PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

February 13, 2008

Queen of the… not!

Filed under: Commentary,Views — Jocko @ 1:10 am

News today… the new fleet of ferries plying our coastal waters will NOT display a portrait of The Queen. For more information view: The Queen

Some of us remember singing “God Save The Queen” at the beginning of our school day (I’m dating myself!).

It is somehow comforting to look up from my “breakfast special” and gaze upon Her Beneficence while I swig down the last of my coffee and make my way groggly back to the fore-lounge.

What is going to be lost in all of this is what sets Canada apart from the rebel colonists to our south and what it was all about in the formation of our country. Sure we are now a diverse society, but her portrait is nonetheless a gentle reminder of the beginnings of who and what we are today.

Oh Canada!

By the way, She is still our Head of State through her representative the Governor General.

January 31, 2008

Pet peeve…

Filed under: Commentary,Views — Jocko @ 7:33 pm

I have recently noticed what I hope isn’t a trend. Most dog owners are very considerate when walking their furry friends by using a leash in public spaces and by being prepared for the inevitable deposition of doo by having a plastic bag on hand. No problem, pick it up and take it home and dispose of it probably in your household garbage. But what I have seen recently are dog doo bags dutifully filled and tied, and then left at the side of the road, path, etc. for someone else to pick up and dispose. What’s with that??

If one intended to leave the bagged doo on the ground, it would probably be better to leave the deposit unbagged or au natural to allow weathering to work wonders at returning it back to mother earth. How long does it take to decompose a plastic bag with said contents. One hundred years?

Since I’m on the subject, I have heard that plastic bags of doo are becoming a significant part of waste generated, and are not easily biodegraded. Maybe there are biodegradable doo bags out there that are even grass green so that ones that are ‘inadvertently forgotten’ at the side of the road will at least blend in with the landscape until dissolved. (Check out www.ecoanimal.com/poopbags.html for info on biodegradable bags)

Pender has hardly any litter and I will pick up and bring home any seen on the ground, and I know a lot of other islanders do too, but I refuse to pick up someone elses bag of doggie doo!

April 8, 2008 Update:  There is now a bag dispenser and receptacle for dog waste on the Buck Lake causeway just in case you forgot a bag or need a convenient place to put it! – J.

October 31, 2007

After the fires – southern California

Filed under: Commentary,Nature watch,Views — vortexman @ 1:33 pm

Photo: Vortexman

Are any snowbirds keeping up with Pender happenings via Jocko’s fabulous blog? It’s a longshot, but if there are any besides me, why not share your snowbirding adventures, locations and tips with other expat-Penderites? I for one arrived in southern California just in time for the horrendous inferno last week. Although there were no fires all that close to where I was in San Clemente (the closest being 10 km away at Camp Pendleton), the air quality remained unhealthful for several days, even at the beach. Things are back to normal now, and if there are any RV’ers who want recommendations on where to go, including fabulous State Park sites right on the beach in southern California, I can advise. Just leave ‘comments’ to this post to communicate.

October 23, 2007

Interesting Islander Profile No. 1

Filed under: Arts and Entertainment,Views — Jocko @ 1:40 pm

If you happen to be strolling around the Driftwood center, drop in and have a chat with Gwen at Gwen’s Fine Art & Native Collectibles next to the realty office. Gwen has an interesting background which led her to start a Native art gallery on Pender.

In her words: “I lived in Las Vegas for eight years before returning to Pender in 2005. During that time I studied Lineage Traditional Tai Chi and Yoga. My teacher was a Chumash Indian from California. Through the practices of Tai Chi and Yoga I became immersed in the Native culture. I became a member of a large inter-tribal Sweat family. We attended sweat lodges three times weekly, along with vision quests on Mount Charleston, listening circles and other native traditions. I was adopted Indian style by an Ojibwa family, and became Candice Esquival’s adopted sister. It was throught Candices’s teaching that I became a jingle dress dancer at Pow Wows and other native gatherings. We also sang “behind the drum” with a Pow Wow drum group. To supplement my income in Las Vegas, I became partners with Running Deer (now 98 years young) and sold jewellery with him at Gun Shows and Native events.”

Gwen missed her family in Canada and returned to Pender to share a love of Native Indian Culture by opening the store.

“Today, all seems quiet and serene which is always what I loved about Pender Island. Mitakuye Oyas’in (all my relations) Thanks.”

Gwen can be reached at 629-6647 or visit www.gwensnativecollectibles.com. Check out her store soon!

October 22, 2007

Time for a change on the roads?

Filed under: Commentary,Sustainable Living,Views — Jocko @ 2:16 pm

Submitted by Barry Mathias

The Pender Islands have experienced a large population increase over the past few years with a coinciding increase in road traffic. With all means of getting around out there, be it walking or jogging shoes, bicycles, scooters, cars, pick up trucks, large trucks, heavy equipment trailers and commercial vehicles, there is a growing need to rethink the way we use our roads. Factor in the predicted ongoing increase in the price of gas and diesel fuel, most of us will be trying to reduce the use of our vehicles. There will be more walkers, cyclists, and scooters on the road adding to the potential for accidents.

A move in the right direction would be towards some kind of community transportation, but with our current population, buses would probably be uneconomical. We could, however, try out “Car Stops”.

Car Stops are clearly identifiable places throughout an island, where people can wait, if they wish, to get a lift. The stops would have a Car Stop sign, and a legal disclaimer that would indemnify drivers. The result would be a reduction in single occupancy vehicles, an easing of parking problems at shopping centers, the ferry terminal and halls, safer roads and a possible increase in community spirit. We can do this without huge expenditure. We can do it if we have the will.

October 16, 2007

All those not in favour…

Filed under: Governance and Legal,Views — Jocko @ 6:55 pm

The Balance On Pender group, Michael Doyle, Randy Lynch (629-9981), Victor Jones and Ellie Ross, are encouraging North Pender residents to petition the provincial Minister of Community Services, Honourable Ida Chong <CS.Minister@gov.bc.ca> and Saanich North and the Islands MLA Murray Coell <Murray.Coell.MLA@leg.bc.ca> without delay if they want to use a last opportunity to prevent the proposed Official Community Plan (OCP) by-law with Sensitive Ecosystem Development Permit Areas (SEDPAs) from getting final approval. They contend the SEDPAs received almost no focused public scrutiny and that if approved, could negatively affect the values of some properties by restricting what landowners can and cannot do with their land including where to build, which may not be on the preferred building site. They predict that further litigation over the matter could end up costing tax payers more money and cite the recent failed lawsuit of the North Pender Islands Trust trustees to prevent short term vacation rentals (STVRs) as an example. They would like the section on SEDPAs be removed from the bylaw by the Minister and be dealt with separately to fully address public concerns over implementation and cost issues as well as potential litigation from poorly defined guidelines and errors on the available maps. One or more of the following actions are urged by the group:

1. Submit a personal letter to Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Community Services, 218-2186 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria, B.C. V8R 1G3 or to Murray Coell, MLA, Saanich North and the Islands, Suite F, 2412 Beacon Ave., Sidney, B.C. V8L 1X4

2. Sign a petition and drop it off in the “Balance on Pender” folder in the Community Box at Pender Island Realty

3. Email them at <info@penderocp.com> stating “I, (your name and N. Pender property address), a resident of North Pender Island, ask Minister Chong to remove the Sensitive Ecosystem DPA designations from the proposed OCP for separate public review.”

4. Fax petitions to 250.629.2086

For more information visit: http://www.penderocp.com/

October 8, 2007

A life worth living…

Filed under: Commentary,Views — Jocko @ 12:21 am

I am wondering: “When our lives inevitably draw to a close, how would each of us sum up our time of being “Me”. Various measures could be applied, but ultimately, the best scale is the one that we apply to others who have come before us. Lets simplify the “life test” by having a positives and negatives column under which we can all give ourselves star ratings. To get the bad stuff out of the way, here are some not so great behaviours.

judgemental; self-centered; ethnocentric; short-fused; covetous; snobbish; (fill in the blanks)

On the plus side, we may have our survivors comment on how (this) we were:

generous with our time and things; spiritual; eccentric; irreverant; humourous; wicked (in a ha-ha sort of way); kind to animals; open; loyal; colourful; impulsive; provocative and (fill in the blanks).

The message is actually not really that complicated, but in our cluttered lives, the signal is subject to considerable interference. I hope all of us will deserve a positive remembrance.

September 22, 2007

Don’t Kvetch – Write!

Filed under: Governance and Legal,Views — Jocko @ 1:24 pm

Submitted by Vortexman:

I’m sending out an SOS…. Does it seem like everyone in government is working against us here on Pender Island…… like we have no advocate to stand up for us?
Well, that’s what it seems like to me. Ferry fares are skyrocketing because of privatization, and our property tax assessments are going through the roof. The revenue is obviously not coming back to the island in the proportion that we deserve (just look at our roads). The bill for the proposed CRD project to improve the water system in Magic Lake Estates (including a million dollars for unneeded water meters) will go back to the residents, over $500/year. Meanwhile the VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) has cut rural doctorsÂ’ salaries, making it more difficult to attract physicians here, even though Pender has ample caseload, and a new clinic expansion project underway. Did you know that half the time these days there is no doctor on call? So, Pender, what do you think? If anyone feels the same way about our plight, please write a letter to our representatives. Who knows, if they feel the next election will be a close one, they may just listen. Here are some links from which you can also get mailing addresses and phone numbers:
Federal MP: Gary Lunn,
Provincial MLA: Murray Coell,
CRD Director for Gulf Islands: Susan DeGryp
You can also write letters to local papers such as the Times Colonist.

Humbly,
Vortexman

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