Hundreds Gather to Stand with the Salt Spring Nine

Updated: Stand Up Salt Spring, an event to raise funds for the nine Salt Spring Islanders who were arrested for protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, was held last Saturday at Fulford Hall. A standing room only crowd heard speakers, musicians and poets -- featuring the Salt Spring Nine -- share their stories and reasons for their actions. It was an evening to remember, full of community spirit, encouraging information, warm goodwill, and generous support for each other. The recent story in the Exxhange about Stand Up Salt Spring needs clarification. The event, organized by four volunteers with a lot of help, raised $11,500 towards the arrestees’ legal expenses. The nine arrestees from Salt Spring are in various stages of working through the court process. The legal retainer of $4,000, mentioned on the Exchange, has already been paid by the generous donors to the GoFundMe campaign. The organizers are deeply appreciative of the generosity of all the donors to th…
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Island Pathways 30 Anniversary Celebration

You’re Invited! - 2018 June 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  at the Farmers’ Institute and on the Ganges Pathways Hard to believe Island Pathways has been going for 30 years. Here’s some of what we’ve accomplished: Our Partners Creating Pathways group has built nearly $1-million in Ganges Village pathways, complete with benches and map kiosks, costing local taxpayers about $250,000. This year’s pathway will extend the network to Portlock Park at Central. We’ve sold out several editions of our award-winning “Heritage Map with Bike Routes”, with posters of it located throughout the island and on all Salt Spring Island ferries. We’re launching our new “Salt Spring on Foot”, with all of the public trail, paths, and beach walks on island. We’ve put over 700 elementary school kids into quality, well-fitting bicycle helmets, for $10 per student. We’ve spearheaded the installation of 36 bicycle racks.We’re still working hard to get a bikeway through the island – the reason we …
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Photos: Fernwood School’s “Great Water Walk” 2018

The students and staff of Fernwood School once again be walked in support of SOPAR’s village well projects in India. SOPAR is a non-profit, non-governmental, Canadian/Indian organization that supports community-driven development throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh. Classes walked to St Mary's Lake to collect water and carry it back to Fernwood, experiencing what millions of women and children must do every day in order to survive. This year, their goal was to raise at least $1800, which will fund the establishment of two village wells that will provide water to over 300 people. Since 2005, Fernwood School has raised enough money to fund 30 village wells in Andhra Pradesh through their Great Water Walk events. This means that over 5000 people now have access to safe, clean water because of the efforts of Fernwood students and the generosity of the greater Salt Spring community! If you didn't get a chance to support the students walking today and would like to see them …
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The Salt Spring Island Freshwater Catalogue Needs You

Selling the idea of interconnectedness and all it entails is one of the toughest pitches environmentally minded people have to make. Most people understand the connection between actions and consequences; not everyone acts upon that understanding. Living on an island fosters an acute sense of community and belonging, which can in turn lead to greater participation in stewardship. We’re somewhat self-contained. After all, my backyard is your backyard – quite literally. The mission of the Salt Spring Water Preservation Society (WPS) is to protect and preserve the island’s drinking water; to promote the scientific study of and research into water resources; and to promote and increase the public awareness of the value of water resources. Currently the WPS are working on a project to develop a SSI freshwater catalogue and they are looking for volunteers. Whatever your background, you would be welcomed and put to good use; suitable training will be provided. Do you want to know w…
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Film Screening - Directly Affected: Pipeline Under Pressure

Directly Affected: Pipeline Under Pressure is a new film with everything you need to know about the Kinder Morgan pipeline battle, written and directed by Vancouver local photographer and filmmaker Zack Embree. Film will be shown at Artspring on Friday, May 25th at 7 pm, followed by a panel discussion with the director, local journalist Briony Penn and co-founder of CRED (Conversations for Responsible Economic Development) Tarah Stafford. Directly Affected: Pipeline Under Pressure weaves together the stories of people impacted by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, the broken National Energy Board review process used to approve the pipeline, Canada’s commitments at the Paris Climate Talks and the innovators working towards the low-carbon economy. Vancouver filmmaker Zack Embree set out on a mission to understand the impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline on local communities and give a voice back to those who had been ignored by the National Energy Board process. He in…
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APPROVED! Salt Spring Lions Commemorative Bike Park Concept and Site Map Update

Update 2018 May 15: The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) approved the design of the Salt Spring Lions Commemorative Bike Park at the May 14th PARC meeting. The bike park design is the result of a year long planning process that included extensive site analysis and community consultation. The commission's approval of the design allows PARC staff and the project team to move forward with tendering the construction work and establishing a schedule for completion. The construction scope includes building three dirt surfaced loop trails in the southeast corner of Mount Park, wooden fencing and a perimeter pedestrian trail, and comprehensive habitat restoration work. The goal is to open the bike trail system to young riders and their families this summer. The habitat restoration work will begin this summer and carry on through the fall. ------- A revised design plan has been created for the Salt Spring Lions Commemorative Bike Park (Bike Park). The …
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Announcing A New Nature Reserve

A new nature reserve—a forested 62-acre area near Ford Lake, including small streams flowing into the headwaters of Fulford Creek—is now in the hands of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. The Howard Horel Nature Reserve has been created largely thanks to a generous anonymous donor, with some grant support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and a conservation covenant held by The Land Conservancy BC (TLC), a province-wide land trust. “The Salt Spring Island Conservancy is thrilled to be the long-term caretaker of this lovely Douglas-fir and sword-fern forest, in memory of Howard C. Horel, a well-known island sawmill operator,” according to Christine Torgrimson, the Conservancy’s executive director. Howard was also a horseman, farrier, avid motorcyclist and member of a long-time island family. “It’s fabulous that this new reserve adjoins other protected lands that together represent about a 300-acre protected area, including a great network of walking trails, ac…
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RESOLVED: Boil Water Advisory for Salt Spring Island – Highlands Water Service Area

Update 2018 May 09: The boil water advisory issued for Highlands water service area on Salt Spring Island has been lifted/resolved. CRD Integrated Water Services, in consultation with Island Health, advises that the residents of the following area should BOIL their drinking water until further notice: All properties on the Highlands Water Service Area This Advisory is the result of materials entering a water pipeline due to a pipeline break. The Boil Water Advisory will be removed when Island Health is satisfied that the drinking water does not pose a health concern and issues an ‘ALL CLEAR’ notice at which time the customers of the Highlands Water Service Area will be notified as soon as possible. During this Boil Water Advisory, household tap water may be disinfected by boiling it vigorously for 1 minute. For updates regarding this advisory, please visit www.crd.bc.ca and follow us on Twitter @crd_bc
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Join Country Grocer in Practicing the 3 Rs

Who doesn’t love progress, especially when it comes to our health and well-being? And targeting school-aged kids is a great place to start. Country Grocer’s latest demonstration of community leadership launches this week - just in time for Earth Day on April 22. The store’s community relations team went into schools through the week of April 16th to hand out 1500 reusable grocery bags to students with the intent of promoting earth-friendly habits. Of the 3 Rs, Country Grocer wants to emphasize REDUCING the number of non-reusable bags leaving the store and heading for ditches, waterways, and landfills. This kind of messaging is increasing in volume and the public is responding in kind. Most people agree that this is a step in the right direction and that everyone needs to do their part. Salt Spring Island joins the small but mighty list of jurisdictions working toward phasing out plastic bags. In 2007 a small town in Manitoba – Leaf Rapids – became the first municipality i…
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Untreated Sewage Discharged into Ganges Creek and Harbour

An electrical and mechanical failure at the Ganges Wastewater Treatment Plant on Salt Spring Island resulted in a sewage release from early afternoon April 14 to early afternoon April 15. The sewage entered Ganges Creek and travelled approximately 100 meters prior to discharging into the ocean at the outlet of Ganges Creek. The shoreline affected is in the vicinity of Gasoline Alley in the Village of Ganges. CRD operations responded and repaired the treatment plant and it has been functioning properly since mid-afternoon April 15. As a result of this discharge, residents are advised to avoid entering the waters along the affected shorelines, as the wastewater may pose a health risk. As a precaution and in consultation with Island Health, the beach in the affected area will be posted with public health advisory signs until sample results indicate enterococci levels are below the 70CFU/100mL recreational limit.
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Bike Park Community Open House Insights

A community open house for the proposed Salt Spring Lions Commemorative Bike Park in Mouat Park took place on Sunday, March 25 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Salt Spring Island Lions Hall. The event was hosted by the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) to share information about the project and receive feedback from the community. Information on the planning process, environmental and technical assessments and a draft design proposal were available for public review and discussion. Members of the consultant team (Green City Builders and Lees and Associates), PARC staff, and two commissioners were in attendance. Two site tours at Mouat Park were also hosted by the project manager, Elizabeth FitzZaland (Green City Builders) earlier in the day at 11:30 am and 12:00 pm. The event was advertised on the Salt Spring Exchange, the Gulf Islands Driftwood, Facebook and through the CRD’s website. Approximately 85 people attended the Open House and approximately twenty-fi…
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Thoughts on My Arrest

I’ve learned some things from being arrested at the main Kinder Morgan gate in Burnaby for civil contempt of an injunction to stay at least 5 metres away, important details that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. They might be of interest to others. First, despite being told not to talk to the police, I dared to make comments to a few of them and to ask some questions. They provided some heartening feedback and thought-provoking information. I thanked the commander of the two-dozen or so RCMP in attendance for their respectful treatment of protesters. Not one officer wavered from total professionalism throughout their long hours spent upholding the Supreme Court of B.C. injunction. He replied that, in Canada, we have the right to peacefully defy the law where we see that our laws and legal processes need changing. They have to play their part, and we’re allowed to play ours, understanding that consequences follow our actions. In other places and forms of government, re…
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Islanders Get First Look at Proposed Bike Park Concept

The Salt Spring community received its first look at the proposed children's bike park today at a community open house designed to solicit feedback on the proposed park. The heavily attended event offered participants a chance to review the project background, conceptual design plan as well as the opportunity to meet with project co-ordinators, landscape architect and park staff to share feedback and express any concerns. Dozens of local families brought their children whom also shared feedback on the design to ensure the young people who might use the park also had an opportunity to get heard about their ideas for using the space. The project co-ordinators collected feedback from dozens of participants and will release a summary of the feedback later this week. Review All the Open House Boards - Click Boards for Larger View Review All the Open House Boards - In PDF Format View Concept Plan - Clic…
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BC Ferries Going Smoke and eCigarette Free

BC Ferries is pleased to advise customers that the company will be introducing a smoke - free environment in all BC Ferries locations, including terminals and vessels starting January 22, 2018 . This also includes the interior of all vehicles on BC Ferries property. “This new policy support s the health and wellness of our customers and our employees by reducing exposure to second - hand smoke ,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “ The policy aligns with other transportation services and ensures everyone using our services can breathe smoke - free air.” The new smoke - free policy applies to tobacco and any other substance including e-cigarettes, and is expected to reduce the number of complaints BC Ferries receives from customers related to second - hand smoke. BC Ferries will make regular announcements regarding the new policy on board the vessels and at the terminals, and will place signage on board the vessels and on shore as a reminder of th…
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Large Selection of Raw Dog Food at Country Grocer

Pet owners, have you noticed the upright freezer in the pet section of Country Grocer? This is a new addition specifically for raw pet food, brought in by customers’ requests. In the freezer, you’ll find brands such as Primal Pet Foods, JD Farms, Mega Dog Raw, and Bold Raw in various sizes, including trial packs. Pet owners who have been making their own raw pet food know that it is a commitment! It’s a time-consuming task and doesn’t fit into every schedule. With a few ready-made packages on hand, you’re set for those busy times. Plus, you can feel good about buying these brands. JD Farms is located in Langley. You can stop by for a visit next time you’re on the Lower Mainland. Further away, but still Canadian, are Bold Raw and Mega Dog Raw―made in Erin, Ontario. And Primal Pet Foods is a California company. The one thing they all have in common is that they were created by pet owners and animal lovers who either wanted to treat illnesses in their pets or who wanted t…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Fall Grants Support Affordable Housing Projects

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $100,000 in grants for local charities, including $50,000 in support of local affordable housing projects. Affordable housing is shown to be a critical need in Salt Spring’s 2017 VitalSigns® report. These grants would not be possible without the support of our many generous donors, who share the Foundation’s vision of a healthy and caring community Big Brothers Big Sisters For supplies, such as learning materials, games and crafts, for the In School Mentoring Program for elementary-school children who need a wider circle of support. Adult and teen volunteers work with the children on a weekly basis. Fulford Harbour Childcare To build a new fence at Tree Frog Daycare to create a safe play space for children under 2½ years old. Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society To upgrade the chartplotter for the marine search and rescue vessel. The chartplotter is essential to safe navigation and operation. IW…
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Interactive Salt Spring Sea Level Rise Map

Scientists agree that human activity is heating the planet. But how quickly could sea level rise and what would that rise look like here on Salt Spring? This interactive map shows sea levels locked in by different amounts of carbon pollution, according to recent scientific research. If we burn enough fossil fuels to heat the planet by 4°C—continuing a path of unchecked pollution—we could drown coastal cities worldwide. If we make a rapid transition to a global clean energy economy and achieve the main goal of the Paris Agreement, limiting warming to 2°C, some cities will be saved. If we go faster and further to achieve the most ambitious Paris goal, 1.5°C, the outlook improves dramatically. Still, it is sobering to map the challenges following after 1°C of warming, a level we have just passed. According to Climate Central’s analysis, 470 to 760 million people (central finding, 627 million) live on land that would be condemned by 4°C warming. The number drops by more than …
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Abandoned Boats: Do You Know One That Should Be Removed?

Abandoned and derelict vessels are a significant concern for coastal communities for economic, aesthetic, environmental and safety reasons. The Islands Trust advocates to the Province of British Columbia and the federal government for lasting solutions and funding for vessel removal. Islands Trust is creating an inventory of abandoned, derelict boats in the Islands Trust area for agencies applying for funding from Transport Canada’s new Abandoned Boats Program. Additional details on the Abandoned Boats Program are available in this presentation. As a land use planning agency, Islands Trust will not be removing boats. Removal of derelict vessels falls under multiple jurisdictions and requires coordinated efforts. That is why we are seeking your support to participate in a multi-agency response to derelict vessels in our region. Islands Trust wants to hear from you! Please fill out this form. Include as much detail as possible (colour, size, location coordinates and desc…
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Pharmasave: Helping to Keep the Flu at Bay

It’s that achy muscles, nasal drip, headache, sore throat, fever, fatigue time of year! For children, it’s more commonly the earache, nausea, vomiting time of year. Most of us are familiar with the flu blues. Despite our best efforts to keep our families healthy, the flu still gets into our schools, workplaces, and homes. Each year, many flu viruses go around, and they are constantly changing. Christine Steffich, the pharmacy manager at Downtown Pharmasave, commented that the 2016‒2017 flu was 42% effective. The percentage is at the low end of the highest range of efficacy―40 to 60%―for the vaccine. But even at only 42% efficacy, she added, it’s still known to reduce the risk of hospitalizations and deaths from flu-related illnesses. This year’s vaccine contains a different strain than last year’s combination in the hope that it will be more effective against the latest mutation of the virus. Although the statistics are different in Canada due to a less dense population, …
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Report: How Are Salt Spring's Vital Signs?

Think you know Salt Spring Island? For the past six months, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has been compiling VitalSigns®, a compelling report that looks under the covers of our little island and reveals some fascinating facts. The 24-page Vital Signs report explores 12 areas of special interest, including arts and culture, health and wellness, housing, the environment, seniors, work and the economy and more. It is being launched alongside reports from more than 35 other community foundations across the country participating in Vital Signs in 2017. Vital Signs is a national program coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action toward improving our quality of life. Started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001, today close to 100 communities around the world use Vital Signs to mobilize the power of community knowledge for local impact.
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Vital Signs Report Coming Soon!

The votes have been counted, the referendum arguments finally won or lost, and Salt Spring will go on going on. But how much do you really know about the place you call home? For the past six months, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has, with professional help, been compiling VitalSigns®, a compelling report that looks under the covers of our little island. There are 10,557 of us (at last count) and, truth be told, we’re toward the grey end of the scale. Our average age is 50.3 years old, but more than 40% of us are over 60. And we’re a responsible lot—76% of us turned out to vote in the provincial elections compared to a feeble 61% for the rest of the province. Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report isn’t just a simple survey. It is part of a national program led by local foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada. It uses local knowledge to measure the vitality of the community and will support action toward improving our quality of life. The 24-page re…
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