Search for missing man
A public plea was posted Feb. 1 by Michelle Root, seeking any information into the whereabouts of her husband, 51-year-old Michael Gazetas, who was last seen Jan. 31. An extensive air and ground search, covering more than 16,000 square kilometres, was conducted by RCMP, and local search and rescue teams, to no avail. Searches were conducted using powerboats, kayaks, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, with 70,000 GoPro photos taken from the aerial searches.
Gazetas remains missing.
Courtenay council opted not to include cantilevers in the final design of the 5th Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
The three-metre wide cantilevers were intended to provide more space and to prevent cyclists from sharing the road with vehicles. They would have added about $2 million to the repair bill and two months to a six-month construction period.
The plan for cantilevers drew substantial opposition from downtown merchants.
New ferry route
BC Ferries launched a pilot offering direct service, on select days, between Blubber Bay terminal on Texada Island and Little River terminal in Comox. Effective Feb. 19, every Wednesday and Saturday, the first sailing on the Powell River – Comox route to leave Westview terminal was to make a stop at Blubber Bay to load a maximum of 10 standard vehicles, prior to continuing on to Comox.
On the last sailing leaving Comox, Texada-bound customers will have an opportunity to sail directly to Blubber Bay.
Overdose prevention service shutting down
AIDS Vancouver Island in Courtenay advised the public its overdose prevention service (OPS) would cease because it lost its contract with Island Health. The contract at AVI was ultimately extended until the summer, before the service was moved to an England Avenue location.
Recycling depots closing
The board for Comox Strathcona Waste Management voted to close two unstaffed recycling depots in the Comox Valley. The site at Courtenay Country Market was pegged for a July 1 permanent closure, with the Canex location slated to close in July of 2021.
More COVID cases in B.C.
By the end of February, B.C. had identified seven cases of COVID-19, all of them international travel-related. At the end of February, Canada had 27 cases, and no deaths.
The 2020 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition results were in, and a couple of local distilleries did themselves proud.
Both Wayward Distillery in Courtenay and Shelter Point Distillery, just north of Oyster River, came home with numerous awards, including some gold medals.
The Shelter Point Single Malt was a star of the show, winning a gold medal, along with the Best In Class distinction – one of three Shelter Point whiskies to earn gold medals in the Single Malt division.
The Shelter Point Old Vines Foch Reserve and Shelter Point Smoke Point also won Single Malt gold medals.
Wayward Distillery also fared well.
The Drunken Hive Rum earned a gold medal, with distinction in the Rum category.