Cortes Island's Future

Cortes Island's Future

The post that follows is contains personal opinions not necessarily endorsed by the Cortes Radio Society, Board, staff, volunteers of membership. Originally Published on Cortes Currents By the time you hear this, everyone on Cortes Island will have received a newsletter from their Regional Director (or read it on the Tideline). I found it left me with more questions than answers. So I asked Noba Anderson to explain her vision for Cortes Island’s political future. A Cortes Community Council “I want to built community council, really simply put. City has a mayor and council. There is a group of people that are elected by the community to discuss matters of interest to the community and make decisions that pertain to the community and communicate the city’s will to outside agencies. First Nations, equally, have a chief and council. There’s a formalized, recognized, legitimate structure that is more than sending one person two ferry rides away to sit with twelve other reps,” says Director Anderson. The way the SRD functions: “I am inherently a minority and structurally, we don’t know things about each other, we don’t know each other’s communities – even with the best intentions, which aren’t necessarily always there.” “So I’m interested in building something here that is complementary to the Regional District structure and certainly in no way would supersede or replace it. Over time as, I believe, our systems will inevitably fray with the pressures of climate change, we will have this system to really rely on here.” “This is the inside of the Hornby Island Co-op, the largest store on the island.” – by Daryl Mitchell via Flickr...
The Strathcona Regional District Board Is Collectively Responsible

The Strathcona Regional District Board Is Collectively Responsible

Originally Published on Cortes Currents The opinions expressed in the following post are not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Society, its’ board, staff, volunteers or membership. A quick perusal of the Agenda was sufficient. I knew I had to attend the next meeting. Chair Michele Babchuk was bringing a Cortes Island resident’s complaints before the SRD Board. On Thursday December 4, more than a half dozen Cortesians filed into the new SRD Boardroom to listen. Though seemingly humbled, Babchuk pointed to the SRD’s accomplishments and stated that Sue Ellingsen was wrong to single out Directors Jim Abram and Brenda Leigh for criticism: the SRD Board is collectively responsible.  Chair Babchuk’s Report “I want to thank Ms Ellingsen for writing. I think it’s important that our constituents hold us accountable and give us the ability to give us their clear perspective. It’s never easy to read some of the stuff that’s in there around constituents feeling we act in an unprofessional or ineffective manner, especially when issues from that area have consumed our agenda for the last year. I actually think that, although there has been some historic issues, we’ve actually been able to cover off quite a few in the last year – with the fire service and of course the hall tax. I want to add that, from the Board’s perspective, a lot of the issues in this letter are now done …“ says Chair Babchuk, in the podcast above.  She adds, “ … The only piece that I would really like to take a little pause with is that, as a board, we work by via resolution – whether that is in camera or out of camera. All of the resolutions...
Cortes Island's Cat Rescue

Cortes Island's Cat Rescue

Originally Published on Cortes Currents According to the definition at neighborhoodcats.org, “A “feral” cat is unsocialized and tends to be fearful of people and keep a distance.” This may once have been true of the sixteen cats Samantha Statton is currently looking after but, speaking as a former cat owner, a few of these are among the friendliest cats I have seen. It was hard to take a picture because they were constantly sniffing my lens, or trying to smooch, and one adorable youngster liked to jump up onto my shoulder for a nuzzle. In this morning’s interview Samantha explains how Cortes Cat Rescue came into being, what they do and ways you can help out.  Cats Kill Birds “Some people don’t like cats; they kill birds. Well, yes they do and that’s one thing I do not like about cats, but that’s one of the things they do. You can keep your cat in the house. Some cats, right from day one, are happy to live indoors. In the same breath, if there is an overabundance of cats, there is just that many more to kill more birds,” she said.  “They’re out there struggling and trying to catch some food … They’ll get predated [by] eagles, hawks, wolves, cougars and racoons even … They will perish, but still they have this tough hard life and in my view it is just not a good scene.”  Samantha was referring to Cortes Island’s feral cats, which were originally pets. She has a suggestion: “If you get your cat spaded and neutered, you’d cut down that problem as well. Its a win-win situation I think: for the cats, for...
Augmented Home Support Program

Augmented Home Support Program

Originally published on Cortes Currents In October, 2019, Cortes Island’s Augmented Home Support (AHS) program was looking at the very real possibility that they may have to shut down. They had enough funding to continue until the end of the year, after which they could not pay their part-time employees. Some of you may have read their appeal in the Cortes Community Health Association (CCHA) Newsletter and made a donation. The immediate concern is over, but it prompted me to reach out to the Augmented Home Support program’s organizer, Ron Croda.  How Augmented Home Support Started “Augmented Home Support came into being about six years ago when the board at CCHA realized that elderly people who wanted to age in place, here on Cortes Island … couldn’t stay if they began to falter and had problems maintaining their home, transportation and that sort of thing … People on the board were concerned that people were essentially being forced to move to town and give up their homes and friendships. We felt this was not necessary in every case. We could do something about that. We organized the Augmented Home Support program to provide minimal assistance to people who only needed minimal assistance in order to remain on Cortes as long as they wanted,” he explained.  What Augmented Home Support Does Some people ask for AHS. Others enter the program after AHS, acting on a recommendation from someone in the community, asks if they are needed.   Each client is interviewed by a Registered Nurse, who recommends services and how much time someone might need to utilize them.  AHS has four part-time workers...
Crises in BC's Forests

Crises in BC's Forests

Courtesy of the Wilderness Committee The story that follows contains perspectives not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Society, its board, staff, volunteers or membership. Originally published on Cortes Currents On Monday, November 25, 2019, the forest management company Mosaic began shutting down its Vancouver Island harvesting operations because of “very challenging pricing and market conditions.” Approximately 2,000 people – contractors, union and non union workers, are being dismissed “ahead of the usual winter shutdown.” Mosaic plans to “resume harvesting when the market outlook improves,” but some see this as symptomatic of a much larger industry problem. Sierra Club BC and the Wilderness Committee had planned to hold an event in Campbell River’s downtown Community Centre that same day. Two hours before this was to begin, the city of Campbell River cancelled it because of “the number of people anticipated, the strong potential for highly-charged emotion, and lack of time to establish a security plan for this booking.” This morning’s program is about the crises in BC’s forests. The Logging Crises “Recently, it’s tough, you have a big company on the south end of Vancouver Island, Teal Jones that holds areas like the Walbran, they’ve been curtailed for a couple of months now in both second growth and old growth operations. The Western Forest Products strike will, I believe, hit the five month mark this week. So that’s five months of employees going without paycheques – and, a month before Christmas, this is tough. And then just on Friday … you have the second biggest logging company after Western, Mosiac, announcing that they were curtailing, sort of indefinitely, because of market conditions …” – Torrance Coste. Photo Courtesy of the Wilderness Committee...
Reality 102 With Rex Weyler

Reality 102 With Rex Weyler

The podcast and article that follow expresses opinions not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Society, its board, staff, volunteers or membership. Editor’s note: Reality 102 with Rex Weyler was the conclusion of a two part series at Cortes Island’s Folk University. This session was recorded and broadcast over Cortes Radio in the regular Cortes Currents slot on November 13, 2019. Rex asks what are realistic responses to the problem of overshoot. He asks the same question in the article below; the embedded podcast is Rex’s Folk U presentation. Originally published on Cortes Currents At the University of Minnesota Dr. Nate Hagens teaches an honours course called “Reality 101: A Survey of the Human Predicament.” Hagens operated his own hedge fund on Wall Street until he glimpsed, “a serious disconnect between capitalism, growth, and the natural world. Money did not appear to bring wealthy clients more well being.” Hagens became editor of The Oil Drum, and now sits on the Board of the Post Carbon Institute and the Institute for Integrated Economic Research. Reality 102 with Rex Weyler – a presentation at Cortes Island’s Folk University Reality 101 addresses humanity’s toughest challenges: economic decline, inequality, pollution, biodiversity loss, and war. Students learn about systems ecology, neuroscience, and economics. “We ask hard questions,” says Hagens. “What is wealth? What are the limits to growth? We attempt to face our crises head on.”   Some students feel inspired to action, and some report finding the material “depressing.” One student shared the course material with a family member, who asked, “So what can I do?” The student struggled to answer this question, and the listener chastised her: “why did you explain all...