Kids’ telethon raises $96k
The 45th Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon once again raised a lot for local children, despite the challenge of COVID-19 restrictions. This year, the final tally read $96,260, or nearly $2,000 more than the 2019 amount. The event also was the first telethon for new CVCDA executive director Cindy Xavier, who took over from Joanne Schroeder.
Father Brandt passes
It was announced well-known environmentalist Father Charles Brandt had passed away recently at age 97 after a battle with pneumonia. He had worked to protect and preserve forests and rivers, helping to set up the Tsolum River Task Force, which became the Tsolum River Restoration Society. “Charles lived a life of contemplative prayer as a hermit priest. He was also well-loved and active in the larger community,” noted friend Bruce Witzel.
Fire destroys microgreen business
The Lepine family’s microgreens business, Island of Eden Farm, suffered a major fire that burned the operation’s building to the ground. The farm is located on a 78-acre property off Comox Logging Road. In response, a family friend created a GoFundMe page to help the family business up and running again. “There is so much love and appreciation – that’s what amazes me so much,” said Chrissy Lepine.
Deer parts turn up
Timberlane Road resident Linda Dobinson used to watch a family of deer wander past her windows each morning, but she hadn’t seen any in months. She blames a hunter, she says, who was spotlighting, or pit-lamping, at night in Morrison Nature Park. Dobinson was the second person in the area to find boxes of deer parts left in a ditch along Arden Road. “I really notice the lack of deer,” she said. “I’m sickened by the whole thing.”
Black Creek area goes FireSmart
The Martin Park Drive neighbourhood in Black Creek was designated a FireSmart community, making it the first north Island community to achieve this designation. FireSmart homes are 90 per cent more likely to survive a wildfire. “It’s great to see these residents being proactive to make their community resilient if a wildfire should happen in their area,” Oyster River fire chief Bruce Green said.
Union Bay marina plan reconsidered
A commercial marina for Union Bay was once again proposed. The province had advertised a public comment period on the application for a licence from Kensington Union Bay Properties GP Ltd., known more commonly as Union Bay Estates (UBE). Opponents pointed to a previous rejection roughly a decade earlier to point to the potential dangers from metals in sediment that could be churned up.
3L denied again near Stotan Falls
Once again, the CVRD turned down an application from 3L Developments to subdivide and develop lands near Stotan Falls. The company has tried to rezone the property for more than a decade in the hopes of building 780 residential units. “There is clear public interest in this application,” said planner Rob Buchan, who spoke on behalf of 3L, which proposes to dedicate more than half the site for community use and create a network of public trails. “We have revised our plan, significantly.”
The province required masks in public indoor and retail spaces after months of calls for such action. The announcement was one of a series of new measures from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry following recent record-breaking cases and deaths from COVID-19. Many businesses had expressed frustration, saying it had been left up to individual businesses to sort out details and enforcement, so Henry responded, saying the new mandate gives businesses government support in enforcing mask rules.
Merville co-op disbands
The Merville Organics Growers’ Co-operative announced it was disbanding – due to its success. What began as a 15-member group in 2014 grew to almost 200 members this year. Through this co-operative, small farms had explored their capacity by working collectively on marketing and distribution. “The co-op was designed to grow small farms and it has done that job incredibly well,” said Mariette Sluyter of Whitaker Farm. “Our farmers keep farming because you have shown us quality certified organic local produce is important to you.”
Author reviewed by NY Times
North Island College instructor, poet and author Jordan Scott had his children’s book I Talk Like A River reviewed by the New York Times. It was also on a top 10 list of children’s books for the Washington Post. The book features a boy who stutters and feels isolated, alone and can’t communicate how he would like. “Growing up with a stutter was a really personal experience and I wanted to explain the way I speak to my sons,” he said.
Athletes make national teams
Dillan Glennie of Courtenay earned a spot on the Canadian freestyle ski team. The 20-year-old specializes in halfpipe and had been invited to the national C team earlier in the year. Last season, she had a number of top placings at Noram events. Meanwhile, two Comox Valley teens were among the mountain-bikers selected for Cycling Canada, as coaches look ahead to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. Emilly Johnston of Comox and Carter Woods of Cumberland are to rejoin the NextGen mountain bike program for the 2021 season.