2020 Year in Review: December

  • Dec. 30, 2020 1:30 p.m.
Mustang Sally and her owner John Ludlow could be seen driving throughout the Comox Valley this Christmas season. Photo by Erin HaluschakMustang Sally and her owner John Ludlow could be seen driving throughout the Comox Valley this Christmas season. Photo by Erin Haluschak
A small plane crashed in the water south of Courtenay. Two men had to be rescued, but there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike ChouinardA small plane crashed in the water south of Courtenay. Two men had to be rescued, but there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Many of the aircraft displays at 19 Wing were decorated in thousands of lights for December at the airpark on Military Row in Comox. Photo by Erin HaluschakMany of the aircraft displays at 19 Wing were decorated in thousands of lights for December at the airpark on Military Row in Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
A rendering of the proposed Sixth Street cable-stayed bridge for downtown Courtenay. Graphic suppliedA rendering of the proposed Sixth Street cable-stayed bridge for downtown Courtenay. Graphic supplied
Rod McKenzie (right), Comox Rotary president, joined Charlene Davis (centre) and Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society’s Sue Finneron to open the fourth shipping container home to help fight homelessness in the community. Photo by Mike ChouinardRod McKenzie (right), Comox Rotary president, joined Charlene Davis (centre) and Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society’s Sue Finneron to open the fourth shipping container home to help fight homelessness in the community. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Rogan, a three-year-old border collie, saved an older family member who had fallen near their Comox home. Photo by Erin HaluschakRogan, a three-year-old border collie, saved an older family member who had fallen near their Comox home. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Huband students Bronte Pendleton, Annabelle Pizzey and Oakland Webber displayed their creations to give to seniors at The Views. Many schools sent messages to seniors in residences this holiday season. Photo by Mike ChouinardHuband students Bronte Pendleton, Annabelle Pizzey and Oakland Webber displayed their creations to give to seniors at The Views. Many schools sent messages to seniors in residences this holiday season. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Big Little Lions – the duo featuring Comox Valley singer/songwriter Helen Austin and Paul Otten of Cincinnati, Ohio – was nominated for a 2021 Canadian Folk Music Award as one of five finalists in the Vocal Group of the Year category. Photo suppliedBig Little Lions – the duo featuring Comox Valley singer/songwriter Helen Austin and Paul Otten of Cincinnati, Ohio – was nominated for a 2021 Canadian Folk Music Award as one of five finalists in the Vocal Group of the Year category. Photo supplied

Kus-kus-sum funds announced

An abandoned sawmill site at the edge of the K’omoks estuary will be restored to its natural state following $650,000 in additional funding from by the B.C. government. The new funding followed a $1-million commitment last year to the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society for the purchase of the former industrial site in order to return it to saltmarsh, side-channel and riparian habitats. The Kus-kus-sum name recognizes the historic First Nation ancestral burial site once located in the area.

Union Bay opts for change

Union Bay voters ultimately decided to go a new direction, supporting a referendum question in favour of dissolving the Union Bay Improvement District and converting its three services to Comox Valley Regional District local service areas. Results on election night showed 418 Yes votes to 159 No votes, meaning about 72 per cent of 557 voters opted for change.

School vandalism up

Vandalism was already costing School District 71 about $9,000 this school year for repairs. Superintendent Tom Demeo described it as “disheartening” to have to divert money to vandalism and graffiti damage that could be allocated to other areas. The amount was about 50 per cent higher than last year and more than three times the previous year’s. Incidents in recent months included broken windows, siding damage at two sites, break-ins and damage to playground toys at one elementary school.

Lake Trail suspect

RCMP confirmed the same suspect was allegedly responsible for the threats that forced two separate closures at Lake Trail Middle School in late November and early December. “The (Dec. 4) threat was directed at a specific staff member and steps have been taken to ensure their safety moving forward,” said Const. Monika Terragni, media relations officer, Comox Valley RCMP. A youth was arrested in connection with the incidents.

Author’s book goes to all prostate patients

A Comox Valley man who wrote about his experiences with prostate cancer is now sharing his story with many more. Gogs Gagnon learned his book, Prostate Cancer Strikes: Navigating the Storm, will be distributed by the Prostate Cancer Foundation BC to new prostate cancer patients throughout the province. Since its release in 2019, the book has won awards among cancer books and was the number one best-seller among prostate disease books on Amazon Canada.

More food bank demand, more support

More clients, but more generosity was how the new executive director for the Comox Valley Food Bank found the situation for the non-profit. David Reynolds had recently joined the food bank and noted they were looking for donations of non-perishable food, along with fresh veggies and fruits. As the Christmas and holiday season approaching, he added seasonal items, such as cranberry or stuffing, were always welcome to fill the hampers. Reynolds said Valley residents had been increasing their donations to help fill the need.

Distillery stuck with ethanol

Wayward Distillery distributed sanitizer free of charge during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic but ended up with ethanol sitting in storage. One factor cited was the federal government flooding the market with sanitizer purchased from other countries, which drove down the price. The company had to start selling it at cost to cover expenses. As sales increased, Wayward did not qualify for the federal wage subsidy or the rent program and it had to sell at a loss to provide revenue.

May Sacht wins school board seat

Cristi May Sacht was the winner among six candidates for the vacant school board seat in Area C on Dec. 12. The pandemic might have played a role in very low turnout for the byelection, as only 129 valid ballots were cast. One vote was invalid. She will officially join the board in January 2021 to replace Ian Hargreaves, who resigned in September.

BUSINESS

Two Eagles top B&B

Two Eagles Lodge Bed & Breakfast in the Comox Valley was recognized as the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Award winner for Bed & Breakfasts/Inns — ranking among the top 25 B&Bs/Inns in Canada on the list published recently by TripAdvisor. This was not the first recognition by TripAdvisor. The B&B has earned TripAdvisor’s coveted Certificate of Excellence every year since 2011 when the award program began.

ARTS

CORE meets Property Brothers

Comox eco-landscaping business CORE Landscape Products was featured on TV with the popular Property Brothers on their spinoff show, Celebrity IOU. For the episode on HGTV, the brothers and CORE worked with Justin Hartley of TV’s This Is Us to give a backyard a makeover. There are also plans to feature CORE in an episode in 2021.

SPORTS

Snowbird jersey honour

An Ontario junior hockey team honoured a member of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds with a Comox Valley connection. The Trenton Golden Hawks changed their name and uniform for one game as they became the Trenton Snowbirds to honour Capt. Jennifer Casey who died in May in a fatal Canadian Forces Snowbirds crash. Casey had been a regular fixture in recent years at CFB Comox as the Snowbirds returned each spring for annual training.

Comox ValleyYear in Review

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