2021 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered this year's Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest! Over 160+ people entered the contest this year! Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love, or in your 90's with a twinkle in your eye whenever you see each other, whether you’ve taken your “flirt” down a few notches over the years or you’ve taken your flirt up a few notches, we appreciate your sharing it with you community! Our prizes this year were, one 'Grand Prize' of a $200 dinner for two at Auntie Pestos, two 'Runners Up' will receive a ‘Love in a Bubble’ Gift Basket from Country Grocer which will include several bubbly things and remember Country Grocer has flowers, chocolates, gifts, cards and more to spoil your special Valentine! Here are all the entries received! Scroll down to the bottom to find out if you won! The winners are... 1st Place: Valentine's Dinner for two at Auntie Pestos. ($200 value) plus a beautiful Valentines Bouq…
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Obituary: David Grayson

David Keith Grayson passed away peacefully at his home on Salt Spring Island, January 10, 2021. His parents were Keith and Gwendolyn Grayson of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. David was born on February 9, 1949, and enjoyed a happy childhood with his parents and brother, John, on their waterfront acreage on Buffalo Lake, near Moose Jaw. It was a life filled with sailing, swimming, horses, and riding on the Canadian prairie. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, David attended a Teacher Training Course in Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1973. His greatest joy was teaching TM and working on meditation projects around the world for 48 years. A man of refined taste in both art and music, he was a connoisseur of beauty. Throughout his life, he enjoyed collecting contemporary and heritage art and in the early 1980s, together with his wife Carolyn, opened a fine art gallery in Calgary specializing in corporate collections. His other great passion, from childhood on…
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Safety Concerns Regarding Musgrave Road

I am writing this letter to express our community’s concern over the extremely dangerous conditions on the 11.3 km of Musgrave Road. In fact, I have been writing letters since 2014 expressing my concerns and requesting that a multi-year plan be implemented to bring this road up to its safety standard. This is a Class 6 public road that falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), who contracts out the maintenance work to private maintenance contractors. The current contractor is Emcon Services Inc. and previously it was Mainroad South Island Contracting Ltd. These are the people responsible for the condition of this road. Based on an independent study of all Salt Spring Island roads, this one was the worst; the next lowest road rating was approximately 5 times higher. Musgrave Road is a terrible road and desperately needs work. At the top of MOTI’s webpage is the following statement: The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastru…
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ASK Salt Spring Economic Development, Burgoyne Trails, ICBC Rebates and More with MLA Adam Olsen

Twenty-three gathered via Zoom to welcome MLA Adam Olsen and his staff to listen and learn about the issues that matter most to them. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement, we asked Adam to begin by sharing what was on his mind. Seeking to identify those things that excite and delight him, he spoke with enthusiasm of finally being able to be in his legislative office, the lovely old wainscoting making a satisfying background for this Zoom gathering. He also shared his enthusiasm for the new, street-level, Sidney office he will soon occupy. Across from Tanners Books, it is a new building that is estimated to be complete by April. He is looking forward to being back in the Legislature March 1 and to begin debating the budget, postponed from its normal February timeline. He spoke of drafting the long-anticipated Private Members Bill on tree-cutting on the Southern Gulf Islands. The bill will not necessarily prohibit logging but will add default protections and give t…
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Extreme Cold Warning, Pruning and Starting Seeds

As the cold outbreak has developed over the weekend, the forecast now for some parts of the coast are for lows down to -7 to -12oC (10-20oF) by Wednesday night. This is much, much colder than our usual Arctic outbreak and well into damaging range for many of our coastal gardens plants. There doesn’t appear to be any significant snowfall in the forecast that would provide valuable insulation. So today, beef up your insulation on all above-ground vegetables, even the hardiest ones we don’t usually worry about; kale, hardy leeks, Brussels sprouts, as they would be damaged at these lows. If possible, pile on more leaf mulch around plants and then cover with tarps, plastic sheets, old blankets, etc. Unfortunately, because it has been so mild this winter, some plants are at greater risk of cold injury now because they have started to grow. Artichokes are especially vulnerable so pile the mulch back over the crowns of plants and add an extra covering (e.g., tarp or very large pot …
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Affordable Housing - Shifting from Study to Action

In a post published on January 22, 2021, I wrote that I wasn’t able to locate any information about the “Housing Challenges and Solutions Planning Project” on the Islands Trust website. Ten days later, an open letter from Trustee Laura Patrick appeared on the Salt Spring Exchange: “I’m pleased to report that progress is being made towards tackling the affordable housing issue on Salt Spring. The Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) has just approved a bold new Housing Action Program, and I’m confident it will finally put us on the right path to a solution”. Full of excitement, I followed the link mentioned in Laura’s post, and there it was: The Salt Spring Island Housing Action Program!! My excitement didn’t last long, as I soon realized that the word ‘ACTION’ used in the name of the project was a misnomer. Instead of action, which is defined as: a thing done; an act, the project is merely a ‘study’ , a detailed investigation and analysis of a subje…
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Obituary: Nancy Braithwaite

Nancy Braithwaite, September 29 1928 – January 27 2021 Three words to describe Nancy B. Social, Witty & Endearing Nancy was born in Victoria BC in 1928 and spent her childhood on Salt Spring Island at Beaver Point with her grandmother, artist, Maud Weaver-Bridgman. After traveling and working in Europe, she moved back permanently to Salt Spring nearly 40 years ago, where she met her husband Roy Braithwaite who was an island oyster farmer and named his boat The Fancy Nancy. She had a fierce love of animals including her furry friend Bracken, a rescued golden retriever, who enjoyed walks and wandering her beloved Trincomali property with her. And Nancy's many other four-legged friends were Nipper, Tinker, Brooke and Indie. Nancy enjoyed skiing in her younger years, an outdoors enthusiast with a great love of all wildlife and an avid reader of many books on the subject as birds were one of her keenest interests. Nancy was a philanthropist and well known in the c…
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ASK Salt Spring Explores Soon-To-Be-Released Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0

Seventeen gathered via Zoom, welcoming some of the many authors of our soon-to-be-released Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0. We celebrated the completion of this audacious plan, taking thousand of hours of volunteer work researching and writing as well as outreach to over 2,000 members of our community, government officials, and a wide variety of local nonprofits. Darryl Martin (Chair) joined us as well as authors Simon Wheeler, Peter Lamb, and Jim Standen. We learned that it is a long document - over 100 pages - but that segments are downloadable separately. This will allow readers to begin by selecting only, for example, the Executive Summary (a mere five pages) and then proceeding to download chapters of most interest to them. Even this segmenting strategy may not work for all as one participant said, I will not read the entire report: Just give me the 10 things that I need to do! The plan will be available within the next few weeks. The conversation began with transporta…
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Working Together to Solve the Housing Crisis

I’m pleased to report that progress is being made towards tackling the affordable housing issue on Salt Spring. The Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) has just approved a bold new Housing Action Program, and I’m confident it will finally put us on the right path to a solution. The LTC which is made up of your locally elected representatives, like me, is ready and willing to provide leadership in meeting the housing needs of residents. Most crucially, if we are to make any headway, it is imperative that we start with providing more certainty to housing providers and developers, property owners, and residents, with clear, consistent, detailed policies and guidelines. Addressing the housing challenges that took decades to emerge will not be easy or quick, but we can prioritize action on solutions that address urgent housing needs.  All of our decisions should be fair and well-balanced, and rooted in solid environmental, economic and social equity …
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2021 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest

Thank you to those of you who entered! The contest is now closed. Stay tuned for the winners announcement shortly here on the Exchange! Join Country Grocer in celebrating love on Salt Spring Island for Valentine's Day! Enter our ‘Love in a Bubble!' photo contest for a chance to win one of three wonderful prizes to help you celebrate your love. To enter the contest, all you have to do is upload a photo of you and your sweetheart using the form below. Show us your love! Check out last year's entries for inspiration! Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love, or in your 90's with a twinkle in your eye whenever you see each other, whether you’ve taken your “flirt” down a few notches over the years or you’ve taken your flirt up a few notches, share it with your community! Check out the entries submitted so far below! Country Grocer has generously donated prizes again this year and you now have a chance to win: One 'Grand Prize' of a $200 Dinner for Two at Aun…
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DNA Confirms Identity of Human Remains, Found on Saturna and Buried on Salt Spring Island, as Interior Man Missing for Decades

BC RCMP and the BC Coroners Service continue to see results in their partnership reviewing and revisiting historical missing person’s cases, with yet another missing person case that dates back to 1967 now solved through DNA profiling. In May 2021 it would have been 54 years since the unexplained disappearance of a man from the BC Interior, who was last seen in Coquitlam BC on May 27, 1967. The man’s family reported his disappearance to their local police in Kamloops who launched an investigation, which spanned decades. The man was just 41 years of age at the time he disappeared. According to investigative reports, on August 20, 1972 unidentified human remains were recovered on a beach of Saturna Island, which is part of the Canadian Gulf Islands, within the Strait of Georgia off the coast of the BC Lower Mainland. An identity was not established, despite an autopsy of those remains in the 70s. Those remains were buried on Salt Spring Island, until their exhumation in Sep…
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Ask Salt Spring: Role of Restorative Justice in Our Community

After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, 13 ASK Salt Spring participants welcomed Restorative Justice volunteers Darlene Gage and Laura Defoe. Also Zooming about with us was our new RCMP Sargent, Clive Seabrook. We all also welcomed his participation in our conversation. We began by learning about Restorative Justice (RJ) and its exciting potential to help address the oft-discussed issues of safety in our community. Based on indigenous principles, RJ seeks a system of restoration rather than punishment. RJ volunteers work to restore a relationship between the responsible person (often seen in our culture as the “offender") and the affected person (often viewed as the “victim".) We learned that RJ has been a volunteer-driven initiative on Salt Spring for over 20 years and may be the longest running program you have never heard of, according to Darlene. There are over 90 RJ branches throughout British Columbia with a large number of programs on Vancouver Island and ev…
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Obituary: Jason Matthew Bruce

January 31, 1974 - January 18, 2021 - Jason Matthew Bruce (Swami Prem Deepak) passed unexpectedly, but peacefully, in Ottawa, ON on January 18th, 2021 of natural causes. Our beloved Jason left us far too soon. We are all heartbroken. Jason is mourned by his mother, Deborah Hanscom, his stepmother Amrita Bruce, fathers, Allan Bruce of Salt Spring Island and Allan Rock, his extended family of a sister and brothers; Julian Bruce (Serena), Lauren Rock, Andrew Rock (Jane) and Steven Rock (Jenna) and by Wenke Schliemann whom he loved deeply. Jason was a kind, and caring person with a big heart and a friendly smile for everyone. He confronted his challenges with courage and character. What deepens our sadness at his loss, was the joy he gave to others through his playful nature, his loyal friendship and his trusting way. Jason’s gentle soul was not equipped to confront the harsher challenges of life and he struggled to find a place for himself in this tumultuous world. His death leav…
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Tiny Homes – The Solution to Homelessness on Salt Spring Island?

I've been researching and writing about homelessness for many years, and have looked at the issue while traveling throughout Europe and Canada, as well as here on Salt Spring. In my post, written two years ago, I ask a number of important questions, including: Why can't we use innovative and creative ideas to create alternative housing here on Salt Spring? Why not look at what other communities have done to assist their formerly homeless residents to create community and innovative solutions to homelessness? Are tiny homes a solution to homelessness on Salt Spring Island? Both of our local trustees mentioned tiny homes in the report from the January 19, 2021 Islands Trust Zoom meeting. Peter Grove would like it to be easier for tiny homes to be built on Salt Spring, but he also noted that there are examples of tiny home communities that are not working out as expected. Surprising to some, we also learned that there are almost no successful tiny home communities in British…
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COVID-19: B.C.'s Four Phase Immunization Plan

British Columbians are a step closer to receiving their COVID-19 immunizations, with additional details and timelines released for the largest and most complex immunization plan to ever roll out in B.C. Premier John Horgan; Adrian Dix, Minister of Health; Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer; and Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts; announced details of the next phases in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan. The plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all in extremely difficult ways,” Premier Horgan said. “Together, we have faced this pandemic with strength, courage and compassion, and we are starting to feel optimistic that, one day, COVID-19 will be in our rear view. At every step, our plan puts the health and safety of our most vulnerable people at the centre, and when i…
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Obituary: Willem Adriaan Blom (Wim Blom)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dearest friend Wim Blom (Willem Adriaan Blom). Wim passed peacefully on the 18th of January 2021 at the age of 93. His work is represented in public collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the South African National Gallery, in numerous corporate collections and in private collections in Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.A. In Duvah Park, Witbank, South Africa, a street was named in honor of Wim. (Wim Blom straat) EDUCATION: B.A. Hons., M.A., University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; University of Perugia, Italy; Studied painting, Florence, Italy; Studied graphic techniques, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Canada; Studied lithography, Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. APPOINTMENTS: Lec…
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COVID-19: Vaccination Availability on Salt Spring Island

As you will have heard on the news, vaccinations against COVID-19 are now underway in BC, and that includes Salt Spring Island. Residents of our care facilities have received vaccinations and front line health care workers are currently being vaccinated. This offers us a ray of hope that we are starting to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provincial government has laid out a strategy and timeline for vaccinations based on priority populations and risk groups with the dual aim of reducing the risk of community spread of the virus and ultimately providing immunity to all individuals who want to be vaccinated. Information on the provincial strategy for vaccine rollout, of which Island Health is a participant, can be found online. Please be advised that the COVID-19 vaccine is not available for everyone at this time. The first doses are being provided to those most at risk, starting with elderly residents in long-term care facilities and staff who care for them, as well…
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Salt Spring RCMP Contact Explosive Disposal Unit for Suspicious Device Found in Local Park

UPDATE: January 20, 2021 at 5:28PM - Salt Spring RCMP have confirmed that the device has been destroyed. It was determined not to be explosive. The area is now clear. On January 20, 2021 the Salt Spring RCMP were contacted by a concerned citizen about an item left in Drummond Park. The cylindrical shaped device raised the suspicion of the passerby, and they immediately reported it to the police. Salt Spring RCMP frontline members arrived on scene and could not determine the nature of the device, and contacted the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) for their expertise. Through their consultation and reviewing photos of the item, it was determined that the area be made safe by removing anyone nearby while the EDU members make their way to Salt Spring Island to examine and if necessary make it safe. A local resident saw this suspicious device at the north end of Drummond Park, and did the right thing by calling the RCMP immediately said Salt Spring RCMP Detachment C…
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MLA Adam Olsen Supports Acquisition of Mt. Erskine Connector Trail

Salt Spring's Trail and Nature Club is working with BC Parks to acquire a piece of land on Mt. Erskine to protect a very popular 6 kilometre trail from Collins Road to Toynbee Road. I am pleased to support this acquisition as part of the development and expansion of our province’s beautiful park system. In addition to securing the trail corridor, incorporating this land into the provincial park will provide access to several beautiful viewpoints and potential picnic sites. The trail winds through forest that includes many pine trees, stands of Coastal Douglas Fir, and arbutus. As a trail already exists on this piece of land, no new trail construction will be required. BC Parks had the land professionally appraised, contracted with the landowner to buy it, and will cover most of the related survey and legal costs. Although the BC Parks Foundation is collecting donations and issuing tax receipts, the Salt Spring Island community is responsible for raising the funds to pu…
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ASK Salt Spring: Francis Bread Trying To Remain Operational During Rezoning Application

We were lucky enough to have both Islands Trustees as special guests at this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering, with Peter Grove joining fifteen of us for the entire time, and Laura Patrick joining us at about 12:30. While Francis Bread took the spotlight for much of the gathering, we also learned about Islands Trust challenges, logging, and housing restrictions and opportunities. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement, Peter began by sharing some of his thoughts and concerns. He expressed his horror with the events rocking our neighbor to the south and his deep, on-going concerns about COVID. These terrible dramas have forced us to recognize what is really important in our lives. He had read the ASK Salt Spring report from Gary Holman’s visit last week and asked us to recognize how hard Gary is working on so many fronts to address our local needs. And, to recognize how much he is accomplishing. Peter then briefly addressed some Local Trust Committee issues, primar…
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Obituary: Hans Plambeck

Passed on January 15th,2021 at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island. Hans was born October 13the, 1946 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hans and his family officially moved to Canada in 1957. He spent time in Calgary, Salt Spring Island, New Brunswick, Victoria, and Chetwynd, BC. Hans was an accomplished carpenter and artist. Hans has left behind his children Kristian (Tamara), Stephanie (Robert) Jennifer (Colton), grandchildren Ethan, Maddison, Alexis, Elizabeth, Alexander, Cash, Nicolas and Carter Lynn. Pre-deceased by son Ryan. In lieu of flowers have a danish and remember Hans as the man he was.
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