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Local joy unleashed at Transition Salt Spring's Toy Swap extravaganza

The island was abuzz with excitement as our community came together for Transition Salt Spring's Toy Swap event this past Saturday! In the follow-up to TSS's successful clothing swap in October, the Slow Down Salt Spring Toy Swap also allowed islanders to lighten their living by slowing down their consumption and recirculating and redistributing toys in our community. Here's a glimpse of the remarkable results that have us all beaming: 318 kgs of toys found new homes; 14 kg generously donated to thrift stores; and over 100 donors & 160-175 shoppers added to the magic. Watch: Slow down Salt Spring at Transition Salt Spring's Toy Swap: https://youtu.be/_NiMi2ZCQ9Y By cutting back on our consumption and adopting a lifestyle focused on reusing, regifting, fixing, or trading many of our daily items, we decrease our carbon footprints and take a step back in the constant pursuit of acquiring more new things. Did you know? A whopping 80% of toys meet landfill…
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen and Constituent Advocate Jerram Gawley

Twenty-nine joined us for this ASK Salt Spring gathering welcoming MLA Adam Olsen and Constituent Advocate Jerram Gawley. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, we began a lively, philosophical, complicated, and quite wonderful conversation about housing in the context of just-passed Bill 44. After acknowledging ASK Salt Spring, beginning its fifth year of convening rich weekly conversations, Adam began by speaking briefly of the fascinating, frustrating just-finished legislative session, calling it one of the most challenging in his 15 years of government service. While happy to have a break, he is also saddened that he must wait until the Legislature reconvenes in the middle of February 2024 to re engage in his opposition responsibility of keeping our government accountable. He mused that these Legislative sessions could be more effective if they were scheduled so MLAs met more regularly throughout the year with a break every few weeks rather than their current blocks o…
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Obituary: Rita Dods

Rita Eugenie Marie Dods (nee Hudon) April 13, 1931 - August 27, 2023 RITA DODS, known as “Mom” or “Grammy” to her treasured loved ones and extended family, passed away peacefully on August 27, 2023, with loving family and friends at her side, at the age of 92, after a brief battle with leukemia. She braved it all with her infectious smile to the end. Rita was born in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, the youngest of eight children born to Léa and Joseph Hudon. She always said that she was the caboose and “they saved the best for last”. The family moved to Victoria in 1943 where her Dad accepted work as a blacksmith. Rita, her sister Térèse, Mum, Dad, Grandfather and Uncle all resided together, supported with additional income from their family-run boarding house. Rita loved attending school at Esquimalt Secondary. Her dream was to be a nurse but, as her mother became ill and required assistance with the boarding house tasks, she was forced to drop out of school in Grade 10, sadl…
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Never too young to remember December 6th

On December 6th, 1989, the day that fourteen young women at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal were killed by a gunman as a deliberate act of violence against women, Quinn Mulherin (21, she/they*) wasn’t born yet. She learned about the tragedy years later when she attended the memorial as part of The Circle Education’s Pass it On Program. Unbeknownst to her, it gave direction to her future life path; choosing Gender Studies as a way to shape her professional career and as an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for women. The December 6th Memorial was Quinn’s introduction to what happened in Montreal, and gender-based violence in general. “All the Pass it on Girls attended the memorial that year, it was super cold, and I remember there was a large turnout from the community. I did a bit of my own research and it definitely triggered my interest in gender equality and advocacy”, says Mulherin who is in her fourth year of the Women and Gender Studies program at UVIC. …
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ASK Salt Spring on all things local emergency management with Corey Anderson, Jolette Schenk and John Wakefield

While only 10 joined this ASK Salt Spring conversation about our preparedness for emergencies, we learned so much! Led by John Wakefield, Emergency Management Lead, Salt Spring Island, he was joined by Jolette Schenk, CRD Electoral Area Emergency Services Coordinator and Corey Anderson, Manager, Emergency Programs, both of whom had come from Victoria to join us. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, John spoke briefly about accelerating challenges from climate-related weather emergencies. While things may seem to be much the same, it is John’s observation that on Salt Spring, much like the rest of the world, record heat domes, drought, and storms are ramping up awareness and concern. We learned that virtually all of Ganges - as far inland as the Library - are in a tsunami hazard zone. After recognizing our vulnerability as an island, John reminded us that there are simple, concrete things we can do to prepare. These include: Sign up for Alertable, free and available…
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Stqeeye' Learning Society Land Acquisition Campaign nearing end of year goal

On Giving Tuesday, a focus on reconciliation may be on the minds of many on Salt Spring, and there's an extraordinary opportunity to bring the two together in the mi tse' t'akw' (Coming Home) campaign, which is raising money for the indigenous-led Stqeeye' Learning Society to acquire a 10-acre property in Xwaaqw'um (Burgoyne Bay), a village that is central to 600 generations of Quw'utsun (Cowichan) history. This once-in-a-generation campaign will bring the Quw’utsun people back to their traditional territory for the first time in 150 years, so that they can expand Stqeeye’s important work on Salt Spring. The purchase of this property will support a variety of important outcomes: Transfer of knowledge to a new generation of Youth on the Land Protection of forest and wetland habitat for endangered species Construction of a nursery to grow 80,000 native plants for land restoration work Restoration of indigenous food systems flourishing with camas and traditional plan…
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Islands Trust: Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee 2023 November update

The Local Trust Committee (LTC) held an evening “Town Hall and Questions” session at Salt Spring Golf Club November 15th (5:00-7:00 PM).  We were grateful for those who came out to ask questions and engage with the trustees. We held our regular LTC meeting on November 16th and this report summarizes the meeting highlights.  For the official record and for more details, please refer to the minutes and/or view recordings of the meetings. At the Nov. 16th meeting the following decisions were made related to land use applications and referrals.  We: Referred an Agriculture Land Reserve application SS-ALR-2023.2 (710 Cranberry Road) to create a two-lot bare land strata subdivision to the Agriculture Advisory Planning Commission for their comments. Approved a development variance permit (SS-DVP-2023.15 at 351 Mountain Park Dr.) to: increase the maximum accessory building floor area from 70 square metres to 178 square metres; reduce the minimum sideline setback from 3 me…
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Beta testing electric vehicle “Full Self Driving” mode on Salt Spring Island

I really enjoyed Shilo Zylbergold’s humorous take on self-driving cars in his Nobody Asked Me But column in the Sept. 27 Driftwood. Most of you readers may not be aware of the fact that self-driving cars have been operating on the streets of Salt Spring Island for over 2 years. Tesla has been on the forefront of this technology. The current software is a beta version, which is not ready for prime time, just for select cool beta-testers. When you purchase your car on the Web site (that’s how Tesla does stuff), the self driving software is an optional add-on. However, to be able to use it, you have to apply and commit to some safe driving rules. The first is that you must have your hands on the steering wheel at all times in case something goes awry. You also have to agree to some legalese. You have to manually turn the FSD (for “Full Self Driving”) software on and optionally enter a destination. At all times when the FSD software is active, your driving habits are monit…
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Sustainable farming takes center stage at SSI Farmland Trust's Biochar Burn Workshop

In a bid to promote sustainable farming practices, the SSI Farmland Trust recently hosted a Biochar Burn Workshop led by local historian and biochar expert Brian Smallshaw. The event, held last Saturday at the Root, drew a keen crowd eager to learn the ins and outs of biochar production. Participants gathered around two fires, engaged in hands-on learning, and discovered the art of creating biochar from start to finish. The highlight of the workshop was the premiere screening of 'Biochar Kiln,' a comprehensive how-to video filmed on Salt Spring Island by local filmmaker Elisa Rathje at appleturnover.tv. The production, generously supported by the Salt Spring Apple Festival, delves into biochar's historical and practical aspects, providing insights into its creation and benefits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdglw0bOsSQ Ancient Wisdom in Modern Agriculture Biochar as an ancient soil amendment was at the forefront of discussions. Known for its ability to sequester …
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ASK Salt Spring with David Norget from the Mental Wellness Initiative discussing mental health resources on the island

Fourteen joined us (in addition to toddler Benjamin) for all or part of this ASK Salt Spring conversation with the enthusiastic team of volunteers committed to enhancing mental wellness in our community. Led by David Norget, a number of Mental Wellness Initiative volunteers joined us. Some of these volunteers are recruiting professional counsellors for Reach Out Salt Spring, others are overseeing the expanded Peer Support programs, and others are Ambassadors, walking Ganges spreading connection and care throughout our village. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, we learned a bit about the Mental Wellness Initiative as well as its programs. This Mental Wellness Initiative emerged from the Salt Spring Health Advancement Network (SSHAN), a monthly gathering of local organizations/community members focused on health and well-being in our community. Fueled by its strong relationships with its charitable partner, Salt Spring Community Health Society, the Mental Wellness Initiat…
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