Cortes Island’s NEPP Workshop

Cortes Island’s NEPP Workshop

Originally Published on Cortes Currents Two distinctly different threats and, a variety of methods of dealing with them, were identified at Cortes Islands Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP) workshop at Mansons Hall on April 16, 2019.  “ … NEPP, Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness programs, get to be whatever you want. It is outside the realm of a government program … I am here to support you with whatever you want, assuming you want anything. I had no idea what Marion and Mary-Lou were up to until the last time I was here and how extensive they’ve put it in here. That’s awesome, I don’t need to be involved, but I am here if you need me to be.” –  Shaun Koopman Protective Services Coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District. Two Events To Prepare For:  “Two events we concentrated on … Fire, whether it is an individual home fire or a wild fire that could rage down upon our neighbourhood, God forbid. The second was an earthquake and we are talking about an earthquake that may be higher than a seven point something on a Richter scale … If the Cascadia fault goes on the other side of Vancouver Island, we are looking at a nine point two” – Mary-Lu Lorenson, Coordinator of the Potlatch Road NEPP on Cortes Island. “A lot of our worries are about the Air B & B and vacation rental people. They come here, they think it is this remote island. Everything’s great, there are no rules, there is no police. They have campfires …” – Marion Bennet, organizer, Potlatch Road NEPP. In the Podcast: Who will...
Cougar Companions

Cougar Companions

Zaida & August Schnarr with their daughters Pansy and (baby) Pearl – courtesy Judith Williams Originally Published on Cortes Currents Judith Williams new book, Cougar Companions: Bute Inlet Country and the Legendary Schnarrs is the twenty-fourth issue of Raincoast Chronicles. She traces the Schnarr’s family story through a combination of diaries, interviews and rare photographs.  August Schnarr brought a Kodak camera when he came to this area, around 1910. “Without the photographs, I would just be telling a story about August, his daughters, the cougars and their neighbours. But I am looking at all the pictures of those people and First Nations sites, the back landscape. He is really the only person carrying a camera that far up. “ “He got this kodak 3 camera very early on. It still exists in beautiful condition. He was also able to get film, I think by union steamships but maybe other places, and send the stuff out to be developed by Woodwards and Spensers or whatever.” “It turns out he has quite a good eye for composition. So a lot of the photographs I focused on .. have fairly dynamic lines … and I think they are very interesting things to look at.” “A lot of people just try to record their lives, but he is trying to show us something about his life and the wilderness and I think those are his strongest photographs- Judith Williams. In The Podcast: Rowing from Washington state to Northeastern Vancouver Island.August Schnarr: logger, trapper, wilderness guide, inventorHow he met Zaida and their move to Bute Inlet.How their three daughters (Pansy, Pearl & Marion) became companions, and...
The First Cortes EV Mini-Faire

The First Cortes EV Mini-Faire

Originally Published on Cortes Currents British Columbia’s EV tipping point may be closer than you think. When you factor in the cost of gasoline, the average electric vehicle is already substantially less expensive that a gas car. Level three charging stations, capable of delivering an 80% charge in 30 minutes, are creeping up the east coast of Vancouver Island, BC. There are now seven stations along the coastal route between Sidney and Campbell River and sixteen in the Greater Victoria area. (In addition, there is a Tesla Fast charging station in Nanaimo and another planned for Campbell River.) Now even people in remote locations are going electric. The first Cortes Island EV Mini-faire was April 12, 2019 Cortes EV owners held a mini-faire in the parking lot at Manson’s hall during the Friday market, to promote electric transport. On display were four full size cars and three E-bikes. In the Podcast: Tesla Model 3 controls – Roy L Hales photo I ask each owner…How much their vehicle costs?How much do they save every month in terms of reduced energy costs?How many kilometres do they get to a charge?The story behind one of the first Toyota Prius (hybrid) sales in British Columbia.How EVs are like computers on wheels.How the Tesla’s touch screen, seen above, shows every Supercharger station in the world and which stalls are empty, and makes the necessary preparations before a car arrives.Why EVs, and Teslas in particular, have such excellent safety records.How Teslas update their software every month and what this means in terms of the vehicle’s overall performance. (How the range of Barry Saxifrage’s Tesla increased from 499 km to 525 km per...
Cortes Island During the 1940s & 50s

Cortes Island During the 1940s & 50s

Originally Published on Cortes Currents His first memory of Cortes Island is of the Ellingsen family moving their log float home to Von Donop Inlet in 1945. His stories go back decades further. Mike Manson, whose name is preserved in Mansons Landing, was his maternal great grandfather. In this morning’s program we start a series in which Andy Ellingsen remembers Cortes Island during the 1940s & 50s. Illustrations of Community ” … We used to turn out every Sunday for the Union Steamship coming in at Mansons Dock … The community came out to the Post Office to pick up their mail and of course they all came out to the dock to help unload the freight and move it up to the store. … There was always a community gathering at that time …” “… There were dances held in the community hall fairly regularly. In the 1950s, there would be a dance held there maybe every six weeks … My dad was an accordion player and played music for the dances … It was easier for my mom and dad to take us to the dance than to find someone to babysit us … When we got tired, we slept on the stage, or the back room … In the summer the dances would typically go on until four or five in the morning, when it started to get light and people could see their way home … “ ” … There was always work-share back and forth between people, because quite often … its not hard to build a house if there are two or three of...
Environmental Threat To Desolation Sound

Environmental Threat To Desolation Sound

Originally Published on Cortes Currents In the summer of 2016, a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading aggregate companies announced it was about to commence exploratory surface drilling in the Lloyd Creek Area of Desolation Sound. This is in close proximity to the region’s foremost kayak and boating area and, consequently, brings a substantial income to local businesses. Had the venture gone forward, one of the regions few remaining old growth forests would have been cut down, an important fish bearing creek would have been devastated and a number of important indigenous sites would have been threatened. Lehigh Hanson Materials abandoned its application, but local author Judith Williams talks about a new threat to Desolation Sound. Gravel Is In Short Supply “Gravel is in short supply throughout the world … and we use gravel to build all kinds of things, so people are looking for deposits,” she explains, in the podcast above.  A new company has applied to do exploration on the gravel deposit at Lloyd Creek. While they offer the local area little benefit after the initial construction phase, the potential negative impacts are significant.  Jewell Of The Mid Coast Lloyd Creek Bay clam garden area, 2016 – Courtesy Judith Williams “Desolation Sound is really the jewell of the Mid Coast of British Columbia … There are these huge marine parks,” says Williams. They spread out from Price point, just south of Lloyd Creek, to the kayak heaven better known as Mink Island. She describes the area as a magnet for boating, camping and kayaking. The stores at Lund, Refuge Cove, Squirrel Cove and the Gorge supply them...
Director Anderson’s Lawyer Filed His Response

Director Anderson’s Lawyer Filed His Response

The opinions expressed in the following article are my own and not necessarily those shared by Cortes radio, its board, staff, volunteers or members. Originally Published on Cortes Currents From the beginning, the legal petition filed against Strathcona Regional Director Noba Anderson appeared to be slipshod. Numerous factual errors were reported. The amounts of the alleged bribes are trivial, mostly ranging between $20 and $100. The suggestion that they are anything other than donations to a fire relief fund seems dubious, especially as none of these allegations are substantiated. This impression was materially strengthened when Director Anderson’s lawyer filed his response on Thursday.  The Accusation Bernie Anderson’s cabin burnt down, with almost everything he owned inside, on January 31, 2018. One of his neighbours started a GoFundme campaign called “Bernie’s Cabin Fire Rebuild” which raised $3,700 on his behalf. There is nothing unusual about this in a remote community like Cortes Island. Only Bernie’s daughter had just been re-elected as the island’s Regional Director (is this her fourth term?). As her father is no longer capable of living by himself, Anderson used these funds to add a room for him to her house. Going through a list of the fund’s twenty-eight donors, some of Anderson’s opponents noticed that a number had connections to Cortes Island non-profit organizations and these organizations subsequently received “grants in aid” from the Strathcona Regional District. (They had actually been “receiving grants” in aid for years.) On January 2, 2018, fourteen Cortes residents filed a legal petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, with the stated intention of having Director Anderson disqualified from holding office until the next...