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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Maps: Health & Emergency Services

Wanted everyone to know about a new project here at Salt Spring Exchange. Over the coming weeks and months we will be launching a series of maps so that our community and visitors are aware of the locations of key community resources. We have a bunch of really great maps planned but here is the launch of our first. This one we're calling Health & Emergency Services map and it contains all locations of our local firehalls, police station and most importantly, locations of all our automated external defibrillators in the event of heart attack emergency. Take a look at the interactive map and click on the icons for additional information. Have a safe and happy weekend: Christopher Roy Founder | Account Director Salt Spring Exchange
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Car Crash - Singh Family Trust - Please Give

As you would likely have heard by now, there was a devastating accident yesterday that claimed the life of a local child. Her mother and sister are still listed in critical condition. The Singh Family Trust has been established at Island Savings Credit Union in downtown Ganges to support the family following yesterday’s devastating automobile accident. The trust will aid in supporting the family during this time of loss and healing. Thank you for your generous contributions. In addition, you can now donate online using the services of local crowdsourcing service ShareSpring. This is our opportunity to step in as a community and ensure that at least they might not have to worry about their finances and the considerable costs of recovery. We do not know if a fund has been setup for the other driver involved in this accident at this time, but we will share information as we learn more about how to support him as well. Also, we graciously thank all those emergency respo…
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Toxic Algea Alert - St. Mary's Lake

The attached Advisory Notice has been issued by VIHA on March 7th, 2013, indicating that toxic algae may be present within St. Mary's Lake. Please read the notice and for further information contact www.viha.ca. VIHA informed resorts that beaches will be posted due to microcystin exceeding 20 micrograms/liter mostly directed at the boating and fishing community because swimming season will not commence for a few months.
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Spring Forward this Weekend

On Sunday, March 10 at 2 am, most Canadians will move their clocks forward an hour as we transition from Standard Time to Daylight Time. Although it means a lost hour of sleep, it's also a sign that the spring season is near. This change in time was first implemented as a way to save energy. By moving the clock ahead by one hour in the spring, it changes a person's daily schedule and allows them to use less power and light during the evening hours. With increasing darkness during the fall and winter months, areas return to Standard Time at 2 am on the first Sunday of November. Since the late 1960's Saskatchewan has not observed Daylight Time and remains on Standard Time all year round. As you move your clock ahead one hour, officials say it's best to change your smoke alarm batteries at the same time. “Smoke alarms double your chances of surviving a fire," says Carol Heller, a home fire safety specialist. "That's why it's so important to never tamper with the bat…
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Eight Thousand Fans of Salt Spring Island

While we've been beavering away here this winter on new projects like the Salt Spring Calendar, the Exchange quietly passed another fan milestone on Facebook. Eight thousand+ people are now following the journey of stories, news, events, listings and photos that are published on Facebook. In celebration, we're sharing a photo from one our fans. Just one beautiful image of this beautiful island in thank you for being part of the Salt Spring Exchange. Thank you to our 8,000+ fans, who now join the 4,000 people who use the Exchange every day. Under the clouds, the sunrise - Photo by Susan Edison.

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Plotting the Green Industrial Revolution

If the industrial revolution evokes images of coal and iron, factories and railways, what does the “green industrial revolution” bring to mind? Marc Lee, Senior Economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) will discuss just that, at a Salt Spring Forum event on Feb. 15th at ArtSpring. Salt Spring Islanders will have heard Marc Lee on CBC Radio’s Early Edition as part of the regular business panel. Or read his frequent articles in the Vancouver Sun and Victoria Times Colomnist. Or studied the literally 100s of research reports that he has produced during his fourteen years with the CCPA, where he tracks budgets and economic trends and analyzes core policy policy issues, ranging from poverty, to globalization, to energy, tax and transportation. They might even know him as the Chair of the Progressive Economics Forum, or the co-Chair of the Climate Justice Project, a $1 million research partnership between the CCPA and UBC. Marc Lee’s approach will c…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Grants $50,000 to Local Organizations

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce the recent approval of approximately $50,000 in grants to 10 organizations. Many of the projects funded address the most critical needs identified by islanders in the Foundation’s 2012 Community Needs Survey. Since 1984, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has granted more than $1.3 million to local registered charities. Every year, the Foundation invests in our community through its Community Endowment Fund, which was developed and continues to grow through donations and bequests from residents and friends of Salt Spring Island. Over $120,000 is distributed annually through grants to a wide range of Salt Spring not-for-profit organizations. Arthritis Society (BC and Yukon Division) To help fund a free arthritis information program to be held on Salt Spring Island. Beacon Community Services For the Salt Spring Island Best Babies program, which supports young mothers by providing information and resources aimed at…
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Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee to host special meeting to review stream maps

Salt Spring Island – The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee has been working since 2010 to comply with BC legislation aimed at protecting and restoring BC’s fish habitat, improving riparian protection and enhancement, and providing stronger local government powers in environmental planning. Within this legislation is the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) under which local governments are required to protect the features, functions, and conditions that are vital in the natural maintenance of stream health and productivity for fish habitat, potential fish habitat, and streams that carry water to them. In short, compliance with the RAR is contingent upon the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee amending their bylaws to include riparian area protection provisions. The implementation of the RAR in the Trust Area had been delayed principally due to issues with identifying watercourses that are subject to the RAR and in accurately mapping those watercourses. The Islands Tru…
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Salt Spring Indoor Tennis 'Centre Court' Now Complete

The Salt Spring Tennis Association (SSTA) is proud to announce that the construction of a permanent indoor tennis facility “Centre Court” is now complete. We invite everyone to the Open House on Saturday August 18th from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at 805 Lower Ganges Rd, behind the driving range at the Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club (SSIGC). We will be celebrating with cake and refreshments and everyone wearing the appropriate, non-marking, footwear will have an opportunity to go on the tennis court and hits balls against the ball machine. We are truly proud of this new island facility - open to everyone at equal cost. We could not have accomplished it without the support of many local individuals and businesses. We look forward to formally thanking all of you that contributed to our success. At this time we want to thank the executive of the SSIGC as well as Norm Elliott, owner of Permasteel, and Ken Byron of Ken Byron Excavating. After the Open House, the facility will be…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Spring 2012 Grants

Did you know that since 1984, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has granted more than $1.2 million to over 70 local registered charities? Every year, the Foundation invests in our community through its Community Endowment Fund, which was developed and continues to grow through donations and bequests from residents and friends of Salt Spring Island. Over $100,000 is distributed annually through grants to a wide range of not-for-profit organizations. The Foundation is pleased to announce the recent approval of approximately $44,000 for 10 projects. Beaver Point Hall Society To provide a generator for the hall for emergency preparedness. This grant was made possible by a bequest from the Shaw family. Island Natural Growers For fencing for the Rainbow Road Park Allotment Gardens, which provide approximately 40 garden plots to islanders. Island Farmers Institute Foundation To create additional storage space at the Bittancourt Museum. Island Pathways For improvemen…
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