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible including on transit vehicles. Customers have indicated making the use of face coverings mandatory will create a more comfortable environment. “Transit is an important service for many British Columbians. BC Transit's decision to make masks mandatory on their vehicles will help make transit safer for fellow passengers. Find one that's comfortable, and make time to get used to wearing them and taking them on and off as needed. Those of us who are able should be using masks…
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ASK Salt Spring with Elizabeth May, MP Saanich - Gulf Islands

Forty-four gathered to welcome Elizabeth May to the ASK Salt Spring gathering in the United Meadow last Friday, July 31. While we had feared a larger crowd (strictly adhering to social distancing as well as the BC limit of 50 for all gatherings), we were relieved to be able to welcome everyone who wanted to participate. Elizabeth began by expressing her delight and enthusiasm to be able to chat with us in the lovely setting rather than being confined to yet another one of her many daily Zoom meetings. She announced the good news that the Vista Coal Mine would now have to go through federal environmental approval before proceeding. She also announced that there would be no big oil company bailouts in the recovery funding, employing workers, instead, to clean up orphan wells. Her first question concerned the long-awaited Salish Sea Trail, sorely-needed bike lanes from Fulford to Vesuvius. Too long-awaited, these bike lanes would finally complete the trail linking communit…
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Video: Attempted Assault of CRD By-Law Officer In Centennial Park

An aggressive incident was captured on video this evening in Centennial Park with a suspect attempting to assault the CRD By-Law Officer after being asked to leave the park after a separate alleged earlier assault attempt. This was the 2nd incident witnessed with the suspect attempting to assault the By-Law Officer. This video was of the 2nd incident after the suspect left the scene and then returned, attempted to throw a football at the By-Law Officer at full force at short-range but missed, then this incident was captured on video. Community members have been increasingly concerned about large groups of citizens gathering in the park, openly consuming alcohol and leaving significant amounts of trash and garbage in open park areas. At the time of this incident there was a group of 25+ people who appeared to be drinking alcohol in and around park benches, tables, trees and bushes while at the same time other community members were setting up for this evening's open air pe…
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Which Areas of Salt Spring Had the Most Accidents between 2015 and 2019?

Well, it's probably a surprise to no one, that the most heavily travelled, and you could also say one of the most poorly built main roads of any community in the Southern Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands area is... Fulford-Ganges Road. This one road on Salt Spring has racked up the most number of car related accidents causing injury, fatalities and/or property damage. The recently released data from ICBC compiling all available self reported accident data from 2015-2019 shows that the main road of our island is in need of significant safety improvement, especially as it relates to cycling related accidents. Other hot spots and the worst area in town for accidents include the crosswalk intersection at Lower Ganges Road and Rainbow Road. An area now under construction that will improve sidewalks, the crosswalk and lighting in the area. Other areas in the North End that have chronic crash related challenges are the intersection at Central, which still records fair…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindly Wear Masks

Please be kind. As we move into month seven of the pandemic, in the medical field we are seeing more episodes of people lashing out at others or disregarding the rules. If you are feeling irritated, whether with the receptionist at your Family Doctor's clinic or the unit clerk at the entrance to the hospital, please remember they are doing their best under extremely difficult circumstances. New policies, new technologies, and ongoing stress are taking their toll on many of our staff. This also applies to all those individuals who are working in the community at grocery stores, the recycle depot, pharmacies and restaurants, to name a few, so that the rest of us can carry on with our day-to-day activities and enjoy our summer as best we can. Please do not take your frustration out on all the wonderful individuals who are trying so hard to keep all of us safe. We hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the BC Day long weekend with friends and family, but please follow the rules. I…
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SD64 Schools to Employ Learning Group Model for September Restart

Many of you will have seen the announcement from the province regarding school opening in September. In School District 64 (Gulf Islands) we are following the advice from Public Health to begin organizing our schools to follow a “learning group” model to promote the safety of our students and staff. This model organizes students into consistent groups that limit daily contacts (elementary/middle = 60; secondary = 120). Stage 2 of the provincial plan is built from an understanding of how schools and districts can best organize so that students receive the education they need while following the guidelines set out for British Columbians to ensure responsible and effective management of COVID-19. Some notable changes in the province from the schooling experience in June are: learning will return to the regular in-class model blending of remote and in-class options will be discontinued talking about learning groups rather than limits to density of class number…
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