HAVE YOUR SAY: Book friends appreciate support

Comox Valley Book Friends thank all their donors of books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games, for their annual sale, usually held in April.

Comox Valley Book Friends would like to thank all their donors of books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games, for their annual sale, usually held in April. Also thanks to all the people who come to the book sale and make it a huge success every year for the non-profit groups in the Valley. Book Friends would like to inform all these folks (and other book lovers) that they collect books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games all year round at the rear of Rawthentic (across the road from the old cinema on Fifth Street in Courtenay) and any larger donations can be picked up by calling Sue Elliott at 250-338-5969.

Of all the idiot things to do, I actually assumed the oncoming driver knew how to operate his vehicle Monday afternoon (Oct. 7). Waiting to turn left onto Lerwick Avenue from Ryan Road I actually believed that the orange older model ford van coming towards me with his right turn signal flashing was going to turn right. Nope, straight through the intersection, almost T-boning my van as I turned left in front of him. Great wakeup call! Well, at least we both know his horn works fine.

A big beef on bumpy ice to the Vanier arenas, for the very puzzling and problematic times scheduled for shinny hockey, particularly this year! Progressively, over the last three years we have seen clear changes for the worse, and a continuing decline in participation for people, who are getting upset with the situation that is unfolding for shinny hockey participants. People with an interest in this fun and non-violent type of hockey (without full gear) are being thwarted from participation by the odd and unsupportive times being given for this type of fitness and recreation. Shinny or “pond hockey” (a great sport for all ages and both genders) was previously being played by many enthusiastic people (of all ages and both genders) at very convenient times in the morning (10, then 10:15 start times historically), and on weekends (Saturday afternoons at about 3), but it is now being killed off by the odd and unsupportive times it is given weekday mornings, and it has been completely cancelled on weekends for the last three years. No more Saturday afternoon pond hockey for us enthusiastic skaters who want to do more than just skate in endless boring circles at the public skate, first one way and then the other! Why is the Vanier Sportsplex  management turning away enthusiastic customers who want to play a fun game of Canada’s national sport — and why is it turning away revenue for this community facility with their new policy? The other bias, for example, is that 55-and-over hockey (full gear) gets to have 26 skaters, and two goalies, and they get to, like the other drop-in hockey (noon hour with full gear) sign up to attend 45 minutes before it starts, as compared to the 10 minutes prior the shinny players are restricted to! I have seen many, upset kids and angry parents of these families being turned away from participation, after showing up from places like Royston, Merville and Black Creek. Very sad to see kids being denied participation in exchange for the old guys getting all the breaks with numbers of players, and all the best times to start skating! Campbell River’s Strathcona Gardens offers three times as much opportunity for people to play pond hockey, and it offers it at times that are good for students, workers, and retirees, in both the mornings and afternoons, and it offers it seven days a week! The very small leisure ice surface they have (used by tiny tots, and real ice skating novices, to keep them off the main ice surfaces, and safe from accidents) is not the only reason that is the case, as it is Strathcona’s  positive attitude towards promoting shinny/pond hockey being the main reason for the excellent times and opportunities to play being scheduled! Is there a good reason that Participaction in this fun sport is being stymied in our community? Why the huge discrepancy between the mindset of managers in Campbell River’s Strathcona Gardens, and Courtenay’s Vanier arenas? Strathcona Gardens schedules 22 hours per week for pond hockey, and Vanier Sportsplex schedules 7.25 hours for pond hockey. What gives?

Unlike the CVRD, the Village of Cumberland is publicly advertising a public meeting for input  on water rates. Cumberland is proposing to provide residential water at much lower costs than the CVRD will charge their rural Comox Lake water customers. Conserving customers, and consuming gardeners in Cumberland will pay much less than CVRD Comox Lake-supplied customers. Comox Lake-supplied customers should be asking why the CVRD costs are much higher and where the $5 million collected annually from bulk water rates is going.

There is no doubt that failing Septics are a concern within the Comox Valley Regional District. Baynes Sound is facing  aquaculture pressures with much more predicted. The geoduck industry will mean many more hectares of seabed netting/floats. The Province of British Columbia manages aquaculture approvals — they need to clean up Baynes Sound. The Province needs to contribute much more than a measly five per cent of the $41-million cost. After all, they are the stewards of the failed septics and the seabed netting.

After five days of education, engagement and celebration with the public and our public officials to increase local knowledge and inspire greater food security, the Comox Valley Food Round Table (CVRT) is celebrating success and sharing thanks for all who participated. During our first World Food Week Comox Valley series Nov. 15 to 19, an impressive array of activities was offered. More than 100 folks enjoyed a dinner at the K’ómoks First Nations Band Hall based on local foods and prepared by area chefs. Over 40 people learned more about foods and spices of the region of Israel/Palestine. Elected officials became more aware of the need for progressive urban agriculture and farmland access policies. Children and parents learned about the benefits of beans; movie-goers watched a documentary about the energy, passion and independence of a fresh crop of today’s young farmers. Informal and interactive cafe-style discourse was offered via Green Drinks at Union Street Grille and the 10×10 Ideas Cafe at the Zocalo. Discussions on food security were as abundant as the food that was shared that week! We were also privileged to bring former Vancouver City councillor Peter Ladner, author of the Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way we Feed Cities to speak to the public and at a special lunch targeted to our municipal and regional officials. He encouraged everyone to get on board, saying, “There’s so much to learn from the latest initiatives by neighbourhoods, municipalities and regions everywhere on food security and local food promotion.” Hear part of his presentation at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGxakDsbxAk. During the week and throughout October, the CVFRT also conducted a survey around food security and local priorities. Respondents weighed in heavily on three initiatives that will inform CVFRT’s work — protecting water, marine ecosystems and promoting sustainable harvesting practices; promoting urban agricultural practices through bylaw, and programming to link people interested in farming with other with farmland. The clearest mandate from the survey was the need to take leadership in forming a Food Policy Council, which over 90 per cent of the respondents supported. This is what we intend to do.

Kudos to Mike and Francois of Alberni Outpost for consistent, excellent customer service and great sense of humour. A beef to the rude, heavy-set, older bald man who frequents the store on a regular basis, who I’ve run in to numerous times. Quite the bully. My message to him is stay away.

• • •

Do you have somebody to praise or something you have to get off your chest? Have your say by submitting to editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com. Please focus on people’s ideas rather than speculating about their character. You can also get a written submission to 765 McPhee Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2Z7 or fax to 250-338-5568. If you wish to talk to the editor, phone Mark Allan at 250-338-7816, 2309.

 

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