The Merry McKentys Return – On Tour

The Merry McKentys Return – On Tour

Originally Published on Cortes Currents According to the description on their website, the McKentys saga starts sounds on a steep snowy mountainside in the backwoods of British Columbia. Robert and Elizabeth had a small cabin, “many children of various sizes, a wood stove, a small battery-powered stereo system that sometimes worked, a mandolin, and several fiddles.” By the time they moved to Cortes, the Merry McKenty were on their way towards becoming a band. There were five people sitting around the table of their Vancouver home, the morning we skyped. It is easy to identify the rich timbre of Robert’s voice, or his daughter Ieva, but I find it more difficult to discern which of the boys –  Francis, Immanuel or Isa – is talking.  Coming Back To Cortes “We lived in a number of different places on Cortes because it is very difficult to find year round rentals, especially for a large family. Cortes is … a very unusual demographic, all told, and it is also a very unusual place to be in nature. Those two things stand out for all of us. … Whether we were living on the boat, or living in a campground in Smelt Bay, or when we lived in Smelt Bay for nearly ten years in a rental, every morning we could get out and we were in unusually pristine natural environment and go swimming, or go running … or go to the Co-op, especially when the Cafe is open.” – Robert  “We arrived in 2002 and didn’t find a summer rental and so moved off the island and then came back in 2003...
Salvaging On BC’s Central Coast

Salvaging On BC’s Central Coast

Originally Published on Cortes Currents As I was waiting for the ferry at Quathiaski Cove, my eyes were drawn to a trailer full of rough planking and an antique floating devise. They belonged to a BC Ferry captain from the Quadra to Cortes run. Randall Warnock spends a lot of time salvaging on BC’s central coast. Bringing stuff back to the Aruga – Courtesy Randall Warnock Namu He’s being combing the beaches for the past ten years.  The pace picked up three years ago, when he started visiting the abandoned site at Namu.  “It’s an old abandoned fish cannery; a small city on the central coast. There was a Chinatown bunkhouse, a Japanese section, a First Nation section – where they all had their people who worked there. There was a big fish plant, a processing plant, a cafe, and had manager’s houses up in the back. It was a pretty happening place for years. I think it shut down in the early 80’s or late 70’s,” he says. Namu went into receivership after that. “It is deteriorating and some of it is falling into the ocean.” Storing the stuff at home – Courtesy Randall Warnock What Does He Find? For Warnock, salvaging is like being a kid with free access to a candy shop. “There is all kinds of old brass and fishing artefacts … {he and his twin brother] usually pick up a thousand crab floats every summer.  They come up from Washington and Oregon, they drift up with the currents. Then rope and we call them jellybeans, these big three or four foot long egg shaped things...
SRD Has Important Cortes Issues To Address.

SRD Has Important Cortes Issues To Address.

Originally published on Cortes Currents.ca The perspective expressed in the article/podcast that follows is not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Society, its’ board, staff or membership. Some progress was made at the June 27 Strathcona Regional District Board Meeting. When the bylaw for Cortes Island’s proposed Hall service tax finally passed,  Chair Babchuk announced she wanted to do a happy dance. Cortes Island’s 2019 Advisory Planning Commission has finally been appointed. Frances Guthrie, Mike Manson, Carrie Saxifrage, Sam Mayer, Brittany Baxter, and Kristen Schofield-Sweet have all previously served on the APC. The bylaw for the proposed hall tax passed and, assuming that there are no hold-ups with the Ministry for Municipal Affairs, we are likely to see a referendum this fall, but the SRD has important Cortes Issues to address. Leftover From The Legal Petition Firstly: there is Regional director Noba Anderson’s legal fees which the Strathcona Regional District is reluctant to pay – even though they have insurance. The SRD have not given an explanation for this neglect, as their decision was made in camera. (This situation remains unchanged as of July 11, 2019.) There is no doubt about Anderson’s innocence. To say that the legal petition to remove Director Noba Anderson from office failed is an understatement. By the time it reached court, even the lawyer who drew up this factually flawed document conceded that “there is no basis for the declarations sought by the petitioners.” He added that, “The Respondent [ie Director Anderson] did not accept a gift contrary to section 105 of the Community Charter.” There was no court battle, only a total capitulation in which the plaintiff’s...
Saturday Market At The Gorge

Saturday Market At The Gorge

Summer market season is upon us. Cortes Radio has been manning a booth at Mansons Friday Market for years, and this year is also at the Gorge Harbour Saturday Market.  Visitors To Saturday Market AT The Gorge You can visit it any Saturday between 10 AM to 1 PM.  Though supposedly smaller than its counterpart at Mansons, the Gorge market may appeal to a larger percentage of off-islanders. Some had boats tied up at  the Marina, or were staying in the campsite. Others said they lived in Campbell River. A significant number were Americans. This could be a significant opportunity for local venders. Culinary Treats, Local Products & Tourism The Gorge Harbour Saturday Market offers a variety of culinary treats, fine arts, crafts, artisan products and even an opportunity to explore the islands on board the schooner “Misty Isles.”   In terms of sales, Cortes Radio’s booth did slightly better at the Gorge than Mansons – which might not be a fair comparison because it was raining on the 28th. So I asked a couple of the other vendors about their experience. All photos by Roy L Hales Everyday Ceramics “I make everyday ceramics, that’s my hobby/job now. It’s all made on Cortes Island …  This is my fifth year … [Gorge Market] is a little bit slower than Friday market in Mansons, but I really like it because it is my local town. I really like it here.” – Yuri Ikoma Baked Goods, Savoury Snacks & Produce This is the sole market for Carrie’s baked goods and savoury snacks.  “I love it. It’s quiet but there are good people and enough...
Solution For Colony Collapse Disorder

Solution For Colony Collapse Disorder

Originally Published on Cortes Currents.ca There was an upside to this summer’s long ferry waits at the Whaletown terminal on Cortes island. One of North America’s leading fungi experts, Paul Stamets, was in the car in front of me.  While we were waiting for a second ferry, he told me about his discovery a solution for colony collapse disorder.  Wild Bees Are Infected “I’ve been working with the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Washington State University. Dr Jay Evans, of the USDA, told me has not seen a virus free bee in ten years. Wild bees are infected with viruses, but not ALL wild bees with Deformed Wing Virus. The concern is that they will soon will be from domesticated honey bees. Why? Well, when the honey bees visit a flower they leave viral particles on the flower and so when wild bees come to the same flower they pick up the viral particle. So now this virus has spread all over, even yellow jackets have been found to carry the deformed wing virus.” “ … We are facing a tremendous threat to our world-wide food security … It’s getting worse. This is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The loss of honey bees is one factor for commercial implications, but most people don’t realize that wild bees, bumble bees and other wild bees, give farmers approximately 80% of their benefits. [This] pollination comes from wild bees, not honey bees … The loss of wild bees is even more dramatic, but much harder to calculate.” The Leading Cause of Colony Collapse “ … When colony collapse...