Month: May 2018

Bike to Kus-kus-sum at the end of Bike to Work Week

Bike to Kus-kus-sum at the end of Bike to Work Week

As part of Bike to Work Week, Project Watershed is teaming up with the Broken Spoke to help you bike the estuary in style along the Courtenay Riverway walk with a special stop at Kus-kus-sum. Meet at the Broken Spoke at 9:30am. Participants are encouraged to bring their own bikes. If you don’t have a bike or would like to try something new, there are 4 electric bikes and 20 regular bikes available from the Broken Spoke.

LOCAL TEEN ENTREPRENEURS TO PITCH FOR $15,000 – 2nd annual Teen Tycoon Challenge June 15th

They came for free pizza, they stayed for the prizes. Its a running joke for the fifteen 13-19 year olds that have spent the year learning about and developing business plans through the Teen Entrepreneur Network.  In truth, they come back to feed their ambition.

After its second year, The Teen Entrepreneur Network participants in Courtenay will be pitching their business ideas for a $15,000 prize package.  The youth participating in the free Boys and Girls Club program are looking to build themselves a strong financial future as business owners. They have been working diligently with local community leaders and mentors to develop their business plans, and the time to see just how serious these teens are about success is here.  

Accessibility highlighted during Access Awareness Day and Commuter Challenge Week

The second annual Comox Valley Commuter Challenge is happening next week and residents can win prizes for taking transit, walking, cycling, carpooling, scootering or working from home at least one day.

On Access Awareness Day the CVRD is inviting residents with mobility issues, scooters or strollers to tour a stationary bus and see how BC Transit is helping to overcome logistical barriers to riding transit. Participants will be welcome to try the ramp and courtesy seating and then provide feedback or ask questions about the new transit features designed to improve the rider experience.

Private Vancouver School spends week working with Project Watershed.

The Mulgrave School, from West Vancouver, spent the week of May 15 – 19th in the Comox Valley working on restoration projects with Technical Director Dan Bowen and key volunteers from Project Watershed. Armed with new shovels, rakes, hoes, gloves and other implements 14 students (Age 14-17), three teachers and their field trip leader Lee Hardy spent a very busy 4 days working on shoreline restoration in the K’omoks Estuary.

Private Vancouver School spends week working with Project Watershed.

Private Vancouver School spends week working with Project Watershed.

The Mulgrave School, from West Vancouver, spent the week of May 15 – 19th in the Comox Valley working on restoration projects with Technical Director Dan Bowen and key volunteers from Project Watershed. Armed with new shovels, rakes, hoes, gloves and other implements 14 students (Age 14-17), three teachers and their field trip leader Lee Hardy spent a very busy 4 days working on shoreline restoration in the K’omoks Estuary.

Sowing sprouts, irrigation, pest du jour

Sowing sprouts, irrigation, pest du jour

Just a quick note this time, but I couldn’t let another day go by without reminding everyone that it is time to sow seeds of Brussels sprouts and any cabbage varieties that need over 120 days to mature (e.g., January King, Danish Ballhead, Red Langedijker). Getting the timing right for these crops seems to be a perennial problem for many due to conflicting information on seed packets and from nurseries. The long season cabbages really do need the whole summer to develop a good-sized head, but no matter what size they are by fall, they still provide a harvest. Timing of Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, is a trickier because if sown too late (after the first week of June), plants usually don’t have enough growing season left to produce sprouts before winter—and if they don’t form sprouts by the end of October, they aren’t likely to have them at all. Of course you can sow Br. sprouts earlier, but by waiting until now to sow them, you largely avoid damage to the sprouts from the aphids common on Brassica crops in late summer. Aphids merely distort leaves of Brussels sprouts, but are damaging when aphids get inside the developing sprouts. Sowing in late May to the first week of June produces plant that don’t start to form sprouts until late September, which is when aphids stop reproducing and are leaving plants. You might see some aphids in the oldest sprouts but most of the crop will be free of aphids.

Elevate the Intersection on June 2nd!

Elevate the Intersection on June 2nd!

The Comox Valley is coming together in the heart of Courtenay on Saturday Night, June 2nd to celebrate diversity and community! Join Elevate, Downtown Courtenay, Comox Valley Pride, Atlas Cafe and a host of other friends and allies from across the Valley to ‘Elevate the Intersection’ and launch the new rainbow crosswalk installation at the corner of 5th and Duncan Ave. From 7 pm to 11 pm the whole Valley is invited to come eat, dance, play and celebrate!

This FREE family friendly event will include hands on arts and crafts, delicious food trucks, community tents and much more! The party kicks off at 7 pm with DJ Jamie McCue! Then at 8 pm the crowds converge for a high energy mash-up with performances from local theatre students, Kumugwe Cultural Society, Hip Hop Coalition, Just in Time Choir, Arcana Dea Dance, COZY, Temple Fusion Bellydance and many more! Then stick around for a giant street dance party celebration with DJ duo Teamwork from 9:30-11!

Who’s minding the Site C store with all eyes on Trans Mountain?

Who’s minding the Site C store with all eyes on Trans Mountain?

Lost in the threats and counter-threats, charges and counter-charges over the Trans Mountain pipeline is news that B.C. Hydro will be cutting a cheque to Flatiron/Graham, principal contractors on the Lower Mainland Transmission Line, for approximately $100 million following a semi-successful arbitration, depending upon your perspective.

First announced in 2009, the then-$602 million line was to be completed by 2014. Naturally, it came in “on budget and on time” in 2015, at a cost of $743 million or – in the words of then-president and CEO Jessica McDonald – “about $18 million higher than Hydro’s original budget of $725 million.”

It was another B.C. megaproject riddled with errors from the get-go: failure to consult with First Nations, sub-standard steel imported from India and frustrations that led the utility to complete one section of the line itself.

Keep on Singing Benefit Concert – SOLD OUT

Keep on Singing Benefit Concert – SOLD OUT

The benefit concert is Sunday, June 3, 7:30pm in the Church of St. John the Divine, 579 5th Street in downtown Courtenay. Tickets for Keep on Singing ($10) are available at Blue Heron Books in Comox and Laughing Oyster Book Shop in Courtenay. For more information, see www.letzsing.com

Is Fairness Enough?

Is Fairness Enough?

He knew somehow, as I didn’t, that I was about to get an ear-full. It went something like this:

“My friends and I want to know what the question is going to be,” she said. “I get that proportional representation is fairer than first-past-the-post. But that’s not enough for me and my friends. We like things the way they are. Some of my friends are Conservatives, but I’m not. But I agree with them.  Just because first-past-the-post isn’t fair, well that’s not enough.”

Fairness isn’t enough.

Stage 3 Water Restrictions in effect May 28 to June 1 during repairs of BC Hydro Penstock

Stage 3 Water Restrictions in effect May 28 to June 1 during repairs of BC Hydro Penstock

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 Water Restrictions for a five day period beginning Monday, May 28. During this time BC Hydro will be draining their Penstock for unplanned repairs and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) will need to move to its emergency back-up pump station to draw water from the Puntledge River. This equipment does not have the capacity to meet peak demand for water in our community without Stage 3 restrictions.

Learn about solar power and energy efficiency at open house

Learn about solar power and energy efficiency at open house

As part of its commitment to community sustainability, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) will be hosting a solar power and energy efficiency open house from 7 to 9 pm on Tuesday, May 29 at the CVRD boardroom, 550 Comox Road in Courtenay.

A BC’er writes to Albertans

A BC’er writes to Albertans

I live by the Strait of Georgia, and I’m continually shocked and alarmed that some of you don’t appear to be concerned about bitumen spills in the Salish Sea, and the rivers of BC.

Help reduce accidental 9-1-1 calls

Help reduce accidental 9-1-1 calls

North Island 9-1-1 Corporation is launching a public education campaign to help reduce accidental 9-1-1 phone calls within the Comox Valley. North Island 9-1-1 Corporation was established in 1995 to provide and manage emergency 9-1-1 services to the Comox Valley Regional District, the Strathcona Regional District, the Regional Districts of Mount Waddington and Alberni-Clayoquot and a portion (School District No. 69) of the Nanaimo Regional District. In 1999, Powell River Regional District joined the service (excluding Lasqueti Island).

CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLE 41: Thinking in Contexts – Two Stories

CLIMATE CHANGE CHRONICLE 41: Thinking in Contexts – Two Stories

If we hope to think realistically about dealing with climate change in a changing world, we have to learn to think in contexts. The word “context” comes from two Latin words: “con” meaning “together” and “textere” meaning “to weave”. So “context” means “to weave together”.
Dealing with climate change is not like dealing with a specific service or discipline—like environment, or medicine, or physics. It is a weaving together of a variety of different elements into a context.

The “Knot On My Property” program is up and running for 2018

The “Knot On My Property” program is up and running for 2018

Local governments in the Comox Valley (the Town of Comox, the City of Courtenay, the Village of Cumberland, and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD)) have once again joined forces with the Coastal Invasive Species Committee (Coastal ISC) to bust invasive Knotweed and Giant Hogweed. Both plants are considered alien invasive species in BC and if left unchecked can wreak havoc on our local ecosystems and diminish property values. And in the case of giant hogweed, can lead to third degree burns when in contact with skin, due to its clear phototoxic sap.