Obituary: Taryn Rose Penny

I along with my loving family are heartbroken beyond belief. Our amazing Taryn Rose Penny left this world on Friday, June 26th, 2020. I heard Taryn’s first breath on August 6th, 1992 as she came into this world with red shimmering hair. Her sister Paige Penny and I held her hands, stroked her hair and kissed her deeply as we watched her take her last breath. She looked beautiful and finally at peace. Taryn was and will remain an incredibly bright light for all those who new and loved her. Taryn was smart, witty, had a wicked sense of humour and was unforgettable. As my stepson said, it was often the “Taryn Show” and we were the captive audience. Taryn was gifted at being with anyone and making people laugh. I will miss her beautiful smile, her sharp wit, her voice, her smell, her mannerisms and everything else that made her shine so brightly. Taryn was loved deeply and will be forever missed by her mother Diane Penny Simpson (Paul), father Patrick Penny (Jeannie), sist…
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ASK Salt Spring: Cycling Infrastructure and Using Our Roads

Last Friday, 30 hardy folks braved the cool, breezy summer rains to gather at Portlock Picnic Pavilion to welcome our special guest, MLA Adam Olsen. Nine of them were avid cyclists who had just ridden from Fulford, an annual ride celebrating Kip Nash’s birthday, a former Salt Spring coach who was well supported by our community when challenged by a brain tumor. He, his family, and his friends make this celebratory fundraising ride every year to thank Salt Springers for their support during his difficult times. While many rode from Fulford to Ganges, this hearty nine continued on to Portlock Park to speak to Adam. They came with a plea for better infrastructure for cyclists. They spoke with passion of their fear of cycling on Salt Spring and their sadness that their children could not grow up as they had with the freedom to explore island roads on their bicycles. They spoke of non-existent shoulders and angry drivers unwilling to share the road with cyclists. (Adam had just d…
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Obituary: Marc Alan Mendle Satyanand Dancing Bear Suess

Marc Alan Mendle Satyanand Dancing Bear Suess, a story teller, playful man of ideas, and bringer of joy, passed away on June 22, 2020 at 4am after a rapid illness. The first day of Summer, the day after the new moon and a solar eclipse was an auspicious time for Marc to have transitioned to his next phase. He will live on in the lives and stories of his four children, Maya and Piet Suess and Maximilian and Marina Justus, as well as his partner Heather MacNeil, his childrens’ mothers Janis Suess and Lori Justus, his beloved sister Roberta Mogel and his many friends and family who would agree: he was one of a kind. He was predeceased by his sister Eileen Wortman, and his parents Amalia (Mae) and Wolf (Willie) Suess. Marc was born in Brooklyn, NY on March 30th, 1947 and moved to British Columbia in 1975, living for many years on Salt Spring Island before moving to Vancouver. In the mid 1980’s he co-founded Off Centre Stage on Salt Spring Island, and then subsequently creat…
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Supporting Local Tourism and Ten Tips for Responsible Travel

Last week, the Province announced moving into Phase 3, the biggest change is encouraging travel throughout our Province. In June, we saw an uptick in visitors, and even more so when the announcement came last week. From conversations with shop owners, visitor centre staff and volunteers as well as personal interactions, most visitors are concerned about being welcomed, about minimizing their impact while they are here, and are excited to support the local businesses. I would like to remind everyone that patience and kindness need to be at the forefront right now. Our island businesses have taken a really hard hit over the last four months in an effort to keep their staff, customers and community members safe. Our local businesses are demonstrating a high level of diligence to health & safety practices while trying to stay afloat. Island businesses also need our community to step-up and welcome visitors who were respectful and stayed in their own communities until the …
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Carrot Day, Winter Planting Schedules and Fruit Thinning

It’s nearly here! Carrot day, which in my garden, is July 1st (sadly, not being celebrated with the usual fireworks this year due to COVID-19). But long time readers will know that the first week of July is when to sow the last bed of carrots, beets and rutabagas for winter harvests. This gives the plants enough time to mature by the end of October when growth essentially stops. Of course carrots, etc. sown before this can also overwinter, but roots from an early spring sowing might be over-mature and rather woody by late fall. Also due to be planted this week or next: endives, radicchio and kohlrabi. And if you want to add more Swiss chard to your garden, do it by early July. Chard sown earlier this spring provides winter harvests too, but you will need more plants to ensure a good supply of leaves in the winter, when plants are not growing new leaves. I figure I need at least 4 times more chard plants for winter picking as I do for summer picking, This is when I also sow t…
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Watch: Gulf Islands Secondary Celebrates Safe Grad 2020 with Country Grocer

Of all the news stories done, this video is for the Grads of 2020, their parents, The Safe Grad Committee, and all of us who are so proud of these young folk. It all began with the glitch of COVID-19. The Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) Grads wanted to get together to see each other in their grad finery and bid farewell. The parents on the Safe Grad Committee were trying to organize various events but kept coming up against Covid guidelines. Then the light bulb went off. Shopping is OK, and all the precautions are in place at Country Grocer. This video is a glimpse at the evening that saw 80 GISS Grads shop for the local Food Bank. It's a Win Win. Congratulations to the Grads of 2020. https://youtu.be/peZsMdYe0PQ
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Trust Council Asks Travelers and Locals to Continue COVID-19 Measures

BC's Restart Plan has entered Phase 3, allowing people to participate in smart and safe travel within BC, including the Islands Trust Area, which includes the Gulf and Howe Sound Islands. As the Province moves into this new phase and heads into the July long weekend, the Islands Trust Council reminds visitors and island residents to continue using COVID-19 prevention measures to protect themselves and others. If you are sick, stay home. Please wash your hands often, practice physical distancing, wear masks when distancing isn’t possible, and minimize community interactions, as recommended by our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and the BC Centre for Disease Control. “Everyone needs to be respectful, safe, smart and use extra caution when they travel, including Island residents who go on and off the islands,” shared Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “Until a vaccine is available, we will continue to be cautious and safe to avoid a COVID-19 outb…
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BC Green Caucus Advocates for Rebuilding With Cleaner, Green Economy

After nearly four-months away the British Columbia Legislative Assembly will finally resume. MLA’s will sit for eight weeks through July and August. British Columbia has been widely recognized for our collective handling of the pandemic. Our public health professionals, civil service and politicians have all been focussed on addressing the emergency as best as possible. Our response and the result have been remarkable. As we begin the economic recovery there are critical choices that must be made. Are we going to rebuild the economy of the last century? Or, are we going to build a cleaner, greener, more resilient economy of the future? With this key question in mind, the BC Green Caucus has been working closely with the provincial government to encourage them to invest in the latter. We recognize the investments coming out of the pandemic will set the direction for the coming decades. B.C. has the opportunity to be a climate leader, make strategic investments and build…
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Obituary: Sally Joann Rycroft

Sally Joann Rycroft (née Fraser), April 19th, 1948 - June 9th, 2020 - It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved Sally. She leaves Glen, her loving husband and partner of 45 years, daughter Lori Klear (Darsh), grandchildren Hayley and Tej, former neighbour and special friend Zoe, sister Nora Scherger, brother Bill Fraser, many dear friends, and much loved dog Magee. Sally was born in Winnipeg. Her father worked as a station master for the railways and the family lived in a succession of small prairie towns. However, Sally considered Sylvan Lake, Alberta, where she graduated from high school, to be her hometown. She was very popular at school, it must have been that impish smile, energy, enthusiasm, sense of fun and willingness to get involved. She was also good at numbers. In 1967, Sally moved to Calgary where she got a job with an accounting firm. This was the beginning of a long career path. Sally worked hard to gain her CGA, RFP, CFP, PRP desig…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Additional COVID-19 Emergency Fund Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation has made four more grants to local charities from its COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund. The fund has reached almost $202,000 and distributed $148,000, including $61,550 in food cards, to support community needs. The food card program, made possible through the generosity of Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, has benefitted many community members experiencing the economic impact of COVID-19. One local artisan, market vendor and single parent says, “The Saturday Market is my main income for the year. It sustains me to March, right when COVID hit. I had been running on empty and have been hustling to make ends meet. Groceries are the biggest expense. The grocery cards gave me almost a physical relief from stress and worry." Other major donations to the fund have come from the Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD, in addition to many individual donors. Recent emergency grants include: $12,562 to SSI Com…
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Island Researchers Offer Timely and Defensible Knowledge

Every response to a large-scale disaster presents a window of opportunity to create profound change.   What are the opportunities for Islands Trust?  Our community has a renewed appetite for planning the community – they want a community and an economy that can be resilient to shocks, like pandemics or storms. Decades of poor resource management are manifesting themselves in declining fish populations, fragmentation of forest ecosystems, and loss of species diversity and habitat.  There are growing frustrations with land use planning and regulatory systems – not just ours but throughout the various levels of government. I believe it is time to clearly embrace the other powerful words in the Trust’s objective – “in cooperation with.” We need to work with residents, other partners and First Nations to protect our ecosystems, and to sustain this generation and those of the future. We have to help our island communities become more resilient in the times that lie ahead. In…
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Salt Spring Comes Together in Solidarity with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour

Over 250 Salt Spring Island community members gathered this afternoon in a call to action confronting racism in our community and within each of us individually. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Community Collective Organizers shared stories of violence and discrimination experienced both personally, across the United States and here in Canada asking that we all actively stand with BIPOC people to create a more equitable and just society. In a gathering that was graceful, fierce, somber and celebratory, organizers called for education, awareness and actions of support in honour of the countless Black, Indigenous and People of Colour who have been murdered, killed or harmed in racially motivated acts of violence. Speakers called for community members to take responsibility for BIPOC equality and to be active participants in anti-racism action. The event was an opportunity to come together to show support and love for fellow BIPOC community on these Coast S…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Implements Transport Canada’s Face Coverings Requirement Today

Effective today, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This Transport Canada directive applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. On sailings longer than 30 minutes, passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. For routes under 30 minutes, BC Ferries requests customers possess a face covering to wear if they cannot maintain appropriate physical distancing. On all routes, BC Ferries requests customers remain in their vehicle for the entire sailing if possible. Customers must also bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers. As defined by the…
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Islanders Working to Create a Community Space for Horse Activities

When I arrived on Salt Spring as a super awkward 12 year old I was homesick and lonely. Luckily, I had been promised more horse time and even my own horse one day to help sooth the sting of immigrating. I immediately began riding lessons with Jacky Cooper and joined the local Pony Club. At that time there was a booming community of “horsey” kids and we were a very active club. When we went to regional and provincial competitions, the SSI Pony Club was known for its outstanding horsemanship and we almost always won the horsemanship award! We were asked by other clubs how we managed to create such a cohesive and co-operative group and I believe our biggest asset was having a central barn where we all had our horses together. As a club we moved several times to different facilities until we most recently lost our beloved stables on St Mary’s lake, a blow we have not been able to recover from. Since the loss of our last home, the equine community has scattered and many have…
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Obituary: Matthew Thomas Steffich

Matthew Thomas Steffich: September 25, 1958 - June 3, 2020 Matt died suddenly in his prized gallery, Steffich Fine Art (Salt Spring Island), which he proudly grew over the period of 27 years. Born in East Vancouver, Matt had a spirited and textured childhood with his siblings and many friends. He had endless stories of his adventures around his neighbourhood, the PNE, hockey games and countless concerts and gigs. After being excommunicated from Catholic school, which he often bragged about, Matt continued his growth as a world-class guitar player. He would tell anyone who would listen about his 9 years with The Fins. The stories were wild, hilarious and not for the faint of heart. Matt continued to gig whenever he had the chance, and played guitar to his final day. In 1992, Matt and his then wife Jen Rosling moved to Salt Spring Island and started his lifelong passion, Thunderbird Gallery (now Steffich Fine Art). Matt proudly and falsely claimed to know nothing about …
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ASK Salt Spring Welcomes Adam Olsen - Clean Air and a Green Recovery?

The ASK Salt Spring Zoom session last Friday with MLA Adam Olsen as our special guest, began when Adam shared his concerns about social distancing and the relaxation of our self-isolation. Can we learn behaviors during these more-relaxed outdoor months that will help us in the coming cooler months when we are forced indoors? Can we learn to take control of our own space and keep this space when we need to move indoors again? Question: A unintended benefit of COVID 19 has been cleaner air. What should BC and the provincial government immediately do to sustain this improvement in air quality? Adam and Sonya have written a green (not Green) recovery document detailing ways to invest that will produce a net positive for both the economy and the climate. Although it is not yet ready to be widely shared, this nine-page document will be released soon. When asked what the government will do concerning our environment, he predicted that it would become harder and harder for …
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Implements Requirement for Passenger Face Coverings

In keeping with directives and guidance provided by Transport Canada, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This directive goes into effect on June 15 for routes longer than 30 minutes and applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. Passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. Customers must bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers. As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) …
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Winter Planting Begins, Nitrogen Deficiency, Spying Pests (or Not)

Another wet, cool week stretches before us and my melon plants are looking pretty sad….sigh….. But on the up side, I am sure you, too, are seeing lush growth of your lettuce, cabbages, peas and other cool weather vegetables. What to plant now: Keep on sowing small plantings of radishes, lettuce and other salad greens to keep a steady supply to your kitchen. Keep on sowing peas, too: I just planted late May peas and will sow my last batch of peas at the end of June to have peas into the fall. The pea leaf weevil is no longer feeding, so if your earlier peas were damaged (see what that looks like), you can safely replant now. If any of your tomatoes, cucumbers or other heat-loving seedlings failed because they were planted too early, there is still time to plant again if you can find replacement plants. If you haven’t done so already, right now sow Brussels sprouts and varieties of winter cabbage that take 4 months to develop. It is not too late to grow them successfully fr…
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New Round of Funding for Salt Spring Farmers' Market Nurtrition Program

To help more lower-income British Columbians, people expecting children and seniors gain access to healthy, locally grown food, the Province has provided approximately $1.88 million in funding to the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The funds were provided to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) to support the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program throughout the province. The program provides coupons for lower-income households to purchase fresh, healthy, local food at B.C. farmers markets. “Our government continues to support families and local farmers and producers as the demand for food programs has increased during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This coupon program helps improve the health and well-being of British Columbians and builds a sense of community by encouraging people to buy nutritious B.C.-grown food from local farmers and producers. “Over this year, an additional 600 households, or approximately 1,800 i…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries To Resume Long Harbour Ferry Service

Service to return to seasonal service levels to respond to growing demand - In collaboration with the Province, BC Ferries is increasing service on routes to the Southern Gulf Islands as of June 9, 2020 to match capacity with demand and better meet the needs of customers. This includes the re-opening of the Long Harbour terminal on Salt Spring Island. Demand on the Southern Gulf Island routes continues to grow. Effective June 9, 2020, the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour) service will resume and the Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Southern Gulf Islands route will return to winter seasonal service levels. The routes will revert to the sailing times customers are used to seeing and are expected to alleviate the current demand pressures. Bookings for the Tsawwassen – Long Harbour route June 9 onwards are now open. Existing bookings made by customers on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route between June 9 and June 23 will be cancelled and the reservati…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Double Your Bubble

Dear Salt Springers, As you are all aware, many businesses and organizations are re-opening lately. Please be patient with new guidelines and potential wait times - people are doing their best, and we must be compassionate. Salt Spring medical professionals and hospital staff are working hard to plan for the best possible care of our community members now and in the coming months, taking into consideration the possibility of a second wave. We ask that everyone please head into summer cautiously, taking good care of ourselves and our loved ones, while continuing to social distance. Only "double your bubble" with a few trusted family or friends, and keep things local if possible. Please take a minute to read this overview of phased re-opening from Doctors of BC. Thank you!
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