Centennial Park Master Plan Design Options

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has embarked on a community consultation process to inform a comprehensive update to the 1966 master plan for Centennial Park. The updated Master Plan will set a long term vision for Centennial Park and guide future operations, management and capital investment decisions. From the Roundtable meeting and Design Charette held earlier this year, three draft designs have been produced. (View all the design options below.) PARC is looking for community feedback on the draft designs to form a comprehensive update to the Centennial Park Master Plan. Feedback can be sent via email or in person at Portlock Park, 145 Vesuvius Bay Rd. Gathering input from you and other community stakeholders is essential for the CRD and its consultants to understand current park uses and issues, and begin to explore opportunities to enhance and revitalize this important public space. Thank you to all who have participated. Charette …
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Provincial Health Issues Warning Over Fentanyl Related Deaths

A significant increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths has prompted provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall to declare a public health emergency. This is the first time the provincial health officer has served notice under the Public Health Act to exercise emergency powers. B.C. is the first province to take this kind of action in response to the current public health crisis from drug overdoses. The action will allow medical health officers throughout the province to collect more robust, real-time information on overdoses in order to identify immediately where risks are arising and take proactive action to warn and protect people who use drugs. “The recent surge in overdoses is a huge concern for us,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We have to do what’s needed to prevent overdoses and deaths, and what’s needed is real-time information. Medical health officers need immediate access to what’s happening and where so they can deploy the necessary strategies to prev…
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Active Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Risk In Vesuvius Bay

The Pacific Shellfish Inspection - Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reporting an extremely high Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) risk in Pat Bay and Vesuvius Bay this week. There are very high levels of saxitoxins in Vesuvius Bay and Pat Bay currently. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have closed the areas to shellfish harvesting. However if an unaware member of the public recreationally obtains bivalve shellfish, they would be at high risk of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) occurs after eating toxin-containing bivalve shellfish. The toxins are produced by toxic marine dinoflagellates (a small algae) that are sometimes but not always associated with red tides. There are several species of dinoflagellates that can produce toxin and these includeAlexandrium spp, Pyrodinium bahamense var compressum, andGymnodinium catenatum. The main type of toxin associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning is saxitoxin. Saxitoxin is water-soluble…
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Local Organizations Work Together on Water Issues

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSILTC), the North Salt Spring Water Works District (the District) and the Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Authority (SSIWPA) will collaborate on finding solutions to potable water issues that balance the need for future development with the limited resources on the island. “Managing our limited water resource in a sustainable manner is a priority for the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee and we will work with all involved partners to find a lasting solution that is best for the community,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee. “We are fortunate on Salt Spring Island to have the NSSWD with a long history of water management and SSIWPA’s leadership to collaborate and manage what we have today and plan for what we need in the future.” The SSILTC recently commissioned and received a Water Conservation Demand and Management Plan (the Plan) with information about the potable water…
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Salt Spring Island Water Fair 2016

Water has long been the mode of transport, the giver of life and food, and the source of strength for all human and non-human life sharing the coastal rainforest bioregion of British Columbia. According to water researchers, flooding and droughts have become the “new normal” in much of B.C. as a result of a changing climate. Seasonal droughts in this region encourage the rare “Garry Oak” ecosystems, and many other features of this unique environment. Droughts also pose significant challenges to our human and built environment, and it is essential that communities work proactively to manage the water so that its abundance and quality strikes a balance. Fine tuning of water in our lifestyles is required. Water Fair 2016 is all about providing the Gulf Islands community with tools and knowledge to embrace and benefit from the ‘winter wet’ and the ‘summer dry’ conditions. Attend the Fair to gain access to a range of easy tools and technologies from pond and rainbarrel cons…
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Crofton Mill - Halalt First Nation Files Lawsuit

Halalt First Nation has filed Notices of Civil Claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Catalyst Paper, British Columbia and Canada to Protect Their Ancestral Lands from Dioxin Pollution On February 1, 2016, Halalt First Nation (“Halalt”) filed Notice of Civil Claim against British Columbia and Canada for their failure to protect Halalt’s Aboriginal Rights and title from the toxic effects of pollution from the Catalyst Paper Corporation’s Crofton Mill. According to Environment Canada documents, the Crofton Mill is the single most polluting pulp mill in British Columbia.Separate litigation was filed againist Catalyst Paper on January 22,2016 as a result of Catalyst Paper refusing to adopt technology that would drastically reduce the amount of air and water pollution generated by Crofton Mill. Halalt First Nation is not necessarily seeking closure of the Crofton Mill, but is determinded to engage with Catalyst Paper, Canada and British Columbia, to ensure t…
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Post-Quake Analysis

Following the recent earthquake in the area the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program (SSIEP) sent out an e-mail request to all POD and Neighbourhood Leaders to respond and provide a description of what they experienced with the earthquake.        PODS Who Responded: 30 out of 53 PODs reported in (57%) North (18 Responses): North End, Trincomali, Walker’s Hook, Vesuvius, Mobrae, Channel Ridge, Bullock, Fernwood, North Sunset, Duck Creek, Maliview Central (20 Responses): Churchill, Dukes, Ganges Village, Brinkworthy, Norton, Mount Belcher, Mount Maxwell, Ganges Hill, Cusheon Lake, Long Harbour, Mount Erskine South (19 Responses): Weston, Outer Beddis, Fulford, Stowell, Musgrave, Mount Tuam, Isabella, Beaver Point, Stewart Communications 59 POD and Neighbourhood leaders (17%) 8 non-leaders 88% responded within the first 16 hours (via email to SSIEPC) 2003 people received Facebook notification (only 2 responses received) Earthquak…
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Earthquake Hits Near Salt Spring

An earthquake with magnitude 4.8 (with some reports suggesting magnitude 4.9 and 5.1) occurred near Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada at 11:39:29 local Pacific time on December 29th, 2015. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.) The National Tsunami Warning Center has advised that no zones of coastal British Columbia are at risk from this event. Repeat, no zones of coastal British Columbia are at risk from this event. Nearby Cities 17km (11mi) NNE of Victoria, Canada 22km (14mi) NE of Langford, Canada 22km (14mi) NE of Colwood, Canada 38km (24mi) SE of Duncan, Canada 17km (11mi) NNE of Victoria, Canada Video: Earthquake hits Victoria and Surrounding Areas Captured on Security Cameras What is an earthquake? Earthquakes with magnitude of about 2.0 or less are usually called microearthquakes; they are not commonly felt by people and are generally recorded only on local seismographs. Events with magnitudes of about 4.5 or greater …
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Book Launch - The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan

You are invited 7:00 PM, November 3rd, 2015 to a book launch of Briony Penn’s newest book, The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan at Artspring. This book is an official biography of Ian McTaggart Cowan (1910–2010), who revolutionized the way North Americans understood the natural world and is known as the “father of Canadian ecology.” He was no stranger to the suppression of scientists or challenging pipelines – all before most of us were even born. He pioneered nature television in its very earliest days and later hired David Suzuki. From his formative years roaming the mountains around Vancouver looking for venison to his last years co-editing the voluminous and authoritative Birds of British Columbia, Cowan’s life provides a unique perspective on a century of environmental change—with a critical message for the future. Penn will be joined by Cowan’s former students, Bristol Foster and Bob Weeden, in an entertaining evening celebrating the life of …
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2015 Salt Spring Island Pride

What a beautiful day of beautiful people celebrating diversity on Salt Spring Island. There was a wonderful community turnout out today for the 2015 Salt Spring Island Pride Parade. Another very successful community gathering here on the island that drew many visitors and tourists to the island along with upcoming federal election hopefuls, Elizabeth May (Green Party) and Alicia Cormier (NDP). Here’s a sample of the day in time lapse video and photos from the parade. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/H-CJ5Y4mqm0
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We Didn't Win Kraft Project Play, But Oh What a Journey!

An incredible experience, it touched all corners of Salt Spring and brought our community together as rarely seen before. Everyone embraced the challenge with enthusiasm even though we didn't win the big prize. People of all ages and interests voted day and night, recruited their friends and relatives near and far, and spread the word in every possible direction. There are wonderful stories of distant friends of Salt Spring voting 1000's of times and 'robot' dances all being performed in our homes and businesses as we enjoyed helping the Island cause. Congratulations to Monroe Park for winning the $250,000 Grand Prize. If HEART could have won the contest, Salt Spring would have been the clear winner. Even if we didn't get the most votes, we have won $25,000 and the actual experience itself has been an incredible gift! What a great community we live in, be very proud.
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Salt Spring Salmon Receive $5,000

Project will support education and training - The Pacific Salmon Foundation today announced $5,000 for a Pacific salmon project on Quadra Island. The total value of the project including volunteer time and community fundraising is over $80,000. The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports habitat stewardship, Pacific salmon enhancement and watershed education, and is funded primarily from sales of the federal government’s Salmon Conservation Stamp. The project is by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, with the funds going towards its Wetland and Riparian Habitat Restoration project at Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve. “We are pleased to support the Salt Spring Island Conservancy because their project will help reduce erosion and improve coho salmon habitat,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports community groups, volunteers and First Nations across the province. All give co…
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Water, water—everywhere?

Sitting down with Ken Marr in the middle of the summer isn’t the easiest proposition. It’s high season for building projects on the island. As the shop has become a supplier for irrigation and rainwater collection equipment, it’s also the time when homeowners and businesses are making plans so they don’t get left high and dry. I sat down with Ken to learn more about why Windsor Plywood chose to support Transition Salt Spring’s 2015 Eco Living and Home Tour. The tour, taking place Sunday July 26th, offers islanders and visitors a chance to take in well-crafted examples of green building, renewable energy technologies, intensive high production greenhouses and, of particular interest in the midst of this drought, innovative rainwater collection and irrigation systems. What sorts of green building project are people interested in? “In the last 3-4 years we’ve definitely had more of a request for water storage, water collection and irrigation supplies. That has become i…
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Alert: Fire Danger and Drought Level Raised to Class 4

Salt Spring Island and the Gulf Islands as well as Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have all as of this afternoon been raised to both Fire Danger Class 4 and Drought Level 4. Level 4 is the highest level in the warning scale. No camp fires, no burning and please limit water consumption as appropriate. What the Danger Class Ratings mean: Low Fires may start easily and spread quickly but there will be minimal involvement of deeper fuel layers or larger fuels. Moderate Forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. Carry out any forest activities with caution. High Forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Open burning and industrial activities may be restricted. Extreme Extremely dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start ea…
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New Beginnings Start with Local Food

January is a time for new beginnings, whether it be a new exercise routine, a new hobby or class, a change in diet, or, in my case, an opportunity to write a monthly food column for the pleasure of your perusal. It is certainly a time to reflect on the past year and a time to look ahead to what’s to come. It’s also when we can sometimes wish we hadn’t eaten quite so much over the holidays. I think it’s best to accept your seasonal indulgences with great vigor and no remorse. Out with the old, in with the new! For many people who wish to reinvent themselves in the new beginning of the year, exercise is the starting point. I think physical fitness is important and everyone owes it to themselves to be responsible for taking care of their body. Along with physical conditioning, diet plays a vital role in the levels of success you can achieve. I am by no means a calorie counter; in fact, I do not restrict my food choices in any way to appease a dietary regime. My first and …
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Terry Fox Run - Running with Terry

It’s 7:00 a.m. and my family lays asleep in bed. The house is quiet apart from the sounding of my watch alarm. I try to sleep through it’s persistent beeping but as I restlessly roll over, something falls off the side of my bed with a thud. It’s the book I’ve been reading, “Terry Fox –His Story”, by Leslie Scrivener. I’m reminded why I’m meant to wake up. “Alright, Terry. Let’s go for a run”. I stretch out the kinks and wiggle my toes. My joints are stiff. “Where’s my oil can?” Terry can relate. Rain falls in heavy pellets. I hate the feel of wet clothes, squishy feet and squeaky shoes. Terry rolls his eyes. “Suck it up. Ever run through gale force winds, snowstorms and 38 degree heat?”. Starting off is slow. I whine, “My shins have been tender to the touch. My hips are tight. My ankles feel bruised”. “I know what you mean”, replies Terry empathetically. “My prosthetic is not fitting properly. The skin has been rubbed raw, the bone bruised. There ar…
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Emergency Reception Centre Exercise

RECEPTION CENTRE EXERCISE: SSI EMERGENCY SOCIAL SERVICES On Saturday, May 31st, while most island residents were outside enjoying the sunshine, a dedicated group of volunteers participated in a simulated Emergency Social Services event. Pretending that a wildfire had occurred in the Musgrave area of SSI, a Reception Centre was opened in the gym at Fulford School. The main purpose was to practice response to an emergency, but so much more was achieved. Building awareness of the realities associated with emergencies, building effective and co-ordinated teams and encouraging community support were some of the unpredictable outcomes. Community members volunteered to be evacuees. They role played a variety of possibilities. There was a displaced family, a grandmother whose grand-daughters were missing, people who had seen their homes collapse & pets gone, and injured people. Some evacuees offered to join the ranks of volunteers, and needed direction to be helpful. The…
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Bike to Work Week - Try It, You’ll Like It!

Active transportation: cycling, walking, running, using a mobility aid. Because May 26 – June 1 is “Bike to Work” week, but any time is a good time to get out of your car and get to where you’re going under your own steam. Bike to Work Week serves to raise awareness and provides an ideal time for people to try active transportation for their first time. To register, go to www.biketowork.ca . Under “communities” choose “Salt Spring and other Gulf Islands” and follow the prompts from there. Any problems or ideas: just get in touch with Jan (local BtWW coordinator) at janslakov@shaw.ca . There are lots of ways to participate even if you don’t use active transportation. For instance, come to the “Happy Pathday” appreciation event for the new pathway along Lower Ganges Road: Saturday, May 24, 11 AM at the bus stop across from Country Grocer. Instead of driving around Ganges looking for a spot to park, leave your car where there’s more parking and enjoy the walk into town…
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Rotary Christmas Wish

Rotarians around the world, including the Salt Spring Island Rotary Club, have all worked hard and been very good this year. We deserve lots and lots of presents. We only want one gift, dear Santa; help to prevent all children in the world from suffering from polio. Santa, you know we have worked hard to stop polio since 1985 and we have been 99 % successful! We saved more than 10 million children from crippling paralysis. We immunised over 2.5 billion children. We eradicated polio in all but 3 countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria & Pakistan. Our progress to the end goal, though, is at risk when the polio virus in these countries is imported to formerly polio free countries. Imagine, Santa, our horror with the news on October 24th, 2013, World Polio Day, when we learned of the outbreak of polio in Syria. Syria had been polio free since 1999. The civil war in Syria meant many children under the age of 2 were not vaccinated against polio. Now the polio virus is …
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