In the Works at Ruckle Heritage Farm

Finally, work in-progress since 2018 in the public area of Ruckle farm is starting to show -- modestly yet, but more and better is on its way. What’s up? Six new interpretive signs were unveiled in late September, in the kiosk opposite the barn, a Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage (FRPH) project, with thanks to funding from the Salt Spring Foundation and many historic images from the Archives, who hosted the launch. The sign information makes clear that Ruckle farm was a bustling hub for long decades, with 150 years to celebrate in the summer of 2022. Two other grant projects are also underway.. A Park Enhancement Fund grant ($900) + FRPH funds ($100) are paying for flower bulbs, flowering perennials, and related supplies, which dedicated volunteer gardeners are planting by the Henry Ruckle house -- the white one past the barn and oldest on the farm, built in the mid-1870. Lotus kept beautiful blooms around the place, until she and family moved in 1967 to Uncle Alfre…
Read more about In the Works at Ruckle Heritage Farm

ASK Salt Spring Updates on Local Roads and Provincial Election

For the second week in a row, the number of participants was lower than usual (eight this week as well), but, given pandemic concerns, the small number provided the perfect intimate - but socially distanced - gathering in the idyllic Foxglove Nursery Greenhouse. Nestled among the ferns on a clear, cold day with all the huge doors open for maximum ventilation, all appreciated the perfect setting - both lovely as well as one of the safest possible indoor gathering spots on Salt Spring. While our Fridays under the apple trees in the United Church Meadow were spectacular, participants expressed joy that such a perfect winter location had been offered to us. (A heartfelt thank-you, Foxglove!) For the first time in all the ASK Salt Spring weekly gatherings, we did not welcome a special guest. Instead, all of us were special, and we each had plenty of time to ask questions of each other, listen to answers, and participate in lively conversation about a wide variety of topics, inclu…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring Updates on Local Roads and Provincial Election

Watch: Take a Tour of the Newest Section of Multi-Use Pathway at Central

The Salt Spring Transportation Commission continues to make progress extending the multi-use path along Lower Ganges Road. Once completed, this new section now open to the public will extend from Baker Road to Vesuvius Road completing the first phase of this particular section of pathway. Phase two of this latest round of trail work will, when complete, connect the section from Booth Canal Road to Baker Road. Once that section is complete, it will be possible, using a combination of pathways and sidewalks, to safely walk all the way from Ganges to Central on a separate, protected, pedestrian trail connecting into the sidewalks and bike paths of the soon to be complete North Ganges Transportation Plan Project. https://youtu.be/8c53UVRipo8
Read more about Watch: Take a Tour of the Newest Section of Multi-Use Pathway at Central

Protecting the Coastal Douglas-Fir Zone and Its Associated Ecosystems Benefits Us All

Every single one of us who lives, visits, works and plays on Salt Spring Island depends on the health of our island ecosystems, and the health of these ecosystems depends on all of us. That’s why the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) has implemented a proactive planning project called “Protecting the Coastal Douglas-fir Zone and Associated Ecosystems.” You are invited to an online community information meeting on Thursday November 5th at 6:30 PM to learn more about this planning project. The meeting will mark the beginning of an extensive community engagement process about how best to maintain the health and rich diversity of the island’s precious forest ecosystems for the benefit of all of us. At this meeting we will learn about the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) zone and its associated ecosystems and why it is important to protect them. The Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) zone, which is one of the rarest forest types in B.C., encompasses a unique set of ecosystems found …
Read more about Protecting the Coastal Douglas-Fir Zone and Its Associated Ecosystems Benefits Us All

ASK Salt Spring with Mary Richardson, Chair of the Liquid Waste Commission

Eight came to our first ever ASK Salt Spring in the idyllic Foxglove Nursery greenhouse to welcome Mary Richardson, Chair of the Liquid Waste Commission as well as passionate advocate of the proposed composting facility in the Burgoyne Valley. While the numbers were small, they allowed us to learn so much about one of our most important, if not sexy, subjects: waste. We learned about offal and effluent and, yes, it was a great conversation. (Thanks, Mary!) Mary began by offering kudos to Elizabeth White for her dedication and the many hours she and others had contributed to making the proposed composting facility a reality. She was also very appreciative of the vision and drive of Community Services and the Farmland Trust. Hopes are to locate a composting facility at the Burgoyne Valley Community Garden (also known as the Shaw Family Community Garden). This large, 62-acre parcel of farmland has been continuously farmed since 1887 and was granted to the Farmland Trust for …
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with Mary Richardson, Chair of the Liquid Waste Commission

Salt Spring RCMP Community Report - 2020 3rd Quarter Statistics

Responding to community interest, Salt Spring RCMP will attempt to provide call volume information at different times throughout the year; this specific news article will include a listing of some investigations and various complaints in the 3rd quarter of 2020. As of October 1 2020, Salt Spring RCMP have responded to over 2,200 calls this year, averaging 8-9 calls per day. Approximately 700 calls were received by Salt Spring RCMP during the July 1 2020 – September 30 2020 3rd quarter period; this number does not include traffic stops, licenced premises checks or park patrols. Some of the calls for this quarter are detailed below: July 2020 Salt Spring RCMP assisted Victoria Police Department with their search for a Missing Person. Salt Spring RCMP entered into an investigation involving multiple sexual assaults that occurred on Salt Spring Island this summer. With the help of Vancouver Island General Investigative Service, the suspects were subsequently arrested …
Read more about Salt Spring RCMP Community Report - 2020 3rd Quarter Statistics

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Maintain Vigilance

Across BC we are seeing an increase in COVID activity. Although Vancouver Island has continued to maintain relatively low numbers of cases, we cannot rely on our physical separation from the rest of the province to maintain our current status. It is crucial that we maintain vigilance with our individual and collective actions. Maintain our bubbles of immediate family and our “safe six” of family and friends Maintain physical distancing when in public or with people not in our bubble Wear a mask to reduce droplet spread and limit the potential to spread viral particles from infected individuals, including those who do not have symptoms, or to inhale viral particles from others Wash our hands frequently COVID has been devastating to residents of long term care facilities where there have been outbreaks. We have been able to avoid any community or facility outbreaks on Salt Spring so far and we need to continue to do so. “There is good work being done by the Va…
Read more about COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Maintain Vigilance

Watch: Bicycle Life - How The Electric Bicycle Is Transforming Island Lives

What if we chose the electric bicycle as our primary way of getting around? Instantly lowering our costs of living, reducing our carbon, increasing our health, supporting the autonomy of young and old, reviving a vibrant local economy, on streets designed for everyone? Swapping our car for the ebike took some courage, but with safe, connected trails like the Salish Sea trail network, it would be an easy choice for many. This little film imagines the possibilities. https://youtu.be/_GGx9cnP624
Read more about Watch: Bicycle Life - How The Electric Bicycle Is Transforming Island Lives

ASK Salt Spring 2021 CRD Budget with Director Gary Holman

Thirteen came to the Lions Hall - a one-time ASK Salt Spring location - to welcome Gary Holman to discuss the soon-to-be adopted 2021 Capital Regional District (CRD) budget. While not as many as usual attended this ASK Salt Spring gathering, the blustery rain may account for some of this. Also, from an optimistic perspective, it is possible that very few Salt Springers have concerns about the proposed CRD budget with its 1% increase over 2020. After acknowledging living and working in the first nations land of the Coast Salish peoples, Gary walked us, step-by-step through, the proposed budget, including the budget process, COVID impacts, the overall 2021 CRD requisition, major contributions to the 1% increase, revenue sources, debt costs, and a summary of CRD Salt Spring requisition totals broken down by services. He also gave us a list of approved Community Works (gas tax) projects as well as those funded by his Grant-in-Aid funds. (For a copy of this detailed summary, plea…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring 2021 CRD Budget with Director Gary Holman

2020 BC Provincial Elections Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands

While CBC news is predicting that the BC NDP will form government during this year's election, it also appears that Green Party incumbent MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen is poised to hold his seat for our community. "Never before have so many voters voted before election day in British Columbia electoral history," Elections BC's chief electoral officer Anton Boegman told reporters on Friday. The following are preliminary voting results from initial count. Final voting results will not be available until after the conclusion of final count. The timing of final count will be announced as soon as possible following the completion of initial count. Final count results are expected approximately 13 days after the election to ensure adequate time to count the unprecedented number of mail in ballots. Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands as of October 24, 2020 9:33 PM from CBC Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands as of…
Read more about 2020 BC Provincial Elections Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands

2020 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Nominees

Congratulations to all of this year's Salty Award Nominees. We encourage community members to read the comments written by those who nominated these outstanding businesses and individuals, it is truly humbling. We’re excited to celebrate all nominated businesses, non-profits, charities, and individuals. We have asked nominees to make a short video or written response to tell us why they should win a Salty Award. Be sure to keep an eye out! Voting begins November 3rd! See the nominees in each of the award categories below. Resilient Small Business of The Year Award: Presented to a business with 20 employees or less who demonstrated perseverance and the ability to adapt to the challenges presented by 2020. Al's Gourmet Falafel & Fries Altar Ink Amber Wood Health Apple Photo Aroma Crystal Therapy ArtSpring Barb’s Bakery and Bistro Bean Drinkin Cafe Bite Me! Treats Buzzys Luncheonette Co-op Gas Diggin’it excava…
Read more about 2020 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Nominees

Salt Spring Island Conservancy Celebrates 25 Years of Conservation and Education

In 1994, a group of seven women* came together to form the Salt Spring Island Conservancy in order to realize their vision to conserve and care for the unique ecosystems and species-at-risk of this beautiful Salish Sea island. A year later, the conservancy received charitable status and the ability to hold conservation covenants. No time was wasted in taking full advantage of the community momentum to protect significant areas. Early wins included working with the Capital Regional District and the provincial government to purchase lands for Mill Farm Regional Park and helping in the campaign to purchase lands from the Texada Land Corporation in order to halt logging and create Burgoyne Provincial Park (late 1990s). The first conservation covenant (33.6 acres) held by the Conservancy was signed in 1998. In 2001, the Conservancy acquired a major conservation covenant of 263 acres for the Maxwell Lake watershed. Over the next couple of decades, the Conservancy acquired land f…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Conservancy Celebrates 25 Years of Conservation and Education

ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick

With rain predicted, nine hearty Salt Springers gathered to welcome Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick, as our special guest in the United Church Meadow. Other than gusty winds that blew over a few of the unoccupied chairs, the weather was practically-perfect for our last Friday in the Meadow for this season. And it has been so good! Participants have clearly enjoyed our summer gatherings in the lovely Meadow - a welcome change from our spring of self-isolation and, for many, far too much Zooming about. We actually measured greater participation - average attendance has almost doubled during these summer months! After a heartfelt acknowledgment of our journey of Reconciliation offered by a participant, the question about the Local Trust Committee’s (LTC’s) Housing Challenges and Solutions planning process began. Recently, the LTC adopted this planning process as a priority. While Laura was pleased that this is being made a priority, she cautioned that more support is needed…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick

Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery Opens on Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island is known in many parts of the world as a unique and progressive community. Its reputation for local farming, food, arts, music, culture, politics, EV transportation, and environmentalism belies its small size. And now once again, Salt Spring Island is at the fore of a growing movement. This time in the world of green, natural burials. (Watch the video tour and see the photo tour below.) Over the last 50 years there has been an incredible transformation in burial practices in North America. Burial and cemetery services, which were at one time a more modest affair and often carried out by locally owned services providers, has been transformed under capital market consolidation. While Indigenous cultures the world over have always practiced 'natural' burial, the dominant colonial culture of the West saw local funeral and burial business services transformed into highly specialized, profit driven industries controlled by a small handful of publicly traded c…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery Opens on Salt Spring Island

Civil Forfeiture Office Seeks Default Judgement on Baker Road House

The BC Civil Forfeiture Office has filed a lawsuit seeking to seize a Salt Spring Island property allegedly linked to a large international stock fraud. The lawsuit filed December 11th, 2019 in BC Supreme Court alleges the property located at 391 Baker Road on Salt Spring Island is the proceeds of crime and was used to launder money.  Now, the BC Civil Forfeiture Office has asked the court to grant judgment against Vincent Manalastas on his rights related to a $2,500,000 Baker Road home. In its court action, the civil forfeiture office alleges the property is the proceeds of crime and was used to launder money. The listed owner of the property is Beresford Estates Inc., of which Manalastas is the sole director. Manalastas was served the notice of the civil claim but neither the lawyer representing the claim or the office of civil forfeiture has received the requested documentation or a response from Manalastas. Given the schedule to respond to the action has elapsed, the …
Read more about Civil Forfeiture Office Seeks Default Judgement on Baker Road House

North Ganges Transportation Plan Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Nearing Completion

The North Ganges Transportation Plan design for pedestrian, cycling, and intersection improvements along Rainbow Road, non-harbour side of Lower Ganges Road and design intersection improvements to Upper/Lower Ganges intersection is now nearing completion. The estimated $1,700,000 project was built by Victoria, BC based Don Mann Excavating. Have a look at the video of the project nearing completion, photos of the project during construction, photos of the project nearing completion and detailed plans of the original working drawings outlining the scope of work of the project. Take a Video Tour of the Project Nearing Completion https://youtu.be/UWaF8J-jpSU Photos: Project Under Construction Photos: Project Nearing Completion Engineering Drawings for the Proje…
Read more about North Ganges Transportation Plan Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Nearing Completion

2020 BC Provincial Election Candidate Profile - Stephen Roberts

The 42nd British Columbia general election is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020. To help our community get to know the candidates who are running in our riding we're sharing profiles of each candidate. All candidates have been invited to share a profile with the Salt Spring Exchange and we’ll be featuring profiles on each candidate as they become available. This profile is for Stephen Roberts, who is running to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Saanich North and the Islands with the Liberal Party. About Stephen Roberts I was born in Sidney and grew up on Salt Spring. After graduating University with a degree in Economics and Political Science, I worked in accounting, law and finance. I retired as a COO of the research division for a large international investment bank overseas and moved back home to Salt Spring where I now live with my partner and our fantastic dog Sidney. I've been involved in a number of community organizations on Saltspring and t…
Read more about 2020 BC Provincial Election Candidate Profile - Stephen Roberts

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Flu Season Clinics

We are rapidly approaching the start of influenza season. Meanwhile, we remains in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic with increasing numbers of cases across the province. We, on the island, have been able to avoid any outbreaks of COVID-19 so far with low numbers of COVID-19 infections. The measures we have employed – limiting our contacts to those within our bubble, maintaining physical distance from others, wearing a mask when we are unable to maintain distance or are in public spaces, and washing our hands – should also help to limit the spread of ‘flu this year. The annual influenza vaccine is now available for immunization. ‘Flu vaccination remains an important means to protect individuals from illness and prevent community spread with the potential for a ‘twindemic’. The family doctors of Salt Spring will be working with Public Health and other community partners to provide ‘flu vaccinations at a community ‘flu clinic this year. Individual physician offices hav…
Read more about COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Flu Season Clinics

Watch: 2020 BC Election Candidates for Saanich North and the Islands Video Debate

Candidates running in the upcoming provincial election for the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen-Green Party, Stephen Roberts-Liberal Party and Zeb King-NDP answer questions from the public and talk about their passions going into the election On October 24th, 2020 during an online zoom call arranged to accommodate physical distancing requirements. Moderated by Tarah Stafford with an introduction and technical expertise by Jason Mogus of NetChange. Our thanks to Media Partner Salt Spring Exchange and to Country Grocer for their support. https://youtu.be/aPLKYbnkRRE
Read more about Watch: 2020 BC Election Candidates for Saanich North and the Islands Video Debate

Plant Garlic, Collect Leaves, Control Leaf Pests

A key October task is planting garlic: It is essential to plant garlic where no plants in the onion family (garlic, onions, leeks, shallots) have been for at least 4 years. This year I received an all-time high number of questions (and sad photos) about garlic root diseases. This was undoubtedly due to the wet summer, which promoted common root diseases, but also due to the fact that a surprising number of folks had not been rotating their crops. The only management tool we have for soil borne diseases, including all kinds of root rot, is rotating crops to make sure dormant spores in the soil have time to die out before their host plants are grown there again. Along with that goes good sanitation practices: planting disease-free stock and destroying infected plants as soon as they are notices. A friend wondered if using disinfectants on garlic cloves before planting to kill root rot pathogens was necessary, but really there is no need for this. The pathogen spores stay in the s…
Read more about Plant Garlic, Collect Leaves, Control Leaf Pests