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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Fall Classes with the Seven Stars Tai Chi Club

The Seven Stars Tai Chi Club operates out of a studio located in a cozy grove of cedars here on Salt Spring Island. In fact, it’s in my neighbourhood. After 12 years of yoga and yoga therapy, 3 years of sitting meditation, 4 years hunched over a computer, and 1 year of karate, I was looking for a fluid meditative practice that involved not sitting and that had a martial arts aspect. I felt incredibly fortunate to discover the Tai Chi Club literally right down the road. Not only has the teacher Osman Phillips been practicing and teaching for over 35 years, he also has students who have been practicing with him since he started teaching in Canada over 20 years ago. This will be my second year learning at Seven Stars, but things are slightly changing there. Rumi Kanesaka and Tim Hayes, two of Osman’s long-time students, who have developed their own expertise, are teaching classes. Thursdays Rumi, who has studied tai chi and qigong in China and elsewhere, teaches the Th…
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CRD Land Purchase Connects Trincomali Heights with Dunbabin Park

The Capital Regional District (CRD) has purchased three lots totaling three acres (1.21 hectares) for park purposes off of Stark's Road on Salt Spring Island. The lots have been purchased through the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) Park Land Acquisition Fund for $34,500. “The acquisition not only connects two trail networks but also expands Dunbabin Park to include large cedars and firs, making it a beautiful addition to our parks and trail system,” said Wayne McIntyre, CRD Electoral Area Director. Connecting Trincomali Heights with Dunbabin Park has been attempted multiple times since 2003, with staff and volunteers attempting to connect the Trincomali Heights trail to Starks Road through statutory right of ways. The lot purchase takes advantage of an opportunity to join two trail networks that were separated by private properties. With the land acquisition complete, PARC will work with surrounding residents and trail enthusiasts to develop a…
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Latest Deployment News from Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue

British Columbia is facing historic fire conditions and extremely hot dry weather. The fires burning in the Cariboo and other regions are still very active and concerning to all. For the past four weeks members of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue have been helping in the fight against these raging fires. Members are working a minimum of eight days under the direction of the Office of the Fire Commissioner then are rotated out. Today August 4th at 06:00 we sent up our fourth replacement crew to relieve Firefighters Jason Gaffney and Dustin Bean. Lieutenant Cody Hunsberger and Firefighter Ben Westlake are en route today to lend aide in the wildfire suppression efforts. We are already planning our 5th deployment team for next week as we see that fire conditions are not improving. Since our first deployment July 12th 2017 our crews have been operating out of Williams Lake, Soda Creek, and Springfield. Our SSIFR crews have been working alongside numerous other BC Fire Department…
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Swimmer Aims to Swim Around Salt Spring to Protect the Salish Sea

Against all odds, Rama DelaRosa takes the plunge to fundraise for Indigenous legal challenges to the Kinder Morgan pipeline ~ A Salt Spring woman is committed to stretch the limits of human capacity in the hope to improve the health of our ocean waters. Athlete and activist Rama DelaRosa is fiercely determined to protect this coast and uphold Indigenous rights. During the week of August 1st, Delarosa plans to swim around the entire perimeter of Salt Spring Island to raise money for the Pull Together campaign. Says Delarosa: "I am in love with the Salish Sea! This swim is all about putting that love into action to create lasting change, real change, so that one day when future generations are showing their grandchildren a pod of orcas breaching they can think of me and all the people who came together at a critical time in history and saved our oceans from calamity.” Funds raised will go to the legal challenges of the Tsleil Wautuh, Coldwater, and Squamish First Nations, …
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Tiny Homes, Big Dreams: Transition Salt Spring Eco-Living & Home Tour

Nestled in the trees, a miniature home sits on wheels like a modern-day gypsy caravan. But this is no camper: it’s a tiny home, fitted with fine West Coast craftsmanship, to scale. Built by Salt Spring Eco Homes, the home is one of a dozen innovative ‘properties’ being showcased this Sunday, July 30th on the biennial Salt Spring Eco Living and Home Tour. Visitors will discover homeowners with a passion for conservation. See water storage solutions, composting toilets, induction cooktops and clever uses of recycled and unusual building materials. Who knew you could make cabinets out of pressed sunflower hulls? The featured homes, while whimsical, have both style and substance. See how passive solar design is being used to reduce heating costs, and check out the ingenious use of living rooftops for beauty and insulative function. The tour, sponsored by Windsor Plywood and Motorize Auto Direct, includes two sites dedicated to innovation in greenhouse agriculture. Loopi…
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An Oasis from Modern Living?

Many of us live on Salt Spring in hopes of experiencing a bit of an oasis from the intensity of modern living. That can happen. And, pain and stressful challenges also happen-- in our private lives and throughout our community. In addition, we may carry a heavy awareness of the precarious condition of our planet. Our land, ocean, climate, politics, social issues, economics-- the whole jumble can leave us feeling subtly or severely hopeless about the present and the future. When we feel that way, we are not able to pro-actively do things that may contribute to positive change on any level: Hopelessness and action don't “wire and fire” together. So what can help us mobilize? We have to start somewhere. That somewhere begins with ourselves. Julie Andrews was on to something when she sang: “I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad…” Julie is referring to personal resources: things that evoke a feeling of safety and promote a sense of well-being. I am g…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Launches Vital Signs® Survey

What do you love about living on Salt Spring? What would make your life better? The Salt Spring Island Foundation is inviting all local residents to complete Salt Spring’s Vital Signs® 2017 survey. A crucial part of the Vital Signs community consultation process, the survey seeks local opinion on quality-of-life areas to be included in Salt Spring’s first-ever Vital Signs report, such as community belonging, health and wellness, housing, arts and culture, learning, seniors, the environment, work and employment, and sports and recreation. Vital Signs will combine statistical analysis with valuable local insights into community strengths and challenges in a comprehensive and highly readable report, to be published in October 2017. The report will present a unique snapshot of the island and the people who live here. Experience in other communities across Canada has shown that the Vital Signs report is an important discussion piece, providing much-needed clarity around curren…
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Bike Club's Preliminary Family Bike Park Proposal

The Salt Spring Bike Club is seeking support from PARC, community members, agencies and businesses to envision, plan and built a family bike park on Salt Spring Island. Their club has spent considerable time listening to local residents to better understand the needs and hopes of young bike riders and their families. The club has also looked beyond Salt Spring Island to learn from the experiences of other small communities. They are wholly impressed with the benefits of a family bike park offers and are motivated to bring these positive impacts to Salt Spring Island. They are currently in the early planning stage and are looking for logistical and financial assistance to secure land, and develop an approach to design, build and maintain the park. Read the full proposal.
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Invites Community to Vital Signs® Open House

What do you love about living on Salt Spring? What challenges do you face? What local issues would you like to see highlighted in Salt Spring’s first Vital Signs report? On March 2, the Salt Spring Island Foundation is hosting a Vital Signs Open House at the library program room from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Vital Signs is an important initiative that will present a unique snapshot of the island and the people who live here. As an important part of the Vital Signs community consultation process, the Open House will give islanders a chance to have their say on issue areas to be included in Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report, such as health and wellness, housing, arts and culture, learning, seniors, the environment, work and employment, sports and recreation, and other areas identified as relevant to our community. Through a combination of data review and comparative analysis, Salt Spring’s Vital Signs will offer valuable insights into community strengths and challenges in a com…
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